Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm obsessed with Christmas





I know I know Thanksgiving hasn’t even come and gone, but I’m obsessed with Christmas.  I kind of feel bad for the lonely November holiday because by the time it gets here all I can think about it December 25!!!

I’ve been working from home these past two days in Alabama so NWH could be together more for the holiday, and yes I am listening to Christmas music as I work.  It may have something to do with the fact that I have two degrees in music, but listening to Christmas tunes is one of my most favorite things about this time of year!

Anyone feeling what I’m feeling???

Here’s one of my favorites! The simple piano and violins are just gorgeous not to mention to the beautiful message of the lyrics.  I hope you enjoy!!


video


Saturday, November 20, 2010

I need flooring advice quick!!

NWH and I are down to business this weekend.  We came to South Mississippi to take care of some things for the house before the crazy holidays hit.  We’re having new floors put down; putting new hardware in the kitchen, inserting doorstops behind the doors, and the list goes on and on and on and on.

NWH were about to kill each other (or ourselves) yesterday.  It’s amazing the amount of stress that comes through just picking out and installing a knob!  We vowed to be better today and not panic about anything. 

We still haven’t decided what to do about the floors.  There was ceramic tile throughout the main living area and kitchen, but we had to take it up because it was cracking.  We’re either going to go with stamped concrete, or lay laminate wood or real hardwood.  I’ve heard so many things from so many people about all options, and I just can not decide!  What do ya’ll think?  I need flooring advice quick!!

(Stained Concrete)


(Laminate Floor)


(Real Hardwood)

P.S. Don't you worry though, we're taking some time for Southern style football tonight. YEY!  Going to get ready for the game now.  Talk to ya'll later ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

that’s what vacay is all about right!



NWH and I just got back from a fabulous 5 day trip in the Bahamas!  It was my first ever cruise and I must admit...it was pretty wonderful.  It’s absolutely amazing to be hundreds of miles away from land and to be surrounded by nothing but the massive blue sea. 


We made a stop at Nassau which is breathtaking.  There we snorkeled in the coral reef (um, the water was quite FREEZING), walked around Atlantis, shopped in the straw market, and ate lunch at the famous Senior Frogs.  Then we headed to Freeport where we played on the sandy beach and in the crystal clear water. 


Of course we ate AND drank too much, but that’s what vacay is all about right!?  At least I got a little tan.  Maybe it’ll hide the extra 20 pounds I gained! 


P.S. The only negative...NWH and I still feel like we're rocking on the boat.  I'll let you know when that wears off. Hahahaha :)


Monday, November 08, 2010

I missed the wrath of the doctors.


So my new job…well new/old job is Personnel Director at a family dental practice. I started working for Family Dentistry my junior year of college and literally have worked every spot in the office since that first summer.


I started at check in and learned how to confirm patients and enter information into the computer system.  I then moved to check out and practiced my skills at financial coordinating, filing insurances, and providing financial agreements with patients.  My final years were spent assisting the office manager paying bills, handling marketing and public relationships, along with end of the month reports. 


Although I did so much in these years, I never was a full time employee (except for the summers) which means I missed the wrath of the doctors.


So today, one of the doctors called me into his office and began to explain all of this to me.  Yes, explain.  He pointed out that I always do I great job, but now that I am in management there may come a period in time when he’ll have to get onto me.  (Side note, he is THE doctor that everyone well…tries to avoid because he has a tendency to “get on to”). He then proceeded to say that when it does come time to chastise or correct me I should know that he’s not intentionally going to hurt my feelings. 


What does this mean….I’ve got my first real-life-full-time-chewing-out coming.  I am pretty sure he has it marked on the calendar for this week.  And I’m also pretty sure the 20 minute conversation was intended to prepare me for the glorious moment. 


I’ll keep ya’ll posted…say prayers for me!


Saturday, November 06, 2010

and if NWH says it’s good…it HAS to be GOOD!

MIL and J-man are coming to see us today!  We are super excited.  We haven’t been together since the Fed Ex cup (remember MIL’s hilarious direction story, read here).   The only down side about their visit is…they are taking little chipper with them on Sunday to Tennessee. 


You see, NWH and I are going on a cruise!!  WHOO HOO!! We’re flying to Jacksonville early next Thursday morning and loading the boat on Friday for a glorious 5 day cruise in the Bahamas.  With me working in South Mississippi and NWH still putting in a million hours here, there is no other time for Chipper to get to his Gan-ma and Gan-paw. 

Anyway, MIL and I usually get all dolled up and have the boys to take us out somewhere for a nice evening, but we decided since our time is limited we’d rather just stay in and enjoy each other’s company curled up on the coach with a big glass of wine.


NWH volunteered my shrimp fettuccine for dinner which I cannot wait to cook for MIL and J-man!  You can only imagine how happy it makes me that NWH had faith in my cooking..hahahahaha.  (We’ve come a long way)!  Anyway…here’s the recipe…and if NWH says it’s good…it HAS to be GOOD!

Shrimp
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 ½ Tablespoons Oil
4 Garlic Cloves
1 lb. Peeled, Deveined, Uncooked Shrimp
1 ½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Pepper

Directions:
Melt the butter and oil in a large cooking pain over medium-high heat, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute (be careful  not to burn). 
Add the shrimp, salt and pepper, and sauté until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

This is the shrimp from Barefoot Contessa’s terrible Shrimp Scampi that tasted like pure lemon!  Of course there is no lemon here just awesome shrimp!!

Fettuccine
1 lb. Fettuccine
½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
½ Teaspoon salt
¼ Teaspoon pepper
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Directions:
Cook the fettuccine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water. Drain a colander reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add heavy cream, salt, pepper, and garlic, and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter- cream mixture and Parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly.

This is very similar to Emerald’s Fettuccine with the exception of a few ingredients.


I hope you like it!!  Happy Saturday, everyone ;)


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

C—R—A—Z—Y!

My life has seriously been C—R—A—Z—Y!  Where do I even start to fill ya’ll in!!  For starters I am now living and working in South Mississippi while NWH is still in North Alabama (not exactly how you PLAN to spend the first year of marriage).  I just hope he doesn’t get too used to living without me!!


Despite the distance we are doing great! We are both working hard, saving money, and looking forward to our weekends together.   


I never heard from that education job, but my dentist office welcomed me back with opened arms and made me Personnel Director which I absolutely love!!  There is nothing like working with friends in an environment that you know like that back of your hand.  I get most of my work done by Thursdays and am able to have extra long 3 day weekends! (Who doesn’t love a four day week??)


I am living with friends who have so graciously let me into their home and am waiting on the bank to close on our new house!  We didn’t get that cute bungalow, but we did get a brand new (never been lived in) home for the same amount of money we would have spend on the 1950’s place!  The builder lost the home and it was foreclosed on so we struck an awesome deal.  I’m so excited.  I can’t wait to share pics with ya’ll.


 
So there’s a small update, I’m so sorry it has been so long. As soon as I get back into somewhat of a routine, I’ll be back!  I have kept up with most of you.  I just never have time to comment!  I hope that changes soon. Love ya’ll ;)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a newlywed can dream can’t she??

While in South Mississippi this past weekend, I drug NWH along with P and Lady D (NWH’s dad and stepmom) to the house that I visited a few weeks ago.  I just about squealed with excitement as we pulled down the beautiful street of early American homes.  Turning once, then up a block and there it sat.  It was love at first sight (well second sight). 


The photos never do them justice; this place is as cute as a button! The original hard wood floors have been refinished and both the interior and exterior have fresh paint. There’s new crown molding throughout and the fireplace has been converted to gas.  The kitchen boasts new stainless steel appliances with fresh cabinetry.  It’s about 2,200 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths, a formal living and dining room along with a breakfast nook off the kitchen.


But…. (there’s always a but) there is no denying the list of “to do’s” on this adorable bungalow is somewhat lengthy.  For one, the yard needs lots of bushes, flowers, and TLC.   I’m also not crazy about the green paint on the front porch or the four enormous pine trees in the front yard (two would be plenty).  I’d like to add a fence to the back yard and stone the front entrance.  Finally, I think the tops of the columns need to be painted white.




Of course I’m way premature thinking about all these renovations as we haven’t even made an offer yet, but hey…. a newlywed can dream can’t she??


You know I’ve turned to trusty ol’ Houzz for inspiration.  I just know this place could be a stunner!!  Look at the diamond in the rough.

a house in a garden traditional exterior



a house in a garden traditional exterior


Gast Architects: Projects traditional exterior



Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall, We Want to Make Fall Food

After making Chili Spaghetti last week for Mr. Eddie and Mrs. Deloris, I got a little request from Fashion Meets Food for the recipe.  Only now it's 93 freakin’ degrees outside and you’ll probably have to wait until fall comes back to make this yummy hot comfort food.   Seriously, I was so enjoying the cooler temps (but that’s the South for ya!).


Ingredients

1 medium onion
1 bell pepper
2-3 lbs hamburger meat
2 large cans of Bush’s chili beans
2 table spoons of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of water
16 oz package of spaghetti noodles


Directions

Brown your meat and drain.  Finely chop onion and bell pepper then sauté with the hamburger.  (I bought a mini food chopper from Wal-Mart for $9.99.  It's the best thing I ever did because NWH and I don’t like onion but we love the taste of them, which makes a whole lot of sense huh?). 


Add the two cans of chili beans, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, and water; then bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer.  Cook spaghetti according to package, drain, and top with chili.  TA DA!!


Note:  We like our chili spaghetti sort of thin.  The longer you cook it the more water that disappears so add water according to your liking.


This is super easy and so yummy!  I usually serve it with corn bread pancakes topped with cheese and sour cream.  You could also serve grilled cheese on the side or just plain ol’ saltine crackers!!




Tonight’s menu is frozen spaghetti (it won’t be frozen when we eat it of course), with Caesar salads and Pillsbury croissants.  What are ya’ll making??


Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had as fabulous of a weekend as I did.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.  We looked at a charming 1930 home, and I’m obsessing over how to decorate it ALREADY!!  It’s not even mine.......... yet!!


Friday, October 08, 2010

Tickled Pink: Grandma Still Drives

My lovely and wonderful MIL (she reads my blog, but I'd still think she was lovely and wonderful) sent me this email last Friday.  Now I have to admit sometimes I don't read forwards, but this one caught my eye and letme' tell ya...it's hysterical.  Holly at 504 Main: entertain, cook, create, kick off your heels does a Tickled Pink every Friday and well…this…tickled me PINK!!


504 Main



Grandma is eighty-eight years old and still drives her own car. She writes:


Dear Grand-daughter,

The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker.  I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting.  So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed.

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed.

I found that lots of people love Jesus!

While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, “For the love of God!” “Go! Go! Go!  Jesus Christ, GO!”  What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus!

Everyone started honking!

I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach.

I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing. 

Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection.

I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared.

So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!!

Will write again soon,

Love,
Grandma


What makes you Tickled Pink?  Join the funn!! Happy Weekend Everyone!!


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Cookies with Flava and Football Style

I think I have previously mentioned my need to bring something (normally edible something’s) with me every time I go somewhere.  This can definitely be linked to my mom who, I swear, carries complete meals in the trunk of her car!


So this weekend we are heading to South Mississippi for HOMECOMING!!!  I’m so excited I could just scream.  NWH has taken off the entire weekend.  We’ll get to see friends and family, some we haven’t seen since our wedding, 4 months ago. 




We tailgate for hours with friends who own gorgeous motor homes, then we ride golf carts over to the East Club where we sit in a  beautiful glassed in room that runs the length of the football field.   They serve drinks and food,  and well basically it’s just one big par—tey! 


So back to bringing food.  My NWH and I are obsessed with these monster cookies.  (Can you tell, I think they’ve been in like 3 of my posts this week).    NWH said that we should bring them with us this weekend to contribute to the tailgating food (hahaha, now I have him thinking we should always bring something). 


Then I started thinking about how to package them.  I hate just putting cookies and cakes in those ugly plastic containers.  So I thought about cookies jars….hmmmm…..


So I went to the thrift store for inspiration and found these…..for a mere 50 cents apiece.  (Soaked them in hot soapy water for an hour), bought ribbon in our school's colors, and well....look how cute these are!!



These + this


= this


+ these


=  cookies with flava and football style!!




P.S.  Since we'll be staying at a friend's house this weekend, they'll get treats too! 



P.S.S.  Won't these be great for the holidays by just adding Christmas ribbon and little dangling ornaments?  I'm so ready for Christmas!! Can you tell??




Wednesday, October 06, 2010

This is "El-Swank-O"

So yesterday was a CRAZY day. 


I started my day pretty normal, got up, made coffee, and read blogs for an hour (uh…an hour and a half, ok may a few hours), then I had to do some work.  For two years of my college/grad life I worked at a dentist office in South Mississippi.  I learned so much being a part of that team; and now, though miles away, they still call me to do odds and ends. 


At 1:30 NWH called.  He said that he had found someone to watch Chipper for us this weekend.  (Side note:  We are going to Homecoming!!! And hate boarding little chip).  Of course I’m ecstatic because we know NOONE in this town and have had to make arrangements to bring chip along on every trip since moving here.  I don’t mind bringing my wittle-sweet-sing, he just HATES the car and would much rather being in his home.

NWH proceeds that it’s an elderly man whom he works with, Mr. Eddie and his girlfriend, Mrs. Deloris.  NWH says…"I’ve invited them over for dinner tonight; I thought we’d have Chili Spaghetti, they’ll be there around 6:00."  I try to get in a few words like…tomorrow night would be better, I don’t have the ingredients for Chili Spaghetti, what time did you say they’d be here?  Most of those small statements were ignored; and I’m rushing out the door to Wal-Mart.
Fast forward a bit, I’ve been in Wal-Mart for WAY too long looking at all the fall décor.  Since I’ve spent all my time READING blogs about how to decorate for fall, I haven’t actually done anything!  So I grab a few pumpkins, throw in a pumpkin spice candle, and check out with ingredients for Chili Spaghetti. 




I get in my car and momentarily freak out because it’s 4:00 o’clock and I was supposed to be on the treadmill a half hour ago.  Martha Stewart was on Oprah and didn’t want to miss it or my work out!  I make a decision to leave groceries in the car (hope the beef doesn’t make anyone sick) and run into the clubhouse for a good 45 minutes. Leave the clubhouse, unload groceries, get in the shower, get dressed, set table, light candles, turn on laps, turn on music, its 5:30!!....  Start cooking.



The guests didn’t arrive until 6:30 thank goodness, and NWH had to take an important call that lasted another 30 minutes so I had time to get everything just like I wanted.


Mr. Eddie and Mrs. Deloris are two of the sweetest people.  Mrs. Deloris is a heavier woman who walks with a cane and has a little difficulty getting around, but boy will she talk your ear off.  Mr. Eddie lost his wife Christmas of 2009 and still tears up every time he mentions “his wife”.  These two found one another at Hardy’s eating breakfast June 9th and have been keeping each other company since. 


We really enjoyed talking to Mr. Eddie and Mrs. Deloris, and I’m thinking they kind of liked our company too since they didn’t leave until almost 11 o’clock.  We had Chili Spaghetti, corn bread, and grilled cheese for dinner.  Then I served those blasted monster cookies and vanilla ice cream for dessert. 




I know they’ll take care of my Chip and love staying at the NW apt.  Mr. Eddie kept saying, “This is El-Swank-O.”  (I took that as a compliment).


P.S.  I know it’s Wedding Word Wednesday, but I thought this was too cute to pass!!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Currently Obsessing…HOUZZ




So over the weekend I just happened to run into a few more interior sites and blogs.  I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this one, but my NWH is wishing I hadn’t!  It’s called Houzz.  Everyone in America probably knows about this, except me, but I LOVE it!! 

It’s a site where people, designers, and bloggers alike dump photos of their homes offering inspiration and ideas for everyone to use!!  You can break down the millions of photos by rooms, style, and location.  When you see a pic you like just add it to your Idea Book.  It’s like clipping magazines pictures without the magazine or scissors!!

So here are some of the rooms that are currently in MY Idea Book.

French Larkspur eclectic home office

I love this old wooden ladder.  I think it would be awesome in a bathroom used as a towel rack, don't you??  Now, where to find it??


hhbradys bedroom ideabook  bedroom


I totally want my next master bedroom to look like this.  I love the brown and white mix, and the deep chocolate walls are so sophisticated.  I actually saw this at The Painted Home a few days ago.  Aw...yes, it's coming back to me know... The Painted Home is def to blame for my new obsession. (Thank you!!)


Entry way eclectic entry


I have an table similiar to this one in size.  I also have a black mirror (compliments of the MIL) and think I'll use this pic as inspiration to spruce up my entry foyer.




Traditional Kitchen | ELLE Decor traditional kitchen

And this kitchen…I don’t know what to say except…Don’t wake me up…I’m dreaming!!  I love how crispy clean the white looks, yet the deep wood floors and counter tops add that warmth.



So, what are you waiting on??  Go check it out!  Or... maybe don't...you'll be hooked!! 

WARNING:  THE SITE MAY RESULT IN PROLONGGED PERIOUDS OF TIME STARRING AT A COMPUTER SCREEN NEGLECTING EVERYTHING ELSE IN LIFE!! 





Saturday, October 02, 2010

Lazy Saturday



It’s going to be a pretty lazy Saturday here in the NewlyWed apt. Sadly, NWH has to work (yuck!), so I’ll just piddle and paddle until he gets home. I’ll be making a quick run to the grocery store to pick up supplies; I mean ingredients, for tonight’s game-time dinner. Everyone in the South is getting ready for SEC’s 7 o’clock kick off!! Alabama vs. Florida…what a game!!


I think I’ve decided tonight’s menu will include chips and salsa, chicken quesadillas, and these monster cookies I spotted on The Pioneer Woman's website. Don’t they look delish??? I’ve never made chicken quesadillas before so I’ll let you know how it turns out! NWH doesn’t normally like it when I try new things..(I wonder why?) so I’m going to keep this one hush, hush until he gets home.




P.S. How cute is that picture of those pooches?? I was cleaning out my computer folders and totally forgot I had it! The Dachshund on the left is Lexie. She is P (NWH’s dad) and Lady D's (NWH’s step-mom) dog. And of course, you all know the one lounging on the left…my chipper!!

Happy Saturday!!


Friday, October 01, 2010

“Sophisticated Casual”




I could watch HGTV all day, walk around Pier 1 for hours, and look at the same Restoration Hardware catalog 30 times (really, I already have)!  I am obsessed with home décor.  I didn’t say I was great at it nor do I know a lot about it, but I LOVE it! 

Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve noticed that I’m drawn mostly to design blogs, (although I never post about it).   I love Better After, design*dump, and a new one I just found called The Painted Home. 

Over the past few days, I’ve noticed some of you other fab bloggers talking about home style too.  Thrifty Decor Chick posted yesterday about her “Suburban Style.”  (Go check it out, she lets us in to her beautiful home).  On Wednesday, Southern-bell-simple asked Homestyle:  What’s yours?

So all this has me thinking…exactly what is MY interior fashion?  Do you have to decide?  Is it important to know?

So I did what any other person in the world would do… I googled it.

I wanted to know if there were definitions to design style and this led me to a design quiz by Real Simple (love that website). It’s a real simple (get  it, real simple, hahaha) 10-question quiz which asks you to choose the pictures that you like best, easy peasy!



After I completed the questionnaire, my results reviled that I was “Sophisticated Classic.”  An elegant blend of refined traditional furniture, jewelry-like accessories, and pale hues. Patrician old-world elements pair with cleaner Art Deco shapes. The look evokes a more formal lifestyle. Think Grace Kelly, Tiffany & Co., and Charlotte from Sex and the City. 

While I was flattered by the description, this picture was a little over the top for me!  And to be honest freaked me out a bit.  Although I do like certain elements in this photo, the mirror, the clean lines, the lamps, it's all a little too stiff for my taste!  And those blue lion things are...well...interesting.



I was also high on the “Cozy Casual.”  The stores that were listed for this style are my loves:  Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, etc.  Though for me, this picture is a little too comfortable and there's too much going on for my liking, but I love that molding and the large windows!



So I’ve decided, I'm somewhere in the middle of these two.  I’m a... “Sophisticated Casual.”  It really is who I am.  I love to feel comfortable and cozy in a space or in life, but I like it amped up a bit, in a classy kind of way.  Does that make since?

Click (here) to take the quiz yourself and find your own personal style.  Report back to me, I’d love to hear your results and thoughts!!  FUN FUN!!


P.S. Sorry the post is a little late; I’ve been fighting a virus.   Not in my body...in my freakin’ COMPUTER!!!







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