Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Friday!

Fridays make me happy for a few reasons. Of course, there's the obvious: the weekend is here!, which means that if you're lucky enough to have a Monday-Friday job, you have a couple of days to get caught up on things around the house, time with family, and friends, or you can be like me most of the time, and be absolutely lazy and useless! HA! I kid, I kid....sorta. Fridays also make me happy because Joseph and I always go out for date night on Fridays. And we ALWAYS go to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. Usually that's all we do, but sometimes we'll go see a movie or get ice cream. That's the only time we ever go out to dinner, so we love it and we (try to) never miss a Friday date night! On rare occasions, we'll go out on a Saturday too, but lately we've been trying to eat in as much as possible to save some money. It's become a tradition, so every Friday after work we go to Habaneros, and have some awesome Mexican food and just enjoy some time together...time without work, without dogs, without phones (if I can get him to put his down!). We enjoy some time to talk and enjoy some of this:

and THIS:

and a little of THIS:
My tummy is rumbling already!! NOTE: These pics are from Yahoo images. Obviously, they're 3 totally different places. :) Is it quittin' time yet?? I'm ready for Mexican date night!!

I hope you all have a fantastical weekend. Maybe I won't be completely useless this weekend....after all, I have a tan to work on! OK, OK...MAYBE I'll clean the house a lil' bit. Maybe....

Oh yeah...I also got one of these today, so that makes this Friday even better!
What??? You're not psychic and know what drink this is just by looking at the cup??? that's a Diet Cherry Limeade! My most favorite drink in the whole wide world....but this is coming from a girl that drinks water and water only (with the exception of a lil' green tea every now and then). If you've never tried one, you don't know what you're missin'!

OK, bye for reals this time. Have a great weekend everyone!!
Sunday, July 25, 2010

Aloha from Hawaii......

Aahh, you caught me, I'm not in Hawaii!.....BUMMER! However, some of our relatives are visiting FROM Hawaii. One of Joseph's aunts lives in Hawaii with her husband, 3 sons and daughter, and their families. They have lived there for many years now. Well, one of his cousins, Tommy, is on vacation with his wife and stepchildren. They actually got married in December and we DID go to Hawaii for several days for their wedding. AWESOME PLACE! Throughout their vacation, they'll be going to various places in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. Evidently, a vacation for residents of Hawaii consists of coming to the states...they must be crazy! Ha! I kid, I kid. This is kind of like his oldest stepdaughter's graduation present. Yesterday they drove from Atlanta to Rainbow City (Gadsden) to my in-law's house. We met them up there and had dinner and a great time visiting with them. Joseph and I decided to get a cake from Edgar's (The best bakery ever!) for Amanda to celebrate her graduation. We also got a chocolate cream pie for those who don't like birthday cake (AKA: the crazy ones)....although that pie is absolute heaven! We wanted to introduce them to the best sweets in the states! :) They brought us some chocolate covered macadamia nuts, some regular ones, and some black tea that I'm anxious to try. I'm sure they will all be delicious!

I was so busy visiting with family,(certainly not because I was stuffing my face with lasagna, cake, and pie) that I forgot to take any pictures of anything!(And we all know that posts are better with pictures) Whoops! See....all the more reason I need that Canon's so big that it will constantly be there to REMIND me to take pictures! Hey, I look for reasons wherever I can. HA!!

That's all that's happened with us this weekend. Aside from the family visit and laying out for a few hours until I thought I would have a heatstroke it was so hot, it's been pretty quiet around here, which is just the way we like it! I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend, and you have an even better week! :-)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Design Boredum....AND a Recipe!, you may notice a new blog design. See...I get tired of things really easily. I mean, if I could totally redecorate my whole house I would, 'cause most of that stuff isn't really my style anymore. But, what are ya gonna do? :) I just get real bored with things after a while....husband NOT included! HA! So, I apologize if this constant design-changing is annoying. I promise I will try to find one and keep it for a while. Don't hold me to that though....I just said, I'll try! I like this one a lot....with the exception that it has blue and orange on it....YIKES!...this is no good, not acceptable! There's a real good chance it will be something different tomorrow. J/K, a little. ;-)

We got rid of the treadmill last night, as you know. SO excited about the additional space we have! I made some homemade lasagna last night for our friends when they came to pick it up. It was very tasty. I got the recipe from, which is where I get a lot of my recipes if I need them. I honestly don't use recipes that much, unless it's something I haven't done in a long time, or at all. So, in case you're interested, here's the recipe. I changed it a little bit to suit us better, so I'll tell you how I made it. It's really pretty easy and foolproof. I mean, how could meat sauce, noodles, and cheese taste bad?!


-Appr. 1 lb lean ground beef
-1/2 of Jimmy Dean (or whatever brand you like) roll of Italian sausage (I like the contrast in flavors of the sausage and beef...but too much sausage = gag..this is just right)
-2 cloves minced garlic
-1 tbsp chopped basil
-1 tsp oregano (I used a little more, 'cause I luuvs it!)
-1/2 tsp salt and a couple of turns of the pepper mill
-2 regular size jars of pasta sauce (I used traditional sweet basil, but it was a little sweet in my opinion)
-Box lasagna noodles (I only needed 9 for the pan I used)
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-2 tbsp parsley
-1 tsp salt
-1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, sausage, and garlic; drain fat. Mix in basil, oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt. I like to let this cook for a minute or two to allow the herbs to really get into the meat. Add pasta sauce and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Lay noodles flat on towels and pat dry.

3. Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and 1 tsp salt.

4. Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. I spray my dish with nonstick spray first. Cover noodles with 1/2 of ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese (save a little for top), and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat with another layer. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle little remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.

5. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

ENJOY the lasagna, AND the leftovers! We're having it again for dinner tonight. :-) We're halfway through the week people....have a great Thursday and Friday!
Oh, and here's a picture of the lasagna. I will admit that it's not the one I's a picture that someone submitted on the website when they made it. I mean, let's face it, pictures do make blog posts more interesting! :0

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So Long, Farewell...

No, I'm not going anywhere! However, our treadmill now has a new home. We bought a treadmill a couple of years ago, and I'm ashamed to admit that it's been used MAYBE 20 times. Sad, I know. I don't know what we were thinking. We have the bad habit of making "impulse buys"...I will say that Joseph is worse than I am about this. Well, it was definitely one of those impulse buys. At the time, we weren't members of the gym and it was great to be able to walk and run while watching TV in our "office". Of course, shortly after we bought it, we decided to join the gym and I would much rather use that membership since we are paying for it every month! Therefore, the treadmill got neglected.

Our "office" was then filled with a treadmill, desk(both of which are huge on their own), two bookshelves, and a TV on its stand. Every time I walked into that room I almost had a mini panic-attack. I avoided that room at ALL costs! Ha! So, I've been contemplating selling it for a while now. I think I held on to it for so long because: 1) It took an act of GOD to get in the office...we almost killed each other a couple of times during the process! 2) It cost way more money than I'm willing to's a gym-quality treadmill! 3)I thought I'd like to keep it for our next, and hopefully much bigger, house to have in the basement or something. Well, seeing as how I shudder any time I think about that office, the money's already been spent, and I'd be throwing money away at the gym if I didn't go, and we'll definitely be in our house for a few more years....and we've also been dropping the "b" word lately so it will be a nursery before too much longer maybe(no, we're not pregnant), it's time for it to go!

You can't tell from the picture, but it's really big and bulky! And REALLY nice!

I had a friend on Facebook that I haven't seen in years announce that she was looking for one to buy. Well, yours truly JUMPED on that opportunity and I had that thing sold pretty much the same day! Well, at least a deal made anyway. Wes and Lauren Murphree are the proud new owners of the treadmill. Wes and Joseph are fraternity brothers and we've known Lauren for a while. They dated for several years during college before they married a year or two ago. They came to pick up the monstrosity this evening and I couldn't be happier! Not only is it out of MY house and I feel like my office belongs to me again, but it will actually get some use and not sit there to collect dust and give me a panic-attack every time I walk in there. ;) It's going to be very strange walking in there and seeing a nice, neat room. It already looks so much bigger, but I also want to get rid of the big bookshelf (even though it is filled up with books, but it's not my style), the TV and stand, and that desk. The desk is solid oak and extremely heavy. It's very nice and we'd like to keep it...just store it until we have room in our next house for it. Luckily it comes apart into many pieces, which would make it easy to store in the attic. I guess the desk can stay until the day a baby makes an arrival, but then, it's gotta go! :-)

So, if you or someone you know are looking for a bookshelf (solid oak), TV (I think it's around 36"), or a TV stand....I got 'em! I'll cut you a deal! ha! I have so much stuff I want to get rid of...I don't even care if I get money for some of it. I have tons of decorative items it's ridiculous. I either don't have anywhere for it to go, don't like it, or just will never use it. So, SERIOUSLY, if ya want some stuff, hit me up! I'd have a yard sale if I didn't think they were the devil. ;) I've thought about listing them on Craig's List or Ebay, but would rather not. I hate clutter, and having all of this stuff in my office, my closets, etc. is driving me CA-RAZY!! It's NOT helping me realize my goal of becoming more organized. Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and take all of it to Salvation Army or somewhere like that. Just having it out of my house would be a blessing in itself, especially if I could give it to people who need it! Hope you all are having a great week!
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Take A Look

Sometimes we forget how blessed we truly are. Sometimes it takes us stepping back and taking a look at our lives, and the people in them. I tend to be a pretty humble, thankful person. I am very appreciative of all of the things, more importantly, the people, that God has put in my life.....true blessings! As hard as I try to not take them for granted, it's inevitable that at some point, it's going to happen. After all, we all are human and it's so easy to say "Woe is me", "My life is so hard", "Nobody's on my side",etc. Lately I have really been having to step back and take a look at my own life. I know that I have THE MOST wonderful, loving, supportive family that any woman could ever ask for. Growing up, my parents did everything in their power to ensure that I had everything I needed, and most of what I wanted. I have always been appreciative, and I know that they know that I am. I thank them every chance I get, even to this day. They still do so much for me now, and it amazes me that God blessed me with such wonderful people to call mom and dad. I realize that not every one is that lucky. There are people who grew up with parents who didn't raise them in church, didn't get along with each other and fought all the time, and some didn't even have both of their parents, or any at all. How dare me take what I have for granted, right? And yet, I have at some point...and more than once.

Lately, I have been trying to slow down and focus on those blessings God has given me. I have wonderful, Christian parents who just celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary, all four of my sweet grandparents (who also are in long, happy marriages), an amazingly loving, supportive husband who is more than I deserve, an awesome mother & father-in-law who love me as if I were their own, as well as a brother & sister-in-law who are like the siblings I never had, great friends who love me for who I am, and good health that I am so thankful to God for. So, when I have a bad day and just want to sulk and feel sorry for myself, I need to take a step back and remind myself that there are so many people out there that really have a right to be sulking and feeling sorry for themselves. What makes me think I have that right? Look at how blessed I am! It's time to suck it up and move on to the next day. Life may be much harder than it has been in the past; when you own a business with your husband, it's not always going to be easy - financially, emotionally, and maybe sanity-wise too ;-), but I am so thankful to have a husband to own a business with! Things are only as good as you make them, and I plan on making things really good! I have really come to realize over the past
few months how amazing my man is, and how much we are made for each other. He is my rock and my support, and as long as I have him, along with the other amazing people in my life, I can do long as we have EACH OTHER, WE can do anything!

So, as you approach this coming week, and the weeks and months ahead, strive to take a step back in your own life when the going gets tough and when you feel like life is constantly handing you lemons; and realize how blessed you are and be thankful for all of YOUR blessings. I am challenging myself to do just that. I hope you do too. To everyone reading this, I am thankful for YOU, whether I know you well, a little, or not at all. I am thankful for you. You are a blessing.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Christmas in July?

I rarely see something that I really have to have these days. After all, I'm not 14 anymore, so I don't have to have everything I see. HA! I usually have to make myself buy clothes because I just don't like anything out there anymore. I went to Belk at The Summit a few weeks back thinking I'd find all kinds of cute dresses and tops I'd be dying to buy. Nope. Wanna know how much I walked away with? Nada! Well, aside from the necklace and earring set I bought. Not one single article of clothing. Nothin'. I didn't like hardly anything there. Now this Belk is huge, so for me not to find one single thing I wanted to get, is hard to believe. Now of course there were some real cute things that were oh, like, $500!!! But this girl ain't payin' that kinda money for some clothes. After all, my momma didn't raise no fool! I don't think my wedding dress even cost that much to be honest with you. We got it for a STEAL! Here's a pic below. Excuse my husband, who was in the middle of a sentence. :) I fell in love with it the first time I saw it, and once I tried it on I new it was the one. I only tried on like 4 dresses! It's simple and comfortable and that's what I loved about it. It has a sweetheart neckline and is bordered in a champagne color all the way around the dress (top & bottom), and the back ties up like a corset almost. It has a very short train, if it even is one. I didn't want this huge train following me everywhere I went. My veil was long, which added some drama to it. I always thought I'd want a big princess gown, but that changed once I put this baby on. It was the perfect dress for me.

Picture of the back of the dress.

Anyway, enough of the reminiscing. The point is, I don't like to spend a lot of money on clothes unless it's worth it.(And it rarely is) Don't get me started on jewelry and shoes though. I could shop all day for those....they make an outfit! But there's another day and another blog for my obsession with funky jewelry and shoes! HA!

I just don't really get excited about products I see and have to have them myself. With that said......I have had my eye on a digital SLR camera for a while. Don't get me wrong, Joseph got me a good Sony a few years ago for Christmas. It's a great camera, but I want something that takes more professional pictures. Why you ask? Well, Joseph and I are talking about starting a family here in the next year or so(Don't get so excited yet!!) I want to be able to capture precious moments with our children, along with those moments leading up to the arrival of babies one day. Therefore, I need to get a nice camera a good bit before then, so I can figure it all out and know how to use it really well by the time that happens. :) I have always had the desire to get into photography...not necessarily professionally, but I'd like to be able to take beautiful pictures of my family and friends. SO, I am really wanting a Canon 50D. The pictures this thing takes are incredible! Absolutely beautiful. Of course, you can also get many lenses for it that are able to take even more beautiful pictures. I've never gotten to use one, so I don't know how high-tech they are, or even if I'd be able to figure it out! :) A Canon 50D runs about $1,000..or more depending on what comes with it. So it's not like I can just run out and pick one up just like that. Especially with Joseph and I working at the insurance agency together, we're pinching pennies wherever we can right now.
Here is a picture of the beauty!

My goal is to get one by Christmas. That's about 5 months away, so I think that is doable. It would be superfantastic if I could get one earlier though, so if anyone wants to donate to the camera fund, I'll love you forever! Ah, ok, I already do love you forever, so....I'll take beautiful pictures of you with it! :) I kid, I kid.....

I'll keep you posted on "Operation Canon". Hopefully this time in a few months, she will be "in-hand". Have a great week friends! :)
Friday, July 09, 2010

Freak Out

I just about had a freak-out moment. I thought I had totally butchered my blog design. I decided to try a new background, therefore, I had to do a new header. I was so proud of myself for figuring out how to do the custom header I had with my previous background, although the pictured look horrible because it was all squeezed in. It took FOR-EVA to figure it out, so I went with it even though it coulda been better. I guess I could pay someone to design it for me, but that ain't gonna happen. I'd rather figure it out myself than pay someone $100 to design my blog, that I don't even use that much and not many people read. So, here I am, with a new background, but no header. I made a header in word, just a simple one, then saved it as PDF, then exported it to a JPEG and cropped it. Bam! I uploaded it as a picture and it was fine. if I hadn't done enough, I decided I wanted to change up the actual template with this new "Template Designer". B.I.G. mistake. I kept clicking on templates, totally screwing up the header and pretty much everything else. Somehow it got saved so I thought I was going to have to start from scratch! (Which probably wasn't going to happen) So I reset the entire thing and started with just a plain ol' basic design template, not one in the "Template Designer" (stupid thing). I was able to start over with the design, customize the colors, header, and all. Finally it's back to normal. I've forgone the custom header for now, and I like it better. It's simple and streamlined, which is totally more my style.

So.....beware of making the same mistake I made. Don't be playin' around with the "Template Designer" (or destroyer) unless you know what you're doin'. It's dangerous! HA! Other than that, it's been a pretty good week. It didn't really feel like a short one, I know that! It actually felt pretty long to me. The memorial service for Kembra Gordon, my former coworker who died in an accident at the beach last week, is tomorrow. Please remember her family and friends as they say goodbye to this beautiful woman. I will not be going, but I know a lot of people who will be, and it will not be an easy day for them. The memorial service for the 2 year-old girl that passed away also, was yesterday. Please remember her family also, especially her parents. She was their only child and I cannot imagine the pain they are in.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and hopefully it won't fly by too fast!
Monday, July 05, 2010

Independence Day

I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July yesterday! You may even be lucky enough to have today off to continue your holiday. Our office is closed today so we're enjoying one more nice, relaxing day at home. We really wanted to try to go to Destin this weekend, but it just didn't work out. We're hoping we can get a beach trip in soon. Instead, we stayed home all weekend and it was wonderful. Saturday, we went to see Eclipse, and it was pretty good. I don't think any of the movies have been as good as the books, but this one was much better than New Moon to me.

Yesterday we decided to attempt homemade ribs on the grill. husband attempted them. They turned out really good. They had great flavor and the BBQ sauce we use is great on them. Sweet Baby Ray's makes the best BBQ sauce. If you haven't tried it, you should. It has the best flavor. For dessert, I made some strawberry cupcakes. They're delish, and I love cupcakes. You just pick one up and dive in, no cutting pieces of cake, getting a plate, fork, etc. It also makes it dangerous, because you want to eat more 'cause they're so easy to eat. Ha! Here's a few pictures of our 4th of July meal.

Yummy ribs, potato salad, and corn on the cob...white corn, the only way to go!

This would be our Boxer, Bryant, waiting for his share. Ha!

The scrumptious strawberry cupcakes with vanilla frosting! Perfection!

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend, spent with family and friends. I hope we all remember why it is that we celebrate on this day and why we have the freedom to celebrate!

On a much sadder note, I received the news this weekend that a former coworker died in a tragic accident at the beach on Friday evening. She apparently drowned trying to save the 2 year-old daughter of a friend. They were all at the beach together and she risked her life to save this little girl's life. Unfortunately, they both passed away. This is a woman that I worked with at the preschool I worked at before Joseph and I opened the insurance agency. She was 47 years old, the single mother of 3 teenage daughters, and an absolutely beautiful woman on the inside as well as the outside. I ask that you keep the family and friends of her, and the precious 2 year-old girl, in your thoughts and prayers as they are dealing with the loss of their loved ones. I can't imagine what they're going through right now. Please say a little prayer for them, that God will give them a peace that passes all understanding. Thank you all so much, and I hope you have a great week.