Thursday, January 31, 2013

Caroline G.

You may or may not remember me talking about Caroline G. before. She makes those beautiful bubble necklaces we're all going crazy over.
Back in November, I ordered this gorgeous gray one from her. 

I really just wanted to show off my sexy glasses again. ;)

I wear it a LOT and always get compliments on it. It's made well and is a high quality necklace, and it only cost me $10!!! They're regularly $19.99 but she was having a special for 1/2 off and I got it then. I've been impressed with the quality of this necklace and am getting ready to buy some more. I have a turquoise one and a yellow one, as well, but they didn't come from her. I wish they had, though. 

So, why am I telling you this? I've teamed up with Caroline G Shop and I have a lovely perk for my readers! If you look on the right sidebar, you will notice a new button that contains a code to get 15% off your purchase at her shop. She has more than bubble necklaces, though, in case you're not in the market for one.

She also has these beautiful teardrop necklaces in several colors....

Earrings to match your gorgeous bubble necklace...

She also makes bows, headbands, and will be rolling out some new ones next month, as well as new jewelry items.

I am excited to share this with my friends, family, and awesome readers!!

Go check out her shop and use code laurenp at checkout to get 15% off your order!

I will share other exciting things from time to time so be on the lookout!!
Now, head on over and find you something pretty!
Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

As If I Needed Another Reason to Love Target...

Y'all know Target is like my mother ship, right? I've considered renting a room in back. That's how much of my life is spent there. And I'm totally OK with that!

Do you know how hard it is to find a beautiful, decent-sized, substantial mirror that is also affordable???!!! About as hard as it is for me to stay away from Target!! HAHA!
I've been in the market for a nice sized leaning mirror for our bedroom for several months now. One that is tall enough to see your whole outfit before you head out the door. We'd been using just one of those little flimsy over-the-door mirrors and I always have to squat to see everything, which still doesn't allow me to check it all out at once. Now, it's not that I'm so vain that I just stand in front of a mirror all day checking out my outfit, but I do like to make sure everything is smooth, there's no tags sticking out, etc. Have you looked online for a nice leaning mirror? Be ready to spend at least $300!! I don't know about you, but I cannot justify spending that much on a little ol' leaning mirror for the bedroom. 
We were in Target a couple weeks ago and I was super surprised to find that they'd expanded their selection of mirrors they carry in the store. I saw this beaut....and the awesome price of $70 and knew I had to have it!

Please ignore the unsightly printer. I'm trying to figure out a new place for that baby to take up residence.

It's hard to tell, but the mirror is almost as tall as I am, and just perfect for my vision. I want to try reconfiguring the layout of some things to put it in a better place, but for now, it's fine here. And it's just as pretty as one you'll find for 3 or 4x the price elsewhere!

As if that find wasn't enough, I also found a beautiful new mirror for our entryway. I'd been wanting something a little more modern for a while, but they're either too expensive, or impossible to find. Again, Target never lets me down.
And for only $40...
You can find details about this mirror here.

Next thing on the list is a new entryway table. (and less of a mess, HA!) In time.

Do you love Target as much as I do? What are some of your favorite places to shop?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chicken Spaghetti

If you're from the south (or from the north for that matter), chances are you've had some delicious chicken spaghetti at one point (or 50) in your life. It's not just normal spaghetti with chicken instead of ground beef. It's actually a completely weird, unorthodox, strange combination of ingredients that results in the most amazing comfort meal you'll make on a Monday(or Tuesday, or Wednesday, get the idea) night.

Granted, it's not going to win an award for the most beautiful dish. I'll give you that.

There are many recipes out there for chicken spaghetti. This is mine.

- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I've confessed my love for the Perdue frozen individually wrapped breasts. They're awesome for Crock-Pot meals and dishes like this!)
- Appr. 8oz(half a package) spaghetti
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can Ro-tel (any kind will do)
- Appr. 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1.5-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1-2 tsp seasoned salt (I used Lawry's)
- 1 tsp onion powder (you can use sauteed diced onions if you like)
- s&p to taste

- In a pot, boil chicken breasts until fully cooked. Remove from pot and set aside to cool.
- Cook spaghetti in leftover chicken broth, only cooking until just al dente. (meaning, it still has a good bite to it and isn't completely tender. It will finish cooking in the oven in just a little bit)
- While the spaghetti is cooking, shred chicken into bite size chunks.
- Mix soups, Ro-tel, chicken, sour cream, shredded cheese, and seasonings in a bowl.
- Once spaghetti is almost done (about 5-6 minutes), transfer to a greased baking dish. Pour soup/chicken mixture over pasta, tossing and combining well. Taste for seasoning and add anything needed. If it's not creamy enough, you can add a little of the broth/pasta water in...or some boxed chicken broth. I didn't find that I needed any.
- Sprinkle top with more cheese (as little or as much as you like) and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. If your cheese starts browning too much, you can cover it with foil. I didn't have any problems with it browning.

I serve mine with a little salad and it's the perfect meal!! Makes a ton so you can freeze it for later, or have leftovers the next night. :)

Try it out! You won't be sorry!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Year Later...

I still miss you.
I still can't believe you're gone.
I still wish I could visit you.
I still wish I could give you one more hug.

I miss your warm smile, your silly jokes and wit that is quicker than that of anyone I know, your incredibly high intelligence and wise insight, and your ability to make even a stranger feel like a longtime friend.

On this first anniversary of your passing, I remember and miss all of these things and so much more. I'm so thankful to have known and loved you, and if I inherited just one of the amazing traits you possessed, I count myself endlessly blessed.

I wish you could see Hudson and how he's funny he is (I know you'd love that), how inquisitive and smart he is, and how friendly he is. I see a lot of you in him...personality traits, as well as physical traits. And even though you're not here with us now, I know you're watching and your spirit is with us every step of the way. Hudson may not remember you, but he will know you. Through pictures, videos, stories, and other memories...he'll know you. 

And he'll feel just as blessed as I do to call you Fatdaddy.

I will carry these and other precious memories around with me forever...and I know Hudson will to.

We love you and miss you every day, Fatdaddy. 
Sunday, January 27, 2013

Not Your Typical Date Night...

Joseph and I try to go out on a date once a month or so. We love being together as a family with the little guy, but it is so nice to get away as a couple for a bit every now and then. We usually do the dinner and a movie thing (we're pretty predictable like that), but yesterday we did something we've never done in our 12+ years together. 

No, we didn't rob a bank. What kind of people do you think we are??!!

We did, however, go to the shooting range yesterday afternoon.
I'm pretty sure this is how my face looked the entire time we were there.
Yours truly had never shot a gun before yesterday. No one in my family hunts and I didn't grow up around guns...except maybe a BB gun. :) And the only reason I wanted to is because it is becoming increasingly evident that I need to learn how to defend myself and my family if I'm ever put in a situation where it's necessary.

If you wanna feel super sexy, put on these amazing glasses and earphones. Niiiiccceeee!!
I look like I'm wearing those awesome giant sunglasses from back in the day.
You know the ones I'm talking about....

Now, the hubs is an experienced shooter, although it has been a while since he's done any. He did more skeet shooting with his shotgun than anything, though. It didn't take him long to get back in the swing of it. He's a pretty good shot.
We were both pretty proud of our "muzzle blasts" we caught as each of us was shooting. The hubs informed me of this "muzzle blast" term, 'cause I certainly wouldn't know what I'm talking about! Rookie, here, people!!
 I also have very obvious rookie form. I was just trying to keep the bullets where they were supposed to be. I was pretty terrified, if I'm being honest. By the time we were out of ammo, I was finally getting somewhat, not absolutely trembling with fear, just a notch above uncomfortable, comfortable. I was ready to quit after the first shot, but I persevered. I'm glad I did, because I know what to expect next time and will be more prepared for the power of that thing. We shot with a .40 and I can't imagine shooting with anything more powerful than that. Gah!! My arms are some kinda sore today!

If there is such a thing as beginner's luck, I didn't have it yesterday. Oh, and our gun had a laser on it you could use too. That makes this all the more pathetic. The holes that are actually in the target were finally hit with the last few bullets I had. 
Next time, I'll request the biggest target they help my self-esteem. ;)
The hubs isn't too shabby. Showoff....

After practicing our shooting skills, we hit up Target. Somehow, we always seem to make it to Target on date night. It's usually my fault. It is my 2nd home, after all.
We had some time to kill before our dinner reservations and I had my eye on a couple new mirrors. We recharged with a little of this goodness first.
Hot chocolate for the non coffee drinker, and a caramel latte for moi!!

We browsed around my mother-ship for a while, picked up a beautiful new entryway mirror and a new leaning floor mirror for the bedroom. It's as tall as I am, which makes it perfect for checking out your outfits before you leave. I'll share them soon. Great prices for great quality items!! 

For dinner, we went to Grille 29. Super delish and the service is wonderful!
It's always nice to watch the beautiful evening sky before dinner.

The Firecracker Shrimp are to die for!! If you like the Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill, you will LOVE these!! They have a little more spice, but it's not bad. If I can eat 'em, it's not too hot! I'm a wuss when it comes to spicy foods.

Grouper Oscar was probably the best grouper I've ever had. The slightest crispy sear on the outside. 
I want some more right now!

Joseph got the stuffed scallops with lobster mashed potatoes! Wha?!?!? Pretty good, but I'm not really a scallop fan. 

And we're that couple who stops to take a pic in front of the 45 degree weather. 
Can you tell we're parents and don't get out on our own much? ;-)

We always have such a good time together and I'm so thankful for our date nights. 

I hope you've had an amazing weekend and are recharged for another week.
See y'all tomorrow!
Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thrift-It Party Feature

So the other day, I linked up with some other bloggers to share a couple of my DIY projects in a Thrift-It Party they were hosting.

I shared the Mirror Turned Chalkboard 

 I thought it'd be fun to share my projects with people and if they came over to check them out, that'd be even more awesome. Well, at the end of the week, Taryn over at Design, Dining, & Diapers shared some of her favorites from the link-up party. Yours truly made her favorites list and was featured on her blog. How cool is that?!?!

I just think it's so cool that Hudson's little ol' table project caught her eye and made her list of favorites. She's a huge blogger, too, which makes it even cooler. I just had to share this news, and tell you about her as well. She has some great things on her blog and if you're looking for any ideas on ways to "thrift-it", check out all the links that were shared.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!! The hubs and I are looking forward to date night tonight!! :)

Happy Saturday, friends!
Friday, January 25, 2013

High Five for Friday!


Here are some things I loved about this week!

1. A little mommy time during nap time. I'm usually using nap time to work on blog posts, clean, do laundry, take a shower, etc. I set aside nap time one day to have a little chocolate, a little mani/pedi, and a little Wings on Netflix(which I am totally addicted to, BTW!)

2. A beautiful new addition to our bedding ensemble, available here. I'm. In. Love. It's a beautiful peacock blue quatrefoil pattern and it looks so pretty on our white comforter. It's actually a duvet cover so if I decide to use it as the comforter one day, I can just stuff our current one into it. I like it folded as an accent blanket for now. It comes with 2 shams as well. I'm trying to decide between dark coral or yellow for a couple accent pillows to add a pop of color. What do y'all think??

3. My "facts of me" post got me wanting some Sonic onion rings. And you have to throw in an Oreo blast! I mean, I'm pretty sure it's a rule. Sweet hubs picked some up the other night. 

4. My Better Life Bag (BLB) came in and I love it. You can read all about it here, and please do if you haven't already.

5. I told you I'm a sucker for sunsets. This was in my backyard yesterday evening. I'm amazed by the beauty of our world.

What were some of your favorite parts of the week? Link up with Lauren to share them!!


Happy Friday, folks!!! Have a stupendous weekend!!!

Stupendous.....people should use that word more often. I like it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Better Life Bags

I am excited to share something with you today. It's something that I, myself, just found out about a few weeks ago. I follow the wonderful Kate over at The Small Things Blog. She is too cute and shares great hair and makeup tutorials. If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen some of them. They're everywhere. 

Around the beginning of January, she shared a new adorable bag she had received. At first I thought, "Oh that's cute". Then, I read the story of the bags, and that's what got me. You can read the story here(which I encourage you to do), but in short, Rebecca (owner of Better Life Bags) hires women who otherwise could not work, helping them gain dignity, honor, and respect, AND some much need income! She also donates 10% of her monthly gross income to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries through So, her bags are made for an amazing cause! 
The bags are also customizable, in many ways, which allows her customers to have a hand in the design process. 

I felt compelled to check out the bags, because I loved the look of the bags, but most of all, I loved knowing they were helping others. It just so happened that I had been growing tired of the current diaper bag I had used forever, even though it's wonderful and beautiful. It's been good to me and has served it purpose, but with Hudson being almost 2 now, he doesn't need everything but the kitchen sink packed for an outing anymore, so I have been wanting something smaller that I could carry out and about. This was the perfect opportunity to get a new transitional bag, and feel good about where the money was going. 

I chose the Cyndi bag, and am extremely pleased with it. I opted for the leather add-ons, because I wanted something more durable and it looks really nice. It took me FOR.EVER. to pick out the fabrics for it, because she offers a TON of beautiful options. I also chose the adjustable cross-body strap so that I can wear it comfortably, while still being able to get Hudson in and out of the car seat, shop, and load things in the car when we're out. She also offers regular shoulder straps.

*Y'all, I really wanted to make this post and wanted to share some pics but had no one to take some of me modeling it, so this is as good as it gets for now. I'll try to have the hubs take some of me wearing it too.*

I went for this beautiful blue herringbone pattern, flanked by the red/white polka dot border at the top. I love the way the red and blue looks together. Not too girly, not too manly.

It's a nice enough size to hold a few diapers/wipes, sippy/snack cups, my few things, and has room to spare. But it's not so big that I'll lose things like I did in the black hole of a diaper bag I was carrying.
*I've got my handy travel hand sanitizer clipped to the strap ring.*

You can opt for genuine leather shoulder/crossbody straps and bottom, or you can go with all cloth.

You can also add on inside pockets (which I did), a magnetic snap closure, or zippered closure. Fully customizable, I tell ya!

These bags are beautiful, made by hand with love, and benefit a great cause to change lives for the better. Hence the name, Better Life Bags.

I hope you'll check out her shop, whether you're looking for a new bag, tote, cell phone cover, tablet or laptop cover, clutch, diaper bag, or a set of adorable little nesting pouches (that are calling my name) for makeup, money, your phone, diapers/wipes, snacks, medicine, etc. She offers so many things to fit your needs. And remember, every purchase is making a difference, which, in my opinion, is the best kind of purchase you can make.

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. I just like to share a great thing when I find it.*