Thursday, December 18, 2014

'Tis the Season for the Sickies

Have you been hit by the crud that's going around? I hope not. A school near our town has over 150 students who are showing flu-like symptoms. 150!!! I've heard the flu vaccine hasn't shown to be very effective this year, since it's not targeting the main strain of the flu that seems to be going around.
No flu for me, thank goodness, but I have been dealing with a bad cold (thanks, Joseph!) for the last week or so. My poor mom DOES have the flu, but she's on her way to feeling better.
I'm finally losing the nagging cough I was holding onto, and the congestion and stuffiness is decreasing as well. Being sick is the worst, especially during the holidays! We haven't felt like doing any of the fun things we normally do.

Anyway, here's a little recap of the last week....

Friday before last, we went out to the mall and decided to stop and see Santa. 
It went a little like this....
I'm not sure when they'll realize the purple chair doesn't really go.

Wait for it.....

Last Tuesday, Joseph and I celebrated 8 years of marriage!

My mom offered to come up and keep the kids so we could go to dinner. A real, big people dinner. We went to The Bottle and it was delicious.

Open-faced BLT, hmmm!!

We also went to see Mockingjay with the other 3 people in the theater. It was nice going on a weeknight. A little disappointed in the movie, but whatever. Hopefully the final one will live up to the book.

The next day, I woke up feeling like death and hung onto to a fever for a little bit. I didn't even want my coffee for like 5 whole days.
The only thing that saved me was DayQuil. Of course, it masks how you really feel so when that stuff wears off, watch out!
I was determined to make it to Joseph's office Christmas party on Saturday if I could, so I made some soup and drank hot tea with honey and lemon like crazy. My fever went away and I slowly started feeling a tiny bit more human, and of course with the help of my beloved DayQuil, I made it to the party. I'm not sure I was the best date that night, but I was there. HA!

Pretty sure I coughed my lungs up all night, which was super attractive. ;-)

I can't believe Christmas is one week away. Anyone else a little relieved? HA! 
We've still got Christmas lights to go see, gingerbread houses to make, and I haven't even baked the first cherry chip loaf this year. I've gotta get busy now that I'm feeling better.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Selecting The Perfect Christmas Card from Minted

I love sending (and receiving) Christmas cards each year. It always brightens my day to open up an envelope and see a beautiful family smiling at me.
When deciding which card will make the cut each year, I look at a few different things, such as quality, price, and design options. Honestly, the most important one for me is the design options. I'll pay a little more for a design I really like, especially if they offer more personalization options as well (shape, back, paper type, colors, etc). 

After looking for the perfect card this year, I found SO many favorites. Seriously, it's going to be really hard to narrow it down to one. Minted has an extensive selection of photo Christmas cards. Whether you like something that's traditional, whimsical, classy, funny, or even a booklet (yes, they have these awesome booklets and mini books!), they are certain to have a card for you!

I wanted to share some of my favorites with you and encourage you to check them out.
I've got to find a time to tackle a few family pictures and get mine ordered ASAP!

**You can click on links to be taken to the card where you can see personalization options, pricing info, and more.

I love how this one is just the perfect amount of whimsy.
It's simple and classy, yet a little fun with the cute fonts.

I like how different this one is. It stood out to me because it's not one you see everywhere else. I like the creativity of using the greeting to form a Christmas tree.

Simply stated and elegant.

Such a cute ornament card. They have several different styles.
Love the different options for the back.

A great option for something fun. Perfect for this Alabama girl.

Dying over this one!!! Frozen was so huge this year, I have a feeling this one will be popular. :)

First of all, how precious is that picture?? Reminds me of the pictures we took last year when the twins were newborns. 
And I LOVE this new (ish) trend of the foil-pressed letters. So elegant and pretty.

They also offer the foil-pressed cards in silver and rose gold colors. Loving the rose gold on this card. This is one that'll never go out of style. Very classic.

So if you're still looking for that perfect holiday card, be sure to head over to Minted and check out what they have. Their selection is one of the best I've seen out there, and they offer every kind of coordinating item you can think of.
Right now, they're offering 15% off AND free shipping with code SNOW15FS. It ends Monday, so act fast! You might even find a few other discounts they've got right now that interest you.

Now I have to go figure out which one will be the winner. It's going to be a tough decision.
Have a Happy Saturday, and ROLL TIDE!!!

I received a credit from Minted in exchange for this review/post. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas For The Foodie

I'm a big foodie, and I know a lot of foodies as well, so I thought I'd share a few items I think would make great Christmas gifts for the foodie in your life.

Currently only $32 at Target, this is a great deal on a kitchen gadget I love to use. Especially during the cold months when I'm making a lot of soup, I love using it to blend up my potato soup to make it thick and creamy, while still leaving some big chunks. I love mine!

I basically just love this because of the touchscreen! HAHA! But seriously, I l-o-v-e my Keurig and depend on it every morning. This summer when we stayed at a condo at the beach, they had a normal coffee maker. This girl doesn't remember how to use such an archaic contraption as that!! Seriously, I had to read the instructions. I also love that this one has the carafe, and can brew enough coffee for a crowd at one time if needed. It's not the cheapest piece of machinery in the world, which is why I'm still using my "old" Keurig. :)

Have you ever ordered anything from Omaha Steaks?? If you said no, then leave this blog right now and get on the ball!! OK, maybe finish reading first, then get on it. Their customer service is top notch and their steaks come out so tasty and tender. They have SO many different things...every cut of steak you can imagine, roasts, burgers, franks, chicken, pork, fish, tons of sides, desserts, chocolates, wine...I mean, they have errthing. 
Dang, now I want some steak and chocolate.

NatureBox is one of those ever so popular monthly subscription services, and you get 5 full sized snacks delivered to your door every month.
I've yet to try it out, but have been very curious. They have lots of snacks to choose from....sweet, salty, savory, chewy, fruity.....and they all look tasty and healthy!

Did y'all know Target makes like 237 kinds of trail mix? OK, not quite that much, but they make a lot of different varieties.
I personally love the Tex Mex, but I've got my sights set on the Ice Cinnamon Roll. Sweet glory!!
If you know someone who likes it spicy, but not like "uuugggghhh" spicy, this is for them.
Name that commercial...

What are some of your favorite foodie gift finds?? I might need to be on the lookout for them. ;-)
Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Gobble 'til You Wobble

It's been kind of a whirlwind since Thanksgiving last week, but I just wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from the day.

I wanted to take some pictures before we left for Gadsden in the same chair we took them in last year, for comparison's sake.

Nailed it!!

My favorite.
**You can tell I edited that one a bit. Ain't nobody got time to edit them all!

I've just come to terms that this is how every photo session will be from here on out. But I still try.

And CUT!

So, here's the comparison from last year to this year.
 My turkeys have grown so much!

 Battling this little girl over her hair bow is a regular thing, too.

Make your Raegan face!

My mom, AKA: Hostess extraordinaire, cooked a delicious spread and as usual, was a gracious host who made sure her guests had everything they needed.

The kids, of course, were like escaped prisoners in my parents' house. The twins aren't used to such freedom. :) I was also reminded of why we utilize the "baby jail".

I've spent many many Thanksgivings with this guy, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I didn't contribute much (my mom won't allow it!), but I did make my sweet potato casserole since I've appointed myself the person in charge of that dish.
I skimped on the pecans, clearly, but it was still tasty.

Don't let this smile fool you.

This is how Raegan looked 80% of the time. Talk about a bad mood!

I was making sure my camera's settings were right before we took a few family pics. Hudson was ready, huh??? HAHA, creeper alert!

I'm just gonna photoshop in a smile on Grayson's face here.  

The step!!! My parents have ONE STEP in their house, between the den and the kitchen, and it's always been just the coolest thing ever to our kids. It was to Hudson and now it is to the twins. Raegan was determined to conquer that thing.

It took a little while, but she figured out the best technique.

Army crawl.


We had a great Thanksgiving eating too much food and visiting with family. I'd love to say that the kids had a great time, but they were honestly exhausted, especially Raegan. It's hard traveling with 3 young children, even if it's just an hour and a half away. We had our families come to us last year because we had newborn twins, but it just doesn't seem fair to ask everyone to come up to us in multiple cars when it's just our family in one car. But seeing all my babies so exhausted, especially the fits Raegan was throwing, just breaks my heart. Nap time is precious in our house and they desperately need it. My boys slept the ENTIRE way home, but Raegan was only able to sleep about 30 minutes. She did lay down when we got home and we had to wake her up to eat dinner. :(
It was easy to lay Hudson down for a nap in a pack 'n play or something at someone's house. It's not so easy with 3. Nothing's easy with 3. Haha!

What does your family do when it comes to the holidays? Do you travel to your families, do they come to you, or do you alternate?

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!
Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Iron Bowl 2014: AKA, Longest Post Ever

Warning: Absurdly long post with tons of pics ahead!

We had an EPIC weekend, and to top it off, Bama won the Iron Bowl and they're headed to the SEC Championship! Roll Tide!

A few weeks back, Joseph was contacted by AT&T from a tweet he posted. They randomly reward fans with awesome swag and sometimes even pick them for a huge VIP weekend to see their favorite team. They call it #BetterSaturday. We just so happened to be selected for the Iron Bowl weekend and it was truly the experience of a lifetime. We were able to take our friends, Chad & Erica, along and it was amazing. We're still in shock that it happened, and that it went down the way it did.
We pretty much just walked around all weekend with our jaws dropped, like "Is this really happening???"

Here's a little recap:
**sorry in advance for all the pictures. 
Friday, we were picked up by a stretch Excursion and were driven down to Tuscaloosa. Our driver, Big Ed, was super hospitable and friendly. 

Waiting for us were some great goodies, including crimson & white Jawbone Big Jambox bluetooth speakers. 
I've tested it out and the sound is awesome!

Once we arrived at our game day condo, we were greeted by even more swag.
Beats headphones (again, awesome sound!)
iPad mini

Soon after arriving, we headed to the stadium for a private tour. 
Little did we know who was joining us on the tour......
In case you don't know...that's Gene Stallings, former(legendary) coach of the Crimson Tide. 

I was a little starstruck. We all were.

Excuse me while I just follow Coach Gene Stallings everywhere. No big deal.

And if I wasn't starstruck enough....up walks Mr. Chris Fowler.
He's even cuter in person. ;-) And taller. They were both taller than I thought they'd be, for some reason.

And my husband was that fan.
A down in front photo bomb.

Us girls were just standing over here trying to play it cool.
And that sneaky Amari Cooper photobombed us!!

Coach was kind enough to sign some jerseys, footballs, and helmets for us.

We took a look around the locker room, press room, and tunnel. I felt like I was part of the team, making my entrance onto the field. (minus all the gear, the extra 100 lbs & 6-10 inches of height, and the general athletic ability)

Yes, that's a locker room!! Nicer than my house, but whatevs.
Little tidbit: you're not allowed to walk on that medallion in the middle. Even the players walk AROUND it. The white parts are immaculately clean and WHITE!!!

Coach has so many awesome stories to tell. He'd just hop from one to another. It was like talking to an old (not old....longtime...sorry, Coach) friend. He's so genuinely kind, humble, and personable. And seriously, this guy walked all around this huge stadium and I'm pretty sure he's in better shape than me.

We bumped into Brent Musburger in the tunnel. Yes, the one who thinks Katherine Webb is hot. 
I mean, he was just stating the obvious.

A look at the field from the press box.

I tried to be a stowaway in the stadium and sleep in the locker room, but it didn't work. 
Such an amazing experience getting to see where it all happens.

Friday night, we had dinner at Kozy's, which used to be our favorite restaurant there. It's a little on the pricey side, so we college students(and current 30 year olds) saved it for special occasions such as anniversaries, Christmas parties, etc.
We got to run into some friends who were also there to celebrate our friend, Forrest's, birthday. We couldn't go to the dinner because of our dinner, but it turned out that both dinners were at the same place. I need to say dinner one more time. Dinner. 
Joseph, Chad, Jay, and Forrest (birthday boy..he's 30 today)

His sweet wife, Catherine, is to the left of me. She's due in March with their baby girl!!!
Claire, Catherine, me (duh), and Erica

After a delicious dinner, we called it a night and hit the sack. We are all 30, or almost 30, with kids, after all.

Saturday, we took our time getting up and ready and headed out to walk around campus for a bit. ESPN Gameday was there, but sleeping in is more fun at this stage in our lives. HA!

Our awesome AT&T team had the tailgate set up and it was incredible.
These guys were so good to us all weekend and worked hard to get everything ready.

We ate some tasty BBQ, and a few too many cookies, from Full Moon, watched some football on the TV (that we get to keep!), and tried out some corn-hole (which we also get to keep!). Turns out we get to keep everything at the tailgate. What????? Insane. 

Next stop...meeting Eli Gold, the voice of the Crimson Tide!! 
Another super nice guy. He was busy and had so much he needed to do, considering he was beginning his broadcast in less than an hour, but he was so kind to spend several minutes talking to us and showing us what happens behind the scenes.

We got a VIP view of the Walk of Champions from The Zone balcony. It was so much fun!

We even ran into a movie star...Lucas Black!(NCIS NOLA, Friday Night Lights, a couple Fast & Furious movies, just to name a few), He's a huge Bama fan, born in Decatur, grew up in Speake.
Erica took a pic with him. I just stood there awkwardly.

Before the game, we got to go onto the field for some warmups.

Caught Blake Sims in action....

Joseph, once again, pulled the down in front photo bomb on Blake.

And we met Yankees manager, Joe Girardi.

Oh, and then there was the actual game!!

We had pretty sweet seats and the game was amazing!

We didn't play our best in the first half, and I was pretty nervous for a while, but we hung in there and beat Auburn 55-44 for a sweet Iron Bowl victory. I have NEVER been to such an amazing game before. The crowd was pumped the ENTIRE game and the atmosphere was electric! 

As much fun as we had this weekend (and believe me, it was a TON!!), there's still nothing better than this.

Thank you so much to AT&T for providing this unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience!! 
If you don't use Twitter, now you see that sometimes it pays to use it. Get yourself on there right now!! HA!
Now, onto the SEC Championship. That one's not free, though. ;-)