Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekend Update

Mom and Dad came into town this weekend for a somewhat brief visit. I always enjoy their and I get to run around town just doing whatever, usually shopping because that's what the gals in my family LOVE to do! My dad and David did yard work, watched football and ate BBQ. So it's a win-win for all of us! My parents surprised me with a graduation present (even though I don't graduate until December, I finished my course work in August so all I have left is my comprehensive exam and graduation in December) and David and I were very surprised and he was just as excited if not more than I was because naturally he's a man...

That's right! My very own shotgun so I can actually try to shoot something when I go hunting with David! His guns are SO very heavy and the kick in my shoulder is so PAINFUL. This one is much lighter and hopefully won't hurt as bad and I can actually try to become a little decent...for a girl! This was my Dad's but he has never used it and decided that I needed it so it's mine now! It's a Benelli 20 Gauge Pump Action...that's what my dad says anyway. If you ask me I would's a camo gun. But I actually have to call it by it's real name or my dad would not be too happy with me. I'm also required to learn how to clean it and I have to take a gun safety class. Thanks mom and dad! We  I love it!! David and I are going to the farm to shoot it next weekend and we might try to shoot some skeet too! I'm so new at this but hopefully I will eventually be kind of good! My long-term goal is to shoot a deer! We'll see how that goes!

David and Mom!

David, my girlfriend Ashley and I went to Lincoln Nimz's 2nd birthday party in Glenn Heights, TX Saturday night. We thought we left in enough time to get there, it takes about an hour. Well, we didn't take the Rangers or Texas A&M into account and it took us much longer. We got there with 20 minutes left of the party but luckily most people were stuck in traffic and almost everyone was late. I didn't feel so bad after knowing that. It was a great time and I totally forgot to take pics! I was consumed with little Lincoln's cuteness! He is getting so big and talking talking talking! I was the only one who actually bought him clothes, go figure. I felt kind of bad after that but I'm sure Carrie appreciates a new outfit from Crazy 8, such cute clothes!! They just opened one close to my house and I was so excited because now I don't have to drive to Southlake anymore. You'd think that I have kids by the way that I'm talking but I do have nieces and nephews and a couple of my girlfriends have babies! I love buying kids clothes, this could be bad since I don't even have a child! Anyway, Linc's party was a football party but David and I just had a baseball and basketball t-shirt so we thought that would's still sporty! David has two Ranger's shirts that are too small for him and obviously long on me so mom helped me ruffle one of them. I cut the bottom off and added a gray t-shirt material ruffle and shortened the arms! I can now wear it with leggings and boots of any kind! I would have liked to do more to it to make it even girlier but I ran out of time!

This is not a good picture, but I just wanted to showcase my new shirt/tunic!

Wife Confession: I was feeling sick all weekend and Sunday night I did not feel like cooking but I hadn't cooked all weekend because my parents were here and we ate out. I was feeling guilty and like a bad wife so I had to fix him something somewhat yummy! We had pork chops in the freezer and I was thinking...what can I do that's filling and easy...I was just going to get one side and I thought new potatoes, super easy. Well, I got to the store and just did not even feel like cooking and I was feeling awful so as I was walking past the deli I noticed pre-made twice baked potatoes. They actually looked pretty good, I knew David would like them so I had a little pow-wow with myself and talked myself into getting them...why not, I can just pop them in the microwave and fry up a couple of pork chops and voila-Dinner! As I was standing there, I felt eyes on me as women walked by and then taking them to the check-out I felt like I was being judged for buying pre-made potatoes! I must say this was not my proudest moment because I love cooking for my husband, trying new recipes and being a homemaker. I don't think this is something I will do again unless I'm in a binde or sick like I was this weekend. It made me feel better when David told me that my potatoes taste so much better! Here THEY are...

I didn't get a chance to work on my ruffle shirt with my mom because there just wasn't enought time in the weekend but I'll get to it eventually. I really shouldn't say I'm going to do something until I actually do it because I think way too far in advance and I act like there's 48 hours in one day most of the time. My to-do lists are ridiculous and I might get 3 items crossed off.

This week is strictly dedicated to my comprehensive exam for my M.Ed. I found out some great news last I was signing up for graduation in December and my comps for October it was brought to my attention that my comp exam was a TAKE HOME test! WHAT?!!! This was seriously an amazing moment, I was elated! Easy Peasy! Yes, it will be a lot of hard work because I'm writing numerous essays that have to be very professional but I personally think that sounds easy because the pressure of having to pre-write 7 essays and memorize them only to actually write 3 that you find out about when you sit down and open your exam and begin to write in your blue book all anxious like because you only have 3 hours and you're nervous and forget things and start thinking what if I forget everything, etc, yadi yadi yada! It was like a HUGE burden was lifted off of my shoulders when I received that email from my advisor. I actually signed up in June to take it then at the last minute decided to wait because I had a lot on my plate and I'm so glad I did because I would have had to do it the other way in June! I think this is a trial and error kind of thing that my department is doing this sememster, I'm just glad I could be a part of it! So this is my blog for the week!

In other news I started working at Sylvan Learning Center in Southlake last week. I'm enjoying it, it's feels great to work with the kiddos again! I've missed it! It's a part-part-time job because let's face it, after school hours isn't even a part-time job and it feels good to actually work again it's been hmmm...1 year and 8 months! I'm thankful I didn't have to work so I could finish my M.Ed. and student teaching internship in the amount of time that I did but I'm so eager to work again...full-time! I never thought I would actually say that but yes, I need to be busy! I would feel differently if I had children, but I don't so bring on the full-time job...paaleease!

Other news, we start our small group at church with some of our friends on Wednesday and I'm very excited! It's only a four week series and it's Max Lucado's Max On Life, it sounds so great! Can't wait to enlighten you with some of our discussions! Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random Thursday Ramblings

I wanted to give y'all a few updates. Remember the pumpkin pancake recipe? Well, here they are..

I must say, they were yummy! I tricked my husband into liking them, which is not something that I am able to do often. I made, plated, buttered and smothered them in syrup so he wouldn't notice the nice orange coloring.  I was wrong, he did. 

D: "Is there something different about these pancakes?"
K: "No, why?"
D: "They just look a little different."
K: "Hmm, I don't know."
D: "Mmm, these are good!" (pause) "Are these pumpkin?"
K: "Hahahahaha, Yes! Do you love them?!"
D: "Yeah, they're good."
D: "Buuuut, I still like the other....
K: "Nope! No buts allowed, you already said mmm! and that you liked them!"
"You're just saying that now because you know that they're pumpkin and you don't like to try anything different!" "You're not allowed to criticize after you said you really liked them."

If I would have told him before he tried them he would have already pre-judged them. So I've learned little tricks to change his thinking...but trust me, it's very hard to do!

So my grade on the pumpkin pancakes?! I will give them an A++! So good!
Now, they won't be fluffy, they'll be a bit more dense because of the pumpkin puree. So don't think you've done anything wrong.

I have a fun idea for all you moms out there!

What's better than pumpkin shaped and flavored pancakes...with chocolate chips in them! Mmm, I might be making this for David and I because I love stuff like this!

Since we're on the topic of breakfast and pumpkin...

Happy National Coffee Day!

Except BOO! on Starbucks because they aren't participating in a free coffee give away. Where's the coffee love Starbucks? Seriously!? But could you imagine the craziness that would ensue on every single Starbucks location! Yikes!

Do you remember when I was talking about these from Villeroy & Boch...

and do you remember when I said you could find something like this for much less at any antique/flea market/store? Well, I did...

Isn't the resemblance so crazy! It's the same design, shape and style of glasses and all! I wasn't even trying to stumble across this! So strange. The only annoying thing is that you have to buy this as a set and I don't have a desire to own all of these pieces. Sold separately they would be around $3.50, give or take some change. That's a steal in comparison to the Villeroy & Boch that sells for $14.99.

Then, do you remember my earring frame thingy? Well, I made one for my sister...

Green to match her room...

a little distressed...

and I even painted the back two different colors of metallic gold because it was just ugly. It's not that good of a paint job but it's just the back. Now I just have to attach the picture hanger piece.

It cost me about $8 to make this one because I already had all of the supplies from my first one. I bought the frame at HL in the clearance section for $4, I bought the paint for a couple of bucks and then the wood pieces on the back to raise it out from the wall. (you can find those in one of the aisles at HL and the frame pieces actually attach together on the corners...David had to cut down a couple to make the frame smaller...then just glue it down with Gorilla Glue) The frame was originally silver so when distressed, silver and black show through.

Uh, so cute right?! I love these address labels! I get so excited about the little things but if I didn't, who would?! I ordered 140 of these from Vista Print for $6. That's all! I'm not sure if it was a special or they always offer this but I felt like it was a pretty good deal! I had to mark out our address for the crazies out there!

Confession: No, I haven't made my ruffle shirt yet, but Mom is coming this weekend and that means she gets to help me! I just have a feeling this is not a project that I can do alone for the first time. While we are doing that on Saturday, Dad and David might hit up the gun show in Fort Worth and then off to little Lincon Nimz's 2nd Birthday Party! I can't believe he's 2! Actually today is his birthday so....

Happy 2nd Birthday Lincoln!!
And last but not least, we have an upcoming event that I'm very excited about...

My girlfriend Ashley and I decided to throw a wreathe decorating party for our girlfriends and their girlfriends. I'm so excited!!! I just created this little invite on Pingg, super easy. I can't tell you anything else because I don't want to spoil the fun! But the gist of the party Fall treats, girl time, door raffle and you get to create a Fall or Christmas wreathe to fancy up your house for the Holidays! It should be a fun time had by all!

I can't wait to tell you about it, but that won't be for a few more weeks! So until then have fun with your fall decorating...I'm already thinking Christmas...trying to get ahead of the game!

Check out The Lettered Cottage! It's great and they have tons of mantle decorating ideas! I'm linking you to a specific post because it's great! Check it out!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Tablescape LOVE

I spent most of my day yesterday coming up with centerpiece ideas for my kitchen table. It didn't take long to figure out what I wanted to do because A) I'm on a budget (and if I weren't I would bargain shop because I'm all about it!) and B) I want everything Pottery Barn. If I could order the entire store, I would.

So it all started with a few pieces that I already candles from my wedding, crystalish candle stick/pillar holders from my wedding, a gold vase from my wedding, gold floral pick filler (whatever they're called) left over from the wedding and artificial wheat filler leftover from a vase I did in the entry several months ago. I gathered it all together and with my inspiration photos ingrained in my head...I went budget shoppin'!

Inspiration that I drool over every time I get the catalogue:

Where from? PB, duh!

Oh my goodness! Isn't it just magnificent?! It makes me happy just looking at it, ahhh! Then I get sad because I'm thinking, "It would cost me a fortune to order ALL of that greatness!" So I decided I'm just going to create my own PB-esque look on a serious budget!

So here it is...then I'll tell you how I budgeted...

Here's a couple of pictures without the fun instagram settings...

I'm still lacking a pumpkin and couple of gold floral picks...but I thought brown feathers might be a nice touch too. Who knows, I'll eventually stumble upon something else that I must have and want to add. (Notice my little buddies in the background...that pretty much sums up their day, watching me do anything and everything. Momma's boys deluxe!!)

So how much?? I spent around $30-$35 dollars. I'm very pleased with the outcome and I think $30ish is a steal for a fabulous centerpiece! I'll tell you how....

Owl: Ross, $4.99
Mercury Glass Pumpkins (2): TJ Maxx, $9.99 each...$20.00
Wicker/Rattan Pumpkin: Hobby Lobby, $7.99 with 50% off...$4.00
Orange/Brown Pumpkin: Lonestar Antiques, FREE! (It was cracked on the bottom and the tag said free, so I took it and glued it...who looks at the bottom?
Burlap: Hobby Lobby, $3.20 (I bought 2 yards so I could have the length of my table, I folded it into 1/4ths and used 1/4 of I have plenty leftover to play with! I used a 40% off coupon that is on the website and I just showed them my phone. I just hemmed the edges to keep from unraveling)

Everything that I already had is from Hobby Lobby...ya can't beat their 50% off sales!

To complete my tablescape I would add these place mats or something similar...

I would add these gold chargers or similar....

My dishes are from PB and they look like this...

Obsessed with my Gabriella Dinnerware from the infamous PB! Love love!

LOVE this stemware/glassware from Villeroy &'s GORGEOUS!!! I would use the amber color or anything that is similar and still amber...but I would really want these...and I would use the Goblet because it's the most fabulous. To-Die-For! (Go to antique stores/markets/flea's so easy to find vintage amber stemware/glassware for sooo cheap.)

Um but wait, it gets better....

Hello Christmas tablescape!!! Ahh, these are GORGE! I can't decide which one I love the most...I love the minty, silvery green but I'm so drawn to the deep garnet-like red. Ah, this is too much!

Then I would do something like this because it looks fab...

Oh but wait, we're on a budget...sorry PB (sad face) 
($26 for 4)

(This is more like $5-10 for 4!)

So cute! Right?! But minus the number and in the middle of my plate because we're not at a wedding..(stating the obvious).

Okay, this is so cute and you would just have to spend some change on a tiny bit of ribbon! (and go on a scavenger hunt in a park or in your yard for these)

So let me share my most exciting purchase with you and my crazy ways to find a great deal on the "knock-offs"...

As I mentioned, I drooled over the PB pumpkins this year. I was reading a blog the other day and noticed this gal's mercury glass pumpkins...I immediately thought PB... jealousy! I kept reading and she said she purchased them at HomeGoods! What?!?! I got on the phone and called every HomeGoods in the metroplex. Sold Out was the reoccurring phrase, sad day for me. So I called the next couple of days and same thing, different day. So last night I was running around and I thought I would run into Garden Ridge to see if there was something somewhat similar to these amazing mercury glass pumpkins. Nada. I was close to TJ Maxx and thought, "I'm just gonna run in for a second and take a quick look around." Welp, I'm pretty sure the "fall/Halloween" section was as big as a tiny coat closet. I was glancing quickly, about to leave and oh my shining stars...TWO mercury glass pumpkins (faux of course, but it looks real) staring at me in the face for $9.99 a piece. I'm pretty sure I could have skipped and whistled to the check-out. In my head that's what I was doing, ha! My husband couldn't quite understand my excitement. I just told him I saved him SO much money and he was equally elated.

I'll post updated pics eventually...if I update it. I'm quite pleased with it just the way it is. I would really like something like this...

PB carved pumpkins but white washed...I'm sure I can find this elsewhere for less.

And I would like to find one or two of these...

But thinner...I love adding different levels.

Here are some more HL lovelies that you might like...

This lamp is unrelated. I would just liked it for my guest bedroom, minus the brown shade, plus a white lineny textured shade. So fab!

I love the turquoise but I wanted to stay neutral and it's a little too loud for me. If I liked B&W I would totally use those because they are so cute, but I don't ever decorate with black. To create an extremely modern fall centerpiece I would definitely go with the B&W and turquoise metallic pumpkins...its just not my style.

The wheels in my brain are already churning for Christmas....I'm really excited!! And of course it will all be created on a budget!

Other happenings...

One of my girlfriends and I are cookin' up something really fun for fall and I can't wait to share! Annnd here is the fabulous tortilla soup that I was yacking about a couple of posts ago!

Mmm-Mmm Good! I made it Wednesday night and it made 6-8 this house. My husband's bowls tend to practically overflow.

I used FF sour cream, low-sodium chicken broth, part-skim mozzarella (the only cheese that is always available low-fat), a few chips crumbled up and one sliver of avocado chopped up! I ate this for lunch for 3 days this week and I still lost 2 pounds! Not too shabby!

Pumpkin Pancakes in the morning!!!

Happy Tablescaping...and bargain shopping!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Project! Excited..Nervous!

Amazing ruffle tee! Since I recently learned how to ruffle, (not that great yet) I think this should be my next sewing project! Isn't it sooo cute! What's great about it? that it's a soft gray t-shirt, love the color, can be dressed up and down....wouldn't it look cute with jeans and cowboy boots and maybe some big  Texas turquoise earrings? I'mmm thinking YES!

I'm forcing my sister to make it too so she can lend me a hand with her ruffling skills that are by far more advanced than mine! Ooooh I can't wait! This weekend? Probably so!

If it turns out great I might be making a white one or a gray and white!

I linked the site above for anyone that wants to give it a go! If you do, let me know so we can compare notes because I'm not that skilled in the ruffling department yet!

Happy Ruffling!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Comfort Food ~ Recipes

I've been scouring for some yummy new recipes and found a few that I'm going to try. So I thought I'd share the deliciousness! I really like to include pictures of the recipes that I try out but I'm being a bit premature and sharing before I make!

When September rolls around I'm on a pumpkin craze pretty much until the last day of November. I make pumpkin bread every year and need to find an even better recipe so when I do I'll share. I stole stumbled upon this recipe today on one of my sister's girlfriends blog (Jordan McCall)....

Pumpkin Pancakes
(107 calories per pancake)

2 c. of whole wheat white flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 c. skim milk
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. vinegar

Now of course to make these probably a bit tastier and fattier you can use white flour and 2% or whole milk. But I'm always trying to "health" things up if I can and she mentioned that these were yummy just like this so I trust her judgement! I always use light maple syrup but I'm sure they would taste even better with real maple syrup!

I love making soup when the cool weather rolls around...I could live off of this stuff! I've actually made this soup before but I have to look up the recipe every fall on my sister's friends blog (Kelly). It's super yummy and makes quite a bit so you can adjust the ingredients accordingly.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3-4 chicken breasts (shredded)
chicken broth
diced tomatoes
roasted green chile's
rice (I don't usually use rice)
black beans
fresh jalapenos

Spices: garlic powder, onion powder,
paprika, tiny bit of cumin, salt, pepper

Toppings: avocado, sour cream, cheese,
tortilla chips or tortilla strips

To "health" it up....I don't usually use cheese, I use a tiny dab of light sour cream, a very small amount of avocado and reduced sodium chicken broth to cut back on calories, fat and sodium.

Another yummy for the fall...this would actually be great to do if you had a bunch of company! I've never made these brisket tacos but they sound and look absolutely amazing! I can't wait to try them!
I wish I could post a picture of how good they look but I don't feel comfortable stealing Kelly's picture from her blog. So I'll post a picture after I make them :) I would direct you to her blog but I'm not sure if it's open and I don't want to blast her either so this will have to do :)

Brisket Tacos

1 brisket (boneless)
1 can chipotle chile's in adobo sauce
1 beer, Guinness or dark Mexican beer
Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cumin,
oregano, chili powder, paprika, seasoned salt
corn tortillas
monterrey jack cheese
minced sweet yellow onion (about 1/4 c. or so)
lime wedges
1 can beef broth

Kelly's Instructions:
 Place the well-seasoned brisket fat-side-up in the crock pot.
Place some of the chipotle peppers around it, and smear all of the adobo sauce all over the fat.
Pour in the beer and 1 can of beef broth.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours 

Discard the fat, shred the meat, serve on corn tortillas with avocados, sweet onion, cheese, cilantro and some lime wedges!

I can't wait to try this! It sounds super easy and sooo yummy! I love crock-pot meals, you hardly have to do anything to prepare them!


Sewing, Crafting and stuff!

I haven't shared any of my sewing/craft projects in a while so I figure it's about time! (But honestly I've taken a break from that stuff for a while too so it's not much!) When mom came into town we had sewing camp and she taught me how to ruffle! I needed this tutorial because I found a wreathe that I really wanted to make from the Jones Design Blog on my page.

This is my practice ruffle before mom came to town and I had to take a picture of it so she could tell me what I was doing wrong. Well, I was doing a lot wrong. My sewing machine was on the wrong setting, I needed to sew 2 stitches to ruffle as opposed to 1 (I didn't need to but she said the ruffle is prettier), etc...the list goes on!

When mom came to visit this is what she helped me make! My fabulous ruffle wreathe! But now, I actually think it looks WAY boring and I'm coming up with ideas to snazz it up. I don't like using fake flowers, but I do like foliage and dried, natural products so we'll see. She did all the stitching because she's faster and then I ruffled and she ruffled a little too. I just hot glued my ruffles around and voila'! To make this go to Jones Design blog and click on tutorials. It's easy to find!

So then, I had all this burlap that I bought and wanted to make pillows for the guest bedroom. I also had this white canvas material (which is just way too thick to ruffle) and so I thought it would make a pretty ruffle across the burlap. This below was a practice ruffle.

Well, I had some serious issues! I was so mad at this darn fabric! You should have seen me, yikes! I had ruffled this extremely long piece of fabric to stretch across my pillow and I broke my thread in the middle/end! I was FURIOUS! It had already taken me extremely too long because I'm so new at this. I called my mom and lets just say I may have cried just a little bit because I was so frustrated and well I'm a perfectionist. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but yes I'm 28 and I called my mom and cried...whatever, you know you've done it (wink)! She said, "Honey, I've done that so many times and there's not much you can do. You'll just have to start over and next time don't use such a heavy fabric." Grrr, not what I wanted to hear. I was determined to beat this ruffle! So I used my practice ruffle, I cut my long ruffle into two even pieces (what I had left) and placed the cut pieces on either side of my practice ruffle and stitched them together and tacked it onto my pillow! It's not perfect, but hey, it serves its purpose!

The finished product! My stitch to close the pillow up is pretty ugly but at that point I just wanted to be done! I also need to practice doing a whip stitch, I'll get there. (p.s. it's really hard to sew burlap, it gets all womper jawed!)

I had 2 old euro pillow forms from when I lived in my Lewisville apartment which was maybe 3 years ago and I knew that I would eventually use them for something. So my day came and I thought, hmmm, burlap euros!! Genius! I first covered the pillow forms in white canvas material and then the burlap. They turned out great, super easy! I need some more pillows, something frilly and colorful for either side of the small burlap pillow.

David and I went to Grandma and Grandad Trout's in Ardmore in August to hear him preach and came home with two of these! LOVE THEM! I can't wait to recover them in a modern, funky fabric! Thanks Grandma! Grandma's trash is my new treasure!

My incredible grandparents! They are my hero's! David and I love visiting them and wish we could more often! Grandma is one of my very best friends, we have so much in common and have exactly the same taste! My grandfather is my hero and I look up to him more than anyone else! The best people anyone could ever have the pleasure of knowing and loving :) Lucky me!

Our guest room is in progress. The window is mounted way too high I've decided, I need a white bed skirt, need to recover the chairs, need more wall decorations, 2 more pillows, I SO wish we could paint the walls but we can't :(, I need to snazz up the wreath (boring), etc...the list goes on! I don't even want to show you the rest of the room! Yikes! But honestly, this room is not a priority and we don't want to spend too much money on decorating while we are renting. I'd rather wait until we buy because then these things will have a permanent placement.

Right now I'm working on my sisters earring holder (like my blue one), I'm almost finished and then I'll post pictures! And then here's us after church last weekend. I don't post enough of the two of us so this is an attempt to do so, that's the only purpose :)

And my goofy husband that was making me laugh in bible class last Sunday (embarrassing!)

What makes it even more embarrassing is that we were visiting my in-laws and in their bible class! Great! I must admit he's pretty cute and can easily be a distraction! Love him!