December 23, 2010

seasons greetings

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December 22, 2010

home for christmas.

It's no secret that Mike and I love the quaint small town we live in here in Alabama. We are avid local business supports and as the holidays drew closer this year we decided to show them all how much we appreciated them. As a team we set out on a quest to purchase all of our Christmas gifts at neighborhood mom and pop stores. I'm happy to report that over 80% of our gifts were purchased locally. I enjoy knowing that we are stimulating our local economy and helping build upon our community.

I will be the first to admit that I failed when it came to purchasing Mike's gifts from local merchants - but to be fair the only things on his Christmas list were items that aren't made here in town. Literally if you looked at his list and held it up to a 13 year old boy's Christmas list, they would be identical. Lots of PS3 and XBox style items.  Everyone else on our list has received something purchased here from local stores, minus a gift card and one other gift which I can't mention due to the fact that the person may read this.

We avoided just about every bit of holiday stress by doing this. You want to know how many times we've made a trip to the mall since Thanksgiving, ZERO. That's right. We haven't stepped foot in the mall once this season for Christmas shopping. The only reason we went to the mall at all was when Mike needed a haircut before Thanksgiving, that's it. I can't begin to tell you how awesome that is. Trips to Target this season for holiday shopping? ONE! Mike may have ventured there on his own, so we could say TWO if need. Number of times I cussed people up and down in my head while shopping in our downtown area... ZERO. This to me is an amazing feeling in itself and almost like a gift we gave each other of a better over all feeling and well being for Christmas. Talk about having the Christmas Spirit, it's so much easier when you aren't feeling like you may need to strangle someone... when you don't have to wait in a long ass line to get two items... when you don't have to bash someone's cart out of your way... and when you actually have the owner of the store cater to you, and help you with all your questions, thoughts and concerns because they want to, not because corporate has told them they need to.

With all the local shopping we've had an overwhelming feeling of pride for our town and the owners of these stores are floored and excited when we told them about our game plan to buy all local. One merchant even gave me a discount on 2 items I purchased when she heard that come from our lips. She thanked me over and over and hoped we'd get our word out so more people would do the same. We have every possible big name store you could hope for around here, and even though our mall is a little sad it is a decent place to shop for a lot of people all at once - I by no means think everyone should do this, you may not have a selection of great local stores around your town like we do, but the next time you go out shopping for holidays, birthdays, or anything maybe take a few minutes to think about what treasures you may find in a non-chain store. And at the same time how you may be helping out a business owner in your community, one that doesn't have a huge backing financially but is full of heart and pride for their stores and their community.

Taking this hometown Christmas a step further, in order to help out our fellow man, and our planet we went with the whole, reduce, reuse and recycle theory to our gift wrap this year. We usually purchase all new wrapping paper every year, instead this year we are reusing a rustic snowflake paper we've had for at least two years. It's almost gone, and that's upsetting and exciting at the same time. To know that with the money I saved on wrapping paper I can put it toward stocking stuffers, is totally exciting. The roll being almost gone is what's upsetting, I really love the pattern. Since most of our gifts were purchased locally, we also received free gift wrapping! We let the gift wrap from the first store we shopped at dictate how our wrapping style would be for all our gifts [yes, I like to have a theme/style]. Basic craft wrap and beautiful ribbons were used on my gifts from Mike and some of the gifts we got his family. Most of the items were wrapped up and then placed in large craft bags with tons of tissue paper. I have taken it upon myself to deconstruct the bags, saving them to use for wrapping paper if needed, or bags for larger gifts and saved the tissue which has come in very handy for items that need to be boxed with tissue, and other re-used bags that we have received that fit this same color scheme. We haven't had to purchase one single bit of ribbon, we've only used left over, not a single bit of tissue, or gift bags yet. The only item I purchased new were some name tags. We had contemplated just writing the names on the bags, but then people couldn't reuse them and keep the cycle going so we opted for cheap, stick on tags from Rite Aid. It's only a few days until the big holiday and I don't think we will need anymore gift wrap, and we may even have some left over to reuse again next year. Thankfully at my job we use kraft wrap to fill boxes for transport. I've been able to snag a few scrap bits to wrap Mike's gifts before bringing them home - he not only has a list like a 13 year old, he snoops like one too.  I know that wrapping paper seems like such a little amount of money but when you add up the paper, the tissue, the tags the ribbons all that go together, at the end of the day it's a nice lump of money... money we saved, and by reusing items it's less in the landfill - at least on our end. [Don't think I won't be walking around trying to take back some of the bags we have used this year, they are REALLY cute and I would reuse them again and again].

I can honestly say I've never felt so happy about the holidays as I do this year. I am excited to know that most of the gifts we've chosen for our friends and family, aren't ones that will be found under everyone else's tree this year. We took time and choose each gift with that specific person in mind and it actually felt like it took less time this year than in years past. I think when you're in the mall or department chain you get so overwhelmed and over stimulated by the noise, the people, and the displays that you sometimes over spend or forget why you are there in the first place. I haven't had that overwhelmed feeling this year - safe for maybe my last trip to Target, and it's nice to feel so calm about the holidays coming up. My main panic thing right now is the cookies I need to bake! Regardless of where your gifts come from - I hope you were able to find all you needed for that special someone on your list!!! And most importantly that you have a very happy holiday!

How has your holiday shopping gone this year?


Don't forget to tell me your favorite Christmas memories! Read THIS post!

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December 21, 2010

christmas memories.

Here we are, staring down the last three full days until Christmas Eve. Where did the season go? The preparation I thought I would have? The gifts under the tree I thought would all be purchased and wrapped with pretty little bows. Where did all that go? Out the window I guess. I didn't even get a chance to get together Christmas cards for my friends and family. No, I haven't been all bah humbug, or even a Grinch in the least, I've just a very busy bee I guess. Busy with work, with life, with birthdays - oh MY the birthdays this time of year. In our immediate circle of friends and family alone there have been 7 birthdays between Thanksgiving and now. This tidbit alone is enough to make me feel OK about being a bit behind in finishing my Christmas shopping. It's difficult to get that finished while birthday shopping for others.

How are the rest of you fine ladies and gents doing with all your holiday plans? I know many of you have been blogging your hearts out about Christmas. I must say Shana has been on the ball over at her blog with her days of Christmas count down. Even Salt has popped her head in to keep us up to date on all her holiday cheer. Not to be out done Hotpants has given us the secrets to what her little babies will be finding under her tree and so many more of you have kept my Christmas Spirits high and my feeling like a slacker points right up there as well. All "letting it slide" aside, I've been rather jolly this year. For the first time in two years since my mother passed away I've felt semi normal during the holidays this year. That's not to say I haven't lost it a few times, but in the end I carry with me the memories that she always made possible this time of year. I thought what better way to blog about the holidays than to share memories that always make this time of year so special to me, and in turn ask you to share some of yours as well.

Christmas Memories
Wish big! • via

Some of my fondest memories of this season involve my mother, she was always so prepared. No matter how frazzled she may have been on the inside trying to give my father and I the perfect Christmas she rarely let it show.  It all started with the tree. We would walk for hours from tree farm to tree farm to find the perfect tree. Long needles and taller than all of us - it had to touch the ceiling and the "Christmas Chicken" [dove] had to have enough room to fit on top. My birthday is the 1st of December and many years into my teens we would celebrate with a tree decorating slumber party, those were memorable times but I think my most favorite and cherished thoughts were the years when she started to teach me how to decorate the tree. I will always blame my perfectionist ways with tree decorating on her. When I was young child the tree was a huge array of blue and silver hues. I can remember the Christmas balls like it was yesterday in the perfect shade of bright blue. Our lights were always white. ALWAYS white.

This ain't yo momma's tree • via

My mother hated multi colored strands, I used to be upset that our tree didn't blink, or have twinkles or different colors, but once I got a bit older I completely appreciated my mother's attention to not only detail but her taste as well. Never one to leave any detail out, my mother always made sure my yearly creations made it back on the tree. From the popsicle stick sled to the toilet paper tube drummer boy, they were always there, front and center. While many of these ornaments didn't survive over the years, a few did and they are ones I have since acquired and that mean the most to me. After I grew out of my crib, my mother transformed the mobile charms into ornaments. Holly Hobby like friends all hung around the tree each year and still do to this day at my home. I plan to hopefully carry on this tradition with my own children one day. Each year I can remember picking out different brass ornaments, having them engraved with my name and placing them on the tree. Bonus points go to the ones we have that actually have the date they were made on them. I like those the most.

Being an only child has it's perks. On Christmas day there was no waiting to see what each kid got around the tree - I could race down the steps, jump to the presents and rip them to shreds without worrying about what anyone else was doing. All eyes were on me. Mom and Dad had already exchanged gifts and it was my time to shine. Santa's gifts always came in different paper, after all why would Santa have the same paper as the grocery store, where my parents purchased theirs. And my stocking was always filled to the brim. There was always a small box or two, filled with sparkles from my father.  I soon learned these gifts came from him, and usually from the jewelry store he always shopped at, again the paper never matched anything else. I was a bit sad yesterday when my father called me to let me know I wouldn't be getting sparkles this year. Truth be told I really don't need anymore. And it wasn't the lack of sparkle that upset me. After 34 years of birthdays and Christmas, I've gained quite a collection of fine jewelry, but he informed me that the sweet man he used to shop with had passed away in October and his store was currently closed for mourning. It's sad to think that such an icon in our lives and my father's favorite shopping option for friends, family and loved ones was gone. He's been shopping there for over 30 years and I can trace just about every fine item of gold back to that man's store, his talent and his art. I had only met him once, and told him I was obsessed with unicorns. I can remember picking out a very small, dainty charm that was a Unicorn head made to look as if it was made of lace. I still have this charm. It's by far my favorite. Over the years, my father and this man became close friends and they had both always marveled over how my taste changed. From gold to white gold, from unicorns to dolphins and from dolphins to owls. I can trace my jewelry box and it's contents all the way back to my 2nd birthday, it's pretty amazing. It's sad to see he's gone, and that a Christmas tradition I always looked forward to will have to live in my memories.

I bet as a child you can remember your mom or grandmother or some family memeber going nuts over Christmas cookies and baking, can't you? I don't know if there are many mom's that went as nuts as my mom did. Thankfully she never had to bake for holiday parties at my school - I think that may have been the straw that would break the camels back on that. But cookies... my GOSH did she make a lot of cookies. Any kind you could imagine, I still don't know how she did it. Cookies for us, cookies for friends, cookies for my grandmothers and family and teachers and cousins. It was crazy how many cookies this woman would make every year. And even crazier how many I would eat ever year!!! She actually had to make extras of certain kinds because my father and I would eat them all! I make cookies each year, but I will never top my mother. After about 4 different recipes I loose my steam and I never carve out enough time to make them all. This year I have all the ingredients and they've been in the pantry for two weeks. I hope to make a dent in them this week, but it's hard to say - those last minute Christmas gifts are still looming over me.

nom, nom, nom • via

I have about a million more memories I could share, but I will leave you with one more, it's my favorite of all time....

Every Christmas, well until I was probably about 12 - 14 years old my mother would tuck me in. After all the lights were off, I had placed out cookies for Santa and all the animals [we had 2 dogs and 2 cats] were snuggled with me in bed, my mother would crack open my bedroom window from the top. She'd tell me goodnight and warned me not to stay up too late or Santa wouldn't come. She explained to me when I was younger that maybe if we left the window cracked I'd be able to hear Santa's sleigh bells coming and know to stay in my room and be quite so that he wouldn't leave without dropping off my gifts. Every year I would crank my ears to listen for bells, and I'm sure every year I would drift off after staying up way too late. I swear one year I heard the bells and it took all I had to say in my bed. I wanted to jump out of bed, run down the hall and scream for Santa, my parents and anyone else that was close enough to hear... but I didn't, I laid paralyzed in my bed, not moving a muscle until I thought the coast was clear.  This was also the year I started my own personal tradition... After I thought it was safe, I snuck down the hall on the creaking wood floors, down the steps and into the living room for my first sneak peek of my bounty for the year. It was awesome!!! The Christmas tree lights bounced off the bright paper and I remember the vision like it was yesterday. I figured I had already done too much by peeking son instead of shaking, rattling or breaking any gifts I ran back up stairs without touching a thing and waited for the sun to rise. I learned years before this night that 4 AM is not an acceptable time to wake two parents who had spent the evening drinking wine while I slept, celebrating their own Christmas together. After this year of my first "peek" - every year after that until my parents divorced I would sneak down to look at all my gifts and survey everything, and often times plan my attack on the gifts, which I would open first, if mom and dad said it was OK. You know how they like to leave the best for last and all.

I'm always dreaming of a white Chrsitmas • via

So tell me....
Do you have a favorite Christmas memory or a never ending tradition? Please share for all to read in the comments section!


And above all MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!

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December 06, 2010

being a winner rocks!

I will start this post by saying that I rarely win anything, [the only other giveaway I've ever won via blog was the amazing one over at Saltwater Dreams - I'm still excited about that and it's been months!] so when I found out that I was among 150+ loyal followers of The Lil Bee to win the Apart Giveaway I was floored! The great people at Apart  are givers, seriously sweet, givers! They granted all who entered the contest the items we said we loved most. I was shocked and literally walked around the entire day with a smile on my face. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry a little bit, because I did. I welled right up with joy, at work,  at the thought of winning an item from this amazing clothing line. Originally there was going to be one big winner and a few runners up, all of which would have won gift certificates to purchase the amazing clothing and accessories from the website [check it out here if you haven't already clicked the link above].

I think the main reason I welled up so much is because this gesture from the people at Apart was so grand in my eyes. I've never purchased any fine fashion items for myself, ever. Most of my clothing comes from clearance racks or places like Target, small places in the mall or were received as gifts from family members over the years. Where I live currently, fashion is very limited, to put it nicely. We have a few grand department stores in the mall locally and a few other side stores, otherwise I'm at the mercy of not only my slim pickin's but also my tiny wallet and budget.  I love that I am frugal but every once in a while it's nice to spoil yourself, or have others spoil you with a classic piece. I have to say I felt a bit like a princess in that moment and promptly emailed Melisa (of The Lil Bee fame) to thank her for having the giveaway and allowing me to add an amazing piece to my wardrobe. One I am sure I will wear for years to come. [Note: If you haven't visited Melisa @ The Lil Bee yet, you're missing out! Her blog is one of my must reads every.single.day!]

I'm sure you're wondering what item I picked - well it was a tough choice but the item that called to me the most was one that Melisa featured in her giveaway blog. I'm a sucker for houndstooth, not just because of the University of Alabama (ROLL TIDE!) but because it's a great pattern. When I saw this image I was floored and thought "IT MUST ME MINE!"

via apart
Be sure to check out their other Houndstooth items if you love the pattern!
There is a dress that I swooned over and would DIE to add to my wardrobe!

My package arrived today [11/30/2010] - a day before my birthday. So needless to say I was excited. Happy Birthday to me! I wish I had the right accessories and items of clothing to pull together the perfect look for a night out on the town but I don't. This will have to be fixed ASAP because I can't wait to wear this item. I know this post is useless without images of myself but I have to say I'm truly sorry. I'm not lying when I say I have nothing in my possession that would do this skirt justice. As soon as I do I will model it for you no worries!

The skirt is amazing, you know how sometimes you purchase and item from a website and it doesn't live up to your expectations once it's in your hands, this is NOT the case with this skirt. I am head over heels in love with it. It's warm, frilly and lined with soft fabric - and looks exactly like it does on the website. I was actually thrilled and floored to discover that it fits me just right as well. I was fearful they wouldn't have my size, and since I started working out I was fearful I'd get it and not be able to fit into it. I'm not a model size, by any means and this skirt fit me like a dream! I really can't say enough about how much I am in love with this item and the chance to own it. Thank you again Melisa for having the giveaway and Amandine, from Apart for sponsoring and being so giving!

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December 03, 2010

fixation friday: holiday movies


Hello Lovelies! It's been a while. Not only was Fixation Friday on a break but I guess I was too. I'll try to be better about that but, when life starts tossing you lemons or limes you better make some kick ass mixed drinks and suffer the hangover because honestly how often does life toss you the perfect fruit to compliment vodka right? In not so many words I've been busy. Between Thanksgiving, my birthday and all the holidays that are coming up I'm lucky to have two minutes to myself, let alone time to bang out an awesome blog post. With that in mind I'm going to slightly recycle a post from last year but give it a bit of a tune up. I got to thinking about my favorite holiday movies again after reading Hotpants' post over at Handbags and Handguns.  She's pretty much nailed the holiday spirit in movies right on the head, but I had a few of my own I needed to add. So here are my favorite Christmas movies to date.


A Christmas Story 
Yes I could watch this over and over and over and over and over again and I do every year! It never gets old. I love Ralphie and the entire story! "I can't put my arms down!!!"


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Seriously - Christmas is not the same without this movie - LOVE! I come from a very small family and never truly experienced a holiday quite this chaotic until I started dating Mike. His family is huge and often times it feels like a scene from this movie during the holidays... or maybe from the beginning of THIS movie....

Home Alone
I adore this movie - I could watch it a million times. Mike had Home Alone 2 playing on tv the other night and it just didn't do the trick. #1 is #1! "I got the milk, eggs and fabric softener."


Die Hard
Yes, seriously!!! It's set during Christmas time and he saves the day!
"Ho, Ho, Ho... Now I have a machine gun."
Most girls may not agree but, care? Mike is happy that I enjoy this flick and consider it a holiday tradition, which works out great for us. I think I'll bake some cookies and watch this soon!


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
It's a classic and one that reminds me of being a kid.
Plain and simple!

My next choice is one I was reminded how much I loved last night when I watched it on TV. I own this movie and it just didn't dawn on me how touching this movie is to me until last night. In my opinion you can never go wrong when you put your entertainment trust in a man like Bill Murray.

Scrooged
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie.  It's a comedic and touching adaptation of the classic Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, one of my favorite all time Christmas stories, out done only by the Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. That story always touches my heart.

The Family Stone
This movie is beyond touching and I love how real it is. It was tough for me to watch it the first few times, for personal reasons but in the end I realize how magical it really is. It quickly became a seasonal must for me and I will often times watch it in the middle of the summer just to get warm fuzzies!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Elf (SO adorable)
Bad Santa (while it's not family friend it's freaking funny!)
It's a Wonderful Life
Mean Girls (it has Christmas in it!)
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Four Christmases (We all know the deal with me and Vince)

I could go on and on - what are you favorite holiday movies?


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November 24, 2010

giving thanks.

It's that time of year again. Time to stuff our faces, go into turkey commas, watch football {ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!} and for some of us awaken the next day for the craziest shopping extravaganza ever! {Me included, possibly}. During all this holiday hoopla it's important to remember why we celebrate this holiday. I for one feel it's important to take a day to be eternally thankful for things in your life but I'm also a firm believer that this should be practiced everyday, and if possible, that the people and luxuries in your life, that mean the most should never be taken for granted. All that being said I thought I'd share a list of things I'm thankful for, and in return ask you to tell me what you're most thankful for this holiday and every day of your life.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, regardless of if you celebrate this holiday, find a moment everyday to reflect on what you are most thankful for.

Today and Everyday 
I am Most Thankful For:
MY NECESSITIES: 
Mike
My Father
My Mother and the time I had with her.
My Family
My Friends {The Family I chose for myself}
My Loved Ones
My Pets
My Health
My Home
My Job
My Freedom
My Country
My Military
And all of you my loyal readers 
 and most importantly NEW FRIENDS! oxoxo

Today and Everyday
Things I Enjoy and Give Thanks For:
THE LUXURIES: IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
Love
Laugher
Creativity
Coffee
Clean Drinking Water
Running Water to Bathe With
Food
Shelter
*** DVR
Wine
Captain Morgan
Kettle One
Ice Cold Michelob Ultra
Jack Daniels
Margaritas
Champagne
Ginger Ale
Diet Dr. Pepper
Chocolate
Music and The Arts
Comedy
FOOTBALL!
Snowboarding
Snow
Food Network
HGTV
The History Channel
My Own Cooking Skills
Chelsea Lately!
30 Rock • Community • Parks and Rec • The Office
The Walking Dead • True Blood • Mythbusters
American Pickers • Paranormal State • The Soup
Magic Erasers
PIZZA!
Chicken Wings
Pumpkin Pie
Turkey
Cranberry Sauce
Blogging
Charcoal
Four Letter Words - I love them.
Frizz Ease
Mac and Cheese
P-90X and Fitness
My 2 New Pairs of Boots
Skinny Jeans
Great Haircuts
Mac
Angus Young • Chelsea Handler • Tina Fey • Burt Reynolds
Feminism and Girl Power
The Pilgrims
Mexican Food • Italian Food • Chinese Food • Japanese Food
{basically all the type so of cuisine we can eat here in the U.S.A.}
Peeps
Milk and Cheese
My Jeep

*** Added after the amazingly awesome Hotpants commented and made me realize I left off the most important luxury that I covet every. single. day!! My love you DVR!

Seriously this could go on and on.... I have a lot to be thankful for in my life, way more than I have to be sad about and that's what makes life enjoyable and worth living.

I hope you all have a safe and loving Thanksgiving holiday! 
So tell me what are you most thankful for? How do you celebrate the holiday? And who's ready for TURKEY!?!?!?

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November 20, 2010

where has the time gone?

Dear Mike,
Can you believe it's been six years already? It seems like only yesterday we were exchanging messages on each others myspace pages. Upon seeing your picture on there, I knew I had to talk to you, you were just too cute to pass up. Shallow yes, but I'm glad it brought us together. When I read your profile further I knew you were something special. It isn't often you come across someone that is extremely attractive and at the same time completely down to earth. I wouldn't admit it to myself but I was completely smitten with you from that point on. I tried to be rational but try as I might I did think about you more often than I dared to admit. Thankfully deep down I think you were feeling the same way. We've come a long way from our myspace days, but it really does seem like we met in person last week at that fun bar with the karaoke room an the great back patio. I can still remember the look on your face when I surprised you by coming all that way to meet you in person without you knowing. It was such a risk and honestly I'm still floored that I had the guts to do it. I don't do things like that, ever but again, I'm glad I did.

 Mike and I and his BFF, G - June 2004

Our first nigh together - June 2004 SURPRISE!

I really had no idea how far that trip alone would take us. After talking for over a year as just friends, June 2004 made this connection a reality. We both knew we were 100% real. The people we claimed we were materialized before us and we could finally relax and enjoy ourselves and I for one can say I did, completely.

It would take us almost five strained months after this to decide what we really wanted from each other. Between distance and personal matters we were both dealing with, we worried about taking the leap to be together. Being burned in the past never makes things easy for future relationships but at some point you just have to throw caution to the wind and give faith a chance. In November 2004 we did just that and I couldn't have been more over the moon!
The night before we made it official - November 2004

We wouldn't have made it this far without our trust, our faith in each other and our ability to get along no matter what the circumstances. I guess it's safe to admit that we never would have made it this far without the help of our friends and families. Without my Bestie T and a big night out on the town, I never would have devised a plan to come surprise you. It was all her idea, all her doing and between T, myself and your buds G and H we executed the plan perfectly and I couldn't have done it without them. I owe them everything for helping us make the first step. I think you know we also owe Miss K a huge thank you for doing everything short of slapping you in the head to tell you that you were falling for me. All it took was me taking a trip out of the country and no communication to make us both wake up and realize life is a whole lot better with us together verses apart.

When I look back I sometimes wonder how on earth two people so far from each other are brought together. I know with online dating and social networking sites have made finding love much easier, but as a girl that's dated guys she met online before, I can truly attest to the fact that it doesn't always work, regardless of whether you are looking on purpose or not, it doesn't always work out.  I was gun shy when I met you but I'm happy I took that chance, and look how far we've come.

Last night at dinner, as we stuffed our faces with great food and celebrated our big day, we discussed how it seems like only yesterday we were moving all my stuff into the amazing apartment downtown. How it felt like a tv show living there with our different neighbors. It was like Melrose Place but, without the murders or the drama. We had our friendly and silly landlord, a true Southern Lady who always welcomed us and chatted with us. Do you remember when she begged me to come watch American Idol with her? We had the quiet friendly couple that lived below us - we rarely heard a peep from them but they were always there to help us in case of a massive tornado warning and give us and our kitten, Angus shelter in a time of need. She was also the first one out the door when I fell down the icy steps and busted my tail bone that time - you of course were second but only able to stick your head out the door due to the fact that it was 7:45 AM and you were in your underwear. Note to self: never wear heels on an icy day ever again. Or what about our great neighbors that kept you company until I moved down - the couple that was always so friendly, inviting us to sit and have a few drinks with them and their lovable dog Fraiser. I'm so happy we ran into him recently and that he informed us that his wife had some tough battles with her health but that she is doing well. It's amazing how people waltz into your life, if only for a moment but still leave a mark on your heart. Then of course there were the not so pleasant neighbors but we were bound to have them. Our loud mouth annoying neighbor who didn't understand the concept of people having an early morning job - and then there was the hippie couple - I really wish her boyfriend realized how much his hair and jeans looked more like something she should wear not him. And then of course we had our local drug dealer, or at least what we thought he was doing, Mr. Sketchy across the way. We had our courtyard and our huge window over looking the downtown street below. I can't even remember how many parades we got to watch from that window in the comfort of our home with a beer in our hand - or a margarita depending on what we were celebrating. I remember all the great meals we made - when I learned to cook and could finally repay you for all the great meals you made when we first moved in together AND so that we could stop eating Hamburger Helper. I remember our lasagna nights and the nights we'd feed our friend's band before their gig. It was definitely the place to be and party. I miss that apartment and the downtown lifestyle - if it wasn't for the fact that we own so much stuff now I'd totally move back there in a heartbeat.

I really does seem like I've only blinked since we left there and moved into our first house. That place had so many plus and minuses - biggest minus was the location. Live and learn though. It's never comforting to be watching television at night and hear gun shots down the street, in the end though besides the location and the horrible utility bills I did love the inside of that house but when it's time to go, it's time to go.

Our second home was too adorable for words - a bit of a step down in the size department but the back deck made up for everything. It was like having an outdoor living room. Fully covered and screened in it was one of the best places in the house. Many nights were spent out there from hanging with friends, to watching football games to just relaxing on a Sunday afternoon - that deck saw it's share of good times. There are times that I miss that home, other than size it had everything going for it. After mom passed, and I inherited all her belongings we knew it was only a matter of time before we'd need a bigger home. We really do roam a lot don't we?

The current house we live in is yet another vessel to hold all our belongings and most importantly our memories. I can't believe how far we've come, and while saying six years sounds like a long time, it's been so much fun it's felt like it's been 6 minutes. Looking back on pictures I can see that we've grown. I don't feel old, or feel like we look old but I look back and I think - look how young we were. Even in our late 20's we still resemble young kinds - then again I guess you're only as old as you feel and you make me feel like I'm young as ever.

I wanted to take time to write this down to preserve our memories and to say to you Happy Anniversary. I love you more today than I did yesterday and I know I'll love you more tomorrow than I could have ever dreamed. We make an amazing team and there is no one else I'd rather spend my days with and my nights. Without you I know I wouldn't be has happy or as complete as I am right now. I'm so happy that I found you.

Next year, I promise not to forget our big day, if you do the same. You're right life really has been flying by and we've been so busy - I'm just really thankful that I wasn't the only one that missed the special day. Happy Anniversary! oxox

I love you, Mike.

love, k

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November 18, 2010

your questions, answered.

Or at least most of them. Quite a while ago a bunch of you answered my call for inspiration on what to write about. I asked you to ask me anything and many of you came through with flying colors. So here goes I'm going to share as many answers as I can.

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia Asked:
Actually what kinds of things are you eating to work with your new life style. I eat very rich foods and is hard to make lighter options (think Quesadillas, Tacos, spanish foods, etc) 

A: This is a great question Nina. To be honest I really tried my best to follow the P-90X diet plan to a T. I had cheat meals, not entire cheat days just one meal a week to look forward to. OR if I knew Mike and I had a special occasion or family function, I would save my cheat for that. Nine times out of Ten I was usually disappointed with my cheat meal and actually wanted to eat my regular fare - which blew my mind. I've always been a sweets and mega cheese kind of girl. What was hard for me wasn't having to eat good food, it was actually how much of it I had to consume each day. While I've been finished with P90X for a couple weeks now (I KNOW I NEED TO POST MY FINAL PICS) - I'm still trying to stick to the diet as closely as I can and I'm trying to workout on my own, using P90X here and there. [I am planning on doing Turbo Fire after the holidays when I have more money to purchase it.] 

I would have to say the main thing I ate the most of was chicken, chicken and more chicken. Mostly baked or sauteed in olive oil - I made everything from pasta, to simple baked chicken to tacos as you mentioned. The key for me was using low fat cheese, no sour cream and lots of veggies. I often would skip the taco shell as well if I had already had my serving of bread for the day. Crazy I know but once you get used to it, you really don't miss them. I often times would also get the whole wheat tortillas, it's not a genuine flavor or texture at all but, at the same time it allowed me to have the foods I love just with a twist. I ate a ton of rice, but only wild rice or brown rice. And only when I was allowed the complex carbs. Uncle Ben became my best carb friend while on P90X and to this day I still love wild rice. I was raised eating it and I love it. Mike and I always use brown rice vs. white in our house - I can honestly say the only time I have white rice in the house or in my belly is if I'm eating Chinese food, or making chicken broth and rice for my dog when her stomach is upset. Bottom line is you have to think moderation. You can still have your tacos, quesadillas (man I'm getting hungry) just don't eat that way all the time. Mike and I grill a lot and we've also experimented with skirt steak, and even fish to make tacos and both have turned out great. You have to go easy on the cheese and the sauce - but every now and them make an official meal of authentic Spanish food - you'll get your fill of it without feeling deprived. Otherwise it's grill, bake and make it healthy - oh yeah and eat lots of greens and salad (low fat dressing), the more greens and veggies I eat the better I feel. I never realized how little green stuff I ate until I did this diet plan. Now I feel almost "naked" if I don't eat a ton of vegetables each day. Oh yeah and always wash it down with water... unless it's ladies night - I can't go without my cocktails [by cocktail I mean light beer, a glass of wine or vodka & diet].

You're on death row. What are you having for your last meal? 
A: What's with the food? To be honest I've thought about this question and answered it a few times in my life. I'm not sure why my friends and I have this discussion but, we do. I've always said that if I am going to get the chair I'm totally eating something that is going to be a pain in the ass to clean up after my bowels release. Gross, yes, of course - that's how I roll. I'd have to say I'd definitely start with a huge slab of Prime Rib from my favorite steakhouse back home in Maryland - the bloodier the better. Then give me about a dozen Maryland Steamed Crabs to pick and eat - I have to prolong this event as long as I can it is after all my last meal. Top that off with some sweet potatoes and probably all the fixings you get for Thanksgiving and add to that some pie and I've got a full belly and a great meal. I might even add in some chili for good measure. I wouldn't want it to smell too perfect after I croak.  That being said I wonder what I was in for... clearly I was framed.

If M gave you the most romantic proposal ever, what would it be (I'm looking out for you and hoping M reads your blog). ;) 
A: Allyson you are a girl after my own heart and my best intentions. Honestly I have a concept in my mind that would be the dream proposal but, I'd rather not speculate. I want to be shocked, surprised and I want it to be his own idea, not one he might read here. Mike knows me so well, I know I'll be floored when it happens. 

What are the first websites you open when you get on your computer? 
A: When I get on my computer in the AM the first website I look at is weather.com. Yep... I'm that dull. This allows me to pick out my outfit for the day. I really only do this obsessively in Spring and Fall when I have no idea from one day to the next what the temperature will be. After that it's usually facebook.com and then my gmail account. As far as blogs go I make it a point to try to get to all my favorites each day, and no, I'm not naming names.

Have you ever had to go poo-poo in the woods? 
A: Have I ever had to go poo in the woods... Yes I've had to go before, but NO I never actually went. I will hold that. I hate pooping in public places, let alone drop a log in the middle of the wilderness. Thankfully I've never had to go #2 during the night of a camping trip - it usually hits me the next morning as we are packing up camp. So far I've been lucky - now having to deal with mother nature in the wilderness is a different story - it's the worst but I've survived Aunt Flo in the great wide open quite a few times. 

If it rained for 40 days and 40 nights and you had to live on an ark, what would you do to keep yourself occupied? 
A: Does the arc have wi-fi? I would hope that if I was stuck on an arc and I knew I'd be without the comforts of our century that I would be smart enough to pack not only some board games but a journal to write in and hopefully an ipod to use until it died. Now if this arc is more like the ships of today with electricity etc my possibilities are endless. Let's just say in the end I'd probably spend a lot of time with Mike and our pets and every damn animal on the planet - P.S. I bet that place will smell super foul. Have you ever smelled the monkey house on a hot, humid day... BLECH!

What is the most redneck thing you've seen in Alabama? 
A: Two words... Fried Pickles. Seriously, I'm kidding... those things are amazing!  OK where do I start? Have you been to a Walmart in Alabama? That's #1. Personally I think the most redneck thing I've ever seen here isn't so much the jacked up pick-up trucks - because honestly I like those. Sure that may mean my neck is a slight shade of pink but it's true, they are cool. The most redneck thing I've ever seen (and it makes me absolutely sick) is when said pick-up truck is driving around decorated with a HUGE Confederate flag. I'm not talking a sticker, or a little flag painted on the top. I'm talking HUGE, Southern Army Sized Confederate Flag. I really hoped the world would be past this type of behavior and of course they can spew their "It's not hate it's heritage" all day long but I know as well as any of you that it's a load of B.S. plain and simple. I was a huge Dukes of Hazard fan as a kid, and even now looking back that still seems really tacky to have that flag on the car, even if it was named the General Lee. I think the only thing far more upsetting than the flag waving in the breeze as this dick drives by, is that this truck actually has a huge sticker on the back of the cab's window that reads "THIS TRUCK IS JACKED UP SO FAT CHICKS CAN'T CRAWL INSIDE" complete with two plump mud flap chicks *KLASSY*. I really, really hope that no chicks WANT to crawl inside his truck period. This Romeo of a man apparently works at the local Arby's or he eats there all the time. His truck is always there making me want to vom when I see it, after the gag reflex happens I then want to punch him in the face and slit his tires! I guess in the end this fella isn't really redneck, he's just a racist S.O.B. giving rednecks a bad name. On a lighter note, I have seen people do a bit of redneck engineering on the creek here and there in the form of souped up canoes. I wish I had pictures - next time we float I'm totally taking a disposable camera with me to catch this stuff. 

Sara @ Sara Spelled Without an H Asked:
Where are you from on the East coast and how long did it take you to get used to Alabama? 
A: I am from Maryland born and raised. It's true what they say you can take a girl out of the East coast but you can't take the East coast out of the girl. I don't want to say I felt immediately at home here in Alabama, but my transition period was brief. That being said, it did take a bit of adjusting. It took me forever to learn how to tune out the people in Walmart or the Mall and their accents. Here and there I've even picked up on the accent and I hate that. Mike calls me out on it any time I slip an extra "Y" into a word that has no "Y" to begin with... Example: DREYYASS, or Dress - to be fair I usually only say dress like that when I'm doing an impersonation of his adorable younger sister. Being a Southern belle is adorable, and very dignified, but I'm just not that girl. Overall I've been here about 6 years and I do think I've fit in rather well - but I still get asked "You aren't from around here are you?" when I meet new people and it makes my heart sing because I can smile and say "No, I'm not." I'm just happy people can still tell. And for the record I've lived here this long and no matter how much longer I lived her I will never, ever want to purchase a string of pearls - again I'm just not that girl.

Would you rather eat spaghetti every day for the rest of your life or having explosive diarrhea once a week? 
A: I'm totally going with the diarrhea once a week - I love all kinds of food. Even though I ate pizza for lunch every.single.day. for two years in high school I doubt I could live on that or spaghetti alone. I'd rather take my chances with the big ole D than eat the same stuff all the time. Besides, explosive diarrhea would totally give me a case of the skinnies right?

If you could be any zoo animal, which one would you be? 
A: This is a tough one. The lions are awesome but they always seem so bored. I think if I had to choose I'd say the penguins. They always seem so happy and active - swimming and walking and jumping. A dolphin would be a close second for me, provided the zoo didn't want to make me do tricks like Sea World. Yes, I'd probably be a grumpy dolphin, if there is such a thing.

Is there one city/state/country you absolutely hate? If so, do tell in explicit and hateful detail. 
A: Wow... hmm... I'm trying to think of one place I've been that I absolutely hated and I can't think of one off the top of my head. The only one that comes to mind is Memphis [hear me out Hotpants], but I have to say I had a really bad first impression of that area. I went to there to see a 311 concert - I'm not a huge 311 fan but one of my besties is and it was his birthday. We went, and it was the longest damn concert ever and pretty boring (in my opinion). Seriously 3 hours of 311, singing and playing what sounded like an extended version of the same damn song, and being cooped up in a arena with no fresh air - recycled reefer smell is horrible - and Bud Lite was all they had to offer as booze - NO THANK YOU! Add to that burning eyes and a huge headache, Mike and I finally went outside to get some fresh air. No luck, the parking lot was a disaster - it was supposed to be a liter free event... well that didn't happen. Not only did it look horrible but the smell of stale beer and urine wafted from every corner of the parking lot. Upon leaving the concert my headache only got worse so the guys took me back to our ghetto fabulous hotel [only after trying to get some McDonalds to feed our hungry stomachs - it was closed at 10 PM... shady what? The guys dropped me off and went in search of food - regular hunters they are. I spent the rest of the night vomiting from my migraine pain - SO hot right? Needless to say we were all so miserable the next AM we never got to see any of the great stuff Memphis is known for. Given the chance I would go back and see the town again - I might even hit up Hotpants for a tour. I want to see the rich history and eat my weight in BBQ and give the city another chance. Other than that I couldn't tell you a place I had to visit that I hated with a passion, although I will say getting lost in Washington, D.C. in the middle of the night, in a snow storm was no picnic. Let's just say South East DC is no place for a freaked out, young, white girl who can barely drive on a regular street, let alone a snow covered one in a shady area with two freaked out friends riding shot-gun, bitch and backseat. 

Which is your favorite type of Girl Scout cookie?
A: Thin Mints hands down - I won't even purchase them anymore because I eat the whole damn box in one sitting!!! That and usually when I purchase sweets Mike will help me eat them and that diminishes guilty but he absolutely hates chocolate and mint - clearly he's crazy and I should have him committed.


Meghan @ The Perfect Compilation Tape Asked:
Which 5 people would you have dinner with? 
A: I always love this question. Rachel Ray asks it in her magazine each month when she peaks into celebrities fridge. [Side note: I know it's a food related mag but I'd totally rather see a celebs underwear drawer to prove they are just like us and have holy ones shoved in the back for fat days and what not - that's the "SEE THEY ARE JUST LIKE US" spread I want to see...] ANYLOONEY!  So here goes... first off Rachel Ray, I love her and maybe if I had to make the dinner for a party she would help me out. Second, Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs - he floors me with his wit and he's always on point. He just seems like the kind of guy I'd want to have a beer with. Third, Vince Vaughn. I know a lot of you will be like WHAT? EW! But seriously the guy makes me laugh my ass off. He seems like he'd be a riot to have dinner with. It's a toss up between him and Adam Sandler - so I'd invite them both and see who showed up, again he makes me laugh and I love how he eats soup. Fourth would be Paula Deen, I really just want to see what she's like after a few cocktails. I'd want to fill my table with people that would keep us entertained all night and I'm pretty sure she has a TON of funny stories. Last, I'd say I'd want to have dinner with myself in 20 years. Hopefully I turn out OK and maybe the future me and give the current me a few pointers.

If you could live any place in the world where would you choose? 
A: If I could live anywhere other than where I am right now - I'd have to say I'd move back home to Maryland to be close to my family and dear friends. If I didn't choose Maryland, hands down I'd move to Wilmington, North Carolina. NC is like a second home to me - my family used to own a beach house close to Wilmington and I spent 1 month every summer there relaxing and learning about myself and life. I have always thought about moving there and Wilmington is just such a magical place. The only other location I can see happening for myself and Mike would be Nashville, TN. We love the vibe the town gives and enjoy visiting there as often as we can.

What was your favorite year in school and why? 
A: Wow, my favorite year of school. I loved High School I can't lie about that and I really enjoyed my Senior Year. Most people I know hated high school but I really enjoyed everything - minus my overly possessive boyfriend, he was a pain but my friends and the memories were all keepers. I wasn't popular but I had a lot of friends from all walks of life with kept my days interesting. But in the end I also loved my years in college - making some great friends and keeping my old ones. I honestly never hated school. I loved learning and I am a social butterfly so school was always the perfect outlet for me and my goody goody ways.

Thank you all so much for your questions!!!! I still have a few more to get to so don't worry I will answer them all soon enough! Can you believe next week is already Thanksgiving?!?!? I'm so excited. Diet be damned I'm enjoying myself 100%!!!
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November 09, 2010

currently thankful.

I haven't had much to say in the past what, week or so? Sorry for that. I've been busy working, and organizing the house and cleaning and battling Flea Outbreak 2010 - it's been loads of fun and by fun I mean shizzy! In the middle of all this fun I think I finally recovered from my Halloween hangover - we spent last weekend with our friends that we went out with that evening and all of us agreed it literally took us until Wednesday after Saturday, October 30th to feel "right" again. We made some kick ass grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches and Mike and I nursed ourselves with a few beers after a horrible loss for Alabama to the LSU Tigers... We watched a few great movies and played Scrabbled and poured ourselves into bed around 2:00 AM. It was nice having an extended feeling Sunday due to Daylight Savings time - usually Sundays go so quickly for us. It was the perfect kicked back weekend that we needed.

I realized it's November and instead of having one day to be thankful I should at least try to find one thing, or more, per week to be thankful for. This week, I'm thankful for the little things. After organizing my entire closet this weekend, putting away all my clean laundry that has been piled on a chair and in a basket in the bedroom I could finally move around our room and not feel like I was still in high school with clothing all over my bedroom. Getting ready in the morning is extremely easy now, I can see all my clothing and make much quicker choices, and take more fashion risks now that I am able to do so faster than ever. Add to that finally taking the time to do everything in the bathroom all at once during my morning routine [read: shower, lotion up my face, put on my contacts, brush teeth, take vitamins, allergy pills, drink a full glass of water, make-up and hair] and then leave the bathroom to get dressed seems to be going much better for me verses getting out of the shower and dressing before doing the rest of my routine. Not sure why but the AM seems to flow much better. Once I'm dressed all that is ever left to do is fix breakfast and roll out. It doesn't seem like much but it's the little things that count, so I will say for this week I am thankful for the little things.

I didn't think I had much to say with this post and turns out I guess I did but I will leave you with this... my currents. I came across this on Hotpants' blog and wanted to share my own current happenings...

Current Book
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
The book is freaking amazing - every time I pick it up I have a hard time putting it down. Seth is also the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Current Album
I currently don't have an album that I own that I'm fixated on - I'm really wanting to purchase the new Weezer CD but I have not yet done so. I guess you could say I have my older Cult mp3s on repeat on my ipod though so there's that.

Current Songs
Like a G6, Far East Movement - I left this answer that Hotpants gave because I too am totally obsessed with this song - it reminds me of being in my early 20's living in Ft. Lauderdale - dancing and enjoying nights out on the town.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure
I ate an entire bag of Snickers fun size bars all by myself... in less than three days... I'm so thankful they are gone and out of the house. My other guilty pleasure... The Vanilla Ice project - yes seriously, I DVR that shizz and watch it.

Current Drink
Water, water and more water. I try to tell myself I need to drink this more and more everyday. But if you're talking cocktails... I'd guess I'd have to go with Red Bull and Vodka, seems to be my go to lately.

Current Outfit
AE long sleeve t-shirt from about 3 years ago with a garden gnome flipping the bird it reads "The Angry Gnome Ski Shop Aspen, CO", old jeans from AE, my old New Balance Sneakers and a ponytail. Basically I went for comfort because I was at work at 6:45 AM this morning.

Current Celebrity Crush
Johnny Knoxville, always. But I won't lie, I'm totally google eyed over Joe Manganiello. He makes me feel kinda funny, like when we used to climb the ropes in gym class.

Current Mood
calm.

Current Excitement
I'm getting excited about the holidays. I just wish I had all the money I needed right now to get everything done ahead of time.

Current Anticipations
Christmas, "Christmas gift trip to NOLA", visiting with friends and family for the holidays, Mike's sister coming to visit for Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie, Turkey, Turkey, Turkey!!! and my and Mike's birthday weekend celebrations!

Current Film
I'm not watching one but the last movie we watched had Johnny Knoxville in it and it wasn't Jackass 3D, although that was amazing - HOTPANTS you get your butt out and see that right now, you hear me?

I hope you all are having a great week!!! ox

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November 02, 2010

holy halloween hangover.

Where to begin... I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween weekend! Mine was filled to the brim with Halloween goodness, and maybe some badness as well.  Friday evening after work Mike and I opted for a chilled out night at home complete with pumpkin carving [me], scurry movie watching and some cocktails to round out our night. On the list for the evenings entertainment was...

 
via google   "Dead by Dawnnnn" 
[Bruce Campbell is one handsome man, possessed or not].

 
via google "Because real vampires don't sparkle."
[still my all time favorite horror-ish movie of all time]

And last but certainly not least....
via google   
"And it keeps getting funnier, every, single, time I see it!"

We've been watching horror movies most of the month of October when there was nothing else on TV. I think we watched most of the Halloween series in one sitting. As well as Rocky Horror Picture Show and a few others. It's obvious I love this time of year and I love most horror films so this has been a great month for me entertainment wise indeed. I would love to show you our finished pumpkins but apparently it's the one thing I forgot to take pictures of... sorry make that the second thing since I forgot to document, my first oops was my first Halloween costume I wore the previous weekend.

Saturday proved to be a busy day for us. We got up extra early and tried to get our "TO DO" list completed so we could relax or nap mid afternoon and then enjoy the evenings festivities. The list included final touches to our Halloween costumes - one of which we started from scratch that afternoon and finished completely and loved it! I was almost jealous of how well it came together for Mike. SO great!

Prepped and ready for a night of partying Mike and I stepped out in style as... 

Merlotte's Waitress aka The Fang Banger
I wish I had better images of my bite marks that were all over me, both sides of my neck, wrist and thigh all had marks on them, yeahhhh she gets around. 
Originally I wanted to tailor my look to be Amy, Stackhouse's girlfriend - complete with a blood covered body, but in the end I really loved the t-shirt and didn't want to ruin it. I look forward to wearing it on random days of the week now just for the fun of it.

And her date... 
Axl "Don't Call Me Brett Michaels Bitch" Rose
The best part about our costumes is that other than a few key items that we purchased the rest came from our own closets. Mike helped me make my Merlotte's t-shirt. I couldn't see spending $20 on a t-shirt even though I really wanted one when I knew that for the price of a $5.00 t-shirt and the cost of paying him to make it for me at work I could have one done for half price and with it exactly how I wanted it. The only "official" True Blood item I purchased was the apron. I even had Mike make me a Fangtasia button for my "flair". Most of Mike's gear came from his closet as well - he had to purchase the material to create his kilt and we purchased the red bandana and if you can believe it, I made his wig. It took me 2 hours to complete it but in the end it was PERFECT and way better than the $10.00 piece of crap we purchased at Target [which his brother, J.O. decided to use to go as Rick Flare from WWE - it was epic!]. I actually created Mike's Axl hair using tracks from the local Sally Beauty Supply, some thread, a needle and lots of hot glue and the bandana. He was so excited when he got to try it on and was floored it came together as well as it did. Yeah, I rocked it.
I wish I had a video camera for the moment we walked into our friend N & T's house fully dressed. They both freaked out and loved our costumes.
Our buds T & N
Otherwise known as 
Silk Spectre aka Sally Jupiter & Cowboy Green Lantern
 One more for good measure. I feel like this should have a 
WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE heading above it.
To say our evening was a great time would be a huge understatement. We went out to our local watering hole and had a blast seeing tons of great costumes and dear friends we haven't gotten to hang out with in a long time. Let's just say the drinks were flowing and by the end of the night I may have forgotten a few details along the way. Washington Apple shots are good, they're the devil but they are good. Thankfully we have great friends, and a designated driver to take us home and we slept safe in our beds unharmed. The next morning however is a different story... The WashingtonAppleRedBullVodkaWhiskeyDiet monster came back to haunt us both so our Halloween afternoon was spend relaxing, watching the Steelers vs. Saints game [if we had to lose to any team I'd say it was OK to lose to them... well played Saints], and finally got to watch The Walking Dead, it was awesomeeeeee! We washed the final hours of the weekend down with lots of H20 and some spicy, homemade Spicy Chicken Stew by Chef Mike.

I'm still trying to feel 100% - Monday was rough to say the least. Work has been stressful and not feeling fully ready to take on the work week after a long weekend is pretty tough on an old gal. Let's just say this weekend I will be taking it easy...And my liver is going to thank me. I'm getting too old for this shizz!

How was your Halloween?!?!?!?



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October 29, 2010

friday fixation: Tim Curry & Halloween


Today's Friday Fixation is brought to you by my obsession with Tim Curry and Halloween. Both are two things I can't get enough of. I'm going to make this short and sweet because I'm sure you all are getting your last minute things together for your Halloween Spooktaculars!

I truly, madly, deeply LOVE Tim Curry and whenever Halloween rolls around I can only think of two movies that get me giddy, unless you count all my favorite classic horror movies. Yes I can sit through marathons of Halloween and Friday the 13th and never get bored... Anycrazy... the two movies that make me giddy are The Worst Witch, a made for TV movie from the 80's, [have you seen it? It also stars a one young, Fairuza Balk yes, she's always been Craft-y! Find this movie and watch it now! DO IT!] AND the classic 1975 flick, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

So my lovelies, I leave you with this moment in cinema magic starring Tim Curry and a bit of Spooky for Halloween. Also how many of you will be watching The Walking Dead series on AMC? I am SO excited I could fluff out twinkies!

Tim's snip from The Worst Witch - *heart sings*
[And YES this IS completely cheesy but utterly delightful!]



Often Imitated *coughGLEEcough* but NEVER duplicated
One of my all time favorite musicals - Rocky  Horror!!!!

via google

Did you hear they are planning a remake of this movie? I'm so pissed I could spit nails! Enough with the remakes already Hollywood!!!! Do you like remakes? I might have to discuss this further when I have more time!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! ox

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October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

As you may or may not know, I love pie. LOVE IT! A few posts ago I had mentioned that I made myself a Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake for breakfast and a few of you asked me for the recipe. One person in particular, Mrs. Magnolias and Mimosas herself, Allyson wanted me to post the recipe here. And since I love her like a sister from another mister, that I've never actually met in person - I will answer her request now.

I found the actual recipe I used here. Not only was I happy to be able to read all the ingredients but the lovely people over at sparkspeople.com (best weight loss tool ever!) also break down the nutritional information which is vital when you're in the weight loss game. Please note that for a protein shake this may seem fairly heavy in calories but this is my breakfast in the morning and other than maybe adding a bit of fruit with it, that's all I eat and it keeps me going until my mid morning snack. Not to mention it's portable and takes 5 minutes to make in the AM. I don't have time to make eggs and Oatmeal NEVER fills me up - this kills 2 birds with one stone. I get a full belly, fast and easy.

via google • nom-a-licious!

PUMPKIN PIE PROTEIN SHAKE
(Notes in orange are my additions/changes to this recipe)
Ingredients
1 cup Water (I sub in 1 cup skim milk, it makes the shake more creamy)
1 - 2 cup Ice (give or take depending on your desired thickness)
1/2 cup Libby's Canned Pumpkin (be sure you get pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3 Tbsp. Genisoy Vanilla Soy Protein Shake Powder 
(I used a scoop and a half of my favorite Vanilla Whey Protein Powder to get my normal serving of protein mixed with this shake)
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
Ground Nutmeg (to your liking)
3 Packets Equal Sweetener
1 tsp. Natural Peanut Butter (I add this for the extra flavor and I figured there is nothing "crust" flavored in this recipe. The peanut butter helps punch it up a notch in flavor).

Directions
This recipe makes 1 serving. (More like 1-1/2 when I make it, if you measure by my "to go" cups). Make it for a fast meal or a snack! Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until ice is completely crushed and it looks like a smoothie. Use more or less water to suit your taste. Soy Milk or Skim Milk can be used in place of the water, but the nutritional values will not be the same and the calorie count will be higher.

Number of Servings: 1
Original Recipe: 183 calories

I am sure my version has more calories since I add in Milk, Peanut Butter and more protein powder but I am OK with that seeing as this is a breakfast MEAL for me and not a snack. If I was to make this as a snack I would follow the above recipe exactly to not risk making it more calories.

So there you have it - Pumpkin Pie Protein Shakes for all my fellow pumpkin lovers out there! Nothing will ever be a Mrs. Smith's Pumpkin Pie, but this is a good sub and a healthier way to enjoy without guilt!

If you enjoy Protein Shakes on the regular, what is your favorite recipe? I just found one for Egg Nog flavored shakes that I can't wait to try!!!
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