November 30, 2012

high 5 for friday! weekend edition

I couldn't be more happy it's Friday!!! High FIVE for that! Lauren over at From My Grey Desk Blog is hosting her weekly High Five For Friday and I wanted to join in the fun! Head over to her blog and link up too - all the cool kids are doing it!

I have a big weekend planned, so here are my 5 high fives that I'm looking forward to!


ONE //
This weekend my favorite college team Alabama is facing the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship. Yeah, I've talked about this a million times but heck, I'm still excited about it. ROLL TIDE!

TWO //
Saturday is my birthday! (Hoping for an AL WIN and fun times with friends, and beer). I'm looking forward to celebrating - but not too hard. I have a bit weekend planned and a hangover is not part of the equation.

THREE //
You might be wondering about the Pirate flag. While I'd love to say I'm going to pillage and plunder on my birthday in true Captain Morgan fashion, the flag is actually for a few of our good friends. Their band Jolly Roger is getting together for a one night gig on my birthday and I'm so stoked! Our friend N has the best voice and our friend D, well let's just say he's amazing on guitar. I'm anxious to get to sing some of my favorite 80's rock and classic rock with these guys.

FOUR //
Sunday we are heading to Nashville for the day and I'm really, really excited. We haven't been in a while so it will be fun to walk the streets and soak up the culture.

FIVE //
Our trip to Nashvegas was sparked because Sunday evening we are going to see THE WHO live. I am so, so excited. This show is a birthday gift to Mike and I both. His birthday is on the 8th. Our anniversary was spent witnessing Pearl Jam, and our birthdays will be spent witnessing THE WHO! This will technically be both of our first times seeing The Who live. However, it will be my second time HEARING them live. You see, when my mother was pregnant with me, she went to a Who show. Second row, and I kicked to the beat of the music the entire time. Can't wait to do the same this weekend.

SO there you have it... I'm totally HIGH FIVING EVERYWHERE! I hope you all have a great weekend. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS?
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November 29, 2012

gearing up for the weekend!

This weekend is the SEC Championship game. Those of you that know me, know that I started following the Crimson Tide when I moved here 8+ years ago to be with my then boyfriend, now husband. It's been an amazing ride. This year the championship will be between Alabama and Georgia!

We are so ready to yell for our team this weekend! I'm over at From the Sidelines today talking all about the love of my "new home" team and this VERY important game! Check it out!!!

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!
via Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
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November 26, 2012

she tried it and... guts edition

A while back I wanted to start a little thing here on the blog of things I tried and my reaction to these new things. In order to keep life exciting and far from routine I figured trying new things would not only give me more writing material, but also expand my horizons. This won't just be trying new foods, but new things as well. PG rated of course.

During the Thanksgiving holiday you'll be hard pressed to find anyone trying new things. I made the comment that I thought all the Food Network specials where cooks are sharing these extra fancy recipes were completely pointless. Who tries a whole new meal on Thanksgiving? Tell me you wouldn't be disappointed to find out your mother, sister, uncle or grandmother who always brings their family famous dish, decided to change that family favorite to something fancy because Rachel Ray told them it was the bee's knees. (Honestly though if it was your uncle I'm going to guess he'd say that Giada's boobs told him to do it, am I right?).

I didn't get to try anything new while eating the traditional dinner, unless you count red wine. I tried lots of new brands of red wine. None disappointed. That either means I have the least picky pallet out there, or I'm frankly just a lush. I'll let you decide.

The choice to try something new presented itself when Mike and I decided to take his sister to our favorite Fried Chicken joint in town. This place is a death trap. Namely my death trap. I am going to be hard pressed not to want to go there every weekend. The atmosphere is awesome, it's like having a piece of the Mississippi Delta area right in our own Alabama backyard. The menu is complete with fried chicken that will make you die and go to heaven and tamales. Compete with blues on the jukebox and lots of kitchy decor it's a great place to chill and stuff your face with deep fried goodness (or badness).

While ordering Mike's sister decided to get herself a Chicken Liver snack. I have never tried liver. My experience with liver was very small. I can recall three instances where I was faced with liver.

Number 1: When Boss Hog ate Liver and Onions on The Dukes of Hazzard. Absolutely gross.

Number 2: My mother would make liver and onions for my father and her for dinner - I was able to get a free pass and eat pizza, thankfully.

Number 3: My mother used to dig out chicken, or turkey innards and she would slice, dice and fry them up in butter for our cats during the holidays or when she roasted chicken. Um, so liver is cat food - that's what I decided.

My mind has been more open since the days that I would scream YEEE HAWWWW! And jump over the foot rest of my dad's chair. Between watching Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern on the travel channel - I've started to think differently about animal bits that most people here snub their noses at.

So when Mike's older sister offered me a deep fried chicken liver I figured... when in Alabama, right? Please note, she ordered a "snack" size they brought her an entire basket full of about 10+ livers, in full breading, HUGE. She looked at me and all I could think to say was "Welcome to Alabama."

I took the offering... placed it on my plate of salad and deep fried buffalo chicken tenders and contemplated my attack. Do I just dig in? Bite into it? Do I cut it down? Is there a dipping sauce? I decided to take a fork and knife to the nugget of deep fried massiveness. As I cut it, the liver sort of fell out of the crispy shell. My stomach sank, it was gray. Dark gray, like an over cooked mushroom. Only this looked more rubbery than a mushroom. I shrugged it off, and put the liver back into the crispy covering and took a bite.

First chew... not too bad.... I kept chewing, and then it hit me - GAG REFLEX. As soon as the liver hit the back of my tongue, I thought I was going to lose the 2 bites of lettuce and chicken tender, and whatever else was still in my gut from the night before - all over the table. Yes, gag reflex. It was that bad.

First instinct - drink a huge gulp of my water to wash it down. I learned this when I was really young. Yes, kids you can swallow an entire brussel sprout like a pill if you drink enough water or milk. This also works for lima beans, asparagus and other veggies. (Note: I now love roasted brussels & asparagus, but lima beans can take a long walk off a short pier). The gulp of water did nothing... I got it down, but the taste, ugh the bitter liver flavor was still there.

I thought, KILL IT WITH FIRE... I took a bit bite of my spicy chicken tenders... but then it just tasted like Buffalo Liver. Blech! Eventually the taste went away, and thankfully my Sister-In-Law didn't see my horror ridden face after biting into the snack she enjoys.

To be fair, my brother-in-law's wife who was there felt the same way. She tried it and couldn't eat it either. I'm not a picky person, and this concerns me that I won't like other types of liver, but I will still try them. After all it gives me something funny to talk about right?

FINAL VERDICT:
I do not like Deep Fried Chicken Liver and I will not be eating it again anytime soon. I tried it, and I didn't like it. The South will deep fry anything and everything, but that doesn't mean you're going to enjoy it when you eat it.

I really thought I might enjoy it - considering I ate, and enjoyed pork pate, beef tongue and heart (and other wild foods) a few months ago.
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November 24, 2012

eight years ago.

I originally typed this draft in September of this month, but forgot to post it. Since the thoughts in this post rank so well with Thanksgiving, and being thankful for all you have... I thought I'd go ahead and post it, after all I took time out of my life one day to type it all out, right?

9.16.2012
It's hard to believe that eight years ago last month I moved away from my friends and family and settled in a small town in Alabama. Mike and I had been dating for less than a year when I made my journey down here, and we immediately moved in together. I regret nothing. From the moment I made the choice to move to the South, and move in with him I've had an overwhelming sense of knowing I was exactly where I needed to be.

Through the years we've had ups and downs, not with each other mind you, but in our day to day lives and families. Our jobs changed, jobs were lost, unemployment was a challenge, we had deaths in our families, argument in our families, but we alway had amazing times too. Weddings, birthdays, trips, laughter, birth, and new friendships. A lot can happen in eight years.

Life has been moving so quickly that I meant to write about this back when the anniversary of me moving here was actually happening, but sometimes life is a bit more important than jotting something down for the masses to read.

I paused a bit this morning thinking about how different my life might have been had I not met Mike online over 9 years ago. What if I had just went about my life as it was, where would I be, who would I be and what would I have become. I don't know the answer but I do know for a fact I wouldn't be as happy as I am right now, in this moment, in my life and with him.

It's cheesy but true - home is where your heart is. And my heart is where he is, therefore, when I am with Mike, I am home.

I miss my friends dearly, and my father and my family but I KNOW in my heart if I make time they will always be my friends, and my family.  When you are an adult, your life doesn't revolve around your friends like it used to. You focus on your significant other, your children, and your family. Your friends are the added bonus to your life. They are not afterthoughts but just aren't always right there all the time.

You make new friends, but you keep your old ones too. Every moment in your life is another thread in the quilt you're spinning every day.

When I moved here eight years ago, I had no idea how long I'd stay. We weren't sure where we'd want to be 5 years from that day, or ten. Neither of us made huge plans, we just knew we wanted to be together and I think that is what's helped us get this far, and I believe what will propel us further.

We make plans, we discuss our future and I think maybe deep down we always knew we'd get to be where we are now, one month away from our first anniversary as husband and wife. We didn't stress about this. OK well maybe I did a little bit. (please note this has been sitting in my draft box for months now, I originally wrote this in September... and never posted it - we celebrated our first year together and it was wonderful!)

I knew from the day I laid eyes on him that he was the one for me. It may have taken him a bit longer, or maybe he knew too but was playing it cool. I never admitted to him that I would follow him anywhere but now I think he knows.

I can't imagine a day in my life without him. Before meeting him I don't know that my heart was truly living. I knew love, and I new unconditional love from my parents but true love was nothing I thought it was until I met him.

Eight years ago I took a leap of faith. The main reason I moved here was because he said he was willing to move up North to be with me. There was a 50/50 choice for us and we were both willing to bend to meet the other. I chose to come here because I knew his friends were all living the same lifestyle we would be living as a new couple. Most were dating, still going out, still enjoying life before children. All of my best friends back home had settled down, found their husbands, and began families. It's a different type of fun, one that I didn't want him to feel forced into or like I was constantly wondering when it might happen for us. I wanted our relationship to unfold naturally, and moving here meant it could.

My friends have always joked and teased us about when we would get married and now we hear about kids. We will, when we are ready, and when it's time. I'm happy we've had our first year as a married couple to just be us. Who knows that the future will bring, for now we're celebrating this moment in time.

------
11.24.2012
We are gearing up for our second Christmas as a married couple. This year we will be heading to Colorado to spend time with Mike's entire family on his father's side. I'm so excited, and so blessed to be welcomed into such a huge loving family. If only I could convince my father to fly to the frozen tundra, it would be perfect. But I will pick my battles. Instead Papa Bud (aka my father) will hopefully make his way back down South for an after Christmas party with both of us.

In closing, life is good - I can't complain and I'm really, really happy. I guess you could call this my late Thanksgiving post. I am thankful for all the love in my life, from family, my husband and my friends. Without them I am nothing.

Happy Thanksgiving Hangover to us all - I hope you ate lots of turkey, gave your thanks and enjoyed all your families traditions. I think I drank enough red wine to last me until Christmas, or at least until next Saturday.  And now it's time to start decorating for Christmas, preparing for next weekend (my birthday weekend) and seeing THE WHO in concert!!! SO excited!

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November 15, 2012

new music, rocks my socks off!

It's all about the little things in life, right? For me getting a new CD is one of those little things in life that often becomes a big thing, and one I look forward too like a kid at Christmas.

Think about it - how many songs in the world remind you of a special time in your life. Or sometimes worse, a horrible time in your life? When you hear certain songs you can often trace where you were, and what you were doing to a single verse or guitar solo in a song.

Dance parties, forget about it I can tell you a certain moment in time to most of my favorite dance songs new and old. True story - every time I hear the opening to Rob Base's "It Takes Two" I'm transported back to middle school at a school dance where a dude I thought was the coolest ever (he's now married to one of my BFF's) was dancing to this song. It also transports me to my junior year in HS on the dance squad - we used the intro as a mix in for a transition in our competition routine. See what I mean, why do I remember stuff like that... it's because of music. It feeds my soul.

Seriously - I can't hear a song like "Motorcycle Drive By" by Third Eye Blind without being transported back to my early years in college - healthy relationships were not something I had at the time. I hear that song BOOM! Water works.

Pearl Jam TEN - that entire album reminds me of high school summers. Cruising in my 86' Mercury Topaz with the windows down and the AC cranked up - yeah I rolled like that.  Add to this the B-52's Cosmic Thing - same thing happens. That tape deck blasted a lot of music in HS.

AC/DC - Back in Black, totally makes me think of HS as well. It was our fight song during football season. Thunderstruck, yep, again HS it was our fight song for basketball season.

Anything and everything Weezer totally reminds me of my 20's - my best friend J and I saw the band as many times as we could live. (Add to that list Saves the Day / ... Trail of the Dead / Taking Back Sunday and many more).

The entire Velvet Revolver debut album reminds me of Mike. When we first started dating the album was brand new and we listened to it over and over every time we were together. I can't hear the opening bit of "Fall to Pieces" without thinking of him.

I could list lots of songs that remind me of him...

I've been waiting for 11.13.12 from the moment I found out that Soundgarden was releasing a new CD. True I didn't rush to the store like a music crazed teen of my earlier years the day of it's release, but it was the first thing on my list of must buys yesterday. We do a lot of our grocery shopping at Target... so it was convenient.

Once in Target, and after purchasing my other NEEDS I was ready to snag the first studio release from Soundgarden in 15 years and I have to say I'm totally obsessed with it. I'm so happy it's such a great album. 15 Years without a peep is a long build up right? Trust me when I say it was worth the wait. At first listen, I feel for this album, hard.

I can't wait to make new memories with this album.
via my instagram
SO tell me, is there a song or album that totally reminds you of a great time in your life?

Or am I the only one that thinks her life story has a soundtrack?
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November 06, 2012

stickers rock!!!

via my insta-feed
Especially stickers that state you've exercised your right and privilege as an American citizen to VOTE!
HAPPY ELECTION DAY EVERYONE!!!!

I was so please to see so many smiling and proud looks on people's faces as they exited the polls this morning. Oddly enough I couldn't get the scene from Black Sheep out of my head when Chris Farley gives his "Fight for you right to VOTE!" speech. {I love that movie}. Good times.

I don't care if we agree on the same candidate, that's our right to choose our side and make voice own opinions, thus making our own decisions. I do care that we all take time to care about this country and the people that live in it. That is what is truly important to me.

God Bless America! My home, sweet home.
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