Friday, August 28, 2015

August Goals & Weekend Recap

I mentioned earlier this week that I did make a few goals for August but with the way everything played out around the end of July I never got around to posting them. (Annnd let's just ignore the fact that I'm posting a weekend recap as the current weekend is starting. Sheesh.)

This month, I made things super simple because August is notorious for being CRAZY busy around here.

Share blog post about our baby. I had been working on this post for a few weeks, when I finally scheduled it to publish on Thursday, August 6. The response was overwhelming and humbling. Even in the midst of the biggest struggles, I am SO richly blessed. If you haven’t read our story, you can find it by clicking here.

Christmas Shop. Yes, you read that correctly. One of the goals I made for myself for 2015 included this. I have about three people totally marked off my shopping list so far!! (Thanks to my daily deals sites, Groopdealz and Jane.) My overall goal is to be totally done with shopping by December 1st. I think I can, I think I can!!

Start Paintings. Yep. Such has been life this week. I’ve finished 6 canvases just this week alone!! Next up are my Fall Flash Sale customers!

Speaking of….Offer Fall Flash Sale. This was offered through FB and IG a couple weeks ago. I got a few orders in the three days it was posted. I love painting Fall pieces, but it just works easier when I can do it assembly line style so these should be pretty easy to whip up for everyone when they start their Fall decorating in the next few weeks.

Enjoy my Birthday! I talked a little about what we did on my birthday here in my August recap post earlier this week. It was nothing elaborate or grand but just a day spent with the people I love the most. The Blowout Co. offered Half Price Blowouts yesterday to celebrate their 3rd location’s grand opening. If Nashville wasn’t an hour away, you BET I would’ve been on my way there for a $20 session. TOTALLY worth it. If you haven’t had a blowout, at least try it. Chances are you’ll fall in love with it.

AND..random note, apparently this stylist (her name is Deidre I think) is supposedly best of the best hair stylists in Nashville. Naturally I find this out after my appointment. But her station was right beside the girl who did my hair so I watched her most of my appointment. Ok, let’s be real, I stared at her hair most of my appointment because it was gorgeous. I’ve read that she books up quick and months in advance so next time I’m planning ahead and requesting her.

So…keeping my goals easy this month proved to be the way to go! 5 for 5!! Check back next week for September Goals.

Now, onto a quick weekend recap. I should’ve included this in my August recap but it was so long without any of this that I just decided to leave it out. Technically this is a ThursdaySunday recap. Eh..whatever works, right?

Thursday and Friday the hospital I work at hosted our annual golf tournament. HUNDREDS come to play in this tournament and attend the celebrity dinner on Thursday night. About five years ago, I volunteered to help and now it’s just a given that I’ll be there. Hey, it beats being stuck in an office for a couple of days!

This year’s celebrity was former Atlanta Braves’ player Dale Murphy. His message at the dinner was great! He has a wonderful view on faith and family and shared that with everyone.

For the dinner, I helped at the Registration table (sorry for the closed eyes Libby!) and after the dinner was over our Physician Recruiter and I had to get a pic together when we realized we were wearing the same dress! I think we have great style!

Mr. Murphy spent the majority of the next day at the golf course meeting everyone, posing for pics and signing autographs. Oh and I might add the weather was TO DIE FOR that day!!

The golf tournament is the biggest fundraising event that our hospital’s charitable foundation hosts each year. To find out more about The Foundation and ways to give aid to help patients and families in times of need, check out their website here.

Saturday we had VBS at church. It was non-stop from the time it started so I failed to get any pics during the day. These are several “Shields of Faith” I worked on earlier in the week. This year, the kiddos studied about putting on the whole armor of God! I think they all had a fun time with the medieval events and outdoor games that followed their class times!

After VBS, our nephews came home with us to spend the night…but first was a stop to Kroger. My first Kroger trip with kids….it was a success! I’m not sure what my sister complains about when she takes them grocery shopping! They were perfect angels!!

(insert Sheldon’s sarcasm sign)

Later that night after they played, I made dinner and they had their baths, we all snuggled up to watch a movie and have popcorn.

Sunday morning came and I found Colin in bed like this. I had to walk all the way up to the top of the bed before I could even see him. Poor guy. I guess the wall was more comfortable than the pillow.

Sunday lunch we celebrated my birthday a little late with Stephen’s family. His mom, aunt, cousin and grandma went out of their way to make all my favorite items and decorate the table extra cute!! We munched on chicken salad, pasta salad, fresh fruit, strawberry pretzel salad and fruit tea! It was all sooo good!!

I feel like I’ve been recapping August ALL week…but I promise that was it. September is right around the corner! Since it’s anniversary month for us, I’ll be sharing all about our wedding throughout the month. Get ready to see an ABUNDANT amount of navy and yellow!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's Up Wednesday!

Yikes….2 posts 1 day?! What?! Yes, because my blogger buds host different linkups on the same day! I love reading everyone’s posts that link up to this one, but I’ve never participated…today is the day!

What we’re eating this week…

I meal plan. Every week. I’m a HUGE fanatic and supporter of meal planning. I believe that it can save you money and more importantly save you a lot of frustration in the kitchen! That being said, here’s what’s on the menu for this week:
Monday: Chicken Lo Mein
Tuesday: Crockpot Pesto Chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli casserole

Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Mix and Match Mama’s Meatloaf Joe’s with oven baked fries (Typically Thursday is “family night” at my parents’ house, but this week our oldest nephew starts his Fall Ball schedule so we’ll be eating at home this week.)
Friday: Still up in the air on this one….got any suggestions?

What I’m reminiscing about…

The past few days, I’ve been reminiscing about our wedding almost 2 years ago. I’ll be (finally) posting all about our big day and the events leading up to it throughout the month of September. After we got married, I took a long blog break and started fresh and clean with a new site back in the Spring with the intention to share our most favorite day ever. Well, I’ve only managed to share one of my Bridal Showers and that’s been it. You can read about it here. So since September is anniversary month, I’ll be sharing all of our favorite memories and best photos with you all! 

What I’m loving…

THIS WEATHER. We’ve had a HOT summer this year so this week is a welcomed change of pace in middle TN. I mean it’s just gorgeous!! (I may have taken a not-so-shortcut around the block to get from one side of the hospital to the other yesterday…just to enjoy the warm sunshine, cool breeze and blue skies.)

What we’ve been up to…

Unfortunately, doctor’s appointments, blood draws, follow up visits…etc etc. Miscarriage is no joke and not for the faint of heart. I’m so thankful for an understanding boss who’s so great to just let me go and do whenever I have to to take care of these things. (You can read our story here.)

What I’m dreading…

Right now, I’m not dreading anything. High five!

What I’m working on…

I’m working on orders I received during my Christmas in July Sale! I have 7 to deliver this weekend and also working on some Fall art for customers from a Flash Sale last week!

What I’m excited about…

Vacation…next month…just me and the hubs…can’t come soon enough! I’m also excited about Bachelor Ben being chosen for the next season!! I feel like he’s going to be a “the good guy” much like our beloved Sean the Bachelor. 

What I’m watching / reading…

This Summer we’re watching Big Brother (Vanessa has GOT to go!), Bachelor in Paradise (Kirk & Carly forever!!) and just finished The Astronaut Wives’ Club. We LOVED watching AWC….if you missed it, catch it online or On Demand…it was SO GOOD!!

Reading wise, I took a break from my Kindle list and am trying to get caught up on my magazines. The pile was out of control. I’m slowly working my way through those to pull out recipe and ideas I want to keep before sending them to the recycling pile.

What I’m listening to…

This song is on repeat on my iPhone….gosh. Seriously, take the time to click play! (Unless you're one of those insane people who don't like Country music...I kid. But yeah, play it.)

What I’m wearing…

I’m starting to rely on transitional pieces from Summer into Fall. Dresses with darker cardigans or leggings and Pinterest Told Me To’s suggestion of pairing white, gray and gold. Sheaffer is a GENIUS! I luuuuuurrrrvvved this outfit! (P.S. this gold Old Navy necklace is getting a lot of wear time lately.)

What I’m doing this weekend…

Hopefully, a whole lot of nothing! The only planned thing for Saturday is a Baby Shower for Miss MaKenzie but other than that we’re FREE!

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Ummm…can I say VACATION again?!!

What else is new…

It’s apple picking season around here! Which means my annual trips (yes, trips..plural) with my grandma to the orchard and all the work that follows. Primarily we can the apples “cold pack” style as she calls it. Sometimes she freezes or dries some, but mostly cans them. Our family can EAT some of Ma’s fried apples. I am SO glad she’s teaching me these skills and I’m SO glad my fried apples taste just like her’s!

Be sure to check out Shay and Mel's sites to see everyone else's linkups for today!!

Recipe Club: Tropical Chicken Pizza

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea’s Recipe Club again to share a quick & yummy dinner! (Let’s be honest…I had you at quick…I had myself at quick.)

Tropical Chicken Pizza

I saw a couple recipes on line that were similar and pulled from both to come up with my own variation. I’ve only made this once, but it was a huge hit so I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon!!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Rotisserie Chicken (and the church said AMEN to those fine folks at the Kroger Deli and their rotisserie chickens!!)
1 Jar of Tropical Fruit, drained but reserve the juice
1 Jar of Chili Sauce
1 Can of Refrigerated Pizza Crust
1 Bag of Shredded Cheese (Use your favorite on this one!)
2 tsp Jerk Chicken Seasoning
2 tsp Garlic

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Unroll your pizza crust onto a greased pan and bake for 8  minutes.

Pull the meat off your chicken and shred.

Mix together the chili sauce, ¼ cup of the reserved fruit juice, garlic and jerk seasoning. (This part was trial and error. I used the whole jar of chili sauce….next time, I will probably use ¾ of the jar because to me it was just too much. It wasn’t spicy at all just too much sauce for my taste.)

Remove the crust from the oven and spread the sauce mixture on top leaving a 1 inch border around the pizza. Top with ½ the cheese, chicken, fruit, remaining cheese and cilantro. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly!!

That’s it!!! How stinkin’ easy is that?!?

We served this with just a bit more cilantro and a dash of crushed red pepper. You can add or take away whatever you’d like!

Quick throw together dinner for a busy Wednesday night and husband approved!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

And We Call it August....

August was a busy month for us, as is August of every year. I didn’t blog much this month because we were so busy and because I’m still dealing with the physical side effects of a miscarriage. I shared our story in a post earlier this month that you can read by clicking here. I will say I never expected it to last this long, but it is. Some women’s bodies just take longer to fully get rid of a pregnancy while others only last a couple weeks. Unfortunately, I’m on the longer path. Hopefully, everything will be gone soon, and my body will return back to a normal routine.

Back to our August…

I did jot down a few goals for the month several weeks ago but never got around to sharing them on here because of everything else that happened around that same time. I’ll be sharing those later this week.

We started the month by having our nephews over one Sunday afternoon. I have been trying to finish up our Guest Room remodel for months now and I was DETERMINED to get the finishing touches done which included a small “gallery wall” featuring paintings by Riley & Colin. Having them paint something and include it on this wall was a last minute decision which quickly became a brilliant idea in my mind. I picked the colors so that they would match the room, but told them they could paint anything they wanted.
Colin chose to paint a robot. Riley painted his interpretation of the world and attempted to write, “God Bless This Home.” His sweet, unprompted gesture meant more to me in that moment than anything else given the circumstances we were facing at that time. Every day since, I love walking by the room and seeing his heartfelt message to us.

I also painted a small canvas for the wall using part of a verse I have fallen in love with the past few months. It helped me through the last few months of us getting pregnant as we approached the 1 year mark and has helped in since our loss. This verse will go with me the rest of our lives.

After our paintings dried we got to work hanging everything on the wall. I love how it all turned out! There’s plenty of room to add to it in the future if we choose to do so.

At the very end of July we celebrated my Grandmother’s 84th birthday. Her special day fell on a Thursday this year, so she and my grandpa joined us at my parents’ house for our weekly “Thursday Night Family Night” to celebrate!

Also at the very end of JULY…yes, JULY…these kids went back to school!! I’m sure they’ll have a great year in the 1st and 3rd grades…as long as Colin can conquer his “motion sickness.” Because yes, he told his teacher one day he wasn’t feeling good and said, “my motion sickness is bothering me.” Which is code for my mom is the teacher in the classroom next door and I want to go lay in her room. That kid.

Back to August….

Work has been SO busy with meetings and compliance issues that have needed attention AND our annual golf tournament. If it weren’t for my daily calendar printouts, I’d be lost some days. Such a handy little feature by our friend Microsoft Outlook.

Because of said work schedule, most days my breakfast and/or both lunch have consisted of this. Which confirm my eating habits are that of a toddler some days.

One thing I HAVE to HAVE in my office is music. Most days I listen to Pandora and my favorite channel lately has been the Gene Kelly station because I LOVE all the classics!! Give me some Gene, Bing and Dean anyday!! (Except when October comes around and sometime during that month, I’ll start hitting up my Christmas music channels!!! Those are the best days!)

If you know my husband Stephen, you know that he is partial to his video games. Not the dungeons and dragons type, but the sports type. Lately, he has been all about a new golf game. So much so that he talked me into playing it with him the first night he got it. I’m proud to say I WON! I was so proud of myself. It’s the little things really. (p.s. that win was my first and only time… far.)

Speaking of Stephen, he and his buds finished up their season for Church League Men’s Softball…just in time to start City League Men’s Fall Ball. We switched from spending Friday nights at the ballpark across town to Mondays nights at the ballpark up the road from our house. He plays ball, and I sit and chat with good friends as we watch our husbands play. It’s a win  for everybody!

I tried a new recipe for blueberry muffins…and they were TO DIE FOR! Next time I make them, I’ll be sure to take photos and share the recipe on here. These were sooo good!!

We celebrated my mother in law’s birthday by hosting Sunday lunch at our house. (Technically, I hosted Sunday lunch for Stephen’s family…he was out of town that weekend and plans changed last minute that prevented him from being home in time.) This was the first time setting an extra full table in the living room and it turned out to be a great space to add more seating.

I am happy to report, I returned all of my 4th of July decorations back to our storage unit AND refrained from bringing my Fall stuff back with me. It was a struggle….and I may have peeked into a couple of the bins….but I left them there promising they’d make the trip back home with me on my next visit. Oh my favorite time of the year is quickly approaching. Fall and Christmas (because yes CHRISTMAS is a season on is own!)

Stephen and I met his parents for dinner one night and rounding the corner going back to our car we ran into these two hoodrats having ice cream from Cream City. (I really LOVE our little town!)

And finally, we celebrated my birthday in August!! We started by going out to dinner with our friends The Wilson’s (of which I made zero pics…uughhh…#bloggerfail) This year, the 15th fell on a Saturday so Stephen and I made plans to spend the day in Nashville. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do! We started at Target (which is a treat for us rural folks without a Target) and then….

I made an appointment several weeks ago at the Blowout Co. to get my hair done. I had read rave reviews about this place and decided to give it a try. This was my first blowout but will NOT be my last!! I mean, look at what they did to my hair!! Holy crap girls!

It was amazing!! My hair is notorious for no wait, nothing. So this was pretty flippin' awesome of a hair day. Sign me up for another one!

After my appointment, we had lunch at Goozy. I read about this place earlier this year and said back then that I wanted to eat there! Y’ALL. It was soo good! We shared a couple of appetizers and then ordered sandwiches from their grilled cheese menu. I got the “Nashville” which was grilled pimento cheese, pickled jalapenos and bacon on sourdough! Stephen got a fancy BLTC. And then, the BEST part of it all……DESSERT.

So I suppose they’re mainly known for their desserts. Just my assumption. EVERYTHING on their dessert menu sounded amazing but we both ended up picking the same thing, the Jack Daniels Croissant Bread Pudding. We briefly talked about ordering different things and sharing them but I am SO glad we didn’t. I ate this puppy up quick. By myself. #ihavenoshame #happybirthdaytome

Needless to say, we’ll be going back. And ordering dessert.

Later that night, we met up with my family for dinner and cake. (because birthdays are meant for triggering diabetes)

Finally, I had to share my favorite gifts. First up, my friend Amy showed up at my office with her son Daniel and had my gifts in his carrier. She said, “Daniel brought you gifts.” It took a second look to realize that she had a bag stuffed in beside him and a small box on top of his head. Poor kid. Inside the box, was a gift I will cherish forever.

This was the due date we were given for our baby who is no longer with us. I love this more than she’ll ever know.

And, my grandmother, bless her heart. For the past 4 years, she has given me the same two cards. This photo is of my cards from her and my Pa from 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 starting from the top left and going clockwise. She cracks me up. This is why I have a problem with throwing cards away. I will treasure these forever.

I always feel like I need either a vacation or a congratulatory pat on the back for making it through August. Whew. While it was busy, it was busy full of fun memories with the people I love most!!

And...there's even more to share (which happened after I had this post all ready). Come back later this week to see what all happened over the weekend. Spoiler Alert: there was ANOTHER birthday meal!!