Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wicked

     Wicked is in town this week! I honestly didn't even know they were in town until a couple of weeks ago. I love musical and plays but I am not one to spend money on them. While traveling and have pictures is one thing, I just feel like I've wasted money with nothing to show for it with concerts, plays, games, etc. I don't judge others, this is just why I have a hard time spending money on these things. Jason feels the same way, so I was extra surprised when he was shopping for Wicket tickets online the other night! He knows        I've wanted to see it for some time. If you go to the actual site where the performance is being held, the show is sold out. But, there are tons of tickets on Craigslist. What is so frustrating is the 99% of the tickets are from dealers. And, they have the prices starting at $200 each. Seriously, the cheapest tickets I saw were $193 a piece. I know this is not how much good seats actually cost if you bought them from TPAC.
     It actually really makes me mad that companies would do this but then again, maybe there are people who would pay that? Not I of course! I just remind myself that it's always the same with things like this. Companies do this because…THEY CAN! Oh the joys of greed. It's the same thing with college textbooks. They are so expensive because they can be.
     On another note, I thought I'd leave you with some funnies. These made me laugh this week!




Sadly, this is probably true for many Americans.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

If you are tired of my pumpkin recipes, then disregard this post! I have been on a huge pumpkin kick and have put on the lbs to prove it! 

I made this recipe for Book Club and they turned out pretty good. If you don't like pumpkin very much, this has very little pumpkin taste. You can put more or less pumpkin if you'd like. 
Here is where I found the recipe (pinterest). 

video


video

——I am fully aware how amatuer these videos are. My dad had a Flip sent this week and I have been having fun with the ease of it! That means you might see some more corny videos!

Friday, October 14, 2011

OCM

     I happened to see a tweet that piqued my interest last week. A local mom in her late 30s mentioned that she needed a new skin care regimen. I love anything and everything makeup and skincare. I was a Mary Kay (GASP!) consultant for eight years and honestly did enjoy it. I have no desire to ever sell anything like that again, however, I feel I learned a lot about the subject and am grateful for those years. I still tell people that I learned more in MK about people and communication skills then I think any classroom could ever teach.
 I am digressing.
      Back to the point. I also am mid 30s and have just accepted the fact that I will never have beautiful skin. There, I said it! HA! I'm okay with that. I am going to do everything I can to take care of it though. I am convinced that my problem skin is the result of doing too much to try to fix it: too many harsh cleansers, toners, and tons of acne gels and spot treatments. Its especially harder now that I am aging and my skin is getting a little less oily. The same things I have been using for years now are not working anymore!
     While my skin hasn't been that bad, I don't love it and would love for it to just be a little more fresh. This is where the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) comes in. I have NEVER heard of this and was not too keen on the idea at first, being that I have oily/combo skin. I don't put oil on my skin - ever. The more I read the more I realized that maybe that is my problem. I could add certain oils to my skin that will help with specific problems. I read a lot of information on several different sites and tried one concoction tonight. I'll let you know in several weeks if I like it. I will be honest and say I'm not expecting anything big, but these are pretty much household products and I feel much better about them being on my skin.
     You can read more about the different oils and their purposes here or here among a few other places you can Google.  I'm going to tell you what I did and I'll see in a few days if I need to alter it any. I used 2oz of Castor Oil, 1oz of Grapeseed Oil, 1oz EVOO and about 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil. I poured all of this in a 6oz plastic travel bottle I bought from Target. I shook it a little to blend it and voila. Done. I read that Castor Oil is said to be good for skin problems, and is said to pull out the bacteria from your pores. EVOO is a moisturizer. It is suggested if you have drier skin to switch these ratios. You can start with 3:1 parts of EVOO and Castor Oil. I switched out one of the EVOO parts for Grapeseed Oil which is supposed to be a light conditioner for the skin that will not clog pores. It was suggested for oily skin. The Tea Tree is for acne or blemish prone skin.  I poured about a quarter size amount in my hands and massaged all over my face, for about a good minute. I then got a wash cloth as hot as I could stand it and laid down with it on my face for a minute (more like 30 sec). Supposedly like a quick steam for your face to open the pores. I wiped off the oil while repeatedly rinsing the cloth after each wipe. I read that it is important to get all the oil off if you have oily skin so I think I might have rinsed too much. My skin actually felt a little tight and dry after. I just rubbed a light amount of the Grapeseed Oil on my face with wet fingers. The water helps it to absorb. The suggestions I read said you can do this morning or night or both. It does take makeup off great, too. I used my normal MK firming eye cream because I am a major nazi about eye creams!
     I'll keep you posted! Let me know what you think about it. Is this something you would try?

ALSO- I know nutrition is just as important for your skin. I just know more about this area! Plus, it's the easier part in my opinion!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte


I saw this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it. I could drink one of these from Starbucks everyday. I don't because they are so overly priced it's rediculous! Nevertheless, I was excited to try these. I think they turned out pretty darn good. I followed the directions (I normally don't, I know it's silly) but this would be very easy to tweak however you want. 
You can see the recipe on THIS BLOG


I used the bleder to make it frothy and it worked fine. Next time I will probably add more sugar and make my coffee a little stronger. Maybe for Christmas I'll get an espresso machine! 


My version…because I'm too lazy to make the whip look  pretty. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kisses From Katie

I've been following her blog for some time now. This is interesting and inspiring.

Monday, October 10, 2011

25 Ways to wear a scarf

I'm so ready for cooler, scarf weather. I saw this on Pinterest and will be watching it over and over in slow motion; many days I'm sure!

Enjoy...




Sunday, October 9, 2011

the Dress

 I don't normally take pictures of myself and post them all over for the heck of it. I found a comical reason for this post.

I have been wanting a cute dress to wear with my boots for the fall. I know you've all seen the style I'm talking about; the Taylor Swiftish look. And yes, I know I'm not 19 or 20 or however old she is. I'd like to think mid thirties can still get away with this style. But, someone said a funny thing at church this morning. 

I was actually thinking of taking a picture so I could text it to my sisters and show them my "Taylor Swift for Big Girls" look. I didn't do that. The ironic thing was an older gentlemen at church this morning asked me if I thought Taylor Swift's style influenced fashion at all. Uh. Duh. Obviously it does. I think he was trying to be a smarty pants. But oh well. I did tell him, "yes," I think her style does influence fashion and I know I'm not 19 anymore! He was nice and laughed about it but I thought it a little comical that he asked me that, in a serious tone.

On the other hand, I did get a lot of compliments. I don't know if I'll be wearing this dress again anytime soon because the little (and I mean very little) black slip underneath is way too tight. I kept pulling it down all morning. Not comfortable. Nor is the feeling of fabric on my lower cheeks when sitting because the dress is too short. Blech. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

PUMPKIN COFFEE CAKE

Last week I downloaded a free mini-book of different recipes for pumpkin. There are many that I can't wait to try. Of course I'll have to do lots of delivering to friends or else I will eat more than my fair share! I wanted to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins a couple of weeks ago and I only had a large jar of pumpkin. I made it anyways and had Grace delivering plates of muffins to several different neighbors! I'm sure they thought I was crazy! Those muffins turned out pretty good if you ate them immediately. I didn't seem to think they were as good the next day. 
Sooo...
This morning I decided to try the Pumpkin Coffee Cake. I will say, I was pleasantly surprised. It was not as pumpkin tasting as I like, but still wonderful and fallish! 

I don't like having to use three different bowls. Just more stuff to wash.  But I kind of had to with this recipe because it was layered.

Before baking.  This is totally a Laurie thing. I forgot all about adding the butter to the streusel. I ended up just melting  and pouring some on top after this picture!

YUM!
Pumpkin Coffee Cake

1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. butter, softened and divided
3/4 c. plus 1/3 c. sugar, divided
4 eggs, divided
1 t. vanilla
2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sour cream ( I didn't have quite a cup and added some vanilla greek yogurt)
1 15oz. can pumpkin
1 t. pumpkin pie spice (or use your own pumpkin spices)
1. c. brown sugar, packed
2 t. cinnamon
1 c. chopped nuts ( I used pecan pieces)

Blend together 1/2 c. butter, 3/4 c. sugar and 3 eggs until creamy; add vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add sour cream; set batter aside. 
Combine pumpkin, remaining egg and remaining sugar; stir in pumpkin pie spice and set aside.
Prepare streusel by combining brown sugar, remaining butter, cinnamon and nuts; set aside.
Spray 13"x9" baking dish with non-stick vegetable spray. Spoon in half the batter; top with half the streusel, then ALL the pumpkin mixture. Spread on remaining batter then top with remaining streusel mixture. 
Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Makes 15 servings.

-I baked for exactly 50 min but would suggest about 55 min. The batter around the pumpkin mixture could have cooked a little longer.

ENJOY!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

School

I read yesterday about a 31 days of … basically it's 31 days to whatever you feel like you can write about for 31 days. For a brief moment I  pondered if I really could write about something for 31 days. At this point in my life I feel like I could write about proper etiquette in different situations. That is about the only thing I could think of that I had enough to say about! It might have something to do with weddings, showers, graduations and babies that seem to happen all the time. Not to mention I have LOTS  of opinions. But…

I'm a full time student and let's face it. I know you completely understand why I can't commit to blogging for 31 consecutive days. I'll tuck that away for another time. I do enjoy blogging but it's been tough with school. I don't have to explain. But I will tell you about my semester so far.

Freshmen Biology. This is the second and only science I have to take and I saved it for last on purpose; I hate  dislike science. I honestly didn't even pass chemistry in high school. Albeit, I'm an adult now and a totally different student than I was in high school. I still was not looking forward to this biology course. It doesn't help when your classmates ALL say that this specific professor is tough. Great.  After one month I have been pleasantly surprised. I sit in class fascinated most days as I'm learning more about cells and genetics. It truly is miraculous the way our bodies are made up! So, it's definitely not as bad as I thought and I got an 82 on the first exam. I'm a-ok with that and I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing. Show up for class, take good notes, and study for several days before each exam.

Survey of World History I (this used to by World Civilization). This is my only online class. So far my online classes have been pretty easy and they have worked well with my schedule. This is a course for my major and I can't believe how much reading is involved. I'm majoring in history, and if the rest of college is like this,  it's going to wear me out and I definitely won't be able to attend full time. Even now I'm behind on reading. I'm hoping it won't hurt me too bad on our first exam in a couple of days. We'll see. I do thoroughly enjoy the reading, it's just A LOT!

British Literature. This class has been awesome so far. We read a story, watch the movie. Read a story, watch the movie.  So far we have watched "The Man Who Would Be King" and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (Jack Palance version). I actually called my brother after the first movie and said, "you have to watch this movie, I think you'll love it!" It was an old Sean Connery and Michael Caine movie. It truly was a great story. Our professor has reiterated since day one of class how important stories are. This is the theme of the class.
I actually really enjoy this professor as he has a great sense of humor and is very personable. He showed a clip of this woman one day on youtube. This was a christian comedian whom I have heard of for years in the church. I thought, what the heck is he doing showing this? What's the point? I even almost blurted out how funny she was but how annoying her voice was (that was almost my thinking out loud that I do way too often). I am so glad I kept my mouth shut because a guy behind me said, "that's your wife, huh?" My professor of course told us it was his wife and I was shocked. I could not believe it! I called my mom, sister, and a couple of my friends after class and told them the story. They all knew who she was and thought it was ironic that Chonda Pierce's husband is my professor! …click on her name for the cute clip we watched.

Political Science. I love this class, even if it is my 7:30 −10:30am on Friday morning class! It's just a fun class with lots of discussion about government. I feel like I'm learning much that I didn't know and am also seeing some things in a different light. Our professor is probably about 70 years old. I believe he has a couple Master's degrees and a Doctorate. He's an educated man, of course. He told us all at the beginning that he only does two exams and they are both take home. I can live with that! He also told us to be thinking of where we want to eat breakfast one morning because he will treat us all once this semester! I'm hoping to take the second part of this course with him next semester.

All paper writing aside, I'm enjoying this semester. I do feel like I am not able to do as much with the kids as I would like so I might slow down next semester. I'm clearly the oldest in all my classes with the exception of one older man in my Biology class. In my Pol Sci class yesterday Dr. Kraus said that he was going to write me a recommendation to  law school. I cracked up! I definitely don't want to work in that field. While I would like to dress up cute and wear cute heels to an office everyday, well, okay, maybe not everyday. It does sound nice though! Ha. That's a whole different story.

I'll have some pics next week. The kids and I are working on some fall crafts this week during the break!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A sweet surprise!

We finally made it to see my sweet new niece, Isa Lynn. She is four weeks old now. Terry (brother) and Aunna live in MS and we had a hard time getting down to see them. My mom was meeting us down there because she is going to spend the next week with us before she heads back to Israel. 
We got to MS around 2am and were wiped out. My mom said because it was so late to just come drop the kids off at Terry's place because the hotel she reserved for us only had one queen bed. I had such a nice surprise waiting at 2:00am! My sister, who also had a baby less than two weeks ago, was waiting for us at their house. My brother walks out on the porch holding our niece, Moriah! I was so happy and felt so special that my sister and Josh drove from TX so we could all be together this weekend. I have taken tons of pics and had a blast with my nieces! They are exactly 20 days apart! It's been a sweet couple of days!
Moriah and Isa Lynn

Sweet Surprise!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Classes start tomorrow! Yikes! 

I am taking a full load this semester and managed to get all my classes on campus with the exception of one that starts online tomorrow. I get to start my 'area of concentration' classes this semester, too. I have a history and political science class this time. I'm quite excited.

I've decided to major in History for secondary education. Several of my friends are teachers now and I get excited watching them go back to school. I can't wait till I can finish school and start teaching!

My sister, Kellie, had her sweet girl this week. They chose not to find out the gender of the baby. Wednesday night was a very exciting night for our family. I was thrilled to get the phone call that little Moriah Hope was welcomed into this world! I can't wait to visit her, but not sure when that will be. Texas is far!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

My new niece...

who I hate is so far away and I have to wait till labor day to go see. I can't wait! And my other sister is due anyway! She's even further away so who knows when we will get there. I love all the new babies. Definitely makes me want another. My mind may change tomorrow though!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sick

I broke my blogging streak.
All with good reason.

We returned from the Bahamas on Sunday. Monday morning I woke up feeling achy. I was sure I needed to get the gym asap to work out. I had lacked any and all things exercise while on vacation. That's what it's for anyways, right? Well, come lunch time I had full fever, chills and other things you don't want to read about. I'll give you a hint, it wasn't throwing up. After two days and stomach cramps increasing and getting worse, I finally went to the ER. I bypassed by Doctor's office because I hate going there. Come to find out, I had contracted some bacteria infection that had spread in my colon. Which explained the terrible stomach cramps.  They admitted me and luckily I came home Thursday night.
It's Wednesday. I still have a very weak stomach and don't understand why it doesn't feel normal yet. I have about 4 days left of antibiotics and hopefully will be back to normal soon. I still managed Body Pump at the Y today and am eating a very bland diet. That  explains why I felt like crap at the Y and have no energy. But then again, I'm scared of eating anything else! It's a lose lose for me!

But, I'm alive and healthy, and everyday I need to remember it could always be worse! I am grateful for my health…that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Snorkeling, Spear Fishing, and Cliff Jumping.

Grace and Aunt Kimmie snorkeling

Spear Fishing…but he didn't catch this one!

Kaylen jumping. I couldn't get my big arse up the rope to reach the top. No doubt about it.

Jacqueline, who climbed around. Okay, okay…I just didn't care to jump. 

Strawberry Shortcake was waiting in the fridge for us when we got home! Yum.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nassau

Grace has made several friends here on the island. She has been skyping with one girl all year long, so she was excited to spend this week with her. Her friend had an orthodontist appointment today, in Nassau. That is where the kids go for those appointments.  Grace rode in the speed boat with them (50 miles) and spent some time at the mall too. She took some video with the Flip camera. Here is a short clip as they are leaving  Nassau. You can see how pretty some parts of it are. 


video

Day three

The camp went great yesterday afternoon. The 5-7 of us adults run a FCA sports camp with the kids from the island. I had no idea till today how much the kids love this camp, and look forward to it. I'm so glad that we were able to come do this again this year.

In the afternoon we went to the beach and just relaxed for a couple of hours. I finally got my first jellyfish sting. It sucked. Apparently, it could have been much worse. So I am grateful. I didn't see anything but had this immediate burning on the back of my leg. It stung really bad for about 15 minutes. I felt so silly because Jason kept saying "I don't see anything." I later found out it doesn't always leave a mark. Jason did see a faint, red line right where it was burning.
I guess there is a first time for everything. I just hope it won't happen again. Hopefully it won't happen again. I did not cry, but it was not fun!

Here are some pictures from the beach today.



We jumped off the bridge last year but I'm not doing it again this year. The water is actually in so high that there is not much of a jump.  I joked that with all the impact it took me hours to pull my swimsuit out of my crack! Ha.  I did get this picture of one of the kids jumping off. This is what they do for fun.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Karaoke can be quite amusing.


We went to one of the two restaurants on the island last night and had a wonderful meal. I had carrott casserole that was amazing. I have never had anything close, and I loved it.

Below is a video of a stranger singing karaoke. We were laughing so hard. I tried to get the beginning but I couldn't figure out how to focus my camera. I did manage to get the end of the song. When the guy was leaving he yelled to everyone "I'll be here all week, literally!" It was hilarious. This is a small clip.

video
Sporting their Superman shirts.

My sis and "Papa Andy" 

Kimmie and I had to get in some Dixie Chicks too!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We're here!

We met my sister in Atlanta and I'm so glad to see her after almost 7+ months. I am looking forward to spending this week with her! I'll be updating throughout the week. We are headed off to eat dinner and sing Karaoke.
Arriving on the water taxi.

I love the way this is focused on Grace! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I found it!

I got an awesome necklace from Silpada Jewelry several months ago. I thought I'd lost it.  I looked all through my jewelry box and couldn't find it. I knew I had to clean it out when, looking for it, I couldn't hardly tell what the heck was what. I threw away so much stuff. Don't worry, I have very little jewelry that is of monetary value, if any.

But, I did find my new favorite necklace! There is a pic in the middle.


CLICK TO MAKE BIGGER

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

You know those friends…and ugly cowboy boots?




You know those friends who you don't have to talk to but several times a year? The ones who you love like a sister or a cousin. You might have a select few, like me, who, if I ever had to pick 5 or 6 to be stranded on an island with, they would be the ones. 

Katie is one of those. 

Enjoying the cobbler bar at a wedding reception. 

Brittany and I showing off our boots. 
I have to add that I have never worn boots in my life. Only in the last couple of years have I thought they are somewhat fashionable with cute sundresses. You know, like Taylor Swift can pull off. She's one of the select few that can pull off boots in my opinion. I was trying to be festive at this wedding reception, at The Traveller's Rest BarnBARN. Well, Brittany and I were the only ones wearing boots. I should have just worn my cute little blue dress that I wanted to wear, with my strappy gold shoes. Oh well, at least I can say I wore boots once in my life. I won't be doing it again. And don't worry, I bought these last year for Grace, from Goodwill. I didn't waste but like $10. And they've been worn twice now! HA!
Natalie to my left, your right.

Natalie is another one of those friends. Natalie and Katie are actually both good friends of my sister's. They met in college and they both are a little more rebellious than my two sisters, so naturally we have become best friends! Natalie got married a couple of months ago in May, in Texas. Last weekend they had a reception here in Nashville. I was so happy to spend the evening with these two girls. Brittany (on the far right) is Natalie's best friend. Their families have been neighbors since the girls were little. I have just recently gotten to know Brittany as she has been attending our church with her boyfriend. She is a fun girl who I look forward to getting to know more. 
Having a blast!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun Weekend.

We went to this really nice restaurant while in the little town of Anniston, AL this last weekend. My Aunt and Uncle treated us to this great place on the main road down
 town. It's locally owned and called Classic on Noble (Noble St.).

It's in an old place so all hard wood flooring with nice China and  glass partitions  for all the different areas.

The beverage bar. The wait staff brings water, tea or coke.  

Dessert Bar! Every cake you can imagine. I had caramel pie, coconut cake and turtle pie!

To the left (not picured) is the hot bar. All the mashed potatoes, grilled veggies,  a meat server that will cut you any slice you want, maccaroni and cheese…you get the idea. Pictured here is the omelet and pancake bar and just before that is the chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows, Rice Krispie treats! Sorry about the pictures, my phone had to do.

The kiddie table! Cake pops, little PBJ sandwiches, french fries, chicken fingers, etc.

The centerpiece table as you walk in. It had every kind of salad imaginable: waldorf, tuna, chicken, ceasar, strawberry, crab. This table also had frog legs, caprese, and breads, and pita chips with the dips.

Upstairs with the full bar for night life. 

I thought it looked like such a fun place to dine at night.



Jason in mid air! We relaxed by the pool a lot at my family's house. 

My Uncle Rick and Aunt Nancy.