Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bridal Shower Bits & Bites :)

As you might know, I'm the Matron of Honor for my friend Eden's wedding coming up at the end of June. We had her Bridal shower & Bachelorette festivities this past weekend. Here's a little bit from the shower:

I grabbed some golf tees out of my bag before I headed out of town so that I could remember to do this Pinterest-inspired balloon welcome path.  Tie the ribbons to the tees and then push into the grass...quick and easy! 
Countrytime Punch | Lemon Slice Flowers
Grow Seed Kits
And to share a couple of the hit recipes, although everything turned out pretty darn good...
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon-Sugar Pita Chips
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 large mango
8 oz blueberries
1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
1 Tbs white sugar
2 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs fruit preserves
10 (10 in) flour tortillas
Cinnamon Sugar:

1 cup sugar

2 Tbs cinnamon

Mix in a small bowl or shaker and set aside


Place all of your fruit into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with both white and brown sugars. Give it a few good stirs to make sure that fruit is evenly coated. Stir in fruit preserves and chill in fridge while you make your tortilla chips.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush each side of tortilla with melted butter. Cut into triangles and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mixture. I kind of toss them around as I'm doing this to make sure everyone gets coated. Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (You most likely will need to do this in batches.) Put chips in a nice size bowl so they stay airy. Serve with chilled salsa. *Fruit salsa is best served the same day you make it. It becomes very syrupy the longer it sits.
 and the cupcakes...

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes | Pearl Sprinkles, similar here | Cupcake Pennants, similar here or here
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® natural vanilla cake mix
3/4 cup frozen (thawed) pink lemonade concentrate
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Red food color, if desired
Frosting and Garnish
1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
6 tablespoons frozen (thawed) pink lemonade concentrate
Candy sprinkles, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box, using cake mix, 3/4 cup lemonade concentrate, 1/2 cup oil, the water, eggs and food color. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  2. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, beat frosting, 6 tablespoons lemonade concentrate and the food color with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Frost cooled cupcakes. Garnish tops with candy sprinkles.
Makes approx. 24 cupcakes
Looking forward to this long, holiday weekend!  Don't forget the true reason for Memorial day--not lake days and barbeques but supporting our military and remembering our fallen soldiers and veterans.  If you're looking to get festive with decorations, check out my Land of the Free chalkboard printable :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sneak Peek

If you have been to our house, you know that a lot of the photos/artwork revolve around our wedding.  Well, as we approach our 2nd anniversary [holy cow, that's gone fast!] and our vacation, I had the thought to start a fun collage wall upstairs that would be a unique reminder of celebrating us.  Not just our wedding day, but the fun experiences we have had since that day.  Mostly trips that we have taken and memories from them.  I was inspired by things like this:

City Heart Map
City, State Print
and then one day browsing online, I found this:
Vinyl Wall Quote
Can we take a minute to recognize what a great deal this was?!  The font of mine was a little different.
That quote just really stuck with me.  Maybe it's because of moving around while growing up, or maybe it's because of the unexpected tracks that Jake's and my life took individually before we met, or maybe it's my love of travelling.  But whatever it is, I love feeling I get and the message of it every time I read it.  So, from there, the idea was born.  It's not done yet, but here's your sneak peek...

On the long wall upstairs

5x7 size, Wedding outfits, rings, and Flowers

7x5 size, Smoky mountains, Cabin, and Moonshine [of course]

I still need to get frames.  The wall quote is black lettering, so I'm thinking something dark brown/black.  I want the frames low profile and simple so that the color of the drawings stands out.  I have more to do [Phoenix/Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Athens GA], but I think it will be really neat to start filling up the wall.  It's something we will continually add to as we go on vacations each  year. 

Hopefully we will get them up on the walls soon.  I'll share updated pictures once we do :)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Upside?

Well...if there is an upside to a 20+ year old washer flooding your house, it might be that you get to get shiny, pretty, amazing new appliances. Thanks to fantastic Paul at h.h.gregg, I found these beauties...
Washer | Dryer
...I must confess, I love the steel color.  But, I have a laundry closet, not a laundry room, so no one will ever see them.  And, the white is cheaper with all of the same!
Washer controls...They are on the top front of the machine instead of sticking up on the back.  Added convenience.  Also, LOVE the glass doors.

Dryer controls

 I absolutely love them.  They should be delivered on Saturday :)


Monday, May 13, 2013

What a Weekend...

Let me repeat...What. A. Weekend.

I haven't had such a fun and such a miserable weekend at the same time in as long as I can remember.  We had some really high highs and some really low lows.  It started out something like this...

Friday night, I went to the Charlotte Knights game after work with a networking group that our company is a part of.  We had dinner at the stadium in the clubhouse and then watched part of the game before I headed home to spend time with Jake and some friends at one of our usual hang-outs.
Then, Saturday I woke up and went to get pedicures with Karen.  Some nice, long overdue pampering :)  After that we had brunch at Panera and tried their Sausage & Gouda souffles...heavenly.  Then, a little little shopping at Target.

Brunch was followed by a sewing day at my friend Shanti's house, complete with lots of entertainment from Miss Reina...
and people say that Rottweilers are mean...
We were sewing some blankets to bring to the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte, because while visiting there to bake cookies a couple weekends ago, they told us they were getting low on their boy & gender neutral blankets.  They need a constant supply because as a part of each families welcome to the house, they are given a few things in their room, including a child/lap size blanket.  The house typically has some information about the family before they arrive, so they try to give a boy or girl pattern/color blanket to the family if they have a son or daughter, or gender neutral.  Shanti, Karen, and myself really enjoy getting together to have "sewing days," especially if it's for a great cause, and figured these little blankets would be easy to whip up.  We made a trip to the fabric store and found some great deals on super cute fabrics...

This animal silhouette fleece I found for a steal at Hancock Fabric.  The striped fabric I got from the $1.99/yd section at Mary Jo's.  This was the first on I attempted, and the rolled edge technique I found and tried to use was a little difficult with the thickness and stretch of the fleece.

I fell in LOVE with this barnyard pattern flannel at Hancock, and it was on sale for 30% off.  Is it not the cutest?!  The dotted stripe fabric was another $1.99/yd deal at Mary Jo's.  The rolled edge worked out SO much better on this blanket. 

After a few hours of sewing, I went to an event with my cousin-in-law Brooke, although she's pretty much another sister-in-law and I admire her so much.  One of her friends put together an event at her church, with a nice dinner and hearing testimonies of two local women.  It was a really nice event; I always am so fascinated by people's stories and backgrounds that shaped who they are today.  After the event I got to spend some time with my "nephews" who are more adorable than I could put into words.

Then, [yes, I know, Saturday was very eventful...just wait] I came back to Rock Hill and went out to the softball fields because Jake was playing in a tournament.  His team did great and they were playing in the championship game.  Enter, Rain.  It had been a beautiful day, and although it called for rain it seems like everything had held off.  I was happy, but a little nervous hoping that the rain wouldn't show up on Sunday when we had plans to be outside.  More on that later.  Well, about three innings into the game, the downpour began.  I mean hard. I haven't seen it rain like that in a long time.  They ended up calling the game because it started to lightning, so unfortunately by default Jake's team lost and came in 2nd place overall.  Not bad, but the game was close and they were on a roll, so it was disappointing for them.  So, we ran to the car, ending up soaking wet and headed home at 11pm. 

We got home, I got into some dry clothes/pajamas and Jake put his wet, dirt-stained uniform in the washer and went to get a shower.  I climbed under the covers and was watching TV when about 10 minutes later, Jake walks out into the hall and starts freaking out, hollering and making me wonder what in the world was going on.  I jumped out of bed at record speed and ran into the hallway pond.  Yes, pond.  The carpet was sopping wet.  The washer had to be leaking from the second that Jake turned it on and for the entire 10 minutes he was getting his shower.  Water was everywhere.  Overflowed the washing machine tray, flooded our laundry closet and the hallway. Then, I hear it.  The shower sound.  But wait, I thought, the shower's off. Jake just turned off the washing machine.  Where is that coming from? And then I hear my husband, who walked downstairs, where he saw water coming through our wet downstairs ceiling around a ceiling vent.  Coming down like a shower on full blast.  Such a mess.  There was a very chaotic 10 minutes while we were throwing as many towels as we could downstairs to try to protect further damage to the floor, and searching for buckets to catch the water.  I called a couple emergency water damage companies to see who would answer and be able to send out a technician at midnight on a holiday weekend.  Things always happen at the most convenient of times, right?  Well, AdvantaClean to the rescue!  Kelvin, their emergency response tech, got to our house around 2am and didn't leave until 4:15am.  We have all kinds of fans in our house, carpet ripped up, vinyl ripped up, laminate hardwoods ripped up, holes in our ceiling, etc.  Here's a little bit of what we're living with:

The giant puddle.  This photo doesn't do justice at all to how wet it was.  They had to pull back the carpet and remove the carpet padding, because it was FULL of water.

Our wonderful buckets.  Thank the Lord for Backyard Beer Pong, the reason for the 12 little buckets being in our garage.
After they ripped up the vinyl floor and drained the water.
Carpet sort of laid down, with pieces missing, after they took the carpet padding away.
Ceiling water damage, before they cut the drying hole.

The drying hole. The air vent on the left is the one all of the water was raining from.

After they ripped up the flooring.  The water line went all the way into our kitchen.

Say hello to our concrete slab!
So, that's life these days.  We are becoming pros at dealing with insurance companies in 2013.  I'm looking forward to the Adjuster's visit on Thursday and then starting on the repairs. 

But, thankfully the weekend didn't end here.  Sunday, after going to bed at 4:15am and waking up around 11:30, we got ready and headed out to get the boat ready for a day on the water with our family.  It ended up being a pretty gorgeous day.  We rode around, docked at T-Bones for dinner, and then rode back, finishing off the day with a breath-taking sunset...

Me, Dad and Mom...It got a little chilly later in the day with the breeze out on the water.
Docking for dinner
Mom & Me
The family at dinner
The sun starting to set on the way home.



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yummy stuff

So, more blog updates.  Check out the Yummy Recipes tab for the recipes I've shared on here.  I'm going to try to add them more often because I'm always coming up with different dinners to keep my hubby well fed :)

Let me know if you try any of them, I'd love to hear what you think!

Countdown: 31 Days!!!

More performers were announced on Friday for the CMA Festival that we are leaving to go to in one month!!!  These are the performers who will be at the Riverfront Stage [there are 9 venues involved]:

Aaron Lewis
Lead singer from Staind, who has broken out with a solo career singing Alternative Country.  Staind is one of my favorite bands and I love how raw his voice is.  SOOOO excited about seeing him!
Brett Eldredge
Sings the new "Don't Ya" song.  Really like him!

Tate Stevens
from X Factor
Rachel Farley
We actually saw her perform a few years back with Brantley Gilbert, when she was just trying to get exposure and perform in front of live audiences. 

   Casey James Colt Ford
 Corey Smith Craig Campbell
 Darryl Worley Gary Allan
 Gary Allan Jerrod Niemann
 Jo Dee Messina Keith Anderson
 Kip Moore Kristen Kelly
 Lonestar  Randy Travis  Steve Holy Ronnie Milsap Sunny Sweeney The Oak Ridge Boys

I can't wait!!

Also, here is a cool deal that I heard about on one of my favorite deal blogs, Frugal Coupon Living.  Click the link and you will learn about the Target Style box.  It's similar to a Birch Box from what I understand [I've never actually gotten one of those] but super cheap at only $5 including shipping.  They send out some samples of their beauty products.  Who knows what will be in it, but for $5 and guarantee of at least 5 items, I'm in!  I've tried the Target brands before and I actually have really like Sonia Kushak tinted moisturizer--especially in the summer time.  There's a limited number so head over now to get yours!
target beauty box
New Target Style "Beauty Box"