Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Its My Party

Birthdays are a big deal to me.
I'm still not sure why I love them so much, or why it is so important...
probably because I just like to be a diva,
but Michael is always such a great sport and goes way beyond my expectations.
 This year my birthday fell on a Wednesday.
A Wednesday that I had clients almost every hour from 9 to 6.
And a Wednesday (like every other) of teaching the middle school girls.
Michael made sure to make me feel extra special all day though.
First, I had donuts for breakfast.
Then, I got flowers at work.
(okay, I might have hinted at these things)
That's on top of the sweaters and earrings that Michael got me.
 I'm spoiled...I know.
Another sweet surprise was from the most adorable 6th grader and her grandma.
 ^^Is that not the biggest balloon you have ever seen? 
I loved it!
Last, Michael surprised me even more with a cupcake party at church.
This was totally unexpected, and unnecessary, but I appreciate his efforts so much!
My mind was completely blank when I blew out the candles and tried to make a wish,
and I realize now that at this moment in my life, all my wishes have come true.
I am blessed beyond belief, and can't thank God enough for my husband and my life.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Parent Weekend

I have so many future posts to write, I don't even know where to start.
But, since my Mom has already complained hinted to me that she was waiting on this post,
I decided that I would start here. 
Several months ago Southwest had a sale on flights, and my parents and I picked the weekend before my birthday.
The good thing about flying is that they get to be here longer,
the bad thing is that it really puts some limits on our shopping abilities.
We hit up the all usuals: Clarks Outlet, Dress Barn, and Kohls.
Being so close to the holidays though, we added in a couple Christmas markets and Pier 1.
^^The Christmas treasures my Mom took home with her.
We went out to Katy to a big Christmas market there and it was fantastic.
They had hundreds of booths, and almost all of them were very reasonably priced.
I got a couple of great things too, but you'll have to wait to see those.
After all the shopping, my parents treated us to Taste of Texas to celebrate my birthday.
^^So happy to be able to celebrate my birthday with them
^^The most delicious dessert, Snickers Pie
^^I had no idea that ToT has lattes, and now I will be going a lot more often (at least for dessert)
^^Even Sister got in on the celebrations with the most perfect gift
*It is enjoying its new home at the front of our tree.
There are so many wonderful things about Taste of Texas - the salad bar, the jalapeno jelly and bagel chips, the cheese bricks, the melt in your mouth steaks, just to name a few - but our favorite thing might be all the beautiful Christmas decorations. 
^^Beyond blessed by these people

We had so much fun spending the weekend with them!
Mom made Chicken Fried Rice with 18 different vegetables.
We went to a double feature at the drive-in (Last Vegas was their idea)
Mom sewed on at least 5 buttons to different shirts of ours.
We spent a couple hours at B-Dubs eating everything on the appetizer menu.
And we all crammed into our back room on our futon to watch the Broncos win over the Chiefs.
It was a wonderful, perfect birthday celebration and I am so thankful that they made the trip!
Love you Mom and Dad!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paid in Full

Michael and I recently achieved a milestone in our lives.
I am thrilled to announce that WE NO LONGER HAVE A CAR PAYMENT!
We are so excited and looking forward to putting that money to use somewhere else - like student loans!
When I graduated from college my parents helped me get the car by paying a down payment for me.
 ^^ The car I got when I turned 16, good ole Cavy the Cavalier.
The Honda dealer gave me exactly $250 for it, and that was generous.
^^ When I first got my Honda! Love at first sight!
It has been a long time paying the rest, but I absolutely love my car so it was worth it.
 We even paid it off early.
We got the car in May of 2009, with a 5 year loan, and we paid it off exactly 6 months early.
We feel so blessed to own such a great, and dependable car!
And we are that much closer to being debt free!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Make Your Pins Matter

My motto when it comes to Pinterest is "don't pin it if you're not going to use it".
Lately I have been on a Pinterest kick, 
and I have been using several of the things that I have pinned.
Here is a quick run-down, as well as my rating of the pin itself.

1. Crock Pot Cooking.
I love a home-cooked dinner, but I am rarely home from work before 7:30pm.
Which usually means we're having frozen pizza.
I've been trying to step up my game recently and the best option is the crock-pot because it can cook all afternoon while I'm at work. 
This week I tried two meals.
- Chicken Chili
via jocooks
This was basically the chili recipe that I already use, but with chicken instead of beef.
It was so simple to make, with basic ingredients.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Michael gives it an 8.
- Chicken n Dumplins
The only problem is that you have to add biscuits with an hour left, and again at 30 minutes left.
On a normal night, that wouldn't be possible, 
but since we were home tonight it worked out.
This recipe could not be any more simple though.
You can even put the chicken in frozen.
Score for being absentminded.
My rating for this is a 6. 
It has the potential to be really good though. 
I just plan to add more chicken and soup next time, and less biscuits.
Michael gives it a 5.
He agrees about the biscuits.

2. Use what you've got
This outfit is from one of my favorite fashion bloggers.
And the best part, I already had all the pieces.
I don't have a picture, but I received several compliments that day!

3. Still Judging
^^ This is for you Jacinda!
I have been judging this recipe for quite some time.
There is no link to a blog, the recipe is in the caption of the photo,
which I think made me judge it more.
It was very simple to make, and I already had all of the ingredients - double bonus.
My rating is a 5.
Michael gives it a 6.5.
I will say that it wasn't terrible...but I probably won't make it again.
Michael did really like the green beans though.
4. Closet Re-do
This girl is amazing!
I stumbled across this post looking for ways to control dust in a closet.
(Does anyone else have this problem??)
She has some GREAT tips, and I got to work right away.
I didn't use all of her tips (its expensive to buy all new hangers) but it gave me a great jump start to feeling clean and organized.
It gets a 10.

5. Making the Cut
Olivia Palermo >>>
I had a hair appointment today and came across this pin last night.
I love Olivia, and her hair, at all times.
I told my hairdresser that I wanted this style, but wanted to keep my length...
I know that to most eyes, my hair still looks long.
My eyes gave me a small panic attack as she was blow-drying my hair.
I've gotten used to it though, and I am loving it!
The best part - Michael gives it a 10!!
And that's really all that matters.

You are welcome for this mostly pointless rating of my recent pins.
If you take nothing from this post, I beg you to please Make Your Pins Matter.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall Crafts

I don't know what it is about fall that always brings out the crafter in me.
The past two years I have made wreaths.
 ^^ 2011 Wreath
^^ 2012 wreath
This year, I decided to do something different.
Mostly because I don't have anymore fall months that need a wreath for the door.
I had seen this idea on Pinterest, but can't find it to connect the original link,
so just know that some other blogger thought of this - not me.
As usual.
I'm an excellent copy cat!
First, I glittered up a bunch of clothes pins.
I used the same method as earlier this summer on my heels found here.
Its very simple. 
Just mix mod podge with fine glitter (I used Martha Stewart's) and paint it on one side of the pin.
I used 2 coats, because after 1 the wood still came through and I wanted it to be all glitter
Next, I hung some twine on the mantle. 
A good friend of mine used her Cricut to cut a bunch of fall leaves for me.
^^ A better picture of the clothes pin
What's the point of all these paper leaves??
During Bible Study each Tuesday in November, the kids are going to write something they are thankful for on a leaf. 
By the end of the month our garland will be covered in leaves.
I was really excited about the idea, and fully anticipated the kids thinking it was lame,
but they were super sweet and acted excited about going along with it.
They really are the best!
 ^^ The finished Fall mantle, but the leaves hadn't been written on when I took the picture.

My other little project is something I have been wanting to do for a long time.
We got our lamps for very cheap when me moved in an apartment with no overhead lights.
I have hated them the entire time.
They are plain, and white, and just not attractive, so I gave them a little makeover.
Much better!
The only problem is that the burlap really limits the amount of light they produce.
They look great in the daytime though!
There you have them, my Fall Crafts for this year.
I love them, and they have helped me to not skip right over to Christmas - like I really want to.
Happy Fall! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fall Festival

I was so happy for Halloween to get here,
and to pass out candy to all of our 9 trick-or-treaters,
but I was even happier to see October leave, and to welcome November.
For one thing, I already have two birthday coupons waiting in my inbox.
And for another, November means holidays with family!
 Before I get too carried away by the holidays though, I want to finish catching up on October.
Last weekend our church had its first Fall Festival in several years.
I'm not sure how many years, but this was the first time they've done it since we have been there.
Michael played a big part in putting the whole thing together, and I am so proud of him for all the work he put in to making it such a great day.
And it was a GREAT DAY!
A huge success!
We had at least 500 people show up during the 3 hour time period, and there were approximately 180 visitor families that came for the fun.
We had 4 inflatables, a kiddie ferris wheel, a petting zoo, a hay ride, a firetruck for the kids to climb inside, lots of carnival games and different booths organized by our church members, and free food for everyone.
^^ Obviously the cotton candy was my favorite
Originally I wanted to run a booth with Michael, but all the good ones were taken,
which turned out to be a good thing since he spent most of the afternoon in the dunk tank.
I forgot to mention we had a dunk tank!
The kids loved the dunk tank!
They had so much fun dunking the youth minister over and over.
Since we didn't have a booth, I signed up to do registration.
It is actually my favorite thing to do because I love to see all the kids so excited to be at a carnival.
I love being the registration girl, it is completely exhausting for me.
No one believes me, but I am 100% an introvert.
I can make myself by extroverted, friendly, outgoing and all those other things required of registration, but it drains the energy right out of me.
So by the end of 3 hours, I could barely move.
And we still had an hour and a half of clean-up.
It was such a wonderful event for our church and for our community that it was completely worth it!
Events like this really show the strengths that Michael brings to ministry.
He is completely in his element, and does the most amazing job!
It is days like this that I am reminded just how blessed we are to be in the exact place that God put us!
In the words of my good friend Renee, God is doing immeasurably more in our lives!
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