Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

The presents are wrapped.
The stockings are stuffed. 
The chocolate is hot.  
The poinsettia is...still alive.
Christmas can come anytime. I'm ready.

I tried to convince Cory that we should eat our gingerbread cookies and sip our hot chocolate while streaming  a Christmas movie on Netflix. Cory thinks that Christmas movies are silly. And predictable. So we're watching a classic Bruce Lee movie instead. One could argue that a 1970's martial arts movie is just as predictable with significantly more racial and gender stereotypes, but that would get you nowhere. Trust me.

Next week is going to be filled with sister talks, family projects, and playtime with my very, very cute little niece and nephew. That only gives me 2.5 days to beat this nasty cold. And fold all the laundry.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Off the Wagon

The space above our bed has been empty for some now. Nothing ever felt right there. Well, I liked a few things, but someone else had other opinions. And when I say "opinions" I mean "irrational certainty that anything hanging on the wall above his head would fall off and kill him in his sleep." Just so we're clear. 

So, I needed to find something we both liked. Something pretty yet still light enough that it would pose no real threat. When I saw the yarn wrapped letters all over pinterest, I knew that's what I wanted. I already had the letters "L" and "C" from our engagement photoshoot, so I just needed an ampersand. I couldn't find one. I settled for a big giant A to make a monogram but...I really wanted that ampersand.

Yesterday, while on an extreme thrift shopping bender (Seriously. It was bad.) I FOUND one at Goodwill!! It was just sitting there! The elusive &. I totally bought that bad boy, wrapped in yarn, and hung it up there. It makes me so happy.

Also, can I just say that it made Cory's day when one of the letters fell off and hit my head right after I hung them up. Vindication, my friends.

Want to see my other loot? I love thirfting. Sometimes I don't buy anything. The thrill of the hunt is enough. But other times it's just like Christmas. And you've got to strike while the iron is hot. And grab that junk up before anyone else can take it from you. Things get intense.

I went to a few different thrift stores, and even drove out to the boonies to hit up this lady's "collectibles sale". Classier than a garage sale, but not as intense as an estate sale. Just a lady with a bunch of fancy junk who needed more room in her house. Living the dream.

Far left, spectacular cross stitch. Its almost so ugly that it is adorable. And its really going to make future vintage nursery awesome. You know, for that baby I don't have...don't judge me.

My second favorite find of the day was this picnic basket. It didn't come with the dishes, but the ones we got in a plastic picnic cooler for our wedding fit in perfectly. I love it when that happens.

This chair is my number one, most favorite find ever.

 Its my new desk chair. I talked the collectibles sale lady into selling it to me.

And yes, mustard yellow is my favorite color these days.

Oh, speaking of chairs, remember my post about the chairs we recovered over Labor day weekend? I finally posted the after pictures to Pile o' Craft. Click here to check it out.

But anyway, time to get back on that save money, buy stuff only for other people wagon. I had been doing pretty well for a while. I think I feel a "No Spend January" coming up.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm so ready

Ah, December.

Our stalwart little Senor NutCracker is here to stay for a few weeks. 

Check out those pearly whites.
I love how full and cozy Christmas decorations make a house. Our Christmas monkeys from last year are up in the trees too. I missed them these past eleven months.

In other news, I brought home some homemade cinnamon rolls leftover after our Relief Society Activity yesterday. I had three. One for Cory, one for Tanya, and one for Jesse. At least that was my intention.

Sorry Jesse and Tanya. Those suckers were so good. They didn't even last long enough for a photo op, much less out the door and over to their rightful owners. I blame Cory, although, I admit, it didn't take very much convincing.

 I'll make you a whole plate, I promise. Just as soon as my Kitchen Aid is repaired (It BROKE. I know. I'll let you know how it goes with customer service tomorrow. Fingers crossed for an easy resolution).

I'm so ready for Christmas to be here already. That is for suuuure.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A post on a Wednesday? Unheard of. Absurd.

I'm currently sitting on my living room rug. I would sit on the couch, but its covered in neat little stacks of freshly folded laundry. I was supposed to be more productive tonight but I wasn't. The laundry folding and a few movies is what I accomplished. 

Also, I ate some Panera that Cory picked up for me. So, really, its been a pretty full night. I would have taken a picture of it for you, but I ate it all before I thought of that. 

He and his friends had a big exam today, and they went for a celebratory late lunch afterwards. Cory called me at work to ask if I was planning something for dinner.

"Did you have something planned already for dinner? If you do, I won't go. If you don't, I'll get you something!"

He got me something. A turkey sandwich and a cup of broccoli and cheddar soup. It was delish. And cleanup was a breeze. Wrappers? Meet Trash. And done. 

Eating takeout is worth it for that reason alone. Almost.Cory says, "Aren't you glad I made you dinner?"

Yes, dear. I love it when you make dinner.

I suppose I should put away this laundry now. But I think I'll just toddle off to bed instead. Gotta leave something for tomorrow, right? It's important to have goals.

P.S. Today is Mark Twain's 176th birthday. Happy birthday Marky Mark!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving came and went so fast. It just slipped right though my fingers.

The general plan was pretty much the same as last year. Spend Wednesday night and Thursday at Cory's grandparent's house on the St. John's River; Friday and Saturday with my parents in Marianna.

The river house is one of my favorite places. I snuck out early Thursday morning to take some pictures of the pretty citrus grove in the lot between their house and the neighbor's.

This tiny little tree loaded down with fruit reminded me of that Little Christmas tree story. You know?

 Grandpa Allen always walks us around it and tells us what each type is. Naval, Fallglo, Satsuma, Grapefruit...and probably others. He and Cory picked a great big bag of them. They are delish.

I wasn't the only one sneaking out. I caught the boys headed down to the dock for their Thanksgiving fishing bonding time.

Grandpa Allen is a master fisherman. That little grass shrimp didn't stand a chance.

I love this picture. Three generations of Allen first borns. When I showed Cory and told him how cool it was
that they're all the oldest men, he says, "You would be the Queen!" Just call me Your Highness.

They caught about nine fish that morning, but the biggest one of all jumped right out of the cooler as they were putting them all on ice. It will forever be the one that got away.

Per tradition, Grandpa Allen smokes the turkeys, and Grandma Allen makes tons and pie and casserole. I love tradition.

There were close to 22 people there for dinner! It was so fun, and we ate until our bellies hurt.

Cory and I came back Thursday night. I headed out early Friday morning to do some shopping. My mom couldn't make it this year, and she was sorely missed. I went to Lowes first (last year the first store we hit up was Michaels. I don't think I'm the average Black Friday shopper). Hello $0.98 poinsettias, and $5.00  live pine wreaths.

I was able to get all the poinsettias we need for the Ward Christmas Party centerpieces for less than $16.00! You're welcome, budget. Now if only I can keep them alive for two weeks...

Also, a really easy way to make your house just scream "It's Christmas!!" is to put 15 poinsettia plants in it.

There's nothing like  catching the sunrise over the Walmart roof  top. Ahh, black Friday.

Thanksgiving with my parents was fun too. My dad grilled us steak the size of our head. And Cory ate every bit, just like we knew he would.

 I didn't take too many pictures there, because we got really caught up in a little project for Christmas.

This might explain my obsession with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. 
We dug deep into the recesses of the attic to find all of the toys that survived 5 kids. I had way too much fun going through them. I can't wait to play with Jefferson and Jane this Christmas! I'll show you some of the other awesome toys we had, after the big reveal at Christmas time. They really do deserve their own post, I think.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I made bread tonight. Using this Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day recipe. The theory is you mix up a batch of dough once, and it stays good for two weeks. Then you have it on hand to bake whenever you want. It makes two loaves, if you're wondering (the recipe never tells you that).

We ripped hunks of it off and ate it. It was all very Alladin-esque. We'll see if it becomes a weekly thing. With  a little bit more practice and planning, perhaps.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


So, if you've spent any time with me over the past few weeks, you've probably heard me weasel my plans for this Veteran's Day into our conversation. I've been a little obsessive about it really.

You see, I've been helping plan a wedding. I've been crafting, and scheming, and stalking the weather channel's web site. Friday was the big day (11.11.11.) and I'm so, so excited/relieved that everything worked out.

I'm not a professional photographer, but I did take a few shots of the decor (in the few  brief minutes I found  to spare) so I could show you guys. I can't wait until Kimbe has their real pictures up. They are going to be so good (if I do say so myself...not to brag or anything.).

The wedding was on the Groom's family's horse farm, and this place was pretty much oozing rustic charm. 

So, there's a glimpse into my veteran's day weekend. I hope you all found some time to relax :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Birthday Boy

Cory is 24 years old, as of today. The big two-four. Last year we did a big mario party. I've decided to save the parties for someone who wants/appreciates them in the future, so we took it nice and easy this weekend. 

We stretched it into a birthday weekend, starting Friday night. I made some delicious steak, under the careful guidance of my father, the master of steak. (Seriously, he has a PhD in Steak. He knows what he's talking about.) And so I present to you, the first steak I have ever really cooked. (Its like a rite of passage in my family).
Cory likes steak. He loves my Dad's steak. He had low expectations for mine (he told me afterwards), but he was pleasantly surprised.

He ate all of his NY strip, and half of mine. Looks like I found the best way to fatten him up. With this and Peanut M&M's he'll be plump in no time, right?

 I also bought all his favorite snacks for a movie night. (Turns out, you end up with a lot of food items when you do birthday shopping at the grocery store. Or maybe I just express my feelings through food.)

We didn't get to eat any of those snacks because movie night turned into "Go to the college of engineering and finish up one last project for 3.5 hours." So, we spent the night side by side in the computer lab. Without snacks. And I got bored of the internet. I didn't even know that was possible. Anyway...

Saturday morning the deal was that Cory could sleep in as long as he wanted unharassed. You're welcome.

I used the time this gained me to make his birthday cake and birthday waffles. It was time well spent.

I made chocolate cake (from a mix. I have yet to eat a made from scratch cake that made me think, "Yea. That was worth the effort. Consider that a challenge, my baking friends.). The icing was the same AMAZING Dulce De Leche recipe Freya used for Brett's party a few months ago. Cory raved for days about it then, and he doesn't rave about food. Ever. I knew it was serious after he told me, "We should fill a bathtub with this stuff, and then he could just lay in it." (Somewhat direct quote. He really liked this stuff.)

We went man shopping for his actual birthday gift. I didn't tell him where we were going, but he claims he figured it out on his own.

 1) Office Depot for his choice of pen (we got Zebras. Pretty fancy.). 2) Gamestop, so he could pre-order his game for next weekend. 3)Edwin Watts, so he could get something golf related. 

Like a kid in a candy shop. For real.

All done! His new 3 wood makes him happy. As does his giant bag of tees.
We were planning on going to the Greek Foods Fest with Danny and Joanna this weekend (as per annual tradition--3 years running, people!), and Jesse and Tanya were up for a night of Greek food too. So we decided to eat cake and ice cream afterwards for a small, simple no big deal birthday celebration. Not party. Cause I'm not doing those anymore, right?

I just can't help myself. I already had the banners in my "party drawer" so I put those up. But once I got started, I couldn't stop. I mean, what is a birthday without ridiculous hats? We needed some. So I made some!

We finished the weekend off with a Sunday afternoon with Cory's family.  I forgot my memory card, so no pictures of that. Cory's mom always makes your favorite thing for dinner on your birthday, but Cory wouldn't tell her what to make. So, she surprised him with birthday steak for too! Haha--we didn't plan that. So basically it was the best weekend of Cory's life so far.  

Happy birthday, babe! You're my fave.