Tuesday, November 20, 2012

You Know What Sucks?

1) Coldsores.

2) And not being able to kiss all over your babygirl for days and days because of:


How is it possible that modern medicine hasn't eradicated these annoying boogers?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Update

Hello friends!!

Sorry it's been quiet around here. We're in a bit of a money crunch around the T house, so this past week mama has had her nose to the grindstone trying to work as much as I can.  And since I work from home, this usually means working during naps & once the hubs gets home- also known as my prime blogging time!!

If you can believe it, until this afternoon I had not been out of the house since we got back from our trip last Monday night.  Yes, almost a full week of not leaving the house!!  And yes, that is pathetic!!  I just haven't had the spare time.  And somehow, when there's no money to spend, there seems to be very few reasons to go out.  Sad, I know.

So this weekend has been spent doing some more work, and of course, watching lots of football.  But it's also been spent having a little pity party for myself.  Yes, as good as I know I have it, I want to have it better.  I thought about typing all the things I wish I had, but as I went over them in my head, they just seemed silly.  I know I have the things I'm supposed to have, and that's that.  The problem isn't with my deficits, it's with just being happy.  So, it's a work in progress.  Just writing this helps put things in perspective a little.

And there are lots of fun things to look forward to.  Like seeing our family this week for one of my favorite holidays: Thanksgiving!!  There are lots of yummy foods to be made and consumed, and hopefully some craftiness as well.  And of course lots of family time and spoiling of babygirl with lovin. 

I'm thinking of heading outdoors this week to look for pine cones to make these adorable table decorations for the Thanksgiving table:

Don't you just love those?  So simple, and easy!!  I think I'll use leftover orange paint from our dining room walls.  :)

I'll leave you with this thought that's resonating with me tonight...

How true is that?!?

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We're Baaaaaaaaaaack!

As I eluded to last week, we made a quickie trip to Phoenix for a friend's wedding this past weekend.  We left at the crack of dawn on Friday, and touched back down in the Atl on Monday night.  So quickie, indeed, but it was So.Much.Fun!!

Let me catch you up...

It was babygirl's first trip on a plane, and ooooh was mama worried.  Especially with a double ear infection diagnosis the day before our trip.  But she did well!  Her ears were a-okay.  Now sleeping on the plane, that was an entirely different matter.  She didn't want to do it, and she got real antsy before she finally crashed.  Also, navigating airport security is quite an ordeal with a baby and all their gear (stroller, snacks, medicine, etc).  Mama was on the receiving end of a full-on pat down during our trip out of Atl, but honestly it wasn't that big of a deal.  The people were just doing their job, and they got us on the way quickly.

Here's us after that lil stinker finally fell asleep.  Can you see the relief in my eyes?!

Now just so y'all don't think I only forget to take pics for this blog, oh no, let me tell you, I FORGOT MY CAMERA AT HOME.  Yes, I couldn't believe it!!  So we have very few pics from the trip, and only 1 pic of us all dressed up for the wedding, which was actually taken by our friends AFTER we got home and were all exhausted!  Our phones were perennially running low on battery or dead altogether (as was the case wedding day), it was terrible!

The upside of the trip: the food.  O.M.G. did I eat on this trip!  Our friends/hosts cooked for us every day, and then we were treated to a pre-wedding party the day before the wedding with the most ah-mazing food.  It was great inspiration for me- I've gotten in a bit of a food rut lately.  Let me give you the highlights...

1)  Homemade french fries!  Yes, our friends made a delish meal Friday night that included homemade french fries cut by hand, tossed with olive oil & a salt-free seasoning.  They were out of this world.  I'm thinking this would not be hard to replicate at home, given a little prep time because I do NOT have knife skills!  And I'd be sure to have malt vinegar on hand.  Mmmm.

2)  Cheesy rice with jalapenos.  I can't even tell you how good this rice was.  Saturday we attended the pre-wedding party and I could have been rolled out I ate so much!  The highlights were soft tacos with carne asada or chicken and garnished with cabbage, pickled red onions and pickled jalapenos.  But I'm getting ahead of myself!  The rice.  It was gooey, cheesy, flavorful, a tad spicy from the chunks of jalapenos, but not too much.  I have been dreaming of it and googled like crazy for a similar-sounding recipe.  I think this recipe will be a good start when I try to replicate.

3)  Pickled red onions.  Where have they been all my life?!?  Those soft tacos I mentioned above, they were garnished simply with cabbage and pickled red onions (I was too much of a baby to add the pickled jalapenos) and I felt like I had died and gone to food heaven.  The tang. The crunch. The zip from the vinegar & onion.  Yum!  I googled and found zillions of recipes, but I'm going to start with this one.  And I'm thinking a batch is in order for Thanksgiving.  They'll go well with turkey, right?  RIGHT??

4)  Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins.  All you need to know is you need to make these.  Stat.  They were part of our breakfast feast Sunday morning, and they were out of this world!  Martha Stewart rarely disappoints.   Our friend made them as mini-muffins instead of regular size, and I would totally recommend going that route.  They are buttery, moist, pumpkin-y (but not overly so) perfection.  I'm also thinking this will debut on Thanksgiving morning.

5)  Egg white veggie scramble.  Okay, I know this doesn't sound like anything special, but it was outstanding.  We love eggs in the T casa, but never do egg whites.  I'm not sure why.  Our friends made egg whites with sauteed onion, peppers, mushrooms & spinach and they were so good I didn't even miss the yolk!

6)  Scalloped potatoes with jalapenos.  The standout dish in the wedding buffet line were the scalloped potatoes with jalapenos.  I almost went back for another plate of JUST potatoes.  But I didn't. And I still regret it.  LOL.  I have an excellent (and ridiculously fattening) scalloped potato recipe that I think could easily incorporate some chopped jalapenos.  But, due to the fat factor, it's going to have to wait til its annual appearance at the Easter table.

So there ya go, our trip in a nutshell!  Lol.  And let me tell you, our flight home was not nearly as enjoyable as our flight out.  Maybe because there was nothing to look forward to, except sleeping in our own beds, of course.  Here is a much less enthusiastic looking T family:

And before you ask, yes, we wore the same clothes on the plane trip back after we washed them in Phoenix!!  They were our comfy travel clothes.  :)

I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things.  Oh, to be on vacation every day...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Window Shopping: Marshalls

I had a rare bit of time alone to wander around one of my favorite spots: Marshalls, and it did not disappoint.  Here are a few of my favorite things...

It looks a little gold in this photo, but the tray was actually silver and it was lovely!  I  adore trays, and even have a few around here, but never seem to use them.  Do people actually use trays these days??

It wasn't just the chevron on this box that made me happy, it was also those gorgeous bright colors!  I love boxes for hiding crap I don't want to look at, which is plentiful around here!

I really liked this oversized vase when I first saw it and snapped its picture.  Then I thought, really, what the heck would I do with that?  I am very good at talking myself out of purchases.

This shelf liner pack was so cute.  You can see there's a bright pink version in the background, and they also had a zebra print in brown & pink.  Thinking I should have picked these up, they were only $4 on clearance.

This was such a fun packet of pretty paper things, and I am such a SUCKER for awesome paper products.  There was a huge clearance section filled with all sorts of paper goods.  I might have been in that one aisle alone for 20 minutes!!

I can't stand how much I love this little bench.  I mean LOVE.  I saw it out of the corner of my eye as I was approaching the Home section, and I saved it for last because I knew I would love it.  Does anyone else do that?  I could totally see this at my breakfast table.  Ahhhhh.......

Another view, including the price.  I love the neutral linen fabric and the nailhead trim.  Did I already say ahhhh......

And finally, how cute are these little boots?  For $29.99 at Marshalls, I can't even imagine how much they were at the Juicy store, but they are stinkin' adorable!!!  Too bad kids wear shoes for all of 2 months tops before they're in the next size.

So those were a few of my favorite things.  See anything you like?  Oh, and I scored a dress for the wedding we're going to for $10!!!  Love deals like that.  :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Catching Up

Hey y'all!!

Whew, what a whirlwind of craziness the past few days have been, and it doesn't look like it will be letting up for a couple more days!  First, let me catch you up on the weekend...

Saturday we went to a football game with a good friend, who happens to be the mama of babygirl's best friend.  It's always so sweet when the girls are together!

Then it was more football when we got home- a nail-biter Bama game.  The hubs is a huge Bama fan, and I've become one by default/marriage.  Lol.  They always make for a great game!

Sunday mama got some time to herself, which is a rare treat.  First, I must vent.  Since becoming a mama (and thus being on a super-tight budget) I haven't tended to my hair like I used to.  Ie, I cut my own hair months back when it got to the point of driving me crazy, and I cut bangs recently because I needed a change.  We're going to a wedding soon though, and I wanted it to look better, so I decided a haircut was in order.  Now, because of aforementioned budget, I went ultra-cheap and decided to use a coupon I found for Great Clips.  I had a few other things to do, but went to get my haircut first- big mistake!  I walked right in, told the guy I needed a cut, and was sat right away.  He didn't offer to shampoo, but I was okay with it because my hair was clean.  Now, let me tell y'all what I told him: my hair is SUPER curly.  I usually either pull it back, or flat iron it, I NEVER wear it curly.  So I told him what I wanted, and he got to work spraying down my hair.  Okay, I thought, it's likely easier to cut wet hair.  As he worked, my hair began to dry, and curl like crazy, and he just continued to spray it.  Now, he finishes up the cut and pulls out the blow-dryer.  He said, I just want to get some of the moisture out.  Okay, I think, that's cool.  So he dries my hair, not with a brush or anything, just dries it.  And then says, okay, you're done.  I was in SHOCK.  I looked like orphan Annie with a head full of frizzed out curly hair.  No product.  No comb or brush.  No flat iron.  NOTHING.  I didn't even know what to say, I just paid and hightailed it to my car.  My question is, WHO DOES THAT?!  Luckily I had a little clip and a ponytail holder in the car so I quickly pulled my hair up and back so I could run my errands, but I still looked like a crazy person.  The funny thing is, the haircut is actually not bad, once I was able to flat iron it and style it myself.  I just don't understand why you'd send someone out of your salon looking a mess.  Oh well!!

Next, I got to do a little window shopping at one of my favorite old haunts: Marshalls!!  I used to hit up a Marshalls at least once a month, but because of that darn budget, I don't even tempt myself.  I needed a dress for that wedding though, so I ventured in for a rare treat.  I'll post some of my favorite finds in a separate post...

Monday & Tuesday I was in a full-day QuickBooks training class.  Fun!!  It was actually great to be in a learning environment and feel like I was doing something for myself.  And a few awesome things came out of it (apart from the training itself!).  1) The hubs (who stayed home with babygirl all day while I was in class) declared that he had way more respect for me now than he ever did before.  And 2) The hubs said he never understood before how I could not have time to shower but now sees why (day 1 he didn't get to shower!).  Those two statements alone made the time away totally worth it!!  And I love the hubs for admitting them!!  :)

So now you're all caught up!!  Today was spent getting ready for a trip we're taking.  It'll be babygirl's first time on a plane, and needless to say this mama is a little nervous!!  Just praying all goes well!  And I plan on using a little piece of advice a friend gave me: if anyone gives us an evil eye because babygirl makes a peep, remember (and remind them) that they were once a baby too.  Ha, I loved that!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Recipe: Slowcooker Chili

I made this chili a few weekends ago, when the weather was just a tad too warm for a giant vat of chili.  With the temperatures way below normal this week, I am aching for a steaming bowl of yummy chili- I may just need to whip up a batch, it's SUPER easy!!  (Note, you don't need to make this in a slowcooker, it works just as well on the stove, I was just feeling super lazy and had a day of errands planned!)

First, chop 3 green peppers, a purple onion & a yellow onion- colors are totally optional and interchangeable here!!  The grocery had a sale on a pre-wrapped pack of 3 green peppers, so I got those instead of a green, yellow & red which is what I usually do.  And I had a purple onion that had been hanging around for a while, so I used that along with the yellow onion.  So just use what you have & like.

Since there was so much veg to chop, I used this handy little chopper.  My brother, the chef, calls this lazy, but I had a perfect dice in less than five minutes.  I call that smart.

Add all the veg to a saute pan with a little oil (I use coconut oil for all my cooking), along with a pound (or two, I would have used two but I only had one on hand) of ground meat and lots of chopped garlic and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the peppers & onions are nice and soft.  I used ground chicken for the first time (I usually use ground turkey) and LOVED the results!

Ooooh, steamy!!

Meanwhile, dump 4 cans of diced tomatoes and 4 cans of beans into a slowcooker.  I used 2 cans of chili style tomatoes, 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes, and a can each of: great northern beans, black beans, chili beans, and kidney beans.  Use whatever you like, and whatever you have on hand.  I also usually add some tomato paste, but I didn't have any in the pantry, and honestly I didn't miss it.

Once the meat & veg mix is cooked through, add it to the tomato & bean mix and stir well.  At this point I added 2 tbsp of chili powder and 2 tbsp of brown sugar.   Since babygirl was (theoretically) sharing the chili with us, I didn't add any cayenne or red pepper flakes, but both would have been tasty additions.  It turns out babygirl didn't love chili, so I could have added them, but honestly between the chili tomatoes, chili beans & chili powder, there was plenty of zip!

Now just let the chili bubble away for a few hours until you're ready to eat!!

And here's a yummy bowl topped with some sharp cheddar and crushed tortilla chips.  And before you ask, this was day two of chili and the cheese shredder was in the dishwasher.  LOL.  Sliced cheese is just as delish as its shredded counterpart though!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Window Shopping: A Classy Flea

I'm not sure if these window shopping posts are a good idea- I'm giving away all my secret shopping spots!!  It's okay though, turnover at my fave spots is constant, which is a good thing because there's always something new to drool over.  Not good though if you're like me and wish later that you had made a purchase.  Here are a few of my favorite things on my last trip to A Classy Flea.  Sorry, I didn't write down prices, but the prices at this place are ALWAYS reasonable!

I love this table.  I'm always on the lookout for a cool LARGE dining table.  Although it rarely happens, in my dreams we host big raucous dinner parties and we all squeeze around a generous-sized table.  This one is a cool mix of industrial and farm, but it's not totally practical- the folks at the heads of the table would have no place for their legs/feet.  Must.keep.looking.

I've told you before of my love for vintage pull-down maps, and this was a pretty neat one.  I like the colors.  It's not a functional pull-down anymore though, which is kind of a bummer.

 I love this little loveseat!  It's a great compact size and I adore the color and lines.  I could see it in a cozy den or at the foot of a bed.  All it needs is a wooly plaid throw!

This was an interesting piece.  I'm not sure of it's original purpose, but it caught my eye.  What do you think it was used for?  It's definitely a candle holder, but why the spikes on the bottom?

I ADORE feather wreaths!!  We actually have one on our front door now (oops, I've yet to share the little bit of fall sprucing up I did around here!!).  I really like the colors in this one.

It's so hard to see because it's covered in stuff, but this was a very interesting orange chaise lounge.  It was super cheap, but I couldn't think of ONE place to put it in our home.  Sad day!

I love rocking chairs and am always on the hunt for cheap ones for our front porch.  I liked how these were a little more squat than your average rocker.

These were striking candle holders in a pretty bronze color.  They're a little too fussy for my taste, but I did stop to admire them.

It was kind of bright, but I liked this funky pink metal flower.  It reminded me of the amazing feather Juju hats that cost a zillion dollars.  I could see it on the gallery wall in babygirl's nursery.

I've mentioned before that I adore quirky pillows.  I especially like quirky needlepoint pillows!!  This cute owl fit the bill on both accounts.  Sadly, I left him behind (one of those times when I kick myself later- do you see the price on that little cutie?!  Boohooo).

These fabric pumpkins were interesting!  I hadn't seen anything like them before, but just this week I noticed them popping up on a few blogs.  Guess I'm behind the times!!  I still really like them, and think they'd be easy to recreate myself.

Not quite sure what caught my eye in this pic.  Maybe the bench?  Lots of eye candy!

More feather wreaths!  But I was actually trying to snap a shot of the pull-down map behind the wreaths.  It was newer, so the colors weren't as muted & pretty, but still a fun map.

I snapped this pic because I liked what the dealer did to make her spot a little more interesting.  Just some wooden curtain rings + burlap=  instant ambiance!


On our way out we spotted these great patio chairs.  Nothing special, but they were a great price and could be customized with cool cushions or even a nice bright spray paint.

And I showed you this little guy a few weeks back.  Still a little sorry I passed him up.  Oh well!!

So what do you think?  Would any of those treasures have gone home with you??