Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

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I'm excited to link up with Cait again today!

Christmas Traditions

The weekend before Christmas has always been spent with my Mom's side of the family and just recently started spending it with my Dad's father's side. We don't do presents on these two sides, only Grandparents, and the time is spent together eating and playing games.

My Dad and his wife are wanting to start a Christmas Eve tradition where the 6 of us get together and have a big meal, open presents and take a family photo in front of the tree. This will be our 4th year so I guess it counts.

 (Me, Chad, Clay, Cristen, Charm, Dad)

Christmas Day is hectic! We usually go over to my Mom's house first for a lunch with her and my grandparents. Santa fills our stockings and we open presents then eat lunch. And even though we don't go to their house anymore and are too big for Santa - my Meme and GrandGrand still put out a sign that says, "Santa Stop Here". They originally did this because we had to make sure Santa knew where we were. haha

(Cristen, Mom, Me)

After lunch, we go to my Dad's house to celebrate with his Mom's side of the family. The crazy tradition with this side of the family is having oyster stew at 10 in the morning. Yuck! I eat the broth with LOTS of oyster crackers. As my Uncle Frank says, in his loud, bellowing voice "You're not a Binford if you don't eat oyster stew on Christmas". We also draw names on Thanksgiving for the gift exchange. And we fill out the same wish list every year.

 (Me, Michelle, Cristen, Mamaw)

We meet with my husband's family at a different time each year. With 2 nurses and a physical therapist, there's no way to plan it the same day every year. This year we're meeting before Christmas. We don't really have any traditions beside doing a Dirty Santa gift exchange - we each buy a $50 gift for someone of the same gender and play the Dirty Santa gift game, have you heard of it? We usually play youngest to oldest, so the older members of the family have a chance to 'steal' from the younger ones. So the youngest chooses a gift - they open it and show it to everyone. The next person can either choose a gift or steal from someone (you can only steal gifts from people of your gender and a gift can only be stolen once). It's funny because the guys really get into it - their brothers - and the girls don't really steal anything.


My husband and I haven't really started any of our own traditions, but here are some of the things we do:
  • Decorate the house after Thanksgiving
  • Open our presents early - I can never keep a secret and Chad always pesters me to know what he's getting
  • Sending out photo cards
  • We'll hopefully start up our tradition of looking at Christmas light with ours best friends Justin and Caitlin (hint hint)
  • Angel Tree Child 
  • Candle light service at our church
We can't wait to start even more family traditions once we have children (or maybe even before!):
  • I love the idea of baking Jesus a birthday cake  (my sister-in-law and I have already talked about that. Maybe I'll do it this year!) Or doing anything that would celebrate the birth of our Savior.
  • Leaving cookies out for Santa (We did this when I was little)
  • My great-grand mother is in an Assisted Living facility literally 2 houses down from where we live and I think it would be nice to go visit and sing Christmas Carols. 
  • Stay at home Christmas morning - this will be hard to do but I don't want my children to be pulled in to the craziness that is my family's holidays. I don't want them to be stressed like I have been for so many years. I would love to be able to go to ONE place on Christmas day instead of running around like we usually do.
So that about sums it up. Sometimes it's hard to remember what Christmas is really about and I hope we will add some traditions to our list to help us remember that.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

I'm linking up with Cait today. Join in if you can!






What does Christmas mean to you?

First and foremost, it represents the Birth of my Savior Jesus Christ. It represents the love our God has for us, because He sent His ONLY Son to this Earth to save us from our sins. Think about that, He sacrificed His Son for US! It just amazes me to know that someone loves us that much!

Honestly, I enjoy the holidays but with my parents divorced and my dads parents divorced, holidays have always been very stressful. I am looking forward to having children so we can start our own traditions and hopefully focus more on what Christmas is all about. (if you've already forgotten read the first paragraph!)

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Christmas Cards

    You know from my previous post that I was planning to order our Christmas cards from Shutterfly. I took part in their Holiday promotion and received 50 free Christmas Cards! Here's what we chose:

    I love them. It was the only one we both agreed on and I can't wait to see the finished product. I just checked the shipment progress and they are on their way from North Carolina - I'm like a little kid on Christmas morning - I can't wait to get them!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    It's that time of year!

    Don't you just love this time of year. It makes me realize how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family and great friends. I also love to give gifts. I love the reaction on everyone's face and how excited children get when opening presents.

    I'm always looking for unique or personalized gifts. I think I've found the perfect place!

    Shutterfly.com is a great place to find all kinds of personalized and unique gifts.

    I told my parents that I would make them a Photobook of our wedding pictures and that has yet to happen, so maybe this is the year to do it! Here are a couple of my faves right now (I'm really into teal and orange):


    Does anyone use a mouse pad anymore? I know my grandparents do, so I thought this would be a cute idea for them:


    And who doesn't like to drink their coffee and see their favorite person? My sister would love these mugs personalized with pictures of us (she's a big coffee drinker like my dad)!


    Now let's talk photo cards. I love the idea because you are able to send your friends and family a little bit of yourself in the mail - in the form of a photograph. I feel like it's a more personal way to send some Christmas cheer. And your hands will thank you too.

    Here are some I like:







    Woe is me, how will I ever choose!

    If you were wondering where to go to purchase Christmas gifts or cards, I would suggest you start with Shutterfly! They have a lot of deals going on right now, so you better check them out while they last!

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    I've been tagged!

    It's time to dust off the cobwebs from my blog and start it up again...I'm hoping that once I am finished with school and work (8 more work days!!) I will be able to blog more. Keep your fingers crossed!

    Cait from theblessedlife has asked me these questions (sorry it took me so long to answer them!):

    1. What are you looking forward to most about having children? If you already have children, what is the best thing about being a parent? If you aren't planning on having children, what is your favorite thing about a special kiddo in your life?
      • Oh man! I'm just looking forward to having children! I'm really curious to know what our kids will look like and what their personalities will be. I've been around a lot of children (we both have big families) and really looking forward to having my own for once!
    2. What is your favorite bible verse?
      • We just talked about being God's beloved in Sunday School so I have this verse on my mind, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God" 1 John 4:7
      • I like the verse because it reminds me to love others even when I don't want to. It is especially speaking to me now that Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner.
    3. What is the most romantic thing your husband has done for you?
      • The one thing that was probably the most romantic to me was finding our dogs. I was devastated when things fell through with getting a German Shepherd - but was pleasantly surprised when my husband woke me up one morning and told me we were going to get a puppy!
      • He also buys me flowers for no reason and surprises me with fun outings.
    4. I like this question....so I'm revising it a bit.  Where do you see yourself in just 5 years?
      • I see myself as a teacher, hopefully at the same school as my sister-in-law. If it's God's plan we will have a couple kids and still be in our first house, but with a lot of much needed updates and at least a partially finished basement - I love that my husband is a builder and can do those things!
    5. What is something you would do if you had more time on your hands?
      •  I would sew more. My mom bought me a sewing machine and I haven't used it as much as I would like. I would fix my husband breakfast, I would take a nap! I would go grocery shopping during the day, maybe hit up Whole Foods!
    6. What is the best thing about the town in which you live?
      • It's small and comfortable. We have a historic district with fun little shops and a farmer's market on the court house lawn every Saturday during the season. It's just fun.
    7. What is the last random act of kindness you showed toward someone or someone else showed to you? 
      • I feel weird talking about this because I feel like I'm bragging, so just know that is not what I'm doing! The other day I was in line at the store and a woman was short some cash and I offered to give her some money, but she ended up sending her son out to the car to get what she needed. I don't know if that counts but at least I tried!
    8. What is you and your hubby's "typical" date night? Your staple time together that you love? The kind of date night that you both love but maybe you think others might not "get". 
      • My husband and I don't like to spend a lot of/any money to spend time together so our date nights are usually spent watching movies on Netflix. We occasionally go out to eat at a restaurant but it doesn't take much to satisfy us.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Miscellany Monday

    Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

    one. My husband and I made the second biggest purchase of our lives...we bought a car! (we bought our house in January) Mine was about 13 years old and we were tired of putting money into it. It wasn't by any means a junker or anything - just an old car. So...we sold it and then bought the car of my dreams...a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I have been swooning over them since the new body style came out (the not so boxy one). The one we got had EVERYTHING we wanted and still came it only $11 over the monthly price we had budgeted. I couldn't be happier especially because we plan to keep this through a couple kids and pay it off way before the amount of time we have.

    two. I'm making a blanket. For my nephew. He requested it. I've made one blanket as a test run and I think after I make this one for nephew #3 I will have to make one of the other 4 and my niece.

    three. Speaking of my nephews and niece....March 13th is when #7 is due! Lucky number 7! I am beyond excited! I can't wait! I kinda hope it's a girl but would be okay with either (with 5 nephews already, what's another?)

    four. After all my excitement about being able to finally quit my job, I am now second guessing it. Last week our best writer broke the news that her husband was getting a job with the FBI and they would be moving to VA and she was offered a full-time job...So my boss was very disappointed and it doesn't feel right to break the news so soon or at all. Why do I have to be such a nice girl. Even though I want to quit - so bad - I feel guilty. Why? Not really sure, but I do. And I feel like when the time would be more appropriate, I might as well just stay anyways. There's also not a lot of work to be done - because we've finished everything with our current clients - so if she doesn't get any new clients I can't see me being there much longer anyways (I can hope right?)

    five. I start my last semester of my Masters! I can't believe how fast it has gone by! This one is on Math and Science and then in January I will be student teaching! I'm kinda nervous to Student teach but I think it's because I haven't been in the classroom much and just feel out of shape in that area.

    Well, that's it for today! Hope everyone is doing well and has had a great start to the week!

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Picture of the Week

    Found this little guy yesterday. This is fresh from the camera!

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Miscellany Monday



    Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
    {one} We went to a family reunion in West Virgina this past weekend. Actually, my husband left on Thursday but because of the job situation I decided it would be best to wait and come up Saturday. Well, it wasn't my choice to come up Saturday, that was made by my brother-in-law and his wife. It was a great reunion but there weren't very many people there - usually there's over 50 and this year, there were about 30 of us. My favorite part of the trip was riding there and back with my BIL and SIL (brother-in-law & sister-in-law) and the cutting board I got from my Uncle Jim =] He owns a construction company just like my father-in-law (his brother) and when they put in new counter tops they have to cut the hole out for the sink...well instead of throwing that piece away, they use it to make cutting boards! He's awesome and I love him!
     Uncle Jim

    My BIL A-Dub (he's goofy like my husband & no his hair isn't normally like this!)


    Chad and I

    {two} You all may know that Cait from theblessedlife is my real life best friend...yeah I know her! Well her and her husband are running a 5k in October and now it's got me itching to do one. My husband has run several in the 5 years we've been together but me...nope, never. I just watch on the sidelines. I've always had the desire to run one with him and I know he wants me to...so I guess now is my chance. I started training today and it was the first day I've ran in like 6 months. I.am.tired. But I feel good! My husband probably won't train unless I beg him to run with me but he doesn't really need to unless he wants to improve his time. A few weeks ago he ran in a 5k that started at our church and well, without any training he got 10th or 11th place overall and 1st in his age group. Seriously! I wish I could do that! We might try and drag our oldest nephew out there with us, he seemed interested. I'll let you know how it goes!

    That's all for me! I've got some homework to do before my final summer class on Thursday! Yay! Catch ya later!




    Friday, July 30, 2010

    I'm Back!

    Did ya miss me?

    I wish I could say I've been on a fabulous vacation, but sadly that is not the case for me. Here's what I've been up to:

    1. School: My two summer classes have been keeping me busy. Thanks goodness I only have one class left and then a 3 week break before my final set of classes! Then, student teaching in the spring! Yay! 
    2. Job: So you all might know that I'm not a fan of my current job. I'll leave it at that. So after much deliberation and budgeting we've decided that I can quit my job and start subbing when school starts. That means I've been working my booty off to get job applications into all the surrounding counties and a couple private schools nearby. I won't be able to start some until September including the county I live in, which stinks but there are a couple I will be on the list for as soon as school starts, so that's a relief. The only thing keeping my at my job now is my husband...he won't let me put in my two weeks yet, not really sure why...but I'm still working on him. I am ready to be done!
    3. Home: A hose to our dishwasher is leaking...like big time! So I am not allowed to use it and am forced to use my blog time to wash our dishes. You might not think that's a lot of dishes, but it is! I cook every night, like really cook not just warm up food or leftovers and we all know how much it takes to cook food. Pots, utensils, cups, plates, bowls, etc. Yeah, I'm seriously considering ordering in every night. 
    In other news, I found an cool no-sew tote that I am going to try to make. It's meant to be used for groceries. I just need to get the fabric! I'll share all the details when I get around to making it. Which will hopefully be next week.

    I'm going to leave you with this picture of my sweet, little niece. Have a great weekend ya'll!


    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    To Be Organic or Not To Be, That is the Question...

    The big "thing" now is to be "green". A lot of people are switching to organic and natural products. I am quite interested in this movement and have done lots of research on it.

    It all started during my undergrad when I had to write a paper on a topic of my choosing. It had to do something with consumers and the products we buy. I chose to research BPA in plastics. Wow. When I first started researching I found a lot of stuff that said the amount of BPA that leaches out into your food is insignificant...but then I hit the jackpot and found research linking BPA to cancer and other diseases. No thanks! I'd rather not risk my life and switch to BPA free plastics and glass containers.

    I was like a little kid testing out the water with my toes, but the water wasn't warm enough for me yet. I still wasn't convinced that organic was what I needed to be eating and that my "footprint" actually mattered. I was actually one of those people who thought it was silly to be green and natural. I wasn't about to give up the things I was comfortable with.

    It wasn't until I watched the documentary Food Inc. that the water was warm enough for me to jump in! I would highly suggest you watch this film. It's about how animals are treated prior to being cooked in our kitchens. Now, I'm not a member of PETA or anything but I don't think animals should be treated poorly just because they are going to end up as food. And I believe that those farmers who are doing the right thing (in my eyes) should be people I support.

    In the weeks following I did a lot of research on organic foods and how to be green. Now, I'm no expert but I know if I have any questions I can easily look something up on the internet.

    My plan is to move towards becoming 100% organic and be at that point when my husband and I have children. Okay, okay, that's a huge task in such little time (I'm thinking a couple years) I know! I'm not sure if we'll be 100% organic but I'm going to be very critical about what we eat - especially our children.

    Here's the plan:
    1. Antibiotic and hormone free meats
    2. USDA organic foods when available
    3. Farmer's Market during that season
    4. Cage free/free range, USDA Organic eggs
    5. 100% whole wheat grains
    There are so many things I could put on this list but for now, those are the top five.

    I'm working on starting a page to track my progress at fulfilling my big goal. So be on the look-out for that!

    Does anyone have any ideas on things I could do/change? I have so many ideas in my head it's hard to remember them all and actually put them into practice. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

    Have a great rest of the week. I might not be around until Monday - in a wedding Friday! Peace out!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Picture of the Week

    I've been going to our local farmer's market and love it. (More on that in another post)

    Enjoy this eye candy because I'm going to enjoy eating this (everything except the flowers of course)!


    Monday, July 5, 2010

    White Out

    A while back my husband and I were furniture shopping (bedroom and dining room) and we happened upon a sale at one of the stores. And no, it wasn't a furniture sale (that would have been nice). They were selling their old decorations - you know the things they use to make the sets look more homey - everything was 75% off! It was every girls dream.

    We got about 13 items for $27. They even gave us a couple items for free because they needed to get rid of it. Here's a rundown of what we purchased:

    • 4 tall vases - 2 came with flowers and they are supposed to charge for those but the guy gave them to us for free (I like how that sounds coming out of my mouth!)
    • 3 clocks (I don't what it is but suddenly we have a thing for vintage clocks - I say vintage because it sounds cooler)
    • 3 square picture frames
    • 1 candle
    • 1 candle holder
    • 1 short and stout red vase thingy (probably my favorite thing we purchased)

    Most of these things we will keep as-is. But some of them, the 3 matching vases and 3 matching frames, are getting a much needed makeover! 

    Here's the picture of the vases, up close and personal before their makeover.


    Yes, they are ugly. But I saw their potential and wanted to give them a new life! And that's exactly what I did. 

    It was so easy to give them a make over my 3 year-old nephew could have done it (or a caveman). I laid out an old drop cloth - my husband works construction so we have plenty laying around - on our driveway and grabbed a can of white gloss spray pain that I already had on hand and got to it! I got the spray paint from Walmart for $1? I can't remember exactly how much, I just know it was cheap.

    I didn't do anything to "prep" the vases, just spayed 3 coats of spray paint - over the course of several days - and let it dry in-between coats. This was probably the easiest thing I've spray painted! Here are my pretty vases, fresh from their makeover.

    I love them! I like them here by the fireplace but since it's kinda crowded over there with the TV I moved them here, until we mount the TV above the fireplace.

    I love how the white can totally transform just about anything! I have more white-out transformations coming - I'm still working on the trim but now I'll have my husband to help me!

    I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. I'm enjoying my day off - haven't had one in a long time! I'm so thankful we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Pomegranate Lemonade

    You know how I gave up Coke? I gave that up only to succumb to a new addiction (or two)...

    My favorite new drinks are:

    1. Peach tea (I strongly dislike the taste of plain tea - it taste like leaves)
    2. Cranberry Grape Juice
    3. And.....Pomegranate Lemonade!
    There it is in all its' pom-lemony goodness. I use Countytime lemonade (yellow) and Pom Pomegranate-Blueberry Juice. I know, I know, that stuff is expensive but a little goes a long way. I probably used two tablespoons-ish to make this glass and this is what I would like to call perfection.

    That's what I've been sipping on lately, but now a paint update....Our trim was brown and little did I know how many coats of white semi-gloss trim paint it would take. I think on Monday I had talked about doing all the trim in the whole house, and today I'm thinking I'll be lucky if I get the living room. Ugh...I guess my husband will be finishing his surprise!



      Monday, June 28, 2010

      Miscellany Monday

      Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters


      [one] I had a great time Saturday at my friends lingerie shower and bachelorette party. Granted, I was really stressed out before hand (I hosted both) I think everything turned out well and my friend had a great time.We had the shower at my house - it was a good idea on my part because it forced me to clean our house. And then went out to Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Artist in You (a pottery painting place) and Starbucks for the bachelorette party - yeah we're really low-key. Then, we stayed up until midnight chatting and catching up. It was a great night!

      [two] While at work today, around 9am (I remember because I was thinking...ugh, I still have 6 more hours of work...) I seriously thought I was going to fall asleep right then and there. I was doing a lot of data entry to prepare our e-mail newsletters for distribution to clients...so boring...and it was making me so tired! It probably doesn't help that I went to bed late on Saturday, got up early on Sunday and couldn't sleep last night. I usually chew gum to keep me awake but I didn't have any so I had a mint. It helped a little but there were moments where I thought my eyes would not stay open! I think if I were allowed to listen to music, that would help me stay awake, but nope, can't do that! Anywhoo, looking back on it, it's kinda funny. Does that happen to anyone else or am I the only one? It's okay if I am.

      [three] You may have noticed I watermarked all of my images...it's because of two posts I read: one warning people not to take her photos because she didn't watermark them and the other venting about the fact that someone took their photos and passed them off as their own...these were pregnancy, birth and baby photos - that person is messed up! All the photos on my site - unless credited - are my own personal photos - ones that I, as an amateur photographer, have taken. I totally don't mind if you use them for backgrounds on your computer or whatever - it would be creepy if you used one of me though...- but PLEASE don't try to pass them off as your own. I only have 5 followers as of today and I'm not worried about you all, just those that I might not know that have seen this blog.

      [four] Have I mentioned how awesome my husband is? Well, he's just great! I've been pretty stressed out the last couple weeks with school and work. I'm always stressed at work...I was seriously considering cutting down to 30 hours a week for this coming semester [my last] because everyone says it's the hardest! Let's just say Chad did not like that idea so he mentioned something about a massage - I have been complaining that my upper back has been hurting - well I took him up on it. I am scheduled for a 60 minute massage today at 3:30pm. I can't wait! I've only had one other massage and it was nice. I'm hoping they can get all the tension out of my back. (Kristin, I guess that's my treat for finishing that stinky paper!)

      [five] I just discovered Pandora Radio...it's awesome. If you haven't checked it out you should.

      [six] I've started a little surprise project for my husband while he is gone. It consists of painting all the trim and door frames in our house. I will definitely post before and after pictures. I can't wait to be rid of all our ugly BROWN trim - yes ladies, brown. Oh and there's glitter on the ceiling in our living room and bedroom...I have no idea what the previous owners were thinking!

      Well that's all for today. I'm off to massage land, later!

      Wednesday, June 23, 2010

      Accomplishment of the Week

      Since this blog belongs to me I figured I could brag on myself a little. I try to never do this because it's not very nice but I'm just so dag-on excited I couldn't keep from doing so.

      I just finished my research proposal for my summer class! {insert applause audio clip}

       Why is this such a big deal, well...
      1. This is the one class I was not wanting to take and especially at a Master's level. I was so stressed out about it! I even changed my major to avoid a research class in college, that is how much I dislike research!
      2. I hate writing papers - there are very few things that I will actually say I hate because I really don't like use that word. But, I have never been that good at English or writing in general. Every English class I have ever taken - highschool, bachelors, masters - I have ALWAYS gotten a B...that is pretty much the sole reason I never had a 4.0 overall in highschool or college. BLAH!
      Combine those two things and the result is STRESS galore. 

      But, now that it's done, I am stress free. It only took me 7 hours to write and was a total of 14 pages! Not the longest paper I've written by the way.

      I'm not looking for comments I just feel like telling the world and anyone in the world can read my blog so this is the closet I'm getting.

      Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday and maybe I'll see you tomorrow! Toodles!

      Kindred Connection: Movie Edition

      Windy Poplars

      1. Childhood favorites: Oh man, there's so many! Here's the short list
        • Who Framed Roger Rabbit
        • Mary Poppins (my Dad sometimes calls me Cheri Poppins)
        • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipmunk Adventure
        • Care Bears Movie
        • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I was sad when they redid it)
      2. Live in any movie: wow, I've actually never thought about this...Harry Potter (I know it might not be "Christian" but I think it would be so cool and I'm kinda a fantasy lover), Austin Powers (these movies are hilarious! I would be laughing the whole time!), Cheaper by the Dozen (I've always wanted a huge family so I'd like to see what that would be like).
      3. Midnight Showings: My dad, sister, brother, husband (boyfriend at the time) and I went to see Pirates 3 and I went with my youth group to see The Passion of the Christ. There might be others but those are the two I can remember.
      4. Movie Release: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1&2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides
      5. Theater goer, renter, wait and buy?: We go see it in the theater if it's something we really want to see and have been waiting for, we have Netflix so we'd watch it on DVD if it's something we can wait on or if it's already out on DVD and we rarely buy DVDs unless they are super cheap!

      Tuesday, June 22, 2010

      Pictures of the Week

      Here are some pictures I took from our anniversary trip.

      so that's what the 3rd cup holder is for!

      on the way to the cabin

      our cabin "Hidden Falls"

      the hidden falls

      spider...eeek!

      the lake

      skylift!

      gorgeous

      my husband and I

       neat/scary/super small tunnel

      Good thing we knew where we were because Garmin didn't!

      Now I'm off to finish a paper!

      Monday, June 21, 2010

      Miscellany Monday

      Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

      {uno} Does anyone else feel like everyone you know is pregnant? I know like 10+ people that are pregnant - no joke. We just found out my cousin is pregnant with her second child, hoping it's a boy this time. And our good friends are expecting as well! They just went on a second honeymoon and my best friend and I were hoping it was a "babymoon" - you know, the last hoorah before you have children. I guess we were right! I'm definitely excited for them! (I know that's not 10 people but those are the two I just found out about). Oh and every time I see my husband's brother and his wife - I am expecting a big announcement from them! I get myself psyched up just to be let down...haha if they only knew! And us? Well WE are planning for a few years from now, but we also understand that God's plans could be different! We just pray that HIS plans are somewhat aligned with ours on this one!

      {two} I tried a Bison burger the other day and LOVED it. Seriously, it was the best burger I have ever had! I actually bought some ground Bison meat today from the butcher's shop close to where I work and can't wait to make some for dinner. I did a little research on it and what I saw was that Bison meat has the best flavor and that it is healthier than beef. That's all the research I did before deciding to try one. It is a little more expensive, at the butcher shop the ground beef was $4.99/lb and the Bison was $7.99/lb.

      {3} I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be pretty busy this week with school work and getting my house ready for a shower and bachelorette party I'm throwing for a girl I've known since middle school. So, I'm not going to promise a post every day like I did last week (maybe I shouldn't have started off so strong) Oh well, just be forewarned and don't get mad at me =]

      Well that's it for me today! I could probably go on and on but I gotta go make me a burger before I dehydrate from drooling!

      Friday, June 18, 2010

      Summer Reading List

      You might wonder how I could possibly have time to read between school, work, blogging, church, husband and family. Well, I really don't! That's why my list isn't long. My goal is to read a chapter-ish every night before I go to sleep - it helps me to relax and sleep better.

      1. The Green Book


      This is first on my list because it's the one I've already started reading. My mother bought be this book from Kohl's (thanks mom!) - this was at the start of my "green" makeover. It has all kinds of tips on how to create less waste, use less energy and save some green (the best green of all - money!).

      2. Eat This Not That For Kids

      You might be wondering why I got the kids version...I was actually wondering that myself! I accidentally purchased it at Half-Price Books for $9.98 - but I'm glad I didn't return it. I've only skimmed through it and can tell it's not just for kids - I mean come on, we adults like to eat ice cream too! When I'm finished I'll recycle it back to Half-Price, get barely anything for it and let them sell it for another $10 or actually I could put it up on Amazon! My favorite place to buy books.

      3. Nikon D3000 For Dummies
      Yep, I'm a dummy! I want to read this book so I can learn how to better use our new-fangeld camera! I want to improve my photography skills and take better pictures! I've said it before, the Nikon pretty much does everything itself, but I want to do better!

      4. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
      This one is my leisure book. I have read her first two books, Something Borrowed and Something Blue, but I have not read this one. My sister has read all of her books - I think there's 5, but don't quote me on that - and she really liked them. I don't have the book but I plan to purchase it from Half-Price or the ever faithful Amazon. Or if I really don't want to buy it, I'll get it from the library - but some day I hope to have one, maybe once we finish the basement, but that's a story for another day.

      Welp, that's my list! Do you all have any suggestions of good books to read? I would love to hear! I hope you all have an awesome Father's Day weekend and relax some. We'll see if I have any time to do the latter...

      Thursday, June 17, 2010

      Peanut Butter Jelly!

      I'm on a health kick right now, you probably already knew that from my days without Coke tracker. Well, technically I'm just changing a few things - I can get rid of Coke but I refuse to give up my candy!

      One thing I am changing is my peanut butter...

      Let me start by saying I love peanut butter! I could eat it everyday on just about anything! I don't know what I would do if I found out I was allergic to it.

      My concern is all the ingredients in regular jar of peanut butter? There's too many if you ask me.

      I didn't just decide to look on my own. I was actually browsing the Whole Foods website to see if their 365 brand was organic and someone had commented that it had too many ingredients. At that time I was like, come on, really? But now I have a totally different point of view.  If you think about it, shouldn't peanut butter be peanuts only?

      Here's the list of ingredients from an unnamed brand of peanut butter:

      1. Roasted peanuts {the good stuff}
      2. Sugar {good ole sugar}
      3. Molasses - this and the rest have 2% or less {more sugar?!}
      4. Fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapseed and soybean) {hydrogenated? why}
      5. Mono & Diglycerides {what the heck is that?}
      6. Salt {just what we need, more salt!}
      Here's the ingredients from the new peanut butter I've been buying:
      1. Dry roasted peanuts {now that's what I'm taking about}
      I've been shopping at The Fresh Market down the road from my work and they have the coolest machine! Yes, I know I'm weird for getting excited about this but I can't help it. I blame my parents. Just kidding. Anyways, it's a machine that makes FRESH peanut butter right there in front of your very own eyes! How cool is that! I didn't think there was such a thing that us consumers could purchase! I guess you learn something new everyday! And just to let you know I added this to my wish list on Amazon.com

       (credit: Amazon.com)

      This is kinda what it looks like - just the one at The Fresh Market looks more industrial. What you do is take one of their round, plastic containers and hold it under the spout. You hit the start button and it grinds up the peanuts from the top and makes a peanut-buttery-goodness goop. It costs $2.99 a pound and they also have almond and cashew butter - the almond is $7.99 a pound and the cashew is $4.99 a pound (don't quote me on that though)

      You may wonder what it tastes like. Well just remember the last time you ate some plain peanuts and that's what it tastes like. Chewed up peanuts - sorry for the gross way of putting it but sometimes that is just how my brain works. I think the biggest taste difference is that it's unsweetened.

      And because I didn't think the plastic packaging would keep my peanut butter well enough - I have this thing about eating bad food, I'm scared I'll eat some bad food and be sick for a week - I put it in a ball jar that I actually got from my best friends wedding. I like putting free things to good use!

       (please excuse the unclean rim...that's a little embarrassing)

      Let, me tell you something...if I like a product or am really interested in something, I could talk your ear off about it - you'll learn that about me!