It's Wednesday, and I'm in love

I'm LOVING my beautiful fall arrangement I won as a door prize at a work lunch last week! Best of all, I can use the pumpkin for decor for many years :)

I'm LOVING that J finally finished our fence this weekend and we got to move the horses to the house! Yay for saving $70 a month, plus gas and time we spent just driving to the pasture. 

I'm LOVING that the temperatures have dipped to that just-perfect weather.

Which also means I'm LOVING that the weather is finally perfect for foods like chili! 

I'm LOVING that after a week of skipping the gym (due to a girl's night, concert, etc.) I'm back in full force. It really does make me feel better.

I'm LOVING that one of my besties found out she has a job! B graduated in December 2008 with a degree in landscape architecture, and it's obviously not in demand right now. But on Monday an old firm she interned with in DC contacted her and she'll be employed soon. I'll miss my friend, but DC is much better than unemployed or some of the other places she was looking at. Plus, now we have an excuse to visit!

I'm LOVING that after many weekends of hard work, we only have two commitments for the weekend. Part of this is thanks to my awesome boss, who volunteered to work Saturday morning for me :)

And I'm always LOVING this man. He is so good to me.

To share your loves, or read more, go to This Kind of Love.


Thankful Thursday

It's been an amazing day and I have lots to be thankful for!

1 - I don't have to work tomorrow. Hello, three-day weekend!

2 - Thanks to awesome business friends, I scored tickets to see these two hotties in concert tonight:

I love both Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan!

3 - At a work lunch today, my number was drawn for a door prize and I won a BEAUTIFUL fall arrangement. No photo yet - but soon.

4 - I have awesome friends! Last night we had a little girls night and it was a blast! I've missed it.

5 - I get to watch one of my favorite kids tomorrow night! He is a doll :)

6 - We have one small change for our fence and then we get to move the horsies this weekend - thank goodness!


A recipe: Apple Cake

My company is hosting a recipe contest, and someone sent in this yummy apple cake recipe last week. It sounded yummy and I had a big bag of cull apples, so I tried it. 
It was DELISH! I ate this for breakfast and supper yesterday. J suggested icing, and I have a family reunion this weekend and will probably top with cream cheese frosting. 

What you'll need:
4 cups chopped apples
1 c. oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. coconut (I did not add this)
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 c. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts

The recipe says to let the apples for a juice. My mom said it would be best to mix in some of the sugar to do this and let it set for an hour, so that's what I did. A coworker told me that she blended hers, though, so either way it works!
Once the juice forms, add the rest of the ingredients. I mixed about half the nuts in and reserved the rest to sprinkle on top.
Pour into a 9 by 13 pan and bake at 350 for one hour. 


What I'm Loving

01 - I get Shannon time today! Shannon is the girl who cuts my hair (the only one for just over three years now) and I always look forward to my appointments. This is the last one before she has her baby, so I've got to make sure it will last just over two months!

02 - The Big Brother finale is tonight! Up until a few weeks ago, I really wanted Lane to win, but his protecting Brit turned me away - so go Hayden!

03 - Our fence is almost done! Thank goodness - I can't wait to not have to pay that extra $50 a month for pasture rent and drive 10 minutes to feed the critters. 

04 - There is a wine festival downtown this weekend! I can't wait to spend time sipping wine with great friends!

05 - Football season is here and my Tigers are 2-0. Woot Woot!

06 - I am getting back on the workout train! Maybe those last 10 pounds will finally budge over the next two months and I can treat myself with some highlights once Shannon gets back :)

07 - I keep saying it, but the weather lately has been absolutely GORGEOUS! I'm just ready for my allergies to clear up. Zyrtec works, but it makes me soooo tired. 


Finally Friday!

Gosh, this week sure has crept by. The week after a holiday weekend has a way of doing that ... and I'm going to do it to myself again next week! I have to work Saturday, so I'm taking Monday off :)
We have a pretty low-key weekend planned. Tonight we're having Mexican, which I'm hoping will help clear up my stuffy nose, and then heading home to play pool. Tomorrow the guys are moving fence so I'll try to get some house cleaning done - the kitchen is an absolute mess since I haven't done dishes or anything since Monday, thanks to my lovely sinus headaches.
Other than cleaning and fencing, relaxing is all that's on the agenda for the weekend, and I'm going to enjoy!!!


Things I'm not loving

— I've decided I don't like fall after all! These past two days, I've been sneezing up a storm and having a horribly runny nose. This is my new bff (along with chicken broth, sweats and blankets):
— My tires need replaced and I definitely don't want to shell out all of the money for them. Sad face. I've known they were border line for a little over a month but J said he would monitor them if I wanted to wait. Well, while I was at the grocery store last weekend a kind man pointed out one of the tires was low, and it practically went flat that day! So I am going to get a new set this weekend. Goodbye, paycheck. 

— Mice! They are running around the house like crazy and I can only guess it's because we live near corn fields that are being harvested. We finally resorted to poison and just hope Hank doesn't eat any dead mice and get sick. Last week the kitchen smelled a bit so I went digging and found a dead one in a cabinet - gross, but a victory!


What I'm Loving

* I'm leaving work in 10 minutes! I got here at 6:30 a.m. and am ready to nap!

* It's a four-day work week! After working six days last week, I'm ready to relax!

* Our fence is almost done! All we lack is grounding and hooking up the hotwire and a small section. The problem with the section is that our neighbor's chain-link fence is nine inches over the property line there, but we are going to help them move it this weekend and then hopefully get it done. So no more paying rent on a pasture when we have four acres!

* My ring is being cleaned! I used to be sooo addicted to getting it cleaned but have let it slip and it's NASTY! Plus a couple of the prongs are loose. I have insurance and am fully covered if anything happens, but J hand-picked my stone and I would die if I lost it. 

* Yummy food! We had potluck at work today and I am stuffed. I likely ate more dessert than actual food. I'll be spending some time with Jackie Warner tonight :)

--- There are a few things I'm definitely NOT loving now, so tomorrow I'll update on those. 


Stovetop lasagna

What you’ll need:

I tried a new recipe last night, and it was really good! It came out sort of like a homemade hamburger helper :)
Anyhow, it was super easy, and here it is:

What you'll need:
1 pound Ground Chuck
5 cups Noodles (recipe calls for bow tie, but I used elbow macaroni b/c that's what I had on hand)
3 cups Spaghetti Sauce 
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning 
½ cups Mozzarella Cheese
½ cups Sour Cream
Preparation Instructions
Make it!
Fry ground chuck in small pan. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.
After noodles are cooked, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in your spaghetti sauce. 
Add your fried hamburger, seasonings, cheese, and sour cream. Fold together and allow it all to combine and melt together, over low heat, for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

This made a TON! We have a country crock container left over.

A few changes I'll make next time:

- Use less noodles. It wasn't too dry or anything, but I REALLY like sauce to dip garlic bread in :)
- More cheese! Once again, not bad, but I LOVE cheese. I'd probably garnish it with some more mozerella. 
- And that's it! This is super easy, cheap and filling. 


What I'm Loving

— It's September! This is the time of year that the weather is just perfect - jeans and a T-shirt and your set. And the air conditioner/furnace don't run too much :)

— This is a holiday weekend! I have to work on Saturday, but I'll take two days over one any time. 

— This weekend is my hometown picnic. It's not fancy, but I love running into people I haven't seen in ages (lots of times since the last year) and the food is to die for. Plus my friend's kid is in the Tiny Mr. pageant, so I'll definitely be rooting him on!

— My new purchases from Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal and F21. I just purchased a few things to mix up my wardrobe, and have gotten so many compliments!

— My ab strength! I know this makes me sound like I dork, but I just absolutely love my Jackie Warner DVD and I feel my abs getting stronger every day. Plus I can tell that my pudge is much smaller when I look at my profile in the mirror.

— The holiday decor in the stores! I went to Hobby Lobby with a friend yesterday and it's a good thing I'm broke or I would have gone crazy buying fall and Christmas stuff. I stuck to two ornaments that were 40 percent off for a couple of kids, though.