Happy Halloween!

He may be the cutest little devil ever :)


What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm linking up to Jamie's blog again this week :)

{1} I'm LOVING that I have today off work - even though it means working Saturday. Since J and I just relaxed all weekend, I had a lot of cleaning and housework to catch up on. The last load of laundry is in the dryer and about half the house is clean, so I'm definitely feeling accomplished.

{2} I'm LOVING this beautiful day! It's so nice to have the windows open at the house and it still just be 74 degrees in here. I am so looking forward to a lower electricity bill this month :)

{3} I'm LOVING that I have dinner in the Crock Pot. Seriously, Crock Pots are the best invention ever. I recently purchased a huge pork loin that was on sale for about $1.50 a pound --- and all 10 lbs are in the Crock Pot right now! I'll shred it and put BBQ sauce on top for sandwiches, and then freeze the rest in Ziploc baggies big enough for two meals.

{4} Speaking of food, I'm LOVING the new recipe I made last night. I found the Poppyseed Chicken recipe on Lyndsie's blog and it is definitely a keeper!

{5} I'm LOVING that Mizzou won Homecoming and that we rose big time in the rankings! I'll definitely be sporting my black and gold this weekend as the Tigers play Nebraska.

{6} I'm LOVING that the new pair of boots I bought last week should be arriving any day now! After trying on several pairs while we were in St. Louis, I found some I loved. Of course, it is difficult when you have freakishly large feet --- not many stores carry a size 11. Bless Jim's heart, he was very patient with me. Luckily I found some in black that were that size and I loved them, so ordered them in brown. I dont' have an item number but will probably post the beauties once they arrive :)

{7} I'm LOVING that Halloween is this weekend. I still have no idea what we're doing, but I do have a few costume ideas. Jim's niece, who is my size, is in dance, so she has tons of outfits I can borrow.

{8} I'm LOVING Willow Smith's video. Have you seen it? It's hilarious!

{9} As always, I'm loving this man :)


Hank's birthday recap

Hank had a great birthday! The meaty birthday cupcakes were a huge hit --- after just one, he was shaking in anticipation for more --- I'm glad he didn't have a heart attack.

Here I be with the cupcakes --- after we gave them their first, of course. 

The dogs inhaled them and are waiting for another --- look at the Beeg licking her lips in anticipation. 

Such good, pretty dogs. Can you tell Hank is totally zoned in on the food?

BG loves her Hank --- giving him birthday smooches :)

Hank also got a bone for his birthday. He really liked it!

Here's to another 10 years, buddy!


I'm back!!!


It's been a busy four days, and I've made a real effort to soak up the time with my love :)

So now I'm back in the office, but feel lost and have a million things to catch up on --- or so it feels. 

But St. Louis was fun, Hank had a great birthday, and we really did get some rest and relaxation. Be back soon (I hope) with some recaps :)

And oh yes ... How 'bout them Tigers? No. 11 knocking off a No. 1? On Homecoming weekend of all things! I'm not sure I've ever been prouder to be a Missouri Tiger!!!


What I'm Loving

I'm linking up with Jamie again this week :)

{1} I'm LOVING that our sweet dog, Hank, turns 10 today! We don't have kids, so he really is the light of our life! For more, see the post below :) Tonight I'm baking him meaty happy birthday cupcakes. 

{2} I'm LOVING that today is my Friday! Tomorrow we take off for St. Louis for a couple of days --- it's work-related, so the hotel is paid for! And we ended up getting a killer deal at the Hilton near the ballpark downtown thanks to Hotwire --- I can't wait! Any suggestions for sites to see while we're there?

{3} I'm LOVING that my friend Justin, who recently returned from Afghanistan, will receive his Purple Heart on Sunday and there's going to be a big party and barbecue with friends to celebrate.

{4} Tonight is Survivor Night! My uncle and some of his friends are the biggest Survivor fans and have watch parties and dinner every night it airs. We always want to attend, but don't want to go out the night before work. So since we're off tomorrow, we're going --- and chicken and dumplings are on the menu! Yummy!

{5} I'm LOVING that our good friend, Shaun, closed on his house yesterday. We went to see it last night and you can tell he and his three kiddos love it! I'm so proud of my friend :) Now the question is, how long will it take to clean and unpack? 

{6} I'm LOVING that we've been invited to our first bonfire of the season this weekend. I just love hanging out with friends around the fire, drinking a few beers :)

{7} And of course, I'm always LOVING this man. Can't wait for our little getaway!


Hank - today, you turn 10! I feel so blessed to have know you for almost half your life!

You see, when your daddy brought you home in February 2006, I wasn't too sure what to think of you. Growing up, I never really had a pet dog — we would get strays who never seemed to live more than six months due to the busy traffic on the highway by my parents' house. I learned not to get attached. And I was not too fond of the jumping and licking.

But now, all that jumping and licking means the world to me. Hanky Poo, you've been there for me so many times when I've just needed someone to make me feel loved and special. And you do that every day — even when I know you aren't too happy with me for putting you up in the garage. 

Even though you've got some gray on your chin and you are the equivalent of 62 human years, according to, you still have a lot of spunk in you!

One of your favorite things to do is go fetch your bird.

That BG sure gives you a competition for it too — and always makes sure you bring it back :)

I think Baby Gurl is your best friend in the whole world — after mommy and daddy, of course. Next summer, when it's warm and she's old enough, we'll put you two together so we can have Baby Hanks. In fact, that's the whole reason we brought her to stay with us — even though I've begged God to let you stay with me forever, I'm pretty sure you'll have to leave us someday, and I want a little Hank Junior. 

You also just love playing in the water - as most Labs do. I bet you think we bought our new house just for you, with the five acres to run and ditch close by. You weren't the total reason - but yes, you did play a role in it, brown eyes. 

And don't even get me started on how much you love your daddy's truck and going for rides. If you notice the tailgate is down, you are running as fast as you can to jump in — even if you just sit there all night until we coax you into the garage when we go to bed. When we do go for rides, you love the wind in your ears — but aren't too thrilled about oncoming traffic. 

You're one of those extremely special dogs who will do anything to make us happy. I once fed you celery and even though you spit it up once, you still ate it, because you thought it's what I wanted you to do. I think one of your favorites is after we have bacon or sausage for breakfast, because you always get a piece of bread with some of the grease — I think you consider it doggie gourmet! And the great thing is, we can feed you table food and you still eat your doggie food — and most importantly, don't beg for our food!

It's hard to tell whether you love mommy or daddy more. I think you love us both just the same. And although we may gripe about the bad breath and slobber, we love you to the moon and back - and can't imagine life without you. When we're gone for a day or so, we always seem to talk about you. 

You're pretty fond of our friends, too. In fact, you were Auntie Bel's New Year's kiss this year. We like letting you come in to run around in the basement when we're having parties. 

And you LOVE kids. Although you may knock over adults or big kids, you know that the little ones need to be handled with care. Payton has been one of your best friend since he was just six months old. He still asks about you. Hankaroo, I so hope that whenever we finally have Baby R, you'll still be around and love our babies as much as you do our friends' children. 

Just a few weeks ago, one of Daddy's coworkers left his wallet in the work truck and had to swing by and get it. He joked that you weren't that great of a guard dog, considering he left with a big ring of slobber on his pants. But I know that if you ever felt we were in danger, you would protect us. 

You scared us a year ago with the heartworms, but you've been doing great since. I hope you have (at least) 10 more years left in you. Hankaroosker, you are my best friend in the world after your daddy, and I'm so happy that you are in my life. 


Salmon patties

When I was a kid, my mom would often make salmon patties. I was never too fond of them, because she put onions in them (YUCK!) but now that I make my own, I think they are a tasty meal. 

This recipe is super-easy. I like to pair it with fried potatoes and either macaroni and cheese or noodles that are made in tomato juice. Down-home cookin :)

What you'll need:
- One can salmon
- 16 small saltine crackers, crushed
- One egg
- Salt and pepper to taste

Make it!
1. Beat egg in a bowl. Season to your little heart's desire.
2. Add in the crackers.
3. Mix in salmon. I always pick out the little bones and black stuff - I don't know if you're supposed to, but I couldn't stand to eat it knowing it's in there. 
4. Form into patties. Cook in an oiled skillet until browned --- approximately three to four minutes per side. 
5. Enjoy! 

Not only is it easy, salmon has A LOT of protein in it --- we ate this a lot more when we were working out and trying to build muscle tone. 

Weekend wrap-up

It was another busy weekend! You know it's bad when you actually look forward to going back to work :)
So here's the wrap-up:

— Got off work and cleaned the kitchen. There were two days of dishes in the sink. Yes, that bad. Then I curled up on the couch and watched some really bad TV and went to bed early.

— Went to work. Came home and took a three-hour nap. Cleaned out and washed my car (which J was supposed to do for about four months but never did!). Treated myself to couch time after I finished the two-hour task. J got home and we decided to get cleaned up and go to Lowes to look around. Amazingly, walked out of the store empty-handed. Got some late-night Pizza Hut, then went home to watch a movie in bed. Heaven. 

— Cooked a big breakfast then finished cleaning the kitchen (mopping included). Folded a load of laundry that's been in the basket for about four days (sad, I know). Cleaned up the living room and got J to vacuum --- goodbye, stickers that have been KILLING my feet! Played with our doggies. Ran some errands and then drove truck while the boys hauled hay. Wheezed away while my allergies went into overdrive. Had J drop me off at the house on his way to take his nephew home. Cooked salmon patties, fried tators and noodles in tomato juice  - for the record, J says these were my best fried tators ever, and almost as good as his mamas! Watched The Amazing Race. Went to bed.

This has been an absolutely crazy Monday at the office! No one seems to be cooperating and I'm ready for 4:30 to get here. Then I have a couple of errands before going home, getting some sort of dinner in the oven and unloading hay in our neighbors' barn --- they are so sweet to let us use a stall while we don't have a barn built yet. 

It's a three-day work week for me and I can't wait! We're going on a little trip to St. Louis Thursday-Friday --- any suggestions for what we should do? 


What I'm Loving

I'm linking up with Jamie again this week :)

{1} I am leaving work at noon today! I have to work Saturday, but oh well - I love time off in the middle of the week.

{2} I know that Christmas is still more than two months away, but I've already purchased quite a few gifts. My close girl friends and I do an ornament exchange, and I had some custom-made that arrived yesterday! I worked with Lime Tree Gifts and am so happy with the results!

{3} I get an extra-long weekend next week! I have to go to a suburb of St. Louis for a work event Thursday, so J is taking Thursday and Friday off also and we're going to have a mini-vacation, while I get to charge some of the costs to my work! The event is about an hour away from the downtown area but early evening, and hotwire has AMAZING rates on 4-star hotels downtown, so I'm booking us to stay there! 

{4} Candy corn and peanuts. I had NEVER had this until a few years ago at work, and it is amazing. Fall isn't fall without this tasty (and super sugary!) snack!

{5} This weather is perfect! My air is running very little or not at all (which makes this cheapskate very happy!) I'm hoping it sticks through the weekend, when I plan to clean out/wash my car and also clean out the garage.

{6} My mom sent home some homemade chicken and dressing and her yummy slaw the other night. I about died eating it -- it was seriously that good.

{7} And of course, I'm always loving this guy. He's my rock. 


Weekend wrap-up

It was such a busy weekend I'm glad I had an extra day!

Friday after I got off work I went to preview a garage sale my mom saw advertised. I actually work pretty closely with the woman who was hosting it and emailed to ask about one of the items (a curio) and she invited me to come that night, although the sale didn't start until Saturday. I typically don't ask to go to sales early, but since she brought it up, of course I took her up on it. I ended up buying the curio and several other items, including a couple tools for J, for just under $100! And I know I promised a picture of the curio today, but I got so busy yesterday I didn't have the time to take one! Later that night we went to the movies and enjoyed some Mexican :)

Saturday I was just plain lazy. I cleaned a couple of rooms and watched a lot of movies. 

Sunday we went to pick up the curio cabinet and I did more cleaning and some organizing. Later that night, we went to a friend's house for a little potluck. I ate like I hadn't eaten in years! I took some apple praline bread that I made last week and little piggies in a blanket. We also had tortilla, ham and cream cheese roll-ups, wings, better than sex cake and pecan tarts, to name a few. I've got to get some of those recipes!

Monday I was off work but J had to work (haha!) Well, this summer my mom did some canning for me when I was too busy, and said I could help her with some bigger projects as a "repayment." So, we cleaned up an area of her basement and got rid of several bags of trash and boxes. It's far from perfect, but a start. 

Today has been crazy! I only had the time to do this post because I'm waiting for a return phone call. Let's just say my GM called me yesterday regarding something so I told him I'd be in by 7 a.m. Since we were closed yesterday, it was busy catching up this morning in addition to the new development. And since I left the house early, I was dressed for work when J was about to leave and carried my phone in the kitchen, which he grabbed in addition to his! So I am definitely ready to clock out at the end of the day. 

And there you have it. A big 'ole chunk of text that no one cares about :)


Thanks, Columbus!

It was more than five centuries ago that a man named Christopher Columbus set sail across the Atlantic Ocean, in search of a new trade route to India, and stumbled upon America.
And today, I'm off work to celebrate.

Thanks, man!

While I'd love to say I have the most fabulous plans, I don't. I'm going to my mom's to help her clear out some clutter. Woohoo.

I hit another awesome garage sale this weekend and will share my big purchase tomorrow, so stay tuned :)


Date night!

Tonight, I have a hot date planned with this even hotter man:

I'm going to cook us some pizza and get all dolled up then we're going to the movies. I.can't.wait to have a few hours with him to myself not having to answer our phones, etc. 

I think we're going to see this:

Not only have I loved the previews, there really isn't much to choose from when your town's po-dunk theater only has three screens. 


What I'm Loving

{1} First and foremost, I am LOVING that my good friend Jessica's hubby, who is in the Army, is now home!! He had been in Afghanistan since February other than a short leave, and he got home on Tuesday. We had a surprise for him at the airport. 

Here's most of the group with a big sign (right before he stepped off the plane):

And here is Justin with Jess, baby P and his mom in the background. Such a great experience. I took more than 100 photos :) 

Welcome home, buddy! We're so glad you made it - and indebted to you for your service.

{2} I'm LOVING all the time I've gotten to spend with my honey these past couple of days. Poor J isn't feeling well, so he took a couple of days off work and got to go to the airport with me. Also, I didn't come into work until about 10 a.m. today, so we got to spend some extra time together.

{3} We're LOVING our sweet, sweet pets. It's so great having all of them at the house with us. I snapped these the other day. 

{4} I'm loving the new season of TV! We are CBS snobs, and pretty much every episode has me on the edge of my seat for the next. My faves are: How I Met Your Mother, Two and A Half Men, Hawaii Five-0, Rules of Engagement, NCIS (both of 'em), The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist and The Big Bang Theory.

{5} I'm loving days when temps hover in the high 70s. PERFECTION! The 60s and overnight lows in the 30s? Not so much. 

I'm linking this post to Jamie's blog -- go there to link up yours or read more!


on the walls

I can't believe that we moved into our home almost 1 year ago, yet a lot of the walls remain bare! I chalk it up to not really knowing my style, as well as not having the extra cashola to decorate - when you're doing it on a budget and depend on clearance and/or garage sales, it takes a while. 

Over the weekend, I spotted this $3 mirror at a garage sale and snatched it up. Luckily, it matches the lamps perfectly and every time I look at it, I think the wall is finally complete. 

What do you think?

Oops on the trash and shot glass on the table :)

I've had a lot more finds over the past couple of months that I'm finishing up and can't wait to share on here, too!


Chili days

I LOVE chili, but I just can't bring myself to eat it while hot outside. 

So now that the weather has cooled off and fall is officially here, I made my first pot on Sunday. 

I should also point out that I love chili lots of ways and don't cook more than necessary -- so I make a huge pot we can enjoy several meals. I used two pounds of hamburger, five cans of beans and two quarts of tomato juice. 

And it was yummy. 

Last night we ate it from the bowl with pb sandwiches. We have enough left for at least three meals, so we'll also have chili dogs, Frito pies, and perhaps chili mac. I love having the main part of dinner done for every night :) And since we'll be making it differently, it won't feel like we're having the same meal four nights of the week. SCORE!

Am I the only one who cooks chili in bulk like this? 


She's a queen in my book

It's carnival week, which means pageants.
And my beautiful "niece," was in the junior miss. Although she did not place, Tay did a great job and was very gracious to her classmates who were on the court.
Here she is strutting her stuff (I picked her outfit!)

And a picture of the two of us. I think we could be blood related?

Tay will be 15 in January -- at which point J and I will have been together for seven years (HOLY CRAP!!!) Obv I didn't meet Tay and her sister right off the bat, but I've gotten extremely close with them over the past six years, and I am so proud of the woman she's grown up to be!

--- On another note: I had to attend the Little Miss and Mister pageant on Wednesday for work reasons. Seriously? Who puts their 4-6 year old in two-inch heels? Or in makeup? INSANE! When I have a little girl, she will be in pageants if she wants, but that won't be allowed, nor will she have a freaking prom dress. Let children be children! There is plenty of time for the pageant dresses later in life!