Weekend wrap-up

Seriously, it's Monday already? It was a full but relaxing weekend around here - and we definitely enjoyed the temperatures in the 50s!

I was off work! J let me sleep in, and I immediately tackled some laundry, the kitchen and living room. As bad as I try to keep things picked up during the week, it's tough, especially since we've been dedicating an hour or so to working out every day. He stopped in for lunch before heading back to work (sometimes, it's good to be on salary!) then I went into town later to do some shopping and bring him home. Since it was sunny and a bit warmer, we decided to take our workout outside and run. I ran about a mile nonstop and J went close to two miles! I really need to start training for a 5K, as I hope to do one in April!
We also did some cleaning and measuring to get ready for a little project :)

J went to help his brother with a transmission, so I stayed home and did pretty much nothing. I did manage to pull out all the junk from the bottom of a spare closet. I also watched Up and The Client List. Later that night, we went to a friend's birthday party. Here we be on our way out:

A note to my blogger friends: NEVER drink Beer Thirty. It is the worst EVER! Not only will it taste horrible, it will make the next two beers taste like crap also. The birthday boy bought a 30-pack of this at Schnucks for $12. There's a reason why it was so cheap!

We slept in (J may have had a little headache!) and had our typical big breakfast. I finished cleaning out/organizing the spare bedroom closet and it looks fantastic! Then we went into town to do some shopping. Hibbetts had some excellent sales and I got a couple of workout sets for $5 each. We also went to Lowe's to buy a bunch of wood ($122 to be exact) for our next project. I can't wait to get it started and finished. 
We grilled steaks for dinner and I clipped coupons for an hour or so. And ended the night watching Kourtney and Kim and then Holly's World. Did anyone else want to cry for Holly when she went to the mansion?


A recipe: Coffee cake

I've been meaning to post this for some time. My workplace was open half-days on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, and we all worked a half day either of those. Those of us who worked Christmas Eve, including myself, decided to bring in breakfast to make the day a bit cheerier.

My mom shared this with me, and it's technically called a buttermilk-cinnamon coffee cake. It was super easy to make and delicious! Here is what was left when I though to get a picture:

What you'll need:
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. powdered ginger (I didn't have any, so I omitted this)
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 c. buttermilk (to make, add 1 T. vinegar to 1 c. milk)

Make it
- Preheat over to 350
- In bowl, mix flour, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ginger, both sugars and oil.
- Remove 3/4 c. of mixture and add nuts and 1 tsp. cinnamon to it. Mix well and set aside to use as topping.
- To the remaining batter, add baking soda, baking powder, egg and buttermilk. Mix. Small lumps are OK.
- Pour batter into a greased 9X13 pan.
- Sprinkle topping evenly over the surface.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes.

* Enjoy! This is very moist and leftovers are good for up to a week!


What I'm Loving

{1} I'm LOVING that the sun is shining today! We got hit with some light snow and ice last night (weather forecasters got it wrong, go figure!) but it's all clear now and the forecast looks good for at least a week. Plus it's supposed to hit the 40s this weekend. I'm SO glad, because all of this winter weather is seriously starting to depress me. 

{2} I'm LOVING that we had our first leadership class on Tuesday! The chamber of commerce in the town where I work began a leadership group last year, and I was selected to be in the second class! We had a ton of fun during the first session and I can't wait for all of the other classes. 

{3} I'm LOVING that all the reruns on TV have given me a chance to get caught up on reading and other things around the house.

{4} I'm LOVING the $50 Lowes gift card I just got through the mail via MyPoints. It's a program where you get points to read emails or for every dollar you spend at selected merchants. I just do the emails and accrued the card in about a year — not too bad, since all you have to do is click a link! We have a sorta big project planned to use the gift card. If you're interested in doing MyPoints, I highly recommend it and can send you a referral link, which will give me some extra points, too!

{5} I'm LOVING that my bridesmaids dress for Jessi's wedding came in on Friday. It's just over four months away! We have this dress, but in marine (navy). All the shower and bach party plans are also coming together quite nicely :)

{6} I'm LOVING that I am off work Friday. Hello, three-day weekend!

{7} I'm LOVING that J is being a good workout buddy. He knows how I do 10 times better at actually working out (and doing a good job at it) when he does it with me, so in an effort to keep me on track, he's joining me. 
Last night, we did this video. It will get your butt in shape, literally!

We plan to do this every other day, and Jackie's 40-minute interval the other days. Haven't figured out yet if we plan to take off weekends, just one day a week or what. 

{8} So of course, I'm loving my sweet man :)


Weekend wrap-up

This was definitely one of those whirlwind weekends!

Our nieces wanted to come sled (and we wanted to play again, too) so we had them over and played outside then watched movies. I took a bunch of pictures and don't have time to upload them, so here is the link to my facebook album. There are some photos from Thursday in there that I already posted on the blog and also some from J's birthday :) After they left, we watched movies and went to bed early because I had to work on Saturday.

After I got off work, I went home and took a quick power nap! That afternoon, we cleaned up around the house and I mopped. Having the Shark makes mopping so much more fun! Later that night we had to run to the grocery store so we went to a smaller town nearby and tried out a new-to-us Mexican restaurant. Then we went home and caught up on the DVR.

Slept in and had a yummy breakfast. 

Then we went up to Cape Girardeau to help one of my good friends move. They lured us in with pizza and beer :) It was probably the easiest move ever, because they'd already made a couple trips to the house with boxes and most of the big stuff was loaded in the UHaul. Once we got there, we helped with some arranging before the Bears/Packers game. It began snowing again and I wanted to stop in TJ Maxx, so we left during halftime. But YAY to the Packers and Steelers. I think I want the Packers to win the Bowl --- but I like the Steelers' team colors better :) What can I say, I bleed black and gold?

Last night I had a bit of a sore throat so I had ice cream for dinner and just laid on the couch and read. 
We also watched the season premieres of these shows:

Hope y'all have a good rest of the week!

Like Papa Murphy's?

Today, the plum district deal is a $10 Papa Murphy's gift card for $5.
We LOVE these pizzas. They are cheap (under 10 bucks) cheesy and fresh.

I purchased one, but wanted to pass the deal along to you all! The limit is one, or I would have gobbled these up. 

Here is the link to sign up. If you purchase one, I'd suggest doing so quickly, because I bet the cards will be sold out soon!

Be back soon with a weekend recap! 


how we spent our snow afternoon

As I mentioned yesterday, I got to leave work early due to the snow/icy road conditions. I thought it was great sledding weather so I went and bought a sled. 

Best $18 I've ever spent. 

Oh, I also got some new windshield wipers, since mine tore. And cornmeal. And while I pulled into the grocery store parking lot someone "slid" into me, but at least they just hit the tire, so no damage. Thank goodness. 

Anyhow, here are the pictures:

So pretty!
Doc horse :)
Our snow-covered home and the mostly immaculate yard

Poor Hank wanted to ride with us so bad! 

Daddy brought his big work truck home!

Finally, we decided to let Hank pull us while he ran after the "bird." He did pretty good!

We also made snow angels and played more, but my camera batteries died and I didn't want to mess up the camera. 

Later we had taco soup and this cornbread. And it really is the best ever!

Today, we plan to do more sledding with his nieces! 


Snow day

It started snowing this morning and hasn't let up!

We get to leave work at 2. 

I'm just a wee bit excited. 

I wanna sled. 

I wanna play with my man and our doggie.

Just please make the roads not be slippery today and tomorrow morning, K?

Will update with pix later today or tomorrow!



What I'm Loving

Yay it's Wednesday! This is one of my favorite blogging days because I get to share all sorts of little tidbits. 

{1} I'm LOVING that I get to have lunch at a little bistro here in Sikeston today :) I always get the dumplings and salad. Plus, this place has the yummiest honey butter --- DELISH! While there, we're also going to plan a bridal shower and bach party. 
Speaking of, do YOU have any great ideas (or suggestions for what to stay away from?) for this shower? I have actually never thrown a bridal shower, so I'm looking for ideas :)

{2} I'm LOVING all the ideas I got for my wedding at the bridal show this weekend. J and I have actually been engaged almost two years and haven't done a lot of planning yet, because we bought a house and did some projects (like putting up a fence for the horses) immediately to save money and utilize the land. So now we're finally getting ready to start making plans. I love daisies, so I think that will be my theme --- is that OK for a September wedding?

{3} I'm LOVING that my fridge is so full of leftovers, I don't think I'll have to cook again (other than maybe sides) for the rest of the week. 

{4} I'm LOVING my clean pantry. Now I can actually find things. And I'm thinking February may be another only-buy-the-essentials-at-the-grocery-store month :)

{5} I'm LOVING all of you great followers! Whenever I see a new comment in my email, I get a huge smile on my face.

{6} I'm LOVING that I'm getting my booty back to the gym today. I've got to start training for that 5K soon. 

{7} I'm LOVING that while I was working late yesterday, J took the time to install some lights under the countertops so I can see better while doing the dishes and preparing the food. Such a great surprise :)

{8} As always, I'm LOVING this sweet guy. He's my everything. 


Weekend wrap-up

I know it's Tuesday, but pretty much everyone (except J!) was off yesterday, so I don't feel too far behind with this recap. 

We both got off work early, so we decided to pick up a Papa Murphy's pizza (yum) and a BluRay. We watched Salt and really liked it - even though I am not an Angelina fan AT ALL.

... was a full day! We started off the day by donating blood (although J was deferred due to recently completing his Hep B series of vaccines). Then, we drove to Ark. — J's parents wanted to cook him a birthday dinner. They live about an hour away, so it was easiest to do this on the weekend. We had a nice big meal of fried chicken, fried potatoes, biscuits, gravy and macaroni and cheese followed by cake. We were so stuffed that J and I ended up falling asleep in the living room later - oops :) We had to leave kinda early so we could make it to our friend's 10-year-old's birthday party, and then went home pretty early and read after our long day. 

Slept in and made waffles for breakfast. Our waffle iron was seriously one of the best Christmas gifts we've ever gotten (thanks, James and Amy!) I did some house cleaning and later went to a bridal show with a good friend and another of her friends who are both getting married. I later ordered my bm dress for Jessica's wedding - we waited so long, it's online only, but 50 percent off! After dinner, we caught some of the Golden Globes and did a lot more reading. 

I did A LOT of cleaning. Our pantry hasn't been organized since moving over a year ago and I stockpile so much, it was getting out of hand. It's kinda embarrassing, but here's the before:

After some of the shelves were cleared, I noticed screws were coming out on three of the shelves! I tried to get them back in place with a screwdriver, but no luck. J told me to keep everything out and he'd fix it when he got home ...

So, I tackled a cabinet! Here are the before and afters:

I also cleaned out my car and swept and mopped the basement! Once J got home, he couldn't find studs to anchor the shelves, but said they were sturdy. So I filled 'em back up! Here is the final pantry result:

Much better, in my opinion :)

In the in-between time, I also did 464721647 loads of laundry. It was a busy, but productive day off work!

How was your weekend? 


A recipe: Chicken enchiladas

While I'm home cleaning and organizing on this rainy day, I thought I'd share one of our favorite recipes with you! I actually made these last night and we LOVE them. 

My photo editing on this computer isn't the best - sorry!
What you'll need:
— Cooked chicken breast
— Flour tortillas
— Shredded cheese
— 1 can enchilada sauce (we use mild)
— 1 can tomato sauce
— 1 can refried beans (optional)

Make it!
— Mix together the tomato and enchilada sauce in a bowl. This makes it a little less spicy. If you like it hot, I would use either one or two cans of the enchilada sauce. 
— Spoon the sauce (about 2 T.) onto tortillas. 
— I like to add in beans to make the enchiladas a bit more filling and stretch the chicken. I typically just make a line. This step can totally be skipped, however. 
— Sprinkle chicken down the middle. Remember you have to fold the tortilla, so don't go overboard. 
— Fold the tortilla and place in a sprayed 9x13. 
— Continue until all are done. I don't really give quantities because this recipe can totally be changed depending on how much chicken you like, etc. I did a package of eight burrito-sized tortillas and had about two of the large chicken breasts, like you buy frozen in the big bags at Wal Mart. 
— When all enchiladas are folded, pour the remaining sauce on top. Make sure it covers the top, but the enchiladas aren't swimming in sauce. I learned the hard way this just makes them smushy. 
— Sprinkle cheese on top. Again, do this to your family's liking. 
— Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes. Everything has already been cooked, so it just needs to melt together. 

ENJOY! We often pair these with black beans or just chips and salsa. 


Five on Friday

{1} I stepped on the scale this morning and noticed I lost 1 lb. in the past week. Not fabulous, but considering I haven't been the best at eating well nor have we worked out any in the past week, I don't figure I can complain much, either. 

{2} The not eating well may have something to do with not cooking! Sunday we had J's birthday dinner out, and the sniff of Mc D's french friends caught his eye while we left Wally World on Monday. Then we ran up to Cape on Tuesday and it was easier to just grab something. So I've only cooked once all week. Oops. And we've been finishing off birthday cake. We're down to the last of it though, thank goodness.

{3} Even though I haven't been cooking, the fridge is still full. I'm kinda scared to clean it out for fear of what I'll discover. 

{4} I'm sure everyone has already read or heard about the new Zodiac sign dates. But I'm staying an Aquarius, no matter what you say! 
A few of the characteristics I think make me an Aquarius:

  • Very opinionated with strong convictions; they fight for what they believe in
  • Strong-willed and forceful in their own way
  • Quick in mind and quick to respond
  • Appreciate opportunities to be alone
  • Refined and idealistic, romantic but practical
  • They cannot be easily persuaded they are wrong.
Looking at the list of Capricorn characteristics, I guess some of those fit me as well, but I just wanna stay an Aquarius, K?

{5} I cannot believe that January is basically halfway over. Really? Before you know it, Christmas will be here again!


What I'm Loving

I can't believe it's already Wednesday! This week sure is flying by!

{1} I'm LOVING that J had a great birthday weekend. I blogged about it earlier this week if you missed it :)

{2} I'm LOVING that this weekend, his mom is making a birthday dinner, so I get out of cooking! And then, we're going to a friend's little boy's birthday party. 

{3} I'm LOVING that I get a three-day weekend, thanks to Martin Luther King Day on Monday. 

{4} I'm LOVING the pretty snow - but I'm really just ready for some warmth and sunshine. 

{5} I'm LOVING that my birthday is less than a month away — and we're planning to see Blake Shelton, Easton Corbin and the band Perry as part of the celebrations. 

{6} I'm LOVING these country songs:

We actually heard Dirt Road Anthem live at Jason Aldean's concert last fall and love it. So glad it's on the radio now. 

{7} I'm LOVING these pants. They are on my birthday list.

{8} I'm LOVING the book I'm reading right now, Ann Rule's "Smokes, Mirror and Murder and Other True Cases." J and I have been reading about an hour every night. 

{9} I'm LOVING all of my new blog friends. I've decided to do a giveaway once I hit 75 followers! I'm also hoping to get a redesign soon :)

{10} As always, I'm LOVING this man. He makes me smile. 


11 in '11 - Day Eleven

I can't believe this is the last day of the challenge! I think these are so much fun because they not only give me something to write about, but also introduce me to other people in the blog world!

Day 11 - What are you looking forward to in 2011?

What am I not looking forward to? The sky is the limit!

{1} Spending even more time with my great fiance and getting started with the wedding planning :)

{2} Eliminating all debt other than the mortgage (I hope). It's just such a crazy time economically, so I hate to have any more payments than necessary! Plus, we plan to continue paying extra on our mortgage every month. 

{3} Traveling! We are hoping to visit my friend Bel in DC, and would also love to go on a beach trip. 

{4} Trying out new recipes and working toward a healthier me. 

{5} Being a better blogger and forming more relationships with YOU GUYS.

{6} Putting more personal touches on our home. 

{7} All of the surprises that life throws my way! 


Happy Birthday!

Sunday was Jim's birthday. In our house, there is a rule that you stay 25 forever. Jim got the biggest smile on his face when I brought in the cake with these candles - not the ones with the numbers others may say he actually is :)

We had a big weekend - because it's also a rule in our house that you get a birthday week! Friday night J helped me take down the last of the Christmas in the basement and get it cleaned up, then we played pool, chilled and I did some more housework. 

After I got off work on Saturday, I did some last-minute shopping and then went home to finish laundry and cleaning for his party that night! We just had friends and family over and chilled in the basement. 

I got to see some of my girls!

And Jessi brought her little boy. He was such a trooper until about 11 p.m. - when he went in the workout room with Hank (who was gated) and laid down on Hank's bed! Hank wasn't too happy to have some kid taking over his bed!

I let Jim open a couple of his gifts on Saturday - a Disaronno gift pack before ppl came over and his Brew N Go coffeemaker before bed. So after breakfast on Sunday, he got to open the rest. By far, this was the favorite:

Although he has wrenches, they are in a box he totes around in his truck. These are to keep in his new tool box :) And I bought the organizers at Sears because he likes to keep things neat. Jim also got his 3-ton floor jack kit, a shirt and a new book for his birthday!

After we laid around and watched the movie Inside Man on USA, we got cleaned up and headed to Cape Girardeau. There was a Starving Artists art sale that we decided to stop by. We found a ton of great pieces, but sadly, nothing that fits in our house :( I had planned to take Jim to Shoguns, a Japanese grill, but he decided he wasn't in the mood for that, so we ended up going to Buckner's this neat Brewery. After sampling some beers, I had the honey wheat while J stuck with his usual Michelob Ultra.

Like most of the country, it's freezing in these parts, so we decided to just head home, put on our pajamas and cuddle under the covers. All in all, I think it was a great weekend!


Jenny over at Simply Jenny gave me the Stylish Blogger award! I'm so honored :)

Anyhow, as part of the award, I'm supposed to share seven things about myself. So ...

{1} I don't like cooked green beans. My mom cans them, and I eat them straight out of the jar.
{2} I have "hand feet." In that I can spread my toes really far apart and pick up things with them. Weird, I know. 
{3} I am in love with mashed potatoes. I think they go with every meal. Apparently, mashed potatoes love my hips, too. 
{4} If you follow my blog, you probably can tell that our dog, Hank, is pretty much the love of our life. But I actually didn't like dogs before him, and didn't want J to get a dog!
{5} When I was in fourth grade, I broke my pinkie finger roller-skating. Yes, my name should be Grace.
{6} I think I'm addicted to chocolate. I CRAVE it daily. So I think that's what I'll give up for Lent this year. 
{7} Some of my besties and I have a thing for men whose names begin with J. Four of us are with "J's" and another is single. Coincidence?

I'm also supposed to tag 15 newly-discovered bloggers. But I've found so many new bloggers that I love I couldn't possibly pick just 15! So tag yourself if you want to fill this out :)

11 in '11 - Day Ten

I've been sorta absent from the blogging world over the weekend - I didn't log onto a computer once after leaving work Saturday morning!
But I promise to be back later today with a weekend recap, mostly from J's birthday :)

Now, onto the challenge ...

Favorite GNO activities

As long as I'm with my girls, it really doesn't matter what we do! And since a couple of my besties don't live around here anymore and the others have kids, it is a rare occurrence. 

However, I LOVE mani/pedi time. 

This Christmas, a friend and I had a baking day. Throughout the year, we often will cook dinner and watch a movie at someone's house. 

I'm actually pretty lucky that J and my friends' husbands/boyfriends all seem to get along well, so we are able to do a lot of couples' game nights and things like that. We LOVE to play Apples to Apples and Catchphrase. 

On another note - I am helping with a bachelorette party and shower for one of my friends in a couple of months. The colors are marine (navy), black and ivory. Any suggestions for decorations, food, or what works well at showers? It's been a few years since I last helped with one!


11 in '11 - Days Eight and Nine

Hi friends! 
Sunday is J's birthday and I know I won't have time for blogging, so I decided to post tomorrow's a day early rather than late!

I need to be better about eating healthy snacks. Because I am a total snacker. 

One thing I've been eating the past week or so are honey pretzel rods. These are SO GOOD and I can have a great snack for only 100 calories. 

I'm also a big fan of veggies with dip. I portion out 1 T. of ranch dip (only 40 or so calories) and load up on veggies. YUMMY! 

Protein bars are also a go-to, although they are pretty expensive :(

And on to Day Nine --- Favorite thing to do on a cold winter day 


I think we pretty much do this all weekend, every weekend in the winter time. It really is the best. A few weekends ago I kept changing from one pair of pajama pants to another. If only they could figure out a work-appropriate style of pajama pants ... 



11 in '11 - Day Seven

There were no huge happenings in 2010. It was pretty much just life. 

So instead of picking just one favorite memory, I'm going to group together all of the home improvement projects we did after moving in Nov. 2009. After all, we both dedicated a full week of vacation to it, and pouring money into it is what kept us from having our toes in the water and a$$ in the sand this summer. 

We've come a long way since this:

The home was foreclosed. It wasn't in horrible shape, but just had been neglected for a couple of years. 

One of our first steps was to fix up the icky landscaping seen above. Seriously --- did they just drop the plants wherever? We scooped out lots of lava rock, removed blocks, transplanted and also mulched. This took place in the spring/late summer. 

We also pressure washed the house. It took two long days in the blistering sun!

As we have five acres, we put up a fence for our horsies and were able to move them in October! We considered building a shed, but ended up buying a pre-built one to store hay, the lawn mower, etc. in. 

We repainted the front door charcoal, and plan to do the shutters in the spring.

Of course, there are a lot of other, smaller things we did around the house. This coming year, we plan to spruce up the landscaping again, and we'll probably have to pull what's on the side of the house, as some appear to have died in the drought over the summer :( Inside, we want to get the plumbing hooked up in the basement and get an operational bathroom, build shelves in the storage room, and trim/place doors in the basement. We also want to continue saving to build a barn so our little horsies have a better shelter. 
I doubt all of this will be done in 2011. But, I think it's good to have a working list and savings goals :)


11 in '11 - Day Six

I can't wait to read everyone's organization tips today --- because while I may want to be organized, I am far from it! 

However, I am a big list maker. Whenever there is a party, we are packing, or I'm just trying to get something accomplished, I always make a list. Not only does it keep you in focus, I love being able to scratch items off the "to do" list.

I also buy a lot of plastic totes for storage. My frugal mom thinks boxes work and totes are a waste of money - but I think that totes are just a lot easier to stack, look neater, and hold up over time. 

Every year, my mom and I have a yard sale. So, throughout the year, if I see something that we haven't used/worn in awhile, I'll go ahead and place it in a tote/box. Once it's full, I go ahead and price it. This helps keep our drawers and closets semi-organized, and makes garage sale time a breeze!

I think the hardest thing for me to keep organized is the kitchen! How do all those ladies have perfect cabinets, pantries, etc.? If you have any tips for me, please share!!!


11 in '11 - Day Five

I'm back for day five! Places I want to go this year ...

Washington, DC!
I guess technically Alexandria, Va. One of my besties moved there is October (I miss you, Bella!) and I can't wait to go out and see her! I have only been to DC once, on a 4-H trip in high school, and J has never been. 
Fingers crossed, we'll drive out one weekend, maybe stop on the way, and spend the week in DC. Since we'll have a place to stay, that cuts out a huge expense, and we can see the sights while B is at work, and spend time with her in the evenings. Perfect!

My No. 2 place to go is the beach. Any beach. 
I'm not sure if this will happen, however. Although DC should be reasonable, I have a good friend getting married, we have some bills to pay off and our wedding to save for, so we'll just have to see how the cash flow is...