Pretty horse

We (mostly I) always joke that our Hank dog has been around the horses too much. Not only does he trot (seriously!) he also likes to steal horse food every now and then, although Hanky Poo has plenty of dog food. 

Now, I'm wondering if Doc has been around Hank for too long? 


I usually like to do a weekend wrap-up post for the entire weekend, but this week, I'll focus just on Saturday. Especially since we basically climbed into bed once we got home on Friday and then just spent Sunday cleaning house and doing laundry. 

Anyhow, I had a few $ off certificates that I had received for my birthday month from Penneys and VS. These were the good certificates where it's just like $15 off a $15 purchase so you can theoretically get something for free, so I hated to see them go to waste. 

Life has been so busy lately, that I told J earlier in the week we were having a date day on Saturday, so I called it our SaturDate. Yes, I am a dork. 

Anyhow, once we got moving, we stopped at TJ Maxx and I bought a new shirt. No picture, of course. 

Then we went out to Olive Garden. I have been CRAVING their soup, salad and breadsticks. I love their salad so much I can eat an entire big bowl all by myself! Sweet J isn't really an Olive Garden fan (in fact, he asked me to make spaghetti last night because he prefers mine) but went because he knows how I love it. 

I never knew OG sold their dressing, which I love! After J asked, I just had to buy it --- even though the bottle cost $4.95! I will be using this for VERY special occasions!

After stuffing myself with chicken and gnocchi and salad, we headed to the mall. There, I actually had two certificates, so I was a sweetie (haha!) and let J use one of them. He ended up with new socks - which actually helps me not have to wash so often. Ha! 

I ended up buying a new pair of capri-length sweats. They are the Soffee brand and very comfortable! I am hoping they provide some running inspiration, as I plan to run in my first 5K in about six weeks. 

I also had a Bath & Body Works coupon, so I picked up a small bottle of the Carried Away lotion. My skin can sometimes be sensitive to fragrances and I get bored easily, so I love getting these small bottles for next to nothing and having lots to choose from? 

At VS, I fell in love with this Cards shirt. It was only $15 after my coupon and I've somehow lost my short-sleeved team shirt, so I consider it a must-have!

We also bought some new work shoes for J and lipstick for myself while at the mall :)

After we left, we planned to go home, but I decided we should stop by Big Lots. J wasn't too excited about it but still went (bless him!) and actually ended up finding quite a few things. I think too often we are pressed for time and don't browse through the entire store, but we purchased several things for killer prices. We spent about $70, but I'd say the total worth was about double that. One of the best purchases were the interlocking blocks - we got 16 square feet for 12 bucks, which is the best deal we've found! They are going in our basement workout room, under the weight bench. 

That night, J decided to meet up with some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the fight, but I stayed home. I ended up taking a long bubble bath in our garden tub and then having a The Good Wife marathon so I could delete some of the episodes off the DVR. It was a great weekend and I can't wait for another SaturDate!


McD's fail

A few of my Facebook friends posted a link to this New York Times blog today. 

Basically, it discusses the lack of nutrition in McD's new oatmeal. I know that oatmeal can be a super-healthy food, so it's very upsetting to me. Apparently, I'm not the only one who was deceived by the fast food giant's new "bowl full of wholesome" offering. 

I quote from the article: "Incredibly, the McDonald's product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonalds cheeseburger of Egg McMuffin."

Seriously? Wow. 

What are your thoughts on this?


What I'm Loving

{1} I'm LOVING that it's Wednesday. Although I love long weekends, they totally get me off of my game, so I'm glad to see the four-day weeks come to an end.

{2} I'm LOVING that I'm almost over the nasty cold/sinus infection I have. It's really bad when you can't tell the difference between being hungover and sick ... 
(I realize I'm talked about drinking two posts in a row now, but I promise I'm not that bad!)

{3} Being sick, I'm LOVING these caplets. My salvation. 
{4} I'm LOVING that we spent the entire day on Saturday lying around on the couch, clearing off the DVR. And this Saturday, we have big plans for a date day. I've got to use some of my birthday gift cards from stores before they expire!

{5} I'm LOVING that we finished our big project this weekend. Expect a full post later this week :)

{6} I'm LOVING that my pantry, fridge and deep freeze are all stuffed. We have a lot to be thankful for. 

{7} I'm LOVING that I got to catch up with a friend I haven't seen in awhile last weekend.

{8} Lastly, I'm LOVING this sweet man --- who was very excited he won back his buy-in at Texas Hold 'Em last week.


margarita day

Apparently, today is National Margarita Day. (You can read more about it here)

As if I need an excuse to drink. 

Bottoms up :) These are my favorite holidays!

Bad blogger


Guys, I am SO BEHIND on blogging. 

I've only opened up my reader twice since Thursday and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I've had SO MUCH going on these past few days — including a head cold over the weekend — so as much as I'll try to get caught up today, I'm not making any promises.


What I'm Loving

There are *so* many things I'm loving this week! I blame it on the sunshine.

So ...

{1} I'm LOVING the spring-like weather! When I heard the weather man say it may hit 60 today, I decided to pull out the sandals. Since I hate wearing socks, this is huge for me.

{2} I'm LOVING that I have a fun afternoon planned. My dad goes to a farm show for a few days every year, so my mom is meeting me for lunch at a local burger joint and then we're getting pedis and doing some shopping/browsing. 

{3} I'm LOVING that I finally got my taxes filed today! Once I get the actual money, J and I are going to pay off a BIG purchase and also get another loan about halfway paid off, which makes me very excited. I.Hate.Debt.

{4} I'm LOVING all the cards lining our entryway table. 

{5} I'm LOVING the sweet Valentine's gift J got me --- a Tervis tumbler. He said he thought it was something I'd like but never ask for --- very true! I've seen these in Blogland and thought they were neat, but that was it. Well, I LOVE it and think I'm actually drinking more water during the day having it. It's always more fun to drink out of something pretty :) The cup was also filled with V-Day candy. 

{6} I'm LOVING that my sweet boss is working for me on Saturday!

{7} I'm LOVING that we made a lot of progress on our latest project this weekend. I should have pictures next week. But here's one of our lovely supervisor...

{8} I'm LOVING my new blog design :)

{9} I'm LOVING having Crock-Pot meals and lots of leftovers 

{10} I'm LOVING that Survivor kicks off tonight, and that there is a new Criminal Minds show. Two CM in one night? Yes, please!

{11} I'm LOVING that I have a winery trip planned for tomorrow. 

{12} I'm LOVING all my IRL and bloggie friends who make me smile. 

{13} I'm LOVING this sweet man, even though he frustrates me sometimes. 

What are y'all loving today? 


Funny YouTube video

One of my coworkers was emailed this link yesterday. Needless to say, we cracked up watching it around the office two or three times :)
I can't decide which one is my favorite --- but I want this kid for myself!


New look!

If you are on reader, pop over and check out my new blog design!
I am not very web-literate (at least when it comes to blogging and I feel like I don't have the time) and have been hating my old design for awhile. Now, I LOVE the new look! I still have some updating to do, but it will come in time, I know :) 
It was done by the fabulous Brea, who managed not to go crazy with all my silly questions and not knowing how to do some things. I'd very much recommend you go through her if you need any blog help in the future! 

Valentines Day 2011

J and I typically don't do a lot on Valentines Day. As I posted on Facebook this morning, he is my Valentine EVERY DAY. Not just Feb. 14. Although I think it's a good time to reflect on the love, that should be done several times throughout the year!

With that being said, we decided to be very low key this year. There is a fabulous little restaurant a few towns over that we've heard so many great things about, but it's a bit pricier than anything we'd usually have. It's actually an old bank, and you can sit in the vault! J had actually considered proposing to me there, but he chose the beach instead. And I'm OK with that :)

Anyhow, we thought it would be fun to splurge a bit on dinner and just get dressed up and go somewhere really nice, where we actually needed a reservation. 

And boy, was it nice. I can't remember the last time I've been so full! The steak (we ordered NY strip) practically melted in your mouth. Even the salad (I ordered sundried tomato basil vinaigrette dressing) was fab! We also had the "Baked Alaska" for dessert (and we never order dessert!) I didn't want to look silly taking pictures of my food, but it's described as "thin layers of a rich chocolate cake between vanilla ice cream, then covered with meringue and baked briefly." Yum!

After we finished, we stopped to pick up some beer to take home (classy, I know) then went home, changed clothes (you know I love my pajama pants!) and watched movies. It was a great night!

We're both feeling a bit under the weather today, so I plan to pick up a Papa Murphy's heart-shaped pizza and we'll just chill on the couch and laugh at all of our favorite CBS comedies. 

Hope you all have a great day of love as well!


Birthday recap

Since my birthday week is drawing to a close, I guess the time has come to do a recap. Why can't it always be my birthday week?

We decided to have the "celebration" on Saturday. A group of us went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the fight, then we went to another bar for a little dancing. I don't have all of the photos yet :(

Here we are, ready to leave :)

First shot of the night - a Washington Apple

Great friends ....

And that's about all I have from that night!

On Sunday, we slept in (had to after all those shots! ha! i'm not 21 anymore!)

Then, I whipped up a couple of desserts for the Super Bowl party we attended that night. I made Pack brownies and peanut butter cookies. 

Monday was my actual birthday! I could have had the day off work, but decided that since no one else would be off, it would be more depressing to just stay home alone the entire day. We both  had kinda crappy work days due to the snow/slippery roads, but got home and made a fabulous dinner of porcupine meatballs and hashbrown casserole. Jim also made my cake :)

Later I opened presents. I'd already received this kickass Mizzou shirt, which I wore while we watched the big game. 

I never got a good picture of it, but you may have noticed my hair is a bit lighter in all these pictures! I hadn't gotten it done in almost two years due to a pay cut at my job, so J ordered me to get highlights. So sweet!

I also got:

New purfume

The Jillian Michaels stepper I requested

A new Jillian DVD

And another really cool T-shirt

Now I'm ready for it to be spring so I can wear the shirt and need the workout gear to get my booty into shape. Especially after eating all of this ...

* We have something really excited planned to celebrate Valentine's Day tomorrow night. Can't wait to share it with y'all on Monday! 

Have a great weekend :)


Blog award ... Seven Facts

Earlier this week, my bloggy friends Kati and Leslie tagged me for the Seven Facts Blog award. You girls are too sweet!

The rules are that you must write seven facts about yourself, award it to a fellow blogger, let them know AND link back to who awarded you. So ...

{1} I take cards a little too seriously. I think I have EVERY card that was ever given to me, and I get seriously upset if someone "special" forgets to give me a birthday card. J didn't realize this until I FLIPPED OUT two years ago when I didn't get a birthday card from him. I'm also the girl who looks for half an hour for the perfect card, even if it's just for an acquaintance.

{2} I love writing to-do lists. And putting my initials by the tasks once I finish them. 

{3} I'm a sucker for sales. Especially garage sales! But I'm no match for my mom — I always do best when she is with me. 

{4} I fall asleep on the couch (before 9 p.m.!) more nights than I care to keep track of.

{5} Although I would LOVE to have a prissy little girl someday, I have a fear that I'm going to have two boys and live in a house full of stinky boys!

{6} I don't really understand football (probably because my high school didn't have it!) but I LOVE to watch the games. 

{7} I love having a neat and clean house, but prefer to spend my time watching trashy rerun reality shows.

Thanks again for the award, girls!

And here's who I'm tagging:

Melissa Jo



Megan (who is having an AWESOME giveaway for a Coach purse, by the way)


What I'm Loving

{1} I'm LOVING all the love I got for my 26th birthday on Monday. I think that every five minutes, my phone was going off with a Facebook wall post alert, a text message or a phone call. I'm very blessed. I'm also working on a recap, but I have a ton of photos to edit and prefer to do it during lunch on my work computer, so my "birthday wish" will do for now.

{2} I'm LOVING sleep in/stay in your pajamas days. Like today :)

{3} I'm LOVING that the temperatures are forecast to be in the 50s next week. Definitely what I needed to hear this morning when it started snowing again.

{4} I'm LOVING that the Packers won the Super Bowl. These brownies may have helped :)

{5} I'm LOVING these two super-funny SB commercials:

{6} I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about this, but I am LOVING the Super Bowl halftime show, too. I mean, Usher? Yes, I do think the sound was off, but in my opinion, it was the best one since Nipplegate. 

{7} I'm LOVING the recently-released Gretchen Wilson song "Love to Be Your Last."

{8} And ... I'm LOVING this sweet man :)




At 8:12 p.m. today, I will officially turn 26.

And you know what? It's really just another birthday for me. I had freaked out about the upcoming birthday, but I'm cool with it. Being 25 was great, and I'm sure 26 will be even better. 

We did most of our celebrating on Saturday, when we went out with a bunch of friends. I'll have pictures and a full recap to come. 

This morning, we drove to work in this:

If I were still in school, I'd probably think it was the best thing ever. But anyone who thinks it's fabulous that I got "birthday snow" is wrong. Not only am I sick of winter, it's really bad where J is working today, and I just got a text that he is running two hours behind already. Great. Especially since we drove to work together today.

Anyhow, I am going to try to keep a smile on my face and be GRATEFUL that I have reached 26 and am healthy, employed and have a beautiful home and such fabulous people in my life. Seriously. It took me an hour to read/comment on every wall post on my Facebook. 

Oh, and I do consider the Packers win a huge birthday gift. And a Mizzou win over kU tonight would really be the icing on the cake :)


What I'm Loving

Yay for Wednesday! I always love WILW, because it's a great time to get those little tidbits in. 

*Before I jump into this, I know last week a lot of you commented wanting more information on MyPoints, which is the program through which I earned a $50 Lowes gift card. I've been working on a post and got it up earlier this morning to explain MyPoints and Swagbucks, another program I use. Hope this answers your questions!

{1} I'm LOVING that Phil didn't see his shadow and we should be getting an early spring! I'm ready for flip flops and T-shirts!

{2} I'm LOVING that while parts of our state got hit badly by ice and snow on Tuesday (even shutting down a major interstate for the first time in history!) it just rained here. And we're getting a pretty dusting of snow today. 

{3} I'm LOVING that I finally got the last of my bank information to file my taxes and get to meet with my accountant tomorrow. We'll be paying off a big debt once we get our return, so I'm really looking forward to that.

{4} I'm LOVING that it's five days until my birthday. Yesterday, J sent me a text saying "Only six more days until Chelle Day!" Gosh I love that man. 

{5} I'm LOVING that I get Shannon (hairdresser) time tomorrow! My hair desperately needs to be thinned. 

{6} I'm LOVING that Sunday is Super Bowl. GO PACKERS!!!

{7} I'm LOVING that J and I are continuing to work out every night - I just wish we had a treadmill or it was warmer outside so we could run a few times a week! BUt I'm definitely seeing results and just feel a lot better!

{8} I'm LOVING that I've already purchased a Christmas gift for next year! One of my coworkers was selling the Thirty One gifts thermal totes as a Relay for Life fundraiser, so I purchased one as a Christmas gift and another for an upcoming shower. And, of course, one for myself. 

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

Hope y'all have a great Wednesday!

Easy ways to earn money

Last week, I mentioned how I had redeemed a $50 gift card to Lowes via MyPoints. I got lots of emails and questions regarding this, so I figured I would do a post on this program, as well as another, that are EASY and free ways to earn some extra money on the side. 

The first is Swagbucks. I was introduced to it via Money Saving Mom, whose site I have followed religiously for almost two years. 

Search & Win

Click here and you can sign up. This is super easy. You search using their site, and are randomly rewarded points. I seem to average about 30 a day. Then you use the points to "buy" items in the Swag Store. To me, the best deal is a $5 Amazon gift card for 450 points. These come in SO HANDY at Christmastime! I was able to buy our Blu Ray for pretty much nothing out of pocket, thanks to these cards. It's not a lot, but if you only get two $5 cards a month, that still adds up to over $100 a year! Plus, you can shop "thru" Swagbucks at online merchants and get a certain number of Swagbucks for each dollar spent. Very easy and I highly recommend it! Right now, you get 30 Swagbucks when you sign up!

With MyPoints, there are several ways to earn. 
1 - Shopping through merchants
2 - Printing/redeeming coupons
3 - Reading emails (the easiest)
4 - Doing surveys (sent via email, and you get points even if you don't qualify)
5 - Downloading the navigation bar and doing searches (so many points for a number of searches, which is capped at 50/month I believe)

I usually just do the email, because I seem to find better cashback alternatives from sites like or (message me if you want referrals to those, too!) but I managed to earn enough points for the $50 Lowes card in just under a year. I just click on the emails while I'm leaving a message or something like that - so it's NOT an inconvenience at all!

Some suggest setting up a separate email for this, but I like it in my main email, because if it bugs me enough to ensure I check and delete! There aren't referral links for this program, but I can email it to you. While you don't have to use my link for either, I can get extra points if you sign up as part of my network :)

I hope I've done an OK job of explaining these programs. If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to ask. 


What I've Learned ... about friendship

I haven't participated in Top Two Tuesday for awhile, but this week's topic really struck a chord with me. I never like to participate in these things if I don't feel I have anything real to share/contribute, but a lot of things about friendship have come to the front burner over the past week, so ... 

Top Two Things I've Learned About Friendship

{1} The BEST friends are the ones who tell you directly what they think of your decisions, etc., and don't go around talking behind your back. Maybe I'm just different, but I'd always prefer someone straight up say "I don't think that's a good idea" or "I don't agree with you" than tell someone else that. Because it always gets back. Always. And I, too, try to be extremely honest. My friends all know that while it may hurt, I'm the one who will be blunt with them and not sugar-coat everything. Tough love :)

{2} You don't have to talk/text/email every day to be friends. This is the biggest thing I've learned! During college, some friends and I drifted apart. But once we lived close to each other again, we picked right back up where we'd left off four to five years earlier! We can go a month or longer without talking on the phone, but it's still good! I'm there for them, and they know I'm still there too. I'm not saying it's bad to have contact every day, but I also don't think it's necessary to be great friends.

Happy Tuesday, y'all!