Friday, December 23, 2011

A Thrifty Deal - I ♥ Goodwill!

Today is Day #1 of #12 of my holiday vacation and it was a GREAT one! I got up at a decent time, made a good breakfast, relaxed a bit, and then made my task list for the day. I have SO much I want to do, which equals so many things to organize and/or buy. I had to get sorted out where I needed to go and what exactly I needed to buy. I figured scouring the areas' thrift stores was a great place to start, for some things anyway. I had no idea I'd hit the jackpot on something I wasn't even really looking for!

I went to the Goodwill closest to my house as a first stop. I'm on the lookout for a decent size frame that I can turn into a white board {More on that later}. I was minding my own business looking around the back of the store when I heard, "I can't believe no one has bought this really nice Ethan Allen coffee table yet". That got my attention. I hadn't seen it yet as it was slightly ahead of where I was standing. I moseyed my way closer to where I heard the employee to take a look for myself. Wow. There sat a really, really nice solid wood coffee table with a front drawer that was in great, if not perfect, condition. And you want to know the best part? The price tag. It was ONLY $30!! I said, out loud, "S-O-L-D"! The employee made it a point to tell me, as others were hovering, more like stalking, around me waiting to pounce on it when attention was drawn to it, that they couldn't actually mark it sold until it was paid for. I asked the manager to take it up front and I'd follow him up to pay for it, pronto. I didn't even care at this point what else the store may have had to offer me - All I cared about was getting this coffee table in my truck, safe & sound. I got up to the counter to pay for it, meanwhile grinning from ear to ear. What a find, I thought to myself. And then, DAMN... I realized I had NO more checks in my checkbook. (Goodwill doesn't take Visa and I very rarely, if ever, carry cash. I think I actually said, "Shit"!, out loud. Oops. I told the manager, who was waiting near the front door with the table ready to help me load it, "I can have my husband here in less than 5 minutes!". He told me hurry and reminded me - "It's not yours until you pay for it". In somewhat of a panic, I called my husband who was at home, fortunately for me only about 2 miles away, to ask him (more like beg) to please bring me the next set of checks so I can actually BUY this fantastic table. I told him to please not question me and just bring it. I had no time for the "Oh honey, do you really need to buy it?" Yes, I did. He, very understanding of course, said he was on the way. I then proceeded to barricade my fascinating coffee table near the front door like it was some sort of priceless possession. People actually came in the store gawking at it as if they were, too, interested. I gave them the stank-eye as I inched closer to "MY find". Within 4.5 minutes my husband arrived. He walked into the store and gave one look of instant approval to the table and over to the counter I went, check in hand! We had it safe in the bed of our truck about 3 minutes later. Phew!

Take a look at my $30 Ethan Allen coffee table! It's wonderful! Doesn't need refinishing. Doesn't need anything. Only needs me to relax on the couch and stare at it fondly!



I absolutely LOVE thrift stores, especially Goodwill. I am NEVER too proud to shop thrifty, and even if I had a heap of money, I'd STILL shop at thrift stores. The finds are amazing, it's a thrill to sort through them, and most of all, you are putting money back into your community. Not a bad deal I'd say!

Can't wait to see what I find tomorrow! Stay tuned for all my projects coming up!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So Many DIY Projects Coming Up!

First off, I am feeling SOOO much better! Thanks to daily meds, vitamins, and finally antibiotics! I still can't breathe 100%, but I'm getting better & better each day. Phew!!! Just in time for the holidays, which means...

My upcoming 12 days off will be filled with healthy, energetic time to do (hopefully) all the DIY projects I want to do! Thanks to Pinterest, fellow bloggers, and some of my own thoughts & ideas, I have a LOT of things I want to do. I am hosting my husbands parents for Christmas dinner, but besides that, each & every day of my 12 days off will be gleefully filled with shopping, thrifting & scouring the area for items needed for "my list" of projects. I'm excited, yet nervous! My list is HUGE!

Here's my list: 
  • Design & install a king size headboard in Master Bedroom 
  • Paint medicine cabinet in Master Bath 
  • Paint cabinets in both bathrooms 
  • Paint curio cabinet in kitchen
  • Paint cubby organizer next to my desk
  • Design & install custom magnet board (out of cookie sheets!) 
  • Paint wall in Living Room
  • Enlarge photos from past camping trips & mount with canvas or in another cute crafty way
  • Paint wall in Master Bedroom
  • Paint all white trim 
  • Recover fabric on accent chair in Master Bedroom
  • Make a mason jar/pen & pencil cup holder for the wall above my desk
  • Install mason jars under cabinets above sink (with peppercorns, sea salts, Italian seasoning, etc.)
  • Design & install a custom car key holder & mail sorter near mud room
Pretty daunting, right? Not for me! I'm stoked to at least attempt most of it. I can't wait to get started. I will take before & after pictures of each project to share with everyone.

I also hope to get my hands on an oldie but goodie vanity table w/chair for my bedroom. I need a better place to sit down & do my makeup and, maybe even have a better spot to start styling my hair that's growing like a weed! Wish me luck!

I'm also on the look out for a new couch, preferably a cool microfiber sectional. I need a living room face lift!

Let's hope my list doesn't get any bigger, or my wallet will get ALOT smaller! ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Still Sick, But The Holidays Beckon...

I'm still sick. I think I've sneezed & coughed over 300 times in the past 15 minutes. Seriously. Nothing is helping! Argh! So not a good time to be sick! I'm drinking LOTS of fluids, trust me. The constant trips to the potty proves that! I'm taking meds to help me sleep and non-drowsy goodies to keep me aware during the day. Oh, what to do...

This too shall pass, let's hope!

Tomorrow is my last big event (work wise anyway) and then I can relax a bit. Next week is a short week (only 3 days) and then I'm OFF for 12 straight days. I. Can't. Wait!

After my office's holiday party tomorrow the hubs and I, and the furry kids, are heading to VA to visit family and attend what's sure to be a fabulous holiday party. Looking forward to it! Let's just hope I don't have to wear a mask to keep my germs to myself. That wouldn't look all that great with what I'm planning to wear. ;-)

I may be a little awol over the next few days as I prepare for my mini-sabbatical, but I'll be back after Christmas for sure. Knowing me, I'll more than likely post some cute pics on Christmas Day, but who knows.

Try not to miss me, or do! That'd be cool too! :-)

Here's a most recent photo of me at my office's department holiday party last week. It was a blast!


Happy Holidays everyone!

xoxo!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Under The Weather

I've been feeling under the weather lately. At the holidays. Major bummer. Add a slew of things to do to prepare for an out of town trip this weekend & the never-ending pile of chores, and you have an awful combination of misery. And I'm majorly OCD.

A couple things:

  1. My crafty Christmas presents failed. Miserably. I had to completely change plans. More on that later.
  2. I saw 'Friends With Benefits'. Justin Timberlake has a fine hiney. Does he use body doubles? Gosh, I hope not. A MUST see! ;-)
  3. I can't shake baby fever. Babies are everywhere. Pregnant women are everywhere. I want one. Bad.
  4. Can you believe we're almost to 2012??!!
  5. I have ALOT of projects I want to do during my 12 days off over the holidays. Let's just hope they don't fail me like my planned Christmas presents. We shall see.
  6. Oh yeah, I have OFF December 22nd - January 2nd. I. Can't. Wait.
I think I'll take my Alka Seltzer Cold Nitetime medicine now so I can S-L-E-E-P.

I'll leave you with Harley & Nugget resting peacefully on the couch. It's nice someone can rest.

Move over!! :-)


 Be back soon...


Thursday, December 8, 2011

I've Fallen In ♥ With ETSY!

It's true. I have. I've heard of Etsy for awhile now but it's only been here recently that I've actually browsed the shops. Yes, it's all thanks to my recent fixation on all things artsy & crafty. And homemade! It's somewhat become an obsession actually ... it's all I think about. I go to bed at night thinking about all the things I want to do (or attempt to try)! It's bogging down my already overcrowded brain. I swear it's true - women NEVER turn off their thoughts. Never. Even when trying to sleep. But I digress...

Back to Etsy! You may have already read about the fantastic magnets that I bought from my co-worker who has an Etsy shop, 'Stuck Together Magnets'. This is what brought me to the wonderful world of Etsy. Let's just say I haven't looked back! Thanks also in part to other fellow bloggers who have Etsy shops, and of course, looking at their favorite Etsy shops, means I'm in serious trouble!

I made my second purchase today!

I bought this fabulous beaded (handmade) bracelet & earring set from The Pink Martini shop! Isn't it beautiful? And get this, only $16!!!


And, I was so pleasantly surprised to not only get an instant receipt, but also a personal "Thank You" from the seller herself - Within 10 minutes of my purchase! How's that for service? (the same applies from my initial purchase from 'Stuck Together Magnets'!) You don't get that at national chain stores, not even at brick & mortar mom & pop shops. I thought this was the coolest thing ever! Plus, most of what I've been browsing lately on Etsy is homemade, custom items - meaning, it's a one-of-a-kind item that someone actually took the time & energy to create. They put their thought, heart & soul into it. It wasn't mass created so everyone has the same thing everyone else has. I adore this!!!! Check out her shop! If you, like me, love funky jewelry, this is the shop!

I am certainly sold on shopping Etsy. Now & forever. Let's support these crafty, original artists & creators by shopping Etsy!

Now, I need some extra mooola ($$$) so I can shop, shop & shop some more! :-D

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My First REAL Christmas Tree!

I've never had a real tree. Or at least I don't remember ever having a real tree. The hubs and I wanted to do something a little different this year, and being we would have had to go out and buy a $100+ fake tree since ours was kaput, we decided to go another route. Boy I'm glad we did! We made plans to go to the state Farmers Market and pick out our first tree.

It was alot more fun than I'd thought it'd be! It was kinda like shopping! We went to the very first tree lot we saw; didn't see any reason to look at the bazillion others. I'm glad we chose to stop here as the people who operated the lot were super friendly. I asked someone for help, since hubs and I were both tree virgins. I knew I wanted a tall, fat, full tree, but didn't know much else. Our ceiling is about 9 feet tall so I knew we could get a 7 or 7.5' tall tree easily. I grazed the lot and it was evident I was being picky. The hubs was laughing at me. The guy who was helping us walked away so I kept looking. I walked over towards the front of the lot and saw out of the corner of my eye a tree that the guy who was helping us appeared to be "fluffing up". I said to Rich, "That's it!" It was sort of ironic because the guy who had been helping us had walked over to get this tree for us because he said he thought I'd like it. Sweet, right? That's North Carolina service for ya! :-)

This lot was based in Western North Carolina outside of Boone, NC. A beautiful area surrounded by and in the gorgeous Carolina mountains. I remember seeing a TON a tree farms when we went camping last year. Check out those posts HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE! It's a funny, awesome, and embarrassing read!

Who knows, our tree could have come from one of these farms!


Here I am with our new tree - don't I look a little too happy?

7.5 Fraser Fir - Only $45!!!

Time to get it home and start decorating!

I ♥ butterflies and dragonflies!

We've had this ornament since 1997!
From Walmart believe it or not! Pretty butterfly "sprays"

Circa '04 - From one of my favorite places, Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
And the finished product...

With LR Light on

With LR Light off
Our homemade stockings, made by the other!
I must say, I miss the good 'ole fashioned multi-color lights. You know the ones that actually had RED instead of pink! But, oh well. The smell of a live fraser fir is intoxicating! It fills the whole house! LOVE it! I can't believe it's taken us this long to get a real tree! Now, I just need to keep my kitty from drinking the water from the basin! Don't want to have the scene from 'Christmas Vacation' play out in real life! LOL!

Do you get a real tree? I'd love to see pics!



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY - How I Made Homemade Pin Boards

I have taken a liking to all things crafty & DIY lately, of course, thanks to Pinterest! The first thing I wanted to tackle was homemade french pin boards. With my newfound crafty interests, I figured this would be an easy project to start off with, and it was!

So, here's what I did...

First I had to find the cork boards. I knew I wanted them small to allow room for my homemade magnet boards (that I will be making soon using pizza pans and cookie sheets). I found a package of (4) 12" squares at Target for under $7!! They were the perfect size!


I used two of them together to give me the thickness that I wanted. I used a staple gun to keep them together. Next, fabric!!

Would you believe I've never been inside a Joann Fabrics? My first trip there was overwhelming! I can't believe it's taken me 32 years to see what this store has to offer! I knew I wanted two different coordinating fabrics that would blend with the colors I've already planned on using on my magnet boards, and a separate piece to my desk that I plan on refurbishing.


I found these adorable "fabric quarters" that were just the right size, 18" x 21". I knew this would more than cover my 12" cork squares with room to spare. I didn't care that they wouldn't cover the back. Who would see? AND, they were only $1.29 a piece! Score!


Next, break out the staple gun!

I basically just centered the cork squares in the fabric quarter and neatly pulled the excess over the backside and then, STAPLE! What fun it was to use a staple gun! *snicker*

Once I had the fabric neatly centered and stapled onto the cork square it was time to dress it up with pretty ribbon! I bought a few different designs for my two boards.

I placed the ribbon where I wanted it and then flipped it over to staple it in place. Pull taut so there isn't any slack. There's really no wrong way to do this part!

Here's the boards with their "french pin board" look...

Cute, right?

Now onto the "hooks". I want to eventually hang them from an ornate looking knob or drawer pull, so I thought I would simply use some of my extra ribbon to make a twisty hook. I stapled it to the backside of the cork board.


And the finished product...


Not bad for my first craft project, right?


Here's how they look above my desk. Note - my new magnet boards, once I make them, will be in the middle where the photo of my husband and I is now.


Notice the really cute magnets? They'll be used on my magnet board. I got them from a co-worker who has an Etsy Shop named "Stuck Together Magnets". She makes all her magnets by hand  - they are fantastic!


Well, there you have it! It was super fun to make and really, really easy! It definitely gave me the urge to want to continue my recent fascination with all things crafty.

You like? Leave me a comment! Do you make things homemade? I'd love to hear from you! I could use more ideas.

My inspiration for crafty awesomeness has certainly come from Julie Ann Art, Young House Love, and A Sweet Release! Check these ladies out! They are fabulous!

p.s. I've recently become a fan of spray paint. Watch out! ;-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lady Gaga's 'Marry The Night' Music Video

Lady Gaga's latest music video 'Marry The Night' premiered tonight and I must say, WOW. It's nearly 14 minutes. It's manic. It's kinda creepy. It's dark and full of nudity. And, you know what? I kinda liked loved it. A lot. But then again I like everything, well mostly everything, that Lady Gaga delivers. She's 100% original, and she herself states in the "autobiograhical" style video, she's a bonefide artist. Very true. In every sense of the word.

You may not agree or like everything she does, but you can NOT deny she's one-of-a-kind. Not in the least.

I think I'll watch it again.

What do you think?


It's Officially The Holiday Season!

It's December 1st!! You know what that means? It's officially the Christmas season! Yippeeee! I don't start getting excited about Christmas until we are at least in the same month as Christmas, unlike some I know that start decorating even before Thanksgiving! Gotta love their spirit though! ;-)

So, since it's the holiday season, my blog has to reflect that, right? Right! I moseyed on over to the consistently reliable 'Cutest Blog On The Block' Blog, and of course they had a holiday inspired background to suit me! It wasn't even a question! LOVE this site!

You probably already noticed my new background, right? Here's the image linked over to CBOTB:

"All That Glitters"
They have a TON of awesome holiday backgrounds! Check them out! 

Now that my blog has been transformed for the holidays, I am now completely in the Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just Because...


I came across the picture in my phone that we took of ourselves a few weeks ago and I smiled. Why? Because. It's us. It's us happy. My husband is my rock. My sounding board. My everything.

We recently celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary. Oh, how time flies! But let me tell you, it's been the happiest 9 years of my life. I never would have thought that I could be this happy. Honestly, I never thought I deserved it. Rich is my best friend. He is my partner in life. Like I said, he's my everything.

I will never take what we have for granted. I realize there are so many women, and men for that matter, that are not happy and have not found their happily ever after. That saddens me. Everyone deserves to be happy. Everyone deserves to have their everything.

Love you baby. Here's to another 9 years. And another 9 years. And another 9 years after that. And then some more...

xoxo 

p.s. more on "Our Love Story" soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

So, I Want A Baby...


It's time. For so long now it's been just my awesome husband and me, and of course, our furry kids. But, I think it's time we add a human kid to our brood.

My husband and I have always said we wanted kids but we were never in any real rush. It was either not the right time, or we weren't ready emotionally or financially. I've heard the saying over & over... "It's never the right time", but it had to feel right to us. I think we are finally there. I mean, at 32 years old young, I'm not getting any younger, right?

I used to walk right by all the baby goodies at Target. Now? I can't help but graze through every aisle. I've caught it bad. The "baby bug". It's all I think about. Little onesies. Darling cribs. Hair bows. Oh boy! Or, girl! ;)

I can't wait to be a mom. Truly. I'm already an Aunt to the best niece & nephew ever and I adore them to pieces, but now I want my own little one to call my own. Our own. I am ready. I'm ready for all things baby.

We've been "trying" for about 4 months now. I'm not getting psycho about it, yet. It'll happen when it's supposed to. I'm ready. Wait, didn't I already say that? I can't wait though.

So, there you have it. I want a baby. I want to be a mom. A mother. An adoring parental unit. A caretaker.

I can't wait to share with everyone when it happens. I'll be screaming it from the rooftops!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Black Friday

Shopping on Black Friday has become a tradition for me, well, at least for the past few years. Usually I have my shopping partner with me (my awesome sister-in-law), but this year, sadly, we had to tackle the madness alone since our schedules didn't permit us to travel. She's in VA and I'm in NC. :(

I had to brave this all by lonesome. I was somewhat excited to see that my usual favorite Black Friday stops were opening at Midnight. At first I thought this was crazy, but after realizing that it meant I could simply go out to shop at the end of the night, when I would normally be up anyway (I'm a night owl!), instead of going to sleep and waking up at 2 or 3am.

I knew there was the possibility of a long line so I headed out around 11 p.m. I'm glad I did because by the time I got there, there was already 150+ people in line. I was the 157th person in line. The people in line were friendly and so were the security guards, which kinda gave me a good feeling that I wouldn't get trampled on! They had a great system in place to ensure people who were waiting in their {warm} cars wouldn't be able to torpedo through the line that we all waiting so patiently in. Yay! I was the 3rd group in. I was even given this cool glow in the dark thingy to wear to reflect that I was the last of the 3rd group, which meant I had 15 seconds to get it the store and dart FAST to ensure no one could run over me! I knew exactly where I wanted to go once inside the store... the same place everybody else did, the electronics department!

I had my eyes on the featured camera doorbuster, the Nikon Coolpix L105 for $99! I was SOOO happy to actually get my hands on one, and let me tell you, once it was MY hands I ensured it stayed that way! Let's just say I had a bad experience from two years ago (read about that here)! I had been wanting a better camera for awhile now, and this camera is a TON better than the Sony 'point & shoot' I had. It's not the SLR camera I really, really want, but at $99 I'll take it! I was a happy customer! Target did a great job handling the chaos! About 45 minutes after I entered, I was now on my way to the next stop, Old Navy.

I arrived at Old Navy around 12:45 or so and was surprised to see there were still people in line outside the store! I quickly learned it was due to the store being at its fire code capacity. They let 10 people in when 10 people exited. Crazy! I really only wanted to check out their $29 pea coats and I almost left because I was freezing, but I held in there. I was only in line for about 20 minutes. I immediately noticed that the store was a WRECK, but I honestly expected no less. It was really hard to even find what you were looking for but after about 10 minutes I finally found the coat I wanted in my size. It's astonishing to me how sloppy people can be! I witnessed people kicking clothes under racks, stepping on clothes, throwing clothes, etc. It was awful! Thankfully my coat didn't look like it had been on the floor, so that was plus. I found 4 $1 scarves that I liked too which was an added bonus. I didn't see anything else that stuck out to me so I ventured to find the line. Let me tell you, I was SHOCKED to see that the line wrapped around the inside of the store all the way back to the front door! I almost left, but I had come too far at this point, so I pressed on. Over 1.5 hours later, and almost needing to be pushed through the line because I swear I nodded off a couple times, I made it to the registers. I was out shortly after 3 a.m. At this point I was T-I-R-E-D!

I contemplated going over to JCPenney's since they opened at 4 p.m., but I didn't think I could stand up anymore so I went home. I figured I could take a nap. This was a mistake. The "nap" turned out to be a 7.5 hour nap. I woke up shortly after 11 a.m. SHOOT! I had less than 2 hours to make it to JCPenney's to check out their boots for $29.99! I threw on the same clothes I took off 7 hours earlier and darted out the door. By the time I made it there the store was in shambles. Again, expected. I didn't find any boots I wanted. Or, I should say there weren't any boots left that I actually liked. Boo! Oh well, I did find some boring sweaters.

This was the longest day/night ever. I had been up since 8:30 a.m. Thursday preparing for our Thanksgiving and hadn't sat down to relax until 7 p.m. or so to watch a movie (Fast Five was kinda awesome). Then, the shopping began. By 2 p.m. Friday afternoon I needed a veg out, sit down & relax moment. Or more like moments... I was SOOOO excited to find out that my new webcam came in from Amazon while I was out! I was elated! I have a new toy and I can't wait to start sharing embarrassing videos with all of you! And yes, there's a 100% chance I will look like dirt from time to time!

 

Oh yeah, I saw Breaking Dawn again today! This makes #2. I plan on seeing it at least 3-4 more times before it comes out on DVD!

Did you & yours have a great Thanksgiving? Did you venture out for Black Friday shopping? Or, did you stay home in your warm bed and laughed at people like me? LOL!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Corn Dip - The Best Dip EVER!

The best recipes are the ones that are past down from generation to generation. My Mom gave this recipe to me a long time ago (my recipe card says '99!) and I ♥ it! I've made it for years and it gets better & better every time I make it. There are a ton of variations of this type of dip on the internet, but this is the version from my Mom, which to me, makes it the best!

And now, you may think so too!

Here's how you make it  - it's super easy!

CORN DIP

  • 1 can White Shoepeg Corn, drained (like above)
  • 1 Onion, chopped fine
  • 1 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated 
  • 1/4 C Mayo
  • 1/2 C Sour Cream
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
  • A few drops of Tabasco, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
Mix everything together & serve immediately, or refrigerate to set/thicken. Stir well before serving.

Serve with Ritz Crackers or Tortilla Chips.

*NOTE: the more cheese the better! It thickens the dip and let's face it, cheese is awesome! Do NOT use yellow/sweet corn. It doesn't hold up the same and the skins from the corn peel away and get caught in your teeth! Gross out! You can double or triple this recipe. The more the better, right?! The dip stays fresh for about two days - just stir well before serving.

This recipe is defintely a crowd favorite and always fares well during sporting events, Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners, and everyday parties!

If you make it, let me know what you thought! Leave your comments in the link below.

Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Breaking Dawn - My Review!

I feel like I waited forever for this movie, along with all the other Twihards. There was a LOT of hype. Crazy amounts of hype. Was it worth it? Did it live up to the hype? In my most honest opinion, 110% Y-E-S!

Breaking Dawn was my favorite book in the series, by a huge margin, so I knew that this would more than likely be my favorite of the 3 movies so far. I was NOT disappointed. At all. I loved it. Sure, there were parts that, to me, were a little drawn out, and other scenes that I thought were slightly on the cheesy side. Not a huge deal, but nonetheless I think some scenes could have been done a little different to avoid the cheese factor, i.e. the wolf telepathy scene.  I delayed this post in an effort to ensure no spoilers for those of you who haven't seen it yet. Are there any of you who have not seen it yet? What the heck are you waiting for?! GO!

I knew this movie installment in particular, directed by the amazing Bill Condon, would be more crisp, slightly deeper, and for sure more involved with the actors. I'm not overly in awe of Kristen Stewart as an actress, however, I think she brought SO much more to her role in this installment over the first three. SO much more. Maybe it was due to her aging, I mean honestly... she was only 17 when Twilight came out! There was more adult material in this installment for her to work with, plus she's had the chance to grow into her role of "Bella". It doesn't hurt that she's dating "Edward" in her real life which makes the ooh-la-la scenes all the more real. To us and to her!

Speaking of the ooh-la-la scenes. Let's just say they don't suck. Not one single bit. Sure, they had to be simmered down to achieve a PG-13 rating, but it was very tasteful, perfectly sensual, and left you wanting more. (HELLO DVD!) I though the entire honeymoon was breathtaking.

If you've read the series, mainly Breaking Dawn, you know the birth scene, well shoot... the entire pregnancy for that matter, is.... well, gruesome and graphic. By the time they realize what Bella, mainly her baby, needs, she's already withered away to skin & bones. It's pretty insane. The birth scene was pretty spot on, from what I remember from the book anyway. It has been awhile since I read it. But, I felt it was rightfully shown, for a PG-13 anyway. I know they had to cut scenes and scale back some of the overall gore so I really, really, really hope it's in the DVD special features. I'll me pretty dang mad if not.

Overall, I loved Breaking Dawn. I even fell for Jacob a little bit, but hey... let's get real. I'm STILL Team Edward! ;)

I've only seen it once, so far. I know some have seen it more than 5x already. I plan to see it again on "Black Friday" after a long day of shopping.

How about you? Have you already seen it? Will you see it again? what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

I can NOT believe we have to wait another YEAR for Part 2!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lazy Friday

Just relaxing on a Friday night next to the toasty fire. Love it! Getting my rest before the excitement of Breaking Dawn tomorrow! Soooo excited!

The best couch buddy ever!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christina Perri - "A Thousand Years" Music Video




Christina Perri's talent never ceases to astonish me. She has beautifully captured Twilight's Bella & Edward's story with her latest song, 'A Thousand Years'. And to think that she was once an everyday fan, aka "Twihard", back when New Moon premiered in theaters and waited in line like everyone one - It's truly awesome, for us, and more importantly, her. She's insanely talented and I am beyond thrilled that she is on the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1's Soundtrack. The Twilight soundtracks have always been a masterpiece in their own right, and with the addition of Christina Perri, now they are truly filled with deserving, inspiring talent.

For more of Christina Perri's {fantastic} music videos, check out her YouTube Channel 'lovemspenny'

Check out the full lyrics to 'A Thousand Years' after the jump!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saving w/Coupons!

It should be known by now that I love a good deal. I love sale items and clearance racks. I loathe retail price and will never buy anything that isn't marked down, like alot. So, couponing comes natural to me. I'm not an "Extreme Couponer", but I do my best to plan out my available coupons to use them in connection with store sales and their individual e-coupons. I literally get child-like giddy when my favorite grocer does "SUPER DOUBLE COUPONS". This is where they double the value of manufacture coupons to to $1.98 in value. This is when I go crazy and stock up on general cleaning supplies, cat food, you know... the typical stuff that has coupons over $1. Well, I missed the last super double frenzy and had to settle for the regular deals, which in this post's particular case, wasn't all that bad.

I honestly didn't plan ahead as much as I normally do, so I was actually pretty shocked at my savings in the end.

I bought alot of the general stuff, nothing too specific. However, I didn't realize until I got there that I had quite a bit of e-coupons available on my VIC card, which is the name of the store card from my favorite grocer, Harris Teeter. (They are awesome!) After realizing the deals that I had, which were about to expire, coupled with the stores own "sale" prices, and then MY coupons, I made out pretty dang awesome, If I do say so myself. This isn't the best I've done, but it's not bad either, and it's the first example I actually have pictures of! The clerk at the register thought I was crazy, in a fun way, of course. ;-)

Here's the total straight up. No VIC card, e-coupons, or paper coupons... yet.


$166.76 (no way am I spending that!)
Now, after my my VIC card savings & e-coupons...

Cut almost in HALF! $99.20
Now, for the final total - after all my paper coupons...

$80 in SAVINGS!
Pretty cool, right? And, you wanna know the best part? I didn't even plan this. Imagine if I had? I absolutely ♥ couponing. I really do. It gives me a certain bit of satisfaction. You know stores will ask you first if you have their savings card? Well, just for fun, more for myself than anyone else, I'll actually hold off on giving them my card until the very end. This is just so I can see for myself the clear cut savings I had, rather than waiting until looking at the receipt. I have to admit though, this isn't for the faint of heart. The total at the end, like my example above, shocks me every time. Why? Because I would NEVER pay that!

Do you coupon? Look at your grocers e-coupons? It's worth trying out! It's your money - don't just give it away!

Did you know that, of the over $70 billion of coupon savings offered by manufacturers each year, only $4.5 billion are redeemed by consumers. That's barely 6%! That's insane!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

My recent addiction to Pinterest hasn't been without it's share of greatness. Case in point, I discovered a recipe that I actually wanted to try. You see, recipes in general intimidate me as they can be overwhelming with steps 1-10, hard to find ingredients, etc. Well, this particular recipe was two, easy ingredients. That's it. I had to try it!


All you do is mix the above two ingredients together and bake! I've seen where some have made this a bundt cake, or sheet cake, or even cookies, but I chose cupcakes/muffins! Here's what I did...

  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • 15oz Libby's Pumpkin Mix

Preheat oven at 350.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the two ingredients either by hand or using a electric mixer (I used a rubber spatula).  For an added bit of zest, I added a touch of cinnamon & nutmeg, but you don't have to. Line cupcake/muffin tray with liners. Fill with 3/4 batter*.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

While the muffins were still warm, I sprinkled powdered sugar on them. YUM!

And now, EAT 'em!


*Tip: I used a Ziploc bag for piping the batter into the muffin cups as it was pretty difficult using a spoon. Just put all the batter into the bag and "smush" all the way to the bottom. Then, snip a nickel size hole off one of the corners. Bam! You have a piping bag! ;-) It's not pretty, but it works like a charm!


Enjoy your Pumpkin Muffins! I can't wait to try these in other variations too, like Duncan Hines Spice Cake flavor or even adding chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless! If you're tried these and would like to share how you made them your own, let me know! I'd ♥ to hear about it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

How To Add A 'Pin It' Button to EACH Blog Post!

As you may have seen from my post a couple of days ago, I have become obsessed addicted to Pinterest.com. It's pretty bad, but in a good way. I think? Well, I have been looking EVERYWHERE for a simple, easy to understand way of adding a 'Pin It' button to my posts without having to go into the "Goodies" page on Pinterest each & every time I post. Aggravating, right? I knew it existed, because I've seen them on numerous sites, but NONE of them we're easy for me to understand, and I actually know a little about HTML! So, you can imagine my excitement when I came across a tutorial that actually worked & didn't make me feel like a Class-A dufus in the process. And it's all thanks to JulieAnnArt.com!

Here's how she (and I) did it:

First, you'll need to find a 'Pin It' button you want to use. I used a basic one, like this:

Feel free to use this one if you'd like. Just right-click it and 'Save Link As' to save to your PC. Then, you'll need to host it somewhere like ImageShack or FileDen. Once you have uploaded it to your host of choice, then grab the 'Direct Link' or URL link. You would then copy & paste your NEW image URL over where you see my "http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/7278/pinit.png" URL in the code below:

FYI: this tutorial and code will be inserting the 'Pin It' button in your footer, as you'll see in my footer below. Keep in mind, your footer may be wider or taller than mine, but that's OK - It'll still be in a great spot & easy for everyone to see. 

Here's the (magic!) HTML Code:



You'll need to access your 'Template' page and click 'Edit HTML'. (I know HTML can be a bit scary, but trust me, this is scare-proof)

I've laid it out, step-by-step...
**Click photos to enlarge**

1.

 2.


3.


**The CTRL F target is: div class='post-footer'**

The next step will have you copying & pasting the HTML code I gave you above exactly where you see it below. Be careful! Any misstep or errors in the code (even an extra space) will cause it to give you an error.

4.

Don't forget to click 'Save Template'! 

Then, VOILA! You're done! Now you'll have a Pin It button on EACH post so you can share all your blog awesomeness to the world! Easy, right?

Again, thank you so much to JulieAnnArt.com for the tip! Hop on over to her blog! It's pretty dang awesome!
Happy Pinning!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pinterest - My New Addiction!

So, just a few days ago a co-worker told me about this site that she's really into and thought I should check it out. Well, I did and let me tell you... I'M HOOKED! *Thanks, Nina!*

Have you guys heard about 'Pinterest.com'? In case you have no earthly idea what I'm talking about, this is Pinterest in a nutshell taken directly from the site:
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
VERY, very true.
You "pin" your "interests" (get it?) to an online dashboard & share with others & vice versa! 

It's seriously awesome and VERY addicting. I can't seem to stay off of it! And, I've already amassed a large amount of "to-dos" and "wants" & have seen a TON of really cool DIY tips & tricks I can't wait to try! For example, I have for the past two nights tried the "Sock Bun Curls" method. Have no idea what I'm talking about? Check it out HERE & HERE. I'm still trying to perfect it, but it DOES work! I'm excited to get it "just right".

My "Sock Bun"

Pinterest.com is by invite only, or you can try waiting around on some "list". Want to start pinning your way to a really cool addiction? I'll invite you! Just shoot me over your email address in the mail icon at the top left of my blog - I promise I won't share your email with anyone!

Meanwhile, I'll be stalking Pinterest just a pinning away....

;-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Black Friday Deals!!!!

Everybody should know by now that I ♥ a good deal. If it's not on sale, I won't even look at it, much less buy it. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I love "Black Friday" shopping! I didn't think I was going to go this year since I won't be with my sister-in-law, who's my "partner-in-shopping" (*sniff*), but for this deal I may have to GO!

There are a ton of stores that are releasing their Black Friday deals EARLY so savvy shoppers like me, &  overly compulsive "gotta plan everything" people, again, like me, can plan in advance! SMART! Check out BlackFriday.com for more sneak peeks! 

Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

10 Minutes of Breaking Dawn "Behind The Scenes" Footage!

Collider is my hero. For real.

10 WHOLE minutes of behind-the-scenes footage of Breaking Dawn! Woweeeeee!



Twilight: Breaking Dawn Clips!!

I know I've been away for awhile... my bad. If I said I've been busy, would you believe me? Will you forgive me? ;-)

Well, I couldn't stay away... not when Breaking Dawn mania is all around me! Nope. I'm back. And, I must say, while I've "tried" to steer clear of all the clips, promos, and everything Breaking Dawn promo... I just can't. It's all too tempting, and I must admit... I'm still very much a Twihard. Can't help it.

Let's catch up on all the Breaking Dawn clips, shall we?








THIS clip is my fav. You'll see why...

And, the trailer that explains it all w/behind the scenes footage of Breaking Dawn "The Beginning of the End"

How excited are you? Are you going to a midnight showing on the 17th? Or 12:01 a.m. or 12:02 a.m.? Me, I'm watching it w/friends on the 19th.

CAN'T WAIT!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Short Weekend Recap

Went to, and thoroughly enjoyed, my 1st college football game (Go PACK!), saw "I Don't Know How She Does It" (It was great!), and going back to my roots, literally (brunette). What an awesome weekend!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Breaking Dawn Screencaps w/Captions!

I must have had a case of the funnies today, because I scrutinized the latest Breaking Dawn Trailer and captioned certain screencaps with the FIRST thing that came to mind...

Try to contain yourself...

Bella: "Dad, If I break wind, pretend it's you...mmmk?"
Charlie: "Why couldn't I have had a son?"
Edward: Singing to himself Silk's "Cuz tonight, baby, I wanna get freaky with you.
Dammit, Bella! What'd the hell did you eat?
B***h stole my haircut!
Who Does Depression Hurt? EVERYONE
Where Does Depression Hurt? EVERYWHERE

Wanna see my "OH" face? "Ooooh oooooh ooooh!"
Edward: "That kid that said the human head weighs 8lbs was full of s***!"
... And now back to your regularly scheduled program. 

ROFL!