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!!!