Saturday, December 31, 2011

Where did she go?

Oh my goodness, I've really dropped the ball. It's as if the last part of 2011 I fell off the planet. I know I have the same excuse, "a lot is going on" but really- A LOT IS GOING ON! Tim and I are getting ready to really embark on a new adventure of possibly owning a home and I can't wait to share the news once it becomes official. I thought I would blog more about it, but it has turned out to be quite an emotional roller-coaster and I thought, maybe I'll just keep more of it to ourselves.

But, have no fear for 2012. There will be a set of new goals, 12 in 12! I've got new ideas for updates, and I have plenty of new recipes to try to share with you all as a result of my MIL buying us some new cookbooks for Christmas. I also have a new camera from my parents to document it all with.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Month of Thanks- 14 through 30

Yeah, it would seem I've got a bit of catching up to do...

While I failed at blogging this task, I really did take time each day to think about things I'm thankful for having in my life. The bottom line is that I'm thankful for it all. The little things, like a photo or a song to the big things like my family, it's all important and it all has a place.

I promise to get back to blogging too...I don't know what has happened!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Month of Thanks- 9 through 13

This week was pretty stressful, but I still try to look at it in perspective. I may not be happy with some things in life, but there are many more things to be thankful for.

So, I'm thankful for:
9) a job in the field I went to school for
10) my health
11) veterans
12) my education and
13) books

All of these have been on my mind the past few days. There are a lot of people my age graduating college and unable to find work in their respective fields. It took a little while, but I did find my current job and I'm very happy there. I feel like no two days are the same and I learn a little something new each week. Side note: I'm probably thankful for my first out of school job too even though it was the pits because it taught me everything I DID NOT want in a career or work place.

I know I mentioned on facebook before November started, but I'm really thankful for my health. In October at work we had a health screening and I had really good results (to quote the nurse "A+"). I had the sniffles for like two seconds yesterday and I thought about it, I haven't been sick-sick in a long time. I think it might have to do with going to the gym and trying to eat better. I have Tim to thank for this. He helps keep me on track- even when I whine and pout that I don't want to go to the gym (like today).

Of course, Friday was Veteran's Day and I'm very thankful to the people who serve and protect our country's interests and well being. My brother recently made Chief Petty Officer and I'm incredibly proud of him.

On Saturday I watched the UGA and Auburn game and even though the score was disappointing I couldn't help but think- I have a degree from there. Yes. Some people cheer for whatever reason- but I cheer with a deep sense of pride in my education. I'm thankful for that. Auburn taught me a lot about myself- good, bad and ugly. I'm thankful for it all.

Today, I'm thankful for books. Why? Because I've been trying to read more. It's low cost entertainment. Especially if you go to the library (ahem, I still need to come get my new card Mr. Chris...). You're never too old to enjoy a good book. Reading helps you in a myriad of ways. I'm currently reading three different books and over the weekend I bought The Hunger Games so...I need to finish these before I start any more.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Month of Thanks- Day 7 and 8

What a whirlwind of a Monday/Tuesday. I have two things I want to mention today. One deals with food and the other is music.

First, you'll note I try and blog about various foods and dishes. I'm thankful that I have the ability to have so much choice. Some people don't know where their next meal will come from, so they aren't being picky. I'm thankful I am able to feed myself and feed myself with tastes I enjoy.

Second, I'm thankful for music. Music is my ultimate cure for any ill. I've had a rough few days here lately and I loved putting the ipod in my ears tonight and running it out. I loved riding in the car tonight with Tim blasting songs from our high school days. Music is my addiction and I'm so happy its easily accessible. Nothing makes me feel the way I feel when I am at a live concert dancing around like a happy fool. a total aside...if anyone from Flystyl is reading this...please have a reunion show in the PTC ASAP :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dinner at Our House: Taco Soup

Tonight we tried something new! And SURPRISE it was really yum. I'm kind of weird about anything with "tomato juice" in it so I've always been hesitant when it comes to soups with tomatoes...but I was brave and we tried this version of taco soup.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium V8 juice
  • 1 cup chunky salsa

  • 3/4 cup shredded lettuce
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh tomatoes [Mom thankfully put these to the side]
  • 6 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • Tortilla chips, optional


  • In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook the beef, onion and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced.
  • Add V8 juice and salsa; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until heated through. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons of lettuce, 1 tablespoon of tomato and cheese, and 2 teaspoons of green onions and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

My mom also made this sort of taco-pizza too. It was good but it dried out before we could all get home to eat it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Month of Thanks- Day 5 and 6

Yes, I'm a slacker but I'm still trying my best! This weekend (5+6) I'm thankful for friends- old, new and somewhere in between.

Saturday I went to a baby shower for Baby H (Melinda and Matt's little one). Melinda is an old friend from childhood- actually she started out as one of my first ever enemies :) Some young girls (and sadly some adult women) feel like they can only have one best/close friend and Melinda and I had the same one. We were pretty competitive with each other until we finally started being friends somewhere around 6th grade and middle school. Anywho, she means a lot to me and I'm really excited for her upcoming mommyhood. It was great to spend time with her and my other friends from childhood (especially my oldest friend Katie). I'm so thankful to still have connection to these gals.

Also on Saturday, I spent time with new friends from work. I had fun at a Pampered Chef party at a coworker's house. Lots of sweet women and I enjoy getting to know new people. Work has really given me some of the best new friends ever and I'm really thankful.

And of course there is my soulmate Mel. Anytime I get to spend with Mel and Chris I am happy. Especially when football is involved. I still to this day cannot believe Mel and I grew up in the same town and never crossed official paths until we went to Auburn for graduate school. For that I am REALLY thankful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Month of Thanks- An Eye Opening Experience

This year at work I have the honor of serving on the United Way Committee at work. I've always liked to think I possess a giving heart, but today I realized there is always something more that can be done.

Today, I'm thankful for two things in particular: the home I live in and our warm running water that allows me to shower.

As part of our United Way campaign at work we had a field trip Friday. Several of us were able to board a van and travel to a few sites in the bi-city area and see where all of our money goes. And let me tell you, it's going to MANY good causes.

We went to the Open Door Community House, Homeless Resource Network and the Child Advocacy Center. It wasn't like I was naive and didn't know these conditions existed (especially the last one because it deals with a similar subject to my personal volunteer work). I've been on mission trips before, I've volunteered locally, but I guess the saying "out of sight out of mind" is very true. Today was a wake up call though.

All of these places have amazing programs. One of the most amazing is the shower program. Open Door has a building that looks like maybe a double wide trailer? Not 100% sure, but its a place with a number of showers where the homeless can come take a shower. How many of us shower daily (yeah, I thought so)- some of us may even shower twice a day. What would you do if you had no water to bathe yourself on a regular basis?

A block away there is the Homeless Resource Network which had a lot of programs also. One program they showed us was their storage. During business hours, homeless can store their possessions in a secure room. Note: if you are local they can ALWAYS use backpacks, suitcases, etc. This is incredibly helpful for someone who is homeless who is trying to get a job. If they go to a job interview with all their possessions, it's pretty much a dead giveaway. Also, it helps give some security back to those who have lost everything.

And that is what I liked MOST about both of these organizations. They aren't just curing the symptoms, they are trying to remedy the causes. They don't just give handouts, they teach people to become self-sufficient, give them skills and tools for bettering themselves.

Today I became recharged; motivated and excited. I thought about the shower project and how they appreciate a shower, something we expect to do daily. I thought about my new hobby of couponing. I want to start thinking about those coupons I don't plan on using and seeing what could I use them for? Maybe I don't use Dove soap, but I sure bet the shower program could. I may not use Gain or ALL detergent, but they could. Each Sunday I want to make a conscious effort to look for supplies that may be low-cost to me, but high impact on someone else.

It's easy to brush off donating because we see one or two "bad examples" of mismanagement so we write off the whole process together. But, truly, these organizations are making a difference. We are all having a hard time in this economy, but there is always someone else who has it worse and could use a little lifting up. Someone mentioned today, that even if we don't have the money to give, we also have the gift of time. I want to make sure I'm using both to do what I can. All of the little efforts add up.

Month of Thanks- Day 3, ah!

I missed Day 3 yesterday so I thought I would say that as my third post I'm thankful for sleep. Sleep is why I missed blogging yesterday. After we came home and went to dinner I came home and just cuddled up on the couch and snoozed. So I am thankful for not only sleep, but the warm place I call home that provides me a place to sleep.

Which leads me to a bigger post I want to write tonight about my visit to Open Door and Homeless Resource Network.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Month of Thanks- Family

Probably the most important thing in my life- family. I've got great parents and a wonderful husband. It's kind of fitting that I write about them tonight. Today wasn't a "bad day," it was just an exhausting day. I called home and told Tim I wasn't feeling up to cooking anything because I just felt completely BLAH. He volunteered to make whatever. Now, he ended up buying half of dinner and cooking potatoes just a little shorter than they needed to be...but it didn't matter. What mattered is when I came home and he was in the kitchen I just really needed a hug and there he was- ready to give me the best and biggest hug. And that is just one of the MANY things I'm thankful for when it comes to family. They love you even when you feel pretty cruddy and run down.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Month of Thanks

Preface: Sarah inspired me to attempt this month-long blog series on what I'm thankful for. All credit is due to her and her facebook :)

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. Mostly because it's the fun and food of Christmas, without the stress of gift giving. You get to focus on just being with your family and the ones you love. Thanksgivings growing up were always so much fun. We'd go to my mother's mom's home and enjoy Christmas with my mom's side of the family. I remember the house she had before she and her husband Russell moved to the cooooountry. I remember running around the outside of the house, playing with our great-grandmothers magnet collection on the fridge, attempting gymnastics off the clothesline, swinging on the swing and the constant torment of my eating habits (a biscuit and chocolate cake).

As you can imagine when I saw Sarah's facebook status tonight:
"Posting something I'm thankful for every day of November. Today I'm thankful for the way God continually blesses my family. I'm thankful for this every day, but especially today!"
I got excited. What a great idea. I know we should take time to express our thanks everyday, but I thought it might be nice to take on the challenge. So here goes- the first thing I'm thankful for is Sarah's idea. :)

Caturday Saturday: Post Halloween Costume Edition

Yeahhh so maybe its no where near Saturday, but I had to share these of Scooby dressed in a costume that fits her personality oh so well:

Your soul is mine...ok maybe just your toes.

I hate your face :/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Art of Couponing Returns!

Thought I'd share the free deal I found from Southern Savers this week at Publix (you still have time to cash in on this).

We're free at Publix! Crest toothpaste and Oral B toothbrush!
Right now at Publix, both the Crest toothpaste and Oral B toothbrush are $2 each. If you are like me, and you are a frequent Publix shopper, you should have received the "Savings are Stocking Up at Publix" mailer. It looks like this:

Yay! Free money at Publix!
Inside this booklet there were coupons for $1 off Crest toothpaste and $1 off Oral B manual toothbrushes. Remember, these are store Qs, so you can couple them with the sale + manufacturer's Qs to get the BEST deals.

Right now you can find manufacturer's Qs for both in variations of -.50, -.75 and -$1. Luckily, I had them in the $1 value.

So, $2 sale price, minus $1 store Q and $1 manufacturer's Q = FREE.

I got lucky and we have an extra mailer that came to the house (mom also spends lots of $$ in Publix) so I'll be getting more, but this time it'll be .25 cent for the toothpaste.

Either way, the toothpaste is getting donated, but I'll keep the toothbrushes :)

Christmas Wishing and Fun Internet Distractions

Have any of you heard of It's wonderful fun. I'm not as developed on there as I'd like to be, but I'm using it right now to come up with my dream Christmas Wish List for 2011. I think it's still invite only, so if you would like one just let me know. It works well with Google Chrome which is my browser of choice. I have plans to eventually do a board on pinterest for all of my books, my dream home, etc. What types of boards will you create?

Friday, October 28, 2011

I am going to blog today!

I'm rereading over my goals and I'm epic failing here in the tenth month of the year. That's why I'm thankful I was tagged in this post. I'm going to try and get back on the goal-driven horse...

I'm a ham sometimes. This is me today at work riding the "horse"...yeeeeeah. Please note the AL state flag in the background...
So here goes:

1. Do not give up on the home search. We can't be married with parents and pets forever. It's getting to that point in my life I'm really wanting to consider our family growth extension plans aka babies...and I just can't even think about it without having a home for our possible future family members. So I want to continue to look at homes and even apartments. It's just a challenge because I don't want to live in an apartment when most of the mortgages are cheaper than rent...

2. Find more things to give thanks about aka complain less. Sometimes I catch myself venting more than I like doing. I need to revive the spirit of my old blog- Thank You Have a Nice Day.

3. Get a library card. CHRIS! Help me here LOL. I want to start checking out more books rather than buying them. I want to be a library supporter.

4. Clean out a box from my dorm. I know that when I moved home for the summer after my freshmen year there were at least two boxes of stuff that never made it back with me when I moved into my sophomore-senior apartment. I want to dig those out, have a few laughs, clear some clutter and scrapbook any items left over. I know I have some old high school photos in there I want to use to make some stuff with.

5. Get back to goals in general. I want to start back to seriously working on my original goals I set for 2011.

What are your goals for the rest of the year?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Caturday Saturday: We're back, and super lovable.

This was last Saturday. I woke up to a gang of kittehs who were hungry.

Also last Saturday, Scooby made her way into the attic...yes ATTIC!!!

A classic shot of Elliot watching Sunday NFL.

Scooby and toy.

I love this one haha. From last night.

Let me tell you a secret...

Such a sweet brother/sister pairing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Remembering my grandmother

This week my family said goodbye to our sweet grandmother, Alma Blackburn Barry. She was one of the kindest people I've ever known. I think my father said it best when he notified his friends on facebook. He said, "All her life, she truly had a servant heart and took care of all those around her including her family, friends, and strangers who were in need. It didn’t end with people though as she loved animals and gardening. She cared for dogs, cats (her favorites), birds, squirrels, and even the raccoons that would come to her door looking for food. If someone or something was hungry, she fed them, if injured or hurting; she cared for them or got them help. She was loved by many and will be missed by all that knew her. I love you mother, God Bless."

When I think of my grandmother, I will always think of cats. She loved to tend to animals. In fact, I'm pretty sure word got around that she would care for them. I can remember her taking care of kittens that were dumped on a side of the road, left for dead. At her home you could always find a humming bird feeder and pans of dry food and water out on the grass. 

I loved to hear her stories, especially ones that involved my dad's youth. I can't ever remember seeing her angry or upset, just smiling and always wanting to serve.

It touches me deeply that friends and family are making donations to the Lee County Animal Shelter in Albany Georgia. I cannot think of a better way to pay tribute to her legacy. 

She didn't invent an ipod or ipad, but she invented in me a spirit of caring that I hope honors her memory.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Eleven in 11: Evaluating September

I don't know how the year is going by so fast...this is crazy!

The breakdown:
1. Volunteer opportunity- I love these ladies! I'm thinking about possibly taking on something else though too. Any suggestions?
2. The weight loss one- So, last week Tim and I started back to WW together. I hate that he can have basically double my points. In the first week he lost 10 lbs! I lost 2 of the 7 I had gained back. Overall, I'm still doing great for the year.
3. Plan and take honeymoon- We went to Amelia Island. Collectively, Tim and I decided that we simply didn't ever have a honeymoon. While the trip was a FABULOUS trip, it just wan't a honeymoon. We missed the boat 3 years ago, and it isn't something you can just have 3 years late. It's ok though, we still loved vacationing! You can see our recent trip photos from here and here.
4. Trying four new recipes- I managed to make one thing: Buttermilk Blue Cheese Smashed Red Potatoes
5. Blog three times a week- I need to set aside a set time for this I think, that's the only way it is going to get better.
6. Student loan- Check!
7. Savings!- Check! 
8. Read 52 books- Still 51 to go...
9. Facebook birthdays- I love facebook's new birthday feature. It makes this tons easier!
10. Visit 12 new restaurants- I had Smokey Pig BBQ for the first time this month! Ha! I didn't actually go to the restaurant, but I did get it delivered by Tim. It was decent :)
11. Etsy- I have some ideas now that football season is well underway.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Game Day: Auburn v Florida Atlantic

My goodness...this game say the least! But, regardless, I had fun. On to the photos!

Outside Haley Center. 
Woo AU Marching Band rocks!

Cheesing it up before the Auburn Game in Jordan Hare!

More AU Marching Band!

The Sky was orange and blue, cheering on the Tigers. 

AU Marching Band plus Honor Band.

This is Tim during the first half...pretty sure he was emailing himself...

FINALLY! A touchdown!

Our reaction during the 3rd quarter!

One more :)

Hargis Hall! New sign.

Victory pose on College Street

Caturday Saturday: Another Sunday Edition

 This chunk is adorable...
Oh muh belly....

Just a tad bit more context haha

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dinner at Our House: Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Smashed Red Potatoes

So, I got suckered into buying an alumni book from my undergrad college UWG and part of the "Thank you" was a subscription to three magazines. I cannot remember what all I subscribed for, but I did start getting Cooking Light. I think I'm in love! I was flipping through the pages and there is so much in there to inspire me to want to be a healthy eater and start cooking again! First up was this recipe. I actually doubled it because I know I come from a family of starch lovers.

We had it with Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and salad- classy paper plate I know!
Like I said I doubled it so here is what I did:


  • 2 pound small red potatoes
  • 2/3 cup light buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water to 2 inches above potatoes. 
  • Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender; drain.
  • Return potatoes to pan. 
  • Add buttermilk, blue cheese, salt, and pepper to pan; mash with potato masher to desired consistency. (I had to use a wooden spoon but it did the trick)
These were pretty yummy. Tim is not a fan of blue cheese, but he didn't know it was in them until after I told him. He also ate about half the pot so I am very glad I made doubles! I'm actually shocked there is a little leftover; so I'm surprisingly looking forward to lunch at work tomorrow ha!

Caturday Saturday: No matter how many times I see this...

I will ALWAYS laugh. Thank God for my boys:

My boys!

Oh hai momz!

I love my little girl too. Even if she messed up the bed covers...

and yes...I know it's Sunday! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Game Day: Auburn v Mississippi State

This weekend we went to the game. It was A BLAST! We tailgated with our bestest buddies:




Us :)

Wooo National Champs 2010!!!

Aubie is hands down the best mascot ever.

He's so funny!


War eagle! Fly down the field!

Our seats were nice :) Great view!

We saw lots of the action.

Get 'em tigers!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Art of Couponing: CVS $10 Gas Deal

I was a bit skeptical this summer of the CVS gas deal. Spending $30 seemed to be a bit more than I wanted to pay, but I thought there were some good deals on the products you had to spend the $30 on.

I bought:
Yes, Elliot wanted in on the saving action...

I used 4 $1.00/1 Tide detergent coupons, .25 cent off Charmin & .25 cent off Bounty. The really cool thing I used that I hadn't planned on using was a $4 off $20 CVS coupon that I loaded onto my CVS card through right before I ran out to go to the store. So lesson learned: ALWAYS log on to before you roll out of your house! Also, I used $3ECB before they expired at the end of the week.

Caturday Saturday: Snuggle time edition

This past Labor Day, something happened that NEVER happens. All three cats snuggled up together on the couch. I had to take as many photos as they would allow me to do.

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