Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Stocking" Up - Part 1

Well friends, I have actually started the project I said I would!! Last night I went over to Mamaw's house and started on our Christmas stockings!

First I printed out my "inspiration" picture and sketched out the patterns on newspaper/tissue paper. (This step took FOREVVVVVVVER because we couldn't get it just right.)

Then we layed the pattern on the fabric...

And cut it out - the main stocking and the cuff, although this cuff is for the other stocking. :)

Once we cut out all the fabric pieces and batting, I got to sew for the very first time. I just sewed the batting to the striped fabric for the cuff, but by this point it was getting late, so that's as far as we got on Wednesday.
I'm so excited though!! I think they are already looking sooooooo cute!! :)
Only EIGHT WEEKS until Christmas! Yee-haw!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shoulda Joined the Procrastinator's Party

I finally finally FINALLY hung some art in the dining room area like I told myself I would weeks ago! Jessica's amazing painting and a cross-shaped picture frame that is from Jess also!

I should have zoomed in on the cross, it's super cool. There's a small bookshelf in the living room area that I may paint black and put underneath the painting... we'll see...

And I found cute placemats this weekend on sale at Belk, used a 20% off coupon, AND had a gift card. $0 spent. :)

And they go with the rug.
AND Jason likes them. Unprompted he said, "These look really good, babe!" Scooooore.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Open Windows & Sunshine

As I lay here on the couch catching up on my DVRed shows, I looked over to the big, beautiful, living room windows and what did I find?

Happy kitty and happy puppy, basking in the sunshine.

Here's our little baby girl. In her favorite spot!

"Who me?" Of course Dash can't sit still when he hears me moving around. :) And that's his favorite spot.

I love our babies. And I looooove the sunshine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

Hey look! I have a signature!! How super fun! :)

Read about how to make your own here.

A View from the Front

What a week it's been for our house! We planned to have some electrical work done to get 3 prong plugs/grounded outlets and those little tester plugs by your water sources? yeah, those too. We also were switching from the old fuse box to a new breaker box. The old box was smaller and on the wall where our washer and dryer sit. The new box was taller and would be blocked by the washer and dryer if they stayed on that wall, so we had to move them.

So we had to have a plumber move the line for the washer on Tuesday before the electrical work began on Wednesday. Luckily, we had a great experience with them and everything was ready to go for Jerry and his crew (electrical). Jerry said it would take 3 days to do all the work, but it only took 2! So that was awesome. Well, in amongst all of this, our heat went out. So yesterday we had Bean Heating & Air come put in a new unit. (Sheeeeesh.)

The upside to all of this is that hopefully all of these things will not need to be done again for the time we live in this house. And another BIG upside is that we had much more electrical problems in our house than we realized, and something could have gone wrong (lightning kills all our electronics, fire starts from hot wire, etc.) if we hadn't done this now.

So we are broke, but we are safe. :)

Here's our house in all her beautiful glory. She's come a long way already and she's got so much more to go.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two months and counting.

I am usually not this excited about Christmas THIS EARLY. You can ask my brothers.

There is just something about the newness and excitement of my OWN house to decorate! Now, last year when I was in my aparment, I got a small tree with little, "girly" ornaments , bright funky ornaments to hang across the opening into the kitchen, a wreath, this funky silver swirly tree thingy... I just went crazy. We'll use the little tree somewhere and the wreath for sure, but I'm not sure about the other stuff. Don't get me wrong - it's super cute and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to get whatever I wanted (read: bright funky colors) for a space that was all mine. [We'll ignore the fact that I left my decorations up until... April, was it? Longer?]

I've definitely matured in my... color choices, we'll say. (Though there is a lime green bedroom floating around our house... hmm... some things will never change.) I've become a more neutral palette girl, with pops of color here and there. Hopefully this will translate in my Christmas decor choices.

I love looking to people's blogs for ideas! I found this cute idea yesterday! How adorable is that?? And luckily for me, I have an extra pot lying around, so I may just try this soon. :)

If you get a few minutes (hours), look at BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes 2008 to see how other bloggers decorate for the holidays. If you find anything you love/want to copy this year, leave a comment with the link in it for us to see!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christmas Project Procrastination...

Decorating for Christmas was always such a fun time at my parents house. When I think about past Christmases, I don't immediately think "traditions" but boy oh boy - when I dig down deeper I realize that we have SO MANY Christmas traditions!

With few exceptions, we always decorate the tree together and Sam puts up his "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornament first, then me, then Nick. Then it's open for all ornaments. We have a bazillion ornaments each, so we usually pick and choose what makes it on the tree. We always reminisce about the how/when/and why we got the ornament and really enjoy the time together.

We have a nativity scene that we have displayed every year for as long as I can remember. Starting last year (or maybe the year before), Mom started getting me pieces of the Willow Tree Nativity scene for my own house. I am IN LOVE with this beautiful set and cannot wait to display it this year. (Though I have no idea where... hmmm...)

Finally, another tradition is hanging up stockings. The tradition itself isn't the hanging of the stockings, but the story behind them. My mom handmade the 4 stockings for her, Dad, Sam and I when we were younger. The back of the boys stockings are red and the girls are green (that might be backwards..) and next to our names, the boys have a little picture of candy (like a candy cane) and the girls have a holiday plant (like a tree or holly leaf). If you click on this picture from last year, you can see the stocking there on the end. I think it's mine because I'm pretty sure the tiny green stocking was for Dash. :)

Well, when Mom found out she was having Nick (almost TWELVE YEARS AGO!!! who feels old??) she quickly thought about needing an additional stocking for our new addition. She looked through the attic, and lo and behold she found her fabric scraps --JUST enough to make one more stocking. And guess what - it was the fabric for a BOY stocking. Pretty cool, huh? (I could go on and on about the traditions of opening one present on Christmas Even... and eating Christmas Eve dinner at the Golden Palace... and having a huge Christmas breakfast... and... and...)
Anyway... I say all this to psyche myself up for a project. In September I decided that for my first Christmas as a Mrs. (hey that sorta rhymes!) I want my home to be warm, inviting, and fully "decked" as in "the halls". I decided I want to make stockings for Jason and I. Now, don't tell Jason because it's sort of a surprise. (And don't worry, the chances of him reading my blog are slim and none. Haha!) So I went to Hobby Lobby with Emily and got all the stuff to do it, but STILL haven't started! I know, I know - you're thinking, it's not even Halloween yet! But seriously folks - nine weeks from Friday is Christmas Day!!! So as a public declaration for all the world to read, I'm giving myself a deadline.

By Friday, November 13th, I want to be DONE with our Christmas stockings. I will take pictures and document as I go, as an additional measure to hold me accountable. :)

Okay, thanks for sticking with me today on a super long post. Check back for my thoughts on NEW traditions for my NEW little family. :) And don't forget to check out SimpleMom's "12 weeks to a Peaceful Christmas"

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Time for Everything

Since there is a first time for everything, this week I'm going to try my hand at Menu Plan Monday from

Monday: chicken quesadillas (from the grilled chicken we had last night - YUM!)
Tuesday: pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and sauteed squash (we have been LOVING sauteed veggies this week)
Wednesday: taco salad w/"the fixin's"
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: out to eat? :)
Saturday: white chicken chili (come watch the TN-AL game with us!!)
Sunday: Sneaky Chef Meatloaf - MAYBE... we'll see how I'm feeling about this then...

Jason's not the BIGGEST fan of deciding what to eat several days in advanced, but I figure if I'm trying to only go to the grocery store ONCE a week instead of several little trips (to get whatever we need for dinner that night) that he will learn to love and appreciate my thinking ahead. Love you honey. :)

Does anyone else meal plan?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CVS-ing, Take One

**UPDATE** You're going to laugh at me... no, really - you are. Today at lunch I took back three of the $1 candy items so that I only really spent $20.50, then got the $5 back on candy! Ridiculous? A little bit...

Today I went on my first official "CVS-ing" trip. I was kind of nervous because I've been pretty skeptical that shopping at CVS could possibly be cheaper than shopping at Walmart (my typical store of choice). Here's a look at all I got!

Herbal Essences Shampoo/Conditioner
Regular price: $8.60 for both
Got it for: $3.00 (on sale for $3, B1G1 free coupon)

Trident Layers Gum
Regular price: $1.50
Got it for: $0.25 (on sale for $1, $0.75 off coupon)

Neosporin Lip Care
Regular price: $5.39
Got it for: FREE (on sale for $2.89, had coupon for $3.00 off)

Halloween candy (for our house and Trunk or Treat at church)
Regular price: $33.00
Got it for: $18.50 (get $5 off when you spend $20)
I thought that CVS sold newspapers, so I could have saved $2.50 more with a coupon from the paper, but they don't so I missed out... :( Aaaaand I somehow miscalculated and spent $23.50 instead of right at $20... so yeah. Could have saved another $3.50 there...

Glade Reed Diffuser
Regular price: $9.99
Got it for: made +$3.50 (on sale for $6.99, $3.50 off coupon, $7 ECB back)

I also used $3 ECB I had from last week, and a $5 off $25 coupon from online, so according to my receipt I spent $14.24 and saved $37.57!! Not too bad for my first try!!

My regrets are that I didn't get the paper before I went (could have saved $2.50 more and my own dumb $3.50 mistake - could have been $8.24!). Then I also bought body wash for Jason that was $4.99 and I had a $1 off coupon, but I think it's a lot less at Walmart and I still could have used the coupon. Anyway, all in all I'm pretty happy with the trip! And now we're loaded up on candy! :)

I forgot to ever post pictures of the gift we got from Cindy and Bob!!

A beautiful patio furniture set!! Now with this and our grill, we actually have a reason to be on the patio!! :) THANKS CINDY AND BOB!!!

Finally, a glimpse into the office. The very messy and nowhere near finished office. I will keep you updated with the progress.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Know A Famous Artist

My SISTER (in-law) is an amazing artist (P.S. She just turned 13). I wish I had more of her art to show you on here today, but I DO have three pieces.

This was one Jess did for her parents of a winter landscape - this was probably a little over a year ago.

Then there is one missing here that is a landscape of the mountains she painted for Jason's Christmas present last year. It's hanging in our living room and is quite possibly the only thing we have on the walls in the entire house right now. :) We love it and it matches our space perfectly.

This one is my FAVORITE!! Jessica painted this for us as an engagement present - WOW!!!!! Isn't she amazingly talented?? I am obsessed. (This one is waiting to be hung up as the main focal point in the dining room.)

Yesterday Jason and I both got texts from Jess with this picture:

Her newest original masterpiece.

Dear Jessica,
In case this picture has not yet found a home, we would like to purchase it. Yes, purchase it, because it is beautiful. Just like you.
Your sister

(Okay so I forgot to load the pictures of our gift from Bob and Cindy - hold your breath until tomorrow!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grill Master

We got a grill this weekend!! Whoo hoo!!

Here is my (silly) hubby posing by his new prized possession.

Mmmmm... I sure love anything grilled. Partially because Jason is the one doing it... and partially because it's just so good and yummy!

I did sustain a small injury with "last night's dinner" - I got a little over zealous with the potato pealer... we'll leave it at that. ::shiver::

All in all it was a fantastic meal - mashed potatoes (hold the blood.. sorry, I couldn't resist..), crescent rolls, and grilled chicken. We marinated the chicken in Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing and it was mmmmmm... sooooooooo good.

Here she is, in all her glory! Be expecting lots of grilled "Last Night's Dinners" coming up!
Also coming up... we received a late wedding - early Christmas present this weekend from Aunt Cindy and Uncle Bob... Check back tomorrow for pictures!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Few Minor Updates

In an effort to make our home feel more "Fall-y", I decided to make a Fall centerpiece for our dining room table!

This is a cake stand we got for our wedding (thanks Pam Rector!), the pumpkins/leaves came from a $5 box from Walmart this week (!!), and the candle... oh the candle. It is a Febreze candle called Autumn Spice & Crisp. It makes our house smell NOT like cats and dogs but FALL!!!

Another minor update we (Jason) did this week was to install one of those super cool rounded shower curtain rods!

Please excuse the precious pup who wanted to be in the picture.

It takes up a tiny bit more room in the bathroom, but the room it provides in the otherwise tiny shower is priceless.

Snookie loves to hide between the curtains. She thinks we don't notice.

And this little booger loves to drink from the tub. He could have just drank a full bowl of water, but oh goodness - if there's water in the tub, then he's thirsty again. :)

Finally - here's my new purchase!! We've been needing a new printer for a while, and I found this HP all-in-one wireless at Best Buy for $150! I was super pumped. It is so fun to sit on the couch, browse the web for coupons, recipes, etc. and be able to hit print and go about my business. Then an hour later when I pry myself from the couch, there is a lovely stack of freshly printed documents waiting for me in the office.
Little updates make me happy. I am one happy girl. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coupon Question

(By the way, I love the comments on the animal nicknames post - your babies have got GREAT nicknames!! Erica - sure, husbands count - but that's a different post. :) )

Okay, a quick question - other than Sarah, are there any of you that are avid coupon shoppers? Within the past week or so, I have heard so much about "CVS-ing" and coupon shopping that I am just going to have to jump in with both feet. (I have actually made a purchase that will make this easier for me, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it!) I will let you know if/when I get some great deals worth sharing.

Check out these sites for more details:
Southern Savers
Money Saving Mom

Thoroughly Cooked Pork Tenderloin

Sunday night we had a yummy pork tenderloin for dinner! Mom told me about the McCormick packet for pork tenderloin (you can see it below) and how easy it was! All you need to buy is the packet (it's called "Bag & Season") and the pork. It comes with a bag and a pouch of seasoning so you just put the meat in the bag, sprinkle in the seasoning, mix it around, stick it in a pan and put it in the oven.

Now, if you're like me, you read the directions and follow them exactly. "Bake for 25-30 minutes." Okay super. FOR ONCE IN MY COOKING LIFE I had everything ready at that 30 minute mark. Hot alfredo noodles, warmed up green beans... yum. We were ready to eat.

But the meat, however, was not ready. So after adding "just 10 more minutes" a few more times, it was finally ready.

I even went ahead and cut it up into pieces before the last "10 minutes" just so I could make sure it was done. Doesn't it look amazing though? Mmmm...

All in all, we were REALLY happy with the way it turned out. We will definitely make it again soon, but I'll make sure to factor in an hour instead of 30 minutes. :)

P.S. We have made some really yummy leftovers with the meat - like quesadillas! YUM!

Oh, and dessert. Be still my soul. NoBake Cookies, or as Jessica calls them "peanut-butter-chocolate-oatmeal-cookies."
I don't want to tell you how fast we finished off this pan...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Calling All Animal Nickname Freaks Like Me

Man, the title of this just speaks for itself!

I realize that I have the most ridiculous nicknames for our pets... I've even rubbed off on Jason when I hear him call the dog "Erton" (I'll explain below).

(I need an updated picture of the little guy...)
Dasherton (most common - I call him this ALL the time)
Erton (as a nickname from the nickname Dasherton... I am out of control)
Dasherton Finkle (why, I have no idea - I'm going to blame Nick for this one)
Dasherton Finklemeyer (again, pleading the 5th)
Stinkerton Finkerton (these two especially when an "accident" has been involved)
Doodle-bug (I don't call him these as much as I used to... he's pretty stuck with Dasherton.)

Snookerton (notice a pattern here...)
Snookerton Bookerton
bunny rabbit (come over and, if you can catch her, feel her fur - she feels like a rabbit!)
(she hasn't been our baby long enough to have the million nicknames that her brother does... give us time, we will find something weird to call her too)

I am kind of embarassed by the goofiness of the names, but hey - I would probably end up calling our animals something crazy in front of you anyway. :) And I'm sure there are a million I will think of later. When I'm trying to get the dog's attention. Or tell the cat to get off the counter - again.

So the cat is out of the bag on the weirdo names I call our animals - what about you? Do you have any ridiculous or just normal nicknames for your pets?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Trip to Ohio and back

Last week I went on a business trip to Cleveland, Ohio! It's the farthest north I've ever been! Haha.

After several delays on both my flights (from Chatt to Atl, and from Atl to Cleveland) I got to Ohio around dinner time and opted to eat at the hotel restaurant - butternut squash ravioli YUMMM!!! But I was exhuasted, so right before I was about to get my food, I asked the waiter if he could just box it up for me to take to my room. :) So I layed on my bed, ate my food, and watched Dancing With the Stars.

Tuesday started my 1st training day - oh yeah, I didn't tell you why I was there. I went to train with one of the Chattem field sales trainers, Tim. I'm not going into field sales, but we go through the training so we can be familiar with all the different areas within the sales force. So I got to learn (or refresh, rather) about Chattem history and much more. Then we went out to the different retailers (Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, food stores, etc.) to see the differences at each store. (I won't bore you with any more details than I have to.)

Okay so here's the only picture from my whole trip. On Tuesday night I got sucked in to Nim's Island on HBO and then it was time for DWTS (night 2) so I decided room service was in order.

(Not that you can tell at all what this is...) Here is my bacon cheeseburger and macaroni & cheese! YUMMY!!! It was soooo good. And dear Brianne - I'm in love with Pepsi. It brought back 8 million memories.

The next two days were similar to the first... I was challenged to learn all the active ingredients to our products, so if you feel like quizzing me, I will try not to mis-pronounce the names.

I got home Thursday night around dinnertime and man, oh man, was I glad to be HOME! I missed my hubby and my babies!! Oh yeah, and on Monday (the day I left) Dash got really sick and my mom had to take him to the vet. Then Jason had to be in charge of giving him 2 different pills and a syringe of liquid all week long. I felt so bad! But he's doing a whole lot better and is now just on one antibiotic for the next month to make sure he stays well.

I'm sure glad to be home. Sorry, Ohio people... but:
Chattanooga > Ohio


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