We are having friends over for a little holiday cheer this Friday. We wanted to do a little get together to celebrate the season and each other. We are planning a potluck dinner where everyone brings a side or dessert and we are providing the main course.
I was thinking of playing a game or activity that would bring out the competitive side in our guests (everyone loves a challenge, right?), but I didn't want it to be something everyone would be like, "oh great a game."
Does anyone have any suggestions on a good adult group game?
I would love to hear your suggestions!
Most of you already know Elizabeth Edwards recently lost her long time battle with cancer. I keep thinking about her three children and how their lives will ultimately be changed forever. I am certain before her passing she talked to her children about living without her. Before she died she began writing a letter on life, death, marriage, the future and how to's (to name a few). I think this was a beautiful thing to leave to her children not only as a keep sake but as a constant reminder of the person she wanted them to be.
What would you say to your loved ones, family and friends if you knew tomorrow would be your last. Would you go crazy, would you spend all of your savings, oh the possibilities. I love the idea of a letter, something to express everything you are thinking at a time when your honesty and truth will flow.
I would love to hear what you would do to commemorate your life for the future.
A Spray Painting Tent is a must have for anyone with an eye for trashy treasures. I recently came across this amazing contraption on the Crafty Nest website. I was reading and thinking "...I need this, oh I need this." What a great idea, huh!
I have a garage, but this is close quarters for spray painting activities and I hate it when I take my latest find outside and get it on the grass or driveway.
So, my next questions is, does anyone have one of these plastic wardrobes they are not using?
Have you ever heard of a day to celebrate sugar and calories? The National Cookie Day is December 4th!
Bake away with no regrets and make sure to share some of your homemade goodness with neighbors, friends and family. This is the perfect opportunity to have friends over for milk and cookies and swap recipes.
This is making me want a cookie right now:)
I want to share my favorite cookie recipe I found online.
And here I present to you, David Lebovitz's recipe, the winningest cookie in the world (or at least my kitchen):
The key secret in making amazing chocolate chip cookies seems to be in how long you let the dough sit before baking.
Leaving the dough in the fridge for 24-36 hours allows the ingredients to fully soak up the liquid, and result in a firmer dough which bakes to a better consistency.
Another hint is to rotate the cookie sheet mid-way through baking. This allows your cookies to bake evenly, regardless of where the hottest part of your oven is. Step Threee The Prep
First you want to toast you some nuts.
In a pre-heated 350oF (180C) oven bake:
•2 cups (about 225 g) nuts (I prefer pecans in this recipe)
for 10 mintues on an ungreased cookie sheet. Let cool. If you don't it will cause your chocolate pieces to get melty in the batter.
While those are baking, chop up:
•14 ounces (400 g) bittersweet chocolate
Step Four The Procedure
The primary step in most cookie recipes is to sift together the dry ingredients. So do that. In a bowl, sift or whisk (easier!) together:
* 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
In a separate bowl (preferably with an electric mixer) beat together:
* 1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 cup (215 g) packed light brown sugar
* 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One at a time, add:
* 2 eggs --beating thoroughly after each addition until each is incorporated.
Slowly stir in flour mixture until fully incorporated.
Step Five The Hard Part
Don't eat the cookie dough!
Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each dough into a log about 9in (23cm) long and wrap in plastic.
Stick em in the fridge for the next 24 hours, and try to forget you knew anything about them.
Step Seven The Baking
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Slice the logs into disks 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick and place the disks 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips crumble out, push them back in.
Sprinkle the cookie slices with a small amount of sea salt.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, rotating the sheet midway through. If you prefer a chewier cookie, scale back the time a bit
Let cookies cool on the baking sheet until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack.
You are done . Enjoy!!!!
I will get straight to the point... Im not much of a cook. It may have been my last name but names can fool you.
I leave most of the cooking responsibilities to the hubs. He is an awesome cook and really enjoys doing it.
However, there is the rare occasion when I try out a new recipe and really hit a home run.
Last night I tried a new recipe for Stuffed Pasta Shells. I used the base recipe off recipes.com and took it from there adding my own flavor:) It was sooo good I will have to say!
Here is a peek at my leftovers.
Want to try it yourself? Here is the recipe. It is really easy, quick and tasty.
32 jumbo pasta shells
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried basil
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
3 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
I added 1 lb. ground Turkey and 2 cans of sliced mushrooms:) Mmm... Mmm... Good:)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, gently place pasta shells in boiling water; bring water back to boil. Cook until noodles are just tender; drain well.
Squeeze spinach dry. Combine spinach, ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, fennel, basil and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Fill each pasta shell with the spinach cheese mixture. Arrange the shells, filling side up in the baking dish. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over the shells. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the shells.
Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven until heated through; about 30 minutes.
I'm a lover of all things four legged and fury, but should they grace us with their presence in the work place? whats your take on Pets at work?
I have worked in two separate offices where a pet or two came to the office daily. It doesn't bother me because I am a pet lover.
(The cat just walked across my laptop) Ha!
But what if you are the person who is really allergic to cats or frantically afraid of dogs. Do you miss out on the opportunity of your dreams all because of Fiddo? What if the dog barks constantly always interrupting your thoughts? What if the cat always wants to sit in your lap? the list could go on.
I feel like Dogs and Cats do have the ability to lighten the mood or bring on casual conversation between new employees. Also, the benefits of a four legged friend may out way the odor coming from the litter box. Studies show that pets lower stress and having them around can boost productivity. This can also be used as a recruitment tool for companies that allow pets to play.
Would you love to work at a place that had pets or allowed you to bring yours to work every day?
I know I would like to bring one of my sweet angels to work a couple days a week maybe not every day though:)
I never imagined how much I would love being a mom. I've totally changed my way of living for this tiny human and have never looked back. Yes, Im tired or sometimes grumpy but the very moment her face lights up and smiles all worries disappear:)
Before I met Ella and experienced hands on what being a mom would feel like I was the type that wanted a child but didnt know when. Also, I wanted "child" singular, meaning only one.
I am now questioning the singular "uno" child scenario. I want Ella to have at least one sibling. I know how much I love my sister and brother and I want Ella to have the same experiences and memories as I did.
I want to try for a boy but I would be more than happy with two girls, or maybe three:) Ha!
My husband of course wants a boy more than anything in the world. He is a major sports fan and wants a football player to rough up.
So here's to a house full of crazy, wild, loving, smart children:) If that is God's plan.
As I've gotten older and moved further away from my family I miss them more! This past week I was able to go home for an entire week. I should really say my family wanted me to come home so they could see the newest addition. Ella was way more popular than me:) But I love showing her off and getting to see her with my mom and dad (and everyone else). It's like I get to see me as a little girl in their eyes. I can tell the love they have for her is so different -- they are softies for her little self.
We also got to see almost all of my other family members. Some of this weeks events...Cracker Barrel with Gammy and Popaw, Championship game for Isaac, late night talk with Donna and Eli, Dinner with Nana, Afternoon visit with Rita, Quality time with Papaw (my dad), loving on aunt Sam, Welcoming cousin Lillianne into the world, Pumpkin Patch with Yaya (my mom), the list could go on with the fun stuff we did with the fam. Awww I love my sweet family:)
Here recently I've really needed all of the support and love from my family since being out of work and having a new baby. It is these major moments in my life that make me a better person. I'm ready for whatever is around the corner and it helps knowing I have a wonderful support system cheering for me along the way.
Yay for family, new beginnings and babies (my pretty baby that is)!
Have a wonderful week and make sure to cheer on someone you love:)
Do you like your leather couch or leather jacket? Want to experience leather on your feet? Well now you can. Leather socks are the latest fashion trend.
WTH? I know.
I cant imagine wearing leather socks. I think my feet would sweat! And I can barely get a nice shirt to the cleaners more or less my socks.
Would you wear leather socks?
I think I'm destined to be a stage mom. Ha!
Ella is the cutest little baby ever. I know I would think the same even if she was not so pretty but the honest truth is she is really a cutie pie.
So, the research has begun. How do you get in the biz. Showbiz that is. My baby is destined to be a star with this face. The current Gerber baby better watch out:)
Thanks to John's sister we are ahead of the game. She has set us up with an industry contact in Nashville. Also, we have found out that babies can't "work" until at least 4-6 months.
Our thoughts are that if she gets something great and the money will go towards college tuition and if she doesn't she is still the cutest little gal in our eyes:)
What are your thoughts on babies getting into the biz?
I've been home on maternity leave and my life has changed just a bit. My day mostly consists of feeding, pumping, changing and staring at my little angel and then repeat. On the occasion I do get the random hour or so to do something for myself.
Since last year I have been inspired to start making baby gift items for friends. I guess I'm at the age where everyone is having a little one. I liked making things so much I just kept making them even when I didn't have anyone to give them to:)
Now I have a little diva of my own and I have been making more and more stuff. She can only have so much so I have decided to start selling some of the items I make on Etsy.
Recently Ive been making the big cute flower headbands and cute little onesies.
Tired of the same 'ol routinue at work. Try making a rap some or a rhyming song about what you do. Check out this guy on Southwest airlines. He is taking it to new levels in the sky:)
This is too good.
I think I've got a couple lines...
Here's a try: (not sure of the beat yet)
Welcome to The A Group where our clients always stay
We like Churches, becuase they always pay and it's the Godly way!
If you are asking yourself What do you think Jesus would do? He would take his website straight to the a group crew!
We have programming wizards who have paved the way with genius skills that never stray.
Our designers are creative to where they are pretty much the best. They take client ideas....
Let me be honest, I'm counting the days before I have my sweet little angel and my selection of clothes is down to practically four shirts (which consists of my dresses as well) and three pairs of pants.
The only thing that I can actually dress my self up with is a fun pair of earrings. I love pretty, sparkly, dangly, wow look at those earrings kind of earrings!
It's the simple things that make me happy these days:) Like a pair of earrings!
I saw this on Yahoo this morning and love the idea of bad dress gone good. This little lady has taken bad, old, outdated and large to a new level of greatness with a couple of snips and stitches. This makes me want to take a trip to Goodwill and try this out.
Check out her blog and the amazing little outfits she has created http://newdressaday.wordpress.com/
Have a great day!
All the best,
When you first find out you're pregnant you are given a date of when you can expect to deliver. This provided "due date" seems especially far away at first... then you starting counting down the weeks, which makes everything go by pretty quickly. Then you get to the larger digit weeks 34... 35... 36... and things seem to slow down. I'm 37 weeks pregnant, yesterday. Which means I've been waiting for a long time to meet this little girl practicing gymnastic skills inside of me:)
I keep hearing all of these stories of people delivering at 37 or 38 weeks and begin to get a little jealous. (NOTE: I realize I'm very blessed to have a healthy growing baby, and trust me I keep in mind when I complain about walking, sleeping or being plain uncomfortable).
Throughout the time, I keep this provided "due date" in mind knowing she will be here no later than the provided date. Now brace yourself, here is the bad part, some people go past the due date!!!!! I can't image going past September 1, 2010 my doctor provided "due date." This should be set in stone. I've done my part, I've been a good mom, I didn't eat that sushi I wanted and now you tell this could go on longer -- NOT FAIR:(
I guess this is what I get for being overly optimistic that she would arrive before my due date (which could still happen) and overly naive for thinking the "due date" would be the last possible date she would arrive!
This is bananas, provided "due date" is bogus!
All the best,
Yesterday was a scary day at the Morgan household. I came home to one of our dogs, Taysha, who had practically tried to eat her way out of her cage and was experiencing signs of dehydration all because of the activity she had endured throughout the day. (Just a note--Normally John gets home before me and the dogs are fine. Yesterday she had to stay in the cage a little longer than normal and went crazy.)
I opened her cage, saw blood (me --very scared) and here she came staggering out of the cage like a drunk.
She went right for the water bowl and would not stop. I had to hold the bowl for her because she did not even have enough strength to stand up. Eventually she got sick from all the water. I was a hot mess. I didn't know what to do for her or where she was bleeding or what was going to happen to her. All I could do was sit in a panic and hold her water bowl up to her mouth.
Now here is my dilemma. If we don't leave her in the cage she tries to eat the wall to get out of the garage. Yep, you heard it she literally tries to eat and claw her way through the wall. Let me also remind you this is a 10 lb. Shit-tzu. This is something she started doing earlier this year. It is almost like she ges into panic mode when she goes into the garage. I'm not sure what it is, we leave water and food and have fans or heat depending on the weather.
Also, we cant leave her in the house all day, she will have an accident, and we also have two other small dogs that keep her company so there is no telling what would happen if we left everyone inside all day long.
I think with age she is really going crazy. She was 9 years old this July:(
How do you deal with a crazy dog that experiences panic attacks???
Recently the hubs and I watched an episode of Good Eats. This particular episode taught you how to create and grill homemade pizzas. The tutorial looked easy enough and the visual alone left my mouth watering. So, ever since I have been wanting to have a small get together with friends in the honor of this pizza recipe.
I thought this would be great for entertaining. Invite a couple people over, have a variety of toppings and the possibilities are endless.
Not like this hasn't been done before, but I want to do it:)
If you didn't want to actually make the pizza crust you could always purchase pre-made flatbread.
For the perfect appetizer you could serve mini individual tomato mozzarella salads picked and placed within a votive candle holder. I recently saw this and it was darling. This would be easy to pick up and double as decoration.
Im guessing Im not going to be having this shindig anytime soon -- Im 36 weeks pregnant-- but I really want to and that should count for something:)
So I figured I could share my future party ideas:) Celebrate your friends and loved ones, have them over for a friendly pizza party!
The time has come and I am going to "pack a bag." To me this makes it official and scary -- not that the large stomach, weight gain and baby stuff galore taking up our house shouldn't have already done this, but hey each person has differing defining moments.
The much anticipated arrival of miss Ella Harper Morgan is very close. I am 35 weeks this week (wow how time flies), so I need to get prepared for the unexpected. I've made a list from gathered information online.
Here are the items I'm packing for my life changing day:) Well, the items I've read or heard I will need.
Extra Blanket in the car
Extra Towels in the car
Tooth brush for me and John & toothpaste
Camera - with new card
Flip Camera - with extra batteries
T-shirts - three?
Comfortable pants - two?
Lots of underwear
Change of Clothes for John
Lots of socks
Shampoo & Conditioner
Night Gown - sleep clothes
Outfit to go home in
Is there anything I should add to the list? Would love to know:)
Mashable has posted the 10 most interesting Facebook facts online today. One thing Ive never clearly understood on Facebook was the Poke feature. What is this and why is there and why did you poke me??? It's just weird! You "poke" someone to be annoying, is this the purpose behind for on FB?
I chose to make hostess aprons for my baby shower hostess gifts! I followed the instructions from Stop Staring and Start Sewing blog. I was pleased with how they came out especially since I have not done anything like them before. I can admit they were far from perfect but they still looked pretty adorable (well at least I thought). I can brag a little, right?
Here are my beautiful hostesses in their little hostess aprons. Thanks girls!
Should I or should I not get maternity pictures? After talking with my friends they think it's a good idea. I'm on the fence though. What do you do with them after? Do you put them up? Who do you show them to:) I guess its really just to capture the moment and the experience, but I don't really know how I feel about them.
My friend Stephanie, is a fantastic photographer, so if I do I'm going to have her take the pics. Check out her photos www.preciousmomentsphotos.net.
John doesn't really want to do them with me... says hes gained too much weight while I've been preggers. HA!
Here are some I like. Im definitely not into the sexy naked pregnant photos:)
Any thoughts? Has anyone had a memorable story with a maternity shoot? Would love to hear.
I saw this really cute idea I fell in love with for a wedding present (which was how it was used on the blog I found it) or maybe a wedding gift or maybe an anniversary gift... lots of options:)
Make or purchase a wine box, each person writes a love letter, purchase a wine that will mature over time, place everything inside the box and nail it shut!
If you and the significant other ever get into fight that makes you want to walk away from each other. Go to the box, drink the bottle of wine and read the love letters to each other. Problem Solved! Well at least for the night:)
So I have been very eager to get Ella's room together and done. However, it seems like I am twiddling my thumbs waiting on this or that. The bedding isn't here yet, Mother-in-law is making the curtains and providing the teacups for the chandelier, mom has the chandelier, John has to hang a mirror, I need to get a rug and the list could go on...
So feeling overwhelmed with the blank slate I keep being reminded of each time I walk into her room... I all of a sudden decided to paint a tree on the wall.
Husband was not on my side and was not as optimistic as I happened to be. He gave me the line, "If you mess it up you are fixing it."
Of course I was not worried with what he had to say, I was set on painting a tree that day!
The story has a happy ending, the tree came out great! Here is a look of where I started and how the tree turned out. I am pretty happy with the outcome and so is the hubs!
I am behind on the baby's room, mostly due to the fact that I changed fabrics for the bedding and wasn't going to be able to get the bedding until July (which is not the case now). However, I have upgraded a mirror and side table for the room that will look absolutely precious once everything comes together. Here is a sneak peek.
Everyone dreads their trip to Wal-Mart (or at least most people I know). However, if you went with an ulterior motive to capture a photo of the best dressed or under dressed in the store it might end up being a fun trip.
Take a peek at the best of Wal-Mart
Have Fun, Happy Weekend!
All the best,
Okay so, the original person that was doing the baby bedding can not have it done until late July. This is pushing it for me, so I started looking around more onEtsy (Seller Heidi Rose Design.) I found a ton of shops that offered custom baby bedding at half the price I was getting it done for locally. The only thing was I had to change the fabrics (choose something they already had). So I have made a switch-a-roo. I really like the fabrics, so I am not at all disappointed. The only thing is that my original modern shabby chic is not really happening now-- Maybe I can incorporate in other ways.
Here are the new fabric choices:) I really like them!
The 2-year old smoking baby! Im sure you have seen this in the news, but it is awful! This kids does tricks, and smokes his ciggies like he's been doing it for 20 years. Honestly I just can not believe this!!! What are the parents thinking!
To get a bathing suit while preggers or not? This is my question. I am lucky enough to be pregnant over the summer (ha), so I get to decide whether or not to be seen in a bathing suit. Everyone says aww you're pregnant, it will be cute... no one will care your pregnant. Well, just because my belly is starting to pop out doesn't mean I want to show off everything else right now. Things are changing and it's not just the belly:) So, should I suck it up and get in a bathing suit? Then you have to decide whole piece, tankini or rebel two piece. The two piece is out, I would only save this for the back yard. So I guess I will have to suck it up and get a bathing suit unless I want to stay in the hot shade all summer. Oh the issues I face, such a hard life:)
Here are two possible options from Target.
Anyone know of any great preggers bathing suits? Tell me please!
I like to sew, however when it came to Ella's baby bedding I knew this was not a task for me! I wasn't a fan of most of the sets I saw in stores so I decided to have her bedding made:) It's my first I can do that!
I am having the bedding made at Fabric Gallery, which has a great selection of fabrics and the staff is top notch!
Here is a peek at the fabrics I have chosen. I'm going for a modern shabby chic:)
Follow me as this southern gal juggles work, play, the hubby, sweet baby girl and my three furry friends. All of my life's simple pleasures are revealed while I attempt to decorate the homestead, cook a decent meal, entertain others and create savvy crafts that I can show off... and everything else in between! Stay Tuned