Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday!

It's so hard to believe that my "baby" sister is 14 today. It feels like just yesterday (and thank God it wasn't) my parents telling us that they were having another baby. She was quite the surprise, but has been the joy of our family since she came into our lives. Vannah has always been my little buddy. In high school, she came with me to football and basketball games, hung out with my friends, and was always the life of the party. Vannah had nicknames for all of my friends (Aunt Salsa, Uncle Rhino, she even called one "Daddy" much to his chagrin). She has always been such a smart, funny little girl, it's just crazy to see her turning into a young woman. She is so smart, so sassy and really knows what she wants. She is stubborn and proud, but one of the kindest, most gentle souls I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. This year, she'll graduate from middle school and move on to high school. She loves her friends so much and spends a lot of time with them, but she always loves to come to my house to spend time with Danny and me. We enjoy every second that she is with us. She is truly the light of my life and I am so proud to call her my sister. Happy 14th Birthday Vannah - I love you more than you will ever know!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ahh....the weekend!

I am so glad the weekend is finally here! It's been a long week, full of ups and downs! Tonight, Danny and I are going to see Rodney Carrington at the Louisville Palace. I bought Danny tickets to this for Christmas, so I'm hoping it will be a great time. We're going out for an early dinner before the show. I have a work thing tomorrow morning (I've signed myself up for a Professional Development Program through the networking group that I'm a part's four Saturdays in a row from 9:30-12:30....I am hoping to get a lot out of it!). We really don't have other plans this weekend, so that's kind of a nice feeling. I'm off work on Monday, but hope to spend some time getting caught up on a few work things. Other than that, I am most definitely looking forward to catching up on some rest, DVR and time with my hubby!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fiesta Chicken

I made this tasty concoction last night. It's called Fiesta Chicken and is a recipe straight from the Crock Pot cookbook. Here's a picture of the chicken before it sat in the crock-pot for 9 hours.

Unfortunately, we ate so much of it before I thought to take a picture after it was finished cooking, but believe me, it was delicious!

The recipe is as follows:


2 tablespoons oil
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
14 1/2 ounces Mexican style diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano

1. Heat oil in skillet. Cook chicken pieces until browned. Remove and drain.
2. Place onion, green pepper, garlic and jalapeno pepper in skillet and sauté until slightly cooked.
3. Add all ingredients to stoneware and stir to combine.
4. Cover; cook on Low 7 to 9 hours or on High 3 to 4 hours. Serve on flour tortillas.

I only had a 10 ounce can of "Mexican style diced tomatoes" (or as I call them, Ro-tel), so I added a small can of Mexi-Corn. It did cook on low for about 9 hours, but started to get really dry, so Danny added about a 1/2 cup of water to the mixture. It was wonderful! It would be really easy to turn this into a soup, too! Yum! I served it with all the normal taco toppings - cheese, sour cream, salsa, and jalapenos. I also made homemade taco dip, which is nothing fancy, but tastes really good! Here's the recipe for that:

Mix 1 16 ounce container of sour cream with 1 8 ounce container of cream cheese. Mix in 1 packet of taco seasoning. Put the mixture in the bottom of a glass pan. Pour 1 jar of Picante sauce over top. Top with shredded cheese and jalapenos. Chill in refrigerator. (You can add other layers, as well - guacamole, tomatoes,'s a flexible recipe!)

Monday, January 11, 2010


Our newest piece of equipment, the Bowflex TreadClimber, is on its way to our home! We are both looking forward to getting this and getting active! I can't wait to have it actually set up. I'll be able to work-out and catch up on TV! I am so excited!!

Image courtesy of Bowflex

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Today I choose...

I had dinner with a couple girlfriends last night and we were talking about some things going on in our lives. One of my friends is dealing with some personal family issues, but still went to work yesterday with a positive attitude. She said that she had decided that morning that she was going to have a good day, no matter what. I responded by saying "Today, I choose..." While I know this is not a new mantra or new idea, but at this point in my life, I need something to keep me going. I think it takes a lot more energy for me to be grumpy or in a bad mood, so today I choose to be happy. Even when I am frustrated beyond belief, I will choose to laugh it off and move forward.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stealing ideas...

So I totally stole this idea from another blog that I've been following, but couldn't resist posting it! I saw this oh so cute pearl and ribbon necklace on a blog yesterday and rushed to Michael's after work so I could purchase the supplies to make one of my own. I struggled a bit at first (I tell you, I am so not handy with a needle and thread!), but I persevered and now I have a darling necklace to wear! This one has a black ribbon with white pearls, but the next one I make will have ivory pearls and a brown ribbon with pink polka dots! So cute. Can you guess what I'll be doing tonight?

I just love it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I am not typically one to make New Year's Resolutions, as I tend to lack the follow-through to see them to fruition. This year, however, I resolve myself to do better in certain areas of my life. I saw on Good Morning America this morning that the top three resolutions are to lose weight, manage money better and eliminate debt. Those are three things that would not hurt me to do. So, Danny and I ordered our new Bowflex TreadClimber a few weeks ago. While it's not really a resolution, it is a lifestyle change that we are looking forward to. We've both had different gym memberships for the past few years. During the warmer months, I can do okay getting out of bed early and heading to the gym. However, when it's cold outside, I prefer to stay in bed as long as possible and to only go outside when absolutely necessary. We are both hoping that having the TreadClimber in the common living area will encourage both of us to jump on and work off some of those Christmas cookies! I am excited that I can work-out and catch up on some DVR. It's too bad that Bowflex forgot to mention to us that the model we ordered typically takes 4-6 weeks to be delivered, so we're still waiting. However, we do have the mat that the TreadClimber will sit on and the space cleared out in the family room.

Danny and I have talked several times about being better at saving money. Our problem is that we are so used to being able to do whatever we want, whenever we want. We need to get better about money, and I trust that we will.

My other faux resolutions are as follows: to be a better friend, to stay in touch better with those I love - near and far, and to be a better employee. I know that I can be a better person in general, and I hope that 2010 helps me along that route!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Other fun things...

Since I have not been doing so well staying on top of this blog thing, there are a few fun things we've done recently that I haven't posted! For our 1 year anniversary, Danny and I headed down to Gatlinburg for a few days. We had a wonderful time! It was so nice to get away together, and we even enjoyed our wedding cake when we returned!

Yummy! I have to say - I love that my bottle of Mod Podge is sitting on the table!

The overdrive!

We had a super busy Christmas season this year, with multiple family gatherings in multiple locations! I thought several times that while it was exhausting for us, it would be more exhausting if we had small children! Who knows, maybe next year, we'll have a little one to tote around! Here's a recap of some of our celebrations!

We started Christmas Eve with a stop by my dad's side of the family. Being the first Christmas without my dad, it was a tough stop. I don't know why, but it's difficult to see his siblings and know that he is the missing link. I know that it will get easier with time, but this year, it was a bit much. We didn't stay for too long, as we had another celebration to attend.

We headed out to Danny's uncle's house and enjoyed some delicious pot roast and quality time with some family we don't get to see very often. We draw names with the family every year, and Danny's cousin, Kim, drew my name. I was so excited to find out that she had gotten me a year's subscription to "Bon Appetit" magazine! I can't wait to get my first copy!!

This is a picture of Danny and me taken at his uncle's house...notice the necklace! My little sister, Ashley, made it for me for Christmas - I love it!! She's so talented!

Christmas morning, Danny and I headed to his sister and brother-in-law's house for Christmas brunch. It was so fun to see our niece and nephew playing with all of their gifts from Santa, and getting excited over their gifts from us. We had a lovely meal and just about had to be rolled out of there.

We then headed to my mom's house for a smaller get-together. My grandmother prefers not to travel on Christmas Day, so we just had some chili with mom, my sisters, my aunt and uncle and a few cousins. It was fun to see Mom open her new leopard print Snuggie and just enjoy a few relaxing moments with the family. Again, I know it was a tough day for all of us, especially my mom, but we were able to get through it - together. 

The day after Christmas, my mom's side of the family all gathered together at my older sister's house. We had a great time together, and again, loved watching my niece open her presents! Danny and I got her a Princess scooter and she was so excited to have it! After the family went home for the evening, Ashley and I stayed and had a fun slumber party with Melissa. We had a blast - it had been a long time since we'd all hung out, so it was long over-due!

Ashley dancing on my mom - so funny!

Ashley and Mamaw

Ashley and Me

Me and Taylor

Vannah with her boyfriend, Tyler

Melissa, Ashley and me

Tay with her new scooter!

And I can't have a Christmas post without featuring the newest addition to our Christmas decor...Santa Claus. This is a picture of our front yard!

Yep, that's a 15 foot Santa Claus, in a hot air balloon, in our front yard!

Christmas Crafts 2009

I had so much fun this year making some cute stuff for those I love! I thought I'd take a moment to post some of the pictures of the goodies I made this year!

For each of my nieces, I made pretty princess picture frames. I bought plain wood frames, cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit the frames and Mod-Podged away! I had some cute princess stickers to add and painted wooden block letters to spell each of their names. Here are the pictures of the frames for Taylor and Elizabeth.

I also made some personalized notecards for some of the women in my family. I embossed some of them with cute stamps for thank you notes, but I don't have any pictures of those.

I also made homemade Christmas cards that I sent to some family and friends...

And while they aren't "crafty" in the typical fashion, I did have to take one picture of one of the many cookie trays I made for family gatherings. They are always popular, and we rarely come home with any leftovers! Featured this year were chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond thumbprint cookies, two kinds of fudge, magic cookie bars, peanut butter cookies with peanut butter cups and homemade turtles.

It was a lovely Christmas and I'm already excited for projects coming up for 2010!