Monday, November 19, 2012

Recipe Monday: Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Just another Manic Mondayyyyyy. I wish it was Sundayyyyy.  Cause that's my fundayyyyy. My i don't have to run dayyyyy.  But it's just another FRIENDSgiving Mondayyyy. So I'm thinking that's okayyyyyy.  Because I'm gonna stuff my face todayyyyyy. And I leave for New York on Wednesdayyyyy!

Alright - enough of trying to write my own lyrics (I'm just so daggone excited!), let's talk about the goods. The extra cheesy, carb-o-licious, melts in your mouth, buttery goodness of this crock pot mac and cheese recipe goods that is just what the gal goddesses ordered for our Annual FRIENDSgiving.

*Crock Pot Mac and Cheese*

 (This recipe makes about 6 servings, i always double it)
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • you can use just about any cheese you like, i always use a mix of whatever i have in the fridge, but you should have SOME cheddar in there :)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • I've made it with both regular and reduced fat, i can't seem to tell any difference. so if you're looking to save some cals, feel free!
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
    • here's another I've made it with whole and skim, can't tell a difference - so more room to save!
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Boil the macaroni in water for about 6-7 minutes
    • (this is the only part that cheats, you don't actually cook the macaroni in the crock pot, so you actually get 2 dishes dirty, BUMMER! ... but i always practice the "if it's just boiled noodles the pot's clean" approach, so it ain't too bad!...Shhhhh. that's our little secret)
  2. Combine all ingredients in crock pot including cooked macaroni
  3. Cook on low for 2-4 hours stirring occasionally
    1. Cheese tends to brown near sides
  4. Serve.
    1. Voila! Cheesy, buttery, melty goodness.  ALWAYS a crowd favorite. Although I've never met a mac and cheese i didn't like :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Special Edition: Eat Me.

Happy Friday everyone.  I can't help but be extra cheery today, because it's almost "THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!"  I just received an email from my neighborhood and holiday decorations go up this weekend at the lodge and on the light poles, and it's got me all excited.  I may have even listened to Holiday Pandora for an hour today...MAYBE ;)

Now, that being said, we are "After Thanksgiving" decorators and always have been; but I don't really know if that's by choice or pure happenstance. You see, both of my parents are from the Cincinnati, OH area and every other year since I've been a kiddo we take a trip to NYC for Thanksgiving to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, ice skate in Central Park and just soak up the big city holiday atmosphere ( I know poor me right).  The point I'm trying to make is: its RARE that we are actually ever home for Thanksgiving.  Plus, the hubs added another kicker to the holiday. All of his father's side of the family lives in the Chicago area; so it's become common that the year we aren't in NYC, we are up in the Windy City visiting with the fam.  *Cough*Cough* these are NOT complaints.  I LOVE traveling for this holiday and wouldn't have it any other way. Plus - i am SPOILED rotten by being in two of the best east coast cities for Black Friday Shopping - Lucky me!

In my mind Thanksgiving is such a great parlay into Christmas and always gets me so excited.  And more importantly, the FOOD! Thanksgiving food, geesh. Obviously I'm obsessed as this is my second discussion about Thanksgiving food this week.  But seriously, equally as exciting, because food is a constant thought in my hungry brain, i happen to have a top 5 list of my favorite "Holiday Time" foods. 

When i see these bad boys on my grocer's shelves - I STOCK PILE.  I'm talking TLC's Sugar Mama from Honey Boo Boo coupon clipper status where i need a special rack for the ridiculous quantities i buy.  There really is not a single reason or explanation i have for doing this because i always go back and get more before they officially take them off the shelves, but i think that's part of the fun.  Plus the reaction on Shane's face as he helps me unload 15 boxes of oreos ain't too shabby.  (He loves to give me the Katie, you cannot be serious - how much did these ridiculous overpriced holiday special edition boxes cost - "LOOK"--- Sorrrrrrrrrrrrry, Shane.)

Alright, Alright, I know you're on the edge of your seat.
So, without further delay, *DRUM ROLL PLEASE* here are my
Special Edition: Holiday Grocery Favorites that scream EAT ME:

1.  Limited Edition White Fudge Covered Oreo's
HOLY MOLY, are these babies heavenly.  I can't eat too many at one time because they're so rich. but OMG. STOCKPILES galore.

2.  Andes Peppermint Crunch Mints
Confession: I am a sucker for after dinner mints. Don't take me to Olive Garden unless you're okay with me sneaking a handful of those lil' Andes into my purse.  So, my friends - if you're an after dinner mint lover like me and you haven't had these or have never heard of them, thank me later. SO GOOD.
3.  Diet Coke in Glass Bottles
Okay, so this probably isn't a turn "Only at Christmas Time" treat, but when you are Penny's daughter Glass Bottle Cokes makes you think of one thing: St. Nick. 

Side story:
My brother's and i went to Catholic Grade School and the story of St. Nicholas is a Patron Saint who brings goodies and puts them in your stocking (left outside by the front door) on December 6th (it is THE BEST prelude to Christmas).  And yes, if you must know: Even when i was away at school and now that i am married. St. Nick STILL visits me, every year.  Meaning a couple of things: 1) again, I'm spoiled rotten 2) I'm obviously on the "Nice" list 3) My mother loves me.
So, anyways, keep your judgements and eye rolling to a minimum, i can't help it I'm still a child.  St. Nick always bring Cokes, in glass bottles.  And when i turned 18 he realized i no longer drank regular and was nice enough to switch my bottles to Diet. What a great lil' guy that St. Nick.

4. William Sonoma Hot Chocolate with Vanilla Marshmallows
This is another Penny-ism.  The moment this deliciousness hits the shelves Madre is ON IT buddy.  And it's Hot Chocolate at least 4 times a week every day until Christmas.  PLUS, my parents are HUGE fans of fires, so you can bet on a cold night this is the ultimate cure to cozy up and smile.  Believe it or not, this sometimes even replaces my nightly glass of Kung Fu - GASP!-

5. Coffee Mate - Italian Sweet Cream
Italian Sweet Cream in my Coffeeeeeeeeeee! The phrase i cannot WAIT to bust from my lungs the first morning i have the massive bottle in our fridge.  Okay, this is another arguably non-holiday item as you can buy it all year round. But my Aunt Toby (her real name is Treva) introduced this to me a couple of years ago around the holidays and therefore it makes my holiday list.  If you're a French Vanilla fan or something similar, TRUST ME, it's worth a try.  AND while googling this image to share, I've just learned they came out with a Fat Free version - can't WAIT to try that bad boy out.
Well gang, there you have it.  The most immaculate holiday grocery shopping list known to man: cookies, sweat cream, chocolate mints, chocolate drink and soda.  I'm such a health nut ... Oh come on and live a little, it's almost CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Remember when i told y'all about my beloved gals' nights? (if you missed it, you can catch up on that here)  so, just like Halloween & pumpkin carving if there is a holiday or theme we can parlay into our outings you can bet your bottom dollar we will.

Thanksgiving, or 'FRIENDSgiving' as we call it - is definitely no different. This calorie packed gal's night is hosted at my sweet friend Laura's house who conveniently has the largest dining room and dining room table known to man.  I think their dining room used to an attached garage or something, that has been transformed into a cozy sunken dining room - with a table that could seat an entire NFL football team.

We arrange it as a potluck, in which everyone is in charge of a different delicious dish.  Last year - BIG FAIL - FRIENDSgiving is no different than any other Thanksgiving dinner in which leftovers seem more abundant than the original meal.  And after our feast, we forgot to get cheapy Ziploc Tupperware and extra plastic bags, so divvying up the left overs amongst everyone was a bit of a challenge.  You can bet your little behind however, I'm on it this year, and have been stock piling my extra Chinese carry out containers, so I'll so up ready to battle, and that extra spoonful of dumplings will be coming home with none other than yours truly :)

Because, we ladies love our starchy sides we determined it would be better for everyone to make a yummy sides recipe and that to be our main focus.  Then, we cheated a little bit and bought some pre-cooked Kroger chickens - so no one was stuck with the everlasting job of basting a turkey for that many people.  HOWEVER, this year i have heard grumblings that our lovely Jessie Belle has some coupons for a sweet and salty Honey Baked Ham!  We're movin' on up ladies!!!

So far group text (THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Apple for this incredible invention!) lets me know there are several delicious goodies on the menu. 

 Some talk of what dishes are coming includes:
  • Stuffing
  • Truffle mac and cheese
  • Corn pudding
  • Pear and poppy seed salad
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Sister Schubert's rolls (if you haven't had these, think O'Charley's - YUM)
  • Teddi cakes aka cinnamon cakes (a secret family recipe I am still trying to crack...and getting close!)
  • Honey Baked Ham (fingers crossed!)
  • Hash brown casserole
  • Surprise dessert ... I've heard orange cake
  • Something green (because we can't be ultimate carb-a-holics)
Oh man, all of this food talk has my tummy grumbling!  So, I'm trying to decide what delicious concoction i should make.  Last year i brought my infamous Chicken and Dumplin's - always a crowd favorite. But, SO filling amongst all of the other dishes, and i just made them for the Pumpkin Carving party - so it may be too soon?

A couple of things I'm considering:
  1. Green Bean Casserole
    • I've only ever made the French's recipe and probably would again, but bringing green beans to a gals night dinner when there would be so many other delicious carb filled dishes overshadowing my measly greens ... I think I'll pass (that was a tough decision)
  2.  Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
    • This is one my favorites and a frequent dish i like to bring to the office for potluck lunches.  It's beyond the best comfort food around and the consistency is bar none.  I think I'll duke it out with Holly and see if I can bring the Mac and Cheese and let her focus on the Stuffing :o)
    • IF i end up choosing Mac and Cheese, I'll share my recipe with you Monday - heck, even if I don't I may share it anyways!
  3. Something Pumpkin
    • Is it just me or did the introduction of Pinterest and the Pumpkin Spice Latte create an overwhelming number of "OMG I LOVE EVERYTHING PUMPKIN ENTHUSIASTS"?!
    • Don't get my wrong, i love pumpkin pie as much as the next ole' lady who makes her weekly trip to Frisch's Big Boy for extra whip cream. But seriously this is a fad i never saw coming.  It's like Bubba Gump Shrimp company meets Pumpkin Flavoring. 

okay, it may not be that serious, but you catch my drift -- if you don't believe me get on Pinterest and search Pumpkin...T.A.K.I.N.G. O.V.E.R. I tell ya!
(I feel the need to also share, i wrote the above pumpkin items down randomly in efforts to be funny, thinking of things that could possibly be "pumpkin" and LATER searched them on Pinterest...and they actually existed!?...need i say more?)
Nevertheless, it is delicious and Tis' the season so maybe I'll head down that road.

Feel free to give me any suggestions if you've got a good recipe lying around that would knock the gal's socks off.  Oh, Friendsgiving....I'll be dreaming of you...Can't wait to see you again Monday.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe Monday: Chick'n & Dumplin's Y'all

Considering this blog was created with the intention of sharing some cooking, baking and general recipes with you - I'd say it's about time to get it started don't ya think?! Nom...Nom.....Nomm...

With the weather cooling off (although this weekend was a GOD SEND and absolutely gorgeous outside) and the days getting dark so soon, soups and crock pots are my best friends. 

Also, because our household generally operates on a similar weekly routine when it comes to food - i will start sharing some of my favorite recipes with your every Monday to start our week and our tummy off right!  But, before jumping into the recipe, let me share the routine:
  • Sunday-Tuesday
    • large batches of soups or crock pot meals are created
    • these are readily available for the hubs and his bottomless belly at all times
    • also substitute for great leftover reheats when I've decided dinner just isn't happening that night
  • Wednesday
    • gals night
    • Hub's is on his own (hence, Sun-Tues meals are great)
  • Thursday
    • i generally cook
  • Friday
    • dinner out with friends
    • date night
  • Saturday
    • it's a toss up and completely depends on what's happening
  • Sunday
    • crosses over with above, but we often have Sunday dinner with hub's entire family
    • when we have Sunday dinner - large soup and crock pot meals become Mon-Tues
  • GOT IT?! : o) .... Don't mess with our routine .... we're getting older and stuck in our ways! ; o)
So, that being said, here is a SUPER quick and easy - never fails fan favorite 

Chick'n and Dumplin's.

What You'll Need:
  •  1-3 boxes chicken broth
    • I use Swanson - any brand will do
    • or you can use water and add bouillon cubes or flavoring if you prefer
    • # of boxes is 100% contingent on if you want them more soupy or not
  • 1 roasted chicken
    • I but the already cooked kind from Kroger or wherever
    • You can also roast your own chicken, or use only breasts if you like white meat, i just prefer the pre-cooked because it's ready when i need it and tends to shred easily
  • 1-2 bags of Reames frozen dumplings  
    • i use 2 because i make a large serving, 1 is suitable if you're not looking for leftovers
    • it’ll be in the frozen bread isle
    • bag looks like this - these are the best
    • TRUST ME - I've made my own and tried other brands - these are the BEST
  • 1/2 large white onion - chopped
  • A couple stalks of celery
  • Peas and Carrots (options)
    • You can add peas and carrots (chopped) (if you like those in there)
    • I only add carrots – but you can use peas too
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A BIGGG ole dash of parsley
    • freshly chopped or from a spice jar
Alright are you ready for these super challenging instructions?!
  1. In large pot, bring broth or water to boil
  2. Add celery, carrots, and onions
  3. While the veggies are softening up (about 10-15 minutes)- begin to tear apart chicken
    • I toss the skin
  4. Add dumplins to boiling pot
    • make sure the dumplins stay in the freezer until you add them to the pot
    • once you ad dumplins stir frequently as they are defrosting to avoid them sticking together (they're not as good when they bunch up)
    • continue to boil
  5. Once chicken is torn apart, I chop it into even smaller bites
    1. this is 100% preference, i just generally eat mine with a spoon so I prefer the chicken bits to me small and throughout, some people however like big slivers of chicken
    2. add chicken to pot, stir
  6. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste
  7. I let mine simmer for as long or as little as you like (usually at least 30-40 minutes) and VOILA.
Alternative method - I have also made my dumplins in a crock pot and they are equally as delicious. Essentially those directions are even easier.  You can add all ingredients at once and turn the pot on low for 4-6 hours.  The only draw back with the crock pot is the dumplins tend to stick together more easily.  However, you can easily sub the dumplins for egg noodles and you'll have a super simple chicken noodle soup!

Happy Cooking!

Friday, November 9, 2012

How do I put this gently?

When i went to bed last Sunday and woke up Monday morning, i had no idea the week i was about to encounter at work.  well, that's not entirely true - i sort of did. it's 2 weeks before Black Friday. i work in retail marketing/advertising and the last couple of weeks have been a bit brutal getting everything together, so i guess somewhere in my mind i did know.  perhaps i was just trying to be optimistic for once, and think it would be better this week, silly me! By no means was it really THAT bad, things could have been much worse i suppose. BUT - it was more of just one of those "ARE YOU SERIOUS" type of weeks where a gal just can't catch a break at the office.

So, "How Do I put This Gently?": It was an epic FAIL of a week.


for starters, and lack of a better description
Monday went a little something like this....

one of those days where you're just walking along completely minding your own business and then WHAM! knocked flat on your back.  every meeting was running behind schedule, deadlines were creeping up entirely too fast and conveniently my sweet little dachshund Maggie decided to use our Ralph Lauren Down Comforter as her relief area. Just frick'n perfect.

So, i decided to call it an early night and hopefully wake up with a better attitude.  Good Morning Tuesday!


Ha, how quickly bad turns to good.  So, Tuesday is always a day of meetings for me.  I'm talking like every 30 minutes there is some meeting i have to be present for.  Normally Tuesdays aren't too bad, because they tend to go by really fast. HOWEVER, this Tuesday we had a meeting that isn't usually scheduled on Tuesdays - and we had A LOT to squeeze into a little amount of time.  In reality, the meeting is something i am really passionate about and usually genuinely enjoy (I will share this great cause with you at a later date), but for sake of time the story goes like this:
  1. I was responsible for bringing lunch to the meeting, scheduled through lunch hour for everyone attending - of course i forgot - which started everyone off is a pissy mood. Grrrrrreat
    • shout out - Thank you Domino's pizza for coming to my rescue - you took about 30 minutes, but your thin crust $5.99 medium pizza deals on our bellies made for much more pleasant co-workers
  2. We had a HUGE excel sheet to get through (each person has their own excel sheet for voting, and then the votes and tallies are combined later in an even more massive excel doc) - about 3/4 of the way through the meeting 2 co-workers computers crashed (well -- hold that -- co-worker A's computer crashed, and co-worker B's died because Co-worker A decided to slyly steal her power cord - causing her computer to die before the documents were saved) and yep you guessed it COMPLETELY DELETED ALL ITEMS WE HAD BEEN WORKING ON!
    • I'm not talking went to the saved, archived folder, or even the most recent items area in digital land in which we could pick up where we left off. I'm talking, NO WHERE to be found - THE JOYS of working on an old migrated server. Sooo, that means we have to start 100% over and finish the ENTIRE meeting (which has been spread over 3 days) in one day.
    • This is to be completely by Friday. Yippee!
After that, the rest of the day was pretty much down hill from there and everything that happened i just felt like this
(oh look something great...NOT!):


Wednesday actually did get a little better.  The morning was very blah, and then we were invited to Churchill Downs for AdFed Day.  Can't really complain about betting the ponies during work hours, except i may have had a bit better of a time if i actually won some money as opposed to losing it all.

i always go to the track expecting to walk out like this:

when in reality, i come out more like this:


Thursday, you were lackluster. But the week was getting to me and all i wanted to do in this dreary, gets dark at 2 o'clock in the afternoon weather was PLOP:

BUT of course, life had a MUCH different plan for me and plopping on the couch, was the farthest thing from what happened.


So, now we say HOORAY FOR FRIDAY!  Seriously, T.G.I.F. has never been said by me with such compelling force.  I'm looking straight past this day in the office and right on to the weekend. Happy Dance!


No matter the outcome of what Friday has to bring: I will, I tell you, WILL find time this weekend to live like this.  Hunkered down, and doing absolutely nothing! ~ WHEW - FINALLY!

Giving credit, where credit is due.  I wish I were clever enough to
make these little clips myself, but instead I'm re-blogging them from

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

tackle it with a smile

Happy Day after Election day! - Or not so Happy Day, depending on whether or not your candidate won or lost. (I'll keep my political affiliations to myself, but let's just remember I live in KY after all) Regardless, to boost every one's spirits - *HIGH --or-- low* - I wanted to share two short notes that have put a little pep in my step this week.

First, a short and sweet little note from the hubs.  Shane and I always have a pad of paper near our garage door (the door we both use most frequently) along with a chalkboard in the kitchen.  And yes, you can see where this is headed...we're one of the those couples who frequently leaves each other notes, messages, honey-do's, i love you's etc.  I know gross GUSH right?! ;0)

Well my note this week ended with words of wisdom from my wise husband, and has had me smiling, no matter the outcome all week:

The second note I wanted to share, was a reminder of the party in which we all belong. Political affiliations aside (sorry for the pixalated sunset, i couldn't get the doggone words to fit in my photo app, so i had to get creative and fill the bottom half with one of my favorite photo's on my phone -
 A Greek Sunset):

And last but not least, to all of my followers who are thinking WOAH - this is a little too serious of a post for Hump Day Morning ... let me remind you:

 We can still be friends :)  and may God Bless the United States of America.
United We Stand.

Monday, November 5, 2012

lil' ole me

since this blog is new i thought I'd "put myself out there" 
and give you a full Katie 101 tutorial.

because this could possibly get lengthy, I'm going to keep it in a listed format (for ease of use for my followers of course :) --- or maybe it's do to my ridiculously love for organized lists) - which is a great segway into number 1:

  1.  i love lists (for any reason, and generally can create a reason to make one)
  2. Godiva chocolate covered strawberries are my weakness
  3. I transferred schools 7 times (no, I'm not an army brat | no, i wasn't a trouble maker | no, my family didn't move | and no, i wasn't forced or asked to leave in anyway | they were all my own decisions)
  4. although i have never been diagnosed with ADD - i have ADD with life - and need CONSTANT change
  5. My favorite color is blue
  6. I'm fascinated with balloons and helium
  7. independent is an understatement when it comes to me
  8. i have extremely crooked pinkies
  9. most of my best friends have been the same since i was 14
  10. God didn't give me a sister, but he gave me MaKenzie Noelle - i think he did me one better
  11. i will always have a place in my heart for John Mayer - i don't care what anyone says
  12. i used to eat butter by the spoonful and still would if it was socially acceptable
  13. i truly believe my little brother has hung the moon
  14. i studied abroad twice in college (Florence, Italy and London, England)
  15. i wish i was in my 20's during the 1950's
  16. my husband and i are the same person
  17. my papaw Fred was my hero
  18. harvest homecoming (a small town fair in my hometown) is my favorite event of the year
  19. my older brother and i had a mouse for a pet
  20. i had the biggest crush on Tony Delk growing up *Kentucky BABY!*
  21. caramel macchiato's are my favorite coffee drink
  22. i want to be a travel writer
  23. i wish i had prettier hand writing
  24. growing up i wore pink converse every day for a solid 7 years (thanks to my dad)
  25. i hate to run (i associate it with punishment after all those years of sports)
  26. I'm good at teasing my hair and can often rock a decent pony
  27. diet mountain dew is ALWAYS my drink of choice
  28. I'm a brunette and always will be - i once died my hair blonde in 8th grade and it was the worst decision I've ever made
  29. i served corn on the cob - in the husk - at my wedding reception (dare you to judge me)
  30. i hate the dentist
  31. vodka and i are NOT friends
  32. boots and scarves are my favorite clothing items
  33. Kung Fu Girl is my favorite wine (Riesling)
  34. because of 31, i really, REALLY want to go to Seattle, Washington
  35. i love to cook
  36. in high school my friends and i had an obsession with mullets
  37. my first concert was Billy Joel and Elton John
  38. i would love to live in Chicago
  39. i didn't eat Peanut Butter until i was a sophomore in college
  40. the Lady and the Tramp is my favorite Disney movie
  41. ballpark chocolate malts with wooden spoons were the best thing ever invented (I'm looking at you Cincinnati Reds)
  42. i cried actual tears when they closed down the Boston Market restaurants in my hometown
  43. my mom and i go Black Friday shopping in NYC every other year
  44. i love eating with chop stix, and always have several pairs in my drawers at home
  45. my husband registered for Frozen Pizzas on our wedding registry and was serious about it
  46. i'm afraid of the ocean
  47. i wish i would have bartended while in college
  48. the creamy pasta salad from Ruby Tuesday's garden bar is one of my favorite foods
  49. speaking of creamy, i hate that word - along with moist and raw
  50. i will go sky diving before i die - BUCKET LISTER!

okay, enough about me today. have a great week!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


okay, so the CMAs were Thursday night (Country Music Awards ... for the non-southern folk who don't eat, sleep and breathe country music like moi) and like every year - they didn't disappoint. it's by far my favorite award show of the season and i get overly excited, we're talking giddy school girl, pop corn tubs, special snacks, we will not run out of beverages, cute sweatpants and extra blankets excited!

Let's see featured highlights ---
  1.  Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton still being the couple i aspire to be (winning a duet together?!, and her 'Thank You' speech in which she made sure to include all of her competition?! - SWOON)
  2. Seeing Tim and Faith perform together (seeing Tim perform twice actually *wink wink*)
  3. Willie Nelson tribute and his cute pig tails (do you think he braids his own?)
  4. Carrie Underwood's amazing wardrobe changes
    1. Carrie's incredible hair
    2. Carrie performing 'Blown Away' and actually looking like she was in a twister
    3. Carrie and Brad's Connie tribute
    4. Carrie and Brad doing the Gangnam dance
    5. Carrie's legs (seriously though?)
    6. Carrie and Brad making fun of T. Swift
    7. Carrie and Brad explaining 'Motorboatinnn" *giggle*
      • And while on the Carrie topic, i feel the need to whine a little. Carrie came to Louisville in September and lucky me, it was on my birthday weekend. Which meant me and all my gal pals were going to put on our best country concert attire (see Quinn's blog to find out what to wear) and sing our little hearts out. BUT silly me, planned mine and Shane's anniversary trip right in the middle of the concert and i wasn't able to go - WAHHHH! -- it sure looks like they had fun though, so sad i couldn't be there :(.

  1. Zach Brown's incredible voice
  2. Vince Gill's appearance - he's an icon for real
  3. Taylor Swift not winning Female vocalist of the year (not trying to be a hater, and i really do like Taylor, but I'm ready for some other artists to win some awards)
  4. Eric Church performing' Springsteen', even though i just saw it live a couple of weeks ago (a small blurb on that here)
  5. The gals from the new show 'Nashville' presenting an award. I am LOVING that show ya'll. If you haven't seen it - tune into ABC on Wednesday nights at 10pm. We're 3 or 4 episodes in on the first season - you'll like it. Promise.
  6. Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Luke Bryan performing together
  7. And i think my personal favorite performance of the night was The Band Perry performing their new song "Better Dig Two" (let me be honest, I've had it on repeat since the first time i heard it - LOVING it).

Friday, November 2, 2012

it's friday: LEAVE a rant.

hello long lost friends. first and foremost, my apologies for my lack of posting.  the past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, and with holiday deadlines for Black Friday and Christmas - the advertising world has been a bit hectic. ***annnnnnd that's all I'll say about that ...  because if i begin to rant about that topic too my sweet lil' BlueDaisy image may turn into a Black Rose with thorns :0) ***

so ANYWAYS, hubs and I moved into our house in march and it has been QUITE the journey.  I'm talking knocking down walls, tearing up floors, painting every room, stripping wallpaper, gutting the entire kitchen type of journey (yes, I want your sympathy).  the good news however is i can finally say, we are near completion!!! i will spare you the details of the fact that I wine daily because our dining room and master bath are still not complete (and have really yet to be started) - BUT we are almost there :)

orrrr so i thought.  WOMMMMMMMP. WOMMMMP

amazing how quickly home ownership in all it's glory has the ability to literally take its wart covered witchcraft hands  and reach up into that perfectly plush cloud you were daydreaming on, grab you by the shoulders, whip you around and slam you hard against that reality rock, isn't it?! (*wow* sorry for that ridiculous visual i just created, i warned you - it was a rant, and clearly Halloween is still clouding my thoughts)

if you notice - above, i only mentioned the INSIDE of the house (which is clearly all i have been concerned with for several months) but now that it's not sunny outside every day, the leaves are changing and in turn falling on the ground (duuur.)  buuuut, until the other day i apparently was naive enough to believe that leaves don't magically form into large piles that you jump into, the garbage bags don't stuff themselves, and leaves do not evaporate into the ground. 

APPARENTLY when i was a kid my parents were raking leaves early in the morning and they were neatly placed into large piles i then played in by the time i woke up.  the rest of them they meticulously stuffed into garbage bags and placed near the curb for the city yard waste to remove.

well, just my luck. we bought a house with no less than 14 trees in our front yard and another 10 in the back.
*note: we live in a neighborhood with requirements that you are to have at least 2 trees in your front yard, TWO, please tell me WHY oh WHY the previous owners felt it necessary to then have 24 on a 1/2 acre lot ... what the heck?! --- these pictures honestly don't do it justice --- I'm talking A LOT of trees* 

whew, i mean don't get me wrong, it is pretty, it does stand out, and it does add privacy in such a big neighborhood, BUT you can bet my green-thumb (or lack there of) that after the amount of leaves we have seen this fall, tree removal is NEXT on the house completion "To Do" list.

alright - are you ready for the scene i came home to that got me all fired up and inspired this blog?  i wish now that i would have taken more pics, but i was BEYOND mortified when i rolled up from ONE DAY of work (after literally having Shane rake leaves the night before) and seeing this.  i swear to you, i pulled up to my house snapped a extremely QUICK photo and pulled into the garage as fast as i could. HOPING AND PRAYING my neighbors would forget what i looked like until we got the situation under control. 

BEYOND embarrassed. that was literally just one side of our driveway. ohh how i wish so badly i would have gotten a picture of the rest of yard. conveniently i think it was the windiest day of fall to date and all of our luscious leaves created a perfectly stacked pile right on the side of our driveway (THANK GOODNESS i drive an SUV and was able to drive right over those suckers)

so, first order of business. continually rake leaves until my hands fall off. next, remove some of these bad boys. and last, consider buying an industrial leaf vac that gets rid of these fellas.