My new favorite show

Have y'all been watching this show yet this summer??

We've been watching here at our house and it is my new favorite show!!  Well really it ends up, B and I watching it "together" while talking on the phone since he's traveling on Monday nights.  Hah, whatever works right!?

We've been fans of The Biggest Loser for a while now and avidly watched the past few seasons!  Plus I heart Bob & Jillian!!  I have Jillian's "30 Day Shred" DVD (which I highly recommend!) and she kicks my boo-tay whenever I can't make it to the gym!

But Biggest Loser is 1- a commitment and 2- a contest!  If you wanna see the change in these people, you are committed to the season to see how much they lose.  And these people are trying to win cash money, honey.  That's definitely a large motivator for many and they really play it like a game sometimes!

Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, however, is not quite the commitment (for the viewer that is ;) and it's not a contest!  In 60 minutes, you get to see day 1 to day 365 and all the sweat, blood, and tears in between!  There is no cash prize at the end per say, but the trainer, Chris Powell, does motivate them with prizes such as a home gym or a new car, etc, at the end of each 90 day challenge.

Chris (I'm on a first name basis with all the trainers, clearly) moves in with his "trainee" for the first 90 days to get them started.  The transformations these people make is truly amazing!!  They sometimes lose like two whole me's in a year! Whoa!

I think I love this show in part, though, because it may be my dream job!  Not to be a trainer on a television show/contest for morbidly obese people so much......but to be a trainer/life coach/motivator/teacher!  I think as a personal trainer all of those jobs kind of get rolled in to one.  I'm a people person and obviously I enjoy teaching and helping people (I'm a special education teacher, remember!? :) and I think I could still teach and help people as a personal trainer, just in a slightly different way.

Now let's be real, I've mentioned my love/hate relationship with working out & food and I definitely don't have it all figured out when it comes to weight loss and training!  And clearly I am not exactly qualified at this point...I'm pretty sure, Bob, Jillian, & Chris all have schooling in exercise science, nutrition, and whatever else health wise is available.  So, I would probably need a lot more schooling! 

Nutrition, exercise, and overall healthfulness, though, have really become an interest of mine as I've grown up.  For now this is just an idea/dream that I think I could do part time or on the side once I have kiddos if I don't venture back to conventional teaching!  

So don't be surprised if one day I'm working in a gym as a personal trainer....but don't be surprised if I'm not ;)

Recap & a Peek Ahead

Phew!  I've been to 3 bachelorette parties in the last 6 weeks and am still living to tell about it!! :)  haha

My friend Dana's party was this past weekend in Banner Elk, NC which is in the mountains.  We kept saying, "What happens in the Elk, stays in the Elk!"  Haha, nothing too crazy really happened, we just thought it was an appropriate saying for a Bachelorette party ;) We had an amazing house with 13 girls and all of us had a bed!  It was an awesome house, I would go back for sure!

Saturday started out pretty chilly, but turned out to be a gorgeous mountain day! Upper 70s, all sun, no humidity....perfect for tubing down the river just relaxing!

That night we had dinner at a great tapas restaurant!  It was such a great weekend and I'm SO excited for Dana!  The wedding is just over 4 weeks away now...woo hoo!!

I got home and spent some much needed time with the hubs before he left for work again on Monday.  I'm CAN'T WAIT for our loooong weekend coming up! And, the 4th is probably my second favorite holiday after Christmas, but that's whole other post :)

And just for fun...here's my countdown list as of late:  (you know I have one ;)

-2 days til hubs is home from work!

-3 days til a 3 day weekend!

-5 days til the 4th of July!!!  Happy bday America!!

-10 days til we're off to Durham for a little baseball (at least hopefully, still tentative for now)

-11 days til we are BEACH BOUND!!!  Toes in the water, toes in the sand :)

Bring it on!!  Be blessed y'all!


My week in Instagram

I've seen many blogs do this lately so I thought I'd hop on board!  Instagram is one of my most favorite iPhone apps so I'm happy to share :)  It allows you to apply fun different filters to your photos and then share them through their website and your fav social media websites.

*Disclaimer - If you follow me on Facebook or twitter, chances are you've probably already seen most of these!  Most people take pictures of their children or very artsy things...I mostly take pictures of my cat and attempt to make non-artsy things artsy!  Ha

A little family froyo on Father's Day!  Just chillin' with the uncle

My snuggle bunny during the week!

He looks harmless, but he likes to jump up and knock around that picture!

Why can't he always be this cute!?

Or this cute!?

Best part of babysitting - being a kid yourself!  Just swinging in the back yard :)

Super Connor!

One of my most favorite flowers

Heaven.  Oh my word!  Probably the best afternoon snack ever!  But not the healthiest :/  oops!

Lemon Drop Cupcakes!!  I have no words....SO GOOD!!

One last Benny pic.  He loves grocery days :)

If you need a weekend activity in the kitchen, go check out Jennifer's blog and get the recipe for Lemon Drop Cupcakes!  They will rock your world!  But if you're pregnant and not ready to be in labor, don't eat them!  Apparently they are labor inducing so "they" say!!  I just made them cause they looked UH-may-ZING!

And I'm taking them to a bachelorette party this weekend!  This is my friend Dana and I a few weeks ago at our friend Alex's Bachelorette Party and now it's her turn!!!  Dana's getting married next month and I'm so, so excited!!  Her fiance proposed right after our wedding reception :)  So I'm off to work out and pack for a weekend in the mountains!!

Happy weekend y'all!!


My Summer "To Do" List

So I think I'm a pretty laid back person.  I tend to go with the flow and want to please the group.  But that might be where my Type B personality traits end.  :) Ha, I am a planner to the T and I love, love, love lists.  Like really!  On my phone I have a list for every day of the week so at any time I can add things to that day that I need to accomplish.  I have a list for my monthly bills, the grocery store, Target, songs to download, blog ideas, restaurants to try, etc, etc.

Today I started tackling my summer to do list and I was able to cross off 2 things!  

1- I was able to clean out my drawers in our dresser as well as go through all my clothes in the closet and get rid of some stuff.  Nothing like spring cleaning in the summa time!!

2- I also listed my wedding gown for sale on Craigslist.  :(  This kind of makes me sad because I LOVED my wedding dress!!!

PS - Happy Father's Day to my sweet, sweet Daddy walking me down the aisle in this pic!   He's the best and I still look up to him and love him so much!!
I realize some women might read this and their mouths would drop open or start hyperventilating, but to me, its just a dress after all.  Its hanging in my grandmother's closet.  I'll never wear it again.  My possible daughter, if I'm luckily enough to have one, might want to wear it one day (I mean it was gorgeous, no!?), but then again she'll most likely want her "own" dress for her special day. So I'm sellin' it!!  If someone will buy it that is.  If you know anyone in the market, tell 'em to go HERE.

A few other things on my to do list this summer include....

3- Print and frame our favorite wedding pictures.  We created a Shutterfly photo book of our wedding pics from the rehearsal dinner to us leaving the reception, and we've printed just a few for grandparents and parents as gifts, but we have absolutely NONE printed for ourselves or framed in our apartment.  I need to change this!

4- Create CDs of wedding pics for our family.  I know different members of our family would enjoy pictures from the wedding of their family so I want to compile a few for them.  Its not every day your fam is all dressed up with a professional photog around!

5- Find some art work for above our bed.  One wall in our bedroom has a large window on it, so that wall's taken care of.  Another has the TV mounted on the wall as well as little sqaure holes that I filled in with cardboard covered in brown cloth.  Another has our dresser with candles and a framed picture.  Above our bed...nada.  Plain and boring so I am looking to add a little life to it!

6- Buy a hamper.  Ha, this one sounds funny, but B and I still have our own hampers from our single lives so we have in our closet 2 hampers on the floor taking up room.  This is a hamper too many in my opinion, although Brandon doesn't really care.  Benson also likes to scratch on a wicker drawer thing we have in the living room so our hamper cannot be wicker much to my dismay :(  But I will find one that works!

Two anniversary shout outs today!

Happy 2 year anniversary to my brother Rob and his wife Gale!!  Love these two! They compliment each other so well and are just so fun to be around!

And happy 7 months to you, B!!  Sometimes it seems longer (not in a bad way!), but sometimes it seems like yesterday :)  7 months and going strong as he put it, haha!

This was Brandon and I two years ago today at Rob and Gale's Wedding!  B caught the garter and a family friend leaned over to my mom and said, "So, same time next year?"  Haha, a year and 5 months later actually :)  but he wasn't far off!


Breakfast, Dinner, & Dessert

I told y'all I'd be back sooner rather than later!  Psh...sooner like the very next day :)  All this free time is going to my head!  Ha, but I'm ok with it!!

I love stealing new recipes off blogs and websites so I thought I'd share some I've tried lately!

Let's start with breakfast, probably my favorite meal of the day!  I love Banana Bread and B does, too.  In fact, I typically buy extra bananas just to let them over ripen so I can make some!  I always use my Mom's Banana Bread recipe.  Not sure where she got it, but I got it from her, ha, so I just call it....Mom's Banana Bread!  This recipe is sans nuts, but if you fancy, I suppose you could add them in. Last time I made it though, I made banana bread muffins :) The only change is the pan you use and the cooking time!  Easy peasy.

Mom's Banana Bread

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c all purpose flour 
(although lately, I've been doing 3/4 all purpose, 3/4 whole wheat flour and it's just as awesome!)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2-3 over-ripe bananas 

Mix together.  For Banana Bread: pour into greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes.  For Banana Bread Muffins: pour into greased or lined muffin tins and bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.  *I like to sprinkle brown sugar on top (bread or muffins) for a little added touch!*

On to dinner!  My friend Ashley posted a pasta recipe on her blog a few weeks ago and it looked delish so I thought I would give it a try! What I love about recipes is there's always room for tweaking to make it your own or more appealing to the taste buds in your house.  Ashley and her hubs love sun-dried tomatoes so she doubled the amount, but we just kinda like them over here so I followed the recommended amount.

Mascarpone Pasta with Chicken

I tweaked it in the fact that I used penne pasta, I think you could probably use any type you want.  I also threw the spinach and sun dried tomatoes into the pan with the chicken when I added the garlic so they could warm up and the spinach could wilt, instead of adding it to the pasta at the end.  Next time I make it, I'll probably use a little more mascarpone as well!  It was so good, though and I had it for leftovers ones or twice, too :)

Ok I lied, I love breakfast and dessert!!  I have a major sweet tooth, it can't be denied (sadly).  Have you ever had Nutella?  Brandon and I discovered Nutella in Puerto Rico (of all places! ha)!! 

It's is a hazelnut chocolate spread and is TO. DIE. FOR.  Its awesome on bread, toast, any fruit, in a spoon, however!!  Ha, needless to say we love it and I decided to make Brandon a Nutella Pie for Valentines day.  I found the recipe online somewhere and it was originally a peanut butter pie recipe!  The lady swapped out the PB for the Nutella.  So if you're looking for a PB pie recipe also, this could work!  

I made the pie again recently for our friends' engagement party, but tweaked it a little this time around :)  When I made it for Valentine's Day, I used a pre-made graham cracker pie crust and topped it with a layer of Cool Whip and drizzled chocolate syrup.  

This time around I one and a halved (is that correct grammer??  ha) the recipe because it was for a party and I made my own graham cracker crust so I could make it in a 9x13 pan.  I used a layer of Cool Whip again and then chocolate chips as the topping instead of chocolate syrup drizzle.  I think the topping choices are endless, so play around!!  Also, B suggested I freeze it this time so its a little more firm.  Last time it was very creamy and soft.  I think I like frozen better :)

Nutella Pie

8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened, at room temperature
1 c Powdered Sugar
1/2 c + 2 heaping tbsp Nutella
16 oz Cool Whip
1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
Toppings of your choice 
(more Cool Whip needed if wishing to top with a layer of it)

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, Nutella, and Cool Whip until well blended. (The original PB pie recipe called for 1/2 c peanut butter, so you could always start with 1/2 c Nutella and adjust to taste). Pour into the pre-made pie crust. Next, top the pie however you’d like. (I like the layer of Cool Whip and then other toppings as you choose.) Refrigerate (or FREEZE in my opinion) for at least one hour and enjoy!
The graham cracker crust recipe I used can be found here.  If you try any out, let me know!!  Bon Appetit!


Finally, officially, really, really DONE!!

I've been a bad, bad blogger!!  (shame, shame!)

Its been so long since I updated, I've forgotten what I've even been up to since I last really posted!  Haha, but here's the good news...no, the GREAT news....get ready....

I'm super-duper excited for summer!  This will be my first summer since I don't even know when, probably middle school (and even then, I babysat some) that I won't be working!  I have a summer "to do" list going and most of the things on there are fun tasks or at least things I've been wanting to accomplish, so I'm looking forward to crossing those off :)

I also want to do a little blog re-vamp.  Thinking of just playing around with it a bit and seeing what I can come up with.  So if you check back at any point and it looks crazy or ridiculous....just know that I'm probably not done!  Hah

We had a semi busy weekend here!  I went to my friend Kelly's bachelorette party this past Friday night and Saturday up at the lake!  She had a lot of good friends fly in from Michigan and there were about 15 girls there!  Most of the girls were staying both nights, but I just stayed 1 night.  Its hard when Brandon or I has to be gone over a weekend night or nights because that's pretty much the only time he's home!!  So we really miss that together time when one or both of us is busy.  Saturday night we had a little date night and just watched a movie at home!

Sunday afternoon/evening we had an Acuff sibling cookout at our place with the grandma's too :)  It was so much fun!!  But I'm soooo bad at remembering to get my camera out :( this was the only pic I took (and actually B took it on my phone, ha!  Have I mentioned I'm so bad about that!?)

Cutie Wells loves to pose for the camera!  Its a little blurry, but whatev.  This was post swimming and the kids just got right in their jommers.  We had a TON of yummy food Sunday night and I'm still enjoying leftovers of the awesome fruit salad I made.

I also bought these gorgeous sunflowers from Trader Joe's Sunday when I was picking up all the good grilling out food!  Only $3.99 and I just couldn't resist the chance to have some fresh flowers in the house :) I think I've decided these are my favorite summer flower.  They just scream sunshine and happiness.

Well I'm off to do whatever I want because it's officially summer now and I can :)  I'll be back sooner rather than later this time!


Finally arrived...

Me that is.  I have finally arrived in the 21st century!  Sunday I got my iPhone!!! Wooo

Haha, glad to finally make it! Clearly you can see I'm a little dorky excited! =)  I'm still learning how to use it and I barely have any apps so far.  So tell me your favs & I can download them ASAP!!  I need to sync it to my laptop too, but not so sure how all of that works, still figuring it out.  Kinda sad to leave the crackberry world and all my bbm friends.  But, I'm over it!

I realize I might be a little late on this train as well.....but the last time I was at Target, I picked up

and soon I'll have time to actually read it without being too tired.  During the school year, reading usually puts me right to bed, ha.  Sleep deprived much!?  I haven't seen the movie yet, so this way, by the time its out to rent I will have read the book.  What books should be next on my list??  Maybe I can even get them on my iBooks app!

Summer has officially arrived as well incase you weren't aware!  I realize it's not actually official until June 21st - ish, but it's already blazin' hot down here in the south!

And I got my first skeeter bite of the season this weekend.  That, my friends, definitely makes it official!  We had lots of fun Saturday night at our friends' Cory & Courtney's engagement party.  Most of it was spent outside....there was delicious food, great friends, fun games (cornhole & kan jam), and this awesome photo banner!

Haha, this just cracks me up!!

The party was Hawaiian themed so naturally Brandon wore his best old man Hawaiian shirt!  They had leis and tiki torches...it was so much fun!

Other than the engagement party and iPhone fun, our weekend was pretty low key and just what the doctor ordered. Brandon's feeling much better now, too! Hope you're weekend was just what you needed too.

Happy last week of school!!!!!


A penny for my random thoughts....

Actually I'll give them to you for free :)

Even though I have my continuous countdowns....I'm really trying to be better about enjoying the moment :)

My computer is not broken, luckily my sweet husband is cleaning the mess I made making dinner as we speak!

This just says it all!

So true....don't look at our curtains up close or our wilting palm tree in the corner :(

This describes how I feel about my husband most often :)

Freckles rule!!  Thanks Dad!

Do what you love and love what you do right!?

*All via Pinterest.  Pretty much my new favorite website.  So therefore this summer I will most likely have an unclean house and be searching this website a lot!!

So here's my 2 cents,
my 10 cents is free...(yes, that was an Eminem reference)
I caught about 10 minutes of Extreme Couponing last night for the first time.  I feel quite positive the people on this show are certifiably insane. I mean really!?  Unless you're the Duggars, it is absolutely unnecessary to stockpile 185 gallons of detergent, 161 boxes of pasta, 73 sticks of deodorant, and 2 freezers filled to the brim along with shelves and shelves of canned food, etc in your basement.  Really!?  I mean, your family of 3 just does not need all of that, nor will you probably use all of it in your lifetime.  Brandon compared it to an organized version of hoarding.  Pretty dead on I'd say.  And hoarders are sick in their head for sure.

Just sayin'!