I want to blog....

but I'm SoOoOoOoOo sleepy!  
This is not my sweet kitty, but it sure looks like him so I had to use it :)

For real!  That sleepy....y'all these longer school days now are wearing this teacher slam out!  But in a nut shell, here's the happenings of as of late....

-I now wake up at 530...er....ahem, my alarm goes off at 530.  I get out of bed somewhere around 540 or 545.

-I go, go, go ALL DAY long and then get home about 8.  Lately...

-HOPEFULLY, as I get back into school mode, I'll get home earlier than 8.  Ugh!  This guy sure hates being alone all day =(

pardon my face!

-My sweet husband, who spoils me rotten, sent me these lovelies on my first day of school!

-Along with some chocolate covered strawberries!!  Did I mention he spoils me!?  Oh I love him :)

-I went to VA this past weekend and was trapped in by this rude broad Irene!  Her rain & winds were relentless I tell ya!

-She didn't stop us though, we were on a mission!  We braved the rain & wind and my cousin Erin said YES to her perfect dress =) YAY!!!  Then we played yahtzee & catch phrase all night by the sweet light of the generator!

-My poor car suffered a largish dent in the roof and some minor scratches from branches blowing all about...but it's just a car.  It shall be fixed eventually.

-My fam in VA is STILL sans power as well as AC and those sweet things that go along with it.  Remember them when you talk to the Big Guy tonight please!!

Well that about wraps it up.  Maybe I can blog regularly again one day, like next year.  Hah

In case I forgot to mention, I'm running on fumes from my 15 hour days.....so off to bed, sweet dreams friends!


Follow-up & the Last Weekend of Freedom

Alright y'all....if you haven't checked out the recipes from my previous post, scroll down & do so right away!  I would say they were all a success!!

One thing I would change on the Hawaiian BBQ chicken is maybe don't add the pineapple til you plate it.  When the pineapple is in the BBQ sauce all day it kind of takes on the sauce flavor & looses its pineappley (new word!) goodness!  So if I were to redo it I would either top it with the pineapple or serve it as a side.

Cilantro Lime Rice = bangin'!!!  Go make this RIGHT now!!  Omg, it was so good & we will be serving it often in this household =)

The Lime Infused Honey Crusted Chicken was also DELISH!!  B actually put together the marinade once I left for school this past Friday & it marinated all day.  It was juicy and limey and verrry flavorful!  Try it out!

I consider the Zucchini Oven fries a large success as I love zucchini & they were so good!!  My husband however only likes meat and potatoes so while he graciously ate 3, he didn't love them like I did.  But he said "No, they're good."

The Roasted Potatoes = YUM!!  Brandon did love these!  They were almost a little too salty (oops!).  I drizzled some EVOO over them and sea salt like I do when I'm roasting asparagus and it was borderline too much salt, but so tasty!

I finished the potatoes and zucchini off tonight for dinner!

Now to switch gears a bit....this past weekend was my last weekend of freedom before the kiddos come!!

Whaaaaaaa!!!  Haha, just kidding!  Mostly :)  This weekend was a good last weekend of "freedom" though!

B and I had some good down time which was pretty nice!  We hung out on the couch, by the pool, went out to dinner, got yummy ice cream, went to a friend's couples shower, lounged in front of the tube, watched Rio (super cute movie, btw!), and snuggled with this guy...

It was a nice quiet weekend before our busy fall gets under way!  Ready, set.....GO!


Putting Pinterest to Use

So we do things a little backwards over here....with Brandon traveling as much as he does, I've never really had to meal plan for the up coming week, cause well, it's just me!  =)  But I read blogs all the time about how families/wives meal plan, get their grocery lists together, have cute meal planning boards in their kitchen...

and (insert whiney voice) I wanna meal plan!!

Haha, so this Monday night I decided to "meal plan" for Thursday and the weekend.  Most Thursdays I try to cook but the weekends turn into about 2 or 3 separate trips to the grocery store and Brandon and I leisurely walking down the aisles as we try to decide what mood we're in for dinner, ha.  Oh the carefree life of a childless couple :)  I know this surely will not last...thus why I am trying to prefect the meal planning thing!

Anyways...this weekend we're going to have a movie/dinner date night either Friday or Saturday so one meal right there will be eaten out.  Sunday nights we tend to eat leftovers or sometimes make breakfast for dinner, whatev.

So this week I planned out 2 meals for the weekend.  While I was brainstorming meals to cook (I like to try new things to impress my husband :) I thought to myself, "Self, where have you PINNED many tasty looking meals lately!?"  PINTEREST!!! This is the link to my Pinterest "All that is delicious" board so I perused through to find some good stuff!

Tomorrow is my first day back to school and I was thinking I should go with something simple to ease my way back into the school year :)  And to me, crock pot meals = simple!  So tomorrow night we're having...

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken
served over...

Cilantro Lime Rice
The website giving the recipe for the Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken suggested serving it over rice & I also had this yummy looking Weight Watcher's cilantro lime rice pinned to my board and both recipes have very few ingredients!  So botta-bing-botta-boom - Thursday's simple dinner!

We grill out most weather permitting weekends so Friday or Saturday (whichever night isn't eat out date night) we'll be having...

Lime-infused Honey Crusted Chicken

Zucchini Oven Fries

Roasted Potatoes
I realize the last picture is actually a mixture of many roasted veggies, but B's a meat and potato kinda guy and since we're already having zucchini as another side, I figured I'd just roast a sweet, a russet, and a few red potatoes (all cut up and seasoned of course!).  

I made my grocery list yesterday, stopped by Target & Harris Teeter today and have all the ingredients so I'm ready to go!  Look at me meal planning & putting Pinterest into use!!  Ha 

So far the planning has been successful I'd say...we'll have to see how the putting it into practice goes =)


Packages & Weekend Review

Oh y'all...look what I got in the mail today!!!!

I was so excited when I saw the package I could've have peed my pants!! Don't worry...I didn't, but I was one very happy girl!!

I have some sharpie pens at school that I had planned to use to write in my planner (primarily, I'm also big fan of writing in pencil - I don't like to have things scratched out all over the place!  I know, I'm not anal at all ;) but I think they will bleed through to the backside of the page & I can't have that. So I'll be getting some new pens pronto.  It's on the target list for tomorrow, but I'm so excited I may just have to run across the street to CVS and check for some there!!

Ok enough about my glorious planner that is just waiting to be written in.....I also got this is the mail today!  It's a good day for packages I guess.

I'm gonna put this sucker to good use tonight when I go on a run :)  And not to brag, but I got this off of Amazon for less than 5 bucks!!  $4.80 to be exact.  Good deal, yeah!?

This weekend FLEW by!  They always do, but this one felt extra speedy!!

Fright night, Brandon, Ryan, & I all ate lasagna and watched the movie "Paul" while waiting on Erin to get in town.

Side note about "Paul" - definitely funny/stupid movie, but if you're bored one night, it would be a funny RedBoxer!  Anyways...E didn't get here til about midnight, but it was worth the wait to pop some champagne and toast to their engagement!  Oh and SEE THE RING!!!

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of that, nor of most of our day Saturday (fail!) until my husband had the camera in his possession and began to take pictures.  He's way better at that than me!

Saturday morning we ate a big breakfast at my Memaw's with lots of the fam & then came back for Hasta La Vista Summer Pool Party Fun!  It was rather cloudy, but we didn't care!  It was fun to all be together & hang out by the pool!!  Again, no pictures.  FAIL!

Saturday night, Erin & Ryan and Ashley & Richard went to a friends' engagement cocktail party, and we suited up for the PANTHER'S GAME!!!  At this point it was not just cloudy anymore...it was now raining!!  For about a millisecond I considered calling it & just watching it inside or at a bar, but my better judgement took over and we toughed it out :)

Andrea & Justin braving the rain!

Me cheesin' - dorky!

Finally dry for a minute :)

We wanted to be festive & get a paw print!  Loved it!!

Almost game time (in the rain)!

Now Justin's cheesin'!

Our sweet seats!!

Loving that it's football season!!

And the rain did finally stopped!  I was able to take my poncho off in the last pic if you can tell.  It may be only pre-season, but we WON and I'll take a W any way I can get one!!

Sunday everyone left & our apartment returned to normal!  Haha, but not before Erin & I could grab some sushi with a friend of her's that just moved to town and before having a couple good laughs of our own.  She officially asked me to be her Matron of Honor with a cute, sweet card too!  I'll see if I can get the pics on here cause they are too cute, well most of them, ha!

I've went in to school yesterday & today and I've gotten some good work done.  The real deal (well minus kids still) starts Thursday so trying to get my rear in gear over here!  Happy first week of school y'all!


Looking forward

All week I've been excited for this weekend!  This weekend all of these fabulous people will be in town!!

Aunt Stacy & Uncle Scott, Erin & Ryan (who if you recall just got engaged!), and Ashley & Richard!  Naturally I'm overly excited to see Erin's ring in person and celebrate with all of them!!  Erin & Ryan will be staying with us too so its always fun having house guests!  I get to play hostess so I'll be baking lots tomorrow :)

Also, our friends Justin & Andrea will be here!  Well Andrea lives here, but Justin lives in Va Beach, with Ryan actually, so we don't get to see him as much!!

Saturday, all 8 of us are going to our apartment pool!  They're having an "Hasta la Vista Summer" pool party complete with Qdoba, frozen drinks, & a DJ so of course we will be partaking =)

Most exciting of all....Saturday is the start of FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!!  Well, preseason, but that still means PANTHER FOOTBALL is back!!!

Erin, Ryan, Ashley & Richard are going to a family friend's couples shower Saturday night, but Justin, Andrea, Brandon & myself are planning to scalp some tickets!!  Can't wait to put on my jersey & watch my team in action! So, so, excited!!!

I can't believe my last full week of summer is drawing to an end :(  Although I'm sad summer is on the outs, I am looking forward to starting school! There's nothing like welcoming a new school year, a familiar routine, a new beginning, and fall!  It's always a little exciting and I welcome routine.

I got the email today that my Erin Condren planner sent!!  I can't wait to get it and fill it up with all sorts of stuff coming up!
Next thing we know, we'll be wearing sweaters, jeans, not sweating, drinking pumpkin spice lattes, and layering cardigans, scarves & clogs!  Well maybe not clogs, but you get the idea.  So come on fall, anytime now!  I'm looking forward to you!

Hope you & yours have a splendid weekend!  And GO PANTHERS!


Holy Recap Batman

I went from a blogging fool to a non-blogger overnight.  Whoops!  Too much of a good thing maybe?!  After being locked in B's backseat most of the week last week, guess I wasn't much interested in my computer anymore.  So now to recap from where I left off....

Let me first just say, I have NO clue how my husband does what he does!! He spends close to 6-7 hours (give or take a few!) in his car EVERYDAY!  By about 230 on Wednesday I was ready to scream, pull my hair out, and throw a three year old tantrum I was so tired of being in a car.  I would go insane if I were him.  But I am beyond grateful for a hard working husband who is extremely disciplined and wants to provide well for our family!

We try to remind ourselves often that this is just a season and we are hopeful one day he won't be traveling as much!  But absence makes the heart grow fonder, right!?

After Nashvegas, we were Michigan bound and finally, Thursday night we arrived to this piece of West Michigan heaven...

Brandon's Mom's house sits on about 8 acres complete with a barn, pasture, horse arena, coy pond, and beautiful scenery!

B's sister Ashley tends to the barn and horses and gives riding lessons. Brandon & Ashley both grew up barrel racing, but Ashley still barrel races almost every weekend in the summer & is quite good at it!

Ashley & her husband, Casey, are actually in the process of buying the house from B's mom.  They have lots of cool plans for renovations for the house over the years and are excited to make it their own!

I cannot tell a lie...all of these pictures are from my MIL & SIL's facebook :) But they're too pretty not to share!!  I love, love, love visiting up there and cannot wait to share their home with our kids one day!

Michigan in the summer time is like pure joy, I can't even describe it. Although they've had their share of hot & humid up there this summer, for the most part it tends to stay a little cooler and less humid than down south.  In fact, the house doesn't even have AC!  It gets a little warm inside, but there's usually a nice breeze and it just feels peaceful.

Friday morning I hung out outside for a bit with these sweet babies...

Charlie & Cody!  They are some really sweet pups and love to greet you when you pull in the drive!

Cody is pretty much the best dog, well, ever!  If he wasn't an ALASKAN Malamute and didn't have enough fur to warm a small eskimo village, I'd steal him away to NC.

He's a gentle giant and one in a million for sure!  Most Alaskan Malamutes are not near as friendly or gentle as he is!  He's my buddy :)

After Brandon worked a bit Friday, we moved some of his childhood things to store at his grandparents since we just don't have room to bring it all home yet!  It was fun to look at pictures, horse ribbons, trophies, and cute childhood odds and ends!  I stole a "Brandon" puzzle to put in a little boy room one day as well as one of his high school sweat shirts to cuddle up in in the winter :)

Friday night Ashley & Casey, along with 2 other friends, came over to the farm & we all cooked out some delish chicken, corn, pineapple & cheesy potatoes.  Yum!  After we had a good ol' fashioned bon fire, complete with s'mores and a burning couch!  I even wore my cowgirl boots =)  It was so fun I didn't even take pictures!!  Oops.

Saturday didn't quite go our way unfortunately.  We were supposed to head out to the Coast Guard festival in Grand Haven, MI on Lake Michigan, but they rain had other plans.  Boat docked, filled with gas, and rain pouring down, we called it at noon.  We went to visit B's mom at work and said our farewells as we didn't feel the need to prolong the dreaded 12 hour drive home...bleh.

So 2 tanks of gas, a McFlurry, and 11 hours and 45 minutes later, we pulled back into home around 145 am Sunday morning.  We were sad to leave and sad to cut the trip short :(  Unfortunately, because it's so far away, weekend trips on the regular are near impossible and our time up there always seems too short and too few and far between!  But hopefully we can go for longer toward the holidays and of course are looking forward to whenever we get to go back!!

This week I am trying to soak up every last ounce of summer.  Soon I will be bidding farewell to summer because teacher workdays officially begin next Thursday and I'll be going into school probably every day next week anyway, to move around and set up my office (yes I get an office, but no classroom, ha!).

So I think that recaps to where I am today.  Hopefully my non-bloggingness is over :)  Until next time...


Blogging Fool

That's me.  I am a blogging fool this week!  Its not my fault, though.  I'm holed up in the backseat of B's Ford Escape with a mobil hot spot and my mac.  Pinterest, facebook, & blogger are all consuming :)

Yesterday I fell in love, y'all.  I fell in love with a new city!  Like maybe I need to live there kinda fell in love!  I fell in love with Nashville.  Brandon and I stayed in Nashville last night and the city pretty much captured my heart. We're already trying to figure out when we can go back & stay longer than a night!

B really likes traveling through Nashville & staying there for work, but hates that he's always alone and can never go experience it.  Not this week!  Since I'm along for the trip, we figured we'd have a little Tuesday night date night in downtown Nashvegas!

B was gracious enough to indulge me and take a timed photo before we stepped into the heat!  :)  Just look past the messy desk!

Pause.  Can y'all see my shoes in this pic??  No?  I didn't think so.  So I took a close up pic for you!

How awesome are these shoes!?  Three and a half inches of tan, wedged gloriousness, and quite comfortable I might add.  I got the exact same pair in black, ON SALE, at Belk last week.  Probably should have told y'all sooner! They were having a big sale.  I got each pair for $17.50 and saved $103!  Just sayin' ;)

Resume to Nashvegas...our hotel was off Broadway in the heart of all the honky-tonk country flair Nashville promises.

Every restaurant & bar, and I mean EVERY one, has live music 7 nights a week!  So fun!

We ate at a BBQ place called Rippy's Smokin' Bar & Grill.  Brandon had eaten there before, but it had been a few years prior, & my SIL suggested it as well.  It had a great rooftop patio!  If it wasn't 157 degrees 101 degrees we might have actually eaten up there :(  Maybe next time.  Their pulled chicken plate was DE-lish!  I ate it all, no shame!!

After dinner we wanted to explore Broadway a little more!  Our next stop was this place...

The Stage was featured in the movie Country Strong (which I loved!) so we wanted to stop in and check it out!

They, of course, had a band and they were really awesome!  We took a video of them covering one of our fav Jason Aldean songs, but I don't know how to edit it unfortunately.  All around the bar they have pictures hanging autographed by any body who's anybody in Country Music!  Lots of country music stars stop in there on the regular to play, as well!  Just not last night, ha.  You can catch a lot of the videos on their website!

There was a giant mural adjacent to the stage with all the "founders" of country music.  In fact, the man on the top left is my relative, the King of Country Music, Roy Acuff himself!  (See...Nashville's in my blood!  I think that's why I liked it so much ;)

We stopped in a music store off Broadway & found even more Roy Acuff stuff!  I told B once we have a house we need to buy a canvas print of him like they had in the store to display in our house.  He said we'll see!  They had lots of his music for sale.  Have you ever heard any?  Look up "Night Train to Memphis", I think that's my favorite ;)

While I so loved The Stage, I also loved another stop off Broadway.

If you're gonna visit Nashville, let alone live there, you have to get some authentic southern, country garb.  While B considered a sweet cowboy hat, I picked out these bad mama jamas!!


How gorgeous are these!?!  Holy moly I can't wait to wear rock these thangs!! These are the REAL DEAL!  I'm talking gen.u.ine. FINE, real leather!!!  Yes!  I will create opportunities to wear these if need be :)  If I wasn't gonna be cremated, I might say bury me in 'em!

I told B he should at least pick out a big belt buckle or something, but he assured me he was ok.  

Nashville, you done swooped this southern, wanna-be-country, city-girl right off her feet in a most unexpected twist of events :)  The country music, bands, and bright lights are calling me back!  So return, eventually, I will!

Until then....