Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Deck The Halls

Although Christmas decorating always seems to be a work in progress for me, I have decided to post pictures of some of the decorating I have already done.
Here is my tree with most of its ornaments on it.
Notice I used my 3 strands of candy garland - the new one is on the bottom. The candies are a little larger then the 2 strands my mom gave me from hers and then my childhood. (Didn't find a use for the popcorn garland this year - I'll string it across the room or something next year if I do not have an extra tree to decorate.
 These are a few new ornaments I bought last year after Christmas...
 (Matt likes frogs so I wanted to make sure he was represented on my tree.)
This is my fiber optic tree I bought back when I was in high school from the Dollar General by my grandparent's house.
I am going to add a stand of beads and a few candy ornaments. I'll have to remember to take a picture of it once it is complete. The lights are not going on this tree. I am tempted to string them up on my bedroom wall...
Above my kitchen sink.
(Mom, did you notice I changed out the curtain? I have decided I no longer like the ones that are in the kitchen. Still want to change out the other windows. I was thinking I need help learning to use my sewing machine.)
 Table next to the couch.
 I tried to fill up these jars nicely. I think I need to keep trying with the front one.
At first I placed glass balls I had from my first Christmas, but they seemed to big. I threw those out. They break way to easily. Not even Goodwill would want them.
Now I have this... the small balls in the back look nice.... I don't know what to say about the front jar. Somehow I wanna use the lollipops in my decorating. Not sure how. Maybe I can string them together or something. Any ideas?
 A few weeks ago I bought 'The Elf on the Shelf' when Barnes and Noble had a 50% off coupon on any one book.
I plan on reading the book this weekend and (even though I do not have children) displaying my elf.
A few months ago when we went to the Glendale craft festival I bought these 2 mini trees with the intention of giving one to my mom and one to Matt's mom.
I did give the apple one to Matt's mom on Thanksgiving (she has an apple theme in her kitchen), but I selfishly kept the other one for myself. I am still willing to give it to my mom though. We will see. Interested?
 Last night I made the gingerbread house I bought last year.
I love it!
Looks awesome!
Can you tell it isn't real?
It is just material which came with stickers to stick onto the house once constructed.
It fits in so well with my candy theme.
I enjoyed making this masterpiece.
(Am I using that word too loosely?)
It was much easier then your traditional gingerbread house.
The only drawback to it was that it didn't come with extra stickers. Meaning I basically had to follow the picture on the box. I would have liked to have been a little more creative. That's okay though. What can you really expect out of an item that was originally priced for $5 from Wal-Mart?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, To ME!

Yep, I am another year older.
Or wiser as I like to think of it.
Sounds better to be a year wiser then a year older. Although being older is better then the alternative of course.

This year for my birthday we ended up spreading it out over a few days.
I got to eat out LOTS!
Got birthday ice cream cake from DQ.
Matt bought me a grill (which I had to leave at my mom's since my car was full). He also bought 'half' of my new lamps from Kirklands - I had a $30 giftcard to go towards them.
Mom and Greg bought me a Costco membership, a new Crock pot, and a necklace from an Indian Reservation in Phoenix.
My brother got me a 4 in 1 Tupperware food carrying case (we do a lot of pot lucks at work).
Love everything!

Matt and I also went to see the new Twilight movie: Breaking Dawn Part 1!
The movie is good... not nearly as good as the books. Of course I feel this way about each and every movie this series puts out. I felt this movie left too much out and added in too many unnecessary extras. For example, what's with the chess game? The movie should have explained that Edward was trying to keep Bella busy so she would be too tired for lovemaking at night. That is why she didn't know she was tired from being pregant.
I did spot Stephanie Meyer, the author of the books, in the audience of Bella's and Edward's wedding. :)

And you know we went to the Opryland Hotel to walk around.

A very good birthday indeed! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wow, 6 Years Together!

Yesterday was mine and Matt's 6 year anniversary.
Crazy to think we have been together for 6 whole years!
Seems forever ago while at the same time seems like it was just a few days ago...

We started the day with doughnuts before driving about an hour to go to Costco with my parents and my brother (my mom bought me a membership for my birthday - thanks mom!) and then we drove another hour to meet my grandparents to eat lunch at Cheddar's.
After lunch, Matt and I went shopping, ate dinner, and walked the Opryland Hotel. (We found Cars 2 on blu-ray for $10 like I was hoping we would)

Opryland Hotel is a wonderful place. If you have never been, you need to go. ASAP. Actually, you need to go twice. Once during the Christmas holidays to see the place all lit up and then again during the warmer months to see the hotel how it usually looks. It is beautiful!
Ever since we moved to TN years and years ago I have been to the Opryland Hotel at least once a year - so probably for about 20 years now.

First it was me, my mom, and my brother. This was back when Opryland theme park was open and my mom always bought us season passes. I miss that place. I'm not sure how old I was when it closed, but I remember being sad. I loved most of the rides - The Hangman (your feet dangled on this roller coaster), Chaos (an inside roller coaster with black lights and speed), and Screamin' Delta Demon (you went up, then the ride consisted of sledding down a 'tube'). Who ever decided to remove the park and put a mall in its place needs to be re-thinking that decision. Now where are we suppose to go? They should have just moved the park to the other side of Nashville or something.
--- Sorry, I got off subject.---

Then just me and my mom. My brother no longer wanted to go so just us girls would go around my birthday and walk around.

Now it is me and Matt. We usually always go right after Thanksgiving.
I took Matt here on one of our first dates so it seemed fitting to go here on the day of our anniversary. (Still might look into getting married here.)

I took a few pictures:
We took a few pictures in front of this tree, but since none of they came out good, you will never see them. They are only for my private collection. I think I have a picture in front of this tree for several of the past years. I will need to look for them one of these days. 
I love how trees look when you point the camera up in front of it. Gives it a new perspective. Seems like it reaches the sky don't you think?
 Here's the same tree from far away - or at least from the top of the stairs.
 I just thought these trees were pretty so I wanted my picture next to them.
Outside in front of the hotel.
For a few years now we have barely ventured outside. Last night the temperature was still in the 60's which made it easy for us to be outside and snap a few pictures.

I do wish the hotel would update some of there lights since they never seem to change. I don't think this will happen any time soon though. Especially since the flood of 2010 didn't help change this.

They did have a few new sights for the kids to see:
Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda!
I thought this was a nice touch opposed to just Santa. Plus, the hotel was smart and spread out the characters.
We still plan on going back to see Madagascar on ICE - it was WAY too crowded to go yesterday.

After the hotel we stopped for ice cream and went on home. We were out for over 12 hours and I can assure you I was once again pooped!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ducks Lay Eggs?

Did you know ducks lay eggs?
I didn't
Suppose I should have known they did since chickens lay eggs and chickens are birds just like ducks. Makes sense to me now.

Matt's family has a duck who lives on there property. Yes, they fed the duck and give the duck a place to sleep.
I guess you could call the duck a pet...
Maybe not though since Matt might serve it on the dinner table one of these days....

There used to be 2 ducks - they think one got ate by a wild animal - now there is only one.
One duck.
Who now lays a daily egg. (Never did before.)
You can't tell from he pictures, but the eggs are a light greenish/gray color.
I took several pictures trying to capture the color but it never worked in my favor. You'll just have to take my word on this one. The egg seems to be around the same size as a chicken's egg. I'll have to try the egg next time I am there.
First alligator, now duck egg - who knows what I'll try next!
Matt cornered the duck so I could hold it.
Very soft.
Wish the duck wasn't so scared of me.
I kinda felt bad we cornered it just so I could hold it.
P.S. The duck pooped on me while I was holding it so I guess you could say he paid me back .

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Shopped Till I Dropped (Almost)

What a day!
Even though Black Friday started at some stores as early as 10 PM on Thanksgiving, Matt and I decided to go out at 6 AM this morning. And boy am I glad we waited. We got everything we wanted with the exception of a fire pit for $30 from Target (and if I don't find this particular one tomorrow, we might pay $40 for the one at Lowe's) and Cars 2 on Blu-ray for $9.88 from Sam's Club.
We will be looking tomorrow for both of these items while out shopping.

We went to:
Best Buy
Home Depot
McDonalds (Breakfast)
Sam's Club
Shoe Carnival
2nd Wal-Mart
Ruby Tuesdays (Lunch)
2nd Lowe's
Sonic (Drinks)
Met a guy selling DVDs from online site
3 Walgreens

And now I am pooped!

As you can see, we went to TONS of stores!
(I'll post pictures later.)
Between the 2 of us we spent around $600 with all our shopping! We never spend that much! Never!
In our defense, $150 bought a grill, $70 bought 2 pairs of shoes, $70 bought tools, and so on and so on. We did buy a  bunch of stuff for each other for Christmas while still managing to buy a few Christmas gifts for other people. I am hoping to almost be done after this weekend. Fingers crossed! Even though I had fun I am still sick of shopping amongst the crowds.

I do have to show you mine and my mom's Walgreens shopping.
I took one picture of all the stuff we bought at 3 stores... we both checked out 7 times!
8 Colgate Toothpastes $3 - $1 coupon
Receive $3 RR

8 Preparation H wipes $2.75 - $2 coupon
Receive $2.75 RR
6 Dentek Flossers $2
Receive $2 RR

3 Advil PM $0.99
Receive $0.99 RR

2 Therma Care $2.49
Receive $2.49 RR

2 Speed Stick Deodorants 2 for $5
Receive $3 RR

2 Energy Strips $3.99
Receive $3.99 RR

2 Boxes of Kleenex $0.99
No RR (filler items)
My mom spent $10.58 OOP and still has about $15 RR.
I spent $11.50 OOP and still have about $18 RR.

I hope to buy a few more tubes of toothpaste tomorrow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
And ate lots of food!
I sure did!
Ate so much around 1 PM that I am STILL full! Did eat a little more a little while ago and now I am debating to eat a little more food. I probably shouldn't though.
 Now I gotta get ready to go shopping tomorrow morning!
I have 8 stores Matt and I plan on shopping at tomorrow morning - not too early though. I am done with waking up in the middle of the night to shop. No big items this year for us.
Hope you enjoyed this pictures as much as I did.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where's Winter?

I'm not complaining.
Please let me stress this.
I like warm weather.
But I gotta say, 70 degrees on November 22 is not normal for Louisville, KY!
What is going on?
Maybe global warming is real...
Maybe Mother Nature is feeling sorry for giving us so much rain this year....
Maybe this is God's way of keeping our homeless in somewhat good spirits...
Who knows!?!?!?!?
The temperature is nice, but I don't think it is worth these tornadoes I have been hearing about. Luckily it doesn't seem any of them have done anything horrible. On the plus side, I am liking not having to have my heat or air on though. Saves me money!

So while it might not be feeling like Christmas, I sure am seeing and hearing it!
Since Monday, 106.9 is now playing all Christmas, all day! That's right! So I am now listening to Christmas music to and from work which is awesome! Puts me in such a good mood! I was singing in my head during a commercial "Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer" and guess what? It came on right after the commercial break - how freaky is that?

Also as of Monday I have seen houses decorated for Christmas and the lights have been turned on! Seems to happen earlier and earlier every year. I'm not one to talk though since I spent all yesterday evening decorating my tree and adding a few decorations around my house. (I'll take some pictures and post them sometime in the next few days. Right now I am too lazy to do that.)
Last year I bought icicles for the outside knowing I was buying a house. I thought they were LED lights. I evidently bought regular lights that are 40% more efficient. Or so they claim. I am still debating if we will hang them up. My co-workers have told me how expensive it was to run Christmas lights so I might not. I love them though....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas....

I wish my weekend wasn't almost over.
It's already 8:30 - I feel like it should still be Friday evening!
Why do weekends seem to fly by as opposed to my workdays that seem to crawl?
I imagine most people feel this way. Now if we can only get our employers to implement a 4-day work week with a 3-day weekend...
At least this work week will only be 3 days since I am off Thursday and Friday. I am so looking forward to these days! Nothing like watching TV and stuffing myself followed by Shopping and stuffing myself some more. I love the holidays!
At work we are having a Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday - had one last Tuesday as well. :)

(Ipod doesn't take very good pictures...)
Matt and I did a little shopping this weekend to include this razor that was marked to $38.something and I had a $30 off coupon which made it cheap! So now I have a Christmas present for Matt (I am posting this knowing he will see this since he was with me when I purchased it.) I saw the deal on Frugal Makes Cents yesterday and thought we should snap it up. Refill cartridges are kinda expensive - only worth it if he likes the razor.

Check this out:
Yep, that is my Christmas tree and boxes of ornaments. Matt helped me bring them into the house from the garage so I can start decorating for Christmas this week. I am so excited! On the downside, I saw how many Christmas decorations I really have and I have decided whatever I no longer like or use this year will need to be sent to Goodwill. I want to make room for a baby so I need to part with a few things (which is turning out to be harder then I thought it would be - I really am a closet hoarder.) Meaning I need to try and stay away from all the lovely new shiny Christmas decorations at the store. Maybe I need to join a support group like 'Holiday Hoarders Annoymous' or 'If It's On Clearance I'll Buy It Annoymous'.
Or on the other hand I can keep telling myself I don't have a problem.
I think I will stick with the second option. Seems to be a better fit for me.

So now I am by myself watching re-runs of 'How I Met Your Mother' while surfing the web and waiting for my iPOD to sync but since it is taking so long I am tempted to unplug it (even though you are not suppose to).
By the way, does anyone else think it is annoying you cannot move your music properly from iTunes to other devices without putting it on CD'S?
With my old 4G iPOD I could unblock folders and find all my songs and move them to a folder on my desktop. With this iPOD touch, I cannot do that. Apple must have blocked it. This sucks because some of my songs cannot be played from my iTunes which means with the exception of on my iPOD I can no longer play these songs. Apple should have to fix this issue! Even with the songs I can play on my iTunes, when I move them they mostly all convert to a MP4 file. WTF??? Makes me so mad!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thank You Kitchen Aid!

I gotta give a shout out to Kitchen aid.
A big one!
Thank you Kitchen aid!I am so thankful for you all processing my rebate!
Do you remember I had bought a Kitchen aid mixer once I sold the washer and dryer that came with my house? When I had bought it there was a mail-in rebate for $30.
I forgot to send it in until the night it was due.
Too late to mail it in since the post office was closed by then. I decided to send it in a day late hoping for the best, but expecting not to receive anything.
I happily opened the mail the other day and saw the check!
Whoo hoo!
I am so very happy!
It was so quick too - less than a month I think!

Kitchen aid, if you are reading this, you have a new lifelong customer!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dinner In A Pumpkin!

Who would of thought you can create a meal inside a pumpkin???
A pumpkin!
You know, the thing must people carve and place on their front porch!
Not me!
I saw a recipe on some one's blog and Googled it. Let me tell you, there are MANY different ways to prepare this with different ingredients. I read a bunch of comments and decided to blend 2 that sounded good to me and had good reviews.
Here is what I settled on....

Pumpkin - Small
1 pound ground beef
1 medium chopped onion
Green beans
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups cooked rice
Olive Oil

Cut a circular opening on the top of your pumpkin (a lid) and set aside. 
Discard seeds and loose fibers from inside. (Save seeds to bake.)
Coat the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil and pepper. Place pumpkin in a casserole dish to catch any drippings from going into the oven.
In a large skillet, fully cook the beef and onion.
Meanwhile, fully cook the rice.
In beef and onion mixture; add soup, mushrooms, soy sauce and brown sugar. Cook for a few minutes making sure everything is mixed together.
Add rice, green beans and corn into mixture.
Scoop mixture into pumpkin.
Completely cover with tin foil and bake at 350° for 1-2 hours. You should be able to easily stick a toothpick through your pumpkin when it is fully cooked.

I wasn't very impressed with it. Everyone else seemed (or at least claimed) to like it.

If I make dinner in a pumpkin again I would not use brown sugar, soy sauce, or cream of chicken.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just Wanted To Write ANYTHING!

I moved into my house back in late July after painting and installing new flooring and ever since then I have been looking for the perfect kitchen mat(s). I either wanted a few small ones to place in front of my sink, refrigerator, and stove or I wanted a big one to take up all that space. (I can no longer use my blue floor mats with my green counters... reminds me.... I need to find fabric to re-cover my chair cushions...)

You would think this would have been an easy task - it has not been.
I saw some small ones I liked at Kohl's, but even with a sale and a coupon, $29.99 each was too expensive.
I then bought a large one from Target, then decided it wouldn't look good so back to the store it went.
Found some at Sam's Club that I thought might work - didn't feel the color was right.
Finally my luck turned.

While at a Target near my brother's new place about a month ago I found some good ones.
When I placed them in the spots I wanted them I was not in love. I had packed them up to take back, but something told me to test out 2 of them. So I did. Now, about a month later, I have all 4 that I bought out because they have grown on me.
Check them out:

And guess what? The price was awesome!
They were originally $15.99 each (more then I would have wanted to spend) - marked down to $3.99 each!
I think these ones will make me happy for now. Hopefully Wyatt will like them as much as I do since I am hoping he will lay on one of these rugs. I'm doubtful though - he loves my bed WAY too much!
Ha ha ha!

P.S. Obviously I have absolutely nothing to blog about if I am writing about my floor mats!

P.S.S. I do have 2 projects lined up to work on... just need to stop being lazy and do it.
P.S.S.S. I plan on decorating for Christmas probably the weekend before Thanksgiving (maybe sooner). I should start having a few blog posts coming up.

P.S.S.S.S I did mow the yard yesterday and today I put away all fall Halloween decorations and started organizing my other holiday seasonal stuff.