Nov 15, 2010

It's never too early

I know its not even December but I am already dreaming about Christmas!!
The music, the decorations, the fun goodies and the cool weather that we get to enjoy.
Last weekend we had a bit of a cold front. I was so excited to break out the hot cocoa and tea and turn the heater on!

Here are a few popular Christmas gifts that I like and have found very useful! Maybe it can help you find ideas for your friends and family's gifts.

1. Roll up/hanging make-up bags.
2. Perfume
3. Heeled boots, flat boots all kinds of materials
4. Cannon SLR cameras
5. Macbooks
6. Make up brushes
7. Running/ipod/phone accessories
8. Tiffany's charms and pendants
9. Diamonds - always on my list.
10. Luggage - there are great places to find sets- marshalls, ross, walmart (believe it or not-"jeep"brand)
11. Holiday decorations
Ill update as the holiday gets closer. Good luck finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones.
Shop Shop Shop...

Forever and Ever

My best friend Colleen just got married on Saturday and I am giddy with excitement! She is the most beautiful woman you could ever meet. I love her. I am her Matron of Honor, and being such requires many responsibilities that so many people forget about. I've decided to inform those ladies and gentlemen who seem to believe that being in a wedding is all about them..Wrongo! I love that people are happy to be in them but it is a common misconception that you should make it about yourself. This is a time to be a servant and be the great friend they picked you for! These days people think that you can hire everyone to do the decorating and the set up, but some of us don't want to spend $2,000 to have a set up and clean up crew. That's why we have a bridal party!

Your friendship means your duty. Here are a few Matron/Maid of Honor and Best Man duties. Of course you don't have to do everything but each person even bridesmaids and groomsmen should have a part in helping.

*Best Man Duties:
Plan Bachelor Party
Decorate the Getaway Vehicle
Give a toast at reception
Gift to groom on day of wedding

*Maid/Matron of Honor
Plan and Give Wedding/Bridal Shower - ask the bride & groom what they prefer
Plan Bachelorette Party
Decorate Honeymoon Suite if possible
Gift to bride on day of wedding
Pay any vendors final payments if due on wedding day
Make sure all vital pieces of the wedding are present - sign in book, decorations,
Make sure the bride has delegated responsibilities - cake cutting, someone to stand by gift and sign in table etc.
Check location of decorations, sign in table, cake, etc to the brides specifications
Make sure all gifts are in the intended car
After reception all decorations and set up stuff gets back to rightful owners
Make a 911 - bridal emergency kit
Food and water for while she is getting ready
Always answer when she calls!! Be there for her as much as you can! She will do the same for you!
Day of - have check lists of all her stuff and run through them.
Always be prepared. you never know what could happen!
Give Toast
Make sure that all her things she used to get ready end up in her suitcase for the honeymoon.
Give the car keys to the groom after loading all luggage. - so he doesnt have to find you b4 they leave.

Good luck with your friends and remember to be there for them because they will give you the same respect you do for your wedding!


Nov 5, 2010

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken..

YUM! My house smells like heaven and I have made a delicious slow cooked chicken, with potatoes and steamed veggies. This is the very first time I have used my crock pot, so I wanted to share the experience with everyone. 
1 regular sized crock pot. important b/c your chicken must fit. 
1 - 4-6lb chicken
1/3 tspn paprika 
2 tbspn butter- One is plenty IMO
2 tbspn fresh parsley - I used dried 
1/2 tspn thyme
1/2 tspn salt 
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 medium sized red potatoes- chopped into fourths- I added this because I love red potatoes!

1. place chopped onion in the cavity of the chicken
2. rub skin of chicken with the butter, then place chicken in crockpot
3. pour some water in the bottom for steam - will help cook potatoes later
4. sprinkle remaining seasonings on the chicken and cover
5. cook on the high setting for 4-5 hours.
** if you want to add the potatoes, put them in about 40 mins before the chicken should be done.

Tip: check your chicken about once an hour to make sure it isn't over cooking, smaller ones will cook faster.
My chicken was done in four hours because it was a smaller 4lb. 

I took some before and after shots of the slow cooked chicken and potatoes.
mm mm good! 
You can't tell but the chicken was so tender that it fell off the bone! I used a wooden ladle to scoop, and the chicken would just fall apart. Slow cooking deliciousness!! 

I also made cornbread muffins, still working on that recipe...they were kind of hard. 

Well happy crock pottin' and let me know if you have ideas for other slow cooked foods. 


Today has been absolutely gorgeous outside and Brent had the day off. We decided to do some extreme slacklining!! We have these giant pecan trees in our front yard, during the fall the pecans have mostly been eaten off the ground so the grass is without. That would hurt if you landed on one of those or a stick. Make sure you sweep the area for hard things. 

Here are some pictures of our adventure together. It is super fun and challenging but everyone should try it once.
Me right before I fell off
Mission Impossible Style
Brent balancing on his body, he said it hurt...not recommended! 
You can buy what they call "webbing", and carabiners, at REI. If you haven't ever gone slacklining, check out the video link and then click here for more information on, what you need and where to get it. 
Try it! It will rock your world. 

Emergency Bridal Kit

    So my best friend is getting married in 8 days and I am her Matron of Honor! Today I am working on the emergency bridal kit. Included is a list of items I feel necessary for the day of a wedding. The bride and bridesmaids will be very grateful if you bring these staple items.
It's pretty long but I am a "better safe than sorry" kind of person, always overly prepared.

1. a tote/bag
2. tooth brush/paste - travel size
3. small sewing kit
4. bobby pins
5. hair ties/ponies
6. hair spray
7. safety pins
8. floss/tooth picks
9. water bottle - cant hurt to have more.
10. a lunchable - snack
11. clear nail polish - tears and chipped nails
12. deoderant
13. q tips
14. kleenex
15. cotton swabs
16. nail polish remover
17. chapstick/lipgloss
18. scizzors
19. tweezers
20. pocket knife
21. nail files/buffer
22. tampons/liners
23. midol/pamprin
24. ibuprofen
25. blister pads
26. bandaids
27. oil absorbing blotters - for face
28. tums or antacid
29. lint roller
30. super glue
31. hair spray
32. straws - so you don't mess up lipstick etc
33. wet ones
34. stain wipes
35. baby powder
36. lotion
37. eye drops
38. contact lens solution
39. duct tape - so many uses, splinters,
40. razor - obvious reasons - i forgot on my own wedding day!
41. a hand towel
42. First Aid kit

   I think this is a complete list but everyone has unique additions. I have asthma so my inhalers are always on this list. Try to adapt it to your bride, first, then to everyone else in general. She is the most important person on that day! So give yourself about ten minutes and grab all this stuff so that in case of a sudden mishap, you are covered.

   You can buy them online and add your own needs, but I find it easier to just put it together myself. You can fill it with specific items of your own choice. Give it to a bridesmaid or whoever is closer to helping in another wedding. But if you are like me, you are in weddings as much as two or three times a year, you might just keep it!
Wal-Mart has travel and trial size everything! You can buy things for one dollar since you probably won't use them after/often.
Pack small items and find a cute bag to put it all in.
Pack according to category so that it's easy to find things.

Here are some pictures of the one I just put together :-)
I got a bag that matches the travel, "dot" bag, I already own. Convenient to say the least. Plus who doesn't love pink and zebra?

The Essentials
Larger zebra bag - bottles, liquids, sprays and first aid kit
Smaller zebra bag - all the medicine etc.
Small pink bag - sewing kit, and beauty essentials
I then loaded the three bags into this clear tote that has a convenient handle at the top! so cute. 

Have fun and Good luck!

Nov 2, 2010

one of my favs

So today I was planning lunch, and since I hadn't been to the grocery store in a while, I was a bit weary.
I opened my fridge and decided I had just enough to make one of my favorite dishes.
MEATLOAF! It tastes great!

here is a simple and easy recipe...

1 lb lean ground beef/ground turkey
1 egg
1 cup oatmeal
3 tablespoons of ketchup - you can adjust to your own taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion

mix everything in a bowl 
fold into a 9 in bread pan
bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until it has hardened to a loaf

Nov 1, 2010

Customer Service is Important

O-EM-GEE!!!!!!!! Okay so I really never thought I'd use my blog to vent, but gee wiz!
Today I was running errands and catching up on my honeydew list, when I realized that it was time to pick up my bridesmaid dress for my best friends wedding. I swung by at about 3:30 to try it on and pay so I could get home to cook dinner.

So i try it on, and OH NO! It's lopsided! the bodice looks all bunchy. She then blames it on me b/c she said I was planning to lose weight! Ugh that made me very unhappy. You NEVER blame the imperfections on the customer. STRIKE ONE.

I decided I'd wait and maybe if it was pressed it might be okay. Moving on to pay. She tells me that what she quoted me is all wrong and charges me 1/3 more and she couldn't even tell me why! STRIKE TWO.

I told her that it was very unprofessional and I would like to know why the price would change so suddenly.
BTW she didn't take any notes while doing the work. She then blamed it on me because it had been 3 weeks since I was there. Boo. not my fault.

This was the last straw. She proceeded to check me out, "oh we only take cash" -(mind you, there was NO sign that said it, and no verbal warning before hand) at this point I was furious. It was 4:15 the bank was closed and I had to leave and come back AGAIN. STRIKE THREE!

So here is what everyone should know about good customer service! Never allow someone to run over you and if you have a bad experience tell them that you won't be coming back.
What to know:
1. companies should always have a sign with payment options if they have restrictions
2. they should stand by their work and never blame the customer
3. don't pay for something you didn't ask to be done. - they should never do work w/o permission.
4. let them know, that if they do a bad job, you wont come back
5. let them know, that if they do a great job, you will tell all your friends and return all the time.
6. be polite, but firm.

I really didn't want this to be all about complaining, so try to use these tactics when encountering problems in any type of customer/vendor disagreements.

Liberty Swing

Today I found a wonderful new creation that made filled me with joy!The Liberty Swing is a new-ish invention that was built for children who are wheelchair bound to be able to swing and enjoy the feeling that we all take for granted. Swings are a staple in most parks around the world, and the sad reality is that children with disabilities are unable to do, what we think to be almost, simple. 

This modernized contraption will give these kids an opportunity feel free and have loads of fun. 
Please tell others about it! 

Family Outings

So you are home on a Friday evening, the kiddos are restless and everyone is lounging around the house.
Why not try something new!?

Backyard Camp-outs, can be a great way to spend time together and do something fun.
There are so many different activities you can incorporate. Here are a few:

Pitch the Tent

Make a Fire Pit - maybe one that is built above ground, you can buy them at The Home Depot

Roast Marshmallows/Smoars

Play a game of Flashlight Tag

Make Hot Cocoa over the fire

Get bundled up and tell Ghost Stories

Find a telescope and Star Gaze

Sleep outside! - this is a Must!

So go on an adventure with your family in a safe and unique environment.

What A Night

Hello lovely world,

Today I will be catching up on my 'honeydew list'. It was a splendid weekend with family and our youth group Halloween Party! We decorated our own cupcakes and had yummy sherbet punch (gingerale & lemon lime sherbet) so great! Then Brent and I sat on our porch and handed out candy to the neighborhood Trick Or Treaters. Well I sat on the porch...Brent decided it was a clever idea to sit on the roof and shoot plastic arrows at unsuspecting children (His costume was Green Arrow ). It was fun to see them react, and honestly, he shot me more than anyone else. None the less, it was a great night and one little girl even asked him to shoot her!

Now on for the daily chore list and my 1st of the month to do's.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween and was safe.

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