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Monday, September 29, 2014

Recipe: Low Carb Hibachi Chicken

All of my life I've disliked Asian food...of any type. Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, etc. If it comes from somewhere in Asia, chances are, I do not enjoy eating it.

Until I had hibachi. (Japan) Against my own will, I was taken to a Japanese restaurant to eat this so called "hibachi chicken" and let me tell y'all...the first time I had it...IT WAS DELICIOUS. The flavors, the smells, and the delicious white sauce it came with. But man, was I full afterward. All of that RICE!

Fast forward a few years, and I was craving hibachi chicken but didn't want to go out to get it. So, I experimented with my own at-home version and made it for my family...it was a hit! It was also one of the first meals I made M when we were dating and remains his favorite meal I make hands-down.

The only issue with the meal is...it wasn't healthy. Between butter, soy sauce and rice it was full of carbs and sodium...which are delicious but not healthy. Over the weekend I tried my hand at a low-carb version and M loved it just as much. The bonus? It wasn't so filling that I needed a nap afterwards. (Because usually hibachi makes me almost uncomfortably full. At the very least, "I need stretchy pants now" full.)

The biggest change was that I omitted the rice. Now, at first M was skeptical but the chicken and veggies were so good that neither of us missed the rice. If you still want that rice taste/texture but not the carbs, you can try my Froworker Fin's Cauliflower Fried Rice. (which is excellent!) This recipe is quick, easy and healthyish*. Which are my three favorite words when it comes to dinner!



Low Carb Hibachi Chicken

Ingredients

Chicken & Marinade
2-3 fresh chicken breasts, trimmed
1/2 cup red wine
Sprinkle of Stevia or Splenda brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative)

Veggies
1 bag of frozen cauliflower, carrots and broccoli
1 tablespoon of Smart Balance butter
Additional Liquid Aminos for seasoning
1 sprinkle of Stevia or Splenda brown sugar

Instructions
1. Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate chicken for a few hours in the fridge. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more delicious it is!
2. Cook your chicken. For maximum easyness (HA!) I cook mine in the microwave. In a microwave safe covered dish, cook the chicken in 3-5 min increments starting at 50% power, then increasing to 60% power and then 70% power. Your chicken is probably done after the second 5 min increments, but I'm super-weird about uncooked chicken so I cook the HECK out of it. :)
3. Once chicken is cooked, chop into bite-sized pieces.
4. Cook your bag of frozen veggies according to instructions on the bag.
5. In a large wok or frying pan, combine the butter and Liquid Aminos with the sprinkle of Stevia. Turn on burner to medium/high and allow butter to melt.
6. Once your veggies are done, empty the bag directly into the pan with the butter mixture. Stir to combine with the sauce and then add the chopped chicken.
7. Increase your heat to high and combine the chicken with the veggies. I like to sprinkle a little extra Liquid Aminos over the top of everything at this point  and then cook until the veggies start to get a slight brownish tinge.
8. Serve hot!

This dish made enough for M and I to eat generously with leftovers so it could serve 3-4 people.

*Now there are a few things that make this recipe not so healthy...why I dubbed it "healthyish". First, the red wine in the marinade. You can omit it, but it really helps to tenderize and flavor the chicken. And, as Paula says, don't ever use wine to cook with that you wouldn't drink. :) Also, I may or may not have used some of my favorite hibachi restaurant-style white sauce. Again, this can be omitted...but it's just SO good. I figured since I'm not eating the rice and soy sauce, a little mayo deliciousness won't hurt, right?

 So there you go...hibachi goodness...no stretchy pants needed.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Musical Collaborations I Love

I love a good musical collaboration. Like, REALLY love. Honestly some of my favorite sing/dance along songs are musical collaborations between a couple of different artists. Maybe it's just the idea of having a song full of talent or maybe it's the idea that these people actually got together to sing (am I just imagining that or does it really happen?) but musical collaborations (henceforth collabs) are right up my alley!

Some of my favorites are: (also I apologize that a few of these songs are a bit overly sexual..but they are still great!)

Lady Marmalade - Missy Elliot, Li'l Kim, Pink, Mya, Christina Aguilera
Seriously, one of my all-time favorites. This has some of the greatest talent of my generation in it. And Christina in this song? Slay.




Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
The first time I heard this song I loved it. And I can't stop listening to it. I'm not tired of it yet and I don't think I ever will.



Shake Ya Tailfeather - Nelly, Murphy Lee and P. Diddy
Dang this song is old. I still like it though.




Beat It - Fall Out Boy & John Mayer
Okay, I know I will catch some flack for not posting the original. The original is great...however, I wasn't really raised on MJ and he was a little bit before my time when his good stuff came out. The 90s stuff...meh. But I digress. I like this harder version of the original that Fall Out Boy does and the fact that the legendary solo is given to John Mayer (who is actually a really good guitar player) is even better!



This is a great one. It's not one of my favorites, but deserves to be on the list if only for the CRAZY amount of musical talent included. This is We are the World...the version done 4 years ago in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Do yourself a favor and watch this video. See how many artists you can name. There are singers, rappers and musicians from every musical genre and it's a great version of Michael Jackson's original. 



Did you spy all of the artists? I saw Nicole Scherzinger, Fergie, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Julianne Hough, Randy Jackson, Mary Mary, Bebo Norman, Akon, Li'l Wayne, P.Diddy, Kanye, Snoop, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Nettles, Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Jamie Fox, Josh Groban, Adam Levine, Pink, Usher, Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight, Toni Braxton, the other guy from Sugarland, Ann Wilson, Orianthi, Zac Brown, Enrique Iglesias, Carlos Santana, various Jacksons, Justin Bieber, The Beach Boys, India Arie, Katherine McPhee, Robin Thicke, Loretta Lynn, Harry Connick Jr., Jason Mraz, LL Cool J, Will I Am, Faith Evans, Jordin Sparks, the lead singer from The Fray (what's his name??) and some obviously Haitian guy that I can't figure out. WHEW! And that's just the ones I could pick out. Can you imagine being in that room with all of these people in it? The sheer amount of talent would be blinding, I'm sure. But I'm kind of a music geek...so maybe that's only cool to me. 

Do you enjoy musical collabs? :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: The Color of Heaven


I just finished this book and HAD to write a review on it. It was a very interesting book. I experienced a gamut of emotions while reading this book and the plot twists and turns did surprise me. Usually, I can guess plots in books but not this one. Here's a brief synopsis from Amazon:

A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter’s unexpected illness and her husband’s shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold dark depths of the water, a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie’s past, and teaches her what it means to truly live...and love. 

I found that this story had some romance, mystery, drama and an ethereal quality that really made it interesting. I know I keep using the word interesting, but it truly was. It's different from a lot of the books I usually read, yet, I find myself wanting to read it again now that I know the ending. And the ending is very good. I was surprised at how the plot moved in the book. Yes, there were sad parts in the book...but the characters, in my opinion, deal with the sadness in a very realistic way. It's a very believable story...so much so that I double-checked after I read it to make sure it was indeed a fictional novel. For the record, I'm probably not the only one since even the author addresses this on her website. I downloaded this on my Kindle since it was a freebie (or a cheapie...I can't remember) and I wasn't expecting much but this book has a left a lasting impression on me. I highly encourage you to read it if you're into fictional novels.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Recipe: One Pan Chicken Dinner

This recipe has basically been stalking me for a couple of weeks now. First, my mother-in-law mentioned it to me when we were at her house. Then I saw a post on Facebook with the recipe. Finally a coworker mentioned it to me a few days ago. After being stalked thricely (is that a word? probably not. oh well, it is now. thricely TM ) I decided to give it a try.

It literally uses one pan...which is awesome. And I used a cutting board too. But that's not a pan...so my original claim of one pan chicken dinner still holds true. It's really easy and though it's not quick to cook, the prep time is pretty quick and it is an entire meal for a family or 2 meals for 2 people.



One Pan Chicken Dinner
from this Facebook post - not sure if y'all can see it so I'm reposting here.

Ingredients
2 cans of green beans (preferably the french style green beans), drained
3 fresh chicken breasts, trimmed & halved
6-8 red potatoes (6 normal sized or about 8 baby ones), halved or quartered
1 stick melted butter
1 packet Italian seasoning (dry) (recipe calls for Zesty Italian but I just had regular Italian)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x13 pan, spread your drained green beans along one long edge of the pan. In the middle, place your 6 chicken breast halves and along the other long side, place your cut up potatoes. Sprinkle entire packet of Italian seasoning over everything. Drizzle melted butter over everything. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Instead of melted butter, I used melted smart balance butter and it was delicious! I bet you could even use a healthy oil instead of butter and it would be great. This is an easy recipe that's sure to please. I mean, who doesn't love chicken, potatoes and green beans?! Plus, it will make your kitchen smell amazing! This turned out so well in our house that M asked me to put it on the meal rotation. (smiles and pats back) He doesn't need to know that the prep work was the hardest part...because I literally put it in the oven and put a timer on and then watched an episode of Hoarders...which is a great motivation for keeping your house clean...but I digress. The hardest part of the prep work was trimming the chicken, have you ever trimmed a chicken breast? I hadn't. I bought the ones that were on sale and they still had...gross pieces. So I had to cut them off. If you buy the bourgie...I mean, expensive chicken, most of the weirdness is cut off. So, that was literally the hardest part. Buy better chicken and you're golden.

Let me know if you try this!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why Mustard Cardigans are a Fall Must-Have

Ah, a mustard cardigan.

Y'all I love my mustard cardigan. If you may remember, I initially wasn't sure about it because I usually shy away from yellow (since I have yellow hair). But my beloved Target mustard cardigan is such a staple in my wardrobe that it's got a tiny hole and now I'm scared to death to wear it. Ugh. But it's nothing that a needle and thread can't fix.

I've been wearing my mustard cardi a lot lately and it is the perfect wardrobe staple for fall. Here are a few color combinations to try with mustard.

(I used a mustard cardigan but you could switch things around and use mustard pants or a mustard skirt.)



Mustard + Berry

Mustard + Navy

Mustard + Peacock

Other options you might want to consider are mustard + charcoal, mustard + plum or mustard + hunter green/olive green.

Some shopping options if you're in the market for a mustard cardi: H&M, Modcloth, Target, Forever 21.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This May Restore Your Faith in the NFL (& Humanity)

I loved this post that Sarah originally wrote SO much that I reposted on my blog. (with her permission) This story...it just gives you the feels...

In all of the uproar and negative press surrounding the NFL right now, there is a truly heartwarming story that you just have to hear. Many of my die hard sports girls probably have heard this story already, but for those that haven't, here we go...
::Meet Devon Still::
Devon Still is a 2012 second round draft pick for the Cincinnati Bengals. On June 2nd, he found out his 4 year old baby girl Leah was diagnosed with Pediatric Cancer. Leah has been given a 50/50 chance of surviving, and her medical bills could reach $1 million.
In a football move, the Bengals unfortunately had to cut Still from the 53 man roster. But in a non-football move, they made the heart-warming decision to keep Still on the practice squad so he could keep his family's insurance and continue to get paid.
 
But the Bengals didn't stop there. After spending just one week on the practice squad, the Bengals moved Still back to the 53-man roster and made a very touching, moving announcement to sell Devon Still jerseys, and donate the proceeds to Pediatric Cancer Care and Research.

Help sack cancer with a Devon Still jersey.  Proceeds will go to benefit Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center: http://go.bengals.com/1BpB2fh

Still's jersey sales, in the past 24 hours, are more than any other in Bengals history.

And are you ready for this, guess who bought 100 of them?
 
 
Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints. If that doesn't just heave at your heartstrings this Tuesday morning, I don't know what will. Bravo, Saints. Bravo, Bengals. If you want to help pledge to "Sack" pediatric cancer, go here. And go Bengals. Geaux Saints. And go Leah. I'm proud to be a Saints fan.
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Camping Weekend Recap

I went camping with M this weekend. I'll recap that in just a minute. First of all I'd like to discuss why people are so shocked to hear that I am going camping? Everyone just says "you don't seem like a camping person"...whatever that means. I friend of mine said that I have "prissy tendencies". Nevertheless I went camping this weekend and it wasn't my first time and I survived. Also I managed to fit everything I needed as far as clothing and toiletries into one backpack with extra clothes to spare... Ladies and gentlemen THAT is a win!

M and I left on Friday and the camp ground/park area was about two hours from our house. We left around lunch and arrived early afternoon and immediately started getting our tent up and our canopy set up. Rain was predicted pretty much all weekend so we brought our canopy and raingear in preparation for that. However the small two-person backpacking tent we purchased was not rain proof. Because it was miserably hot in that tiny tent we slept with the roof canopy off...and subsequently woke up at 3 AM to rain on our faces. After scrambling to put the tent canopy on we then proceeded to be rained on for the next two hours. We were sweaty, hot and damp inside the tent as the water leak for the tent seams. Sleep was pretty much out of the question so we tried our best to keep as dry as possible. The whole time I kept having to put the situation in perspective...by reminding myself that this was not nearly as bad as my deep-sea fishing experience. On Saturday morning we woke up completely wet along with all of our possessions. After breakfast we immediately proceeded to the nearest Walmart to upgrade our tent. We went from a 2 person small 7 foot tent (that was 3 feet tall) to a six person 10.5 foot tent (that is 6 feet tall). My 6 foot five husband had room to stretch out and we could put everything in the tent rather than lock it in his truck at night. The new tent was amazing and we are so glad we purchased it! Here's a picture of our first tent and our second tenant below. 

 
Of course on the second day by about 5 o'clock it started raining and didn't stop until well after midnight. But between our canopy and our new waterproof guaranteed tent we were fine. Aside from the weather, which was kind of a bummer, we really had a great time. We were able to cook our dinner over the campfire both nights before started raining and we had some very interesting camping neighbors. One being a normal family that were very funny and also Gamecocks fans (whoo hoo!) and the other being some late night camping arrivals who were drunk rednecks that apparently peed on themselves (or so they yelled during the night). Halfway through the night their tent collapsed because they got up and slept in the truck for the rest of the night. They subsequently left the next day due to the prediction of more rain their woodstock-era tent with issues. We were right on Lake Murray so we had some gorgeous views and good opportunities for fishing. It was a great trip! I wish the weather was a little better but overall we're glad we went. Below are some different pictures I took throughout the weekend. 


After a rain shower...the lake was misty and gorgeous.
 


So there! I made it! And I didn't die and I only complained a couple of times...all of which were rain-related. :) Do you like to go camping? (Side note: I did have RV-envy whilst it was raining. All of those people snug in their beds NOT getting rained on while I was. Are pop-up campers budget-friendly??) :)

Linking up!

http://www.lifeofmeg.com/2014/09/mingle-monday-blog-link-up.html

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Reception

I was looking back over all of my wedding posts and I realize I never did a post dedicated soley to the reception. So, without further adieu...

Our reception was atypical and different from many traditional receptions. We opted to take more of a "vintage" approach (read...popular in the 30s, 40s and 50s) and do light snacks/desserts/drinks immediately after the ceremony in the church lobby area. Since our wedding was at 2pm, we weren't planning on feeding people, but we did want to have a wide variety of my and M's favorite snacks/foods there for others to enjoy. The basic set up idea (also mentioned in this post) was that we would have 4 tables: a cake table, a milk & cookies table, a candy buffet and a "MAN" table that contained all of the salty and "manly" snacks that M loves like beef jerky, pretzels, chips, party mix, etc. I love the sweet stuff and M loves the salty stuff so this is how we compromised. :)

Each table was set up with a different color theme...all corresponding with my three wedding colors: navy, green and pink. The MAN table was set up in homage to M's love for hunting with a camo/hunting theme. I purchased paper table runners in navy stripe, pink stripe and green stripe and then did a hunting camo runner for the man table. These runners were placed over regular white tablecloths. Paper goods and other decor on the tables corresponded with the colors. The cake table was navy, the cookies & milk table was green and the candy table was pink. (Pictures below) (Putting a break in this post so it doesn't fill up my entire homepage.)



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Things That Give Me FOMO

FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out

I frequently have FOMO...and for various reasons. Some of these FOMO episodes are self-induced and others aren't. These are the things that give me FOMO...

FOMOnster

1. Not being a beer drinker
I hear about all sorts of fun things like beer fests and beer tastings but I hate beer so I can't participate. Also, there's something about a cold beer that just says "summer". I have extreme FOMO with this. If beer wasn't just so gross...

2. Not having a "kitschy"decor taste
I love seeing all sorts of cool and kitschy decor in people's homes...especially kitchens. But I couldn't really ever incorporate them into my own living space.

3. Being a planner
I'm not a spontaneous, spur of the moment person. I have FOMO when plans to go and do fun things just happen and for whatever reason I can't commit. It takes a lot for me to say "yes" to things.

4. Not having a hobby
I am interested in lots of things but I wouldn't call any of them really a hobby. I sing, I read, I wog and I talk to my dog in weird voices. None of these things really qualify as a hobby. I wish I was a hobby-er that was part of a larger network like a scrapbooker or a baker or a photographer. Maybe I just need a hobby? I used to have normal hobbies: jewelry making, sewing, even quilting at one point. Now? Nothing.

5. Not having a boat
I suffer from severe FOMO when I see people post fun pictures of themselves on boats in the summer. This is one of the main reasons that M and I want to buy a boat eventually. So I will have boat FOMO no more!

Do you have FOMO about anything? Do share!!!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Old Lyrics + New Melodies = Memorable Message

I've been going to church all my life however I've mostly only attended modern or contemporary churches. It was a rare occasion that I was part of a traditional congregation. Hymnals were not the norm.. In fact slides and screens and projectors or song sheets or the norm. Church songs I grew up with weren't necessarily old hymns but more contemporary praise songs. So when I would hear old hymns I usually didn't pay much attention to the lyrics. I'm sad to say that the catchy rhythms of the 30s and 40s did an appeal to someone raised in the 90s.

However now songwriters are incorporating lyrics from old hymns and rewriting them into new and modern worship songs. The songs catch your attention with their driving feel but harken back to old for familiar lyrics written for hymnals long ago. Recently I've been struck by lyrics to two of these "hybrid" songs. I'm not sure if I ever would have paid attention to these lyrics and the old hymn version, but in the new these lyrics stood out and captured me in a way that only really good song lyrics can. They made me stop and really think about what the message behind the lyrics are. And in turn, I've developed a true appreciation for how lots of old hymns are jam packed full of truth nuggets like the below.

Old Song: On Christ the Solid Rock
New Song: Cornerstone
Meaningful lyrics/message: "In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. My anchor holds within the veil."

19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19-20)


When bad things happen or when trying times come, the only stability and assurance I have is in Christ. My anchor, the thing that keeps me "grounded" and "solid" is strong within the covering of Jesus. To expound upon this further - When Jesus' death on the cross tore the veil (or curtain) to the Holy Place he became our intercessor. He has gone before and made a way for us to access the Father. Our steadfast hope is in the fact that we can approach God with confidence, having Christ as an intercessor on our behalf. What great hope!


Old Song: I Need Thee Every Hour
New Song: Lord, I Need You
Meaningful lyrics/message: "My one defense, my righteousness"

Okay, so this one isn't a direct takeaway from one song to the other, however they do resemble each other. In my mind, I put the two together so for the sake of this post...let's just pretend they go together. :) I was struck by the line in this song that says, "My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, How I need you". The quote below really helps to enunciate my thoughts about this line:

Do you understand what it means that you have been given the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? (II Cor. 5:21)  It means we are RIGHT with God.  It means when we fail, when we sin, when we fall, when we act inconsistently with who we really are that we can run boldly to the throne of grace! (Heb. 4:16 NOTHING can change the fact that you have been given HIS righteousness. You are in right standing with God and your behavior does NOT determine your identity.   When the enemy says, “Hang your head! Run and hide! And you call yourself a Christian?!”  You can hold your head high and say, “My one defense, my righteousness!” (source)


My "rightness" with God is my one defense against anything or anyone that tries to tell me otherwise. Yes, I am a sinner and I was born into a sin-nature...but...grace. Grace enables me to pursue righteousness and not just give up because I fail over and over again. My righteousness (my rightness in God's eyes) is the only thing that saves me.

I am by no means a religious scholar or even really that great at communicating my thoughts. However, I have been struck by these awesome song lyrics as of late and wanted to share with you. I hope you can glean from them truth and insight as well.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

How To: Wear a Maxi Skirt

Ah maxi skirts. I have a love-hate relationship with both maxi skirts and maxi dresses. For one, they are easy, breezy and great to wear if you miss a couple days of shaving. (let's be honest...that's probably the biggest perk of them in the summertime) But on the other hand, as someone who usually wears cardigans even in the dead of summer, I can't really use my go-to wardrobe staple with these without the risk of looking like a Duggar. You know what I mean. :)

The awesome Kali over at Kaliwood posed a question to me on Twitter about how to wear maxi skirts. So I decided to do a blog post for the benefit of everyone. With fall coming up, maxi skirts are a great piece that that can go from summer to fall very easily. (plus, if you're in the South or a warmer climate like me, you've still got...oh...about 2 more months of warm temps anyway)


how to wear a maxi skirt



The first look would be great for fall. A denim jacket over a tank greatly increases the versatility of a maxi skirt. Swap out the sandals for booties and add a scarf and you're set for cooler temps.

The second look is really just a basic tank worn under a maxi skirt with funky jewelry. This is great for a printed or patterned skirt.

A bold, graphic maxi skirt looks awesome with a structured crop top in this third look. Now, not everyone can rock a crop top, but if you've got the bod...rock it. You could add a blazer or a denim skirt over this as well.

The fourth look is a bit more simple and relaxed. A loose flowy tee works with a maxi skirt when you do something (like add the belt) to give it a bit of structure.

Hopefully these looks give you maxi skirt inspiration. Do you have a maxi skirt? How do you wear it?




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Was Run-nin'

This post is just about all things running/jogging related. Hold on! It's going to be a weird and random ride.

Whenever I talk about running (or more accurately in my case, jogging) I always think of when Forest Gump says "I was running" in the movie.

Last year, I ran my very first 5k race. I didn't do too bad, but this year I'm running the same race again and I really want to beat my time.

Now, in no way would I ever consider myself a real "runner" because I mostly jog and even sometimes walk. I'm not fast...more like the tortoise than the hare. But it's fun. I will say it's more fun in the spring, fall and winter...not so much in summers full of Southern humidity. As a matter of fact, I usually tend not to run a lot in the summer because it's just so dang hot. (I don't have a treadmill so I run outdoors always.) So with the potential for cooler temps on the horizon, I'm embarking on what I call "running season". :)

I've been training for my upcoming 5k using this podcast. I've done Couch to 5k before and was successful with it, but this one is a bit different and the narrator/coach person is British. How could you not love a British running coach?!

One thing that has become apparent is the fact that I need to invest in some new shoes. My current shoes are over a year old...so...in running years I think that's like 3 or 4 or something. Arent' you supposed to replace them every year or so? Either way, I can usually tell when they are wearing out because my lower back starts to hurt towards the mid-part of my jogging/running sessions. I'm going to stick with the same brand (Asics) but want to try and find some cute ones. Yes, my running shoes must be cute. And I also don't want to spend a billion dollars on them.

GEL-Sendai™ 2
 
These are some of my all-time favorites...but at $150, they are sadly out of my budget. But look how cute they are?!
 
GT-2000™ 2
 
These are very similar to what I have now. They run about $120. (which is still a lot!!)
 
GEL-Surveyor™ 2
 
They are pink!! Love these...and they are around $100.
 
GEL-Excite™ 2
 
Kind of obsessed with these. And at $70 the price is on point.
 
I'll probably post whatever I buy on Instagram. So stay tuned if you're interested. After all, everyone knows that a cute shoe can make or break your day. :)





Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Holiday Weekend Recap

Hooray for 4-day work weeks. But unhooray for Tuesdays that feel like Mondays. Boo.

I had an awesome long weekend that started with M being gone. He went to visit some family in WV for the weekend (he came back on Sunday) so I decided I would rather spend my alone time doing girly things like watching chick-flicks and crafting. I watched one of my favorite movies "Now and Then" on Friday night and then spent Saturday shopping, crafting, adding to my couponing stockpile and marathon watching "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding".

First - couponing. After watching Extreme Couponers, I decided to venture into the world of couponing. However, I definitely am not operating at the sort of level these people do. I do not have room for a gigantic stockpile of supplies and food nor do I see the need for 497 toothbrushes or bottles of Gatorade for just M and me. Maybe if I had kids...I could justify having so much of one thing on hand but for now, I'll stick to having two or three of things. This weekend I made out pretty well. I went to three different stores and saved almost $140 using coupons and store loyalty card discounts. A particularly fun one was a trip to Family Dollar where my original cost was $16 and some change and my cost after coupons was $7. Yay! So, I'm really digging the organizational part of it...as evidenced by my couponing book...





I got the book (and it came with the inserts) from Amazon here. So far, I love it! The above picture is my little "stockpile" I've acquired over the last week or two.

I also tried my hand at a fall floral wreath for our door. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It looks a little more like a pomander than a wreath so I may fill in the middle to make it look like that instead. For my first attempt, I'm satisfied but the perfectionist part of me wanted something that looked like a professional did it on the first try. I'm learning to cope with that. HAHA.

 
Sunday, I served communion at one of our church services. After that, I pretty much laid low for most of the afternoon until I ventured out in the evening with my best friend Amie and her precious baby E. We were going to watch a baseball game uptown in our city's triple A baseball stadium but the game was sold out. So, instead we walked around a brand new park/garden area uptown, took some photos and then went to Pinky's for dinner.



 
Pinky's is an amazing restaurant located just west of uptown Charlotte and they have awesome food. My best friend's brother-in-law owns the place so...she's a regular. We all love going because the food is unique and delicious. This time, I got my normal fried bologna sandwich but I also tried their Pimp'n Fries which are waffle fries with pimento cheese and homemade chili. They were AMAZING! Seriously, I will be getting them from now on. I didn't take any pics of the food because it disappeared so quickly. HA!


 
Baby E! She's seriously the best baby. I hope that if I ever have kids, my babies are as good as she is. She's so cute!
 
Monday, I made pulled pork BBQ sandwiches and sides for my mom and sister to come over for dinner. M brought back some corn from his uncle's farm and we had fresh corn on the cob with the BBQ sandwiches. Yum!! Again, no pics. I'm way to focused on food to worry about taking pictures. :)
 
But we did go by the grocery store earlier and pick up these gorgeous flowers...

 
And then throughout the weekend there were cute Hewitt moments. Like this one...when he decided to make the couch throw pillow his personal head pillow. He has no shame.

 
Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend as well. Did you do anything fun?




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