Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Decorations 2009

Well, when I started uploading pictures about 5 minutes ago, the outside temp said 39 degrees, and it now says 37!! So, it is cold here!! However, inside my house, it is warm and cozy. That is mostly due to all of the Christmas decorations. My friend Leslie helped me, and I finally got everything put up last night! It looks so good, and Leslie did most of it!! She has a good eye for decorating! Some of the decorations are older, and some I just recently bought on my trip to Asheville, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, TN. I took a few pictures so grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit back, and scroll through my winter wonderland!

The above pictures are of the sofa table that I use in my foyer. I got the nativity scene as a Christmas present from my Mom last year. It is from Lifeway. So cute!! Leslie is in the picture with me on the end. Onward to more pictures...

This was my Meme's tree, and it is so special to me. The Christmas after she passed away, my Christmas tree that I had for years was stolen out of a storage unit, and so I got Meme's as a replacement! No matter what, this tree will always go up somewhere in my house!

I think my mantle turned out great this year! I found the tall, red, belted cones at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. That place is awesome! Keep checking for pictures of my trip to Gatlinburg and Asheville!
Oh, I almost forgot... I found this little guy on sale at The Christmas Place. He is keeping guard over the kitchen and making sure all the sweets are taste-tested before they leave!

Well, I hope you enjoyed looking through my decorations this year. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! Until next time, be BLESSED! And remember Jesus is the reason for the season!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast!

I don't know if any of you have seen the 1980 something Bill Cosby comedy show, but he does a little skit in there talking about giving his kids chocolate cake one morning when his wife made him "fix" breakfast. The most memorable line from that particular scene is the song that the kids sing as they are eating their breakfast... "Dad is great. He gives us chocolate cake." I just might have chocolate cake for breakfast in the morning!!
We had our annual Sunday school Christmas party tonight, and for dessert, I made Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing. I got the recipe from one of the Paula Deen Christmas mags, so she gets credit for the recipe. Here are some pictures of the cake before I left home. The recipe will follow.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

1 c. hot water

3 (1oz.) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 1/2 c. sugar

1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/4 c. buttermilk

3/4 c. vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

To begin, preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 (10 in.) round cake pans. Place 3 chocolate squares in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as chocolate melts. *use really hot water*

In mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. On medium-low speed, mix in buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until blended completely. Then pour in melted chocolate and mix until blended completely.

Pour batter evenly into each cake pan. Bake for 23-27 minutes,* or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on wire racks. Ice bottom and top tiers with Peanut Butter Frosting. *I had to cook my cake, a lot longer than the recipe said. I think it had something to do with that chocolate/hot water thing that you pour in at the end. It made my cake really soupy, which is what I think made it take a lot longer to get done.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 1/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. creamy peanut butter

1/4 c. heavy whipping cream**

5 c. confectioner's sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat softened butter and peanut butter until well blended and fluffy. Add in whipping cream and mix until incorporated. With mixer still on, gradually add confectioner's sugar. Finally, add vanilla. **In following this recipe, I noticed that it was really dry and starting to clump up after a lot of the powdered sugar was added, so I had to guesstimate and add in more whipping cream, until it looked spreadable.

Hope you enjoy the recipe, and until next time, BE BLESSED! S ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Mad...

I forgot my camera this weekend.
Short blog...
Be blessed...
Love, S :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


Don't you just love multi-tasking!! I am watching a movie while writing this blog. Which movie you ask... Monsters vs. Aliens. It looks cute so far!! Sorry I haven't had time to blog in awhile. I worked a pretty long stretch at work this past weekend.
I have a busy weekend ahead. The Upper Room is having it's Fall Retreat this weekend at Henry Horton State Park. It's south of Nashville, kind of close to Columbia. Cara and I are driving down tomorrow afternoon. We are stopping off in Nashville at the state fairgrounds on the way down for Christmas Village, which is a big Christmas shopping fest that has been held here for the past 49 years. I hope to get some cute things for Christmas gifts. When we're done there, we will be state park bound. My friend, Leslie, is driving up from Birmingham to spend the weekend with us. I am looking forward to it for sure!!
On Sunday, Cara and I are going to a Titans game around noon, and then I have to go over to Cottontown for Allie's birthday party. Looks like another full weekend for me! Gotta love it!!
The only bad part is that I have to leave Mags at her vet's doggie hotel for the weekend, which isn't much of a hotel... :( They just have a bunch of cages like you see in pet stores. I hope they don't think I am ridiculous in the morning when I drop her off, because I am taking her blanket, her bed, one of her toys, and one of my T-shirts. I really hope they let me get her situated in there too. I want to put her blanket down first, so she doesn't have to stand on those metal bars. Then, I want to put in her bed lined with one of my T-shirts so she won't feel alone. Her toy is there in case she wants to play. SO do you think that's crazy?? Well I don't care, she is my baby and I hate leaving her!! :)
I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I hope to take a bunch of pictures to post on Monday. Until next time, be blessed! S

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Broom's Still Standing

Ok, so I don't usually believe stuff like this, but this time I have pictures to prove it. My friend Cara called me earlier, and said, "Go try this... Stand your broom up with the bristles facing down, and point the top of the broom towards the moon." So I went and got the broom and stood it up in the kitchen, pointing the top towards where the moon is located in the sky. That was an hour ago, and the broom is still standing!!! Here is the proof.....

Do not look at the pile of laundry seen in the background! Maggie was wondering what was going on.... Probably thought I was crazy!! Spooky!!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Just wanted wish everyone a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Be safe and eat lots of candy!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

32 hours

Hey y'all!! I was up for the above mentioned amount of hours yesterday!!! It was so worth it!!! I worked on Saturday night and was off last night, so I usually miss church and take a nap then do something fun in the afternoon. Yesterday, I just felt so good after work that I thought, "hey, I can do this." I quickly got ready and walked out the door on time for church. I didn't have time to grab anything for breakfast, so I ran over to the Sonic in town before getting on the interstate. I was starting to feel a little tired by this point, but I decided to push on. When I pulled out of the Sonic drive, straight in front of my car was a sign. I don't mean a road sign or traffic sign... I mean a sign from the Man Upstairs! With a beautiful bright blue sky as its backdrop, a tree stood in the distance. Not just any tree, this tree looked like it was on fire!! The leaves were glowing with a bright orange color brought about by the change of season. It was the first time this fall that I have really looked at the changing trees. Wow!! I had to stop and take a picture! Unfortunately, the only camera I had with me was on my phone, so the quality of the photo isn't that great, but it is still beautiful! I plan on going out of Wednesday with my camera, and capturing some of fall's beauty! It definitely reinforced my desire to go on with the rest of the day I had planned!

Church was awesome! Something about the singing yesterday was extra special... I guess other people had seen beautiful, bright, special trees on their journey that morning!! I was definitely in a more "thankful to God" state of mind. After church, I went to lunch with my "second family," Ricky, Stephanie, Kyle, Cara, etc!! Once again, I was reminded of how thankful I was to get to spend some time with these wonderful people.
I had been looking forward to Sunday night, since I bought the tickets back in September!! I went to see A Fine Frenzy last night at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville! I first heard of/saw them on Easter 2008. I was in Washington DC with my sister, and she surprised me with tickets to a show. I had never heard of the group, but I instantly feel in love with the music. I always keep a check on their tour schedule and was so excited to see they were coming to Nashville. So last night, my friend Meredith and I went to the show!

A very folksy group called Among the Oak and Ash opened the show. They were very good, and the front guy playing guitar was very entertaining. Next came one of Nashville's own, Landon Pigg, who has a popular song out now called (Falling in Love) Coffee Shop. He was also in a movie out recently called Whip It with Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore, and he played one of the songs from the movie. I enjoyed his show!! Here is a very blurry picture of him...

Then, A FINE FRENZY came out!! I had a great time watching/listening to the show. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't take good indoor pictures of things that are farther away. But I am determined to post one anyway. SO here goes...

I know, I know... I either need lessons on photography or a new camera!! She is in the picture though, and she has long red hair and is dressed in black pants, white button-up, and black blazer! The music was lovely!! If you haven't heard of her, go check out her website. http://afinefrenzy.com/ I like all her songs, but her newest single, Blow Away is really awesome!

Needless to say, by the time I got home I was tired, and I laid down at close to midnight. I got to sleep about 13 hours and wanted to sleep longer, but... who can resist this face??

Until next time, be blessed!! S =)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ketchup!! or Catch-up!!

Good morning from Pleasant View, TN!!! It certainly is a pleasant view out my bedroom window!! The sun is shining, the sky is beautifully blue, and it is cold!! I am so excited that we haven't had any rain for the past two days!! I would really like to know how many inches we have gotten total since the beginning of September. It is a cool and crisp 48 degrees, and inside the house, it isn't much warmer!!! My inside thermostat says 60 degrees, which is a good temperature for sleeping but not much else!! Luckily, the gas people are coming today to turn my heat on!!!
So today's blog is going to start way back at the first of September when my Dad and Patty came for a Labor Day weekend visit. They live out in LA, and this was Patty's first visit to the Nashville area, so we did some touristy stuff. There are pics from our trip to the Ryman Auditorium and some from our visit to my aunt and uncle's farm. We also went on something called Duck Boat Tours. No pictures from that, but I will post the website for your viewing pleasure. Ok, so let's start with the Ryman....
Here is Patty, on stage, at the Ryman for a great photo op!

Another one of Daddy and Patty in front of the stage at the Ryman Auditorium

Everyone wants to take their picture with Minnie Pearl!!
We went on the backstage tour also, and we had an older lady who was a very colorful guide on our tour. She told us lots of stories about what it was like back then!! She said she remembers standing in line for hours outside of the Ryman waiting for tickets for that nights show! I sometimes wish I could time travel back to that period of time just for a few hours and experience what life was like back then. That same day, we walked up and down Broadway where most of the legendary bars are located. We ate some BBQ on top of Rippy's, which is a bar and grill that has upstairs outdoor seating. It was so nice to be outside and have an elevated view of downtown. We wanted to pass a little time before our Duck Boat Tour, so we walked down to 2nd Avenue and went in Buck Wild which has karaoke! It was fun, but just a little loud!! We finally got to go on the Duck Boat Tour at around 5 that afternoon. The DUK boat was used in WW2 and many cities have them being used as tour vessels. It is called DUK because it goes over land and in water, although I wouldn't want to travel very far in the water, because it doesn't go fast... at all!! Here is the website, for more information. http://www.nashvilleducktours.com/

The next day we had church and then went for a visit to Uncle James and Aunt Evelyn's farm. Here are pictures from that day....

Patty being given the tour of the back 40/garden.

Patty and Leah, the milk cow

Patty on a very old tractor which belonged to Uncle James's dad.

Patty lovin' the John Deere!

We all had a great time while they were here, and I am looking forward to going out to LA for Thanksgiving to meet the rest of my "new" family.

The next off weekend I had my sister Misha down for a visit. This was another first timer, so we did some touristy stuff, but unfortunately, she took all the pictures, and I have no idea when I will ever see them. My friend, Leslie came up for a visit on my next weekend, and there are no pictures as proof!! I always forget to take or use the camera!! This brings me to my next set of pictures, which we will call The Incident...

I had a run-in with a deer, and we both won. He won because he did damage, and I won because he didn't do much damage!! I don't think it killed him, because I didn't see a corpse, but I imagine he had an awful headache. Here's more....

The next week, I went to the All For the Hall Benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame with Cara. We got to see Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Faith Hill, and Taylor Swift all at the same concert!! It was pretty awesome for just $25!! Here is a picture of Cara and I waiting for the concert to begin...

And finally, this weekend, my Mom came for a visit! We had a blast as always, and we love to shop, so we did... a lot!! We were both worn out when we got home every evening! On Saturday night, my Sunday school class had an activity planned called Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and my Mom participated with me. A brief summary of the activity is a family signs up to either be guests or hosts, and everyone is paired up. However, the guests only have an address and so they don't know whose house they are going to, and the hosts have a number of people attending, but don't know who's coming to dinner! It is really fun. We went to Meredith's house, and I brought my camera, so here are some pics from that night...

L-R Me, Meredith, Tonya, Adam, and Rachel

Mom, Me, and Meredith

So there you go, it has been a very busy couple of months, and I don't see it slowing down anytime soon. I hope everyone is keeping warm and having a great week!! Love to all, and until next time, Be BLESSED!!! S

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Good Old Days

I found out today that my cousin, Amy is expecting! Yay!! So in honor of that momentous news, I decided I would post some fun memories from my childhood, growing up with Amy and Emily. Amy and I are exactly 2 months apart to the day, so to say we were close growing up is an understatement. All three of us went through some rough stuff when we were young, and it was nice to know that we had each other! Here we go!!

  • I remember all three of us outside under Meme and Grandaddy's carport playing with a Fisher Price Tape Player and Recorder. We would listen to the music on one side, which was usually kiddie songs, and on the other side, we would record our own masterpieces. One song in particular, I will never forget... "U Can't Touch This," by MC Hammer was our favorite for awhile. We would sing only the chorus of the song over and over, and Em would always interrupt and say, "Lemme say sunthin, lemme say sunthin... a nana nana a nana nana." If I remember correctly, we also put the recorder in the mailbox one time to see what kind of sounds were being made inside there. LOL!
  • Another favorite pasttime of ours was riding our bikes in front of Meme and Grandaddy's house. They live on a dead-end street, so we were allowed to ride up and down the street as many times as we wanted. Emily would follow behind us on her bike, but it sure made a lot of noise. She still had training wheels on her bike, and she would go so fast that the training wheels couldn't hardly keep up!!
  • I think the one thing we enjoyed most of all was playing with Barbies. Man, we had the biggest Barbie collection ever! I still haven't seen one to beat ours. We would completely destroy Meme and Grandaddy's living room while we turned it into Barbie Central!! We had a mansion, tons of car, pools, furniture, and about three big duffel bags full of Barbies and clothes. We used to run and steal some of Meme's washcloths and use them with books or magazines to make a bed and comforter for Barbie and Ken. We also were threatened within an inch of our life to clean up all of the mess, or Grandaddy would take all of our prized possessions and throw them away at the dump, no less.
  • During the summer, Meme would always take us swimming. Usually, she would take us once in the morning and again in the afternoon. We only got to go twice, if we left when she told us to at our morning swim trip and took a nap after lunch. She would take her lawn chair, umbrella, and kitchen timer along with us every time. She would sit in the shade and set her kitchen timer for 30 minutes, which was how long we had in the pool. We were allowed to take one Barbie apiece to join in our pool fun. Ahhh, the memories....
  • We weren't always over at Meme and Grandaddy's house, but most of my memories are there. On occasion, Aunt Anna would have us over to her house for tea parties! We really loved that. We would sit at her dining room table in those birthday party hats with the elastic bands around the bottom, and she would give us hot tea with cookies. My hot tea was mostly comprised of sugar and milk.... yummmm!

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane. It made me think of two of my favorite girls!! I am off in the morning for 6 nights!!! Yippee!! Mama comes on Thursday, and I have a lot to do before she comes!! Can't wait to see her though, it has been way too long!

I hope everyone is enjoying this cooler, fall weather! The leaves are starting to turn here in Tennessee and everything is looking crisp and beautiful. Love to everyone!! Until next time, be blessed! S =)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Maggie's costume

Hey everyone,
Sorry, I know I haven't posted in awhile!! I have had the "kool-aid" house... this is what Aunt Evelyn calls the house that everyone wants to be at!! Every weekend that I have been off since Labor Day, I've had someone here visiting! So lots to tell... but I just worked 12 hours and wanted to post a few pics of Maggie's Halloween costume. She is so precious in it, and she will look even better on Thursday after a hair cut!
Here they are....

In case you can't tell, she is a banana!!

This is her "I really hate this, Mom" face!

More Maggie cuteness!

Ok, that is all for now!! Happy Fall!! Get out and enjoy this cool weather, if you aren't being drowned with rain!! Love to all!

Be blessed, S =)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Emily's wedding

Good morning to all,
It is a nice, cool, and sunny 75 degrees in Pleasant View this morning. I love this kind of weather! Maggie loves it too. She has been outside twice already, and I can tell there is an extra spring in her step. The grass is also a little high right now, because our "yard-boy" doesn't come until the end of the week, so she looks like a rabbit hopping around through the tall grass. Here is a picture of what Maggie does while I contribute to the blogger world...

I drove down to Birmingham this weekend for my cousin Emily's wedding. It was so beautiful and I know that Jason and Emily will be so happy together. He is such a good guy, I can tell!!
The whole weekend was an event to say the least! Friday night, my Aunt and I were invited to the rehearsal supper at a restaurant called The Verenda. We all met out on the patio for cocktails, which I didn't partake in, because my aunt said and I quote, "You are the designated driver." After about an hour, we were all ready to go upstairs and eat. The upstairs room at the Verenda was lovely, and Jason's Mom and sister did an excellent job at decorating. We were served a fresh salad with homeade dressing, mandarin oranges, strawberries, and sugared nuts for a starter. The main dish was a grilled chicked breast marinated in some sort of sweet and sour sauce on a bed of orzo pasta which was mixed with cherry tomatoes, cranberries, and herbs. But the dessert was the biggest hit!! They brought a platter of three desserts out which had a slice of peanut butter pie, white chocolate and raspberry bread pudding, and some sort of delicious cheesecake!! It was awesome, after eating, I went home and passed out in a sugar coma!! We didn't get out of bed the next day until almost 10! I needed to get a thank-you gift for my bestie Cara who was babysitting Maggie for me, so we drove over to The Summit, which is an out-door shopping center. (I hope she likes what I got her! Thanks again, Cara!) We ate lunch at Jim-n-Nick's BBQ for lunch, and then it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready. The wedding wasn't until 6:30, but family was supposed to be there at 4:30 for pictures. She got married at a beautiful Presbyterian church in downtown B'ham, and here are the few pictures I took...

Sorry these last ones are so dark, my camera does horrible inside!!

Here she is with her flower girl and ringbearer. They were very cute but wild!!

The reception following was at The Historic Rucker Place. Check it out, www.ruckerplace.com...

It was a great weekend!! I need to end this now! I have lots of preparing to do for Friday. My Dad and his fiancee are flying in on Friday night and staying with me for the holiday weekend. I really will try to take more pictures over the weekend!! Hope everyone has a good week, and until next time... be blessed! S =)

Friday, August 28, 2009

We're Off To See The Wizard...

Ok, so I am not actually off to see the wizard, but I am going out of town for the weekend. One of my cousins gets married tomorrow night, and I will be attending, which means I have to go out of town. A big thank-you to Cara for helping out with the house and Maggie for a couple days. Please remember me today, as I will be driving down the interstate on maybe 2 hours sleep.
Hopefully, lots of pictures to come. Until next time, be blessed. S =)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Music Wednesday and other things~

Good morning,
Excuse me if I sound delirious during this post. I worked last night which means I have been awake since 2 yesterday afternoon!!
I just love it when new music comes out from some of my favorite artists! Today on iTunes, I am purchasing the first three singles from A Fine Frenzy's new album Bomb in a Birdcage. It is due out in stores on 9/8, but you can purchase the singles now, on iTunes, like I just said..... see with the deliriousness... is that a word.
Anyways, here is the attached album cover and so far, I like everything I am hearing... Go check it out.
I also couldn't pass up some classics's that I have been meaning to add to my eclectic collection... how about some Stevie Nicks "Edge of Seventeen" and Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance."
I have also been promising to update about a fun activity that my friend Leslie and I participated in when she came up to Nashville recently. First of all, I should preface this by saying.... I do not have an artistic notion/bone/whatchamacallit in my body, so for this activity, I was a little nervous! The place is called Sips~N~Strokes. Here is the website. http://www.sipsnstrokes.com/ ... They have many locations, so you will have to visit to see if there is one near you. You basically go here to paint a picture from scratch. This ain't no paint-by-numbers junk. Sips-n-Strokes puts a calendar up every month, and they assist with a painting per night. So everyone does the same painting. Get it.... if you don't, go to the website. It's helpful. Here are the pictures we took from that night.

You can see the faint outline of a person... this is one of the things the staff does for you.

Here is a picture of Leslie and I before we got started.

Leslie, in front of her canvas.

Me, being silly with my canvas

Phase 1 of the project

Another phase

Almost done!

The finished product... some of the staff used "bumpy" paint to accentuate the curves. It really defined the pictures raw edges!!

Leslie and I showing off our art work... picture's a little dark

I hope you enjoyed this post.... It is now 10:30p, and I finally finished writing this. I had to give in to sleep. Yawn!!! Still sleepy! I just got home from church. I got to hold sweet, baby Rachel during services!! She was a precious angel the whole time and was able to catch a quick nap halfway through service. Can't wait to have kids of my own!! Hoping it is sooner rather than later!! Anyway, I hope this post finds everyone happy and shiny. Until next time, be blessed... S :)