Thursday, December 30

We're gonna party like it's....1989?

I seem to be stuck in a time-warp.  It seems that everything this week is pointing to 1989...or maybe the early 90s.

I admit, I am a child of the late 80s early 90s.  Growing up, my mother bought me stirrup leggings.  I hated stirrup leggings.  If she made me wear them, I was defiant and left the stirrup sticking out above the back of my shoe.  I thought she would get the point and buy me normal leggings.  

I went shopping on Monday with my best friend.  We are really weird and always have a goofy time when we're together.  I've been opposed to the "jegging" movement for a while, but I read this blog post and genuinely thought that I should buy some.  So I told Brandon that I wanted to run to the mall and possibly get buy some.  
[**I bought some skinny jeans and they bunch too much to be worn in my cute grey boots, thus the need for jeggings]

Brandon joked that maybe I'd find some jeggings with stirrups.  We thought it was hysterical.

Brandon's a gap junkie, so while we were at the mall, we had to run in (I was also on a mission to find a cute NYE outfit...)

I legit found jeggings.  With stirrups.  On sale.  Plus an additional 40% off.  It was too great to pass up.  I got jeggings with stirrups that were originally $70 for $26.  Go me.  Hellooooo 1989.

So it'd be no big deal if that was it.  Nope.  Today I got to work (and now I honestly cannot remember what aroma I got a whiff of to remind me of this) and smelled the bubble bath that came with my bubble bath barbie.  Now, I probably really got her in '90 or '91, but the smell brought me back to such a wonderful time.

I tried to find a picture of bubble bath barbie, but failed.  Sorry.

On Sunday, M offered to extract my CD burner drive from my desktop, which I don't use hardly ever anymore, and put it in an external drive which is converted to a USB adapter so that I can import and burn CDs to and from my itunes (my netbook doesn't have a disc drive.)  While he was shredding information off an old hard drive, he was looking through his closet and found his old Nintendo game boy.  He took it out, turned it on, and frowned.  The batteries were a no go.  

I'm a great girlfriend, though, and bought a pack of AA batteries while I was at Target.  Now it's 1989 in our house as we take turns sitting by the lamp (no backlight, folks) playing Tetris.  We play it on the couch, we play it in bed.  It's AWESOME!  Who knew that in the age of Wii and Xbox we could still be enthralled by a game boy?  Well, I don't have a Wii or Xbox, so I guess I'm simple minded.  But I don't care, because I'm determined to make it past level 11 of Tetris! 

I guess all this 1989 business is just preparing me to kick-off the 90s with my sweet New Years Eve plans.  Several of my college friends and their boyfriends are going to see "My So-Called Band" (a 90's cover band) at Mercy Lounge.  It should be a rockin' time.  Last year I spent NY with my high school friends, and M went downtown, so I'm pumped to ring in the new year with  him for the first time!  Part of me is sad, though, because it'll be the first year I haven't celebrated with my high school friends since 2002-3.  Crazy!

I hope y'all have a wonderful (and safe!) time celebrating!  Here's to all the wonderful things 2011 will bring!  See you next year!  

Wednesday, December 29

Top 10 in 2010 and some miscellaneous photos

**Disclaimer: Picture (and word) heavy post!

On some of the blogs I've read today, they've mentioned their top 10 of 2010.  I thought it could be fun to follow suit, so here we go!

Beer tasting at Boscos

1}  Falling in love with my best friend.  He brightens my day and makes me feel special.  Now that I have met him, I cannot imagine my life without him.  He's silly most of the time, but he cooks me delicious dinners and makes me laugh.  Maybe one day he'll forgive me for being a UT fan.

2}  Moving in with M.  For about two months I stressed and stressed about where I was going to live when my lease ran out.  I found a roommate on Craigslist whom I liked, but we had totally different priorities about where we wanted to live, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice safety/security for a cheaper rent rate.  I finally had determined I could afford to live in a lower quality place for less money when M offered me a place to stay, even though it was supposed to be "temporary, for a month, while I take more time to look."  I love that I get to fall asleep next to him ,and I love seeing his smiling face in the morning.

3}  Having my best friend back in the same city!  In August of 2005 we went away to college 11 hours from each other and besides Christmas and Summer vacations, we haven't spent more than 2 weeks together since then.  In July he moved back home from Baton Rouge and although it's been an adjusting period to living in the same city again, I'm so glad he's a Tennessean again!

4}  My best friend's wedding.  The first 6-7 months of this year were hard for me.  One of my greatest flaws is my rigidity and unwillingness to accept change.  I had a hard time graduating and moving back home away from all my college friends.  I had a hard time when my best friend got engaged (even though I knew it was coming.)  I couldn't accept that life would move on, it would just be different.  For months my best friend and I pushed away against each other, trying to make the pain/change bearable.  This only made matters worse and it wasn't until May/June that I finally accepted the fact that she was getting married, and I wouldn't see her as much, but she would still be my best friend.  She's still the amazing, caring, and beautiful woman I lived with for 5 years and had been best friends with for 4 years before that.  My brain just couldn't accept that life would go on.  KJ got married in July, and not only was it one helluva party, but I was blessed to witness the love and devotion between her and Joel.  I could see that he loved her dearly, and I was so honored to be a part of their special day.    

5}  Our beach vacation.  In June, M and I went to the beach to stay at his grandparent's condo.  It was our first trip together, and it was splendid!  We scheduled the trip in June hoping that BP would've gotten their shit together and stopped the oil leak long before we were to leave, giving ample time to clean up.  Nope.  Not at all.  We stayed in Perdido Key which is between Pensacola and Orange Beach (Floribama, if you will.)  Orange Beach was hit really hard.  We drove down that way one day to play putt-putt and as you looked toward the beach there were skimmers and other boats all over the place.  Alabama either hadn't had the time or money to get protective nets up before oil washed ashore.  

On the beach in Perdido Key.  Look!  No oil!

Perdido Key was fairly lucky.  While we were there, the red flags were up warning folks not to swim, but I got about half-way in and only had small patches of oil on my feet.  There was one day where the skimmers and boats were close to the shore and we could actually see patches of oil.  I know this is bad to say, but it was kind of nice that because there were less people around.      

Skimmers collecting oil

6}  The Boat.  M has a boat and we have spent many glorious weekends floating along Old Hickory lake and eating picnic lunches and at local marinas.  We've spent afternoons with good friends catching rays and wake-boarding (well, I haven't been wake-boarding, lol.)  It's nice when you can only take little vacations here and there to have a nice local day in the sun.

"I'm on a boat...I'm on a boat..."

7}  My surgery.  I know this is rather silly to have in my top 10, but after 2 years of self-diagnosed pain, (thank you wikipedia) it's nice to have it all resolved.  In college I started having gall bladder attacks, not knowing that's what it was.  After altering my diet and finally going to a doctor (who didn't believe me) to figure out what was wrong, I had no difficulty scheduling the surgery and getting it out of the way.  For the most part I'm feeling a lot better, and I'm glad to have it off my mind!

8}  Trip to Baton Rouge/New Orleans.  In May, best friend from #3 graduated from LSU.  I drove down with my parents for the celebration.  I was in town for 4 days that were filled with debauchery and too much booze.  His graduation festivities were fun, with nice dinners and a graduation party.  My parents left on Saturday, we celebrated some more, and then on Sunday drove to New Orleans.  The whole weekend was a blast, but this was by far the best part.  We stayed at the frickin Ritz-Carlton (paid for by his parents), ate dinner at Arnaud's, which was absolutely delicious, and then partied it up on Bourbon Street which included a stop at Pat O's.  We had a blast, and thanks to too many hurricanes, my flight home was hell (hangovers on a plane are miserable.)  It was totally worth it.  We had a great time!  

After Graduation with Tiger Stadium in the background.  L to R: Richard, Me, Brandon, and Leah

Drinking Hurricanes at Pat O's in New Orleans!  L to R: Me, Richard, Brandon, Leah

9}  Celebrating my one-year anniversary with M.  For the first time in my life, I have sustained a long-term relationship.  This is a great feat.  I never dated much in high school or college, with my "relationships" lasting 1-3 months at at time, if that.  M has made the past year amazing!  I look back and can't believe there was a time I didn't know him, but also look back and think "we've only been together for a year?"  I can't wait to see what our future holds!

10}  Starting my blog.  I know that's totally cliche, but it's true!  I do not love my job, (but I'm grateful to have one) this is no secret, so I started reading blogs back in March or April, during my work day.  Just reading blogs helped me realize that I wanted to start my own.  I initially started it to write fiction, but it hasn't followed that plan, but I couldn't be happier.  Unfortunately, starting January 1, my office is implementing a system that monitors the types of websites we visit, so I will no longer be able to read blogs or post my own while at work.  I'm going to do my best to work on my post and e-mail it to myself so that I can post it when I get home.  I'm devastated that I won't be able to wile away the hours reading about what's going on your lives!  I'll make it work, but it'll definitely be an interesting twist for 2011.

I made pumpkin bread to take to the cabin and Alabama, plus a couple extra loaves for M and I to munch on.  I tried to be all Pioneer Woman and photograph the step-by-step but I definitely fell short.  Either way, here's some documentation of this delicious recipe.

Cast of Characters (I doubled the recipe)
Ready to bake!
The delicious, finished product!

Around Thanksgiving, my coworker Nancy brought everyone in the office a poinsettia.  I don't have much of a green thumb, in fact, M makes me help him garden.  I do have a potted plant that sits on the kitchen table and every few nights I'll remember to water her.  Well, since we have Sally-dog and I've heard that poinsettia leaves are poisonous to animals, I put the plant up high in our living room, where I of course forgot to water it.  Well, it died.  Shocking.  There's a song by Elmo and Patsy on the same album with Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" (which I had on cassette tape! hellz yeah!) called "Percy the Puny Poinsettia."  The premise is that he gets left on the shelf in the store because he's puny and noone wants him.  Sad :(   Not the same story, but my poinsettia looked pretty puny before I dumped her in the trash outside.

Percy the Puny Poinsettia

KJ and Ashleigh at the cabin in Gatlinburg

Snuggle-time on the bunk upstairs at the Cabin! From front to back: Laura, Carolyn, Ashleigh, Nan and myself

Christmas Sally-Dog!  She was tired enough that she didn't freak out when I put the hat on her head!

We got a white Christmas.  The ground was much whiter at our house than my parents, but M decided to build a snowman in their front yard none-the-less.

Ralphie, with a scarf made of ribbon

Can you spot Ralphie?
My Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake for Christmas dinner dessert
Ready to sled!
Here we go!


The End. 

Tuesday, December 28

Christmas had come...officially!

I cannot believe Christmas is already over!  A mere 5 days ago, I was asking M if he could believe it was almost Christmas Eve.  These past few months have definitely flown by.    

I could hardly grasp that I had to go to work this morning when my obnoxious alarm startled me awake.  Say it isn't so!

We had a great weekend and even more wonderful first Christmas together.  M and I started dating at the beginning of December last year, but it was definitely too soon to spend Christmas together or money on gifts.  We went ice skating and to a hockey game and talked on the phone on Christmas, but it was low-key.  
Thursday night after work we grabbed a bite to eat at our favorite Mexican place (and it was divine!) before running our last-minute gift errands.  After dinner, we headed to Kroger to get M's step-dad a gift card to Bass Pro and while we were walking toward the store, we ran into my brother in the parking lot (he works in the Suntrust inside Kroger.)  We suggested going to grab a drink at the bar around the corner (conveniently called "Cross Corner.")  Drew had a Christmas party to get to, so after one drink we went our separate ways.  M and I (**Side note, it cracks me up when I type M and I because I abbreviate his first name, but ironically enough, my name ends up being abbreviated, too, even though I'm just typing an article) hit up the liquor store to get a bottle of wine for each of our dads and some wine for Christmas Eve dinner (plus some vodka, cause we were out, and we're addicted to dirty martinis.)  From there we ran quickly into Kroger, but decided while we were there would should go ahead and get dinner supplies for Xmas Eve dinner with his dad.  Then we ran to Border's to get a gift for his mother.  He got her a book of old Nashville photographs and a Jack Daniels vintage poster thing.  I got her a Paula Deen (I <3 her!) book and a magnet.  

I also bought myself a couple of magnets.  Anderson Design Group makes these really neat Nashville prints, mugs, magnets, coasters, etc. with historic Nashville landmarks.  I bought her the magnet for the old Belle Meade theatre, which she loved.  We already had Vandyland and  Union Station, so I bought us the Nashville Farmer's Market and this cool Nashville magnet (pictured on the left).  They definitely spruce up our fridge and also help to display the 908234+ Christmas cards we've received from friends and family.  Ok, it's not that many, but our fridge is covered to the point that we didn't have enough magnets to hold all the love we received (and didn't send in return, oops!)

Thursday night was low-key.  We wrapped the gifts and took it easy.  Friday morning we woke up and got ready to head to M's mom's house where we had brunch with her and Larry.  We opened gifts with them.  M got a light fixture to replace the hideous fan in our kitchen and some ornaments, Macy's and Home Depot gift cards and some other things.  We both got a college football mug, so we can be rivals when we drink coffee on the weekends.  I got some kitchen-y stuff including a bacon press, a wine rabbit (my old one broke), and a measuring cup.  I also got Miranda Lambert's newest CD.  After some wonderful, quality time, we headed home because I needed to make a cheesecake for Christmas at my parents the next day.
M built a fire in the fireplace, and around 4:00 we started working on dinner about 4:00.  We bought a positively divine beef tenderloin at Kroger which M grilled (it was so.freaking.good!) and we had salad, green beans, sweet potato casserole and garlic bread.  We had a nice time and then did gifts with his dad.  

Once he headed home (it was starting to sleet) we opened our gifts to each other!  It was very special and we each got some surprises we weren't expecting.  Among my gifts was Dierks Bentley's newest CD (What is up with me?! Two years ago, I would've never asked for 2 Country CDs!)  We enjoyed the rest of M's wonderful fire and went to bed.

I woke up around 5:30 not feeling very well and couldn't fall back asleep, so I waited patiently for M to wake up so we could ready and head to my parent's house.  When I looked out the window, I saw a white Christmas!  Apparently we haven't had one since 1993 (which was the year we had a bad ice storm.)  The roads were clear for our drive and breakfast was waiting for us when we got there.  Some breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls and mimosas later we were ready to open gifts.  Traditionally we open in a round, one at a time, but mom decided that with M being there, it would take all day to open them.  We altered it a bit and decided we'd do rounds, but we'd all open at the same time and then see what everyone opened.  It seemed to speed things along without detracting from seeing people's reactions to the gifts you gave them.

Everyone racked up with what they wanted.  Mom got lots of kitchen stuff (for her kitchen that was re-done and finished the week before the Nashville flood, she almost had a heart attack when the water got a few inches from the back door)  and books.  Dad got wine, golf balls, cds, clothes, and money toward his gigantic dream tv.  Drew got clothes, books, and a couple board games he'd been hoping for.  M got a Vandy wind-breaker and golf towel (which he loved), a can crusher, a coozie you chill in the freezer, and some other little knick-knacks.  I got what I'd hoped for: a 5qt KitchenAid stand mixer in silver.  It's positively amazing.  I haven't used it yet, though, because we've got sweets crawling out of our ears at the moment.  I also got some cookbooks-including Pioneer Woman's, regular books, a rolling pin, cheese grater, kitchen shears, and pie carrier (for my cheesecakes!)  It was a great Christmas.  When we got to our stockings, it was booze-mania.  I think we each got 5 airplane bottles of liquor (I think my mom's trying to tell us something...)  Also, she likes to find obscure gifts for our stockings.  One year, my brother got a red reflector that could flash.  Two years ago, my brother and I walked into the living room to see pvc pipe sticking out of our stockings.  Once we opened them we still had no clue what they were, until my mom gave us each a bag of mini-marshmallows.  We of course had a war with our marshmallow guns!  This year, M, Drew and I all received Bugs.  They're the strangest thing.  You turn on the switch and they move all over the place.  We placed them down in my pie carrier and they would bump into each other, race, change directions, etc.  I took a video and will try to figure out how to upload it on here (I'm not tech savvy.)  

After present time, and watching A Christmas Story at least twice, we laid around like slugs playing with our new toys and cooking.  For dinner we had a pork crown roast, green beans, new potatoes, waldorf salad, and yorkshire puddings followed by a decadent dessert (my chocolate ganache cheesecake) which was absolutely delicious.  

M and I left pretty quickly after dinner, and we were glad we did.--the roads were starting to freeze over.

Sunday was spent being extremely lazy at home.  We cleaned up a little bit, and I went shopping at target because my gift card was burning a hole in my pocket.  We met up with our friends Brittany and Jimmy who were sans child because he was with his grandparents.  We ate at a delicious Italian place in West Meade and had a splendid time!

Yesterday I was off work, but M wasn't.  I got sushi with one of my best friends from college, and then spent the afternoon with another best friend shopping.  I scored some cheap jeggings from Gap, a necklace and some heels for New Years (which are currently KILLING my feet), some kitchen stuff, and gifts for M for either Valentine's or his birthday.  Last night we ate leftovers and tried to stay warm!

It's predicted to be 60 degrees on New Years!  Go figure, Tennessee weather.  White Christmas and light jacket New Years.  

It was a wonderful holiday spent with wonderful family, good friends, and delicious food!  I am very blessed.  Hope you had a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 23

Can't make up my mind

Ok, I swear I'm done changing up my blog background over and over.  Ignore the "slideshow" element for now.  I'll have to figure out how to have my photos there when I get home...

Merry Christmas...again.

SANTA! I know him!

When M was half on the floor half on the air mattress at the cabin this past weekend and I tried to wake him, he half woke and said "Santa! I know him!"  It made me happy.

JM posted about how/when she knew Santa wasn't real (which TOTALLY shocked me...he isn't real?!).  She encouraged others to share their story of finding out Santa wasn't real.

I don't exactly remember all the details, but I do know that in 4th grade (I would've been 10) I already suspected he wasn't real [The street I grew up on had a ton of kids my age, mostly boys, and I'm sure one of them told me], but my mom confirmed it that year.  I had asked for Beanie Babies (because they were all the rage.)  I can't remember if I asked for specific ones that year, but I received the pink flamingo from a friend at school.  Well, Christmas morning, I woke up to find that "Santa" had brought me the same pink flamingo.  Vividly in my mind I can remember my mom and I walking down the hall at our local shopping mall and talking about the things she needed to return and in regards to Pinky, she outright said "Oh, I have the receipt for that somewhere."  She affirmed what I already thought to be true.

My best friend at the time was a year younger than me, and I of course ran straight to her and spilled the beans, ruining her childhood.  Her mother was not very happy with me and brought it to the attention of my mother.  My mother's response was "she's in 3rd grade, she should know by now."  
I'm pretty surprised my older brother never ruined it for me.  Maybe he thought he wouldn't get anymore presents!

On another note:

It is common knowledge that I'm obsessed with A Christmas Story.  Today I was randomly perusing the museum's website and stumbled upon the gift shop.  There are some must-haves in their stock.

{1}   Christmas Story Kitchen Set.  The only reason this is really a necessity is because of the option collection of cookie cutters it comes with.  A leg lamp, pink bunny suit, the house and a star, plus an apron, a cookbook and a collector's tin.  It's awesome!  I could make Christmas Story cookies every Christmas! 

{2}  These Bodacious Pint Glasses...although I don't know which set I want!

{3}  There're some great coffee mugs I have my on for my dad for next Christmas.  He, just like my brother and I, loves the movie and coffee.  What greater combination is there?

{4}  "The Old Man" or "Ralphie" talking action figure.  Then I wouldn't have to watch the movie to hear some of my favorite classic lines!

{5} Number 5 is an item I absolutely DO NOT need, but I think it is absolutely hysterical!  There is a Christmas Story snuggie!  I kid you not.

Wow.  It amazes me what people come up with.  Which reminds me, in all of this searching I have been reminded of what my Halloween costume was going to be this past year which I'll just have to be for next year.  I am going to be the leg lamp from a Christmas Story!  It'll be hilarious!

This will be my last post until after the Holidays because I plan on avoiding the computer at all costs.  It'll be a nice little vacation for my eyes and my brain.  

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy spending time with close family and friends.  May Santa bring you everything you wished for this year!  Stay warm and safe! :) 

Tuesday, December 21

Snowy Tennessee Christmas???

Friday Dec 24 


Precip:   50%

Chance of showers. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the upper 20s.
Saturday 25 

Few Snow Showers
Few Snow Showers

Precip:   30%
Snow showers at times. Highs in the mid 30s and lows in the low 20s.
Sunday 26 


Precip:   30%

Cloudy with flurries. Highs in the low 30s and lows in the low 20s.

**I apologize for the weird orange boxes.  I was a strugglesaurus with posting the weather forecast!

I hope this weather forecast follows through!  With the rainstorm from California headed our way, perhaps it will!  I don't want a White Christmas that makes it impossible to get from point a to point b (aka our house to my parents where yummy food and great presents will be waiting!)
In honor of my optimism, I will share the lyrics to a Christmas song that has represented my hopes and dreams every Christmas of my childhood: Tennessee Christmas by Amy Grant.

Tennessee Christmas
Come on weather man
Give us a forecast snowy white
Can't you hear the prayers 
Of every childlike heart tonight?

Rockies are calling, Denver snow falling
Somebody said it's four feet deep
But it doesn't matter, give me laughter
I'm gonna choose to keep

Another tender Tennessee Christmas
The only Christmas for me
Where the love circles around us
Like the gifts around our tree

Well I know there's more snow up in Colorado 
Than my roof will ever see
But a tender Tennessee Christmas
Is the only Christmas for me

Every now and then
I get a wanderin' urge to see
Maybe California
Maybe Tinsel Town's for me

There's a parade there, we'd have it made there
Bring home a tan for New Year's Eve
Sure sounds exciting, awfully inviting
Still I think I'm gonna keep

Another tender Tennessee Christmas
The only Christmas for me
Where the love circles around us
Live the gifts around our tree

Well they say in L.A., it's a warm holiday
It's the only place to be
But a tender Tennessee Christmas 
Is the only Christmas for me.  

Oh you know I wanna be home

Well I know there's more snow up in Colorado
Than my roof will ever see
But a tender Tennessee Christmas
is the only Christmas for me
A tender Tennessee Christmas
is the only Christmas for me.

Copyright (c) 2010 Hakuna Matata. Design by WPThemes Expert
Themes By Buy My Themes And Cheap Conveyancing.