Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I could never pull of hair that short (my face is shaped like a pumpkin) but I always pine for it. My new cut is just short enough to satisfy my craving for pixie-length hair with out making me look like a jack o'lantern! Thanks Lori!
Picture coming soon...
P.S. We are heading to Gainesville, AL for our annual Young Marrieds Retreat this weekend. The beauty of this trip is that it is out in the middle of no where, with barely any cell phone reception and zero internet service. It does offer four wheelers, horses, a big screen TV with satellite (and movie channels to boot), a pool table and all our favorite friends to keep us entertained! We are really looking forward to getting away with our CORE Group and will post lots of fun photos when we get back!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Believe it or not, but there are a total of 13 plants in there!
Monday, May 26, 2008
2. My Exacompta Visual Soho Planner. Every moment of my last 3 years has been planned in this planner. My current planner is red. No matter what the color, they are the best! Looking back at old ones, is like looking at a scrap book of my life.
3. My hair girl. Lori Champion, at Studio 21 on 280 is the best colorist in the city. I don't know what I would do without her! After moving to Birmingham, I knew I needed to find a mechanic and find a hair girl. It took me a few shots, but I can now say that I have been blessed with both! Lori has changed salons 4 times since I started with her (5 years ago) and I have followed her to each one. I think I would follow her to Utah if she decided to move there!
4. Bare Minerals Make-Up. I have been using it for almost 2 years now. I had always hated wearing make-up. It just felt gross smearing it all over my face. But Bare Minerals feels like air, I don't even notice that I have it on. My favorite part is the blush, The name says it all...Glee. You can even dip your lip balm in it and use it as lipstick! *On a side note, I tried the Maybeline version to save some pennies. It worked fine, but wasn't nearly as "natural" looking as Bare Minerals.
5. Martha Stewart's Summertime Workshop. Calling all crafters/homemakers/hostesses/creative minds! Sign up now for a summer packed with outdoor cooking and entertaining ideas. Martha's online workshop will guide you week by week to make the most of the summer season! The best grilling techniques for your outdoor parties. An outdoor entertaining plan complete with fresh centerpieces, gorgeous table settings, and personalized party decor. Luscious summer fruit desserts your guests will love.The ultimate BBQ bash just in time for Fourth of July!
6. Viva Papertowels. I prefer the plain white in select-a-size. They are as soft as tissues (they're made by Kleenex) and work great!
7. Maidenhair ferns. They are so delicate and lacy looking. I also love their lush green color. I am thinking of planting several of them in a big white pot and putting it on my dining room table. Although I have a brown thumb, the real challenge will be keeping Marley from destroying it.
8. The Truth Campaign. You know those anti-smoking commercials that target teens? Like the one where the guy is singing on the street about how you don't always die from smoking - sometimes they just cut out your tongue? And they give you all those crazy statistics like, smoking kills over 20 times more people than murder. I think they're brilliant! Great marketing for something actually worth promoting!
9. God's Pottery. God's Pottery is a Christian acoustic duo formed to spread the Word while addressing the issues facing today's Youth and the Spiritual Community at large. Members Jeremiah Smallchild and Gideon Lamb use their unique blend of music, people-skills and Biblical know-how to inspire all who are willing to listen with open hearts. We saw them last night on Last Comic Standing. They actually made it through the NYC finals. Pretty funny stuff. I hope they do well!
10. Eating outside on our new Bistro Set. My favorite time of day is dusk. I find it very relaxing to sit out on the patio and enjoy the early summer evenings. I couldn't decide between rockers or a bistro set. Luckily, I found a bistro set with spring loaded chairs!
© 1942 by Sam Miller
Whenever I see a soldier boy
No matter where it be
I give him salutation
for he means so much to me
He's not the boy we used to know
In store, at desk or plow
He's a defender of our faith
He's in the service now
He keeps Old Glory flying
on land and air and sea
He lives to make our homes secure
He dies to keep us free.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
As an Army and Navy custom, the flag is lowered daily at the last note of retreat. Special care should be taken that no part of the flag touches the ground. The Flag is then carefully folded into the shape of a tri-cornered hat, emblematic of the hats worn by colonial soldiers during the war for Independence. In the folding, the red and white stripes are finally wrapped into the blue, as the light of day vanishes into the darkness of night.
This custom of special folding is reserved for the United States Flag alone.
I'm sure all know the proper way to fold a flag (if not, click here). But did you know that each fold means something?
Meanings of the Folds
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother's day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (I use 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts (I used cashews because I had them on hand)
Rice, cooked to specifications on box
1 head of broccoli
1. COOK rice as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 min. of the cooking time.
2. MEANWHILE, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally; sprinkle with the peanuts.
3. SERVE with steamed broccoli and rice.
*Chef's Note: I usually double the sauce ingredients. This will give you enough to season your rice as well as your chicken.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This is a Rachel Ray recipe. Very tasty and a great way to eat your spinach. Give it a try and let me know how yours turns out!
Florentine Mac & Cheese
1 lb corkscrew pasta
2 boxes frozen spinach
3 Tb butter
2 Tb all-purpose flour
1 c chicken stock
1 c whole milk
1 c grated Parmesan
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1. Boil pasta. Strain pasta reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
2. Defrost spinach in microwave.
3. In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter, whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk, season with salt,
pepper and nutmeg and thicken for 5 to 6 minutes.
4. Stir in Parmesan and reduce heat on lowest setting.
5. Wring spinach completely dry in clean towel then separate as you add it to the sauce. Also add the reserved 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
6. Toss pasta with the spinach-white sauce and adjust seasonings. (I added garlic, of course - I LOVE it.)
Ben said this dish reminded him of Spinach Dip with pasta in it. I think he nailed it on the head!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Ben and I flew to New Smyrna Beach, FL last Sunday. Actually, we flew into the Sanford/Orlando airport where we were picked up by one of my most favoritest aunts, Aunt Mary. We went back to her house in Heathrow (she lives in Columbus, OH, this is just a vacation home) and ate dinner with her, my Uncle Jeff and their friends, Lynn and Bobby. After dinner, we headed back to the airport to pick up my mom. It was Mother's Day, so we made a pit stop on the way to the airport to get some flowers. Unfortunately, everyone else had already had that idea and left me with a choice of baby's breath (gag) and some practically dead eucalyptus. So I settled on a "Mom's Make the Best Friends" balloon and we were off. She was more than happy to receive it and even happier to see her baby girl - that's me!
We spent the night in Orlando so we could take yet ANOTHER trip to the airport to drop of my aunt and uncle and friends on Monday morning. It was good to spend some time with them before they headed out.
Then we were off to New Smyrna Beach! There we stayed at my mom's family's condo in The Golden Arms.
It is right on the beach with a private pool. Very convenient and quite nice. The pool was still a little cold for my taste, but it was nice for dipping my feet in to cool off.
Pretty nice view, eh?
On Tuesday night we made our our third trip to the airport to pick up my Daddy (he's the cutest!) and headed back to the beach.
Wednesday, we hung out the beach and ate dinner in. I think we were all a little worn out from traveling. I made us a delicious meal of brats, corn on the cob and potato salad.
Ben just so happened to grow up about 20 minutes from New Smyrna Beach in a small town called DeLand. So on Thursday he took me on a tour. I saw his High School, where he lived when he was a kid and ate at his favorite pizza joint, Tom's Pizza. His best friend from HS, Jeremy, joined us for lunch. It was nice to catch up with him! We missed seeing his wife, Jenny.
Ben's house from 5th grade through high school.
Thursday night we decided to make the trek 30 minutes North to Daytona Beach. Dad wanted us to eat at Bubba Gump's. The shrimp was delicious and I aced the trivia game!
The restaurant boasts an elaborate paging system at every table. If you need something, you simply flip the license plates (below) to Red. All set? Then leave it on blue. It actually worked pretty well!
My dad found a sign reading, " A miserable day on the Golf Course still beats a good day at the office." And of course my mom's said, "If MOM ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"
We walked up the strip and found a Florida Gator store. My dad couldn't help himself...in case you can't tell what you are looking at, that's MY Daddy... pretending to relieve himself on the Gator sign.
We spent one more day at the beach on Friday before heading back to shop all weekend in Orlando. I had made it all that time without getting burned and I guess I got too cocky. I didn't do a good enough job of applying sunscreen and missed a few spots. Let's just say that by the night time it looked like some one had tortured me with an iron. I had random burn spots all over my legs and arms. NOT a pretty sight.
My favorite part of the whole trip was our last weekend in Orlando. We shopped, I got free stuff, we ate and slept. But Sunday morning it was back to reality. We dropped my parents off at the airport and a chauffeur service delivered us to the same spot a few hours later.
We had a great time, but it was nice to come home. And even nicer to see my baby, Marley and sleep in our own bed.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
1. Edy's Fruit Bars in Strawberry, Lime and Wildberry. This is my new late night snack. At only 60 calories per pop I can rest easy after eating them!
2. Guacamole. I am an avid fan of salsa, but guacamole is a nice change of pace every now and then!
3. Walking around the neighborhood after work. With Ben out of school this month, I have solicited his work out motivation skills. As mentioned in my previous blog, I am more out of shape than any 25 year old girl should EVER be. Lucky for me, my husband can be a Work Out Nazi when he needs to be and/or has the time. We are working out every evening after work and part of our routine is to walk around our very hilly neighborhood. It is more of a work out than I expected but I really enjoy our time together. I usually wear myself out talking more than I do anything else. But the time spent outside, with my husband, getting a little physical exercise is so good for me!
4. Downy Simple Pleasures Fabric Softner in Vanilla and Lavender. I have smelled this in the store and didn't like it. But after using it while on vacation I fell in love!
5. Shopping with my mom. Free clothes (...and purses..and shoes...and jewelry...)are the best!
6. Speaking of shopping with my mom - My New Dress. It has pockets and is oh-so-comfortable! Mine is yellow!
7. Okay, so this one might be one of my favorite things of all time...driving down streets with trees that meet over top. There are a lot of streets in Birmingham that do this. It reminds me of Savannah, or better yet - a fairyland. For some reason, it makes me so happy to behold this sight! Nothing is more beautiful than God's creations!8. Chik-fil-A Cookies & Cream milkshakes. These are a major splurge that one should only RARELY indulge in. However, I would have to say that they are worth every calorie.
9. My blankie. Growing up I toted my "puppy dog blankie" with me wherever I went. A few years ago it became apparent that it was time to retire my trusty companion as to preserve the little bit that was left of it. Without trying, I have replaced it with a more adult size version. My "new" blankie is a bedspread my late Grandma Jo made for me when I was in Junior High. It is straight out of the early 90's with black on one side, teal on the other and hot pink trimmings! This was made for my first "big girl" room and I loved it! It fit my twin size, black laquered day bed - very classy. Now it is the perfect size for cuddling on the couch and wraps around me perfectly. I realized how attached I have become to it when I couldn't sleep without it on vacation last week!
10. Pilot Precise v5 Rolling Pens. My favorite pens! Luckily, I am in charge of ordering office supplies at work, so I always have a nice stash of them at my desk.
I only got a few pics at the beach, but I promise to post them soon!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
1: a female parent
2: a woman in authority; specifically: the superior of a religious community of women
3: an old or elderly woman
4: maternal tenderness or affection
5: something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale
The Lord's definition of a mother:
Proverbs 31: 10-28
10 She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
What a blessing I have had in my mother. She is my best friend, encourager, advisor and confidant. My sister and I could not have asked for better parents. I hope to be as precious to my family one day as she has been and will always be to ours. Thanks, Mom!
I have also been blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law, Elaine. She too is also a Godly woman. She raised my husband to love and respect women. I owe her so much for teaching Ben to be a gentle, giving person. He definitely inherited her put-others-first attitude. She is a true Southern woman!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Dr. Amanda Pauley is graduating from Marshall University School of Medicine and will be specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. I have never known anyone to be more dedicated to their studies or want anything more than she has wanted to do this. She will be an amazing doctor. I am so proud of you, Manda!
Dr. Michael Hovater is graduating from University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School and is going to specialize in Nephrology. Michael and his wife, Martha, are part of our CORE Group. We were so relieved when Michael received one of only 3 openings at UAB for his fellowship. We would have missed them incredibly if they had moved!
Ben and I were babysitting our flower girls, Emma and Maggie, and their brother, Logan. Maggie is the oldest of the girls and just turned 9. As always, we were watching The Disney Channel and she asked me, "Why do they call it Kung Fu Panda? He isn't the only one on the show."
I said, "Well, maybe it's like That's So Raven - there are other characters, but she is the main one."
And she replied...
Barely 9 years old. Hilarious.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
- Essie Nail Polish. I can't believe I am about to type this - but I think I might like it better than OPI!
- Bottega's Chicken Scaloppine. Still can't figure out why Frank Stitt didn't include this recipe in his cookbook...grrrr.
- Time with my Ben. I have him home for the entire month of May!
- Seeing a 4.0 on my husband's report card. Yes, I know this is shameless bragging but this is my blog and I think I have the right to do that every now and then.
- Getting ready to go to the beach next week! We leave Sunday and come back the following Sunday. My blog may suffer while I am there, but I promise to post pics upon my return.
- Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop Kettle Corn. Sweet, salty and lo cal - my favorite!
- at Home. An adorable home boutique in downtown Homewood.
- O'Carr's Chicken Salad. I think I might get a job there just so I can find out their secret recipe!
- Chanel Lip Gloss. I don't usually spend a lot of money on makeup but I do splurge on this every now and then. I am especially partial to the color jaipur.
- DVR. Who can say that this hasn't changed their life? I can go on vacation next week without worrying about missing any of my shows - particularly The Office.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Maybe I should... start exercising. I hate doing it, but I am really starting to feel unhealthy. It’s not just about my appearance anymore.
I love the smell of... ginger and lime.
People would say that I... am a little OCD. But I think that is a good thing!
I don’t understand why... children have to suffer.
When I wake up in the morning... I usually stay in bed a little longer than I should.
I lost my will power to... get a tan. I HATE tanning beds.
Life is wonderful with... my husband.
My past made me... a little cynical, but much wiser.
I get annoyed when... people are inconsiderate or selfish.
Parties are not... as fun as they were in college...haha.
Dogs are... okay if they are well behaved and clean.
Cats are… better than dogs. Couldn’t live without one!
Tomorrow I am going to… clean my house before we leave for the beach.
I have a low tolerance for... bad drivers and ignorant people.
I'm totally terrified of... losing someone close to me.
I wonder why I thought my life would be... a fairytale story. Challenges can be hard, but they make you stronger and keep things interesting.
Never in my life...did I think I would live in Alabama.
High school was something that...I didn’t appreciate until it was over.
When I'm nervous...I shake so hard you can hear it in my voice.
Take my advice... marry your best friend, trust in the Lord and be yourself.
Making my bed is… something I only do when we have company.
I'm almost always... in the mood for Mexican food. LOVE IT!
I'm addicted to… the Food Channel. Sometimes I dream of being a chef.
I want someone… to invent a way to eat without gaining weight!