Friday, December 31, 2010

Trip to the Woods 2010

For my birthday, Craig took me to Monteagle and Sewanee, TN. Much to my surprise, we took a side trip off I-24 to Bell Buckle, TN. They have such a neat downtown square complete with a country-cookin restaurant and lots of shops. After a great lunch, we headed out to the mountain. We visited an outdoor store where Craig found himself yet another pair of shoes and I found nothing! Then we went to the Monteagle Winery that was a pure disappointment. The wine was horrible and the atmosphere was about the same. After shopping and tasting, we went to find the Sewanee Natural Bridge. Snow was on the ground and it was beautiful! After our cold hike we went to The Blue Chair for coffee. After driving through the University of the South's campus, we headed to the cabin and checked in. It was so cute and cozy. It even had a fireplace. Despite everything I own smelling like smoke from the fire, it was enjoyable. For dinner, we hit my favorite spot, The Crust, for some pizza and beer. It was an awesome birthday dinner. The next day we headed down the mountain to Winchester where we stayed one night at the lake with the fam. We shopped and ate Mexican food. This was definitely a memorable birthday trip thanks to Craig.
Bell Buckle Square

Sewanee Natural Bridge

Yours truly!

Our cute Monteagle Cabin

Snow on the mountain. Can you find the road? Me neither.

Our cozy fire.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sammy's Shenanigans

Sammy has found a new bed.
I was in the kitchen when to my surprise, I found Sammy laying in my potted plant. I actually said outloud "what the heck are you doing?" Like a cat can understand English. I was so surprised that I ran to the office to get my camera. Craig isn't home, so I really wanted him to see Sammy in the plant. It was as if Sammy was posing for me. I am just wondering why cats like to be in plants? Of all the places to get comfy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

The Dore Christmas celebration started on December 23. Craig and I made the journey down 65S to Huntsville. We were welcomed to the Broadway abode with lunch and beautiful Christmas decorations. Mom and I headed out to Carrie's to get beautified. What a fun mother-daughter experience. I really enjoyed the mohawk Carrie gave my mom. It was hilarious! After our hair do's, we went back home and Craig and I got ready for a night out on the town. We went to Phil Sandival's to eat dinner and then Carrie and Joe took us to the Nook. I will have to say that I was a little overwhelmed with the selection of beers (three pages worth!) Afterwards we headed back to Carrie and Joe's for drinks. We had fun playing with their two hairless cats; Pesto and Rosie. We didn't get back home until after 11. This is really past our bedtime! On Christmas Eve Mom and I made a last minute stop to Dollar General to pick up some little gifts and then we headed home to make lunch. Mom served us lasagna and garlic bread for lunch. After a little cat on the bread debacle and lots of laughs, we ate a great lunch. Afterwards, we opened presents. Like usual, the presents were plentiful. Craig got his much anticipated Birkenstock clogs, a pocket knife, some roasted nuts, and  a Sonic card and I got a comfy hoodie suit, Pottery Barn wine glasses and wine, towels to match my newly painted bathroom, and Rachael Ray spoons that fit on the side of your pans. I also got a Starbucks card, candles and Rachael Ray spatulas. It is amazing what you get excited about when you are older. On Christmas morning we woke up to a white Christmas! What a surprise. It was beautiful. I helped Mom get prepared for lunch and Craig fried the turkey. Everyone showed up and we had a wonderful lunch. Craig and I headed out around 2  and found that the 565 on ramp was closed. We finally made it to the Interstate and it the roads weren't that bad. There wasn't even much snow when we reached the TN state line. We went straight to the Dore's in Franklin and had yet another Christmas. We had chili and cornbread. I feel like if I eat again I may blow up! We had a wonderful holiday. I feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Yours truly and my friend, Carrie's cat, Pesto.

Craig and Pesto. He likes to climb on your shoulders.

Christmas day snow in Huntsville.

My Dad's took house that he built.

Craig loves to fry turkeys. Even in the snow.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The painting is done!

After a little over 5 hours of trimming and painting, Craig and I are officially done with painting the master bathroom. I am really pleased at how it turned out. Much better than the last time I did it myself. I will have to say that I am a terrible painter when I am in a hurry. Craig coached me into taking my time and doing it the right way. The color turned out really nice. It matches my tile and the cabinets in the bathroom. I haven't put up the pictures yet for obvious reasons. I can't wait until it is completely dry so I can see how everything looks. Enjoy. Please note that the pictures would not post like I wanted them to. I would have made them look a little more lined up. Blah.

Before painting




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bargain of the day

So my oh so exciting day consisted of drinking coffee, eating breakfast, making two trips to Target, and buying paint at Ace. While at Ace, I saw the cutest tall, skinny Christmas trees that come in a wonderful little pot and are lit. The best part of it was that they were on sale for $10 bucks! I couldn't believe it. Luckily, I had some Christmas money left (courtesy of Craig) and I bought them. I was so excited to get home with them and take them out of the box. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I decided to put one in my family room and one in my bedroom. I decorated them with red and blue balls that my Mom picked up several years ago for my apt. tree. I am very happy with the way they look. I tried them outside next to my hidden door and realized that the logistics of plugging them in was just not going to work. The plug was on one side and it was going to be a big, ugly mess! I am also super excited because Craig and I are going to tackle the paint job in our bathroom. Tomorrow we are going to have a paint party if anyone wants to join us. It should be loads of fun. The last time I painted, I ended up with paint on my butt and everywhere but the wall. We'll see how it goes. I really believe that with the two of us, we can get it done. We chose a Pottery Barn color called Santorini Blue. Just the sound of it takes me away to a Greek Isle. I am hoping that it looks as good as it sounds.

Isn't it cute! I love it when it is lit.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lightin it up...

I just wanted to add a few pics of what my tree and new addition looks like lit up. There is just something about Christmas lights that makes me happy. I decided to add the lights to the candle holder today. I basically shoved a bunch of unused lights into it and pulled the cord out of the back and plugged it in. I really like it. It adds a little flair to my living room.
 It seems that I have come up with a new project every day of my break so far. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Last minute decor

Craig is at the Titan's game today, so I decided to get out my beloved shiny green Christmas tree. He really dislikes this tree for obvious reasons. I went to a friends house last night that had a pink one just like it that was decorated and lit in her little girls room. I thought it was marvelous. So, today I went to Target and bought a light set and went to town. I decorated it with my favorite Hello Kitty ornaments that I have collected over the years. I am patiently waiting until it gets dark outside to see the true ambiance of the tree.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last minute dinner

So, I'm pretty proud of myself. I came home from a cookie swap at a co-workers house and realized that I didn't plan dinner. I searched the net for ideas and decided that I didn't want to order pizza. I remembered a recipe that I found in Southern Living. It is called King's Ranch Chicken. The gerbils in my head started spinning and I decided to look in my pantry for all the ingredients. The only think that I was lacking was Rotel. I really can't believe I didn't have it considering it is usually a staple in my pantry. I got out my crock pot (yes, it is a crock pot recipe) and started mixing up the ingredients. It took all of 15 minutes and several cans of chicken, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and my very own Rotel concoction of diced tomatoes and green chilis (I am so resourceful.) After layering the ingredients in the crock pot, you top it with cheese and voila, you're done! Below is the recipe if you are interested. Hopefully Craig will enjoy it. I don't see how he can't.

Kings Ranch Chicken
Southern Living Magazine Oct. 2010

4 cups of chopped chicken                   1. Stir together the first 8 ingredients. Tear
1 large onion, chopped                         tortillas into 1 inch pieces; layer 1/3 of
1 can cream of chicken soup                 tortilla pieces in a greased slow cooker.
1 can cream of mushroom soup             Top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture and
1 can Rotel                                            cheese. Repeat layers twice.
1 garlic clove, minced                           2. Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 hours
1 tsp. chili powder                                or until bubbly and edges are golden brown.
12 corn tortillas                                     Uncover and cook on low 30 min.
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Arts and Crafts project #2

I will have to confess. I saw this wreath project on a blog and had to tackle one myself. I have seriously been thinking about it nonstop since I saw it on Monday. I guess that is my OCD kicking in. Today we had 1/2 day of school, so after checking in at the Dore Dwelling to print out a 40% off Michael's coupon, I headed out to the store. By the way, yes I am a coupon nerd. Don't blame me, I learned it from my Mom. I was so excited to find the straw wreath for $3.99 and I even got 40% off. What a bargain! Who would have known that the more substantial straw ones were less expensive than the foam ones? After a little side trip to Dollar Tree (more bargains,) I got in my little hamster mobile and drove home. Luckily the icy weather hasn't started yet. It was just drizzling. When I got home I prepared my materials for craft time. Of course, the hot glue gun has to be plugged in, so I had to sit in a rather uncomfortable position on the floor to do the project. I chose a spot near my TV so I could watch HGTV (a necessity.) The project took about 45 minutes since I got the 18 inch wreath. I also messed up a little in the beginning, so I had to go back and fix a few spots. Please note that I eventually want to get a turquoise ribbon to hang the wreath from. I used some wired ribbon that I already had. I used a hook to hang the ornament on the wreath. I see that this will be a work in progress. I will probably decorate her for many occasions!

  • wreath of your choice (foam or straw)
  • coffee filters (I bought a 160 pack and didn't use all of them.)
  • hot glue gun and glue
Step 1: Fold in half
    Step 2: Fold in half again
    Getting started
    Finished product!
    I am pretty proud of myself.

Cookie-making day.

So, they decided to let out school at 11:30 today due to "inclement" weather that is coming. So far, the sky is ominous and there is no precipitation falling. I am wondering if it is even going to happen. Today is officially Cookie-making day. I am about to make some delicious snickerdoodles. Or at least I am going to attempt to. My baking skills are less than perfect. Well, the cookies turned out really well. I know this because one happened to make its way into my mouth. I don't know how that could have happened. Guinness enjoyed watching me bake. I think he secretly wanted me to give him a cookie, but I didn't.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day Project # 1

I saw a post that really got my creative juices flowing. I had the cute frame from Pottery Barn that was collecting dust in my garage. I decided to print out the cute monogram on the computer and hang it in the office. I think it looks pretty good. I am not sure if goes with Craig's Titan's and Matrix posters, but hey, I don't care:)

Snow Day #2

This is our 2nd official snow day of the year and it is only December 14. Hopefully we won't have to go to school longer to make up for these days. Since I have had so much time to do what I please the last couple of days, I have decided to start a blog. My first post is going to be my wonderful tree. After much complaining about the size of my massive tree, Craig came up with the idea of downsizing the tree. He was genious. He left out one of the middle pieces and whalaa (sp?) we have a smaller tree. I absolutely love it! It looks perfect in the living room. Notice the wonderful oversized stars that I have been collecting from Michael's. The cats have been enjoying sleeping under the tree.