Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shutterfly Coupons

Total saving applied:  $60.65  Woohoo!

Take $10 of $30: TRIALPAY10
Free 8x8 Photo Book with Hard Cover: 8PBA91
Save up to 30% off Prints: SAVEPRINTS
Free Shipping on $30 of more: SHIP30
This is my unique code for 30 FREE PRINTS for setting up a website with them (can't promise it will work- but worth a try!): XVME-B659-VY0C-U0B1HV
Also- all photos books & additional pages are currently 20% off
Most of these are expiring tomorrow though! So hurry!

My order total for 95 prints, 28 address labels, and an 8x8 book with 21 extra pages: $25.12

Not too shabby.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Randoms from the Weekend

The relaxing parts of my weekend looked like this:

Saturday- Blue Nun, new fall Yankee Candle 'Harvest' & a movie 

Sunday- A delicious dessert.  
Hubby does a great job making it look nice :)

What isn't pictured were the countless hours I spent scrubbing the house and manicuring the yard.  Since we have a busy, busy couple of weeks ahead I tried to get as much done as I could around the house with the time we have. Hours were also spent making my sister a baby shower banner (with the help of Lori @ a nerd. a bird. and a pug.) I must say it turned out great! I would post a picture of it but I wouldn't want to spoil our hard work before the shower! Anyway- my point is, those delectable moments pictured above were much deserved :)

On somewhat of the same note- this bad boy is a must try!

This was paired with bananas on my lunch sandwich today. My two favorite indulgences put together in one- chocolate & peanut butter! Yum
They are made from a sandwich shop Peanut Butter & Co. in New York. They were featured on the Travel Channel- Food Paradise, and are sold at Giant. They are all natural and come in a couple different flavors, including White Chocolate. I will be testing each out :) I'm also thinking about incorporating this in the next dessert I make! Yum, again.

Oh and here is my new camera strap! The other side is black minky fabric. I love it. 
Bought at: sewtamz

And finally, a picture of Roxy, of course.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You're an Attitude!

My three year old nephews having an argument on the way back from the water park. 

They aren't brothers- but born two days apart!
I had to document this :)
Love them to pieces. 

I've Been Tagged & I'm Tagging!

I was tagged by Kaley @a tale of three poags! and Heather @ Best of Both Worlds to fill out 8 random questions then tag 8 different followers with 8 new questions. Here goes!

Kaley's questions:

1. what is your favorite recipe/thing to cook? [and feel free to share the recipe for ME to try! haha]
Since I'm still a newbie with cooking, I can't say I have a favorite yet.  BUT I did make a corn casserole last Christmas that was so super scrumptious there wasn't a crumb left.  Even my aunts,  who are good cooks, were asking me how I made it!  Of course- It wasn't hard or I wouldn't have made it! I will post that recipe soon!

2. what is your favorite hobby?
I don't have a major hobby so I would say just taking pictures. I love trying to capture the perfect moments and times of pure happiness.

3. what is the best memory with your significant other?
This is hard. But probably our last dance at our wedding. For a moment it was just us, but then all our family and friends surrounded us on the dance floor, though it still felt like nobody was in the room at all. It was amazing, perfect ending to our reception. 

Another time we are think back about was when we first met. We stayed over at a friends house- on their living room floor- and literally held hands, fingers intertwined, the WHOLE night. Both of us wanted so bad to remove our hand to sleep a bit more comfortable but we were so young (14) and thought we would hurt the others feelings - I guess. Haha. We laugh about it all the time.

4. what is the biggest life changing event you've been through?
Hmm. I really have never had a big life changing event. I guess buying my house and living on my own was  kind of life changing. At 21 I we took on a huge amount of bills and had to learn how to handle it.  Plus, I was used to living with my parents, 3 siblings, and many dogs.  It was quiet!

5. what is your favorite song? and why?
Eek.  So hard to pick.  I think "I Need You" by Leanne Rimes or "Down Came A Blackbird" by Lila Maccann. I wouldn't say these two songs are my favorite at the moment but they were my all time favorites growing up. I'd sing them at the top of my lungs- when nobody was around of course ;)  I still remember seeing Down Came A Blackbird video for the first time on my Great-Grandmothers dial TV and thinking how much I loved that song! Why? No reason in particular!

6. how do you find the time to blog?!! [give me the secret! haha]
I don't have a child! Ha. But it's actually still pretty hard to find time after work when trying to learn how to cook and do the daily chores!

7. which celeb do you get compared too most often?
I used to get Keri Russell 'Felicity' a lot, presumingly because of the curly hair but I don't see it. I forget who else, somebody just said something a couple weeks ago actually- I have a horrible memory.

8. who is the biggest influence in your life?
I can't say just one, because they're equal. My mom & dad. They started out with nothing, living in a trailer with my oldest sister.  My dad started his own business in '88 (still booming) and my mom watched us four kids while working there.  They worked so hard, every day, for what they have now- their dream home.  They gave us everything and anything we ever needed and wanted, put us through college, got us our first cars, taught us so many values & morals.  I'm very thankful they are my parents.

Heather's questions:

1. When you were a child...what did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet. My love for dogs is extreme. But then when I was older I thought of all the sad cases I would see and couldn't do it. I also wanted to be a NICU nurse, but again, I didn't want the heartaches :( 

2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
HAWAII. Hubby & I have been plotting and planning forever.  We say we will go for our five year anniversary. We'll see!  Ha.

3. What is your favorite room in your house & why?
Our living room. It's so comfortable with our big Lazy Boy sofas, bay window, red brick wall, and fireplace. We spend most of our time in there. Well I mean, it DOES have the biggest TV too ;)

4. What do you to unwind or relax?
Cozy up in that living room with a good movie & glass of vino.

5. What is a favorite memory from high school?
In general- Cheerleading; being on a team, games, competition, being in shape! Lol. I miss it.

6. If you had the opportunity to go back and change something from the past would you?
Probably not. Everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn't be where I am or who I am today if they hadn't happened.

7. What is your favorite quote or saying & why?
"...And I thought I loved you then" (Our last dance song).  It just reminds me how far we have come when we look back and how far we still have to go, and the love just keeps growing stronger every day. (Sappy, I know) Haha.

8. When your gone, how do you want to be remembered?
Just as a kind, generous, loving person.

My questions are for:
1. Lori @ a nerd. a bird. and a pug.
2. Jessi @ Caterpillar Family
3. Kathy @ Bwak Bwak Blog
4. Ashley Sisk @ Ramblings and Photos
5. Kendra @ Living Our Love Song
6. Megan @ One Day I Will
7. Marianne @ Lucy's Human
8. Liz @ Blogging Blondie

Here are my 8 questions:
1. If you could offer a newborn child just one piece of advice, what would it be?
2. What are two goals for next year (2011)?
3. What is your best childhood memory? What makes it so special?
4. If the average human life span were 40 years old, how would you live your life differently?
5. What's your best moment of the year (2010)?
6. Who inspires you the most?
7. What activities make you lose track of time?
8. If you could do anything, or wish for anything that would come true, what would it be?

Can't wait to see your answers!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Recycled Art

This is the first giveaway I have entered in my young blogging life!

Check it out on freckles and fudge! 
How cool are these personalized recycled blocks from Waste Not Recycled Art! 
Click on 'freckles and fudge' just above to find out how to enter!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Etsy and Photo Fun

After the purchase of my camera I needed a bag, or some way to tote it around without too much extra baggage. I'm used to a tiny fit-in-your-pocket camera. I looked high and low for something practical. I thought about buying a dslr camera purse ($60 at Best Buy) for our upcoming trip to NYC.  Then I thought I could just find the smallest camera bag that would fit it and smuggle the whole thing in my purse. I didn't really like either option. SO I see what Etsy had to offer.  For a small price I found a customizable purse insert from Seasons Totes. Wow do I LOVE it!

It fits my camera perfectly! 
(You can really see the difference between my new camera above and old camera below!)
I don't have to worry about an extra bag, my camera getting scratched in my purse, I'll have quick access to it, AND everything is super organized. No more fishing around for my ringing phone! Best thing about it- I can change it out to another purse!

On to the next topic.
I had a bit of photo & editing fun with my nephew this afternoon. 
I'm learning something new every day with my camera & Photoshop!
I love that none these are posed- just him being himself!
after getting mail with his grandma


he loves that wagon

with his uncle

this was on 20x zoom. i'm amazed by my p&s zoom & clarity, even with movement.

doesn't he have some great eyelashes?!

love my nephew

$10 clearance shorts at Target & $10 ballet flats at Charlotte Russe deserve a picture.

So much fun, can't wait to learn more.
Oh & my button is now working!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rainy Night & Photo Contest

It's a gloomy, cool day in August. I am thankful for this. Our AC went out yesterday and won't be fixed until tomorrow morning. I thought last night would be a tossing, turning, sweating, no sleep type of night. 
With our window open it turned out to be a perfect night.
I feel asleep to the soothing sound of rainfall and outdoor critter sounds,
muffled by our humidifier. 
There was a cool breeze through the night 
and into the morning.
I slept well. 
I wanted to sleep in.
What else is new... :)

I have a button! That's what's new! See my side panel! Haha.

Also, I want to take part in Ashley Sisk's In a Yellow House Photo Challenge. 
This week is trees.
This was taken our honeymoon in the Dominican at a beach party one evening.  It was so beautiful there... the palm trees, the colors of the sky, the calm ocean, and setting sun all mixed together...Amazing. I know it doesn't nearly compete with the professional entries but I love this picture and wanted to play along for fun!

And finally, one of the recipes I tried out this week was Caterpillar Family's
 Chicken Stir Fry Recipe. Click to get the recipe to learn how to make it! 

A few pictures of the process...(I had to play with my new camera!)

A must try!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday & HX1

Ah, Monday. To start off my Monday morning I was awoken at 6:45am (I'm a late riser, usually not up until 8) to six men with hammers and Heaven knows what else on my roof (yay, a new roof today). AHhhh. It was crazy loud. Roxy was all in a stir. We tried to lay in bed a little longer, but that wasn't happening, Hub and I laughed when it got even louder. So I  got up and ready as fast as I could and ran out the house.
Who Me? Early to work? HA. Well I was. So my sister and I went for our usual Starbucks run. Admit-tingly I parked with my back bumper a touch over the back line of the parking spot at Safeway, but the lot was nearly empty and it was only a quick run. So we muddle inside to get our mouth savoring white chocolate mochas, yum, talk to our newly preggo barista for a moment then walk back out only to find that some lady picked the spot behind me (out of ALL the empty spots around) and literally had her front tag pushed against my back bumper! Well this 'lady' kept her distance from the car, almost like it wasn't hers, looking at her phone then looking at us and the cars. How weird is that? Mind you, I'm laughing in my head at this point because my bumper is already damaged from a hit and run and it's soon to be replaced anyway. BUT just to make the lady sweat it out a little, I move my car up some to take it off her license plate and inspect the damage. We rubbed my bumper and pointed to certain areas of the bumper like there were scratches/dents (there actually were some buff-able scuff marks). But seriously! Who parks up on someone else's bumper with a ton of empty spaces around THEN doesn't even move her vehicle backwards and walks away!? The whole thing was quite humorous. Now if I would have just gotten my bumper replaced (like I should have already) THEN I would have been a little upset! Oh well, enough of that story. Here's a much better one...

Let me share my super early birthday present from my wonderful awesome hubby! 

Dun dun dun dun....

The Sony HX1! I LOVE it. Isn't she sweet? I debated for months and months over what would be my next camera purchase. Originally I wanted an SLR...but for a couple reasons I decided against it. 1. I really didn't need a professional grade camera. 2. I didn't need to carry lenses around and make sure they are properly cleaned and 3. I would worry way too much over it. But I wanted a GOOD camera so I looked at my other options. I really hadn't thought about a bridge camera before. I played with this bad boy and knew I met my perfect match. I then read THOUSANDS of reviews from every site I could find. I compared a couple different cameras in the category, spending a ton of hours online. I kept coming back to this one. 

This is what I love about it so far:

- Image quality
- Picture color
- 20x zoom
- Sweep Panorama Mode
- 1080p HD Movie Mode
- The 'G' lens -equivalent of a 28-560mm lens on a 35mm camera 
- High speed shooting (10fps) 

I haven't gotten to mess with it too much but here are a couple pictures, unedited. 

This picture was taken behind our couch, which was nearly pitch dark. 
It snapped so fast and I was very happy with it's turnout.
(Oh BTW- Roxy doesn't normally sleep behind the couch, 
I think she was afraid of the rain that could possibly turn into thunder)

This one had no flash and it was fairly dim inside. 

This was taken from inside my window, which is why it's not perfectly clear. 
But still a good shot- at full zoom.

Oh and my birthday isn't until September 15th :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Inspired & Happenings

When I started my blog, a month ago, I honestly did not realize how BIG blogging was. I didn't know anything about it, at all. I'm still learning A LOT, but I've found one thing to be true: people are inspiring. Wow. How many ideas can I get in one day from just one blog?! ...multiply that by a million. There are so many motivated and creative bloggers. I want to do it all! A whole new world of ideas and thoughts. My head is spinning.

Cooking"Eating burnt suppers the whole first year, And askin' for seconds to keep her from tearin' up. Yeah, man, that's The Good Stuff." Yep, that Kenny Chesney song pretty much described us :) The first year and a half we lived in our house Hub and I mostly ate TV dinners for lunch and dinner or, since Hub worked evenings, I would eat at my parents and bring him home a plate nightly. Then I moved on to learn how to cook basic meals- pasta with meatballs became our number one favorite. Easy, and I could change it up with different sauces. Fast forward to today, 2 years and 10 months since we moved in our home. I'm finally getting the hang of it! I'm so ready to learn- I thought before I'd NEVER learn how to cook and had absolutely no desire to (I think this was the actual problem). I'm now starting to enjoy picking out new recipes, planning meals, grocery shopping, and pretending to be a chef. I've mentioned this before- but my goal is to try out two new recipes each week. So far, I've been doing well! I'm heading into my fourth week, and all meals have been a success. I also like to try recipes that will throw in an ingredient I've never used before. Foodie Hub is loving it!

Photography. I love viewing the awesome awesome photos of professional and amateur photographers in the blog-world. I wish I could take photos like that. I wish I took a photography class, maybe one day I will?. This would be my niche if I had one. For now I'll just continue taking pictures of events, family, friends and editing them for my own enjoyment! But I do hope to learn more- skills- one day, and be able to take great photos. 

Creativity. Scrap-booking is about as creative as I have ever pushed myself.  I dabbled in that since the age of 14 when I received a kit as a gift. I stopped last year. It really was fun, a good hobby. I love looking back at my books. I don't know if I'll pick it up again or not...it gets expensive buying all the materials, and slightly time-consuming. And, well, I love Shutterfly :)
I've seen so many DIY projects that I'm interested in. Hopefully, I can get up the courage to tackle one a few soon. 

Decorating. How I would I love to re-decorate most rooms in my house! With the exterior of the house soon to be re-done (thanks hail storm!) I'm itching to start a makeover inside. Now all I need is a little extra cash and ideas that will work for the areas. I'll be on the look out ;)

Baby goods. I have so many new ideas for whenever I have a little one. From nursery decor to the tiniest of accessories, how will I be able to pass up sooo many cute things? 

Stories. I've read so many heartfelt stories about how family's have handled or are handling life's hardships. Most of these, unthinkable. But these amazing people stay strong and push through while sharing their journey with the world. It makes me realize that every single day is a blessing.  I now want and try to be a better human being, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend. I try not to get mad at the little things anymore. I judge less, you never know.  I love more. And, I appreciate everything and everyone I have in my life. 

I'm loving all this motivation & inspiration!


Good News: Our roof was delivered! Which means we will have a whole new roof SOON! Still waiting for the siding and shutters.

Not So Good News: Kali is at now to Applejack K9 Academy for two weeks :(  She's showing a bit of possessive aggression towards the other dogs. Nothing too serious, but it needs to be corrected. Applejack's is a wonderful family-run facility and I'm very optimistic about it.  They've trained our other dogs (for basic leash training). And, I volunteered there for awhile when I was younger. I know she'll do great, Kali is a smart smart girl. My family hates to do this to her but it is for the best. She's already loved so much that it feels like she's been always been apart of the family, and it's hard to leave her. I wish I could fast forward two weeks!

Great News: A two week fast forward would also be super because we're headed to NYC Labor Day Weekend!! I'm SO excited. As a first-timer I'm sure it will be a feast for the eyes! I want to see as much as I can in the short time frame we're there. I have a penciled itinerary of what we want to do, but I'm taking it lightly, because I know it won't go as planned!

That's all. For now. (Sorry so long!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Roxy Girl

The greatest online gift I could have ever picked out


Yes, online. She's actually a Texan girl.
She flew half way across the country to me.
I'll never fly another dog, I feel cruel because of that.
(What was I thinking?)

We had just moved into our first home.
It felt empty.
I really wasn't used to a silent house; nor a house without dogs.

A companion for when Hub worked nights- my first objective.
I came home from a college final...getting ready to head out for another.
I browsed the internet. Shelters, Pet-Finder, random web sites.
I didn't really know what I wanted.

THEN I saw this cute little picture.
And just couldn't resist. 
Yorkie mom, long-haired Chihuahua dad.

I called Hub (boyfriend at the time)
 He said no. ..typical man ;) 
He saw her picture.
By the time we went to bed he was asking,
"what should we name her?"

Roxy came to us just in time for Christmas, 2007
and has been spoiled ever since.
She was 13 weeks old and 3lbs big.

Is she adorable or what?!

laying on her daddy's lap

momma's sidekick
sweetest snuggler
spoiled rotton
little love.
That's my Roxy girl.

adore my bebe.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wishful Pictures Contest: Tongues!

the rules
One submission per person
Photograph must have been taken by you
Must link back to page via button
When submitting use permalink only
Photo must be related to this week's theme

Recipe: Chessy Stuffed Shells

Oh My Yum-ness this was good. 

What This Recipe Calls For:

1 container  (16oz) of low fat cottage cheese
1 pkg (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 cup 2% milk shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked, drained (I used 14 manicotti shells and left them uncooked)
1 jar (26oz.) marina sauce
1 large tomato, chopped

How To Make It:

Heat oven to 400. Mix cottage cheese, spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and seasoning; spoon into shells (this took me quite a few minutes due having manicotti shells!).
Mix sauce and tomatoes; spoon half into 13x9 inch baking dish. Add filled shells; top with remaining sauce. Cover.

Bake 25 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining mozzarella; bake uncovered, 2 min. or until melted.

Pictures don't make it look that good, I know. 
But you will have to take my word that it IS and try it for yourself!
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