Monday, April 29, 2013

The Best Weekend Ever (Warning: Contains Nudity!)

You guys/girls, guess what?!

I actually did something this weekend and have something to post about today!! Betcha didn't see that coming..

It was a wonderful weekend--definitely the best I have had in a long time. My back still hurts but it isn't nearly as bad before so I'm able to get out, drive and work which is wonderful! But even better? My mom and her best friend (my Auntie Sharon) came to visit for the weekend! We had such a wonderful time and I am again reminded of just how blessed I am to have this life.

I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story..

Friday

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Four times a year, the town we live in hosts an art gallery walk around the downtown area featuring local artists (something that I love about the town we live in is that there is such a big push for the arts)--and not only is there art, there is free wine and food at every stop--it's such a fun event! Abby and I walked around together and had a great time perusing and visiting.

WARNING: Next photo contains nudity!!!!

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Abby and I got the biggest kick out of these two ladies--they were fascinated with this picture. At one point, the gal on the left even pulled out a magnifying glass to get a better look at the "art." Too funny!

Saturday
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This precious face laid in bed with me on Saturday morning when my back was hurting--we were patiently waiting for the girls to arrive!

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When the girls arrived it was time for lunch so we went to my favorite bar/restaurant--the girls had margaritas and burgers and I sipped on water and had my ushe (slang for "usual" which is chicken nachos with jalapenos).

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After lunch, it was time for a little antiquing! My back was bothering me so I rested on a comfy chair while the girls shopped the Scottish antique store.

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We attended church after antiquing and then returned to our place for supper. Brandon came home from work shortly after so we all sat around chatting while dinner was cooking--I made a delicious and moist wine chicken with potatoes and vegetables for supper with my new beer roaster (side note: I have a new favorite kitchen gadget!). Then for breakfast on Sunday, I made my artisan flat bread and served it with mangoes and preserves.

Sunday

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After the girls left on Sunday morning, I went to work for a couple of hours and covered Morris the cat's 25th birthday party (can't you tell he's excited?!)--Morris is the local Humane Society mascot and has lived there for over 15 years. I seriously have the most fun job ever! 

Well, that wraps up my fabulous weekend--how was yours?

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Funnies

Happy Friday, y'all!

Is it just me or has this week really seemed to drag by? TGIF!

Before we get started with the funnies, I have to give a shout out to my sweet cousin, Veronica--Roni, I was feeling really tired and kind of down when you texted me but your kind words turned everything around :) I really couldn't ask for a better cousin!

Okay, my eyes are growing very heavy and my brain is quickly turning into mush so here are this weeks Friday Funnies!


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Betty Crocker Successful Fail

I don't think things through. 

Seriously. 

I thought moving stuff to the new place was a good idea.. with a fractured back.. yeah. 

Anyway, I'm not feeling too hot tonight and don't have too much pep or energy so I'd like to share a guest post I did a few months back for Beth at Arrow in the Eye

Enjoy my Betty Crocker Successful Fail.

If you're familiar with my blog, you know that I have a terrible sugar addiction--I can never get enough! The great thing problem is that when I make something sweet, it's usually just for my husband and me to enjoy. So I was so thrilled and honored when I was asked to make cupcakes for our local humane societies annual fundraiser. I knew right off the bat that it needed to be something animal related but I couldn't figure out what.
Until I was flipping through my Betty Crocker Just Cupcakes cookbook.. Look at what I found right away:

B.I.N.G.O. And these were the cupcakes I was gonna make--o!
Seriously, how adorable are these little guys? And they look like they'd be a cinch to make, right?

Wrong, Annie. Wrong.

I took the easy route and used boxed white cake mix (I usually do homemade but I was trying to save a little time). They came out beautifully from the oven.

Perfect, right?
Then I began to frost. And frost. And frost (I was making 3 dozen).

Whew, now the hard part was over. Time for decorating fun!!

*3 1/2 Hours Later*
Oh no.. they didn't look anything like the picture. Wa-wa-waaaa. I was so bummed..

Then my husband came home and gave me a little bit of a pep talk and I decided they weren't so bad after all. They were kind of cute in their own Betty Crocker fail sort of way..

By morning, I decided I was really proud of my cupcakes. This is the first time I've ever done any kind of dessert decorating like this (minus my 4H cake decorating fails--I was the only person in my division and I still placed 2nd or 3rd in my category). I guess you gotta start somewhere, right?

Here they are on display at the fundraiser. I got so many nice compliments on them and they went over very well!

If you're wanting to make critter cupcakes, here are the candies I used:

 Puppies
Mini Oreos--cut in half (for ears)
Chocolate chips (eyes)
M&Ms (nose)
Small gumdrop--cut vertically into thirds (tongue)

Kittens
Small gumdrops (ears)
Chocolate chips (eyes and nose)
Twizzlers--cut into 1 inch strips (whiskers)--cut additional tiny piece for mouth
 
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Wedding and (Rockin' Chalk) Grooms Cake

These last couple of weeks, I have been sharing our professional wedding photos with you.

Today, I planned to post pictures from the reception but I ended up going back to work for a few hours yesterday (YAY!), wore myself out and napped off and on the rest of the day. Ugh.

So instead, I will be sharing photos of our beautiful wedding cakes!

 
A local bakery created this beauty for us--we wanted something simple and elegant and couldn't have been more pleased with the way it turned out! Brandon and I both liked that it wasn't too over the top and how it subtly added more of our wedding colors to the reception hall.

If you know Brandon, you know he LOVES his University of Kansas Jayhawks; so I knew I had to get him a Jayhawk grooms cake. Instead of going through a bakery, I asked Brandon's and my friend, Jana, to make it--and as you can see, she did an amazing job! Brandon and Jana have been good friends for 5 years now so it made the surprise even more special. Thanks, Jana!

Party, Party, I like to Party

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

You Can Print Instagram at Walgreens for Cheap (& a DIY)?!

Seriously, where have I been?!

Before I begin this post, I should let you know that I am in no way, shape or form being compensated by Walgreens for this post--in fact, Walgreens has no idea that I exist or that I'm writing this post. I'm just overly stoked about my latest discovery. 

Like everyone else, I LOVE Instagram and have lots of pictures on my profile--but I have never taken the time to get online and order them. Now there is no need--you just download the Walgreens app, upload the pics you want, order, pick up and voila!

Annnnd just so you know, I found this coupon code for 40% your entire order; I'm not sure when it expires though so you may want to jump on it!

After picking them up, I knew what needed to be done: I needed to make magnets.

If you know me, you know that I don't have crafty bone in my body and couldn't do a DIY project to save my life (as demonstrated here)--so these magnets needed to be quick and simple enough that even I could do it.

Here's what I did:

Step One: Gather your Instagram prints.

Step Two: Attach two pieces of magnetic tape to back of pictures (I picked the tape up at Ace Hardware for about $3.50--it holds strong to the refrigerator and doesn't hurt the picture; in fact, you can easily peel it off if desired).

That's it. Not too difficult, right?

And now for the before pic of our fridge..


..and after!

I LOVE it! Since the pictures are printed on a firm photo paper, I don't have to worry about them bending if I move them.

Hope this inspires you to make your Instagram magnets. I paid $3.50 for the tape and $6.50 for 27 pictures--not too bad!! 

The worlds happiest refrigerator!

Party, Party, I like to Party
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Monday, April 22, 2013

I Brake for Memoirs!

Something dawned on me yesterday as I watched "House Hunters."..

..I haven't read a book since finishing Gone Girl (side note: O.Em.Gee. Most compelling/thrilling/frustrating book I have ever read!) over a month ago. Whhhaaaatttt...?

I have been on a bit of a magazine kick lately (my faves are HGTV Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, and Country Living) so that has been the majority of my nighttime reading. Don't get me wrong: magazines are great! But.. magazines cannot surprise, thrill, comfort, or entertain quite as much as a good book.

I'm a lover of memoirs and biographies so that's what I went searching for--and this is what I found!

I had never heard of A Lucky Child before but after reading the description (and tearing up), I knew it was a story that could not be passed up.
 Thomas Buergenthal, now a Judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, tells his astonishing experiences as a young boy in his memoir A LUCKY CHILD. He arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Separated first from his mother and then his father, Buergenthal managed by his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck to survive on his own. Almost two years after his liberation, Buergenthal was miraculously reunited with his mother and in 1951 arrived in the U.S. to start a new life. (Summary via Amazon)

I have heard nothing but good things about Sedaris' humorous memoir--I know I'm a little late to the Corduroy and Denim party (about 8 years late), but I can't wait to start it.
David Sedaris plays in the snow with his sisters. He goes on vacation with his family. He gets a job selling drinks. He attends his brother's wedding. He mops his sister's floor. He gives directions to a lost traveler. He eats a hamburger. He has his blood sugar tested. It all sounds so normal, doesn't it? In his newest collection of essays, David Sedaris lifts the corner of ordinary life, revealing the absurdity teeming below its surface. His world is alive with obscure desires and hidden motives -- a world where forgiveness is automatic and an argument can be the highest form of love. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is another unforgettable collection from one of the wittiest and most original writers at work today. (Summary via Amazon)

I have never known much about Chanel, nor have I ever owned any of her fashions/perfumes; but I figured that if I have a quote of hers on my page, I better educate myself (just reading the description makes me think I need to get a new quote.. I may have been better off just going with a Kurt Cobain quote!).
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was the high priestess of couture who created the look of the modern woman. By the 1920s she had amassed a fortune and went on to create an empire. But her life from 1941 to 1954 has long been shrouded in rumor and mystery, never clarified by Chanel or her many biographers. Hal Vaughan exposes the truth of her wartime collaboration and her long affair with the playboy Baron Hans G√ľnther von Dincklage—who ran a spy ring and reported directly to Goebbels. Vaughan pieces together how Chanel became a Nazi agent, how she escaped arrest after the war and joined her lover in exile in Switzerland, and how—despite suspicions about her past—she was able to return to Paris at age seventy and rebuild the iconic House of Chanel. (Summary via Amazon)

Have you read any of these books? Can you recommend a good memoir? 

Also, I recently joined Goodreads. I still don't know what all I'm doing, but I'd love to be friends!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Funnies

Happy Friday, Frans!

Here's my week in a nutshell:
  • I finished up season 4 of "Breaking Bad" today--I'm almost finished with watching the whole series.. a second time! Ugh, I can't wait for August 11th
  •  I moved my gnome planter and flowers inside yesterday because it was supposed to freeze over night.
  • The TV kept flickering last night because of a crazy hailstorm we had.
  • It also snowed last night (so I'm glad I brought the flowers in).
  • Brandon took me to Wal-Mart on Tuesday night--it was my first time leaving the house in awhile (he takes me to the nicest places!).
  •  My back still hurts. A lot. Ugh.
Soooo.. yeah.. that was my week. I'm going to quit bragging now so we can get our laugh on!

Have a fab weekend!

Bitsy

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Day in the Life of Annie (& Bitsy the Cat)

Life has slowed down quite a bit these last few weeks.. a little too much if you ask me.

I haven't been able to work, drive, or really even move since two Sundays ago because of my freaking back (I'll write a post about my ridiculous back issues next week). I've had to adapt to my injury and adopt a new routine but I'm starting to get it down.

So without further ado, I present to you a day in the life of me (and Bitsy).

4:00 AM
Wake up from back pain and work to get re-situated and comfortable.

5:30 AM
Wake up from back pain and work to get re-situated and comfortable.

6:50 AM
Wake up, check my social media and read the news, wait for Brandon to wake up.

7:20 AM
Brandon wakes up and begins getting ready for work, I lie in bed trying to convince myself to get up and put my ice pack in the freezer.

7:35 AM
Brandon leaves for work. 

7:35:30 AM
Bitsy comes into room to see why I haven't gotten up yet.

7:37 AM
I attempt rolling out of bed.

7:39 AM
My feet finally touch the floor--Hunched over, I walk to the kitchen, put ice pack in freezer, start coffee, put oatmeal in microwave, walk to bathroom, brush teeth, walk back to bedroom and put on sweats, eat oatmeal, grab coffee.

7:45 AM
It's finally time to start heading downstairs.

7:47 AM
I made it downstairs!
7:48 AM
Turn heating pad on, feed and water Bitsy.

7:55 AM
Sit down, play with Bitsy, read blogs, drink coffee.

A mouse on a string--hilarity ensues.
9:00 AM
 Turn on "Breaking Bad."

9:45 AM
Fall asleep.

10:15 AM
Wake up from back pain, find myself in an awkward and uncomfortable position, realize it's because Bitsy is taking up entire seat.

10:15:15 AM
Start petting Bitsy so she'll wake up, receive death glare, get us re-situated, fall back asleep.

Couch hog..
11:00 AM
Wake up, do an old lady shuffle upstairs, put soup in microwave, make tea, eat soup, take ice pack out of freezer, head back downstairs.

11:15 AM
Sit on couch, turn on more "Breaking Bad," watch Bitsy clean herself, work on a huge Policy paper (side note: it's actually really interesting; I'm researching/writing about whether or not bloggers should be paid), wake Bitsy up because she's sleeping on my leg and it's starting to hurt, work on huge Capstone project, turn on next episode of "Breaking Bad," pet Bitsy, see whose on "Katie" and then decide whether or not I want to watch.

They go pretty hand in hand..
4:00 PM
Brandon comes home from work, we sit around and talk, check to see if any Duck Dynasty reruns are on (there usually are), Brandon tries to get Bitsy to come over to him, Bitsy leaves the room, catch up on blogs and eat dinner.

9:00 PM
Watch whatever show is on that night (Tuesday is "Cougar Town," Wednesday is "Duck Dynasty," Friday is "Rock Center").

9:30 PM
Feed and water Bitsy, clean litter box, give Bitsy treats.

9:37 PM
Head upstairs and start getting ready to bed: wash face, put on pajamas, get ice pack out of freezer, set up pillows in bed.

10:00 PM
Turn on "Conan."

We love our Conan--so much so that we went to see the show during our honeymoon (and got to be on TV)!
10:15 PM
Bitsy comes upstairs to see what I'm doing (I'm in bed, like always..), does something adorable to distract me, jumps up on bed, gets off bed as soon as I snap fingers.

10:16 PM
Show Bitsy that her comfy kitty bed is next to the bed (the same place it always is).

10:16:10 PM
Bitsy sniffs bed, gives me weird look and decides she'd rather sit at the top of the stairs than lay in her bed.

10:45 PM
Brandon comes upstairs and watches rest of Conan with me.

11:00 PM
Start reading; right now I am perusing the latest "Better Homes & Gardens" for decorating tips/ideas.

11:30 PM
Fall asleep.

Annnndddd.. repeat. 

Hopefully I'll be up and moving again soon.. as exciting as my days are, I'm ready to once again be a productive member of society.

Party, Party, I like to Party
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