Thursday, September 29, 2011

So Excited::. The Mandie Books

Ok, the other day I was in the local Christian Book store buying a gift for Jillie's baptism which was this past weekend (yes she had a HUGE weekend); she got an adorable "My Pink Prayer Purse" and a "footsteps" plaque thing from us.
Yummy prayer purse...

But that's not the point... anyway as I was checking out (and trying to keep Jillie out of.. well.. EVERYTHING) I looked down and saw a DVD titled Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure and I got SUPER excited! Well, it took a little while for my brain to get to that point.
First I was like 'Mandie.. hmm... I read Christian books with a Mandie character'.
Then it went to, 'Well, I am in a Christian book store, let me look more closely'.
I reread the title and thought, ''Cherokee... yeah this Mandie had friends who were Cherokee.'
Then finally the light came on, "Oh my gosh!! They made movies?!!?'
Has anyone else read any of The Mandie Books? They were like 'the Nancy Drew books for christians'; I'm quoting the checkout lady at the book store there, but that's pretty much what they were... and I LOVED THEM! My Aunt (married to a preacher) would get me one or two of these for every holiday and birthday.
Yeah, I was excited. I'm totally going to see if the library has these and watch them when hubby has drill or something (Not gonna lie, he PROBABLY won't want to watch it no matter how good it is).

Anyway, I just wanted to share my excitement... woo hoo!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cupcake Party ::. Jillie's 1st Birthday

My baby girl is ONE! I can't believe it, I really don't know where the time went (tear). But anyway, enough babbling... onto the decorations.

I think I kinda went overboard on this one and if I keep trying to outdo my last party I'm in trouble! Eventually I'm going to either run out of time or out of sanity... not sure which one will come first.

Starting off, we have the front door...
Simple. Boring dollar store cupcakes and balloon (iparty).

Then in the entryway (in case you weren't sure why you were here...)

Moving on a little bit we have the "Shrine of Jillie"

On the mantle we have her month by month banner (using the paper accordion fan thingys as a background that I can not possibly recall where I saw instead of the circle that I used for Charlotte's 1st birthday month by month banner)

and NOW onto the CUPCAKE (and dessert) TABLE!
Click to enlarge (and I am really proud of this so go ahead and click!)
PS - I made the table cloth too... and love the doilies scattered around

The breakdown of the dessert table:
Sugar cookies AND... my first time rolling out cookie dough and using cookie cutters. As you can see I only
have 4 "shapes".... I got bored with rolling out the dough and did the rest in flattened balls of dough. Sue me.
Vanilla cupcakes, Grandma's wedding icing, edges rolled in sprinkles.
Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes from My Baking Addiction with Grandma's
Wedding icing and cupcake tags made by me in photoshop
Orange cupcakes with orange and white swirled Grandma wedding icing...
with same cupcake tags made in photoshop
These were the favor boxes so each guest could bring home a cupcake. These are actually leftover from my wedding...
I just made a tag (in photoshop) large enough to cover the "Eric & Stevie" that were printed on them 5 years ago.
If the cupcakes weren't enough... I made a LARGE cupcake for the centerpiece.
PS - Do you see that orange cupcake to the left... that's sitting on an upside down
margarita glass as a display; I did the same for the Chocolate cookie cupcakes too on the right.
and LASTLY I tried my hand at marshmallow pops (seen EVERYWHERE, but designed to match these) held up by skittles. Not gonna lie... the skittles didn't work at all. Maybe I didn't have enough. These were actually the biggest hit with the kiddos.
And since I didn't catch it in the picture of the table (dummy), here is the wreath that was hanging above the table
This WAS inspired by someone here in blogland... someone I follow but for the life of me I can't find the stinkin blog post to link it to. She found pink and green bows in the dollar section and added a number of the birthday. So if that was YOU... let me know and I will totally post your link!!
And NOW for the party...

Saturday was the party. Then on Sunday, Jillie got baptized. It was a HUGE weekend...

Time to get ready for Thursdays playdate birthday party... I. Am. Exhausted!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you liked it :)

Linking up: CRAFT, Keeping it Simple, Making the World Cuter, Blackberry Vine, Homework, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl full of Lemson, Chef in Training, Vintage Gwen, Someday Crafts, Sweetpeas and BB, Women who do it all, Dragonfly Designs, Trophy Wife, DIY by Design, Gingersnap Crafts, My Girlish Whims, Sew Much Ado,  handy man crafty woman, Momnivores Dilema, Gluesticks, Crafty Blog Stalker, It's a Keeper, house of Hepworths, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Sun Scholars, Faith Trust and Pixie Dust, Bacon Time, Delicate Construction, Ladybird Ln, Remodeloholic, Naptime Crafters, Just a Girl, Tatertots and Jello, Young and crafty, Running with Glitter, Jessica N Designs,



Thursday, September 22, 2011

One year ago today....

So ONE YEAR AGO TODAY... I woke up EARLY and I'll spare you the details, but I wasn't entirely sure if my water had broken or not. So I kept going back and forth between the bed and the bathroom. I got up and showered around 6.

Charlotte had school this morning so in between some cramping, I got ready, packed her back, and had breakfast. I woke her and hubby up at 8 and got everyone ready to go. This is when I turned to hubby and told him that "I need to call the doctor, today might be the day". He looked somewhat like a deer caught in headlights and I added "after we get Charlotte off to school". Then comes the rushing around; get the over night bag, get Charlotte, call your mom... she's going to have to get her at noon. I ask hubby where his bag is; and he said "we are going NOW?" (um... I told you yes and I'm sitting in the car on a towel, what do you think?) "can't I come home and shower first?". (eye roll from this girl!).

We drop Charlotte off (with me holding onto hubby's arm for support during the contractions) and we head towards the hospital/doctors office; they are directly across the street... handy huh? So I get through to the doctor and explain the situation and she says, 'well... you can come in if you aren't sure and we'll check you out'. This was around 9:30am.

We wait 5 minutes and they put us in a side room (we were just at the doctors the day before and they figured that yes, I was in labor). As we were waiting, I got nervous because the contractions weren't as strong but when doc came in, he took one look... er.... under me... and said ,"um yeah, your water broke".

So I ask "do we need to go to the hospital right now?" and he says "well, not if you don't want to have the baby there" (thanks Jerk.... I was just asking because in all the rush we had left the cameras AT HOME!). He also said that he'd "come over and deliver me at lunch" (he was full of those fun one-liners). We go across the street and check in, "Hi, 'I'm, here to have a baby". This was around... 10:15am I think.

AND because I need to document... a camera phone picture (at 11:18am)...

A few hours, 1 IV, and NO pain killers later (doc {a} said I could do it on my own and {b} isn't a fan of pain killers) the doc stops by on his lunch break and checks me out. He decides he has time to run downstairs for a quick lunch, but he'll be close enough if something happens. Cool. This is around 12.

Contractions start getting worse and in walks Charlotte (I actually heard her down the hall "MOMMMY") and mother-in-law WITH THE CAMERAS!! They didn't stay long because the contractions were ROUGH and frankly Charlotte was scared to see mommy in a bed with wires, so my mother-in-law hustled her out quickly. This is around 12:30pm

At this point I ask the nurse to bed my doc for an epidural, he reluctantly agrees.

Enter the anesthesiologist: "Stay still" - easier said than done ... "what's wrong are you ok?" - fine other than the fact that you are sticking a HUGE-A$$ needle in my back as I'm having a contraction, no sweat.

The rest went pretty quickly...

They lose the heart rate as they are laying me down from getting the epidural, so they roll me to my side, which did NOT let the epidural work anywhere but my left leg. ugh. (turns out the wires fell off baby's head down there).

After hoping the epidural would kick in I suddenly feel.... Woah boy, I need to push!

Doc walks in and asks if I feel different contractions; which I didn't and he grumbles that it was because of the stupid epidural (jerk).

However I DEFINITELY felt the next one and 2 contractions later, Jillian Ann was born! This was 1:24pm.

Thanks to the epidural kicking in AFTER the baby, I was stuck in that room for another hour or so until I could walk; but I got to snuggle with my newborn.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Latest paint-penned birthday gift (for cheap!)

I want to thank Bargains for WAHMs for sharing that we could get several Hasbro Games for REALLY cheap at Walmart using this past weeks Sunday coupons. This came at a SUPER opportune time because we have another birthday party to go to this weekend.

Target Garbage Can (personalized) - $2
Chalk - $1
Old Maid - $0.97
Crazy 8s - $0.97
Crayons - $0.40
Travel Connect 4 - $5.97 - 4 coupon = $1.97
Mini Fishing Game - $2.24
Toy Story Memory - $7 - 3 coupon = $4
Half a pack of rocket balls - $1.25

Woo hoo!!

I really like adding something personalized to each gift that I give be it embroidery (when I have time) or some as simple as paint penning a cup, bucket, garbage can, etc. It shows that you worked hard and thought about the gift.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Over 50 hours of driving...

I am back... finally! Wow, it feels like I've been away FOREVER, but it was only 12 days.

I would be happy if I never had to get into the car ever again after this trip:
  • home to my parents: 8 hrs
  • parents to Clemson: 2.5 hrs
  • Clemson to Atlanta Airport to parents: 5 hrs
  • a few days break....
  • parents to Grandma: 14.5 hours.... straight.... in the car with 2 little girls
  • Grandma to rehearsal: 1.25 hrs
  • rehearsal to Grandma: 1.25 hrs
  • Grandma to Wedding: 1.25 hrs
  • Wedding to Grandma: 1.25 hrs
  • Grandma to parents (split over 2 days): 14.5 hrs
  • parents to home: 9 hrs (stupid traffic)
TOTAL OF: 57.5 hours of driving in the past 12 days

Well, I now know that my youngest is not a huge fan of car rides.... that was fun (not at all)! Since we were in the car for 57.5 hours!!

But all in all, the trip was awesome!! We got to go to Clemson to see friends and football.

I got to help decorate some wedding sheet cakes for my Aunt's wedding; I put my Wilton cake decorating class to use.

The girls got to play with their cousin and my cousins kids on the farm and play with stuff that I used to play with as a kid (swing set which has got to be at least 20 years old, a "tread mil", horse, and other various toys).

AND we had wedding festivities!!

Oh! So a scary thing happened on my last leg of the trip; I was driving past a small u-haul truck and just as I passed by I heard a loud BANG. No joke, it scared the bejeezes out of me. I jumped and frantically searched the mirrors and "tested" my car to see what in the world had just happened. Looking in the rear view I see the u-haul had blown a rear tire and they were slowly (and safely) making their way to the side of the road (Thank goodness!!).  I have never heard a tire blow out before and it is the scariest thing ever; I hope I never heard it ever again.

Charlotte started her first day of school for the year (a week and a half after her classmates) this morning and boy was she happy.

I'm slowing starting to unpack and get myself organized and back into my routine again with the gym, errands, playdates, and Bible study (which starts on Friday, woo hoo!). Please bear with me as I get myself back into the swing of things!!

Happy Hump Day everyone!

PS - Remember "that day" I was having right before my vacation? Well, this is what happened AFTER the post was written...


Friday, September 9, 2011

What to get the Grandparents for birthday....?

You know how it is... your mom or dad's birthday is coming up and they always say "oh nothing, I don't want you to waste your money" when you ask them what they need.

WELL, I came up with a super cute gift from the girls to "Gi gi" (my mom) for her 62 (shhh, I didn't tell) birthday. Ok, so it's not really a gift, it's the thought that counts right?!

Mom was coming in from GA, so I dressed the girls up in these shirts for when she got there! She LOVED it (**when she finally read the shirts **) It also made for a great photo-op of her and the girls.

Gotta love $5 at Target and iron on letters (with coupons).

... OK, I lied, I didn't JUST come up with this shirt idea... here's 2 years ago. I still liked the idea though.
Gi Gi 60; Charlotte 6mo

** Back to the whole "mom not reading shirts" ish. I flew up to surprise my parents back when I got pregnant with Charlotte (1st grandchild... big deal!), and had my brother drive me out to the house. When I walked in the door, mom was surprised and asked "What are you doing here?" (nice, huh). I pointed at the t-shirt I was wearing. And she gave me a dumb look. So I had to tell her to read my shirt. It said (in quite large letters) "BABY BUMP". (yay, hugs, kisses, tears, etc) You'd think she'd learn... nope.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What did I wear to Clemson?

Hello to all of my lovely readers!!

I know you are waiting with bated breath to see what I wore to this past weekends Clemson football game (right....? No?.... oh well, I'm going to tell you anyway).

I have been on the go/ away from home base since Friday AM, so I apologize for lack of posts AND lack of pictures (I left my cord at home... blech, so picture on this post has been borrowed from friends facebook accounts). Friday we left bright and early and drove the 8 hours up to my parents house in Georgia to drop the kiddos off for the weekend! (I am SO glad they moved somewhere near Clemson, it makes going to games so much easier). Kids did well AND I didn't even have to whip out the dvd player for Charlotte.
Then after a driving break of a few hours and some dinner, we drove the 2.5 hours over to Clemson so we could hit the town Friday night.

A great Friday night in Clemson inevitably turns into a rough Saturday morning in Clemson.... but we persisted and went to tailgate!

So which dress did I pick? 2nd from the left (gosh I'm short....)

 The Target (online only) dress!  Loved the dress... although I have some issues with one of the dress reviewers on

This reviewer chick said something along the lines of "I'm 5'7 and I got a small and this dress is the perfect length". Perfect length my a$$! I'm no where near 5'7 and that dress length made me slightly uncomfortable. Now maybe it's because I'm now a mom of 2 upper 20s year old no longer hoochie girl, but sheesh... this dress would barely cover some 5'7's hiney.

Ok, rant over. I still like the dress!

Clemson 43 - Troy 19

I'll post some more fun Clemson pictures once I can get said pictures of my camera!

My blog will be in auto-mode until I get back to home base early next week. We are leaving tomorrow bright and early to drive (12 hours) up to my Aunts wedding in Illinois. Luckily, the girls and I are going to be in the car with my parents (hubby has to work). WISH US LUCK! Hope you guys have a great week.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Recipe::. Wedding Shrimp & Grits

This is the BEST Shrimp (and sausage) & Grits recipe ever!! (ok.. it comes a close second to the Shrimp & Grits at Clemson's fancy date night restaurant). We used this recipe for my brother and sister-in-laws rehearsal dinner... thus the name. You may think that you do not like grits, but what you are probably used to is the flavorless watery grits from Waffle House or maybe Denny's. These grits are such creamy goodness!! Trust me.



4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 stick (8 tablespoons) margarine or butter
1-1/2 cups yellow or white stone-ground grits (I use Red Mill)
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese

Bring broth, water and butter to boil in 4-quart (or larger) saucepan. Lower heat to medium. Add one teaspoon salt and grits and whisk until blended. When grits thicken after about 2 minutes lower heat to simmer and cover pot.

Cook 15 minutes stirring occasionally with wooden spoon. Add milk and heavy cream and simmer an additional 10 minutes (uncovered) until tender and creamy.
Tender a creamy... yummy!

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add shredded cheddar cheese to grits or serve on the side. Makes 4 (ridiculously) generous servings.

Cajun Shrimp & Sausage
Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined (allow 1 pound for 3 people)
12-14 ounces Andouille sausage (sliced into coins) (You’ll find this in most groceries with the bacon. Wal-Mart carries it)
12-14 ounces smoked sausage or polish kielbasa (sliced into coins)
Olive oil
Cajun seasoning

Place sausages in 13 x 9 baking dish or metal pan.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with Cajun seasoning, stirring to coat.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Add shrimp (drizzle with more oil and Cajun seasoning), stir, and bake an additional 10 minutes until shrimp turn pink.

Serve over grits. Makes 4 servings.
How good does THAT closeup look?

See, even my 2 year old is a fan!!

Linking up: My Girlish Whims, Sew Much Ado, Handy Man Crafty Woman, Gingersnap Crafts, Not Just a Housewife, Twin Dragonfly Designs, Someday Crafts, Sweet Ps and BB, Remodelaholic, Vintage Gwen, Momnivores Dilema, Gluesticks, House of Hepworths, Crafty Blog Stalker, It's a Keepr, Faith Trust & Pixie Dust, Young and Crafty, Lolly Jane

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