Monday Musings

Hello, Everybody!!! How was your weekend? Was it fabulous??

Good.

Mine was fabulous as well!

It started Friday night when we went to a bonfire at our friends’ house. Well, actually, that came after a completely failed attempt at a steak dinner at home. As much as I love Aldi, I will not be buying their steak. Ever. Again. I didn’t have high hopes for it, but I didn’t think it would taste….like that. Consider yourself warned. The good coffee and pumpkin bread around the fire helped redeem the less-than-stellar-dinner, though, so I won’t complain anymore.

Saturday, I got up early and went yard-selling with a friend. Yes, yard-selling is a word. No, I don’t know how to spell it. Yes, an embarrassing a small amount of time went into debating the proper spelling of this word.

I didn’t find anything at the yard sales, but we ended up in downtown where the farmer’s market was still open. I got a jar of local honey and bought a super cute vintage butter dish. I don’t have a picture to share with you because, well, I just don’t. #newblogger #forgottodocumentherlife #again

I got home from our yard-selling (have to break it in being a newish word and all) around noon, and I made spaghetti and salad for lunch. Here’s some ground breaking news: I bought a new kind of spaghetti sauce, even though my husband is a die-hard Prego groupie, and he raved over it! He even said, and I quote, “I like this better than Prego.” See?? Now it’s documented. Because no one would believe me otherwise.

*insert photo of ecstatic me pointing to jar of aforementioned sauce*

After lunch, I attempted to make homemade frappuccinos. I actually did document the steps of this process, but they weren’t that great. So instead, I’ll just share the after shot. Because…they were kinda pretty.

Picture of frappuccinos

I said kinda pretty.

Later that day, we went out to buy coffee for the week and went to Bojangles for a random mini-date. I’m not hard to please, and after Hubs had been working on a paper allllll dayyyy, I was super excited to spend a little time with him before church. We couldn’t figure out why there were hardly any parking spaces, but when we got in we realized there was a game of Bingo happening! The place was filled with people over the age of 55 and one twenty-something girl. We wanted to join in the fun, but had to go home to get ready for church. This may have been the highlight of my day.

After church on Sunday, we ate lunch at Carrabas, where I tried something new! This never happens. I’m so glad I did, though, because it was delicious. Next time you go, you have to get the Cavatappi Martino. Unless you are already getting this dish. Then I’m mad at you for not telling me about it sooner.

Cavatappi nazi.

After lunch, we went to Lowe’s to get the supplies I needed to tackle a DIY project. I finally painted our front door! It was just plain white and painted with flat paint, so it stayed dirty all the time. I’ll tell you all the details later, but here’s my sweet hubby putting the hardware back on for me….

Picture

…while I sat snuggled on the couch.

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Cold weather + coffee + snuggling with my love = BINGO!

What did you do this weekend? Have you tackled any DIY projects lately?

~Red~

Friday Favorites #3

Hello friends, and welcome to Friday! This week was a busy one and went by fast! I’m looking forward to a chance to get caught up on things and spend time with friends.

Time to celebrate this week’s highlights!

  1. Breakfast Potatoes – I mentioned these in Monday’s post, but man oh man I didn’t know how awesome they would be! They need to be called something like All Day Potatoes because they were so tasty and were awesome in so many meals this week. I covered the Russet potatoes in cheese and bacon for dinner Sunday night, covered them again in cheese as a side dish on Monday, and combined the sweet potatoes with apple sausage and eggs for dinner on Wednesday! I almost need to make two batches; that’s how much we loved these!

    breakfast potatoes

    Ready to bake!

  2. Early Birthday Dinner with the Grandparents – My mom is going out of town for the next week or so, so we had my early birthday dinner this week. My Poppa (the unofficial chef) made chicken alfredo, garlic bread, and salad for dinner (my request), and we had my signature cake for dessert. Seriously, I’ve had this cake every year for my birthday for about 20 years. It’s the best. We’re also cat sitting while Mom is gone, and somebody is NOT happy about it.

    picture

    Touch me and die, human.

3. Kitchen Renovation – No, not mine. I wish! My mom’s landlords are redoing her kitchen because of some structural issues with the floor. That means new cabinets, new floors, and new paint! Here’s the before so you can fully appreciate her nice new one in a couple weeks! That’s when it’s supposed to be finished anyway. We’ll see. I had a blast working with Mom and Grandma to get it all emptied. Those women are crazy…

kitchenbefore2kitchen before

4. Thirty-One Tote Steal! – Since I’ve officially become an Aldi convert, I needed something to use to carry my groceries since they don’t use bags. So far, I’ve just been putting the loose groceries in my car and using a laundry basket to carry them inside. Classy, I know. I wanted a pretty Thirty-One Tote, but couldn’t justify the $50 price tag. Luckily, I found out one of my co-workers is a rep, and she had one on sale for half price! It even came with a lid! I may have been a little too excited about this. Now I can get my super cheap groceries in style! 🙂

tote bag

It’s so pretty!! Look at all that room!

Yes, two of my favorite things are food related. #fatgirlstatus

How was your week? Do you have a go-to recipe that you make every week?

~Red~

TBT to Our First Home

Picture of our first home

One of my favorite stories from people who have been married awhile is the one about their first home. Even if they were dirt poor when they got married and could barely afford a one bedroom apartment, they almost always get this glazed, lovey-dovey look on their faces when they go back to that point in their lives. Ahhh…the romance…

We’ve only been married for a little over 2 1/2 years, and we’ve only lived in our new house for about half that time, but I get just as dreamy-eyed when I look back at our time spent in our first home.

Picture of our first home

Because we weren’t super young when we got married, we were a little better off financially than some and were able to look for houses to rent instead of apartments. Which is a good thing, because my Missouri-born husband was used to being miles away from his neighbors, and I think he would have gone nuts if he had to share walls with strangers.

We actually found our house very quickly. We sat down one afternoon about six months before our wedding, pulled up Craigslist, and saw this beautiful, old farmhouse for rent right within our price range. We drove by to make sure the neighborhood wasn’t sketchy, and called to schedule a showing.

Picture of our first house

This room was always so dark!

Right after we scheduled it, however, we got the most terrible news. My husband’s grandfather had passed away. Not only were we heartbroken, now, he would be travelling to Missouri and would be gone the day we were supposed to see the house.

Since, we were both really interested in it, we decided that I would go anyway. I took my mother so she could keep me grounded. I tend to be overly optimistic when it comes to looking at houses and was afraid I would miss something super obvious, like the house not having a bathroom or something. When we pulled in the driveway, we were greeted by an older man in a Hawaiian print shirt and shorts who was covered in white paint. After we introduced ourselves, he started walking us through the house.

Picture of our first home

   Isn’t that an awesome table? Yeah, it’s actually a desk. My first decorating “hack” and I was so proud!

I still laugh when I think about how I fell in love with the house even though it was still full of the previous renters things, was in desperate need of a good scrubbing, and smelled…funky. For some strange reason, all I saw were original hardwood floors (the house was built in 1907!), a wood-burning fireplace in the bedroom, a beautiful front porch and side screened-in porch, and a gorgeous yard. I was in love.

PIcture of our first home

      See the fireplace?! I still miss it.

If you haven’t caught on by now, we rented the house. And Hubs hadn’t even seen it yet, other than driving by. I was so nervous when he came home to see it for the first time. I had already signed the lease, so we were stuck for a year whether he liked it or not. On top of that, he was going to be living there for six months by himself! I really, really hoped and prayed he would like it, and he did! In fact, it was almost identical to the house he grew up in. We just new we had found the perfect place to start our new life together.

Picture of our first home

And we had. 🙂

Next week, I’ll share some of our favorite memories from the farmhouse. Hint, as with any farmhouse, dead mice are involved.

~Red~

Why I Chose to be an English Major

I can still hear the groan of disappointment when I told my grandfather I had decided to major in English.

My mother thought it was a great idea, but my grandfather, who is the more practical one in the family, looked like I had just announced that I was quitting college and planning to marry rich.

I think he had visions of me standing in welfare lines in my coffee shop uniform. Which would be okay, except I was paying HOW MUCH to get an education?

I wasn’t oblivious to the facts. I knew that if you majored in English, did not plan to teach, and had no real interest in pursuing even higher education, your options were severely limited.

So why did I insist of joining the ranks of the *gasp* liberal arts majors?

I’m so glad you asked.

  1. I love the English language. I love all the stupid rules and exceptions to the rules. I love the intricacies, and the double meanings, and the way it can be broken down to its simplest form and built back up into an astounding piece of literature that transcends time and technology and still remains relevant. Which brings me to my next point…
  2. I love literature. Ahhh….literature. One of the main reasons I wanted to be an English major was because I wanted an excuse to READ ALL THE BOOKS. I used to spend hours reading as a kid, and still find it as one of my favorite ways to challenge my thinking, extend my vocabulary, and simply escape the day-to-day humdrum that is life sometimes. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through those horribly awkward teenage years if I didn’t have the opportunity to immerse myself in places where it didn’t matter if you were a part of the “in” crowd or not (I wasn’t…in case you hadn’t gathered that).
  3. I realized the value of an English major. No, you don’t come out with a set career path or a guaranteed steady income. In fact, I looked for almost two years for a decent paying job after I graduated. But even though I didn’t gain a specific skill set that matched a certain job requirement, I did gain skills that apply to almost any job requirement out there. Companies value good communication skills, problem solving skills, and comprehension skills, all of which I developed  while earning my degree.

So, I’m sorry, Poppa, that I didn’t go into the medical field. I know I’ve caused you more stress than you bargained for and made you have nightmares of supporting me while I did nothing but read books and scribble.

But, really, you don’t have to worry about me. I’ve gained so much more during this process, and even if I don’t make six figures and am still paying student loans when I’m 80, at least I’ll talk purty. 🙂

Monday Musings

Happy Monday!! They do exist…right?

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and feel nice and rested for the week ahead.

Our weekend started off great. We had a super fancy (not) at home date night on Friday complete with breakfast for dinner and Pitch Perfect 2, which lets face it, was dis-aca-pointing. The first one was so great. They should have just left that one alone.

Saturday, we had plans! We had a long list of things we were going to accomplish like cleaning house, doing lots of homework for Hubs, writing some fun blog posts for me, and getting things prepped for this week so we didn’t spend the whole week playing catch up like we usually do.

But…..none of that happened. We lazed around all day and accomplished z-e-r-o. Stupid Netflix.

And then to make us feel even better about our veg-out day, our pastor preached all about priorities and how if we don’t put God first in our lives, whatever we put before him becomes an idol. Have I ever spent an entire day simply reading God’s word? No. Did I feel discouraged and like there was no way I could ever be the Christian I want to be? Yes. But did God come down and shower me with His grace and remind me how sufficient He is even in my weakness? YES. God. Is. Good.

After church, we were both resolved to tackle that list. Well, Hubs didn’t really have a choice. He had two tests to take that day. Mom came over for lunch, and she helped motivate me while he was barricaded in the office. Apparently we’re distracting? Who knew?

One thing we did that made me super excited was prep a bunch of food for the week. We made a pan of roasted potatoes, a big salad, some soup that we divided up into individual portions so we can grab them for lunches during the week, and some of the easiest oatmeal bars ever. Seriously, bananas + instant oatmeal + bake for 15 minutes = breakfast for the week. My kind of recipe. It feels so nice to have some grab and go food options ready. Makes me feel like I’m ahead for once.

Hopefully, I can continue this streak of productivity. I still have a long to-do list, and I always feel better if I can keep checking things off instead of just adding things.

As long as I can stay away from Netflix, I should be good. 🙂

What did you do this weekend? Do you have a Sunday prep day or do you just wing it during the week?

~Red~

Friday Favorites #2

Friends, the weekend is upon us! So far my weekend is shaping up quite nicely, and by that I mean I have NO plans other than a bonfire tonight with the hubby. And I really do have to clean the house at some point this weekend.

I need a maid. Or some friendly forest animals. Or Matilda’s magical powers.

I’m not picky.

But for now, it’s time to share some of my favorite moments from the past week!

01. Mom’s Birthday Dinner!

We try to have dinner with my grandparents at least once a week anyway, but this week was better than usual because it was my mom’s birthday! She’s the only girl, so she’s a little spoiled (whether she admits it or not), and my grandfather, aka Poppa, pulled out all the stops. He cooks the best steak, and spoiled us all with a delicious dinner. I’m happy to celebrate your birthday anytime, Mom.

02. Aldi Shopping Trips with Kelly

Aldi opened in our town a little over a year ago, but I always forget to shop there because I’m a creature of habit. Since Kelly works so close to me now (Yay!), we decided to go after work and get groceries for the week. Well, I needed groceries. She just went with me for fun and because she knows I hate doing anything by myself. Yes, I have issues. I ended up getting a week’s worth of groceries for a little over 50 dollars! I spy a weekly tradition?

03. Lunch Dates with this Cutie!

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Hubs was on fall break this week, so he got to come have lunch with me! This image pretty much sums up our week. He had way too much caffeine in attempts to keep up with homework, and my work has been super slow because my boss is out of town. Apparently,no one wants to come talk to just me. Strange. I’m obviously quite charming.

What were some of your favorite moments this week? Do you go to the same grocery store out of habit? Or do you shop the sales?

~Red~

TBT to That Time I Dropped a Class, and Drank Black Coffee, Because of a Boy

Once upon a time, I sought to diversify my resume. I planned to add a computer science minor to my English major, making it pretty much impossible for any company to refuse my multi-talented self.

Before declaring though, I decided to take a few trial run courses to make sure I could hack it (see what I did there?) in the world of ones and zeros.

One of these courses was Web Theory and Design. I imagined all the ways it would be useful in my very lucrative future and just knew I was on track to prove everyone wrong who assumed being a barista was the only viable option available to English majors.

However, Web Theory and Design was, fittingly, an online class. Online classes are challenging for those of us who are…let’s just say…lacking in the time management department.

Unit one was due Friday. I met my friend (and a few other frantic classmates) to START working on it Thursday night.

Yep. I was that student.

After an hour or so of working diligently on what proved to be a very complicated assignment for me, I got a text from a boy with the three words every college girl wants to hear:

You want coffee?

We had only been texting for a little while, and had never officially gone out together, but I wasted no time in texting back.

Yes, yes I did want coffee thank you very much.

He showed up a little while later with a huge thermos full, and we talked for two hours while standing in the parking lot.

Only when my friend started texting me thinking I had been kidnapped did I finally go back up to the computer lab, where I drank two cups of BLACK coffee, shut my computer down, and announced to my friend that I would be dropping Web Theory and Design.

Maybe it was the cute boy who distracted me from my determination to rule the world through both written word and typed HTML.

Maybe it was standing for two hours that caused all the common sense to drain from my brain.

Or, maybe it was when he shyly handed me the old book about the bird girl that reminded me of my love for literature.

Now, that same boy makes me coffee every morning.

He puts cream in it.

~Red~