Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Blogger Christmas Exchange

I'm finally sharing what I received for the Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange hosted by the lovely Olya & Mattie! I always love participating in these exchanges because it's a wonderful way to meet other bloggers and of course, to just spread some cheer!

My gifts came from Caitlin @ Its The Grad Life! She totally knocked it out of the park with my gifts! It's as if she knew exactly what I'd like! There wasn't one gift that I didn't love, so thank you!

So, let's get on with it, shall we....?







First of all, I absolutely ADORE tea towels! I never can seem to get enough of them and always love switching them out to add a little decor to my kitchen or bathroom! Maybe it's a southern thing? These couldn't be more perfect! Plaid & Christmas cheer wrapped up in one!

So, I was a total geek when I opened up the package and saw stationary & office supplies! I am always the one that loves "Back to School" time because I love finding new notebooks, pens & stationary! This couldn't have come at a better time since starting my own business! I've already put those binder clips to good use!

The scarf is seriously the softest thing ever! I can't wait to use it this winter! We've had unseasonably warm temperatures here in Kentucky so far, so hopefully there are a few days that I can wear this thing out! Also, Grey is one of my favorite colors!

The candle smells amazing! I immediately put it out on my dresser as soon as I opened the package!

Thank you Caitlin! 



Monday, December 19, 2016

Weekend Fun

Can you believe it's already the Monday before Christmas!? Wow, where has the time gone? I'm still wondering that about the weekend, actually. It seemed to FLY by!

Friday night Don & I went to a Christmas outing that was sponsored by my financial advisor with Edward Jones. They hosted it at the EKU Center for the Arts, and wow! They definitely didn't disappoint. This was the first time that we had been to the Center and it is gorgeous! I love that we have this right in our backyard, we definitely will have to take more advantage of the events that they host here. When we walked in they sent us upstairs to the Black Box, where there was a spread of appetizers and hordourves being served. We ate & chatted with a few friends that we ran into while we were there.

Afterwards we headed back downstairs to enjoy the musical playing that night, complimentary of Edward Jones as well.  The musical was "Rudolph."

Don & I didn't really know what to expect, but we thought it was super cute! It definitely was a production, and very enjoyable! We weren't allowed to take any pictures during the show, however. Bummer! Here is their promo video from their website....



Here we are waiting for the show to start....

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, eyeglasses, stripes, closeup and indoor






Saturday we ventured to town for a couple hours, only to realize we were not fighting the crazy madness so we came back home! We lounged around & watched TV & I made a big pot of Taco Soup for supper. Definitely a favorite recipe around here in the winter, & so, so easy!

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Sunday - We were complete bums! I did a load of laundry & we watched movies & football all day! I'm attempting to clean out our DVR, so we watched JOY. Have you seen it? It's definitely a little slow at times, but overall a pretty good movie! It was based on a true story, and played by one of Kentucky's own, Jennifer Lawrence! Later in the evening Don watched "Bourne Supremacy." I try SO hard to like those movies, but I just cant! I watched the first one with him a couple nights ago & it was intriguing, but not something I want to sit down and watch 5 of! Shhh, don't tell him I said that! Ha:).

Hope everyone has a great week!




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Q & A

I found this lovely little Christmas Q & A at LoveYesiBlog,  so I'm going to steal it and give it a whirl as well! Make sure you go and check her blog out, too! 


Stunning Illustration for Christmas #Car / Fantastica Illustrazione per Natale #Macchina - (by The Jonny Javelin Card Company Ltd)                                                                                                                                                      More:




1. What is your favorite Christmas film?
Oh, man! There are so many good ones to pick from. My go to's every single year are How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carey version), The Holiday, Elf & Christmas with the Kranks. 

2. Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Yes! Many, times! I despise the white stuff, however, at Christmas time it's such a joy to see! It just makes it feel even more like Christmas when you wake up and there is snow on the ground!

3. Where do you usually spend the holiday?
Christmas Eve we usually spend it at home. We cook dinner and just watch movies. Nothing too exciting, but it's nice and relaxing. On Christmas Day we spend it with family & close friends. It's been an annual tradition for years now, we all sit around and watch movies, exchange gifts & of course eat lots of wonderful food! 

4. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Silent Night has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs. I even learned how to SIGN it when I was younger.

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas eve?
No, we hold out til Christmas morning! 

6. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? 
Of course! Only if I sing the song though! I'm not sure I could recite them any other way. 

7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
I'm looking forward to starting new ones with my new husband! This will be our first Christmas as a married couple. One tradition that I'm bringing back from when I was younger is having cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning before we open gifts. 

8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake. 
It's fake. I LOVE a real tree, however I love being able to enjoy our tree for a long period of time. Plus, it's just SO much easier! 

9. What is your all time favorite Holiday food / Sweet Treat? 
Sweet Treat would definitely be peppermint bark. I could eat my weight in that stuff! 

10. Be honest, do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better? 
I love giving gifts! I always put so much thought in gifts, honestly, to the point that I stress myself out. However, the receiver's reaction is always something that I love to see! It just warms my heart to watch others eyes light up when they open their gifts. 

11. What would be your dream place to visit for the Holiday season?
I would love to go to New York for Christmas! I can only imagine seeing Rockefeller Center with the Christmas Tree, all the store fronts decorated and just to be able to experience the atmosphere that time of year. It just has to be incredible! 

12. Are you a pro present wrapper, or do you fail miserably? 
I don't do too shabby. I'm definitely not a professional, but I can make it look pretty decent! That counts for something, right? 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Recipe: Beer Bread

Happy Monday! The weather has gotten chilly here in Kentucky and they are calling for single digits, freezing rain and snow flurries later this week! Brrr! I guess winter is finally beginning to set in.

This recipe is the epitome of comfort food! My kitchen smelled amazing while it was in the oven. I made my bread with Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale! Seriously, you have to try this recipe! Simple & delicious!



Ingredients: 
* 3 Cups of Self Rising Flour 
* 3 Tablespoons of Sugar
* 1 Room Temperature Beer
* Butter 

Directions:
Add 3-4 pats of butter to top of bread. Bake at 400 Degrees for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Enjoy!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Joyful Celebration

Thursday night Don & I attended a small Christmas party for an organization that is near and dear to my heart, Jarrett's Joy Cart. Jarrett & I went through chemotherapy together, and he was the coolest kid I will ever know. His heart was so kind, and he was always looking for a way to help others. 

They hosted the Christmas Party at a local Ice Cream Lounge, Crank & Boom, that we hadn't yet been to! Man, what have we been missing out on? The lounge was small & quaint, with an upbeat, positive atmosphere and had some of the best ice cream we've ever had! 

The Christmas Party had a photo booth, Homemade Hot Cocoa Bar, coloring table & a table for making handmade ornaments. I'll let the pictures do the talking..... 








Of course we had to indulge in some ice cream before we left. Don had the Bourbon & Honey (Holy Moly was it stout!) & I decided on White Chocolate Peppermint. We didn't snap any pictures, because we couldn't stop devouring the deliciousness! Ha! :). 

All in all, it was truly a joyful celebration! 



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Monthly Challenge November, Health, Home, Thankful, Grateful, Laundry Room, Organization, Cleaning, Organizing, Life:
Hard to believe that it's already Thursday again! Is the time flying by, or is it just me? With that being said, here are a few things that I am thankful for this week:

1). Quiet mornings and breakfasts that remind me of my sweet Nana. My Nana absolutely loved Stollen, a German fruit bread often served around Christmas time. I found a local shop here that had some for sale this week and I couldn't pass up getting some!


2). Date night with my hubby tonight! We are going to a Christmas party at a local craft ice cream shop.  They are having a hot chocolate bar, Christmas crafts & of course tasty ice cream! We haven't had much time to enjoy many Christmas festivities so this is a welcomed treat! 

3). A warm winter jacket for these colder temps! Last year the hubby bought me a Snowmobile Jacket, because my ass was freezing during the Minnesota winter. I seriously have NO idea how you all do it, that live up north! Now that we're back down south, I'll be toasty warm for this upcoming winter! 

Happy Thursday, friends! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Currently: December


LETS DO THIS girls week joeys home!  knicks game BEYONCE  Christmas  New Years :):

I'm joining in for the first time with Anne & Kellie for the December edition of Currently....


Doing: Listening to Chris Stapleton radio on Pandora. Writing this blog. Chatting with my bestie, Mandie & working. Multi-tasking over here!

Enjoying: The bright sunshine today! It's been rainy & gloomy the past few days, which is so depressing! Also, watching my two puppies play in the backyard while I work from the kitchen table.

Cooking: Last night it was spaghetti. An easy recipe, yet a favorite of the hubby's! I'm still pondering on tonight's meal. Ha! Those who meal plan, I bow down to you! I can never stick to a plan! What I feel like earlier in the week is never what I want on the day i'm supposed to "cook" it.

Wrapping: Nothing! I haven't wrapped anything. However, we've decided to not really do gifts this year. I did buy the hubby something, so when it arrives, I do need to wrap it!

Playing: Online radio - Pandora

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local Eats, Nashville: Peg Leg Porker

Yesterday Don & I had to go to Nashville for business, which luckily for us is only about 3 1/2 hours away from home. I've only been to Nashville one other time and well, let's just say that it was for my birthday a few years ago and there was a lot of alcohol involved. Ha! We drove down yesterday morning, and after our meeting we were both starving! We haven't eaten all day, unless being fueled on Starbucks (me) and Kickstart (him) counts? With that being said, Don was on the search for a place to eat when he started chuckling in the car. I said, what? He said, we HAVE to go eat here. I said, okay, what is it?" He said, the name is Peg Leg Porker."



We are both spoiled on genuine BBQ, that we've had along the way on our travels through the heart of Texas. We are always disappointed when a place advertises that they have "top notch" BBQ, but in our eyes it never seems to live up to our expectations.

This joint was amazing! They opened up in 2013, and offer their own sauces, rubs & their own Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey. They have been featured by Paula Deen as Top 10 BBQ Joints in the US, by Eater as one of the 16 Hottest BBQ Joints in the country,  as well as featured on meany TV networks. They make their food fresh every single day and stay open until they run out of food.

The owner was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma (Bone cancer) in his right leg when he was 17 years old, and lost his leg due to the awful disease. Same cancer I had & same leg that I lost due to cancer as well. I immediately felt like I needed to meet this man. Unfortunately, he wasn't there when we were there visiting. I love his sense of humor and the brand that he has created.

The fun vibe and atmosphere is immediately felt when walking into this place. It has a very industrial feel with photos lining the walls of their family history. The witty sayings hanging, along with the staff's upbeat attitude is always a winner for me! I can only imagine how fun this place would be at night, or on a weekend!





Ok, now on to the good stuff. The food! We both ordered the sandwich plate which consisted of 1/4lb sandwich with two sides. We decided to each order different sides so we could try a bigger variety!


I ordered the smoked green beans and Mac & cheese. The green beans were seriously to die for. Don isn't a huge green bean fan, but he kept digging in for more. And let's just talk about the mac & cheese. It was SO creamy & cheesy and full of flavor! Now, the BBQ....it was incredible! We wanted to try it without sauce first, and it was so juicy and tender. It was packed full of flavor and the crunch and creaminess of the coleslaw was the perfect combination. 


Don ordered the potato salad and BBQ baked beans. Again, we have absolutely nothing bad to say about any of their food. The potato salad was made with red potatoes, which I love, and it was super creamy. It didn't have an overpowering flavor of any one ingredient, which we both liked! The beans were rocking! The perfect side to have with this sandwich! 

We are so excited to finally have found a BBQ joint east of the Mississippi that has held up to our expectations! If you haven't tried this place, you should definitely put it on your list of places to try. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday



Don & I are HUGE advocates in giving back. We believe that if everyone would be willing to help another out, whether it be a listening ear, a bag of groceries, a warm coat, a toy for a child, etc., the world would be a MUCH better place. I don't believe we should focus on giving back just ONE day a year, but instead every single day that we are able. With that being said today is "Giving Tuesday"......

Here's my shameless plug of a couple organizations that we truly believe in, and would love if you would help as well! Or, if you have your own organizations that's fantastic too!

We have a family that is dear friends of ours that annually collect money & goodies to send to soldiers overseas. She goes through a reputable organization, and the number of boxes and the amount of cheer/love that gets sent to our service men & women is just unbelievable! When she asked Don & I if we would be willing to donate, we absolutely said, yes! All in all she was able to send 9 BIG boxes overseas, as well as a manila envelope full of homemade Christmas cards and stamps so these men & women are able to write letters back home. We also donated tubs of peppermints that we had left from our wedding & she used those as "packing peanuts." The time that she spends on packing these boxes, shopping for all these goodies is just priceless! She's seriously amazing!

 



We also chose an organization that is near and dear to my heart, Jarrett's Joy Cart. I went through chemotherapy with this young man, and to say he was just a ball of joy is an understatement! He never seemed to focus on the fact that he was "sick", he simply just wanted to make a difference and help those in need. He started the "Joy Cart" which goes around to every room at our local children's hospital, and allows every child to pick ONE toy off of the cart. Something so simple brings SO much joy to these children. I know, because at one time I was a recipient. Jarrett unfortunately lost his battle with cancer, but he's still bringing JOY to kids all across Kentucky! They are hosting a toy drive this Christmas. They have registries at Target & Toys R Us, which makes it easy peasy! You can also send money as well. This is their 1st annual Joyful Holiday Celebration which we will be attending! If you're local, you should come out and support a wonderful cause in memory of a wonderful young man!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday! Tell me, what organization is near & dear to your heart?

Thanksgiving Celebrations

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you have recovered from the holiday craziness! I believe I am still stuffed to the gourd from ALL of the delicious food! My goodness! With that being said, here's a little update on my Thanksgiving celebrations!

Thursday: I woke up and my mom & I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. It's a tradition she started when I was little, and to this day it's no different. Except maybe then I was sipping juice & now it's lots & lots of coffee! We went to a friends & family Thanksgiving gathering hosted by one of our dear friends. She only has to mention that she's cooking once to all of us, and we're there! I believe we ate till we couldn't eat anymore. We sat around and told stories, watched Chrisley Knows Best & just relaxed with everyone. Don got to go out into the woods with her husband to check his trail camera and who knows, maybe see a deer or two :). Don was like a kid in a candy store! He was so excited! They saw some deer, played in the creek on 4 wheeler's  and put out some corn for the deer. When they came back they both looked like they were frozen! My contribution to dinner was to bring dessert. So, I attempted my first homemade pumpkin pie and it was a success! Seriously, I was SO proud of myself!

Friday: Don & I refused to brave the Black Friday crowds so we stayed at home. We watched movies, cleaned and drug out all of our Christmas decor! We didn't get the main tree up in the living room yet, however,  I put a small one up in our bedroom this year. I just love Christmas lights & adore falling asleep with them on. They just give the room a cozy, romantic glow! With all of our travels we try to collect an ornament for each place that we go. So, our tree is Travel themed! It's pretty cool to look at all of the ornaments hanging and reminisce on all of our adventures! 



Saturday: We attended Thanksgiving #2! Or, I guess you could say "Friendsgiving." We ate, sat on their front porch, got shot with Nerf guns (and can i say those hurt like a bitch!?), sipped a few drinks and played petting zoo with their pigs and cows! Did I mention that I LOVE cows!

All in all, it was a great holiday break! I hope you had a fantastic one as well!

Friday, November 18, 2016

High Five for Friday - 11.18.2016

 photo high five_zpsv067ijer.jpg

Hi ya'll! It's Friday! We've successfully made it through another week! 

1. I made this for dinner the other night. Sadly, I snap-chatted the pictures to a couple friends but forgot to save them to share! Oh well, the Pinterest picture is much prettier than mine anyway! It was delicious and super easy! Definitely saving this to make again! 

An easy meal, ready to roast in just a few minutes. Sticky and sweet with a punch of garlic, this pork loin is sure to be a huge hit with your family. Serve it up with some roasted carrots and potatoes on the side for a healthy balanced meal that is ready start to finish in 45 minutes!:

2. This song! It's seriously my new favorite jam this week! Maybe because it pretty much sums my life up in two words, "Highway Vagabond." I guess I probably should explain that in more detail...okay, later. 


3. That we finally received our wedding photos that we ordered! Now, I just need to find a place to hang them all! 

4.  A Friday night spent watching Food Network & catching up on my stack of magazines!


5. And this....my favorite E-card of the week! Fitting too, don't ya think?



Happy Friday, everyone! 

   

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thankful Thursday

simply free spirits:


This week I am thankful for: 


  • Good news & answered prayers. Sometimes we wonder if the man upstairs is really listening or hearing our pleas, and today he showed us he is. Making sure you're always doing the right thing even if it's not always benefiting yourself will ALWAYS pay off. 
  • For getting to catch up with an old high school friend this upcoming weekend! She's going to come along with the hubby & I to her very FIRST rodeo! I'm excited to see her & to have a fun evening out! 
  • This BEAUTIFUL Kentucky weather! It's been 75 degrees with sunshine & blue skies today and supposed to be tomorrow! I hear though that this weekend it's going to be 45* and rain. Blah! So, i'm going to live in the moment until Saturday morning, when I'm sure I'll be complaining it's too cold! 
  • The hubby & I went out to dinner tonight & our waiter was new to the south. He was from NY & has only been here for 4 months, and was just blown away that "Southern Hospitality" was a REAL thing! When he found out my husband was a veteran, he gave us a discount & then turned & thanked him for his service! Such a breath of fresh air!
Happy Thursday! 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekend Fun!

Happy Monday! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Ours was busy, fun and relaxing all wrapped up in one! 

Thursday:
We headed to Louisville for the International Livestock Exposition and Championship Rodeo! We took along my little "brother", E, with us! He and Don had an agreement that if Don went to a horse show that he'd come to a rodeo with us. The trip up was rather smooth other than the HORRIBLE Louisville traffic. I am convinced that there isn't a good time to go through that city. 

E, myself & the hubby! 

Me & my handsome husband! 

Hangin' by the chutes 

They had a drill team on horseback that had Red, White & Blue lights all over themselves and the horse. I thought it was super cool! 



Friday: 
This was a day that I let my husband choose everything that we did. He's a veteran & my hero, and well these military men & women do NOT get enough appreciation so I wanted him to feel extra loved and appreciated for all that he did for us and our country. We started out with having lunch at his favorite hot dog place here in town, who sadly was closing down the next day! We are so bummed! They said, there is possibility that they are opening up in a near by city, so *Fingers Crossed*

He had the Chili Slaw Dog, which this picture doesn't do it justice! This thing was HUGE and piled high with all of the fixins'. 



I had the Greek wrap and added Buffalo Chicken with a side of their coleslaw! So delicious and I had leftovers for lunch the next day! Win, win! 


After we left the hog dog place we met up with one of our friends. Her little girl had a gift that she wanted to give Don, it being Veterans Day, so we went and met up with them. This family is wonderful and they constantly encourage and push their children to do random acts of kindness. 
They have no idea how much their gesture meant to Don and myself. They handmade a card & bought him a cupcake with an American Flag as a topper. M, who is 4, walked up to Don and handed him the card and said, "Thank you for your service." It took all I had to hold it together. Needless to say, it was probably the HIGHLIGHT of his day.  


We spent the rest of the day fishing at one of my favorite places. I call it my "Happy Place." It's so peaceful and I always seem to witness the most incredible sunsets. The fish weren't biting, the breeze was chilly, but the sunset and spending time with the man I love made it all worthwhile. 




Sunday: 
We did some more fishing at a new spot. The fish were biting, but thank goodness we weren't trying to catch our dinner! We would've went to bed hungry! 




All in all, a great weekend! How was yours?