In All Things Give Thanks

Give Thanks

It’s a cold and rainy day here in Atlanta, no reason to go anywhere and the perfect excuse to watch a Modern Family marathon. I’m feeling very thankful for lazy days with my family.

My family and I are also grateful for a good health report for my sweet Mother in law, who recently suffered a minor heart attack…. I am grateful for the word “minor” in this case, because a heart attack in any form is scary. She will hopefully be released from the hospital soon so she can rest comfortably at home. We love you Grandma!!

We are also grateful for our good friend David who has Cystic Fibrosis, and just went in last night for a double lung transplant…the report is good. He has a new set of healthy lungs and is recovering nicely. Our prayers are being answered and we are more than grateful!

I am also thankful for the guys who are working on our septic system out in the cold rain, trying to get our system working!! Thanks, Banks Tanks!

In all things give thanks…right?

This “In All Things Give Thanks” Chalkboard print is an instant download from Sassy Ink Studio on Etsy. Perfect for a last minute addition to your Thanksgiving decor.

Thanksgiving GAther

This “gather” sign sums up Thanksgiving for me. It’s what I love about every holiday, but Thanksgiving seems to be the one time we gather together to just be together.

Old New Again  is an Etsy shop with many, many cool items, including this gather sign!

 

Thankgiving center piece

 

I was drawn to this Thanksgiving center piece for 2 reasons….it’s so tastefully done, and I’m a big fan of using seasonal goods for decoration. They are usually very inexpensive, and once they have reached their expiration date, they go into the garbage and not our storage area! Saves room and money!

 

Thanksgiving

 

 

Designer Blogs has some really fun free printables for your Thanksgiving menu! Simply download, print and presto, your guests will think you are pretty cool!

 

 

Thanksgiving puppy chow

 

In the past, I generally leave the Puppy Chow for Christmas, but not anymore! I found this amazing, peanut butter heavy, puppy chow recipe from The Messy Baker, and it is incredibly good. She has categorized her chow as a Halloween treat, or a great way to us up some of your left over Halloween candy, but I just loved the Autumn colors and thought it might be a great Thanksgiving alternative. I personally left out the Candy Corn’s, and added a few more Reese’s Pieces but that’s just because Candy Corn’s are my least favorite candy on the planet..sorry corn lovers.

 

I hope you have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving, with lots of fun family gatherings and plenty of Turkey to feast on!

 

 

Katie Daisy

Katie Daisy LOVE

Print: The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy on Etsy – LOVE Print

I love hanging out with my daughter, Daley, when she paints. She paints like a 10 year old…joyful, innocent and sweet. To me, her paintings are glimpses into her pure little mind and I can’t get enough of it. Daley is extra chatty when she is painting and she dreams out loud. She was talking about how she would love to be able to paint for her job!! That is when I went to Etsy to show her an artist who I have loved for awhile, named Katie Daisy.  I bought one of Katie’s prints about a year ago and I put it on a wall in the girl’s playroom. It makes me happy every time I look at it and it’s one Daley favorites as well.

When I clicked on Katie’s Etsy site I saw a note that read “Huge News”…she was being featured in Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday!!! Katie is a breath of fresh air and I can see why she caught Oprah’s attention.  She has a wonderful story and it’s so nice to find a girl who is living the life she wants to live, and whether she knows it or not, a wonderful role model for my girls! (BTW…Daley’s nickname is Daisy, so she was extra excited about this story.)

Follow this link to watch her story!!  Katie Daisy on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday

You can also find her at: Katie Daisy Blog

Have a great day!

Friday Find

Merriweather

Happy Friday!

I have been a fan of The Merriweather Council for quite a while, and I’m so happy to kick of my “Friday Finds” with this clever gal.  Danielle Spurge is the imaginative talent behind The Merriweather Council. Her custom hand embroidered pendants are the perfect marriage of old world handicraft meets modern simplicity.

Merri - hello

Giving a gift that is personal and unique is often hard to find, especially if you are buying for that person who has everything! There are countless occasions her hoops would be perfect for…. wedding, baby shower, anniversary…or just to say “hello.”

Merrieweather 2

Thank you Danielle for Merriweathering your happiness into wearable art and sentimental loveliness.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Instagram’s Best Friend

Origrami PicMonkey Collage

If I had a super power, it would be camera eyeballs! I could blink my eyes and in an instant snap a photo that captures that pure emotion or personality of the moment. Click.

Fortunately, my iPhone is never far away, so I kind of consider Instagram to be my super power. My only problem is, now that I have so many awesome photos they often sit on my phone or get lost somewhere on my computer. BUT, since I have discovered Origrami, I actually print my photos and it is super easy and fun!

Origrami is the brainchild of a husband and wife team out of Sydney Australia.

The site lets you simply log into your Instagram account…no downloading anything…just select the photos you would like printed, choose between Retro style prints or square prints, and your done! Oh, and free shipping!  The back of the photo is the best surprise! It  includes information, such as the date, how many likes you received, and the location on a map (only if you tagged the location in the photo.) It is truly a happy day when your little camera box arrives in the mail!

A Hitch In My Giddy-Up.

rain print

Rain Print 

April 20th I ran my first marathon, and I got to run it with my best friend!

I have two amazing friends who live in Scottsdale, AZ, I am here in Atlanta, and we love to take “girls trips,”  For some strange reason, we think it’s really fun to do destination races. This is the second year in a row we have chosen the Salt Lake City race. Last year we all ran the ½ marathon, but this year 2 of us decided to do the big daddy, full on, 26.2.

My friend and I decided to “virtually” train together using one of the Hal Higdon training programs. I have to admit that I didn’t hate the training, even though I ended up running in some cold-ass weather, I was kinda ok with it. That was a big surprise to me especially ‘cause I’m a giant baby when it comes to cold weather.

Along our training program my sweet friend, Kimberly, ended up with a knee injury, which put her in a serious funk about our upcoming race. She went back and forth about what she should do, but after a few weeks, she realized that she might need to scale back to the ½. I kept up with my training for the full marathon; I got through my 20-mile run and I was getting ready to taper down when a nagging hip injury started taking its toll.  It got the point where I wasn’t sure if I could run at all.  It was bothering me so much that even walking hurt. One day while walking to the bus stop, my very dear and very southern friend said, “ You look like you gotta hitch in your giddy-up.” Which totally cracked me up because she was right!  I had a hitch. And it was in my giddy-up.

SOOOOO…long story short, my friend and I decided a few days before the race that even though this marathon wasn’t exactly what we had planned, we were going to do it come hell or high water. Well, guess what? There was high water for sure…it rained pretty much the whole time! It’s a good thing we like running in the rain and it’s a good thing we dressed in layers! Picture two very wet, injured girls; slowly slugging their way through a long-ass race…we were a sight. I think there were maybe 4 people left at the finish line when we crossed. It was a little anticlimactic, but exciting at the same time. We crossed, then looked at each other and said, “let’s get outta here.” No hanging around to celebrate, no getting that beer we were promised, we just wanted to get dry and warm.

Meanwhile, our awesome friend, Deirdre, who finished hours before we did, because she was the smart one and decided to do the half, was back at the hotel, showered and dry. BUT before she was dry and warm; she was cold, wet and ALONE in an unfamiliar city. She crossed the finish line, decided to wait in line to get a massage…ONLY because it was under a tent where it wasn’t raining, and she was trying to pass the time before we crossed …I mean limped across the finish line. When she finally decided that it was just crazy to wait for us, she managed her way to a warm, dry shuttle bus…. she didn’t know where this bus was taking her, she didn’t really give a crap…she just wanted to be warm. She didn’t care if it drove her around the city for hours it was better than the soggy-ass finish line. Well, the bus ended up taking her to the train station, where she had to go back out into the rain to wait for a train. Again…unfamiliar city, cold and wet and wondering, “Now where the F do I go?”  She got off the train as close as she could to where she thought our hotel was. Well, she learned that she was still a ways away from where she wanted to be. Poor Deirdre!  Our sweet Irish friend, in her awesome Irish accent says, “ by this point I was feeling so sorry for myself, I just wanted someone to come give me a hug.” I wish we could have been there to give our brave friend a hug!

I think one of the driving forces behind Kimberly and I wanting to go ahead with our marathon was what had happened only 5 short days before at the Boston marathon. The race directors in Salt Lake City did a great job honoring the people of Boston, it was incredibly touching and inspiring! It was so amazing to see spectators standing in the cold rain, cheering their hearts out! Boston was on everyones minds and hearts.

Now, I am hoping this “hitch in my giddy-up” will ease up so I can get back to running…maybe not the long-ass runs like I had been doing, but a nice 5 mile run would feel pretty good right about now!!!

Looking forward to our next destination race!!

Dinner by Daley

PicMonkey Collage chicken pot pie new

One of my favorite things in the whole world is hanging out in the kitchen with my girls. We love baking together…sometimes it’s all laughs and giggles, and other times it’s a huge mess and a teeny bit frustrating, but they are some of my favorite memories! Sometimes the messy days are the most fun of all. (Sometimes.)

Daley has expressed an interest in making a few dishes all by herself. My heart wanted to pop with pride when she mentioned this. (I’m pretty sure I had zero interest in cooking when I was her age. Pouring the chocolate chips into the batter was about the extent of my culinary skills.)  We discussed a few simple recipes that she could choose from, and we quickly decided on Chicken Pot Pie!! It’s a family favorite!!

This recipe is one I grew up on. My mom would make it, but she made it with a homemade crust. We decided a ready-made crust would make this baking experience much easier, plus it’s actually really good. Bonus!

There are many wonderful, made from scratch, Chicken Pot Pie recipes out there, but this is as simple and easy as it gets! Perfect for the budding chef.

chicken pot pie recipe new

 Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

 In a large pie dish, add:

 2 cans of Veg-All (Drained)

2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup,

½ cup milk,

Shredded rotisserie chicken

Salt and pepper

 Mix until everything is combined.

 Top the mixture with the Pie crust. (We used Pillsbury.)

 Use a fork or toothpick to pierce the crust, for venting.

 Place in the oven and bake for approx. 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is nice and bubbly warm.

  • This recipe serves 4, but you can easily use a larger 9×12 dish and add more ingredients to serve a larger crowd. You may need 2 pie crusts if you are using a larger dish.

I hope you love it as much as we do!

 

Hot Chocolate

Affogato-1
Have you ever tasted something that made you want to cry a little? I’m not sure why I have this reaction to food sometimes, it’s a little confusing.This surprising reaction came after tasting hot chocolate. I like hot chocolate, it’s ok, but it’s usually not that tasty, so I have a few sips and then I’m done. I think I’ve only had packets of hot chocolate that are usually mixed with water, so it basically tastes like chocolate water. ewww. Well, now that I have tasted what real hot chocolate is supposed to taste like, I’m going to be a little bit snobbish about my cocoa.
Today I went to my daughter’s class room for a pizza party, and her (amazingly cool) teacher made the class hot chocolate in a crock pot! I had seen this recipe on Pinterest a few times, so I was aware that it existed, and maybe even thought about making it, but it wasn’t at the top of the list. She asked me if I would like to try it, so I said “sure”…I was curious to see what this crock pot hot chocolate was all about. Well, the first sip was such a shock, I really couldn’t believe how flippin’ good it was. That is when I instantly felt like I wanted to cry. This stuff was a mix between a warm hug and a snuggle, going down into my belly.

 

*************************************************************************************
Crock Pot Hot Chocolate:
1   1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips
6 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Heat until the chocolate chips are melted and everything is warm.
***************************************************************************************

The photo above is from A Couple Cooks. It is a Peppermint Ice Cream and Hot Cocoa Affogato. Affogato is an Italian word meaning “drowned.” I am thinking this will be fun to serve on Christmas Eve…maybe even save a little extra for Santa! wink

Holiday Gift Tags

I am a sucker for great packaging. My husband will often ask “did you buy that because it has a cute label?” and my response is usually, “maybe.” I think if he picked up a piece of mulch out of our yard and put it in a cute box with some sort of cute label, I would love it! So, here are some cute, free printables for you to make your Christmas packages all cute and stuff.

 

Chalkboard-Style Printable gift tags from, Poppytalk:

Poppytalk Gift Tags

 

Holiday Printables from Paper Crave.

 

free-printable-holiday-gift-tags

 

Gift tags from Jill Means for One Charming Party. Brightsideprints.com.

 

gifttag1