Friday, June 27, 2008

Favorite Summer Memories

When I walked out to my car this morning to leave for work, it felt so good outside. It made me start thinking about some of my favorite things to do during the summer - of course that was when I was a kid and actually had a summer.

There was Youth Camp and family vacations at Lake Murray...playing in the sprinkler when I was young. Sister and I used to have a trampoline in our backyard growing up. We would put the sprinkler under the tramploine then jump in the water spraying up. I can even remember sleeping outside on the tramploine when the world was somewhat safe...but that's another post.

Anyways, I think one of my best summers was right after my freshman year in college - I spent the entire summer with Jessica - the bestie! This particular summer we would either stay together at my house, or at Jessica's grandparents house - both houses were somewhat close to the lake. My mom and dad had our boat at the state park marina, so we would go over to the swimming area. Everyday, we would pack our beachtowels and two floats and drive to the lake. We would get in the water with our floats, then swim all the way out to the buoy line and "attach" ourselves to the line. We would then float for 30 minutes on our backs and 30 minutes on our stomachs! It was awesome...the whole time just laying the water talking about everything under the sun...that was the life!!! Needless to say, I had an awesome tan that summer!!! Now, if I could only find a way to turn back time...any ideas?

So now tell us what your favorite summer memory is. Post your memory on your blog and link it here so we can all know what your best summer was!!!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A little more aobut me!

I found this at A Good Cup of Coffee so if you play along let me know...

1.What is in the back of your car? a hammer, old cell phone and a plastic hanger (I know, I'm random)
2.What color is your toothbrush? white
3.Name one person who made you smile today. My best friend Jessica
4.What were you doing at 8:00 AM? working
5.What were you doing 45 minutes ago? in a meeting with our IST dept. discussing a new project
6. What is your favorite candy? Peanut Butter M&M's
7. What is the last thing your said aloud? I'm so freaking busy today
8. What is the best ice cream flavor? Chocolate Peanut Butter from Pacuigo
9. What is the last thing you had to drink? leamonade from Texadephia
10. What are you wearing right now? cream colored linen pants, brown, cream and khaki flowered patterned shirt with my brown Brighton flipflops with the big flower on the toe
11. What is the last thing you ate? Hersey chocolate bliss
12. Have you bought any new clothes this week? nope...budget remember
13. When was the last time you ran? does working on my elliptical count? if so, then last night
14. What was the last sporting event you watched? Texas Rangers Baseball...a common occurance at the Williams home!
15. Ever go camping? yes - in Hondruas!!!!
16. Do you have a tan? a slight one...I'm tanning 1 or 2 times a week so I don't burn in Mexico!
17. Do you take vitamins daily? no
18. Do you go to church? Yes! South Pointe Baptist in Mansfield
19. Do you like Chinese food more than pizza? Yes...
20. Do you drink your soda with a straw? at a resaurant, yes...a home, no
21. Are you someones best friend? yes
22. What are you doing tomorrow? working then watching Brant's softball game
23. Where is your dad? either at home, on the lake, or on the road for business
24. Can you say the alphabet backwards? Um, no…but I know someone who can! and she says it fast!!!
25. Do you have a maid service clean your home? No.
26. Do you have a favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? yes..Reef fliplfops
27. What color is your car? Gold
28. How do you like your popcorn? lots of butter and salt
29. How did you get your worst scar? the sharp end of a metal hanger was sticking out from a rack at a garage sale and sliced my shoulder open
30. Look to your left. What do you see? the PDR and Store Opening Report pinned up on the wall of my cubicle.
31. What color is your watch? silver
32. What do you think of when you think of Australia? the outback and Steve Erwin
33. Do you use chap stick? Yes
34. Do you have a dog? yes...Dax!
35. Last person you talked to on the phone? Rachel Bilbery
36. Have you met anyone famous? yes, Dennis Quaid - I was an extra in "The Rookie" and I got to sit and talk with him in between scenes
37. Any plans today? work on the 14 blog desings I have on my waiting list.
38. How many states have you lived in? 1 - the grandest state of TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!
39. Do you dye your hair? I used ot highlight, but now I'm all natural.
40. Do you like cats? I used to hate them, but Brant had one when we started dating and now I like them...especially Kai because she is so sweet!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Delicious Dinner

Last night, I tried a recipie that my sister-in-law had given me and it was DELICIOUS! Its Cranberry Pork Loin.

  • Pork Loin
  • Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • Can of cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 can of water
Put the pork loin in your crockpot. Top with dry onion soup mix, then with cranberry sauce, then add about a 1/2 can of water. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Then, as a side dish, I made garlic roasted potatoes. These are one of Brant's favorites.
  • About 4 medim (or 3 large) potatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1/2 TBSP of basil

Slice your potatoes and put in a mixing bowl. Pour about 1/4 cup of either vegetable or olive oil on them. I used a blended oil.
Add in garlic powder and basil. Mix together. Lightly grease a baking dish and put potatoes in the dish. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until soft throughout.

And this was our delicious dinner. I made a gravy out of the remaining pork loin juice, and served with some fresh green beans.
Bon appetite!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Grocery Savings

I found this article today about how to save money in grocery shopping. Now I am a coupon cutter- and proud of it, but I still know that there is probably a lot of saving I could still do. One of my favorite things to do is buy in bulk, but I've been searching other ways to save lately, and I thought this article was useful. I mean let's face it...the more saving I do in grocery shopping, the more money I have to spend on the "fun stuff"!!!

Check out some of my links for other money-saving tips!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Swimming Lessons

What a great weekend, but why is it already over???

Well Dax had his first swimming lessons - he did GREAT (probably doesn't have anything to do with the fact that he's a water dog!) We put him in Sister's pool on Saturday. At first he was a little hesitant, but he took to it quite nicely although it wore him out pretty quickly. I wanted to get some pictures of him swimming in the pool, but that's kind of hard when you are in the pool with here are just some pictures by the pool!

Me and Dax!

On Sunday, we went to church, then went to lunch with Brant's family for Father's Day. Came home, relaxed, then Sister called and wanted to know if we could watch Big "E" while they went to Six Flags. So, Big "E" came to play at Grabbie's house. Big "E" and Uncle B Watching some Ranger's Baseball!!!

We were supposed to go to Mom and Dad's house around 7 to have dinner and dessert with my dad for Father's Day. So Big "E" helped me make Paula Dean's famous Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Ya'll, it was DELICIOUS!!! If you have never had it, here's the recipe!


  • 3 eggs,
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 16 oz. of powdered sugar
  • 1 brick of cream cheese
  • Vanilla
  • Yellow Cake Mix

Begin by mixing the yellow cake mix, one egg and one stick of melted butter. Once mixed, pat into a lightly greased 9X13 pan.

Then make the filling. First beat the cream cheese until it's smooth. Then add the ingridents one by one, always beating as you go: 2 remaining eggs, melted stick of butter, 1 tsp of Vanilla and 16 oz. of powered sugar. Mix very well until smooth and creamy.

Pour on top of the crust.

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Check it at about 35 minutes and take it out when the edges begin to brown. Don't let this overcook because it is supposed to be gooey inside.

Then last night, I tried a new recipe thanks to my friend Kristen H. It was fantastic!

Creamy White Wine Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken
  • 1/4 cup of white wine (I used a cheap Chardonnay)
  • Swiss Cheese
  • bread crumbs

Mix the Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom and white wine together to make a "soupy" mixture. Please your chicken breasts in a baking dish and cover with Swiss Cheese. Top with the soup mixture and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve over pasta or rice.

This was SOOO easy and delicious. Brant and I loved it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Southern Belle

Ok - let the truth be told that every now and then, I get a little bit country. Actually, I might a lot coutnry - but I love it. I am a southern belle and I wish that I could have been Scarlett O' image my delight when I saw this...
It Says:
"If you fancy a Southern Belle Raise your hand.If Not, Raise your Standards."


Busy, Busy, Busy

So I think I can officially say the blog design business has taken off....I have over a dozen people on my waiting list for designs! I just love it! Go over to the design blog and you can see some of the newest creations.

Not only am I busy with that, Brant has two softball games tonight - one at 7, and one at 10 (don't you just love it when he plays in a mens league and a coed league???) . Then Friday night, I am trading my treadmill for an elliptical with Jessica (the BF). I love my treadmill, but it hurts my tendonitis so bad to use it...I do much better with an elliptical because my feet are always stationary. Before my wedding, I lost over 10 lbs just doing the elliptical for about 30 minutes everyday, and I need to lose alot more than 10 for Mexico!!! Then on Saturday, I desperately need to clean my house, go to the mall to get Father's Day gifts, go to the hospital to see Brant's Uncle Howard, then we have a get-to-gether at Ryan and Kristy's! I definitely think I'm going to need a long Sunday afternoon nap!

Well about dinner the other night - because I know your dying to wasn't so great. Now, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, and not even because of my ingredient issues. The problem was that the chicken was really dry from cooking all day, and there were just too many flavors all together. First, the cooking sucked all the sweet out of the sweet potatoes - Brant didn't like that AT ALL! Then, you had the taste of the onion, and the chipotle, then paprika, then funny unsweet just didn't mix well for our pallette.

I think one of my biggest problems is the dry chicken...allow me to ellaborate. My crockpot has a timer on turns on as soon as the timer is set, goes off when the timer is finished, then goes to a "keep warm" mode so dinner stays hot until we get home. That part is fantastic. But I leave my house at 6:30am, and usually get home around 5:30 pm...that is 11 hours. If I have the crockpot set to cook for 7 hours, that leave it "keeping warm" for 4 hours until I get home, which drys the chicken out. Any solutions here people? And no, I cannot go home during my lunch break and turn it on...I work almost an hour away from home! I think I just need to stick with red meat - it doesn't seem to dry out as bad.

Now onto the best subject of the post - my child Dax, although it isn't good news. Dax started limping again last week and by the end of the weekend, it was really bad. You could tell that he was in so much pain. So, we took him back to the vet, but to a new vet, Dr. England. He was WONDERFUL! I have never met a vet that would spend 45 minutes with you explaining the anatomy of a dog, the extent of his injuries, and his philosophy on how to fix it (not to mention he is WAY less expensive than the other vet!!!). It turn out, Dax has a torn CCL (cranial cruciate ligament). This is like a human having a torn ACL, and just as in humans, it is not a fun injury to have.

A torn CCL usually happens to large breed, active dogs, but can never turly be "cured". We can help heal the injury, and condition it, but it will always be a problem spot for The Boy. He is on "bed rest" for the rest of this week, then we will start with short walks, and swimming. The vet said that swimming is wonderful for this injury because it allows the dog a wide range of motion, but not straining on the ligament. Thank God for parents who live on the lake! After doing that for a week, we will move on to longer walks and just general conditioning. He isn't supposed to run for about a month...which is hard when he is still a pup...remember, he is only 7 1/2 months old. The last option, and will we hope it doesn't come to this, is surgery. Again, its no cure, but it will eleviate the pain and help stabalize the joints and ligaments. However, with more growing, the possibility of reinjury when he is older is high, so that would mean another surjury. We are praying that with rest, anti-inflamatories, extra TLC and lost of conditioning, surgery will not be needed. So, my weekend will also consist of making sure my baby is loved on and taken care of!

So what is everyone elses plans for the weekend? Any big plans for Dad's Day???


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


...this is the one word that I would use to describe tonight's dinner. I'm trying the Chipotle Chicken and Sweet Potatoes from here, expect I think I was smoking crack when I wrote down the ingredients because I missed half of them. Well, maybe not half, but several.

Let's see, I forgot the red bell peeper - but I didn't think it would matter much, then I didn't see the fresh my sister is probably disowning me this very minute for forgetting mushrooms...I swear she already has her weapons drawn to kill me, but never fear sis, I had a can of stems and pieces in my pantry! Then I didn't see the 1/2 cup of chicken broth, which I almost always have stocked, but not this morning. So, I compromised with a small spoonful of cream of chicken soup and lost of water and salt...we'll see.

However, I must say that when I left my house this morning, this did look really pretty in the crockpot, so I hopeful that it might taste...ok, but no promises! I'll let you know tomorrow.

But let's move on to a different topic...husbands. No, Brant didn't do anything, its just a general topic for the day that has been on my mind. A few weeks ago on our way home from the family reunion in Mississippi, Brant and I stopped to see his Grandad in Mendon, LA. I absolutely love his grandaddy, and I must say that he loves me too! Anyways, we began just visiting, then Brant and Grandaddy started talking about Grandma. Unfortunately, I never got to meet her, but I feel like I knew her for years with all the wonderful storied I have heard about her.

Somehow, the topic got to how they met, and dated, and got married. Grandaddy showed us pictures of the actual day they wed, but what struck me about all of this was that he left for the war only 4 days later to return over 2 years later. Can you imagine, marrying your best friend, spending 4 amazing days together, then not seeing him for over 2 years? It jut boggles my mind.

I remember getting upset and crying the first time Brant went out of town. We had been married for almost 5 months, but he had to leave for a week to go to San Antonio...I was miserable. What in the world would I have done for 2 years? Now I'm sure after a little time passes, you get used to it, but 2 years used to it?

Then of course, my mind wanders to the ladies, the moms, and the wives that are doing this very thing today with husbands in Iraq. Oh, how my heart hurts for you. You are so brave and selfless that I pray blessings upon you and your family. So here's to you, military wives - you are doing what I don't know I (and many other women) would never have the strength to. To you, we are grateful.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Shopping at Sears

I was just reading on the Bargain Shopper Lady website and found out about THIS amazing deal from Sears: buy $100 in men's Docker's apparel, send in your receipt, and Sears will mail you a $75 gas gift card. This is perfect for Father's Day - my dad will get a new shirt, Brant's dad will get a new shirt, and if that doesn't equal $100, then Brant will get a new shirt too! Not only will they send you a $75 gas card, but they will throw in a $10 coupon for Sears retail stores as well - that's $85 back!

Way to go SEARS!!!


Certified Paralegal

So I took my paralegal exam this morning and scored a 98!!! I was pumped! So now, I just wait for my certificate to come in the mail - WOOHOO!!!

As for the weekend, it was great (sorry, no pics yet). Friday, Brant had to go do some work on Sister's sprinkler system, so they invited us over for dinner as "payment.' We had some delicious hamburgers with grilled onions and mushrooms - go sis! Then, the kids, Brant, Michael and myself all had a nice watergun fight in the pool, totally fun! Brant and I passed out once we got home from being so worn out!

Saturday, my friends Kristen and I went garage-sale'ing...but didn't find a thing. We really live in a great neighborhood for garage sales, and I ususally try to go for antiques, furniture, and old coca-cola items, but we found nothing on was a sad day. But after that, Princess Kate had her first dance recital and was the cuest kid on stage - the girl knew her moves and shook her toosh! Then, we had a very special evening. My MeMe is turning 80 years old TODAY! And let me just tell you that she is the best looking 80 year-old I have ever seen and is a healthy as a horse...I think she might out-live all of us (and of course I'm hoping the good looks is genetic). So, all of my mom's side of the family came in town "for the receital." However, what MeMe did't know was that everyone was really here for her 80th surprise party at mom and dad's house! It was fantastic - she didn't have a clue. So Staruday, we spent the evening partying and eating Mercardo Juarez fajitas.

Sunday we got up and went to church. But for MeMe's birthday, Amanda and I gave her a signature pedicure at the Fancy Nail at 3:00, Mom, Myself, Amanda and MeMe all went to have special pedicures - It was HEAVENLY! That evening, Brant, Dax and I went on an hour long walk - that pup was worn out so we all headed for bed almost as soon as we walked through the door.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend - busy, but fantastic!


Friday, June 6, 2008

Do I laugh, or Cry?

On Tuesday, Brant and I began to notice that our refrigerator wasn't working so well, like all of the stuff in my freezer was not frozen. It wasn't too bad of a situation because my parents had actually given us the refrigerator when we bought our house, but it was at least 13 years old (by mine and my sister's calcualtions). So Brant said to just go buy a new I went to the "Scrath and Dent" section of the Texas Appliance Store and found a great, black side-by-side 25 cu.ft. refrigerator...retail price $1000, I paid $749 (it had a small scratch on the back)! I just love this place! Well Brant picked it up and brought it home was glorious!!!!

I never realized it, but the other refrigerator was kind of small...I have TONS of room in my new one!

Well last night, we notice a little wet spot on the living room floor, but just thought maybe Dax drank water too quickly and it came back we just went along with our evening. Until about 9, I noticed that the spot was actually still there, and seemed to be getting bigger. After soaking up 3 beach-sized towels full of water, we realized it was coming from underneath the we ripped the carpet up to find this...

After close to an hour of trying to figure out where this was coming from, Brant realized that the water line to the refrigerator didn't fit properly and water was slowly leaking into the WALL and out through the baseboards! Needless to say, we spent the evening soaking up as much water as possible. We put a fan on it overnight to dry the padding. It was still a bit damp this morning, but at least it wasn't soaking wet like it was last night!

Moral of the story...maybe it was worth $60 to have the professionals do this!!!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

CrockPot Cooking

If you have read my blog for awhile, you know that I LOVE my crockpot...just throwing something in before you leave for work, then coming home to house filled with the aroma of a delish dish...READY TO EAT! Well I am now in heaven becasue I just found this... How FANTASTIC!!!

I think I might try this one tomorrow night!!!
CrockPot Chipotle Chicken with Sweet Potatoes!


Sunday, June 1, 2008

All in a Day's Work

Saturday was a FANTASTIC day! At 10, Kate had her 4th birthday party...check out Sister's blog for pictures. It was a wonderful Princess party with a HUUUUGGGEEE bounce house - the kids loved it!

After the party, Jessica (bestie who I've posted about several times) and I began the most wonderful adventure...fabric shopping for my new curtains! We headed out to Harry Hines to check out the fabric warehouses and wholesale shops. After 2 hours of shopping through MASSES of fabrics and fringes, we were finished. Next stop, Wal-Mart for all of our "stuff" to make this all happen! Last stop...HOME!!!

PROJECT #1 - Formal Dining Room

My first priority was really my formal dining room...I have three beautiful windows, but they stretch across the entire wall, so a curtain rod has been difficult to find...not to mention I haven't really found a great fabric or color I wanted to put up there. To have "something" on the windows, I put there simple panels up about 6 months we first began by taking these down (but remember them for later). Next, we pinned up the new floor-length panels on each of the end-windows. The fabric is a sheer and light-weight dark brown (by the way, only $2 a yard!!!) Sorry the picture is a little dark, but you can somewhat see them.

For pins, we used Upholstery Tacks that I found in the Hardware department at Wal-Mart...only $.97 per package! Great advice from the Nester.

Then we took our valance fabric and folded it until we reached the desired size. The fabric I decided on is a great paisley pattern with blends of red, khaki, chocolate brown, and black in it. It beautifully pulls together the formal dining and living rooms. anyways, we folded the fabric to the size we wanted. To hold it together, we used Bonding place it where the fold will be, iron it, and the heat bonds the fabric together...similar to double sided tape, just better. Once we were finished folding and bonding, we pinned the valance above the wall panels.

To hold back the all panels, I bought metal tie-backs at Wal-Mart for less than $10.00. We measured where these should be, then screwed them into the wall.

Then, in less than 2 hours, our mistreatment was COMPLETE, and absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

This is a close-up of the fabric so you can see the print. I just love it!!!

This Finished Product! What a difference window treatments make. Look how the treatment makes the room look much wider than the picture with the red panels.

PROJECT #2 - Master Bedroom

This room was our toughest. I choose rich, textured chocolate brown fabric (for only $4/yard). Similar to the dining room, we folded the fabric to our liking, then bonded it together with the iron tape. Instead of fringe, I found a great "woven" khaki and red stitching that I hot-glued onto the fabric to add in a few additional colors from the room.

After "stitching up" our fabric, we played with different treatment effects...we tried Nester's idea here, and we "gathered" the bottom...but nothing seemed quite right. We had such a rich fabric, that using what we had made the space look very small. So, we trimmed the fabric, then went back to Wal-Mart and got a hook rod. We folded the fabric over, and I hot-glued the fabric down and made a "loop" for the rod. Then we hung the rod, then the valance...and VOILA!

My beautiful new bedroom treatment!

PROJECT #3 - Kitchen Plant Window

The plant window is above my sink in the kitchen, and since we were out buying fabric already, I decided to pick some up for the kitchen. I found this great red and cream striped material ($3/yard)that make a great, simple mistreatment. I then of course added some fringe to add a little personality! We folded it, bonded it with iron tape, hot-glued the fringe, then pinned it up across the window.

In less than 30 minutes, I added some color and "pizazz" to my kitchen!

How cute is this?

After we finished this, we took the red treatments from the formal dining room and hung them on a tension rod in the breakfast room, which also didn't have any treatments before today. What a difference it makes in this room...

So within a 12-hour period, Jessica and I created three fabulous window mistreatments, and spruced up the breakfast room. My total out-of-pocket with 4 different fabrics, 2 curtain rods, hot glue gun, glue sticks, upholstery tacks, lots of bonding tape, fringe, and tie backs was only $100. I fell like I've had an entire home-makeover just by window treatments!

So "thank you" Nester for great inspiration and "thank you" Jessi Mae...I could NEVER have done this without you. I have GREAT friends!