Friday, April 27, 2012

High Five for Friday

Thank goodness this week has finally come to a screeching halt.  Don't get me wrong, it was not a bad week at all, or long.  Just a little stressful with the TCAP testing that my son and his peers endured...and will endure again today.  Finally it is over, and we can breathe a sigh of relief.  I suffer from test anxiety right along with him. 

Trey asked me yesterday if I would make him a smoothie every day for breakfast from now on...If you missed that blog you can read it here.  I guess I should be thankful for this breakfast request since it is a lot healthier than eggs smothered in cheese.  I am totally not over exaggerating when I say smothered.  The kid has high demands...he must have a smiley face in ketchup on the eggs...needless to say I am pleased to go the smoothie route.  I enjoy it myself.

I began reading 50 Shades of Grey this week.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  If I could choose one word to describe it...I believe I would have to say it is say the least!  Yes, sir...exhilarating!!   It has definitely changed the way I feel this a little more pep in my step than usual!! 

I have never..ever read anything quite like it...I finished it in a few days, and am now enjoying - even more so - 50 Shades Darker. 

 More exhilarating than the first 50 shades..I didn't think that was possible..

I had a difficult time coming up with my 5 things this week.  Earlier in the week when I was planning what I would say...I really wanted to just talk about 50 Shades....5 times.  That's basically how my week has been...

Read it ladies!!

I have neglected my weekly chores due to having my time consumed by Mr. 50 shades.
Gotta play catch-up this weekend
*insert pouty face here*

I called my husband this week and told him that I believe I have a problem...I think I am addicted to shopping.  At least I am a bargain hunter...right??  That should make up for something...
I found these brand new Toms on eBay...I have never seen a pair like them before.

Cute, huh! 

I used my Birchbox points and scored this lipgloss...chap stick-ish for free.  Yep, that's right..I said free.  It is Alima Pure Organic Nourishing Lip Balm.  The color is rhubarb.  I like is very subtle, pretty, and feels soft on my lips.

They offer three shades of the Alima.  You can purchase it by clicking here.

I received a coupon from Birchbox for my 3 month anniversary, and didn't want it to go to was too good to pass up the I also got some sunscreen wipes.  They got excellent reviews, and I thought it would be something my family would enjoy rather than the messy spray or thick goopy lotion that we normally use.  The wipes smell refreshing, and are also waterproof. 

You can purchase the wipes by clicking here.

Well, that's all folks..I didn't even take one single picture of my pups this week to share like I normally do.  I wasn't kidding when I said I had my face shoved in 50 Shades! 

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!! Thank you for stopping by to read H54F!! 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TCAP smoothie

 Once again it's the most dreaded week of the year for teachers and students...TCAP time (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program)  A week full of standardized testing used to measure our students knowledge...which is a nightmare for students that have poor test taking skills.  Especially since this year our children's TCAP scores count for 15% of their grade. 

 {Insert nervous nail biting here}

It is always crucial for your child to have a well balanced breakfast to jump start his/her brain for the day.  Normally, my child requests scrambled eggs with cheese - more like cheese with scrambled eggs - and ketchup for breakfast with a small glass of milk...daily.

 Today I added a TCAP smoothie to the side.  Packed full of nutrients and antioxidants...a fuel powered brain food concocted by Mom (me) to give him the extra boost needed to conquer the long day of testing.  Not to mention the confidence that he gained by me explaining to him the super powers contained in that delicious smoothie...whatever works people...he either believed me or thought I was nuts..probably the latter, but I will try anything because he has terrible test super power smoothie it was..

The ingredients will vary depending on what is available in your kitchen.  Any fresh or frozen fruits you have on hand will make a great smoothie.


A handful of:
Fresh (or frozen) strawberries
Fresh blueberries
Fresh pineapple
1 banana
Orange juice (I didn't measure, but would guess about 3/4 cup)

Mix well in blender
Pour into glass and serve

This recipe will make a little more than one full glass or you can divide it into two smaller glasses to share! 

On the ride to school today I reminded Trey how smart he is, and that he will do awesome on his test..also to take his time, to relax and take deep breaths throughout the day, read the entire question and all of the answers before choosing one...and to fill in all the bubbles completely...I'm on this people!  ..I even did a little dance and made up a song, which probably embarrassed him, but that's what Mom's are for, and I will always go above and beyond to keep his confidence up (and to embarrass him..heehee)
A few of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”

I think these quotes are perfect for this week!

Happy test taking week...prayers and good luck to all my student and teacher friends!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Sweet Tea, Y'all

Being from the South sweet tea is a refreshing tradition found on many table tops, or best enjoyed from an old mason jar on your Grandma's porch swing.  Sometimes it takes a while to prefect it.  It may be too sweet, not sweet enough, or if you're lucky it'll be just right!  After many years of trying to imitate my Grandma's sweet tea I believe I finally got it down pat, although it will never be as good as hers!  Since I brewed a pitcher to have with supper tonight I thought I would share it with all of you.


3 cups water
2 family size tea bags
3/4 cup sugar
7 cups cold water

* My tea is just sweet enough, but if you want true southern sweet tea you will want to use 1 full cup of sugar.


Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a pot
Add tea bags
Boil 1 minute
Remove from heat
Cover for 10 minutes
Discard tea bags
Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved
Pour into 1 gallon pitcher
Add 7 cups of cold water
Serve over ice

Y'all Enjoy!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

High Five for Friday

Have you thought about what you are most thankful for this week?

I have 2 gallons of frozen strawberries in my freezer.  I froze them individually, so when I need them I can get as many as I need rather than a hugle clump of more than I need.

Sunday is Earth Day.  Each year on Earth Day, Trey and I celebrate by planting something new.

Two of the eggs hatched this week in the nest that a bird made on our front door wreath.  We should have two more little birdie miracles soon! 

I was so excited when I saw red yarn in the nest. About a month - or more - ago I put a basket full of yarn out for the birds to use in their nests.  So far this is the only nest that I have found with yarn in it.  I got the idea from Pinterest.

This is the picture from the pin

You can pin it to your pinboard by clicking here.

Our 2nd wedding anniversary was on Tuesday.  We just so happened to have picked the most beautiful day in April of 2010 to have our wedding. 

We were blessed to share our special day with a small group of family and friends.

We celebrated our anniversary over the weekend.  The original plan was to go to the lake, but at the last minute we decided to stay closer to home.  Our son went camping and we wanted to be nearby in case something happened and we had to pick him up early. 

We got up kinda early on Saturday....that was the plan anyway.  We ventured off in search of some good yard sales, but didn't find much of anything.  We remembered hearing about a market place having their grand opening Saturday, so we decided to check it out.

It is called Miss Lucille's Market Place. (on Madison Street) It has several booths with some really neat stuff.  I immediately fell in is definitely my kind of place.  I'm a market kind of gal!

I bought two sets of beautiful vintage linen napkins.  They both have gorgeous, delicate embroidery.

This is a set of 4 that I bought for $5.00

This set of 5 was also $5.00.  I love both sets so much, but these are my fave!!

I found a wine rack that I instantly fell in love with.  I have been looking for a wine rack that was just my style for about 2 soon as I saw this I had to have it. I found just the right place for it on my antique school desk in my dining room.  I think I would like to have something to lay under it, but I'll just have to wait and see what catches my eye while I'm out and about.  Maybe I will find something at the Market!?

Now all of my wine bottles have a cool place to call home.

Oh, and it was only $20.00  - STEAL!!

We had lunch at Rafferty's because I wanted a cold sandwich and some soup...then we decided to travel north to Kentucky and visited the Mennonite bakery where we got some cookies and bread.  We enjoyed the nice breeze the beautiful day had to offer by sitting on the handmade swing in the side yard of the bakery. 

Basically anything I wanted to do that day we did it...I am so spoiled!

 Then my husband took me to a Mennonite nursery and we got some flowers and ferns...

The day was just as magnificant as it was 2 years ago.  I love my husband and he knows the way to my heart....with markets, sweets, and plants....the steak dinner he made for me was the perfect end to the perfect day.

I am a total nerd when it comes to planning things.  We booked our 2012 summer vaca...last summer, so I've known about it for quite a while.  This week I finished my "trip binder."  I have spent the last few months researching the best places to places to coffee shops with delicious desserts..restaurants with the best reviews, restaurants with not so good reviews, but highly recommended by the locals...and directions to everything...and when I say everything..I mean everything!  I even found a market close to where we will stay. All of these things are in my neat little binder. I'm so excited and can't wait.  Now we just have to wait for the middle of summer to arrive.

  Here are some cute little pictures I snapped of my favorite furry people...

Winston likes to lay in the kitchen floor and watch me cook and clean..I especially like it when his back legs are out to his side.  He is just about the cutest thing ever!

Brodie rode with me Thursday to take Trey to school.  When we got back to our neighborhood I let him ride with his head out the window....Oh, to be a dog...that is the life!

Sebastian fell asleep half on my pillow one sweet!

Thanks for stopping by to read H54F.  As always I love reading your comments, and I don't even know you stopped by if you don't say comment away my friends!! 

Have a beautiful weekend...don't forget to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday..
The earth is something special that we all have in common...embrace it...and enjoy it!


Friday, April 13, 2012

High Five for Friday (the 13th)

Nerd alert!!! 

Did you know??

The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, NC an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. It has been estimated that $800 to $900 million is lost in business on this day. 

Fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home.
Are you afraid of Friday the 13th?

This week was slow going...there just aren't enough Friday's in the week.  Give yourselves a big made it!!

My son went shopping with my Mother one afternoon, and surprised me with these pretty earrings!!  He was so excited to give them to me.  He said when he saw them that he just knew I would love them because I like the color blue.  After he gave them to me he said "Will you write about them in your blog?"  :)

Thanks for the best present ever my sweet, sweet Trey!!

I had a shellac manicure yesterday.  I was skeptical (to say the least) because that morning on GMA they had a section discussing the dangers of such manicures.

 I thought about it while I got a lovely hand/arm massage from the nice Vietnamese gentleman (he sure did have some soft hands)...he was asking me if I wanted the shellac manicure during the "massage."  Immediately I flashed back to what I saw on my TV earlier that morning....I told him I needed to think about it....I decided to accept his offer after breaking my silence by asking several questions about it and discussing the price...ooook..he talked me into it.. I am sure by now I have sucker written all over my to the fear that is clearly evident from my 50 questions and my hesitation....I will do it... just this see for myself what I think about it.

What are shellac nails you ask?

1 thin layer of shellac base coat

10 seconds of curing in a UV lamp
(seemed like 10 minutes)

1 thin layer of shellac color coat
(again??   uhh..o..ok)

2 minutes of curing in a UV lamp
(seemed like 2 hours)

2nd layer of shellac color coat

2 minutes of curing in a UV lamp
(2 more hours?)

 Fortunately this nail salon serves complimentary wine..
Bartender, I'll have another..please..

1 thin layer of shellac top coat
(I need a nap)

2 final minutes of curing in a UV lamp

Wipe nails with 99% isopropyl alcohol
(Do you have to-go cups?  I'm kidding Mom!!)

Apply solar oil to nails
(wait??  you.. mean... that's it??  **insert sarcasm here**)

Seriously....Shewwww....that is/was an ordeal!!

( I must note that the entire process of "shelling" only took about 15 minutes total...still entirely too long in my opinion, buts.)

 I will honestly admit that I didn't even "catch" the color of my polish because I was having a silent anxiety attack thinking that I spent way more time than I should have under the UV lights.  The GMA clip about the lady that developed sun spots after 6 months of using these lights kept flashing in my head...I was seriously freaking out!!  (Apparently I need to visit that stress management/phobia institute/center I mentioned above.) 

So, I took it upon myself, and quietly removed my hands once I thought they had been "baked" long enough. The little Vietnamese guy had basically left me alone and I know it was more than three minutes before he came to check on me..  Basically this shellac process is the same as getting fake gel nails (with several added steps) except this goes on top of your own nails. 

They do feel very hard and strong as if they were the fake nails.  This is supposed to last 2 weeks or more without chipping or fading.   I recommend them only at your own risk.  The only known dangers are the overexposure times spent under the UV lamp.  I panicked a little more than usual because UV rays + lupus = nothing good!!  The Dr on GMA suggested wearing sunscreen on your hands, or asking the nail technician to cover your hands with a towel..I did neither....hence the silent mental breakdown of my hands aging 10 years in 10 minutes.

They are a pretty neutral-ish peachy is not my fave...I think I panicked myself into picking a color. I just wanted to hurry and leave. 

I'm checking on that center/institute now...kidding!!!

I also got a pedicure (before the manicure)  It was a much less stressful event in my day...  This polish color is OPI My Chiuaua Bites.

It is a very pretty summery melon color

Did you all have a happy Easter?  I enjoyed looking at this adorable carrot "wreath" that my husbands Aunt and Cousin made for me.  They saw something similar on Etsy and Pinterest and surprised me with it.  I came home one afternoon and my sweet little Mother-in-Law had it hanging on my front door.

She recycled an old Christmas tree that she had not used in years...I love it!! 

Once a week I use this rinse on my hair.  It is called So Silver by Matrix.  The idea is to "rinse" my blonde of the dull residue that causes brassiness.  I have used it for about 5-6 years...once a week.  It really does work, and helps freshen and brighten my color in between salon visits.  My Grandmother was a beautician and I remember her using something very similar on her little old lady clients to help keep their silver/white hair shiny and new.

***** Update***** 
When I got to the office this morning my Dad stopped me and asked what I had done to my hair?  I wasn't quite sure how to take that.  He went on to say that it looked like I had it highlighted again...he was asking what I had done differently.  See this stuff really works!!  I just did the rinse last night!

I made homemade whipped cream for Easter Sunday dessert.  It was soooo good.  I literally ordered everyone to the kitchen to taste test this.  

I added fresh strawberries to it and used it as cake topping. Sweet delicious goodness!!
I never noticed the recipe (sans strawberries) on the side of the heavy whipping cream carton...I should pay attention more often!

I will now send you off to begin your weekend by ending my H54F with my favorite furry friends.

Sebastian wanted to sunbathe on the porch one sunny afternoon

Scuba was catching some rays as well..

Is it just me, or does he look guilty?

Scuba's favorite spot to sit in the mornings

Best friends!!

Thanks for stopping by for a little H54F fun!!  I hope you all have a fantabulous weekend!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Very Berry Good Day

It's Strawberry pickin' time in Tennessee

Last season we didn't make it to the farm until closing week, and it was slim pickens.  This year we visited during opening week, and the harvest was plentiful.

These red berries will literally melt in your mouth...

 At H & S Farms you can either pick your own berries for $10.00 a basket, or buy a basket...already picked for $12.00.

We like to pick our own...

You can visit H & S Farms at 400 Seven Mile Ferry Road in Clarksville
Located off Highway 13 and Marthas Chapel Road

If you don't live near the Clarksville area you can find a pick-your-own farm by clicking here.  On the website you also find canning and preserving recipes and tips for your picks.

 As we were leaving they were preparing to protect the crops from the frost.  We are expecting to reach near freezing temperatures in our area tonight and tomorrow night.

If you have blooms at home don't forget to cover them so you can continue to enjoy them.  Usually I drape an old sheet loosely over my blooms.  Sometimes I rig a few sticks under the sheet to support the weight.  You can find more useful tips on how to help your plants survive the frost by clicking here.

Happy harvest!