Friday, December 28, 2012

High Five for Friday

Helleur...I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!  
My family and I had a nice relaxing week spent with our friends, and loved ones..
Here are a few highlights..

I was introduced to Irish whiskey...lerved it!  It may or may not have held a hand in me falling asleep while sitting up at my Mother-in-Laws.

Christmas morning at our house is always so special to me.  
I love the excitement of Trey coming to wake me up bright and early to open the presents.
It never gets old to see his face light up as he sees the gifts surrounding the tree.

He was pretty pumped about everything Santa brought him.  He got a ton of camping stuff...can't wait to use it all..if he shares..  He stayed parked in his little camping/trail stool all morning.

After we opened our gifts we got cleaned up and went to spend the day at my Mom and Dad's house.

Santa found us there too..

Trey finally got the train set he has been wanting for years.

We spent the day just hanging out enjoying each others company.  Counting our many blessings..  I always love spending time with my beautiful niece.  

I picked up these rockin tights from Target..  
Saw them, and had to have them..  

I have been using this hair product, It's a 10, for a few weeks now.  I got it to help relieve my dry winter hair, and it really works!  After towel drying my hair I spray this only 3-4 times on the end of my hair and massage it in with my fingers. No more dry ends.  If you hair is lacking moisture like the rest of us, I would totally recommend using this product.  Check with your local salon.

My grumpy old dog, Winston..I told him he was old, and grumpy...then he licked me a million times.
Guess he showed me!  :)

He likes to sit at my feet under my vanity while I am doing my hair and makeup.
He's not always grumpy..only sometimes. 

The day after Christmas Trey and I stayed in my bed, and in our jams all day.
We had a Back to the Future marathon.  Scuba too..

I am excited to share with you some of my cool new gadgets I got for Christmas.  Right now we are packed up, and ready to head up to Ohio for New Years.  We rarely get a true winter in middle Tennessee, so it's exciting to watch Trey have fun in the snow.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by to read H54F.  It's still one of my favorite posts to write...I can't believe it has almost been a year since I wrote my first blog...crazy how time flies when you're having fun!  :)  

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  Remember to count your blessings!


Friday, December 21, 2012

High Five for Friday

Friday, again! The last Friday before Christmas.  I'm completely scatterbrained.  One day I searched for my sunglasses for at least 20 minutes before I realized they were on top of my head.  Another day I put my rings, bracelet and watch on...then on my way out the door panicked because my rings were not on my finger.  I looked everywhere...for a long time.  Then realized I had placed them on my right hand, rather than my left...duh!  Had a date night planned with a girlfriend another day...took a nap, jumped out of bed thinking I was wasn't until the next day.  One morning around umm 2:00.  I almost had a heart attack when I heard a noise and awoke to find Trey standing at the end of my bed staring at me.  Seriously...why do kids do that!?  Announce yourselves or something, geez!  I couldn't go back to sleep for hours... 
I am very happy to see Friday!

My house is now ready for Christmas on the outside...

and inside.  Have I mentioned that I love my tree?  It makes everything so warm and cozy.  I really wish I could keep it up longer.  I totally should!  

<insert throat clearing sound here>

I can do whatever I want, right?!

Sunday I had a little dinner party for about 9 of us to celebrate my Mother-in-Law's birthday.  I made spaghetti, and then cheated by buying salad and bread sticks from Olive Garden.  It's the way to go!
Aunt Mel made the best cake ever...I probably had way more than I should have, but wow it was amazing!

Last night I got my craft on.  I made a mixed media art piece with a map of Tennessee, and some other printed paper, as well as textured paper.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  I will share it with you next week.  Me + Mod Podge is usually dangerous, but I had to give myself a pat on the back with this one!

Trey and I browsed through Miss Lucille's Marketplace this week.  Ermahgersh..they have the best fried pies!    I like apple, and Trey gets the peach.  If you ever go to Lucille's you must get a pie.  Work it off's totally worth it!

I had a girls night out Wednesday.  We got our holiday manicures, then went to dinner..had steak, mashed potatoes, salad and strawberry bellini's.  Yumm!!  Then went downtown to shop at one of our favorite boutiques.

Apparently I am the dog lady, can't say I would have it any other way.  I love these three boys!

Scuba is waiting on Santa

Speaking of Santa....I totally got outed for being the tooth fairy the other day.  The cats out of the bag now.  What the heck!?  So, last week I mentioned that Trey lost his last three teeth.  Yesterday, when we got home, and as I was in the kitchen unloading groceries, Trey was in my bedroom getting the dogs. I heard him say "Well, I guess I know who the tooth fairy is now??" (such a little 13 year old smarty!) My eyes got as big as saucers, and I walked in the room. Apparently Scuba was nosing through some of my stuff on my vanity, and uncovered the container that Trey's teeth were in...knocking it on the floor.  This totally caught me off guard.  There was no way out.  With apprehension... I said. "How cool is it that your Mom is the tooth fairy?!! He didn't think it was funny, rolled his eyes at me, and walked away. <sigh>  Thanks a lot big black dog!

Winston got a bath.  He's pretty much the cutest thing around!

Scuba apologizing that there is no such thing as the tooth fairy!!

Yesterday I began baking...So far I have made a batch of molasses cookie dough, and three loaves of pumpkin bread....I am going to make pumpkin/peanut butter dog treats, and two other human types of cookies, but I am trying to hold out as long as possible for fear that I will eat all of the human cookies before I can give them away.  I have a thing for peanut butter a ridiculous hankering for peanut butter mixed with sugar and chocolate anything... 

I hope you all had an amazing week, that you have safe travels if you are travelling to be with your family, and that each and every one of you have a Merry Christmas. Don't forget to count your blessing not only today, but everyday...and make sure those that you love and adore know it!  


Monday, December 17, 2012

Cherry Dump Cake - Guest post by Kayla

I asked a few of my girlfriends to send me their FaVoRiTe holiday recipes to be featured on the blog.  I am excited for them to share in the blog experience with me, and even more so, I am excited that you will get some amazing new recipes to try out.  I am delighted to share a simple, yet delicious recipe from my friend, Kayla.

It's that time of year again.  The Holidays have arrived!!  With the holidays comes shopping, parties, traditions, memories, family, friends, and of course food!  Looking back I am sure we all have a favorite treat that we indulge in this time of year.  For me, it's cookies.  They get me every time!  I can be so full that I cannot breathe, yet let someone offer me a cookie, and I will not turn it down.

A great gift for anyone in your life, especially that person who has everything, is to share a favorite recipe, and get them a basket full with the all the items that they will need to be on their way to food bliss.  This year I am honored to be asked by my close friend, Carrie, to share one of my favorite recipes with each of you via her blog..The Way I See it..(and NO, it's not a cookie recipe :) ) It is a great recipe to let the kids help you with, as all you do is literally dump the ingredients in a pan and bake

Cherry Dump Cake

You will need the following:

1 - 9 x 13 baking pan
cooking spray
1 - 20 ounce can crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 - 21 ounce cans cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter

Preheat oven to 350

Spray baking pan with cooking spray
Dump can of undrained crushed pineapple into pan, and spread evenly

Using a spoon dump both cans of cherry pie filling evenly on top of pineapple

Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over layered pineapple and cherries

Cut sticks of butter into slices, and place evenly on top of dry cake mix.

Bake for approximately one hour or until golden brown
Serve warm or cold

I hope you all enjoy!

Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 14, 2012

High Five for Friday

I seriously cannot believe that it is already Friday...Can you?  The time is going by entirely too fast folks.  I'm not ready for Christmas.  I have family birthdays coming up back to back, friends going through life changing events, Trey's school stuff, holiday stuff...I could go on, and on..  Oh how the most wonderful time of the year can quickly become the busiest time of year.  Although I feel as if I am scattered all over the place, and a few extra hours in the day would be nice...I have to admit I do kind of like it...if I sit still for too long I tend to get bored..

Here are a few highlights from my week...

This weather is insane..last week it was mid 70's.  This week it has been mid 40's. wonder people are getting sick all over the place.  Over the weekend while we were experiencing Spring-like weather I wanted to wear a scarf, so I put on a super thin knit infinity scarf.  It for reals made the whole outfit, and it was weather appropriate..

One of my favorite Christmas songs...
It really makes me want to rock around my Christmas tree...

I realized the other day that a year ago this week I was in NYC.  If you have never been to NYC during Christmas sure to put it on your bucket list.  There is nothing like it!  My heart is aching to go back!

Actually, a year ago this very morning I was on the set of Good Morning America...I got to meet my news anchor crush, Josh Elliott...I could not stop smiling!
(and WOW..Holy weight loss!! What a difference a year, and a whole lot of determination can make...high five to me!!)

I never thought I would love the city as much as I did, but it definitely stole my heart.  I think out of all the places in the US that I have visited...NYC is my fave, and I absolutely cannot wait to go back!

Poor baby had his last three baby teeth pulled he looking pitiful or what?  I think he's milking it for all it's worth..

I got my hair did on Wednesday...
Helleur, blondie!!

For some reason I felt the need to rearrange my kitchen counters, and decided to move my coffee maker from one end of the kitchen to the other.  I rarely drink coffee, but I do love me some hot tea, and especially a mug of hot cider on the cold days.  So, I set up a little tea/cider station next to my coffee pot.  Using items already in my kitchen...I used a silver platter for the base, my cookie platter for my plant stand, a ramekin for my tea bags, and an old mason jar as cork storage.  Cute, certainly adds a little character to that corner of the kitchen.

I clean my makeup brushes with Sephora's daily cleaner.  I don't however clean them every day...nor do I clean them as often as I should.  This stuff is the bomb diggity!!  You spray it on your brushes, wipe them on a can totally see the makeup coming off...I usually do it a few times...then let them dry, and the next time you go to use your makeup brush it will be as soft as the day you bought it.  No kidding!  It's amazing.  I have a confession...when I first started blogging I made a vlog (video blog) of myself cleaning my brushes...I was a complete weirdo.  It was very informative, and whatnot, but I was can anyone stand the sound of my voice?  Weeeird!!  I showed it to a total of three people; my Mother, Kyle, and Nicole.  My Mother is the only one that did not laugh (at least not to my face.)  I looked on my camera, and I deleted it...sorrrry...(I'm really not sorry...

Thanks for stopping by to see what's new for me this guys are simply the best! 
 Have a super awesome weekend!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Groove is in the Heart....

I love music, who doesn't, right? With music we can sit still, envision our future, travel back in time, go places we have never been, or to places we would rather be.  There is always a story to be told within a great song. Many years ago after I broke off my first serious "adult" relationship, I gave the guy a CD I had made. I titled it "All I Had to do was Write it in a Song" clearly I "borrowed" the title from Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I knew he would "get it" and understand exactly what I was trying to say, without having to put it into my own words...and with each song he would listen to my "letter" to him and eventually understand why I felt the need to end our relationship.  Not too long ago I told a girlfriend that we should dedicate an entire day of speaking to each other in song lyrics only...just to see if we could do it.  Sounds like fun, right...errr weird...whatever.  Each time I hear "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison I remember my first dance with Kyle at our wedding... and admittedly I giggle just a little remembering how we took dance lessons for an entire month, and still managed to fail miserably at trying to look like we knew what we were doing on the dance floor.  When I hear Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen I think of my childhood bff, and how I used to sing it to her on her answering machine every day one summer while she was on vacation because it was our song, and I missed her....A solo that you should be glad you me! Creep by Radiohead makes me think of my bestie in Texas.  I smile..cry, but mostly laugh thinking of the last time we sang it together screaming it at the top of our lungs at two in the morning in her garage. Anything by Bush makes me think of my first ever rock concert, The Greenday Dookie album reminds me of Spring my Junior year of High school. Anytime I hear it I have the sudden urge to open the sun roof, roll down the windows, and crank up the volume... Pearl Jam always reminds me of the beach. Since I decided to take up running this year I have put some serious thought into my running playlist. It cannot be filled with just any random songs.  I chose songs that give me road rage... Not the kind you get from being behind the wheel, but the kind you get while your running shoes are pounding the pavement. The kind of music that def makes you not want to sit still... I always time my runs, and if its a really good song I always beat my own record.  I've asked my other runner friends what their favorite running songs are.  I always consider their suggestions. I listen to the songs and if it doesn't make me want to jump up and down/clap/skip/ get motivated..then I cannot run to it. Everyone says the Rocky theme pushes them through, and to be quite honest it instantly gives me a headache and makes me want to bang my head against the wall. So, since I have my playlist that I pretty much stick to religiously I thought I would share it with you.  During my run is the only time of day that my mind is completely clear. I'm not thinking about the email I have yet to respond to...I'm not thinking about my appointments for the day, or what should go on my grocery list. It's just me, my music, the ground below me, and the sky above me....

  1. Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  2. Word Up - Korn
  3. Circus - Brittney Spears
  4. Somewhere I Belong - Linkin Park
  5. These Days - Dr. Dog
  6. Lose Yourself - Eminem
  7. Under Pressure - Queen/David Bowie
  8. Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones
  9. Jealous Again - The Black Crowes
  10. Hurt Me Tomorrow - K'nnan
  11. Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5
  12. Cupid's Chokehold - Gym Class Heroes
  13. Shake That - Eminem
  14. More than a Feeling - Boston
  15. Behind Blue Eyes - Limp Bizkit
  16. Malibu - Hole
  17. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
  18. Bulls on Parade - Rage Against the Machine
  19. Numb - Linkin Park
  20. SOS - Rihanna
  21. Take Me Home Tonight - Eddie Money
  22. Mother - Danzig
  23. Beast of Burden - The Rolling Stones
  24. In the End - Linkin Park
What is your favorite go-to running song?

Whether you are already active, or need that extra umph to get moving... I hope at least a few of these songs will get you motivated to lace up those sneaks...get outside, and move!!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Molasses Cookies

These cookies are pretty amazing!!  I discovered the recipe last year, and they received more compliments than any cookie I have ever made.  That's saying a lot, because I make a ton of homemade cookies. The recipe is super simple, so heat up those ovens, tie on your apron, and get to bakin'!


1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger


Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and molasses together, beat well

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and ginger.

Add to the molasses mixture a little at a time until mixed thoroughly

Put dough in separate container, and chill for at least three hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet, unless you are using a stone.

Form dough into walnut sized balls.  Roll balls in sugar.  You can use white sugar, or colored (red and/or green)  Place balls about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies (my fave) or  10 to 12 minutes for a crispier cookie. 

I promise you will not be disappointed with these delicious cookies. I would love to hear how yours turn out. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comment section below.


Friday, December 7, 2012

High Five for Friday

 Hey, guys!  I have been MIA for about two weeks now...A few days after Thanksgiving I became soooo sick..It began gradually, and then one day it was unbearable...which then lasted for about four more days. I had a terrible hacking cough, body aches, the strangest raspy voice (I have to admit I kinda liked my raspy that weird?) Then Trey also got sick.  The worst thing in the world is to have your child sick at the same time as yourself.  We missed three days of work and school trying to get better.. and trying not infect the rest of the population.  Miserable, I tell ya, but we are back to our normal selves now...Friday was the day we finally felt well enough to leave the house. I was so pumped to get some fresh air.. fix my hair...and put real clothes on that I didn't want to come home..I went to work, had lunch out, picked Trey up from school, shopped, went to the movies (saw Lincoln...loved it!!), went to dinner, shopped some more...and then finally went home...hallelujah for antibiotics!!  

One of my most favorite times of the year is the week after Thanksgiving when we can finally decorate for Christmas.  If it were up to me I would probably keep my Christmas tree up year round...ok, so maybe not really, but I might put it up after Halloween.  Seriously..I'm not kidding.  I ask every year, but get a big fat no every time!  One day I won't ask...I'll just do it...  So, anyway..Kyle did put the tree up a day or two after Thanksgiving.  While I was not feeling well.  It took me almost the entire week to decorate it.  I couldn't stand it....I would get out of bed and put a few decorations on until I got dizzy, and then I would have to lay back down.  On a "normal" year we decorate everything the day after Thanksgiving and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation while doing so..Not so much the case this year, but finally the tree is decorated along with the rest of the house....It's the most wonderful time of the year!!

Have you had a chance to check out Birchbox's limited edition home box yet?  It is a huge box packed full of goodies for your home...recipe cards, spatula set, chalkboard place cards...just to name a few.  Everything that comes in the box is listed on the website, so it's not a surprise like in the monthly boxes.  I ordered it as soon as I heard about it.  Once it arrived in the mail I wrapped a ribbon around it and put it under the tree.  I didn't even peek!!  Did you order the home box for yourself, or for someone else?  If not...there is still time.

I finally got to rock my scarf from Ireland.  I LoVe this scarf so much!! 

I scored these super cute boots at Target.  I have been looking for a pair of boots that fit me in just the right way, and these are them.  I have large calves, so most regular boots fit my leg too snug, and the "wide" calf boots are way too big and look ridiculous.  So, it's a constant battle trying to find the boot for me.  Sooo, if you are like me and have super awesome, muscular calves...these boots will work for you. If you click on this link it will tell you which boots they are, but the website says they are currently  unavailable online.  I just got these this week, and they had shelves full of check your Target!

I ordered some new lip gloss from Sephora.  Love it so much that you must know about it..If you have never used a gloss from Philosophy you are seriously missing out.  They are so thick, and they last forevver!!  This color is called Tinsel's the perfect shade of pink, it has plumper, and it's the gloss for the holidays (says me)

You can find it at for only $7.00

Every Christmas season my company takes a day to visit with our local clients.  We go early in the morning and take them a dozen or so hot..fresh...Cracker Barrel country ham biscuits.  It is just our way of saying thank you, and that we appreciate their business.  Having worked for the same company for 17 years I have also made some friendships with my clients along the way.  So, taking a few hours to stop in and wish them a Merry Christmas is a great way to kick off the holiday season.

We delivered 16 dozen country ham biscuits on Wednesday.

My house smelled so good yesterday after I baked these homemade molasses cookies.  I love baking, especially around the holidays.  I think some of the best gifts you can give your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc...are home baked goodies.  The cookies literally melt in your mouth.  Watch for the recipe on the blog this weekend.  What is your favorite treat to bake during the holidays?

I'll wrap this week up with a few pictures of my favorite furry guys...

I know I look terrible in this picture, but Brodie outshines me for sure...This was taken while I was sick.  Poor little guy never left my side the entire time.  He knew that his mama was not feeling well for sure!

He snuggled up right next to me and my box of tissues.

Scuba is all arms and legs...

These two were watching me cook, and waiting for me to drop something...

I have four of these ornaments on my tree...two green, and two red...for each Westie.  I ordered them years ago from Puppy Dog Plaids.  At PDP you can buy a Westie, Scottie, or Cairn Terrier ornament...they are hand painted, and you can get it personalized. To order yours check out their website here.  You can also order a custom made collar for your dog or cat.  She does beautiful work!

 That's all for this week's H54F!!  I am trying to talk my husband into taking me on a date this weekend since Trey will be spending the night away one far, he keeps saying no...<sigh> What's a girl got to do to get a dinner date around here!!?  Sunday we are going to Nashville for my sister-in-law's Christmas party. We look forward to seeing Hannah every music, dancing, and great company.  What are your weekend plans?