Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Plans

Mark and I have started making plans for our forever home.  It was about this time last year that I realized the reality of building our forever home was not that far away.  We're not breaking ground next year, but we hope and pray that we can begin building in the next five years.  We decided to start the entire process by doing some research.  We are making a deliberate effort to be informed before we ever begin.  We hope that all of the effort and careful planning will save us time and money.  When we built our current home in 2002, we had no idea what we were doing.  We knew we needed a house plan around 1500 square feet, but other than that we were pretty clueless.  I think the main thing that I looked for in a house plan was if it had walk-in his-and-hers closets.  Let's just say I didn't have high expectations for design.

Nine years later, I'm older and wiser, and I have much higher expectations for our forever home.

Now that I know better, how do I do better?

We're turning to these books for inspiration and information.

I recently purchased Get Your House Right.


I'm also interested in the books below.

{Images amazon.com}

Please share any other resources you've found helpful in designing, planning and building a new "old" home.  We have a very open-minded approach right now and would love any suggestions.  I kind of think of this home as "the house that blogging built" because so many influences have already come from blogs.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vintage Lawn Chairs

I'm longing for Spring!

I know Spring will be here soon, and I'm ready for lazy days spent in the backyard working in my flower beds while the boys play in the sandbox.  One of my favorite things in my backyard are these vintage lawn chairs.  They belonged to my dear Aunt Oma.  She is the oldest sister of my grandma, Mama Winnie.  Neomah is one of the neatest people I know.  She's kind, generous, wise, gracious and a strong Christian woman.  Her faith and attitude on life inspire us all.  After falling almost five years ago, she can no longer live in her home and is living in the same nursing home that my grandma lives in.  Since she can't stay at her home, she has given away many things to family members.  These chairs were in her garage.  I wanted them when I first saw them.  No one else had shown any interest so I was lucky enough to get them. 

They are perfect in our backyard. 
I love sitting in them and watching the boys play.

BEFORE
The chairs were in great shape other than needing a little TLC.  
I attempted to remove any rust and old paint with a wire bursh with metal scraper and sandpaper. 
Next, I spray painted them. 

AFTER

Here they are in early February covered in ice and snow. 

I'll be linking up to Cha Cha at Sit Relax and Read.  I appreciate Sentimental Sundays so much for giving me a place to share things that are in my home (and outside my home) that are special and meaningful.
Thanks, Cha Cha!
Sit Relax and Read

I'll be sharing my vintage lawn chairs with
Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


Don't miss Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party!




Thursday, February 24, 2011

Home Tour {Sneak Peek}

I have a link to "Our Home" at the top of my blog, but I've yet to add any photos to it.  I plan to do a home tour soon.  The reason I decided to do a home tour is because I'm nosey curious, and I love getting a glimpse into someone else's home.  It's always fun to see how others live.

Here's a sneak peek into our home. 

Our bedroom


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday Wk 24

What I Wore Wednesday Wk 24

If you've been hanging out with me here for a while, you know each week I usually post What I Wore Wednesday.

If you're new here, here's the scoop.  I usually link up to the Pleated Poppy and share my outfits for the previous week.  It's not because I think I'm uber stylish.  By all means no!  Some people might think it's a little vain.  Taking photos of yourself and talking about your clothes could come across that way.  I get that.  Please know that I'm the least pretentious person, especially since I had Bell's Palsy almost 2 years ago, which my face is still partially paralyzed from.  I'm very self-conscious when it comes to photos of my face and photos in general.  I'm also still struggling to lose the last 10 pounds of baby weight from my little one who is 21 months old.  So, this is just for fun and not for vanity.  I started WIWW back in the summer of 2010 because I was a huge fan of Lindsey's blog, and it seemed like a fun way to meet other bloggers with similar interests.  It's also great accountability to be more thoughtful in what you wear. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday: school
Navy pants/chinos: Banana Republic
Gray and white stripe top: Old Navy
Gray cardi: J Crew outlet
Scarf: American Eagle
Flats: Old Navy
Ring: Sundance


Thursday: school
I forgot to take a photo. 
It looks like the outfit from Tuesday of WIWW Wk 9.

Friday: school
Jeans: Seven For All Mankind A Pocket bought here.
T-shirt: school spirit shirt Rah Rah!!!
Shoes: Cole Haan g series bought at Nordstrom Rack

Sunday: church & Monday: school 
Black pants: Gap
Black cardi: Gap outlet
Gray tank with ruffles: J Crew outlet (it's new)
Flats: Ann Taylor LOFT
Necklace and earrings: Premier Designs
Usually Ben is in the photo with me but Will came in just after church while was taking my photo. 
I thought he looked really sweet here. 
I really like this new top from J Crew. 

 
Tuesday: school
Since it's the last week of the six weeks we are allowed to wear jeans during the week instead of just on Friday.  Woo Hoo to jeans week!
Jeans: Sevens (same as Friday)
Blue ruffle tank: Old Navy
Drapey cardi: Forever 21
Flats: Aeropostale
Necklace and earrings: Premier Designs

I'll be linking up to the Pleated Poppy.
the pleated poppy blog

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ben's First Haircut

Things have been kind of crazy around our house lately.  I haven't had time to share photos from Ben's first haircut on February 10.  I waited and waited to cut his hair until it was out of control.  Mark would have been happy if I cut his hair months ago, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I realize that cutting or not cutting his hair has no affect on him staying a baby, but it was as if I was giving in to my baby growing up if I cut it.  Ben was about 20 months old for his first haircut and Will was about 17 months old for his first haircut.  I'll have to share photos of Will's first haircut on a Flashback  Friday.

Here are some photos of my little guy before, during and after.

Before his haircut

Ben's not sure what to think. 

You can see how long Ben's hair was in this photo. 

We gave Ben a sucker to keep him still.  He loved it!

Bye bye baby curls...tear! 

We also gave Ben a popsicle to keep him happy.

Ben after his bath.  He's playing in Will's closet. 

Ben with his big boy haircut!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Poppy Seed Chicken

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is my go-to casserole. I can't tell you how many times I've taken it to church fellowship meals or potluck meals at work. The best thing about this casserole is that it's so easy. It's also great for picky eaters.


Ingredients
1 ½ or 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 oz sour cream
2 tsp poppy seed
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
40 Ritz crackers (about one sleeve)
1 stick butter

I like to crush the crackers in a ziploc bag.  
Add the poppy seed to the crushed crackers and shake.

Shredded chicken

Cream of chicken soup mixed with sour cream
Add this mixture to the shredded chicken in casserole dish

Pour crushed crackers and poppy seed over the chicken and soup mixture
Pour melted butter over the topping

For this meal I served the Poppy Seed Chicken with homemade mac and cheese.  Yum!

Poppy Seed Chicken

Ingredients
1 ½ or 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 oz sour cream
2 tsp poppy seed
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
40 Ritz crackers (about one sleeve)
1 stick butter

Directions
Preheat over to 350°F. Boil chicken until tender; cut into small pieces and place in a greased casserole dish. Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken and mix together. Crush crackers and combine with poppy seed. Sprinkle crackers and poppy seed over soup mixture. Melt and pour margarine over the top. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until brown and bubbling.

I'll be linking up to one of my favorite blogs Remodelaholic.




 
Also sharing at Kelly's Korner SUYL--Main Dish Recipes
 

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm An Aggie

I'm an Aggie.
Class of 2000.
Whoop!

I didn't start my collegiate career at Texas A&M University.  I attended East Texas Baptist University for two years and then transferred to A&M.  I had a really terrific college experience.  So many good times with so many good friends!

My experience at each college was awesome but so different. 

ETBU was a great school to attend for a small town girl who was just out of high school.  Sometimes I felt like I was at youth camp (in a good way).  The tight-knit atmosphere at ETBU was something special.  I absolutely loved living in a dorm my first two years.  I'll always remember the good times my roommates, suitemates and I had in Merle Bruce and Lineberry.

Texas A&M was the perfect university for me to transfer to.  I was older and more independent.  I felt so grown-up living in an apartment and working a part-time job.  College Station is a great town for a small town girl to live in.  Everything revolves around the university.  I found a wonderful church and made some special friends.  Some of my best friends that I still keep in touch with are friends I made while attending A&M.  Since I transferred to A&M, I was a little late on the Aggie indoctrination ;)  I still bleed maroon and love A&M.  I have great respect for the university and its traditions.  I'm still in awe of the tradition at A&M and the Spirit of Aggieland.  It's truly unlike anything I've ever experienced.


If my boys choose A&M, I'll be as happy as can be, but I'll support them wherever they decide to go.


Will and I in front of the Statue of Sul Ross with the Academic Building in the background.  I had many sociology classes in the Academic Building.
This was taken on Will's first visit to College Station on September 22, 2007.

Here are some photos of my time at A&M. 
Fall 1998-December 2000

You can't be an Aggie and not attend a Pat Green concert (at least that's how it was in the late 90s).
Two of my best friends Cory and Terri .  We met Pat at Hastings before he had a concert in College Station.

My cousin, Laine, a dear friend was at A&M while I was.  Angela (you've heard me talk about her all the time on the blog) is in the middle.

Aggie Football game
Fall 1998 
Jared (another cousin) is in the photo on the far left.  It was really neat having two of my cousins at college with me.  We're all still very close friends today.

Bonfire
I attended the last Bonfire in 1998.
I was at A&M when the Bonfire fell in 1999.  Truly tragic.

Cory and I at Elephant Walk.  One of the many traditions at A&M.
Elephant Walk 
 Jumping into the fountain on Elephant Walk.

While at A&M I worked at the Evans Library.  Here are some of my awesome co-workers that I still keep in touch with after all these years.
 Summer or Fall 2000

Terri, Cory and I after my graduation.  Whoop!
December 2000


This in reverse order, but here are some photos of my time at ETBU.
I scanned several photos from my time at ETBU and posted them on facebook about a year ago.  It was so much fun to reminisce with all of my friends.  So much has changed in 10 years!

Fall 1996-Spring 1998

Fall 1997
Kelly, me and Andrea
Two of my best friends from ETBU
Love these girls!

Sophomore year
Fall 1997
Lineberry Hall

Baptist Student Ministry
 Mission Trip to Pacific Northwest
January 1998

Sophomore year
Spring Intramural Softball


ETBU graduation
May 1998

I'll be linking up to Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life--Alma Maters.


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