Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We Live for Each Other - a vlog about sisterhood!

Stop and Smell the Roses

Hi, friends!  I'm back for another edition of Stop and Smell the Roses vlog link-up!  I realized I haven't been doing a good job explaining exactly what the link-up is about....Mandy from House of Rose encourages us to take 2-4 minutes every Wednesday and vlog about something we're thankful for or something we are loving this week!  It's a great link-up, and I have met some really great bloggers through it!  So, thank you, Mandy, for hosting every week!

This week, I'm talking about my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi.  I joined in 2002, and it's definitely a huge part of my life.  I met some of my best friends through it - I honestly don't know if I would have made it through college without that group of girls.  Anyways, we've all re-connected over the past few weeks after we learned about our fellow sister, Katelyn, and her battle with cancer.  Read more HERE.  I love that we have all become this huge support network for our sister, even though distance separates most of us.  We have truly learned what it means to say "We Live for Each Other."

Please don't judge me on the following:
My attempt to "throw up" the diamonds and be cool like I used to be.
What's up with my hair?  I'm trying to grow it out, please be kind!
I say "um" a ton.
My dog is definitely running around - you can hear his feet on the kitchen floor!
Did y'all spot my cat, Gertie, trying to make an appearance?  She's a DIVA!

And yes, the Stella & Dot trunk show is still underway - see my vlog from last week HERE for more info...I encourage you all to shop and support this wonderful and amazing mama!  I know she would appreciate it more than you'll ever know!  And it's a great time to shop....lots of new summer items came out last week!

Here's the link to shop:

(I had some questions about the link - when you click on it, it will says "shopping katelyn liles' trunk show" in the top right corner - this will ensure that your purchase goes to her).  As always, if there's questions, please let me know!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter 2012

Well, like a busy mama, I'm over a week late posting about our Easter weekend....oops!

We had a beautiful and amazing weekend full of Easter egg hunts, lots of baskets, tons of candy and family time a-plenty!  Easter is one of my favorite holidays - celebrating our Lord and Savior's everlasting love and promises for us!

Easter Sunday started our at good ole Bigbyville Church - this is the same church that B and I got married at, and I pretty much grew up going to this church with my grandparents.  They had an egg hunt before church, then we went to the service with my Papa.  Annie Louise left after the tithe because she's not used to actually sitting in church.  At one point during the service, I could hear her sqealing and screaming in their fellowship hall.  She's definitely a wild child.

In the span of a few hours of Easter Sunday, we bumped our cheek (and got a big bruise), fell down and skinned our knees, and skinned the back of our legs going down the concrete stairs.  I was afraid someone was going to call Child Services and alert them that a toddler was being abused.  Sheeesh!'s our day in pictures!

Annie Louise with her Easter basket from the Easter Bunny...LOTS of fun goodies!  And pretty sure he stopped at everyone's house with even more goodies!

We actually got a decent family picture this year....except for the fact that I'm incredibly pale!

Look at my sweet girl in her sweet dress!  She looked absolutely precious!

Yeah, this is like the best pic I got of AL with Great-Granny (GG) and Great Papa.  My Granny had surgery a few weeks ago, and she was still recovering.  Papa spent the morning with us at my grandparents!

The smile and the curls are almost too much for this mama's heart.  I love that little face!

Time to hunt MORE eggs...she was definitely a pro by this time!  I was so proud of her picking up all the eggs and putting them in her basket!  Such a BIG girl!


We sang lots of songs and did lots of my active little gal!

Grant-man came over to hunt eggs, too!  They have such a great time together!

And then the day started to fall apart....oh, the tears!
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A vlog for my friend, Katelyn!

Stop and Smell the Roses

I hope you enjoyed seeing my 3rd vlog for House of Rose "Stop and Smell the Roses" link-up.  I felt really called to tell y'all about my sweet friend Katelyn (read more about her HERE) and give you an opportunity to help her family during this trying time.

If you would like to shop the trunk show I have set up for Katelyn, please visit here:

Feel free to forward this link to anyone you might think would want to help out, too!  Again, thank you all for your prayers and thoughts for my dear friend - they mean the world to me!

Now, KICK CANCER, KATE!!!!  We love you!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shower thoughts...

I've had a lot of random things on my mind lately, could be why I've been over-sleeping by 10 or 15 minutes in the morning and just can't seem to get a good night's rest.

Some the things going through my head....

1. I'm still trying to come up with a way for us to get to the beach sometime soon.  I think I have definitely earned a vacation - even if it's just for a long weekend.

2. I'm have been really proud of myself for keeping up with our church's "read the Bible in a year" program.  Every morning, I listen to the daily reading - I really like listening to it.  I'm all the way to Joshua right now, which is further than I've ever gotten before.  I can't wait to get to the end and be able to say that I've been through the whole Bible!

3. I want a closet make-over.  Like my actual closet.  I have the tiniest closet, and it is jam-packed with clothes.  There are 2 racks, and they meet in the corner, which makes for an even bigger mess.  I really need double racks on each side - one for tops/dresses, one for pants.  I want something nice to hold all of my shoes, too.  Oh, to have a functional closet!

4. Speaking of closets, I am going to try and "flip" my closet this weekend to spring/summer things.  This is always such a pain to me, and usually when I do it, the weather changes!  But, I have already pulled all of AL's fall/winter/too small things out of her closet and started hanging up new clothes (because we literally did not have anything)!

5. I'm going to go through all of the bins of AL's clothes tonight.  I have not sold/donated/gotten rid of anything of hers.  Every time I would go through her closet, I would just box everything up.  Literally, I have half a dozen large utility totes that need to be sorted through.  I know there are some pieces that I want to keep for future babies, but most of the stuff is probably not necessary to keep!  Wish me luck!

6. I have Good Friday off - YAY!  I'm actually super excited about my day off because AL and I are going to a local farm for an Easter celebration, and one of my favorite mama friends and her daughter are coming, too!  That's something I miss terribly about staying at home - AL and I were always catching up with our friends and having lunch dates.  I miss those times....but I am excited about PAID holidays that I can spend with special friends!

So, there you have it friends - all of my random thoughts!  What are you thinking about this week?

And just because I think she's too cute for sweet doodlebug!  Eating a thumbprint cookie
(which coincidentally, mama ate a million of those when she was pregnant!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vlogging...I love it!

So, here I am another shot at vlogging!  I actually prepared somewhat this week - woot woot!

I will warn you, I went over the 4 minute mark (ooops, I like to talk) - but I have to admit, I'm really liking this whole vlog thing!  I hope you'll come back again next week!

Mentioned in today's vlog:

Stella & Dot Marchesa Necklace - see it on my website HERE!  (Nina, don't you LOVE it?! - I totally thought of you when it came in)

Erin Condren Life Planner - available HERE!  And they are on sale - try it out and see if you like it!

Joy Chambers Photography - I really didn't do very well showing y'all her work.  My house is seriously covered in photos from this gal. If you live in the middle Tennessee area, and you need a photographer, PLEASE check Joy out!  She is the best, and we love her so!  She did Annie Louise's first year of photos, she took photos of AL's first birthday party, she did my sister's wedding photos and she did our Christmas card photos.  Girl is a part of our family - for real!  See her website HERE and her blog HERE!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Your questions...answered!

So, last week I was in a blogging rut.  And I asked for questions, and I actually got some really good ones!

Here are your answers...

My blog friend, Luv Red and White (who has been a "blog" friend of mine pretty much since I started blogging) asked:

What's your favorite "thing" you and your husband did before Miss AL came into the picture?

You know when I think back to our "before AL" times, it's hard for me to remember that life.  As awful as it sounds, the things I remember include lots and lots of sleep.  And lounging around.  And movies.  And books galore.  We did a lot of traveling for weddings and whatnot, which was nice, too.  Life was a lot slower, less hurried.  I miss that sometimes, but wouldn't trade our doodlebug for any of it!

How did you know he was the one? :)

Well, B and I have often talked about this.  He says he knew I was "the one" when we were grocery shopping one night.  He said it felt so natural and easy, he knew that was it.  I don't think I had a defining moment, I just woke up one day and knew we would always be together.  It didn't take long for us both to realize that we wanted to get married - we only dated for 3 months before we got engaged (we were engaged for 14 months before we got married)!

Amber, a fellow Tennessee gal (who I get to meet very soon) asked:

How did you & the Mr. meet?

B and I met in college - through his roommate in his fraternity house.  Funny thing is, I had actually been on a few dates with his roommate, but it didn't work out.  Thankfully, B and I became friends quickly, and he stuck around even after the roommate left!  It was a very fun (and quick) courtship, but those are some of my most beloved memories I have with B!

What do each of you do for a living?

I don't really like to talk about my "job" on the blog.  I like to keep that separate from here.  I will say this - I work for a well-established organization as an Executive Administrative Assistant.  And I love it.  I have been working there for about 9 months now (I started in August 2011) - it was rough starting a new job after staying home with AL, but right now, it's the best decision for our family. If you know me well, you know that I'm an extreme organizer, so I get to do that pretty much all day - just for another person!  It definitely has its perks!  I'm sure from reading my blog, you also know that I am a Stylist for Stella & Dot jewelry, and I adore working for that company in more ways than one!  B works for a college textbook company - he's been there since 2008, and he absolutely loves it.  He travels about 8-10 weeks out of the year (usually a week each month), so that's hard, but he loves what he does!  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is always a really hard question for me because I really have no idea.  If you would have asked me that question 5 years ago, I would have never thought I would be where I am.  Is that a bad thing?  Not at all.  In 5 years, I hope to be wiser, debt-free (we're getting SO close), mama to AL + more (?) babies, and wife to my sweet B!  I hope that I am still successful and continually blessed, too!  Oh, and I HOPE I'm in a bigger house...seriously, we're running out of room!

Annie (a NEW reader from my blog) asked:
How did you decide your sweet girl's name? {And I'm not just asking because we share it :] }
I get this question quite a bit, usually after people hear me talk about my "Annie Louise." So, here's the story behind her name...when B and I got pregnant, we had our boy name and our girl name.  We actually had a different name for a girl - want to know what we thought our daughter's name would be?  Vivienne Claire  or "Vivie" for short.  I still love that name.  Anyways, when I was about 15 weeks pregnant, we had a big birthday party for my Papa, who was turning 75.  I was horribly sick - I mean, I could barely keep any food down until I was like 20 weeks pregnant.  It was awful.  I pretty much spent the entire party wrapped up in this old quilt, because I felt like death.  The quilt I was wrapped up in was made of old quilt pieces that my Granny had from my Papa's side of the family.  On the back of the quilt, she had the names of the women who had made the quilt pieces, and that's when I saw it - "Annie Louise Harris".  I knew I had a Great-Great-Aunt Louise (she died in the 60s), but I NEVER knew her first name was Annie.  I looked over to B and said, "If we have a girl, we're naming her Annie Louise."  I don't know why, but I knew that was the name.  My Aunt Louise never had any children, and I always heard stories about her from her sister, Mary, who was also without children.  I felt like I needed to pass on this woman's heritage and legacy through my daughter, so that's what we did.  B still loves our "first" name, and who knows, one day we may use it again.  All I know is we could not have picked a better name for our sweet girl!
So, thank you all for saving me from my blogging rut!  I thoroughly enjoyed your questions, and I hope you enjoy reading the answers!  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Monday!

Our fun menu board thanks to Duchess of Fork!
Today, I'm linking up with Duchess of Fork for our Weekly Menu!  Woot woot!

I always read her blog on Monday to see what amazing things she's cooking up...along with the rest of her followers!  I have been meaning to link up each week, but the time always gets away from me!  Anyways, here we go!  This week I'm going super easy so we can take advantage of playing outside!

Monday: Meatloaf & fixin's - 

1 - 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beat
1/4 c onion, chopped
3/4 c oats, quick cooking
2-3 tbsp green peppers (optional)
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 egg
salt, pepper & oregano
1/3 c grated cheese (optional - I did not add)

Mix all ingredients together and cook in loaf pan at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Drain off grease.

Tuesday - Enchiladas - 

1 1/2 lbs ground beef, cooked
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can tomato sauce
flour tortillas
16 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
mexican cheese

Mix beef, taco seasoning & tomato sauce for filing.   Put filling in tortillas and roll up tight.  Place tortillas in 9x13 dish.  Mix the sour cream and soup together and spread on top of filled tortillas.  Sprinkle 1 package of cheese on top.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until hot.

Wednesday: Chicken Casserole - 

One of our the recipe HERE!

Thursday: Lasagna - 

- Nothing special...just lasagna noodles, meat, sauce & cheese!

Friday: PIZZA! - 

Saturday/Sunday: We'll be celebrating EASTER!

I HAVE to share this Creamy Fruit Salad recipe I made last night - I have been craving a good fruit salad, and I'm loving this recipe!  Plus, fruit salad is a staple here in the South!  Enjoy!

Creamy Fruit Salad:
1- 20 oz can pineapple tidbits, undrained
2 bananas, sliced
1 cup green grapes, halved
1 - 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, undrained
1 - 16 oz. can sliced peaches, undrained
1 - 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 - 3.5 oz pkg. instant lemon pudding
8 oz container Cool Whip

Mix all fruits in large bowl.  Sprinkle pudding mix over fruits, stir and let stand 5 minutes until thickened.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Refrigerate at least 4 hour before serving.

So, what's for dinner, y'all!?