Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Friday Favorites

Yay for Friday! I've been discombobulated this whole week and have thought it was Friday since Wednesday...so, glad it's finally here! We don't have any big weekend plans. I'm working tomorrow and keeping the nursery at church on Sunday. I'll probably try to fit in more unpacking at some point. At first I thought, maybe in a month or so we'll be settled in...now, reality has set in, and I'm thinking, maybe this time next year we'll be settled. It's a long process, isn't it?
 
ONE
 
I'm officially a big-bag convert. I've had this one for a few months now but only recently started carrying it. I love that it can fit all of the essentials plus diapers and wipes, a book, sippy cups, a bottle of wine, and pretty much anything else I might need throughout the day. It's vegan and soft, and the strap stays perfectly on my shoulder. The leopard interior of course makes it more fun too. #leopardisthenewblack
 
TWO
 
 
I have been in such a reading slump lately, and I hate that...I picked up this book after several friends recommended it, and I'm loving it so far. It tells the stories of two sisters living in France during World War II. I look forward to crawling into bed at night and reading, and that's what I've missed. Can't wait to read more...
 
THREE
 
Is this not the cutest pillow you've ever seen? I'm still trying to figure out bedding for Lily, but I may try to incorporate this...so fun, and you can't beat the price.
 
FOUR
 
 These sandals are just darling...and bonus, they're 40% off right now! Is anyone else dreaming of spring and warm weather?
 
FIVE
 
 
I love this beach scene canvas...it'd make a bold statement on any wall, and it's only $79.99.
 
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Did anyone else watch the debate last night? Does anyone else agree that Ted Cruz is a Saturday Night Live writer's dream? Material upon material!
 
I hope everyone has a great weekend...hope to see y'all back here on Monday!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Women

I hope y'all enjoyed my Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Men yesterday! I had so much fun putting it together, so today I wanted to share some gift ideas for the ladies. There's a color theme below because, well, I love a theme. I think any of these items would be great for a birthday or another holiday too!

And to the guys guy (Rob) reading this, presents are always nice, but you can never go wrong with a note from the heart and some flowers. Trust me on this.

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Argento Vivo Heart Stud Earrings

These studs are simple and cute enough to wear every day.

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I've heard great things about the S'well water bottles...not only are they cute, but they keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours. I have a feeling I'd drink more water if I had this fun bottle!
 
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I love a statement earring. Throw on a simple outfit; slap your hair in a bun or ponytail; put on these earrings and you're good to go. The red is my favorite, but they come in a slew of other colors...

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PJ Salvage Print Lounge Shorts

Valentine's Day is a great occasion to give or get some cute pajamas. Loving the ruffle detail on these. Sadly, I asked, and no, the model's flat tummy does not come with the shorts. Oh well.

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Ruffle Pullover Sweater

I posted this sweater in yellow just last week, but the red caught my eye for Valentine's Day. Such a pretty, classic sweater that you could wear in the fall and into spring.

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Jill Sunglasses--Rose Gold

Aviator sunglasses look good on most anyone, and the rose gold makes these even more special.

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St. Jude Heart Pad Printed Bowls

These bowls from West Elm are just precious. They'd be perfect for storing jewelry or loose change. And the best thing is, West Elm donates 50% of all proceeds to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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St. Jude Valentine Teeny Heart Mug

The delicate hearts on this mug make me smile. I'd love to drink my coffee out of it every day...and, here again, West Elm will donate 50% of all proceeds from the sale of this mug to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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Mark & Graham Leather Tassel Key Chain

What a fun keychain! I bet the tassels make it super easy to find at the bottom of your bag, too.

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Heart Measuring Spoons

I would have the best time measuring my ingredients with these adorable spoons!

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Pomegranate, Argan, & Grapeseed Duo

This is one of my favorite scents...pomegranate, citrus, and fig. It's subtle and not overpowering at all. Plus the bottles are fun to look at on your bathroom counter!
 
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I love these personalized heart dishes...would be great for stashing your jewelry.
 
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There you have it...hope this list inspires you! And if you're reading this and single, why not treat yourself to something you love on Valentine's Day? Or plan on exchanging gifts with a girlfriend over a meal of pasta drenched in garlic sauce! ;) I hope everyone has a great day...
 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Men

Confession: Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even when I was single, I still held out hope that I'd be the girl getting the roses from a secret admirer. Sad but true. Ha!
 
But still, what's not to love about a day devoted to love? Rob and I have always celebrated Valentine's Day, even if it's just a sweet card, some grocery store flowers, and a homemade meal...we do acknowledge the day. And sometimes we get one another a small gift, and it's always unexpected, which makes it even more fun.
 
With that said, I thought I'd put together a few gift ideas for the man (or men if you're into that...j/k) in your life. And stay tuned...I'll have a gift guide for the ladies later this week.

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I love these slippers...and I don't know one guy who wouldn't want to wear them around the house. They're simple and warm and will last a long time.

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Stainless Steel Ice Cubes

I actually gave Rob a set of these ice cubes for his birthday. He loves a good whiskey drink but is always complaining about how quickly regular ice cubes melt. #firstworldprobs ... enter the above ice cubes...they're stainless steel and non-toxic and go in the freezer until you're ready to use. 

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I have a new motto: Life is too short for boring underwear. But really, I love the classic look of this underwear...it's anti-microbial, soft and light, non-pilling, and comes with a "No Wedgie" guarantee. And the fabric prevents moisture build-up, which is especially great if your guy is a runner. The underwear comes in several styles and colors. I think it's always a nice (very nice) bonus when a company offers you a refund if you're not satisfied. Tommy John does. If it's not the best pair of underwear you've ever worn, you can keep the pair and ask for a refund or send them back for something else from their line. Pretty cool.

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Who doesn't love their man in a classic pair of Ray-Ban Aviators? They look good on pretty much anyone, and they always manage to take your cool factor up a few notches. ;)

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If you can't afford a YETI cooler (and who can, really?) this is the next best thing. They're made of stainless steel, and they're insulated to keep cold drinks colder and hot drinks hotter. Perfect for a Bloody Mary at a football game or your coffee on the way in to work. Plus, they look great monogrammed.
 
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Rob is always leaving his wedding ring, wallet, keys, and phone stashed out on our kitchen counter. And then he can never find anything later. This catchall would be a great gift...it'd look good on a dresser; the leather is masculine; and again, I love a good monogram.
 
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How cute is this dopp kit for the guy in your life? I would want to wake up early every morning to get my toiletries out if mine greeted me with something similar! Plus this one is made out of canvas and nylon, so it cleans up easily.
 
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Another good idea is to get your guy a bottle of whiskey or scotch that he might not normally splurge on for himself. Or if he is into craft beer, get him a 6-pack of several he hasn't tried before.
 
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Hope this gift guide got some ideas stirring...I'll leave y'all with the below meme...it made me laugh! Hope everyone has a great day...
 
 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dear Dad

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday! My internet connection was down (thanks, Comcast!), but I wanted to share some reasons I'm so thankful for him...I did it in the form of a letter. I love you, Dad.

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Dear Dad,
 
Thank you for always finding the time to play with my sisters and me when we were little. Thank you for taking me on long bike rides on the back of your bike...and then later telling me that those bike rides were some of your favorite memories.


 
 Thank you for your love and tenderness after mom died. I remember when you came home and told me she had died, I told you that I wanted to die too, so I could be with her. Thank you for crying with me, and telling me, no, you needed me here with you.
 
Thank you for taking on the difficult role of mom and dad.
 
Thank you for fixing our hair each morning before we headed to school and you headed to work. Mom was always so good at fixing our hair, and we always left the house with a bow in our hair. You took on that role, and we still left the house with our hair brushed and a bow placed on top!

Thank you for knowing when to accept defeat. It was school picture day, and you were trying your best to fix my hair. It wasn't as "perfect" as my mom could do it, and I remember throwing a fit. (I'm so sorry.) You drove me to my grandmother's house so she could fix my hair, so it could be how I wanted it for school pictures. Wow...you were patient and forgiving.
 
Thank you for being sensitive during a hard/awkward time in my life. I remember shortly after mom died, my school sent home a letter that had to be signed by a parent. They would be separating the boys and girls in our class to teach us about the birds and the bees. We had to have that letter signed before we could participate. I intercepted and sent that letter home with a friend so her mom could sign it for me! Thank you for not letting me know that you knew I did that.

Thank you for our Sunday night traditions. Ice cream sundaes and The Wonder Years...a good combo.

Thank you for cooking for us, even after a hard, long day at work. "Rice and Hot Dogs" was your specialty, and we loved it. (It's actually a really good recipe from my grandmother...I'll share it sometime on here!)

Thank you for opening yourself up to love again. I'm so thankful that you met, and later married, Jennie. She has been a wonderful mom to us, and I feel like I've had two moms in this life.

Thank you for always being my number one fan...you never missed a swim meet, basketball game, or track meet.

Thank you for supporting me when I told you I no longer wanted to play basketball. I'm sure that hurt a little.

Thank you for helping me with my math homework. I struggled in math, and I'm sure it was no fun trying to explain it to me...the tutor later on was definitely a good idea for us both! ;)

Thank you for teaching me, through your actions, to treat everyone the same. That is one of the qualities about you I most respect. You are friends with people from all walks of life, and you are kind to everyone.

Thank you for teaching me to stand up for myself. Yes, there is something to be said for turning the other cheek, but many times (especially as girls and women) we need to stand up for ourselves and tell others what we expect and what we want.

Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work. I'll never forget the summer I worked at McAlister's Deli. My friends had a fun night out planned, and I was missing it because I had to work. I was moaning and groaning about the travesty of it all, and you told me, "Lindsey, that's why it's spelled W-O-R-K and not F-U-N." That is still with me today.

Thank you for our annual trips to the beach each summer. That was a tradition I always looked forward to, and some of my best memories remain there.


Thank you for teaching me how to drive. The parking garage of your office building may not have been the best spot, in retrospect, but I finally learned!

Thank you for always waiting up for me. I'll never forget that time I stayed out way too late with some friends. I came home, and there you were in the foyer. You simply said, "Lindsey, we'll talk about this in the morning." We did, and I don't think I ever stayed out that late again!

Thank you for giving me the freedom to be myself and to make my own choices in life (within reason, of course). After I got my belly button pierced one summer (I was 17), instead of telling me to take it out (I could tell you were NOT.A.FAN.) you told me very simply, "It's your belly button."

Thank you for allowing me to make my own choices while also letting me know you were there for me. I knew you were always available to offer wisdom and guidance.

Thank you for always (always!) wanting what was best for me. I started my freshman year of college at Mississippi State (your alma mater), and I know you were proud. We even used to live in Starkville, and you were a big Bulldog fan. I had a hard time there (nothing to do with the school; I just wasn't happy in general), and I told you I wanted to switch to Ole Miss. You didn't bat an eye (OK, maybe a little...) and told me you just wanted me to be happy...

Thank you for always making me feel like I could return home. I moved to New York City after I graduated from Ole Miss. I was there for maybe 3 days (3 long days of panic attack upon panic attack) when I decided I wasn't ready, and I wanted nothing more than to return home and start over...to find something else to do with my life and my English degree. I felt so silly. Who moves to New York and returns home after a few days because they can't handle it? Thank you for telling me it was OK to come home and for helping me find my way...again.

Thank you for not laughing at me when I told you only two years later that I wanted to return to New York. And I did. I was much more confident this time, and I moved up there with a really good summer internship lined up.

Thank you for always teaching me to reach for the stars. Thank you for believing I was capable of anything I put my mind to.

Thank you for enduring not one, but two, stem cell transplants. I am thankful every day for your fight.

Thank you for loving my girls with all your heart and soul. How lucky are they to have you as their Pop?





 
Thank you, Dad, for being you...and for allowing, and encouraging, me to be me.

You're the best of the best, and I love you.

 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Five Friday Favorites

It's Friday, everyone's favorite day of the week, so I thought I might start a new feature for this special day. Plus, I can't pass down an opportunity for some alliteration!
 
ONE
 
Rob turned 40 yesterday! Seriously, where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that he was turning 30, and I treated him to dinner at The Parker House...we had just started dating, and taking him out for a nice dinner seemed like a bold move on my part...but I guess it worked! ;) Anyway, he's not a big fan of sweets, but I wanted to give him something with a candle (although I tore the house apart looking for a birthday candle and could never find one...#movingprobs)...enter said muffins. They were super easy, filling, and would be great to grab as you're heading out the door for work.
 
 
Scrambled Egg Muffins
{Allrecipes.com}
 
1/2 pound bulk sausage (I used hot)
12 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
**I added a few dashes of red pepper flakes too**
 
Directions
 
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
 
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in sausage; cook and stir until sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes; drain.
 
Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in onion, green pepper, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix in sausage and cheese. Spoon by 1/3 cupfuls into muffin cups.
 
Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
 
TWO
 
I follow Reese Witherspoon on Instagram (love her!), and she shared a painting that I thought was so beautiful...of course I had to look the artist up, and her stuff is divine.
 
 
 
THREE
 
 
This is the view I had pulling out of our neighborhood the other evening...I love where we are because it's kind of a nice mix between city-living and a taste of the country. We're obviously not out in the country, but we're out enough that we have views like this. And it doesn't hurt that we pass horses (and a donkey!) on the way to and from each day.
 
FOUR
 
 
This sweater from Banana Republic. The color! The flutter at the shoulders! It'd be the perfect transition to spring...apparently a lot of other people adored it too, and it's currently sold out. Here's hoping it'll come back online soon...and better yet here's hoping Banana Republic will be offering a 40% off sale soon!
 
FIVE
 
 
I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow and am using this picture as my inspiration. I love the cut and the waves, but I probably won't be able to pull off the waves because I am the absolute worst at fixing my hair. But I may ask my stylist for tips...maybe she can at least make it look cute for the day, and then it'll go back to looking like the hot mess that it normally is! Hence why I always have my hair in a ponytail!
 
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I hope everyone has a great weekend! It might snow here today, which I would love...snow in Mississippi is pretty for about 5 minutes, but we surely do enjoy those 5 minutes! ;) See y'all back here on Monday...I'm working on a Valentine's Day gift guide for men and women so stay tuned for that!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Life Lately

Well, we got moved, and let me just say this...it is not for the faint of heart. The amount of things we've accumulated over the years is astounding! I asked one of the sweet movers if he thought I was a hoarder, and he laughed and said, "No." I think he was being polite.
 
Anyway, we are slowly but surely getting settled in our new home, and we are really loving it. It's been nice to have a little more space, and even though it's been pretty frigid here, the girls have enjoyed the backyard. I like to have things "perfect" immediately, so I've had to let that go and remember that this is going to be a process...a very long process.
 
We have already met some of our neighbors, and they are just the nicest. That was one of our biggest requirements when moving...finding a neighborhood that had a community feel. One of our neighbors already stopped by with the yummiest treats for us, and she brought along two of her daughters...one is Lily's age, and they had the best time playing! I felt like that was an answered prayer.
 
I'm thinking about taking photos of the house as it is now and posting some before and after shots. I think most people can't have everything they want in their home overnight...we plan to add and update over time. One of my first priorities is to get curtains for the living room. I normally buy from Pottery Barn or West Elm, but I'm thinking about trying out the Ikea panels. I've heard nothing but rave reviews, and I like that they're a simple white linen. You can't beat the price, either. Thoughts? I'd definitely choose a black or brushed metal curtain rod.
 
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I've really enjoyed styling our bookshelves. That's one of my favorite things to do...and nothing says my priorities are in order like styling the bookshelves before putting sheets on the beds! ;)
  

 
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We have wood floors throughout and needed rugs for many of the rooms. We ordered several from Rugs USA, and we were so impressed with the quality and the price. They were 80% off when we purchased! I wanted something dark for the playroom/guestroom so it wouldn't show any stains, but I also wanted something whimsical and fun. I love what we chose. My life motto is, "You can never have too much purple."
 
 
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We went to church on Sunday, and I kept Hadley's nursery for the Sunday School hour. On the way home from church, I looked in the backseat (Rob was driving) and caught the image below. Sweet sisters.
 
 
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I've found a new Instagram account to follow, and I'm obsessed. Meet Celeste Barber. She recreates celebrity pictures to poke fun of how ridiculous they look sometimes! And my favorite so far...
 
 
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And lastly I'll leave you with this funny...
 
 
Target...that's where all my money goes...
 
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Hope everyone has a great day...the girls have school, and I'm hoping to get some things accomplished here. Plus Rob turns the big 4-0 tomorrow, so I've got to finalize our birthday plans for him!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Memories at 680

It's moving day, and I have to admit it's a bittersweet day. I'm a sentimental person, and I've always been a homebody. Combine the two, and you have someone who's sad to leave behind so many memories. A house is more than just a house, to me...it becomes a piece of your soul, and it's where you live out so many of life's big moments. With that said...
 
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It was here that Rob asked me to marry him...one cold November night, out on the patio after he cooked us a nice dinner.
 
It was here that we returned after we were married...as a wedding gift, my parents worked with one of their interior decorator friends, turning it from bachelor pad into a home for a newly married couple. What a surprise to return from our honeymoon to a house that felt like it was not only Rob's, but mine too.
 
It was here that I studied for my boards, and it was here that I found out I passed...I was officially a registered nurse!
 
I was living here when I started my first job out of nursing school, on the oncology floor at Baptist Hospital.
 
It was here that I worried and prayed for my Dad, as he underwent his first bone marrow transplant, to hopefully cure his lymphoma.
 
It was here that I returned after Rob and I had dinner with my parents one January night, to celebrate the birthdays of both Rob and my Dad...there we also celebrated my Dad's 100 days...a day that marks the return of "normalcy" for the transplant patient. A big day to celebrate.
 
It was in this house that I found out my Dad was cancer-free...and was ready to return to work full-time. What a gift.
 
It was in this house that I cried for my first patient. She was young, too young, and had no family or loved ones, really. She came from nothing and had virtually nothing. I came home one night and sorted through Rob's clothes looking for things for her to wear in the hospital and when she got out. She liked baggy, masculine clothes, and I loaded up a garbage bag of things to take her. I can still see her wearing Rob's camouflage shorts as she walked down the hall of the hospital to go outside to smoke. It was to this house that I returned each night, wondering why I had so much when there were so many in this world, like her, who had so little.
 
It was here that I found out we were expecting our first baby...one of the best days of my life, finding out that big news.
 
It was in this house that we turned our guest bedroom into a room for our baby girl...what an exciting time!
 
It was through these doors that we left, not knowing what it was going to be like to be parents, only to return a few days later with a baby in our arms, completely clueless but giddy nonetheless.
 
It was here that I took on the late night feedings...I'd sit on the couch in the dark in our living room, feeding Lily her bottle and gazing up at the dark night sky through our dining room window. Many nights I saw a sliver of the moon shining in that window, and I watched as the tree outside went from naked in February to green buds in April.
 
It was here where we experienced all of Lily's firsts! First baby food, crawling, first word (Dada), first steps...
 
It was here that we celebrated Lily's first birthday...and later her second, third, and fourth!
 
It was here that I found out I was pregnant with our second baby...again, one of the best days of my life!
 
It was here that we turned our dining room into a playroom...a space for our kids was much more important than a space for our fine china!
 
It was here that Rob painted his office a light shade of pink, in preparation for our second baby girl.
 
It was here that I woke up early one morning, the morning we were to go in for my C-section...and I sat on the couch wondering if I would make it, my contractions were so strong!
 
It was here that we returned with our baby Hadley. And it was here that we gave Lily a little sister.
 
It was here that I took on the role of being a mom to two little ones...it was much harder than I realized it would be!
 
It was here that I took on the late night feedings once again...I'd sit on the couch in the dark in our living room, feeding Hadley her bottle and gazing up at the dark night sky through our dining room window. Only this time the view was different. I watched as the tree outside went from a bright yellow in October to naked in January. That tree and I became good friends.
 
It was here that I found out my Dad had relapsed. I remember going into Hadley's room and closing the door. I sat in her glider and cried until there were no tears left.
 
It was here that I felt like life was entirely too unfair.
 
It was here that I returned after visiting my Dad in the hospital, time and time again, praying for healing...praying for peace for all of us as we watched him endure the beast that is cancer.
 
It was here that I sat one morning when I received a text from my Mom that read, "Pop is back." He had woken up from a near comatose state and told my mom he wanted to see his babies (Lily and Hadley). Praise God.
 
It was here that I opened the blinds only a few minutes after I received that text message, only to see the most incredible sunrise I'd ever seen. Tears of complete joy and gratitude followed.
 
It was here that we witnessed all of Hadley's firsts...true to form, most came a little earlier than her big sister's.
 
It was here that we saw Lily and Hadley become best friends...I am so thankful that they have one another.
 
It was here that we celebrated Hadley's first and second birthdays.
 
It was here that Rob and I celebrated our first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth anniversaries of being married!
 
It was here that Rob and I laughed until we cried, learned more about one another, argued (yes, we do argue!), discussed serious things, made big decisions, discussed plenty of not-so-serious things, and really grew as individuals and as a married couple.
 
It was here that we sat out on the deck, watching the trees on the Natchez Trace change colors in the fall and gain new leaves in the spring. It's always been one of my favorite views.
 
It was here that we had a near front-row view to see the Reservoir's fireworks shows every Fourth of July and New Year's Eve.
 
It was here that I spent many a beautiful day outside on the deck with my girls. We painted, blew bubbles, played chase, and laughed...a lot.
 
There has been a lot of laughter in this house. There have been a lot of tears. We have experienced all the highs and lows of this great life here. I pray that it will contain much of the same for the person or family who one day lives here. It's been more than a house...it's been our home, our life, and I'm going to miss it.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

7-Can Soup

I've always been a big fan of The Pioneer Woman...I think she makes really tasty, comfort food, and there's nothing I love more when it's chilly out. I ran across this recipe for her soup recently and figured it was too good to be true. Seriously, Hadley could make it if she could just master the can opener. When I first read the recipe, which calls for Velveeta cheese, I thought, "Yuck." But I promise you it's good and creamy, and you'll want to make it again and again.
 
Disclaimer...if you're a health food nut, this recipe is probably not for you. I live by the old adage, "Everything in moderation." Side note: my Dad used to always tell me growing up, "Everything in moderation except for drugs and cigarettes, Lindsey." :) Another Dad-ism for you. This soup would probably give you your month's worth of sodium intake in one spoonful, and it's made with a can of Hormel chili (gasp!). But if you're pressed for time and need something easy and good, this is it, friends. Just take an extra multivitamin the day you make this! ;)
 
Enjoy!
 
 
 7-Can Soup
{The Pioneer Woman}
 
1 can meat-only chili
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans
1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans
1 can (15 ounce) black beans
1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounce) corn (I used fiesta variety)
1 can (10 ounce) Rotel
Salt And Pepper, to taste
8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
 
Directions
 
Without draining the cans, empty the corn, chili, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, tomatoes and tomatoes with green chilies into a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to bring all the flavors together. Add salt and pepper as needed. (I used pepper but didn't think any salt was needed.)

Dice the cheese and stir it into the soup until melted. Serve immediately. We served ours with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro for garnishing. I added tortilla chips to the side for dipping.
 
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I've got to get busy...we're moving tomorrow, and if you looked at our house you wouldn't be able to tell we're moving in 24 hours. Hope everyone has a happy day!