Friday, May 27, 2011


We are official off to Colorado for the weekend to see my family, it's going to be a lot of fun!!  More specifically, we're actually going out to see my cousin Kaitlyn "graduate" 8th grade tonight!  I can't believe she is going to be a freshman in August...time sure flies!  People actually mistake us for sisters, it's crazy how much she looks like me!!

Sisters?...nope just cousins!
Tomorrow we are going to Castle Rock to the outlet malls (we also went there when we went to Denver awhile back) for a little shopping.  I can't wait to hit up the Coach store...have a 30% off coupon off of already reduced prices...SCORE!! 

Sunday we are going to Denver to see our friends for the evening and then come home Monday.  So it should be a great weekend for D and I!!  Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend!! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Anniversary...1 year of home ownership!! Before & Afters!!

1 year ago today, May 26th, 2010,  D and I closed on our first home!  I can't believe that it's been a whole year already!!!  We've already made a lot of memories in our home, had lots of visitors, and a couple of fun gatherings!  I guess what they say is right...Time flies by when you're having a good time!! 

We didn't actually move in until July 4th weekend, but the wait was well worth it!  In that time span we made a beauty shop into our HOME (I really wish I would've taken pictures with all of the salon stuff still in there)!!  There was a lot of sweat, blood, and tears that went into it.  During the week, we would work all day, and then go straight to the house working until 11pm most nights (some nights it was until the wee hours of the morning).   And on the weekends, that's all we did.  We did probably 90% of the work ourselves, with some help from family and friends along the way.  We had to hire a contractor in the beginning to knock down a couple columns and finish them out, and then hired a carpenter to install the carpet.

Here is what we all did to our home, along with some before and after shots (really long post, stay with me!):

Living Room/Dining Room-
*Knocked down 2 columns to make the living room bigger (aka so our huge couch would fit!)
*Tore down old tile ceiling (probably from the 60's) and put up a new dry wall ceiling, textured, and painted
*Replaced 1 old ceiling fan in the Living Room, and took down fluorescent lighting fixture in the Dining Room and installed a matching ceiling fan
*Painted all of the trim (it was a navy blue)
*Painted the wood paneling (including an accent wall!)
*Tore up laminate flooring, installed new pretty soft carpet
*Installed Crown Molding around ceiling (probably never again!)

Living Room - before
Notice the columns and flooring

Living Room - before
Her reception station was by the door

Dining Room - before (kind of)
Her hair stations were along the long wall

Living Room - after
Columns are gone, Trim is white, and no more laminate flooring

Living Room - after
No more Columns or Laminate Flooring...on looking Dining Room area

Living Room - after
Columns are gone, opened it up to 1 large room

Dining Room - after
This table is too big for the area, we know...we will be getting a new one soon!!

Guest Bedroom-
*Sanded and Painted wood paneling (hadn't ever been painted before)
*Textured ceiling and painted
*Painted small closet (it was ugly wood!)
*Tore up Berber carpet and installed new pretty soft carpet

Guest Bedroom - before
Used to be a tanning room with a paper mural on the walls
Notice Berber carpet

Guest Room - before
Ugly wood closet

Guest room - before

Guest room - after
No more Berber carpet, and painted paneling

Guest room - after
No more Ugly Wood Closet...Painted same color as accent wall

Guest room - after
Bernie had to sneak in the photo!

Guest room - after
 Our Bedroom-
*Repaired cracks in walls (mudded and sanded)
*Primed walls and ceiling with Kiltz Paint (walls were bright yellow, and ceiling was bright blue with clouds...tanning room!)
*Textured walls and ceiling
*Painted walls and ceiling (no more bright colors for that room!)
*Tore up Berber Carpet and installed new pretty soft carpet
*Replaced an old nasty ceiling fan with a new one
*Installed new window air conditioner

Our Bedroom - before
Used to be the other tanning room...yes, bright walls and cloud ceiling
And Berber carpet

Our Bedroom - before

Our Bedroom - before
Yep...pretty bright!

Our Bedroom - after
No more bright yellow walls or clouds on the ceiling!
No more Berber carpet

Our Bedroom - after

Our Bedroom - after
Look no more clouds and a new ceiling fan!
*Installed plumbing for shower head, and installed shower head
*Replaced faucet, and knobs to match shower head
*Installed matching medicine cabinet (matches the existing vanity)
*Textured walls and ceiling
*Painted walls and ceiling

Bathroom - before

Bathroom - before
Notice old medicine cabinet, probably from the 60's or 70's.

Bathroom - after
No pictures of the actual shower installed...sorry!

Bathroom - after
New Medicine Cabinet that matches vanity...and it's centered!

Bathroom - after
Just some cute decor!
*Tore down wall paper, just to find out how bad the plaster walls were
*Repaired cracks in walls (mudded and sanded...gotta love old plaster walls)
*Textured walls and painted
*Removed old free standing cabinets into the mud/pantry/laundry room to become our pantry
*Painted old stationary cabinets
*Tore off old laminate counter top, installed new counter top
*Installed new sink and faucet
*Installed new molding around ceiling (we damaged too much of the old stuff when we took it down)
*Purchased new Refrigerator and Stove

Kitchen - before
Notice old laminate counter top

Kitchen - before
These are the free standing cabinets that used to be in the kitchen
Notice the old laminate counter top and wallpaper

Kitchen - before
Empty wall with wallpaper

Kitchen - before

Kitchen - after
New counter top, new sink and faucet, new paint!

Kitchen - after
New Stove and Bakers Rack, new paint

Kitchen - after
New Refrigerator (on the empty wall)

Kitchen - after
Out little Bar!
No more wallpaper, textured walls, new paint!

Kitchen - after
New counter top, and new sink and faucet!
 Mud/Pantry/Laundry Room- (it was a nice color of paint already, didn't need any work) -no pictures, sorry!
*Installed free standing cabinet (with new counter top) for our pantry

So as you can tell from the list and pictures, we had a lot of work to do before we could move in!  There are still some other things we want to accomplish, but I'll save that for another post! 

Sorry the pictures aren't the best, but at least you've seen the before and afters!!! ;)

I'll be this up next week after we return home! 

Linking up too...
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
The Shabby Chic Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Paisley's Passions
Lovely Crafty Home
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
Purple Froggie Clay Stuff

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Anyone else having problems posting comments on Blogger?

Grrr...I've been having issues with my comments not posting on Blogger today using my Google Account!  So don't worry bloggy friends, I'm not ignoring your blogs, for reals!  When I go to comment, hit submit, and then it makes me log-in, and then brings me back to the comment page as Anonymous, and then starts all over.  It won't even let me comment as Anonymous, so I'm not sure what is going on.  It's getting rather annoying!!

Anyone else having these problems?  Any thoughts as to why this is happening to me?

On the other hand, in case you missed it...I posted a yummy recipe today: Mexican Chicken Manicotti!

And tomorrow is happens to be an important "landmark" for D and stay tuned, hopefully I'll get a post put together for ya'll!!

**UPDATE** - I figured out a way to get around it, by selecting the Name/URL option instead of the google account.  I wish the normal way would work though!!

**UPDATE** - Per Blogger they are looking into the issues, hopefully they'll get it fixed soon!

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Oh Em Gee!  This stuff was ahhhmazzzing!  It's like Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, but with Manicotti Noodles.  Wow!  You've got to trust me on this one, you've got to make this dish right ASAP!  One of our friends posted it on her facebook awhile back, and I've had it on my "to try" list forever now, and finally made it the other night.  I have no clue what I was waiting on!  I saw her at the store and told her I was going to give it a try.  These are her exact words "Oh you're going to be addicted to that stuff!!"  And she was right, and I don't even care to know the calories, because it's so worth every bite!

Ok, my mouth is watering just typing about it, so now on to the recipe!

1 pkg Manicotti shells
2 cups Chicken, cooked and chopped (I used 2 chicken breasts, so it was a little more than 2 cups)
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese, divided (I used Pepper Jack instead)
1.5 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Sour Cream
1 small onion, diced (I used 1/2 of a medium, it was plenty)
1 can (4oz) chopped Green Chilies, divided
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Salsa
2/3 cup Milk

Ingredients (minus chicken)

1. In a large pot, bring water to a bowl, add in Manicotti Shells and cook as directed on package (7 minutes was perfect).  Drain off water.

2. In a skillet, put a little oil in, and cook the Chicken Breasts on Medium High heat until cooked through.

3. In a large bowl, combine the following: Chicken, 1.5 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, all of the Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, 1/2 Onion, 1/2 can of Green Chilies.  Stir the mixture together.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the following: Cream of Chicken soup, Salsa, Milk, remaining Onion and Green Chilies. Stir the mixture together (doesn't look good, but it's me!)

5. Grease 13x9 casserole dish, and pour in 1/2 of the Soup/Salsa mixture into the bottom

6. Take about 1/4 cup of the Chicken mixture (or a good spoonful) and stuff it into the shells. Please note: it's actually easier to open the noodle up, put the mixture in the middle, and then close the noddle back up. Don't even worry about stuffing the noodles the other way, it's messier, but much easier!

Crack the noodle in half...much easier!

and fill!
7. After stuffing the Manicotti's, place into casserole dish and pour in remaining Soup/Salsa mixture over the noodles.

8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350*.
9. Take out of oven, uncover, cover with remaining Monterrey Jack cheese, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

This makes a lot, especially for 2 people!  So be prepared to keep wanting good!

Linking up too...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
Peas & Crayons - What I Ate Wednesday
The Shabby Chic Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Paisley's Passions
Not So Homemade
Lovely Crafty Home
Just a Girl
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
Little Brick Ranch - Foodie Friday
This Chick Cooks

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Visitors, Races, and Garden kind of weekend!

It's been awhile since I've blogged about our random weekend adventures!  Normally we're traveling somewhere, have somewhere to be at a certain time, or just plain busy!  This weekend was kind of a random weekend, but it was fun!  Friday night my brother Brett and his gf/my bestie Ashley came to visit us for the weekend!  It was kind of a last minute trip for them, but I'm so glad they came!  It was b.e.a.utiful outside Friday night, so after we ate supper we lit the fire pot (to keep the bugs away) and hung out on the porch just catching up. 

Saturday D played golf all day with his uncle, while us 3 went shopping for some vegetable plants for the garden.  Of course, we had to make a stop at Hob could we not?!  We found some great deals in their clearance section...I spent a total of 20 bucks!  Score!  My brother did pretty good for being there over an hour...better than I thought he would do!
Outdoor  Mat...$7 bucks
Lantern/Vase...$11 (originally $30)

Scrapbook paper...not on sale, but very cute!
I will probably use it on some coasters in the future! ;)

Saturday night we decided to head to the races, which were about 40 minutes from our {small} town.  Ashley hadn't ever been, I had only been once (not counting the times in high school, but I didn't really go to watch the races!), and Brett and D used to race back in the day.  Plus D's dad builds performance engines for Sprint Cars and what not, so we were also supporting our drivers/motors we had on the track! 

Me and Ashley before the races
at the races

Brett and Ashely
D and Brett watching the races (didn't want their picture taken!)

Sunday they headed home early, and we relaxed for awhile.  In the afternoon we got to work on our garden.  Yeah, it may sound like we're a little behind, but it has been freezing at night randomly, so I'm kind of glad we got a late start.  We should be good to go now though (keeping my fingers crossed)!  It was full of weeds, but luckily my Dad and D tilled it last fall, so it wasn't hard to pull all of those nasty weeds out properly! 

Look, no more weeds!

We then worked the dirt around, and got to planting.  We planted: 4 Tomato Plants (3 of which are heirloom), 2 Jalapeno plants, 1 Sweet Crimson Watermelon plant, 1 Zucchini plant, and 3 Cucumber plants.  We also planted some 1 row of Carrots, 1 row of radishes, 1 row of Okra, and started some Marigold seeds in some little pods to transplant around the edges.  D read somewhere that Marigolds keep bugs away, so we thought we'd give it a try.  We still would like to find some Red Bell Pepper plants, those are my fav's out of Bell Peppers. 

4 tomato plants

2 Jalapeno Plants
3 Cucumber Plants (2 bunched together)

1 Zucchini Plant

1 Crimson Sweet Watermelon Plant

The whole garden view...we also planted some Carrots, Okra, and Radishes
We still want to find some Red Peppers to plant by the Jalapenos.
I know it doesn't look like much now, but just give it some time!! ;)

A couple years ago we planted a smaller garden when we lived in the {big} city, but we didn't can anything.  We pretty much just froze what we didn't use right away.  That was nice too, but this time I would like to can some Salsa, maybe pickle some Okra, and even give Dill Pickles a try!  I can't wait to see all of the fresh veggies that come from our own backyard!!  Stay tuned!

Bernie hangin' out!

What about you, do you have a garden?  If so, what is your favorite thing to do/make with your fresh veggies?