Tuesday, June 28, 2011

{Behind the Scenes} - finding THE DRESS!

This past Saturday me, my Mom, FMIL Penny, and MOH/bestie Ashley went wedding dress shopping for the first time. 

Me, Mom, and Penny!

Me and Ash...awhile back, but love this picture of us!
We went to a {small town} dress shop called Timeless Tradition.  After trying 10 or so dresses on, I had a top 3, then I tried on the last dress, which made me have a top 4!  I wanted to try on all 4 dresses again, quickly I narrowed it down to 2 dresses.  Without hesitation I knew the last dress was going to be MY DRESS!  You might think I'm nuts for purchasing my dress on my first time out dress shopping, but I'm not...that is what captured my heart.  Each time I put it on and looked at myself in the mirror, it literally gave me butterflies in my stomach and took my breath away...no not because it was too tight, but because it was THE ONE!!

I won't be showing you THE DRESS today or anytime soon...you'll have to wait until after APRIL 28, 2012!!  But I thought it would be fun to show you just a few of the dresses I tried on and liked, but just didn't make the cut!  Enjoy!
1st dress I tried on, I really liked it!

Rosettes on the skirt part!

3rd dress I tried on, it made my hips look weird!

I loved the gathering and the tulle underneath though!

The dress was ok until she gave me the massive flower!
And I hated the "seashell boob"!
This was such a pretty dress, it was a mermaid style...
I loved all the bling, it was gorgeous, but I couldn't walk
very well with the mermaid part.

I liked this dress, it was really pretty, but felt like
it had been done so many times already...I wanted something a little different!
 Well that's all you get!!  The lighting was really bad in there, but didn't notice it until I looked at the pictures.  Sorry they are blurry, and I have some awkward looks on my face!  LOL!

I will tell you one thing though...I'm super happy and excited that I found MY DRESS, I can't wait until it comes in and they do a little customizing on it!! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

First off...I just wanted to do a little shout out to someone very special to me...


My Dad is "29" years old today...ok he's actually 54 (shh...don't tell him I told you ;) )

December 2010

College Graduation Day, May 2006

Fall 2009
I'm definitely a "daddy's girl"...he's my hero and someone I will always look up too!!!  He's one of the hardest working people I know.  I love you, Dad!!

So we're off today after work to my {small} hometown (luckily its only 1.5 hour drive) to spend the weekend with my Dad.  I'm sure it will consist of grilling some yummy food, and drinking some ice cold beverages! ;)  I'm in need of some new father/daughter pictures...maybe I'll remember to take some!

Saturday is a BIG and EXCITING day for me...
I'm going Wedding Dress shopping for the first time! :)
I printed off a bunch of styles they sell that I really like, and hope to try them on.  I'm going in with an open mind, and hoping I find "the dress". If I don't I'll just have to keep looking!
If you're lucky I'll share pictures of all the dresses I try on, and if I do find the one...you'll just have to wait to see it until after our big day ;)!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

PS - I finished my Patriotic project lastnight and I'm really pumped about it (it's really cute!)...stay tuned for that next week!

PPS - If you're looking for some yummy "snacky" recipes, I shared 2 of them earlier this week: Zesty Black Bean & Corn Salsa and Spicy Cheesy Spin Dip!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{Spicy} Cheesy Spin Dip

This isn't your normal Spinach & Artichoke Dip, in fact I don't even like Spinach & Artichoke Dip, but this stuff wayy better!  And let me tell you, your guests will love it! 

I got this recipe from my old boss, and I had to pull it out for the weekly Saturday pool party.  It's easy, cheesy, creamy, and it even has a little kick to it!  It's great with Wheatables, Club Crackers, or even chips.  You could even put it on your favorite wrap if you wanted too to give it a little something special.  Either way, you'll find yourself going back for more...trust me!  Did I mention it was super easy?!

1 box (10oz) frozen chopped Spinach (thawed and drained)*
2 packages Cream Cheese, softened
1 can chopped Green Chilies
1 bag (2 cups) shredded Italian Cheese blend
Jalapenos to taste, chopped (use the pickled ones in the jar; I like to use a lot!)
Jalapeno juice to taste (start with 1-2 tbsp and see how you like it)

1. After draining the Spinach, put everything into a large bowl.

2. Microwave for 1 minute, take out and stir together.
3. If it's not completely melted, put in for an additional 30-45 seconds, take out and stir until creamy.

-OR- You can throw everything into a crock pot on high and let it melt together that way, but make sure you continue to check on it and stir.  Once it's creamy, be sure to turn it to low. 

-OR- If you want you can melt it all together in the microwave, and then place it into the crock pot on low, and it will continue to stay warm for your guests (this is what I did).

*Tip: When I drain the Spinach, I grab a towel and put it in there and squeeze until all of the liquid is out.  It makes it a lot easier!

I just love this dip, because you can control how much of a "kick" you want it to have!!

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
Mom's Crazy Cooking - 30 Minute Meals

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Zesty Black Bean & Corn Salsa

You may have heard of Cowboy Caviar Salsa, but maybe you haven't.  This salsa that I'm sharing with you today is very similar to Cowboy Caviar, but not quite the same.  I'm going to call it Zesty Black Bean & Corn Salsa!

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little obsessed with this salsa; my future mother in-law introduced it to me, and I just had to make some for our little BBQ on Friday night.  It's really easy and so tasty!!  It isn't all that spicy and I'm sure you can tailor it to your taste if you want.  So get your favorite Tortilla Chips ready (personally I like the Multi-Grain Tortilla Scoops, or the Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips with this salsa)!!

1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Sweet Corn
1 can Rotel Tomatoes (I used "original")
approx 1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing*

1.) Drain and rinse Black Beans and put into large bowl
2.) Add in Sweet Corn and Rotel Tomatoes
3.) Add in Zesty Italian Dressing and stir
4.) Put into the refrigerator and let it rest/chill...salsa is always better as it sits together!

*Note: I say approximately 1/4 cup of Italian Dressing, because I didn't measure...shame shame, I know.  Start off with about 1/4 cup and after it's chilled and set awhile, give it a try...you'll know if it needs a little more "zest" to it or not.  You can also give it a try right after you mix it all together, but I like to let it sit awhile so the flavors mingle!

Didn't I tell ya it was easy peasy?!  Tonight I'm going to make taco's and I think I'll put some of this salsa on them in addition to some regular salsa...mmm!

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
Mom's Crazy Cooking - 30 Minute Meals

Monday, June 20, 2011


All last week I did a lot of brainstorming on some fun summery projects, and I'm so excited to get started on them!  I needed to order some more vinyl, which I found this place online called Expressions Vinyl.  They have great pricing on their vinyl and have a lot to choose from.  They have Cricut Vinyl, Silhouette Vinyl, and Printable Vinyl.  They have tons of colors to choose from (more than Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby have in stock), including specialty metallic colors (really excited about that!). 

I received my first order of vinyl from them today, and I'm so excited about it.  Want to know the colors I ordered?!  I got Red, Navy, Powder Blue, and Orange.  I'll give you a hint on one of my projects coming up...PATRIOTIC!

On to other fun stuff, I have 2 yummy appetizer recipes for you this week!  I made them over the weekend; 1 for a little BBQ we had Friday night, and the other for the Saturday pool party we always go to!

Disclaimer: I'm an affiliate of Expressions Vinyl so by purchasing from the links provided above might earn me a few extra pennies, but all opinions are my own!  I was not compensated for this post.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Shed...concrete is done!

I hope you guys are all still following the long process of our shed being finished!  Well last week we finally were able to get the concrete poured in the shed, and then we took it 10 feet out.  We also had them cut out the existing curb by the street so we would be able to just drive right up into it without a problem.  And for now, there is sand between the new curb and where the concrete stops.  We will eventually (not sure when) get rocks to fill in.  It would have been way too expensive to fill it all in with concrete, so we compromised!  Here are some pictures...

Tore out curb by the street

getting ready to pour

almost finished
pouring the last sections

we can finally park in it...btw who is that handsome man in there?!

Snuck a picture of D in his truck!

looking out towards the street...the sand will eventually be rock

As always, stay tuned for more progress (we have garage doors ordered, and then we will hook up the electrical)!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Winning...a bunch of Cupcake Goodies!

A couple weeks ago I won an awesome giveaway package from Amber over at From The Hearts Of blog.  I actually received this package last week, but I am just now getting to blog about it since I was busy getting stuff ready for 4 days worth of Prairiesta festivities in my {small} hometown (more on that later, still trying to catch up on sleep!! ;) ).  Seriously check out everything I won...

I didn't have time to take my own picture, so here's the one from Amber's blog!
The awesome package includes: Deceptively Delicious Cookbook (has tons of fun and yummy recipes in it, I can't wait to try!), 75 "Sweet" Cupcake liners, 24 "Cupcake" Cupcake liners with matching picks (how adorbs!), cute cupcake tin (I think I'll stash all of my cupcake liners that I have in there!), really cute journal, a magnetic notepad (will be perfect for to-do lists and grocery lists!), and a lilac candle!  Whew...that is a lot of great stuff!! 

I've been on a "winning" kick lately, should I go purchase some lottery tickets?!?! ;)

Are you a follower of Amber's blog From The Hearts Of?!  She is an inspired baker, who shares many of her stories success & fails (I have fails too!), and not to mention an adorable little girl!  She also loves to plan parties, which is something I love to do as well!  Amber is fairly new to blogging, so why don't you go over and check her out!!  Here are some of my favorites...

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread...mmm!

TagAlong Cupcake with PB Filling...wowza!!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake....sounds so good and pretty!!

Thank you very much Amber for randomly picking me to win all of those goodies...I can't wait to bake some cupcakes!!  I'll leave the rest to all of you bloggers...go check out her blog out and let her know that I sent ya! ;)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I've been up too the last couple of days..

Today is just a random blog post, a conglomeration of sorts, because that's all I've got for you!  Here we go...

The last 2 nights are catching up with me...loss of sleep that is!  I can't take anymore of this going to bed at 11:30 stuff...I'm used to going to bed between 10-10:30.  Seriously though, we've been a little busy the last couple nights.  Monday afternoon, we had an ant breakout, and I'm a little OCD when it comes to those little buggers!  So for two hours straight I cleaned the pantry out, killing every little ant in sight, and preparing for when they attack again.  I was not happy.  I also had watering to do outside, laundry, and tons of housework to catch up on...it was a disaster zone!  It's been so hot here, we've been grilling, so we had some Dry Aged Steaks, BBQ Beans, and Corn on the Cob for supper.  So I was tired by the time I was able to sit down at 11.  However, I managed to get through it. 

Last night, I worked on a Baby Subway Tile for a lady who contacted me after seeing Maycee's Subway Tile...I was thralled when she contacted me.  She wanted it to be exactly like Maycee's and luckily I had the same tile and pearl stickers to do it.  It was my first official sale and it was for baby Lucinda (loving that name!)...go me!  I'm leaning even more towards opening an Etsy Shop now (stay tuned ;))!  I was able to finish it, wrap it up in some paper, and shipped it out this morning!  I'm pretty proud of myself if you can't tell! ;)

Baby Subway Art Tile for Baby Lucinda!
Love the pink pearl design!

wrapped up and ready to ship! :)

On top of working on that, we grilled some Hebrew National Beef Hot dogs (the best I might add), Jalapeno Boats, and some Red Peppers and Onions.  It was fabulous! 

And then there was another ant breakout, but in a different spot...that didn't take long to destroy though.  Anyone else having ant problems this time of year? 

D's been busy too being a handyman!  He's been working in the shed after he gets off work to get it ready for concrete; he got the water line and sewer line ready and they should start laying it tomorrow morning.  At lunch they were prepping for it...so exciting!

And today I'm not feeling the best...went to the Dr and got an antibiotic, so I'm hoping to feel better soon.  I'm also hoping tonight is a little more relaxing...maybe order some take out, watch a little tube, and pack for the weekend which starts tomorrow night after work.  Now where we headin'??  We are off to my {small} hometown for a town celebration, which happens every 10 years!  It will be great to see family, friends, and classmates.

Have any of your schedules been hectic lately?!

Oh and an update on our wedding planning...We are meeting with the pastor this coming Monday for the first time (kind of nervy!), and I scheduled my 1st Wedding Dress appointment (so excited!)!!  We already booked the reception hall awhile back, and we'll be booking the other big stuff soon!!!  Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Beer Battered Onion Rings

First off I hope you all had a great weekend!  We didn't do a whole lot, which doesn't happen very often for us!  Friday I got my  hair cut and highlighted, Saturday I went to the pool all afternoon and most of the night, and Sunday we worked out in the yard and relaxed!  It was a great weekend!!

Today I have an easy/awesome/addicting recipe for you...Beer Battered Onion Rings!  It's not completely "homemade" (mix comes in a box), but it was too good not to share it with you!!  And before we get to the recipe, I just want to say something...we don't do a whole lot of "frying" at our house, we usually use the oven for Chicken Nuggets, Oven Fried Chicken, etc, but these you must fry!  Also, I haven't always been a fan of Onion Rings, until a couple years ago.  Since then they've slowly made it onto my "like" food list!  I don't like all Onion Rings though, in particular, Sonic Onion Rings in my opinion are gross!  However, these were so yummy, I can't wait to make them again! 

Ingredients: (original recipe found here)
Oil for frying (I used Canola)
1 cup McCormick's Golden Dipt Seafood Beer Batter Mix
1-2 large Sweet Onions, sliced and separated into rings (Vidalia's are amazing for these)*
2/3 cup Beer (or you can use water)
Flour (optional)**
2 tbsp of your favorite hot sauce (optional)***

1. Pour Oil into Deep Fat Fryer or skillet and heat to 375 degrees
2. Mix Beer Batter Mix, Beer, and Hot Sauce into pie plate (or another dish) until smooth

3. Pour flour into separate dish
4.  Slice Onions into Rings, about 3/4"-1" thick
5. Dip Rings into Flour, then into the Beer Batter mixture

6. Drop into oil and fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown

7. Lay rings on paper towels and sprinkle with some sea salt
8. Dip into your favorite sauce and enjoy!!

Look at the mountain o' Onion Rings!! Mmm...

Notes: Fry a whole bunch of rings at the same time, not one by one.
*I used 2 large Vidalia Onions; the recipe above will do about 1-1.5 large onions, so you'll probably have to mix up the rest of the box to finish.  2 large onions made way to many for 2 people!
**Flour isn't called for in the original recipe, but I did some research and a lot of people suggested dipping the rings in flour first, so I did.
***I wanted to give our rings a little kick, but we could barley even taste it...next time I'll use more!  I'm sure it varies on the type of sauce you use also. 

They are great as an appetizer, as a side dish, or even on top of your favorite burger (or sandwich)!  I will eat 'em any way listed above!  What is your favorite way to eat Onion Rings?

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
Moms Crazy Cooking - Dad's Favorite Meal

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Colorado Trip - Graduation, Shopping, and Baseball Game!

I hope you all had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  I love having 4 day weekends, I wish it happened more often!!  D and I went to Colorado Springs to see my cousin graduate 8th grade, and visit family.  It was such a nice weekend away, including the weather! 

Getting close to Colorado Springs...Pikes Peak off in the distance (go ahead, click to enlarge!)
Pikes Peak
We left Friday morning and drove, it was about 5.5 hours, wasn't too bad.  To pass some time, I did a little blogging and online shopping (Victoria's Secret semi-annual sale...hello!!).  KK's graduation was Friday night, and unlike when I was in school, it wasn't required for all of the class to be there.  It was optional, and I was actually really thankful!  It was a nice little graduation, mainly talking to the class and showing a nice video filled with pictures from 2011.  Afterwards they had cake and punch for everyone.  We then headed back to my Aunt & Uncle's house, she opened her gifts and we just hung out.  We were pretty pooped by the time we went to bed...yeah at 10:30 on a Friday night, D and I were in bed!!!  LOL!
Me and D!
Aunt Michele, Kaitlyn, Uncle Jeff, and Caleb
Kaitlyn and my Mom

Me and KK
Saturday, me, my cousin, Aunt, Mom, and Grandma all went shopping at Castle Rock!  I didn't buy a whole lot, but I did buy a new Coach purse at the Coach Outlet!  So excited for my new purse (even picked one up for Ashley, we're now twins!! ;))!!  I got a couple shirts and a sun dress just for fun, and spoiled KK for her graduation gift (she got a bunch of clothes!).  It was a lot of fun, but we were in need of a little pick me up...so off to Starbucks we went!!  While we were doing all of this, the guys (D, Uncle Jeff, cousin Caleb, and Grandpa) went shopping for man stuff, and went out to the Air Force Base!  D hadn't ever been there, he loved it!  He snapped a few pictures!

Air Force Academy

Air Force Chapel

Air Force Chapel up close!! Awesome pic!

Saturday night we went to a Sky Sox game, which is the minor league team for the Colorado Rockies...it was a great time!!  We pretty much talked and laughed throughout the whole game!!

Sky Sox game

my mom and aunt
Gma & Gpa!

Me and D!
Sunday we went to a Cheyenne Mountain Resort for brunch, and it was phenomenal!!  They had anything and everything that you could think of, including Mimosa's (you know me, I love my Mimosa's)!!  Come to find out I have actually been there before, probably about 5-6 years ago, actually stayed in the hotel part.  It was gorgeous scenery out on the deck!

Sunday afternoon we headed over to Denver to stay with friends for the evening.  We had a lot of fun (sorry no pictures); we walked downtown to Wynkoop Brewery, then took a cab back to their loft and sat on the rooftop the rest of the night drinking a few beers.  Monday late afternoon we headed home, finally got home about 11:45pm...we were exhausted!!!