Thursday, September 20, 2012

Catching up.

Well, this past weekend Chad and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. It was loads of fun. We had been planning on going to the UT/Florida game for awhile, but since it was such a late game we had a little time to go to Dollywood as well! It's only about 40 min from Knoxville. Chad had a work friend who works for the park so she gave us season passes. It was fun. It's very old western/country with jackets that have wolf scenes on them, an old 1851 railroad train that resulted in coal dust and cinders all over our clothes after the ride, bald eagle cages, country cookin', and of course rides! We rode one ride. It was an indoor roller coaster, so you couldn't see how high you were (worked well for Chad). There was a new ride that looked really fun, a lot like the Superman at Six Flags. But it was one of those where your feet dangle and I was afraid I'd lose my shoes if I rode it. :( Then we headed to the game, which didn't turn out so well for UT. Chad wasn't a happy camper. They really were doing well the first half, and then the 2nd was ugly.  

We celebrated our anniversary on Monday night. I made dinner: French's fried onion chicken per his request, twice baked potatoes from fresh market, corn, and rolls. It was yummy! He was searching for a pearl necklace for me, and he ended up getting me a beautiful, blue topaz necklace instead! I love it! This along with roses and a card. He's a keeper! The card said 'Way to go!' and 'You did it!' It was a congratulations card. Ha! He said the others were just too much "dribble." So he cleverly wrote something along the lines of 'congrats for making it 1 year' on the inside. :)


New Necklace!

 It's been a good year!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

More Halloween DIY

Mummy Toilet Paper Holder!

I saw this on some blog and it had candy in it I believe, but I didn't want to go that route. So while I was brainstorming all day yesterday about pine cones or little pumpkins to put inside it, Chad walks in and says, "put toilet paper in it." And it looks good! Just take a vase, add some eyes, and wrap with gauze.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes

I think we can all agree that PSLs are good, but expensive!  Because PSLs are so dang expensive at Starbucks, I started looking on Pinterest, Blogs, etc to find a homemade one, and I found one that is actually pretty darn good! I found it on LemonDropsFoodie blog.

These were all the ingredients that I had planned to use but I ended up having to add about 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of non-dairy creamer   
Pumpkin Spice Latte
2 cups milk or half and half  (I used skim milk, so I added 1 tsp of non-dairy creamer to add to the taste)
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree
1 Splenda
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 Tablespoons of Vanilla extract (yes, I said 2 Tablespoons)
8 Tablespoons of strong coffee (I brewed the small cup on my Keurig using the full amount of coffee  
   grounds, just make sure it's strong)

In a small saucepan, stir milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, splenda, and sugar together. Keep stirring until the pumpkin thins out and it's very hot, but not boiling.

Remove from heat, then add the vanilla. If you like frothy, then transfer it to a blender to add your froth (I skipped this step). Then add about 8 Tablespoons of the coffee (I think I added 10), but it's really to taste...depends on how much coffee you like in your PSL. You could always pour your pumpkin mixture into a single serving cup before you add your coffee. It would be more like 4-5 T then. Makes 2 servings.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fall has begun!

So what marks the beginning of fall??? Is the crisp, cool air? Is it college football? Pumpkins? Leaves falling? Nope it's none of those. It's...

I really think Pumpkin Spice Lattes are my favorite Starbucks drink. I go to Starbucks more in the fall to get these tasty drinks than any other time of year. Fall has to be my favorite season. I love spring, but fall begins the holiday season. Time for family, food, fun decorations! I love it! I've always loved Halloween and I've got a couple of DIY projects I've been working on for decorations. The first is a little candy jar!
It's just a terracotta pot with a lid, a wooden ball, a glass bowl, and some paint and ribbon, and glue (I used Gorilla Glue). If you do a neutral color like black and white, you can use this year round! Just change the ribbon and candies. I got this idea off a blog, who got it off another blog, and I don't remember the addresses to either one, but it's pretty self-explanatory as to how to make it. Just paint your pot, wooden ball, and lid. Glue the pot to the bowl, and the ball to the lid, and add some ribbon and candy. Simple!

My 2nd DIY is a harvesty vase. I put some split peas, coffee beans, and corn kernals in a glass vase with some twine around it to make this a fall-ish accessory. You can add a candle, I just didn't have one. Also got this from another blog.

I have a couple of other DIYs I'm working on, which I'll post later.
In addition to the beginning of fall, it's also the beginning of football season. We play Clemson tonight, so it should be a good game. WAR EAGLE!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Wilson County Fair

So Chad and I went to the Wilson Co. Fair last night, and it was really fun! I will say, it wasn't as much fun as I remembered when I was a kid, but still fun. We got there at dusk and I shot a couple of pretty picks of the sunset...beautiful!
Now Chad has warned me he doesn't like rides, and he wasn't kidding. I had to ride the Ferris Wheel by myself! He not only is afraid of heights, but he's pretty cynical about the equipment at the fair? Can't imagine why. He's like, "do you want that guy right there, hyped up on meth, putting together that ferris wheel you're about to ride?" Ha. Maybe he's right, but I still think I'll take my chances! We went on only one ride together. It was called the Music Train or something. You get in individual little cars and they whirl around really fast. We were definitely some of the oldest people on the ride!
After that we ventured over to the livestock area where they were holding competitions. Chad was an Ag major in undergrad, so on the car ride over I said something like, "you really wanna go look at the livestock?" To that question, he promptly said, "if I go to a fair, by god, I'm gonna see me some livestock." Ooookay. :) That's my good man. Loves him some livestock. It was actually sorta interesting. We watched the dairy cow competition, and boy, some of those cows looked mighty uncomfortable...could barely walk, they needed to be milked so bad. Chad says they don't milk them on purpose. Ouch.

I was tempted, not going to lie
The fair is full of terrible and delicious foods. Fair food is the poster child for diabetes and heart disease, but I had heard so much about deep fried candy that I had to taste it! We got 2 deep fried Reeses cups for $4.00. Wow, they're making a killing! I'm glad I tried them, but I probably wouldn't get them again. They're just ok. 

Towards the end of the night Chad played some darts trying to win me a Bob Marley Banana stuffed animal, but he ended up winning a monkey instead! I won't tell you what he named him. Ha. At 10:00 when we left there were fireworks to end the night. Fun fun! I'm glad we went. This weekend we're going to the lake to hang out with Amanda and Taylor. I'm excited!

My monkey

Monday, August 20, 2012

Taco Soup

Found a great taco soup recipe! I tweaked it a little and it's perfect!
1lb ground beef
2 can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans
1 1/2 cups of frozen corn (or 2 cans)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet of ranch seasoning
1/2 cup water- optional (bc I used frozen corn I didn't think there was enough liquid)

Brown ground beef, drain, and place in crockpot. Add packets of seasoning to beef. Empty contents of all canned beans into a strainer and rinse. Place in crockpot. Pour tomatoes and corn into the crockpot and add water if necessary. Cook on low for 8 hrs. Yum!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Foggy Bottom Canoe

I've been pestering Chad to take me canoeing on the Harpeth River recently and today we finally went! This weekend has been so beautiful and today was such a perfect day to be on the river. Now, I am not a "roughin' it" type of girl, and I don't think I've ever been canoeing in my adult life, so I wasn't sure what to expect exactly. I know Chad was afraid I would tip the canoe, so I got a lecture on proper canoeing don't stand up in the canoe. Really?? I was also instructed on how to row...basically the rowing for dummies lecture by Chad Church.
Heading to the river

And we're off!

The river was pretty calm, so there were only a couple of times that Chad's expertise came in handy. ;) The first time was pretty early on in the trip, there were some small rapids and we were heading for a big rock. I said, "there's a rock!," but Chad didn't hear me so BOOM, our canoe was stuck in a second. He's like, "next time use your couch voice. Pretend we're sitting on the couch watching tv." Lately he's been complaining that I'm practically yelling when I say something during a tv show.

We saw lots of turtles, a couple of baby snakes, and some hawks flying overhead. They said that around the bluffs is where the bald eagles are spotted, but we never saw one. I was hoping we would. :(

The Bluffs where the bald eagles are

One of the places we stopped
These trees behind me are where everyone got caught!

There was a particular place toward the end of the track that everyone got caught up in. It is right behind me in the picture above. I was standing on the bank and the current takes you straight into those trees you see behind me. Me, Chad, and another lady had to help these two people who got their canoe stuck under that tree. It got a little deep for me, so Chad kept motioning me back and telling me to go to the bank, but I wanted to help! I didn't do much good though. Pretty much Chad and the guy in the canoe got it out. It seemed like every single person went into the trees, but actually Chad and I didn't. We managed to dodge the trees, but ended up going down river backwards for a short stretch, so Chad asked if we wanted to stop here (probably to save face in front of these people on the bank :) ha. I said sure! So I got out and swam some, even though it was kind of a bad place because of the canoe dodging I had to do. Water felt great though!

  I am terrible at skipping rocks but Chad is pretty good! The picture to the right is the bridge at the end of the trip and I took a photo of the limbs underneath it, which we figured got caught there when the flood happened 2 years ago. It's crazy this river got to 20 feet!

We made it! Can't believe 4 hours flew by that fast. I could've gone longer.

Tuckered out after a long day of paddling :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!