Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Finger Food & Family Fun!

Little late on recapping last weekend.. but as always, it's better late than never!
Let's get right to it with the good stuff first... FOOD!
I don't really know what to call these... I've always called them "Wontons" because that's what the shell is called. I've once heard someone call them "shit on a shingle" but I'm not so sure that sounds appetizing... so we'll stick with "Wontons"!

Easy peasy finger food recipe! And your guests will love them! I made them for our family gathering on Sunday and was asked for the recipe several times.

What you need:
1 - Bob Evans Sausage roll {Italian tube - green label}
1/2C diced red peppers
2TBSP Ranch dressing
8OZ Colby Jack shredded cheese
1 - small can green chilies {undrained}
1 - small can sliced olives {drained}
1 - package wonton skins

Cook sausage and red peppers until cooked through.
Add cheese, chilies, olives, and ranch.
Set aside.

Prep cupcake/muffin tins by spraying olive oil into each cup
Press one wonton skin into each cup
Bake at 350 for 6 minutes

Leave wonton in cupcake tin.
Fill wonton with sausage mixture {about 1 tablespoon full}
Bake in oven on 350 for another 5 minutes

Serve warm!
These ingredients make approximately 3 and 1/2 dozen.

The past weekend was a fun one with a bunch of randomness!

Friday started out great with a morning meeting with my boss to inform me of a raise. I was pretty impressed and shocked with the decent increase in pay! So that was definitely a reason to celebrate when I got home. I went straight for the wine and started making dinner. The hubs was outside in the shed working on his brother's boat. I eventually made my way out there with dinner for the guys and drinks for muah!

Once they were done with the boat we decided to go sucker fishing with some friends. Since it's still cold in this damn state, we got out long johns and carhartt's on and headed to the creek. We got lucky on the first creek and the guys got about a dozen suckers. 

After checking out 2 other creeks and not finding any fish.. we checked one last creek on our way home and this time the girls got the spears. I got 2 and Sarah got 1! Whooohoo! 
By this time it was almost 1am and I had to work in the morning so we called it a night and were happy with our fish count at 15. Better than nothing!

Saturday after work I was pretty tired and crabby. Sooooo.... after a quick stop at the Goodwill again and huge debate {with myself}... I came home and took a nap! The hubs finished planting his 350 trees. Isn't he nuts?! From Thursday to Saturday he planted all 350 of them. Applause, applause. 
There were 2 of each of these chairs. I really wanted both. But it was hard to decide if it was a "NEED" or a "WANT". For those of you that commented on IG, thank you! It was definitely a need and I'm glad you confirmed my sanity. Ha! Although I behaved and only bought one. That was tough! 

It now sits in my newly remodeled entryway! The hubs doesn't like it, go figure!  
Seriously... you can't beat that! $129.99 original price and purchased for $29.99! 
The Goodwill strikes again!
And then tubby and I took a nap on the couch.... :) The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. We visited with Michael's cousins at the campground and went to bed early.

Sunday funday was much needed! 
We headed down to my hometown for a surprise 50th Anniversary party for my Aunt and Uncle. My Mom and cousins planned it so we headed down there early to help set up. 

My Grandpa who resides down south during the winter had turned 75 while he was in Texas. So my Aunt and Uncle thought that the party was for him. When they showed up and seen him standing at the door, they were completely confused and extremely surprised as everyone yelled "Happy Anniversary!!!"  It was priceless!

My Grandpa Silly in the green. He's so damn funny! That's why we call him Grandpa Silly!
My cousin made a replica of their original wedding cake {pictured at the right} How awesome is that?! And she snuck the cake topper out of their china cabinet the morning of the party! 
Grandpa Silly wrote his name on his cup! Read closely... ;) 
The reason for the party! Aunt Kat and Uncle Chuck 
Gammy Julie  
Grandpa silly 
Mom & I with our awesome men
Cutie little cousin Olivia. She's a doll!
Two of my best friends! Greg and the hubs of course!

By the end of the day Sunday I think my face hurt from smiling and laughing so much! It was amazing to see so many relatives that we don't see often enough! Especially Michael because he usually is gone at work when my family has any gatherings. So that was extra special too! 

How was your weekend?! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Yummy+Shopping+DIY+Giveaway = Friday Favorites!

In case you couldn't tell, it's Friday and I'm pretty excited about that!

I'm joining Amanda from Meet at the Barre for her second week of her new linkup called Friday Favorites! If you don't already follow her, you totally should! She's a gorgeous and hilarious bride to be that shares many laughs, beauty/fashion tips, fitness, and everything in between!
Meet At The Barre

How about some healthy yummies?! Raspberries dipped rolled {it was a pretty mess} in greek yogurt! First, clean raspberries, then spread out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and place in the freezer for an hour in order for them to harden a little rather than smashing once you handle them. Then roll each raspberry in some greek yogurt {I tried dipping them and then I tried spooning the yogurt over top of the berries - no such luck}. Place back on the cookie sheet and back in the freezer for an hour to harden. Remove from tray and place in a freezer container for storage. When you want a little snack, take them out and enjoy! I can't wait to get raspberries from our garden to make some like this! {Thank you Lisa for this idea!!}

So yesterday I got out of work early but I had an hour and a half to waste until I was able to go to the conservation district to pick up 350 trees/bushes that Michael had ordered. I ran a couple errands and still had extra time to kill so I decided to go to the Goodwill. I always hear about people finding great things there and I thought maybe I would find something worth my while. Then I seen they had a "new" clothing section. New as in never used, tags still on them. Score! 2 tanks, tee, sweater, skirt, running shorts, and olive skinnies all for just over $25! Chaaaa-chiiing! I've been really wanting some olive skinnies for a while. I could never find any that I liked or that fit me well. I'm excited that I got these for $4.49! :)

The hubs of course said "oh boy" when I told him I wasted some time at the Goodwill while I waiting for the gates to open at the fairgrounds. Well hey, that's not my fault that I was stuck waiting around for trees! I'd say he set me up to shop, right?! 

Speaking of shopping.. ignore the fact that our NY's resolution was to budget better. Holly mentioned a coupon code for a jewelry shop called Edith Marie. Since I believe everything that comes out of Holly's mouth, when she said "the most affordable jewelry on the internet" I HAD to check it out. And of course, she was right. So I stole this necklace for less than $8. Seriously, go check out their line of jewelry! 

Oh and speaking of Holly ^^ if you don't already follow her blog, you better get your poop in a group and get over there! If you like a good laugh and a pure realistic look at life, she's your gal! She's pretty much like the most popular girl in high school that is an over achiever and rocks the socks off everything she does! Such as the half marathon she's doing this weekend! Plus, she has some pretty adorable kiddos! She's hosting a giveaway for 2 $50 target gift cards today! Go get you some!

How about some homemade laundry detergent?! Have you ever made it? I've been wanting to make my own for quite some time but the last time I bought detergent I purchased a huge thing from Sam's Club and I haven't run out yet. Since I'm close to being out.. I decided it was a good time to jump on the DIY bandwagon. I even bought this gallon size Mason jar two months ago that I thought would be perfect for storage{since my maiden name is Mason I'm pretty obsessed with the jars}. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and it smells sooooo good! The most time consuming part was grating the soap. And I cut my finger once so I had to wait for the bleeding to stop to bandage it. Grrr.

In case you missed it... check out our road trip {Part 1 & Part 2} to Louisiana and Nashville where we got a rare tour of the Buck Commander Duck Commander Warehouse! It seems extra awesome now to watch the show and know that we sat at Willie's desk. ;) It was a great trip with the hubby and I can't wait until our next vacation in June! :)

Did I mention I'm excited for the weekend?! I get to go see my familia! And I get to spend time with the hubs! We are celebrating my Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary and I'm looking forward to getting to visit with everyone! Especially my Grandpa that has been in Texas since the end of last summer!

Have a great weekend! Don't forget to go check out Amanda and Holly's awesomeness!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Way back Wednesday: How we met ♥

Guess what day it is? Guess what day it is?? Huuuuuump daaaaay!
How about some "way back Wednesday" for ya!
Well maybe not waaaay back... but back to 5 years ago when Michael and I met.
I've talked about it a little bit HERE and HERE... but it's always fun to look back and document all the details.
I don't know why, but lately I've been all about the "remember when..." stories. I think it's a mixture of feeling like I'm getting old and having a different lifestyle than just a couple years ago... so I often look back and reminicse on the good times.

Some days it feels like the hubs and I have been together forever and I want to choke him out. Other days it feels like it was just yesterday that we met. ♥

Rewind back to 2009…
I was in a relationship with my on again/off again high school “sweetheart”. We started dating when I was 14. Over the years we had lots of breakups. We’d both dated other people and still wound up back together. My parents always told me not to get back with him. They always told me not to “settle”. But I didn’t know any better {yet}. Towards the end of the year, my Dad mentioned that there was an event for a group that he was a part of that needed some volunteers. He also mentioned that it would be in a different area where I didn't know anyone and there would be hundreds of guys there. His exact words were “maybe you’ll find your dream guy.” – {I said… yeah right Dad, there’s no such thing.}
When my Dad first asked me to volunteer, it was mostly because they needed help at the event. I was hesitant to commit to it. As the event got closer, he continued to drop hints about how I could possibly meet someone new and maybe I would meet someone that would treat me better and most guys there are going to be dedicated hunters {in my Dad’s eyes, a hunter is the best kind of guy} As the event got closer, my Dad basically gave me no option. I was going. So I was sure to mention - it was strictly just to help. I had no interest in meeting anyone. I wasn’t quite over the breakup and I never really had a point where I was just single in my 22 years of life.
So here I am, February 20, 2010 at a QDMA event almost 2 hours away from home with my Dad as well as hundreds of people I don’t know. I started out selling ticket packages at the door. So I saw every single person that walked in. Not everyone came up to buy tickets from me at that point, but I was still able to people watch as the men trickled in. That’s when I saw this tall handsome guy with a huge beautiful smile walk in the door. I remember we caught eyes and suddenly I had a feeling I never really had before. My thoughts changed pretty quickly about meeting a potential guy at this event and I now found myself wanting to talk to him. But I wasn’t interested just any of the other 300+ guys in the hall, there was something about Michael!
As the night went on, I had to sell raffle tickets and guns throughout the crowd. There was another girl selling tickets with me as well. There was also a guy that wouldn’t stop asking me for my number and if he could take me out on a date. Funny how I told him I had no interest in dating but here I was plotting out how I was going to talk to this hot tall scruffy guy with a ball cap on…
I tried to sell Michael raffle tickets. He would just smile and shake his head. I would try to sell him a gun ticket. He would just smile and shake his head. I would crack a joke about how he must just be here to drink the beer and he would smile even bigger. I would see him standing in the crowd and I would walk towards him and he would turn and walk the other way. Come to find out, when Michael wanted to purchase any raffle tickets, he would send someone else with his money to buy them from me. When he wanted to know if I was single or not, he sent someone else up to ask me. Apparently he was too shy… It's a good thing I wasn't because we were obviously secretly interested in one another from the moment we caught eyes.
The night was nearing an end. But I hadn’t given up on getting a chance to talk to this hottie. The crowd was dwindling down. I finally got to have a couple beers and relax as well. Then I seen him standing with the other girl I had been working with all night. So I headed over to invite myself into their conversation. Although I really didn’t join the conversation, I just stood there and sipped my beer. Eventually, their conversation ended (they knew each other from prior QDMA events) and she walked away. Leaving just this hot stranger and I to mingle. Luckily he didn’t run away this time.

I don’t remember exactly how we talked but I know my Dad noticed right away and of course I couldn’t stand there talking to a stranger for too long without him.
These are only a few thing I remember from our first conversation…
One of the first things he asked was if I smoked. Which was great because a non smoker was very important to me as well.
He told me he was single and looking for someone to settle down with and to get married and have kids within the next couple years. {Whoa! Not gonna lie, I was scared of that comment but I also loved he was honest and mature}
He invited me out for a drink after the banquet and “warned” me that he drove a jacked up truck with mudding tires and it was a rough ride. {As if that was supposed to scare me away} At the time, a big hit on the radio was 8 second ride. So of course, it was the first song I correlated to him and I still think of that conversation the first night we met when I hear that song.
Soon enough, my Dad came over and introduced himself. “I see you met my daughter Julie…” He probably then said something along the lines of “you hurt her, you die” or “she’s single”. And I probably wanted to crawl in a hole. I told my Dad there was a group of people going to the bar up the road after the banquet and that Michael invited me out for a drink. {Still in front of Michael} My Dad said no. Absolutely not. I don’t know him, you sure as hell aren't going home with him and I’m not going home without you. Then he told me to get my coat and let's go. My face probably turned 50 shades of red. Yes, I'm 22 and my Dad just told me I couldn't go to the bar and now I have to go home. Ouch.
Michael asked for my number and I said I’ll go get something to write it down on {old fashioned much?!} He pulled out his cell phone and said he would just add it to his contacts right away {a little more effective than finding a piece of paper} Then we joked about how an old school country boy like him had a touch screen high tech phone. He said he would give me call sometime and we went our separate ways.
On the way home, my Dad and I talked about how I felt about the guy I just met. He thought Michael seemed like a good guy. And of course he probably said “I told ya so” All I could hope was for Michael to call me. The ball was in his court. Then of course I wondered if he really would. What if he didn't call? Within a couple minutes of heading home, I got a text message. It said something along the lines of “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen and I’m so lucky to have met you. Have a good night!” I think I melted at that point.
From that moment on, I had feelings that I never felt before. I completely got over the break up with my ex. It didn’t even faze me when I would see him or get a call/text from him. My Dad was right, there was someone out there that was on the same page as me, was a gentleman and that would treat me the way I deserved to be treated.
Since my Dad is a little protective and he wanted to be sure Michael was a good guy, he told me that if I wanted to go out on a date with Michael, I would need to get to know him better over the phone and give it some time. Then when I felt that I was ready to physically get together with him, he would need to come pick me up from my Dad’s house.
It had been about a month since we met. We talked on the phone every night and text throughout the day. There wasn’t a moment I didn’t think about seeing that smile again. We sent each other a lot of pictures via texting {which I still have saved on my computer and yes they are all appropriate}. I let my Dad know when we were planning to get together. Before that, my Dad asked for all of his information.. his email, phone number, home address, parent’s names, etc. Then he contacted a sheriff to be sure Michael was a good guy. Just so happens that sheriff was one of Michael’s hunting buddies. So of course, all good words were exchanged and Dad approved of the date!
The rest is history ♥
This wasn't our first date... I was a slacker on the first date and didn't take any pictures. But this is our second date!  
April of 2010. The first time he hung out with my friends and I at Suckerfest 
July 2010
"Don't find love, let love find you. That's why it's called falling in love... because you don't force yourself to fall, you just fall."

Monday, April 21, 2014

DIY: Entryway Makeover

It's been a couple years months since I started this whole entryway remodel project. Even though I'm not quite done, I'm satisfied for the moment and I'm just going to share where we're at as of now. I'm not normally one for doing something half arse.. but I'm also not really in a rush to finish the last minor details. 

Here goes nothing... no turning back now!

Terrible laminate flooring
Eggshell wall color
Terrible gold hooks for hanging hats (not pictured)
Gold door knobs
Cream colored outlet covers/switches/plugs
Light oak trim

"Stone" flooring
Driftwood wall color
Custom built shelf with hooks
Bronze door knobs (1 out of 3 of them so far..ha!)
White outlet covers/switches/plugs
Walnut stained trim
Decorations {clock, shelf, wall}

To do:
Spray paint front door & garage door knob bronze
Possibly get a new light fixture
Organize inside closet
Possibly get a valence or curtain
Get a new rug runner

The first part of the project was Michael ripping out the dizzy domino flooring and putting in the new flooring. We had picked out the flooring last summer but never got around to doing it. I told the hubs that putting in the flooring would make for a great Christmas present last year and just after the holiday madness, he began the project! {Which I can't any of the pictures from that!}

Once the new flooring was in, I knew I wanted to take the trim down and stain it darker. Going that route I knew it would be cheaper than buying new. After all.. this was supposed to be a cheap update/remodel...
You see this plug and outlet cover? Terrible! This drove me nuts! I couldn't wait to make them all white! Both the plugs/switches AND the covers! Ain't nobody with OCD got time for that!

Before I took all the trim down, I did a trial run on a small piece. For 3 reasons... to make sure I wasn't getting myself into too much with having to sand the pieces down, to get an idea of how dark I wanted to go, and also to start getting paint color ideas. 

Since the hubs didn't want to continue helping me with this project.. I took it upon myself to start tearing sh*t apart while he was out of town. Off went the outlet covers and trim!

It was very time consuming doing all the trim staining... I wound up doing three coats of stain and one coat of polyurethane. I used gel stain rather than regular stain because I read online that it has less of a mess/drip effect. 
Once the stain was finally done and before the trim went back up, I started the paint job. Plus, I needed to wait for Michael to be home from work to put the trim back up. I don't think he was very thrilled that he needed to help with this. 

Let's talk about how terribly inexperienced I am with painting... 

Our entryway is SMALL. So I thought I would only need a quart. {I'm trying to make this update cheap}
I ran out of paint not once, but twice. After using the first quart, I thought there was no way I would need anymore than one more quart. Then I ran out of the second quart. Then I wanted to pull my hair out because I spend a small fortune on some stupid paint that I could have bought a light fixture or some shoes with instead. Anyways... the paint color I decided on was driftwood. I'm not sure that it turned out as I expected it to... but I think it's growing on me. 

Greatest tip ever, use a rubberband on the paint can to wipe your brush off as your painting. Just be sure it's not an old rubberband that is going to snap in half a splatter paint every where! {No, that didn't happen to me but I was a little scared that it would!}

Next step:
Put the trim back up! Oh wait.. before we do that, the hubs sent me out to buy a brad nailer. Did I mention this was supposed to be a cheap remodel?! Ugh! $100 nailer guns.. no thank you! I went the cheap route and picked one up for $20 at Harbor Freight. Hey, it may be made in China, but it did the job. 

Once the trim was back up, I began my search for a shelf. I found a couple inspirations on Pinterest but I couldn't find anything in my price range. Everything I found was $100-$200 and it wasn't even necessarily going to match everything I had just redone. What's an OCD girl to do with something doesn't match??

Custom design! 

I contacted a local woodworker that has made a couple other things in our house, and I showed him pictures of my inspiration. A week later I picked this bad boy up for $35!

Then I search to Hawaii and back for some hooks for the shelf. Who knew it was so hard to find bronze/black hooks?! I couldn't even find ones I liked at Hobby Lobby! I didn't even know it was possible for HL to fail a DIY project! Luckily.. I found some hooks at the local hardware store. They cost a fortune. But that was no surprise considering this whole damn project wound up costing half my life savings. {kidding}

Once I got the shelf up, I started searching for shelf decorations. I really wanted a basket or two for the cubby holes. In a basket I could possibly hide 50 of Michael's baseball caps. But Michael denied that like no other. C'mon.. since when would a man really give two sh*ts about a basket?! And since when does someone who lives in the middle of no where wait until the very last minute to gather the proper decor to complete this damn remodel!? 

In the end.. it all worked out. Well, besides the couple things I have yet to complete. Such as the eye sore gold door knobs. They have got. to. go! I attempted to test spray paint another set of door knobs and that didn't go as planned. So I've got to re-evaluate and plan and get back to that! :)

Here are a few more pictures of the final look of our entryway remodel! Let me know what you think! I'm open to suggestions too!

What are you favorite and most disliked DIY projects?!