November 21, 2012
So who’s watching Nashville? I’ve got to admit that I wasn’t immediately hooked, but now I’m loving it! On a recent episode, Hayden Panettiere’s character, Juliette Barnes, had the most beautiful iPhone case I think I’ve ever seen.
A quick online search revealed that it was probably the Case-Mate® Swarovski Crystal iPhone 4 & 4S Case sold at Nordstrom, where it retails at $49.
I’m willing to pay $49 for a lot of things: a good meal, a trip to the groomer’s for my dogs, a tank of gas, etc. However, I’m just not willing to pay that for a phone case. So, I searched Amazon for a comparable option.
And I found a few!
- i-UniK Limited Edition Leather Fashion Apple iPhone 4 Case AT&T (NOT for 4S or Verizon) – WHITE: $7.99 with free shipping if you have a prime account.
- Luxury Designer Quilted Leather Chrome Case Cover for Apple iPhone 4 4G White: $4.99, but you have to pay shipping.
I ended up ordering this one for $4 with free shipping. It’s coming all the way from China, but I don’t mind to wait a bit longer for it. Merry Christmas to me; from me.
Here’s hoping I like it! What are you gifting to yourself this holiday season? I would talk about what I’m gifting everyone else, but I’d hate to give away the surprise.
I sincerely hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. We’ll be spending the day with people we love, which means it will be absolutely wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving!
October 11, 2012
A couple of years ago, map art was all the rage. I suppose it still is. Like everyone else, I jumped on the bandwagon (like I did with my DIY paint chip art) and fashioned my very own map art. It has been hanging in my office for at least two years now, and I’m still in love with it.
I bought a $5 dollar map of my current city, and found the most visually interesting part of the map to frame. Lucky for me, Chattanooga is a dynamic town with lots of streets, a river and mountains. It looks lovely framed.
You’ll notice my ironing efforts went largely unnoticed by my map. Luckily, it’s barely noticeable indoors.
At first I was disappointed that my street wasn’t included in the framed map, but then I realized this was another opportunity to bring some art to the other side of the office for the bookcase.
I gathered my supplies: the remainder of my map, a frame, sewing needles and red thread. (Sorry for the horrid photo taken years ago.) Do you see where this is going?
I stitched a red heart around our street and added it to the IKEA frame. Voila! Cute, personalized and cheap art.
I’m looking forward to creating a few more pieces of map art once we move. I also plan to keep these pieces around, because, after all, Chattanooga was our first home as a married couple. We’ve had a lot of fun here.
I’ve got some great ideas for transitioning the heart map art to include more details of our first home. This is my inspiration:
I absolutely love the placement of the photo in the middle. I’d like to add the embroidered map in the bottom, and then frame our house keys at the top. I think it’d be adorable, plus I have visions of having a huge wall of frames in our future house.
What have you been DIY-ing lately (or years ago, if you’re like me)?
August 17, 2012
In 2011, I began a blog: this blog. I wanted to write about how my husband, Travis, and I share our weekends, or the days Between Weekdays, so I could remember all the projects we’ve accomplished together and maybe inspire someone along the way.
I enjoyed blogging very much, but soon my day job became more of a priority. I was up for a big promotion, and I just didn’t have a spare bit of energy or time to give to my precious blog anymore. I stopped blogging just as I felt I was hitting my stride.
I got the promotion and a great deal more work stress. Life continued on blogless. And then I got the call that ultimately changed my life.
Travis and I were getting ready to leave on a Bahamian vacation we had been planning for nearly a year. We were taking care of those last minute errands the day before our flight left, when my boss called and curtly laid me off.
It was a company-wide reduction of force, so I was never bitter. I was shocked and, then, sad. I had worked hard for the promotion and even harder after receiving it. It felt like I had been slapped in the face at my career’s funeral while on vacation.
We couldn’t cancel our vacation at this point, so we went. We scaled back our plans; no golf for Travis and no spa for me. I spent the first day of our vacation moping, crying and calling my Mom a lot.
The next day our cruise ship arrived in the Bahamas, where we would stay for three days, and my perspective changed. It’s amazing what a change of scenery and losing contact with the rest of the world can do for a person.
It became clear to me that losing my job was actually an opportunity to focus on priorities and what I should do with my life. God is so good.
Our vacation became one of the best we’ve ever shared together.
I still don’t have it all figured out, but we’ve been blessed since losing my job. Travis finished school and topped out in pay making it possible financially for me to stay home during this season of our lives. The purse strings may be a little tighter, but we’re both a whole lot happier.
After Travis graduated, we decided to sell our home and move closer to our family. We’re currently waiting patiently for the perfect buyer for our first home. From here on out, I plan to blog about where life takes us and all of the DIY projects along the way. I hope you’ll join me in our next big adventure.
September 6, 2011
I’m enjoying a rainy day at home today. Chattanooga has had some record-breaking weather lately. August was the driest month on record, and yesterday was the wettest. Most of the schools are closed today due to flooding. Originally, the husband and I were supposed to be out of town on this rainy day, which is why I have the day off from work. Although, Tropical Storm Lee did help solidify my decision to stay home today.
See all of that rain up in New England? That’s what dumped more than 9 inches of rain on Chattanooga yesterday
Tropical Storm Lee also brought with it some cooler weather. The past few weeks we’ve enjoyed tolerated 100-degree weather, so 63 degrees is a nice change of pace.
To me, cooler temperatures + rainy days = chili. So, that’s what I’m sharing with you today. My super easy, crockpot chili “recipe.”
I put the word recipe in quotations because this recipe is extremely adaptable. If you like a little more chili powder, add it! If you’d rather substitute ground turkey for ground beef, do it! If you want to throw in some zucchini, go for it! Trust me, it’s good. In fact, if you want to leave out one of the ingredients altogether, that’s fine too. (If you get your chili too spicy, add a squirt of ketchup. It’ll cool it down significantly.)
- 1 pound ground turkey, cooked and drained
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, chopped
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can chili beans
- 2 small cans tomato paste
- 1 packet mild chili seasoning
- 1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 can of light beer
Combine all of your ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high heat for at least four hours. The longer this cooks, the better. There’s nothing like a bowl of slow-cooked chili on a rainy day.
If you’re going to omit an ingredient, I don’t suggest leaving out the beer. Trust me, it does something special in that crockpot. Plus, you’re cooking it long enough for all of the alcohol to cook out. If you don’t keep beer around you’re house, you can buy a large, single can at a convenience store. If you do this, only use about half of the can in your chili.
Once your chili is cooked, ladle it into a big bowl, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
I’d love to hear about your adaptations to my recipe. I have a good friend that always puts a spoonful of peanut butter in her chili. How do you make your chili?
August 28, 2011
I’ve been trying, mostly in vain, for the past several months to organize my home a bit more. Our home isn’t blessed with a ton of storage space, so I’ve had to think outside of the box. (See how I store seasonal dishes here.)
I’ve made a lot of simple updates to our home to gain some extra storage space, but I’ve noticed lately that some of my craft supplies isn’t as easily accessible as I would like. For instance, I can never find a paintbrush. It’s as if they all magically disappear the moment I need one. Or I can one that’s two inches to big or too small or just not right at all.
What’s a girl to do?
First, I rounded up all of the paintbrushes in my house. Some were tossed, some were left in the garage with the cans of paint for serious painting projects, but most came with me to be corralled in a central location. Instead of hiding my paintbrushes in a closet, I decided they could be functional and pretty at the same time.
Enter my Silhouette SD and an empty jam jar I’ve had in my pantry for about a year now. I tossed the lid to the jam jar and used my Silhouette SD to cut a cute vinyl decal for the now-lidless, jam jar.
I downloaded the birds on the branches (called botanique branch with birds if you’re curios) in the Silhouette online store. Then, I cut them out with my Silhouette onto white vinyl and stuck the vinyl to the jam jar.
The paintbrushes fit perfectly in the jar and are now proudly displayed in our office near the pencils and other office supplies. After all, paintbrushes are office supplies, right? No? Well, in my house they are.
What simple storage solutions have you found lately?
Linking up to Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.
July 25, 2011
Guess what came in the mail.
It was a belated birthday gift from the husband.
A very belated birthday gift.
But, an exciting birthday gift.
I’ll admit it wasn’t what I originally thought I wanted for my birthday, which is why it was so belated. I had to think it through.
By the way, my birthday is in May. I expect you to write that on the calendar and remember it for next year.
Fun fact: the husband was born exactly three weeks before me, also in May.
Anther fun fact: Roxy’s birthday is in May, May Day to be exact.
One more fun fact: Isabel‘s birthday is not in May. I guess that wasn’t really all that fun.
It is now July.
So, what did I get in the mail?
Have you had enough of the suspense?
I got a Silhouette SD! I’ve been dreaming about this little machine for quite some time, but I thought it would be too expensive. But then, the husband had a stroke of genius and checked Overstock.com for the Silhouette SD. I might married him for his brain. On Overstock.com, it was only $173.94. Total.This price was less than the gift I originally thought I wanted for my birthday. The high price tag on the original gift idea I thought I wanted had held me back from letting the husband buy it for me, and I’m glad it did.
Since it’s arrival, I’ve been learning about how to use the Silhouette SD. The instructional video that came with the machine was a huge help in getting started.
You may have noticed on my Christmas binder post that I’ve already been working with vinyl. Having the ability to cut vinyl was one of the main reasons I bought the Silhouette SD, but I’m also excited about some of the other things this amazing little machine can cut.
I can’t wait to show you some of the other things I’ve been working on. Happy Monday!
July 15, 2011
Unless you live under a rock, you know a very popular movie hit theaters today. A movie that’s the final in a major series. A movie that marks the end of an era for so many, including myself.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II,” the final installment in the Harry Potter series, was everything I expected it to be, but that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about the end of an era.
The first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was released in the U.S. 1998, but I didn’t jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon immediately. It wasn’t until 2003 when I would begin reading the novels in high school. By then, the first three books in the series had already been released. I read the first three books within a matter of days. My social life in high school may have taken a hit, but it didn’t matter. I had found something that would continue to provide entertainment for the next 8 years, at least.
From that moment on, I was completely hooked. I attended midnight book release parties in college. I completely ignored my roommate on vacation because a book had just been released. I told boyfriends on the other end of the phone, “I can’t talk right now. Harry is in trouble.” I stood in line for hours for attend midnight movie premiers. I saw countless other fans dressed as characters from movies, including a giant squid from the lake at Hogwarts and a grown man dressed as Dobby dancing through the movie theater.
Last night was the end of an era. A magical era.
Thank you, Harry.
July 11, 2011
In the Miranda Lambert post, I said we had one more act to see to close out Riverbend 2011 — if we weren’t rained out.
Luckily, the rain held off and we were able to see country music legend Alan Jackson. This was particularly a big deal for the husband, who grew up on the lake listening to songs like “Chattahoochee,” “Livin’ on Love” and “Little Bitty” (we dedicated this song to Isabel aka Itty Bitty).
It’s not that I don’t like Alan Jackson. I do. I grew up listening to ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and Lynard Skynard. I didn’t even know who sang Chattahoochee when it was released. I just knew they played it on the radio and I liked it.
Now, though, I can truly appreciate what an incredible talent this man is. He put on an amazing show, and I realized I actually knew quite a bit of his music despite only recently beginning to listen to country music.
This was a perfect way to wrap up Riverbend 2011, at least for us. The jury’s still out on whether or not we’ll attend Riverbend next year, but I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll be there.
July 7, 2011
I mentioned about a week ago that the husband and I went on a massive vacation. Then, I left you hanging without giving you any details of our trip. That was wrong of me, so I’m going to correct my wrong and give you a brief recap of our trip.
We traveled with my Dad and step-mom, Lisa, to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and L.A. It was quite the trip. A trip that began with the husband’s first ever flight to Vegas.
We stayed at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. The hotel was wonderful and oh so fragrant. A coconut-vanilla scent is pumped through the hotel to get guests in the tropical mood.
One day we drove to the Grand Canyon. We drove Route 66 nearly the whole way there through the desert.
While we were in Vegas, we spent one day at the pool and plenty of time wandering through casinos and hotels. The husband and I don’t gamble, but it walking through all of the different casinos was really cool. My favorite hotel was New York New York. If we ever go back to Vegas, we’ll stay there. I think.
One word: AMAZING.
After a few days in Vegas, we drove through the Mojave Desert to L.A. By the way, it was 114 degrees in the desert. Once we got to Los Angeles, the temperatures cooled considerably. By considerably I mean I was buying a jacket to adjust to a 40+ degree temperature change. It was heavenly.
While we were in L.A., we went on a couple of tours and saw so much.
We saw tons of handprints outside of Grauman’s Theater. My favorite is below.
My hands are the same exact size as Emma Watson’s. It’s like were were meant to be BFFs or something. By the way, have you gotten your tickets to the midnight showing of the last ever Harry Potter film? We do. But I digress.
We, of course, went to Rodeo Drive. It was one of the highlights of my trips.
I might have even come home with a souvenir from Rodeo.
Vacation 2011 was amazing, and I can’t wait to plan our next big trip!
June 16, 2011
Guess who we saw at Riverbend this week.
I’ll give you a minute.
She’s only one of the biggest names in country music right now.
I also kind of love her.
And her husband.
Do you know who we saw?
Unfortunately, we also saw a lot of storms that day with tons of rain and plenty of hail, but I’ll get to that.
The husband set up the chairs as soon as the gates opened at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. We learned last weekend if your chairs aren’t set up early, you’ll never see anything.
As I’ve mentioned before, the main act at Riverbend typically hits the stage around 9:30. We had been monitoring the weather and Riverbend Facebook page from home trying to decide whether or not she would even be able to perform. The storms had been on and off most of the afternoon, but when they were on, they were really on. I’m talking dime-sized hail.
We finally decided to just go for it decked out in our rain jackets, which, by the way, is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. We arrived around 8:45 to find a man telling everyone entering the festival (in the pouring rain) that Miranda wouldn’t go on until 10 that night.
What to do?
Well, we did what most rational people do; we ate ice cream at a place up the street and waited out the storm a bit longer.
We made it back to the festival around 9:50 and met up with some family who told us Miranda always plays, no matter what time. So, being the rational people we are, we sat in our soaking-wet chairs in our soaking-wet clothes and waited.
When I was just about to give up, they started clearing the stage. The rain had stopped long enough for the show to begin.
Miranda was only able to perform for about an hour, but it was so worth the wait. She’s such a fun performer to watch. She had a pink microphone, guitar, and tambourine. But she kept it “real,” and at one point said, “This weather sucks!” I agreed. We all did.
Before she had to clear the stage (I’m assuming because of the massive amounts of lightning), she told us she would come back to Chattanooga and really put on a show. I’m going to hold her to that.
I’ll leave you with a video from Miranda Lambert’s official YouTube channel. Enjoy!
p.s. We have one more act on our list to see this week, but more storms are already in the forecast. Keeping my fingers crossed!