Why do I do this to myself? I did the math in my head, and including the loads that are already in the washer and dryer, I'll be doing at least 12 loads of laundry over the next couple of days. It's a good thing "Mr. Enchanted" has to work this weekend.


It's Template Time [to be cont.]

Yay for templates, right? This is the first one I played around it, but there's a couple more so you'll see another template post soon! 

My friend over at Birdy Photography & Design put some freebie templates on her facebook page. Go "like" her and check out all that she has going on. I know she'll appreciate it!


Wednesday Weigh In: Week 2

This week's loss: 1.2 lbs.
Total lost: 1.6 lbs.
Total left to lose: 68.4 lbs.

You know what's crazy? I ate horribly. We're talking a couple of trips to Sonic "I ate horribly." I also didn't work out this week. Not once was I at the gym, and I still "lost" weight. Really?

Side note: I found/bought my Easter dress today! I just hope it still fits in 6.5 weeks.


Dresser Redo

Finally! I can almost cross something off of my never ending "project" list. A few months ago, I acquired a dresser from one of my friends. Now mind you, it wasn't in great shape, but I knew I could eventually do something with it. It's a little wobbly and needs some work done on the drawers, but it's fully functional. Up until now that's all I've cared about, until I saw this.

It's safe to say that inspiration struck! So today, we made progress towards this goal. 

I was fortunate enough to snag a free paint sample from Valspar a few weeks ago thanks to one of their promotions. I wasn't sure what I would end up using it for, but I knew I'd find something. The color I chose was "Crystal Aqua." When the box arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see a mini paint tray and roller to use with the sample! 

Kudos to Valspar!!!

Now on the nitty gritty stuff. This is how the dresser looked prior to any work (minus the drawers which don't need painting at the moment).

I put my man to work doing most of the sanding. Of course this meant I was free to take an obnoxious number of photos!

...and of course we couldn't leave the dogs inside.

...back to what this post is really about.
After sanding and one coat of paint (which was pretty much the entire paint sample) this is what we had.

Unfortunately, we needed more paint for the much needed second coat. So while the first coat dried a bit, J went to Lowes for another sample size of paint. Apparently our Lowes doesn't sell the sample size so he came home with a full quart...but that just means more for another project, right? I didn't get to take any photos of the finished-for-now product because by the time I finished the second coat it was too dark. However, you get the general idea. Once the paint fully cures, I'm planning to sand some of the edges to distress it that way it doesn't look too perfect. The only other things left to do are:
1. Stabilize it since it wobbles a little bit
2. Fix the one broken drawer
3. Buy scrapbook paper to decopage the drawer fronts
4. Decide on which adhesive to use for #3
5. Buy and install new knobs
I'm wanting to wait for a great scrapbooking sale at JoAnn's Fabric or Hobby Lobby so I can get a whole book of paper to choose from. So depending on how long that takes, and how long it takes me to decide on knobs will depends on when you'll see the actual finished product. But don't worry. Just stay tuned for this fixer upper:

More on this curbside find later...


Recipe Swap/Chicken Cacciatore

One of my friends hosted a "recipe swap" tonight. The idea is that a group of people all bring a separate dish with enough recipe cards for everyone. Our theme was Italian. No one is supposed to know what everyone else brought, because after everyone has eaten, there is a vote! You can choose which categories you would like to vote on. I'm pretty sure our's were "best tasting," "most kid-friendly," "best looking," "most creative," and "most creative recipe card." Guess who won "best looking?" Moi!!! And I know our host knew I'd be there because she made one of the prizes in a fabric to match my kitchen! 

The prizes included an apron (which went to the winner of "best tasting") and four hot pads with matching spatulas! 

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish writing out all of my recipe cards, so I had to just put this blog address on the card. So, for those of you who got one of those cards, and for those of you interested, here's what I made.


Prep: 20 min  Cook: 55 min  Serve: 4

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1 red onion, sliced thin
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce
1 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
2 tsp minced garlic

1. Place chicken in large mixing bowl and cover with flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss to evenly coat.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place olive oil in dish, and bake for 3 minutes. Add the floured chicken, flip to coat, and bake for 20 minutes.

3. While the chicken is baking, add butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once sizzling, add bell pepper and onion. Saute for 3 minutes before adding mushrooms. Saute all for about 5 minutes more, until mushrooms are almost tender.

4. Once the chicken has baked for 20 minutes, remove from oven and flip pieces. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Combine marinara sauce, Roma tomatoes, and minced garlic with the sauteed vegetables in the skillet, then pour into the baking dish, surrounding the chicken.

5. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes. Serve hot with pasta and plenty of sauce.

This was my first time making it, and I did alter it a bit since I knew multiple people would be eating it instead of just me and my husband. Instead of slicing the veggies, I more or less just chopped them and the chicken to make it easier to serve. I also went ahead and cooked pasta to put in it. Besides that, everything else is the same! I hope you enjoy! 


Weigh in Wednesday: Week 1

Here's the first of the dreaded weigh in results. 

This week's loss: .4 lbs.
Total lost: .4 lbs.
Total left to lose: 69.6 lbs.

That totally sucks doesn't it? I actually went to the gym four times since last Wednesday which for me is HUGE. One of those days was to try out Zumba which TOTALLY kicked my butt! I'm planning to go back and keep it up since it's such a good cardio workout. I obviously didn't work out hard enough to really lose anything, but at the same time, I didn't really change my eating habits a whole lot either. Of course the cupcake my husband brought home last night definitely didn't help. Hopefully next week's results will be higher!!! I know I'll be pushing myself that much harder this week!


Weigh In Wednesday: Week 0

Well, here it is! I want to use the first post in this "series" to lay out how I'll set these up each week, as well as my reasons for doing this.

For starters, I will never (until I reach my goal) put how much a currently weigh. Once I have completed my goals I'll discuss exact numbers, but until then, sorry! Instead, I'll put how much I've lost (if any) during the previous week, as well as how much more I still want to lose. Given my current weight, I'm looking at at least 70 lbs. I'm thinking that it'll look something like this:

This week's loss: # lbs. 
Total lost: # lbs.
Total left to lose: #lbs.

I'll probably also talk about what I'll be doing/what I have done to lose this weight as I go along since sticking to one thing just won't cut it.

As for my reasons for doing this:
1) Obviously the "duh" reason is because I am overweight.
2) I have family (both young and old-er) whose health I am very concerned about. There is one in particular, but that's another story blog post. In order to not be hypocritical (Matthew 7:5), I have to "remove my own plank."
3) I want to look better, and in turn feel better about myself (knowing that my hubby is looking at me thinking about you know what...not that he doesn't already, but whatever helps, right?). Let's face it, I'm the ripe old age of 21. I should be lookin' good!
4) I want to be able to have fun shopping for clothes again. It used to be easy to shop for clothes, but it hasn't been for quite some time. Don't get me wrong. I shop, but more for things like home decor, shoes, accessories, etc. 
5) (This one relates back to #3) I don't want to worry anymore about meeting people for the first time, or feel awkward about being out and about because I'm too worried that people are looking at me thinking that I'm fat. I've dealt with this for far too long.

1) Lose 70 lbs. This one is pretty self explanatory. By doing this, I will be at a weight that I used to feel my best at!
2) Only lose 2-3 lbs. per week in order to achieve more permanent results, instead of having a yo-yo lifestyle.
3) Develop a love for exercise, whether that be the gym, or just overall activity.
4) Get down to a certain dress size which shall not be named until I reach said goal. (Then I'll talk specifics)

Now on to how I plan on achieving my goals:
1) Eating less, and making healthier food/drink choices. For me this means limiting my portion sizes, staying away from sweets, and drinking lots of water!!!
2) Staying active, whether this means working out at least 3-5 times a week, or just being more active in general. I currently lead a very sedentary lifestyle, so any form of activity is better than none at this point.
3) Keeping myself accountable. Let's face it, you can't ever REALLY count on anyone except yourself. You can't even count on yourself sometimes...but I digress. I'm hoping that between my blogging, and some new found friends/gym partners, this won't be too difficult to do. Plus, once others can see changes in my appearance, I'll have that much more confidence and will power to keep going!

When I come to the end of this, whenever that may be (time restraints on something like this don't work out well for me), I'll talk about how much I weighed and what dress size I was when I started, as well as what I will currently weigh/wear. I'm hoping this will be by the end of August, but like I said, I'm not too concerned with time constraints. They stress me out too much, and I end up quitting.

For now I'll leave you with a couple of pictures. The first two are photos of me while I was in highschool, at the weight I want to achieve again. The third is what I currently look like. Needless to say, I'm hoping for BIG changes!


Catching up

Ah! It's been WAY too long since I've posted, but I have a very good reason. Well assuming you consider being on the verge of death for an entire week thanks to some nasty head cold/sinus infection/viral bronchitis-ness a very good reason. I'm sure you do though!

I have alot to update on. Some good, some not so good. I'll explain later. I'm planning on starting back full posts tomorrow with my first "Weigh In Wednesday"! 


Father's Love Letter

Today is St. Valentine's day. I know I should be wanting flowers, chocolate, cards, etc., but unfortunately, I'm stuck in bed with a terrible sore throat. All I care about today is feeling better! 

On another note, I attended a ladies brunch at our new church this past Saturday with some friends of mine. I had a great time and came home with something that I have to share with all of you. (Not sure why I say all of you when I have less than ten followers, but regardless) Each of us was given a "love letter" from God. I started reading it and had to stop myself because I was about to cry. This may sound bad, but it's been a while since I've been reminded of the love He has for me. I know I should be reminded everyday just by being, but that's not the case. I'm thickheaded and have to have things put right in front of me. I'm not good at reading into things. I tend to take things at face value and leave it at that. But on to what this post is really about:

Father's Love Letter
An Intimate Message from God to You

My Child...
You may not know Me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in My image. Genesis 1:27
In Me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in My book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is My desire to lavish My love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are My child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect Father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from My hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am aslo the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to My heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of My being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of My love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of My son Jesus, you receive Me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from My love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party Heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is...Will you be My child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God


Days After Snow

I don't really have too much to post about, but I still feel like talking.

I babysat for a friend today, and although I meant to get pictures, I couldn't because the poor thing slept in my arms the whole time. But that's okay because it made it an easy visit for me!

I figured out how to deal with the neighbor's vehicles getting in the way of my fave shot out front! Move over...DUH!!! It's all about angles, Stephie. I felt really dumb after I figured that out, but it's all about trial and error, right???

Here's a couple of my "day after snow" shots!

Like my orange coat? Yeah, we're HUGE Auburn fans in this household. WAR EAGLE!!!

Yep! I persuaded my man to go outside and take advantage of my new found favorite shot EVER! We had a few misunderstandings about the whole thing that involved my thinking he was trying to take over/tell me what to do followed by my crying because of. We straightened it all out though. 

Had a good laugh during all of this because the mail man showed up while we had the timer set!!! Haha!

I should've asked him to pose with us. 

I've been thinking about the whole "getting healthy" thing. I have many reasons for doing so, so I'm considering doing a weekly post to the tune of "Weigh In Wednesdays" or something to that effect. That'll start this coming week most likely.

In other news...umm...I don't think I have any other news. Until next time!


birdy photography and design

The man and I had the pleasure of having our photos taken back in October by a friend of mine. I love her work, and find myself itching to see pics from her most recent session, etc.

So, I thought I'd give her credit where credit is due,
 and share our photos with all of you!
(You like that little rhyme huh? Yeah, you know you do!)

*all photos courtesy of birdy photography and design*

I know she'll be glad for you to check out her site!!!

Where's Frosty when you need him

Ahhhhh! The snow is here!!! Remember this picture? Well, here's today's.

I'm loving how this shot turns out each time, except for the neighbor's vehicles of course...which I can do nothing about unfortunately. Notice how you can't see the road? Yeah... The man of the house decided he wanted to go to Walmart in this...much to my disapproval. 

Vehicles + Snow/Ice = NO!!!

Although apparently the postman doesn't share my sentiment.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure this poor little squirrel did NOT get the snow memo. Notice the look of panic on his/her face.

*courtesy of the man of the house*

We decided to head over to my "soul sista's"  house to "play" in the snow for a little while. I say "play" in a joking manner, because this pretty much consisted of our poor attempt at not only building a snowman (the snow is not the right consistency), but also trying to figure out a way to go sledding. Neither worked out too well. But my man got some great shots!

*courtesy of the man of the house*

I'm pretty sure we're gonna spend the rest of the day inside. Although I REALLY want to be outside shooting some photos. Gotta charge the camera battery though. Bummer...


oh whistle while you work

Or in my case, take too many breaks from cleaning the house to creep the blog scene. Hmm...

In any case, we're forecasted for more snow this week. From what I hear we could get anywhere from 8-12 inches!!! I'm pretty sure that's considered a blizzard around these parts. And I'm sorry for those of you who see this as being a problem. I know you all have your jobs, obligations, etc. Call me weird, but if you can't get over all of that and enjoy, there's something wrong. Maybe it's because I'm a born and bred Floridian that makes all of this snow so wonderful, but considering I've been living in this current location for over three years, and this is the first year I've really enjoyed the snow, I wouldn't bet on it.  

Anyhow, taxes are filed. Returns are on their way. Guess what we're doing with ours??? Any takers...?

Well, after three years of wonderful marital bliss, we will finally own a dining table! I know to some of you this may not be a big deal, but when you've been using this...

...to hold your plate for three years, it's LONG overdue. So which gorgeous piece of goodness have we chosen? This beauty!

She comes from the same collection as our media center and two bookshelves (which we will also be getting two more of with this tax refund since the book situation is kinda crazy) so she will match beautifully with the rest of our living area! She's a tall thing compared to normal tables, but we like that since it'll keep the four legged ones away from all of our yummy treats. For now we're only getting enough seats for six, but no worries, she's expandable!

We would go ahead and get all eight seats, but we do have other things we'd like to do with our tax $$$, so for now six will do. Plus we figured that we'd wait to see how she fits in our space and also, to get the last two we'd only be spending $20 dollars more than to get them with the set. Normally I'd freak out about that $20, but I digress...


snowy day = snuggles & closet organization

Well, it snowed AGAIN! I'm pretty sure this is the third or fourth time since the first of the year, which is very rare for these parts. It wasn't cold enough to really build up, but there is a nice dusting everywhere!

Here's what it looked like outside

And I couldn't help myself from getting a shot of these gorgeous holly berries! (Red is my favorite color after all)

 Now, let me introduce you to Alice, my crazy, undercover race car sweet beagle baby. I figure she either was trying to be nice and keep my spot warm, or she wanted to steal my warmth for herself. I'm prone to believe the latter. Alice is not the only four legged creature in our home though. We have another beagle named Baby, but she was cuddling with the man of the house!

So what was I doing in the midst of all this wonderful scenery and snuggling? I was cleaning out our coat closet. That sucker went from this...

...to this. 

Now I know it may not seem like a huge difference, but let me tell you. I got rid of coats, hats, scarves, umbrellas, fitness equipment...It's amazing what can fit in such a small space! Alice's kennel resides in there (due to the fact that she can't be trusted while we aren't home), much like John and Sherry's does. Thanks for the idea by the way! 


Mirror Mirror on the wall

Or in this case furniture. I must admit that I am obsessed with home decor. I constantly see things that inspire me to change something in my own home. However, this causes problems since I can't ever seem to decide on one thing. Something I have decided on...

Mirrored furniture in our bedroom!
The price tag on these beauties from ZGallerie however are not so lovely. We're talking over $3500 if you include the bed.
So, I'm hoping over the next few months to be able to either A) find pieces that I can refurbish to look like these for a fraction of the cost, or B) suck it up and save for the real deal. Needless to say I'm hoping for option A. 

"I was enchanted to meet you..."

My oh my, it has been a VERY long time since I have blogged! I have found more and more that I need some place to share my thoughts and adventures. Here goes!