Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Brighter, beautiful side...

Well, with all the yuck and frustration over all the snow days lately I figured I would post something on the brighter side. Sometimes we get caught up with worrying what on earth can possibly keep the kids entertained during yet ANOTHER snow day, I think we fail to see the beauty in it all.
So, Wednesday as we sat in the house doing our usual snow day stuff, I grabbed my camera and headed outside.

This was the first thing I saw when I went outside. It reminded me of the first movie in "The Chronicles of Narnia." It was so peaceful and still.

I love the fact that, even when there is no snow, this is what I look at when I step out my back door. No matter what is going on in my life, this is always a nice site to see.

As I kept walking, there were many things that caught my eye. The first was the sight of my kids' tire swing. It was perfectly motionless and showed exactly how much snow had fallen. It was almost eerie.

I didn't have to stay outside long to see the many beautiful things that surrounded me. This is an old storage barn belonging to my neighbor. I thought it looked cool.

There was also this antique bell
with "USA" printed across the top.

And this birdhouse.

This is the same birdhouse I remember seeing back in May as I watched the flood waters coming closer. It was a measure of sorts... I could look out at it and gauge how much closer the river had come since the last time I checked. Eventually, I couldn't see it at all. It looks so different now.

Finally, there was the sight of my kids' school. Most everyone will remember the news and my posts here about the school being completely under water during the now infamous May flood. It is a nice, refreshing sight to see the look of the school with all the gorgeous snow, as opposed to what we saw then.

It is so much better. It reminds me of how powerful God is. Bad things can happen, but if you look around every now and then you will see how He turns things around.

Even after a tra
gedy, He makes things beautiful again.

Too deep? Sorry!
Blame it on the .... well, snow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January Sale!!

Ok, so Christmas is over....
Whew! I love it, but I am always glad to get back to a somewhat normal life.
I am also excited every year to see what sort of good sales are out there! I think most retailers know that with all the money we spend in November and December, it is only fair to offer a break in January when things are tight once again. I did this last year and it was very popular, so once again I am offering my January/February sale.

Each year I have a ton of customers come out for my fall promotion. Many of them will buy prints, albums, etc. to give as gifts and then say "I hope to buy something for myself after Christmas." Boy, do I know how you all feel!

So, I hope to make it easy on all of you who wanted to bu
y yourself a little something!

That's right folks! That is a good deal!

Let me tell you, the proof book is pretty cool. It is an 8x10, spiral bound "thing" with 6 images on each page. It has a cover page with your favorite image and your family name, kids' names, the year, or whatever you would like it to say!

You can easily put this on the coffee table to let your guests tell you how cute your kids are!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baking on a snow day!

As Nashville continues to get hit with more and more snow, I find myself needing a bigger variety of ways to keep us busy. This has proven to be quite a task!

Even little Dixie is itching for something fun to do...

Lately, every time we get even the smallest flurry the kids are out of school! Luckily this coincides with the typical slow-down I experience in January. I get so busy and crazy with work in the summer and fall, it is a welcome break to slow down just a little the first of the year. This allows me to get some things done around home and spend time doing things with the kids.

Yesterday was one of those days..... aga

This time I had something different to keep me busy. The kids were busy playing Wii, and actually NOT fighting..... (Mark that dow
n on the calendar since, let's face it, that is rare with two boys!)
I got a new cookbook for Christmas, but had not g
otten to even look at it, much less cook anything out of it. Yesterday I broke it open and let me tell you I fell in LOVE!!!

My friend, Beth, and my sister had both t
old me about it. They raved and raved so I knew I had to have it!

It is called "The Pioneer Woman Cooks". It is a neat book, which journals the life of a city girl who married a cowboy and ended up living on a ranc
h. She had to change the way she lives and cooks to feed her cowboy husband, ranch hands, and 4 kids!! She shares not only her stories but her recipes, made to feed many with even the picky eaters in mind.


I haven't gotten all the way through, bu
t this was our beginning! It is basically a muffin rolled in cinnamon sugar.... What better way to begin!?

Cameron came in occasionally to help me

(Pay no attention to the tv in the background.... Yes, I think that is Shelly Long. There was not much on tv yesterday and besides we were too busy baking to notice what was on!)

Anyway, Cameron did a great job rolling the muffins in the butter a
nd sugar.

Maybe too good. There was not a bare spot on them when he was done!

Let me tell you, these things were divine!!! They were so easy to make and the boys (husband included) sucked them down as if they were about to be stolen.

I then made her Chicken Spaghetti for dinner. It was really good, really easy, and it made so much I could have served an army. That means leftovers, which is always good! (Sorry, didn't take a picture of it.... you'll just have to buy the cookbook. But trust me it was good!)

If you have never seen or heard of this cookbook, now is the time to get it! Most people I know took advantage of the Amazon gift card a few days ago. What better to spend it on!

You can click on the link below to go get it from Amazon!

As far as cookbooks go, it is really cheap! Trust me you will not be sorry!
Tonight I will be making her chocolate sheet cake, which I hear is amazing and it looks incredibly easy. I just love those two things when you put them together!

So, THANK YOU to Kim and Beth for insisting I buy this book!
Now, I am insisting....
Go Get it!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day FUN and a Good Deed!

It's a SNOW DAY in Tennessee! This is the first time in my life that I can remember having so much snow across the state that the "Snow Bird" report said "All the Tennessee schools are closed today!"

We are not used to a lot of snow here! As you can tell, Nashville totally shuts down. It's really a good thing, though. Our drivers here are bad enough on a pretty day. Add some snow and its a recipe for disaster!

So, naturally my kids wanted to go out and play in the snow. Even though escaping the comfort and coziness of my pajamas was not in any way appealing to me, I obliged them and we went out. It was actually pretty fun for a while.

This is the sort of snow that sticks together. It is perfect SNOWMAN snow! I watched in amazement as my boys rolled their snowballs until they were the size of boulders. Then we all struggled to get this guy put together. It was fun, though.

This is FROSTY.

I know, very original. What can I say? They're kids. They like the tradition.

As always, I was glad to get back into my warm house. The boys can't seem to get enough, though. Christian has finally settled back in inside the house.

Cameron has decided to go back outside. The idea of going back out is totally CRAZY if you ask me!

I have to brag on him, though. When I looked out the window to check on him he was shoveling snow off our neighbor's sidewalk.

I was so proud!! I wanted to run for my camera, but I was afraid he would be in a place where I couldn't get a clear shot (or be done) by the time I got back. So, I snapped a quick picture with my phone - to explain the awful picture.

Hmmm, if this snow lasts I wonder what they will do tomorrow??

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year!!! and some savings....


I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! It went by so fast, I just can't seem to believe that it is already January.

So, for me and my holiday, I must it honest...... It sucked.

Yep, that's right, I said it. My Christmas was misery.

Don't get me wrong, I was blessed to receive some wonderful things. However, that is not what Christmas is about so I don't count that part in my enjoyment of the holiday. I did, on the other hand, get to spend time with family. That part is always nice!

So, back to the reason is was so bad..... Sadly, I had the flu! It was confirmed the next morning, when I braved the snowy roads to The Little Clinic at Kroger. I was there as soon as they opened. I must say I love that place! The PA I saw was wonderful and sweet and she gave me all the necessary meds to get me on my way to feeling better!

My New Year was much better!! We were able to spend time with good friends at "The Farm", my friend's family property that I have mentioned before here. It was fun as always!!

SO!! Now for the savings I mentioned!

I have to say that I was so busy during the weeks leading up to Christmas that I did not get to cut coupons or grocery shop much. It was sad, I actually missed it! I have become hooked on the rush I get from "beating the system" and finding such awesome deals. It was also pathetic how bare my fridge and cabinets became. I have a LOT of catching up to do, and I must tell you I am pretty excited about it!

I got back on track a week ago and managed to hit a few stores for some deals. However, the real savings came when I went to Harris Teeter for their SUPER DOUBLES! They double all coupons up to $1.98 during this sale and boy is that fun!

This is everything I got:
9 trays of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 bottles of Healthy Balance Juice
1 bottle magic shell
4 boxes Quantum Finish Dishwasher packs
2 cans Chunky soup
2 containers Clorox Wipes
1 box Lean Pockets
1 tube Colgate toothpaste
2 boxes 2000 Flushes toilet cleaner
2 packs Ziploc storage containers
1 bottle Seventh Generation Dish Soap
2 boxes Slim-Fast granola bars
4 packs Ramen Noodles
1 bottle Bailey's coffee creamer

Okay, are you ready for my total!?

I paid $38 plus tax, which made it roughly $43. Most of that price was from the chicken (about $25- which was on sale Buy1, Get 2 Free), which means I got all the rest for $13 and some things were just plain FREE! You just can't beat that! When I looked at my receipt it said that my savings came to $125!!! Yay!!!!

I was just so excited! I figured this was the perfect way to start the New Year! Why pay for things that I can get for free, right?

Oh yeah, the Super Doubles are going on through Tuesday if you want to give it a try!

Hope you all have a great New Year!!!