Thursday, December 23, 2010

Deck the Halls with Peacock Feathers Falalalala-lalalala

Dear Christmas, when did you get here?!?!  Seems like just yesterday was Thanksgiving and you were weeks away!  My 'o my how time flies! 

This year we went with the same theme as last year and the same theme as our wedding-peacocks!  Yes indeed, I love peacock feathers in case you couldn't tell from my blog design.  
Here are some shots of our house all decked out to celebrate the birth of Christ! 
2,100 lights later, we have ourselves a merry and BRIGHT tree!
Ok ok...enough of the tree...
'The ornaments were hung from our dining room light fixture with care'...(The hub's contribution to decorating) 

oops...no peacock feathers in this room yet, but next year I have big plans for feathering this room too!
(thanks Mom for the christmas napkins!)

Santa and the girl on the naughty list AGAIN this year!
Christmas party crew...

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!



Monday, November 29, 2010

What To Do With the Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

Are you simply OVER eating the leftover Thanksgiving bird?  

Yep...I thought so!  This Turkey Tortilla Soup might be the solution for getting rid of that extra turkey in the fridge!  

I've made this recipe twice now and it's become a Blackmon household favorite rather quickly. I made it once with leftover turkey and again with chicken.  Both times it was a hit with the hubs!

What you'll need...

  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips (I use a pizza cutter to cut into strips...easy!)
  • 1 1/4 cups green enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes with zesty jalapenos
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1 can yellow corn
  • 1 can hominy
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions

Combine chicken stock and tortilla strips in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until strips soften and broth thickens slightly. Stir in green and red enchilada sauces and cumin. Stir in turkey, water and half-and-half; heat through but do not boil.

Divide soup among four bowls and garnish avocado and cheese (I've opted out of the cheese both times and haven't regretted  saving a few calories).

I tweaked the original recipe found here

Sidenote: the tortillas will be a soft almost mushy like texture...which, to me, resembled a thin dumpling.  Didn't want you to expect crunchy tortilla's and get the opposite.  

Hope you enjoy this soup it as much as we do! 

Hope this finds you having a great 'Cyber Monday'!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mr. Thanksgiving Turkey Says....

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings!  We sure have tons to be thankful for here at the Blackmon house!  

Friday, November 19, 2010

O Christmas Card, O Christmas Card!


(to the tune of O Christmas Tree…work with me here)

O Christmas Card, O Christmas Card…

Which design will we order?

There are so many cute cards this year

Choosing one is impossible

O Christmas Card, O Christmas Card…

Which design will we order?

I know this is absurd, but I put lots of thought into the holiday cards we send out each year. Sure, we usually only send them to family and the husband’s clients, but it’s kind of a big deal to me!

This year we’re taking the same route as last year and sending out Christmas photo cards again! The photo cards seemed to be a big hit with the relatives since we never had any edited wedding photos printed for them.

We’ll be ordering our cards online from Shutterfly, which is a simple process. No going in a store, ordering, waiting a few days and going back to the store to pick them up. I’ll be ordering them from the comfort of my home…then walking to my mailbox to retrieve them in about a week!

I’ve narrowed my search for Christmas Cards down to these 3 designs… (feel free to comment and tell me which one is your favorite)

Decisions decisions....



Monday, November 8, 2010

Fool Me Once..Shame On Me...Fool Me Twice...I Don't Think So!

It’s become apparent that my husband thinks I’m gullible. If I had a dollar for every time he’s tried to pull a fast one over on me, I’d have a new winter wardrobe!

Seriously the man thinks I’ll continue to fall for his little pranks…..think again, mister! The days of falling for the foolishness are over! (I hope) I’m catching on to these little jokes! It’s become fairly common to hear the words ‘say you swear’ come from my mouth in ordinary conversations when he’s just told me something that seems the tiniest bit far-fetched!

Most recently (last night) he tried to pull a prank over on me (that many people have fallen for according to the number of Youtube Videos you'll find when you search "bowl of water ceiling prank".)

NOT ME SUCKAAAA! I suppose he thinks I’m oblivious to viral pranks floating around the Internet. Newsflash: I’m surfing the web ALL DAY at work…I’m immersed in social media and chances are if a video becomes a viral phenomenon…I’ve probably seen it thanks to a room of 60 social media scavengers that I call co-workers.

Rather than try to describe the prank…you can just watch it for yourself…

Now for our little convo

Husband: "Hey…I have this really cool magic trick to show you!"

Me: (hesitation in my voice) "You do?"

Husband: "Yeah…give me a second"

(he goes into the kitchen…Fills a plastic up with water and grab the swiffer sweeper)

Me: "What kind of trick is this?" (more hesitation in my voice)

Husband: "You’ll see... "

Me: "Oooooook" (doubting there's any magic involved in what he's about to show me)

Husband: “Ok…come check this out....”

Me: “No…You show me…” (I watch the madness unfold from my spot on the couch)

Husband: “Ok I’m going to place this cup of water on the ceiling” (the proceeds to hold the cup of water up to the ceiling and while the holding the pole of the swiffer in his other hand) “Now I need you to come over here and hold the swiffer in place for me” (begins to place the pole to the bottom of the cup)

Me: "WHAT?!!? NO!!! Do you really think I’m that stupid!?!? I’ve seen this trick! You’re going to get me to hold the pole...then you’re going to run off! NO….I DON’T THINK SO!!!”

Husband: “Awww man! You’ve seen this trick?”

Me: “Yeah….and you’re a dummy for thinking I’m going to fall for it!”

He walks back in the kitchen…cup and swiffer in hand…head hung low!

“Never underestimate a man’s ability to underestimate a woman,” ~Kathleen Turner

Thursday, October 28, 2010

10 Random Things that Happened in October


I've been on yet another little blogging hiatus. But truth be told I was waiting on some new glasses I ordered two weeks ago to arrive so I could tell you about them. Plus I wanted to make a list for this blog post....

Thus I give you the 'Top 10 recent and random happenings in my life you MUST know about'...(as if my life is really that interesting to anyone other than my mom...hey - let a girl dream!)

1. I cut my hair. Feeling the need for a little change, my hair ended up on the chopping block. For those of you who live on another planet and haven't seen the pic on facebook yet...tadaaaaaaaa.......

2. We (Mom, Dad, Cory and I) rode the entire Blue Ridge Parkway. All 469 miles of it! It was an amazing trip in so many ways. I'm so thankful!

3. Two years ago this month, as I stood by my dad's bedside in ICU watching a machine breath for him, if you'd told me that I'd stand at the top of Mt. Mitchell with my dad during a ride down the Blue Ridge Parkway, I would have NEVER believed you. Well folks, I'm here to tell you miracles happen...and my dad is a MIRACLE! (hello tears...whew!) God is good!

4. Our house is decorated for Fall/Halloween...and I LOVE it! A few pumpkins here, a pumpkin spice candle there, a fall spray on the door....bring on the chilly weather!

5. Since cutting my hair, I've decided to give dry shampoo a whirl. I found some by TRESumme at CVS...for about 4 bucks. Hopefully it'll cut some time off the getting dressed process in the morning and help preserve my highlights and lowlights. I tried it for the first time Tuesday morning. Feels a little strange on my scalp...but my hair looks clean! Mission accomplished!
6. A perk to following an array of blogs is that I come across new decorating, money saving and recipe ideas ALL THE TIME! This weekend I made these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins that I found on Fly Through Our Window....Delish! Super easy peasy!

7. My new glasses from Zenni Optical came in the mail Tuesday and I LOVE them! I'll post more details about this later. But for any of you out there who has ever purchased a pair of classes you know they can be expensive...as in a couple hundred bucks! Well friends, you HAVE to check out Zenni Optical. I just received 3 pair of the cutest glasses (great quality) and including shipping I paid a whopping $40! No kidding!

8. I spent two weekends in a tent! If you know me...then you know this is kinda a big deal! Yes, Cory and I love to go on day hikes...and on a rare occasion I'll do a 1-nighter hike with him. Given the opportunity for a weekend hike...I usually get the words "NO!" out of my mouth before Cory even finishes asking. Well...recently we went 'truck camping' (no hiking...just loaded up the truck with such luxuries as air mattresses and our 'big' tent and drove to a campground for the weekend). And this 'truck camping' took place 2 weekends in a row! Never thought I'd say that! The first weekend we did a little day hiking in search of a amethyst mine up in North Georgia (no lucking finding it) and the second weekend we went canoeing down the Etowah River. The purpose of this canoeing trip was to canoe through this old mine shaft called the Etowah Tunnel...check out this video (warning: she says a few bad words) of this hilarious lady going though the tunnel. Our trip through the tunnel didn't go as smoothly. The water was about a foot down due to the lack of rain...so when we got to the rapids...our boat just rammed right into the mine wall and we flipped over. BAM...BAM...SPLASH...(cursing!!!) "Painful" wouldn't begin to describe this experience! After capsizing a few more times in the darkness, we finally made it near the end of the tunnel where I ever-so-loudly proclaimed "I'd NEVER do that CRAP again...NEVER!"(edited to be suitable for all readers) I still have bruises!!! But I have to admit...all in all it was a blast!

9. I got a FREE book in the mail simply by commenting on a blog I recently started following. If you don't follow Michael Hyatt, I completely recommend you doing so. One of his recent post is about his interview with Andy Stanley. And if you're lucky, he just might pick you to be one of the lucky 100 people to receive a FREE copy of Andy's new book! Come on...it's FREE...I just can't resist FREE!

10. My Nissan Murano hit 100,000 miles recently! I've driven my Murano since 2005 when I bought it brand new. I was like a proud mom on her kid's birthday or something absurd like that! I just happened to look down when the mileage hit 100,000 exactly! I think I even let out a little squeal! I beginning to suspect my car knows that it's hit this milestone as I've had to invest a little bit of money for a few repairs lately! Do cars know how old they are? It's crazy I tell you!

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween weekend! I'm looking forward to spending time with friends and family... and maybe even a little day hike on Blood Mountain!



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I Save Some Dough...

I'm a penny pincher. Self proclaimed 'Queen-o-Saving Dough'...I refuse to pay retail price for much of anything.
The thought of paying full retail price for anything makes me break out in hives and itchy. Ok maybe that was a little extreme, but you get the point. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

This post isn't about clipping coupons, because I'm not a huge coupon clipper, but it's about tiny things I do that help me save some cash.

So if you're into putting some extra cash in your wallet, these tips might intrigue you...
  • Do some research and find out which grocery stores in town have the lowest prices. I've found that Kroger is cheaper than Publix...so when I have a list of groceries we need...I opt for Kroger. Though Publix does have some good BOGO deals from time to time.
  • If there's a Super H Mart or Asian supermarket in your area...buy your produce there! I talked about the amazing produce I got for even more amazing prices in this post.
  • Follow money-saving blogs. Some of these blogs post 5 or more money-saving post a day! A few of my favorites are Coupon Cravings, Stretching a Buck, and Coupon Mom. I promise they're about more than just coupons.
  • Use Restaurant.com Why would you pay full price for a meal when you could visit this website, buy a $25 gift certificate for oh....$4 bucks!! PLUS Restaurant.com usually has a coupon code you can use for 70%-90% off that already super cheap price! There's over 15,000 restaurants on Restaurant.com! Oh...and if there is a coupon code, Coupon Mom's blog usually lets you know about it!
  • Subscribe to sites like Groupon and Living Social! Frugal Coupon Living describes it best...these sites Groupon logo."feature a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in cities around the world. These cities are usually larger cities. There is a new deal each day. You can sign up for daily alerts or visit the site each day. These deals can be tricky – first it has to meet a quota. Meaning the deal is not good until a certain number of people sign up for it and buy it – the collective buying power. If that number is not reached, you are not charged. If it is met, then the deal is live and rolling! Anyone can buy."
  • Sign up for FREE samples. I've received some of the coolest free samples! It's like Christmas year round. I never know what little package I'll receive in the mail each week to try. I've received any thing from lotion, to fabric softener, a beautiful display of 6 salad dressings, snacks, and even hair products. It only takes a few seconds to fill out the online forms and within a few weeks you'll have a sample in your mailbox. Bonus: I have not been harassed with junk email or follow up surveys after receiving the samples.
  • Last but not least...actually my favorite...shop at discount retailers like TJMaxx, Ross and Marshalls! Yes...it may take a little longer to find something on the rack than say...Nordstrom. But it's totally worth it to snag designer clothing for 75% off the regular price! And speaking of Nordstrom...if there's a Nordstrom Rack in your area...check it out. There's one at the Mall of Georgia and I've found some super steals there! BCBG $100 ruby red pumps for $34 bucks! $99 boots I fell in love with last year at Nordstrom for $36 this year. I love them more now!
Now go save some dough!

I love to learn new ways to save money. If you have some good money saving tips and tricks...do share!

Image via flickr
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Peaks and Valleys

I've had plenty to look forward to this week....
  • Some of Cory’s evening clients were out of town so we got to spend more time together during the evening this week. I’ve really enjoyed hearing his voice when I walk in the house. I also loved sitting down to eat dinner and talking about our day before 8:30pm.
  • Girls dinner….I meet some of my girlfriends one evening each week for dinner. Last week we painted and had a blast! I don’t think I’ve picked up a paintbrush since Ms. Carrell's class in high school. I was a little rusty, but I think there might be more painting in my future. Tonight we meet at my favorite local Italian joint for dinner on the patio. Hopefully the rain will move out of Northeast Georgia by then. Some times a girl just needs girl-time! I'll take the Penne alla Vodka, thank you very much!
  • I’m going home. Those words are music to my ears. There are few better feelings than the feeling of driving back to home (if home is a place you cherish). I’m spending the weekend with my sweet parents (while Cory's doing guy stuff) and I just can’t wait. Sleeping in my old bed, snuggling and playing with my little black pup, Chloe and her best bud, Crouton, having coffee with my parents in the sunroom…just like old times. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my life now, but there’s just something special about going home.
  • Hurricanes football…that’s right…I’m going to the homecoming game! I haven’t sat in the stands and cheered on my alma mater, the Monroe Area High School Purple Hurricanes in 6 years…but this Friday is homecoming and Monroe is undefeated thus far in the season (considering they’ve had really terrible losing records for years and years…this is a BIG deal if you’re from the small town of Monroe, GA). I’ll be in the stands with my parent’s who are also Purple Hurricanes. I doubt I’ll dust off an old out-dated ‘Monroe Area’ sweatshirt from my days as a cheerleader, but I’ll be there…probably wearing a sticker that says ‘Class of 2001’ = awesome!

This week has been filled with more than just good news. With the good comes the bad...peaks and valleys...ups and downs…right?

You see...I have this plan…it’s not written on paper…it’s not saved in some secret file…but I have it…in my head…in my heart…so to speak. And a lot (personally) is riding on this plan.

I was reminded this week (yet again)…that life isn’t always going to go as I plan. It’s not up to me. It never was and it never will be. Just because I really really really want something so badly, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen when, where and how I want it to.

So I’m swallowing some pride…re-evaluating….and grasping on to some faith that in the end…I have these desires for a reason. I’m not giving up on my goals, my sights are set on the prize. I’m holding tight to my belief that the perfect situation will work out in God’s perfect timing (not MY timing).

Somehow along the rabbit trails of blogs I follow…I ended up on a new blog today….and read this….

"Whenever God gives you a vision, He places obstacles in your path. Why? So that you can become all that He created you to be. God doesn’t place these obstacles in your path to destroy you but to develop you. His greatest desire is to work out what He has built in." ~Michael Hyatt

His timing didn’t fail me today!

photos from: flickr and other sources

Friday, September 24, 2010

Confession: I'm addicted!

I know some of you out there blog. But I also know many of you out there don't call yourself bloggers. Don't worry…this isn’t a post about ‘you should blog because it’s cool!’

I’ll admit…I was apprehensive at first. "A blog?!?! What in the world would I say on said blog?!?! No way… I could ever be a ‘blogger’…nope…not for me! Plus I’d probably just make people mad because I’m sarcastic...or maybe I'd just bore them to death! It’s not going to be a rainbows and puppies type blog. Seriously...people probably won’t read it." Well friends…I jumped the blogging fence and here I am on the other side….a blogger (not a great, dedicated, I update my blog every day-type blogger...but a blogger none the less)!

(Back to the point of this post…sorry for the rabbit trail.) Blogger or not, do you read other blogs? Sure, you’re reading this (not-so-impressive) blog, but do you read other blogs…you know...the I-can’t-stop-reading/this-is-the-most-amazing-blog-ever type blogs? Because if you don’t…let me tell you…you’re missing out! I'm addicted to reading a number of awesome blogs!

Maybe you don’t know where to look to find these oh-so-amazing blogs I speak of….if this is the case, allow me to share some of my favorite blogs with you.

Disclaimer: Sometimes I feel like a stalker because I follow these blogs women/men I’ve never met, I’ll probably never meet…but I know about them, their family, their summer vacation, their latest struggles and triumphs and I must admit….I LOVE IT!!!

Following other blogs has given me insight into future parenthood, decorating ideas, marriage, new recipes, vacation suggestions, fashion trends….seriously…the possibilities of things you’ll learn from reading blogs is endless.

No joke...I refer to these blogs as 'crack blogs'. My friends who also already read these blogs concur...they're ADDICTIVE!

If you find yourself with a few extra minutes to spare…these are a must-read….

(**side note…these are all blogs of people I’ve never met…not blogs that my friends write)

  • Fly Through Our Window –get ready to be inspired (seriously…I want to be Darby!)
  • Spilled Milk – real...raw…funny…mother for a 1 year-old balancing a career as a lawyer, a recent move to Savannah
  • The Maddox Family adventures of a family making their way in a new city, Seattle
  • Young House of Love – Young couple and their new baby completely re-do their home…awesome decorating/remodeling ideas
  • The Nesting Place – Hello decorating heaven! This girl knows how to decorate…on a BUDGET!
  • Love Megan – Can’t get enough of this LA born and raised fashion guru
  • MODG – Stands for Martinis or Diaper-Genies…enough said…get ready to LOL!(it's my guilty pleasure!)
  • Get Off Your Butt and Bake – Looking for a new recipe to try? Trying to decide what’s for dinner tonight? Read this blog!

Okay…now you’re thinking…that’s a lot of blogs to keep up with, Brooke! (trust me...that’s not half of the blogs I follow…just some of the best) How do I keep up with all of these blogs? Do I type in the URL and check for new post every day? Nope. Do I add them to my book marks and run down the list everyday looking for updates? Not a chance!

I use Google Reader! The geniuses over at Google have provided us with this web-based feed reader to keep up with blogs and news. Take a look! You’ll love it. To keep up with all my favorite blogs I just sign into my Google Reader account each day and tadaaaa…there’s a list of all the blogs I follow. If there’s a recent update to the blog…it’s in bold with the number of updates beside it. It looks like this…

Feel free to leave me a comment if you have questions about Google Reader.

I left out a few of my favorite money-saving blogs...because I have plenty to say about those and well...that's another post for another day!

Let me know what you think about the blogs I suggested...
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shame On Me!

Hello 2 blog readers of Babbling Brooke! I can't believe a month has slipped by and I haven't updated my blog! Shame on me!!!
I doubt the 44 other blogs I write each week has nothing to do with it! The subject of my next blog post dawned on me today.

I'll try to post it after I run and torture myself on the bleachers of Flowery Branch High School this afternoon.

Here's a hint...
It involves recently captured candid shots and the ridiculously horrific faces I make!

In the mean time...I'll leave you with this...some pretty great YouTube videos you might have missed.....







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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Because it's been one of THOSE days...

This was one of those days, you know?...one of THOSE days!  I think I should have just turned around at the neighborhood entrance...drove back to the house...put my pj's back on and slid back into bed....set the alarm for 8:30am...and tried again!!!  

I woke up at 6am to make my breakfast pie for the office!  It was my turn to bring breakfast for the oh 40 people on my team.  Sorry...folks...these two pies are delish... BUT they only serve 20 people.  I sure hope whoever signed up to bring doughnuts pulled though for the rest of you! (sidenote: she forgot!)  So I'm scrambling around the kitchen mixing the eggs and milk while waiting on the stupid sausage to brown.  The sausage was in no hurry to cooperate this morning...awesome!  

So after I FINALLY get the two pies in the oven...I sprint to the shower...shave my legs in lightening speed (might explain the few spots of blood on my legs I discovered after the shower) and tried my best to suds up and rinse off equally as fast.  Now that I think about it...why did I even shave my legs...I wore jeans today?!?!? Make up half applied...hair half dry...then the oven timer goes off....check the pies..."oh good...pies still need to cook another 10 minutes".  T-shirt and jeans will have to do today...hair up in messy bun. Great, I look like HELL!!!  Ready for a productive day of blogging....


I throw the two pies in my nifty Pyrex insulated tote and headed for my car...check my feet....good I have on both of MY shoes....which leads me to a side story....


I posted a Facebook status about this little incident but never blogged about it so here you, (for all 3 blog readers)....

A few weekends ago (on the hottest weekend of the summer to be exact), Cory and I camped out with his uncle at Carters Lake.  We'd decided to drive up to the Lake immediately after I left work that Friday.  So that Friday morning I'm running around packing the few remaining items that hadn't made it in my duffle bag yet. (I've learned the hard way that when the husband is ready to go...he's ready to GO...NOW!!!) 

So...I notice it's getting extremely to close to my departure time (if I plan on being at work by 8am)... so I better go!  I'm basically dressed...still no shoes on...and I remember my flip flops (Teva) are in the laundry room beside of pair of cory's flip flops (also Teva).  You might already get where this is going....

So I've thrown my big duffle bag over my shoulder...grabbed my purse and coffee mug and off to my car I went...stopping briefly to slide on my flip flops as I exited through the laundry room into the garage.  I get to work...walk around to catch up with a few co-workers at their desk then mosey back to my desk....so around 9am (I've been at work for roughly an hour)...I get up to step outside and call my mom....and as I'm approaching the door I happen to look down....and much to my dismay...this is what I see!!!
That's right folks...One of those are mine...and the other is Cory's!!!
How did I not notice I was wearing one of his flip flops!?!?!  I have NO clue! 
 
Though I did notice one felt a little weird on my foot.  I never looked down to inspect.  

How did I not notice that one shoe was two inches longer than the other?  Beats me!  How did no one else notice that one shoe was different?!?!  Who knows?!?!

So I return to my desk laughing hysterically...there are tears running down my face...I show my co-worker...she cracks up, of course! 

Next I go outside to call Cory (hoping no one watches me walk to the door and sees what's on my feet)...I can hardly talk because I'm LAUGHING.SO.HARD.  When I finally get the words out "I'm wearing one of your flip flops!!!"  He's in disbelief!  He cracks up and basically tells me that he's "worried about me"!  Great...my husband thinks he's married a moron...and maybe...just maybe...TODAY...he's right!  


Then I call my mom to tell her...
Mom: Hello
Me: BAHAHAAHAHAHAAAAAAAA....(uncontrollable laughter for at least a minute)
Mom: Brooke?...what in the world?
Me: I called to give you a good laugh this morning...
Mom: ok, let's hear it!
Me: So I'm walking outside to call you and looked down and noticed that I'm wearing one of my teva flip flops...AND ONE OF CORY'S!!!!!
Mom: BAHAHAAHAHAHAAAAAAAA....uncontrollable laughter for about two minutes
Me: What is wrong with me!?!?
Mom: Oh my God...you are my child!!!!  I've worn two different shoes to work before...but I've NEVER worn one of your dad's shoes!!!!!  How did you not notice???
Me: I've apparently lost my mind!  I gotta go back into work....I'll call u later
Mom: (still laughing)
Me: Bye Mom!

If I couldn't laugh at myself we'd be in BIG trouble!  
"Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can" ~ Elsa Maxwell

Flash foward back to this morning....so I'm scrambling to get out the door...and Cory calls me (after his bootcamp)...no time to answer this call my arms are overflowing with food, coffee, purse, jacket (yes a jack in summer because you could hang meat in my office).  Then he calls again as I'm getting everything in the car....'seriously!?!?'...he never calls this early.  Somehow I managed to catch the call...

(condensed version of the convo)
Me: Hello (slightly irritated tone)
Cory: Hey..what'cha doing?
Me: Backing out of the garage
Cory: Oh...you are going to be late
Me: Yeah..I know...nothing i can do about it now!
Cory: Did you cook me a pie?
Me: Ha...are you kidding? I'm amazed I managed to cook these two
Cory: Oh. (sounding slightly disappointed).  You have a good morning?
Me: I'm just frazzled this morning...CRAP!!!!....I forgot to grab a knife to cut the pies (by this point I'm probably growling I'm so irritated)
Cory: Uh oh....
Me:No time to turn around...and we ONLY have sporks at the office...no spoons...no forks...just sporks! And now that I'm running behind schedule I'm not going to be able to go on a wild goose chase for plates nor a knife!!!  This sucks!!!!!

Unfortunately the convo didn't go uphill after that....


So I'm driving thinking "this is just great....I'm seriously mad at the world right this moment...I have nothing to serve these two pies with...sporks= t-total disaster....I'm running late...traffic was terrible yesterday...I look like death....and I'm pretty sure my rotten mood as caused Cory to be in a rotten mood too!  We're going to have to pass around the pie and eat it with our flimsy spork!  GEEZ!!!!  "Wife, co-worker, employee of the year awards...here I come!!!"  

So good riddance to a crappy morning..."after all tomorrow is another day!"

p.s....Try to avoid any feelings of sympathy for Cory not getting any breakfast pie...I made him a blueberry cobbler last night!  Hey, maybe I'm not a bad wife after all!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Feel Like a Produce Thief

Seriously...I feel like I've just stolen a cart of groceries!
Here's how it all went down...

Some of the gals at work kept talking about this place on Lawrenceville Suwanee Road called Super H Mart. I heard stories of how cheap their produce was and finally I just couldn't' take it anymore...I had to see this for myself!

So on Sunday, after church, Cory and I set off on an adventure to basically wherever the road took us. My only request was that we stop by Super H Mart in Suwanee at some point in time during the afternoon excursion. So after traveling north only to discover that Real Deals in Jefferson was closed (they're having a Christmas in July sale)...we wandered to historic downtown Commerce, GA (quite cute downtown)...where NOTHING was open. Then we hit I-85 south...after a stop at the Hamilton Mill Goodwill we proceeded to Super H Mart! Where the kid-in-a-candy-store experience ensued!

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Majority of their customers are Asian and a large percentage of the writing on the packaging is in Korean (usually with the product description in English too)...but to me that seemed a bit intimidating.

As we enter the first thing I see is display of bright ruby-red cartons of strawberries...the SAME brand they sell at Publix...for an incredibly cheap price (2 cartons for .99 cents)! Those SAME strawberries are "on sale" this week at Publix 2 cartons for $5! I'm serious!!!

That sealed the deal....I needed to look no further...I'd just discovered my new hot spot for produce! We wandered around the store, sampled some beef dumplings in the food court (amazing!)....I was in 'new experience overload'!!! I had to look at every piece of meat, every fish, every soup, every candy....EVERYTHING! I couldn't get enough!

Our Sunday excursion eventually took us to Aldi and Whole Foods where I was simply not as impressed. I'd never been by an Aldi...heard they sell mainly generic name brands, but the visit wasn't nearly as intriguing as Super H Mart! Next stop was another Goodwill then on to Whole (Paycheck) Foods! Whole Foods is super cool, but it wasn't my first rodeo in the store, so the excitement level wasn't nearly as high. I did taste some pretty yummy marinated tofu that Cory picked out!

Next stop was my second request of the day...Mirko Pasta. I had no idea they'd opened a location in Buford, but boy was I excited to discover it! More on that another day!...

So...I decided to make a list, check it twice and head over to Super H Mart after work on Monday to load up on fresh produce and such!

I got ALL of this.....
For ONLY....
I'm in love....

I'm pretty sure the cashier thought I was a mad woman when my mouth fell WIDE open when I saw that the cart full of groceries cost LESS than $40!! (I almost said "are you sure...did you forget to scan something?...I feel like I owe you more money than that!")

I also stopped by the food court to pick up some frozen dumplings. (They're the same dumplings we ate yesterday...just frozen.)
So I spent an additional $11 on 34 delicious handmade beef and shrimp dumplings! And therefore...I feel like I've stolen a cart of groceries!
That cart of groceries cost me half of what I would have spent at the other local grocery store!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Blackmon Tomato Harvest Is In...

I've never claimed to have a green thumb.  This year I've learned my thumb is more brown than green. Hey...I'm learning!

With Cory's help, we planted our first tomato plant in the Topsy Turvy that my parents gave him for his birthday last year.  (Not sure why we didn't use it last year, but that's neither here nor there.)  So we carefully watched our tomato plant grow (upside down)...counted the blooms and anticipated about 10 or so tomatoes this summer.  HA....

The purpose of this not-so-interesting blog post today to show you our harvest....
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just.this.ONE.tiny.tomato!
Not exactly what farmers call a bumper crop.  Maybe next year...

Do you have any gardening tricks you could share with Mrs. Brown-thumb for next year's "harvest"?!?!?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Blooms!

My parents always kept a nice yard...they still do of course. No professional landscaper...just hard work and a lot of sweat! Year after year they have BEAUTIFUL flowers of all types. Somehow I've inherited that love for blooms and color.

At the Blackmon house, Cory keeps the grass green, fertilized and the weeds to a minimum! I, on the other hand, prefer to work in the flower beds . I try to keep the shrubs trimmed, flowers watered (well kinda), etc. My flowers of course look amateur, but for my first attempt at having flowers in my yard...I was pretty proud with my blooms this May. Here's a few shots of my spring flowers....

The potted plants I just threw together. I was pretty happy with how they turned out considering I'd never potted anything...EVER!

The sweet potato vines have since taken off and are super long now...as for the other flowers...well they're not big fans of the summer heat.

Next...my hydrangeas....

I helped out at a florist in Monroe back before our wedding. It was just a part time gig but I loved it. Each week when some of the potted plants were past their prime (and really weren't nice enough to sell to customers any more), they'd get thrown out.

I've always LOVED hydrangeas...so when I saw 3 droopy hydrangea plants sitting by the dumpster as I left the florist one afternoon I figured I'd 'rescue' them. I brought them to what is now our house and planted them...2 on the east/southeast side of our house and the 3rd on the opposite side. The 2 that get the morning sun are doing GREAT this year. Big beautiful blooms adorn each plant. The other, that gets the afternoon, sun came back this spring but has yet to produce any blooms.

I wondered what color blooms I'd get this year since the color of the blooms depends on the composition of the soil. When I planted them they had a few wilted pink blooms.

I anticipated pink or blue...it was like finding out the gender of your child but much less exciting I'm sure (HA!)...
I got a beautiful periwinkle purple color and I couldn't be happier! (hope this isn't foreshadowing my future offspring's gender...LOL)The mums that I planted last fall are close to blooming and I'm astonished at how big they've gotten. After I give the flowerbed a tiny facelift I'll share some more pics. It looks kinda sad right now.

Have a fun and safe Independence Day!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yet Another Sign of Aging...*sigh*

We had an awesome Father's Day weekend!  We spent tons of time with my dad and it was just wonderful!  He's so much fun to be around and I cherish our time together more than ever.  
There was one incident this weekend that didn't amuse me!  I prefer to call it 
traumatic...terrible...and not nearly as funny as Cory found it to be. 

If you know me then you know I don't exactly sport my natural hair color.  I regularly (term used loosely) get my hair highlighted and low lighted.  I do have tendency to wait a week or two too long to get it done and then my hair color leans towards the trashy side.  Well this time around I've waited entirely too long.  My roots are horrific!  Embarrassed is an understatement for my sentiment towards these white-trash roots. 

I digress....so Sunday morning Cory and I were just getting going.  We spring out of bed in fast forward speed at the sight of the huge Pileated woodpecker that had just swooped down from the morning shadows and landed on the railing of our back deck!  Bad news...we tried to snap a pic but our camera battery was dead...of course!  Just as we realized the camera battery was DOA, the first woodpeckers larger woodpecker friend showed up!  We were like little kids watching  in amazement as these two big birds with bright red mohawks hopped around our deck! It was so cool!  

After the two flew off for more adventures in the woods behind our house, I headed to our bathroom to tame my disheveled look.  As I was examining the atrocity known as my roots, I noticed something I'd NEVER noticed before...something that's existence I refused to own up to because thus far in my life there had been no evidence of it!  Sure other people had it...but not me!  I slowly leaned over toward the bathroom mirror...smoothed the part in my hair...examined the length of my dark roots and I saw it...i saw THEM....OH MY GOSH I HAVE GRAY HAIR!!!  Devastation swept over me...the realization that the aging process had no mercy on me either was a toughie to swallow! Next came the laughter from the closet!  Cory found my discovery hysterical! I think the horror in my voice sent him over the edge with laughter!  I...still not amused at this point can't stomach another glimpse.  I vowed to harass my hair stylist to fit me in the earliest cancellation this week!


There are milestones in a woman's life that she'll never forget.  Some happy, some cause for a celebration, some not so much!  I can't say I'm celebrating the discovery that I indeed have gray hair.  But it was definitely one of those milestones I'll never forget.  


Funny thing is....I've been fighting the signs of aging more aggressively lately.  Even though I've attempted to convince myself that the veins that have spontaneously made an appearance on my left leg are from lifting weights and running...I know it's because I'm getting older.  I've purchased better products for my face and skin care, I've begun a 5:45am workout routine, but dang if aging doesn't laugh in my face!  

Oh well...not much you can do about the inevitable except accept it with grace!



photo credit: conniee4

Friday, June 4, 2010

Before you criticize someone...


A friend of mine shared this quote today and I just love it...

(warning: if you're the mushy, sentimental quote type...you probably won't be quoting this one!)

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."



TGIF!

photo credit: d u y g y

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Warrior Dash Edition!



Story Coming Soon

I have so much to blog about, but only time to do the ones I get paid to write! I have our Anniversary Adventure to tell you about, the Warrior Dash that I just ran, my beautiful flowers that I planted around the house....oh the stories...and PICS!

Happy Hump Day to all!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Anniversary Pics

Engagement pics weren't really an option for us. My dad was in the hospital recovering from a massive stroke for most of our engagement period. Visiting with him and my mom during our free time was much more important to us than snapping a few pics.

So...our big 1 year anniversary is coming up in a week and a half. For my gift to Cory I decided we'd finally get some professional pics made in which I wasn't wearing my wedding dress. We'd originally scheduled our session with our photographer for Saturday morning. But it was way too cloudy and dark Saturday morning to capture any good shots.

After talking to Kevin, our photographer, we decided to give Sunday morning a shot. We met Kevin around 7am on Sunday in downtown Flowery Branch. Sunday morning was HUMID! Actually humid is an understatement...HOT and MUGGY seems to be a more appropriate description! The sun was trying to peek through the clouds at the beginning of our shoot, but by the end the dark clouds prevailed. (Though Sunday afternoon was gorgeous, so we hit the lake!)

Our original plan was to take some shots downtown then head to the marina to get some shots by the lake. BUT due to the increasing cloud cover, we postponed the lake shots. So stay tuned for those! Here are a few from Sunday morning...more to come...



Humidity finally got the best of my hair in this one!