Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Out with 2009 In with 2010

I don't think I have ever been so ready for a year to end the way I am for 2009.    And it wasn't until the last week when all the best & worst of the decade list came out that I even realized we are down on decade.  Wow!   This year has been a hard one.  And at times I was not sure I would survive but somehow I did.  This year has seen a few hard bumps in the road.  The scariest was not hitting the deer but surviving two rounds of lay-offs at work.   I am hoping not to see any come from our company in 2010.  We have been awarded a lot of new business in the last 4 months that should be coming on in the beginning of 2010. 
The good points of 2009 were watching my cousing graduate from high school.  And finally being able to go see the Blossoms in Charlotte.  Though the visit was to short.  I am hoping that 2010 will bring another visit and maybe longer.    And getting to watch my beautiful niece and handsome nephews grow, even if two are them through pictures. 
My dreams for 2010.  I have to admit all I hope is for a better year.  I have not given a lot of thought to what I would like to see happen.  Maybe some more traveling.  Saving some money to put towards a trip to see the Blossoms in Toyko.  I would love to see being able to do a few more things to my house.    I two days we shall see what the year 2010 starts to bring.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday

I hope Santa was good to everyone.  I got several gift cards to some of my favorite stores for Christmas.  I am going to save those for a bit in the hope of getting a few pounds off in the next month.  I have two cards to Ann Taylor Loft (I am slightly obsessed with them) and Victoria's Secret.  I also got a crocpot.  For my birthday it was all money, so not complaining about that.   I am ready to spend the money though.  Or at least some of it on new shoes and a new pan.  I can't decide between a panini pan or a grill pan.  The rest will just be put up for now.  I need it after the cost of rental cars for almost a month.  So yes the best present though not really one was getting the Jeep back. 
So today I will be out running errands.  I need a new box for ornament storage, gas, groceries, and a few things from Wal-Mart.  I have decided to make the Southern Lady's birthday present so I am going to pick up a few things for that while I am out (more on the gift after her birthday). 
I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday and last week of 2009.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Zoo Lights

I have been meaning to get to a post about Zoo lights since I got home Friday night.  But I have been a bum since then.  And boy did I need it they way the two days have gone so far this week.  Thankfully we get off early tomorrow. 
I am not sure how many years that the Memphis Zoo has been putting on Zoo Lights.  I have been wanting to go for a few years but never said anything to anyone.  I am so glad I spoke up this year.  S was wanting to go and take H (youngest nephew) for the his first trip.  I get an email Friday afternoon stating we are going to Zoo Lights tonight and she was not taking No for answer.  I am glad she didn't.    I asked my boss to let me off 30 minutes early so I can run home and let Belle out, put on warmer clothes and get to the bank for cash before having to be at S's parents at 5:30.   Another set of friends went with us too.    I will also admit this was my first time ever going to the Memphis Zoo and need to go back now in the day light. 
The Zoo puts up different Christmas decorations throughout the whole place.  And Santa was there at the lodge at the Teton Trek area.  A great place to get warm while waiting on our other friends children get their picture with Santa. 
I have to say the worst part about the whole night was the snakes.  I am very scared of them.  And in a room when you came into the zoo they some animals to meet and of course one was a snake. 
It was a great night with friends.  And a workout too.  Since we took the wagon for H we walked the whole time.  Yeah not fast but it was better than riding the tram.  And we could stop and really look at the displays we liked. 
I only thought to take one picture of the light displays though.  It didn't turn out great. 



Next year I need to remember to take better pictures. 

Well off to finish packing and wrapping my mother's present I was sent out for today.  The parents will be here when I get off to take me back to Bama for Christmas. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gift bags

I started a monster seven years ago.  My first year in the real world and Christmas rolled around.  I wanted to do something for my teammates at work and a couple other people I was friends with.   Hello it was my first year and money was still tight at the time.  So I decided to give making fudge a try.  Along with the fudge I bought some other Christmas candy to throw into the cute little gift bags I found at Wal-Mart.   I have to admit I was surprised about how well it went over.  I did it the second  year too.  And every year since then I have been asked by several people if I am doing it again this year.  They are not worried about getting the rest of the candy they just want the fudge.  Which might be cheaper on me to just fill the bags with fudge, but I don't have the patience or the time to make so much.  Tonight I have just finished making the goodie bags.
I forgot to take pics of the fudge. 
I gathered everything needed on the kitchen table.



I found these cute items at Wal-Mart.  Sometimes wondering Wal-Mart or Target can be a good thing.



The candy



Cute bags




The completed bags.

Now to hand them all out tomorrow.  And enjoy celebrating my birthday with a teammate tomorrow.  My team decided to celebrate them together due to people being off so much the next two weeks.  Hers is Friday and mine is next friday.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winning

Christy over at Embellished Bayou held a contest a couple weeks ago for a choice of three of items from CSNstores.  And amazingly I won.  What a wonderful way to start off last Monday.  And this afternoon I received the prize.  I have to admit when I sent my information to Christy I didn't even go back and look at the prizes and just chose a number.  I decided to surprise myself.  And I chose #2.  I got two serving trays from Gorham serving trays with Christmas trees on them.  They are beautiful!  I can't wait to use them.
Yeah I am a little lazy tonight and didn't take a picture.  I spent my day off running around finishing Christmas shopping and a few other errands.  I am proud that I have finished shopping and now need to wrap all of the presents.  And even better I did another year of not putting anything on a credit card. 

Thanks Christy for hosting the contest!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Presents

Do you ever buy Christmas or birthday presents for yourself?  I do!  Maybe not every year.  Two years ago I bought a Dyson vacuum for myself as an early birthday present.  Target had a great deal in September on one and mine had just quit.  I love it!!  Though I am still shocked I spent so much on a vacuum cleaner.
This year I bought myself Eric Clapton tickets for the concert in  Memphis on 3/5/10.  I ended up springing for the high end tickets.  Though now I wish I hadn't second guessed myself on paying that much I ended up with tickets in the first tier for the same price.  Oh well I got the tickets!! I am so excited about going.  Now I just need to find someone to go with me between now & then.  I think I can manage that. 
Now off to work on some more Christmas shopping.  And finish my nephews birthday present as his first birthday party is tomorrow afternoon.

Happy Saturday!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Specials

Tonight while curled up on the couch with Belle watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and started wondering what is everyone's favorite Christmas special.  I have a hard time chosing between Charlie Brown and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  They both make the holiday for me.  Without seeing them something seems to be missing.  I do enjoy almost all the specials.  And do my best to catch each one.  But the two above I never miss.  But while pondering this I realized I totally missed It's the Great Pumpking Charlie Brown.  How did that happen???  Oh there is next year.  Or going to buy the DVD collection. 
So let's hear it what is your favorite Christmas special.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Next blog

Have you ever hit the next blog link on your own blog or anyone's?  I did that this morning and came across a cute one about cupcakes.  I so had to start following Happy Cakes.  She has some really cute ideas but am not sure where she is located.   I am not sure but I think I came across it by hitting next blog a couple times from Embellished Bayou's this morning. 
I think it is so funny that I hit next from my own blog and found someone who spent their Thanksgiving in the same city as I did.  Which is really shocking considering I have not mentioned the town my parents live in or if I did it was by calling it podunk.  I can't tell if it is anyone I knew from that period in my life.  Mainly because I have managed to put those six years out of my mind so that I can enjoy happy memories from other periods of my life.
Give it a try the next time you have some time to spare.  Who knows what you might find.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tree is complete

I got around to finishing my Christmas tree tonight.  It turned out great.  And I love the new ornaments I got this year.  I love snowmen and buy a new ornament every year.  This year's involves another of my favorite things Martini glasses. 

The Finished Tree



A few of my favorite ornaments.  And it was hard to pick out a just a couple.  My Waterford Marquis ornaments didn't photograph well.  I have two of the Charlie Brown 50th Anniversary ones and a snowman. 
Some of my favorite are handmade ones.  My besties mom makes us all one each year.  I look so forward to knowing what each year will bring.   This is last years.



This one was made by a pledge sister. 



Have to throw in the Martini glass.


The Rebels are represented on the tree too


In 2005 I had two friends serving in Iraq.  An easy pic for the snowman ornament that year.


And to throw in some of heritage



My grandmother started a tradition of crocheting snowflake ornaments for her kids when they got married.  And she did some for I know two of us grandkids (I am not sure if the oldest three got any or not).  But when I opened mine up four years ago at Christmas she got busted by an aunt.  Turns out I got mine before my youngest uncle and aunt got thiers.  oops!!!  Don't worry they got thiers the next year.


 

I hope everyone enjoyed decorating thier trees too.




Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It is a start

I finally got motivated to start putting out my Christmas decorations tonight.  I have gotten the tree up and lights on it.  Yep I don't have a pre-lit tree but the next one will be that is for sure.  And I realized tonight that it will have to be next year.  I am hoping to find one with a great deal at the end of the month.  I think next time I am going to go with a tall slim tree.  I have high ceilings, I think they are twelve feet.  And the tree I have now is 7 1/2 feet and really wide for the spot I put it in, right in front of the windows in the living room. 



Okay not the greatest picture.  I was sad tonight to find my miniture Christmas tree base has been re-shaped thanks to the heat in the attic this summer.   Time to get a new one.   Off to work on getting a few ornaments on tonight.
Am I the only one who hasn't finished decorating?  I did pull out the Christmas dishes but they only made it out of the box so far. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hot Cocoa

The best part of colder temps is getting to pull out the hot cocoa maker.  My grandmother gave it to me a couple years ago for Christmas.  It is a lot more fun to make hot chocolate than pulling out the kettle.  I haven't tried any of the other drinks that were in the manuel.  I pulled it all out one night last week.  And if I hadn't been so lazy would have last night.  I cut the heat down while I was gone and it was chilly in the house.



I found a container of dark chocolate cocoa mix on clearence at Target back in July.  I finally got to pull it out.  I have the coffee creamers out too.  I know random.  But the idea jumped in my head one day last year and I tried it.  Who always wants just plain chocolate.  So I bought the peppermint mocha that was out for the holidays.  It made it yummy.  So I have picked up a few others since then.   I couldnt' decide which one I wanted the other night when I went to make the hot cocoa.  I finally decided on the peppermint truffle. 


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful

This is a couple days late.  But being at my parents I was lucky to get parents time to even read others blog posts.  Thanksgiving was great.  It was a small group this year.  Just the four of us, grandmother, two cousins, and one aunt.  We were with my fathers family which is the bigger side.  It was kind of sad to see only one table Thursday but i was glad for time with my family. 
A few of the decorations my grandmother had out.  I might have a chance still at the decorating.  ha!







But I am most thankful for walking away from this:




I hit a deer this morning on my way back home.  It could be worse.  And it might can be fixed.  And boy do I hope it can be.  I love this Liberty.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Decorating

Or at least attempts at it.  I seem to have missed that gene that makes a woman good at decorating.  I am still trying to figure out what it is I like.  And once I do to bring it all together.  I have been working on my office a bit more this year.  It has been two years since I painted it.  It took me over a year to decide on the color green I wanted.  I finally found one I fell in love with in a Better Homes and Garden spread.  And I still love it though my parents think it is aweful!!!  Hey!  it is my house not theirs and I didn't spend a dime of theirs on it.
While D was here last week I had him hang a curtain rod as payment for staying.  That is a lot cheaper than a hotel. This it what my office looked like for two days before I got around to hanging the curtains.




This is what it looks like now. 




After posting this picture I realize the rod was put back a little uneven.  Oh, that is an easy fix.  Don't know if that will happen tonight as I need to finish packing to head to Bama tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

The other thing I am working on is a runner in the kitchen.  I have been wanting a rug in the kitchen for a while.  And found one I like.  But once I got it home from the store am not sure that it is long enough.  I decided on the way home tonight from work I would put it down when I leave tomorrow and see what I thought when I got back this weekend.  So what do y'all think to short or just right?




Belle is peaking around the corner to see what is going on?

Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quesadillas

Since I am headed to Bama Wednesday afternoon for Thanksgiving my meals this week are geared towards no leftovers.  And easy to clean up.  Tonight I made some easy chicken quesadillas.  Yeah quesadillas are pretty easy in the first place so I guess they should be no fuss quesadillas.  I gather my ingredients.


Then I set a skillet on medium heat.  While the skillet is warming up. 


Step 1:  Spread salsa on a tortilla


Step 2: Place chicken strips on top of salsa


Step 3: Add cheese.  For me it is a lot of cheese. 

Step 4:  Fold in half and add to skillet.

After about 5-10 minutes this is what you get or close to it



I didn't have a side tonight.  Sometimes I will make Spanish rice to go with it.  But tonight while the quesadilla was cooking I stood at the counter and ate chips and salsa. 
Though I will admit I felt slightly terrible making something so simple while in the background The Next Iron Chef was on.    I can't wait to watch the finale tonight.  Even if it means missing part of the Bears game. 
I will probably have these a couple times this week along with some salads and sandwhichs.  Glad I thought enough ahead last week and don't have to hit the grocery store this week too.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Presenting Belle

I am partcipating in the blog hop over at Kelly's Korner.  This Friday she is freaturing pets.  
I have had Belle for 4 years.  She is a lab/white shepard mix.  A total sweetheart and a big mamm's girl.  My parents have one from the same litter they named Bear.  They are still so cute together.  Bear can't wait for her to get out of my Jeep when we get there half the time and jumps over me to get into the backseat with her.  I had them both for the first two weeks and thought I was going to lose my mind.  Learned a good lesson though I can't handle two puppies at once.   At the time I could tell them apart by thier collars.  Belle wears blue (my favorite color) and Bear wears red (for Bama).


Belle & Bear right after I got home with them. 



This was thier idea of how to use a puppy pad.



I still think this is a cute picture of Belle drinking water



Bear now.  Still my baby boy.



And the Princess all grown up.

She might drive me crazy most days.  Especially the weekends as she still does not get the concept of sleeping in.  But I wouldn't trade my four legged kid for anything.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Tuesday

I can't believe how fast this year has flown by.  In a week Thanksgiving will be here.  And of course that brings the season of eating all the time.  Or at least it seems that way doesn't it?  Boy does that month between Thanksgiving and Christmas fly by.  I am really looking forward to it visiting Bama and the family, especially after talking to my Grandmother tonight.  She told me she made me a surprise last night.  I took a guess but she wouldn't say if I was right but I could hear her laugh a bit when telling me that.  What was my guess?  Peppermint Cheesecake.  She knows how much I love it and the years we are with her on my birthday that has turned into my birthday cake since my senior year of high school.  Did I mention my birthday is Christmas Day, perfect time of the year for peppermint flavored items.   I would love to share the recipe with you but she won't give it to me yet.  But if I remember right from the day she tested it out on us, who better to be the ginnie pigs for bridge than your family, the recipe came from Southern Living.

This week is going to be a little crazy.  I have a house guest for the week while he takes a study class for the series 7 test.  I have not had anyone stay with me that long since I  moved into my house and my Grandmother stayed for 8 days.  Wish me luck!  And getting ready to head down to Oxford again this weekend for the Ole Miss vs. LSU game.  And more friends will be in from out of town to see when I get there.  Need to find a quick portable item to take down there.  And get in workouts.  All this on top of work and a girls night.

While I am on here.  How about those Rebels?  We stomped the Volunteers this weekend.  I love it!  The weekend was great.  I got to see a good friend and do some shopping on the Oxford Square. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Update

This has been a long week.  I am trying to settle into a new routine at work.  But I made it and still had a half day to go get my hair done.  Though I am need to go in for a couple hours this weekend.  That will have to wait until Sunday.  Tomorrow I am headed to Oxford to Grove.  At Ole Miss we don't tailgate we Grove.  I can't wait to see campus in all the beautiful fall colors.  Not to mention friends I have not seen in a while.  As of now I don't have a ticket for the game.  Which I think might not be so bad as tomorrow we are playing UT.   If I don't end up with a ticket I am going hit the square for a bit of shopping.  I love the little shops around the square, even if I rarely buy anything.  A friend is also going to be at her house watching the game with her mother as her husband and friends ended up with all the tickets.
This week I also managed to start getting my house clean for D's visit next week.  He will be staying with me all week while he takes a study class for certification.  Tonight I spent the evening napping, wal-marting, and starting to clean. I didn't get in a workout but I am so counting the vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and rearranging the living room.  One thing I don't have to worry about when I get back from Thanksgiving. 
I also hit the gym for three nights of cardio.  I haven't managed to get in all three of the ab or drop a jean size workouts but there is still tomorrow when I get back from Oxford.  Along with finishing cleaning the house. 
I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday

Out of creative titles at the moment.  This week has been a crazy one at work.  Trying to get my desk caught up and maybe get ahead.  But I have worked out all three days this week.  Tonight when I got home I put together a quick  meal that included some left over chili from last night.




Believe it or not there is some chili under that mound of cheese on top the potato.  I made some okra too.  Another lovely recipe from Southern Living, it was in the August issue.  In the recipe it calls for Italian breadcrumbs but tonight instead I used some three cheese breadcrumbs.  and it was still really yummy.
Well after that dinner time to go do an ab workout.

Reading

One of my favorite things to do is to curl up with a good book.  Usually I read dramas.  But my bestie, S let me borrow The Confessions of a Shopaholic.  I remember when the movie came out this year and wanted to go see it but it didn't I never made it.  Now I so want to rent the movie.  Or maybe even buy it.
Saturday morning after hanging out at the dealership getting the Liberty worked on for 3 hours I stopped by the library and picked up two more in the series.  And tonight after I left the gym I went by to pick up one or both of the others in the series.

 
                                               

But they were not there. ;( The next Saturday I have time or day off (I have 3 1/2 to take or lose before the end fo the year) I am going to the library to request they bring them in from another branch. I really want to read the rest of this cute series. And the other books by Sophie Kinsella sound great too. 

Of course when I stopped by Saturday I also picked up a favorite author.  J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts).  I love her In Death series.  It is about a cops in 2060.   And another new author that the book sounded cute.  Belle in the Big Apple by Brooke Parkhurst.

My house would be really cluttered and I would be in a huge financial crisis like Becky Bloomwood if it weren't for the library.  Plus it gives me the opporunity to read books without being out the money if you don't like it.  Though my favorite place to shop is the clearence rack at bookstores for hardcover books.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

GYM

Yes after being sick for over a week.  I am ready to hit the gym this week.  I mean really hit the gym.  Last week I went three times and took it easy.   Not only am I hitting the gym for cardio.  I am planning on getting in three strength workouts and 3 ab workouts too.  Everything will be from Fitness magazine.  At the end of September I was on their website and saw an item about signing up to be part of a group to walk around the world in one month.  Well it didn't happen and is still going on.  Granted I wasn't a huge contributor to miles last month with getting sick and traveling.  So go sign up and lets see if we can do this before the end of the year.  Walking Challenge
The strength workouts I am aiming to finally complete this 4 week routine.  It is drop a jean size in 4 weeks.  And boy could I use that.  And the routine is pretty easy to do at home with just a few items.  I have been slowly buying a few items to keep at home to do workouts from magazines.  I have a wicker laundry basket in the living room full of workout dvds, dumbbells, weighted ball, and bands.  I have to hide my big fitness ball in a closet as Belle is freaked out by it for some reason.  I like having these items around so I can get up and do something in the evenings when I don't make it to the gym or don't want to do the weight machines at the gym.  Plus I don't feel so bad just sitting on butt during The Biggest Loser if I get up and do a workout. 
So go check out Fitness magazine and find a workout that works for you.  And while your there signing up for one of the items check out the box on right for fitness items they are giving away.  It changes everyday.  I keep hoping I am going to get a call or email telling me I won a pair of sneakers.  But no such luck so far I guess next week I will be hitting the stores for a new pair.


Have a great week Blog World!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baking

I did some baking Wednesday night.  It was in celebration of a co-workers birthday.  Last weekend while cleaning out old magazines.  I came across the recipe for Praline-Apple Bread in the September issue of Southern Living.  I pulled it out as a keeper of course.  And thankfully had a reason this week to put it to use.  Yippee!!!!  And as I am a little lazy I am going to attach the link and not type out the recipe.
Praline-Apple Bread


The bread went over well.  But as you can tell mine did not come out as pretty Southern Living's but I doubt it was any less delicious.


I also figured out that I don't have any serving platters big enough to fit the bread except for football or Christmas themed ones.  Go figure two of my favorite things.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sunday dinner

The fall temps have arrived in Memphis area.  And I was happy to break out one of my favorite quick and easy comfort meals.   I have been waiting to do this for over a month when I bought the first ingredients during a 10/$10 sale at Kroger.


See how easy three ingredients are involved to make Ravioli Lassanga.  Easy enough to do when you get in from work and something kiddos can help put together too.

1. brown meet and drain.
2. layer a can of ravioli, meet, and chese in that order. 
3. repeat for a second layer.
4. top with the remaining cheese.
5. cover with foil
6. bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted


Doesn't that just look yummy! 

A great way to end a weekend. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

In Search of...






A few new recipes to try. I enjoy cooking but don't do it as much as I would like because I am a single gal. Who wants to cook a big meal for just one person and then have to eat all the leftovers too. On occassion I will ask friends over to enjoy a meal with me but as of late everyone has been quite busy. At this moment I am just ready to try out one or two of the many recipes I keep collecting. Here is a shot of my living room floor at this moment:









Tonight I did get around to trying something. I am sitting at home and being a scrooge, is that what you call someone who is not handing out candy to trick or treaters. I have to admit it just slipped my mind this year. I do feel bad because there are some cute kids in the neighborhood.


I saw a soup mix at Target a few months ago and debated trying it. I finally bought some this week. And gave it a try. Very yummy! Next time though along with the cheese and chicken I think some crushed up tortilla chips would be good.



This is how it turned out. The only thing I have to say is I put to much in the bowl.


Time to go in search of a dessert because what meal is complete with out it. Then to sit back and make the grocery list with the Tennessee and South Carolina game on in the background.


Welcome!





Welcome to This G.R.I.T.S. Tale. I thought I would give the blog world a try. I do not know what all will be found here. But knowing me it will be a random hodge podge of things. One thing I learned while visiting my friend at the beginning of the month, taking a camera every where is a must. Why? Because you never know when something might become blog worthy. If you get a moment check out her cute blog over at Southern Blossoms.














A few things that I love:














My dog Belle









The Ole Miss Rebels:









I was going to put more pictures of the things I love but don't havethe hang of adding pictures yet. I promise to work on this.




A few other things I love:




The Chicago Bears

Reading

Cross-stitching

Cooking





I hope y'all come back to see what else happens.






HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!