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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas!  Enjoy the day with family and friends! 
xoxo, A & O {pups too!}


Friday, December 20, 2013

Stocking Stuffers {for the fur children}

With Christmas LESS than one week away, I'm wrapping up my shopping {literally.}  And Christmas morning is all about the kids...mine just happen to have fur and walk on all fours ;)  So for this Five on Friday, here are my top pics for my girls!



{one} Both girls are in desperate need of new collars!  I think Izzie would look especially cute in this neutral grey.  To match her silver coat, obvi.


{two} There's not a whole lot of variation in our dogs' diet--we a "no scrap" household.  So a little excitement in the treat department goes a long way! #puppyhalitosis

{three} We go through tennis balls like its our JOB around here.  Shelby will tear one up in days...but they're her favorite!  So a new ball for Shelby-dog it is
{four} Each of the girls will get a new toy in their stocking, that will surely be destroyed before Christmas dinner...


{five} Since they were extra good this year, they'll both be receiving a new set of dishes.  After all, they do need to match once I redecorate the kitchen...


What about y'all?  Do you gift things for your fur children too?!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

NYE Outfit

I feel like you can really go all out for New Years...pull out all the stops.  I'm not really an "adventurous" dresser, but I know I can get away with more on occasions like this!  So excited to join Sam for her link-up to see what everyone else will be wearing!


So my perfect NYE outfit?  It would def. include a sparkly top paired with these amazing winter white velvet pants from Loft {that I just purchased this week...}


What will I really be wearing?  Most likely some leggings and my tunic hoodie...because we have ZERO plans.

If I've said it once on this blog, I've said it 100 times.  My. Life. Is. Nuts.  Not always, but this month has been one obstacle after another--I won't bore y'all with the details {not today, anyway...}  But I'm 110% A-OK with staying home, cooking a juicy steak and hanging with O and the dog children!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Allie Dip

I don't know why, but I have a tendency to name recipes after the people who introduced me to them.  Like Sandy's Brownies or Allison's Biscuits.  I also have Willa's Crabcakes and Blaire's Bagel Dip stashed away in my recipe file.  But one of our favorites is Allie Dip.

My best friend, Allie, made this dip in college often for our design dinners.  I made it once for O, and since that day he dubbed it "Allie Dip."  He loves this stuff.  I often whip it up and make a meal of it...much like this week and the craziness that is currently our life!


Allie's Bread Dip

ingredients:
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons dried dill
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons Beaumonde seasoning
3 oz chipped beef, cut into tiny pieces
Dipables: bread, crackers, vegi's, you name it

Mix all of the ingredients {everything except the dipables} and chill over night.  Serve with your choice of bread cubes, crackers or vegetables.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five on Friday

I seriously can't recover from the flight/snow storm debacle I experienced last weekend.  My whole week is off--how is it already Friday?!  I had planned to share more stocking stuffer and gifting ideas today, but instead I will be sharing a whole lotta randomness.  Much like all the thoughts in my head... So here you go!


{one}  I do not have one single Christmas decoration up inside of my house.  In fact, I still have my fall faux pumpkins out.  Not a stocking or a tree.  Nada.  Go ahead and judge.  We were going to get our tree on Sunday when I was supposed to get home, and clearly that didn't happen.  Whatev--hoping it'll get done this weekend!

{two} While Christmas decorations are lacking, gifting is in full swing around here.  I finally have my list together and some things are even crossed off!  Including our big gift to each other--OUR NEW SOFA!!  We LOVE it!  It is SO nice for both of us {and the dogs...} to be able to spread out and not invade the others space!


{three} Like any crazy decorator, I wasn't thrilled with the stock pillows that came with the sectional.  I've been eyeing these from West Elm.  Which makes me want to also change the kitchen and living room curtains.  You get my drift.  


{four}  I had a bowl of sherbet for dinner last night.  Also, no extra R at the end.  I say sherbert.  It's sherbet.  Weird. 


{five}  No surprise here...y'all know I LOVE philosophy!  This exfoliating lip scrub has been so helpful with the icky, dry, chapped lips!  OVER.THE.WINTER.


Here's to a productive weekend...and hopefully less snow.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weekend Recap {and a WINNER!}

What a CRAZY weekend! I flew to Virginia on Thursday to visit with some of my family & friends {hence my complaint on Friday about blogging via iPad...I was sitting in the airport!}  I don't think I could have squeezed one more thing in while I was here!

Best part of the whole weekend? Surprising my college BFFs at our annual Christmas party! I haven't been able to attend for the last 3 years & we haven't been in the same room together since my wedding!! Best surprise ever!

video


Then the trip got super interesting when the snow & ice arrived #not 



Two CANCELLED flights, a delay, an airport & airline switch later, I arrived home...just 24 hours late. Boo! 

I did take advantage of the extra time in NoVa to visit with my sister-in-law & sweet niece! 


I'm so so glad to be back in Kentucky!  And I'm SO glad to announce the winner of my Birthday Giveaway, Kelly C!  Kelly, I'll be emailing you shortly :)  THANK YOU to everyone who entered!  Soooooo excited to host more in the future!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Stocking Stuffers {for him}

After linking up with Elise to share some of my favorite things over the last three weeks, I couldn't stop thinking about all my favorite stocking stuffers. Those are seriously my favorite--I love the challenge of finding fun, creative, tiny gifts!  So I decided to dedicate my Five on Friday posts from now until Christmas to more gifting ideas!


5onFridayLogo-Final-forblogsidemenu_edited-1_zps7fcf6068.jpg



Don't forget to pop on over to the GIVEAWAY before it ends in a few days!!  Thanks so much to everyone who has already entered--I can't wait to see who wins!  Without further ado, here are my favorite stocking stuffers "for him!"

1) Golf Balls. Not that we need more of those around here (ahem, O)

2) I LOVE festive boxers! Christmas, valentines day, St Pattys, you name it.  Fav gifting tradition!
3) A membership to the Dollar Shave Club. For a few bucks a month, new razors delivered to your door every month!


4) These Leather Whisky Tags. Much like the wooden tags I mentioned on Tuesday, these would be a great addition to a bottle of booze.


5) what guy wouldn't love a Bourbon Scented Candle (from Kentucky!)?! O isn't much of a candle man, but I think this one would be right up his alley!


PS: blogging on an iPad sucks.  I'd like to have my computer back, STAT.  Happy Weekend, y'all!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast

I told y'all on Friday that I couldn't wait to share some of the recipes from Thanksgiving!  Probably the best one being the slow-cooker turkey breast!  Turkey is well known for drying out and just being icky!   That couldn't be further from the truth with this guy!  It was so juicy, so easy & delicious!  So good, in fact, I didn't even get a picture of the whole thing.  All I have is the pic of the turkey, on my plate...


Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast

ingredients:

1 turkey breast {thawed, if frozen} and patted dry
1 3/4 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. white wine
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 onion, quartered
2 tablespoons butter, melted & separated
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt & pepper

Turn slow cooker to high.  Add in chicken stock, wine, garlic, and onion.  Lay turkey breast, skin side up, in slow cooker.  Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, salt & pepper.  Put the lid on & cook on high for 3 hours.  After 3 hours, turn to low heat and cook for another 3 hours or until the center reads at least 170 degrees on a meat thermometer {this is where that one I mentioned yesterday comes in handy!}

Once the center reads 170, turn the broiler in your oven on to high.  Carefully take turkey breast and place in baking dish and brush with the reserved melted butter.  Place under the broiler for approx. 5 minutes, or until the top is golden and crispy {keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn}

Remove from oven, cover with foil & let rest for 15 minutes.  Slice and serve!

PS: don't discard the liquid in the slow-cooker.  It makes THE BEST gravy!!
PPS: If you haven't already, make sure you enter the GIVEAWAY!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

{Favorite Things} To Give

First, thank you all so much for the sweet birthday wishes yesterday!  I think 29 will be my best year yet {yes, I said that about 28 but I really think 29 will be my year!}  If you haven't already, make sure you enter the giveaway I announced!

This series of link-ups with Elise over the last three weeks has been so fun!  Not only I have found tons of great gifting ideas, but I've found a few new amazing blogs to follow too!


On to my favorite things to give!  When I find something that I love {product, kitchen gadget, clothes, brand, you name it!} I feel the need to tell everyone about it, and give them as gifts.  I just like to share the love!   Here are some of my favorite things that I'll be giving as gifts to sweet friends and family members this year!

> Fun jewelry!  I don't think you can go wrong with this one, and Loft is always one of my favorite places to look for accessories.

> Cooking gadgets:  O gave me this amazing digital thermometer by Food Network a few years ago & I can't cook without it!  Takes the guess work out of "do you think this is done?!"


> A gift certificate for a mani/pedi, facial or massage.  So often my friends and family won't treat themselves to things like this!

> I love these pitcher tags from Ballard Designs!  Makes a nice little hostess gift for all those holiday parties too!

> DVD TV series.  I have all 10 seasons of Friends on DVD, O has all of Seinfeld.  If someone you know LOVES a TV series, or wants to start watching one from the beginning, this is a winner.  If you're looking for a new one, I suggest Mad Men.  OMG.  Put Scandal on the list too ;)


> O and his brother do a Bourbon Exchange every year.  Being born & bred in Kentucky, these boys do love their bourbon and this gives them a great way of trying new kinds!  If bourbon isn't your thing, you could always try a new beer or wine.  And it doesn't have to be alcohol--anything edible is always a winner in my book!

I have SO enjoyed linking-up for the past three weeks sharing some of my favorite things!  You know what else is one of my favorite things?  YOU GUYS!  When I started this little ol' blog, I never thought for a minute that anyone other than my family would think our life was exciting enough to read about!  Reading your comments and visiting your blogs are seriously a highlight of my week!  Y'all are just great!  I can't wait to see what is on your list!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Big 2-9 {and a GIVEAWAY!}

Twenty-Nine.  AKA, the last birthday I'll ever celebrate.  Not really, but it is such a mental thing!  It's just SO hard to believe that this is the last year in my twenties!



We celebrated over the weekend by going out for Italian {my fav!} and spending a lot of QT together.  O got me some super sweet gifts, including that Loft tunic I mentioned a few weeks ago!  And to top it all off, we bought a new sofa!!  Not for my birthday {a little...} but as our gift to each other for Christmas.  Black Friday Saturday deal of the decade.  We're in desperate need & I can't wait for it to be delivered later in the month.  Y'all know what that means....time to redecorate the living room ;)

To start the birthday festivities off with a bang AND as an early Christmas gift, I'd like to share some of my favorite things with one awesome reader.  If I could, I would send each one of you a little gift!  Many of these things will look familiar, as I have mentioned many of them in my Five on Friday posts or the Favorite Things link-up the last two weeks!



I'll be sending one of you amazing girls that awesome {acrylic!} mason jar mug filled with festive socks, essie nail polish, some of my favorite philosophy samples, a mini fresh sugar lip balm, and while I can't send you a tall gingerbread latte in the mail, I'll send ya a Starbucks gift card so you can get a hot one ;) 

If you're already a follower of the blog, enter in the rafflecopter below & I'll announce the winner next Tuesday, December 10th!  If you're not, become a follower & enter now!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 29, 2013

Five on Friday!

Five blog posts in a row this week?  WTH?!  I love this short work week business!

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!  Ours was filled with tons of relaxation, using our wedding china for the FIRST time in 2.5 years, and a ridiculous amount of food.  The Cinnamon-Honey Butter was AMAZING.  Best thing on the menu.  I'll make it every week Thanksgiving.

By the time some of you read this, you will have completed all of your Christmas shopping, had breakfast and maybe a nap.  I applaud you--I just rolled out of bed :)

Excited to be linking up with ChristinaDarciNatasha & April for a post-Thanksgiving edition of Five on Friday!!




{one}


{two} yes, I had leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning.  And I may have put some of the Cool Whip in my coffee.  Don't judge--it's technically Thanksgiving through Sunday in my book.  


{three}  LEFTOVERS!!!!  I seriously can't wait to share some of the recipes from yesterday.  You could definitely make some of them for Christmas, or save 'em up for next Thanksgiving.  I plan to try this recipe from Mess For Less with our leftovers tonight! 



{four}  I will be taking full advantage of the online Black Friday deals today, from the comfort of my sofa, with my pups, in my jams. I found this handy guide to go by: http://blackfriday.com/online 

{five} Not that anyone can begin to think about more food, or cooking, after yesterday BUT I have to ask:  Would anyone be interested in linking up and sharing some Christmas morning breakfast recipes in the coming weeks?   A big breakfast on Christmas morning is one of the things I look forward to most :)  Let me know!

Enjoy this wonderful Friday, y'all--hopefully not at work & doing something FUN! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  I hope y'all have a wonderful day no matter what you're doing.  I can assure you, there will be plenty of gravy & pie in my day ;)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Game Plan

Like many other type-A {crazy} people, I love me a list!  So last Friday, I got my Thanksgiving Day Game Plan together.   Some may call it procrastinating at work.  I call it planning ahead.  Here's what's on the menu:

I know I'm missing a few of the "essentials," but its just the two of us and we'll be eating leftovers for a week as it is!  I'm going to try to prep a few things this afternoon/tonight to cut down on the disaster that will be our kitchen tomorrow!

Follow me on Instagram {@amparsons29} for an obnoxious amount of food pictures, and our goings on this day of thanks!  It's the best way for the fam far away to "see" what we're up to, in real time.  It'll be like we're there.  Promise ;)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

{Favorite Things} Stocking Stuffers

I seriously can't believe Christmas is now LESS than one month away--crazy town!  I'm linking up with sweet Elise again today to share some of my favorite stocking stuffers that I have given and received!  I plan to share all of my stocking stuffers for my fav's every Friday in December--so be sure to check back in {family, you've been warned.  If you don't want to know what will be in your stocking Christmas morning, avoid Friday posts in December}



> This one is super easy & was such a hit {thanks, Pinterest!}  Just wrap up a cute pair of socks and a fun coordinating nail polish, and add the tag "For your mistletoes"



> I made these fun chip clips a few years ago.  I parked myself on the sofa, watched Lifetime Christmas movies all day long, and got my craft on.   These are also cute when attached to a favorite bag of candy in the stocking!
Trace the outline of the clothes pin on your choice of scrapbook paper;  cut the scrapbook paper to size;  glue on the clothes pin;  add decorative thingamabob to the top.  Chip clip!

> My sweet friend gifted me a Tervis tumbler with our alma mater's logo & filled it with candy, scratch offs and other fun things!   I think of her every time I drink my coffee out of my Radford Tervis!


>Any festive soaps or candles from Bath and Body Works are great stocking stuffers.  In fact, O's sweet Aunt gives us one almost every Christmas & I always look forward to it!



> Fun stationery is never a bad idea!  By the time my birthday and Christmas are over, I've depleted my supply of thank you notes!  I think these cards from Paper Source are too cute!

>  Gift cards in small denominations to favorite retailers, like Starbucks, iTunes, or a local lunch spot are always great!

Super excited to check out what's on your stocking stuffer list!  I have so many ideas for my friends and family, but could always use more!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Random Thoughts

Happy Monday {oxymoron?}  I swear y'all, I have no less than 1 million random thoughts {not counting the five I mentioned on Friday...} and ideas running through my head at any given time.  This sums it up:


Currently:

We've only lived in our house for 2.5 years, and I already know how I want to redecorate every room.  Minus our master bath--that I love.  I want to change our kitchen, living room, guest room and the poor excuse of a room I call an "office."  The Birthday & Christmas money is already spent...


I have a problem with unruly eyebrows, although mine are far from perfection at this moment.


I'm addicted to lip balm, and have minor anxiety when I don't have any handy.  Like right now.
Find my two favorites here and here.  Both of which are at my house, instead of with me here at work.


I spend 90% of my work day on the phone with clients, and yet I still talk with my hands.
Like they can see what I'm doing...can't turn it off.


I own more yoga/lounge pants than real pants.
And I can assure you, none of my yoga pants have ever been to yoga.


I find no less than three gray hairs in my head every day.  Today it was four.
Note to self: make appointment to have hair colored.



We are exactly one month away from Christmas, and I haven't even started to shop.
Or RSVP to Christmas parties/cookie exchanges.
OR order my Christmas cards...



Last week, I watched the series finale of Friends for the 187,836th time, 
and it still makes me cry.  Every.Single.Time. 
Another thing that will trigger the waterworks: this purina commercial.  
So basically, dog commercials and Ross & Rachel.



And now I'm sitting in my cubicle, with tears in my eyes from that dang commercial.  Today can only get better.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five on Friday

TGIF!  Friday, I've been looking forward to seeing you ALL week!  Excited for my favorite blog post of the week where I link up with Christina, Darci, Natasha & April!  It's a whole lotta random up in here today, y'all!





{1} Fresh Brown Sugar Body Cream.  This dry weather is killing my hands--that and the constant hand washing to keep the sickness away!  I have been using this amazing lotion to keep the reptile skin far, far away

{2}  This.  Have you ever seen such a mean mug on a dog before?!  She was SO not ready to get out of bed

{3} I'm gonna go ahead and add this lounge tunic from Loft on to the always-growing birthday/Christmas wish list.  I'll need it to go with those nasty temps we're getting...



{4}  Let's go ahead and give a big thumbs-down to the weekend temps here.  A high of 28 on Sunday.  A HIGH?!  Boo.


{5}  I saw this print from The Every Girl on Pinterest.   I'm pretty sure I need it hanging in my house.


I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, blog reading and indoor warmth ;)  I may even turn on the {fake} fireplace...stay tuned via Instagram @amparsons29


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