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!!


{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: 

{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:


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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

{Favorite Things} Christmas Wish List

I had already starting thinking of a few of my favorite things to share with y'all after Thanksgiving, but when Elise announced her Favorite Things Link-Up, I had to jump on board!

Side note: I'm weird.  I have a thing about not doing anything Christmas related until after my birthday on December 2.  That way Thanksgiving is still Thanksgiving, my birthday is still my birthday, and then the rest of the month is all Christmas!  It's what my mom always did, and it's carried over :)

Sooooo, we'll call this the birthday/Christmas wish list for anyone who's still looking for ideas {wink, wink O!}

1. New perfume!  I had mentioned that I wanted MJ's Daisy a few Fridays ago, but then I took a whiff of Burberry Brit Sheer this past weekend & LOVED it.  I'd be happy with either!

2. A new throw blanket for the living room, like this one from West Elm.  A blue, or neutral--like the rest of our house!

3. I'm always in the market for a fun scarf!  I do like this one from my favorite store, Loft!

4. A fun new game for Game Night.  This one was recommended by a coworker {has anyone ever played?!}

5. New flats.  With the amount of time I've been on my feet at work lately, I could use a little more cute & comfy in my life.

6. Any good book--I know once the holiday excitement settles down and I have time to breathe again, I'd appreciate a good book, and I've heard from many of you awesome bloggers that Gone Girl is a must! {any other suggestions, girls??}

7. Any festive philosophy body wash would be greatly appreciated!  Really, philosophy anything is great.  Here are my daily fav's just in case ;)

I'm SO excited to see what's on your wish list!  Hoping they inspire me to add a few more things on to mine as well!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend Recap

And that fast, it's Monday again.  We had such a great weekend--I was so sorry to see it end!  We were both home Saturday and Sunday, no work, no major plans.  Just free to do whatever we wanted!

We started off Saturday morning by making a trip up to Jungle Jim's--Cincinnati's outrageous International Market.  This place is crazy!  If you live within driving distance of Cincinnati, you HAVE to check this place out.

1500+ types of hot sauce and 1200+ types of beer, O was in heaven!

And then we stumbled upon the wine & World of cheese, and I was in heaven.

Best wine find of the day:

#1, there's a 50 Shades wine?  #2, how did it end up next to Duck Commander wine?  
Seems off, in so many ways...

Sunday was laid back as well!  Church, a little house cleanin', and cooking a big pot of chili!  Recipe to come later in the week!

Linking up and sharing our fun weekend with Sami's Shenanigans!

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, November 15, 2013

{philosophy} Five on Friday

Another Five on Friday in the books, y'all {my tenth one!}  I truly mean it when I say these Friday posts are my fav!  Before we get down to business, I have to ask

Holy mother!  The best episode all season.  I had to pick my jaw up off the ground on several occasions.  Whewwww!

Ok!  Now that I have that out of my system!  I've mentioned my LOVE of philosophy products a couple of times {herehere and here to be exact}  They have so many fantastic products, but here's a quick list of my favorite five!

{one} purity made simple.  I received a free sample of this stuff from Sephora a few years ago & I was instantly hooked.  Using this eliminates the need for eye make-up remover.  It literally dissolves all of my eye makeup while I wash my face.

{two} the microdelivery exfoliating wash.  I'm always in the market for something that'll make my blackheads disappear & my pores smaller {TMI?}  After one use, I could tell such a difference!

{three} take a deep breath oil-free moisturizer.  This stuff is so light & doesn't make my skin feel greasy at all!

{four} hope in a tube.  a good eye cream can do wonders!  I'm trying to take a preemptive strike against fine lines...we'll see if it helps ;)

{five} kiss me tonight.  I put this on every night before bed--especially this time of the year.  My lips have been feeling so dry with all this cold weather--this definitely helps!

What are your favorite skin care routines?!  I'm always open to suggestions!

I hope y'all have the best weekend--the weather here is supposed to be nice, and I fully plan on taking advantage of a slow weekend!

This post was not sponsored by philosophy and these thoughts & opinions are my own.  But if philosophy did want to send me some goodies, I'd be ok with that too ;)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thanksgiving {Corn Pudding}

We had a little snafu with our Thanksgiving plans this year...  We usually split the holiday's with family since we live so far away.  Thanksgiving with my family this year, Christmas with O's.  Every year we switch it up--only seems fair & it has worked out really well over the last three years.  Buttttttttttt, this year not so much.  Our work schedules have been so hectic, and it's not looking like that'll change anytime soon.  So, at the risk of my mother disowning me, we're not going to Virginia for Thanksgiving this year {sorry, Mom!}  And better yet, we're not going anywhere.  We're staying here...just the two of us.  And we're SO fine with it!  I'm looking forward to a full day home, together, not doing a thing.

When Caitlyn @ Home Sweet Ruby suggested a Thanksgiving Recipe Linkup, I was all over it!  Love recipes, LOVE Thanksgiving, Love her sweet blog.  LOVE.  And it will hopefully give me a little inspiration on other things to make for our Thanksgiving for Two ;)

Everyone in my family has their one awesome thing they make for Thanksgiving every year.  My aunt brings Homemade Stuffing, my cousin has the Sweet Potato Casserole, I make the gravy and my mom makes Corn Pudding.  I know it sounds weird, but it is SO good & it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.  Think less pudding, more amazing cornbread.  It will definitely be at our mini feast!

Mom's Corn Pudding

1 can whole kernel corn {short can}
1 can cream style corn {regular size can}
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sour cream
2 beaten eggs
1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
3/4 cup grated Cheddar Cheese

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a mixing bowl, combine both cans of corn with melted butter.  Fold in sour cream and eggs.  Add in Jiffy mix and blend well.  Pour into oval casserole dish, and bake at 375 until middle is set, about 50-60 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, and put back in oven for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve hot.

I'm so excited to see what everyone else is sharing!  Has anyone else ever had Corn Pudding--I know my Southern friends have!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Christmas Card Inspiration

'Tis the season for Christmas Card pictures.  Last year, it was a sweet little picture of our pups.  This year, I'd like a picture of all four of us...only one problem.  I can't get O on board with a "family picture."  He's of the mindset that we don't need to do a picture card until we have "real" children.
Our compromise? Something like this:

What do y'all think--any suggestions?  I'm looking for a way to keep us in the picture {waist down} with more focus on the dogs.  That's about all the compromise I can come up with for a hubby who's not a picture man...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday

Ohhhh girls!  I seriously have been counting down the days until the weekend!  The last few weeks have been non-stop, and I'm really looking forward to a little R&R around here this weekend.  PS: thanks for all of your fashion feedback last Friday ;)  I ended up purchasing both items, and you better believe I'm stalking the tracking number to see when my goodies will arrive!

{one}  This morning, I am specifically thankful for 1) these sweet girls who always lift my spirits, 2) catching up on allll of my blog reading from the week, and 3) COFFEE.

{two} My coworker had this perfume on and I couldn't get over how good she smelled!!  I had to ask her what it was.  And now, this too, is on my wish list...

{three} Did anyone else hear about this "new" Gingerbread Latte?  Or am I the last to find out?!  What is this "new"!?  I'm of the belief that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  I plan to pick one up ASAP to see what these changes are all about....

{four} Confession: I'm a nail biter.  I know--gross!  I recently started using Essie Grow Stronger, and I can already see a difference after just one week!

{five}  This quote.

I hope everyone has a wonderful RELAXING weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shrimp & Grits

I told y'all on Friday that I had planned on just relaxing {and maybe shopping} this past weekend.  And I did just that--AND some cookin'...

Just typing out the title of this post makes my mouth water.  I LOVE Shrimp & Grits. I've had them prepared many different ways, and never had a batch I didn't like.  I think most Southerners have their favorite recipe--here's how I make mine:

Shrimp & Cheese Grits

1 pound of shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into "rounds" {you can sub in bacon instead!}
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon creole seasoning {optional}

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add in sausage and shrimp.  Cook for about two to three minutes per side, or until sausage is golden brown and shrimp is cooked through, remove from pan. {add in more olive oil if needed}.  Add in onions, and cook for about five minutes until translucent.  Stir in garlic, and cook for an additional minute.  Sprinkle in flour, and mix until well combined; cook for one to two minutes.  Add in milk, and stir constantly until thickened.  Add sausage and shrimp back into sauce, season with salt & pepper

*Really, you can cook your shrimp and sausage {or bacon!} any way your little heart desires.  For me, this recipe is all about the good, cheesy grits!!  Cooking good grits is considered an art form to many.  Things can go wrong with a quickness.  In my book, my uncle has the best way of preparing grits--its fool proof!

Uncle E's Cheese Grits
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups quick grits
3 tablespoons of butter
2 cups whole milk
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
hot sauce, optional

In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring water & milk to a simmer.  Whisking constantly, slowly add the grits.  Cook, stirring all the time, scraping the bottom of the pan often.  Cook until thickened, about 7 minutes or until soft.  Add cheese & butter to the grits and stir just until melted.  Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.  If you're not eating right away, pour grits into an oblong baking dish,  and cover tight with plastic wrap {so they will steam & keep the grits soft}

This recipe makes a ton!  If I make this for dinner for the two of us, I cut it in half & there's still leftovers!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Liebster Award

First, thank you SO MUCH to Melissa for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  If you have not checked out Simply Sweet Melissa, please do.  She's precious!  I read so many different blogs, and I truly enjoy getting to know more about the great girls behind the blog!  So here are my answers to this fun little award that has been floating around blog land...

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions given by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers and give them questions to answer.

Melissa's Questions for me:

1. What is your favorite childhood book?

If you give a pig a pancake!  And it actually came out when I was middle school...but I LOVE it!  I always wanted a pet pig growing up {and never had one, for obvious reasons}  That little pig is so darn cute, and it *might* just bring a little tear to my eye.  I know...big nerd!

2. How would you describe your style?
Ha!  Clothing style?  Dressed up casual.  I am a jeans girl!  Decorating style, I'd say I have a little more of that.  I really gravitate towards Rustic Modern.  Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn on a budget.

3. What is your favorite season (Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall)?
That's a toss up.  I really love all of them for so many different reasons!  I'm feeling overly sentimental today, so I'll go with Spring.  My sweet Nanny used to say every.single.year. when the Dogwoods and daffodils would bloom "Heaven must look like Virginia in the Spring"  and I always think of her once things start blooming :)

4. What is the one piece of jewelry you cannot live without?
My engagement ring and wedding band--for obvious reasons.  I'll count them as one.

5. What is your favorite color?
Neutral--does that count?  Our whole house is some shade of a neutral color.  If that doesn't count, I'll go with blue--the other dominate color throughout our house.  And I wear a ton of both as well!

6. What is something you have never done but want to do?
Travel to Europe!  O and I have always said we would like to travel somewhere big before we have kids!

7. What is something that people misinterpret about you?
I hope nothing!  I'm a little bit of a control freak, and I know that can come across as bossy or rude--I'm workin' on it ;)

8. What kind of blogs do you enjoy reading?

All kinds!  Home, fashion, food, style--so many!!  Check out the blogs I follow on Bloglovin' to see who I stalk daily ;)  Many of which are below!

9. Do you have any favorite hair or makeup products?
DO I EVER?! I have tons--so many in fact, that I usually list one or two in my weekly Five on Friday posts!  I recently changed all of my skincare products to several different things by philosophy, and I am so happy with everything I use!  I may have to do a separate post on all the wonderful philosophy products I use.

10. What is your workout routine (if you have one)?
Does running up and down the stairs to let the dogs outside count?

11. Do you have any blogging advice for those who are having a hard time getting started?
I started this blog after we moved from Virginia to Kentucky when O started Law School, to keep friends and family up to date on our goings on.  Well, life happened and I wasn't too good about keeping up with the 'ol blog.  But when things started to get a little stressful around here a few months ago, I really needed an outlet & decided to get back into things--which brings me to the "advice."  Do it for you!  Write about things you love & enjoy--not what you think others want to read.  Branch out and participate in link-up--thats how I came to "know" most of these fun ladies below!

I nominate:

Emily Dixie on my Mind
Caitlyn Home Sweet Ruby
Ali Life As I Know It
Erin Searson Shuffle
Ashley Sweet Carolina Bell
Christina The McGuire Family
Sarah This Sarah Loves
Stephanie Newlyweds:North
Makeshift Margaritas
Chelsie How Lovely
Hannah My Delicious Adventure

My questions for y'all:

1. Where do you love to vacation?
2. What is your go-to online shopping site(s)?
3. Cat or Dog?
4. What is one thing that few people know about you?
5. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
6. What is your dream job?
7. Sweet or Salty? 
8. What is your favorite room in your house?
9. Favorite team to follow {college or pro!}
10. What blogs do you enjoy reading?
11. Why did you start blogging?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five on Friday!

Is it seriously November 1?!  I hope y'all had a great Halloween yesterday!  While the weather here was super crappy, we enjoyed a few trick-or-treaters, laughing at our dogs trying to take off their costumes, and eating festive soup!

I vowed at the beginning of the month to go along with OctNOber.  Well, now its November, and my wish list is a mile long.  I see a little shopping in my weekend ;)  Linking up with Darci, Natasha, Christina and April to share five things on my "want list"

{one} After alllll the rain we've had in the last 24 hours, I'd say I need more "rain gear."  Specifically?  These Hunter Boots.

{two} It's no wonder I need a new pair of pants after all the cooking/eating I've been doing.  I'm getting a jump start on the holiday eating...Going up a size, into these perhaps?

{three} I love this Chambray top from LOFT.  And I kinda like the idea of pairing it with the black denim above.  I can do that, right?  Denim on denim, but not a Canadian Tuxedo.  Help me with this one.

{four} I tried a new eyeliner--liquid.  And it's just not happening.  I swear, ever since I started using it, coworkers keep telling me "you look tired."  I'm going back to my old fav, MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes in Dark Grey.  I promise to go into Sephora and not look at anything else, O.  Except maybe new mascara...and perfume.  But that's it ;)

{five} Let's go ahead and a few scratch off's on my shopping list.  Let's face it...I didn't save enough in all of October to buy those boots, let alone everything else on my list ;)  I'll settle for the eyeliner.

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!  Full of relaxing and mayyyybe a little shopping ;)
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