Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Favorites {Peanut Butter}

I grew up in a house of peanut butter lovers.  Like, I am pretty sure that my mom, brother, and sister ate it almost every day.  In fact, maybe every day.  Me?  not so much.  I mean, I liked it ok, but not as much as they did.  I have ALWAYS loved a peanut butter/chocolate combination (Reese's anyone?).  I am not a big candy person, but I can not turn down Reese's.  All of that being said, lately I have been OBSESSED with peanut butter.  Like really, really obsessed.  At our house, it's Jif or nothing else.  Delicious.  If I'm having a sandwich, I must have crunchy, but if I'm having crackers, apple, etc. I use smooth.  I am trying to eat mostly no carbs right now (I say "mostly" because I cheat a lot and pb and apples have carbs in them so it's not like I am not eating carbs) so I haven't had as many sandwiches lately (so sad), but I have apples and pb almost every day for lunch.  DIVINE.  Recently we heard in the news that due to poor peanut crops (or some such), that pb prices were going to my dear and precious husband bought a whole ton of it before that happened.  Ha!  Even if the prices don't skyrocket we are totally set.  Also, if there's an ice storm we won't go hungry!

So, on this Friday I say cheers for peanut butter!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Favorite Morning

 {After posting I realized that this was my 300th post!  Hooray for 300!  :)  That's a lot of memories I probably would have otherwise forgotten!  I feel like I should celebrate....Soinc Coke, anyone??!!}

Thursday morning is by far one of my favorite mornings of the week.  It's our first morning at home after being at school M-W mornings and I just adore it.  Ellington almost always sleeps late and we usually have a slow morning in our pjs.  I also try to plan extra fun things we don't normally do.  Anyway, it's my favorite morning.  Last Thursday I decided to make some chocolate chip banana bread that I saw on literally, a spoonful.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Makes 1 large loaf or two mini ones

1/4 cup butter softened {1/2 stick}
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup quick oaks
2 tablespoons water
3 ripe bananas
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour {I used 1 1/2 cups white flour since I didn't have any whole wheat flour}
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins {I omitted the raisins b/c I wasn't certain that Robert would have eaten it with raisins}
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees until fork comes out clean. Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Less time if making muffins. 

I highly recommend this recipe!  Everyone in this house gave it 2 thumbs up!

Thursday morning I took a "before" picture of my very cluttered kitchen because it was out of control....

My intentions were to get it spic and span and then take an "after" picture.  That never happened.  Ha!  So, I just have this random, messy "before" picture.  Thankfully, it doesn't still look like the above picture, but I didn't get to do quite what I was planning either.  With a two year old around, you just never know what might happen in your day!

It's Thursday morning again and as I type this {at 8 am} Ellington is still snoozing.  Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to Daddy today.  Robert is going to the Kentucky game and is going to be gone today through Sunday.  We've left him before (in the early days we stayed with my parents a lot!), but he hasn't ever left us....certainly not for three nights!  It's definitely weird thinking about the next few days without him here!  I also hope I don't die from lack of adult conversation. :)  I am trying to think up fun stuff for us to do to keep us busy until Daddy returns!  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spur of the Moment

With Robert's job,we never know until Thursday usually whether or not he will have to work the weekend.  This makes planning anything VERY difficult.  It had been quite awhile since he had a weekend off, so when we found out on Thursday that there was nothing posted saying he had to work, we decided to plan a quick little getaway!  I was in desperate need of some fall/winter clothes because (thankfully!) the clothes that I wore the last two years are way to big.  And before that, I was just out of college and my clothes were kind of old anyway.  So, we decided we would go to Birmingham on Friday and stay until Saturday.  We never do anything so spur of the moment so it was fun!!! :)  We wanted to save as much money as possible on this trip (since the clothes buying would be more than normal) so we decided to use Priceline to find a hotel.  If you haven't used it before, you put in an amount you want to pay, the area you want to stay in, and the rating of the hotel.  Then the hotel essentially picks you and you are locked in.  It's definitely a gamble, but thought we would try it.  Well, we got LUCKY!  We got to stay at the Ross Bridge Resort in Birmingham!  It normally is over $200 a night and we stayed for less than $100.  We were blown away and soooo excited because there is no way that we would normally ever get to stay there!  We had a FANTASTIC time just spending time together.  Ellington did great and we were so proud of her!  Here's our little getaway....

When we first got to Birmingham we made a quick stop at McDonald's to use the restroom.  Ellington spotted the playplace.  This was her first time to play at McD's.  I admit, I was grossed out because I could see how dirty it was. :(  She LOVED it though.  I didn't let her crawl up in it because I knew she would get scared and I would have to go after her.  


After just a little shopping we went to check in at our hotel.

Checking out our balcony

The area was surrounded by beautiful homes.  The picture below is my dream home.  I want a small craftsman house so bad!! :)  Maybe one day!  This one was for sale, but something tells me that we probably couldn't afford it.

Ready for shopping on Saturday morning!  It was CHILLY so we waited on Daddy in the lobby to pull the car up for us.

We forgot our stroller, but thankfully the mall had these to rent!  I think she stayed in it better than she would have her stroller anyway.  It was worth every penny!  She LOVED it!

Ellington did SO great getting in and out of the car and going in and out of so many stores!

Before we left on Saturday Ellington got to ride the train she had been eying all day.  She was in HEAVEN!

I know I keep mentioning it, but we really were so proud of Ellington.  She is such a sweet girl and we truly are blessed to have her in our family.  We loved every second of spending time together as a family.  Oh yeah....right after we got Birmingham on Friday Robert found out that he actually WAS suppose to work.  They had just forgotten to post it!  Ha!  Too late!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Strawberry and a Cheerleader

This past weekend was Pumpkinpalooza in Starkville.  We were super excited about it because we had so much fun last year!  In fact, Reagan enjoyed it so much last year that she came again this year.  I had to work until 5:30 on Friday, so Robert, Reagan, Ellington, and our good friends the Sullivans got us a table at Old Venice.  They ordered and I walked down after all of the kids (& teachers!) had left for the day.  From the second I walked into the restaurant I knew that this year would be much different at Pumpkinpalooza!  The restaurant was pretty packed.....last year we had it  practically all to ourselves!  They really promoted the event this year so there were a TON more people there.  I meant have Reagan take a picture of us with the Sullivans, but we were trying to quickly hurry outside for the pep rally at 6:00.  We didn't stay too long at Pumpkinpalooza.  Like I said, it was very crowded and not a whole lot for Ellington to do.  The big activity is trick-or-treating at the businesses, but since E doesn't eat candy (and her parents don't need it!), we didn't do that.  And I am certainly not putting her in a jumper with a bunch of six year olds!  It was fun, but not quite like last year. :)

Ellington and her buddy, baby Wade

Our strawberry girl!

By FAR her favorite thing to do was playing in the hay in the pumpkin area.  If it hadn't been so crowded I would have let her play in it all night!  She loved it!

When we went to the Downtown Block Party several weeks ago we tried to get a picture with Bully several times and it didn't quite work out.  She would say she wanted to....we would get close....and then she would say no.  She was doing that again at Pumpkinpalooza.  Here she is trying to work up her confidence....

And she did it!!!  I am actually surprised that I got one with her looking at the camera because she kept just staring at him and laughing hysterically!  She was so proud too!

On Saturday we had a morning football game.  Ellington was ready to cheer on the Bulldogs from our house!

I just had to take the picture below because I was so amazed with Ellington's creativity!  She put her cup under this basket and said it was "locked" and she needed her "keys".  She proceeded to use different objects and toys to unlock her cup.  She would say, "No, not work" and look for something else.  Finally this balloon from her birthday worked and she unlocked her cup!  Hooray!  :)  I was sooooo proud that she came up with that game all by herself!

I didn't get a single picture of Reagan while she was here!!!  The picture below is from her phone.  We had supper Saturday night at The Grill and had the best time together!!!

Now that it's Thursday I am finally caught up through last weekend. :)  On our agenda for shopping.  I am making chili and banana chocolate chip bread today.  Delicious!  I'll try to post the recipes soon! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This and That

This post is going to be a little all over the place.  First, I will talk about the weather.  Exciting, right??!!  So, it got sooo cold today.  Well, it feels cold when you've been sweating for months on end.  I suppose come March a day like today will feel like the brink of Spring.  I LOVE fall and took a few pictures of some of our fall decorations today.  It's definitely nothing fancy, but I bet my 60 year old self will LOVE looking back on what her little life looked like at 26.

Our family of pumpkins :)

I started to sweep before I took the picture, but then I decided the leaves everywhere made it look more like fall!

As I was taking pictures, Ellington requested that I take a picture of her hotdog.  Funny story about her shirt... I needed to do her laundry today so I took off what she wore to school (that had paint on it from doing artwork).  I decided to put some sweatpants on her and this tshirt.  Admittedly, she rarely goes without wearing a nice outfit.  So, the fact that she was dressed like this was kind of unusual.  When she saw this tshirt she said, "Oooooohhhhh FANCY!"  Ha!  She was so excited to wear this "fancy" shirt!

She LOVES playing in her new princess tent that Uncle Jake gave her!

I meant to include this picture in her birthday post, but I forgot.  The morning after her party I finally woke her up at 9:00!  Usually when I have to wake Ellington up, the second I open her door (letting light into her room), she wakes up.  The morning after her party not only did she not wake up, but I took a picture (with the flash) and she continued to sleep soundly.  She was TIRED!

I am SO excited that tomorrow is Thursday and we get to stay at home!!!  Last week the director and the other office worker were out of the office most of the week so I worked 25 hours extra, on top of my usual M-W mornings.  17 of those hours were on Thursday and Friday.  I was EXHAUSTED after last week!  I am so happy that we can sleep late and just take our time.  I usually do all of our laundry on Thursday or Friday morning when I am at home, but I did it ALL and put it away today so that I don't have to do it on our mornings off! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ellington's Party!

On October 8th we had Ellington's 2nd birthday party!  We just had a family party, but it's still plenty big!  Including us, we had 15 adults and 4 children.  We had a GREAT time!!!  Here are a ton of pictures from the party...

The front door sign

Some of the food and the precious cake!  I LOVED how it turned out!

The backyard!
We borrowed the jumper from Ellington's friend Riley and it made the party!  Ellington was in HEAVEN!

Welcome to my party!

Emerson was sick the whole week before the party and until Saturday morning we thought they weren't going to be able to come.  We were so happy that he was feeling up to it!

Jumping with Connor & Brody

For supper we had:  hamburgers, hotdogs, hashbrown casserole, baked beans, chips & dip, lemon squres, and of course cake and icecream!

Ellington loved having everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to her!


I made a video of Ellington's 2nd year.  Robert and I are probably the only ones who enjoy watching it, but it's one of my favorite things!

I don't have many pictures of opening presents because mine didn't turn out, but these are a couple that my mom took.  

Pappaw loves playing the harmonica and he gave Ellington one.  She's actually REALLY good at it!


We had such a wonderful time celebrating Ellington and we are so thankful for everyone who came to help us celebrate!  I enjoyed her party SO much more this year.  Last year I just put way too much pressure on myself to make it special and I ended up just being stressed out.  This year, I tried so hard to just chill out and it was soooo wonderful!