Monday, July 29, 2013

New look

Depending when you visited my blog yesterday you would have seen quite a few backgrounds, fonts and a rainbow of colors. I was designing, rearranging and coding for a while. After googling, watching tutorials and playing around with a bunch of different backgrounds I finally found something that I am happy with. Plain black and white :)

Also, if you look over to the right there is now a search bar and I have some pretty mint green social media icons too. Adding those took the longest but I think they look great against the white background, they really pop! Oh and while I was at it I updated my twitter background and facebook cover page to match the new look of the blog. Feel free to add me on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

I want to thank everyone for including me in your daily read. I can't believe how many people actually look on here on a daily basis. It's crazy to think how many people know who I am outside of my family and work. The number of page views used to be about 20 every time I posted a new entry, it has now grown so much over the past few months!


Easy tots

I saw this on Pinterest (of course.) The easiest way to cook tator tots...on a waffle iron! Who would have thought? Usually tots can take up to 25 min and then some if you want to broil them for crispiness. This method cooks them in under 8 minutes and all sides come out crunchy.

There are many other things that I've seen cooked on a waffle iron, brownies, cake mix and even cinnamon buns. I have yet to try those recipes but eventually will get around to them.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Patiently waiting

In 58 short days it will officially be fall! For me it usually starts around my birthday which is in late August, it's about time when kids start going back to school and the weather gets a couple degrees cooler at night and everything pumpkin starts to pop up. Fall is my favorite time of the year, even though it doesn't get chilly and the leaves don't change in Florida. It's the mind set of the calm before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that is right around the corner.

I've already bought a couple fall scented candles and pumpkin bread mix that were on clearance that I am patiently waiting to use. I have come up with some of my favorites for my favorite time of the year, most of them involving pumpkin. Who else is ready for the heat and humidity to go away until next year?

Pumpkin patches, churches always have the best ones

Baked goods, my favorite: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Fall scents, harvest welcome is my new favorite 

I get one the day it comes out every year

Cute clothes, boots are a must with every fall outfit

Darker nail polish. "don't sweater it" by Essie is my favorite nail polish of all time (first one on the left)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Girl Scout flavored coffee creamer

So I was googling when pumpkin creamer would be available (typical me around this time of year) when I found that there are Girl Scout cookie flavored creamers by Coffee Mate. So far there is only thin mint and caramel and coconut. In my area you can only by it at Target (there's a store locator on their website.) After finding out this exciting news I went to Target the next day!

I love thin mints, but my favorite of the two is caramel and coconut. It goes great with a coffee I drink on a daily basis called "home for the holidays" that has coconut, caramel and vanilla flavors already in it. I was expecting them to be expensive since the cookies are pricey, but they were only $1.99 each. Give them a try!

The 2 flavors

Favorite coffee mug

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lazy Moon- the new location

Lazy Moon pizza is the staple of any college kids diet while at UCF. A slice of pizza and a pint of PBR is less than $5. The original location was much closer to camps, smaller and was pretty much a hole in the wall and everyone loved it because it was right next to 2 local gross college bars. Their new location is muchhhh bigger and clean! I can't exaggerate how clean it is, you would have no idea what I'm talking about unless you had been to the original location in Knights Plaza.

Any who, the pizza is bigger than the tray it's served on and if you've never dipped your crust in honey then you're missing out. Ryan and I were near campus Sunday and we had not been to the new location yet so we stopped in for dinner. It was just as good as I remembered.

It's so big they give you silverwear to eat it with

Modern decor

It's hard to tell in this picture but they still put stickers on the pizza cookers!

Big big space

Yes, those are plants growing on the wall

New location near World of Beer

Monday, July 22, 2013

Simple summer mantel

I didn't feel the need to go all out for the summer mantel since I've already been planning what to do for the fall (I know I've still got a while to go, but it's my favorite time of the year!) I found things from around the house and bam a minute later I had a transformed from the 4th of July decor into a simple rustic summer look.

The lanterns have been on the ground ever since I started decorating so it's a nice change to see them front and center. My mom gave me the star last time I saw her and I already had the branch from previous look.

Total cost: 0.00!!!

Simple rustic summer mantel 

Star, lanterns, branch 

The wood smells great

Ryan got all of this wood for free from Craigslist. I wasn't sure why but it makes the office smell good and I will be using it in some fall decor in the next couple months. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Liebster award nomination

I was nominated for a Liebster award by my fellow real life friend and blogger Ember at Budget Splurge Beauty! It's an award given by peers to bloggers who have under 200 followers. The idea is to recommend smaller blogs so that you can spread the word about them!

I was told to give 10 facts about myself and then answer 10 questions Ember came up with. Thanks for the nomination. This sounds like fun!

10 facts about myself:
1. I have 2 rescue dogs, Gizmo and Barney
2. I get paid to watch concerts
3. I work at the Amway Center and Blue Man Group
4. I lived in Scranton, PA for 9 months
5. My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years now 
6. I used to sleep with a blanket until I went away for college
7. Can't go a day with out coffee
8. Guilty pleasure TV shows include, Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl
9. I have moved 5 times in the past 2 years
10. I am addicted to Pinterest

Embers questions: 
1. Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
After reading Cupcakes and Cashmere and The Small Things Blog religiously for a year I thought to myself "hey I can do this too, maybe people will want to know what I'm doing"

2. What is your favorite drugstore makeup product?
Essie nail polish or ELF makeup 

3. What is your favorite color, and how do you incorporate it into fashion?
My favorite color is purple, but thinking about it I don't really have anything purple. lol. I like wearing neutral colors and having good accessories

4. What is your advice to bloggers who want to give up?
Keep posting, and get your name out there on social media. Link everything back to your blog

5. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween, it's always fun to be someone else for a day oh and I am obsessed with the smell and taste of pumpkins!

6. Favorite type of shoes?
Flip flops, unless I'm working you'll see me in my flops or Toms

7. Where do you buy most of your clothes?
I love a good deal, Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy, Target and even thrift stores

8. What is your advice to fashionistas on a budget?
Makeup, buy stuff that's from the dollar store to experiment with, find out what you like then spurge if it's you think it's a good investment. Clothes, shop at Plato's Closet, have a clothing swap with your friends, dig deep in the racks at Goodwill

9. Who is your celebrity style inspiration?
I don't really base my style of any celebrities, but I feel that Carrie Underwood never looks bad in any picture whether she is dressed up or down

10. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
Alaska, I am obsessed with moose

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In remembrance of Minnie Hager

The wonderful obituary my grandma wrote about my great grandma

Minnie L. Hager, 104, went peacefully to be with her Lord and Savior on July 10, 2013. She was a lifelong resident of Manatee County, having been born and raised in Palmetto. Minnie was the daughter of Ed and Julie Jones, and was predeceased by her sister, Flora Belle Wadsworth, and brother, Charlie Jones. In 1930, Minnie moved to Bradenton, as she wed W. Price Hager, who had been a Bradenton resident since 1909. They became the parents of Robert L. Hager of Ft. Myers and Elinor Hager Durham of Palm Harbor. Price predeceased Minnie in 1977. Minnie devoted her life to many groups of young people, serving for over 20 years as the head of the First United Methodist Church's Junior Department, and elementary substitute teacher a dozen years, seventeen years as a nursery school teacher, and was also a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader. She loved to arrange flowers, serving as a leader in the Manatee River Garden Club, and especially enjoyed creating flower arrangements for many church events. Minnie has been an inspiration to her family throughout her life, especially to her 9 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, `19 great-great-grandchildren, and one great-great-great-grandchild. The family will receive friends from 10-11 A.M. on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at Shannon Funeral Home Town Chapel, 1015 14th Street West, Bradenton with a celebration of her life to follow. Committal services will take place at the Palmetto City Cemetery.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

5 years

The day after my sisters birthday is my grandfathers birthday and the day he passed away 5 years ago. I was jealous that my sister always had someone to share her birthday with. Every year we would all get together and they would blow out the candles on their cake together. When you share a birthday with a grandparent you automatically have different bond with them.

There are lots of things I miss about my grandfather but I won't bore you with them all. Mostly I want to thank him for the opportunity he gave my cousins and I to grow up knowing each other. He had a chalet in Gatlinburg that we went to every summer until I was in high school. My cousins and I are very close for living so far apart and I can't think him enough for that gift he gave me of knowing who some very special people are in my life. 

I love and miss you every day grandfather!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

She turns 21

Happy 21st birthday to my one and only little sister Allison!!! We may not always get along but when we do I have a blast with you. I love you and I hope you have a wonderful day. (Don't drink too much!)

Her high school graduation

Christmas 06

Story of my life

Times Square 2011

Being silly at the beach

Family cruise 2011

When grandma would take us to play on the playground at Mc Donald's

Christmas photo shoot 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chicken pot pie

During the week I went home to visit with my family after my great grandma passed away and my cousin and I cooked everyone a nice meal. We spent almost 2 hours preparing everything but it was all worth it. My dish, good old comfort food; chicken pot pie.

I researched how to do this, got ideas from many recipes and came up with one which turned out to be the best pot pie "better than Perkins" my Grandma said! I think what made it different was I boiled the chicken so it was nice and moist before heating it up with the rest of the ingredients. Besides the chicken there was a bag of mixed frozen veggies, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and a splash of milk. After baking for 45 min I put big biscuits on the top so each serving had a nice warm biscuit.

It took a while to make, but it was very simple. Lots of waiting around for things to cook.

Top view

Layers of chicken, soup and veggies

Perfect pot pie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

B cupcakes

There is a cupcake place literally right across the street from where I live and I finally went there the other day. Boy was it good, I'm disappointed I had not been sooner. It was very modern, the cupcakes came in many flavors and there was even a coffee area. The cost of a regular cupcake, $3, not bad. On their facebook page the list daily specials, $2 Tuesdays and sometimes Wednesday there is a happy hour where they are only $1.50 each. I will defiantly be going back!

There were lots of things I loved about the cupcake but a couple I didn't.

The packaging it came in for my to go order.
I got my receipt via email.
There were cupcakes infused with liquor and you had to be 21 to buy them.

I got a peanut butter cupcake and the only thing peanut butter flavor was a small reeses on top (Ryan ate it right away) and a small line of peanut butter sauce on top.

The cupcake tasted good but it could have been a little more moist, I did get it at the end of the day though.

To go container 

Cute little stripes 

Chocolate cupcake

Loved the frosting 

The outside of the building 

My receipt was emailed to me

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July in photos

Before I talk about the 4th I would like to note that I do not recommend going to Red Hot and Boom in Altamonte Springs for XL106.7's yearly 4th of July celebration. I was warned all week that there would be congestion near a certain exit off of I4, but did I follow the directions when I came home that night? Nope I got stuck in traffic less than 5 miles from my house for almost 2 hours because I wasn't able to make any uturns or left turns. I was super pissed at myself for allowing that to happen. Buttt on the plus side I did get to see the fireworks and hear the Jonas Brothers when they sang "Paranoid" when sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.

OK now to the less stressful day, we were in Daytona where Ryan's family threw a party with a water slide and all. It was nice being able to relax and not think about work or having to get up early the next morning. Everyone ate way too much, but isn't that what holiday's are for? It was a fun day and I can't wait until next year.

Ryan and his dad grilling

Nothing more American than Yuengling

Happy 4th!

Adult slide time

Love my "R" koozie

It's a tradition

Fireworks in Port Orange, FL

Ended the night with sparklers