Top Five Moments of the Week — 7/25/14

Friday, July 25, 2014

Click on "full screen" to see it better...

• Watching AC attempt to crawl!!

• Getting my mamaw's quilts that she handmade. One is for me, and one I got to save for AC.

• Celebrating the Mr's birthday.

• Getting part of our cabinets delivered for our dining room remodel.

• Seeing AC's face as she tried sweet tea for the first time!

McAlisters Free Tea Day — Baby's 1st Sip

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Y'all know our love for McAlister's Deli. We love it so much we REALLY wish they would open one near our house. But until that happens, we will continue to drive a few miles to get our fix.

Well, today was #freeteaday2014 for the #teafreaks out there. Yes, we are considered one of them. So you knew we would be there today. And our Pelham location was packed!

My parents, especially my dad, has been wanting to give AC a taste of sweet tea for sometime now. And we figured today was as good as any to give her a tiny bit. It was barely a drop, but she smiled and cooed afterwards so we know she loved it!!

Of course after we let her have a taste, she decided she wanted to get some herself with her straw in my cup. Only she made a mess on her lemon dress and never got any in her mouth.

Did y'all get to your nearest McAlister's Deli today and enjoy a glass of free tea?
Thanks McAlisters for the special treat today!!

Wordless Wednesday — Mr's Birthday Recap

Happy Birthday to the Mr

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We love to celebrated birthdays. That's probably why we've been celebrating the Mr's birthday since last Friday. We headed out to Mississippi last weekend to celebrate with our families. We kicked it off with dinner at Ole Farm Beef House with my family. It's one of our favorite places to eat in Meridian. If you are ever there for dinner, go!

Saturday night we celebrated with the Mr's family at Outback and then headed back to his parent's house for cake and ice cream.

We took lunch to him at his office today, and even though he was in a rush we enjoyed visiting with him for a few minutes. And he got a lot of cute smiles from AC.

Tonight we will celebrate the Mr's birthday as a family of three, for the first time. We've planned an evening at Long Horn Steakhouse, and AC and I got him his favorite cake and ice cream for dessert. He opened his gift from us Friday night, so he'll just get cards tonight.

We are so thankful that God placed him on this earth! I can't imagine my life without him... he is my best friend, my soul mate, the best daddy and the funniest man I know.

Happy Birthday!! We love you!!

Saying "Thank You"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Call it a "southern thang" or the way I was raised, but writing thank you notes are one of my favorite things to do. Since technology has grown over the years, I feel the art of writing a thank you note has become something of the past. However, it shouldn't be. As an adult, walking to the mailbox and seeing a handwritten card or note that's not a bill can make my day.

And to make writing thank you notes fun, there are thousands of cute note cards/thank you cards to choose from. You can even make them your own by having them personalized. Here are some of my favorite thank you cards...

The first one comes in different colors and shapes, the middle one because chevron is still in, and the last set are ones you can design to make them your own!

You can find these favorites here, here, and here.

We also have one of these return address stamps which makes your envelope cute and it's quick and easy to use. Ours is just about out of ink, and I'm thinking I'll be ordering this design next!

Check out all the cute designs you can choose from by clicking here.

Now that you have all the things you need to get started writing thank you notes, here are a few tips for writing and sending your thank you notes...

• If you are having a bridal shower or a baby shower, have a friend or family member write down the giver and gift(s) so you can check off sending them a thank you note afterwards. This is a picture of the baby gifts/givers from my baby shower back in Feb. I went down the list and wrote each thank you note, and then checked off by their name so I knew it was sent. I also did this for our wedding shower.

• Set a goal of 5-7 days after your shower/event to send out thank you notes. I sent out 75 thank you notes just from my baby shower alone, and it was over 100 for my bridal shower. When you have this many to write, spend a few minutes every day and write 10 - 15. You'll be done in no time!

• Try not to be generic in your thanks. (This is where writing down the gift and giver comes in handy.)

• If you don't have their address, you can use the White Pages App to help. You search by name and city/state. But also ask your host/hostess to give you a copy of their invite list, so you'll have the correct spelling of their name and address to use.

• If you have received a gift out of the blue or you just need to say thank you to someone, write that thank you note while it's fresh on your mind.... that way you don't forget.

• Don't stand in line for stamps, you can go online to buy them, or at most USPS stations they have a machine for you to print out stamps in sheets.

And remember, people spend time and put a lot of thought into the gifts they select for you, not to mention the money they have spent, so sending a thank you note is the least you can do.

Fourth of July Recap...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I've made it known many times that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but July 4th is my favorite summertime holiday. Wait, isn't it the only holiday in the summer? Oh well, still, it's one of my favorites! For the past three years we've been going to Logan Martin Lake to spend the day with our Sowell/Fields/Kemp family. It's a day of kids laughing and splashing in the water, sea doos and boats making waves in the water, and adults rocking and swinging and catching up on the latest with each other's family. It's always a big family reunion, and it's looked forward to all year long!

This year the Mr's mom, brother and his kids came to visit and join us at the lake. Hopefully next year we can talk his dad into coming, and his sister-in-law won't be sick. This was also the first year for AC to be there. Well, technically last year she was with us, but she was a well kept secret. For some of the family, this was the first time to meet her. And we were so proud of our little girl. She was a trooper all day that was mostly spent outside with a lot of things going on around her.

Once we arrived, the kids took off to get in the lake while most of the adults sat around talking and laughing. It's kinda broken up into two groups... the ladies are close to the house talking and watching the kids in the lake while the men are in the water or driving one of the sea doos or boat with kids on board. However, Shannon and usually my husband and one or two others hang out around the boat with all the fireworks on it. Shannon is the electrical engineer who puts on the greatest fireworks show, ever.

And, there is always tons of food. This year we had BBQ for lunch and hot dogs and sausage dogs for dinner. Oh, and the desserts are endless. Aunt Barbara always has the house decorated in red, white and blue from lights and wreathes down to the table clothes!

Everyone tries to wear something red, white or blue, for the family pictures...

Once the sun sets, everyone heads down to the lake for Shannon's patriotic video of the year, and to see his amazing fireworks show! We are blessed to have a 15-20 fireworks show with some of the biggest and best fireworks we've ever seen. So thankful for all the time and hard work Shannon puts in to this for us every year.

 Not trying to wish our life away, but we're all ready for our next 4th of July celebration at the lake!!

Red, White and Blue Whoopie Pies

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I've made these Red Velvet Whoope Pies before for a social at our home back in 2013. However, this year for the 4th I decided to make them again, and add some blue sugar around the cream cheese icing to make them red, white and blue. These were snatched up pretty quickly at our annual celebration at the lake. Even the adults were raving about them.  They are super easy to make, and they taste amazing!!!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies (I found the recipe at a website found here)

1 box red velvet cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. powdered sugar

Cream Cheese Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 C. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line pans with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and vanilla extract.
3. Scoop out pieces of dough that are about 1 tablespoon in size, or a little bigger. (Dough will be gooey.)
4. Drop into powdered sugar and cover with the sugar, then place on the cookie sheet 3 inches away from other dough balls. ***Note: You'll need to press the balls down using three fingers!***
5. Bake for 7-10 minutes and let cool.
6. Filling: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
7. Pipe onto the bottom of half the cookies, sandwich with another cookie and then roll in coarse sugar to decorate.

They are seriously to die for, and so easy to make! Y'all try them out and let me know what you think!

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