Friday, November 29, 2013

H54F: Swimming, Sisters, Selfies, and Savings

I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving yesterday!  Today, Mike and I are headed to RI for Christmas tree day - every single year, we go to a farm, pick out our tree, and decorate it on Black Friday instead of spending the day fighting lines at the stores.  

Even though I only had to work three days this week, I still love Fridays, so here's what I'm "high-fiving" about:

1. Mike and I decided that we're getting fit!  We are doing lap swim twice a week, and it feels so good.  Check out my swim team suit from 2006!

2. I know Shadow looks like a big cat, but look at how tiny she is compared to Roxy!  They're starting to get along pretty well this week :)

3. I let Mike's goddaughter borrow my phone for all of 10 minutes yesterday.... here are some of the 100+ selfies she took hahaha!  The one below is definitely my favorite.

4. Have you seen any of this stuff?  I played "La La Oopsy" and made magic looms with the cousins - weird stuff, huh?  But then again, looking back on it, the idea of "Cabbage Patch" kids is pretty weird too, huh?

5. Here was our Black Friday Thanksgiving night shopping adventure.  Can you just check out our amazing, newly-designed CVS?!?!  I LOVE ME SOME NAIL POLISH!!!  Below is all the loot we got for $15!

Lastly, here are a couple of my favorite photos from yesterday.... 

Have a great weekend, everyone!!  And don't forget to enter my holiday gift giving giveaway right now!

Linking up for H54F and InstaFriday!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving!  Today, Mike and I are headed to his family's house in Naugatuck, where my parents will also be joining us.  I am so thankful, among many other things, that our two families have molded into one so seamlessly.  

It will sure to be a day filled with food, football, family, and fun!



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Gift Giving [& a Giveaway]

I am itching for Christmas season!  Please don't get me wrong, I am so excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow, but since it is so late this year, my mind is already on Christmas!  In past years, I've shared what I am giving to my friends and family, but since I've started to share this blog IRL, I've decided to make everything a bit more vague this year.  I don't want to spoil a Christmas surprise for anyone who might be getting one of these gifts!  Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite gift giving ideas and places to find said items.  

I always try to find steals and deals when I'm shopping so that I can get everyone exactly what they're looking for while also staying on budget.  I promise that each of the ideas I give you over the next month will be amazing values.  

If you're looking for even more ways to save, here is a post I wrote before last Christmas with some of my favorite ways to save.  

Now let's get to shopping!

Today I'm starting this series with one of my favorite Etsy shops.  Jennie over at C Sister Bands makes adorable headbands and bows for kids of all ages and adults!  I've written about her in the past when I shared some of my Fall Etsy favorites and in my race recap when she made my amazing Snow White bow.  Little girls in my life [and I!!] just love her creations! 
Right now in her shop, she is featuring some great Christmas and winter-themed headbands and bows that are all $10 or under.  She is also great about creating custom pieces for any occasion!

Today, Jennie is giving away two pieces to my readers: a metallic gold knot wrap and a sparkly red felt bow that can either be made on chevron red elastic [shown] or a clip.  Both pieces will go to one winner who can have each of them customized to fit any size [newborn-adult].  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kitchen Mix Up #2: The Tasting

Welcome back to November's Kitchen Mix Up!


Here were this month's ingredients:
 photo KitchenMixUpBasketNov_zpsc8cf5de9.jpg

The Guidelines:
- "Open The Basket" on the first Tuesday of the month to see your ingredients and sign up.  
- Cook/Bake/Fry/Grill an original recipe using the four ingredients.
- Use any other ingredients you wish.
- Link up with our "Tasting" on the last Tuesday of the month with your recipe and/or photos of your creation and see what took place in each other's kitchens over the month.
- Use our button if you wish!

Here's what I made: Roasted Chicken Butternut Soup with Sage Croutons

I found the recipe for the soup on Martha Stewart's website and created the croutons myself.

Here is the recipe for the soup.  I thought it was a pretty good recipe, fairly easy, but kind of a weird consistency soup.  Using the potato masher made the squash a bit stringy in the soup, and in addition to that, all the soup smelled like was taco seasoning [but, luckily, it did not taste that way].  It did actually tasted pretty good and both Mike and I enjoyed the flavor!

To make the croutons, I cubed a stale grinder roll, chopped up about 6 fresh sage leaves, and mixed that together with 1 1/2 tablespoons EVOO.  In a saucepan on medium, I cooked the bread almost like I would a grilled cheese, turning the cubes occasionally until they were nice and crunchy throughout.  Mike LOVED the croutons, and I'd have to say I agreed!

All the ingredients

What I used for the 4 mystery ingredients

Before the oven

cubing and cooking the roll

the finished product!

Thanks for joining us again and I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Recap: All Things Connecticut

This weekend was all about Connecticut - local bloggers and the UConn huskies!

Friday night, Kallie and I hosted our first Northeast Bloggers - Connecticut area meet up.  The six of us met at Esca Wine Bar in Middletown to share blog ideas, get to know each other, and enjoy some wine - duh!
Wendy [and Greg] @ Connecticut Bloggers
Amanda @ MandaLoves

Amanda and I feasted!

Kallie's awesome CT trivia

Our sponsor of the night was CocoaShak, a local chocolate shop.  Even if you're not in the CT area, you can shop their selection online and I highly recommend you do!

Sorry for blinding you, Adriana, but I needed a photo of the best truffles ever!!!

Saturday, Mike and I got in the car early and headed down through NYC.  A few weeks ago, we got tickets to the UConn vs. Temple football game in Philadelphia, and on the way, we decided to swing down to Delaware to see Mike's family.
GW Bridge

Delaware Memorial Bridge

Mike's cousin, his grandma, and Mike

Lincoln Financial Stadium where the Eagles [and Temple Owls] play!

Eating a Philly cheese steak and drinking beer in 35 degree weather in our AWESOME seats!

We took an adventure to the upper deck...needless to say, the whole field was a bit empty.

UConn WON!!! It was their first win of the year and after the game, they all came by and thanked all of the fans who came to see them.

Sunday, Mike and I did some much needed work inside and outside our house, but in the afternoon, we went to our first UConn Women's Basketball game of the year.  The #1 ranked Huskies destroyed St. Bonaventure!

Now it's your turn:
-What did you do this weekend?
-Do you have a favorite college team? [Even if it might not actually be where you went to school, like me?]

Linking up for This Weekend I...Weekend Shenanigans, and Monday Funday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

H54F: Meow

1. Roxy - the night before we brought Shadow home.  We tried to explain to her that she was getting a new sister - we aren't sure if it worked.

2. The night we brought Shadow home - as you might have read a while back, Shadow just followed me home one night [I'll tell the whole story later], so we brought her to a place we thought she'd be familiar with - the garage.  Also, she looks terrified in this and every photo, if there was a meme for "scaredy cat," she would play it.  I swear she's been purring up a storm and loving attention since she came home.  

3. Sorella - I tried a fantastic new Hartford restaurant with my work team this week.  All of the pasta is homemade!  If you're in the area, definitely give it a try!

4. High Five - this cat is all about the "high fives."  She puts a paw in the air and high fives you if you put yours out, too!  So cute!

5.  Care package - check out the great box of Mississippi State goodies Heather sent me!  She knows I'm on my way to being a Southern girl, and she's definitely helping with the process.  Thanks, lady!

Linking up for H54F and InstaFriday!

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