Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pre-Birthday Look-Back. Concert Edition!

I plan on having a post for my birthday with "25 Things I'd like to do" but, in celebration of my impending 25th birthday, just for funsies, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite activities: Concerts. I LOVE concerts. Anytime I get the chance to go to a concert, I'm there. Every time I go on a trip, I look for concerts, every time someone comes to visit me, I look for concerts. I'm completely obsessed. Here's a few (read: most) of my favorites. 

  • Zac Brown Band / Sugarland 2008
  • Brad Paisley feat. Rodney Adkins (Feb. 2008)
  • Luke Bryan, Farm Tour 2010
  • Blake Shelton, GA National Fair, 2011
  • Luke Bryan, Farm Tour 2011
  • Miranda Lambert, Feb 2012
  • Phillip Phillips, American Idol Homecoming 2012

Going through all of these pictures makes me smile. Hopefully I will get to attend many, many more in the next 3/4 of my life! I'll don the Snooki poof, sit in the rain for hours, miss an opening act because I really wanted Mexican food before the show, meet a dead NASCAR driver legend, be first in line to meet ZBB (OMG!) or I might even use my special talents to get you down to the floor between acts, so you can get the most out of the concert! :) I will literally do just about anything to go to a good concert/while at a concert. Maybe you can join me at my next one. Who's in?

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Little Things

My family is not exactly the most conventional family that you've met, but we make do. Over Thanksgiving I realized just how unconventional we really are. I'm not sure I remember the last time that my dad was home for Thanksgiving. He works overseas and comes home when they tell him that he can. But, every year my mom cooks a full Thanksgiving meal just like we have a full house. And every year it's better than the last. And, I must admit, we eat enough for you to think that he's home. :) 

This year, in addition to a whole turkey, she even made roast beef (MY FAVORITE) and when I asked her how she makes it (which I ask her every time we have it, but for some reason I can not get it right when I try it myself), she informed me that I "have a lot to learn." I just laughed and thought to myself just how right she is. One day I will have the cooking skills of my Momma. One day. 

Now that I'm back home, it's nothing but full-force, full-speed, full-throttle, full-whatever ahead. Guess that's what happens when a holiday ends. Who knew? But, now that I do have to get back in the swing of things, I find myself smiling at the little things that happen throughout the day. They really help get me through the day. Here are just a few things that made me smirk and giggle over the past few weeks:

  • Remember when I told you that I forgot to buy George's Old Spice body wash/shampoo? Well, the next day I went to get it and boy did I find a treat! Old Spice apparently comes in the scent of courage! Guess what George has been smelling like for the past few weeks.. You can't tell me that you wouldn't buy it too. Who doesn't want to smell like courage?! And did I mention the name of this spectacular find? DANGER ZONE. Yeah, you read that right. DANGER ZONE. I couldn't resist. It was too good. 
Need I say more? 

  • While I was out Black Friday shopping, which just so happened to be on Thursday (WTF?), we had a little break between store openings and we decided that we were hungry, so we went to Sonic for some half-priced breakfast burritos. We got to the drive up window and asked for some delicious burritos and they were apparently not selling them until midnight. Humph. So, we went to the first place we saw - Steak n Shake. And guess what's at Steak n Shake... Frisco Melts AND Ultimate Banana Milkshakes. Heaven! Night was made at that moment. 
  • Last night when we got home from Thanksgiving, I was looking in the fridge, while I was putting up all the delicious goodies that my mom made, and I realized that our eggs are going to go bad in a week. This happens all the time with eggs. When we have them, we don't use them. When we need them, we don't have them. Well, I decided that I need to use up those eggs. I didn't really want to do the regular ole scrambled eggs and sausage because, to be quite frank, I don't really like scrambled eggs. I'm too lazy to make omelettes, so what's in the oven right now? Sausage gravy breakfast casserole! Yum. AND, George doesn't have to work til Midnight tonight so he's gonna be home in time for me to see him before I go to bed! What a great day! 
So, I guess as long as I find small things in my everyday walk of life to make me smile, I can make it. And so can you. It's all about the silver linings. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mid-Week Confessions Link-Up

It's Wednesday, and I found this link-up while browsing around blogs that I thought were interesting. I'm hooked. Mid-Week Confessions is something that I can get behind! Time for my confessional!

Today I would like to confess how broke I am, and the fact that I'm so obsessed with Black Friday shopping, that I'm going anyways. I have a problem. There is nothing like going out and finding really good deals. It's an obsession. Maybe I won't be able to buy as much as last year, or the year before, but the rush of being the first one in the door is just indescribable. I'm the shopper that plans out shopping strategy a week ahead and goes to the stores to find where everything is (... and I may or may not hide a few things with the help of someone who is equally obsessed) so that I can expedite Black Friday shopping. Again, I have a problem - but that's what Mid-Week Confessions are for, right?

Something else I would like to confess is how lazy I've been lately. When I get home from work, I come home, make sure the puppy has water and I sit my little butt in my recliner and I DON'T MOVE. Not even joking. I feel like an old man, but I don't even care. I feel like I've deserved it these past couple of weeks. And you know what, it feels GOOD. You should all try it sometime.

Those are my confessions for this week - besides the obvious Thanksgiving confession of "I'm going to eat entirely too much food throughout the course of Thursday thru Sunday." So, in case I put myself in a food coma between now and the next time I blog, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fill in the Blanks Friday Link-Up

Okay, so I've never done one of these link-up things so I'm not entirely sure that I'm doing it right, but I've decided to try it since I found one that I love. Please inform me if I'm doing this wrong. I'm still a newbie. :) Alright, here goes nothing! 

1.  My best quality is  my approachability, if that's even a word. I like to pride myself on how friendly I am .

2.  One of my less flattering qualities is  how irritable I can become when people are less-than-smart. I think you all know what I mean .

3.  I'd rather be  crafting .

4. Something I have been challenged with lately is  time. I just can't seem to finish a project .

5. I am looking forward to  decorating the inside of my house for Christmas! It's my favorite thing to do and this year it involves shopping and I LOVE to shop .

6. A super random factoid about me is  I love soft pretzels, and I'm a sucker for a kid with a fundraiser. This is why I've ended up with a box of soft pretzels in my kitchen. It was like the perfect storm .

7.  I want to  go on a vacation. A real one. I can't remember the last time George and I took a trip that was longer than a weekend. I think it's time .

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Purse Tells Me What I Need to Hear

Have you ever felt so incredibly busy that you just have no idea what's even going on in your own life? Yeah. That's me right now. How do I know this? My purse told me so. 

My purse is like my sanctuary of crap. All of the crap that I need to survive on a day to day basis. Wallet, phone(s), meds, checkbook. How men only survive with their wallet, I will never know. Today, as I sat down with my husband to eat dinner at the airport (where he works - because let's face it, that's probably the most we'll see each other for a couple of days), I looked at my purse. It looks like a freakin' war-zone. There is crap in there from I-don't-know-when or I-don't-know-where. If you know me, you know that I am organized. I don't like junk. This upset me. But then, I realized that it is a direct reflection of my life as of late. I mean, I haven't even had time to throw away receipts from when I bought my precious puppy food 3 weeks ago. I have Old Navy SuperCash that expired BEFORE George banned me from there (my fault - I like to shop, I can't help it). It's THAT bad. 

Work is demanding, pets are demanding, keeping my house clean is demanding (but really, that's the first thing to go after the purse) and I feel like there's no "Me-Time." Welcome to being a grown-up I guess. 

Even when the world feels like it's revolving to fast for me to go with it's flow, I can't help but to be thankful for all of the things that keep me so busy. I'm thankful for my job - probably the best job and the best bosses that I could have hoped to land right out of college. I'm thankful for my pets - they keep me from being so lonely while I wait for George to get home every night. I'm thankful for my busy weekends - I like going out of town to see my long-distance friends and I like finally having weekends off with George. All of these things that are stressing me out are actually the things that make me happy. It's quite a twist when you think about it. It actually makes my brain hurt a little bit. 

I guess the lesson in all this is that I need to slow down. If it doesn't get done today, that's okay. The world will not go down in flames because I forgot to go to the store to buy Old Spice body wash/shampoo (Whoops! Sorry, baby!). I need to sit here, clean my purse out and enjoy life as I live it because Lord knows I'll go crazy if my pocketbook gets this bad again! 

PS - I'm terrible at this blogging thing. I know. I promise to try harder. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

MawMaw's Cake Batter Cookies!

So, I was sitting on the couch, waiting for the Georgia game to start when I realized that I actually wanted to bake something. This never happens, so I figured I would go see what I had in my pantry and run with it! I saw a box of cake batter and knew exactly what I wanted to make.

My MawMaw taught me how to make these cookies when I was little and wanted to help her bake constantly. I'm pretty sure that she got this recipe out of a newspaper or a magazine, but they are easy, delicious and take virtually no time to make. Now that I think about it, she probably only baked these kinds of cookies with me because there was almost no way that my little 5 year old self could screw them up. Good thinking, MawMaw! The thing I love about these cookies the most is that they are always soft. I'm a sucker for a soft cookie right out of the oven, but these stay soft! It's the perfect cookie for people like me who aren't exactly Paula Deen in the kitchen.

Half time came and I was in the kitchen! Here's the easiest cookie recipe you've ever tried:

Ingredients List:

  • 1 box of cake mix - I used yellow cake because it's my favorite. 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

 Step 1: Mix the cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil in a large bowl. 

I forgot how thick it was going to be and I was using a baby whisk as if I was making cupcakes. It took a lot of effort. Use a normal size whisk.

Step 2: Add those delicious chocolate chips (or peanut butter chips, or nuts, or white chocolate chips, or whatever it is that you want to put in your cookies) and mix evenly. 

I used a spatula for this because I was getting aggravated with my baby whisk. Again, I am not good in the kitchen. Please don't judge me. :)

Step 3: After the batter is all mixed up, scoop it onto a cookie sheet. 

It doesn't necessarily have to be lined with wax paper, just don't grease your pan. I used a teaspoon for this, but I scooped very liberally. The cookies won't spread out too-too much, but I like to give them some breathing room. I ended up making 30 cookies, 15 per cookie sheet. 

Step 4: Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes. 

The recipe that I remember my MawMaw making only had them baking for 8 minutes. I don't know what the heck kind of oven she has, but mine definitely needed more than 8 minutes. I checked them at 10 and I still didn't think they were done. I think I ended up going more around the 13 minute mark plus. Just check them like you would do a cake: Stick a toothpick in the fattest one. If it sticks to the toothpick, it ain't done. 

I should tell you that they won't necessarily look like normal golden brown cookies when they come out of the oven. Mine looked like the above picture. They will be puffy when they come out of the oven, but they will deflate once they come out of the heat. 

Step 5: Let them cool and Enjoy!

This is always the part that I have the most trouble with. I'm not very patient. Especially when it comes to these delicious cookies. Learning the hard way: If you don't  let these cool, they will break and crumble when you try to pick them up, scoop them off the cookie sheet, transfer them to any other container, etc. Don't let them crumble, let them cool. It's worth it. And they will still be soft even after they cool! 

So, 20 minutes later and I have 30 soft, delicious, chocolate chip cookies and I'm just in time to watch the rest of the Georgia game! Couldn't get any easier than that. I promise you: If I can bake it, so can you. This is coming from the girl who screwed up box cupcakes. Yeah, you read that right. Box. Cupcakes. 

So, thanks MawMaw for the memories and for the delicious cookies! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

CAUTION: Sap Ahead

Sometimes I get so involved with everything around me that I don't see the days flying by. Where did the year go, really? Now that it's apparently November, I really need to try and make it a point to be thankful for  the things around me.

Making up for yesterday, I will be thankful twice as much today. And the only thing that deserves double thanks is my sweet husband. He really deserves a whole years worth of praise, but I only have one day to express my love for him this month. That's probably more than enough. I really hate it when couples gush about each other Every. Single. Day. on Facebook like they are always happy with each other. Get real. That being said, this will be my chance to talk about Mr. Lott with no limitations. If you aren't into that, you should probably go ahead and stop reading. You might vomit at all the love I'm about to throw at you. 

It's 8:45pm on a Friday night and George just left for work. I just got home about an hour and a half ago. I would complain, but this is much better than what his schedule has been in the past. He's such a good guy. He tries to make sure that everyone is happy with everything that he does. I know it puts a lot on his shoulders, but he does what he can. He had today off before he had to go in tonight, so I asked him to do a few things. He, of course, said "Okay" and did everything I asked him to do. We even got to have lunch together so I could have a break from a grueling week at work. He's so great! 

Here's a little bit of Lott history for you: When we first started dating, George would send me sweet text messages late at night so I would get them right before I fell asleep. I'm not sure if he knows this or not (I'm sure he does, since I can't keep a secret), but I wrote down every sweet text he's ever sent me in a notebook. I think I will share some. You can be jealous of what you're about to read, it's okay. I'm a little jealous of my 17 year old self after reading some of these!

"If the sun isn't out, I'm sure your smile will brighten up the day." August 11, 2005 12:29am
"Funniest Videos is on and I can't laugh without you. Okay, I can but I miss you laughing with me." February 24, 2006 8:51pm
"Being with you is like having my very own piece of heaven." March 3, 2006 1:38am
"I'm thirsty... Thirsty fo' yo LOVE!" June 3, 2006 4:30pm

I'm giggling to myself. Kimber thinks I'm a nut. Those aren't even the really good ones! He used to be so cheesy. I ate it up. I still love it. 

Things have changed a little since we started dating and started having responsibilities. I used to think that buying me flowers, making me sweet cards and sending lovey dovey texts were the sweetest things that anyone could ever do for me. Boy was I wrong. Don't get me wrong - those things are still super nice, but my taste has changed. Since we've been married, I find other things more desirable. For instance, cleaning the dust off of the fans. If I tried to dust the fans, I would be sick for a week with all of that dust. My superhero husband does it with no problems at all. How dreamy!

George likes to pick on me constantly, tell me I'm aggravating and pretend that he can't hear me when I'm telling him a story, but we have the best relationship that I could have hoped for. Not every day is a day in heaven. Some days we only get to see each other for about 2 seconds in the morning when we kiss each other goodbye for the day. Some days I can go a little overboard with the things that I want to do together with him and he thinks that I've gone insane. Sometimes he makes faces while I'm telling him about how terrible my day was and how everyone is dumb and needs to use their brains a little more (I'm sure we've all had days where we've felt like the only competent person on the planet). Secretly, he loves listening to my stories, I just know it. Even if things aren't perfect, it's okay because I'm spending my life with my best friend.

I could talk about George once a day, everyday, all day long if I could. I just don't think that I could have taken on life without him. Everyday is a new adventure. And now, I will wait for him to get home because he told me that in honor of Halo 4 coming out soon, we need to play Halo 1-3 to get ready. Some things never change and that's why I love him.