Saturday, January 30, 2010

Round Top Collection

I'm not sure how many of you have heard of ROUND TOP COMPANY, but they make some of the cutest holiday decorations! I have searched and searched for their official website, but I don't think they have one :(

I did find a couple of websites that carry their stuff and thought I would post a few pictures of some decorations for the upcoming seasons!
This is a stake that you can put out by your front door.
This is a cake stand for birthdays!
These are also stakes that can be put outside for your special someone's birthday :)

This is a wreath for the door.

Have YOU Ever Been?

One of my most favorite things to do is to rummage through the Thrift Store both at home and at school! You NEVER know what you are going to find :) In recent years, this has become quite the addiction - especially if you find something REALLY good... then it's like for the next two or three trips to the Thrift Store you have this anticipation all built up about finding ANOTHER great treasure! More times than not, though, if you find something AWESOME one trip, you're probably not going to find anything that matches its "greatness" for a least a few trips or so :)

My Daddy has these cute little sayings when he's out in the yard and Momma and I head to car with major intentions of shopping "The Galleria" as we call it :) He'll say one of two things:
  • "You girls have fun. But remember, if it can't fit in a drawer, don't bring it home."
  • "Have fun! Just remember: You have to get rid of something if you bring something home!"
I actually found their website and, what do you know!?!? There's a "HOW TO SHOP at AMERICA'S THRIFT STORE" section! If you've never been, I think this might be helpful to you :) (HA!).

And... Did you know that the Thrift Store has discounts!? Sure they do! Certain colored tickets are certain discounts, certain weeks out of the month. Now, I haven't quite figured this color system out yet, but I'll be sure to let you know when I do! It makes me SUPER excited to have found something at a steal already, then look up and realize that it's a 70% ticket color and I end up purchasing it for like 35 cents!
I wish I could say that I came home with a COOL purchase today, but the truth is I came home empty handed. Nothing struck my fancy... :(

Here are some of my favorite finds though:
I found TWO of these silicone Alabama Ice Trays last weekend for 99 cents!
I haven't figured out when I'm going to use them, but I've done some research and seeing that retail value is around $20.00, I think I found a steal!
Granted, I'm nowhere NEAR in need of a pair of LONG blue jeans, but these fit perfectly, believe it or not!

Back during the summer, my mom and I found an iron bedstead much like this one! It was a yucky grey color and needed a little love, but that was definitely NOT a reason to leave it without a home! We brought it home and Dave and I actually refinished the bed! After a little frustration and having to walk away a time or two, we got it done and it looks just beautiful! The bed you see in this picture is actually identical to the my very first "big girl" bed! It was my Gran-Gran's. When I turned one, my mom and dad took me out of my baby bed and put me in my Gran-Gran's bed. I LOVED IT! Now, maybe you understand why I wanted an iron bed all my own :)

NOTHING can describe the fun times I've had digging through all of the racks and racks of stuff at the Thrift Store! I may not have liked it very much as a child, but boy oh boy do I enjoy it now :) If you're not so lucky to have such a glorious place around where you live, look for a Salvation Army! They're loads of fun, too! And with those SPRING CLEANING days coming soon, keep in mind you can take all those clothes, toys, pieces of furniture and no longer loved items to the Thrift Store so others might enjoy them (you also get this little thing you can use on your taxes) - or your local church, like we do!

Hope you guys have found something fun to do on this COLD Saturday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rain, Rain... Go AWAY!

Our Sunday started out a little busy, yet has been relaxing all the same :)

Church at TCAT was amazing. I love the worship time and the people are SOO nice!

We had no sooner walked in the door from church that Luke and JV called inquiring about lunch! OH BOY, don't you know we all like to eat? We made our way back into the car and quickly found our way to Longhorn's for a nice reunion with our friends :) The food was wonderful, (Firecracker Chicken Wraps - my order + Boneless Buffalo Wings - Dave's choice, surprise!) as usual, and the company was even better!

Once we got home, we each went to our separate dwellings for what was supposed to have been a productive day. Well... I don't know about Dave, but I've marked a few things off my "To Do" list.

After watching "The Blind Side" last night, I decided to do a little web-searching for the FINE young man such an incredible movie was made after! I found this article in the USA Today from back in 2009. I just can't get over this heart-touching story.
Here is one of his personally told stories.
Here is another interview with Michael.
LeeAnn Tuhoy did a radio interview that I found on youtube.
Here is also an interview with Huckabee and the whole family.
For those of who who don't know, there is also a book out there.
If you haven't seen the movie - GO! You WON'T regret spending that ten dollars! I PROMISE!

Saturday = FUN DAY, FUN DAY!

Saturday = FUN DAY, FUN DAY

Saturday became quite an adventurous day for "Dave and Duck"!

While at home over Christmas break, my mom and I found this beautiful bedroom suite at one of our hometown furniture shops. At first glance I thought it was pretty. With saying that, it's nothing unusual for us to walk into a furniture store and completely redecorate our humble abode :) with the things we see that we like! We walk around the entire store both critiquing and admiring the pieces we deem worthy of our time (ha!). We went BACK into this same store again over the break and I realized that I had absolutely fallen in LOVE with this bedroom suite... not just "liked" it. I quickly realized that this was one of those "GOTTA HAVE IT... when I'm a big girl" moments. I stood and stared long enough that the sales associate ( that knows us well enough to know we usually just come in to look), came over and asked us if we needed any help:) I quickly said "NO", because I didn't. I have no where to put such a gorgeous and HUGE bedroom suite, but hopefully one day... when I'm a big girl...
So, our first endeavour of the day was to visit the ginormous Ashley Furniture Store here in town! I was super excited (A. That I was going to get to show Dave this amazing set of furniture I had found, but B. That he actually wanted to go!). Per usual, we got ATTACKED when we walked in the front door. The guy leeched on to us SOO TIGHTLY I ended up telling him what we had come to see. He quickly showed us to the section of the floor that housed my dream bed... then proceeded to stay... and stay... and stay. This guy stayed so close to us that Dave and I couldn't even talk about the bed! So, I said "THANK YOU", and we walked off towards the couches and horrendous lazy boy reclining sofas that Dave wants (GAG)! We eventually were able to make our way back to the area we initially came to look at. The vote is in: Dave actually liked it, too! I was super excited about this. Now all I have to do is... Graduate, Get a JOB, Get Married, and find a room big enough to house my dream bed... Easier said than done :( But, I will keep tabs on it - no worries! Outside the store was this copper elephant. Dave insisted we take pictures (of course) to document our journey for everyone, and because it was an elephant! Who doesn't love those?
After our play time in the furniture store we headed to Hobby Lobby to see if there was any fabric there that Dave might be interested in having his chair recovered in (EEK!). Luckily, we found some houndstooth fabric he liked, but we're going to need to figure out how clean he's going to be able to keep it (it DOES have some white in it people!). His comment to this, "I guess I'll have to start using a napkins". YUCK... No matter what it's covered in, I'm sure it will be just as special as it always has been! If anyone has any suggestions about fabric or places to look for fabric, let us know!

While at Hobby Lobby, we somehow ended up on the cake isle! OH BOY :) Get excited for what is coming next! Dave found a football shaped cake pain and insisted we make a purchase... and head home (RIGHT THEN - because, no worries, he was ready to exit the store as quickly as possible) to bake. After only slightly annoying him by asking to go down almost every isle (just to see how long I could keep him in there after he had found his "toy"), we made out way to the check out counter and then to the car... on a mission at this point to Publix, to finish our shopping for THE CAKE!
At Publix, Dave also insisted that normal chocolate cake icing made by Pillsbury just would not do, and that we HAD to make Ninnie's icing. Phone calls were made, groceries were bought and we were headed to my house to bake a football cake (because Dave's oven tends to burn things within five minutes)!

FIRST, though, we had to read the instructions :) Secondly, came all of the ingredients that we would need. WHOOPS, guess what we had forgotten though? Crisco shortening and food coloring for the icing! The MOST important part :( MMM... Getting close to putting this thing in the oven!
Bake for 55-60 minutes @ 325 degrees! Licking the bowl is one of OUR favorite parts :) Dave actually "shared" on this one. He wouldn't be so nice later when it came to the icing :(

After 55-60 minutes of baking (yeah... we thought this was FOREVER, too), it was time for our original second half of our Saturday FUN DAY! The cake had to cool for at least another hour, so we figured it could definitely wait to be iced until we got back!
The second half of our Saturday FUN DAY plan had been to go see the highly talked about "The Blind Side". Yes, we know... we were in the SMALL minority of people who had yet to see the award winning, heart touching, leave you feeling like your life had been touched movie. Well people, let me just tell you. If you walked away from that movie not feeling touched... not feeling like YOU could do more for someone... not having a yearning desire to be one thousand times the person you are now for someone else, then you need to re-evaluate you life! Our hearts were touched in more ways than imaginable after this Hollywood movie. It put our life and worries into a whole new perspective! WE are blessed, in so many ways. The least we can do, NOW, is to reach out to someone else. Whatever award this film gets this award session is well deserved.
Once we got home, Dave quickly got to work on his icing.
We were never really able to accomplish the "BROWN" color we were looking for, but decided an Alabama cake would taste just as good :) Dave did all the decorating PLUS the graffiti on the aluminum around the cake (ha!).
I've never seen anyone more excited and proud of a cake they had baked than I did from Dave last night! All day, all he wanted to do was "make a Ninnie cake"! Personally, I think he did a pretty good job :)

Coming SOON... to the next SUPER BOWL, Alabama Tailgate or event of your choice:

CHEF DAVE'S FOOTBALL CAKE! **Please call at least ONE WEEK in advance for orders! It takes him a while, and he doesn't like for others to help :(**

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quick Trip

So Loren has been on me about keeping up the blog over christmas and by the way I didnt do a very good job. She told me yesterday that it was my turn so here goes.

After class yesterday I decided to take a quick trip home to play with dad today. Loren couldnt come with me because she had to go to class this morning but after talking to her several times today I dont think she has quite missed me as much as she says. She seems to find several things to occupy her time. Last time I talked to her she was shopping somewhere. If I had to guess a trip to the thrift store will be in order while she is out.

Dad and I have had a pretty good day. Woke up shortly after mom left for school and had some breakfast. After that we went to get his new wheels put on his truck. Made a stop at the hardware store to see our friend Mike Mathis. While there we planned a trip to las vegas sometime before Loren and I get married. Mike has always taken care of me and he is the one who taught me how to play craps. After the hardware store it was time for lunch so we stopped at my third most favorite chicken store, chick-fil-a. It is third because Ninnie's will always be first and mine and moms is a tie for second. No matter how much you try I dont think anyone can ever make anything like ninnie. After lunch we made a much needed trip to sams club then home to wait on mom to get home from school. Dad is currently having his nap time. Seems like somebody else I know still has nap time every day to (Jana). Below I posted a picture of susie. She jumps on the couch when you come home and gets on the top so you can pick her up to give you kisses.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Recipe Submission

Over Christmas Break, Momma had found some cute Christmas recipe cards at Michael's craft store. I liked them so much, I decided that I would pick up a few for myself ;) After Christmas, though, they came out with some new, every day, recipe cards that I absolutely fell in love with! Once again, I bought a few packs! (Sorry the pictures are blurry... the shiny cards didn't like the flash, and taking pictures without one... well, results in this!)
**I must interject here, though - I don't hold enough recipes to fill out the first package of 20 recipe cards that I bought, but they were just too cute to pass up.**

With saying that, if anyone has a favorite recipe that they couldn't image life without OR that has been a personal family favorite, PLEASE feel free to send it my way - especially if it is something Dave will eat :) It could be anything! From cookies and dip, to roast and homemade hamburgers with a twist, Christmas favorites or just a favorite dressing or sauce! I will write it down and place it with the few others I have and remember you always when I cook YOUR special dish!

My FAVORITE Christmas Present Was...

This year for Christmas, there wasn't anything that I had just been dying to have. I did decide though, that I would ask for things I could KEEP... Things that would be special to me and that I could hold on to for FOREVER! With saying that, my most favorite Christmas present was something my mom gave to both me and Dave. It was something she had made special and personalized just for us... something that she had put HER loving touch on!
This picture does it NO justice, but I forgot to take a picture of it (specifically) to post on here, so take my word: IT'S AMAZING! It's a picnic basket that has Big Al grilling (painted on the front of it) with the stadium and a bunch of other stuff on it in the background! The best part though... She had put "The Ashley's" across the bottom of the lid :) I was so excited!!! But, since won't be "The Ashley's" for another year or so, I put it up safely in my closet at home! I will be so excited to get to use it next year - AH!
THANK YOU MOMMA, for making us such a special surprise!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday... Adding Addresses

Today has been nothing short of a lazy day. Of course I have MORE than I could ever image to do for school, but it's just been one of those "I need to do ____" instead. I'm sure at this point you're wondering "what could she have possibly had on her TO DO list that would keep her from homework?".... Well, let me just tell you. I:
  • Returned a book to the Supe Store that I didn't need for Pediatrics.
  • Took a walk around campus to enjoy the beautiful weather God blessed us with today.
  • Played on Facebook (which can suck you in for hours!).
  • Put clothes away from where I did laundry on Monday.
  • Make a comprised schedule of my school schedule to send home.
  • Added addressed to my new address book.

Let me tell you just how FUN adding addresses to a new address book is :) Not only did I have all of my addresses that my mom had given me way back when for high school graduation invitations, but Sandye had sent me a list of their close family and friends addresses not too long ago and I decided to tackle those today as well. Can you say HAND CRAMP? Ugh... I am so happy to be done with that chore. It's something I needed to do long ago, but never took the time - and now I understand why! BUT, I am VERY THANKFUL everyone took the time to send me addresses. This will definitely save time later :)

As for my plans for the rest of my evening, I am currently sitting in my room, listening to the rain beat against the air conditioning unit outside my window (AND watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy and trying to be a good blogger). OH, what a sound! It is absolutely marvelous :)

I have not forgotten about my promise to upload pictures to catch everyone up on the month we unexpectedly forgot to blog about (EEK!). I am going to put Dave on that endeavour, though... :)


**Also, I have decided to start putting LINKS to things in my entries in order for others to enjoy the wonderful little things in life that my mom (or others) have either made for me or given to me as sweet little gifts. Be sure to keep your eye out for these! They might be just what you're looking for for that special someone who has you stumped on what to get them!**

Thanksgiving through Christmas RECAP (finally!)

Here is the LONG awaited recap :) I have done this particular blog TWO TIMES now, and somehow I have hit some button both times that has deleted everything, so... I am going to post this one quickly. Sorry again for the absence! Hope this gives all of you a little taste of our holiday! It was a great one, let me tell you...

IRON BOWL - Let the game begin!
How NICE it was to see this score board in OUR favor! Pasadena, HERE WE COME! Daddy and Dave were SO excited! Mom and I had been shopping ALL day and had stories of our own, but this picture says it all!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: December 1, 2009 - YAY!!!
WOW, what a day! Here is Dave showing off his new black loafers. Too bad they were too big. I had been a little sneaky in the month or so leading up to his birthday. I had checked to see what type of brown loafer we had bought this summer and then made sure about the size. WELL, when we tried these on that day, they were TOO BIG :( Rats...
Later that evening, we met Sandye, Mike, Ninnie and my mom in Birmingham at Sweet Bones! But, before dinner, we made a quick detour to Clarks in order to switch his loafers for the right size! Here is Dave holding up his rolling pin Ninnie gave him! When we had our "private fried apple pie lesson" Ninnie had asked Dave if he had a rolling pin. He said no, so she fixed that! I know that was a special gift for him :)
Please notice in this picture that Mike has my reindeer antlers on :) This is priceless!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: December 19, 2009
Momma and Daddy have ALWAYS made my "burfday" so special. On this particular morning, they took me to Hardee's for breakfast before I had to head to work (at Griffin's) for a little while! The lady at the counter overheard Daddy say it was my burfday and she gave him a candle to put in a chocolate cupcake for me to blow out! I must say, this was turning out to be one of my favorite burfday's!
Dave surprised me at work and took me home so that we could head down to my grandmother's for my dad's family Christmas. After leaving my Granny's house, we decided to mosey our way to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. What was supposed to be a two hour wait turned into fifteen minutes (and take my word, that is a FUNNY story)! While waiting for our dinner, we opened presents and took the time for a few photo ops!
I know that my family DREADS what's coming when they see me pull out my camera and ask a waiter (or whomever's available) to take a picture, but I also know that one day that will be so thankful and happy I captured those special moments! I know this day was a particularly special one for me :) THANK YOU!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from The Brown's!
Below is my daddy with Parker and Daniel. To say they love the Tide is an understatement :)
This Christmas was extra special for a lot of reasons. One being Jaiden was finally old enough to open his own presents! It was a blast to watch! You would know, though, he had more fun with Dave pulling him around in one of the boxes than any of the actual toys he got!
Sleepy baby :( Santa came so awfully early to his house.
Here is The Brown's Annual Family Christmas Picture... Except for this year, we were ROLL TIDE to the nine's! What can we say, we're drinking the kool-aide!
YAY for mine and Dave's annual Christmas picture :) This year was extra special though. Dave made it to my house just as I woke up! He got to truly experience a Brown Christmas, from unwrapping to cleaning up!
Here is all of our stockings back on the mantle. Our family is definitely growing! But, please, notice the pretty red and white traditional looking stocking! That would be mine. I came home in that stocking, 23 years ago :)
Momma, Daddy and me took a little trip to Nashville after Christmas and what a nice get-a-way it was! We stayed at the Opryland Hotel (which was beautiful) and made our way downtown a time or two! Here, we were about to go into the Ryman Auditorium! This place was amazing! We all decided that going back for a performance (of someone's) was an absolute MUST! I can't wait!
Just around the corner from the Ryman was Tootsie's! BOY OH BOY what a place. Even though it was 5 o'clock in the afternoon, this place was a-hoppin'!
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS - Thank You, for bringing home #13!
The Saturday after the National Championship was won, we all found it necessary to go take some pictures around the stadium. Here, we are standing in what is soon to hold Saban's statue! Yes, folks, it's already in the works. GET EXCITED!
We had also heard that the trophy was going to be at the Wal-Mart (yes, people, WAL-MART) on Skyland. Yeah, sure, it's just a piece of glass... But this is a HUGE part of history and we were going to go to experience it! We didn't stand in line for the official picture, but I think we got a good one just the same :)
OK... Explanation of this picture: Over the break Momma and I found these two beautiful black picture frames and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them! I took a picture of us on the day were got engaged in Central Park and a picture that my sister took (you've seen some of them posted on the top of our blog), transformed them into a sepia print and then hung them up in my room. You can't really tell in this picture, but they turned out wonderfully!
This past Sunday, Momma and I made our way down to the BJCC for the Southern Bridal Show! I was so excited! We had heard about it while I was home over Christmas break, and had decided then to make the plans to go. So, even though it was raining when we left, we didn't let it rain on our "parade"! After stuffing our face all afternoon with cakes and food of all sorts, talking with photographers and destination wedding people (because we're thinking about a beach wedding), we sat down for the fashion show and raffle. I am sorry to say, I did NOT win the FREE, ALL INCLUSIVE HONEYMOON VACATION. But, I'm ok with that, because I had a wonderful time with "my friend"!
WHOA! What a recap :) Hope you guys feel like you are caught up in the lives of Dave and Duck! Stay tuned... LOTS of updates will be posted this coming year! And if someone you know isn't following, you should tell them THEY NEED TO!
Hope all of you are well and we get to see you soon.