Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Last of 2014

We had family church on Sunday.
I so remember drawing during church when I was a little girl.  It's fun to see my kids do the same.
And Payton had worn her jeans backwards to church! Crazy girl.
Little man now smiles for pictures when I ask him to. It melts my heart.
We ran some errands.
One stop was to get hot cocoa at Starbucks!
I made Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie for dinner. Yum.
Ry woke up from a nap cra-bby, which was okay cause that meant snuggles for me.
Both kids woke up and came downstairs at different times one night and ended up sleeping on our floor.
Nap time was a battle, and I won BUT his room got destroyed.
I convinced one kiddo to bundle up and go play outside {and yes, that is a pumpkin in our yard . . . Dylan shoots his bb-gun at it}.
More snuggles!
On New Years Eve me and my crew went to lunch.
Then I watched some Downton Abbey.
And we rung in the new year in style.
Can't wait to see what 2015 brings!  Hopefully I can kick this sickness once and for all. Not feeling well is the pits.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Confetti Pasta Salad {recipe}

I'm really shocked that I haven't shared this recipe yet. It's from a folded magazine clipping tucked into my recipe binder, and it's a family favorite of ours. I'm sure it's supposed to be a side dish, but we eat it as a main course all the time, lunch or dinner.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Confetti Pasta Salad
8-16 oz uncooked small pasta (shell, elbows, etc)
pint grape tomatoes, halved 
2-4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach 
bell peppers, chopped (one orange and one yellow)
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
(4-oz) package crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain; rinse with cold water to cool the pasta

While pasta is cooking, whisk together all ingredients for the Lemon Vinaigrette in a large salad bowl. Add tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers, red onion, dill, and cooled noodles. Toss to coat.

Serve immediately, or cover and chill to let the flavors meld together more.

*Original recipes calls for 8 oz pasta shells, 2 cups spinach and 1 yellow bell pepper. The noodles are supposed to be the main ingredient, but since my husband's diagnosis of diabetes, I've adjusted it to more spinach and less noodles and it is great. Just play with the ratio to get what you want. You really can't go wrong.

Since I cut the recipe out of the magazine, I don't know where it came from.  I searched online and {this} recipe from Southern Living has the same pasta salad recipe, but the vinaigrette is different.

Linking up at:

All Kinds of Things

Saturday, December 27, 2014


I turned 36 today.
I'm now in my late 30's. Hummmm.
It's also the first time in 2 weeks that I have felt good. I ended up with a sinus infection and bronchitis. {Total bummer right before and ON Christmas.}
We went to lunch at McAlister's Deli {one of my faves}.
I mean look at that scrumptiousness. 
Savannah Chopped Salad & Harvest Chicken Salad. Yum!
With of course, the BEST iced tea in the whole world! I order unsweetened and then add a couple of Equals. Their sweet tea, although AMAZING is just too sweet for me.
I thought the kids looked extra adorable.
We {finally} stopped at the Factory in Franklin. It's an old kitchen stove factory converted into an artsy mall.
A local artist, Bob Coleman, offered to paint the kids names in calligraphy.
He was a very sweet {86 year old} man!
When we got home we attempted our first game of Settlers of Catan. Oh and I won!
My sisters know me so well. The bag on the left is my birthday present from Jeannine and the one on the right is from Davese. Funny/awesome, right?
Chris and the kids sang me happy birthday,
and I devoured my peach pie and ice cream.
It was an wonderful birthday!
I have seen other bloggers post "36 (or whatever they age they turned) Random Facts About Me". I always enjoyed reading them so I thought I would take a stab at it:

36 Random Facts About Me
1) I got to eat at the top of the World Trade Center (at a restaurant called "Windows on the World"). I sat right next to the window, and I might have scooted in a little. 
2) I love wearing tank tops (I have WAY too many).
3) and flip flops. Rainbows rock!
4) I don't eat seafood. I try it every chance I get because I know it is so good for you, but I just don't like it.
5) I didn't eat pork until I was 25. While walking out of Home Depot (fully pregnant with Dylan) the smell of the hot dog cart hit me and I HAD to have one. I've been making up for lost time ever since (especially bacon . . . yum!)
6) I have to think about the word "specific" before I verbally say it. It's a tongue twister for me!
7) My first real job was at Mimi's Cafe. I was a hostess.
8) I got a ticket when I was in 5th grade for riding my bike on the wrong side of the road (true story!)
9) I LOVE Doris Day movies.
10) I would have LOVED to be a 50's housewife,
11) or lived in Downton Abbey during that era.
12) Chris and I dated for 3 months (technically) before we got engaged.
13) We met and married in just under a year.
14) I want to ride in a hot air balloon.
15) Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is my favorite fiction book ever. I've read it multiple times.
16) I'm a crier. I can tear up at the stupidest things, like a dumb commercial. Have you seen the WalMart & Coca-Cola commercial this year where the boy was earning money to buy his little brother a bicycle for Christmas? {tear}
17) I sleep under at least 3 blankets and 1 sheet in the winter. One being a down comforter. And my in-laws just gave me a heated mattress pad.  It's heaven.
18) "Wow, is he 12?" For the first time in my life, during Thankgiving break this year I caught myself thinking "Wow, is he 12?" while talking to the pharmacist at Target. Then again at the kids school I did the same thing while talking to the school psychologist. Yep, I am old.
19) I once told Chris to "Never move me to where it snows." and "I don't ever want to move out of Orange County" (California). God just shook his head at me and laughed.
20) I laugh hysterically when people fall. I will watch videos over and over of that stuff. It just never gets old. Especially when it's a runway model. In 6" heels. Awesome.
21) I was allergic to dairy, wheat and dogs when I was little. And had major asthma. The Lord healed me if all that!
22) In high school, I wanted a frog tattoo.
23) I don't have any tattoos. {Thank God!}
24) I've never smoked a cigarette, or pot.
25) I've never been arrested.
26) I'm 5'2-3/4". And don't forget that 3/4". It's a lot to this short girl.
27) I would love to work at the Food Network. Not to be on tv, just work there somehow.
28) Or I think it would be fun to work at Dave Ramsey's office.
29) I became a Christian at 5 years old. It was right at bedtime, my mom was there with me and I was under my flannel bears comforter.
30) I got baptized when I was in the 6th grade.
31) My dad officiated Chris and my wedding. I would say, my dad married Chris and I, but that just sounds weird.
32) Going to Africa to see where my parents grew up would be on my bucket list.
33) That is IF I had a bucket list.
34) I went to a really small private high school. I think my graduating class was 43 students.
35) I've only broke one bone. A toe when I accidentally kicked the corner of a wall. Duh!
36) I don't have any tonsils. They were removed when I was in 1st grade.

So there you go - total randomness. Are you still here reading this? That was long!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Week in Review

Here are a couple of pictures that didn't make it on any other posts from this week.
I cannot believe he is such a big boy. 
And at nap time this guys a little stinker.
We played Disney Frozen Surprise Slides and it was fun!
Payton drew her Anna doll. She thought it was a bad drawing and I thought it was excellent for a 6 year old!
There's this awesome "NOEL" sign in Downtown Franklin. Hopefully next year everyone is healthy and feeling better and we can bundle up and go down at nighttime and check out all the Christmas decorations.

Bob's Shenanigans {Elf on the Shelf}

Note: Any of the creative ideas I stole from other people on Instagram.
All the simple ideas (him sitting on a shelf, in a bowl, etc) are 100% all my ideas.  I know, mind-blowing, right? {wink}
Ziplining. {Dylan's favorite thing Bob did.}
Roasting marshmallows.
Drinking surup. {Payton's favorite thing he did.}
Rolled down the stairs in a toilet paper roll.
"Brush your teeth well. Love, Bob"
The kids COULD NOT find Bob here on the front door. They looked everywhere. I finally had to guide them were to look.
He drew on the kids faces.
For day 10, I forgot the move Bob the night before and {of course} Dylan woke up before me. Fortunatley he didn't think of looking for him right away, so when Dylan wasn't looking, I snatched him up and threw him on the mantel. Not what I wanted to do with him that morning, but I got away with it.
Putting together a puzzle.
Repelling down from our entry light.
He decorated the tree with the kids underware. {MY favorite thing Bob did.}
Bowing down to Jesus at the Nativity.
He also left a goodbye letter. Which is why Payton was crying in the picture above. She didn't want him to leave.
All in all it was worth it. Glad I only did it 2 weeks, but we will all be looking forward to his return next year!