Tuesday, November 30, 2010

thankful 30

30. Today I'm thankful for my Aunt Cissy. Today's her birthday and I love her so very much! She's been like a second mom to me. Thank you Cissy for all that you've taught me and all the wonderful times we've had together. I love you!

thankful 29

29. I'm thankful for sunshine. I mean, how can you have a bad day when the beautiful sun is shining? Exactly! Thank you Lord for the beautiful sunshine!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

thankful 28

28. Laughter. I love to laugh. I think it just warms your whole soul. So I thought I would post some funny stuff in case you were in desperate need of some laughter today.

Bon Qui Qui

Can I have your number?

Soldier seeing his dog when he gets back from Afghanistan (ok this one makes me cry a little, but they're happy tears)

Older man dancing to Lady Gaga

Dog doing the merengue (yeah, we're working on this with Dixie stat)

thankful 27

27. The Kelly family. I had such a wonderful time spending Thanksgiving with the Kelly side of the family! Thank you to Heather, Patrick, Anna and Paige for letting us visit and thanks to Kathy and Gary for traveling to see all of us! Your new house is beautiful!! It was so great to see everyone and get in some much needed quality time. Each time we see Anna she grows a little more and is even more fun to play with than the time before. And I just couldn't get enough time holding Paige! Even though I was able to hold her as much as possible, it still wasn't enough! I love the family that I married into!

Precious Paige

Kelly girls!

proud parents :)

the happy Kelly family and the strange aunt that tries to take 2 week old baby girl

plus John

proud Grandma

proud Uncle John. are you getting comfy with that newborn in your hand? hmmm....

thankful 26 (sweet potato casserole)

26. I'm thankful for sweet potato casserole. This stuff is soooo gooooood. I lost count of how many helpings I had throughout the weekend, oops. (my fave recipe is listed below)


  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows


Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thankful 25

25. Today I'm thankful for Thanksgiving! Family, friends, cooking together, eating together, being stuffed full together, parades, laughter, stories...is there really anything better? Yeah, I couldn't think of anything either. Yay for Thanksgiving!! I'm so grateful for all I've been blessed with this year, praise the Lord! Enjoy your turkey and all the fixins!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

thankful 24

24. Today I am thankful for Bojangles. That's right, Bojangles. Once we crossed the NC state line and were hungry we stopped at the first one we saw. I, of course, told the cashier how excited I was and what a big deal this meal was. He smiled and said he understood. (Translation: you are crazy lady and why the heck did you move to a state that doesn't have Bojangles?!) Anyway, as I stood in line to receive my deliciousness I felt a little lump in my throat. You know you get too excited about the little things when you choke up because you're about to scarf down some Bojangles. I don't know if its because I'm a fatty or because I'm a spaz and am overly emotional about...ummm...everything. A little of both I think. God bless the person who created Bojangles!

PS-We made it safely to SC and I have already held my (almost) 2 week old niece! Ahh!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i just fell in love

Before cooking dinner I decided to browse through some of my fave blogs and I came across this pretty little thing:

on this blog and you can click here for the designer's website. Seriously, my heart started racing and I felt all twitterpated inside (thank you Thumper from Bambi) when I looked at the multiple images. Oh mah gahhhhh!

Oh, and if you're thinking "hmm what would be an awesome, fantastic, out of the ball park gift for Jessi for Christmas?" well, friend, you just found your answer.

thankful 23

23. Today I'm thankful for the human body's ability to recover so quickly. I made jambalaya Sunday night and found out very quickly Monday morning that it does not agree with my stomach. Needless to say it was not pretty around here and there was a lot of laying on the couch with 3 blankets on (yes it was 65 degrees outside yesterday) and falling in and out of sleep. But today I am feeling in tip top shape! Thank goodness, because being sick does not boad well with me. Here's a cute mental picture: in the midst of hmmm...how do I say this nicely....throwing up....I looked at John and asked "why is this happening to me??" and he replied "you're sick" to which I promptly replied (insert sad, pathetic voice here) "but I don't wanna be" and I believe he just looked at me and asked if there was anything he could do because its not like anyone wishes sickness upon themselves. Anywho, point of the story is that the human body is awesome at recovering and for that I am thankful!

pearl and the beard

I. love. this. band. They're awesome!! So how did I find out about this little underground band you may ask? Well my cousin Abby saw them in North Carolina and posted about it here. So I thought I would listen to the YouTube video and sure enough, I fell in love with their style. I promptly posted in her comment section that I totally agree that they're awesome and she texts me a couple of days later saying that they're coming to Pittsburgh! So I round up a couple of friends who would be interested in something like this and sure enough we went to their show on Saturday night and it was AWESOME! Please check out the link to Ab's blog and listen to them, I really, really dig their sound (did I just sound like a Beatnik there? ok good) and I love sharing what I love with those I love....so check it out! Holla!

prince of persia

We watched this the other night and to be quite honest I was pretty tired because I had just come home from an awesome show and didn't know if I was really up to watching an action film. Then I saw that Disney helped out with the movie so I figured it couldn't be too bad. And I knew Jake Gyllenhaal was in it and I really like him as an actor...so far two positive things are going for this movie. And as much as it pains me to admit it (because I hate admitting that I like movies that John picks out), I really did like the movie. It was very "entertaining" to put it in the words of John. I enjoyed the storyline and the action part of the movie was good, not too bloody and disgusting or anything (what a lovely picture I'm painting, right?). All in all I enjoyed it, so if you're into action movies and what I would assume is a fable/story from history (yes, I'm displaying my ignorance here) then I would totally recommend it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

thankful 22

22. I'm thankful for all of my faithful blog readers. I really appreciate all of ya'll that take time out of your days to read my mindless writings. I love when I start a conversation and someone can say "yeah, I read it on your blog" before I can finish or when someone brings something up about a post. It makes my heart warm to know that there are family and friends out there who keep up with our life up here in PA. Thanks for reading and thanks for bearing with me since I'm not always the best blog updater. :)

PS-Thanks to my sweet sister who reminded me to be thankful for this.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

thankful 21

21. Starbucks. I freaking love Starbucks. Like I wouldn't be surprised if they had crack in their coffee because I'm that addicted. And no, I'm not ashamed. And for all of those corporation haters out there (yes, I can be considered one of them...some of the time), let me just say that Starbucks is awesome! I've had many friends work for them both part time and full time, and they treat their employees with respect (*cough cough* Wal-Mart, wanna get on that bandwagon?) and give back to the world. Great coffee, great service (most of the time), good to employees and good to the world...could you really ask for anything more? Well I guess asking them to set up shop in my backyard is going a little far, but, I'm ok with it if they are.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

thankful 20

20. I'm thankful for the Women's Choice Network. They are a crisis pregnancy center who open their arms to women of all ages that find themselves in a difficult situation. The women who work and volunteer there are so caring and compassionate. I'm just thankful that ministries like this (among many others) exist.

thankful 19

19. I am so thankful for the birth of my husband twenty some (not sure if he wants his age revealed) years ago as of yesterday! I know, you're probably thinking, "well you were already thankful for your husband". Well I think I want to be thankful again, because he's just that awesome. I love this man so incredibly much!! He ended up having a great birthday and really enjoyed time with friends, his cards and gifts from loved ones! He was feeling sick at the end of the night and sadly couldn't eat his lovely birthday cake. But we celebrated again this morning and each had a piece. I highly recommend that recipe if you're interested in making a lemon chiffon cake. So to end on a strong note: I love John, he's a wonderful man and I want to thank everyone who has played a part in his life, you helped make him the man that he is today!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

glee this week

Let's just say it was incredible. Gwyneth Paltrow guest starred and I must admit that she was awesome! I was a little hesitant because I don't really see her as the Glee guest star type. She's more of a classy, Emily Post, manners kind of gal. She sure surprised me! I was very impressed with her ability to sing and perform. I highly recommend that you watch it, even if you don't really follow Glee. Oh and by the way, I totally watched the last song/performance of the episode no less than three times. And maybe me and my poncho danced around the living room (yeah that just happened 5 minutes ago) with no shame as John gave me the stank eye. Glee never ceases to amaze me!

Watch the episode here.

thankful 18

18. Today I'm thankful for ponchos. I was inspired by Abby to buy one this past weekend and I LOVE it! I feel so 1960s/bag lady/trendy when I wear it. Love me some ponchos :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

she's crafty

(post title inspired by Beastie Boys.)

Now onto the real dilemma...I now have some extra time on my hands and I'm interested in becoming crafty. I think I have a knack for decorating and I do enjoy baking (however, I have few people to hand out baked goods to) but I want to figure out some other type of craft. Do any of my sweet readers have suggestions? Crafting does not come naturally to me so its something that I would have to at pretty hard but I'm willing. It'll need to be something with a slooooow learning process. Let me know please...I'm desperate.

thankful 17

17. I'm thankful for books. I just really love to read. And I don't discriminate against book genres, except for sci-fi...definitely no sci-fi. Everything else I'm up for it! I also love getting suggestions from family and friends. Right now I'm reading The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. It was given to me by my cuz, Emily, (we share a lot of the same book interests) and its about this agnostic guy who's an editor at Esquire and he decides to follow the Bible as literally as possible for one year. I'm really enjoying it! He's quite funny and I'm actually learning a lot that I didn't know before. I'll write a full report once I'm done. Yay books!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

thankful 16

16. I'm thankful for chocolate. It is so stinking delicious and I looooove it! Today I had a dark chocolate bar and I savored every morsel of it, yum!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

thankful 13, 14, & 15

13. Good shopping deals. Love em.

14. Girl time. I think I forgot (for a minute) how sweet girl time can be. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this past weekend with Abby. It's just so much fun to eat, shop, drink and talk with such a sweet friend (and cousin). Love you!

15. My mother-in-law, Kathy. I'm so thankful to have a mother-in-law that I love! I really enjoy the times that we're together or just talking on the phone. I am truly blessed to have her in my life. Happy Birthday Kathy!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

thankful 12

12. Today I'm thankful for sweet time with my cousin Abby this weekend. I'm so happy she is able to fly up here and spend time with me (and John). Thanks Abby and we can't wait for you to get here! Love you!!

the christian atheist

My cousin, Emily, recommended this book to me and I was immediately intrigued by the title. As you all well know I am a Christian and I tend to like things that are not your necessarily typical Christian things...such as a book entitled: The Christian Atheist. I'm also a "give it to me straight" kinda gal and that's exactly was Groeschel does in this book. He's basically stating: "Ok, you say you're a Christian but are you really living like one? Are you really shining Christ's love and light in everything you do? Service to your church, community, friends? The way you spend your money? Etc, etc. It was good and he most definitely made me stop and think about a few things, I mean because hey, not to surprise ya'll but...I'm not perfect (gasp!). It's a good book that makes you think, how much better can it get? 4 out of 5 stars. Thanks Em!

robin hood

men in tights? No, sorry, not that Robin Hood. The one with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett in it, silly. We watched this last week and I must say that for an action film I was pretty impressed. Crowe, of course did a great job as the "underdog/fighting for justice of the people/good guy" as he does in almost all of his movies (Gladiator, anyone?). I was also impressed with Blanchett's performance, I really enjoyed her as the strong, feminine role and she didn't play it in a cheesy way. She was legit. I really do recommend the movie, however you should know that it is more the story of how Robin Hood and the Merry Men began, not necessarily the Disneyesque storyline. Maybe that means there will be a sequel...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

thankful 11

11. My precious niece, Paige Michelle! Sweet Paige was born this morning and weighed in at 7 lbs. 11 oz and is 20 inches long! Mom and Baby are doing great! I cannot wait to see this sweet little baby (and the rest of her family) in just a couple of weeks! Congratulations Heather, Patrick, Anna and the rest of the Kelly clan!! (I will post pics as I receive them)

Also, not to be overlooked today, I'm thankful for our country's veterans! Seriously, they're awesome! Thank you to all of the wonderfully brave and courageous men and women who fight for our country! And many thanks to all of their spouses and families as well! I am forever grateful for what you do daily for us!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

thankful 9 and 10

9. I'm thankful for Glee. As many of you know I am a major Gleek and you may think "hmm what a silly thing to be thankful for" but I think if it makes you happy then it is definitely something to be thankful for. I can honestly say that I have not sat through an episode where I didn't squeal, bounce in my seat, fist pump or jump around due to sheer joy from the show.

10. Our home. I freaking love our home. At the end of the day its where I want to be. I love being able to spend time with my husband and precious pup, enjoying the lovely colors of the walls and all of the house maintenance we've had to take care of over the last few years. Totally worth all the sweat, Lowes' receipts, arguments and hard work that was put into it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

say whaa?

John sent me this article today, pretty interesting I must say. I'm considering it...just kidding, kind of...

Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

thankful number 8

8. Today I'm thankful for Uggs. I don't know how I got through fall/winter without them. They are in the top 3 things I love most about this time of year. For those of you who haven't had this experience yet (bless your hearts) you are seriously missing out! It's liking walking in warm, fuzzy bedroom slippers in public and its totally acceptable! If I could wear them all year long (and not suffer a heat stroke) I totally would.

Now, in honor of my sister I would like to introduce the world to (well not the whole world but to those of you who don't know this exists yet)...Man Uggs (otherwise known as Muggs). Katie had her first real life Muggs sighting today and decided to call me (while I'm grocery shopping) and tell me about this glorious moment in her life. Oh Muggs, you are breaking down boundaries in the shoe industry one pair at a time.

Random male model lovin' his Muggs

One of my fave actors (Jason Segel) sporting Muggs in I Love You, Man (great movie btw)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

thankful number 7

7. I'm thankful for flannel.

Today John, Dixie and I went on a hike in Ohiopyle, PA. It was a lovely (but cold) day and a great day for a hike! We had a great time and Dixie most definitely loved the freedom of running around in the woods. However, once we were done all I wanted was a warm car. Then when we got home I went to my bedroom and put on my flannel pajamas. Thank the Lord for the person who invented flannel! I mean can you honestly think of a better way to warm up from a cold day than flannel pajamas, fuzzy socks and two blankets? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

thankful #6

6. Today I am thankful for babies! My sweet friend Crystal gave birth to her baby boy Mason Scott last night! Welcome to the world precious one! Congratulations Crystal and Scott! I cannot wait to see Crystal and Mason at Christmas and hold this sweet baby! I think babies are one of God's most incredible creations and how can they not make you smile? Yay Mason!

Friday, November 5, 2010

thankful #5

5. Today I'm thankful for the relationship I have with God. It wasn't an easy journey getting to the point where our relationship began and it isn't always sunshine and cupcakes (just like any other relationship). But it is so very comforting knowing that there is a power bigger than me and that things happen for a reason (sometimes beyond my understanding and most definitely beyond my control). Also knowing that someone always loves me and is willing to listen regardless of the not so lovely things I may do or say ain't too shabby either. He is my refuge in times of confusion and sadness, joy and thankfulness, and all the other emotions that I have daily.

Each time I visit the beach I'm reminded of great my God is. I mean isn't that a perfect image of His creation, grandeur and beauty all thrown in together?
(location: the lovely Holden Beach, NC...thank you very much)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

new kind of christmas

I'm sure you're thinking, "wow, she's already thinking about Christmas?". Well, if you know me then you know that I am a Christmas Crazy (see here) and have been thinking about Christmas since like July so you shouldn't be surprised. Anyway, back on topic...I've already bought some Christmas gifts this year but as for the rest of the gifts I have decided to buy from local vendors or independent artisans. Local doesn't necessarily mean only the Pittsburgh area, it can mean places that are local to you (the readers) such as NC, SC, and all the other lovely places ya'll hail from. I have friends who are independent artisans and sell through etsy.com and some even advertise on facebook. Nonetheless, I would like to buy the rest of my gifts and help contribute to small (or big, whatev) town entrepreneurs. If you know of anyone that I should check out please leave their website in the comments section, I love seeing new things and buying from new people!

Oh and this yearning of mine, wanting to buy from the locals, totally comes from my dad. He has always preferred shopping at local businesses rather than corporations (booo evil corporations...just kidding). So yeah, that's where I get it from.

thankful #4

4. I'm thankful for my sweet husband. He is kind, supportive, loving and a lot of times my voice of reason. I guess God knew what He was doing when He put the two of us together...we're two very different people but I believe we complement each other well. Love him :)

Stud, costume party in college (he's Clyde from Bonnie and Clyde)

Superman, Spring Break 2006

Ahh the days of yesteryear...Spring Break 2006

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

thankful #3

3. I'm thankful for my precious Dixie girl :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

life updates

1. I have a new job! I am now a nanny for a local family with two precious little ones! This is my first week and I'm loving it! :)
2. It has consistently felt like autumn here for more than three days, yippee!
3. Abby is coming to visit very, very soon!
4. My precious niece should be here any day now! (prayers are with you Heather!)
5. We get to visit Baby Paige and the rest of the Kelly clan in just a few weeks!
5. John's birthday is coming up and I have NO IDEA what to buy him, eek! (any ideas would be much appreciated)

Maybe I should get him a Bengals Snuggie? I know, I know...well, at least I tried :(
(thanks amazon.com for the photo)

thankful #2

2. I'm thankful for my loving family. I'm blessed to have two wonderful parents and a fabulous sister! Not to mention the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents that I'm thankful for! Love ya'll!


So I'm going to go ahead and copy both of my cousins, Emily and Abby. They are both posting one thing each day that they are thankful for during the month of November. Shouldn't be hard, right? I've sure got a lot to be thankful for and I would love to share it with you all (and remind myself as I'm typing it). I'm sure some items will be very serious and some may seem silly to you but nonetheless I am thankful. So here we go...

1. I'm thankful for crisp, beautiful fall days where the sky is blue, the wind has a slight chill to it, the leaves are golden and red and the sun is shining.