Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Bunny Cupcakes

When I was little, the day before Easter my mom would help me and my sisters make an Easter Bunny cake. Mom would bake the cake, and we would decorate it with icing, jelly beans, and licorice. (Surprise, surprise - my Easter memories revolve around cake. Ha!) Anyway, from what I can remember, we stopped making this cake right around the time Ellen and Laura grew out of Easter egg hunting - so its been a while! I thought it would be fun to do a little spin on that childhood memory by surprising the fam with Easter Bunny Cupcakes. I found this Paula Deen recipe, and they are just as delicious as they are adorable. Oh, by the way, I want to be Paula Deen when I grow up.

The Goods
Cute little guy

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gone Fishin'

This weekend my uncle Mark came to visit us, and we spent the majority of our time on the water. On Saturday the weather was not cooperating with our plans to go to Lake Guntersville. It was cold, cloudy, and windy, but we were determined to go to catch some fish. (I should say Brian and Mark were determined. Truthfully, I bundled up, read a book, and took pictures.)  This was the first time any of us had been on the lake, and we could not get over how gorgeous it was. Mark caught a lot of fish that day, but for some reason Brian was not having any luck. He had a few bites, but by the end of the day he had not caught anything. For those of you who know Brian, you know this did not go over well. He vowed to reclaim his manhood the next day!

Lake Guntersville

First catch of the day

Here fishy, fishy, fishy...

Sunday the weather was absolutely perfect. We spent the afternoon on Lake Wheeler, and I actually fished a little that day. However, I am way too impatient. If I don't catch one after about 30 minutes, I am pretty much done. Give me a book and some sunshine, and I am perfectly content. Good news is that Brian caught a fish and redeemed himself!

Excited AND Relieved!

Best. Uncle. Ever.

We really enjoyed spending time with Mark and can't wait for him to visit us again!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Tax Day

Mondays make me crazy. I am usually running late, I can't get enough coffee, and I swear my brain operates at a slower pace. Actually, if you would like to see what I look like on most Mondays, check out the Hoops and Yoyo clip below.

For a lot of people this is no ordinary Monday. Today is Tax Day, which in public accounting translates to "Get My Life Back Day". While serving my "hard time" as an auditor, our busy season came to a close by the end of March. However, as a daughter of a tax accountant and friend to several people in the tax world, I understand what a happy day this is. All you crazy, sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated CPAs go have fun tonight..then, please, go to sleep!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Outdoor Bistro Set

About 5 years ago, my mom gave me an adorable outdoor bistro set. I have really enjoyed it, but lately it has started looking pretty rough. Last Saturday I decided to bring this little set back to life.

I sanded down the table and chairs, making sure to go with the grain, until the wood was smooth. Next, I used a paint brush to apply the cedar colored stain. The brand I used was a stain and sealant in one so I didn't have to finish the surface with any additional product.

I found these seat cushions for $9 a piece at Walmart, and they match our outdoor furniture's accent pillows. (Score!) I like how the bright pillows tie everything together.

After purchasing the pillows, sand paper, paint brush, and stain, I only spent around $30. I had a lot of fun with this inexpensive afternoon project!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lunch Lady Land

The other day a friend mentioned making Sloppy Joes, and since then I have had a nonstop craving for them. I think that is because (1) Big girl like to eat :) (2) I haven't had Sloppy Joes probably since Elementary School. I used to love the school cafeteria's Sloppy Joes. They were always served with french fries and wacky cake. Oh man, I don't know if other school cafeterias ever made wacky cake, but in Wynne, AR wacky cake was where it was at!

This weekend I decided to make this cafeteria classic at home. Apparently, wacky cake is a legit cake, not just something that the Wynne lunch ladies invented (who knew!?). I used this recipe for the Sloppy Joes and this recipe for wacky cake. I attempted to make the Sloppy Joes a little bit more figure friendly by using lean hamburger meat and whole wheat buns, but the wacky cake and french fries destroyed any hope for making this a "healthy" meal. Oh well, totally worth the splurge!

I think I made the lunch ladies proud!
How can I write about Sloppy Joes without including this Adam Sandler classic? 

You're Welcome.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hello, Spring!

You know those days when you are in such a good mood that you start to get on your own nerves? Well, spring time has done that to me today. I decided to sit outside at lunch because my windowless office was depriving me of sunlight. I drove to a beautiful park downtown and found a great spot to eat my peanut butter sandwhich. It's the little things, you know.

Not a bad view at all, huh!?!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brian and the Book Business

In April 2010, Brian opened up a Textbook Brokers location in Decatur, AL to provide college textbooks for Calhoun Community College. Managing this store has been such an amazing experience for him. I thought I would share some before and after pictures of the store. It has really come a long way this year.

We are proud of this little store!

Exterior View


Inside the store
Official mascot of TBB Decatur

Friday, April 1, 2011

Home is Wherever I'm With You

Recently, Brian and I took the plunge and bought our first house. 

Home Sweet Home!

We have been married for a little less than 2 years, and during that time we have lived in 3 houses. In the past 7 years, both Brian and I have moved 8 times. Needless to say, we were finally ready to call something our own.

It was an exciting and stressful process. From the second I saw the house online, I knew it was our house. Brian loved it but wasn't completely convinced. After we looked at it, we both knew it was the ONE. We decided to put in an offer and things got a little crazy. The seller was in a unique financial situation and initially refused to budge on the price.  After we made our original offer and it was rejected, we put in a verbal "hail mary" offer, the absolute best we could do, and she rejected that too. Yes, I cried like a baby and was extremely immature and dramatic about it..what else would you expect?

About a week later, Brian got a call from our realtor and the seller was ready to negotiate! We came to terms that made everyone happy and just like that - we bought ourselves a house. It is very much a move-in ready home, but I have all kinds of ideas swirling around in my head. I watch way too much HGTV and DIY network not to take on a few fun projects.

Hank couldn't wait to see his new house.

Now listen to "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.  I have deemed this jam to be our house's theme song. (What? A house can have a theme song!)

Favorite verse - "Laugh until we think we'll die, barefoot on a summer night, Never could be sweeter than with you, And in the streets we're runnin' free, like it's only you and me, jeez, your somethin' to see."