Monday, November 28, 2011

Plenty To Be Thankful For - Blog Swap Reveal!!

Manic Mother

I'm THANKful for my blog swap partner!!!!!

Before I get to all the fun stuff, let me just say how much FUN I had with this blog swap and challenge!! I had been in a blog lull and this is just what I needed to snap me back into blog mode!! Thank you to Caroline, Courtney, Kristine, Meghan, and Sam for hosting such a fun and interesting challenge!

My blog swap partner was actually a match made in heaven! Seriously, Jules and I have so much in common and I had an absolute blast shopping for her!! So, without further ado let me show you all the great goodies Jules sent me! First, let me say that she sent this darling note explaining why she picked out each item for me. It was so cute and I wanted to snap a picture to share with everyone but cannot find it anywhere!! :(

How cute is this stationary! Jules sent a little note saying how much she loved stationary and how much fun it is to still get "snail mail" from friends. I have to agree! I love going to the mail and finding notes or cards from friends, "just because..." I love that the stationary had the pineapple, a symbol for friendship, on it; I thought that was very fitting!

Did someone mention Twilight? Yes, I am one of THOSE crazy Twilight fans!! I love that Jules picked out this hand cream for me in the perfect scent of Twilight Woods. It smells so wonderful, now if that Edward Cullen would just show up around my house that would be lovely!

Have you girl seen this cute lip balm in this little pod? I had never heard of it but, Jules said it was one of her favorites and I have to agree. I have used this every single night before bed and I am in LOVE! You can read more about this EOS lip balm on their website.

How great is this essie nail color? I actually have a nail appointment today and will be taking this polish with me. I cannot wait to see how it looks on, I just love a classic pale pink polish.

How fun is this ring? Its big and blingy with a lil color, just fabulous! I wore this a few times over the long weekend and got many compliments! P.S. Ignore my nails - remember in the paragraph above, I have a much needed nail appointment today!

Thank you so much JULES - you made my first ever blog swap such a joy!! I look forward to getting to know you more out in the blog-o-sphere!!

I cannot wait to see all the other swap reveal post today!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Plenty To Be Thankful For - Black Friday and Leftovers

Manic Mother

I'm THANKful for Black Friday and Leftovers!!

In the past, I have been one of those crazies that tackled Black Friday sales. This year, not so much. Shawn actually saw a few deals on some items he had on his Christmas List and decided he would attempt to conquer the crowd. I know, I know, poor guy going to buy his own gifts!! He went to three different places and with MUCH frustration left without any purchases! After hearing the play by play of his trip, I decided that I would stay at home this Black Friday!!

Now, I am not a big football fan, but with all the posts on Facebook about the Arkansas vs. LSU game I felt like I should be!! I kept up with the game as much as my attention span would allow, I think I dozed a few times!! Congrats to LSU, even though I was pulling for the Razorbacks because of dear friend who are devoted Razorbacks!

Later we went to my parents for leftovers! I think that I am over the turkey, dressing and casseroles until Christmas! Don't get me wrong the food was delicious, but after two days of it I am done.

Once home and in our comfy clothes we settled in and watched some Christmas specials. First, we watched "The Elf on The Shelf"
It was a very cute show and it really made Addison's imagination go wild. Before bed she wrote a letter to her elf and left it for him on our Christmas tree. Tiny has made a paper snowflake with a little message for Miss A to find in the morning! Have I mentioned how much I love the fun and memories we make with our elf??!!??

Once Momma time kicked in I decided to continue the Christmas theme and watch "Love Actually". I had heard so many good things about the movie and I have to agree with all of them. It was such a great Christmas love story, it will be a must watch for Christmases to come!!
I am such a lover of music and I thought this soundtrack was fantastic!! Santa?? Are you listening??

Our Black Friday was absolutely perfect, how was yours?

Plenty To Be Thankful For - Thanksgiving

Manic Mother

I'm THANKful for Thanksgiving!!

We started out our Thanksgiving day at Shawn's sisters house and had a wonderful meal! I was rushing out the door to make it on time and forgot my camera, so I failed to snap a picture of our table. Let's see if I can remember our menu:

Beef Brisket
Hashbrown Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Asparagus Casserole
Bacon Wrapped Peppers
Pumpkin Pie
Assortment of cookies
Blueberry Pie
Broccoli Cornbread

After lunch, we all sat around the table sipping a good glass of wine and visiting with each other. It was really a fun time!!

We left and headed to our next destination which was my parents house. We just stopped in to visit for awhile before headed home to put on our pajamas and relax!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families and friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Plenty To Be Thankful for - Day 8 - Special People in my life

Manic Mother

Day 8 - THANKful for the special people in my life.

I am so thankful for this little girl right here. She came into this word FIFTEEN weeks early and has been such a fighter ever since! We were told that she could have many severe health issues because of her severe prematurity, but we have been blessed beyond measure with a perfect 6 year old daughter!!
I am thankful for my husband and my step-daughter Jena.
Shawn is such a wonderful, laid-back, go with the flow kinda guy and really off sets my "high strung" personality. He is a wonderful provider for our family and such a terrific daddy! Here he is at "The Scoop On Poop" Exhibit at the Pink Palace. Sorry honey, but this picture just makes me laugh. Jena is my 16 year old step daughter and I have enjoyed watching her grow into a beautiful young woman. She is the best big sister that Addison could ask for!

My wonderful and amazing Godly parents.
I am so blessed that they are my parents and I am also proud to call them two of my very best friends! I love them both more than words can express!
I am so thankful to have precious in-laws. Thank you for raising your son into the man he has become today!! Thank you for taking me in as your "daughter" and making me feel at home always!
Last but not least, my sister in laws on the Banks side and my brother and his wife.
I am so thankful that over the years Tona, Sara, and myself have become so close. They are like the sisters I never had! Every time we are together there is sure to be laughter and joking in the room!! I am thankful for my brother and his wife Jess, they are not local so we do not see them much, but really excited they will be here for the holidays!!

I cannot write a post like this and not include my sweet sweet friends!! My post would be a million miles long if I listed each and every one of you by name. You are all so very special to me and so many of you have REALLY stuck by me this past year dealing with various things in my life. I love you all and am THANKful to call you my friends!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Plenty To Be Thankful for - Day 7: Thanksgiving Traditions

Manic Mother

Day 7 - I'm THANKful for Thanksgiving Day Traditions

Like many families we have a full day on Thanksgiving! We usually start out on Shawn's side of the family, where I eat the best dressing ever, and then head to my parents later that evening. I know sometimes it seems so hectic during the holidays to go to both families, but I really am blessed to have both sets of parents/in-laws here locally where we can be with them both!!

We do have a PRE-Thanksgiving tradition and that we have done the past three years, and that is putting up our Christmas tree. I do not know if you will find a child that adores Christmas as much as my 6 year old. I am meaning she loves ALL things Christmas from the music to the decor, she loves it all!! I enjoy getting up all my decor so that I can enjoy it for a good 5/6 weeks before having to take it all back down.

Here are a few shots of my tree.

Anyone have any tips on how to get a good shot of the tree with the room lights off but the tree lights on?? I just LOVE how it turned out!!

Ignore how my room looks crooked - I have no clue what I was doing with the camera!! See that little cat to the left of my tree??!!

Well here she is...she LOVES to lay under the tree!! She and I are gonna fight if she
does not stop darting out and knocking my ornaments off!!! The picture on the right is "Tiny" he comes every year once the decorations are out. His first landing spot was here on a picture in Addison's room. If you have small children the "Elf on the Shelf" is a must for the Christmas season!! Such a fun and magical thing to do with the kiddos!!

After re-reading my post, I realize that my Thanksgiving traditions could also be classified as Christmas traditions, but never the less they are still Thanksgiving traditions to us!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Plenty To Be Thankful For - Thanksgiving dishes

Manic Mother

Plenty to be THANKful for - Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes!

I have several favorite recipes that we have every year at Thanksgiving, but they are always family recipes that have been around for years and well there just is not a "recipe"! You know what I am talking about, those dishes that have been made for years and years and no one can really tell you EXACTLY what goes in the dish!!??!

My husband makes a wonderful green pea and asparagus casserole - I know it sounds kinda yuck but trust me its delish!! My mother in law makes some of the best dressing that I have ever put in my mouth!! However, on Friday night I went to my cousin's house for a little family gathering and his wife made this wonderful cornbread. I think I will try to make it for our meal on Thursday, it seems to fit right in with all of the Thanksgiving yumminess!!

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed but not chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
6 oz. carton of cottage cheese
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten stiff

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put broccoli in microwave or toaster oven to melt it, then stir in onion. Mix together all other ingredients except Jiffy cornbread mix. Mix in Jiffy. Grease one 9 x 12 x 3 inch pan with Crisco, flour it and pour the mixture in. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Plenty to be thankful for - 21st Century

Manic Mother

Plenty to be THANKful for - Living in the 21st Century!!

I am thankful that I live in the 21st Century because of this little thing called technology!!

1. iPhone

I will NEVER have another phone other than an iPhone. I really do not know what I did with out it for so long!!

2. iPad
I got my iPad as a graduation gift and I adore it. I love to read blogs and just catch up on various websites using my iPad. Do any of you blog from your iPad? That is one thing I have not tried yet.

3. DVR
OH.MY.WORD....I do not know what I would do without my DVR!
We almost NEVER watch live TV anymore. We tape everything and watch it later - I have a hard time sitting through all those commercials!!

I love asking myself the question, "How did I survive without this stuff?" My answer always is, "I know that I did, but it sure is nice to have it now!!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Twilight Link Up!!


1. Are you going to see Breaking Dawn at the midnight release?
Oh YES I am!! I am going with my two friends Angela and Jennifer, along with my cousins Melissa and Mindy (who is in from Australia) and my MOM!!

2. Scene you're most looking forward to in Breaking Dawn?
I am not gonna lie - THE HONEYMOON!!

3. Team Edward or Jacob?

Totally Team Edward!! You mean there is someone named Jacob in Twilight??

4. Favorite book in the Saga?
My favorite book of the Saga was Eclipse and so far that was my favorite on film too. We shall see if Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 changes my mind!!

5. Favorite character in the series and why?
Alice Cullen
I feel absolutely confident that Alice and I could be BFF's!! She's funny, cute and sarcastic when she needs to be. I just LOVE how she is such a good friend and future sister in law to Bella. I cannot wait to see all the planning she did for the wedding come to life on the big screen!!

Are the books or movies better?
I personally ALWAYS like books better. I really enjoy using my own imagination to add to the story. I am not complaining though - I do enjoy seeing Edward on the big screen!!

Do you have a Twilight collection?
Yes, I have several Twilight items. I have an Edward Cullen pillowcase that I sleep on every single night. I have calendars, puzzles, games, dolls, Edward Christmas
stocking and of course all of the books and moves on DVD. The one thing that I do not have is a Twilight Christmas ornament, I am hoping to find one this year!!
I cannot wait to see him hanging on the mantle this year!!!

Plenty to be thankful for - Day 3: I am THANKful for my hometown.

Manic Mother

Day 3 - I'm THANKful for my hometown.

Walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
Do I really feel the way I feel......

Memphis is the "home" of the King of Rock N Roll! Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley is located in Memphis on Elvis Presley Blvd. I have lived in Memphis my whole life and only visited Graceland 3 times. Graceland and The Lisa Marie (Elvis' airplane) are really a sight to see, not to mention all the other Elvis themed shops and diners that are around the area.

Speaking of the birth place of Rock N Roll, Memphis is also home of the blues. This is a picture of Beale Street, which is located downtown. This street is lined with bars and clubs filled with all kinds of music along with amazing history and stories! On this street we have Hard Rock Cafe', B.B. Kings, Coyote Ugly, Alfred's on Beale, Rum Boogie Cafe' and Silky Sullivan's just to name a few.

Memphis is also home to the Federal Express Headquarters.

And since we are home to Fed Ex, we have the Fed Ex Forum! This is our newest venue that hosts concerts and sporting events. The Forum is home to the University of Memphis basketball team as well as The Memphis Grizzles, which is our NBA team!

This is the Hernando Desoto bridge that crossed the Mississippi River and connects Tennessee to Arkansas. Every time I see a picture of this bridge it just brings a smile to my face; I can remember as a child going to the lake over in Arkansas and seeing the bridge in the horizon meant we were almost home.

Lastly, Memphis is home to the greatest children's hospitals for cancer patients in the country. St. Jude is filled with angels from the doctors and nurses to the researchers and fund raisers. St. Jude accepts all sick children regardless of their families ability to pay. I have been honored on a few occasions to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and meet some of these children who are fighting for their lives and hear the stories of how thankful they are for a place like St. Jude.

I hope you enjoyed my short tour of my great hometown. Memphis has much more to offer, my blog post could go on forever showing you other great things about my city. I am a Memphis gal through and through, as a famous girl said one time, "there's no place like home."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plenty to be thankful for - Day 2: I am THANKful for YouTube.

Manic Mother

Day 2 - I am THANKful for YouTube.

Isn't YouTube a wonderful little creation!! Here are just a few reasons why I am THANKful for YouTube.

1. Lyrics

I am a sucker for a good song lyric, but you know when you are driving down the road singing your heart out and all of the sudden.....your humming!! Why are you humming because you just aren't quite sure of that one line in that song!! I love that I can come home and hear the song while reading the lyrics!! Thanks to everyone who takes the time to post these - I love them!!

2. Laughter
Come on you KNOW that is funny!! HAHA - when his shoes fly off I laugh every single time!!

3. Lessons
I absolutely LOVE Michelle Phan's make up tutorials. I have extremely small eyes and love all of her tips and tricks with eyeliner and mascara!!

4. Late Night Interviews
I cannot tell you how many times I used to walk into the office and someone would say, "Did you see (insert name here) on (insert show here) last night?" 9 times out of 10, I had missed a great interview or skit but thanks to YouTube it was right at my fingertips! Who has not seen Parts 1,2 and 3 of The History of Rap? I have posted part 2, I can assure you that you will not bedisappointed!! Man, this music just takes me back!!

Can't wait to see what other videos and clips everyone is THANKful for!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Plenty to be THANKful for! - Day 1: guilty pleasures

Manic Mother

Day 1 - I am THANKful for my guilty pleasures.

Guilty Pleasure - Something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it.

I seriously could probably list 50 of these but for the sake of my readers, I will list 5.

1. Vampires

I will be at the midnight show on Thursday!!

I am not just a Twilight snob, I give all vampires a little time in my life!

Even my Rick Springfield played a vampire back in the day!!

2. My iPhone
Guilty pleasure or addiction?? All I know is after reading my above definition of guilty pleasure my iPhone sure fit the description!! This little beauty is never far from my reach!

3. Texting
I will be honest here, I cannot sit through a full television program without texting a friend to see if they are watching. If they ARE watching, well then, we just text through out the entire program. I AM one of those people who would rather text than talk. I do feel guilty about that, honestly I do. Well, maybe just a tad bit guilty!!

4. Mascara

I LOVE Mascara! I can never have enough, I probably own all three of the tubes in this picture. I can promise you that if I see a commercial for mascara that is going to lengthen, plump, or curl my lovely lashes it will be an addition to my make up bag!

5. Dexter
Yes, I heart Dexter Morgan. I mean, I shouldn't feel guilty about secretly wanting to be friends with Dex should I? I mean it IS Dexter and he only gets rid of the bad guys!!

So tell me, what are some of your guilty pleasures??

Testing, Testing, is this thing on???

WOW - So it has been almost THREE months since I updated my blog! I will be honest and say that I have just been in a slump lately. I graduated in May with my Bachelor's Degree and I was just so sure that I would have a teaching position by now. I had started following all of these teacher blogs and just knew I was going to get to use all these fabulous ideas in my classroom. I am guessing the Man upstairs had a different plan because, I am still unemployed. I have been sending out resume after resume and figured since I have time on my hands why not catch up with this blog!!

Let me do a 3 month summary in pictures....

I went to see the next four amazing people in concert.

I saw Katy Perry's California Dreams Tour in Nashville. The show was FABULOUS and I would go see her again if she came close to town. Boy, how I wish I could attend her FREE Katy Gives Back show in L.A. on the 23rd!

Rick Springfield in Jonesboro, AR - his show was amazing as always!!
Rick you are ALWAYS my #1!!

Gavin DeGraw here in Memphis. It was my first time seeing Gavin LIVE and let me just add that it will NOT be my last!!

David Cook was with Gavin Degraw and what I heard of his portion of the show was really good. Unfortunately, he did not grace us with his face until well after 10:30 and well we had a babysitter at home with A.

I have seen a few movies but my favorite in these past three months has been

I loved how they did not change too much from the original other than updating some of the songs. I thought that Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough did a fantastic job as Ren and Ariel. I enjoyed this film so much, I saw it 3 times in one weekend!

I have started a new love affair with a late night TV host. That's right, I cannot go to bed until I have my quality time with this guy.
I have added, "see Jimmy Fallon live in NYC" to my bucket list!!

Lastly, on October 28th, I said goodbye to a long time friend.
My friend, April Lowe Kelly gained her angel wings after a two year battle with breast cancer. She was 35 years old and was just a phenomenal fighter throughout her battle with this horrible disease. I can only HOPE that I leave the amazing legacy behind that she has left. She loved The Lord her God with ALL her heart and leaned on him daily as she was in severe and horrible pain. I rejoice knowing that she is in heaven with no more pain, but saddened that she left behind her loving husband and three beautiful children. Will you pray for this family as they are dealing with the loss of a daughter, sister, wife and mother?
I will see you again sweet and beautiful friend!!

So that is pretty much the tall and short of my life lately, but I am so looking forward to being a part of this and getting back in the the "blog-o-sphere"!

Manic Mother