Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday!

The family birthday marathon came to an end tonight...for a few weeks anyway :)  Tonight we celebrated my sister, Valerie's, birthday!
So happy to call her not just my sister, but my friend!  I am so very blessed to have her in my life!

Love you, Val!!  Hope you had a great birthday!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

30 by 30 Update

Today, Sunday September 26th I am exactly 344 days away from turning the big 3-0. *sigh*  If you have been following me long, you know that I have a 30 by 30 list - basically it's 30 things I would like to do before the big birthday.  Since I first started this in March, I have crossed off 7 things, and there are several others that I'll be able to cross off very soon!!  YEA me :)

1. Take a cake decorating class
2. Become much more “picture taking” and “editing” literate
3. Learn how to can food So proud of what I was able to do this summer... "Summer Harvest"
4. Learn to drive a stick shift (Brad would be SO PROUD!!)
5. Make pasta from scratch
6. Become a mother
7. Visit the Amish Country
8. Go on a weeklong vacation with Brad that is far enough away it would require a plane, train, or boat to get there We went on a cruise!!!  You can read about it here, here, and here.
9. Attend Beth Moore LIVE! in Atlanta It was so awesome...take a look see for yourself!
10. Go to at least one Auburn game this fall…I so miss being on the Plains on Gameday!!
11. Have a Girl's Night with my best girlfriends from High School
12. Be accepted into Graduate School  YEA!!  I started school this summer.
13. Complete my Master’s Degree
14. Have Brad at least 2/3 finished with Seminary
15. See 2 people that I have been praying fervently for to find salvation!!
16. See one of my dearest friends become a Mrs.!!  I went ahead and marked this one off, because the engagement has already taken place and wedding plans are underway for November 27th...so excited for you, Lori and Brandon!!
17. Plant a vegetable garden
18. Become part of a CSA
19. Get a puppy  Goodness, it doesn't take very long to look around on this blog and figure out this one is a definite!!  It's hard to believe we have already had her almost 6 months...our little Ellie Jane!
20. Shed enough pounds and inches to wear the dress I wore on mine and Brad’s 1st date (yes, I’m pathetic…9 years later and I still have it!)
21. Start recycling
22. Organize and preserve my digital photos
23. Make Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls (This is completely contradicting #20, but this was the first recipe that I ever heard about before I even knew who or what Pioneer Woman was, and ever since then I have wanted to make these!)
24. Redo landscaping around house and pool  I haven't posted about this, so I'll just tell you...the past several weeks me and my parents have taken on the HUGE project of working on our landscaping.  HUGE project!!!  It looks INCREDIBLE though, and I am beyond THANKFUL for all their help!!
25. Complete at least one of the projects off my Home Improvement Wish List (yes, it's a sickness…I have lists for lists!)
26. See the movie "Blindside" (no, I have still NOT seen it!)
27. Go on a picnic with Brad
28. Make an effort to call or send a card once a week to someone for encouragement
29. De-clutter. Organize. Simplify.
30. Consciously remind myself to find joy in every day!

Okay, okay - I know there is a LOT of things left in a short amount of time, but I'm determined!!  I'll keep you posted...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where We Slumber

Today I am joining Kelly's Korner tour of master bedrooms!

 Where we slumber...
I am not a matchy-matchy person at all...I like things to coordinate, and I'm all about different textures and prints mixed together.  Our comforter is red and camel colored striped linen and has wooden button details (from World Market); the camel matelesse coverlet and shams has a small leaf design in it (from Tuesday Morning); and the floral was a print that I absolutely LOVED from Polo, but they only had flat sheets left in it...so, my mom - OF COURSE - made my bedskirt, shams, window treatments, and shower curtain using the flat sheets.  Yes, she is the best!!
Our room is painted in a custom mixed color that matched the bedding we had several years ago.  But, I absolutely love this color so much that I couldn't paint over it.  And, the floral fabric has this color in it (although you can't tell it in these photos!) so it actually looks great with what we have now too. 
We got our furniture when we first got married.  I actually saw it in a Southern Living magazine ad and fell in love with it's timeless, simple details.
I wish that we had room for a little sitting area and have a nice cushy chair and ottoman, but I probably would never sit there...but, it would be pretty! HA!!
Sweet dreams!

If you missed the tour of my living room, you can see it here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chocolate Fever

Tuesday night, I had the biggest chocolate craving...and, there was nothing in the house that was chocolate. Hmmmm, what could I make?? I remembered an easy chocolate dip that I've made to dip strawberries in that's really good - but, I didn't have any strawberries. My wheels started turning to think how I could turn that dip into fudge. Let me just tell you what - I believe I heard angels singing when I sank my teeth into the first bite of fudge! HA! It was so ridiculously easy to make, and soooo very YUMMY...I just had to share it with you! Next time you have one of those "I'd kill for some chocolate right now" moods, you'll be ready and armed with this recipe!!
Toasted Pecan Fudge

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup pecans

Toast pecans on a cookie sheet in a 425 degree oven just until they are slightly crisp. (I know that toasted pecans sounds strange for fudge, but TRUST ME they are what make this fudge so awesome!!) Set aside.

Over medium high heat, mix the condensed milk and chocolate chips until chocolate is completely melted, stirring constantly (this will stick and burn very quickly if not stirred!!) Add butter and salt, and stir until butter has melted and mixture is smooth.

Then, it's FUDGE POURING TIME!!! (sorry, inside joke with Brad...) Pour chocolate into a container (depending on the thickness you want your fudge to be - I usd a rectangle Tupperware 'cool cuts' container, probably about 6x11). Top with pecans, and press pecans into the fudge slightly.

Let cool completely, then cut into squares (it's best to let it cool several hours, but I had to get a piece MUCH sooner than that...). Keep in refrigerator until ready to eat. It's best to let it set out for a couple of minutes to soften...but, again - I had to have a piece much sooner than that :)

Now, yes you could do this in a double broiler, but it does just as well to do it straight in the pot. You could also chop the pecans and even mix the pecans into the fudge before pouring, but I like them whole and on top.

Hope y'all try this soon...it is sooooo good!!! Let me know what ya think!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Baby Shower

This past Sunday, we had a shower for a sweet girl at our church to get ready for the upcoming arrival of baby Stella!
I did the flowers for the shower, and alternated these little carriages and candles on the tables.
Back in the summer, Shanna asked me to paint something for the nursery. I was honored!! I made this cross, and put the baby's initials in the middle. I thought it turned out really cute...and, yes the baby is a girl, but these are the colors of the nursery :)
Shanna got LOTS of great gifts for Stella!!
Congrats Shanna and Kevin!! We're looking forward to meeting the newest addition to our Children's Ministry :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's Gameday!

In the Fall, Saturdays in the South mean one thing...GAME DAY!!!
At our house, college football (particularly SEC football) is watched All. Day. LONG. And, I love it as much as Brad does :) We proudly support any of the SEC teams that are playing - but, you better believe we have our orange and blue gear out...cause no matter who's playing, our hearts belong to the Tigers!!
I made this rag wreath a few weeks ago for our front door...
And, of course we have a little Auburn spirit in the kitchen, too!
Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Saturday....WARRRRRR EAGLE!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Room in Which We Live

Today, I am joining Kelly's Korner tour of living rooms! Welcome to our home! Come on in to the room we spend most of our time...Our house has a very open floor plan, so as you can see there are not many walls in our living room. All the pictures were taken with me standing in the dining room or kitchen. All of our room colors are from Sherwin Williams "American Traditions" line, and the living room is "Colonial Sun". My drapes and pillows were made by my mom (she is AWESOME!) and all of my pictures, and decorative stuff I've just collected over the years. I've always liked my living room, but it changes ALOT - I get bored with things REALLY QUICK! I'm ready to do some more substantial changes than just moving things around, like some new fabrics and paint. BUT, we are putting hardwood floors down within the next few weeks (YEA!!!), so those things will have to wait. The bookcases, mantle, and arch were BUILT by my HUSBAND and his uncle and father!!!!! They are absolutely my most favorite thing about our house, and I'm so grateful I married into a family of talented men!

I HEART schotskys, so here's my top 5 fav in the room, in no particular order of importance:

Butler's Pantry Candlesticks - these were used in our wedding, and I just absolutely love them! HOME Sign - love the colors of this sign.
Funky basket - I love everything about it...the color, the shape, the twigs. Sometimes I put flowers in it (like right now) and sometimes I fill it with pumpkins/Christmas balls/Easter eggs.
Foyer Area - my favorite canvas and my Granny's dresser...just makes me smile!
Longaberger baskets and I have definitely had a long term love affair :)

After looking at these pictures, I'm really ready to put out some pumpkins and gourds...I'm getting excited about fall!! Thanks for letting me share our home with you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

So, I'm 29 Now...

My last year of my twenties began last Sunday!! As most of you know, Brad's birthday is just 2 days before mine, so we usually party for days around our house when birthdays roll around :) Brad's birthday fell on a Friday night, so we went to Chattanooga and ate at one of his most fav places - The American Cafe...YUM!...and, then we shopped at Hamilton Place! We had a great night out!
For my birthday, my school buddies took me out to a new restaurant in our town - Ichiban (it's a Japanese Steakhouse). It was soooooo good, and we had a BLAST!
My dear friend, Kim, made her "famous" chocolate cake for my birthday cake...it was AWESOME!!!!
It's so much fun to get to work with such a great group of girls that you can call your friends! Love them!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peter Pan

Friday night I went with Valerie and the kids to see Peter Pan, a production by our community Children's Theatre at The Whole Backstage Theatre.
Carolyne and Sam were so excited - they had been watching the movie at home to gear up for the play :)There was one part in the play where Tinkerbell "drinks" some medicine and it makes her pass out...several other fairies come and help her to "wake up". Carolyne leaned over and said, "She [Tinkerbell] just needed someone to help her come back alive...that's what good friends do, you know - they come help you come back alive!" Pretty profound statement from a 6 year old!!
Consensus on the play - when the curtains closed at the end, Carolyne said, "Oh please don't let it be over - I'll miss them so much!!"...and, Sam said, "That was the best Peter Pan EVER! I need a Peter Pan costume, Mommy!!"

...yep, I'd say they enjoyed it :)

If you are local, you need to make plans this weekend to go see the play!! It's so cute! You can find performance dates and times here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

War Eagle, Hey!

Ellie and I have been cheering on the Tigers tonight!!
It's great to be an Auburn Tiger :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Playing Catch Up

1. I have been so twisted up in life that Blogland hasn't heard a word from me in 9 days!!

2. I have 2 posts written waiting to be posted, but haven't been because pictures haven't been loaded...and, they just wouldn't be the same without a picture or two!

3. The reason no pictures have been loaded is because my camera disc went CRAZY on me, and the Photo Shop is having to recover my 588 pictures that were on that disc!!!!! I am just HOPING that they will be able to get them with no harm done...

4. Since my last post both Brad and I have turned a year older - 31 and 29 respectively.

5. AND, Auburn won their first game of the season - WARRRR EAGLE!!!!!!

6. I am now officially in my last year of my twenties...I know this sounds like a little old lady - but where on earth has the time gone????

7. Now that I'm in the home stretch of the dreaded 30th birthday, I've got to get busy on my 30 by 30 list! Updates to come...

8. So what have I been up to that's kept me away from blogging, you ask?? Well, let's just say life in the world of the Powell's has been B.U.S.Y. We've been doing some MAJOR fall cleaning and purging of clutter and ORGANIZING like mad men (and women); we've been celebrating birthdays and eating enough cake to make any 2 people sick; graduate school and seminary classes; and we've been living our normal happy little hectic lives :)

9. Our little Ellie Jane has not been sleeping well at night - and, has been keeping Brad and I from sleeping too. NO FUN!!! We think she is probably sleeping alot during the day since she's home alone...any suggestions on her sleeping habits??

10. My school year is going good - I have a PRECIOUS group of children in my room this year! I am so blessed!