Friday, January 31, 2014

High Five for Friday

It has been a great week, but glad it is Friday!
As I gear myself {and coffee mug} up for the day I can easily get pumped because it is Friday.

/1// It is a three day weekend. A whole day to sleep in and go about the day per my own schedule and of course, lots of time with my sweet Copper while we wait for Drew to get off work.

/2// It has been a supper quick week at school. The kids have been great. Truly, couldn't ask for them to be any better. I was worried they would be kinda rusty after 2 weeks or so off but nope, better than ever. That gives me a major thing to high five about!

/3// This week I tried another Pioneer Woman recipe and is was amazing. Seriously, one of the best things I've ever ate and I made it. I'm excited to try more from her cookbook, perhaps Monday on my day off. 

/4// It actually isn't going to rain this weekend. If you don't live in the South you may not get this. It has truly rained most weekends all year. This weekend might be chilly but it will be sunny. Can't wait to get out!!

/5// Although I'm not doing a great job at the laundry thing.
I am doing good at doing a walk through each night to pick up the mail that we put on the counter, put the shoes up we kick off by the door, hang the jacket up, etc. These are small things that really add up and the house is so neat and that makes me very happy!

Friday Five//

Well here it is, ANOTHER snow day!
Yup, been home since 11:00 Tuesday morning and have been off every since. 
I must say I've enjoyed this unexpected break but we are now out of snow days and my kiddos take the state writing assessment Monday and didn't get practice the way the format is. Just rolling with the punches on that one and having full faith in my kiddos on Monday morning. 
Fingers Crossed!!

Drew is finally home!!! He got home about 15 minutes before small group and Copper was just as excited as I thought he would be and I was too. So nice to go bed and not getting up to check that I locked the doors and have all the flood lights on. 

With this time off the house is clean and truly for the first time...ever, I have zero laundry to do. (or put away,what?!)  Well that was until Drew came in and dumped his over sized duffel bag on the floor full of dirties but that's okay. I also organized and cleaned out my jewelry. The house is sparkling and that just makes me happy.

Since this has been a crazy week with snow and out of town I'm looking forward to staying in tonight and cooking dinner. I've not cooked since last Sunday and we are both looking forward to a home cooked meal and snuggles on the couch. I'm sure a cold brew or glass of wine will make its way into the evening as well.

This little game called the Super Bowl! Being a Vols fan for life and growing up watching Peyton I can't help but cheer and root for the Broncos on Sunday. Drew's Dad is throwing a party where I have no doubt we will have plenty of food and lots of fun. It's always a fun night for us TN fans watching Peyton win another :)

Still eating healthy (at least 80% of the time) and looking forward to be able to go run today and this weekend. Copper and I have walked every day in the snow but I've missed running. High five for sticking with something good! 

As I blog from the couch this morning with coffee in hand and puppy on my feet I can't help but wonder who is going to have a harder time next week--me or Copper :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Home Tour {living space and master bedroom}

With all this snow and Drew still out of town I've had lots of time on my hands.
I've cleaned till the point I have nothing else to clean.
We got a new camera for Christmas and I hadn't used it yet and with the house all a sparklin' I figured it was as good a time as ever to show you a glimpse into our home!

When you come into our house it is very open which was a huge selling point for us.
The living room, kitchen, and "dinning" area are all open.

The kitchen island is where we spend majority of our time when friends and family are over.
I love the counter space and try to keep it clear when not cooking but the island is a "collect all" for mail, coffee mugs, etc. so I have to make a point to keep it clean.

I got a steal on this table when we first moved in at a local store. It has a leaf can add 4-5 more chairs easily. This is where we host small group and have many family dinners. Most of the time my school stuff is in a chair as well as spread out on one end of the table. In the morning the sunrises over the mountains in the back and makes a beautiful orange glow in the kitchen.

Next to the kitchen is our master bedroom. The ceilings in this room are one of my favorite parts of the house. I try to make this room soft and cozy and "our" space. I'm still on the hunt for some pretty "burlap" style pillows for our bed. I love when a bed has tons of pillows when made!

Then of course the master bath. 

I feel like the his/her sinks are a blessing. I usually get ready by sitting on his side of the sink with my make-up and whatever all over the counter. Then when we are both trying to get ready and brush teeth it is nice having the extra space.

Finally, the tub. I'm embarrassed how little we actually use this. I truly clean it more than we use it. This year I've made a point to use it more and not sure why I haven't more cause every time I get in there I love it.

Of course wouldn't be our home without Copper!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Husband is gone, blog on! {DIY Face Mask}

Well I'm officially snowed in.

Usually I welcome snow with open arms and loud cheers but this time Drew is still out of town for the week for work and it's just me. I don't mind being home by myself but now that I'm snowed in with Copper I'm really missing Drew. I miss waiting for 4:45 to hear his truck pull up and sitting down to dinner each night and I miss just sitting on the couch at night watching re-runs of our favorite shows. 

(*note this was taken at noon, it snowed 6 more hours)

We have almost 4 inches and school let out at 10:00 today and we are off tomorrow and considering it isn't getting above freezing tomorrow I'm guessing we will be off Thursday as well.
With Drew gone I'm keeping dinner simple and the fact that we live on a steep hill and I drive a Mustang means no carry out here. So tonight a grilled cheese hit the spot, so good!

With these crazy cold and super windy days my skin is so dry. 
My face even gets flaked in places and not only is it gross but it is embarrassing to have such noticeably dry skin. I did some Pintrest research and decided to do a quick DIY face mask to scrub my face good.

I used honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Mix one part cinnamon with one part nutmeg and then two parts honey.

I didn't measure anything just went by looks but it filled the bottom of this bowl and then I put it on my freshly cleaned face with my fingers in circular motions. 

The face mask smells like a delicious baked good.
I then wiped clean the mask with a warm wash cloth then a splash of cold water.
I slathered on the lotion and my face feels like silk!
I would recommend this make to anyone with dry skin.

The rest of my evening will consist of unhealthy amounts of Dance Moms (Drew hates that show), Pintrest, possible chick flick, and a yummy glass of red with a piece of Dove on the side. Then of course sleeping in with my fluff ball Copper, seriously what would I do without this dog?! 
Happy Snow Day

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken & Dumplings {Crock Pot} Style

Gotta love some home cookin'
I don't make these often but they are great.
Chicken and dumplings.
A southern staple and winter warmer.
I make ours with greens beans with potatoes, fried okra, and drop biscuits--

-at least one pound of chicken (can be breast or tenders
-chicken broth
-2 cans of cream of chicken with herbs
-half an onion sliced
-about a cup of celery chopped (optional but great flavor)
-small can of biscuits
-salt and pepper

I use my Crock Pot for these and it is so simple.
Put your chicken in the bottom. I used 1.17 pounds.
Next I used my salt and pepper grinders and covered the chicken pretty well. Then I added about half an onion and about one cup or so of chopped celery.

I'm all about store brands and saving but this soup is amazing to cook with.
Add two can directly on top of the chicken, onions, and celery.

Then I fill up one and half cans of chicken broth and pour into the crock pot and stir.
It will still be thick but that will cook out.
I put mine on high for 6 hours. I've done low for 8 and it is just as good.

After I got home I stirred the crock pot goodness. The chicken just starts falling apart and it smells amazing. 
If any large pieces of chicken are left I will take it out and shred it then put it back in.
Now for the dumplings!!

I've made from scratch dumplings and I've used these. Honestly, no difference in taste but major time difference. I used the smaller can of the Grands "Butter Tasting" biscuits by Pillsbury.
Crack your crock pot back up to high if it isn't already.

Next open the biscuits and separate them and you will cut them into little pieces. About 8 pieces per biscuit.
I like to use my pizza cutter for this part. Once they are cut put them into the crock pot and stir.

The longer they are in the crock pot the more cooked they will get. Some people like "doughy"  dumplings, I prefer mine a bit more cooked. I left our dumplings in the crock pot for almost 2 hours while stirring about every half hour. If you are big on spices you can toss in a bit of basil into the mix.

That is it for simple and delicious chicken and dumplings.
These are so yummy and fool proof!

Friday, January 24, 2014

High /5/ for Friday

This has been such a short week and like typical fashion-
still so excited to have the weekend here.
Drew is out of town all next week which is a major bummer so I want
to make the most out of this weekend before it is just me and puppy
snuggles for the next 5 nights.

Here are /5/ things high five worthy this week:

/1// I was off Monday for MLK Day and it was 60 degrees outside and perfect.
Then it was below zero again (and still is) so I got a snow day Wednesday.
So high five for a short work week!
This was how I spent my Wednesday morning-
blogging with puppy cuddles. 

/2// On my random day off I got to kick off the flannel pj's just long enough to get a major visit to the salon.
Between 4-5 inches gone and much darker/more natural. Feels so good and a new haircut just puts a bounce in your step!

/3// With this said time off I've made some yummy dinners. 
Drew always is thankful for my cooking and I appreciate that but he was super grateful and loved my southern dinner from last night which made me feel good. Dumplins' just do the heart good!
this super easy dumpling recipe coming soon!

/4// The house is super clean even down to the base boards and the laundry is actually folded. 
Which never happens. #miracle

/5// I'm still shocked that January is almost over, this year is flying by. But I am looking forward to February and hopefully a step in the warm direction. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to coupon but less extreme {wife life}

We've all seen the show.
The dedicated ladies who haven't spent any coin on toilet paper or rice in years.
The spend hours a week clipping, sorting, shopping, and saving.
That's great and all but I don't have that time.

Now it is not a secret that teachers don't make a large salary.
I'm okay with that because the job is rewarding in a way that money can't buy.
I feel I can do things, like coupon, to save a few bucks and it makes my salary stretch a little longer.

Let me make it clear that I spend maybe half an hour per week {maybe even less} meal planning and looking how to best take advantage of sales.

I get my coupons from my Mom's and Grandma's Sunday paper. So about once every two weeks I sit down and quickly cut coupons on products that we actually use. At first when I saw save $2.50 or buy one get one free I would want to get it because I had a coupon. But that's not the way to save.

My plan to save us money is by mainly planning our weekly menu based off of sales ads. 
I have a Food City and Ingles within five minutes of my house so sometimes I will see can goods on sale at Food City and meat sales at Ingles and go to both. If I had to use more gas and effort to get these savings then they would not be good deals. We do have a Publix and Target 20 minutes from our house and if I'm that way already I will go shop there but if not I stay more local.

First, now the deals. Our Ingles is more expensive and the produce isn't good but they double coupons and have great meat. So when I can get chicken at $3 a pound I'll buy several and freeze them and that saves money. Or I can double a coupon and get cereal or breakfast bars for .50 then it is worth it.

Our Food City has amazing deals. They often have great sales on name brands that I can use a coupon with. I think the "Food City Brand" is just as good and cost less so it is tempting to want to use my coupon and buy the sale name brand but I have to break it down cost wise. Sometimes it only saves .25 but every bit adds up. It is just taking the time to figure out which is the better deal.

I don't shop at Target for grocery's regularly but I do love it. First, I have the Target Debit Card that saves me 5% instantly, the Cartwheel App, and they let you apply coupons. I think the Market Pantry brand rocks but we hate the meat they have. So again it is taking the 5 minutes to look online and browse the ads. I've got some crazy good deals on K-Cups and we love the bread they have. (usually on sale)

I plan our menu by what we already have and what is on sale.
Like I said above, if I found chicken on sale the week prior and have plenty in the freezer then I look for what is on sale to the store I'm going to and plan from there. 

Sounds time consuming but I promise it is easy. I keep my coupons organized in this $1 Target find that I keep in my purse. 

I sort the coupons into categories such as dry goods, cleaning/paper products, bathroom needs, cold/freezer items, etc. I pull what I know I will use before I go and have them right on hand. If I need to quickly look up something in the store the tabs and sorting I did make it really easy to find.

This saves us about $100 a month.
Not a crazy amount but it is equal to the gas I would put into my car for a month.
Any money saving tips? 
Please share! And follow on Bloglovin and Instagram.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

{Wife Life} Marrying Into A Large Family

I want to start by saying how much I love and value my family.
By my family, I mean "my side" and my in-laws. 
I don't like the term in-laws.

In the picture above are most not all of our immediate family.
I have 12 family members in that picture and the rest is all Drew's family. 
Drew has a very large, loving family and I come from a very small, loving family.
Drew and I dated for 4 years or so before getting married and I've known him since I was 15 so I've got to spend lots of time with his family as he has with mine.

I come from a very small family.
We got my mom, dad, Cameron my brother, and my grandma.
I do have several aunts, uncles, and cousins but we don't see each other often.
(maybe twice a year?)

My small family is very quiet, private, and nice.
They enjoy being home and recently bought a camper to enjoy which I'm so excited for them about.
I grew up with this small family enjoying the small things in life and valuing times together.
I don't think I realized how use to this and comfortable I was with it until I got married this past June.

As I said Drew and I dated for 4 years before getting married.
I have read and heard in-law/family horror stories and success stories.
When we got married I think I felt because we have been together that the family part would just come together and I didn't realize the work that would come with this.
  I should have known better because every kind of relationship needs care and this is no exception. 

Drew's family is full of lots of personalities, larger than life of humor, and very open about everything. 
Drew's parents divorced when he was young but they put all differences aside and get along all so well. I have so much respect for this and admire this dynamic. 

The differences with our families goes beyond the obvious that his family is much larger than mine but the personalities and openness are so different that what I grew up with. 
I feel sometimes I struggle with how to balance how to adjust with these differences, even after being together this long. 

The great part of a large family is that the laughs never end and more love to go around. The hard part being that it can be easy to feel left out or hurt. Even though this is unintentional  and I'm know I'm guilty of it too, it makes balancing a large family a challenge for me at times.

With it being a new year I want to make a point to grow with my families and really appreciate and value each and every one of them. I want to really listen to them. Not just hear them, but really listen. Send some random snail mail or something unexpected to let them know I'm thinking about them. I would like to try to spend more time with everyone. I want everyone to know they are important to me. 

How do you adjust and cope with new families in your life?
I'd love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dreaming of {Spring}

Dreaming of {Spring}
Well it's back to the "Artic Vortex" here in Tennessee and it scored me another day off tomorrow!!! 
So excited and working on a personal blog piece for tomorrow. 
Luck have it I called my salon in the random one in a million chance that my stylist would have an opening tomorrow and she does. I'm really looking forward to some inches off and updated highlights!

With all this cold weather and blast of snow showers we randomly get I'm longing for Spring.
Yesterday was near 60 degrees here without a cloud in the sky and tonight is in the single digits. 
I'm looking forward to painted toes and dresses, pretty touches of pink, and all the feminine goodness that comes with Spring!

Here are a few of my favorites that I'm longing to pull into my everyday life!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bulletin Boards {idioms}

This blog doesn't see much of my teacher life.
This was just so cute I had to share.
We've been working on figurative language as we prepare for the state writing test next month. 
(insert my gray hair here)

Idioms, my favorite, we did Thursday.
Each kiddo randomly drew an idiom and then we talked about its meaning and used it in an example then the student needed to rewrite the idiom and draw it out as literal as possible.
I tried to pick ones that I could connect to food, 
so that's how "food for thought" came about!

This came out SOOO cute and the kids loved it. I also had this stuff randomly in my room and didn't have to buy anything for it which made this teacher very happy too!

Here are a few cute kid examples:

"Soup up your car" 

"Rotten to the core"
(by the sweetest child ever ha)

"Buy a lemon" ha

"How the cookie crumbles"

And so cute and creative, 
"easy as apple pie"
I love that she drew a math test next to the pie.

Follow on Instagram for daily teacher pics!

Kitchen & Cooking {the basics}

I love to cook.
Trying new recipes are among one of my favorite things to do but it hasn't always been this way. Before Drew and I dated I went to school full time and worked at a golf course full time. I pretty much lived on Lean Cuisines and Smart One with unhealthy amounts of hot dogs from the golf course. 

Then came Pintrest.
Pintrest sparked my interest in cooking and once Drew and I started dating I really started appreciating being able to cook and not always go out. When I first started cooking I had very few "supplies" and really didn't know what I was doing. After plenty of recipe fails I've slowly got the hang of how to cook. Now I still have my oops moments but they aren't nearly as frequent as they use to be.

The basics I would consider are:

-Olive Oil, this is great for veggies, grilling, and more. I love having it in this easy pour bottle and close to the stove.

-Salt and Pepper Grinder, I swear by these! Fresh salt and pepper add so much to all recipes and I also love some fresh pepper on our salads. Not to mention these last forever, I seriously by a set maybe twice a year and we use these on a daily basis!

-Italian Grinder, I found this at my local Food City on sale this past fall and it is by far one of my most reached for spice. It has all the yummy Italian spices in one place that gets freshly grinds on demand. We love Italian food and this grinder helps keep dinner delicious with a few simple turns of the wrist.

We have a ridiculous spice cabinet that could probable use my attention but these are the other "non-basic" spices that we use most often and are great to keep around for cooking:
basil, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, veggie spice, Lawry's seasoned salt, and rosemary

If it wasn't for my parents for getting this for an amazing wedding gift we wouldn't have one but this Kitchen Aid mixer is everything and more. We mix meat loaf, sausage/meatballs, cookie dough, icing, sauce, pizza dough, fresh bread, etc with this sweet mixer. It is very user friendly and really helps create some amazing dishes. Also, you can notice my Pioneer Woman cook book that I would also suggest to any cook with any ability! Finally, again it was a wedding gift, but a good set of knives. Drew insisted on this when we were registering and I didn't object but I was thinking, "the ones we have cut." Well after using nice knives I can tell such a difference. Worth the investment!

I hope you have had a great day and a great week.
Please follow Sugar, Spice, & Newlywed Life on Bloglovin and Instagram!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Our Weekend

So grateful for this dry and sunny weekend.
It was a tad on the cold side but I'll take it!
Around here it has truly rained {almost} every weekend,
so we welcomed this nice sunshine with open arms!

This weekend was filled with walks and Frisbee with our sweet Copper. 
I think he was needing to get outside as much as we were.

Saturday we went our just Drew and I.
We do dinner often with friends and I love there company but sometime it is nice to just be us. We got dinner at Genghis Grill where you get to build your own stir fry. So yummy!
I made sure to put lots of yummy sea food and the "bean" mix in mine. 

We saw "Lone Survivor" afterwards and it was such a great movie.
Very touching and real-- I would highly recommend this movie! 

Tonight we decided to grill out while we had the chance.
That little dose of being outside this weekend has made me long for spring big time.
I look forward to the days where we can open the windows and eat 90% of our meals outside on the deck again. Plus, grilling out makes for easy kitchen clean up!

And this is what the rest of our evening has looked like.
The Broncos just won so we are happy campers.
Tennessee fans = Peyton Fans

Tomorrow I'm off for MLK Day and looking forward a day full of extra coffee, blogging, and cleaning the house. I truly enjoy the days where I can crank up the music in my pj's and deep clean the house.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!