Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why Hello Sunshine!

This weekend was GORGEOUS here!  It reminded me of the first nice day in the spring when everybody comes out of hibernation to enjoy the beautiful weather...but in January.  The sun was shining and I believe the temperature got up to 70 degrees!  It's a shame that it was just a tease and we'll go back to colder, wetter (thank God not snowier like the midwest/east) weather within the next couple of days. 

Andy and I took advantage of the weather on Saturday by having a picnic lunch at one of the picnic tables in our apartment complex.  After lunch, Andy decided we needed to take advantage of the weather and take the Miata out for a drive.  As we winded through the roads with the top down, Andy asked if we could live somewhere where the weather was exactly like this every day of the year.  I told him to let me know when he finds out where that is and I'll be there!

Other highlights of our weekend were checking out a new hip restaurant (and using a scoutmob coupon for 50% off!) near our place on Friday night, visiting Andy's mom for a bit on Saturday after our Miata "cruise," and having dinner with my parents at a local pizza place.

I also went to ballet class on Saturday morning...something I'm ashamed to say I haven't done in over 2.5 years!  Ahh, I'm a little sore today but loved getting the chance to take a ballet class again--it's definitely different from teaching.  I love that a ballet class feels like "home" to me.  It felt so good to dance again and I'll definitely put forth the effort to go to class more often!

And last but not least, today Lisa and I went and saw this movie:
Here's the gist of the movie:  A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it's not long before they learn that they want something more.  I love Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher is just sooo incredibly sweet and cute in this movie.  I'd recommend it but of course I need to state the obvious that there's lots of sexual references.  I personally don't know how anybody could keep a relationship strictly physical with "no strings attached" or no feelings developing somewhere in the mix!  But it did make for a cute movie and an enjoyable Sunday afternoon!

How was everybody else's weekend?  Hope y'all have a fabulous week!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I went back for my final day of the textbook adoption today prepared.  A sweater and socks definitely worked wonders and made my day more enjoyable.

Besides the obvious perk of being a part of the committee that chose the dance/theatre textbooks for all the middle school programs in our county, it was also extremely nice to be finished by 3:30 in the afternoon both days!  Our middle school dismissal is not until 4:15 each day, with the buses rolling out around 4:25.  I usually don't make it out the door until at least 5, usually around 5:30.  After a 30 minute commute home, I'm usually hungry and pooped from teaching dance all day.  I usually go ahead and start dinner when I get home and then plan for the next day's classes the rest of the evening while watching T.V.and checking facebook and blogs, of course.  Anyways, I make every excuse in the book to not go work out.

Well, yesterday and today, since I was home by 4:00, I had no excuse.  I went and worked out!  Wahoo!  Now I just need to keep up the gym regiment and ramp-up my conditioning warm-ups for my students, making sure I do them with them, and cut out unhealthy snacks.  Then, surely, I'll be toned for my sister's wedding in Charleston in April!  Here's my matron of honor (bridesmaid) dress:

Isn't it pretty?!  She's having the 3 bridesmaids and me wear different shades of blue/green in the same style dress.  My color of choice is a bright aqua color.  The wedding and reception will at Boone Hall Plantation--you know, the one with the Avenue of Oaks where they filmed parts of the movie, The Notebook?

I just can't believe it's only about 2 months away--it will be here before I know it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Perfect for a cold, rainy winter's night!

Let me preface this post with the fact that I spent all day at a text-book adoption meeting (boring!) in an freezing room.  I couldn't feel my toes and goosebumps were permanently tattooed all over my body all morning.  When we took a break for lunch, one of the teacher who lives nearby to the school we were meeting at went home and brought back a space heater and snuggies for all!  Needless to say, the afternoon was a little more pleasant in my stylish snuggie!  Even though I was pretty much thawed out by the time I got home, I was still in the mood for some good ole warm comfort food!

I found this recipe on My Recipe's website through Cooking Light, altered it slightly, and thought it was delicious.  It definitely hit the spot on this dreary night!  The hubbie is a big fan of his mom's homemade Cincinnati Chili and was a bit skeptical about using ground turkey but this recipe pleased him! :)

Cincinnati Turkey Chili:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1-1.5 lbs  lean ground turkey
  • 1  cup prechopped onion, divided
  • 1  cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1  tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1  tablespoon chili powder
  • 2  tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • 3/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used tomatoes with oregano and garlic by accident)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
Heat a large pot (or dutch oven if you have one) over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add 1 cup onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and next 5 ingredients (through allspice); cook 1 minute. Add broth, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Put 3 bay leaves in the pot.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sprinkle cheese over the chili.  I also added a dollop of sour cream to mine!
Andy and I will be watching the Purdue vs. Ohio State basketball game tonight.  Go Boilermakers!  Yes as a graduate of IU, I am rooting for Purdue.  Hey now, IU is pretty terrible this year at bball and hubbie went to Purdue for undergrad so it's legal! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blue Man Group

I went and saw The Blue Man Group with my parents and my best friend Lisa tonight.  Oh man, it was pretty awesome!  It is a great theatrical show full of comedy and music.  It even had my mom and dad up and shaking their booties.  One of the best parts of the show was that Lisa and I were fortunate enough to get to sit on the front row!

My dad has had Theatre of the Stars season tickets at the Fox Theatre for as long as I can remember.  I'm thankful to my parents for instilling a love of the arts (especially musicals) by taking me to the Fox ever since I was little.  My dad's tickets are on the second row.  He was given the opportunity to purchase these great seats by a friend over 20 years ago.  It's pretty hard to give up 2nd row seats at the Fox, hence why he still has the tickets after all these years.  The family (also season ticket holders) that sits in front of us practically every time we go had two extra seats open this evening.  Lisa and I were definitely on the big screen (when they video-taped the audience) and had a blue man stare us down and dance by our sides since we were on the front row!  We were also covered by paper streamers and toilet paper, dodged some jello and paint, and helped bounce huge lit-up balls around the audience at the Fox.  Pretty cool, huh?

If you ever get the chance, go see this show!  You'll laugh and be amazed at everything they do.  It's nothing like you've ever seen before.  Hope y'all have a great day!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Makes Mornings Happier

There are two ah-mazing things I've gotten recently that now I can't imagine my morning routine without!  I thought I'd share them with you!

The first is my new "Sweater" Robe from Victoria's Secret:
I have to give my sister the credit for this one!  She's had this robe (same color and everything) for awhile and I was always a bit envious.  Well, I put the bug in my hubbie's ear and who would have guessed what showed up in the mail before Christmas?!  I got the oatmeal colored one and love it!  It's very soft and light-weight so you're not sweating while getting ready after a hot shower.  And I do like my showers H-O-T-T!  Probably the best part of having this robe is that I don't have to spend every other minute pulling up a towel while getting ready anymore! :) 

The second product is my new Turbie Twist
I have to give my bestie, Lisa,credit for this one.  She's had several of these for awhile now but I just bought one for $5 at CVS a couple of months ago and now I'm in love!  This little thing sure beats a heavy, wet towel wrapped around your hair that inevitably falls to one side, gives you a crick in your neck, comes apart, and then just falls off of your head anyways!  It's absorbent, light weight, and stays in place while putting on makeup.

Do you have any more fabulous products that you love and would like to recommend?  I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I frequently find myself looking through blogs of very creative women!  I love all the ideas for scrapbooking, organizing, homemade gift giving, and creative household decorating.  I am somewhat jealous of everyone's creativity!

So, here goes my creative adventure for the week....After being cooped up in the house all last week, I was able to make it out of the house for some errands on Friday.  I found this awesome mirror at T.J. Maxx Home Goods (one of my favs!) for only $15.  T.J. Maxx compared it at $80 and priced it originally at $39.99.  The price had since been marked down twice.  I'm assuming the price reductions were due to a few chips here and there and smudges all over the mirror.

As soon as I saw the mirror, I knew that I wanted it to be off-white with a rustic look to match a recent key holder purchase I made and not shiny and black.  I was so excited that I found myself a project!  Wahoo!  I purchased the mirror and headed to Michael's to get my supplies

At Michael's, I purchased some off-white acrylic paint, paint brushes, and sand paper.  Here's the before picture of my project with all my supplies:
 The start of the first coat of paint.
After 3 coats of paint, the first part of the project was done.
I let the paint dry for a couple of days and then used sand paper to sand around the edges to give it a more antique/rustic look.  Here's the finish product:

I know it's not that impressive, but I really did enjoy painting and creating a new piece for our home with little money and lots of love! :). I'm hoping to find more easy, fun projects (and the time to do them) very soon.  Now for the real challenge:  figure out where I am going to put this mirror!  LOL!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I don't care if you get it authentic, tex-mex, americanized, or from your own kitchen, Mexican is always oh so good!

Here's a look at our dinner tonight.  An oldie but goodie from my kitchen:  fajitas

Simply, cook the veggies in EVOO, cook the chicken in more EVOO, add the veggies back in with the chicken, add a packet of fajita seasoning with a bit of water.

Tonight, I cooked some black beans separately to add to our creation.  We also garnished with salsa, sour cream, taco sauce, and of course cheese.  Everything is plopped into a warm tortilla, and voila!  Dinner is served.  Mmmmm! 

Oh yea and one of the best parts about this meal for me tonight?  I cooked enough for hubbie to have leftovers while I'm at my Junior League meeting tomorrow night!  Score! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekend Plans

"Hey There!  Just to let you know, everything in the store is 40% off!  Is there anything in particular that I can help you with?  We just got in some great transitional pieces into Spring!  Would you like me to start you a wardrobe room?  Do you have a Style Rewards Card with us?  You know you can save 15% in addition to the 40% off promotion today!"

Just warming up for how I will spend my day today.  I will be working this afternoon at my 2nd job at The Loft.  What started out as a great store with clothes I love and my hopes of saving some money to buy a house turned into a part-time job.  I've worked at the Loft for the past year and a half and for the most part it's pretty fun.  I will say I'm really not sure how much money I've actually made working there since I tend to spend the majority of my paycheck on clothes!  I worked there much more when I only had a part time job at the school but have significantly cut back on my hours since going full time--and by cut-back I mean I work there about 2 times a month while enjoying a large discount on their merchandise!!  I actually haven't been scheduled to work since before the Christmas holidays.  Eeekk, I sure hope I remember how to ring someone up!  I've been perusing Loft's website and have my eye on a few pieces that I'll be sure to check out on my shift tomorrow.  It makes me very anxious for Spring to come!

In other big news, my father-in-law and his fiancee are coming into town today from Cincinnati.  I'm not really sure the plans but we will probably be watching the Falcons game on Saturday night (Dirty Birds!) and doing a lot of holiday-catch-up since we didn't get to see them over Christmas.

What do y'all have planned for the weekend?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Movies I'll always watch if they're on T.V.

I know it's a rather random collection of movies but the hubbie always jokes that I will always watch these movies if they're on T.V.  Lucky me, they are all on fairly often.  I can say that I've watched all five of these within the last two or three weeks!
Starting off with Father of the Bride.  Who doesn't love these movies?  I still remember watching Father of the Bride as a kid and soon before I got married (a definite must for all bride-to-be's).  I love the humor:  "Daddy, he's a lot like you....except he's brillant!", "Why don't we just charge people,  Then we'll make money on the wedding",   Haha!
Double Jeopardy and the Fugitive are both movies with two likable main characters that are wrongfully accused of killing their spouses.  Who doesn't love Ashley Judd's escapades to go kill her husband?  I love that she doesn't give a flip because she's already been tried and convicted for his murder.  And in the Fugitive, I love Harrison Ford's many intelligent attempts to figure out who killed his wife while successfully hiding from the police.
Lastly, Forrest Gump can bring me to tears every time.  Its so amazing how the character of Forrest experiences so much of American history during his lifetime but so sad how he looses the two women that mean so much to him along the way.  I think this conversation is so sweet!  Jenny: "Why are you so good to me?"  Forrest:  "You're my girl!"  Jenny:  Pause.  "I'll always be your girl."  Sigh! :)

So let's hear it!  What are you favorite movies that come on T.V. that you always stop to watch?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cabin Fever

Well, it's another day of school closings in Atlanta!  I cannot believe it.  I just got word that there's no school tomorrow either.  The whole week off?!?  Crazy!  If I'd have known that I would have this past week off, I would have left for the beach on vaca last weekend! :) 

I'm not complaining by any means but I will admit that I am getting a little bit of cabin fever in our small apartment.  The hubbie did make it to work late this morning.  After he left I managed to shower (before 1pm--a first for this week!) and got myself out of the house!  I was on a mission:  off to Panera I went!  The Panera is less than 3 miles away and just so happens to be one of my favs! :)  Who knew soup and salad from a different place other than your own kitchen could taste so good?!

Here are a few things I've learned and/or thought about over this last week while stranded at home.
  • It's amazing how much easier it is to keep a place clean, get laundry done, and cook when you don't have a full time job or any kids to attend to!!
  • Funny how I imagined being so productive and getting a bunch of stuff done for school with my unexpected days off.  Turns out, I am pretty good at finding things to do around the house in order to procrastinate doing any sort of work for school--I did manage to do a little work last night and today.
  • Ice is slippery and you will fall.
  • It's confirmed that I'm perfectly content living here in the South--snowy, icy winters are not for me.
  • Living across the hall from your best friend is pretty frickin' awesome.
  • I've got a lot to learn about blogging--yes, I'm just starting out but I'm a bit intimidated by some pretty amazing women and their equally amazing blogs! 
What have the other Southerners out there in bloggy world learned/thought about while dealing with their own case of cabin fever?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding

Busted.  Flat out on the ice.

Lisa and I decided to get out of our houses apartments and do something good for ourselves after being cooped up for 3 long days!  So, off to the neighborhood's complex's workout center we went.  We made it successfully there walking.  A little slips and slides along the way but nothing major.  We both had a great workout.  It has certainly been way too long since I've been in the gym and on a treadmill.  I am not the runner-type but it did feel good to be moving--and I managed to do my own form of the "Couch to 5K" workout, running about 11 minutes total over the span of 30 minutes!  Wahoo!

After discussing the dinner and sweet treats we were dreaming of making (what else would you talk about but food after a good workout?!?), we put our coats on and ventured back outside onto the icerink.  We greeted a couple of the neighbors and the maintenance men in a truck that looked like they were putting down some anti-freeze or something.  Just as I was thinking, "Gosh, that's nice of them...3 days late but at least they're putting something down"  Lisa busted it on the ice!  Slipping onto her butt then her back I asked if she was OK...was she laughing or crying?  I couldn't decipher which.  As I was reaching down to help her up, SMACK!  There I went right down after her.  I landed on my hip (which is fine) but cut my hand on the ice.  We shared some sympathy laughs together as the people (all 5 of them!) who witnessed the scene asked if we were OK.  It's not like we were being careless before but after getting up from our fall, we were extremely careful and did make it all the way home without any further slips, falls or problems.  So much for our career as figure skaters!

Needless to say, the adventure to better ourselves has left Lisa with a heating pad on her lower back/tailbone and me with hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, and a band-aid on my left palm.  Of course, I'm being a bit dramatic.  Today's adventure certainly gave us a good laugh and a great memory! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Fun Day in the Snow

Today we enjoyed yet another snow day here in the South.  My hubbie, our best friends (also across the hall neighbors--how convenient especially on days like these!), and I ventured out for donuts.  By donuts, I mean doing donuts in a car on the snow/ice...not the kind you eat which both boys were salivating over as Lisa and I made our plans!   Sorry boys--no Dunkin' Donuts here!  We did get out and have some fun with the rear-wheel drive in the Miata in a nearby parking lot. We also enjoyed "ice skating" along the pavement when it wasn't our turn in the Miata. 

Cuttin' the Coupons

Ok, so I'm trying to be more organized with planning meals and using coupons.  Currently I get most of my coupons from the Sunday newspaper.  About 2 months ago, I got suckered into buying the AJC from a college kid who was going door to door trying to raise money for school.  I was home alone, couldn't see through the peep-hole because of the cute holiday decoration I had hanging on the door, and assumed it was my best friend, Lisa who lives across the hall so I opened the door.  Anyways, long story short, I now have a daily subscription to the AJC for only $19/month!!  (can't you hear the excitement?)   If I get the news, I get it from the internet or the television, not the newspapers.  But, because I'm a sucker, the newspaper comes every day and does not get read Monday-Saturday.  The papers stay in their plastic bags and pile up until we take them to the the plastic bag and all.  I'm sure that the people who open up the newspaper recycling bin after we've dumped our's think we are crazy.  "Why do you get newspapers if you don't read them?!?"  I was truly planning on canceling the subscription soon after I placed the order but it figures that the website to cancel doesn't work and whenever I think to call the AJC, it's after hours and they are closed.  Now, I'm not sure if I should cancel because I'm so awesome and saving so much money with the coupons!! (wonder if I'm saving at least $19/month to cover the cost of the newspaper...)

I have a coupon app, groupon app, and scoutmb app on my new Droid phone that I've been searching recently.  I did buy a North GA Wine Tour groupon a little bit ago and used an electronic coupon at Border's recently.  Pretty sweet to hand the cashier my phone for her to enter in the coupon!  Instant savings and no paper!  At least I'm saving paper somewhere since I'm wasting the AJC newspaper everyday!!  :)  A friend suggested Coupon Mom but I haven't taken the time to figure out their website yet.  Do y'all have any other resources for couponing?  I'm open for suggestions.

Today is another snow day for us here in Atlanta! :)  I have not been as productive as I imagined with these unexpected days off.  Maybe today?  Maybe not.  It has been nice being snowed/iced in with my husband and our best friends across the hall.  We watched the National Championship with them last night.  It was a good game and Auburn won!  Good thing since our friend is a grad!  War Eagle! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beginning the New Year (A little late, I know...)

With each new year, individuals are encouraged to reflect back on the past year and look forward and reflect upon how they'd like to improve themselves and their lives for the upcoming year.  It gives everyone a breath of fresh air and somewhat new start to "get things right."

I realize that we are already 10 days into the new year,  but I would still like to share with you a few of my goals for the new year:
  • Be more creative and work smarter not harder in regards to my job as a middle school dance teacher.
  • Be a better wife to my husband.  I'm inspired by the book by Dr. Laura Schlessinger I just finished reading:  The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.
  • Take more time for my family and friends.
  • Keep our place clean and less cluttered by cleaning up a little bit each day.
  • Be more organized with grocery shopping and meal planning.  I'd like to be more effective with my couponing (or lack there of) as well.
  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Live in the now.
Best of luck keeping up with your goals and resolutions for 2011!  For now, I'm going to live in the now and go play in the Snowpocalypse that has arrived in Atlanta!

Let It Snow!

It's a beautiful winter wonderland outside!  The snow is fresh and glistening in the street lights.  I'm giddy like a child.  And so it first blog post is being created on an unexpected Sunday evening off.  I am not preparing last minute lesson plans.  I am not making lunches for my husband and myself.  I am not cleaning up and preparing for a whirlwind week.  I'm not already in bed with an hour of sleep under my belt.  I am looking out the window watching the snow fall, sipping a glass of wine, and watching the "Kraft Fight Huger Bowl" (whatever that is?!?) on the T.V. with my husband by my side.

Just FYI....with any sort of snow/ice precipitation, the South shuts down.  I am extremely thankful that this is the case this evening.  Why is that?  I teach dance in a middle school.  The schools are closed tomorrow so I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  Don't get me wrong, I do love love my job and am very thankful for it.  Regardless, I am graciously anticipating and welcoming the day of relaxation and catch up I will have tomorrow--in my PJs!  It's a good thing we have the day off tomorrow since I spent most of today checking the weather channel and local news networks awaiting a school cancellation instead of planning for my classes!

I hope you'll stick around and read about my ramblings through this blog.  I plan to update with happenings from the Smith household (me, my husband Andy, and our dog Spot).  I'm sure there will be exciting and somewhat mundane things along the way.  One thing's for sure....I can't wait to experience what this wonderful life has in store for us!