Friday, February 27, 2009

Shrimp and Grits: The Easy Version

A few months ago I promised to start posting a few of the recipes that I cook because if I can make it anyone can! I'm a little domestically challenged. :)

I have been getting bored with my usual recipes, so I decided to branch out and try Shrimp and Grits. Many of the Shrimp and Grits recipes I found intimidated me. There were so many ingredients, and I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to do with all of them. Although, I hear that the complicated looking Shrimp and Grits recipe is not that hard to make I decided to come up with an easy version. I cooked the easy version Thursday night, and my husband loved it! I thought I would share the "recipe" with all of my blog friends that struggle in the kitchen like I do.

Shrimp and Grits: The Easy Version
*Have your local grocery store (Kroger) cook a pound of shrimp for you in Old Bay Seasoning
*Peel your shrimp
*Cook Quick Grits according to package directions
*Once grits thicken, add spices to taste (Keep grits warm on stove while adding ingredients)
*I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and a Cajun seasoning. I found all these in the spice section of the grocery store.
*Add grated sharp cheddar to grits. For an extra little kick, you can use extra sharp cheddar instead.
*Serve grits in bowl and add your shrimp on top.
*If you want a little more spice, add a touch of Tabasco sauce to your serving.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Best to Wait

I have always known that I eventually wanted children, but I was not in a hurry for them. To be honest with you, the whole birthing process just didn't appeal to me. Translation: The actual act of giving birth scared the crap out of me.

Now, I have baby fever. In fact, I have baby fever so bad that I don't really care that I have to give birth. If giving birth gets me a baby, then I will do it! What? Who am I? Have I been possessed? What am I saying? I'm actually in shock! I never thought these words would be coming out of my mouth. I guess mother nature has a way of preparing you for these sorts of things.

Michael and I have talked about it, but he isn't quite ready for children. I have happily agreed to wait. We first decided to wait until the end of this year, but after finding out a friend is getting married in May of 2010 we decided to wait until after their wedding to begin trying.

Well, I think we might have to wait just a little longer. Here's why:

This past Tuesday there was absolutely nothing on television that Michael and I wanted to watch, so we decided to watch "America's Funniest Home Videos". I was having a great time watching the show and giggling, but Michael didn't even crack a smile. That is until a toddler came waddling onto the screen only to be knocked down by a huge black cat. He laughed hysterically. The only videos that made him laugh were videos where small children got knocked down. I mentioned this to him, and he simply replied, "It's funny to watch kids fall down". Ummmm, yep this is a definite sign that it is best to wait! :)

Oh, and just so you know-my husband really is a sweet guy. I promise he does not go around knocking down children and laughing. In fact, my niece had to write a paper in school about someone she admires. She wrote about Michael. She said he was smart, and funny, and he took her to Chuck E. Cheese. See, she didn't mention anything about him knocking her down! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday Edition on A Tuesday: My Favorite Things

I had so many responses about the cute lunch tote that I am giving away (Enter here) that I thought I would make it my favorite thing! It's true! I do love a cute lunch tote! Some people may think that using a brown bag is a little more economical-not me! A lunch tote may cost a little bit of money but having a cute lunch tote makes me want to take my lunch to work! Anything that motivates me to take my lunch to work instead of eating out is a great investment! It helps my budget and my waist line!!!!

Here are a few of my favorite lunch totes!

The above lunch tote is from It can be yours for $10.95 or for free if you win my give away!
These totes (above) are also available at for $24.95.

These precious monogrammed lunch totes are available at It is a little pricey at around $35.

This precious lunch tote looks just like a cute purse. It is available at for $30.00.

I guess you could always have fun with a old school look! I definitely had this lunch box as a kid!

And this one too!

Did you have a favorite lunch box as a kid?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekend Re-Cap!

I don't have much time to blog today since my day is filled with meetings. However, I had to do a quick blog about my weekend. This weekend was so busy, but it was so much fun.

Friday night after work Michael and I headed to Atlanta to celebrate my brother-in-laws (Michael's brother) birthday. It was great! I had a wonderful time spending time talking to Matthew and all his friends. I even had some bonding time with his precious girlfriend. Below is a picture of me and the birthday boy (please note that the red eyes on Matthew are from him getting something in his eyes, we didn't drink that excessively).

Michael and I stayed at Matthew's house that night. We slept in late, and then went to a wonderful brunch with our friend Martin. Below is a picture of Michael and Martin from Friday night. I don't have any pictures from brunch. :)

When we got back to Athens Saturday afternoon, we celebrated the birthday of one of our friends by grilling out at his house. Him and his wife were such great hosts! Another couple we are friends with was also there, so we had a fun, relaxing night.

Sunday I went to lunch with my friend, Erin. After lunch, Erin and I took a trip to the pet store. We had so much fun playing with the puppies. We played with the sweetest Lhasa Apso puppy. He looked a lot like the picture below. He was so fat and fluffy!

Sunday night, Michael and I attended The Taste of Athens. Sampling the different foods, wine and beer was amazing. Of course, we ate way too much, but I think everyone there did the same thing! I just wish I didn't have to weigh in at Weight Watcher tomorrow!

The Taste of Athens also hosted a silent auction. At the silent auction, I fell in love with a terra cotta pigeon. It was precious, and it had a great story behind it. I stalked the pigeon all night long to ensure that I was the highest bidder. Below is a picture of my pigeon.

Here's the story behind the pigeon that made me love it so much!

All in all it was a wonderful weekend! I hope you had a wonderful weekend too! I'm not sure I am going to have time to do my usual Monday post, but if I don't I will definitely make up for it tomorrow! Have a happy Monday! I'm off to another meeting!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Best Giveaway Ever

TheTale of a Southern Belle is having an amazing give away! She is giving away a trip!!! Enter here!!! Oh, and if you win, please consider taking me! :)

Cutting Corners Give Away

My give away is scheduled to end on Friday, February 27th. Be sure to visit the Cutting Corners post and leave a comment with your money saving tips to enter. The more tips you share, the more times you will be entered to win. Here's what you could win:
A cute insulated lunch tote, so you can look stylish while saving money by bringing your own lunch to work.

A reusable water bottle to help you save money and the planet! Oh, and it is really cute too! Don't you just love the pink tree and the fact that it is dishwasher safe!

And a $10 Starbucks Gift Card because we all need to splurge every once in a while!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Edition: My Favorite Things

Happy Monday and Happy Presidents Day! I don't have the day off today, but I don't mind much. Work has been pretty entertaining today! Heather and I decided to take a break from the normal lunch, and we went to a local pharmacy to eat lunch at their soda shop counter. It was so much fun! I always enjoy eating there. It makes me feel like I live in Mayberry.

This weekend was a great weekend. I came home on Friday to find a package from Jules at Chic and Pink! I was so excited when I won her fabulous giveaway! Thanks again Jules!!!!! Jules is just the sweetest!!! If you haven't visited her blog, make sure you do! In all the excitement of playing with my new things I forgot to take a picture. However, if you go here you can see what I won!

Michael and I had a fabulous Valentine's. It was pretty low key! Michael had to judge a mock trial competition, so he was gone until late afternoon. When he came home, we went to a very late lunch and then took a little field trip down the road to see the baby lambs at The University of Georgia's farm. The baby lambs are so cute!!! They are always a favorite of mine this time of year! We weren't very hungry when dinner time rolled around, so we went to a little wine and coffee bar instead of going to dinner. There we enjoyed the romantic atmosphere along with a couple of glasses of wine and a cheese tray. It was perfect! As promised, I made Michael chocolate covered pretzels, and he surprised me with a very nice bottle of red wine.

Staying with the theme of Valentine's Day, my favorite thing today is a book that my minister had Micheal and I read before we got married. I know many of you have heard of it and even read it. It is called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book really opened my eyes and helped Michael and I learn to communicate better. It even helped me to get over a few issues that I harbored from a very bad time in our relationship because I finally understood the reason our relationship was so rocky during that period of time. This book is a great tool in any relationship! Heck, I would suggest reading it even if your single!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's!!!

It's 4:30! Only 30 minutes until I get to go home and begin the weekend! Why it the time ticking by so slowly!!!!

Michael and I don't have anything special planned this weekend. We are just going to enjoy a weekend together! I do have a few surprises up my sleeve, but nothing too exciting! Maybe a yummy breakfast for my honey and of course his chocolate covered pretzels.

In any case, I just wanted to write a short post to wish all of my blog friends a very Happy Valentine's Day and a wonderful weekend! I also wanted to mention that I haven't forgotten about my giveaway. I am just in the process of collecting all the wonderful things I plan to give away. If you haven't entered my give away make sure you do so here. Also, make sure to stayed tuned for the reveal of what I will be giving away! Have a wonderful weekend!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Be My Valentine!

My husband and I decided not to buy each other gifts for Valentine's Day since we are trying to stick to a budget. Instead we are celebrating by going to dinner and spending quality time together. It doesn't take money to make your special Valentine feel special! Here are a few budget friendly ideas I found! Oh, and I'm keeping it PG! You can use your imagination with the R rated gifts!

1) My husband loves chocolate covered pretzels, so I am making him gourmet chocolate covered pretzels.
2) Make chocolate covered strawberries, pair them with a bottle of champagne, and enjoy with your sweetie!
3) Pocket Full of Pink shares how to make homemade chocolate kisses on her blog!
4) Leave little love notes all over the house for him to find as he goes about his day!
5) Make a list of all the reasons you love him.
6) Surprise him with breakfast in bed.
7) Plan a surprise trip to a local zoo, park, or museum.
8) Go for a drive together.
9) Start a savings account that is designated for trips or other special activities that you would like to take or do together.
10) Give your sweetheart homemade love coupons that they can redeem for back massages, etc....
11) Rent a romantic movie, cuddle on the couch, and share popcorn or ice cream.
12) Make a scrapbook full of your favorite pictures and mementos from your relationship.
13) If you don't have time to make a scrapbook, give him a box full of pictures and mementos. Go through the box together and relive good memories!
14) Make him a C.D. of his favorite music!
15) Frame your favorite picture of the two of you and give it to him to put on his desk at work. Hide a little love note between the picture and the back of the frame to tell him about later.
16) If it's cold, cuddle in front of the fire and roast marshmallows.
17) Have fun cooking a romantic dinner together!
18) If it is warm weather, go on a picnic. If it's chilly, have an indoor picnic!
19) Share your favorite bottle of wine! You can pair it with a cheese tray and candle light for a fun Valentine's date.
20) Make a powerpoint slide show of your years together.

What are your budget friendly Valentine's Day gift ideas?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Edition: My Favorite Things!

Edit: If you click on the pictures of the brooches, it will take you to the etsy store that is selling that particular brooch. Unfortunately, these brooches are a little more expensive than the $10 brooch that I found and purchased. Sorry! I really wasn't looking at price when I went hunting for pictures! I still think two of them are very reasonably priced though! One is a little more than I would pay, but I would certainly buy it if I wanted to splurge a little! :) I will try to find a few $10 brooches to add to the post!

Here are a few links to some precious $10.00 and under brooches!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend! My weekend was great! It was absolutely beautiful here in Georgia, so I spent the majority of my weekend outside! I had so much fun walking with my dogs, visiting a local zoo, and playing basketball with Michael. Okay, so I really don't "play" basketball. I just throw the ball at the hoop and laugh when I don't make it!

As far as my favorite things go, I am excited to share with you a new discovery. Many of you probably already know how much I love brooches. Brooches aren't just for little old ladies! They have become a popular accessory-much like the scarf! I have always loved wearing brooches to add just the right touch to a plain jacket, sweater, or blazer. In fact, if you look at the picture in this post you will notice that I dressed up a plain black dress and jacket with a brooch that I purchased at Ann Taylor Loft.

On occasion, I purchase newly made broaches, but I adore buying vintage brooches. This weekend, I discovered that Elsy has a huge selection of vintage brooches at low prices! Most of the brooches I found were selling for only $10. How amazing is that! Here's a sneak peek at the beautiful brooches your can find!

Friday, February 6, 2009

eBay Virgin!

Hi all! I had so many wonderful party supplies left over from my Mardi Gras party that I decided to sell them on eBay! This is my first eBay seller experience, and I know I have a lot to learn. If you are interested in hosting a Mardi Gras party or know someone who is interested, please direct them to my sidebar where you will see my ebay listings.

A Sneak Peek into my E-mail and Give Away Reminder

I just had to share this with you! The other day my office was freezing cold, so I wrote this e-mail to Heather (my coworker, friend, sidekick, etc...). Oh, and we had just talked about cold weather safety tips in a safety meeting we had to attend.

Dear Heather,
It is so cold in my office! I fear that I will not be able to make it much longer! Frost bite and hypothermia have set in. If I don’t make it, please let my family know that I love them. My only hope is if I can get a camp fire started. If I can manage this one life saving task, do you want to come over and roast marshmallows?

P.S.-Do you think Dan (Dan is in charge of the buildings and grounds.) will get mad at me for starting a camp fire? Do you think he will forgive me if I tell it was a life saving measure?

This is the e-mail I received back from Heather.

Dear Jennifer,

Are you experiencing the signs of hypothermia? If you make it, I definitely want to be invited to the marshmallow roast. If you don't make it, can I have your shoe collection?

P.S. I think Dan will only be mad if we don't make him any s'mores.

I love my job! We have so much fun! I could do without the very cold office though! :)

On another note, don't forget about my give away! I am not sure what I am giving away yet. I think I might stick with a gift card since it kind of goes along with the theme. Make sure you leave your money saving tip here to enter the giveaway and to help out your fellow bloggers. Also, please spread the word about the giveaway so we can get a lot of great budget saving advice!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cutting Corners!

In the midst of a bad economy, many of our blogging friends (including me) are having to find ways to cut back on the amount of money we spend. I thought it might be nice if we worked together to share the ways we are cutting back. What do you do differently to help save money?

Some examples:
  • Have you started using drug store make-up to help save money? If so, let us know what brands you like.
  • Have you found a coupon site that you love?
  • Do you have a tip or trick that helps you spend less money on things that aren't necessary?
  • Do you have a budgeting tool that you love to use?
Any tips, tricks, and tools are welcome! Share with us! I will host a give away for everyone who shares a tip. I'm not sure what I will give away yet, but I am sure it will be fabulous! :) Do you have more than one tip? Share multiple tips and be entered multiple times.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have been so bad about keeping up with blog awards and tags lately! I apologize if you have tagged me or given me a blog award and I haven't responded yet! I really appreciate all the awards and tags I receive, and I promise I will catch up on them soon!

Recently, Tara at The Watermelon Tree tagged me. Here's how it works!

1. Go to your pics, pick the 6th folder and the 6th pic.
2. Tell who and what.
3. Pick 6 people

I have two main computers, so here is the picture from my home computer.

The picture above is from when I was a middle school teacher, and it was taken in my classroom. I think this picture was probably taken in 2006. It is me and my classroom bunny, Buttons. I had many classroom pets including a rat, a few mice, guinea pigs, and a hamster.

Here's the picture from my work computer.

Above: This picture makes me giggle. For work, we are asked to volunteer to answer phones during a membership drive for Georgia Public Television. Our sister companies also volunteer. This picture was supposed to be a picture of the volunteers from one of our sister companies. However, look closely in the background. To the left of the picture, you can see me. What am I doing? Laughing hysterically. The person beside me with her head on the table would be Heather. She is also laughing hysterically. We're trouble! This was taken last year. Our opportunity to volunteer again is coming up in March! Volunteering in the phone bank seems like it would be lame, but it really is a lot of fun!

I tag whoever would like to participate! Please participate! I love it when you share pictures!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday Edition on a Tuesday-My Favorite Things!

I know I am getting old, but I promise I didn't forget about My Favorite Things post yesterday. :) I was just so excited about the pictures from my party that I didn't have time to do my usual Monday post. I do have a new product to share with you! I have to make this a quick post though. I have a seminar that I am helping host for work, and I have to leave for it in a few minutes! I am being sneaky and getting a few blog minutes in! :)

I bought a new mascara just last week that I am absolutely in love with! It is by Cargo, and it is called Texas Lash! Don't you just love the name! I purchased the mascara at Sephora. It received some mixed reviews on their website, but the sales person at Sephora said it was their top seller. I adore it! It makes my tiny blond lashes look amazing! You should definitely try it out, and if you decide you don't like it Sephora will exchange it for something you do like!

On another note, many of you asked to see pictures of the wedding that I attended at the Georgia Aquarium a few weekends ago. Well, I don't have pictures of the actual wedding, but I do have a picture of me and the hubs at the wedding. I will try to find a few pictures of the wedding decor and post them. I am sure I can steal a few pics from my friends on facebook!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Party Pictures

The party on Saturday was wonderful! We had about 35 people in attendance, which was more than I thought would be able to come! A good time was had by all! Here are a few pictures from the big event!Above: These are my favorite pictures! A friend made his very own Mardi Gras float and had a mini parade at my birthday party-complete with throwing beads to party guests! What a great birthday present!
Above: A picture of me and the hubs enjoying the party! This is a very horrible picture of me, but it is the only one I have of me and Michael. In fact, all of the pictures I that were taken of me that night were very horrible. My face was so puffy. Not sure why! My face is definitely not this puffy in real life.

Above: This is the food table. I decorated it with candelabras draped with Mardi Gras beads.

Above: Michael, his brother, and his brother's girl friend! Aren't they the cutest!

Above: A few of my sweet friends enjoying the party!

Above: My sweet little girl, Scout, enjoyed wearing her Mardi Gras beads too! She does look a little sad in this picture, but I promise she enjoyed wearing them. She got upset with me when I took them off.