Monday, November 29, 2010

thanksgiving wrap-up

i'll start this post off with saying that i severely overate this holiday. at least three nights i was laying in bed feeling utterly full and not wanting to roll to my side or my stomach for fear of it bursting. not a good feeling and i'm really NOT proud of myself for that!! i'm hoping i can cut out the overeating, start up the exercising (hey, i did do wii fit [once] last week) and shed a few pounds before the remainder of the holidays. it's either that or a new wardrobe and i know josh won't like that option (hey, and neither do i).

josh and i had a great Thanksgiving at his Gram's house. they are cooking fiends there - when josh's mom cooks, she cooks for the thousands. no one will go hungry! of course everything was amazing a delicious, with josh's mom & gram's turkey, stuffing, mashies, gravy and many vegetables, not to mention josh's sister-in-law's yummy yams w/ marshmallows and green bean casserole. later in the evening we stopped over at my aunt & uncle's where my parents, cousin and great uncle were still hanging out. josh and i hung out with Bekah and had fun playing ping pong and rock band. i made a few yummy desserts for the occasion (Spice Cake [with applesauce] Cupcakes with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting and some brownies [to use the leftover frosting]). everything was yummy though we have several cupcakes and lots of brownies still leftover. josh and i discussed just pitching them [since i'm most likely to eat them all...] stay tuned for pics and recipe links in a later post...

anyway, we had a great weekend with family, some of my girlfriends &  their hubbies came over Friday night and Saturday was a great day of Christmas movies, decorating and lounging. could not have asked for a better holiday, though i must say i'm not ready to be back at work!!

(i think our tree could use a few more ornaments...)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

t-day holiday plans

so what does everyone have planned for this glorious holiday weekend? i can't believe it is already here! josh and i have some fun friend & family events plus lots of R&R i hope!

our/my plans include:

getting out of work early, grabbing an early christmas present for Josh, baking Spice Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting and relaxing in-between laundry and cleaning.
SLEEPING IN!!! thanksgiving dinner with Josh's family @ his gram's house, then stopping to see my family around dessert if there is time. not sure if we need to see Josh's other gram in there too.
SLEEPING IN!!! that's right - no early AM black friday shopping for me. probably need to make a trip to the liquor store, then cooking, cleaning and getting ready for some fun with friends coming over to our place in the evening. maybe i'll do some online shopping in the afternoon.
more sleeping in of course. planning on a big yummy breakfast with Josh (eggs, toast, bacon, hash browns, coffee), christmas movies & music, hot chocolate and decorating the tree. we don't have a big tree (or a lot of ornaments & other decorations...) so i doubt it will take long. i'm excited to start new traditions decorating our place together. we both are on for band at church this weekend, so we have practice in the evening.
i assume this day will be dedicated to church and naps. possibly out to the east side to visit my parents and help put up their tree like i do every year.

i hope you all have a great holiday and remember all the things you are thankful for this year! i'm thankful for an understanding family who gives me no grief on spending thanksgiving dinner w/ my husband's family. i'm thankful for his family, who loves and accepts me right in. i'm thankful for friends, food and fun-and combining that all together to form a great evening. i'm thankful for my flexible job and days off! i'm ever so thankful for my amazing, talented, loving, caring and super-fun husband to spend the holiday (and days off) with. happy thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

chicken pot pie deliciousness

a few weekends ago i made a delicious (if i do say so myself) homemade pot pie!

i based my recipe from here: simply recipes

i used the pastry recipe from the website (though i had no shortening, so i just used butter). i also used a sweet potato (or was one of those white ones) and just frozen veggies, chicken stock, cream, chicken and some spices. the crust was great, even though i didn't make it quite as instructed. i think i need to get some shortening...

we have a winner!

congratulations to...

Domestic Diva for winning the $35 promo code giveaway from CSN Stores! i will be contacted CSN and providing you with your promo code shortly.

thank you to all who participated! and sorry to the few of you that entered late; i was not able to put your entries in :(

if you care to know how i picked the winner...every entry got assigned a number in order of posting. if you tweeted or blogged, i marked it down, then went through and assigned numbers for tweets (after all the "comment" entries were assigned numbers), then went through and assigned numbers for the blog posts. there is another page not shown on the image above. therefore if you tweeted or blogged you were not assigned numbers in succession. i thought this would help mix it up more. in total there were 41 entries by 24 people.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


only a few more hours to enter the giveaway! just wanted to post a note about that - the giveaway will close tonight at 11:59pm but i don't anticipate a post to announce the winner until Friday or hopefully later tomorrow night. work is busy now and we are having Josh's mom & gram over for dinner tomorrow, so i have a busy day and evening planned (lasagna w/ homemade meatsauce, salad and chocolate chip snack cake for dessert. nothing is made yet...).


Friday, November 12, 2010


first, don't forget to comment, tweet or blog for entries on my last blog post for the $35 giveaway from CSN Stores!

next, how awesome is this app?? i probably need this, since i know i'll be doing all the wrapping of Christmas presents this year (like i have been since josh and i started dating...)

enter the box/gift's measurements and then the app will tell you how much paper and ribbon you need to wrap your gift!!

WrapItApp for iPhone / from iTunes / $1.99

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

awesome giveaway!!

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish furniture, to leather extra tall bar stools or even great cookware (including Rachael Ray!).  last June i had the privilege of hosting a giveaway of one of four pretty awesome items through one of their stores, All Modern. the giveaway was a success - although ironically my at-the-time-roommate won the giveaway, so we had this fun vase in our townhouse!

for this giveaway, CSN Stores is giving away a $35 promo code to use at any one of their 200+ stores.

here's some fun things i would use $35 toward: 

a pretty decanter for all the wine we acquired this past weekend:

Ravenscroft Crystal 34 oz. Cristoff Single Decanter

maybe a stylish shelf for our bathroom:

Gatco Tiara Glass Vanity Shelf in Satin Nickel

 or a new lamp for our living room:

LumiSource Oval Table Lamp in Black and Blue 

or maybe some cute clothes for my adorable niece:

JoJo Designs 2 Piece French Toile and Polka Dot Smocked Baby Outfit in Pink and Brown

  1. comment on this post telling me one thing you love from CSN stores (1 entry)
  2. tweet this giveaway (1 entry - must tell me in the comment section you are doing this, or link to my twitter @volleygalore so i can have record)
  3. blog this giveaway (1 entry - again, must notify me via comment, twitter or email that you are blogging this)
giveaway will close Wednesday, November 17 at 11:59pm. winner will be picked at random via a random number generator. i will then post the winner on my site and you have 48 hours to email me [] with your email/info so i can send you the promo code. 

**PLEASE NOTE: this giveaway is to readers in the US, Canada, the UK and Germany. However, due to shipping restrictions, if a winner is chosen from the UK, the gift certificate code (which would then be £25) is restricted to one of CSN Store's 6 UK websites. If a winner is chosen from Germany, the gift certificate code (which would then be €30) is restricted to one of CSN Store's 4 German websites.

wedding toast

as is customary in England, my dad gave a "Father of the Bride" speech at our wedding. i asked him for a copy of the speech so i could hang on to it and possibly put it in our wedding album (that some day we will do - my sister is going to design it for us, so it's all on her time!).

anyway, thought i would share the speech/toast for anyone interested. below is what my dad emailed over to me. i only made a few changes to make any confusing sentences work, since he read off the sheet but added things as well.

A Wedding Speech. August 20th , 2010

I cannot believe that we have finally come to this day. I can now relax and stop being ordered around! This has had more planning that a military maneuver! 

Where has the time gone? My little Amy, Amers has turned into a young woman overnight, has it really been 26 years? Amy was an excellent baby, she slept well, was obedient, honored her parents; looked after her sister…oh wait that was Rachel! Amy was my best friend, when I was doing jobs around the house, she wanted to help, she knew which tools I needed, which was good because I didn’t. We played games and read books. She has spent years working with me in Children’s Church, things were always better when she was there to support me. 

But now a new phase has come, a new “man” has arrived to take over the protector role.

Josh, I hope you are ready! Last September Josh and I went out for lunch. I knew he was after my permission and after questioning him about his faith, his love and commitment I gave that permission. Father’s this should be something we should get from our daughters suitors!

Josh seems a very cool and patient guy…I said “Do you get angry and raise your voice?” He said he didn’t, but Amy did! I agreed!

I was impressed with Josh one night recently when we were starting a bonfire in the backyard because Amy wanted “S’mores!” I got out my chainsaw and chopped some trees down and we started lighting it, Josh rubbed two sticks together and whoosh we were ready, but there were no sticks for the marshmallows!

“I’ll get a knife.” I said.
“No, wait,” was his reply. Josh opened his pockets. He sorted through various guitar picks, music books, X box games, cash, laptops…and produced a pocket knife. I could not believe it! This guy was all right, he was like one of the Hardy Boys! (Rambo)

Now it is time to for you to take over and Josh, I leave the upkeep of Amy’s Honda Civic to you. Josh it will be your turn to kill the bugs…(Centipede Story) - you could kill it with your knife!

Amy is full of passion and spirit! She is lively and creative, talented and beautiful. She is yours to
look after and protect. Welcome to a family with a long line of emotional females! A verse from Ephesians 5 vs 25 to finish with:
“And you husbands must love your wives with the same love that Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”
I have taken many years to learn that, but if you wish to be successful, then make sure you pray and work things out, don’t stay angry with each other…I can honestly say that by realizing that I am never right…wait I was right 13 times one year! Makes my life a lot happier. Be romantic and loving, the way to win Amy’s heart is by watching Pride and Prejudice together!

Raise your glasses!