Monday, November 30, 2015

Day 30 - Thankful We Made it Through this Challenge!

So, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am behind (unfortunately) on my daily posts for my 30-day Thankful Challenge so I'm going to catch it all up in this last post. Was this difficult? No. I just slacked off from doing them in a timely manner and then I get sick on my days off. I mean who does that? So I was sick the day after Thanksgiving and the bed and I became best friends.

Day 26 - Thankful for seeing another Thanksgiving Holiday. This day is always hard for me because some dear family members died on or before Thanksgiving. My uncle, who was the only man figure in my life for a very long time, died on Thanksgiving in 2000 and I won't ever forget that phone call. I try to keep myself busy during the morning hours to not think about it, but it's still hard. I am truly thankful for the memories I have of each one of them. Later in the day, my husband and I went to church service. Our churches fellowship with each other for Thanksgiving service and this is how we originally met. Afterwards we had 4 houses to visit and we made all 4 of them. Yes, I was extremely tired and that's when the sickness came down. But overall, I was thankful for yet another Thanksgiving holiday.

Day 27 - Thankful for the activities of my limbs. Ladies and gentlemen, the sickness has officially tackled my body and I'm stuck in the bed. No Black Friday shopping for me! I am in the bed with my towel, remote, and medicine. Even though I am sick with a terrible cold, I am still able to move around and be in my right mind. Thankful that this cold is nothing serious. As my husband tells me, my body was tired and the only way I can get some rest is that I get sick. Gee, thanks! I'm still able to go from one room to another and I don't take that lightly.

Day 28 - Thankful that Alabama won the Iron Bowl.  Not that I was worried about them, but we did have a little struggle here and there. Overall, both teams played very well. This is one of the biggest rival games in College Football and I'm proud to say that I'm from this state...lol! It was a great game and I watched it from the comfort of my bed and yes I was still sick. I am a Bama girl and wouldn't have it no other way.

Day 29 - Thankful for the ability to breathe. Gee wiz, this cold has me tied down to the bed as if I'm a thread in the mattress. This is horrible because I don't like being sick. It slows me down. I can't do much. I'm tired. I can't breathe. My taste buds are not where they are supposed to be. What is there for me to do? But my sweet husband and son bought me (after church) some oranges, Vick's Vapor Rub, and some TheraFlu to help with my illness. Let's just say, the Vapor's Rub cleared things up for me. Didn't know how important it was to breathe until I couldn't. I mean, who likes to breathe through their mouth? I don't. Your mouth gets dry and a very bitter taste comes about and I don't like it.

Day 30 - Thankful for making it through this challenge. Yay, we are at the last day of this challenge. This was a challenge in itself to write down something every day during the month of November but you should be thankful for everything, so it shouldn't have been that difficult. Thank you to all that participated in this challenge. As I have mentioned before, you can continue on through the month of December. I do apologize about my lateness of my posts, but I tried my best to stay on top of things. Now time to get officially prepared for the Christmas holidays!! 

Until next time, I'm off to pull out my Christmas decor (also still being sick)! 


SMOOCHES! 


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Delight - Jalapeno Poppers

Today is game day for many (ROLL TIDE) and I'm sure many of you have gotten rid of the Thanksgiving leftovers. Well, these poppers should bring a POP to your game day feast! When I saw these stuffed Jalapeno Poppers, I said yeah buddy, I have to make these. Jen Boyd is a southern girl that can cook like a true Southern Belle! For more great recipes, please check out website. You won't be disappointed. 

Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients:
*Jalapeños (8)
*Bacon bits (3 strips, thin slice. I made my own)
*Cream cheese 1/2 cup
*Mild shredded cheddar 1/2 cup
*Green onion 2 tbsp
*salt (to taste)
*olive oil


Prepping Jalapeños
Preheat Oven to 375°
1. Rinse off Jalapeños.
2. Cut a triangular shape in the top of your jalapeños. (Start at the stem and work your way down. It should almost resemble a kayak).
3. Remove all seeds.
4. Rinse again. Drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt.
5. Turn so that your opening will be faced down on baking sheet. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft.
6. Remove from oven.




Prepping filling:
1. In a low to medium heat sauce pan; add a half of a cup of cream cheese, bacon bits, green onions. Fold all the ingredients through out until well mixed.
2. Turn heat off. Fold your mild shredded cheese into filling.
3. Add salt to taste
Collaborating Steps:
1. Turn over peppers. Scoop about a half of tbsp into each pepper.
2. If you have filling leftover… Just add more stuffing to your peppers.
3. Drizzle shredded cheese over your hot peppers.
4. Place in oven 5 to 10 minutes or until your cheese has melted.
5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
6. Enjoy!!!!


**I do not own the rights to this recipe. All rights belong to Jen Boyd.**
Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Delight - Homestyle Harvest Turkey Salad

Happy Leftovers day! Are you already overloaded with the turkey from your Thanksgiving feast? Want something different with you turkey? Well, our friends over at Kraft Recipes has a delicious turkey salad that you can make with your turkey leftover. 

This will go great over some croissants or a nice tortilla wrap. Hey, you have to eat healthy after yesterday right?!?!?! Enjoy! 

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup of KRAFT Mayo Homestyle Real Mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 apple, chopped 
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup coarsely chopped PLANTERS Pecans, toasted

Directions: 
Mix mayo and orange juice until blended. 
Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. 
Add mayo mixture. Mix lightly. 
Refrigerate 30 minutes. 
Serve and enjoy! 


**I do not own any rights to this recipe. All rights belong to Kraft Recipes.**
Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 25 - Thankful for Off Days!

For the next two days, I'm off! Thanks to this Thanksgiving holiday. That means a lot of family time and preparation for the Christmas holiday season. Oh yeah, can't forget about time to rest and relax. It may not seem like I do a lot of that but trust me, I do. 

So, I'm thankful for the next couple of off days I will have! 


Thanksgiving Delight - Blue Cheese Bacon Grits and Mimosa Floats

I am so delighted to have this one hot and sassy blogger to be a part of this link-up. Please go and check out her site True Vine Gifts. She is truly talented in what she does and she gives great tips on wines and accessories. 

I love some good grits and throw these on your breakfast or brunch menu, along with the mimosa floats, guess who's house is on the list to come back to for the next holiday gathering...YOURS! 

Blue Cheese Bacon Grits and Mimosa Floats

When La Costa asked me if I had a yummy holiday recipe to share I immediately thought of brunch! I love a good brunch during the holidays and while I usually spend the big holiday with family, I long to have a meaningful get together with close friends too. An informal brunch one morning during the week is a great way to do that. So, for this post I did exactly that. Never let a good blog meal go to waste.

On my own blog, I share my thoughts on new (to me) wines and interesting Pinterest recipes. It's rare that I share one of my very own. My recipe for both Blue Cheese Bacon grits and my Mimosa floats are two that are truly all my own. I've been making them now at special breakfast get togethers for about 7 or 8 years, and they have a firm place now on the list of family favorites.

The Mimosas:

Always start your “Friendsgiving Breakfast” with mimosas. For these friends, I grabbed a bottle of Barefoot Bubbly, pineapple sherbet, and Simply Orange Juice with Mango. These are easy and yummy. Just use one scoop of sherbet, then fill the glass halfway with your favorite champagne or sparkling wine (or even clear soda). It will begin to form a lovely foam so give it just a moment to settle. Once the “danger” of overflow has passed, top it off with just a bit of the juice. Viola'!! If you want a little garnish you can add frozen berries or grapes to the glass. It's easy to change up the flavors a little so they are never really the same twice. I like to think of these as tropical mimosas, but you can make lemon lime, peach or raspberry mimosas too. The sky is the limit.





The Meal:
The first thing you need to know is that I am not a precise cook. I'll give some measurements that I would use, but this recipe is one that does not have to be exact and you can tailor it to your own tastes. So for my ingredient list, this is kind of the gist of what you'll need to make Blue Cheese Bacon grits for up to six people.

Quick grits prepared to package directions for 6
1⁄2 brick of cream cheese
1⁄2 onion sliced carmelized in butter
6 to 8 pieces of cooked bacon
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of blue cheese crumbles
coarse salt
freshly ground pepper

Once your grits are ready, quickly melt your cream cheese into them stirring until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Mix in bacon and onions followed by salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to sample before you add your salt, because your bacon will add some salt to the grits. Finally add in your blue cheese crumbles. A word to the wise, start small. As good as blue cheese is, it is still a very strong cheese and the grits will absorb the flavor quickly. Add just a little to the grits at a time until you have the level of flavor that you want.


And there you have it. An easy and quick brunch recipe for sharing with friends or family this holiday season. I urge you to take the time to sit with a small group of friends this year and use some great comfort food as a vehichle to spend some time growing in your friendship. Happy Thanksgiving.


Sasha Johns is a housewife, wine enthusiast and artist who shares her wine finds and wares at truevinegifts.com. She is the wife of Dr. Robert Johns, a chiropractor, and the mom to three very well adjusted and precocious children who keep her on her toes. You can catch her latest antics on Instagram at middlesistersasha.

**I do not own any rights to this recipe. All rights belong to Sasha Johns**
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 24 - Thankful for Heat

The weather here in Alabama can be very picky. We are now at the end of November and the cold days are now starting to coming in. I mean on November 6, we were at 80°. That's not normal. I still had my air on. But lately, the coldness has now approached the state...lol. Mornings 29° and evenings at 59°. That's more like it for the fall season. 

But due to some health issues, me and the cold weather don't mix well. But that doesn't mean I don't like the season because I do, I just have to be near some heat. I shiver. I start to feel pain all over. My body doesn't comprehend with coldness. Since the cold nights have been coming in, I make sure the house is heated properly. My husband HATES the heat so I have to keep him in consideration. So it doesn't feel like a furnace but it's comfortable for us all. A little secret that many don't know about me. If my feet and nose are cold, I'm cold.  Those pretty much control my body temperature. Strange? I know. 

So, I'm thankful for having heat in my home. I pray for those that don't have it. I've been there before but thank God for deliverance. 



Day 23 - Thankful Just Because...

Life can really take a toll on you. So much to do. So many people to "try" to see. It is not an easy journey. Life has its ups and downs, but we must still carry on. We lose love ones. We lose people we thought were friends. We lose jobs. We lose money. We sometimes loose faith. Things happen. But, you still have to keep pressing on. The Bible tells us to count it all joy (James 1: 2-4) but our faith will be tested. This year alone, my faith has been tested in so many ways. My health is not the best. My finances are not the best. But, I'm thankful because it could be worse.

There were many days that were dark on the inside but sunny on the outside. There were days where I cried and cried and asked God why. Some days I just didn't want to move out of my bed. Some days it hurt to move out of my bed because of health reasons. But God is still good and I'm thankful to be able to go forward. Some days, I just sit and things come across my mind where I say Lord thank You because it could have been the other way. Some days, I don't leave out the house on time and I used to question that. But in my routes, I have seen car accidents or police and my delaying was to benefit me. That's when I start to think about the seen and unseen dangers HE is keeping me from.

It doesn't have to be anything big or fancy for me to be thankful. I'm just thankful because He has brought me through so much and it's not to make me weak or sorrowful, but to make me stronger, wiser, and better. There are many others out there in worse situations than us all and we complain about them. But have you ever thought about how much effort you put into complaining and not enough into just being thankful? I'm not trying to be like anyone else nor am I trying to kill myself to get the things they have. I'm just plain ole' thankful for life in itself. Nothing fancy. Nothing extravagant.  Sometimes you just have to stop in the midst of your busy life and thank God just because of what He has done, is doing, and what He is going to do. 

Today, I am just truly thankful for all! 


Thanksgiving Delight - Homemade Apple Pie

I love a good apple pie especially with some vanilla ice cream and maybe some caramel syrup. Yummy right??? Well, a couple of weeks ago, I made a homemade apple pie that was a hit in my home. I had never made one before, but it looks like it's on the menu again this week. :-) I'm excited about making this dessert again! 

You can also find the recipe here on the blog under the recipe tab

Homemade Apple Pie

Ingredients Needed: 
7 small Granny apples (peeled)
2 Pillsbury Pie Crust
1/3 cup of Ground cinnamon
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 stick of butter

Directions: 
1) Slice each apple. Make sure the core is out of the apple. 
2) Unroll each pie crust and place on a cookie sheet to become room temperature.
3) In a large bowl, place apples, cinnamon, flour, white & brown sugar, and nutmeg. 
4) Mix thoroughly to make sure each apple is covered with seasonings. 
5) Place one pie crust in a 10-inch baking dish. 
6) Fill apple filling in pie crust. 
7) Take butter and place pieces throughout 
8) Take other pie crust and cut into vertical lines. 
9) Place vertical pieces of the crust and place each individual slice over the filling.
10) Take a fork and mashed down the edges of the crust. 
11) Cook pie at 350° for 25 minutes
12) Apply butter with brown sugar on crust.
13) Cook pie at 350° for 15 minutes. 

Cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy with a nice scoop of vanilla ice. 


**I do own the rights to this recipe. **
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Delight - Cranberry Goat Cheese & Cheddar Crescent Sausage Balls

My mom would make these every holiday morning, especially when we had guests coming over. I tried to make them one year when my home was the host location for a family gathering. Let's just say, I was glad my mom came over before the crowd did. I have made some since then (getting better with my cooking...lol) for just a breakfast meal at my home and I will say they were delicious. 

My dearest Artney Walker of My Pretty Brown Fit has a recipe for some sausage balls that will definitely be the highlight of your appetizers for the family gatherings this holiday season. You can also find this delicious recipe on her website.  She was so nice that she even attached a coupon for the Pillsbury Original Crescents in her recipe. :-) 

I'm definitely making these Thursday morning!! 


Ingredients
1 lb of spicy sausage
1 cup  of reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz candied cranberry goat cheese (found at Publix)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp of parsley, chopped
2 tbsps of all-purpose flour
1 can of Pillsbury Original Crescents 
 
Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 15x10x1 inch pan with foil; spray with cooking pray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sausage, cheddar cheese, candied cranberry goat cheese, and parsley; mix well using hands or spoon.
  3. Unroll crescent dough on surface; dust each side with 1 tablespoon of flour.
  4. Using pizza cutter or knife, cut dough into about 1/4 inch pieces.
  5. Add in crescent dough pieces into bowl of sausage mixture slowly until well blended.
  6. Shape mixture into 42 (1 1/4 inch balls).
  7. Place in pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve and enjoy!




**Please note: I do not own any rights to the recipe above. All rights belong to Artney Walker of My Pretty Brown Fit.**
Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Delight - Spiced Cranberry Pomegranate Sparkler

If you are looking for a holiday drink to give to your guests as they wait on the feast, try this wonderful drink from Meredith Noelle. I personally haven't tried it yet, but this is most definitely on the grocery list of items to get for our Thanksgiving gathering. 

Here is the recipe for the drink but you can also find it on her website 


SPICED CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE SPARKLER

1 cup of pomegranate juice
1 stick of cinnamon
Cranberry juice
Champagne or prosecco                                         

First, make your pomegranate-cinnamon syrup. Bring pomegranate juice to a boil, add cinnamon stick, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.


To assemble cocktail, add 1 part pomegranate cinnamon syrup and 2 parts cranberry juice to your cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour into champagne saucer glass, then top with champagne. Cheers! 


**Please note: I do not own any rights to the recipe above. All rights belong to Meredith Noelle.**
Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 22 - Thankful to Worship with My Family

This is a situation that I don't take lightly. I married a God fearing man and I am a God fearing woman. We are raising our son to worship the one and true living God. God has been so good to us so we owe Him praise. We can't praise God on our jobs or in the local Wal-Mart, so why not go to the building and praise Him freely. 

It is important to worship with your family. I think it honestly brings a bond between you. My family and I attend several services on Sundays. My husband is the choir director at his church. So the early service starts at 7:45 am. I sing in the choir at my church so, after his service, we leave to attend mine at 10:30 am.  We still have our original memberships at our churches. It is not a requirement that I have to join his church. I am still following my husband and being submissive. For every story that we have heard about, I need to join his church, neither of us would have to work for about 5 years. 

I thank God for the opportunity to worship with my family. We pray together. We worship together. We even sing together. All of us are involved in the music department with our church. Our son also plays the drums. So, it's kind of cool. To see my son interact in worship is truly a blessing. God made us a family so we will worship Him together and I am truly thankful for that. 




Thanksgiving Delights

The week is finally here where we prepare for the feast. The feast that includes turkey, ham, dressing (or stuffing), green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, homemade dinner rolls, and a walkway into a dessert heaven. Pumpkin pies, sweet potato pies, pound cakes, candied yams, and cookies, you name it, it's all there.  There is a lot of preparation that goes into making your dinner and having guests to attend your home.

We have teamed up with some great chefs to give you recipes for some drinks, appetizers, brunch, and leftover game day ideas to help you with your meal planning.

Stay tuned all week to see our featured dishes for the day.

Thank you to our guest chefs who has shared some of their bests dishes and drinks.

Monday (Holiday Drinks) - Spiced Cranberry Pomegranate Sparkler by Meredith Noelle
Tuesday (Appetizers) - Cranberry Goat Cheese & Cheddar Crescent Sausage Balls by Artney Walker (My Pretty Brown Fit)
Wednesday (Dessert) - Homemade Apple Pie by La Costa Gaston (The Journey of Being A Wife)
Thursday (Brunch) - Friendsgiving Breakfast by Sasha Maple Johns (True Vine Gifts)
Friday (Leftovers) - Homestyle Turkey Salad by Kraft Recipes 
Saturday (Game-day) - Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers by Jen Boyd (Jen...What Are You Doing)

One more thing, don't forget to print your to do & grocery lists so you won't leave anything off.

Until next time, we are off to prepare for Thanksgiving!


SMOOCHES!!!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Recap - Five Bar Restaurant

On last Friday (11.13.15), after the Meet, Mingle, & Drink Wine event, some friends invited me to go to Five Bar Restaurant with them. I had never heard of this restaurant before but hey I didn't mind the fellowship. I thought I was going to be tired after the event,  but I wasn't. I was full of energy and overjoyed because the event was a success. So I called my friend and told her that I am on my way to meet with them. She mentioned the area that it was in and I was familiar with the location because we went to another restaurant near it. So I come to the traffic light to turn and I spot the restaurant. 

I get out the car and I walk into the restaurant to look for my friends. I found them and I immediately said, this is really nice. Nothing fancy. Nothing run down. A pleasant area to hang with friends or a nice comfortable date night. Appetizers and drinks were ordered. I ordered the strawberry lemonade drink and boy oh boy, was it good. I drunk it slow to take in what I was drinking. The appetizers were a baked avocado with bacon, shrimp and a spicy sauce & uptown shrimp with a spicy creamy sauce over Asian slaw. TOP NOTCH!! They were delicious. The spiciness of the appetizers were not over powering, but it will hit you at the end of the bite. 

We all ordered the cheeseburger and fries. Little did we know, that it also came with a salad. This salad was some mixed green leaves, feta cheese crums, cranberries, walnuts, spicy cucumbers, and a vinegarette dressing. It was so good, we pretty much ate that first before we digged into the burger. We couldn't stop talking about that salad, it was so good. We also didn't know the burger was a doubled meat burger so we all cut it in half to eat. 

Everything was great. I would definitely go back again and try a new dish. The waiter was pleasant and it was relaxing. Oh, I can't forget the little surprise that came with our ticket. COOKIES! I can't remember the name of the cookies (crazy me) but they had cocunut in them. It would almost give you a taste of a tea cake cookie with cocunut. 

So, Five Bar Restauarant in the Avondale area, gets a two thumbs up from this customer. 

Until next time, I'm deciding on when I going back. 

SMOOCHES! 


Day 21 - Thankful for the Small Things!

In life, we learn, well we are supposed to learn, that the small things in life are the ones with the biggest impact. I love the small things. In my marriage. In my job. In my friendships. In my church family. I have always been a simple type person. The theme for my wedding was simple but elegant. All of the big fancy stuff doesn't impress me. When my husband and I started officially dating, I told him that I wasn't big on things. He didn't believe me, so I had to prove it to him. He was shocked that I wasn't like others. No, I'm not talking about others that like the glamorous life. To each, it's own, right? That just don't impress me. 

I'm just a simple, small city girl. The "I love you" messages at the right time. The "just because flowers" to brighten up my day. The "dinner is ready" when I get home from a long day at work. The "I will give you a massage" before going to bed. The "go out and treat yourself on me" outings.  The "I have already done that for you" makes me feel appreciated. Those may seem like they are big, but they come in right on time. Makes them extra special. 

So, I'm thankful for the small things in life. 


Day 20 - Thankful for My Home!

I don't live in a mansion. I don't live in a subdivision. I don't live in a gated community. But I'm thankful for my home.  We moved into our home six years ago and we have truly grown in our home. We've had many family and friends gatherings here. I have also done some DIY projects, thanks to being a big fan of HGTV.

I have seen many homeless people and when I see them, I say a prayer for their protection. I have volunteered at a shelter and they are just like me and you. It opened my eyes up and made me realize that I need to be truly thankful for what I have.

I used to complain about the home I lived in until I realized that it could be so much worse. So, I am truly thankful for my home. It's not how it looks but it's where my heart and family is.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 19 - Thankful for My Car!

Crazy one?? I don't think so. It's hard to get around when you don't have your own transportation. People used to not mind taking you places. But now, everybody has their hands out wanting this and that. Really??? I don't miss those days at all!  I'm thankful for my 2010 Dodge Charger.  I have been with a car and been without one. It was hard to depend on someone else to come pick you up and take you here and there. 

Even though my husband and I are on a one car system, we still managed to get around with our crazy busy schedule. It's hard when we both have somewhere to be at the same time, but we work it out. It's not the best and it's not the worst. But guess what? It's my car!!! I can go as I please. 

I'm truly thankful for my car!! 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 18 - Thankful for the Village!

Does it takes a village to raise a child...YES IT DOES!  Parenting is definitely not the easiest task in the world and you do need help. If someone tells you that they don't need help with raising their child, that is not the truth. Why do I say it's not the truth? Have you ever told someone that if you have any problems out my child(ren), you have my permission to whip them and/or punish them? Have you ever told someone to watch your child(ren) for you while you were not in their presence? There are more that I can add to this list, but I will just put the main two out there for you so you can understand where I'm going with this post. 

When I was a single mother, it was hard and tough. I honestly was not ready to be a mother at the age of 20, yet alone a single mother. I needed all of the help I could get to raise this child. I didn't mind others around helping me raise my son because they could do something that I couldn't do, give solid advice. I was a new mother. I would start to remember how I was raised when I was a child so I applied those teachings to my parenting skills. They helped a lot, but I still needed help. Of course, there was my mom, other relatives, and then later on my husband and his family.  When I was growing up, it wasn't a problem with the adults telling other adults to help with their children. I mean if I thought about trying to do something that was wrong, the adults had the right to get on my rear end just like my parents did. Then, it just made it worse when I got home. Well, guess what? The same thing goes for my household now. I tell my son all the time I have eyes everywhere. So if you do something out of place, trust me, I will find out. 

Now that I am married, it's still not easy but it's enjoyable. Why is it enjoyable? The things that I taught him when he was younger and what he is learning now, is making him into a respectful young man. Yes, he messes up. We all do. We talk to him so he can understand that hey things happen and there are slip ups in life, but you can learn from them to not do it anymore. 

To the ones that have helped and is still currently helping me raise my son, thank you. Yes, it does take village to raise a child. I'm not around my son all the time but those times when I am there, I make sure I tell him how to behave himself and get better. I don't mind other adults telling him what's right or wrong because later on if life, he can reflect back on what someone told him to help him make the right decision. 

From the beginning to now, I am thankful for the ones that have helped me raise my son into the young man that he is now. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Recap - The Meet, Mingle, & Drink Wine Event!

I want to host an event on behalf of my blog! That was the thought that came to mind 3 years ago when I first started my blog. Many ideas came to mind, but none of them took place. A lot of planning was done for them, but it just didn't seem right at the time to do them. Something kept telling me, in due season. Yes, I got depressed. Yes, I was hurt. Yes, I tried to force it. But, it wasn't the right time. So now, my blog is out there. I'm posting blog posts left and right, but nothing face to face. 

The 3rd year blogiversary took place on July 2, 2015, and I knew it was really time to take this blog to another level. I had many ideas but just didn't know how. So the researching and networking began. I attended a conference that filled me with so much valuable information, I walked out saying, yes, it's time. Time to have my event. Time to bring "The Journey of Being a Wife" to the scene.  So I sat down to look at my schedule and said before the holidays hit, I'm going to host my event.  I wanted somewhere nice and elegant for wives to relax and enjoy. I wanted something where wives can meet other wives in an atmosphere that not only can you have a girls gathering, but you can bring your spouse to. I attended an event at The Wine Loft, Downtown Birmingham, and when I walked in, my spirit said, yes, this is it. So looking at my schedule, I said November. Nothing too close to Thanksgiving but something that is still a neutral date. So, I put it on the calendar for November 13, 2015, a Friday. Yes, Friday the 13th, was my first blog event. Off to planning I go. 

In planning this event, it was simply easy. The contacts I called on for services immediately replied by saying yes. I got some great advice from my Money Make-up Artist, Tracie Threadford, of how to do the setup and real advice for planning this event. Tracie is hilarious, but I love her dearly because she is real in all of her advice! Day by day, I was checking items off my to-do list and it felt great! I even had people to donate items to give as door prizes to the guests. So I knew then this was perfect timing for this event.  

Well, of course you know when the day finally came, nothing went right. Everything that could block me from going by my schedule did. You will have to read that in my post about being thankful for the wrong things. But, when it was time to pull out of my driveway to head to the venue, that feeling of this is right came over me and I turned up the Christmas music in my car and started to relax. I set up the event on EventBrite to have a count of how many was attending. Boy did that help! 

So, I now arrive at the venue. I meet my decorator, Tamika Bland, with Say It With Balloons Ballon Decor, in the parking area, as she unloads the decoration for the event from her car.  I then go into The Wine Loft and ask for my contact who I had been working with. Kristin Warren and she was great to work with. She directs me in the area of where we will be and that's all I needed. Tamika started her set up and everything went great from there. 

I got an opportunity to meet some of the ladies that purchased tickets, which was an honor. Some very close family and friends came to the event as well and that just made me feel so wonderful. I also asked two of my special guests to speak on behalf of areas that I have asked them to participate in within the tribe. Yes, they are a part of my tribe and they are wonderful.  Minister Donna Brown, with Sisters S.O.S and Melissa Williams, fitness expert, came and graced the guests to let them know about their highlight days with the blog.  Then, the young lady that posted information on her page to give me that push into my blogging career, Artney Walker, of MyPrettyBrownFit, thank you so much for your support and love. It means a lot to me. 

Overall, everything was great. It really exceeded my expectations! I truly thank God for the opportunity and I can't wait to see where He takes me next in this business. Thank you to all that came. For the ones, that couldn't make it, don't worry, there will be much more to come, just stay tuned. 

My sponsors: 
The Wine Loft
Sondra D. Hall (co-worker who designed my shirt)
PoohPooh Crawford (Dream Catcher Creations-who designed the blog coffee mug)
Shala Hardy, owner of Essence of Heaven Massage
Brittney Stallworth, owner of Scents from Heaven Candles 
Aretha Percy (my freelance photographer)


As I mentioned, stay tuned for much, much more to come with the blog. This was only the beginning of something GREAT here in Birmingham, Alabama. Pictures will be upload soon to the blog and social network pages. Can't wait to see them! 


Until next time, I'm off planning the next event!! 


SMOOCHES



Day 17 - Thankful for Knowing How to Cook!

When I was little, I would love the aroma that came from my grandmother’s kitchen. It was so full of taste and love, even before actually tasting the food. My grandmother would also sing while cooking and I would think to myself, is she happy in there while cooking. But it was also hot in the kitchen but why is she singing. So one day, I went to her and said that I wanted to learn how to cook. She said “okay baby” and she told me to watch her very carefully. She was the type of person that didn’t measure but knew the right amount to put into her food. My first item I learned how to cook was pancakes. Then I moved up to cooking meats (hot dogs, bologna, sausage, and bacon). That was the easy stuff.

When she actually started letting me cook those things on my own, she would be right there in the kitchen to supervise. Guess what? She would still be singing. So I would sing with her and it was the best feeling in the world. Every time she cooked something (which was everyday), I would be right there watching. She wrote down some recipes to be passed down in the family. My mom has those but I call her every now and then for a particular dish. My grandmother made cooking easy and enjoyable. I have heard so many that say that cooking is not their thing and they hate it. That is your business. But don’t throw out any smart remarks of the ones that love to stay in the kitchen. That is a true saying “don’t knock it until you try it”.

I love to cook. Being in my kitchen is my safe haven. It’s really that one moment that I can design and do something that my family truly enjoys. It’s a time to bring us to the table and have that family moment. I am really big on family dinners and sitting down and not worrying about anything else around me. Now, if I’m strictly going by a recipe, then yes I will measure my seasonings. But, most of the times, I don’t. It’s just how I feel about it. If I’m making something specific that I know that I am going to come back to later to cook, I write that recipe in my personal recipe notebook. I have several cookbooks and they all come in handy. I also have a few of my own personal recipes on the blog

My husband and son know how to cook and sometimes it does feel good to take a break in cooking and let them do it. Our son has cooked breakfast, dinner entrées, and desserts. My husband complains about his cooking, but my motto is “if I’m still alive after you’ve cooked it, then you did well”. He’s not really big on attention. But I don’t call it attention. I call it showing you appreciation. And trust me, I’m a picker eater. So he does a really good job. I just appreciate the both of them in helping with preparing dinners and food for us to eat. 


So today, I am thankful for knowing how to cook! It’s fun and relaxing! 


Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 16 - Thankful for My Bed!

Sweet and simple, ahhhhhhhh my bed! Crazy Monday. Busy weekend. What better place to end my day than being in my bed. Some may say that this may not seem important. But, oh it is. Some don't have a bed. I've been in a placing my life of where I only had a mattress. That's why I tell people, you don't know my story. 

But, now I can come home to a bed where I have to climb up to get in.  To me, that's not a blessing.  Remote...check. Glass of water...check. Phone on charger...check. Hallmark Christmas movie playing...check. Mattress shaped to my body shape so I can sleep comfortably....PRICELESS!! 

So yes, I'm thankful for my bed tonight!! 
 
                           

Day 15 - Thankful for My Blog!!

Okay, so if you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would ever be interested in blogging, I probably would have told you no. What led me to it? Honestly, Pinterest. I joined that site and that's what started me with blogging. I would click on the websites for the pins and was like, I can do this. But I didn't want to do what everyone else was doing (fashion, cooking, DIY crafts, etc), I wanted to be different. Well, I had also just gotten married and the question I got everyday after my wedding, "so how does it feel to be married now". Day after day, I would get asked that question. So I thought about it and said, I'm going to blog about the journey of being a wife. 

What did I know about being a wife? Absolutely nothing. Had I been married before? Of course not. So why would I blog about being a wife? Because new wives, as myself, need encouragement and just to know that they are not in this thing alone. So what do I do? I started researching on how to start a blog and what's the best format for it. The only information I knew was what I had researched on the internet and going to other blog websites and see their setups. So, after all of this researching and planning, I officially launched my blog on July 2, 2012.  This was only two years after my wedding date but I had a journal of some things I had written regarding being a wife.  I wanted to share my recipes, DIY crafts, the ups, the downs, the good & bad, and most importantly, God's Word. God is the Foundation in my marriage, so I wanted to encourage other wives to make Him the foundation in theirs. 

I have interacted with so many while blogging and have met some great fellow bloggers. I have gone to blog events and was still a little hesitant of my blog but I was determined that I was going to keep this thing going. I have cam up with so many ideas for the blog that if I uploaded them to the site today, I wouldn't have to do a blog post until Summer of 2016. Late summer at that. But in due season, they will come out. 

My blog has given me the opportunity to network with other wives and it is absolutely wonderful. We all share our experiences as well as network. Also, while doing my research, I noticed that there was not this type of marriage organization in my area. Shocking? I was because I know that there's a lot of married women out here that needs encouragement and uplifting. So 3 years later, The Journey of Being A Wife has now been put on the map in Birmingham, AL and I am excited to see where this is going.  I have truly learned so much in this "journey" and looking forward to so much more. 

Today, I am thankful for my blog business The Journey of Being a Wife & Being A Wife Network. 


Day 14 - Thankful for My Support Team!

It is really hard to find a support team that will follow you no matter what. Some only come by the waist side to benefit themselves. Some only come by to get information on how you did, what you did, so they can go out and do the same. Some only come to be nosey. You get my drift? Okay! This post may not mean a lot to you, but it means so much to me because it's hard to find a good support team.

Over the years, I thought that since you were my friend, you were supposed to support me no matter what. You are there to give me advice (good or bad). You are there to see me fail and help me get back up. Boy, have I really learned who is there for me and who's not. I have also learned of the people that only drain me for what they need and keep on rolling. I don't look at that situation as a bad thing, I look at it as a stepping stone. It's only another step added to my stairway to get to "I DID". 

But for the ones that I am meeting now and who has really been there for me, I am thankful for you. It is a true saying that you learn who your real "friends/support system" are when you are down and need help.  Everybody doesn't want to see you do well and better than them. But there are some out there that does. I think I have found my TRIBE!!!! Wooooohooooo 

So today, I want to tell my support team that I am truly thankful for you all. Whether it comes on the end of my blog business, music, or just in general, THANK YOU!!! And trust me, it works both ways. I don't just sit there and allow you to just support me, I support you as well!