Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Halloween in August

My favorite holiday has always been Christmas. This becomes apparent every year around July when I start listening to the Bing Crosby White Christmas album and burning Christmasy scents (my favorite is Target's Essential Homes Warm Gingerbread. I just wanna eat it....wax and all). My husband, on the other hand, loves Halloween. Though I don't share his enthusiasm for this excuse to play pranks on people and scare them half to death, I am always down to trick-or-treat. Halloween sweets rank pretty high on the list of holiday treats, right behind Christmas of course (which follows shortly behind Easter. Cadbury Eggs simply cannot be beat). In honor of my husband, I attempted caramel apples and though they didn't turn out as pretty as the ones at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, they still did the trick. If you too would like to prematurely celebrate All Hallows Eve by making these goodies, follow the simple steps below:

1. Get 5 granny smith apples, wash them, put sticks through core (we used regular wooden skewers and cut them down with needle-nose pliers)
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt one 14 oz. package of Kraft Caramels. Stir until all pieces have melted
3. Dip apples into caramel and set on wax paper to dry for a few minutes before dipping into pecans or any other topping of choice (we also used Reeses Pieces)
4. Transfer apples to a plate and keep them in refrigerator until ready to eat
5. Enjoy!


Yes, the stores already have candy corn on the shelves...God bless them.
 He didn't want his picture taken...
 but he's too cute not to photograph.
because I can't resist the oldies....
 I love that little mouse!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Collecting for the Military

 
Hi friends! Thought I would share a project that's near and dear to my heart in the hopes that some of you would like to help as well. Zach works with a lady whose son's Boy Scout troop is collecting items for troops in Afghanistan. They are without water, eat MRE's for every meal, and only receive mail every 2-3 weeks. Please read the letter below to fill you in on the harsh conditions these soldiers are enduring:
  
  
Zach and I are writing letters and beginning to collect things to send their way. Here are a few things on the list of what the soldiers need:
 
Personal Hygiene Items:
  • baby wipes
  • Q-tips
  • eye drops
  • baggies, all sizes
  • dental floss
  • neosporin
  • tissue, small packs
  • tums or rolaids
  • sunblock
  • waterless hand soap
  • socks
  • band-aids
  • foot powder
  • fungel foot cream
  • lotion
  • razors
  • shaving cream tubes
  • waterless shampoo
  • body wash
  • chapstick
  • cotton balls
  • deodorant
  • foot inserts for boots
  • foot/body powder
  • air freshener
  • nasal spray
  • aftershave
Miscellaneous:
  • pens
  • letters from anyone
  • movies
  • cameras
  • stuffed animals
  • phone cards
  • memory cards
  • notebooks
  • can openers
  • coffee
  • gum
  • hand/feet warmers
  • eye glass kits
  • bandanas
  • nail clippers
  • small mirrors
  • breath mints
  • small flash lights
  • hand made items
  • single sheet sets
  • mini fans
  • sewing kits
  • icy hot
Food:
  • dried fruit
  • nuts
  • candy
  • poptarts
  • doritos and fritos
  • granola bars
  • beef jerky
  • chex mix
  • energy drinks
  • power bars
  • pringles
  • small cereal packs
  • canned fruit
  • peanut butter/jelly
  • sardines
  • tuna can/pouch
  • salsa
  • fruit pies
  • pudding cups
  • cheese dip
  • bean dip
  • donuts
  • trail mix
  • rice krispie treats
  • summer sausage
  • cup of soup

If any of you would like to help these brave men and women, please let us know and we will make it happen! They are sacrificing so much; this is the least we can do to thank them. God bless our military.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Shenanigans

Hi friends! This weekend was a quick one, wasn't it? We made the most of it though, eating good food and seeing great friends. I'm proud to say we are making a tiny bit of progress in the house-hunting, but of course I can't disclose that until I get the okay from Mr. Fullwood. And y'all just thought wear the pants in this relationship.  

Brit Stelzer came in town Saturday and we saw The Help, which definitely lived up to it's hype. We're talking tears, y'all, lots of tears. Zach and I later met up with some friends to watch the UFC fight (it wasn't as good as The Help) and thoroughly enjoyed the company and midtown atmosphere. Oh, and did I mention we did a little antiquing? 'Cause we did, and guess who's idea it was? No, not mine...my husbands! Boy do I love him.

great antique mall in Tomball (looking at coins...what else?)
that red purse doesn't look very antique, does it?
proof of who won our Friday night dart game..... :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oldies But Goodies

Ever since Zach made our wedding slideshow, I have LOVED looking back at all the old pictures he scanned. We just laugh and laugh and tell each other the stories surrounding each picture; so many wonderful memories now happily stored on our hard drive :). Hope you get a kick out of these, too!







Sunday, August 21, 2011

Katy the College Girl

Hi y'all! Our weekend flew by, with Zach working both Saturday and Sunday (NOT cool) and me going to College Station to help Zach's little sister Katy move into her new apartment. Zach and I house-hunted this evening (more on that later!) and are getting really excited and anxious to move out of our humble abode.

Lisa and I had so much fun helping Katy get all settled in. Brought back many moving memories! Thanks for all the help over the years, Momma. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Zach painted this for his sister :)
Found these cute Texas/boot-shaped pretzels at HEB and had to dip 'em in chocolate for Miss Katy
 starting to unpack...





 Katy and her boyfriend Caleb after a yummy lunch at Jason's Deli
 curtain rods make fun toys...


We love you Katy Bliss and hope you enjoy every minute of your college years!

Friday, August 19, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Yes, yes...this recipe is yet another "peanut butter-er". I apologize. Wait, no I don't. Is there anything better than the chocolate/PB combo? I think not, and let's hope my sweet sister-in-law Katy Bliss doesn't either because these are part of her going-away-to-college treats. We are moving her into an apartment in College Station this weekend; exciting times! Zach doesn't like the fact that his baby sister is going to be out in the real world, but luckily for us she will only be an hour and a half away from Houston. Yay! It's quite bittersweet but not to worry...these cookie bars are just plain sweet.
Ingredients:
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, divided
2 cups peanut butter, divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
3 cups graham cracker crumbs

Directions:
Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Beat 1 1/4 cups peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar (Just a tiiiiiiny bit at a time or you will find yourself looking like a giant funnel cake. Don't ask how I know this). With hands or wooden spoon, work in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup morsels. Press evenly into prepared baking pan. Smooth top with spatula.

Melt remaining 3/4 cup peanut butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups morsels in medium, heavy-duty saucepan over lowest possible heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Spread over graham cracker crust in pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chocolate is firm. Cut into bars. Store in covered container in refrigerator.
 
Eat 'em all up!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My husband, Picasso

Hello friends and Mom :). Happy Wednesday! I'm not sure how thrilled my husband will be that I'm posting this, but I couldn't help myself. I wanted to share one of his awesome paintings with the world! He hasn't painted in quite some time...believe it or not we've been a little busy (you know, the whole getting married thing). Zach has many creative outlets and I love it; he even enjoys antique shopping! That makes for fun weekends, let me tell you. Back to what I wanted to share with you...the painting below is one he did last fall. It's very abstract, as most of his art is, and I can't wait to hang it in our house sometime in the near future. If he doesn't kill me for posting this, I will gradually show you more and more of his talent.

 I would title it Solar System

 His face after reading this post....

Oh my goodness...I had to throw this in too. Tell me that isn't the cutest mouse you've ever seen??!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Stevie Nicks Concert

Saturday night was the best night of our lives. Okay, I'm lying; our wedding was the best. But August 13th was a close second. Seeing Stevie Nicks was a dream come true, for me at least. Up until three weeks ago Zach thought 'Stevie' was a guy. Go figure. Even my silly husband was mesmerized by her hauntingly beautiful voice. So mesmerized, in fact, that he kept having to look down and play games on his phone just to snap out of the trance. She was like an angel....an angel that has smoked a lot of cigarettes. But an angel nonetheless.

By far the most touching part of the concert was when she sang Landslide. She prefaced the song by dedicating it to her dad, who passed away in 2005. She talked about how much he influenced her life and what an impact he had had on her music. She spoke in a way that made her seem so raw and real, like we could reach out and touch her (we were MUCH too far from the stage to do so). As she began singing, I closed my eyes and was taken back to so many wonderful childhood memories. Fleetwood Mac's music is such a special bond that I too share with my dad. It really made us stop and realize not only the power of Stevie's lyrics, but also how blessed we are to have such amazing parents. Even though Steve and Squatty will never ever read this blog ("What's a blog"?), we love you both so very much and thank you for all the laughter and happiness you've given us over the years.

little blurry (told you we were far away)

 me, Dad, and Shane, circa 1989

 Zach, Scott, and Jake, circa 1985

Friday, August 12, 2011

Travel Wish List

Zach and I decided to get a little ambitious tonight and create a "Travel Wish List". It was originally supposed to stop at ten must-see places, but ended up making it to thirteen....and we're okay with that. Our goal is to make it to at least five of these before we die. That's attainable, right? (insert encouragement here)

1. New Zealand
We don't just want to see one spot but the ENTIRE thing. And we're not even Lord of the Rings fans.

2. Barcelona, Spain
Spanish seafood is calling our name.













3. Antarctica
Zach's pick....not sure why. Looks a little too chilly for my taste, but I'll go with it.














4. Seattle, Washington
We want to go to the Space Needle! Plus Sleepless in Seattle is the best chick-flick EVER.














5. Alaskan Klondike
One of us, I'll let you guess which one, wants to "pan for gold".


















6. Wengen, Switzerland
Despite our faulty knees, we must ski here. We really must. And if that doesn't work out we will skip around the mountains singing "The Hills Are Alive".














7. Moscow, Russia
Another one of Zach's picks that I'm totally on-board with. He wants to visit the Kremlin and I'm not arguing since the Orlov Diamond, a gift to Catherine the Great from Count Orlov, her lover, is on display inside.














8. Egypt
Can you picture Zach and me on a camel? We can't either. That's why we have to go, ride one, and take lots of pictures for proof.


9. Mussoorie & Agra, India
If you've ever watched the movie A Little Princess, surely you must share my desire to bathe with elephants in a mystical Indian watering hole. Zach was lucky enough to watch the movie last year during what we refer to as "kidney stone time" and he too wants to bathe with elephants.























10. Galapagos Islands
Another one of my husband's choices. He blames it on Darwin.













So cute yet so very ugly.











11. Paris, France
Two reasons: Louis Vuitton and the Louvre.


















12. Greenland
 Zach is pretty set on visiting this lovely arctic tundra. Can you tell he's hot natured? I call him "my little hot box". Let's get that sweet little hot box to this big ol' icebox.  
13. Santorini, Greece
This island is the remnant of a volcanic cone whose top was blown off. Plus, we've always wanted to cliff dive. Gotcha! We'd never do that. The Mediterranean is just so serene and inviting.

Sorry I didn't cite my picture sources....terrible about that! Hope you're all having a wonderful week :).