Monday, March 29, 2010


I moved my Friday cleaning to tonight, which is why it took me a little while to hop on the computer. I can't tell you how great the baked chicken and salad for dinner tasted after a weekend of eating out! I have never been to Savannah, Georgia and fell in love at first site. If you have never been it's a lovely city on the water with so much Southern charm, amazing architecture, and gorgeous trees. The entire time we walked in and out of the little shops I wondered why I have never been there before.

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We ate at the Lady & Sons Restaurant aka Paula Deen and Sons. The food was wonderful and almost everyone that eats there orders the buffet, which is a variety of Southern fried comfort foods. I had to be different and order the chicken pot pie. ;)

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I also loved loved loved a shop called The Paris Market. It is a gorgeous store and cafe that has a variety of old and new. {Even old things look new in this place.} I could have look there for hours and probably not seen everything.

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It was such a wonderful weekend and so much to do. There were haunted tours, carriage rides, wine tastings, water cruises, cooking classes, and so much more. I really hated to leave, but think that Jonathan and I may take a trip there one day soon.


Just so you know, I am okay. Actually I am recovering from a bachelorette weekend in Savannah, GA. I have never been there before, had way too much fun, {and have never wanted to detox my body in such a bad way!} Ugh!

Anyways, I have some pictures (from during the day) that I will post later tonight. I snuck some photos at a few wonderful shops I visited. I could have seriously maxed out my credit card, but went with the recession-friendly route of just taking pics. All I want to do is sleep, I am approaching a deadline at work, we ship one magazine to the printer today, and Jonathan is really sick. I also didn't mention I am entertaining friends two nights this week and we are picking up some basement furniture from my parents tomorrow. Why is it that everything happens at once? Ugh, again, and I can't wait to post later!

Until tonight...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Rant and Rave

I am not the doom and gloom type of person. I like to think that most of the time I am pretty optimistic. There are the occasions when I have to take a moment and share a few of the things that bother me.

1) Let's say you are waiting in line at the grocery store and there is one person checking everyone out. Another cashier opens up and says, "may I help the next person in line?" (you know what comes next) a group of people or someone that has walked up immediately runs over and gets in line, cutting all the patient people in the first line off! Really burns me up...

2) Sometimes I am guilty of this, but as of late I have been trying to be better at picking up the phone and calling people. Do you get mad when someone sends you a text about an important event or occasion? When did we all get so busy that we can't call the people closest to us and share the good news or invitation? Mass text messages make me mad... I guess it's frustrating when communication has become a convenience and in turns it into sacrificing relationships. Does that make sense?

3) To piggy back on number two I would love for "thank you notes" to come back in style. When did it become kosher to tell someone thank you for going out of their way and not send a note? Have you sent any wedding, birthday, baby gifts lately and not received a thank you note? I have and I wonder if I am behind the times by thinking you should still send one. Is this just me?

4) I am a serial snacker. Interpretation: I wonder what the cleaning crew at my office thinks about me by the evidence I leave in my trash can??? Last month I wrote down everything at the end of the day, because I wouldn't remember the list to tell Jonathan. It was something like this: yogurt container, coffee cup, six splenda packets, diet coke cans x2, three mini Snickers (b/c it doesn't count when they are small), pack of crackers, bag of peanuts, pie plate from the test kitchen (only the biggest slice ever), mac and cheese container, part of a banana, half a FireHouse sub, and more and more. I bet they laughed when they thought I was being healthy with the "diet" drink and the splenda! This doesn't make me mad, but thought I would throw this in for humor.

5) Excuses... I am guilty of making excuses and not following through with something I need to do. This is a pet-peeve of mine, but I noticed lately I've been doing just that. I am too busy or lazy to do things I want/should get done. For example, I find every excuse to not paint and start my Etsy shop. It's true and I love to paint. I'm too tired to run so I sleep in the AM. I'm too busy to cook so I pick something up that's easy. I'm too frustrated to paint trim so I hire someone else to do it. I want myself to begin to do more of the things I put off. I want to know the value of hard work and the struggle it may be on me. I want to do these things so I can look back and be proud of my own efforts because I gave my very best. Being too hard on myself you say? One of my biggest annoyances is laziness and look what I have gotten in the habit of? Have you ever felt that way?

I hope your Thursday is wonderful. It's gloomy outside and maybe that's why I am being such a nay-sayer. I feel like there might be things that annoy each of us form time to time and I feel better after venting. Thanks for making it through that rant with me. You're a doll!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday night baseball

Date night! Today Jonathan told me Auburn was playing Samford (baseball) and suggested we go and check out our Tigers. I need to tell you that I don't know a thing about baseball. I mean, I get the gist of it, but I primarily go for the hot dogs and watch kids freak out over the foul balls.

When I was growing up I played softballl until the age of 8. I was terrible and did a piroette everytime I was up to bat attempting my version of hitting the ball. My parents somehow made sure my cousin Kara and I were on the same team. She was awesome and of course could play every position like a pro. I don't know if you can be awesome at 8, but if she was a bargaining chip when dividing up teams I was the charity pick. Anyways, I quit when I got two black eyes in one week.... go figure. Baseball+Katie= no fun

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Team Nelson at ball park

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Run Dax Run

Hello readers! I sit here this Sunday evening with pictures hung, laundry done, a clean house, full stomach, and a content heart. Our painters came back this Saturday morning to finish up and make sure everything had dried well and I was full of glee to see how thorough they were with their work. (Insert sigh and smile here)

Once they left and I danced from room to room. After the celebrations ended Jonathan and I went to grab some lunch and take our best buddy, Dax, to the park. I don't know who was smiling more... us or him, but Jonathan and I had the truck windows down and enjoyed the 68 degree Alabama weather.

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We got a little lost trying to get the to park near our house. I know we didn't have a lot to do, but getting lost or not knowing where I am really bugs me. I wasn't saying a word and Jonathan was like, "what's wrong" or "we'll find it" and "are you going to let this misadventure ruin our day?" I know I was acting like a baby, but the control freak in me does not even have an emergency chill button. Sorry, wasn't part of my DNA, but I got over it quickly. I hate it when I realize I am being Debbie Downer especially when Jonathan points it out. Does y'alls spouses do that?

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If you have a lab you know they will fetch until you physically take the object away from them. This is no exception with Dax. He is trained and can dove hunt with my husband. Unfortunately, Dax loves to swim so much he makes a very lousy duck companion because he would rather swim circles around the boat than retrieve birds. Dear Dax, if we depended on you to help us get food we would starve!

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Yes, what you just saw was our tired companion relaxing in the biggest (and only) mud puddle in the entire park. I wish someone was able to capture our faces as we went to explore and started yelling, grab him, what the -, awww no! Dax is such a punk and knew what he was about to do. He ran to the puddle, turned and faced us, and then laid down... we started laughing even harder and realized how pitiful all three of us looked. Cars drove by and others at the park were cracking up too. Jeez Louise!

The rest of the weekend was filled with chores, putting our home back together, plus dinner with my mom and brother Satruday night. Tonight I made chicken spectacular, which is a caserole recipe given to me from my friend Simone. It is easy, very rich, and Jonathan ate so much I thought he was going to pop.

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Dax loves to help me in the kitchen. Basically he sits and waits for me to drop anything, but I like to think he's there because I am his favorite. I don't mind him sitting in the middle of where I am trying to work, but when he sleeps and spreads out, I end up having to step over him the entire time! (Geez Dax don't let me get in your way) I love it when he's in there and it's nice to have company when I am making a mess.

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Our dish was wonderful (I may adjust one or two things for next time) like chopping the onion finer and adding some more rice, but otherwise it will be adding into the dinner rotation. The dinner ended with some cinnamon peaches and me trying to toss grapes into Jonathan's mouth from across the table. Most of them missed due to my terrible aim, but I loved hitting him in the face with a few he missed! So much for trying to be grown ups, but we have the rest of our lives to do just that.

Hope your weekend was wonderful and have a fantastic Monday!

Chicken Spectacular 

1 ½ lbs chicken – cook and shred
½ - ¾ small onion finely chopped (if you want you can sauté a little prior to adding, not necessary)
2 cans French style green beans – drained
1 cup mayo – I use light
1 4 oz jar pimentos – drain if needed
1 can cream of celery soup
about 2 cups cheddar cheese (I use 2%)

1 box of Uncle Ben’s long grain/wild rice original recipe (I get the quick cook kind).
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to directions on box. It doesn’t matter if it still a little watery. I will keep the casserole from drying out. Mix together everything except 1 cup of cheese. Put in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Cook at 350 for about 40 minutes or until bubbly. Top with remaining cheese and cook until cheese is melted. It makes a ton!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Almost too giddy

I think I have a new motto: Eight O'Clock Coffee is not as great at FIVE AM. You heard that right... it's five in the morning on a Friday when I don't have to be at work until 8. Fridays are great at the publishing company where I work, because during the week I work 7-5. Those nine hour days lead me to a Friday where I can show up in blue jeans and my afternoons are filled with endless possibilities. Since I am a control freak those afternoons are usually spent with me cleaning, listening to music, running errands, and lighting my most heavily scented candles I own. On gorgeous days this really bugs me that I don't take a book and blanket outside, take Dax to the park, run, paint, or ANYTHING but clean. Is it just me or does not having a somewhat clean house bug the stew out of you?

My new best friends (aka the painters) were over here yesterday and it drove this control freak nuts all day at work wondering what was going on and if they needed to ask me any questions. Most of the texts Jonathan and I sent were like this...

Me: How do you think Pedro's doing?

Jonathan: Fine. He's a professional.

Me: Are you excited?

Jonathan: Very

Me: Seriously? You don't sound excited.

Jonathan: Of course I am, but not as excited as you.

Me: Should I call him?

Jonathan: Would it make you feel better?


Me: Sorry, I was on the phone with him. Everthings fine.

Many of my texts and conversations consisted went like that or longer, but I might not have your attention for long ones ;) Coming home was awesome to seeing white trim, plastic covering on the floor, and workers that stayed until 6 o'clock. They were gems and even took off all the door nobs at my request.
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After living here a month a half I already need to clean my closets and start an Etsy account. I have been toying with the idea and talking to my girlfriend Tracy that I should put my paintings on Etsy to earn a little extra dough. She and everyone have been so encouraging and said if I did it they would buy one. I have to laugh because I would make my dear friends or family something for free. My other girlfriend said it this way and it made me feel better, "I want to own artwork from the people I know. That way when someone comments on it I can say I know them." haha the encouragement has been so uplifting. (These are finished and unfinished canvases... basically I need to put these up and begin selling)
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I would like to say a few things about my blog coach. I don't have an official coach, but my husband loves to encourage me to do and try new things. He fundraises with me, runs with me when I don't feel like it, jam out while doing chores, doesn't complain when I put a laundry basket in front of him, and is always encouraging me to blog more. I get really annoyed with him (after all, married people argue too) but in the end I always appreciate him making me do things I don't want to do at that present moment. We have been together five years and married for almost two. It's pretty awesome waking up and getting to hang out with your best friend everyday. It's not roses, chores, and sunshine all the time, but we make it work. (Funny story: when we moved we made this rule, whenever we were getting frustrated or you could tell the other person really had enough, we had to give eachother "angry hugs." This is a hug that you don't want to give and it's so hard to do. Hug someone you're mad at?? It's funny to us now and at the end of the day we were hugging and both stomping off in opposite directions. Hard not to laugh when two grown people were acting like three year olds. It's really hard to do, but I totally recommend trying it.)
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Here's to you blog coach and have an amazing Friday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Faded jeans and DMB t-shirt

Feeling blue? Jonathan and I are feeling it tonight. We started the process of tackling our kitchen! Don't judge the old jeans and rocking hair style. (Note: Mom, DMB means Dave Matthews Band) Sorry for the side note, but we are pumped to feel like things are getting done. Jonathan said he needs to treat the house like business so he will want to get more work done. All I could think was, "you're going to be fun and dance to the music, right?" We had breakfast for dinner (a staple in our home) and turned on some music. It was a lot of fun, which I don't admit for many of our home improvement projects!

The trim is getting painted Thursday and we are loving the color from Lowe's, I believe it's Aqua Smoke. Here's a quick glimpse of part of the kitchen... stay tuned!

Good night!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend. I have spent most of my day doing everything I wanted to do, and nothing I needed to do. If you have not tried doing this you are so missing out. I literally watched three movies this afternoon that consisted of Mona Lisa Smile, 27 Dresses, and Harry Potter (whichever was the last one that came out). It was great! I made some iced coffee, did my nails, and feel totally relaxed. It was a perfect Sunday.

I wanted to share a new piece of furnture I am eyeing and think it would be perfect in my sunroom. :) I am wanting to recreate the real thing, but somehow I might save up for this bad boy. It's from Pottery Barn and the three piece sofa is called seasgrass. Love it!

On another superficial note I am thinking about growing my hair back out. It was super long and at one point I cut ten inches off for Lock's of Love (sophmore year of college) then cut it again after we got married. I am tyring some new looks and eventhough I was loving having really short hair I just miss wearing my hair curly and long. It is a lot easier now, but I have the rest of my life to have short hair. Why not keep it long while I can? Here' s a picture from back in time... engagement pictures.

I threw this picture in for fun. Note for life: everyone needs to try and ride a two seater bike. It's the hardest thing to try and control if you are in front and made for hilarious pictures! We laughed and screamed with excitement the entire time we rode it and was a great way to end our photo session.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bowling Social

Tonight I organized a bowling social for Team In Training through the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I ran my first marathon in October of 2007 and love love love this organization. They teach you to run or walk a half or full marathon OR participate in a triathalon. The whole time you are training you are also raising money to find a cure for blood related cancers. I joined in Mobile as a great way to to meet people when I first moved.

Anyways, I am mentoring participants now and thought socials would be a great way to get everyone together outside of training to meet and make new friends. I am going to work on scheduling times that vary since it was pouring tonight and a lot of people attend church on Weds. (I didn't think about it). I will do better next time!

I met Deborah, who just moved here too. It was a great way to break the ice and let everyone bowl while participating in an activity. I am not a very good bowler and found myself getting into it.

Catherine actually went to Auburn too. She is probably one of the nicest people I have met and works for LLS. She even put up with my spouse trying to give her bowling lessons. He was a great sport to come and support my social night. He even stood in other lanes to take action shots while people bowled. I did have to watch myself and not tell him he was distracting our new friends.

We had a great time and I want to support this alley again. Since we are a members and participants of a non-profit group we bowled for $3.00 per person and it included shoes. This was a really fun way to get out of the house and super cheap! I have to thank Jonathan and some of the husbands for being such great sports and joining us tonight. I am sending these pictures out for others to see what they missed. Hopefully my next social will have twice the turn out. Regardless, I am making new friends here :)

Picture above is just for laughs! It's me and Jonathan in 2007 when I finished my race... 26.2 miles in San Francisco. It was the coolest way to ever appreciate a new city (running through it, but I don't know if I remember the last 4 miles).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Unfinished Projects

When we first got into the house I figured we would be so excited we would work on our 'list" of improvements each night when we got home. Ha! Yeah. right!

On the trim painting we have successfully finished the master bedroom, master closet, bathroom, and sink area. The doors for thoses spaces are painting and new handles have been added. One issue we have already ran into is the doors do not close all the way. How in the world does that happen??? I am going to be calling my dad (the engineer) over, because I know this will drive him nuts. At least you know where I get this from.

We have cut down the fig tree/bush aka monster that was blocking our entire view of the back yard. We have wood to last us three years and the limb pile is larger than Jonathan's truck. I have been calling the city to get someone over to here to pick it up... all they say is "mam you are going to have to pay someone to pick it up." I have been looking at this pile for two weeks and it's driving me crazy. And yes, I wonder what our new neighbors are thinking about when we will be moving it. Yesterday was a miracle! I was coming out the front door when I saw this huge truck with a giant claw come through the neighborhood entrance. All I could think was the city doesn't know a thing! I jumped in my car and chased him down. The guy driving it finally stopped and I asked him if he would come to my house. Once I gave him the address and he said it was within his area I had to run home and move the giant pile of limbs in 15 minutes! I was running back and forth from the driveway to the street to get it all done. Needless to say by the time he showed up I was sweating, my hands hurts, I lost my slip on shoes twice, and then asked him if he wanted a soft drink. The man simply said, "Mam I wouldn't care for anything, but someone needs to get you a Gatorade!" I made Jonathan move the last 1/3rd of the giant pile when he got home for next week...

Oh, so unfinished projects. We have a huge stump in the backyard, the rest of the house still has trim to be painted, our flagpole broke in the front of the house, and I think we are going to break down and hire someone to paint the den and the hallway. I think since people will be going through those areas the most it may be better to have the professional touch. (plus I have a person that can do it on the cheap... dollar-wise). Check it out... The remains of the fig tree.

Dax's Room... This is the sunroom off the den. Currently it is being occupied by him until I can find some modular wicker furntiture.  I have seen the chocolate ones in Pottery Barn and everything I have found to paint is too ornate. I may have to bite the bullet and get the real thing.

These lamps will have a new look the next time you see them. I am sanding the finish off with a fine sand paper and once they are cleaned I will apply a high gloss paint. You'll see!

I took over Jonathan's side of the garage to paint our doors. The slatted bi-fold doors are really tough to do and require a lot of patience. We spray painted them but you have to do it in layers so you don't get those ugly drip marks.

The picture above is a gorgeous table I have been meaning to talk about. Just so you think I am not doom and gloom all the time I have to show you the table my in-laws had redone for us as a gift! So above before, below is after.

Hard to tell, but I love the tiny legs and the detail along the bottm.

Much better! I had to get a rug shot too from Mobile. The San Francisco poster was framed after we went there for my marathon two years ago. Those chairs are going soon :)

Guest room is coming along! I found a bedskirt on Amazon for $20, but didn't cost a thing since we had gift cards from my brother. I am really loving the yellow accents in this room and I am pleased with my patience in getting it all together. I plan on doing a painting for the headboard and focus un the the nature look I want to pull of in this space. Remember before? I am enjoying the after.

Have a great rest of the weekend! We are hvaing roasted duck, steamed veggies, and wild rice for dinner. Did I mention I married a great man that can cook and folds laundry?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh My Love Affair

First, I am not having an affair affair, but my husband knows I have a second love... Chocolate! I know many many women have this affair. You know, when you walk by the cookie store in the mall and they just made your favorite chocolate chip... or when you are checking out in the grocery line and you glimpse the gold wrapper of a Twix... or better yet, you visit your parents house over the weekend and you mom has made a chocolate mousse pie! Mmmm mmm

I have been having dreams about chocolate. Before you think I am crazy let me tell you why. I am Catholic (born and raised) and each year for Lent I attempt try  fail when it comes to sacrificing something. I am not going to preach or say why you should do what I am attempting, but I decided as an adult I need to learn and understand self-control... I have found I am composed with very little.

I decide to axe all sweets this year. This means no cokes, Starbucks, desserts from the test kitchen at work, and especially no chocolate! I fully understand why diets fail and people binge on something they are not suppose to have... it only makes you want it more! I have dreams about brownies (and even made some if hopes that the smell would die down the craving) instead... I am stuck with a ton of brownies that only Jonathan can eat. (And whose to blame him as he divulges right in front of me.)

 How many weeks until Easter???? Our sweet neighbors from across the street sent their 9 and 5 year old to give us a house warming gift... the 9 year old little angel came bringing Girl Scout cookies! I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time when Jonathan ate the entire BOX (yeah, the entire box) to "help" me not be tempted. He smelled of Tagalongs all night and I told him he was the devil... hahaha not really, but he got a kick out of taking the box everywhere with him! Cruel, so cruel...

I want to eat my computer with these bad boys! Mmmm mmm... good food styling. I am digging the colors! (complements of EastBayMom)

Pie pie pie... with Hersheys! I bet those Hersheys would be event better shaved all over the top of this one. I feel gross and my mouth is watering. TMI? (complements of Taste of Home)

Did you know there is a website called NOT FAIR! I didn't even know about this until I started this thing... I am sad. Really sad.

When I post at Easter I am sure it will be a disgusting reveal of me binge eating and then getting sick. All for my love affair with chocolates. Let's look on the bright side... this is going to be very beneficial when swim season comes and maybe, just maybe I will learn to say no to sweets. Ha! Probably not!