Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've been Tagged!

Hi bloggers! I hope you are having a wonderful week and looking forward to the upcoming weekend. There's something about a patriotic holiday that puts me in good spirits! I have been tagged in a blog game by the sweet Sincerely Shannon and I am looking forward to playing.

1.What’s your staple meal (ie. what meal do you cook most often when you can’t be bothered to be adventurous)?
Breakfast for dinner is the easiest back up. We always have eggs, some sort of meat, grits, and biscuits. I don't make gravy because it would take up too much time, but this is a meal that Jonathan can easily step in and help me so we can eat quick!

2. What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I grow up... I want to be a mom. I know that is probably not the typical answer, but I already have a job in sales. What I really want to add under my "jobs" would be motherhood. This isn't in the works for anytime soon, but it something I would like to be and I think it is a very important role.

3. What book are you reading at the moment (if any)?
Don't laugh, but I am reading the first of the "True Blood" series that starts with Sookie Stackhouse. I think they are a fun break from reality. And yes I have all of the Twilight saga too, so there! haha

4. How do you relax?
I love to sit down and play with Dax. There's something about playing with him and making him happy that seems to calm me down and ease my stresses. Spending time with him gives me such joy and he makes Jonathan and I laugh.

5. What color are the interior walls of your home?
Aqua Smoke, Java, Meadow Green, kahki, and some light blue color in the basement that I didn't pick out. Most the colors were in the house when we bought it, but we had to change the kitchen. It was painted yellow and was not very calming for Jonathan, so came the auqa smoke. {He can't stand yellow rooms.} Is this a guy thing, beause I love it!

6. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Grande non-fat mocha and going to Hobby Lobby. I could easily spend hours in that place walking up and down the aisles listening to the calm music they play. I love going in there to get inspired and seeing what products are 50%. It's not unique or original in anyway, but I get so pumped to being around crafts and home decor. It's Candy Land for me!

7.What time is bedtime and getting up time?
I would say 10:00, but I'd be lying. I am brushing my teeth at 9:15 and jumping into bed by 9:20. I am such a crab if I don't get a lot of sleep. I am rudely awaken by my alarm at 6:15 am.

8. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?
Honestly, I probably spend 30+ minutes a day reading them. I wish it was more but I have to work. I love seeing what my fellow bloggers are up to and getting inspired by them!

Okay, it's time for me to tag people and I would love to hear from Flick at Everyday Chic and Julianne at From the Beginning. Good luck ladies!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Round Top or Something Closer?

At work we are already wrapping up participation for Sept/Oct issues {if you can believe it?} And lately we have been giving some special attention to Round Top Texas Antiques Show. I have always wanted to attend this bi-annual event. If anyone has been please let me know, because word on the street is this event is a force to be reckoned with! Antique Shops, vendors, estate sale companies, and more come from all over the US to travel to this rural part of Texas for an antique-lovers paradise. {sigh}

I thought I would share the following images as insipiration for your own antiquing weekend and maybe get you {me, actually} in gear for a girls trip to Round Top this fall. Wouldn't that be fantastic?

{These images are from Victoria}

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It may have been the worst ever!

Hey bloggers! I am writing this post while laughing, because I think I may have made the worst meal on the planet!!! I enjoy cooking, but I feel my strengths fall under the baking category. I never thought it would be possible to be bad at crockpotting or crockpot-cooking??

Sunday night I decided I was going to use the crockpot. Usually I will find a roast or tenderloin and toss a few vegetables or potatoes in the mix. It usually turns out great, but the other night was my first experience trying to make this chicken and dumpling dinner called Chicken Paprikash. Basically, I found a cookbook that came with the crockpot and I decided to make that recipe because it called for ingredients I had in the house. I cooked the chicken as directed and once that was in the paprika and red pepper sauce I added the dumplings.

I ended up creating red speckled chicken with dumplings that looked like lumpy brains. I got the plates ready and called Jonathan into the dining room. All he said was, "ahhhhh, what's this called?" I told him and placed some corn on the plated and we began eating. I take that back, we tried to eat. He was devouring the corn and when he got up to get a drink and wash down the chicken I asked for him to grab the ketchup while he was. I squeezed it all over my chicken and as I looked up at him we started laughing. Y'all we laughed so hard we were in tears! It tasted like crap and was the worst thing I have tried!! What a waste!! At least we had desert for dinner and who can complain about that?
So since you just got a little grossed out by looked at our ruined dinner, I have some happy news we finally have window treatments in our master bedroom! {Can I get a hip hip hooray!?!} These are the first of many that we will have in the house and I am so pleased with the results. Check out the before and ignore my messy bed...
Thanks to some ecru grommet panels I bought on Amazon and my mother-in-law sewing an additional 10 inches of fabric on the bottom we have new panels. I would also like to give the hubs a shout out for taking his time measuring, leveling and drilling my rods into the wall, even if he broke the drill bit in the wall. {hehe}
And here is what the bottom looks like...
I am so happy with the way they turned out and it has motivated me to get a jump on the rest of the house. Do you think floor to ceiling drapes would look okay in every room of the house? What about a kitchen? I am open to suggestions and welcome all input!

I hope you have enjoyed the beginning of your week and may you dinner be better than ours!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Two Years has Flown by Fast

Jonathan and I celebrated our two year anniversary this past week. After saying our I do's I never thought we'd be where we are today, and I am so glad to be here! In the last two years we have mourned the loss of family members, losing my job, home renovations, selling a house, buying a house, and moving to a new city. There's other minor things in there like, who folds clothes "the right way" and which way should the toilet paper come off the roll in the bathroom? OR almost finishing something like a box of Oreo's and leaving one broken one in there. Does this seem cruel to everyone but him??

I am not going to say the last two years were full of sunshine, because we have gone through some tough life events. I have to appreciate those events for what they were and that has gotten us to where we are today. This may sound corny or cliche but being able to change and adapt as a couple helped us to get through those times and made us appreciate what it's like to be on the other side. I love him with all of my being and I am so blessed to be married to my best friend.

On another note we have someone new in the Nelson house that I need to introduce. His name is Thomas and he is my 20 year-old brother. Jonathan was able to get Thomas a full-time summer job at his office updating data. He is thrilled to have this opportunity to make some money and have something to put on his resume. I cannot imagine how tough it is for students graduating in the tough economy.

Thomas is on the left (old photo from last Christmas, but you get the idea). You will be seeing more of him as the summer progresses and I am sure my other two brothers will be stopping in to raid my fridge and pantry. I forgot how much 20-something boys can eat! My brother Chris was here last week too. I was passing through kitchen when I looked in and saw both of them standing in front of my fridge staring. I wanted to be like, "can I help you?" but instead I laughed and was glad to have them around. Needless to say our anniversary was not spent with just the two of us, but I am I glad we have family around to be able to share it with regardless.

I hope you had a great weekend and wonderful  Father's Day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Great Time, but Glad to be Home

I am back after four days and three nights in Vegas! I worked and played, which was a tough combination. The World Tea Expo Friday through Sunday at the Las Vegas Convention Center and we worked it ALL day on Friday. I met so many people and learned a lot about tea, it's origin, and gained insight on where the tea industry is headed. I tasted quite a variety of blends and discovered more about my tea palette. I will say that I am officially not a fan of Oolong teas, {traditional Chinese tea} but tend to favor sweeter and fruitier teas.
I attended the Expo with the editor of TeaTime and my friend Simone. I was really pumped about the samples people gave out and even received a cd with tea music! I am not sure what is played for tea music, but maybe it's a ceremonial cd. {Should be interesting too} I wore flats the entire weekend, but my feet and calves have not been this sore in a while. {Maybe this is a sign I need to work out more.} As you can see, I was able to get some press passes! I really wanted to get some photos and told the guy in the press area that I was with the magazine. He generously handed Simone and I a pass and told us to get him if we needed anything. The only thing I had to do was ask permission of the vendors if I could take their picture or photograph their booths. I didn't take too many, since I was there for work, but managed a couple decent ones from the Expo.

There were so many types and blends of teas out there. One company even had children's tea where they added jelly beans to the leaves and they disolved when steeped in hot water. Some new blends of tea could even be used as a base for soup, because they had a savory undertone. And to think my Southern friends, there's more out there than sweet tea!
We stayed in Paris, which was pretty much in the center of the Las Vegas strip. Since the Expo didn't open until 11 each day we were up pretty early and able to get some sight-seeing done. My body was stuck on CST, which meant I was up at 6am everyday. The great part about that was it made for cool mornings to enjoy a cup of coffee while walking around. Above is us outside watching the Bellagio water show and grabbing a snack. As we sat outside I enjoyed people watching so much. What is it about Vegas that makes tourists go nuts and act totally different?

Okay, I didn't see a show while I was there... instead we went shopping our last night! The picture above is us at Burberry in Caesar's Palace. Simone and I found sunglasses that we had to get. I sent Jonathan a text (because I NEVER spend money) to make sure he was cool with the pricetag. I think he was more pumped about me getting them than I was about them. His words: "You never want to spend money! You have to get them!"

I also did not know that they design casino's in a way that makes it nearly impossible to get out. We were trapped in Caesar's Palace and the Bellagio for what seemed like hours. I think this is why my legs hurt so bad because everytime we turned a corner we realized we missed the right turn and had to back track. There were so many beautiful things to look at while we were lost and then we found the Bellagio Conservatory! If you haven't been there it is probably one of the most beautiful places I have seen. The flowers are gorgeous and I understood why it was so crowded and so many of us were snapping pictures!

I had a great time and was so thankful Simone gave me the tour of the town. If I can remember correctly we went to the Bellagio, New York New York, Monte Carlo, Caesar's Palace, The Palms, Wynn, and maybe more (I can't remember!!)

I hope y'all had a great weekend too and stayed cool. It was insane how much humidity accumulated in Alabama while I was away, but I am glad to be back home.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Viva Las Vegas and Tea!

Hey sweet bloggers! It seems more and more of my posts are created when I wake up really early and the world is still asleep. I SHOULD be asleep but my body seemed to tell me to rise at 3:30 am! Ridiculous as it seems, I get this random habit from my dad and can’t seem to shake it. I think I wake up early when I am really excited and all with good reason. Today I leave for Las Vegas!!!

I am really stoked about the journey this weekend because 1) I have never been to Vegas and 2) I am going for work. I don’t think I have ever really explained what I do for the publishing company I work for, so now is a good of time as ever. I am in advertising for two national magazines. My company publishes A LOT of magazines and they all seem to revolve around food or stitching titles, but mainly food {which is great news for me}.
{image from}
The two magazines I work on are Victoria {yes, the one that used to be published by Hearst} and TeaTime Magazine, which is what is taking me on my own Vegas Vacation. Every year in Vegas an event is hosted called the World Tea Expo. Tea vendors, growers, blenders, enthusiasts, and masters come from all over to attend or exhibit at the expo. Some come and show the latest tea-blend or product they have created, while others may be attending to look at the advances and what is taking place in the industry. FIRST, let me point out that I knew/know nothing about tea. I drink sweet tea {y’all probably guessed that} and I need to learn more about the terminology and history on this little leaf. I am getting better and have started to “take” afternoon tea at work. {I will take pictures of where I work for another post.} I don’t drink it on china, though I tell the girls around me it would be fun if I did, but I steep my afternoon blend in of my trusty race mugs! Maybe not as classy as our readers or clients would like, but it’s pretty fun trying new blends and making my own favorites-list.

{image from}
Unfortunately, I will not have a press pass. I asked my editor and director about snapping photos for the blog and it looks like I will try to ask {or beg} the organizers when I get there. I really want to take y’all with me and report on the event. I know it’s completely random, but come on, how many people do you know will be attending the World Tea Expo this year? Hahaha! Jealous??

My friend and co-worker Simone has said we will work the event for a few hours each day and then she’s going to show me Vegas! I am really psyched about this part too and hope y’all will comment with any suggestions or must-sees while I am there. I did request we get sushi and we may take in a show. And I definitely want to go shopping!

Sunday night should be a long post after I return and I even have some fun news to announce next week! Miss y’all already and have a great weekend

Monday, June 7, 2010

Saturday morning treasure

Happy Monday bloggers! This weekend was amazing and the hubs and I were able to spend time at home (getting a much needed honey-do list completed) and visiting with my family. I used to love being busy and traveling, but now I am longing for more weekends when I can "play" in the house and really make our house a home.

The picture shown above is of a bench my friend Kristen discovered this weekend. I had just gotten out of the shower from working in the yard, when my phone rang. "You will not believe this! I am looking at a wicker bench for $5.00!!" I was sold sight-unseen and she came right over to my house to get me. She found a 4-poster bed so we hopped in my husband's truck to return and gather our treasures. Needless to say, we were "amateur movers" as we placed all the goods in the back of the truck bed. No straps, no blankets, nothing to secure the goods down as I drove 20 mph to get them home! There was a lot of bouncing as we drove up a few hills and we both were laughing hysterically when we thought about what would happen if the stuff went flying out!

I plan to clean, repair, and paint the bench. I was thinking about painting it espresso and adding a bold patterned cushion or two large pillows. I am not sure which one I will go with, but I will need to buy enough fabric to pair with more pieces to go in the sunroom. What do you think about these four options from
Let me know what you think about options 1-4 and I hope y'all have a great Monday!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Early Misery

Picture below was taken during better "itch-free" times. The statue below is Robert Wadlow, tallest man who ever lived reaching 8ft 11 inches. He was from my home town of Alton, IL.

Time: 4:00 am this morning
Problem: I cannot sleep...

Jonathan: Quit scratching.

Me: It really hurts.

Jonathan: Does it hurt or does it itch?

Me: both!!!!

Jonathan: What can I do to help?

Me: Nothing.

Jonathan: Want me to get you something?

Me: Like what?

Jonathan: I don't know, whatever you want. It's 4 am and we're both awake.

Me: (tears)

Jonathan: Katie, what's wrong?

Me: It's really hard to be mad at you when you are being so nice.

Jonathan: Why are you mad at me to begin with, it's 4 am?

Me: 'Cause I'm itching and you're not.

This weekend Jonathan and I learned something. We don't have fleas. We don't have any bugs, actually. We have poison ivy. Yeah, apparently neither of us have ever had it and during our online search the "bites" looked more like flea bites than anything else. We didn't even think about plants causing this much harm. I don't know where the source is coming from because the dog has been washed from head to toe multiple times. This is miserable, absolutely miserable.

I really appreciate your comments last post. It made me smile and it seems many of us would rather take pain versus itching. I'm at that point.