Sunday, October 30, 2011

Preparing for cooler temps

My landlord came and replaced my gas heater last week. I have a fireplace but unfortunately they have it blocked off at the top. So the gas heater and I are going to be really good friends this winter.
This is my original heater. 

 It was ancient but fit the house's character.
This is the new one. And I am not going to lie. It looks so odd and out of place in my older home. But I am sure I will appreciate the energy efficiency of the new one once the winter gas bills start rolling in.

I have already decided I need these to help me make it through winter:
A cute winter bath robe. It is going to be super cold in my little house with it being off the ground and having all wood floors. So a robe is a must. (photos from

I am not much of a slipper person, but I love warm, fuzzy socks. Let's be honest, if your feet are cold then your whole body is going to be cold. So we have to take care of the feet. :-) (photo from

Yes, I do know I live in southern AL and it isn't like we get REAL winter weather. But after our serious summer heat, it does seem cold. My body just doesn't like cold weather. The only consolation is that fall/winter also means boots and cute jackets!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit

This post is completely raw and an open view into my heart. I needed to write it for myself. I want something to document the changes in my life and to hold me accountable. 

Saturday we had a free cupcake day at work. Needless to say, it was a long 12 hour work day for me that started at 6am.
Justin and I were having a heart to heart that night. He had said something several weeks ago but it wasn't until that conversation that it really hit me. Hard. He told me that I had lost my sweet spirit. Honestly, it floored me. He didn't mean it in a mean or callous way. He said it gently and in a way of keeping me accountable, something I definitely need. But it hurt. A lot. Over the last several months I have changed and it was so gradual I hadn't even noticed. It is so embarrassing to admit but I have been less than pleasant company. I know I am quick to get angry, beyond impatient, ridiculously nit-picky and flat out over-opinionated and rude. I wasn't happy and because I wasn't happy I was snapping on anyone and anything in reach. I seriously cried for hours on Saturday night. I don't want to push away the people I love and care about. I don't want to isolate myself because of my miserable countenance. What in the world was wrong with me? Why have I become like that?

Looking back on it I think it started when I decided I needed to pick up a second job. Through the entire past year I have been trusting in God's faithfulness and His promise to provide. He had shown it occasion after occasion. Yet I took things in my own hands and took on a second job, working 2-3 12 hour overnight shifts. It wore me out physically, mentally and emotionally. And it went down hill from there. My quiet time became non-existent with my insane schedule. I became ill and irritable. My priorities weren't straight and my heart was definitely in the wrong place. The last several days have been beyond humbling. I realized that I had become a person I didn't want to be. My parents hadn't raised me to be controlling, impatient, irritable, demanding, stressed, worrisome... I could go on and on. I sat down Saturday night trying to figure out what Justin had meant about my "sweet spirit". I didn't get it at all. After much prayer and digging into the word, I realized where I had strayed and what my character and countenance has been lacking. I've started studying each of the Fruits of the Spirit and the characteristics of love individually. God has much work to do in my heart, but my eyes, ears and heart are open. I want so desperately to be happy and content again. I want my faith to be stronger, my life to be what it should be. 

Galations 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8b4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails...

I started with patience. I know it is something that I have always struggled with. It's already been a really humbling, eye-opening experience. 

Despite knowing what all needs to change and how far I have strayed from where I need to be, today has been one of the most peace-filled and content days I have had in a long time. I started off my morning early, around 5:30am, with prayer and more praying while I was showering. I actually took the time to make my bed up, a very rare occurrence. Strange how something so simple can make you feel a little more put together. HA. I then got to have a good quiet time and sharing with my mom via text messages. She always knows exactly what I need to hear. I can never explain to her how much I appreciate her wisdom and understanding. I worked 9-4:30 and ran some errands before hitting the gym. I made it home and I wasn't ready for dinner so I decided to work on my personal planner I've been creating and attempt at gluing some of my puzzles together. Then I had a yummy dinner of Parmesan pesto tilapia and green beans. Healthy and delicious. I know it doesn't sound like much but you know the biggest thing. I smiled the whole day. Not one thing bothered or irritated me and I didn't lose patience at all. All little steps but it was so refreshing and did my heart good to know that change is possible and it is going to be amazing. I feel refreshed and renewed... and very hopeful. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Monster Cupcakes

Gearing up for the fall season and Halloween at work we have been playing around with some cupcakes. We needed a chocolate based, kid friendly cupcake to replace the Cookies and Cream cupcake for a while. Here are some of my little creations from this afternoon. I love this little monsters!

This was the first little guy that I did this afternoon. I accidentally broke one of my pretzel sticks but honestly, I think it works. :-)

One of my favorite things about these cupcakes is that they don't have to be perfect. In fact, I think they look better in all of their imperfections. Case in point? Check out the Coconut Long Boy candy I used for his ear collapsed and curled up. I think it just adds character! And you can change them around a bit to create a different look.

 Two of the monsters in the bakery case. The cupcakes are upside down, so packing them to go is a bit tricky. But it's convenient to already have them plated.

These are SO much fun to make and oh so easy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grilled Cheese and Chicken Noodle Soup

Yesterday was really the only day out of my weekend that I actually did much of anything. 

Friday morning I got a call from my landlord to come get all of the food out of my freezer. My refrigerator has slowly stopped working. Thankfully, we have a large freezer at work so I was able to bring everything there while they worked on it. They were unable to fix it so I got another (older) fridge to replace it. Friday afternoon I had a haircut appointment as soon as I got off work. I got to a salon that is in the same shopping center where I work. All of the people that work there are frequent customers and they are all so sweet. I didn't get a drastic haircut. Just lost several inches in length, had new layers put in and side bangs. I needed it to keep a good bit of the length so that I can pull my hair up at work. Hairnets are not my friend

Friday night I spent the evening checking things off of my to do list around the house and watching the rest of the BBC mini series North & South Netflix instant

Saturday was spent out in the country at Justin's mom's house. Ms. Robin just moved into a house that she designed and built herself. It's lovely! We helped her tackle some of the things on her to do list. That night, she picked me up at my house and we headed downtown for Bayfest. Bayfest is a weekend long music festival in downtown Mobile. I have never been before and really didn't intend on going but Ms. Robin was given an extra free ticket and she didn't want to go by herself. 

I really enjoyed the performance by 3 Doors Down. I wasn't so much interested in anyone else at the stage we went to. I guess I just don't care for distasteful music or vulgarity from the artist's between songs. Heaven forbid. ;-) 
Unfortunately, all of the dust, people smoking and my already irritated allergies mixed to create a sickly mess Sunday morning. I woke up around 4am in a feverish sweat, took some medicine and went back to sleep. I finally woke again around 1pm, went to Walmart to replace the groceries that had to be thrown out after my refrigerator went out, and bought some more medicine that my mom recommended. I unpacked all of my winter clothes and set aside any clothes that either don't fit or I no longer need/want to take to my friend Amanda and her daughters. I started reorganizing my closet and did some laundry. It was mostly a day of trying to be somewhat productive while still resting. My fever subsided around 7pm. As I type, I am laying in bed relaxing and watching another BBC mini series, The Buccaneers. I am not quite sure what I think of it just yet. 

That's a run down of my weekend. Tomorrow starts another busy, fast-paced week at work. Since I started baking and managing, the weeks have sped by. I feel like I am slowly starting to get into a groove. I even created my first cupcake to go out into the store front and had a sandwich I created added to the menu and named after me. :-) Recipes and pictures to come this week!

Day 18 of 1001

  •  Update my blog at least once a week - I need to work on making more significant, consistent posts. I want to use my blog as a journal, a digital scrapbook of sorts. 
  • Comment on blogs more regularly

  • Workout 3 times weekly(minimum) - That was a failure this week. I only worked out once.
  • Walk Coach around the neighborhood 3 times a week - We only took one walk this week. Coach is not very good on a leash. I think I end up getting more exercise and end up more exhausted than him. haha
  • Make a weekly menu - DONE!
  • Get at least one couponing deal every week
  • Buy Sunday newspapers at Dollar Tree - twice as many papers/deals - Bought newspapers for me and mom today
  • Call a friend I haven't spoken to recently once a week - I talked to my sweet friend Darlene several times this week!

  • Detail my car once a month
  • Spend one afternoon a month reading at the park
  • Buy 1 Disney movie a month(12 a year) to build my collection - Bought Lion King!

  • Fold and put away all laundry as soon as it is done - So far, so good!
  • Go to sleep with a clean kitchen every night - This is still SUCH a challenge for me. The whole single sink and no dishwasher thing gets to me. I honestly don't mind washing dishes. Too bad I don't have a 3 compartment sink at home like I do at work. haha

  • Decorate for every season, not just Christmas - Fall decor is up!
  • Influence a person to make a 101 in 1001
  • See Paul Overstreet in concert again - Poppa and I went to see the Paul Overstreet and Friends benefit concert for St. Jude's. It was last Monday in Biloxi, MS. It was a good concert but not at all what we expected. We both wanted to see/hear Paul more but he only sang 3 songs. Still a good night of enjoying my Poppa's company. :-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Giveaway over on Tales from a Time Out

Sweet Hannah is doing a giveaway over on her blog Tales from a Time Out. She and I met through the blog world. She found my blog and contacted me with questions about the Disney College Program and I followed her through her program and have been following since. :-) She loves movies, books, cupcakes/cooking and is such a fun blogger to follow. Go check her out. You can thank me later!

The Giveaway:
She is giving away a My Memories Digital Scrapbook. I love scrapbooking and documenting memories. Digital scrapbooking appeals to me for several reasons. 1) Our photos are now more likely to be digital rather than printed out. 2) Saves time and money. No scrapbooking tools or materials to buy, pull out and put away. It's all in one place. 3) You can send it to friends in family, use on your blog or facebook and print out into a cute book at the end of the end. So much fun!