Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another 1st Birthday

This weekend I was given the opportunity to improve my picture taking skills by practicing at this adorable little girl’s birthday.


She’s absolutely sweet and incredibly precious! I had a ton of fun taking pictures of all of the kids and birthday activities. I’m thinking about starting to do this on the side some just for something extra to do.

I’m by no means a professional photographer, but I think I can capture a few good shots that tells the story of the moment. If I decide on this for sure, I’m going to add a page to the blog, so you can get more information.

I’ll be honest though. Taking pictures for others makes me unbelievably nervous. When it’s for me, I don’t worry so much. But, when it’s for someone else, I worry that I’m going to miss something. I guess I’m just going to have to get over my insecurities, practice up with the options my camera provides, and learn some new skills to improve.

Now, on to the party….

Brooklyn's 1st Birthday Details

Brooklyn's 1st Birthday

Brooklyn's 1st Birthday Guests

These are some beautiful children if I do say so myself!

The party was a blast! Now, for all of you who are interested in seeing the entire album, you can click on the link below.

Thanks for letting me take the pictures, Britney! I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Quick Paint Project


Want to change up the pace around your house and give the kids a little paint project? The lobster/crawfish or whatever it is is a great project.

Red and black paint, a sponge or paintbrush to apply the paint, & a child with all of their limbs attached is all you need!


Aly was my helper for the day, and she insisted we hang it up! She’s very proud of her work and loves coming to Aunt B’s to paint something nearly every time she spends the day with me.

The joys of being an aunt!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

House Makeover: Kitchen

Now that you’re shock is over from the atrocious before pictures of the front of the house, I’m going to stun you that much more.

The kitchen layout was a good bit different from what it is now. I’m not an engineer of any sort, so paint is what I had to turn to in order to give you an idea of what it looked like.

kitchen layout

This is today’s layout:

kitchen layout 2

Okay, okay….I might not be the best at doing layouts in paint, but I refuse to spend all night making it perfect. Just take it for granted that the stove is centered in the room with the 2nd window.

Now on to the pictures:

kitchen 2  kitchen 2 Who is adoring the white trim with green trim inside the windows? Who else is loving the awful textured paint job given to the sink cabinet thing? Better yet…Who is loving the same treatment on the windows applied to the cabinets? Yikes!

As if the photos aren’t enough explanation on their on, it was a complete disaster, and I couldn’t wait to get this room going in the right direction. The first step was to remove all of this mess {with gloves of course}. Who knows what some of the stuff actually was! I’m surprised I didn’t need some kind of shot after just being in that room. Dis-gust-ing!!!

After a lovely amount of time and effort, this room is pretty much complete except for a few details that I’m waiting for the right time for {mainly because of $$$}.

Are you ready? I now present you with the after!

Colby's Kitchen Collage

So…..I’m assuming the general consensus is that we’ve made huge improvement. No, it’s not the cabinets that I dream for my house one day, but they’re just we need at this time in our life. As a matter of fact, the kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the entire house.

I remember when the cabinets were first installed. I would just walk into the room only to admire it. I wasn’t in there to make a delicious meal. Heck, I didn’t even want to mess it up. I just wanted to look and smile at how far it had come!

Now that the kitchen has been revealed, some of you can see some of the windows I’m referring to. The rod is up and ready to go. It’s just waiting on me to choose a fabric and hang it up. I’d like to have this done within the next couple of weeks, so let’s all cross our fingers and hope I go to the fabric store and come back with fabric in hand. I think Colby and I both will be singing praises if that happens!

And for those of you who haven’t been to my house or have forgotten what it looks like inside….keep in mind that most of my house uses the following colors in various shades: light blue, green, white, and brown.


Hope you all are having

a fantabulous week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Time Has Come

According to my husband, the the time has come to finally make a decision on some kitchen curtains, and to be quite honest, I’m in full agreement with him. $$$ has been the only thing delaying this decision from moving in to action.

With the summer sun beaming down into my six kitchen windows, it is needless to say that it heats up in there pretty quickly, which in turn makes our electric bill sky rocket. Yikes! Add in the heat from an oven, and the cook is even baking in there.

So, I’ve picked out three fabrics. Now, it is time for you to help me choose which one. I’m giving you three choices, but in my mind I have it narrowed down to two. Tell me what you think because decisions will be made soon!

Option #1

fabric 2

Option #2

fabric 1

Option #3

fabric 3

If you’re not really feeling any of these Waverly fabrics, feel free to look around and provide some links that you think I’ll love.

Hmmm….now that I’ve posted these three on here, I’m thinking my opinion is changing. Maybe I’ll search for some more myself.

While you guys are helping me make this decision, I’ll be wishing I were laying on this….


instead of finishing up the reading I didn’t finish yesterday and taking a test on it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For all the dads out there…

Happy Father’s Day!

As most of you know, my dad had back surgery after an awful fall off a ladder. He’s been such a trooper though! Even though he’s still in pain to some extent, he made an effort this morning to make it to church since it was Father’s Day. To be quite honest, I did not expect him to be there, but my heart was very happy to see him there for the first time since the accident, which was in May.

This isn’t the best picture of the two of us, but I couldn’t pass up a good photo opportunity.


Here he is with my sister and his very first grandchild, Aly.


We love him very much, and we are so happy to have him as our father. He’s given us love throughout the years despite how tired he was and stressed he was from providing for us. I know he wouldn’t have it any other way though.

This is one of my favorite moments with my dad…julie cottrell photography 18

Everyone who attended my wedding knew that while he was “giving me away” I started to cry. It’s like all of your  life’s memories fill your mind during that moment. Memories of the two of us, memories of my grandparents, and thoughts about the amazing man that was about to become an official part of my life {who I know will be an amazing father one day}.  It was a moment I will never forget!

He’s an amazing man, and I hope he’s around for MANY, MANY more Father’s Days!


Happy Father’s Day,



Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Blueberry Festival = Success!

I have had it in my mind for quite a while that I was going to attend this year’s Blueberry Festival in my hometown of Brewton, Alabama. I had a few booths that I was hoping would be back, and I had a few items on my mind.

Not only did I find the booths from last year {minus one}, I found another new booth that I fell in love with. I do believe I could have bought one of everything. That’s where I got this….


The price? Only $24!

With this new addition to my front porch, I felt my porch needed one other item I could find at the festival.

Say hello to my new Bouganvilla plant!


I wanted one of these so bad last year that I couldn’t hardly stand it,  but money was limited after I came back from my honeymoon. This year though was a different story! I was so glad to bring it home, but I hated that while taking it back to the car the thorns tore my legs up. I most certainly could have done without the scratches on my legs that make it look like I walked through a briar patch.



Aly had quite the time riding the “horsies” as she called them. On the second go around, Aunt B {me} had to walk beside her. While I’m sure she could have handled it herself, I wasn’t about to leave her side after my crazy horse incident. The whole time I was standing by her I could just imagine that horse deciding he was having a bad day and step on me or kick her off. Why see the good in it, right? Like how much fun she was having!

Seriously though, the blueberry festival was better than it has been in a very long time. The new layout that is now more in the shade was a huge improvement from last year. The vendors were pretty terrific this year, too! Having the free children’s activities was a huge asset! If you didn’t go, the kids had free train and horse rides, a petting zoo, and plenty of jumping houses and wet slides.  I hope next year is even better than this year. I already can’t wait for it to be back again!

Hopefully, school won’t take over my life again this week! Three chapters to read and a test before the weekend is up. Oh, and did I mention it’s Father’s Day?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Two Easy Projects

Since I have been introduced to Pinterest, I must say that I am officially addicted to it. I can’t get enough of the style ideas and cute projects I find there. Those of you who have signed up for it as well can relate to me.

Some of you may have seen the “Follow Me on Pinterest” button in the sidebar. From there, you’ll be able to see all of the innovative ideas that I have “pinned” during my free time this summer, of course that’s in between grad work and preparing for a new grade level change.

Seriously though, it’s a good way to give your brain a break for a few minutes! I still have a few invites left, so the first three people who want the invites can comment with your email address. I’ll send the invite very soon after I receive them =)

As for the rest of you though, I’m going to share two simple projects that I found while browsing around.

word art

Four canvases + small letters spelling out words of your choice =  instant art!

All you have to do is attach the letter with some glue then paint the entire canvas white! Very simple! Very easy! Give it a try!

white vases

This is a great way to recycle some good ole’ bottlenecks!

Spray paint the bottles white {or a color of your choice}

OR….you can add a little bit of interest to it.

Buy puffy paint of any color. Draw designs over the bottles. Then, spray paint.

Last, but certainly not least, insert a few flowers of your choice!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow to share all of the happenings of mine!

Have a great week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

And the Winner Is…..


Aubrey Laine!

As you can see, the official number picker chose comment number 6 out of the dish.

Congratulations to Aubrey!

I’ll be emailing you soon, so you can start getting your subscription asap!

I really appreciated hearing all of your comments about what you enjoy the most.

Keep following!

We’ve had a pretty exciting two days, so I’ll have more to come. I just couldn’t keep everyone waiting!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Bit of A Change

Take a close look at the books I’m showing you.

Do you notice anything?


Most of you should know that I’ve taught kindergarten for the past year. I never in my life thought I would teach kindergarten. In fact, it was the last grade I wanted to teach when I was looking for a job. Low and behold though, it was the job that became available at the school I desperately wanted a job at.

After a year of learning about a grade I knew nothing about, I ended up enjoying it more than I ever thought I would. The babies were fun to work with, and I learned so much from them.

This year will hold another kind of year though. I won’t be building on kindergarten knowledge anymore. Instead, I’ll be learning all about the second graders! That’s right. You read it right. Second grade.

After thinking about the move for a little while and soaking it all in, I remembered how much I had wanted to teach second grade to begin with. One year ago that was the job I wanted, but it was no where to be found.

I have to be honest. I’m very excited about going to a grade that I had wanted to teach to begin with, but I’m a little nervous. Change makes me a nervous Nelly! I’ll make it just fine though. Help from others and lots of hard work this summer on my part will hopefully make it a smooth transition!

Like the song says…

A change would do you good!

Wish me luck! I’ll need it!

Changing rooms and preparing materials plus grad work and more weddings than you can believe = one busy girl!

P.S. Pray for my daddy! He’s having surgery on his back tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What’s for supper?

One of my favorite meals to cook around my house is bacon wrapped chicken. It’s very simple to make, and it tastes delicious.


I made it last night for supper since I had a bad case of the headache. I do not know why I have these every now and again, but they make my day miserable! That’s not what I’m here to talk about though.

Back to the chicken! Here is what you need:

Chicken breasts  {no set amount, just how many you think you will eat}


Dark brown sugar sprinkled with red pepper on top

{I used light brown sugar ONLY because I didn’t have any dark on hand}


And don’t forget the pack of bacon and toothpicks {which I left out of the picture}


After you have all of your ingredients together, lay everything out like an assembly line…

Chicken….then bacon….then toothpicks….brown sugar mixture….pan


Just a personal preference, but I line my metal pan with aluminum foil. You want to make sure your pan can hold plenty of liquid since the sugar will melt making lots of liquid.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Stick it in your oven for around 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it.


Once you take it out, it will look just like this…


Don’t forget about the contest!

It ends Friday! You must become a follower and comment!

Good luck!

Monday, June 6, 2011

For You: A Magazine Giveaway

Over the past few months, I have been debating on whether or not to do a giveaway for all of you that read my blog. The thing is though that I do not really know how many of you actually read what I’m putting on here.

Am I writing and posting on here only for myself? Do any of you actually enjoy what I share with you?

I can see now that I have 15 followers, and I want to see that number grow. It always surprises me when I’m out and about and someone says that they read my blog, but other than a few here and there I have no idea how many there are of you out there.

So, that’s why we’re having a little giveaway…

country living

I’m going to give you a chance to choose between a one year subscription to the magazine above or the magazine below {both favorites of mine}.

Good Housekeeping

Here’s what you have to do! I’m going to give you two chances to win!

First, you have to follow the blog by pushing the button on the sidebar. Once you follow the blog, leave a comment on this post letting me know you became a follower and which subscription you would like.

To add another entry, enter another comment {separate from the first} telling me what you like or would like to see more of!

Good luck! I can’t wait to hear from you all!

P.S. All comments have to be in by Friday at noon central time.

The winner will be announced sometime soon after that!

Friday, June 3, 2011

All Over the Place Today

I’m going to be all over the place today, so I feel the best way to attack today’s post is by giving headings to all of the different topics addressed. Hang on for the ride…

Fire on the Loose


Yesterday, a wildfire broke out in our county that is larger than any one my husband has seen over the few years he has been a fireman. It burned over 1,000 acres {as of the last I saw} and over 100 firefighters had helped in fighting it down.

I have such respect for all of the fireman out there working in the 100 degree heat trying to protect all of the homes and land in our area. Colby was quite worn out when I finally got to talk to him last night, but I was thankful to hear his voice. It’s a voice I love to hear, especially when I’m worried to death about him. It gives me that reassurance of his safety.

On a day to day basis, I am usually at ease knowing what Colby’s job entails. However, that ease only exists when Colby tells me about a fire after the fact. When I know he’s fighting a fire at that very moment and do not know what all is going on, I become a worry wart. I can’t help it. I pray constantly for their safety. I’ve seen what a fire has done to Colby before, and I pray to never see that again.

A Possible Giveaway

I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a giveaway around here. What do you think?

Some of you who read and aren’t followers might have to get up and make an account! I know you’re out there {or at least I hope you are}. I hope I’m not writing this only for me.

Give me your opinion. Do you want a giveaway?

Groupon: A New Favorite


Yesterday, I scored my first groupon! I was so excited that I had finally found one that I knew I could actually take advantage of. It didn’t cost me a lot, which is just what I needed.

The deal?

$20 to spend at Old Navy for only $10!

Baby steps, people! Baby steps! It’s just too bad they only allowed you to buy one per person! Darn them!

Projects for the Weekend!

Another new favorite of mine is Pinterest. Thanks to Abby at The Langham Project I am now an addicited member. While browsing around over the past week, I have found a few easy DIY projects you might want to do this weekend to brighten up your household or just give you some better organization.

All you have to do is click on the picture to take you to the tutorial on how to complete your chosen project!




As for me, I think I’ll be working the wreath myself.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Number 27- Check!

teacher gifts

Number 27 on my list was a pretty big goal for me since it was to begin getting my master’s degree. This week I started my first three classes of eleven.

I decided to start the University of West Alabama’s online degree program a while back, but I was waiting on getting my first year of teaching under my belt. Hopefully this will help give me a better insight when completing my course work.

I definitely would prefer to have this completed before Colby and I make the choice to have children. I can’t imagine coming home to a baby and papers to write. If that were the case, I have a feeling not many people would like me very much since I would be extremely tired all of the time. I want to be able to come home and enjoy my children one day without having to worry about course work.

Now, I know some of you are wondering about the picture at the top! Isn’t that the cutest?!?! I’m thinking I need to make one for my classroom! Maybe when Wal-Mart puts all of their supplies on sale {a.k.a. teacher heaven}….

You can click on the picture to take you to the original link!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New and Improved

Colby and I have lived in our house for a year now {with him living in a year on his own}. Before our house became livable, some MAJOR work had to be done to it.

Before, the house was disgusting and gross. Most of the time, I hated to even touch what was in the house because who knew what was on it or had been on it.

The bathroom was absolutely unbelievable though!

Take a look….

Bathroom Collage

After lots of hard labor by my husband mostly, I can finally show you what the bathroom is today. It’s nothing special. It’s simply an improvement from what it was.

Keep in mind that this house is just going to be a rental one day, so we do have to set some limitations on how far we go with renovations. However, I think it is pretty nice looking.

Bathroom {Renovated}

So, what do you think? Better than before?

Also, everyone please say a little prayer for my dad. He had an accident on a ladder and hurt his back pretty badly. As of now, it looks as though he’s going to need some surgery. He really needs your prayers in regards to his health and his spirit. He’s a real go-getter, and this may keep him from doing some of the things he loves for a little while. I don’t want his spirit to get down. All prayers are appreciated.