Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I have a confession.  I had a $40 a week coffee shop habit.  I went from a being a no caffeine no coffee drinker.  To drinking a decaf coffee a few times a week to drinking a half caf coffee a few times a week to being a full out caffeine coffee drinker on a daily basis.  And I refused  to make my coffee at home.  It just did not taste as good to me.  Plus I prefer to drink my coffee out of go cups.

As this all progressed my bible study started 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  Each week you focus on a certain aspect of excess in your life.  This book was amazing and made me examine so many aspects of my life.  I really took so much away from this book.  Many things way more important than my coffee habit.  But I will say that I was very very ashamed of the amount of money I was spending. So I wanted to change.

I decided to start making my own coffee and use the money that I would of spent towards good.  I understand I did have to spend some money to start this endeavor but it still was nothing compared to going to a coffee shop.  I had Kenny pick up some of those $1 plastic cups at Starbucks that look like their to go cups and I have loved them.  They give me the feeling on sipping a coffee shop coffee. And they cut down on waste.  Another aspect of the 7 book!

Then I have finally managed to perfect my beloved mocha.  And with less calories!!
Here we go! Keurig Coffee pod.  It varies as to which type I use.  Starbucks plastic sippy cup. Half a pack of Starbucks hot cocoa and 1 1/2 tablespoons of Hershey syrup. Top that off with 1/3 cup of milk.  This comes to 178 calories and taste very close to my coffee shop mochas.  I am so pleased.

And meet Manuel! For what I would spend in one weeks worth of coffee I am now sponsoring Manuel through Compassion! I chose him because he was waiting so long for a sponsor and his description stated that he does above average in school! I CANNOT WAIT to start learning more about him! I have also started donating money to a ministry here in Starkville that I am involved with.  

Monday, March 24, 2014


On Friday Elle was so excited to have her first swimming lesson.  I don't normally talk to her about things until the second we are getting into the car to go to whatever activity we are going to do. Trust.  It is better this way.  It is just not worth the disappointment.  But these swimming lessons I have been majorly talking this up.  How it is going to be so fun to swim with her teachers at the gym nursery and how she is going to learn to swim like Ariel.  The goal is to have her "swimming" (i.e. not drowning) by our beach trip in a couple months.

 Picture is blurry because she was jumping up and down.
 Okay...maybe getting a little nervous.
The lesson went great.  Nekitta (our teacher) said she had a little bit of a death grip the entire time but seemed really eager to learn and followed instruction well.  
 She looks so unhappy because SHE DID NOT want to get out of the pool.  She wanted to keep swimming and swimming.
 So I bribed her with some popcorn the gym was having for March Madness. That did the trick.

Friday night we drove up to the Country Club for dinner and took Elle to the putting green to play around before we ate.  She had the best time.  Kenny is dying for her to love golf and so far so good.  We don't think she is ready to go out on the course to even just ride around with Kenny yet but she loved going to the putting green and "playing golf."
Checking out Kenny's technique.
Sinking the putt.
 I know this picture was blurry but Elle and I would say "awwwwww" when Kenny missed a putt.  We were having fun.

On Saturday I had a lot of cooking to do.  I was making a dinner to feed 25 Young Life Leaders for Sunday night.  I thought piece of cake but cooking for 25 people is no joke!  Plus if I am going to make a lot of food for other people then I am going to make sure I am cooking for our family at the same time.  I decided to make homemade chocolate chunk cookies for the dessert I was bringing to the leaders.  I inherited my sister's old KitchenAid Mixer and I am loving it.  I thought it would be fun for Elle to help.  So I measured out ALL the ingredients before I got her involved.  That took some serious effort too but we had fun!
 Chocolate chunk cookie ingredients!
 She came in from our backyard where she was playing in her pajamas and her keds naturally to get to baking.  Please please notice that little sliver of hiney crack peeking out from those pajamas.  I die.
It didn't take her long before she realized cookie dough is the bomb.com.  I was hesitant to let her eat it at first but oh well.

Saturday night we went over to a friends house for a cookout with several other couples and their families.  I managed to not take a single picture but we had a great time.

Sunday was spent being totally lazy and delivering all the food. It was a fabulous weekend spent at home.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


After spending the night with Kenny on his "business trip," we met up with some friends at the Jackson Children's Museum.  I have never been to this museum.  It was so cute.  I am extremely impressed with the fact that it is run solely by the Junior League.  Having been a part of the Junior League in Memphis I know what a huge undertaking that is.  The museum was so slammed because the entire state of Mississippi was out on Spring Break.  We made the best of it and still had fun but I definteiely want to come back on a slower day so we can really enjoy it.

Once we were done at the Children's museum we grabbed so me lunch and headed home.  Elle was wiped after the excitement of staying in the hotel and then all the craziness and playing with her friends at the museum.  
Anna Claire giving Elle a big hug as we arrived at the musuem.  Elle looks thrilled. 
Trying my best to get a group shot.  This was the best I could do.
Making a Lorax.Elle loves a good craft.
You wouldn't even know I was trying to get these girls to look at me and smile.
Getting sprayed. Elle loved this.

This picture cracks me up.  We were trying to steer the girls toward the door and we were having meltdown after meltdown.  Elle and Abigail were fighting over the steering wheel.
The car seat is the only place she EVER naps anymore and it is only if she is really tired.  I will take it any day!

It was a pretty low key Spring Break and I think Elle was happy to be back in PDO this week.  She missed her friends and having something to do.  

Friday, March 14, 2014


Last weekend was such a great weekend so I had to include an update for memory and picture sake.  Friday afternoon we took Elle to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman.  It wasn't as good as I hoped but it was still kind of cute. I have seen way worse.  I really should write a children's movie because people are obviously going to see every single one of them no matter what. (like us)

After the movie Elle said she wanted mac and cheese.  The child is going to turn into a macaroni noodle. We decided to hit up City Bagel for their pasta nights.  It was a different crowd.  We were the youngest people there by a whole lot of years but the food is so good!
Caught this blurry but sweet moment.  Elle loves her Daddy so much.  

On Saturday my friend Susan came into town to hang out with me.  She and I have been friends for many years now after working 2 feet apart for five years at Morgan Keegan.  Those were the good ol days.  Now she is sort of famous.  Her design company and house portraits made it into the pages of HGTV magazine in the April issue. So excited for her.  Go check her ETSY SITE out and use her for all your stationary and design needs! She is working on our house portrait for a few things I have up my sleeve and I can't wait to see it!
House portraits in the magazine!

Since she had never stepped foot into Starkville I had to show her around. Honestly I centered a lot of her tour around eating.  We started out with lunch at City Bagel before I gave her a tour of campus.  Then we walked through some of the shops downtown before returning home to sip on some beers and enjoy the weather.  Saturday night she and I went to Mexican.  We share an intense love of cheese dip and tequila. After we shut the restaurant down we came home to watch Lena Dunham on SNL and conked out.

Sunday morning was spent having girl bonding (Susan and Elle were fast friends) over coffee before we went and enjoyed a fabulous brunch at Restaurant Tyler. After we stuffed ourselves she hit the road for Memphis.  We were sad to see her go but she better be back.  Not to mention Elle and I already have lunch plans with her in Memphis on Monday to eat at another one of our fave places The Calvary Waffle Shop.  We like to eat apparently.
We didn't get a picture together.  But Elle and Susan posed for one.  Have to be better about taking pictures.
Twirling in the empty dining room.  Table should be here any day now!
Eggs Benedict on a crawfish cake.  Holy yum!

This week we are out of preschool for Spring Break.  Several posts on what we have been up to to come.  But on Monday we met a few friends at the park for a picnic lunch and fresh air.
Enjoying their lunch even though they hardly look happy about it.  You will see in the next few posts that I can't get these girls to smile for a picture ever.  But they are great friends so I feel like I need to include their little friendship in this blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Since Elle was out of school for Spring Break we decided to go to Jackson and spend a night with Kenny while he was down there for work. To Elle, staying in a hotel is so exciting. 

Upon arriving in Jackson we met up with Kenny at Corner Bakery for a lunch date. 
So excited to be on a "business trip" with Daddy! 
She was so excited about her gigantic M&M cookie. 

After lunch we headed to Miskelly. It is a one of the largest furniture stores in Mississippi and Kenny works with them on their Case Goods inventory. I wanted to do a little looking and they have a great carasouel that Elle loved. I rode it with her the first time and felt so sick afterwards that Kenny had to ride with her the other two times. Yes, we rode it three times!
Riding the carasouel. 

After Miskellys we ran by a couple other stores before checking into the hotel. 
Elle loves to stay in hotels especially because we let her jump on the beds

That night we went out for an early dinner. Elle was kind of tired and was kind of a handful but we still had fun. 
In the morning we hit up the breakfast downstairs which Elle thought was just so awesome. It really is funny how the most mundane things like traveling for business are so exciting to little kids. 
Breakfast had all her favorite foods!
A breakfast plate that could of fed the entire family. 

After breakfast we headed back up to the room to hang out before getting ready so that Kenny could head off for work and Elle and I could meet some friends from Starkville at the children's museum. 
Checking out the weather. Extremely windy that day.
Taking some phone calls. 
Okay, just being cute. 

It was a fun little overnight visit with Kenny and I know he was happy to have us. He spent the next night out too but it always helps to not be away from us too long!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


After some shopping during the day and lots of time with Gramma and PopPop it was time to hit up downtown for a birthday dinner to honor PopPop and celebrate Mardi Gras with the Maids of Jubilee.  We were worried Elle was too tired for the parade because she was a total stinker at dinner.  We were so frustrated.  Luckily once we were standing on that parade route all was right in her little world.
Drinking with attitude at dinner.

Gramma and PopPop

If you would like to go to a smaller low key version of a Mardi Gras parade, Fairhope is your place! The floats are beautiful.  The routes are not crowded at all and everything they throw is amazing.  Mrs. Ann moonlights at the Cats Meow during her retirement, a popular boutique in downtown Fairhope.  We are so lucky to be able to use that as our home base while waiting for the parade to loop around each time. Elle was a total natural and absolutely could not get enough of the entire experience.  She was a pro at yelling "throw me something mister!" Or "throw me something lady!" We caught all kinds of great stuff because all the ladies would see Kenny holding her up and single her out.  We just had the best ever time! 
Waiting on the parade to start.
Calling out to the ladies!
Posing with mommy and some of her "prises"
Daddy and Elle.
A little King Cake in between loops.
Some of the pretty floats.
Gosh I just can't say enough how much fun we had at the parade with Elle and Gramma and PopPop. Elle desperately wanted to go home and look through all her loot but it was so late so we promised her that she could go through it all first thing in the morning.  Needless to say, she was up as soon as the sun rose.  I think this might have actually rivaled Christmas morning.  She was that excited.
Going through all her stuff!

Our last night there, Kenny and I got out for a casual date night at this tasty Thai restaurant called Dragonfly.  I can't wait to eat there again. On Sunday we made the drive home.  Elle was so worn out from her fun weekend with Gramma and PopPop.  She actually took a nap.  A rare thing these days.
Tired baby.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Elle woke me up at 4:45 AM Thursday morning crying.  I begrudgingly climbed the stairs only to feel guilty when I found poor Elle covered in throw up.  It is a rare occurrence (while becoming more and more common) for her to throw up so I was a little unsure what to do.  She was so upset about her hair and bed being messy.  I threw her in the bathtub and gave her a nice warm bath and then set her up on a sheet covered couch with a bowl and promptly passed out nearby until 6:30 or so.
All this before 5:30 AM. 

I was afraid we were in the thick of it for at least hours.  Kenny and I weren't feeling awesome either. We were supposed to be driving to Fairhope to visit and for Mardi Gras but we were definitely on stand by.  I did continue to pack and load the car and by mid morning Elle seemed perkier than ever. 
Caught this sweet moment during Lena's morning potty break.

So I made the call to go to Fairhope. Elle and I always travels separately from Kenny so he can work. We were having a great trip.  We were about 2 1/2 hours in and Elle was eating and drinking normally and watching movies on her iPad.  She started to complain about her tummy hurting and needing to go potty.  We were on a long two lane stretch with very few gas stations but I was trying to find one.  Then a little burp from her....and my car was covered in throw up.  It.was.awful.  It.was.terrible.  She was just bawling because she felt bad and everything was messy.  I pulled over as another wave hit her.  Yall.  This little episode was no joke.  I had no water, no napkins and about 8 wet wipes.  I had to get creative.  I even called one of my friends and sobbed to her for a minute or two.  Needless to say I managed to get us back in the car.  I decided to keep on to Fairhope because I did not think we could make the three hour trip back to Starkville and Kenny's parents would of been so sad if we cancelled our trip.

Elle fell asleep in her smelly car seat the second we were moving again (poor thing) and we managed to make it to Fairhope.  After getting into the bathtub immediately upon arrival Mrs. Ann was so excited to surprise Elle with her room redo as her birthday surprise. It was completely over the top (in a good way) and Elle absolutely loved it!
Princesses princesses everywhere.  It is only appropriate that your room at Gramma's house be decorated completely in your favorite cartoon characters.

Some more of her goodies!
The excitement on their faces! We do love Sofia.

Tune in tomorrow for the post about our fun Mardi Gras parade night.  I am so glad we decided to still go to Fairhope because after the car craziness she was completely fine the rest of the weekend!