Friday, May 31, 2013

Wedding Spree 2013: Part 1

And the summer weddings have officially begun!  The hubs and I have a whopping 4 weddings to attend this summer and while I always look forward to weddings, that makes for one busy couple of months.  Bring on the friends, dresses, weather, and good music.  It's finally wedding season 2013!

This summer, both of our college roommates are getting married.  We both were randomly assigned roommates our first year in college and really lucked out.  We kept the same roommates (and added others along the way) for all four years of college and we are excited for both of them as they get ready to begin married life with the respective significant others.

My college roommate was first.  You may remember her from this post from her birthday last year.  She and her now husband chose to have a wedding close to their homes on the beach and although the weather forecast was iffy all week, it turned out to be a beautiful day! It was my first beach wedding and I loved it.  I really love weddings and had lots of fun getting together with our friends and celebrating Brittany's big day!

Friends and family
Love bugs




Hand on the hip!

College friends


The bride rocking it on the guitar


The Mr. & Mrs.  



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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Re-cap

Hopefully everyone was able to enjoy Memorial Day with friends or family doing something relaxing and not job-related.  I also hope that you took some time to be thankful for what Memorial Day is about and to remember and be grateful for all of our military - serving and having served.

My youngest sister actually called on Sunday night to see if we were coming to grill out with my parents and siblings on Monday.  But instead, the hubs and I just relaxed at home.  I had big plans of running lots of saved up errands, working on the house, and watching the Bachelorette.  (I'm also trying to soak in these couple of weekends that we are able to have at home before Wedding Spree 2013.  Look out for the first wedding of the year on Friday.)  

Even though we stayed at home, it really felt like a  vacation.  On Sunday night, I remember thinking, "this is great; I don't have to go in to the office tomorrow."  But like it always does, the work week came right back bright and early on Tuesday morning.  Until next time, weekend.  

I'm excited to share some of the weekend projects with you.  Enjoy the little snapshot below.  Full posts to come!

Mod podge monogram
(My favorite project of the weekend)


Recycled Valentine's Day decor 
Spoiler alert:  it's another monogram project...



Painting the trim around the house


I also managed to do some babysitting, get to the grocery store, drop clothes off at the dry cleaners, and stop by the ATM.  What a great blessing to have a small vacation!  Tuesday morning definitely came too soon.  

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday afternoon banana bread


Fruit doesn't last too long in our house.  We pack it in our lunches, we snack on it at home, and because it's perishable, we don't buy too much of it at a time.  Recently though, I had a few bananas that were getting all the brown spots and wanted to be sure to use them before the went bad. 

I'm always up for a new recipe and love [love love] bread, so I figured I'd try out banana bread.  And boy, was I glad that I did!  



I used the following recipe from Cooking Light Magazine and would definitely recommend giving it a try if you've got some bananas around the kitchen.  


Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened 
  • large eggs 
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (About 3.5 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used a single-serve cup of vanilla flavored yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray 

  • Preparation

    Preheat oven to 350°.

    Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

    Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


    *It ended up taking about an hour and fifteen minutes for my bread, but I think that all depends on the stove, altitude, loaf pan, etc.  Always check your baked goods with toothpicks before letting them cool completely. (Or before turning off the stove!)

    What a delicious Sunday afternoon treat!

    This recipe is linked up with Danielle's Friday Link Party over at Blissful and Domestic and at Mouthwatering Mondays over at A Southern Fairytale!
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Friday, May 24, 2013

I have a confession

and it's not you, it's me.  I'm sure it hasn't gone unnoticed around here that I've been a little MIA lately.

And there are a lot of reasons for that, to be frank.  One is lack of time to sit down to write a meaningful post and the other, more important one is that I've been trying to think of a new title and web address for the blog that is more catchy and easy to remember.  I've even played around with sometime about the idea of wrapping things up over here and starting a new blog entirely.  But then, I read through some of the old posts in here and decided that I would really miss this old place.  So instead of duplicating everything, tossing this blog, or trying to maintain separate blogs, I'm just giving this one a makeover.

So welcome to Thrift for Today.  I'm excited to finally feel more settled with blogging and to continue sharing our sweet life.  So buckle up and invite your friends. There's a long weekend coming up, so I've got lots of little projects in the pipeline!  Fun is in store.

You should also note that the URL for the blog has changed.  thriftfortoday.blogspot.com is where you'll find me these days.  Or if you've gotten on the Bloglovin' train recently, you can also find me there using the button below.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

All aboard: first train trip!!

Last week I got to go on my first ever train ride.  My mom tells me I've ridden a train once as a part of a field trip in elementary school, but unless she's talking about the trolley around the park, I don't remember it.



The whole thing started because a couple of friends called Monday night to see if I could visit on Friday, and after a quick double check of my calendar, I realized it was one of the only weekends free for the next couple of months. (Thank you, wedding season.)  I usually wouldn't think of the train, but after hearing a talk from the Federal Railroad Administrator earlier in the year, and talking to one of my friends who occasionally travels via rail, I thought it might be worth a shot.  Only 2.5 hours, less than gas, no rush hour traffic, and wi-fi internet.  How in the world could I go wrong?  I'd leave after work and get there just before the sun went down all the way.  


And then the train was delayed 45 minutes before arriving at the station, which caused us to have to stop on the tracks an additional 45 minutes before the first stop to wait for another train to pass.  So the trip down was almost double and it was totally dark by the time I arrived.  

I was the first stop on the ride back home though, and made it home in just 2.5 hours and got to see all the stops in daylight this time, definitely making the trip worth it.  


It was fun visiting friends, too.  We got to go to a trampoline place called Sky High Sports which was lots of fun.  I hadn't played dodgeball in so long.  Little kids definitely have the advantage in that game...

At Sky High 

 How we looked the majority of the time:  


And in the spirit of new experiences, we got to go inside a swat team van.  This bad boy was stopped at a Chick-fil-a with the Sheriff's car.  Not sure what the occasion was, but they were giving "tours" of the van, so we definitely stopped.  

Sometimes the easiest way to plan something is just to pick a day and not think about it.  I said that I should come visit back in January, and here is May when I finally got around to it.  Of course all it took was a simple nudging to say, "Hey, come visit" and that was that.  



Monday, May 6, 2013

House update: kitchen and living room

We continue to work on making our house a home.  Some of you have asked for updates, and I realize I've been pretty quiet about the progress.  Painting is really the big work that we've done around here.  Although I'm really excited to begin the decorating process, I'm really trying to wait until we get all the rooms painted how I want them and then to focus on one room at a time.

That said, the living room and kitchen are finally in a place where I'm happy to share the updates.  These are the places we spend most of our time, so I'm happy to have these pretty close to finished.  If you missed the before pictures, you can see them here.

Kitchen and dining area


 Living room


The living room is not the first room on my "to decorate" list, but I'm really thinking about the ways to decorate the two story wall above the fire place and the wall that mirrors it behind the love seat.  I don't mind the walls being bare, but am thinking of possible design ideas to not have them bare.  I think this is going to take lots of trial and error with drawings in MS Paint before I actually ever hang anything (or buy anything) for the walls.  Until then, our college pictures on the mantle will suffice.  

Stay tuned for more updates in the weeks to come.  The master bedroom and bath are coming next (and that's the first room on the list for decorating).  



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy birthday, Miss

April 19th was Miss' birthday.  Miss is my oldest little sister and I was really happy that her birthday was on a Friday this year.  B already had plans to hang out with friends and my parents had plans to visit my other siblings at college for the Spring Football game and a mother/daughter event.  Miss was originally going to go with them, but couldn't because of other meetings she had to attend.

So we got to have a girls' night.  Miss is my first friend and I'm really blessed to have her as my sister. She teaches second grade, and has such a great gift for it.  I'm really proud of all of her hard work and was so thankful for some time with just the two of us.

Miss getting her nails done

 Our nails afterwards :)

The birthday cake
My parents got the cake, but we certainly enjoyed it.  

Note:  My sister's name is not really "Miss".  I just call her Miss because she is a teacher and because we used to read Junie B. Jones books together and Miss is the name of the teacher.  It's a sister thing.