Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September Happenings

So much has happened since my last post! I knew that August and September would be busy, but wow. I'm tired just thinking about it!


One of the highlights of the past month was my trip to Idaho with my dad, Kenzie, and Casey. We had a ball! On Sunday, the 12th, we arrived in Boise. Unfortunately, the weather was no different than Texas (HOT!) and there were several forest fires in the area making it difficult to breathe! Boise is gorgeous though. The town is sooooo clean. Enjoy a few pics below:

 It looks cloudy out, but it was actually sunny. Lots of smoke from the fires!

 Twin Falls, ID. Random giant, beautiful canyon in the middle of nowhere.


 Bike riding on the trails in Sun Valley

Boise capitol (Looks kinda like Texas'?)

 All in all, this was a BLAST, although it was the longest I had been away from my hubby since we got married:( He was ready for me to be home!

The following week, we celebrated Eric's birthday. We traveled up to Dallas that weekend and went to a Dallas Cowboys game! We also had a great time with his brothers!

Dallas Cowboys game! (We won)

Then, the fun began...Eric started school August 27th. At this moment, I would say, so far so good! I think he really "enjoys" the classes (as in, tolerates going and is making good grades). I'm really proud of him for taking on this new adventure. 

August 30th we celebrated my birthday! This was probably one of the best I have had in a long time. I spend the day working, but we took an extra long lunch to go to our newly opened Panera Bread.

With Eric now in school AND working part time, I don't get to see him as much, but it has allowed me to spend more time on...dare I say it...Pinterest.

I have started working on a few projects this month that I would love to sell on Etsy. What do you think?

I'm still working on a few wreaths and will post more pics later:) 

I also got to attend my first A&M football game since 2007 thanks to my Aunt Marcy!

Game Day in Aggieland...nothing like it!

Keith went to his first Homecoming this past weekend. Lauren and I spent all afternoon working on his mum one Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago. We might be biased, but I'm pretty sure his date had the BEST one!

Keith and Catherine

WHEW! I think that about covers everything that has been going on. October is going to be just as busy with something going on every weekend this next month!


First of all, I want to thank everyone that has already been praying for us. God has blessed us more than we deserve. I'm so thankful that I have a husband that encourages me and adores me. He is truly amazing!

*Please pray that we will continue to look to Christ in every decision that we make, and that our eyes would be fixed on him. Let His will be done in our lives and not ours.

*Pray for financial blessings on our family through college grants/and or other means this next year.

 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, August 3, 2012

August Celebrations

Happy Friday and Happy August!!

It's birthday month for both me {30th} and Eric {22nd}, and we have lots to celebrate about! Not only our birthdays, but Eric is officially starting school August 27th! I couldn't be more proud of him! I know in the long run, it will be worth the sacrifices we are making now. While most of our friends are done with school and into their careers, we are just getting started! Better late then never, I suppose!

Last weekend we took a girls trip to Dallas for the American Idol Concert. Wow! We girls know how to have fun together! This trip has become such a bonding experience for all of us especially since this is the second time we have done it. If you put 4 girls in the car for 3 hours, you are bound to cry, laugh, joke around, sing...and stop to pee 5 times from College Station to Dallas. We have managed to perfect the Idol concert experience. We now know that if we sacrifice the last couple of songs in the concert, we can have front row access to meet the Idols outside after the concert. I managed to get 9 autographs out of the 10 performers this year plus many pictures with them! Here are a few of the pictures below:

 Mom and Me

My Bestie and Me
Our Favorite: Colton Dixon!
All the Idols

2012 American Idol winner: Phillip Phillips! Sorry, I was a creeper in this one!

Finally, this month, myself, Casey, Kenzie, and my dad are headed off to Idaho for 5 days. My dad is working on a project up there and decided to take us with him! I'm so excited! I went there when I was really young, probably in 4th grade or so and don't remember much. I'm sad to leave Eric behind, but I'm sure he could use a break from me for a few days!!:) 

All in all, this month is shaping up to be one of the best I have had in a long time. So thankful for the new adventures God is taking us on!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, July 9, 2012

Anniversary Trip

Well, we made it to our 1 year anniversary!! With Eric starting school in August, our funds have been limited, and we were unable to take a big vacation, so we decided on a fun road trip around Texas for our anniversary.

Our road trip began in Houston on Saturday, June 16th. For Valentines Day, I gave Eric a 1 hour Ferrari rental. After a scheduling conflict, they upgraded him to a Lamborghini (aka: his dream car). So, on the 16th, we drove down to Houston for his rental. Needless to say, he had the time of his life. It was probably the second best hour of his life to date, right behind marrying me of course:)

Picture speaks for itself

That night, I got to attend one of my best college friend's wedding! So much fun! Congrats Jenni and John!

Sunday, the 17th, we woke up and drove to San Antonio. The 3 hour drive seemed to fly by, literally, especially since the speed limit is now 75 mph most of the way! We checked in at the Omni and decided to hit up the River Walk. I love walking around downtown San Antonio. It is just so much fun! We ate dinner at this awesome Mexican food restaurant in the Market Square.

 Our view from the Omni

On the 18th, the day of our anniversary, we decided to do a little shopping. We drove up to La Cantera and shopped at this great outdoor mall. After a couple of hours of shopping, we headed back to the hotel to swim and get some sun. The weather was perfect!

We had heard from several people that we had to try this restaurant called Chama Gaucha. A few days before we left town, I called and made reservations. After soaking up some sun, we got ready and headed to dinner. I was told not to eat much the day that you go eat there, because you eat sooo much food! Boy, were they right! It's a Brazilian steakhouse, and these guys walk around with 15 different cuts of meat. When you are ready for more meat, you turn over your card to green which means you want more, and they cut you off a piece from this giant skewer. The food was soooo delicious, and the service was awesome. Although a little pricey (at least for us poor newlyweds), I would highly recommend going there!! We will definitely go back! If you like salad and meat, this is the place for you! Here is their website in case you are interested in going!

Shopping, laying out and swimming, and an amazing dinner made for the perfect anniversary!

On the 19th, Eric and I drove from San Antonio through the hill country to Fredericksburg, TX. We spent several hours eating lunch and walking through the little shops in town. During lunch, Eric mentioned that Enchanted Rock State Park was only 15 miles away, so we put our workout clothes on and hit the trail. It was gorgeous!! Although it was hot, I had the best workout I have had in a long time! 

The beautiful Texas Hill Country

Me about to die close to the top

After our 2 hour hike, we hit the road back home. We had such a blast on our "Tour Through Texas" weekend get-a-way. It is one vacation and anniversary that we will never forget!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The 1st Year

As we approach our 1 year anniversary (YES, 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!) next Monday, I realize how quickly time flies and how blessed we are!

I have not posted on here in a while, so I apologize, but this first year has been crazy!! Lots of ups and downs, but I am so thankful to have an amazing husband, family, and friends!

Many of you already know, but Eric no longer works for JCPenney after 2 years. We thought for a while that God was leading us to move to Houston so Eric could continue working for them, but He had other plans for us.

During those couple of months, God really showed us His love and the importance of praying together as a couple. I learned that His timing, not mine, was perfect in every way. While I wanted immediate answers, this was not His plan for us. He taught me patience and most importantly to seek Him first. Through all of this, I learned that even during the hard times, our marriage could be strengthened rather than broken apart. When our eyes were fixed on Christ and we let His will be done, a peace like no other came into our hearts and in our home. "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

I'm so happy to say that during those two months of uncertainty and prayer, Eric felt like God was leading him to go back to school full time! We have been in the process of tying up lose ends and getting applications and testing done. If all goes well, he will be starting at Blinn for summer session II in July and will finish up at Sam Houston!

He also started working at Macy's part time in Loss Prevention. While we are taking a significant pay cut with him going back to school full time, I have no doubt that God will provide for us, because I know in the long run it will all be for the better. I'm so thankful to have a dad that hired me to work for him and have had a steady paycheck each month when many people can't find a job. I am also thankful that through Eric's service in the military, his school will be completely paid for! GOD IS GOOD!

So, after the first year of marriage, I can say that I have learned 5 major lessons:

1. A family that prays together, stays together.

2. After many terrible dinners, I am only a slightly better cook.

3. Premarital counseling really does help!

4. Times flies when you're having fun.

5. I love Eric more today than I did a year ago when I said "I Do"

I can't wait for many more years of marriage with my best friend!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Should Have Been a Spy...Or At Least A Therapist

In January 2008, I began my internship at Target. My internship required me to work in each area of the store to learn how everything functions together. On my second day of work, my boss told me that I would be working with the Assets Protection team (otherwise known as, the guys the catch shoplifters).

I made my way to their office and walked in. There sat my future (now current:)) husband. He was sitting there watching a bunch of cameras on television screens looking out for shoplifters. I loved working with these guys for a few days. The idea of watching people when they had no idea anyone was watching them was fun to me.

Fast forward 4 years. A lot has changed and I am now married to that handsome man I met, but some things never change--he is still watching out for shoplifters. 

Day in and day out, Eric watches people. He has mastered the art of sneaking around, and loves it. I, too, have always loved to "people watch". You always wonder what people are thinking, where they have been, what they have done with their lives. Much of our time together while we are out and about is watching and listening to other people interact. The other night at dinner, for instance, there was a couple sitting next to us. You could clearly tell they were on a first date. Eric and I smiled at each other, knowing this was a conversation we had to listen in on. They met online. He left the Mormon church and is an Aggie. Both are divorced. Both are bitter at the world for all of their problems...and so on and so on. Our dinner was spent mostly in silence enjoying listening to them.

Eric's passion for his job and my love of people watching would seriously make us the perfect spy couple. If only the government would hire us. Or, I could get my masters to become a therapist and sit and listen to people talk about their lives, which is a pretty close second to being a spy. I may just have to look into it.

The next time you are in public, don't do anything stupid. You never know who is watching you. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Extreme Couponing: "More Like Hobby Couponing For Me"

My sister came home one day about a month ago with tons of little boxes of toothpaste--all for free. From that moment on I was sold on couponing. I asked her how she did it, and she explained it to me. She gave me this great book to read, "Pick Another Check Out Lane, Honey." You can click on that title and it will take you to Amazon. The book took me about 2 hours to read (VERY SIMPLE), and it was written by the ladies from the TLC show. You can also visit The Krazy Coupon Lady website. For the past month, I have learned so much about saving money on everyday items we use. 

I know what most of you are thinking...I don't have time to do it. In all reality, it doesn't take much time at all. It requires a little thought and a couple of hours a week clipping coupons from newspapers and printing online coupons. I mean, really, aren't you just sitting in front of the TV on Sundays watching football? Pull out those scissors and start cutting! I see this as a part time job. With the amount of money I am saving for me and Eric, I am keeping more money in our pockets. 

This first month, I will say, I have probably spent more money than I normally would; however, the idea is to save money in the long run. You create what they call a "stock pile" of items. For instance, here are 2 of my favorite scenarios to give you an idea of what I am doing from my favorite store, Target:

Listerine (the big 1 L bottles)
Regular Price: $4.99
On Clearance: $3.48
I use a Manufacturer's coupon: $2.00 off any Listerine product
THEN use a Target coupon $1.00 off any Listerine product

I bought 4 bottles that day totaling $1.92, a total savings of $18.04!

While it may seem excessive to buy 4, Eric and I do not need to buy any for a year!

Need another example? Like most girls--I HATE buying tampons every month. Why should we have to pay $4.00 for something we have no control over! Here was my deal of the day yesterday to make me feel a little better about it--also from Target:

Tampax Compak Pearl Tampons
Regular Price: $3.99
I use a Manufacturer's coupon: BUY 1 GET 1 FREE  (YES! These do come out from time to time)
Then, I stack $1.00 off Manufacturer's coupon on one of the boxes (the book can help you understand this better) 

I had 2 sets of these coupons, so I got a 4 month supply of tampons (4 boxes) for $5.96, a total savings of $10.00!

These are just a couple examples of the great deals I have come across. Along with these deals I have gotten sooo many free products: Cortaid, Prevacid, Pantene Shampoo/Conditioner/& Mousse, deodorant, etc. and not travel size!

Eric is still slightly apprehensive about it, but I think we will really start seeing the savings over the next few months. I am just now finding the courage to tackle the grocery store, but last week I saved $20 on groceries that would have cost around $60, or about 30% on our total. 

While I'm not going completely crazy like some of these ladies, I have found this to be such a fun hobby! You don't have to spend hours in stores or even hours clipping coupons. Every little bit can save you money on items that you use anyway! My sister and I share deals and coupons all week, and love finding those awesome buys! At this point, I don't think I will ever pay full price for anything again! 

In case any of you are curious, here is a picture of my super messy "stock pile" not including the bbq sauce I got for $.25! I plan on getting it all organized soon!:)


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Experiments & Adventures

I'm learning that as a newlywed almost everyday is an experiment and an adventure. From what to eat for dinner each night to fun hobbies, experimenting is probably the best word to describe the way we are living right now!

Experiment #1: Dinner

Poor Eric. He has suffered through several awful dinners, but always with a good attitude and he never complains- one of the many reasons why I love him. My favorite kitchen item is my crock pot. It is so easy to just throw food in there in the morning and dinner's ready to go when I get home. I have cooked delicious pork chops and chicken and some decent dinners using my handy dandy crock pot. The worst idea I have had? Letting pot roast sit in red wine in the crock pot all day. The recipe sounded good, but WOW, it wasn't. I got home to the smell of fermented wine which made me want to gag, and therefore, the meal was a disaster. One of the better non-crock pot recipes I found, I actually cooked last night for my brothers, sister, and Eric and it seemed to be a hit (so they say). I thought I would share it with you because it was super easy and tasty!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
best creamy chicken enchiladas
These are, without question, the best best best best BEST chicken enchiladas ever. Ever! They are drizzled in a creamy, cheesy sauce and baked until golden and bubbly.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas are one of my favorite meals ever! :)

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cut up and softened
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
8 (8″) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 pint whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking dish with Pam. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add rotel and saute 1 min. Stir in cream cheese and chicken and cook, stirring constantly until cream cheese melts. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
best creamy chicken enchiladas
Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese, and drizzle with whipping cream.
best creamy chicken enchiladas
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Take off foil and cook for another 15 mins, or until top is golden brown.
best creamy chicken enchiladas
Look at that bubbly cheesy goodness! :) One enchilada is plenty for one adult but these things are soooooooooo good I usually end up stuffing myself with two. I just cant help myself. :p

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We actually used corn tortillas and it was amazing! If you have any other easy recipes that you would like to send my way, please do!

Hopefully, through these experiments, I will soon be a better cook and the suffering will end for Eric.

Experiment #2: Brewing Our Own Beer & Wine

For Eric's birthday, I bought him a Mr. Beer brew kit, because he has always wanted to try and brew his own beer. It is quite a process, but it's easy and fun! Come by the first week in October for a beer tasting. I'm not a fan of beer, so he will need a second opinion. I, on the other hand, love wine. I found a super easy, redneck way to make wine online and decided to try it out! If it works, I'll have to post the recipe on here. For now, take a look at our "fermenting closet" aka. our guest room closet.

The one thing I have learned through experimenting is that it keeps life fun and entertaining!