Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Traditions


the date when we became official:)


There are some wonderful traditions during this time of the year. Growing up, our tradition was me begging to put up the Christmas tree earlier than a week before Christmas and fighting to keep it up the entire day of Christmas. My folks weren't so big into decorating for the holiday. So now that I am an adult and KGK and I have a place of our own, we have started to create our own traditions! Like a Christmas tree going up at Thanksgiving:) Nice and early:)

our first Christmas a few years back

Last year, we had a breakfast casserole and cinnamon buns for breakfast and opened our gifts.  This year, we are going to have our Christmas breakfast again, but we are steering away from the casserole, and we are having omelettes instead...with cinnamon buns. Cinnamon buns are going to be a staple on Christmas morning for our family...that is for sure!

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls

********************
So traditions...


Now that we are married and we have so many friends with children, I have started thinking more about what traditions we will begin with our family as it grows in the years ahead. I see on facebook and from hanging out with friends that they all do different things to make this time of year extra exciting for their kids. Some do the "Elf on the Shelf" book surprise, which I had never heard of until this past year. That is such a cute idea! T. A friend of mine of FB posted this and I thought it was so hilarious!



hahahaha! you just never know where you will catch that elf!


And many people visit Santa at the mall or write him letters. I actually never believed in Santa. Don't be sad for me. I didn't mind, really. Our family didn't do the whole Santa-thing. I don't have a problem with telling kids there is a Santa, and I don't have issues with being upfront either. I haven't exactly decided what I want to do with our kids one day. I think it depends on the kid too. Some kids LOVE the idea of Santa and have such great imaginations that really help them feed their curiosity  I was not that child. I was too realistic. At the age of 2 and a half or 3, (just old enough to be able to speak in full-enough sentences) I asked my mom in a matter-of-fact voice, "Mom, can reindeer really fly?" She said, no. I was good with that answer. I replied, "Yeah, that's what I thought." Santa to me didn't really make sense as a kid so I didn't really feel like I was left out of anything, but I still think it is a fun tradition for kids to experience.


So I guess KGK and I will have to see what we want to do in regards to Santa. I think it is a fun-hearted way to celebrate the season. I do know that I want to create some form of tradition involving a manger and maybe having baby Jesus appear on Christmas morning. I have heard of families doing that, and I loved that idea of keeping the manger empty until Christmas morning, and then he is there when you wake up. I treasure those Christmas mornings where we would read the story of Jesus' birth as a family before opening presents. We did this to always remember that the reason for Christmas is not just to receive presents. But to remember that Jesus was born, and that we were given the greatest gift of all, and we need to always remember to give to others. Giving is more important than receiving during Christmas. They ALWAYS stressed that, and I hope to pass that along too.

So with Christmas one week away, what traditions are you excited to participate in this season? Do you have a special memory from your childhood that you have carried into your adult life (whether you have a family or not)?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season!

~AMK

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I got your sh$# wired, Jack!

So we have been on a Duck Dynasty kick. HEY! The show is HILARIOUS. :)  Check it out if you haven't yet and watch at least 2 episodes...then you will be hooked. It is just unbelievably funny. I received an email and this one line made me think of Duck Dynasty because Uncle Si always says "HEY JACK!"  

I have no idea where the original credit goes for this email, but it was too good not to share with the masses...(be warned, there is profanity, but I think it helps add to the hilarity of it).

Enjoy, JACK!

~AMK

****************************
Timmy Writes a Letter to Santa


Timmy:  Dear Santa, How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year. I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 4 for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas,
Timmy Jones


Santa:  Dear Timmy, Thank you for your letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn't want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I'll bring you something you can go outside and play with.

*Merry Christmas,*
Santa Claus


Timmy:  Mr. Claus, Seeing that I have fulfilled the "naughty vs. Nice" contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn't want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don't you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite?

Respectfully,
Tim Jones


Santa:  Mr. Jones, While I have acknowledged you have met the "nice" criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorney's have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court. Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days.

Very Truly Yours,
S. Claus


Timmy:  Now look here Fat Man, I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I'm about to tweet my boys and we're gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I'm taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHAT EVER I WANT, MAN!

T-Bone


Santa:  Listen Pizza Face, Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny G-banger wannabe? "He sees you when you're sleeping; He knows when you're awake". Sound familiar, genius? You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your shit wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you'd throw up your Totino's pizza roll all over the carpet of your mom's basement. You're not getting what you asked for, but I'm still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in your ass and then walk it dry. Chew on that, Petunia.

S Clizzy


Timmy:  Dear Santa, Bring me whatever you see fit. I'll appreciate anything.

Timmy


Santa:  Timmy, That's what I thought you little bastard.

Santa  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Because you asked for it! (Chx Enchilada Dip!)

Are you ready for it?! So each year, my classic dish to bring to parties is chicken enchilada dip. It is a crowd-pleaser for sure...Never any leftovers! That's how I like it! :)

So if you are in need of a new recipe for this holiday season, new year's party, or super bowl party, this will definitely work for you. It isn't expensive, and it is so simple.

 Enjoy!


Chicken Enchilada Dip

What You'll Need:
8 oz block cream cheese (I get the 1/3 less fat)
1/2 c. miracle whip (you can add more if you want it creamier)
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded or cubed)
2 large cans of chicken (they are about 12 oz cans), drained
4 oz can of diced green chili peppers (not drained)
1 small onion diced
1 glove garlic, minced (or you can use garlic powder)
southwest seasoning (I mix chili powder, crushed red pepper, and a little garlic salt)

Whatcha Gotta Do is:
Put all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for about 3-4 hours. When you season with southwest seasoning, start with less and add more to taste before serving. Stir frequently, if possible.  Serve directly out of the crock pot while on warm with regular or lime tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Hint: I tried cooking it on high for shorter time, and it didn't turn out quite as good. So cooking it on low for about 4 hours, while stirring occasionally, makes it taste best in my opinion. 

~AMK

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent of Crazy?

Dear Future Self,

Today, I sit here at my computer feeling like the world is going so fast around me and I am in slow motion. You know that feeling, future self, don’t you?  The feeling that lines are blurring, and you standing there with your life circling around you, and it is going so fast you can hardly keep up. I think the Christmas season is like that for many of us. We have more gatherings, more cooking, more cleaning, and more crafting than we typically partake in for a whole year! The hustle and bustle is so fun, but it sure is overwhelming too.


For this year, our first year being married, we are taking in all things us. We are going to our friend’s parties, we are creating our own traditions, we are enjoying decorating our first place together and are doing our shopping and crafting and preparations with feelings of excitement and newness. Having our first Christmas as a hitched woman is starting off great so far this season. Loving that there is going to be so much time to spend with those we love and care for. And, we are missing all those that we are not able to be with too. But, we will be sending our love and hopefully doing some Skyping too J (Future self, do you still use skype or has teleportation become the latest and greatest?)

So while I am here at my computer, looking at my calendar that is quickly filling and my to-do list is growing with little being crossed off yet, I am trying to focus on how awesome this time of year is. How grateful I am for this holiday season and all the life it brings to us. It stretches us and makes us do more with what seems like less time. So I am getting my list-making skills at the ready because its gonna be a busy but fun ride!

Basking in the holiday cheer,

~AMK

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Motivation Shmotivation

I am in my last week of coursework and I could not be more unmotivated. I have 2 papers left and a final and have found everything else to do besides do these last few things. Christmas shopping, decorating, cleaning, Charlie Brown shows on tv...you name it. Anything except doing my homework.  I should really get on this already. I mean, they are due by this weekend. I think I have a case of senioritis...or since you aren't really a senior in grad school is it almost-last-semesteritis kicking in? Graduation, May 2013, you cannot come soon enough.
Poor Charlie Brown.

Cute Christmas Centerpiece! :)

Fighting the crud in our house this week. Rest and homework it is.

Now about those papers...

~AMK

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Outdoor Adventures

This past weekend, my friend Heidi and I took the dogs to the bark park. Heidi, who does not have any dogs of her own, is a stand-in doggy parent to several different friends' dogs. One of which is Buddy too. And every dog, when her name is spoken or they see her, they immediately FREAK OUT because they know a hike or a walk or a fun adventure is about to happen.

So this past weekend, we loaded up our friends' 2 beagles and Buddy, and we set out for some outdoor fun, before it gets too cold, and we have to wait to do this until springtime.


Photo courtesy of Heidi! A great shot!

There was a WHOLE lot of doggy handshakes (aka. butt sniffing)...


...and lots of happy tails and smiles...


video



...one of which decided to crash while in the car on the ride home...



Needless to say, the pups had a BLAST!



...those were some sleepy pups after their outdoor adventures!

Until the next adventure,

~AMK

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yup, I'm THAT girl.

I am that person. The one you go to a restaurant with and you change one or everything about an option on the menu to make it what you want or need it to be. I feel bad for the waiters and waitresses that have to wait on me. And I feel bad for my friends who sit there and have to listen to me say...once again..."I have a question about {this food item}".  Thankfully, they are all really good sports and just give a good chuckle because I did it again.

When KGK and I went on our first date, we decided on the restaurant beforehand. In hindsight, I am very grateful for this simple fact. Many times, you may not know where the date may be, but for me, this was great.

KGK asked me to dinner. We went to this great spot that had a wide variety of food items to chose from: steak, chicken, salads, seafood..really a very large selection. For this, I am so glad. You see, when I go out to eat, I have these crazy food allergies and intolerances. And unfortunately, the list is quite extensive.  So, before our date, I looked up the menu online (of which I am also very grateful for!) and scanned what I wanted ahead of time, so I didn't have to ask a thousand questions or take FOREVER to order. Don't want to come across as high maintenance or anything on our first time out! :)  So on our date, I was able to order with no difficulty, made the impression I can scan a menu, order quickly, and don't get to know the waiter faster than the person you are on a date with because of all the crazy load of questions. Online menu= goal accomplished! I was one happy chick.

Thankfully, KGK is very helpful with checking to make sure all my allergies and intolerances are taken into account, now that we have been together and had many meals together. And our families and friends are also so wonderful to always check ahead of time to ask what I can or can't have. This is especially nice around the holidays were every type of dish under the sun is resurrected from the years past and feasted upon and about 80% of them have something in them I can't eat.  I always say, please, don't plan around me. I will find something! But, they always check and they always make sure there is more than carrot sticks that I will be able to enjoy.

So today, in the spirit of thanks as Thanksgiving is upon us and food is ever-present on our minds, stomachs, and waistlines, I want to say THANK YOU to all my friends and family who constantly keep me in your thoughts when it comes to food. For many, this isn't even a glimmer of a thought. For me, it is every trip to the grocery store, every meal out, and every party where you feel like a goober for not trying the famous dish of the night. It can be embarrassing to say "no, I can't, but thanks anyways!". So thank y'all for being gracious and so thoughtful towards me! I appreciate it more than most people realize!

~AMK

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More than the Latest & Greatest

The Holiday season is upon us. For me, right now (and the past year as well), this means a mad rush around Thanksgiving to get my final projects, papers and assignments complete as the semester comes to a close. All the while, there is FOOD GALORE (yum!) and lots of cleaning and planning.

The fall is one of my favorite times of the year, but I love the excitement that comes with the holidays. I love making a list of what gifts to prepare and what meals I want to make. It is hard with schoolwork at the same time, but I really try to focus my energy towards getting meaningful and useful gifts for people and making recipes that are sure crowd-pleasers. There is nothing greater than giving a gift to someone that screams THIS IS SO YOU. I love it.

In addition, this is a great time of the year to help out others in need. Whether it be children overseas, those affected by the wrath of hurricane Sandy, or one of the people in your very own circle of friend or family that just need a pick-me-up.  Even something as simple as donating blood...thank you iron count, I was good to go! I was able to donate today! :)

One blog I follow in particular does a great ministry every year to those who are in desperate need. I have not been following this blog for long, but Glennon, the writer, and her "Monkee" friends, have created such an amazing community to help those who need more than the latest gadget or gizmo for the holidays.

Check out how to give through her site here or find your own that is close to your heart, but be sure to find time this holiday season for giving more than the latest and greatest. Find time to think of someone who truly needs something and enjoy that you have blessed someone with something that they truly need.



~AMK

Monday, November 12, 2012

Let's Give 'Em Somethin' to Blog About: Inspiration Destination

"Let's Give 'em Somethin' to Blog About" is an effort for me to share a blog posting that I have read somewhere or an article I have found interesting. I will give my thoughts that rambled on through my head as I read them or have been marinading since then. Some I may have just read within a few hours and others may be ones that have stuck with me through the weeks, months or even years, and I want to grasp something from it and remember. They are a way for me to look back and remember.

Today's Post: Our Wedding

Young House Love. What else can I say besides...LOVE! These two are fantastic (well, and Clara & Burger too!). John and Sherry are full-time bloggers with so much energy, quirkiness, and creativity that you can't help but soak up all they write. Amazing. Many of their projects and ideas have inspired me to think beyond what I actually see and create from that canvas to something so different you can't believe the transformation. They LOVE their ORB (I am a huge fan of it too, Sherry!), painting everything they can white or yellow (have I said before that I just love yellow?!), their ceramic animals, and crisp clean lines with bold burst of color and soft gray contrasts. I did not love gray or yellow or ORB or being crafty..at all... until I started reading their blog a few years ago (wow, has it already been that long?!). So it wouldn't surprise anyone then to say that their DIY wedding was a HUGE inspiration for me as KGK and I started thinking about our own wedding ideas. With that said, let's get into the pure simplicity and merry of their DIY backyard wedding. 

John and Sherry bought a house in Virginia and planned to have their wedding be as relaxed and friendly as their awesome personalities are. They had those cute vintage touches with the water and mint lemonade in the wine bottle, and string lights overhead to set the scene. Everyone looks so happy and soaking up the love of the day. They really focused on their guests and how much they appreciated them coming to their wedding and being a part of their lives.  There was also a photo booth where guests could commemorate the occasion with awkward yet funny pictures with friends and family, and enjoy the peaceful setting of a backyard cookout. How fun does that seem! 

So when KGK and I were planning our wedding, having it as relaxed and "us" was the focus. We wanted it to be as outdoorsy and inviting as we possibly could. Laughter, eating, catching up with family and friends you rarely see, and enjoying the time with people you see often was the main focus of our wedding. It was perfect. 
College friends!


Fall Centerpieces


Yeah, I love this guy ;)



So thanks, YHL, for the inspiration to keep it simple and you through the whole shebang. It made it so worth it. 

~AMK

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's Give 'em Somethin' to Blog About: I'm Still Me

"Let's Give 'em Somethin' to Blog About" is an effort for me to share a blog posting that I have read somewhere or an article I have found interesting. I will give my thoughts that rambled on through my head as I read them or have been marinading since then. Some I may have just read within a few hours and others may be ones that have stuck with me through the weeks, months or even years, and I want to grasp something from it and remember. They are a way for me to look back and remember.

Today's Post: Sarah Sitting Down

Sarah's story was first revealed to me by Kelle Hampton (I told you I really liked her blog!). Sarah's story has been tragic and amazing and wonderful..and I say all these with the utmost awe and respect. She was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident while horseback riding. Her story has been on my mind, and I eagerly await to hear the next part of her journey and what she is learning to embrace. 

In each blog post, Sarah eloquently describes her story. Her scary-yet-enlightening story. She goes through the different times she has struggled and was adjusting to a new way of life. So many times, I think that a new way of life is something that YOU initiate. That it is something you have chosen to do-- like become a vegetarian, or move to another country, or change career paths. But Sarah, she had an accident. Her path was chosen for her. She didn't have a choice in this. She just had to deal with what happened to her and learn to live her life in this new scenario. 

So many times, I plan (cue laughter now!). I plan every detail of a day or hour or minute. I try and have a course of action or a well-thought-out road map for where my life should go. But really, it just doesn't always go as we planned. We can account for whatever curve balls will come our way, yet we will still miss something. That's just life.

Her story makes me come back to the whole "If God has a plan for your life". I really believe He does. Whether you believe in God or not, there are so many things in life that really seem to come together, even when the unexpected happens. For me, I like to believe that those things are the ones that will, in time, make us stronger. They may not make us happy, but we will be different because of them. It is just up to us whether we chose to be better from it. 

This change that occurs within us-whether from something major, minor, completely life-changing, or just a small insignificant memory or moment that stays with us- we need to be patient. While we are still living, we are still able to grow. We can adjust, adapt, grow, crumble, and build back up again. We can have hope. 

And not all change is from bad circumstances. Change can be fantastic. Like, getting married--since this is something very real to me right now. It is wonderful to share life with someone. The one person you have committed your time on this earth to. This change has been wonderful for me. And I am excited to see how I will change and grow from this point forward.

It is funny, when I was younger, I thought getting married meant you would somehow be different by that point. Well, I am still me. I have changed, but I am still the same in many ways. In my teenage years, I thought when you went to college, you would have everything figured out. NOPE. And when I was in college and right after, I thought that then, I would have it all figured out. NOPE. I always viewed adults as the ones that knew things. They just did, somehow. They were grown ups. I thought being a grown-up meant you had it all figured out. NOPE. And when I was single, I thought, when you are married, you have made it. You will be grown up and have it figured out. NOPE. Well, I have realized that I am still me. I am still growing. Changing. Evolving. I still have areas where I need to mature and grow up. There are things that I have overcome and do not worry about from when I was younger. Things have changed-life has changed.

While my change has not been as drastic as Sarah's, she has learned to grow and adapt in ways that I have never and may never even begin to imagine. She has overcome so much. Her story is inspiring.  She is strong and courageous. She works through life and she is always adapting to be better. She is living life and learning to figure things out. She is constantly working to be herself.

To Read Sarah's Story from the beginning, go here

~AMK

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crock Pot Applesauce

On our honeymoon, KGK and I went apple picking. What a great way to celebrate fall, right?! It was GLORIOUS! I had been wanting to go for quite some time now, so we decided to find a spot to go during our last day of the trip. It was perfect fall weather!




When we got back, we had SO MANY APPLES, I had no idea what to do with all of them. Apple pie is one thing, but we could have made 4 or 5 of them. So it was time to think of something else. So then came...

...


Crock Pot Applesauce !!

This recipe is fantastic!! I found this online through a serious of friend's blogs and some online recipe searching. Not sure where the original credit goes, but I altered a little anyway. Enjoy!!

Don't mind the vase and flower stems in the background:)
I have a ROCKIN' husband who got me flowers!
The Goods:
8 large apples, cubed & peeled
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon (really just however much you like)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ready to cook! :)

The How-To:
Cut your apples into cubes and be sure all the skin is off. Put into large crock pot and sprinkle the entire thing with cinnamon (stir and add more if you like more cinnamon). Add your brown sugar and vanilla. Stir. Cook on low for 6-7 hours and stir intermittently. Enjoy!


Cutting & peeling the apples takes the longest time, but once you do, it is SO worth it! I think I may make this again this week! :)


And here are the flowers that were cropped out of the picture above...I'm in love:)

yellow love


~AMK

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Let's Give 'em Somethin' to Blog About: "My Kids Are Your Kids" Motto

Today is the first post of a series I am hoping to do.

"Let's Give 'em Somethin' to Blog About" is an effort for me to share a blog posting that I have read somewhere or an article I have found interesting. I will give my thoughts that rambled on through my head as I read them or have been marinading since then. Some I may have just read within a few hours and others may be ones that have stuck with me through the weeks, months or even years, and I want to grasp something from it and remember. Hope you enjoy!

Today's Post: Raising Kids Together

There are a few blogs that I follow religiously. One of which is Kelle Hampton's Enjoying the Small Things. She writes and words and photos just flow. Gracefully, imaginatively, and with so much inspiration. I want to be a better mom, and I'm not even a mom yet. I want to take pictures, and let's face it, that is not my strong suite (although I wish it was!). I want to take each day and enjoy the small things because those are the things that we forget so easily, but mean the most to us. 

One post that has really stuck with me that Kelle shared was when she talked about how grateful she was for the friends that are there for your family, no matter what. These friends are the ones you call in a pinch or will offer you an ear (with or without giving advice), or drop-everything-and-run to be there for you and your family and your kids. 

While KGK and I are not in the whole parenting phase of life yet, we will one day (hopefully). And we will want to thank these friends that treat our kids like their own. They will drop everything to be sure that they are taken care of. They will discipline our kids like we would, not let them eat candy right before bed, watch them after school when we just have to get errands done, or be there in times of stress when we cannot be truly present for your children. These friends are awesome. They help beyond measure. I want to remember to thank those people when I am a parent one day. I will need them, and I will be so thankful for them.

But for now, I want to be that friend. The one that plays with the kids and looks out for them. I want them to be excited to see me yet know they can't get away with shenanigans with me either. While I may not be a blood relative, I want to be as close as a relative. This is something that has been speaking to me tremendously lately. I hope I can be that friend and that I can become that for those that I am not yet. I will not do it perfectly, but being a parent isn't about being perfect either. It is about being present and doing what is best, even if mistakes happen...and they so do. 


~AMK

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday & New Series!

Photo from: here

I just love a Friday post. Pure happiness because we get to have a few days of our own time to do what we need to get done and have some fun thrown in there. 

This weekend I will have a post starting a new series titled"Let's Give 'Em Somethin' to Blog About"! 

It will be posted this weekend so check it out!

Happy Friday!

~AMK

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Embracing All Things Fall-ness

KGK and I had a wonderful honeymoon. We went to the mountains and enjoyed some cooler temps and some small, mountain town loveliness. We had a beautiful view of the mountains and the river from our big bay windows and loved going through the small shops and local restaurants. I just love experiencing the smaller, quainter places. The ones that may barely make the map but are filled with awesomeness (yes, awesomeness).

In this small mountain town, they were fully decked out with all their autumn and Halloween goodness (or badness?). There were oranges, reds, yellows (oh, goodness, do I LOVE some yellows!), scarves, hot coffees, and boots. I love when I can bring out my boots! It was the perfect picture of fall all around us. Leaves were barely starting to change, but all the little shops had their decorations holding the fall-color-changing wonderfulness scene until they were ready (why is this post full of so many -nesses today? Guess it helps me set the scene:) ).

Well, all the -NESS was happening. AND to top it all off, they had a scarecrow contest throughout town. Every shop made a scarecrow, and they had a contest where you could vote for your favorite. There was one that WON ME OVER. It was love at first sight scare. It combined 3 of my favorite things...AUTUMN, OWLS, and KGK:) It was my unicorn moment @Enjoying the Small Things! It was fabulous.

The best scarecrow ever.
How are you embracing all things fall? Does it give you that feeling to use "ness" way too many times?

Happy Fall! :)

~AMK

Friday, October 19, 2012

Swing of Things

Well, I now speak to you as a hitched woman! :) The BIG DAY has come and gone, and I wouldn't have traded any of it for anything. It was FABULOUS.

In my last post, I couldn't express enough all the thanks I had to those that helped prepare us for the big day and getting all those pesky little details worked out. And now, post-wedding, I AGAIN say THANK YOU. Everything wouldn't have been as wonderful as it was without ALL Y'ALL (I'm now officially southern because I've married into it!! WOOT WOOT!). :)

***

Now, I want to delve into some recent ideas and ramblings in my head lately, now that I am getting back into the swing of things...

-I am thinking of doing a "review" type format to some posts.  They will be a review or my insight from some of my favorite blog posts I may read on other blogs I follow. Gives me a nice way to remember ones that have touched me or given me inspiration. Now I just need to come up with a catchy name for these, like with the "Dear Future Self" posts that occur every now and then....hmmm....ideas are welcome:)

-Fall has arrived and I want to embrace all things orange, yellow, warm, halloween-ish, and involve the GREAT outdoors as much as possible. A fall hike may be in my near future...:)

-I went grocery shopping and have some awesome recipes I am eager to try. I will document and share, promise. :) I even have a HORRIBLY FAILED recipe I tried. I'll share that too...gotta keep it real, yo.

-And last and MOST DEFINITELY not least...I love being married. :) KGK rocks:)


So TGIF y'all!! Weekending is upon us!

post-cake-in-da-face! 
~AMK

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dear Future Self: DIY Wedding Thanks


Dear Future Self:

If there is one thing that I have learned about preparing for a wedding, and having it a DIY wedding, is that your family and friends deserve so much thanks for all their help.  Whether it be a shower they planned, a bachelorette outing, craft help or just being there to offer a listening ear, these are the things I want to cherish during this preparation time just before the BIG DAY.


















So THANK YOU to everyone who is making this chapter of our lives so FANTASTIC!! Y’all rock!

~AMK

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dear Future Self: The Home Stretch

Dear Future Self,

So we are on the home stretch of wedding planning, KGK and I! We are putting all the final touches to all things pre-wedding and pre-family arriving into town! :) We are so unbelievably excited!! :)

almost there!


So here's a few things that I want to remember when I look back on the last days/week before our wedding:

***
~I am nervous. Not about getting hitched, but about all the details. We are planners so that helps, but man! It still makes ya nervous. :)

~I have been doing really well with working out and plan to keep that up for the last little while before the wedding. I really enjoy water aerobics, cycling classes, core/abs classes and walking Buddy. I know he likes it when I decide to stay home and walk him instead of hitting the gym!

~I'm getting all my homework done and some from the week of and after the wedding. Staying on top of homework is one thing, but getting ahead...UGH! But I am doing it! Trying to stay positive! :)

~Have a few last minute things to buy, but other than that, all my accessories and dress stuff is taken care of for the most part. PHEW! That's always a big relief!

~Gettin' my tan on! Trying to have a little color so I'm not the stark white chick in the stark white dress;) So just getting a little rays to give me a good ole fashion glow.

~One of my good friends gets married just before us!! We are very excited to see them get married too! :)

~In honor of cooler temps and fall, I have a crock pot full of homemade chili waiting for us for dinner tonight. YUM!

***

So there you have it. Just a few things going on the last stretch before the BIG DAY!  Buddy, you are gonna officially have a Daddy! ;)

Buddy lovin' a car ride!


Until next time...

~AMK


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Never Get Discouraged!


A few friends and I send emails to each other almost daily as a reminder to keep our heads up and encourage each other to eat healthily and keep up the good work with working out. I received this one last week and it has been on the forefront of my mind lately as the scale just doesn't like to budge.  But I am noticing a difference in the way my clothes fit from all these workouts I've been doing!

So remember...NEVER GET DISCOURAGED! :)

Until next time...

~AMK

(I don't have the original link, but all credit goes to that blog/site that had it first.)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pinterest Find: 18 Ways to Deep Clean Your Home

This list sounds like it is just what I need to get our home ready for all the family and friends coming into town in just a few weeks...

You can find the entire post here.

But, I have copied and pasted the list for me to use here:


18 Ways to Deep Clean Your Home

1. Wipe down the legs of all your chairs. Dust tends to accumulate on these.

2. Wipe down all your baseboards with a wet cloth. Follow up my rubbing a dryer sheet on them to prevent dust from sticking. While you are doing this you will find so many tiny weird little corners like these that are so hard to clean! Have mercy on whoever had to install these.

3. Clean behind and underneath all furniture. Move beds, scoot dressers away from the wall and get all the dust that builds up.

4. Dust all fan blades.

5. Wipe down all cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. Lots of grease and fingerprints build up on these.

6. Wipe down or dust all light fixtures (chandliers, lampshades, etc.)

7. Touch up any spots on the wall with paint that need it. Stir the paint really well first.

8. Recaulk any areas that need it (especially around the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or bathtub.)

9. Wipe down all blinds. The easiest way is to vacuum them or remove them and spray them down with a hose outside.

10. Clean out the fridge.

11. Clean out your freezer. Discard any old food and organize all that stuff you've thrown in there over the past months.

12. Clean your couch. Vacuum off any pet hair and remove cushions to vacuum.

13. Wipe down door handles and light switches.

14. Clean your microwave, stove top, and oven.

15. Wipe out kitchen drawers. Crumbs tend to collect there.

16. Dust and wipe down the top of your cabinets and fridge.

17. Clean floor vents. Remove metal vents and air registers. Spray them down with hose outside. Vacuum or wipe down the floor around the vents as dust gets trapped under the edges of the vents. If you have wooden vents just vacuum them really well.

18. Wipe down the front and back of all the doors in your house. You will have more doors than you think!

So there you have it! Another list! You know I am a happy girl:)

I am off to tackle some of these...

Until next time...

~AMK

(All credit for the list goes to the D and T Tabb blog)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finding the Light

As our lives are constantly in flux, we all have our ways of finding the light in the midst of all the crazy. I have many friends with young kids now and I just don't know how they get everything done in a day. Even other friends without kids, have their own set of crazy, and I still have no idea how they get so many things done in a day. Because let's face it, we all have crazy. It just comes in different forms.

For some of us, finding the light while all the crazy is buzzing around us can be overwhelming, tiring, and having feelings of not being able to catch up.

It is amazing how the grass is always greener can be so in the forefront of our minds when the crazy is upon us. Sometimes we are able to look past it and see our own green grass and other times it is so hard to stop drooling over another's greener pastures.

We all need encouragement and help in times of crazy. We just do. We need each other. I remember being in college and thinking, "Man, when I graduate and have a 'real' job, I will have so much more time. After 5, my time is my own. No homework. No obligations until the next morning."

Cue the laughter now!

Then, as I get the 'real' job, I think, man, I wish I had someone to share all this time with. Then, you find your One, and you suddenly have other things filling your time. Good things. But still things.

With all that is looming on my to-do, I fall into this sense of wanting more time.  More time to get things done. I need like 1 week to get caught up on life.  But let's face it, I would find other things to do than the productive things, right?!

Well, last night was a productive night. I didn't tackle much on my to-do, but I had a great sense of accomplishment by the time I went to bed.  I went to 2 classes at the gym and was energized! I got group work done for class, FINALLY washed the new silverware we got from one of our showers, did reading for class, worked around the apartment, etc. etc. etc. And still got a good night sleep. It feels so good to have those bouts of energy and get caught up. Makes you feel like you can take on the world, doesn't it?!

This weekend, I am hoping to carry these feelings of determination and energy. I still have a few things I need to get done and out of the way before the BIG DAY:) So time to get those checked off the list.

I try to remind myself in those times where I feel like other people are able to get so much more accomplished than I do, or they seem to have more hours in the day than I get, I just try and remember that we all get the same 24 hours and we need to utilize what we have of it. Sometimes you need to lay on the couch and watch tv. And that's cool. You gotta do that sometimes. And other times, we need to get up and get moving. Sulking won't get the dishes done, but forcing yourself to tackle one project will feel better than if you don't do any at all. JUST.KEEP.SWIMMING.CLEANING. :)

So cheer's to the freakin' weekend y'all! :) Where our time is our own! :)

Happy Weekend!

~AMK 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Change of Seasons: Energized and Excited

Autumn. I love it. Cooler temps are welcomed around here! But, I don't like COLD. Make sure we clear that up. :) But cooler than 90 degrees is good. And for those that are pumpkin spice latte fans, you are in luck, as they are back! I am very much looking forward to this fall.

With the changing of seasons, I am always inspired and energized by the potential for something fresh and new. Any season really. I like change and try to embrace the energy that comes with the ideas, events, and happenings of another time of year. The shifts to different schedules and the expectation of the holidays around the corner get me all sorts of giddy. Autumn...here I come!

One thing this fall, I would like to be better about is taking pictures. For one, I just don't have time to take pictures on a nicer camera, upload, edit and then post. So I apologize for my lousy picture taking. I intend on improving this one day soon...promise:)  I use my phone for pictures which = boring and blah photos. I try, I do. I'm working on it and hope to make strides here soon with inspiration from the changing of colors coming up. I LOVE the way instagram edits photos simply and quickly, but they just don't show up as well on the ole blog. So one goal of mine is to be better in this time of changing colors and seasons to include some more quality photos. Here's hoping:)

Another wonderful change I am excited about is being able to include some recipes meant for cooler weather. Like homemade chili and muffins and casseroles. YUM. Having a bowl of chili on a 101 degree day just isn't as inviting as on a 60 degree day. So I very much am looking forward to these autumn days ahead.

Lastly, I cannot wait to start up camping again! My camping days seem to be fewer lately with wedding planning and schoolwork. I also want to try a backpacking trip once the wedding is over. Gotta start thinking of what, when and where:) KGK probably has some ideas:)

Hope you too are enjoying these glimpses into fall days! :)

Until next time...

~AMK

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Crazy List Update

So if you read my post about remembering this time of my life in lieu of a letter to my Future Self, then Future Self, I am happy to report that we have checked off a GREAT DEAL from our wedding to-do list and I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER :)

But let's back things up a little...

Last week, I was going crazy. Not literally, because let's face it, I am already there. ;) I was just overwhelmed by all that was going on. So, I sat down and made my good ole fashioned list of all that was in my brain, all jumbled around and in need of escape. So this list....I wrote down all that needed to be done and actually got quite a bit checked off! KGK and I worked like madman and madwoman to get a large chunk of our to-do done. And we did! Here's the low-down (another list, you say?! I love it. It is a sickness, really). :)

1. We finalized our food/menu and some of the logistics of how that would go.
2. We finalized our hotel stuff for our guests (made sure the right amount of rooms were still set aside).
3. We made both my bouquet and my maid of honor's bouquet.
4. We created our photographer and videographer checklists.
5. I started transposing the design of our programs onto its finalized draft with color.
6. KGK started the insides of the programs and what it would say and how it would be formatted.
7. We created our schedules for the entire weekend basically and made the Wedding Day schedule.
8. I purchased stuff for our friend who is making the cake.
9. Did I mention this is a DIY wedding? YHL..you would be so proud:)

We may have done a couple other things too, but they are slipping my mind. Not bad!

I am starting to feel a lot better about the next few weeks now. While I still have homework (oh, yeah I had homework to do this weekend too! haha), I feel like a huge weight is lifted because of how much we accomplished this weekend. Always feels so good when you can check stuff off your list.

Should KGK be worries with how much love I have for lists?? I like to think it is one of the reasons why he loves me:) I will live in ignorance:)

Enjoying some cooler temperature...does this mean I can get all fall decorations out now? I think orange is moving up into one of the favorite colors category.

Until next time...

~AMK

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dear Future Self: Time Enjoyed

Dear Future Self,

Remember: Life will always seem crazy. We usually fill our 24 hours of the day with a lot of busyness. Sometimes it is TV watching, homework, working out, or hanging out with friends. ETC. ETC. ETC.


Cup number 2 of the day

I know that these very busy days we have been having lately (and have scheduled to happen in the next several weeks as we lead up to our wedding), and they need to be treasured. So here are some things that I want you remember when life is so different several years and decades from now. [like...Do you still run on coffee as much as I do right now??] So here is your life as an engaged girl in the last month of preparing for your wedding:

Soon-to-be ~ AMK

~Name Change. This is the last month that I will still be technically single. I will have this last name for only 1 month more, then I will have a new last name and be known to people only by that name. People who have known me forever will know me as AMM to AMK. But people I will meet after our wedding day, will know me only as AMK. That is so crazy to me, but also so exciting! (Future self, how is it to be AMK? Do you ever accidentally sign your old name even though it has been changed for years now??). I wonder these things:)

So very tired...



~Sleep. I am a person that needs a lot of sleep. Like, 9 hours a night. (You are probably laughing at me future self!!) Otherwise, a lot of my stomach issues start to act up and can cause me to have several weeks or months of issues. Therefore, sleeping is a wonderful thing for me so I can tackle my days fully and completely. I don't understand how some people can operate on 5-6 hours a sleep a night and be ok. Now, I don't always get my 9 hours that I like because let's face it, life doesn't work like that. So I try to do what I can to get as much as possible because I feel so much better when I do. But right now? Not happening. After work, I have just a few precious hours before I start to do the head-bobbing, crash on the couch until the TV wakes me up, bit. So after work, I try to fit in a workout, do homework, cook something for dinner, and do wedding preparations. That's a lot for just a few hours before bed. Oh yeah, and laundry or cleaning. HAHA, yeah, that doesn't always happen. ;)

Having a beer with homework? Don't mind if I do! ;)

~Homework. I LOVE school. The deadlines, the task lists, and the ability to further myself. Right now, I am trying to get ahead on my work so I won't have to do anything while family is in town for the wedding and I am NOT logging in during my honeymoon...NO WAY. :) But it takes a toll and doesn't allow much times for breaks. But I have a weekly checklist of all I need to do for that week and then the start of readings for the next week too. Trying to get ahead! :) It feels good when you actually do get ahead!

~Cleaning. Let's face it. This goes to the wayside (as mentioned above). I do my best to keep up, but it is just so tough. Fortunately, I have an awesome fiance that picks up behind me as I leave a trail through the apartment. :) He is an enormous help and I am so grateful for that.

Caught 3 fish but put them all back...they were too small to keep. But it was SO FUN!

~Social Engagements. KGK and I went fishing this past weekend, and it was just what I needed! Some fresh air and a break from all the craziness. I love that boy:) In addition to outdoor adventures, going out to eat with friends is one of my favorite things to do (and I have the waistline to prove it, unfortunately---hence the working out point that's next...hehe). I love going out and being with the people that make you happy and you have a good time with. I also enjoy that a lot of our friends have kids now. It has added such a fun dimension to our friendships and the types of gatherings we have now. A dinner filled with laughter now has the additional shrieks and laughter of little ones. And we used to talk about what we wanted to do with our lives, now its what they will do with theirs. I love it.




~Working Out. My goal this school year has been to incorporate more working out than I did in my first year. It is hard when you work full-time, are planning a wedding, have homework galore, and still have normal life stuff to get done (ie. cooking, cleaning, sleep, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.).--we all have our own crazy version of this list--- But, I know that physical health gives you such a boost to your mental and emotional health too. And it doesn't hurt to make up for those "out-to-eat calories" I mentioned earlier :)


These are the things on the top of my list that I think about on a daily basis, future self. The things that consume my thoughts when I am not allocating my brain resources elsewhere. I find that to get through the times where so many thoughts are swirling, I need to make a good old fashioned LIST. It is like an escape for my brain. If I write it down, I can make room for another thought in my head instead of trying to cram it all in there and the fear of forgetting something.

So today is list-making day...to plan for the next month of my life. It will have things crossed off quickly and other things will be added. But, at least it will help with my sanity:) We gotta do what we gotta do! :)

So, future self, what's going on? How's my life going? Is it time to make a list to get through this crazy time?

Sincerely,

~Almost AMK


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sun-vantage & Puppy-Love

I have been trying to soak up every minute of these cooler temperatures the past week or so...aka it hasn't been in the upper 90's! We have actually had the lower 80's some days so that has been so nice!

Homeworking Outside
Because school is in session, I have tried to bring my readings outside onto the patio. Always more enjoyable reading textbooks outside rather than at your desk.

 

I also had the chance this past weekend to bring Buddy to the Bark Park with his girlfriend Abby (yes, they are in love). We also met up with another friend and her dog, Sadie.

Buddy checking out his ladies;)  I think he likes what he sees :)
The 3 had SO MUCH FUN! The chased each other, wrestled, and barked a whole lot. They definitely got a lot of energy out...Buddy has been sleeping for DAYS because of it. That makes this Momma happy:)


That's a happy pup right there!
Thanks Heidi for the great shot of the love-pups on the ride back home:) Tired puppies!



I also have been working at keeping our plants alive. And when I say working, I mean, it is a J-O-B! Whoever said that if you can keep a plant alive, then you can keep a pet alive had a SERIOUS green thumb because plants die so easily. At least a dog will "tell" you when he is ready to eat!

colorful water can
But, I have been faithfully watering our flowers on our patio. We transplanted them into larger pots, and  they are doing much better now. So we have some happy flowers to go with our little sunflower bird house (that has had a hummingbird scoping it out in the past couple weeks)!


The sunflower bird house we got from the garden center at our local farmer's market.

I hope the little guy makes that his permanent residence because they are such interesting creatures.

Until next time, enjoy some sunshine! :)


~AMK