Sweet Tea and Southern Living

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dying With Crafty-ness!

My lil sis and I got together last night for some serious craft time. We had such a great time, so much in fact that my mind was RACING with creative ideas that I could not fall asleep!

I bought these wood squares at Hobby Lobby 30% off

And then painted them with chalkboard paint to use as little place cards/labels to use for food or drink containers for parties.

Jo-Ann has these giant paper mache letters for $10. I used a 40% off coupon

Then got some gift wrap, traced and cut it out. Spray glued it on and then Mod Podge to seal it. I am hoping to hang it on my front door... I can even use a different paper on the other side for Christmas!!

Remember these UGLY frames I got that I told you I had a plan for?

Here is the finished product. I super glued them together, then painted them and distressed them. I think a burlap bow on the top would do wonders!

Another chalkboard sign

I found an old cork board at work that was going to be thrown away and saved it... all we did was wrap it with some fun fabric and there you have it.. a cute fun cork board. From Trash to treasure!

And these are 2 canvases my sister made for her office, the canvases were $12 for a pack of 3. All she did was hot glue the fabric on. She is going to find another fabric to match and have 3 hanging side by side.

I would call that success! Wouldn't you? And the good news is... we had a blast doing it!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

4 Years and Counting

4 years ago TODAY I married my High School sweetheart and my best friend! It was the best day and the happiest day of my life!

Here we are on our wedding day on a HOT day in July, enjoying our special day!
"I have found the one whom my soul loves" Song of Solomon 3:4

My sweet Husband planned a romantic evening for us last night in Downtown Chattanooga. We ate at a really neat, local restaurant called Allia.

Look how cool it is... we sat in one of those funky booths...

See the lights... and the kitchen?
It was very good... but expensive!
Look at this yummy goodness.... bread, and fried calamari... mmmm....mmm...

4 years ago, on our wedding night, we stayed downtown at Stone Fort Inn. I loved this little Bed and Breakfast and I keep telling the Mr. that I wanted to go back.

So, he booked us a night in room 35. It was very cozy!
If you are ever in Chattanooga, it is the best place to stay hands down!

Our Pink room, with a white iron bed.

toile bathroom

I LOVE this tub.. and the brick wall

We even had a tub on the balcony!

and a fireplace!

look at these beautiful crystal door knobs and old key holes... LOVE.
They even have a very yummy complimentary breakfast every morning.

Here we are 4 years later!

I bought him some clothes- 3 Polo's that is- yellow, navy and white. And I, of course, got my beautiful plates a few weeks ago. Then,
My MIL bought me this cookbook for our anniversary. I haven't used it yet but I already love it!

And just for kicks... I opened up our cabinet and found the OJ... my husband is apparently loosing his mind! HA..... no wonder I couldn't find it yesterday morning!

I look forward to spending many more years celebrating with that man!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trying New Foods

I am sure that you have all heard of the famous, Pioneer Woman and her yumm-o cooking. She has wonderful recipes and even a cook book that I am considering buying.

I decided to try her lasagna. It seemed pretty simple. And it was pretty simple except for 2 things. HA. I sent my husband to the store and he got the wrong sausage (my fault for not being specific) and on his way home from the store the 2ND time, I had to tell him to turn around because I put WAAAAY too much salt in the cottage cheese mixture. HA.... oops.. so the poor guy had to go to the store 3 times!


  • 1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodle
  • (add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)

Preparation Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you’re feeling naughty. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes while you are working on the other steps.
In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. Cook lasagna until “al dente” (not overly cooked).
To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.
Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

It turned out very good, and it makes a LOT of food. I have never made lasagna with sausage before either. So, this might become my go-to recipe.

And I have to share with you my new favorite side item...

(stock photo)
Grilled Okra!!!

I am IN LOVE! All you do it drizzle Olive Oil and salt and pepper and grill it for a few minutes. It is super delicious. I have only ever had fried okra and wasn't sure I would like it grilled but it was so yummy!

I love trying new things!
Posted by on September 4 2009

Monday, July 23, 2012

Being Real

My WONDERFUL Pastor has started a new series on "Being Real in the Midst of the Counterfeit" (1 Corinthians)

And it goes right along with what I have been studying lately and I just couldnt help but share.
Sunday, he talked about "Testing for What is Real"-testing your foundation and your works.

I just LOVE our Pastor, and we are so blessed to have a preacher that teaches the TRUTH without being worried about stepping on someones toes.

First of all, I have been looking for a new daily devotional and I went to Lifeway and came out with 2

They are both really good! So, if you are looking for a new devotional, defintly check these 2 out. (Jesus calling is really popular.)

Our small group just finished up this book. Talk about it rocking your socks off, it is a must read, but NOT an easy read! David Platt is not afraid to remind all of us why we are on earth and really makes you wanna go out and reach the ends of the earth for HIM!

The end of the book challenges you to do ao few things. One of which, is ready the entire Bible in a year. We all started raeding Chronologically, on July 1st and it has been so neat!

And this is our new study we are doing with our church small group.
So far I am really liking it, we are on the 2nd chapter, so I will share some about it when we are through.
I read Crazy Love last year and really liked Francis Chan. (Not an easy read either)

So take all of that for what it is worth.
Just a few suggestions for us growing Christians.

(It has been great to grow spiritually and seek God everyday!) And how GREAT is it that we live in a country where we are FREE to do it... Thank you Jesus!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lamp Before and After

Here is the lamp before. It had potential, just needed some love and attention. I love America, don't get me wrong... but the eagle and the flag had to go (they were on both sides)
So, I got some spray paint stripper and sprayed it away.

Here is is after. I left some of the red paint in places, can you see the words on the side? Its such a neat lamp!

I found the perfect taupe, drum shade at Wal Mart for $14.
So, there ya go, a new lamp for $20.

And just a few other things I picked up this past week...

I am DYING with the cuteness.... I found this little egg holder for $8 at TJ's.

And I found these at Home Goods, a little pricey ($15 and $8) but I love the rope handles and the "old" finish on the tubs.

Oh, one more random thing...

Tonight is the Bachelorette Finale!! Who's is watching? Who is it going to be? Jeff or Arie?
I just cant get over Jeff's hair... I am saying Arie wins!
Guess we will see!
I so wish it had been Sean, but oh well... Here is to hoping he is the next Bachelor...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Girls Weekend

Last weekend, I had a, much needed, girls weekend.  One of my very best friends that I met in design school come visit me from Nashville. We don't get to see each other that often but when we do, we pick up right where we left off and always have a blast! (She's the one I made cookies with this past Christmas- here)

We took a trip to Cleveland to go look at some cute "gifty" shops and we stopped to have lunch at Jenkins Deli. Its been there for 40 years and still going strong, I think it must be the fried pickles!!!

The bummer was that most of the stores we wanted to go to were closed.
But we did stop in Trees and Trends and I got this super cute polka dot fall flag.
So then we headed to downtown Chatty.
I was on the hunt for a kitchen island and I found the PERFECT ONE!

this is exactly what I want... drawer, bottom shelf, white with wood top.... problem was it is $500. uh.. no thanks. dang it... keep looking!

Steph (my friend) picked up a Lane chest just like this one, painted white for $50!! You should have seen us trying to get it in the back of my little coupe! HA!

I spotted this table, which I LOVE. for a cheap price of $150! I so would have bought it if I had a place to put it. And I thought about it as a kitchen island but it was only 30" tall and too long... 60"... shoot!

Then I fell in LOVE with this Windsor bench. But it was $225, plus I have NO where to put it. Trust me, I keep trying to find a place. How fabulous would this be in a foyer or a hallway?

I got this wonderful burlap garland at Michaels. 10 yards for CHEAP! I cant wait to use it!

And now for the cute jewelry...

I am loving the turquoise bangles-Belk on clearance

got these at Kohls for $1.75

cute studs from Kohls

white bangles-Forever 21

Coral earrings from a boutique store downtown

Then, I found these cute organizers for my bathroom at TJ's and Marshalls

see how perfect and organized my drawers look?
This girl loves some organization!
Yay for some cute/girly finds... I got a few other things from Target- a really cute lace dress and a pair of shoes, new makeup and shampoo from Ulta and a new dress from Kohls.. gotta love girly shopping!