Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My New Red Hot Machine!

Well, I finally pulled the trigger and bought myself a Kitchenaid stand mixer! I follow a wonderful couponing/deals site, Southern Savers, and they had this as a featured, one-day only deal with Best Buy last week. It was at an amazing price, almost in the Black Friday Deal price range, so I snapped one up.

I was stalking ups.com today waiting for it to be delivered. On my lunch hour, I bought some strawberries, heavy whipping cream, and 10X confectioner's sugar at Ingles. I wanted to be prepared to make something with my new toy so after supper tonight, I made homemade whipped cream and served it with the strawberries. So easy! Here's the recipe I used: Homemade Whipped Cream from myfrugaladventures.com.

Now to decide what accessories, if any, do I need? Hmmm....maybe a smaller bowl. I'll see how much I use the mixer outside of making things to bake (and I love to bake!) then try to justify getting an accessory, like the pasta maker or spiralizer, which does look pretty cool. How about the ice cream maker? That's nifty too.

I'll keep checking Southern Savers and if they run a super sale on the mixers again, I'll post it on Facebook and on here. I love a great deal!

Y'all have a great evening, it's kick-off time for the Panthers pre-season game! Go Panthers!

-Melissa

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Nails!

For the first time in my many years of living on this Earth, I have grown out my fingernails! It is such a new experience for me to have long nails and get manicures! I have gotten all of two manicures in the past month and many people have commented on how my nails look and if they are real. Yes they are real and they are spectacular, ha!

My supervisor had an American manicure and I liked how it looked. An American manicure is a white tip, not chalk white, but still white, with clear top coat and a rounded shape. The French manicure is more bright white tip, cut straight across, with light pink top coat. For my birthday present to myself, I got a gel American manicure and I loved it! I used Funny Bunny by Essie for the tips. My nails grew so much and aren't breaking. It lasted for 3 weeks and then it was time for a change.

The next time I went with a color and I picked a hot pink color, "Mad for Madness Sake" by OPI. I love it! It's a gel polish and it looks great. I even bought the lacquer version for my toenails. Here's a photo, and I'm not a hand model obviously! This is with 2 weeks of wear and it's my natural nails.

I think I will go back to an American manicure this next time, maybe not do a gel polish, just a regular polish. With a gel polish, you have to put your hands under a UV light so the polish will set. The polish is very durable. You also can't take off the polish with regular fingernail polish (ask me how I know). You have to go back to the nail salon and soak off the polish. Sneaky way for the salon to get you coming in every 3 weeks for a polish change!

One of these days I'm going to spring for a pedicure, my feet got all beat up when we would walk down the beach on vacation a few weeks ago.

Readers, have a great week! More blog posts to come later this week!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

6 Foot Tall Women

Anna is now 15 years old. Time still marches on, whether we like it to or not! Wasn't she just 7? And Monkey Boy 4? More about Monkey Boy Camden in a later post. This is a funny one about Anna.

So one thing about me is that once I am in bed, I like to STAY in bed. Just me, my Amazon Fire Tablet, and choice of social media. I am not a happy person if I have to answer questions, find something that has suddenly gone missing, put Monkey Boy back to bed, etc. 
But as much as I hate getting out of bed, Anna hates getting out of the tub! Here's proof from Monday night.

So I'm in bed, catching up on everyone else's life online and Anna is in the tub. It's about 10 pm. Anna calls out "Mom....MOM....MOM!!!" Ignoring her doesn't work so I holler back:
Me-"What is it? Don't wake up Camden by hollering" (oh the irony since I'm hollering too)
Anna-"Come here!"
Me-"Just tell me, I don't want to get out of bed!"
Anna-"It's a question!"
Me-"Tell me!"
Anna-"It's a long one, just come here!"

So I grudgingly get out of bed, thinking this better be a good question! I go in the bathroom and she says.....

"Have you ever met a 6 foot tall woman?"

REALLY YOUNGIN'! You got me out of bed for THAT?! As irked as I was, I immediately started laughing from the randomness, which is so typical of Anna.

Me-"Yes, as  matter of fact, I have. There were some really tall women's basketball players that lived in my dorm and one girl was 6 feet tall." 
Anna-"Did you know Taylor Swift is 5 11? There's a photo of her and Ellen and Ellen is really short compared to her!"
Me-"I bet it was Photoshopped and I bet I'm going back to bed now!"

We'll tag this one as #lifewithteenagers 

Until next time,
Melissa

Camden and the Carolina Panthers

Hey everybody! Here's a funny story about Camden.

Camden is now 12. Even though he is non-verbal, he still communicates his wants and needs. I also believe he can read words since he will point out words on signs, clothing, in the newspaper, packaging, etc. and we say them. He will even match words, one time he pointed out "Scotts Fertilizer" from the Lowe's ad then he pointed to the same words on the Scott's Fertilizer bag on our porch.


Another thing about Camden, he LOVES the Carolina Panthers and when we are hunting for treasures at Goodwill, he will point out the Panthers items, no matter what it's printed on! Case in point-we were at the Goodwill in Cornelius and I was looking through the skirts and he was beside me. He saw a lady and ran up to her. Before I could stop him, he, um, pointed on the letters "Carolina Panthers" across her shirt! Cue the OMG!! moment I had. I just about died! Thank goodness she was understanding about some random child coming up to her, feeling her up basically, and laughing about it! I explained to her Camden had autism and he was non-verbal but he recognizes words of things he likes, one being Carolina Panthers. Gah! I still cringe just thinking about it!

Until next time!
Melissa

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Looking Forward to Looking Back

Tap tap...is this thing on?? 

After a 2 1/2 year hiatus from blogging, I've decided there are still stories inside of me that I want to tell. I love the Time Hop feature on Facebook and whenever a old blog post comes up of something that happened 8 or 9 years ago, I think about what's going on in my life right now that will pop up in Time Hop 8 or 9 years from now and I'll have the same reaction "Hey! I remember doing that! How much has changed since then!" I guess you could say I'm looking forward to looking back.

There is that gap of time from when I didn't blog, life got in the way, I moved on from blogging and forums to more short and simple updates on Facebook and Instagram. However, I still miss writing the longer, more in depth musings of a peek inside my life and what's happening. Plus I get to put my Communications and Journalism degree to good use!

I have so much I want to write about and it's good to get it out in written form. I don't say a lot in person, but writing is my favorite form of expression. That and my facial expressions, I can't hide what my brain is thinking!

Thanks, readers, all 2 of you (hi Mom and Aunt Caryl), for hanging in there and patiently waiting. I'll get this blog cranked back up and we'll see where life takes us. Hi to all my Facebook friends, 99% of you all are probably like "She has a blog? Who does that any more?" Well, I do. Enjoy reading my past entries and I hope it brings a smile and some insight into our life.

Thanks for reading!
-Melissa

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How We Survive Without Cable or Satellite TV

Hey there readers! We are home on a snow day, it snowed 3 1/2" here last night but it is melting fast. Since we will be back to the grind tomorrow, I've been catching up on my sewing, cleaning, and Facebooking.

A friend of mine posted a status on FB about finding a new horror show channel on her Roku player. Several people commented and asked about her Roku, not having cable, and what about an antenna for local stations. I gave my .02 worth and thought this would make a good blog post since we have never had cable at our house and it's been close to 16 years now.

We have this in our attic.
We live in a suburb of Charlotte so there are many channels to choose from. When tv switched from analog to digital in June of 2009, we tried out a few antennas to see which gave us the best reception. We tried a batwing style, rabbit ears style, and a flat style antenna. The one we currently use is a Phillips HDTV antenna that I bought at Wal-Mart. Tim mounted it up in our attic and we get 30 channels, at least. These are the networks like CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox, ABC, etc. Check out Antennaweb.org to see what all channels you can get. We are lucky that we are close to Charlotte. If you live in the boonies, your reception might not be as good.

As the kids started getting older, they wanted to watch Disney, Nick, ABC Family. We have a Wii and have had a Hulu Plus subscription for about 2 years now. It has met our needs and I have no complaints. We also tried a streaming service called PlayOn where it grabs streaming feeds from the internet and plays through the Wii. Some channels were good, but it was all on-demand and the links to the streams would change and some channels were really choppy. We cancelled our subscription and watched tv via the antenna or binge-watched tv at my parents house or at the in-laws since they both have Dish.


All this for $20!
Last month, I saw a news article about a new service called Sling TV. It is different from a Slingbox. Anyway, for $20 a month, you can get 20 channels of live tv and they will be adding AMC networks to this core package soon so that's good news for Walking Dead and Mad Men fans. For $5 more, you can add a sports package, kids package, or info package to your service. Here's the listing of what is included in each package right here and scroll down.


I thought about subscribing when it first came out but the catch was we have a Wii and they don't support their service through the Wii and I don't want to watch tv on Camden's iPad or on a PC.

After they launched the service, they announced a pretty sweet deal. If you sign up for 3 months, you got an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Stick for free. Hello, sign me up, get a $40 tv stick for free! They have other deals too like a 7 day free trial or $50 off a set top Amazon Fire TV box or Roku box. I got the Fire TV Stick 2 days ago and I have been really impressed with the service. I also got 1 month of Amazon Prime for free, though I doubt I'll keep that. Anyway, the live channels play really smoothly, they aren't choppy and it buffers very rarely. I've downloaded the History tv app and the A&E app since we like Duck Dynasty. I also downloaded the PBS Kids app since Camden likes PBS Kids shows. Anna has discovered games on there and she is currently playing Crossy Road, lawd help. Once I tear her away from playing Crossy Road, I want to watch classic Sesame Street and Electric Company. Here's the Fire TV Stick promotion here.

So that's how we watch tv without cable or satellite! Drop me a line if you have any questions about it! Off to watch tv!

XOXO,
Melissa

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for writing this blog. My opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Recap-Gifts and Recipes

Good morning readers! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas, we sure did! Now I am getting organized for the new year and putting away a little bit of Christmas decorations at a time, or "de-Christmasing the house" as a friend called it. The day after Christmas I put away our gifts. Yesterday I put away Camden's little tree and the wrapping paper. Today I will put away the mantel decorations. Tomorrow will be the porch decorations. I'll work on the big Christmas tree as time permits. Anna wants to keep her tree up as long as possible so we might still have it up come Valentine's Day!
Source:
Home-storage-solutions-101.com
I'm seriously considering this!
 Looking back on Christmas, I had good feedback on the teacher gifts I had made and I thought the food I brought to the Christmas Eve dinner turned out great, especially since there was none left! That's always a good sign that a recipe is a keeper. I made sausage balls and here is the low down.
Source: faithfulprovisions.com
3 Ingredient Sausage Balls
1 lb. sausage, hot or mild, your choice
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, not the fine grate but regular
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
Preheat oven to 350.

Note: I was telling a co-worker about making sausage balls and she gave me some tips. Made sure your ingredients are room temperature so I did that. Work in by hand the sausage, Bisquick, and cheese together in a big bowl. Another tip: don't overwork the ingredients. Roughly shape into balls and put on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes (watch and make sure they are done, but not burnt). These made a lot, maybe 40? And every last one was eaten! 

Cute!
For teacher gifts this year, I bought these cute note cards from Walmart (made by Hallmark) and wrote a thank you to Camden's teachers. Anna did her own thank you notes, so thank you Anna for one less thing Mommy had to do!

I will be doing these again!
I bought a bag of Ghirardelli wrapped chocolates and tied them to the outside of the envelope with gold shiny curling ribbon. I used a small piece of double sided tape to stick the wrapper to the envelope. Voila! Easy peasy! The teachers liked these too and it was something other than another apple-themed gift, a mug, or a candle. Who doesn't love chocolate and a nice thank you note they can keep?

Until the next post,
Melissa
XOXO