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Friday, September 27, 2019

Just an ordinary not-so-ordinary day.

Yesterday I headed to town (because we live in the country and doesn't that sounds so very 1890's?) to return some purchases I made last week when I hitched up the horses to the wagon and went to town. 

I had to return a shirt I purchased for Sarah at Target and while I was there, I had to treat myself to Starbucks!  Well, technically the bestie treated me because one of the things she gave me for my birthday was a Starbucks gift card.

My new go-to Starbucks order is a grande cold brew with two pumps of sugar free vanilla and heavy cream. Delicious AND low carb!  This is also Sarah's new Starbucks go-to order.  So creamy, so sweet, so delicious.  And like I said - LOW CARB!

After the coffee drink, I needed to use the restroom before I made my other returns and had to use this lovely thing:

Target has been renovating their bathrooms since last week and while I appreciate the toilets that are basically fancy port-a-potties with running water for hand washing, and two stalls with faux wood floors and grey walls that Joanna Gaines would sort of be proud of, they still smell like port-a-potties.

It wasn't until after I used them that I remember my friend Wendy telling me that somewhere in this Target is a family bathroom. But alas, I forgot she mentioned that AND I'm not sure where it is.  (Wendy - where is it so that if they aren't done next week I can use that??)

After my use of the fancy port-o-potty, I stopped into Ulta to use another gift card given to me by my favorite friend Jennifer.  In addition to her gift card, I also had a $10 off purchase coupon that they had sent me for my birthday.  So I splurged and got some new foundation and some new pore primer.  I have the world's biggest pores that seem to suck every drop of make up off my face no matter what brand of primer or foundation I use.  So I'm hopefully but realistic.  I'm sure this will be no different but it's always fun to try to find the perfect thing!

After Ulta, I made a return to Kohl's and then a return to Marshall's and then headed home.  I had the rest of the afternoon free because Peter had football practice after school and Sarah was also staying after school to watch the boy's soccer game.

She has a teacher that occasionally gives extra credit to students who attend sporting events that no one goes to so she and a bunch of her friends decided to go. (This meant I didn't have to pick her up from school and also didn't have to take her to swim practice.)  Between school and the game, one of the moms took the girls to Dairio - the local hamburger and ice cream joint.  Then she came back to watch the game and Dan picked her up on his way home from work.

After football practice, Peter decided to go with one of his friends to dinner and then they headed back to school to watch the JV boys play football. 

When Dan got home from work I decided that I wasn't going to  cook dinner if it was just going to be the two of us so we at leftovers.  I love it when I don't have to cook!

I managed to get quite a few things done around the house since I wasn't driving anyone anywhere and I wasn't cooking so yesterday felt like a very productive day!

Today the kids are out of school.  Peter is getting a hair cut this morning.  I'm taking Sarah to one other store to look for a dress.  We will be packing our bags for our little beach trip and we will be going to an away football game tonight.  It's going to be another busy day!

Have a great weekend and I'll be back on Tuesday with pictures from the beach. I know you can't wait!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Football, dress shopping and a leak in the sink. Just another weekend!

This blog has become a big old weekend update blog.  Pretty boring, I know.  I'm hoping that one day in the near future I start updating it more frequently and actually do some real writing.  But one thing I've discovered in my old age, is that my life is pretty boring (I'm okay with that) and I'm pretty lazy (I'm okay with that, too.)  But I do like to write so perhaps I will find some good writing prompts and go from there but until then....

let's do a weekend update!

The football team finally won a game on Friday.  I was so happy for these boys.  They are working so hard and to win one was nice.  Looking ahead to this Friday though, we get to drive an hour and a half away to play a team that has won all five of their games this season.  It's so funny, every week, Sarah asks Peter if they are going to win.  And every week he refuses to answer with anything but an, "I don't know." 

And it angers him.  Because he knows the answer is most likely "no" but he isn't going to say that.  He even told her once to stop asking because no player is ever going to say that they are going to lose.  I think that's a good attitude. Even if you know the odds aren't in your favor, at least go in thinking you have a chance!

In other news, I took Sarah shopping for a dress for the homecoming dance.  We tried on quite a few and she found one that she absolutely loved.  Like heart-eyes-emojii loved.  We were about to take it to the register to ring it up until we realized there was no price tag on it.  Then we grabbed another one and it was ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS MORE than all the other dresses she tried on.

So we politely declined.  We looked for it online and could not find it anywhere.  So the hunt continues.  I'm not going to show you the dress she loves just in case we get desperate and end up going back to get it but here is one she almost bought but she thought it was a little too long on her:

I thought it was perfect but she didn't love it as much as I did so we left that one behind.  The hunt continues....

I was doing so house cleaning on Friday and felt something wet underneath the sink and determined that we had a leak!  I was panicked and stressed out until Dan got home, tightened and valve that had come loose and it was as good as new.  Duh on my part but so glad it didn't require a costly visit from the plumber.

And that's pretty much all that's going on here.  Except for the fact that the kids don't have school on Friday or Monday sooooooooo - on a whim this past weekend we decided to get a place to stay at the beach for a couple of nights! 

We are heading down on Saturday morning and will return on Monday evening.  The weather is still hot and dry here and should continue to be that way through the weekend so hopefully we will get some nice beach weather! We are using VRBO for the first time and I hope we have no issues.  I've been in contact with the owner already and she got back with me very quickly and seems nice so hopefully all with go well.

Monday, September 16, 2019


It has been quite a full few days around these parts.

On Thursday evening we had an away football game.  Sadly we lost again.  I am holding out hope that we win this coming Friday.  I feel bad for the players but I guess it's good character building.
(Dan's 53rd birthday was on Thursday.)

My FIFTIETH birthday was on Friday.  I still can not wrap my mind around the fact that I am FIFTY.  That's so old!!  How can I be 50 when I still feel like I'm in my twenties?

Dan got me the sweetest little cross necklace and card and had my morning coffee all set up for me.

Mom and I spent the morning at Target, Kohls, Ulta, and Homegoods.  Then she treated me to a delicious lunch at Firebirds.

Salmon, broccoli and fried spinach!  So good!

Firebirds surprised us with a little birthday cheesecake.

On Friday the kids hustled home from school, changed their clothes and then we headed to Dan's work and picked him up and then headed to the Wake Forest/UNC Carolina game.  It started at 6:00 but thankfully we made it in plenty of time.

It looked like it was going to rain the entire time but it never did!

Flyover before the game!

Sraah was pulling for UNC but the rest of us were pulling for the home team!
At halftime, Peter ditched us and went to sit with a bunch of his friends from school and then met us at the car after the game.  He was thrilled that Wake won!

On Saturday, Peter hijacked the tv again and watched football all day. My bestie Jennifer dropped off my birthday gift which included these beautiful flowers!

Peter managed to tear himself away from the tv on Saturday evening and we went to Christo's for wings!

On Sunday, after Mass, we met my mom, my brother, my uncle and a friend of my mom's at Three Bulls where my uncle treated us to a celebratory birthday/anniversary lunch.  Once again I got salmon and once again, it was delicious. 

And the restaurant brought Dan and I birthday desserts.  It was Moravian sugar bread cake from Dewey's with cinnamon ice cream. Oh my goodness!  It was so good.  The table split the two desserts.

And then, we headed back to my uncle's house where we had this beautiful almond cake.  We love to have almond flavored wedding cake on our anniversary because it reminds us our our wedding cake flavor.

I guess being 50 isn't that bad after all!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Football and an adorable kitten...

To say Peter is obsessed with football is an understatement.

Last week he had a JV game on Wednesday (his final one and he was very glad!) He came home from football practice on Thursday and watched the NFL game.  He had his varsity game on Friday night and then immediately upon getting out of bed on Saturday morning proceeded to watch college football. All. Day.

Then on Sunday, he watched his Panthers and afterwards the other football games that were on.  And then of course, on Monday we watched more NFL football.

He can't get enough.  I've probably had enough.  And the season is only beginning!  Luckily we have more than one tv!  :)

This Friday night, our football game was supposed to be at home BUT due to possible rain AND the fact that our normal reschedule days of Saturday and Monday are unavailable for some reason, we now play on Thursday night AWAY.

BOO to all of this! 

And Peter has mentioned that since we aren't going to be at his football game then maybe we could do to the Wake/Carolina game on Friday night instead.  Not sure if we are going to do that yet or not.  I did check StubHub and there are tickets available.

And speaking of Peter, we are currently in the process of scheduling some college visits.  We've got one scheduled so far.  And that was hard enough to pin down between Peter's school and football schedule and Dan's work schedule and just general availability at the university.  Apparently these tours fill up pretty quickly.  The next tour will have to wait until after Christmas.

 And look at this cutie that my brother rescued from his work.  Isn't she just the prettiest thing??  She is very sweet.  She  had an upper respiratory infection but luckily was AIDS and Feline Leukemia free so he is able to keep her!  Sarah goes to visit her and hopefully hat will take care of her desire for me to get her a cat.

Monday, September 9, 2019

19 and counting!!!!

Today is our 19th anniversary!!

We celebrated on Saturday night by going to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Greensboro.  It was delicious!

When we got to our table they had rose petals and confetti sprinkled on the tablecloth and a card!

I got the fresh mozzarella and tomato salad and Dan got the chicken and barley soup to start.  We both had fillets (he had the 11 oz and I had the 8oz).  They were cooked to perfection and literally melted in our mouths.  No steak sauce necessary on such a nice cut of beef!  We both also got the loaded baked potatoes which were large and stuffed full of sour cream, bacon, cheddar, and chives. 

And for dessert they surprised us with a complementary strawberry shortcake.

The food was delicious and the time spent with Dan was perfect.

And then on Sunday, mom made us this delicious cake for Sunday dessert.  Isn't it beautiful??

And for posterity, here's a pic of us on our wedding day:

I thank God every day for sending me this man.  I couldn't imagine doing life with anyone else.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Delicious Chocolate Cake Recipe!

I thought I would share the recipe for that delicious chocolate cake that I made for Sunday dessert.

I found the recipe at The Nonpareil Baker.  Here it is the way she wrote it and I made a couple of notes in red :

Chocolate Layer Cake
Adapted from Hershey's

2 cups sugar
1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder (such as Hershey's)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Spray each pan again and coat with a thin layer of flour.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the boiling water; the batter will be very thin.

3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Make the cream cheese filling and chocolate buttercream (see recipes below). When you're ready to assemble the cake, remove the layers from the refrigerator. If needed, level each layer with a serrated knife or cake leveler.

5. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate. Evenly spread about 3/4 cup of the cream cheese filling over the cake, leaving about 1/2 inch margin around the edges. Top with the second layer and repeat. Finally, top with the third layer. Apply a thin layer of chocolate buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. This is only a crumb coat, so it doesn't need to be perfect. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes.

6. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and apply a final layer of chocolate buttercream, as well as any desired embellishments.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese
3/4 cup (6 oz) butter (I used only 6 tablespoons and not 3/4 cup.  I will make it like this next time too)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
6 cups (24 oz) powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Add the vanilla and beat one minute more. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. Once the sugar is completely incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 cup (8 oz) butter
1 & 3/4 cups (5 oz) natural or dutch-processed cocoa powder
6 cups (24 oz) powdered sugar
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the sugar/cocoa mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Halfway through this process, add the milk and vanilla. Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.

Note: Each of these recipes makes quite a bit of frosting! You could probably get away with half the amount of each (just halve all of the ingredients, and follow the same process), but I usually err on the side of having too much rather than too little. You can always freeze any leftover frosting in an airtight container!  (I made the exact recipe and we have been snacking on the leftover frosting.  I always prefer to err on the side of too much frosting!)


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Why yes, this past weekend was practically identical to the last...

Happy TUESDAY!  And you know what a "short" week means for me, right?  It means I will be confused every day as to what day it actually is and the "short" week will somehow feel oddly longer.

Last Thursday Peter played in his second junior varsity football game and while the team lost, they played better.  Peter played almost the entire game and even got an INTERCEPTION!!! 

Last Friday night Peter played in his second varsity football game and while the team lost, they played better.  Peter only played a few minutes in this game but still played well while he was in and is still having a great time playing.

This is a picture (taken by a professional obviously) from the JV game.  Peter is 77 on the JV and 22 on  varsity. 

That's Peter behind the guy from the other team - his face is blocked by the other guys helmet.  (But a mama always knows her baby!)
There's #77!!
On Saturday I made a chocolate cake from scratch and it was delicious!

Yes it was lopsided but nobody seemed to mind!!

On Sunday we attended Mass, had lunch at my mom's, and then Dan and I tried a new spot for our Sunday night beer.  And then it was Monday and we had no plans.  Peter had football practice and Sarah had a lot of homework so we just stayed at home and were extremely lazy. We did grill out hamburgers when Peter got home from practice but that was it. It was pretty boring but sometimes we just need to stay at home and do nothing.

Sarah starts her high school prep swimming practices tonight and now there is no denying that it is September.  All the stores have their fall decorations out but I'm just not ready to decorate for fall yet.  It's still warm outside and I'm enjoying that so I'll pull out the pumpkins in a few weeks if I feel like it.