Saturday, September 18, 2010

Change


I'm moving. Back to Nebraska. I got a phenomenal job with an outstanding company that made the choice a no brainer. More to come and changes that I might be making to this blog... exciting things! God is great and I'm so excited to just follow His plan!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Might Have A Problem




Ever since the first Toy Story movie debuted my family and I have been slightly obsessed with the Planet Pizza aliens. "You have been chosen," is a regular phrase lobbed at one another and yes, in the exact alien-like voice of the movie. I know you're impressed.

So when I was shopping today I found the above box containing three aliens. I about hyperventilated. I speed dialed my Mom and asked where I could find a brown bag. But really it is just too perfect. I have never seen the characters in a size that they would actually be in real life! So I bought it, yes, don't act surprised.

I ALSO found a mini Lego set including the alien. I promptly purchased it and built it within two minutes of reaching home.

So that's it, I love cute, green, three-eyed aliens. I love them a lot.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy



A spur of the moment conversation prompted my big brother to send me this Be Happy bouquet. Little does he know that I got on the computer right away and sent him the exact same one. Hopefully a moose or bear doesn't come along and eat it or else! We both agree that we needed those amazing yellow smiley face mugs for our coffee in the morning. How cute is he? (The mug I mean, but my brother's pretty sweet too. ) Thanks Steve, for making my day. And for the message on the card, "Get ill foo!". You're the BEST!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Summer



I've been slacking again, but this summer has been a busy one. With CMA Fest, a new job, a family visit and a week home I find myself starring at my Blackberry screen emblazoned with "Thursday, July 29th". Oh well, it's been a hot and lovely month.

The first photo is of a giant atomic bomb-like thunderhead that I just had to pull over and shoot. It left us alone this evening, which I appreciate.

The second photo is of mom and I at Arrington Vineyard in (surprise) Arrington, Tenn. Great wine, music and company made for a splendid evening. Kix Brooks, of Brooks and Dunn fame and part owner, was even there though we never saw him.

Here's to more frequent updates and to summer treating you wonderfully!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Handmade



I decided to crank out a couple of handmade cards today. I snagged a clearance corner punch/embosser from the store and put it to use. I think it makes for some lovely detailing!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Top of North America






You know my brother? The one who lives in Alaska? He climbed North America's tallest mountain. All twenty thousand and three hundred and twenty feet of it. He is absolutely the most incredible human being that I know. He and his team battled extreme cold, wind that would knock them to their knees and 70 pound packs to summit the tallest point in the continent of North America known as Mt. McKinley/Denali. I religiously followed the cybercasts and prayed. He was extremely lucky to have summited as many climbers in earlier expeditions never got clear weather to make it to the top. God kept him safe and provided the opportunity to achieve his goal. We are all so ecstatic!

Oh and see the second picture from the bottem? He's holding a note that says "Nicole Rocks". He took the time to make and hold that up and take a picture at the top of the mountain. I told him he doesn't have to get me a Christmas gift, ever.

A New Favorite


Ever since we traveled to Jamaica, I have been listening to the legend of reggae music, Bob Marley. I am obsessed with his powerful, yet hypnotic melodies, perfect for a hot summer day. This is a bit outside my normal music preferences, but that is what is so wonderful about music, you can always discover something new. Another important post to come...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Belle Meade Plantation


A few weeks ago I finally made it back to the plantation to tour the actual Belle Meade house. Pretty spectacular! They have done an excellent job of preserving the home and keeping it true to its 1860's glory days. A guided tour and walk around the property is a must!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tennessee Beauty


I had the chance to escape to the park a couple weeks ago and snapped this photo. Man, Tennessee is a beautiful place! Everything is so lush and green and colorful here. It's a bit of an overwhelming thing for me being from a much drier climate. I do miss the wide open spaces though and the stark beauty of a prairie, but I am enjoying this state's wonders.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Flood of 2010






video

One month ago today this is what turned normal life in Nashville upside down for me and so many in middle Tennessee. I was extremely blessed to be spared from the devastation and I am so thankful for that. My job is another story, but there again I have been given another opportunity. God is good.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Charming


I had this idea to make a charm necklace from the inspiring jewelry on Etsy that I always eye enviously. So I set out on my regular trek to Michael's to make it happen. They were out of the horseshoe charm that I wanted, but I'll check back soon to pick it up and add to the jingling bunch. What do you think? I personally love it, especially the way they all clump together and clank. I can't wait to wear it with everything!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fun With Dad





My dad came to visit me this past weekend and let me tell you about the blast that we had! We saw the Ryman Auditorium, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Broadway honky tonks, Opryland and we even roadtripped all the way to Lynchburg to see how Jack Daniel's (Dad and my drink of choice) is produced. They actually drip the whiskey over about 10 feet of charcoal or "mellow" it. Crazy, Dad and I want to know who the heck came up with this process. See the tree above? It grows a black mold, typical of trees found near distilleries, that makes it look extra creepy with the steam bellowing from behind it.

It was so wonderful to show my dad my life here in the South. Now he can actually picture my day to day activities and know what I am talking about during our phone conversations!

Thanks dad, since I know you are a devoted reader, for making my Easter weekend, you're the best!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's All In the Details


Here is a peek at my new tablecloth for spring. It is a creamy yellow with these adorable cutout details. It brightens my dark table and thus my whole place! Perfect for bringing the spring cheer indoors!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring has Sprung


I am so excited that the weather is finally changing! It's going to reach 81˚ tomorrow. Oh my, that is warm! The trees are blooming and the sun is shining, just glorious.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Project



By now you probably know that I like to undertake a craft project now and then, so this is my latest. I found these pretty painted eggs at Michaels and immediately thought of a way to display them. I found the galvanized bucket (which I plan to reuse for a summer project) the Spanish moss and ribbon and got to work. I think it makes a nice center piece for my table. Whimsical and old-fashioned.

Hope this little project inspires you to do some creative decorating for the special holiday!

Who Knew?


I admit it. I love to iron. There is something so incredibly relaxing and theraputic about it. Especially when it is spring time and the bright sunlight streams through the window while I work. To have crisp perfect garments hanging in my closet is truly the best! Are there any mundane tasks that you enjoy?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Veggie, Veggie, Fruit, Fruit


Did any of you ever go to Disney World's Epcot show about fruits and veggies? I used to love that show and I still sing the song. So fun.

I went to Publix today and stocked up on both veggies and fruits, but they are so expensive! The tiny container of raspberries was $4.99! Gosh darn it, I wish I could grow my own... maybe I'll pot a few select produce items. We'll see how ambitious I am this spring.

It is gorgeous here, warm and sunny and it sounds as if it is the same up in Nebraska. Finally!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Little Crafting




I thought I would share with you a little craft I did right before Valentine's Day. I love Michael's and since it is a short walk I usually find myself enroute every couple of weeks to check out their merchandise.

I found the plain wooden cutout for $1 and picked up the paints on sale. Simple I know, but most days this is all I have time for. I think there is a healing quality gained from a bit of paint, don't you think?

I have the day off today, so finishing taxes (I am such a SLACKER! I know!) and a frivolous trip to Target is on the agenda. A very happy St. Patrick's day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Everything is Irie




Oh man, I did it again. I left you. I must apologize for my absenteeism for the past month. Leaving a job, finding and beginning a new one, taking a trip, celebrating a birthday and having family in town seemed to eat up my time. But I am back and ready for action!

Above are a few photos from my mom and my trip to Jamaica. What a extraordinary place. Every stereotypical thing you have heard about this place is true. Everyone really uses "Yeah mon" and dreadlocks and Rastafarian life permeates the island. It is beautiful, colorful and joyful and I hope one day to return.

P.S.- Karissa made my birthday with a gift certificate to Sweet CeCe's...from Nebraska! She even talked to CeCe herself just to arrange logistics. Isn't she the best? :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Love This Day






ALL this!! Oh my goodness, I feel so loved. I feel all those warm fuzzies and I have my family to thank. They are the most wonderful people in the world.

Yesterday, I arrived home to find a flower box and cookie bouquet! I have never received flowers in the mail. What an absolute treat! The Pro Flowers box contains everything you need to keep your flowers happy and they are packaged to withstand a nuclear blast. Serious ingenious protective measures were taken to make sure they arrive in perfect condition. The first batch of flowers were from my parents in the most lovely pastel colors. And those cookies! They are just too adorable for words and sooooo tasty too!

The day before those special deliveries came, the above care package from the parents came! I even waited to open it until today, just so "I had something special to open" on Sunday (thanks mom)! Inside I found Musselman's Lite Cinnamon Applesauce, Self and Prevention Magazines and of course, dark chocolate.

And finally, the red roses. My brother is a good man. He is so kind to think of his sister on Valentine's Day, he is the very best.

What a day, actually make that a weekend of love via mail and delivery services!

Happy Valentine's Day ya'll!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Something On Life's To Do List


See the above? It's my Italian homework! I have always wanted to learn the language of my ethnicity. I found a local class here in town and now I am a few weeks into the lessons. It is so much fun to roll my r's and feel like my brain is expanding! Yay for learning!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mom's Place


Have I shared with you the fact that my mother is an excellent cook? She is. She makes some of the most amazing and satisfying dishes you can imagine. Whether it is risotto, lasagna or homemade pizza she creates masterpieces for the stomach. Over the years she has adapted her recipes to accommodate my brother and my slightly obsessive dietary concerns. I mean she makes pizza with a scant amount of Parmesan and tons of sauce, just the way I like it. All her recipes are made with whole wheat flour or pasta to make them as healthy and nutritious as possible.

The picture above showcases the haphazard way that each book has been used and then returned to its place. Nothing proper about it, just a real consequence of making magic in the kitchen. I remember my childhood days when my height limited my view to these books. I still get giddy when Mom pulls out the ancient cookie book and whips up some of my all time favorite snickerdoodles.

I hope one day I can have a place just like this for my cookbooks and that they will be arranged in the same loving, if not random way. Thanks Mom.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Other Savior


I have been wanting to add a post about my new favorite place. Sweet CeCes is Nashville's answer to frozen yogurt and I am their biggest fan, although I am pretty sure my friend Rebecca might claim that title as well. (Thanks for the pic!)

Sweet CeCes
has two locations, one in Nashville and the other in Franklin. The store is painted in the most perfect shade of bright pink with lime green and blue thrown in giving it a very girly atmosphere. There is a wall, I kid you not, of frozen yogurt machines. All you do is grab one of the above cups and choose whatever of the ever changing and tantalizing eight flavors. Recent flavors included chocolate kiss, peanut butter and snickerdoodle. But the thing that I love most is their original tart.

You see, on a trip to Dallas, I had the chance to try Orange Cup, which is a tart frozen yogurt that you pile fruit on... instant love. I imagine this is just like Pinkberry, which I still have to try, darn their limited locations. (Except when I logged onto their site, I found out their bringing one to Nashville soon!!) Anyway, I am ecstatic that I have a place to go to to get my fix! I usually get the tart and pile on kiwi, blueberries or strawberries. Their wall of yogurt is self-serve, meaning YOU get to decide how much YOU want. I'm not going to pretend that I haven't thought of contorting my body to stick my head under the machine and dispense the ice cream directly into my mouth, ala drunk inappropriate guy who gets behind the tap at a bar. Hmm, don't worry, I'll try to restrain myself.

I must also mention that once you measure out however much frozen yogurt you want you then head to the wall of toppings. Anything your heart desires is there, Oreos, Snickers, gummy bears, Captin' Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, chocolate chips, Skittles, sprinkles, cheesecake bites, cake squares, walnuts, marshmallows and the list goes on allowing you to make your perfect sweet treat!

Well, I can see that my love for Sweet CeCes is on the verge of being disturbing, sooooo I would like to conclude by encouraging you to get to this place as soon as possible.

Monday, January 25, 2010

White Stuff


Tennesseans react very strangely to snow, that is all I can say. I'm so used to feet of the white stuff piled everywhere making any sort of transportation a sport all on its own. Yet, when we got the above amount of snow the schools and almost EVERY other business closed. Pretty bizarre, but highly entertaining and hey, I won't complain about a day off from work.

It flurried a bit today as the temps dropped into the 30s once more. Mom asked if I could build a snow man and when I told her there was no way that was going to happen, so she asked if I could build a snow tick. Excellent idea, I think I'll try.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Looking Forward to This


2/09/10 is the day that this CD comes out. Thank goodness, it's been too long since we've had new music from this perfect baritone-bass voice. My senior year of college had me blasting this every morning as I drank my coffee and got ready for school. "Nowhere Fast" is brilliant and a bit haunting while "Firecracker" keeps it light and exciting. Give it a listen and stay tuned for a coming review.