Tuesday, December 21, 2010

another Christmas and celebrating various holidays

Happy Holidays friends! I have a very small rant about people that becoming hypersensitive to that statement. Let me clarify that I am a Christian and at our home, we celebrate Christmas. However, I feel that "Happy Holidays!" is a completely acceptable greeting for many reasons. First, it incorporates all our friends that celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or simply are not religious. There's no reason to get all bent out of shape that someone doesn't share you belief system. And what's this crap about taking the Christ out of Christmas? Xmas literally means Christmas! X was once Greek for Christ. Everyone get off your high horses!

Anyway, I didn't really intend to make an entire post ranting... School's out for a month! I am happy with my grades and looking forward to this being my last semester at community college. I figured I would take every possible class there that would transfer and save myself a few thousand dollars. Next semester is all online too but I'm going full-time again. I don't know that it was the smartest idea with Lucy but I'm sure my mom and my mother-in-law will be more than happy to help out. And I like that they had more online classes, but eventually I'll have to suck it up and drive downtown. The mommy group is doing well, but we've all been so busy with midterms, illness, holidays and traveling. I'm looking forward to spending time again with my new friends and Lucy really enjoys herself too. Sounds like nap time is over! Later friends!

Monday, December 6, 2010

menu monday: December 6th-12th AND a new recipe

Monday: Mexican Meatloaf
Tuesday: Crockpot Country Chicken Dinner
Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff
Thursday: Smoked Sausage & Potatoes
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Christmas Party
Sunday: FIESTA NIGHT! (Tacos, Nachos, & Enchiladas!!)

Mexican Meatloaf
1.5-2lbs. ground turkey
2 cups crushed corn or tortilla chips
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
2 eggs, beaten
1 pkg taco seasoning

-Preheat oven to 350
-Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well
-Put into a loaf pan and bake uncovered for 1 hour.

Its super easy to make this into a crockpot meal. Just form into a loaf and place in crockpot on LOW for 8-10 hours. I serve corn and mexican rice with mine. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm such a slacker

Life happens in fast forward it seems and I just try to make sure that I keep our house running and spend time with my loves in the process. I'm sorry I'm such a blogging slacker. I really do care about sharing all the ins and outs but have a hard time finding the much needed me time in the midst of it all. My semester is winding down and thankfully it was a successful one. I changed my major and actually figured out that I'll be done an entire year earlier because of it! Can we say HOORAY?!?! I know I sure did. But in changing my major, I also know that if I intend to use it for anything other than teaching my own children, I'll need to get a masters degree too. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Lucy is super, btw. She is a wild woman, but in the best way imaginable. She is super inquisitive and gives the best impression of a sponge! :D She is very smart and seems to love life, so I think we're doing something right. And for the 100th time, she makes me ready for bambino deuce, tres, and cuatro... but I'm also a little bit crazy.

Next week, I promise to try to post new recipes and a new menu. And I really, truly promise to be better about posting at all.

Much love and many blessings,
Cass

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Mommy Group in Chattanooga

Good rainy day to you all! I just wanted to let everyone know that our mommy group is in full swing. We have our website www.bumpsbabiesandtoddlers.com , I got the business cards yesterday, and our first playdate is tomorrow! This is exciting and fun. I wish that I had started this sooner because with holidays comes craziness in schedules and that means our meetings and ladies' nights will be a little hit or miss for the next two months. Oh well!

In other exciting news, Gary and I began Financial Peace University and love it! We aren't in as bad of a situation with debt and spending habits as many others, but we still needed direction and want to be 100% debt free. The best part is that this program will work for anyone, single or married, 5k debt to 200k... it's incredible.

I would fill you in on all the other exciting and fun things I'm doing (ha!) but I've got a research paper to write and I haven't had the pleasure of writing a paper in about 8 years, so I'm being pretty obsessive. Again, oh well! :)

<>< Cassie

Monday, October 25, 2010

menu monday: week of october 25th-31st

Monday: Chicken Tacos w/ Mexican Rice & Black Beans
Tuesday: Cheesy Broccoli Bake w/ Carrots
Wednesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs 
Thursday: Crockpot French Onion Beef
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Beef Stew w/ Cornbread
Sunday: TBD (not sure where we'll be)




Thursday, October 21, 2010

too excited to stay on task

Does anyone else remember when your teacher(s) used the phrase "stay on task?" Then and especially now, it makes me giggle a little bit.

A new and wonderful friend and I have decided to start a Mommy Community in the great Chattanooga area. It is something that I wanted to do before but wasn't really sure how I could do it alone and who I would network with. Anyway, we brainstormed yesterday and accomplished a lot: we have a name, we have ideas for playdates and ladies' nights, we created a website and are working on the content, we ordered business cards, and we got new e-mail addresses specifically for the forums, etc. I'm proud of us for making time in our busy schedules to do something that we both really want to do. I think this will be an excellent way to gain lasting friendships for all the mommies and the kiddos.

Anyway, I'm sure you're wondering why I started my post about staying on task.... Trying to come up with website content and design is far more entertaining and exciting than studying for my midterm. Alas, my midterm is nearly half of my final grade and it's happening Saturday whether I study or not. So I have to get back to studying and PUT DOWN THE LAPTOP! :D

I'll do an unveiling post soon with our group info and website. Right now it just isn't ready for public eyes... it's naked!

<>< Cass

Monday, October 18, 2010

menu: october 18th-24th

Quick explanation: We had a horrible stomach bug around here last week, which meant that I did very little cooking or very little of anything for that matter. So, though I posted a couple of these for last week, since I had the ingredients and they were unused, I edited this week's original menu to incorporate some of the greats that we missed last week. :)

Monday: Cassie's Famous Crockpot Chili
Tuesday: Breakfast Bake
Wednesday: Enchilada Casserole
Thursday: Crockpot Sausage & Potatoes
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Oven Baked Ham
Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Tetrazini

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

menu: october 11th-17th

Monday: Beef Lo Mein
Tuesday: Crockpot Seafood Paella
Wednesday: Meal in One
Thursday: Crockpot Sausage & Potatoes
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Eggplant Parmesan 
Sunday: Cassie's Famous Crockpot Chili

Crockpot Seafood Paella
1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
2 cups water
1 white onion, finely diced
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 lb. mild fish fillets, cut into cubes
1/2 lb. scallops
1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled
8oz pkg frozen peas
Garnish: 1 lemon

-Combine rice, water, onion, tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings in slow cooker and mix thoroughly.
-Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours. 
-Add fish, scallops, shrimp, and peas; cover and cook additional hour.
-Serve with lemon wedges. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

short week, here's the menu anyway :)

Monday: Crockpot BBQ Ribs (because I needed something simple today!)
Tuesday: Mushroom Dijon Pork Chops w/Mashed Potatoes & Early Peas
Wednesday: Crockpot Burgundy Meatloaf w/Carrots & Salads
Thursday: Italian Gumbo
Friday-Sunday: Out of Town for Wedding

I really intend to post a recipe or two this week but I make no promises. My child's erratic naps and my desire to actually maintain my As for the semester keep me away from my blog. Please don't hate me or judge me because I can't remember ANY of my recipes without looking them up. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the one where i let it all hang out

This will not be brand new information to anyone that knows me even slightly, but since many of you do not, I'm letting it all hang out right now. I am an angry person. And I have daddy issues. And besides him being a source of my anger, I am even more angry with him for winning this war. I constantly carry around these war stories and play them in my head. But here's the thing, actually two things: I cannot control him or how he treats me or how he takes care of himself and really, in the grand scheme of things, he isn't nearly as awful as he could have been. I mean look at me, he did something right! I am his only child, and by God, I am a success! Yes, I probably arrived in this place because I was determined not to be him but he also wanted me to be nothing like him. So, here are my newest revelations: I've decided never to forget, because that is truly impossible, and I've decided to accept him, set boundaries, and move on with my life. Of course, this means that now I have to deal with my unintentional mean streak and my own personal anger issues, but one thing at a time! Go me for finally seeing these things a little more clearly. I understand how this would seem so simple and obvious to so many people, but it was hard for me to arrive here. And I don't care that it took me this long, I'm just happy that I've gotten here.

Much love and many blessing,
Cassie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

menu : september 27th-october 3rd

Monday: leftovers/clean-out the fridge/this is getting ridiculous
Tuesday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken w/ Corn & Mexican Cornbread
Wednesday: Taco Soup 
Thursday: Crockpot Oh-So-Easy Lasagna
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Homemade Pizzas w/ Salads
Sunday: Crockpot French Onion Beef w/ Peas & Baked Potatoes

Just so you know, the crockpot is becoming my new best friend and now that I have two, I'm using them like crazy!! I'll post one or more of these recipes soon. Happy Fall!

Monday, September 27, 2010

now back to our regularly scheduled program

Hello friends! I have missed you. I have missed writing to you. And I have missed having a space to unload my baggage, good and bad. There will be a short catch-up because honestly, my life isn't that interesting anyway. :)

I've been reading and studying and teaching Lucy like a mad woman. I love school and I'm obsessive about it (have I mentioned that enough for you all to catch my drift, haha) but it has been paying off. I'm acing both classes and not because they are easy, which is pretty satisfying to the geek within. And like I said, I'm teaching my little bug a lot too. She's growing so fast and I feel like she's absorbing everything like a sponge (particularly sign language and speech). I'm so proud of her and really can see that she will be a little brain too. I don't care if every parent says that, it seems pretty special to me. :) She learns new words everyday and really loves to learn. It's my dream-come-true! We've been doing a playdate or two a week with various women and their kids that we met on meetup.com and it has been awesome. I like any excuse to get out of the house and I definitely needed the interaction. We are strongly considering another child now but have resolved not to "try" so much as "stop not trying." I figure that if I'm going to have five-ish kids and I'm 26, we better get moving. Otherwise nothing too exciting around our house.

I am very happy Fall has decided to make an appearance this year afterall. As I type, I'm enjoying the breeze through my open windows and the scent of my favorite Spiced Pumpkin candle. Fall holds almost all of my favorite things about life. Fall brings football and pumpkins and mild weather and wonderful festivals. It may sound odd but Fall renews me and I love it! It sounds like Lucy woke up from her nap, so I better go for now. But I wanted to ask for your opinions: Do you like me posting menus for the week and recipes? I don't want to bore anyone! :) Happy Fall!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

blogiversary - happy 3 years!

Today is my third blogiversary! Here's to three fun-filled years. Oddly enough, I started this blog before I had a husband or a child. Of course I didn't keep it up-to-date for the biggest chunk of that first year-ish but I've still had this, my little corner of randomness, all along. I've tried for a few weeks to think of something awesome to write today and have failed miserably. I thought I might be pregnant because I was so dang scatter-brained but alas I am not.... I'm just scatter-brained and feeling crazy. I promise to catch you all up on the mundane life I lead very soon, but right now I'm going to take advantage of my child sleeping and attempt to finish some schoolwork. Thank you all for your support of my blog, it makes me happy each time I share a little piece of myself with someone else and especially when you all comment and show me some love. Happy Blogiversary!!!

Much love <>< Cassie

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cassie's Famous Crockpot Chili - Feeds a Crowd!!

Cassie's Famous Crockpot Chili
2 lbs. ground turkey or beef
3- 15oz cans Bush's Chili Beans (I use hot)
1- 15oz can black beans or kidney beans 
1- 12oz can tomato sauce or soup
1 lb. Tennessee Pride Sausage (again, I prefer hot)
2 jars salsa (I use Pace)
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp hot chili powder 
1/2 white onion thinly sliced
2 cups water

-Brown and drain ground turkey and sausage.
-Drain beans but do not rinse.
-Put all ingredients into crockpot. Mix them well prior to cooking.
- If chili looks too thick, add more water or beef stock.
-Stir occasionally while cooking. 
-Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
-Optional dressings: shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips or crackers, sour cream, Frank's Hot Sauce
ENJOY!!!


consumed

Like I said before, I become obsessed and consumed with school. I'm sorry I've been MIA but I have spent a lot of time absolutely devouring my books and I doubt there is any end in sight. I haven't decided what to do about my book challenge... On one hand, I really want to accomplish this because I think it would be awesome to do but on the other hand, time with my family takes priority and with football and school added into that mix, there just isn't much time. Maybe I'll try to listen to at least one book a week until the end of this semester and then I'll read like crazy again through the holidays. We'll see. I am not giving up the book challenge just yet, but I'm not sure how I'll get from point A to point B.

Here is this week's menu around our house:

Monday: Crockpot Beef Roast w/ Veggies
Tuesday: Lemon Garlic Flounder w/ Rice and Broccoli
Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie
Thursday: Sausage and Potatoes w/ Carrots & Green Beans
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Cassie's Famous Crockpot Chili
Sunday: Mushroom Dijon Pork Chops w/ Potatoes & Corn


I hope you all enjoy and forgive me for being a blog-slacker. Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

this week's menu... a day late

Hello all! Sorry I've been MIA since last Thursday evening. It was my birthday weekend and I did A LOT of relaxing. I also did a ridiculous amount of eating and it was all yummy! :D

This week's menu was made to be simple since I wasn't sure how demanding my classes would be right off the bat. I hope you enjoy it as much as we will.

Monday: Crockpot BBQ Ribs w/ Mashed Potatoes & Corn
Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff 
Wednesday: Anniversary Chicken
Thursday: Pizza Rice
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Mexican Casserole (just in time for college football kick-off!)
Sunday: Four Envelope Roast (Crockpot)


Beef Stroganoff
1lb. ground turkey or beef
1 pkg French Onion Soup Mix (or 1 can condensed)
1/2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 can Cream of Mushroom 
1/2 pkg fresh mushrooms (or 2 small cans)
1 cup sour cream
dash of pepper
noodles of your choice (I use corkscrew)

-Make French Onion Soup w/ only half of water per directions (i.e. mine says 4 cups, I used 2 cups).
-Brown meat in soup to lock in the flavor.
-Drain meat (soup and all).
-Stir in garlic salt, cream of mushroom, mushrooms, and pepper. 
-Simmer covered 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally. 
-Prepare noodles per box instructions.
-Uncover meat mixture and stir in noodles. Cook 2-3 minutes to combine flavors.
-Remove from heat, stir in sour cream.
-Serve and enjoy!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

broken

I feel like a broken record. I have started this post quite a few times and even gotten to the end before I hit the delete button and move on. I think I have this semi-emotional breakdown every other month. And to correctly place the blame, I look to myself, because there is no one else to blame for this level of loneliness. I used to be a great friend, one of the best friends a girl could have... but I changed. I got bitter and angry and a large assortment of other negatively connotative words, and I decided in reaction to become selfish. I focused entirely on myself and my own happiness and simply ignored other people. At one time, I was everyone's go-to girl and I was the crowd-pleasing, feel-the-temperature-in-the-room-and-adjust-yourself-to-it girl and I got sick and tired of it. I ignored myself for so long to be bubbly and friendly and loving and exactly what everyone else needed me to be... and I found myself broken because of it. So I guess now I'm at the other end of the spectrum. I don't recall ever actually hurting anyone with my words or my absence. I think that I was just absent for so long, that no one cared to remember me and no one cared to be there for me through what I lovingly refer to as my "broken year." Let me back-track a bit... Gary was there. And he was incredible and he started dating me when all of this was happening and I guess part of why I knew so quickly that he and I were destined to be together was that for the first time, someone got me and someone listened and loved me regardless of how broken and neglected I had become. But I've gotten way, way, way off track. I'm not complaining that I had the gift of loving people. I actually rather liked it. I was born to be a care-giver in every sense of the word. My complaint is that now, I'm all alone except for my husband. Don't get me wrong, I know he's my best friend and that he's supposed to be... but none of you can tell me that a girlfriend isn't an altogether different kind of love that we all need. People move on in their lives and people move away, but I have not had the kind of friend and confidant in anyone else like I see others having. And I feel so hurt and broken and most of all lonely because of it. This feeling is almost paralyzing. Why is it so difficult to make friends now? And why am I so incapable of being close to anyone but Gary? I just want to find the happy medium. And now that I've made this huge, ugly confession, I feel the need to apologize for it. I'm not trying to offend any of my friends. I know I still have friends (though most of you moved away!) and I deeply love all of our memories and talks. But having someone to call just to talk, or having someone to do dinner with, or God-forbid having a meaningful, constant friendship with seems like an unattainable goal. I am broken, but we all are in some way. This is my way... I am lonely.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

different chicken divan

The bell peppers went over incredibly well around here - Gary probably would have eaten all 6 if he didn't have to share with me, Lucy, and Christopher. :) Here's the recipe for tonight's dinner.  

Different Chicken Divan
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 lb. broccoli, cooked and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1/2 Tbsp garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup 
1 can French-fried onions 
*To make this a gluten-free recipe, we buy soups that are verified gf and 
do not include the French-fried onions.*

-Spread chicken in bottom of 9x13 greased baking dish. Top with broccoli.
-In a medium bowl, combine mayo, curry, cayenne, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Mix well. 
-Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, soups, and mix again. 
-Pour mixture over chicken and broccoli. 
-Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with onions.
-Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes.

Miss Lucy's Monograms Laptop Giveaway

I'm trying to win this awesome Laptop Case. Sponsored by Mommy Living the Life of Riley

And feel free to check out Miss Lucy's website: http://www.misslucysmonograms.com/

Monday, August 23, 2010

all this sleeplessness has made me productive

I have lost a lot of sleep lately. I don't know for sure why, but probably because I don't handle stress as well as I used to and all the scheduling of classes and missing out on various fun activities, has stressed me out and made me depressed. (Side note: I have two classes now, they were the only two that I needed that were left. BUT, I have classes and I'm happy about something to show for all my hard work!) This lack of sleep has a few perks though. I've made a menu for our family for the next five weeks. All of my coupons are clipped and filed and ready to go. I finally finished going through all the toys we need to get rid of. And I also finished putting my tags into the system for the resale at the end of the month. And of course, I've been reading a lot again. This is our menu for the coming week:

Monday: Stuffed Bell Peppers
Tuesday: Different Chicken Divan
Wednesday: White Bean Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
Thursday: Spaghetti Pie  
Friday: dinner out
Saturday: Italian Gumbo
Sunday: Grill (guys cook - it's my birthday!)


I've never made Stuffed Bell Peppers before, but they are one of the hubby's favorites, so it is high time that I give it a try. I'll go ahead and post the recipe today and let you know if it's a yummy one tomorrow. :)


Stuffed Bell Peppers
6 large green bell peppers
1 lb ground beef or turkey (I plan to add just a bit of Italian seasoning)
2 Tbsp chopped onion
dash of salt
2 cups cooked rice
1- 15oz can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Mozzarella

-Remove seeds and membranes from each pepper and rinse. 
-Cook peppers in enough water to cover on medium-high for 5 minutes and drain.
-Brown meat and onion in skillet and drain. 
-Stir in salt (and Italian seasoning, if desired), rice and 1 cup of tomato sauce. Heat thoroughly.
-Stuff each pepper with mixture. Stand upright in greased baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over peppers.
-Cover and bake @ 350 for 45 minutes. 
-Uncover and sprinkle cheese over top and place back in oven to melt.


I plan to post some of the other recipes from our menu this week. I am especially excited about the Different Chicken Divan. A friend from work gave it to me a couple years ago and I had forgotten about it. It is very tasty and I can't wait to make it again. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. And no, you aren't reading things incorrectly, I really am up and posting a blog at 5:00am. I went to bed early and woke up at 4am, wired for sound. Maybe it will make me even more productive today to get my blog-fix this early. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blog Hop - August 20th Edition


BoostMyBlogFriday



Only one blog hop this week and it's new (at least new to me)! So, if you are also new to me, check out some of my favorite posts: Loves - 100 Things - My Book Challenge  and check back often for recipes because they are my latest obsession. Happy Friday Friends!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

hoops

I go through phases. Right now is my negative Nancy phase, because I don't know what will happen. I decided a couple of weeks ago to consider going back to school. I pretty much make up mind within an hour of considering any idea. And when I make up my mind about something (whether it's a well-researched idea or not), I want things to be taken care of yesterday. Regarding school, I've been on the phone, e-mailing, and basically jumping through hoops since last Friday. The whole time, I've been praying to God, asking Him if this was truly what He wanted me to do or if this was all me. I've asked him countless times to make the entire process fall through if that is His will. For a lot of people (me included) that's a hard pill to swallow. I really like being in charge. I am a prime candidate for control-freaks anonymous. So I'm wondering, if I'm having to jump through every hoop that a school can find, is that God trying to tell me that now is not the time or is He making me work for something that I want. I guess I'll find out when I'm either readmitted or put off until the Spring semester. But you know me, Control-freak Cassie, I want to know now! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Product Review: Snikiddy Snacks


This product review was written Thursday, August 12, 2010, however, due to technical difficulties (on my behalf), it was delayed until today. Sorry friends!

Yah for my first product review! Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries are a Gluten-free snack alternative to your typical crunchy snack (i.e. potato chips). Gluten-free for our family is a major plus but hubby is fairly picky and a lot of the other Gluten-free products we've tried over the last eight months have been not so good or even horrible. I am happy to report that these snacks are an exception to that truth. The Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries have wonderful flavor. They are crunchy and not greasy. They were gone quickly at our house and we were both pleasantly surprised to know the nutritional value is much greater than our typical snack. There are many other flavors and they are all Gluten-free, so we'll definitely be trying each of them! 

In Chattanooga, these snacks can be found at EarthFare or you can order them online from Amazon.com. I hope you all enjoy them as much as we did!

Disclaimer: I was approached some time ago to try and review the above product. A sample was sent to me yet, this review is my own personal opinion and was not "bought."


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner

In the event that you enjoy breakfast for dinner nearly as much as I do, here are two of my favorite recipes for such occasions.

Cassie's Quiche
2  pie crusts
10 eggs
3 Tbsp milk
1 pkg frozen spinach (thawed)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
breakfast meat of choice (I use cubed ham)
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper
1/2 white onion or minced onions (optional)
 
-Mix all ingredients well with whisk and divide evenly between pie crusts. 
-Bake @ 350 for 45minutes. 
 
 
Breakfast Potato Pile
4 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pkg sausage (8oz), cooked and crumbled
3 eggs
2 cups cheese (your choice)
1/2  red bell pepper chunked
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp chopped chives or green onion tops
1 tsp thyme or oregano
salt and black pepper (to taste)

-Spray Pam on 8 or 9" square baking dish.
-Arrange 1/2 of potatoes in baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
-Cover with 1 cup cheese.
-Cover with 1/2 sausage.
-Repeat and finish by covering with red bell pepper.
-Beat eggs, milk, chives and thyme (or oregano) until blended. Pour over potato mixture.
-Cover with foil and bake @ 375 for 45-55 minutes. 
-Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer.
-Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.
 

OCD

A lot of people deal with varying degrees of OCD. When I was younger, particularly regarding the matter of school, I was plagued with my OCD. As I got older and gained my freedom from my parents and from school, I stopped taking my meds and really didn't feel too bad. Overall, I definitely couldn't say I was miraculously cured, I would say that the main problem for me was no longer in my life and therefore, I was a much more functional version of my self. When I am in school, I obsess and fret over EVERYTHING to the nth degree. I used to write a paper three or four times because I was never satisfied. And I worried constantly that my instructors would fail me. I never even got Cs, but I was absolutely terrified that I would fail. Logically, I understand that this makes no sense, but literally, I was insane. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I'm going back to school. I decided to allow myself the luxury of a degree and hoped that maybe my life would not be taken over and ruined again by my education. However, I'm starting to think that I'll never be able to accomplish that. I applied very late for the community college in town that I've already taken several classes with previously. My application is late but because I'm an established student and left in good academic standing, I was told that I should be able to sign up for classes online by Wednesday morning. Since that phone conversation on Monday morning, I've been obsessively looking at my account. I literally cannot stop myself and I keep looking at the status of the classes I plan to sign up for, as well as some back up classes in the event that those fill up. My readmission has yet to be processed and the classes are fluctuating so frequently that I'm having a near anxiety attack. I don't know why. I can't control myself and I am freaking out. I want so badly for things to work out. I want to log in when I'm finished writing this post and see that I CAN take classes, but I'm losing hope. I know they said by Wednesday morning, but I am not patient and I am ready to buy my books and begin classes. WHY AM I SO OCD?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

a couple of things

Later today I'll post my first ever product review. But for now, I'm going to start sharing recipes. I find that I am often asked for my recipe for this or that and I think it will be fun to share a lot of the "friend favs" as I call them. Let me also add a disclamer that I don't remember where I got most of these and therefore, I am not giving due credit. However, I usually make a recipe my own in some form or fashion and hope that no one is offended that change it up. :) Today, I'll share two recipes - one appetizer and one entree.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
4-5 cups white meat chicken (I use Tyson cans)
1/2 bottle of Frank's Hot Wing Sauce
1 block of cream cheese
1 bottle Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing (I use Ken's)

-In crockpot*, add shredded chicken and hot wing sauce
-In medium saucepan, melt cream cheese and bleu cheese until smooth
-Pour cheese mixture over chicken and stir well.
-Heat on HIGH until bubbly, then return to keep warm
-Serve with chips or crackers of choice (I use tortilla chips)

*I find it's best to use a crockpot to eliminate reheating throughout dinner party, etc.


Italian Gumbo
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 white onions ( I used minced instead)
1 red bell pepper- chunked
1 yellow bell pepper - chunked
1 green bell pepper - chunked
2 cups red wine
2 Tbsp white vinegar
6 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
3 Bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
3 cans diced tomatoes or 4 fresh sliced tomatoes
1 lb. Italian sausage (I used Turkey usually)
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (again, I use Tyson cans)

-Heat oil. Add onions & peppers and saute 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
-Pour wine and vinegar into pan. Add garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Simmer until wine reduced to half. 
-Add tomatoes and simmer until they start to breakdown. Return veggies and simmer 20-25 minutes.
-Cut and brown sausage. Add sausage and chicken to veggies, cooking 5-10 minutes (until all well mixed and warmed). 



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ditto

Lately I've been thinking about our version of normalcy now vs. pre-Lucy. Oddly enough, so has Kate West. She posted this today and all I can say is ditto: Lives Forever Changed

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

as I was saying

So I know I mentioned my unhealthy obsession with children's consignment sales. Apparently as a result of my inability to pass up a good deal, I found THREE more totes of clothes I was storing to put into the upcoming Fall/Winter sale. I've been hanging clothes, pinning them to those hangers, and typing in descriptions for three days and I'm only about half through. Thus far, I've got over 100 items. Originally, I wasn't going to donate any items that I didn't sell, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea that I wouldn't have to store away three-ish totes again. So while I hope I'll sell tons, I'm also content that regardless, it isn't my problem anymore.

Yesterday, I took Lucy in for her one-year well visit. She looks so huge to me! She weighs 23lbs. 9oz. and is 29 3/4" long! That makes her in the 75th percentile for weight and 90th for height. If that girl outgrows me by the age of 12, I might cry. I'm just kidding! I love that she's tall and I hope that she'll enjoy it. I had a roommate in college that was 6' tall and she didn't like it so much. Well, I better get back to tagging. My house looks like it spit-up baby clothes and there aren't a lot of places to sit with all my various piles.

Much love and many blessings,
Cassie



Friday, August 6, 2010

100 Things

I love things like this, they help you get to know the blogger. So, this was originally posted by Trendy Treehouse and asked us to join in! Woot! All of the things I've accomplished are in bold.

 (not my photo, I found it through google)


1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Playing in a Band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland (only Disneyworld for me)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (not yet!)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (sadtimes)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (helped my grandmother)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (on purpose, but I guess it counts)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish counts, haha)

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
 
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

5 Question Friday & Blop Hops

1. Are you a neat sleeper or a messy sleeper?
I throw the sheets off. I steal back more than I had originally. I turn my pillow a time or two. I fall asleep on my stomach and wake up on my back. I am a mover and a shaker. But hubby is practically narcoleptic so he doesn't seem to mind. :)

2. Fill in the blank. I wish I was more ________________.
patient - There pretty much isn't a patient bone in my body and I get so bent out of shape about things I can do nothing about.

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about?
Why didn't anyone tell me that I can't plan everything?! 

4. What was the best thing you ever found at a garage sale/flea market?
Honestly, I find lots of my treasures at garage sales. People have given me furniture... no cost, just GIVEN it to me and it's all been in great condition with little to no work.

5. If you could have any meal brought to you right now, what would it be?
 I'm not too picky, I'd just like someone else to cook sometimes and for it to be worth eating. Hahaha


HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I hope you all have a great weekend. We have family visiting from Kentucky this weekend, so who knows if I'll be around. We always have a lot going on around here! Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

here's the latest

There's a lot to talk about, so I'm confident I'll forget to touch on something from the past week, but if I don't mention it, you'll never know the difference. :)

I've missed blogging. I've missed connecting with anyone and everyone. And I thank you all for not giving me a hard time for being a major slacker. To say that I've been worn out is a major understatement. I have been getting a good amount of sleep, but I'm waking up often and I have this never-ending "to do" list going through my head. I don't know how or why a family of three has this much going on (i.e. appointments, play-dates, errands, laundry, etc) but spending a few days on the couch with my back issues has put me WAY behind. My bedroom looks like a tornado touched down and letting someone else into my kitchen for a few days means it's still not back to normal. I've found at least four empty boxes in the pantry. I'm not kidding. Men are hilarious. And throw into the mix a visit from an old friend and I got nothing done this weekend.

Okay, enough ranting and enough excuses.

My visit with Shaun was great time. I recently watched an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" in which Marshall references how people revert back to the way the were when they are around people from their past. I definitely do this and I realized it this weekend. I have my old phrases and my new ones. Shaun brings out my old stories, they are like war stories, and this weekend we filled my husband in on the girl I once was. He was thoroughly entertained and I think has a new understanding about that part of my life (what I refer to as the short-lived college years). We spent the day just hanging out and I was introducing him to the joys of parenthood. Lucy is an easy baby to "learn" with because she goes with the flow. This weekend was the second time a guy friend of mine told me that I make mothering look easy and that my child makes them less afraid of having one of their own some day. Again, men are hilarious.

In addition to my slacking at home and with blogging, I've read much less. I'm still ahead of schedule, but not by much and I really need to get back into my groove. About the only thing that I did not fall behind with and in fact got caught up with, were my coupons. Today I hit Publix spending only $40 and saving $80. Getting these great deals is an excellent mood-booster. And Lucy was an angel the whole time. I pray that she will always be better than I expect her to be... even as a teenager. :)

I am a big fan of children's consignment. I feel like it's a complete waste of money to buy things for $20-60 each and have a child either a) wear it one-two times or b) ruin it the first time they wear it. We're talking about babies and toddlers here, they constantly make messes that you can't prepare for. So, I buy about 95% of Lucy's things (particularly clothing, strollers, etc) through consignment sales. I went to a sale Monday and bought everything she will need (including a beautiful, brand new winter coat for only $15). And though I doubt she'll need anything else, I'm going to be participating in another sale at the end of the month. I can't seem to resist just looking around for things that I know she'll look adorable in. I love that I can keep things I want to for another child and also sell back many things that she wore once or twice, which allows me never to feel guilty. I think that more people should buy and sell things used. It's those little adjustments that save our planet and your checkbook. :) I have some BIG news, but I'll have to save that for another time. This lazy mommy is worn out from playing catch-up!

<>< Cassie

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm alive and kicking

Just so you know, I'm alive and kicking. My chiropractor has greatly improved my status and I am ever so grateful. One of my old college buddies is coming into town for the weekend, so I'm playing hostess and will not be around for blogging. Maybe I can make it to some Friday Follows though... see you then!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

oh whoah is me

I am currently parked on my couch, where I have been for the better part of twenty-four hours. I went to pick Lucy up yesterday from her afternoon nap and hit the floor with indescribable back pain. Thankfully I didn't land on her and she wasn't scared. She thought I was playing. So I wrangled her into the living room by crawling behind her and creeping my way onto the couch to call the hubs. It hasn't really relented though I've been using ice, a tens unit, and OTC meds. My chiropractor worked me in today (thankfully) but gave little hope for a quick recovery. He was as shocked as me about how bad things got so quickly. I'm going to see him again tomorrow and hope to gain some relief by Thursday. Prayers are appreciated. Oh whoah is me... haha

Monday, July 26, 2010

Welcome to Monday, like it or not

Since I wasn't around to partake in my usual Friday Follows, I'm joining a new Monday Blog Hop (Marvelous Monday Blog Hop). And to make it a little more interesting, I'll post the Meet Me on Monday Questions, as well. I'll post later to fully disclose Lucy Bug's birthday party details and likely another book review. Welcome to Monday friends, like it or not, it always comes!




Questions:

1. What one food could you eat every single day?
2. Do you wear glasses or contacts?
3. What kind of cell phone do you have?
4. What did you have for dinner last night?
5. What is your favorite candy?
_______________________________________________________________________

1. chips & salsa! I can never get enough and I have to make myself stop.
2. not anymore- I had LASIK surgery a few years ago and no longer wear either. Before my surgery, I was legally blind!
3. Blackberry but I'm probably going to upgrade soon.
4. smoked sausage w/sauerkraut, fried potatoes, and green beans
5. Reese's cups or starburst 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Review #8: It's Not Me, It's You

It's Not Me, It's You
by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
240 pages
Grade: A

This book is a montage of short stories Mrs. Wilder-Taylor has written about every aspect of her life. She writes stories that are truthful and wildly entertaining and puts a lot of herself into them. Though they aren't all funny, they are all delivered with an excellent entertaining spin (and will likely have you laughing regardless). My only warning: these recollections are honest and abrupt and often not for the faint of heart. A few could offend you if you find any level of foul language too distasteful to be entertaining. I, however, was laughing throughout the entire collection. One of my favorite facets of writing is when people reveal their own faults and quirks in lighthearted, humorous anecdotes and Stefanie did just that. I highly recommend this read if you're looking for a good laugh and a quick read. I look forward to reading her other books. Cheers!

one year ago...

*I started this post yesterday and never had the time to complete it. So one year ago was literally one year and one day. :)*

I went to the OB doc to see how Lucy bug was doing on July 21st last year. It was incredibly hot and I was incredibly pregnant and miserable. Dr. Mills hooked me up for the non-stress test, told me I was having contractions (much to my surprise), and he told me that I was already dilated to 4cm. As a back story here, I broke my pelvis in a car accident at 18 and was told then never to have natural childbirth because it would likely cause another break. My plan, whether I liked it or not, should be a c-section. So, Dr. Mills tried to talk me into delivering her that day, but I just wasn't having it. I am a planner, and unless I literally went into labor and started feeling the contractions or my baby was in danger, I wasn't having a baby until my scheduled time. Besides being a planner, I'm a bit stubborn.

Needless to say, my daughter cooperated and kept her cute little bun in my oven until I wanted, July 24th. At least she listened then. :D It feels like so much longer than a year in many ways. It's odd to think of my life before her. And yet, I can't believe that she has grown so fast. I can't believe how smart and strong and beautiful she is. She obviously still looks like a baby but she also is just too beautiful to be called cute. This year has been wonderful. We've had it lucky and I try to remind myself of this fact when we have one bad day out of twenty. She's perfect. She's everything I ever wanted. And she definitely reaffirms to me that this is exactly what God called me to do in life. I know each child is different, but because being a mommy is the best thing I ever did, I'll keep doing it. I'm still planning on having that house-full of kids, no matter how crazy you all think I am. My cup runneth over....

<>< Cassie

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

another day-to-day

I thought that being at home full-time would give me an opportunity to accomplish more and hopefully get my house organized, if only for a hot minute. I never for a second thought that being a SAHM would be easy. I did however believe, logically, that if I was at home more, I would be able to spend a little more time on my home and getting things organized in a fashion suitable to me. I WAS SO WRONG! Moving on...

As of next week, literally all of my girlfriends will be gone from Chattanooga. My BFF is moving to Oregon, another is in D.C., and still another just moved to Kentucky. I had girlfriends at work, but mostly we went to lunch together and didn't really hang out otherwise or chat on the phone much. I miss them too but nothing can replace my Amanda, my Amy, and my Holly. And to be honest, I'm the only one of my friends with a child, which has made things significantly different anyway. I like thinking that maybe I can be there for them one day because I've "been there, done that."

But enough ranting, now for some pleasantries: I joined a new mommy group last week on meetup.com and we have our first play-date tomorrow morning. I have to say, I am incredibly excited for the chance to meet other mommies and for Lucy to have some more interaction. My poor husband has heard little else for weeks (without complaint, which makes him more amazing) and I can't wait!

Also, I found a lady to take Lucy's birthday pictures for a very reasonable price and I'll own the rights to the photos, so I can have as many printed as I would like. The photographer wants to update her portfolio and I will benefit greatly! Lucy is such a ham, I'm sure she'll be a great model for the pictures. It's hard to believe that she's turning 1! Time to think about baby #2....

Have a great day friends!
Much love and many blessings,
<>< Cassie

Friday, July 16, 2010

Recipe Issues

I have always thought of myself as a great cook. I can come up with something from practically nothing and it's beyond edible, it's usually quite yummy. However, I have recently encountered a rather difficult obstacle: my husband has celiac and now we must live a gluten-free life (well technically, he does, not "we"). Thankfully, there are lots of companies recognizing the necessity for gluten-free foods. My biggest complaint is the general yuckiness of pre-packaged foods that are gluten-free. This is really only an obstacle for his lunches because I can conform most of my recipes to make them gluten-free. I just want new recipes. I want to try new things and tweak them to make them my own. Any recipe suggestions are appreciated! Thanks lovely readers.

Happy Friday!

And the blog hop begins, in no particular order:



friday-follow






New Friend Fridays




So I'm not 22 anymore, but I'm living the housewife life now and I feel entitled to join! :)

Happy Friday to you all my friends! It seems that someone lit a fire under me this morning because I've been ever so successful at marking things off of my unrealistic to-do list. Go me! My baby girl's 1st birthday party is planned and now I just need to wrap presents and wait the week until her party. I hope I'm always this on to of things when it comes to my kids and their joy.

I've also been tearing through some books and have definitely enjoyed my reads. Particularly the last two I finished (Love Walked In and Speak). I listened to WAR yesterday as well. I really seem to enjoy a book more when the author reads it. Maybe because they read it in the way that they want it to be interpreted.... if that makes any sense. Anyway, I doubt I'll write a review about it but it was different than my norm and yet, I felt that it was a good insight for me to viewed.

Time for some lunch and to hit that list again, but I want to wish you all a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend. Check me out and become a follower!

<>< Cassie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review #7: Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark
by Charlaine Harris
336 pages
Grade: C

As many of you know, our world today is ever so slightly vampire obsessed. I include myself in this category and do not feel shame for it. However, because of this I included a few different vamp tales to test out the different story lines. Unfortunately, I wasn't that impressed with Dead Until Dark and doubt very much that I'll continue on with the series. Maybe Twilight ruined me with it's virtue and morals, or maybe I'm just not a sex-crazed maniac. Either way, there are a few things I liked about this book. I liked Sookie for the most part. I liked that she was somewhat simple and naive but that she endured the life she was given. I liked that the author actually killed idiotic bad guys and didn't have any qualms with that. But for the most part, my likes stop there. I was annoyed with the sex and sex and sex because it was mostly cheesy and badly delivered. I disliked that I guessed who the killer was about half way through the book. I disliked that there seemed to be a few twists taken from the Twilight series and therefore it seemed unoriginal. Overall, maybe I'm a book snob or a sex snob for that matter and therefore, I don't recommend this read. It was quick but not really worth it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review #6: Have a Little Faith

Have a Little Faith
by Mitch Albom
Audio Runtime: 7 hours
Grade: A

Side Note: As you can see, I've decided to continue on with my reviews afterall. I guess it doesn't make much sense to have a book challenge without actually tracking the experience.

I am especially grateful that this was one of my audio books. Mitch Albom read this story himself and I feel that it was like a gift to his readers. The story was beautiful, with inspiration in ways that you wouldn't have expected and I loved it. There is something incredible about everyone's life, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not, and Mr. Albom shows you the insight into the lives of two religious men with very different backgrounds. This book caused me to look at my own religious prejudices and to visualize more closely the content of a life. He didn't sugar-coat his own misgivings and was very forthcoming with his own struggles. I feel that no matter your religious background (even if you have none), this book will make a difference to you. It will change each reader and only for the better. I highly recommend it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

100 Followers, Wahoo!

Good day friends! I logged off yesterday with 99 followers and woke up today with 100! Thanks for finding my challenge interesting and for encouraging me through the day-to-day. I have been especially productive this weekend around my home and I'm going into this rainy Monday with a sense of pride for my new SAHM title!

About a few bargains I was so lucky to find this weekend:
Target is quite possibly my favorite store of all time and of course I am excited to search through the $1 bins for little treasures as I enter the store each time. I was VERY excited to find that there was a huge 75% off section for most of these items! I bought so many cards, board books, packages of tissue paper, gift bags, etc for .25 each that I thought I might cry out with joy. To top it off, I had a $5 gift card from some recent purchase, so tax and all it cost me only $2.62!

Also, at BiLo, one of our local grocery stores (only in TN, GA, NC, & SC), there are often items that don't see incredibly well on close-out. This weekend, I found GreenWorks detergent at half off and had $3 off coupons to combine with that for a grand total of $1.19 per unit. That's another 90 loads of laundry for $3.57! And it's much better for the environment.

Enough about deals... I need to follow-up a bit about my book challenge. I am finding it difficult to review the books I've read with objectivity. I've written three more reviews and yet I don't like what I have to say and I am unhappy because I don't think they are helpful. It is yet to be determined if I will post another review. I am considering simply talking about books that I've enjoyed and the experience itself. Before this book challenge, I never listened to an audiobook in my life. Now I've listened to quite a few and it's been great! I love that I can clip coupons, fold laundry, cook dinner, etc, and still have that entertainment. I also enjoy being such an avid reader. I find that there is very little on television now worth viewing and I have a HUGE pile of books to tear through instead. I'll decide soon what to do about reviews and I'll let you all know. Please feel free to give me your input, because I would like to know what you want to read on my ever-evolving blog!

Happy Monday,
Cassie

Friday, July 9, 2010

How fitting: Post #100 FRIDAY FOLLOWS

Follow Along Fridays











New Friend Fridays


Alright ladies and gents, it's FRIDAY! I remember as a child always being so excited when it was Friday, not because school was out for the weekend, but because so many adults around me were in such an incredible mood! I also find it amusing that though most of us had Monday off for a holiday, this week seemed just as long (maybe longer) than a typical work week.

In other news, I have kept up pretty well with my book challenge and yet, not so well with reviews. I've enjoyed fewer books than I've disliked but I appreciate this journey and how many new ideas/genres I've been exposed to. A surprising twist is that I am loving historical fiction novels.

My Lucy is still feeling slightly under-the-weather but she's getting better. I've been planning her birthday party (she'll be one in two weeks!) and spending a small fortune on wonderful, educational presents that I know she'll love. I remind myself that though I'm spending the money, I'm planning to pass many of these toys along to her siblings (whenever that happens) and/or reselling them through consignment.

Our vacation went from being six days, to ten days and though I loved Hilton Head Island, SC and Savannah, GA, I'm very glad to be home. The weather was beautiful (and HOT) and I always feel very energized by the ocean. We stayed the last two nights in Savannah's historic district and it was incredible. We honeymooned there and fell in love two years ago, so walking through the many alleys and parks again was a nice trip. I may have mentioned before that we don't see ourselves staying in Chattanooga forever. Savannah is on our top 5 list of cities to move to. We have already begun our research to find the greatest city for us and our family but likely will not move for another four-five years.

I'll post a quick picture of my two loves from our trip, and hopefully post another book review soon.

Happy Friday all!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A real excuse

I hate excuses. I hate that I have always felt the need to defend myself, like everyone wants to hear about the what/when/why of a situation, to hear my explanation. But I always give it. I always defend. I always put in my two cents. Anyway, here's my latest:

I was on vacation for 10 days without reliable internet access and upon getting home Monday afternoon, found my daughter to have a temp of 102.9 and since then I've been cuddling this new, can't live without mommy bundle of hugs and fever and of course trying to unpack.

So there is it. There's my sob story. Sorry for my absence ladies and gents but it's likely to stay that way until the Lucy Bug is better. She literally won't let me put her down unless she's asleep and I'm enjoying every minute of cuddle time because she normally won't stand still.

Until next time....
Cassie

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Friday Follow Alongs... Plural



New Friend Fridays


friday-follow

I'm planning to blog again soon.... VACATION IS GREAT!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Follow - June 25th Edition

friday-follow

I'm taking a minute out of my busy day to drink my usual coffee (wish it could be injected via IV today) and visit my usual tradition of Friday-Follow. I look forward to visiting other bloggers each week via FF. And of course, I enjoy getting new followers each week!

Tonight I'm leaving at Lucy's bedtime to head to the beach (so she'll sleep in the car). We are making a stop in Savannah for the night and then heading over to Hilton Head tomorrow afternoon for a week seaside. I love the water. I am a water baby. I feel energized, yet relaxed, at the sound of the waves and that incredible view. I can sit and just watch the waves come in for hours. I say all of that to express an apology ahead of time for a more frequent absence this week. I'm just not sure about the wireless in our condo and therefore, I'm not sure about my connectivity with you fine people. No worries ladies and gentlemen, at the very least I'll be back next Sunday (hopefully with a boatload of book reviews)!

Happy Friday to you all and have a great week!!
~Cassie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review #5: The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl
by Philippa Gregory
672 pages
Grade: A

This treasure was exactly what I hoped it would be. I've never considered myself a historical fiction lover but this story held my attention and had me doing a little research on the side. Any story about Henry VIII is interesting to me and this book delivered. It is lengthy, which is why it took me much longer than anticipated to complete it and review it, however, it was worth the length. The Other Boleyn Girl refers to Mary Boleyn. This book takes us to the beginning, when Mary is quite young (12) and is used by her family to seduce King Henry VIII. Ms. Gregory writes with astute clarity about the life Mary is forced into and how confusing her situation is because of her family's greed and her feelings of "love" for the king. It is also quite clear from the very introduction of Anne, that she is a force all her own. She is obsessive and quite arrogant for a woman of her time. The story conveys each character's role and that role's evolution, which allows the reader to piece together using actual facts, the reality of the time and it's events. I was astonished by the absolute rudeness and selfishness of Mary's entire family. And though I hated many of the characters, it was not because they were horribly written; it was quite the opposite. Ms. Gregory wrote these dreadful characters with such authority and perfect vision. I was impressed again and again with the story. I highly recommend the read, at the very least give it a listen! I'm looking forward to watching the movie now but I'm sure it will disappoint. 

must be a new mommy thing

I am very blessed to have a large family circle in town with us. Lucy is so loved and I hope she always knows and understands that. On a regular basis I am asked by the grandmothers, great aunts, and many more when they can watch her and for me to let them know if they are needed in anyway. I love this. However, Lucy has started walking and pushing her limits constantly to see what she is capable of doing, as well as what we will allow her to do. Because of this, I have a hard time letting anyone else watch her for very long. As I have previously stated, I am heading to the beach Friday night and I have a million things to do. I'm finding it difficult to pick up the phone and ask any of the above mentioned people to take Lucy for a few hours so that I can get beach-trip-shopping done and a little cleaning, etc. I just feel like she can be such a handful and I don't want to inconvenience anyone. I know they are all perfectly capable of keeping her safe, and I also know that she is turning into a bit of a drama queen. I think this must be me showing my true blue first time mommy colors...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baby Brynlee's Battle

I'm up bright and early today (can you please just inject that coffee via IV) to help out a friend and her sister with a yard sale. This isn't your typical yard sale but nothing about this journey will be typical. A precious little girl has an incredibly rare genetic disorder that will require extensive procedures, which means long hospital stays at Vanderbilt (roughly 2 hours away). I don't need any glory for this, I'm actually only helping out with this event because the many other fundraisers are occurring when I'm out of town. I just HAD to help because what if this was my baby girl? All I can keep thinking (selfishly) is what would I do if this was Lucy? The whole story breaks my heart and I wish I had a lot of money to give to their family and on that note, I wish that money could fix their situation. Keep Baby Brynlee in your prayers. Ask God to perform miracles and transform this family and friends through the whole process. Thanks gals!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Follow - June 18th

friday-follow
Welcome Friday Followers!! This has been an incredibly hectic week at work and at play, so I've been a blog slacker. However, as of July I will be a stay-at-home mommy FINALLY!!! I have a vacation on the horizon also and I am really excited to see the beach and the ocean again this year. (We didn't go last year because my baby girl was due too close to the entire family vacation.)

In other exciting news, I purchased an incredible camera and will begin posting my new pictures soon. I have dreamed of a camera this great for many, many years and saved enough money to get it! There is nothing professional about my photos, I just love taking them and Lucy Boo is a very captivating subject. Can't wait to post her baby blues.

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you come back often. <>< Cassie

Review #4: Lucky

Lucky
by Alice Sebold
246 pages
Grade: B+

I assure you, I am not as much a snob as I seem. I know that to date I haven't graded a book higher than this but I'm in the midst of another book at the moment that I feel confident with receive the coveted A. :)

Lucky is a well-written account of Alice Sebold's tragic victimization her freshmen year of college. She was raped. I found the book compelling and accurate. I could relate with her want to calm the room and put her best face forward. Though I don't wish to go into the details of my own life, I felt that she truly represented me as a rape victim. Ms. Sebold neglected to express her true feelings about the events in order to make her family and friends feel more comfortable. Her recount of the next few years, of the entire process, breaks your heart and brings forth a well of emotions. Though I loved the book overall, the first thirty-forty pages took me a long time to get through, and that is why it wasn't graded higher. I definitely recommend this read, whether you are a rape victim or not, because it puts things into perspective for us all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Absence

Sorry for my absence. There has been a ridiculous amount of stuff going on. Today is no different. Tomorrow should be much more relaxed. I'll review a few books and fill you all in on the craziness of my life in due time. For now, I hope you're all having a great week!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Review #3: One for the Money

One for the Money
by Jane Evanovich
334 pages
Grade: C

This book was a quick and easy read; I finished it within a day. Stephanie Plum finds herself in a pickle, having lost her job and in significant debt. Her car is taken, her furniture sold to keep paying rent, and she has to go to her parents for dinner on a regular basis. She decides to blackmail her cousin Vinny (big surprise that a Jersey girl has a cousin Vinny) into letting her be his latest bounty hunter. She has no concept of what she's doing and she wastes what little money she gets on junk. The book overall wasn't too disappointing because it was so short but, it wasn't nearly as entertaining as I had hoped. It's possible that the other books in the series get better but I doubt I'll chance it. I didn't love the character Stephanie Plum and honestly I just thought she was a silly girl without a concept of the real world. Also, I found myself disappointed that regardless of her many dumb mistakes, she still makes it out in the end. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read but when it comes to suspense, this was a bit of a letdown. 

Friday Follow - June 11th Edition

friday-follow

Hello friends and Happy Friday!!! Welcome to another edition of Friday Follow. Please feel free to look around. I have a lot going on: Cassie's 100 Books in 365 Days Challenge , My Sweet Baby , and more!! I'm also trying my hand at book reviews. I hope you all become followers and allow me to connect with each of you.

Have a great weekend all!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ZOO

I took Lucy to the Chattanooga Zoo this morning for her first zoo experience. I was pleasantly surprised that she got excited from time to time and that she was a very happy baby. It is a small zoo and seems pretty perfect for a little one's attention span. We also met some new friends there (Stefanie and her daughter Taylor), which was also really cool. We have been trying to get together for the past few weeks and it finally worked out. I love meeting new people and I am excited to be finally acquiring new friends that have kids too. Most of my friends from way back are slowly moving away and none of them have children. I know that life happens and people move on but I'm hoping that finding more local friends won't be to difficult. Today was a lot of fun and baby is napping, so I need to be cleaning while I have the chance. I'll post another review soon, so come back and check it out!

<>< Cass

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So you had a bad day...

Last night, I got a migraine. This is my first migraine in almost two years. They came back with a vengeance because I've spent the last 28 hours in agony. In addition to the pain, I have been incredibly nauseated and can't keep anything down, even water. I feel horrible because today is my honey's 25th birthday and I've spent all of my day in the bed or hugging the porcelain. He was at work all day but all I could do for him was make one of his favorites (Taco Soup) and sit there with him chatting for a little while. I feel pathetic and awful. I'm hoping that some more sleep tonight will make it disappear tomorrow. I've been planning to take Lucy to the zoo tomorrow and I hope I don't have to break those plans.  

Monday, June 7, 2010

Smoothies, Yummy!

This past weekend, I did a little retail therapy and purchased a smoothie maker. I decided to take Yoplait up on it's sweet deal (with my coupons of course) and I purchased their pre-made smoothie mixes for .48 each (normally $2.48 each). Anyway, each package makes 2 smoothies and they are delicious. There are three flavors (today I had Strawberry Mango Pineapple) and I was full until lunch! They are yummy and pretty good for you. Once my pre-made packages are gone, I'll definitely jump on this bandwagon and come up with my own creations. I've always liked smoothies but I never really thought about making them at home. This was a yummy new adventure and I'm excited to say it's likely to become a new trend around this house! At the end of the month, I'll start giving some to Lucy because her pediatrician wants her to start milk products at 11 months or so.

All of that to say, jump on the bandwagon... THEY ARE YUMMY AND HEALTHY!!!

Review #2 : Remember Me?

Remember Me? 
by Sophie Kinsella
448 pages
Grade: B+

Maybe this is a trend, maybe I'm too hard on the books I read, but I graded this book a B+. Without trying to give away too much, I'd like to lay out the story for you a bit. Lexi Smartt seems to live the life of your typical British chick-lit character. She dislikes her job, her loser boyfriend, and her life seems to be in a shambles. I want to first say that I nearly gagged when I read the first few pages. I thought this would be another book just like the rest. I am so glad I was wrong. I believe the author did a great job of changing up the typical chick-lit and putting a spin on Lexi's situation.She wakes up in the hospital after a seemingly minor accident and realizes that she doesn't remember the last 3 years of her life. The life she was living was gone and had been replaced with something very foreign to her.

This book held my interest and I was impressed by the author's twist on things.  There was never a time in which I couldn't stand the main character, which is typically my reaction to chick-lit books. I was genuinely pulling for Lexi and waiting to learn the pieces of her life that she was missing. The book wasn't a one-day reader but it holds your attention well enough that this doesn't matter. I enjoyed it and simply gave it a B+ because there's nothing life-changing about it and it's just a fun read.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lucy Bug - Spring 2010

I don't really have time tonight to write another review. But I'm planning one in my head to be written tomorrow (hopefully). In the meantime, here are pictures of my beautiful babe. They range from Easter to just yesterday. Enjoy!

Easter 2010

Before bedtime with Daddy - April 2010






"What?" - April 2010

Happy Rainy Day! - May 2010

I love that sweet baby grin! May 2010

First time swimming - Memorial Day 2010
Water baby - Memorial Day 2010
I'm afraid of just how diva she's going to be! June 2010

Friendly Friday Follow - June 4th



Good morning and Happy Friday!! This is another edition of Friendly Friday Follow. Please feel free to look around and hopefully I'll get a chance to know you. Later today, I'll review another book (trying to decide which since I've read 5 since Tuesday!!!) and hopefully post updated pictures of the babe.

A little about me for now:
~I'm Cassie, a Mrs, a Mommy, a deal-seeker, and a coffee-drinker.
~Gary is my hubby. He's an incredible one at that. We've been together for 4+ years and I can hardly remember all the losers I dated before him. (Honestly, I only dated one 'loser' and a bunch of the 'just not right for me' kind.)
~Lucy is my cutie. She's getting big all too quickly (90th percentile for height and weight) and smiles/giggles/dances constantly.
~I'm in the process of leaving my part-time job (which was full-time for the last 6 years until above mentioned child) because my in-laws need me and I really missed my daughter.
~I used to be out-going (ok, I used to be a bit arrogant and loud and I liked to think I was just out-going) but something has changed in me and now I find it hard to even make friends. I can still talk to most anyone but I doubt I'll be the one to say the first word. :/ This is something that bothers me and that I'm trying to work through. I don't quite understand how someone just flips a switch and makes such a sudden change.
~Some superficial things: I NEED 2-3 cups of coffee in the morning. I tend to be barefoot or wearing sandals at all times. I would live on the water, any water, if we could swing it and I intend to eventually. I'm a summer baby and I live like that all year long.

Much love and many blessings,
Cassie

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