Oct 26, 2011

Mid Week Brain Dump

Does anyone else feel like the week is dragging....i am pretty sure it should already be Friday....sigh!

Here are some random events/thoughts from the past week:

- Last Monday evening was spent at the emergency vet with both dogs in tow.  Chris got home from work to an  entire bottle of Ibuprofen chewed open and pills scattered all over the floor.  We got them to the vet (not knowing if they even consumed any pills)- only to leave with a bill (that covers 2 months of my mortgage payments)- which included:  medicine to induce vomiting, medicine to make them stop vomiting, a blood panel, 2 meds to take home, and an outpatient fee (whatever the hell that is). ugh.

- Chris and I went to the State Fair this past weekend.  This is the first time i have been in probably 10 years.  Can i say that i will be just fine if i never go back again?  Too many people with nothing better to do (ie teenagers up to no good).  I am honestly surprised we didn't see any fights, arguments, etc.  The only reason i went was for a caramel apple (and maybe some other delicious goodies!). :)

- I have been browsing for the perfect Christmas card- i know its early, but I'm excited to send them out seeing as it's my first Christmas as a Collins!  Zulily is running a special with Tiny Prints - offering $20 for $40 worth of Christmas Cards.  You can find the deal here- but hurry up, it ends 10/28!

- This Friday night Chris is going to an exhibition game in Chapel Hill.  I am kind of excited to have a Friday night at home, alone.  I plan on snuggling up with the dogs and watching movies!

- Saturday we are heading to Charlotte to spend the night with some friends.  Sunday morning we are getting up early to start tailgating for the Panthers vs. Vikings game.  This is my first NFL game- i am really excited! It also doesn't hurt that we have 2nd row seats..... :)  Let's just hope the weather is good and the Panthers play as good as they did last weekend! Ha

- I cannot believe Halloween is already here, where did October go?!?  My work always holds a costume contest - i never participate, but i am excited to see what people come up with this year!

- I have to take an exam for work on Friday.  I have been reminded recently how much i do not miss studying.

- Do any of you watch SOA (Sons of Anarchy)?  I did not think i would like the series- but it is SO good.  It is my Tuesday night treat these days!

- I REALLY need to get my hair done.  I should not be allowed in public with all of the gray hair i have right now.....my appointment next week cannot come soon enough!

- I know a lot of girls that are either pregnant or are having babies right now....it makes me have baby fever SO bad!  Poor Chris.... :)

Oct 18, 2011

Christmas Shopping

Every year i tell myself that i will be better about Christmas shopping.  That means NOT waiting until Dec 1st to start my shopping.  It seems like i try to start shopping early each year- but for whatever reason i don't truly get started until well into December.

I have 2 main reasons for trying to shop early:  1) I wont be stuck running around with all of the last minute shoppers the week of Christmas.  There is nothing i hate more than that!  2) The financial impact is not as great when you space out your purchases.  No one wants to drop tons of money on gifts for EVERYONE at once. 

So last week i made a conscious effort to begin my shopping - and let me tell you i am loving the fact that i am already half way through with all of my Christmas Shopping!

Here are a few places i have scored some really good deals at!

Buckhead Betties Warehouse Sale
Twice a year Buckhead Betties has a HUGE warehouse sale in Greensboro.  They have 1 in April and 1 in October.  I decided to go this year and get myself other people gifts.  They have everything from overnight bags to coolers and aprons.  It is SO cute!

I just found out about Zulily (i know, i must be behind)!  They have some really cute things for all ages- and most always have pretty good sales.

Sierra Trading Post
Sierra Trading Post is my favorite site by far right now!  If you are not on their email distro list you are missing out.  I have bought quite a few things from there in the last week.  They send out the BEST email coupons- just today i got a coupon for an extra 45% off items (not my total purchase- but each item).  They have everything from shoes, to clothes, to home goods.

Who doesn't love Amazon- they always have deals/sales going on.  Ive purchased a couple of items there recently- i will definitely be doing to Christmas shopping from Amazon!

Where are your favorite places to shop?  Who do you think has the best deals?

Oct 17, 2011

Things we can laugh about now....

So i know i mentioned in this post that there were quite a few events that occurred that could have easily 'ruined' our wedding.  I know everyone that plans a wedding or big event kind of expects there to be hiccups.  I don't think i could have prepared myself for some of the hiccups we had.  So many bad things happened that Chris and I actually made a mental list on the way home from our honeymoon.  We knew eventually we would be able to laugh about it all.  So below are all of the unfortunate events that occurred beginning the week leading up to my wedding and throughout our honeymoon!  I will try to list them in the order they occurred.

(Warning this post is going to be LONG)

*Dads Fingers
I woke up to an email on the Tuesday before my wedding from my mom letting me know she would be late to work (we work together) because she's spent most of the night in the ER with my dad.  My dad had been at work the night before work on some of his products.  While cutting one with a table saw the piece slipped out of his had and pieces shot up at his face.  In an effort to protect his face he put his hand up- in doing so he sliced the tips off of 3 of his fingers.  Honestly he is very lucky- things could have been MUCH worse.  He needed about 15 stitches.  To say the least, he was bummed, about his 'fishing hand'!

*Loras Pitts
Oh Lora!  Well she decided that it would be a good idea to user her husbands deodorant- since she really liked the smell of it.  What she didn't know what that men's deodorant is not meant to be worn by women (or people that shave).  A couple of days into wearing his deodorant - she had developed 2nd degree burns on her underarms.  She had visited the doc a couple of times before we left for FL - to get medicine and burn cream.  Her arms were finally on the mend when we got to FL, but were still looking pretty painful!

*Florida House Scam
This by far the biggest event that happened in relation to the wedding.  Let me back up a bit on this. 

When Chris and i got engaged and decided our wedding would be in FL- all of us started on the hunt for the perfect house.  When we found this house we thought it would be perfect!  We put down a deposit and paid it in full last December (9 months before out wedding).  Prior to paying in full my mom did a lot of research on reviews of people who had rented this home.  For the most part all were good- but 1 review stuck out to my mom.  It was from a family who had rented the house for a week.  They reported that the week prior to heading to FL- the rental was pulled from the market and their reservation was cancelled.  They stated that they eventually found another place and all was well - but they had reported it to the police.  The police couldn't do anything about it because the families money was returned.  Mom voiced her concerns to us all - but the more we talked about it- the more we decided that it was probably just a 1 time thing.  After all- there were way more positive review than negative ones.

Fast forward to the week we were to leave to head to Florida.  Wednesday August 3rd (we were flying to FL August 6th)- we received an email stating that the owners of the house we rented decided to pull the house from the market and cancel all reservations.  Three days before we are due to arrive in Florida we find out we have no where to stay and more importantly no where to have our wedding.

To say i was shocked would be an understatement.  My entire wedding planning process was smooth- i never stressed about anything, i mean anything.  People always asked me 'Are you stressed yet?'- My answer was always no!  When my mom broke the news to me that Wednesday morning at work- i just broke down crying.  Once i got a good cry out- we pulled everyone we knew together to work their magic to find us a new place.  We finally secured a place on Friday (the day before we left). 

With the last minute cancellation of the house we knew something with the entire situation wasn't right.  We new we had been part of a scam- but there was little we could do about it at the moment.  We had more important things to figure out. 

After all was said and done- the house we stayed at was great.  Was it ideal- no, but it was a place to stay and more importantly it was a place to have our wedding.

I will say that i am happy to report that the creep that did all of this- was arrested last week in relation to vacation rental fraud.  He is looking at hard time- and he deserves every bit of it.  You can read about his arrest and charges here.  I really have no more negative energy left in me to throw this mans way- lets just say when all went down i placed a phone call to him and gave him an earful about how i felt about the situation.  At least now i know he wont be doing this to anyone else.

Lesson learned- trust moms gut!

*Dead Battery
The night before leaving for Florida- Chris and i decided to go out and have dinner.  On the way home from dinner i decided to stop at the gas station to fill up my car- we were going to take my car to the airport and then in turn to CB for our honeymoon.
I filled up with gas and jumped back in my car to head home so that i could finish packing.  I go to crank the car......nothing.  Dead battery- this was definitely something i didn't have time for.

So my sweet husband comes to the rescue and jumps my car off.  We decided not to take my car to the airport and risk it being dead when we returned from Florida. 

At this point i was beginning to think a greater being was trying to keep us from getting to FL! :)

*What Reservations?
My mother in law booked reservations for us at this cool place called 'Sun Downers'.  We were really excited to have our rehearsal dinner there- as we heard it was a really wonderful place to see a beautiful sunset!  My mom and mother in law went to the restaurant early to decorate the tables.  When they got there they checked in just to find out they didn't have our reservation for 16.  Needles to say after all of the events that had already occurred this did not go over well.  I will say the restaurant still made it happen and our rehearsal dinner turned out to be wonderful (minus the sunset- the weather was too bad).

*Wedding Day Weather
Speaking of weather being bad- the weather for out wedding day (Wednesday August 10th) was supposed to be terrible.  It was supposed to rain ALL day.  I woke up to a cloudy grey sky.  The wedding planner wouldn't let the vendors set up in the event we had to move the wedding inside.  The house we ended up getting at the last minute- was not conducive to having an indoor wedding.  Luckily the rain stopped- the wedding planner rushed to get everything set up outside.  It ended up being beautiful- but it was a bit cloudy and VERY windy during the ceremony.  My veil flew out of my head twice- once wrapping around Chris' neck! HA!

*Rental Car
Chris and I rented a mustang to drive while we were down in Florida.  We thought it would be a fun car to have - plus we kicked off our honeymoon in Florida and needed our own car to get around.  The day of our wedding someone came up to me to let me know that there was not only a crack in our rentals windshield- but that it had spider webbed across the front.  We have really good luck don't we? :)

Chris' brother Ryan had pneumonia a couple of weeks before we got married- but was cleared and healthy prior to leaving for FL.
The night of our wedding he began feeling very ill- two days later he was admitted to the Key Largo hospital with pneumonia in both lungs.  Both chris' mom and his brother were not able to return to NC with us- they had to stay a couple extra days until he was released from the hospital.  I am happy to say- he is doing well now!

*Delayed Flights
Our flight from Florida back to NC was delayed twice- i don't even remember what the reason was for the delay.  Chris and I were anxious to get back to NC so that we could get to Carolina Beach to enjoy our honeymoon.  We finally took off from FL- about the time we were supposed to be landing in NC.  Killing time in a VERY crowded Ft. Lauderdale airport is not fun.

*Chris' Car
When we finally made it back to NC- we jumped in Chris' car to head for Carolina Beach.  Upon starting the car- we could both tell that the car didn't feel/sound right.  We thought maybe it was because his car had been parked for a week- while we were in FL.  As soon as we pull out of the airport both his check engine/maintenance required light come on. 
At this point- i just wanted to get to the beach- we both decided to just keep driving and if need be we would take his car to a shop at the beach.  We risked it the entire week and prayed that the car would get us back to Greensboro safely.  We did make it back to GSO just fine- and Chris dealt with his car upon our return.  Nothing terrible came of this- but this is just another issue that we had to deal with.

I know in the scheme of things none of this is life changing.  Everything turned out wonderful- and everyone was (eventually) healthy and happy.  I just thought i would share some of the 'bumps', as i like to call them, that occurred during our wedding process.

And people wonder where my gray hair is from! :)

What are some of the 'bumps' that happened at your wedding or big event you hosted?

Oct 5, 2011

Must Haves- Fall Edition

I thought it would be fun to do another version of my current 'Must Haves'.  You can see version 1 here.

In no particular order....my fall favorites are:

1- My Crock Pot
(This is not the crock pot I have)
There is just something about a crock pot meal in the fall!  I hate to admit, my crock pot normally collects dust during the summer months.  However, once the weather starts to cool off- I always find myself itching to make new crock pot yummies!
Two of my favorite crock pot meals are :  pulled pork and chicken taco soup.....YUM!

(Photo via)

2- Scarves
I love wearing scarves.  I think its a great way to accessorize your wardrobe- but also now that the weather is cool, its a great way to keep warm.  I have probably 15 scarves- you think I'm ready for the cold weather? :)

(Photo via)

3- Football
Who doesn't love football- whether it is being at the game or watching on TV?!

(Photo via)

4- Dark Nail Polish
I always keep my toes polished- but during the fall i like to wear a dark color on my nails.  Here are some of my current favorites!

Lourve Me Lourve Me Not- OPI

Romeo and Joliet- OPI

Lincoln Park at Midnight- OPI

Damsel in a Dress- essie
Merino Cool- essie

Bahama Mama- essie
(All photos via)

5-  Baking
I absolutely LOVE to cook- but bake?  Most of the time, no thanks!  In the fall I get a baking bug- here are a few things i am going to try this year!

Pumpkin Cookie with brown butter frosting- Recipe Here

Southern Apple Crumble- Recipe Here

Blueberry and Lemon Tart- Recipe Here

(All photos via)

What are your favorite things this fall??