Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Taco Ring Recipe

We eat some form of tacos probably once a week. Last night, we tried a fun variation on tacos, with the Taco Ring!  It was really easy and quick to make, which was nice since we got a late start on dinner yesterday.

  • 1 pack of crescent rolls
  • ground beef
  • cheese
  • any taco toppings you like


First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Start cooking your ground beef with taco seasoning, and whatever else you might like such as green peppers, onions, etc. While that's cooking, starting arranging your crescent triangles in a circular shape, with the corners overlapping.  Make sure you spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray!

When the beef was just about done, Matt stirred some shredded cheese into it.  Then, you put it on top of the crescent rolls and fold the triangles in.

 The directions said to cook it for 18-22 minutes, but it only took about 14 minutes for us.

We cut it into smaller sections with a pizza cutter, and had sour cream for dipping! We also had shredded lettuce and small pieces of tomatoes! So good!

If you have any quick or easy recipes you like, please comment and share!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Our First Trip to 2nd and Charles

Friday night, Matt and I went to check out this awesome bookstore I kept hearing great things about--2nd and Charles.  If you haven’t been yet, you need to go check it out!! There are currently only three locations in Virginia, the 2 closest being in Midlothian and Richmond.  We went to the Richmond location on West Broad Street and we already want to go back. Actually, let’s be honest, we wanted to go back the next day!! 

There are so many amazing things about this place, that I just don’t know where to begin, so here’s a random list of everything I can think of about this store. I wish I took more pictures while we were in there, but I was just so excited to look at as many things as possible!!
  • First of all, this place is HUGE. I was blown away by the size of it when we walked in, because it wasn’t at all what I expected!
  • Make sure you get a basket when you walk in. Even if you think you won’t need it, grab it anyway, because you will. I didn’t even see the baskets when we walked in, so I ended up balancing my growing stack of books on a small part of Marshall’s stroller. Yeah, that worked really well. (Not.)
  • They have free bins outside!  We checked these out before we first went in, and didn’t see much. When we left, the bins had been refilled, and Matt walked away with a new record, and I got 4 books!
  • They have everything from kids books, comic books, coloring books, DVDs, music, video games..the list goes on and on! They're mostly used books, but they are in such great condition. They will also buy your books and everything for either cash or store credit.
  • In the children’s book section, I finally came across the Christmas books.  I saw this shelf and immediately texted Matt, “I am in heaven right now. You just don’t understand.” haha. Yes, a bit dramatic, I will admit. But come ON. Look at all this!!! They had the childrens’ holiday books sectioned off by holiday, which was great! I grabbed a copy of The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown with all the stickers still included...for Marshall to play with when he's older :) Y'all, take a look at this. This is ALL CHRISTMAS.
  • Used children's and teen books were Buy 3 Get 1 Free!
  • You can’t beat the prices. Everything is so reasonably priced, which makes it even harder to limit the amount of books you get!! In the end, we got 9 children’s books, 1 comic book, 1 (free) record and 4 (free books) for less than $15! Birthday money well spent ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Favorite Baby Items: bath time

Time for another post about our favorite baby items! If you missed the first one (time to eat), you can check out that post HERE.

This post isn't as long, because we're all pretty content with just the basics! Marshall has only a few bath toys he's interested in right now, which you'll read about in the post. I try to give him others to play with, but he wants nothing to do with them, haha. He knows what he likes ;)

1. Disney Baby Tigger Puppet Towel: I just think hooded bath towels are the cutest! Seeing Marshall all wrapped up in these towels after bath time is so adorable! When we first saw this Tigger towel, I knew we had to add it to our registry immediately. Why? Because Maple has a Tigger Halloween costume and they have to match! haha. We'll have to remember to get a picture of that next month!

2. Disney Mickey Mouse and Friends Bath Toys for Baby: These are Marshall's FAVORITE bath toys! So much so, that Pluto gets to venture out from bath time--he stays downstairs with us, and stays with Marshall when we go out, drop him off at our parents' house, etc. He loves him!

3. Johnson's Baby Head-to-Toe Body Wash: This is a pretty basic baby bath time item that I'm sure a lot of people use. We've tried a couple other Johnson's body wash types, but I really like this one the best.

4. Summer Infant Deluxe Baby Bather: This is the tub we started with when he was born. One thing I really like about this, is that it folds easily for storage. 

5. Koala Baby 6 Pack Blue Anchors Washcloths: We have a few different brands and types of washcloths that we received from our baby showers. We've used them all, but these are our favorites. They're super soft--so soft, that the towels that came with them have an even softer side and we've used them as blankets for Marshall since he was born.

6. Alex Toys Rub a Dub Hoops for the Tub: These are toys that Marshall sometimes branches out to. haha. The balls that come with this will squirt water out, and he'll be entertained for like, 5 seconds, then go back to play with Pluto and Mickey. The hoop is great, though, because it suction cups to the side of the tub, and is storage for the balls or other toys.

7. Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Safety Baby Bath Tub: We moved Marshall to this tub around 8 months. He loves it so much! Besides the plugs to inflate it with air, this tub has a separate plug in it so you can either fill it with water, or leave it empty. We usually leave it unplugged so Marshall can play in the water-he will just sit and splash in the water all day if you'd let him! The one time we kept it plugged was when we actually took this to the pool with us for him to use!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Favorites

Happy First Day of Fall!

As much as I love summer, I'm so excited for this fall! I'm sure having a baby (not so much a baby anymore :( ) has made me even more excited for this time of year, because of all the fun firsts he still has! I wanted to share a few of my fall favorites and what I'm looking forward to doing this fall!

Going to the fair--I love going to the fair, and I'm so excited it's finally fair time! I have so many favorite things about the fair, but the food is definitely high on the list ;) I also enjoy looking at all of the craft contests, especially the tablescapes that people set up. Every year when I look at them, I say I'm going to do one the next year and enter yet. Maybe one of these days that will happen! I know Marshall is going to enjoy all of the sights and sounds the most, so I can't wait for him to see everything lit up at night!

The leaves changing--Being outside has a totally different feeling when the trees are covered in reds, oranges and yellows.

Decorating--We've already started putting out a few fall decorations and I love it! Matt has bought and made a few things that I can't wait to share! I made this wreath the first fall we were married, and it still looks just as good...well, it did have to be repaired this year, because it was left in a hot room and the hot glue melted and everything fell off.

Going to the pumpkin patch--I can't wait to take Marshall!

Football Games--going to Varina's high school football games is so fun and reminiscent for me.  Being there, hearing the familiar songs the band plays and hearing the cheering in the stands literally takes me back to when I was in high school, going to all the home games every year with my family and our family friends. Going now, as a Varina staff member, I'm not sitting with the same crowd at each game, but it is still like being there with family and friends. It's so much fun! I hope we make it to at least one home game this year. Kick off is right at Marshall's bed time, but maybe he can stay up late one Friday ;)

Scarves--who doesn't love scarf & sweater weather? I feel like I wear the same ones all the time, so here are a few I really like.  This blue and white/black striped one from Target is really fun. It also comes in a few different colors, so I may need more than one ;)  I really love the plaid one, and I think it's great for fall and Christmas. Now, if only I can find one that has green mixed in, I'm sold!

Fall nail polish--I don't typically wear nail polish, but I love fall shades, so I tend to start painting my nails more once fall hits, and through the holidays.  I love these color palettes I've seen on Pinterest. I actually have #1 and absolutely love it!

Picture 1 / Picture 2 / Picture 3 / Picture 4

Halloween--I am SO excited about our Halloween costumes this year!! We're doing a theme as a family and I can't wait to see how everything comes together! We've been excited for quite some time now.  Put it this way, we bought Marshall's costume when we went to Myrtle Beach....LAST year!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Trip to Charlottesville's Wineries & Vineyards

I love this time of our lives when so many of our friends and family are getting married, and we get to be a part of it! We've attend 2 weddings so far this year, both for Longwood friends we're so excited for! Next up is my cousin Brooke's wedding, and I'm so excited that she asked me to be a bridesmaid and participate in all the fun wedding festivities with her!!

Last weekend, we surprised Brooke with her last Sail Before the Veil! Her maid of honor, Brittany, did an amazing job coordinating everything: we rented a house through Airbnb in Charlottesville, had a limo pick us up at noon to take us to several wineries, and went out to a great dinner!!

Abby and Brittany went down before everyone to decorate.

First stop: Jefferson vineyards

Abby and Brittany also packed us a delicious picnic lunch, which we ate outside at Jefferson vineyards. Either we were really hungry, or the sandwiches were just THAT yummy :-P

Aaaaand we were at a Pokestop! :)

Heading out! Thank goodness for Abby's selfie stick! haha

Stop #2: Barboursville Vineyards

This lady was awesome to talk to as she gave us our tastings! Turns out, her best friend lives in Reedville, and Brooke and Sara knew who she was! How crazy?!

I signed the guestbook before we left:

I have no idea what I was laughing at (we laughed at everything all day, though), but I love this picture of us cousins!

3rd stop: Horton Vineyards

 Choosing the 10 we wanted to taste:

Me and Brooke Ann! My very first best friend! Cousins are the best!

Waiting for our tastings..

These shirts Brittany had made were so awesome!

Sister and me.

Our last stop: Keswick Vineyards. There were SOOO many cute dogs there!!

And of course we had to get a picture with the limo driver who put up with all our laughing all day long!

We went to dinner at The Local in Downtown Charlottesville. It was this really neat place, and we ate out on the balcony. The weather was perfect!

Can't wait until we're all together again on October 8th!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mid-week Randoms

I'm currently reading The Isle of The Lost (Descendants Series part 1). I love anything Disney, so when Disney Channel premiered the movie Descendents, based on this book, I couldn't wait to see it. If you don't know, it's about Disney villians's children. My favorite one is Mal...for obvious reasons. It's the purple hair.
I got both books for my birthday--part 1 and 2, thanks mom and dad! And now that I'm back at work and things are crazy with school starting up, I've only read just a little bit. So far, it's not exactly like the movie, so I like that. However, I usually hate when books and movies aren't the same.

This past weekend was Harry Potter weekend. No matter how many times we watch these movies, we love picking up on new things, or something someone said that totally foreshadows what we actually learn 4 movies later.

Have y'all seen this cereal box?? I need it. I can't believe there's another box I can add to my Michael Phelps cereal box collection. (Yes, I have all of his up to this point...)

To my blog readers in Australia and Iceland...I'd love to know how you guys have come across my blog. Pretty cool to have readers all over!

I'm ready for cooler weather. We've started sitting out on the deck at nights (where I am now typing this), and it's nice, but will be better when it's a little cooler. Matt strung lights around the railings and in the umbrella...I love it!

Can we talk about how Marshall is learning new things so quickly now?! Just the other day, he started standing on his own. I can't believe it! He'll stand there clapping, and laugh the entire time because he thinks it's so funny!

Anybody watching this season of America's Got Talent? Who are your favorite contestants? There are so many good acts this season, but here are a few favorites:

Steven Brundage--seriously, making Rubik's Cubes cool again.

The Clairvoyants--I don't know how they do it, but they do it very well!

The Passing Zone--they haven't been at the top of my list all season, but last night, I was cracking up during their act. Maybe too much.

Tape Face--we LOVE Tape Face.  He's so ridiculously funny. Ridiculous and funny.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Back to School Verses

Although I've been back at work for two weeks now, tomorrow is the first day of school! Today is the last official day of summer break, and I couldn't be happier to be spending more time home with Marshall! Spending every day of summer with him really spoiled me :)

The first day of school will probably bring chaos, lost freshman, and students more excited to see all their friends they haven't seen since June than to hear overviews of the classes they'll be taking this year. But, there will also be anxious teachers waiting for their new students to walk through the door, seniors who are thrilled it's their last year of high school, freshman excited to finally be in high school, and tons of new beginnings! I kept thinking about the phrase "new beginnings" and I had to find a few Bible verses that I thought many people can probably relate to to at least help get through tomorrow, this first week, or even the whole year!

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Working in a school is more about teamwork than working individually, at least from my experiences. Working together to get a task done, getting everything ready for the first day of school, encouraging each other, and always being willing to lend a helping hand. Even though we all have days where it's hard enough to get our own stuff done, working with your coworkers instead of against them will always leave you with a better work environment.

Philippians 3:13-14
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Something that worked great last year, may not give you the same results this year. That's okay. Find a new system. Ask for help. Take a break and come back to it. As long as you still have the same end goal in mind, you will find a new way to get your message across or get everything done.

Isaiah 43:18-19
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Forget what didn't work last year. Forget the test you failed. Failures don't define you.
Forget the angry phone calls you had to take (because most of the time, they're not even mad at you, just mad at the situation).
Embrace new ideas, new work environments, and new beginnings.