Friday, December 26, 2014

All You Can Eat Dessert 1st Edition

Who doesn't love dessert? Emily came up with the idea of having a dessert bar, and we couldn't resist {and now I really think that this should be an annual thing!} Earlier this week, we weren't sure that Emily and her family wouldn't make it because their little one wasn't feeling well all week, but thankfully she was feeling better by the time of our get together.

*Pics by Kate*






Kate always makes the cutest cupcakes! For the big news this year, she made cupcakes for Lisa and Nick for their engagement. :)


This little girl, is one of my favorite people. She always is able to make everyone laugh. When I walked down the stairs, and she was upstairs, she started to cry because she said she "wanted to be with Ashwee." Although she was crying those big alligator tears because she missed me, I couldn't help but smile because she made me feel so loved.



She LOVED that Travis got to play with her, and she's a pretty smart cookie. Travis would ask her what color a chalk was, and for one he blurted it out, "It's Rudolph's nose color." This girl looked at him and laughed {as to say ahhhhhh no, it's not}. It was pink. Ha.

 










Lisa gave Kate and I a sweet surprise: she asked us to be her BRIDESMAIDS :) We are so extremely excited and we are so honored!!!! Lisa and Nick are soooOOoooOO cute together. This upcoming year we have something to look forward to. I can't wait to be standing next to this beautiful girl on her big day.

 



One of the biggest blessings, made Travis and I tear up. Kate and Steven encountered their most difficult year in 2014. While some of us were downstairs in the basement, we heard the door bell ring. The  guys went to answer the door, and no one was there, but there was a package on their door step of a huge basket full of presents. Some of the presents were in memory of Kendall, gift cards, a getaway, autographed items, etc. The presents were from the Christmas Commandos. How truly wonderful it was to see such thoughtful gifts from such caring people. As soon as Travis and I left, there was another delivery.





Thank you Christmas Commandos for remembering some of the most caring people on the world during their difficult year. You brought many smiles and happy tears. What a blessing you are in the world.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!!

Travis with his brother. They are so darn cute!
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!! :) 

We are so blessed to be spending time with friends and family this year.



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Early Christmas Present

Merry Christmas Eve ya'll!!! I can't believe it is Christmas already. I have some good news to share with you. One of my best friends, Lisa, got her Christmas gift a little early. She is now ENGAGED!! :)



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..
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Like most times, I missed my call. Right when I glanced to see that Lisa called, I knew that it was something good. I tried calling her back immediately to find out. She wouldn't answer because she was on the phone calling someone else to tell them the good news {she said she knew I wouldn't answer, lol. Love how my best friends know me so well.}

And right then knowing that it was busy, I already knew that I was right. I texted her.
*But most of all I can't wait to see Lisa in person!
{Kate and I have been waiting a while now to hear the news that Lisa is engaged. We figured it would be coming around the holidays. And we should have known when we saw on Facebook that he announced that he couldn't wait to see her and that he loves her. That went over Kate and I's head.}

Lisa called me and the first thing I asked, "ARE YOU ENGAGED?" She laughed. I was on speaker so Nick could hear how excited I was too. Nick told me how he proposed. I've never heard her so happy!

"I should show you a picture." YES, I think so!! Nick did a good job :)

AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I'm so excited for Lisa and Nick!!! Marriage can be hard, but it so awesome being married to your best friend. AND on top of all that, I'm excited to go to their wedding! :)

This upcoming year will be a good one. I can feel it in my bones.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Banana Cake

So I have made this already within a month: it is THAT good. I follow the steps to a T because I don't want to mess it up. It is now one of my favorites.


Original recipe found here.

Ingredients {Banana Cake}:

* 3/4 cup butter
* 2 1/8 cups white sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 3 cups all purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk {for substitute: 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let sit for 5 mins}
* 2 tsp lemon juice
* 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas {browning bananas are better}

Ingredients {Frosting}:

* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
* 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. {If don't have butter milk, make substitute: 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let sit for 5 mins - set aside}
  2. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
  4. For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake.

























*This cake actually tastes better a day or two after making it.



Monday, December 22, 2014

Cooper Young District

Travis had a dentist appointment in Germantown, which is over an hour away. I know it seems far away, but you do what you can to save money {FYI: Groupon is a great deal for people who don't have dentist insurance, or just people looking for things to do/places to eat}. 

We have explored Memphis a bit already, and although there is always something to do in Memphis, it was the middle of the day and we wanted to do something a little different. We decided to visit a place called Cooper Young District before heading home.




We didn't really know where we were going, so when we came to little shops, we thought it was Cooper Young District. It was actually Overton Square, but we didn't know that until we started exploring. Cooper Square was a couple blocks away from where we needed to be. But I really enjoyed Overton Square over all.




We stopped at a candy store called Sweet Noshings. It was AWESOME. There was tons of jars of candy.  Not only did they have chocolate and candy, but also popcorn, coffee, and ice cream. It was heaven.
There was so many choices. You could pick and choose how much candy/chocolate you wanted to put in a bag. I picked some sea salted carmel chocolate while Travis picked some peanut butter chocolate.   If you're going to hit up Overton Square, you need to hit up that place.

Plus, we got an awesome tip from one of the guys in the store: instead of eating at just one place, why not try out appetizers at different places. Uhhhh.. YESSSSSSS! Why didn't we ever think of that before? We would ask the locals what everyone would get there when we would get to a restaurant and get whatever they recommended. What a genius idea.

The place that the guy recommended was right next door: Babalu Taco's and Tapas. We asked the waitress what she suggested, and she said everyone gets the guacamole. She wasn't kidding, as we looked around, everyone that was sitting next to us had a guacamole at their table. The waitress even made the guac right in front of us! It was SO good and worth the almost $10 price tag.




She brought out some of the tacos that she suggested. Travis really enjoyed them, but I should have known better because I'm not a fan of pulled pork. I know, I'm a little weird when it comes to food. But I'm sure everything on their menu was good, regardless of my taste buds. I would suggest going there if you're in town too, because I'm positive I would have liked those tacos if I liked pork more. If you go, our waitress Erica was great.



Our idea of trying appetizers at different restaurants seemed like a great idea, but we got full on just those items alone {and we split it}. 

Cooper Young
She also Cooper Young was fun. Since we were full, we decided to hit it up. I don't know if it was the time that we were there, but I didn't really find much to do. There were a few bars, a cat rescue, a bookstore, a record store, and a cafe. There may have been more, but I didn't see much more. The Cooper Young District is probably more of a night scene with more people and more things to do.



We did stop at the bookstore. Travis picked up a Christmas book and asked, "Did you want to get this for our future kids?"

Did you just ask me that? Yes!! I loved that it was a story about Jesus. We now have a book for a future little one. {And no, if you're reading this, we are not expecting}.


We then stopped at the little cafe to get a little something before we hit the road again.





 

We enjoyed Overton Square more than the Copper Young District, but it was fun to check out both.





Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's Christmas Time!


Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. I love the music, the lights, the decorations, the traditions, but most of all, the meaning of Christmas and celebrating Christ.

This wil be our last Christmas in this house, and it is bittersweet. I came home to find that Travis surprised me by getting out the decorations and put them up while I was at work. And to my surprise, it looks better when I decorate {so he may get this honor every year, ha}.

I will say though, being snuggled up by the fire place is one of the best feelings, with the hubby and the fur babies. I couldn't ask for more.




Saturday, December 20, 2014

Future Plans

Travis has big ideas. This boy is a dreamer, but he is also really good at making his dreams come true.

One thing that he wants to do is hunt. I'm not sure how I feel about this only because I don't want anything ever hurt, especially a deer. He thinks of food, I think of little Bambi. But the more I think of it, I can see some of Trav's points.


*Deer can easily over populate areas, where a lot of deer run out in front of cars.
*A deer would of lived a good life to the very last second of it's life {hopefully}.
*The meat from that you buy from the store is full of things that they fill with animals to fatten them up. 

But still guys, I see Bambi. Apparently, I was told that I wore that movie when I was little {and that was when it was on VCR. That's how old I am}, but it still makes me sad to think about. 




Travis was so excited about someone else's land that he liked, I made him draw it out so we would remember later. If you can't make out the drawing, it includes trees, rolling hills, cows, a pond, cabin, and a fence. 

We will see love if one day we could make something like this a reality.




Friday, December 19, 2014

When we Have a Visitor...


When we have a visitor - person or fur baby, this happens. Can you find Payson? 

...Haha! Pretty good hiding spot, right?!!






Thursday, December 18, 2014

#AirmailChristmas 2014!

From Celly all the way from Derbyshire, UK
This year Rebecca from Making Memories asked me if I would like to participate in Airmail Christmas this year. How could I say no? It's for a wonderful cause, and every year they dedicate it in memory of someone.

This year, it was in memory for Anna Basso. Anna was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma {a rare form of bone marrow cancer}. A month after her high school graduation, Anna passed away.


From a website created by Anna's family, 1 Million for Anna:


"Maybe a few precious times in our life, if we’re lucky, we meet people who are driven to bring us together. These connecters are dynamic, they’re magnetic, and they’re absolutely unforgettable. Anna was one of these people.


Anna wanted to be remembered through a foundation bent on finding ways to defeat this disease and helping those affected by it. With that in mind, we created the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation in January of 2012."


What a beautiful thing to. Thank you Rebecca for inviting me, and I hope Anna is smiling down when she sees all those greeting cards. :) I hope all of you want to participate next year as well!