Football is Back!

Last weekend we had a big group of friends over for the first Carolina Panther’s Football game.

Eric is a huge Carolina Panthers fan and wanted to make sure we celebrated the first game right. We invited our friends for tons of yummy food, corn-hole, drinking, and of course televisions all over the house with football on.

Eric decorated his man cave for the game. The room was not short of Carolina Panthers paraphernalia.

Almost every seat included a “Growl Towel” which I can only assume was in imitation of the Steeler’s “Terrible Towel.” Eric wanted to ensure that every fan was ready for whatever celebration may be necessary.

The funny part is, we didn’t even know we had these Growl Towels until cleaning our a dresser in our master bedroom. We are FINALLY getting new furniture for our master bedroom (coming soon!).

We had lot and lots of food available including three types of wings, fried pickles, fried jalapeño poppers, veggies with dip, pimento cheese with crackers, chocolate chip cookies, banana pudding, rice crispy treats, and tons of meat. I for sure thought we were going to have a ridiculous amount of leftovers, but would you believe we had just enough!

All in all it was a great time. I didn’t end up taking many pictures once people starting coming (need to work on that) but everyone had a great time.

This might become a new tradition for our household.

How did you celebrate the starting of a new football season?

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What Have I Been Doing?

Wow… consistency is not my strong point at the moment. I swear I have been all over the place the past month or so with so much going on.

Eric and I are in the process of renovating our kitchen.

(Our Kitchen Right When We Moved In)

This started out as a simple, “It’s time to get granite” conversation and turned into “what if we re-do our entire kitchen!” Let me tell you what I have learned in this process… Buy a kitchen you love when you buy the house. Goodness Gracious! It is so expensive to renovate a kitchen. Luckily I like my floor plan but I absolutely hate the countertops (old white laminate w/ stains), our maple cabinets (very worn), and the retro backsplash we have. Replacing your kitchen is over $20K for a kitchen our size, refacing the cabinets is still around $10K and changing just the color is around $5K. Then you add granite and all that goes w/ it at $4K and add a tile backsplash for another $1K. Ohhh and you thought under-cabinet lighting sounded good… another $1K. Ughhh. So this turned out to be a more in-depth process than we thought… 😦

Secondly, I have fallen in love with a bedroom set I found at a furniture outlet store in Waxhaw, NC.

 

(Vaughan Basset New Reflections Set – I want the Mansion Bed w/o Storage)

Great price but Eric wants to change to a king size bed meaning a new mattress. Those things are outrageous too! Plus we would need to repaint the bedroom and the bathroom. Why do I try to take on so much at one time???

Needless to say we are still trying to figure out what we are going to do while my dream trip to Italy looks like its going to be another two years down the road. 😦  Can’t have it all at one time!

Next, I have helped my dad with his political campaign. He is running for Mayor of High Point. Pretty cool actually. I’m very excited for him but man is a campaign a lot of work! I helped him create a website and have assisted in taking photos and videos for his campaign. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m glad that I am able to help him. 🙂

Lastly, I FINALLY created my wedding album. Only took me a year into marriage! But I am so excited. One of my friends is assisting me in getting my dream wedding album made of leather. I never thought I would want a traditional wedding album but man am I excited for it to get here. I created the pages myself in Photoshop so I’m really looking forward to see how they turned out. It will be a while as they are handmade but totally worth it.

Well that is the gist of my life at the moment. I will post more soon on my new kitchen appliances that I’m sure you are dying to know about. Also, I FINALLY did a gallery wall. Not the one I originally started to do but one for Eric’s bonus room. I have pinned a lot on Pinterest lately so hopefully I will have more crafts to share with you soon.

What have you been doing?

Wife Lessons – Comfort Zone

Get out of your comfort zone! I don’t do this one enough but 90% of the time it will pay off.

The sheer fact that I went out in public with Eric in this hideous thing he calls a shirt is enough to make you jump back into your comfort zone. 😉

One thing I absolutely love and hate about Eric is that he pushes me to get uncomfortable. Naturally I am a shy introverted person who would rather stay at home in bed and watch tv all day instead of venturing out to some unknown place and talk to strangers. However, once I acutally get out there to an unfamiliar territory and talk to people I am comfortable yet again. It’s the getting there that seems to be the problem.

The picture above is from our adventure to the Nascar All-Star Race. It was my first Nascar experience which may come as a shock to many people since I was born and raised in the South. Previously, I wanted nothing to do with Nascar and refused to go to a race. To my surprise, it ended up being one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I became fascinated with how truly fast these cars can go. I can still hear the sound of the cars flying by on the track in my head .

Most recently, Eric suggested we go out to Lake Norman with some of his work friends and rent a boat. Thanks to my mom I am terrified of the lake and the fact that you cannot see the bottom. Not to mention there are such things as water snakes AND spiders (which is my ultimate fear). I was not really looking forward to the trip and was a little nervous about getting out into the water. But once again, we had a wonderful time and we are already making plans to go back again soon.

Without Eric’s push and continuous support I would have never done either of these things. I feel that your spouse should be someone who makes you a better person. Eric truly does this despite all of my whining and complaining at times. He serves as a constant reminder of how I need to experience all that life has to offer. Try everything at least once.

Of course after every one of these times I get the classic Eric phrase: “See, I’m always right… Why am I always right about these things?” 🙂

So this post serves as a reminder to each of you to reach outside of what you would normally be willing to do. Who knows… you might actually have a little fun.

A Jeep Girl for Life

Although I bought a new car, if you know me at all, you know that I was very attached to my chili pepper red Jeep Cherokee.

(picture taken from source)

I literally cried at the thought of buying a new car because I loved my old car so much. I even cried as my dad drove my jeep down my driveway and back to High Point. Heck! I feel tears forming in my eyes right now thinking about it! Let’s just say I get extremely attached to things. Haha

But that jeep was the place of so many good and bad things in my life. It was my first car, given to me by my parents who gave me the option of getting a small car or taking my mom’s jeep. It only took two seconds for me to decide on that one as I had become very accustomed to riding in a SUV since both my parents drove one at the time.

I had the traumatic experience of taking my driving test to get my license in that car. I got so nervous about my test that I tried to drive the car without turning it on! We literally rolled down the hill. Sooo embarrassing. Not to mention I have a terrible time (STILL) with right vs left and when she told me to turn left, as expected, I turned right. That was the end of my driving test; I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot.

The jeep was a place of solitude for me as well. I remember driving home from work many nights or driving home from a boyfriends house and taking the long way home just to roll the windows down, music blaring, and drive.

That car was where I had my first accident which I still claim was not 100% my fault as I was crossing traffic out of a WAL-MART parking lot and one lane let me in while another guy just rammed my car. He was obviously speeding and not paying attention but given the circumstances I of course got the ticket.

It’s funny how objects like a car can hold so many memories and become what we hope to be a permanent object in our lives. I seriously asked Eric if we could just keep the car in our garage because I didn’t want to let go.

Luckily my dad has taken the car back and we do not have any plans to sell the jeep in the near future. So at least I know that my jeep is waiting for me at home to visit when visiting my parents.

Were you attached to your first car?

Carolina Blueberry Summer

Sorry I have been gone for so long. I’ll admit I’ve slacked on the blogging posts recently, but I’m working on it. I’ve been so busy doing things and I have so much to tell you all. I might even up the amount of posts per week! GASP! 🙂

I still have NC wineries to share, new home decor developments, and I promise to post a Wife Lessons soon. 🙂 But first!! It’s finally starting to feel like summer here in North Carolina so I decided to take a stab at canning.

We are so blessed here in NC to have all sorts of berries… all good for canning into preserves or jams. I fancy myself a preserve fan and fell in love with one at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, NC this past fall. I downed that blueberry preserve so fast, I don’t think it made it past the first week back in Charlotte. Unfortunately, they are no longer selling it online. 😦 Needless to say, I was devastated. But to my surprise they were so gracious as to include the recipe in their cookbook I purchased during my visit. Thank the heavens!

Since we finally have fresh NC blueberries, I found it time to try my first canning in hopes of restoring some blueberry goodness in my home.

The recipe is pretty easy to follow and canning was simple as well. The first step is to sanitize your jars. You boil water then place your jars and lids into the pot and boil for 10 minutes. Once this is done you will need tongs to get the jars out. I purchased a kit from Wal-Mart with canning utensils. Highly recommend.

After you have sanitized (or while you are sanitizing) you mix the sugar and pectin (looks similar to sugar) into a bowl.

Next, you place the blueberries and the sugar/pectin mix into a pot and start to boil. I was afraid that the sugar would burn so I stirred the mixture during this step.

When things start to heat up, the juice starts to flow. It smelled delicious.

Once the mixture begins to boil it will look more consistent and you bring it down to medium heat. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finally after your 10 minutes are up, you scoop off any excess foam on top (don’t remember why) and then throw the mixture into your jars.

This is also where the canning utensils come in handy. The kit comes with a funnel to prevent messes. Once you fill all your jars you clean them off and replace the tops tightly on to the jars.

From here you let it sit till it reaches room temperature and serve or you can place the jars in boiling water (completely submerged) for 10 to 15 minutes to complete the canning process. This removes any excess air so that the preserves last longer. Without doing so the preserves will last 30 days. When canning it takes overnight for the preserves to set and thicken.

I haven’t opened a jar yet but I can assure you it looks delicious. This preserve goes great with steel-cut oats in the morning and tastes just like blueberry cobbler. Yum!

Okay, I’m going to have stop now or I will find myself running to the kitchen to open these preserves immediately. Make them fast while we still have fresh blueberries!