Monday, August 26, 2013

Trip recap and room reveal!

Well, we made it to Texas and back.  Baby girl and I headed out in the wee hours of the morning last Monday.  She wasn't feeling so hot, so I drove the first stretch.  We made a brief stop in Meridian, Mississippi for a potty break and beverages, and then continued on to Monroe, Louisiana where we stopped for lunch at Chick-fil-A.  Baby girl then took the wheel and we headed to Tyler, Texas, our last stop for gas before heading on to Waco.   We made it in exactly 12 hours, and beat dad to the hotel by 5 minutes (he flew to Austin and had a few stops to make along the way...a girl has to have a TV!)

All in all the drive was pretty uneventful.  Baby girl stayed at the hotel with us Monday night, and bright and early Tuesday morning we started moving her things in.  The car was packed (despite the fact that she had left a lot of things behind prior to coming home for the summer).  At one point we questioned if it would all fit, but after a bit of rearranging...all was good and we could still see out most of the windows!

Of course it was HOT and HUMID!!  We have been so spoiled with rain and cooler temps here in Georgia this summer.  She was loving the sunshine and warmth however (better you than me kiddo).

The duplex she shares with three of her sorority sisters is adorable.  The girls really outdid themselves in the decor department.  Of course their dads were questioning why "art, curtains, rugs, and such were needed"...they are supposed to be in college after all!!!

Okay, enough are a few pics for your viewing pleasure.

The girls stole found an old door last year on the side of an old building and refinished it, then turned it into a coffee table.

Here you can see the original doorknob and keyhole.

One of the girls made this HUGE chalkboard for their kitchen.  It is probably about 4X6 feet.

A sign made with an old pallet and painted for above their kitchen table.

Z Gallerie curtains they chose for their living area.  They have solid aqua ones in the kitchen as well.

One of her roommates made this cute scrabble wall art with their names.  It hangs on the wall going up their staircase.

Baby girl's gallery wall.  She put it all together and made most of the artwork.

This is a 16x20 print she made that is framed and hangs on the side wall by her bed.

We found this subway art at HomeGoods for a steal!

This is her TV/Desk area in her room.

Her dresser and cart from ikea.  She loves being able to move the cart to where she needs it.

This lamp was another HomeGoods find.

Another canvas she painted for her room.

Monogrammed canvases she painted for each of them.  They hang in their upstairs hallway.

As I mentioned in a previous post...she made good use of my craft room this summer!!!  I kinda miss walking by it with all the paint, canvases and brushes everywhere.  However, I think she has inspired me to get back to crafting!! LOL

The only difficult part of the trip was the fact that just before we left, both baby girl and I were put on gluten free diets by our doctors.  Turns out she has delayed allergies to wheat among other things (egg whites, honey, certain spices, etc) and I had been having stomach issues (mostly due to the fact that my stomach doesn't produce enough acid to break food down properly).  We managed.  We went shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joes back home and packed a box for her to take.  And, then once there we hit up the gluten free section at her local grocery store.  I am happy to report...she is not going to starve.  The girls made a "family meal" last  night...steak fajitas with peppers/onions served with rice and corn tortillas!!  Not the college food I remember.

 Hubby and I enjoyed a few days in Austin, and made a side trip to the San Marcos outlet mall (it is HUGE) where I scored a really cute pair of Tory sandals and Fredricksburg.  Hubby enjoyed walking through the Naval museum, and I enjoyed all the quaint shops along Main Street.

We returned home Saturday, but didn't stay home long.  We headed out to our local high school to watch the football team play an ESPN game.  Our oldest and her boyfriend joined us around half time.  Unfortunately, our team lost big time!!!

It has been awfully quiet since then.  We are slowly but surely getting back into our empty nest routines.  Poor Kylee misses baby girl.  She keeps looking out the window for her!

 Hope all are doing well!  Especially all my empty nest buddies who have just recently sent their kiddos back to college.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Get Your Crafting On~

Well, the official countdown has begun...we leave early Monday morning.  Baby girl and I will head out with a car full to the great state of Texas!

A couple months ago, I shared my craft room reveal.  And while I have used it a bit...Baby Girl put it to the test this summer!!!  She is on a crafting mission.  New pad, blank walls...#sheisapaintingdemon.

Hubby walked upstairs earlier and when he came back downstairs, turned to me and said, "I have a blog post for you."  Uh-oh.  He said, "take a picture of the craft room and title the post, Like Mother Like Daughter."  Seriously, you had better be talkin about the crafting going on and not the mess! LOL

You go girl!

Thetas Love Tory!

I thought he was going to tell us we had been banned from Hobby Lobby for Life!!!

She is going with a coral, navy and white theme (what was your first clue?).  I remember being thrilled with my rainbow bedding and plastic stackable end tables!!  These girls are uber talented!!!

My posts will be a bit sporadic in the coming days.  We are packing, driving (12 hours people!), unpacking, saying goodbyes, hanging in Austin, and then heading home in a matter of days.  However, I will try to keep all updated via Instagram (simplylkjblog). I need stock in Kleenex!  Whoever said dropping your child off for their 2nd year was easier LIED!!!!

However, I am sooo thankful to have my wonderful empty nest blog friends to commiserate with me over the next few weeks.  Seriously year we need to plan our own conference for the 3rd or last weekend of August to party cry together!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Roasted Pork With Black-Eyed Pea Salad

If you follow me on Instagram, simplylkjblog, you got a sneak peek of today's menu.  Hubby fixed this for dinner last night and it was delicious.  The perfect summer meal.

From:  Everyday Food-Great Food Fast

Roasted Pork with Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Serves 4*Prep time: 20 minutes*Total time: 45 minutes

For  the pork:
1 TBS paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 pork tenderloins (10 to 12 ounces each)
1 TBS vegetable oil

For the black-eyed pea salad:
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 TBS cider vinegar
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed)
1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced (we had orange on hand and it worked fine)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Make the pork:  Preheat the oven to 450* F.  In a small bowl, combine the paprika, thyme, cayenne, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper; set the spice mixture aside.

2. Place the pork on a rimmed baking sheet; rub with the oil.  Sprinkle all over with the spice mixture, patting in gently.  Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 150* F, 20 to 25 minutes; let cool.

3. Make the black-eyed pea salad:  In a medium container, whisk the mustard, vinegar, and oil. Add all the vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine.

4. Thinly slice the pork and serve with the salad.  The pork and salad can be stored separately in the refrigerator, covered, up to 3 days.  Bring both to room temperature, and thinly slice the pork just before serving.

Both were delicious and could not be easier!  However, I loved the salad.  It was so light and fresh.  It could easily be served alone as an appetizer with chips.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Creation of the Teacher~

The Good Lord was creating teachers.  It was his sixth day of "overtime" and He knew that this was a tremendous responsibility for teachers would touch the lives of so many impressionable young children. An angel appeared to Him and said, "You are taking a long time to figure this one out."

"Yes, said the Lord, " but have you read the specs on this order?"


...must stand above all students, yet be on their level
...must be able to do 180 things not connected with the subject being taught
...must run on coffee and leftovers,
...must communicate vital knowledge to all students daily and be right most of the time
...must have more time for others than for herself/himself
...must have a smile that can endure through pay cuts, problematic children, and worried parents
...must go on teaching when parents question every move and others are not supportive
...must have 6 pair of hands.

"Six pair of hands, "said the angel, "that's impossible" "Well," said the Lord, " it is not the hands that are the problem.  It is the three pair of eyes that are presenting the most difficulty!"

The angel looked incredulous, "Three pairs of eyes...on a standard model?"

The Lord nodded His head," One pair can see a student for what he is and not what others have labeled him as.  Another pair of eyes is in the back of the teacher's head to see what should not be seen, but what must be known.  The eyes in the front are only to look at the child as he/she "acts out in order to reflect," I understand and I still believe in you", without so much as saying a word to the child."

"Lord," said the angel, " this is a very large project and I think you should work on it tomorrow".

" I can't," said the Lord, " for I have come very close to creating something much like Myself. I  have one that comes to work when he/she is sick...teaches a class of children that do not want to learn...has a special place in his/her heart for children who are not his/her own...understands the struggles of those who have difficulty...never takes the students for granted..."

The angel looked closely at the model the Lord was creating.  "It is too soft-hearted, "said the angel.

"Yes," said the Lord, " but also tough, You can not imagine what this teacher can endure or do, if necessary".

" Can this teacher think?" asked the angel.

"Not only think," said the Lord,. "but reason and compromise."

The angel came closer to have a better look at the model and ran his finger over the teacher's cheek.

"Well, Lord, "said the angel, your job looks fine but there is a leak. I told you that you were putting too much into this model.  You can not imagine the stress that will be placed upon the teacher."

The Lord moved closer and lifted the drop of moisture from the teacher's cheek.  It shone and glistened in the light.

"It is not a leak," He said, " It is a tear."

"A tear? What is that?" asked the angel, "What is a tear for?"

The Lord replied with great thought,  "It is for the joy and pride of seeing a child accomplish even the smallest task.  It is for the loneliness of children who have a hard time to fit in and it is for  compassion for the feelings of their parents.  It comes from the pain of not being able to reach some children and the disappointment those children feel in themselves.  It comes often when a teacher has been with a class for a year and must say good-bye to those students and get ready to welcome a new class."

"My," said the angel, "The tear thing is a great idea...You are a genius!!"

The Lord looked somber, "I didn't put it there."

I won't pretend to get through this without shedding my own tears.  I have been THAT parent...but now I am the parent of THAT teacher!

Today was our oldest's first OFFICIAL day as a new high school teacher and coach.  We could not be more proud of her, and those with whom she is privileged to work with!

May God bless our teachers!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Instagram Issues!


As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was having issues with Instagram...would not let me post pictures, would let me like others pictures I was following, would let me comment on others pictures only to have the comment deleted.

I sent a request to Instagram Friday, still have NOT heard back!

And, now there is a random photo supposedly from my account regarding some weight loss product and my results...I DID NOT POST THIS...BEWARE, SOMEONE IS HACKING INTO ACCOUNTS.  I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE EXPERIENCING THIS PROBLEM.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Need Instagram Help!

So, I finally started using my Instagram account a month or so ago.  Had no problems at first, but just recently I can not post pictures to my account, it let's me "like" others photos and comment, but then when I go back to look it has deleted the comments on others photos.  So frustrating, and can't seem to get any answers.

Sent in a bug report days ago, still haven't heard back.

Anyone else had this problem?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Wheels On The Bus...

go round and round, round and round, round and round... get the picture.

Yup...these bad boys were rolling through the neighborhood today making their trial runs.  School starts next Wednesday for those in our district, but some went back today!  Our oldest is busy with pre-planning and cheerleading at her new school as well.

Where did the summer go???  While I miss my baby girl when she is away at the university, I am however thankful I get her for a few more weeks.  Next week would have been way too soon.

Whatever happened to the "TRADITIONAL" school year??? Day after Labor Day-1st week of June???

And, if that isn't bad enough...Hobby Lobby already has all the Christmas stuff out!!! Yikes!

Anyone else out there wishing you could put the brakes on???