Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Love Surprises

 Over 5 months ago I got a call from a friend of ours, Nicky, who is married to one of Chris' BEST friends, Willie. Willie and Chris have been friends since they were 4 years old and even though they have not been living anywhere close to each other for over 15 years now they have remained very good friends. Nicky called me because she wanted to plan a surprise for Willie and she wanted us to be involved! They live in Illinois so we don't really get to see each other that often so we planned a surprise vacation for Willie's birthday!  
Once we decided Pensacola would be the perfect vacation spot for all of us we booked the hotel, Nicky booked their plane tickets and Chris and I got my car all ready for the trip (so we thought . . .)

Chris and I left town Wednesday afternoon right after I got home from school. We were headed for Biloxi, MS, but we never made it. Chris was driving and at 11:40pm he woke me up and said, "Babe something wrong, the cars not working and all the lights are on!" As I woke up my poor car was coasting to a stop. Chris had stopped at a red light and when we pushed the gas to go, that was it, the car was done, no warnings. :(  We found ourselves on the side of the road in Hattiesburg, MS which is just about an hour from Biloxi. I called our insurance since we have roadside assistance (THANK YOU GOD!)  and they sent out a guy to try to jump start it since we really were not sure what the problem was. Like I said, there was no warning, no smell, no leak! After a failed attempt to jump start it in the rain, yes, it was RAINING! We had to wait for the insurance to send out a tow truck. While we were waiting for the tow truck the insurance sent out a local police officer the check on us. He informed us not to leave our car or stay in any of the hotels within walking distance, "Everything will be missing in the morning!" - no joke, those were his exact words! So we waited in our car, at 3:15am the tow truck finally arrived and towed the car to a Firestone, 4 miles up the road.:(  This was the view from our car from 11:40pm-3:15am

The tow truck finally arrived!!!
After the tow truck dropped us off and we rolled the car back into a spot we grabbed all the beach towels out of the trunk and wrapped up to try to keep warm and get some sleep. Firestone opened at 7am so as soon as they unlocked the doors we went in to get help. At that time we still had some hope that we would be able make it to Pensacola (just about 3hrs away) in time to pick up Willie and Nicky from the airport at 3:40pm. At 8:15am when they figured out what was wrong with it we knew there was no way we were going to make it in time to meet them at the airport. They told us that we needed a new timing belt, water pump and some other things but the kicker was that even if they did all that work it was a 50/50 shot that they car may or may not work again! At 1:30pm the parts arrived and they got to work on the car and we started praying! 5:30pm was the moment of truth! Everyone in the shop held their breathe as we waited to see what would happen and when the car started we heard cheering all over the shop! 14 hrs later we were on the road again!

Earlier that morning in Chicago Nicky woke Willie up, gave him the airline tickets and told him to get dresses (she had already packed their bags). Nicky text us right before they departed from Chicago but at that time we didn't know what to tell her about the car so we waited. They had a lay over in Dallas so she "went to the bathroom" to get away from Willie and called us. Chris told her everything and they decided that she would get a taxi to get them to the hotel and do her best to keep everything a surprise!

We made it to Pensacola at about 8:30 that evening. Nicky text us the room number and we headed up to the room! Y'all have no idea how excited Chris was!
The power had gone out before we got there & the hotel was sending up someone to work on the cable so when Nicky opened the door she said, "Oh, it's the cable guy!" When Willie got up off the bed and saw
Chris he froze. You can't see it in the picture but Willie totally teared up! :)
It was a PeRfEcT SuRpRiSe!!! It is still hard to believe that we pulled it off!  We planned everything out for almost 1/2 a year and Willie had NO CLUE!!

Did I mention that Willie was so happy to see Chris?

Our hotel was beautiful and it was right on the beach which made it even better! 
Here is the view from our balcony. . .
We had so much fun! The next morning the weather was a little rainy but we went out to the beach anyway.

Each night we would get all cleaned and a head out to try one of the fun restaurants there. 
The rest of the time the weather was perfect and we were outside and on the beach as mush as possible!

On Sunday (Willie's Birthday) we went out for a nice dinner and surprised him with a little birthday cake!

Monday we decided to take a dolphin cruise! After we made the decision to go on the little cruise I remembered that Chris gets sea sick on ferry boats, you know the kind you stay in your car and they shuttle you back and forth, so we planned a head and had him take some Dramamine. The max dose was 4 pills so before we left he took 2 and as we were sitting there waiting to take off he said he really thought he might need the other 2 cause he was starting to feel it. The 2 hr cruise was great and we had a lot of fun!

We saw dolphins and we had a dance party! The captain thought that since Nicky and I were taking picture and recording Willie and Chris dancing that we needed our own little duet on the bow of the boat, in front of everyone!

After the dolphin cruise we headed back to the hotel to watch the sunset on the beach. 

One of the side effect of Dramamine is that it can make you tired. Well the meds did everything they said they would do, Chris didn't get sea sick and hours later he was exhausted. We decided that we would just order pizza and hang out at the hotel the rest of the night and it is a good thing we did. No joke, Chris was having a hard time staying awake to finish his dinner. Poor guy!!!

Tuesday morning we woke up early and packed up all out stuff and headed out to take Willie and Nicky to the airport. :(
After dropping them off Chris and I began our very uneventful 11 hr drive home!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sugar Coma

Do you ever just get in a baking mood and want to try something new and fun? I do, I LOVE to bake! It is not even that I want to eat what I make, I love making new things for other people. So you guessed it, I'm at it again! Luckly this time NONE of it is staying in my house!
I have a good friend at my church that works at Christian Brother's and they take AWESOME care of me and my car so I wanted to make them something special!
This is SUPER easy! It is only 2 ingredients - 1 can of apple pie filling and 1 box of Angel food cake (dry mix only). Mix both ingredients together. Put into a greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top and bake on 350 for 20 minutes or until top browns. I heard that they loved it!

All these other awesome treats I made for some luck band guys! We are having a concert at our church tonight and we always provide dinner and dessert for the bands, I do the desserts. :)
Just click on the name of the dessert for the complete recipe. According to the recipe the brownies are made from scratch but I used a family size box of fudge brownies and let them cool completely and it worked great!

Holy Moly, So easy! 1 cup unsalted butter (no margarine allowed), 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, & saltine crackers. For all the detail just click on the name!

The cookie dough is made without eggs so you can leave it RAW!!! According to the recipe the brownies are made from scratch but I used a family size box of fudge brownies, let them cool completely and it worked just as good!

The only thing I did different was to add whipped vanilla icing on top!
I would HIGHLY recommend the addition of the icing! :)

Oreo Bombs
Honestly, these are not Pinterest inspired! I had a student give me these as a gift a few years ago and I have been making them ever since! They are pretty simple but they do take a while to make. 1 package of double stuffed oreos and 1 package of cream cheese! Crush the oreos and mix in the softened cream cheese. Place in freezer for 20 mins. Roll into balls and place back in the freezer for another 20 mins! Cover them in chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over them and they need to go back into the freezer/ fridge until you are ready to serve them. :)

I'm thinking it may be time to start making some real meals but they are just not as much fun. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm Addicted!

If you have read any of my past post you can see that I have found a new addiction . . .Pinterest!  If you haven't tried it you are truly missing out! I am getting all kinds of fun/ cool ideas for crafts, baby showers, birthday parties, my future kids, and my future home. Since I do not have any of that going on right now I am finding a LOT of fun food ideas! 

Here are the things I have tried so far and let me just tell you, so far everything I've made has gotten 2 Thumbs up from the family! Just click on the title for each one and it will take you to the recipe!
These were a big hit among kids and adults! 
Canned biscuits, shredded cheese, garlic, and diced pepperoni all rolled into a ball and put in a greased muffin pan! Bake on 350 for about 13mins! These where even good plain but can be better in Ranch or Marinara sauce!

 BIG HIT!  I am not a cook and my meal recipe book, before Pinterest, consisted of Mac N Cheese, Spaghetti, Tacos, and scrambles eggs (that's NO JOKE!). I was so proud of myself when I made these. They are very easy and super yummy!

The picture is pretty self explanatory! Once again this was good plain but can be better in Ranch or Marinara sauce!

The original recipe calls for bacon, scrambled eggs, and shredded cheese and I bet that would be super yummy but we didn't have any bacon so I used sausage instead and that was pretty great!

I didn't cut the graham crackers into circle I just broke them into 4 pieces and I used the marshmallow that are made flattened! Way Easy and oh so good!

OH HOLY MOLY! Can we saw sugar rush!
The first time I make these I crushed up the layer with the oreos but the second time I left them whole like in the picture and all I have to say it . . . Do what the instruction say! It was sooo good!

We had a few bananas at the house that were about to go bad so I had to try this. I've never made banana bread before and I always thought that is was super hard to do, boy was I wrong! 

This was one of the easiest desserts I've ever made. I just got a graham cracker crust from the store, made some chocolate pudding (with half the milk so that the consistency would be thicker). I put the pudding in the crust and placed in in the fridge until we were ready for dessert. I then put big marshmallows on top and I set the oven on High Broil, place the whole thing in until the marshmallows were a golden brown (about 5 mins)! The only problem was it was NEARLY impossible to cut! I think the next time I make it I'll try mini marshmallows instead.

Wow! These were GOOD! When I made them I placed them straight onto the cookie sheet to bake . . . bad idea! Be sure to follow the instructions and place them on a parchment paper lines cookie sheet!

Well, that's it for now but I after this blog my mouth is watering so who knows what I'll bake/make next!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Locks of Love

Over the weekend my husband decided that it was time for his beautiful curly locks to go! He has had his hair long for over 3 years and I loved it! I was completely against him cutting it and I have been trying to talk him into keeping it for a while now but he was ready to let it go! 

For the first 4 1/2 years we were together this was Chris . . .
Clean cut

Then 3 1/2 years ago he started growing his hair & sportin' a beard...
My Mountian Man

Well, now I think he is a mix of both . . .
Chris donated 11 inches to Locks of Love and 
they cut off over 14 inches . . .

The beard also got a pretty good trim when we got home. I was sad but I actually think I like this look better. I am proud of him for stickin' it out as long as he did. I know how hard it is, I can't get my hair past my shoulders without getting frustrated and getting it cut.