Fall Cleaning, Surviving Irma & a Hurricane Slumber Party!

In my last blog, I mentioned that we were doing Fall Cleaning this weekend, and I wasn't kidding! We spent almost the entire day cleaning and getting things ready for the change of seasons.

I washed and ironed (whut) all the curtains in our house, cleaned the oven, dusted all the fans and light fixtures, cleaned all the baseboards and crown molding and flipped our mattress.

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B literally cleaned every window in our entire house (22 in all), as well as the window sills and the screens. He was my hero! It was a lot of work, but the windows are so clean and clear now! They look so good.

We were worn slap out after all that work. I slept like a baby until Sunday morning.

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Sunday after church, we had lunch with my parents. B grilled steaks and my mom pan roasted asparagus, mushrooms and onions. It was all so good! I made this salad platter, too. This is my favorite way to set up salads when serving them at parties/get togethers. I had romaine, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion and green bell pepper from my garden! I made a creamy Italian dressing to go on the side. Easy and delicious!

We knew Irma was scheduled to hit Sunday night, so B went to Walmart to get some snacks, water bottles and some other things we needed around the house.

Josh, Erika & Trey came over to wait out the storm. We watched Irma coverage and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers before we decided to watch some movies.

First we watched Signs. I don't know why, but we discussed this movie when we hung out a few weeks ago and we've been saying we were going to watch it ever since. I remember being really scared of this movie when I was a kid, but it really wasn't that scary this go around. After Signs, we watched an 80's "horror" movie called "The Wraith". It was really bad. LOL But it was funny to watch it with our pals. I do not recommend.

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Monday we woke up and nothing was going on yet. It was rainy, but not much else was happening. B made me a latte and we watched more Weather Channel. I'm telling you, I was glued.

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Once everyone else was awake, I decided to make breakfast. Pumpkin and regular buttermilk pancakes with bacon. Easy and delish. After we ate, we settled in for a Harry Potter movie marathon.

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We took a break for a brief intermission in between the movies to check out what was going on outside. The wind was really picking up around 1PM. We had a few branches and a couple of limbs fall, but nothing too crazy. We were very lucky. Our neighbor had a tree fall on her house. I can't even imagine.

And then... The lights went out. We moved out from the den to the dining room and started playing games. We played Uno... Katie was the dark horse and dominated us.

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And then, Taboo -- My personal fave! The girls won!

Maxx really doesn't freak out during bad weather, but he was seemingly nervous yesterday. I think he just knew something was going on, but he didn't understand. I pulled a chair up to the table and put his bed on it, so he could be close to us. He was very happy! : )

To finish our game marathon, we played Monopoly for 4 1/2 hours... I have so many memories of playing this game with my family, but it's not my fave. Josh dominated the game, and I had terrible luck and kept rolling to the corners and drawing crap cards. Ha!

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It was really fun having everyone over for basically 24-hours. I have a dream that one day we will all live on a commune together and that's what this felt like. LOL Thankfully, we got power back, right around 10:30PM. I was so happy to have it back, but I know a lot of people in town are still without. Props to GA Power! They even texted us to let us know power had been restored to our area. So nice!

Hello Summer!

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May was a strug.

I never thought summer break would come. After our beach trip, I knew time would tick away slowly. The last month of school is full of fun, but also a lot of chaos. The kids have summer fever, the teachers are tired and everything is ready for a break. I had countdowns on my phone, my white board, my desk calendar, and even in the bathroom... You could say I was ready : )

In the midst of the chaos, there were moments of peace. I walked outside one evening to find this sunset, and I had to take a picture. Of course, a photo doesn't do it justice... Does it ever?

Sunday night Supper Club is still going strong. We had a fake low country boil at the beginning of May.. I say fake because we got the crab legs steamed at Kroger and just boiled the potatoes and corn separately. This was so good! And it just signifies summer for me...

   

The most exciting part of the month was (of course) Mack's 3rd Birthday! Mack is officially a "big boy" and he will tell you so... : )

We had BBQ at his party and it was so good! If nothing else, my family knows how to throw a party.

   

Mack's Birthday present was a little gator. He fell in L O V E immediately. He was so cute! The 2nd picture was from the next morning before 7AM... He woke up wanting to ride! I love him more than words can say.

The last day of school! We made it. I'm not being dramatic when I say, there were days I didn't think I'd make it to May 24th... But we did it! Together.

   

A lot of change is coming our way next year... We will no longer be Blandy Hills and will have a new name, as well as be converting to a K-2 school rather than K-5. It will be different, to say the least, but change is not always a bad thing.

    

    

Another change going on is in our youth group! For the summer, we will be having small group Bible study in people's homes rather than meeting as a large group at church. I'm excited to be hosting the High School girls at our house! Week 1 we had a Luau theme... I served "Maui" Onion Dip, Hawaiian punch,  Tropical fruit and Hawaiian pork (cocktail wienies). I love a theme.

    

Week 2, we did a Fiesta themed nacho bar! We also combined with the boys since their regular hosts were out of town. This was so much fun. I wish I could have people over every night!

   

   

   

For Memorial Day, we had a little get together at the house. B smoked a butt (which took FOREVER) but it was sooooo worth the wait! We listened to some classic Patriotic hits and even said the Pledge of Allegiance before we ate supper. It was a great day to be an American.

Christmas Candy: Homemade Butterfingers

This was a first time recipe for me... I've never actually made these, but I have held this recipe in my mind since I was a freshman in college. I absolutely love Butterfingers, so I'm not really sure why it took me so long to try these. They were so easy to make, and they really do have the same crispy texture as a traditional Butterfinger candy!

Homemade Butterfingers Makes 24

  • 48 cheese crackers (Such as Cheez-It)
  • 6 cubes of chocolate almond bark
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

Heat the chocolate in a mixing bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir well, and then return to the microwave for 30 seconds increments, continuing to stir each time until it is completely smooth. Set aside to cool.

    

While the chocolate is cooling, spread peanut butter on 24 of the crackers, then top those crackers with the remaining 24.

Honestly, we could skip the chocolate and I would be fine eating them like this. Geez, this was dangerous to be around me in the house!

When the chocolate is cool enough to touch, begin dipping the crackers in. I dropped mine in one at a time and then used a spoon to cover the other side.

Place the finished "butterfingers" on a baking sheet covered with parchment or wax paper and set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so the chocolate can harden and set completely.

     

These are unique and would be great for a party or holiday get together... Another plus, they are so easy that your kids can help you make them!

 

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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So, did any girls have plans other than watching the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix yesterday? Geez, it seemed like everyone I know was watching! And I don't blame them : )

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I watched Gilmore Girls when it was on television in high school, but I wasn't a devoted fan. This summer I re-watched the series on Netflix and I fell in love with it! Then, when the revival was announced, I was so excited! The finale leaves a lot of questions unanswered, so it was perfect timing...

Of course, I knew that I had to have a party to celebrate the occasion, and since food is basically another main character, it was easy to come up with a spread...

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I tried to make foods that played significant parts in the show's story. I actually had a list with more than this! I loved finding all the quotes and reminiscing on all the different jokes from the show...

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Lorelai is always eating Doughnuts at Luke's Diner, but this moment from one of Stars Hollow's many town hall meetings was one of my favorites...

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Mrs. Kim never allowed Lane to eat French fries... But Rory was always sneaking them for her. I made sure to remind the girls that Mrs. Kim would not approve : )

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One of my favorite quotes from GG... It's not so much about the Pop Tarts, but about Lorelai's passion for food... "I opened the little silver wrapper, and I took a bite, and I thought nothing had ever tasted so good. I thought it tasted like freedom. It tasted like I was my own person. The Pop Tart tasted like freedom and rebellion and independence."

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DEVILED EGGS. One of my favorite moments from the entire series is when Lorelai and Rory throw deviled eggs at Jess's car. It's honestly one of the funniest moments from all television to me. It reminds me of something me and my friends would do... Ha! They are a bit unconventional for a party like this, but I just couldn't leave deviled eggs off our menu.

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Rory asked Sookie to make Rocky Road cookies for Dean (her first boyfriend)... So, I had to make Rocky Road Cookies (recipe here). They were really rich and sweet, but they were soooo good.

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Pizza, Pie, Chinese Chicken, Cake and Red Vines... Nothing specific to say here, but  the Gilmore Girls were always eating these in some form or fashion. I'm gonna tell you, I don't understand how they stay so skinny. I wish I knew their secret...

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Last but not least... these adorable Luke's Diner cookies! Oh my goodness, they are perfect. My coworker and friend made them and I absolutely love them. Check her Facebook page out here.

I love any excuse for a party, and I'm really proud of all the things I came up with!