The Best FRIENDS-Themed Party Ever: Inside Ashlyn’s FRIENDS/Central Perk Graduation Party

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I possibly threw the very first FRIENDS TV Show themed bridal shower, and was one of just three people ever to blog about a FRIENDS-themed party (I did the research). So, when I planned the FRIENDS shower for my best friend back in 2013, my … Continue reading

The Beekeeping Groupon

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If you know me, you know I’m all about a new experience. I like to try new things, and will most likely jump at an opportunity to do just that. My interests vary and change, and around Christmas 2014, I saw a groupon for Beekeeping and purchased it as a present for my husband (AND secretly myself as well!). It wasn’t a spur of the moment buy, as earlier in the summer I had thought it might be something I was interested in learning more about, and learn I did.

As the groupon was nearing its 6 month expiration, I thought, “no better time to check this out, than on my husband’s 30th birthday!”. So, the morning of his big 3-0, we arose and headed to a discreet, weedy, and chigger infested location within the city of Rowlett,TX. Lets just say, had i doused myself in DEET bugspray prior, my overall experience would get a 10 out of 10!

The Details:

  • Groupon: $79 for two adults
  • Beekeeping: Round Rock Honey, 10am on a Saturday morning.
  • Expectations:  wear badass bee suit, get near bee hives (actually boxes), and taste the honey. Check mark for ALL 3: this girl did it all AND, got to hold several bee frames that had combs on it!

*We arrived, parking in a small field, easily accessible by a nearby main road. After walking a short distance, we were greeted warmly by our beekeeping guru, a zany but confident woman. Our  expert had many years experience with bees AND absolutely zero fear of the flying striped bandits. Upon signing in, we were directed to tubs containing protective gear and gloves, in many sizes. Following our desired size pick, we continued down a short overgrown path, to a clearing in a field. We personally (along with everybody and their brother) had forgotten chairs to sit in, but our expert beekeeper pulled up her truck, as did another hardcore beekeeper, and we “tailgated” as we learned more about bee species, habits, and the importance of their existence in our lives.

Smoking the hive, to calm the bees

Smoking the hive, to calm the bees

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A not so developed comb.

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Interesting things learned:

  • bees don’t live long (workers- 6-8 weeks, queen- 2-3 years)
  • each box contains 1 queen
  • bees occassionally are transported across country, via semi-trucks. These semi trucks transport the hives on the truck bed, and are all enveloped by a huge lightweight mesh covering. Literally 1 week after my class, I was on a road trip to NE, and saw this very thing!
  • after purchasing pure honey, it can harden/crystallize-but this doesn’t mean it has gone rotten. You can actually microwave it, to be good as new!
  • honeys taste is reflected by the pollen and nectar gathered from the flowers and plants near the hive
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Yours Truly

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You can see the honey in this picture, as well as the queen bee. She is the longer one towards the top right. Her torso is darker than her surrounding workers.

While I cannot speak for other classes Round Rock Honey offers in different cities, I can commend the one I attended. I would highly recommend a similar introductory class for those that are just curious, interested in learning, and especially those interested in starting a hive.

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First Birthday Party: Sweet Little Peach, Georgia Peach, Sweet Tea Theme, Southern Baby Girl First Birthday Party

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My daughter turned one. It was an occasion I always claimed I’d never waste money on a party my kids would never remember, but I didn’t know what it was like to survive the first year of your new baby’s … Continue reading

El Sanctuario de Chimayo

Driving to Chimayo, NM

En route to Chimayo, NM

Always up for an adventure, when my husband mentioned New Mexico for New Year’s Eve, I was packed in an hour. As it was last minute, I hastily researched where to stay, and it was decided: Chimayo, New Mexico. Chimayo, a great location between Taos and Santa Fe, is relatively small and can be driven through in about 10 minutes. Located about 40 minutes (scenic highway drive) to Taos, Chimayo is perfect for skiers, wanting to escape the overpriced rates (in Taos) charged during ski season. Within minutes of nearby town Espanola, one can also play the slot machines for a few hours, at the small-ish but clean, casinos (we did, and it was fun). Three things highly rated on Trip Advisor for the town of Chimayo: Casa Escondida-a bed and breakfast we enjoyed on this short jaunt, Rancho de Chimayo Restaurante – a good Mexican restaurant with strong margaritas, which we partook, and El Sanctuario de Chimayo-a religious and sacred site for many.

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El Sanctuario de Chimayo during the day

Sanctuario de Chimayo, a stone’s throw from the main road, is as lovely in mid-day as it is in evening hours. I am pleased I convinced my husband to do a drive by at night, as the grounds were lit with glowing Christmas luminaries (To potential travelers: I am unsure if there are luminaries throughout other seasons- but there definitely are during December holidays).

During Easter weekend, many make a pilgrimage to this place of worship, as it is believed to be sacred, and has been a location of various “miraculous occurences”. Within the church, there is a little room off to the front side of the altar, containing yet another small room which houses a shallow pit supposedly filled with healing “holy dirt” for the general public to take. As a skeptic, I wonder, how does the shallow pit stay filled with “holy” dirt, but again, a healing is a miracle, and miracles can not be explained.

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To visit the lovely Sanctuario, the location is easy to find, however the parking situation is somewhat of a hassle. The spots to leave ones vehicle are few, and are also difficult to get to as the entrance to the lot is barely big enough for two cars to pass. Once in, you could probably spend about forty five minutes, walking the grounds surrounding the church, neighboring church, and just reflecting on the moment and peaceful scenery. As a traveler, I would definitely suggest visiting at least once, however once seen, I don’t believe a second trip is necessary. For trip advisor, I would rate the trip and experience with several good gold stars.

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Welcome to the World Baby Shower for a Boy: Map Decor Details, Globes & More

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A few Little Rock ladies and I recently hosted a baby shower for my dear friend, Kami. She’s having a little boy in early March. Name to be determined. :) Her best friend, Chrissy thought of a precious little theme: Welcome … Continue reading

A Somewhat Excusable Excuse

So.  It’s been quite a while since my first post as a new Mrs., and without completely excusing my absence and abandoning my “you-really-can-do-it-all” belief, l must provide even the smallest reason for my extremely tardy, second-ever post.

I’m PREGGO!

And let me tell you… {which, depending on your life stage and gender, I may not need to}, this pregnancy has kicked my little, normally-can’t-sit-still, must-always-be-productive rear end!  If your heart ever desires, look up even the most basic list of pregnancy symptoms and go ahead and put a check mark near every. single. one.  And while I am so super excited about holding our new baby, growing our family and can completely forgive-and-forget all symptoms for the greater end-result, one of the worst parts of this pregnancy has been the baby-brain.  Just call me Dory {think, Finding Nemo}.  Seriously, I have to make a reminder to remind myself to make a to-do list…

It’s BAD!

So.  Now that I have provided a somewhat excusable excuse and shared some big news, I have to share one of my recent, {smaller} home improvement undertakings that was spurred on by needing a little more functionality, a little less “everything is hard-to-reach” {hello, 5’2”}, and maybe the earliest case of nesting ever.   The goal: lower the washer and dryer and create a counter top so folding can be done in the laundry room and we could gain some much needed, extra space in the cabinets.

And as a disclaimer… I must give credit where credit is due.  I was NOT the implementer of our new, beautifully-functional laundry room.  Just the semi-creative mind.  Being pregnant kind of puts a stop to lifting washing machines and dryers… {as does being me in general}.  So.  Thank you, Hubby, for giving up your Saturday so that the new baby’s room can actually be turned into a baby’s room and not continue on as a laundry-folding-habitation.

It’s still not completely beautiful {I could stand to decorate a bit more creatively and change out the rug for something with more color}, but I’m proud!  Sorry, I forgot to take before pictures. Go figure!  If I can find some from back-in-the-day when we bought our house, I’ll add them!

Laundry Room Makeover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials used and Cost:

* Basic tools to remove the bolted-on pedestals (already owned)
* New dryer connection tube so the dryer could be pushed further back against the wall (about $5.00 at Home Depot)
* Primed hollow-core door ($25.00 at Home Depot)
* Washer and Dryer feet (already owned…we also learned that the pedestal feet don’t necessarily fit the actual machines)…so make sure you keep yours if you put your machines on pedestals!
* Quite a bit of time…maybe 4 hours. Especially if you only have one person disconnecting, moving, re-positioning and re-connecting the machines.

Total Cost: One Saturday afternoon and about $30.00.  Not. Bad.

I, of course, have plenty to post about recipes and teacher’s gifts that were made during the Christmas season {which I personally L-O-V-E}.  Those will be posted soon (who cares that it’s February and not December anymore, right?).  I promise you, I am NOT abandoning being a new Mrs.!

As I always will, I wish you blessings!  Talk soon.

LYFE Kitchen restaurant review

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Recently I tried a new restaurant, LYFE kitchen with one of my best girlfriends. After a light dinner and fun conversation- we agreed to definitely revisit in the near future. Personally, I truly enjoy trying new places- as every time is a … Continue reading

My Concert Bucket List: 8 Shows I Am Dying to See

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My husband and I aren’t big concert goers. We used to be, but have stopped seeking out shows in recent years. It’s not that we aren’t music fans; we are. It’s that concerts were ruined for us in 2007. We … Continue reading

Gravy your Grandma would ask for…

Seriously. I freaking love the taste of homemade biscuits and gravy, but today we only have time for the gravy, gals! So grab yourself a bag of Pillsbury boy frozen biscuits at your nearby grocery store and get ready for your family to ask for seconds.

Some people list their ingredients at the end of a recipe, I like to tempt you with a picture first…..

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 and then give you your list (which since its the gravy your grandma would ask for, means, that you ALREADY have the ingredients!!!)

Only 6 Ingredients:

pepper

Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

sausage

Frozen biscuits

flour

milk

 

Why I’m The New Wife

I am SUPER excited {slash nervous} to announce that I have joined the Mrs. & Misc. team!  Eek!  It’s going to be an adventure for sure.  So for my very first post…

here’s the story of why I’m the new wife:

As a writer at heart {hello, I was a Journalism Major}, but executive admin by trade, my creative juices are frequently stifled and I have been absolutely muddling over what the right outlet should be for me.  I love cooking. I love salvaging sad, old items and making them into something beautiful.  I love decorating.  I love creating!  And outside of the normal chatter with friends and family, my ideas and experiences {good & bad} never really get shared.  Enter Lindsay Irvin.

You already know her.  But to me, she is my insanely awesome sister-in-law who was dubbed my “real sister” back-in-the-day before my brother put a ring on her finger and she became, as you know her, Mrs. Irvin.

Lindsay recently threw out the idea of my joining the Mrs. & Misc. while graciously listening to me tell her about my laundry list of half-complete efforts to take my new-ish home from worst-house-on-the-block status to Better Homes and Gardens worthy.  After giving it some thought {but let’s be honest, not THAT much thought}, exchanging a few text messages and stumbling my way through the world of creating a blog post…here I am.

So I’m the new wife.  And in a lot of ways, I’m pretty new at a lot of other things that I’m sure I will share with you as well.  So be looking for a more in-depth post from me soon.  Maybe a recipe.  Maybe a DIY.  Maybe a short “about me” to better introduce myself.  But for now, here’s a {very small} photographic glimpse into my life – in no particular order.

As I always will, I wish you blessings!  Talk soon.

-Andi

Birthday

Family on way to Ark

B and I

Andi and Avery after biking