Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time for an update I guess.

Obviously I have yet to fully recover from being sick. I mean I am no longer sick, but I haven't been able to actually catch up on life since then. I am running about a week behind it feels like.

Friday night, C and I went to Chick-Fil-A as always, and we just happened to come across this, and it cracked me up!

Then after much begging and pleading, I finally got C to rub my feet once we got home and were watching TV. It rarely happens, so when it does, I take full advantage! 

Saturday was spent working like crazy to get as much decorating done as possible because I am still slacking. I know it is crazy. I love Christmas way to much and I feel like I am the last one to finally get into some serious decorating. I've had a few things up for a while, but this is the first tree that made it up. It is the first year we decided to put one in the dining room, and I am thrilled about it! 

Sunday it was pretty out, so we finally got around to cleaning up the leaves. We have 3 large trees that have tons of leaves and as long as there are leaves on the tree, there are going to be tons on the ground as well. So we wait until almost all the leaves have fallen to get them up. I insisted we jump in the big pile as well. 

Sunday night, this little girl got her first Christmas toy. Sneaky little thing found some of her Christmas presents too. I need to figure out how to hide them better obviously! She also decided to help get the wreaths ready to be put up. 

And finally, Every night since Saturday, I have been able to lay on the couch and see out beautiful un-decorated Christmas tree! I am dying for Christmas Saturday to get here so that we can finally decorate it and watch Christmas Vacation for the first time of the season! I have struggled so much in waiting! 

And lastly, C introduced me to this place Sunday evening. We have eaten there every day since. Totally amazing! I am pretty sure that we would eat there again if it wasn't for celebrating my step-mom's birthday today. 

I'm hoping to resume my Cruise recaps next week, and I've also got several gift posts ready to go as well! I hope ya'll have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking up with Sami! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Under the Weather Favorites

Being sick has knocked me off my feet. There is just no other way to put it. I was sick all last week, but it didn't get bad until Sunday afternoon. Monday, it got worse, and it got even worse on Tuesday. When I woke up Wednesday, I was sure that I had almost gotten over it until I got to work and had a sinus headache that made a heater on low in another room sound like a bulldozer. Que the tears and a trip to the doctor!

Sinus Infection = 1 Cait = 0. I got medication, and went home and laid in bed until C got home. By that point, my ears had so much pressure in them, they were ringing making it impossible for me to sleep. I convinced C to drive up the mountain so I could get my ears to pop. It is only weird if it doesn't work. And it worked. I was so thankful the moment my ears popped!! Downside, I got nauseated from the curves.

Sinus Infection = 2 Cait = 0. It got so bad that I actually fell asleep on the bathroom floor. Not my finest moment, but I am so glad that I had just cleaned the floor 2 days before! I felt so bad for C because I know that seeing me sick is hard on him because there is nothing he can do to help.

So in being under the weather, there are a few things I love to have around me to make me feel a little better. Who knows, maybe some of my favorites will help you get through being under the weather, though I hope you don't ever get sick!! It is no fun!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4
5 // 6 // 7 // 8

I love this humidifier. I use it all winter anyway, but I especially love it when I am sick. It helps me breathe easier, and it gives off a little white noise which helps me fall asleep. Plus it is super cute. It is well worth the money.

I hate hate double hate the taste of regular cough drops, so when I found these, I fell in love! I always have a bag at home just in case I get a slight cough. They help almost immediately. And speaking of immediate relief, those Kleenex are the bomb. I are super picky about my Kleenex because I don't want a Rudolph nose no matter how festive it would be. I just found these Wednesday, and they are now the only Kleenex I plan on buying. Maybe it is only me, but I find that when I am sick, I get chapped lips quick. I have found the best way to offset the dreaded chapped lips is to use Chapstick like it is my job. Good news is the original Chapstick is cheap, and no one ever uses an entire tube anyway, so once you are over being sick, just toss it in the trash to avoid spreading germs.

A big problem I have when I am sick is I get dehydrated. So having a cute cup to drink out of actually helps me drink more water. Staying hydrated is so important anyway, so I have many cute cups to choose from.

I don't know about you guys, but being under the weather means that I want cozy socks, sweat pants, a hoodie and a heated blanket. C and I bought this heated blanket not long ago, and we love it! I may or may not have pulled ours off the bed to use while I was laying on the couch. And those socks. Talk about comfy. I suggest you hope on over to J.Crew's website and buy them in all colors.

Lastly, I keep a bottle of Bath and Body Works PocketBacs with me at all times. I am always washing my hands and using sanitizer when I am sick. I do whatever I can to avoid spreading germs. My personal favorite this time of year is either Creamy Pumpkin or Candy Cane Bliss.

And there you have it, my under the weather favorites. I hope that you never need this list.

Cara Box Reveal!!

So I actually love the way that Kaitlyn is doing the Cara Box Exchange now. It gives you so much time to get to know those you are paired up with so that you are sure to send and receive an awesome box! I'm not going to lie, I love getting different things in the mail. All I seem to get now is bills, so getting a box full of amazing stuff is pretty much a sure way to put me in a good mood!

This go round I was paired up with two lovely ladies! First up is Bri from Faithful Footprints. Her and her husband are adorable! She is a southern girl with a love of Christmas! A girl after my own heart I tell ya! Lucky girl is almost done with her Christmas shopping! She is a hard worker, working 2 jobs, and a lover of all things pink and it is a good thing too because there may or may not be some pink in her box! You can see the box I sent her here.

Next up is Caitlin...side note : Oh.My.Goodness. I got paired up with not only another Caitlin, but one who's name is spelled the exact.same.way! Not only that, but her Etsy shop is Posies by Cait. Cait and Cait?? I die from the sheer awesomeness. So crazy that we got paired up! Blew my mind, and I almost didn't respond to her email because I thought it was one I had sent myself from a different email address. I don't do that. Itotallydothat.

Any who. Caitlin is adorable! she blogs over at Voguish at Best! She did a guest post for me back in October. You can read it here. Caitlin and her husband are fellow UGA fans! Go Dawgs! She loves fall scents, Revenge, and books. She celebrated her birthday by going to DC and I swear her Halloween costumes are adorable!

Here is the box she sent me!

First off, how cute is this envelope! So creative! I have no creativity whatsoever, so I love seeing others creativity!

She did so good! The lotion I opened as soon as I pulled it out of the box, and I used it immediately, then proceeded to shove my hands in C's face and say, "smell!" I tried to convince him to use it, but it was too girly for him. The spray, I opened and sprayed it and in a matter of moments, I decided that scent has to be one of my favorites! I plan on painting my toenails soon with the polish, and no I will not be letting C do it. Do we all remember what happened the last time? The earrings are great, and I wore them over the next two days. Something about fall makes me want to wear gold accessories, so these were a perfect addition.

And the candle, holy yummy! I love getting stuff that smells so good that you could eat it. As soon as I snapped the "group picture" I got the lighter and set that yummy candle up. It made the whole house smell wonderful!

Side note : That creepy Santa bell has been in my family for years. I don't think I realized how creepy it was until I saw this picture...

And finally, the coffee...I love all things festive, and guess what. Coffee is no different. I drink a ton of PSL, salted caramel mocha, and apple cider during fall, so when I saw this bag, I fell in love with just how festive it was! Confession : Sometimes I buy things just because the packaging is amazing and festive. I would have purchased this for myself if I found it. I am so glad she sent this! C doesn't usually drink flavored coffee, but I brewed a pot of this and C just couldn't resist. We made it over the next several mornings as well. I'm not a black coffee drinker, so just a touch of French vanilla creamer and it was perfect! Though to make things extra festive, I added whipped cream and a touch of pumpkin pie spice on top. It was so yummy! I could not believe how amazing it was! I will be so sad when it is all gone, and I will be out hunting more!!

Thanks so much to my wonderful Cara Box partners, and to Kaitlyn for making this another great cara box exchange.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This time last year...

At this time last year, I was sick. I got strep. It was a horrible experience considering I hadn't been sick like that in a long time. I was off work for several days. You can read a little about that here.

This year, guess what has happened!! That is right! I am sick again. I feel horrible, much worse than last year. I am pretty sure that C was ready to take me to the hospital last night because it seemed like I was dying. It is just horrible. I have gone through a bag of cough drops, a box of Kleenex, 2 PocketBac's from Bath and Body, and several bottles of water. And as luck would have it, working for family is a major con right now seeing as how I am terrified to ask off work this year. So for now, I will just be hiding in my office when I get to work.

Now more than ever, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving!! So much so that I am even considering making Thanksgiving dinner for C and I this weekend complete with a turkey. I should probably learn how to cook a turkey first though.

I am glad Thanksgiving is a week later this year because that means I might not be sick over Thanksgiving! If anyone has any advice on how to kick this crap without seeing a doctor, I'm all ears! I hate going to the doctor!! Though I probably will end up going if I don't get better by Friday.

Who else is ready for Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finally Friday!!

Somehow another week has gone by already! I don't know about you guys, but I am seriously wondering how November is half way over!! I've managed to get one room half way decorated for Christmas...How is that even possible?? The entire house should be done by now, but we have been so busy!!

Luckily for us, we are headed off to Gatlinburg this weekend for our annual fall/Christmas family weekend. You know the one I am talking about right? The one where we have 25+ family members in two 6 bedroom cabins that are rightnexttoeachother? No, just us? Okay.

I've been slacking seriously on this blog but I wanted to at least post some form of a love list this week, so Five On Friday it is!!

1. My dream job is to be a photographer. Surprising isn't it considering that I do not take enough pictures to fill this blog right? Anyway, I took some landscape pictures on our honeymoon, and now that C is painting, he picked one of my pictures to paint. It has been awesome to watch the process. I'm really looking forward to possibly getting them framed together.

2. I got my hair done this past week, and I am LOVING it! The picture below is from our cruise, but the slightest bit of red you see is now brighter and there is a little bit more. I would totally put some pink in my hair, but I don't want to lose my job...

3. Christmas decorations! I've been slowly pulling out decorations, and I love them all! We have decided to change up some of our decorations, so we have been slowly buying more, and I must say that I am loving Hobby Lobby's selection this year! I can't wait to do a house tour if I can ever remember!

4. Fuzzy socks : this time of year, I am loving loving loving my fuzzy socks. I love them since they keep my feet warm, and because it makes for a fun time sliding down the hallway.

5. And as usual, Christmas music. I've been listening to Kenny G's Christmas cd, and I can't get enough of it. It is currently my favorite.

Linking up for Five on Friday!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Please excuse the absence.

Ever since Friday, things have been, well difficult. There is a lot going on in the Long house, and well honestly, I haven't been able to carve out a time to blog. I had plans on posting another Cruise recap, but I am no where near finished, and I do not want to leave you guys with a half done blog post. So please forgive my absence as I try and work on things at home. Hopefully I will get things back in working order soon and be back with that delayed 100th post giveaway I have been thinking about! You don't want to miss that!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Festive Love List!

It is that time! Christmas posts will be scattered all throughout the blog from now until New Year's. So in honor of that, I wanted to do my first Christmas Love List! Currently I am loving :

1. Peppermint Mocha : Over the weekend I had the first one of the season, and I am dying for my next! The closest Starbucks is 15-20 minutes away, and in the complete opposite direction of the way I usually travel, so I hardly ever get to go. It is super sad, but I think that I will be making more special trips out that way now that it is red cup season.

2. Comfy Throws : I have this throw in gray, and once I realized how wonderful it was, I have been dying to get the red one for Christmas. It is on sale now at Target, so get it quick if you want it!

3. Festive Pajamas : Old navy is just about the only place I buy jama pants. I don't know why, but I do. These with the snowmen are adorable! I can't wait until I can make it to Old Navy to scoop up some festive pj's! 

4. Candy Canes and sweet tea : I made this discovery last weekend, and I have been loving it ever since! Totally a great way to get in the Christmas mood and still sip that sweet Southern tea! 

5. Christmas music : This might possibly make the cut for all my festive love lists! I've been listening to everything from my Michael Buble' (Holiday) Pandora station, to the Elf soundtrack, to other random Christmas songs that I just happen to find. My favorite might just be the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's version of Carol of the Bells. It is a classic if you ask me. 

What are you loving this week?

Linking up for 5 on Friday.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Not your average Thursday post.

I had a cute festive Love List post planned for today, but I forgot to add a few more photos, so it is waiting until tomorrow to be posted.

I ordered a few Christmas cards today. Snapfish sent me an email with a deal for 20 free Christmas cards. Unfortunately, it was specifically for my email address, or I would share the code with you guys. I had a hard time picking out what pictures I wanted to put on the card, and ultimately I got to pick 3. The ones we used are below.

I edited the side out of it where you can see the mess of a backdrop. 

My second favorite picture from the cruise.

My favorite favorite favorite picture!! 

When we took these, I felt pretty crappy after because I was just sure they weren't going to turn out well because I felt like the way he posed us was just not natural or wouldn't look good, and I loved the background because it works perfectly in our room. Then we saw them. My jaw hit the floor. There were several that I didn't like, but I could easily pick 3 that I loved! We love this some much that we are getting it done on canvas for our room. I am pretty darn excited about that! 

Anyone notice the ring fingers? Anyone remember this post? Well, C and I got the tattoos done a week after that post, about 30 days before our cruise, and I didn't want to show them off to you guys until I had the perfect picture, and I feel like this is it! That tattoo is my favorite! 

Do you send out Christmas cards? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cruise Recap : Boarding/Departing

**I've decided to do my cruise recaps on Tuesdays.**

Talk about being a bad blogger...I took maybe 3 pictures during the boarding process, and those were basically in the car or while we were on our way to the ship after check in. Opps.

So we cruise with Royal Caribbean exclusively as of right now. The only other cruise line we intend to use is other cruise lines owned by RCI, or maybe a Disney crusie. Call me a snob if you will, but I have cruised with Carnival before, and I just wasn't impressed. My mom just got back from a Carnival cruise, and she loved it. To each their own. C wants to try out Carnival, but I am going to try and avoid that at all costs. So in saying that, my recap is more or less Royal Caribbean exclusive. Lots will be transferable to other cruise lines, but please don't get mad at me if you travel with Carnival or another cruise line and things aren't the same...

So on to boarding and departing. Our ship allowed you to board starting at noon, or at least no one boarded before noon. We left from Port Canveral, FL. Parking was $120.00 for 7 days, and we parked in a parking garage so the car wasn't "left out in the elements." When we pulled up, porters helped us unload our checked luggage. If for some reason you don't have the cruise specific luggage tags that let them know which room your luggage goes to, the porters usually have some extra. Be kind and tip these guys. We usually just give them a $5. From there, we found a parking spot, and got our carry on bags ready to go. Be sure to remove any items that you don't want seen in your car. We have a radar detector, and we took it down. Our car was empty of everything except a small overnight bag. I get worried someone will brake into my car.

Carry on luggage goes by TSA rules and such. I carried on a backpack, and C carried on a North Face duffle/backpack. With RCI, you are allowed to bring 1 750 ml bottle of wine per person, so we packed 2. Side note though, if you open your wine in a public place (dining room, bar, etc), you are charged a corkage fee. We took bottles that had screw on caps and enjoyed them in our room. While you are going through security, be kind and go ahead and take off watches, belts if they have large metal buckles, etc and put them in your carry on. All of our stuff had to go through the security screening. If you have anything that isn't allowed on the ship, they will take it here and give you a receipt to get it at the end of your cruise.

From there, it was upstairs to check in. RCI has you do online check in, and that really helps speed up the process. We had our "Set Sail Pass" filled out entirely, and our onboard charge account was already linked to my credit card. You need your passport, or other suitable ID (be sure to check with your cruise line on what you have to have), your credit card (or cash) for your on board account, and your boarding pass(Set Sail Pass for RCI). From there they give you your SeaPass card (again RCI calls it this, other lines call it something else) which is your card for getting on an off the ship, your card to get in your room, and your card to charge anything on while on the ship. Keep this card handy as you will need it a few more times in the next few minutes.

Once that is done, it is on to actually boarding the ship. RCI has places set up so that they get your pictures. You can opt out of this if you like, but hey you are on vacation, go ahead and let them take your picture. And then you are on the ship! Our rooms were not ready until about 1:30 pm but good news is that we pulled into the port around 12:45 pm and by the time we got through everything, we only had to wait a few minutes to get to our room.

Departing :

We picked Express Departure. In my opinion, this is the way to go. That means you carry your luggage off. If not, you are assigned a number and you set your luggage out the night before and you meet your luggage at baggage claim. We were allowed to depart at 6:45 am and we were in our car leaving by 7 am. You could still be on the ship until around 9 am if you don't do express departure. I prefer not to get backed up in customs, so we always do express departure.

Make sure you have your SeaPass card, passport, and customs form accessible as you leave. Customs for us was a breeze. They look at your passports, and your customs form, ask a few questions and if you don't have any reason to cause concern (they will decide if you or your luggage needs to be searched, or if you need to pay taxes because you bought more that $800 a person, or you are bringing in to much alcohol.) You can bring back $800 tax and duty free per person, 1 liter of alcohol per person, 1 carton of cigarettes (200 cigarettes) per person, and a box of non Cuban cigars (100 cigars) tax and duty free. Anything over that, you will have to be taxed on. (I am pretty sure I got the numbers right, but you can ask someone at Guest Relations to make sure on totals.) From there, it is just to your car, pay for parking, and head home!

If you had a receipt for anything that you weren't allowed to take on the cruise, you will pick it up on your way out.

Be looking for the next part of my Cruise Recap!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tis' the Season!

Let the Christmas posts begin! 

Oh how I have been looking forward to this weekend! The first weekend in November is always a win in my book even though it is full of pre-Christmas Decoration cleaning. Seriously, who wants to do that? Friday night was spent once again waiting for A to get off work so she could come stay with us. Since my sisters don't live close, it is really nice that my step-sister lives 10 minutes away.

Like I said, the weekend was full of pre-Christmas Decoration cleaning, but that was put on hold long enough for me to enjoy my first, second, third and fourth candy cane of the season. I also made a pretty awesome discovery that sweet tea and candy canes go really well together! 

And Sunday, after church, we had to run errands to get a few cheap bookcases to put movies on until we decide on something else, and that meant a Target run. I told C we would be in and out because we had a ton to do today, and that didn't happen. We got the bookcases, and then proceeded to the Halloween stuff. I always like shopping for stuff a few days after a holiday is over. Major sales are always a win! But we ended up walking around and looking at the Christmas stuff, and needless to say, it took us about an hour an a half in Target. Opps. I made it up to C though with Starbucks! It is red cup season!! And that meant it was my first Peppermint Mocha of the season too! Oh how I love the little things that put me in the Christmas mood even more!

And after hours of cleaning, we sat down to take a small Christmas filled break. Big surprise there right? We watched Elf, ate popcorn, and C started a small winter scene painting for me to take to work. I am rather excited about it. 

We also got a surprise visit from A again Sunday evening. We had a pretty great time just hanging out outside, though it reminded me that we need to pressure wash the driveway. Looks like we will be doing that soon! 

I had all intentions of having one of the many Christmas trees up this weekend, but it didn't happen. I got several other Christmas decorations up though! 

And just a little vent :
I love Christmas. There is no doubt about that. But I love decorating for other holidays. In fact, does anyone remember this post? That is right. I had fall decorations up August 1st. I had the house decorated from August 1st into the first week of October. I left my Fall/Thanksgiving decorations up for 2+ months. I loved looking at them, but by the time I pulled out the Halloween decorations, I was over them. So October had Halloween decorations up, and not the creepy decorations, more of the cute decorations. But they came down November 1st. So that meant it was time for Christmas decorations. And I had a lot of people tell me it was too soon, that I was skipping a holiday. Wait a minute...what? Since when is decorating for Christmas considered skipping a holiday? I don't think so. I have possibly 6 Christmas trees that will be going up around my house. That takes time people. Like a lot of time. More time than I care to admit. If I started decorating for Christmas on Black Friday, I would get done just in time for Christmas Eve, and then according to what is "socially acceptable" I would need my decorations down the following week. Um no. This Christmas loving girl is not for all of that!
Let me explain my logic behind my decorating schedule. I put fall decorations up in August so that I can enjoy them as long as possible. And Halloween decorations are up for a month. November's holiday ties right into my fall decorations that I have already enjoyed for the season. Like I stated above, I have possibly 6 trees going up and that takes time. So I start decorating in early November after I have done a pre-Christmas Decoration deep clean of my house. I spend the time in November putting up all my decorations except for actually decorating my living room tree. And that tree doesn't go up until the week of Thanksgiving. I take the time in November to do the time consuming decorating so that when Thanksgiving rolls around, a)my house is clean, and b) I can enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday shopping knowing that the last little bit of decorating will be done on Saturday morning as part of a tradition. Then I have all of December to enjoy the decorations and do Christmas things like parades, etc. I love Chattanooga at Christmas and if I waited to decorate until Black Friday, there is no way that I would actually get to enjoy Christmas time. 
And for the record, I will never skip Thanksgiving. Giving up all that yummy food? No, I plan on fully celebrating Thanksgiving by eating as much yummy food as I can possibly handle.
The Saturday after Black Friday is officially Christmas Saturday. We decorate thee living room tree, we make Christmas waffles, and we watch Christmas Vacation for the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth time of the season. We also watch UGA vs GT and drink plenty of hot chocolate. It is a tradition and I love it. 
End rant...

I hope y'all had a fun filled festive weekend! 
Linking up with Sami


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