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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I LOVE the Thursday Five

Yep...I'm changing it up a bit (only this week though). Michael and I begin our Christmas vacation tonight so I won't be blogging until the new year. FL & Bahamas...Here we come!

My Thursday Five will cover what I would blog about if I were blogging next week:

1. I LOVE Christmas. Merry Christmas friends! As you all know, we are spending Christmas in FL this year. It won't be a white one but I know we'll still have lots of fun. I am excited about seeing my parents new home for the first time. I am excited about seeing my brother and his wife for the first time in months. I am excited about bringing to life old traditions. I am excited about seeing my aunt, uncle, and cousin for the first time since May. I am just plain excited. Although, with all the excitement let's not forget the real meaning of Christmas - Jesus Christ's birthday. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

"Happy Birthday, Jesus" by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

2. I LOVE Daniel. Daniel is my brother-in-law and his birthday is on Christmas day. Remember me telling you about how we surprised him on Thanksgiving with his birthday trip to the Bahamas? Daniel is extremely smart and can make anyone laugh. He is honest and cares about the people that surround him. I am proud to call him my brother (in-law)! Happy early birthday, Daniel!

3. I LOVE my mom. My mom's birthday is December 29th. There are no words to describe how much I LOVE and appreciate my mom. She is fun and LOVES to laugh. She is honest and will tell you the truth even when it hurts. She is always herself no matter where she is or who she is around. I look up to my mom in so many ways and hope that one day I will be as good of a mom to my children as she was to my brother and me. Happy early birthday, Mom!

4. I LOVE Treasure Cay, Bahamas. Ok - I can't honestly say that I LOVE it since I haven't been there yet, although, I know I will. Since I am blogging about what I would blog about next week, I had to add this one. Isn't it beautiful??? I'll post pictures of our trip after we return.

5. I LOVE celebrating a new year. Bring on 2012! 2011 was an amazing year. Michael and I became home owners. My nephew celebrated his first birthday. Michael and I celebrated our one year anniversary. My parents moved back to the states. My 2nd nephew was born. One of my best friends had a beautiful baby girl. Two of my best friends got married. Lots of time was spent with friends and family. We laughed a lot and fell in LOVE with something each day. Cheers to 2012...Happy New Year friends!

Michael carrying me through the door of our first purchased home.

Jaxon's first birthday.

Our 1 year anniversary.

My parents moved back to the states.

Graham was born.

Kaitlin's baby girl, Sloane.

Kellie and Amanda got married.

Tucker's not looking back on 2011 since it is now in our rear view mirror...

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
LOVE, sje

Friday, December 16, 2011

I LOVE the Friday Five

I am so glad it is finally Friday. I am more ready for the weekend to be here than I have been in a long time!

Here are your Friday Five:

1. I LOVE Charleston weather. It is mid December and today's high is 73 degrees...I LOVE. I get even more excited about this weekend when I see the beautiful weather forecast:

73°F Fri Sat Sun Mon
Mostly Sunny Mostly Sunny Clear Mostly Sunny
Wind: W at 9 mph
Humidity: 57% 72° 56° 63° 40° 61° 41° 63°

2. I LOVE feathers. I've LOVED this trend for a while, although, lately I am seeing some gorgeous clothing with feather details. I still haven't bought any feathered jewelry or clothing but the pieces below sure did catch my eye!
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Photo from Whitney Port's website

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Oscar de la Renta

Olivia Palermo

3. I LOVE these 10 things our dogs wish they could tell us. The picture below is my child, Tucker. WARNING - if you LOVE dogs...you may tear up.

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful, remember that before you get me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me- it is crucial to my well being.
4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
5. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you.
6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understands your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
7. Be aware that how ever you treat me, I will never forget.
8. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative,obstinate,or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out to long, or my heart is getting to old and weak.
10. Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: "I cannot bear to watch" or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death. Remember that I love you.

4. I LOVE Pillsbury Holiday Shape Cookies. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE cookies made from scratch but there is something special about the holiday shape cookies. They are easy to make, decorative, and very tasty. I plan on these being our dessert tonight!

5. I LOVE Joey + Rory's "Let it snow, Let it snow (Somewhere else)". This song makes me laugh and I can totally relate to it. I do LOVE when it snows especially around the holidays. I think snow falling is a beautiful sight. This year, however, we'll be in Florida and then in the Bahamas so I'll sing along with Joey + Rory, "Let it snow, Let it snow (Somewhere else)."

What have you fallen in LOVE with today? Have a great weekend friends!
LOVE, sje

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I LOVE "Ours"

Taylor Swift is a lyrical genius. She can write lyrics that many people, young or old, can relate to. She can also write the music to match perfectly with the lyrics. The songs she creates will make you laugh or cry and will definitely make you dance. I respect her and her music so much simply because it is her words and her musical notes. The video for her new single, "Ours" was released and I fell in LOVE with it. Enjoy!

What have you fallen in LOVE with today?
LOVE, sje

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I LOVE New Year's Eve

I LOVE New Year's Eve - the movie. Yes, I LOVE the sparkle and excitment that comes with New Year's Eve but in this case I am referring to the movie. Britney and I went to see New Year's Eve Saturday afternoon. We both expected it to be a lot like the movie Valentine's Day (made by the same creators) which we thought was good but not great. We were wrong. New Year's Eve was so much better! The movie is filled with multiple A-List celebrities and it has different story lines that will draw in a variety of viewers. You will laugh and you may even cry. You will definitely leave the theater with that "feel good" feeling that, I think, all movies should give you. This movie is definitely worth seeing!

What movie have you fallen in LOVE with lately?
LOVE, sje

Friday, December 9, 2011

I LOVE the Friday Five

It is finally Friday! The weather has cooled off and I LOVE that it is finally feeling like December. After Thanksgiving, Michael and I try to watch as many of our favorite Christmas movies as we can (multiple times). Tonight, I am looking forward to going home, putting on my pjs, and watching a good movie. With that being said I thought I would give you my top 5 favorite Christmas movies.

Starting at #5 and ending with #1:

#5. A Christmas Story. Michael will completely disagree with this one. He would put A Christmas Story at number 1. This is a classic that must be watched on Christmas Eve when TBS plays it for 24 hours. We make sure we don't watch this movie any other time before Christmas and we won't buy it. It would ruin the tradition.

#4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. This movie is also a classic. It is simply hilarious. No matter how many times you have seen this movie, it never gets old. I can honestly say that I have never heard of someone disliking this movie. We've already watched it once and am sure we'll watch it again.


#3. Four Christmases. This movie came out in 2008 and I have LOVED it ever since. Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn make the perfect pair in this movie. I literally laugh out loud during the entire movie. This movie will be played many times in our home.

#2. Home Alone 2, Lost in New York. I rarely like the second movie better than the first one but in this case, Home Alone 2 is better. I don't know if it is because the movie is based in New York or if Kevin's new confidence makes it better. Maybe it's because one of my favorite movie lines is in this movie. Remember when Kevin is in the Plaza ordering lots of room service and the gentleman asks him if he wants another scoop of ice cream and Kevin replies, "Sure, I'm not driving." - gets me every time! Michael and I will quote that line to each other throughout the entire year. We bought these movies this year because they are movies that we will always enjoy.

#1. Elf. This movie beats all other Christmas movies. I LOVE to watch Elf. This was the first Christmas movie we watched this year and we have seen it at least 5 times already. Last weekend, we watched it Friday night and Saturday morning. We own this movie so I am sure we'll watch it many more times before Christmas. I do remember that I blogged about it last Friday but that just goes to show how much I love this movie.

What Christmas movies do you LOVE and have to watch each year?
LOVE, sje

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I LOVE Ranch Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken

Yesterday, I was trying to come up with something new and easy to make for dinner. I wasn't craving anything in particular which made it even harder to decide what to make. So, what did I do? I turned to the Food & Drink section on Pinterest. Not only did I decide that I wanted to make everything that I saw, I found what I wanted to make for dinner - Ranch Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken.

The pinner pinned it from the blog, My Life as a Mrs. and the original recipe called for the Jalapeno Kettle chips. I LOVE the Kettle Brand potato chips. The Salt & Pepper flavor and Ranch flavor are my favorite. I am not a fan of Jalapeno so I thought the Ranch flavor would substitute perfectly. My husband LOVES anything ranch so I knew it would sound good to him as well. The recipe takes about 45 minutes total and is very easy to make. We paired the chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. It turned out to be one of the best new recipes that I have tried in a while. We LOVED the Ranch Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken.

Thank you My Life as a Mrs. for this appetite inducing picture along with a delicious recipe! Click on the link for her original Jalapeno Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken recipe or see below for my Ranch Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken recipe.

Ranch Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-35 minutes
Total Time: 35-45 minutes

4 chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 - 2 pounds total)
1 bag Ranch Kettle Chips, crushed
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 package of Ranch seasoning

Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Spray a baking sheet with non-cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, salt, and ½ package of Ranch seasoning. Pound out chicken breasts to roughly 1/2" thickness and add to buttermilk mixture (toss to coat well).

Place crushed Kettle chips in a shallow baking dish. Pull one piece of chicken at a time out of the buttermilk and gently shake to remove some of the excess. Dip into the chips and coat thoroughly on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken breast are thoroughly coated. Sprinkle the remaining ranch seasoning on top of each piece of chicken.

Place into oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, until cooked through (cooking times vary based on chicken thickness and actual oven temperature).

What have you fallen in LOVE with today?
LOVE, sje

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I LOVE Words with Friends

As you know, Michael and I just bought the iPad 2 and fell in LOVE with it. We already beat the free version of Angry Birds so we decided to try out Word with Friends and we are hooked. Words with Friends is basically Scrabble, although, you can play it online. You can play your facebook friends, random opponents, or the person sitting next to you. Michael and I have opened up our competitive sides and we have been challenging each other all week. Humbly, I admit that I am 0-2. Michael can come up with some pretty clever words (some I would like to pull out the dictionary for because I don't think they are actual words). Hint: Greek words such as Xi are allowed in the Words with Friends game. Who would have thought?

If you have any apple product, smart phone, or a facebook page - download Words with Friends. It is a lot of fun!

I'm sure the creator of Words with Friends is LOVING the publicity the game is getting after Alec Baldwin wouldn't stop playing it!

Do you LOVE Words with Friends?
LOVE, sje

Monday, December 5, 2011

I LOVE A Charlie Brown Christmas

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is something I look forward to watching every year. In fact, I look forward to watching all of the Charlie Brown movies. They are classics that will be around for many years. Tonight, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" comes on at 8pm on ABC. If you LOVE this movie like I do then make sure you don't miss it!

Listen to Linus explain what Christmas is all about, perfectly.

What have you fallen in LOVE with today?
LOVE, sje

Friday, December 2, 2011

I LOVE the Friday Five

This week flew by for me and I couldn't be happier. I hope you all had a fabulous week!

Here are your Friday Five:

1. I LOVE the iPad 2. Michael and I decided to buy the iPad 2 for each other for Christmas. They were discounted on Black Friday so we decided to go ahead and buy one. It arrived on Tuesday and we couldn't wait until Christmas to open it and we both fell in LOVE with it.

2. I LOVE Christmas decorations. Michael and I bought our Christmas tree on Monday and decorated our condo with lots of Christmas decorations. I have my table set with my Mom's Christmas china. We have garland and lights around our entertainment center and under our bar. We have a mistletoe hanging at the top of our bedroom door. The best part of decorating was Wednesday night when we played Christmas music (on the iPad, of course) and decorated our tree. We both have ornaments that we made while growing up all over the tree. We had so much fun reminiscing on our childhood. My two favorite ornaments are one of a chocolate lab (that we were given the first Christmas that we had Tucker) and the sand dollar ornament that we gave away as our wedding favor. Those are hanging high for everyone to see! We topped the tree with a sparkling "E" and call it our "E Tree". It certainly is "the most wonderful time of the year"!

3. I LOVE Tim Tebow's description of his relationship with Christ. Shouldn't we all have that kind of relationship with our savior?
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4. I LOVE Elf. If you haven't watched Elf, I highly recommend that you do. It is a funny Christmas movie that will make you smile. This is one movie that we watch multiple times over the holiday season!


5. I LOVE Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is you". Enjoy!

What have you fallen in LOVE with today?
LOVE, sje