Friday Love-List

Brent Smith of Shinedown

Brent Smith of Shinedown

So, a lot of things last week made me happy!

1. SHINEDOWN!!

2. Apple pie and French vanilla ice cream! Oh my gosh. I gained 7 billion pounds this week.

3. Chili spaghetti or sghetti, as I like to call it. (Five-ways all the way, babeh!)

4. Shopping with the mom-factor. She makes me happy 🙂

5. Wine with good friends.

6. Live local music with good friends.

7. Flirting with strange guys. (*This is relatively new to me.)

8. Finding new music! (Post about this coming soon.)

9. Planning future trips (Post about this coming soon as well.)

10. Riding motorcycles. (A friend of mine took me on his bike not too long ago, and it was so thrilling, I’m still happy about it.)

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Carnival of Madness: A Review

Carnival of Madness

Carnival of Madness

Okay, so I’ve been excited about this for a very long time. I’ve been counting down the days since I bought my ticket… and I bought my ticket months ago (the day they went on sale…)

I went to a concert tonight, and I got to see 5 bands. The last band was the whole reason I was there… but here are my notes.

  1. 10 Years I. Love. 10 Years. I was very impressed by their energy and their sound. (Plus, they’re all incredibly HOT!)

    10 Years

    10 Years

  2. Sevendust Not exactly my cup of tea. A bit too hard rock for me, but their energy was fy-ah.

    Sevendust

    Sevendust

  3. Puddle of Mudd Kinda fell off the band wagon… They have a few hits out there, and they played them all… plus a few lesser known songs… but they were kinda struggling to keep my attention.

    Puddle of Mudd

    Puddle of Mudd

  4. Chevelle Love ’em. Definitely enjoyed their performance. Couldn’t get enough.   ❤ They ended with a bang, and I loved it.

    Chevelle

    Chevelle

  5. SHINEDOWN Okay, if I could, I’d have all their babies. Or something. I have loved them since their first record (since I was 16 years old.) I got to see them perform live for the first time in March. (I got to meet them!) Their energy was hot hot hot. I know all of their songs by heart, and I’ll be a little hoarse for a day or so from all the singing screaming I did. Shinedown had the best lights, costumes, energy, etc etc. They are spectacular.
    Shinedown

    Shinedown

    Shinedown

    Shinedown! (Favorite photo of the night!)

Last but not least, I leave you with their newest song. Phenomenal. They performed it last night. (They wrote it for The Expendables.)

Peace Out Summer

Peace Out

Peace Out

I had one of the best summers of my life… and I’m disappointed to see it go, but I have tons planned for myself this fall/winter, so I’m hoping they rock just as much.

This summer I…

1. Graduated college!

2. Visited the Bahamas~ ❤ Nassau

3. Went to Gulf Shores

4. Hung with friends

5. Swam and enjoyed the sun!

6. Ate with friends every week 🙂

7. Re-connected with old friends

8. Read some

9. Focused on myself

10. Created goals (approachable and not-so-approachable goals. Post about this later.)

11. Became comfortable with myself

12. Painted some.

13. Baked some.

14. Saw one of my closest friends get married, celebrated this marriage.

15. Hung out by the lake with a group of close girlfriends

16. Found a job that I enjoy… so far.

17. Journaled

18. Discovered a passion for shoes

19. Enjoyed the company of my youngest brother.

20. Let go of things & people that were holding me back.*

Here’s hoping I can keep it up and continue to prosper. I love the direction my life is taking, and I love discovering the possibilities and opportunites.

4 Simple Goals

Image credit goes to Elise of A Beautiful Mess

Image credit goes to Elise of A Beautiful Mess

I’ve decided to play along with Elsie’s (of A Beautiful Mess) 4 simple goals idea. I think it’s super fantastic, and I think it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate my new year’s resolutions… which we won’t get into. Rather, I’m going to tweak them and enhance them… and start again with a renewed sense of possibility and opportunity.

1. I will read something inspiring, creative, interesting every day. I read on a daily basis, but I haven’t been taking time to read novels or nonfiction that can potentially benefit me in the long run. My last semester in school burnt my reading-bug out, and it’s time to re-ignite and build again.

2. I will take time, every night, to reflect on my day. I need to reflect more. I need to stop taking things as they come and actually learn from my experiences. If nothing else, I want to walk away with some new knowledge of people, fate, time, nature, etc. While doing this, I want to focus on the good, and try to let the bad gooo. In the past, I’ve been very bad at this. Now is the time to change it until it becomes habit.

3. I will make healthier food (& drink) choices. Every week, I will try out a fresh recipe. Every day, I will eat a salad (loaded with nutrient-bursting veggies) in place of a meal. When given a choice, I will always choose water (or milk) over all other beverages.

4. I will develop a workout routine I enjoy. I haven’t found my niche yet. I will keep working on this until I find the perfect routine for me. I’ll try different exercises at different times of the day until I get it right. And once I do, I’ll hold on tight and make it a daily routine.

Once a week, I will allow myself fresh flowers or a long bubble bath or an afternoon in the sun in the hammock. Once a month, I’ll allow myself a little something new. At the end of 2010, I will allow myself a new pair of frivolous shoes. (What’s the point of reaching goals if there aren’t rewards at the end?)

Castles in the Sky

I’m not a surfer, nor am I much of a traveler (yet!) but this trailer is inspiring.

I love the song, I love the images… everything about this trailer is begging me to see Castles in the Sky.

Love it. Makes me wish I could pick up and travel now.

Surprises! I love ’em~!

Surprise Packages ❤

Last week brought a great deal of joy. My mom pointed out a package that had arrived for me. My aunt had seen a Facebook update about how much I miss Dixie Chili & how badly I was craving a five-way (Hello Cincinnati! Newport, Kentucky to be more specific.) (Definition: Five-way- spaghetti, chili, onions, beans, cheese… crackers and hot sauce. Don’t knock it til you try it!)

So she sent me TWO cases of Dixie Chili. Oh my gosh. I can’t wait to get all of the necessary parts together (need fresh onions, cheese, and beans.) Mmm.

I also discovered I won a giveaway. A beautiful Less Than Three heart pendant from Metalsmitten… Her jewelry is beautiful. I can’t wait to order the Less than Three heart ring. I’ve decided to reward myself with one near Thanksgiving/Christmas if I’m a good girl.

I’ve been rockin’ the ❤ since ’02, babeh. I send it with every text that says some form of “I love you” to let those special people know just how much they mean to me. So I’m excited to wear it around my neck and to share it with everyone I come into contact with. It’s so lovely.

So, I leave you with… ❤

All a girl needs… Cupcakes and Friends

Cupcakes~

I tried my hand at homemade cupcakes. They have fresh peaches mixed in with a brown sugar cream cheese icing. They’re quite delish.

er at a friend’s house, and since they were cooking and providing the main course, I figured I ought to put my own culinary expertise to good use and make dessert. Plus, it was their cousin’s birthday a week or so ago, and he didn’t have a cake. And what says Happy Birthday better than some peach cupcakes?

I was going to have dinn

I’m loving summer and summer produce. Awesome cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, strawberries (oh my gosh), and peaches. ❤ I wish summer would stay year round…

Recipe:

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

a pinch of nutmeg

3/4 cup of unsalted butter (at room temp)

3/4 cup of granulated sugar

3/4 cup of light brown sugar

2 eggs (lightly beaten)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup of buttermilk

3 large peaches, peeled and cored and diced/chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350* F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and

nutmeg. (I also added a pinch of cinnamon)

3. Cream the butter and sugars together. (I almost forgot the brown sugar, I

about died!) Beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Gently mix in the buttermilk. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients (from step 2). Fold in the chopped peaches. Num num num. Should look something like:

Cupcake Batter

4. Line cups with paper liners. Scoop the batter.

Cupcakes Pre-Baking

5. Bake for 18-21 minutes (Depends on how much batter you scoop out. Smaller cupcakes: about 18 minutes. Larger cupcakes, closer to 21 minutes. But using a toothpick as a tester never fails. Insert toothpick, pull out. If it

comes out clean, they’re fini!)

6. Cool for 5 minutes in pans. Then place them on wire rack to finish cooling.

Frosting Ingredients:

3/4 cup of light brown sugar

1/8 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup powdered sugar

8 oz cream cheese (room temp is easiest)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla abstract

1/4 cup unsalted butter, also at room temp

Directions for icing:

1. Combine brown sugar, corn starch, and powdered sugar.

2. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until it’s smooth and fluffy.

3. Add dry mix and vanilla.

4. Beat til frosting is light and smooth again.

5. Chill until cupcakes are reading for frosting.

6. Create crazy designs. Such as:

Less than Three Cupcake

7. Enjoy with friends and family. 🙂

(This recipe was originally from somewhere else… and this was before I started writing down my exact sources for things like this. This is by no means my recipe… And if anyone comes across the correct source, let me know. I’d really like to give him/her credit… because these cupcakes rock!)

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