Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recipe- Not so much.....

Well, I thought that I would have a great recipe to post this week. Tried something new last night & decided I would make Chinese.
Started off with Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps---- pretty darn good, however, I'm a fan of P.F. Changs lettuce wraps & how their chicken is in 'oh so small' pieces. I cut my chicken, in what I thought, was small pieces, but obviously not small enough.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps, - close but no cigar.

Then I made some Kung Pao Chicken. (John & I's favorite when going to eat Chinese)- Hmmmm, good, and did the job of feeding us, but not great. John kept saying it was really good, however- I know him. When he loves something he'll say: 'Make this again! This is awesome!!!"

Made some Fried Rice to go along with it. Decided to do Brown Fried Rice to make it somewhat healthier. It was pretty good.

But overall, after thinking of all the $$ spent on ingredients, we decided that it's much cheaper & easier to just get Takeout from the restaurant.

So, maybe next week I might have a great new recipe to share with you all!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Latest Happenings

Not too terribly much has been happening over in the King household lately....
~John's been working a lot and training a couple of new reps to work in his Law Enforcement Division of the Gun store working on confiscated weapons from departments all over the United States. Which is exciting and I know that he is really glad that this will be something that will be a load off of him for his workload. Especially wonderful since Caroline is just a short 4 months away (actually less than that!)

~I've been baking baking baking away. Not just with cakes but with cookies. Cookies are such a big demand lately. (And I love it!) We've been talking a lot lately about how much I will be working once Baby Caroline arrives. John thinks I'll pretty much just stop, but I enjoy this creative outlet. I think we've decided that once she arrives, I will cut back to just wedding cakes and grooms cakes, Large order celebration cakes (servings of at least 50+), cupcakes, and themed cookies. So, I'm not cutting back too much, just eliminating the little $50 cakes here & there.
I'm going to try to work in "Monthly" cookies- dealing with the holidays that come with that month. (Feb- Valentine's Day packages, June- Father's Day, October- Halloween, etc, etc). I will only make a limited amount for each holiday, so I'm not overwhelmed with orders- I control what I make. :)

My Easter Collection this year-

This is the box of cookies for $15.

Other super exciting news is our House happening. After the last disappointing day of house hunting, John & I were just stuck on what to do. We wanted to wait for that 'perfect' house to appear, but then again, get the ball rolling on something before Caroline gets here. After church a couple of Sundays ago, John & I went out on our farm for a little picnic/ nap time. (The farm that John proposed to me on.) It was a GORGEOUS spring day, and we packed up lots of blankets, pillows along with some snacks & drinks. We headed up to the top of our farm on the hill & just enjoyed the day.
At one point, John said, "Don't you just wish we could wake up to this every morning??"
N: "I know. I just love it up here. But I know we can't afford the huge house that we want to build. It would be wonderful if we could figure out a way to build & just add on without wasting $$."

Well, that got the ball rolling. The next weekend, I had a some big cake orders along with 2 wedding cakes to do, so I stayed in town while John had to go to Memphis to be in a wedding of one of his college buddies. While he was away, I took the mornings & evenings to work on house plan sketches. When he came back on Sunday evening, I told him that I thought I had worked something out on paper I wanted him to look at. After showing him the plans & how we could actually work this thing out, I was nervous about his response. But then he looked up, smiled really big & said, 'This looks great! Let's do it!'
(Wow! I didn't even have to pour him a strong drink first (which I thought I might have to do to coax him into the idea..... Something I learned from dealing with my Dad.... (Especially wedding planning. We'd go out to the country club; I'd arrive about 10 minutes early, head to the bar, order me a glass of wine & him a double scotch then proceed to tell the bartender to never let his glass get empty, that we were there to talk about wedding plans & 'budgeting'. And it worked 99% of the time.....)

We met with a potential builder last Sunday at the farm for him to see the site. We wanted a builder to see the site & let us know if what we had envisioned was even possible.... before we start to plop down $$ to start on plans, and utilities to be pulled up there. It was a great meeting & got us both super excited. He told us a little bit about what we'd have to do & layout ideas, etc....

So, we are in the process of working on the utilities. It's hard when you want to build out in the country, on a large farm, on top of a huge hill...... But we know that it's going to work out for us! We know that we won't be in before Caroline comes, and I have my serious doubts of being in before the new year, but at least we know that we are building what we want & what we've dreamed of..... YAY!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pregnancy- 23 weeks

We are less than 1 week away from hitting our 6 month mark! Craziness!

Baby bump is starting to really grow, however, I've been told by LOTS of people that my bump isn't really that big. Good or Bad? I've run into 3-4 encounters last week that when I said something like,

"Well, we can't believe that she'll be here in less than 4 months!" or "Can you help me lift this? I'm pregnant & my husband would kill me if he knew that I tried to do this on my own"-

only to get responses of, "You're pregnant? How far along are you?"

-"I'm about a week away from being 6 months!"

"whhhhhaaat?? I couldn't even tell, but now that you say something, yeah, I can see it a little."

I guess this all depends on what outfit I'm wearing. My Dad told me that I needed to start wearing Maternity clothes because people might mistake me for just gaining a lot of weight. My response: "Daaaaaddddy- These ARE maternity clothes! You want me to wear a Moo Moo or something??"

So this week, we are 23 weeks pregnant.

She's over 11 inches long & weighs over 1 lb. She's very intune to the sounds around us. Sunday, while we were in church, I whispered at Mom, "She's moving a lot!" Mom immediately put her hand on my stomach & was just sitting there snickering because she was just kicking & kicking! But when the choir would start to sing, she'd stop. Mom said, "I think Caroline really likes music & singing because she doesn't move during it." Which was very true. She'd move & kick while Pastor Scott was talking or during the readings, but when that choir would start, she'd stop. I told Mom, "Gee, I hope this doesn't mean that she'll be disruptive during the sermon during church when she arrives. "- :)

Other things happening lately with the pregnancy-

-Still finding it tough to get comfy at night.
Sleeping with pillows between my legs have never been my thing, but I love it now!

-Having to get up at least 2 times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom

-Sometimes waking up in the middle of the night with HUGE hunger pains. Strawberry Banana yogurt is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Also, those little individual Mandarin Orange cups are delish!

-Finding it sore to sit or stand for periods of time.
Think of how sore you are after riding a horse for a couple of hours. Yep- that's what my pelvis feels like when I stand up or move my legs in the middle of the night. Achy!

-Water with lemon juice in it is HEAVEN! I drink this like it's going to be discontinued!

-Appetite isn't much (this last week or so)- Having to remind myself to eat at meal times (which never is usually a problem)- but just isn't eating as much as people say that I would be. (I've been warned that my appetite will come out of nowhere & you'd think that I'd just gotten off the show 'Survivor' )

- John's obsessed with my bump! He loves to rub it and gives it lots of kisses. He talks to her and she'll usually kick for him when he does. He loves for me to wear outfits that show off my bump. One time I put on a dress & told him that I didn't like it because it made me look more pregnant than I really was. His response, "I know! I love it!! Don't change!" (Ummmm, no!)

- Starting to purchase baby nursery items.
We got her bassinet last week, (and about to send it to a lady to sew a cover for it)-, as well as her baby book. Small purchases but at least it's something!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dream on???

Pregnancy has brought a lot of different things/ experiences into our lives, but one thing that we were not prepared for were: CRAZY DREAMS!

I am a pretty light sleeper (which my parents think is crazy since when I was a little girl, they used to have to wake me up in the mornings by sprinkling water on my face- that's how hard I slept!)- while John is a hard sleeper. I think a tornado could come through (at times I think one has been close), and John will sleep right through it. Well, in the past 2 months or so, I've been waking up or waking John up (not intentionally) with my dreams.

Some nights I wake up crying, some nights I wake up with a big catch of my breath (like in the movies), and other nights I will wake John up with my talking in my sleep. I actually woke up one night and John was sitting there having a conversation with me (he was awake). I asked him what he was doing & he said, "You were talking in your sleep, so I was trying to get you to continue talking because it sounded like an interesting dream. What was it?" My response: "I don't know, honey, I'm trying to sleep!"

About a week or so ago, I woke up & starting yelling that the house was on fire! Boy that got John out of bed fast (hmmmm, maybe I need to try this tactic when he's on too much of my side of the bed to regain some bed control!)- Then as he's standing there wide awake saying, " WHAT??!!Where?!!! Where??!!" I said, "Oh, nevermind, I guess I was dreaming... Let's go back to sleep..."

I've dreamed that robbers are in the house, then woken up & told John to get the gun & go outside & see.., etc, etc.. I think I've about given him more mini heartattacks in the past 2-3 months with my dreams than I did with my Dad, in the entire span of 9 months, when I was telling him the cost of things for our wedding 2-3 years ago!

So, as much as I'm trying to 'dream on' over here- one positive note to all my dreams is I think I've coverted John to a not so heavy sleeper. I can simply sit up in bed to have a drink of water & John will wake up & say, "Are you ok? Is everything alright? Are you comfortable?". Which is a big thing since when I would run out of water on my side of the bed, in the middle of the night, I could crawl across John to his side to get his water glass & drink some, all while he never even moved an inch in the process.

I guess my body is training us to be super sensitive to sleep and to be alert when little Miss Caroline wakes up from her nightmares one day. So, it's worth it in the long run!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hello there....

As usual, I'm behind on my blogging. Luckily, it's because we have been super busy lately with John's work, traveling, on the search for a house, and cakes!!

Orders Orders everywhere!

If anyone knows anyone in the cake business, they know that Thursday- Saturday are 'round the clock work! I have been averaging at least one wedding a weekend (with both a wedding cake and a groom's cake), along with at least 2 orders of other cakes (birthday, showers, anniversary, etc, etc). Needless to say, that I'm exhausted come Saturday evening and want nothing than to just relax for the next 2-3 days. I feel like being a baker is like having a schedule like a nurse. You work about 3 or 4 days/ week, but you are on 12+ hour shifts. Last Thursday I put in a 14 hour day, and last Friday I was baking, decorating, designing, etc for 18 hours!! Whew! Then Saturday is set-up & delivery day.... So, usually Mondays & Tuesdays are my "weekends". However, business has been booming, and I find myself back in the kitchen on Mondays or at the computer working on quotes, researching & sketching ideas for clients, scheduling or hosting cake tastings, etc... But I'm so happy that I'm busy and love the fact that I create my own schedule- (however, it can be my demise at times)-

I'm working on an Easter Cookie collection next week (Monday & Tuesday) , which I will be selling online, (Facebook, Etsy, here, email, etc, etc....)- I'll be sure to post pictures once I get everything tweaked to show examples of what will be available the week of Easter.

House hunting- who ever said this was fun???

However, I love to look at houses & see people's decorating style and what all I could do to make that house our own, but after the first couple, it's just pure disappointment.

John & I went out with John's mom, Sherry, yesterday to look at 5+ houses. I woke up & told John, "I just have a feeling that today is the day! We will find our house today!"- Well, after many letdown sighs, and "Well, it's a pretty house, but just doesn't fit our needs" later.... We are back at square one. We will find something soon- keeping our fingers crossed & praying praying praying!

Pregnancy- 22 weeks- (almost)

In just a few short days, we will hit our 22 week mark. 5 1/2 months pregnant! Woah!

Baby Caroline is a whopping 1 lb this week and 8 inches long- about the size of a small doll. She is seeing (if we shined a flashlight at my stomach, she would move away from the light)

gripping (the umbilical cord, since there isn't much else in there to hold onto)

hearing (voices, Cooper barking, gurgles in my stomach, TV, radio etc-)

tasting (everything I'm tasting)

Last Wednesday morning, we got out of bed and I went to the kitchen to make John's coffee, and noticed that I wasn't standing as close to the coffee maker as usual. Looked down and BAM! I have been told that the bigger bump will just appear one day and that was the day. I called John in there & said, 'John, look at this!" His reaction- "WOAH!" We had gone to our Dr. on Monday & he warned us about it. He told us that I was about to hit a growing spurt and to be prepared. Well, even though we were told, it took us aback for a minute.

She's been kicking and moving around a lot. She moves a little in the morning as I'm waking up, after I eat meals, especially dinner, and she feels like she's in there dancing away when I lay down at night. John always puts his hand on my stomach to feel her & he's even said how much stronger her kicks and punches have gotten.

I will try to update this more frequently.... I promise that the further along in my pregnancy, the less work I have taken on, so I will be able to blog more...

Also, if you are missing the "Recipe of the Week" entry, worry not. It will come back as well. I have started to sift through my recipes and plan on compiling them into a "cookbook" for myself. I have all my recipes on those little recipe cards at the moment, and have decided to convert them over to a typed book-style. It's one of my 'nesting' projects that I've already preplanned for myself since we haven't found our house yet, it is to fill the void of organizing & cleaning like crazy in this little cabin. :) So, once I start to really get going on that project, the recipes will be so much easier to blog about!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pregnancy- 19 weeks

Well, I've definitely fallen off the blogging bandwagon. It's been such a busy busy 2 weeks that I haven't had much time to sit down & blog. Along with our Gender Revealing Party last weekend, I also got a huge rush order of custom St. Patrick's Day sugar cookies for Embassy Suites, Vanderbilt. They wanted their logo on them, that they give out to all their "big wigs" along with other big industry friends. So, I was very excited to get the order!

Other big news, well HUGE news- we went on Thursday, March 10th to a 3-D Ultrasound place in Hillsboro Village, Focused Imaging, to find out what we were having! We found out that we are having a sweet little GIRL! Both John & I were very shocked. Not necessarily at just the "I'm 99% sure it's a girl!" news, but just to put a "she" onto the sentences. Before we knew, I'd say, "Oh goodness, I can feel Baby move around", or "Dr. said that it must be sitting on a nerve in my back, which causes all these pains"- Now, it's "She's moving!" or "She's getting big!"

We decided to keep the news our little secret until Sunday for our Gender Revealing party. (Pictures to come later tomorrow or early next week. While John & I were busy talking & entertaining, my wonderful Mother played Photographer & was just snapping away pictures here & there with her camera.) The party was a huge success & we loved having our family & extremely close friends there to be the first ones to know what Baby King will be!

We had names picked out for both a boy & a girl, which we hadn't shared with too many people-
If it was a boy, we were going to name him: Parkes Harrison King
(Parkes, of course, is my maiden name and John & I just fell in love with the name Harrison!)

And if it was a girl, we were going to name her: Caroline Chandler King
(Caroline is a name I've had picked out since I was little & Chandler was my great grandmother's maiden name)-

So, sweet little Caroline will be making her debut in August!

As soon as we walked out of the doctor's office, John & I were talking about all the things little girls bring! Smocked dresses, hairbows, tea parties, slumber parties, ballet, dolls, a wedding, and MONOGRAMS! Oh how I love Monograms! (And to be completely honest, we chose her name because we loved the way it flowed & for sentimental reasons, but also because I knew her monogram would be gorgeous! ) As soon as we got home, I called a lady down in Birmingham that does custom monograms and told her to start on Caroline's. I can't wait to see it!

Today, I hit our 19 week mark in our pregnancy!
One more week & we are 1/2 way done with our pregnancy!
This week, Caroline is the size of a large Mango. Her senses are going crazy! She can feel us, hear us, responds to bright lights (vision), smell & taste. She's covered in this greasy like substance that prevents her skin from pickling while being in the amniotic fluid.
While I've been feeling her move inside for the past week (really for the past 2 weeks but they were so subtle, that this past week was when I could really feel her flipping around & kicking!), I kept getting John to put his hand on my stomach to feel & he could never feel anything. She moves so much at night. I always crank on a heating pad on low (I know, I sound like an old lady) to lay on when I first crawl in bed to put on my back. (It feels so good for about 10 minutes, then I'm over it)... Well, I think she either loves this or hates it- because she moves like crazy when I crawl in bed & am laying there for about 5 minutes. My doctor says that as I am walking around during the day, it rocks her to sleep; so when I'm laying still, that's when she's moving around because it wakes her up. Well, last night, her kicks were so strong that I told John to put his hand on my stomach. He said, "I can't ever feel anything!" I said, "Just try! She's really kicking & moving around in there...." And it wasn't but a minute later, I heard a big gasp and saw a HUGE grin come across his face. He said, "Was that it!!!" I smiled & said, "Yes!!" We layed there for the next 5 minutes or so as we felt her move move move! We just laughed each time it happened & John was estatic to finally feel her & I was thrilled that he could experience that too!

We (strike that- I....) have been going gaa gaa over little girl's outfits online. It's really going to get me in trouble, but I show them to John & he just smiles really big and laughs at how cute they are! Mom & I are heading out in the next week or so to register & look at nursery stuff! It will be such a fun day! I can't wait!

As far as recipe this past week- I didn't really make anything except Reservations!
One night, we decided to pop into O'Charleys for a quick bite to eat. I ordered this:

Let me just say- DELISH!!!!!!! I ate just about every bite! (Something I definitely don't do on a regular basis). I kept saying, "Gosh, this is so delicious!" John kept looking at me like, 'Gee, I can't tell that at all!'

So, for my recipe this past week, I'm going to suggest heading to O'Charleys & ordering this salad! Mmmmm! Perfect for this weather!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Recipe- Baked Potato Soup

Since yesterday was a little bit of a dreary day (and even worse & colder today)- I made Baked Potato Soup last night for dinner... Mmm. I forget how good & easy it is!

Now, if you were to ask my Dad for his recipe, it would (or seems like) it takes 3 or so hours to make it.... But his recipe is delicious!!!

However, I wanted an easier recipe, and definitely found one! It took me about 1 hour from start to finish to make this. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but is any Baked Potato Soup really healthy?

Neelley's Baked Potato Soup
1 pkg Bacon- I go ahead & fry up the entire pkg to make BLT's with the soup & extra for toppings
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
7 Tbsp of All-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 cans Chicken Broth
4 large Baking Potatoes, peeled & cubed
2/3 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Milk (plus a little extra)
1 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce
Shredded Cheese

-Start by boiling water (I flavor mine with Chicken boullion cubes- about 3 to a big pot)-. Add your cubed potatoes to boiling water. Let boil for about 15 minutes- or until tender. Once your potatoes are done, drain water & let cool for a couple of minutes. Take a potato masher & mash the potatoes. They don't have to be perfectly smooth. Just break them up to where they aren't big chunks.

-While your potatoes are boiling, Fry bacon in skillet (Use a big skillet with sides to it, since you will be adding about 4 cups of Chicken broth to this later). (I always usually cook my bacon in the mircrowave, but it's important to fry in skillet for this recipe).

-After frying, pour out bacon grease, except keep about 1-2 Tbsp of Bacon grease in the bottom of your pan. Add onion & garlic to grease & cook until onion is translucent on Med-Low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper & basil. It will form a ball like dough.

-SLOWLY pour in chicken broth. As you pour it in, use a whisk (it's easier to incorporate the ingredients this way)- Make sure that all is mixed before you add more- Let boil for about 2 minutes - (Enough time to get your sour cream & milk out of the fridge & measured out, but make sure you stop & stir while doing this too)-
Turn heat down to LOW.- Add sour cream & milk. Stir to mix well. Add in your mashed potatoes. Stir to incorporate all!


- At some point during this process, you might want to transfer your items to a big pot. I have a large skillet with about 4" sides, so it was perfect for this recipe. However, it might be a better idea to add your sauce/soup to your mashed potatoes in your pot that you boiled them in.

- If you don't want to use Bacon grease, you can substitute for Margarine or butter.

-This recipe makes just enough for 4 full bowl servings.

-I don't know why part of this recipe shows up in blue & underlined. I'm not as blog savvy as some might think & I don't know how to undo that and such.... So, don't think that that part of the recipe is more important that the rest- It is, but it isn't. :)

Pregnancy- 16 weeks

What's going on inside:
Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double its weight and add inches to its length. Right now, Baby is about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. Baby's legs are much more developed, its head is more erect than it has been, and its eyes have moved closer to the front of the head. Baby's ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of the scalp has begun, though Baby's locks aren't recognizable yet. Baby's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, Baby's heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

It's crazy to think that Baby will double in the next few weeks! Thinking that the Baby Bump really starting to get on out there! Whew!
Not much to report this week, except I've had just about what everyone else in Columbia has- a horrible Sinus infection. It's lasted about a week, and I'm ready for it to be gone! We've also discovered that Baby King does not like Apple Juice. I thought that it sounded so good one morning & John brought me a glass of it- only for it to come right back up about 20 minutes later.... Bleh!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pink Lotus Florist

For the past couple of years, on my birthday, I have sent both of my parents flower arrangements. I read or heard this somewhere many many years ago, & thought, "What a wonderful gesture!" I include a sweet card on the flowers that say something along the lines of:
"I wouldn't be celebrating another birthday without having you as such an amazing Mother/ Father. Thank you for all that you've done, not just this past year, but for the past 27 years in shaping me into the woman I am today! I love you!"
For anyone that doesn't know me, I'm pretty particular re: my flowers. I want arrangements to look like something I would like in my home. I want the recepiant to say, "Wow! That looks like something Neelley would send!" And hopefully, it's followed by something like, "How beautiful!" (tehehehe) ;)
Well, since Dad works in Columbia, it was pretty easy deciding on a florist. Columbia has lots of florist, but one that I am constantly impressed by is "The Carriage House". I just love them! I have seen lots of flower arrangements out there from other florist & Carriage House arrangements just stand out like Cinderella amongst her ugly step sisters.
Well, it was easy as pie with Carriage House. Called & told them:
1- All white arrangement (to me, flower arrangements with all the same color are just so gorgeous! For our wedding, I told our florist- All WHITE- & not a lot of greenery! Period!!)
2- Not a lot of greenery. (I'm not paying for weeds the fill in the space. I'd much rather have a small arrangement filled with flowers than a huge one filled with leaves! )
3- Put it in a low square glass vase. Coffee table arrangements are just beautiful! Plus, low arrangements are wonderful in the middle of a dining room table, because you can still see your guests across the table. You just can't go wrong with low arrangements.
4- Classic look. I'm not the trendsetter type. To me, you can't go wrong with classic. If you don't think that Ralph Lauren would like to have it in his house, I probably won't either.
Well, The Carriage House did NOT disappoint. We went over to Dad & Phyllis' house Saturday night to go out to dinner & there sat the flower arrangement on the coffee table (just where I pictured it would be! :) )- Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Just exactly what I ordered (however, John said that it would be hard not to get something exactly like that after the details I provided over the phone.... Whatever!!)- Plus it was HUGE! Filled with Lillies and beautiful white roses. And the best part about it, (it comes with living in a small town)- at the end of my ordering on the phone, I just said, "I'm driving down the road, can you just send me a bill?"
SURE! NO problem!! Gosh, I love it!
So, now on to Mom's arrangement- Since she works in Nashville, I needed to find a florist in Nashville. Called the local florist that John had used before close to our old Neighborhood, but John told me to hang up while it was ringing because he said that they were super expensive, and proceeded to tell me what some little arrangements that he had brought/sent to me while we were up there cost... Yeah, ok. No thank you.
So I get on my phone, see an advertisement for "Pink Lotus Florist"- Free local delivery. I thought, Wonderful! Got on their website, found a pretty bouquet I thought Mom would like. Ordered it & that was it!
Bouquet that I ordered for Mom:

Or was it? Since I failed to place the order before Noon, I knew that my flowers probably wouldn't be delivered until the next day. Oh well, at least she'd get flowers & they might be even prettier than the flowers in the picture. And I made special instructions for them to be delivered before 4 p.m.( telling them that she leaves then, but-really she leaves work at 5 or 5:30, and I wanted her to enjoy them while she finished up her day. )

Well, long story short- They got delivered the next day, around 4:30 or so. The delivery guy called & was SO rude & cussing up a storm with GD's, F bombs, & all words under the sun- because he was "lost". Not only did they charge me $12 delivery, but also charged my card later for a random mysterious $1.98 fee. ???

So needless to say, I wasn't a very happy camper at the end of the day re: their customer service. Then to top it off, my sister, Lauren, sends me a text that says, "Mom's flowers are pretty!" with the below picture attached:


When I tried to contact the company & complain, not only for the poor customer service, but the late delivery, over charge on my card, false advertising of 'Free Delivery', and horrible product delivery of what I actually ordered- All they said was, "Sorry, we compensated by putting in long stemmed roses instead of medium stemmed roses. " I don't think I said anything for about 20 seconds with my mouth on the floor! I followed with, "So, since you gave me an extra 4" of thorny stems on the end of each rose, you think that is equal to the garden lillies surrounding the roses in the picture on the internet- so you can put greenery in it's place??" No response. "Sorry Lady."

Come to find out there are MULTIPLE complaints re: Pink Lotus Florist. After doing some research on the internet, there are thousands of people out there that haven't even received their flowers yet (3 weeks after they placed the order!). Some have been charged 2 or 3 times for the same arrangement on their card, some ordered arrangements with 10 flowers in it & only received 1 flower in it filled with greenery. I was in shock! So, I contacted the Better Business Bureau on them- Hopefully someone might shut them down!

So there is my little rant. Pass it on to EVERYONE you know- Never ever ever use Pink Lotus Florist! And also, my lesson learned- Don't order anything over your iphone from a company that you haven't heard of without doing a little research first.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recipe- Party Punch

I didn't get a chance to post my recipe yesterday- Well, I didn't get a chance to do much of anything yesterday. Woke up with a horribly sore throat, John got me some apple juice which didn't stay in my stomach long (It's official, Baby King hates Apple Juice. This is the 2nd time I've drank it while pregnant, & both times I've gotten sick. Uhh)- Felt a little better after getting sick then around 11ish, I started feeling horribly uncomfortable back pain. The kind that feels as if someone has just beaten my back with a baseball bat. Couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did, except walking around made it feel a little better, however, my head still feeling like it was a fishbowl, so no matter what I did- it was a rough day.
I avoid the Dr at all cost... I loathe going. I feel like sometimes just sitting in that waiting room can make you feel more sick than you really are (or even get you more sick with all the other people there!)- So, going against my mother's advice, I waited until this morning to go to the Doctor. Woke up feeling better, called his office, they advised me to come on in. He checked on everything & it was wonderful. He said that I probably just have a sinus infection & my horrible back pain is to be expected with a growing baby. My uterus is growing growing growing (in a normal, non-pregnant woman, her uterus is the size of a lemon. Mine, being almost 4 months pregnant, is the size of large cantelope or bigger.... WOW! As Baby is growing, my uterus is pushing things around inside to make room, as well as my belly growing outward.... So, that's what's been happening this week!

This week's recipe is from such a precious friend, here in Columbia, Liz. The two of us, along with a couple of other girls, hosted a baby shower for our friend, Courtney. Liz served this drink at the shower & I think I could have drank the entire pitcher- It was so good! I asked her for the recipe & she happily passed it on! She said her family calls it "Party Punch"- It's so easy & DELISH!!!

Liz's Party Punch

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup lemonade (powdered)
1/2 cup instant tea with lemon (powdered) (I usually use decaf)
1 cup white grape juice

Put all ingredients in a gallon jug. Fill with water. Shake to mix. Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pregnancy: 15 weeks

We are just 1 week shy of the 4 month mark! Hard to believe! I am feeling so much better and the 2nd trimester is such a different experience than the 1st. Much more energy, no weird cravings, etc, etc....
I have, however, discovered that I don't think Baby King enjoys much spicy things. I never have been much of a heat person when it comes to food, but lately, I have found myself feeling uncomfortable as I eat spicy foods. After church yesterday, John & I made a quick lunch stop at Zaxbys. Since they have quit carrying my "Zensation Salad" which was so good, I decided to just get a small chicken tender meal with buffalo sauce. As I was eating it, my stomach started to feel tight & give me that "rumbling goldfish in a bowl" kind of feeling. I was trying to explain it to John, but it was hard to describe. Almost that feeling when you are really really hungry & your stomach just feels empty & hurts- that's the feeling I get when I'm eating spicy foods. Weird, I know!

This week, Baby is measuring 4 inches (from the top of the head to the end of it's little booty). It's about the size of an apple. Baby's legs are longer than the arms now & all the joints & limbs are moving. Although Baby's eyelids are still fused shut, baby can sense light. If you were to shine a flashlight at my belly, it would likely move away from the beam. If we were to have an Ultrasound this week, it could be possible to tell whether Baby is a boy or a girl.

We've got less than 3 weeks before we make the big Reveal of what we are having. We won't find out until a day or so before our party... so it's SUPER exciting! John & I were talking about how anxious we are to know what we are having, however, it's been such a blessing to not know right now. It definitely allows us to slow down & just enjoy the pregnancy without my planning, planning, planning.... In the past month, I have been invited to lots of children's clothing shows & parties, and that anxious feeling definitely comes at a higher rate during those emails & catalog showings, since I'm in a "holding period" to buy anything since we don't know which sex to buy for! John & I get asked very often of what we think we are going to have- and I can honestly say, "We have no idea!" There are some days that we feel as if we are having a boy, and other days we feel as if it's a girl. We LOVE hearing what other people predict! So fun!!

So our question to everyone, what do you think we are having???? We have added a poll to the left side of our blog. Please submit your answer, but make sure you only do it once for your own vote. But if you have more than one in your household & you both feel the same or different, feel free to cast their vote too!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Recipe- Asian Slaw

A couple of weeks ago, John & I went over to some of our dearest friends, Mark & Emily's house, for dinner. Emily's a great cook! She had made this Italian style Pot Roast for sandwiches which she served on kaiser type rolls with melted Mozzarella on top. SO YUMMY! She served this Asian slaw next to it, & I found myself, as well as just about everyone else, going back for seconds. It was perfect with the dinner she served. I was also thinking that it would be wonderful with BBQ, or burgers, or pretty much anything!!!!
It's very light tasting & is perfect the weather we've been having lately!

Emily's Asian Slaw

2 packages beef flavor Ramen noodles (save packets for dressing)
1 16 oz. package cole slaw lettuce
1 cup sliced almonds (toasted if you want to)
1 cup sunflower kernels
2 green onions (tops, green part only) sliced

Break up the ramen noodles and layer all of the above, in a large bowl, in order.


Mix well in a small bowl: (Make sure you mix it until the sugar is dissolved)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil (Canola or Olive Oil)
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 soup packets from Ramen noodles

Pour over mixture and cover. DO NOT MIX until the next morning

Makes me want to put my fingers up to my lips, kiss them, say "DELISH!" then give Emily a big kiss on the cheek for introducing me to this recipe!

Pregnancy- 14 weeks

Late.... again.... with my blogpost.

These past 2 weeks have been absolutely crazy filled with cake orders, and lots of them for weddings! (Which I'm not complaining about at all!)- I have just about every weekend booked with a wedding cake(s) to do from now until Mid-July. Which is when I scheduled to not take any orders past that, since it will be getting close to my due date.... YAY!

This week we are at the 14 week mark. Well, actually, tomorrow, we will be at the 15 week mark, but I will do better next week & post that update on time....well, hopefully!

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck its thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, its facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. The kidneys are producing urine, which it releases into the amniotic fluid around the baby — a process baby will keep up until birth. Baby can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch it sucking its thumb.
Baby is now about the size of a large lemon this week!

I am definitely feeling more like my old self, once again. Everyone told me that it would happen once the 2nd trimester came, and boy were they right! It's amazing! Still getting tired every now & then, but mostly just powering on through with work & social stuff throughout the day!
My appetite is back & everything sounds good! I've especially been loving some soups & salads! Mmmmm. John & I went to Stoney River last night & I ordered a cup of their Lobster Bisque, & I thought I was seriously going to lick that bowl!! SO good!!!

We are definitely enjoying our time of 'not knowing' what we are having. We haven't bought anything for our baby yet, except an adorable pair of cream colored cashmere mittens for Baby to wear this winter. So precious!! We find out in 3 weeks what we are having & plan on having a Gender Revealing party with our family & very close friends. So we are excited!!

This week also brought a fun filled day yesterday, since it was my Birthday. John took the day off & we spent the entire day together, which is my favorite thing to do. I love spending time with him, but I especially love to be out & about with him all to myself, where I don't have to share him with anyone else. We started off the day with getting massages, then headed over to Franklin to get some yummy lunch at J. Alexanders. I just love their crabcakes! They are made with the lump crab meat & pretty much no fillers. They are some of the best crabcakes I have found around our area, without having to drive to the beach.... :)
Then we did a little shopping, went to go see "Just Go with It" with Adam Sandler & Jennifer Anniston (which by the way is HILARIOUS!!). We laughed the entire way through the movie! Then headed to Stoney River for dinner. Such a fun birthday, especially when celebrating it all day long! :) John asked me how old I was yesterday afternoon, (just to see if I would say the new number)- and it's funny how I had to sit there & think.... "Ok, I was born in '84, so that would make me.... Hmmmm- Ewww, 27!" It's amazing how, I feel like, once you hit 21, all birthdays from there are just downhill.... Of course, you instantly know it's your 22nd birthday, because all you can think about is the horrible hangover you had at this exact time last year... 25 hit kinda a sore spot, because you are officially, "mid- twenties". Now I'm edging on up there into my "late twenties" & that just makes me sit there with the "Elvis lip kinda going on with the look of 'whatcha gonna do- oh well! shrug"---- We were talking about how this was our last birthday celebration between the two of us before Baby comes! Crazy to think! John will turn 29 about 3 weeks after Baby is due...

But we are excited!!!!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pregnancy- 13 weeks

Well, hello there Baby Bump!!

This weekend, the baby bump has officially bumped on out there. I had people tell me, "Oh yes, you will just wake up one day & look down, & say, "Hey! What is this??" Well, it definitely happened! I was in the shower & looked down and was in shock! I think I stared at it for 5 whole minutes. I just couldn't believe it! It's kinda freaking me out.

John & I got ready to go on a morning walk yesterday, and I put on one of my old sorority t-shirts & there was no denying my bump. Of course, I have to kinda push my shirt down right above the bump & it there!

We had some of our great friends, Liz & Chaz and Courtney & Alex, over last night for the Superbowl. I told the girls, "Ummm, look at this??!" They were both stunned to see it since when we went to lunch on Tuesday, I didn't really have much to show. Liz has a sweet little girl, Marley, who is 7 1/2 months old, and Courtney is 8 months pregnant. So they both definitely knew what that was all about. It's fun to hear & compare stories!

So this week we are 13 weeks. So many websites contridict each other. Some say that this is the beginning on the 2nd trimester. Some say that at the end of this week will be the beginning... Oh well- All we know, is we are getting closer to Baby!

This is what the baby looks like inside:

Or if we were to have an ultrasound tomorrow at our monthly appointment, this is what Baby King might look like on the screen:

By this week, our baby has it's own set of fingerprints. Veins & organs are clearly visible through their still-thin skin. Baby is 3" long & weighs nearly an ounce. Uterus, which is usually the size of a woman's fist is now bigger than a grapefruit.... (which is why the bump, I'm assuming)


-Only needing naps every once in awhile

-Emotional/ mood swings- Crying more easily, getting irritated quicker, then the next minute be completely ok with everything in the world....

-Food cravings/ adversions starting to taper off

We are filled with excitement. Especially to find out what we are having! We have big plans for the reveal of the gender. The countdown begins!!!