Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Hyatt Christmas

I have been MIA from the bloggerverse since right before Christmas but things have been a little CRAY CRAY with the holidays.

The end of last week was a blur. Between fighting the outrageous crowds at the grocery store and places like Target, I was finally able to get everything I needed by Thursday night so I began my baking. I made Red Velvet Cake cookies that i'm obsessed with, homemade brownies, cream cheese sausage balls (recipe from Plain Chicken), and tons of other items. I really loved having my KitchenAid mixer handy during all of this cooking!

Saturday, we were up bright and early and the whole Casey Clan, including the twins, were at our house. It couldn't have gone more perfectly! I absolutely LOVED having my family there and of course, I held one of the girls the majority of the time they were there. <3 them!

Shane and I got some pretty awesome gifts too. 
We racked up on some new clothing items, jewelry, a new down comforter, gifts cards...and a KEURIG. Greatest invention ever. 
We absolutely LOVE it!

 Christmas Eve night and Christmas day, we spent the rest of the time visiting with my mom and stepdad and Shane's side of the family. We loved getting to see everyone, but like usual, we were dog tired by the end of visiting with everyone. 
Shane and I ended Christmas night back at our house watching The Lion King on our new BlueRay DVR player while drinking hot chocolate from our Keurig. 
Needless to say, we loved all of our gifts we got this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Murphy's Law

Just when I thought I was about to be ahead of the game for Christmas...

I caught a freaking stomach virus.

Yes, of all things to happen the week of Christmas, yours truly has been SICK. (and i'll spare you all the terrible details) but it was bad.

This past weekend, Shane and I were small town bound to have a little fun for his birthday. 
And that we did! Shane had a blast hanging out with his friends he doesn't get to see that much. We managed to snap this picture at the ugly sweater party we went to Saturday night. Thanks to my step-mom and her love for fun Christmas sweaters, I was dressed for the part. Hah.

When we got back to Columbia Sunday morning, I was super tired so I decided to take a nap before I began my long list of chores I needed to complete to get ready for this upcoming weekend. Since work is really hectic this week, I was trying to get ahead of the game. Needless to say, four hours later I was still feeling bleh and had made a pretty nice butt imprint on my couch. Shane came home from working and we ordered takeout. I swore that after I ate, I would get my butt in gear. Thus began the longest 24 hours of my life. Within 15 minutes of eating, I felt the nausea start to set in and it only got worse throughout the night. I spent all of yesterday in the bed and Lilo and I battled over who could sleep the most. I finally started feeling myself again about midnight last night. I'm not 100% today, but i'm way better than I was so hopefully whatever I had is GONE.
Now that i'm trying to get back in the swing of things at work, i've made a list of what all I need to get done before Christmas. Since we're hosting Christmas at our house, disinfecting our place from head to toe is #1 on my list. I do NOT want anyone to catch that awful mess.

When I am fully recovered, I have quite a bit of Christmas baking left to finish. On the top of my list are these yummy monsters. Red Velvet Cake Cookies. I made a test batch on Friday to give to some of Shane's family, and they are legit the best cookies I've ever tried. If you are a fan of Red Velvet Cake and anything super moist and creamy, these are perfect. I tried them out in my new kitchenaid and they turned out perfectly. I can't wait to make a ton more for this weekend.

1 box - Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 Egg
1 8oz block of cream cheese (I used the 1/3 less fat)
1 stick of butter
1 tsp of Vanilla
Powdered sugar

Sit out butter and cream cheese and let soften. Add to mixer and beat on low. Add egg, then vanilla, then 1 cup cake mix at a time. Mixture will be a little thicker and stickier. Once mixed well, put dough in refrigerator for 2-3 hours. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into little balls and cover with powdered sugar. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Add more powdered sugar for garnish. 

Such an easy, delicious recipe and these cookies even look gorgeous on display with all of your Christmas decorations! :) Trust me, they won't stay there long.... yumm-o

Friday, December 16, 2011

Well hello...

Tis' the season for busy calendars, lots going on, and no time for blogging.

So while I take a break from the massive amounts of contracts I need to pile through, let's turn up the holiday tunes and catch up shall we?
hmmm where to start?
Well my hubby's bday is tomorrow! I'm so excited, we have a busy weekend planned and he gets to see and hang out with his friends and family! We're small town bound tomorrow to have lunch with his mom and tomorrow night we'll be going to a Christmas shower for one of his high school BFF's who is getting married, followed by an ugly sweater party. I'm excited for that one since I have borrowed an awesome sweater from my step-mom complete with bells. yes, bells. But first, tonight, Shane and I will be having our romantic date night dinner at his restaurant of choice! :)

Oh, and we already exchanged our Christmas presents.... Santa, I can explain. 
I wanted Shane to have his early for numerous reasons. We were going to be busy every night and I wanted him to have some time to enjoy the present I bought him. It's an xbox btw....complete with a kinect and everything. He's loved playing on the kinect and watching movies/tv shows on Netflix this week while i've been busy with Christmas stuff. Plus, he doesn't know it yet, but his family will be giving him a ton of games and even more accessories to go with it.
Ok, ready for the sweet part? I wanted to wait and open my Christmas present on Christmas and just let him enjoy his, but he insisted I open mine, I mean ok, I won't argue. HE BOUGHT ME MY FREAKING KITCHENAID. I was soooo excited, and it's in the color I wanted, cinnamon. He said the reason he wanted me to open mine early was because I kept talking about doing Christmas baking and he wanted me to be able to use my kitchenaid. Husband of the freaking year, people.  
I guess now I should be doing some baking. 
Oh, but I have my recipes picked out and i'll be sure to share, thank you pinterest.

Work has been super BLEH for me the past week. I found out my boss is leaving so things are really about to change. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but we'll see... i've got some other opportunities on the horizon so maybe the new year will bring lots of new things. 

I have had some other distractions to keep my mind off of work things.

Monday night, we went out to 2 dinners. Yes, we're fatty's. Shane's brother graduated from USC, so we had a celebratory dinner for him. After that was over, we sped to a restaurant in Lexington to have dinner with friends for Shannon's birthday! We had a great turnout, and as always, had fun with lots of friends! 


Last night we had Christmas Bunco with a group of friends. It was so much fun getting to see everyone and playing. There was a chance to win close to $100 and I was all about trying to win. Instead, I came in 3rd. SO close. But I did score this super cute bowl Shannon made!

Ok, I really have to catch up on some work. 
Hope you all are enjoying your holiday season!!
Happy Weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

In the Christmas Spirit...

Happy Friday lovelies!!! 

Let me just start this post off with this little number from my FAVORITE Christmas album, Hanson "Snowed In". That's right.... 90's child right here...

Anyways, while you enjoy my teenage crushes, let me tell you about the first Christmas party I went to last night. My old job and awesome coworkers at the arena had their annual Christmas Party and kindly let me come crash hang out. It was so great seeing them, and since I think of most of them as friends, not just former coworkers, I loved hanging out and catching up....with a few cocktails in hand on the company card of course. Poor Shane had to miss out since he's still feeling sick. :(

Tonight is MY office Christmas party and it should be another fun time! 
I love parties...and ahem, free booze

This Sunday is my two BFF's Shannon and Pam's birthdays! Must be a pretty special day for two people as awesome as they are to both be born on that day! I took this fun little picture for them yesterday to send since sadly, I won't be seeing either of them on their actual birthdays.

Love you Shan and Pammie K!

Hope you all have a GREAT weekend and are enjoying the Christmas season as much as I am!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

time for a brain dump

This might win the award for most random post.... we'll see. but here goes.

1. This week, I have felt so blah. I think it's my mood. Everything is getting to me. There is a lot of negativity going on around me right now and as much as I really don't mind listening and being there for people, it really puts a damper on my happy go lucky spirit. This time of year should be a happy time and a time to be thankful for what we DO have, not resentful for what we don't have.

2. My poor hubby is sick. It started Monday morning, he woke up with a sore throat and has rapidly developed a cough and sounds terrible. I can tell he can't get comfortable at night and has trouble breathing (=snoring) so it's been keeping me up too. I feel bad for him because I can tell he doesn't feel good, but he never complains about not feeling well. He just sucks it up and goes about his day like normal. SO not me. Everyone in my path knows when i'm sick and I complain enough to make you feel like the world is ending. I'm sure Shane hopes he doesn't pass his sickness along to me...I'm really no fun when I don't feel good.

3. I'm 95% finished with Christmas shopping. I started pretty early this year and other than a few random items on my Christmas list, and anxiously awaiting some online purchases to arrive in the mail... i'm finished. I'm happy about that too. It allows me to get to enjoy the remainder of the Christmas season without getting in a bad mood fighting the last minute shoppers.

4. Speaking of online shopping, I'm not happy with the USPS right now. Like at all. I ordered a ton of little gifts and stocking stuffers from a website and they shipped it in a padded envelope a little bigger than a legal size piece of paper. Our mailman did some harry potter magic to bend and stuff the envelope in to our tiny mailbox, ruining most of the things I had ordered. When I called the post office to file a complaint, they were everything but helpful. My patience was pretty much lost once I got off the phone with them, but hopefully I made it clear that our postman can't shove packages like that in our mailbox. *here's to hoping anyways.

5. Shane and I went to Florence again this past Saturday. I was a little resentful about having to make the trip (because this was the 4th weekend in a row I was in Florence), but i'm so happy we did. We got to see a lot of family I don't get to see that often, and Shane got to meet a few of my family that he didn't get too meet at the wedding. Oh, and we got to spend the evening with my brother, sis-in-law, and the twins. Shane loved napping on the couch holding the girls, and I tried to help feed and change, and I even got to bathe them. It was freaking precious. But i'm pretty sure Shane got the easy end of the deal... hmm? hah.

6. Seeing a lot of Facebook posts about exams, finals, and papers makes me SO glad i'm not stressing about having to study my heart out every free chance I get. Something i've realized though, I miss how easy it was (well for me anyways) to talk myself out of an assignment, get an extension, higher grade, or whatever. It's not that easy with things at my job. There are no extending deadlines, etc. Hah. Maybe I should have done something more with contract negotiation? hmm. :)

7. Yesterday, I got an email from Pet's Inc here in Columbia, (a no-kill animal shelter where my roomie adopted our spoiled rotten Lilo) that their septic system is broken and they need almost $8000 to replace it. Because of this, they can't give the animals the proper treatment they need to take care of them. They can't clean the floors as well, bathe the animals, and keep the place clean to prevent diseases and bacteria from spreading. The animals are also having to sleep on the concrete because they can't put down blankets and beds to make the animals feel more at home. Last night, Shane and I talked about it and decided to make a small donation to the animal shelter. It's not much, but I know every little bit helps. Its just another reminder how blessed we have been and we should share what we can when others need help. Along with helping Pet's Inc, we picked out some charities that we hope we can make contributions to and help during the holiday season.

8. I believe i've blogged before about my "Semi-Homemade w/ Olivia" skills. I have a gift, habit for going in to the kitchen and throwing together some pretty yummy but random meals. Last night was the perfect exception, and the end result turned out to be one of the best meals i've ever cooked (said so by the hubby himself). I guess you would call it my own version of Shepard's Pie, but it was pretty dang good.
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 bag southwestern style hashbrowns 
1/2 pack ranch seasoning
3 tbsp taco sauce
1/2 block cream cheese
1 precooked pie crust
Shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and stir in hashbrowns. Let cook on stovetop and mix in ranch seasoning and scallions. After hashbrowns have begun to brown, mix in taco sauce and cream cheese. The consistency will be almost like lumpy mashed potatoes. Empty in to pie shell, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake on 350 for 20 minutes.

Seriously, the most random/yummiest comfort meal ever. I served with a large helping of green beans and Shane asked to take the leftovers (over half the pie) to work today. oink oink :)

9. Tomorrow marks the first day of a 9 day streak where I have something going on every night. It will be kicked off by going to the end of the CLA office Christmas party. I was "unofficially" invited since I no longer am a staff member, but I plan to drop in at the end so I can say hello to everyone and visit with my favorite coworkers ever. My actual office party is Friday night at my boss' house and should be a great time too! I love a good party anyways! :)

Ok, enough brain dumping for today. Now I have to get to the mountains of paperwork sitting on my desk. Happy Hump Day peeps!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm linking up with Jamie again this week for ...

I'm LOVING.... that we had a great Thanksgiving and a few days with our families. Although we had to do quite a bit of traveling, (and we're still tired from it), I loved getting to spend time with friends and family.

My dad and stepmom, our Thanksgiving lunch chefs!
 I LOVE that I go to go black Friday shopping with my mom too. We really had a blast and shopped until we were ready to drop.

And of course, I LOVED that it was mine and the hubby's first thanksgiving together as The Hyatt's.

I'm LOVING that it is now officially Christmas season! We have our place decked out with decorations and presents are starting to pile under the tree. Shane and I will be hosting Christmas at our place for the Casey side of the family. We will have 11 people in our tiny place but we're so excited and as long as we're all together, that's all that matters.

I'm also LOVING that the cold weather is FINALLY back in SC. It just didn't feel normal having the weather being in the 70's the week of Thanksgiving. I'm sure i'll be sick of it come February, but I was perfectly happy with the dreary day yesterday and eating a bowl of hot soup for lunch! I even turned our heat on last night! :)

This year, more than ever, I'm LOVING Shutterfly. 2011 has been such a big year and what better way to remember it than lots of framed photos and photo gifts? I'm a frequent visitor on their website, and i've gotten some pretty great deals thanks to all of the promos they offer throughout the year. I also got our Christmas cards, which I can't wait to send out!!! My sister in law has been a frequent visitor too. She just made the twins "My Journey in the NICU" books that documented their first 8 weeks in this world. It was quite possibly the sweetest thing ever!

I'm just really LOVING this time of year! 
Happy Hump Day Y'all!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Addicted to Pinterest

Happy Monday Everyone! Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving and got to spend it with the ones you love. 
Now that the Christmas season is fast approaching and that means it's time for decorations and gifts!
I recently hosted a craft party with my boss where we had a few friends over to make some crafts and talk about ideas we had for the holidays. Not too many crafts were made at the actual party, but we got a lot of ideas from Pinterest and shared some GREAT tips with each other.

I wanted to share my first "crafts" of the season. They were all super easy but have added a great deal of flair to our holiday decor.

Seriously, if you aren't on Pinterest, get there! You will get some great ideas and waste all of your free time. (no really.)

Project 1:

The first project I did was wrapping a plain wooden letter (from Michael's) in twine. I had these really thin shelves for our guest bedroom and they don't hold much more than a frame or candle. This was a great idea I found that I knew would fit the shelf perfectly and add some personalization. It's super easy to make and there are a lot of variations that you can do to it. The key is hot glue. Especially if you're like me and have a letter that has a few curves to it. The hot glue will keep your twine from sliding and help you cover your letter. I did this in an hour and it cost about $4 to make (be sure to snag a 20% off coupon before you will save you a few $).

Project 2

Our first holiday decoration of the season. This wreath was made entirely of ribbon I found at Michaels, a foam wreath, and some Christmas twigs. It was literally the easiest thing to make and looks great hanging in our living room. (our front door is red so I'll be making another for the front. But this looks great inside too!)

Project 3

This fun craft I made is now hanging in our kitchen and prepared to hold all of our Christmas cards and pictures we receive this holiday season. I took a plain plate charger (on sale at Michael's for $1) and hot glued clothes pins (that I painted green) all around the plate. I then painted red polka dots and "Happy Holidays" on the center. I hot glued 2 strands of ribbon on the back and hung it in our kitchen. Now, when we receive cards, I can just clip them around the plate so they can be easily displayed. A fun and unique way of displaying Christmas Cards! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It's no secret that 2011 has been one of the most eventful and best years of my life. 

I've been reminded constantly this year just how many people love and support me and how many blessings i've been given in this special life. God has given me so much to be thankful for and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share some of the things I am thankful for this year.

My amazing, perfect, most wonderful husband
I love waking up next to him every morning and kissing him good night every night. He's my rock and support and I love the fact that I still get butterflies when he sends me a sweet text just to let me know he misses me.
My Family
I have a pretty amazing (and quite large family) that has significantly grown this year. I'm so thankful for all the time I got to spend with most of them at my showers and wedding this past year.
And for the new addition of Shane's side of the family.
There is nothing like family. 
My job
I may complain about it sometimes, but in an economy where so many people are without work, i'm thankful to have a job. And my coworkers are amazing.
My part-time job
I love still getting to see my CLA family and working fun events with them. I am so very thankful for the couple of years I got to spend working there throughout college and all the opportunities I've had because of it.
My friends
Many of our friends no longer live in the same town as us, but I love knowing that they are just a phone call or trip away. And spending time with them is that much more special.
My Nieces
Being able to watch my nieces grow from just barely 1-2 lbs into normal, healthy sized babies has been a miracle. These babies have been a blessing to my brother, sis-in-law, and our entire family.  And the amount of people who continued to pray for their health every day (and still do) is so humbling.
Our home
It's mine and Shane's first official place together and i've absolutely LOVED getting to decorate it and make it feel like our own. I've enjoyed filling it with lots of new pictures from our wedding and our wedding gifts too.
My car
I've mentioned that a lot of friends and family don't live near us so we've done quite a bit of traveling when we want to go visit with everyone. We also live on the outskirts of our town, so nights out on the town take a little bit of commuting. My new car has really given me the freedom to travel without having to worry about any issues (something my old car was starting to do!)
I really don't know what I would do without all of my technology devices. It's a pain in the butt when they don't function properly, but I absolutely love being able to communicate with anyone any time of the day, browsing the internet, blogging (and the great people i've met through it), recipe hunting, and great ideas i've discovered along the way.
 Our obnoxious cat
Lilo is a snob and super crazy at times, but she's the perfect fit for us right now. Having a cat is way less demanding than having a dog (or a child for that matter hah) and we're still able to travel and leave home without worrying as much. And she has so much personality, she's just the right amount of entertainment.
The way I was raised
I am so thankful for the morals and values that both my parents and step-parents instilled in me. I was always taught to say "thank you" "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" and my parents made sure that I was surrounded by good influences. They also taught me to be smart with money, to work hard and be thankful for what I have, and show respect. I see people every day who always have the attitude that something is "owed" to them, and i'm so glad my parents didn't raise me like that.

I have so much to be thankful for! Safe travels to everyone these next few days and 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blended Families

Looking through my Erin Condren day planner the past few days, i've realized just how much traveling I will be doing over the next month and a half. I absolutely love the holidays and I love spending time with our families, so it's traveling well worth it to me. 

But I got to thinking about how each year as our siblings get older, and we expand in to families of our own, just how difficult it will be to continue spending so much time with everyone around the holidays. With two new additions to the Casey side of our family this year, we've already experienced some difficulty planning when and where we will celebrate Christmas together. With the twins being on monitors still and under "house arrest", they really can't make the trip from Florence all the way to my dad and step-mom's house in North Carolina. And it is extremely hard for my Grandma to travel in the car, especially lately with all of her hip problems. Then, there is my step-brother from California and his wife who have different sides of their families to visit in the short amount of time they will be on the east coast. (I could go on to explain just how difficult it is to accommodate everyone's schedules, but you get the drift.)

Having dealt with the fact that my parents are divorced and have both remarried to people who were married before (and had children) complicates things around the holidays. It's never been a problem to me, ever, because I LOVE having two sets of families. Both my mom and dad are as happy as they could be with my step-parents and these new additions have only made me feel even more loved.
Shane also comes from a family with divorced parents, which adds on to the number of places we will go for the holidays. Instead of going from one family to visit to two, we're going from two families to spend time with to four. Now i'm all about some Thanksgiving meals, but I just don't know if my stomach can handle FOUR thanksgiving meals. (Shane, on the other hand, said Challenge Accepted)

With all this being said, I thoroughly enjoy the holidays and the number of family members I get to see every year. My only wish is that we get to continue to spend time with our families, even after it keeps expanding. 
I want my children to one day feel the abundance of love from all sides of our families just as I have felt all  these years.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I haven't done this in a while, so I thought today would be a good day to link up with Jamie again for...

I'm loving the fact that even though work is super busy this week, we're having our office Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow...catered by Cracker Barrel. I have a feeling that it will be a good idea to get most of my work done tomorrow morning before I stuff my face with turkey. :)

I'm loving the fact that this weekend, I get to make a trip down to Florence! My sis-in-law has a party to go to Saturday during the day, so i'll be helping my brother take care of the twins. I am SO excited to get some more baby lovin' and to help my brother out for the day.

I'm also loving that while i'm in Florence, my FAVORITE cousin will be doing my hair. I've finally decided what I want to do with it, so stay tuned to see pics after I get it done... I can't wait!!!

I'm loving the fact that this past weekend I got to see some faces I haven't seen in a while, including my brother and sister in law from California. It all started Friday night at the Homecoming Alumni Party for our school and didn't end until Sunday when I got to go to our friends Sarah and Andy's couples shower. It was so nice getting to hang out with friends and family all weekend.

At the Alumni Party w/ our school's Mascot!

Bowling with my brother, Dan and sis in law, Melissa
I'm loving that my first BirchBox sample box came in the mail this week. It had some GREAT samples, including Kate Spade perfume, some lip volumizer, nail polish, and hand and body lotion. I've used them all, except the nail polish (it's a blue/green, so I think i'll save it for my toes). I'm definitely thinking that i'll be ordering another sample box again next month.

And, as always, I'm loving the support and love that my husband always shows me. I'm truly the luckiest girl alive. 

Happy Hump Day Everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Call us crazy cat people all you want, but our "child" is no ordinary cat. 
It's time you formally met Lindsay Lohan Fancywhiskers Jacobs Casey Hyatt (aka "Lilo") and saw just how normal she really is. 
Below she explains why she fits in so well in the Hyatt household.

 I like naps
I warm the bed up for mommy

I stay clean

I'm an excellent helper around the house

I show you affection

I protect you

I like to tailgate

I fit, therefore, I must go.
I prefer Merlot, but I take whatever mommy gives me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My best friend

During our wedding planning process, when it came to picking a song for our first dance, Shane and I realized that in the seven years we had been dating, we didn't have a song that we called our own. So instead, we tried to think of a song that had a lot of meaning to us and what our relationship stood for.
The song, "My Best Friend" by Tim McGraw seemed to be one that we both felt describe us perfectly. We are literally each other's BEST friend and soul mate and nothing can ever truly describe our feelings for each other... but this song came pretty close. 
 Shane and I met at a very young age. We both have some experience dating other people, but it's obvious that we were each others first true loves. We have grown up together and grown into this amazing relationship that nothing could ever take away.
For quite a few years now, when I've pictured what my life would be like years down the road, I've had different dreams of where I would be, what I would be doing, but one thing has always remained constant....Shane is always in the picture. He is my rock, he's my soulmate, and he's the one person I can be completely open and honest with about everything...
Shane and I have always faced negativity for our relationship. Our difference in age, or the fact that we've been together since we were in high school has always brought up question in other people's mind but our own. Yes, we've had tough times as a couple, but we've always made it out stronger and wiser. Shane and I fit each other perfectly and that is why I know our relationship is meant to last. 
And, yes, he spoils me rotten, but not a day goes by that we don't let each other know how appreciative we are for what the other one does.
I am so very grateful for the life I've built with Shane. And I'm thankful that we also have so many people supporting us and who celebrated our special day with us and the vows we took to always be each other's best friend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Updates and a little randomness

I've been a little MIA this week on the bloggy but i've just been all over the place lately. Which is what this post is about to be....a little all over the place. :) I don't really have any cohesive thoughts put together, so here goes my list of what's up.

1. Our weekends this fall have been insanely crazy. It seems that every day we have something planned. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having a lot to do. And getting to visit with friends/go to social outings is fun, but it causes my weekends to fly by making work weeks seem that much longer.
This past weekend, Shane and I went to an absolutely beautiful wedding for our friends Jessica & Keith. I have never seen a wedding have so much flair from the bride and groom and still come together perfectly. There were little details all over the place that had such a personal touch while at the same time matching beautifully. I know a ton of planning and creative thought went into that wedding and I loved seeing all the details and the happy couple.
This coming weekend is about to be insane. We have Pam and Pat staying with us, it's South Carolina's Homecoming (which means Alumni Party Friday night as well), a couple's shower on Sunday as well as a corn maze outing Sunday night....oh, and my Brother & Sis-in-Law from California will be in Cola for the weekend so spending some time with them in the midst of all of this is a top priority! whew. should be an AWESOME weekend!

2. Along with things i've done over the weekends, this past Sunday, we had a craft party at my boss's house. I made a really cute Christmas wreath and got some fun ideas for other crafts and gifts I will be doing this holiday season. It was fun getting together with a few girls and sharing craft ideas and talking about our Pinterest addictions. It really has me in the holiday mood and not just for crafts, but for gift giving in general. I've been busy getting ideas of gifts I want to get people and I think I have just about everyone covered. That really makes me ahead of the game because I'm usually scrambling at the last minute to buy gifts for everyone. Not this year!

3. My other brother & sis-in-law (the one's with the twinsies) sent me the most precious picture of the girls in the mail yesterday. I just love when they send me random pics and i've already framed this one....check out the cute frame I got as well. When I saw it,  I just knew I had to have it to display the girls' pics in our house. (I'm one proud Aunt!).

(I need to make the pic a 5X7 to fit the frame, but this will do until then!) HOW CUTE?!?!

Speaking of the twins, it's so hard to believe that Nicole was due to have them just LAST WEEK and they are already 12 weeks old. It's been an amazing journey already getting to see these girls grow this much already and i'm just so thankful with the progress they've made!

4. My poor Grandma Casey has had such a rough couple of weeks lately. Her hip has been bothering her and it was really starting to cause her a ton of the point where getting up and walking to the bathroom was almost unbearable for her. My Dad and Stepmom have been doing everything they can to help alleviate her pain. The doctor prescribed her some pain meds and things got even worse for her. She did not do well with the meds and got really nauseous and sick for a few days. It was worrying all of us and I know it was horrible for Grandma having to go through all of that. My parents took her back to the doctor Monday and since then, they've been able to get her nausea and sickness under control, but she is still in a lot of pain. Hopefully the doctors will be able to do something to help her feel better soon. It's been a scary couple of weeks and with Grandma being 89, we know she's getting more and more feeble. The last thing we'd ever want to see her do is fall. My dad did say that yesterday she was in much better spirits because he was showing her pics that Sean and Nicole sent of the twins. That just warms my heart knowing it made her feel better.

5. Shane and I have started to frame some of our wedding photos and display them around the house. We got a bunch of frames for wedding presents & we've put pictures in just about all of them. I'm running out of frames and space to put them now, but part of me wants to have even more on display! I love a good picture....It is the best decoration you can have in my opinion. I have a feeling we're going to be in trouble when we start having kids. hah.

6. Shane and I have been *attempting* to get up in the mornings to go to the gym before work. So far, it's worked about 4 times in the past 2 weeks. Hey, that's better than nothing....but my ideal plan would be to go at least 4 mornings out of the week. I feel so much more productive when I go ahead and get it out of the way. That leaves my nights free to cook dinner, get other chores done, and relax with the hubby!
It's just 5:30 comes soooooooooo early.... hah...

7. Along with working out, i'm trying to cook us some healthy meals that are delicious, filling, and satisfying to mine and my hubby's belly. Cooking healthy can sometimes be hard but i've made some pretty good meals this week so far. One of the meals that I made, I just had to share the recipe. It was super easy, healthy, and really tasty! And Shane said he'd totally love to have it again. WIN WIN for everyone. I don't really have a name for it and I combined a few recipes I saw on Weight Watchers to get this recipe, but we'll just go with it. Based on the recipes I looked at, this meal would probably be between 6-8 points for a very healthy serving...(for those of you counting.)
-3 med/large potatoes
-2 links of Cajun Chicken Sausage (sliced into little bite size pieces)
-1/2 onion
-1 red pepper
-2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
-2 tablespoons of olive oil (I used garlic infused olive oil....but add garlic powder to regular olive oil)
-1 tspn of parley
-1 tspn of thyme
Chop potatoes, onions, and pepper in to little bit size pieces. Toss them in the thyme, parley, olive oil, dijon mustard and spread out onto a baking sheet. Toss the chicken sausage throughout the mixture. Bake at 375 for 40 mins. 

8. Did any of you watch the CMA's last night? I'm a huge country music fan and the CMA's are a must every year. Shane didn't care to watch them with me so he laid on the couch reading, but I was totally singing along to all the live performances and reading all of the twitter updates that people had to say about what was going on. I was super excited that Miranda Lambert won Female Vocalist of the Year and her hubs, hottie Blake Shelton won Male Vocalist of the Year. They are just such a cute married couple....kinda like me and Shane :)

9. Well I made it to 9 updates, but I think i'm about done with this post! Hope you've enjoyed my randomness today!

Happy Friday Eve!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wedding Tips for Brides

Shane and I are going to the first wedding tomorrow since our own and it got me to thinking about what that bride must be feeling. I remember how all over the place I was the day before my wedding and I was inspired to complete this post. I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but as a newly Mrs, former bride...I have some tricks of the trade to add to the pile of advice for future brides.

As a young bride, finishing college, and really the "first" of all of my friends to get married, the year and a half of our engagement was a whole new world for me. Nothing can fully prepare you for planning your own wedding. As a girl who pictured getting married since I was in my first wedding at the age of five, I thought wedding planning would be a breeze. But it's different when that ring is slipped on YOUR own hand and you begin making decisions. That first check I wrote as a down payment for my venue made it REAL, and with each item I crossed off my to-do list, it became more and more real that I was planning the biggest/best day of my life.

I did a lot of research while wedding planning. From traditions to budgets to issues most brides will face, I read countless articles, websites, and magazines for as much advice that I could take away. I discovered that every wedding is a learning process for brides and they all have something they took away from their wedding.

For any bride or someone who has not yet experienced their big day.... this is the advice I would offer from my own personal experience.

1. Know when to ask for advice and when to just make the decision on your own.
Between your mom, mother in law, aunts, friends, bridesmaids, sisters, etc. there are plenty of women who will be there to help you and guide you along the way. They mean well and want to help you and are there to offer support when needed. Take full advantage of this support and lean on them when you need it. With that being said, we're all human and we're all different. Mom's sometimes have a way of offering TOO much insight and not all of your friends will have the same opinion. And if you are like I was, you may have 6 completely different bridesmaids with completely different opinions. You have to know how to balance not offending your family or friends (and being referred to as "bridezilla") and making decisions of your own. Trust me, if you can find this balance, it will create a lot less stress.

2. In the end, the minor details won't matter....but do them anyways.
I'm pretty sure every bride will tell you after their big day is over that all the little things they stressed about didn't matter. And this is very true. Most of your guests will not remember if you had monogrammed cocktail napkins or striped straws in your wedding colors. With that being said, it's these little things that make planning your wedding fun and special to you and you will remember the pride you had in finding that perfect cocktail napkin that matched the color of your wedding shoes perfectly. Just keep in mind that some of these things are GOING TO GO WRONG...and that's what makes the difference. No one but you will know if the caterer missed a tier from your wedding cake (yes, that happened at our wedding)
So enjoy planning these little details. It makes planning more fun, and when things come together, it will make you smile. But know that when some of these things don't work out the way you wanted them to, it's ok, because your day is still going to be perfect.

3. Become BEST friends with your photographer.
I cannot stress this enough. My photographer was a Godsend and was there for us whenever we needed her. She was very open to do whatever we wanted and that made all the difference. Don't be afraid to pester your photographer either. Seriously, I had a folder specially designated for emails between us in my inbox. See a really cool wedding shot you found on Pinterest? it to your photographer and ask if you can capture that moment or something similar to it. Don't just save it and try to remember it on your wedding day. (you will not be yourself and 9 million other things will be running through your head)
My photographer had me do something (that at the time I thought was annoying, but thanked my lucky stars she asked me to do). She asked me to type out the list of family photos I wanted. (ex. olivia, dad, shane.... olivia, shane, brother...etc). I thought it was pointless, but it made perfect sense. She was able to "role call" these names and we got through family photos in about 20 minutes. Record time people.

4. Have something special you want to accomplish on your wedding day? Designate someone (outside of your wedding party) to make sure that happens.
Weddings are very sentimental and this is your one day to get a lot accomplished. But it's also a big day for other people too. Mommy and Daddy's little girl is about to get married, your 90 year old grandma is seeing her youngest grandchild get married. Do you want a second to spend with your future mother in law before you marry her son? Do you want to do the traditional guy and girl on either side of the door photo op? Is there someone who isn't in the wedding party that you want to make sure you get a photo with? Whatever "little/special" things you want to see happen on your big day, I can guarantee you will not remember them all yourself. Ask a cousin, friend, or someone not in the bridal party to make sure they help this happen. Tell them when to pull you aside for this. They will feel honored to help you do something on your big day and they will be a lot less distracted than you and your wedding party.

5. Map out your big day in advance.
If you are like I was, you will be doing some traveling on your wedding day. We all got ready at my cousin's hair salon, went to the church for the ceremony, then a different place for the reception. I thought long and hard about all of the items I would need at each place and how to have everything mapped out. I also did not have a wedding coordinator so in order to get the rest of my bridal party on board with my plan, I created itineraries that showed what time and where each thing would happen. I mailed these to them, and even though the majority of them lost it....they still all had a little bit of a clue of what was going on. :)
I also designated different bags that would be needed throughout the day. Since Shane and I were leaving the reception in his car, our overnight bag with everything we needed was put in his car the day before. Everything that was needed at the church was taken in a bag to the rehearsal (unity candle, programs, extra itineraries, etc). We also took all the extra decorations, parting gifts, and photos to our reception site the morning of the wedding. Then I had a carry all basket that I took with me to the hair salon. I packed extra makeup, hairspray, curling iron, deodorant, etc to take with me to the church and reception for me and the girls if we needed to freshen up.
Whatever you have planned for your wedding day, make sure you go over it with your coordinator, maid of honor, family, and other bridal party in advance so they are all on board.

One FINAL piece of advice. I found this on Pinterest and couldn't agree more.... Happy Planning Brides!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hello November!

So this post may be 3 days judging here.

Happy November Everyone!
I just love this time of year and all that it represents! And although the retail world jumps straight from Halloween to Christmas... I'm not giving up on Fall just yet. 
There is still much football to be watched, turkey to be eaten, and great weather to be enjoyed. 
Our house is fully decorated for the fall season, equipped with harvest signs and fall leaf garland on our mantle.

This month's social calendar seems to be filling up pretty quickly as well. This weekend starts it with our friends, Jessica & Keith's wedding, followed by a craft party at my boss's house on Sunday. My bro & sis-in law, as well as the besties from Charleston will be in town the following weekend for the Carolina football game. I've also got 2 bridal/baby showers to attend and a mad platter night planned with some great friends. This month is going to be a "get crafty" month as well as I get in the holiday spirit and begin my Christmas presents.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I blog about my fun times, crafts, and new recipes I'm planning on trying!

It's going to be a fun month!
our place all warm and cozy for fall!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Hope your day is filled with lots of candy, scary movies, and great times!

Happy Halloween from the Hyatt's

"Come little children, I'll take thee away
Into a land of enchantment
Come little children, the times come to play...
Here in my garden of magic."

"It's just a bunch of HOCUS POCUS"

just a few little quotes from my fav. Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Best husband ever award goes to....


Last night we both got home pretty late and crashing on the couch to catch up on our shows was definitely in order.

As we were laying on the couch, I was joking that Shane should have brought me home something for our two "month-iversary" (totally kidding of course)

To my surprise he laughed, and said, "Well I DO have you a present. You have 20 minutes to find it or i'm saving it until Christmas."

Well...obviously I was off the couch before he even finished his sentence.

3 minutes later...I found this BEAUTIFUL box with a purple lid and I immediately knew what it was.

It was these little beautiful earrings that i've had my eye on for a few weeks. 

I'm so lucky to have such a thoughtful man!!!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our visit with the twins!

Yesterday I was able to take off from work a little early and Shane and I decided to head down to Flo-town to visit my brother, sis-in-law, and our precious baby nieces. The twins are doing absolutely GREAT since they've been home from the hospital. Despite not sleeping too much at night, Sean & Nicole seemed to be so happy and we were beyond thrilled to get to visit. 
The girls had been to the eye doctor earlier in the day so they were a little tired and cranky from their day, but Shane and I were about to hold, feed, and love on them as they snoozed in our arms. 
I snapped a few pics on my phone...bc let's face it...i'm obsessed with these pretty girls! And so proud of how far they've come. It's hard to believe that they weren't even due until November 2nd, but they will be 11 weeks old this Saturday. And they weighed in around 6lbs today so they're now close to the normal size of newborns! SUCH A BLESSING! I continue to pray for these miracles every day and I can't wait until they're old enough to come stay with Aunt Olivia & Uncle Shane. 

I just know we're going to be the favorites.

How precious?!?! I mean really!!!
Shane and I got home around midnight last night and we were SO tired this morning when we woke up. Reason # 90808 why we will not be having kids any time soon....we were tired from just VISITING. I pray for Sean and Nicole's patience and sanity because I can only imagine how tired they must be. whew.

Happy Thursday!