Wednesday, November 30, 2011


My first blog award courtesy of Mary @ My Worry Bird! Thank you so much!  You absolutely made my day!!  Mary is a very sweet friend who is in the process of IVF.  Friday is the big day and I am SOOOO (picture me saying it like Sophia Grace) excited for her and Paul (her hubby)!  If you don't mind, add them to your prayer list and definitely keep them in mind on Friday.  
Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, 
and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers
with less than 200 followers.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

The five blogs I want to recognize for this award are:
1- Homemade Happiness via Jamiee
2- Dancing with Sunshine via Nicole
3- Focused Linz via Lindsey
4- Simply Stated via Joanna
5- Beautie and the Belle via Rebecca

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gender Reveal Cake

The trend these days is for the expecting mother and father to find a creative way to reveal to family and friends the sex of the new baby.  One of my best friends, Holly (aka The Best Mummy I Know), and her husband are expecting their second child.  She has known for a while that they were finding out the gender of the baby the day before Thanksgiving, so she decided they would keep it a secret for a day and reveal to the family on Thanksgiving day.  I wanted to help her out so I asked if I could make a cake to help reveal the gender and she accepted my offer.   I quickly went to researching blue cakes in case it was a boy.  I did not want just a regular white cake turned blue.  I wanted something a little more creative.  In my "googling" I found a recipe for a blue velvet cake and knew that would be the one if she was in fact carrying a baby boy.  I already knew that if it was a girl I would make a strawberry cake since it would turn out pink.   I got the text on Wednesday afternoon from Holly with the info I needed and immediately went to work.  Here is how it turned out...

As you can tell by the cake, the text I received said "It's a BOY!!! Bryce Leo Rivers will be here in April"  I am so excited for them!  Their first child was a girl, Baleigh, and now they are having a boy!! I couldn't be more happy for them!! 

Family Time

Thanksgiving day was spent with lots of family time, and I really enjoyed it!  We ate lunch at my grandmother's (step-dad's mom) house, and all of that side of the family was there.  It was so good to see everyone and catch up on what they have all been up to.  After lunch Jon and I spent some time with my parents checking out their land and where they are going to build their house.  I am really excited for them and can't wait for it to be finished!  That night Jon and I went with his parents, his uncles, and his uncle Jeff's friend, Lisa, to see the Christmas lights in Natchitoches.  It was fun to walk around and see all the lights and window shop (all the stores were closed).   I am so thankful for my family and the time spent with them!
Here are a few pictures from Natchitoches....

I have been a little bit of a scrooge and just can not get myself in to the Christmas spirit this year.  I do have to admit that seeing all the Christmas lights and decorations did spark a little something inside of me.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Much To Be Thankful For

 As I sit here on Thanksgiving morning drinking my coffee and watching the Thanksgiving Day parade I am very grateful for the life He has blessed me with.  I feel that I have so much to be thankful for!  I am so very thankful for the people in my life, my family and friends. They are always supportive and encouraging and make life so much more enjoyable.  I am thankful for my job and the opportunity to care for children.   I don't feel that I am deserving of what I have, but I am appreciate and grateful.   I am looking forward to the future and what He has planned for my life!

 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power 
   and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, 
   for everything in heaven and earth is yours. 
 Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; 
   you are exalted as head over all. 
 Wealth and honor come from you; 
   you are the ruler of all things. 
 In your hands are strength and power 
   to exalt and give strength to all. 
 Now, our God, we give you thanks, 
   and praise your glorious name.
                 1 Chronicles 29:11-13

I hope that you find yourself blessed this Thanksgiving and that you have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

heavy heart

I'm writing this post with a very heavy heart.  Today my mom called twice, within 15 minutes of one another, and I knew then that something was wrong.  She unfortunately informed me that my cousin had passed away.   All that she knew was that Jonathan had committed suicide and it was a shock to everyone in our family.   Jonathan was always a sweet guy with a big smile on his face.  His sister, Genna, and I were roommates at one time and have been good friends our entire lives.  I am still in disbelief that this has happened.  I called to talk to my grandmother and to find out what exactly was going on or what had happened.  I still have a lot of questions unanswered.  I think a lot of us have a lot of questions that are unanswered and will remain that way.   This was out of no where.

I don't understand suicide.  There have been many people I have known in my lifetime that have committed suicide and I don't think I will ever understand.  Every time I find myself angry at the person for committing such a selfish act and I am deeply saddened for the family.   I never would have thought of Jonathan as one that would do this.  All that I know to do is turn to God and pray.  To pray for Genna during this hard time and ask Him to bring her peace and comfort.  Pray for Jonathan's mother, Ginny, that she will one day understand why she had to lose a child.     I hope that this terrible tragedy opens more peoples eyes and hearts, helps people to realize how important it is to be there for others, to express your love and concern for others.   I know that it has reminded me of just how short life truly is and how important it is to let our loved ones know just how important they are to us.

RIP Jonathan Thibodeaux

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tuxedo Cake

On Saturday afternoon Jon and I were sitting around having a typical conversation that goes something like this...

Danielle "What do you want for dinner?"
Jon "I don't know, what do you want?"
Danielle "I don't know.  Want me to cook something?"
Jon "If you want.  What would you cook?"
Danielle "I don't know.  Do you want to go out to eat?"
Jon "It really doesn't matter to me."

Except this time Jon mentioned the idea of grilling steaks and of course I agreed!  He does a wonderful job of grilling and steaks are delish!  So I decided I would be in charge of the side dishes and dessert.  I already had what we needed for sides, but what was I going to make for dessert?  I wanted something different. I am tired of the same ol cupcakes and cake balls.  I decided I wanted something chocolate and how about in the form of a real cake!  I went to my trusty Annie's Eats and came across this recipe for a Tuxedo Cake.  It was chocolate, three layers, and I had most of the ingredients already- SOLD!  It also reminded me a lot of Jon's grooms cake.  I made my list for the few items I did need and off to the store we went.   I came home and set out all my ingredients and was so excited!  I love baking!!
{all the ingredients for the cake- minus the 2 c. water}
{ingredients for the icing- I's just whipped cream!}
{ingredients for the chocolate glaze or ganache}
{the 3 layered chocolate cake iced...I need practice on making the icing smooth}

{with chocolate glaze}

It may not be the prettiest cake ever, but it sure was delicious!  It was a lot of fun to make too! Baking is the best therapy! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Party in Your PJs

I get to hang out with all my friends and wear my PJs?  I'm totally in!  No, we didn't have a slumber party (and I mean the innocent middle school type), it was BUNCO!  Karen hosted this month and did a wonderful job!  She is always very Martha Stewart in her baking/cooking (although she won't admit it).  This month we had breakfast for favorite! She made a casserole of sorts that was made with croissants, cream cheese, sausage, and cheese (maybe a few other ingredients I am missing)- it was delish! I definitely had seconds!  She also made a french toast bake thing...YUMM!  We had so much fun playing.  We were missing two players so Jamiee's daughter, Albree, and Karen's oldest daughter, Ellie, joined us in playing and they were very entertaining!  I had so much fun, although a stupid migraine snuck up on me just before we were finished.  I made it through the rest of the game and came home and medicated myself which in turn put me to sleep.  I did wake up this morning headache free though!  Back to the point...I love getting together with my bunco group!  They are a great group of girls that are also good friends!  Oh and I am super excited about next month's bunco...a little hint...12 Days of Christmas!!

PJ Party Bunco Night

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Walk in My Shoes

The other day I decided it was finally time to break down and buy myself some new tennis shoes.  The pair I had been wearing are at least 2-3 years old.  I told Jon that I wanted to actually buy a good pair of tennis shoes and a pair that was made for me.   In the past I would just pick out something that was cheap and looked good.  I feel that I am now at the point where I need a good fitting shoe that is the right type (you know they make them for walking, running, training, etc.)  Our first stop was Sportspectrum.   I was a little nervous before we went in because they have a reputation of being more expensive than the average tennis shoe store, but this is Jon's go to store for shoes so I trusted him.   I told the salesperson what I was there shoes, comfortable, to wear to work and that I am on my feet for 12 hours at a time.   So the lady had me walk around the store while she watched me and then proceeded to tell me that I needed a shoe with some "stability" because I tend to pronate (my feet turn in slightly at my arch).  So she then went to the back and came out with quite a few pair of shoes to try on that fit what I needed. Some were too tight on the back, some the arch was too defined, some just were flat out not comfortable. and some were just ugly.  There was one pair that I thought were very comfortable but I wasn't crazy about the look of the shoe.  Well since it was a New Balance shoe, she told me to check out the New Balance store here in town.  She said they would have they same shoe but with different color options. Here is the shoe...
While I was looking around, the husband was too.  He loves shoes, especially tennis shoes.  These wild things caught his eye...
and he just had to have them!  He loves wild colored tennis shoes!  And when the salesperson told him they were on sale...SOLD!   I was wanting some fun shoes too, especially since I didn't find my comfortable, good looking pair of shoes I was in search of.  I stumbled upon these while we were there...
and with my husband's convincing sort of, I bought them!  They do not fit the description of what I wanted or needed.  They don't have the "stability" I need and they are not that good looking, but I guess a little bit of Jon came out in me and I couldn't resist the wild and crazy colors! :)

After Sportspectrum, we headed over to the New Balance store.  I told the guy about the particular shoe I had tried on that I wanted, but that I wanted it in a different color.  Well they had one other color option and it was not catching my eye either.  So while I was there I tried on some other shoes and ended up liking these...
If you can't tell, I don't like my shoes to have much white on them.   I decided on these and we went to check out (not realizing that I had not even asked how much these cost or looked at the price tag).  I almost fainted when he told me the price.  I'm sure it's the average price of a good pair of tennis shoes, but remember, I have always bought cheap kicks.  We left the store and the whole way to the car I'm asking Jon "Do you think they are worth it?  Do you think I should take them back?"   The rest of the day I would get sick to my stomach when I thought about how much I paid for a pair of shoes.   Don't get me wrong, I do love shoes, but I have a hard time paying a lot of money for a pair.   I have decided to keep them and I am still "breaking them in" which is probably my least favorite part of new shoes.   But I can guarantee you I won't buy new tennis shoes for a while! :)
Sorry for such a long post about tennis shoes...I guess I didn't realize I had so much to say about them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Love Letter/Hate Mail

Dear Topamax,
I'm not sure how I feel about this relationship.  We have been together now for 10 days and most of my feelings for you are negative.  I do appreciate the appetite suppressant you supply,  although my love for food is still greater.   You are supposed to be making my headaches better, and not only better but non-existent, and you have done the opposite.  I have had a non-stop headache for 10 days now!  I can't stand the tingling feeling you cause in my toes, heels and fingers, but I am thankful that you are not causing it in my lips like I was warned you would do.  I do not like the constant fog I feel like I am in and how I feel like I am dazed and confused.  If you don't start doing your job (and really well) by the time we get to our desired dose then I am afraid I'm going to break up with you!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

November is upon us

I thought this past weekend of work was never going to end! We did dress up for Halloween on Sunday at work.  The theme of our unit was rockstars, and my co-workers looked more "rockstarish" than I did.  I did have some pretty sweet horns that the MIL bought for me! But thank goodness the weekend of work did end!!

On Monday our sweet babies got their "fur did" and I must say they are precious!
That night I decided to make a new chili recipe from Annie's Eats and we invited Jon's parents over to join us for dinner.  I definitely have to recommend this recipe! My husband was somewhat skeptical about the meal because it does have ground turkey, but he loved it anyway!  After dinner we sat around the house waiting for trick-or-treaters that never showed, but that's okay because we enjoyed the candy ourselves while watching Monday night football.  On Tuesday morning I finally went to my long awaited neurologist appointment.  It went well, I suppose.  I like the doctor, I feel she listened and really put into consideration what I have been going through.  She started me on Topamax and wants me to change my eating habits (cutting out as much MSG as possible).  The Topamax will also be a trial and error drug, like all the ones before.  I have to slowly increase my dose in hopes that it helps my headaches but does not cause the unwanted side effects.  If this doesn't work then we will have to try yet another drug. In a way I hope that this is the drug that works because I am tired of playing the trial and error game, but on the other hand if it does work I will have to stop taking it once Jon and I decide to start a family.   Oh the joys of these dang headaches! Why can't they just go away on their own?!  (I guess they are just stubborn like me!)
Wednesday and Thursday will consist of working, but we will have the weekend off!!  Saturday morning we are taking our family (Jon, myself, and the pups) Christmas card pics.  And of course Saturday night we will be cheering on the LSU Tigers for the biggest game of the season against Alabama!  Geaux Tigers!!

I hope everyone has/had a wonderful week and weekend!