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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Elf workshop in full effect


My family starts arriving in town tomorrow so I decided it was about time to tackle all of this:
Thirty minutes later this was the scene in my living room:

And thennnnn .... I decided to call it quits after my mom called and said she'd help tomorrow. And Ike that, the elf workshop closed shop for the evening. Don't just love Moms? Happy one week to Christmas!!!

P.S. I finally decided to check my mail and put up my Christmas Cards. Like my DIY Christmas card holder? If your answer is yes, here's my tutorial. It's easy, I promise. Good night, I'm off to watch Ashley and JP's wedding on ABC. Cue the tears I'm sure.





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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Very Vegas Christmas


Hi! I miss y'all. We're down to the single digits until my family comes to Vegas. In preparation for their arrival, I've added a little Christmas cheer to my humble abode. Like I mentioned in my last post, (which was oh, I dunno ... about 10 years ago), I was looking forward to getting my Christmas tree. It still excites me to come home everyday after work, plug it in and just stare at from my couch. My life truly is that exciting.
Let it be known I got this tree at Home Depot, drove home without it rolling off the hood of my car, got it off the top of my car, put it in a tree stand and drug it into my apartment ALL BY MY LONELY. Let me tell you, it was not easy and I don't recommend doing it yourself, but it can be done. Single girl probs.

OK, so the kind gent at Home Depot helped me tie it to the top of my car, but once I drove out of the parking lot I was all on my own.
Before/After
Angel tree topper
The view of the tree from my couch
I get an ornament every year from my Mamma bear and this is 2012 from Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah, GA
So my tree stood nicely in one corner of my living room until last week when I got the bright idea to buy a new chair for my living room so I had to find a new spot for my tree. I moved it twice before it ended up in this spot:
Dragging a tree across your living room is surprisingly easier than I thought.
I don't have a fireplace, so I got this stocking hanger from Kirkland's on sale. Pretty nifty, huh? Did I just really use the word nifty?
Since I moved my tree, this has found a new home as well.
Christmas tablescape

And last but not least, we have Santa at the top of my stairs:
Ho, Ho, Ho
That about sums up the Christmas cheer in my abode. Now, my Christmas shopping? I literally have not bought one present yet. Hopefully I can get most of my shopping done this weekend. Wish me luck because I need it. I do this to myself every year. I'll never learn.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

I survived my first Turkey Day away from home

Turkey latte art from last weekend

Welp, I survived my first official holiday without the fam. Yesterday didn't really feel like Thanksgiving to me, though.  Not sure if you've noticed, but casinos are a 24/7, 365 day a year kind of operation - we don't get holidays.  I haven't been here long enough to be able to take vacation, so I woke up, set the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to record and headed my happy ass to work.  Our office was dead since most people I work were on PTO (personal time off), so it was nice to be able to work in silence and not have to run off to a meeting every other hour.

After work, I headed home to make macaroni and cheese and to get ready for Thanksgiving Dinner at my BFF Kristina's house (the one I lived with when I first moved here). I also made a strawberry pretzel dessert per her request.  Shout out to fellow bloggess Brooke from Tales of My Fairytale for sharing this recipe with me.  It was a hit.
If I were to make it again (for my own personal preference), I'd use graham crackers instead of pretzels to make the crust.  If you love a salty, sweet combo than this recipe is for you. If you like all sweet, then I suggest a graham cracker crust.  

The turkey, which was phenom might I add. If I had to made a turkey, I wouldn't even know where to begin.

All the fooooood. 

Get in my belly. 

Me eating (not really):

So that about sums up my Thanksgiving. I came home after dinner and a game of Apples to Apples, finished watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade I recorded and fell asleep.

Thanksgiving was great and all, but what I'm really looking forward to is CHRISTMAS!  My most favorite time of year. I personally don't believe in decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I don't know why I don't, I just don't. I feel like it kinda ruins Thanksgiving. Enjoy Thanksgiving THEN soak up everything Christmas.

Anyway ...

My family (including REESE) is coming to VEGAS FOR CHRISTMAS! Excited does not even begin to describe it. Speaking of Reese, I leave you with this video message from him to me. Melt my heart, why don't you?
video

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Happenings as of late [via Instagram]

For starters, I got my Internet installed in my apartment last Wednesday. Cue the angels. This will hopefully make blogging a little more convenient.

 
I couldn't stop laughing when I got this text from my mother who was traveling for work and just boarded a plane. I seriously laughed by myself for a good 5 minutes just picturing this.
I spent a Saturday evening on the couch watching The Vow, lusting over the sexiest man alive and crying for a good hour. Have y'all seen this movie? Feel free to judge me.
My obsession with the Robertsons has continued to grow and I'm very upset there isn't a single brother left who isn't wifed up. Even Si has a lady friend. FML. Oh and please excuse my ghetto current living room setup. I am on the hunt for a new TV stand, so my coffee table is sufficing as one for now. Yep.
I spent the first part of my Sunday at my now favorite coffee shop oohing and awing over the latte art. This week I got a tulip. Oh, and that is a Lorraine quiche that was melt in your mouth good in case you were wondering.

Last but not least, I had a special blogger visitor this weekend, which I'll post about ASAP. I'm not making any concrete promises on when because clearly since moving to Vegas, I've been completely lackadaisical with my blog.

At this point there is no sense in even wasting my time apologizing about being MIA. I'm just really busy during the week so my blog has unfortunately had to take a back burner and that is all there is to it. Lets hope I can't get it together soon.

And one last thing for my fellow reality TV lovers ... I loved the movie Catfish so naturally i am obsessing over the TV version that premiered on MTV last Monday. However, can we talk about last night's episode? The dude's name was Scorpio. Really, mam? If the name "scorpio" isn't a red flag, I don't know what is. And don't get me started on Sunny from last week. D.U.M.B.

But more about TV talk later. For now, it's bed time for this west coast girl. It's still so bizarre being in this time zone. Bargain Blonde outie.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

What's cookin' good lookin'?

Remember back a few weeks ago when I told you I couldn't stop pinning recipes even though it was pointless since I didn't even have a kitchen to cook them in? Well, now that I am all moved into my apartment and have my very own kitchen again, you should know all those pins have not gone to waste.

In fact, last Saturday I whipped up a Paula Deen hash brown quiche and Sunday night I delved into my first Pioneer Woman recipe: chili for Frito Pie. To this day it still baffles me that not every single one of you grew-up indulging the Texas delicacy of Frito Pie. Check out this vintage BB post if you don't know what I'm talking about.

I would have blogged about my culinary adventures last week, but my life got crazy busy yet again and now it's 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon here on the west coast and I'm sitting in a bustling "hipster" coffee shop called Sambalatte using their wifi since I am waiting for a modem to be delivered to me. It's a long story that's neither here nor there, but I don't have Internet in my apartment at the moment.

So here I am in this coffee shop with live music and lots of people a lot cooler than me and one of my dreams just came true: I got a cappuccino with one of those "fancy" designs.

That's actually my second cup in the picture above. I drank my first one before I took a pic:

I realize this makes me seem like a stereotypical uncultured southerner, but I can assure you I'm not that uncultured. It has just always been my routine to drive through a Starbucks and order my regular.

But with the start of a new beginning comes lots of new firsts; like spending my Saturday afternoon in a hipster coffee shop complete with a live Latin songstress. In line after ordering, I also struck up convo with a stranger who, as it turns out, also just moved here two months ago for a job and knows virtually no one. We exchanged numbers and promised to hang out soon. See what I mean about firsts? In Texas I would have never spent my Saturday in a coffee shop and I would have never made a potential new friend.

Enough about the new introspective me. I started this post to share two recipes: a quiche and chili. Both are easy, I promise. If the list of ingredients and directions look daunting, I'm out on that. Basically if I can do it, then so can you.

Don't think for one second I'd miss an opportunity to drink out of my Paula Deen coffee mug while whipping up a Paula Deen quiche.

Got this mug at her restaurant when I visited Savannah this past summer.
The evolution of the quiche.

First, brown your hash browns, which forms the crust for your quiche:

I really like fresh ground pepper.
While your crust is browning you whisk eggs with half and half, ham, cheese and green onions. Next time I think I'll cut out the green onions altogether, but that's based on personal preference. I found them to be a bit overwhelming.

Poor egg mixture over your hashbrown crust, bake and you're done. It's easy as quiche ... I mean, pie.

For the complete quiche recipe and directions, click here.

And last but not least, I present to you the best chili recipe for frito pie. It's the best because its super thick so it doesn't make your fritos soggy. Pioneer Woman's secret? Masa. Go here for the recipe. It was easy to make, made plenty for me to freeze and tasted really good. A win-win.

Ok, the Latin songstress is now belting out Stand By Me. I'm in heaven and officially declare this coffee shop my new favorite place. As Paula Deen (and I) would say, enjoy the rest of your weekend, y'all.



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Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Faves! Better late than never.


I'm a little late on Friday Faves, but I'm just happy to post a blog period these days so whatevs.  I only have two faves that I can think of, so its going to be short and sweet today.


Favorite TV Show

Season 2 of Duck Dynasty recently started on A&E and my life is pretty much now complete.  I somehow missed the bus on season 1 but luckily they play old episodes all the time so I have got myself all caught up with Phil and gang.  If wanting to marry Si is wrong, I don't want to be right. Ok, it is wrong (the man is missing a few teeth), but seriously ... this show makes me happy, happy, happy. 


Favorite Bargain Discovery
As if we need another reason to shop at Target, but I recently discovered that Spanx has a budget-friendly line of shape wear at Target called Assets.  Um, what?  How did I miss the memo Sara Blakely? I bought a pair of Assets black tights for my Halloween costume and have been wearing them on the reg since. I wouldn't say they suck you in as much as the original Spanx line, but they definitely will help a sister out by slimming your midsection plenty. Your wallet will also thank you. 

So what are your faves from the week?  Do tell.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Get your VOTE on today!


Blue dress, red nails. Not even planned. #patriotic
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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Friday Favorites: The RE-Resurrection!

We finally made it to Friday.  Hall-e-lu-yer! And what better way to start our Friday than with a little Friday Faves action?

Up first is my most favorite and only favorite from the week: I FINALLY GOT ALL OF MY BELONGINGS FROM DALLAS!  (And then moved them into my Vegas apartment.) Double yay. 

Have I ever mention that I have the best Mom in the history of Moms? I'll tell you why. She flew from Raleigh, NC (where she lives) to Dallas to pick up a moving truck that I reserved from Penske. Then she and my brother proceeded to load it with all of my boxes, furniture, etc.  
Moving truck halfway packed.
Then ... are you ready for this? She drove that 16 foot truck from Dallas to Las Vegas all by herself. That's a 20 hour drive with a moving truck by herself.  Mom of the year, I know. Wouldn't you agree?

I'm not even close to being done unpacking, but I hope to be by the end of this weekend.  To tide you over, here are a few photos of the view from the balcony of my new place:


I suppose I could show you my front door:

Any inside pictures will have to wait because I still have a lot of boxes to unload and things to put away. I've actually finished my kitchen and dining room, but I want to wait to do one big post of pictures from the interior.  MMM K?

So I'd say that is a pretty big Friday Favorite so I rest my case. I have nothing else to trump it. Now you tell me what your favorites are from the week and link-up below!
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I'm RE-resurrecting Fri Faves tomorrow!

I kind of did better blogging this week, right?  Tomorrow I'll be hosting Friday Favorites again! It will publish at midnight CT so link-up if you can. I promise to make it more routine and start posting it every Friday like the "old days" aka before I moved here.

I had fun passing out candy last night, but I learned I should not guess little kid costumes when I answer the door because I am way out of touch with what is "hip" these days.

"CUTE! Are you a troll?!" - me 
"No, I'm Jimmy Neutron." - little girl

Um, should I know who Jimmy Neutron is? I'm officially that old person. All I know I learned from Reese and he's all about superheroes so that's the extent of my hip little kid knowledge.

I went to a co-worker's Halloween party Saturday and of course, I waited until the last minute to pick out a costume.  I ended up going as a pirate wench.

AAARRR!

See you guys back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!!  Who is going to link-up!?? HTML code for the FF button in case you need it:



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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"The Best" rolled sugar cookies with icing

Happy Halloween goblins! In the spirit of the holiday, I made some homemade Halloween sugar cookies with icing last night to take to work. I Googled "best sugar cookie" and was directed to allrecipes.com, which had a recipe for The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies.  I also found this Sugar Cookie Icing recipe, which was legit. Actually, both recipes were legit, so I'm sharing them with you today.

The Bargain Blonde's adventures in baking:
Do you love the breast cancer awareness eggs?

Bats, pumpkins and boo! shapes, oh my

Halloween Cookiepalooza
If you don't own a silicone slipmat and you ever plan on baking, I'm telling you right now that you need one in your life. They make baking so much easier. The bottom of cookies turn out perfectly every time and are so easy to transfer to cooling racks.

I baked mine for exactly 6 minutes at 400 degrees F and transferred them to cooling racks immediately after taking them out of the oven. They were the perfect chewiness. Ice after cooled. Full recipes below:


1.5 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Food coloring (Orange = 4 drops red + 2 drops yellow)


Anyone have any fun Halloween plans? Since I live in an apartment, I am going to my bestie Kristina's house to pass out candy because I want to see all the kiddos in their costumes.

Speaking of kiddos ... how cute is Reese in his costume for preschool on Monday? This is his "Captain America pose" he said:
Ugh, he's the cutest ever. My heart can't handle it.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Anthropologie owl copy cat for only $11!

Popping in really quick to tell you about this amaze copy cat owl for waaaaaay less than you'll pay at Anthropology. Let's face it, Anthro is seriously overpriced. Case in point: Anthro's owl cookie jar that is $88 dollars. Um, no thanks. But yes, please, to the Kirkland's almost identical ceramic owl that is on clearance right now for $11.99. The only difference is Kirkland's version is not a cookie jar and is about 2 inches shorter in height. Let's be real, I'm not Holly Homemaker. I have no use for a cookie jar because I definitely don't whip up baked goods on the reg. Kirkland's version will suffice just fine.

So basically what I'm saying is you better hurry to a Kirkland's near you because they are sold out online. I found mine last night in the clearance section in the back of the store and there were quite a few left. Hopefully you'll have the same luck as me. Here is my owl in my NEW kitchen (I will update you on my move sometime this week):

I am so incredibly tired I am literally publishing this post, washing my face, brushing my teeth and passing out in my bed. Can't wait to update y'all on the move!!! Loving my new place. Good night.

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