Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chicken Lasagna Roll-ups

When I found out my family was coming up to visit this past weekend I knew right off I wanted to make dinner for everyone. I searched Pinterest but couldn't find anything that I liked. I remembered Matthew's mom had made this new dish and he kept going on and on about how much he loved it so I decided to try and make it! I got the recipe from her and was beyond excited to try it out! It is so easy and I literally copied and pasted the directions from the email she sent us.
Here's what you'll need:
Lasagna noodles
 (9 fit perfectly in a 8x8 pan. An 11X13 pan could probably fit 15-20)
 (It's always a good idea to cook a couple more than you need because sometimes they tear.)
1-2 jars Alfredo sauce
Garlic Powder
Italian seasoning (or oregano)
Deli roasted chicken
Mozzarella cheese
-Pull the chicken off the bone and divide into as many portions as you have noodles.
-Cook the lasagna noodles to al dente.  Rinse and lay out on paper towels. Pat dry.
-Spread about 2 tablespoons of Alfredo sauce along each noodle.
 (Too much Alfredo will make it hard to roll.).
Sprinkle with garlic and Italian seasoning.

-Spread the chicken out on top of the Alfredo sauce.  
Sprinkle with some mozzarella cheese. 
-Roll the noodles up and place seam side down in a sprayed baking dish.  
Pour the remainder of the Alfredo sauce on top (it might not take all of it) and sprinkle with more mozzarella cheese. 

-Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until bubbly.  
You might want to turn the oven on broil during the last 3-5 minutes of baking time just to brown the cheese a little.
I wish I could take credit for this recipe but this was ALL Matthew's mom. If I can make this then I know you can! My family loved it and I already plan on making it again soon!

Monday, June 23, 2014

THE best weekend!

1. This time next week I will be waking up beach view!!
2. I had THE best weekend.
3. Summer is in full swing and I am loving it.
4. My apartment is almost finished!!
As I have mentioned a few times, this past weekend was pretty great. My two best friends came up Friday afternoon and stayed until Saturday afternoon.
 Whenever we get together it is always a good time. We had dinner at one of our favorite burger places here in Cookeville called Flippin' Burger and it did not disappoint! Later we went to get ice cream at Cream City and walked around the square since it was so nice out Friday night!
We finished up the night tackling a few DIY projects for my apartment and talking away. 
Saturday we made a trip to Hobby Lobby to get an adorable canvas I have had my eye on for my bedroom and then to Sonic and Wal-Mart for some groceries. My family was coming up Saturday afternoon so I wanted to make them dinner since it was their first time seeing my new apartment. Kathleen helped me a little with dinner while Sarah painted her nails lol.
 After the girls left I straightened up the apartment a little and put dinner in the oven. My family arrived right after I took it out of the oven. I gave them a little tour of my apartment and we sat around and talked for a little bit. Then we ate dinner and it was delicious!!
Daddy and Matthew did some handy work and hung up some shelves around my apartment. We made a trip to Wal-Mart to look for more shelves but they were out so we headed to Lowes but didn't find any there for a reasonable price, so daddy took measurements and is going to look at the stores back home.
Daddy also took some measurements for my headboard that we are going to make! I am SO excited and can't wait for it to be finished!
We had a good time and I am so happy my family was able to finally see my new apartment :)
 Out on my back deck!
Overall it was a great weekend and now I am ready to get this work week over and head on down to Florida with my family!

Check back tomorrow for a delicious recipe!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday

This time next week I will be counting down the hours until vacation!
This week has been very busy!
Monday night we went with the SOC to Short Mountain Bible Camp. It's a little over an hour away but the ride on the bus was fun. The SOC was responsible for the high school night and the devo. Our campus minister, Scott, gave the devotional and then we waited to play a game with them later that night. This is the view we had while Scott was giving the devo..
Absolutely breath taking!
Tuesday night I decided to drive home to see my younger sister's softball game! All three of them had a game in one night! They played a great game and it was sooooo good to be back at the ball field.
That is the place I spent a good portion of my summer nights growing up, from practices to games and tournaments to going and watching friends play when I didn't have a game. It just felt like home y'all! My two best friends came over to the game to watch as well, it really was like old times.
Those two girls up there ^ are coming up this afternoon and staying until Saturday afternoon and I am so stinkin excited!! This will be there first time seeing my new apartment and I'm hoping they can help me decorate it! A girls night with them is way overdue!
My family is also coming up this weekend!! They are coming up Saturday afternoon! This will also be their first time seeing my new apartment. I am SO excited! I cleaned the apt Wednesday night and last night, so it is now spotless! Matthew also put some of the shelves up in my bathroom last night, so it's all coming together!! Daddy is bringing up certain type of bolts to hang my windows, and hopefully put up a shelf in my laundry room. He is going to measure my bed and then we are going to start on my headboard!! I showed Daddy a few tutorials and he said he could make one, awww yeah!
#sKaapartment is coming together y'all!
Last week I was trying to decide on a tray for my coffee table. I had narrowed it down to two different ones at Hobby Lobby.  I ended up going with the white one and I LOVE IT.
It's chalkboard so I got my chalk pens and went to work the night I bought it!! Love how it turned out and that I can change it whenever I want! I'm looking for a cute July 4th design to do next week ;)
This week was definitely busy, I haven't been to bed before midnight all week and I probably won't this weekend either but I'm not really complaining. Life is fun!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Exactly 1 year ago today

I started my new job..
I drove up to Cookeville Sunday night with my car full of clothes, and pretty much the rest of my room from back home. I unloaded my car and stayed my first night at my new apartment. I think I only got a few hours of sleep because I was nervous and obviously in a new place. I woke up super early to get ready for work. I still didn't know how to get around Cookeville then so I typed in the address of my new job on my GPS and tried to follow it the best I could, I still got lost but made it to work on time.
I started my first day of training and then trained for 8 weeks. It was rough going from 20-25 hours a week to working a full 40 hours.  I think last summer I went to bed every night between 9:00-9:30. It took me some time to adjust but I finally got the hang of it. I built friendships at work while learning something completely new. Matthew had started an internship with an accounting firm back home but drove up every Wednesday night to go to church with me so I didn't have to go by myself.
My first few weeks up here in Cookeville I went back and forth from being homesick to loving Cookeville. I struggled a lot at first with thinking about if I did the right thing, moving up to Cookeville or if I would fail and not be able to support myself and it be a mistake. I worked so hard and took on extra hours the year before to move to Cookeville but I wasn't sure at first if I would be successful or not. I mean, it was the first time I had ever moved out and had only my income to support myself.
Matthew drove up to Cookeville on my first day of work and surprised me with flowers and took me to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, El Tap. You can read about that here.
8 weeks flew by and summer was coming to an end, I completed my 8 weeks of training, which you can read here.
Moving out for some people is no big deal and for some people it is a big deal. For me, it was a big deal. I honestly had planned on living at home until I got married, find a house, and live in Murfreesboro for the rest of my life.
Looking back now all I can do is laugh because my life is anything but that and I want anything but that. Matthew and I have both come to the decision that we would rather not end up settling down in Murfreesboro after we get married. We love our hometown but we realize there are more job opportunities other places. We are very open to moving to wherever our jobs take us in the future. However, we would like to settle down closer to Murfreesboro when we decide to start having children (Chattanooga, Brentwood, Mount Juliet, etc.) so that our children can have a close relationship with their grandparents.
So now you can see why moving over an hour away was a big deal for me. There are still some days where I can't believe I actually did it. Matthew and I had talked about it for so long and planned out things we would do once I moved up here, and you know what? I am loving it.
Over this past year I have fallen in love with Cookeville. It's going to break my heart to leave in a year or so but Lord willing, I will love our new town just as much if not more. I have learned so much this past year with living on my own, in a new town and supporting myself. I have become apart of a campus ministry that I love, made friendships with people that I know will last the rest of my life and I have grown as a person.
I will forever be grateful for my decision to make this big step a year ago.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cleaning schedule

Having my own apartment means I can clean however I want, whenever I want and the only thing I'll be cleaning is my own mess. So, I decided to put together a cleaning schedule. I know there will be some weeks that I don't get everything done or have to skip a day because of plans that come up but I hope to follow this pretty closely!
Luckily, I only have a one bedroom apartment so I don't have a whole lot of space to clean but I honestly believe if I do a little each day then I won't spend all my free time on the weekends cleaning!
Do you have a cleaning schedule?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

30 day challenges

I love these little monthly calendars I always see floating around Pinterest and I always re-pin them and then go on about my day. Well this morning I woke up an hour earlier and started them! I know I know, it's not the first of the month of even a Monday but you don't need a Monday or beginning of a month, quarter, year, etc. to start something. You just need a new day!
So here is what I did this morning!
Waking up an hour earlier was hard at first but after I got up and got going I felt great and didn't have to rush! Do you do any of these challenges you see Pinterest??
I am trying a new recipe tonight that I found and I am pretty excited about making it! If it turns out well then I will share it with y'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday night date night

I wanted to celebrate Matthew passing the first part of this CPA exam but I didn't want to go overboard since it was just the first test and he has 3 more to go. So I decided we would have a date night in last night and go out when he passes his last test at the end of the summer. He grilled the burgers and then later we celebrated with ice cream sundaes!
It had rained most of the day yesterday but when the burgers were done it had finally stopped and it was an overcast afternoon. It felt great outside and we had a lot of fun!

The rain held off the rest of the night, even though we were under a severe thunderstorm warning most of the night, ha!

My patio table came with an umbrella but in the afternoon the sun sets on the front side of my apartment so I haven't had to use it yet. The hole in the middle of the table bothers me though lol.
Monday's aren't all that bad when it's date night ;)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Currently loving

That Matthew passed the first part of the CPA exam! His 8-10 hours of studying every day have paid off! He got his score early Saturday morning and we are celebrating tonight!!
He is 1/4th a CPA, ha! 1 test down and 3 more to go!! :)
That there are only 2 more Mondays before vacation and 9 actual work days, but who is counting ;)
I see myself leaving the office just like this on that Friday when vacation starts.
Friday Night Lights/Coach Taylor
I started watching this over a week ago and I am almost finished with season 1 ,
My back deck!
It's not completely finished but he is a picture of it so far! The fourth chair and umbrella for the table are not pictured. My friend, Ethan, put the lights up for me a couple of weeks ago while Matthew was taking his test so I could surprise him when he got back! I love how they turned out!! It's a small deck but I am working with what I have and I love it!
Decorating my apartment!
I love love love finding new things to decorate with! I have been looking for a tray to put on my coffee table and I have my eye on two at good ole Hobby Lobby.
I absolutely love this one, the middle is chalkboard so I could use my chalk markers on it and change it up when ever I wanted to but my coffee table is white so I'm just not sure it would look that great, white on white.
The other one I found would match my living room perfectly. The shade of blue is spot on but then again I don't want an overload of chevron in there. So what do y'all think? The white one or blue chevron one??


Thursday, June 5, 2014

June goals

My May goals went pretty well..
1. -PACK, PACK, PACK and PACK some more.
Took forever but finally got everything packed and UNPACKED! Read here and here
2. -Celebrate FOUR years with Matthew
you can read that here
3. -Eat healthier, drink even more water
I haven't eaten out as much and I've been drinking more water. BOOM.
4. -Finish getting everything for my new apt.
I have everything that I need, now to just to decorate :)
5. -Start meal planning 
We have been doing so well the past few weeks!!
- Run
I hate running, with a passion but I am determined to like it (or at least not hate it.) I don't want to run a 5k (anytime soon) but I would like to run 2-3 times a week. I know some weeks are busier than others but I think I can do 2-3 times a week. I have found THE perfect place to run as well, my work parking lot. It is well lit at night and away from the road so no one can see me practically dying running.
- Drink even more water
I usually drink one coke in the morning and then I drink water the rest of the day. Matthew's brother, Nathan & his girlfriend, bought me a Camelbak water bottle for my birthday and I love it! I usually drink 2 bottles a day but I want to drink 3-4 and then more once I get off.
-Decorate my apartment!
I have bought a few things so far but there is plenty more that I want to get! I also want to make a few things I have found on Pinterest!
-Organize my apartment, even more
I have organized it a lot already, I spent ALL last Saturday unpacking and putting things where they go. There are a few other areas I would like to organize a little better though.
-Cook more meals and continue to meal plan
Like I said up there, we have been doing really well on this one but I want to continue to do so. I also want to try a couple of new recipes!
-Create a cleaning schedule
I hate having a messy apartment, all dishes have to be out of the sink and the counters have to be clean before I can sleep. I have found a few cleaning schedules I like but I am going to tweak them a little to fit my lil apartment!
Finally, after two years, we are going to the beach for vacation this year. I am beyond excited to be going back to Destin, Florida with my family!
In 23 days I will be here for a whole week
Unfortunately, Matthew won't be able to go. He will be studying and taking the 2nd part of the CPA exam while we are on vacation so I'll be sure to send him plenty of pictures of the beach!! We are going to be there on July 4th, which I am even more excited about. Usually when we go we leave a couple of days before the 4th and miss out on all the events they have planned, I can't wait to watch fireworks on the beach! I honestly don't want to do anything there but relax with a good book all day and not worry about anything. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Anniversary weekend

Last Thursday on our anniversary I had to work, sadly so
Thursday afternoon when I got off I rushed back to my apartment to change and get ready.
I walked into my apartment and saw the prettiest flowers on my table
We went to dinner at a local restaurant here in Cookeville called Char and it was delicious. It was our first time eating there and needless to say it was well worth it!
 After we ate we still had awhile before our movie started so we went back to my apartment and watched HGTV and I dozed off on the couch (seriously, I am like 60). I also gave Matthew his anniversary present, I honestly had no idea what to get him.
I searched for weeks and then came across the idea of putting his graduation cap and gown in a shadow box and LOVED it.
While he was in Huntsville taking the first part of the CPA, I went over to his apartment and grabbed it out of his closet. His Beta Alpha Psi cords and stole are red and black, so it makes Tech's school colors look red and black but they aren't. They are purple and gold!
When he graduates in December I will put his second cap and gown and hood in a shadow box and when he has an office in our home one day we will hang these on this wall with his two degrees and certifications in the middle!

Our movie, The Million Dollar Arm, started at 10pm and it was SO GOOD! If you are wanting to see a good baseball movie then we definitely recommend it!
After the movie I was EXHAUSTED! Matthew dropped me off at my apartment and I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Friday I had doctor appts in Nashville, so back after I scheduled the appts I looked at the Nashville Sounds schedule to see if they had a game that night, since we would already be in Nashville and they did!! I got us tickets to see them play that night at 7.
We ate dinner at a cute little burger place called The Pharmacy. Here are a few pictures from their website...
It was the cutest little place to eat at!! I had heard many many great things about it but when we drove up to it I was a little skeptical but it just goes to prove, you can't judge a book by it's cover. They have a small dining area inside but most people that come through want to eat outside and we definitely wanted to eat outside. We ate under the covered patio (the top right picture, up there).
The burgers were amazing and huge and I couldn't finish my meal. We wanted to try one of their famous milkshakes but there was no way we could even think about trying to drink a milkshake after eating that.
After we ate we headed to the Sounds game! It was starting to get cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain, I had checked the weather before and brought my rain jacket and Matthew brought his umbrella.
It did end up raining some during the game but it wasn't too bad and stopped shortly after it started and out came the prettiest rainbow!
We sat on the second row for most of the game but then realized there was no one coming to sit in the first row so we moved down for more leg room!
They played a great game and won!
It started out pretty hot but by the middle of the game it was feeling pretty good out!

On Friday nights after their games they always have a firework show and we stayed to watch
After the game we stopped at Sonic to get half price milkshakes!
We had so much fun celebrating our 4 years together, I honestly can't think of anyone else I would rather be with.