30 November 2013

Christmas Tree Shopping!

This weekend was full of thanks and relaxation.

After a little black Friday shopping, Parker and I each received our Christmas presents!

Parker's;
 New chair and desk for his home office

Mine:
New sweaters, new purse and a new camera

Little did I know that Parker would love the new camera as well! He has been snapping photos left and right. We have to practice, practice, practice so we brought it with us to buy our first, ever Christmas tree.

The McCarthy family (technically the McCarthy/Aprile/Shrestha families) go each year and they were nice enough to let us Jones-es tag along!

A few snapshots from the day:
 
 

We found our first ever (baby) Christmas tree and our apartment smells like fresh, pine needles. It reminds me that Christmas is right around the corner and I have a lot to be thankful for.

Counting my blessings this holiday season!

:)

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24 November 2013

Bits & Pieces

Our apartment is starting to take shape. We tackled the living room first and it has felt homey for the past couple months. Now, we are tackling the black hole of a dining room that has been holding boxes and boxes of wedding gifts.

Last Thursday, we received our custom-built dining room table that my mother-in-law gifted us. It is gorgeous. Parker and I wanted a square table as it fits better in the space and we like the idea of everyone sitting closer together. We also love to play board games (and poker) and we thought a square table would work great. I think we were right :)
 I love, love, love it. (Thank you, Wendes!)
After my mother-in-law did the hard work and researched a bunch of options for us, we chose the website, Countryside Amish Furniture. We were able to pick the style, size, and choice of wood/color/stain all from the website! We did wait a little over 2 months before we received the table since they make everything to order, but it was worth the wait! We are already talking about ordering a bedroom set from them.

Our dining room chairs are from IKEA. Vegas doesn't have an IKEA anywhere close, so I am happy to be about an hour away from the mega-store. After a few failed trips to Homegoods to find 8 dining room chairs, my light bulb went off. OF COURSE we had to go to IKEA! My little sister, Tina, took the trek with me and we searched the store top-to-bottom for some chairs before I found ones I loved. We went with two different styles and they are all black wood. At $49-$89 dollars per chair, you really can't beat it! They are also really sturdy and took about an hour to build all 8.
^Tina's first trip to IKEA, complete with cinnamon rolls^
In case you're interested:

After a long night of shopping, building and eating our first meal on our new table, I was ready to take a break from the decorating. That is.... until I saw a china cabinet on Craigslist that I had to have! I have been scouring Craigslist for about a month now and there were plenty of china cabinets to choose from, but they were either way too expensive or not my style. The one I found was in Salem, I liked the look, and it was only $125! I thought it might be too good to be true, but we made the trip down to Salem and we bought it right then and there. I am now in the process of filling it with my china, glasses, and other goodies:
A few days ago we had a whole lotta nothing going on in our dining room and now we have a whole new set up ready and waiting for dinner parties and guests and poker nights and romantic dinners. 
 
Bit by bit our little apartment is feeling like home.

Happy happy.
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16 November 2013

The holidays are coming!!

The air is getting chilly and Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

When I lived in Vegas it never "felt" like the holidays were coming... it wasn't cold enough, the trees weren't changing, and I just never got that special feeling.

Well... the feeling is back, people!!
That wonderful, happy holidays-ey feeling is here and it's not going anywhere!

Last weekend I was doing a little shopping and heard the Christmas music playing in the store... the next thing you know I was at the checkout with lots and lots of Christmas decor. I know Thanksgiving hasn't even passed yet, but I couldn't help starting to make our home feel a little festive!

This is the first time we've had a mantle to decorate, so I'm starting small and hopefully in the years to come I will gather more and more Christmas decor :)

Our mantle so far:

I also bought some cute, Christmas pillows that our kitty is lovin'

Hope you are getting that special holiday feeling!!
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08 November 2013

Mrs. Susan Jones & Some Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Can we talk about the fact that it is pitch black out at 5pm?!

Depressing.

Can we also talk about the fact that THIS happened this week:
It is OFFICIAL!
I surprised Parkster on Tuesday after spending the day at the RMV, Social Security office, and bank. I am, according to almost every legal document, a JONES! I think I am still going to carry around my marriage license with me since I have been having trouble proving my identity everywhere I go!

I have been writing (far too many) notes home from school all year as "Mrs. Susan Jones" but to see it on my license makes it feel real. And it makes me giggle... tehehehe.

Alrighty, moving on...

I was in full-on housewife mode this past Tuesday. After I spent the day waiting in line-after-line and going to the dentist, I went grocery shopping, cleaned the apartment, AND made dinner for the hubs.

I should have won an award.

I didn't... but I told Parker that I would appreciate some flowers every once in a while.
I've never really been subtle.

This is what I made:
 I paired it with some sparkling apple cider. I may or may not have upwards of 7 extra bottles leftover from the wedding :)

This recipe is one of our favorites and it is SO easy!


Ingredients:
Ground turkey breast
Peppers (we like red and green)
Whole Grain rice
Bread crumbs
Mushrooms
Red Onion
Tomato Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

This is a recipe that requires little measuring, you just add more or less of whatever you like!

Directions:
Chop some red onion and mushrooms and throw them into a warm saute pan with a little olive oil. I move the vegetables over to one side of the pan and cook the ground turkey on the other side of the pan until it is cooked through. I also add a dash of salt and sprinkle lots of italian bread crumbs all over the turkey while it is cooking.
 ^How cute is that salt container?!^
 
Once the turkey is cooked, mix the vegetables in with the turkey and turn the burner off. Meanwhile, heat up the rice in the microwave (I use Uncle Ben's Ready Rice - so easy). Add a cup or so of tomato sauce to the meat and stir in the cooked rice before adding them to the prepared peppers. Top off with some mozzarella cheese and throw the pan in the microwave.
I nuke them for 7 minutes, until the peppers are warm and easy to cut and the cheese is melted!

Total Prep & Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Yummy!

Happy Veteran's Day weekend :)
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