Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Holiday Week

Hello! Well I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! This week has been weird. I was off work on Monday and Tuesday, so today is Thursday but it doesn't quite feel like it.

All of our Christmas celebrations went really well. I was nervous about how our first married Christmas would work out, but it was great! We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Camden. All of the Cochran's were there to celebrate with us and then headed across the street to the Whitworth's for Christmas night.

On the 26th we got up early and had breakfast at Mac's Dad's house, lunch/afternoon at his Mom's then dinner at Jack and Dynelle's. We were exhausted from eating so much good food...but it was really awesome to get to visit with all of our families. 

I owe you several posts of pictures and I promise that I will get to them. I have tons of great Christmas photos, WEDDING PHOTOS, and I still need to post photos of my hutch makeover!
We got our awesome wedding photos from Amy Dale about a week or so before Christmas, so I haven't had the chance to post some of my favorites. If you haven't seen any of them, be sure to check out our post on her blog. Those should tide you over. Click here!

Mac and I have gone back and forth on our NYE plans. I think today we (finally) decided to stay at home and grill steaks for dinner and enjoy some nice champagne that has been hanging out in the fridge for a few months. I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Years. Here's to 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

Last night, Mac and I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. The RMH is a home away from home for families while their child is being treated at St. Jude. The RMH is our intermediate stay facility for families who will be at St. Jude for two weeks up to three months. Each year they host a "toy shop" for patients to pick out gifts for their parents. Mac and I manned the store! We helped kids pick out and wrap gifts. We had such a great time!

I felt so blessed for Mac to be able to experience the joy and hope that St. Jude provides to families. I am lucky enough to see this on a daily basis...but for him to feel this made my heart happy. Mac was so good with the kids! From the teenage patient in a wheelchair to the little kid that sat in his lap while he watched Sponge Bob, Mac was a pro! Last night truly put me into the holiday spirit. I hope we can volunteer together more often in the future. 

After we left the RMH we made a Kroger run and hit the kitchen when we got home (is this the theme to our week?). Mac's Dad and Kathy are coming over for dinner tonight, so I went ahead and put together the lasagna last night. We are looking forward to hosting them for dinner!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bad Blogger!

Mac and I spent the majority of our evening in the kitchen last night. From the minute we got home until we went to bed, we were cooking away! At one point I looked and every surface of my counter top was covered with dishes. It took over an hour to clean up! I meant to snap a photo so you could all see this mess with your own eye, but I am a bad blogger and forgot. 

Last night the following items were made in my kitchen:
Sausage Balls
Spinach Balls (double batch)
PW's Cinnamon Rolls (the recipe made NINE pans of rolls)
Hot Bacon Cheesey Dip
Sweet Tea

Whew! We also did laundry and cleaned up the house. As you can imagine, we both slept very well last night!


Friday, December 16, 2011


Happy Friday to everyone! I am particularly happy about the manicure I gave myself last night. I think it is quite festive. I used an old Essie polish and one of the new Sally Hansen nail polish strips for the gold. I love it so far...we will see how long it lasts.

Mac and I are looking forward to spending time with family this weekend. I have a toffee project in mind for tonight. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Here is a pic of my nails!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Busy Weekend

Mac and I had a busy, but very successful weekend!

Friday night we went to dinner at Movie and a Pizza and used one of our Groupons. So our delicious meal of pizza and beer cost us only $3. Winner! We then drove around and looked at Christmas lights. We stopped by Starbucks and used my free drink coupon for a venti peppermint hot chocolate that we shared. Winner again! We then went home and I immediately fell asleep on the couch. I think it was 10 p.m.

Saturday was a busy day. I picked up and cleaned up the house. Wrapped presents. Fixed lunch and picked up the house some more. Mac worked on staining the fence (he is almost done!) and cleaned up the garage. He also attached the reindeer antlers and nose to my car. I feel so festive when I am driving around town! That night was Linea's annual holiday party filled with Christmas cheer and crafts. Mac and a friend went to the Bob Seger concert. Fun was had by all!

Sunday Mac and I met Linea at church and then grabbed a quick lunch at Panera. We then went our separate ways. he went to Germantown to drop off our wooden swing at his Dad's house for some repair and I (fingers crossed) finished up the Christmas shopping. I stopped by the Junior League headquarters for a quick holiday gathering and then headed home. At home we did laundry, cooked dinner and I made marshmallows for my work friends. I will be making a second batch very soon. They are so delicious!

Oh, and at some point I addressed all of our Christmas cards. You should be getting yours in the mail soon. By a miscalculation, I did not quite order enough of our wedding "Merry Christmas" picture cards. Oops. So here is the photo below for you to enjoy. I will also be posting it on Facebook.

 I had a real hard time deciding between color and black and white. The Christmas cards got the black and white photo.

I hope tonight that Mac and I can just you can see it was an exhausting weekend!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tacky Christmas

Last Saturday, Mac and I hosted a Tacky Christmas Party. It was so much fan. Mac really got into the occasion. He purchased a "leg lamp" for the occasion and also switched out most of the light bulbs in the house to red and green ones. Hope you enjoy all of the photos! I think this is the first of an annual event.

 Mac was very proud of his tacky outfit.

 My friend Leah, from NYC, was here to work the St. Jude Marathon, and spent the night with us. I am so glad she was able to join in the tacky fun! She helped with party prep all day Saturday! Thanks, friend.

 Whitney is all for any occasion where she can wear footie pjs and a fanny pack. 

 Guys at the party.

 The whole tacky bunch.

 The girls at the party. Linea, whats the matter?

 I am not quite sure, but I think Burton is doing a tap dance for Leah.

Rusty loved the chili so much that he decided to use the big spoon on the wall. I was not too happy about that.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Promised photos

Blog Design

As you can tell, I am still not 100% happy with the blog design. I will probably keep tweaking, but I am liking this look much better than before! This week has been pretty low key, and I hope to catch you up with a Tacky Christmas Party post tonight. On Wednesday night, Amy Dale brought over the cds with all of our wedding photos! So exciting. She said that she would have our online gallery set up soon. I can't wait!

Last night, Linea and I went to the grand opening of Kate Spade. We ate, wandered the store, had the Queen of lipsticks, Poppy King, try some lipsticks on us, and ate some more. Even though we both pined over several beautiful bags, we only walked away with one lipstick each. And not any old lipstick: supercalafragalipstick. We both got a different pink-ish shade.

Mac and I don't have big plans for tonight, but I do have a Christmas party on Saturday and I think he might be going to the Bob Seger concert! He has been talking about it for months, so I hope he gets to go!

Happy Friday! I will upload a post right after this one with two photos from the Kate Spade party last night!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Love Snow!

Mac woke me up this morning and said, "It's a winter wonderland outside." Of course, I practically leaped out of bed. He was impressed with my speed at that hour. ;) It is still snowing in Memphis, but is supposed to stop around 10 a.m. Everything is covered except the roads. Dang. Mac made it over the bridge fine, but said the entrance ramp was covered in snow! It makes me so nervous that he has to take that bridge to and from work. Oh well...check out the few photos I snapped on my phone before work this morning!

 This one was taken from my front door around 6:30 a.m.

 The next few are all around 7:50 a.m. and they are from my front porch!

 Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Deck the Halls

The Priestley's have officially decked the halls for Christmas! I just love our house at Christmas. My favorite thing to do is just sit on the couch and watch the tree blink. I think Mac is starting to get in that spirit as well. Check out the photos of our house as we transitioned to our full holiday mode.

 So, who knew you could return a Christmas tree? Well, I didn't either. Our first Christmas tree just wasn't right. It was split almost in two, wasn't taking any water, and was dropping needles like crazy. After hearing the pure panic in my voice, the lovely Christmas tree place agreed to take it back. More importantly, Mac agreed to wrestle it out of the house, on the car, and back to Cordova to get another tree. I love my husband.

A little duct tape, string, and an old sheet and we were in business! Back on the car it went.
 You can see my bookcase and mantle here. The bookcase has been the same for the past few years, but my mantle is all new. I love love love it! I painted the chipboard trees with gold chevron, spray painted the brass candlesticks red, and used the gold mercury glass votives from the wedding. The two gold bells are from my florists' shop in Jackson, TN. We got our stockings at Target, and still need to get our names embroidered on them!

 I really wish I had a video of me putting this garland on the staircase. It was quite an interesting solo project.

Oh yeah, and while I decorated for Christmas I also sanded, primed and painted the wooden hutch that has been in our kitchen. So half of our house looked like this for a few days. However, I could not be happier with the way it turned out. I will do a before and after post on the hutch soon. 

Here are a few photos of the tree. It turned out beautifully! It is a bit taller than last years, but not near as fat...which is just perfect. It is also drinking lots of water and has dropped just a few needles. I know it will last all through Christmas (unlike a certain other tree).
Hope you enjoyed the photos of our holiday house! Stay tuned for photos from the Tacky Christmas party we hosted last Saturday! It was awesome!

Still there?

Whew! So sorry it has been a week since my last post! I have a ton of photos to upload and catch you up on. Mac and I had a Tacky Christmas party on Saturday, so last week was filled with party prep! We had such a great time getting the house ready, prepping all of the food, and especially our outfits. I also took some time on Saturday morning to cheer on the runners in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. Wow...what an experience. I will post photos from both events soon.

This week should be pretty quiet for the Priestleys. The only thing on my agenda is the grand opening for the Kate Spade store on Thursday evening. I plan on catching up with my blog posts as well as start on our Christmas cards.

Much love to you all!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Last Week in Review

Last week I....

Saw White Christmas!
Went to Kate Spade on opening day!
Bought, set up, returned, and bought another Christmas tree!
Baked a delicious apple pie for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Work in Progress

As many of you know, I am a complete and total Christmas nut. I love the holidays. Growing up, we always had some Christmas decor up before Thanksgiving...but never the tree. I am following suit. Our house is a wreck right now, as I have just been decorating a little bit each night. Look for some finished photos soon.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

End of DTDW

Happy Thanksgiving week! We have started it off in Memphis with LOTS of rain. Yesterday and today have been pretty gross. Mac and I had a great let me go back to Friday and tell you about our last Downtown Dining Week restaurant.

After work on Friday, Mac wasn't so sure he wanted to go eat dinner. The quote was, "I think I am just tired of eating three course meals." I don't know how that is possible. haha! We went to Lowe's right after work to pick up some stain for our new fence. I also picked up a poinsettia in the process. We headed back downtown to enjoy our delicious meal. Our reservations weren't until 8 p.m., but we got to the restaurant around 7 p.m. and they went ahead and seated us. Our last DTDW experience was at one of the newer restaurants downtown, Bleu. It is located inside of the Westin hotel. It. was. delicious. I snapped photos throughout the meal (to Mac's dismay)...but it was just delicious. 

After dinner, Mac and I went to Beale and listened to music for a little bit. It was a really fun night!
 We were ready for our yummy meal!
So ready, that I forgot to take a photo of our first course, oops!
Mac had pork pot stickers and I had a zucchini soup. The soup was awesome, but I was not prepared for the spice! My mouth was on fire!

 My entree was a delicious piece of chicken with a seasonal veggie hash.

 Mac had catfish, veggies, and rice cooked in a paper packet.

 This was heaven. I had smores in a skilled for dessert. It was just the best thing ever.

 Mac had an apple pie tart thing...I was too busy with my own personal smore to pay much attention to his dessert.

 As you can see, we were both pretty pleased with our desserts as well as the whole meal.

Definitely give Bleu a try if you are downtown. The Westin is located right across from the FedEx Forum, so it would be a great place to grab a pre-concert or pre-game meal.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zoo Lights Preview Party

Well, Mac and I had a delicious dinner at Paulette's on Wednesday. So delicious, in fact, that I did not take a single photo! Oh well. We have one more reservation tonight at Bleu, a new downtown restaurant. Hopefully I can remember to snap a few photos. 

I did remember to take photos at the Zoo Lights event! Unfortunately they were all on my iPhone, so the quality is lacking. I ended up getting tickets to the Zoo Lights Preview Party through work, so I took Whitney! There were crafts and cupcakes involved, so Mac decided to sit this one out. This was my third annual Zoo Lights trip, and they were just as beautiful this year as in the past! I highly suggest you visit the Zoo during the holidays for a festive activity.

At the GiGi's Cupcakes area you could have pre-decorated delicious cupcakes OR...

 Decorate them yourself! Go Whitney! Martha would be proud.

 Linea warms up her piping skills for the upcoming holiday baking season.

 If you have ever been to Zoo Lights, the Singing Christmas Trees are an exciting thing to see. It is about 15 Christmas trees on three levels that light up to the Christmas music that is playing in the background. They used to be at the entrance of the Zoo, but they are now hidden in a back corner. This gave me the perfect opportunity to pose as a tree. I totally blend in, right?

 We chose not to ice skate on this Zoo Lights trip, but it is always a fun time! I caught the blinking lights right as they changed to a festive red and green!

I know it is not quite the holiday season, but visiting the Zoo sure got me in the spirit! I can't wait to pull out more of my decorations this weekend. I also got word that 104.5 has (finally) switched to continuous Christmas music!! Tis the season!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I know I am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Downtown Dining Week

Every year downtown restaurants have a very special promotion...a three course meal for $20.11 (2011-get it?)! Mac and I kicked off the week with a delicious meal at Felicia Suzanne's. It was amazing. We both started off with the butternut squash apple bisque. He had the redfish and I had the pork tenderloin as an entree. Photos of those are below. For dessert, he had a dark chocolate fried pie with whiskey cream sauce and I had an apple crisp! Yuuuum. Tonight we are headed to Paulette's at their new location on Mud Island. If it wasn't going to be freezing cold tonight we could easily walk or ride our bikes! I will try and remember to take more photos of our meal this evening...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plans Change

Around 10pm last night I got an interesting email…the conference that I was headed to LA for, was cancelled. Several of the keynote speakers had cancelled so they were postponing the whole thing! While I am sad that I am missing a trip to LA and some time with my boss, I am excited about some of the fun things that are happening in Memphis!

Mac’s Dad has offered to take us to the Zoo Lights Preview Party that benefits St. Jude on Thursday night. How fun is the logo from the invitation?! It was designed by Mrs. Post...the store that did all of our wedding paper goods!

Friday night is the Flip the Switch party downtown, where all of the holiday lights are turned on at the same time! I am excited about this festive turn to my week!