Friday, April 20, 2012

War Damn Rodeo and the rest of our week

Happy Friday, y'all! I can't tell y'all how happy I am that it is FINALLY here.  And what a week it has been!!

First of all, I want to ask you to *pretty please* hop over to my new page on this blog (you will see the page options at the top of the page), "Rodan + Fields".  This week was a big week for us because I decided to start my own business selling a product that I really believe in: Rodan + Fields dermatalogical skin care lines.  The income potential with this company is amazing, and so far I have loved taking on this new project! I believe that a second income source for me could help tremendously in us reaching our financial goals.  I have also always dreamed of owning my own business, becasue there are so many personal and financial rewards (hello, tax deductions!).  I am getting my box full of sample products today and I could not be more excited! I could keep going on and on about it, but I'm going to go into more detail on the page I am dedicating just to my business.

All I'm going to ask is that you all at least read through the page and support me in my new venture...that means that if you know anyone that you think my products would help, please refer them to my website (which is ).  ALSO, if you know anyone that could use a second (or even first!) source of income, please share this opportunity with them and encourage them to talk to me! I am so excited about the potential that this product has and would love to help someone else be a part of the amazing team of consultants that I joined this week!

If nothing else...just check out my page to see the sweet discounts that I will be offering my first customers until June 30. :)

Second order of business:  We are entering Mason in the Lee County Humane Society calendar contest!


We have narrowed our entries down to the following pictures, and I would REALLY appreciate your input on which one we should choose!
Option 1: 

Option 2:
Option 3:

Email me or add your favorite to the comments at the bottom of this blog! :) Thanks!
The entry fee is $10 to enter if you have a great pic of your pup...not that we want any competition, BUT it is for a great cause! Also, the votes are $1 each and also go to the Humane Society, so once we choose a picture, we would appreciate your tax-deductible votes! Thanks, Tammy, for letting us know about this!

This weekend Chris and I and a bunch of other folks from the class made the trip to Auburn to participate in the Alpha Psi rodeo.  In case anyone is confused about the title of this post, we really need to get you up to date on Auburn! But, you (should) know how we say "War Damn Eagle"? the rodeo, we say "War Damn Rodeo".  So now you know :) Oh my gosh did I have an awesome time.  I couldn't think of anything better than being surrounded by old AND new friends, as some of my best girlfriends from Auburn were there! (Those that were know who you are! And I expect you to be there next time, if there is one, haha)

Here are some pics...but before you look, please read this disclaimer::: The rodeo is all in good fun and requires everyone to dress up as complete rednecks and act like complete rednecks for an entire day.  These pictures do not represent the values or lifestyle of anyone pictured, and do not accurately represent Auburn University, the US Air Force, or the state of Alabama.  Okay, maybe they do sort of represent Alabama, but they don't represent Lee County!

 Here goes.  And a special thanks to Chris Beck, Sr. and my sister, Jessica, for driving our rather large group to the rodeo in the back of your well as to Aaron Braden and Drew Hull for driving us back when the shuttle line was way too long! Thanks to my parents for putting a bunch of us up, cooking breakfast, and taking pics.  Also, thanks Jess for taking care of wittle MayMay all day.  As you can see...attending the rodeo requires quite the support group. Y'all rock!

I scoured the internet for the perfect redneck shirt for the rodeo, and found it...I am going to HAVE to find an occasion to wear this gem again!

I feel like this picture belongs in a Nascar magazine somewhere...

I'm proud to say I actually made the shorts we wore to the rodeo.  Well I didn't actually sew them but I spray painted them.  Here they are in my yard last week. I used painters tape and cut-out stars.


Have you ever seen such a good looking group of guys? Would you believe that on top of looking that good, they also defend our country in the Air Force? haha...yeah, I'm sure most other people didn't, either.

Here is my husband, biting into a whole chicken.  He really went all out with his outfit and the mustache and all.  Have you ever looked at your husband and thought "wow...I signed up to procreate with that person one day! ahhhh!"  I had my moment right there, haha. 

At the rodeo, the cool thing to do is nap under a raised Jon and Chris are, beating the heat.

And here we are trying to get in some rest in the shade!
Awesome moment of the day? Our friend, Nancy (also in Chris' pilot class) won VIP tickets to the Eric Church/Easton Corbin concert at the end of the day!! She got two and gave me one, so we got some AWESOME pics of the concert!

Easton Corbin and his band
Eric Church! I'm so obsessed with him now and I have to see him in concert again.  He was amazing!
Eric Church was drinking out of this Jack Daniels bottle for a couple of his drinking-themed songs (after is country music!)  haha.  I took a little potty break and when I came back, he had given it to Nancy from the stage! How cool is that!?

Sunday, we had a fun birthday brunch at the Moores Mill Club for Tammy.  Tammy hated Chris' mustache, so we came up with a good plan for her brunch.  When we got there, Chris walked up with her card over his mustache and she was like "did you shave it!?"  I know she thought he was about to take the card off his face and reveal a clean shave...but nope! He still had the bushy mustache! I know she was so dissapointed!  Then, once we sat down at our table, he excused himself to go to the restroom and came back with no mustache.  It was soooo nice to see the top of my hubby's lip again! However, I must say...the month and a half of scruffy Chris was so worth his look for the rodeo.  I mean, of all the rednecks there...I think he must have looked the most genuine!

Sunday night I stayed in Birmingham with my friend Meredith, who I owe big-time for introducing me to Rodan + Fields.  She had her launch party and it was so much fun...nothing at all like some other parties I've been to where you feel pressured to buy anything.  We basically just got a chance to sample the products, and after attending her launch, I (as well as 3 of her other guests!) were sold on the opportunity to join the business.

I worked in Birmingham through Wednesday.  The weather was rough for a couple of days...check out this picture I took outside my office building downtown:

I think I should turn this into the marketing department and they should run an add like..."When life looks can trust Cadence!" Okay, that's cheesy, but that's why I don't work in Marketing!

Chris  has had a slow couple of weeks.  He was sick the past couple of days with a head cold, and there has also been some bad weather.  Today he finally got cleared to fly again! However, as I write this, I am looking out my window and see some cloudy skies.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  We are hoping that he will be able to solo next week.  He did get through his first block of training, which consisted of 6 intro (i.e. basic) flights focusing on aircraft control, landings, and stalls (what I refer to as scary! But not for him!) Now he's working on perfecting those skills and doing spins in the plane.  He has started studying about the instruments and doing simulators for those. Instruments are what you use when you fly in bad weather and have no outside visibility.

Here is a video that gives an example of what he is working on...still freaks me out, but I guess they get pretty comfortable with it! I mean just watching this makes me want to vomit:

I can't believe I am going to be 24 in 6 days! I remember what a special birthday 23 was...I actually took my fourth and final CPA exam last year on the 26th.  What a feeling that was! Literally everything that has happened since then has been a positive in my life.  Right after I turned 23, I graduated about 2 weeks later, got married and I feel like the entire year of 23 was nothing but fun, fun, fun.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  I am going to do everything possible to make sure that 24 is no different! I know this time last year I was probably hating my life while I tried to get through that last that it's over, I can truly appreciate the work I put into it.  I get my CPA certificate via certified mail on the week of May 14 and I can't WAIT to frame that sucker and put it on the wall!

As usual, Thanks for reading...and check out the R+F page please :)

Friday Favs!

I skipped Friday Favs last week because I didn't have time to upload all the pictures! This week I didn't really have any "favs" though, so here is what I wanted to share from last week:
Favorite Household Tip: Sustainable Green Onions
I use green onions all the time while cooking, and even throw them into recipes that don't call for them, just for the color.  I also substitute them for scallions sometimes.  I saw this tip online, and had to try it. It has been working pretty great so far!

Put green onions that you have almost completely used into a glass of water and place it by your window.  Here is what mine looked like Easter Sunday when I first started...

And here they are on Monday.  You should see them now! They are about 8" tall.  I need to trim them down and use them in a recipe.  I will just use scissors to cut them off when I need them. 

Favorite Money (and Calorie) Saving Recipe: Homemade Peanut Butter
This one was easy-peasy and is soooo much healthier than store bought peanut butter.  Chris likes to eat peanut butter and honey sandwhiches before flying because I guess it helps keep him from getting sick.  All you need to make homemade peanut butter is peanuts and olive oil.  I bought salted peanuts, but if you bought unsalted ones you may want to add some salt.  I couldn't tell you how much olive oil I used...I just kept adding it until it looked like there was enough! Also, we added a touch of *real* honey that we bought at the farmer's market...we liked the flavor it gave.

On Easter Sunday, I used the peanut butter and blended it with more honey, some soy sauce, and chicken broth to make a glaze for the ham.  It was delicious and a couple of people commented on how good the peanut butter taste was with the ham. 

Favorite New Veggie Discovery of the Week: Kale
I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but neither Chris nor I had ever had kale before.  So when we saw it for sale at the farmer's market on Saturday morning, we decided to give it a shot.  I didn't really know what to do with it.  Originally I planned to use it in a salad, but I wound up finding this recipe that had a bunch of stuff that I already had in my pantry, and giving it a try for dinner Sunday night.  It was soooo good...we will definitely be having this again!!

Yes, I know it sounds wierd...maybe even a little gross to some...but it was SO yummy! We love sweet potatoes, so we figured it would be pretty good but it was better than we thought it would be.  I added some gorgonzola cheese, and I think that enhanced the recipe even more.

Favorite Entertaining Idea: Champagne Bar
This worked really nicely and was so elegant and fun! I set out both Champagne and Spumante (they taste a little different), and for fruit I put out fresh strawberries from the farmer's market, canned peaches because I had them, and some frozen fruit (frozen fruit is always good to include because they also can act as ice cubes to keep it cold.  The guys mostly just put fruit in their champagne, but the girls liked to make mimosas.  So I set out some regular orange juice and some delicious mango-pineapple-apple-grape juice mixture (Welch's).  Such a cute presentation, very easy, and lots of fun! It was perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Favorite Wardrobe Addition of the Week: Toms
I have always liked the idea of Tom's shoes (they give one pair of shoes to a child who needs them for every pair they sell)...but...I just didn't like how they looked! I bought this pair and it came in the mail last week.  I have been wearing them constantly because they are so comfy, cute, and they have holes in them so it's not gross that I can't wear socks with them! :)

Ignore the safety pin keeping the hem of my pants together, haha...yeah I know, I really need new pants.  I've had these since high school though...I guess they have sentimental value!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pilgrimage, Easter, & Chris Flies!

Hey y'all! I know it has been a while since I did a "life" blog.   This Pilgrimage was the past two weeks and I had so many pictures to share, I wanted to do them all in one post.  I had fun hosting at three different houses and getting to dress in this antebellum dress...homemade by some of the wives on base...which did not include me! They are really some talented ladies! I got to wear a hoop skirt underneath, and when I was standing in those beautiful old homes surrounded by antiques and other people dressed like me, I felt just like I was Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, my favorite least I felt how Scarlett O'Hara felt at the beginning when she was surrounded by lots of parties and nice things.. Maybe not so much like how she felt at the end when she was dirt poor and starving...

Last Saturday, Chris and I went on a couple of the home tours together during the morning.  First we went to this one, which is called Rosedale.  It was filled with the most exquisite, incredible antique furniture I have ever seen.  It has been restored to its original state by the family that now lives there.  This includes details right down to the wallpaper and rugs, most of which were hand made and imported from Europe.  They had some kind of experts come in to examine the house and determine what kinds of patterns would have originally been there.  I didn't really take pictures of the insides of any of the houses, because some you were allowed to take pictures, and some you weren't so I just didn't want to take my chances. If you want to see the insides, you will just have to come down next year from the Pilgrimage, or perhaps this fall for the fall tours of homes...

I kind of had to drag Chris with me to see the homes that morning, but he actually really enjoyed it.  Chris and I both have an appreciation for beautiful things, and these homes are chock full of them.  Chris said he doesn't think he could do the home tours all day long the way I could, but he definitely enjoyed seeing a few of them with me.  We also went to Twelve Gables that morning, which is a historic home here in Columbus where a few women got together and decided to go to the cemetery to decorate the graves of Yankee soldiers.  They felt bad because no one had decorated those graves, yet the graves of the Confederate soldiers were all decorated.  These women realized that the Yankee soldiers also had wives and mothers and children who were mourning their deaths, but could not visit their graves.  This act of kindness led to an article being written about it in the New York Times, which eventually inspired a famous poem called "The Blue and the Gray".  I'm not going to put the poem here, but if you have a minute, I would suggest finding it online because it really is a moving poem.

Chris and I had lunch at the Quartier Cafe, and then headed over to the Artisans Alley.  I mentioned those two stops on my Friday Favs post.  After that, I met up with another one of the wives that I know from the base and we went on a few more home tours while Chris went home to study.  Here are the ones we explored together:

This house is called Whitehall and has always remained in the same family.  It is filled with some fantastic antiques and has the most amazing wrap-around porch that I hope to emulate one day! The porch even includes a deck area large enough to put out some tables and chairs.  One of the things I just love about these antebellum homes are how inviting they are...from the large porches to the high ceilings and huge walkways between rooms, they all had excellent flow for entertaining.  I imagine the people who once lived in these homes had a lot of parties.  I also enjoyed learning about the jib windows, which are windows that open all the way up from the floor to become walkways out onto the porch.  That way, if you are having a big party, you can open all the windows, and have 6x more doorways!

This is Rosewood.  The owners of this home have a vast collection of porcelain from around the world.  I have never seen so many interesting "knick knacks", and the entire time I was touring it, I was terrified of knocking something over.  My favorite thing about this house was the gardens.

This chapel was in Rosewood's garden.  It was in disrepair somewhere up north, so they brought it down, restored it, and put it in the garden.  They have had (very small) weddings here.

The inside of the chapel.  There was a Bible from the 1700s!
Another picture of the the quatrefoil fountain (it's a Phi Mu thing :)  )

Pavilion...really cute inside.  It had a fan and a bunch of plants and places to sit.
 The last place we went was an old home, but the owners are still working on getting it ready to show for the Pilgrimage.  However, they opened the beautiful garden for visitors, as well as their guest house.

I loved this idea for a stained glass window in the guest lists all the places that the previous owners had been.

More gardens

Friday night I toured White Arches...I had to go alone because Chris didn't get out of training in time to join me, but, like all the others, it was pretty amazing.  I just love the architecture of this one!

This Saturday, we visited a couple more homes.  My favorite was Bryn Bella...why did I not take any pictures there?? I guess I just wasn't thinking.  What I loved about Bryn Bella is that, whereas most of the homes we saw were considered "town homes" that the wealthy would live in part-time so that they could be closer to the social events, Bryn Bella was a true plantation home...what I imagine Tara being like in Gone With the Wind.  The owners had a lot of beautiful antiques, as well as interesting pieces like a stuffed giraffe!! The house was surrounded by acres of beautiful land.  My favorite part? The smokehouse out back! The owners were smoking a bunch of ham and it smelled DELICIOUS.  Then they let us sample some of the bacon and ham.  It was incredible!

The last tour we went on was of Waverly Mansion.  This is a local tourist attraction that is actually open daily for tours, not just for Pilgrimage.  This home sat empty and abandoned for over 30 years while the family couldn't decide what to do with it.  Local high school and college students would throw parties there and carve their names in the woodwork.  When the family agreed to sell it and the new owners began to renovate it, it was filled with all kinds of wildlife that had made its home there.  It took 27 years to bring it up to the state that is in now. A confederate general lived there with his children.

I felt a little do you go about posing for a picture with a pretend Confederate soldier?

Waverly Mansion
Whew! So as you can see, we stayed pretty busy with that the last couple of weeks! And I didn't even include the homes I gave tours of.   There are still plenty of homes that we didn't see.  Hopefully we will be able to see those next year.

Another project that we...okay, it was pretty much all Chris...worked on last weekend was this little project for Mason.  It's not the most beautiful thing, but it is very functional. 

Since Chris started formal release last week, he isn't able to come home during the day to let Mason out of his crate and play with him.  I really can't make it home on my lunch break, at least not every day.  My office is about 20-25 minutes away so I don't have enough time.  This is over on the side of our house.  We put a doggie door in the screen door, pulled some of the panels off of that little gate (that is supposed to hide our trash cans, but oh well...) and put this fence from Lowe's around.  Now we can put Mason in the kitchen and close all the doors so that Mason can have some room to spread out during the day, and when he needs to go potty, he can let himself out the dog door.  Our neighbour says Mason has been enjoying sitting out in the sun during the day.  This has been so nice because even when we are home, we don't have to constantly keep an eye on him to see if he is standing by the door to get out. I might eventually get around to spray painting that iron fence white so that it at least matches the other fence.  But with it being on the side of the house (the side where we don't have any neighbors or anything)...I think it is fine.  We do live in a rental, so we don't want to spend too much money on building fences, etc! This fence we can just pull up and take with us when we move.

This Sunday, Chris and I went to church at Columbus First United Methodist for Easter, and then I cooked lunch for a group of us.  
At church

Easter has always been one of my favorite can't help but to feel great on a day that is dedicated to remembering that, thanks to Jesus, we are saved from our sins...

This deviled egg recipe came from a Southern Living cookbook and was the bomb!

Chris doing the honor of cutting the ham

Broccoli and cauliflower casserole and squash boats...and Hawaiian rolls, yum!

After lunch we dyed eggs :)

Our neighbor Jaime is taking care of a litter of kittens for the humane society.  Here is one...isn't she cute??

The kitten love Mason...she wanted to sit on his back and bury her head in his fur.  She was purring the whole time.  It was so cute!

Mason liked playing with the kitten, too...

I worked in Birmingham last week and wanted to share this picture from The Club restaurant where I went one night with some of my coworkers.  Pretty fantastic view of Birmingham!

I think Chris and I would love being members of something like The Club one day.  No golf, no pool...just a bunch of private restaurants with an awesome view! The menu changes regularly so you would never get bored.  And the food was just flat-out fantastic.  There were also a bunch of specials...the night we went, they had 1/2 price bottles of wine and free dessert.  They have a range of restaurants that vary from more casual to very formal.  So you have an option for any type of occasion!

Now that Chris is on formal release, his schedule is very hectic.  He didn't get home until 8:30 Friday night...I was so sad! I know I will just have to get used to it though.  He won't be on formal release for the rest of pilot training, but we don't know exactly how much longer he will be on it.  He got to fly twice last week.  The first time, he got bad motion sickness.  These planes are a lot faster than the ones he has flown on before and the center of gravity is in the back of the plane so that makes a difference.  When you get bad motion sickness, you have to go to the doctor to get medicine, then you have to fly every day until your body adjusts to it.  Chris did not get motion sickness on his second flight.  However, a bunch of the guys are still getting motion sickness, so they get priority and actually wound up taking some of his other flights after he stopped getting sick.  Also, the weather did not cooperate with him every day.  So he is a little disappointed that he only got to fly twice last week when others got to fly as many as four times.  However, I'm sure he will eventually make up for it.  He got out of training around 9 most days last week.  This morning he went in around 6 so he should be home around 6 tonight. Last week he was able to practice maneuvers such as barrel rolls and loops. His first flight involved flying through clouds as well. This week he will practice his landings.
Suiting up for his first flight
Ready for takeoff...that's the IP (Instructor Pilot) in the back.  Eventually, Chris will be doing flights alone.
I can't believe it, but today is our 9 month anniversary! This year is FLYING by.  Before we know it, we will be hitting the one-year mark, and will no longer be considered "Newlyweds!" That is so hard to believe.  The past nine months have been filled with nothing but good times.  I'm sure we have hit a few rough spots. but I can't even think of any off the top of my head.  We have definitely been living in newlywed bliss! I'm sure pilot training will bring on a whole slew of new stressers.  I'm confident that we will be able to handle them gracefully.

Thanks so much for reading!
Dubs and Mason...BFF!!