Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The P1 Sale is Upon Us!

Ok, not quite yet, but we've started our markdowns to get rid of all the 2009 stuff so we can bring in the new Spring 2010 stuff!

This chair? Dining height, great as a hostess chair, reading corner chair, accent chair in your living room, whatever. (I personally have one in my guest room and am thinking we should maybe pick up a 2nd in case we ever have a formal dining room...)
Original Price: $199.95
Now: $99.98

And then there's this little cutie... I'm not a big fan of wicker generally (being from the northwest), but it's quite popular here in The South. I would actually consider this chair in my house, it is quite comfortable with a nice deluxe cushion.
Original Price: $199.95
Now: $49.98!!!

This rug is about 32"-36" across and nice and thick. Would be very cute in a bathroom, or next to a kids bed...
Original Price: $49.95
Now: $24.98

It's also a good time to snatch up stuff for your fall decorating next year. Decorative stones, candles and floral are at 75% off and will go to 90% later in January.

I purchased this sconce and it is hanging above our couch in the living room.
Original Price: $40
Now: $9.98

Yes, Christmas items will be going on sale starting on the 26th (I have to go in at 5am to get it all set up - oh joy!).

Now go grab these dealz!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Since I work retail, my ability to be gone for the holiday season is pretty much nil. Scott and I enjoy cooking for others and hosting people at our house, so we decided to have Thanksgiving dinner at our home and invite other friends in the area that don't have family nearby to spend the holiday with.

I'll post some of the recipes over on our food blog, Are You Gonna Eat That?, but here's the menu...

Turkey (baked by Scott)
Turkey gravy (made by Andrew)
Quadruple-Bypass Mashed Potatoes (made by me)
Walt's Mushroom-Wine Gravy (made by me)
Jalapeno-Cheese Cornbread (made by Scott)
Dressing (made by Monica N.)
Corn Casserole (made by Monica N.)
Pineapple-Cheese Casserole (made by Monica N.)
Sweet Potato Casserole (made by Nichole)
Buttermilk Pie (made by Nichole)
Pumpkin Cheesecake (made by me)
Katie's Jalapeno Dip (made by Scott)

The potatoes and mushroom gravy were a repeat from last year, but I think the potatoes were only a triple-bypass last year (I added sour cream this year).

The jalapeno-cheese cornbread recipe can be found here, but we messed with it a little, adding home-pickled peppers from my cousin Estee's garden.

Pineapple-Cheese casserole involves pineapple, cheese, a lot of butter and crushed Ritz crackers. It's apparently a very southern thing. It sounded a little strange but is surprisingly tasty!

The Buttermilk Pie is also supposed to be very southern, I have a piece in the refrigerator waiting for me.

I usually use the same pumpkin-cheesecake recipe every year but couldn't find it, so I did a google search and chose this one, but adapted it to use Trader Joe's pumpkin butter instead of the canned pumpkin and spices. I used the amount of sugar it called for and it was a bit too sweet, so if I do the same thing again I would probably skip the sugar and just use the pumpkin butter in place of the pumpkin, sugar AND spices. I also used two prepared graham-cracker crusts in place of pastry crusts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Family Time

I have spent the last week with my extended family in a small town. For some people this would be stressful and annoying. It was certainly stressful at times, but not because of family, and I enjoyed it all.

My maternal grandma passed away on September 23. We held her memorial service this last Sunday and the whole week I have felt really inspired to write.

I fly back to GA tonight (and tomorrow morning) and am hoping I'll get a brief opportunity to get my feelings and observations down on "paper".

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Only A Little Unbalanced

Days like today are what make people think that I'm bipolar. I slept in until about 2:30pm, watched dvr'd tv for about 5 hours, went back to bed for another 3 hours, then got up, went to the grocery store (at midnight) and have been cooking since I got back.

I made a pot of Ecuadorian Potato Cheese Soup (recipe will be posted on the food blog shortly), a large pan of Apple Crisp (to be baked tomorrow) and there is a new variety of hot sauce simmering on the stove now. I decided to join in the fray and see if I can come up with a recipe that I like that can be marketed to the "mild" crowd.

Soon I will go back to bed. Tomorrow will be a more "normal" day... I'm supposed to have lunch with a friend, run errands, and make dinner.

But for today, I have enjoyed being completely lazy and then manic!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Easy Cornbread

This recipe was adapted from a Pancetta Corn-Muffin recipe in a book called "Muffins-40 Tantalizing Recipes for Tasty Muffins" that I got as a 3 for $10 deal at a Walgreens in Key West.

Since I'm not so much into Pancetta and needed a basic cornbread recipe but lost the one I had developed, I decided to try the recipe without pancetta and baked in a pan.

I have to say, it's easy and tasty. I've also added green chilies and shredded cheddar to the recipe.

Makes and 8x8 pan of cornbread.

Preheat oven to 400F.

1 cup self-rising flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.5oz/100g butter, melted (I used our kitchen scale and substituted Smart Balance Light for the butter)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, stir in cornmeal and sugar. In a separate bowl, melt the butter, let cool a little and stir in the milk. Add beaten eggs slowly so they don't scramble.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until blended.

Spray 8x8 baking pan (I use an olive oil cooking spray) and pour in batter.

Bake for 30 minutes on center rack. Cornbread is done when knife or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

More P1 Dealz

(*Disclaimer: I do these posts because friends and family in other parts of the country like a heads up when cute stuff is on sale... not because I have no life outside of work. Even though that is true.)

P1 Sale is through the 21st... we've done additional markdowns the last two Sunday nights and will do another set this Sunday.

Window Panels 50% off (aka "curtains")

Floral Bird motif, now $14.98

Garnet (Red) floral motif, now $17.98

Rugs 50% (or more) off

"Dragon" jute 5x8 rug, now $39.98 (was $119)

Zebra jute 5x8 rug, now $59.48 (was $119)

Pillows 50% off

"Wheat" pillow now $12.98, was $26

Embroidered paisley pillow now $12.98, was $26

Moroccan gold pillow now $12.98, was $26

Moroccan green pillow now $9.98, was $20
(I LOVE this pillow... was really hoping it would go with my bedding and it totally didn't. So sad!)

Under $20

Monday, June 15, 2009


The 2nd Pier 1 Sale of the year is June 22 to July 19.

In preparation, a lot of merchandise was marked down last night.

I was able to get the chairs for my $68 table (originally $350) at $60 (originally $99) each. To the general public, they are $79.98 as of today.

This means that more than one of us can eat at our dining room table at a time.

These cute lanterns are now $2.98 - great for burning citronella candles in your back yard.

They're about six inches tall (not including the handle).

Our Island Orchard scented candles (kind of a tropical apple smell - one of my favorites) were also marked down last night - I believe they are now 25% off.

There are votives, tea lights, and pillars in three sizes. This is the scent I have in our bedroom - kind of a mellow fruity smell.

There are probably 15 patterns of dishes that are now on clearance.

These are all 25% off:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Best Friends! Day Two

(Sunday, May 3)

Sunday morning Scott had to work, so Andy and Monica accompanied me to the 11am service at our church.

After church we came back to the house and Monica and I colored our hair.

Scott got home and we all took naps until it was time to head out to Amy's house. On the drive out we saw a lot of the wreckage from a tornado that passed through the area a few weeks before.

The plan for the evening was to grill some veggies, sit in the hot tub and enjoy each others company.

While Amy and Carrie were cooking, I played Wii. Monica and I played tennis for a bit and then I got hooked on a dance game.

Being raised Adventist, I'm not a fabulous dancer, but I did pretty well!

Cooper was happy to be the only dog among many dog-lovers, so he soaked up attention from everyone.

By the end of the night I was in need of re-hydration and there were no water bottles in the fridge, so Amy rigged one up for me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Best Friends! Day One

Andy and Monica arrived at Jackson Hartsfield airport in Atlanta at about 1:50am Saturday morning (May 2).

It had only taken me about five minutes to drive from our hotel (Comfort Inn) to the airport, but it took us about fifteen to find our way back, partly hindered by a vehicle going about five miles an hour on a 35mph road parallel to the freeway. We were all hungry so we stopped at a Waffle House (Andy & Monica's first, my second) and each had a grilled cheese sandwich and hashbrowns - Andy had them All The Way: cheese, onions, jalapenos, ham and chili. We were concerned that it would affect his ability to sleep, but we all managed to sleep a few hours after I called down to the front desk around 3am to find out what time check out was (Noon).

At 11am we had just gotten up and the phone rang - it was the desk clerk telling us that check-out was 11am. When Andy tried to pass me the phone, the desk clerk hung up on him. I called back down and she repeated "Check out is at 11am. You need to check out."

I replied that at 3am the desk clerk on duty told me that check-out was at noon. She told me I must be mistaken, the night clerk was the manager, he would never tell me the wrong information and check-out has been 11am for five years. All of this was in a rather rude tone and I was not impressed.

Even though this was kind of a crummy start to the day, we were excited about our adventure. Before we left the hotel I obtained directions to a Starbucks, IKEA and Old Spaghetti Factory (thanks to Google Maps).

After gearing up at Starbucks we found our way to IKEA, much to Andy's dismay and my amazement. I had never been to IKEA before, and Andy has been dragged there a few times.

I managed to refrain from buying a bed and just escaped with some pillowcases, a cheese grater and a few other minor items.

After such strenuous excercise, we were ready for a hefty lunch at OSF, where I enjoyed spaghetti with mushroom sauce and mizithra cheese.

Just after we got in the car it started to rain. My driver's side window currently has a motor issue and will not roll all the way up, so we pulled under the shelter and tried to get the window to stick closed. When that didn't work we crossed the street (still in a deluge) so Andy could get some duct tape. We managed to tape the window closed, a sturdy enough fix to keep whoever was driving at the time reasonably dry.

We got back to the house around 6:30pm and after relaxing for a bit Scott, Andy, Monica and myself went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday.

After dinner we stayed up at the house for a few hours catching up.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This wood panel is about 3'x5'. It's $32.98 and was originally $199.

This dragonfly accent table is $69.98. It has three dragonflies etched into the top. Very cute!

This kids table is $39.98 and the matching chairs are $29.98 for the pair.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


In the last ten days I've had several new experiences.

First Time in over Ten Years that I weigh 120lbs.: I had a doctor's appointment a week ago on Tuesday and initially my doctor was alarmed that I had lost another five pounds until I told her that years ago before I ever went on birth control I weighed 105 to 115 and always had a hard time keeping on weight. Since they had drawn blood and run a bunch of tests on it a month ago and not found anything, she decided not to stress to much about it.

(The pic on the left is from around 2004 and the one on the right is from last weekend. I know, 2004 isn't ten years ago, but it's a good example of me closer to 140-150lbs.)

First Solo Hotel: Last Tuesday evening I drove to North Charleston, SC and stayed at a LaQuinta for the evening. I had a Pier 1 meeting the next morning in Summerville, SC and didn't want to get up at 5:30am on Wednesday to drive several hours when I wasn't totally sure where I was going. Also, since I need more sleep than most people, I figured it was wiser to travel one way the same day as the meeting instead of being tired when I arrived and tired before even heading home.

Once I arrived and checked in, I crossed the parking lot and had a quick dinner at Ruby Tuesday. I was ready for bed and had brought my own small fan for white noise, so I was soon relaxing and dozing off... when I realized that it was the first time I've ever spent a night in a hotel or motel by myself. I've flown by myself many times, but it was my first time staying overnight alone in a commercial bed. Consequently the night was spent sleeping for about an hour at a time and then waking up because I thought I heard something. Not quite as restful as planned, but I survived.

First Waffle House: On my way back from Summerville I was hungry and in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich. Here in the south, there is not a plethora of Denny's every few miles, so I had to settle for something else. I called my friend Rochelle to double check that Waffle House would be able to fill my grilled-cheese needs. It was pretty good. And only $1.95!

First time being referred to as a "Powerhouse"
: On Friday morning our latest temporary Regional Manager came to visit our store. I had not had the opportunity to meet Joe (the RM) at my meetings in Summerville, so I felt it was important to give him a face to go with the voice since I had been on two of the conference calls this last month. I was there for all of his two-hour visit and my boss and I kind of tag-teamed the whole thing. Once I left (to go home and go back to bed - of course) he told my boss "She's a real powerhouse! You'd better make sure she knows YOU are the manager and she's your assistant..."

Since he had never met us before and doesn't know our working dynamic, this is actually a big compliment and not an issue at all. I have no problem acknowledging my boss' authority and support it 100%. All the associates know this and I don't think there is any question that I am ever trying to usurp her position. The reason it is a compliment is that just in case I ever have the opportunity to apply for the Store Manager position, I think it would be a point in my favor.

First Albino Skunk: Later on Friday (after my nap), Amy and I met downtown Augusta at the New Moon Cafe for coffee and a stroll. We browsed through an antique store and talked with a plant shop owner and then as we were heading back to our vehicles, I saw a man carrying what looked like a very fluffy Pomeranian. As we got closer I changed my mind and thought it was a large Persian cat. Then I realized it was an albino skunk! The skunk's name is Maryland and her owner Jeff let me hold her for a bit. She was very snuggly and sweet.

First Okra: Yesterday I was off work and not feeling well at all. We had limited supplies of food in the house and since my throat hurt the only thing that sounded good was mashed potatoes. I went to a nearby KFC and ordered a mashed potato bowl (potatoes, corn, gravy & cheese) minus chicken, and saw something that looked tasty. I asked if it was okra and the server confirmed my suspicions and offered me a taste. I ordered an entire side.

First Pier 1 Ad: I've been working for Pier 1 Imports since November and today in the mail rececived the first ever flyer or ad in my lifetime. I guess they finally figured out where I live.