Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reflection of me and you....

I was challenged to come up with the #1 song that always makes me cry...Here it is.....

by The Dixie Chicks...

Here's a few lines that give the song it's meaning...and it's aching sadness.  This song always makes me so sad.

"It felt like a given
Something a woman's born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you"

"And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it"

"And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard"

 "Last night you told me
That you can't remember
How to feel free"

He ain't hard to like...at all.

I know I don't mention him much...but I admire my husband.  I call him Beans.  He's my Beans. 

I will keep this short and sweet, because I can go on and on about him if I wanted to. 

I'm just so happy that we came along in each others lives when we did.  We knew each other in high school....but not until later in life did we fall in love.  He loves me and takes care of me.  We still fight like we did when we first starting going out, but we also love each other more everyday.  He knows exactly who I am...and doesn't fight it.  He loves me for me and accepts me for who I am.  He makes me laugh...out loud, a lot.....he annoys me...a lot.....but he also calms me down and makes me feel safe.  If I just want to be alone...he understands and lets me be...he's always been great at that...and lets face it, we all need our solitude sometimes.  I love him. He's my Beans. He will ALWAYS be my Beans.

Maybe it's over the rainbow...

October Road
I love going on vacation...but I absolutely hate to fly.  I am terrified...and every time I do have to fly somewhere, it ends up ruining my entire trip, because all I think about the entire time is the flight I have to take back home. :(  With that said.... my dream vacation might seem a little lame.  Of course I would love to go to Italy one day, but as ridiculous at it sounds...I don't think I could ever bring myself to be on that long of a flight. 

My ideal dream vacation would be to go with my mom and sisters to the Country Living Fall Craft Fair!  (Wherever it may be this year!)  I would love if it was somewhere like Savannah, GA...I've always wanted to go there!  I absolutely love fall....it's just the beautiful color of the leaves changing, the crisp weather and pumpkins everywhere....it's just one of my absolute favorite times.  Nothing makes me feel better than going apple picking, hitting up craft bazaars and eating delicious comforting food with my mom and sisters.  If we could take a road trip for a couple weeks to the Country Living Fall Craft Fair...it would be pure bliss.  Who knows...maybe it will happen someday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo Challenge: Black and White

This is a picture I took of my best friend's son, Mash.  My best friend is Jessica, and we met our freshman year in college in Kansas.  We both had softball scholarships, lived in the same dorm quad and ended up being roomates.  She has been just like a sister to me.  We ended up both getting softball scholarships to a University in Tennessee after graduating from our juco in Kansas with our other best friend, Crystal.  Considering how softball brought us together...I think this picture means a lot!  This little boy is something else.  He's all boy, that's for sure...and I bet he'll become an awesom ball player...just like his mama.

Thanks so much to Live Every Moment for hosting this photo challenge! 
Check out her beautiful photography on her blog at:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I was asked to write about a guilty pleasure....
I believe in passion and never really claimed to have a "guilty" pleasure.  I know all the yummy junk food I love is a serious guilty pleasure...but I have something different to share and its definitely my guilty pleasure.

I love music...and I tend to lean towards singer/songwriter/indie/folk type music, but there's a musician that is just so catchy and adorable...and I can't stop listening to her music!  Taylor Swift.  I know she's labeled as a "pop" country star...and there's really no music I hate more than pop music...but her music is different!   She is very true to her style as an artist, and it's always an added bonus in my book if you write all your own music and can play the guitar, which she does.  She might not have the haunting soul in her lyrics and melodies, but there's just something about her music that makes me...yes I admit it's true...a fan.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A medley never soon to forget....

Today's challenge:  A Song You Want Played at Your Wedding (or was played)

My wedding was on November 4, 2006.  It was a wonderful day!  Music was a very important part of that day and I planned months and months ahead of time on what music would be played during every aspect of the wedding!  My bridesmaids walked into James Taylor, my flower girls and ring bearer walked into the Dixie Chicks...our first dance was to a significant song by Wynonna....the removal of the garter and the garter toss was to the Counting Crows.....etc.  You get the picture....I was very specific about the music for my wedding!  We even gave away "David's and Amber's Wedding Soundrtrack" away as our guest favors!  My parents sang "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" during the exchanging of rings....and my favorite part of the wedding was when my Dad walked me down the isle to "Over the Rainbow" by IZ.  It's actually a medley of Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World.  It was beautiful and perfect!  Here it is...this amazing rendition of Over the Rainbow that made my wedding day so memorable. : )

Christmas Eve...

Today's challenge....A Recent Photo of Yourself

This is my husband and I on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve is one of our favorite days of the year.  We get together at my parent's house...eat yummy food, play music and spend time with friends and family all night long!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scrabble Tile Photo Challenge: Valentine's Day

Here's my entry! This is my adorable nephew....who fills my life with LOVE!!

Ok, so I'm not a photographer...but this challenge seemed so much fun!   Thanks to Ambrosia for hosting it!  Check out her blog at:

Did I show you this picture of.....

Today's challenge....A Photo of You Taken Over 10 Years Ago

Me, my brother and sisters...I think it's around 1989.

This one is my first traveling softball trip when I was 12.  We were the Sierra Vista All-Stars!

 Some of the greatest times of my life were in high school on the basketball court.  This was taken in 1998, my senior year!

 High School Softball 1998.

 This one was taken in 1998....at my best friend, Maria's, wedding. 
My little sister Bri was almost 10 and I was 18

 This is my sister Ginger and I in 1997 or 98.  I was a senior and she was a freshman.

These pictures bring back some great memories!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Visiting Tombstone....

My 2 best friends in the world, Jess and Crystal live in Oklahoma and Kansas, but we get together at least once a year.  This picture was taken while they were here visiting 2 summers ago.  We went to Tombstone one day, and I shot this picutre of Jalen, Crystal's son, while he was having a lollipop.  He is so precious and I have a real softspot for that little boy. I miss my friends a lot...and love when I get to spend time with them and their adorable kids. : )

Monday, February 7, 2011

Never knew the best was yet to come....

A Thank-You Letter to Someone Who Has Changed Your Life is my challenge today....

I'll be honest.  Today's challenge is a little uncomf for me. I really had no idea who I was going to write to, but then it just hit me.

There is a certain little guy that has changed the lives of mine and my entire family.  So here's my letter...I will keep it short, sweet, simple and happy...

Dear Brayden,
Baby Brady!  You warm my heart little boy!  You'll forever be "my guy!"  Your mommy and daddy are so lucky to have such a special gift in their lives....and we are all so lucky to have you in our lives, too!  Since you've been born...you have filled all my days with sunshine.  We're gonna have so much fun together as you grow up (but don't grow up too fast)! 

You might be just a little chubby guy...but the effect you've already had on all of us is stronger than any of us imagined.   It's true....as the song goes...."They didn't have you where I come from....never knew the best was yet to come."

I love you so much and can't wait to spoil you forever and ever.  "....is forever enough...is forever enough?"

Auntie Amber

Brady with his mommy...my sister Ginger.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My loves.

Five Things I Couldn't Possible Live Without

1.  My Family:  They are my world!

2.  My Friends:  There are some very special people in my life that, even though we aren't technically related, I will always consider to be my family.  I've known some of them for years...and some came along later in my life, but I have to say that they bring my life happiness and I am proud to know them all.

3.  Patty Griffin Music:  This might sound stupid to some people...but her music literally gets me through the day sometimes.  Her melodies and lyrics make me feel calm and remind me that everything is going to be ok.

4.  My Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer:  I know it's silly, but baking makes me happy...and my Kitchen Aid mixer is the greatest item to possess when you are running a small cupcake business!!  It's the handiest tool in my kitchen!!  I love it and wish I had one in every color!

5.  Food Network:  I would seriously be so sad and heartbroken if Food Network was ever taken away from me!  I love my FN shows....Giada, Barefoot Contessa, Chopped, Paula Deen...etc.  I have been watching Food Network for 9 years now and absolutely adore it!  Yes...of course I love it because I love to cook, bake and create new recipes...but I just love how it makes me feel when I'm watching it...It gives me a warm fuzzy. : )  It's just that there's a lot of negativity in the world...and it can be scary to think about.  But, when I'm watching food network and I see that the chefs and foodies are so passionate about cooking and food and that even with all the world happening around them, the most important thing, for a moment, could be the way garlic infuses flavor into warm oil, or how the zest of a lemon adds more flavor than the juice, or how crucial it is to let steak rest before cutting into it...just the smallest, minuscule things can seem so important and that's how I know beauty and perfection can exist in this world...and it makes me not so scared anymore.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

This Week's "Scrumptious" Saturday Recipe

When the weather is cold...all I ever feel like doing is curling up on the couch with a comfy blanket and watching movies all day and night with, of course,  lots of yummy food to eat!  I have the perfect recipes to share with you on this chilly weekend!!  They're hot, creamy and cheesy....your classic comfort food! They do have some calories, but remember..... it is Scrumptious Saturday after all! 

Creamy Tomato Soup with
Extra Cheesy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Soup Ingredients
· 4 cups half and half (or you can use whole milk)
· 3 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
· 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· Salt and pepper
· 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 2 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces (at room temperature)
· 1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
· 1 clove garlic

Soup Instructions
Heat the half and half over medium heat in a medium sized pot. Put tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, salt and pepper, flour, butter, celery into a food processor or blender and grind until smooth. Pour mixture into half and half and raise heat to bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Sandwich Ingredients
· 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 equal pieces
· 8 slices of whole grain bread
· 2 large eggs
· 1/2 cup heavy cream
· 1 teaspoon fresh chives
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 2 tablespoons butter

Sandwich Instructions
Place the mozzarella on 4 slices of the bread, then top with the other slices. In a wide shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the cream, chives and salt. Whisk until well blended.  In a large nonstick saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook until the sizzling subsides. Dip 2 of the sandwiches into the egg mixture, turning to coat, place in the pan, and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Flip over and brown on the other side. Transfer the sandwiches to individual plates and repeat the process with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 2 sandwiches.  Cut in half and serve with the soup!

Just a note....(Day 6..)

So, for my Day 6 Challenge, I posted a story about a day I made a decision that I wish I could relive.  Well, after reading it and thinking about it.....I was a little harsh.  It's regarding a friend that basically turned out not to be a very good one.  I deleted it because I don't want to hurt her feelings if she reads it, even though I no longer consider her a friend.  If you would like to read that post....please let me know and I will email it to ya!  Every bit of it is the truth....but like I said...a little harsh. : )  I just didn't want it out there on the world wide web. : )  Have a great day!

Live Every Moment Photo Challenge: "Trees"

One of my all time favorite days of the year is when my mom, sisters and I visit Apple Annies Orchard in the fall.  When we get there, we fill up on fluffy pancakes with apple syrup and farm fresh, apple smoked sausage.  Then we pick tons of apples!!  We always spend the whole next day baking delicious homemade apple pies!!  It's become a yearly ritual...and it's my favorite time of year!

I love this picture that I took, because it really captures a crisp fall day at Apple Annies Orchard

Thanks to "Live Every Moment" for hosting the photo challenge
Check out her beautiful blog!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Live by the words of your Mother....

There are so many quotes I love...I can't just pick one!  So, with that said....I'm going to post my Mom's favorite quote, which has become one of my favorites, too.  My Mom is my best friend and she brings such a ray of sunshine to my life.  She's always the one to cheer me up and make me see the bright side of things.  She believes that we should all make the best of our own situations...and it will ultimately make us happy.  Her favorite quote says it all....

"Bloom where you're planted."
                                              -Mary Engelbreit

(This Mary Engelbreit artwork is totally my Mom!!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Karen's Cafe...looking out.

"At this moment there are 6,470,818,671 people in the world. Some are running scared. Some are coming home. Some tell lies to make it through the day. Others are just not facing the truth. Some are evil men, at war with good. And some are good, struggling with evil. Six billion people in the world, six billion souls. And sometimes... all you need is one."
-Peyton Sawyer

My favorite TV show is One Tree Hill.  The mix of art, music, drama and passion that this show contains is what separates it from every other show I've ever seen.  The story line is so creative and original...and the writing behind it is incredible.  Each character fits their role perfectly and really embraces their style and personality on screen.  Lucas... the heart of the show...he discovers passions, love and a friendships that he never thought were possible.  Peyton, a tortured artist who is truly just searching for peace and contentment...and is probably the character that will remind you of your best friend....she's selfless...and so passionate about art and music. Nathan...Lucas's enemy turned brother and best friend....brave and strong...and he finds the true meaning of family when he meets the love of his life, Haley.  Haley...eventually becomes my favorite character.....adorable smart girl....amazing singer/songwriter...Nathan's soul mate...Lucas's best friend from the beginning...."the glue."  Brooke....so beautiful, confident and has the biggest heart...she finds her true family within her friends....artistic in fashion...lonely, but so, so loved. 

If you've never seen this show...you should start from Season 1 and trust me....you will never be the same.  On top of the intense and thrilling storyline...the show's art, writing and music is amazing!  Lucas is a writer on the show....but all of his quotes had to have come from somewhere...Peyton is an incredible sketch artist on the show....so someone really had to think up those amazing drawings and put them to paper.  Basketball is a huge part of the show...and Nathan really brings his on screen talent to the next level.  It's unreal.  Haley is an amazing singer/singwriter in real life and it just adds so much to the context of the show.  Brooke's sketches of her clothing line...again, someone really had to design that for the show...and it's truly so beautiful.  And last...the music.  Oh my dear...the music.  The music they have playing in each episode is the greatest part of the show.  The writer/director really knows how to pick some awesome music.  I've heard music from...just to name a few...Counting Crows, Ryan Adams, Patty Griffin....and so many more great artists.  They always have songs by new musicians, Indie artists, music legends and they have endless music references in the storyline, as well as several guest appearances!  This show is not just about "teenage drama" like some other shows that might be compared to it by people who have never even seen it, it's so much deeper than that.  It's soulful, haunting, heartbreaking, artistic, warm, harmonic,...there's just something so compelling about it...it's truly the greatest show I've ever seen.   

This is an awesome website....it has all the music ever played on One Tree Hill.  It gives the index of episodes and every song played during each one!  Check it out...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Sound of Music.....

My favorite movie is The Sound of Music.  I love this movie.  I first saw it when I was very young and my mom rented it for us kids to watch.  We absolutely loved it!  It's a wonderful musical and such a classic film.  As I got older, I really came to appreciate the storyline and the aching romance between the 2 lead characters.  I know most people have seen it....and I hope they appreciate it the way I do.  Every time I watch it, it reminds me of my childhood when my brother and sister and I used to put on concerts for my parents, just like the Von Trapp kids did and....it reminds me of my mom and and how she made sure that we experienced all the classic movies that she did...and....it reminds me of when my brother and sisters and I got a little older, but still continued to quote scenes and phrases from the movie (and still do to this day)....and last, but not least, it reminds me that music can absolutely fill your heart with love and happiness.