Halloween Throwback…

I loved Halloween as a kid!  My favorite part?  I have two.

Carving pumpkins with my mom. 😉 I loved the smell of burnt out candles.  It still reminds me of Halloween.  Weird, I know!

And, coloring at school.  I don’t know if the term has changed, but “coloring” was my favorite hobby.  And one I was very good at! 😉  I loved coloring pictures at school.  And it seemed we were only allowed to color during holidays.

Since we all know I’m a big dork, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Instead of saying “Happy Halloween” I prance around declaring “Happy Halloweenie!”  Not sure why or where … but I do.

So … in pure Jennifer fashion … Happy Halloweenie! 🙂

Here is a little throwback action for you.

Halloween 2005
Gansta & Hugh Hefner.
…Yes Raymond had a lot of hair!…

Halloween 2006.

Halloween 2006.
Office Costumes. A much more appropriate Gansta. 😉
The others (left to right): Michael Jackson, Dale Earnhardt Junior, “Cereal” Killer

Halloween 2006.
Football player, Ladybug, Devil, Superwoman.
Might I Spy My Love of Style… 😉

Halloween 2008
Vampiress, Ladybug, Devil

Halloween 2008.
Bumble bee, Devil, Ladybug, Vampiress, Bowling pin & ball.

Halloween 2008.
Ladybug, Police officer, Trophy wife

Halloween 2008.
Vampiress, Devil, Playboy Bunny.

Halloween 2010.
Police Officer. Gansta.

Halloween 2010.
Josh Duhamel. Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas.
Raymond looks EXACTLY like Josh Duhamel. I look nothing like Fergie. But we thought this would be fun. 🙂


Fergie & Josh Duhamel

Halloween 2012.
Raymond dressed up as The Joker from The Dark Knight.

Yes I recycle Halloween costumes.

Yes I party with the same peeps year after year.

What are your favorite Halloween costumes?  🙂

Until next time…

Williamsburg, VA…

Raymond and I had planned a super fan vacay for this week but cancelled it last week due to weather from Hurricane Sandy.  While I’m glad we cancelled the vacay, I’m a little sad that we didn’t get up to Williamsburg.  I was REALLY looking forward to a vacay. 🙂

Thinking about our fun trip from last year.  🙂

On the drive up. I crack up everytime I look at this photo! 😉

Enjoying Busch Gardens!

Enjoying Colonial Williamsburg. I like to keep busy.. 😉

Beautiful Colonial Williamsburg

We walked …and walked …and walked … until this girl refused to walk anymore!

We went to a winery! Williamsburg Winery to be exact!

After the tour and tasting. 🙂

And lastly .. my beautiful smiling face. 😛

Until next time…

FiFi’s Fine Resale…

I have a new appreciation for “second hand”.  For instance, we decorated the majority of the apartment with finds from Goodwill.

Recently I was up at Exit 28.  For those that don’t know much about Lake Norman, everything is referenced to which exit it is located near.  Exit 28 off I-77N.

I dropped by the Goodwill, went to the bank, and decided to meander around a particular shopping center.  I stumbled upon FiFi’s Fine Resale.  I haven’t been in a consignment store in years!  I was in heaven!  Raymond thought someone had kidnapped me because I was due home hours earlier.

Someone had — FiFi! 😉

FiFi’s Fine Resale, Cornelius, NC

I love the way they display the clothes and accessories. It makes you want to buy something! 😉

I bought that entire outfit!
Gap Limited Edition Jeans = $9
Iris & Navy Gray Top = $18

Sorry for the bad hair — it was raining that day! 😉
And yes, I bought that Fever Sweater for $10. I have gotten a ton of compliments on it! 😉

If you are interested in selling on consignment with them, this is what I learned:

  • Donations are accepted Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
    • Not accepted:  Anything with
      • Stains
      • Tears
      • Missing buttons
      • Broken zippers
      • Wrinkled
  • Must bring clothes on a hanger
  • Items are sold for 60 days
  • After 60 days, they are donated.
  • Consignors receive 40% of what the item sells for.

The “Deets” on FiFi’s:

Are you a consignment shopper?

Until next time…

Foodie Friday {Mini Apple Pear Pies}…

I’ve made this dessert for the past 3 years.  It is easy and delicious! 🙂  It’s modified from a recipe in KRAFT Magazine.


  • 1 cup Vanilla Wafers (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix vanilla wafers, brown sugar, and butter until well blended.  Set aside.
  • 1 ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15 oz package)
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large apples, cored, peeled, chopped
    • I prefer Gala
  • 1 large pear, cored, peeled, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Grease a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. Roll out pie crust.
  3. Cut roughly 4″ circles out of the crust.
    1. I use a large cup as a guide.
    2. Ball the dough up and roll it back out to get more crusts.
  4. Place each circle into the muffin tin.
  5. Spread cream cheese carefully onto the bottom of each pie.
  6. Sprinkle with half of the vanilla wafer crumb mixture.
  7. Set aside.
  8. Combine apples, pear, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  9. Toss to coat.
  10. Top crumb mixture with fruit filling.
  11. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
  12. Bake 30 minutes or until fruit is tender and crust is slightly browned.
  13. Cool on wire rack.
  14. Serve individual pies with vanilla ice cream.

This makes a great dessert for Thanksgiving or fall gathering. 🙂

Until next time…

Blowing Rock, NC…

Raymond and I took the opportunity to unplug yesterday and take a drive to the mountains.  It is peak season for the leaves after all. 🙂

We discussed heading to Asheville or Blowing Rock.  We settled on Blowing Rock because we have never really visited this quaint mountain town.

The post is full of pictures … that Raymond took.  This is what I found when I downloaded the pictures this morning. 😉

After a full breakfast, the bags were packed and we hit the road!

Cody loves “going for a ride”.  Those are the magic words that make his ears perk up!

Cody in the car. 🙂

Raymond loves to take pictures of road signs … apparently.

Raymond loves to take pictures of road signs.

The scenery was beautiful.

NC Mountain Scenery


We made a pitstop at The Green Park Inn.

Me in front of the green horse at The Green Park Inn 😉

I have eaten Sunday brunch at the inn before with my parents and Raymond.  We {used} to have a family tradition of going to the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  It was vetoed for a fake pre-lit.  😉

The Inn is ancient … well not really … just old.  They are part of the Historic Hotels of America listing.  We contemplated staying there.  Maybe next time! 🙂

The Green Park Inn

The Green Park Inn

Raymond was apparently taking pictures while in the bathroom.  I couldn’t say much because I was doing the same thing. 😉  If you follow me on Instagram, then you know what I’m talking about. 🙂

Notice Cody in the back window!

Next up was Downtown Blowing Rock!  Such a quaint mountain town!  We walked and walked and walked.  Stopped for lunch at Six Pence Irish Pub.  It was delish!

Downtown Blowing Rock

And lastly — a cute picture of me & Raymond. 😉

Enjoying the beautiful weather!

Until next time…


{Sunday Scavengers} Downtown Charlotte…

Raymond and I have a weird schedule.  Sunday’s are our days to spend time together.  We especially love that the city is quiet on most Sundays.

Last Sunday was rather dreary.  Instead of bumming around the apartment all day, we decided to head uptown.

To start, we had some Starbucks and hung out with some horses. 🙂 The band-aid is from the attack of the scissors.  The scissors won. :/

Next up was a tour of The Foundation of the Carolinas.  They had an open house going on and Raymond loves art galleries.  I went a few months prior for an art lecture on Chuck Close.  It was apparent that I knew nothing about art, and my wonderful friend knew her fair share (Hi Leticia 🙂 ).

There was a living wall on the 4th floor terrace.  It was pretty darn cool and we took the opportunity to grab a few photos.  😉

Next on the agenda was dinner!  I was STARVING.  If you don’t feed this girl when she’s hungry, then things will get ugly .. fast. 😉

Dinner destination:  Fleming’s Steakhouse.  Tyler, the bartender, always takes great care of us.  And the bar food special ain’t half bad.  5 for $6 until 7pm.  It was delish!  Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Sweet Chili Calamari, Tenderloin Carparccio, Wicked Cajun BBQ Shrimp.  The carparccio is one of my favorite dishes but that wicked cajun shrimp was out of this world!

Fleming’s Steakhouse of Charlotte

After dinner we took a stroll to the Westin Hotel.  Raymond wanted to check out the bar.  It was such a cool place!  I really wanted to sit outside by the firepit but it was vetoed for a spot at the bar for football. *wonk*wonk* 😉 I drooled over the menu.  It’s a must try for the next scavenger trip!

The Westin Hotel Ember Grille

Next up was a play date in the park. Radcliffe On The Greene … or the park is called The Green.

The Green park in Downtown Charlotte

Last stop was RiRa Irish Pub.  They have awesome live Irish music on Sunday evenings.  I was getting tired and decided to order coffee. 😉 Their Halloween decor was something to see. 🙂

RiRa Irish Pub

I will leave you with my favorite picture of the evening.  I think it is apparent that we had a great time exploring the beautiful Queen City! 🙂

Until next time…

Charlotte Today .. & My Mom?

Charlotte Today is a local live lifestyle entertainment talk show airing on WCNC weekdays at 11am.  Yes, I borrowed that from their website. 😉

A few weeks ago they ran a segment about being 50 and being fabulous.  Well my mom is in her 50’s and definitely fabulous, so her and her friend, Sabrina, asked to join the audience.  They got a big thumbs up, and off to Charlotte they went.

Well my mom had a blast.  B.L.A.S.T.  I taped the show that day because I had a prior engagement at 11am.  So I’m sitting on the couch, enjoying my lunch, watching the show.  BAM I almost choked on my chili.  My mom was ON the show!  Not just in the audience — ON the show!

Sabrina & Mom standing in as anchors.
Well not exactly — but a great picture! 🙂

I am so proud of her for getting up there first of all and second for being asked to participate in the fitness segment.  My mom is tall and skinny and all about her health.  I sure wish I took after her .. and not my dad .. in the leg department.  Hm, short and stumpy, or long and lanky?  😉

Check out the fitness segment! 🙂


Be sure to “LIKE” Charlotte Today on Facebook.  They occasionally send audience requests out on the Facebook Page.

If you thought my mom did a great job, then be sure to leave some love in the comments. 🙂  I’m sure it would make her day!

Until next time…

Foodie Friday {Spaghetti}…

I am an organized person.  Yes we know this.

I like to cook.  Also … we know this.

I like to cook by recipes.  I think it is the organizer in me.

There are a few recipes that I can knock out of the ballpark without a recipe.  And I can safely say they are my own.

My dad is a great cook, but the kind that doesn’t cook very often.  My mom is also a great cook, but the kind that does most of the cooking.  One thing my dad can make better than anyone is spaghetti.  I have modified my “recipe” around what he taught me.

Now, I know what you are thinking.  Spaghetti?  Really — that isn’t hard.  No it’s not, which is why I like to make it.  I also refuse to order spaghetti out because I think mine is hard to beat. 🙂

Bear with me on preparing the meat.  Yes, I boil the ground beef.  It seems weird but it comes out absolutely amazing!  If you prefer to saute the meat in the pan, then go right ahead. 🙂

Jennifer’s Homemade Spaghetti

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (turkey, chicken, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 tsp:
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Italian Seasoning
    • Dried Oregano
    • Garlic Powder
    • McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
      • You can’t taste this in the final dish but it helps flavor the meat.
  1. Add ground beef to medium saucepan.
  2. Add water.  Just enough to cover the meat.
  3. Gently work the meat and the water.
    1. It will be a little weird and look like watered down raw meat.  It will be amazing — I promise!
  4. Add spices
    1. Take care to crush the italian seasoning and dried oregano between your palms.  This releases any oils in the herbs.  (I say Barefoot Contessa do this). 😉
  5. Cook over medium to high heat.
  6. The meat will boil for roughly 10 minutes.
  7. Drain only half of the water.
  • (2) 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • (1) 8 oz can tomato paste
  • (1) onion, chopped
  • (1) green pepper, chopped
  • (2) garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms (I prefer fresh, not canned)
  • 5 oz of water
  • 1 Tbsp:
    • Italian Seasoning
    • Dried Oregano
    • Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp:
    • Garlic Powder
    • Crushed Red Pepper
    • Paprika
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Tarragon (if you have it)
  1. Dump all ingredients and meat into large saucepan.
  2. Simmer over low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes.
    1. The longer it simmers, the better it will be.
  3. *Note* The spices are “to taste”.  If you like salty, then add more salt.
  4. Serve with Angel Hair Pasta, side salad, and texas garlic toast.

I make hamburger chili, chili with beans, and taco meat using the same technique with the meat.  Raymond refuses to go back to sautéing in a pan.  😉 What do they say — the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?

Enjoy! 🙂

Until next time…

Be True To Yourself…

I never post late night … 🙂  What a treat!

I woke up this morning with a full 10.5 hours of sleep yet still felt exhausted.  I rolled over to give Cody a hug and decided … we are taking today off!

I don’t mean take the day off and sit on the couch all day.  I needed a break from “work”.  I spent hours upon hours this week working on developing the site map for the new website (please Lord let me get this out before January 1, 2013) and on the creation of my media kit.

Those are two very large development projects that I am determined to have crossed off the list soon.  I believe them to be important in the growth of my business … but this girl needed a break.

So I gathered myself for a nice breakfast of eggs, avocado, salsa, and coffee. 🙂  Decided to make apple butter in the CrockPot.  Then it was off to clean!

I am a clean freak.  I get it from my momma!  We used to clean every Saturday growing up.  Pretty sure this apartment hasn’t been cleaned in over a month.  Embarrassing and disgusting.

Things were moved, turned upside down, polished, and at the end of the day … clean. 🙂

I took a break to visit the local YMCA — Tabata class with Heather was exactly what I needed!

Came home, made my famous spaghetti (it was uh-mazing), and looked rather disappointingly at my apple butter.  It’s more like apple sauce…. :/

The DVR is set to record the Real Housewives of Miami (yes, I love the entire RH collection) and I’m finishing up some eBay business.

So the point of this post.  Be true to yourself.  I needed a day off.  I didn’t feel bad for taking it.  I know I have a lot to do tomorrow but at least I will be energized and the apartment will be clean. 🙂

When was the last time you were true to yourself? 🙂

Until next time…

McAdenville, NC (ChristmasTown, USA)…

McAdenville — aka ChristmasTown, USA is between Dallas & Charlotte and holds a special place in my heart.

ChristmasTown, USA lights up every year at … well Christmastime.  Locals near and far come to enjoy the lights, music, and holiday cheer.  The tradition has been going for years!

My parents took me to McAdenville one year to see the lights.  By their account, I was about 2 years old.  I had a full-on meltdown.  Apparently I thought McAdenville was something extraordinary — like Disney World.  I started crying and screaming, “This ain’t Cadenville.  This is house-to-house!”

Yep — still a running joke in my family today.

I spent some time in McAdenville a few weeks ago speaking to their Woman’s Club about how to creatively organize shoes, purses, and jewelry.

“McAdenville Woman’s Club – is a group of women gathering together to secure a united effort in the development of ourselves, our homes and our community. The club has been an active force in the town of McAdenville since 1954.”

During the meeting, the president spoke about volunteer opportunities such as a beautification project at the local elementary school.  Next up was a push to sell McAdenville t-shirts.  My ears perked up.  I love a good t-shirt — especially a long sleeve version.

The t-shirt sale is their largest fundraiser and funds are used for various beautification projects and community needs, as well as the Maxine Porch scholarship that is awarded to deserving students in the area who are attending college.  If you are interested…

McAdenville Shirt Design

  • Youth Options
    • Long Sleeve Tees    $10
    • Sweatshirt             $15
  • Adult Options
    • Short Sleeve Tees   $10
    • Long Sleeve Tees    $15
    • Sweatshirts            $20
    • Hoodies                 $25

Contact Laura Allen at mcawomansclub@gmail.com for size specifics.  I will be sporting my long sleeve tee once the season arrives! 🙂

If you would like to join the Woman’s Club…

McAdenville Woman’s Club Facebook Page

Contact Roxann Rankin at mcawomansclub@gmail.com

The membership consists of any woman who lives, works or goes to church in McAdenville or who has an interest in the community of McAdenville.

The club meets on the first Tuesday of each month from September through June. Most meetings are held in the Ballroom at the Pharr YMCA at 7:00.

Have you been to ChristmasTown, USA before? 🙂 

Until next time…