Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yearly Transitions

2009 has been a good year but definitely not an easy one. Thankfully, the hard times have, as always, made us stronger. I might be the only one who seems to think that 2009 passed WAY too quickly.
We moved 3 times in 2009.
We each have had 2 jobs in 2009.
We transitioned to living back in Mississippi rather than being in Florida.
I worked hard and got a 4.0 GPA for spring, summer and fall semesters of 2009.
There is so much more I could say about this year but it is so hard to sum it all up.

It has been a very hard year financially. Though there are weeks when we do work 40+ hours, neither of us have full-time jobs. There have been months when we made less than our rent total. God has provided, bottom line. We've done without a lot but we've learned so much from it and grown closer. Sometime in 2010 T will be leaving for basic training with the Army. I will be graduating in May. So there may still be months of struggling and "barely making it". I will be resting in the fact that God will continue to provide and that this will not last forever.

My goals for 2010:
- Spiritually: I want to grow more this year. I want to become stronger and have a more consistent quiet time.
- Financially: I want to continue to learn and use coupons. We will be sticking to a strict budget and try to save as much money as possible.
- Health: eat healthier, exercise. To me, it isn't necessarily about getting to a certain size or weight. I simply want to be healthy and take care of my body.
- Personally: I want to become a better wife/homemaker. I love Trevor with my whole heart and I want my actions and expressions to show that in everything that I do.

I will add to these goals and expound on them as time goes on, but those are the basics of what I intend to accomplish. I know that so many start the year out with such good intentions and lofty goals. Having goals down in writing helps me. Also, accountability is a must. For my few faithfuls out there, feel free to question me and keep me accountable about my 2010 goals as well as my 101 in 1001.
What are your goals for 2010?
I hope everyone has had a blessed 2009 and that you will continue to see God's grace, mercy and blessings in 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I generally cook by a menu that I prepare using Makin' Groceries but I believe this is the first time I have ever blogged my menu. It is hard for us to stick to a defined, day by day/specific meal menu because I work evenings/nights and T works overnight shifts several times a week. Instead, I like to make a list of meals that I can prepare at some point during the week and just prepare from that.

Breakfast -
Pigs in a Blanket
Cinnamon Rolls

Lunch and Dinner -
Hot Italian Deli Sandwiches (Hollywood Studios Sunset Ranch style, of course)
Chicken and Rice Cheesy Bake
Black Eyed Peas with Cornbread
Beef Tacos with Corn on the Cob
Angel Hair Pasta with Red and Green Peppers(rather than cherry tomatoes) with steamed broccoli
50s Prime Time Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes
Baked Italian Chicken Spaghetti with Green Beans
Red Beans and Rice with Cornbread

For more menus check out the orgjunkie.

Friday, December 25, 2009

So Blessed (Disney 2010 trip!!!!)

This was a great Christmas. We balanced the time between both of our families because we know the likelihood of us living within 20 minutes of both of them isn't likely to happen again for a while. T's parent's are talking about moving to Tennessee and we will be living wherever the army sends us.
T gave me some great gifts. :)

Disney. Love. Christmas. No further explanation.

Open Hearts Collection by Jane Seymour. T bought me the necklace/earring set. So pretty!

The only kind of coffee I will even touch is a frappuccino. I made my first frappe on my Mr Coffee Cafe Frappe tonight. I will never be the person to need my cup of hot coffee in the morning to get me going but I can see making a frappe every morning. :) I tried a traditional Mocha Frappe and I can't wait to experiment with more recipes.

And my favorite Christmas present from T? A trip to my favorite place on earth, of course! We(T, MIL, niece Josie and I) will be going to Disney World in February 2010. I am beyond excited. It is a great opportunity for us to have a vacation before he leaves for basic, even though I will be missing a couple days of school. Amazingly enough, this trip is costing us almost nothing.
2 of Trevor's friends are using their Main Gate passes to get us 3 adults in free for the 4-5 days we will be in the park. Josie will be a week shy of 3 so she will get in free. FREE TICKETS. :o)
In exchange for getting her in the park, T's mom is using her time share and has the hotel covered. We will have the hotel room for a total of 7 nights but I don't know that we will be able to go for the entire time(because of work and school). FREE HOTEL. :o)
The only thing we have to pay for is gas and food. To me that is the least expensive part of a trip to Disney. Our car gets excellent gas mileage. And we plan to eat frugally. We usually eat breakfasts in our room, bring in snacks to the parks. We intend to either eat Quick Service for one meal a day(or eat in the hotel room) and then have a few Table Service Meals. Because it is not very far away (40ish days!) we might not be able to make many TS reservations. But no matter what, I am BEYOND happy. I am so excited to be going back to our happy place!

I got many other gifts from T, my family and his family. I feel so incredibly loved and blessed!
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! I hope everyone's holiday was filled with great joy! We have both been working a lot but it has been a season filled with much love, family and many great memories.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Disney Resort Christmas Tour - Part 5

My Disney Resort Christmas Tour - Part 3
My Disney Resort Christmas Tour - Part 4

This is the last of my Disney Resort Christmas pictures.
Welcome to Disney's Yacht and Beach Club - Home of the marvelous Beaches and Cream and it's Kitchen Sink(which is another post entirely). ;o)

The Yacht and Beach Club Resorts are actually 2 separate resorts but they are often linked together because they are directly next to each other and you can walk from one to the other within a couple of minutes.

A gingerbread carousel of 2008 pieces. They add a piece each year so that the total number of pieces is the same as the current year.

Main tree in the Beach Club lobby.
Main tree in the Yacht Club lobby.

I have always been a HUGE fan of Christmas villages and trains. This one is probably the prettiest ones I have ever seen in my entire life. Most of the pieces were made exclusively for this set.

I am sad that this is the end of my Disney Resort Christmas Tour. Maybe one day I will be able to add more to it! ;o)

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Disney Resort Christmas Tour - Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of my Disney Resort Christmas tour featuring Disney's Boardwalk Resort.

There were several small trees gracing the lobby of Boardwalk.

This carousel isn't exactly "Christmas" decor, it is simply a focal point in the main entry. I will justify it by saying there are Christmas garlands in the background. ;o)
Boardwalk's darling gingerbread gazebo with holiday Donald and Daisy. Donald is T's favorite classic Disney character - something to do with matching temperaments. ;o) And that is coming from T's mouth, not my own.

What is Disney decor without hidden Mickey's? There were 5 hidden Mickey's within the gingerbread gazebo. And, once again, lots of pixie dust within.
A signature of the Boardwalk.

Ok, I will be honest, I got a little laugh out of this lopsided Christmas tree. It makes me feel a little better about my temporarily lopsided tree.The last and final "installment" of My Disney Resort Christmas Tour will soon follow. Thanks for following along and putting up with my Disney obsession. Going back through the pictures and sharing them brings back so many memories of our first Christmas as a married couple, but also so many memories of the wonderful friends we made while we were there.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Disney Resort Christmas Tour - Part 3

My Disney Resort Christmas Tour - Part 1
My Disney Resort Christmas Tour - Part 2

Welcome back for the 3rd part to my Disney Resort Christmas Tour at The Grand Floridian.
The Grand Floridian is by far my favorite Disney World resort. I have never stayed there but when we were living and working at Disney, we loved hanging out at the beach, walking around the path and just relaxing at the GF. Mark my words, I will one day get my Grand Floridian Disney vacation. ;o)

Isn't it absolutely glorious?

They had a large tree on the main floor that was several stories high and then smaller themed trees on the upper levels.
The Grand Floridian Christmas decor is centered around this life size gingerbread house. They sell gingerbread and cocoa from it and it is absolutely adorable!
Unfortunately, there were way too many people around to get a shot without anyone in it (therefore having my picture graced with 2 random children ha) and no way of cropping them out of it without chopping off the bottom portion of the house. :)

I love that the last ingredient is Pixie Dust, of course! ;o)
The cast who put the gingerbread house together did such a great job with the detailing.
A view of the top/back from the balcony above.
Here are some of the other decorations from the 2nd floor.
I will be prepublishing the last parts so that they will be coming out over the next couple days, so keep checking back!
Part 4 - Disney's Boardwalk
Part 5 - Disney's Yacht and Beach Club

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And the winner is!

Not sure if anyone even remembers that I did a giveaway...
The Winner(found using is Miranda Tucci!

Miranda, could you comment me with your e-mail address?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'll be home for Christmas

Hey there! Welcome to the humble Spence apartment. Thanks for stopping by!
Some of you might have seen my tree portion of the post before for Kelly's Show Us Your Life Christmas Tree Tour. But don't skip the post because then you'll miss out on all of my other Christmas decorations. ;)

Our Christmas tree is decorated in maroon, cream, and gold.
Most noticeably, it is highly Disney themed. If you have been around for any amount of time, you shouldn't be surprised. ;o) I adore Disney. Since our first Christmas as a married couple was spent working at Disney it seems rather fitting. We used our Christmas money from my Grandmommy to invest in Christmas ornaments that we wanted to have for our first Christmas and many years to come. I have no doubt in my mind that our future children will love Disney. It's in their genes, after all! ;)
Anyway, on to my tree.

(please ignore the fact that it is lopsided. This issue has since been rectified - literally)

I am not going to show pictures of all of my ornaments but I am going to share my favorites of our Disney ornaments! Most of them are a part of Disney's Gift of Love Christmas Collection (I tried googling to give a link to the collection but couldn't find anything. I do know that they were park exclusives last year).

Kissing under the mistletoe - Love it!
This ornament was given to me by my friend and sorority sister, Ila. She was working at Disney with the Disney College Program when we got married. She missed the wedding but she got us incredible discounts on our honeymoon and greeted us with this lovely ornament.
It was after our honeymoon that we decided to go back to Disney and participate in the College Program. 2 months later, we moved to Orlando to live, work and play at Disney World for 7 months. =)
Just married. *sigh* =)
More kissing under the mistletoe. By the way, I am on the search for mistletoe to make a "kissing ball". We will see if I succeed or not. So far, it's not working out. Haha
Magic Kingdom *another happy sigh*
Trevor picked this up for our little mini tree last year. He worked at Hollywood Studios the whole time we were there. I worked at Magic Kingdom but then transferred to HS for many reasons. Anyway, he wanted this ornament since we both worked at HS our first Christmas season together.
I have yet to put a picture in this ornament frame. Sad, I know. But I am waiting for the perfect picture. And since T doesn't like taking pictures - that perfect picture might never happen. ;o)

I really liked the way this picture turned out. I think it very well might be my favorite of them all. Just because of the Disney "Love" hanger and the honeymoon ornament.

Here are some of our other, Non-Disney ornaments. =)

On to our mantle. I used a simple, unlit garland and embellished it with white mini lights, extra garland, and other little extras. =)

I found these candle holders a few weeks ago for only a few dollars at a local antique store. I thought their cream and gold color would go perfectly on our mantle.

I used the leftover maroon and cream "berries" from the mantle to add a little extra to my wreath. The glass, framed "S" hangs over our mantle regularly and it fit perfectly inside of the wreath. Not sure if I will ever to do again, but it worked for this year. ;o)

Here are a few pictures of the mantle with the living room lights on. I love sitting in the living room with only the Christmas lights on. It's so cozy and peaceful!

I didn't hang our stockings on the mantle. They just didn't seem to look right with the garland. Instead they are hanging on a wall adjacent to the mantle underneath one of our shelves.
Our stockings were made by my mother and one of my sisters. My family has always had hand-made quilted stockings like these. My parent's still have mine and Trevor's original stockings but last year they mailed us our "own" set of stocking.

And how completely fitting for us that they have Disney print on the back. ;o)

I have 2 of these little trees on either side of the fireplace. I won them as door prizes at our church's choir retreat in August. The decorations were Christmas themed since we were kicking off learning our Christmas music. I won two of the table centerpiece trees.

This little mini tree is on our entry table. It is decorated in gingerbread and candy ornaments. The table also includes some of my Christmas gingerbread collection.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I can't wait to look at your home decked out in all of its Christmas splendor, as well as all of the other homes being shared. I love getting a sneak peak into other home and seeing how they add personal touches to their decor.

This post is linked to:
Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester
The Christmas Tour of Homes

Hooked on Houses

The Inspired Room

Southern Hospitality Blog

Funky Junk Interiors