Monday, January 31, 2011

Blogs, Blessings, and Buddies

About a year ago a group of girls, bloggers, all got together for dinner. It was the first time many of us had met and for me it was slightly awkward at first. I knew so much about these girls lives from reading their blogs but I didn't really know them.  The dinner was fun, we laughed, talked and got to know each other better. Over the next year the group changed some but we continued to get together. Now, a year later, I consider these girls my friends. I feel so blessed to have met them, even though it was done through a slightly unconventional way.  I understand that people looking in from the outside don't really "get it" - and that's ok.  I feel blessed to know them :)

Here are a few pictures of us from this weekend:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Ben!

Saturday was Ben's 28th birthday - I woke up bright and early to prepare his birthday chair and make him breakfast.

Growing up my mom always filled out chair at the table with our favorite candy, snacks, or money and it was waiting for us when we woke up, along with the number of ballons that represented our age that year and one gift to open that morning.  I was not about to blow up 28 ballons, but I wanted to continue on the birthday chair tradition with our new little family. I bought all of Ben's favorite junk food and loaded down the chair!

After breakfast Ben and I went and volunteered at a 5K that the school I work for was putting on. I had signed up to run it but Ben didn't seem to like that I had volunteered him to work and then was going to leave him alone - so I skipped running and helped him out.

That afternoon our friend Greg had a cookout for Ben then we all went to a Mississippi Riverkings hockey game. Yes, I too find it ironic that Mississippi has an ice hocky team! As a little surprise for Ben I had a cake made for him. He always jokes that where we live is "Ben's Island" and he likes pirates (yes, my husband is a 5 year old trapped in a 28 year olds body!) so I had a "Ben's Island" cake made.

Happy Birthday, Love. I hope it was the best birthday ever - you deserve it! 


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hodge Podge of weekend update

Last weekend Ben was wanting to "do something." Do you ever have those days? When sitting around the house isn't doing it for you?  So a few friends came over to watch the Ravens vs. Steelers game. Two of our friends, Reid and Kate, came over and they are quite comical to watch NFL football with - ESPECIALLY Ravens/Steelers games beacuse Kate is from Baltimore and Reid is from Pittsburg. They are both extreme fans. Being a southern girl and loving the SEC, I do not understand this love for NFL teams, but I embrace their love for their teams.  There is quite a bit of yelling at each other, name calling, and insults towards the other teams. It's pretty funny to sit back and watch - but I wouldn't want to be apart of it!

We were going to the Grizzlies vs. Mavericks game after the football game so we stopped by a bar for the last few minutes of the football game so Reid and Kate could decide who got bragging rights for the rest of the night.

Here they are in all their rivalry glory!  So the Steelers won and we headed to the Grizzlies game.

Once at the Grizz game, Ben was in for a little fun. Our friend, Eric, works for the Grizzlies and had asked Ben if he would be apart of a skit for that game.  As a result of being in the skit, we got awesome seats!

But a few minutes later, the mascot, Grizz came by with three baby bears and they slammed him in the face with a cake and three cupcakes! Luckily they had given him a shirt to change into before hand because cake and icing were EVERYWHERE!

I couldn't take any pictures while it was happening, so this was right after it happened before Ben got to shower off in the locker room.  Ben was a really good sport about it. 

And here are a few more pictures from the night.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Almost to the 1 year mark!

In approximately 6 weeks and 2 days (but whose counting, really?) the mister and I will have been married for a year. Ben always jokes and says "a lot of people are going to lose money on that day..haha" - he thinks he is so funny.

While most of my married friends have been married 3+ years, and I know that 1 year isn't that long, I want to make a big deal out of it. Marriage is a huge commitment and I want to honor the fact that we've been married a year. I never want our anniversary to be something that we just say "Happy Anniversary" and move on.  An Anniversary is something to CELEBRATE!

With that in mind Ben and I have been trying to decide what to do for this great occasion. We know we want to take a little trip because I want to take advantage of it being just the two of us as long as we can. But then the task of deciding where to go comes into play. The logical thing would be to find somewhere within driving distance since we only have a few days and then we could make the most out of our trip. 

Here are our ideas:

1. New Orleans


Ben has never been to NOLA, and I looove it - 5 hour drive, would be perfect! 

The problem is......... Mardi Gras

Um yeah, those crowds don't scream relaxing to me! I think we will pass on New Orleans for this trip

2. Chicago

Neither of us have ever been to Chicago and it's somewhere we've always wanted to go. We can get flights pretty cheap through Ben's work and we know it would be a blast. Not within driving distance, but we would be okay with that for Chicago.

Problem? ...

yeah - it will probably be just a little cold to be walking around in Chicago in February! 

We've tossed around other ideas: but we've either been there a lot, flights are too pricey, we don't have enough time to really explore, or it's too cold. 

So here's what we are thinking right now:

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs is about a 3 hour drive from Memphis and is full of history and other things....

The Arlington Hotel is where we are thinking about staying, it is a beautiful, old, southern hotel and spa.

There are horse races

and bath houses

and a quaint downtown area full of antique stores. Those alone can keep me busy and entertained for hours.

We haven't made up our minds for sure, but this is on our list. Have you ever been to Hot Springs? What was your experience?  Do you have any other ideas we haven't thought about?

I have no idea why the spacing is so messed up when this posts. So please excuse it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Products I'm Loving Right Now

Do you have certain products that you just love? Products that make your life better or easier? Well I was thinking the other day about all the things I use throughout the day and there are a few of them that I looove and would be so sad if they went away.

1. MoroccanOil Glimmer Shine Spray

My hair dresser introduced this to me about a year ago with promises that it would make my hair so soft, silky, and shiny. Being the sucker that I am I bought it and let me tell you - he was not kidding! Since I color my hair it needs all the addittional moisiture it can get and this helps me achive the softness I desire without getting oily. 
2.  Tigi Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo 

 I was very skeptical when I first heard about dry shampoo - I have really thick hair and it tends to get oily/dirty pretty quickly and I knew this wouldn't work. I tried several brands and they left my hair feeling sticky and heavy at the end of the day. But then I tried this brand, and oh my - I'm in love! It's perfect for the days I wake up too late to wash my hair, or if I just need a little refresher after a long day at work before heading out to dinner or to meet up with friends.  Just spray it into my roots, and wa-la - fresh hair! It reminds me of when my mom used to put baby powder in my hair when I was growing up. Your mom didn't do that to you? Oh - well, moving on! 

3.  AcneFree Purifying Cleanser

Acne? What? I'm not 17 anymore! Well, I may not be 17 but my skin sure isn't aware of that! I thought I had grown up and could move onto a gentle cleanser, but one day I looked in the mirror at one of those places that has SUPER bright floresent lights- you know the ones... the ones that show EVERY. BLEMISH.YOU.HAVE.ON.YOUR.FACE and realized that I needed something to help bust up the junk, if you will.  Well, the word acne cleanser had me flashing back to the bleached pillow cases, t-shirts, and towels of high school and college, but this facewash does not do that at all. It has benzoyl peroxide, and gets the funk out, but without bleaching everything it comes in contact with. I wash my face with this in the shower in the morning and still use a gentle cleanser at night. 

 4.  Clarisonic

My quest for clear, even, soft skin led me to this little miracle worker. I cannot sing it's praises enough - I actually look forward to washing my face and sloughing off the day. It runs for 60 seconds and gets rid of the dead skin cells, make up, and dirt that has caked on your face all day. The texture of my skin has improved so much since I began using it. I have the Mia, which is what is pictured here. It has one speed and is a little smaller than its sister Clarisonic Pro. The Pro has multiple speeds and a body brush that attaches to scrub your body.  You can't go wrong with either one. 

 5.  Philosophy: Falling In Love 

 I am almost out of this and it makes me want to cry since I do not know when I will be able to get more. I bought this last year before our wedding because I wanted to smell gooooood on our honeymoon.  And boy oh boy did I - well I think I did anyway.  I love this scent because it's soft, subtle, and fresh. I don't like getting out of the shower and feeling like I've bathed in perfume, but I do like to smell nice. Philosophy found the perfect balance with this scent. I bought the LARGE bottles of both body wash and lotion almost a year ago. I ran out of the body wash this past summer but I'm still using the lotion. It lasts and lasts. 

Okay so I probably have more but those would be my top 5 right now.  What products do you have that you're loving? 


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guess what I just did.....


On May 7th I'll officially have my MASTERS!!! Who wants to come PARTY?!?!


       There was talk of snow a week ago... but I didn't believe it. Sure there was a 70% chance of snow but Memphis has this  invisible shield around it that somehow always seems to push weather north or south of us. As Sunday came closer it seemed that maybe the weather man was correct and we maybe, just maybe, would get snow!

        Well, as it always happens when the S word (snow) is mentioned in the south, everyone went ran to the grocery store to load up on milk, water, bread and eggs.  I've never understood this - has anyone in the south ever been "snowed in" longer than a day or so? Why do you need cases (yes, multiple) of water, several gallons of milk, several dozen eggs, and enough bread to feed a small army. Come on people! Yes, we were guilty of going to the store on Sunday but we hadn't been since before Christmas! We needed food! We bought ingrediants to make chili because if I get to sit and watch snow fall I want to eat something warm and delishous and drink hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmellows.

        By 8pm on Sunday the snow was collecting on the ground and I found out that school was cancelled on Monday! WHOO! Snow Day! Since Ben has a long commute each morning he decided he would probably stay home as well since no one here knows how to drive in the snow and he didn't want to sit in traffic for hours on end.

        Monday we woke up to about 5 inchs of BEAUTIFUL snow! We were dog sitting for a neighbor so we loaded up with clothing and set out to let the dogs play in the snow. I wore about 5 layers of pants and 5 shirts, plus a coat! I was NOT going to be cold! I may look like a huge marshmellow, but I was going to be warm!

             Once we decided the dogs were good and tired we headed back home - our neighbors were playing outside and ran straight up to Ben and started hitting him with snow balls. Their parents told us that they woke up at 6:30 this morning and the first thing they said "I want to throw snowballs at Mr. Ben!"

Ben looks thrilled by this doesn't he? haha
              Being the southern girl that I am, my snowman skills are seriously lacking. Our neighbors are from New York so they were more than excited to teach me to build a snowman. The kids got cold and lost interest pretty quickly so we decided to make the snowman a snowwoman.... and somehow she turned into a drag queen that looks to have had a pretty rough night the night before - her eye makeup is running all over her face! 

Drag-Snow Queen

        Sadly the snow will probably be gone when we wake up tomorrow, but it sure was fun while it lasted. At least when it comes and goes so quickly, you can't get tired of it :)  And we can honestly say, we survived snowpocalypse 2011.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Years - 2011

To ring in the New Year we went to visit Ben's family. This was a multi-purpose trip as we also celebrated our Christmas with them at this time, and UT was playing in a bowl game there. Ben, his dad, and his sister all went to the game but I, being completely done with football for the year, decided to use this time to visit with a friend that has moved and I haven't seen in quite some time.

We had a great time in downtown Nashville Thursday night for the bowl game, so we decided to hang low on New Years eve and hangout with Ben's parents. I was in bed by 10:45! I'm getting old I guess, but staying up until midnight just doesn't interest me anymore.  Whose with me?!

Since my challange (I'm avoiding the word resolution) for this year was to take more pictures, here are the few I took..... I didn't do great with the whole photo taking thing, but I did BETTER! Hey, gotta start somewhere, right?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 Recap

Happy New Year!

Since this is my first post of the year I thought I would do a little re-cap of last year! 2010 was a GREAT year for the Chip family.... it is actually the year we became a family. In February I married my best friend and I can't think of anything that could top that! I was so bad this year about taking pictures, but I thought I would use the few photos I did take to re-cap our year. I won't post any wedding pictures here as I am planning to do a wedding post on our Anniversary next month.  Without further a-do, here is our year in review:

In January and February we were honored with quite a few wedding showers. Of course, I only have pictures of two of them! 

                Washington D.C./Maryland Shower

Memphis Shower

Wedding Weekend/Bridesmaid Luncheon

Honeymoon in Jamaica! 


Doug and Beth's Wedding in Florida

Red Neck Crawfish Boil

PickWick Lake Trip

Tammy's Moving Away Party

A Day in NYC 

Kelli's Play Joesph and The Technicolor Dream Coat

A Few Random Pictures

We did many other things in 2010, beach trips, lake trips, MANY MANY trips to Knoxville for football games, Thanksgiving with Ben's family and Christmas with mine - but... no camera. My challenge to myself this next year is to take more pictures!! 

I hope you enjoyed these pictures and a glimpse into our 2010 :)