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Sunday, December 30, 2012

DIY Photo Ledge Wall

The Hubby and I recently rearranged our living room. This left a large empty wall behind our couches where our once small entertainment center sat. I have seen all over Pinterest these photo walls and photo ledge walls.

The photo ledge walls were very appealing due to the minimal holes drilled into the walls. Less holes = fewer patches if you decide to sell = no matching paint. Which the previous owner did and it did not turn out well. 

I was shopping around various sites and those ledges are not cheap! Either they are not cheap or have horrible reviews, and I am all about reviews!! 
Target - One ledge had a decent price, but horrible reviews. The other ledge looked good, but was pricier and no reviews.

Pottery Barn - They have the Holman ledge, which I am sure this will be no shocker, they were pricey. $35-$55 for one ledge. Not to mention I had bought their wine bottle and wine glass shelves earlier this year and I swore I would NEVER buy shelves from them again. Their anchors are the most destructive anchors I have ever encountered. Let's just say if you screw up, too damn bad, or you have to saw out a good 4" circle to get it out of your wall. And their templates are obviously just preprinted and not necessarily checked for accuracy with the shelf it is shipped with. Can you sense my hostility?

The Container Store - Their Tchotchke shelves had almost great reviews, and the price was decent.  $28-$38. 

Still, I wanted something cheaper. Not to mention, when you say $38 it doesn't sound too bad, but when you need 4 or 5 of them that is a whopping $152- $190 before tax. Don't forget you have to buy frames too if not already in your possession. So, when I stumbled upon Be Simply Organized I was squealing with joy! DIY Photo Ledge for about $10/ledge. Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Ma'am! Sign me up! 

I plan to make a trip to Home Depot tomorrow to buy the necessary supplies. Hope to have them up and running by next weekend, so stay tuned!

Alana XOXO

All photos from Pinterest

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas From The Johnsons {2012}

I hope you and your loved ones had a fabulous Christmas holiday this year! I know my Hubby and I did.

We were quiet busy since I have family 5 hours away.  We had to drive to Houston Sunday morning for my dad's side of the family, followed by my moms on Monday for Christmas Eve. We then continued on home after the family gathering to make it home by 2 am so we could enjoy our first Christmas as a married couple in our own home. 

Since we don't have kids we have the pleasure of splurging on other people. Not to mention, Henry gets plenty of credit card rewards thanks to his business, so gift cards are usually handed out in lieu of an actual gift so people can spend on themselves how they choose. Henry absolutely hates gift cards and their insensitive meaning, or at least that is what he thinks, I on the other hand love gift cards! I would much rather enjoy a gift card to spend on myself however I choose than to get a gift, fake a smile, and go exchange it later on. Luckily,  my family members know me pretty well so exchanges have never had to happen, but that is my opnion on the whole gift card topic.

Sunday at my Uncle Mark's house I enjoyed eating my Grandpas amazing oatmeal cookies, watching old family videos my grandparents had managed to turn into DVDs and chatting with cousins and aunts. One cousin in particular was latched on to Henry like a leach. But the cutest leach ever I must admit. 

My baby cousin Aimee seems to have grown a little kid crush on my husband. Which Henry eats up because he adores children. He had absolutely no problem entertaining her.

Monday was my aunt's party. We always do a themed Christmas with them since in our family by Christmas you have just about finished left over Thanksgiving foods and would prefer anything other than more turkey and dressing. This year was Asian food. Nom Nom Nom!! Delicious Shrimp and Pork Spring rolls, Coconut Curry Chicken, Egg Rolls, Wontons, brown rice....Side note, if you notice me capitalizing nouns, such as Egg Rolls, please forgive me. I speak German, in German all nouns are capitalized, it has been a difficult habit to break because I rarely notice until someone asks me.
Needless to say I think I stuffed my mouth more than I did on Thanksgiving and felt like I was going to pop!

Christmas gifts rolled around and we really enjoyed getting to see all the kids open their gifts. I am sure everyone knows what we get them because it typically involves us brainwashing my little cousins with Aggie Gear. My heart fluttered in delight when my sister asked my 6 year old cousin where she wanted to go for college and without hesitation, grinning ear-to-ear my cousin blurts out, "Texas A&M College Station!" That's my girl!!!! So proud of her.
Quoted above is Shaye, the cousin on the left. Right is Henry's niece, Ariana.
After my aunt's we hurried on over to my parent's house where we finished up a few family gifts so we could get on the road before too late (it was already 8:30 pm). We had given my parent's their gifts at my aunt's house, however my mom wanted us to open her gifts at her house. Unfortunately, my sister was still at her boyfriend's mom's house and my dad was being a vain toddler who can't think of anyone else other than himself at times, so the gift opening consisted of my mom, Henry, the two Harbor girls visiting and myself. My mom had thoughtfully bought me some wonderful scrapbooking additions, and an amazing wine bottle chandelier!! I had been eyeing one at Pottery Barn, so when I opened the box I was ecstatic to see she had purchased it! They also got my Hubby some more beer brewing supplies to go along with the ones my Aunt Robin and Uncle Warren had earlier given him as a gift. Lot's of home-made beer in our future. Yummy! (I say that in all seriousness too, it's awesome!)

Finally at 9:12 pm, yes 9:12 pm, my mom refused to let us drive off at 9:11 pm, we were on the road to Fort Worth again. We made it home safely around 2 am and crashed. The next morning when we finally rolled out of bed we kept our dogs back so we could scatter their new toys on the floor. We adore watching them scramble out of the bedroom and frantically trying to decide which toy to take for the day. Dunk, the fatty of our two dogs, tried unsuccessfully to cram two new turkey leg shaped rawhides into his mouth and instead settled on plopping down between the two as if to guard them. Tux, my baby baby, has an infatuation with green toys. People say dogs can't see colors but I gaurantee Tux can see green. I take him to PetSmart, throw down a few toys and say, "Get your toy." Tux goes back and forth between toys before settling on one, typically green, and setting it at my feet to let me know that is the one he chooses. I then grab an assortment of colors of the toy of choice, being sure to not use the same original he chose, to see if he again picks the green and he always goes for the green one. So, on Christmas day he had the choice between the first green toy he ever had as a puppy that a lawn mower destroyed, a green rope with green plush squeaky, a blue treat dispensing toy, and a green squeaky snake. Tux proceeded to grab the green squeaky rope and settled on the front door rug. After contemplating for some time, he shoves the rope in his mouth, walks back to the pile and successfully crams the other turkey leg rawhide into his mouth, and goes back to the rug with both. I love our Fuzzy-butt babies!

Henry and I finally began to open each other's presents. I had been so upset because we always do one "big" gift for each other each year. This year my big gift was a pair of Ostrich skin Lucchese's that Henry had been eyeing before we got married. Now I love Cavendar's, however I do not love that the week before Christmas they deliver the Lucchese boots in a opaque Cavender's bag! I did not like getting a text from my hubby with a photo of them on the doorstep. I had literally just got of the phone with them the night before when they called to say they were shipping, and I had specifically told them they were a Christmas gift. Thank youuuu Cavendar's, you dumbass.
So, as to not ruin his gift I had to be creative. I had to pretend I did not get him boots.

We began opening gifts, Henry received a few nice lumberjack shirts, long sleeve, and sweater from Banana Republic. I got two amazing skinny Miss Me jeans and VSX yoga outfits (all matching! He is so good!). We each bought each other 3 new colognes and perfumes. I got a new blingy belt and Vogt sterling silver cuff bracelet and he received a few Nike basketball shorts. Then he hands me a box that had not been under the tree with cowhide wrapping paper from a store called "The Maverick". I had never heard of this store. I anxiously unwrapped the gift wondering what he had bought! I was flabbergasted when I opened the box to see a stunning pair of Old Gringos!!! I had been dying for a pair of Old Gringos, and hadn't even told him this was a pair I adored. It is so nice having a Hubby who knows my style and taste so well. After drooling over my new boots, I decided it was time to hand Henry his boots. He ripped the wrapping paper off the box saying, "I wonder what these could be", with a huge smile on his face. The look on his face was priceless when he revealed the levi's and boot wedge and NOT a pair of Lucchese's. I couldn't resist bursting into laughter. He was SO disappointed they were boots. He looked under the tree to not see anymore gifts and made the most pitiful face. After pulling myself together I told him to hold on, walked into the guest bedroom, and grabbed the gift bag for Henry to open. Sure enough, there in the bag was his brand new boots. He was in love and we couldn't wait to flaunt our new boots.

However, there was one gift Henry had not let me open yet. He gave me a hint saying it was about the size of an iPad mini. I knew it wouldn't be an iPad because he bought me one last year, I was racking my brain trying to figure out what it was. Finally I gave up on guessing and opened the box to reveal a black box with the letters "LOCK" on the outside. Did he seriously get me my own toolbox? What in the world!?
I opened the box to see my very own Glock .40! YEA BUDDY!!! I would have never guessed!

Looking at all the gifts he got me it definitely was different from the years before I knew him. I went from getting wedges and pumps to cowgirl boots, from dresses to jeans, from jewelry to guns. However it is different for him too, he still gets his boots, but instead of camo and ammo, he gets sweaters and button ups. We have really rubbed off on each other, in a good way. It was an amazing Christmas together as Husband and Wife, and I wouldn't have changed one thing.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wedding Romantics

It is time I share some of our amazing wedding photos with you!! 
To start off, I felt I needed to share our Romantics. 

We had such a roller-coaster wedding day, that seeing these pictures post-wedding made all the bad memories fade. I even asked out amazing photographer, Michelle Peyronet, "How in the WORLD did you capture such great wedding photos!?" 

The hair lady they sent had NO IDEA how to do the hairstyle I had requested during my TRIAL RUN and when I booked, caterer forgot napkins, we had rain, followed by great Texas humidity, a tornado watch, my bustle was ripped out right before our first dance, caterer forgot to serve us, guests disappeared to watch a football game in the grooms suite, our get-away limo didn't show, and the list continues. HA! 
So, needless to say, these photos made everything better.

We were very blessed to have the weather let up in time for an amazing sunset. 
The terrible weather created a phenomenal backdrop. <3

Source for all photos: Peyronet Photography
Location: Double Creek Crossing College Station, Texas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

You're Never Too Old

My hubby and I have been Christmas shopping like crazy!!! Before Henry, I probably had ~8 people to shop for. Now that Henry's GINORMOUS family enters the equation we have about 30 people to shop for.

I feel like I am pretty good at "tricking" people who are normally difficult to shop for into telling me without realizing all they want too. Then I secretly take notes, snap a photo here or there and voila my Christmas shopping is miraculously made simple. I always have people asking me what so-and-so wants for Christmas because I typically know what everyone wants.

Case and point: Henry's wonderful mother.

I am truly blessed with a self-less mother-in-law who goes above and beyond for anyone who enters her life, even if only for a day, or a lifetime.

I took her to Apple to fix her laptop, not knowing you needed an appointment. Luckily for me, our appointment was scheduled an hour after we arrived. My MIL loves to cook and is always cooking for the lovely people that stop by their farm last minute, or her husband invites without warning, with a smile on her face.

As we peruse the endless cooking supplies at William-Sonoma I closely listened as she Ooooed and Awwwed at the various items.

Tuesday around noon, Henry's dad starts calling me back to back. Which is unusual, since he typically texts me if he needs something. Once I answer Herman asks, "Do you know what my wife wants for Christmas? I always get her a necklace and she never wears them. I want to get her something nice." I start grinning ear to ear hearing such sincerity and love for my mother-in-law.

I quickly ramble off a list of things I know she wants. He asks if I am willing to go pick the items out because he has no idea what Williams-Sonoma is - GASP! I know! But remember, this is my Country Boys family.

I ask how much I am willing to spend and love his response even more, "No limit, get everything she wanted."

Henry and I head off to get her gifts. As we enter Henry asks me what I intend to get. I list the items and he asks my same question, "How much are you planning to spend?" I respond with a giddy tone, "I don't know, your dad didn't give me a budget." I turn around and give him the biggest smile.

Henry says, "My mom doesn't need a lot of presents. She buys gifts for others now." I turn around shocked by his insensitive statement. "HENRY! Your mom does so much for others! She deserves a great Christmas too! You're never too old for presents! Trust me, she'll be very happy."

Wednesday Herman calls and asks if I am home. He heard Blondie was making Christmas Candy tonight and wants to give her one of the gifts we have been safely been keeping at our house. I rush home and make sure it's ready.

Once they arrive we hand her the ginormous box. Henry, Herman and I wait anxiously for her to tear open the paper to reveal her gift. When she does her face is PRICELESS! She was like a kid in a candy store! It made my heart flutter to see her with so much joy.

Henry proceeds to point out her numerous other gifts being kept safely under our tree. She clasped her hands together, grinning ear to ear says, "All those are for ME!?"
Henry tells her yes and she expresses how she can't wait to see what they are.
After they leave I turn to Henry, "See! I told you your mom loves presents!" Henry smiles, hugs me and tells me he loves me.

I can't wait for Christmas Day!

My Mother-in-law, Blondie, with her brand new KitchenAid Mixer :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Barnes and Noble Customer Service....SUCKS!!

Today I proceed to purchase my Hubby his gifts from Barnes and Noble Online since we finally received our rewards gift cards. I had $250 in B&N gift cards, but unfortunately they sent them in $25 increments. Lame.

I proceed to check out with my $350 order - because you can never spend JUST the gift card amount - and it informs me I can only enter two gift cards per order. TWO?!?!? WTH!? Gjhfhnjgbjkh!!!!

Now there is no way I am going to break this order up into 8 different orders and pay EIGHT different express shipping fees!!
Soooo I call customer service. I should've known the moment I heard the foreign accent this was going to be one of those stereotypical, no-good, terrible, horrible, customer service experiences.

I proceed to explain my dilemma of 10 gift cards, and only allowed three entries, and not wanting to pay excessive express shipping fees.

CSR: "Oh but standard shipping is free so it shouldn't be a problem."

Me: "Um, no, I am doing express shipping and that is not free."

CSR: "Express shipping is free if you are a Barnes and Noble Member."

Me: "Well, I am not a Barnes and Noble member, hence why Express shipping is NOT free and why I don't want to pay 8 separate shipping fees."

CSR: "Ok, well enter in your gift cards."

Me- rolls eyes and clenched jaw "Yes, I have entered in my two allowable gift cards but I still have 8 more to put towards the order. I would like to pay as little out of pocket as possible. Which is why I have called."

We go back and forth because for some odd reason he can't comprehend the number eight. Once he finally understands I have Eight more to apply we continue and he takes each number over the phone to apply to the order.

CSR: "Ok, give me the order number and I will apply the gift cards to your order."

Me: "Where to I find the order number?" Thinking, don't you have to complete the order to be given one!?!?

CSR: "Place the order and it should generate one."

Me: "I must enter a credit card to place the order to cover the remaining balance. It is NOT going to charge the full amount to my credit card if I click 'Place Order' will it?"

CSR: "No, there will still be time between then that I can apply the cards before it charges the remainder to your credit card."

I do so, give him the order number generated and he puts me on hold.

CSR: "It seems you applied your credit card to the remaining balance, so I cannot apply the gift cards without canceling the order and re-submitting it."

You dumbass!!!!! Is that not what I just asked you, you incompetent dipshit!!

Needless to say, I have now expressed to him that I am pissed because that is exactly what I asked prior to doing so and he instructed me to go ahead, and now I being informed the order has to be cancelled, THEN I have to wait 24-48 hours for them to get the cancellation confirmation from my bank to re-do the order.


So now I risk not getting the stuff in time because this flipping idiot has no idea what the hell he is talking about!

I proceed to ask to speak with someone else or a manager and he tells me no because they will only be able to provide the same resolution.
SO NOOOWWWW, I have to wait and go through this process all over again with potentially another dumbass!!!

I am very livid!!

I better get those gifts before Christmas, and I better not have to pay any excessive shipping fees to compensate for the dimwit's mistake I had to deal with! Ugh!!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bachelorette Party - Night {No. 1}

For my bachelorette party, the girls agreed to go to Austin for the weekend. We got two hotel rooms for all the guests invited, each room sleeping 6 girls comfortably, more if needed. 

It was the weekend of a Texas home game, and everything was packed! 

Friday night consisted of my Maid of Honor/Sister, 2 Bridesmaids (Danni and Audrey), and girlfriends, Marina and Ashley. We had intended to have a chill night, sitting in the hotel drinking wine and playing games. However, at the last minute we decided to head to the infamous 6th Street!

Everyone got dressed rather quickly, then we went to call a cab. 
Unfortunately, it was a home game weekend, which meant no last minute cabs available! We waited for about an hour and still no cab. We were getting anxious and restless.
 THEN, in comes Jose. 
Jose waltzes into the hotel completely unaware that 6 girls are about to high-jack him and his van. He asks the front desk if there are any available rooms and is sadly informed they are booked. 
You can tell he was exhausted. 

Our friend Ashley boldly asks Jose, "Hey can you take us to 6th Street?".

Now we are all pretty intelligent women, and have all been raised to never get in the car with strangers. YET here we all were piling into Jose's white van, which wreaked of wet dog, to drive about 10 minutes to 6th Street...or so we hoped. 

Marina, being the most level-headed of the group, snaps a picture of Jose's license plate. She text the picture to her husband letting him know if anything happens, this is what we were last seen in. HAHA. Comforting. 
Ashley and I in Jose's van - No idea why I am so orange?!
Ashley, now officially "Jose's secretary", makes a few phone calls on the way and reserves Jose a hotel room on the path to his home-town on the outskirts of Austin.

We arrive safely at 6th Street! 

Ashley was the best to have around that night. She would walk right up to a bar, the door guy of course wants a bunch of girls in his bar/club, and offers us "$3 shots, $2 shots, $1 shots".....
"No Deal!" Ashley says and we all walk off. 
Without fail, the door guy yells after us, "FREE SHOTS! FREE SHOTS!"
"DEAL!" replies Ashley. 
We all turn around, go into the bar/club, take our free shots, dance a song or two, and out we go to the next bar where the exact scenario repeats until the end of the night. 

We took entirely too many alcoholic drinks in the short 1-2 hours we were there. 

One bar we chose to go into had a bachelor party. Of course bachelor parties and bachelorette parties have to mesh! 
As soon they recognize the bachelorette party the guys are all yelling, "Heeeeyyy!" 
Then like a lightening bolt, out dashes the groom!!! Out of the bar, into the street, out of sight. 
Ummmmmm? Is he ok!?
None of the groomsmen or friends are phased and continue on with their drinking. Great friends!

Ashley finds a chair somewhere and the lap dances begin! 
I was completely shocked! As you can see from my facial expressions haha!
Ashley begins the lap dances, followed by the rest of the bachelorettes, then came the groomsmen of the other party and a few randoms. 
It was absolutely hilarious. 99.9% of guys have absolutely no rhythm what-so-ever, but you can bet your bottom these guys were giving it their all. 
At least they tried. :-P

The last bar we ended in was quite interesting. I had some very flamboyant guy hip bumping me most of the night, another guy was promising my sister the world and love at first sight, then another we were pretty sure was trying to slip my soon-to-be-sister-in-law a drugged drink. 
Did I mention all three of those guys were in the same group?
They were quite weird. Yet we got quite a few laughs out of them, and free drinks.
The guy promising my sister the world bought me TWO GINORMOUS Jager-bombs. 
That was entirely way too much Jager.
I entrusted my always faithful girlfriend, Danni, to help me down these Jager-Bombs.
She is such a trooper!! I adore her!

After the Jager-Bombs, it was GOOOOODNIGHT. 
That was the icing on the cake.

We walked around trying to find a cab, and yet again none were available. It took us near two hours to get back to the hotel. We were beat.

In hind-sight, we should've played the games. HA! 
It would've been much better for our health.