Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up, Columbus, Mississippi Day-Trip (Couples Version AND Kid Version)

Good Monday evening!

Lots of pictures today...

As well as, a new section called NUGGETS AND TIDBITS...

Which is exactly like RANDOMNESS except it only merits one or two sentences...

And sometimes a pic or two.

NUGGETS AND TIDBITS - See what I mean. The pic below of Roxie and Hunter is excellent, but it doesn't deserve a whole RANDOMNESS to itself.

Thus, it will be forever known as my FIRST NUGGET AND TIDBIT...


RANDOMNESS #1 - On February 1, we always celebrate my Dad's birthday by partaking of his favorite meal (breakfast casserole, cheese grits and other breakfasty things).

This was the first time Katie was unable to be present because of being married and moving to Texas and all, so I think one of the highlights of the day was getting to Skype with Katie and T. J.

Austin and Melia.

Roxie and Zac.

A little over-Uncle-Mikie's-shoulder pose.

While Katie seemed thrilled to see the family, she was the most excited to see and talk to me...

Because I am like the World's Most Favorite Aunt...

And she quite possibly misses me a little more than other family members.

It's our little secret, but I know it to be true.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Basketball 2014-2015 is now a thing of the past. The girls were wonderful, and the games were fun, but we are moving onward and upward.

And when I say onward and upward, I mean Prom and Graduation have kind of taken over at this point in our lives.

As it should.

Brook, Kalan, Roxie and Joy.

Sweet, sweet chicks.

I'll miss Roxie's ponytail in the huddle. I love the basketball ponytail.

RANDOMNESS #3 - I decided to have one last Faulkner Family Valentine's Day Banquet, and it was thrown together rather quickly.

So quickly, none of us were really picture-worthy, but we enjoyed all the fixings, nonetheless.

So quickly, the main dish was not colored pink as our tradition dictates, but that was okay. Chicken Alfredo tastes better when it is ecru and not a version of red.

And I hoped the fruit salad with all of the strawberries would make up for the overall paleness of some of the other menu items.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Mr. Faulkner turned 88 February 15, and so we made the pilgrimage to Oxford, Alabama for a little birthday celebration as soon as church was over.

You'll notice, I don't have a pic of Mr. Faulkner. Too many cute babies running around, I guess.

But I am pretty sure he had a very nice birthday.



Lauren in the Eno.

Roxie, Matthew and Lauren.

The more, the merrier.

Just Lauren.

Just Matthew.

And I was right.

No "Mr. Faulkner" pics anywhere!

RANDOMNESS #5- Austin turned 24 today, February 23, but we celebrated his birthday at the Original Pancake House bright and early Saturday morning.

Austin with his annual orange sodas...

And some very, very thin flapjacks.

Austin and Roxie.

Austin and Melia.

RANDOMNESS #6 - I told you February was a BIG birthday month for our family. We went home after Austin's breakfast, but we met back together a few hours later for Zac's birthday party at Moe's Southwest Grill (his favorite) Saturday night.

Roxie, Katie and Zac.



Tommy and Zac.

Zac, Katie and T. J.

Columbus, Mississippi Day Trip - Couples

Okay. Mikie and I decided to take a little "two-hour or less" day trip on Valentine's Day.

It was warm, breezy...

A very un-February-like day.

Our two choices were Chattanooga, Tennessee (2 hours, 5 minutes) OR Columbus, Mississippi (1 hour, 52 minutes).

I did my research, and in the end, we decided on Columbus.

Because it was such a pretty day, The Riverwalk called our name. We would definitely "do" this part of the trip again...

Especially in the Spring and/or Fall.

Columbus also has a really pretty Historic District. You can take a home tour or two, but you have to let them know in advance...

So definitely next time.

And we want to do the Horse and Buggy Tour through the Historic District next time, too.

Such a pretty horse.

I would need to research it, but The Painted Lady Bed and Breakfast in the middle of the Historic District was very pretty and well-kept on the outside.

And it was within walking district to several restaurants and coffee houses...

And The Riverwalk.

The Coffee House on 5th was very eclectic. Great coffee drinks AND Decadent Desserts are served Fridays and Saturdays.

They also had board games on shelves when you walked in, so if you were in the mood, you could pass some time sipping coffee and playing a game or two.

Columbus, Mississippi - With the Kiddos

If Mike and I had gone "back in the day" when the kids were small, we would have tried the following:

1. The Riverwalk - This is a great place to take kids. Plenty of room to take a stroller if they are super little, and open enough to let the older kids get ahead of you a little bit before having to call them back.

There are also picnic tables AND wide open spaces for a blanket picnic, etc.

2. The Alabama Museum of Natural History - This is located in Tuscaloosa, so we would have stopped there for a couple of hours coming OR going. (I love Museums of Natural History.)

3. United Deli and Grocery - I would have tried this restaurant when the kids were small. It is highly rated by www.tripadvisor.com AND it is a sandwich shop. I know I could have found something for each of my kids to eat (and like) at a place like this, I think.

Have a fantastic rest of the week. Stay warm, and I will talk with you very, very soon.


The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wrapping up January AND Parmesan Chicken Bake

Good Tuesday afternoon!

I'm going to answer a question or two today.

I am going to post a new recipe today.

I am going to share a few pics and goings-on from January and February today.

Needless to say, today's post is going to be mighty lengthy!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Back in October of 2014, I wore my very first Mother-of-the-Groom dress at Austin and Melia's wedding.

Paula, Dawn, Tonya, ME, LeAnna, Dee and Jenny...

Some of the sweetest friends I have ever known.

This is a picture of me AND my dress at the reception.

As you can see, it was not really a color...

Which in my experience is a good thing because I wear non-colors really, really well.

It was comfortable.

It was not too hot (which is a miracle these days).

I didn't have to pull at it all day either.

It was basically a pretty non-color jacket dress which covered all the right places and had the ability to sparkle just enough to make it a "special" dress.

Will I wear it again?

I don't know, but it is nice to know such a frock is hanging in the back of my closet for any and all events which call for "just the right" dress.

We should all be so lucky.

Am I right?

RANDOMNESS #2 - Did y'all remember my niece, Katie, got married in January?

Did y'all?

Well, she did.

Our little family unit (Grandmother, Bev, Katie, Roxie, Stephanie, Melia AND The Enchanting Belinda) met at DIY Crafts in Homewood to make Katie a one-of-a-kind mug set to take with her and T. J. to Texas.

The rules were simple.

Katie picked out five colors from her kitchen color pallet (dark brown, dark cream and three different blues).

Everyone was given a mug.

Everyone painted their own design on their mug.

And it worked out very well.

DIY Crafts in Homewood is a fun place to go. It is colorful, cozy and party-friendly.

They even let me take in a cooler of bottled waters and boxed lunches. (I made chicken salad sandwiches, brownies and fruit salad for everyone to munch on while we worked.)

Katie got right to work.

Stephanie didn't even have to think about her design. She's our Chevron-Stripe Girl... and she pulled all of the colors together on one mug.

It wasn't a stencil exactly, but if you rubbed your finger in paint AND then rubbed over the design...

Well, it was pretty amazing.





The finished mug set.

And a couple of close-ups.

RANDOMNESS #3 - In sports, it is customary to have a Senior Night toward the end of each season. Our Varsity Basketball Senior Night arrived, and Mike and I walked The Chick out to the middle of the basketball court.

It was sweet...

And sad...

And special...

And I am glad Mike and I were able to link arms with Miss Roxie and accompany her on this part of her High School Journey.

Me, Roxie and Mikie.

Sniff, sniff.

Hannah, Alyssa, Roxie, Ragan and Ally after the game.

Kelci and Jason.

Kelci and Roxie have been together since the beginning of their basketball career in Middle School, and they were the only two Seniors on the team this year.

The Big Heads absolutely made my day.

Roxie and Hunter.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Katie's wedding day finally arrived bright and sunny and pretty warm for a January 17.

Roxie and I met up with Katie the morning of her wedding for make-up and hair.

Natasha is the best hair and make-up chick in the land.

I am NOT kidding.

One of these days, I am going to let her get ahold of me...

And you better believe there will be some selfies on social media THAT day!

As the minutes rolled on, Katie started looking good enough for a selfie herself.

Getting better and better!

Big brother Brad and Katie.

T. J. and Katie getting ready to leave the church.

A balloon release.

After it was all over, I took a couple of shots of the people standing around me.

Austin giving Roxie a brotherly bear hug.

Mike photobombing (again) a sweet husband and wife shot.

A sweet husband and wife shot after I had Mikie physically removed.

Parmesan Chicken Bake

Forgive me if I have already posted this once before, but it is just SO good and SO easy and SO delicious.

Basically, everything I look for in a recipe.

1 pound chicken tenderloin
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, plus more for the top
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray the inside of a 9" x 13" glass pan. Lay the chicken inside the pan.

2. Mix together the remaining ingredients and spread evenly over each piece of chicken, being sure to cover all the exposed raw meat. Sprinkle on a bit more fresh Parmesan.

3. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

This has become a Faulkner Family Favorite...

Which is rare!

Have an excellent rest of the week. As of this moment, I am planning on being here Friday with some Valentine's Day ideas, Weekend Happenings and a couple of pics.

Take care, and I'll talk to you soon.


The Enchanting Belinda
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