Sunday, May 29, 2011

The tassel was worth all the hassle!

Yesterday, my niece, Jessica, graduated high school!!  It was a bit of a long, winding, uphill-all-the-way road but she did it and I am so, so proud of her!  

We had a cookout graduation party for her yesterday afternoon and had barbecue chicken, 'tater salad, baked beans, chips, cake, brownies and cute, cute, cute little Reese peanut butter cup graduation caps that Ami made.

It was such a beautiful day!!  

I honestly do not know where the years have gone.  I mean, I was there, I lived 'em, but they went by sooooo fast!!  It seems like just last week, she was just learning to walk and toddled toward me just as I snapped the picture.  Wasn't that just last week??

I love you, Jess.
More than you will ever know.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday!

If I could get away somewhere for the weekend, I would go to the beach and I would bring my toothbrush, baby sunblock and that book I'm STILL reading.

Something I often rant about is that barking dog next door.  Grrrr.  And woof!

One item I need to have in my fridge at all times is A-1 steak sauce.  I eat it with everything!

My "life-saving" product is Burt's Bees lip balm.  I keep a tube in my pocketbook, one in my makeup bag, one in my nightstand drawer and one in my desk drawer at work. I'm never far from a lip balm fix!

A friend is someone you could go years without seeing and then pick right up where you left off

If I could write my own blank, it would be:  One thing I must have in my dream house is ____________________________.  My answer to that would be a ridiculously huge walk-in pantry.

My favorite kind of art is 60's hippie folk art.  Peace signs, a Woodstock poster, an Andy Warhol print, vintage photography, that kind of thing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garden update

I planted my little garden late, three weeks ago today, and this is where we are now!

I've got Big Boy and Celebrity tomatoes, banana peppers and strawberries. 

I hope to see a bloom on this one soon!!  :)

More 'maters gettin' strong

Banana peppers gettin' tall

Baby strawberries just chillin'

Saturday, May 21, 2011


A new Aldi Food Market opened up here last week and I went to check it out this afternoon.  I just needed a few things, some milk and bread and produce stuff.  

I was very impressed!  It's a very different concept than we're used to.  You pay a quarter to get your buggy and get your quarter back when you return your buggy to the stalls.  No loose buggies rolling around hitting cars!!  Pay attention, Kroger.  

You also bag your own stuff.  They sell paper bags for 6 cents and plastic bags for 10 cents and I LOVE THAT.  I wish every store charged for plastic bags.  I keep cloth bags in the trunk of my car for groceries so I was totally prepared to bag and carry my stuff out to the car.  After all, I have shopped at IKEA.  :)

Here's a pic of some of my Aldi finds!!

A loaf of wheat bread for 25 cents!
A bunch of bananas for 15 cents!
A bag of navel oranges for 79 cents!

I spent $30 altogether but I got a LOT of stuff!!  All in all, I give our new Aldi Food Market a big old thumbs up!  It was super clean, easy to find stuff, very SIMPLE in its concept.  I loved it.  And I'll be baaaaaaaack.  (That's my ARNOLD THE DOG impersonation.  Don't even get me started on that train wreck.  Arrrrrrggggggh.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Captain Jack is back!

I went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie today after work. Even though it's opening day, I was still surprised to find the theater packed at 5:30! It's already surpassed POTC #3 by 50% and it's only been showing since midnight. 

I really loved it. I really love me some Captain Jack Sparrow, though, so just to watch him for two hours is entertainment enough for me. 


The story was pretty cool this time.  The mermaids were my favorite part!
They were soooooo beautiful!!  I have a feeling that mermaids are really gonna take off in the next year or so.  We have done vampires to DEATH (ha!) and I think mermaids are gonna be the next big thing.  Larry and I even have a mermaid love story we've been kicking around.  Who knows?  I love mermaids, too, really any sea creature.  There's lots of potential there!  

The whole plot of the movie was around finding the Fountain of Youth.  The Spaniards were superfine, too!!  Just beauty, beauty, beauty for the whole two hours. Unless you count the swabbies on the ship!

When I was little, Mama and Daddy took me and Ricky to St. Augustine, Florida, on one of our many summer trips to Florida's beaches, and we went to the Fountain of Youth.  I remember walking down into that cool, damp cave and drinking right from the spring.  We even brought little bottles of it home with us.

Now that I'm almost 44, I sho' wish I had one of those little bottles.  :)

Go see Captain Jack this weekend if you can.  Savvy?

Fill in the blank Friday!

People always tell me that I look like my daddy or his sisters.  I think they're right.

Friends don't let friends walk around with stuff in their teeth.

A sunny day is perfect for planting flowers, drinking sweet tea on the porch, getting some ice cream or going to the beach.  I LOVE summer and sunny days!!

My favorite accessory is earrings I wear earrings and usually no other jewelry except for my wedding band, engagement ring and occasionally, Larry's old Army dog tag.  I also have a little stretchy pearl bracelet that I like to wear a lot, too.

If I could afford it, I would buy a little whitewashed cottage eight steps from the ocean.

The cure for boredom is the internet.  You can always find something to read, learn or play on the internet.  I love Facebook and writing about my life on this blog.  I just recently discovered Pinterest (thanks to Ami!), too, and I've had fun "pinning" things I like and things that make me literally bust out laughing.  Like Lionel Richie on a missing person poster that says, "Hello? Is it me you're looking for??"  Bwah!!

I am currently in like with smoothies!  We started making them this week at the office.  They are so easy and so good and usually just 3 points!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Something Borrowed

I went to see this movie last night with Michelle and Lisa from work.  If you're looking for a funny, heartwarming chick flick, go see this movie.  You won't be sorry.  Just the scene where Rachel and Darcy dance to Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" is worth the ticket price.  Hilarious!!  Oh, and Colin Egglesfield and John Krasinski ain't hard to look at neither.  This is the summary!

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a talented attorney at a top New York law firm, a generous and loyal friend, and, unhappily, still single-as her engaged best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson) is constantly reminding her. But after celebrating her 30th birthday, perpetual good girl Rachel unexpectedly ends up in the arms of the guy she's had a crush on since law school, Dex (Colin Egglesfield)...who just happens to be Darcy's fiancĂ©.  

As one thing leads to another in the frantic weeks leading up to Darcy's wedding, Rachel finds herself in an impossible situation, caught between her treasured friendship with Darcy and the love of her life.  Meanwhile, Ethan (John Krasinski), Rachel's constant confidante and sometimes conscience, is busy evading the affection of Darcy's hopelessly love-struck friend Claire (Ashley Williams) while harboring a secret crush of his own and the charming and irrepressible Marcus (Steve Howey) has designs on Rachel that don't necessarily exclude any other woman who catches his eye.
Apparently, there's a book this movie was based on that I missed somehow.  I was in Kroger last night getting my stuff for the buffalo chicken dip I made for today and I saw the second book in the series, Something Blue.  So I'm guessing there'll be a part two of this movie.

Good.  You're kinda left hanging at the end.  I hate when they do that.  :)

Partay at the office

Today is our nurse, Michelle's birthday and we had a little party for her at the office!  I love birthdays at the office!!  We eat ALL the dang time but on birthdays, well, just look.

Chocolate ganache cake that Lisa P. brought

Seriously, how ridiculous is this CAKE??
Them little things stickin' up on top??  Chocolate!

We started Weight Watchers last Wednesday and we figure points like crazy women.  We all wanted a sliver of this cake so I crunched the numbers and came up with 11 points for a 16th of the cake.  That's a lot of points for a SLIVER.  Good grief.  I ended up eating half a sliver and then walking with Lisa S. during our lunch hour to make up for it!  Ha!

Bananas and strawberries for smoothies...that they're making WITHOUT ME 'cause I'm off this afternoon.  I will get one tomorrow, though, by cracky!

Buffalo chicken dip that I made Weight Watchers style,
3 points for a 1/2 cup!

We also had a huge bowl of fresh seasonal fruit, melons, strawberries, red grapes and pineapple that Norma brought but by the time I got around to taking pictures, that fruit was gone!  Fruit = 0 points.  Ha!

I don't know how WW is going to work for me but it's something new and exciting and I'm gonna try.  I did South Beach last year and was pretty successful, I lost almost 60 pounds, but I've been stuck for a while and I think I just need new motivation.  A new program to jump start my weight loss again.  I really would love to lose 30-40 more pounds so we'll see how this goes this summer.  It's the easiest program I've ever been on and not nearly as restrictive as South Beach or Atkins.

And Good Lord, if you can have chocolate ganache cake, that sounds like THE plan to me!!

Happy Birthday, Michelle!!  We're happy to have you with us!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

"His name was Jason and today is his birthday."

I couldn't let this day go by without giving props to my buddy, Jason.

I LOVEDDDDDDDD these movies and although the sequels got a little ridiculous, I saw them all.

I remember being in the theater in Americus with a bunch of other teenagers and all of us cheering and screaming when he first appeared on the screen.

I also remember running like a big dog was chasing me from the car to the front porch when I got home!

Fill in the blank Friday!

If I had to give three words to describe why I am most undoubtedly a Hall, they would be loyal, funny and protective.

Something that happened to me that initially seemed bad but turned out to be good was buying my home.  I looked at one that I thought was THE ONE but it was purchased for cash before I could get to the bank and get the loan.  I was devastated.  Until a week later when I walked into the one I bought.  I knew I was home.

One thing I inherited from my mama is my mouth.  And no, not the shape of it.  :)

One thing I inherited from my daddy are my brown eyes.  I guess that's TWO things I got from my daddy!!  Ha!!

My goal for the summer is to lose 20 pounds.  I have about 40 that I would love to lose and I'm hoping to drop half of that this summer.  I've dilly-dallied long enough!!

The best thing about this week is IT'S OVAH!!  :)  I did get $2,500 in Pell grant money for next school year, though, this week.  Wooo hoooo!!

Something I couldn't give up if I tried is the internet.  And Facebook.  It's how I visit my family and friends!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dirt road home

I grew up on a dirt road in an entire neighborhood of dirt roads. They were all around us. I remember long summer days walking those dusty, red roads with Odie and Reckless and Copper and Bull and all the other dogs we had over the years along with my brother and sister and all the neighborhood kids, I remember being so excited when it rained 'cause I knew the road scraper would come and dig us a deep ditch to play in and I remember learning to drive on those roads.  I remember one night driving by myself when I probably shouldn't have been driving by myself and ending up in one of those ditches and my daddy had to get somebody to help him pull me out.  I remember days spent playing in the ditch, building forts and houses and playing dolls and Barbies with my sister when she got old enough to play and playing war with my brother.  The road scraper made the BEST dirt clods ever!!  Only Daddy wouldn't let us throw them at each other because they might have had rocks in them we couldn't see.  To this day when I see a dirt clod, I think that it might have a rock in it.  :)

What's sad is I don't see very many dirt clods anymore.  I don't see very many dirt roads anymore.  I've been living in the city for eight years now and part of me yearns for the country.  (The part of me that has to live beside the MOON, especially)

I miss it.  

Mama and Daddy live on a paved road but there is a dirt road that leads to it.  You have to go out of your way to get to it but I did that yesterday.  Went out of my way.  On purpose.  :)

This is me driving and taking a picture with my cell phone at the same time. It's a wonder Daddy didn't have to get somebody to help him pull me out of the ditch!

Mama's day

We had a wonderful day loving on Mama and Daddy yesterday.  Here are a few pictures!  Mama got some great presents, a beautiful iron trellis and a cute little terracotta red bird statue to put out in her garden from Ami and Brian and I gave her two pretty summer gowns.  

The food was awesome and the company was even better!

Mama made me some chicken and rice!!  
I told her I didn't blog about it to get her to make me some 
but I'm SO glad she did.  Look at it.  It tastes every bit as good.  Dang.

Me and Mama on the back porch

Pretty flower centerpiece Mama made

The Hall Five (you know, like The Jackson Five only not.  Ha!)
L to R, Ami, Mama, Ricky, Daddy and me on the steps

More pretty flowers in Mama and Daddy's backyard
Gorgeous dahlia!

Another beautiful amaryllis!

***I don't even take pictures anymore because Ami and Brian do such a fabulous job capturing our family get-togethers.  I just wanted to give them credit for these amazing pictures!!  Thanks, y'all, for taking them and for not fussing when I steal them for my blog!!  :)***

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The world is your canvas...

I love this!! Juliana Santacruz Herrera decided some of the streets in Paris were too gloomy and potholey so she filled them with gorgeous colorful strands of yarn!

I think the contrast of the colors against the gray of the streets as well as the sentiment are just beautiful.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday!

What I love most about my home is how I feel when I walk in and close the door behind me.  Also I love my sofa.  A lot.

I'm excited because I get to see all the people I love most in this world this weekend!

My preferred method of blowing off steam when I'm frustrated is cleaning my bathrooms, preferably with some yummy green lemony concoction.

Currently I am craving absolutely nothing! 

The thing I love most about my mom is how no one is a stranger to her.  I love so much about my mama and to actually list ONE thing is tough.  She knows everybody.  And if she doesn't know you, she knows your mama.  She loves everybody, mothers everybody and will absolutely drop everything to help somebody when they need her.  She's amazing.

If I was going to write a book about my life, the title would be All You Need Is Love.

If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be my mama's chicken and rice.  I've watched her make it a thousand times, I have the recipe and yet I cannot make it like she can.  It's HER.  Again, she's amazing.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lovely lavender

I planted tomatoes, banana peppers and strawberries this afternoon in the sunniest little spot in my backyard.  I'm trying again!!!  The entire time I was digging and planting and patting and loving and watering, I could hear the trees just'a laughing. Sucka!

I may not get much sun in my yard but I get quite a bit on my front porch so I bought this beautiful lavender plant to go in my front porch pot.  It is gorgeous and smells like wonderful purply heaven.