Sweet Mashed Potatoes

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Sweet Mashed Potatoes. YUM.

I bought a box of fresh cut sweet potatoes – I’m not good with sharp knives.

Boil diced sweet potatoes until they are soft. This took about 25 minutes on medium heat.

Drain potatoes and pour them into a mixing bowl.

Add some butter, some (I used soy) milk, and some cinnamon.



Took 30 minutes, and was totally filling!


how I feel about kale.

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Kale is green. a vegetable. Say it with me now: veg-tuh-bull.

YUM! Tonight I poured  can of HT Traders Vodka Sauce into a blender. Added a bit of garlic powder, a bit of Italian seasoning, and two big handfulls of KALE! Served over Barilla Whole Grain Pasta.

And SURPRISE! It was good.

Now, the pasta sauce did turn this… ick looking brown color. Looked slightly questionable.

But I ate it and just thought… wedding dress… wedding dress…


One idea… $16B payoff.

I’ve often thought… if I can just find that one idea, that one thing that everyone will have to have, I could have my own business

And I’ve tried! Mostly just with the app… that kinda failed… but you have to try!! What if this app had failed? I’m sure they hit their road blocks along the way, but you find an alternative route and keep going. And they just sold for $16B.

Just a thought…

Found this article on NBCNews :)

WhatsApp? What’s That? And Why Is It Worth $16 Billion?



Facebook announced Wednesday that it is buying WhatsApp, the company and app that offers unlimited messaging on mobile devices for 99 cents a year. And anyone might blink at the price being paid: cash and stock amounting to about $16 billion, plus another potential $3 billion in restricted stock. How did such a small company with just one product get to be worth so much? Let’s look at the timeline.

  • June 2009 – WhatsApp is launched by former Yahoo! employees Brian Acton and Jan Coum. The market for data-based messaging is heating up as smartphones proliferate and mobile users begin to resent expensive SMS fees. Why pay $5 a month when $0.99 a year will do?
  • April 2011 – $8 million from investors keeps the lights on and updates coming. WhatsApp is competing with data-based messaging companies worldwide to have the best app on the most platforms.
  • October 2011 – Users of WhatsApp sending a billion messages per day.
  • August 2012 – Users of WhatsApp sending 10 billion messages per day.
  • April 2013 – Google rumored to have made $1 billion offer for WhatsApp.
  • June 2013 – Users of WhatsApp sending 27 billion messages per day.
  • August 2013 – WhatsApp adds voice messages in chats.
  • December 2013 – More than 400 million active users of WhatsApp, many in Europe, Asia, and developing countries.
  • January 2014 – At a conference, CEO Coum says: “It’s not hard to sell a company, but if you look at companies today like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter, they didn’t sell. They stuck around and built a great offering for users. For us it’s about a company that is here to stay.”
  • February 2014 – Facebook announces purchase of WhatsApp — now with 450 million active users — for roughly $16 billion.

There’s no magic bullet here except that WhatsApp got into the SMS alternative market early, stuck with it and stood by their “No ads, no games, no gimmicks” motto. With 99 cents coming in from every user (after the first year, which is free), they were also making more than enough money to continue growing and developing.

Is it the best $16 billion Facebook ever spent? Only time will tell — but in the meantime, as with Instagram, they’ve bought themselves an up-and-coming company and disabled a powerful competitor.

First published February 19th 2014, 6:14 pm

Hi I’m planning a wedding, and I’m a control freak.

Hi, my name is Annalee and I am a control freak.

I’m planning a wedding, and I am a control freak. Blanket apologies in advance to everyone in the wedding party. I’ve got everything picked out. Right down to the toe-nail polish. For the bridesmaids.

I thank God every day that I have my LauraBell by my side for wedding planning. I don’t know where I would be without her! So there’s my first bit of advice….

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1) Get someone to help you. Preferably this person has planned a wedding before, maybe even their own! It’s awesome when this person turns out to be your Maid of Honor, and becomes your go-to-gal anyway. And, there’s no opinion I trust more than hers. She’s also the only person that can look at me and say, Hey. You’re being a control freak. Calm down.

2) Get the big things done first. You can’t plan where tables will go if you don’t have a venue. You can’t pick out bridesmaid’s shoes when you don’t know your wedding colors. Can’t send save the dates without pictures! Which means you need a photographer! You don’t necessarily need to know every detail of your wedding to book the important guys. Here’s who I booked first…

  • The Venue. This was first. If it’s too big? More dancing room. Too small? Forces you to cut down on the guest list. Win win. Pick a beautiful place that you love. Check!
  • The Photographer. You want a photographer that will be there for the engagement pictures, the bridal portraits, and the wedding day. And it’s even better when you find a photographer that you feel like you could be best friends with.
  • The Caterer. It helps when friends recommend someone. It helps when all of your friends recommend that same someone! You don’t need to know how many guests you will have to book the caterer. Just give them your date, and work out the details later!
  • The Clothes. Not completely necessary. We have plenty of time. But there’s something reassuring about having 8 more months to make sure that all the dresses fit. The shoes are in. The suits are put together and actually match. This gives me time to check in on the boys every other month or so and see to it that they ordered what we picked. Actually that first check in is coming up.

3) Relax. I don’t work on the wedding every day. Sometimes I’ll go a week with nothing crossed off the to-do list. But don’t you worry – it’s always on  my mind! Good song on the radio – I’ve gotta add that to the playlist. Cute idea on pinterest? Well, those will never end, but it sure gives me ideas! It also gets me thinking about things I never even thought of. Plus, now I have a running excuse for needing a massage…

4) Google docs. Just do it. Not only can you share these with key wedding planning helpers, but no matter where you are or what device you’re on, you can edit the documents at any time. Song playlists, wedding party info, vendor info, and the endless idea list. Google docs. I swear by it.

I’m sure I’ll have more tips and tricks as time goes on. But for now, I’m just having WAY too much fun! I could totally plan weddings full time, if that’s all I had to do. There’s so much joy, so much excitement.

And goodness, when I’m working on the wedding, I think of this man. And that just makes me feel perfect.

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(PS. Aren’t our photographers amazing?! Check ’em out!!! MagnoliaPhotographyNC.com)

10 things… you don’t want to hear when planning your wedding.

In trying to hack on the long list of wedding-to-do’s, I found this gem of an article, clearly written by a brilliant smarty-pants who is a bit ahead of me. I’ve already heard a few of these things, can’t wait to see what’s next!

But seriously, wedding planning has been SO FUN! Marshall might go crazy with my kitchen-table-takeover, but like he (jokingly) said, “Hey I got you the ring, the rest is up to you!”

Nice try, Marsh :) You get to help, too!

After getting frustrated with hair and make-up choices, I finally sent this picture to Bethany at the salon and said "You know what, just make me look like Kate". God bless a girl who can answer with "Oh honey, that we can do! Don't you worry!"

After getting frustrated with hair and make-up choices, I finally sent this picture to Bethany at the salon and said “You know what, just make me look like Kate”. God bless a girl who can answer with “Oh honey, that we can do! Don’t you worry!”

10 things… you don’t want to hear when planning your wedding

Published on 16th Jan 2014 By Katie Byrne

From back-handed compliments to plain insults, here’s how to handle every negative conversation scenario

1. “Wow, I’d never have the confidence to wear a dress like that.”

Rational side of brain: this is totally intended as a compliment. We think. Irrational, over-ruling side of brain: OMG, what’s wrong with my dress?!

You chose your dress for a reason – because you love it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – and chances are, it was meant in a positive way anyway!

2. “You talk about weddings. Way. Too. Much…”

Whilst we kind-of admire anyone who can be this brutally honest, we’re also rather at a loss. Why can our so-called BFF not understand that we only (hopefully) get married once, and want to talk about our plans until the cows come home? We were more than supportive when she tied the knot – and even took calls from her at 11pm about table plan dilemmas. Hmph.

3. “Ha – I never thought I’d see the day Colin went up the aisle!”

Hearing about your husband-to-be’s playboy past is never pleasant. But by the time you’re due to get married, you should know all about each other’s pasts (playboy or otherwise), so don’t let any last-minute stirring upset you. Shrug it off and jokingly refer to him as ‘Hef’.

4. “Wow, I’ve never known someone spend so much on flowers!”

Wow, we’ve never known someone take so such an interest in our floral budget! The last thing you need when planning your wedding day is someone judging the amount you’re spending. You and your groom have worked out how much you can spend on each area of your celebration – so get on with it, in style.

5. “Why can’t I bring a plus one?”

Because as you’ve already spotted, we’re spending all our money on flowers and simply don’t have the budget to cater for random extras. You’ll know lots of people who are there anyway – don’t make us feel guilty!

6. “Can I be a bridesmaid?”

Chances are you’ve already picked your bridesmaids – leaving you feeling rather awkward as you try to find the politest way to say ‘no’. Good luck with that one.

7. “Why are you making such a fuss? It’s not as if you’re not the first person to get married.”

Shrewd observation, Sherlock – but regardless whether you’re the first person or the zillionth person to say ‘I do’, it’s still your special day.

8. “Er – can I get back to you about my RSVP? I’m not sure what I’m doing that day yet…”

The guest who is perpetually waiting for a better offer is ridiculously irritating. You love him/her and all, but you can’t believe they would be so selfish as to imply they might not be able to make it to your wedding day. You have a table plan to sort out – and beside, what offer could they possibly receive that will be better than your wedding?

9. “You’re giving those, for favours? Really? Who’s going to want them?”

There is no response to this one. Don’t engage; just sneeze and pretend you didn’t hear it. On the big day, make sure your friend has a double-helping of whatever the favour is.

10. “Whereabouts is the church? I think we’re 10 minutes away…”

You’re literally minutes away from getting married and someone is ringing you for directions. Do you look like some kind of AA helpline? Hang up. (Or pass the phone over to someone who isn’t, you know, getting married. Totally your call.)

Well I’m stuck on the couch with the flu. So I spent the day looking for videos that make me happy. Enjoy!


Took a shot at Squash Casserole. #ToBeMrsT

Here’s the problem with my cooking, I don’t measure anything!! Here’s my best shot at the “recipe” I just created to make a delicious squash casserole!!

1) Saute 1 large onion, with 1 bag of (frozen but thawed) squash.

2) While those cook, add Cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese to a mixing bowl. About a handful of cheese total. Also two teaspoon scoops of sour cream. Pepper and garlic powder to taste.

3) Add cooked squash and onions to the mixing bowl, and stir.

4) Place casserole into a baking dish, and top with crushed ritz crackers.

5) Bake at 350F for 20 minutes!

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