Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can't keep the kids (or yourself) in bed on Christmas Eve?

Every year when I was a kid, I didn't even sleep on Christmas Eve.
When we came home from our Christmas Eve party with our family, we opened one gift each. My brother, John David, and I, made apple cider with our grandmother while my parents set out the cookies and milk. We'd play with the gifts we opened and do last minute preparations. Around 10:30 on Christmas Eve, my grandmother and grandfather would go to sleep in our guest room and I would sleep on the futon in my room. I had a bed, but I thought it was so cool to sleep on the futon!

I could never sleep! I would lay awake and play on my iPod Touch. I would get up around 1:00, run downstairs, and look at all my gifts! Then I would crash on the couch or chaise lounge until my brother or parents got up.

I just read these a few days ago, and decided to make it into a game/relay race to play with my family before we go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

The winner of the game/relay race will win 'snowman poop' and 'coal' a.k.a marshmallow and Hershey's kisses.

Christmas Funny: Last year, my dad got my husband coal and switches! He got him a REAL bag of coal! His friend from college's son-in-law's friend's son (Got that?)  is a miner! And my mom's co-worker's son owns the town's main electric company, and he gave us a bag of light switches. It was the funniest thing ever!

Meri V

My Wonderfully Messed Up Blog.

OK, I put my question on the Google Blogger Help Forum thingy. And they never replied!

So, I'm putting all my trust in my wonderful readers!

How do I read a message that you have sent me? It doesn't show up in my email and it's not a comment!?

Please comment or send me an email at

Meri V

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Leslie Sansone!

Remember her? I didn't.
I was going through my mom's craft closet; looking for some ribbon to put on a gift. Right in front of the ribbon was one yellow DVD case. "Why does she have this exercise DVD?", I thought. "Burn 600 calories per workout?!? Goodness!" I took it into her living room, slid it into the DVD player, and grabbed the workout belt thingy that I found under the case. I was two miles into the workout when my mom walked in. "Honey, what are you doing?",she asked with her sweet little voice. "Working out! I found this in your closet!", I replied while doing kickbacks and sweating like crazy (I was wearing sweats and a long-sleeve t-shirt with the heat on).
My mom joined in on the workout.

When we finished, we went to her kitchen and grabbed some water. We decided to see how much weight we lost. I started out at 106, and I was 102.6! My goal is to get down to 100, so I don't have to worry about how much I eat at Christmas.

Holiday Eating Tip: Do double your workout the day before Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, wake up early or stay up late and do a workout. On Christmas, instead of napping in the afternoon, go run or do a workout.
Holiday Eating Tip 2: You can eat that good chocolate cake and turkey, just watch portion size. Instead of eating a whole slice of cake, split it with someone. Instead of sweet potatoes with marshmallows, just get sweet potatoes.

Hope this helps you when you need it most!
Meri V

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cute as a Button Cupcakes

I hate to post 3 posts in one day, but ya'll need to check this out.
It is a fundraiser/business!
Order soon for your New Year's Party or birthday! (Sorry, won't be ready in time for Christmas!)

Braided Hippie Headbands

My niece told me this great idea! I love it! Just for teens and younger, though. Please no forty year olds wearing these, or I will take a picture and post it on Facebook!

So easy! Take 2 thin or thin/medium width ribbons. I used 2 polyester ribbons form Michael's. Tie at the top. Cross them over each other like you are braiding hair. You might want to use a piece of tape or tack to hold down the top while you braid.

If your ribbon isn't long enough to tie around your head, use an extra string or elastic and tie to the ends of the braid.
They are so cute! They reminded me and Marsha Rose, my niece, of hippies!

Here is my beautiful model, Marshall Roseann Berry.

Her sister, Fieldsann, is very mad that no pictures were posted of her. Her pictures are the Pop-Art (colored) ones. Yes, they are twins. No, they did not plan to wear the same shirt.

Meri V

Baked Penne Pasta with Garlic Bread and Salad

Yes, I can cook. Believe it or not!

photo by: Romulo Yanes)
Every Sunday after church, I have my family over to my house for Sunday lunch and sometimes supper.Yesterday was special because a few people from church came over. I kept on debating about what to make because I usually make a carmel/pecan chicken (It sounds nasty, but it is the best thing you will ever put in your mouth) and grilled asparagus. Because it is winter time, I had to buy frozen asparagus. Unfortunately, one of our guests is allergic to nuts and the other refuses to eat anything green.

Last Saturday, I was picking up some gifts for Christmas from my mom's house, and I saw a cookbook that looked like all of the Harry Potter books combined. I flipped it open, and it landed on a beautiful picture of, yes you guessed it, baked penne pasta. I remembered that I had a package of homemade garlic bread that a lady at church sold, and I could make a great salad with spinach, mandarin oranges, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and a homemade vinaigrette.
Photo by: SunnyByrd

My mother lives in a quite subdivision near the university, and I live on the outskirts of town in a huge subdivision with oversized houses and a lake. I hated it at first because I felt like a soccer mom in my 20's, but I've grown used to it. Luckily, on the drive back from her house, there is a Kroger. I dashed into Kroger (it was 9 P.M.), grabbed all of the necessary ingredients. Dashed home, threw together the pasta, and put it in the fridge. Everything was ready for our afternoon meal. Cole, my husband, could put it on right when we got home as I tossed the salad. GREAT!

Here's the recipe (I edited it because the real recipe insisted you make your own pasta!):

Preheat the oven to 425.

Bring water to a boil, and pour in your penne pasta.*Think about how many people you are serving. I used two boxes because of the large amount of people. If you are just serving one, used two cups. I'd say two cups of pasta per person. Only boil your pasta about 3/4 of the way through. You'll know it's ready to bake when you taste it and it still has just a little toughness to it.

Use a big bowl for this next step. Combine all of your favorite cheeses, also based on how many people you are serving. It doesn't matter what cheeses you use, just make sure you have 1 cup of milk per 3 people you are serving, 1 package of cream cheese (unless you are serving one, then just half a package), and 1 stick of butter.

This is a great way to clear out your fridge!

Next, pour your pasta into a casserole pan for less people, but a "brownie-making" pan for more people. A brownie-making pan is a pan in which you would make brownies. Bake in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes, if you want it "browner" or "well-done", you can cook it longer.

The Grove Salad recipe: Toss the pasta ingredients listed above together in a bowl, and use your favorite fruit-flavored (like raspberry vinaigrette) salad dressing.

Serve to your family!
Kaye Dacus


Love, Meri V

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Hey, Hey! Any readers out there?? I'm reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashers, and my niece, Fieldsann, is doing a project on it. (Yes, she was named after me.) I've tried to help her with the project, but she (in her own words) is 'thrown to the outskirts of uncreativeness and blocked from the majestic world of glitter and hot glue!' She's a teenager. Nothing more to say. And her mother, RachelAnn, is a neat freak. Perfect match!

So, do any of you wonderful readers have a solution? Ideas? Pictures of your projects?

By the way, the project is a storyboard. Heard of those? For the reading fair projects. I still have all of the 9 that I did when I was in school!


P.S. Yes we did watch the movie! Totally different from the book!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New to Nutella.

I decided to do a quick post about something I mentioned in an earlier post. Nutella. I'm on a diet, and decided to eat super healthy. Everyday before work, I do a hour and fifteen minute Nike Training Club workout. For breakfast, toast (bagels, English muffins, french bread, etc.) with Nutella and a cup of fruit. Lunch: Usually a club sandwich, soup, turkey and avocado on wheat, or a hand-tossed salad. Dinner is my flexible meal. I just make sure it fits into my 1200 calorie diet. I have convinced the husband to go vegiterian. I went full out vegetarian in college, but I am not as strict now as I was then.

Any questions?
And yes, I consulted a doctor before I began my diet.

Love and best dishes (quoting Paula Deen),
Meri V

Meri Meri Meri Christmas!

Do ya get my joke up there? Instead of Merry Merry Merry Christmas, I used my first name (Meri). Haha. LOL. ROFL. What does ROFL stand for anyway? Reddish Orange Flamingos Laughing?


CONTEST! CONTEST! Below, write what you want for Christmas! I along with a few friends will decide which one is the best. I'll then send you a ten dollar gift card for the place where you buy the gift. Example: Let's say it's a nook from Barnes and Noble. I'll send you a ten dollar gift card for Barnes and Noble. Got it? Get It? Good.

What do I want for Christmas? Here's my wishlist. Keep in mind, some of it is for my store! But the iPad and slipper chair are all mine!

You all should for sure check out It's Pottery Barn's teen store. It is amazing. Don't be fooled by the 'teen' name. It has adorable stuff for about 11 years and up. At my home and office, I have their desks. I love the tools to design your own lamps, desk area, etc. My customized lamp is just plain beautiful. I decorated it to match my homemade jewelry frame.

Okay. Venting Time. I have a terrible obsession. It's just plain awful. Cooking. I now officially have 27 cookbooks.3 Paula Deen, 4 Better Homes and Gardens, 2 Betty Crocker, and the rest are locally sold. Latest experiment? Crepes. Ultimately epic fail. The texture was the same texture of a fried egg. Ew. Who knew that you have to use a certain kind of oil in your crepes? In my defense, the recipe should have been more specific.

ATTENTION TENNIS PLAYERS!! I've played tennis forever! It's my second obsession. But there is one thing I can not seem to master. How to aim my serve better. I can get it to the general area I'm trying to get it to, but I feel like it should be more directed. Let's say I'm on the left side of the base line, and I need to serve it to the right side on the other side of the net. I can get it over there, but it goes to far, to short, or just not gracefully at all. Hints? Suggestions? Comment!

One more request... I, Merideth Violette Fieldsann Russell, am suffering from severe case of writer's block. I have no inspiration. Please post pictures or ideas of what you would like me to blog about next. IT would be highly appreciated!

Thanks for reading,
Happy Holidays!
Meri Violette

P.S. So sorry there are no pictures in this post. They wouldn't load, and when they did they were extremely blurry. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Blog, New Day!

Contest Ended! I know what you're thinking. "Uhhh..What contest?" Read the post directly below this one. So, it ended up a sweet, elderly lady from Maine won! Congrats Kate Wellington! She won a handmade earring frame! If you did not see that contest until it was too late (which many did!), you can still win any of the prizes offered. do have to pay! Sorry! Supplies + Work + Time + Shipping= expensive for me! The only prizes not offered are the O.P.I nail polishes and the iTunes gift card (both of these can be bought at Wal-Mart!) can buy the earring frame and t-shirt scarf.

New Blog! It is my stores actual blog. I will only be SELLING items on there, not actually blogging. It will be posted by Saturday or Sunday, I promise! It will be called Oxford Lovebugs. Hope you enjoy it! And yes, everything I sell is handmade. The handmade-ier the better!

That's all for this post! Check out Oxford Lovebugs on Saturday or Sunday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dance and Music

     I absolutely love to dance. I love being able to just break out randomly (in my house, of course!) and dance. You can move anyway to any song, and it is beautiful. I love hip-hop, ballet, and a little bit of tap. What are my current favorite songs to dance to? E.T. by Katy Perry, Last Kiss by Taylor Swift, Singing in the Rain, Love Lockdown by Kanye West (cover by Pentatonix), Like a G6 by Far East Movement, Toxic by Britney Spears, Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Hereos ft. Maroon 5, Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 ft.Christina Agulera, Grenade by Bruno Mars, Pretty Girls by Iyaz ft.Mann, Jessie's Girl by ____________, and any fast beat, CLEAN hip-hop song!

I'm trying something new...Nutella. But I'll explain that later...

I'm trying another new thing...Giveaways/Contests.

Answer all 3 questions below correctly FIRST, and I'll send you...

Your choice of either a $10 iTunes Giftcard, a custom made t-shirt scarf (to YOUR specifications!), a custom made earring frame (also to YOUR specifications!), OR 5 O.P.I. Nail Polishes (YOUR choices of color!).
If you have questions about any prizes, leave a comment or email.

The 3 Questions:
1. Fill in the blank above, tell me who wrote Jessie's Girl, what year it was published, and what album of his/hers it was on!
2. Which song on my list is most current? Hint:This can be found on iTunes when you search a song or searched on Google!
3.Which song on my list is the oldest?

Bonus: What is another great hip-hop song to dance to?

2nd Bonus: What is something great to eat Nutella with?
(You may only do one bonus, if you do both, it won't help you win.)

Please send me your answers as a comment below or in email. People won't cheat off your comment,I promise, because it is the FIRST person!
Good luck!
Leave a comment if you have a question!

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Kevin and Amanda Obsession!

     I absolutely LOVE! You can get creative craft ideas, recipes, and basically everything I love. My 2 favorite crafts are the t-shirt scarf and earring frame. I actually don't have pierced ears, so I use it for all kinds of jewelry, headbands, hair clips, etc. Both are super easy! You could never leave your house and make all of her crafts and recipes! All of them are meant to be made with everyday items so they don't cost a single penny!
Dear Amanda,
     If you happen to read this, I hope you enjoy it. Because I check your blog everyday! I am in love with it. I'm pretty sure I've made every craft on your website. Love it! And your photography skills make me sick. It's crazy how good you are! Thanks for doing what you do! I love Fonts for Peas!
-Meri Violette

Kevin and Amanda, role models.

Amanda's T-Shirt Scarf (Mine is blue, yellow, and white)

Amanda's Earring Frame 
(I used glittery metal wire from the Hobby Lobby Christmas section, and an antique 10x12 frame from Framed!, a frame shop in my hometown.)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Blog, Another Dollar!

     I am proud to admit that I have a secret obsession with blogging. I can type all of my deepest secrets and true feelings and no one will ever know that I said it! I'm what they call a secret blogger. I don't tell my friends or associates about my blog. I just let who ever finds it, find it!
       Yes, yes, I do have a crazy obsession with crafts and projects. Any time I have extra time, is rare, I'm working on a craft project. My project right now? T-Shirt assecories. Ok, to reply to that weird look that everyone just gave to their computer screen, I'll explain t-shirt assecories. You use t-shirts to make scarves, headbands, etc. They are actually quite cute. I haven't taken any pics yet, but I'll be sure to post some momentarily.
     I'm a Broadway junkie. I love Broadway plays and music. I love that feeling when you bow down and you can look at everyone next to you and see those smiling faces. Best part of plays? I love goofing off back stage, dancing till your feet fall off, and singing like there's no tomorrow. That's a big part of my life, so I had to share it.
    I am married, FYI. But that's a whole other story that will be told later....

So, to end my first blog post (YAY!), I must say this was quite fun. I forgot what it feels like to VENT....ahh. Arrevedarci, and have a magnifico weekendo!

Meri V