Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So, some people binge eat, some people binge drink, well I binge read. I really enjoy reading but for example I will read three or four books in a short period of time and then it will be months before I read again. This binge has consisted of the following titles: Bed Rest, Some Like It Haute, The Lovely Bones and right now I am reading The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Labor of Love

I finally finished another craft project. I have been working on this for quite a while and spent more money than I had planned. I received inspiration at the Cotton Tails Craft Show in Birmingham and I am very pleased with the result. I got the brass chandelier from my parents house along with five of the teacups. The other five I got at Goodwill. I simply used spray primer and apple green spray paint. I had to purchase a diamond drill bit in order to drill holes through the bottom of the teacups. Brandon drilled all of the holes for me (thanks hus-ban-dino). After much searching I finally found the right kind of nut to hold the teacups onto the chandelier. Here is the final result:

Bloomin Festival

Today Brandon and I ventured out to the Bloomin Festival at the St Bernard Prep School here in Cullman. We went early so hopefully it would not be so crowded. I really enjoyed just walking around holding hands being silly newlyweds. We did walk away with a couple of purchases, a couple of rock oil candles and a plant stand. I can't wait to put the plant stand together. Here is the website www.amazingplantstand.biz...I will post another picture after I put it together.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh the Places I've Been

Thanks to my job I get to travel a pretty good bit. Over the last three years I have been to the Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ area multiple times, Orlando, FL multiple times, Washington, DC, Fort Worth, TX a couple of times, Fort Walton Beach a couple of times, Nashville, TN a couple of times and the UK.

Hodges-Nix European Vacation

Last summer I had the opportunity to go to Yeovil, UK to visit a customer. It was a wonderful trip full of fun new experiences. Mom and Dad actually went with me and we had a wonderful time. The first new experience was driving on the other side of the road which took a lot of concentration. The roundabouts were also very confusing until I got the hang of it. It was a long drive to Yeovil but well worth it. On the way to Yeovil we drove past Stonehenge which is amazing. Yeovil is a quiet little town in the country with their main industry being Agusta Westland which manufactures helicopters.

The British were very good hosts and provided a social evening for us and included my parents. During the social evening I had another new experience. We played a game called Skittles. The following is a quick description I pulled off the internet: Skittles or Nine Pins has long been played in the Inns of England. In general, players take turns to throw wooden balls down a lane at the end of which are several wooden skittles in an attempt to knock them all over. The following pictures are of the Skittles experience.

I so enjoyed the countryside. It is just so neat to drive past all of these hedges and then suddenly there is an opening and inside is another little town.

The first photo is of a clock in downtown Yeovil. It was kind of a marker to remind me which direction I was going. The second photo is of our Bed and Breakfast where we stayed for the first half of our trip.

While at the below pub myself and a co-worker had a "ghostly" experience. While chatting and enjoying a brew she and I both saw a menu sitting upright on a table slide from one end of the table to the other. We both looked at each other and both said "Did you see that?" I am sure this occurrence can be explained away but I will always believe it was an encounter of a different kind!

One evening we drove to Lyme Regis which is a beautiful coastal town.

Once the work part of my trip was over we spent the rest of our trip exploring London. We stayed at a beautiful hotel which was close to several of the sights. We saw Big Ben, the Tower of London, London Bridge and Westminster Abbey just to name a few. Dad and I rode the London Eye which provided a beautiful view of London. The first pic is of Mom and I in front of Westminster Abbey. The second pic is of our hotel...it was right beside the London Eye! The third pic is Big Ben...something about this always makes me think of Peter Pan and how magical fairy tales are to little girls.

Since I am a child of the 80s we saw Dirty Dancing in the Theatre. I really enjoyed the show but in my mind I kept reviewing the movie (that I have watched more times than I can count) and thinking "that's not the way Johnny or Baby said it in the movie."

The only part of England that I did not enjoy was the food. My stomach did not have a good time abroad.

One Year Anniversary

For our one year anniversary Brandon came along with me on a work trip to Arizona. After the work was over we spent the rest of our time visiting the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and Sedona.

The Grand Canyon was amazing. It is more expansive than you could ever imagine. It is one of those things you just have to see for yourself. I do not know how to describe it but we had a wonderful trip...I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

When the sun began to set the views became magical.

And finally because we could not believe it ourselves...Cotton Fields in Arizona!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring has Sprung at the Nix Nest

Since the weather has warmed up Brandon and I have been wanting to improve the look of our yard. We made the mistake of planting some annuals last year and we definitely needed to clean up the leaves, etc. So Saturday morning I made a run to a local nursery and bought some things. While I was gone to my DAR meeting and a Birthday party Brandon cleaned up the leaves. We planted them first thing today and I was so pleased with how they turned out that I bought some more things during my weekly Wal-mart run.

This is one of our front flower beds. The big shrubs on the ends we planted last year. The Day Lillies and smaller shrubs we planted today.

This is the flower bed around our mailbox. All of these plants came from Wal-mart. We added two different types of Dianthus and Hostas.

This is our side yard. My favorite new plants are those yellowy shrubs...they are called Yellow Rose of Texas. When I saw the name I knew I had to have them. I remember that I just loved that song when I was a little girl. I can remember hearing it on the radio and singing it. We also added some Juniper ground cover.

Theses hanging baskets are Wave Petunias...I can't wait for them to bloom. Last year these hooks were home to the unsuccessful Topsy Turvy Tomato Plants.

I also transplanted these from under the trees in the side yard. For some reason I have been very particular about the placement of all of the plants and I just did not think that these were in the right place last year. The planter has House Leak, May Apples and Lenten Roses. All were transplanted from my mom's yard. The Lenten Roses actually originated at my mamaw and papaw's house, which makes them very special in my book. I am hoping to get some more Lenten Roses the next time I am home.

And finally here is our Rain Water Barrel. We are hoping that this will help prevent all of the mulch from washing away.

I am so excited about how our yard looks! Next weekend we hope to add a couple of trees to the front yard!

Look What I Found

Can you see the two little eyes that have been watching mine and Brandon's every move? This little birdie decided to make a nest in my planter!

The Budding Chef

Yesterday I was given a wonderful opportunity by a great friend! My friend Jennifer will be 30 on April 15 and in celebration of her big day she invited 12 of her closest friends to join her in a cooking class.

During the class we learned how to make pizza from scratch. We made our own dough and then learned how to make four different recipes. My team (Myself, Amanda and Javier) made Apple and Gorgonzola! Below are a couple of pics of my team and the pizza we made.

All of the recipes were delicious and the class ended with a meal (we sampled all of the recipes)! The bonus was that we each got to bring home enough dough to make one 12 inch pizza. So using what I had available in my frig I made the BBQ Chicken recipe. Below is what was left after Brandon and I had dinner.

I had so much fun! Thanks Jennifer and Happy 30th Birthday!