Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pizza party!

Our friends, Matt and Emily, invited us to a pizza and game night Saturday!  We were already pumped to hang out with them, but when Emily said it was build your own pizza night we were sold!

To keep with the theme of the night, I made a sugar cookie lemon fruit pizza for dessert.  Yum!

We had a great evening and  look forward to more game nights!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

End of an Era

I hoped it wouldn't come to this.  I hoped for some intervention.  For a better solution.  I prayed.  I emailed.  Thought about hosting a protest complete with chants and posters...all in a cute A.N.A top.

I wanted so badly to rescue Madison Square Mall from destruction.

It wasn't to be.

They are going to start tearing it down in a couple of weeks.  They are basically tearing my childhood down with it.

The most painful part of losing Madison Square Mall is losing JC Penny's and Sears.  I buy probably about 80% of my clothes at JCP and entered full panic mode when I knew it was closing.  I actually lost sleep one night, so distraught we're losing the mall I grew up at...the mall where I have so many vivid memories of childhood.

Madison Square Mall opened in 1984 and we moved to the area in 1989 when I was in first grade.  Here's the newspaper ad from back in the day (pulled off Google).

I had two favorite stores when I was a little girl.  The first was Everything's A Dollar, just outside Sears on the top level.  I remember buying Christmas gifts for my children's choir leader, Miss Janice.  I guess I was about 9 or 10 and I was so happy to find a little glass vase for...a dollar!

My second favorite store was Christy's Pals.  It was on the corner outside Parisian I think.  Abby and I dreamed owning all the Hello Kitty school supplies.  We weren't really super frilly girls, but all the other girls in grade school had everything Hello Kitty so we had to be on trend!  We always eyed their grab bags but I don't remember if we ever splurged.  Abby gave me a pencil sharpener once...but I'm pretty sure she stole it from Natalie F.  (sorry for ratting you out, Abby!).  She's always been willing to do anything for me!

I also remember when Bath & Body Works was just a back corner of some clothing store, near the elevator.  Was it Learners?  When all the older girls in youth group had Sun Ripened Raspberry and Freesia, those had to be my first scents too!  That is, of course, years after my 8 year old self bought Malibu Musk at the Wal-Mart on North Parkway (I think there's a Fred's there now).

Other random mall memories:
  • McRae's 

  • Castner Knott's (thanks to Google for all the vintage pics)

  • Parisian (remember that little raised area that used to be a cafe or candy shop?)

  • the Library branch with that round window by the escalator 
  • Kirkland's (it always smelled so good!) right outside JCP on the lower level
  • the Food Court with Taco Bell, Sbarro's and McDonalds

  • I was enamored with the red bunkbeds in that furniture store outside JCP on the lower level.  They were red metal with the bottom one a double bed and the top a single bed.  I literally visited those any time we were at the mall!

  • Once at the mall with Bethany, she walked into a glass window in a shoe store and if she were still here with us, we'd still be laughing at that!
  • Remember when you could buy shopping bags at department stores?  When we were packing for college (17 years ago!), we randomly discovered that those $0.25 bags from Dillard's were fantastic for packing and believe it or not, we still have and use those same ol' Dillard bags now! 

I have lots of memories about JC Penny's.  Nanny loved JCP too and we always looked at the JCP catalog when we were at her house.  She also bought us many sets of school clothes there over the years.  For my last birthday, Abby gave me a 1991 JCP catalog and it's my childhood bound in a book.  I loved walking in upstairs where they had the customer service with that little door for packages.  I've also always loved how you walk in upstairs and get greeted by the smell of perm, thanks to the salon not to far away!

Luggage now fills the spot where customer service used to be.

I'm also pretty sure JCP is where Moma and Daddy took me to choose my purity ring when I was 13. Pretty sure it was at this counter!

We were so excited when they remodeled their dressing rooms upstairs in lingerie.  I guess that was late 90's maybe and it seemed so fancy to us!  It felt like an elegant, plush train car.  The years haven't been kind to the dressing rooms, but back in the day, they were beautiful!

As I've been writing this and reminiscing, I've remembered Hills department store.  It used to be at the corner of Sparkman and University, where that Bargain place is now.  I loved getting an ice at Hills!  Which reminds me of my classic childhood icee story (doesn't everyone have one of those?!?!).  We were at Wal-Mart (the Malibu Musk one) around Christmas time when I was probably 11 or so.  I was wearing new jeans and had an icee but tripped over a Christmas tree string.  I fell and tore my jeans, but KEPT MY ICEE UP!  No way was I spilling that!  Jeans can be replaced.  Knees can be stitched. Save the icee!!

Another favorite childhood memory is Mr. Gatti's pizza and pasta buffet with an arcade.  A few year's ago, I started using Newman's Own Sockarooni Pasta sauce and it tastes just like Mr. Gatti's!

Ok...back to the mall.  When I realized they were closing JCP, I actually emailed the company and asked them to reopen in Huntsville.  They replied that they'll try and sent me $10 gift card as a thank you.  A few weeks ago I realized I had missed a chance to actually walk the mall one last time.  Instead I'll have to be glad for pics through the gates and ones off Google.

I'm glad Huntsville is thriving and growing so I'm sure I'll love whatever is built in the mall's place, but a part of me will always miss Madison Square Mall.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Wrapping Up 2016

I was off the week between Christmas and New Year's and tried to get in as much fun as possible. Since Chris and I met, I've wanted to share the Stanlieo's experience with him so we headed to lunch on Tuesday.  Stanlieo's is a Huntsville institution and I love it!  It's a hole-in-the-wall but there's one near us and I love how they top each sandwich with chopped pickles and oregano.

Chris gave it two thumbs up too!

Our next foodie stop was brunch at Edgar's Thursday morning.  As you can see from the picture below, they don't portion pancakes like they do their potato salad!  It was enough for an army!   And oh so good!

Thursday afternoon, we girls headed to Alberville to another hole-in-the-wall that Abby knew about.

It was a weird little spot but eveything's at least 50% off so it spoke our, you can't beat girl time!

Friday night, I got some quality time with my fur niece... I loved how she napped on me while we watched a movie.

All week, I worked on getting the house back in order after taking Christmas down.  Abby had gotten me this "B" unpainted, so I slapped on some gray paint, got some cute ribbon and made the cutest door hanger!

I also transformed our buffet into a coffee bar for Chris!  For Christmas,  I got him all the stuff to make pour-over coffee and he needed a spot to spread out.  Of course, I had to make it cute with my new felt ball garland on the church window!

I also just love my other new garland hung on the piano!  I had been wanting to find a spot to hang the picture of us cutting our wedding cake and I finally got it framed and hung it next to the piano.

At Lowe Mill's Boot Sale a few weeks ago, I got an old dairy scale so this week I bought a hook and hung it in the dining room.

 New Year's Eve, we played more games...this one is Settlers of Catan.

And of course, we watched Alabama win!  Nick made this hilarious Boomerang video of our favorite cheerleader!  It will make your day!

We're all such old fogies, we barely made it to midnight, but we pushed through!

Goodbye 2016...hello 2017!