Friday, December 31, 2010

That's all she wrote.

I'm sorry, friends, but because of another security issue, I'm going to have to ultimately stop blogging. Those those of you Facebook friends, I had to get off...again. Unfortunately, there are crazy people in this world who ruin things for everybody. 

So, on that note, I'm off to spend a wonderful 2011 with my precious husband. Happy New Year, all. Always remember to be the bigger person! :)

2010, A Year in Review

Looking back on 2010, I realized how incredibly blessed we are. We have an incredible family (our support system), wonderful friends, great jobs, and a cute apartment. 

January brought dinner and drinks with hubby's fraternity brothers.


February brought the biggest snowstorm I've ever seen in Texas. 



In March, my sweet boyfriend got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.


In April, wedding planning began! We spent our first Easter as an engaged couple with my parents.


And in May, I turned by over-highlighted hair back to the original brown, and selected THE dress.


July brought a lot of things: my family to Dallas...


...a second annual trip to the Gulf Coast with hubby's family...


...and hubs' promotion!


In August, we attended some sweltering Texas Rangers baseball games, and I celebrated wedding showers!


September brought my Bachelorette Party/Lingerie Shower, as well as my big shower in my hometown.



And 6 1/2 months after he popped the question, I married my best friend in October...


...and we spent a beautiful honeymoon in Antigua.


And because I took a little bloggy break for awhile, I don't have any photos to upload of Thanksgiving and Christmas (well, you can see a few Christmas photos below). But...

In November, we spent our first married Thanksgiving together with hubby's family, and set up our first Christmas in our apartment together. 

In December, we were so busy! I literally worked, worked, worked! We celebrated hubby's birthday with an evening out, and then celebrated our first Christmas together, just us two. We then traveled to my hometown and spent Christmas with my family. We saw Baylor lose to Illinois in their first Bowl appearance in about 16 years.

And, since I feel that I need to do some "resolutions" that don't include losing weight, here you go:

  • Be more content with my life. Why, you ask? Because I need to be more content with our little apartment and stop craving a house. When the Lord is ready to bless us with a home, He will. Until then, I want to be more satisfied living here. 
  • Stop being so attached to my phone. This speaks for itself. I'm not that important! I need to stop being "that girl" on the sidewalk looking at her phone instead of looking up and enjoying the scenery. 
  •  Understand it's okay to not be super clean all the time. This comes naturally, my friends. I want to challenge myself to just let the bed be unmade for a day, not clean the bathroom counter tops, and let those dishes sit in the dishwasher for a few extra hours. I don't want to miss time out with my husband because I'm cleaning.
  • Become closer to the Lord. This is always a resolution, because I feel like we all have the opportunity and ability to become closer to and learn more about Him. 

Happy 2011, my friends. May it be a very blessed year for you and yours.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2011 Sneak Peek!

I think the Ghost of Martha Stewart came over me today! For some reason, I woke up this morning with the crafty bug and just totally jumped on the crafty wagon. (Like all of those analogies?) 

As I mentioned in my below post, I started on my wine-bottle-turned-vase-DIY-craft today, but let's be honest: I'd rather go to Target instead. 

Before you judge me: they were having a 50% off of Christmas sale! The label-less wine bottles could just sit "drying" on the counter for one more day. 

Side note: Holy crap! It's amazing how much I can get done when I'm not working!!! I asked hubby if I could be a "stay at home wife" and was greeted with laughs. Darnit.

That said, here is a sneak peek into our 2011 Christmas tree. Or as hubby says: "The crap that need not be bought." Whatever. It was 50% off.


I just love the look of a bright Christmas tree! Isn't it fun!?

And so, it will sit, for, as hubs says, "another 361 days in our guest room" in the said Target bags. :)

And let's please not forget the mention of the "huge balls" that I purchased. We're so mature.

And, for another side note (gosh, my Journalism professors would give this writing a big fat zero), those "huge balls" (again, so mature), were purchased in fuchsia and silver, and frankly, I can't wait to hang them on our tree with the awesome other ornaments!

DIY craft pictures coming soon.

PS: Baylor, really? Sigh.

DIY

It's still rainy and cold here, so what do I do? Turn myself into Martha Stewart. How, you may ask? 

Wine bottles turned into vases. With some chalkboard paint. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Update

I had total intentions of waking up this morning, running my errands, using gift cards bestowed upon us by sweet parents and grandparents, and cleaning our bathrooms.

...but then, as we lazily scooted out of bed a bit before 10 a.m., I heard it: rain. Cold rain. And my plans of actually being productive today went out the window. Quickly. 

I put on a pot of coffee, and hubs and I are curled up on the couch watching "17 Again" on HBO, and I plan for this to be my most strenuous activity today. 

And now, on to Christmas. It was beautiful. It was family, celebrations, traditions. It was laughing at stories we've heard over and over again. It was nursing your sweet husband back to health and making trips to CVS at 4:30 a.m. for Pepto Bismol. :) (Poor hubs.)


We got some awesome gifts, too! Hubs received a Ruger Mark III Target Pistol (again adding to his NRA-ness); clothes, Toms shoes, Mad Men seasons, Jos A. Bank shirts, and gift cards. 

I got a new vacuum cleaner (!!!), sweet photos from our wedding, Real Simple for a year, Blu-Rays, Toms shoes of my own, and and gift cards. 

It was a very merry Christmas.
 

It was totally cozy (and you can thank Target for my cute Christmas jammies -- that I may or may not be sporting as I type this) and lazy. I didn't want to leave!


We had a long road trip back home, and hubs got a little crazy with the camera...clearly.



I'm off to watch this cute movie with the hubs and try to muster up enough courage to actually remove myself from this couch and make the bed. Or not.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

Hubs and I are home, and we've unpacked, unloaded our dishwasher, hit up the grocery store, unloaded (and set up) gifts and turned on our heater after five days away! 

That said, we're exhausted and are getting cozy on the couch watching one of our many new Blu-Rays, and totally looking forward to another WHOLE WEEK off! Christmas update is coming tomorrow.

PS: Congratulations are in order for a sweet blogger friend (and fellow sorority sister), Jessica, who just announced that she's expecting her first baby! Congratulations!!! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

...oh what a beautiful day! (Everyone now!) "I got a beautiful feelin' everything's goin' my way!"

Okay, well, maybe not "goin' my way," but such is life, eh? 

I remember hearing that song for the first time when I was a little girl watching our local high school's rendition of "Oklahoma!" and just loving it.  I wanted to be a Broadway star. (This feeling also came after seeing Annie and My Fair Lady with my grandparents in Houston.) I used to belt out the soundtrack to Annie in my bedroom and totally pretend that I could sing. However, this is totally un-related to anything I was going to post today! Hello, rabbit trailing!


What I was going to post is what a beautiful morning it is over here in our household!

I'm doing a bit of "working" from home today, and the benefit? Getting to sleep in until the time I'm normally at my desk! It is lovely to just move from the bed to the living room and totally skip the getting dressed part.

The little apartment is filled with the scent of coffee; the Today Show is blaring in the background (it's a segment about the weirdest addicting habits -- one is eating toilet paper. EW!); the washing machine is going; and George W. Bush's new book is just begging to be read.

That said, Christmas is in three days! I'm so excited. Hubs and I are going to take full advantage of spending time with family and each other; opening gifts; Christmas Eve candlelight services; and celebrating the true reason for the season: Jesus Christ.

"...And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, watching over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying: 

'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace to those on whom His favor rests.'" 
-Luke 2:8-14

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Maternity?

When I purchased this $6 tunic at Target on the non-maternity rack, I thought it'd be cute to wear with leggings (as in the photo below) around town, or maybe to work on a casual Friday. It was cute! It was funky! It was a fun shirt for these 75 degree winter days in Dallas.

So today as I'm getting dressed in my non-maternity tunic, I notice the tag. I notice that it doesn't say "small." It says "2." 

"Hmmmm..." I think to myself. "That's weird."

I pull on my leggings, and then take a look at the tag on the back of the slouchy tunic. 
And what does it say? 

"Liz Lange Maternity." 

Fabulous. 

But you know what? I wore this comfy maternity tunic all day. With pride. As a completely un-pregnant woman. And frankly, I rocked it!

When I told hubs at lunch that this was from the maternity section, he looked at me with horrified eyes and a facial expression that said, "Please tell me that's all you want to tell me." Don't worry, hubs! That's all I want to tell you!

But I want to tell y'all: look at a tag on a shirt before buying anything on clearance at Target!

(And by the way, that awesome gold mirror is from 7th grade. Gotta love it!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry {Early} Christmas!

Because it's 6 a.m. (and I had to be at work at 3:30 a.m. -- yes, seriously), my brain is totally fried.

So, you're getting a nice little picture of hubby opening up one of his Christmas gifts, because yes, we do Christmas a bit early in our house. :)
(Please excuse his white undershirt-ness.)


Since hubs' birthday is in December, and he's now a proud member of the NRA, his Christmas was a bit small this year. A few Polo shirts and a game he's been talking about since, oh, August...and he's set.

Me, on the other hand, being an April baby and having my birthday perfectly spaced out from Christmas, had a fun time opening gifts with hubs! And I'm pretty sure that I'm the luckiest lady on the planet, because hubs got me this perfume I've been wanting for-ev-er (but never seem to have bought it for myself); an hour and a half massage; and the most gorgeous pearl and diamond earrings I've ever seen. I could sleep in those bad boys, but I'm too afraid to mess them up/lose them. He did so well!

We spent the rest of the weekend at his parents, with me making homemade peanut butter fudge and tea cakes with the MIL, and hubs watching football with his dad.

So happy that Christmas is in only 4 1/2 days! (Now, I'm about to go take the biggest nap known to mankid.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

When the moon hits your eye...

...like my huge pizza pie, that's amore!


We're having presentations in the office today, so what did said office manager order?


AKA: Adding a huge amount of fat to my body that I'll need to work off, come Jan. 1. (Because who works out during October - December? Blasphemy.) 

But, it sure is good, and I'm eating away. Don't judge.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Corks.

As I mentioned in Monday's post, the hubs and I drink a lot of wine. I'm not quite sure when the wine addiction started, but we love it! 

Anyway, a lot of wine equals a lot of corks, and I just can't bear to part with them!  I like to look back at them and see what wine we drank (Was it just a bottle of Barefoot quickly picked up at the grocery after a really stressful day? Our favorite, Becker Vineyards on my birthday?), and displaying them is a fun way to do that. And plus, I just think there's something romantically fun about corks.

If we weren't in a teeny apartment, I'd display these somewhere other than the top of my dusty refrigerator, but it makes do. :)  The apothecary jar was on sale at Williams-Sonoma (or was it Pottery Barn?) that I got while shopping with my Mom awhile ago, and the hurricane was a wedding gift from Crate & Barrel



And on another random note, I saw a link on E! Online today with the Kardashian's Christmas card. 
I love them, but can we say "freaky?!" 

Those younger girls look so scary, and Kourtney is my favorite, but she looks like a drag queen. 

Yikes! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

I get by with a little help...

...from these fabulous kitchen gadgets. :) 

(And my lovely friends, too.)
I absolutely love cooking, being in the kitchen and trying out recipes in my grandmother's family cookbook. However, when I get home from work in the evening, it's really hard for me to muster up enough courage to cook a huge meal. 

That said, these little gadgets make it just a bit easier when I'm in the kitchen. And I'll take anything that saves me a step! 

I'm not a very big breakfast-er, but lately have been starting on an apple trend. This takes .5 seconds in the morning, and makes for a quick, yummy breakfast...just pair it with some peanut butter! 


2. Crock Pot (mine's not shown) $50-ish
Need I provide a description for this? Get up a bit earlier than normal, throw stuff in the Crock Pot and come home to a yummy smelling house (and meal!)

This was the best investment we've ever made! I cannot drink a bottle of wine without using this now. 

 

You can just call us Wine-O's. :) I absolutely stink at opening a bottle of wine with a manual corkscrew, so this makes it super simple for me to do (especially when hubs isn't home) and makes for a lot less broken corks.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend.

Glorious.

The best way to describe our weekend? Absolutely glorious. 

We ate.
That's right, that's meatloaf. And loaded mashed potatoes. And broccoli. 
...and it was good. 


We had wine. And hubs played his Playstation "Move" game.


We relaxed while getting massages. I read (and finished) "Safe Haven." 

Grocery shopping, clean laundry, fresh sheets, vacuumed floors, hubs' "Secret Santa" gift for work? Check. 

Getting bridesmaid dress for a wedding in March, and getting measured for one in May? Check. 

Finally getting that wedding invitation professionally framed (at 60% off, thank you Michael's)? Done. 

Posting up Christmas cards received in the mail? Love it. 

Finally relaxing on the couch, watching football to the glow of the Christmas tree? Wonderful. 

Weekend, I love you. Can't wait to see you again on Friday evening.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amazing


Since my computer at work is deciding to hate me today, I unfortunately cannot post the music video here, but please go listen to this song by singer (and husband of actress Katherine Heigl) Josh Kelley!

(And if you're finding yourself with some extra time, maybe this song, this one, and this one, and this one, too.) :)

He's definitely getting me through this stressful workday. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

'Tis the season...

...for major stress!


As much as I love, love, LOVE Christmas, it's been really difficult to not get overwhelmed this December.
(And it doesn't help that my office's two big events are this weekend...ahh!)

When talking to my sister-in-law about this (bless her heart, she's a lawyer and I just remind myself of that when I think that my PR job is hard...), she reminded me that it's okay to not do everything.

Do any of you have this issue?

I think, especially as a new wife (with a type-A personality), that I want to make everything perfect: the perfect gifts, the perfect dinners at night for my hubs, the perfectly clean house, the perfectly perfect Christmas.

I've been praying a lot about this lately, that God will allow me to relinquish my desire for control...and for me, that's a HUGE thing. He has allowed me to realize that it doesn't matter how the folded clothes get put up, as long as they do; that it's A-okay to make tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner that you see at the grocery store 2.5 seconds before you make it when you really have oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli on the "menu"; and that the bed doesn't have to be made every day.

So sister-in-law, thank you for this humbling lesson. That said, anyone want to unload my dishwasher?


Monday, December 6, 2010

Let them eat cake!

Hubby's birthday was full of good food, celebrating with sweet family and complete fun!

We started the weekend off with his company's Christmas party, and after I gave him his birthday present. Let's just say that hubs is now a proud member of the NRA. :)

We celebrated for lunch the next day with yummy tacos at our favorite hole-in-the-wall...


...and then had a fabulous P.F. Chang's supper.

(And yes, I meant for the photo to be turned this way! We had so many plates on our tiny table that this was the only way to do it!)

Thanks for the gift card, Mom and Dad!


...and then wrapped up our yummy dinner with P.F. Changs' mini-desserts and wine.  


Hubs requested Sprinkles instead of a birthday cake, and I was happy to oblige. We ate them too fast to take a picture!

We celebrated last night with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (who happens to share the same birthday as hubs) with dinner at their house and watching the Cowboys victory. Perfect!
Happy birthday to my sweet, sweet hubby. I can't wait to celebrate tons more special birthdays with you. I love you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

He's the man.

Hubby's birthday is this weekend. We're putting our party hats on!


Happy Birthday, Hubs!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It Makes Me Happy

Mornings are fun in our house.
They're cozy. Full of routine. The smell of coffee brewing.
I like them.

You probably think we're crazy. Hubs' alarm clock goes off about a half-hour before mine, and I immediately roll over to his warmer, more sunken-in side of the bed. When he finally gets back into the bedroom, my alarm goes off and we turn on the local morning news. The programmable coffee maker starts (oh, what a heavenly gift) and the smell of pumpkin spice Millstone coffee wafts through our little abode.

I do my make-up right by this lovely sight, blinds open, of course:


...and sip my coffee while watching Matt Lauer's snarky self on The Today Show.



The make-up goes back into the drawer, and what fun it is to just remember my grandmother's make-up drawer with her Chanel lipsticks, Perscriptives blush and Estee Lauder foundation.

And while weekday mornings are freakishly cozy, weekend mornings are even better. Hubs likes to wake up and make chocolate chip pancakes and coffee, and we relish in the fact that we get to sleep in. One day (FAR down the road), when children happen, I will miss my sweet sleep.

Mornings make me happy. I'm a morning person.
Take that. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas (Catch-up Style!)

I saw this on other blogs and thought it was too cute to pass up. So, here we go: The 12 Days of Christmas Countdown! :)

{Day One} Christmas/Holiday Traditions
I must say that my Mom and Dad always made Christmas fun, exciting, and all about tradition. Some of my Mom's side of the family is from Louisiana, so on Christmas Eve, we eat gumbo instead of your traditional "Christmas fare." It's so fun to be different, and I'm so excited that hubs gets to experience this with me this year. We always go to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at our church, which I love. There's something so amazing about celebrating the actual reason for the season with church family amongst candlelight. We also always lay out cookies for Santa (except for the year Santa got a turkey sandwich and Dr Pepper...) and on Christmas morning, we eat breakfast casserole or french toast. We almost always watch a movie that was in one of our stockings, too, and we never change out of our pajamas until it's time to go to my grandparents' that evening for their Christmas.

{Day Two} Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks
Well, I'm definitely one of those people who goes all out at Christmas! The best advice I have is to start early. My Mom is a master at this and picks up things here and there...even in summer! However, I usually start around September or October since I have so many gifts to buy -- especially this year now that we're married! It just seems so much better having a bit of money out of the bank account here and there as opposed to a ton of money all out at once. That's my theory. :)

{Day Three} Meaningful/Memorable Gifts
I remember when I was really young, I wanted the Playskool doll house. Remember this? Well, Santa brought it and I was SO excited. Pretty sure I played with that thing until about 5th grade or so.
Of course, it's also meaningful to get a gift that I forgot I wanted. My Mom is awesome at remembering gifts I said I wanted in oh, March, and then I unwrap them on Christmas morning and just am so surprised.

{Day Four} Tips & Tricks to a Budget-Friendly Holiday Season
I kind of answered this in #2, but some other tips I have are: buy off-brand if you're cooking. No one tastes the difference between store-brand and off-brand green beans in that green bean casserole. Trust me, $.75 cans of green beans taste just the same as $1.05 green beans. (And that's money in your pocket for more gifts!)
I also always search retailmenot.com and couponcabin.com for coupon codes if I'm shopping online. It takes a bit longer to search, but I've snagged some great deals this season with my online shopping!

{Day Five} Gift Ideas for ME!
Well, I must say with recently getting married, there's not too much on my Christmas list this year...and I'm a very lucky, very blessed girl to have the things that I do have. But, here are a few things I wouldn't mind having:


This pea coat from Old Navy

These boots from Nordstrom

Some diamond earrings would be nice...ahem, hubs.

The KitchenAid stand mixer (that I know I got...EEK!)


{Day Five} Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Special
Well, of course it's not Christmas without these!





{Day Seven} Holiday Craft/DIY
Well, I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not much of a DIY-er. I just don't have the time right now with both of us working all the time! However, I did make a little ribbon wreath (see yesterday's post) for the mirror in our little "breakfast nook," and I did create our own little Christmas cards this year...online. Maybe that's stretching it a bit. :)

{Day Eight} Least Favorite Part About the Holidays
I absolutely hate when Christmas is over! It's so sad taking down the tree and all of the cheery, festive decorations. I'm pretty sure that the days between Dec. 25-30 are the most depressing day of the year. You spend all month getting things ready, and it's all over in 24 hours. I also hate traveling...even though we only have to drive, it's such a pain sitting in traffic. However, at least we have family to drive to.

I hope you've all had a fantastic "hump-day." I cannot believe it's December 1 already!