Friday, April 29, 2011

stunning.

Princess Catherine (or, as she shall be called, HRH Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge) was absolutely, positively stunning.









Her dress was magnificient, and my favorite part of the wedding was the very beginning, when William mouthed to Catherine's father, "...and we were supposed to have a small, family affair." He then told Catherine she looked beautiful. 

I am so happy right now and so excited for them! 
I'm running to take a quick shower so I don't miss the kiss at 7:25! :)

Happy Wedding!!

{All photos via Google}

Thursday, April 28, 2011

london love.

"You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

-Samuel Johnson


I've been asked why I'm so "obsessed" with the Royal Wedding. Told it's not that big of a deal. Looked at like a weirdo when I explain my desire to want to be in London right now. So, allow me to explain.

I lived in London for six weeks in college through the Baylor in Great Britain program. It was honestly the best six weeks of my life (and best summer) of my life. I met one of my best friends (shout out, Laura!), dated another (hi, Matt), and was able to travel the world at the ripe ol' age of 20.

We toured everything. Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, the Tower of London. (And yes, that is my picture above of where Wills and Kate will be getting married in less than 24 hours!) We shopped: H&M, Jigsaw, Harrod's...hello Kensington High Street! We saw things that many people will never see in their lifetimes: the Crown Jewels, Simon Cowell having lunch on High Street, the British Open. And more than anything, we learned so much about history by immersing ourselves in it. I am ever grateful to my parents for footing the bill for this wonderful trip, and I am so thankful that I was blessed to have this experience.

Our group lived in Imperial College, a literal stone's throw from Hyde Park, Kensington Palace and the best restaurant: Wagamama! We would wake up in the morning, have breakfast and class, and then tour something in the afternoon. We were given major freedom, and for a bunch of 19-21 year-old's, it was heaven. Margarita at the Texas Embassy because the legal drinking age in the U.K. is 18? Don't mind if I do! :) Head on over to see the Royal Observatory in Greenwich via boat on the Thames? Sure! Have crepes for lunch while getting lost trying to find Oxford Street? Yup.

We lived like locals: took the tube, figured out their monetary system, shopped, saw Broadway shows (Wicked!), ate gelato like it was our job, and got to see everything we wanted. I remember toward the end of our trip, I asked my roommate (and now friend) Laura, "Want to see anything else?" And I remember her reply, "I think we've seen it all." How blessed we were that we could say that! (And, by the way, I cried when we left. True story.)

And so, when I get excited because Meredith is broadcasting from Trafalgar Sqaure (where we magically got lost and ended up walking along Hyde Park and found Clarence House)...or when Natalie is in front of the Queen Victoria statue by Buckingham Palace...or when they are discussing Faberge eggs inside Buckingham Palace and they're walking down the beautiful staircase...it's not because I want to show off or tell you where I've been. It's because I'm so excited that I've been there and can picture it all in my mind.

Someone said it best the other day, "Everything there is old." Yes, it is. But that, to me, is what makes it so interesting. I absolutely love history and facts (which I get from my Dad) and that place is living, breathing history.

So, happy wedding, William & Kate! I will be watching at 4 a.m.! Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Here's what I'm loving today:
Ann Taylor Loft's new "Black & White" Collection. 

Y'all. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. 

If you know me, you know that my entire wardrobe is basically black, white and gray...and my husband has been known to tell me that I need to "add some color" to my wardrobe. And, when I got the e-mail this morning from Ann Taylor Loft, I yelled across the apartment, "Babe! Ann Taylor Loft is introducing their new 'Black & White' collection!" 

His reply? 
"Oh, GOSH."



This stuff is so cheap, and who doesn't like not having to wash your hair?! 

Visit Sally Beauty Supply to purchase. 


My Easter dress (from Banana Republic, but no longer online). 

It is so comfy, and I just love it! And, in fact, I'm wearing it today. :) 

{Oh, and PS: Allow me to introduce you to my mother-in-law.} 


This stuff is awesome. I have super fine and thin hair, and this allows me to have big "Texas Hair" and tease away! And, it smells good. :)


I am not loving that I was awake at 2 a.m. feeling icky, and I'm exhausted. Here's to hoping I feel better today and get some rest tonight! Yawn!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

W+K

I am so excited that it's "Royal Wedding Week!"

Call me crazy, but it's a real-life fairy tale and I am freaking out I am so excited.


I think Kate is so lovely and of course, like every girl my age, had a crush on Prince William growing up. Like, wanted-to-move-to-London-and-pull-a-Wallis-Simpson crush.


I think it's so neat that she's going to be a part of the uber-secretive, historical Windsor family...and c'mon, what girl wouldn't want to wear a tiara every now and then?


My husband thinks I'm officially nuts for DVR-ing basically everything "Royal Wedding" this week and absolutely the entire day's worth of coverage on NBC on Friday.

{I'm still considering taking a day off on Friday. Don't you judge me. It's historical.} 


As I mentioned last week, I have been to London, so I feel some crazy "connection" to the places they're going to go, be married, etc.

And for crying out loud, IT'S A HISTORICAL MOMENT, PEOPLE.

I love the history of the royal family and all of the tales that got Queen Elizabeth II and her family where they are today. I mean, if Prince Edward wouldn't have abdicated the throne, we probably wouldn't care one lick about Prince William...but I mean, thanks, Edward. Appreciate you falling in love with an American divorcee and handing over the throne to your brother so I can watch your great-nephew's monstrosity of a wedding. ;)

I'm so looking forward to the pomp and circumstance, the beautiful dress she'll be wearing and the fact that we'll be witnessing the first "huge" royal wedding since before I was born. (Charles and Diana, for all of you who don't Wikipedia the royal family when you're bored at work. True story.)  

While I won't be up at 4 a.m. by any means, I absolutely cannot wait to watch the wedding with a flute of champagne in hand. Because, you know, you gotta feel fancy watching this wedding.

Happy Royal Wedding Week!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

This is what 2:45 a.m. does to you.

 So I've been up since 2:45 a.m.
Yes, unfortunately you read that correctly. And no, it's not because I wanted to be up at 2:45 a.m. (Who in their right mind does?) It's because I took an Ambien in an effort to actually get some sleep, since I had to be up, technically, at 3:15 a.m. And apparently I need like the strong, Extra-EXTRA strong dose, because I didn't sleep.

{...I'm slowly realizing how stupid this sounds the more I type.}

I can't really go into too much detail, but we have to do a really important report that has to be turned in extra-early. It's pretty time-consuming, hence the 3:15 a.m. wake-up call. {Or, if you're me and you're terrified you'll miss your alarm/praying to not let your crazy alarm wake up your husband/praying you do this VIP report perfectly...you just can master the art of an Ambien and totally not function on 5 1/2 hours of sleep.}

So, I made myself comfy watching extra-early helpings of Huckabee on the couch while doing the report...because, you know, the early-morning newscasters are still on their way to work. Then, 3 1/2 hours later, my computer decides that it doesn't want to save the report in HTML format and only wants to open as a blank document. So that's fun.

So what do I do? Drag myself into my bathroom {skipped the shower, oops}, threw on concealer, mascara and bottom eyleliner and lipgloss, braided my dirty hair and trekked into the quiet office at 6 a.m. Because that's not scary in the least.

So once the report was turned in around 7:30 a.m., I decided that that was the perfect time to clean my desk. So I did.


Wa-la. Everything has a home. Yes, I can be OCD. Oh, and that map to the left? It's a little DIY-time zone map. Crafty.

And here's my attempt at showing you how scary I look this morning.

What's even scarier is that I can't figure out how to turn this picture of myself.

So, turn your computer. :)


I'm counting down the hours until I can go home and crash. Knowing me, though, I'm sure I'll be wide-eyed and then be super grumpy this evening. :)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Weekend Wrap-Up

We had such a wonderful Easter weekend, and we hope you did, too! 

My office closed early on Friday, so I went and got a spray tan (more on that later). Brandon made yummy steaks, baked potatoes and green beans for dinner and we watched Country Strong. While it was really depressing, it was actually a pretty good movie!

I spent Saturday morning running around like a chicken with my head cut off: grocery store, haircut, doing laundry, ironing Easter outfits, doing the dishes, and packing us for our weekend with hubs' family. Whew!!


We got to my in-laws on Saturday afternoon and my mother-in-law and I spent about four hours in the kitchen cooking Easter lunch and Saturday night's supper.

The heavy rains came through the Metroplex after supper, so we sat outside on their porch and enjoyed a glass of wine while watching the crazy lightening show.

{Excuse my crappy iPhone camera pic. That's Brandon on the porch!} 


So after we got in from watching the rain, I noticed that my feet looked really dirty. At first I chalked it up to being on their porch without shoes on, but then I noticed it wouldn't come off. Then I loudly gasped and said, "OH MY GOSH, Y'ALL!!! This is from my spray tan!!" Of course everyone broke into crazy laughter and all I'm thinking is "This looks gross."  {And now Brandon will just randomly pick up my feet and laugh. :)}

My brother-in-law told me he had to take a picture, and of course I sent it to my Mom. I am so sad to report that even after three showers, my feet are still brown. Needless to say, I will not be doing a booth spray tan ever again and will stick to my Mystic Tan lady at Spa Nordstrom


This morning we went to church with my in-laws and heard a wonderful message. They sang a song that I had heard before and thought was beautiful, but I'd never really listened to the words before: "In Christ Alone." 

A verse that really hit me today went like this:
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save 
'Till on that cross, as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live 


We came home from church and had a yummy lunch (if I do say so myself!) of ham, squash casserole, 'Fancy Macaroni' (my contribution), rolls, fruit salad, and an awesome trifle. 

We are stuffed! 
Since I have to be at work at 4 a.m., I'm about to take a shower and head to bed!

Happy Easter. Thank you Jesus, for your sacrifice for me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

thankful.

Today is a very reverent day, and it really makes me thankful.

While I'm excited to come together with family, eat a wonderful meal and wear my new Easter dress, I'm more thankful than anything.

Thankful that Easter isn't just about Easter bunnies, dyeing eggs and finding that one egg with the $5 bill in it. While that is all well and good (and fun!) to do those things, Easter is about being thankful that someone loved you SO MUCH (before you were even born, thousands of years ago) and loved you enough to give up his life, in the worst way possible...for you and me.

I'm getting emotional just writing this, because I can't imagine having to die in the way that he did. He was nailed to a cross by his hands, almost naked, with a crown of thorns pushed into his skull. His mother watched as people mocked him. Spit on him. Called him names.
All for me. A horrible, terrible sinner.

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and aflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes, we are healed."
 -Isaiah 53:4-5


But the true miracle in all of this is that He ROSE AGAIN, and He died so that we may live.

"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week [Sunday], Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was light lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He is risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you.'

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid, yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' He said. They came to him, clasped His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
-Matthew 28:1-10

"Afraid yet filled with joy." Can you imagine? You're walking to go see someone in a tomb, and then this massive earthquake happens [I'm thinking, in my own head, like the recent earthquake in Japan] and all of a sudden this beautiful angel rolls away a huge stone covering the tomb and just sits on it like it's nothing. Then, he tells them, "He's not here. Just as he said, He is ALIVE." That, is what I imagine as, "afraid yet filled with joy."
His promise was fulfilled, and now we may have life. What a miracle. A true miracle.

I couldn't help but think of two songs today as I was getting ready for work. The first was the hymn, "He Lives." I'm sure you've heard it, or sang it at your church. The chorus goes:

"He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me, along life's narrow way. He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart."

The second was the song my aunt sang at my wedding, "Captivate Us." It's such a beautiful song, and if you haven't heard it, please Google it and listen to the beautiful words. I'm going to paste the song lyrics below.

Have a wonderful Easter, friends. Remember why we celebrate this weekend.
I'm thankful today.

"Your face is beautiful, and your eyes are like the stars. Your gentle hands have healing, there inside the scars. Your loving arms, they draw me near, and Your smile, it brings me peace. Draw me closer, oh my Lord, draw me closer Lord to Thee.

Captivate us, Lord Jesus. Set our eyes on You. Devastate us, with your presence, falling down. Rushing river, draw us nearer, holy fountain, consume us, with you. And captivate us, Lord Jesus, with you.

Your voice is powerful and Your words are radiant bright. And in your breath and shadow, I will come close and abide. You whisper love and life divine, and Your fellowship is free. Draw me closer, oh my Lord, draw me closer Lord, to thee.

Captivate us, Lord Jesus. Set our eyes on You. Devastate us, with your presence, falling down. Rushing river, draw us nearer, holy fountain, consume us, with you. And captivate us, Lord Jesus, with you.

And let everything be lost in the shadows of the light of Your face. Let every chain be broken from me, as I'm bound in Your grace. For Your yoke is easy, and your burden is light. You're full of wisdom, power and might, and every eye will see you.

Captivate us, Lord Jesus. Set our eyes on You. Devastate us, with your presence, falling down. Rushing river, draw us nearer, holy fountain, consume us, with you. And captivate us, Lord Jesus, with you.

Captivate us with you."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Excuse my language, but this has been one hell of a week and I'm loving that we're only two days away from the weekend. I told Brandon this morning as I was shuffling into the kitchen to make my coffee, "Arrgghhh. I am so ready for Friday."

He looked at me and said, "Well, babe, it's Wednesday. You have a long way to go. Just make the best of it."

I glared at him.

But then I told him I loved him.

I'm loving the little improvements we're slowly doing to our house.

While there are a few things I hate (and cannot change), namely:

The horrible cabinets that have no pulls, the white walls, ugly countertops circa 1980, no counterspace in the kitchen and bathrooms, and the sliding door/vertical blinds issue, we're making the best of it (to quote my husband) and making improvements here and there.

I hung up the chalk board my parents made me for my birthday in the kitchen, and while it usually says, "I Choose Joy!" (because we all I know I need the constant reminder to choose joy in my life and not be a Negative Nancy), this week it says, "Hoppy Easter!"

I'm so clever.

Not.

I'm thinking about doing a little curtain like Stephanie did in her kitchen over this weird rectangle window. Thoughts?


Okay, you know you're old when you blog about Bar-be-Que sauce and marinade, but we LOVE Stubb's!

I picked their marinade up on a whim a few months ago and now I'm hooked. They have different marinade (obviously) for chicken and beef, and it is SO GOOD.

We marinated chicken breasts in their chicken marinade the other night and put them on the grill. I am that girl who always puts Ketchup or Heinz 57 on my chicken breast, but not this time! The marinade kept it juicy and tender, and the flavor was enough for me to not have to use a dipping sauce.

Okay, I'm hungry typing this so I need to move on.



I just want to say something:

I am very excited for the Royal Wedding and I'm not ashamed to admit it!

Ever since I studied abroad in London in 2007, I have been obsessed with British history (I like history and facts in general, but living there really made me interested in British history), and since I visited the place where William and Kate (excuse me, Catherine) are getting married (on a private tour, no less. Thanks, Baylor!) and I've been to the place where their reception will be (Buckingham Palace, for those of you that think this Royal Wedding hype is stupid)...so needless to say, it's a living history lesson and who doesn't want to see a real-life fairy tale?

I mean, this wedding is going to be out of control: from the tiaras to the dress to the pomp and circumstance...! I'm just excited to see it all.


Well, I'm off to finish my massive to-do list...that I wrote on Monday and have been so busy with other things that I didn't start making a dent in it until 2 p.m. yesterday. Yikes.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love.

My aunt posted the neatest thing on her blog tonight. Visit her blog here to learn about nail colors and the cool "hand tester" that OPI has on their website. 

Enjoy!

Sorry for being a grouch.

Sorry that I was a grouch yesterday. It was just not a good day all around: I was impatient, yelled at my husband because I was hungry and got a little too crazy on WebMD and convinced myself that I have some crazy disease (I don't.).

Needless to say, I was not choosing joy yesterday!!

Today has gone a bit better. I am swamped at work and my shoulders are so tense I feel like I swallowed marbles. Maybe I can talk Brandon into getting me a massage...

Anyway, here's what I was GOING to blog about yesterday: our slow improvements to our apartment via my crappy iPhone pics. :)

Here's our breakfast nook.

 

I hate that sliding door (and even more so the vertical blinds that refuse to be taken off their hinges -- trust me, we've tried)...and that there's carpet under a food area...but it's an apartment and what can you do?

So, here's what we did:
  • Bought new wooden placemats at World Market (aka: my new Mecca)
  • Set the table with our wedding china
  • Used a bowl one of my best friends' fathers sent us from Jordan and filled it with little...balls. I know there's a name but I am too lazy to Google it right now.
  • Pushed the vertical blinds back and hung new curtains, which are actually painter's drop cloths, courtesy of this blog, on curtain hooks. (I love the way they pool on the ground.)
  • You can't see it, but we put out the decanter and glasses we got from this lady for our wedding on a new tray on our little buffet, courtesy of my parents.

...All that in that little corner!!

 

And here's our {teeny} bedroom. We moved from the so-called "master" to this "guest" room to escape from the horrible birds that were outside our windows. The "master" had only one interior wall (this room has three) so we're getting much better sleep.

This room used to have a bed, desk and two side tables. And that's it.

So, here's what we did:
  • Put the bedding and sheets we got for our wedding on our bed.
  • Bought new picture frames at Michael's and framed engagement and wedding pictures. I have this new thing about only wanting pictures of us in our bedroom. Call me weird, but I think there's just something...I don't know...cool about it.  
  • Rearranged some wall art, and hung up hubs' diploma. Mine is STILL sitting in my closet...in the tube I got it in in 2008. Sheesh.
  • Bought and hung up curtains.
  • Hubs mounted our little {and we're talking like 24-in. little} flat screen on the wall above the dresser that was my grandmother's. (I am most likely going to stain it and replace the hardware.)
  • I made a few wine bottle vases and clipped some hyrandgeas and put them on the dresser.
There are still a few things I need to do (like said staining project and replacing the hardware on that and the desk in the bedroom, as well as find something to hang over the bed)...but I think it's coming along nicely.

I'm telling you, I'm wanting to love where I'm living! So, it will be a constant project, but having a home (my safe haven) that I feel cozy, comfortable and AT HOME in is very important to me.

As we update things, I'll post pictures! Happy Tuesday.

PS: A wrong number just called me. She called me "Bunny." That is all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Well...

...I had total intentions of blogging about our fun weekend, and the updates we made to the apartment, how ironing makes me feel insanely "wifey," and even the yummy grilled chicken I'm so excited that hubs is cooking tonight.

But, I feel like this today:


...and I just didn't feel like it.

I didn't sleep well last night (which is surprising because we added drapes to our bedroom and I washed the sheets -- a clear "You should sleep well" deal, right?) and I'm just exhausted today.

I feel like my to-do list will never end and I feel like everyone just needs something.

I cannot wait to get home, change out of this dress & these uncomfortable heels, put on my comfy pants, watch my cute husband grill, and watch Gossip Girl.

5:30 p.m., please hurry up. Kthanks.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

weekend.

{Warning: picture overload!}

I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend! We spent Friday evening having a yummy dinner at this hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant near us, then finished it up with a little shopping at Old Navy and J.Crew. (Love that my husband will shop with me!)

Friday morning, we lazed around the house until my brother-in-law stopped by because he didn't want to go shopping with his wife. (Hubs tried to act like he hated shopping with me, which cracked me up!) We got dressed and headed out to Cowboys Stadium for Kenny Chesney's "Goin' Coastal Tour."


{Don't worry, this picture was taken at a red light.}


"Jerry's World" is absolutely massive, and there were SO many people there! I've never seen that many people tailgating at a concert! We were getting tickled because we got there around 4 p.m. (the first opening act went on at 4:30) and there were people already staggering around and doing the "drunk dance" to Kenny Chesney on repeat on their car stereos. Ohhh man.


We had great seats and got to do a LOT of people-watching. (Which I'm now convinced is better than people-watching at the airport...observations below.)


Uncle Kracker opened, which was surprisingly good. I like his song, "Smile."


Then was Billy Currington, who is so easy on the eyes. :) 

My favorite song he sings is "Good Directions," which I took video of and sent to my oldest brother, who likes it, too. By this point, the stadium was almost full.


Then was Zac Brown Band, which hubs and I LOVE. Every song of theirs is seriously awesome and we totally sang every word of every song at this point! We love "Chicken Fried," "Whatever It Is," "Highway 20 Ride," "Free,"...well, basically their entire first CD. :)

They were great live.


Then was Kenny! He was AWESOME live -- totally better than I imagined he would be. He's very personal, kept calling out Dallas, which got the crowd riled up, and sang a TON of awesome songs that I {sadly} knew every word to!


When he first came out, he was in the middle of the stadium on this little swing-thingie (Brandon said it was the cameras the NFL uses for the field...those ones that swing back and forth. Who knew?)


We had SO MUCH FUN! Thanks, Brandon, for a fabulous birthday gift! 

Okay, now for my observations of (mostly girls) at the stadium:
1. I have never seen so many non-existent "shorts" in my life! I'm pretty sure I saw enough booties to last me a lifetime. I'm not kidding when I say some shorts I saw were the length of those "boy short" underwear. Gross! 

2. Speaking of booties, I'm pretty sure I've seen enough boobies to last me a lifetime, too. My gosh, it's okay to not wear a size small, ladies! If you need a larger size, just buy it! Trust me, it will look much better.
3. Some girls really need a Mommy to tell them they're "not walking out the door like that." Brandon even noticed the little 15 and 16-year olds with itsy, bitsy outfits. He was like, "Ummm, pretty sure there are girls here who just want to be noticed by those dresses." I've taught him well. :) Thank you, Mom, for making me change if I ever needed to!

4. I've never seen more people make out in public IN MY LIFE. Like, we're taking I almost said, "Get a room!!!" People just need to be respectful of others. That's nasty.
5. Apparently Dallas has a lot of "sugar daddies." I saw a LOT of old, old men with younger women (who had lots of...um..."help" in terms of their bodies) that would just pull out their wallets, hand over a $20 and the girls would come back about 20 minutes later (after said sugar daddy spent 20 minutes texting the girls and looking left to right each minute) double-fisting the overpriced Dallas Cowboys-rita. 

6. Here is why hubs and I typically don't go to concerts or movies: BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW HOW TO SIT THEIR BUTTS IN THEIR SEATS. Sorry for the caps, but it's very necessary. I'm not kidding when I say the kids in our row got up no less than 15 times and the drunk guy in front of us didn't sit in his seat the entire time. He thought that sitting on the stairs and telling the prepubescent teenager behind me that he "looked like Justin Bieber" was a great idea. Sheesh. 

Anyway, happy weekend! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

friday!

Happy Friday!

What a crazy busy week this has been. I'm so excited to just relax tonight and sleep in tomorrow. Love me some weekends!

I'm also excited that hubs and I are going to see these guys...


...and this guy in concert this wekeend!


I can't tell you the last time I went to a concert, so I'm pumped.

I'm digging my boots out of the closet and am going to wear them with pride on Saturday.

Happy Weekending!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

bruises + baths.

I bruise easily.

If you were to thump me hard enough, you'd leave a purple bruise on me that would last two weeks. My husband swears up and down {jokingly} that I'm a hemophilliac. (I'm not.)

That said, since we've been moving furniture (big, heavy furniture) all across our apartment; hanging up pictures and putting together TV stands...I look like I was thrown into a boxing ring with no pads or protection.

Exhibit A: I currently have three bruises on my right leg. Not kidding. And I can tell you exactly where they came from. (Interested? Okay. The one on my knee came from my inability to hang a picture correctly and it comes crashing down landing on my knee. Ouch. The one below my knee came from me hitting the lower bathroom cabinet door before dawn. And the one on my shin came from me trying to haul in a huge TV stand box with Brandon.)

That said? I'm tired. My body hurts. I even told Brandon that the skin on my hands hurt.

And, because I can't put pictures in the correct order on Blogger, we're going to take a quick rewind to yesterday afternoon with this photo:


This is my attempt at "beautifying" our apartment. Just a few little things here and there to really make me "love where I'm living." (My new mantra.) 

It's just a teeny silver tray with our Q-tip and cotton ball containers, an engagement picture and my Tiffany's box. It really makes me happy to look at in the mornings. Because that ugly countertop? Not a fan. 

So, going back to my bout with hemophilia (kidding):

Last night, I was reading my latest issue of Real Simple. In the issue, they talked about ways to get jumpstarted for the day, ways to stay jumpstarted during that afternoon slump, and ways to wind down at night.

One of those ways was a hot bath.

Y'all. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't enjoyed a bath in so long. We're talking since before Christmas. I am always just running, running, running, and a shower is always the quickest option.

So, I put down my magazine, pour myself a glass of wine, pull out the yummy bubble bath I got for Christmas, grab Unchartered TERRItory, and hop in.


{Please excuse the industrial grade white tile that seriously needs a cleaning.}

I'm relishing in the steamy bath, thinking to myself, "Man, I should do this more often!" I turn off the water and I hear it:

BAM! BOOM BOOM BOOM! BAM! WHACK WHACK WHACK! OWWWWW! BOOM! BOOM! {Reload}

Ugh. So much for my relaxing bath.

My husband...

...was playing Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Welcome to my life. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Whew, this entire week has been a serious blur. For the first time in awhile, my week has absolutely flown by (not that I'm complaining)! 

Anyway, here's what I'm loving today:

These slim-fit cropped pants I ordered from Old Navy. They're going to be perfect for spring and summer at the office. They can be dressed up or down and the crop-leg reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. Love this photo of her!


My new library books. I love going to the Dallas Public Library

I love reading, and I definitely attribute that to my parents. They typically read every night before going to bed, and they taught us to do the same. Until recently, I had to read every night before going to bed so that I would fall asleep! 

I love the feel, smell and idea of library books. I just like to walk in there and know that any book I want to read is mine, and it's free! (What's better than that?)
My current lineup includes:


I'm also loving our Farmer's Market flowers.

They are so beautiful and make our little apartment feel so cozy and like home.  Our hydrangea is blooming like crazy!


The mint is great and I've already cut up some and put it in my water. Yum!


I'm also loving that I'm not cooking supper tonight! Typically Wednesday nights are our "leftovers night," but we don't have any food leftover to eat! :)

So, iFratelli pizza it is. So excited about not having to cook!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CONGRATS!

I am so excited that I can finally let the cat out of the bag:

One of my bestest friends, Angelica, got engaged on Saturday!


I am soooo excited for she and Colby and can't wait until the big day when they say "I Do!"

Love you both so much!

Hey, It's Okay Tuesday.

Hey, it's okay...

That I'm livid with our insurance company right now. They charged my routine doctor appointment towards our deductible, leaving us with a massive bill. I definitely spent my entire car ride to work on the phone with them and they? Are not nice.

That hubs and I were in bed at 9:45 p.m. on a Monday night. Just call us 85 years old.

That instead of changing my shirt this morning (since the cute little bow was haphazardly hanging off), I just did the little "staple and go." What? I was running late. :)

To be really (like really) excited about the concert we're going to this weekend and be totally unable to focus on work this week. I'm already planning my outfit.

That we renewed our lease for another year. And because of that, we are making our little bitty apartment home. New curtains in the living room? Don't mind if I do.

That I got back on Facebook. I'm a sucker.

To really not like Lady Gaga. Not a fan.

To blare Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" really loud. And know all the words. Just keeping it classy, you know. (And yes, I know the actual lyrics, thank you.)

To decide at 6:45 a.m. today that the coffee maker really needed to be cleaned out and the stainless steel fridge really needed a good wipe down.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

recessionista.

Let's face it: our country is still in recession mode, and we're all looking for a few ways to save a buck here and there. Below are a few things we do to save, and I hope they'll be helpful to you! Please know that we are by no means "super savers!" We have just learned a few things from our families, friends and of course, TV, and wanted to pass along.

First things first, if your local grocery store has a rewards card, sign up for one immediately! I shop weekly at Tom Thumb (which is a Safeway brand...so, for you Houstoners, it's basically Randall's).

The rewards card is free, and my local store always has great deals. I can honestly say that we save about $15-20 a week just by using the rewards card. And a bonus? The more you spend, the more you save -- for every $100 you spend at Tom Thumb, you get a $.10 per gallon discount at their gas station. Since I spend weekly, I always get a $.10 discount on my gas!

Same thing for CVS cards. I currently have a $10 off of $50 coupon in my wallet that I'll be using tonight!


Clip coupons.

I know it sounds crazy and time-consuming, but it really does work. I clip everything from a 40% off one item at Michael's, to $1 off trash bags at Tom Thumb, to a "Beauty Insider" from Sephora that gives me points to earn samples and other items.

Also, before shopping online for anything, I hit up RetailMeNot.com. It's a great site that gives you coupon codes for your online purchase! I've gotten things from free shipping, to a certain percentage off my order.


Make a weekly meal-planning menu.

This.works.

On Sunday evenings, I sit down and make our grocery list for the week. While I'm doing that, I write out what we're having that week on these little menus.

Some people call this anal-rettentive. I call it organization and money saving.

When I make my list, I only put on it what ingredients we'll need to make the menu items, as well as things we always run out of: toilet paper, milk, coffee, etc. It really helps when I go to the store because I only allow myself to purchase what's on the list.

And, while we're on the subject of food: buy off-brand for anything you can. I'm telling you, no one will notice that your chopped green chiles are Safeway brand instead of Old El Paso. For any canned ingredients or other ingredients I need to buy for our meals, I buy off-brand: cream of mushroom soup, onion soup mix, diced tomatoes, canned vegetables, spaghetti noodles, crescent rolls. You catch my drift.

Now, for things I won't skimp on? Organic milk, Jiffy peanut butter, orange juice, cereal.

Just be conscious and think before buying the brand-name items. I always ask myself, "Will I be able to tell this isn't brand-name when I eat it?" If the answer is no, then I buy off-brand.


Shop the sales!

I can honestly say that I don't remember the last time we paid full-price for any clothing. Call us cheap, but it saves money!

My mom always taught me to go to the back of the store first to look for the sales. Honestly, it works. Stores that have the best sales (and things on sale most often)?
Ann Taylor Loft, Gap, Banana Republic, Nordstrom and Anthropologie. We find great things here for a fraction of the price! It's so silly to me to pay full-price for something that will be on sale in just a few short weeks.

{Side note: It made me laugh the other day when Brandon went to J. Crew with me. He walked in first and made a bee-line for the sale rack at the back of the store. A man after my own heart. :)}


Turn it off and unplug.

When you leave for the day, turn your A/C up (or heater down). You're not there, and it makes no sense to cool or heat an empty home. You'll be shocked at how much lower your electricity bill will be. On the same note, turn off your water when you're brushing your teeth. It really saves.

Also, if you don't use it often, unplug it until you need to use it. We do this for our toaster, electric wine opener, coffee maker and laptop. While plugged in (even when off!) you're paying for that electricity. Of course, I'm not saying to keep your microwave or refrigerator unplugged! But anything that you don't use often, just take a moment and slip the plug out of the socket.  


Wash at night.

My parents gave me this tip when I first moved into my "big girl apartment." If you need to run the dishwasher or wash clothes, try to do it in the evening. Water rates are cheaper. Who knew!?

Do any of you have any money-savers? Please share!