Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WILW: Household Helpers Edition

Wow, I can't believe it's already (only?) Wednesday!

I'm so swamped at work, but I wanted to share with you a few things that I'm loving from Pinterest that have really helped me out around the house the last few weeks.

{And, the Pinterest embed feature and Blogger really don't work well together, so my apologies that these pictures are all over the place!}

How to clean a wooden cutting board:



My favorite weeknight meal planner:
 

























The best drain cleaner! I will never put bleach down my disposal again.















































 













Here's a solution to not spilling sugar and/or flour all over your counters and floor:


























Happy Wednesday.
 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whew.

Whew! It's been a busy day of client meetings, working on major planning and generally just trying to keep my head above water.

We're having this for supper, and you know what would be really good to go along with it?

This...


...this...


...or even this.


Whew. What a day. I need to get my yoga and supper and vino on stat.

{Photos via Pinterest}

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Morning Brain Dump.

It's Monday, and it's raining in Dallas. I feel like I'm so out of it, so you're getting a "Monday Morning Brain Dump" post.

By the way, I was in a major bad mood this morning {because it was Monday, duh} but as I was showering, I realized that I took a half day on Friday because of the Labor Day holiday! YES! I did a nice little fist-pump in the shower.

Anyway:

Brandon and I watched former President George W. Bush's "Remembering 9/11" interview on NatGeo last night. I was bawling about five minutes into the show. It just brought back so many emotions of that awful day, and it made me so thankful that we had a CHRISTIAN man leading our country during that terrible, trying time. If you have a chance to watch it, please do. It's such a great interview with my favorite president.

{Photo via Google}


As I mentioned, it's rainy in Dallas today...which is so welcome. However, it totally makes me wish I was at home in my bed right about now...


...but I can't because we're having our disgusting carpets cleaned today.

We renewed our apartment lease, and a perk is that you get your carpets cleaned in all rooms when you do so. {Score for this obsessive cleaner!}

However, you should have seen me moving furniture into our bathrooms and kitchen this morning in my bathrobe, just praying the guys wouldn't knock on our door and say they were ready to start cleaning.

Another perk of apartment living? Not having to pay to get your carpets cleaned.


A few other random items:
  • We're loving our Sunday School class. Our teachers are amazing, and the people in our class are so great, too. It's just nice to go to this class full of Christian people that are going through the exact same things we are. We just love the fellowship.
  • I made the Pioneer Woman's Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package last night, and I'm pretty sure I'm craving it right now. At 10:24 a.m. Because that's normal.
  • I'm trying crazily to wear all of my white pants and white dresses this week since Labor Day is Monday. Because of course, in true Southern fashion, we typically only wear white after Easter and before Labor Day. Looks like we'll be using a lot of bleach in our house on laundry day.
  • Yay for Beyonce and Jay-Z announcing they're expecting a baby. I'm just so proud that she is a celebrity for young girls to look up to; she did it right: "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage."
  • Pinterest makes me feel like my wardrobe is inferior. And it makes me hungry. I love that site.
  • I just had a long meeting. Now I need a Diet Coke.
  • I'm done rambling. Have a great day, y'all!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

weekend.

I'm currently curled up on the couch watching House Hunters International. It's hot outside, but I'm snuggling with my red Restoration Hardware blanket, willing myself to not take a nap; if I sleep now, I won't sleep tonight. 

It's so crazy how quickly the weekends go. Weren't we just sitting in Friday afternoon traffic? How is it already Sunday? 

After the lack of sleep we got this week, we surely made up for it this weekend. Lots of relaxing, eating and sleeping. The perfect weekend. 

Friday:
Brandon and I had an early supper at Desperados and then went to the Rangers game. It was so hot, but the Rangers played a great game {and won!} so we enjoyed it. 


Oh hey, cute husband.


Saturday:
We slept until 10 a.m. It was wonderful. I met my aunt at NorthPark for some shopping and lunch at Nordstrom, and then went to the grocery store. Later that afternoon, we got out and went to Starbucks to test out our Internet {we've been having some major problems with our Mac since updating to the Lion software}; it was so relaxing to sip coffee and work/play on Pinterest while Brandon read. 

We came home and watched Men of Honor and cooked an amazing supper: steak, ranch potatoes and asparagus. Mmm. 


Sunday:
We went to Sunday School, and then my sweet friend Lindsey and her husband came over, as they were in town! It was so great to see her. We went to lunch at In-N-Out, then grabbed Pinkberry {I will be working that lunch off for days!} I'm currently doing laundry and waiting for Brandon to get back from a little lunch "meeting" with his two brothers. 

A lazy, relaxing Sunday, for sure.

Hope y'all had a great weekend!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tired.

I have learned that there are some things about marriage that I could totally do without.

Those items include: a toilet seat that stays up no matter how much you beg and plead for it to be put down; finding underwear behind the bathroom door {Really?! My brothers were so much cleaner!}; and the whole sleep situation.

I'm not kidding when I say that I learned last night why old people sleep in separate bedrooms.

This saying is the darn truth today. Pretty sure I have about a pound of concealer under my eyes:


Let me preface this by saying that I sleep like a ROCK. Haven't always, but when there are four kids in your house growing up, then you move to college and your dorm room is convienently located next door to the communal bathroom...you learn to sleep through things. And this is gross, but I have an iron bladder, which I totally credit to my Dad (hi, Dad!) never wanting to stop on long road trips. So, in less words, I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom.

Brandon on the other hand? I tease him that he has old lady sleep habits. WHICH IS TRUE. If you so much as roll over, Brandon will wake up in the middle of the night. And will stay awake for long periods of time. And has the opposite of an iron bladder.

Well last night, I was the one with old lady sleep habits. Homeboy rolled over no less than 456 times, snored, radiated heat like it was his job, stole the covers and got up about three times to go to the restroom. And on one of those trips, dropped Ibuproufen all over the tile floor. And I was awake for all of it.

Pretty sure I got about three hours {total} of sleep last night. And I am exhausted. Sorry for the pity party. But this is no fun. I need a nap.

Here's to making it through the rest of the day.

TGIF!

{Photo via Pinterest}

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rain.

"If you pray for rain, be prepared to deal with some mud."
-Dolly Parton

We've been praying for rain around here for awhile. Apparently this is the longest drought the Dallas area has experienced in a long time...and it's blatantly obvious: my plants are dying, grass is a gorgeous shade of brown, there are water restrictions and we've been under a burn ban for months.

But then...it rained. Not for long, but we've been seeing the ominous clouds here since yesterday and this morning it finally did it. And judging from the Facebook statuses and Twitter posts I saw, everyone was just as happy as I was to see liquid falling from the sky.


Just as there comes a point in each day when I'm completely done working, there comes a time {typically each August} that I am completely done with summer.

You see, summer in Texas lasts from about May until early October. Yes, you read that correctly. Five months of intense heat. About three months of 100+ degree days every.single.day.

I crave the 61 degree temperatures I heard Al Roker say were in New York City earlier this week. 61 degrees in August...can you imagine?!

But because I am so over summer, I am ringing in fall a bit early in our house. Don't judge!

What are we doing? So glad you asked.

Right now the biggest items are my Pumpkin Brulee Yankee Candle (Y'all. This candle smells SO GOOD I could eat the darn thing.) and making meals that are a bit more fall, like the pot roast I made Monday.

But today? Oh, today. I started craving Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte.

But it's not out yet.

So I got a Peppermint Mocha. And of course that made me want cooler temperatures even more.

Here's to summer ending quickly and fall approaching! I'm ready for boots, Baylor Homecoming, fires in the fireplace and pumpkin spice lattes!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday.

Happy Wednesday!

A few things I'm loving this week:


{Have it on today, in fact, and have gotten lots of compliments on it!}


I'm not going to lie to you. This was not an easy dish. I made it on Sunday night, and would most likely have to make it on weekend nights again. There are just a lot of steps, but it totally pays out in the end. Brandon kept saying, "This is SO GOOD." Yay!

My only modifications to the recipe {linked above}:
*I added in a bit of heavy cream, which I already had on hand. The sauce just wasn't thickening.
*I added in a bit more marsala wine than the recipe called for.
*I used bottled parsley...it's cheaper and lasts longer.



I do not eat a traditional breakfast. I know, I really should. But I just can't scarf down eggs or a muffin in the mornings. So, we eat Clif Mini Bars!

I had them at my parents' for a snack, and fell in love with them. They're full of protein, so it keeps you full. {And at 100 calories, much better for you than those 100-calorie pack cookies.}

I eat one of these for breakfast and another around the 3 p.m. slump, and I'm totally tided over until supper around 7 p.m.

We order ours from Amazon, and they're delivered twice-monthly for only around $10 a month...which is way cheaper for the $2.50 per mini bar my grocery store sells them for.



I know I mentioned it before, but I am really loving this polish! It's my last little summer fling before fall colors come into play, when I'm fully loyal to OPI's "Lincoln Park After Dark" until about February.


And, to answer the questions I've received about yesterday's post, no I am not pregnant; no, I am not trying to get pregnant; no, I did not get a promotion (that would be nice); no, Brandon did not get a promotion/switch jobs; and no, we did not buy a house/moving.

It was just a very good day and we got great news about something we'd been waiting to hear back on for forever. And who doesn't love to celebrate!?

"While every day might not be good, there is something good in every day."
-Unknown

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh, Happy Day!

I don't know how many times I can say it, but:

THIS DAY HAS TURNED OUT TO BE AMAZING!!!






So excited to "celebrate" this fantastic day over a glass of wine with my hubs.


{Photos via Pinterest}

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School...

"Back to school, back to school...to prove to Dad that I am not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight."
-Billy Madison

While that movie is hilarious, isn't it strange that it's already time for the kiddos and teachers to go back to school? I feel like we were just celebrating Memorial Day, and now here we are on the first day of school for so many.

No matter that I haven't "celebrated" a first day of school since August 2008; this time of the year always makes me want to go back-to-school clothes shopping, go to the dentist and doctor, and start a routine.

I'm not sure what show we were watching this weekend that said that the first day of school was like celebrating a new year. And to some effect, it really is!

My prayers are with all of you teachers and students {shout out to my siblings, who start school tomorrow!} as you begin this new school year.


Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, I was working on a small canister in which to store our coffee.

You see, here's what our coffee "storage" used to look like:

{Please excuse our industrial-grade, tacky apartment countertops.}


Pretty bad, huh? And I always wondered why the last pot never tasted as good as the first; it wasn't keeping fresh!

So I went to the grocery store yesterday and picked up some coffee. Except Tom Thumb quit selling my coffee by the little bag {as seen above}. They only sell it now by the beans. Which means I had to grind my own coffee in the middle of the grocery store yesterday. No biggie; I did it and it's actually much tastier!!


And after picking up an airtight cannister at Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday (only $6.99!), I picked up some chalkboard paint and we were in business.

And can I tell you something? That airtight business? They are not joking around. I couldn't even get it open the first time and had to hold it while Brandon yanked on the lid!

But anyway, I'm loving it and it makes our coffee 'experience' a bit easier in the mornings.


Oh, and speaking of getting back in the routine business, check out what I got up early to get in the Crock Pot this morning:


That's right. That's a pot roast with carrots and baby red potatoes. I may or may not really be looking forward to supper tonight.

Happy Monday!

{Top photo via Pinterest}

Sunday, August 21, 2011

weekend.

Ah, Sunday. You're already here! How does this always happen so quickly? 

Our weekend was full of doing exactly what we needed: relaxing. And I'm sure these "weekend wrap-up" posts aren't exactly riveting for y'all to read, but it's fun for me to go back and see what we did, etc. 

Friday:
Brandon got off work early, so he picked up a movie and a bottle of wine before I got home. I made tacos, and we started watching the movie he picked out: Cedar Rapids

Y'all. That is the absolute worst movie we have seen in our lives. It was dark, stupid and dirty. After 30 minutes of torturing ourselves, Brandon went back to Tom Thumb to pick up another (yes, another) bottle of wine and Rio, which, by the way, was precious and I just loved Will.I.Am voicing the movie.

And if you've seen it, you know why I am currently singing in my head, "Take it, take it to 'da floor; show her, show her how you roll; drop it drop it drop it low..." 


Saturday: 
We couldn't really sleep in {darn you, vino!} so we were up before 8:30 a.m. I picked up around the house and got everything ready for my friend Laura to arrive. 

Before she got here, I had to go get my nails done. (Remember how nasty they looked on Friday?) Well, my go-to nail salon was uber-packed, so I had to go to a new place, and instead of sitting in those spa chairs, you sit in recliners and they massage your feet and legs with hot rocks. Very interesting...
I decided to change things up and get Essie's "Cute as a Button." I love it!

After the nail place, Brandon went to Tom Thumb with me, and while there he decided that then was a good time to get our flu shots. Call me an old lady, but I'll be damned if I am down and out for seven days again with the dreaded flu!!! That was the absolute worst week of my {and Brandon's} life and I refuse to go through that again. Dallas peeps: if you get your flu shot at Tom Thumb's pharmacy, you get 10 percent off your groceries! We saved $21 with the 10% off coupon they gave us! 


Later that afternoon, Brandon gardened a bit for me {our poor plants are just frying in this heat} and even went out and bought aloe vera and agave plants to fill the pot that used to house my pretty hydrangeas that just couldn't make it through this hot summer. I'm so excited he likes to do things with our plants...because I have a major black thumb.

Laura finally came over {I was anxious to see her all day!} and we braved Texas Tax-Free Weekend and hit up NorthPark

Y'all. I told Laura she better know how much I love her because NorthPark was cuh-razy. If you know NorthPark, people were parked in the grass next to the parking lots and parking garages because everything was so packed. After stalking some people, we finally found a parking spot and ventured inside to the brand new H&M --the only one in Texas -- and it was insane. 

Check out the line we waited in: 


It was like a club! When people came out, people got to go in. Our line was only about a 5-minute wait, thankfully. 

Side note:
Laura and I have a special place in our hearts for H&M because that's the store we basically went broke in when we were studying abroad in London. And so we pretty much did the same thing here; among other things, I bought the below dress:

{Please excuse our un-made bed.}


Later that night, Brandon and I both got hour and a half massages!!! He really does spoil me. It was wonderful and so needed. The poor masseuse was like, "Um, yeah, your shoulders are terrible.
Oops. 

Sunday:
My little sister was baptized today! Brandon and I are so proud of her and are excited that my grandfather got to come in from Mexico to baptize her. 
{My grandfather is a pastor at an English-speaking Baptist church in Mexico City.} 

Brandon and I went to Sunday School this morning and then came home and ate some leftovers. 

And what's a weekend without Pinterest crafts?! I decided to make a burlap table runner after seeing this as inspiration. 

It doesn't look exactly the same, but I love it nonetheless! 

After it was made, before setting up the table: 


With the table set: 


And up close: 


Would you be shocked if I told you it's done by folding and stapling in the folds? I won't tell if you won't. 

If you've made it this far, I applaud you! :) I'm going to get back to my next craft...something that will look a little like this

Happy Sunday. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

How To...

First off, Happy Friday! I am so glad it's here, and this is going to be a wonderful weekend. I have a sweet friend coming to visit on Saturday morning, and I am beyond excited.

Moving on...

I have been asked how I clean my engagement and wedding rings. And honestly? I can tell you now that I {sadly} don't clean them as often as I would like. If I could, I'd do it every day! And so, here are my tried-and-true tips for getting that sparkler looking like the day he got down on one knee. :)

Disclaimer:
When Brandon purchased my ring, he did a small add-on that allowed me to get my ring cleaned as often as I would like, so long as it was inspected once a year. Fine by me! Well, the store he purchased it from is all the way at 635 and the Tollway, which is not easy to access during the week due to traffic, and it's kind of out of the way unless you're headed in that direction. So I took matters into my own hands.

I took a note from Gus Portokalos (can you tell I love My Big Fat Greek Wedding?) and put some Windex on it.

Take a small bowl {I just use our shallow dessert dishes} and drop your rings into it. Mine are sautered, so I just drop "one" item in, but you're welcome to put in as many as you like! Pour enough Windex to cover the item(s).


Let it soak overnight. When you wake up, you'll be shocked at all the "gunk" floating around in the Windex. Do a quick rinse under the faucet and dry well with a clean towel.


And wa-la!

This is a before and after of my ring. I'm sure many of you can't tell a difference, but I sure can!

{And please excuse my disgusting overgrown gel nails. Manicure and pedicure this weekend!}


Also, if any of you have {real} pearl earrings that need a good cleaning, Hallie has a great tutorial.

{Photo via Hallie's blog}


Hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Turn that Frown Upside Down

I love this guy. LOVE him. {And I'm sure I'm a little biased, but who cares?}

I was not having a good day today. I woke up tired, ready for Friday and just annoyed at the world.


But he knows how to make it better, and how to make me laugh.


This guy? Had jury duty today. Which, by the way, is right across the street from my office.

He was dismissed a bit before 11 a.m., so he came to my office and sat and read his book until I deemed it an "appropriate" time to have lunch.

{11:15 a.m. for an early lunch, if you're wondering.}


And so we lunched. Together. Right across the street from my office at Wild Salsa.

And as simple a gesture as that was, it made me feel 10,00 times better. It broke up my day and allowed me to just breathe and realize that everything will be okay. Nerdy as it is, I just love seeing him and spending time with him.

Isn't it funny how that one person can make you feel like everything's just going to be okay? {Insert Meredith Grey quote about Christina being her "person."}


And can I tell you something else? He is my best friend. I know you're really not supposed to throw out "best friend" because one friend gets her feelings hurt and runs away on the playground and takes her Lisa Frank stickers away.

But honestly.

He is my best friend.
{We always quote that stupid line from The Fox & The Hound to each other: "You're my best friend, Todd."}

Before I got engaged/married, I didn't know how you were supposed to be best friends with a boy. They don't get it, they don't understand the girly things, they won't watch Steel Magnolias with you time and time again.

But then I realized it. It's respect, friendship and love. And I love him to pieces.
And really, really enjoy him taking 30 minutes out of his day to have a cheap lunch with me. It meant the world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's Wednesday...mid-way through the week. It's been busy for me, but the week is going by like a snail. Maybe I'm just excited to sleep in and do nothing this weekend? Anyway, here's what I'm loving this week:


I'm sure I've posted about this before, but I just love this {easy} pasta. And, it's from Bethenny, so you know it's healthy. Brandon and I gobble it down every time. I made it for "Meatless Monday" this week and it didn't disappoint. And I never need an excuse to eat pasta! My body craves carbs...and yes, I know that's terrible.


Spontaniety

Brandon called me at work yesterday afternoon and wanted to know if I was down for seeing a movie last night. At first I said "no." Y'all know how into routine I am and I just wasn't in the mood to see a movie on a random Tuesday night. But then I got to thinking. We don't have kids or animals to take care of or get home to, and frankly, this is the "free-est" we'll ever be in our lives. Why not go see a movie? So I called him back and said, "You know what? Yeah, let's go."

So, we went to see The Change-Up at Studio Movie Grill last night. While the movie was so dirty and the food is always sub-par, it was nice to literally change things up and go on a weeknight date with my husband.

And yes, I said the movie was dirty. We got to talking after the movie about it. "Was the movie really that dirty, or are we just getting more mature?" We decided that we were probably getting more mature (not to say we didn't laugh!). But literally, I heard enough f-bombs and saw enough boobies to last me a lifetime in that movie.


Our first anniversary trip is coming up!

In exactly two months, we will be here.
{Albeit a week after our actual anniversary, but what can you do?}

I can't believe our first anniversary is almost here. Cheesy as it sounds, I feel like our wedding was only a month ago!

I'm so excited to spend six days with my precious husband at this gorgeous place!


Reassurance

As I mentioned earlier this month, Brandon and I were going through something that was really hard. It was a big hurdle for us and was a trial set in front of us.

Well, as of yesterday, everything is over. A huge wave of relief washed over us and we are so glad that that hurdle is behind us.

It was so comforting knowing throughout the entire ordeal that someone much bigger than us was (and is!) in control of the situation.


By the way, I'm loving my "Summer Hits of the 90's" station on my iPhone's Pandora. Currently jamming out to Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever." Take anyone else back to middle school!?

Hope y'all have a great Wednesday!

{Photos via Google and Pinterest}