Monday, January 30, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

This is me this week:

Lots, and lots...and lots of stuff going on at work this week, so this will be my last post until this weekend.

I promise I'm here {and I promise I'm reading your blogs!} but please forgive me if I don't comment on them, if I ignore you on Gchat, or if I don't respond to your calls and/or text messages. I'm alive, just head down in work.

Have a happy week!


{Photo from here}

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Midnight in Paris

Today was...interesting.

I, along with two of my girlfriends from work, attended a funeral of a father of a fellow co-worker and friend. Funerals always make me feel...odd. I have no words for my feelings; none that I can even comprehend into thoughts to type here. It's bittersweet, really. 

I know what it feels like to be told your father has cancer. But I don't know what it feels like to be told that your father died of cancer. Incomprehensible, really. 

I remember what my father told me the day he and my mom told me he was sick: "I will be there to walk you down the aisle on your wedding day. And I will be there to bounce your children on my knee, and see them bound down that staircase, just like I saw you do." And he fulfilled the first half of that promise already. And I love him even more for it. 

I started crying as I was driving home in the car with my friend Lisa. I told her what I just told you, and then tears ran down my face thinking that our friend will never have the honor and privilege of walking arm-in-arm with her father down the aisle on her wedding day. Just thinking of it now breaks my heart. Having my father walk me down the aisle on my wedding day was one of the most special moments of my life. I will remember that quiet, special time, right as the doors closed behind my little sister - my maid of honor - and that anticipation set in. It's captured by camera, which I'm so thankful for. He said to me, "You look beautiful." 

I still can't imagine how my friend and her family feels. Honestly, I hope I don't have to for a long time. My heart breaks for them and I've been in constant prayer for them all day. 


I came home and sat on the couch and just held my husband tight. We put in "Midnight in Paris," which, frankly, is one of my new favorite movies. 

I normally think Woody Allen is a bit quirky, but he did this one right. 

I want to move to Paris in the 1920s. But I guess I will have to settle for a trip to Paris in a very near summer. 

{Photo via Google}

Friday, January 27, 2012

Menu Friday.

Yay, it's Friday! We again have no weekend plans...I love it!

February is going to be the month of lots of work, lots of weddings and lots of weekend plans, so we're soaking up the "no plans weekends" while we can.


On to Menu Friday.

We went to our area's little country club for dinner and drinks, and I {sadly} couldn't resist the Mexican plate. What? Don't you eat cheese enchiladas while drinking a glass of red wine?

My good ol' standby, Martha's Roasted Salmon with White-Wine Sauce, accompanied by asparagus and English peas.

The only thing I do different is that I replace chives with dill. This is super easy, super quick and if you like salmon, it's a win-win for everyone.

Skinny Taste's Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella and salad. This was oddly very good and insanely easy. Brandon grilled the chicken, then I placed the spinach and cheese on top, popped it in the oven for eight minutes and wa-la!

I halved this recipe, so I skipped the roasted red pepper garnish. I mean, purchasing one whole pepper for six strips of garnish? No, thank you!

We love pasta in our house. We especially love pasta in our house on a weeknight when said author of this blog gets home at 6 p.m. and can barely get a meal on the table before said author's husband starts complaining he's hungry and asks for a snack. {Did you catch that?}

Enter Whole-Wheat Pasta with Shrimp, Asparagus and Goat Cheese. Not kidding, this was my dream pasta.

So easy, so yummy and IT INVOLVES GOAT CHEESE.

The only thing I did was, after mixing all ingredients together, heat it over medium heat {while constantly stirring} to make sure it was completely warm throughout.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake. This is so simple that it's almost as simple as regular ol' spaghetti.

To make it easier and quicker, I use two packages of Uncle Ben's whole grain brown 90-second "Ready Rice" and frozen {but thawed} fajita strips. Then it's literally opening of cans, mixing and spooning into a casserole dish for 25 minutes of baking.

{And we always have lots of leftovers.}

I top ours with more salsa, light sour cream and a sprinkle of Mexican cheese.

Leftovers, duh. {And after the day I had, leftovers were just what the doctor ordered.}

Another quick and easy standby: Bow-Tie "Lasagna" and English peas.

I had coffee with my friend Jessica last night, so I needed something that I could throw together quickly. Brandon ooh-s and ahh-s over this meal so much that you'd think I had slaved all day in the kitchen.

The only modification is that I use ground turkey as opposed to ground beef, and I add more Italian Seasoning than it calls for {just to taste}.

Moving away from Menu Friday, Brandon told me this morning that I was talking in my sleep last night. Usually I mumble, but I apparently said, "Brandon? Brandon? I'm really not sleeping well!" Random!

Ugh, as I'm typing our building's fire drill alarm went off. Really? Kill me now.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I had a throbbing migraine that lasted all afternoon and into the evening; it even pounded as I was crawling in my bed.

Brandon knew what a horrible day I'd had, so he brought home a bottle of wine and made a fire; it was a dreary evening and the night just called for it.

I fell asleep for a bit on the couch, curled up with Oliver. I honestly can't even tell you what was on TV. My head hurt that bad.

Earlier in the evening, between reheating leftovers and falling asleep on the couch, I was reading my blogroll, and came across Blue Eyed Bride's post about "Blessed Be The Name" clothing. Immediately I started singing softly Matt Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name."

And as I was singing, specific verses hit me:

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say,
"Lord, blessed be Your name..."

And Jesus hit me, like he usually does, smack dab over the head. He deserves to be praised when all's right in the world, and He deserves it (even though "there's pain in the offering" and it's hard to do it) when things are bad.

It's that faith thing I posted about yesterday. Even though we don't see Him physically, we still believe in him and know that He's good. And know that He has plans for us...plans that we might not have wanted for ourselves. He knows us. And He wants us to know Him and praise Him, in good times and in bad.

And you know what? He smacked me twice last night. I was also playing around on Pinterest and saw this...and immediately 'pinned' it. I know it's typically used for children's rooms {I know I'll have it in our children's rooms} but it hit me just how big God is and even though there are billions of us in this world He created, He still knows each of us intimately. How amazing is that?!

I love all of Psalm 139, but the verses I'm referencing follow:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in that secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

-Psalm 139:13-16

He is amazing, and He is to be praised.

{Photo via We Heart It}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's a dreary day in Dallas...and it's a day that has been exceptionally difficult in more ways than one. I'm not going to go into the details, but let's just say that my mood matches the weather today.

I have about a pound of it on today, but trust me, it works.

I'm having coffee with my sweet friend Jessica tomorrow night. Jess and I met in our Newlyweds Sunday School class and instantly clicked. Not kidding, we have so much in common that it's freaky at times. :)

I am literally counting down the hours until I get to see her and have some girl time.

There are so many things on my heart right now...prayer requests from and for various people and prayer that I need to pray over some people who have recently confided in me.

It's so hard for me to remember the biggest thing about Christianity sometimes; that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

I'm off to finish working for the day and head home for a nice glass of wine...or two.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar Nods.

It is no secret that I love The Help (the book and the movie).

I read the book right after it came out in the beach in Orange Beach, Ala. with my would-be in-laws and future husband.

I completely fell in love with the book. Growing up in the South, I had a black woman that babysat me while my Dad was at work. Her name was Linda, and she let me eat butter out of the Country Crock tub {ew, I know} and I hid from her and she couldn't find me for so long that she called my dad to come home to find me. {I was hidden in a little cubby of my closet.} She was at my wedding, and as talkative as she is, I love her.

My paternal grandparents had Mozell {Linda's mother}, who was with them from before my Dad was born until I was in about middle school. When searching for photos for my grandparents 50th anniversary video, my aunt found a photo of Mozell with them on Christmas Day. Not with her own family, with them.

So I could somewhat identify with this book and film. And it has quickly become one of my favorite movies and books.

This morning, I was watching the Today Show when the Oscar nominations came through. And guess what?

The Help {movie, obviously} was nominated for Best Picture!

And Viola Davis {Aibileen Clark} was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role!

And Jessica Chastain {Celia Foote} was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role!

And so was Golden Globe winner Octavia Spencer {Minny Jackson}!

I was so excited! Can't wait to watch the Oscars on Feb. 26.

{Photos via Google}

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cozy weekend.

We did absolutely nothing this weekend...just the way we like it.

We enjoyed dinner and drinks together at our neighborhood's country club on Friday. Slept late and got cozy on the couch all day Saturday. 

{This quilt was made by my great-great grandmother. I never met her, but I love knowing she made this.} 

The DVR was our best friend this weekend, as we watched shows we hadn't watched from the week: Law & Order: SVU, Dateline, The Firm and 20/20

We also watched the South Carolina debate with our little buddy, who I swear gets cuter and cuter by the day. 

Went to church this morning, followed by a diaper shower/lunch for a sweet couple in our Sunday School class. 

{Thanks for the diaper guidance, Stephanie!!!} 

And now we're cozied up on the couch watching football and enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Menu Friday

Happy Friday! We're here!

We have no plans this weekend {again} and I'm so excited about that. It's supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, so I'm planning to go shopping while Brandon plays golf. :)

Here's my Menu Friday; enjoy!

{Friday, Brandon brought home Desperado's. I love him.}

We had Bethenny's Shrimp Scampi. But when I was making it, I noticed it was exactly this recipe, which I know by heart. Honestly, I would skip Bethenny's recipe next time and just use my tried-and-true recipe from The Little Kitchen That Could.
{She went to Baylor. Sic 'Em.}

Hubs watched football all day, so it was the perfect night for my Aunt Katherine's Quick and Easy Chili. So good, so easy, and we had leftovers for three days.
{And yes, it was me that ate chili leftovers for lunch for three days. I'm chili-ed out.}

I don't use bacon in ours (simply because I do not like bacon) and I serve it with low-fat Ritz crackers instead of Fritos. I also use ground turkey as opposed to ground beef.

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Casserole with salad and a glass of Pinot.
This was probably our favorite meal this week {and of course was our "splurge" meal}.

Again, I subsituted ground turkey for ground beef {I try to do this in 99 percent of our meals} and I used 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning...because we love our Italian seasoning. Next time, I would cover this with foil in the oven. The recipe doesn't say to, but the top layer was a tiny bit dried out.

{I love having holidays off! Supper was on the table...ahem, coffee 6:15 p.m.! That's usually the time we're just getting home. Love it!}


These were good, but weren't as good as I thought they'd be. Also, it was a LOT of chopping. I couldn't find the cheese it calls for, so I just used regular ol' low-fat Mexican cheese. I also thought I'd get crafty and use Queso Fresco, too. Don't be like me and do that. Queso Fresco doesn't melt, people. {Makes me wonder what's actually in Queso Fresco...}

Brandon liked these, but I wasn't too impressed.

{Wednesday was leftovers, per usual.}


This was actually very good and very creamy, but it took a LONG time. I had to stand at the stove and stir in vegetable broth one cup at a time until each was absorbed. Next time, I will make this on a weekend...this working girl can't get this on the table in a reasonable hour during the workweek! {I'm not kidding when I tell you that we ate at 8 p.m. Out of control.}

As a treat, I made on Sunday {per Brandon's request} Lemon Cool Whip Cookies. These were SO good and ridiculously easy. And Brandon gobbled them up. He's even requested them for dessert when we have our friends Austin and Jessica over in a couple of weeks. Yes, they're that good.
{And cheap! Only $3 something for all the ingredients, because I already had eggs and I bought store brand Cool Whip and confectioner's sugar. My store was having a sale on cake mix, so I spent about $2 on that.}

Tonight we're having a good standby, Martha's Roasted Salmon with White Wine Sauce and asparagus.

This recipe, too, is insanely easy and very good. I use dill instead of chives, however.

And just for giggles, this is how Brandon was "playing" with Oliver last night during the South Carolina debate.

Yes, he had him wrapped into a blanket {like a hammock} and was slowly swinging him back and forth. Oliver loved it. Me? Not so much.

I told Brandon that his future "Dad skills" were to be determined.

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New obsession.

Thanks to Hopsy and Stephanie, I am now officially obsessed with Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser concealer.

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I've tried a ton of concealers out there, from Clinique to Bobbi Brown to Cover Girl.

And this is the best. It's quick, it erases my insane dark circles and it does it quickly. A win in my book!

It was only $8.99 at my local CVS...stop by and pick up a tube today.
Seriously. Go.

{Photo via Maybelline}

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fun facts.

My college friend Stephanie tagged me in one of those fun "getting to know you" posts that is currently making its way 'round the blog world.

Just follow the rules {posted below} and enjoy my fun random facts. :)

Happy Wednesday!

the rules:
1. you must post the rules.
2. post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. tag eleven people and link them on your post
5. let them know you've tagged them!
my {fun} facts
1. I am an obsessive compulsive cleaner. We're talking I have to make the bed in the morning even if I'm running late, and I get overly excited about cleaning on the weekends. Yeah, I know. 
2.  I have a weakness for wine and cheese. As my friend Jenna said, "I haven't met a cheese I didn't like."
3. I'm from a small town in southeast Texas. That said, I say words that I get strange looks for. Exhibit A: "The feeder road." Until I got married, I didn't know that there was another name for it. {Which, if you're wondering, is "access road."} I also say things like "iiiice tea" for "iced tea," and drawl out my "i's" on words like "Hi," "mile," "mine," "wine," and "fine."
{You'll also get an occasional "fixin'" if you listen for it.}
People in my office like to say to me, "Country comes to town!"
4. Like Stephanie, I went to Baylor and am obsessed with that school and everything green and gold. Sic 'Em, Bears! Brandon and I just pray that our kids are smart and/or athletically inclined...scholarship!!!
5. My one indulgence? A gel manicure and regular pedicure every two or three weeks.
6. My favorite type of writing utensil is the Sharpie fine point pen. Obsessed.
7. I'm an admitted planner. I like to know what's going to go on and when. So much so that I use a meal planner, have already taken off my days for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and use a Post-It note system for my work calendar.
{"I invented Post-Its."}
8. Correct grammar is a must for me. {Yes, I know this negates #3 above.}
The whole you're, your; to, too, two; they're, their, there thing? A MUST. I literally cringe when I see people use "your" or "you're" incorrectly.
Also, for the record: it's sneak peek. Not "sneak peak."
9. You can always tell when I'm mad. I can't cover up my feelings.
10. My closet is color-coordinated and is organized by strapless-long sleeve. Yep.
11. Our cat's name is Oliver, but we've taken to calling him, "Boo Boo." As in, "Where's the Boo Boo?" I blame Bethenney.
And now for Stephanie's questions....
1. What is your favorite part about blogging?
I like getting it all out there, and then having a place to look back and reminisce. It's a love/hate relationship at times, but I like getting a sneak peek into others' lives.
2. Who is your celebrity crush?
Colin Firth. Like Stephanie, LOVE that accent.
And even though he's cray-cray, I do love me some Brad Pitt.
3. What is your favorite place/city in the world?
London. Absolutely, hands down, London. I studied abroad there in summer 2007 and it was the best summer of my life.
4. If you could tell us a time when you helped a stranger the most, when was it?
Last year it snowed really bad in Dallas, and my office closed early. I was on my way home, and this poor lady was going down the exceptionally snowy sidewalk in her electric scooter to get to the bus stop. I slowed down to look at her and thought, "Bless her heart, she has to be cold."
I was turning the corner and she got stuck in the snow and couldn't get out; wheels spinning. So, I pulled over and put my flashers on and pushed her to the bus stop. It was so cold, but I kept thinking, "Never forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it." -Hebrews 13:2
5. If you could have only one magazine subscription for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
It's a tie between Real Simple and Southern Living
6. What is your biggest fear? 
Snakes. I hate them.  
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
Manicures & pedicures, wine & cheese and trashy Bravo TV
8. Can you recall your favorite childhood memory?
Skiing with my family in Angel Fire, New Mexico
9. Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter, definitely. And I think that so many people with their incessant Facebook status updates diary need to get Twitter, too.
10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People with airs about them.
I don't care what college you went to, what your career is, where you do or do not live and how much money you do or do not make. People are so judgmental of others because of these things {even if they want to admit it or not} and I'm so over it.
11. How would you sum yourself up in three words or less?
Quirky. Silly. Loving.
And the lucky people I tag are {sorry, I'm doing less than 11!}:
{because I'm lazy I'm going to copy Stephanie's questions... enjoy my friends!}
Stephanie at A New Day
Natalie at The COLLEy blog  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I did a post awhile back about "happies." And I might be jinxing myself, but today has been a really good day just full of "happies." Nothing in particular has happened; I think those are the best "really good days." Days that your chin is held a little higher, the day seems a bit brighter, and you're generally just nicer to people...and they're nicer to you. I love days like this.

The weather {albeit until today} has felt and tasted like early spring. Can I admit something to you? I really liked it. It got me super excited for Easter, spring dresses, cool mornings and warm afternoons, sunny days, Daylight Savings Time, my birthday {ahem}, and spring-ing to the same CD I've "spring-ed" to since college: Pat Green's "Lucky Ones."

So, I went to Tom Thumb yesterday on my day off and picked up a cheap bouquet of flowers. I love how flowers {even cheap ones} can brighten a room.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I'm entirely too obsessed with anything and everything lemon right now. I'm not even joking. It's getting to be unhealthy.

So on Sunday, husband requested Lemon Cool Whip cookies.

Oh. My. Gosh.

These things are out of this world good. (And easy!)

I may or may not have had one for breakfast this morning.

And husband may or may not have requested these for dessert when we have our friends Austin and Jessica over in a few weeks.

Just sitting down with a glass of milk and these cookies made me happy.

Oh, and precious Oliver. I honestly love this little guy.

I was playing around on the computer on Sunday and he just hopped up and sat on the laptop like he owned the place. He's so sweet.

And Happy Birthday to one of my "big little brothers," Parker, who is 15 today. Love you, Tommy!

{That's our nickname for him. His name is Thomas Parker, but goes by Parker. My
BFF Lindsey nicknamed him "Tommy" a few years has really stuck!}

Happy Tuesday, and happy short week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Globes 2012.

Did y'all watch the Golden Globes? 

We did! And sadly, we were kind of underwhelmed. We thought Ricky played it a bit too safe this year, and I'm not a fan of The Artist taking a ton of awards. 

But anyway, that's not the fun stuff! The fun stuff is the Red Carpet...and here are my notes. :) 

First, the "Yes." 

First, Kate Beckinsale. I love her, and she is so gorgeous! The only thing I didn't like about this dress was the points at the top of the bodice, but other than that, gorgeous. {And she did a nice job laughing off Seth Rogen's gross comment.} 

Sarah Hyland looked lovely, and her hair is beautiful. The dress was an excellent choice, and age-appropriate.

Reese always looks amazing, and from my notes above, I put, "sexy red." The hair, the dress...very sexy. And very appropriate for the Globes. 

I don't normally like yellow, but Paula pulled this off in this form-fitting gown. Her dingy attitude, however? Not a fan. I think sister had one too many glasses of champagne. 

Freida Pinto looked beautiful in that blue with her simple half-up hairstyle. Yes, her hip area does look a little big, but she looks natural and not like a twig. B-. 

Debra Messing, from my notes above: "classic." Love the black, love the one-shoulder, love the turquoise ring. Beautiful and safe. Love it. 

This picture doesn't do this dress justice. But Jessica Alba looked very pretty and this pale pink with sparkle was gorgeous on her. But seriously, why is she famous?

Nicole Kidman's dress was fun and funky, and it went so well with her hair. Please tell me how she is that tiny after two children!

*I liked Emily Blunt's yellow dress, but I can't find any pictures of it. Womp-womp.*

I think jewel tones look awesome on brunettes, and Tina Fey did it well. And how fun is the "floof" on this mermaid-style dress?

It's not on my list, but I thought Octavia Spencer looked so lovely in her purple ruched gown! And I love that she won for her portrayal of Minny Jackson in The Help

Okay, now onto the "no's." Sadly, a few of my favorite actresses made this list. Ahem, Meryl. 

Zooey (or is it Emily?) Deschanel's green dress reminds me of an alien met 1986. Not cute. 

{But I have been told we look alike? Perhaps it's the blue eyes and brown hair. So I can't be that rude.}

Julianna Margulies, no dear. Just no. This dress was too tight. And I saw another blog that said, "It reminded me of a Fruit Roll-Up." Amen.

{I did like her earrings, though!} 

Jessica Chastain is so cute, but this dress looked like she stepped off the set of The Help. Too many pearls, and that skinny belt is doing nothing for her. I would love to see her play up her hair with a pretty jewel toned dress. 

I am just all-around not sure about Charlize Theron's dress. Is it short? Is it long? She honestly looks like a washed out cupcake. {But I did love her headpiece.}

This dress is doing Angelina Jolie no favors. She looks washed out and that hairstyle is too tight, making her look like a major b-rhymes-with-'witch'. 

And, I can't look at her without thinking of the time she made out with her brother at the Oscars and used to wear a vile of Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck. 

Michelle Williams' dress is too casual for the Globes. It I can't even think of anything to say about it. 

But her acceptance speech was so sweet!

{I feel like I'm in sorority rush doing my "pro-con-pro" right now!} 

Meryl Streep's dress was so confused. My notes said, "Grandma." It was horrible! And her acceptance speech was trashy. I so wanted Viola Davis to win for her portrayal of Aibileen Clark in The Help

So, what were your thoughts? Who did you like? Who did you not like? 

I'm at home today, but unfortunately have been up since about 6:45 a.m....the joys of pet ownership and having a husband who has to be at work around 7:30 a.m. So, I'm writing to you from the comfort of my bed with a cup of coffee and Oliver at my feet. I guess it could be worse. :)

Happy Monday!

{Photos from Google}

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