Friday, March 30, 2012

Menu Friday

Whew, it's been a very busy week, so I'm glad it's Friday.

Before I begin, a special shoutout to my cousin, LeAnn, who is getting married in Shreveport this weekend! I'm so sad we can't make it, but I'm excited to see pictures! You're going to be a beautiful bride.

Brandon got home and was so tired {as I knew he would be} and he needed a good, home-cooked, feel-good meal. So, Baked Ziti, a salad and sourdough bread it was.

Unfortunately, neither Wal-Mart nor Tom Thumb sold whole-wheat Ziti pasta, so I opted for whole-wheat penne, instead. I refuse to buy non-wheat pasta. Gross.

This was very yummy and really made a lot. I think we'll be eating on this tonight, actually!


This did take a while {just a lot of different steps and I most likely will not make this on a weeknight it for the weekends}, but it was well worth it. It was very creamy and was hard to believe that it was a "skinny" meal! Again, this did make a lot. I ate it at lunch for two days.

Modifications: I used whole-wheat Ronzoni Smart Taste egg noodles, and I skipped the step of sauteeing the broccoli. I just bought the steam-in-bag broccoli florets, zapped them in the microwave and mixed them in. It tasted just fine.

Mexican Bowls

I used this recipe as a "guide," but really, this was kind of a throw-together, use-what-you-have meal.

Modifications: I used ground turkey {I always try to substitute it where I can} and brown rice. I also added in a bit of lime juice and ground cumin to the black beans for a tasty kick. On our bowls, we used: ground turkey, black beans, brown rice, pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Leftovers, per usual.

This is one of our favorite meals: The Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Tomato-Blue Cheese Sauce and a salad.

It is so easy and very yummy. I used to hate spinach as a little girl, and I now love it. Same goes for blue cheese. I could eat it right out of the carton, if my husband let me. I don't make any modifications to this recipe.

We're going to have a "free-for-all" tonight where I'll open the fridge and we just mix and match and eat what we want. Then, we're going over to our little area's country club for a drink and some much-needed conversation after this long week.

My house is an absolute wreck, or "lived in," I guess you could say, so my plans this weeked are to clean up, do some laundry, go on my usual walk with Jessica and perhaps see The Hunger Games with Brandon. And of course, church.

I'm ready for a relaxing weekend. We both need it!!!

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! We're halfway through the week...whew.

I'm loving this cute monogrammed cap that my friend Angelica pinned recently. I always, always wear Brandon's Titleist golf cap when I run my errands on Saturdays and he's had just about enough of it. Ha! This is cute and girly.

I am love, love, loving Oreos lately! My father-in-law always eats them {and never gains a} and I just couldn't pass them up at the store the other day.

I got regular Oreos, but I really want to try their birthday cake Oreos in honor of Oreo's 100th birthday.


I went shopping this weekend and I'm loving the new additions to my wardrobe.

{And yes, I know my office carpet is not the cutest and my legs are very white. But hey, I'd rather be white than have skin cancer!}

Since my birthday is in spring, I always have much cuter spring clothes than winter clothes. Sigh.

I can't wait until we have a laundry room {not a laundry closet} to decorate! It's not far off, so I'm doubly excited about that.

Lastly, it's almost bathing suit time in Texas! I've kind of outgrown the need/desire to wear a skimpy bikini. {With these boobs, ya gotta be careful!} Anyway, I'm loving that one-pieces are really making a comeback...a cute comeback.

This swimsuit is girly, sweet and classy. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Hope y'all are having fabulous week!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two Years Ago.

On this day two years ago, my handsome husband got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Six and a half months later, we said "I do."

I can't believe it's been two years since we got engaged.

I love you, Brandon. Thank you for asking me to marry you.

{See full engagement story here.}

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mad Men: Style

In case you're living under a rock, you know that last night was the season five premiere of Mad Men, after the show took at 16 month hiatus.

Brandon and I were anxiously awaiting the premiere all day, and it didn't disappoint! And even though we've been watching the show for the past two seasons {and caught up with seasons 1-3 a couple of years ago} it did take us a bit to remember what happened in season four.

Anyway, part of what I loved was the style! Whomever is a stylist {and set decorator} for this show gets major props, because I loved it. You can definitely see a nod to fashion from this era in today's fashion.

I loved Jane Sterling's mod orange and white-printed dress at Don's surprise party.

And Joan's vibrant dress and earrings when she came to visit SCDP with her baby were awesome. {I heart Joan.}

I also thought Peggy's dress was precious! Very Talbot's-esque.

And Megan Draper's dress at Don's surprise party? To die for.

{Although her song was annoying and was stuck in my head all evening.}

If you don't watch Mad Men, you need to start! I have seasons 1-3 on DVD if you want to borrow them!

Happy Monday.

{Photos via Google}

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Happy Sunday!

My husband is {finally} home and I couldn't be more excited. He's currently chipping Wiffle golf balls into our magazine basket in the living room...and Oliver is chasing each one of them. Oh, the life. 

I came home from work, went to the store, and heated up leftovers {what else?} and fell asleep on the couch with Oliver watching Mommie Dearest. "No more wire hangers!!!" 

I slept in and then went on a long walk with Jess. The weather was (and is) absolutely gorgeous in Dallas -- total spring weather -- and it was so nice to just walk and talk for a while. 

After our walk, I went to Jamba to get a smoothie {I'm on a major smoothie kick right now!}  

Then I ventured way up to North Dallas to get my ring cleaned at Robbins Brothers. While I was waiting for the cleaning and annual inspection, I was offered a glass of champagne. Now that's customer service!

If you're ever looking for a place to get an engagement and/or wedding ring, we highly recommend Robbins Brothers. Brandon had excellent service when picking out both my engagement and wedding rings; they soldered mine in eight hours {with an appointment} and they clean it for free anytime, as long as I come in once a year for an annual inspection. 

Ahh, nothing better than a shiny, clean ring! 

Then I came back to our neck of the woods and did some shopping at Mockingbird Station and Shops at Park Lane. Hey, the weather was gorgeous and I'd already worked out outside...what else was there to do but shop outside?! :) 

I got this dress at Old Navy {thanks, Laura!} along with this one {for Baylor games, duh}; this top from LOFT; and a cute floral one-shoulder dress from Francesca's that's no longer on their website. 

Ollie was only interested in the empty bags. 

I spent the afternoon lounging on the couch, then got a nice hour massage. Ahhh. 

After the massage {where my therapist had to work on just my shoulders for a straight 30 minutes} I came home and took a nice Epsom salt bath. With a beer. Because I'm classy like that. 

Excuse my apartment-grade white tile with ugly stains. Girl Scouts Honor I clean my bathtub every week and the stains won't leave.  

I got up early this morning to pick Brandon up from the airport. But not before I had a giant cup of coffee and an episode of Lipstick Jungle. Thanks, Netflix

Brandon's spent the afternoon napping, I've been doing laundry and we watched our Baylor Bears lose to Kentucky in the Elite 8. Oh well, Sic 'Em, anyway. 

And guess what starts tonight again {finally}?! Mad Men! Can't wait for that two-hour season premiere! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Menu Friday

Happy {beautiful} Friday!

The weather in Dallas is absolutely gorgeous today, and it's supposed to stay this way all weekend. I love weekends, but when the weather is fabulous to accompany them, I love them even more!

Anyway, here's Menu Friday.:

I had my crazy schedule last week and was dead tired, but I was really craving a homecooked meal. Enter Penne Pasta Pie. This dish makes a monthly appearance in our home. It's cheesy, baked and is comfort food at its finest. Brandon absolutely loves it and calls it "The Cheesy Thing."

Modifications: I didn't add chicken to it this time, simply because I was too lazy to roast it and chop it up. {Trust me, it's just fine without it.} I also add a touch more Italian seasoning.

We went to my brother- and sister-in-law's house for a Mexican fiesta on St. Patty's Day {and to watch the Baylor men's basketball game}. My contribution? Skinny Girl Margaritas.

Because we live in Texas {and Brandon and I are crazy about Tex-Mex} we can never get enough food with Mexican flair. So, I made chicken avocado enchiladas and black beans.

Y'all. Y'all, y'all, y'all. These were so good. The picture doesn't do them justice. And, they made a ton. Not kidding when I tell you I'm most likely eating these tonight for leftovers.


Can I tell you a little story? Before we got married, I would eat goat cheese and crackers for dinner with a side of white wine. Wish I were joking. But now that we are married, I feel like I need to contribute more to this relationship than just cheese and crackers for supper. So, with a nod to my love of goat cheese, I try to make dishes that sneak it in every now and then. And this dish is no exception. It's easy {literally 20 minutes start to finish}, yummy involves goat cheese.

Can I tell you another story? This salad, affectionately named "the" salad by Jessica and me, is wonderful. It involves pecans {which I normally hate, but not in this salad}, pears, field greens, and WAIT FOR IT! Goat cheese. Topped with French vinagerette dressing. How can you not love it?

My mother-in-law's homemade chicken pot pie*

With all the rain in Dallas earlier this week, I wanted some cozy comfort food. And this {easy, cheap} chicken pot pie never disappoints. Hubs loves it, too. Duh, it's his mother's.

It's by no means a pretty dish, but it sure is a tasty one.

Wednesday - Friday:
Brandon is in Nashville for his company's annual conference, so it's just me and the cat. I've been eating lots of leftovers. Womp-womp.

And even though I didn't sleep last night with Brandon gone, I'm so energized by the gorgeous weather outside. So much so, I ran to Sephora and got a car wash over lunch. I'm so excited for my walk with Jessica tomorrow and my massage tomorrow night. Can't wait!

Happy weekend!!!

*Chicken Pot Pie

3 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 pkg. (2) Pillsbury pie crusts
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Veg-All, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Remove pie crusts from refridgerator and let stand for about five minutes.

2. Boil chicken breasts for 25-30 minutes. Remove from boiling water and shred using a hand mixer or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer {or your hands, but this is much easier}.

3. Once shredded, mix together: chicken, soups, Veg-All and salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Spray the bottom of a pie dish with cooking spray. Lay one pie crust in the bottom of the pie dish. Pour filling into pie dish. Top filling with second pie crust. Using a fork, crimp the sides together; poke a few holes in the top.

5. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes or until top and sides are browned. Cut using a pie cutter and serve immediately.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's Wednesday!

I'm loving my Saturday morning walks with my sweet friend Jessica. It's definitely something I look forward to each week!


This haircut. I'm letting my hair grow out just a teensy bit more and then am cutting it like this. I'm so excited that after five LONG years of growing my hair out from this {what was I thinking!?} that I'm finally getting to explore long hairstyles.

I'm loving that after the rain, surely comes the sunshine. The weather in Dallas is absolutely spring today {albeit a day late} and I'm loving it. Welcome, spring!

{And, no, spring does not need a capital "s." Seasons are not capitalized. You're welcome.}


Baylor Women's {and men's} basketball are both headed to the Sweet 16!

I've never been a huge basketball fan, but it's so hard to not jump on the Baylor bandwagon after all of the amazing seasons we're having. {Heisman Trophy winner, cough, cough.}

And, um, our star women's basketball player? She can dunk. Ridiculous.


And last, but certainly not least, my birthday {and Easter} are in two short weeks!

I'm so excited for my birthday celebration with friends {that will include wine!} and then our first Easter in our home church.


Happy day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rain, rain, go away

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The weather here in Dallas has been exhausting. Constant rain, lightning and thunder all night. It took everything I had to get out of bed this morning.

All I've wanted all day is my bed, comfy pajamas, a cup of coffee and some great movies on Netflix.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Happy Monday! Welcome to my random post of the day.

I struck major Bath & Body Works gold yesterday with their 2 for $20 three-wick candles. Coco Lobo is currently making an appearance in our home, and the second that's done, Coconut Leaves will be burning happily. And of course, I had to get the Coco Lobo Wallflower. It smells like a pina colada in our house and I love it! Are you noticing a coconut trend?

These are my new digs in the office. Yes, that is a cube. Of my very own. No more sharing. And after a year of sitting with the loudest person in the office {by far}, I am relishing the silence...and the three windows directly behind me. As Madea would say, "Halleluj-yer!"

And just because I think he's the cutest thing ever, a photo of sweet Ollie taking a nap on me yesterday. I love his little paw on my leg.

PS: Did you see the cast of Mad Men on the Today Show this morning?! So excited for the March 25 premiere after 16 long months. Can't wait!



Sunday, March 18, 2012


Happy Sunday.

We did a lot of this this weekend. 

We slept...a lot. Ate...a lot. And just relaxed, which, after this crazy week {and next week's craziness for Brandon} was and will be much needed. 

The Easter wreath made an appearance on St. Patrick's Day. 

We wore our green and had a Mexican fiesta dinner with the brother- and sister-in-law in honor of St. Patrick. 

We caught up on our TV shows, used our Netflix to watch The Next Three Days, and enjoyed many cups of coffee and Oliver cuddles. 

I can't believe tomorrow is already Monday. Soaking up the last minutes of freedom. 

Happy weekend. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Menu Friday + some

Happy Friday!

Whew, it has been a week, that's for sure. Between Maggie being here for Spring Break, traveling to and from Washington, D.C. and being at work today? This girl is relaxing this weekend!

Since our schedules were so up in the air, I didn't really cook this week.

I made regular ol' spaghetti and meat sauce and served it with a ceasar salad and a hunk of crusty sourdough bread.

Tacos, black beans and Spanish-style rice.

{Can I tell you a secret? These tacos were made with turkey. And no one even knew! Proves you can sneak in healthy substitutes any time.}

Tuesday we had leftovers, Wednesday I ate at Rustico in Alexandria, Va. with one of Brandon's friends, Brandon, and his fiance, Kimmie. I had the best goat cheese, mushroom and spinach pizza ever! {Brandon had supper with his parents.} Thursday, I had chicken quesadillas in American's {client} Admirals Club. See, I told you it was a crazy week!

Anyway, just for grins, here's a photo of my client, Kent, and me at the National Press Club for the PR News Nonprofit PR Awards. We were named Honorable Mention in one category and won the other category! And yes, yours truly had to accept the award. I was so nervous!

After the ceremony, Kent gave me the nickel tour of D.C., even driving me by the Lincoln Memorial so I could see it and the already-blooming cherry blossoms.

Then he dropped me off at Dulles International Airport for my flight back to Dallas. Whirlwind day, for sure.

And, side note: I had changed into my Baylor T-shirt and comfy pants for the flight back home. As I was boarding the plane, a fellow passenger said to me {loudly in the airport}, "HEY! Sic 'Em, BEARS!!!" I love that even thousands of miles away from Waco, Texas, the Baylor family is flinging their green and gold afar!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The District

Hello from The District.

I'm staying in the lovely W Hotel here and it couldn't be more fun.

No detail goes unnoticed, from the Bliss products in the room, to the funky chandeliers, backlighting in the headboard, to the silhouette nightlight of George Washington.

It's 11:33 p.m. here, so I really need to wash my face and go to sleep. The cozy bed and four (!!!) pillows that I get to have all to myself are calling my name.

I'm off to the National Press Club tomorrow for an awards ceremony. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Maggie Does Dallas

As I mentioned in my last post, Brandon and I brought my little sister, Maggie, back to Dallas with us to spend part of her Spring Break. 

We made the 3 hour and 45 minute drive from Livingston to Dallas in the pouring rain. Sweet girl didn't even make it the 45 minutes to Huntsville. 

When we arrived in Dallas, Maggie went with me to the car wash, to fill up Brandon's car at the gas station, and to the grocery store. I sent this picture to my Mom who said, "Let the sugar coma begin!" 

True that! I let her have whatever sweets she wanted. :) As my Dad said today, "You're worse than a grandmother!" Ha! 

I made supper and we watched Bride Wars, then hit the hay.

Monday morning, I took Maggie {in our jammies} to Krispy Kreme's drive-thru. Mmm, mmm! 

We got dressed and took off for a day of fun! 

First, we went to the Dallas World Aquarium

She loved it! 

Then, we had lunch at Chipotle. She told me she wanted to eat at places they "don't have in Livingston." I don't blame her at all! 

After lunch, we headed over to NorthPark to visit Build-A-Bear {she got a cat and named her "Dallas"}, do a little shopping and saw The Lorax in 3D. 

We came home, took a walk and fed the ducks at the lake, then had supper and watched Puss in Boots

We were so tired from the day and slept hard

This morning, I made cinnamon rolls and we had chocolate milk. Mmmm! I love when Maggie is here because I get to eat this yumminess on a Tuesday morning! :)

After breakfast, we threw on clothes, picked up my friend Jessica and went to Hawaiian Nail Bar for manicures and pedicures. 

Maggie got groovy green nails with a flower...

...and bright red nails. 

I opted for a coral pedicure and a grayish-purple manicure. 

Then, we all ate at Chick-Fil-A and dropped Jessica off at her house. 

We came back home, got dressed, and got Maggie packed. 

Before we hit the road, she begged for frozen yogurt from Yumilicious. And how could I say no?! 

We then hit the road for Fort Worth, where I dropped her off with my Aunt Timm and Uncle Katherine {my mom's brother and his wife}; she's spending the night with our cousins Annie, Jake, Norah and Lillian. My Aunt Tina {my mom's sister} is picking up Maggie and Annie tomorrow for the rest of the week. 

And how sweet is this note she left me on our fridge while I was getting dressed today?! 

It says, "I love you. Thank you Sissy, from Maggie. I <3 you. I will miss you. You are the best sister ever! It was fun. I liked spending my Spring Break with you. It was the best Spring Break ever!" 

I almost started crying on my drive back to Dallas because I missed her so much! It's too quiet in my house right now. 

I'm currently catching up on a little work, folding clothes and getting ready to go to Washington, D.C. tomorrow for work. It never ends! :)

Happy Tuesday!
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