Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Leap Day! Hope you salaried workers like myself are enjoying working for free today! :)

I am feeling so much better this morning. Although I will say that yesterday evening was a series of unfortunate events: I decided to make my co-worker Thelma's Chicken {a family favorite; thanks for the idea, Mom!}, black-eyed peas, salad and rolls. I went to the store (with a list, may I add) and was in and out in a matter of minutes.

I came home, started to cook, and noticed I picked up chicken noodle soup instead of cream of chicken soup. Sigh. Then I realized I forgot the rice that the Thelma's Chicken goes on top of. Double sigh.

I trucked it back to the store, got what I needed, and came home and got ready to shred the chicken with my hand mixer {thanks, Pinterest, for the time-saving tip!} and noticed that one of the chicken breasts -- after boiling for 25 minutes -- was still a little pink in the middle. Triple sigh.

So I decided to stick the chicken on the stove in a pan and brown it a bit, then shred it. Well, this stupid person {hi, me} somehow set the smoke detectors off doing so, and as I was running to shut them off, I accidentally put the dishtowel on the burner and caused more smoke! Quadruple sigh.

Needless to say, that better be the best meal ever!

Anywho, moving on to What I'm Loving today:

Turning over a new leaf
I love, love turning my calendar to a new month. So much so, that I did it a day early! Ha!
And I'm loving my new Post It calendar system. Things change so much in my career that I can just remove and/or move the Post It if needed. So easy.

{"I invented Post Its." Name that movie.}


Cute meal labels
I found these cute tags on Pinterest and put them on afore-mentioned Thelma's Chicken.
It makes it so easy for the family to know what to do with the meal when they're ready to eat it.


Orange Juice
I cannot, cannot get enough of this lately. Not sure if it's the spring weather or the fact that my body needs the Vitamin C or what, but I feel like I'm constantly downing a glass or two of this stuff.


Spring colors
I'm not one to take self-portraits, but I'm loving this bright green TJ Maxx top I'm wearing today. I accessorized with fun gold jewelry AND black capris {daring in February!}. Can't wait until April 8 when I can pair this top with white pants and/or capris!


And as I mentioned above, I'm so loving that I get to hold and love on a sweet baby tonight! It's always more fun when it's someone else's baby that you can give back when it cries or needs a diaper change. Ha!

{One photo via Pinterest}

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Bullet Point Post

A bullet point post today. 
  • I'm home sick today. Well, this afternoon. Never again will I make Hummus Chicken. Ever. Pinterest fail
  • There is absolutely nothing on TV during the day. 
  • For that reason, I wish we had DVR in our bedroom. When we move, that's gonna be at the top of my to-do list. 
  • March is going to be so busy that I look at my calendar and try not to hyperventilate. 
  • I've learned this about myself: I mentally block unpleasant things out of my mind (e.g.: client billing). I had to re-learn how to do that this morning and I almost freaked out on my computer. Mental note: Don't block out important things. 
  • The season finale of Parenthood is tonight and it makes me kind of sad! I'm going to miss the Braverman clan until next season.
  • On the subject of TV, The Bachelor is making me very nervous. Courtney is an absolute craze, and I just know he's going to pick her. He likes the validation she gives him. 
  • I had a conference call this afternoon {that I took in bed} and when it was my turn to speak, Oliver felt that that was a good time to meow. Loudly. Fab, Oliver. Fab. 
  • I bought the Pledge Pet Hair Fabric Sweeper {thanks to Mary's recommendation} and I'm a bit obsessed. 
  • I hope I get better before tomorrow because I'm supposed to take supper to a sweet work friend who just had her second baby boy. So excited to meet precious Davin! 
  • That said, I wonder if I can get Brandon to stop by Tom Thumb and pick up the ingredients for my Nana's chicken spaghetti that I'm supposed to take?
  • I need a haircut. My split ends are ridiculous. 
  • A guy on the evening news just said, "Plano has a cool vibe." Uhhh, okay?
Enough of my rambling. Have a happy day. Pray I get to feeling better! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Very Oliver Weekend.

We had a very low-key weekend and did nothing, hence the fact that the only pictures I have to share from the weekend are of Oliver.

And food, but you gotta wait 'till Friday for those! :)

Friday:
Brandon and I lazed around the house. We ate leftovers. He worked out, I went to PetsMart at 9 p.m. for some eye drops because our poor little guy had {yes, notice I said had!} a small eye infection. Riveting Friday night I tell you, riveting.


Saturday:
I cleaned the house and then went on a walk with my friend Jessica. Brandon went to TopGolf with two of his college roommates...then went to play actual golf with his dad and brother. I am honestly golfed out just typing that.

After our walk, Jess went with me to Kiehl's, because I was out of my {amazing, yes I just called deodrant "amazing"} deodrant and Brandon was out of aftershave. I then dropped her off at her house and ran to the grocery store.

Then, I came back home, did some laundry and caught up on all of my "girly" shows while Brandon was away. Totally saves me from hearing him mimick them and sigh heavily when they're on. :)


Sunday:
We went to church, came back, ate leftovers and took amazing Sunday afternoon naps. Like, we're talking in the bed, golf on TV, fan on high, Oliver in-between us nap. It.was.amazing.

We picked up Jessica and Austin and went to our Sunday School party, "The Newlywed Game" at one of our leaders' homes. I brought Lemon Cool Whip Cookies. We had so much fun! Not kidding, when we left we were saying our faces hurt from laughing so hard!

We came home and fast forwarded through the majority of the Oscars; I really only care about Best Supporting Actress/Actor, Best Actress/Actor and Best Picture...and of course, the dresses! Honestly, I think that Viola Davis and The Help were robbed, but I was happy for Octavia Spencer.

{How can you win Best Actor and Best Picture for a silent film? I don't get it.}


And let me tell you a side story about the above picture. I was about to remove our clean sheets from the dryer when Brandon called to say he was on his way home from the golf course.

I stepped out of our laundry room closet to grab the phone. We talked for maybe two minutes, and I turned around to go back into said room closet to take the sheets out and put them on the bed.

I knelt down and Oliver had weaseled his way into the dryer and was happily cozied up with our CLEAN sheets. I was ready to kill him, but he just looked so darn cozy and cute that I had to snap a picture.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Menu Friday

Happy Friday! March is going to be jam-packed, so we're going to savor this weekend as best we can.

Brandon's playing golf with his dad, I'm going on a walk with my friend Jessica, we're going to church and we have a Sunday School party: "The Newlywed Game." So excited for this low-key weekend!

On to Menu Friday...

Saturday:
We ate at Opus inside the Meyerson Symphony Center with my grandparents. If you ever have a chance to eat there, please do. It's so worth it.

Sunday:

I'm glad I made this on a Sunday night, because it took for-ev-er, but it was really worth it in the end. Brandon's review? "This is good and simple: hashbrowns, chicken and chese. Yum."

Couldn't have said it better myself!


Monday:

Y'all. I have tried hundreds of enchilada recipes {even family recipes!} and these were the best I've ever had. And we ate them as leftovers for three days!

Modfications: I used dried onion because, let's face it: I freaking hate chopping up onions. Also, I added in a bit of pico de gallo and did add in a bit more chile powder than called for, and added in a good amount of cumin and garlic powder.


Tuesday:
Creamy Caprese Pasta and a green salad

O-M-G. This was mindblowingly amazing...and our favorite meal of the week. This was so simple {I literally talked on the phone with my cousin Rebecca the entire time I was preparing this} and anything with cheese in it? Bonus.

Modifications: I used whole-wheat penne pasta {because that's what was on sale at Tom Thumb} and sliced the grape tomatoes, because who likes to bite into a hot, whole, juicy tomato? Not I.

We're having these leftovers for supper tonight and I. cannot. wait.

The only thing that would make this dish even more amazing would be a glass of Pinot Noir. But, with that whole "not drinking wine" thing I've got going on right now...le sigh.


Wednesday:
Take a guess...

Thursday:

Okay, y'all. To quote the Geico commercials I loathe, this is so easy that my 9 1/2-year old sister could make them.

You literally pour a 16 oz. jar of salsa into a crock pot {make sure you use your liners for a quick and easy clean up!}, mix in a packet of taco seasoning, and lay three chicken breasts over the mixture. Cover and turn on low until you get home.

I honestly have no clue how these are as good as they are, but THEY ARE. I love them...and based on Oliver's proximity to me last night as I was eating, he thinks they're good, too.


Hope you have a wonderful, relaxed weekend! I just got back from Neiman's Zodiac Room with a friend, and I had the best shrimp salad...I'm ready for a nap!

xoxo

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Randoms

This gorgeous weather has me craving spring now more than ever. With just a few more days left in February, I am just peeking at March, waiting for this weather every day, more time outside, cute sandals and sun dresses. 

So, almost 80* in late February? I'll take it! 

I even busted out the black capri pants today: 


Daring....

Completely unrelated, my new favorite snack is my homemade trail mix: almonds, chocolate chips and Crasins

And can I please say? I resisted Mardi Gras King Cake, cupcakes a margarita and various other breads and sweets in my office all week. Why is it that the second you start eating better, the temptations abound?! 

Anyway all of that to say, I've been resisting the bad-for-you crap and eating my homemade trail mix at my desk. 

Womp womp. 


And because I thought it was funny: 


Yes, I got something in the mail at work on Tuesday addressed to "Mr." Brittany Whitacre. 

I mean, honestly? Does 'Brittany' sound like a male name? I could understand names like Taylor, Riley, Sloan, etc., but Brittany? 

I died laughing. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent.

I'm Baptist. We don't do Lent.

I believe, as a born-again Christian, that Christ has already paid the ultimate sacrifice for me: dying on the cross for my sins and rising again three days later. 

That said, I don't feel like I need to give up something for Lent as a form of penitence. 

At our church, we believe that it giving up something for Lent a personal choice: if you want to give something up, do. But it needs to be something that you really love that will be taken away from your life to help you focus more on Jesus. Something that helps you prepare your heart for the Easter season. 

Lent is 40 days: from Ash Wednesday (today) to Easter Sunday. 

Again, I'm Baptist, so we don't go to church on Ash Wednesday and get a cross on our forehead. Our church is, however, having a service tonight to again, prepare our hearts for the Easter season. 

So, all of that said, here's what I'm giving up: 


Yep, wine. Vino. Vin. Wijn. 

If you know me personally, you know how much I love wine. I have a glass {or two} every night. 

So giving this up really is something that is difficult for me, but I'm hoping that by so doing, I will grow closer to Christ and prepare my heart to celebrate His triumph over sin. 

It's not going to be easy; I have a lot of temptations in March: weddings, out-of-town trips, Brandon's work conference in Nashville...the list goes on and on. And April? My 25th birthday is the day before Easter. 

But I keep reminding myself: Jesus wandered in the desert and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and was very much tempted by Satan; and in turn, grew closer to His father, God. If He can do that, I can give up wine for 40 days. 

{For the record, I haven't had any wine since Friday, so I've actually already begun, but you get the picture.}

What are you giving up for Lent, if anything?

{Photo via Pinterest}

Monday, February 20, 2012

Holiday + Monday

I am loving having today off in observance of President's Day! 

Unfortunately, Brandon does not have today off, so I was wide awake with him at 6:30 a.m.; thankfully I was able to fall back asleep until 8:15! 

I enjoyed a cup of coffee while watching the Today Show, then did yoga and ate a yummy breakfast of yogurt and almonds. 

Afterward, I had to run to PetsMart to get Oliver's food {yay for a $5 off coupon!} and then made a pit stop at Sephora inside JC Penney for some blush {Nars "Orgasm" is my favorite, but it's so awkward asking for it at the store!} and then found a precious black and white top there on sale. 

I then hit up TJ Maxx and found three cute tops (clockwise below), which were only $16.99 each! Love President's Day sales. 


My last errand was to The Vitamin Shoppe for some Borage Oil, thanks to Dr. Oz's recommendation of taking one capsule of GLA a day. Hoping this helps me burn some extra belly fat, lose some bloating, and helps jumpstart my metabolism. {TMI? Sorry.} 


I'm currently curled up on the couch with Oliver watching House Hunters and playing around on Pinterest

Happy Monday!

xoxo

Sunday, February 19, 2012

weekend.

This was a whirlwind weekend, to say the least! I'm sitting on the couch decompressing from everything; it's going to be so nice to actually have a home cooked meal tonight. 

Friday:
My office closed at 3 p.m. because of Monday's President's Day observance. I came home and cleaned the house and did laundry, then rewarded myself with a glass of wine and DVR'd Real Housewives of Orange County

Brandon brought home yummy salads and hummus from Cafe Express and we watched the Whitney Houston special on 20/20. {Yes, we're old.} 

Saturday:
We woke up at 6 a.m., as Brandon and about 13 others from his office participated in the Dallas Lung Association "Fight for Air Climb," which is running up 54 flights of stairs at Renaissance Tower in downtown. He did it in 12 minutes! I am so proud of him! 

I, of course, did not participate and the guys called me "team mom," as I had my giant Jon Hart bag and held all of their jackets, keys, cell phones, wallets, etc. One guy even asked where their Capri Suns and orange slices were. Ha! 

This was my view at 8:15 a.m.: 


And I thought this was hilarious. In the parking garage, there were spots where only hybrid vehicles could park. I was dying. Only in Dallas. 


After the climb, Brandon's boss treated us to brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe. We all had yummy Bloody Mary's, mimosas and amazing brunch food: omelets, french toast, pancakes, crab cakes benedict, quiche...mmmm


We went home and took huge naps as it poured down rain outside. Perfect nap weather! 

That evening, we met my grandparents at the Meyerson Symphony Center to see the Dallas Symphony Orchestra perform "Tchaikovsky's Pathetique." It was so beautiful; those musicians have amazing talent. 


Before the performance, we dined at Opus inside the Meyerson. If you ever have a chance to eat there, please do. The food is wonderful! 


Sunday:
The rain finally stopped! Hallelujah! The sun was so welcome this morning. 

We woke up early this morning and did yoga together before going to church, where we learned about communication in a marriage. There's a major difference between hearing and listening to your spouse

After church, we had lunch with our friends Austin and Jessica at El Fenix. So yum! 


This afternoon, I went to the grocery store and got a much-needed car wash, then folded more laundry and picked up around the house a bit. 


Oliver's new "trick" is that he likes to hide his toy mice underneath the washing machine and/or dryer. He kept meowing at the laundry room door, so I finally got down on my hands and knees in the laundry room with a flashlight and a wire hanger {"No more wire hangers!" Name that movie} and found all three of his toys underneath the dryer! 

He was like a kid in a candy store with all three of his catnip-filled mice. 


I'm supposed to have work off tomorrow, so I'm just praying that I don't get called in! I need a day to just chill and sleep in. :) 

Happy Sunday!

xoxo

Friday, February 17, 2012

Menu Friday

Happy Friday! You know what time it is...

Friday:
Husband and I went for sushi and a movie. Yum!

Saturday:

{Sorry for the crappy picture. We were watching a movie and it was dark.} This was good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. It was a bit too spicy and there were too many tomatoes.


Sunday:

This is a staple in our house. It's so easy and good! I don't alter the recipe one bit.


Monday:

Have I professed my love for Jenny Steffens Hobick? I found her blog randomly one day and can't get enough of her. We both love this easy-peasy pasta!


Tuesday {aka: Valentine's Day}:

This was SO GOOD and the best comfort food ever. And yes, I made this for Valentine's Day. Shut up.

Brandon loved it and requested it again. That's a win for me!


Wednesday:
You guessed it: leftovers.

Thursday:
Angel Chicken over brown rice, asparagus

The pictures don't do it justice...this is not a pretty dish by any means. But it is yum-my.


I have no clue what we're going to do for supper tonight. Brandon's doing the Fight for Air Climb tomorrow {I'll be there for moral support and the promise of brunch afterward}, so I'm sure he's going to want carbs tonight. Does pizza count? Because I'm so craving Piggie Pies!

Happy Friday, all!

xoxo

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spring

I know that Phil the Groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, but I am so ready for spring.

My husband will be the first to tell you that once one holiday/season is over, I immediately start planning for the next one. January 31st? Perfect time to put up Valentine's Day decor. The first hint of cool air in September? Yup, fall decorations come out of the closet {tee hee}.

And I love spring. Love it.

Perhaps it's because I'm an April baby. Perhaps it's because I got engaged in the spring. Perhaps it gives some reprieve from the ugly Texas "winters." Or maybe it's just because I feel refreshed in the spring. Sun dresses, cardigans and cute sandals slowly make their way back into my wardrobe; I gladly put the dark tights away. Staying indoors on a Saturday turns into brisk walks around White Rock Lake and trips to the Farmer's Market. Easter time. {Easter lunch time.} Fresh flowers. Amazing produce. Gorgeous weather. Longer days.

I love it all. And I'm so ready for March 11 {Daylight Savings Time} and March 20 {the first day of spring}.

So without any further aideu, my favorite spring lovelies from Pinterest...where else?





{You can purchase this sign from my cousin's website!}



Happy Thursday. Almost to the weekend!

xoxo

{All photos via Pinterest}

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

I'm loving the sweet tulips {with an equally sweet note}, chocolate truffles and champagne my handsome husband brought home last night. This is the most he's ever done for Valentine's Day...my $.99 card looked a little lame until he told me that he'd had a hard day and the champagne and chocolate truffles were more for him than me. Ha! That's love.

And, you know you're lame when you don't even drink the champagne; make this comfort food for supper {and eat on the couch}; and fall asleep in the middle of Parenthood.


Love, love this Gevalia coffee...that's now sold in grocery stores!

My mother-in-law introduced it to us and we are officially hooked. And we all know how much I love my morning cup of coffee.


I'm also loving Oliver's cute "Pawgress Report" he got from PetsMart daycare yesterday.

As I mentioned the other day, we can't have pets in our apartment {shhhh...} and they were doing inspections this week. So, Oliver was sent to pet daycare on Monday and Tuesday.

I was so sad to leave him {heaven help me when I have a human child!} but when I picked him up and they gave me this cute "Pawgress Report," I felt a bit better about leaving him.

...but let's just say he was super happy to not have to get in his pet carrier this morning!


I'm going to put it out there: I don't wash my hair every day. With fine, thin hair like mine, I just can't.

That said, I've been on an avid search to find the perfect dry shampoo. I've tried Batiste and a couple others I can't remember the names of right now, and this Dove Refresh + Care is the best dry shampoo I have found.

It smells so fresh and clean {as all Dove products do}, keeps any hint of oil at bay and bonus? It's cheap! {We're talking less than $5 cheap!} Win-win.


Hope y'all had a fabulous Valentine's Day with your love!

xoxo

{Photo via Google}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you're having a beautiful day and spending time with the one you love.

I'm making a yummy supper tonight and we're going to enjoy some Cupcake Red Velvet wine while watching Parenthood.

xoxo

{photo via we heart it}

Sunday, February 12, 2012

weekend.

This is my view right now.


I'm curled up on the couch {cat in lap} writing to you as I'm preparing for yet another episode of bipolar Texas weather. It's supposed to be a "wintry mix" this evening through tomorrow morning; it's forecasted to be 70* on Wednesday. Welcome to Texas. 

Friday night, Brandon and I were supposed to eat at Grimaldi's, but sushi sounded really good, so we popped in The Fish in West Village for sushi and wine. 


After supper, we saw The Iron Lady at The Magnolia Theater. One of the many reasons I love The Magnolia because they serve beer and wine, in addition to candy and popcorn. And it's not filled with teenagers getting up every five seconds, moms that refuse to take their screaming babies out of the theater, and/or people that feel the need to bring Wendy's into the theater and eat their stinky triple-meat hamburger and fries. 

{Can you tell I have major movie theater pet peeves?} 

Anyway, I loved the movie. Brandon hated it. He gets to choose the next one. :)


I spent Saturday morning cleaning and running tons of errands: CVS for prescription pick-up, Tom Thumb for groceries, Target for cleaning supplies and PetsMart to sign Oliver up for "pet daycare." 

We're not supposed to have pets and our complex is having inspections this week. So, we'll be paying $12 a day for pet daycare and literally packing Oliver a bag every morning...and packing his many, many pet accessories away each morning. Oops.

Side note: I don't know how you moms do it! I'm hyperventliating thinking about Oliver at "daycare" all day and praying he won't hate me when I pick him up. Brandon tells me I'm insane. 


I practiced painting my nails by myself for the first time in about a year. We're aiming to purchase a house this time next year and I'm trying to cut costs wherever I can. And? I was getting a gel manicure every 2-3 weeks and my nails have been completely ruined by the gel. Loved that the polish lasted so long, but hate that my nails are now weak, thin and peel-y. 

I think I did pretty well on my home manicure, if I do say so myself! 

{This is Essie "Lady Like." I love Essie nail polish!} 


I'll be honest: we skipped church today. Brandon had a major headache and I was just tired and achy. So, we did yoga together and then curled up on the couch with DVR'd shows, heated up leftovers for lunch and spent time with our little Ollie before he goes to daycare this week. Brandon did a little work, I did laundry, and we're going to pick up husband's car from the tire shop {yes, we just had to pay for new brakes, new brake pads and four new tires for his Jeep yesterday...ouch!} before this "wintry mix" hits. 

Happy {cozy} Sunday. Stay warm!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Menu Friday

Happy Friday! Yup, time for Menu Friday.

Saturday:
My mom's slow-cooker roast with carrots and potatoes.

I hate when people separate their roast, potatoes and carrots. And this recipe doesn't do that! It's just a roast, red potatoes, carrots, 1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix, 1 can cream of mushroom soup and beef broth to cover. Easy peasy and so good.


Sunday:
My grandmother's Taco Soup with crumbled cornbread was perfect for the cold Super Bowl Sunday. Let me know if you want this recipe; it's so crazy easy! I just subsituted ground turkey.
{And it makes a lot.}


Monday:

This was SO easy! I love when yummy meals are easy and good.

I substituted ground turkey and added in a ton of Italian Seasoning because it needed an "oomph," and then topped each serving with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
{Or as my brother said when he was little, "Farmer John cheese."}


Tuesday:

This was good, but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. Brandon loved it. Me? Not so much. {I think I'm just used to the fried, high-calorie chicken parmesan goodness. You can tell because I added a ton of sauce to my portion!}


Wednesday:
Leftovers, per usual!

Thursday:

This was by far our favorite meal of the week. And, per my other meals this week, was so easy. I just substituted one cup of blue cheese and one cup of heavy cream, thinning with skim milk as needed.

I brought this for leftovers today. And now I'm hungry!


Tonight, husband and I are braving the cold weather to see The Iron Lady at The Magnolia and have supper at Grimaldi's.  

Happy Friday!