Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! I feel like I haven't done one of these in a while, so I'm hopping back on the bandwagon. 

Here's what I'm loving this week...


I picked this up on a whim at CVS the other day and I'm so glad I did! It smells amazing {like a coconut-y, summer-y smell} and really adds volume to my insanely flat hair. I love catching a whiff of it as my hair moves. :)


Layering my jewelry 

I've seen this on Pinterest a lot lately {namely here}, so I decided to go for it. I just kind of layered what I had {and yes, I'm left-handed so I wear my watch and other jewelry on my right arm...totally weirds my husband out...} and I really liked the result! 

[Watch: Michael Kors; thin bracelet: Zales from 10 years ago; charm bracelet: Juicy]


Sangria

I mentioned my sangria recipe in this post {seriously, try it!} and how much we love it. I'm telling you, I keep a pitcher in our fridge weekly! :)

And, as I was watching the Today Show this morning, David Zinczenco mentioned that if you're going to drink a cocktail this summer {hello, who isn't?!} that sangria was much healthier for you than a margarita. Done and done!  


Summer Time 

{"Summa, summa, summa time..."}

While we don't have any big trips planned this year for the first in a while {more on that later}, we're enjoying summer to the fullest. We're taking little trips here and there to see family, work's slowing down a bit, we're celebrating many birthdays and anniversaries {my brother-in-law, my brother, my sister, my parents' anniversary, Father's Day, my mother-in-law and my other brother-in-law...WHEW!} our routine has completely been thrown out the window, and we're just slowing down a bit in general. 

I adore this time of the year. 



We watched this last night and were in love. Well, I was, anyway. Brandon played games on his phone...silly boy. 

I would have loved an interview with Catherine, but I guess I will settle for Princes William and Harry. :) Or, shall I say, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry. 

I adore British history {my dad is a major history buff and passed that along to me} and completely fell in love with the country during the summer of 2007. Ever since then, I can't get enough of it. I was basically quoting the history along with Katie's narration last night...oops! :)


And lastly...

We're officially on the house hunt {again}! 

You'll remember that we were going to buy a house last year, just a few months after we married. Well, Brandon's student loans got consolidated and a few other things happened, and we just knew the Lord was telling us, "Not now. Soon, but not right now."  

And let me tell you. His ways are NOT our ways. Why? Because Brandon was moved to a different office {and is about to move yet again}; his territory completely changed; there was major drama for your momma with my client, so we wanted to ensure we had enough money in the bank in case anything happened; and...we got a cat. Totally unrelated, but still. 

So anyway, we paid off his student loans {yahoo!} and now the search is on.

Ideally, we'd like to move in October when our apartment lease is up, but His ways aren't our ways! :)

I just cannot wait to paint walls, choose my own carpet, not have noisy neighbors and actually have a house of our very own.  


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

At the risk of sounding cliche, we had one of those weekends that was completely not busy, yet exceptionally busy at the same time. Make sense? 

Friday:
I got off work at 3 p.m. {sat in traffic for-EV-er} and then made a pit stop at the grocery store for a few things. Namely? Alcohol. Yup. 


After making homemade sangria*, Brandon came home and we spent three glorious hours by the pool. I finally finished Bloom while sipping a nice adult beverage. 


We came home, ordered Piggie Pies and relaxed on the couch...Oliver included. 


Saturday:
We slept late, and then I cleaned the house for a little bit while Brandon went to the gym. We lounged around all morning and saw "What to Expect When You're Expecting." It was a little cheesy, but so cute and pretty funny in some parts. 

We came home after the movie and relaxed, then went to Yogurtland for some fro-yo. There is a Barnes & Noble next door, so we wandered the aisles for a bit while we finished off our sweet treat. 

I completely take after my father and just adore bookstores. I could stay in there forever just wandering the aisles, reading excerpts from books and taking in the fresh, "new book" smell. 

Brandon picked up John Grisham's Playing for Pizza, and I got Diana: Story of a Princess


Sunday:
Brandon went to The Colonial with his dad and brother, so I slept in, did a couple of things around the house, ran some errands and then marched myself back out to the pool with my new book. 

I brought along my sangria* in a cute new cup from Family Dollar {love that!} and read, sipped and sunbathed {with sunscreen, of course!} for a few hours. 


I came home, relaxed and tried to find Brandon on TV {no luck there, seeing as how I was watching the completely wrong golf tournament on TV...whoops!} and had another glass of sangria. While Oliver laid randomly on the table. Because that's normal. 

I watched "Because I Said So" and waited for Brandon to get home. 

I made supper and we laid low Sunday night, playing catch up with the DVR. 


Monday:
We slept in really late, then enjoyed coffee in bed. 


...and just when we thought we might get out of bed, Ollie came in our room to cuddle. We looked at each other, grabbed our respective books and read for about an hour. It was so nice to just relax! 


We did a few more things around the house, then I cooked this amazing Four Cheese Truffle Macaroni {adapted from this recipe} for my in-law's annual Memorial Day barbeque. 

{It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. :)} 


We drove over to Southlake for the party, mixed and mingled with friends, ate a ton of yummy food, and came home around 9:30 p.m. This girl is tiiiiiiiiiiired

And while the weekend was so fun and relaxing, we did take a moment to reflect and thank and honor those that lost their lives serving our great nation. We're so blessed to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave! As George W. Bush said, "This way of life is worth defending." 

Happy Tuesday, all, and happy short week to you! 


*Sangria Recipes
White Sangria (thanks, Natalie!)
1 can Fresca
1 bottle Moscato
Chopped fresh fruit 

Mix and serve! Easy as pie. 

Red Sangria (thanks, Mom!)
1 bottle blood orange punch
1 bottle sweet red wine

Mix and serve! Even easier. 

*These are great summer drinks. So refreshing! I basically keep a pitcher of the red sangria on hand all the time this time of the year! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Menu Friday

So, I kinda dropped the ball on my whole taking-pictures-of-our-food thing this week. 

I blaming it on my list

So here's what we had to eat this week, courtesy of Pinterest photos, obviously. 

Saturday:
Steak, mashed potatoes, broccolini and rolls 
{Sorry, no picture.}

Sunday:
We ate out because we went to the Byron Nelson 

Monday:
Jenny Steffens Hobick's Penne Pasta Pie + Caesar salad and garlic bread  

This is seriously one of our favorite meals. Y'all know how much I love Jenny and her recipes! I didn't add in chicken this time because it was Monday and I didn't want to deal with that; it's still amazing without it. 

Cheesy, mushroom-y, tomato sauce-y goodness


Oh wait, I do have a picture of this meal...sorta:


Tuesday:
Cooking Light's Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi + sauteed squash and rolls 

This is a quick and easy meal that just screams "summer." The only modifications I have is that I add a lot more lemon juice than the recipe calls for, and I also throw in a bit of freshly grated Parmesan {aka: "Farmer John"} cheese. 

And the squash? That's my grandmother's recipe. The secret? Add in one teaspoon of sugar, in addition to a little salt and pepper. Wa-la. 


Wednesday:
Taco Pasta + salad 

Brandon really liked this {hello, it said "kid-friendly recipe," so I knew he would...} but I thought it needed a little more "oomph." 

Next time I'll add in some Mexican oregano, chipotle chile powder and garlic salt.  


Thursday:
Leftovers 

Friday:
Brandon and I are going on another date night to a fun new restaurant and to see my movie this time, "The Five Year Engagement." I'm hoping it won't turn out like my "Hunger Games" walk-out-of-the-movie fiasco. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

We have lots of plans to do nothing this weekend, save for a barbeque at my in-law's on Monday afternoon. I can't wait to sleep late, spend time with Brandon, sip homemade sangria and just do nothing. 

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

On Writing. And summer.

I feel like I've been noticeably absent from the blog. Not because I have been busy, but because I feel like I honestly have nothing "good" to say to you. And, I'm wondering: are any of you out there? Are you reading? 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When this time of the year rolls around, I always crave those slower days of summer that I grew up with. Those days full of sleeping late, eating chicken salad sandwiches and Popsicles  at the pool, being barefoot outside, taking spontaneous trips somewhere just because, staying up late watching movies and abundant family time. 

Memorial Day has always been the unofficial, official start to summer to me. And the sad thing is? In the past five years, as Brandon and I both have been starting our careers, learning how to be married and saving up money for the house... 

...I'll admit that "summer" has become just another season. 

Sure, traffic's lighter, I don't have to stop for buses on my drive to work, the work dress code is a bit more causal, the "summer slump" takes effect and we grill out more often than not. 

But this year? Oh, this year. I want to savor summer. I want to get away from my routine and be a little spontaneous. 

I was reading Kelle Hampton's blog the other day about lists. Just little, miniature bucket lists of things to do for pure enjoyment this summer. Not my typical list that looks something like this:

1. Pick up dry cleaning
2. Stop by CVS for hairspray and Q-Tips
3. Grocery store
4. Return Netflix 

...you get the picture. 

And while I haven't made a list for the week, I did deviate from our routine {a lot} in the past four days, and for that, the summer gods thank me. And me them. 

We stayed up late last night watching "The Pianist." {And I didn't fall asleep!} 


I indulged in that ice cream I didn't need at work. 


And I let this little guy snore away on me for hours last night, just because. 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

So summer, I want to make a list with you. I want us to shake hands, make a pact and ensure I do these things. Because for a girl with a routine, deviating from it {even for a sweet summer} is gonna be hard. So, here we go: 

1. Stop saying "no" to happy hour with my work girlfriends. Just go. 
2. Take a miniature vacation. Even if it's just one night at the W, take the time to sneak away. 
3. Pay for someone's meal/drink/coffee who are in the line behind me. 
4. Go golfing with my husband. 
5. Try a new local restaurant every weekend. 
6. Rock a one-piece bathing suit. 
7. Stop saying "no" to pool time. Just go. {And bring drinks.} 
8. Make it routine to get a snow cone with Brandon one night a week. 
9. Buy fresh flowers at the grocery store and keep 'em at home to liven the place up. 
10. Wake up early one day and watch the sun rise with a cup of coffee. 
11. Stop making summer "just another season." Enjoy it: grill out, buy Popsicles, make homemade sangria and homemade pasta salad and be spontaneous. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Happy summer-ing. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend.

Happy Monday! (Is there such a thing?) 

We had a great {but randomly busy} weekend. Hope yours was fabulous!

Friday:
Brandon and I went to our little area's country club for a glass of wine, then had dinner at Kona

Side note: We looked down and realized we were wearing green and gold. Sic 'Em! :)


After dinner, we used our gift card to AMC NorthPark to see "The Hunger Games." 

Y'all. We walked out of the movie. It was terrible. 

Sci-Fi-ish movies just aren't our thing. And two hours and 22 minutes is far too long for a movie about killing people. No, thank you. 

But, on a positive note, the movie theater now has a bar, so I got a little drink {including a glo-stick} with my movie. "Oh you fancy, huh?" 


Saturday: 
I went on a walk with Jess, then Brandon and I grabbed Chick-Fil-A and went to look at some houses (!!!). We've finally settled on an area, so we did some drive by's and creeped on some houses during the afternoon. Can't wait to get out of our apartment! 

After the house/area-hunting, we came home and I went to the grocery store, then stopped by TJ Maxx and HomeGoods because I "needed" a little update in my bathroom {yes, we have a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment and use separate bathrooms}. 

Instead of the old silver-plate tray I had there, I found this cute white cake stand at TJ Maxx for $12.99 and the glass canisters at HomeGoods for $7.99 each. I got home and realized that it needed some height behind it, so I stacked my jewelry bowl and picture frame on two Tiffany's boxes. {So glad I kept those things!} 

Later that evening, Brandon grilled steaks and I made mashed potatoes, broccolini and my favorite rolls for supper. We watched "The Vow" (y'all...so good!) and then crashed early. 


Sunday:
We picked up Jessica and Austin for church, and then went to Sunday School. After Sunday School, our class had lunch at Rusty Taco {our fave}! 

While at Sunday School, a guy from our class offered the class two free tickets to the Byron Nelson. Of course, Brandon ran over and grabbed those tickets up!  

We quickly came home and got dressed, then headed over to Las Colinas for the final day of the tournament. 


The golf course is so gorgeous, and I got to see Phil Mickelson up-close and personal as he walked from the 17th green to the 18th tee box. So cool! 


Brandon also went rogue and took this picture of Ernie Els teeing off. {Sneaky, sneaky.} 


It was super hot out there and I'm pretty sure my feet are going to fall off because of the blisters, but it was so fun seeing Brandon's reaction to the tournament. He absolutely loves golf, and I love seeing him so happy and excited! 


After the tournament, we picked up dinner and went home to clean up. After our showers, we both got cozy on the couch and didn't move for a couple of hours. Finally, Brandon said -- at 8:45 p.m. -- that he was ready for bed. My sore feet happily obliged. 

And, on a random note, have any of you heard of Statigram? It's a place where, for you bloggers like me, you can go right-click and save your Instagram pictures that you want to blog without having to e-mail each one to yourself. Such a time saver! {You can also look at your pictures and others' on here, too, without having to grab your phone. Ahem, like when you're at work and want to appear busy...} 

Have a great day, y'all! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Menu Friday

Happy Friday! 

I had a four-day week, but it still felt like it was a five-day week. I'm tired! Definitely ready to relax this weekend. 

Anyway, Menu Friday...

Sunday:
We were in Southlake to visit my mother-in-law for Mother's Day, so we decided to stay a little longer and have dinner on the patio at Taco Diner. It was there that we saw Mike Jenkins, the Cowboys' CB. 

Brandon and I love their Mambo Taxis and brisket tacos...yum!


Monday:
Cooking Light's Shrimp & Grits Casserole + butter beans and rolls 

This was surprisingly very easy and really yummy. My mom made it when we were in Livingston for spring break, and Brandon has just been begging me to make it. 

So, I was off on Monday and decided to get crackin'. And you know what? Supper was on the coffee table at 6:30 p.m. on the dot when Brandon walked in the door. 

{I kept saying, "See what it would be like if you didn't make me work?" Ha!} 


Tuesday:
Cooking Light's Hamburger Stroganoff + English peas and rolls 

We love this in our house! It's quite easy and tastes way fancier than it is. And I've expressed my love to you for Sister Schubert's dinner rolls {they cook in five minutes for crying out loud}. You must buy them!

{Side note: Why are all the yummiest meals the ugliest?} 


Wednesday:

This isn't my favorite, but Brandon loves it, so I make it. I'm going to experiment with blue cheese, because as much as I love me some Gorgonzola, it can get a little...shall we say...strong

*Note: I add chicken to this. 


Thursday:
Brandon had a "team building" event at work, so I came home and had a dinner of champions: red wine and leftover shrimp & grits casserole, along with DVR'd "Law & Order: SVU" and Oliver keeping watch in the window. 

I love nights like that. 


Our apartment gave us a $50 gift card to AMC NorthPark {guess that's what happens when you live somewhere for four years...}, so we're going to use that to see "The Five Year Engagement" tonight after we have a fun dinner out somewhere. I'm so excited for a little date night with Brandon! 

{I really want to see "What To Expect When You're Expecting," but I have to wait because Jess and some of our other girlfriends from our Sunday School class are going to see that in a couple of weeks. :)}

And can I tell you a little side story here? 

I LOVE SLEEPING. 

I could sleep in until 9 a.m. every single day if I could. I just love to sleep. I love our cozy bed. And I hate being woken up. Well, my husband? He gets up at the crack of dawn every day {including Saturdays} and thinks it's nice of him to wake me up, too. He'll scratch my back, rub my head and say, "Good morning! How did you sleep?" every. single. day. {And God bless him for that; it really is sweet.} 

However. This morning? I wasn't having any part of that. I'm tired, it's Friday and I just wanted to sleep five more minutes, for crying out loud. 

So today? My response to: "Good morning! How did you sleep?" was: "I don't know. I'm not done yet." 

He just died laughing. 

Hey, it's Friday. I'm allowed a little grumpy response when I'm woken up early, right?! 

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! 

Sorry I've been so MIA this week. Just been really crazy lately! {I keep waiting for that "summer slump," but it never seems to happen. Ah, well.} 

Anyway, here's what I'm loving this week:


Brandon and I took a spontaneous trip here last night and we loved it. Their coconut yogurt is phenoms {and I don't even like coconut}, as is their vanilla bean. They have a ton of unique flavors to choose from; I think I've just said buh-bye to Yumilicious and Pinkberry


Bustin' out the hot rollers again

This was on Sunday, when my hair was still curly from Angelica's wedding. But I decided, "Heck with it, I'm not washing my hair" and threw some hot rollers in it. And it's finally long enough that the curls actually look cute and not 1980's. 


This Jon Hart Dopp kit that we got my brother for his graduation gift {but in olive}

My "big little brother," Royden, is graduating high school on his 18th birthday, so it will be a big day for him! I was racking my brain on what to get him when Brandon suggested this monogrammed Dopp kit. 

See, I got Brandon this same Dopp kit for his college graduation gift and he still uses it to this day. It's durable, cute and a perfect size. 


And for Royden's birthday gift, we got him these monogrammed sunnies from Pineapple Grove Gifts

{I'm kinda wishing I got myself this pair. Brandon, are you reading? Hint, hint.}


And lastly, I'm loving this picture of my sweet little Oliver

He just passed out on the arm of the sofa and we thought he looked precious! Brandon said he looked like a little lion cub with his arms and legs out like that. 

{Please excuse Brandon's shirt "hanging" to dry on the back of our kitchen chair.}


Have a great day, y'all!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend

Warning: Lots of photos! 

First of all, Happy Mother's Day to my sweet Mom! I love you so much. 


This week and weekend were busy ones. I have so much to do at home this evening, but sitting on my couch in pajamas at 7 p.m. sounds five times better. 

My client's huge events were Friday and Saturday, so I spent all week in crazy planning mode. I drove all over the Metroplex getting a ton of things done, sat in a ton of planning meetings, and my team and I basically moved heaven and earth this week to make this event happen. 

In addition to said client event, this weekend was also Angelica's wedding weekend in Austin! 

{Oliver didn't want his mama to leave him!} 


I took a half day on Friday and drove down to Austin. Brandon had a work thing, so he couldn't go. I missed my driving buddy! 

While I didn't stop in Waco, I did take this pic as I was driving {sorry, Mom} of the gorgeous Baylor campus. Prettiest campus in the State of Texas, if you ask me! :) 


I finally got to Austin around 3 p.m. I stayed with my friend Laura, but she was still at work, so she just left me a key. I got ready to go and drove over to the Four Seasons for Angelica's rehearsal. I was a little early, so I had a glass of wine at the bar. "Oh you fancy, huh?" 


We did the rehearsal-ing and then went over to Max's Wine Dive for the rehearsal dinner. The food was so yummy {shrimp and grits, macaroni and cheese and enough Prosecco to last a lifetime} and the speeches were sweet. 


After the rehearsal dinner, Laura picked me up and we went to CrĂș Wine Bar in downtown for, what else, a glass of wine. It was so good catching up with her! 

We picked up her boyfriend, Scott, and then we went back to her apartment. She and I looked through photo albums from our Baylor in Great Britain trip in summer 2007 {five years ago, holy cow!} Scott left, then she and I stayed up talking for a little bit before crashing around 1 a.m. 


Saturday was Angelica's wedding day! Laura had to go to her sister's A&M graduation {Ew, Laura, you just made me type "A&M" on my blog} so we headed to Starbuck's for some coffee and breakfast before I went to the Four Seasons for the wedding. 

We all got ready that afternoon in the bridal suite, which was so cute. Colby's sister and I steamed dresses, we snacked on yummy food and Angelica's cousin did all of our hair. 

{Isn't her dress hanger so cute?!} 


I loved our bouquets!


Angelica got her hair and makeup done, then read her note from Colby. I think we all got a little teary-eyed watching her get teary-eyed! 

Obviously I don't have pictures from the wedding, but I can tell you that it was absolutely lovely. My favorite part? Seeing Colby whisper to Angelica at the beginning of the ceremony, "You look beautiful." SO sweet!!! 


And while I was wedding-ing, my Dad and grandfather drove up to Dallas for my client event! My client personally invited them and gave them the VIP treatment. They were able to take personal tours, sit in cockpits, visit with representatives and my clients and just generally have a lot of fun!

My Dad and grandfather are fellow aviation geeks, so as my grandfather said, "We were like kids in a candy store!" 


After the ceremony, I got in the car and drove the three hours back to Dallas. {Exhausting!!!} 

Today we spent all day celebrating our mamas and my grandmothers. 


We had a yummy "linner" {late lunch + early dinner} at Taco Diner.

While we were there, we saw the Dallas Cowboys' CB Mike Jenkins. Pretty cool celeb sighting! :)


I took Monday off, so I'm looking forward to catching up on some sleep, going to the grocery store, doing some laundry and just getting my life back into a bit of order! 

Happy Sunday, all, and Happy Honeymooning, Mrs. Louis!