Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! He is risen! 

We had such a fun, eventful Easter weekend. 

Friday:
Brandon took off of work {I had Friday off} and we slept late, which was awesome. We both cleaned the house and ran our respective errands. 

Then, Brandon and I went to pick out my {early} birthday present: a new coffee table...


...and side table! 

We purchased them both from Freed's, where we bought our couch. We have really been pleased with their customer service, price and inventory. {And our salesman, Reggie, was awesome. Seriously, request him if you go.} 


Saturday:
I spent all day getting ready for Easter! I used my great-grandmother, "Memmie"'s floral china and crystal to set my simple table. I added a little iridescent Easter egg with each person's name written on it as their place card. I knew my sweet Memmie would just love that I was using her beautiful china and crystal for my table. 


...and yes, my mother told me {after} I'd taken this photo that my salad forks were on the wrong side. #wifeyfail 


Brandon spent all afternoon Saturday getting our backyard ready for spring. Our seller did absolutely nothing to the backyard and it looks horrible. It was like he walked outside blindfolded and said, "Oh, I'll plant [insert plant that doesn't work for Texas] riiiiiiight here." Y'all, it's bad. 

Anyway, we haven't touched it, so we're going to have a landscape architect come out to pull out the nasty grass, add flower beds and just generally transform our backyard. We'll do all the planting, but we need someone to do the skeleton. It would take us months to do what a couple of people can do in a few days. 

Sunday:
We went to the early service at church this morning, and it was wonderful, per usual. 

Brandon and I read Matthew 28:1-7 this morning before we left for church to prepare our hearts. I'm so thankful that Christ died for me, but I'm even more thankful that He rose again, just like He said He would. We now, as believers, get to live with Him and His Father eternally when our physical bodies die. 


Brandon looked so handsome this morning in his pastel pink shirt and navy polka-dot tie! 


We got home from church and got all of our food ready. Brandon helped me make a baked ham, layered salad, a buttermilk pie and a cherry cream pie. My mother-in-law brought squash casserole, scalloped potatoes and bread. It was so yummy, if I do say so myself! 

And, as a true southerner, I was so thrilled to finally get to wear white pants! 


We enjoyed an afternoon of visiting with Brandon's side of the family. I was really sad, however, that I couldn't go home to Livingston to see my family. It was very different to be here, but I told Brandon that if I couldn't be here, then I was going to bring my Livingston Easter to Dallas! 

My in-law's took this picture:

L-R
Becca {my SIL}, Jeff {my BIL}, Savannah {my BIL Todd's baby mama}, Todd {my BIL}, Brandon and me. 


Happy Easter, friends. He is risen! He is risen, indeed. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

When I think about what Christ did for me on that cross so many years ago, I get so overwhelmed. He came as a baby -- born in a lowly shed to a young, scared mother -- and lived a complete sinless life, loving everyone and calling them to His father, and then died to save us. Died so that we don't have to -- physically, yes, but eternally, no. 

Brandon and I just read together in Matthew the story leading up to Jesus' resurrection. What always gets me the most is when Jesus is praying before they come to arrest Him. He prays to His Father: "O, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." It says how sorrowful and deeply distressed He was. 

He was terrified. {Wouldn't you be?} He knew His whole life that this was going to happen to Him, and He was terrified. But...but! He prayed to His Father: "Not my will, but YOUR will." And it was His Father's will that He die to save all of us. And so it was. 

It's Friday, but Sunday's coming. 

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"It is Well with My Soul" is one of my favorite hymns. I vividly remember singing it in church, hearing my parents sing their respective parts. When you're little, you don't really listen to the words {or at least I didn't}. But the older I get, the more I listen and hear. And I hear what this song has to say. 

"My sin, not in part, but the whole..." {all of it, always} "...is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more..." {because He took it all away by dying for us} "...Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!" 


Indeed, it is well. 


Remember what today is all about. Yes, it is fun with Easter eggs and Easter hunts and getting Easter baskets. But the true reason we celebrate this weekend is the fact that Jesus died for us...but even more so, that He ROSE AGAIN. That's the true miracle in all of this. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend

Happy Sunday! Brandon got home today from a four-day business trip and to say that I've missed him is an understatement! 

Let's recap the weekend, shall we?

Friday:
I didn't get home from work until almost 7 p.m., and since it was FREEZING and disgusting outside, I made a pit stop at Panera before coming home to get cozy with sweet Oliver. He most definitely knows when his daddy is gone because he gets as close as he possibly can to me to be my "protector." {He seriously thinks he's a dog.} 


Saturday:
I finally got out of bed after being awoken by thunderstorms at 7 a.m. It was my Nana's birthday {Happy Birthday, Nana!} so I got to chat with her for awhile, which of course I just cherish. 

I ran over to my combo TJ Maxx/Home Goods {dangerous} to find a few tops to wear under my suits for work. My TJ Maxx/Home Goods is so good y'all! And I found the secret: get there at 9:30 a.m. when they open and you not only have the store to yourself, but get all the good stuff before it's picked over. 

I was inspired by this picture from Pinterest. I really want to do this in my dining room, but am thinking I'm going to score Goodwills and thrift shops to find the plates. 


Anyway, after my stop to my little Mecca, I ran to the grocery store and a few other little errands before coming home to deep clean my house. 

My mother-in-law stopped by to bring me a few things that she scored at the Wisteria sale. Namely these cute storage boxes that I'm obsessed with! They're gray and white striped, which matches our bathroom and bedroom perfectly. I haven't yet determined what I am going to do with them, but rest assured that they'll be put to good use. :) 


For the rest of the evening, I watched the Lifetime Channel {"Craigslist Killer," anyone?} and ordered a pizza and had some wine. I am clearly exceptionally fun. 

Sunday:
I finally got to pick my sweet husband up from the airport {albeit eaaaaaaaaarly}! I was so thrilled to see him that I bounded out of bed when my alarm went off at the crack of dawn. 

Of course, I came bearing coffee {for both of us}. 


Oh! OH! I forgot to show you the best part about my TJ Maxx/Home Goods trip! 

I got a new shower curtain and bathmat for our guest/hall bathroom. It is Tahari and was only $9.99, and the bathmat is also Tahari and was $7.99. 


I think it really lightens up the space a lot and makes it a bit more feminine. 

Keep in mind that I'm going to change the frame for the photo and that we're eventually going to get granite (or marble) for the counters. 

We still have a L-O-N-G way to go on this house, but we're getting there! 

Have a great week, y'all! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Super Salad

Just popping in to share a yummy recipe that we tried tonight: Power Salad


It was seriously the easiest, yummiest salad. Honestly? You'd pay upwards of $10 in Dallas for this salad, it was that good. 

I used spring mix, sliced strawberries, sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese {I bought the log and crumbled it myself...tastes better that way!}, sliced almonds {for Brandon}, sliced chicken and lemon juice. I did top it with a tiny dollop of Trader Joe's Cilantro Dressing...AKA: crack. Trader Joe's makes pre-sliced chicken, and it's my new obsession. You just heat it -- in its package! -- at 350 for 13 minutes and wa-la! No more boiling chicken and then shredding it and THEN adding it to your meal. 

Now that spring is {un}officially here, we're really trying to watch what we're eating and are becoming more conscious of food being used as fuel as opposed to comfort. Does that make sense?

We live right across the way from a local high school, so we walked to its track and walked a mile around it tonight. It was nice to just catch up with Brandon after a long day. 

Let me know if you try the salad!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend + Project Reveal

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm wearing my Baylor green today...since that's all the green I own. Oops! 

This weekend, Brandon was gone to a bachelor party in Shreveport, so I was left to my own devices. And what did I do? {Sort of} finish our bedroom, of course! 

Let me preface this by saying that I don't like matchy-matchy pieces of furniture, but I do like the same color family. Our bedroom is painted Behr's Castle Path and we have white baseboards, doors and trim in there. When we moved into this house, I knew I wanted our bedroom to be very calming and, as cheesy as it sounds, our sanctuary. Therefore, I chose the cool tones and silvery, mercury glass accents that you'll see below. 

This piece of furniture {below} was mine when I was a little girl. My parents brought it up this week when they visited, but it was in pretty bad shape from sitting in my grandparents' backyard shed for almost eight years. It was originally a soft, yellow-y pine color with white trim. 

So, I spray painted it {yes, spray painted!} it all an antique white and replaced the knobs to an oil-rubbed bronze to match the nailhead trim on our bed. This piece of furniture holds Brandon's clothes. 


This piece of furniture {below} was my grandparents' that they gave us when we got married because they were redoing one of their upstairs bedrooms. It was originally a very light oak, which I am not a huge fan of...clearly, considering my wood floors and cabinets throughout my house are very dark -- almost black. 

So, Brandon and I spray painted this piece about a month ago using the same antique white spray paint as in the above photo...it just looks a little different because our two windows are behind me in this photo. Hello natural light! I kept its original hardware, because I honestly liked the charm they brought to it. 

This dresser holds our Blu-Ray player and our sound bar on top, and houses my overflow of old sorority T-shirts and plethora of pajamas. 


And this piece, oh this piece. This was also in my room as a little girl, and my parents brought the top hutch when they came to visit this week. It, too, was in bad shape from sitting in the shed. 

The bottom part, however? I took that with me to college and simply replaced the knobs before I moved into my first apartment in Waco. Thankfully, they, too, were an oil-rubbed bronze, so I didn't have to change those! The bottom half hasn't yet been spray painted, but it's on my to-do list for next weekend. You can see that it's a bit yellower than the top half {and the other two pieces of furniture}. I still have to decorate the bottom right corner and add a few more books and knickknacks, but that's in due time. 

This piece houses my clothes. 


Once we make a decision on our nightstands, I'll show you those, too! That, as well as a few remaining tchotchkes that we'll pick up along the way, are our final to-do's in this room! {Only took seven months...!}

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It's my final day of spring break {boo!} so I'm scurrying around the house wrapping up some last-minute to-do's, finishing some laundry and preparing to go back to work tomorrow. 

Hope y'all had a great weekend! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday, Friday

This week FLEW by. Why is that?! 

Of course I didn't take one picture when my family was here. I'm awful! But we had so much fun! 

They got here Wednesday afternoon. My mom and I went grocery shopping for stuff to make fajitas, then came home and she got all of it ready. My dad grilled everything, we sipped sangria and just visited. Then, my Aunt Tina (my mom's sister) and my Uncle Timm and Aunt Katherine and their four kids (my mom's brother and his wife) came over and we all ate. My aunt brought her chocolate cream pie and y'all...it is amazing. It's on my "must bake" list sometime soon. 

Thursday morning, we went to Breadwinner's for brunch {yum!} and everyone was on the road by noon. It was great seeing them, but I miss them so much already. 

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This morning, I just took it easy. I gave myself a manicure, pedicure and facial. A little pampering never hurt anyone! :)

{Colors: Essie "Muchi Muchi" and Essie "Fiesta."}


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I've been working on a project for the past two days that I can't wait to show y'all on Sunday. It required me heading into uncharted territory {aka: Home Depot}, but I brought my trusty sidekick, Starbucks' Passion Tea, along with me and everything was fine. 


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This time of the year always has me craving lighter, fresher foods. Honestly, casseroles and any other heavy foods make my stomach turn right now. I'm all about salads, grilled anything and less meat. 

In fact, I was making my grocery list today and noticed that everything on it is lighter...and almost every recipe on it is from my friend Stacy at Live Simply | Live Purely

This is her picture {thanks for letting me borrow, Stacy!} of her Power Salad. The second I saw it, I knew I had to make it. Also on our menu this week? Her Mexican Shrimp Quinoa Bowls. It's a favorite in our house, and so light, fresh, yummy and healthy. 


{via}

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I'm wrapping up my spring break clean-a-thon now by washing every single linen we have in this house: blankets, sheets, pillow covers...

See y'all Sunday with the big project reveal! Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Things

Happy Wednesday, y'all! My family is on their way to my house soon, so I'm gonna keep this short and sweet today. 

I got my Erin Condren life planner in yesterday {finally!} and I'm so obsessed with it. It's so bright and colorful, and it has everything I need for organization. Since I'm always on the go to various schools, this will help keep me on top of appointments, events and even days when our office is closed. While I love my iCalendar {we are a strictly Mac office}, sometimes I just need something written.* 

 

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Today was the first day since Sunday that I've actually gotten dressed, and I must say, it felt nice to have make-up on, even though my skin loves when I go without it! {Of course, I've showered, etc., but I'm talking full-on, make-up and hair done and wearing something other than stretchy pants and a T-shirt!} 

My mom got me an awesome curling iron for Christmas and I'm really obsessed with it. My hair is super stick straight and is insanely fine and thin. AKA: It never holds curl. But this iron does magic and makes curl hold all day in my hair! I use this hairspray to hold it, which I'm also obsessed with. 

Super lame story: I saw that Kyle Richards used this brand on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, so I thought, "Hey, if it's good enough for her, I'll try it!" Ha! 

Post script: It is super awkward taking a picture of yourself in your bathroom mirror. 

I had lunch with my former American Airlines clients today, and I've missed them so much! I definitely felt like "a lady who lunches" eating at 11:30 a.m. on a Wednesday. Ha! 


Anyway, my family should be here soon, so I'm signing off to pick up around the house one last time. Have a great day! xoxo

*Note: I was not asked and/or paid for my Erin Condren review.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend + New Buys

Happy Monday! I'm typing this from my comfy bed as I watch the 10 a.m. hour of the Today Show. I have a long to-do list in the "Notes" section of my phone right now {everything from getting an oil change to transferring my 401(k) to an IRA to cleaning my bathroom to organizing our guest room closet} but I keep reminding myself that I have a full week and not everything needs to be done today. Woosah

This weekend? We enjoyed. We stepped out of the box. 

Friday:
I got off at 3:30 p.m. and took a little nap in bed until Brandon got home. We had full intentions of cooking a "real" supper, but red wine, hummus and pita chips and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" called our names, instead. 


Saturday:
I slept until 10 a.m.! (In fact, Brandon had to wake me up!) It was amazing. We picked up around the house all morning. {Side note: How does our house get so dirty in one week?! I will never understand.} Oliver loves when we wash our sheets, because our duvet is on the ground and he likes to burrow down in it. How cute is he?!


We then decided to venture north to Plano to visit Trader Joe's for the first time. To say I'm obsessed is an understatement! 

We thought we'd just pop in for some two-buck Chuck, their famous cookie butter, some great cheese and a few organic veggies. But y'all! Y'all! I was able to get all but three things on my grocery list there! And it was so cheap! I know it's about a 15-mile trek, but I told Brandon that I think I'm going to start doing our grocery shopping there full-time. It's organic and cheaper. That's a win-win to me!

After our Trader Joe's experience, we had lunch at Zoe's Kitchen. We love Zoe's. Try their tabouli salad with shrimp. You won't regret it. 

Then, we drove over to Southlake to have dinner with my in-law's at their house. 


Sunday:
We went to church We love our church so much and are so thankful for it. Our Pastor of Spiritual Development preached and talked about how, as Christians, we need to "play to win the game, not just play to not lose." 

By the way, have y'all heard this song by Hillsong? It's seriously one of my very favorites. 


After church on Sunday, we watched DVR'd "Saturday Night Live." Y'all. Hilarious! Justin Timberlake never ceases to make me die laughing. 

Then, we I decorated the house for spring! I felt like even though it was in the low 50s, Daylight Saving Time had happened, so it was okay! 

My mother-in-law made the wreath on our front door {seriously so ridiculously talented}; we bought the tulips from Trader Joe's; and my mother-in-law gave me the bunny candy dish. 


Then, I decided to finish a few things on my overall "house" to-do list. {It gets bigger every day, y'all.} I went to Home Goods and got some mercury glass candlesticks for my bedroom, mercury glass hurricanes for my bathroom and a cloche for above our kitchen cabinets. I was originally on a hunt for a new mirror for our living room, but hey, the mercury glass spoke to me. :)

So, I ventured over to Pier 1 to see if they had any mirrors that would be big enough. I didn't see anything, but as I was walking out, I saw this guy as part of a little display. Of course, I immediately texted this picture to Brandon and asked if I could get it. He told me to measure it, then come home and measure the space, and if it would fit, I could get it. So I immediately put that baby on hold and ran home to measure.  


You see, our ceilings are around 11 feet or so in our living room, so even if you think a mirror looks huge in the store, you can get home and the mirror looks completely dwarfed. 

Here's a closer picture. How pretty is it?!


...and clearly it measured just fine because we Brandon brought it home and hung it up! 

I know it looks really light in this picture, but just remember that we have dark curtains coming that will darken that corner (and the dark accents in the frame are really highlighted with the brown of the buffet); I'm getting matching lamps for each side of the buffet; and Oliver's bed isn't always right there. :)


I made this for supper and then we watched "The Bible" on the History Channel. 

Are y'all watching this? We think it's great and are just so thankful that it's on TV. This is the history that our world needs to be seeing!!! 

I told Brandon and my mom that watching it has really made me decide to read the Bible from Genesis-Revelation. While I grew up in church, became a Christian when I was nine years old, did Bible drill and went to a Baptist university, I don't know the Bible like the back of my hand like I should know it. There were so many stories that we watched that I said, "Wait, who is that?" or "I don't remember this part..." 

Therefore, I think it's imperative that I "play to win the game" and read the Bible from beginning to end. 


I know I mentioned that my parents are coming in town later this week since they have Spring Break, too. I am so excited to see them! Therefore, I'm actually going to get out of bed and clean this house to prepare for their arrival! :)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Delayed Weekend + New 'Yob Update

Hey y'all! I'm alive! 

It's been an absolute whirlwind week and I feel like I've crammed about three weeks' worth of stuff into four days. It's insane. So, let's recap...in kind of a wompajawed format...

Monday:
I said goodbye to the job I've had for almost four years. I know it doesn't sound like a long time, but it most certainly felt like it. I was really sad leaving my friends, but I knew that this job was such a good move for both me and my family. 


I looked out my side window and said goodbye to downtown Dallas for awhile. I know it's silly -- and I know I only live 15 miles away -- but I honestly have no reason to drive to downtown -- a place I've driven every day for the five years I've lived in Dallas -- for a long time. I looked back with a little nostalgia, a lot of excitement and some anticipation. 


My team bought me a yummy cake from Whole Foods and we had a mini celebration before I headed out. {Side note: NEW FAVORITE CAKE EVER!}


Okay, let's get back to the weekend.

Friday:
I got a much-needed pedicure and when I looked up, a girl had brought her dog {in a pink shirt} into the nail salon. CRAZY. 


Saturday:
Brandon helped me clean the house and do laundry, and then we decided to go to Grapevine to do some wine tasting. Hey, why not?! We tried out Su Vino, D'Vine Wine and Farina's Winery

Su Vino {pictured below} was our favorite. Their selection was fantastic, service was outstanding and cost was the best. 


Stop at Farina's if you get a little hungry. They had a great lunch special: $10 for a steak and two sides {try the mashies...yum!}. While my steak was a little more well done than medium, it was still good. Since it was Texas Independence Day, I opted for Texas wines, which is why you see me with a white wine in this picture. So totally not normal!


Sunday:
We went to church and then came home for some major rest and relaxation time. I baked some chocolate chip cookie bars and just got ready for the week. 

How cute is my little monkey taking his Sunday afternoon nap?!


And since we had a little champs in the house, I decided to toast myself. Because sometimes you just need an occasion to do so!


You can see Monday above, but I came home around lunchtime and just got ready for my big day the next day by picking up the house, doing some laundry and ironing. I even got a little nap in {if you're in our house, you call it a "restie"...don't judge!} and it was amazing. 

Tuesday:
My first day! My routine is a little...okay, a lot different...so it's taken some adjusting. Since I have to be there earlier, I have to get up earlier. 5:30 a.m., actually. Yikes, I know. BUT...BUT! I get off at 4:30 p.m. and am home by 5 p.m. so I honestly can't complain. 

I actually just looked at the clock and it's way earlier than I thought. That extra hour at home is truly a blessing. 

But I had my morning coffee in my favorite/lucky coffee cup {thanks, mama!} and was ready to go. 


Y'all, I am loving my new job. {Or as my dad would say, "yob."} L-O-V-I-N-G it. 

My new team is amazing, the flexibility is wonderful and while I'm way more dressed up than I've ever had to be at a job, it makes me feel productive. {And the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air ain't too shabby, either!} 

So yay for new routines, being in bed by 10 p.m. or earlier and new beginnings. 

Oh. OH! Did I mention that I get next week of for Spring Break? And that I get off at 3:30 p.m. on Friday? OR that my parents are coming to stay with us for a couple of nights next week!? I AM SO EXCITED. 

I haven't had Spring Break off in five years and I just have no idea what to do with myself. 

I'll likely be really boring. Tailor, oil change, shopping, etc. but y'all I don't even care. I HAVE SPRING BREAK OFF! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thanks for the Memories

Today is technically my last full day as a Senior Account Executive at Weber Shandwick. I'm not going to lie to you, it's been a bit bittersweet. I'm also not going to lie to you when I say that some people have not been exactly friendly since I announced I was leaving, but that's to be expected. However, thanks to all of you that have called, emailed, texted and left blog comments here with your congratulations! Brandon and I are both so excited, and know that this is ultimately the very best decision for both me and our family. 

Anyway, I have to wear suits at my new job. And honestly? I don't own one. Not one. Crazy, right? I've been really blessed that I have been able to wear cute skirts and shirts from Loft during the week and jeans and a cute top on Fridays. But now? Suit city! 

So, Brandon told me to order one online {thank you for your 30 percent off sale, Banana!} and I got the jacket, skirt, pants combo. He's also taking me shopping for more clothes this weekend {thank you, tax refund!}. But I know I have to dress it up with cute tops, shoes and accessories, so I've been scavenging Pinterest for inspiration. Here's what I've come up with: 

I love this outfit! I think it's girly and stylish. The only thing I would have to do is throw a fitted blazer over the top. 



I also like this outfit, and shockingly, it's from Talbots! {Who woulda thought?!} I would just throw a gray blazer over the top. 


I think this outfit is very cute for winter, and even though it's a sweater {not a suit jacket or a blazer}, I think it would suffice. This is from Target, of all places. 


Redbook put this outfit together, so I don't know the exact pieces, but I think it's very professional for spring. I absolutely love adding a pop of color to anything, especially since I feel like I've been wearing so much black, white and gray lately. 


I think this outfit would be cute for Fridays, especially since it's still somewhat dressy, but not that formal. This is from Express...and I never shop there, but I need to find this cute top!


Of course I love anything that Blair Waldorf wears! This is precious on its own, but I'd need to throw on a suit jacket or blazer. 


I L-O-V-E this look! This sparkly top is on sale at Banana right now, so I'm going to buy it and wear it over a white button-down and pair it with my black suit. Adds just a perfect amount of "fun" to any wardrobe. :)


I'm also having to buy office supplies for my {very own} office for the first time. I've been kind of spoiled in that my current company just has everything we need right here for us. So, since I have to be organized {duh!} I bought, for the first time, the Erin Condren Life Planner

Mine looks like this: 


I also bought a monogrammed mouse pad, because, c'mon...I need a mouse pad and who doesn't love a good monogram?! I ordered mine from A Bird in Hand Designs on Etsy. Here's the design:


Happy Friday, y'all! Have a great weekend!