Monday, November 22, 2010

12 Days of Christmas {Day 1}

Hey y'all! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, I know I did! It was so great to spend some quality time with my best friend - just hang out, relax, and eat lots of food! Hah. It also made me realize I need to carve out more time to go visit, I've missed girl time so much!

Hopefully I'll get some time over the break to upload some pictures and give a better recap, but for now I'll be joining in on the fun going on at Aly's Analyze This. Yes, dear friends, I know it's not yet Thanksgiving butI'm so overcome with Christmas spirit (and so are quite a few of you, haha!) that I've decided to do the 12 Days of Christmas blogging challenge!

Here we go....! :)

{Day 1} Christmas/Holiday Traditions

This year will be a year of new traditions! But before I get to those, some that I'll be keeping from my childhood are:
  • Having Christmas with my mom's side of the family the day after Christmas and eating Mexican food - yumm!

  • Having a "traditional meal" (and by that I mean turkey, ham, and the fixin's) with my dad's side on Christmas day

  • Watching the Santa Clause trilogy...probably numerous times

Now, this is our (mine & Spencer's) first Christmas together, so we're having to make compromises and try to arrange the best schedule for everyone - no easy feat. But so far I think we've come up with a good plan that will last through the years :)

  • Jam out to wonderful Christmas songs and decorate our humble abode. (<-- We're doing this TONIGHT!!)

  • {via}
    and I wish our house would look like this!
    A girl can dream...

  • Taking Christmas photos and sending out Christmas cards.

  • Have our own "family" (me, S, and our 2 pups) Christmas in our home before we head out of town to our parents homes. I also would like to start reading The Christmas Story together and create a new tradition :)

  • Spend the 23rd with S's family and go look at Christmas lights and then go to dinner.

  • Spend Christmas Eve with my family and do our small family celebration (this year we'll be going to see The Nutcracker at the Houston Ballet, soo excited!)

  • And then pick back up from my childhood Christmas traditions :)

So it's nothing too terribly excited but it's me :) I'm sure as the years go by we'll add some here and there but for now that's about it. I can't wait to read about y'alls and get some new ideas!

Hope everyone has a superb week!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fill-In-The-Blank Friday and I'm off!

Oh it's Friday! YAY! :) I'm feeling like some fun so I'm linking up with Lauren over at The Little Things We Do... If you wanna join the fun, head on over and link up! I'm also taking a half-day at work today and heading to see my BFF after lunch - SOOOooo excited! It's time for a break! And speaking of breaks, Thanksgiving break is next week! So in the spirit of the holiday here is a Thanksgiving themed Fill-In-The-Blank....woohoo :)

1. My Thanksgiving plans this year will include cooking my first turkey! Whoa! Let's hope it turns out well because I'll be having dinner with my fiance, future-in-laws, future brother-in-laws (two of them), and their grandparents. Anyone else feel the pressure? Haha, also, any and all turkey tips will be appreciated very much :)

2. My favorite Thanksgiving was hhmmmm... I really like every Thanksgiving, not sure if I have a favorite. I'm just thankful to spend time with my family :) .

3. My signature Thanksgiving dish is cream cheese and pumpkin layered pie. Soo delicious! It's my momma's recipe and I think it's the only kind of pumpkin pie I've ever eaten. I also make some killer sweet rice, candied yams, and green bean casserole. But I'm looking to branch out and try some new a turkey, hah! :/

4. My favorite Thanksgiving food is candied yams and sweet rice. And dinner rolls. And pumpkin pie. So basically carbs. Hah.

5. Thanksgiving free association! Turkey, cranberry sauce (the canned kind with the lines), pumpkin pie, yams, potatoes, family, football, blessings, Addam's Family movie (weird, I know...), shopping (Black Friday anyone?), and putting Christmas decorations up :) .

6. Thansgiving is wonderful! I love the food and family time, plus it's a sign that Christmas is just around the corner. And bonus that there's no school for both, hehe :) .

7. I am thankful for my family. Both my biological family and the amazing family I will be marrying into. An amazing and ever loving fiance. Four hilarious brothers. Wonderful and supportive parents. Crazy, silly puppies. My BFF Jennie and the special "sister" bond we have. A merciful and loving Father who pours out His love for me everyday and directs my life. And lastly, my students. They may drive me bananas 99% of the time but they are all so unique and full of life and I just love them. They put things in perspective for me and help me work on my patience, love, and mercy which I try to show them everyday :).

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I'm off and will hopefully have lots of pictures for you on Monday... Ciao bellas!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Hey y'all! It's been a while and I've missed you so! :) So here is what I'm loving this wonderful Wednesday...:

{one} That I'm back! I started my first year of teaching and coaching in August and have been MIA since! I was so busy that something had to give, and sadly it was blogging :( womp, womp. But now I've gotten things smoothed out enough and have myself into a little routine that I'm able to get back to blogging - yay! :)

{two} Cardigans/Wraps/Cover-ups. I'm able to pull off many different looks (which is great on a teacher's salary) and stay cozy in this cool weather with these lovelies.

{three} Sweaterdresses and leggings. My new fave combo! Comfy and classy! LOVE IT!

{both via Victoria's Secret}

{four} Our Save-The-Dates arrive today!! I can't wait to get off work to rush home and see them! Eek!

{five} Tomorrow is my BFF Jennie's birthday...AND I get to go see her on Friday and spend a whole weekend with her! Sooooo happy! :):):):)

{six} This wonderful fall/winter-ish weather. Dressing warm, being cozy, and eating lots of soups/chilis/warm meals in general makes me (and my tummy) happy.


{seven} This song by JJ Heller - "What Love Really Means". I heard it this morning on KLOVE and fell head over heels for it immediately.

Can't wait to see what everyone else is loving today!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Forever After Friday

It's that moment we've all been waiting for...


Leah with LKM Photography posted them today on her blog! I am in love! She is such an amazing and talented photographer; and was such fun and a pleasure to work with - I couldn't have asked for anything more :) Thank you so much Leah for all of your wonderful work!!
And thank you to my phenomenal fiance Spencer for not only being the love of my life and soulmate, but also for being who he is. We had so much fun during our shoot and together we can't help but be silly and make puppy eyes at eachother, hah :) Thank you, babe, for just being you! I love you!

Want to see more? Go here! And please leave a comment on her blog if you feel so inclined to do so (if I get 10 comments I get a free 8x10 print!).

Thanks y'all!! :):):):)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I'm being a follower today and jumping on the ABC bandwagon, it looks like fun and I have some time, so why not? :)

A- My AIR CONDITIONER is set on: 68 at night, 73 during the day while we're at work.

B- My BEDROOM theme is: ....we have no theme right now, haha. The bedroom is a work in progress. I found my dream sheets though; they're cream, blue, and brown - so we'll probably use those colors and create a theme around them...eventually :)

C- The CAR in the driveway is: no driveway, we live in an apartment. But we have a Jeep Compass and a Toyota Tundra.

D- My DESK looks: ...what desk? Haha, our dining table doubles as my desk right now.

E- The EXACT time I wake up daily is: it's varied, but now with school stuff starting soon, it'll probably be 6 a.m. - yikes!

F- The FIRST thing I wash in the shower is: my face. It just feels so dirty at the end of the day and it feels amazing to get it clean. I love my St. Ive's Apricot Scrub, makes me feel like a million bucks everyday :)

G- My GARAGE is filled with: boxes and furniture that won't fit in our lil' apartment.

H- My HOUSE is: non-existent. It's apartment living for us for a little while longer. We're hoping to move into a rent house in the fall though.

I- If you peeked INSIDE my bedroom you'd see: not too much, like I said, work in progress.

J- My favorite JUICE is: sugar-free white grape peach juice, soooo goooood!! It makes me feel like a little kid again :)

K- The best part of my KITCHEN is: the appliances, they're all new

L- The LAST person who visited my home was: my daddy.

M- The last piece of MAIL for me was: a card and pictures from my BFF Jennie and a daily devotional Bible from my aunt

N- My NEIGHBORS think I'm: .....not sure. I haven't really talked to any of them, but hopefully they think I'm nice

O- If you OPENED my fridge you'd see: dirty and sparse shelves... I need to clean it and we need to go to the grocery store.

P- My last house PARTY was: never. We haven't had one...don't really have the space for one either :( I love throwing parties, but maybe when we get a house we can do a few

Q- A QUICK meal I like to fix is: any type of grilled chicken with veggies or marinated pork chops.

R- My favorite ROOM of the house is: the living room - comfy couches that are very conducive for lots of cuddling and movie watching.

S- The SHAMPOO brand I use: is Aveeno right now, I just switched from Purology (great stuff, but expensive!)

T- My largest TELEVISION is: in the living room.

U- UNDER my bed you will find: more of Spencer's guitars and occasionally little TazTaz, it's where he likes to sleep

V- The last time I VACUUMED was: not sure, Spencer did it when I went to Lubbock a while back

W- Looking out my WINDOW I see: parking for our building and the one across from us.

X- I wish I had X-TRA: money and time.... Don't we all? Haha

Y- My YARD is: also non-existent.

Z- ZZZZZZZ My bedtime is: after 10:30 and usually close to 11:30, but with school coming up it's going to have to change - probably to between 9:30-10.

And I know so many of y'all are anxious for some engagement pictures but she hasn't posted any yet :( Sad day, but don't you worry, as soon as some (or even one!) is, I'll be sure to post it.

Have a good night lovelies :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday TidBits

I missed Miscellany Monday (boo!), and with as much as I enjoy randomness I thought I'd share some today :) You are welcome! ;)

{1} I bought the perfect lipstick on Sunday. I needed some red lipstick for our engagement pictures that night and am terrible at picking out the right shade. Seriously, I always manage to get shades that either make me look like I should be standing on a street corner or that make me look like an oompa loompa. Always too red or too orange. So I enlisted the help of professionals. I went to Ulta and got some advice from the very nice and totally knowledgeable make up artist. He picked out a few shades and we tried them out, and one looked pretty good. But then he said he wanted to try something. This made me nervous. However my fear was unnecessary; he got a nude lip primer and plumper and put it on first, then applied the shade of red that we liked best (it's called Redwood from Studio Gear) and boy did it make a difference! The nude base really brought out the true color of the lipstick and it vibed with my skin tone. Yay! I felt like such an adult buying my first "real" lipstick and primer. I've even sported the lipstick to work the past 2 days, I feel so sophisticated, haha.

{2} Speaking of engagement pictures, our photog called today and said she should hopefully have some up tonight! I certainly hope so! Keeping my fingers crossed...

{3} And speaking of work, today was my last day at my Admin Assistant job. It was bittersweet. I really like my boss and enjoyed learning so much about an industry I wasn't familiar with, but part-time was not working out and it wasn't something I was super passionate about. This is a positive change with so many more opportunities, but I will always appreciate my first taste of the working world.

{4} You know how Spencer was gone all last week? Well, now I'll be gone for a week. Bummer. I leave tomorrow for good ol' Houston. I'm excited because I get to see my good friend Taylor and look at some bridesmaids dresses and check out my hopeful venue. It has everything I envision for our wedding, let's hope it's as good in person as it is in pictures. I also get to see my future in-laws and they get to meet my mother. But on the not-bright side, I will not see the love of my life for 7 days and it makes me sad :(

Well, that's all for today - hope everyone has a wonderful week!!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ohh Today...

Well it's been another one of those weeks. Or months. I feel pretty awful for not posting in so long but really I had no desire to last week, it was a rough one. My wonderful fiance was out of town aaallllllllll week. So I was home alone and it was no fun :( So I was sad and pouty and didn't dare try to do a post with that sour puss attitude. Although my BFF Jennie did make the 2 hour trip to come spend a few days with me which definitely brightened my mood and made me happy! She really is the best friend a girl could ask for, such a blessing. And on Monday a young woman in my church passed away from a boating accident and it took a big toll on me. So between Spence being gone and that terrible news I was a mopey Molly - again, Thank God Jennie came down to visit me! It made a pretty terrible week bearable.

Spencer got back on Friday so I've been spending every second with him and haven't even thought to jump on the computer til now (he's napping...otherwise I'd probably still be putting thing off, haha).

So two exciting things....:

{1.} We're taking our engagement pictures tonight!! AAHH!! So excited!! Right now I'm letting my hair air dry and just finished painting my toe nails...then it's on to hair and make-up! The weather outside is absolutely delightful - okay, right now it's actually a little hot (91 degrees...) but it should be cool(er) by the time we take our pictures - and it should be a gorgeous West Texas sunset - Yay! :)

{2.} Remember the "Big News" I had talked about...ohh...two weeks ago or so (I know, I'm terrible - please forgive me!)? Well, here it is: I GOT MY FIRST JOB!! Let me clarify, I've been working since I was 15, all part-time jobs, most of them waitressing; I graduated from college last May and found it basically impossible to get a full-time "real" job (thank you stinky economy); I've been working as a part-time Administrative Assistant for the past 6 months and have been applying and interviewing for full-time positions since I moved back in October. So I am super stoked I have finally gotten a full-time gig. Perserverence paid off.

So what is it, you ask? I'll be teaching 8th grade Social Studies and coaching volleyball and track at one of the junior highs!! I can't believe it and am ecstatic about it!! I'm also pretty nervous. It is my first job, and not just first "real" job, but also my first teaching job. Sure I've taught Sunday school (to 2 and 3 year olds...) and have volunteered with 7th and 8th grade youth groups the past few years, but this is a whole new ball game. I can't wait to get in there though. I'm ready for this new adventure and I get to do something I'm passionate about: Making a difference in a child's life. Woo-hoo! :)

Well that's all for now, hope everyone has an amazing Sunday!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

If you do anything this weekend....DO THIS!

I know, I know... I disappear, I pop back in with something random, disappear again....well here's another random...

If you have any extra time this weekend or are looking for something to do... Go see Inception!!

It is AMAZINGLY-MIND BLOWINGLY-OUTSTANDINGLY-AWESOME!! We went yesterday for Date Night and are still talking about it this morning - sooo good! I would say more but (1.) it's awesomeness is basically indescribable, and (2.) I don't want to give away any of the movie/ruin someone's experience by saying too much. So please, do yourself a favor and see the movie - you won't regret it :)
Have a lovely weekend all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Miscellaney Monday

Randomness once a week appears to be my thing right now.... I really am making an effort to be just can't see it yet ;)

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} sweet tooth.
i've been having a craving for ice cream lately. so the other day when we went grocery shopping i bought now let me introduce you to the best thing since sliced bread: ben & jerry's cheesecake brownie and b&j's cake batter. oh. my. goodness! where have they been all my life??? they took my two favorite desserts on earth and made them into ice cream. geniuses i tell you. p.s. july is national ice cream month - hooray!
{two} ti amo italia.
i've also been eating italian food like there is only a finite amount left and it's up to me to consume it all. i don't know what's come over me but its seriously all i want...lasagna, pasta with pesto, pizza, spaghetti, eggplant parmigania....sooooo gooooood! p.s. thanks giada for all of your great and delicious recipes, i love your show and your creations even more :)
{three} dog days of summer.
i thought dogs were supposed to be slightly more lazy during the summer because of the heat... but apparently not. and if that is true, my dogs have decided not to follow suit. they have been crazy, rambunctions, literally going in circles lately! even super long walks don't slow these guys down...if anyone has any tips on how to create a calmer dog, please let me know :)
{four} out with the old, in with the new...
work out routine that is :) some where, at some point in my twenty-three and a half years i did a doosey on my knee and now it's hard to run longer than 5 miles. so instead of pushing and pushing (and probably hurting it more than helping it) i've decided to do something new. goodbye long runs and hello yoga mixed with low impact cardio and circuit training. i've also found that i enjoy these activities a lot more and don't feel like i'm punishing myself when i work out - which equals a better experience for this girl
{five} out of the loop.
i haven't had cable/satellite tv for almost three months now and i feel very "out of the loop" on the goings on in this country (and in the world) instead of breaking down and getting cable, i'm going to spend a little less time midlessly floating about the internet and a little more getting current on the happenings in the globe. but with so many news sources these days, it's hard to decide which ones are trustworthy and unbiased, so again i pose y'all a question: does anyone have any fave news sites that are awesome? which ones should i stay away from? i appreciate y'alls help! :)
{six} blog friends are real friends.
i have had the opportunity to start forging some really great friendships through blogging. it's something i never expected and it is a very happy surprise. so i want to thank all of you for sharing a little bit of yourself and your friendship with me :) it's been wonderful and a blessing and i am excited to see where these new roads of friendship take me.

Hope everyone has a great week! And as far as big/great/fun/new news that I talked about last week, I know I've put it off again but I want to get it set in stone before I say anything, hopefully by the end of the week!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Little Apology, some CatchUp, and an Award :)

Hello long lost lovelies!! I know I've been away for a week but I had a few loose ends that I needed to tie up before I headed out of town for the weekend. Sorry for the absence but duty called! I henceforth promise to be better...for now...teehee ;)

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!! Mine was pure bliss wrapped up into three days. We went to Houston to spend the weekend with Spencer's family and it was a mad house, in a good way :) Both of his brother's were there, and so was one of my best friends Lindsey (her and Spence go waaaaay back and she is actually the person who introduced us) and Spencer's best friend was also there - talk about a full house!! Needless to say, with so many people, good times abounded and merriment was had all around - from enjoying delicious food, to guitar playing and song singing, to 5 hour naps in the middle of the day, and staying up until the wee hours of the morning (like literal morning, it was 5am when we went to bed one night - and we never even left the house!). *Note to self: Never take a 5 hour nap in the middle of the day or you will be up very late.

It was so great to get to know my future family better and actually have the opportunity to build personal and special bonds with each of them. What more could a girl ask for?

..........Well, maybe to go see "Wicked"! Spencer, being the wondeful man he is, got us tickets to go see the broadway production since it opened that weekend in Houston. I love theater, so this was such a treat for me! It was amazing. I'm right in the middle of reading the book (which the play doesn't really follow, but it's still great!), so I was really looking forward to it :) Hopefully we'll be able to catch more plays/musicals when we go to visit in the future. And that's one thing I've crossed off of my 101 in 1001!!

88. See a Broadway production.

Well that's all I've got as far as a catchup...for now... I do have some exciting news to share but I'm gonna save it for tomorrow :) But I did receive a wonderful award from sweet Callie at Through Clouded Glass... The Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you so very much Callie for bestowing me with this wonderful (and my first!!) blog award!!

To receive this award you must:

1. Say 6 or 7 things about yourself.
2. Thank the person who gave you the award.
3. Pass this on to bloggers you have recently discovered and that you think are fabulous!
4. Go let those people know you gave them the award.

So a couple things about me...

{1} I've finally figured out what I want to do with my life! It's super exciting for me to have direction and pursue a dream's been a while, I was lost for a bit, too. But no more! I'll tell y'all more tomorrow... ;)

{2} I really love the idea of a 1950's inspired engagement photo shoot. We're having our photos taken on the 25th, so I'm trying to find inspiration and fell in love with this. Any other ideas, feel free to share :)

{3} I've always wanted to learn how to play the guitar...hopefully one day I'll get around to it.

{4} I have extremely low blood pressure which causes me to get very light-headed when I stand up or straighten up from bending over - not fun.

{5} I've never been an actual bridesmaid (I was a junior bridesmaid when I was 12, though...) and have never been to a bridal shower.

{6} I have two brothers and am gaining two brother-in-laws next sisters for this girl. Sad day. We're the first two to get married so not even sister-in-laws for me...yet...

{7} I used to have an obsession with cheese, but I think I've eaten so much of it that I just can't enjoy it like I used to :( I have now moved on to enjoying peanut butter entirely too often... :)

And I am honored to pass this award on to.....:

PinkLouLou @ Confessions of a 20 Something

Emily @ My Heart Shaped Life

Jennie @ Just a Girl & God's Grace

Emily @ Live a Charmed Life

Hope everyone is having a Happy Tuesday!!!!!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Miscellany Monday

What is up with this summer?? Here I am, thinking about all the nice free time I'll have this summer to get so much done and to do so many things.... And then suddenly my life is going at warp speed and I am barely keeping up. Heck, I don't even think I'm keeping up because I always seem to be playing catch up. Hmph! I have so much I want to blog about but 1.) I just don't have the time to do the kind of post I want to do, and 2.) I can't find my camera cord to upload photos. So hopefully after this weekend I'll have found both time and my camera cord...and maybe a little sanity :) Until then, here's some Miscellany Monday (totally the theme of my life right now) with Carissa!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} I really do have about 40 things to do and what seems like only one measely hour a day in which to try and do them all in. not fair!

{two} Cheetos Natural White Cheddar Puffs are Ah-Mazing. I could seriously eat an entire bag in one sitting.... Of course that's not what I'm doing right now....

{three} I love you summer, but day after day of 100+ degree heat is making me a very unhappy camper. Although today it's just now hit 80...thanks! Maybe we can keep it at that temp...even if it's just for today :)

{four} I have a major test on Friday that could possibly determine some ery big things for me. I easily get stressed out and with no time, a long to-do list, and lots of heat....well, let's just say I've had better days....

{five} On the bright side of things, my wonderful and ever-loving fiance has been so supportive, encouraging, and patient with me through all of this - even during times like this, I keep finding out different reasons why he is "the one" and I am so blessed to have him as part of my life. Plus, he surprised me with Eclipse tickets for tomorrow's midnight showing! He's the greatest. Ever. The end. :)

{six} God is so good! I know it seems like I am complaining a lot, but He really has blessed me with so much that I can't focus on the "tough" things. I know He has a plan and a place for me, I need to keep trusting Him and learn some patience :)

{seven} We're going to Spence's parents for the weekend - woohoo, fireworks on the lake! - and I'm super excited. His family is a lot of fun and both of his brothers will be there as well, so there will definitely be some good times to be had :) Now if I could just find the perfect 4th outfit...

Well that's all I've got (time for, hah) today! Hope you crazy kids are having a great week!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

KC - Movies

This week at Windy Poplar's Kristin wants to know about movies. I am a movie junkie! I would much rather watch a movie as opposed to a TV show (unless it's Grey's...let's not get crazy here, hehe). Head on over and link up!!

Windy Poplars

1. What was your favorite movie as a child? The Little Mermaid, and it still is! Hah, I know every line and every song. When I was little I would spend the summer at the pool and pretend I was a mermaid princess and hang out in the deep end and dive down to the bottom and swim around like a mermaid and play with my imaginary friends. Let's just say I got really good at holding my breath for long periods of time and no one ever wanted to play with me... And when my mom took my to NYC for my 21st birthday we saw The Little Mermaid on Broadway - it was magical....ahhhh...:)

2. If you could live in any movie as your fictional world, which one would it be? Avatar living on Pandora. I know that sounds super geeky but I LOVED that movie and would be absolutely stoked if I could be a Na'vi (yes the tall blue creatures) and live in their world.

3. Have you ever seen a midnight showing, or hosted a movie release party? Tell us about it! I saw the midnight showing of the fourth Harry Potter movie - yes, I am that nerdy. I felt out of place because I wasn't dressed up like all the other kids :( but it was fun nonetheless!

4. What movie release are you most looking forward to this year? Eclipse (just one more week! And I'm planning on going to the midnight showing), Eat Pray Love, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (yes, this time I will be dressing up...).

5. Are you a theatre goer, renter, or wait-and-buyer? I'm mostly a theatre goer, me and Spence like to get out of the house - but now that we have netflix I watch a lot of older movies at home.

Hope y'all don't think I'm too big of a geek - but honestly, I wear the title proudly ;)
What are your favorites? What are you most looking forward to?

Wishful Wed... Lost

This week's Wishful Wednesday showers with me guilt...again...

"I wish"... I hadn't lost
my grandmother's promise ring.

I posted about this a couple of WW back when it was about regret. Here is the story. It's terrible and makes me feel all yucky inside every time I think about it.

Other things I've lost that I wish I hadn't...:
  • my mother's high school graduation ring...just don't give this girl jewelry :(
  • my favorite swimsuit from Old Navy, got it last summer, lost it at the end of the summer
  • my favorite sunglasses, they were pink with colorful floral print on the frame and only $5
  • staying in touch with a close friend - but I'm working on it

Well that's enough for now, I'm going to go for a swim in the sea of guilt I just made for myself...wearing my lost swimsuit and sunglasses. Hah.

Hope y'all have a wonderful week, thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

KC - Pets!! :)

Sorry for all the time that has passed without a post! We had a somewhat busy weekend and I had a broken laptop. Sad day. But not anymore! Allow me to explain with a mini weekend recap:

Friday was just a half day of work for me (yay) and then I met up with one of my closest friends Lindsey. We enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch at Olive Garden (love that place) and then spent the rest of the afternoon running errands. We decided to make a girl's night out of it since we were having entirely too much fun to stop anytime soon - so we cooked a delicious dinner - Lemon Chicken with asparagus and rice, with fresh fruit and sparkling wine for dessert! After dinner we were feeling exceptionally social so we got dressed up and went to a little cantina for some relaxing cervezas and musica. It was such a blast getting to hang with Linds and Ash for a night - we hadn't done so in far too long and it was definitely overdue. Saturday was a lazy day for the most part, however I did manage to get Spence to go with me to Hobby Lobby - we came home with some pretty great (and much needed!) finds :) We went out for some dinner and then Spence wanted to run to Best Buy. And don't you know he had something up his sleeve! We get there, he leads me to the computer section and tells me to pick one! He really is the best thing EVER :) Sunday was church, then my parents house for dinner, then I had to go babysit two little cuties for the evening.

So now it's my week off and I do happily have a computer to keep me occupied while my sweet Spence is at work. I didn't get it setup until yesterday morning because I have been too busy watching (and finishing) season 5 of Weeds, haha.

Anyway... moving on to other things. It's KC time over at Kristin's and this week it's about pets! Yay! I love my babies! Ok, here we go...

Windy Poplars

1. What pets currently reside at your house?
(If you don't have any now, tell us what you grew up with)

We have two dogs: Taz, an almost 3 month old Border Collie/Blue Heeler mix, who resembled a Tasmanian Devil when he was a wee pup, hence the name, and Nala, an almost 2 year old Australian Shepherd/Pitbull/Boxer/whoknowswhat mess mix, who pounced and played more like a kitten than a dog when she was a baby, so I called her Nala like from The Lion King.

2. What is one really strange thing your pet(s) does?
Haha, they are two of the strangest dogs I've ever met but I wouldn't have them any other way :) Their personalities are just so big! Nala is definitely a free spirit and is so dang quirky, Taz is more subdued (unless he wants to play) and is very curious. Specifically, when I tell Nala to sit, she sits on my feet. Not beside them or in front of them, on them. I think it's her way of making sure I don't go anywhere, haha. She's also very coy - when she has a toy and wants to play, she'll put it right in front of Taz' face until he goes for it, then ensues an epic game of keep-away. When I take Taz with me in the car he puts his face right against the vent and lays his ears back in pure enjoyment. So funny and goshdarncute! They both like to "slap" and I find it hilarious. They're both super smart, too - that's not strange, I just like to brag ;)

3. Now fess up here: give us your nicknames for your pets (we KNOW you have them- and we KNOW they're good)!
Nala: NeeNee, NuuNuu, NaNa, TaTaWeeWee, TaTaNuNu, MeeMee, MuMu, Ed, Narley, my wittle girl
Taz: little baby TazTaz, TazTaz, Tazzers

4. Are your pets spoiled or not (grin)?
Bahaha.... most definitely! I treat them like I would treat my children. No, I do not tote them around everywhere with me or dress them up - but they are showered with treats, toys, cuddles, and "tisses", and get to sleep in the bed.

5. Insert pet pics here :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

KC - Food & Recipes...yumm!

It is a sad laptop died on Tuesday and it doesn't look like I'll be getting it fixed anytime soon :( So until then I'll be using my lunch breaks or running over to my parent's house to get my bloggy fix. Just so you know, my laptop conked out on me just in time for my full week off next week. Geeze...thanks a lot. Maybe it's a sign that I should be doing productive things instead of surfin' the net... (cue eerie music...) Hah, just kidding...moving on...

Windy Poplars

Yay, it's Kindred Connection time and it's all about one of my favorite things - FOOD! So without further goes:

1. What is your favorite ethnicity of food? Italian. Mexican. Mediterranean. Canadian. Hah, just kidding again. I can't choose, my tastebuds will wander where they may, and I'll happily follow along. :)

2. If you could eat only one meal for two weeks straight, what would it be? Rosa's bean and cheese burritos. Love 'em.

3.What is the "signature" dish that you cook? (you know, that always receives rave reviews and/or you get requests for the recipe - feel free to share the recipe!) I don't think I have a "signature" recipe yet, I like to dabble in a little bit of everything and am always trying something new - the recipes for my current, new hits are below! :)

4. Is there something that you just can't handle eating - like gag reflex? Nope, I'll try anything once!

5. Do you think that the Kindred Connection should continue through the summer, or take the summer off? Of course! If you find yourself short of time, maybe make it every other week :)

Tenderloin, Cranberry, and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing


4 (4 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
1 (5 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens
1 medium red or green pear, cored, cut into wedges
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Honey Mustard Dressing:
1/2 cup prepared honey mustard
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Season beef steaks with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) to medium (160 degrees F) doneness, turning occasionally.
2. Meanwhile whisk Honey Mustard Dressing ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Set aside. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with pear wedges and dried cranberries.
3. Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt as desired. Divide steak slices evenly over salads. Top each salad evenly with dressing, pecans and goat cheese, if desired.
-- This simple (and healthy!) meal was utterly mouth watering! It took less than half an hour to make and tasted like something you'd order at a gourmet restaraunt!

Jalepeno Chicken

Boneless, skinless chicken breast (trim the fat)
Tony Cachero's Creole Seasoning
Sliced jalepenos (I use the kind in a jar)

1. Season both sides of the chicken breast - but be careful not to overdo it! A thin "coat" on each side will be perfect.
2. Place on large foil square (you wrap in in foil so be sure the piece of foil is large enough to cover the chicken). Each piece of chicken gets its own foil.
3. Add 3-4 jalepenos on both sides of the chicken (more if you like a lot of heat).
4. Wrap and throw on the grill for about 20-25 minutes (be sure to flip it!).
5. Cut into it, make sure it's not pink (if it is, just throw it back on the grill). Put on a plate, add a little side of ranch dressing, cut a piece, dip into ranch (don't drown it in ranch, just a dip), enjoy!

-- Spencer loves this. It's super easy and super tastey! I usually serve it with mixed veggies. My old roommate Kelly taught me to make this, and it was love at first bite!

I forgot I never posted my Ratatouille recipe from a few weeks ago! Ugh, bad Nicole! I will do that next week, or maybe tomorrow! Sorry :( but I promise it's super delicious!

What about you? Have any great recipes I just have to try? ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wishful Wed... Career

I may have cringed a bit when I saw Kelsey's topic for Wishful Wednesday... I really have no idea what I want to do with my life and it leads to a lot of frustration. But if you ask this girl to wish...she's gonna wish BIG... :)

"I wish"... I had the opportunity to
change careers and it would be to
become an Adventure Photojournalist.

Traveling the world + daring adventures + telling the story + capturing it in pictures =

It would seriously make my life to do this. If you've ever seen BBC's Life or watch or read National Geographic, then you know exactly what I want to do. I don't just want the picture, I want the story behind the picture - so if that means traveling to India to do a story on "man-eating" tigers, or to South Africa to document the Great Whites, or sharing the story of extraordinary circumstances and survival... I'm down like a clown! Haha, but seriously, I would be.

But if I reign in my dreams a little.... I would love to be a Book Editor. I love to read and can do it for hours, even days, and I'm always picking apart sentence structure, wording, and punctuation so I think it would also be a perfect (and more attainable) fit for me. :) I'm hoping to go back for my Master's in the next year or so and have seriously considered getting it in English/Creative Writing so I can chase this dream...only time will tell.
What do you dream of doing?

Monday, June 7, 2010

T2T and ramblings of a crazy woman

I may have missed a few weeks of Taylor's Top 2 Tuesday but not this week! And if you know me at all, you know why...

Top 2 Favorite Books

I am a certified bookworm -always have been and always will be. I love reading with a passion, something about books that give me that warm fuzzy feeling all over - it sounds like love, right? Haha, well maybe 'cause it is ;)

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I've read it a thousand times and will read it a thousand more.

  2. The Shack by William Paul Young. The story is deeply moving and actually helped me understand the nature of God better than any religious book I've read. It sounds crazy, but that's just me and my opinion.

It really is hard to pick just two, I've read so many! Other favorites are: Little Women, The Twilight Series, The Mark of the Lion Series, Redeeming Love, The Historian, Eat, Pray, Love...okay! Moving on before I get carried away...

In honor of it having been so crazy busy the past few weeks months...hah, here is a little randomness followed by some weekend highlights. :)

  • Sometimes, okay...a lot of the time, I wish I was a fictional character. This usually happens when I'm in the middle of a great book. For example, right now I'm reading Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and it is absolutely wonderful! I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy it but I can't seem to put it due to my absorption of the book, I often find myself daydreaming that I am the female version of Mr. Holmes, solving crimes in London town with my obscure intelligence and attention to detail... Other times I'm Elizabeth Bennet or Jo March...alrighty, moving on...

  • I saw Sex and the City 2 yesterday - L.O.V.E.D. it! Like I wouldn't? Haha. But, now having seen it, I would definitely change my answer to last weeks Wishful Wed. Since the WW question was based on the movie and not on the series, I would definitely go with Miranda as my new answer. I'm just like her on trips, reading any book I can find about the destination, wanting to go explore, planning days full of culture, history, and fun! And I just adored her clothes!

  • I've been feeling very restless lately, and it's no bueno...because a restless Nicole = an agitated Nicole. Must.find.outlet.for.frustration! Well I did :) I hit the gym for 2 hours yesterday and my mood has definitely taken a turn for the better - yaaay!

  • I don't have to work today or tomorrow! This is great for many reasons: I get to unwind a little, I get to catch up on fun stuff like reading, movies, working out...

  • But also since I have these wonderful two days off I get to catch up on other stuff, too, like: laundry, dishes, giving the apartment a good cleaning...bleh. It'll be good to get it done though because...

  • I have all of next week off! So if I get the nitty-gritty done this week, I can really relax and enjoy next week :)

  • Also, my future father-in-law and my fiance's best friend will be here on Monday, so it'd be nice to have a clean place so I could focus on being a hospitable host.

  • I get to do a little decoration shopping today! Yippee!! Our walls are bare. In every room. But not for loonnngg....

So what's been going on that kept me away all weekend, you ask?? Well....

My youngest brother graduated from high school on Saturday! Yay Kendall!

My grandparents, aunts, and an uncle came to town for the occasion - so lots of time was family time.

Spence got Xbox Live... and I love it! I never thought I'd say something like that but it's true. Before you through me off the woman wagon and run me over for such blasphemy, let me explain... He gets Netflix on his Xbox Live, and that is why I love it. I thoroughly enjoy watching movies and can easily spend a day (or three) watching them. Now normally I go to the store to either buy or rent a movie, but now all I have to do is browse through the selection instantly available via Xbox Live OR I can grab my computer, go to and browse (or search if I have something in mind) through their entire collection of movies, documentaries, or tv shows and it will send my selection instantly to the Xbox and I can watch it right away - as opposed to waiting a couple of days. Genius!

And that about wraps up the excitement of my weekend, haha. Hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday - it's time for this girl to get some cleaning done!!

Elements by Franziska Altmann

Meet Cinderella...

My photo
I'm just a small town girl with big dreams and an open heart. I truly believe that all you need is Love and to look to the Lord whatever may come your way. Engaged to my forever love and planning a September wedding, just finished my first year of teaching, and working on becoming a "real" grown-up: This is the story of my journey, however topsy-turvey and chaotic it might be... :)

The Royal Court :)