Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Holiday Fun

Our weekend kicked off with a festive bang on Friday night at an “Ultimate Date Night” at our church with some of our best Sunday school friends. 

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There may have been a dance off… and Austin and I may have won!  Yes, us Southern Baptists do dance… sometimes even at church!  I think our time on the wedding circuit is finally paying of ;)

On Saturday, we had a delish brunch at the cutest little cafe right by our house and fell even more in love with our new part of town.  I had a much-needed hair appointment, and we enjoyed the rest of the day at home.  I am convinced that our list of projects and “to-dos” for the house will never end, but we are slowly but surely making some progress!  So far homeownership has been a fun adventure, and we are loving the time we get to spend at home on the weekends.

Sunday morning we went to church as usual and then had a really encouraging meeting with some of the leadership in our Sunday school class.  My sister-in-law Casey has met us for church the past two Sundays, and we’ve gone to the contemporary service with her.  It has been a good change from the usual traditional service we attend.  We have Sunday school friends in both services, and it has been fun to mix things up a little bit. I’m so thankful for our church and our friends there! 

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On Sunday evening we went downtown with Casey to “City Lights” to see the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree.  We grabbed a bite at the downtown Campisi’s – always a favorite! 

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Hooray for a short work week and Thanksgiving just a few days away!  Linking up for Weekending with B Loved Boston on this Thanksgiving Monday. 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday: Vol. 42

Happy Friday to you and to the lovely hostesses of Five on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness!  

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one//Still loving soup, although our weather is heating up just a bit.  I tweaked Honey We’re Healthy’s recipe for lentil soup, and we’ve been eating it for a week.

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two//We have gotten two sweet housewarming gifts from our friends this week – a beautiful orchid and a pretty candle.  I love them both!   

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three//Tonight we’re attending a fun date night at our church with several other couples from our class called “A Black and White Affair.”  Everyone is wearing black and/or white.  This means a pretty basic cocktail dress for me, but Austin decided to wear his tux – any excuse :)

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four//Some Thanksgiving cooking is on the agenda this weekend, and I can’t wait to get started.  A much needed hair appointment is the only other thing I have planned.  I’d also love to tackle getting our Christmas cards addressed, some online Christmas shopping, and getting a few thank you notes out the door.  For Thanksgiving next week, I’m contributing my favorite cranberry relish, this bourbon chocolate pecan pie, corn casserole, and jezebel sauce.  I kind of can’t believe Thanksgiving is already here!  Cranberry relish is my favorite of all the Thanksgiving foods – what is yours?!

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five//Austin and I have a tradition of getting one Christmas ornament each year to represent something special about that year.  In 2011, the year we got married, it was a wedding cake.  In 2012, the first year we had season tickets to A&M games, it was an Aggie ornament.  In 2013, we took a wonderful trip to Charleston, so we got a pineapple.  All three ornaments have been Old World Christmas so far, but this year we might just have to step out of the Old World Christmas box and get this precious house ornament from this Etsy shop.  I have had it pinned for a long time, and this is the perfect year for it! 

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Happy Friday – stay warm! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekend and Monday Night Fun

This weekend was fun but also filled to the brim.  I’m still trying to catch up a bit, which is why this post is coming to you on Wednesday! 

Saturday morning we fixed our favorite blueberry pancakes for breakfast for the first time in the new house, and I worked on organizing our built in bookshelves (house tour coming soon-ish).  We bundled up in more layers than are even comfortable and headed to College Station around lunchtime.  My parents met us there to celebrate Mary Katherine’s birthday and go to a Pi Phi tailgate for dads. We had a little party in MK’s dorm room in before the tailgate and the ball game.

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apple cupcakes with cream cheese icing + presents and cards

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MK has had a mild obsession with edible arrangements for a long time – she got two from friends for her birthday. This was probably her best birthday ever based on that alone!

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We nearly froze to death at the game… and we lost… so it wasn’t a great night, but I’m so glad we got to see MK so close to her birthday and join in the celebration! And the entire Corps did a block-T on the field during halftime, which was a fun change from the usual band-only T.  Kyle Field is always fun – even in the frigid rain!   

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We made the long trip back to Dallas after the game and had a full Sunday at church before coming home to relax and try to be productive.  Casey joined us, and we watched the windows all day to see if the snow we were forecasted to get would ever come.  Monday morning was definitely frosty outside! 

On Monday night we had our good friends the McDonalds over for red beans and rice and mexican cornbread.  Austin got do to one of his favorite things – give a tour of the new house, and we had a great time catching up with our pals.  We attempted some self-timer pics after dinner, and there were some pretty funny outtakes that I discovered when I uploaded pictures for this post…

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And that about catches us up!  I know there are some fun holiday link-ups going on that some of my favorite bloggers are hosting – I’ve got to up my game and get on board with those next week!  See y’all on Friday for my 5. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five on Friday: Vol. 41

Happy Friday to you and to the lovely hostesses of Five on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness! I’m so glad to be back after a crazy few weeks of moving adventures. 

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ONE: Last night my friend Kylee and I braved the frigid temperatures and went to see the Dallas Arboretum’s new 12 Days of Christmas exhibit.  It was so beautiful!  Our attempts at a selfie while juggling our much needed hot chocolate and being outside in the dark all failed miserably, but I got a few good pictures of some of my favorite days. 

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 three french hens//four calling birds//and maybe my very favorite, five golden rings

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If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend the 12 days exhibit!  I love going to the Arboretum in the spring for Dallas Blooms and in the fall to see their pumpkin display, and 12 days is the perfect winter addition.   

TWO: It has been such a treat having my sister-in-law Casey living in Dallas since October.  I love that she can just stop by and visit, and so far we’ve managed to get together at least once a week.  Last week Austin was out of town, and Casey came over with some pore strips – it was a wild night!  This week, she came over for hot chocolate and scrabble.  I think next time both she and Austin will want to play a different game since I completely smoked them.  And I’m maybe not the most gracious winner when it comes to board games…   

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THREE: This year’s version of the polar vortex has descended upon Dallas, and all I want are hot drinks all the time.  I’ve been on an afternoon tea kick at work lately… loving this vanilla chai.  I also randomly found the lemon peppermint from a Birchbox, and that was a delicious surprise.  My office has a Keurig, and the little hot chocolate pods they have for that are also so yummy – would it be weird for me to bring a ziploc of marshmallows to work?!

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FOUR: Saturday we are College Station bound for the Missouri game and to celebrate my sister’s birthday!  My parents will be there as well, and my mom is bringing fresh apple cupcakes – cannot wait!  I have no idea what I’m going to wear to avoid freezing to death since I hear the frigid temps have also made their way to College Station.  

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FIVE: Maybe it is Thanksgiving right around the corner, but this time of year just makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook!  Next week we are having friends over for supper on Monday and Thursday, and I’m excited about getting to spend some time in the kitchen this weekend and next week for that.  Just since last weekend we’ve had potato soup, 15 bean soup, and I have some lentil soup going in the crock pot right now that I can’t wait to try tonight for supper!  Next week I am branching out and not fixing soup.

Cheers to soup + hot tea weather!  Happy Friday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekending: Back at It!

Well that was an unintended three week break!  I guess that is what moving will do to a person who prioritizes getting rid of all boxes over most other things.  But, I am happy to be back and (mostly) settled into the new house.  Lots of updates to come on that front! 

Not surprisingly, I did not take a lot of pictures of the chaos of moving, and so the last three weeks will probably go undocumented on the blog.  I can’t wait to share our house as it slowly comes together!  My mom came to town on Thursday evening, and we spent the better part of the weekend decorating and working on window treatments for the house.  It was so wonderful to have her here, and it was the most productive 72 hours I’ve had since we moved! 

Not only did she bring her sewing machine, she also came bearing gifts in the form of homemade bread and homemade pumpkin butter.  This year I tried Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter for the first time and love it, but I have to say her homemade version blew the TJ’s version out of the water.  You basically haven’t lived until you’ve had this deliciousness on homemade bread!   

Mom at New House

We ran a ton of errands on Friday, and we also managed to squeeze in a quick stop at NorthPark and lunch at Panera followed by Hobby Lobby and Lowe’s.  I have lost count of how many times I’ve been to Lowe’s in the past three weeks!  It is pretty much our new home away from home.   

Saturday we put the first holes in the walls and got a ton of things hung in the living room and kitchen.  We made the cutest bulletin board for a little command center right near our garage door and kitchen, and mom worked on some of our window treatments.  I’ll share more pictures of the house soon, but here’s one of my favorite nooks.  I’ve since put up a few invitations and things on the board, and I just adore it!

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We took a break to have some fun fall pasta Mom brought with her and a salad for lunch on Saturday.  How cute is that festive pasta? 

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We did have the A&M/Auburn game on TV on Saturday afternoon while we were working around the house – how about those Aggies?!!  I really cannot believe we won that game – it was so fun to watch! 

My dad joined us on Sunday for lunch and to see the house.  I made some bean soup in the crock pot that simmered away while we were at church, and it was delightful.  For some reason, I’ve never made the 15 bean soup, but it is definitely one of my new favorites.  Our temperatures have gotten quite a bit cooler in Dallas this weekend, and I’m pretty excited about the leftovers in my lunchbox this week. 

After lunch my parents hit the road to head back home, and I miss them already!  I sure do love our house, but the one thing that would make it better would be being closer to our families. 

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Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending on this Monday morning!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five on Friday: Vol. 40

Happy Friday to you and to the lovely hostesses of Five on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness!  I’m going to dive right in because I’m pretty excited about my number one…

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ONE: We have a house!  We closed on Wednesday, and it is official.  I can’t believe it!  We are over the moon excited.  Now I really need to pack up our entire apartment this weekend – yikes.  Tonight I made zero progress on packing, but I did tear out two recipes from Cooking Light, so I’m calling that a win.  Also on the agenda this weekend: installing blinds, cleaning the new house, and appliance shopping.  Woo-hoo!

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TWO: Casey cooked us dinner on Monday, and she brought these teeny tiny ice creams for dessert.  They were the perfect size!  Loved those little guys.   

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THREE: Mom’s October card came in the mail yesterday, and it is hard to believe that this is the last card I’ll get at this address.  She has sent me a card every single month for the forty-one months we’ve lived here. Looking forward to November’s coming to the new house!

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P.S. – There was coordinating candy corn washi tape on the envelope!!

FOUR:  In other news about how I was productive in all the wrong ways this week, I’ve been pinning paint colors up a storm.  We are planning to hold off on having any of the interior walls painted for a little while and just live with the neutral gray that is there for the time being.  But rest assured, I have my color palette ready to go when the time comes!

Favorite pin from last night (via):

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FIVE: And a little “fall back Friday” to round out my five - oh how our Halloweens have changed.  I don’t think we ever imagined we’d be married and getting ready to move into our first house eight years ago when we took this pic at a Halloween party in 2006!

Halloween 2006

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekending: Feels Like Fall

The fact that the weather finally felt appropriately seasonal is about the best thing I can say about Saturday given the not-so-great outcome of the Aggie game.  Linking up with the lovely Biana today for some weekend highlights!

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On Saturday morning, we got up and met some friends from church for coffee and delicious coffee cake before packing up to head to College Station.  There was finally a little bit of a fall chill in the air, and the day was off to a great start. 

We headed down to College Station, and our first order of business was to stop by my sister’s dorm so we could all walk to the stadium together.  Of course she walked out of her dorm in nearly an identical outfit to what I was wearing.  My mom got us both the same maroon dress… and we both apparently thought it needed similar accessorizing!  There were a few double takes as we were walking around campus. 

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We walked around and ran into some friends – always a fun part of game day in College Station.  MK had never been to the Association of Former Students building, so we stopped there for a picture at the big Aggie ring statue.

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MK had plans to go to a Pine Cove tailgate, so we said good by to her and headed to see our friends Conner and Jen at their tailgate for a bit.  They always have such a cute set up, and it was fun catching up with them and some other friends! 

Then it was finally time to head to the stadium.  I am so not a fan of 8:00 kick offs – I was basically ready for bed before the first quarter was over.  And apparently so were the Aggies… what a disaster!  We left in the 4th quarter and made the considerably shorter drive to my parents’ house instead of driving all the way back to Dallas. 

On Sunday we just had the best and most relaxing day before heading back to Dallas.  We enjoyed the cool weather and had coffee on the porch, a French toast feast for breakfast, and then Mom and I went for a long walk.  Austin and I got to show Mom some pictures and a floor plan of the new house, and I loved getting to talk through some of my thoughts on furniture and decorating in person with her.  We took a delightful Sunday afternoon nap, and then we cooked a really tasty supper that included these pumpkin yeast rolls!

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As much as I love carbs – and all things pumpkin right now – the real star of supper was this amazing salad with shredded Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, blue cheese, spiced walnuts, and honey cinnamon croutons.  I’m super excited that I have a little tupperware of it going to work with me today for lunch!

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An Aggie win would have been nice, but the weekend was still a very good one since it included time with some of my favorite people… and those amazing pumpkin rolls.

We’re ready for a great week since we close on our house on Wednesday!!