Monday, January 26, 2015

Rodeo, Rugs, & Rainbow Cookies

No Friday post means I’m taking this weekend recap all the way back to Thursday night.  Austin and I went to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on Thursday with our favorite Fort Worth friends, the McDonalds, and two other Aggie couples.  We have been wanting to make it over to cow town for the rodeo ever since moving to Dallas.  The rodeo was the perfect excuse for my boot purchase earlier in the week.  I really didn’t feel like a true Texan until Tuesday when I bought my first “real” pair of cowboy boots.  Such a fun night! 

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One other highlight of last week before I move on to recapping the actual weekend was our rugs.  We ordered a rug for the dining room and the living room back in November, and they finally came in last week.  I love them!  Of course I still have a long, long list of wants for the new house, but I keep trying to remind myself to take it one step at a time and enjoy the process.   

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Friday night and Saturday morning were spent in my favorite pjs being totally lazy and catching up on magazines and blogs.  Loved every bit of that!  I made some 15-bean soup in the crock pot on Friday, and it was the perfect thing to come home to on a cold night after a long week.  And can I just profess my love for these crock-pot liners?!  What did I do without these in my life? 

Weekend Eats

We hit up the grocery store on Saturday afternoon, and then I baked some cookies for a game night with some Sunday school friends and a pound cake for our Sunday lunch.  For the cookies, I tried this recipe from Pinterest, and think I’ll move it to my “Keeper Recipes” board.  If you’re anything like me, your Pinterest boards fill up with recipes far faster than you’re able to try said recipes.  My mom gave me the genius idea of starting a “keeper” board for recipes I’ve tried and loved.

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Sunday after church, our friends the Turmans came over for lunch.  We all used to be in the same Sunday school class, but they are teaching a different class now, so we don’t get nearly as much time to catch up on Sunday mornings.  It was fun having them and their two precious boys over, plus I love any excuse to set the table!  I fixed roast, rice and gravy, butter beans, rolls, and pound cake for dessert.  Nothing will ever feel as quintessentially “Sunday lunch” to me as roast and rice and gravy.  Getting the roast ready to put in the oven Sunday morning brought back so many memories of waking up to that delicious smell on many a Sunday morning growing up.   

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Hope y’all have a great week! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend With Some Other Favorites in Dallas

Austin and I are just getting spoiled rotten with visits from all three out-of-town sisters and my mom in the past week!  This weekend, Austin’s sister Courtney came to Dallas, and we got to have her and Casey (the only local sister) over on Saturday night.  We made pizzas with crust, marinara sauce, and tons of toppings all from Jimmy’s.  Courtney broke in our ice cream maker and made us some delicious homemade blueberry cheesecake ice cream for dessert.  We played a few rounds of Catchphrase before I fell asleep.  I wish I was joking! 

Pizza with C&C

Before pizza night, Austin and I ran errands all over the metroplex – literally from Allen to east Dallas.  I stumbled upon an adorable Kate Spade dress for a great deal, and Austin finally got the Wranglers he’s been talking about for months (maybe years).  We are headed to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo this week with our Fort Worth friends, the McDonalds, so I think the Wranglers came just in the nick of time. 

I realize I’m recapping our weekend basically in reverse order, but going back even further to Friday night, we had a fun impromptu game night with our friends the Dyers.  We played a game called “Hear Me Out” that was new to all of us but wound up being really fun! 

On Sunday morning Courtney and Casey joined us for church, and we loved having them both there.   As usual, I wish I would have taken more pictures this weekend, but I’ll just try and do better in that regard this week and next weekend! 

Linking up with Biana and Meghan on this MLK Day (I’m jealous of those of you who are off today!).

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

House Tour: Part I

While I was at home on Friday afternoon waiting for my mom and sisters to arrive, I finally got around to snapping a few pictures of our new house.  I think I can still call it new even though we’ve been here since mid-October.  I did not get to all the rooms, so today we’ll just take a peek at the living room, dining room, kitchen, and one of the upstairs bedrooms. 

Here’s our entryway just inside the front door:

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The living room and dining room are completely open to each other, and are just to the right of the entry. 

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Things hanging out at the top of my to-do list for the living room include a window treatment, an entertainment center for the TV that will take up some wall space, and eventually, I want to replace the furniture.  I didn’t get a great picture of the wall where our TV and small entertainment center currently sit.  The rugs I ordered back in November for the living room and dining room are finally on their way this week!!

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At the tip top of my list for the dining room is a china cabinet/hutch to go on that big wall to the left of our table.  I found one that could work recently, but I’m still trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on it.  I think I need to measure and go back and look at it one more time! 

The kitchen is right off the dining room and probably the closest room in the house to being “done.”  The backsplash is one of my favorite things about the house, and I love my kitchen rug as well. 

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And off the kitchen is our little drop zone that I just love. 

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I need to get some more pictures up on that bulletin board, but I love the fabric so much that I’m just not in a rush to cover it up.  

And quite possibly my favorite part of the house so far – the built in desk in one of our upstairs bedrooms that I’ve claimed as my craft desk.  Still on the hunt for a chair, but I just love this little desk!  It is the perfect spot to practice calligraphy and make cards. 

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I love all my monthly cards from my mom for 2011 – 2014 on rings just above the bead board.  

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The rest of this bedroom has a long way to go, but this shot of the tulips I had in there this weekend for my sisters shows a little bit of the bedding.  We have two twin beds with gray and white check duvets.  One bed still needs a headboard, they both are getting dust ruffles soon, and I need to find some pillows and a some fabric for window treatments ASAP! 

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That’s all for part one, and I’ll try not to let four months go by before getting a second installment posted.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend With my Favorites in Dallas

When we were all at home for Christmas, my mom and sisters and I hatched a plan for them to visit me in Dallas in January.  My mom has seen the new house, but neither sister had been to visit us since we moved.  All week long I was counting the minutes until Friday afternoon when they arrived!  It was so fun to give them a tour of our new house and to have them here for the weekend.

I left work a little early on Friday and came home to get our white chicken chili on the stove for supper (this recipe from Peanut Butter Runner is my favorite).  We stayed in, stayed warm, and had a really fun time catching up on Friday evening.  I picked up some of my favorite treats from Trader Joe’s on Friday before coming home – eucalyptus (the best smell and the best color!), tulips, cheese and crackers, and dark chocolate covered caramels.  I need to figure out how to grow eucalyptus in my yard so I can have an endless supply.  That would just be the best!

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While we were bundled up at home this weekend, we had so much fun talking about Mary Katherine’s new blog –> Mary K Every Day.  Austin and I have joked since August when MK started college that we wished she would just wear a Go Pro all day every day so we could follow along on her fun college adventures in Aggieland.  I think a blog is pretty much the next best thing! 

We even put the wheels in motion for Melanie to start a blog to document her baking adventures.  Melanie had quite the cupcake business in high school and has recently moved to The Woodlands and is wanting to get back into baking and hone her cookie decorating skills a bit.  I’ll be sure to feature her blog here when it is up and running.

On Saturday morning, my mom and I headed out to one of my favorite fabric stores to search for fabric for a window treatment in our living room and for some various projects in one of the guest rooms.  We were not able to find exactly what I was hoping to find for the living room, but we got some fabric for Mom to whip up two dust ruffles for a guest room where we have two twin beds.  Does anyone have a good online source for fabric?  I’m so sad my local store failed me this weekend, but they just didn’t have anything that came close to the blue and off white buffalo check that I have my heart set on for the living room.

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We swung back by the house to pick up Melanie and Mary Katherine, and then we had lunch at Rise, which was such a treat.  It is one of my favorite dining atmospheres in Dallas.  We shared an artichoke appetizer, a delicious creamed spinach soufflé, a soufflé with crab and some other things I can’t remember, and a divine pecan praline dessert soufflé.    

Mom, Mel & MK in Dallas

The plates, the napkins, the glassware, the decor, the bread… everything is pure perfection at this place. 

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On Saturday afternoon, we ventured up to McKinney and scoped out some of the cute stores on the square.  I picked up a cozy houndstooth jacket from West & Lou that I will definitely be sporting to work this week.  Saturday night we had cheese and crackers for dinner (my idea of a perfect meal), and I made it until 9:00 before falling asleep (so pitiful, I know).  Sunday morning we braved the cold for church and for a quick picture on our way out the door.  Mom and the girls left straight from church, and I was sad as always to see them off.   

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Linking up with Biana and Meghan on a cold blustery Monday in Dallas.  Hoping for a warm and productive week ahead!  

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Monday, January 5, 2015

A Chilly Start to 2015

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, we “celebrated” the new year with a movie (Unbroken), an early night in (we’re such party animals), and a leisurely day at home on January 1st.  I spent the first day of 2015 in my pajamas all day, and it was heavenly!  We cooked a late breakfast of eggs, biscuits, and bacon and an early supper of a new black-eyed pea dish and cornbread.  (Also pictured is seven layer dip from Sunday for the Cowboys game.)

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Our pace didn’t speed up a whole lot this weekend as we eased into 2015.  Saturday brought another day at home marking off things on our to-do list, catching up with Casey once she made it back to town, and going for a run on a trail near our house.  We did break away from the house for a fun brunch with friends mid-morning. 

On Sunday, we enjoyed church and Sunday school and then Casey came over for a bit in the afternoon to show us her latest skill – crepe making!  After the tasty crepe she fixed us and the seven layer dip, we were quite stuffed.  

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The temperatures plunged on Sunday in Dallas, and we bundled up all yesterday afternoon.  My darling husband doesn’t like to turn the heat on any more than absolutely necessary.  So my hands have pretty much been numb for 24 hours.  Thank goodness for blanket scarves.  Don’t let Austin’s picture fool you –this is just him being nervous watching the Cowboys game. 

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Happy first full week of 2015 – stay warm! Linking up for Weekending with B loved Boston

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 14 of 2014

Happy 2015!!  I had so much fun reviewing my year for last year’s “Top 13 of 2013” post, that I couldn’t resist doing the same for 2014.  In no particular order, here are fourteen of my favorite moments from last year.

ONE – BUYING A HOUSE

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We closed on October 15, 2014, and we’ve been loving life as homeowners ever since.  We made a little bit of decorating progress when my mom visited in November (My dad was there too, obviously, but he was not as helpful in the decorating department).  Maybe one of my resolutions for 2015 should be to finally post a house tour on the blog?

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TWO – NEW JOBS

We both started new jobs in 2014 – mine in May and Austin’s in December.  The closest thing I have to photographic documentation of that is this corner of my desk with the beautiful anniversary flowers Austin surprised me with during my second week of the new job.  Both new jobs were big answers to many months or prayer.  We are so thankful!

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THREE – HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION FOR THE BABY SISTERS

Casey graduated in May, and Mary Katherine graduated in June of this year.  We are so proud of them both, and we had a ball celebrating them at their respective graduation parties 

A crawfish boil for Casey:

Casey's McNeil Graduation

And a fun maroon and white party for our favorite Aggie, Mary Katherine:

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FOUR – STARTING A SUPPER CLUB

This was such a fun part of our year – I’m excited to host for the first time at our new house in 2015!! 

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FIVE – HOSTING TWO BABY SHOWERS FOR FRIENDS

I had a ball helping plan and host two baby showers this spring – one for my friend Kara and her sweet little girl, Kalli, and one for my friend Brooke and baby Jude.

Kara's Baby Shower

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SIX – FOURTH OF JULY IN LIVINGSTON

We had a wonderful and relaxing fourth spent at my parents’ house this year with both sisters, the brother-in-law, and Mel and Clark’s new puppy, Riley!

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SEVEN – WEEKEND TRIPS

Although we didn’t go on a big trip in 2014, we enjoyed a long weekend in Baton Rouge and New Orleans to celebrate my law school bff Emily’s wedding in June.  We also took a weekend trip to Austin in July to visit our friends Billy and Carly and their new house.  We had our first paddle boarding adventure in Austin and discovered my favorite brunch spot in our capital city.   

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EIGHT – MARY KATHERINE’S MOVE TO COLLEGE STATION

In August, we traveled to CS to help move MK into her dorm room.  And then I died over how cute it was!  Her great transition into college life was definitely a highlight of 2014.

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NINE - FOOTBALL SEASON IN AGGIELAND

We made good use of our season tickets and made the pilgrimage to College Station for several of the games this fall.  Getting to see MK before the games was always a highlight.

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TEN – CASEY’S MOVE TO DALLAS

In September, we helped Casey move into her apartment here in Dallas, and we have loved getting to see her at least once a week since then!  She has also transitioned seamlessly into college life, and we are happy to have her in our city.

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ELEVEN - FUN WITH OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

In 2014, we participated in a discipleship class called “The Marriage Project” with some of our SS friends that consisted of several fun date nights.  We also went on a segway tour of Dallas, had a fun BBQ cook-off, a Valentine’s party, and a Christmas party complete with “festive” sweaters.  Our church remains one of the things we are most thankful for year after year. 

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TWELVE – VISITS WITH JACKSON FRIENDS

I made a trip to Jackson in March for Emily’s engagement party and St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  In July, two of my favorite Mississippi friends made a trip to Dallas, and we explored the George W. Bush presidential library and museum here in Dallas. 

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THIRTEEN  – CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE

I went to a calligraphy class in January, made some Valentines in February, and have been trying to sneak in practice all throughout the year.  This is a skill I hope to develop more in 2015 for sure. 

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FOURTEEN – HOLIDAYS WITH FAMILY

We celebrated Thanksgiving in Austin and Christmas in Livingston and Ruston this year.  We love every moment we get to spend with our families! 

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Good gracious, that was a long post.  Thank you for the fun memories, 2014, and here’s to a delightful 2015!