Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Catching Up

Good gracious, I just cannot seem to get on a consistent blogging schedule a stick to it!  I’ve been at my new job for almost three months now, and my mornings start earlier at work which has apparently caused blogging time to go out the window.  I usually have good intentions of sitting down to blog when I get home, but that just does not usually happen. 

Considering the fact that we are smack-dab in the middle of our house hunt and a busy summer, I’m going to give myself a little grace in the area of blogging and just do what I can when I can and attempt to not fall completely off of the blogging wagon! 

This weekend was relaxing in some ways and hectic in others, but overall definitely a good weekend.  Austin was in College Station at a bachelor party, so I happily had an early night on Friday after a long week.  Saturday morning I got my annual pedicure.  Yes, you read that right – about once a year I get the urge to go get a pedicure.  The rest of the time I’m completely content to do my own toes.  Saturday I really lived on the edge and got a manicure too.  It was pretty relaxing! 

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I got gel polish on my nails for the first time ever, and I think I’m a convert.  This stuff is amazing!

After my relaxing mani/pedi, I headed to meet my GJ and her friend Ida Jean at a fun restaurant in Plano for lunch.  She was in town for a quick visit before heading off on a cruise of the Baltic Sea, and I’m so glad it worked out for us to squeeze in lunch. 

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After house hunting, I did a little shopping and had a pretty uneventful evening.  Sunday consisted of church, more house hunting once Austin got back to town, and a meeting over dinner.  Last night we went and drove around some potential neighborhoods and scouted out more houses.  House hunting is so time consuming!  Tonight we are going to the Rangers game with our friends Katey and Casey, and I’ll be glad to have a night not consumed by the house hunt. 

Hope your week is off to a great start! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blogger Bookworms: The One & Only (Part 2)

Welcome back for round 2!

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Just to refresh your memory, we read Emily Giffin’s The One & Only, and today we are answering the below questions about the book.  Here we go!

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1.  What was your overall opinion of the book?  Did you love it, hate it, kind of enjoy it?

I had pretty high expectations for this book, and I’m sad to say that it really did not meet them.  I expected to love it, but I just didn’t.  Although it was a quick read for me, I was a little disappointed overall in the story itself. 

2. Who was your favorite character in the book, and why did you identify with them?

Well I really wanted to meet Mrs. Carr after reading this book.  Everything that was said about her sounded like she was a wonderful and classy lady.  I think in some ways she reminded me of my own mom.  I don’t know that I identified with Lucy, per se, but I was far more intrigued by her character than the main character, Shea.  I will say that I really wanted to go shop at Lucy’s boutique!

3. What is your favorite college and/or pro football team? 

The Texas A&M Aggies of course!  I’m not really a pro football fan, but if I had to pick, I would say the Dallas Cowboys.  I mean, they are America’s team, and I do live in Dallas.  As you can imagine, I was not crazy about the part of the book where Walker beat the Aggies. 

4. Did you grow up in a place where football was practically a second religion?  Was football a big part of your high school and/or college experience?

Football was a pretty big deal in the town where I grew up – there was a lot of history and a lot of local pride that was linked to the high school football team there.  I grew up in a college town in north Louisiana, so going to Louisiana Tech football games was a regular weekend activity in the fall for my family.  The Bulldogs are still my second-favorite college team, after the Aggies of course. 

Football was a HUGE part of my college experience at Texas A&M.  Football games in Aggieland consist of 90,000 people yelling and screaming for four hours.  AND, the student section at A&M stands for the entire game, and we do various yells pretty much the whole time.  It is unlike any other place in college football.  My feet had never known true pain until my freshman year, haha!  

Now that we are alumni, Austin and I have season tickets and can thankfully sit down at times during the games now that we’re out of the student section.  We love going back, and I’d be lying if I said we aren’t already getting excited about our first trip down to College Station this fall. 

Gig ‘em!

5.  What was your favorite scene in the book?

I enjoyed the scene where Shea and her dad had breakfast together and talked about her career.  It was nice to see them have a little bit of time together, just the two of them.  And dads are always good for career advice! 

6.  What was your least favorite scene in the book?

Pretty much all of the scenes that involved Shea and Coach Carr getting closer and closer made me uncomfortable.  Even though I saw that coming, it still just seemed weird to me.  Also, many of the scenes during Shea’s relationship with Ryan were uncomfortable to read. 

7.  Have you read any of Emily Giffin's books before?  If so, how do you think this book compared?

Yes, I think I have read all of her other books.  I enjoyed Something Borrowed and Something Blue quite a bit more than some of her more recent books, including this one.  I remember that I did not love Heart of the Matter quite as much as those first two when I read it.  I do not think this book was as good as her earlier work.  It just seemed too “out there” to me.   

8.  Now that you've finished this book, what is next on your summer reading list?

Well, I wrote a post here about my summer reading list, so I’m working through those books now.  But, at the top of my list is our Blogger Bookworms book for next month chosen by my co-hostess, Katelyn!  In August we will read and post about:

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Thanks for linking up today & we hope you’ll join us in August!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Girls’ Weekend in Dallas

Another whirlwind weekend is in the books!  I’m thrilled to be blogging about the weekend in a timely fashion rather than waiting until mid-week to do it.  Hopefully that bodes well for the chances of me blogging again this week.  {Side note: I’ll definitely be blogging for our book club link up on Wednesday!  Have you drafted your answers yet for your post?}

Two of my Jackson friends came to Dallas for the weekend, and my friend Cam and I had a great time trying our best to maximize their time in the big D.  Cam and I were Jackson friends first, but she moved to Dallas in 2011 shortly after I did.  Now if we could just get these other two over here!

Friday night we went to dinner at Rise.  I have been wanting to try this place for a long long time, and I was just thrilled to get to go with this fun group.  We had a wonderful time catching up, and we enjoyed some perfect patio weather.

(I really need to improve my iPhone photography – insert monkey emoji covering his mouth here!)

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tiny bread for all//delightful cheese tray//creamed spinach soufflé//bread pudding soufflé

Rebecca in Dallas

Saturday morning we met at the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum to visit the brand new Oscar de la Renta exhibit.  It was amazing!  The lighting was not the best, and they did not allow a flash, so my pictures of the actual exhibit are sub-par.  We visited the rest of the museum as well, and I could have spent many more hours pouring over everything.  This was my first time to visit, but I know I’ll be back with Austin and at some point with my parents when they visit.  My dad is ALL about a museum.  Especially a GWB one.

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The museum had just about everything you can imagine from china displays to an interactive Decision Points room as well as several short movies throughout.

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I adore Laura’s china choice! 

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Of course we had to get an Oval Office pic.

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The 9/11 portion of the museum was incredibly moving, and we all had a few tears in our eyes during the movie in that section.  I was also fascinated by a giant terrorism timeline that ran underneath the large interactive map pictured above. 

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Clearly we love America!  Would you believe that we did not even plan our patriotic wardrobe choices?

After our morning at the museum, we had a delightful lunch on yet another patio at Gloria’s.  I cannot even believe how cool it was all day Saturday! 

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We did a bit of strolling around lower Greenville after lunch and wound up at Steel City Pops.  I got to mark another place I’ve been dying to try off of my list, and I will definitely be back!  There are so many fun flavors to try.  I got coffee on Saturday, and it was a winner.  Rebecca tried watermelon, Cam tried caramel, and Eleanor had a chocolate chili pop – she was definitely the most adventurous with her choice. 

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We hopped over to Knox/Henderson and did some walking and shopping there before I had to leave to run home and get ready for a shower Austin and I attended Saturday night.  The rest of the girls went to a newer area in Dallas called Trinity Groves for dinner.  They gave the whole little cluster of restaurants over there rave reviews, so I’m definitely adding it to my never-ending list of places to go in Dallas. 

Sunday morning Rebecca and Cam met me at church and all was right in my world again.  I met Rebecca, Cam, and Eleanor at First Baptist Church in Jackson when I lived there for law school.  Now, Cam and I both go to First Baptist Dallas, and it was such a treat to have Rebecca here with us!    photo

See you Wednesday with my book review of The One & Only

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Very Belated Weekend Recap

Hello!  I can’t believe it is Wednesday and I’m just now blogging about our fun weekend in Austin.  We did something we have never done in Austin before and spent the whole weekend with our friends.  Usually, we are in Austin to see my in-laws, but this time it was fun to stay with our friends Billy and Carly since we were there for a wedding party/reception for a mutual friend. 

We drove down on Friday after work and thankfully did not run into the awful traffic that can usually be found on I-35 on a Friday evening.  Carly was rolling out some homemade pizza crusts when we arrived, and we grilled pizza for dinner.  Grilling is definitely the way to go – the crust was perfect and crispy.  Sometimes when I cook homemade pizza in the oven, the crust doesn’t get quite as crispy as I would like it.

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Also, have you ever seen anything cuter than those little bird charms?  I just die over them!

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There was even a teeny tiny baby pizza from leftover crust, and I made Carly pose for a picture with it for my sister Melanie, lover of all things tiny.

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Our friends Kyle and Kayla came over Friday night for pizza, too, and we all stayed up talking until almost 2am!  I was shocked that I stayed awake that late, but it was so good catching up.  We haven’t all been together for a significant amount of time since our trip to Possum Kingdom last summer.

Billy and Carly just bought a super cute new house, and they have a great deck where we spent a lot of time that night.  Oh, and speaking of their new house – I kind of fell in love with Carly’s pantry, so I told her I had to take a picture of it for the blog.  Totally impressive, right?!

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Somehow we still managed to get up somewhat early on Saturday morning for a run at the hike and bike trail in downtown Austin.  We all managed to eek out three miles, and then we rewarded ourselves with brunch at the cutest place ever, Annie’s.  Go there if you are ever in Austin! 

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We were looking pretty rough after our hot and sweaty run, so I focused my picture taking on the food and yummy coffee we ordered. 

After brunch, we went paddle boarding!  I have been wanting to try this FOREVER, and I’m so glad we did it.  It was super fun, and it was kind of an arm workout as well.  I’m sad that I don’t have any pictures of that adventure, but I did not want to risk taking my phone or my nice camera out on the water. 

We were pretty exhausted from all of our outdoor adventures, and once we got back to B&C’s house, we walked to a very Austin-esque juice shop and got the most refreshing juices and smoothies.  Mine had peaches and watermelon, and it was so delish.  I would be in trouble with one of these shops within walking distance of my house!  (Juice pic is up with Carly and the baby pizza – I put those by each other because I thought the juice matched Carly’s cute shorts!)   

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We got cleaned up and rested a bit before getting ready to head back downtown for a party celebrating a high school friend of Austin, Billy, and Carly.  Their friend Melanie got married in California a few weeks ago, and her parents hosted a party in Austin for family and friends to celebrate.  It was pretty much a high school reunion for the Austin crew, and we all had a great time hanging out on the patio at Z Tejas for 5 hours! 

Sunday we came back to Dallas just in time to meet some couples from our Sunday school class for lunch and to help with a birthday party at Dallas Life.  This is a new undertaking for our class, and I’m so glad we are doing it!  I think the kids at the party had a fun, although very hot, time, and we were glad we got to be there. 

Since then we have been catching up on laundry and things around the house (so exciting, right?), looking at houses for our upcoming move this fall, and working, of course.  I hope to pop in Friday and link up with the ladies of “Oh Hey Friday.”  Hopefully I can catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs in the meantime!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blogger Bookworms: The One & Only (Part 1)

Welcome to the first installment of our book club! 



Today is just a chance to link up below and let us know that you plan to play along and link up with your review of The One & Only on July 23.  While you’re reading, think about the following list of questions.  On July 23, Katelyn and I, and hopefully you, will post our answers to these questions. 



1.  What was your overall opinion of the book?  Did you love it, hate it, kind of enjoy it?
2. Who was your favorite character in the book, and why did you identify with them?
3. What is your favorite college and/or pro football team?  
4. Did you grow up in a place where football was practically a second religion?  Was football a big part of your high school and/or college experience?
5.  What was your favorite scene in the book?
6.  What was your least favorite scene in the book?
7.  Have you read any of Emily Giffin's books before?  If so, how do you think this book compared?
8.  Now that you've finished this book, what is next on your summer reading list?  

Today, feel free to just give a little progress report somewhere in your blog post – are you planning to read the book?  Have you read it already or are you just starting?  Whatever the case, two weeks is plenty of time to finish!

I definitely had a different reaction to the book than I anticipated before reading, and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s thoughts.  


Link up here:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend

Austin and I drove back to Dallas early on Sunday morning after a super relaxing few days at my parents’ house.  It was so relaxing that I barely wore real clothes or make up for two days straight, and therefore most of my pictures from the weekend are of all the delicious food we ate!  We have started a little tradition of celebrating the 4th at my parents’ house with my sisters and my brother-in-law, and it has quickly become one of my favorite weekends of the year. 

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We did squeeze in a few games of badminton and a walk around the neighborhood, but mostly we just ate, napped, and played dominoes and cards.  It was pretty much my idea of bliss!  Oh, and we got to meet Melanie and Clark’s new puppy, Riley, and he is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

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peach yogurt pops//red, white & blue pudding pops

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festive cookies & festive masons

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Friday afternoon Dad grilled burgers, hot dogs, and sausage, and we had an abundance of salads – potato salad, slaw, bean salad, and an enormous fruit salad in a watermelon.  On Saturday morning, we had the world’s best granola bar – why can’t this bowl of heaven be waiting for me every morning?  I’m still so full -   we also had a feast of enchiladas and guac on Saturday afternoon!   

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I will spare y’all the picture that my lovely sister took of me napping on the couch (still in my pajamas) and Austin napping on the floor next to the couch on Friday afternoon.  It really is something that the internet should never see. 

My brother-in-law Clark put it pretty well this weekend when he described our weekend as the summer version of Thanksgiving.  I definitely agree – tons of delicious food, but more importantly, a whole lot to be thankful for as Americans who are incredibly fortunate to live in the land of the free because of the brave. 

I hope I see y’all on Wednesday for our first book club link up!  I’m almost done with the book, and I’m a little baffled by it, but I’ll save my real thoughts for the link up later this month.  This Wednesday we’ll be posting the questions to include and answer in your July 23 post if you are linking up with us. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekending

We had a low key but great weekend that kicked off with an 8:30 bedtime for me on Friday night.  #wildchild  It was pretty blissful!  Today I’m linking up for the first time with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending.

Weekending  

Saturday morning we met our friends Paul & Dianne for an early brunch at Dream Cafe.  It was so good to catch up with them, and we had good food, good coffee, and good conversation!  It was a perfect start to our Saturday. 

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After our brunch, we braved Northpark for just a little bit for me to take back some shoes.  I found a cute skirt at Gap and thankfully my sister steered me in the right direction when I sent her an urgent text asking what I should wear with it.  I really wish she lived near me sometimes and could just be my personal shopper! The picture is not the best, but it has small blue and white stripes.  It is so comfy and I think it will be perfect for the 4th! 

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On Saturday afternoon, we met our wonderful realtor to look at some houses.  This was our first time looking, and it was pretty preliminary since we aren’t looking to move until later this year, but it was definitely good to get out and see some of our preferred areas in person as opposed to the listings we’ve been looking at online.  It was an encouraging afternoon and we feel like we will be able to find the right house for us soon! 

Sunday morning our church service was full of patriotic music, American flags, and even fireworks!  It was quite a show and so very festive.  Todd Starnes from FNC spoke, and we enjoyed hearing him.  I texted this picture to my sister during the offertory of the SIX pianos on stage.  I told her she needed to be there and add piano #7!  Not only do I wish she lived closer for clothes advice, if she lived here then she could serenade me with her awesome piano skills all the time :)

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Sunday afternoon brought not one but TWO naps, which was quite amazing.  We watched our favorite Sunday night program these days of Food Network Star.  Does anyone else watch?  My mom and sisters and I get so fired up to watch this every summer.  Our fingers get quite the workout during the show with texts flying back and forth for the entire hour. 

And now it is Monday of a short week!  I can’t wait to see my family this weekend to celebrate the 4th!