Monday, March 23, 2015

Colorado, You Were Good to Us!

Our feet are back on Texas soil after five days in beautiful Vail, CO.  Much to Austin’s delight (and relief), my first time on skis was a success!  We had a wonderful time with our friends Billy and Carly, and we’re already planning next year’s ski adventure. 

Vail

We skied for three full days, and thanks mostly to my awesome ski instructor, Rob, by day 3 I conquered some green runs at the top of the mountain and even part of a blue run.  Both Carly and Austin came and skied with me during my ski school adventures, and I’m so glad they did!  Carly and I spent a good chunk of day two at my beloved Gopher Hill, which was basically the easiest run near the base of the mountain. 

Vail Village is so charming and exactly what I imagined a cute ski village would be like!  Thanks to a recommendation left in the comments to a previous blog post, we tried Sweet Basil one night for dinner, and it was so tasty.  Thank you to the recommender! 

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Vail

I couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous Colorado mountains, and I went a little picture crazy on day three trying to soak it all up!  The glory of God’s creation is so evident in a place like this.   

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I finally rode the gondola on day three, and I couldn’t believe how gigantic and expansive the mountain truly is!  There was so much I couldn’t even begin to see down at Gopher Hill. 

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We walked over a cute little bridge to cross this stream each day headed from our hotel to the slopes. 

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Thanks for the great memories, Vail! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Birthday Weekending

I had a great weekend celebrating my birthday with three of my favorite people – Austin of course, and my parents came up to Dallas on Friday night to spend the weekend with us!  I’m running short on time to blog this morning, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.  All in all, I felt very loved, got a lot of phone calls, text messages, and cards from sweet friends and family, and got to do everything I wanted to do on Saturday. 

We started Saturday with brunch at Whiskey Cake.  We had a great time and ate a ton – appetizers of biscuits and gravy and fried green tomatoes, French press coffee, lemon poppy-seed pancakes with a blueberry compote, and even a whiskey cake (with a candle!) to share for dessert.

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After brunch, we made our way to Lowe’s and loaded up on plants for our new planter by the front door.  We got everything planted, and I’m loving it.  Of course I can’t wait for everything to grow in a bit, and I think I may pop a few more caladiums in here and there, but I’m thrilled not to have an empty planter sitting there any more!

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On Saturday afternoon, Mom and I put together some new springy centerpieces for our Sunday School classroom.  There are definite perks to having a mom who is a teacher and has unlimited access to the greatness that is a die-cut machine!  I think these would be so cute at a springtime baby shower as well.  My favorite touch is the fun paper straws we used as stems. 

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While I love our paper flowers we made, I also love the white tulips I treated myself to for birthday weekend.  The perfect neutral touch of spring.  And you’ll see the adorable small boxwood wreath that my sister Melanie gave me for my birthday… I cannot really express how much I love it hanging by my kitchen window! 

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All four of us went on a nice long walk on Saturday afternoon (very necessary after our huge brunch!) and then came back home to fix supper.  We had penne with lots of spring veggies, some delicious salmon, and my favorite strawberry cupcakes for dessert.  One of my favorite light, springtime suppers!  And I got to use the gorgeous napkins that were a birthday gift from my parents. 

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We rounded out the weekend with church on Sunday, a delightful Sunday afternoon nap, and supper with our friends Jaime and Emily.  Emily fixed the most delicious Greek chicken recipe that I am putting into our dinner rotation immediately, and we watched the first episode of Downton Abbey season 5.  It was such a good weekend, and I’m sad to see it end, but I’m excited for the week ahead because our ski trip is just around the corner! 

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Linking up with Biana and Meghan today for their wonderful Monday linkup.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five on Friday – Vol. 49

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

Austin’s office had a luncheon this week, and he was smart enough to swipe a centerpiece for me.  Fresh flowers are always a bright spot in my week, and these give me hope that spring will come! 

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TWO

I’m wanting some boxwood wreaths in my life to freshen things up a bit.  I’d love one on our front door and a few baby ones to use inside.

Blog Randoms images via Simplicity in the South and Garnet Hill

THREE

I couldn’t resist getting out a few Easter decorations yesterday while snowed in at home.  Come on spring!

March 2015 

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FOUR

We have a big day of errands and little house projects planned tomorrow.  Austin’s parents gave us some framed duck prints from his old room at their house, and the colors actually go pretty well with one of the rooms upstairs, so we are finally getting those on the wall.  I’ve also heard that the weather next weekend (my birthday weekend!) is going to be quite spring-like, so I may squeeze in a tiny shopping trip for something springy.  If I could ever find this scarf I pinned ages ago, I would be so so happy.  Doesn’t it scream spring?!  Unfortunately, the Pinterest link goes nowhere helpful.

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 FIVE

One thing on our agenda for next Saturday is filling the planter next to our front door.  Love this porch shot for inspiration (via).  And I’m thrilled my parents, who both have green thumbs, will be here to tell me what to do!  And they happen to have lovely planters flanking their front door, too.   

planter inspo  

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Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday

I realize this blog is quickly morphing into a blog about winter weather, but trust me when I say that this February/March snow is so out of the ordinary for us down here in Texas. There is little talk of anything else in my world right now. 

I’m stuck at home (again) with what the local news says is 6ish inches of snow outside!  And it is March… Where oh where is the spring weather?   Not to mention that snow days are not really all that fun when you have a job and things that need to get done!  In an attempt to distract myself from worrying about all the things I can’t do while not at my office, I’m blogging and linking up with Annie today for Thoughts for Thursday. 

Dallas Snow

Last week while at home due to winter weather, I spent a little time crafting, so I thought I’d share some of my crafting essentials today.  Lately, these are my top picks for making fun cards. 

Craft Desk2  Le Pens//assorted colorful cards + envelopes//paper cutter, tiny Martha scissors, Martha bone folder

Le Pens have a cult following and plenty of colors to match any project.  My favorite source for solid cards and envelopes (and tons of other fun supplies!) is Paper Source.  Paper Source also carries Le Pens :) 

I use my handy little paper cutter all the time.  It is a huge time-saver!  And how would any craft desk be complete without a little bit of the craft goddess herself, Ms. Stewart.  Her scissors and bone folder from Michael’s are game changers.  Lining envelopes is a breeze with that pretty aqua folder!

And, possibly the best and quickest way to jazz up just about anything – washi tape.  These are my current favorites.  All very appropriate for springtime, if it ever comes. 

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What are some of your craft favorites?  Is everyone as sick of winter as I am?  I’m sorry to my northern friends who must laugh at us southern wimps in this ice/snow!  I can barely cut it in Dallas – can’t imagine anywhere where snow is actually a regular thing. 

Thoughts for Thursday

Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekending – Still Chilly in Big D

Backing up to Friday, the snow started mid-morning, and by that afternoon DFW was covered in a blanket of beautiful fluffy snow.  Of course, that meant the roads were in a state of total chaos!  Thankfully, Austin and I both made it home safely and a little bit earlier than usual.  We camped out at home Friday evening most of the day Saturday due to the icy state of things outside.  The part of the Arboretum where I was scheduled to volunteer closed due to the weather, and I was thankful not to have to get out Saturday morning. 

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Saturday morning we made French toast and cooked bacon in the oven.  I followed that up with lots of hot tea.  Being stuck at home forced me to unpack the last few boxes we had full of random office stuff from our move in the fall.  Feels good to finally have that done!

February 2015

We had a wedding to go to on Saturday evening, and thankfully the roads were in pretty good shape by then.  Loved getting to see some college friends who were in town for the weekend!  The only picture we managed was a red light selfie.

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Sunday was church as usual and then home for a cozy afternoon.  Our friends Jaime and Emily and their precious daughter Cecilia came over for dinner (and to feed our Downton addiction – they brought us season 4!).  We had chicken pot pie, which is really just my favorite excuse to use my cute aqua ramekins.   

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I was nothing short of thrilled to flip my calendar page to March this weekend.  I always love the start of a new month, but March is the month where we will hopefully get some springtime weather!!  Happy almost spring.  Next weekend the Easter decorations are coming out!  

Linking up with Biana and Meghan today! 

weekending

Friday, February 27, 2015

5 on Friday – Vol. 48

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 – READING

On our snow day Monday, I finally started The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank.  The book is set in the South Carolina low country, which I love reading about.  I’m looking forward to spending more time curled up with a hot cup of tea reading this weekend.  We have a chance for MORE snow = ideal reading weather. 

Hurricane Sisters

TWO – WATCHING

Still Downton.  Yes, this was part of my five last time I linked up with the 5 on Friday gals, but we can’t stop! This is the BEST show I’ve watched in a long time.  However, we watched the season 3 finale last night, and oh my word.  I’m practically in mourning. 

Downton Abbey Season 3

THREE – LOVING

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – thank you Melanie!  My sister introduced me to this little miracle worker.  I know it is a total cult favorite, but I only just recently tried it.  It goes on super smooth, and I think it really does help the rest of my makeup go on better.  I bought the sample size, but I’m pretty confident I’ll be replacing with the full size once I finish this tube. 

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FOUR – PLANNING

Currently planning where we are going for my birthday brunch in a few weeks.  My parents are coming up for the weekend of my birthday, and I can’t wait!  Now to somehow pick a brunch spot in Dallas where there are so many many options.  Also on the agenda for birthday weekend: filling our new front porch planter and a little springtime craft with Mom to perk up our Sunday school classroom.

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FIVE – BLOOMING

I’ve got to get busy and log some hours for my Junior League placement at the Dallas Arboretum.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be there bright and early!  Dallas Blooms starts tomorrow, and it is seriously one of my favorite things ever.  At least I’ll be surrounded by gorgeous spring flowers, even if the weather is a little chilly.  I purposely saved my hours for the spring just to enjoy the hundreds and hundreds of gorgeous tulips.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ice Days in Dallas 2015

Winter weather has made its way to Dallas, which means the city has pretty much shut down completely.  Yesterday morning brought quite a bit of sleet and freezing rain that created a layer of ice over just about everything.  My office was closed yesterday, and Austin worked from home because the roads were so dangerous.  We stayed warm inside most of the day with apple bran muffins and hot chocolate, but we decided to test out our new ski clothes and take a little walk mid-day. 

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It was fun to see some touches of ice/snow on our house and in our yard for the first time!

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We made it to our neighborhood park on our walk, and I was so sad for the poor ducks – don’t you just know they are so cold? 

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Yesterday afternoon I spent a little time making some blank cards for our verse of the month. Austin and I started memorizing one verse each month last year.  It was probably the only resolution we actually kept in 2014, and we are trying to keep the momentum going in 2015.  Last year we just jotted the verse on an index card, but I wanted some slightly cuter cards for our verses this year.  Washi tape and card stock to the rescue!  The cards live on a little ring that hangs on our bulletin board near the kitchen. 

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My office is closed again today, and I just heard on the news that we’re expecting 2 – 4 inches of snow tomorrow morning.  Eeek!  Maybe I can get some blog posts stockpiled to avoid another week+ of no posts… and it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea to tackle my ironing pile.  Stay warm!!