Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Slump

It appears I've fallen into a bit of a summertime blog slump (again).  Despite my best intentions of documenting our weekend, I barely took any pictures.  I'll work with those I do have to piece it together.

I'm almost embarrassed to put this on the blog, because it is going to reveal what huge nerds we truly are at heart, but we played Catan (fka "Settlers of Catan") this weekend with Trip and Lindsay for the second time in two weeks.

The first time we played, I literally fell asleep at the table because I was so tired (and the game lasted so late into the night).  But this time, I managed to stay awake for the entire thing.  The Coke floats we enjoyed mid-game might have had something to do with my level of alertness.

Saturday we had a jam-packed day that started at a gorgeous lake house just outside of Dallas.  Some friends from church graciously hosted our Sunday school class for a day of fun on the lake.  Aside from a tubing collision with my friend Kylee that resulted in a busted lip for her and a pretty nasty gash on my leg, we had a great time at the first annual Lake Day.  We hope it becomes a yearly tradition!

 (that is Dr. Pepper, btw!)

We left Lake Day to head home and get ready for our friend Tara's wedding Saturday night.  Austin and Tara worked together, and we both just love her.  She writes the funniest Bachelor/Bachelorette recaps of all time, and even though I don't watch the show, I look forward to her Tuesday emails whenever those shows are airing.

The lake seemed to have wiped us out, so we didn't make it very late at the reception, but it was great to get to catch up with some of Austin's old co-workers and their wives.

Sunday brought church and Sunday school, and then and afternoon of relaxing at home.  Naps, laundry, reading, and finally our Sunday night show -  Food Network Star.  Do any of y'all watch?  We are cheering for Jay and Eddie this season!

Hoping to be back on Friday with my five, but as the title of this post suggests, I'm in a bit of a summer blog slump and haven't been blogging with any regularity.  I do love documenting our life through the blog, so I'm not giving up yet!

Friday, July 17, 2015

5 on Friday - Vol. 54

Another week has flown by, and here we are at Friday again!  Happy Friday to all and to our summertime hostess, A. Liz Adventures.

Apparently the only pictures I've managed to take this week are of food, so this will be a food-heavy 5 on Friday.  Here are 5 tidbits from our week:

1 - We had workers in our house all last weekend doing some repairs, and they finished just in time for us to get the house clean and have our friends Chris and Spenser over for dinner on Sunday.  I'm beyond thrilled that my grocery store hydrangeas are still going strong almost one week later.  

2 - We started Sunday night with cheese and crackers - easiest and best appetizer of all time.  

3 - And we ended Saturday night with homemade ice cream!  I'm ashamed to say this was our first adventure with our ice cream maker that we've had for a while now.  Oh my gosh, so good.  We are still enjoying this and have had some every night after supper. 

4 - My friend Emily gifted us with a week of Blue Apron meals, and we are so impressed!  This was the first meal we tried from our box earlier this week.  We LOVED it.  

5 - And this was the second meal we tried this week.  Equally impressed!  The chicken had Indian spices on it, which is not something I would normally cook with, but we both really enjoyed it. 

Not the most exciting 5oF, but we have enjoyed some tasty food this week.  Looking forward to another fun filled weekend!  Have a good one!

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 on Friday - Vol. 53

 Happy Friday to you and to the lovely summertime hostess of Five on Friday - A.Liz Adventures.


ONE - Summer is officially in full swing, and we are grilling multiple times a week.  I just love it!  Last night Austin grilled chicken for our supper, and we topped it with a little mozz, tomato, and basil for the last few minutes on the grill.  So so good.  Earlier this week we made these balsamic rosemary steak kabobs, and they will be in heavy rotation for the rest of the summer.

TWO - Melanie and I were both rocking white nails last weekend for the 4th, and I've kept it going all week.  I'm probably way behind the times, but I love the white for summer.

THREE - Most nights we are outside grilling, going for a walk, or riding our bikes, but on Thursdays this summer I have been inside watching Astronaut Wives Club and Fixer Upper.  AWC is such a cute show, and the clothes alone are reason enough to watch!  Except last night, I totally spazzed and thought it came on at 8 instead of 7, so I'll be catching the latest episode on demand this weekend.  

FOUR - I can't resist sharing these adorable watermelon pops from our 4th again... they just scream summer.  I think the recipe was tweaked a bit from this one.  I need to break out my own popsicle molds before summer is over!

FIVE -  We are looking forward to a relaxed weekend at home with some fun sprinkled in after traveling and entertaining for the past several weeks.  We have a fun party to go to on Saturday night, a breakfast date with my MIL and SIL Sunday before church to look forward to, and we are having friends over for supper on Sunday.  I'm planning to fix this PW recipe for Sunday night and homemade ice cream for dessert.  Yum!  Happy Friday!    

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

4th of July Weekending

For the third year in a row, we spent the 4th of July at my parents' house with my sisters and brother-in-law.  This has gotten to be one of my very favorite parts of summer, and I've been looking forward to this weekend for weeks!  We are still absolutely stuffed, and I don't think I can even look at food for about a week.  Our weekend consisted of eating, napping, playing games, and more eating.  And it was pure bliss!

We pulled into the driveway on Friday at exactly the same time as Melanie and Clark.  Mary Katherine has been home from college for the first half of the summer, and she left on Saturday to spend the second half as a counselor at Pine Cove.  We didn't waste any time and got right to eating - Austin's recently named Mexican Jellybean Dip made an appearance at lunch, but the best part of lunch were the adorable watermelon popsicles Mom and MK had made earlier in the week!

I don't think a more perfect summer popsicle exists!

Friday afternoon we played dominoes and made a fruit pizza.  I'm a little biased, but I thought it was so pretty!

Twinning in our Jacks and our blue and white.

On Saturday, we got up to send Mary Katherine off to camp, then Mom and Melanie and I had a lazy morning of watching Food Network - our favorite Saturday morning activity!  I think I even managed to sneak in a mid-morning nap.  Austin and Clark played golf that morning, and we all played Monopoly that afternoon when they got home.  It was probably the shortest game of Monopoly I've ever played - Clark smoked us all in no time.  

Austin requested banana pudding for the weekend, and Mom outdid herself Saturday with these adorable individual banana puddings in her baby yellow Le Creuset ramekins.  Aren't they cute?

Before we dove into those precious little guys, we had a feast of brisket, beans, potato salad, and some really delicious cheesy bread.  My dad cooked the brisket all night on his new smoker, and it was amazing!

We stayed up playing one of our favorite card games - Shanghai - on Saturday night.  Sunday morning we went to church with Mom and Dad and then had some leftovers before heading home.  It was a pretty perfect weekend relaxing with family and being thankful to live in the land of the free!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Catching Up & Summer Fun

Lots of summer fun to catch up on since my last post two weeks ago!

Austin's office had a lunch to encourage healthy eating recently, so I sent black bean and corn salsa/salad to work with him.  I'm sure you've had some sort of rendition of this... of course the name was way too boring for my fun loving husband, so he renamed his dish "Mexican Jellybean Dip."  Oh how he makes me laugh!  I do think his name is way more exciting.  

While we're on the subject of Austin - I have to brag on his grilling skills just a bit.  He has been tearing it up this summer and making me delicious burgers on the reg!

My sister Mary Katherine has been teaching herself calligraphy this summer, and she inspired me to practice my own calligraphy.  Father's Day was a perfect time to do it!  My dad's card was not quite dry when I snapped this pic...

We spent last weekend in Austin with my in-laws for Father's Day.  Saturday afternoon was spent out by Buddy and Suann's pool with lots of food and lots of family.  Sunday we went to church and then lunch at P.F. Chang's before we hit the road back to Dallas.  Buddy and Suann also gave us some bikes (!!!) they were no longer using, so we have been loving some summer night bike rides.


Also while in Austin, we went to At Home after my in-laws raved about some fun things they had found there recently.  I was so impressed!  We scooped up a table and some pillows for our patio, a mirror, and two lamps for our guest room.  The prices were so great, and I could have browsed for hours.  Our guest room got a little spruce up thanks to our At Home finds just in time to host Mom and MK in Dallas this weekend.

Highlights from Mom and MK's weekend in Dallas included homemade pizza on Friday night, blueberry pancakes with peach compote on Saturday morning, shopping at Northpark on Saturday, lunch at The Porch, and a trip to Steel City Pops for an afternoon treat.  We also had a great morning at church this morning - I always love patriotic Sunday.  It was so fun to have them here, and I miss them already!

We highly recommend the watermelon, coconut, and blackberry pops!  I can also vouch for the deliciousness of the coffee pop from past experience.  Austin got pineapple jalapeno this time, which was not my favorite popsicle experience ever, but it was interesting and not terrible...

I cannot believe that June is basically over, but I am looking so forward to a four day week and celebrating one of my top three holidays next weekend - the 4th of July!    

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wedding Weekend in Natchez

Another road trip to Mississippi and back is in the books!  This time we went to Natchez, MS for my cousin Phillip's wedding.  It was such a treat to have a four day week last week since we took Friday off to drive over so we could attend Phillip and Abagail's rehearsal dinner.

We got into Natchez around 1:00 on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick bite for lunch, and then got checked into our hotel.  The Natchez Grand Hotel was a perfect place to stay for the weekend.  The rehearsal dinner was at a place called "The Castle" behind Dunleith, one of many beautiful plantation homes in Natchez.  

It was such a fun night and a super delicious dinner!  I'm still dreaming about the salad we were served before dinner with huge boiled shrimp, tons of crab meat, briny capers, and dark leafy greens.  Oh so good!

The Castle / Dunleith

The wedding was at 11:00 Saturday morning.  Early Saturday morning, my mom, Austin, and I went on a walk around downtown Natchez and had a great time exploring.  Natchez has so much history and is just a gorgeous place.  

My dad joined us for some coffee outside back at our hotel while taking in the views of the mighty Mississippi.

Before long, it was time to get ready for the wedding and pack up since all of us were headed back to Texas after the reception.  One reason I loved the morning wedding was that it allowed us to get back to Dallas Saturday evening and not have to miss church on Sunday!

The ceremony and reception were at another drop dead gorgeous plantation - Brandon Hall.  This one was outside of town just a bit and tucked back in some woods off of the Natchez Trace.  It was truly stunning.

After a beautiful ceremony on the front lawn, we headed around back to the reception where we feasted on fried catfish, grits from a grits bar with all the fixings, wedding cake, of course, and lots of other tasty treats.

It was a whirlwind trip but so worth it to be together with so many family members to celebrate Phillip and Abagail - we love y'all and hope you're having a ball on your honeymoon!