Saturday, September 28, 2013

Celebrating Austin!

Austin had a birthday earlier this week, and I had fun celebrating him all day long.  We started the morning off with coffee and presents and a little birthday cake baking. 
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Some new Filson, a set of monogrammed julep cups from my parents, and a new belt made for a very happy birthday boy!
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We both got home from work at an earlier than normal hour, and I made Penne alla Betsy (courtesy of PW) at the birthday boy’s request.  We watched the Modern Family premiere then an episode of our newest obsession – House of Cards on Netflix.  And, of course, there was cake!  The apple pecan carrot cake was to die for!  The best part was the mascarpone frosting – so creamy, fluffy, and delicious.  Better than cream cheese frosting by a mile in my opinion. 
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It was a very happy day for my very favorite person – I’m so glad he was born!

Friday, September 27, 2013

First Five on Friday of Fall

How about that alliteration?!  Now that it is officially fall, I feel like I can jump on the fall bandwagon with a little more enthusiasm.  I think most people have been on that bandwagon for a few weeks now!  Our weather hasn’t quite caught up to the official season change, but the mornings are cooler, which is just great.  Here we are on Friday again with another list of five – love this link up with April, Christina, Natasha, and Darci!


I’m getting a haircut and highlights this weekend, and it couldn’t be more needed!  I am at that stage where I’m so frustrated with my hair that I just have no motivation to even TRY to make it look presentable.  I wish I could wear a top knot every day to work, but TOMORROW is the day!  Hallelujah! Here are a few inspiration pictures I’m taking – I’m trying a new girl tomorrow, so fingers crossed. 

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Fall TV is back!  My favorites are: Modern Family, Revenge, Nashville, and Last Man Standing.  I am planning to watch Wednesday night’s Nashville this morning while I get ready – so excited! 



Now that I’m finally approaching the fall spirit, I’m going to get out a few fallish things to spruce up around here this weekend.  This guy is one of my favorite signs of fall!



This weekend is going to be full of social outings for me, and I’m excited!  Some weekends I prefer to be a total hermit, but I’m looking forward to a birthday party, lunch with a new JL friend, and a wedding.  Two of my favorite people from our Sunday school class are getting married Saturday and my friend Brooke and I are having a girls date to attend – can’t wait!! 



Honeycrisps are here!  Honeycrisps are definitely one of my top five favorite things about fall.  I was thrilled to spot them last weekend at the grocery store, and I’ve been enjoying them so this week.  I am a year-round apple lover and probably eat at least four a week, but the fall apples are really just the best.  They put regular apples to shame! 


Happy Friday, friends!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

20K- check!

We survived!  I have no photographic evidence whatsoever, but we made it through the race on Saturday, and it felt so good to accomplish our goal that we’ve been working towards for the past several months.  We were blessed with AMAZING weather that was just the cherry on top of a great day Saturday.  Our official time was 1:52:47, which was thrilling to us – that is a faster pace than we usually ran in our training runs, and under the two hour mark, so we were happy with it. 

The alarm went off at 5am on Saturday morning, and we got up and ate a little breakfast first thing.  We had a little bit of coffee, too.  Austin had some overnight oats, and I had toast with peanut butter and 1/2 a banana.  We got dressed and ready and were out the door by 6:00.  We drove to the designated parking lot and hopped on a shuttle bus that took us directly to the Arboretum.  It was a treat to get to walk through the Arboretum and see all of the millions of pumpkins early in the morning on what felt like the first day of fall (wait, maybe it was the first actual day of fall?!) – I want to go back in the daylight soon!  We stretched and walked around as we waited for the 7am start time. 

Once the race started, we settled in to a nice pace and enjoyed people watching – at this point I was just about GIDDY over the weather since most of our long runs during our training were super hot and super humid.  The cool weather and adrenaline made us feel slightly invincible, I think.  We ran the first mile in just over nine minutes and I was worried that we started off to fast, but we managed to maintain about the same pace throughout.  Then we ran for a long time and then it was over!   

There were lots of water/Gatorade stations throughout the course, and the people handing out the little cups were super nice and cheerful.  We took some Cliff shot blocks and ate them throughout the race at random times, and that seemed to work for us – I think I ate four or five total?  At the finish line, we were handed a bottle of water and a hat, then we made our way back to the post-race expo that was at the Arboretum.  There were so many tents set up handing out everything from cookies to fro-yo to pizza – it was crazy!  We had a few snacks and a lot of water and stretched, then we headed to eat a real meal at Barbec’s around 10:00 – food has never tasted so good.  After getting home and getting clean, I collapsed in my favorite chair for the rest of the day and it was amazing!

Ok that was a lot of words with NO pictures – I really wished I would have had my phone at least, but I left everything at home thinking it would just be one less thing to worry about. 

On Sunday, we had church as usual, then we came home and Austin’s parents and sister were here for another college visit in our area.  They stopped by on their way and after the visit we all went to dinner to celebrate the September birthdays – Austin’s is this week and Casey’s was last week. 

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 HG Sply

We went to a new-to-us place – HG Sply Co, and we all really enjoyed it – great food and the whole place had a cool vibe. 

The early fall weather has stuck around – thank goodness, so I celebrated by breaking out my favorite dress for this time of year – tweed with leather accents but still sleeveless since the temps are around 90 in the afternoons!  The nails also got a fall mani (Essie “Chinchilly”). 

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Bye for now, friends!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday!

Hello hello, it’s finally Friday again!  This Friday in the big D is supposedly supposed to bring some cooler and more fall-ish temps with it, and I’m praying that is true.  I stepped out on my porch early this morning hoping that I would feel the cool air and was hit with a blast of humidity, so perhaps the cool front is coming later today – fingers crossed!  I’m linking up as usual with April, Darci, Natasha, and Christina for what I think is the best and most fun link-up in all of blog land.



Race day is here! Tomorrow is THE day that we have been training for since early summer.  We are running our 20k bright and early in the morning.  We picked up our race packets and sweet neon yellow shirts earlier this week, we are drinking extra large cups of water all day, planning our pasta dinner for tonight, and hoping we get a good night of sleep!  I’m also dreaming of the brunch that is going to follow the race… can’t wait for that! 



Katy Perry’s “ROAR” is getting me majorly fired up for the race.  I am about the furthest thing from a music buff, and I can’t even tell you the last time I downloaded a song on iTunes, but I think I’ll be purchasing this catchy tune today to at least listen to in the car on the way to the race tomorrow.  I never run with music, so I’m not going to start tomorrow, but a good sing-a-long in the car at 6am is probably going to happen! 


The first thing Austin said to me when I got home from work yesterday was that I made a major omission in Wednesday’s post about my tray obsession.  I forgot Harold.  Harold is the duck that lives on Austin’s bedside table that try to hype up as a vessel for his cell phone/keys/change/random stuff that men have in their pockets.  So, I’m officially adding Harold as an addendum to my previous post!  Say hello to Harold:

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I’ve got birthday cake on the brain since my main squeeze has a birthday next week!  I saw this recipe for Apple Pecan Carrot Cake in a recent Southern Living, and I think that’s the cake we’re going with.  Austin loves carrot cake, so this will be a fun spin on that.  At some point this weekend, I need to do my grocery shopping for the birthday dinner – can’t wait! 



Do y’all read the Jenny Steffens Hobick blog?  She recently opened a shop, and I want one of pretty much everything she sells.  Her photos are so gorgeous.  This tablet with the grey Le Pens has just shot to the top of my want list.  List making would be about ten times more fun than it already is for me with this. 

JSH list and pens

Ok, off to work on our Sunday school lesson for church this week with Austin – we are teaching for the first time ever, and I’m a bit of a nervous wreck!  Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tray Time

Lately I have developed a major obsession with trays of all kinds. They are just so darn handy in every single room of the house. 

My newest addition to the tray collection(from Target – where else?) was purchased in an attempt to get a handle on what I like to call “the bar papers.”  Austin’s favorite thing to do when he gets home is line up his sunglasses, his keys, his wallet, his phone, any papers he accumulated that day, and our mail on the bar.  It drives me absolutely INSANE.  I was so over trying to stack all of this crap stuff up every day or put it in its other designated place, but just dropping it all in the tray is so much better! 

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The coffee table tray has been a staple in our house since the day we moved in, and I do think it is my very favorite one.  Love that green, the gold touches, and those little feet just take it to the next level! 

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The kitchen table tray was a necessity after we finally got tired of having to pick up the topiary, the salt and pepper shakers, and the coasters every time we needed a placemat.  All of the things that are now neat and tidy in the tray used to just sit on top of the placemats.  This is so much better – I can’t believe it took us two years to figure it out.


Some of our countertop items in our bathroom also made their way into a tray.  It just makes organization-loving little heart happy to see these things looking so tidy. 


And last but not least, my sister-in-law, Courtney, brought me back this tiny tray from Austria, and I love using it to drop off my everyday jewelry in the evenings.

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I am convinced that as our home grows in the future, so will my tray collection.  I’m clearly drinking the tray Kool-Aid, but how could you not love something that is pretty, functional, and makes even messes look good?  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weekend Highlights

This past weekend in Dallas was a good one!  Austin introduced us to a new favorite lunch spot, we did our last long run before our race, my in-laws and Casey were here for a quick visit, church was great – as usual, and we watched a crazy ballgame with friends. 

Now, pulling out the WIN on Saturday would have made the weekend just about perfect, but we won’t talk too much about that.  I will say that Johnny’s still got it, and I don’t think any A&M fans are embarrassed or humiliated – we put up quite the showing against the #1 team in the country.  Really, the presence of this dip and a cookie cake at our game watching party was enough to mend my broken heart!  That right there is seven layers of heavenly goodness. 


Austin’s parents and sister were in town for a college visit, and it was fun to get to see them in the morning after our run and get to have lunch with them after their visit.  Casey’s birthday is this week, so we were glad to get to see her so close to the actual day and give her her present from us tucked into a colorful card!  

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casey card

I even found some maroon from the depths of my closet to wear on Saturday hoping that would help my Aggies get the “W” but no such luck. 


After the college visit, we all went to lunch at the Corner Market Deli on Greenville.  Definitely a new favorite place to eat in Dallas for me.  Nothing is quite as good as pimento cheese, a glass bottle coke, and Zapp’s potato chips for Saturday lunch.  Their pimento cheese tasted a lot like the kind I like to make, and their sourdough bread was also delish.  The fact that the deli is connected to Society Bakery doesn’t hurt one little bit, and I sampled a bite of Suann’s banana pudding cupcake after lunch – so yummy!  


Hope y’all had a great weekend too, and that your team maybe even won on Saturday - unless your team is Alabama! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five on Friday the 13th

Good morning!  Happy Friday, and more importantly, happy BEAT BAMA weekend!  Today is Friday the 13th, and every Friday the 13th takes me back to the day I graduated law school – also on a Friday the 13th back in 2011.  That was a happy day, so I have a little bit of fondness for the times when the 13th falls on a Friday, like today! 

I’m excited to link up with April & the other hostesses again this week for what has become a fun Friday tradition! 



Life changing chips & salsa y’all.  Chips and salsa is probably one of my top 5 favorite foods, and I think I could eat it every day of my life.  One of Austin’s co-workers introduced us to the amazingness that is Julio’s, and I just can’t get enough.  I’ve developed an obsession that I don’t see fading away any time soon.  Plus, now that it is football season, chips and salsa are kind of a must-have at all times, right?!



My mom’s card of the month is particularly appropriate for this month and especially this weekend!  My facebook and twitter have been absolutely BLOWING UP this week with all things related to the Alabama – A&M game on Saturday.  Our house is so excited, and we will be sporting our maroon to work today and for the game watching tomorrow too, of course! 

September Card


I am in desperate – and I do mean desperate – need of a haircut and highlights.  I think I’ve blogged about my never-ending search for a hair stylist here in Dallas before, but I’m back to square one and trying to research and find a place ASAP.  If any Dallas friends are reading – do you have any recommendations?  I am about ready to start driving three hours to the lady who did my hair before I moved up here!  Me and my roots would be oh so grateful for any promising leads!


We get People at the office for our lobby… and I kind of love it.  I think I have wanted a subscription to People for about ten years but have never bitten the bullet and gotten one of my own.  This is basically just as good… and free!  Sometimes they take a little field trip home with me for evening reading Winking smile.  

People Mag


I’m debating a new blog design, and I’ve found myself in a massive rabbit hole of the internet this week browsing from the MANY options that are out there.  Since I’ve had my current design for almost two years, I think it’s time to change it up a little bit… stay tuned! 

Happy Friday the 13th, and GIG ‘EM AGGIES!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Current Events

The Syria issue is dominating the news these days, and I thought Austin made a pretty good point on Twitter earlier this week.  Then, yesterday, this editorial from the pastor of our church came out and basically makes the same point – we are so up in arms about what is undoubtedly a horrible thing that has happened in Syria, but what about the many many many babies that we allow to die here year after year?  It’s an interesting perspective that’s been on my mind this week. 

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Lately I’ve been loving The Skimm daily email after reading about it in one of April’s previous 5 on Friday posts.  It is really handy for getting a daily dose of current events!

On a much lighter note but still in the “current events” vein, it’s BAMA week in Aggieland!  There is so much hype and anticipation for this game – it is going to be crazy!  I can’t wait to watch. 


I caught Austin measuring for a new TV just in time for Bama this past weekend – that was a fun conversation, ha!  We are most definitely not getting a new TV this week since I don’t even think we are planning to watch the game at home.  College Station will no doubt be absolutely electric on Saturday, but we will be watching from here in the big D and cheering on the Ags!  I’ll also be cheering on Ole Miss this weekend and hoping that they BTHO Texas and continue the embarrassment of Texas football that began last week when they got absolutely rolled by BYU. 

Gig ‘em + Hotty Toddy!