Friday, January 31, 2014

Five on Friday – Vol. 20

Happy Five on Friday friends!  Thanks for stopping by today, and thanks as always to the lovely hostesses: A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness.

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ONE – This week I finally got something in the mail that I’ve been wanting for over two years – our wedding pictures with a full release!  I can’t wait to go through them all this weekend.  Our photographer made us a beautiful book after the wedding, and we have some pictures scattered around the house, but I’ve never had all of the pictures in my possession, so I am just super excited.  Sneak peek --

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TWO – Making some valentines is on my agenda tomorrow!  I’ve been tearing ideas out of the Paper Source catalog and pinning some ideas as well.  There’s really no better way to spend a Saturday in my book, well being with my mom and sisters and all making valentine goodies together would be slightly better, but I’ll manage.  

Valentines {pic via Martha}

THREE – Finally busted out my earrings from my sister’s wedding and wore them to work twice this week.  I don’t know what took me so long – I love them!  I’m really on quite an aqua/mint kick right now.

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FOUR – Of course everyone is prepping for Super Bowl parties this weekend, and I’m also trying to finalize my contribution to the SB party we’re attending on Sunday afternoon.  Our hostess suggested something sweet when I asked what she thought she’d need more of, so I’m going to spend a little time with my recipe binder tomorrow morning and figure out what I can fix for a sweet addition to their spread.  Maybe some type of cookie or cupcake?  Maybe these fudgy football brownies?

football brownies

FIVE – If you follow me on Instagram, then I should probably apologize for the abundance of random pictures that I posted on Sunday evening.  Our discipleship class at church went on a scavenger hunt and used IG to keep track of all the places/things we were able to check off our master list.  We divided up into three teams and ran around downtown Dallas like crazy people.  It was super fun, but y’all probably thought I was crazy as all these pictures were posting! Below we have (1) with an out of state license plate (Mississippi, obviously!), (2) toe in a pool, (3) on a streetcar, and (4) on a jungle gym! 

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Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY Manicure Tips

My 2014 planner has a space on the Saturday/Sunday page to write down a memory from the week that I don’t want to forget.  Last week I jotted down the time spent with my sisters on Saturday morning and afternoon prepping for the pageant. 

We all did our nails, I did both sisters’ hair, and Melanie did Mary Katherine’s make up and helped me with mine as well.  Having all of our make up, rollers, curling irons, nail polish, hairspray, etc. together is always a fun treat (and a huge mess in the bathroom – sorry Mom!). 

We do share clothes sometimes, and in fact Mel wore Mary Katherine’s clothes to the pageant Saturday night, but we always share beauty products.  This weekend I played around with MK’s Naked 2 palette, and now she has both me and Melanie both wanting it!  Mel had some primer that she purchased for her wedding that was pretty miraculous, and it is definitely on my radar now.  It really makes me wish we could all three get ready together every morning and always have access to each other’s stash! 

Mary Katherine also has an enviable collection of nail polish… which is what finally leads me to the point of this post!  I did MK’s nails on Saturday, and then I did my own.  Today is Wednesday and my nail polish is still going strong without a chip in sight!  I figured that if whatever I did on Saturday resulted in me being on day FIVE of a chip-free mani, then it was probably worth posting on the blog. 

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Step 1 – trim nails and file/buff with a block.  My block is from Walmart.  It is really ideal if you have a sister who is willing to do the buffing and filing for you, but usually I suffer through and do it myself since my sisters both live about four hours away from me.  It is important to really spend some time on this step to get a clean, smooth nail.  My sister Melanie is the best at it, so if you can ever convince her to do your buffing, you’re golden! 

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Step 2 – base coat.  My favorite base coat is Scotch Naturals.  They have some really good polish colors, too.  Use base coat sparingly.  I only do one very thin coat of this.   

Step 3 – polish with color of your choice.  My favorite polish is Essie, and the color that I borrowed from MK this weekend that is currently still on my nails is “Mint Candy Apple.”  Pictured below is “Cute as a Button” since I took these pictures today and had to borrow a polish from my own collection.   

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Step 4 – top coat.  The top coat I used this weekend is pictured with the white cap - Sally Hansen “Dries Instantly” Top Coat.  I do like it, and it does seem to be working, but my all time favorite is Sally Hansen “Salon Manicure” pictured above with the silver top.  This one can be a little harder to come by, and I haven’t been able to find it recently.  I usually stick to one generous coat of the top coat. 

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This may should be step 5, but it is important for me to do my nails when I know I have a window of time to let them dry. Saturday I stood around and visited with my sisters and practiced pageant interview questions, but when I’m at home, I like to paint my nails early in the morning and then read or check email or do something on the computer/iPad for about thirty minutes or so just to let them fully dry and harden.   Happy polishing!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Inaugural Supper Club

Austin and I have tossed around the idea of starting a supper club for several months, and we finally decided that January would be the perfect month to start.  I felt really prophetic once I got my February issue of Southern Living and there was a whole article dedicated to starting a supper club ;) 

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My parents started a supper club when I was younger and still living at home, and I remember it being so fun for them.  We invited three other couples from our Sunday school class for dinner this past Friday night, and although it was a tight squeeze around our table, we made it work and had a ball! 

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I served a cheese board as an appetizer while everyone was getting here and while we waited on some components of the main meal to finish cooking.  For the main course, we had two types of pork tenderloin with jezebel sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and asparagus, a salad, and french bread.  Lemon pound cake for dessert rounded out our night.  I only took pictures before people arrived, so the cheese is all I’ve got as photographic evidence of the food, but once people started arriving I put my camera away and didn’t pull it back out all night.   

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This was the perfect opportunity to use these precious bird place cards that my dad and sister brought me back from a trip last year.  Maybe next time we host I’ll be able to write names in calligraphy on the place cards?!  We all played a game after dinner, and it was such a fun time spent with friends that we usually only get to see briefly on Sunday mornings.  I can’t wait for next month when our friends Will and Sydney host! 

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Six on Sunday

Happy happy “5 on Friday!”  I am a quite late with my post this week, so I’m going to make this a “Six on Sunday,” but I'm pretty glad I waited since I got a very pleasant surprise on Friday and I’ve been out of town visiting my family so far this weekend, and family time always trumps blogging in my book!

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Linking up as usual with the four fabulous ladies who created this little Friday fun-fest: A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness

ONE - our supper club is met for the first time Friday night! I was watching the clock all day at work just getting more and more ready for the fun to begin.  Here's a peek at the table... I just love eucalyptus.  After arranging this in our julep cups for the table my hands smelled so good all day!  More supper club details coming in tomorrow’s post. 

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TWO - So, my very happy surprise that I mentioned above was the email I received from Simply Seleta notifying me that I WON her recent giveaway for a 3 month subscription to Deja Vu Bird Nest Box.  Y'all, I have never won a giveaway before, but I have also never been so excited by a giveaway - there are so many things involved that just make my bird-loving heart go crazy.  Click here for more info on the Bird Nest Box subscription and to visit their cute website.  (Side note: I really wish that I could get the smiley emoji  with heart eyes on my laptop keyboard like it is on my iPhone keyboard.  It is by far my fave emoji, and I would use it right now to convey my feelings for this box.)  

DejaVu BNB

THREE - as if I could love my Simplified Planner any more.. I got the brilliant idea to display my 2014 goals on the inside cover and attached them with this presh green and white striped washi.  I die at the cuteness!  Plus, those stamps are perfection.  So perfect, in fact, that I don't really love putting them on mail and actually using them... I want to keep them all.

planner peek 

FOUR - I just can't get calligraphy off my mind after Wednesday's class (full post here!).  I'm so ready to have some down time to practice, and I really need to also consult my mom for some tips, since she does know how to do calligraphy, too.  I penciled in some practice time next Saturday, and I’m already looking forward to it.       

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FIVE – We are in a discipleship class at our church (I may have mentioned last week?), and tonight all we have been told about class is that we need to wear “active” clothes (i.e. tennis shoes) and that we will be using Instagram.  I’m so intrigued!

SIX -  Major blogger fail, but I didn’t take a single picture of my gorgeous sister last night at her pageant.  The lighting in a dark auditorium where the pageant was held was less than ideal for picture taking, I’m sure you can imagine.  And also I was a bit miffed at the outcome of the pageant (that’s a huge understatement – she was robbed!).  BUT, she nailed her piano piece, looked amazing in her gown, and made the top 5, and we are all so incredibly proud of her.  It was a wonderful day because I got to spend time with my parents and sisters and also see some of our grandparents.  My grandmother who lives the farthest south of any relatives I have actually could not come to the pageant because of the icy and snowy conditions in south Louisiana, and we missed having here there to complete our group. 

We are meeting some friends at the park before church tonight, and I’m going to sign off now to go get the rest of our week mapped out with my favorite Sunday afternoon ritual

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Calligraphy Class

It thrills me to no end that I took a calligraphy class on the night before National Handwriting Day.  I honored that awesome holiday last year on my blog with a handwritten blog post, but this year I’m going to devote the post to last night’s class and the beginning of learning this wonderful new skill.  I have a long way to go, but I’m so excited to keep practicing!  Here is the set up of our supplies and everything we used last night that was waiting for us when we walked in to the precious “classroom.”   

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My friend and I took the class through Blue Eye Brown Eye, and we had a ball!  There were eight girls total in last night’s three hour class, and we got equipped with a pen, nibs, ink, and other necessary supplies.  Lauren, the owner of Blue Eye Brown Eye was so fun and helpful and encouraging the whole time, and I can’t recommend this class enough if you are interested in calligraphy.  She gave us so many great tips and resources. 

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We stuck to lowercase letters last night, and I’m certain it will take a while to master those.  We went through many many pages practicing letters over and over, but the class absolutely flew by.  I am so thrilled that I was able to go last night and do something fun and creative, and I seriously cannot wait to carve out some time to practice in the days and weeks ahead.  My parents gifted me the class for Christmas, and what a fabulous gift it was.  Thanks Mom & Dad!   

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My favorite letters so far are b, s, z, h, and j :)

Happy National Handwriting Day!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Calm Before the Storm?

I skipped a blog yesterday, although I typically recap our weekend on Mondays.  There just wasn’t a lot of exciting weekend activity that made for a good blog post… and there really still isn’t!  Austin went hunting on Saturday for what was probably his last duck hunt of the season.  I did some pretty epic grocery shopping to restock our kitchen and pantry that included trips to three, yes three, different grocery stores.  And that was kind of our Saturday.  Austin also went to the eye doctor and I tagged along to help him pick out some new glasses – thrilling, right?!

One thing I enjoyed doing before all of my grocery shopping on Saturday was catching up on some of the blogs that I enjoy reading.  I read a lot from my phone and for some reason am never able to comment when I’m reading there, so having a Saturday morning to read from my laptop and actually leave comments was a nice treat!

On Sunday we spent most of the day at church with a nap sandwiched in there in the late afternoon.  We started a new discipleship class at our church on Sunday night that I think is going to be really fun.  It is called The Marriage Project and it is ten weeks of fun date nights.  This week was kind of an intro week, but we did some fun activities in our classroom.  I tried to get Austin to take a selfie with me after class but he declined, so no pictures whatsoever for the blog! 

We have a lot of things to look forward to coming up in the next few days – tomorrow is my calligraphy class!!  I am so stinking excited.  My parents gave this to me as a Christmas gift, and I’m going with a friend from work.  I just know the work day is going to creep by tomorrow!  My plan is to take a few pics if I can, so stay tuned!  This has been something I’ve wanted to learn for so long, and I can’t wait to start the learning process. 

Then on Friday, we are hosting our inaugural supper club!  I think I have the menu all set, and now it is just a matter of doing some of the prep in these next few days whenever I can.  Most of that will be reserved for Thursday after work/early Friday morning. 

As if I wasn’t already excited enough about the weekend, this weekend I’m getting to see my whole family – including grandparents!  My youngest sister is in a pageant on Saturday, so we will all be together to support her and cheer really loud :)  We are not really pageant people, so don’t get any crazy ideas.  I promise you a recap next week! 

So, it seems that I have a lot of fun things to blog about in the coming days and weeks, but not a whole lot to report from our weekend/week so far.  Sorry for the picture-less post today, friends!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five on Friday – Vol. 19

Happy Five on Friday friends!  Thanks for stopping by today, and thanks as always to the lovely hostesses: A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness.

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ONE – This is what a good mail day looks like my friends – no bills or annoying junk mail, just two of my favorite mags ever.  And even better, just in time for the weekend!  Can’t wait to dive into these on Saturday.

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TWO – I stopped by the grocery store the other day to pick up some fruit to get us through the week, and these grapefruits I got are absolutely GIANT.  They are also quite tasty – I looove winter citrus.

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And speaking of winter citrus, I really want to make this Clementine Vanilla Bean Quick Bread.  Oh my heavens, yum. 

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THREEThis is the best blog post I’ve read all week.  Such an encouragement to those of us who haven’t quite nailed down what it is that we are called to do. 

FOUR -  I am in full menu planning mode right now, and I’m loving it.  We are finally doing something we’ve talked about for ages and starting a supper club with some other couples.  Our first dinner is one week from today, and we are hosting!  I can’t wait!  I’m devoting my day tomorrow to planning (well that and those two new magazines up there).  I’m feeling a more detailed menu post next week, and of course they’ll be a recap to come as well!

Still toying with ideas and putting the final touches on everything, but how good does this look for an app?

veggie tray 

FIVE – As we venture into Austin’s busy season at work, I’ll leave you with this little “gift” he brought home the other night.  I can’t wait to put this little guy on my car. ;) I do love my CPA though!  

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Hooray for the weekend! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Top 13 of ‘13

Each December when we are traveling from one family to another for holiday celebrations, Austin and I like to recap our year.  Usually I end up getting out my planner (sometimes we consult the blog, too) to refresh our memories, and we talk about all the fun things we did that year.  I highly recommend this for end of the year road trips!  In a nod to our road trip tradition, I thought it would be fun to translate the concept to a blog post of my top thirteen memories of 2013.

::ONE – SISTER WEDDINGS:: One of my sisters and one of Austin’s sisters got married this year!  Courtney and Tyler married in May, and Melanie and Clark in November.  After 2012, and the MANY weddings we attended that year (I will always remember it as our “year of weddings”) these two were extra special!

Mel's wedding

    Courtney's wedding Courtney's wedding 2

::TWO – CHARLESTON:: Our Charleston trip in June was a definite highlight – so much delicious food, so much history, so much beauty in that city!  The window boxes were my favorite.  (posts: the food, the fun, the rest)

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::THREE – AN AGGIELAND BOUND SISTER:: Austin and I went to College Station back in October with my youngest sister, Mary Katherine, and we were just tickled to death when she officially decided that she is headed to Aggieland in 2014!

CS with MK

::FOUR – 4TH OF JULY:: I loved being at my parents’ house with both sisters (and Clark my now brother-in-law, too!) to celebrate this summer.  That weekend, I learned the hard way that I am not a very good badminton player… Full post here.

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4th of July 1   4th of July 3

::FIVE – RENOVATED:: Our apartment renovations were a pain while they were going on, but we have been thrilled with the upgrade.  After living here for almost three years, the changes were a nice little way to spruce things up a bit. 

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::SIX – THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS:: 2013 will go down as the year that we officially experienced the State Fair.  We had a ball with my in-laws when they came to visit in October.

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::SEVEN – OUR 20K::  We were so proud to finish and it was a great feeling to accomplish our goal! 

::EIGHT – EASTER & THE FBCD GRAND OPENING:: What a blessing to be a part of the grand opening of our church’s new campus in March 2013.  It was such a joyful day!

Easter

::NINE – I BLOGGED EVERY DAY IN MAY:: Ok, well I think I missed one or two days, but I loved participating in Jenni’s Blog Every Day in May challenge this year.  (My May posts start here.)

::TEN – BROKEN BOW WITH FRIENDS:: We had an amazing weekend in Broken Bow, OK with three other couples thanks to our friends Brooke and Oscar.  Hopefully we get to go back at some point in 2014.  And now, I just can’t help but notice when I look at this picture, one couple has a brand new baby girl (as of last week!) and another has a baby on the way (not us!!). 

Broken Bow

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::ELEVEN – EXPLORING DALLAS: SPRINGTIME AT THE ARBORETUM//A TRIP TO THE ZOO::  We continued to explore new places in the big D with trips to the Zoo with Austin’s family and to the Arboretum with my grandparents.  We loved having visitors in 2013!

koala zoo2 Arb

::TWELVE – HOUSTON RODEO WITH THE SISTERS::  This was such a fun weekend!  We went to the rodeo and a Band Perry concert in March with my sisters (and Clark!).  We also celebrated my birthday that weekend, which was extra fun for me!

HLSSR

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::THIRTEEN – BECOMING A TRADER JOE’S FAN:: TJ’s came to Dallas, and I drank that kool-aid.  In fact, I’m planning a trip this weekend.  It is pretty awesome and was one of many cherries in my 2013 sundae. 

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2013 was such a good year  - I think we struck a good balance of work and play and also just really settled into the groove of our current life stage.  We continued our involvement at church and learned so much about ourselves as Christians, I joined the Junior League this year, Austin became a football referee, we attended more weddings of sweet friends, and there are many more fun tidbits from 2013, but this post is long enough!  Now we’ll look forward to all the good things that 2014 will bring.