Monday, March 31, 2014

Grilled Pineapple & Other Good Things from the Weekend

This weekend had a lot of highlights and fun things, but the grilled pineapple we had for dessert at supper club on Friday night might just top the list.  Trip and Lindsay did a wonderful job of hosting us, and we had quite the Hawaiian feast!  They made tasty mango and avocado salsa, pork, cilantro rice, and roasted asparagus, and then of course we had the amazing pineapple for dessert.  I think there was cinnamon and honey involved in the grilling of the pineapple, and the ice cream on top was so perfect.  Yum!  My parents are actually going to Hawaii soon, and after Friday night, I’m really not even all that jealous (I’ll keep telling myself that!). 

Trip grabbed my camera and snapped some party pics, which sure were fun to look through when I was putting this post together.  A select few made the blog.  As you can see, Ali was really the only one good at posing every time Trip popped out from around the corner.  

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The week wore me out, as most weeks do, and I’m embarrassed to say (not really) that I dozed off at Trip and Lindsay’s while we were visiting after dessert.  As any of my friends know, that is pretty much par for the course for me if the clock at all past 10:00 p.m.

Saturday morning came bright and early as I headed to a park in Dallas for the first of two Play Days that are part of my provisional project with the Junior League.  We worked with an organization called Play Like a Girl to host a play day encouraging girls to get outside and play!  The organization’s main goal is to end childhood obesity. 

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The team of girls that I have been working with were in charge of bringing an arts element to the day, and we had a station where the girls could get their face painted, make a ribbon wand for ribbon dancing, and color with sidewalk chalk.  The face painting was a huge hit, as expected!  We are doing this again next Saturday, and hopefully we will luck out with more pretty weather.   

On Sunday we had a great morning at church, then I took a lovely nap, and then we went back to church for The Marriage Project.  This week we got to go on a limo tour of Dallas with several other couples – we felt so fancy! 

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All in all it was a wonderful weekend, and I’m looking forward to a great week.  I cannot believe it will be April in just a few days.  I’m looking forward to hosting a baby shower in two weeks, prepping for another baby shower that will happen in May, Easter (my favorite holiday!), an Easter run here in Dallas, and a Color Run in College Station with my sister later this month.  Fun times ahead!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday – Vol. 28

Hello blog- I’ve missed you since Monday!  I so wish I had a cute post ready to go this morning with fun pictures of my Friday 5, but all I really have is a to-do list a mile long and no fun stuff for the blog.  This week has been good, but such a whirlwind!  Instead of my typical 5 on Friday, today I’m going to highlight five TEN of my favorite new blogs that I discovered through this fun link-up  (there are too many for me to stop at five – ten is a multiple of five, so I feel ok about it!). 

Ashley – A&O on the go – I’m convinced Ashley is my blogging soul sister – we have found so that we have so much in common, and I love reading her Menu Monday posts (sadly we don’t have meal planning in common, but she does an awesome job!)

Caitlyn – Home Sweet Ruby – Cait and her husband just returned from a trip to Europe, and I can’t wait to read all about it on her blog! 

Katie - Katie Elizabeth – Katie posts great content regularly, and her posts are always so engaging – I’ve loved reading the “Thankful Thursday” series that she co-hosts, and I need to start blogging on Thursdays so I can link up!

Zelle – A Southern Style – super cute outfit posts and tips, and I loved her recent “God’s Not Dead” post

Katelyn - A Real Housewife of Greenville – Katelyn’s posts are always fun to read, and I admire how open she is about her fertility journey!  She and I are both fellow book lovers and have tossed around the idea of a blogging book club.

Jessi – Jessi’s Design – Jessi has a super cute blog, and she and her husband just bought a house and are renovating – can’t wait to follow along on that journey!

Emily – Being Mrs. Gentry – Emily has two precious little ones, and I’ve recently loved reading about their sweet birthday parties!  She also shares great finds and tips, and I enjoy reading her blogs that mention her hometown and my neighbor city, Fort Worth.

Ally – Life as I Know It – I love reading Ally’s Weekly Obsessions posts – they almost always make me want to start putting all her cute picks in my online shopping carts immediately!  She also has great movie recommendations :)

Chesson – A Southern Twenty-Five – Chesson’s adventures are always fun to read about in her blog posts, and she totally makes me want to plan a trip to Kiawah ASAP!

Bailley – Lew Party of Two – Bailley and her husband live overseas, and I love following along on their adventures – her recent post about a weekend trip to Bamberg has some gorgeous photos!

Check these ladies out if you haven’t already – I’m sure you’ll love them too!  I subscribe to all of their blogs in my Feedly now, and I love reading their posts all week, not just on Friday.  Being able to connect with these ladies (and many others) through this 5 on Friday link up that we all love has been so fun these past few months.  That has hands down been my favorite part of blogging so far.    

Next week I’m hoping to be back on my game with posting – we have a lot going on this weekend, and I’m going to try try try to bring my camera along for everything!

Happy Friday to all of you and to the lovely hostesses of 5 on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness.

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What are some of your favorite blogs you’ve discovered through the greatness that is 5 on Friday?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend on Wheels

We made a quick trip to Austin this weekend to celebrate Austin’s mom’s 50th birthday with his family.  Saturday I think we spent more time on wheels than we did on our feet!  We went on a segway tour with Austin’s family on Saturday afternoon, and then went to a roller skating rink for a surprise birthday party that night.  Austin’s mom, Suann, was big into roller skating when she was growing up, so her sister and niece incorporated that into the party they put together for her. 

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The segway tour started right near the Texas state capitol, which is always fun to see.  We rode all around downtown Austin and decided that we want to kayak at Town Lake and make a trip downtown to do some shopping next time we are there.  Downtown Austin was hopping on Saturday afternoon – quite the striking difference from downtown Dallas which is basically dead all weekend and after business hours during the week. 

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None of us had been on roller skates in ages, and some of us (Austin) were too scared to skate on anything other than roller blades.  One funny thing I noticed – everyone in Austin called roller blades “in-line skates.”  I had never heard that before?!  I am fascinated by subtle little differences in terminology like that – but I’m getting off track :)  The party was definitely an adventure with little kids whizzing by on skates in every direction, but I think we all made it without any major falls!  We did the hokey pokey, some “races,” and my personal favorite, limbo.  Thankfully, there is no photographic evidence of the limbo – I’m sure it we looked less than graceful.

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It was quite the adventurous weekend, and we had a fun time celebrating!  We came back to Dallas on Sunday and made it in time to have a little time at home to get some things done before our Sunday night date night at church – this week we had an instructor teach us some country western dance moves.  We had the best time!  The class lasted for an hour and a half, and we were legitimately tired at the end – it was kind of a good workout.  I think my normal routine of work and household chores this week is going to be quite boring compared to our weekend of segways, roller skating, and two stepping! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday – Vol. 27

Happy Friday to all of you and to the lovely hostesses of 5 on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness.

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I think bloggers everywhere (at least most of the ones who write the blogs I read) can now breathe a collective sigh of relief since spring is FINALLY here.  We’ve certainly all been posting about how ready we are for it to arrive for several weeks now!  Hopefully it feels like spring where you are today.  Thank goodness it does seem like spring is actually here, weather wise, in Dallas.  We might even eat outside on a patio tonight to celebrate! 

ONE – My love of nail polish and at home manicures has been well documented on this blog over the years, so it should not come as a surprise that I treated myself to some new nail polishes this week with some birthday money that was just burning a hole in my pocket.  I am so excited to try each of these new colors!  Also, after seeing Katie’s post last week about the Seche Vite top coat, I just couldn’t resist picking that up too.  I think probably at least half of the Five on Friday posts I’ve done have something related to a manicure or nail polish – that is clearly my “go to!”  

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TWO – I can’t believe it has taken me until March 21st to post about the March card since I’ve been enjoying it on my fridge for a couple of weeks now.  Mom continues to outdo herself with one cute card after another month after month!  March’s card is particularly appropriate for today now that it is officially spring. 

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I seriously cannot wait to post pictures of the baby shower I’m hosting with two other church friends in April.  Mom has been working on some goodies for that this week, and the pictures she’s been texting me have me so excited for the cuteness that is to come.  The pink and white chevron peeking out on the left side of this picture is the shower invitation. :)

THREE – I came home one day this week to find a delightful surprise birthday gift waiting for me on the bar – my wonderful sister-in-law gifted me a 3 month Birchbox subscription.  My sister had a subscription for a while, and I love browsing all of her goodies that she keeps in a cute little bowl on her bathroom counter.  I texted Courtney the night that the box arrived that I was so ready to go to sleep just so I could get up the next day and use some of the things in my box!  I’m also a nut for trying different types of tea, so the three individual teas that came in the box were just thrilling to me. 

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FOUR – I can’t post about some of my birthday gifts today without giving Austin a little shout out – he gave me some pretty green earrings (so appropriate that my birthday is a few days before St. Patrick’s Day!) and a blog re-design!  I’m so excited to pull the trigger on updating my blog after enjoying this current design for over two years now.  Stay tuned for that! 

Back to the earrings – they were a good match for my favorite springtime scarf which I wore this week to spice up an otherwise boring black outfit.  Hard to get the best picture in my bathroom mirror, but I’ve been loving them this week! 

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FIVE – Now that it seems we are finally getting adjusted to daylight saving time, the daylight lasting well into the time that I’ve been getting home has helped motivate me to cook more in the evenings.  Austin works pretty crazy hours in the spring, and he was out of town for a while, so I definitely fell out of the habit of cooking regularly in the evenings.  This week he has been able to come home for dinner (although he works for a while after we finish eating), which has been a big treat.  I cooked a spring pasta dish one night and my favorite recipe for stuffed bell peppers last night, and now our fridge is fully stocked with leftovers for a while! 

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The pasta dish was one that I copied from my mom a while back but just got around to making – it is a keeper for sure.  The fresh asparagus, green peas, mushrooms, and thyme were an excellent combination for a light springtime dish (not too light since half and half and fresh parm were also involved!).  The bell pepper recipe is one I tore out of Real Simple ages ago.  Both of these are relatively quick meals to throw together, which is so important to me for weeknight cooking!

Have a wonderful first official weekend of spring!  We are headed to Austin to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday this weekend – I can’t wait!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bunnies, Carrots, and Eggs Galore

We are so very close to the official start of spring, and our weather here in Dallas finally seems to be on board with that fact.  With spring comes Easter, which happens to be my most favorite holiday.  I am loving that Easter is a little later this year, which means I can enjoy Easter decorations even longer than usual.  Honestly, our house kind of looks like it is always decorated for Easter with my love of eggs and nests and birds that tend to spring up in every single room, but the Easter season and start of spring is a chance to really take that over the top. 

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You’ve seen my mom’s craftiness on the blog many times before, but she might have outdone herself with this adorable spring garland she sent me in the mail last week.  There was a lot of squealing going on when I was hanging this little guy up this weekend!  She sent a ribbon and the above Easter items for me to assemble the garland on my own. 

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I have two small clear command hooks that I’ve kept up on the side of our bar from Christmas – I hung our Christmas cards on them back in December, then a Valentine’s garland that I already had went up in February, but they’ve been bare for a few weeks.  This is definitely my favorite garland to grace those hooks!

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It is such a little fun pop of spring, and I’m going to be terribly sad to take it down – probably not until at least May.  I will be stretching out the Easter decor as long as possible. 

Possibly my favorite thing to come out at Easter is my moss bunny from the all time best store in Jackson ever – the Everyday Gardner.  I’m so sad I didn’t get to pop in last weekend!  This little guy might have had a friend come home with me if I had.  Yes, there is a tiny blue egg in his basket – I die! 

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Now I used to have these salt and pepper shakers out year round, but we got some others when we got married, so these have been retired to springtime only.  I was glad to welcome them back when I got them out this weekend.  They make me happier than salt and pepper shakers probably should!

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Has spring sprung at your house?  Don’t you think Paper Source is going to want to put my mom on the payroll after that precious garland?! 

On another note, I can’t let today’s blog post go up without wishing a very happy birthday to my sweet mother-in-law, Suann!  We are excited to get to celebrate this weekend!  We are going on another segway tour this weekend in Austin, so this picture from our first one seemed appropriate to post :)

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Birthday Weekend

I had such a wonderful birthday weekend!  It was so fun to get to see so many friends in the short period of time that I was in Jackson.  I wish it had been a longer visit, but I’ll take what I can get when it comes to Jackson visits! 

On my way to Mississippi on Friday, I stopped and had a delicious fried catfish lunch with my grandparents.  It was such a treat to get to celebrate with them on my actual birthday.  Our waitress was a hoot, and she loved to tease both of my grandfathers (they are Friday regulars).  She brought me a delicious piece of Oreo pie since it was my birthday.  I also managed to sample the bread pudding that is a must on Fridays at this particular restaurant according to my Pop! 

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I refueled with gas and coffee in Ruston after lunch then made the last part of my trip.  My first stop in Jackson was at Hobby Lobby – I needed to kill a little bit of time and I had a birthday gift card burning a hole in my pocket.  I had a fun time browsing and picked up a few cute things that I’m sure will make their way onto the blog in no time. 

After my delightful pass through Hobby Lobby, I headed to dinner with Rebecca, Deanna, Eleanor, and Deanna’s roommate (who coincidentally was also celebrating her birthday and is also named Rebecca!).  We had such a fun time catching up, and I’m so glad I got to see all of them!!  The whole night was just wonderful, and the grit cake under my salmon that was shaped like Mississippi was definitely a highlight! 

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Saturday morning prep for the engagement party started bright and early, and I met some of my law school friends downtown to help set up for the party.  Even though there were about twenty of us planning this from all over the place, it all came together somehow and we had a ball celebrating Emily and Matt! 

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I really wish that orange netting was not in the background of every picture, but there was really nothing I could do about that :) 

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Mom’s cute banner was a hit, and I loved the fun paper straws that I’ve been saving for this ever since randomly seeing them at Target weeks ago.

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Sweet Sue Ann even brought me a festive birthday cupcake to the parade.  I miss these friends and loved getting to catch up with everyone – I cannot believe it has almost been three years since we graduated!  

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No one was surprised when Emily showed up with face tats – she is kind of the face tat queen, and we quickly all got in line to get some extra St. Patrick’s Day spirit on our cheeks. 

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I so wish Austin could have made it to Jackson for the party and parade on Saturday, but he had some flight issues on Friday night and wasn’t able to be there – I missed him, but I ended up driving home Saturday evening, and we had a great Sunday together yesterday!  The weekend was a whirlwind, but it was so fun and special to get to spend part of it in Jackson and see so many old friends.  Happy official St. Patrick’s Day!