Tuesday, November 24, 2009

happy birthday

{accidentally published this post early...wasn't suppose to go until tomorrow...oops!}

to two of the most important people to me.....who happen to share the same birthday...

november 25th

my wonderful mother

thank you for being an awsome mom...for always being there for me...teaching me everything from cooking to sewing {you still have some work to do there}...making the little things in life feel special....being there to help when i need it...cherishing holiday memories and creating new ones...dealing with your two crazy daughters and equally crazy husband...and most importantly loving me unconditionally!  you are awesome and i hope you're day is a special one!

my fabulous, hot, funny, sincere husband

if i am counting correctly, this is the 12th birthday that we have celebrated together!  hard to believe.  you are an awesome husband...caring...thoughtful...fun...deep thinker...adventurous...you know how to make me smile...you are very selfless...you are comitted to your family and friends...you are sincere and most of all you are the perfect person for me and i can't wait to celebrate more birthdays with you!  thank you for being "mymichael"...


i love you both!

thanksgiving break!

i am outta here!
for me thanksgiving break officially starts....n o w...and continues until monday, november 30th at midnight.  i am stoked and so ready to have a few days off. 
tomorrow i am getting my hair did {and it needs it oh so bad}...
thursday we leave for mymichael's dad's for thanksgiving lunch...
after lunch we head to branson to get in the christmas spirit! 
woo hoo...nothing like christmas time at silver dollar city

if you haven't ever gone, you really need to.  growing up we went every year with my grandparents.  two years ago was the first time for mymichael and i to go...just us and we had a blast.  there are a million lights,
a huge tree,

cheesy christmas show, carolers in the streets,

and we can't forget the awesome food:
homemade potato chips at hatfield's tater patch
succotash at buckshot annie's skillet cookery
funnel cakes at flossie's fried fancies
kettle corn
salt water taffy
hot wassil
hot chocolate
snow balls at the saloon {hot chocolate with a scoop of ice cream}
and the list can go on and on
so, when i get back i may be 20 pounds heavier, but it will so have been worth it!!!

oh, we are also going to the dixie stampede.  mymichael has never been...it's been years for me...so it should be fun!  and you can't forget about the shopping...lots of outlet malls and branson landing...i've got one day of shopping set aside...poor mymichael.  there is a bass pro shop, so that will help. 
man, i think i should totally get paid for all this advertising!  branson, branson, branson! 

hope everyone has a happy holiday with their family and friends!

yummy soup!

last night i decided to try my friend carissa's tortilla soup....get the recipe here.  it was super yummy and so easy!  oh, and it made a TON!  my pot i used was filled to the brim and bubbled over a couple of times....next time i will definitely use my biggest pot.  this could feed a crowd OR you can bag it and freeze it like i did for another evening.  all you would have to do is put it in a crock pot before leaving for work and you would have soup ready when you got home from work.  i used rotissery chicken from target and of course i added onions because why?  because i LOVE onions and they go with ANYTHING! 

thanks for the great recipe carissa!!!

we give this recipe

Friday, November 20, 2009

jillian mae {newborn pics}

meet baby jillian mae.  she is the daughter of sean & misty, our youth minister and his wife.  she is the youngest of 3 adorable kiddos!  this year sean has been on the biggest loser and she is actually named after jillian, the trainer.  their family has had one heck of a year and they are all looking great!  sunday afternoon i got to snap a few pictures of baby jillian.  unfortunately, it was about the worst day for pictures....rainy and dark all day long.  so, i only got a couple....but boy is she adorable!

i absolutely love her super dark eyes and dark hair...which she has a ton of!  can't wait until we can try again for a better day and get some good ones of all 3.

enjoy your new addition sean & misty!

mom & dad {couple pics}

saturday i took pictures of my parents.  these are probably the first "couple" pics they have had taken since their wedding {i might be exaggerating a little}!  dad's birthday was in October and one of his gifts is a big pic of him and mom framed.  Also, dad's church is getting ready to launch a new website and he needed a good headshot for it.  it was lots of fun and the weather was perfect!  check them out....

i think the pictures turned out great and it was lots of fun.....many laughs!  this december they will have been married 30 years!  congratulations and thanks for letting me take some pics....it will be nice to have an updated photo of you two! =)

love you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

crafty ideas

i wish i was more of a "crafty" person.  i always see things and think, "that is so cute and i could so make that"....but rarely do i actually tackle the project. 

for instance....i have a super cute chair at my house that i found at a garage sale in guthrie a couple of weeks ago.  with a change of upholstery it would be perfect.  but i haven't gotten that far yet, so it sits in my living room screaming at me everytime i look at it! 

anyways...i was browsing a couple of blogs that i frequent and came across these pictures....

{found here at smile and wave}

click here

and here

and here

and here

are these not adorable?  i'm not a big fan of cheesy decorations, but these are vintagy {which i'm really digging right now} and just plain cute.  the first one that i found on smile and wave is quite a bit too tedious of a job for me.  i like the idea of using an old shirt or something, but the whole hand stitching aspect just doesn't work for me.  that's why i love the next 4....it's yarn!  they are super, super cute.  i also love the felt flowers that are one them...i need to check etsy on those.  i think i might actually attempt one...we will see...they would be cute christmas gifts!

any easy crafty projects that you are working on?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

recipe {pumpkin ravioli w/ gorgonzola sauce}

i have to admit that i was a little skeptical about this recipe when i saw it 2 years ago in my cooking light magazine.  i ear marked it, but never made it.  last week i was flipping through the old magazine and saw it again and decided to try it out. 

get the recipe here

it was really good.  the flavors are very subtle which we aren't use to...we tend to go for spicier dishes and such.  the gorgonzola sauce was super yummy even though i typically don't like funky cheese. 

one great tip is using the wonton wrappers for the "pasta".  i have used them before and filled them with chicken, thyme, & cheese and it was really good.  you could stuff them with anything...italian sausage or ground beef....spinach and ricottat cheese....endless possibilities!

we give this recipe

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

recipe {beef, black bean, and chorizo chili}

last week i tried a new chili recipe {you can get it here}.  mymichael loves chorizo, but i'm not a super huge fan.  when i saw this recipe i had a feeling that he would like it.  i put the beef stew meat in my crockpot with plenty of water, salt & pepper, one morning before leaving for work.  when i got home it was cooked perfectly.  i shredded it and then followed the rest of the recipe.  i ended up really liking it.  it has a lot of spice to it! 

we give this recipe

Monday, November 16, 2009

what's cookin' this week?

chicken pot pie - super easy....will post recipe this week
chicken tikka masala w/ bazmati rice - bought the tikka masala sauce at target...first time to try it
spinach lasagna
creamy carrot & sweet potato soup - new recipe....sounded interesting...we'll see if its good...{cooking light recipe}
red onion, potato & goat cheese pizza {cooking light recipe}

what are  y o u  cooking this week?

Friday, November 13, 2009

one of two things...

wednesday afternoon i got a call from one of my best friends.  we hadn't seen eachother in awhile and she wanted to hang out.  i asked, "what do you want to do?" and instead of getting the normal, "oh, i don't know, whatever" response that both her and i give, i got this response..."well, one of two things..."  this obviously peaked my interest and asked, "so, what are the two things that we have to choose from?". 

now, i need to preface all of this by saying that this girl has literally been through hell and back this year.  i don't know how she is doing what she's doing now {work & school} and still sane {especially considering that she works with a bunch of "crazies"....no disrepect intended}.  she has come a long way in a year and i am so excited for what her future holds! 

now back to the story....the first option was getting her nose pierced and the second option was getting a tattoo.  she wanted to do something for her and she has wanted both for a while and in the past wouldn't go through with it for one reason or another.  so, we decided to meet at the tattoo shop, that could do both the piercing or the tattoo, and she would decide there. 

once we got there it was pretty obvious to me that she was leaning more towards the tattoo.  she is quite afraid of the piercing guns....she pierced her own ears when she was younger........strange how a gun freaks her out yet her pushing a needle through her ear is no problem!!!  so, the tattoo it was.  she already knew exactly what she wanted and pretty much what she wanted.  the actual tattooing took maybe 10 minutes.  the guy was quite interesting/entertaining and it was a fun experience.  i am sure when she asked me to come she didn't expect me to take a hundred pics....but i did....because why?  that's what friends are for! 

this is the....."am i really doing this?" look

she was super excited about the final outcome and i'm so happy she went for it.  some people may not be that hip on tattoos and that's fine.  but seriously people....there are much worse things than a tattoo....and if it makes you feel better about something, makes you remember something special, stands for something then just do it...who cares.  the awesome part about where she got hers is that if she ever needed it to not show then all she has to do is wear a bracelet!

yay for you whit!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

happy birthday grandma!

today is my sweet grandma's birthday!  she is one of the best grandma's you could find. 

my sister and i loved going to the farm growing up....in elementary school we would miss if not all fridays, everyother friday to visit grandma and grandpa.  we would meet half way between tulsa and poteau at "biscuit hill" {i'm not sure if that is really the name or what we came up with....i should investigate that...} for the drop-off to grandma & grandpa. 

mom tells me that the first night i was home from the hospital i actually slept with grandma.  or at least i slept and grandma stayed awake afraid i would stop breathing! 
when i was either 2 or 3....old enough to talk...i called grandma at her work and told her to come pick me up.  her being the awesome grandma that she was, marched into her boss's office and told him she was leaving early to go pick up her granddaughter in tulsa.  when she was on her way she called my parents and told them she was almost at the house to pick me up...to say the least they were a little surprised! 

you see, the saying "what happens at grandma's, stays at grandma's" is quite true.  the grandkids all started driving when we were around the age of 8 or so.  it started out "small" on the 3-wheeler and we gradually...or not so gradually...worked our way up to the awesome old jeep they had, then the farm truck or whatever random vehicle grandpa had that month, and then finally they would let us drive their truck on the road around the age of probably 12 or so.  i vividly remember one afternoon driving down the road to their house, down their driveway and then going to park under their carport that is right outside the den.  i pulled in nice and slow and was doing great until i went to go just a little farther and my "tap" on the gas peddle was a little harder than expected and i rammed the truck into the den wall.  luckily it wasn't too hard, but i was freaking out.  grandma simply said, "i think that's good enough", got out of the car and that was it.  and i still got to drive!  gotta love the grandma's and the grandpa's!!!

she is a great cook, crafty sewer/quilter, amazing gardner and loves her family to pieces!

i'm so happy i can call her grandma!

hope you have a fantabulous day!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a family weekend

this past weekend my parents and i went to visit my sister in stillwater.  she moved back there a few months ago and wanted help redoing some of her furniture and stuff.  i drove down after work on friday and we helped her paint one of her dressers black, dad refinished her table top, ate at a new mexican restaurant, went to wal-mart, and then mom and kj made some awesome soft sugar cookies simply to prove to kj's boyfriend, dublin, that the best sugar cookies are NOT the ones at wal-mart that have a 1/4" of icing on the top.  i think we convinced him that he was very wrong.  it was fun getting to spend time with the whole fam...it had been awhile.  oh...kj also had an awesome long, thick brown wig that both her and i could only   w i s h   to have hair like!

yea...i'm looking into extensions....what do you think???

saturday, after starbuck's {why did starbucks have to come to stillwater after i was there???}, we went to wall's bargain center and discovered lots of goodness that you read about yesterday.  then we headed to the town of guthrie, in search for cool old stuff.  we didn't find much, but we did have fun.

my dad who stayed in one store while we made to all the stores on the street...yea...he's a little slow...=)

would have been a great family picture if i was in it.....photoshop maybe?

i headed back to t-town saturday evening for birthday dinner with sarah & dave.  then on sunday i spent all day getting ready for birthday dinners for my dad, my grandpa & my grandma.  all of our birthdays fall between september 8th & november 25th.  i always make a birthday dinner as part of my gift to them.  since we were celebrating 3 birthdays, the menu was interesting:

creole shrimp & sausage stew {seafood for dad and grandpa}
crab cakes {for dad and grandpa}
fried chicken {for grandma...she won't touch seafood with a 10 foot pole}
bacon mac {a new macaroni & cheese recipe that wasn't as good as our family's recipe...but was worth the try}
corn on the cob
lemon cake {provided by my mother...the queen of all things baked}

it was all yummy and we felt 50 pounds heavier after finishing. 

aren't they cute?

and here's a pic to prove that my hot husband, mymichael was around for the festivities!

so, it was a jam packed weekend of family fun!  it's great when you have an awesome family!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

i hit the jackpot!

on saturday i was in stillwater and me, my sister and parents went to Wall's Bargain Center.  It's one of those places that you never know what you are going to find.  well...in my opinion...we hit the jackpot on this trip.  in the back of the store was a whole section of items from....
a n t h r o p o l o g i e !
if you have never experienced anthropologie i strongly suggest you do.  check them out at http://www.anthropologie.com/.  although, visiting their store is half the fun.  it is vintage, eclectic, country, innovative, creative, and modern all at the same time.  they have clothing, accessories, home stuff, bedding, kitchen thingy majigs, candles, perfume, a little bit everything.  you will probably either love it or hate it.  i happen to love it, but not it's prices.  in my opinion it is very pricey...so i go to the stores to lust and take pictures of things that i love, but can't afford, or just don't want to spend that much money on {remember how my tastes change???}

{notice the bottom left picture...it's a lamp but the base is made out of tea pots and saucers...so creative!}

so anyways, there was a whole section of anthropologie bedding and rugs and pillows.  i was in hog heaven!  everything was at least 70% off retail price maing it much more affordable to me.  here are some pics...

i walked out with a great quilt & shams that i blogged about yesterday, a curtain panel in a beautiful blue color, and a  90"x108" tapestry that is really neat with birds and stuff on it.  i also picked up some pillow shams and a tapestry for sarah as well.  it was super fun......
i love finding unexpected bargains! 

Monday, November 9, 2009

happy birthday sarah

today is sarah's birthday.  sarah and i have been best friends since the 7th grade...which is funny b/c she now teaches 7th grade!  i actually remember her being in my 2nd grade class...needless to say it has been a long time.  we have had lots of fun together through the years, riding the school bus, my dad driving us to fca, me driving us to drivers ed, me picking sarah up everyday for school until our senior year, us doing musical's together in high school, hair dying, going to barnes and noble ;), graduating, moving away to different schools, me getting married, me finally moving back to tulsa, starbucks, shopping, going to chicago together, eating at rosebud, sarah getting married, looking at houses, buying houses, painting houses, etc. etc. etc.  we've had fun!  she is one of the best friends a girl could ask for!

h a p p y   b i r t h d a y !

a quick bed makeover

here recently i have been wanting to do something different with my bed.  back when mymichael and i first got married i found some fabric that i loved and made curtains and pillows with it.  i have kept the pillows and simply changed the comforter to give it a different look. 

this was our bed at our apartment in dallas...you can see the green and white pillows on the back.  i loved the fabric b/c it reminded me of something that West Elm would have and i love West Elm.  design tip:  look for creative ways to use everyday items....the white throw pillows with the leaf pattern...the fabric is actually a napkin from Crate & Barrel!  they are the perfect size to fit IKEA's feather throw pillows.  I used 4 napkins total for the two pillows, the front are the leaf pattern and the back is a stripe pattern. 

when we moved back to tulsa and bought a house i changed the comforter to a chocolate brown, kept the green pillows.  you will also notice that the bedroom color is blue instead of green {i secretly miss the green walls.....i love green!}

you will find that i grow tired of things pretty quickly and want a change...we have only been in our house 2 years and i have been itching to find something different...but not so different that i would have to repaint.  this weekend we were in stillwater and i   h i t   t h e   j a c k p o t!  i will go into more detail about the "jackpot" in another post, but here is what i ended up with...multiple patterns...light and airy....

all i will say is   a n t h r o p o l o g i e .  Stay tuned to hear about the "jackpot"!

i like all three beds...they are similar b/c of their color palette, but it's nice to be able to change it up when you get tired of the same old thing.  if you have a piece or two that you absolutely love that's awesome and you shouldn't have to give them up to get a different look. 
think about different colors/patterns/textures that you could use to give it a fresh new look!

what's cookin' this week?

this week i am in the mood for trying some new autumn-y recipes.  thanks to my cooking light subscription i have lots of yummy options.  if only the weather was a little cooler....i kind of feel like october and november switched places this year!  here are three new recipes that i am going to try this week.

Pumpkin Ravioli {cooking light magazine}
Beef, Black Bean & Chorizo Chili {cooking light magazine}
Creamy Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup {cooking light magazine}

Friday, November 6, 2009

recipe {fried green tomatoes}

this year mymichael and i planted a garden for the first time & it did relatively well. we platend our tomato plants a little later than suggested, so we have gotten quite a few tomatoes in the last few weeks. we were afraid it was going to freeze a week ago so mymichael went ahead and picked a bunch of the green tomatoes so they wouldn't be ruined. quite a few have started to turn red but we still have a bunch that are a beautiful green. mymichael was raised eating fried green tomatoes from his grandma...i however wasn't. i have made them a few times since being married and they are always yummy.  the green tomatoe is a little tart and the coating is salty...it's a great combo!  with a table full of green tomatoes i decided it was time to do some more. usually i fry them with a cornmeal batter, but this time i changed it up a bit and we have now found our favorite way of doing them....

panko bread crumbs {found in the chinese/japanese section of your grocery store}
green tomatoes
salt & pepper

-slice your green tomatoes 1/4" thick or so
-in one bowl beat two eggs
-in a second bowl combine flour and panko bread crumbs, salt & pepper
-dip tomatoe in egg bowl, coat well
-dip egg coated tomatoe into panko/flour bowl, coat with mixture completely
-fry in oil until golden brown, as soon as you take out of the pan, sprinkle with salt

if you have never used panko bread crumbs, you have got to try them.  they give a great crunchy texture.  you can use them when frying anything....chicken, crab cakes, shrimp, etc.  they are a great replacement for regular bread crumbs.  i have also used them when baking chicken...coat like you are going to fry and then bake instead, it gives you that fried texture that we all love!

we give this recipe

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