Monday, September 27, 2010

what's cookin' this week

beef and baby bella mushroom pattty melts w/ roasted potatoes
eggplant bolognese
cilantro lime shrimp and rice
chicken tacos with apple salsa

what are you cooking this week? 
any great fall recipes to share???

Sunday, September 26, 2010

the miller's {family pics}

this is going to be a long post full of pictures!  my friend carissa, with c.c. miller photography, asked if i would take her family pics again this year.  of course i would!  she has some of the cutest kids you will ever find!  we had a blast we went downtown and then to a field where we featured a family motorcycle.  lots of fun. 

now, before getting to the pictures....let's talk about what to wear for pictures.  you will see that she decided to go with bright, fun colors for everyone.  they are not all matchy-matchy, but they coordinate nicely while letting each person's personality shine.  this is the way to do it people!  the days of everyone wearing all black or all brown are over.  have fun with it.  use fun accessories, hats, scarves, jewelry, etc.  if you are stuck and don't know what your family should wear, look at retailers advertising.  if you have children, check out GAP and J.Crew, you don't have to buy, but you can get some great ideas to build from.  target currently has some of the cutest children's clothes around!  wear things that you would wear normally.  why portray your family as being uptight and formal if you are anything but that?  your family pictures should reflect your family so that when people look at them, they say, "yep, that's totally the miller's {or whoever}". 

i digress....onto the pictures.....

can you say children's model?  e was cracking me up the entire time.  there is no posing needed with him, he strikes them on his own!  let's just say that i called him mr. gq the whole time.  i mean seriously???

this is "little momma" according to her mother and this is one of my favorite pictures!  she was so proud of her freshly painted finger nails!

so, yea, the kids are cute, but how about the smokin' hot mom and dad??? 


i love these pics of little momma w/ her daddy!  can you tell she might be a daddy's girl??? 

thank you carissa for asking me to take your families pictures!  it was a blast!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

what's cookin' this week & recipe {mimi's hamburgers}

what's cookin' this week...
mimi's hamburgers w/ rice and sauteed fresh green beans, squash and onions
sausage and rice casserole and salad
oven fried chicken fingers w/ corn on the cob and salad
beef enchiladas with guacamole

it has been a while since i have posted a recipe!  this one is from my mom's grandma and i grew up eating it all the time.  it is a super easy weeknight meal!  here's what you need:

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, cut in half and then sliced
2 cans diced tomatoes
salt, pepper & garlic salt

-form the ground beef into equally sized round hamburger patties.  i simply quartered it, but you could go smaller, especially if you have smaller kids.
-season both sides of the hamburger with salt, pepper & garlic salt
-brown the hamburgers in a large skillet.  i leave them on one side for a while so you get that nice brownness on the first side {see pic in to left corner}.
-when the second side of the hamburger is browning, add in the sliced onion {see second pic}
-allow onions to start browning....leave the hamburgers with the same side down, just stir and shake the onions around them {see third pic}
-once onions are nice and golden, add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes {see fourth pic}
-allow to simmer for a little while....10 - 15 minutes....or until you are done with the rest of dinner

serve the hamburgers, onions and tomatoes over rice {as pictured} or mashed potatoes with a nice vegetable side.

this is one of those recipes that you can tailor to your likings.  mushrooms would be delicious added.  you could do less onions if you wanted, as well.  i think you will be surprised at how the onions really cook down and become a part of the sauce.  they are super soft and yummy.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

project complete...almost!

the project that i blogged about here is now almost complete!  monday i was there to do a punch list and snapped a few pictures to show you the final product.  i think it turned out really well!  take a look: 

the reading tree house

you can see how we really strive for our renderings to look almost exactly like our final product.  most people are not visual, so our goal is to make it easy for you to know what you are getting!  they are still finishing up some aspects, but the school should be able to use it by the first of next week.

yay for fun colors and patterns!

Saturday, September 11, 2010 one

to get to paris from london we took the eurostar {a train}.  we left the hotel at 8am and hauled our luggage on the tube to get to the eurostar departure station.  we were on our way at 10am.  once we arrived in paris i finally felt like i was in a foreign country.  we immediately went to get metro {subway} tickets so that we could get around paris and at that point ran into our first language barrier.  the area where you were suppose to get tickets was full of people all speaking different languages.  we tried to avoid the long line and use the kiosk, but apparently some american credit cards don't work on their kiosks b/c of some certain "chip" that is inside them, so we were forced to hop into the long line.  while waiting we were approached by a ton of gypsy's.  each had their own "story" that went something along the lines of, "i'm trying to get money for my sister who is dying and i need money to get her medicine", or some version there of.  we were also approached by a ton of guys trying to sell us metro tickets.  this was the point where mymichael started to feel a bit uncomfortable....lots of people....unknown, confined space....different languages ranging from english, french, german and who knows what else!  we finally got our tickets purchased and headed to catch the metro to our hotel. 

now, let me paint a picture for you....4 people...each person had at least two bags {one that was checked luggage and one that was carry-on luggage}, and the girls had a purse or camera bag as well.  to go up and down the stairs mymichael was hauling his checked luggage and my carry-on so that i could haul my checked luggage.  chris was hauling both his and wendy's checked luggage so that she could get the other piece.  needless to say, we were all out of breath and drenched in sweat b/c it was freaking hot!

we arrived in paris in the afternoon, so the metro was busy.  we were having to haul all the luggage up and down the stairs in the metro tunnels and then we were having to cram ourselves & luggage onto already jam packed metro cars.  we were not getting very nice looks!  we had to change lines at least once or twice which just meant more stairs.  when we arrived at our metro station that was by the hotel we started up the stairs, assuming it would just be a normal "flight" of stairs, when we were stopped by a french woman who looking at us like we were crazy, shaking her head, pointing up and talking in french.  chris pieced enough of what she was saying together to get the point that there were a lot of stairs and that we should use the elevator...what a novel idea!!!  the next day we found out why she had looked at us like we were crazy....the stairs that we were about to go up were spiral stairs that went up and up and up and "normal" flight of stairs by any means!  thank you to the nice french woman....we owe you tremendously!

as soon as we came out of the metro tunnel we were in the middle of a lovely little french neighborhood.  cafes with people sipping cappucinos outside, newspaper stands, markets with flowers outside, corner bakeries and the hum of motorcycles on the streets. 

when we got to the hotel we were crossing our fingers that it would have air conditioning b/c it was hot outside.  so much for weather in the high 70's or low 80's.  we checked in and we were not lucky enough to have air conditioning.  there was a large window, so we were hoping that would be good enough.  we were only there long enough to drop our bags before heading to get something to eat and see notre dame.

we ate in this adorable part of town, it was right by notre dame.

i found this fun accessories store...i don't remember the name but they had some super cool stuff and the interior was so fun!  check out those colorful chandeliers!

after grabbing some lunch we headed over to notre dame.  now, this was amazing.  all through college i took so many art history/architectural history/interior heritage classes that at one point i knew everything about notre dame.  it had been studied over and over and over again.  but let me tell you, seeing it in person was unbelievable.  it was just beautiful....

there was a service in session while we walked through.  everything is massive and detailed.  if you look closely at the interior picture you will see how they have brought in flat screen t.v.'s that i am sure they use during services.  there is stained glass everywhere that is just beautiful! 

that evening we planned to go up to sacre coure, which is a church that is located at the highest place in the city.  we had heard from multiple people that it was a great area to bring food and wine and sit around people watching and looking out over the city.  so after notre dame we bought some fresh baked bread, cheese and wine and headed that way.  it was quite a walk up to the top.  i'm sure it didn't help that we took a couple of detours.  as we got closer to the top we realized that it wasn't just a church, but a whole area of cafes and stores with a ton of people milling around.  we found the grassy knoll, as we called it, hopped the fence and found our spot.

and this is where we had our first glimpse of the eiffel tower....

one thing that we were surprised about in both london and paris was how long the days were this time of year.  there were a couple of times in london where i woke up thinking we had over slept b/c it was so bright outside, but when i checked the clock it was only 4:30 in the morning!  the sun didn't set until well after 10:00pm...almost 11:00pm.  it was really wonder why they eat dinner so late! 

we got back to our hotel and "slept" through our first awful night....90 degree air fan.....big window with a group of guys goofing around outside until about 4:00 in the morning.  can i tell you how close i was to leaning out the window and screaming something not very nice????  i was me.

despite the night our first day in paris was a ton of fun!  stay tuned for day two!

Friday, September 3, 2010

paris: the city of lights & love

paris pictures are complete! 
i will post more about what we actually did in paris later, but for now, check out the pictures on my website:

go to "travel" and then you will see different galleries. hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

welcome fall

i am a very seasonal person.  for anyone that knows me, knows that i get excited about each of the 4 seasons.  in my mind i have the months divided accordingly to fit with the seasons.

december, january, february = W I N T E R
march, april, may = S P R I N G
june, july, august = S U M M E R
september, october, november = F A L L

so, according to my schedule, it is officially FALL and i am way excited.  there is just something about his time of year that i love.  the chill in the air {not quite there}, the smells {crisp apple, cinnamon}, the food {chilli's and soups}, the colors {orange, red, green, brown, gold}, the clothes {lots of layers and textures}and a crackling fire.  so very nice! 

i love every season for different reasons.  this summer seemed to go by incredibly fast and i feel like i missed a lot of blogging opportunities!  i may have to try and catch up on some events in the coming days.  we had our high school 10 year reunion, mine and mymichael's 6 year wedding anniversary, and i'm still working on europe trip pictures.  it has been a busy few months to say the least!

do your self a favor and celebrate the beginning of fall by going to bath and body works and buying this candle:
it is FALL in a candle.  it smells oh so wonderful.  but hurry b/c last year they sold out and had me searching every bath and body works in the surrounding areas...including dallas!  i promise that it will make you smile and make the 95 degree days feel not quite so warm {although i am very thankful we are past the 105 degree weather around here!}.

Happy Fall!

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