Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weekend in Review

Last weekend was a great one. I missed Zach terribly, but enjoyed spending time with family and being home for my sis-in-law-to-be's bridal shower. Only a little over two weeks until their wedding! Absolutely cannot wait.

pleasantly surprised to find Cadbury eggs already being sold in a gas station on the way home....
Scarlett and her sweet niece Maggie at her shower :)
 my handsome little brother before the SHS Yucca Coronation
the aftermath of Yucca
treats were made...
miss little brudder already
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too! Can't wait to share some new recipes later this week!

Monday, January 30, 2012

To Z

Dear Zach,

I'm aware that today isn't our anniversary, or your birthday, or even Valentine's Day. Today is seemingly unimportant and unremarkable. But I want to tell you that today, and always, I love you.

I love the way you bite your bottom lip when you get nervous. I love the way you drown your waffles in syrup. I love the reassuring smile you give me across a crowded room. I love the passion you have for creating things. I love the way you sleep on top of the covers. I love when you ask me to dance in our living room, in our pajamas. I love your ability to see the good in people. I love the way your face lights up when the Aggies score a touchdown. I love that Happy Birthday and Pearl Jam's Last Kiss are the only songs in which you know all the words. I love your honesty. I love that you go on long walks with me, even after a hard day's work.

I love all these things, but I think most of all, I love the way you hold me in your arms. You know, when you "hold me darling just a little while".

Hope they're open wide when I see you again tomorrow. I've missed a good bear hug.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snickers Surprise Cookies

I've made plenty of cake mix cookies. The Pinterest world, which seems to be the world I live in the most these days, is overflowing with them. While I can honestly say every batch has been good (very good), these are by far the best. No contest. The dough is very easy to work with, especially considering it takes less than a minute to whip up. These cookies are surprisingly more fudgey than cakey, which we prefer, and the hidden Snickers was a hit with Zach's work buddies. Can you think of a better surprise? 'Cause I can't.

1 cake mix (I used Devil's Food)
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 bag snack-size Snickers bars (or the mini ones)

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil in a bowl until all the cake powder is absorbed.
Cut small Snickers bars in half (unless you are using the minis...leave them as is). Place a half in the center of a ball of dough. Roll dough around candy bar until completely covered. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes, or until done.
Optional: dust with powdered sugar.
*tweaked from here
I'm roadtrippin' tomorrow for my sister-in-law-to-be's bridal shower; it's bittersweet leaving Zach but I'm excited to go back home and see the rest of our family. I'm making muffins for the shower...I'm no muffin expert so I would LOVE it if you shared your favorite recipe. Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Sharing at these awesome parties:
Sweet Treats Thursday
The Shady Porch
Show Off Your Stuff

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Magic Outside

Saturday morning (okay, afternoon) I woke up feeling a bit out of sorts. As we ate Eggos in bed and tried to plan our day, I wasn't feeling it. Clarification: I was definitely feeling the Eggos, not so much the planning part. I just had no desire to get out of bed quite frankly. Do you ever have those lethargic moments? Or days, even? When they roll around from time to time, I find it difficult to get motivated and do the things I normally love to do.

Zach desperately wanted to do yard work; he loves it. He asked me to come help and though I was hesitant (very hesitant), I obliged. I walked outside and unpleasantly offered my assistance. He put me to work pulling weeds (the most HATED chore of my childhood) and I grumpily agreed to give it a go for a few minutes.

Minutes turned into hours, my friends. I pulled like a champ. Dirty, cut-up fingers ripped roots from the soil like nobody's business. I thought. I daydreamed. I appreciated life and the glory of nature, the fact that we actually have a backyard to enjoy now. I soaked up not only the sun, but also the quiet company of my sweet husband and the beauty of God's creation. It was therapeudic. No better word.

Scenes from our afternoon:
my cutie, hard at work
 the smell of fresh, blooming flowers
Mocassins in 75 degree weather? No big deal. Empty box of Girl Scout cookies? Shamefully kind of a big deal.
 the contrast of dark/light, palm/pine trees
yanking up those little devils

Hope this inspires you to get out and find joy in the simplicity of nature. You won't be sorry, take it from a waffle-eating bum.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Hi bloggy friends! This weekend I was tagged by both Chrissy at Everyday with the Jays and Faith at Life.Love & Marriage to complete this fun little game. I answered a mix of each of their questions and enjoyed getting to know more about each of those sweet ladies. Be sure to stop by their blogs and check them out!

The rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

12 Random Facts:
1. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. I love them like crazy.
2. I had three maids of honor in our wedding, and they were all Brits (Brittney, Brittany, Britnee).
3. I love to sing. My family is very "musical" and I'm thankful for the emphasis my parents put on educating us in music and arts.
4. I spent two months during college on a mission trip to Lima, Peru. We ventured high into the Andes and spent some time in the Amazon Rainforest....it was amazing! Such an eye-opening experience.
5. My favorite sandwich is turkey and peanut butter. Don't knock it 'til you try it, y'all.
6. My husband has the cutest feet in the world. And I don't even like feet.

7. I am dying for a puppy dog! I really want a mini australian shepherd. If you're reading this Zach, I promise to be a good mommy. And take the trash out more often. And stop buying so many shoes.
8. I'm not good at making lists (this is taking me forever).
9. My senior trip was to Scotland and England...highlight: taking a train over the North Sea and visiting St. Andrews, the home of golf.
10. I am obsessed with quilts. The more worn, the better. We have several passed down from family members and we treasure each one.

11. I love being outside. Camping, fishing, hiking...these are all instant happiness for me.
12. My Momma is the sweetest lady in the whole wide world. (If you're reading this Mom....please note #7 and the fact that Zach hasn't gotten me one...just sayin' :)

Faith/Chrissy Questions:
1. Dresses or pants?
Dresses. Hands down. I'm a girly girl!
2. What is your favorite TV show of all time?
Seinfeld or I Love Lucy
3. Coffee, yes or no? If yes, what do you like?
Not straight up, but I love lattes and cappuccino. And coffee ice cream. Yum!
4. What's your favorite song of the moment?
I love oldies and classic rock...so I've been listening to a lot of Dylan lately. Biggest guilty pleasure is "Hurts So Good" by John Mellencamp :)
5. What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
I'd have to say this dress that I wore for our rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. I haven't had a chance to wear it since but I love the color and it was really comfortable.

6. Favorite movie of all time?
A Little Princess
7. Do you have any hidden talents?
It's not really 'hidden' but I never talk about it in the blogging world...I grew up on the golf course and was the captain of my college golf team. Here's my little brother and me at Nationals in 2008:
8. Do you sew?
I got a sewing machine for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!) but haven't attempted anything yet. I'm excited to start though.
9. What's your favorite hobby?
Tie between reading a juicy novel and baking a good batch of cookies
10. Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid.
Summer vacations to Jackson Hole, Wyoming

11. What country do you want to visit and why?
New Zealand. It has a little bit of everything...mountains, plains, subtropical forest, coastline...
12. Goal for blogging?
To stay true to "us". It's easy to get caught up in the numbers and things that ultimately don't matter. We started this blog to share and document our adventures, whether our audience is 20 readers or 2,000.

I'm tagging:
Whitney @ Keeping Up With the Cyperts
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
Whitney @ Black Little Button
Shannon @ Imperfectly Inspired
Katie @ My Darling Days
Maria @ Every Day Is A Country Song
Valerie @ Along the Way with V & J
Tiffany @ All Because Two People Fell In Love
Tara @ The Silver Lining
Bridget @ Flour and Friends
Christine @ Projects Around the House
D @ The Shady Porch

My questions for you ladies:
1. What's your favorite season/time of year?
2. Favorite childhood memory?
3. Read any good books lately? If so, what?
4. Favorite guilty pleasure song?
5. Favorite dessert/sweet?
6. What's your biggest goal for 2012?
7. Favorite sport to watch/play?
8. Ideal way to spend a Saturday?
9. Bath or shower?
10. Favorite state you've visted?
11. Most frequented clothing store?
12. How will you spend Valentine's Day?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Honeymoon: Florence

Hi y'all! I'm back with another Italy recap...part one here. We traveled by train to Florence and spent three days roaming the city. The best I can sum it up:

The train ride itself was magnificent; gorgeous views of the Italian countryside seemed surreal. Without a doubt, the kind of things only dreams are made of. As I read "Under the Tuscan Sun" during the trek, I kept looking out and thinking the words were somehow seeping through the windows and painting a canvas of depiction through the glass. It was perfection. We were charmed the minute we arrived in Florence, easily finding our hotel and grabbing lunch at a quaint cafe on a quiet, yet picturesque, street. Our lovely friend Whitney Cypert (her blog here!) had previously advised us to visit the Ponte Vecchio, a Medieval bridge over the Arno River. Lined with one-of-a-kind jewelry shops and tempting gelato cafes, we found ourselves frequenting the Ponte Vecchio numerous times during our Florence stay. We went on a tour that took us high above the city of Florence to Fiesole, a scenic town in the hills with Etruscan roots, Roman ruins, and breathtaking views of the city. Zach tried to tell me George Clooney's house was on the hillside and got me all excited; I googled it when we got back home and was slightly crushed. He lied. We spent the rest of our time roaming the city, getting lost in the San Lorenzo Market, and eating as much gelato as our stomachs could handle.

train ride beauty
view of the Arno River
a little espresso pick-me-up
taken from the Ponte Vecchio Bridge
We forgot that Pinocchio was Italian!
om nom nom nom.
interesting options...Smarties McFlurry anyone?
Our tour took us high above the city...the views were absolutely breathtaking.
 Michelangelo's childhood home
All geared up for a museum tour....half-way through we realized we aren't "museum people". We bailed. And got gelato instead. When in Rome, right? (or Florence...or Venice....)
If you look closely you'll see the Louis Vuitton sign :)
showing off the new band
 My husband goes to Italy (ITALY!) and orders steak and potatoes. The sign of a true Texan.
 Ready to take the train to Venice!

Sorry for the mass amount of pictures; it was such a wonderful trip and there's so much I want to share. Have a great Saturday friends! Ciao, bella!