Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Take it Personal...

Take a moment to head over to my other blog www.oursolepurpose.blogspot.com and leave a comment with the name (or names) of those that have been effected by breast cancer. Unfortunately, almost all of us have been touched by it in some way. Our own mothers, grandmothers, a friend's mom, a school teacher...

When we walk in the Komen 3-Day, we will be walking for each and every one of them!

Our 2009 Race for the Cure Banner, Austin, TX

Monday, March 30, 2009

When the cat's away...

**Welcome readers from Fingerprints on the Fringe and Shabby Nest! I originally posted this on March 30th the day after I completed this project! Welcome to my recently re-done study!**

Usually when the cat's away the mice will play. In this case, the mice worked their tails off! Dave left bright and early Friday morning for his weekend of testosterone, golf, poker, probably a lot of basketball talk, and overall "guy time". He had been looking forward to this weekend for a while and I was so glad the time had finally come. I had 2 days and 2 nights all to myself! I dreamed of girly movies, a mani-pedi, sleeping in and eating spinach dip and Ritz crackers for a meal and chocolate chip cookies and milk for another meal! Oh the joy....

Imagine my surprise when sometime Friday morning I had a "brilliant" idea to put myself to work the entire weekend. Why not re-do the study? That study has been a burr in my side since we moved in 6 months ago. It is a total modge-podge of furniture from college houses and first apartments. There was a black bookcase, a wooden desk, an old black filing cabinet, a deer head, a white couch and scuffed up yellow walls with so many nail holes it looked like a pin cushion. So, I decided that this would be my super secret project for the weekend. I didn't want Dave to know I was doing it for fear that he might not be too thrilled...and those that know me know that I am a dreamer and a starter. Finishing isn't always my strong suit. This time would be different!! I left work on Friday with high hopes and 15 paint swatches headed for Lowe's. I bought 4 samples of paint in different shades, painter's tape, rollers, painting trays and such and was all set for a night of work and random iPod play lists.

By 10:00pm the room was completely painted!! I woke up early Saturday and headed to Hobby Lobby, Lowe's again, Wal-Mart, IKEA, Hobby Lobby again, Wal-Mart again and finally home. I was in search of mirrors, lamps (floor and table), a rug, curtains, shelves and spray paint. I hung the aforementioned mirror and shelves, and sanded and spray painted the desk black to match the bookcase. It looks 100 times better!! By Saturday afternoon I had the desk moved back in (my dad did come over and help me carry it upstairs!) and all I had left to do was find curtains (which I found at Wal-Mart), hang the remaining pictures and "decorate" the shelves and bookcase.
What was done:
  • Painted the room
  • stripped and painted the desk black
  • new mirror
  • added shelves above the desk
  • hung diplomas
  • new pillows for the couch
  • added curtains
  • I'm still looking for a floor lamp for the right side of the couch and a rug (maybe zebra!)
Check it out!


This is the new paint

The only casualty of war: Rookie is going green!


Notice how much better the desk looks painted black

I put the deer head back up...we do live in Texas.

PS...Dave was SHOCKED and he loves it! What do you think??

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fabulous Find Friday!

I am a simpleton when it comes to jewelry. I always wear my pearl earrings given to me by my husband as a wedding present, my watch given to me by my husband for Christmas one year, my Tiffany bracelet given to me on my 21st birthday by my parents, and 70% of the time the diamond drop necklace given to me by my mom and dad. It was the diamond in my mom's first wedding ring. She has since gone all Beyonce on us and "let me upgrade you!" You go girl!

All that to say, I love jewelry. Accessorizing is fun and can totally take an outfit up a notch. I like to mix things up, I just don't do it often because I'm a creature of habit and a sucker for the sentimental. But when I stumbled upon this website my little heart skipped a beat. I have found Erin Gallagher jewelry and there is no turning back! Her designs are fun and fresh, and she has an online design studio where you can pick your own chain, stones, and chain length to create the perfect accessory to your new fabulous outfit! This would be the perfect bridesmaid gift, a wonderful friend gift, or a little personal "pick-me-up" just for grins! I have picked a few of my favorites, but have fun playing around on her website creating your very own masterpiece.
I LOVE the necklace above with the gold chain and black onyx stone.

Here are some links so you can play:






"The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize." ~ Clairee, Steel Magnolias

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monkey See Monkey Do...

There are very few "sweets" that I won't eat. I LOVE chocolate, I fully enjoy cobblers, I could eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I'm not terribly picky about pies. I will, however, send back anything with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, mulberries....pretty much any kind of berry except for a strawberry. If it's straight up milk chocolate...I'm game.

You can imagine my love affair with Magnolia Bakery. Every time I go to NYC it's a must. And as evident by my latest trip, it's a must the minute our feet hit NYC soil....oooor...pavement. The first night, I got white on white. A Vanilla cupcake with their dreamy Magnolia icing. The second night I got the banana pudding. My sister picks the pudding over the cupcakes in a taste test although it is a tough call.

I've been home an entire 7 days now, and I was going through some serious withdrawals. It's like I just need a piping bag of that icing to take a shot of every once in a while. Thank the Lord for the Internet...a searching I went and what did I find?? I found the recipe for the cupcakes, the icing AND the banana pudding! I tell you what, find a penny pick it up all day long you'll have good luck!

So last night was the moment of truth. I made the banana pudding recipe for my family and it was a huge hit! The only issue is that I made it all in one night and didn't follow the explicit instructions to allow it to "set" for several hours in the refrigerator. In my opinion, it did not interfere with the taste, but I'm sure it firms up and sets a bit better if you allow it the proper time. And just an FYI...this recipe makes quite a bit. 6 people ate on it last night and I gave both my parents and grandparents full to-go containers and we still have some left over.

Recipe from: More From Magnolia

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
4 cups sliced ripe bananas
  1. In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

  2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

  3. To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or up to 8 hours, but no longer! - before serving.

I WILL be making this again. I was even able to give Rookie his pill this morning in 2.5 seconds just by hiding it in a spoonfull of this yummy goodness! It usually takes me about 45 minutes, I try hiding it in EVERYTHING I know to hide it in, he eats the food and manages to spit out the pill, I end up in a full on sweat shoving it down his throat like the good little dog mom that I am. Thank you Magnolia!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Passion...and a new blog!

What really lights your fire? Gets you going? Makes you think? What is something that is so important to you, that you spend time in thought, in prayer, supporting it financially, or spend time on it physically?

I'm going to tell you mine...finding a cure for breast cancer! Seriously...I feel certain it can be done! I'm prayerful that it can be done!

Most of you know that my mom is a survivor! She is 2.5 years cancer free, and that is one of my life's greatest blessings. Many of our friends and family have rallied around us for years in support of a cure. We have had teams of 40+ people walking the Austin Race for the Cure. In the past 4 walks, we have raised over $10K (not including walker registration fees!) for the Susan G. Komen Foundation! WOW!! Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

This year, we are embracing a new challenge. Mom, Kristen, me, and mom's best friend Coleen will be walking 60 miles in the Komen 3-Day. We will be participating in the Dallas/Ft. Worth walk November 6th-8th. We will need to raise $2,300 EACH and train for 28 weeks. We are SO excited about this mental, physical, emotional and financial challenge.

We want to take each of you along with us, so we have started a new blog! www.oursolepurpose.blogspot.com We will chronicle this journey....training to the finish line. I'm sure there will be much laughter along the way (Did you read my blog about our 5 mile walk that ended with a molten chocolate cake at chili's??) as well as challenges. I do hope you will join us along the way!


Me and the reason I'll walk 60 miles...my mom

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hold me Closer Tony Danza...

Billy Joel and Elton John. Face to Face tour 2009...Be still my heart.


Not gonna lie, I have been waiting for this concert for a very long time. I actually didn't think it would ever happen. I grew up on Billy and Elton. Mom is my Elton John lover and dad is the Billy Joel bad boy. As a little girl I remember riding around in dad's tiny Mazda listening to "We Didn't Start the Fire" and rewinding the cassette tape so I could learn all the words. And I did just that! You can imagine my excitement when the two musical geniuses toured together my sophomore year in college. The problem with that is that I had exactly this much money....zero. Do you think I could go hear them play Madison Square Garden when I was eating Ramen? That would have taken a lot of plasma selling and I wasn't willing to go there!

I did, however, often think about what could have been. I have often told friends and family that if there was ONE concert I could go to, it would be EJ and BJ together. I have seen Elton in concert solo and it was phenomenal. But I just wanted to see them on the same stage belting out "Bennie and the Jets" and "Only the Good Die Young". Last November I was on the phone with my uncle, who was coincidentally on his way to see Madonna in concert in Houston, and I made the comment that although Madge probably put on a wonderful show, my heart still ached for the one that got away. He saved the day with the proclamation that they were touring again!! In fact, only 4 days before our fateful conversation, they had announced their plans to tour together and that 2 of their stops would be in my beloved TEXAS!!

You had me at hello!

2 months later at 9:50am I was sitting on the computer hitting refresh until ticket sales were opened at 10:ooam. I was in charge of securing tickets for yours truly, Dave, mom and dad, nana, my uncle Mike, Henry and Bill. DONE AND DONE!
The blessed event took place this past Saturday and I could not be more pleased that my concert dream came true. I'm only sad it's over! Here is a bit of photographic evidence that the event did occur, and I even got a bit of video of "Tiny Dancer" for Taylor and Kristen and "We Didn't Start the Fire" for Courtney! Taylor, Kristen and I always sang "Hold me closer Tony Danza" at the top of our lungs while listening to what is arguably Elton's biggest hit. I have other favorites, but it is certainly a crowd pleaser. And Billy Joel, well, "We Didn't Start the Fire" is sheer genius and I take great pride in the fact that I know every single word.
Thank you Billy and Elton for touring together again to fulfill the concert dreams of an adoring fan!
Mom and I getting hyped.

I've got a golden ticket...

The Music Masters at work

Tiny Dancer

We Didn't Start the Fire

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fabulous Find Friday!

Life is hard work! Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, a full-time worker or both a mom and a full-time worker (God bless you!) Friday's are a wonderful thing! Friday nights come too slow and go by too fast. No matter how you spend your week, whether it's screaming toddlers, screaming bosses or screaming for help, it's time to relax and pamper yourself. One of my favorite methods of relaxation is a bubble bath. Sometimes I even turn out the lights and light candles. I channel my inner diva and pretend I'm Julia Roberts in pretty woman. I mean, I don't pretend I'm a hooker, but I pretend I'm in a huge tub and sing The Artist Formerly Known as Prince songs at the top of my lungs. You get my drift. I've tried a lot of bubble baths and I'm going to share some of my favorite products with you.

For a good bubble bath the temperature of the water is important, the bubble is important, and the smell is intoxicating. I can't help you with water temperature but the other 2 I have covered!

Lollia bubble bath is absolutely wonderful. It bubbles very well! The scent is refreshing, summery and sweet. It is mild, but it soaks into your skin leaving a faint and clean aroma. It is sold at Anthro, but I can't seem to find it online. The link above is where it can be found on Amazon. Of course my favorite scents are Relax, Believe and Breath.

Amazing Grace by Philosophy is another great one. This is a 3-in-1! It is Shampoo, bubble bath and shower gel. I only use it for bubble bath, but that's just because I'm cheap and I don't want to waste it as shampoo! At $30 a bottle I will use my Pert plus shampoo and use my Amazing Grace sparingly. :) This doesn't produce huge, amazing, lathering bubbles, but it produces a decent bubble. The goods are in the scent and the way it leaves your skin feeling soft. Paired with the body lotion this is a great summer scent and will stay on your skin for a good part of the day.

Dream Bath from Bath and Body Works is a great bubble bath. A little dab will do ya as the scent is very strong if you use too much. The good news is, it wears well and leaves a great smell on your skin. I prefer the "Sleep" scent which is a Vanilla Lavender.

**This is a change in subject from the bubble bath, but one of my other FAVORITE pampering products is the Satin Hands from Mary Kay. It is truly wonderful. For those of you doing a DIY Mani-pedi for the spring you have to try this stuff! The Satin hands will cure any dry skin issues and it leaves your skin SO soft. Place your order today and my dear friend Laura Moore will send your products immediately so you have dry skin no more!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wear your red dress & use your good dishes...

Call me crazy, but lately I have been thinking about life quite a bit. I've been trying to soak in just how blessed I am and how truly good I have it even though there are things I would like to change. I would like to lose 20 lbs, have my dream job, not ever worry about money or calories or bad things happening to good people. And while I set goals and have big plans for myself and for my family, I stop and think that I am not promised tomorrow. I'm not promised 5 minutes from now. I can't say I truly grasp that, because I don't. I do know that I have feared losing someone I love more than anything. I have cried for days straight with my mind racing through what that would be like and how on earth I would get through a day if I couldn't hear that voice. I have begged and pleaded with God that I just couldn't handle it, so please don't make me do it. But then, I sat and watched the TV last night while they showed Liam Neeson walking out of a hospital thinking, what I can only imagine, was the same thing. "God, I just can't do this." It was just one more reminder of how precious life is and how I shouldn't waste a moment of it.

As I sit here writing this, I remember a woman that Dave and I saw when we went out to dinner for Valentine's day. We went to a nice dinner, but it was just McCormick and Schmick's. I wore black pants and a top (I'm sure it was a turtleneck although I can't quite remember...). And I remember us sitting at our table and a couple walking in and they were in their mid 40's dressed for something much more grand. Girlfriend had on a purple dress with some strappy business going on, her best heels and a tiny little lipstick purse. I thought to myself, "Good grief, did she think they were going to the prom?" As I look back on it, all I can think at this moment is SHAME ON ME! No, she wasn't going to the prom. She was going on a Valentine's date with her husband! Break out your best dress! Who cares what stupid people like ME think! I'm literally sitting here in tears as I think about my reaction, and decision to criticise her choice of outfit. That beautiful dress was hanging in her closet and what a perfect time to wear it. She was seizing the most of that day, of that time with her husband, of that precious moment she was given. And look at me, while we had a fabulous time, wonderful conversation, and I enjoyed every minute of it, I can't for the life of me remember what I wore.

I have been in love with this song for the past few months. It is not new. In fact, it is a year or two old, but it is so wonderful. And just like 6th grade all over again, the Lord is using Point of Grace to speak to me. :) I heard it this morning as I was pulling into work and I just sat and prayed that my life would be full. That my joy would be complete in the knowledge that I am loved and that I am saved by the grace and goodness of God. Thank you, Jesus. I hope that I don't waste one moment to tell David, my family, my friends just how much I love you. Our days are precious, they are good, they are God breathed, and they are numbered. Let's not waste even one!

Wake up to the sunlight
With your windows open
Don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress
Use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
Have what you want
But want what you have
And don't spend your life lookin' back

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
Cuz it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

So go to the ballgames
And go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children
Dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don't run from the truth
'Cause you can't get away
Just face it and you'll be okay

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

Oh wherever you are and wherever you've been
Now is the time to begin

So give to the needy
And pray for the grieving
Even when you don't think that you can
'Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
Make peace with God and make peace with yourself
'Cause in the end there's nobody else

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
'Cause you won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been

'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities...

The Windy City

The Big Apple (my sister took this pic. Cool huh?)

Cubs vs. Yankees, Sugar Bliss vs. Magnolia, The Bean vs. The Statue of Liberty, The Sears Tower vs. The Empire State Building, Oprah vs. Regis and Kelli (sort of), Pizza vs. more pizza....COLD vs. COLD!

We tried it all, we ate it all and we lived to tell the tale! Girls trip '09 was an absolute blast. I have a ton of pics, so I'll do the week in review with photos. Also, most of the pictures with people were taken with my sister's camera, most of mine are scenery. I'll share when she uploads....although I shouldn't flatter myself with thinking that you actually care, so I will probably just leave it with these!

The Oprah Show! It was a lot of fun, but I'll be honest, Oprah really didn't interact a lot with "the people". Tyra Banks was on and it was the live show about teen dating violence. It was in response to the Chris Brown and Rihanna issue. Oprah pretty much talked to Tyra during the commercials and didn't say much to the audience. It is pretty funny to watch a taping though and see the crew that runs out during commercials to fluff, primp, fix, touch up, hairspray and "fix" Oprah. I'm thinking, she only talked for 5 minutes and her hair needs another spray?? She is Oprah! And yes, she is Oprah, but she cannot walk in heels! Girlfriend did the most abnormal, excruciating walk (5 steps) EVER to her chair. She also admitted she wears a size 11 shoe! I wanted her Manolo's since she clearly couldn't walk in them, but size 11? Maybe I could put a pair of socks in the back...

Yes, we're tourists. I'm not sure why I'm standing so weird.

Sugar Bliss. The strawberry cupcake was to-die-for! I loved that they had the little baby ones. It didn't make me feel so bad when I had TWO!

In these next few shots I think I'm a photographer....indulge me.

I love this one...

Lunch at Minnie's in Lincoln Park. Everything was Mini and it was SO cute! These are our shakes. We laughed SO hard at the thought of my dad and brother eating/drinking here. As Kristen said, "Taylor would look like Buddy the Elf!"

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The parade was in Chicago on Saturday and they dyed the river green.

Our trip to the Navy Pier.

A beautiful church we passed on the way to Bloomingdale's. I'm not sure the name of it, but it was gorgeous!

Arriving in NYC! This was the tag that came out on mom's suitcase! Background: Kristen asked us to bring large suitcases to help her move a few things home. Well, Mom brought this huge, ugly, HEAVY suitcase, but SHE filled it! It was 54 pounds and the American Airlines people were nice enough to only charge her for the 50 lb bag. We were standing in the terminal taking things OUT of her bag and putting it into Nana's bag to make it lighter. When we got to NYC we laughed so hard when her bag came out marked "HEAVY! Please bend at the knees."

If I'm lyin' I'm dyin'. The cab dropped us off on Kristen's street corner at 10:55pm and mom and Nana made a bee-line to Magnolia Bakery before they closed to get our first round of cupcakes NYC style. Kristen and I were left on the corner to guard the bags. Pathetic. We know.

Mom and her Cruella De Ville sweater. We passed a shop that had her twin in the window!

Dennis Rodman's look-a-like skating in Central Park.

The precious Boathouse from 27 Dresses. Or from Central Park, however you associate it. :)

Traveling buddies

The early morning crew waiting standby for Regis and Kelli. We didn't get in, but we got free coffee, bagels, hot chocolate and a Regis and Drew Carey sighting. Not all was lost.

Shrek the musical. Very funny.

A little trip to Coney Island. We all virtually got frost bite, but it was fun!

Everything was closed down, but we had fun walking the pier. I hope someone cleans the area up and really revitalizes CI. It's has major potential.

Dear Mr. Trump,

Since I know you're an avid reader of "Life is Glam and Fab", could you please take pity on Coney Island and make it pretty again?



My life on the D-List: Celebrity sightings....

Sam Champion. Weatherman extraordinaire! He was so cute and very nice. Mom: "Austin, Texas LOVES you!!"

Drew Carey. He was on Regis and Kelli and we saw him going into the studio. Kristen literally RAN to catch up with him and got him to take a photo with us. It's on her camera. :)

Michelle Aguilar. Winner of Biggest Loser Families. I didn't get a pic with her because she was on my plane to Austin yesterday. It was going to be really hard and awkward and I wasn't in the weird-and-awkward-but-worth-it mood.

And finally, as promised, the first thing(s) to touch my lips once I was back on Texas soil. God Bless Texas.