Thursday, April 30, 2009

Adventures in Babysitting...

Babysitting, dog sitting, same difference, right?? I'm currently dog and house sitting for my parent's while they're off frolicking around other Countries. And by other countries I mean dad is frolicking around China and mom is frolicking around New Orleans. Excuse me for a moment while I actually envision my dad frolicking.....

Ok, I'm back. Mom and dad have 2 dogs....the Gyllenhaals. Jake is a 1 year old Havanese and Maggie is an 8 year old lab with a bit of a weight problem. Oops...did I say that out loud? I try not to divulge too many family secrets on here. And you all know that I have a spoiled rotten 4 year old Yorkie on steroids. He is about 14 pounds. Meet the cast: M, J &R
The dogs are great, they are loads of fun and they get along swell. It's always fun and games until somebody gets hurt, which is why I have strict orders to pay attention during meal times. You see, Rookie, being an only dog, nurses his food all day. We put down food in the morning before we leave for work and he has a kibble or 2 during the day, may head over to his bowl for a light snack when we get home, and when we sit down to eat dinner he eats his dinner. He's a bizarre little dog, but clearly family oriented! Jake wants what you have. So when I put food in each bowl he tries to eat out of anyone's other than his own. And Maggie, well, she gobbles down her food at lightening speed and then if Jake isn't careful he'll find there is nothing left in his bowl once he is done pestering Rookie. It's good times. Rookie is also a complete turd when it comes to chew bones. He is like the little bully and goes around gathering the chew bones and holding them hostage. I have no idea how the smallest dog of the bunch manages to come away with all the goods. Not to mention, he ALWAYS gets Maggie's. She's just too nice.
This all leads me to doggie dinner time last night.....I look over and in Rookie's bowl, which he is guarding like Sasha Fierce, he he has Maggie's huge chew. Maggie and Jake were BOTH sitting right in front of him watching him eat. Jake because he wanted to eat out of Rookie's bowl and Maggie because she wanted her freaking bone back. He's a little diva.

We also have quite a time at bed time. You see, Maggie and Jake sleep in the bed with my mom and dad. Yes, Jake and all 65 pounds of Maggie laying on the feather bed and goose-down comforter....why not? Dave came in to go to bed and I was sitting there watching TV with all of the dogs laying by me. He let out an immediate, "Are you kidding me??" No, I wasn't kidding him. I would have liked to see him try to get Maggie to sleep on the floor.

One big happy family!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Picture Perfect....

I'm nothing if not a memory maker! I was the t-shirt chair my junior year for my sorority. My mom used to make so much fun of all of our t-shirts and say we would make one to commemorate going to the bathroom if we had only thought of it. She's a funny one my mom.

But the reality is, I like documentation. I keep this blog for fun, but also because it allows me to write about my life. I keep ticket stubs and play bills, cards and kind notes, and I have huge box full of superbly folded notes saying things like, "Hey girl! Wuz up?? I just wanted to

you a few lines to say hi!" It basically summarizes junior high. I'm also a picture taker. I come by it honestly as my mom single handedly keeps Kodak in business. She was always there to capture the truly terrible fashion moments of 6-12 grade (1st-5th you can get away with it on the account of being a child), the Friday night football games, the choir performances, the summer camps and the sibling pictures where we had to dress in denim and put our toes in the water.'s most precious moments. But truthfully, I enjoy that I can look back on my life in photographs and laugh, cry, point fingers and place blame for things such as scrunchies and Mia sandals, and truly appreciate life and the invention of the Chi.

It is for this very reason that I am ready for a new camera. I'm ready for an upgrade and once I get my new, fine piece of machinery I am going to take some photography classes. Now I need your help in spending my money. What on earth should I get??? Although I enjoy taking pictures, I am a complete novice. I currently have a point and shoot Canon Powershot that I have had for 3 years with a tiny display screen and a sorry excuse for a zoom. I have read several blogs where the photography is amazing. The color is phenomenal and there are no movement issues and the zoom is wonderful. So, if any of you reading this know a thing or 2, please spread your wealth of knowledge! Here are the things I am looking for:
  • Decent size display screen
  • Good zoom
  • Quality photographs
  • great color
  • features that allow me to take pictures where the image in the forefront is the main image and it can be blurred in the background (I'm sure there is a technical term for this that I don't know!)

What other features should I be looking for? And does a Mac make a huge difference in quality photography? Is it more about the camera, or are there programs and software that really give photos the vivid colors? Here are a couple of cameras I have found in my search. They seem to have gotten very good reviews. They are middle of the road cameras in price. Until I really learn and get into photography I am not going to be willing to spend $1,000 on a camera. Do any of you have either of these cameras or have a strong opinion either way about them? Is there a better camera out there that I haven't found yet? Anything you can share would be appreciated!

This is the Canon Powershot SX10-IS (click the link for product info)

This is the Nikon CoolPics P80

"You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." ~Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Can I have a sip of your soda for sustenance??"

Rainy Monday afternoon pick-me-up....


How crazy is facebook?? I mean, really! It's fabulous because you can keep in touch with people that you wouldn't otherwise have any contact with, but at the same token, it's a little bit stalker-ish. Anytime someone comments on someone else's page we know what they said, when it's someones birthday, we know, they break up, we know, they get divorced, we's so invasive! And I.LOVE.IT.

I love facebook because I can see people's pictures, I can read their status updates, I find out when people are married, I find out when people are pregnant. I love it. I also find that it makes me more nosey. People I haven't talked to since college will post something as a status message and leave it very open ended. Immediately I want to know more. Why are they happy? Why are they sad? What good news did they just call their parent's and spill?? Are they pregnant? Engaged? Did they get a new job?? I realize I haven't talked to you in 7 years, but don't leave me hangin'!! I'm now completely curious about your life and your secret good news.

Another thing about facebook....if you're married, please put your maiden name in there somewhere. I get these friend requests from high school people and it's literally been 10 years. My parent's moved 2 weeks after I graduated. I have not been back to my high school hometown. I have no idea who married who. I didn't see the announcements in the local newspaper and I have had no family in town to give me the gossip. The new last names mean nothing to me and it's hard to put a 1/2 inch photo of you in your Halloween costume with just your first name. I mean, really. Thank goodness FB does that thing where you can see what friends you have in common. Dave got a friend request the other day from a girl and she wasn't ringing any bells! (Or so he said! :) He asked if I knew her thinking it could be a friend of mine. She wasn't ringing any of my bells either, so I looked up their mutual friends. Their mutual friends were all friends of his from high school, so I informed him that she was also from NB and he went ahead and accepted her. Thank goodness for mutual friend recognition or that might have been an awkward run-in at his 10-year reunion in the fall! No one wants to be rejected on FB!

I do love the conversations with my friends though. We'll be sitting around talking about some old, random event and someone will say, "Oh my gosh, that was so fun. Has anyone talked to ____ _____ since college? I wonder how she's doing?!" And it's usually followed with, "Yeah, she lives in Houston, has 2 kids, 3 dogs, is married to a Marine and owns her own stationary store." "Really?? That's great! Have you talked to her??" "No, but I saw it on facebook."

That explains it. It really does.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fabulous Find Friday!

Or Saturday...but who's counting?? Oh, you are? Well, I'm so sorry, but I was traveling for work this week and my Internet connection was AWFUL! It kicked me off every 5 minutes and I couldn't even get a connection on Friday. Didn't they know I had fashion advice to share? Didn't they know Jessica Simpson has now added swimwear to her line and I need to share her designs with you?? Apparently, the Internet connection did not know that, or it simply didn't care. Alas, I am now home and able to sit in the comfort of my home and look up pictures of skinny, and by skinny I mean almost non-existent models sporting Jessica's bikini line. Can someone please order some Krispi Creme donuts, a dozen quarter pounders, biggie size those fries and a couple of route 44 regular cokes and Fed-Ex it to this modeling agency STAT! Thanks, and Gig'em.

Now, I literally shutter at the though of swimsuit season. I, unlike the models, have done my fair share of keeping my body fed. While I won't look like Miss California in that white Jessica Simpson bikini with the adorable silver detail, I would look something like Carni Wilson. No offense to you, Carni. I love your music, but no one would ever really refer to us as "tiny".

Miss California in the Miss USA Pageant swimsuit competition
Photo Credit: Eric Jamison/AP

Without further ado, I give you Jessica's designs for the season. And, let's give the models a break here, ok? Yes the sunglasses looks SILLY and they are wearing things such as belts and long hanging necklaces.

All images: Mark Mainz/Getty Images and can be seen here

I don't know about you, but I wear my swimsuit to SWIM. Imagine the thought? I don't put it on and walk around Malibu, so I don't usually need a belt to accessorize. I guess it's what you do on the runway. I never made it past the Dillard's runway show when I was 8. And I think they only asked me because they really wanted my sister who was 5 and ADORABLE at the time. They didn't want to hurt my feelings so they gave me an outfit too. It was pretty fun.

All kidding aside, I love all of these except for the leopard print one. That was just thrown in there for fun and so you could see that they really did make the model wear a belt to accessorize a swimsuit. I love both of the navy suits with the gold accents and I think that navy and white one is completely adorable if you can pull off the horizontal stripes. You can see the entire collection here! Yay for Spring and Summer!! And yay for weekends!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can I get that on the side??

So I might just be a tad bit picky. I don't like onions, I don't like tomatoes, don't even THINK about mayonnaise! I'm a huge fan of cheese pizza, cheese burgers, cheese enchiladas, queso and grilled cheese sandwiches. Wow....notice a theme? I also really like salads. See how healthy I am?? The thing is, I am leaps and bounds beyond what I used to be when it comes to a picky eater. College changed my life.

When I was a wide-eyed freshman at Texas A&M in the fall of '99 (Whoop) I was a regular at Chick-Fil-A and Double Dave's Pizza in the "Common Denominator". I alternated between a grilled chicken sandwich and pizza rolls for the majority of my meals. I would occasionally get corn, chicken fingers, or a grilled cheese sandwich in the cafeteria, but that was not often. And by not often, I mean virtually never. I didn't even have a meal plan because my parent's knew I would never eat in the cafeteria. I had grown up in my own little world of simple, cheesy foods, and the "cafeteria" didn't exactly make my list of acceptable eateries. It didn't take long before my body decided It was not going to function on pizza and corn and I had a bit of an episode. I got home from the rec one day and I was getting ready to get in the shower and everything went dark. I passed smooth out! I was on the phone with my mom telling her how weird I felt and then...boom! I hit the deck. She freaked out, I freaked out, and I really had no one to call. I had met one person, and that one person was a he. I had to call him, explain my current predicament, attempt to not pass out again, and get him to take me to the hospital. Blood tests and pregnancy tests later (I told them I could very well promise them I was not pregnant, but they didn't believe me. I told them only one other mother had produced such a birth and I was darn well sure I had not been visited by the angels and was not having an immaculate conception!) I was pronounced not pregnant and they had no idea what was wrong with me. They figured it might have a little something to do with my popcorn, bread and cheese diet, so they discharged me with a stern recommendation to vary my diet and introduce a few more nutrients.

Not one year later, I was living in the Pi Phi house and we had dinner together family style every night. At that point, there aren't many choices. You take it, or leave it. Period. The first night they put a bowl of peas out on the table I thought I was going to fall over! Meredith filled her bowl up, added a bit of butter and pepper and she went to town. I thought peas were only a myth. I figured they were something only found in children's books meant for dinner time torture. At her urging I gave it a try. Oh my gosh. I liked peas. Next came asparagus, broccoli, mixed vegetables, feta cheese, and I even starting eating walnuts and pistachios.

I now think I am way ahead of the curve. I don't order my steaks well done anymore, I enjoy a thin line of pink, I drink tea, I eat salads with strawberries, nuts, cheeses that aren't just cheddar, and I enjoy an array of vegetables. I still LOVE a Sonic wacky-pack with a grilled cheese and tater tots, but I also look forward to pushing the envelop and trying something new. If you had asked me 2 years ago if I would have eaten a strawberry-turkey panini I might have thrown up a bit in my mouth. First of all, I hated turkey and secondly, I had never even heard of brie. Go me!

That brings me to the real reason for the post....I am traveling for work right now, which means I eat meals with co-workers. My boss never misses a chance to make fun of me for cutting this and that and asking for items on the side. I can't help it! It's a part of my anatomy! I ordered a cobb salad yesterday for lunch and asked for chicken instead of beef, no onions, no tomatoes and the dressing on the side. Is that SO strange? Is that super picky? I think not. It came with much ridicule, but It tasted perfect!! :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just call me Martha Crocker...

One of my self-imposed duties as a wife is planning out or menu for the week. Kind of like my TV line-up, I plan out what we will have each night and go to the store each Sunday to get the necessary items for the week. Monday: Dancing with the Stars and Tacos, Tuesday: The Biggest Loser and...PIZZA! Usually it's pretty basic. We've eaten our weight in tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers, grilled chicken, etc. Sometimes it's hard to shake things up and not have the same old same old. I got my new Southern Living last week and I found a recipe that sounded a little bit crazy and pretty dang good. I figured we might as well give it a whirl. Boys and girls, it was SO good! It was insanely easy and I think we'll have it again very soon! It is called a strawberry-turkey panini, and before you freak out and diss the combination of flavors, roll with me. I never dreamed that strawberries, red pepper jelly, brie, turkey and basil would work together in harmony, but it so did.
Southern Living, April 2009
1 (8-oz.) Brie round
Italian bread slices (I used sourdough)
thinly sliced smoked turkey
fresh basil leaves
sliced fresh strawberries
red pepper jelly
2 tablespoons butter, melted (to brush on the bread before grilling)
**As far as how much of each ingredient, it just depends on how many sandwiches you are making.

1. Remove the rind from the Brie. Cut Brie into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Layer each sandwich with turkey, basil leaves, strawberries, and Brie.

2. Spread 1 1/2 tsp. pepper jelly on 1 side of the remaining slice of bread and top your sandwich

3. Cook sandwiches, in a preheated panini press 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.

The finished product! (You'll notice a half eaten was so good I decided to take a picture and share it with you!)

In other news, my formal invitation to the DHS Class of '99 10 year reunion came in the mail yesterday. Holy cow. I've known we're getting old. I graduated in 1999...I've done the math, but seeing the date made it real. I opened it quickly and smiled slightly as I read where all the events would take place. It's funny for me to think of going back to the Duncan Elks Golf and Country Club and taking a tour of my old High School. My parent's moved a week after I graduated and I've only been back one time for my dear friend Ashley's wedding 3 winter's ago. SO, I guess I only have until the end of July to drop 10 lbs and find a cute outfit! :)

Getting the mail was really fun yesterday, because along with the reunion info, I got a key....the key meant a PACKAGE!! I got a package from my friend Lindsay and look what was in it!!

An adorable swimsuit and 2 pair of flip flops for the girls of cottage 4!! THANK YOU!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

One man's trash is another man's treasure.....

Ahhh Saturday mornings. You work all week for Saturday....oh the joy of sleeping in and waking up with a cup of coffee. Not this weekend. Not this girl. Mom's neighborhood was having their annual "neighborhood garage sale" and we were bound to find some deals. There is usually great furniture and Kristen sold everything in NYC, so she needs to outfit an entire room. I, however, was looking for a patio set, an over sized chair (cute, steal of a price, gently used, non-smoker's home, no that being too picky???) and anything else that caught my eye. I decided to spend the night at my parent's house so Kristen and I could chat and giggle into the night and then we would just wake up and hit the streets.

At 6:20am the alarm went off and we completely regretted our decision. Well, I completely regretted the decision. Mom had already made blueberry muffins and Kristen was armed and ready. We knew we had to be out early to beat the crowds. The furniture always goes first and some people think garage sale-ing is a sport. We headed out and at our very first house mom ran into her old garage sale nemesis. Apparently, the last time the Woodglen garage sale was going on it was a gorgeous Saturday morning and little miss thing thought she would follow mom around stealing things from right under her nose. Mom was looking at 2 chairs for David and I's new home (at that time) and she asked how much the chairs were to the man selling them. The man gave the price and before mom could say anything, the lady said, "I'll take them!!" WHAT?? Who does that? Then, a few houses later, the same thing happened with another item. I don't think home girl knew who she was dealing with. Well, apparently she did because mom didn't say one single word. Good thing I wasn't there.....I might have needed to chant WWJD?? over and over. My blood pressure rises just thinking about it. We left that house and quickly lost visor lady in our garage sale dust to avoid any future run-ins with the rally kill.

We had a fun time together but we didn't find any items we were looking for. I am proud to report that we didn't come home empty handed though. Just so my head wouldn't spin thinking that we spent hours and hours looking at complete junk, mom and Kristen made a few totally necessary purchases. And by totally necessary I mean totally UNnecessary. We are now the proud owners of a starfish, 2 gun-cases, a silver punch bowl (never opened...yay mom), a silk plant, 2 Nike watches (never worn. I'm still confused as to why that couple had 30 Nike watches WITH the tags on them......?????), a pair of camo baby bloomers with the tags (There are no just buys these things) and the deal of the day was Kristen's 2 vintage belts totalling $.50.

Showin' off their loot

My proof that we were walking out the door before 7am...

Saturday was virtually too much to try to live up to, but we gave it a whirl on Sunday. We visited Promiseland West church because Ron Hall and Denver Moore were in town to speak!! In case you have never heard of them, they wrote the book Same Kind of Different as Me. If you haven't read it, RUN to the nearest book store and get it. It.Will.Change.Your.Life.

It was a pleasure to hear them speak. We waited to have them sign our books and get a quick picture and mom told them, "We would love a picture with you both. We're going to put it on our blog!" I'm sure they felt VERY important to know that they would be going on a blog with such vast readership. It's not quite the Oprah show, but I'm sure they were totally jazzed that approximately 15 people would now have access to their story!

Denver posing for a picture

Ron Hall, mom, me, Denver Moore and Kristen

We finished off the day with a little Texas vs. ou baseball. It was a GORGEOUS day at the ballpark and Texas completed the sweep with an 8-5 victory. In all, it was a pretty great weekend....I only have to work 5 more days to get to another one....

How was YOUR weekend??

"This guy doesn't have a very good batting average. (30 seconds I stare at her....) OH, WAIT, that's his weight!" ~ Kristen

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fabulous Find Friday!

Let's get you dressed! Spring and Summer boast cute but casual outfits that can easily serve dual purposes. Church, work, a night out with the hubs or the girls, happy hour after work or even a trip to the store. I've seen many a cute things from store to store and I will share a few of my favorite finds thus-far.

I actually love this entire outfit. I would probably even go bold and get the skirt in orange. I always like having a lightweight cardigan in the Summer because it's warm outside, but indoors, places like to turn up the AC. I think this outfit is flirty, fun and super cute.

These next two can almost go hand-in-hand. They are adorable ruffle top camis that can be dressed down with a pair of shorts or paired with white pants an great heels for a wedding. You can find the ruffle top cami here and the blue silk cami here.

This shift dress from Banana Republic is perfect for a no fuss outfit. It's lightweight, no wrinkles, grab-and-go type of outfit. BR is offering 20% off orders of $100 or more now through 4/19. Just use the code BRSPRING when checking out online!

I am in serious need of this dress. I might even forfeit the Target dresses because this is so darn cute. I love that it is airy and those roses at the top had me at hello. Francesca's has all of their summer dresses at 20% off. They have some really cute ones, but are very limited in their sizes, so check them out.

And if black and white is your gig, this strapless dress is perfect for you. It is sassy and classy. And I'm sitting in a box with a fox wearing socks....I think I'm done.

Happy Friday everyone! And take a moment to click over to Today's Housewife. Yours truly just might have been their guest blogger for today!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

If you are my husband, you can stop reading....

And if you are my husband and you choose to keep reading, just know my co-worker is to blame for the following events.

Yesterday, my sweet, but completely responsible co-worker gave me money for the swimsuit mission I'm currently on. I had a meeting at 6:00pm and I had about 45 minutes to spare between leaving work and heading to the church. What better way to spend 45 minutes than at Target? I walked into an unfamiliar Target since it is not my area of town. You know how each Target is laid out differently, and when it's "your" Target you can run in, get what you need because you know where it is and run out. Well, this was uncharted territory, so when I walked in the first thing in front of me was a huge section of summer bags and accessories. My initial reason for looking through this section was to browse the beach bags for Cottage 4, but my eyes were quickly diverted to the adorable Hobo Handbag look-alike calling my name. I picked it up and we had instant chemistry. It was like that pale pink purse was made just for me and my future summer outfits. Not 2 steps later I stumbled across an off white bag that was just as cute as can be. Turn the tag over....clearance. I suddenly felt like Elle Woods as "It's the Perfect Da-ay" filled my head. I was almost shocked with my good purse fortune and suddenly felt the need to run as fast I could out of the accessories section before anything else jumped into my basket.

Across the aisle from the accessories was the women's section. I had only been in the store for 3 minutes, so I still had time to spare. I thought I would just breeze through the women's section and make my way to the children's swimsuits. Gosh Target has some cute new arrivals for Spring. I found a pair of walking shorts that I am in love with and I found 2 dresses....well, one dress, 2 colors....that I think I need. I did demonstrate self control by putting the cute dress back on the rack and telling myself that I could "distribute" my purchases and save the dress for a future shopping trip. I suddenly realized that the good birdy and bad birdy really do exist because the bad birdy was saying things like, "You know how Target is! You'll see that cute dress and TODAY they have it in your size. And you know if you wait that they most certainly WILL NOT have your size when you come back to get it!" I actually agree with the bad birdy which is why I am getting sad right now, but I did leave without the dress(es).

I finally made it to the reason I was there.....the children's swimsuit section. I had fun choosing a black, pink and white one piece swimsuit for a cute little girl to enjoy this summer. I found some flip flops that will match perfectly and I can't wait until we can give these girls their goodies!

So thanks a lot, Esmer. Thank you for sponsoring a child. Now you're going to have to sponsor ME!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day....

Here are some great ways to spend your fabulous tax return, or ways to save if you had to! I'm going to hook you up with breakfast, lunch, dinner AND Dessert....

Until 8:00pm today Cinnabon is giving away free bites at participating mall store locations. And while you're there Macy's sale starts today (shock-shock) and they have some really cute sandals right now! Take some friends because if you buy 2 pair you get 20% off and if you buy 3 pair you get 25% off!

Back to the food....

After all that shopping, you will have worked off your Cinnabon and you'll need a place for lunch. All of the T.G.I. Fridays corporate locations are offering tax day deals. Today only, you can get a $5 Bonus Bites card when you spend $15 to $25 dollars. You get a $10 Bonus Bites Card when you spend $25 dollars or more. Make sure you call the restaurant and check to see if the location is a corporate run restaurant so you get your deals!

If you have a craving for Chinese food P.F. Chang's is giving all customers 15% off their bill today!

For those that got a return and are living high on the hog, McCormick and Schmick's is also offering Tax Relief Day promotion. Select menu items will cost you $10.40, and you will also receive a $10.40 tax relief dinner certificate for a future visit!

Head out to P.F. Chang's or McCormich and Schmick's with your hubby and leave the kids at home with a sitter and some pizza! Papa John's is offering a large pizza with three toppings for only $10.40 today. You have to order online, and you'll see the link in the bottom left hand corner of the homepage. And if Pizza Hut is your family's fave, they are offering their Panormous pizza for just $10.

My favorite part of any meal is the dessert portion! All day today, Maggie Moos is giving away a free single scoop of ice cream! It's their "e-CONE-omic" stimulus package...Aren't they clever?

Happy Tax day! If you're getting a return, what are you spending your money on? Besides these great food deals of course! Anything fun and exciting??

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Citizen's Arrest....

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can not, and will not offer a valid reason why you would wear such a thing. There is no excuse for embarrassing your kids and exposing those around you to such a fashion crime. You are not the victim here. And if in fact you are married, your wife is also fully at fault for letting you get away with such a thing, and she will be charged with being an accessory to the crime. You will have the right to an attorney should anyone choose to defend you.

And for sobbing out loud, let's NOT let this happen again.

Speaking of fashion crimes...Anyone remember this guy from last year?? I guess baseball just brings 'em out of the woodworks....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Let them eat cake...

By now you've all heard that I found the Magnolia recipe for banana pudding. The good news is, I also found the recipe for their cupcakes and buttercream icing! Dave and I had my parents and grandparents over for dinner on Saturday night and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out the new recipe!

I pretty much spent hours on Friday night making these delicious treats. Next time, I don't think it will take me quite so long. There was a learning curve, but the end result was wonderful!
All of my co-workers are enjoying the fruits of my labor because I brought the leftover cupcakes to share. The alternative is ME eating every last one had I left them at home. My hips and thighs do NOT need that! I hope you all enjoy would be pretty hard not to!!

Recipe from: More From Magnolia

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. **I would say slightly less than 3/4 full, but it depends on how much you want it to spill over/how big you want your muffin tops. These cupcakes rise a lot. I filled the cups less than 3/4 full for my 2nd and 3rd batch and I liked the size better.
  5. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. At the bakery we ice the cupcakes with either Vanilla Buttercream or Chocolate Buttercream.

Magnolia's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Recipe from: More From Magnolia
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. **I only used about 6.5 cups of the sugar at first and started to ice the cupcakes. It was NOT thick enough. I ended up adding all 8 cups and it was the perfect thickness.

All set for the icing portion of the program...

They're all iced and ready to be eaten! You'll notice the pink icing was the color chosen to be iced first. This is when I realized it really wasn't thick enough, so I added more powdered sugar to the yellow and the green. They set much nicer.

Here they are in my cake dish. Aren't they so pretty!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fabulous Find Friday!

Happy Good Friday!! I hope you have the luxury of reading this from home and not from work today (sorry sister!), but if you have the misfortune of having to work, at least you're currently slacking off and reading this, right??

I'm switching things up a little bit today, and instead of finding fabulous things for ourselves, I found a few fabulous things that will really make a difference for a child! The Texas Baptist Children's Home is located in Round Rock, TX and cares for children of all ages. They always have needs for clothes, food, bedding, etc, and with the Summer months approaching, a new season is upon us and new items are needed. We have a FUN opportunity to outfit Cottage 4, which houses 8 girls ages 6-10, with SUMMER FUN items! I have already enlisted a ton of my girlfriends, and now I am reaching out to you. These precious girls are in need of swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, beach bags, ANYTHING you would need for an outing at the pool! Texas summers are H-O-T and pool time is just the answer! If it touches your heart, help us reach out to these girls in love.

Only one request was given to me by the volunteer coordinator, and that was for either one-piece swimsuits, or the tankini swimsuits. And, if you would prefer to send a gift card, you can send it to me and let me know if you would like for me to shop for you, or if you would like to send it straight to The Texas Baptist Children's Home and mark if for Cottage 4 Swimsuit Spree and they will go shopping for the child. As I said, the ages range from 6-10 and I have not been told sizes yet. However, I do know that anything you provide WILL BE USED! They have children of all shapes and sizes!!

So, without further ado, I found some CUTE things that these girls would just be thrilled to have!

I found these cute swimsuits at Target , but it wouldn't let me save pictures. They are only $12.99! And these beach towels, adorable! They range in price from $9.99-14.99. There are princess ones, polka dot ones, striped ones....they will LOVE IT! And look at these cutie-patootie swimsuits from Old Navy! They also have beach bags and towels for great prices. And look at these little sunglasses for $6.50.
These little girls will be the hit of the swimming pool! Thank you in advance for thinking of these girls and for considering making a difference! There will be a group of us that will deliver these items, and they will most certainly know that they are loved by many! If you have any questions please let me know, and you can e-mail me at and I will let you know how you can get these items to me if you would like to participate.

Thank you in advance for your giving hearts!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Dig it...

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad....I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad....

Here are a few of my favorite things currently: (I kind of feel like Oprah right now! Except you aren't magically getting ANY of these things, you don't really care what my favorite things are, and no one is screaming/fainting/crying/passing out because of this HUGE reveal. Nonetheless, I will begin.)
  1. It's SPRING!! 85-95 degree days are here!
  2. It's baseball season
  3. Cherries in the Snow, You're a Pisa Work and Cajun Shrimp toenail polish
  4. Easter Bunnies and seeing the little girls in their fancy Easter dresses and patent leather shoes
  5. The reason for Easter: Celebrating Jesus as a risen Savior!
  6. Monday night TV: DWTS and The Hills
  7. The Duel starting again on MTV (I just love these challenge shows...such trash, but it sucks me in)
  8. Sno Cone season
  9. Grilling out and eating outside
  10. My new found favorite: Magnolia Banana Pudding
  11. Black Mango iced tea
  12. MY SISTER IS MOVING BACK TO TEXAS!!!!!! If any of you live in the Dallas (or Austin) area and are looking to hire a darling, hard working, smart as a whip, former (well, former after tomorrow) advertising assistant at O, The Oprah Magazine let me know. I can hook you up!
  13. Coconut Lime candles from Wal-Mart (Remember the $3.00 Mainstay ones I told you about?? They have a new summer scent.
  14. Sonoma chicken salad from Whole Foods. Special thanks to my MIL for introducing this to me
  15. Planning fun weekends with friends involving the outdoors, grilling out, golf for the guys and poolside gossip for the girls! CAN.NOT.WAIT.
  16. I'm loving these flip flops although I would NEVER pay that price for them. They're cute, but not THAT cute.

"It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain

PS...I've gotten a few e-mails asking what I do and what I like, etc. I have answered a bit of what I like in this post. As for what I do, I am a meeting planner for a non-profit association. I plan our annual conference, board meetings, and many other events and meetings throughout the year. If you have any questions for me, or would like to nominate something for a Fabulous Find Friday, OR, if you are looking for a certain something and would like my help in finding it e-mail me at: . I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some girls have all the luck...

At one time in my life I was a gymnast. Yes, it's true. I was under 4'5" and under 100lbs and could flip and flop and throw my weight around the balance beam and parallel bars. I, like every other young girl in the 1980's, LOVED Mary Lou Retton. I wanted to be her. As I did handstands in the living room I watched her in her 1984 Olympic glory and I knew I would be just like her standing on that podium, excepting my gold medal and singing the National Anthem with tears rolling down my face.

One of the greatest days EVER was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My dad got home from work and called me into the living room. He handed me a book with Mary Lou on the cover. It was her autobiography, and inside the front cover was her autograph and a message to ME! Not only had Mary Lou Retton signed my book, but so had her coach, Bela Karolyi. Dad heard they were doing a book signing at a local book store and he went after work and stood in line to get me that book. How sweet was that?

Well, my years passed and unlike a true gymnastic prodigy, I actually grew. Once I got over 75 lbs and 4'6" I knew my dreams of balance beam excellence were long gone. And now, at 28, I still LOVE to watch the gymnasts during the Olympics. The competition is fierce. Those dang Russians and Chinese always give us a run for the money. But in the 2008 Olympics we had little Shawn Johnson to cheer for. At 16 years old she was so spunky and happy and represented our country so well. She was an all-star and gave me...I mean, all the little girls out there someone to look up to. What a wonderful role model!

Photo courtesy of Google Images

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Not only did she become who I always wanted to be by winning Olympic gold but now she's just showing off. Because the second thing I secretly want to be is on Dancing With the Stars. Can you send Life is Glam and Fab to all of your friends and maybe I can become a "star" blogger and then I can be on DWTS??? Last night she was phenomenal!! I felt like a proud mom watching her as she twirled and looked like what I imagine Ginger Rogers looked like. Luckily I was home alone so Dave couldn't make fun of me, but I found myself clapping and slightly teary eyed at the end of her routine.

Photo courtesy of Access Hollywood

I want to be Shawn Johnson when I grow up. And If I ever get on DWTS, I think the Cha-Cha will be my best dance. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quote of the Day...

"Who wants a sno-cone?? I'm buying!!"
~ One of the little boys sitting behind mom at the baseball game

It was totally adorable, and you've never seen hands fly in the air so quickly! Where do kids come up with these things? Mom raised her hand, but she turned up sno-cone-less. Go figure.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fabulous Find Friday!

I am in a wonderful mood today for three reasons:

  1. It's Friday. Period.
  2. I get to see this person this weekend
  3. I found some super cute and hopefully easy projects to bring Spring and Easter to my home! I hope you have fun with it too!

First of all, I have been looking for a plate like this for 3 years!

I saw one at a friend's house when we were there for a shower and it had the cutest saying on it. Since then, every time I have gone to her house I have had plate envy and always noticed what she has written on it. It's usually a verse, or a fun message to her hubby, or a "Happy Birthday" memo. I have looked everywhere, and although Southern Living used to sell it, they no longer carry it. Bummer dude. But the other day, after a bit of searching I found one! The Write Plate carries several versions of the plate! You can get one in a square plate, or an oval plate, or a platter...whatever your little heart desires! You can change the bow to match your home or even switch it out for different holidays. I'm so excited to finally be getting one of these!

When I get my plate I'll write something cheesy like "Hoppy Easter"....oh the possibilities!

I'm thinking I could set one of these fabulous candles right next to my plate. Are they not the cutest? None other than super crafty Martha came up with the idea for these grass candles . They look pretty easy, so maybe even I can do it!

And finally, Marty has outdone herself again! If the Christmas card tree wasn't enough, we now have the Easter egg tree to get excited about! My Christmas card tree brought me 3 good weeks of excitement and a table centerpiece. I'm looking forward to trying this one out!
Have a great weekend! Your home will be looking Springy and ready for Easter in a "hop", skip and a jump!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's like I don't even know me anymore...

My friends will be so proud of me.....I've washed my face the last FOUR nights

Hi, I'm Tiffany and I'm not a face washer. There. I said it. Never have been. My Nana is a habitual face washer and my mom broke the cycle. My mom has beautiful skin. Go figure. Growing up I was told to shower, brush my teeth, make my bed, buckle my seat belt, chew with my mouth closed, say yes ma'am and no ma'am and to not run with scissors....washing my face before bed never made the list.

I got to college and I was the 8th wonder of the world in the Pi Phi House. You would have thought I didn't shave my armpits or something. I got lectures about how bad that is for my skin, how it should be a daily routine, how It was killing me softly. But who else had the luxury of waking up 10 minutes before class, brushing their teeth and going to an 8:00am lecture with that get-up-and-go attitude and looking like I just re-applied!!?? Can I get an amen for long lasting mascara??

Well my friends, I have turned over a new face-washing leaf. I broke out last week in my chin area and it was not pretty! I figured that I would try that new Clean & Clear product they have been pushing with cheesy commercials about teenagers on the subway applying the clear gel when they feel a little bump coming. Being the marketer's dream that I am, I figured this was just the thing for me. Being able to pull it out of my purse and put it on my blemish and make it disappear just like it does in the commercial!! WOW!

I went to Walgreen's and purchased this most life changing product and read the directions: Thoroughly cleanse face, dry face and place a thin layer on affected area.

Cleanse Face. UGH. The reason I dislike washing my face is because the water gets everywhere. It runs all down my arms, gets my t-shirt wet, gets my hair wet, smears my mascara and that takes ANOTHER product to remove. It's just a hassle. But, as a law abiding citizen and one who follows close directions, I obliged. I washed my face (with the face wash that I have had for 2 years and the bottle was still full...), put on my new "miracle" product, I brushed my teeth and I went to bed. I have kept this routine for 4 days now and I feel like a new woman! Go me!! My blemishes are now gone, but I don't know what to attribute this to. Is it the face washing? Is the other product really a miracle? Or is it just that the blemishes ran their course and are now gone. I guess we'll just never know!

And for anyone reading this who has ever been my roommate...aren't you proud of me?? It's the new T-Rog! I'm re-doing my study and washing my face....WHO AM I and what on earth is next????