Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. In honor of turkey-day, here are 15 things I am thankful for:

1. My terrific husband. No one could ever love me like he does.

2. Riley -- the cutest and sweetest dog in the whole world (who is snuggled right next to me).

3. Our great home. I can't believe we've already lived here for 2 years.

4. My mom. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful mom. (This is our first Thanksgiving apart!)

5. My job. Even though I wish it wasn't so crazy sometimes, I really do love what I do and being challenged each day.

6. My great friends who keep me sane.

And some less "serious" ones:

7. Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.

8. Taylor Swift's album, Fearless. It has been on repeat in my car for weeks now.

9. Starbuck's tall non-fat no whip 1 pump gingerbread latte.

10. I have been so inspired by the pictures on the site.

11. Ann Taylor's most recent coupon code. Enter the code "turkey" between now and Friday and get 40% off your entire order!

12. Butternut hot chocolate. (I can never find it in the store, but we have it at work.)

13. There is no better time waster!

14. The cheap bar menu at Mockingbird Bistro.

15. Elastic waist pants. I am sure I will be needing them tomorrow. And on that note . . .

I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I need a vacation.

I meticulously worked on a grocery list over the course of the past 2 nights. I even went so far as to type it up and sort the items by aisle (rather than the usual haphazard list on the back of an envelope or other piece of trash found at the bottom of my purse).

I thought having a "nicer" list would help me better deal with the crowds at the store. My version of hell is a crowded supermarket with lots of those extra-large, kid-friendly carts shaped liked cars.

Anywho . . . about 2 hours after making it back from the store, I realized I forgot to get cornbread mix for the corn casserole I am making for Thanksgiving. I then realized I forgot to get corn or any of the other ingredients for the corn casserole. Ugh. I have no clue how I forgot to include those items on the list. The recipe is sitting out in plain sight on the kitchen counter. So much for a well thought out list.

But the good news is, I am planning to work very little over the course of the next 5 days. I left my laptop at the office and brought home only minimal work. I am keeping my fingers crossed things go as planned, and that I get a little bit of a vacation! I have a to-do list a mile long, which includes making up for lost time on the blog. I have been keeping a running list of post ideas, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Under the Weather.

I have been battling the flu and bronchitis for the past 2 weeks.

I hope to be a better blogger soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Banquet.

We recently had a dinner party at our place. Justin liked to refer to it as a "banquet." Whether it was a banquet, dinner party, or get together, we had lots of good food and wine and even better company.

Justin and Sean planned a delicious menu (with a little assistance from moi):

Tuna tartare with avocado
Figs with goat cheese and almonds

Bacon and corn chowder

Beef tenderloin with a bacon and shallot broth
Fingerling potatoes with creme fraiche and chives
Brazilian cheese bread

Chocolate pots de creme with cherry whipped cream

Here we are with stuffed bellies.

You can read Meagan's recap of the event (and her whole Halloween weekend) here. And since she requested pictures, I aim to please:

Meagan & Jeremy (and baby H)

Sam & Bennett

Me & Justin

Sean (not sure what kind of facial expression this is)

Kevin (clearly winning the award for the best dressed; and no, he doesn't have socks on)

The boys (sans Bennett and Jared)

And last but not least, the girls.

I am saving myself the embarrassment and am not posting pictures on the blog of us playing Wii.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


If you've never checked out, you don't know what you've been missing. ShopStyle compiles clothes and home items from tons of different stores and puts them all in one convenient place to browse. You can sort by item, color, brand, price, etc. I use it mostly for furniture, but it has tons of great stuff. The website is awesome when you are looking for a particular item (e.g., nightstand) because you can just go there rather than having to go to a bunch of different websites.

Tonight, I was looking for floor lamps. I came across a couple I liked:

at costplus world market for under $150.00

at ballard designs for under $100.00

at z gallerie for a pricey $299.99 and 20% off
(probably my favorite one, but of course, the most expensive. I also didn't find this one on ShopStyle; hopefully they will add Z Gallerie soon.)

This next one was too hilarious not to include. My apologies if you have an affinity for massive and expensive (and slightly frightening) horse floor lamps.

at unica home for . . . wait for it . . . $7,196.00
(and no, that is not a typo -- it is in fact over seven thousand dollars). It is 7.5 feet tall and weighs 435 lbs.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trader Joe's.

I big puffy heart Trader Joe's. The only problem is there is not one in Texas. So we usually load up on stuff while we're in San Diego. We came home from our trip last year with 3 bottles of 2 buck Chuck wine packed in our checked bags. We didn't take the same risk this year and settled for safer, less breakable items instead. Here are the delicious food products we brought home (thank goodness for expanding suitcases):

We also got tea tree shampoo and conditioner and some body lotion. Their body lotion is awesome -- very moisturizing, but not greasy and it's crazy cheap. I wish I could get them to ship a gallon to me (and, while we're at it, a massive container of the shortbread cookies with chocolate filling too).

Maybe if this whole lawyer thing doesn't work out, I can open a Trader Joe's in Houston. It would certainly make my load a lot lighter on my way back from San Diego!

San Diego Recap.

We recently got back from our annual trip to San Diego. As always, it was too short, but it was great to spend time with my brother-in-law and my best friend and her husband.

We got in on a Thursday afternoon and headed straight for In-n-Out after dropping off our bags. Let's be serious, this was one of the most important stops on the trip.

We then cruised to Mission Beach. It was sunny at first, but then quickly got cloudy. I didn't know that happened in San Diego!

After Mission Beach, we headed to old town San Diego. I was amazed by the massive succulents.

On Friday, we met some friends for lunch over by the USS Midway.

Justin had been eying an antique map store in La Jolla, so we went there for him to peruse some maps of Texas. He found 2 that he liked -- now we just have to frame them and find a good spot to hang them in the house. And no trip to La Jolla is complete without stopping by the sea lions.

One poor sea lion had a fishing net around his head. They were doing a news story while we were there about trying to rescue him. If you look closely, you can see the plastic. He is the one laying right in the middle, facing the water. I am happy to report that a few days after we left, they were able to remove the plastic. Here is an update.

The views are absolutely gorgeous:

After running to Trader Joe's (I love that place so much, it is getting its own post), we headed to dinner at the Wine Vault. They have a delicious 3-course prix fixe menu on Friday nights.

We were up and wearing our burnt orange at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday for the big UT/OU game. The group consumed massive amounts of breakfast casserole. The one below, is one of the three we made.

On Sunday, we went to Point Loma. The weather wasn't overly cooperative. At our friends' house, it was sunny outside, but when we got to Point Loma, it was cloudy and chilly. The tank top and shorts weren't such a good idea. But there was great scenery, nonetheless. How cool are those rock formations? (click to see the detail)

We also saw the Point Loma lighthouse.

More gorgeous views:

After Point Loma, we went to Urban Solace for dinner. They serve "fancy" comfort food. It was delicious. Then we wrapped up the evening with some Scattergories.

While the views and weather are always nice in San Diego, the best part of the trip was hanging out with friends and family we don't get to see nearly enough. We had a great trip and are already thinking about our next time out there.