Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Recap

We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving day with both sets of our parents.
It was so fun to set the table with our wedding china and use it for the first time!
Here was our table on Thanksgiving morning before the feast. :)
 
I must admit that I was a little nervous about all the dishes being finished close to the same time.  
I don't have the most strategic mind (!), but I think it turned out okay.
 
Here is a closeup of our smoked turkey.
 
And here was the rest of our spread. :)
We were so thankful for this meal and most especially for those with whom we shared it.
My mother-in-law brought delicious sausage cheese dip and the fabulous dressing!
 
 
Another special part of the day was sharing a pecan pie from my grandmother's cookbook.  She put together cookbooks filled with family recipes and her own personal anecdotes, and gave them to each of us for Christmas in 2007.  Making that pecan pie from a recipe written in her own hand, was very comforting to me and made me feel like she was still a part of the Thanksgiving meal preparation though this is our second Thanksgiving without her.

 
I do think Muvie would have been thrilled over our dining room drapes that arrived in the mail earlier this week!  G did a great job of installing them and I was so glad they were in place for our Thanksgiving meal.

 
I just love the way they look!

 
During this special day of thanks, I was especially grateful for all of our family and friends near and far who have had such an incredible impact on our lives.  I was also very thankful for this special guy and loved celebrating our first married Thanksgiving in our home. :)

We had such a sweet time getting to visit and before we knew it, my parents had to head back home. 


G and I ended our Thanksgiving celebration by playing board games in front of the fire.  
It may be our new tradition!  I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend. :)







Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Today has been full of hustle and bustle!  The hubs and I are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time and I have had so much fun doing Turkey Day prep!  It's amazing to think how our lives have changed so much in a year and here we are, about to celebrate our first married Thanksgiving. 

I wrote out our menu, so I could remember how we celebrated this year.

 

I baked the pies today and have the sweet potato casserole all prepped and in the fridge ready for the oven tomorrow.  My sweet mother-in-law is bringing our appetizer and my favorite Thanksgiving side, the dressing!  

We had the best time setting the table tonight and can't wait to celebrate this special day with family tomorrow.

I am so very thankful for the generous gift of relationships that God has placed in my life. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Favorite Things: Stocking Stuffers Edition




When I saw this linkup with Cheers Y'all and Down with the Dearmores, I couldn't wait to put together some fun girly stocking stuffer ideas!  Here are few treats that I would not be sad to find in my stocking on Christmas morning. ;)
 Stocking Stuffers


{1} Kate spade gold earrings
I love these sparkly baubles!  Understated stud earrings are my favorite and I think these earrings would work perfectly with any outfit.

{2} Monogram necklace 
Since changing my name this year, I would love to see that new monogram in a beautiful silver or gold dangling from a perfect chain!  These sweet necklaces have been a favorite of mine ever since I started seeing them pop up.  Although this gift may be a little pricey for a traditional stocking stuffer, it might just make for the perfect surprise!

{3} Bath Bombs
These bath bombs are a great gift for the girl who enjoys a bubble bath at the end of a long day.  What a fun treat!

{4} Kate Spade 'Cold Hands Warm Heart' Thermal Mug
I use my coffee travel mug filled with freshly brewed coffee from my Keurig every day and when I saw this adorable one from Kate Spade, I knew adding another mug would be fun to have in my rotation!    

{5} Pigma Micron Archival Drawing Pens Pack of 6 
For the girl who likes to journal and create her own special hand lettering style, these pens are supposed to be great.  I could spend hours upon hours just writing words and letters and these pens would be a special treat!

{6} GODIVA Milk Chocolate Foil Santa
A little chocolate treat in the stocking is something fun to find and how cute is this Godiva Santa?!

{7} Tocca eau de perfume 
Seriously, this perfume in the Cleopatra scent is my absolute favorite new fragrance.  I love its spiciness and think it would be the perfect perfume for the chilly winter temps. 

{8} Kate Spade "Be Dazzling" iPhone case 
A new happy phone case would be a fun stocking find and even better if it sparkles!

{9} InStyle
Another sweet stocking treat is the gift that keeps on giving -- a favorite year-long magazine subscription.  Each month you receive your favorite magazine in the mail is like Christmas all over again!

{10}  Dark Chocolate Truffles
Okay, I had to add one more piece of chocolate to round out my 10.  These dark chocolate truffles are my absolute favorite and I first discovered them in my stocking almost 10 years ago!

What are some of your favorite stocking stuffers?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Recap!


Today, I'm linking up with Sami to review our "Weekend Shenanigans".  

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, a cold front moved through Central Texas and by the time the Mr. and I left work, it was pretty chilly.  We stopped by a delicious little Mexican food restaurant and gobbled up yummy chips and salsa and some amazing enchiladas!  It was the perfect cold weather treat and a great start to the weekend.  

I decided to go ahead and pick up a few things from the grocery store, so we wouldn't have to go out in the cold too much over the weekend and I was so glad I did.  The store wasn't too crowded and I got to try out my new leopard print gloves I got for my birthday.  They have those cute little fabric patches on the fingers that let you use your phone.  They were also very soft and kept my hands good and warm.  I don't think I took them off in the store until I got to the checkou!

Saturday morning started out like this:
G made our first fire in our fireplace in our home!  It was such a treat because it rarely gets chilly enough for a real fire in Texas and I loved watching the flames flicker and hearing the soothing crackle.

Breakfast was complete with hot cinnamon rolls and lots of coffee!

I had looked all over for this pumpkin spice coffee creamer and lo and behold, there it was in the dairy case in sugar-free -- even better!  It added the perfect touch to my coffee.

So thankful for this guy!

For lunch, I cooked chili for the first time!!  Erin at The Blue-eyed Bride had written about this Chili Kit her mom always used and when I saw some at the store, I decided to give it a whirl.  It was so great because all the spices were pre-measured.  We actually halved the recipe, so I saved all the leftover seasonings in a Ziploc bag to use for next time.  I'm sure it will be soon because It was delicious!  All you do is brown the meet, add tomato sauce, water, and spices.  You can limit the amount of heat by choosing how much red pepper to add.  I just put a little bit in and our chili still had a bit of a kick!  You can also thicken it by stirring masa flour in warm water and adding it to the mixture while it simmers.

We served ours with Frito, tortilla chips and shredded cheese.  We had to run to Wal-Mart that night to pick up a few other things, so we added saltine crackers to the list.  I never realized how much I connected saltines with chili, but as soon as I smelled the chili on the stove, my mouth started watering for them.  My mom always served saltines with our chili growing up and when we had the leftovers for lunch on Sunday, they were the perfect addition. :)


The rest of the afternoon I read the November and December issues of Southern Living and felt that the above Christmas dinner decor was gorgeous!  It was such a nice and relaxing day.  We went over to my sweet in-laws for dinner and had the most delicious King Ranch chicken.  I love that dish so much and can't wait to borrow my mother-in-law's recipe!  We also may have watched a certain football game, but the wounds are a little too fresh to discuss that now. ;)

Sunday, we enjoyed a relaxing morning and a beautiful service at church.  It was nice to head home after church and enjoy another fire in the fireplace.  We tried to be a bit productive and organized two closets while also discussing a return to our post-work gym routine after a several week hiatus.

Some of these conversations filled with initiative were enjoyed over steaming mugs of hot cocoa -- my favorite way to converse!  We also enjoyed catching up on some of our favorite shows. :) 

I hope you all had a great weekend and enjoy the Thanksgiving week ahead.








Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall at our House

In October, we started thinking about what we wanted to do to decorate our house for fall.  Since it is our first year in our house, it has been fun/overwhelming at times to think of where to put things.  This fall, I loved sorting through decorations that we already had and moving them around the house until they seemed to be in their home.  Of course, no fall home update would be complete without a little trip to Lowe's and Hobby Lobby! ;)




One sunny October afternoon, the mister and I headed to Lowe's to buy a mum for our front porch and some flowers for our mailbox flower bed.  I had to take a photo of this moment because I couldn't believe I was a part of this little Lowe's trip!  I know I sound silly, but for years I had seen sweet families as they added different decor to their front porches for each season and I, too, enjoyed sprucing up my little apartment, but wondered if finding someone to share these little everyday joys would be part of my life's picture.  I just had to stop for a moment in the garden section of Lowe's and swallow back tears of thankfulness as we found a sweet mum for our front porch and added it to our cart.  

When we bought the mum it hadn't flowered, but was covered in buds and we have gotten to enjoy it for a very long time!  If you don't need a blooming mum right away, I would advise buying one still in the bud stage.  Ours bloomed a glorious yellow.  We'll see how our chilly temps this weekend affect it.

We found these beautiful flowers for our flower bed and I just love the color combinations.  They added the perfect pop to our mailbox.

Inside our house, we were able to use several wedding gifts to coordinate with some fall accents.  The table runner and placemats were wedding gifts and I absolutely love the gold color and pattern.  They work great year-round, but our autumn accents fit right in with the color scheme, too!  One of my precious friends had given me those adorable napkins and napkin rings one year for my birthday and I loved how they coordinated with our placemats.  I guess I tried out the pattern mixing I'm always hearing about!  The silver tray was a gorgeous wedding gift and I loved the way my metallic acorns and the mister's candles worked together on the tray.  I guess our fall decor is a definite merge! (Did you ever watch that show with Lisa Rinna?  I loved it!!)

In the entry way, we found this fall flowering branch at Hobby Lobby and placed it inside an amber Blenco jug we received as a wedding gift.  I added the cute little pumpkin soup toureen (another wonderful birthday prezzy from a sweet friend!  It's really one in a set of four pumpkins in the cutest colors.  I love to fill them with candy during the fall) and G's candle from his bachelor days. :)  I loved the way this combo worked on our entry table and mirror.


Another fun item to style was this beautiful urn we received as a wedding gift.  I had been looking forward to filling it with different decor for the seasons ever since it found a home by our fireplace and was elated that these pumpkins and spheres worked well together here.  A little tip I discovered was to fill the urn with plastic sacks or newspaper, so the seasonal items will fill to the top.  The urn is empty all the way through and this offered the effect I was hoping for.  I've already got some ideas for making this little item more Christmasy!



The final stop on our tour is the fall wreath I made out of deco mesh.  I had always been intrigued by these wreaths when I would see them on Pinterest and decided to go for it and see if I could put one together myself.  We found everything we needed at Hobby Lobby, including the coppery wide deco mesh, a narrower burlap wired ribbon, wreath frame, and the cute fall accent picks.  I leaned heavily on this fantastic video tutorial to make my wreath and had some major assistance from the hot glue for the fall pumpkins, leaves and flowers to stay in place.  The best part was that this fall accent didn't break the bank.  I think we were in luck that most of the items we purchased that day were on sale. 

I had so much fun decorating our home for fall and am looking forward to hosting our first Thanksgiving here!  Hope you are having a good weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Five on Friday!

Yay!!  It's Friday!  I hope you have had a good week. :) I'm linking up again with NatashaDarciApril, and Christina for Five on Friday!

{1} Shopping!
Saturday I met one of my dearest friends for lunch and shopping in Dallas!
We had the best time catching up and I had a blast looking for some prezzies for my sweet nephews!

I just loved all these darling baby outfits -- especially the little bear cub suit!

I couldn't resist spending a little time in Anthropologie, too!

{2} Birthday Cake!
 
Sunday night we celebrated two very special girls for their birthdays.  They each had the cutest cakes. :)

{3} Curtains!!





 
Monday night we headed to Bed Bath and Beyond to select curtains for our freshly painted dining room.  The curtains above were the ones I had found online Sunday afternoon, but we ended up choosing different ones. :)  I hope they arrive in the mail soon! 

{4} Texas Conference for Women
 
Tuesday started out very early as a group of my coworkers and I headed to Austin for the Texas Conference for Women.  I'll be posting a full recap with some of my takeaways, but here are a few photo highlights. :)  I had the best time and left feeling so incredibly inspired.

{5} Thanksgiving on the Grounds

Baylor hosted a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday night and the mister and I partook of the bounty.  The food was delicious, the live music was fantastic, and I am so thankful we are getting a real taste of fall with color changing trees and everything around these parts this fall.  :)

I hope you all have fabulous weekend!




Monday, November 18, 2013

Texas Conference for Women


Texas Conference of Women

I am so excited to get to attend this conference for women tomorrow!  The speaker list looks amazing and I know I will learn so much at each session. :)

Right now, I am most excited about hearing from one of my favorite Food Network stars, Rachael Ray!  I've always enjoyed watching her shows, so I can't wait to hear from her live!!  
She is the luncheon keynote, so I"m sure it will be amazing.

Another of my faves, Delia Ephron, will also be speaking at the conference and I'm looking forward to hearing from her.  She wrote what is perhaps my favorite movie of all time, You've Got Mail!

If you are in the Austin area tomorrow, be sure and check out the conference.  I think if you click on any of the photos above, it will take you to the conference website where you can see all of the other amazing speakers.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Patience

This verse has been speaking to me a lot lately, especially as I am realizing that patience and silence are disciplines I struggle with.  The discipline to quiet my thoughts long enough to wait patiently on God and truly listen to Him is a challenge for me, but one that is worth every effort.  I find myself getting myself into a tizzy with worry and anxiety about a huge laundry list of items, wondering what I should do or what I should say, when the ONLY place I need to turn is to Him.  I don't have to figure this out on my own and furthermore, that is not what I am called to do at all.  My calling and my purpose is to seek Him and practicing this discipline of silence enables me to fine tune my ear, so I may hear from God and understand what He is saying to me.

I find myself asking what it is that keeps me from seeking the silence more and I found a very convicting answer in the writing of John Main.  He wrote how true silence is most perfected in the presence of trust.  We can all think of people in our lives with whom we are so close that sometimes words are not required, but there is peace in the silence because of the trust.  I began to ask myself about my trust in God, the One to whom all my faith and trust must belong.  Am I afraid of what God will say?  It is a question that leads me to recognize my human desire for the illusion of control, something I long to relinquish completely, but somehow seem to take it up over and over again.  And so I pray more and more for trust and for focus as I remind myself again and again that I am not required to walk this journey alone.

As the psalmist writes, God inclines to us, God turns to us, God hears us.  What a powerful truth that the Almighty, All Powerful God of the universe is also Emmanuel, God with us, in each and every moment.  What will you trust to Him today?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five for Friday!!

So happy to be linking up with these fabulous ladies, NatashaDarciApril, and Christina, today with five fun things from my week!

{1} Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

The mister and I whipped up this delicious Pinterest find on Wednesday and it is definitely a fave and will be repeated I am sure!!  The amazing recipe is here, but instead of making our own alfredo sauce, I used a jar from the store. I had never made a lasagna before, but with the ease of layering up noodles, sauce, chicken and cheese, I'll definitely try it again!

{2} Book Review

I am so blessed to have the sweetest mother-in-law.  I love getting to spend time with her and Saturday we attended a book review by a local central Texas author, Lisa Wingate.  Her newest book, The Prayer Box, recently hit the shelves and I absolutely loved hearing all about it.  It is about a young woman who finds a closet filled with prayer boxes that an elderly woman has filled with her prayers over the years.  It's definitely going to be on my must-read list!  Her first book, Tending Roses, sounds wonderful, too!  Of course another fun part of the book review were the delicious treats!


I just loved all the brunch options!  So yummy!!  After the review my mother-in-law did a little shopping, so that was a fun treat, too!

{3} Dinner Party

Some of our dear friends invited us for a dinner party Saturday night and it was absolutely fabulous!  From the yummy appetizers to the amazing entree and decadent desserts, everything was so delicious and the company was so fun, too!  I just loved the turkey napkin rings they used at each place setting!  We are so thankful for friends to share life with.

{4} Room Renos!


We are so excited to start updating our casa!  It has been such a blessing to be able to live here for a little while and start to think about how we want to make our home ours. :) We've started with the sunroom and dining room and the photo above is the light fixture we like at Lowes and are planning for our dining room. Both rooms have been painted a gorgeous pale yellow with white trim and I think we found some fabric yesterday for the dining room drapes.  These projects are so fun and I can't wait to see the finished product!  

{5} Cold Snap
For our neck of the woods, we got a little cold snap this week and it has been so fun layering up and revisiting clothes combinations I haven't worn since last winter!  I've also indulged in some hot chocolate on these chilly nights and had forgotten how yummy it is!

What are your Friday Five?  Join us at this fun link up!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Party Time!

Right after the ceremony, our amazing photographer, Kelly Hosch, took us aside and took a few bride and groom post ceremony photos.  It was so nice to have little time just the two of us to enjoy the moment and the fact that we were married.
photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography

photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Soon it was time to meet up with everyone at the reception!
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
After a delicious dinner, some very special friends toasted us with incredibly generous words.
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
We cut delicious bride and groom cakes and helped each other sample a bite. :)
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
My sweet Chi Omega sisters sang our traditional wedding song
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography

followed by a traditional group pose. :)
It was so special to have all these special women from near and far to celebrate!

Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
We were also so thankful to capture some special family photos at the reception as well
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
And then there was dancing..
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
G and I danced to "At Last" sung by the iconic Etta James 

Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
and it truly captured how we felt about this special moment.

Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
My dad and I danced to the theme of "Cinema Paradiso" by Ennio Morricone, one of our favorites.

Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
And G and his mom danced to the classic "My Girl" by The Temptations.


Soon it was time for the traditional bouquet toss,
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
 which my beautiful cousin Caroline caught!

Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Then it was time for the traditional garter toss
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
caught by one of our all-time faves -- my cousin Will!


Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography
Before I knew it, the party was over and as we were bid farewell by a bright line of sparklers, all that was left to say was...
Photo courtesy Kelly Hosch Photography

Aloha!

We were so thankful for all who were able to join us in this special day of celebration!
If you made it through all 31 days of the recap -- thanks!!

Today is the final post in this 31 day series.