Monthly Archives: August 2011

Champagne Monday!

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You know, sometimes you just gotta bust out the bubbly. No reason, no special occasion – just because. Last night was that night.

After the hubs made a delicious meat lovers pizza casserole, I decided the perfect pairing would be champagne. Logical? Probably not. Delicious? You betcha. The result? Champagne Monday!

Cheers!

We are not normally weekday drinkers. With the success of Champagne Monday, we may have to change our minds about that! So tell me – what is your weekday adult beverage of choice? And how often do you indulge?

Baking Wins You Friends

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Every Thursday, the 11th floor of our building hosts “Recess” – a time in the afternoon when we all stop what we’re doing and go eat some sort of delicious treat. There is even a website where you can sign up to bring something, post your recipes, post pictures from the event and just generally soak up the goodness that is Recess. For many, it is the highlight of our day/week!

Today was my day. The last two times I have been in charge of Recess, I brought Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies and a cake-based lemon cookie – so this time, I was determined not to do a cookie (though those were both extremely successful!). I recently stumbled upon the best food blog ever – Punchfork.com. Which is where I found today’s recipe – AKA the best PB Chocolate Cake Ever. But don’t take my word for it, check out these pictures!

Bottom line – if you want to make friends, BAKE.

Fireproof

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Yes, I read another book. Yes, I read all but a few pages of it in one day. YES, I REALIZE I AM A FREAK.

Moving on…

Fireproof is a book based off of the movie bearing the same title. It’s about a fireman and his wife, and their struggling marriage. They reach the breaking point and throw out the big D, but Caleb’s (the fireman) dad encourages him to take the “Love Dare” before signing the papers. The Love Dare is 40 days of doing nice things for your spouse and/or improving yourself and taking a hard look at the negativity you’re bringing into the relationship. The Love Dare is based on Christian principles, and of course Caleb’s dad encourages him to accept Jesus as his savior, informing him that the Love Dare/Jesus saved his life/marriage. It’s not the most compellingly-written book, but the underlying message is a good one (or maybe that’s just the newlywed Christian in me talking). I admit, I did see Fireproof the movie, starring Kirk Cameron, before I read the book. They were VERBATIM. And the acting in the movie is pretty bad – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t cry during the same parts of the book and movie. In conclusion: Just see the movie. It’s faster and almost identical (not that the read was very long). This book won’t be on any best-seller lists.

(PS – the Love Dare is also a Bible study for couples, if you’re interested. THAT I would recommend. Not the actual book.)

Time for a New ‘Do

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Y’all. It’s no secret that I let my hair grow out for the wedding – most women do. And yes, it was lovely – my “bangs” were long enough to be tucked into my updo and my hair was long enough to be curled and pinned precisely the way I wanted it to on my big day.

Unfortunately, that meant growing my hair out all the way past my bra strap. As you know, it’s consistently 100+ degrees in the south during summer, and this length of hair is simply not practical. Additionally, it’s TOO LONG to style – it just doesn’t look good, no matter what I do to it. Not to mention the ends are icky from heat styling. I digress.

I have a haircut appointment for Tuesday, September 6. That day cannot come soon enough. My stylist, Samantha, and I have been anxiously awaiting this day for a long time. Me, because it means the end of my 3-foot hair, and her because I told her she can do whatever she wants to my hair (within reason). She knows that I have Lindsay’s wedding coming up, so nothing cray-cray that won’t look amazing in her pictures can be done – but I also cannot have 12 feet of hair on LL’s big day.

Anyway – what do you guys think I should do with my hair? I have a few ideas (pictures below), but I want to know what you think. It has to be cut to at least my shoulders, and a little shorter would be fine – I am going to donate my hair to Locks of Love. I’m not afraid to do something new, but I also don’t want to spend 30 minutes styling my hair every morning. These are my guidelines – work with them.

So, here are my thoughts:

I’d go a little shorter than the one on the right, if that’s the one I choose. Just FYI.

Missing Out on Mad Men?

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I must admit, I am light years behind the rest of the world when it comes to my obsession with Mad Men. The good news is this – the series is on a hiatus until 2012, so it’s actually the PERFECT time for me to watch all four seasons on DVD!

I watched seasons 1 and 2 thanks to borrowed DVDs from our friends Steve and Jen (thanks!) over Thanksgiving/Christmas-ish time 2010. Fast forward to last week. I got myself a library card, and what is the first thing I got with it? Mad Men season 3, of course – I totally ignored the 5 stories of books surrounding me :)

I watched all but a few episodes over the weekend, leaving a few on Monday and the season finale last night. Dang. I can’t wait to turn in these DVDs and pick up season 4! I’m not going to lie – the finale of season 3 was definitely predictable…but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. I mean, divorces and starting your own ad agency in NYC by poaching top talent and clients before you’re bought by a “big box” agency doesn’t exactly happen every day – unless you’re Don Draper :)

So to my friends who have been watching Mad Men for years – Lindsay, KWay, etc. – you were right. It’s a good show. Now I only have one more season to go until we’re finally on the same page! (Sadly, this is the same way I was for Harry Potter – I refused to read any books or see any movies until it was time for finals my senior year of college. What better time to watch a marathon of three-hour long movies than when you should be studying?? Exactly. Needless to say, I was hooked after watching HP 1-4, then HP 5 came out in theatres and I began reading the books. The rest, as they say, is history.)

WHY DO I WAIT UNTIL THINGS ARE 5 YEARS OLD BEFORE I FINALLY JUMP ON BOARD?! I’m crazy.

MORE Book Reviews!

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I told you I like to read…

I finished another book last night, and I thought of two more I read last month that need to be reviewed. So…

Gifts – Do you know someone with Down Syndrome? I have the pleasure of knowing two of the most beautiful, wonderful children in the world who also happen to have Down Syndrome, Seth and Addie. Anyway, Gifts is a book of short stories from mothers of children with Down Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21. It details their struggles both pre- and post-birth, but ultimately focuses on the joy their children have brought into their lives. In conclusion: A wonderful, inspiring, quick and easy read.

Sun Stand Still – Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this book, Steven challenges Christians to live with audacious faith – to pray the “impossible” prayers with 100% confidence that God can take care of things. The story is inspired by Joshua, who was told by God that his armies would not be defeated. Joshua lived with audacious faith, and prayed that God would not allow the sun to set until his battle was over. By praying that God would literally “stop time” and have the sun stand still, Joshua demonstrated his audacious faith – God would not have answered his prayer if Joshua didn’t truly believe He COULD and WOULD do it. As a Christian, I sometimes struggle with this – I limit God and say “This just can’t be solved,” or I say “This problem isn’t big enough for God, I’ll handle it myself.” Both are WRONG! There is no problem too big or too small for God, and this book truly challenges you to stop putting God in a box and start trusting that he can do ALL THINGS! In conclusion: If you’re looking for a spiritual challenge that really pushes your faith, this is a MUST READ! I absolutely LOVED it. (Special thanks to Aaron and Jennifer, who surprised me by sending me this book as a gift – I have since passed it on to several people, and it has touched each of their lives. You two are such a blessing!)

Breaking Free – I’m about to upset some people. Breaking Free is one of the most famous women’s Bible study books written by the wildly popular Beth Moore. I like Beth Moore – she is a great speaker. In fact, I used to attend church with her at Houston’s First Baptist. However, I did not enjoy this book AT ALL. Maybe I’m just not in the right place in my life for God to really speak to my heart on the issues Beth discusses, but I found myself praying not to be changed, but for the book to end. This RARELY happens to me, and I was SHOCKED that it would happen while reading this book. I’ve not met anyone who didn’t THOROUGHLY enjoy this book, including Candace Cameron Bure (who played DJ Tanner from Full House), who mentions it frequently on Twitter. Like I said – perhaps the messages inside just weren’t for me right now. In conclusion: You may like it, most people do. I’m just weird I guess :(