Monthly Archives: November 2011

A Month of Thanksgiving: November 29

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Today, I am thankful for Tex Mex. Growing up in Texas, I took Tex Mex for granted. I thought that deliciousness that is queso, guacamole, smoky chipotle salsa, enchiladas, fajitas, sweet/tart/strong margaritas and more was a standard part of everyone’s life. Heck, it was for everyone I knew!

And then I moved to Arkansas.

Despite what the locals may say, there is NO Tex Mex or Mexican food in Arkansas. I have fallen for this lie one too many times, only to have my heart broken each time. As Texans, our standards for good Tex Mex and Mexican food differ greatly from the rest of the country’s (although I’m sure I can get on board with Mexican food from, say, Arizona). I LOVE me some Tex Mex, as evidenced by the fact that every time I return to my beloved home state, I insist that I eat it at least 50% of the meals I’m there. (I usually have no objection from various friends and family.)

Precious Texans – do not take your Tex Mex for granted! It is a sacred food group, to be cherished in the deepest parts of your heart for eternity. How I envy the fact that you can go to any hole-in-the-wall or legendary place on a whim! It would take me 7 hours to drive to Houston, where I know I can get good Tex Mex, and 5 hours to get to Dallas, where I mooch off of Andrew’s hospitality/relative location to Love Field every time I’m in town. And that’s just not fiscally responsible.

Now I’m going to have to make queso and guacamole for dinner. Good thing Tex Mex recipes still live within me! GOD BLESS TEXAS, Y’ALL!!!

A Month of Thanksgiving: November 28

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Today, I am thankful for social media. When you live hundreds of miles from your family and friends (except for the friends you’ve made in your new state!), social media is a wonderful way to keep in touch with those you love (after all, nothing is a complete substitute for face-to-face quality time, like wine drinking and queso dipping).

I get to tell all kinds of stories to people who wouldn’t otherwise know about them via Facebook, Twitter and even this blog. I can see pictures and videos, test recipes and feel like I’m still “part of the fun,” even from 400 miles away. I know it’s no substitute for the awesomeness that is actually BEING with my friends, but I’ll take what I can get!

Also – I have the iPhone 4 but have never used Facetime. Does anyone want to do that with me? I don’t even know how it works!

Social media also hooks me up with a lot of really smart people – especially PR/marketing/communications people who know WAY more than I do – and they are totally willing to chat about their theories, ideas and lessons learned. Where else can you go up to a complete stranger and just say “I like what you just said – let’s talk about that!” and start a relationship? Sure, you can do it in real life – but it’s a lot less scary on the interwebs :)

Movie Review: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

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Yes, I’m one of “those” Twilight people. No, I am not obsessed. No, I don’t care if you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob (I, personally, am Team Chad). I’m not going to shriek with joy or repulsion when I see Robert Pattison. But I was the first in my friend group to read the book series, and yes, I read them all in approximately 5 days. Don’t judge.

That being said, I enjoyed the books EXPONENTIALLY more than the movies. This is normally the case with any book/movie series, but the gap was really large in this instance. Movie 1 (Twilight) was ridiculously terrible. I laughed through it and felt like I wasted 2 hours of my life. Movie 2 (New Moon) was much better – perhaps because the bar was set so low. I honestly can’t remember seeing Movie 3 (Eclipse), though I know I did (and I know what happened in it – I have specific visual memories).

When Breaking Dawn, Part 1 hit theatres, I had an inexplicable urge to go see it. Perhaps because of the wedding/honeymoon scene, as I am obsessed with all things wedding/honeymoon (Say Yes to the Dress, Travel Channel’s Most Romantic Resorts, etc.)…still. I thought that would fade after the wedding – it has not. Sadly, I could not find a soul who wished to see it with me in Arkansas (special shout out to my sister in law, Carly, who texted me and said she would go see it with me if we didn’t live 1,200 miles apart). So, you can imagine my joy when my mommy texted me the day before her Arkansas Thanksgiving trip to say she wanted to go see it together! WHOO HOO!

I must admit – a little shamefully – that this movie was GREAT. Not “great” in the sense that it should win any type of award, but compared to all of the others, it was phenomenal. Yes, I know, low bar…but still! It was seriously good. I am genuinely excited about BD Part 2 – though not so excited that I actually know when it comes out. I’m sure I’ll be hit over the head with trailers, talk show appearances and magazine covers. No worries.

Do you judge me for this?

Book Review: Mockingjay

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I swear, this series has given me a serious complex. We all know that I wasn’t a huge fan of book one, Hunger Games. Then, I gave a glowing and enthusiastic review of the second book in the series, Catching Fire. I was so excited to read the final book in the series, Mockingjay. It was a great read…until the end.

WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, WISH TO AND DON’T WANT TO HAVE THE PLOT REVEALED!!!

Things were all well and good until the last two chapters or so. The underground tunnel action was awesome, the sister did NOT have to die, I totally saw the shooting of Coin coming but then…they just ship her off to District 12 and nothing really changes and it just kind of sputters? Not sure that I really cared for that at all.

I don’t know – maybe I just missed the awesomeness of it all – totally possible. For those of you who read the book, what did you think? Did I miss something? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In summary – I didn’t really care for the first book, the second one was GREAT and the last one was good up until the end. It’s no Harry Potter – or even Twilight, for that matter.

A Month of Thanksgiving: November 24-27

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YAY Thanksgiving!! Yes, it was a few days ago now, but because of this joyous holiday full of family, food, football and fun, I have not been on a computer in days – and it has been AWESOME. Sometimes, especially when you’ve been working long, long, LONG and stressful hours at work, you just need to disconnect for a few days. That time was the past few days.

November 24: Today, I’m thankful for traditions. You know what I’m talking about – certain holiday recipes, sacred times when it’s acceptable to put up Christmas decorations, the fact that Christmas lights can only stay on overnight on Christmas Eve, sharing a bed with your sister (even at 24 years old) on Christmas Eve night because Papa is sleeping in your bed (which leads me to…) and Papa waking you up at 4 a.m. by rubbing in a circular motion on your back while saying “BB…Santa came!” just as he has done every year since birth (yes, this really happens – Papa LOVES Christmas). These are the things that make my otherwise ordinary life extraordinary. I don’t need anything fancy – just give me my family, our quirks and the holidays.

November 25: I’m thankful for my physical health. Today, mommy, Chris and I hiked Pinnacle Mountain in West Little Rock (an elevation of about 1100 feet). Sure, mommy complained just about the entire way, wanted to quit often and threatened to sit on a rock and wait for us to return more times than I can count – but she did it! We all did. I am so thankful that I can get up and go for a run, lift weights, dance my tush off in zumba and so many other things – after all, there are many who would give anything to be able to do that.

November 26: Today, I’m thankful for Christmas decorations! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas decorations, and even got to increase our Christmas decor by $60 this year! (AND Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale, so I really got $120 worth of Christmas cheer for only $60!) You may have already seen our holiday decorations on Facebook, and let me tell you – the Christmas spirit as ARRIVED in Chateau Garneau! From the blue and silver tree to the red and green stockings to the tinsel and light-lined staircase and much more, you can’t help but be happy in our house right now!

November 27: I’m thankful for my fleece-lined tights. That’s right – fleece-lined tights. I’d never heard of these until a few weeks ago, but when Chad said today’s high was 42 and the low was going to be freezing, I knew it was time to bust these bad boys out. Although still tights, these bad boys are really warm. No, I wouldn’t suggest braving the elements in Chicago in February in them, but they are doing well for me in Arkansas in the 40’s. They are also very warm and soft – I suggest you look into some!

A Month of Thanksgiving: November 23

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Today, I am thankful for sleep. That sounds strange to you, I bet. But it’s true. I haven’t had much sleep in recent weeks due to a crazy work and life schedule, and yesterday it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I hadn’t eaten all day, and around 3 p.m. I had a headache like none other, likely due to a lack of sugar in my body and an overwhelming amount of stress (work, holiday things to do, etc.). I went home and took two Tylenol (for those of you who know me well, you know that I am extremely sensitive to drugs of any kind and usually resort to Children’s Chewable Tylenol for my ailments) and slept from 4 p.m. till 11 p.m. I woke up, took out my contacts, watched The Biggest Loser with my husband, and went back to sleep from 12:15 a.m. till 8:30 a.m.

I have to tell you, I have never felt more refreshed! However, I need to be better about not letting it get to this point in the first place. I never tell anyone no, even when it means my health or sanity are at risk. I am constantly moving at warp speed and that’s just no way to live. I know this. OCD is a hard condition to overcome!

To summarize – I will never take sleep for granted. I am lucky that I get to sleep in a warm, cozy bed with the world’s greatest husband. I live in a great home and am not exposed to the elements, war or any other crazy things. I love you, sleep!

A Month of Thanksgiving: November 22

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Today, I am thankful for love. Of course, I am thankful for the love in my life, but I am also thankful for the love in others’ lives. For example – there is nothing better than going to a wedding when it is SO OBVIOUS that the couple is head over heels for each other and destined to be together. I’ve had the honor and privilege of standing next to my two best friends as they said “I do” to the men of their dreams, and it’s absolutely heartwarming. Of course, I’ve never felt God’s presence more than on my own wedding day, standing next to Chad and pledging my unfailing love in front of everyone we know and love.

With so much negativity and hate in the world, it’s refreshing to see true love. It gives me hope and optimism when sometimes the world just tries to suck it out of you. I love LOVE!

And to the love of my life – I love you more than anything. You are my rock, my comedian, my IT guy and my cuddle buddy. I could not imagine my life without you – being married to you is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love you!