Tuesday, September 30, 2008


news editor: LT, I'd love a review copy. Please send it here.

LT: if you'll kindly remind me which book you'd like to review, I'll get a copy in the mail today.

news editor: what? you can't read my mind? here's the release.

LT: oh, I'm still perfecting the art. next time!

Friday, September 26, 2008

busy bee

This weekend begins a slew of busy weekends from now until the end of the October. I will treasure my Sundays so much this month!

Tomorrow, I am throwing a dessert party "shower" for one of my bridesmaids in Oklahoma City, who is getting married on October 25th to her prince charming. I'm so excited for her. Tonight I will be baking homemade treats for the dessert party tomorrow, developing pictures from my wedding for the people I will see for the first time since then, and making a great road mix for my travels.

Next weekend, our church launches! (www.sococommunity.com) We have put in a lot of hard work to make this happen and get the word out, so please pray that the right people in South County will hear the Good News.

October 10th and 11th, we will be in the Big D for the Texas Longhorns as they face the Oklahoma Sooners. This is a big game for me each year, not only because I am a huge Texas fan, but because I live in "enemy territory." This is my first time to go to a game and means even more since JT is a HUGE OU fan (He used to live in the stadium, even!) and our seats are in the middle of the Longhorns endzone. It will be interesting. Our first Texas/OU game last year was kind of impeded because JT was incredibly sick.

October 17-18, we will be camping along the beautiful Buffalo River in Arkansas. I'm so excited to go outdoors and have my first hardcore camping experience with two of my best friends in the whole wide world.

The weekend after, I will be in OKC to marry off my dear college friend! I'm so looking forward to her wedding and having another married friend.

And finally, JT and I have been commissioned to participate in a local statewide leadership convention. My brother is in student council at his high school, and each student is required a house a group of students from across the state. My parents will be in Austin watching the Longhorns beat Baylor, so we will take over their house and provide meals and transportation to who knows how many high school kids.

Tonight I am serving a very intricate recipe. I spent maybe two hours last night filling and folding wonton wrappers to make some delicious rigatoni tonight. All I have to do is boil and make the sauce, but I took pictures of the whole process as it was a very fun (and hopefully rewarding) art form. Those and pictures of my baked goods will be here soon!

Au revoire!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Love inside Weinsberg Castle

In my pink book I'm reading on my sidebar, Sacred Influence, I've been reminded about the gift of being a wife and its most valuable lesson: learning to love the imperfect person perfectly.

I love my JT! He is my treasure!

The article below sums up the story! (Article borrowed from Doug Graham from the website below)


What is the ultimate expression of love between a man and a woman? Some would say that love’s greatest expression occurs at the wedding altar. But I would disagree. It’s not hard at all to express love at the wedding altar. The bride is as beautiful as she’s ever been; the groom is more handsome than ever. Expressions of love during a wedding flow naturally and with ease.

Love’s greatest expression takes place when it’s not expected. For example, have you ever heard the story of the “Faithful Wives of Weinsberg”?

The wives who lived within the walls of the Weinsberg Castle in Germany were well aware of the riches it held: gold, silver, jewels and wealth beyond belief.

However, in A.D. 1141 all their worldly treasure was threatened. An enemy army surrounded the castle and demanded the fortress, the fortune and the lives of all the men within. There was nothing to do but surrender.

Although the conquering commander had set a condition for the safe release of all women and children, the wives of Weinsberg refused to leave without having one of their own conditions met as well. They demanded that they be allowed to fill their arms with as many possessions as they could carry out with them. Knowing that the women couldn’t possibly make a dent in the massive fortune inside, their request was honored.

When the castle gates opened, the army outside was brought to tears. Each woman was carrying out her husband.

You see, the wives of Weinsberg Castle were well aware of the true riches inside the castle. Following this episode the castle was called Hill of Weibertreue, to celebrate a “woman’s fidelity.”

Do you treasure your spouse? Are your loved ones the most treasured possession in the “castle” of your life? Whether you’re married or not, celebrate the true treasure of life! Love that God has for us is something no one can take away from us. May the love we have for our spouse, our kids, our parents, our friends be as enduring as the love those 12th-century wives had for their husbands.

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5, NIV).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

perfect day

this is how I would describe my day...

Though I'd say I deserve it! It's been a busy past couple of months. I'm mixing reading, a little cleaning, napping. If my blogging has been sparse, it's because I'm pretty absorbed in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Not only does it have the best title I've ever heard, but it's a fantastic story so far!

I got my new Hungry Girl cookbook in the mail today that OK Chick recommended! I've picked through it a little bit while I'm watching my Longhorns play and have found some great recipes already. (Side note: I just saw a guy get his knee bent backwards in slow-mo. God, please bless me with pleasant dreams tonight!)

I'm going to cut this short because I want to do some writing before JT gets back from his game, but I'll leave you with some pictures from this week:

Today my husband awakened to an Italian breakfast scramble. Maybe my favorite recipe I've made thus far: 10 eggs, cheese, chopped basil, asparagus, panchetta

Awesome Sunday night date night at Carrabba's. My husband spoils me!

My co-workers and I took a trip to my favorite bakery in town. They make the best fresh breads and cookies daily and cut delicious slices for sandwiches.

Last, but not least!
My newest baby friend was born on Monday!
Welcome, Baby Mateo!

Friday, September 19, 2008

motherly advice...

..."If you ever buy a pumpkin for fall decorations, put it on a place or a cloth and surround it with leaves. Even if the pumpkin looks okay on the outside, after a few months, its bottom will rot and ruin your table or floor."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

JT is sick

I picked up the most delicious vegetable beef soup in his honor from the deli downstairs at work: thick chunks of potato and chuck beef roast, peas, green beans, carrots, onions, stewed tomatoes in a hearty beef and tomato broth. I will definitely try to recreate this recipe for my handsome man this weekend if he's still sick.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

mon cherie

In honor of this beautiful September 16th, I would like to dedicate this post to my beautiful friend, Andrea Cherie, over at OurTraditionalHome.blogspot.com.

I went to elementary school and middle school with Andrea at a small Christian school, and as we entered middle school, we and two other girls formed a tight bond as we sat through algebra and language arts together, waved goodbye to my mom's minivan as she dropped us off to see Titanic for the fifth time, and patented the covered-mouth-giggle as we confided our first crushes to each other.

What I remember most about Andrea from those years was her collection of Bath & Body Works products, her neat containers that organized her purse, and the impressive collection of colored pens she used to color-code her agenda. (Note: this set the precedent for my college years.) We called her Goldie because she was very gold. Her hair was like spun gold, her eyes hazel gold, her skin a golden bronze, and last but not least...the gold braces! We were ALL jealous of the gold braces!

We didn't talk much throughout high school, but the four of us kept in touch here and there through college summers and Christmas breaks since Hannah was in Minnesota, Christine was in California, I was in Oklahoma City, and Andrea went to college here. Christine and I made it to Andrea's wedding in 2006, when she married her handsome Jason.

After graduation and I started seriously dating JT, our long coffee dates began. We were the only two in town, and we'd try to meet once or twice a month when our schedules allowed, and when we did, we'd be there two or three hours. JT has even been known to send a text or two asking if I was okay and safe. (Love him.) Our conversations spanned from our families, our dreams, our jobs, and most importantly, our loves!

When I got engaged, Andrea would come to our dates armed with her wedding binder. Her organization is definitely something that I lack, because she had lists of things to register for, ceremony orders, and she has a mind to think of details that I never would have remembered! On my wedding day, she brought me a razor to shave my legs and some snacks for my wedding party. On our programs, she was listed as "Wedding Lifesaver Extraordinaire" and fit the bill to the T!

Now that we are "married friends," I absolutely love sharing this time of our lives with her! She is truly a domestic inspiration. She still has her helpful lists -- like a grocery list, Excel-style! She bakes her own bread! She's green! She picks apples and makes homemade apple sauce and fresh squeezed juice! She introduced me to FlyLady.net and therefore to Chlorox disinfecting wipes! And most recently, she blogs!

She is a great person, a great wife, and a great friend! Happy Birthday, Andrea Cherie!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

official endorsements

Now that our internet and cable are safely set up, I can show you three products I officially endorse as helpful on one's quest to domesticity.

I singed olive oil to a pot last week and crisped up a batch of brown rice the other day, caking grease on my beloved Calphalon. I happened to have a bleach mixture on hand for the former, but I read about this product and commissioned JT to buy some at Lowe's to have on hand. I sprinkled a bit on the pot, covered it in water, and the grease scrubbed right off! I'm told it also works on other tricky substances on pretty much any surface because the product itself isn't abrasive.

Since pretty much all of my healthy recipes come from Elie Krieger or the EatingWell website, I decided to invest in this cookbook. The tagline is officially "150 Healthy in a Hurry Suppers" and that's exactly what I'm looking for! I found it in B&N for a pretty penny, so I investigated and found in on Half.com for cheap. So even though I haven't tried it, the recipes have proven delicious, easy healthy alternatives for a working gal and husband who want to stay fit!

On my birthday, JT took me to the mall and I bought some much-needed makeup from Dillard's. I am the kind of girl who only buys makeup once a year -- if that. I think I'm making up for high school, when I wore way too much black eyeliner and dark pink blush. It was bad. Anyway, the counterlady at Origins threw in a sample skin care package and I have been hooked on my tiny tin of white tea moisturizer ever since! I love the smell, the density, and the way it makes my skin feel. Plus, it helps me follow the advice of the 70-year-old woman on Oprah whom I initially believed was 40: Moisture, Moisturize, Moisturize! I don't know what I am going to do when it's gone. We'll see how much Origins charges for the actual-size container, because I'm pretty sure I can learn to love something cheaper that I can find for less than $5 at Reasor's.

If the web developers of those three products find my site in their daily marketing ventures, I accept cash, check, and free products!

Friday, September 12, 2008

only time

If I ever have time, here's what I have to tell you about:

1) My two interesting interviews for our open position at work.
2) What happens off the clock at my office, involving a doubting newspaper reporter and a man who has run out of gas.
3) My healthy habits, revamped.
4) The latest dinner (Greek-style stuffed peppers with pictures).
5) Politics
6) The latest books I am reading and products I have tried.
7) A tribute to my dear friend and domestic influence, Andrea at http://ourtraditionalhome.blogspot.com.

Until then, this list will serve as my reference! Maybe I can catch up with my brain this weekend some time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

survey of threes

::three joys::
  • when my cooking turns out okay
  • down time
  • waking up next to my husband

::three fears::

  • never reaching my potential (failure)
  • spiders/wasps
  • anything that deals with spiritual warfare
::three current obsessions::
::three surprising facts::
  • I name pretty much everything I own
  • I count pretty much everything
  • I am kind of doing something with my English degree!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

motivational speech #1

Our internet at home is out right now, but we're working on getting it back up this week sometime. In the meantime, I am sitting in my office at work, having the most unproductive day of all time. There are mass quantities of tasks I need to complete, but I lack the motivation or desire to do anything that involves mental capacity.

So I am looking up recipes. A baked green bean recipe to bring to my parents' for Saturday's football festivities. Parmesan spinach cakes to make in my cupcake tin. Googling substitutions for bulgur and white beans since my supermarket happens to not stock either.

I am the worst employee ever. The girls that I "manage" are working hard at their jobs, and I can be found following a caterpillar-sized fire truck as it winds through the slick streets below me. That statement isn't entirely factual, though. I thrive quite well under pressure and stress; it's when the workload is down that it catches up with me. The skipped lunch breaks catch up with me. The client conflicts resolved after hours catch up with me. The issues that I listen to on talk radio catch up with me. The unplanned dinners catch up with me. The opinions I've formulated but haven't discussed or actualized catch up with me. The book that's been brewing in my head and the characters that are dying to escape through my fingers catch up with me most.

Just to hypothesize a little: if I managed a company, I would revolutionize the work field. Instead of maintaining a structure based on time, my employees would be paid for productivity. I'd also build in personal development into the work day and offer incentives for mental, physical, and creative growth. I believe that would boost production and keep employees from the paralysis of the 5-day, 40-hour box. That's all.

Don't get me wrong; I do love my job most of the time. I would face these challenges with any aspect of responsibility, though, and they might defeat me, but with a proper dose of optimism, they motivate me instead.

I have lots more to write about, but not on my boss's dime. Back to work for this Busy Bee. See you when our internet is up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

birthday weekend (illustrated ed.)

I had a fantastic birthday weekend! Saturday we worked at the church all day and then ate at Bonefish Grill where we split Pan Asian seared tilapia capped off by banana's foster. SO good! Sunday we met up with my parents for lunch, had cake at their place, and then relaxed around the house. Because of our little mouse friend, I disinfected all of my countertops and cabinets with bleach water, washed all of my pans and utensils in the same, and then we went to Starbucks and to go see Traitor, which was pretty good but a little too late.

The best surprise of my Birthday? My gift from JT, of course. We were sitting at Starbucks and I notice some paper peeking out behind my coffee collar. After a great effort, I freed it, grumbling about how someone had come up with the genius idea to pique curiosity and sells ads behind coffee collars. The red and white cardstock said eTickets, so I began to suspect something. He had gotten me tickets to see So You Think You Can Dance! I was very involved with that show this season and am looking forward to seeing and possibly meeting the dancers and checking out the brand new BOk Center in Tulsa.

Monday I had brunch with two of my longest girlfriends. One was in town for a bit on a break from grad school in Minnesota, where she is pursuing a master's degree in catholic studies. We had a delicious spinach, egg, and cheese breakfast quiche, some velvet crumb cake, and my homemade blueberry muffins, which turned out more like blueberry crumbles. Get a load of this beautiful tablescape and our contributions:

On Tuesday, it was back to work and back to reality, but I realized I hadn't planned anything for dinner. I asked a coworker if she had any recommendations and ended up making this quick delicious dish of sweet and sour chicken:

She said I needed a bottle of Russian dressing, a jar of tangerine preserves and a packet of dry onion soup mix. I was in the supermarket for maybe three minutes to grab the the chicken, dressing, and preserves and I was set. Plus, it gave me the chance to clean out my fridge, but the veggies are interchangeable. Yellow squash, green onions, and cilantro were in my fridge and tasted great! She puts the chicken in a casserole dish, covers it with sauce and veggies, and bakes it until the chicken is done. I made mine in a pan with brown rice and it worked just fine, too!

Needless to say, after this weekend, I felt like this:

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