Friday, February 26, 2010

off I go!

I have left JT with a fridge stocked with pizza and stuffed peppers (his fav) and am hitting the road for the night. Work event in the OKC + a cupdate (cupcake+date) with lovely coworkers + sleepover with my long lost friend Candace + whatever fun Saturday holds

When I go on trips, I like to have a few good CDs to last me. It's a dire, dire situation when I have a song in my head and cannot immediately listen to it. Problem: my CD burner happens to be broken. Plus: JT bought me a new stereo system last Christmas and I can plug in a USB packed with the songs of quite a few CDs. MAJOR PLUS: I just got three new CDs that I absolutely love so far!

Ben Rector
I went to high school with Ben, and now he is all grown up, married, and commanding audiences across the US with his amazing music. I hadn't really kept up with his music career since he was in a local band, but I'm so glad I bought his new CD!

Bon Iver

My friend Kacie is pretty much the hippest girl I know and my go-to girl for staying up on the music of today. She put the song "Skinny Love" in her mix CD she made for me last fall, and I was sold. This artist has a really unique sound. It's catchy...and organic? Is that too snobby of an adjective to use to describe him? Anyway, I like it and I'm excited about singing along and car dancing!


I got this CD sampler and have loved the sound of this. The songs I've heard are so different. Keeps you on your toes. I am used to the unique acoustic Waterdeep sound they pretty much invented, but this is refreshing! These are some creative people!

If I know Candace, I will come back soon with lots and lots of pictures!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

random thoughts by lb


I am lunching in front of my computer, and my mind is full of thoughts, like...

my perspective on mistakes (I made one today): 1) I would prefer not to make any mistakes at all, but I am human, of course, and 2) for the amount of volume I produce for this company, only a few occasional mistakes is pretty good.

the fantastic flavor profile of this butternut squash couscous I made for dinner a few nights ago and am now eating for lunch: hearty couscous, diced tomatoes, onions, garbanzo beans + semisweet butternut squash + a burst of sweet golden raisins + a slight buzz of cayenne pepper. So delish. It's food like this that makes me not feel sorry for vegetarians! (I will always feel a little sad for vegans, though, because of chocolate and ice cream!) This was one of my first recipes I made when I got married and was happy to come back to it! (adapted from this recipe)

the iPhone dilemma I've been mulling over for months. My dear phone Angus is on his death bed. His screen is shorting out more frequently, and the input for his charger is warped where I pretty much have to hold it in for it to charge. So I'm asking myself a lot: to iPhone? If I know for a fact I can live without it?

marriage: We kicked off SoCo CHICKS this Sunday night with a nice audio sermon on marriage. Lots of interesting thoughts on marriage between man and wife and marriage with Holy Spirit. This is an entire post of its own!

some awesome health food and fitness blogs I've been obsessed with reading lately, which makes me feel slightly guilty I haven't maintained my Project LGN blog and slightly tempted to scrap that blog and come up with something entirely different. Who would have thought that looking at pictures of what people eat and hearing about how many marathons they've run would be so addicting. I am putting some of their healthy habits into practice.

this verse: Matthew 25:29 - "To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away." Heavy heavy stuff. It can apply to talents, money, blessings, energy, health, and so much more.

Because it's always a good reminder, but today maybe more than ever, here are things I am grateful for: 

 great friends and family
healthy friends and family
 rest and fun this weekend
getting a lot done at work lately
a marriage that's better than ever!
a husband with exciting taste buds
working with people that I lovelovelove
my awesome running outfit motivating me to run today:
sunshine motivating me for my first 2010 outside run today!
izze soda

(look, I made a bell!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me! Monday!


NO WAY am I writing Not Me! Monday! on a Sunday. Nope, no how.  
MckMama, the brains behind this fun little game, would be so disappointed!

I did NOT sneak a peek at Facebook this morning, you know, because some people observe Lent every day except Sunday. NOT me! And I did NOT find that I haven't missed it as much as I thought I would!

When my husband wanted to surprise me with a mystery double date, I did NOT trick him into telling me who it was. NO, the answer I hoped for didn't immediately pop into my head, and I did NOT tell him Lecia had told me so his disbelief would confirm my suspicion. I am NOT that much of a Jezebel trickster!

Speaking of JT, a few weeks ago, he did NOT ask me to make some cookies and granola for a coworker who gave us A LOT of Kosher steaks he raises for Christmas. And when I made the loot, JT did NOT scoop his coworker's prize into a little bag and keep the rest for himself. No, my husband's sweet tooth is NOT that bad!

I did NOT have a false alarm with an iPhone, almost buy one at the store, and then turn around and go home empty-handed. I am much more decisive and don't let little guilt trips, like the fact that its extra fees will cost more than two months' groceries every year, sway my decisions easily.

Last but not least, enough said:

Thursday, February 18, 2010


 JT made me dinner last night!

Dear Facebook, Yesterday I made the tough decision to give you up for Lent. Each time I was at a computer, my fingers automatically typed "facebo..." with no instruction from my brain. Am I really that addicted to you that typing in your address is so ingrained in my muscle memory that my brain doesn't even have to consciously command my fingers? Between that and your horrendous new home page changes, we're going to have to have a serious evaluation soon. See you in 39 days, LB PS: Is there a way I can still see E. Loerke's daily letters? I will miss those most!

Dear String Cheese, 
Why did I hate you all those years growing up? Now I find you super delicious, low calorie, filling, and you throw in an unexpected bonus: 6 grams of protein in one stick! Congratulations, you've just become my new go-to snack. And I have my BFF to thank for it! I will never doubt you again. Satiated, LB

Dear YouVersion, 
Thank you for helping me read my Bible throughout this Lent season and beyond. All I have to do is log in and you have my daily Bible readings ready for me. If the Bible is my daily bread, then you are Subway: a great customizable vehicle for just the kind of sustenance I need. I can highlight verses I want to save, make my notes, and even keep an online prayer journal through you. was genius for thinking you up. I will recommend you to all of my friends. Inspired to Read, LB

Dear Florastor, 
I just started taking you yesterday as a last resort, and I can already see a major improvement in my symptoms. Maybe it's just a placebo effect, or maybe little warriors are actually attacking the bad guys in my body, but either way, I am grateful for two good days in a row! Happy Customer, LB

To My Handsome Chef, 
Last night we officially joined The Next Grilleration. Your first major meal cooked since we've been married, your lemon pepper tilapia and whole wheat couscous with green onions, celery, and lemon, not only filled my tummy, but it put a smile on my face even while I was cleaning my cake ball mess-infested kitchen. I think your prize should be whipping up our dinner once weekly with the help of George Foreman. What do you think? I vote waffles next week! 'Til Death Do Us Part, LB

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a day in the life of LB

am0505: Wake up and start press releasing. Don't want to stay late at work on my busy day because I have a grand meal planned for my JT.
am0808: Reluctantly change out of sweats and leave for work
am0815: Traffic jam. I go one mile in 30 minutes.
am0845: Arrive to work. Workworkworkworkworkworkwork!
am1145: Eat Lean Cuisine lunch at my desk. Continue to workworkworkworkworkwork!
pm0200: Receive call from JT; depart to pick up my father-in-law from the ER. He broke his leg and drove himself there but could not drive himself home with a cast.
pm0330: Arrive to in-laws' casa. See father-in-law safely to his bed. Take mother-in-law back to the ER to retrieve her car.
pm0430: Decide it's not worth it to go all the way to my office and then turn around and go home. Run three miles at my parents' house.
pm0545: Arrive at mi casa. Check the mail for my promised brand-new Moleskine planner from Sad for a few seconds when I realize it's President's Day and no mail. Oh well, back to Workworkworkworkwork.
pm0615: Heart soars when FedEx arrives with my promised Moleskine planner. Heart sinks when it realizes planner is the size of my thumb. Oh well. Back to Workworkworkwork!
pm0645: JT arrives home. I start his requested dinner, one of our all-time favs: cook onion and garlic in EVOO and then add chopped mushrooms and spinach, reduce with white wine, and stir in parm cheese and/or laughing cow at the end. Do all of this to taste and serve with the pasta that's been cooking all along.
pm0700: My plastic green normally reliable cutting board "pops" or inverts as I'm adding the star ingredient, sending mushroom bits flying across my stove and kitchen floor. I'm proud of myself for not cussing at this moment.
pm0715: Eat and TV time with JT.
pm0800: Turn on a Harry Potter movie and back to the computer for workworkworkworkwork. Not even close to being done. My valiant JT takes my car out in the freezing cold, picks up my medicine, and fills up my empty tank (see driving from 2:00-4:30).
pm0815: JT signs on to Google Talk to remind me about his promised Valentine's Day cake balls. (Already a day late, mind you.) I put my cleaning lady named Oven to work on the cake and clean some of my mushroom mess. Then it's back to Workworkworkworkworkwork.
pm1000: More cake ball prep. Cuddle time with JT. Shower off my workout mess!
pm1100: Assemble cake balls and put in the fridge to glaze tomorrow.My valiant JT cleans up mushroom mess.
pm1151: Decide to put off finishing my work until 0505 tomorrow a.m. and blog instead. Trying to remember all of those times I've told myself, "God had you in His hand all along. Why did you waste all of that time on stress?"
Now: In the words of my favorite "Neverending Story" character:

it's seep seep time!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Dear Water, Even though I cheat on you fairly often with more tempting mistresses like Izze soda and Henry Weinhard's root beer, it's always you. Somehow I always come back to you. When I take a big gulp, you somehow refresh me from the tip of my ponytail to my toes stuffed in my Merrells. Thank you, and I promise to drink you more often. Quenched, LB

Dear Goal Week, My coworkers and I are so close to hitting you it's not even funny, and while you normally stress us out to no end, we have had a lot of fun by drowning our sorrows in homemade sweet maple cream cheese-glazed cinnies and incorporating fun games like taking a shot of red bull every time someone gets an event in our new St. Patty's Day shot glasses. Never a dull moment, LB

Dear Knee, I know you like it best when a little less of me runs on you, but here's the rub. You see, I have to run on you in order to become a little less of me. Does that make sense? Either way, I'm going to knee-d you to cooperate. Stop catching when I bend you for too long and I will try to take better care of you after I run. Capiche? LB

Dear Snow, Please...Stay...AWAY! You're not a charming novelty anymore! Still Blessed, LB

Dear Creative Bones, Do you still exist? Sometimes it's hard to exercise you when I spend my entire day staring at a screen and abusing the little part of my brain connected to my fingertips. Then when I leave, if I don't exercise my body, my muscles will shrivel up from underuse and I will be left very reminiscent to a jello mold except without the mad flexibility skills. Still working on that balance, LB

Dear JT, I know we said we weren't going to buy each other presents for VDay this year, but you never said I couldn't MAKE anything for you. I think I'll whip up your absolute favorite -- you know, the things that take lots of love, a little bit of elbow grease, and turn into little morsels of chocolatey, cakey goodness? Because I love you that much, LB

Monday, February 8, 2010

Several times this semester, my best friend has called me with somber news.

"Avalanche happened again," my morose friend would say. And I'd know exactly what she meant.

She had these metal, grate shelves in her closet piled high with t-shirts, sweatshirts, pajamas -- anything that couldn't be hung up -- and when she said avalanche, she meant it in the most literal term possible. So when she sent me a picture of the clothes spilling out of her closet in layers, I knew what I had to do.

But she wouldn't have anything to do with it. So I kind of disobeyed her. I haven't exactly been where she is, smack dab in the middle of her last semester of grad school, working a demanding job, and trying to fulfill her practicum hours before graduation, but I've been close. Sickness has hit me at the worst inconvenient times like it did for her last week.

And when all of that stuff is happening at once, even normally fairly clean people can justly let laundry slide in favor of acing a midterm, and double their bed as a dining room table, closet, desk, and more when deadlines are looming. There's no judgment or harm in it at all -- you gotta do what you gotta do. In fact, I have called her numerous times in our 10+ year friendship, practically in tears, begging her to just come sit on my bed and talk me through the cleaning. That's what friends are for!

So this weekend, against her protests, I came for a visit as planned, but decided to drop in a few hours early and make my friend's life just a little easier. Here's what happened (and again, don't judge. Judgment is not cool):

I didn't take a before picture of the closet, but that's just the beginning of an avalanche. It all snowballs from there! I forced her to get rid of two bags of goodwill clothing and bags, and we reorganized her bathroom, too. There's no better feeling than a clean living space after it's been a little on the wayside. I'm so glad I could bless her in that way. It was just my way of paying forward everything she's done for me in our friendship.

Love you, Lelj!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

random thoughts

It's 1:10 a.m. and I have Pilates at 7 a.m. tomorrow. My legs are killing me. I don't know how Pilates keeps throwing me these curveballs after six months now, but I have my theories. My first class in a week and a half completely sneaked up on me. It wasn't my usual instructor, my legs were tired from "all the running I've been doing," and when it was over, body shook until I fed it. Yeah, not sure how I'm going to survive tomorrow's class. Maybe sit in the sauna if my legs refuse to cooperate?


One night this week, I got home and found JT staring at a package as if he thought he could open it by staring hard enough. I knew it had come from my sweet friend, Michelle! It was an adorable black scarflet I have already made great use of with soft, bulky yarn, and a really cool stitch. And she even included a nice note explaining how to wear it, which I was very grateful for. I told her she should start an Etsy site, and she said she already has one with a few things on it! Please make more, Michelle!


When I'm not working, working out, or sleeping, I wear exactly one outfit this winter, with few a few variations. My knee-high rainbow Smartwools (love you, JT!), my big fluffy chocolate brown hoodie from my alma mater, jeans, and whatever I want to underneath my hoodie. Oh, and a ponytail. I do laundry, I have to justify to people. Often.


Thinking of my sweet friend, Sarah, who has just days to go before delivering her baby girl and putting a big fat bow on her head. Praying for you, girl! Both for patience, grace, and you know, for the actual delivery part.


Last night was the first time I'd cooked in my kitchen in about two weeks, I realized. Between spending four days at my parents' house during Snowpocalypse and just being downright busy, that's how long it had been. And it showed.  I was planning to make a mushroom cream pasta with a few of my last ingredients, so I got out my marscarpone cheese to make it lukewarm while I cleaned up my kitchen. Then I discovered my mushrooms were bad. So I made a butternut squash couscous. And I left the marscarpone out all night by accident. Whoops. But on the plus side, I did discover that my carrot peeler makes an awesome squash pulp scooper!


Heading to Northwest Arkansas this weekend to see my BFF and do a little quality control down there. Sometimes a girl just needs her BFF, and I can't decide who needs whom more. Have a great weekend! 

Friday, February 5, 2010

pictures of winter

the clouds that brought snowpocalypse 2010

mom & pops

love this little face

Ri Le: best meal ever
strawberry soy with special chicken soup
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