Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where have I been?

Clearly I’ve been living under a rock. 

How have I not been shopping BaubleBar until now?? I feel like I’ve heard about it forever and read about it on various blogs or in different magazines, but I finally signed up for an account after drooling over a friend’s necklace Friday night. She mentioned she snagged it from BaubleBar, and since she too was new, she got $10 off! I picked up this lovely gem {am so loving mint right now!} for a mere $26.

Debating which of these lovelies I need...

And was thrilled to see this on there for $49...

Considering I snagged it on sale for $29 at Anthro a few weeks ago {I never find deals!}. Only downside to BB, the email promotions…I find myself constantly going back wanting to order more. I guess with their fantastic prices and free shipping, I cannot do too much damage!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Scenes from the weekend...

Happy Monday all!  What  a wonderful {restful} weekend we had…can I tell you that I didn’t even leave the house Saturday. Seriously.  It was amazing.  Friday B was back on dad duty so I could enjoy a girls night {at a new fabulous Mexican joint}.  I love my little man so much but definitely appreciate {and need} a night to myself every now and then. I am just so thankful that we have friends with little ones the same age.  B’s dad duty included ordering pizza with Lil’s dad and watching the Olympics.  I don’t think anyone was complaining. J Saturday was a lazy day of sleeping in and lounging in pjs all day {my idea of a perfect day}.  Yesterday was non-stop with church in the morning, lunch with friends and a cookout that evening.  G found a new {another!} girlfriend, and I overindulged in the dessert spread {have you seen this deliciousness?}.  But hey, that’s what the weekend is for, right? 

Friday, July 27, 2012

What can I bring?

Happy Friday to all!  Cannot believe another week has come and gone, but thank you for the weekend {so needing to sleep in tomorrow!}.  So last night I got to thinking about hostess gifts…We went to a lovely dinner party at some new friends’ house and of course asked, “What can we bring?” They graciously replied with the common answer among hosts, “Just yourselves.”  Well I don’t know about you, but I’m never one to show up empty-handed.  My go-to host treats include the following:

But so often I find {and I’m the exact same way} the hosts have already selected the wine for the evening, have flowers and décor already in place and have whipped up some lovely dessert. There is then the feeling of obligation to open the bottle of wine or serve the dessert. And the worst is when the host has to stop whatever preparations they are doing to find and fill a vase with your flowers. Suddenly I feel like I’ve imposed!

So, all that to say, we have another dinner invitation this weekend {and have already received the “Just bring yourselves” response}, so I’m thinking of trying something new. A friend mentioned this idea on her fabulous blog, and I love it!

So often as the host you’ve crossed every t and dotted every i for that evening’s engagement…the last thing you want to do is fix breakfast the next morning. J What better {and thoughtful} gift than a breakfast treat! I’m thinking I’ll be hitting up Great Harvest tomorrow for some scrumptious cinnamon chip bread. Enjoy the weekend all!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dads on Duty

Recipe Club was so fun last night, and I think my cookies were a hit!  The highlight of the night was not the food rather walking into this sight.

The dads were on baby duty last night at our house so all the moms could enjoy Recipe Club sans babies. These guys were cracking us up last night! They had a ball, and I am just so thankful for such great friends that are going through this new adventure that is parenthood with us. Amen for amazing dads!

So, onto the food!  Everything was delish, but here are some of my favorites from last night.

Almond Sheet Cake (this was my favorite!)
Cannot wait to make all of these!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brown Sugar Cookies

So this month’s Recipe Club theme is “Pinterest.”  We all know we spend our days pinning and pinning recipes galore but then never actually make them.  So for this month’s gathering, we were all challenged to bring something we’ve pinned but never actually made.  I had such a high hopes to whip up some fancy, extravagant, ooh la la dish that would just wow my friends, but alas there was no time to go to the store {let alone whip up said ooh la la dish}.  So last night I went through my “SweetTreats” board and found this gem and knew it was a winner {mainly because I already had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry}.  The best part about this recipe, in the time it took B to dress George after his bath, I mixed, rolled and got these bad boys in the oven in time to put my little one down for bed.  I enlisted B’s help to take them out of the oven in case I was not done reading Little Owl in the Tree before the buzzer sounded.  Not only did B take them out, but he also helped himself to four cookies!  Here’s hoping the girls like them as much as he did.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

Heat oven to 350. With an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar on medium-high speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the vanilla, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing just until combined.
On a small plate, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Shape the dough into balls (about 1 teaspoon each). A few at a time, roll the cookies in the cinnamon sugar to coat and place on baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until puffed and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Voila, brown sugar cookies!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scenes from the weekend...

Happy Tuesday to all! Did everyone have a nice weekend? Ours flew by as it was tri-time in our house. B's big weekend was finally here. All his training {all three weeks of it!} paid off. We laid low Friday night so B could get a good night's rest knowing he probably wouldn't sleep Saturday night. The next day we all went downtown for pre-race registration and orientation. Lots of first-timers so B was not alone. Sunday morning we were up at 5am and headed back downtown. I teared up {wouldn’t be the last time that day} driving over the bridge looking down at all the racers eagerly awaiting the plunge into the Cumberland {yuck!}.  I was just so proud of B that he was so committed to this.  G and I managed to park and get down to the river in time to see him run out and to his first transition.  Over-emotional me could not even cheer for him because I was so choked up {who knew triathlons were so moving!}.  Luckily by the time he biked back for his second transition I was more composed, and G and I were able to yell and cheer him on.  The final stop was the finish line, and I have to tell you I was so inspired and pumped up by the atmosphere I was almost ready to sign up to tri {but of course that was a fleeting moment!}.  The music was blaring, G and I were dancing and ready to see our guy cross the finish line.  I was just so moved by the sense of community from all the spectators {we were sporting our homemade shirts, but would you believe I managed to leave the poster we made at home?}.  People were cheering for racers they didn’t even know and it was really inspiring.  I just watched each racer cross that finish line and hear their name announced and wondered what was their story?  Who were they racing for?  What had they overcome?  What really pulled at my heartstrings were two individuals racing.  One gentleman was blind, and the other was a paraplegic.  Watching their determination and support from those accompanying them…oh I was a mess!  Again, made me want to sign up {but then remembered I don’t run!}.  G and I cheered B across, and he even managed to beat his goal time!  I was just so proud of him.  We celebrated with brunch at Jackson’s and then headed home to rest before the post-race BBQ with friends.  We enjoyed some incredible food, libations and fellowship and ended the night reliving the race.  I know I sounded like a broken record, but I just kept telling B how proud I was of him.  And I’m still saying it… J

Friday, July 20, 2012

And we're back...

We are back!  After 12 days, 4 states, 1620 miles and many, many diapers, we survived our road trip.  What fun we had!  It was truly amazing to have 12 straight days of no checking emails {or blogging…oops!}, no obligations and nothing to do but rest, relax and catch up with amazing family and friends.  We kicked off our adventure celebrating the Fourth at Lake Bruin and enjoyed fireworks, food and fun.  B played at Netterville Landing that night and even a crazy storm couldn’t keep people away.  The next couple of days were spent out on the boat, sunning on the dock, playing in the water and sipping pina coladas.  Nights were spent chatting in the screened in porch while listening to the rain, playing Mexican train and eating lots of yummy food.  There is something about living away from your family and friends that makes you just truly relish your time together.  We bid farewell to the lake and headed onto B’s hometown of Rayville and our former stomping ground of Monroe.  So fun to see old friends and introduce our little guy.  Next stop on the trip was Dallas and G remained a trooper.  He stayed with Oma and Poppa so Mom and Dad could go out with friends and managed to stay up late each night to hang with the fam.  The highlight was then he actually slept in two mornings in a row {I swear I’m not making this up!}.  I got to sleep until 9:30am {twice!} and finally woke him up at 10am.  I cannot remember the last time I slept that late {uninterrupted}.  And as always, we ran out of time.  Even with two trips to Northpark and three nights of Mexican food, I was still left needing more time in my hometown.  But alas it was time to head on to Jacksonville, TX to celebrate my nephew Ben’s fourth birthday.  Loved catching up with the Texas Boltons and wished we had more time with them.  We packed up and headed back to LA for a good night’s sleep at MeMo's before our final day of driving home to Nashville.  And that’s exactly what it is…home.  I love our family and friends and so enjoyed our time with them but was glad to be heading back.  Nashville has become our home, and I am just so thankful for our life here.  Looking forward to having everyone come our way next month!
Ready to hit the road!

G was not exactly loving his life jacket.

Beth and my beautiful godson, Maddox

G and MeMo

My youngest brother, Michael, and his adorable girlfriend, Alicia

The Rhodes Family

B's sister, Sarah Ann, and her boyfriend, Jacob

Thank you, Dulce Desserts!

See, he's not always happy. ;)

My new favorite game

These two are going to be trouble one day...

 He LOVED the water!

My new go-to app...
Round of Brie, packed brown sugar and chopped pecans.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. 

Nothing better...

Sweet sugar from Mamaw

Dinner with friends...oh how the times they have a changed...Loved making the reservation for 12 adults and four high chairs. :)

Loved meeting Miss Betsy!

Sweet sugar from Asher

The birthday boy

This boy was all tuckered out from his travels...but I just love that he enjoyed every single minute!