Sunday, November 21, 2010

Food and Flight

We are nearing the end of November.... can you believe it? Houston has still been gracing us with the most perfect weather! Sunny with highs in the mid 70s everyday. Scott and I have been going out to play tennis for the past 3 weekends, and he has beat me every time....until yesterday! Yes, I finally had my victory ;-)

This week has been a busy week, but a good one. I have been trying to get ahead on my school work so that I am not overwhelmed during Thanksgiving break. Scott has been transferred over to my school for a job they are doing there, so I get to see him a bit more often :-) He works only a few blocks away from my building!

So.... this week we had a Thanksgiving celebration with our church's small group! Festivities included amazing food (each person contributed a dish)...

ugly sweater competition...

Sweet friend, E

I think B won this competition... yikes...

Fluffy Bunny game...

For those who are unfamiliar with Fluffy Bunny, the point is to stuff as many marshmallows as possible into your mouth and still be able to say a chosen word. Our word was "Thanksgiving".

I was only able to get 6 in.

Scott was in the final round with M, but ended up losing.

He got 10 marshmallows in his mouth, though!

...and pictionary!

We had a blast :-)

Yesterday, our friend R took Scott, Eric, Sarah, and me out for helicopter rides! She has been a pilot for a few years now and finally had the opportunity to take us up at a discounted rate. We had so much fun! It was a little nerve racking because the helicopter didn't have side doors, and the helicopter was one of the smaller ones that the company owns. But, we got to wear the big headphones and listen to R do her helicopter radio talk with other pilots in the area! It was really fun! Thanks, R!

There goes Sarah!

We were 500 ft. in the air!

There I go!

The pilot!

Last night I went over to my friend E's parents' house for her birthday celebration! We ate a fabulous dinner and ate cake with her family and a couple other friends. She lives in San Antonio, but came down to Houston for her birthday :-) We had a good time catching up! Scott went to Eric's bachelor party last night and it sounds like they had a lot of fun with the guys.

Today, we slept in until about 10:00 and have just taken it easy. I am about to start back up on homework, though. My goal is to finish my project for Voice Disorders before Thanksgiving break! We will see...

Blessings to you all and we will see some of you VERY soon for Thanksgiving!!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Broaches, broaches....

When I was in high school, I started collecting these beautiful, antique gems. My mom would hop from antique store to antique store with me and help me pick out the perfect pieces; all purchased for usually under $15. I would wear them in clusters on my cardigans, pin them to my purses, hook one on a pair of jeans. They were my fashion statement, one uniquely my own. That is, until a Gap ad started selling cardigans with clusters of broaches.... then, I wasn't so original! I will admit that I had put broaches away for a long while. I kept them all, of course, because they are so pretty and reminded me of my high school fashionista ways. But, come my wedding, I recognized the unique beauty of my broaches once again and ended up wearing a milk glass choker with a stunning broach attached, set slightly off-center on my neck. I felt like a countess from Pride and Prejudice that day :-)

So, since then, I have slowly started pinning my broaches here and there once again, incorporating them into whatever outfit seems appropriate for one. Scott and I went to a ballet to watch our friends, M and T, dance a few weeks ago and I decided to get a little more creative about my broach-wearing. Rather then pin it to the typical cardigan or nestle it on the neckline of one of my shirts, these two options not only added a bit of charm to my wear, but enhanced and completely changed the looks of two items I already own! I encourage you to try this out!

What you need:
-Pair of clip-on costume earrings
-Pair of dress shoes, heels or flats
-Plain necklace: a choker works best, but you could use whatever you have

What to do: For the necklace
-Unhook the broach and place strands from the necklace inside
-Close the broach, making sure that all strands from the necklace are inside the pin
-The broach should slide around the necklace as if it were a charm

What to do: For the shoes
-Unclip the clip-on earrings
-Place centered on the top of each shoe
-Close the clip!
-NOTE: you could use broaches for this if your shoes are made of cloth, or if the shoes have decorative holes that you could lace the pin through

Happy broaching! Let me know if you come up with any other clever ideas for broaches!


Friday, November 12, 2010

BLT Salad

My favorite sandwich is without a doubt the BLT (bacon, lettuce tomato, of course). Something about the crunch of the toast, bacon, and lettuce with the tang of tomato and mayonnaise creates a salty, juicy medley that I just LOVE!

But, something that I am not a huge fan of is a salad. I am giving them an honest try, though, experimenting with various combinations and homemade dressings and this salad is one that I could eat again and again. Probably because the only thing it lacks from my favorite sandwich is the toasted bread... but then again, I could just add croutons next time ;-)

Unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of this salad because I made it for our church small group and it was devoured before photos could be taken!

This serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 to 8 as a side dish

What you will need:
-Large bag of greens, rinsed and dried (I used arugula and mesclun greens, but you could use romaine or whatever green you like!)
-6 to 8 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp
-1 c. of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

For the dressing:
-1/3 c. of mayonnaise
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-2 cloves of garlic
-1/3 c. of olive oil
-Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
-Combine salad ingredients in a bowl
-Combine dressing ingredients in a large jar and shake until well combined
-Pour dressing over salad and mix until greens are well coated

NOTE: The dressing is really to taste. You want more lemon, add more lemon! Not quite so oily, decrease the oil! Whatever you like :-)

Pesto Chicken and Cranberry Tartlets

This recipe I credit 100% to my mother. She is the culinary artist behind this delicious appetizer, perfect for an Italian inspired feast, or simple enough to whip up for a get together with friends (which is what I used it for recently, at K's surprise birthday party). We had told our friends that we would bring an appetizer to the party, but had forgotten about this commitment until the day of the party.... oops. Tis what happens when we both work all day every day!

Thankfully, my mom's green recipe book was nestled nicely in my cookbook cabinet, waiting to unveil this simple, savory treat. When they come together in their perfect little stack, these tasty bites appear as though you spent quite some time in the kitchen, but such is NOT the case.

What you will need:
-1 roll of precooked polenta, usually found with the rice and couscous at your grocery store (Scott would like me to inform you that it looks like a tube of Jimmy Dean sausage, haha)
-1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded into bite size pieces
-1 8 oz. container of basil pesto
-Olive oil
-1 pkg. dried cranberries

What to do:
-Pour enough olive oil into a nonstick skillet to fill the pan approximately 1/4"
-Slice polenta into 1/2" thick rounds and cook in the oil until golden brown on both sides, and set aside
-Place shredded chicken and basil pesto in a large bowl and stir until chicken is well coated
-Spoon 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture onto each polenta round
-Top each with 4 or 5 dried cranberries
-Devour in 2 bites!

Enjoy :-)


Monday, November 8, 2010

It All Began 8 Years Ago....

Here is a brief photo reel of our first year of dating....

First day of school, Junior year

Scott's new truck.... he misses it.

At a friend's house after my tennis tournament

My momma took photos of us at our 3 month mark

FREEZING soccer games.... I attended MANY.

Homecoming. His mom made my mum :-)

Youth group adventures

Awww...... ;-)

And One Month Later....

I can't believe it has been exactly ONE MONTH since my last post! Not good. October was a HECTIC month of school for me. My life consisted of non stop, go go go, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every single day for that entire month. I was pooped, but now I am revived! I am so glad to finally have the time of day to sit down and write this post! This will be just a brief overview of the last month, as I don't wish to overwhelm anyone.

So, what has been happening outside the realm of school? Well, we had a birthday party for Scott with our friends...

Celebrated Jim and Scott's birthdays back in Belton....

Jim got ENGAGED!!!....

We shot my grandfather's crossbow with the family.....

Yup! That would be my grandmother!

Jim shot the target!!!...

Celebrated all Key Family birthdays in Belton the next weekend....

Had a surprise birthday party for our friend, K, the weekend after that....

WOW, that's a lot of birthdays!!

Had a lingerie shower for my dear friend, M....

Went camping in Big Thicket (one of few National Forests in the USA)....

And had a nice visit from our sweet friends, J and A this past weekend.....

We made lots of good memories over the last 4 weeks. We spent lots of time with family and friends on the weekends, which was a nice break for Scott and I after hectic work weeks. Scott continues to amaze me with his willingness to cook most nights and give me back rubs. He is truly the greatest :-)

Speaking of Scott, today marks our 8 years of being together anniversary! (Not 8 years of marriage, mind you...) Yes, we started dating in high school when he was barely 16 and I was 15, soon to be 16. We were immature and naive back then, but we have since grown up (somewhat ;-) ) and have a wonderful marriage together. He was my best friend then, and is my best friend now. May the memories continue to form, the love ever grow, and the laughter never cease! I love you, Scott :-)

Many blessings to you all! I have a few projects/recipes to share with you soon.... Stay tuned.... I promise it won't be another month!