Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday


Today I'm linking up on a new link-up called What's Up Wednesday. It's a fun little list of questions that make you think. And while I normally discourage too much thinking on Wednesday, these are fun to think about :)

What I'm eating this week...

This week, well and this past month, I've jumped on the Shakeology bandwagon. Post-busy season I was eating entirely too much and none of it was healthy. I used to eat relatively well and honestly enjoyed it, but I needed something to jump start the process of getting back into it. My friend Emily and her big sister Sarah introduced me to Shakeology and I honestly love it. At first I was a bit skeptical, but after the first week I actually looked forward to that shake once a day! And I'm eating a lot less and a lot healthier these days :)

What I'm reminiscing about...

Italy. Hands down. Last April I went to Italy with my parents and it has been forefront on the brain lately. I just really want to go back! ASAP!

What I'm loving...

My pup. This handsome street dog turned 6 this past month! No matter how the day was, good or bad, I always come home to an eager face that's happy to see me. 

What I've been up to...

My client filed their quarter in April, so it wasn't an overly exciting month - but I DID go to my very first Mavs game this past Sunday! I had never been so Jeff bought us tickets to the playoffs...aaaand we were a couple of good luck charms because they were 0 -3, but they rocked it out on Sunday night! Guess we should have gone last night, too....

Plus we attended the ACMs this month...can't forget about those!

What I'm dreading...

Off the top of my head, I'm really not dreading anything. And I consider that a good thing - so I don't want to dwell too long on trying to think of something that makes me unhappy :)

What I'm working on...

Organizing my life. Kelsey and I have been working on our "adult" lately. We're cleaning out closets, cooking healthy meals, budgeting, reading more, going on nightly walks - but man. Having your life together is no small feat. Oh well, baby steps. It's definitely something I'm working on.

What I'm excited about...

I have my 5-year Boston anniversary this June, so we decided to make a family affair out of it and all take an extended weekend trip! We booked our flights last week so the anticipation has begun! OH - and we bought our Red Sox tickets. I'm smiling just thinking about it. I love when my whole family gets together. So stinking excited for this trip!

What I'm watching/reading...

I've been watching a lot of DWTS this month. This is the show Jeff and I watch together (we're a couple of harsh critics), and thanks to work and busy schedules, we've done a lot of catch-up this month. AND last night they had the anniversary special starring my girl-crush Melissa Rycroft, aaaand since Jeff was working late I asked nicely if I could watch without him. Sweet man obliged :)

What I'm listening to... This will probably be the answer to this question every month.

What I'm wearing...

Hah. Well right now I'm wearing jammies, a fuzzy purple robe, and my accessory is my coffee cup. BUT - other than that I've been wearing a lot of workout clothes! See my new additions to the fitness wardrobe here.

What I'm doing this weekend...

I'M GOING TO NEWSIES!!! My love for this musical runs deep. Way deep. I'm a musical junkie but this is hands down my favorite. My mom, sister and I went to see it on Broadway during out NYC Christmas visit and I cried I was so happy. Well it's coming to Dallas and I'm seeing it! Twice! But the first time is this weekend - so that's #1 on my weekend to-do list! 

What I'm looking forward to next month...

Let's see - what does May hold? Well, other than seeing Newsies twice, I'm celebrating my sweet mama for Mother's Day and my sweet big sister's birthday! I hope to attend my first Rangers game of the season, Jeff and I are officially joining our church, I might squeeze in a trip to Canton, and probably will continue to work on my adult. But more on that to come in my May goals :)

and the seasonal question for the month...
What am I buying my mom for Mother's Day?

Well, Mama Sue reads this here blog. Therefore, I cannot say :)

Depending on what time you read this - only 2 (or 3) more days until the weekend!

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Heath Bars

This past weekend I took half of Friday off and went home to Beaumont to surprise my mama! My dad went out of town to his 50th high school reunion so I showed up on their doorstep! We stayed in all weekend and had a completely girly weekend. I'm talking countless hours of girl talk, nail painting, Hallmark movies, face masks, and baking. I love baking with my mama. She's the best baker in the world!

The Heath Bar

For Christmas, she got both of us these cookbooks of "America's Most Wanted Recipes....Just Desserts." Yes, please. 

While she was out getting Chick-Fil-A for lunch, I skimmed the table of contents to choose a dessert. For those of you who are dear to my heart, you are aware that this past holiday season I discovered the heath bar. And now I'm obsessed. So when my eyes hit "Starbucks Heath Bar" I stopped scanning. That's what we were making. 

It's a pretty simple recipe that needs common household ingredients. I brought them to work today for a treat during a meeting and holy moly were they a hit. My name was cursed. In the good way :) Let's just say I'm pretty sure no person had 'just one.'

Here's what you'll need: 

1 1/2 sticks - unsalted butter
1 1/2 sticks - margarine

1 1/4  cups - sugar
1 1/4 cups - light brown sugar
3 eggs
4 cups - flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups - semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups - white chocolate chips
3 bags - Heath bar bits

...I didn't say they were healthy. I said they were a hit :)

Here's what you'll do:

Cream the butter and margarine (with an electric mixer), then add in both sugars til the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in each egg, one at a time, and add the vanilla extract.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt - gradually add into the mixture above

Fold in all the many sweet pieces (chocolate, white, and heath bits)

Pour the batter into a greased 15 x 19 pan (think Texas sheet cake size) and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

And there you have it! The simple, yet scrumptious, heath bar. 


Until next time,
Monday, April 27, 2015

Workout Wardrobe

The past couple of weeks I've been doing a little shopping, and one of the things I was scoping out was some new work out clothes. I've been doing better about getting my tail to the gym, but unfortunately that means I'm doing laundry waaaaay too often.

And no one wants that. So obviously I need more work out clothes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm trying to be smart about this. I love LuLu Lemon, but I can't afford an entire closet of their clothes. My closet budget has to cover work and play, too - not just the gym. BUT -  I do appreciate good quality and am willing to pay a little more if they'll hold up through the frequent visits to sweaty group fitness classes and the washing machine. 

A couple of weeks ago in a Friday Favorite, I shared these new favorite workout pants of mine from Gap. They fit so well and make me so happy that it put me on a mission to search for more. Well and also because my friends were starting to judge me for wearing the same pants all the time.

Dang it.
So I am a huge fan of Kate Hudson. She's adorable and tiny and I could watch her romantic comedies over and over again (especially those starring Mr. McConaughey). She started her own fitness clothing line called Fabletics and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. Your first outfit is $25. ....did you see what I just said? OUTFIT. Not your first pair of pants, not your first workout tank - your first outfit. So naturally I signed up. 

I got the Mossyrock Park.

It's a three-part outfit: printed capris (in a ton of different colors), a white tank, and a bandeau top in the color of your choice. Due to my love of purple, I chose these. Who's surprised?

I was interested to see material/quality when they came in, aaaaand have no fear. They're awesome. And ridiculously soft. Needless to say I'm excited for my monthly picks. Which leads me to: how does Fabletics work

On the first of every month, Fabletics will send you an email with suggested selections (based on a survey you take). You have until the 5th to make a purchase or pass. If you pass before the 5th, you will not be charged. And you can skip as many months you would like and can cancel this process at any time. No harm no foul. So I'm really excited to check my email on Friday morning :)

So that's what Kate's got going on. Now let's check in on Carrie. Yes, I apparently buy from my favorite famous people. But y'all know how I feel about my girl Carrie, how could I not look into her new line? Carrie teamed up with Dick's Sporting Goods and started CALIA by Carrie Underwood.

I spent some time on her website this weekend, and while I didn't see too many tanks/tops I loved, I found a must-have pair of pants. I'm slightly obsessed with these smokey plum leggings...

They're the essential tight fit leggings and come in the plum color above and black. They also have capri versions. I just love them. I think my favorite features are the back and bottoms...

Love love. 

Okay so those are my latest finds. I'm still on the search (probably will be all summer) so I'll report back with my new finds. And for those reading, if you have a favorite - I need to know. My work-out wardrobe begs and pleads of you. 

OH and I'll try to buy something other than purple in the future...

Until next time,

Friday, April 24, 2015

ACM Awards 2015

I attended the Academy of Country Music Awards.

I'll be honest, that's not something I ever thought I'd say. For some reason, attending award shows (or any live show aired on TV) just seemed too difficult, too involved - just unattainable. But now that I've been to one with me and tens of thousands of my closest minion friends, I've realized it's really not a big deal. It's just an absolutely amazing time! :)

First off, I'm not sure why I ever was even the slightest bit concerned about what to wear. I could have worn a leopard snuggie (with cowboy boots) and been absolutely fine. We saw everything, people...from New Years Eve dresses (solid sequins), to beachy maxi dresses, to Easter Sunday clothes, to formal prom gowns. And I'm pretty sure some ladies actually did try to fit into their old prom gowns...

Jeff wore nice jeans and a button down and I work a cute (but comfy) little black dress. And we both wore our boots, of course...

We got there when the red carpet was happening but decided to head inside, grab food (hotdogs!!), find our seats, and watch the red carpet on the jumbo tron. That picture above was my first picture of the stadium. Ain't it pretty? I never realized they had two stages, but when I think about it now, I'm like of COURSE they have two stages.

Being part of a live recorded show was a pretty cool experience. Before each commercial break ended the "voice" over the stadium would say "and we're back in 5, 4, 3, 2...APPLAUSE PEOPLE!" And we eagerly obliged :)

Another fun fact about live-recorded shows, you commonly saw this on the jumbo tron:

 If your section was in a certain camera angle, you got spiffy light up wrist bands that changed colors with the songs. We didn't get this privilege (the section next to us did), and while bummed at first, I realized no wristband meant I could get up whenever. Those that had wristbands could only move during commercial breaks :)

Speaking of live TV, as I'm sure the majority of you watched this, I won't give you my play-by-play of the show. So I'll give you my top 5.

1) The Milestone Awards

I love a good flashback montage, and these were all over the place this year thanks to these awards. And right out of the gate the first one went to King George. Amen brother. I actually just got chills when I thought about it. Entertainer of the year 4 DECADES apart. Insane. When the entire stadium rocked out to "All my Exes live in Texas," I knew it was going to be a good night :)

2) Miranda Lambert

This girl is on FIRE. I was texting my friend Kristie all throughout the show and she mentioned how she was ready for Blake and Miranda to have a baby...buuuut I don't think that's happening any time soon. She's too busy dominating. 

Okay, so I honestly really didn't like "Little Red Wagon" before this performance. But hearing it live and watching her have a dadgum blast on that stage just made it all better for me. Miranda may not have a vocal range like Carrie, Martina, or Faith - but the girl writes from her heart and works her tail off. And I'm really glad it's paying off. You go girl.

3) The Patriotism

Between Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Taya Kyle, there were a lot of special moments in that stadium Sunday night. So much love for our country. The crowd participation during Garth's performance was a highlight for me. Not sure what it looked like on TV, but this was my view...

4) The Reba Medley

Along with a good montage, I love a good medley. Most artists sang two songs, but Reba threw in about 4 and I was literally bouncing in my chair. It was a great medley from a timeless artist... and caused me to listen to Reba all day at work on Monday.

5) Jeff's Pick: Rascal Flatts + Christina Aguilera

I asked my hot date what his favorite part was, and next to the patriotic performances, he chose the performance of "Riot" by Christina and Rascal Flatts. Now, I will say, this performance was really good in person, but my friends at home claimed it was painful to hear on TV. Whatever the case, it was a really great live performance. Plus I'm a sucker for any Rascal Flatts love song. It's what a girl wants. (See what I did there??)

The one thing I really missed at this show was my girl Carrie. I know she just had a baby and all, but I just wished she could have gotten a nanny for the night or something. I was telling Jeff this at the show, and right after I said it they did a promo for the 2016 awards (back in Vegas) and it showed her headlining. I looked at Jeff and said "of course," and he looked at me and said "let's go." 

I've created a country-music loving monster, ladies and gents. (fist pump)

Still can't believe I got to go. This night was one for the books, y'all.

Until next time,
Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Favorites

Another week down - another list of Friday Favorites! I love these posts. They really encourage you to find the positives throughout the week. Sometimes, it really is the little things that count!!

1. Work Out (Confidence Booster) Pants from Gap

Y'all, I did some shopping this past weekend (don't worry, I knocked out some April goals too!) and I bought some of my favorite workout pants ever. They're those type of pants that make you feel fit and slim just by putting them on. (Hello - who doesn't love that type!?) I wore them after church on Sunday to run errands and then run the pup and I just felt so dang cute the whole time! I'd look down and smile. Those are good pants people. 

Bear with me...I'm not a selfie pro...
I got the slim straight version - not super tight around the ankle, but not boot cut either. If you're not feeling my selfie above, you can see them on the cute model here :)

2. A full K-cup drawer

Because when you're a coffee lover like myself, I don't know how this COULDN'T be a favorite....

3. Baseball Season!!

To check out the many reasons I love this game (including, but not limited to: hot dogs and ice cream), you can see my previous post here.

4. Greek Yogurt, Granola, Blueberries and Honey

So stinking simple. And so stinking yummy. I've been really trying to bring back the healthy eating (and have done pretty well for a whole two weeks now!), and this snack has been a go-to this week. The first time I had this (or thought to put this together) was when I went to Scottsdale, AZ on vacay with my parents. My mom and I had this every.single.morning for breakfast. So good. Plus a snack that can make you reminisce about a vacation is a must-have.

5. Kendra Scott Andy Bracelet

This is absolutely another "look down and smile" item. I bought this cute little accessory the other day and have been smiling ever since! I've received so many compliments on it that I've basically started talking myself into why I need another one in a different color. Don't you just love being female? We can justify anything. 

You can find the bracelet (and all its many color options) here.

And you know why this Friday is ESPECIALLY a favorite?!?! It kicks off ACM WEEKEND!!!!!!! Me and tens of thousands of my closets friends are spending the weekend with our country favorites. My boots are prepped and ready for extreme wear and tear. This is a bucket list item, y'all. This is huge. I'm beaming. Full recap to come next week!

Until next time,

Linking up here

Monday, April 13, 2015

Take me out to the BALLGAME!!

It's hotdog baseball season!!!

In honor of the Texas Rangers' opening weekend this past weekend, I thought I'd do a little tribute to America's favorite pastime! So, funny thing....I hate sports. I didn't play them, I don't understand them, and I don't really care to watch them on TV. All the people that love me know this. And they accept it.

Since I moved to Dallas in 2011, baseball has really grown on me. I've actually gotten better about sports in general, but I'm constantly looking at the Rangers' schedule and found myself counting down to the start of the season this year. 

Me and Seester (melting) at my first Rangers game in 2011

But I still don't care for sports. So why do I thoroughly enjoy the one outdoor sport in hot Texas summers? 

Here's what I have come up with... 

1. My dad's love of the game

It is no secret that I am a daddy's girl. Well, this is his sport of choice. He's loved baseball since way before me, so I grew up associating baseball with my dad. We even threw him a baseball themed surprise birthday party a couple years ago. This is a pretty big factor because I'm pretty sure if my dad loved football, I'd eventually embrace football. 

Growing up in Beaumont, we were Houston Astros fans. Biggio and Bagwell are the two names that pop out of my childhood. I remember being little (around 10 or so) and the Astros doing something big and my dad started cheering so I started cheering and jumping on the couch (sorry, mom) and being so stinking excited for something I knew nothing about. But dad was excited, so I was too!

Ever since I've moved to Dallas, I've given dad a "weekend in Dallas" for Father's Day and it always includes a Rangers game!

2012 Game

2013 Game
2014 Game - look at that smile!
I bought him that shirt before his first game in 2012 and he's worn it ever since. Maybe I should get him red one this year :)

2. It's not hard to "get"

It's slow enough for me to understand. There are way too many rules in basketball, I always lose the ball in football (hello - there's an 8-person pile up and I'm supposed to know who 'got' it?), I have zero clue about anything soccer related, and hockey games are cold and loud. So baseball it is folks.

3. Good 'girls night/date night' venue

Because it's slow-paced, you can hear yourself have a conversation. How lovely. Yes, there are times when everyone hoots and hollers, but for the most part, it's pretty chill.
Date Nite - September 2014
In fact, me and my girls have been known to buy the 50 cent tickets, sit at the top of the bleachers and just hang out!

This was in 2012. Don't judge the instagram filter....couldn't find the original
These are especially nice on weeknights when the weather is still cool. It's a cool venue with a different atmosphere and really good food. Which leads me to....

4. Hot dogs. 

I have a serious (kind of sick) love of hot dogs. I remember I went to a friends' birthday party when I was a kid and ate three hotdogs... so the kid's mom called my mom. I'm like what? I like hotdogs. Gimme them dogs.

And you know what happens every other Wednesday night at that ballpark in Arlington? 


Em shares my love of dollar hotdog night :)
I'm pretty sure this picture above is from a 50 cent ticket night. So that right there was a pretty cheap girls night.... 

Don't get me wrong.. I love the chicken baskets, too. Pretty sure on this trip Mercedes and I got 2 hotdogs, 2 chicken baskets, and 2 things of fries to "split".....

5. The seventh-inning "shop"

You may call it the seventh inning stretch, but I always stretch myself over to the Rangers store, so for me, it's the seventh inning shop!! Rangers gear is just so cute. I was just online shopping for some gear yesterday! The more games I go to....the more outfits I need!!

6. Blue Bell in a baseball hat

This doesn't need explanation. All I know is they better get this "contamination" thing under wraps cause if I don't have Blue Bell in 100 degree weather...well...I don't know what I'll do but I won't be happy!!

The "hat" from the ice cream J bought me at our first Rangers game :)
So that's why I love baseball, y'all. It may have absolutely NOTHING to do with the actual game....but does that really matter? Nah. I don't think so :) For me, it's all about the fellowship!

Me and Brooklyn at her first game last year!

Family night at the ballpark!

Prepare to see several Rangers pictures over the next few months! Happy Monday everyone!

Until next time,
Thursday, April 9, 2015

April Goals

If you know me well or have hung out here for a month or two, you know 'busy' is my middle name. I was actually driving home from work yesterday thinking about the calendar (a common ritual of mine), and I realized I have something every weekend from now to mid-June. Whose fault is that? Oh it's absolutely mine. But that's how I roll. I love living fast-paced. 

BUT - while that's all fine and dandy, I will say a lot of things I want to do get postponed or slip my mind. So I've decided to make monthly goals. Yes, I realize it's already April 9th, but we're rounding down here and pretending it's April 1st. I'll do better next month. 

Here's what I'm looking to accomplish in April....

1. Do my taxes
Yes, the CPA hasn't done her taxes yet. I still have a week - don't count me out, yet. 

2. Clean out my purse
This is no joke, people. My purse is probably close to 10 lbs. I have one of those sturdy larger "catch-all" bags and it has gotten out of control. No telling what I'm going to find. I'm hoping for long lost dolla dolla bills but it'll probably be more like pens, old receipts, trash, thousands of bobby pins, etc...

3. Bake 2 new recipes
You help with that summer bikini bod.....

4. Run a 5K
I'm not excited about this one. My team at work is running and I was peer pressured to sign up. I'm pretty sure I can't even run a 1K at the moment. Should be interesting.

5. Take more bubble baths
Because relaxing in bubbles with good smelling candles is highly underrated!

6. Clean out the closet
I walk in my closet and see nothing. Absolutely nothing to wear. But the truth of the matter is my closet is so jam-packed I can't actually fit anything else IN my closet. See the disconnect? I need to get reacquainted with my clothes, clean out, and.....maybe shop a little :)

7. Sign up for guitar lessons!
It's one of my 2015 resolutions, and I need to get on it.

So there we have it! My to-dos for April. 

In addition to monthly goals, I'm whipping up another list. Don't you just love a good list?! 

I turn 27 this June (I just winced) and I've decided to make a "bucket list" of sorts. I'm making a "30 before Thirty" list. Thirty things I want to accomplish before I turn 30! I want to have the list compiled by my 27th birthday so I have three whole years to complete it. 


I definitely have a list going, but could use any ideas/advice/personal "bucket list" items of your own for assistance! And we're talking anything goes, people. Anything from cooking a rack of lamb to touring the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville (yes those are both on it....).
I'm all ears!

Until next time,
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up: The Easter Edition

I normally do my 'weekend wrap-up' posts on Monday mornings, but yesterday......well.....yesterday was just a Monday. We'll just chalk it up to a Cadbury coma. 

My Easter welcome sign from Jeff's sweet mama!
Saturday evening, J and I went over to my sister's house for dinner and egg-dying. But of course, I had to perform my appropriate aunt duties and make my sweet girl an Easter basket!

Not too shabby for my first one, eh? We have stickers (sweet girl LOOOVES her some stickers), glow in the dark eggs, a couple of stuffed cuddly friends, a bunny sippy cup, glitter egg silly puddy, and several sweet treats. Brooklyn Kate loves all things sweet. And it makes Aunt Katy so proud! Looking forward to this basket tradition :)

We then decided to tackle the egg-dying. Bottom line? We needed Grandma Susie (my mom). Here are some things we learned/re-remembered from our childhood:

-One must BOIL the eggs prior to dying
-Mix the dye with VINEGAR; dying eggs in water takes days a while
-Don't punch the circle egg-holders out of the box until AFTER you read the directions
-The pre-designed pretty egg wrappers are NOT for jumbo eggs

All in all - we got some good laughs and made memories. Lessons learned for next year! 

Patient little sweetheart watching her eggs :)

While we were finishing up the eggs, Brooklyn decided she was 'over it' and went to play. basket to her included "grass." And that "grass" turned into the best part of the gift basket. Much to the dismay of my sister and brother-in-law.

Aunt Katy is the BEST
My boyfriend, the good sport
In spite of the few setbacks above, I think our eggs turned out pretty cute! I always like to make deviled eggs out of them later. I like colorful deviled eggs :)
(Please note the grass in the hair)
Sunday morning was my favorite church service of the year! I absolutely love the Easter service. I love getting extra dressed up, I love the message of Easter, I love the extra powerful worship songs, I just love it all. And singing "Forever" at the top of my lungs with Kari Jobe herself was pretty awesome too.

"The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated

Forever He is glorified
Forever He is lifted high
Forever He is risen
He is alive, He is alive!"

Chills. Tears. All of it. So good. 

The crew at church. They boys wanted a "family picture."

Love these people.
After church we had some time to kill before the food festivities (so many food festivities!) so we curled up at home and turned on Remember the Titans (can you say baby Ryan Gosling?? So skinny!). In the middle of the movie, Jeff and I looked over and saw this....

.....the Easter puppy coma. The bunny was just too good this year, y'all.

We wrapped up the day with a shrimp boil at Jeff's parents' house. How good does this look?! Dinners at this house are always exciting and scrumptious :)

AND we got Easter baskets! Because you're never too old for Easter baskets :) In fact, I was still indulging in my basket last night. To the detriment of a cute bunny's ears. Sorry, dude. It was a heck of a Monday.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with family/friends and got a chance to focus and reflect on the true reason for Easter. A sacrificial Son. A cross to a crown. Death to victory. All for me. All for you. No other reason. We are that special folks. Know that. Know how much you are loved and cherished.

Until next time,