Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Up Wednesday there went September. 

Did you see it? Hope so. Cause it just fa-lew by. 

Today is the last Wednesday of the month, which means I'm linking up with these three lovelies for a little What's Up Wednesday?!

What I'm Eating this Month

....Blue Bell. And lots of it. We still don't have any in Dallas (what is WITH that, by the way?!) So when Jeff and I went home to Beaumont one weekend, we knew we were driving through counties that had it. So what did we do? We packed coolers, dry ice, and picked it up on the commute. Blue Bell is the ice cream of my soul. ...if I were one for dramatics. 

What else have I been eating? Paula Deen fall loaves. Namely the cinnamon pound cake loaf and the pumpkin streusel loaf. OH there was a pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting in there, too. So, fall. I've been eating fall. 

What I'm Reminiscing About

This past weekend. My dad and I spent a whirlwind of a 30-hour weekend in California catching a LA Angels game in Anaheim, and then taking an Amtrak to San Diego for a Padres game before heading home. Why? It's all part of my {30} before Thirty list. To visit 10 out of state stadiums for some home games. In fact, yesterday my dad sent me some potential weekend jaunts for next season. It's a pretty big deal.

And how many hot dogs I ate this weekend? I'll never tell. 

What I'm Loving

This probably should go in the "what I'm reading" category, but this book was the first thing that popped in my head when I was thinking about what I loved. I'm obsessed with the book "The Royal We." It's a fictional novel based on William and Kate's courtship/relationship, and I am Like I am foregoing life for this book. Y'all I didn't eat dinner last night so I could have ample reading time. I love this book. 


What I'm Working On

....definitely not my figure. #hellobluebelleverynight 
Let's just say that's going to be an October goal...

What I'm Excited About/Looking Forward to Next Month

OCTOBER is going to be a big month! Lots of fall, football, and *hopefully* some cooler weather? I mean gracious. At this rate I'm going to be singing Christmas carols in my tank top. I need boot and scarf weather!

What I'm Watching/Reading

Well THIS is the perfect question given fall shows have just premiered! 

Watching: Let's see....Sundays we're trying out Blood & Oil and Quantico - you know, those new abc shows. Mondays/Tuesdays are The Voice and DWTS, Wednesdays is Nashville, Modern Family, and blackish, Thursdays (!!) we have Greys and Scandal, and Fridays wrap up with Last Man Standing. ....just to name a few. 

Reading: Lots of good reads this month! Check out my book review for the month here.

What I'm Doing this Weekend

Friends are coming in from out of town, parents are coming in town, Baylor vs. Tech in Dallas, last Rangers home game... I mean it's a big weekend, folks. 

and the seasonal question....

What is my favorite Halloween tradition? 

Okay, guilty. I've never been big on Halloween. Dressing up stresses me out. I know I know. I'm such a fuddy duddy. 

And THAT is what's up! Hope you all have an incredible hump day and a HAPPY OCTOBER!

Until next time,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September Book Review

First of all - I feel as though I must address that it is National Coffee Day. I am aware that these days it is always national "something" day - but nevertheless, today is a day worth celebrating! So here's to hoping (imaging me holding up my mug) you are drinking coffee when you read this. And hopefully it was free. (Pssst - go by a Dunkin Donuts today and it will be!)

Alrighty...back to the books. 

Not sure why, but this picture looked literary to me. So I went with it. 

This month I read some really great books, and I also ventured out on authors. But MOST of all, I found what I truly believe is my absolute favorite book I have read this year. Like couldn't-put-it-down-stayed-up-way-too-late-reading favorite book. But let's start from the top.

Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty

I bought this book at the airport when Amy and I were stranded there for a six hour flight delay from South Carolina. I had heard of the author, but honestly bought it due to the rave reviews about it. And I will say, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I ended up finishing it in a different airport (I travel a lot) and sure did say "oh my gosh!" out loud in the terminal. It got me. This book also is written from the perspective of 4 or so different characters, so it keeps you on your toes. It's a mystery layered under a lot of kindergarten mom drama. Reese Witherspoon instagrammed that she was reading it, so maybe you should too :)

PSA: If you travel a lot, you must indulge in the read-and-return policy the airports have going on. It's wonderful. You buy a book at the airport, read it, and return it at a participating airport (majority of airports) and receive half your money back! I returned this book this past weekend when I traveled, and it worked like a charm! 


Treasured by Thursday
by Catherine Bybee

I blame owe my friend Kristie for my love of these books. Kristie got me hooked on Catherine Bybee books a few summers back, and I've loved every single one I've read. This particular book was the seventh and final (boo!) book of her Weekday Bride Series. These are pure love stories with a touch of action/mystery that keeps you on your toes. Easy reads that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. But you need to start with the first one! See the full series here


The Knock-Off
by Lucy Skyes and Jo Piazza

This actually was our book club selection for the month. I'll admit, it took me about 80ish pages to actually get into it, but once I did I really enjoyed it. It was kind of a modern day Devil Wears Prada (or so it reminded me of) - older magazine editor must adapt to young techies. I chuckled out loud quite a few times and towards the middle it was hard to put down. A different read than I'm used to - but one I did indeed enjoy! 


The Royal We
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

 AAAAHHH!! (that was a blog scream)

This is by far my favorite book of the year. I'm in the middle of it and I literally can't put it down. I crawled in bed at midnight on Sunday after a jam-packed weekend in California.....and then proceeded to read for an hour. Then I took yesterday off to do adult things like bake, laundry, decorate for fall, clean, etc. Nope. I read all day. I woke up abruptly this morning at 4 a.m. from a nightmare and my first thought was "hey, I can read a little before my alarm goes off." 
Charlie is so over this book. But y'all it's so dang good. 

It's a fictional novel based on the courtship/relationship of William and Kate. The ironic thing is, I never really jumped on the royal bandwagon when it happened, so I'm surprised I'm as addicted to this book as I am. I laughed, I cried - I just LOVE this book. If you want to read a good story on the ups and downs of relationships, or have any interest in the royal couple, then do yourself a favor and read this book! Fair warning: it'll make you want to go (back) to London.


And those are my September books! I am just loving these book posts. I have SO missed reading. Any recommendations for October are so very welcomed!  

See my August book review here.

Until next time,
Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up: Games 2 and 3

This wrap-up post is going up mid-morning (okay fine, mid-day) due to me just being plum tuckered out from this weekend! Plus I have today off :) 

Y'all - I had the most incredible weekend with my dad. As part of my {30} before thirty list, my dad and I decided to make the goal of watching home games in ten out-of-state stadiums. Game one was the Red Sox at Fenway back in June, and this weekend we flew to California for 30 whole hours to catch games 2 and 3! A whirlwind of travel and a whole bunch of fun! 

Let's begin!

We took off from Dallas around 11 a.m. Saturday morning and headed off to Los Angeles! And naturally took an obligatory plane "I'm going somewhere" selfie....

Once we landed at LAX, we headed over to Anaheim - home of the LA Angels stadium. We couldn't check into the hotel yet, so we ventured over to a sports bar/restaurant for lunch where they just happened to be showing the Baylor game! 

So we ate, watched, talked, and this is where dad attempted to teach me more about football. I'm learning, but I have a long way to go. I'm still trying to grasp the whole first down thing. I did learn that "safety" is both a position and a way to score points. But they are unrelated. Because that makes perfect sense (insert eye roll). 

We then checked in, got settled, cheered Baylor to victory, and walked around the Anaheim area. We ended up walking to the stadium and checking out the area. I wanted a hat (that's some bright California sun), so the security guy told us to just look for the "large hat." We were really confused until we turned a corner and saw this: 

Big hat. FOUND IT!

Pretty cool stadium entrance if you ask me....

We got me a hat (for $6!) and then headed back to get ready for the big game!

As we were walking to the stadium we passed CJ Wilson's flag, and as he was a former Texas Ranger that Amy had the hots for, I took a picture for her :)

Then we walked into the stadium to this awesome view...

I mean check out those mountains in the background. How awesome is that?!

GAME 2 - Angels vs. Mariners - September 26, 2015

This was SUCH an entertaining game (plus it was 79 degrees!). Mike Trout caught a crazy catch (my dad says he's a future hall-of-famer), and the Angels got a walk off home-run in the 9th inning to win the game. That catch though....I mean look at this:


The stadium went NUTSO. You can watch the replay of the catch here

After the game we started leaving and the guy next to us told us we were required to stay for the fireworks show. And we're so glad we did! Side note: have you ever taken pictures of a fireworks show? You keep taking them because they keep getting prettier and then the next morning you realize you took 49 pictures and a 10-second video. Here are the highlights:

 SUCH a successful first round of the weekend. 

The next morning, we got up, watched Trout's catch again, and headed to the Amtrak. We were San Diego bound! PLUS it was dad's birthday!

 I innocently just wanted a picture of my dad on the Amtrak, and then realized I got the Angels stadium in the background. Pretty cool shot. Adios Anaheim, hello San Diego!

We rode business class on the Amtrak, and let me tell you - that is a nice way to get around the Cali area. It was a 2-hr ride, complete with tables, phone chargers, complimentary snacks/beverages. It reminded me of the trains in Europe -which is by far my favorite way to travel!

Not to mention we rode along the coast the whole time, so this was our view:

Why hello there Pacific Ocean!

We got to San Diego a couple of hours before the game, so we just walked around the city. There is much more to do in San Diego than there is in Anaheim. On our walk, I saw a little coffee shop I needed to visit, and it turns out it originated the first blended iced coffee drink in 1963. 

 Fun fact - I love me some Starbucks - in fact I'm drinking some right now. But I love love LOVE random hole in the wall coffee shops. They all have their unique traits/quirks, and usually make incredible drinks. And this one was no exception!

Post-coffee break was more sight-seeing around sunny San Diego!

San Diego has some BEAUTIFUL architecture. We went to this shopping plaza (dad needed a hat....I'm telling you...that sun is bright) and it was one of the coolest shopping malls I've ever been to!

 We then stopped by this pretty Balboa theater that just happened to be having a Mary Poppins sing-along session, but it was at the same time as the game. So we decided to stick to our original plan and opted for baseball. It was a tough decision though!

We then arrived at Petco Park! Not too shabby of a stadium either :)

This game was also good - but slower than the Angels game. It was tied for a while, but the Diamondbacks pulled through with a win 4-2. Funny thing about these games - it's hard to remember who you're cheering for. Of course we'll root (root root) for the home team, but at one point my dad found himself cheering for a really great play.....that was made by the Diamondbacks. While wearing SD gear. We had some puzzled expressions around us. Oops.

Game 3 - Padres vs. Diamondbacks - September 27th, 2015
 We got to stay for 7.5 innings before heading to the airport to head back home. At this point, I was pretty sad the rest of the day. I just had SO much fun this weekend. Not once did I think about real life. When we were traveling I was lost in a book, and when we weren't traveling I was spending quality time with my dad and watching games. I hugged my dad for a good 5 minutes before we parted ways last night. We're already looking forward to the next round of games....unfortunately the schedule doesn't come out until next spring. 

I just love this man. And our matching hats :)

ALSO - just so you know what I was dealing with over the weekend, we had some really loud people behind us on the plane home (well, actually the whole weekend, but oh well). Mid-flight I looked over to tell my dad something and saw he had stuck gum wrappers in his ear to block the noise. He also tried brie for the first time and decided it tasted like an old sock. Needless to say, I laughed quite a bit this weekend. Still laughing actually. 

And that was the whirlwind weekend wrap-up. Hope everyone is having a great Monday! 

Until next time,

Linking up here and here
Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pumpkin Streusel Loaf

I have something pumpkin for you. 

Are you surprised? 

I know you totally did not see that coming. 

Next up on the Paula Deen September breads is the....

Pumpkin Streusel Loaf

 Holy falliday in your mouth. 

If you like pumpkin and cinnamon (and butter) .... then this is your bread. I made this later in the evening on Monday and due to the yummy smells coming from the oven, Kelsey stayed up past her bed time for a little taste test. We both decided it was well worth the wait! 

 I noticed when I was making this it is very similar to the cinnamon pound cake loaf. So if you want to make multiple breads but don't want to buy a ridiculous amount of ingredients - go for these two. They're pretty much made with everyday kitchen ingredients, too!

What my kitchen looks like with these bread adventures I've embarked on....

What You'll Need

for the batter...
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup buttermilk

for the streusel...
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

What You'll Do:

 Mix the butter, both sugars, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin with an electric mixer

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt

Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the first bowl, beginning and ending with the flour

In another bowl, mix together the streusel flour, brown sugar, quick oats, and cinnamon. Cut the butter into small 1/2 inch pieces, and then cut those pieces into cubes. Mix into cinnamon mixture with a pastry blender until clumpy. 
Katy Tip: I do not have a pastry blender, but I used an electric mixer attachment and it worked just fine. You just want clumps - the smaller you chop up the butter, the easier it will be to make clumps.

Pour batter into well greased bread pans.
(The recipe called for 5 5-inch pans, but I made 2 9-inch loaves)

Sprinkle streusel mixture on top of batter in pans

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (if 9 inch pans) or 30 minutes (if smaller pans)
BOOM. Pumpkin goodness.

Aaaaaand of course I had to put it on my new pumpkin platter from Hobby Lobby :)

And there you have it! The coworkers went nuts for this at work this week. And I may have saved half of a loaf for myself at home. It's just too perfect with coffee in the mornings! 


Until next time,
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's Hap-Pinning: Fall Decor

Hump DAY! What's hap-Pinning, y'all?!

Today I'm linking up with Jessi and Jenn for a little What's Hap-Pinning Wednesday action. Okay okay fine. It's basically an excuse for me to play on pinterest. What do you want from me?

Today I'm pinning some inspiration for fall decor. I have this upcoming Monday off from work, so I'm dedicating that day to decorating my house (er...Kelsey's house) for the fall! So this is in hopes of getting my creative juices flowing :)

Front Porch

I'm all about an entrance. There's something to be said for a fall welcome!

 How cute are those house numbers on those pumpkins? And that iron basket?! I love anything that I can change out the decor based on the seasons, and that basket has "update me!" written all over it. I love the rustic look, so please give me the pumpkin wagons. And that massive standing cornucopia looking thing? I mean I could never put that together, but my mama sure could!



Sticking with my rustic theme - I'm on a seeerious lantern kick. I mean, you would think I'm prepping to go on a hike in the woods at night. Give me all the lanterns. And when you shove fall decor in the middle? Well that just makes for one happy Katy. 

Apothecary Jars

....remember when I told you I'm a sucker for things you can change with the seasons? Go ahead and throw apothecary jars in that category. Those big giant glass sculptures are just waiting to be filled with tiny pumpkins and pinecones!

This and That

Because you can never have enough knick-knacks....


And last, but CERTAINLY not least, I give you my favorite fall signage that was delivered to my door step a couple of weeks ago by my friend Lisa. Greatest. Ever. 

And that's what's hap-Pinning!

Have an awesome Wednesday! Eat something pumpkin. 

Until next time,