Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

It's What's Up Wednesday. 

Which means another month of 2016 has passed. 

Which means one-fourth of the year has passed. 


Okay, rant over. But seriously, what is that? Years have gotten exceedingly faster as I've grown up. Is the world spinning faster than it used to? Is that it? That has to be it. 

 Alright let's do this. This is what's up. 

What I'm Eating this Week

So this is my second week on a 21-day challenge to not be a lazy lard hiney. While "only" three months have passed in the year, I completely let myself go over the months (we're talking Blue Bell every night), and things were just bad. 

So I've made a commitment for 21 days to be better. To eat healthy raw foods, and work out at least 4x a week. And I will say, I do feel so much better. I have energy, I feel good - these people who do this for real aren't lying!! 

...but I also believe in the 80/20 rule. So for the 20% part I've been eating Blueberry Bundt Cake, Heath Bar Cookies, and Strawberry Lemonade Cake. I love the 20%.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Actually - thanks to Facebook Timehop - this picture popped up. This is me, my mom, and my sister in New York City. FIFTEEN years ago. That is a 12-year old Katy right there, people. 

I miss mother daughter trips. We went on one - again to NYC - back in Christmas 2013 (you can read about that girls trip here), and I miss those trips. As you get older and older it gets harder and harder to have trips with the family. And I miss them. 

What I'm Loving

I'm actually loving...and wanting...Kendra Scott's new Eleanor necklace. I'm all about the statement necklaces, but sometimes I just love a good, simple, wear-all-the-time necklace. And this one might be my new staple necklace. Love love love. 

It comes in three color combos. Check them out here.

What I'm Dreading

Bathing Suit Season. See point number one. Just started a week and a half ago. I'm not bathing suit ready yet. Please do not invite me to a pool party until May. If you invite me to one in April, I will be wearing a burka.

What I'm Excited About

EEKS!! I have a pretty darn big announcement to make. But it's so big and so exciting, that it deserves its own post. Maybe tomorrow, maybe early next week. But most definitely soon. HOLY SMOKES I'M SO EXCITED!!!!! 

And you will be too. Stay tuned. News coming your way shortly.

What I'm Watching/Reading

Other than my normal shows (DWTS, Greys, Nashville, Quantico, Scandal, Last Man Standing), I'm also rewatching Gilmore Girls from beginning to end. Lorelai, Rory, and Katy Gilmore. That pretty much sums it up. 

Also - a lot of people are #teamdean or #teamjess, but people. I am #teamlogan. He calls her Ace. I love that. And yes I realize that is a dumb reason to be Team Logan but whatever. 

What I'm reading? Well, you can read all about it in my March Book Review!

What I'm Listening To

Every time I got in the car this weekend, Dan + Shay's new single, From the Ground Up, was playing, and I immediately fell in love with it. So I bought it and it's been on repeat ever since. Such a good sweet song. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Baseball Season. 

Hot dogs, baseball caps, Hamels - I'm so ready. And next month begins everything. Last year I did an entire post on why I love baseball so much. It starts with my dad and ends with cute shirts and hot dogs. You can check it out here :)


And that's what's up! Only two more days of March 2016 - make the most of them! 

Until next time,

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Weekend Wrap Up

I LOVE Easter weekend. We all know how much I'm obsessed with Christmas, but Easter weekend is a close second. I love what it represents, I love the church service, I love colorful Easter eggs, I love making baskets, I love the family time. I just love Easter weekend! 

I also love having a place to document weekends like these. Last week I went and re-read how we celebrated Easter last year and it made me chuckle all over again. #eggdyefail 

So let's recap: Easter Weekend Edition 2016

Last year I started the tradition of giving Brooklyn an Easter basket, and while it was fun last year (when she was 2.5), it was even more fun this year as a three and a half year old. Watching those big eyes light up as you walk in with a pretty pink basket just makes for one happy aunt. 

This was her basket this year: 

This year I found the $1 section of Target and it was brilliant. I got four different colors of spray chalk and those pink sunglasses all for $1 each. Add a 400-page coloring book and 64-pack of crayons (because who doesn't love sharp new crayons), a pretty pink nailpolish (because Amy paints her nails now and B is OH-so proud of them), peeps, chocolate bunnies, eggs filled with M&Ms, and little chocolate eggs and there you have it! Pretty simple (and cheap!) to make but pretty exciting for a kiddo. 

OH - and the Easter grass. You can't forget the Easter grass. Brooklyn throws it all over the house and Amy curses my name. I'm going to be so sad when she's old enough to keep the grass in the basket. 

Speaking of baskets. Jeff's sweet mom gives me and Jeff a basket for like every holiday. Valentines, Easter, Halloween - you name it. And I must say, I look forward to it each and every time. Care packages and gift baskets have gone out of style, and we need to bring them back. Just a little something to make people special. Cause these make me feel special :)

Saturday afternoon was absolutely gorgeous in Dallas so I headed down to Amy's house for all things Easter. First things first (post-Easter-basket-break-down), was the kite flying. My mom bought Brooklyn a kite (that was less than $2) and it provided that child with the absolute time of her life. 

Look at that face - pure joy. 

She spent probably 20 minutes just running around the yard, staring at the sky, trying to chase the kite. My neck hurts just thinking about it. I captured this video that cracks me up. Make sure you listen for the following phrases:

"Can't make it!"
"Can't get that kite."
"Wait for me guys!"

After the kite chasing, Brooklyn wanted to show us her T-Ball skills. She wasn't quite sure if she was through with her kite, so like a selfless granddaddy, my dad just stood in the middle of the yard holding the kite while B tended to her other festivities. Great man. 

We learned that Brooklyn has better hand-eye coordination than I do. And she's a switch hitter.

And though he can't chase kites or play t-ball yet, this little stud-muffin was certainly outside under an umbrella hanging out!

After a while out in the sun, we decided that dad could reel in the kite, and we'd go inside for some egg-dye action. Now, if you read my Easter post last year, we didn't do so hot on the egg dyeing skills. But my sister is quite the quick learner, and this year we were more than prepared! And highly excited :)

First egg in! Rotating the egg very carefully... Though a couple hours later the rotation was not-so-careful and blue dye water was all over the counter :)

Jeff showed up! Both in deep egg-dye concentration.

Dad documenting Amy documenting Brooklyn.


Brooklyn decided she needed a break to eat a chocolate bunny. And that is why I love Easter weekend. You take breaks from dyeing eggs to eat chocolate bunnies. 

Love my little chocolate covered mouth squirt. 

Then we went back outside for playing and egg hunting. Gotta take advantage of these gorgeous days while we have them!

The big kid wanted his turn flying the kite. Sadly he didn't chase it around the yard. That would have been quite the video. 

Brooklyn wanted to share her umbrella shade with us. So of course we crouched down and obliged. 

Then it was time for hunting. Brookie and I went and colored inside while Jeff and Amy hid the goods. Then it was go time. I tried to be nice and let her find most of them, but then she rubbed it in and told me she had way more eggs in her basket than I did. So next year it's game on :)

 And you can't forget our sport spectators! 

We then had an amazing dinner (my brother in law sure does know how to use a smoker) and hung out. And I captured this picture that just melts my heart. Can't wait to watch these two grow up together.

Sunday morning was an amazing church service and lunch at Jeff's family's place after. And I would love to insert a picture of me and Jeff in our Easter outfits like everyone else and their mama did, but we didn't take one. It was cold and windy. We could take a picture or go get hot coffee. I chose coffee. Picture us in spirit.

Last night I closed the evening with my personal Easter tradition: curled up in bed with my dark chocolate Easter bunny, gnawed off his ears, and saved the rest for later. 

And aside from the bunnies and the eggs and the brightly colored marshmallow peeps, I will leave you with my very favorite Easter picture. 

Cross to crown. Death to victory. 

Do we deserve it? Nope. 
Does that matter? Nope. 

By grace, through faith. That's why we'll get to see Him one day. And quite frankly I can't wait to throw my arms around His neck. 

Happy Easter everyone!

Until next time,
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake

As the summer months approach and the weather heats up, I'm starting to reintroduce myself to my summer favorites. Some are welcomed with open arms, and others not so much (i.e., the pale pastiness of my not-so-toned legs in brightly colored J-Crew shorts). We still have some work to do. 

But one thing I'm always eager to bring back is the strawberry lemonade. Kelsey and I both have quite the obsession with strawberry lemonade. We've tried various concoctions (the latest is lemonade with strawberry puree), but only in liquid form. 

Well why not a cake form!?

I like lemon cake. 
I like strawberry cake. 
Why not try a strawberry lemonade cake?!

This one took some thinking. There are all kinds of concoctions you can do...

Lemon cake + strawberry pudding + real strawberries
Lemon cake + vanilla pudding + real strawberries
White cake + 1 lemon pudding + 1 vanilla pudding + strawberries

The list went on and on. And I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store and discussed all of the options over the phone with my mom. We finally decided on a combination and I must say - I'm quite a fan! As is Jeffrey. Jeffrey loves him some strawberry lemonade. 

Here's my new summer love - the Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake


What You'll Need
for the cake
1 box white cake mix
2 boxes lemon instant pudding mix
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 1/4 cup of water
4 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup of chopped strawberries (1/2 inch size) - tossed in 2 tbsp flour

for the glaze
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp milk
2 cups powdered sugar

What You'll Do

Mix the cake mix, pudding, oil, water, eggs, and lemon juice together with an electric mixer

Fold in strawberries

Pour into greased bundt pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Combine the glaze ingredients and pour atop cooled cake
If serving immediately, I would chop up strawberries and sprinkle them on the top of the cake. You know - really give it a summery fruity look :)

Have a great Thursday everyone! Friday Favorites tomorrow! :)

Until next time,
Monday, March 21, 2016

Movie Review Monday

This weekend I was feeling a tad under the weather, so I donned my sweatpants and did just about the only thing that was appealing to me. 

I watched a whole bunch of movies. 

Two were in the theatre, and one was a Nicholas Sparks movie that I MISSED. How on earth did I miss one? Emily and I were very ashamed of ourselves. We pride ourselves in our love for N-Sparks. 

I feel like we went through a "good movie drought" for a while, but there are actually a lot of movies out right now that I want to see! #boutdangtime

So, in the interest that you are looking for a big screen movie or a movie to watch from the convenience of your jammies, I gotcha covered. 


On Friday night, Jeff and I got some sushi for dinner and headed to a late night showing of Allegiant (the third installment of the Divergent series). We thought this was going to be the final movie of the series, but alas, they're dragging it out to two parts. Anything to make a buck, eh?


So hear me out - I read all three books and was obsessed. Me and Kristie would have conversations about these characters (primarily about Four) like they were our friends. So when I heard they were making this into a series, I was overly excited. Like a real-human-in-life Four? Now that's a praise. 

I liked the first movie, thought the second was a bit overly cheesy sci-fi, and actually really liked the third. It had humorous parts, a good amount of action, and the plot actually kept me interested (even though I know the story). 

Would I recommend it? Yes. I mean - it's the third movie. If you've seen the first two, you have to carry out the ending. I'm just here to let you know that, in my humble opinion, it won't be as painful as the second one :)



Yoookay. So Emily and I saw this preview when we went to see The Choice, and knew we had to watch it together. ...cause we knew we would cry and true friends cry together in public. After seeing enough previews, we knew the tears were going to be more intense than the sniffles, so we did what any normal female would do. We wore sweatpants and removed all make up. Step one. 

We then entered phase two and bought all things salty (popcorn), sweet (buncha crunch), and sour (sour patch kids). And brought water for re-hydration from the tears. Step two. 

Then the movie started. You have to go see this movie. Yes, you will cry 80% of the time, but it is worth it. This movie will speak to your soul, tug on your heart strings, and make you want to hit your knees and chat it up with the good Lord when you get back to your car. You get to "meet" the actual little girl at the end of the movie, and she was on my mind the rest of the weekend. Such a sweet story. 

Now - in full disclaimer, you might want to wait until in the comfort of your own home (aka wait for it to come out on redbox) to get your ugly cry on. Emily and I both left with headaches we cried so hard. Not to mention I had to cover my mouth up pretty much the whole time. Why, you ask? Well, I'm not sure if you knew this, but when you're forced to cry really hard and not make a noise, it comes out your face. Your face turns into a contorted twisted painful expression, and so I had to cover it up so the poor people next to me didn't cry harder than they already were. 

But for reals - watch the movie. 


So my Sunday night plan was to go see Zootopia because 1) I heard it's funny, and 2) why wouldn't you want to spend your Sunday night watching cartoons? I mean hello. 

BUT then I talked to my dad, told him my plan, and he said going to the movies alone at night was not the smartest ideas. Crazy creepies go to the movies. So one must implement the buddy system. And since I couldn't find a buddy who also wanted to spend their Sunday evenings with cartoon characters, I resorted to Netflix. Specifically, the romantic drama section. 

And that's when I saw it. 

A Nicholas Sparks movie I had not yet seen. 

AND it has James Marsden in it! I was quite ashamed of myself.

Since I hadn't heard much about it, I didn't have high expectations, but I actually really enjoyed it. I hadn't read the book, so I had zero idea of what was going to happen, but it's a really sweet plot. And yes I cried. But just little tears. Likely because I am still low on ammunition due to the movie above. 

This movie reminds me of Safe Haven. Love story, but a "thriller" storyline too. And it's light years better than The Lucky One and The Longest Ride. Bless. 


So there's my weekend. Pretty sure I gained about 5 el bees sitting on my hiney, but it is what it is. Today's a new day. 

Also - friendly reminder - if you're in Dallas and love pizza and animals (so, you) stop by Cane Rosso and grab a pizza or seven tonight. 100% of the proceeds are going to the Humane Society in my hometown that had an awful fire last week and lost 70 sweet doggies. It breaks my heart. And nothing cures heartache like pizza. Especially when your cash goes towards a cause. 

Happy Monday everyone! 

Until next time,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

You are doing just fine.

I've been thinking about this post for a while, and have finally put pen to paper. ...or fingers to keyboard.

It all started when one week, a few months back, a couple of people said to me, "I don't know how you do it." To which I looked at them, raised my eyebrows, and said " what?"

They then gave me some examples of things I did in my "spare time." Things I considered run-of-the-mill  must-do activities. Things that I would admittedly confess kept me busy, but not things I would necessarily say labeled me as "accomplished." 

I then thought about how oftentimes when I reflect on my day, it's a laundry list of things I didn't do. 

 "Dang it - I overslept and didn't get my Bible Study in." 

"I meant to call so-n-so and see how they did on that huge project at work." 

"Missed the gym again. That makes day 4 and it's only Wednesday."

"I have approximately 7 Shutterfly books I need to make." 

"You haven't blogged in 5 days."

"Charlie only got a 20 minute walk today. You can do better than that."

Trust me - the list goes on. And on. And on. 

So then I started thinking - if other people look at me and see all my accomplishments, why do I look at myself and only see the areas where I've come up short? 

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

If you're like me (single, no kids, and in the career-focused point of your life), I realized I tend to look at my activities outside of work. What did I (not) get accomplished in the X amount of hours before I left for work, and the X amount of hours when I got home? People. That is not a lot of time. If you work hard during the day and are a positive influence in the workplace - be proud of that! Sure, you may not be doing your dream job, but don't discount that you've made an honest day's work for yourself today. Just because you're not actively chasing your dream every single day doesn't mean you're failing. It means you're human. It means you're living. 

You are doing just fine. 

What about you mamas? Now, I may have to go out on a limb here because I have not yet experienced this first-hand, but social media tells me you're tired. Whether you're a working mama or a stay at home mama - you're tired. Your child/children need you. All day errday. And you are living off of ginormous cups of caffeine and reminiscing about days when you had time to shower, shave your legs, and fix your hair. The hygiene trifecta. Hey guess what - you're raising tiny humans. You're raising good-hearted, deeply-loved, well-behaved-most-of-the-time precious human beings. Be proud of that. The laundry may not be done, your china cabinet may be dusty, and you may have to wear pants to cover up your Chewbaca legs, but you're making it. 

You are doing just fine.

Lisa and I went to the Dallas flea market last weekend, and I saw this sign across an exhibit. You can ask Lisa, but my eyes lit up and I reached out my arms and went straight for it. I want to buy this for the world and let everyone hang it in their house. It's so incredibly simple, but such a good and needed reminder.

I promise you this - if you made a list of every single accomplishment you did today, you'd realize you accomplished a lot. You may not have accomplished everything on your original to-do list, but no one says you have to. Maybe instead of thinking about everything you didn't do at night, think about everything you did do. There's too much negativity in the world. 

Some days are harder than others, and some day's you'll honest to goodness feel like you've done nothing worthwhile. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remind yourself:

You are doing just fine. 


Until next time,

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made this cookie from my brain. 

Okay, okay, I used an old recipe and tweaked the ingredients, but hey. I got creative in the kitchen. So to me, it counts. 

I fell so much in love with the Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies, and everyone else fell so much in love with them, that I knew I had to rinse and repeat. I've fallen in love with the wonder that is the Heath Bar over the past couple of years and knew I needed to somehow incorporate this nugget of gold into my baking. 

I took the oreo recipe, tweaked to all things chocolate and heath, and oh the result. OH the result. After I made them, Kelsey ate about four and requested for me to get them out of the house. When I took them to work, they left the container in similar fashion to the Oreo cookies. Two by two by two....

My sweet coworker has been asking for this recipe since I made them, so Shelby - this one's for you! :)

The Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie

What You'll Need
1 box chocolate cake mix
8 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
4 oz cream cheese, softened
 tsp vanilla extract
3/4c of Heath Toffee Bits**
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

**I know there are Heath bits that have both chocolate AND toffee crumbles in the same bag, but my grocery store only had the pure toffee bits (no chocolate). I actually think it worked out well since we add chocolate chips into a chocolate cake base. But, if your grocery store only has the combo morsels, just scale back on the chocolate chips!
What You'll Do
Throw the cake mix, melted butter, egg, and vanilla into a bowl and mix (I used an electric mixer)
Add in softened cream cheese
Using a spatula, fold in the bits and chocolate chips  
Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes
Line a pan with parchment paper, roll dough into balls and place on the pan
Bake at 350 for 10-11 minutes (do not over bake them! they will not look completely done, but will continue to cook at "set" on the pan)
Voila! As simple as that! And in case you needed one more reason to love them, unlike the Heath bars, the toffee doesn't get stuck in your teeth! Wins all around. 
The chocolate lover in your life will adore these. 
Happy Sweet Tooth Wednesday!
Until next time,
Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Favorites: Beauty Products

Hey there Friday. 

How oh-so-happy we are to see you. 

I'm pretty pumped about this weekend simply because I don't have much planned. I truly get to enjoy 2.5 days of rest and relaxation. And a haircut. Praise be for the haircut. 

Today I'm linking up for Friday Favorites - and am super excited because they're themed. Themed favorites are my favorite favorites. 

 So, this just in: I'm getting older. And my skin is getting dryer. And I'm seeing lines in my forehead that stay long after my "girl whatchu talkin' bout" looks I so often give. Remember when your face went back to normal after committing a facial expression? That was cool. 

I decided I needed to ramp up my skin care regimen, so last weekend my mom and I went and played around in Ulta for some products. I did my research, discussed with the people, read reviews, and purchased. I've used these items below for a week now to see what the prolonged result would be. If anything, this has turned me into a product junkie. I'm obsessed with these anti-aging nuggets and want more. So please share your favorites with me so I can add them to my list! 

Oh - and I'm looking for a good pore shrinker. Holler at me if you have a favorite on of those!

1 - Philosophy "Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash"


I was ready for a new cleanser. One that actually made my face feel clean. I knew I wanted an exfoliant, but not one that made me feel like I took off a layer of my face with each wash. The dirt can go, the skin cells should stay. 

I felt up a lot of exfoliants in that store, but kept coming back to this one. In fact, I carried the tester around with me at one point. SO - I decided it needed to come home with me. I bought it - just for clarification. No theft was involved in this process. 

The verdict? I so look forward to washing my face each night. Normally I whine to myself that I'm too tired to do my "nightly skin routine" - but with this one? It's a treat. My face feels cleaner, lighter, and fresh. I'm a huge fan. You can read about it here.


2 - Dermalogica "Intensive Eye Repair"

I also went in looking for something for my eyes. After going through surgeries/radiation, and having to put drops and ointment in my left eye every day - I'm tugging and touching all over my left eye much more than my right. It's bad enough to have your eye skin sag as you age - but to sag unevenly?! Bless. Get me some hydration up in that eye. 

I talked to the Dermalogica representative, explained my situation, and this is what she recommended to me. Y'all - this stuff feels like straight up satin on my face. Even if you don't need eye "repair" they have all kinds of great eye treatments. My mom got the multivitamin power firm. You can check out all their eye products here.


3 - Miss Spa Face Masks

 This is some straight up Man in the Iron Mask looking stuff right here. Except it turns your face into clouds instead of iron. 

I love a good mask. Always have. I totally chalk it up to the movies. You know what I'm talking about - the hair up in a towel, bathrobe on, face mask look. It's every girl's dream. 

My mom and I just happened to come across these in an aisle and decided to give them a try. You put it on your face in two-pieces, let it sit for 45 minutes (which forces you to have to sit down and watch a TV show. Wamp wamp), and then remove and pat in the extra solution. They say $10 on the website, but we found them at Ulta for $2.99. Why, yes. I would love to "awaken my lackluster skin with pearl extract and vitamins" for $2.99. 


4 - Clinique "Moisture Surge Overnight Mask"

My mom is a Clinique user. And she was a Clinique user because her mom was a Clinique user. So when I hit the age where I needed to start deep-cleaning my skin, I too went to Clinigue (and took the test to determine your skin type number). Since then I've branched out to try other brands, but this puppy right here got rave reviews so I had to try it. It's so popular it was sold out in the first store we went to, so I had to go on a little journey to find it. And I'm so glad I did. 

In the words of DJ Tanner, "OH my LANta." If you have dry skin you need this. So you know in the winter when your skin is so dry and itchy you just want to go sit in a tub of lotion? (I seriously hope there's someone else out there who frequently has this thought...) Well that's what this is for your face. While you're sleeping - it's working. And you wake up with like baby skin. I rotate it with my normal night cream every other night, And I look forward to the mask nights. In fact, last night was an off night but I used it anyways. #rebel

Check it out here.

And those are my new beauty product finds! When you put 3-4 creams on your face each night, you know you've officially made it into adulthood. Women unite.

Anyone else have any good ones? And seriously on the pore shrinker. I really need one!

Have a GREAT weekend everyone! See you Monday!

Until next time,