Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! These posts are some of my favorite posts of the month. Maybe because it's in list form? I don't know. But I love me some What's Up Wednesday. 

What I'm Eating This Week

This pretty much sums it up. 

Not only am I still getting my Blue Bell fix after being gone for two months, but the beginnings of wedding planning has me eating out of the carton. I took this picture Sunday night after visiting my fourth venue in four days. Venues in the DFW area apparently book up decades in advance, so I had to jump on the bandwagon fast and make quick decisions. 

I hate decisions. 
I despise quick decisions. 

Basically, if you have a daughter and she just turned 16, don't buy her a car, put a deposit down for a wedding venue. Trust me, she'll thank you later. 

BUT - the good news is we actually BOOKED a venue and have a date! So now I can resume eating ice cream out of bowls. Maybe. I mean why dirty a dish? :)

 What I'm Reminiscing About had to have known that was coming. :) 

But yes, 2.5 weeks later and I'm still reminiscing about that time we got engaged

I've seen a ton (a TON) of quotes and nuggets of marriage wisdom throughout this planning process, and I'll have to say that this is my absolute favorite. 

Jeff isn't perfect. I certainly ain't perfect. And our relationship hasn't been perfect. But I am committed to love the crap out of that man until the end of my days. And for everything he does that drives me bonkers, there are about ten things he does that make me wonder what I did to deserve him. 

(I'm pretty sure people are gagging right now.)

So yeah - I'm reminiscing about love and stuff. :) If you missed the engagement story - which is a pretty dang good one - grab a cup of coffee (no seriously - get a beverage) and check it out here.

What I'm Loving

I'm loving that I knocked THREE things off my {30} Before Thirty list this month.

My 1 Year Update wasn't looking too hot, and I realized I needed to get my act in gear during Year 2. 

-- Jeff proposed with a picnic in the Dallas arboretum (#14)
-- Thanks to 14 flights around Australia, I finished rewatching Brothers & Sisters (#28)
-- Last week, Kristie and I went to see Carrie Underwood in concert....again! (#8)

And let me just tell you - that concert was AMAZING. I've seen her once before (my sister and I went to the Some Hearts tour (circa 2006) so I was due for another tour. I will say I ate up every single piece of her show, so much that it FLEW by. Like I couldn't believe it was over. 

She sang every hit, and only sang one song I dislike (The Clock Don't Stop .... the clock needs to stop), and her wardrobe changes were perfection. Highlight of my night was when she sang "Choctaw County Affair" and got down on that harmonica. I think I swooned. I'm not even sure what swooning is, but I think I did it. 

What I've Been Up To

I'm still trying to catch up on my life. Being gone for two months really threw me off (but I wouldn't trade it for anything!). I still have boxes to unpack in my new place, I still have over 100 unread work emails, I got a cold/cough that knocked me out for about a week, and then I had to instantly book a wedding venue. Like imagine my life speeding down a hill and me running after it. In flippers. 

What I'm Excited About

The Texas State Fair starts on Friday! 

I LOVE the fair. I love the food, I love the rides, I love the chaos, I love the petting zoo - all of it. This event most definitely contributes to the many (many, many) reasons why I love the fall. 

Last year, Jeff and I made a date night out of it and most certainly plan to again this year. It was one of my favorite date nights of the year! I mean... who doesn't love a date night that lets you both act like 5-year olds? #yesplease

What I'm Watching/Reading

Confession - you haven't seen a book review this month because I'm not really reading. I'm watching ALL THE SHOWS. I had summer series (Rizzoli and Isles) I had to catch up on, and now all the fall shows are back! Give me all the abc dramas. 

But can we talk about what everyone is talking about? An no - not the election. 

THIS. (is us). 

I mean within the first 10 minutes of the first episode I was having all the emotions, and by the end my jaw was on the floor. And I love Mandy Moore. I haven't watched last night's episode yet (was on a plane), but I'm really eager to see where this show goes. They say it's the new "Parenthood," but I haven't seen enough to give it that honor yet. But as far as the pilot? Wins all around. 

What I'm Listening To

This song. On repeat. 
If you don't know what this is - you're late to the party. And I'm about to impress you eardrums. 

This song (and music video) was made in honor of the CMA Awards 50th Anniversary this year, and it's basically all things country in a nice little package and wrapped with a bow. The video has a bit much going on in the background for my taste, but I still have watched it about 50 times. And I bought the song and listen to it on a daily basis. And even though I KNOW it's coming, I get chills with Ms. Dolly Parton at the end. Every. Time. 

You can watch the video here!

What I'm Doing this Weekend

A little wedding planning with the mama, a little Rangers game action, and hopefully finish unpacking my dang apartment. The brown box look is really messing up my pumpkin decor... 

And finally, for the September bonus item:
What are some of my favorite fall recipes? 

Ummm anything with pumpkin. 
Okay but really - top three would have to be: 

And for those of you who don't like pumpkin (I pray for you, and) you need a cinnamon pound cake loaf in your life this fall. I promise. 

Whew! That was a lot. Sorry, I've just really missed blogging. I'm a tad long-winded these days. :)

Happy hump day everyone! 

Until next time,
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Trim Down Tuesday: No Bake Energy Bites

Oh man. First of all - the amount of love, support, and downright excitement from my last post was just amazing. Y'all are too good to me. 

In fact, everything was just so dang wonderful, that from Thursday to Sunday I was in bed. The jet lag, the celebrating, the eating ice cream like it was my day job - it alllllll came to bite me with like the mother of all nose/sneeze/throat/cough situations. 

Oh the amount of tissues I have gone through.

But now I'm back. 

And once I could breathe through my nose again, I decided it was time to get the eating habits back on track. Plus - aren't you like supposed to be in the best shape of your life for your wedding or something? Well I'll never completely give up ice cream so I might as well start that process now :)

I've seen about 4.57 million pinterest versions of these no bake bites, so I decided to make my own little version. 

...Y'all I am SUCH a fan. Some recipes said to freeze them (so I did) and they are the best little treat post-dog walk (ya know, when you're dripping sweat from every pore the Lord gave you) that also hold you over while you whip up some dinner. Plus they're naturally sweet - so they cure your cravings :) 

So here we go - my personal rendition of:

No Bake Energy Bites

Please note: if you're a fan of the almond butter chocolate chip cookies I gave you, these have very similar ingredients :)
What You'll Need
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used mini!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp chia seeds

What You'll Do

Throw it all in a bowl, mix it on up, roll it into balls, and freeze! 

Like what else do you want from me? That's so stinking easy. Some recipes use peanut butter, some use flax seed - there are seriously a ton of variations on this little bite. So choose what you like and throw it in the bowl. Some even used pumpkin, and I think I'll have to try that in my next batch!

For you doubters, you should know that these also have Jeff's stamp of approval - and he's not even a fan of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. So basically that means you have no excuse and you have to try them. :)

If you want to check out my other Trim Down Tuesday recipes, click here.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Until next time,

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The One Where We Got Engaged

Now who's excited for this post?!? 

(stands on tippy toes and eagerly raises hand)
Me me me me me!

Y'all. 9.10.16 takes the lead for being the best day of my life.

Yes, I have a pretty (okay, flippin gorgeous) ring. Yes, we get to plan a wedding. But people - I get to wake up to THIS MAN for the rest of my life. He's seriously a better man than I could have ever picked for myself, and I'm so beyond thankful that the good Lord put us together. 

Something tells me you want me to cut the sap and get to the story. :) Well fine. But y'all best grab a large cup of coffee and settle on in because it'll probably be lengthy. And while I'm writing this partially because I've been asked where this post is about 472 times, I'm mainly writing it so we can go re-read our story as many times as we want for the next umpteen jillion years. Therefore I can't leave any little detail out :)

First off - you get pictures with this post because THIS GIRL spent three hours of her Saturday becoming one with all things shrub-like and bug-like. Thanks to Jeff's planning and her picture-taking, we forever have this beautiful day captured. We love her so much.  

So it all started early last week when I was still in Australia. Actually - that's a lie. It all started back in June when Jeff bought the ring and started planning (seriously - so many secrets kept from Katy!), but I'll get to those points as they come.

So early last week, I asked Jeff if he was going to pick me up when I landed on Wednesday. He said he had a meeting at work (this was actually true) but that he was planning a date night for us on Saturday. I reminded him that 1) we've just been traveling all over the world and our date night budget now consists of the dollar menu at Mickey D's, and 2) that my mom's birthday was the following Sunday and we were doing a family dinner on Saturday night. 

Then I woke up the next day (we'll say it was probably Tuesday-ish) and my mom texted me saying that dad wanted to take her on a date at their favorite restaurant Saturday night, so she wanted a girls date Saturday morning with mani/pedis and brunch (not unusual for the females in my family so I didn't think anything of it). So I texted Jeff and said we could still do a (cheap) date night. 

Please note: The whole time in Australia, Kristie knew everything about everything and wedding talk came up approximately every 5 hours and I legitimately thought she knew nothing. As in, was kind of sad that I had been out of the country for so long and she still knew nothing. She is sneaky.  

The night I land home (so Wednesday), Jeff came over after work to help me unpack, and I asked what our plan was on Saturday. He told me he thought we could knock an item off my 30 Before Thirty list and have a picnic in the Dallas Arboretum. Pretty smart, right? 

Well it was pretty smart. But you want to know the reaction in my head? "It's approximately one thousand degrees outside and you want to have a PICNIC?!" Y'all I tried so hard to get out of this picnic. I first look at the weather and told him the forecast said rain. He said it was only supposed to rain in the morning. My thought, "oh good, so extreme humidity and we'll be sitting in mud." Then I pull out the big guns and tell him I'm a-okay with just having date night watching college football (yes, like I actually suggested this), and he told me he didn't really care about the game that week. I accepted that I was going on a picnic.
....and I'm so glad I did.

Cut to Saturday morning and I spend the day with mom/Amy and we get our nails did and have some lunch. Which looking back, I chipped my nails (on my left hand) at a store right around the nail salon, and while I wasn't going to get them fixed (the chips weren't that bad), mom and Amy were quite persistent and made me get them fixed since we were "right there." #thanksgirls

After lunch they drop me off  around 2 o'clock because "mom had to go get ready for her date night." Jeff tells me we're going to picnic around 3p (the picnic was going to be appetizers and then we were going to get dinner at a Mexican restaurant so I could get my post-Australian fix). Well I thought he meant we were LEAVING at 3, but he meant he wanted to be ARRIVING at 3, so needless to say when he showed up at my apartment at 2:40, I was still in sweatpants. #oops 

So then we finally get to the arboretum (sorry Lisa!) and Jeff pays the entrance fee while I run to the restroom. When I come out he's all like "ready to go?" and I'm all like "don't we need a map?" So he goes to get a map, opens it up for about 0.56 seconds, and then folds it up and puts it in the picnic basket. I'm like "uhh do you want me to hold it so we know where to go?," and he just responds with "nope let's wing it." Which didn't phase me because he wings everything in life. Well, except this well-thought-out proposal :) 

Little did I know he already 1) explored and drew out a plan, and 2) met with Lisa on Friday to discuss and walk through said plan. Impressed yet? :)

His map - the red line was our "trail."

So we get to a pretty area with all the trees (see top picture above) and there's a photographer taking pictures of a girl in a quinceanera dress. We wait for a few minutes, and then this group of tourists just walks on down the tree line. So I'm like "why don't we just hit this spot on the way back?" -- being the Practical Polly that I am, and he just says we should wait in case we don't come back that route. #sigh 

So THEN we walk down a ways and the tourist group asks me to take a photo of them. So I do, but apparently my photography skills weren't good enough because they make me take it AGAIN. Which at this point I'm just frustrated and over this "point of interest" and Jeff is just laughing. So after we take a selfie (which I learn later was a signal to Lisa that things were about to go down #likehim #ononeknee), I tell Jeff I'm ready to move on. Then he (who at this point is standing on my blind side) grabs my hand and says "hey, look at me." 

And then my heart drops to my stomach. 
That's false. Then my heart like drops to my big toe. 

Jeff then tells me that that day made 965 days since we've been together......and then I don't remember anything else. Partially because I'm shocked, and partially because my stinking accounting brain starts recalculating the 965. He's telling me all the wonderful things he loves about me, and I'm all like "so we've been together almost three years....there are 365 days in a year....times three...carry the one....back out four months...." - I mean ridiculous. 

He retold me all the things he said later though. And I reconfirmed that he did actually ask me to marry him. Apparently I said "yes, you doe-doe." Sounds like me. :)

Me taking pictures of the tourists plus the quinceanera situation in the background

The selfie "signal"

THE QUESTION. I love his smile in this picture :)
So then we (the engaged couple!) proceed to walk around the garden, take pictures, and find a picnic spot. Little to my knowledge, Lisa is hopping from rose bush to rose bush capturing it all. #ioweher

And because it makes me laugh - please note Jeff's back sweat. Poor guy. Heat and nerves just about did that little outfit of his in.

We then "find" a perfect little tree (Jeff really planned it) and have the cutest little picnic. He brought champagne flutes and a nice bottle of bubbly, cheese, crackers, fruit, chocolate - I mean he thought of everything. And a thank you to his mama who helped him :)

At this point he confiscated my phone and said that while he knows I'm dying to call my family, he just wants a couple of hours with just the two of us. Little did I know he really just didn't want to spoil what was to come later. :) SO, we do our picnic and take selfies and I make him tell me every little detail about everything!

I will always cherish this picnic. Just me and my future husband. :) :) :)

Trying to capture champagne toasts and the ring - it was quite difficult.

I love that Lisa caught us taking this picture. Jeff actually took forever to actually take our "selfie" because he wanted to make sure Lisa got one too, and I'm like "dude, what are you doing? Take the picture." Heehee - I had no idea. 

The selfie itself turned out pretty cute too :)

I love this man. And I love that we matched. Not even sure how that happened. 

Okay. How are you doing? You hanging in there? 

So at this point sweet Jeff has completely sweat through his clothes. Like...he was drenched. But, being the smart guy that he is, he brought a change of clothes and so we both changed and freshened up a bit before dinner. 

On the way home, I realized we only had staged smiley pictures of the day, and no candid ones (because I didn't know Lisa was in the shrubbery), so I start to get really sad. Jeff's all like "but you can always remember it!" ....little stinker.

We then went to Gloria's (the restaurant of our first date) and he told me we were going to Remedy afterwards to get one of my favorite desserts. I'm not gonna lie - at this point I was secretly hoping our families would be at Gloria's, so when he walked in and asked for a table for two - I was kinda bummed. ....little stinker.

Then we start talking about the pictures and he suggests that we stop by HG for a celebratory drink and to take a picture on the rooftop in front of Dallas skyline. So I say okay! 

Then we get to HG, and we walk up to the rooftop, and I'm all looking at the skyline (hello, I thought we were taking a skyline picture) and then when I look the other way I see FORTY OF OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS AND FAMILY and I'm just completely overwhelmed. I couldn't believe it. Like Kelsey flew back from Charleston. Melissa drove up from Houston. Cheryl drove up from Waco. DFW people drove from all over the metroplex. I couldn't even believe it. 

THEN I see my mama in the back and scream and run and we do this grand ole hug thing, and then my sister gets in on the grand ole hug thing, and then my dad, and then my big brother appears from nowhere (nowhere being Houston) and I ugly cry. I was doing pretty well - but seeing him was just the last straw. I couldn't take it! 

Jeff's best friends took videos at the party (so thankful they did!), so you can see my initial reaction to everyone here, and my family/ugly cry moment here.

Jeff apparently made a facebook invite over a month ago for my "surprise coming home party." And 95% of our people called bull. :) 

Then I continue to mingle and hug everyone and I start telling the engagement story to my girls, and I hear Lisa say "oh, did it look something like this?" and then shows me her camera with the top proposal picture showing. And then I ugly cried some more. 

Y'all. I've never felt more loved. Like I am marrying the greatest man on the planet and we are so lucky to have THE GREATEST friends and family surrounding us. It makes me really excited for the whole wedding shindig that's to come. 

And I am beaming with pride at the proposal Jeff planned. I'm just in awe. I couldn't have even imagined a more perfect day. 

And just for kicks- here are some more pictures :)


And then my sweet parents made and gave me this adorable wedding basket.
Let the planning begin!!!! :)

And that's that. The one where we got engaged. The best stinking day of my life. 

Until next time,

:) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Monday, September 12, 2016


So this title is really the only thing that makes sense for the Monday morning that follows the past two months of my life. 

Let's say it again: ummmm, woah. 

So I (obviously) haven't blogged in a month simply because I was doing some serious vacationing around New Zealand and Australia. Three weeks of it to be exact. Several of you have kindly mentioned that I owe you some Aussie travel posts, and I promise you will get them! I just really wanted to disengage from my norm for a while and get cultured. Oh, and now I have approximately 5,294 pictures to get through from said travels. But alas, Australian adventure recaps are coming soon. 

Then I get home on Wednesday (home being America), and immediately "move-in" to a new apartment. My sweet family and Jeff got everything actually into my apartment when I was still in Australia (bless their hearts), but I still had/have some serious unpacking and nesting to do. I'm very much over the brown box decor I currently have going on. 

OH - and then there's that small factor of which less than 48 hours ago JEFF AND I GOT ENGAGED

 Did you see that right there? Like we're getting married. Like he was on one knee with a ring. And said some really sweet things that I wish I remembered but was too shell-shocked to understand what the heck was happening. Like that kind of engaged. 

 Are you smiling? I am. I actually haven't stopped since Saturday. My cheeks are going to be SO toned.  

So let's recap: 
Worked in Australia for 6 weeks
Traveled around Australia/New Zealand for 3 weeks
Reunited with family and puppy and moved into new apartment
Got a first-hand experience to (what I consider) the world's greatest proposal


I kind of don't quite recognize my life right now, and I kind of feel like I haven't quite caught up to it. 

So yes, I owe you approximately 10 travel recaps and 1 engagement story (which will probably come later this week because you people wanna know and I wanna tell you!).

But right now I have to go to work (wamp wamp) and then later focus on re-teaching myself how to sleep. I haven't slept for longer than 4-hour increments since I left Australia. That was six days ago. I'm stinking tired. Jet lag is no joke.

And then now there's the fact that when I wake up I immediately start giddy school girl smiling and so rolling over and going back to sleep proves to be impossible. :)

My accessories this week will be 1 diamond ring, 2 giant bags under my eyes, and a smile that you can probably see from Mars. 

This verse has been on repeat in my head lately. God is blowing my socks off, y'all. 

I've missed y'all, I've missed writing, and while I do miss those kangaroos, I'm so glad to be back. We have a crazy ride ahead of us, folks! 

Happy Monday!

Until next time,