Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alabama

I can't believe the devastating storms that have hit the South for the past few weeks, but last night's tonados in AL really hit close to home. Very literally, since I am a state away and some of those storms hit North GA. We were fine and only got rain, but watching those videos shows just how powerful the storms are. It is incrediable sad to see entire homes destroyed and so many lives lost. Natural disasters are so scary because it is so hard to know when they will hit and their severity. It also shows just how strong God is.

Please pray for those all over the South who have been affected by these horrible storms, and pray that tornado season ends soon!

ERK

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WILW for my very first vlog!

Hey y'all, I'm linking up with Jamie for What I'm loving Wednesday and I am doing it in a vlog. My first ever!! I hope y'all enjoy! And yes, I am not wearing any makeup thats why i'm looking a lil funky, and I know my voice sounds weird!

video

Also, I know you can't see the picture I held up, I was not really thinking. And fyi, my vice is never that southern (if you even thought it was. I don't know why it sounds like that, but most of my friends say I have a northern/ weird accent.)

Anywho, I hope y'all had a fab day!

ERK

Water for Elephants Review

I read Water for Elephants several summers ago, and could not put it down. I loved the way the book was written and felt transported to the 1920's within the first few chapters. So, I was obviously super excited when I heard they were making a movie based on one of my fave books. And, R Patz was the icing on the cake! He is a dreamboat!!! It was nice to see him without the yellow eyes, anybody agree? Resse is my girl as well, so I was happy she was in it. She played Marlena very well!




So, my thoughts:
  • The acting was great and I loved the guy who played August. He really captured the crazy, almost bipolar character from the book.
  • The costumes were amazing! Reese looked stunning in all of her body suits and I loved the evening gowns she wore (esp. the red one in the speak easy). And R Patz looked dapper when he was dressed up, and rugged and foxy when he was dressed down.
  • I loved seeing all of the animals, but there were parts where I had to close my eyes and was close to crying. If you have yet to see the movie, be forwarned that there is some animal abuse.
  • I didn't like that they never explained the title of the movie!! That was a part of the book that was interesting, and they only really hinted at it once. If you don't know what the title refers to, go read the book!
  • I also didn't like that they didn't go back and forth between the present and the story. I know you can't include everything, but I loved the old man version of Jacob. He was funny and endering in the book, and had some funny things happen at the nursing home!
All in all, it was a fabulous movie! I suggest you go see it if you haven't already! I think it would have been a little better had I not read the book before hand, but I might have had my expectations too high.

Have y'all seen it? What did you think?

I might be back later with my first vlog ever! It depends on how it turns out and how much time I have because I have to pack to go to Dallas tomorrow!!!!

ERK

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tail Waggin' Tuesday!


I'm here for another edition of Tail Waggin' Tuesdays! I love sharing pics of my furbaby every week, and this week's subject is where your pet sleeps. With Cupie, the question is where doesn't she sleep. That dog sleeps so much and can find a comfy spot anywhere. Her fave spots include any lap, the den floor, the porch couch, her kennel, her fluffy bed and best of all: mama's bed. I have always let her sleep with me. I know that is bad, but I just couldn't take her whining and crying when she was a pup, she would do it all night long if I put her in the crate. So, she sleeps with me and I like it! (other than having a slight dog allergy, and when she sheds it sometimes aggravates my asthma). But, she is a great bed partner, especially since she is warm and loves to cuddle! She is a bit of a bed hog though!

Here is one of the funniest pictures I have of her. She was napping before bedtime on my bed and she looks like a passed out drunk, lazy eye included. She was very tired from a hard day of napping! Also, her bone is always close by, and she usually keeps it on the edge so when it falls I will get down and get it... diva!


I hope y'all enjoyed a little Cupie lovin' this week!

ERK

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Hair and Special Project!

Wow, 2 posts in one day, I'm on a roll! Haha

This was a nice weekend, because for once I was not running all over Atlanta! Friday I had to work (boo to the real world and not getting Good Friday off! It is a religious holiday!) but I left early because I was still feeling under the weather. My mom and I did go find a lamp shade though, which we were so glad to find! We have been looking high and low for a lamp shade for a floor lamp for my new bedroom and haven't been able to find what we wanted for a decent price. Silk lampshades, my word are the expensive! We were going to have one made in the room's colors (pink and green obvi) but we found the perfect green linen shade on Friday afternoon, and bonus, it was on clearance! Go us! I stayed in Friday and went to bed at 9 thanks to my good friend nyquil!

Saturday, I got up and lazed around, then went to get my hair cut. I haven't had it cut since November, so it needed a nice trim. I ended up cutting off about 4 inches though! I was going for a cute bob look, and I really like it, though I am still getting used to it being so short!! No more lazy, pony tail hair days I guess. What do y'all think? (When I blow dry it myself, I do a little more volume, this was kind of flat)
I'm calling it the "mom bob" but I do like it! (and I took this in the car, but was stopped at a light! And, it looks like I have so nasty chest hair but that was just trimmings, I swear!)
Saturday night I went to see Water for Elephants, but I am going to do a review later this week, so y'all will have to wait until then to hear about it!

Sunday, we went to church, and the service was great! After church my parents and I headed home and had lunch and I got to working on my "special project" I told y'all my dad and I worked on last weekend. Well, I got it all finished, except for part, but here is a peek at what it is:
Yes, those would be pink and green cornhole boards! (Sorry for the bad picture, it was on my phone) My dad and I built them last weekend, and I painted them yesterday. I don't want to toot my own horn, but they turned out so great!! I just love them! I had to do a lot of measuring and taping to get the lines and squares perfect, but it was well worth it. Next, I have to make the bags to throw. And you guessed it, I am making them out of Lilly fabric! I cant wait for it to be finished so we can set it up in the back, grab a cold beer and play for hours!

Last night we had a great dinner that my mom made, and it turned out to be a stellar weekend! I hope yours was too!

ERK

Thankfulness!

There is nothing like a special, religious holiday to remind you of what you are thankful for in life. Yesterday was one of the most special Easter's for me. I feel like the sermon spoke straight to me and I was overwhelmed with a new sense of God's love. I can't begin to understand His love, so much so that His only Son died on the cross for my sins, but I can try with all my being to follow Him every single day.

This got me thinking about all that I am thankful for in my life, here is just a short list of some of the major things:

God's love and forgiveness.

A wonderful, loving family. I really wish my brother and sister could have been here yesterday, but neither could make it. I enjoyed getting to spend time with my parents and my second cousin, who has been sort of a "grandmother" to all of us over the years. I know I sometimes complain and lose patience with my parents and siblings, but I am going to try my hardest not to because you only have one family, and mine is pretty darn great!

Cupie. This may seem silly, but I am so thankful for my sweet little lovebug. She has been with me though love and heartbreak, and about every emotion in between. She is a smart dog and understands sadness and always snuggles up next to me to make me feel better. She is so happy, I can't help but smile and laugh at her all the time, talk about a mood-lifter! As I told a friend recently, she is the best investment I have ever made.

The boyfriend. He is great. I also lose patience with him often, which needs to stop. We have had our rough (read ROUGH) times, but we got through them and I am so happy with him. Things are hard though, especially living half a country apart, but we have made it work for almost a year now! And I am really thankful that I am going to see him this week!

My friends. I have some really great friends who are always there for me. The transition from college to "the real world" is hard on friends. I am lucky that I moved back to Atlanta and so did many of my friends from high school, but am sad that most of my bff's from college are still in Texas. I love my friendship with them though, because we pick right back up where we left off when I see them. I did the same with my high school friends when I was in college. I love that about my friendships and am so thankful for all my besties!

My job. With the horrid economy, I am beyond lucky to have gotten a job pretty much right out of college. And, I got a job doing something interesting. However, that isn't to say that there are not days that I get bored at work or days that I just want to sleep in and laze around all day. But, I know I should never take my job for granted because I have had an amazing opportunity to work where I do and I have learned so much in the past 8 months.

To be healthy, for the most part. Aside from asthma and a few other minor medical problems, I am healthy. I am so thankful that I am and know that there are so many sick people in the world, and it just isn't fair, especially when those sick people are children. I think I need to remind myself of this every time I am having a "pity party" and remember that there are those that have problems I can't even imagine.

I know I could go on and on about what I am thankful for, but I will leave it at that for today. I hope y'all had a wonderful Easter and a great Monday!

ERK






Friday, April 22, 2011

April Showers Bring... April Flowers!

I don't know about y'all, but I am so glad it's Friday! And to allow you to share in my happieness, I just thought I would share some of the flowers from my parents gardens/ lawn. I love springtime because our yard is suddenly blooming with tons of flowers!! My favorites have to be the peonys, but they are all so pretty!





I have some others I love, but they are still on my camera and I am too lazy to load them to my computer tonight. Hey, I've been sick, so I have an excuse!!

Hope y'all had a fab day!!

ERK

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Perfume!

I am a beauty product hoarder, as you all know, and perfume is no exception. I love light, fresh, floral scents and have soo many different perfumes, I don't know what to do with them all. However, recently I have found myself wanting something new, for warmer weather I guess.

I wear Prada Orange Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger most of the time, with the occasional day of wearing Bobbi Brown Bath.

They are both light and fresh and not at all fruity! I really hate fruity perfume, or anything that is too musky or strong. However, when I want a strong scent I go with Hermes Les Merveilles. This might be my favorite scent ever, but it is strong, and in the summer I like lighter things.


I have had other favorites over the years though, like these:

I loved this when it first came out, but I think they may have changed the scent a little since then.
 Told y'all, I have had lots, and I love most of them but I want something different!! Here are a few I have been thinking about, but what do y'all wear everyday? Do you change it up for different moods or seasons? Help a sista out, I need a pretty new smell! I might go by Ulta on the way home (since it's on the way) to check a few out, or go to Sephora this weekend!
Let me know your thoughts!!

ERK

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blings Blings



Hello ladies dis is QP (ghetto caus I'ze talkin about blings!) I doesn't haz much bling cause my mommy is a mean lady and has only gotten me 1 collar in de past 6 monfs. How roo! She used to buy me a new one all de times. I guess she's trying to save monies, but c'mon, i'm worf it!

Anyways, I gots a pink collar wif hearts and bones (yum... i'm drooling just finking about a bone!!!) brb...

ok, mom gave me a treat! now i'm back. I also gots a pink heart tag wif my name and my mom's cell number on it. I told that ladybug I need my own iphone pronto or I will frow a tantrum, but I haven't gotten it yet. she is so inconsiderate.

Here I iz wif my collar on, likes my new hurrr cut? I went yesserday and they took away all my hair. drama.
contemplatin' lyfe
k, luvs y'all. maybe I will be back next week if mom lets me use de magic box again!

woof woof,

Cupid T.

Passed out puppy!

No, this post isn't about Cupie, it's about me. I am a sleeper. I love sleeping and I am a complete grouch when I don't get my normal amount. The crazy thing is, my normal amount is about 10 hours, even on week nights.

People are always amazed that I sleep that much every night, but I have no homework or children to attend to (other than Cu, but she is passed out before me most of the time). This schedule didn't start until moving back in with my parents. We always eat before 7:30, and I am usually in bed reading or watching a little TV by 8:30-9-ish. In college I would stay up, but I was a napper then. I always took a nap in college. I blocked out the time, because I knew if I was going to go out until 2 am I would never make it.

Is anyone else a sleeper like me? I feel like it is totes abnormal, especially for a 22 year old. There are many times when I decline invitations to go out with friends because I don't want to stay up that late! I know, I'm pretty weird.

The reason I have been thinking about this so much lately is because I know my sleeping patterns are going to change tons next year during law school and I am not prepared! Especially since I am no longer having any caffeine!

So my question for y'all is, do you sleep a lot? Or have any "strange" (well, it is strange for someone so young to sleep so much!) habits like mine? Any suggestions as to how I can change up my sched so I don't go to bed while it's still light out?

Thanks a ton!

ERK

P.S.- Speaking of Cupie, she'll be back later to share with y'all her bling bling for "Tail Waggin Tuesday"

Monday, April 18, 2011

I have never been so sore in my life!

This weekend was quite busy, but very fun! I don't think I sat down and relaxed at all except for eating meals. It was great fun though!

Friday I took a half-day and went home so that my dad and I could go and finish cleaning out my storage unit. I was super stressed because the place in on Peachtree St (aka BUSY St.) and we were going at rush hour, but my dad and I got it done fairly quickly. We rented a big van because the mattresses would not fit in any of our cars, so we only had to take 1 trip over there, and we are officially all moved out. WOOHOO! Friday night I ate at home with the rents and was supposed to go to a friend's house to have a movie night, but that really bad storm was supposed to be coming through Atlanta and my mom decided she didn't want me to be driving. Oh, the joys of living at home with mom and dad. It probably would have been a smart decision, except the storm was nothing. Only rain.

It was probs a good idea to get a good night's sleep Friday, because Saturday morning I got up bright and early at 7 so I could eat and let my stomach settle before going to my first Blast900 class. This is where my blog title comes in. Oh. my. goodness. I have never worked out that hard in my entire life. I played soccer for most of my life, and an entire game in the dead of summer came nowhere near this. I felt exhausted afterwards, but I felt great! Plus, I like to get my workouts done early, and I was home by 9:15! Yesterday and today I am really paying for it though. I am beyond sore!! The back of my legs from my knees all the way up to my behind are killing me!! Sitting is an issue, but I know it will go away and the more classes I take the less sore I will be. The class is pretty expensive, but I decided I like it so much, I am going to try to go once a week.

Saturday afternoon my dad and I started working on a really fun project, that we finished building yesterday. It took a long time, but I enjoyed working with my dad and I know we will get plenty of use out of it! I will share all about it later this week after I finish it. (All that needs to be done is paint it!) I think y'all will enjoy!

Saturday and Sunday I made dinner for my parents. Saturday I made spinach and artichoke ravioli, and Sunday night I made pizza! I am getting much better at making pizza, and I had no problems with the dough getting stuck to the counter or the pizza stone this time. Go me! haha We made 4 smaller pizzas; spinach and artichoke (I used the left over ravioli filling, and it was really good!), bbq turkey (we had a turkey breast for diner Friday night, so I used the left overs. The turkey was really dry though, so next time I will stick with freshly cooked chicken), supreme, and pepperoni. They turned out really well and we had lots of extra, so I brought some for lunch today! I took lots of pics with my good camera, but here is one of the spinach and artichoke pizza from my phone:


They all turned out in odd shapes, I haven't quite mastered shaping the dough yet.
I was planning on going to Sweetwater 420 Fest this weekend but sadly never got around to it. Sweetwater is a local Atlanta brewery, and they have some of my favorite beers! They do brew tours, which are so much fun in the Summer. However, it is not a good idea to drive, because they give you a glass (pint) and 7 tickets for free samples. They are only supposed to fill the glass a little, but they usually almost fill it up. Not going to lie, usually when I go I get very tipsy!! Anywho, the 420 Fest was a big festival with bands and food and beer (obvi) at a park in Atlanta. It looked like so much fun, and I am sad I missed it! I guess I will have to go to a brew tour soon!
How was your weekend? Did y'all do anything fun? I hope so!

Have a great Monday (ugh)!

ERK

Thursday, April 14, 2011

LOFT goodies and an award!

When I got home last night I had a nice little box waiting for my from LOFT and I was so excited to open it I didn't even pick Cupie up and snuggle her for a few first (I always do that when I get home!) Everything looks great but I might have messed up the sizes on 2 items, boo!

So my goodies:

Floral Crown Print Tee in yellow burst
I got this in a really light yellow color and I love it! I wore it to dinner last night, it's super comfy and the sleeves are looser! (I hate tight sleeves!)
Tape Stripe knit tank in Pure Aqua
I love this for just relaxing when the weather is HOT! I would pair it with bright shorts... maybe VV twill shorts in either flamingo or lemon drop!
Petite Printed Knit Dress (when I ordered, I could have sworn this came in regular as well, but I didn't see it on the site today)
I haven't tried this one yet, but It looks a little short. I hope it's not because it is really cute in person!

Dip Dye Pencil Skirt... My favorite, but the one I ordered is too big, so I am hoping the store will have my size to exchange it with.
Super cute pencil skirt! I will def be wearing this to work this Spring and Summer. It's linen so it is nice and light weight!
Has anybody else found any cute items at LOFT recently? I never shopped there until this year, but now I love the store!



Also, I got a wonderful award, the "One Lovely Blog Award," from sweet Miss Allie at Sundresses and Smiles! Thanks Girl!! Go check out her super cute blog if you haven't yet!                      

So I have to give 7 random facts and then give it to 15 people, but I think I will just give it to anybody who wants it and hasn't gotten it yet, sound good? Great!

1. I am a picky eater and it ALL has to do with texture and consistency. I hate the texture of fresh tomatoes, but I eat ketchup, tomato soup, ect.

2. I have my cell on me at all times... I feel lost without it! One of the few times I think I have ever left my phone at home, my car broke down... in a semi-sketchy area... at night... in the middle of a major street. See why I need my phone?

3. I am a terrible artist and have pretty bad hand writing. I think it's because I have super shaky hands.

4. I am an extreme over packer and it always drives me nuts, but I can't stop. I am really organized, so this is both good and bad. I love knowing I will have everything I might need, but I hate what a mess it becomes traveling with so much stuff!

5. I cry when I get really mad. I don't know why, but my first response is to cry. It's no bueno when I am trying to take care of biznass.

6. I am not good at managing money. Not. At. All. I was excited to hear I might be getting a tax refund, but none too happy when I realized all that money will be going to pay off credit card bills. I Hope AMEX enjoys my tax return... not. (However, I am glad to be getting things paid off!!!)

7. I am a pen hoarder. I have so many different types of writing pens in every color of the rainbow! from Le Pens to felt tip pens, I've got way too many. Oh and don't forget Gelly Roll pens... lets just say I have enough to fill a gallon size Ziploc bag. And do I use them? NO! I rarely use any of them except for a few I use on my calendar. Weird, I know.

Have a great Thursday ladies!!!

ERK

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I'm lovin'

Ok, so silly me never really understood the whole "linky up" thing until recently thanks to CMae and Tail Waggin' Tuesdays....so this week I am linking up with Jamie to do my WILW!


I'm loving that I feel so much better about myself after just a few days of eating healthier and working out! Having a positive attitude is 75% of it for me.

I'm loving that Cupie has an appointment to get her hurrrs cut next Monday and maybe sooner if they have a cancellation. I know many cavalier owners love the long fur look, but Cupie says "iz nots a hippie!!" and her mama prefers a puppy cut because she looks stinking cute in it and junk doesn't get stuck in her fur... um oak tassels are everywhere in my bed because they have been getting caught in her mane.

I'm loving that I got to meet the dean of GSU law last night at the reception as well as some of my fellow future classmates. It was a nice reception at a great firm, Fisher and Phillips, and it was nice to see people who I will be going to school with. The only negative: some of those peeps were vultures when trying to talk to GSU VIP's aka the dean, admissions peeps, and faculty. I mean, it was redic! We would be about to speak to somebody and another person would swoop right in, roo!

I'm loving that my order from LOFT is supposed to be delivered today! I can't wait to see how everything looks, and I will update y'all tomorrow!

I'm loving that I signed up for a complimentary Blast900 class thanks to the recommendation of Brittany at Running in High Heels. It looks insane and intense and I'm hoping I don't die, but I'm going to try it. It is kind of expensive for the classes (like $25 each) so I am hoping I don't love it (is that bad?).

And....

I'm hating that this year there will only be 4 of us at my parent's house for Easter. This is the first Easter I can remember where at least my entire family (mom, dad, bro, sis and myself) won't be together. My brother can't come because he lives in California and can't take time off and a weekend trip doesn't make sense. My sister can't come because it's right before her law finals and she has to study. My aunt and uncle and their 3 children usually come, but this year they decided not to. Sad days...

I hope y'all have a fab Wednesday!!

ERK

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tail Waggin' Tuesday!



I'm back with the second edition of Tail Waggin' Tuesday hosted by CMae!

Cupie is not the kind of girl who likes new toys. No, she prefers a toy that either of the other "big" dogs have torn up. We call them pieces and she can't get enough of heads, arms or legs, or just little scraps of what was once a real toy. Usually the smaller the scrap the more she likes it. Sometimes I wonder where things even came from, but that little baby knows how to dig in the toy baskets (notice the s) for what she wants!!

With her pheasant head, duh!
Hope y'all enjoyed getting to see what Cu plays with every day!

New healthy lifestyle and other randoms

As I mentioned yesterday, I am starting a new "health initiative." Haha calling it that makes me feel like it's a government program or something really important. Anywho, I am really digging in to the whole losing weight and toning up thing. I am totally embarrassed at how I have "let myself go" over the past 8 months. I finally realized it Sunday before church when I had to try on 5 dresses before I could find one to fit over my fat a$$. I kid you not. It is a bad feeling to know that I am responsible for this and it kills me to think that I won't be able to wear any of my cute summer clothes because they are too tight. So, as a family, we have decided to get back on Weight Watchers and I have decided to work out at least 5 days a week before work (or in the morning if it's the weekend). Weight Watchers is actually really easy and it works. I stayed really strict on the program for a while last Fall and lost over 10 pounds!

I am not at all having a pity party and calling myself "fat" because I hate that word and know I am healthy, but slightly overweight for my height (according to my doctor). So I have got to do this, both because I want to be as healthy as possible, and because I want to wear my cute clothes (vain, I know. My b).

Yesterday was the first day on WW and I did pretty well, but went over my points because my dad and I went to a burrito place for dinner and I had a beer. One of my big things with this is no drinking on weekdays. I don't usually drink except for on the weekends anyway, but I cheated a little last night.

As for the gym, I have been going a lot recently, and going in the morning makes me feel good all day! I also want to be able to run the 5k Race for the Cure I am signed up for on May 7. I want to run the whole thing and not feel like crap. I know I can do it, but training at the gym and doing strength training will help tremendously.

So, enough  about dieting healthier life styles (I hate the word "diet," it just makes me want to do the exact opposite) on to some random stuff:

I am mad at Bloomingdale's and I have decided that I am not shopping there anymore! Apparently they changed their credit agreements, but never notified their card holders. I talked with credit services up in arms, and and the guy told me they informed the stores. Well great, because the stores are the ones using their card to purchase items. No, roo! (rude) I don't want to cancel my account because that is no bueno for your credit, but you better believe they will no longer be getting my business, which is big since they used to be my go-to store.

I have a reception for GSU Law admitted students and here is my outfit:

Cheesin' hardcore, and I didn't have any bronzer on yet, so I look ghostly!!!
This is a new dress-suit my mom got me, and I am lovin' it! I will def be sporting this to church Easter Sunday, and will get tons of wear out of it this Spring and Summer! (Thanks mom!!) And the shoes.... I DIE. They are my faves! They are pink patent with a small platform and they have a little shimmer to them. Stuart Weitzman did me well with these bad boys!

Has anyone tried any of the new Under Armour Charged Cotton shirts? I hate working out in t-shirts because they get all gross, so I always wear some sort of quick-dry workout top (but nothing tight, nobody wants to see that at the gym) I am thinking about getting a few because they are supposed to be moisture-wicking and are super soft.

I am still having skin issues! I think I jinxed myself by saying I usually have good skin!! I am thinking that maybe I have the wrong Clinique Clarifying Lotion. I use number 1, which is for very dry skin, and I think my skin is more "dry" than "very dry." I am thinking about ordering the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate to use twice a week and see if my skin clears up. However, it is super expensive so I am still thinking about it. I also might order the EradiKate for sudden blemishes. Does anybody know these products/ the brand and can give some advice?!?

Well, I think I have bored y'all enough, so have a great Tuesday!!

ERK

P.S.- I'll be back later with a cute pic of Cupie for Tail Waggin' Tuesday

Monday, April 11, 2011

Le Weekend!

So this weekend was super exciting...not. The only thing I did was go to get more junk stuff out of my storage unit both Saturday and Sunday. The good news? We only have 2-3 more trips to get it all cleaned out!! If I haven't mentioned it before, I hate the storage unit! I think it stems from the fact that my dad and I spent HOURS filling it last May in really hot weather, sans air conditioning. I hope I never have to have another one again.

I also took most of the furniture that needs to be recovered/ have cushions made to the upholsterer . Sunday we went to church and I pulled out my first summer Lilly of the year!

Excuse the mess in my room, and the lovely "2006" pinatas in the background, they're from my HS grad party...5 years later. I wore and old-school shift with horses and monkeys (love), a cornflower blue Ann Taylor cardi, and silver Jacks
P.S.- how do y'all like my blinged out phone? Haha I loves it, the bf's mom made it for me and its really sparkly!!

I also did some cooking this weekend! Saturday my sister and her bf came to town for the Braves game, so they had dinner at our house that night. I made some yummy roasted potatoes and a delish pound cake. The potatoes are something I always make. I just cut up small potatoes (either fingerling of other small ones) and dice some cippolini onions and throw those in a Pyrex. I then put a little EVOO (enough to coat each piece, but not too much!) and then sprinkle a packet of Lipton's onion soup mix on top. Just toss them to spread out all the seasoning and cook on 350 for about 30 mins. Yum-o! (Ugh that makes me think of Rachel Ray...)
I also made a pound cake from Fannie Farmer's cookbook, and it was sooo good! Her recipe is my go to for pound cake, and it didn't disappoint anybody in attendance, especially with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries! I wish we had eaten it all or given the whole thing to my sis and her bf before they left, because weight watchers/ healthy living "diet" started today and I can't have any more, boo!! If only I could eat whatever I want and never gain weight...

Yesterday I made a really nice dinner. I cooked halibut (which I thought was kind of fishy, but my mom and dad disagreed) with an lemon-champagne vinegar and EVOO arugula salad on top, steamed green beans, and amazing leek and Parmesan risotto. The risotto was my favorite, and was so creamy! I have always loved leeks so I just sauteed some up to add in and it turned out really well! Here is the recipe: (I made this up myself so you can kind of change things up)

Parmesan and Leek Risotto

2 leeks, washed
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs butter
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/4- 1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth (heated)
3/4 cup Parmesan
salt and pepper

Ingredients
1. After leeks are washed, cut off roots, and cut lengthwise up to just above the white part. Slice the leek 1/4 inch thick until you have chopped most of it. (I usually include a lot of the green part, but make sure it is washed really well because sometimes dirt can be in the leafy parts. Place olive oil and butter in a heavy saucepan, add leeks and lemon zest and saute on medium for about 5 minutes or until tender. (While that is sauteing, put the chicken broth in a small saucepan and heat until hot, but not boiling because you don't want it to evaporate.)

Leek saute with wine reducing. My broth is on the burner behind it.
2. With the stove still on medium heat, add wine to pot and stir leek and wine mixture until wine has reduced to 1/4 of what is was. Mix in dry rice and make sure all pieces are coated with the liquid in the pot (oil and wine).
With rice and some broth added
3. Add some of the broth (probably a little less than a cup), enough to go to the top of the rice line. Stir continuously until broth is mostly gone. Add more broth to the rice line, and repeat. Repeat these steps until all of the broth has been added and absorbed by the rice.

4. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir, making sure it gets distributed evenly and does not get stuck on the spoon. Serve and enjoy!

Entire meal!

(I hope these make sense. I have never really written a recipe before. so let me know if you have any questions!)

The thing I love about risotto is that you can put just about anything in it! My mom makes a really good chicken and green pea risotto.

Well I hope everybody else had a fab weekend! I'll be back tomorrow to talk about my new "health initiative"... fancy name, huh?

Have a lovely day!

ERK

Friday, April 8, 2011

Government Shutdown

Warning: this is a rant and my own personal opinion. I don't expect anybody to agree, and if I offend you or your personal beliefs, my b. If you don't want to read about my political views, close this NOW!

Ok, so lets talk about this government shutdown. It is driving me nuts! It is all about politics, but isn't everything that happens in government? Whether we like it or not, when political figures make decisions, the next election is always in the back of their mind. Now we are seemingly stuck because concessions given aren't enough.

I have read and listened to both Fox News and CNN recently, and big surprise, they are telling different stories! CNN is stressing how Republicans are holding things up because of abortion and Planned Parenthood. They quote the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, talking about this as an issue of women's rights and how no money for P.P. would inhibit women's rights to get birth control, etc. My thoughts on this: don't engage in sex if you don't want a child, abstinence is something people have forgotten all about!! It is 100% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and STI's. Just sayin...

However, Fox News is describing the opposite, proposing that Democrats are holding things up because they won't concede to all of the spending cuts. Fox also questions why the Democrat-controlled House and Senate did not pass a budget before turnover in January. Why didn't they? Politics!! (I am a Fox watcher usually, but I do go to CNN to get the other side of the story.)

Here is what makes me really mad: it is not one side's fault, it is both side's fault. What we know about the situation is not all there is to know, that is why all of these talks with Obama have been behind closed doors. There is plenty that the American people do not know and will not know about the budget. One thing people do know; it is going to stink if the government shuts down. Here are several reasons why: national parks will close, DC will basically shut down because there is no "state" government there, members of the military and their families might not get paid on time! The last is huge for me, these people are willing to DIE for us, and they deserve to get paid on time!

So what to do? I have no idea, that's why I can't imagine being a politician. Stress. I know if there is a shutdown one party will be blamed, and relying on what I have seen on other FB statuses and news in general, it will be Republicans. I think it will be on the shoulders of members of both parties, but Republicans will be blamed becausae they want to cut too much spending because are trying to fix the financial system we have. We will never get out of this gigantic hole of debt by continuing to spend the way we do. We have to decide to cut what is not essential and do it. I am a proud American citizen, and I'm young, and I don't want our debt to continue to spin out of control for the rest of my life. I want the benefit of social security when I retire one day, especially if I pay into it for my entire life!!

However, if I had to choose what to do, I would say pass another 1-week extension that the Republicans are proposing. Next week every member of both houses of congress needs to be there working this out. No vacations, no 3-day work week. I am tired of members not being there! If I don't show up to work I will be fired, plain and simple!! In the words of Nike, "Just do it." Make it happen, work together. They will be paid regardless of whether the government shuts down, but many will not. They need to buck up and work it out. We can't continue working week-to-week on a budget for the federal government. It is impossible, but if it comes down to either a complete shut down or another week, go for another week.

In no way am I saying I know everything about this topic, so if you have anything you want to add or disagree with something I said, let me know. I enjoy hearing others opinions and I am not the closed minded type who will not change her mind if a better option comes along.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Randoms!

I've got lots of random thoughts so, here goes.

This weather is SOOO nice. I love walking out of my building at the end of the work day to warmer temps and daylight!! I can't wait until it's finally warm enough to hang by the pool and drink a beer or 2.

I am in love with Boden. As I said yesterday, I got the catalog, and dog-eared almost every other page! Allie over at Sundresses and Smiles blogged about the brand yesterday, and I am loving her picks! Here are a few of my faves:





I have realized and come to terms with the fact that I am officially turning into my mother. I was thinking about the few items I got this past weekend with shopping the Etcetera line, and they are all exactly what my mom would wear! Not that it's a bad thing, but it's official, we are the same.

I love love love Food Should Taste Good's Lime chips! They are still chips and fried (I think) so obvi they aren't good for you, but they are all natural, contain no preservatives, and are a good source of fiber. I'll take it! I bought a bag at the grocery Monday night, and they were gone last night. I may or may not have eaten the entire bag myself.

I love salt. It's gross how much I love salt. I put it on everything!!! And recently I have really been craving salty snacks!! (hence an entire bag of chips is now gone!) I think it's because all of my snacks recently have been "sweet" as in fruit, yogurt, Larabars. All I want is some goldfish or pretzels! I might have to give in a grab something salty pretty soon, because if I try to ignore a food craving I obsess about it until I get it (is that OCD or compulsive eating? Both? ugh!).

I booked a plane ticket yesterday to go to Dallas at the end of the month! I was worried it would be super expensive because of rising fuel costs and all the problems airlines have been having (ahem, Southwest's plane that had a huge hole ripped in it!), but I got a great deal! I really can't wait to see this cutie pie:


Isn't she so cute! She is the bf's dog and is so sweet and the most energized dog ever!


and all of my friends and the BF in D-Town!!

I can't wait to sit my behind in a lounge chair and spend 2 glorious weeks at the beach at the end of this summer! Best things about family beach trips: drinking, eating, playing pool-pong, walking on the beach, finding sand dollars, drinking more, eating more, laying out, swimming, spending family time, and this year: celebrating a big birthday for my dad!!

Well, that's about all the randomness I've got for today! I hope y'all are having a wonderful Thursday!!!!

ERK

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Every Day Jewels

No WILW this week, I have been planning on doing this post but never got around to it, so here goes...

I know many women love to change up their jewlery/ accessories every day;  to wither match their clothes, mood, ect. I am not one of those ladies. Sometimes I wish I were because I love how some people can add the perfect earrings or statement necklace and really make their outfit. I am BAD at that, so I always steer clear. I love the look of dangly earrings, but I have very few pairs and never can figure out when to wear them. I think I need more now that I have thought about it so much for this post. Anywho, here is my everyday jewlery look:

Left hand:


My watch: I love this watch, which I got for college graduation from my parents. It goes with everything and I have literally worn it every day since I got it last May. I feel naked without a watch, does anyone else? The best part about the watch is that my parents had the bottom side engraved with my monogram and the date of my graduation. This will always be a very special piece of jewlery for me.

David Yurman mini cable bracelet with pearls: I like how simple this bracelet is and it goes with everything. I got it for my 20th birthday from mom and dad and I wear it all the time. I like that it has silver and gold so I can wear it with either (though I have definately started liking gold way more... too bad it's WAY more expensive. Boo!)

James Avery Open Sorrento Ring: I got this from my parents this year for Christmas, and I love it. I searched high and low for a gold middle finger ring. I wanted something without gem stones that was simple but different (you follow me?) I thought about a signet ring, but my mom convinced me that wasn't the best choice (my monogram won't always be the same, or at least I hope!). I saw this online, and I went to try it on and just loved it.

Right hand:


Saphire ring (bad pic, IRL its much more detailed): I got this beaut for my 21st birthday, once again from mom and dad (see a trend here?) I looked everywhere for a special ring for that birthday, and looked at estate and antique jewelers all over Atlanta. I saw this one early on and liked it, but wasn't sure. I had no idea what my parents decided to get me until they came to Dallas to celebrate my birthday and I opened this. I love it because it is unique and has sentimental value.

Earrings:


Usually any gold stud-type of earring. I got this pair from my mom. She used to wear smaller earrings but hasn't in a while, so she gave all the stud-like ones to my sister and I. These are starbursts and they get lots of wear!

What are your every day jewels?

Also, random side note. Did anybody else get the Boden catalogue today? SUCH cute stuff, I might have to make some purchases!

I hope y'all had a great Wednesday, it's almost the weekend!!!!

ERK

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Arroz con pollo recipe and my weekend!

Sunday night I made arroz con pollo from Gina's Skinny Recipe. It turned out really well and was very filling, but I changed the recipe ever so slightly to make it how I wanted it. It was very easy to make, and great to save for lunch later in the week because it makes a lot. Here is the recipe with my changes (highlighted in pink) and some pictures of the process.

Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 cup rice 1 thigh • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 ptsCalories: 311.1 • Fat: 4.6 g • Protein: 17.9 g • Carb: 48 g • Fiber: 0.6 g    



  • 8 skinless chicken thighs I used 4 boneless, skinless breasts, chopped in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 packet Goya sazon 
  • about 1/2 tsp adobo
  • about 1/2 garlic powder
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 scallions
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups enriched long grain rice (I used brown rice, but it takes way longer, will explain later)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon
  • 1 packet Goya Sazon
  • salt
Some ingredients

Chopped tomatoes and mixture from food processor.



Season chicken with vinegar, sazon, adobo and garlic powder and let it sit 10 minutes. Heat a large deep heavy skillet on medium, add oil when hot. Add chicken and brown 5 minutes on each side. (Here, I just sauteed the pieces until they were almost fully cooked, then transferred them to a plate with a slotted spoon. They don't need to be cooked all the way because you put them back in with the rice to cook more.) Remove and set aside.


Chicken after adding the Sazon, it is a really pretty bright orange color


Place onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions and pepper in mini food processor. (I roughly chopped the onion, pepper and scallions, then added the garlic cloves whole and the cilantro. I pulsed them several time, but not enough to make it a paste.) Add 1 tsp olive oil to the skillet and sauté (the mixture from the food processor) on medium-low until soft, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, cook another minute. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute. Add water, bouillon (be sure it dissolves well) and sazon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Taste for salt, should taste salty enough to suit your taste, add more as needed.


What the ingredients in the food processor should look like after a few pulses

After everything was added



Add chicken and nestle into rice (for my version, I just stirred in the chicken pieces), bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line, then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape (You could place a piece of tin foil in between the lid and the pot if steam escapes).

Cook 20 minutes without opening the lid. (If you use brown rice it will take much longer, mine took almost an hour! I did open the lid to stir occasionally, oops! Also, if you use brown rice, I think it comes out much stickier than with white rice, though it was still really good. I guess it's just personal preference.) Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes (don't peak!!!) Fluff with a fork and eat!


End result! YUM!




It turned out really well, and the family really enjoyed it. We paired it with asparagus and a salad.


My weekend was pretty calm, Saturday I was planning on going to the farmers market, but it never happened. We went a started clearing out my storage unit Saturday morning (talk about the worst thing in the world, I HATE storage units so much!) Then my mom and I went to a friend of her's house who sells a clothing line called Etcetera out of her home. The stuff is really cute, and my mom and I both found several things. (Mine are all for work, but can definitely be for church or nice dinners this summer as well.) I can't wait until they get in, which will hopefully be by this weekend so I can wear on of the skirt suits to my GSU accepted student reception next Tuesday. After that, we went to look at rugs....again. (if you can't tell, I am SO over looking at rugs!!!)


Sunday, we went to church, then mom and I picked up 2 of the fabrics we decided on and went on another run to the storage unit and to HomeGoods, where I got a really nice green duvet cover for my bed. We decided to have standard shams made in a pretty pink and green fabric for my bed and then just go with a white coverlet and a plain green duvet. I am excited to see how it all looks in my new apartment. Sunday night I made dinner and went to bed early.


All in all it was a nice weekend, with beau-ti-ful weather!


I hope y'alls weekends were great as well!


ERK