Tuesday, June 28

Surprises within House Sitting

Jordan and I are house sitting for a week and half for one of my mom's great friends, Becky. I must not forget to mention that Becky's Scottie, Lucy, is Juno and Thunder's best friend! Anyways, we've been house sitting since last wednesday and it's been quite fun!

Becky and her family live in Jordan's parents neighborhood which has been ultimately convenient. Since we have been able to run over there to already borrow a hot glue gun and some underwear for Jordan (he conveniently left half of his stash in Virginia).

Jordan and I are staying in the master bedroom which granted us a huge surprise when we found out not only do that have a sleep number bed but it is also a massager and the head and feet of the bed lift up! It was crazy! We played with the controls for the bed for a good half hour.

I made us dinner at the house on the first night which was interesting since I had no idea where any of the kitchen utilities are. It was like I was playing hide and seek with the kitchen drawers. Very frustrating, slightly entertaining and surprising.

Lucy & Juno
Lucy has been a blast! She absolutely loves people and is a big sweetheart. Jordan has affectionately nick-named her "Goose." He doesn't just say the word either, he hollers it like "GOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!!!" It is quite entertaining to Lucy and I. She is a little bit hefty for a small dog, weighing in at 32 pounds! Which Jordan and I discovered yesterday that Lucy and I together exactly equal Jordan's weight! Surprise! Which could be slightly mortifying since my husband only weighs 32 pounds more than me while being 9 inches taller but since he doesn't have an ounce of fat on his body, I'm okay with that. In fact when Jordan stops working out (even for a couple of days), he looses weight unlike the rest of the human population.

The best part about house sitting so far is the fact that I was able to get so much done to pull off a SURPRISE birthday party for my mom's fabulous 50th birthday!! The party was Friday night and there were about 40 people in attendance. The surprise went off perfectly. She had absolutely no idea! :)

We had Babe's fried chicken and a two layer Nothing Bundt Cake for dessert. Pretty much the two best things on the planet. Best fried chicken ever and the moistest cake you could ever put in your mouth! Sheila, Jordan, Tyler, and Hayley helped set up the party! Sheila was also the photographer for the night. I made all the decorations myself, which I was ultimately pleased with. Failed to get photos though!  I made a "Happy Fabulous 50th Birthday" sign out of sparkly green cardstock letters sewn together. I made the fluffy tissue paper balls out of green, black/white, and white tissue paper and they turned out to be just darling. I also, by inspiration, created a collage of black and white photos of my mom in the shape of a big 50. The last little piece of decor I did was make an "over the hill" birthday ribbon for my mom to wear out of supplies found at Michael's.

my inspiration.
I had a blast doing all the decorations myself. Everyone complemented the decor, which just thrilled me! Thank you pinterest for giving me all the ideas! (follow me here)

Sheila, Julie, and Jan threw my mom a surprise birthday tea party yesterday which she was ultimately surprised again! Who would have thought that they would have two surprise parties in one year? She was thrilled again! The party was absolutely beautiful. The decor was like a little tea room and 'high tea' was served among 15 beautiful women! Thank you ladies for loving and celebrating my fabulous mother!

I hope y'all have had a few wonderful surprises this week! 

Sunday, June 19

Father's Day Fiasco

Happy Father's Day!! 

The most thanks and honor to my incredible dad who has taught me as many life lessons as there are stars in the sky. From riding a bike to learning to fear the Lord,  from laughing and giggling to crying and compassionate, from finding out who Santa really was to discovering who my Savior is, from having dreams to being dedicated to accomplish them: my dad has helped me through it all! What a blessing he has been and still is. He is my number one fan! I, being his only child, am his number one fan back! He leads such a loving and generous life to all those within his reach. I love you Dad! Thanks to the waterfall of blessings you have placed in my life.

My newest addition of a father, Greg, my father-in-law has been just as splendid to his two boys as my father to me! How grateful I am to have a father-in-law that loves the Lord fervently and is completely dedicated to his family. Greg has been a wonderful example to his sons about how to truly love your wife, love your children, love your God, and love your life! I have been so blessed to have Greg in my life as a my father in law for the past year and as tremendous friend for the past six years! Thank you for all the love, passion, and laughter that you share on daily basis! Love you!

Now to move past the sentiments, I found the most incredible recipe for pancakes that I knew I had to make for my dad for Father's Day breakfast. We really celebrated Father's day breakfast on the 12th since Jordan had his tournament today but the gifts were saved for the real day ;) 

The ultimate pancake recipe: Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. 

Are you asking, where does the fiasco of Father's Day come into play? Right here. Yep at the recipe. Okay, perhaps it's not the recipe but its the chef? Not sure. However, the splendid pictures that the RecipeGirl shared of her pancakes did not quite exemplify my pancakes.

Issues with the cinnamon roll pancakes:

  1. Recipe only calls for 4 pancakes. Big problem. It is definitely necessary to make more than 4 pancakes
  2. Only double the pancake batter if you double the recipe - you'll have more than enough cinnamon batter and cream cheese icing on the single recipe.
  3. The cinnamon batter does not easily pour into that beautiful swirly shape - I utilized the shape of 'chunks'
  4. Once you flip the pancakes to the side that had the cinnamon poured on, the cinnamon mixture melts and creates craters in the pancakes... I solved this issue by pouring more pancake batter over top of the added cinnamon mixture.
  5. one last additional note: USE A NON-STICK SKILLET!!!
first catastrophe not using non-stick skillet and not cooking enough. yikes!

My version of swirls... :)
So my pancakes, as previously said, did not turn out like the ones from the pictures but once they were cooked - they were sure delicious!! They did get that caramelized look and taste that the pictures show (just not as pretty). The cream cheese frosting in place of syrup was incredible!! My dad thought they tasted divine and didn't even complain that they didn't look like cinnamon rolls ;)

If you are up for a little bit of a MESS but for some FABULOUS TASTING PANCAKES than GO FOR IT!! :)

Our plans for the rest of Father's Day is to soak up the sun rays while floating and grilling by the pool! Enjoy spending time with your dad if you are able to. :)

Saturday, June 18

Traveling Times

So this summer we have been traveling fools and will continue to be so for the remainder of the summer. It's kinda crazy.

I am not really one for car rides. I would much rather fly. Now Jordan on the other hand would probably drive. Taking off and landing in airplanes make him semi nervous but he handles it like a man! ;) When I was growing up the longest trip by car we took was four hours and that was to my grandma and grandpa's house when I lived in Minnesota for a few years.  We flew if we were going anywhere else. Jordan's parents are big drivers. His parents frequently drive out to the east coast on a whim to watch him in a golf tournament, which is completely admirable!

All this to say, I have been a car riding fool this summer. Started off with the 20 hour drive from Lynchburg to home. We did it in one day for the first time ever after three years of driving out there, which about kills me each summer start and end. We were feeling the road though - we made it and toughed it out! It was spectacular!

Last week we were in Beaumont, Texas (just east of Houston) for a golf tournament. That was a five hour drive each way. This week we are in Austin, only a mere three hours away, for another golf tournament.

In a couple weeks we will make a five hour trip to Wichita, Kansas for a friend's wedding. Then head from there to Iowa (seven hours from Wichita) to visit my grandparents. When we make that twelve hour journey back, Jordan will be turning around for a fifteen hour drive to Indiana for yet another golf tournament. I, however, will be staying at home for that one! Jordan also has several tournaments left that are two hour drives away. All this car tripping will be concluded this summer with a caravan drive back to Lynchburg in mid August.

Like I said, traveling by car isn't my thing. This summer is quite the contrary. Don't you agree?

Beaumont was a tiny little Texas town that exemplifies Louisiana much more than it does Texas. We hit up a couple of Mexican restaurants that had this fabulous grilled chicken dish that involved mexican cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, that I'm going try to tackle at home. It was seriously to die for.  I'll share the recipe once I try it!!

Jordan played well in his tournament. It was an Adam's pro golf tour tournament at the Beaumont Country Club. He made the cut (which was one under par) after the second day and was able to play two more days. Greg (Jordan's dad) caddied for him all four rounds while Sheila (Jordan's mom) and I watched in the dreaded humidity that exists in southern Texas.

Sheila and I were able to do some shopping on our first full day in town. We hit up the mall and found a fabulous antique store. I MEAN FABULOUS!

I tried to capture the cuteness of how the owner arranged all her finds but I couldn't... :(

It was so fabulous that we had to go back with the boys later in the week. Greg and Jordan found Gracie Mae...

Sheila and I each found great items. Sheila got a pair of fabulous ornate lamps for a steal of a price (I'll post a picture when I can). I got some antique fabric remnants and an antique queen size quilt of pink rosebud chenille fabric!

I was seriously stoked about the adorableness of the piece! I can't wait to create something with it!

Austin has already been quite the shopping adventure as well! Sheila, Tyler, Hayley, and I hit up the Round Rock Premium Outlets on Tuesday when Greg and Jordan were playing a practice round for Jordan's golf tournament. We spent a fabulous six hours time there and spent quite a few dollars too! Found some seriously great deals.

Jordan's tournament in Austin is at the Texas State Amateur which is one of the most esteemed amateur tournaments in the United States. Over 650 people tried to qualify to make the tournament and only 144 made the cut. The course at the Austin Country Club, where the tournament is being held, is one of the most gorgeous golf courses that I have laid eyes on. A third of the holes have a view of the stunning Colorado River. Just fabulous!

View from hole three on the course towards the water; photo credit
view from the bridge; golf course is on the right.
The club held a banquet for the players plus a guest on Wednesday night, so Jordan and I got dressed up for the evening and headed to the club.

Oh! Wait! What the heck are on Jordan's feet? Oh, he didn't bring any dress shoes? DSW to the rescue!

Jordan didn't make the cut this week. He missed it by two strokes but that's okay! You live and you learn! He had 29 pars or better out of 36 holes so he played really well just had a couple struggle holes which is completely understandable on this golf course. It was a joy to watch for the two days!

We got back last night from Austin and just had the most fabulous time in the beautiful rolling hills that surround the capital of Texas. Great fun with friends and family.

The saying around the grand ole state is "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could." Jordan exemplifies that phrase - he is Texas proud. After exploring several areas of this great state this summer, who wouldn't be! Hope you get a chance to explore the great state of Texas sometime!

With love from a native Texan,

Tuesday, June 7

A Delicious Dinner

My mother is a phenomenal cook. She doesn't like to bake (because that requires measuring ingredients) but she can sure cook gourmet. There's not a meal that she couldn't make bigger and better than the top chefs.

Because of my ornate mother, I have become a foodie myself. I love the flavors of food. I enjoy eating simply because of the wonderful flavors that be created. This has created a desire in me to be an wonderful cook.

It has been quite the challenge to live up to my mother's shoes since I now have my own family that I have to delight with food. I mean, it is just Jordan and I, but still! Jordan will eat pretty much anything placed in front of him yet I still feel the need to provide delicious delectable dinners. I sure do try! I've learned so much over the past year of cooking on my own.

A great part about being home for break (and back in my mother's kitchen) is the fact that I get to help her with cooking dinner. I learn something new every day whether it be the specifics of how to cook a certain meat or how to use a new tool. I sure do love it. Cooking in the kitchen is a fun way that we get to spend time together too.

So last week, my mom threw down the challenge that I had to plan, prepare, and cook the entire dinner by myself for her, my dad, and Jordan. She had a late hair appointment that night so she wouldn't have any time to cook or help!

I nervously accepted. I knew I would have tough critics. Since my dad has been spoiled by my mom's food for almost 25 years - he KNOWS good food. And well Jordan, if it involves meat and potatoes than it's fabulous!

The meal plan: marinated pork chops, sauteed apples, and wonderful grilled potatoes.
The players: thin pork chops marinated over the day in an delicious marinade found online, my mom's recipe for incredible sauteed apples, and my miraculously discovered earlier this semester grilled lemon herbed potatoes.
The verdict: Mom & Dad absolutely fell over the grilled potatoes. They loved them! The marinade was delicious and had tons of flavor. The apples were delicious as always - like eating dessert!

The recipes are shared below! Try & Enjoy! 
Let me know what you think.

Marinated Pork Chops
Printable Version of this Recipe

6 pork chops (I prefer the thin ones)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 garlic cloves minced/pressed (original recipe called for 1)

Combine & mix all ingredients except the pork in a glass container; add pork and turn it to coat. Cover container; refrigerate most of the day (or even overnight!) Drain & discard marinade. Grill until the juices run clear. It took about 8 minutes for my thin pork chops to be done; the recipe which calls for 1 inch thick chops says 20-25 minutes for that thickness.

Sauteed Apples
Printable Version of this Recipe
6 apples cored & thinly sliced (peeled or unpeeled; your choice)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
cinnamon to taste (about 1-2 tablespoons)

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced apples (I do mine unpeeled). Add brown sugar. Sautee for about 10 minutes; then add cinnamon to taste. Can turn heat down to low and keep on until the rest of your food is ready to eat!!

Grilled Lemon Herbed Potatoes
Printable Version of this Recipe
5 potatoes (about 1 potato/person) sliced at 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
1 1/2 cup olive oil
2 lemons juiced
fresh basil
fresh rosemary
dried oregano (about 1 tablespoon)

Boil a large pot of water; place the sliced potatoes in the boiling water for about 8 minutes (this is a quick par boil). Cut however much herb that you desire. I try to get the more rosemary than basil. Total herb together is about 1/2 cup; you can use your judgement. Combine oil and lemon juice in a dish that is large enough to dip the potato rounds in. Then add the herbs. After parboiling the potatoes, dip and coat each slice in the oil mixture and set aside in a dish until each is covered. Grill over high heat for about 7 minutes per side. They should have a crunchy/crispy grilled edge and have the consistency of a great french fry in the center. Then after you take them off the grill; pour the rest of the oil mixture onto the potatoes again to give them the finishing touch. (if you have used it all - simply make more!!) Te amo these grilled potatoes.

*Note: These pictures are not of my food since I neglected to take photos :(

Enjoy a wonderful dinner!

Sunday, June 5

Running Around DFW

This past saturday was all about running around. Dad & I had another race in the morning. Then, Aly & I 'ran' around town all afternoon catching up and doing some shopping damage.

This 5k that we ran in on Saturday was called xSIGHTment by the Colleyville Lion's Club to support the charities that they support. There were over 260 racers in the 5k so it was bigger than the last race that we ran in. Jordan, Mom, and the dogs came out to support Dad and I. Dad ran BOTH dogs in the 1 mile fun run before the 5k. Thunder & Juno got 1st dog again! Thunder loves racing. Juno is pretty much still exhausted from the race...

pure exhaustion after the race
So of course my dad made me set a goal for this race. I set my goal to beat 26 minutes since I ran my last race in 26:27.12. The sun was beating down and there were several hills so I was setting myself up for some kind of failure. We ran our first mile in 7:45 which again probably set me up for failure since we took off to fast but I think my dad has his own secret plan to get me to beat it down...

I finished with a final time of 25:12.00. Beat the goal! Beat myself up! Dad said next goal is 24:00... we will see. I did win my age group of 20 to 24 year old women! Mom hung out with me until it was time for the awards.

The rest of my Saturday was spent with my lovely best friend Aly. We've been the most absolute best friends since we met freshman year in high school. We are extremely alike in so many ways but are opposites in others. We just fit! I hadn't seen her since January since she goes to Oklahoma University and took a summer class. She just got back on Friday. So we had to get together right away to celebrate our reuniting! We had a fabulous lunch at Pei Wei then headed downtown Dallas to do some damage. 

We hit up one of my favorite shops, Clothes Circuit, an upscale resale shop in one of the nicest areas in Dallas. We found nothing! :( I was completely upset. Usually I find fabulous deals on clothes, shoes, and bags. I did find this Lilly Pulitzer dress that I fell in love with but it was absolutely too big and a difficult dress to hem/take in so I sadly said no to it. I told Aly that I wanted to gain some weight just so that I could have the dress... but she convinced me that it wasn't the best idea.

We decided to try lady luck at North Park which is seriously the best mall in the entire world. It has everything from J.Crew to Neimen Marcus to Williams Sonoma to Louis Vuitton to the Disney Store to David Yurman to really whatever you could think of. Well since we were dying of thirst, we had to stop and get refreshed at Chick-fil-A. Then stopped at Forever 21 and tried on over two arm-fulls of clothing twice each! We had so much fun and found such great deals. Thought I would share a picture board of a few of our fun finds... (couldn't find pictures online of most of our goodies but found a few!)

So I'll keep on running in races and running around Dallas with friends. It is good to live in the hot, windy, dry, fashion forward, glamorous city of Dallas.

Wednesday, June 1

Happy Nails to You

I feel like I am the only one that lives in unhappy painted nail land. (this place does exist!) The exact minute that I paint my finger nails with a shade of polish they chip or wrinkle. Seriously! I absolutely hate it because this means I MUST walk around with chipped nails for my entire life. Does anyone feel my pain?

I have been waiting since about the beginning of the spring semester to get my nails "shellacked." No joke. The nursing department will not let us have colored polish on our nails during clinicals, which means all semester long, so I had to wait until my last clinical was over during the last week of school. Well, hey, I go to school in Lynchburg which means there is no shellac there. Thanks to my parents for living in the wondrous world of DFW.

Needless to say, I went to Fancy Nail Spa off of Davis Boulevard yesterday and I was SHELLACKED in the color Tutti Frutti.

For those of you who may have not heard of the new nail hype Shellac, by Creative Nail Design, is this outstanding polish invention. It allows color to stay on your nails for 14 days with NO chipping, NO smudging, and NO cracking. It doesn't hurt your nails at all. The manicurist will apply a base coat, two color coats, and top coat. Between each layer nails are "baked" according to my manicurist yesterday under a UV light which instantly dries the polish. Regular polish can't be baked like Shellac hence the overwhelming dry time. They are supposed to stay glossy and in pristine condition. It comes over easily with an acetone soak. I am seriously stoked about this!

The polish is not available for the general public but only for nail salons to buy which may be the only set back of the whole deal but I guess that means that I get to the opportunity to stop by the nail salon more often. ;) I'll post an update here in about two weeks to let y'all know how the Shellac held up and how my nails look!

I highly suggest getting shellacked if you struggle with chippy nails like me. My nails and I are extremely happy in pink!