Sunday, December 27, 2015

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow

My sweet husband turned 34 and agreed to let me take this selfie today. 

Pho with Amanda and Matt and red velvet cheesecake were obviously involved!

Bren, I love you beyond measure, and I'm so grateful for all the fun memories that 33 brought and can't wait to see what is in store for this upcoming year. 

Happy birthday to the only person I want to grow old with. I'm so lucky to have you by my side in this big, beautiful, crazy, scary world. You make the long days easier, the joyous days happier, and the world brighter. I'm so grateful that I found you. 

Happy happy birthday, dear. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry and Bright

Merry Christmas from unseasonably warm Texas! 

We ate breakfast and opened packages into the afternoon. 

Last night, we had 14 people for dinner and mingling at the annual Austin Christmas party. 

We even had an emotional support dog for the night (Lola and Zoe didn't feel very emotionally good about that!) 

May your day be merry and bright! We hope it includes your family and a whole lot of love! 
S, B, L&Z

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Feeling Festive

Since I last checked in on Tuesday, we've been doing quite a bit of celebrating. 

On Wednesday, we attended Reinbeer, a beer sampling event that is organized by the Museum of the Southwest here in town. This year's beer selection was better than ever, and we had fun sampling all the beers (my favorite was this one), taking pictures in the photo booth, and catching up with friends and even some co-workers. 


On Thursday night, I started to feel a cold coming on. I thought I escaped my traditional winter break sickness, but alas, I'm cursed! Zyrtec D is taking care of business though. I HIGHLY recommend it for common cold symptoms. 

On Friday, we had friends Dagan and Stephanie over for dinner, and we made more dishes from Sheet Pan Suppers and Smitten Kitchen (the cook books I mentioned in Tuesday's post). I didn't take pictures, but I'm still dreaming about the baked brie with strawberries. After dinner, we checked out Hotshots, a local bar that still appears to be actively (but not intentionally) functioning in the 1990s. Seriously, if you ever feel nostalgic, check it out. We had a great time playing shuffleboard (Steph and I lost by two points due to my disappointing lack of skills!) and catching up. 

Saturday, after my 6th barre class of the week (woo-hoo!), Brendan and I drove to San Angelo for an early Christmas celebration. My mom met us there, and we celebrated with her siblings, Lisa and Greg, their spouses Gregg and Crystal, and Lisa's kids, Colton and McKenna. Check out this photo of me and my twelve year old "little" cousin. Who is little now, huh? 

We spent the night at Lisa and Gregg's new and beautifully decorated house. This was Brendan's first time seeing the new house (I stopped by in May on the way to my cousin Amanda's bachelorette weekend), and it was fun for me to see all the changes that have taken place since I first saw it. 

Today, after lunch with my mom, Lisa, and family friend Marsha, Brendan and I drove back to Midland. Since I'm still feeling under the weather, I had the perfect excuse to stay on the couch and watch the last five episodes of season two of HBO's The Leftovers. The show's second season was ten times better than the first (a rarity), and I really have enjoyed doing nothing all day and giving my body time to recover. Brendan made hummus for dinner, and we ate it with crackers, carrots, tomatoes, and celery. It really was a low key but perfect evening. 

Fingers crossed that I'm feeling better tomorrow. Only 4 days until Christmas! 
We hope you are feeling festive too! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Doing What I Want!

Sometimes, you have to channel Cartman and do what you want.

For me, that time is lately. And what do I want to do? I want to sleep in, go to barre class everyday, cook good food, and watch episodes of the new season of Fargo with Brendan. "What-Eva! I'll do what I want!"

If anyone is looking for last minute gift ideas for a person that loves to cook, I have two great suggestions:
Smitten Kitchen and Sheet Pan Suppers; both of these were given to us as gifts, and we've had a great time cooking recipes from them lately. They both feature beautiful photos and step by step directions. Smitten Kitchen is a little more advanced, but anyone can do it as long as they have some time. Sheet Pan Suppers is wonderful for great dinners that don't take a long time to cook. Actually, last night, I assembled the dinner on the pan, so Brendan could just put it in the oven while I was at barre. I'm always looking for dinners like this, since I workout at night Monday-Thursday and don't always want to leave the cooking to Brendan!

Stuffed Pablano Peppers from Smitten Kitchen

Grapefruit Pound Cake from Smitten Kitchen

Ratatouille from Sheet Pan Suppers
While organizing my closet (which isn't done yet since I temporarily gave up after fifteen minutes), I made my first e-bay listing in years. If you'd like a dance bag, 2 ballet skirts, and seven pairs of dance shoes (2 pairs jazz slippers, 1 pair jazz sneaker, 1 pair ballet slippers, 1 pair tap shoes, 1 pair character shoes, and 1 pair modern slippers), make sure to bid before Sunday :) Spread the word.

And now, I'm returning to my regularly scheduled programming of doing what I want!


Friday, December 11, 2015


Grades and assessment documents are submitted, we donned our gay apparel, and we said goodbye to the co-workers we won't see for a month...

it can only mean one thing: WINTER BREAK IS HERE! 

Next week's pages are filled with my winter break to-dos: organizing the parts of the house we never had time to properly unpack (closets, we're coming for you!), finishing Christmas shopping, and even giving Zoe a bath (sorry, Zo!). There are also plans I'm seriously looking forward to like attending barre class everyday, having time to blog again, and spending quality time with Brendan and our friends (instead of spending quality time with hundreds of essays).

Another successful semester down. We made it!

Just a warning, if anyone needs anything from me, I'm going to look at you like this.

Leave me alone 
Here's to hoping you get the break you need too!

Monday, December 7, 2015


How are you guys?
We're on the brink of insanity over here.


Dinner tonight:

Yes, that is macaroni and cheese, morning star veggie nuggets, beets, and champagne. The heart wants what it wants, okay?

Real thing I said to Brendan today: "My first priority is your emotional second priority is who will cook the macaroni and cheese."

This short post is just to say, if you feel you're "losing it" lately, we're not judging.

Also, happy hanukah!

Countdown to winter break: approximately 87 hours.

This is probably a "see you on the other side of the semester" kind of sign off, friends.

Have a weird day,

Saturday, December 5, 2015


Hello, friends!
I hope your weekend is off to a good start. We have a ton of work to get done, but I think I need today to rest up for the final sprint of the semester next week.

Last night, we went out for Thai food at Thai House, one of our favorite restaurants in Midland. After eating there for four years, we finally figured out it was BYOB (and no corkage fee! Of course, they also don't have wine glasses, but we're not picky).

Afterwards, we checked out the art at Kamiposi. Then, we arrived home in time for Shark Tank and 20/20 (it's no secret that Friday night TV is my favorite). 

This morning, I did a barre class (my 150th workout of 2015). My goal this fall was to keep working out, even during the chaos of the busy parts of the semester. Though I normally workout 5X a week, I only made it to class 3X over Thanksgiving week and 4X this past week, but I still think I'm doing pretty good. 

Breakfast after class included mimosas and ketchup (as every breakfast should). 

And today has included a whole lot of nothing (couch lounging, shopping online, PJ wearing, and magazine reading). I promise tomorrow I'll be productive...


We hope you give yourself permission to be a little less than productive. 


Monday, November 30, 2015


We've got the holly, but we're not yet jolly. One last week before finals. Things might get crazy busy, friends, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some pictures of our new Christmas tree (a gift from Brendan's parents) and our first Christmas decorating in our home. 

I absolutely love how everything came out! I wish I wasn't so stressed out and could enjoy it a little more, but I am trying. I am sad that the Thanksgiving break is over. I have to find energy that I feel like is elusive right about now to finish this semester. Please wish us luck, and keep us in your thoughts.

Are you already jolly? I hope so!

Friday, November 27, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

We hope you had a wonderful day celebrating and giving thanks. As for us, we are very full of both food and gratitude (hey, that rhymes!) after our first successful holiday hosting.

Goodnight friends; I am thankful for each of you!

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 2015 Stitch Fix

On Friday, after a long week of work, I was looking forward to my Stitch Fix. Last month's fix wasn't so great, so I was hoping to redeem it. I need some winter weather stuff, and I'm pretty lazy when it comes to shopping, so I asked my stylist to send me some jeans and some plaid for Thanksgiving.

I don't think she got the memo. Up first was the Queensland Dolman Jersey Top.

This top was super soft, but it is boxy on me. Brendan said it best: "This top was made for someone wanting to hide a tummy, and that is not you." I was bummed that this was sent to be because I sent back a similar top last month and added a "no 3/4 sleeve" note to my style profile.

Up next, the Cusco Crew Neck Top:

Again, boxy and oversized. It just isn't flattering or made for my body type. I felt like this style is for a woman one or two decades older than me.

Up Next was the Cordelia Striped Boat Neck Sweater:

Finally, something warm, fitted, and wintery. This was my only keep of the box. I felt like it was exactly the kind of thing I would pick out. I love those really classic styles that last season to season.

Next was the Dexter Faux Wrap Dress:

I wanted it to work because it was so soft, but look how large and low cut it is in the bust. I literally could not wear this out of the house. Yikes.

Up next, the Ashlynn Trumpet Hem Skirt.

It's cute, and I like the color, but it was not flattering since it was so tight.

At least the returns are free, and I got one good sweater out of the deal. If you are interested in your own fix, please use my referral link to sign up. I'll give Stitch Fix another try in a few months. For now, I went online and ordered myself some jeans and some plaid!

In other news...

We had a very cozy weekend. The temperatures finally dropped below freezing and killed some of our plants :( We had to turn on the heat for the first time. But, in good news, Brendan discovered a neat place to walk near our house where we can see giant jack rabbits, and we enjoyed a great Friday evening walk before the cooler temperatures set in. We also started addressing the holiday cards and prepping the Thanksgiving meal this weekend.

Today, I went to a new dentist in Midland and was given good news that all is fine (Remember my terrible dentist experience last fall with the dentist that lied to me? This is the second dentist to confirm that I am cavity free). Tomorrow, we take about 18 honor society students to see The Hunger Games, and Brendan's parents arrive late tomorrow night. We can't wait for several days of fun with our family. We have twelve bottles of wine, games galore, and a turkey defrosting in our fridge.

How is your holiday prepping going?
We hope it's good!
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