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Thursday, March 31, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: March 31, 2011

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

cobra twitter
In world/political news...

“Deposing the Qadhafi regime, as welcome as that eventuality would be, is not part of the military mission. In my view, the removal of Col. Qadhafi will likely be achieved over time through political and economic measures and by his own people,” Gates told the House Armed Services Committee. “There will be no American boots on the ground in Libya.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates testifies on Capitol Hill Thursday. | AP Photo 

Sorry I don't have a cute video for you today... BUT... I did release a new recipe section for you ... so go take a look at that :)

Check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

Buzz: @KatyPerry - #ET is here

Finally... something good to share with the world!! Katy Perry's newest music video "ET" is here. I've been showing pictures of the upcoming video off and on all week like these....

{images via}
I don't hide my love of Katy. I love her and her hubby Russell Brand... shamelessly. I loved this tweet from Russell the other day, after it was announced that "ET" would be the fourth #1 single off Teenage Dream.

So cute, no?

So, without further ado (before I loose you all)... here's the video:

I think Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and now Katy Perry all got the same Pop Princess video memo, which probably read something like: "Spring 2011 Pop Music Videos must include some space-theme, and allude to fact that all humans came from some other life source... you pick which one." Does anyone else see that?

Regardless... the makeup is beautiful, obviously the video is well made... but as all the other hyped up videos of  the month, I'm not sure if it was as awesome as they promised it would be. Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: March 30, 2011

The day's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity... I'm keeping things simple today....

Check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

What I'm Loving Wednesday: March 30

This week I'm loving the blog community... it's so much fun to be a part of it! Here are a few blogs that have really made me smile lately...

Amy's a wedding and event planner in Texas, and posts about her
wedding inspirations and local wedding love
(it's definitely one of my favorite wedding blogs around) ♥

Alycia owns an Etsy shop,
is navigating through marriage,
and recently took pictures of Mark Zuckerberg.
It's a pretty wide variety,
but it all has her cute spin :)

a little blue
Jen just went on vacation, likes to cook and drink mimosa.
Plus there's an inspirational quote at the end of every post...
so you'll always learn something!

Crazy Little World of Mine
Selma put "crazy" in her title for a reason...
she lives in Europe, but hails from California,
and is perfectly sarcastic about most everything.

Inspired House of Wright
Rachel makes the "H is for Happy" print that I'm sure you've seen.
And that "Happy" carries over to the rest of her blog.
I don't think I've ever clicked away from her page without
a smile on my face... which is all a girl needs sometimes.

A HAPPY PRINT- Orange Slice
This is her cute print :)

I don't think Joanna needs an introduction.
But if you've never been to her blog, go now.

and finally... 
a big thanks to Jamie at This Kind of Love for hosting WILW. It's always super fun ♥

There's a Party Going On... #gigem

I watched a women's basketball game last night.... and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. My Texas A&M University Women's Basketball team made it to the Final Four for the first time ever. And I got to watch them Beat the Hell Outta Baylor ... 58-46.


I'll be the first to admit that I don't like basketball. Men's, Women's, College, NBA.... none of it. BUT because I'm an Aggie fan, I decided to turn the TV on to ESPN last night... and I encountered my first ever exciting basketball game.

Our women came out fierce and ready to win. We were in the lead from the very beginning, and we never gave it up. This game was not only for our first trip to the Final Four, but it was our fourth time to play Baylor this season. I don't want to call Baylor our rivals because that'd be admitting they were equal with us, but Baylor is good. In both men's and women's basketball, Baylor has always been good. And they beat us the last 3 meetings. So, it was not only time to redeem ourselves, but time to move on to that next tier in the NCAA Championship that is March Madness. And we conquered. (You can read the whole game notes here)

It was amazing.

So now we're moving on to that fabulous Final Four. We play Stanford next.

So let's go Aggies!

BTHO Stanford.

via @therealjonlee

Thanks to anyone who's still reading this that is (a) not an Aggie (b) not a basketball fan (c) slightly deceived by the title.... I'm just so EXCITED and our office is full of a party-like atmosphere (I work in the Texas A&M Athletic Department... so it's only natural).... bottom line: it's just too good of news to not share. ♥

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: March 29, 2011

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

  • There's a Mad Men season 4 DVD giveaway going on at Entertainment Weekly. (You know, in case you want free DVDs)
  • Are you ready for The Hangover 2? If not... you'd better be. It's coming. The poster came out today... take a look:
In world/political news...

Check back every day around 5 for the day's top stories ♥

Buzz: Cookies For Kids in #bcstx

Blue Baker's cookie tray
One of my local favorite restaurants/C's employer/my former employer Blue Baker holds an annual cookie eating contest to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network in the Brazos Valley. The day is full of fun things to do, with the focus being on the cookie eating contest!! The winner of each category gets free cookies for a year from Blue Baker... and if you've ever visited College Station, I'm sure you've heard of their cookies! Every year for quite a few years running, Blue Baker has been voted "Best Cookie" in the annual Best of Brazos. So, it's a prize you don't want to miss out on.

I'm personally involved because C has been planning the event, and he's been doing nothing but eating/breathing/talking/dreaming/thinking about CFC for about 3 weeks now... and the event's 2 weeks away, still! So, I'm getting to practice a few of my event planning skills by throwing ideas at C whenever he'll let me. And, I got to create the cute little image at the top of this post -- which they used as in-store "children's menus" -- for kids to color on and for parents to learn about the event. (Don't worry... it's all B&W in real life, it's just prettier in color on my blog)

Local radio commercials on the local Bryan Broadcasting channels, including the likes of Candy 95, went out this week... Take a listen:

This guy had fun...

I love this event, because a bunch of local organizations get involved... and all proceeds stay in the Brazos Valley and you get to eat cookies!!

For those of you not in the Brazos Valley, you can participate online too! Donations are being accepted here. AND... there's an online cookie eating contest you can play. It was designed by local web designer Jorge Goyco, of Goyco Designs, and is an absolute delight to play. Go here to check it out! (I'd embed it, but that'd be stealing Jorge's design... which would be bad.)

If you are in the Brazos Valley - make sure to come out and participate! I'll be there helping out, so you can come say "hi!". Registration is completely free. And you might win free Blue Baker cookies for a year. Registration can be found here.

So be sure to go play the online cookie game (milk = power up!) and come out to the event on April 9th from 11-2 at Blue Baker on University Drive in College Station ♥

Top 2 Tuesday... Celebrity Hair

Today's topic: favorite celebrity hair!
If you'd like to play along, go on over to the Undomestic Momma.
So here goes...

Number 1: 

This girl has done some crazy things to her hair... but I'm loving the red, bouncy 'do of late. Reminds me of Disney's Ariel (which was my dream hair as a child. I actually grabbed a box of red hair dye into the grocery cart when I was around 4, and when we got home, I pulled it out and asked my mom to use it on me!) So, needless to say: Rihanna's red hair is like a childhood dream in real life ♥

Number 2: 
Keri Russell

I want curly hair. But I want curly hair that I can make into a bunch of different curl sizes. I'm amazed at how versatile Keri Russel's hair is! I know, she probably has lots of professional hair people doing her beautiful locks for her... but a girl can dream, right?

Monday, March 28, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: March 28, 2011

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

  • What do you think? The upcoming movie Tree of Life is getting a lot of buzz today with the release of its official poster. I had, as of this morning, never heard of this movie. So the buzz worked on me! For those of you out there just like me... here's the trailer:
Sarah Lance, Natalie Portman
In political and world news...


"We're coming back after softening the radical agenda," said Bauer, D-South Bend, whose return was greeted by cheering union workers. "We won a battle, but we recognize the war goes on." {via}

Check back everyday around 5 for the day's top stories! And if you missed it, I re-capped my Vegetarian Week 3 today ♥

Vegetarian Week 3

This week was so much better than all the rest! My Vegetarian month has been flying by... I'm actually on my last week right now. Week 4: Vegan week. But, I don't want to go on without re-capping my successes and failures from the last week... So here goes:

Monday: Our really good friend John had a moving-away party, and loved us so much he bought cheese pizza just for me & C. So dinner was pizza & beer -- complete with my first game of beer pong -- grown up style {1 game and in bed by 11}.

Tuesday: I didn't feel like cooking Tuesday... so we went to a local Asian Place - Jin's - and we got Chana Masala, Veggie Fried Rice, Veggie Spring Rolls and Edamame. It was so good!! And, no dirty dishes ♥

Wednesday: Leftovers night. My favorite! I heated up our leftover Asian food from the day before, and again... no dirty dishes ♥

Thursday: I tried to make Coconut-Almond Crusted Tofu, but it was awful. Super bland. Once you fried the tofu, it wasn't exactly healthy either. It was just kind of blah. The Spicy Mango Chutney that we topped the tofu with, though, was amazing. I posted that recipe earlier today. Be sure to check that out.

Friday: My office had a tailgate party, complete with hot dogs. C and I brought our own Veggie Dogs. They were okay. Not great. But not bad. What was bad, was all the chips/dips that I had in addition to our Veggie Dogs. But it was a party!!
C also made vegetarian baked beans... 
which were amazing!! 

They had about 6 different kinds of beans in the pot, 
and was so filling, delicious and vegetarian.

Saturday: Pizza night!! C brought home a beautiful veggie pizza from work. Spinach, red bell peppers, pine nuts, crushed tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms on his half... it was super yummy!

Sunday: For lunch we went to a Vietnamese restaurant - Pho Johns - because C loves phos, and really wanted one. Except, we very quickly realized Vegetarian Pho was not very good. It was just b.o.r.i.n.g. I got a tofu vermicelli rice bowl, which was really good. Except, I'm beginning to realized I don't really like Tofu. I'm eating the leftovers today for lunch, and as you can see... I've eaten all the noodles out around the tofu...

Sunday night was a fun night! We made Veggie Fondue. Vegan style. It was a  recipe out of the Skinny Bitch cookbook that I really wanted to try, but knew C wouldn't go for it unless I had a reason to not use cheese in a fondue. So, I made up the Vegan-week rule, and here we are! The "fondue" dip was super easy: Cauliflower cooked in coconut milk. You then add miso paste, garlic, and a few other spices. Simmer. Then puree. Serve warm with steamed veggies (I used carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, & asparagus) and with a baguette. It was delicious. And really healthy.

We topped off dinner with Mango and Strawberry sorbet. Completely dairy-free and Vegan friendly (and fat free!)

So like I said, this week went much better then Week 2, and much, much better than Week 1. I didn't exercise too much this week, unfortunately, but I'm exercising as much as I can fit it in my schedule...so I'm fine with that right now. I'm just going to keep trucking along and try to get to the gym/in front of my exercise DVDs as much as my schedule allows.

So what did I learn this week?
  1. Oreos are Vegan-friendly. Thanks, Gayle ♥
  2. Steamed vegetables are really good and should be cooked more.
  3. Be patient - I learn through trial and error, so even though week 1 wasn't great, week 3 was awesome.
  4. Trying new recipes is really fun, but exhausting!! Taking a break and eating out every once in a while is just fine... 
  5. Just because it seems "hip" I shouldn't force myself to eat it if I absolutely despise it. (See: Tofu complaint)
So now I've moved onto our last week of Vegetarian month. And it's Vegan week. I think I'm the most excited about this week. Our menu looks pretty good, and I've never had so many fresh veggies in my kitchen ever. And I get to have my favorite Orange Scones for breakfast!

Love these orange scones.
Thanks for sticking with me through this adventure ♥

Recipe of the Week: Mango Salsa

I had every intention of sharing the recipe for the Coconut-Almond Crusted Tofu I made this week. The recipe was promising, the dish came out looking beautiful... but it tasted so bland! I was so disappointed.

This was my first attempt cooking tofu. It was really easy to use. Just bland...
the basic recipe (in case you want to try it)... cover tofu in coconut milk, panko bread
crumbs, almond meal and dried coconut. Fry. And serve.

I was super impressed, though, with the mango salsa that I made to go along with the Tofu. So, I figured, I'd pass that along to you ♥

Spicy Mango Chutney
  • 1 TBS oil
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 c. diced red onion
  • 3 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 TBS agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
Heat oil on high, add jalapeno and onion. Saute for 5 minutes. Add mangoes, broth, and nectar. Stir. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let cook 20 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Gently mash mango. Simmer 5 minutes. Serve warm.
I had never cut a mango before... and was shocked at the seed!
It was fun to play with.

So I hope you can find something to serve this with. On fish tacos, perhaps?

Also, if you haven't figured it out already from all my other recipe posts... I love the Skinny Bitch cookbook, and I really think you should go buy it now. It's truly amazing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I love checking things off my 2011 To-Do List. It makes me feel accomplished ♥

I just checked off watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which won the Oscar Best Picture in 1975.
Whether you like the film or not, it was very critically acclaimed. It was only the second film of all time to win all five major Academy Awards (Best PictureActor in Lead RoleActress in Lead RoleDirector, and Screenplay) {via}. Which is quite a feat.

So did I like the movie?

The honest answer is: I don't know.

It was entertaining, for sure. Jack Nicholson was (as always) incredible, creepy, and almost endearing at times. The internal conflict that Nicholson was able to portray through his character Randle McMurphy , a convict who had himself declared insane in order to avoid prison, is undeniably good. He deserved to win best actor. The antagonist, Nurse Ratched, played by Louise Fletcher, was so awful (in a good way), I wanted to attack her too. It was refreshing to see a movie that had true character development, and therefore true conflict between characters. 

With that said, I'll never watch the movie again. It wasn't my favorite thing in the world. I'm glad I saw it once, but never again. It just wasn't pleasant to watch. Not that every film has to be pleasant. But it was almost unnerving to watch.

I don't need to say much about the movie, it's been reviewed again, and again, and again... but I want to say that watching all of these Best Picture winners has really made me start to question the legitimacy of the Academy Awards. I've enjoyed every movie I've seen, but I don't want to re-watch many of them. Which has me asking the question: Should a movie be made to be re-watchable, or is it a one-time experience?

With the invention of home movies, the Hollywood game was changed. Movies were no longer like seeing a live theatre play. I'm wondering if the "art" of making movies changed when it was possible to not only see a movie again at home, but to actually own the movie-- with the ability to watch it as many times as you pleased?

That's the main question I'm starting to ask as I watch the (supposedly) best movies from each year. Obviously, since I'm still asking the question, I haven't come up with an answer yet. But I'll keep asking it until I find an answer. This question has actually made watching movies more enjoyable to me, if you can believe that. It's like trying to solve a puzzle.

With that said... if you were like me and had never seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest before... you need to. Or go read the book. But at least expose yourself to its content. It's a fantastic story.

Rating: B
Oscar deserving? I'd say yes to every award it won.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Snapshots: Saying Goodbye is Hard to Do

Last weekend, we said goodbye to James. (C's brother) He's flew out overseas yesterday for 2 years, to work as an Army Medic. The last weekend is always hard. But it was great memories, and I'm glad we got to see him one last time. Here's just a few shots ...

Texas roads. Always pretty.

Right after graduation. So proud!!

Me & C ♥

We then took Danzig to the zoo
with everyone...

We wore him out :)
It was such a great weekend. I wish James all the best!

I hope you're having a good weekend ♥

Friday, March 25, 2011

Have a great weekend :)

It's Friday!

I'm celebrating with the strangest (in a sense) thing that I've seen in a while...
Lady Gaga going "country".
Take a listen...

I hope you all have a great night ♥

Also, if you live in or around College Station, TX, be sure to check out Blue Baker's annual Cookies for Kids that is coming up! My hubby's kinda in charge. It's pretty cool :)

(and I designed that ♥ )

When you need a little Sunshine...

College Station Central Park
I needed some "me" time this afternoon. I've been kinda in a weird mood yesterday and today. Lonely, but with the desire to be by myself instead of wanting to be with others. Unsatisfied. Really, really tired. Unmotivated. All your usual emotions. Except I acted on mine. Yesterday, after over an hour in the grocery store (I couldn't find anything!) I decided that I wanted to cut my hair.
Back story: I've been meaning to actually perm my hair, but haven't wanted to fully commit to the $100+ and extreme change, so I had decided to just cut it back into the same bob I had decided on 6 months ago. But, after calling my hair lady 3 times with no response, I'd given up. For about a month now, I've been really frustrated with my hair. It's just "blah" and I couldn't do anything with it. So, back to the story...
So, I was tired, frustrated with my hair... and decided to just walk into Super Cuts, pay $12, cut 4 inches off my hair and voila! No more frustrating hair. I made the decision at minute 1, sat in the chair at minute 5, and at minute 15 I had 4 inches gone. I actually kind of like it. It's not a great hair cut, but it's better than yesterday' hair mess I was walking around with.

So at lunch today, when I felt that same general frustration with life set in, I decided to take my emotions in my own hands. So I got a Freebirds burrito (my favorite) and went to the local park, and ate while watching the ducks and a cute toddler throw bread with his grandma at said ducks.

It was awesome.

I was only there about 15 minutes. But sometimes that's all I need to pick myself back up ♥

I'm sharing this with you, because I think we all get in funks. And sharing my funk with you makes me feel a little better. So thanks for reading! I hope everyone has a great Friday. I'm getting to go to a cook-out with my office, where I will eat my very first veggie dog. Wish me luck :)

Fill in the Blank Friday: Favorites, Shortcomings, and Weekends

Go on over to Lauren's blog the little things we do to play along!

1.   My most prized possession is my wedding ring. C designed it himself, literally sold his blood to pay for it, and it's a constant reminder of my life :)

2.  If I could be one age for the rest of my life, I would want to be.... probably the age I am now. 22. It's kinda perfect. Maybe 25, though I'm not there yet. When I live a little more life, I'll let you know.

3.  The best way to spend a weekend is shopping, cooking, car rides. And sleeping in. I love sleeping in.

4.  My outlook on life is almost everything is replaceable, but everything should be respected and loved while its in your possession. I don't like taking things for granted, but I don't like relying on things too much either.

5.  If you want to annoy me, just ask for my advice, do the opposite, then complain to me about how your life sucks.

6.  I am completely defenseless when it comes to chips and salsa. I've said before that it's my weakness. If you put chips & salsa in front of me, I'll eat it. Period.

7.  When dressing for the day one should dress for your mood. If I'm sad, I put on something that'll make me happy. If I'm happy, I put something on that's more relaxing so I don't overwhelm myself throughout the day. (Opposites. They work for me.)

{Happy Friday!}