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Saturday, July 30, 2011

In a few hours...

I'm seeing this girl:


Source: tumblr.com via Ariel on Pinterest

Can you say excited?!?

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Have a good weekend! (And oh, yeah: giveaway winnerS)

Wow it's been a long, good week! I actually took off today & am currently sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on my first espresso in over a month (yummy) and about to pick the giveaway winners! 

Yes... winnerS. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! I reached over 200 followers, had 123 comment entries and was so blessed by the amazing blogs I've gotten to read in this process. It's really, truly so much fun to get to give things away! Hopefully I'll be able do do more of them soon (and if you're an artist and are interested in hosting a giveaway here, email me).

But before we get there, here's some fun things to entertain you on this Friday afternoon ♥

  • I think anyone who's seen Anthro's wedding line BHLD has instantly fallen in love. And I came across a blogger {Tick Tock Vintage} who got to go see their fall line preview! And I immediately fell in love with this dress:

  • Amy Atlas was one of the reasons I started blogging --- because I wanted to share her amazingness with the world! And when this little recipe popped up {Creamsicle Trifle} this week, I just knew I'd have to break my diet soon to try it out. Maybe for my mom's birthday in August?

  • And finally, one of my favorite IRL bloggers Amy from All Things Wedding, posted amazing shots of wedding ceremonies that used hay bales as seating & I'm a little jealous I never thought of it!

I think that's enough...

Ready for some winners? The winners are....



Congratulations to Ashley from Dream Create Do! I'll be sending you an email soon to get your address so Rachel from Inspired House of Wright can mail you your H is for Happy print!

And, because of how awesome you guys are, I get to give away a second prize to Kristina from Pretty Rambles.  I'll be sticking a Target gift certificate in the mail soon so you can go out & decorate behind your couch with anything you'd like! I'll be emailing you soon :-)

I also definitely wanted to say a big thank you to Rachel for hosting this giveaway! If you haven't already, you really should go follow her blog. It always puts a big smile on my face.

I hope you all have a great weekend ♥

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Top Chef: Just Desserts

Top Chef: Just Desserts is coming back for season 2... and all I can say is I'm so excited!

I love reality TV when there's a skill competition involved - no Real Housewives for me - I'm absolutely about the talent. And Top Chef has always been at the top of my list of must see reality TV. The first season of Just Desserts was so much fun to watch! (C & I actually watch it together - and his criticisms keep it interesting for sure.) 

If you missed it last season, here's some dishes that were served up:

Top Chef Just Desserts

1) Hazelnut Dacquoise, Milk Jam &  Salted Caramel Ice Cream 
2) Blueberry Pavlova with Lemon Cream in Citrus Chamomile Broth & Pearls
3) Hazelnut Cake with Spanish Goat Cheese & Fig Jam
4) Passion Fruit Cannoli with Mango Carpaccio, Fluid Gel & Tarragon Jelly
5) Manjari SoufflĂ© Cake with Raspberry Sorbet & Cocoa Nib Paper

Besides the food, I'm also really excited about Gail Simmons. That girl can rock some amazing shoes and dresses! I really love her as the host.Unfortunately I still have to wait until August 24 for Season 2... but I know it'll be worth the wait ♥


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I take it back...

Forget what I said yesterday about wanting these couches.

I think instead I want two of these chairs...



I mean, how cute is that print? And with a cute little side table like this in between the two. I think my living room would be complete!

or maybe, I could just get rid of everything I own now & replace it one of the couches and 2 of these chairs? I'd just have to hit up the money fairy real quick...

What I'm Loving...

If you want to see some cool and amazing things that people are finding on the web, make sure to check out This Kind of Love and The Vintage Apple ... you won't be disappointed ♥

Here's some things that caught my eye this week....


  • This amazing idea for hors d'oeuvres

  • This amazing idea for an "office phone"

  • Everything about this picture just makes me smile :)

  • I love remembering Road Trip Bingo! Did you play that way back when too?


Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I'm loving this week!

I hope you have a fantastic day ♥

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer 2011: A Time for Change, Pt 7

1) Sweetened Brown Rice
2) Channa Masala
3) All-green sandwich on multi-grain

Last week was a little bit of success mixed in with a little bit of failure. I didn't lose any weight, but I didn't gain any either. I stayed mostly on my diet, but then I drank a few times & fell under the very real temptation of Tony Roma's rolls with herb butter (I failed that test). I didn't exercise all week, which was a major fail. But I had really, really healthy & good food all week (see above).

Combine my frustration of not really seeing many results, and C's frustration of not getting to eat any meat (plus a frustrated wife - which in itself will make any husband frustrated), and the result was 2 unhappy people on Sunday.

So, C sat me down and told me I needed to simplify things. Instead of the "modified Vegan" rules that I sort of made up as I went, he suggested I just go with a simple, easy plan. Like Slim Fast or Special K. So, since I like Special K way more than Slim Fast, that's what I went with.

It's super simple. Eat cereal for breakfast. Drink the protein shake at lunch. Have one Special K snack around 3-ish. And then eat a well-balanced dinner (last night was chicken, rice & zucchini). I throw a piece of fruit into the 10 am spot, when I'm usually starving, and I'm done! Nothing really to think about. 

Plus I made a promise to myself that I'd exercise at least 3 times this week. So far, I've done 1 day. But we're only on day 2 of the week, so I think I'm doing fine.

So we'll have to see how this works. I'm trying out the Special K diet for 2 weeks. That'll take me to end of week 6 of the total 10 weeks I've set out to really try to loose weight. 

This Sunday marks the half-way mark. Hopefully I'll start seeing more, real changes soon.

Staying strong ♥

Fashion for a Tuesday: Couch-edition

I want a chaise lounge. Or something similar to one. I just love the femininity that they convey while still being practical (something C has required of all furniture I buy... wonder why).

So I was super excited when I saw Urban Outfitter's latest couch collection online...




I definitely think the green & purple are my favs.

Too bad the current price tag is a bit high. But maybe they'll be on sale soon?


You only have a few more chances to enter the giveaway!
It closes at noon on Friday ♥

Monday, July 25, 2011

Music Monday: Excited for this weekend!



I'm really, really excited for this weekend! I get to go see two concerts in Austin. We've got a hotel downtown and are just going to make a weekend of it!

Up first is Iron & Wine at a Midwives Alliance of North America Benefit Concert at the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin. We love this venue for both music & the classic summer movie series they host. We actually ran into this show on accident 2 years ago -- and it was really, really fun. (Hemp underwear on sale at the silent auction and all....)

And then on Saturday I get to go with my girlfriend Lauren & see Katy Perry!!!! I'm really, really excited about this!! I've had the tickets for about 6 months now & haven't been to a legit POP show since I saw N*Sync for my 13th birthday. So it's time, and I'm set to find a pretty pink dress before the big day ♥

I know about 99% of everyone reading this has heard their fair share of Katy, so I wanted to dedicate this Music Monday to Iron & Wine, who is most definitely in my top 10 favorite bands and who I really hope you take a moment to listen to.

Here's a video recently produced that showcases a bunch of their stuff. I know it's quite long, and you can skip through some of it, but definitely give it a go:




{Have an amazing Monday!!!}

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Your weekend...



I hope it's going well! I can't sit still & C had to go to work, so I'll be cleaning most of the rest of the evening. Lucky me... 

Lucky for you, though: you have a chance to win my giveaway. It closes in a few days, so make sure you don't miss it...

And if you're having to do chores too, know you're not alone ♥

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fill in the Blank...


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

1.   One of my happiest moments ever was the day C proposed. I'd say the wedding -- which comes in a very close second - but there was just so much going on during my wedding day. The proposal was a complete surprise & took my breath away.

2.  Summer is wedding season and weddings are  a great opportunity to have fun, but easily made cheeesy or lame.

3.  This summer has been way too hot! Seriously over 100 every day & with random rain storms here and there that just make the humidity unbearable. But on the flip side, this summer has been super fun & I love lazy summer nights.

4.  My summer food of choice has been watermelon. I think that was one of my answers a few weeks ago. But I just love watermelon.

5.  My summer uniform has been as little as I can wear while still being appropriate. Though my office is super chilly every day so I have to be prepared for that! But on weekends... tanks & capris. I'm not much of a shorts girl.

6.  If I could spend the entire summer in one location I would choose the mountains, like Colorado, where it's still chilly at nights but super pretty during the day. I wish I was a beach girl, but frankly I hate sand & I prefer to swim in lakes/rivers any way. So Colorado or something like that would do nicely.

7.  My summer anthem is high school music. I always remember driving around to Eve 6 or Dashboard during the summer... I guess nostalgia sinks in & takes over my music cravings.



Thanks for stopping by!
And if you haven't already, make sure to check out my giveaway!
Happy Friday ♥

Fresh squeezed lemonade

SAM_0278

This past weekend I got to go see my family at home. Except my parents weren't there. So it was just me & my 3 siblings hanging out, which was honestly a little strange... especially since we were all staying at my parent's house.

SAM_0277

On Saturday morning, my sister Jess & brother Clark work at the local New Braunfels farmers market (which is quite the site to see... there was nothing like that when I lived there in high school), selling freshly squeezed lemonade. It was seriously amazing stuff.

SAM_0283

My other sister Dana & I were babysitting Danzig while his mommy worked, but when we got there, he had to jump behind the counter to "help out". He actually successfully put ice in a cup. Which of course was absolutely adorable.

SAM_0281

I tried to take a picture of us all, but that failed. Customers kept coming up to the super popular booth, and Danzig was uncooperative. So we ended up with this priceless beauty...

SAM_0282

And like all good things, this one came to an end when Danzig was being fussy & wouldn't leave Jessie's side, even though she was trying to work. So Dana & I carried a screaming child away and took him for a drive with his alligator.

SAM_0272

All in all, I say it was an eventful weekend. ♥

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What I'm Loving Today...

If you want some amazing entertainment & inspiration each week, you definitely should stop by This Kind of Love for the weekly "What I'm Loving Wednesdays" link-up... AND if you want even more inspration, The Vintage Apple hosts "Pinteresting Wednesdays". I just so happen to do both at the same time and I love reading everyone's posts each week. {PS - find me on Pinterest!}

So, here's what I've been loving this week:
  • I've put up Late Afternoon posts before, and this week is no exception. I love this retro swim suit!

  • How beautiful is this balloon celebration?

  • White wine & strawberries. Sounds divine.

  • David Beckham's a new dad (again). I love this picture that Victoria tweeted.
Source: yfrog.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • And I really want to break my diet to make (and then eat) this beautiful peach cake!


Hope you enjoyed what's caught my eye this week! I have a giveaway going on right now that I'd love for you to enter... Have a great week ♥


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer 2011, A Time for Change: Pt. 6

Well, my Summer 2011 weight loss plan is going well so far. Except that I'm kind of stuck at exactly the same weight at the end of week 3 as I was at the end of week 1. BUT I'm feeling 1,000 times more healthy and I'm experiencing the ability to actually understand my body & its cravings and desires better. I've never been one to really listen to what my body was trying to tell me, and now I can't go any amount of time without "checking in."

I'm still eating a modified Vegan diet. Which basically means I eat Vegan when at all possible, but eat dairy when it's super difficult to avoid (see: dinner with friends at an Italian restaurant). But with some raw tuna on my anniversary dinner as an exception, I've successfully eaten a completely Vegetarian diet.

Here's some of my favorite things I ate last week...

1 - Wild mushroom & pea risotto
2 - Fried Tofu & Udon bowl from Madame Mam's in Austin
3 - Zucchini Ginger Pasta + Ginger Green Beans
4 - Freebirds salad with lots & lots of fresh slice avocado
5 - homemade veggie pizza ♥

The food's definitely my favorite thing about this whole diet. I've tried so many new & exciting things. Thanks for being so supportive during all of this! More to come next week... And, if you haven't already: make sure to enter my giveaway going on now!!



Monday, July 18, 2011

It's a Happy Day for a Giveaway

I have some really, really exciting news for you guys! I hit yet another milestone in my blog - and wanted to say thank you to all the amazing people out there by giving back.

The wonderful Rachel from Inspired House of Wright agreed to team up with me & give away one of her "H is for Happy" prints, which I've had my eyes on for a quite awhile, because they're so adorable!


Aren't those so cute? I just love them!!

So here's what to do to enter:

  • Be a follower of my blog, and leave your email in the comments.

For additional entries:

Just leave me a comment below (one for each) telling me you've done so.



The winner will be drawn Friday, July 29 (giveaway closes at noon that day) ♥

And, as an additional thank you to everyone out there, if I reach over 200 blog followers during this give away, I'll be giving out a second surprise prize. So get entering!

(US entries only)

Music Monday... New Blink 182!

When I saw the headlines "New Blink 182 single" (for the first time in 8 years) on Twitter all last week I giggled a little with excitement. I'll never call myself the biggest Blink 182 fan... there are way more worthy twenty-something boys out there to fight for that title... but I really love them, and a new single made me really excited!! So here it is...



And then as if that wasn't good enough news, they were also announced as one-part of the 2011 Civic Honda tour - along with My Chemical Romance. So new single plus the announcement of a tour... yay!

Happy Monday ♥

Friday, July 15, 2011

Have a good weekend...

Source: flickr.com via Megan on Pinterest


I've hit a writer's block.

Everything I try to write comes out sounding lazy & boring, so I've decided to cut my losses now and just take the weekend off.

{I hope you all have a lovely weekend!}

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's finally here... the end.

Can you believe Harry Potter has finally come to an end?


I remember sneaking the book in 5th grade and reading in my neighbor's back yard because my mom was part of the "Harry Potter is evil" bandwagon... fast forward to 10th grade and I got to read The Order of the Phoenix's Canadian edition. (Which basically meant I had to read everything in British-English, which was actually quite fun.) And finally I had to steal The Deathly Hollows from my sister after she had already read it 3 times so that I could finally read the book.

Meanwhile it was on film. These great, epic movies brought a great story to life and made the books even cooler to me. What I find most impressing is that of the 8 movies, the lowest Rotten Tomatoes rating is 72%... something which most other "epic" movies (with Lord of the Rings as an exception) can't boast of.

And then I found this. One of the coolest Harry Potter fan-fare I've ever come across...

The Summharry

This is the whole of the 7-part poster parody series by Lucy Knisley. She actually has them available for free download over at her website. If I was more of a die-hard fan, I'd probably print these out & frame them in my castle.

So, I think that says it all. Fans love their HP.

I'm waiting to see the movie until all the "fanatics" have had their shot. Even though I love movies, I'm a laid-back movie watcher and don't want to be freaked out by the wands and hats next to me. Have you seen it yet?

Blogs of Note: Thx Thx Thx

Every once in a while, I come across a blog that just makes me stop and breathe a refreshing breath. Last week I had one of those moments when I ran across Thx Thx Thx: a thank you note a day.

The subjects of the daily Thank You notes range from light & fluffy to deep & thoughtful, sentimental & heartfelt to sarcastic & funny.

Here's a few of my favorite posts so far:




Fun, right?

There's actually a book made of these little posts, too, which is really cool. Wouldn't you love your blog posts made into a book for others to flip through forever? I wish it well!

And I hope you, too, found something refreshing here...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A good excuse to party!

The only thing cooler than this....

The U.S. women celebrate Alex Morgan's goal in the 3-1 win over France.
US beating France in the FIFA world cup semi-finals today

Is the legitimate excuse to listen to this...



...because that's the last time we made it to the World Cup finals.

And now we did it again!

The final game is on Sunday against Japan.

Who's watching with me?

What I'm Loving...

This is seriously my favorite post of the week. I love going around seeing what others are loving & I love sitting back and remembering the past week's worth of discoveries. It's really refreshing and encouraging.

So here's what caught my eye this week:

  • The dream of one day walking away and being this stunning from behind...

  • Isn't this an awesome way to hand out confetti at a party or wedding?

  • Emma Watson at the HP London Premier. Laughing, crying. It's just amazing to see how truly emotional the end is for her.
Source: stylebistro.com via Amy on Pinterest

Source: stylebistro.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • Pickles!! I can eat as many as I want on this diet of mine... so I am. (I'm also trying to learn to make my own. Haven't figured it out yet but I will!)


  • Kate Middleton Duchess Catherine's trip to the US/Canada - the clothes were fantastic, her smile never wavered. But the part that touched me the most was hugging the Make a Wish little girl who's wish was to meet a princess. So amazing!
Source: mirror.co.uk via Amy on Pinterest

Source: mirror.co.uk via Amy on Pinterest


If you'd also like to see what others are loving, head on over to This Kind of Love.

and

To see what others are sharing on Pineterest, go over to The Vintage Apple

Thanks for stopping by ♥


PS - be on the lookout for a giveaway coming next week!
I'm excited to share with you guys!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tonight...



I get to see The Civil Wars!

Hope everyone has a wonderful evening.

Fashion for a Tuesday... Shabby Apple

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JOIE DE VIVRE

I think either of these dresses would look fantastic on me. 
Maybe I'll have to go online shopping soon... Mmmm?

Don't you just love Shabby Apple?!?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer 2011: A Time for Change, Pt 5

Well I survived another week of dieting (don't you just hate that word?). I successfully kept my weight where I was on the last day of my Lemon Detox, meaning I lost the little extra pounds which my body immediately clung to the second I stopped the Detox. So I accomplished my goal for this past week. Yay!

I had a lot of fun working with The Kind Diet, finding recipes and eating things I would have never thought of. First I made myself a little treat. They're called Peanut Butter Crips, and are like Vegan Rice Crispy Treats, but made out of puffy brown rice, brown rice syrup and non-salted/non-sweetened peanut butter. They were actually quite delicious...



For lunch every day at work I ate a Lima Bean succotash on top of brown rice. It was healthy, filled me up, and looked really pretty every day at work when I dished it out.

Dinner was something else. C was really skeptical when I started to make Fried Udon Noodles with only cabbage, mushrooms & onions. But those Udon Noodles (these were also made out of brown rice) were really sweet and worked amazingly well with the cabbage.

We also did healthy burritos: rice, avocado, sprouts (which is an excellent addition to your burrito - you should try it), sauteed bell peppers and onion. I could almost feel weight falling off as I ate these on the super-wheat tortillas we bought. I'm actually having these (san-rice) for lunch every day this week, because they were so good & I didn't want to waste the sprouts!



I honestly did really bad over the weekend, but it was our anniversary and I couldn't not celebrate! So it was wine and beer and homemade pizza and Roasted Poblano Soup. Though, I did refrain from steak when we went out. Instead the waiter offered to make me a veggie-Gnocci dish which was to die for. It's fun to splurge and celebrate, right?

My treat this week is Watermelon sorbet we threw together (it's just pureed watermelon and Agave nectar). It'll be perfect for these super hot summer days we've been having...



So now I'm headed into week 3 of my diet. My goal this week is to loose another 3 pounds. I hope that in 2 weeks I'll hit my first benchmark weight!! (fingers crossed)