Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My hubby is published!


We received our copy in the mail a couple weeks ago.


I am so so so incredibly proud of him!!

there is a minor typo..he is a graduate of Truett Theological Seminary, not a student.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beef Daube Provençal

Beef Daube Provençal

There is just something about really slow braised beef that screams cold wintery night. And that is exactly what this dish is. Incredibly tender pieces of beef that fall apart when your fork touches them. Oh my this is good.

Beef Daube Provençal
So good. I think it might be the red wine in this dish that helps with the tenderness. Oh my word is this good. I served this over whole wheat egg noodles and it was the perfect Sunday night comfort food.

Beef Daube Provençal

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
3 carrots, cut into about 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (drain one of the cans)
1 bay leaf
3 cups cooked whole wheat egg noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, remaining salt and pepper, carrot, and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.

Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Did you see that John and I have been together for 7 years now?!?! See the post below!

I've been so behind on posting these!

Thanks Carrie for the Over the Top Award and thanks Wendi for the Lemonade Stand award!

The rules for this award are rather simple. All I have to do is answer the following questions with a single word answer and then pass this along to five bloggers.

1. Your Cell Phone? iPhone

2. Your Hair? Colored

3. Your Mother? Strong

4. Your Father? Caring

5. Your Favorite Food? Mexican

6. Your Dream Last Night? Mystery

7. Your Favorite Drink? Water

8. Your Dream/Goal? Motherhood

9. What Room Are You In? Kitchen

10. Your Hobby? Blogging

11. Your Fear? Loss

12. Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Family

13. Where Were You Last Night? Home

14. Something That You Aren't? Crafty

15. Muffins? Cranberry

16. Wish List Item? House

17. Where Did You Grow Up? McKinney

18. Last Thing You Did? Read

19. What Are You Wearing? PJs

20. Your TV? Small

21. Your Pets? None

22. Friends? Loyal

23. Your Life? Crazy

24. Your Mood? Better

25. Missing Someone? Family

26. Vehicle? Accord

27. Something You Aren't Wearing? Jewelry

28. Your Favorite Store? Nordstrom

29. Your Favorite Color? Red

30. When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today

31. Last Time You Cried? Olympics

32. Your Best Friend? Many

33. One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Work

34. Facebook? Waste

35. Favorite Place To Eat? D's

So, the Over The Top Award goes to...

Laura - We were in the same sorority in college and have reconnected through blogs. I love her blog and all of her wonderful ideas for food, working out, fashion and nail polish.

Beth - We have been friends for 8 years now...CRAZY! We were "twins" in our sorority at Baylor and have been inseperable ever since.

Mrs. Southern Bride - Heather is a blog friend and I just love her blog. She shares all of her sweet stories about being a newlywed!

Ashley - Ashley is a new blogger friend and has a precious new baby, Ava!

Lauren - Lauren is another friend from my sorority days at Baylor. She is so sweet and I love being able to stay in touch through blogging!

And the Lemonade Stand Award goes to...

Kelly - Kelly is a new friend and a new blogger. She is also my fabulous Zumba instructor!

Natalie - Natalie is a friend from high school and once again, I love being able to stay in touch through the blog world. She has 2 absolutely precious labs. Their newest is still an adorable pup!

Allison - Allison is another friend from my sorority (wow...didn't mean for this to be a sorority post) and now she and her hubby are living up in New England. I LOVE all of her gorgeous pictures of the changing seasons up there!

Allyson - Allyson is a sweet friend from Hamilton! I love her stories about what her precious kids are up to. They are so much fun!

Callie - Callie is a friend from my Baylor days and we volunteered at the Waco Care Net together. She is now expecting her first baby and is going to be an amazing mom!

And this next part I am stealing from was too fun not to pass on.....

I would love for each and every one of you to pass on the blog award and continue this "chain letter" phenomenon. So please know that if you do not continue the chain, one or more of the following things may happen.

1. Hair loss
2. Constipation
3. Permanent loss of the ever-elusive "luck factor"
4. Weight gain
5. Nausea
6. Compulsion to purchase Beanie Babies

I don't make this up, people. The facts are the facts.

Go have fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Thanks so much to Courtney for the sweet award. She said some crazy nice things about me that sort of made me blush! Thanks Court!!

So with this award comes some about me ya go...

(1) Your Cell Phone? iPhone

(2) Your Hair? Colored

(3) Your Mother? Strong

(4) Your Father? Caring

(5) Your Favorite Food? Mexican

(6) Your Dream Last Night? Mystery

(7) Your Favorite Drink? Water

(8) Your Dream/Goal? Motherhood

(9) What Room Are You In? Kitchen

(10) Your Hobby? Blogging

(11) Your Fear? Loss

(12) Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Family

(13) Where Were You Last Night? Home

(14) Something That You Aren't? Crafty

(15) Muffins? Cranberry

(16) Wish List Item? House

(17) Where Did You Grow Up? McKinney

(18) Last Thing You Did? Slept

(19) What Are You Wearing? PJs

(20) Your TV? Small

(21) Your Pets? None

(22) Friends? Loyal

(23) Your Life? Crazy

(24) Your Mood? Sick

(25) Missing Someone? Family

(26) Vehicle? Accord

(27) Something You Aren't Wearing? Shoes

(28) Your Favorite Store? Nordstrom

(29) Your Favorite Color? Red

(30) When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today

(31) Last Time You Cried? Olympics

(32) Your Best Friend? Many

(33) One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Work

(34) Facebook? Waste

(35) Favorite Place To Eat? D's

And this award goes to...

Pears, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour - I love this blog. She has recipes, crafty stuff (oh how I wish I could do this!) and decorating ideas. So much fun!

Lizzy Goes Dutch - Lizzy is a high school friend and has an amazing blog with tons of wonderful dishes. (She must be good because she just accepted another award a couple days ago!)

Piece of Cake - Amanda makes so many amazing things with great step by step pictures along the way.

lucky 7

7 years ago today John and I became, well..John and I!

The Beginning
this picture was taken when we were still "friends." a couple days later we were "us."

I can't believe it has been 7 years.

I also can't believe that we are a few months from our 5 year wedding anniversary!

Holy Cow!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Couscous with Black Beans

Couscous with Black Beans
Whew. At least I didn't go a whole month without blogging. I got this post in just in time to say it hasn't been a whole month since I posted. Remember when I said I would be better this year about posting? Yeah, I'll keep working on that.

I also received an award for this blog with the hopes that I would start blogging again. I'll get to that award soon, but in the meantime, I've got SO much to update you on as far as food goes.

Couscous with Black Beans
Let's start with this super easy and so yummy black bean couscous. I absolutely love couscous. Like risotto, it is a clean slate that you can add just about anything to. But unlike risotto, it is so fast and mindless to make. And that's what I need these days. Life is too crazy to make risotto.

Couscous with Black Beans

Couscous with Black Beans

1 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
1 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of one lime
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat. Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day friends! We had the BEST Valentine's weekend.

A little background info..It all started at Christmas. I gave John tickets to go see Jim Gaffigan in Houston. We love Jim Gaffigan and when I saw that he was coming to Houston I waited and waited until the tickets went on sale. And the day they went on sale, I was online getting them as fast as possible.

We decided to make a long weekend out of it. Because John is a music pastor, our weekends are pretty different. Taking weekend trips are always tricky because we need to be back on Saturday night. He has Fridays off, but I don't because I work a normal job. So for this weekend, I took Friday off and Thursday evening we hit the road for Houston.

Valentine's Weekend

We used priceline for our hotel. We ended up staying at Hotel Derek right by the Galleria. And friends, it was so posh! It was super trendy and modern. So fun. We were on the 4th floor...hence the giant 4 picture. This was right when you get off the elevator.

Valentine's Weekend

The room was modern yet sort of vintage. It was so awesome. Oh and see that giant window? It had this black screen (like in The Holiday) that we lowered and were able to get a pitch black room. HEAVENLY!

Valentine's Weekend

I wish I had some super cool and modern luggage over there in the corner instead of my hot pink Vera Bradley. Sort of takes away from the coolness of the room.

Valentine's Weekend

The bathroom door was hanging from this hinge thing and slid open and closed. Yeah, so cool.

Valentine's Weekend

And the bathroom was so clean and bright. I really loved it.

Thursday night we got in late. After checking in we went downtown and ate at Mia Bella Trattoria. Unfortunately, I only took one picture with my iPhone and it was too dark to really show anything. The restaurant was amazing.

John had homemade ravioli with spinach and ricotta, mozzarella and some other stuff. It was heavenly little pillows of goodness. I had the filet with a peppercorn demi-glace topped with gorgonzola. It was perfect. We ended with tiramisu and pistachio gelato. Oh my word. Amazing.

Saturday we slept in (until 8:00..ugh) and relaxed in the morning. We took off around noon and went over the Galleria and had lunch at La Madeleine. Then we did some shopping.

Valentine's Weekend

Apparently I thought my wardrobe of gray and black needed some brightness. I ended up getting the green, red, purple, blue and yellow.

The yellow is a scarf..brings my total to 21. I need help. Scarves Anonymous anyone?

Valentine's Weekend

After shopping we went for a little fro-yo. berripop in Houston is FABULOUS. It is real yogurt, with all the tanginess that real yogurt has. It is naturally sweetened (no sugar, no fake sugar). It's CLEAN!

Valentine's Weekend

I was super pumped and got mine with strawberries, pineapple and kiwi.

Valentine's Weekend

John went with mini gummy bears. His fave.

Valentine's Weekend

And Friday night.....JIM GAFFIGAN! Super pumped!

Valentine's Weekend

Ready to laugh! And we laughed so hard. We had amazing seats also. If you ever get the chance to see Jim Gaffigan...GO. In the meantime, look him up on YouTube. There's tons of great stuff there.

Saturday we had lunch at CPK. I knew that this year we wouldn't be able to do what we did for Valentine's day last year so we thought the next best thing would be CPK. We shared a salad and pizza. Yum!

Then it was John's fun. We went to Guitar Center. But after all the shopping he did with me the day before, I'd like to think we're even. Because that's what marriage and love is all about.

We also hit up Home Depot and Cavendar's. But before heading back we made one last stop. An important one too...
Valentine's Weekend

It was we've had in a long time. It was incredibly relaxing and so wonderful to get to spend so much time together.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Twilight Dreams

Ever since the Twilight phenomenon hit I have been a skeptic.

I have absolutely no desire to read the vampire love books that were originally meant for Tweens.

Buy apparently my husband does. In my dreams.

Last night I had a dream that u found John sitting on the couch of our living room.

But it wasn't our actual living room. Anyone else have dreams where your home in the dream isn't really where you live in real life? The dream home is always so much better. Hince the name dream home.

But I digress.

So John is sitting on the couch in our dream home reading the last installment of the vampire romance novel.

He then proceeds to tell me it was the best series he has ever read and I should read them.

Then I woke up. Realized it was a dream. And so thankful that my husband still thinks vampire love stories are ridiculously stupid.

And so thankful that I still do not have any desire to read them.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Clean Eating

I continue to get emails and comments asking me about clean eating.

I am so happy to share what I love about this way of life. And that's really how I feel about it. I know that with eating clean I am doing something so good for my body. Not only am I loosing weight (10 POUNDS SO FAR!!!!!!) but I feel so much better when I don't put junk in my body.

lets not talk about super bowl food mkay. thanks.

But seriously, like so many "diets" it is okay to have a cheat day or meal. And for the Super Bowl I enjoyed a few things but didn't overdo it. Because I didn't want to.

So let me break it down for you...

The Clean Eating focuses on consuming foods (preferably organic but necessarily) that are unprocessed or refined as little as possible before consumption.

The basics of Clean Eating are simple:
  • Eat a wide-variety of whole, unrefined and unprocessed foods in a form that’s as close as possible to how the foods appear in nature. You can still cook the food. It's not a raw diet.
  • Avoid processed sugars, especially sugary beverages like soda. This includes diet sodas. Instead drink water (you need it anyway), tea (hot and iced, sweetened with agave or honey) or coffee. Even carbonated water.
  • Avoid saturated fat and trans fats, and instead substitute healthy, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Always combine complex carbohydrates with lean protein and some healthy fats at every meal.
  • Spread your food out over 5-6 smaller meals, consumed every 2-3 hours.
  • Eat for maximum nutrient density. Basically, avoid “empty” calories found in fast food, soda/diet soda, snacks, cakes and cookies, and substitute in nutrient-dense snacks. One of my current favorite is hard boiled egg whites (throw away the yolk) and stuff them with hummus. So good.
  • Pay attention to proper portions and practice portion control.
  • Drink lots of water (at least 8 cups a day.)
So why would a person want to try Clean Eating? There are a number of proven benefits to Clean Eating:
  • Decreased body fat
  • Increased lean tissue (muscle)
  • Improved energy
  • General improvements in overall health and immunity
  • Decreased risk of certain types of diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancers
  • Less consumption of pesticides, artificial food additives and preservatives, sodium and sugar
  • Less impact on the environment, since Eating Clean is also Eating Green; the foods you consume in a Clean Eating diet are minimally processed, and thus use less energy and produce less waste than highly-processed foods
  • Less expensive. Contrary to what you might believe, Clean Eating is actually more cost-effective and less expensive than eating pre-packaged food or fast food. For instance, for the price of a Super-Sized Big Mac Meal Deal, you could prepare an entire pot of healthy soup that would make more than a half dozen meals that are healthier, more satisfying and more nutritionally-dense.
  • Sustainable. Unlike fad diets, Clean Eating is a holistic approach to eating that a person can practice for their entire life. You don’t “go on” a Clean Eating diet — you’re always clean eating.
While Clean Eating is simple and straight-forward, actually practicing Clean Eating can be challenging for some people. It’s important to know a few key things ahead of time if you want to successfully follow a Clean Eating diet:
  • Expect to cook more. Processed food is processed in large part to make it more convenient and easier for people to prepare. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese can be made in less than ten minutes by just boiling water, but brown rice takes 20-30 minutes to cook.
  • You will need to prepared to spend more time in the kitchen preparing clean foods.
  • Eating out isn’t as easy. Eating clean at a restaurant is one of the most frequent sticking points for people following a Clean Eating diet. While it can be difficult to find clean food options when eating out, it’s not impossible. Look for salad options, or dishes that feature one food with a simple side of veggies, for example lean cuts of steak or fish or chicken breast. If it has a sauce, it’s probably not very clean, so ask the waiter how it’s prepared. Many restaurants will make modifications to the dish based on your request, so it pays to talk to the staff.
  • Planning ahead. Clean Eating requires a certain amount of pre-planning and pre-preparation when it comes to eating. You’ll need to pack your own lunches and snacks for the office or work, since the options available to you will probably not be “clean.” The good news, however, is that once you get in the habit of this, you’ll save money and develop some techniques for making this more efficient.
  • Cost. Some people think that “clean food” is more expensive, but as we pointed out earlier, it generally tends to be the exact opposite. Yes, some foods like leaner, organic cuts of meat, poultry or fish may be more expensive, but because you’ll be combining them with other, less expensive sources of whole carbohydrates and healthy fats, you’ll make up for the difference.
  • No white flour or sugar. This scares a lot of people away, but it’s important to point out that Clean Eating doesn’t mean no flour, no sweeteners and no bread, period. When you’re on a Clean Eating diet, you can still consume flour and bread — you just need to substitute 100% whole wheat flour, oat flour or bread. And in terms of sugar, you can use whole sugar sources like honey, agave nectar or fruit to sweeten things. After a few weeks, you’ll adjust to this and be fine.
Source: this article.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

blame it on the diet coke..

or the smokey car? Who cares, I've had a headache for about a day now.


Ever since I started eating clean I have not had a single headache. Not one. (Eating clean has brought about so many other wonderful things but I'll save those for later.)

And I used to get them almost daily. It was horrible and I hated my addiction to Advil because of it. I hated how much "junk" I was putting into my body.

But I must confess, yesterday I caved. I had a diet coke. And now I am KICKING myself for it.

My headache is slowly going away but I will not cave into another diet coke craving. Those chemicals and nasty fake sugar substitute did me in.

Ps: John and I also have a rental car right now. BOTH of our cars are in the shop (mine is getting a new transmission, his a new drive shaft). So a rental car was necessary and it smells like smoke. That could also have helped with the cause of the headache.

Ps again: Ever since I heard that John's car was having drive shaft issues I kept thinking about Charlie's band on LOST and humming the song, "You All Everybody."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We're not THAT old!

So John and I are both much closer to 30 than we are 20. (We'll be 27 this summer in case you are wondering.)

So we're still young but getting older and closer to 30. But we're not THAT old.

The point is, we both received something in the exact same day in the mail.

One was addressed to John...

getting old

The other was addressed to me...

getting old

Like I said, we're not THAT old!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

can't wait

I am beyond excited.


LOST is BACK! Tonight.

I can't wait.

I'm sort of giddy just thinking about it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Girl Weekend with Ash and Izzy!

A couple weekends ago Ashley and sweet Isabelle came to visit. John was in Dallas for the weekend at a conference so it turned out to be the perfect girls weekend.

Ash and Izzy Weekend
Friday night when they got here we were cooking dinner and Izzy kept pointing to the oven mitts and saying, "hot hot!"

Ash and Izzy Weekend
Saturday we got up and spent the day doing lots of fun girly things. We ate lunch downtown. Ashley ordered a chocolate shake and of course shared with Izzy and me. Isabelle LOVED it!

Ash and Izzy Weekend
I could take pictures of this sweet face all day long! (notice the chocolate shake on her shirt) :)

Ash and Izzy Weekend

Ash and Izzy Weekend
spending some time at home, reading magazines before dinner.

Ash and Izzy Weekend
we went out for Mexican food and there was a mariachi singer. At first she was unsure.

Ash and Izzy Weekend
But then she was completely enthralled with him.

Ash and Izzy Weekend
Sunday we went to church and then out to lunch.

Ash and Izzy Weekend

Ash and Izzy Weekend
John was back by then so he got to soak up some Isabelle time.

Such a fun weekend! Y'all need to come visit again soon!!
Blogger Template By Designer Blogs