Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday...

Aside from suffering through an upper respiratory infection (ick!), this week has been so great!  Here's what I'm lovin' this week...

... CHRISTMAS TIME!!!  I know it's not even December yet, but the day after Thanksgiving marks my official kickoff of the holiday season every year.  We've almost got the house all ready to celebrate (pictures coming soon, I promise!), and I'm digging the Christmas spirit, y'all.

(on that note) ... Peaceful Holidays Station on Pandora.  It's mostly instrumental versions of the classics, and it's so... well, peaceful.  :)

... this tutorial for beachy waves.  I tried this out this morning, and it's a fun twist on the classic curl. 

(Pardon my awkward, I-took-this-in-my-office self portrait. And my bad haircut. And let's also gloss over the fact that I'm whiter than Edward Cullen, mmkay?) 
I slept on wet hair, so I left a few pieces as they were to give a little variety. The cool thing about using the flat iron is that, if you accidentally go all corkscrew on a piece, you can just straighten it out a little to get the look you want.

... the fact that I lost over three pounds over Thanksgiving last week.  That marks 29.4(!) pounds total (read more about that here) since September 26.  I've still got a looong way to go, but it really has gotten easier.  It's sort of habit now, and I'm particularly amazed at how little I crave sugar.  Sugar used to be my thang, so it's really saying something that I can pass by a brownie without a second glance.

I wish y'all could smell this.  It's so delicious. I may or may not have gotten caught sniffing my own wrist in the elevator this morning.

... these recent Pinterest finds (you can follow me here).

(via here)

(via here)

(snickerdoodle bars via here)

(baked ziti with portabello mushrooms, carmelized onions, and goat cheese via here)

(Harry Potter tribute via here. Made me cry.)

(via here)

(via here)

(Sorry... I couldn't resist. :))

... and lastly, but definitely not least, I'm loving my handsome husband.

Linking up to:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Don't tell Lilly I posted this...

No way, Mom.  I absolutely, positively, definitely will NOT pose for the camera.  You know this isn't my best side.

Pu-pu-pu-pwease don't do 'dis to me. (Movie quote, anyone?)

Wait, what did you say?  Did you say... TREAT??!!

Okay, fine.  You can take my picture.  Just promise me you won't post it on Facebook, okay?

Ballard Design envy...

I got my Ballard Designs catalog in the mail this weekend and dogeared more than a few pages of things I'm coveting.  Since we just bought a massive, expensive new Christmas tree (pictures to come soon!) and Christmas shopping is just around the corner, I'm putting the house-decorating adventure on hold for a month or so while our bank account recovers. But it doesn't hurt to look, right?  Come on, y'all... check out the pretty with me. :)

Bella Mirror
I love the lines of this mirror and think it'd be perfect in the master next to the armoir.

Grand Tour Etagere (in cream)
Truthfully, I'm not positive where I'd put this shelf.  Maybe in a corner in the master.  Maybe on a wall in the living room.  But it's pretty.

Aquitaine Antiqued Mirror
I also am considering this for the master next to the armoir.  I like that it's antiqued, and I think it'd pull the rustic elements from the other parts of the house into the master, which is a bit more traditional than the rest of the house.

Grand Palais Mirror
I'm eyeing this guy for the niche above the staircase in the living room.  That thing is HUGE, so whatever I put there needs to be big and striking. I like the arch of this mirror, I'm just not sure it's big enough.

Spool Side Table
I actually probably wouldn't put this in my house because I'm not quite that daring, but I think it's cool for sure.

Odgen Mirror
Apparenly I'm vain because I looove mirrors.  I like the color and antique finish of this one.

So that's what I've been doing this afternoon.  How about you guys?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving...

Sorry y'all.  In the midst of all the eating, I didn't get a chance to post yesterday.  We had a great day with family, and I'm nog gonna lie... I enjoyed some DELICIOUS food.  I told myself that, rather than deal with the guilt of trying to stay on the diet and failing, I'd just give myself a pass for the day.  But I did limit myself to only one plate of food, and I didn't have any dessert.  Just lots and lots of carbs. :)

For the first time in several years I was able to celebrate Thansgiving with my Dad's side of the family and had a great time.

It was an embarassment of riches... there was SO much delicious food.  And I loved spending time with my family.
My precious aunts and my Mamaw.  These are some of my favorite ladies on the planet.

Looking at pictures. 

Cute cousins.

Dad, Uncle Bart, and Mamaw.

Me and Daddy.  Love him a ridiculous amount.

After lunch we went over to Micah's parents' house for more food and fun.  Mostly we just played with this guy:
How many Hargrave men does it take to put together a toy? :)

We had a GREAT Thanksgiving.  Hope you guys did too! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Girl time...

So I picked up my friend Kimi from law school from the airport yesterday, and we went non-stop until I dropped her off at the airport a little while ago. 

(Isn't she presh?  She may or may not moonlight as a certain Disney character at Disney World a couple of times a year...)

We had sushi last night and then came home and watched both of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies.  Cause we're those girls. :)

This morning we got up and braved the rest of the Twi-Hards to see Breaking Dawn.  It was really fun and exactly what I was hoping for (plenty of yummy vampires and half-naked werewolves), and the crowd wasn't too bad.  After the movie, we grabbed fajitas at Primos (delicious!).  Not long after that, I had to take her back to the airport so she could get back to Houston in time to go to her goddaugher's baptism. 

We had a great time and it was so nice to catch up.  Hope to see you again soon, friend!

After I dropped Kimi off, I stopped by the Wisteria outlet near the airport to see if I could find anything I couldn't live without.  I came home with a round table (I didn't get any pictures, sorry) for the entryway.  Turns out it wasn't really big enough for the space, but I'm hoping I'll be able to find a place for it somewhere else since it was on clearance and is non-refundable. :(  I also bought this cake plate:
 And this pitcher:

And when I got home, Micah was working on shortening our old barstools to fit under the island bar.  He isn't quite finished, but I'll definitely post pictures when he's done. :) 

Tonight we're planning on taking it easy around here.  I got to bed late last night, and won't get to sleep in tomorrow either, so I'm thinking I'll probably end up in bed pretty early tonight.  But before I go, I'll leave y'all with a cute picture of Lilly Bell.  

  Is she not the most precious little girl you've ever seen?  Or is it just me? :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Where I've been...

Since Tuesday, I've been in New Orleans for work.  Can you believe that I was within blocks of the French Quarter and didn't have a single beignet? Or gumbo.  Or etoufee.  I worked all day and ate at the hotel every night.  But everything went well, and I'm glad to be home!

Today, my friend Kimi is coming into town so we can see Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 together. :)  I sort of got her hooked on the books, so I feel responsible for her obsession with sparkly vampires and half-naked werewolves.  And it'll be really good to catch up - I haven't seen her in over a year!

Other than that, this weekend should be fairly quiet.  We've got Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom's family on Sunday which should be great.  I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to bring.  Something healthy, obviously, but it would be nice if it was also delicious.  I'm thinking about these parmesan zucchini crisps.

Don't these look so yummy?! I'm on a serious zucchini kick right now.  My favorite way to eat them is by making them in this recipe by Barefoot Contessa.  She doesn't have a picture up, but I can promise that they're DELICIOUS.  Something about the onions really brings out the wonderful flavor of the zucchini.  Make it soon, and you won't be sorry.

In other news, I'm almost done with the third Game of Thrones book.  Let me just tell you -- these books are page turners.  They're long but so, so good.  The author always keeps you guessing.  But, they're also kind of out there.  I just have to sort of rush through the weird stuff because I couldn't stop if I wanted to.  I've got to see what happens to these people!

Sorry I've gone so long between posts.  I promise I'll take pictures of our Twilight adventure this weekend and share soon. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

What we did this weekend...

1. Drove to Houston to check on the house. When we walked up, this is what we saw:

After that, we were sort of panicked about what we would find inside, but thankfully it wasn't too bad. We'll need to have the carpets cleaned and the entire house professionally cleaned, but there wasn't any actual damage. Apparently the tenant just didn't own a hedge trimmer.

2. Watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. (Will I ever watch that movie and not cry?) Somehow I ended up purchasing every showing of Harry Potter on Dish Network's Pay-Per-View. I've definitely got to call about that today.

3. Had lunch with my Dad and Lori, whereupon I cheated with an embarassing amount of chips. I'm perfectly angelic about 97% of the time, so I figured I earned a little reward. We'll see what the scale thinks about that when I go weigh in today. :)

4. Watched several DVR'd episodes of The High Low Project.

Have you guys seen this show on HGTV? Sabrina Soto (who I think is just impossibly adorable) creates a couple's dream room with no regard to price for them to see and fall in love with. And then she recreates the same exact room (or as close to it as she can) within their budget. It's fun to watch, and it's also neat to see how she saves money but still achieves the same look.

5. Went to a concert at church. The band had just gotten back from several weeks in the Ukraine, and they were just amazing. We had a blasty blast.

And... that's about it. This week's going to be crazy. I've got to be in New Orleans for work Tuesday through Friday, and then my cute friend Kimi is coming up from Houston on Friday afternoon to hang out and go see Twilight with me. I've been trying to get my guest room/bathroom in order, but as of now I haven't quite phased all of the black and white stuff out of there, so we've got a little bit of clashing going on. Oh well... at least the bed is comfy. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Possibly my favorite Pinterest find EVER...

Pardon the slight profanity, but...

via here


That just happened.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm a mean mommy...

For some unknown reason Lilly hates two of the iPhone ringtones.  She won't whine unless she hears those particular sounds.  Maybe she doesn't like the melody? :) (And I definitely Googled to make sure it wasn't hurting her ears, so don't worry.)

(And let's just ignore my obnoxious, high-pitched puppy voice, mmkay?)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursdays...

This week has been sort of insane. Part of that is work-related, but most of it is the fact that I've been sneaking chapters of the last book in the Inheritance Cycle in any spare minute I can find, and I FINALLY finished it this morning. So, so good. Seriously, if you liked Harry Potter or are at all into the idea of magic, you should read these books.

So that's what's been up with me -- a bunch of work and a bunch of reading. Aren't you so glad you can share in my incredibly interesting life? ;)

Anyway, here are this week's thankfuls.

{I'm thankful} for rain and cool weather. I promise - you won't hear a hint of complaint from me about the weather cooling down or the rain we've been getting. Bring it on, God. :)

{I'm thankful} that Micah and I FINALLY made it to a Sunday School class last Sunday. We really liked the couples in our class, and the teacher seems wonderful. That'll make it easier not to hit the snooze button every Sunday. :)

{I'm thankful} for this month's Birchbox. I got these wonderful things in the mail yesterday, and I really like the ones I've tried so far.

The BeFine night cream felt wonderful when I put it on, and my skin felt great when I woke up this morning.  But I've got to be honest, it's not as good as this stuff my stepmom hooked me up with. (And I don't even care that it's designed for mature skin - it feels AMAZING!)  I'm just keeping it real.  I haven't tried the Anastasia Lash Lifting Mascara, but I'll let you know when I do.  The Kerastase Elixir Ultime is amazing.  I'll probably be asking for some for Christmas, since $54/bottle for hair product is pretty steep, even for this drama queen.  The Alex & Isabelle hair ties are too adorable, but I probably won't buy any.  I just don't wear my hair up enough to justify the cost.  It's too soon to tell whether the Supersmile whitening toothpaste will work, but it definitely feels and tastes good, so that's a plus. :)

{I'm thankful} for sauteed zucchini, grape tomatoes, and pan-seared scallops.  Amen.

{I'm thankful} for this post about Compassion International.  I haven't talked about it with Micah yet, but I feel certain that he'll agree that we should sponsor a child.  We've been given much. And when I thought about the fact that if I can just give up ONE sushi lunch a month (which I shouldn't be eating anyway on my diet), I'll pay to help feed, educate, and care for a child who needs it, I just almost broke down in tears.  I'm praying fervently that God would keep reminding me to be grateful for this life.  There is so much to be thankful for.

{I'm thankful} for a husband who loves me in spite of the fact that I randomly bust out (1) horrible dance moves, (2) horrible singing, and (3) a horrible English accent in public.  Quite often.

{I'm thankful} that some of the red tape my mom has been stressing about was resolved today - looks like they'll be homeowners very soon!

{I'm thankful} for this little girl.  She's given this auntie a lot to think about... :) (And wouldn't you just murder for those eyelashes?  I see a lot of trouble for her daddy in years to come...)

{I'm thankful} that the girls at work don't let me flake out on them.  We've now gone down and back up the 16 stories of stairs in our building four times in two weeks, and it's getting easier every time.  (But make no mistake - I'm still covered in sweat and completely out of breath every time we finish.)

{I'm thankful} that I am a child of a loving God who never gives up on me.   

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just some sentences...

I downloaded the free Kindle app for my iPhone, and I couldn't possibly convey the depths of my love for it. It automatically syncs up with my Kindle and knows what page I left off on so that I can steal a few pages of whatever book I'm reading whenever I get a spare minute. I woke up to find that the last book in the Inheritance Cycle had been delivered overnight, and I was this close to staying in bed and reading all day. Instead, I dragged myself out of bed and read a few pages while I straightened my hair and got ready for work. :)

Speaking of hair, I'm now officially the weird girl with the long hair. It has been probably six months since I've had a haircut, and it's definitely time for something new. I've been scouring Pinterest and googling like a champ for some good ideas, and here are a few I'm thinking about.

(This is my favorite.  I like the layers, but I'd probably go just a teensy bit longer than this.)

(Can I just say that I LOVE Kate Beckinsale.  And her gorgeous hair.)

(This one's the wildcard.  I'm not certain I could pull this off, and I feel like I'd be totally over the bangs after a few days, but it's definitely cute.)

My six week weigh-in was yesterday, and I've lost a total of 23 pounds so far. Some weeks are better than others, but I'm actually feeling really great, and it's getting easier to say no to things that aren't good for me. Some evil person brought the most delicious-looking brownies to work today, but I'm realizing that it just isn't worth it. I'm getting back into some of the clothes I haven't been able to fit into for a year or so, and it feels so, so good.

(Taken this weekend at my friend Hope's wedding.  Congrats, Hope and Josh!)

Micah and I have to go to Houston this weekend to check on the rent house after our tenant moved out. She seemed like she really, really wanted to get her deposit back, so I'm hoping she did a good job keeping it up. And I'm really hoping we find another tenant to lease the house for another year. If you know anyone who needs a place to live in Houston, give me a shout! :)

Apparently the hard drive on our laptop is failing. That thing survived law school and the Texas bar exam, but apparently it's just had enough. So we're shopping for a new computer, and it's utterly bewildering. What was the cutting edge the last time I shopped for computers is now obsolete, and I can't tell what's "good" these days. All I know is that my last two laptops were Sonys, and neither lasted more than three years, so I'm definitely going with something else this time.

That's about all the random I can muster today.  Hope you guys are having a great week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm a Cork-a-holic...

I think I've mentioned before that my sweet Aunt Gem and Uncle Larry gave me a huge bag full of wine corks when they came up to visit last fall.  They figured that someone in my family could find a crafty/creative use for them, and, shockingly, it ended up being me.  (This is sort of ironic considering that I drink almost zero alcohol.)

First, I put some in a vase in the master bath.

I also put some in my new lantern, along with some vintage keys.

 And last night, I set out to make a pretty cork letters like these that I saw on Pinterest:

(image via here)

Except I didn't have a pretty wood template to work from, so mine looks a little more homemade.  About halfway through I realized that I needed to be taking some pictures so I could (for once!) do a proper tutorial, but the battery was dead on my camera, so all you get are iPhone pictures.  And, in typical Ryan fashion, I didn't take pictures of all the steps.  Oops. :)

I started by hotgluing the sides of the corks together in one straight line, using a straight edge to keep them lined up.  (They're all various lengths, so I put the end of the cork that I wanted to show facedown so I'd end up with a flat surface.  The picture above shows the backside of the corks.)  Then I added two more rows, gluing each cork to the cork next to it in line, as well as the previous row to add stability. 

Then I added the "bridge" of the H, again double-gluing for stability.

And then I made another strip of three rows and glued that row to the "bridge."  Ta-da! That's it! 

It took me about an hour, and I'm so pleased with the results.  I wasn't going to add any of the red wine corks or corks with writing on them, but I accidentally put a red wine cork in, and I loved the way that it looked, so I added more. (That's why there are fewer dark corks on the first row on the right side - that's the one I started with. :))

So if you've got any extra wine corks laying around, here's a way to put them to good use! :)
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