Sunday, March 20, 2011

No. 28: Skillet Chicken Vesuvio

I made this for dinner on Friday. Simple to make, but very flavorful. It got a "pretty good" rating from Henry, which means we'll probably have it again.

And here's a picture from today (taken by Henry):

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break '11: Austin

all of these photos were taken with my iPhone. not bad, eh?

It's Friday. That means my Spring Break is officially coming to an end. Here are some highlights from this week:
  • Finished February Medicaid billing and all that can be done for March!
  • Got my eyes examined (new contacts!)
  • Read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
  • Made progress on These Is My Words (savoring it)
  • Went to an Etsy Austin SXSW party
  • Took some ridiculous, unflattering photobooth pics
  • Had dinner at Maggiano's, including marshmallow creme chocolate torte (so good!), with a Christmas gift card
  • Lunched with Henry at Jax Cafe
  • Free lunched at a med spa where I won a free mini-facial and some anti-aging lotion samples
  • Slept a lot
  • Blogged three four times
  • Made three new digiscrapped pages
  • Went to the temple
  • Played games and had dinner with friends
  • Went grocery shopping by myself
  • Met Henry's coworkers and saw his cubicle for the first time 
  • Saw a free Neon Trees show
  • Kind of saw the free Strokes show, but really ended up talking to Cristy on the phone instead
  • Made skillet chicken vesuvio (a new recipe)
  • Watched The A-Team with my hubby
In the midst of these activities, I realized that concerts (even if they are free) are really not my thing anymore. Too much smoke. I hate it. I was reminded over and over though that I really love my city. I'm glad we get to stick around for a while.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No. 26: Paint Something

Back in January, Henry and I went to Art Attack and chose to paint a bowl.

I wish I could say that this was a fun and relaxing experience, but it mostly wasn't. We went on this particular Saturday out of obligation to use a Livingsocial deal I'd purchased a few months earlier. (I discovered the day before that my deal expired the following Monday, and by golly, we weren't going to let it go to waste.) So off we went at the end of a super Saturday (on our way back home from a trip to the temple, dinner in San Marcos, and who can remember what else), a little grumpier than we should have been.

You could say we had a difference of opinion in terms of artistic technique (I'm a perfectionist, he's not), but in the end, we compromised: I got to darken the outside of the bowl, but I didn't triple wipe down each little dot on the rim. We are both happy with the way it turned out, and our marriage is still intact. =)

I've made progress on a few more of my 101 goals too. Since my last update, I've printed the photos for my coasters (No. 31), and, as mentioned in my last post, I got a facial (No. 56). I also exercised three times per week throughout February. I haven't exercised that much in a long, long time, if ever! I'm also working on the goal to try at least two new recipes per month. I've got a few others I'm focusing on too.

I do have a question for my fellow 101ers: What are you going to do if you don't achieve a goal on your list? There's one on my list that I didn't do so hot on (No. 76: Don't use credit cards for anything other than gas/food/medicine in Jan and Feb 2011). Totally forgot about all the expenses connected to the wedding. I'm thinking I'm just going to replace it with a new goal. What do you think?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Laura's Lake Travis Wedding

I've been thinking about how to write this post for a day or two now, and I haven't really found a good way to organize my thoughts. We'll see what this morphs into. I want it to be part family record, part informational for those MOHs out there searching for ideas like I was.

Let's start on a sentimental note. This was my niece's wedding, and she asked me to be her matron of honor. It truly was an honor to be there by her side, so intimately involved in the planning. I've mentioned before that my family lines are kind of confusing (if you only knew the whole of it!). Here's what you need to know for this story: Laura is my oldest half-sister's daughter. She's four months older than me, so we grew up together. We spent a good portion of our childhood wearing matching outfits, scheming together, and laughing hysterically. She'd come for visits to Houston, and we'd drive up to Austin several times a year. We were baptized on the same day. We went to girls' camp together. She was my slightly taller, half-Mexican twin. Our childhoods very much intertwined. When I moved to Austin in 2003, we'd hang out, but as work and school took precedence, we didn't spend as much time together as I wish we would have. So I really appreciate the time we got to spend together as we planned her wedding. I feel like it brought back that closeness that we used to have, and I want to work harder to keep up that relationship from here on out.

I thought the wedding itself was perfect. The bishop from my sister's ward performed the ceremony, and it was short, but still special. The weather was perfect (in the 70's and sunny). Laura looked absolutely beautiful. I think we all teared up during the ceremony. The only thing that wasn't perfect was that I started getting sick the day before the wedding, but I survived and didn't feel completely terrible until the day after the wedding.

Ok, now for some of the details.

Beauty: I really spoiled myself in preparation for this wedding. I didn't do a lot of these things for my own wedding, and I kicked myself afterward. Wedding photos are forever, and even if you aren't the bride, you want to look your best. So...I think I blew my allowance for the next six months.

  • I got a manicure and pedicure from Arboretum Nails and Spa. I will be a returning customer. I got to watch 13 Going on 30 while my hands and feet were worked over. My toes were painted a perfect raspberry color called Miss Bossy Pants.
  • I got a spray tan from Palm Beach Tan. When I last checked, they had a coupon up for a free one at the Austin locations. Not orange, not streaky, just a nice bronzing to tone down the bright white. I do recommend two things though: pay the extra $2 for the scent and use a ton of that blending lotion on your hands and feet.
  • Eyebrow threading + facial (marked it off my 101 list!) from Nahid
  • Taryn of Bird's Barbershop did our hair and makeup. She made me feel really pretty, and she was super nice and affordable. Like I couldn't believe how little she charged me for a hair + eyeshadow trial plus the day-of updo and makeup. Awesome.
 Ceremony Details:

Dinner Details:

  • Place cards were a good idea, but I wish I hadn't started them a week in advance because some people said they couldn't come/were moved to different tables at the last minute. I had to buy a new pack of cards the morning of the wedding and recycled many of the name cards.
  • At first we were going to make a fancy seating chart, and then we were going to have ushers with an alphabetized list, but in the end people just kind of wandered around to find their seats. :/ It worked.
  • Laura and Michael's sweetheart table with the birds and candles turned out cute.

Reception Details:
  • Their first dance was to Leonard Cohen's I'm Your Man.
  •  My nephew Shannon, his girlfriend Christin, and their friend Brad did an amazing job on the photobooth. Christin made those flowers and the mustaches herself. The guests were streaming through there. I can't wait to see the photos!
 Yum. I'm totally having that lemon chiffon cake with strawberry filling and candied lemon zest as my 26th birthday cake.

Is this now the longest post ever? Feels like it.

Congratulations, Laura and Michael!

    Monday, March 7, 2011


    this is one of the quotes I live by. over the last four years, honestly, it has helped me avoid many a hissy fit/panic attack/meltdown. because things in life have a tendency of working themselves out, either through the Lord's mercy, hard work, time or all three. maybe it could work for you too?  

    there's no particular reason I'm posting this today other than I saw it in my google reader. 

    p.s. the wedding went off without any noticeable hitches! I'll be back to write about it next week {spring break}. I need to focus on work right now...and getting myself and hubby over this cold we've contracted in our household.
    p.p.s. along the same lines..."check yo'self before you wreck yo'self"