Friday, July 27, 2012

Things I'm Loving

  1. "Welcome back to Dallas" flowers from The Boy have been brightening up my desk all week. I was out of town for four days visiting my niece in Phoenix and these showed up on Tuesday when I got back in the office. I think I might be getting just a little spoiled.
  2. I love going out of town because moose is so lovey when I get home. He spent the majority of Tuesday in my lap just wagging his tail for no reason. I wasn't even petting him or talking to him and his little tail was just going crazy simply because I was home. 
  3. I read about this website in the Southwest Airlines magazine and just tried it out. It's basically like for your retirement accounts. You set up your profile with your age, income, retirement goals, etc. Then you set up your current retirement portfolio and it analyzes it for you and tells you if your money is properly allocated based on your risk tolerance, makes suggestions, and tells you where you are paying too much in fees. I am a little skeptical of the fact that it gave me suggestions on specific stocks to buy- you have to wonder if there is something in it for them. However, I really liked the suggestions on how to allocate my money since apparently having it 100% in domestic stock is a bad thing! Ha- who knew? I obviously have a loooong way to go. Especially since I don't even know what some of the things it mentioned are (REIT's anyone?!). 
  4. Opening ceremonies tonight!! This might be my favorite part of the Olympics. I love the excitement and seeing everyone from all different nations coming together. I'm always astounded at the coordination and manpower that it must take to pull off such a spectacle. As far as the events themselves, I've always been a gymnastics lover but in recent years I've become fascinated by synchronized diving.  
  5. The fact that Emily Giffin's newest book, Where We Belong, just came out. I downloaded it yesterday and plan on starting it this weekend. I'm also in the middle of The Paris Wife, Laughing at Wall Street and Bringing Up Bebe. Now if I can just find the time to actually read them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

June in Pictures

This made my entire day! I pulled a u-ie in the middle of the road to turn around and go back to this house. While they were pouring the lemonade for me the littlest one stuck her finger in the glass (I assume to taste it?) and got fussed at by her mother. Lemonade stands are one of my favorite parts of summer.  

Some friends had a housewarming/pool party and their lab, Banks, was dying to get in the pool. He wasn't allowed in so he would stand on the side and stick his front paws in and paddle. It was sad/cute/hilarious all at the same time. 

 New digs, perhaps? I'm on the hunt but want something different. I love the loftiness of this space, but worry that it might feel cold and not homey.

 Housesitting for one's parents definitely has it's perks. I can't wait to do it again in August. 

I had a few people over to grill while I was housesitting. Madi was having fun playing with the Miller Lite box which was kind a win-win- she was entertained and we didn't have to get out of the pool to get beers. I kid, I kid... I think she only delivered one beer before she was on to playing with the garden hose.

Madi's little sister, Kennedy, at her Sip & See. I am getting in LOTS of practice holding babies lately! 

My sister-in-law posted this on Instagram and I had to steal it. Such a cute photo of my brother and niece. {Sidenote: can you not save pictures from Instagram? I assume it's for the protection of the person who uploads it?} 

Speaking of cute... I was hanging out watching a movie with The Boy and looked over and saw Moose snuggling with him. He's a pretty good judge of character, so I'm going to go ahead and say he approves. 

 Best brunch I've had in awhile. Pulled Pork Toad in a Hole at Nick & Sam's Grill.

  Very, very strange seeing yourself on television. Luckily the campaign ended a couple weeks ago.

 Central Market now sells pre-made cheese plates ready for consumption. You're welcome.

I took The Boy on a surprise date to the Drive-in theater. He loooved it. As in, still talking about it a month later, loved it. We smuggled in wine and homemade sloppy joes wrapped in foil. 

Since I wouldn't tell him where we were going, D wasn't sure what to wear and showed up with a long-sleeved shirt on. Poor guy was a little miserable in the Texas heat since we had to turn the car off once the movie started.

 Love, love, love skyping with this chubby face (and her parents as well)!

 Rangers vs. A's.

 Oh yes, we did! I'm guessing this was probably around 5,000 calories of ballpark goodness. Worth every single one.

Maybe I should rename the blog Moose & Babies?! Whitney came in town with her new addition, Jack. He was adorable and such a good baby. I have to admit it was so strange having lunch with two of my best friends from college and their three kids between the two of them. It seems like yesterday we were terrorizing the Texas Tech campus together.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July Birchbox

Last month was the first month that I was kind of "meh" about my Birchbox. Luckily this one was much better. I loved everything in it and can't wait to test out the things I haven't used yet. Here is what was in my box:
  1. Amica Oliphica Nourishing Mask. My hair has been like straw lately so I was very excited to see this. I don't know if it's the chlorine in the pool or the fact that I haven't darkened it in awhile, but it's in need of some TLC. I tried it last night and while it says to put it in for 2-5 minutes, I decided to sleep in it and really let it do its thing. I'm happy to report that this morning my hair was much softer, easier to comb out and smelled wonderful.
  2. Stila Lip Glaze. I love this stuff! It is the perfect color for low-key summer days when you don't want to wear much makeup. I find that natural colors look slightly less horrendous melting off your face in 105 degree temperatures than their more dramatic counterparts.
  3. Amica Oliphica Hair Treatment. I haven't tried this one yet. It looks like another type of hair oil. I have tried several of these through Birchbox and other places and liked them so we'll give this one a shot as well. However, I just bought a bottle of the Orofluido after sampling it through BB so I'm kind of set for awhile.
  4. Earbuds. Kind of random, but cute. I usually only use Apple earbuds because I like that you can squeeze the volume control twice to skip to the next song. I stashed these at my desk for days that I want to tune out Bossdad the rest of my office. Just kidding, Pops!
  5. Dirt Luxe Salt Scrub. This smells really good. Not sure I would shell out $45 for a scrub, but I will happily test it out and see if it lives up to its price tag. 
  6. Color Club Nail Polish in Blue Ming. I'm not very adventurous with my nails. I'm typically a red or pink polish kinda girl unless it's winter (when I really let my hair down with some Lincoln Park After Dark) and I'm slightly horrified by all of this "nail art" business that I see everywhere. Given my penchant for boring mani's, this color caught me off guard at first, but after I got used to it, I LOVED it! BUT the formula is no bueno. It was super streaky and chipped way too easily. I may take the bottle to the store and try to match the color to another brand.
  7. Minteas. Mints are always handy to throw in your car or bag so this was a welcomed little bonus.
One thing I've found out about Birchbox is that helps to take "adventurous" off your profile. That might be great for clothes, but I've found that adventurous and Birchbox don't mix very well (at least for my age group). I changed mine after I got the lip tattoos and my friend E did it this month after she got purple eyeliner. Just a little tip in case you are getting samples that are a little too fashion-forward for your tastes.

If you haven't signed up for Birchbox yet, you can do so here! You'll love it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Southern Rice Salad

I posted this recipe for Rice Salad awhile back, but thought it might be due for a repost since I was asked for the recipe multiple times this weekend when I brought it with me to a friend's BBQ. 

This is one of those recipes that I have so many memories of that it feels like it's a legitimate member of our family. Others on this list for me? Sheet cake, Thanksgiving dressing, and Shrimp Remoulade. I have a photocopy of my mom's recipe card and it's not in her handwriting- which means she likely got it from one of her elders. Anytime a recipe has been passed down for three generations- you know it's a keeper.  

So while it might sound strange, trust me on this one- the next time you are invited to a BBQ? Bring this. I've made this for super picky eaters and foodies alike, and everyone loves it. 

Rice Salad
  • ¼ salad oil
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 2 T mustard
  • 1½ t salt
  • ⅛ t pepper
  • 4½ C of hot cooked rice (Cook in chicken broth for more flavor)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1½ C celery, chopped
  • ½ C dill pickles, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (2 oz.) jar of diced pimentos
  • ½ C mayo
  1. Cook rice according to package instructions (preferably in chicken broth).
  2. Whisk first five ingredients together and pour over hot rice. Mix well.
  3. Chill for a bit and then stir in remaining ingredients. I typically add a smidge more mustard, salt, and pepper at this point and I also usually pour a little of the dill pickle juice in there. 
  4. Chill until you are ready to serve.
  5. Have this recipe handy because you WILL get asked for it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fantasy Fun

I can't tell you how excited I was to send out that message! We are finally close enough to football season to start coordinating our Fantasy Football draft party and I am pumped!

We started an all-girls league two years ago and even though I have lost both years, it's still been a blast. I love the social aspect of it- talking shit with all your friends during the match-ups, going to the sports bars on Sundays to watch all the games, and being able to talk football intelligently with the guys. But for the girls that are married, it's also made football season fun for them. A lot of the girls used to dread September because it meant their husbands would be glued to the TV all the time, but now they are glued right along with them!

So, since I am two years into this whole thing which ya know- TOTALLY makes me an expert, I thought I would offer up my suggestions in case any of you were thinking about starting an all girls fantasy league of your own:
  1. Ask around. You may not think you know enough girls to put together a team, but just put the feelers out- you'd be surprised at how many girls will jump all over it! We ended up adding more people to our league because girls heard we were doing it and wanted in.
  2. Use Facebook. Assuming everyone in your league is on Facebook, the groups feature can be a great way to organize everyone. I created a private group that only the 12 members can see and that's where we schedule the draft, plan watching parties, and talk shit throughout the season. This is so much easier for us than the message boards on the fantasy sites since everyone typically checks it at least once a day anyways.
  3. Plan the draft party early!! Finding a time that works for 12 busy girls is like herding cats is NOT an easy task. In the past two years 4 of our girls have gotten married and 6 new babies have been added to the mix. Life is hectic, so plan early or you will never find a time that works for everyone.
  4. If you are all doing the draft together at one location, make sure you have your wireless password readily available as well as lots of plugs and extension cords. 
  5. Establish the rules up front. Since I'm the commissioner, it's my job to decide whether a trade is fair or not. I have had friends get legitimately upset with me for vetoing their shady deals. So make sure everyone knows the rules upfront- i.e. no one-sided trades where you get a star player and are giving up an injured one and no "borrowing" players (you girls know who you are!) ;) I think you have to have some ground rules otherwise it will turn into a mess. So make sure everyone knows upfront what constitutes a "fair trade" and maybe even have a co-commissioner to make the decisions with that can back you up. The first year I relied on two of the husbands to tell me if something didn't seem right, but even that gets a little dicey since they are not entirely unbiased.
  6. Get assistance setting up the backend of the draft. We use ESPN for our league, but I think CBS Sports and Yahoo Sports have it as well. On our first draft, we had a few guys come in and look over the settings and tweak a few things. If you've never done it before a little help can be very handy!
  7. Encourage everyone to manage their team themselves. The whole point is that you are playing with your friends. I have no doubt that the majority of the girls in our league (myself included) have bounced a trade or two off the guys in their life, but it's really more fun if everyone manages their own team day-to-day. And- as some girls can attest to- you might end up being better at it than your husband anyways!
  8. Have fun with it! Our league has a tongue-in-cheek name (Dallas Fantasy Girls) and most of the teams have crazy names as well (Mine is Nice TD's... a few others are Tight End Zones, Hopeless Romo-mantic, Victorious Secret... I could go on and on). A quick google search of "funny fantasy football team names will give you more inspiration than you could ever want!
So there's my two cents on the deal! It really is so much fun and I think all 12 of our girls would highly recommend it. If you have any questions, let me know!

56 days to go!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June Birchbox

  1. Supergoop SPF 30+ Everyday Lotion. I got this as a sample from Sephora before and really liked it. I am getting more and more psycho about sunscreen in my old age, so I was excited to see another sample of a product I've enjoyed before. I will probably be buying this when I run out.
  2. Staniac theBalm. Save for a stint sophomore year of high school trying out Benetint, I'm not a big  consumer of lip/cheek stains. I tend to gravitate towards browns rather than pinks when it comes to those two products. However, I did really like this stuff. It had an interesting gel-like consistency. I think if I used stains, I would be all over this one.
  3. Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive Towels. I haven't tried these yet, but plan on testing them out soon. I use gradual self-tanning lotion through most of the summer. But these would be great to throw in your bag for a beach trip.
  4. Masqueology Brightening Mask. I really liked the smell of this and thought my skin felt softer after using it. However, not so sure about the "brightening" aspect of it. I think there are better masks out there.
  5. Modcloth headband. All I could think when I saw this was Rosie the Riveter. Cute maybe? But just not quite my style. This one will be stuffed in the costume box (with the lip tattoos) just in case I decide to channel my inner Rosie for Halloween one year.

Monday, July 2, 2012

May in Pictures

Wow... where did June go?? My mom just texted me asking if I still had a blog and I looked and realized I blogged twice in June. Pretty pathetic! Sorry to any of you out there still reading.  I guess I should play a little catch up and post May in Pictures before getting to June. Hope everyone's summer is going well!

 Cool Tuesday at the Arboretum with the Spazmatics playing. Not a bad way to spend an evening in May. Now however? Not so much. Triple digit heat makes outdoor concerts a no-go for this girl.

My mom wanted to see the Chihuly exhibit at the Arboretum for Mother's Day and they just so happened to have a preview the night the Spazmatics were playing. Two birds, one stone? Don't mind if I do!

 I'm a dork, but this just made me smile. A lonely little flower was growing out of nowhere next to an abandoned retail space. A tiny show of stubborn beauty. It's the little things in life.

The baby of our group from college finally turned 30 on Cinco de Mayo. E has been loving the fact that she was still in her 20's when the rest of us had already turned the corner. Finally she's as old as the rest of us!

 No Cinco de Mayo celebration is complete without mustaches, right?

 The boy that has been sending all the flowers. :) I'm not sure if it's sad or brilliant that this is the first photo of he and I together. 

My mom sent this to me when she went to visit my niece. Miss Priss has gotten a little chunky! I love babies with squishy cheeks- especially this one. 

When she sent the picture above, I was shocked at how much she'd grown in one month. I texted my mom one of the first pictures of her in her carseat to compare it to the picture above, and this was the exchange that resulted.  :)

We went to the Rangers game and Too Tall Jones came walking in our suite out of nowhere. He was very nice and took pictures with everyone. I shook his hand and it was like shaking a baseball mitt. 

 Mother's Day brunch! We went to a wine tasting and dinner afterwards- not a bad way to celebrate. I hope it lived up to her expectations.

 Moose just loungin'. I love this time of year when everything you plant is growing like crazy. My basil plant is already huge... I see a big batch of homemade pesto in my future.

More babies! Jules, one of my best friend's from college had a little baby boy in May. He is so cute and tiny- a little over 5 pounds. The doctor had warned her about the potential for a 9 pound baby, so needless to say- everyone was a little surprised when little Luke arrived barely pushing 6.

 I flew to San Diego in May to surprise my best friend that lives in Phoenix for her 30th birthday. Her husband rented a house on the beach and it was such a wonderful relaxing way to spend Memorial Day weekend.

 She has identical twin girls- Addison and McKaela. They are sweet girls and so cute, but spending the weekend with two toddlers definitely made me appreciate the simplicity of my life.

Love this girl to pieces. I can go four years without seeing her and it's like it's only been a week.

Since the kiddos were with us, it was easier to cook dinner at the house every night. This was a fantastic idea until you put the only non-mother (i.e. the one whose wine consumption far exceeded the others) in charge of the birthday cake. I straight up dropped it face down on the floor. I was SO mad at myself! Luckily Onna couldn't have cared less. And we may or may not have scraped off the top layer and ate the cake anyways.

One of the highlights of my trip was when shy little Addison let me hold her on their last day there (twice!).

This just cracks me up. Onna trying to relax on the beach while simultaneously being utilized as a jungle gym.

 Another one of my favorites- their car packed to the gills with baby shit with one lonely bottle of Tanqueray shoved in the midst.

Sorry, I had to include one last photo of my sweet niece. I love this one so much- I just want to gobble her up!