Thursday, February 28, 2013

february faves

I cannot believe today is the last day of my birthday month!  February has been fun but's what I loved about the past 28 days:

1) All of my bird day festivities

My parents came in town the weekend before my birthday, and my friends helped me celebrate the week after!  I could definitely feel the love while I turned the big 2-4.

Here's a link to my original post!
Click here to read all about our paint party!

2) The start of American Idol

American Idol is one of my favorite shows, and it has been for a LONG time (I picked Kelly Clarkson from the moment I saw her on season 1).  I was excited to see the new panel of judges this year!  So far, I am loving Keith's sweet spirit and Nicki's random/funny/hardass attitude, but I am not the biggest Mariah fan.  I wish JLo would come back!

Austin and I have an early favorite, Angie Miller.  She sang an original song during the last round of "Hollywood Week", and it was beautiful.  I can't wait to see more of her on the live shows!

3) The love I felt on Valentine's Day

I got cards in the mail from my mom and dad on the big day, and my "special someone" (Austin) made the day really great for me.  He cooked me a steak dinner, got me my favorite ice cream, gave me a sweet card, brought me flowers, and let me pick the movie we watched!  We had a really great celebration.

We kept the love rollin' the weekend after V-day at Beaumont Ranch.  It was Austin's first time to ride a horsie, and I got a kick out of watching him in the saddle!

Click here to find out more about our trip!

4) My new gadget

I am LOVING my new iPad mini.  I use it every day!  My favorite thing to do on it is read or look at my favorite sites (facebook, instagram, etc.) in bed.  It's so nice to have something a little bit smaller that does everything my laptop does.  If you're thinking about getting one of these bad boys, do it!

5) Good Reads

Good Reads is an app I stumbled upon while I was snooping around the store on my iPad.  It is kind of like facebook but with actual books.  I have my own little profile, and I can list all the books I have read, am currently reading, and want to read in the future.  I can rate the books I've already finished (on a scale of 1-5 stars), and I can look at my friends' profiles to see what books they've read and how they rated them.  I'm liking it a lot!  I am currently reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult, and I'm thinking this one is worth about 4 or 5 stars.  

I hope you guys had a fabulous February!  I'm looking forward to the warmer temps and week off (for Spring Break) in about you?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

last week's menu

Last Sunday seemed like a good day for chili.  The All-Star basketball game thing was on TV, so I made a big ol' pot, and we scooped it on top of some hot dogs.  I have a chili go-to recipe thanks to my girl Jenna at, and it never disappoints.
I found my chili dog side dish on Pinterest, and I was excited to try these out.  They are basically conbread-stuffed jalapenos.  The end result was great!  I'm not a jalapeno fan, but Austin is, and he said they were awesome.  These are a wonderful thing to make with chili, and they really were not that hard to assemble.  Give 'em a try!
I was rushing around a bit come Tuesday of last week, so I decided to go "semi-homemade".  I served this beef and broccoli from P.F. Chang's freezer section over a big heap of white rice.

This turned out to be "just ok".  This was fine since we were in a time crunch, but I probably won't be buying it again.

I was back to full-fledged cooking on Wednesday.  I gave this enchilada skillet, another Pinterest find, a try, and it was a hit!  Austin liked it a lot!

Here's the enchilada skillet
I served this up with some fresh avocado slices and lots of corn.  If you can't tell from my food posts, I LOVE me some avocado and corn.  I think I serve those two things pretty much every time I make Mexican food.

The final thing I made last week included something that I'm kind of obsessed with at the moment: a sweet potato.  I had a little bit of chili leftover, so I stuck that and some cheese on top of a tater.  Good golly miss Molly.  That was GOOD.  At first, I wasn't sure about the combo, but it turned out really well.  Try it out for a quick, simple dinner!

I hope everyone is having a happy hump day!  Only 3 more days until the weekend and 8 more days until Spring Break!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

weekend update

Whew!  We had a busy weekend!  Friday night and Saturday were spent having a good time and Sunday was all about getting stuff done.  I think it was the perfect balance of fun and productivity...

My Uncle Mike gave Austin and I a Pappa's gift card for Christmas, and it has been burning a hole in my wallet.  We didn't have dinner plans on Friday, so we headed out to grab some seafood at Pappadeaux.  Since Friday was "national margarita day" and all, we had some beverages while we waited!

I ordered the seafood mixed grill, and Austin had a salad and oysters.  I love getting to go eat with my man...we always have a good time.

On Saturday, it was time for an adventure!  I taught my ballerina babies in the morning, and then Austin and I headed to Beaumont Ranch!

I found a Groupon for this place a month or so ago, and I thought it would be something fun for the two of us to do.  We checked into our cabin (the "Charles") around 3:30.  I'm not really sure why our room was named after an old man, but it was a cool spot with a very comfortable bed.

Once we were all settled in, it was time to hit the trail.  We headed over to the stables to check out our horsies...

Austin got to ride "Happy" the horse.  

I am actually kind of unclear about the name of my horse, though.  See, our trail boss had a little bit of an accent, so I didn't really understand what he said my horse was called.  To me, it sounded like he said, "Esbeache" (pronounced S-Beech-Ay), but Austin told me that he thought the horse was actually named "Beachy".  I just called him Tom.

Austin and I look pretty good all saddled up, don'tcha think?!

The trail ride was really fun.  It was the perfect temperature outside, and the scenery was really purdy.  Here are some of the scenes I saw:

Once the ride was over we waddled back to "Charles" and got cleaned up for our Chuckwagon Dinner.  We ate in a barn that was bumpin' with the tunes of a country band.  We filled up on all things BBQ, listened to the band, and did some people watching (Beaumont Ranch is pretty big, so there were quite a few families, couples, and big groups there).

We came back to the "city" relatively early yesterday morning, and I got down to business.  Dishes were cleaned, laundry was washed, dried, and put away, the weekly menu and shopping list was made, and DVRs were purged.  We ended the day with a delicious dinner of crawfish and oysters with friends.

Like I said, it was the perfect blend of work and play.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!!

I'm trying something new and linking up with Sami today!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I have been slack-a-lacking with the food posts recently, but we've been a little crazy around here with my b-day and v-day and all.  But enough excuses, let's see what's been cookin'...

I made these "power enchilidas" about two weeks ago.  They were scrumptious.  I'm not too sure what makes them "powerful", but I think it might be the grated zucchini...

Here's a link to the recipe!

I served these up with some pinto beans and a couple of avocado slices.  Austin loved loved loved these!

I also made some Italian Chicken recently.  This stuff was also very yummy.  I love the toppings that go with the chicken...artichoke hearts, kalamatta olives, cherry tomatoes, oh my!  I put the finished chicken on top of some pasta and next to a big ol' pile of green beans.

Click here for the recipe.

This pineapple chicken quesadilla recipe was my favorite of the past few weeks.  I got the idea from The Pioneer Woman.  Does Ree ever make anything that's bad?  She is definitely my go-to-girl for a delicious dinner.

Try it yourself!

I served these with a sweet and simple fruit salad.  Austin, Zac, and I gobbled these right up!

I also made some regular ol' lasagna with a side of corn and garlic bread.  I always just use the lasagna recipe from the box.  Maybe one of these days I'll get crazy and use a fancy recipe, but for now, the box is my go to!

Another favorite from the recent past were these BBQ sweet potatoes.  I needed an easy, quick meal last week, so I bought some pre-cooked pulled pork and slapped it on top of a baked tater.  The combo of sweet potato with tangy BBQ sauce was the BOMB.

The last thing I want to show you guys is this lovely dinner Austin made for me this past Friday.  We had a wonderful Balentine's celebration complete with this giant steak, a big bunch of roasted asparagus, and a baked potato.  You'll have to ask chef Austin for the official recipe :)  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

birthday weekend #2

This past weekend was my bird day number two!  I had a little party with a bunch of my pals on Saturday afternoon and then we went to dinner.  It was a great day!!

Here we all are at Painting With a Twist:

If you've never heard of these painting places, you basically get a private painting class where you can bring your own wine and snacks.  My sister helped me stock our food table...

Here is the progression of my painting! 

 I thought all of our artwork turned out great!  I think I'll hang ours in the kitchen...
Austin and Me

The Boys

The Girls

The Group
Like I said, we went to dinner after all the painting was over at Bryan Street Tavern.  I had the wings.  Yum.

I have to give a shoutout to Austin for planning my whole birthday extravaganza!  He is so sweet for organizing everything...I'm lucky lucky lucky :)

**We first heard about Painting With a Twist from Austin's old work.  Read about our maiden voyage here: PWaT!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

birthday weekend #1

Today is my bird day!  I'm the big 2-4...whew, I feel kind of old. 

My parents came to town to celebrate my birthday this weekend!  Here are some of the highlights:

We started Saturday off with lunch at one of my favorite spots, Park Tavern.  We got the hummus to start, and I munched on a delicious spinach salad for my main course.  

After lunch, we did a little shopping and went to see Lincoln.   

Jimbo, Sherbo, and Me

Austin and Me
The movie was pretty good...I just kind of felt like I was in History class again.  Austin and I are going to see Argo tonight, so hopefully that one is a little more exciting.

We had dinner at Iron Cactus on Saturday night.  We had never been there before, and we all really enjoyed it.  We got to sit on the 3rd floor patio (a rare occurance on my birthday since it's always freezing!), and the view was awesome!  The food and drinks were excellent.  I think we'll definitely be back.

Once we were back home, I opened my presents and we played cards.  I love hanging with the's one of my favorite things to do!

Austin and I  went over to our friends Zac and Cody's house for the big game on Sunday.  We "tailgated" for awhile on the grassy knoll outside their apartment, and then it was time for the game and some food!

We had venison burgers with beans, chips & guac, and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  I betcha can't guess which thing I brought ;)

Like I said, Austin and I are going out tonight, and then I have a big celebration with friends this coming weekend! I am a very lucky birthday girl!