Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Happy Tuesday, guys! I hope everyone had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend. I spent mine with family, and that always equals a good time.

Today I am in still in Houston because my dad, Jimbo Chan Chan, is having surgery. Everything should go smoothly, and he will be totally fine, but there will definitely be a little bit of a recovery period. So, if you're the praying kind, send some up for my daddy today and in the coming weeks.

Enjoy your short week, and I will see you guys later to discuss my current life happenings, including but not limited to: avoiding hospital boredom, the best cookie I ever ate, and being mocked by my students because of the way I run.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


One of my favorite bloggers (Jenna) does posts every now and then about her instagram account.  I thought I'd do something similar today.  So here's what's been going on with my favorite little app, instagram.  

dinner prep, pool side sno-cones, rosemary bread with olive oil herb dip, sassy gals at the studio, sherbo and me, kickball champs, browning some short ribs, throwback thursday: dance recital edition.

If you want to follow me on insta, my username is @jlchandler8911.  I'm "private" because I don't need any pesky 7th graders following me, but I'll approve almost anyone over the age of 18! :)
Happy hump day!

Friday, May 17, 2013

our wedding: a date and a place

Well, we did it.  Austin and I picked a date and a place for our upcoming nuptials!!  After a lot (a lot a lot) of searching, we decided on a lovely spot called Ashton Gardens in the DFW area.  

The chapel is connected to a reception area, so it's a one stop spot, which I love.  The two spaces are connected by a cute little walkway (as seen in that picture of Austin and me up there).
The lovely people at AG also provide us with a wedding coordinator to help run the show, and our package includes all the food, drinks, tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, cake cutters, parking for guests, a slide show TV, a photo booth, etc. etc.  One of my favorite things about this place is that there's not a bunch of additional fees for every little thing.  They have all of the stuff there, so if we need something, we've got it!  

The picture below shows the front of the chapel, and the building to the right is a hallway that connects it to the reception room.

This is what the chapel looks like on the inside:

Note: The woman in this picture is not me

I love the wooden beams and the cozy feel.  We didn't want a giant church with a bunch of empty pews while we were saying our "I dos", so this space that seats a smaller number of guests (about 300) is perfect!

And here's how the reception area is set up:

The dance floor is not pictured, but it's there (duh...the barefoot BALLERINA has got to have a place to get her groove on!).  My favorite part about this room is the windows.  I love that the whole building is surrounded by trees...it feels like a fairytale!  I'm also a big fan of the chairs.  They are comfy and do not resemble those tiny wedding chairs that could be used for kindling.  

There is also a gorgeous staircase that Austin and I can walk down once we're introduced as "Mr. & Mrs." for the first time:

Again, that lady is not me

I think we've got the perfect spot.  I can't wait for June 20, 2014!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

taste of tuesday: our trip to simply fondue

Last weekend (before sickgate 2013), Austin and I went to a restaurant in Dallas called "Simply Fondue".  There is a similar place in Houston (The Melting Pot) that I'd always wanted to try, so I was excited about our fondue experience. 

If you haven't been to/heard of these places, they're basically like mini versions of Benihana's.  You sit at a table with your party, and there is a stove burner in the middle where you either dip stuff into a pot or cook stuff on a skillet. 

Austin and I chose the "house favorite" which gives each person a salad, cheese course, 6 meats with veggies for the main course, and a chocolate fondue for dessert.  It was all delicious!!

In the picture up there you can see our salad, cheese pot, and chef Austin cooking our meats and veggies.  We chose steak, bacon-wrapped filet, shrimp, garlic-crusted chicken, scallops, and fish for our main course meats.

And here's my favorite part: the dessert!  We got a "campfire pot" which had melted chocolate, graham cracker crumbs, and toasted marshmallows that we stirred in once they were melted.  This was SO yummy.  Once all of our dipping stuff (brownies, pound cake, strawberries, bananas, cherries, etc.) was gone, I just ate the chocolate with my fondue fork.
This place was really cool, and we had a great time! It's not somewhere we would frequent (it's funny that you pay all that money and have to cook your own food!), but it was a fun experience.  We both agreed that it would be a good place to go on a first or second date because it gives you something to do (in case the conversation isn't flowing too well). 
Have you guys ever been to a place like Simply Fondue?!  What did you think? 

Monday, May 13, 2013

mother's day weekend update

Well, it's been awhile, but I'm back!  I'm pretty sure I had some weird combination of swine flu, chicken pox, and polio last week becuase I felt like a big ol' bucket of pig slop from Sunday afternoon-Friday morning.  Below, you will see my views for the majority of last week:

I stared at a mug full of tea at my desk all day and a mug full of tea from my bed all evening/night. 

However, I started feeling better on Friday, and that was good because I had big plans for my weekend!  It was Mother's Day yesterday (duh), so Austin and I headed down to Houston to see our mamas. 

I usually find that I can break my weekends into two categories: what we did and what we ate...

Here's some highlights of what we did:
Top: my goofy grandma with a beautiful bow in her hair, making my own k-cup variety pack at this cool store in Houston, pretty mother's day flowers.
Side: my mom's bird feeder...ah!!
Bottom: Sherbo and me :)
And here's what we stuffed down our gullets:
Breakfast, giant buger, ice cream, steak and potatoes, shrimps!
It was a really fun weekend...I hope you had a great day, Sherbo!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

grubbin' up

Howdy howdy!  I'm here with a BUNCH of recipes for y'all today.  Some of these are awesome, some are not so great, but I'm here as your guide and taste tester.  Follow along...

Up first?  Buffalo chicken tacos.  I've made 'em before, and I'll definitely make 'em again.  These are perfect for anyone who loves a good buffalo/ranch combo.

Here's where I found these tacos

Here's one for the "not so great" category.  I saw this hummus crusted chicken on pinterest, and I was very intrigued.  I like chicken, and I loooove hummus, so I gave it a shot.  

As you can see, the whole thing came out very liquid-y.  Bleh.  The chicken was moist, and it tasted okay, but this just wasn't my fave.  I'll be de-pinning this as soon as I find the time to organize my boards.

In case you want to try the chicken

These BBQ shrimp had awesome flavor, but next time I am going to buy bigger shrimp.  These were so...shrimpy.  Ha.

Click here for the shrimp recipe

Ok, here's my pick of the week.  Crock pot short ribs in a cabernet sauce.  Good Lord.  I can't explain how good these were.  I wish I could afford to buy ribs every week so I could make this all the time.  If you try this (and you definitely should), mashed potatoes on the side is a must.  The taters soak up all the sauce and it is divine.

Get the rib recipe here

Stuffed peppers are another staple around here.  They're not my favorite, but Austin goes buck wild when I make them, so I let him go to town and I just eat the insides with a tortilla.  

Here's the link for the stuffed peppers

More crock pot goodness can be found with these beef carnitas.  This is the second time I've made these, and they do not disappoint!

Click here to get the recipe

Austin played chef and made me this lemon garlic chicken, and it was very good.  It's not the healthiest, but I think the extra calories are worth it!

Here's where I found the chicken

Alright, that's all I've got in terms of dinner, but you know I've gotta end on something sweet.  These oatmeal cookies are so simple but ridiculously delicious.  Two pointe shoes up from the barefoot ballerina.

Get the recipe here

Hopefully you guys found something you might want to munch on soon.  Here's to hoping today goes by quick because tomorrow is Fri to the day.  Woot woot!