Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Green Monster.

I've made several different green monsters, and I absolutely LOVE them.  This is the recipe I'm currently using:

Two handfuls baby spinach
1/2 apple, cut into chunks
1 banana
1/2 cup chunk pineapple
Handful blueberries
Splash of vanilla almond milk
(The pictures also have a kiwi in it, but I won't be using the kiwi again--too many seeds.)

Then, just put it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Super easy! And absolutely delicious!

You can pretty much use whatever other fruit you have lying around-- strawberries, mango, oranges, etc. I also plan to add in some flaxseed, but I just haven't bought any yet. And maybe some protein powder, since there's practically none in here already.

Anybody have any tips or great add-ins for the green monster?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I am So Thoughtful.

In case you missed it, my anniversary with Donny was last Monday.  I had thought that I would make a scrapbook of our first year together, but soon realized that I am not even close to crafty enough to do that.  Not to mention, it requires a lot of supplies.  So instead I made a photo book on Shutterfly.  Since I made it not long before Mother's Day, they were running a 30% off special on the 12x12 photo book.

It took several days for me to get it all together and write what I wanted to write, but it turned out amazing.  I gave it to Donny while I was in Texas, and he loved it.  Here is some of it...


I was so pleased at how it turned out and the quality.  It was such a cool way to chronicle our first year together, and I definitely plan on making more in the future!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pass or Fail.

"Love is a Steady Climb"
Less than five minutes into the show, and we were already on our first One on One date.  This time with Chris!  They walk through downtown Charlotte and land in front of the Mint Museum, that supposedly has "the best view."  But this being the Bachelorette, they can't just take the elevator.  They have to scale the building to get up there.  And just in case this wasn't terrifying enough, they have some lightening and thunder to keep them company.

Emily starts to panic a little bit, but they make it to the top without incident.  When they land, Emily says, "I want a man that stays by my side, and Chris passed the test."  She seems to need men to PROVE their affection to her in certain ways, which is not a good indication of her emotional maturity.

At dinner, Chris tells her that he is 25.  This apparently terrifies Emily (who is what, 26?).  She is afraid he isn't ready for her life, but Chris knows what to say.  "I know I'm young, but we're similar in age. And I'm a MAN."  Trust me, Emily-- younger men are the way to go.

Then they stumble upon a random Luke Bryan concert in the middle of downtown Charlotte.  They dance, and it's sweet.  Chris makes a major no-no in my book by asking for a kiss, although it doesn't stop Emily from giving him one.  I'll overlook that minor misstep because he seems fantastic.  He gets the rose.  As he should.

"Let's Play..."
Emily takes the flock to a park and gets them excited about a day of play then abruptly leaves them alone with some soccer balls and footballs.  Because they're men-- they can entertain themselves in a park, right??  She goes to join her girls to inform them that today, they're going to be interrogators.

So, the men parade through the women like cattle, being poked and prodded and made to perform physical acts.  Sean comes out the CLEAR winner-- talks about his faith, his family, not to mention the shirtless push-ups...

At one point, Ryan thinks he'll go sweep Emily off her feet in front of her friends but only manages to put his foot in his mouth.  They're talking about how people let themselves go after they get married. Gentleman that he is, he pipes up with, "I wouldn't be okay with that.  I mean I'd still love you; I just wouldn't love ON you as much."  Well, at least he's honest, I guess??

They all leave the park and head to some lounge that is more appropriate for consuming the requisite adult beverages.  Once again, Sean takes the night.  He talks about his parents' 35 year marriage, and how he has had the perfect example of love.  I think all of us on twitter last night made a collective, "awww!" at that point.  Cut to Doug and his super sad story about him growing up in foster care.  What a juxtaposition...  Then Tony bawls like a little girl for what seems like an eternity because he's separated from his kid.  So, Emily tells him that he should probably go home, and he does, sniffling the whole way.

Of course, the rose goes to Sean, proving that Emily isn't a total moron.

"Love is a Wild Ride"
The last date of the week goes to Arie!  They take a limo then a private plane to... Dollywood.  Yep.  I grew up going to Dollywood, and it doesn't look like it has changed AT ALL.  After riding the rides, they head into the theater where they are supposed to be writing their own love song.  But, the curtain gets pulled back, and there's Dolly!!  Emily flips out.  It was pretty hilarious.  She's apparently a big Dolly Parton fan.  Dolly sings them a song that she wrote just for them, and has some words of wisdom to share with them.  Emily tells Dolly, "I want a guy that I like as much as I love."  I guess that's rare for her, which is sad to me.

Then Dolly serenades them some more while they dance.  Arie kisses her on the head, which is so dang sweet.  They go to dinner-- he tells her that he's ready for a family, and turns the tables on her a bit and asks HER the tough questions about what happened with Brad.  He's adorable, and she gives him a rose.

Rose Ceremony
And just like that, it's Rose Ceremony time!  Kalon jumps at the chance to talk to Emily since he didn't get a date this week.  I can't even begin to recap it, so I'll just give you the transcript:

Kalon: I really take it personally when I didn't get a date this week. I've never had to share much in my life, and to share you with these guys is devastating....I always have believed that my first child would be my own.  So yeah, obviously the idea of potentially embracing you and Ricki into my life, it's not how I wrote it up in my journal as a kid.

Emily:  What if [your mom] met the love of her life and he said, 'You know what? I want my first kid to be my own?'
Kalon: I love it when you talk, but I wish you'd let me finish.
Emily: [Gives Death Stare.] Okay.

Then to the camera, she says "I do like tall, skinny and funny, but I don't like tall, skinny and condescending."  Well honey, glad you've finally figured out that that's what he is-- a condescending narcissist.

The rest is a blur-- Emily breaks Shelly the Egg (at the behest of its owner, whose name I don't care to remember), Alessandro tells Emily that being the father to her child would be a compromise so he gets an express ticket home, Arie and Sean are (again) super sweet, and Ryan WILL. NOT. STOP. TALKING. 

Y'all, I liked Ryan after last week.  I wondered if he was a bit of a stalker after a seven page letter after the first date.  But, he's not a creepy stalker.  He just can't shut up!!  He'd have to go for me-- I can't take that many words being thrown at me.  Not everything has to be said out loud.

Kalon gets a rose, proving that the producers have a pretty big say-so when it comes to deciding who stays and who goes.  The odd man out at the rose ceremony is Stevie, much to Kalon's delight as evidenced by the smug grin on his face.  

Even after making it through to the next round, Ryan is jealous pissed about Arie kissing Emily during the cocktail party, so of course he has to assert how his is bigger. "He's more of a dainty man, and I'm more of a physical guy."  Um, I don't think a dude who races cars at 200mph can be considered a "dainty man," but whatevs.

Turns out, we're done with Charlotte and are heading to Bermuda next week!  

What did you ladies think?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Anniversary Weekend.

A week ago, I went back to Dallas.  It was one year to the day from the first time I went to Dallas.  Who knew then that I'd be back six more times the following year??  

Sidenote: I absolutely LOVE Southwest Airlines.  They have the best customer service, no checked bag fees, and no change fees (which I have taken advantage of multiple times).  However, their fares have gone sky high.  It's ridiculous.  Donny and I used to fly between Texas and NC for less than $100 each way.  Now, it's more than $200 each way.  INSANE.  So, back to US Airways it is since they seem to be the cheapest airfare right now.

I got to RDU fairly early and had quite a bit of time to kill.  Fortunately for me, airports are the BEST places to people-watch.

This girl was doing tricep dips AS WE WERE BOARDING.

Dude was headed to the National Beard Contest in Vegas.  

I got in on Friday night pretty late, so was bummed that I couldn't have dinner at Taco Cabana.  Not to worry-- Donny took me there for breakfast the next morning.  :)  Saturday, I met with Rachel and Donny's sister Kristi and his mom to try on bridesmaid dresses.  I had a good idea of what I liked, so we weren't there for too long.  After seeing them in the dresses, I ended up picking one that was not the one I thought I was going to choose.  But I LOVE it.  Then, we met with Donny and all had lunch at Kincaid's in Arlington.  Yum.

Saturday was also Kristi's prom night, so Donny and I went to Cleburne to see her off for her big night, stopping to see some friends while we were there.  I swear, between Donny and his mom, they got at least 600 pictures of Kristi in her prom dress.  He's so cute in big brother mode.  :)

After we left Cleburne, we went on to Lake Granbury, where we spent Saturday night and Sunday.  I can't believe that I didn't take any pictures of the hotel or of the beach that was there on the lake, but it was so pretty.  We went swimming in the lake, but the water was still pretty cold, so we weren't there too long.  We went back to the room and watched American Gangster, which is a GREAT movie.

The next morning, we got up and went to breakfast downstairs.  What is it about hotels that make some darn amazing breakfasts??  It was SO good.  Once again, I chastised myself for not taking pictures.  For lunch, we met Donny's cousin and best man, Brandon, and his wife, Britta.  They were super nice, and we had a great time.  Then, we wandered around downtown Granbury for a little while.  I absolutely love little towns like this-- they had a ton of cute shops all around a square with the courthouse in the middle.

As we drove back from Granbury, we stopped in Ft. Worth at a comic book store since Donny was on the hunt for some Captain America thing...  I felt like Penny in the Big Bang Theory.  There were a bunch of dudes in the back of the store playing Magic or some other games of the sort.  Not a one of them acknowledged my presence or made eye contact.  Even the owner of the store who was manning the cash register had an entire conversation with Donny while I was standing right there.  Never even looked at me.  I barely made it out of the store before busting out laughing.

Almost as soon as we got back on I-20 to head back to Dallas, we heard this loud noise in the back of the car.  So, we pulled off the highway onto a side street, and Donny got out to inspect the situation.

He pulled this out of the tire.  Thank goodness it hadn't punctured the inner wall of the tire, so we didn't have a flat.

While he was working on the car, I went over to say hi to this little guy who wanted to play.  I wanted to take him home with us, but Donny vetoed me.  Possibly since he was fenced in someone else's yard, but whatever.

Later that night, we went to dinner with all our friends at Abuelo's.  We had such a good time, and the food was fantastic.

clockwise from bottom left:  Julie, Rachel, Monica, Laura, Donny, Brandon, Khrystal, me, Lyn, John, and Mike.

Khrystal, me, and Lyn

On Monday, Donny had to go to work early, so my plan was to spend the day reading by the pool and soaking up some sun.  I went out to the pool and had the place to myself for a couple hours.  A little before lunch, the head of the maintenance crew came by and asked me how I had gotten in.  I told him through an open gate.  And he informed me that the gate should've been locked because pool was closed until the following weekend.  So, my pool day was cut short.  No problem.  I was prepared for the pool not to be open-- I had brought season 1 of the West Wing.  :)

After Donny got home from work, we went to dinner at Taco Cabana, picked up some happy hour cupcakes, and went to see What to Expect When You're Expecting.  It was a cute, funny movie.  Just not my fave.  I did tear up during some parts in the end though. 

Even though I knew that Monday would be our anniversary and had planned accordingly, we both totally forgot until dinner that night.  Hahaha.  

Tuesday was my last day in Dallas, so Donny took that day off of work to spend with me.  We started the day at the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens, which was absolutely gorgeous.  Thank goodness we got up and got there in the morning.  By the time we left, it was super hot, and I was sweaty.  I can't imagine if it was after lunch that we had been there...

Then we went to the Kimbell Museum to see the Impressionist exhibit.  I adore Monet but had never seen any of his work in person.  It was spectacular.  I loved it-- they had Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, and even a Manet, among many others.  

Then we stopped for lunch at Love Shack in downtown Ft. Worth, and I had one of the top-five burgers of my whole life.  Seriously, if y'all are ever near there, you need to try one.  The rest of the day/night, we chilled at home, watched baseball, went to BW3 for dinner, and made a grocery run at Target.  And all too soon, I was back at Dallas Love Field bright and early.

Just one more fantastic weekend in the books.  :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cookies, Muppets, and Louis Vuitton.

I finally got to watch the Bachelorette last night!  (For some reason, Donny didn't want to watch it while I was in Dallas on Monday night... weird.)

"Be My King in the Queen City"
First up-- the one on one date with Ryan.  He was one of my favorites from the beginning.  He's super nice and polite.  She comments more than once about how good looking he is, which apparently makes her nervous because Brad was also good looking.  (Clearly Emily has some residual baggage to deal with from Brad.) 

Their first stop was baking cookies for her kid's soccer team.  Yay?  Ryan was expecting something spectacular, but got BAKING COOKIES.  I laughed pretty hard at the face he made.  But he hung in there and ended up seemingly enjoying it.  I actually liked it a lot.  Yes, this is The Bachelorette, but I like the fact that they have at least integrated some semblance of Emily's real life.  It's not all fairy tale and craziness.  

But, of course it is a tv show, so they had to go a little over the top.  Including a Maserati and red carpet entrance to a restaurant in Charlotte followed by a "private" concert by Gloriana (who??), during which the two danced on a platform in front of 100 people.  Not weird at all...

During dinner, Ryan made it clear that he likes a chase.  Emily is concerned that after the chase is over that he'll lose interest.  She is also worried that he views her as a prize to be won. He assures her that neither is the case-- he's looking for love and is here for the "right reasons."  Then, in true damaged-girl fashion, she starts to be worried that he's "too perfect."   

Not to worry-- Mr. Too Perfect gets the rose.

"Let's Set the Stage for Love"
The thirteen (twelve? I couldn't keep count) dudes and Emily put on a variety show for the Ricky Hendrick Centers for Intensive Care at the Levine Children's Hospital.  With The MUPPETS!!  They sang, they danced, they attempted to make jokes, etc.  The guy with the head trauma (I don't remember his name) didn't want to speak in front of people, so Emily told him he could sing instead.  Is that better?  (I did love Chris Harrison and the Muppet Statler heckling from the crowd.)

The good stuff came later at the always-exciting cocktail party.  Jef has some awkward one-on-one time with Emily (which apparently is what she likes since he gets the rose).  Then Kalon and Stevie once again get into a kerfuffle (yes, it's a word).  Kalon "steals" Emily from Stevie.  Some other dude then comes and "steals" Emily from Kalon, which delights Roid Rage.  

Y'all, Kalon is annoying.  He has a bizarre speaking manner that I can't quite figure out.  Plus, he thinks he's such a smooth talker.  But, Stevie is just as annoying.  He needs to chill out.  And they both need to go home.

"Come Close to My Heart"
The last one on one date this week goes to Dawson, I mean, Joe.  Whatever.  They jet to West Virginia to some resort and spa.  Joe says all the right things, but this might be the most boring date EVER.  Emily isn't feeling it either, so he doesn't get a rose.  Adios, Dawson!  Fortunately, there wasn't a dock at this resort for him to ugly cry on...

Back at the mansion, Kalon is pissing people off left and right.  He insults both Emily and Doug about their children.  He's doing a great job as the villain so far this season.

Rose Ceremony
The guys who didn't get a date with Emily this week are anxiously awaiting their turn with her when they all realize that Ryan (of the successful one-on-one date) has squirreled Emily away.  So after a pep talk from his buds, Tony decides to go break up that party.  Only one problem-- Ryan has given Emily a letter to read.  A SEVEN PAGE LETTER.  Um, what??  So Tony gets to stand there while Emily reads it out loud.  Nope, not awkward at all...  (Side note-- Ryan is still my favorite, but this makes me wonder about him a little.)

More eye-daggers are thrown at Kalon and his Louis Vuitton luggage, but Chris Harrison comes to save the day before actual harm could be done.

Guys already with roses:  Ryan and Jef
Guys receiving roses: Arie, Michael, Nate, Sean, Chris, Doug, Travis, Tony, John/Wolf, Alessandro, Charlie, Kalon, Stevie, and Alejandro
Guys already home: Dawson
Guys going home: Aaron and Kyle

And on a totally other note, did y'all see the audition of Bree on So You Think You Can Dance??  I'm not usually one to get sucked in by a good story (I'm much more inclined to roll my eyes at a clear attempt to pull heartstrings), but I loved this.  Her daughter's dance?  ADORABLE.  Watch to the end-- you won't regret it.  (Nigel is such a softie-- love it.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's Okay.

It's okay...

... to have slept over nine hours last night and still be exhausted.  My body doesn't like me to travel apparently.

... to be more than a little excited that Dawson's Creek is now on Netflix (especially since I just re-watched the whole series just a few months ago...).

... to have missed sleeping in my own bed more than anything (and anyone) else while I was on vacay in Texas.

... to blog while at work.

... to NEED this blog planner.  A lot.

... to not care who won American Idol last night.

... but to be so stoked for So You Think You Can Dance tonight!

... to need a weekend to myself to recover from my vacay.

Monday, May 21, 2012

One Year.

One year ago today, I met the love of my life. I'm celebrating it as our anniversary. You could also count May 22 (first "date"), May 24 (first kiss) or September 5 (the day we actually officially decided we were a couple). But, I pick today because we've basically been together since then. It's so crazy to realize it's already been a whole year! But then I think back, and I see so much that's happened this past year.

I met a man, I fell in love, I traveled to Texas six times, I got engaged, I started planning a wedding, I lost a mentor at work, I lost my work BFF, I've gotten a raise and a promotion, I was a victim of crime, I made new friends... It's been quite a year. 


And through everything, Donny's been with me. (Well, not "with" me, since we're separated by half a country, but you get the point.) This next year is going to be full of even more changes-- finally living in the same state, getting married, etc.-- and I can't wait for them as long as he's with me. :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Season Finales!

Boob Tube Babble

Well, it's that time of year again.  Season (and series) finale time.  It's always bittersweet-- usually the last several episodes of the season are the best, but they're also the last for several months.  Boo.

SPOILER ALERT:  If you haven't watched the finales, you might want to stop here...

Grey's Anatomy:  Holy cow, y'all.  What an emotional night.  I was NOT prepared for Lexie to die.  I love her and Mark, and I'm so sad they're not gonna get together.  Could not care less about Teddy though. My friend Julie made a very valid point-- they had to do something that will keep all the other players in Seattle.  Guess this will do it!  All in all, probably my least favorite finale this year.

Modern Family:  Is it just me or did this season get very not funny?  Hope they rebound next year.

Private Practice: OMG... Can we NOT be done with Addison/Sam??  She better pick Jake.

Big Bang Theory:  Loved Howard & Bernadette's wedding!!  Now here's a show that keeps me laughing season to season.

The Good Wife:  I was a little disappointed in the finale.  Kalinda has a secret husband, Alicia doesn't go back home.  Whatever.  Nothing dramatic.  I was surprised how much I ended up liking Peter this season.  I like how they've redeemed him little by little.

HIMYM: Duh, Robin is the bride.  I called that last September.  Even Stripper Quinn couldn't stop the Robin and Barney train.  Although I was surprised at the Ted and Victoria turn of events.  I hated her in season 1, but once she re-appeared earlier this year, I realized that the reasons I found her annoying were why she was perfect for Ted.  However, she's not the mother, so whatever.

New Girl:  This show got SO GOOD this year.  It ended up being one of my favorites after I almost quit watching it in the fall.  I'm glad Nick decided to stay, but it's too soon for him and Jess to get together.  I love Schmidt.  Just throwing that out there.

Yes, I know this pic is from the other week.  But I laughed so hard at this that I couldn't resist.

Parks and Rec: Love the show.  Didn't love the finale.  It was good, not amazing.  Although Tom and Ann crack me up.  And Andy and April.  And Ron.  And Chris.  And Leslie and Ben.

Smash:  Another winner of the finale wars.  I wanted to hate Dev after he hooked up with Ivy, but I kind of felt sorry for him.  Even though he was so stupid.  Ivy knew exactly what she was doing though, and I hate her for it.  It's funny, she was more sympathetic earlier on but ended up being really horrible.  Am I the only one that really likes Derek??  (I loved Jack Davenport on Coupling too, so maybe I'm just projecting...)

Gossip Girl:  Ivy/Charlie/Lola, whoever.  She's annoying.  Both of them.  I'm kind of ready for this show to be over.  It's been good, it's sucked.  Just get Chuck and Blair back together, and we can all move on with our lives.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend Recap.

This weekend was pretty low key, which was nice.  I went shopping, did some laundry, began my pre-packing for my trip next week, read some in my book, and watched a lot of baseball.  I also kicked Emily's butt at Scramble.

Friday evening, my mom and dad and I went to Red, Hot and Blue.  None of us had ever been there before, but we were taste-testing it to see if they would be a good option to cater our rehearsal dinner.  (For the record, the answer to that question is NO.)

I'm such a lightweight that by the time I drank this much of my delicious Sam Adams Summer Ale, I was feeling a buzz.  My mother thought this was hilarious. 

At least the banana pudding was good! 

Then we went to Costco, where I bought an ungodly amount of strawberries.  And my parents got some beautiful hydrangea for both of their mothers.

Sunday, we had our Mother's Day celebration at my parents' house with both of my grandmothers.

My brother helping make lunch.

The Grill Master hard at work. 


Me and Mom.

Our delicious spread. 

It was also Drew's birthday celebration, even though it was a little late...

The big 2-5!

Drew and me with Mom. 

And with Nana. 

And Mamaw. 

My mom, her mom, and my aunt Karen. 

Sunday was also Andy Pettitte's first game back in the majors.  Sadly, the Yankees lost, but I am SO GLAD to see him back in pinstripes!

Hope you all had a great weekend and Mother's Day!  :)