Friday, June 28, 2013

on becoming a football fan

Normally I love listing five things on Fridays, but I got the low-key week I asked for last week (yay!) so I don't really have many fun tidbits today. Luckily, blog land is ripe with link-ups so I thought I would try one that's new to me: Fan Friday.

Venus Trapped in Mars

I grew up completely disinterested in sports. I remember getting in trouble in 7th grade PE because I refused to learn the rules of football. I made it through two years of high school band and football games never understanding a minute of the game.

So wouldn't you know, I fell in love with a sports nut?

My husband jokes that it's convenient that we started dating the week of the Super Bowl. He refers to that as boring sports time. If it were football season or maybe even baseball season, he may not have had the time to start a real relationship.

Andrew grew up in Brooklyn and was raised to be a fan of the New York Giants (he was also raised to be a Yankees fan, but that didn't stick). Really, he's a huge sports fan in general. There isn't a day that he doesn't watch SportsCenter for at least a few minutes. This was a completely new world to a sports newbie like me.

When football season rolled around the first year we were together, I mostly left him alone. He plays Fantasy Football and let's just say he is tethered to the TV all day long. I went shopping and took lots of naps.

Once we moved in together, I started staying home and hanging out on the couch during football. After a little while, I started paying more attention - at least during the Giants games. I learned that you can never count on the Giants, even if they are ahead by a ton. That Eli Manning is amazing under pressure but loves to get himself into tough situations. That you get four chances to get a first down. Easy stuff like that. It started to be fun to watch this silly game with my person.

Engagement pics, April 2010.

It was probably in late 2007 when the Giants made it into the playoffs that I actually started to care about football. I got to know the players better and started yelling at the TV right along with Andrew. I remember watching the game that got the Giants into the Super Bowl. My father-in-law was in town and he and Andrew were screaming matching expletives at the players and Tom Coughlin. The Giants won the game and lots of jumping and happy yelling happened. Honestly, I didn't know if I had ever seen my then-boyfriend happier until that moment.

The Giants had to face the 18-0 Patriots in the Superbowl and NO ONE thought they would win. In a hard-fought game (apparently the only way this team knows how to play), they won. More jumping happened, and suddenly, I had a team.

The Groom's cake at our wedding. These are characters from Lost on the Lost island wearing Giants jerseys because A just couldn't pick between his two loves. Ben Linus on the far right is still in a Ziploc in our fridge three years later. This photo and the onle above from Lindsay Elizabeth Photography.

It was easy to start liking the Giants when they were winners. I have learned since that they aren't always so likable. Eli's aw shucks face is not cute when the clock is running out... But, I decided to join my husband's team and I kind of like it. I spend Sundays on the couch sporting one of my five (!) Giants t-shirts and wishing they could just take a lead and keep it. It didn't suck when they won another Super Bowl in 2012. But last season, when they didn't even make it into the playoffs and everyone in Houston was gloating about the Texans getting in? That wasn't my favorite.

Becoming a football fan is not something I ever thought would happen. It's nice that we can bond over the wins and losses together. It forces him to talk to me during games (I still don't know what all of the penalties mean or why coaches do certain things). Plus, there are good drinks and great snacks involved. Also, there's dancing. Are you familiar with Victor Cruz? He is only the most entertaining player in the NFL.

Via Why yes, we do salsa along when he scores a touchdown.

So, I'm kind of looking forward to football season in the fall. I hope the Giants have a great season. And I guess if they don't there's always the Texans next year.

Are you a sports fan? Who's your team? Or do you love to hate a team because someone you love loves it?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Influenster VoxBox Spring 2013 Reviews

I shamelessly asked on twitter if anyone had an extra invite to become an Influenster. One retweet by them and about twenty offers later, I was part of the club.

I must admit, I don't really get how the badges and stuff work. But I do like free stuff and I do like telling you what I think so here we are.

(If you didn't know, Influenster is a company that basically sends you free stuff to review via social media. You sign up, tell them your interests, and then do different things to earn badges and such).

So, let's get to the freebies cool products, shall we?

TastyKakes S'more Kandy Bar Cake - I love anything with s'mores in the title, so it was like Influenster knew me. My box actually came while I was in DC and Andrew almost ate this without me. We shared it (half the calories, yay! Because these are definitely a treat...) and neither of us loved it. There wasn't enough marshmallow and the cake, which was graham-flavored, was a little strange-tasting. I will say that when TastyKakes began to get more popular in Texas (last spring?), Andrew and I went on a huge kick with them and liked them a lot. Then I looked at the nutrition info and needed to back way off. So, TastyKakes are yummy, but this flavor wasn't for me.

Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant - Icky Confession: I feel like I need the prescription-strength deodorant, so that is all I have bought for several years. Hot temps + stressful job = extra protection all the time! However, I was really impressed by this. I have not tried it on a busy outdoors day, but I have worn it to the gym and at work on an event day and it didn't let me down! Plus, it really is clear, which is great for sleeveless tops and dresses.

(The photo of the wrapper of the cake wasn't very cute and I keep forgetting to take a pic of the deodorant!)

Now the make-up... coming from someone who barely wears it, take this for what you will...

Broadway Nails imPress Press-On Manicure - I haven't worn fake nails since I got play ones as a kid. I am a short nail girl all the way. I got some that were a solid purpley color. I thought they were really easy to apply and the nailbed sizes worked really well for my hands (which I think are relatively small). I liked that the kit came with so many sizes. However, for me, they were a bit long. I felt like they were too much, but I mostly attribute that to them being out of my comfort zone. I wore them to dinner (Mexican food), so I was using my hands, then I washed some dishes and took a shower when I got home. I noticed they seemed a little loose in the shower and if I wanted to, I could have pulled them off. However, I didn't and they seemed to re-set when I was fully dry. I took them off the next morning and they were really easy to remove and didn't make my nails feel weak or anything. I would consider getting them again for a special occasion or if I want long nails without an expensive manicure!

In package

Obligatory nail shot

NYC New York Color Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm - This was like LipSmackers for adults. It "tastes" very sweet, which is sometimes good but sometimes weird. I liked the light color; it was perfect for a low make-up weekend trip to the grocery store. It didn't have the best staying power, but I liked keeping it in my purse for days that I need a little something besides bare lips. Plus, NYC make-up is always so cheap, this is definitely worth the money!

Since I've been getting up early to carpool, I've been doing my make-up in the car in the mornings. Even in this crappy pic, though I think you can see the difference.

And finally... my favorite...

Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS Dust It - When I got this, I had no idea what it was. Basically, it's a white powder. You dump some in your hair, rub it through, and BOOM, instant body. This was great on my second day hair or in a ponytail for a little oomph. It added great texture and I have already encouraged my coworkers to get it. It's a little more than what I normally spend on products, but I think it's worth it!

Before and After. Covered my face because it was 5:45 a.m and there was no make-up and awful light and I just didn't want that on the internet. But see the lift and the body it adds? I pretty much love it.

So have I convinced you? These products were pretty awesome on the whole and I really liked the program!

I received these products for free in order to review them, but all opinions are my own!

thursday bullets

Thursdays are the days where I just want to talk about the things I've noticed this week, so let's get on that...

- Tuesday Night. The Texas Senate. Were you watching? As a Texan and a woman, I was nowhere near as educated as I should have been on the issue (thanks for teaching me, twitter). Following the filibuster on youtube and twitter was just... witnessing history, ya know? No matter your beliefs on the issue, I think we can all agree that the people were definitely heard. I call that democracy, though I know others call that "an unruly mob." And that's all I have to say about that.

- I was going to blog about how I went to the US Supreme Court in May but the post was boring so here's the short version: you can't talk and it's very serious. The building is very stately, for lack of a better word. Clarence Thomas was just chilling out, leaning back in his chair. Justice Roberts and Justice Ginsburg came and visited our group and spent a few minutes with us. Justice Ginsburg is very soft spoken and she loves spending time with her grandchildren. Fun fact: last summer, after the healthcare ruling came down, Justice Roberts went to Malta to teach summer school for the program that my law school coordinates. The paparazzi followed him. He is going to Prague this weekend to teach again so I will have to see if I can get any inside scoop on this week's ruling.

- At work we are working on our annual reviews. It always stresses me out because I want to fit everything in but then I get to go through my "Good Things" file with the nice emails I've received for the past year and I have to admit, it's a great feeling.

- Blogging is hard this week. Am I just in a rut? I need content that isn't link-ups.

- One of the Deans was trying to see if he could copy a few pages from an Amazon e-book today and since he was in my office, I pulled up my Amazon account to play with it. I opened Bossypants without paying attention and of course the page I chose to demonstrate with was about breastfeeding. I know it's natural, but it was awkward...

- I watched Catfish while I did Brooke's workout from earlier this week and I kinda didn't get it. Maybe it wasn't entertaining because there was a happy ending? What did I miss? And PS, her workout kind of killed me. I thought it would be easy. My spaghetti arms say it was not.

- I thought this post was lacking something and I realized it's wine. Normally I type these with wine but tonight? No wine in this house. Because wine. Please click that link if you don't already get it.

Do you read the Bloggess? What do you blog about when life seems pretty boring? Am I totally crazy to *gasp* write a post, sans photos?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

how to know when you have achieved true cat lady status

If you've spent more than about 10 seconds following me via social media, then you'll know that I have a cat named Bauer who I love and adore. But what the cute pictures don't tell you is that he's kind of a jerk.

Via. Bauer does this pretty much every night across Andrew's side of the bed.

I have had Bauer five years this fall, and in that time, I have become a cat lady. I know that the typical cat lady stereotype has multiple cats and lives alone, but I am here to tell you that you can be a cat lady or cat man, no matter your marital status or number of cats, simply by arranging your home to fit the whims of your feline friend.

In my house, we can't keep toilet paper on the roll or else Bauer scratches it and ruins it. We keep it in a trendy Jonathan Adler box on the back of the toilet bowl.

Not my house, but same idea. Even though it's Jonathan Adler, it's still not cute. Via.

Our carpet? Well, it doubles as a scratching post. Bauer's real scratching post is right there on the same rug, but he usually isn't in the mood for it, so the carpet is the preferred alternative.

Since Bauer was a kitten, we have disciplined him by spraying him with water from a spray bottle. If I want to lean over and give my husband a goodnight kiss, I have to hope I don't get smacked in the face with the spray bottle. We have to sleep with it between our pillows so if the cat is bad in the middle of the night, we can discipline him with minimal effort.

I've seen this glare from my cat more than once. Via.

Forget about sleeping through the night. At any given time during the night, Bauer wants to snuggle. Does he hop in bed on his own? NO. He scratches at the carpet at the foot of the bed, waits for me to get out of bed, feet on the floor to walk to Andrew's side of the bed, walks across Andrew's feet, and up the center of the bed to snuggle with me. Thanks kitty, you are cute and warm, but did we really need to go through that every.single.night?

And my favorite? Bauer likes to lay under the bed. When he wants attention (usually in the middle of the night), he climbs on his back and mechanic crawls the length of the bed, putting his claws in at every move and waking me up. So now we have under bed bins and pillows shoved under there to give him one less chance to be a huge pain. And you can see them hanging out . Reallll classy. Thanks, cat.

But when I get home every day and he's there to greet me? And he races me to the bedroom so we can have snuggle time? It's all worth it... until he gets tired of snuggle time and decides to bite me. Then he's a jerk again.

I can't resist his little grey face! Pretty sure he could be a kitty model, but I don't want him to go all Hollywood on me.

Have you had to alter your house for a pet? Are you living like a cat lady, too?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dosants are not Cronuts

If the words in the title of this post mean nothing to you, don't worry, I'll explain!

I was really looking forward to this weekend. Sadly, there was lots of work to be done so it really wasn't one of my favorites of the recent past. But, my husband gave me a pep talk to remind me WHY we were doing chores and not having fun and that helped me be less bummed about it. A little.

The highlight of Friday? Drinking wine and watching Friends.

If you follow me on Instagram, most of these are repeats. If you don't, you can: laurenm10

On Saturday, my crazy husband got up at 4 a.m. to smoke a brisket. It was done around 5 p.m. and it was pretty delicious for his first one. In between checking the fire, we cleaned out the garage and found tons of his old family photos. I have quite the project ahead of me in sorting, organizing, and getting all of these photos in albums, but the really cute pictures of Baby Andrew make it worth it!

This was also consumed this weekend - canned sparkling Moscato. It was pretty good for $3.50 a can!

Have you heard of cronuts? They are a croissant - donut hybrid developed by a pastry chef in NYC and they are apparently insanely good. People line up for hours to get one. They are $5 each and you can only get two per person. The chef has trademarked the name "cronut" because he clearly knows that he has a great idea. Anyway, being the food-loving person that I am, I heard about these about a month ago and of course wanted to try one, but I have no plans to go to NYC until December. Last week I heard that a place in Pearland called Pena's Donut Heaven made their own version of the cronut, called a dosant (the "sant" is pronounced like the end of "croissant") so OF COURSE I wanted to try it. (Those of you not in Houston - I live in Katy, a suburb of Houston about 30 miles west of downtown. Pearland is another suburb about 10 miles southeast of downtown - much closer than NYC!)

So Andrew woke me up at 7 a.m. on Sunday so we could see if they were worth the hype. I was pretty excited - the Houston food press said these were pretty good. We drove out there and there was surprisingly no line at the shop. This place makes four flavors - cream cheese, strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry. There is a two per person limit, so we got one of each flavor, a boudin kolache, and a pair of lattes (non-Texans may not know what kolaches are either. They are pretty much the best breakfast food ever. Meat + cheese enclosed in soft bread. There are also fruit kolaches which are completely different. Happy to educate you if you want to know more.)

So we get our lattes and they were both really good. I noticed that the dosant icing was a little - bright? But I ignored it. I tried to the cream cheese first and Andrew had the raspberry. The cream cheese flavor inside the dossant was like cream cheese mixed with cupcake frosting - too sugary sweet. The pastry was layered like a croissant would be, but each layer was thick and chewy and not light and fluffy. The pastries were fried and then covered in more sugar. It was a sickly sweet, dense mess.

See how neon the icing was? At least the coffee was good!

I hoped that the fruit flavors would add a lightness to the taste, but... no. The raspberry was the most tolerable of the three fruity ones, but that might just be because my palate was tired of sugar by the time I tried the other two. While I wanted real raspberry flavor, I got the faux raspberry taste found in kool-aid. The blueberry was the worst of the bunch. I could barely finish the bite I took and said it was like a pop-tart. The strawberry was the last I sampled and the filling resembled overly sweet strawberry flavored cream cheese. All of the dosants were a total mess. I was bummed that we had driven that far and that these supposedly amazing creations were pretty much awful!

(Andrew really liked the kolache, though, for what that's worth. But not enough to need to go back.)

I spent the rest of Sunday running errands and cleaning out closets. Gotta get the house ready to try to sell! Hope you had a great weekend! Linking up...

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, June 21, 2013

on fridays we list five things

That is how blogland works. That is also how you justify linking up your blog so you can make new friends. So, thanks blog hosts and hello new friends. I'm Lauren, nice to meet you.

This week has been super uneventful at home and work. Uneventful is way better than a leak in the ceiling or replacing the AC though, so I will take it!

1) Andrew and I carpooled this morning and were both in the silliest moods. He decided to put on Adele and we tried to sing along in the weirdest voices we could come up with. I absolutely love Adele but no one can sing like she can, especially when they are trying to be ridiculous. It was a great way to start my Friday and I highly recommend it!

2) My boss said I could leave early today and laughed when I said "done!" without asking why. Who asks why? Just go if the boss says it's okay.

3) I drank the Erin Condren kool-aid and ordered a life planner last week (did I already blog about this?) In my defense, I had a gift card so that made the horrificially expensive planner only horribly expensive. Do you have one? Did you use it? I use a planner for work already and I am hoping that the expense + cute factor of this one makes me use it for home stuff, too. It's supposed to ship on Monday so expect an update.

4) Tomorrow we are cleaning the garage and as much as I am dreading it, I know it's a necessary step in selling our house. Dear Husband, I will be a much nicer wife if you wake me up with coffee and donuts.

5) I have a problem in that if someone talks about food or asks a question via social media, I pretty much have to respond. The question thing is like leaving someone hanging when they try to give you a high five - I want them to at least have one answer. And the food thing is just sharing the wealth... I mean I know I'm the one who consumed all these calories, but I don't want my hard work of trying out so many restaurants in the city to be in vain. Friends don't let friends eat at Chili's (unless that's what you like...) So, ask and you'll get an answer!

This post didn't led itself to photos well, so you get Bauer at a terrible angle. Please tell me I'm not the only one whose phone is full of pics of my pets!

Hope you have a great weekend and here's hoping for an exciting (in a good way) week next week!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

growing into it

You know how there are things that you hate with a passion the first time you see them, and no matter what, they are not okay? Like dirty Brad Pitt or watermelon Oreos? I have a lot of things like that...

This looks awful to someone else too, right?

And then there are things that you start off thinking you hate, but somehow, things change and you start to like them. Like coffee. I thought it was gross and strong until I was thirteen and my dad bought me a frappucino. Thanks, Dad. You're the reason for my Gold Card status at Starbucks.

And then there are amazing things that you love right away, that no matter what anyone says, they just don't ever get old or go out of style in your book. I think ruffles are in this category for me. Fashion bloggers, are they still cool? Whatever, I don't care, I still love em.

Tiny aspects in my life have me thinking about this a lot lately, so I present to you a small list of things I can't stand, learned to love, and will always love.

Ugh can't stand it, make it go away:
+ Comedy Central... I just don't get anything on there. Except Jon Stewart. He is probably great but politics and bedtime don't mix. He's exempt from this statement.
+ The Real Housewives of Anywhere. You can take away my application to the Blog Land Cool Kids Club for this. I just don't get them. I watched the OC and NY in the early (Bethenny) years but just didn't care to keep up. They yell a lot.
+ Jeans with zippers on the ankles. Can those stay back in 1988 when my preschool self had a pretty awesome acid-washed pair?

The jury's still out, but I think I might like:
+ Broccoli and brussels sprouts. The past two times I've had them (here and here) I surprisingly didn't die and actually ate them voluntarily. A sign of growing up, perhaps?
+ Oatmeal. I thought I hated it for the past twenty-something years but this week I decided to try it again and whaddaya know? It's pretty good.
+ Zumba. After I thought I hated it I didn't want to go back, but last night after spending literally three minutes on the elliptical and wanting to leave the gym (seriously), I thought I needed to get in to a class and force myself to stay for the hour. I won't say I enjoyed it completely but it was definitely better than last time!

(PS - who is shocked at the healthiness on this list? I am! Don't worry, junk food is a-comin!)

via | via | via - Zumba nails are a little too much and not something you will ever see me do!

Worth every penny I've spent loving it:
+ Burt's Bees. If you have avoided this bandwagon, get thee to Target and spend $3.50 for some chapstick.
+ Creamy Dreamy Truffle Ice Cream from The Chocolate Bar. Andrew and I were just talking about this and it's on my mind (and he did tell me to blog about it, so there it is).
+ Sharpie pens. Can we discuss my addiction? They are kind of expensive for pens but I have them in about eight colors and I guard them so no one steals them from my desk. They're perfect.

So, my point (see, I have one. There's always a Method to my Madness. Thus, the blog name. I know it rarely ties in to anything) is that we're always changing. People change. Don't be too afraid to try something new (unless your husband wants you to eat pig ears or something weird. Be afraid of that). I take pride in how stubborn I can be, but learning that I like oatmeal? Seriously, it changed my week. It's the little things, like increased breakfast variety, ya know?

What's on your love/learned to love/will never love list?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

on getting fired

Don't worry, friends. I am still very happily employed planning events and very fortunate to have a job that I like. But a few years ago, that wasn't the case.

In the middle of the tutorials, shopping hauls, DIY projects, recipes, and other fun things the blog world has to offer, I have seen a few bloggers post about getting fired. They are in the midst of it and feel so ashamed, so guilty, and hopeless. And I was there once and it is a terrible feeling. But I wanted to write about it to take some of the stigma away - stigma that I still feel, four years later, when it comes up.

Keep in mind that there are two sides to every story and as this is my blog, you will get mine, told as fairly as I can tell it.

A few months after graduating from college, I got a job as a marketing coordinator for a group of three community-area magazines. I helped with distributing the magazine (which was tiring, tedious work that I didn't realize upon getting the job) and basically did what the marketing director told me to do. I attended a lot of networking luncheons and scoured the internet to find events to go to that would market the company better. The company hosted an event to celebrate its anniversary and I was tasked with contacting the magazine's advertisers to see if they would donate door prizes for the event. As much as that makes me uncomfortable (these people paid us for advertising and we were asking them for free stuff?), I did it because I was young and it was my job. (Yes, I know how sponsorships work, but I didn't feel that this magazine provided any value to its customers... but that is neither here nor there...) I did it well and we had plenty of door prizes.

I had been at the job for about six months and I think they started to realize that the marketing director was never going to trust anyone to go market alone - so they were paying for two people to go to each event. There just wasn't much I was able to do alone, so they asked if I would like to be the online editor, and I accepted. That job was even more tedious in that I had to copy/paste reader submissions and check the listings on the magazine's website to ensure that the businesses listed were still open (yawn...). Another event for the magazine came up and I was asked to seek donations again. The first event had been in August, and this was January. I was supposed to work with a colleague on this, but she said she "wasn't good at that stuff" so I had to do it all. I was unhappy with my work life, and very unhappy at the thought of doing this task again, so I went to the owner/publisher about it. She let me sit in her office and voice my concerns. She basically said that they had tried to work with me by offering me the online editing job, but now marketing needed help so I should step up. She said she understood where I was coming from and thanked me for coming in.

Andrew and I were newly engaged at the time. I remember calling him during my lunch break crying and asking if I could quit. We lived together, so it needed to be our decision. He told me to call my previous employer and if they would take me back, I should put in my two weeks' notice the next day.

I returned from lunch to HR waiting for me in my office. I no longer had a job, effective immediately. I knew it was because I stirred the pot - this was a work place where discussion wasn't always welcome. When I asked why I was being let go, I was told that my online editing position was being turned in to a contract job and was no longer a full-time position. If I wasn't willing to help out anywhere that was asked of me, then I guess I was no longer needed. I remember calling Andrew again on the way home. I wasn't crying this time; I think I was shocked. I was always the straight A student, never sent to the principal, never grounded as a kid type person. And now I was fired?? I thought only drunks, or people who were chronically late, or slackers were fired, and I was none of those. Whose life was this?

This taught me a huge lesson in judging others. Being fired has such an awful connotation. Someone must have really screwed up to get fired, I used to think. Who will ever hire them again? I remember being terrified of what I would say to a future employer. But it happens. Good people get fired by bad bosses (not biased at all =)). Jobs aren't always as described and sometimes people aren't good fits for the company. Life happens, and it often isn't fair, but no matter what, the person who was fired has value and can come back. Even if they were wrong. Even if they should have just kept their mouths shut. It's not the end of the world, friends! Do I wish I had quit on my own terms? Absolutely! But speaking my mind is something that comes naturally to me, for better or for worse, and clearly that environment wasn't a good one for me.

Perhaps I should read this?

I was fortunate to get a job in retail within two weeks, and it was a great schedule for planning my wedding. My boss at that job is one of my favorite people in the world, so I would say I am the winner in that situation. Plus, I know she will always give me a glowing reference should any other employers call.

So, friends who get fired (or whose husbands get fired, or whatever): it gets better! You're not the first one in that situation and you won't be the last. Explain the situation to a future employer as honestly and diplomatically as possible (not in blog post form, kay?). Take whatever unemployment you can get (the company I left tried to fight me for it so I took immense joy in receiving it). And if you have friends left in the company, ask them to be your references. You will get past it. Don't let this one incident define you. If I hadn't lost that job, I probably would have spent too much time being unhappy there and I wouldn't have gotten the customer service background in retail that secured my current job in a completely unrelated field.

And if all else fails, tell the blogging world about it. Your fellow bloggers will do an amazing job building you back up. Wish I had y'all then!

Can you relate? Have you even been fired? Were you judgey like me about the f-word?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

taste of tuesday: a recipe so easy, I can make it

I'm not shy about admitting my flaws in the kitchen. I'm not kidding when I say I can't cook.

However, my poor husband works longer days than I do, so when I come up with something that I can cook, I get pretty proud of myself. This recipe just dawned on me one day and it is so easy, you may already make it at home. Seriously, I don't think it gets simpler.

The Easiest Enchiladas, Ever

You will need:

Shredded chicken (my favorite grocery store sells a pre-cooked spicy variety ideal for enchiladas)
Cheese - as much as you like (I used cheddar and monterrey jack)
One can of enchilada sauce
Tortillas (I recommend corn but I'm sure flour will work)

HEB did not sponsor this post, but if they wanted to, I would have let them.

13x9 baking dish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Heat chicken so that it is crumble-able. I did mine for 30 seconds.

Crumble chicken in a bowl. Add as much cheese as you like. I like most of my cheese on the tops of my enchiladas, so I just used a small handful. Then, add enough sauce to make a moist mixture and stir.

Put a little bit of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish so that the enchiladas don't stick to the pan. No one wants to clean that up.

Use a little more than this. Mine got stuck.

Heat tortillas in the microwave for 15ish seconds so they are pliable.

Spoon some of your mixture into a warm tortilla. Roll up and place in pan. Repeat for every tortilla (I had eight).

No idea why this photo is stretched out but you get the idea.

Pour sauce and sprinkle cheese over your enchiladas. I like a lot of sauce so I used the rest of the can. I also like cheese so I added a lot of that too.


Bake until warm and melty. Fifteen minutes worked for me.

It tasted better than it looked. How can you go wrong with lots of cheese?

There you go! Ready to serve with minimal clean-up! I'm sure you could top them with avocado or sour cream or add some diced veggies into the mix for some nutrition added to your dinner. But, if your cooking and/or laziness skills rival mine, you can just call this dinner for a night and vow to eat better the next day.

Linking up with lots of ladies today!

Do you have any recipes this easy? Let me know. My husband loves when I cook dinner..

Monday, June 17, 2013

this is the end of going to italian restaurants for our anniversary

This weekend was far more low-key than the past 6-ish weekends but it still gave me plenty to want to share!

On Friday night, we decided we wanted to grab a quick dinner. Our Whole Foods has a bar inside with  beer and wine on tap and a grilled cheese bar, so we checked it out. I loved the wine I chose (plus it was a very generous pour, yay) and the sandwich was good but probably not worth $8.

The best part, though, was the people watching. Whole Foods is a grocery store. Most people we have seen at the bar grab a drink to walk around the store with while they shop or have a quick meal or try out a flight for a few minutes. I never thought of this bar as being a "watering hole" where you were a regular, but apparently one woman decided to make it her Cheers. She was in her 40s, possibly a divorcee, and was looking a little rough (maybe she pre-gamed at home?). The bartender seemed annoyed by her presence and you could tell she was there often. She had walked through the store to get samples of food and brought them with her (and even made a repeat trip through the store and was urging others to do the same...) and she was just funny to watch. The bartender was clearly over her and did not want to give her a fork so she could enjoy her samples or a taste of a wine (she was a huge fan of the bordeaux and couldn't believe another patron preferred the pinot noir to it so she had to try for herself). No matter where life takes you, don't ever be the mooch at the grocery store bar, kay?

We decided to go see This is the End at a new movie theatre pretty close to us. The theatre has a cheesy Greek theme going on. You walk in and there is a food-court like area, two full bars, a bowling alley, an arcade, tons of soft seating where you can sit and socialize, a gift shop, and an area selling gelato and Starbucks drinks. We checked everything out, bought a few frappucinos, and found seats for the movie. There were a ton of young kids there (maybe 8-12 with their parents?). Now, I'm not a parent, but really? That movie was hilarious but completely inappropriate for kids. But really, if you are not easily offended by much, then I definitely recommend you going to see it. I will definitely watch it when it starts playing on TV all the time.

Dinner | Extra large armrests with a ledge for your popcorn bucket | bowling alley | ESPN, anyone?

On Saturday, I decided to try Spin class for the first time. The instructor was really nice and helped me get the bike set up and the music selection she was playing was good. I made it through a few songs and then started to feel... wobbly. I just pedaled at a comfortable pace and kept feeling gross. I was afraid I was going to fall off the bike so I left. I hated feeling like a quitter but I realized I didn't eat any meat the previous day and hadn't eaten that morning and figured that it was better to try again on a day where I had better fuel in my system (not to say you have to have meat to fuel your work-outs, but you probably need more than a Healthy Choice meal and a grilled cheese with tomatoes...). But I really, really want to try it again! Then I got my hair cut later in the afternoon and I am pretty happy with it. I like to get my hair cut when we have a night out planned so my good blow-dry isn't wasted. So it was perfect timing.

This is so long for me. 

We wanted to try something new for dinner to celebrate our anniversary and we're still trying to explore as many restaurants on Alison Cook's Top 100 as possible, so I chose Giacomo's Cibo e Vino. However, on the way there, we stopped at Macaron by Patisse first. It is so very cute and the macarons are divine. The owner told me that one cupcake has as many calories as seven macarons, so if that isn't an excuse to indulge, what is? We got (and ate, over two days) caramel fleur de del, spicy chocolate, lemon marscapone, spiced rum, chocolate coffee, fig and goat cheese (probably my favorite!), and chocolate hazelnut. Macarons are super labor-intensive so they come with a hefty price tag but are definitely worth splurging if they're good. And these were so good!

Checking our our selection in the car | some were cute and had little mustaches on them | chandelier inside the shop

Giacomo's is a tiny place in River Oaks. We were hungry early, so we went early and there were plenty of people already there. The ceilings were low and the tables had chipped aqua paint. It was more casual than I expected. They serve beer and wine only. Our waitress was kind of severe (I compared her to Lane's mom on Gilmore Girls) but seemed to soften up when she saw how much we were going to order. We shared the semolina gnocchi for an appetizer and it was more like polenta than gnocchi, so I was kind of disappointed.

For the main, I got a half order of stuffed chicken breast and tortellini with a tomato cream sauce. The pasta was house-made and I really liked it. You could taste what was inside rather than it being overpowered by sauce. Andrew got shrimp and carbonara, both of which he was happy with but not floored by. We shared mixed vegetables and I liked the broccoli (never happens) and we both liked the brussels sprouts. Food-wise, I wasn't really blown away by anything but I'm not opposed to going back again. The mushroom gnocchi is supposed to be amazing and I am really bummed I got the other gnocchi and didn't get to try it. Next time.

I had been eyeing a hazelnut mousse on the dessert menu and was ready to try it when the waitress dropped the check on our table. No offer of coffee or dessert. She hadn't given us the specials, either, until we asked. If I know anything about my husband and dining out, I know that not offering dessert is a cardinal sin in his book. I looked at him and he tossed his card on the table. We were done here.

Tortelloni, veggies, chicken | shrimp and carbonara | Amy's dark chocolate and Mexican vanilla

After that, of course, nothing sounded good but I needed dessert. I ended up with Amy's Ice Cream as my consolation prize. They were out of waffle cones. Sad day. We realized that we have gone to an Italian restaurant for each of our three anniversaries and been underwhelmed each time (Stella Sola, Vinoteca Poscol, and now Giacomo's). Next year we have vowed no Italian and we will probably go somewhere we have already been.

On Sunday, we grocery shopped, cleaned, and just hung out. My dad decided he would rather celebrate Father's Day next week sometime, so we will. It will be kind of nice to avoid the crowds.

How was your weekend? Linking up...

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, June 14, 2013

five good things worth high fiving

It's another Friday and even though it was a short week for me, I was beyond ready. We are finishing up our anniversary celebrating this weekend (a date night is planned because how can you celebrate an anniversary without one?) and seeing at least one of the paternal men in my life. I still haven't bought them gifts. I am terrible.

Five things I love this week...

1) A working AC. Yes, it feels like it cost me a kidney and yes it broke two days after it was fixed (it was since fixed again) but a house with no AC in Houston is like a blogger abstaining from wine... you just can't live that way for very long!

Bauey approves.

2) Pink peonies. I know  I already mentioned them but they bloomed and they just make me so, so happy. Bauer tries to eat them, though. Not cool, kitty.

They are much brighter in person and already fluffier.

3) Tiff's Treats. If you aren't in Texas, you probably don't know what this is - it is a cookie delivery service. You call 'em up, place your order, and you (or the recipient of your choice) gets a box of cookies delivered to your door still warm. Yes, they are heavenly. I sent a few dozen to my husband because he was having a terrible day and he was the most-loved guy in the office for the rest of the afternoon.

Stolen from my husband's twitter.

4) Butterscotch Caramel K-Cups. Life changing.

via. Maybe it's just butterscotch? Either way, it's delicious.

5) Stila lipglosses. I had a groupon for Saks Off 5th that I had to use and I couldn't find anything to buy so it ended up being one of those trips where you buy stuff just to get it. I grabbed a pack of eight holiday-themed lip glosses for $20 and I love them. I never wear anything on my lips so it's a nice change. Plus, I shared a few with my coworkers so good karma points for the week, right?

sugar plum, jolly, and splendor

I was kind of in a funk last night and wasn't going to blog at all. I was on the "who cares about what I have to say?" train of thought. Anyone else get that way? But then I thought that if I can introduce just one more Texan to Tiff's Treats or anyone to that butterscotch coffee, then I am probably making the world a better place. Feel free to nominate me for the Nobel Prize or something :) I just wanted to focus on some simple things today. Not all weeks are going to make for an epic blog post and that's okay.

What are you loving this week?

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