Friday, November 30, 2012

Fall Fashion

Ok, I feel like a total dweeb with a title like that.

Especially since I totally did a whole post on how I've grown weary of the great focus placed on beauty and fashion.

But, yeah.
We'll just ignore the fact that I am a total hypocrite.
Great.  Glad we put that behind us.

So, I love Christmas shopping.  I just love giving gifts in general to be honest.  And I LOVE the surprise element.  Like I'm totally excited to see Jason open his gifts.  And I love the anticipation of opening something that I know Jason put a lot of thought into.

But this year.
I could only think of one thing that I wanted.
Seriously.  (I had to give a list to my in-laws and I had to really REALLY rack my brain.)
Anyways, I wanted tall camel color leather boots.

Problem is there's no way Jason can pick that out for me.  I had to shop for myself this year in other words.  Not quite so fun.  But the end result was lovely.  I love the boots I picked out.  And I'm pretty darn excited to open them on Christmas day even though I know what they are. 

I've noticed some "boot looks" that I'm rather fond of.
riding boots with leg warmers, can't wait for fall
Cute leggings and boots

I would totally rock these leggings with a pair of boots.  Too much?  :)

Boots and leggings.  Pretty sure I'm looking forward to this combo the most.  One word...comfy!

Dress with boots
K.  And I can't deny it.  I totally love this dress...though without the black two piece weirdness underneath.  I mean really?  A solid white slip thing would be just fine girly.  Hellooooo!  And my boots are way better and would look way cuter with this ensemble.

Alright.  I'm done. :)  Got my vanity out for the month. 

Have a great weekend! <3

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tid-Bits for a Tuesday

Well, Thanksgiving is over.  It's now back to a normal work week....which will seem absurdly long in comparison (working 2 1/2 day work weeks does that to you).

We were able to go down south for a whole day and a half for Thanksgiving.  It was short short short but it was mighty nice.  Lots of cooking and having a good ole' time.  Jason is about a week and a half from presenting his thesis and basically graduating.  Can you believe that!!!  I can't believe it's almost over.  I can't wait to celebrate and enjoy his accomplishment!  (I'm also making the cake/cupcakes for the "commencement" of his program.  I'm excited.)

So...what other things are happening?

-We are ramping up and becoming really busy....pretty much through Christmas.  We have Jason's graduation, work stuff for me, a Jiu-Jitsu tournament...where my hunk of a man will be competing, and yada yada.  Some how every weekend for the next 4 weeks is taken up by something.  Oh well.  Busy is good I guess.  :)

-We put up our tree.  It's lovely.  I accidentally bought some LED lights to add to the one's we already had.  We bought a bigger tree this year and needed to invest in another string of lights.  Um yeah.  LED is a no go for me.  I just missed the soft yellow-white lights of old.  So, the LED's are gone and my tree is full of the old fashioned energy consuming lights.  Oh well.

-You know that Jiu-Jitsu tournament I mentioned above.  Well, Jason wants to drop down to the next weight category.  This means he needs to lose about 6 or 7 lbs.  Not a big deal really since we do NOT watch what we eat at all.  I figure just cutting out most carbs and sticking to lean meats will do it (oh, and NO sweets).  This is hard for me though because I can't diet.  hmmm.  So, we end up with two versions of the same meal...I usually add butter and cheese to mine.  How can you go wrong with butter and cheese?  It's only for a few weeks.  :)

-Our truck passed smog!  Yay!  This may seem like a weird update but seriously folks...I was getting a little worried about Pickles (that's the truck's name).  Poor Pickles.  His check engine light was coming on and off and so I took him to the shop.  I had set aside $500 to get the truck all tuned up and running ship shape.  When they called me though I felt like he was telling me that grandpa is plain getting old and we just need to do what we can to make him comfortable until he goes.  You keep the fluid levels high and etc.  They charged me $70 for a new temp sensor and said there was nothing else they could do.  Really?  Pickles is DYING?  Sure it's old, misfires, and leaks oil but dang nabbit it's a good truck and there ain't nobody who can tell me otherwise.  Poor Pickles.  Anyways, we were able to get it to pass smog and so it will drive legally 2 more years.  So THERE!

-I just ate my weight in chips and salsa and kinda feel like I need to puke.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Good Morning.

It is currently 5:11am.

I have been awake since 4:04am.

Isn't that special?


No, it's not.

I am very angry at my body right now...we're kinda not speaking to each other.

When my eyes were open...I felt tired.

When I closed them...immediately wide awake.



Since, you're all tucked away nice and cozy in your bed...well, depending on your time zone I guess...I thought I would blog.

So, how's it goin' guys?
Oh yeah?
Wow, that's cool.
How about me?
Oh...well, there's some cool stuff goin' on for shizzle.
STUFF LIKE I CAN'T FLIPPIN' FREAKIN' SLEEP!  (pardon the language...desperate times I tell ya).



Well, that was a cool conversation.
Glad we had it.
Have a good rest of the week.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

You Bake Me Happy Wednesday Winner...Take 2!


So, apparently our first winner is M.I.A.  Sadness.  Now I must choose a new one.

But, not so sad for the NEW winner.

Which is....


I think chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies arriving in the mail would be dreamy! But, to give your creative juices a choice anything chocolate would be much appreciated. The more chocolatey the better. Just so long as it isn't mixed with fruit - me no likey my chocolate contaminated by fruit! :-) Debbi

Yay Debbi!  I'm very excited to make your treat because I LOVE the above mentioned cookie.  yum yum yum.  May have to make a double batch and keep some for myself...don't mind if I do!  And I must agree completely on the chocolate/fruit mixage.  Not a fan either.  :)

Can you email me your address por favor???


Until December!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Season of Thankfulness...and Last Call

I wish it was more of a LIFESTYLE of thankfulness.  Not just a season...

Let me tell you about this wee lil' battle that exists with in me.

I wish to be thankful...always.  But like everyone and their mother I too covet and want MORE.  I think about all the things I WANT far more often than I think about all the things that I'm thankful for.  It's a struggle and it frustrates me.

I see a lot of blogs/magazines, and etc. that focus on style, fashion, beauty, home decore, and etc.  I like these things.  I crave and want these things.  I WANT to buy the latest fashion, the latest pair of boots, the latest pair of pants, the latest cute infinity scarf.  And then I look in my closet and see ALL the plants, ALL the shoes, the 5 scarves I already have and I feel just...frustrated.  Especially frustrated when I buy something that I really didn't need.  Frustrated that I feel convicted to live more simply and more purposeful and yet I fall into the trap of "I want, I buy" far too often. 


I understand that these things in and of themselves are not "bad".  But I also am beginning to realize that nothing is truly neutral....well, maybe somethings are.  Breathing, coughing, pooping, etc.  :)  But yeah...anyways.  As I was saying.  I personally have trouble managing the fine line between enjoying something sparingly and "going full out I'm totally obsessed I think about it 24/7."  Yeah.

Sometimes I just want to go through my closet and my whole house...strip it all bare of the things we don't REALLY need, sell it, and donate all the money to some far off village in Africa that doesn't know where their next meal/fresh water will come from.  But then...just in case you think I'm some sort of saint (we aren't really at risk of such a thing now are we?  Let's not try to fool ourselves. hehe.)  Other times though, I just want to walk through Anthropologie and buy every darn cute outfit/home decore item, sit in my house with everything scattered about, and relish in my beautiful material goods.  There.  There is the battle that exits with in me.  Always there.  Always battling for dominance.

All this to say.  I just want to GIVE.  I want to give a heck of a lot more and BUY a heck of a lot less.  I want to be so utterly thankful and content with what I have and where I'm at that the thought of adding to my needless collection of worldly goods just seems plain...boring.  Blah.  None desirable.

So yes, here's to a season of Thanksgiving!  Here's to a God that has blessed us so very abundantly (like really, we have food, $$$, clothing, warmth, clean water, health care).  Oh snap, look at that, the new Anthro catalog just came out!  :)  jk....sorta.

***SO on a completely different note...this is the last call for my You Bake Me Happy Wednesday Winner (scroll down to see if it was you!)  I really want to give you your treat but haven't heard from you soooooo, yeah.  If I don't hear anything by Saturday at noon I will have to pick a new winner!  boo hoo hoo.***

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What's on YOUR table?

Thanksgiving is almost here peeps!  Can you believe's like in a week!


I am very excited.

I love to cook.  I haven't seen my fam in like forever.  And 4 whole days off.

I have MUCH to be thankful for.  Thank you Lord for all that you have blessed me with.

One of my favorite parts of T-Day is the meal planning.  I know, I'm weird.  But really, I peruse recipes for a good week or two before.  Keeping some favorites from the year before but also trying some new stuff.

This year, here are some of the gems that we plan to make.

First, we've never brined a turkey.  I really REALLY want to try it this year.  I was looking at this brine recipe here...


Oh stuffing!  I love stuffing.  Seriously, give me a plate of mashed potatoes and stuffing and I'm a happy duck.  This year I am torn between these two different stuffings.  I've made them both and they are delish but I'm a little partial to the Ina Garten one. 



 This year we will conquer FRESH cranberry sauce.  Part of my family loves cranberry sauce but we've always used the can.  Not a fan.  I want to try it fresh and see if I like it that way.  This recipe is looking good and easy.  CRANBERRY SAUCE
Cranberry Sauce Recipe

It must be the southern in me but I feel like a Thanksgiving meal isn't Thanksgiving without some sweet potatoes.  This SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE is looking delish.
Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

I'm also thinking some roasted brussel sprouts, and a fresh cherry pie for my pa!  He loves him some cherry pie but being he's the main fan of said pie he always ends up with a frozen one...while all the rest are fresh and homemade (and he never complains).  The man deserves a REAL cherry pie this year!  Give him his pie.

So is a sampling of what should be on our Thanksgiving table.

What about ya'll?
Any recipes worth sharing?  Something you just can't go with out for Thanksgiving?  I would especially love any good tried and true brine recipes!

Yay for Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

You Bake Me Happy *WINNER*

So, it turns out CAN be trusted.

It didn't pick 6.

It picked 6 the last two times.

THIS time our friend chose...



Thank you

The 11th comment was....

I think some kind of sweet coffee cake without nuts sounds delightful! With crunchy struselly stuff on the top!

You know Ames, I totally agree with you!  I think that DOES sound delightful!

So congrats!

Shoot me an email @ a.evangel09 at with your address and I will stalk you...I mean, send you your yummy treat!  (totally kidding on the stalking.  i'm so not creeper status. ;)  )

Thanks for participating everyone.  Until next month! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

You Bake Me Happy Wednesday: November

mailing tubes #cookies #idea #clever

Oh my!  Already???  Where in sam hill did this month go?


If you're new here, YBMHW is the first Wednesday of the month where I, me, myself, yours truly, bakes you something delish and sends it to you in the mail...for free!  Out of the goodness of my sweet, kind, pure heart (ha!).

Wanna know the reasoning behind this madness???  Well, how boutchya read The Full Story behind You Bake Me Happy Wednesday!

The sum of it is...I LOVE to bake.  I LOVE to give people my baked goods.  I mean really, is there anything better than a homemade, from scratch, little morsel of goodness that didn't involve you stirring a spoon or turning on your own oven?  I.think.not.  Thus, I bake for you and mail it to your lovely house for you to eat and fill your belly.  yum.

So, here are the details...

I usually pick a theme for you to choose cookies, bread, etc.  I though cannot think of what to do for November (I already know what's goin' down in December)  So, let's get a little funky crazy around these parts.  Hold on to your hats, you ready for this?

November is.... A WILD CARD!  Yep.  You got it.  If you want it and you think I can ship it then  Bars, cookies, breads, anything...yum yum yum.  (I will exclude the shipping of cakes and pies right here and now for those of you who think I have super powers...I don't.  I'm just a normal gal).  :)

And if I pick your name (very randomly of course) I will mail you said treat (so you better pick wisely).  For example: Say my name is Tootsie and I left a comment saying that I would love chocolate chip peanut butter cookie bars to show up on my doorstep.  If I choose Tootsie, then I will mail her said cookie bar treat.  Understand?  Bien!.

The little drawing ends Sat at noon!  So comment before then.  Sat evening I'll let ya know who the lucky winner is!


So, what yummy, sugary (or maybe not so sugary), delish (mailable) treat would YOU want to magically appear on your doorstep???  Ready.Set.Go!

If you won last month than unfortunately you can't enter this month...I know, I know.  But have no fear!  You are free to participate in the months after.  We just won't have any "two in a row" action.  Otherwise...go for it!  :)

Side Note:  I have no idea if there even ARE readers that I personally don't know reading this but if there are you are included in this too.  Yes, I will mail free baked goods to a complete stranger.  Don't be shy.  So long as you promise not to sue me for food poisoning.  Not that I've ever given anyone food poisoning...haha.  Ok, yeah.  Side not done. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Kitchen Favies

I's been a week again.  *Sigh*  Whatev.  :)

So, as I was cooking this weekend I started thinking about all the things that I have in my kitchen..."the gadgets and gizmos of plenty"  (Hey now, Little Mermaid.  Don't get it?   Yeah, ok, never mind).  Anyways, while we were living in Chile our kitchen was very sparse.  It had a set of plates and cups, 1 paper thin pot, 1 paper thin frying pan, 1 wooden spoon, 1 spatula, a set of measuring spoons (but no measuring cups), 2 knives (that were totally dull), and a teenie tiny cheese grater.  We managed to find the cheese grater and measuring spoons at a home store while we were there.  I also needed some sort of container to bake in.  Being that we were short on money and Jason loves pies we decided to buy a pie plate.  I baked chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, chicken, and all kinds of things...including pies.  It turns out a pie plate is the one stop shop for baking dishes.  :)

I realized while in Chile that the food I made tasted no different than the stuff I made at home with all the fancy pots, pans, and gadgets.  Really, a simple kitchen with a few necessities goes a loooong way.  I don't like clutter and drawers of weird tools that you rarely use.

So, here, HERE, is a list of some of my top things that I love having in my kitchen.

#1.  Garlic press.  It's a gadget, I know.  But there is almost nothing worse than mincing garlic.  Blak.  I have the Oxo steel garlic press which when you flip it backward it cleans the garlic from the holes....SO cool.  It's also a beef cake of a press and smashes that garlic like no one's biz.

 #2. Kitchenaid.  I mean seriously, this has to be on the list.  Who doesn't LOVE their Kitchenaid.  Anything that you can push a button and walk away from while it does it's mixing magic is fantastic.  I have this lovely red one.  :)
#3. Ok, this is another high dollar item but I use it almost more than I do my Kitchenaid *gasp*.  I am in LOVE with my Cuisinart food processor.  I use it for pesto, grating large quantities of cheese, spaghetti sauce, all kids of sauces, purees, blah blah blah...I use it A LOT. 

 #4. Our coffee grinder.  It holds the coffee all fresh like and then we grind what we need every day.  Can it get any better than fresh ground coffee each day?  I.think.not.  We have this Cuisinart one.

Cuisinart Automatic Burr Mill

#5.  Microplane Zester.  This is the coolest and nicest zester I've ever used.  It's sharp as heck and you zest things in like .5 seconds.  Watch out lemons, watch out whole nutmeg...I'm on the loose.  Love it!

#6.  Our Zyliss can opener.  I know, I know. It's a can opener.  But seriously people, this is the best, most bomb diggity can opener evah!  It's smooth as butter, turns like a champ, and locks on.  When you want to release it you just push that red button there and boom!  It releases.  It's magic I tell ya.  :)

Alright, so there you have it.  My some what short list of kitchen favs. 

Hope you enjoyed it.  :)

Happy Monday!