Monday, October 31, 2011

a christmas kind of halloween!

happy halloween from the bunny pajamas & leg lamp! 

{get it?  a christmas story.  yesssss.}

love love,

Friday, October 28, 2011

happy hallOOOOOOween!

{blake's halloween craft from elementary school!}
{LOVE it.}

happy halloween weekend!  i hope all of you are doing something very fun.  we have a pumpkin day planned filled with pumpkin carving & pumpkin dip & pumpkin dessert & pumpkin beer!  

love love,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

thankful thursday # 38.

sometimes it is the little things.

when i graduated from ou, i moved to tulsa for a few months for training for my big girl job.  another trainee & i lived in an apartment with one of my dearest college class friends & his buddy living in the same building.  i would go to their apartment & watch tv with them some evenings, & i would always immediately call dibs on their super soft & comfy blanket.

it was the best blanket in the world.

so when i was moving back to okc, my friend, jed, gave me my very own super soft & comfy blanket.

i LOVE this blanket!  it is my favorite blanket in the world.  i have taken countless naps on that blanket.  every morning in the winter, i do my daily devotion wrapped up in the blanket.  blakey has learned about the amaziness of the blanket.  & tanky loves my blanket too.

 {tanky's first day home!}

{my little guy!}

 {murph man - miss you!}

 {nap time with the byrds!}

 {fuchsia loves the blanket too.}

ok.  i swear i actually narrowed down all of the pictures i have with us on the blanket.  haha.  pretty great.
OH.  back to the point.  blakey lost my blanket a couple of weeks ago.  i was so so sad about it.  but i talked to jed & found out what kind it was & where to get it!  

go to any big super mom-type store.  or the world wide web.  get the perfect touch throw blanket by berkshire.   you will be so happy.

{tanky is!}
so i am thankful.  i am super thankful for my dear friend jed for getting me the best blanket ever.  i'm thankful that i can find so much happiness in a $20 blanket.  & i'm even a little thankful blakey lost my favorite blanket because it is a million times softer brand new than many years & washes later.

maybe i'll buy a new one every year...

i hope you can think of something today for which you are thankful.

love love,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

chili time!

fall is here in birmy & that means it is chili time!  

i have actually never made a batch of chili before.  {except ashley's amazing white chili.  but that really is soup...}  so i used my favorite,, to search for the best rated chili & found this one {HERE}!

believe it or not, i actually followed the recipe pretty darn closely.  that's new & different.  it's a thing i'm trying.  you can really discover some pretty neat things if you follow other chef's ideas.  crazy, huh :)  the few changes i did make:

1.) used 4 cans of medium chili beans with the sauce.
2.) no purchasing of bacon bits in my house.  & i didn't feel like making bacon.
3.) used an extra teaspoon or two of cumin because chili = cumin.
4.) cooked for 7 hours, as what is more fun than getting up early on sunday morning to make a batch of chili & smell the delicious aroma all day long?!

the recipe begins with chopping up quite a few vegetables & peppers.  nice.  it has to be good.

& these probably helped the goodness too...

how pretty does this look?

seven hours later & voila!

one of the many great things i have learned since becoming a porter is that you should eat chili with yellow mustard.  sounds so strange, right?  yeah, it is.  but it is way good.  try it. 

{my husband's happy bowl}

so many joys of fall.  so many revolving around food.

love love,

Monday, October 24, 2011

doing a little habitat

blakey & i have been wanting to get involved & give back to the wonderful birmy community we have come to love.  we truly spent the first year of our marriage focused on the "us" - learning to be married, learning to love each other fully, & growing that husband & wife-ness.  but after a year...& a "good" marriage foundation, if i do say so is time to be real, productive citizens again.  let's now learn to share us!

habitat for humanity is an organization blakey really respects.  he appreciates the idea of people getting together, getting their hands dirty, & helping people who just need a bit of support.  i have actually never worked with the organization before, so i took his word for it & he signed us up for a few hours this past saturday!

it was a really neat experience.  blakey & i worked with one of the habitat project heads to finish up the painting inside a house that is almost finished.  although it wasn't quite the manly project blakey had hoped for, it was pretty cool to see what the end goal is. 
the houses inside of a whole habitat neighborhood are pretty darn cool.  this one was a three bedroom, two bath with an adorable front yard & curb appeal.  & did you know the families pay for their house?  i had no clue.  they pay for all of the materials but are able to afford it because they don't have to pay for the labor.  volunteers & habitat employees do the work.  really really cool.  & once a family buys a house, they volunteer to help other families.  it was a great sense of community on the street.

we were super grateful to have an afternoon to do something good.  & we look forward to doing it again.  although, i think next time blakey will find a newer project, so he can swing a hammer & drill nails & saw stuff!

it definitely put the big sooner loss in perspective later that evening.  at least we keep reminding ourselves of that :)

hope you had a fabulous weekend.

love love,

Friday, October 21, 2011


my toes are sparkling with this awesome shade from opi.  i hope you find some sparkles in your weekend too.

a happy friday to you!!

love love,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

thankful thursday # 37.

 {watching the cold front come in on urban's patio}

a cold front is here!  & it is gorgeous.

i am not the biggest cold weather fan, but this is pretty fabulous.  high in the mid 50s & even cooler in the evenings.  it is fantastic for the day. 

so i am thankful.

to celebrate the cold, blakey & i stayed in & watched our favorite tv shows & ate mac & cheese & drank hot toddies.  a wonderful evening with the byrds. 

by the way, yesterday i said some things to someone i care about that i shouldn't have, at a time i shouldn't have, in a way i shouldn't have.  i am feeling really crappy about it.  i apologized, but sometimes that just doesn't feel like enough.  so i'm confessing it to you all.  maybe you can hold me accountable for my big mouth?

i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful on this beautifully cold day.

love love,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

blakey, the handy man!

my husband is a really great handyman.  which is pretty freakin awesome.

he decided we needed to expand our shower.  & what easier way than to get a curved shower curtain rod.  so we headed to lowe's this afternoon to get the goods.  {note: a walk around lowe's or home depot is blakey's idea of a fantastic afternoon.  fun stuff.}

step 1: take down existing shower curtain rod.  easy enough.

step 2: hope that the old shower curtain rod's screw holes + anchors in the tile will fit the new rod.


luckily, we purchased a tile drill bit for blake's handy dandy cordless drill.  {thanks, dad!  it comes in handy a lot.}

step 3: drill new holes into the tile.

 {socks on tile.
super safe.}

step 4: hope new anchors fit.  

fail again.

there was some sort of metal behind the tile + dry wall.  we weren't super comfortable drilling into it.  {or maybe our drill bits weren't super comfortable drilling into it.}

note: do not start a home improvement project when your local home improvement store is closed.

step 4b: go with plan b - remove old anchor.  drill new hole for old/shorter anchor.  {luckily there were multiple options for screw placement.  these people apparently have worked with do-it-yourselfers before.

step 5:  screw shower curtain rod into new holes.


 {blakey got to use both of his drills.
this is like dude heaven.}

step 6: hang shower curtain back up & stand in awe of how gigantic your shower now feels!

{tanky was a HUGE help.}

thank you, byrds, for being super handy & making our bathroom feel like we moved into a spa shower!  :)

love love,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

my kind of dinner.

since blakey was on call on saturday evening, i got to plan, make, & eat my kind of dinner.  it is my bright spot when my husband is at the hospital.  & it was a very delicious bright spot this evening.

when julie & i were little, our mom would fix us an artichoke to eat for an appetizer all of the time.  & i loved them.  but, for some crazy reason, i had never made one myself.  so after a little reminder on how to do it, i made a very tasty artichoke!

for those of you who don't know: boil some water.  throw the artichoke in.  let simmer for a really long time, until you can no longer pick the artichoke out of the water fully by one little leaf {& thus the leaves are tender}.  for me, this took about an hour & fifteen minutes.

by the way, you may be wondering why the bottom leaves have straight tops.  well, that's how my mom did it.  i have no idea why.  but you have to make it like your mom does :)

 {serve with melted butter.
because that makes everything more delicious.}  dish # 2 is the most delicious thing i have ever made in my life.  seriously.  make these onions tonight.  i don't care what you are having for dinner, this will go with it.  & you will be so darn happy.

slice a sweet onion into rings.  toss with olive oil, some salt & pepper, a tablespoon or so brown sugar, & a dash of cayenne pepper.  throw in the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes to an hour.  

it is amazing!!!  the most deliciously sweet & spicy onions you will ever eat.  do it.

& dish # 3 has become my go to vegetable.  it is really really good.  probably because it tastes like olive oil.  with a little crunch.  what more could you want in a vegetable??

chop up a head of broccoli into bite size pieces.  {i keep some of the stems because they are good too.} toss in olive oil, some salt & pepper, & a good bit of minced garlic.  if these little guys are not fully eaten by the time your oven heats up to 375, bake them for 15 minutes-ish.  really, they are pretty fantastic raw.  but heat 'em up, if you so desire.  not until mushy though.  mushy broccoli is not delicious broccoli.

{ps tanky LOVES broccoli.
shocking, i know.
tanky loves everything mom makes :) }

love love,

Monday, October 17, 2011

sunday funday!

yesterday was an awesome day. 

while blakey had his post-call slumber, i got to brunch with amy!  we had a lovely meal of fish tacos & mimosas on the patio at avo in mountain brook while we did a little planning for elyse & matt birmingham engagement party.  the food was very tasty & the company divine.

later in the afternoon, blakey & i had to experience this absolutely gorgeous weather, so we went to our favorite mexican restaurant patio for sunday afternoon football!  a nice breeze, some fantasy football cheering, chips & salsa, and a mojito for me & margarita for blake was our day of fun. 

absolutely loved it. 

i hope you had an awesome weekend too, my friends.

love love,

Friday, October 14, 2011

a sweet sweet friday to you.

blakey is on a rotation in which he actually gets a few afternoons off during the week.  & we have been taking full advantage of this opportunity!

fabulous lunches together at food trucks, fun downtown spots, & even urban standard with our new fall menu.  {it is so so good.  try the reuben.  & the pork scallopine.  they will not disappoint.}

we've taken tanky for runs around the railroad park, enjoyed the gorgeous weather on a patio & maybe even taken a nap or two.

the time together has been so sweet...

very similar to these fantastic chocolate chip cookie dough brownies that are the new hit at work.  oh, yes.  it is as great as it sounds.  no raw eggs, of course.  only sweet sweet goodness.

a happy & sweet friday to you!

love love,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

thankful thursday # 36.

last night was the last meeting of our church small group that i told you about {HERE}.  it was a 6-week course for newly married or engaged couples called "a marriage built to last".  we met some really neat people around our age from our church & learned some new insight on a good marriage & i am so thankful.

i mentioned it to blakey when i first heard about it & totally thought he'd say no, he was too busy, etc.  but he actually encouraged me to sign us up.  he is the best.

we talked with the couple i told you about after the first night & invited them to our ou/texas party this past weekend.  turns out they are, in fact, awesome.

they told us about a little hole-in-the-wall mexican place down the street from church called la bamba, so we all went to dinner there last night.


seriously.  #1 key: there were actual mexicans working there.  yes, you from oklahoma or texas don't know that sometimes this isn't the case.  it is very very important.

# 2: good chips & salsa.  they also had this.

# 3: good margaritas.  check again!

# 4: great food.  & it was!

we will absolutely be back.

new awesome friends.  a new welcoming vibe at church.  a deeper respect for our marriage.  & a new great mexican restaurant in alabama.

i am so thankful.

i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful.

love love,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

blakey's green thumb.

in our future dream home, we would love huge old magnolia trees to line both sides of our driveway.  every time we drive home we would be able to imagine ourselves in beautiful savannah.  {especially if someone could get spanish moss to grow in oklahoma... this is a "dream" home, after all...}

so blakey had the brilliant idea to start growing some magnolia trees now.  {how long does it take a magnolia to go from seed to gigantic tree?  how are we going to grow trees in our loft?  will we really move trees half way across the country in a few years?  oh yes, i have asked my amazing husband all of these things.  they did not deter.  if you know him, you understand.}

so on our beautiful walk at the park on sunday, we picked up some magnolia pods that hold the seeds.  squirrels apparently love magnolia seeds, so you have to dig into these pod things to find the bright red seeds.  we gathered quite a few after discovering what they looked like.

blakey researched how one grows a magnolia tree {on a texas aggie website.  those aggies know their horticulture.}  & here's how it goes...

1. gather some magnolia seeds hidden in magnolia pods.

2. soak the seeds in water to soften the outer shell.

3. peel & peel & peel that annoying little outer shell.

4. plant the seeds in soil about 1/2" down in a root promoting potting soil.

5. keep the soil moist & grow little trees!  wish our future magnolia trees luck!  {we'll see if they last a week :) }

love love,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

welcome, beautiful fall leaves.

fall is here! & with it the leaves have begun to change colors to the beautiful shades crimsons & golds that i love.

blakey, tanky, & i took a walk around the downtown park on sunday morning after brunch to take in all of the pretty.

So i'll share it with you...

                  {little t guy was having so much fun.}  {he discovered his love for chasing squirrels.} 

{you ARE beautiful.}
love love,

Monday, October 10, 2011

it's monday morning & texas still sucks!

boomer sooner. boomer sooner. boomer sooner. boomer sooner.
boomer sooner. boomer sooner. boomer sooner. oku!
i'm sooner born & sooner bred & when i die,
i'll be sooner dead.
rah, oklahoma! rah, oklahoma! rah, oklahoma! oku!

we beat texas!!!  & it was amazing.

although i am pretty darn sad we weren't at the cotton bowl to experience every breath of it,
we had a fantastic time at our ou/texas party at our loft.

the sooners were out numbered by the longhorns, however that probably made it even better.
i played boomer sooner every time we scored, which, as you know, was a lot :)
it might have been a little overboard.

boomer sooner!

as is true with pretty much everything awesome in our life, our party revolved quite heavily around food.  let me tell you about it:

EVERY year {yes, all 10 of them} my favorite thing about the texas state fair is fletcher's corndog.  it is so good!  blake & i stand in the super long one before walking into the game every time.  so to honor this tradition, we made state fair corndogs!

 {the mini frozen kind with toothpics & mustard!}

for our breakfast entree, we went with breakfast pork tacos!  you might be surprised to know this, but breakfast tacos are not "a thing" in the south.  what?!  they are missing out.  make your favorite taco & throw some scrambled egg in there & voila!  breakfast tacos!

{slow-cooked pulled pork.
always good.
no matter how you do it.}

 {blakey wanted to try some al pastor pork from the mexican market.
it comes already seasoned, so all you do is throw it in a skillet.
it was quite tasty!}

 {i, of course, made my favorite homemade salsa}

 {breakfast tacos!

for our breakfast beverages, i went with sooner red sangria & longhorn orange mimosas!

 {love our loft}

one of the really neat things we discovered in birmy is that you can buy draft beer from one of our favorite liquor {excuse me, package} stores!  have quite a few taps that change seasonally.  so we decided to get a few kinds to have a little beer tasting at our party!  

we had two octoberfests {if you can find bob's 47 octoberfest by boulevard, definitely try it}, an ipa, a local brown ale, a stout, & of course some pbr.

{our bucket of ou coozies!}

our friends are even better cooks than i am.  one of the interns helped me a ton with the prep for our breakfast tacos.  love her, in all of her longhorn-ness.

amy made these delicious pepper-stuffed sausage & cheese eggs:

& elyse made fantastic sausage-suffed peppers.   you are understanding our food loves from our part of the country :)

ashley, another intern's wife, made amazing apple cinnamon muffins.  they were so so tasty.  i am going to have to get that recipe.  

so many new friends at our home for the first time.  the interns were awesome to join in the fun.  & we even had over our new friends from church small group.

fabulous game.  fabulous party.  fabulous friends.

boomer sooner!

love love,