Friday, August 30, 2013

it's football time in oklahoma! & in alabama too.

we've waited for months & months & it's finally arrived - football is here!!  tonight, blakey & i have our annual fantasy football draft with all of our high school friends.  the fuchsia monkeys are ready to kick some butt this year.  & then saturday will be filled with espn game day, football football football all day long, & what we've all been waiting for - oklahoma kick-off!

sooner born, sooner bred.  THIS is oklahoma football!

love love,

Thursday, August 29, 2013

thankful thursday - interviews are over!

{blakey on his last flight home, 
which he made by mere minutes}

fellowship interviews are finished!!!  blakey is home, his semi-permanent luggage has yet to be unpacked, dry cleaning still needs to be taken, but he is home!  this friday is going to be his first friday at home in four weeks.  getting off work on friday is so much better when i know blakey will be there to share the evening.  i'm so happy.

 {blakey & his brothers on a fantastic saturday in oklahoma}

i'm so thankful he's finished & home.  thankful he had the opportunity to interview at truly amazing programs.  thankful he got to spend an entire evening with his brothers.  thankful for your thoughts & prayers & encouragement.  thankful for what God has in store for us.

41 days until match day.

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

love love,

Monday, August 26, 2013

rivet & sway specs.

rivet & sway is the cutest little online glasses company with a fantastic selection of prescription frames.  they offer at-home try-on AND have pink glasses!  it's everything i've wished for.  & you know what that means... new glasses are coming to this girl!

{ridiculously cute packaging}

on my try-on order confirmation, r&s said my frames should arrive in 2-3 business days.  so when they still hadn't arrived in about a week, i contacted the company's help address.  i got a response within minutes, apologizing & confirming they would look into it right away.  soon thereafter, i received a personal email from the CEO of the company, again apologizing, ensuring my order would be sent out with by a specific date, & an offer for 25% off my future order.  this small company has just begun advertising on facebook & was not quite prepared for the massive success it would find.  a very nice apology & more than generous offer to make it right - i accept!  & i'll even blog about your awesomeness, rivet & sway.  

for my three try-on pairs, i went with a purple-ish big slightly nerdy frame, a super hip clear frame, & a bright pink fading to clear ombre frame.  check them out:

my new glasses are on order!  which one do you think i went with?  we shall see...

love love,

Friday, August 23, 2013

where my baking ideas begin.

people always ask me where i come up with my baking ideas.  i would not consider myself a "creative" person.  ever.  for any reason.  i am pretty good at recreating other people's creative ideas.  but i'm just more of an inside-of-the-box kind of girl.  so, where do my ideas come from?  all over!

pinterest has certainly been huge.  thank God for technology!  you bloggers are crazy creative.  thanks so much for that.

 {maple brown sugar cookies - 
my new favorite fall cookie.}

i love going to bakeries all over the country & discovering their amazing ideas.  i always appreciate flavor combination ideas.  oh, you make a neapolitan donut?  i can make that a cake bite!

 {neapolitan cake bites -
strawberry cake, vanilla frosting, & chocolate shell}

the seasons certainly inspire my creations.  i LOVE fall.  love love love love fall.  so maple, pumpkin, sweet potato, brown sugar, pecans, & the fall trinity - cinnamon, ginger, & cloves, are happily welcome in everything!  

& you, my friends, are pretty darn talented yourselves.  i keep your best recipes & share the creations here for all in birmy to enjoy.  thanks, loves!

{sarah's amazing peanut butter swirl brownies}

happy friday, friends!

love love,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

thankful thursday - I didn't ask you...

like most women i know, i am hard on myself.  little mistakes play in my mind over & over, thinking about what i should've done differently.  so on a day i was disappointed in myself for an unkind spoken word, these words by shauna niequist in cold tangerines were very appreciated & timely:

in my best moments, when i calm down & listen closely, God says,
"I didn't ask you to become new & improved today.
that wasn't the goal.
you were broken down & strange yesterday, & you still are today,
& the only one freaked out about it is you."

i think it is important to point out i do believe God calls us to better ourselves, to become the best version of ourselves.  but some days maybe, just maybe, doing your best, not your better, is enough.  

for a timely & encouraging word, i am thankful.

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

love love,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

roasted tomatillo salsa!

now this was a super fun & ridiculously easy dish to make.  broil some ingredients for a few minutes, throw it all into a food processor, & keep mixing until it's delicious.  cheaper & far more tasty than store bought.  heck yes.

roasted tomatillo salsa
found on: pinterest
original recipe: pick fresh foods

1 T evoo
1 lb fresh tomatillos {about 8ish}
2 jalapeños
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 green onions, stems & scallions, rough chopped
1 bunch cilantro, including stems, rough chopped
1 lime of juice
1 tsp salt

1. to prepare a fresh tomatillo, remove the paper husk & rinse with warm water to remove the sticky coating.  place tomatillos & jalapeños on a foil-lined baking sheet, lightly sprinkled with 1 T-ish evoo.  

2. broil the tomatillos & jalapeños on high for about 8 minutes, flipping everything over in the middle, once the sides have started to brown.  remove when the char looks lovely.  de-seed the jalapeños at this point to make sure your salsa isn't crazy spicy.  

3. add roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic cloves, green onions, & cilantro to the food processor.  pulse a few times until the tomatillos are well-processed.  add the lime juice & salt.  pulse a few more times until the salsa is consistent.  taste to make sure it's delicious.  enjoy!

{tanky was quite intrigued by the tomatillo husks}

love love,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

a beautifully cool & rainy saturday.

this summer in birmy has been absolutely gorgeous.  if you like fall-like weather, then the last few days would have made you swoon!  we went four days without making it into the 80s.  that's right, the eighties.  it was fabulous!  & cloudy & rainy & i loved every second of it.  so when blakey finally made it home saturday morning, we enjoyed a beautiful morning on our patio.  coffee & tanky & greenman, of course.  our saturday morning happy place.

to make our saturday morning even more amazing, we got to see little man of facetime!  he's so darn cute.  & man that boy has a lot of go in him.  crawl crawl crawl crawl.  search for a kitty.  play with the puppy.  & he can stand up all on his own!  we saw him do it.  big little man!

after body pump, we enjoyed our new favorite saturday lunch - a gigantic bowl of fro yo with granola & chocolate & blueberries & candy & so much deliciousness.  ice cream on the patio in the rain after the gym.  absolutely lovely.

& then you'll never guess what i did next - i cooked dinner!  it's been forever.  it was so nice to get in the kitchen & chop & stir & smell the deliciousness.  my happy place.  i made my mom's marinara sauce with ground turkey & spaghetti squash.  homey & healthy.

{our wedding flutes & wedding rings}

to wind down our fabulous, rainy day, we had a glass of dark, thick beer in our beautiful wedding flutes.  because everything is more fun in a champagne flute.

{tanky holding his dad's hand}

love love,

Friday, August 16, 2013

happy friday & beating the creativity block.

{banana nut bread donuts}

i like to try to make a new recipe or two or three every week.  it keeps me on my toes & keeps baking fun.  but with the super busy-ness lately, my creativity has hit a low.  when you're pressed for time, it's a lot easier to just make things you know how to make.  so this week i promised myself i would get creative & make some fun new things.

for some ridiculous reason, i chose to make them all in one day!  that was silly.  i thought each was going to fail at one point or another, but, praise God, they all turned out!  awoohoo!

{cheesecake bars with housemade fig & strawberry jam!
made with local & organic figs from "go figger" farms.}

oh yeah, & i got to bake focaccia this week too, which really is a fun challenge each & every time.  monday - not very good, definitely over proofed.  the day i was trying three new recipes - i was pretty sure i had ruined it from the get go, but it shockingly turned out excellent.  clearly my understanding of the dough was wrong.  time number three, another success.  phwew!

{you should always always eat bread fresh from the oven,
when given the opportunity.
it's amazing.}

happy friday, y'all!

love love,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

thankful thursday - facetime with little man.

{little man's adorable morning hair}

the other day, julie told me little man learned how to climb off the couch the correct way - feet first instead of plunging onto his nose.  great lesson, little man!  so i said i wanted to see the big boy & we facetimed last night.  he climbed up onto the couch & down, played & played with murphy, crawled all over the house, & waved to me!  oh my goodness, he's getting so big.  & long.  11 months old.  i cannot believe it!

& although they are many many miles away, i still get to see little man quite a bit, whether traveling or blog photos or insta photos or a few minutes at a time on facetime.  & for that & malcolm & my sister & benny boo, i am thankful.

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

love love,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ice cream for lunch & wings for dinner.

you know how i used to tell you about all the crazy fun or totally different things we did on the weekends?  well, apparently we have transformed our idea of "crazy fun".  another weekend means another wonderful time of relaxing, another joyful day or two with my byrds, another chance to do a few of our favorite things.

after our usual morning of coffee & FNL & a butt kicking at the gym, we decided to have a delicious lunch - frozen yogurt!  ice cream for lunch, yes please.  have you heard about this "only 8" frozen yogurt that's all the rage?  it is low calorie, no fat, calcium fortified, all natural, no preservatives, & is pretty darn delicious.  seriously.  not lying.  now, next time maybe i can leave out all of the chocolate & candy, throw in more fruit & nuts, & it will actually be healthy.

then for dinner, we headed to our favorite patio in birmy for wings & red neck nachos - moe's bbq!  moe's recently redid their patio & made it bigger & even better.  their wings & pork nachos - still ridiculous. 

love love,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

dinner with the residents & a blueberry corn salad recipe.

one night last week, i got to take a homemade dinner to the hospital for blakey & the residents!  it's always nice to take a hot meal to these awesome people who are working so hard.  they are super appreciative & let me join in their "family dinner".  & date nights with my husband are even fun at while he is busy working.

for the main course, blakey requested his favorite slow cooker shredded beef {recipe here} with pepperocini peppers to put atop kaiser rolls with havarti cheese.  yummm.

for dessert, i brought some of my favorite cookies as of late - brown butter sugar cookies!  it's a nice twist on the good ole sugar cookie.

ps have i told you my theory that in the next decade we are so going to make fun of this decade for our obsession with things like brown butter, pickling anything, & bacon on everything?  just wait & see.

since i always have to try out a new recipe on our friends, i went with a delicious seasonal salad i saw, of course, on pinterest - summer blueberry corn salad!  it's full of raw veggies & fruit with a tasty vinaigrette; exactly what i want to eat in the summer.  so get a tiny bit brave & try this creative new dish!

summer blueberry corn salad
found on: pinterest
original recipe: dining at my desk

 8 ears corn, freshly cut off the cob
1 large cucumber, sliced into half moons
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded & finely chopped
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
1-2 pints blueberries

3 T evoo
1/4 c red wine vinegar
juice of 3 limes
1 T honey
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
salt & pepper

1. in a large bowl, stir together corn, cucumber, onion, jalapeños, & cilantro.  gently fold in blueberries.

2. in a cute little mason jar with a lid, add oil, vinegar, lime juice, honey, red pepper, & seasonings.  shake it up until everything is mixed well.  pour on top of blueberry corn salad & gently stir it all together.  taste it to make sure it's delicious.  best if chilled & left to marinate for a few hours or even overnight.  enjoy!

love love,

Friday, August 9, 2013

happy friday to little aj & you!

welcome to the world, little antonio jordan "aj"!!  my stepsister, lindsey, & her husband, tony, are the happy parents to this adorable little boy.  born at 10:26am tuesday morning, aj weighs 8 pounds 8 ounces & is 19.25 inches long.  i cannot wait to meet the little guy in a few weeks!

 congratulations, lindsey & tony & blake & izzy!!

& my little boy, the cutest tanky in the whole wide world, wishes you a happy friday!

love love,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"promise me..."


i ran across this quote on pinterest the other day & it really hit home.  we've been crazy busy at work lately with the summer crowd & special orders & employees being out of town &... crazy busy is, in the scheme of things, very good.  but i started to get so involved with just trying to get everything done that i had forgotten to enjoy it.

i love baking.  i love my job.  it truly is my dream job.  someone pays me to bake every day.  bake the things i actually want to bake.  & that is so so cool.

so friends - "promise me you will not spend so much time treading water & trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim."

love love,

Monday, August 5, 2013

41st street pub.

blakey & i had a super fun saturday evening {& all weekend, for that matter} which began with a delicious beverage at the 41st street pub in avondale.  we heard about this new-ish bar a few times all week, so we decided it was time to stop by & see what all the hype is about.

41st street is a fun, modern bar in the up & coming avondale district.  with giant photos on the wall, concrete floors, a beautiful wooden bar, comfy couches, & two fantastic shuffleboard tables, this place is absolutely our thing.

their specialty drink is the delicious moscow mule served in a traditional copper mug.  this cocktail is made with vodka, ginger beer, & lime & truly is so tasty.  41st street has a few fabulous variations including a kentucky mule with bourbon instead of vodka & their original creation with honeysuckle vodka.  we certainly look forward to going back to try more!

after our fun at 41st street, we met up with a few friends from our small group for a beer at avondale brewery, enjoyed a wonderful dinner at chez fonfon, & finished up the evening with our friends at our home.  a fun fun saturday indeed!

love love,

Friday, August 2, 2013

happy friday to you!

happy friday to you & happy 71st wedding anniversary to my grandparents!!  71 years.  that's incredible.  they truly are role models of what it looks like to love your spouse with all your heart & respect them entirely.

 {my first attempt at focaccia was a success!}

the wonderful marygrace, my baking friend, has been out on vacation this week, & i am so so happy she is back!  her smiling face & her cupcake assistance are both welcome with open arms.  

happy weekend, friends.

love love,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

thankful thursday - he picked flowers for me.

yesterday morning, blakey picked some flowers behind our house & brought them to me at work.  it was the sweetest "good morning!" surprise ever.  he's pretty much the best in all the world.  they were displayed, bright & joyfully, on my baking table all day long.

happy wednesday to me.

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

love love,