Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ginormous DC Recap!

I was over at Mom's earlier and she said, "So you have been on spring break all day with nothing to do except hang out with a weenie dog.  Why isn't your blog updated?"  And friends, I didn't have an excuse.  Except for lazy.  There's a lot of lazy going on over here.  So here goes - the promised DC recap post!

I flew out on Friday morning and raved about the benefits of flying and getting to BWI in like an hour and a half.  Y'all, it's just glorious.  It's the second time I've foregone the eight billion hour (okay more like 7-ish but it feels like 8 billion) drive up.  Flying in general makes me feel really fancy and important, even if my ticket only cost me a little over a hundred dollars round trip. 

When I got to Baltimore, we kicked things off with some sushi, salad and tempura in Lia's neighborhood.  You better brace yourself because roughly 90% of my weekend was devoted to eating, thinking about what I was going to eat next, and complaining about how miserable  I was due to having eaten so much. Go make a snack, don't read hungry.

Right after sushi, we decided to walk around DuPont Circle a bit and lo and behold, there stood a Krispy Kreme.  Ever since I saw the announcement for the new banana donuts, I've been desperately needing one.  Desperately.  

And clearly, I got my wish - both a banana caramel cake donut and a banana cream pie donut.  Amazing.  I think I like the caramel cake better.  But it's hard to say for sure.  They're both amazing in their own way.  The banana cream pie has some coconut undertones, more of a delicious tropical feel, while the caramel cake has more of a maple-caramel, warm flavor.  Both amazing.

We headed over to happy hour for Lia's birthday at The Mighty Pint, and were not ashamed to start happy hour at 3pm.  I mean, it was a Friday.  And also spring break.  And I'm also a last-semester 3L now, so I should really have happy hours down to a science at this point.  I finally got to meet Liz!  A good time was had by all, amplified by yet more amazing food (i.e. chicken tenders and tater tots).  The service was not amazing, but we survived and they get 10 bonus points from me for having Trivial Pursuit cards on every table.  I told Lia I wanted to memorize all of them before everyone got there so as to seem real smart when they did, but Trivial Pursuit always brings me down a notch.  Pretty sure I know about 3% of the answers and those are guesses.  We left the bar at about 6, and for some reason it felt like midnight to me, so when we emerged from the basement bar back onto the street, and it was still daylight, I'm pretty sure I gasped in shock.  Strange feeling.  Anywho.

The rest of the night?  Laser tag.  Let me tell you, I am about too old for laser tag.  I'm certainly not in good enough shape.  There was a lot of running and squatting after too many beers and chicken tenders and several times I just considered using my giant plastic laser gun to physically assault some of the more annoying tweens playing.  But it was lots of fun, and perhaps my favorite moment was shooting this girl who was about thirteen who kept just standing out in the open.  And then she'd whine, "Omigod, STOP shooting meeee!"  So while otherwise I might have turned my attention to someone else, I just shrugged and kept firing.  Teehee.  Turns out I'm thirteen too.

Saturday was devoted to Doing Things I Can't Do in North Carolina.  Such as: 
1) Going to Moby Dick (or That Whale Place as I affectionately call it) and eating pretty much all of that delicious bread seen below.  I know, you think that looks like regular pita bread.  Let me assure you that it is not.  It is chewy and delicious and amazing and perfect and I'm in love.

2)  Going to H&M.  I know, you are going to think I live under a rock.  But we just don't have H&M and I love that place.  Lia got me a gift card for my birthday, so it was off to spend it!  I got a cute little blue top with rolled sleeves for summer and - wait for it - got my first maxi dress.  I have long been opposed to them because I feel they make me look short.  But then I determined that because the dress is 2 or 3 inches too long for me, I could just wear my giant platform shoes with it, have them covered by the dress, and then BAM, everyone thinks I am actually really tall.  Sounds like a plan, huh?

3) Having Lia's birthday party!  Okay I guess technically that's something we could do in North Carolina, but you have to pick a theme and stick with it.  It was a 20th century pop costume party, and of course I came to DC sans costume, but a trip to Wal-Mart fixed that.  My prerequisites for a character were a) being able to wear a lot of my own clothes or at least not buying much to haul back with me and b) being comfortable.  So - a five dollar Wal-Mart plaid shirt later - I was Shania Twain!  Technically, I feel she's more pop than country, and it meant wearing a plaid shirt, jeans and boots!  Win!

Lia's party also meant drinking sangria through a silly straw.  Something else I don't do at home but highly recommend.

Other things I can't do here but wish I could?  Go to Mongolian Barbecue.  Amazing, amazing.  The concept is, you go to their giant buffet full of raw meat (steak, sausage, chicken, shrimp, calamari, Krab, you name it), grab some pasta and some vegetables, and pick a sauce. Then you give it to one of the guys at this big circular grill and they grill all of your stuff together and throw your sauce on it.  Did I mention you can rinse and repeat this process as many times as you want to? Well, you can.  And that makes me happy.

I also got a lot chilling and knitting done this weekend, which are high priority spring break activities for me.  Was pleasantly surprised to find out how much I love Parks and Rec, which is available on Netflix Instant!  Was also pleased to discover how cute When in Rome is, and happily revisited Ever After and remembered why it's one of my favorite movies.

And I finished a healing shawl for church!  We knit these big shawls to give to people who are sick, who have had surgery, or who are going through a hard time like losing a family member.  I was super pleased with how this one turned out, the color is perfecto!  Also this picture allows you to see my pink polka dot PJ pants, otherwise known as my uniform for 75% of the weekend.

I got back to BWI on Monday night, all pumped for my short flight home.  I was telling my grandmother this on the phone when the cute little old lady with the Oprah tote bag sitting across from me looked up from her romance novel and said, "Oh honey, you won't be home at 6:30.  Our plane's delayed.  It won't even be in Baltimore by then." Whoops.  Turns out our plane was stuck in Charlotte with "mechanical difficulties" and didn't show up for over an hour.  Then when it got here, turns out someone had barfed all over the plane and it had to be hosed down.  Lovely!  When the plane finally boarded, we were all a bunch of crankypants.  

When the flight attendant came over the PA system and announced that we needed to load our bags as quickly as possible or immediately bring them to a flight attendant because "we are running behind schedule, and we have a lot of passengers and not a lot of room in these overhead bins" I almost pulled a Ben Stiller.  

Lady, I am not checking my bag.  And those of us (as in, all of us except you) who have been waiting in this airport in Baltimore trying to get home are well aware that we are behind schedule.  So don't you take my bag.  And no one did.  Thankfully.

Also when you've just been told that your plane has mechanical difficulties, it doesn't make for such a stress-free flight home.  I am increasingly becoming an old lady who white-knuckles the seat arms, looks out the window and thinks, "Humans are not supposed to be up here.  This giant billion pound plane should not be flying.  How does this work? *Brain exploding*"  Every little bump we hit meant certain plane crash, in my opinion.

But thankfully, there was no plane crash, my mind continued to be blown by the laws of physics as they apply to airplanes, and I made it safely back to the airport, to be met by a very excited Peggy Sue, and a somewhat comparatively less excited PB.  

So there you have it - massive, ginormous DC weekend recap!  Hope you all are having a lovely week!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

I'm back from DC, just in time for Ten on Tuesday!  I'll do a big, fun recap post later, but right now, I'm buried in laundry and housecleaning, so we'll just stick with ToT for the moment.
Thanks to Chelsea at Roots and Rings for being the cruise director as always, and to Laurie at Some Catchy Thing for coming up with this week's questions!  Clearly she's a girl after my own heart, as it's a week of food questions again!
1. What is a food that you never thought you would try, but then tried and liked?
Sushi involving raw fish.  I was always okay with sushi because come on, cooked shrimp/crab + rice + veggies = win!  But I ordered a roll one day that I thought had cooked scallops and it turns out they were raw.  But, if you know me, you'll know that I generally eat whatever you put in front of me, so I applied that policy to said raw scallops.  And it turns out that it was delicious!  So now I order sushi with raw components like tuna all the time.
2. Do you subscribe to any foodie publications? If so, which ones?  
No....occasionally, I'll grab a Taste of Home magazine in line at the grocery store if it has amazing-looking things in it.  But pretty much all of my recipes come from - I'm simple when it comes to food.
3. What ingredient do you find yourself reaching for the most when you cook?
Hmmm....well, not so much lately, but as spring and summer come, probably basil!  When I have it fresh, it goes in everything.  And I make lots of pesto and lots of pasta, so it always goes in that, no matter what.
4. Are there any foods that you hated as a child, but then learned to like as an adult?
Hmm, can't really think of anything.  I guess as a kid I was super-opposed to sandwiches.  The texture of regular loaf bread really freaks me out, it's like the one thing on earth I really don't like.  I guess I've relaxed on it somewhat as an adult, just out of necessity.  Lots of times, especially when you're on vacation with a big group at the beach or something, that's all that exists for lunch, so you have to suck it up.  So I don't really "like" it - but I've learned to tolerate it.
5. What do you like to eat that others may consider weird?
Mushrooms straight out of the jar.  Rice for breakfast.  Fried egg on a burger (just had that yesterday  - was amazing).  I'm sure there are lots of other things I can't think of right off the top of my head.  But I'm a weirdo.
6. What is the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever cooked with?
Hmm.  Don't know that I've ever really cooked with anything "weird."  This ain't Iron Chef, man.
7. Do you have any major food allergies?
Definitely not - I love food too much, I'd be a huge whiner if there was anything you told me I couldn't have.  
8. Is there an ingredient that you would like to cook with, but are intimidated to try?
Whole chickens. I'll agree with Chelsea.  Any kind of meat with bones in it really freaks me out (at least when I think of having to cook and carve it).  Whenever I buy/use chicken, it's pretty much chicken breast straight into the crock pot or onto the grill.
9. Do you bake?
Yes, I love to bake!  Cupcakes are really my favorite, and I love coming up with different combinations.  I started out with the Cake Mix Doctor book (which I highly, highly recommend) and then started putting my own variations on her recipes.  Goodness, now I need a cupcake....
10.  If you could go on any “foodie” show to compete, which one would it be, and why?
I would probably lose on all of them because I am a simpleton who loves to cook with Campbell's soup and I've been known to get intense Spam cravings.  As far as eating goes, I think I'd rather have the food on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives than something they serve on Top Chef.  Is it me or do those fancy little portions always seem so small?  I get hungry, y'all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Spreak, Y'all!

For me, it is officially spring break.  Somewhat sadly, I just realized, it's the last spring break I'll ever have! Law school only lasts for four more weeks after we get back from break - we're in the short rows now, thank goodness.

I was feeling super blah again today, but by the afternoon, I was definitely somewhat improved.  Hopefully, I'll be 100% myself tomorrow.  Which is important, because I'm getting on a plane and going to DC!  (But just so you know, PB is off this weekend, and he will be home.  With all the guns.  And with a weenie attack dog. So don't get any ideas about, you know, taking my wine fridge or my collection of boots from Payless.)

I'm going up to see my friend Lia, because it was her birthday yesterday.  So that means this weekend is her party weekend!  I even packed my sparkle TOMS, otherwise known as my mental illness shoes.  I'm flying up, since I'm going alone and I'm not too excited about driving eleventy bajillion hours by myself.  I'm a five-year-old, I get bored and lonely.  And sometimes, if you hit it right, you can get really cheap airfare, as in, cheaper than it would be for me to fuel up the FJ to drive all that way.

And let's not forget the fact that it takes like an hour and fifteen minutes to fly.  Far superior to eight or nine hours.  Or ten if you're me and have to stop for a bathroom break and to buy more Twinkies and Twizzlers every thirty minutes.  Moral of the story: if you fly with any frequency to a certain place, or if you're planning to go somewhere in the somewhat near future, sign up for - it's a fantastic way to hear about the cheap plane seats that sometimes come up!

Then this morning, I got an email from US Airways telling me to check in online - which I always do.  But I never print the boarding pass at home, because I'm always one of those people who doesn't have a functioning printer.  No matter what kind of printer I have, or how new it is, or what laptop I have, I swear that thing is always out of ink, or not communicating with my computer, or gobbling up paper like it's the Cookie Monster.  But with paper instead of cookies.  Good comparison, I know.

Imagine my surprise, when, after I told US Air I was cool with my window seat and that I didn't want to pay them $25 to check a bag, they said I didn't need to print a boarding pass!  Isn't that fantastic?  No, instead of having to deal with my stubborn mule of a printer, US Air just emails me a handy link that I can pull up on my iPhone later, bring it straight to the gate, and ta-da - ON THE PLANE!  This is a concept I can get behind.

In other happy news, I was so excited to get a surprise from my mailman today!  I'm participating in the Stay Handmade Etsy Swap that Jess organized, and my partner is the awesome Claire from Bicoastally.  She had said that my gifts were on the way, and one of them came today, just in time for my trip!

She sent me these gorgeous orchid dangly earrings from Piper Blue.  They're just wonderful!  In fact, funny story.  I sent Lia a pair for her birthday!  I saw them on her Etsy favorites, and just fell in love with them, so I sent her a pair and then added them to my own favorites.  I can't wait to wear them out this weekend!  They're so delicate and pretty, I can't hardly stand it.  Thanks so much, Claire!

Hope your Thursday has been full of happy times!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Fever (more literal than figurative)

I'm having a semi-sick day.  I woke up early this morning, as bright eyed and bushy tailed as you could imagine, made coffee, went for a run, and soaked up the gorgeous, perfect spring day we're having.  And then I got home and just started feeling...blah.  All headachey and tired and whatnot.

So I didn't go to my three-hour class where my professor just talks to himself the whole time, because I just didn't feel quite up to the 45-minute-each-way drive and the sitting for three hours and pretending to look interested.  Instead, I'm on the screened porch, still in my sweaty yoga pants from running, chuckling at the weenie dog trying to be tall enough to drink out of the bird bath. (I tried - but failed - to video this hilarity.  Tragic.) And I'm still feeling headachey and tired and blah and whatnot, but at least it's in the comfort of my own home, where it's not required that I wear real pants or pretend to be interested in anything that anyone at the law school has to say.

I'm really wishing I had the energy to go frolic around in the yard and roll in the grass though, because it's just the kind of glorious spring day that merits such an activity.

I mean, for heaven's sake just look how green my side yard is!  
Makes me want to go just wallow in it like a piglet. 

That, combined with the temperature reading on my Sunbeam old-lady thermometer, really makes me feel like I should be frolicking.  Or planting tomatoes.  Or drinking a wine slushie on a picnic blanket.

Sigh.  I suppose I'll go take a shower, and hope that washes whatever spring funk this is away, and hopefully bound out of the bathroom ready to run 5 more miles and top it off with a jumbo wine slushie.  On a picnic blanket.  Or a boat.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday (my questions!)

Woohoo, Chelsea at Roots and Rings picked my questions for Ten on Tuesday this week!  That gave me the warm fuzzies inside. Thanks, Chelsea!

If you can't tell, I'm all about some food.  So this week's questions are pretty much all food-centered!

1.  What condiments are always, always in your fridge?
Always, always have Frank's Red Hot, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and ranch dressing.  I'm pretty much like the old lady on the Frank's commercials (have you heard them?) - "I put that BLEEEEEP on everything!"

2.   How do you like your steak cooked?  Your burgers?
I used to order my steak medium, but lately I've gotten so many overcooked steaks that I've started ordering them medium rare.  And even when they're cooked to a true medium rare, turns out I like them better than medium anyway.  Don't be overcooking my steak - that's most certainly an unforgivable sin.  I like my burgers as pink as possible.  Not red like a steak, but definitely some pink is necessary.  

3.  What’s your favorite use for fresh tomatoes?
I love to make cucumber-tomato salad.  Chop up an onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and drown them all in zesty Italian dressing.  One of my favorite summertime treats!

4.  What’s your go-to dinner when you haven’t planned anything in advance and you don’t feel like going out?
Spaghetti.  Always, always spaghetti.  I try to keep homemade meat sauce in the freezer, but even when I'm out of that, I keep jarred sauce and spaghetti noodles in the cabinet (usually about 3 containers of each) so that I'm not starving on a night like that.  I could pretty much eat spaghetti every night of the week with zero complaints.

5.  What’s your favorite snack food lately?
I've been all about pimento cheese and pretzel crisps lately.  Harris Teeter and Palmetto Cheese both make amazing jalapeno pimento cheese, and an open container of that stuff is in my fridge might as well be an empty one.  Also, Little Debbie snack cakes.  The stupid Easter Basket cakes are out, and I cannot stop eating them.

6.  What’s your favorite weekend breakfast to make at home? 
I never ever actually cook breakfast unless I'm with a big group of people, like on our mountain trip, or at the lake when a bunch of people have spent the night.  If that's the case, my menu is pretty standard.  Livermush (sometimes bacon too), scrambled eggs, biscuits.  Easy peasy.

7.  What’s your favorite thing to grill?  How do you do it? 
Definitely steak.  I always buy Moore's marinade at the grocery store, melt a stick of butter, and mix it in the with the Moore's and some red pepper flakes.  Amazing!  Didn't say it was healthy, but it's amazing.

8.  What’s your favorite wine for under $10? If you’re not a wine person, what brand of beer is your favorite?
I've been on a muscadine wine kick lately.  Under $10, I love the Duplin Brice's Creek wine.  Duplin is made in North Carolina - can y'all get that other places?  If you can, get yourself some!  Deliciously sweet and summery.  And if I'm drinking beer?  Definitely Michelob Ultra.

9.  Give us your most delicious cocktail recipe.
I'm not a big liquor drinker at all, but for some reason, I end up mixing cocktails one night of our vacation every year at the beach.  Last year, my drink of choice was pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and banana Cruzan (or cranana buzan as I kept calling it).  It's probably like 20-proof because I'm a wuss, but it's delicious.

10.  How do you like your eggs?
Always scrambled.  I tried over easy once and it really grossed me out.  Also, can I get mine with cheese please?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Update!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  I had a fun one - though I feel like I need another weekend to relax after this one.

First of all, I have to tell you that my wonderful friend J got me some pajama jeans.  And I love J, and I love love love my pajama jeans.  They were definitely a large part of my weekend.  I posted a facebook status about them and got lots of comments from friends, many of which were along the "OMG, I can't believe you'd actually wear those things" vein.  Hilariously, I saw one of those friends when I was out shopping on Friday, and she said, "Well, you weren't wearing them today."  Actually, yes!  I was!  And you didn't know!  Ultimate pajama jeans win.  

I have no idea what is going on with my facial expression in this picture.  It is not a testament to my feelings about the pajama jeans.  Good photo job, PB.

So, pajama jeans affixed firmly to my butt, I went to lunch and shopping with PB, my mom and my grandmother.  I got PB out of the house by telling him we were going to eat cheeseburgers and go to the beef jerky outlet.  But instead we went to David's Bridal to pick up my mom's dress for my wedding, and to two different TJ Maxx stores in search of discount purses.  Poor PB.  But he was a good sport, bought us lunch at Red Robin, and honestly was hunting for purses with us.  PB has little dignity, it's one of the things I love most about him.  

Friday night, we headed down to the lake and did a low country boil.  I know, I've posted about this before - I'm officially obsessed with them.  It was just the four of us, so I just did it on the stove in a big pot, rather than going through the trouble of getting out the cooker and everything.  I added a ton of Old Bay to it this time, and it was just delicious.  

I'm trying to set a record for number of pictures of low country boil posted on a single blog.  Also, if you don't have corn on the cob holders like the pool ball ones seen above, you need some corn holders in your life!  Fantastic invention.

We had a relaxing night, hanging out, watching TV, and trying to process all that food.

Saturday, it was eighty something glorious degrees here in the Carolinas, so I pretty much spent the whole day in a bathing suit, even though I am in no shape to be in one right now.  I also tossed Peggy in the lake a few times in an attempt to try to teach her to swim.  Peggy Sue wasn't a big fan of such, but it made me feel better to know that she actually has the ability to swim, if not the desire.  Made me a lot more comfortable when she was running around the dock at full speed, whimpering because there were unattainable ducks swimming around just off the end of the dock.

The neighbors were having a little party, which was really more like a dog party, which Pegs loved.  Her BFF Reina was over, which meant lots of running around and stick sharing.  

Here's Peg and Reina sharing a stick.  Pegs ignored the little dogs - she much prefers to roll with the big guys.

Sunday, we went over for a birthday cookout at my parents' friends' house, and I ate more than the legal limit of banana pudding.  I was so exhausted from not sleeping at all on Saturday night for no apparent reason though, that I wasn't all that much fun.  All I was good for was coming home, cleaning the house, and getting in bed to watch TV.  I know, I'm so exciting.  But then of course, as exhausted as I was, and despite the fact that I got in bed at 9, I didn't go to sleep until after midnight.  This I'm-a-crazy-person-who-doesn't-sleep thing has GOT to stop. 

Before I became a useless bed slug though, I put out my new area rug!  We found it at TJ Maxx and I just love it.  My living room really needed some color, because my walls are tan, my trees are tan, the furniture is tan...I felt like I was living inside a cardboard box.  I could still use more color, but this is definitely a start!

The next goal is to start a photo wall.  It just intimidates the snot out of me, so I keep avoiding starting it. Soon, though.  Soon!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Anything exciting happen?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Me Lucky Charms

I know, I know, y'all haven't seen me since Wednesday, because I have been too busy having fun. I found a new appreciation for St. Pat's, mainly because I think I had the most fun this year as I ever have.

Me and PB dressed up in our green and went to pancake day at the Boys and Girls Club!

There are few things I get so sentimental about. First (and most obviously, if you read this blog with any frequency), I am all about some pancakes. I once ate 24 pancakes and at least half a pound of bacon at the Tri Delt pancake dinner in college. And that's an actual figure, not an exaggeration, I swear.

But further, I just love the Boys and Girls Club. I worked there for a summer, and I truly can't think of a time in my life when I was any happier. I got paid to work at summer camp out in the country, which meant being in charge of about 30 kids at a time while we went fishing, swimming, canoeing, and nature walking. There were a lot of people who hated their jobs that summer, but I've never had so much fun.

I love being back there though, because it just makes me feel like I'm back in that summer, with nothing to worry about, having as much fun as I ever had.

I tried to capture the huge gym full of people behind me, because the whole community always comes out in full force to support the club. I can't even tell you how that gives me the warm fuzzies.

We met up with T and J at the club, along with another couple, and we went out for St. Patty's day after pancake night!

We ended up at Joe's, a little sports bar I used to spend lots of time in (back in the Boys and Girls Club days) but that I haven't been back to in forever. We had so much fun just having a few beers and talking.

After the fried pickles I ordered at the beginning of the night were long gone, J had the good thought to order nachos. The waitress told us it'd be awhile because they had a ton of orders, so we said no thanks. But then, surprise, she came out with the most glorious bowl of nachos I've seen in a long time. Nachos never tasted so good.

See? This was about 5 minutes after they were delivered.

How did you celebrate St. Patty's? Hope it was lovely!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I can't believe it's already Wednesday!  This week has flown by.  

Here are a few things I'm loving today...

I'm loving that there are only 6 weeks of law school left!  SO ready for it to be over.

I'm loving that I'm actually sore from working out last night.  I did some P90X lower body, and being this sore probably means I'm about as in shape as this old lady in the flowery shirt, but hey, it's a start.

I'm loving that I made all of our dining reservations for our honeymoon at Disney World!  I think I'm most excited about the California Grill (in the picture above).  It's at the top of the Contemporary resort and I made a reservation for a time that we can see the Magic Kingdom fireworks while we eat!

I'm loving that it's supposed to be a beautiful weekend, and hopefully this will be my view starting on Friday!

Link up over at Jamie's blog and tell us what you're loving!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

Thanks as always to Chelsea at Roots and Rings for getting this thing together every week!

1.  What is your cleaning style like?
Y'all, I chuckled when I read this question.  My cleaning style?  Turn on the Roomba, shove things in drawers that shouldn't be hanging out on the table/countertops/couch so that I can frantically wonder where I put them later, and maybe wipe down counters and tables.  That's really it.  Sad.

2.  What is you favorite thing to add to an outfit to take it from casual to classy?
Again, I'm feeling like this is assuming that taking an outfit "from casual to classy" is something within my skill set.  Lord.  I mean, I suppose cuter shoes?  That aren't my beat up Rainbow leather flip flops or moccasins?  Also maybe earrings.  I do have a few pairs of big, crazy earrings that I wear when I'm feeling extra fancy.

3.  Do you like stormy weather?
I'm not terrified of storms, but I'm not a big fan either.  When I was little and stayed with my grandmother, whenever there was any kind of summer storm, we'd have to go get the weather radio out, gather up the flashlights/battery lanterns, and sit on the stairs to the basement.  And also we'd have to be quiet, I guess because the storm might otherwise find us?  So I never enjoyed storms then because a) my grandmother was scaring me about how we were likely going to be blown into the next county and b) it always threw a kink in my plans to play dollhouses or run around the house naked or whatever else I did at her house as a kid.  I guess that same attitude holds true for me today.  Not a huge fan.

4.  What is your favorite cold treat on a hot day?
I love ice cream.  Especially ice cream sandwiches.  I could eat 900 ice cream sandwiches and not think twice about it.

5.  What is your favorite warm treat on a cold day?
Let's be honest, I love treats.  I'm worse than the dog - you say "treat," I come running.  I would be predictable and say coffee, and I do love coffee but I don't usually consider it such a treat because I drink it all the time. Instead, I'm going with Chinese food.  There's nothing better than some wonton soup when it's freezing cold outside.

6.  Who is your favorite animated character?
Ariel from The Little Mermaid.  I went through a pretty big phase as a kid where I'd only answer to Ariel.  And I still want to be a mermaid.  Trying to work out how to do that exactly, in lieu of getting a real job when I graduate.

7.  What do you keep your jewelry in?
When I moved into my house, my grandmother bought me an amazing new bedroom suit, and the dresser has two felt-lined, shallow drawers at the top, perfect for jewelry.  Mom also got me a jewelry tree for my birthday that I keep my more "every day" jewelry in.

8.  Do any of the rooms in your house have a theme?
Early rental?  Dorm room?  I mean...I guess I do have trees in my living room.  So maybe we'll say the living room has a forest theme.  Probably I should get some mounted squirrels for added effect.  

You like how I left stuff (including Twyla) on the couch when I took that picture?  Nice.

9.  Do you watch any interior design TV shows - if so, what is your favorite?
Clearly I don't watch a lot of design shows - I mean I have trees in my living room, come on.  Though I do love to watch HGTV when they do the tour of the dream home you can win.  Still trying to figure out how to win one of those in the near future too.

10.  When was the last time you did something risk-taking?
Uh.  I jumped off the second level of the dock at the lake house last summer?  I went zip lining and parasailing in Mexico right after I graduated college?  Last week I bought a new flavor of CoffeeMate that I'd never had before?  Take your pick.  I'm SO adventurous, obviously.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Club!

I'm going to join up with the Bookend Bloggers this month for their reading of The Pioneer Woman's Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

I have to admit, I bought it on Kindle about a week ago and I'm about 90% done with it, so I'm a little ahead of schedule already, since the first discussion questions are going to be posted this Sunday.  Whoopsies.  Jumped the gun a little.

But I'm still going to be participating, because it's a sweet, happy little book and I'm enjoying it so far!  If you want to join up, grab a copy (or a Kindle download, whatever the case may be) of P-Dub's book and get cracking!  It's a fast, easy, happy read - perfect for sunny spring days when you don't feel like reading about anything sad.

Hope some of y'all read along!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Mish Mash

Y'all, I have been SO LAZY today.  This whole daylight savings time thing really got me off kilter.  I'm going to complain about not being used to the time for about month, I'm going to refer to "real time" (aka before-Daylight Savings Time time) and "this stupid time it's supposed to be now," but then I'm going to be eating my words because of the glorious daylight we'll have in the evening.  I really hate getting out of class, or just having a busy afternoon, and feeling like the whole day is over at 5pm because it's super dark outside.  Daylight Savings Time means glorious runs in the evening because it's still warm out, dinner on the screened porch, and working in the flowerbeds and getting my spring planting done because it just seems like there's so much more time!

Yesterday, we went to a family cookout and bridal shower for my cousin and his soon-to-be-wife.  I wish I had taken pictures, because my cousin S hosted it and did such a great job.  Marinated chicken kabobs, salad, fruit, fancy cheese, and the cutest little individual cheesecakes in flower-shaped baking cups that I have ever seen.  I love to cook, and I love to make baked treats that I slave to make delicious, but I very rarely make pretty food.  It's something I need to work on.

Speaking of food, I made orange dreamsicle cupcakes the other night.  I was quite proud of them, because they're sort of my own creation and I have to say, they might be one of my favorite desserts, ever.  You might have seen my post about orange birthday cake for PB's birthday last year, and these are similar.  But y'all, when I make these cupcakes, I fill them with vanilla pudding, and I make cream cheese frosting.

I took them to a cookout that we did with PB's family on Friday night, and I didn't come home with one. Single. Cupcake.  Not to toot my own horn (I hate self-horn-tooting), but you gotta make these, because people will want to build a shrine to you.  And they are easy-peasy.

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix (has just got to be Duncan Hines)
1 2/3 cup orange juice (I always use the high-pulp kind)
3 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all cake ingredients together with an electric mixer.  Pour into muffin pan lined with cupcake papers.  Bake at 350 in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile - mix together two cups cold milk and another box of vanilla pudding.  Let set in refrigerator while cupcakes bake.

Then, use a pastry bag with a big star tip to fill baked cupcakes with vanilla pudding.

Make any cream cheese frosting you like (butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla) and frost completely cooled and filled cupcakes.  I didn't post a frosting "recipe" per se because I really don't use one anymore - it's basically just half a stick of butter, a pack of cream cheese, creamed together, then add 2-3 cups powdered sugar and a teaspoon or so of vanilla.  If it gets too stiff, add a few teaspoons of milk.  Wait, that kind of sounds like I just articulated a recipe.  So, yeah!  Make it like that!

And these darlings are what you come up with:

I promise, promise, promise - they are amazing.  

Please don't think you are going to make them better by skipping the cake mix and using flour.  This is an unfortunate mistake I have made before. Let me make you a promise because I like you and I don't want you to waste time.  Unless you are making a sponge cake or a pound cake, USE. A. CAKE. MIX.  I hate to be all bossy, but take it from a girl who has wasted time and flour thinking she was overachieving with "from scratch" cupcakes.  They don't taste as good.  They ain't as impressive.  They get crumbly.  Use a cake mix.  

I was horribly disappointed with the last cupcake I had that was bought from a baker - and I know it was because homegirl worked real hard and didn't use a cake mix.  Dry, crumbly, no bueno.  So there's my speech for you for the day.  Like I said, hate to be bossy, but it has to be said, 'cause ain't nobody else gonna say it.

Anywho.  Last night we went to T and J's house for delicious steak, mashed potatoes, Velveeta shells (I could eat a whole box of those), salad, and garlic bread.  That huge meal, combined with a few glasses of wine, combined with daylight savings time, made me wake up to see 10:15 on the clock this morning and make me feel like a huge slob.

Time to go for a run, so that I can earn my viewing of Sister Wives, and some spaghetti with homemade sauce which involves Italian sausage.  Super excited.  Happy Sunday, y'all!

Until next time - love from PB and Peg!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

An Award? Me?

Adrian over at Happy Girls are the Prettiest Girls was sweet enough to give me my first-ever blog award!  Thanks so much, Adrian!

{each  blogger had different rules, so I'm doing both!}
1} Thank and link back to the lovely ladies who gave me the award, gotcha!
2} Write 7 random facts about yourself/answer 10 questions
3} Pass this award along to a few other bloggers
4} Leave the a note letting them know about the award

7 Random Facts About Me

1)  I hate cold syrup on pancakes or waffles, and I hate sandwiches.  Syrup has got to be from the fridge, or at the very least, room temperature, before it's tolerable.  And I might eat a fancy sandwich from a place like Panera, or a burger - but plain white bread out of a bag and lunch meat?  Cannot stand.  I know, that's weird and probably makes  me a Communist.  I can't help it.

2)  I picked out my own engagement ring.  It's not something I advertise to a lot of people, because I hate justifying it, but it makes me happy.  I picked it out probably nine months or so before we ever got engaged, and I had no idea when we would, but I knew how much PB had saved, and I knew what I wanted, and he didn't, so it just made sense.  I figure that you wouldn't let someone else pick out your wedding dress that you'll wear for one day, so why would you let someone else pick out your engagement ring that you'll wear every day until forever?

3)  When I buy new clothes, even if it's just a $10 top from Target that I happen to really like, I'm terrible about not wearing them.  I'll think I should save it for a "more special" occasion, or that I don't want to spill something on it, or wear it out too quickly.  So that's why I end up wearing the same 5 ratty t-shirts all the time.  Probably this speaks to some greater psychosis I have.  

4)  Speaking of being psychotic, I'm afraid of balloons.  I always picture that they're going to pop suddenly and fly in my face and it's going to put my eye out or something.  I know, not rational.  But I really can't watch that TLC Show, The Unpoppables, because of it.

5)  My favorite part of my house is my screened porch. I've never lived anywhere before that had one, and I'm just obsessed with it.  It's quickly becoming one of my major requirements in any house I might ever have in the future, much like a washer and dryer or say, a bathroom.

6)  I have WAY too many shoes.  Like 40 pairs too many.  But I wear all of them occasionally.  It's something of an addiction.  I don't want to talk about it.

7) I am in love with my new MacBook.  Really, all things Mac.  And I have a pink keyboard cover and a pink hard shell case on my MacBook.  One of the 1Ls in my Civ Pro class made a comment about how she liked it but wouldn't get one because it was "probably not professional enough for law school."  I laughed in her face and this makes me a bad person.  But I love my pink, and homegirl has a lot to learn if she thinks there's such a thing as "not professional enough for law school."  Maybe she hasn't seen me grunging around some days in sweatpants.  And I think they're still gonna give me a J.D., y'all!

10 questions:
1} Why did you create this blog? 
I really have no idea.  I started it a long time ago, probably because I was so enjoying reading some other blogs.  I abandoned it and restarted a few times, but no worries, I'm here to stay.

2} What kinds of blogs do you follow? 
Goodness, everything.  Pretty sure I have over 300 unread items on my Google reader right now, so if you haven't been seeing comments from me lately, I apologize!  I'll get to you.  But I follow everyone from college girls to engaged girls to young married girls, to girls with a few kiddos.  I don't discriminate! 

3} Favorite makeup brand? 
Love Bare Minerals.  Does anyone NOT wear Bare Minerals anymore?  I swear I think everyone I know does.  But I love it, it's light and doesn't get all cakey and have lines.
4} Favorite clothing brand? 
If I had a million dollars? Anthropologie.  But y'all, I am SO CHEAP when it comes to clothes.  I can honestly tell you that as much as I like some things from Anthro and J. Crew, I dont own a single item from either one of them.  My wardrobe is pretty much Target and Old Navy.  But I really prefer to have a big variety of things to wear rather than just a few more expensive things.

5} Indispensable makeup product? 
Definitely mascara, hands down.

6}Favorite color? 
You read the part about my pink MacBook, right?  I can't grow out of the Lisa Frank stage, apparently.

7} Favorite perfume? 
I got some Burberry perfume for Christmas two years ago and have been wearing it ever since.  Wait, probably two years is too long to keep one bottle of perfume.  Or not?  Who knows about this?  Opinions, please.

8}Favorite Film? 
Probably Pulp Fiction.  Seen it a million and one times.

9} What country would you like to visit and why? 
Would loveeeeee to go to Greece, because it looks amazing and I've been obsessed with it ever since I made PB take me to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  Really anywhere in Europe, especially England - I'm a big history buff, I'd love to go see some historical sites!  (Nerd alert.)
10} Would you rather forget to put blush on one cheek, or mascara on one eye? 
Definitely rather forget one side of blush.  Because mascara is vitally important, and you can always wipe that blush off the one side real quick so as not to look so strange.

Okay, time to hand out my awards!  Gah, this was hard.  Not only are these some of the blogs (out of many) that I love, I think a few of them may be blogs that y'all are not reading yet!  So go check them out!

Of course, to *Lia at BTDoubleyou
*Garnet at Mining Garnet
*Jessica at Life.
*Claire at Bicoastally

So, repost, answer the questions or do the random facts (or be like me, overachieve, and do both, ha!)  And then the hard part, pick a few blogs and pass it along!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's midterm week, and thus I'm not on my normal schedule, and I have my days of the week all screwed up, which almost caused me to forget that it's Wednesday and thus time for...

I'm loving that my silver glitter TOMS finally came in the mail on this gross, rainy day!

They added some much-needed sparkle to my day. I even went so far as to rock them with black pants for my midterm hypothetical negotiation. And I got my fake client a lot more money than I thought I could have, even though I am a notoriously terrible negotiator. I think they're officially a good luck charm.

I'm loving that there is a big pot of red beans and sausage in the slow cooker, to eat over rice for dinner.

Perfect for a rainy night in!

I'm loving that Peggy Sue is not fussy when it comes to the rain. She has not let it disrupt any of her outdoor wiener dog activities. She doesn't seem to care that she is soaking wet.

She just thinks she is going to get more sausage from the crock pot.

I'm loving that PB knows the laundry is stressing me out and promised to help me tackle Mt. Washmore this afternoon.

Thank goodness.

I'm loving that I decided to blow dry my hair despite the rain. And I didn't get soaked, and my blow dry survived.


What are you loving this Wednesday?

Wedding, wedding, wedding!

It's been awhile since I updated you on the wedding planning, and since we got a few more big things checked off the list, I decided we were in need of a wedding post!

A few weeks ago, my maid of honor, J, and my mom went bridesmaid dress shopping with me.  Because J is the only in-town attendant I have, I figured the easiest thing to do would be to go to David's Bridal, so that my other girls wouldn't have to worry about finding a shop that carried a certain designer and other complicated issues.  Otherwise, I'll tell you - we wouldn't have been at David's.

When we first got there, it was of course packed because it was a Sunday afternoon.  Our mistake.  We were patient though, and contented ourselves to browse the racks of dresses while we waited for our name to be called for a fitting room.  Mom was trying on a few mother of the bride options too, and so Mom, J and I were all walking around, grabbing dresses in different styles and sizes, so we could have a good selection when we finally got a fitting room.

Cue the David's Bridal employee, who came up to the three of us, and said in her little sorority voice, "Um, actually we have a rule that limits you to trying on three dresses per person."  And then she kind of gave us a blank look as we all stood there, holding our eight-or-so dresses apiece.  Now cue Mom's head beginning to slowly rotate on her shoulders and her eyes narrowing to a squint.  "Well, we are here to buy dresses.  I don't know how we're supposed to buy a dress from you people if you won't let us try them on."  The David's sorority sister employee responded with, "Wellll, it just makes it too hard for us to have to put dresses away if people have more than three."  Mom's head is now almost in full-on exorcist rotation and she's getting louder when she says, "Do I need to give you $20 so you can do your job and let us try on some dresses that we're planning to buy from you?"

So me, Ms. Anti-Confrontation-Cower-in-the-Corner, is trying to shush Mom, people are looking, I'm horrified that attempting to try on dresses has somehow turned into what is quickly becoming a duel situation, and the David's bridal sorority sister finally scuttles away, back to the front.  I think the conversation that ensued up there must have been something like, "There's a crazy lady back there who's going to go postal if she doesn't get a fitting room, and probably they're also going to take every dress we have off the racks and throw them in the floor if they're alone for five more minutes."  Whatever it was, our little temper tantrum had been effective, because we got a new, perkier David's representative, and we got not one, but two fitting rooms.

Poor Mom and J must have tried on fifty dresses, some of them in multiple sizes, some of them multiple times just because I wanted to see them again.  Well, finally we settled on a bridesmaid dress.  We took our dress of choice to the front, waited in line at the register for another 20 minutes, and J tried to order her dress, only to be told, "Who told you this dress came in your color?  It doesn't come in your color."

No worries, I thought, we had had a hard time picking between two dresses anyway, and I quickly offered up the back-up dress.  J once again tried ordering our color and her size and told the cashier that she needed to order it in extra length because J is 5'10" and gorgeous and we don't want her looking like she is getting ready for a flood even without her heels on.  Foiled again.  Cashier lady says, "Oh, didn't you see the catalog?  You have to get one with a plus symbol next to it to be able to have extra length, this one doesn't come in extra length."  Indeed, there are only about five long dresses that they carry that come in extra length.  None of which were dresses we had tried on.  Oh. My. Lord.

So it was back to the fitting room, back to pulling dresses, and thank goodness, the first dress with extra length available that she tried on looked lovely.  It came in the correct color, it's (hopefully) going to fit, and I put all of our options in the computer so everyone can find them.  And here they are!

The upside to having all that extra time waiting around on a fitting room meant that we also got to play around in the shoe section.  J spotted these awesome shoes, and even though I was just going to tell people to wear whatever since we have long dresses, these shoes stole my heart.

You know, classy-stripper-fabulous.  And they're similar enough to my shoes that I think they're going to make for some great photo opportunities.  J swears they're super comfortable, and I figured everyone could use a good pair of hot silver sandals to wear out with jeans or a cute dress.  Mandating bridesmaid things still makes me feel like a bridezilla, and J keeps having to talk me down from going all hippie and telling everyone to wear whatever and just show up.  I love what we picked though, and I can't wait to see how gorgeous everyone's going to look!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

Thanks as always to the lovely Chelsea at Roots and Rings for hosting!

1. How did your parents decide on your name?
Funny story.  I was supposed to be a boy.  Like absolutely-positively-definitely a boy.  So that meant I was supposed to be Robert Tyler.  Robert Tyler didn't really work for me, obviously, when I was not a boy as promised.  I think Meredith Ann was just a sort of "Oh lord we can't call her 'baby girl' forever" reaction.

2. Do your initials (First, Middle, Last) spell out anything fun/funny?
Another funny story.  Way back forever ago when I started this blog, I needed a name, and the reason it's called Thank You Ma'am is because my initials spell MAM.  That's also why "ma'am" is spelled wrong in my URL.  But it was really just too much trouble to ever incorporate into the layout/whatever, so it's not really obvious.  Now you know!

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you take your maiden name as your middle name? (If unmarried, what do you plan to do?)
Come September, I'm going to take my maiden name as my middle name.  Mine right now is just an afterthought, it's what half us 80s babies were named, and it's more just a conjunction than anything.

4. Are you or will you name your children thematically (ie. same first letter, all of same origin…)
As much as I love the Duggars, those J names scare the crap out of me.

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?
My favorite names as a little girl were Kim and Ashley.  I have no idea why.  They're certainly not now. And I have no idea where Peggy Sue, Twyla and Tallulah (my animal names) came from.  Also thinking about baby names just makes my ovaries clamp down, so I don't really do any baby-name deciding.

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?
Yes - the oldest boy in my family gets named James Pinkney.  I'm not kidding.  Not only that, at one point we had like four generations all alive which makes for some creative naming.  JP, Jimmy, Jay, and Jake.  Too. Much.

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?
I think my name means something goofy like "Protector of the Sea."  I really don't think I even know what any other name means.  Do people still do that? 

8. Do you name pets with human names (Sally, Henry) or with pet names (Fluffy, Mr. Bo Bo)?
Well, I guess they're sort of human names, just not names you hear every day.  Peggy Sue, Twyla, Tallulah?

9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?
Goodness, hard one.  I really don't think so.  There were definitely people I had strong feelings for both ways as a kid, but I don't think I really attach it to any of their names.  We all had such generic 80s names that none of them really stuck with me.

10. What are some of your favorite names? Why?
All these name questions.  Don't really have any as of late.  Though we've decided that if we get another dachshund, it will be Lisa Marie.  And no, I'm not kidding about that either.