Friday, May 30, 2014

I'm Loving It

Happy happy Friday!! I hope you all had a great short week! We have been busy with catching up at work and home so we are definitely ready for the weekend. 
This week I am loving my new niece and nephew!! That's right! I'm an aunt. Here are the sweet babies....
Aren't they so cute!!??? Davis and Megumi got them last week from Granddaddy Bailey. I haven't gotten my hands on them yet but I get daily photos.  
This is Mikan....
And this is Knight!! 

Don't you just love pictures of cute kittens?? 
I am so excited that Davis and Megumi have entered into the world of pet ownership. Their first anniversary was this week so they were a perfect way to celebrate and mark the occasion. It's probably silly to be so excited over cats; can you imagine how nutty I will be when they have children??!! 
Anyway, hope these sweet kitties made you smile in this Friday!! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sun and Fun

It may be Thursday but I'm still dreaming about the weekend. Sun, sand, friends--a great combo!! We have been going pretty nonstop lately and have been so stressed out about the house that a relaxing beach weekend was exactly what we needed. Forrest and I left after work on Friday to go to Orange Beach and stay at my grandparents' condos. We usually are there by ourselves but this time was extra fun because we had cousins staying in the condo with us and more cousins staying in their other condo in the same building. It was exactly how it was when we used to go together as kids, except we are all grown up now, we can drink, and 2 of us are married. So the same, right? We ordered in and all ate together on Friday night and celebrated JuJu's 19th birthday (Juliana-one family of my cousins all go by  their nick names; Ebie, JuJu and JoJo).
On Saturday we had a mini reunion with some of our friend who went on the Peru trip at The Gulf for lunch. It was SO good to see everyone again!!

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Some of our Peru peeps, plus sweet William.

 That evening we drove to Fairhope for my friend Shelley's wedding. Shelley and I were friends in college and then in law school and it had been nearly 3 years since I had seen her. It was also great to see Jennifer, who had just had sweet baby Carter.

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You know I have to take pictures of the wedding details. I thought Shelley's simple, Southern wedding cake was perfect.

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Peonies and roses--a perfect bouquet

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Jennifer, Shelley, and I--law school besties reunited

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Beautiful evening with my handsome husband

The next morning after Mass we ate lunch at the Shrimp basket (shrimp tacos, oh my) and spent the rest of the day on the beach. The weather was magnificent--hot but not too hot, with a nice breeze. It was fun to just spend time with family and relax.

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Have you read The Husband's Secret by Laura Moriarty? If not, go get it right now!

That evening Stevie cooked the fish that they had caught the day before. We had a great big family dinner and it couldn't have been more fun!

Later that night we met up with our friends Jenny and Adam. I have been so excited that they moved back to Gadsden, but we've both been so busy we haven't really gotten to spend much time together. Luckily, we were able to make the most out of being at the beach at the same time.

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The next day we sucked every second of the beach that we could before returning home. The trip was quick but definitely did the trick! After being refreshed I've really gotten a lot accomplished at work, at home, and elsewhere so I think I definitely needed a little recharging!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Save Money, Save the World!

My cousin Sara and I had lunch last week after she got home from finishing her first year of college. I couldn't believe how fast the time had gone! I loved hearing all about her first year, from her dorm room, to her classes, to her sorority. It doesn't seem like much has changed in the college experience, however, so that makes me feel like less of an old lady!
The end of the school year used to make me excited for the next one. Yes that sounds crazy, I know. I wasn't excited about hurrying back to school; I was excited about making my schedule, selling my books, and buying new books for the following semester. Something about that process was so much fun to me. It was kind of like going to buy school supplies when we were in elementary school. I can still smell the packs of new crayons if I try really hard...
Anyway, one thing I wished I knew when I was in college was that you can actually RENT text books. Have you ever heard of Campus Book Rentals? Well if you haven't, you totally should! You order your books from them on a leased basis and then when you are done you simply send them back. It's just that easy! At first I was totally freaked out by the whole text book thing and had to have the brand spanking new books. Oh how quickly that changed. A used book is just the same as a new book, only better because it's not nearly as expensive! A rented book, well that's WAY better! What are the perks of renting your text books from Campus Book Rental, you may ask? Well my friend Angela that works there would say the following:
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods

You know I love a list.
They also have this new program called Rent Back.  Through Rent Back, you rent the textbooks they own - to other students, which is awesome because you make 2 to 4 times more money compared to what you'd make through buyback options! How great is that??

Here is a handy video explaining the Rent Back program:

The main reason I like Campus Book Rentals in particular is that with every rental, they make a donation to Operation Smile, an organization that performs surgeries on babies around the world who have cleft palates. When you rent your books from Campus Book Rentals, you are also helping to change the lives of children all over the world, and that should make you feel oh so good!!

So all you students out there, save yourself a whole lot of money and hassle and rent your books from Campus Book Rental for your summer term or the fall. You will be helping out some precious children in the process! Saving money and saving the world--what could be better?

*I received compensation in exchange for this post, but the opinions were all my own!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Running and Resting

Ahoy and happy Monday! I'm in a particularly good mood today for a Monday so I'm going to roll with it. Maybe I'm still on a little high from the weekend. I don't know. Who cares. Anyway here is a rundown, in pictures (and words, who am I kidding) of the weekend that has got me feeling so good.
I'm starting the weekend off with Thursday, because it was a weekend in college so I think it's still allowed, plus we had a really great Thursday! First, I was honored to speak at Career Day for a local elementary school. What could be cuter, right?? It was really hard to describe what a lawyer does to 6 year olds, but they seemed to have a fun time. Popular questions were do I get to work with the cops, have I ever seen hand cuffs, and what time do I wake up in the morning.
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That night we went with the Vanderfords and Obriens to a fundraiser for Samford University. Brittney's dad is on the board so we had a table right down front! Of course Forrest loaded up on silent auction items--you know those are his favorite events! The speaker was Todd Blackledge from ESPN. He was a wonderful speaker--very very inspiring!
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Since I had just been to NYC with all of the celebs, I had no problem going up to Mr. Blackledge and asking to have my picture take with him. He was very nice!!

Friday was a great day because our new kitchen counter tops were installed! They aren't totally ready and I've been without a kitchen sink since then, but I'm still pretty pumped up about them! Pics to come! We were low key Friday night because I was running a 5k the next morning with my running buddy, Kelly!
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Ta da!! We each placed in our age divisions! Woohoo! 3rd place never felt so good! We CRUSHED our time from last year and even all of our practice run times with a final time of 29.25! I know that isn't fast to some people, as the ladies winner ran it in 21 minutes, but to us it was a giant victory. I may or may not still be carrying the medal around in my purse in case someone cares to see it.... After a shower and a nap, I met my church Young Married girls for lunch and a spa day! It was the perfect way to reward myself after a race well run!!
   photo EF781AA4-C778-4A2F-9988-B744ED062178_zpskwrvk1th.jpgPedi complete with hot paraffin wrap! My feet have forgiven me for the race now!

 That evening we went to Birmingham with Chip and Lucy, our friends from the Peru trip. We hadn't spent any good quality time with them in a while and we needed to hang out with each other while we were wearing cute clothes and not sleeping in tents. We ate at Bottega---delish--and ended the night at Garage Cafe, a bar I had never heard. It has all this cool architectural stuff there that an architect uses in his work so there were all these neat things lying around like pieces of wrought iron, concrete sculptures, random sinks, and who knows what all else!  photo 1D13124F-E882-4B9A-9B6A-B0C2CFFBBDD5_zpsqnt0hwbu.jpg
Tiramisu at Bottega--my favorite dessert! Yes I ate the whole thing but it was ok because I ran, remember?

Sunday, ahh Sunday. Since I had gone to Mass on Saturday night I got to sleep in and wallow around in bed while it rained. Is there anything better than relaxing while it rains outside? I also got very busy catching up on my DVR at the old house and did some actual work at the new house. Slowly but surely our house is coming together. I've really got a plan of attack in place now so we are moving full speed ahead!! Even though I was productive, it was a very relaxing day, one that Forrest and I both needed!! Hope your weekend was great! I'm planning on getting some posts up about the Peru trip this week so stay tuned!
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Friday, May 16, 2014

I'm Loving It--FREE jewelry from Bauble Bar!!

Happy Friday Y'all! Hope you all had a great week! This week I'm particularly loving being home and getting back into my routine. NYC was AMAZING and we definitely hit it hard while we were there, which means I paid for it all week. Too many late nights equals a whole week to get over it when you are 30!! There is nothing like the calm of a routine to put you right again. Honestly, since we've moved, we have been soooo out of a routine. We still have boxes in the kitchen because it isn't ready yet, most of our furniture is still at the old house so it can look nice and be staged while people are looking at it, and OH there are so many projects left to do. It kind of makes my head spin. I go from being really crazy about it to being so chill that I don't bother to attempt to finish anything. It's a crazy mess, actually (or maybe I should say I am a crazy mess...). 

Not only am I happy because it's the end of a very very long week, but I am excited for you to meet my blogging pal Ashley from Hearts & Stuff. Her blog is SO much fun! She has lots of DIY projects to share, fabulous fashion advice, AND you can shop her closet! You are definitely going to want to check her out ASAP before I buy all of her clothes!!
Not only is Ashley a good time, she is a sweet and generous lady that wants to give one of my faithful readers an adorable necklace from Bauble Bar!! Ooooooo, aaaaahhhhhh....

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Cute huh!! I wish I could win it myself, but I shall refrain! Since it's super sweet of Ashley to giveaway such a sweet prize, please make sure to show her some love by checking her out on her blog!! Good luck and happy weekend!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


A few weeks ago I hosted our supper club at our new house (yes I am crazy). I made some fantastic new recipes that would be great for any summer party, especially a Mexican fiesta! You can see my event board on Pinterest, as well as all of these recipes! I hope you enjoy! Let me know which ones you get to try!


I wanted to do one alcoholic and one non alcoholic drink and I also wanted them to be able to be served out of dispensers. This makes it easy for guests to serve themselves!

Infused Water

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1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced cucumbers
2 limes, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Ice cubes

In a half-gallon jar, or a 2 quart pitcher, layer the strawberries, cucumbers, lime slices, and mint leaves with the ice cubes. Fill jar or pitcher with water. Let chill for 10 minutes, and then enjoy!
I can get 2-4 fill-ups out of one batch of flavorings, but you might want to change out your flavorings sooner for stronger flavor.
Feel free to use sparkling water instead of still water.
Obviously, the longer the water sits, the stronger the flavor. It’s mild at first, but after a few hours (or overnight) it’s quite strong.

Strawberry Margarita Punch

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16 oz. fresh strawberries, hulls removed (can also use frozen)
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
4 cups water, divided. May need more (can also use sparkling water for a fizzier punch)
2 cups orange juice (without pulp)
4 cups strawberry soda
1½ cups tequila, can use more
½ cup cointreu or triple sec, can use more
Process 1 cup of water and strawberries in a food processor until smooth.
Add to a large pitcher.
Stir in frozen limeade.
Add in orange juice, strawberry soda, tequila and cointreau.
Stir in 3 cups of water. (Can use more water if you think it’s too sweet, but remember punch is suppose to be sweet so don’t water it down too much.)


Fiesta appetizers are easy--chips, dip, salsa, guacamole! BAM! But, you of course don't want to look like you haven't given your party (and therefore your guests) any thought at all, so when I'm doing something that easy, I like to include another dish that packs a wow factor. This time I went with a tried and true favorite--taco layer dip! This is my mom's recipe:

1 can refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1 8 oz packet of guacamole
1 8 oz sour cream
1 small can green chilies, drained
3 or 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small cans sliced black olives
1 bag shredded jack cheese

Mix the taco seasoning into the refried beans. Layer ingredients, in order above, in a deep dish pie pan. Top with the cheese--as much as you like (definitely not the whole bag--but hey, whatever you want).
Serve with sturdy chips!

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Oh yes.....

Main Dish

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 I served Forrets's famous chicken enchiladas. They are crowd pleasers but more importantly, they can be made ahead and then popped into the oven right as guests arrive to save you, the hostess, from slaving away in the kitchen while your guests enjoy the party without you!! You can find that recipe HERE on the blog!


My sides recipes were actually giant hits--straightforward with common ingredients, just served in a different way!

Watermelon, Cucumber and Avocado salad

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  2 avocados, pitted and sliced or cubed

1 seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro

salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl add avocado and drizzle with lime juice and olive oil and gently stir to coat. In a separate large bowl, toss watermelon and cucumber together. Add the avocado mixture on top of the watermelon and cucumbers. Sprinkle with cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mexican Street Corn

I got the idea for this dish from the link above, but I kind of made the actual recipe up as I went.

8 ears corn
Chili infused olive oil
Crumble Cotija Cheese
Tomato aioli
Chopped cilantro
Red pepper flakes

Boil the ears of corn in water with at least 3 tablespoons of chili infused olive oil. I left mine simmer for at least 15 min so they soaked up the heat.
Wrap each ear of corn individually in foil. Before sealing, spread one heaping scoop of the aioli (or let's face it, regular mayo would be fine here) on to the ear of corn. Then sprinkle on the cheese, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Wrap them tightly in the foil so none of the goodness spills out. You can grill these or you can put them in the oven directly on the rack for between 15-30 minutes.
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Dessert was easy--s'mores! I went ahead and fixed a tray with everything I needed so when the time came I was ready. I had both dark and milk chocolate as well as flavored marshmallows so my guests could choose!  photo FD4F282D-0BE7-41A9-9084-245D3328B42B_zpsuqzsbp1y.jpg

Are you anxious to try any of these recipes?? If you do, please let me know! 

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stalkerazzi Tour of NYC

Incredible--the only word to properly describe our weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we were tearing up the town in NYC this weekend with our friends Becky and Alex. I don't know how we are going to go back to reality after this star studded weekend! Here is a run down of our trip, day by day, complete with tips. (NOTE that we had both been to NYC before so we didn't need to do any of the major touristy things this time around.)

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(except Times Square. You just about have to go to Time Square every time you are in NYC)

--After a free flight from ATL to LGA complete with free drinks (gotta love SWA drink tickets) arrived at Becky and Alex's precious apartment in Astoria about midnight. Meet Jolene, their adorable kitty and instant felt at home!

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--Sleep late--like college student late. Figure out the subway in time to meet Becky at 30 Rock for lunch in the NBC commissary. That was pretty spectacular because you have to be checked in to be able to eat there. I was hoping that some of the TV show hosts would be in there but unfortunately they weren't. I assumed that this would be the way NYC was for us--so close to celebs, but oh so far. We did enjoy meeting Becky's friends Jen and Kim!
--Went to a taping of David Letterman! Alex works as a writer Letterman so he got us the hookup with VIP tickets. (Actually, Becky used to work there and that's where they met--awwwww). We had to wait a little bit but it was totally worth it. We were in the front row in the balcony so we could see everything perfectly. The guest were JAMES FRANCO and IDINA MENZEL. I was literally freaking out. James Franco, I mean, THE James Franco! He was SO funny and schooled Dave on Instagram. Then Idina was very sweet and totally precious and she sang a song from her new musical If/Then, which now I have to go see. You can't take pictures in the theater so I was really bummed, but as I stated before, I figured this would be how it went--so close, but so far. We exited the theater last and lo and behold there is Idina Menzel's car. Of course we hung around to see her and take pictures. She was so gracious to come over to the group that had formed---a real class act!!

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Actual cue card from the show!

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 --Our plan afterwards was to go hang out at Radio City Music Hall to see the sports celebs walk the red carpet for the first round of the NFL Draft and then meet Becky and Alex for dinner after they got off work. We had a good spot across the street from the red carpet but couldn't see all that well and were freezing! Forrest went around the corner to try to buy himself a jacket and in the mean time stars kept rolling in. I got a few distant pictures and the next thing I know some guy yells "YOU SUCK". As I look up, there is Nick Saban, right in front of my face walking with security. Crazy! Forrest in the mean time found a better spot so I changed locations, only to find a line of people waiting to be seat fillers for the draft. Long story short, Forrest and I convinced the guy in charge of the seat fillers to let us go in with them even though we hadn't won the seat filling lottery from 1iota (check these guys out! you can get free tix to SO much!). I think it was the southern accent or something. We did have to wait outside for a long time and then we had to stand in the back of the room for a while, but once people got up, we were seated about 10 rows from the front. Again, this was FREE!! It was amazing to get to see some of our Bama boys get drafted. There were also celebs in the audience, which made me feel pretty cool. We had to ditch Becky and Alex but for a free night at the draft with celebs? They were cool with it.

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 Roger Goodell and Dion Sanders!

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ROLL TIDE! Bama boys CJ Mosley and Ha Ha Clinton Dix get drafted!

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Creeping on Ty Burrell from Modern Family and Paul Rudd from well, everything.

--On Friday we ate at the famous Spotted Pig in Greenwich Village. I really loved that area of town--cute shops and restaurants, tree lined streets, lots of flowers, and of course, Carrie Bradshaw's house!

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--Afterwards we made a quick trip to Saks for me to ogle shoes and get a quick make up touch up at Laura Mercier before heading back to 30 Rock to watch the taping of Jimmy Fallon, another hook up from Becky and Alex. We were seated in the 3rd row from the front--prime real estate! The energy of the show was very laid back and exciting. The Roots kept the crowd whipped up and when Jimmy came out I thought people were going to rush the stage. His guests were James McAvoy (swoon) and comedian Amy Schumer, whose friends we hung out with in the line. I was so sad when the show was over because the whole experience was so much fun! I did get to high five Jimmy, which you can see if you pay attention to the ending credits. (That means I've been on tv, right?)

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 -We were totally hyped up when we met Becky and Alex at Alfie's for a quick bite and drink (get the sangria during happy hour!). Becky and I left the boys to go see Cabaret at Studio 54. OH MY GOSH--the show was absolutely amazing. I was totally put in a trance by the music, the dancing, and the story line. It was all so intense! I felt like the weight of the air was different inside that theater and if I left, the spell would be broke. Alan Cumming was lights out fantastic--I could watch him perform that show over and over and over. I still get chills thinking of him slyly saying "Welcome to Berlin" throughout the show. We floated out of the theater onto the street to discover that Michel Williams and Alan Cumming would be coming out to see fans. Of course we waited! The boys rode Citi Bikes Broadcity style over the Williamsburg bridge to partake in some eating and drinking at places like Iona and Rosamunde Sausage. We met up with them back in Astoria for some late night snacks at The Shady Lady (get the mac and cheese and the fried pickles).

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Totally geeking out over Alan Cumming!!!

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Michele Williams! Eeeek!

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Getting this bad boy framed!

I was still so tired at brunch that I don't remember the name of the place, so Becky please text me the name so I can update this post!
--Brooklyn Flea!! Need I say more? Good clean free fun with lots of cool things to look at and lots of yummy food to eat!! We got some artwork for our new house that I can't wait to frame and hang!
--Snacks at Momofuku Milk bar! Get the crack pie--you won't be sorry.

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Forrest's cereal milk ice cream

--Pre-SNL nap (very cool of us)
--Walked through a monsoon to attend Mass at Most Precious Blood Parish. It was very Queens.
--Italian dinner at Vesta. So delicious! The pizzas were really great, and I at every bit of my lasagna (perfect dinner for a girl wearing a tight fitting dress and leggings, right? (The answer is not so much, but I will never regret a bite!)
--The highlight of the trip---taping of SNL!! We actually booked the trip around this date because Becky's friend was able to get us the SNL tickets. It is very hard to get tickets to the actual show so we felt like rock stars as we waited in line to be seated. We could see the entire set from our seats which was a plus because that's not always the case. Colin Jost, the head writer, came out and welcomed the audience and then sent out Keenan, Cecily, Kate, and Vanessa to sing "Gimme Some Lovin" to the crowd. They were awesome! It was SO thrilling to see the host, Charlize Theron, come out and do the opening monologue and even more thrilling to see how everyone sprang into action during commercial breaks. It was a real frenzy. People literally came and grabbed the actors off stage and rushed them back to change. It was nuts! Afterwards, we got to see the musical guests, the Black Keys, as they left and then we went to meet some of Becky's friends in the cue card area and we even snuck a peek at the stage and set!  photo 6D6A1E3F-7454-4096-9EEC-F39518297D4E_zpsb9uj0tsi.jpg
Me and Becky, 2 crazy cat ladies with a cue card from the cat skit on the show!!

We got to walk down the hall that is sometimes filmed on the show and while we were walking we ran into Keenan who was blowing a noise maker for his birthday. I got to high five him and tell him happy birthday and he gave Forrest and high five and a bro hug--as kids raised on All That, we were in heaven!
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 Forrest and I, however, got REALLY preoccupied with this guy:

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Do you recognize him? He was seated near us during the taping. We knew we knew him but couldn't place him so we were tortured all night and into the next day.
--Rolled in at 4am, feeling like rock stars!!!

--Breakfast at Brooklyn Bagel. Ate about a tub of cream cheese each.
--Sad teary good byes--we hated to leave!!
--Safe flight home, safe drive home
--Visited Mrs. Bailey for Mother's Day and picked up Sonny
--Ate dinner with my parents to celebrate Mother's Day, picked up Ruffles
--Home to unpack, shower, and go to bed at reasonable hour
--12:30am (so really Monday)-FLY out of bed because I finally remembered who the guy above is!!
MR. ZELNER, Rachel's boss at Ralph Lauren on Friends! HOORAY!!!

Now THAT, my friends, is a weekend!!! Giant thank you to Becky, Alex, and Jolene for their hospitality! We can't wait to come back soon!! Who knows what we will get into next time!???

***I wanted to add that aside from food and cabs/subway fare and any other goodies we bought, this trip was FREE! That's thanks in part to Becky and Alex for letting us shack on their couch bed and to Southwest for our points. Want to know how to fly other places for free? Check out THIS post! The time is now to sign up for your own Southwest card and receive 50,000 points to put you on your way to companion status!***
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I need an extra day...

I need an extra day on the weekends. A day dedicated to sleeping, laying around, and doing nothing in particular. I have not been having even one of those kinda of days in a while and I'm wearing thin. We both are. When the alarm clocks went off this morning I think our whole house groaned. Even the pets, who get to sleep all day long.
I will say that along with really slammed weeks at work, our exhaustion today stems from a weekend full of fun along with our hustle and bustle. Friday night we went to Birmingham to get a little shopping done for the house. Afterwards we celebrated my 5th year of being a lawyer with date night at Ocean. Oh my gosh was it good. I'm pretty sure we embarrassed ourselves with how much and how fast we ate.

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Much needed and deserved celebration drinks!!

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Y'all, this is baklava ice cream. It's ice cream, seasoned with baklava flavors, wrapped in puff pastry, and fried. DE-LICIOUS!

 On Saturday we were both scurrying around busy. But...we did get to spend the evening at Highlanders! I have been serving on the board of this dance club and we really wanted the part to be a success. We changed it from a night time party to more of a day time event. We added tennis and golf tournaments, changed the little party foods to a low country boil, and scrapped the tuxes and cocktail dresses for derby hats and kilts! It turned out to be an amazing party, with great weather and great friends! Plus, who doesn't love wearing big floppy hats??

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I know we don't have the hats on in this picture but I'm posting this of Lucy, Barbara, me, and Claire because a month before this we were in Peru, looking rough (except Barbara who didn't do the trail) and I wanted the world to see how pretty we look when we've showered and slept in a bed the night before!

On Sunday I got up early and went to see Deborah and her new baby girl, Kaylee!! What a special day! Exactly 1 year earlier Deborah and I were at the Kentucky Derby together---my what a difference a year makes!

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Look at this precious face!! She is so sweet and content. It blows my mind how much like Deborah she looks!

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Me with Deborah's 2 babies, Snuggles and Kaylee!

I hated to leave but I had to get on the road. I can't wait to hold that precious baby again soon!!

Even though we were totally busy this weekend (and this week, obviously, since this is Wednesday and I'm just finishing up this post, which I started Monday), as usual it was doing things we loved with the people we loved and so we wouldn't change anything about it! We are blessed with jobs that keep us busy, friends that want to have fun, and family that we want to spend time with---it doesn't get much better than that! 
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