Friday, December 30, 2011

Working at the speed of light!


One of my very best friends gave me this as an engagement gift and it is a life saver. (if you know someone who just got engaged- take my word for it, they want this) There is no way to describe the feeling of "oh my word, I need to plan a wedding". I mean...where do you start!

First and foremost: Get the church.... to tell the priest at the church I have been going to since I was about 11 years old, that I need to reserve it for a 1:00 wedding was surreal. To tell him that I needed it for MY wedding made me smile glow!

...church booked.

From there it seems like everything is just falling into place! My amazing mother and future mother-in-law have been working so hard and have already got the rehearsal dinner venue, reception venue and brunch venue booked.

I now know why everyone says "enjoy the wedding planning"... although we are very early in the game the Mr. and I have already had so much fun planning, researching and envisioning.

I can't wait to share all of it with you!

I'll leave you with a tiny snapshot of our reception venue.



Cafe Deminel
St. Louis, MO


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eat, Drink and be Marry...

What a Christmas! Santa and all those alike treated me quite well this year....

Christmas morning we were able to see the kiddos open everything and then destroy the living room with books and puzzles galore. A little bit later, the Mr. came over. After I opened up some wonderful gifts from his family- he slid a medium size box my way and much to my surprise- a sparkling/wonderful/jaw dropping DIAMOND ring was inside! Yes, you heard correctly...

I AM ENGAGED!!!

My family was in on the moment so they were able to capture every part of it and I wouldn't have had it any other way.


right after I opened the box (I think I still have whiplash)



when it was finally starting to hit me


The moment after I said "yes"



The future Mr and Mrs



showing off my bling ;)

To say I am shocked, stunned, so happy and so in love is all an understatement.

Cheers to wedding planning :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa's on his way!

Tis the Season...

1.) Egg-nog or Hot Chocolate? Wow. right out of the gate and I'm already stumped... hmm. Egg Nog- It's more "Christmas-y"

2.) Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree? Growing up, he set them under the tree.. youngest to oldest order. Now a day's they are wrapped.

3.) Colored light or White Lights? White.

4.) Do you hang mistletoe? No, I never have. Not opposed to it though ;)

5.) When do you put your decorations up? The Friday after Thanksgiving. My tree is about to combust come January 1st

6.) What is your favorite holiday dish? Dessert. And I am not biased. I love them all.

7.) Favorite holiday memory as a child? Every year growing up, all of us kids got a new board game. There are 4 of us so our game closet was always and still is, busting at the seams. Every year on Christmas, we spent the entire days playing our board games.

8.) When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember. I think I was young. I am the youngest of 4 siblings so I am sure one of those lil s*%#s told me.

9.) Do you open gifts on Christmas eve? No. We are a morning of kind of clan.

10.) How do you decorate your tree? Decorating the tree is a big deal around here. Heres how the process goes:
Step 1- turn lights on and wrap around tree
Step 2- Turn lights off and start putting on ornaments
(during step 2- you re-tell every story about every ornament i.e. "I made these ornaments the first Christmas your dad and I were together" "aren't these a beauty" (that is my brother talking about all of his homemade ones circa '92
Step 3- Once all of the ornaments are on- you prepare your self for the unveiling. Turn off all of the lights. Grab a drink, cookie, etc.
Step 4- Turn on Christmas lights
Step 5- Listen to "Oh Christmas Tree"

11.) Snow... Love it or Hate it? Love it on day 1 and 2. Hate it on days 3-7

12.) Can you ice-skate? Heck Ya!

13.) Do you remember your favorite gift? probably my American Girl Doll. Felicity and I were inseparable. And she was in good company with Molly and Samantha when I played with my sisters.

14.) What is the most important thing about the holidays for your family? Now a day's it's that we are all together. We are all spread throughout the country and soon to be world so the company alone is most important.

15.) What is your favorite holiday dessert? hmmm.. all of them?

16.) What is your favorite Holiday tradition? Our Christmas eve party.

17.) What tops your tree? Sadly, nothing did this year. I am on the hunt for a timeless tree topper. Keep me posted if you see any out there!

18.) Which do you prefer: Giving or receiving? Giving. I think its fun to watch people open your presents and to see their reaction!

19.) Candy canes: Yuck or Yum? I guess both, I am indifferent on this one

20.) Favorite Christmas Show? Christmas Story. I could watch it in April.

21.) Saddest Christmas Song? Silent Night. For some reason it makes me think of my Aunt Eva.

22.) Favorite Christmas Song? Actually, Silent Night.


May this weekend be filled with laughter, memories and most of all love. I personally can not wait to see the little ones unwrap their gifts especially my lil tutoots!

Merry Christmas.



"Look, Hank! Santa is coming!"



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Going to the Chapel....

This past weekend, I headed out of town for a friends wedding. The bridesmaids wore a burgundy strapless dress that did a little dip number in the back which was the perfect detail. The bouquets were all white with huge lilies popping out and we wore over sized pearls. Very timeless look.

The bride wore a champagne dress with lace and carried an all rose bouquet. I can't believe it, but I forgot my camera so I just have a few pictures that I pulled off of Facebook.

Such a fun weekend and plus, I got to stay with one of my best friends while there and that always brings many many laughs!



Mr. and I at the rehearsal dinner


Jill and I with the bride


Wedding Party

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday must haves...

Coffee- X3 today

still needing some of this from the wedding this weekend....



Christmas tunes to ring in the official week of Christmas





A cozy sweater




and a fire to beat the chilly day

Happy Monday everyone and more importantly happy official week of Christmas!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Patience Is a Virtue

Patience is a virtue.... and I'm dying for some- even just a wee lil bit!

Here's my week: computers crashing (yes plural), receiving sad news, every 5th merchant at work going ballistic on me, puppy accidents, sales dropping plummeting and so much more.... but I woke up today and was catching up on my blogs when I came across Southern Hospitality's vow to herself, to not complain once for an entire week.

So...I bring you my weekly challenge

I will not complain once,
at all, this coming week.

I wonder what else I may see that I wouldn't have otherwise.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

On the road again!

What a weekend! Friday we headed into New Orleans for dinner and a night under the lights.

Our first stop was Drago's where we filled up on plenty of these:


Drago's famous charbroiled oysters- if you are ever in town, you have to stop here- I have not had a single bad thing on the menu and the charbroiled oysters are to die for. You wont ever catch me with a raw oyster but these bad boys are a different story!


Afterward we bundled up and headed over to City Park's Celebration in the Oaks. It was so much fun walking through the "winter wonderland"


In front of one of the many giant oaks in the park


It's hard to tell in this picture- but they even made it snow!


Saturday I hit the road and headed to Lafayette, much later than I had originally anticipated but was able to squeeze in a girls dinner before heading to a bridal luncheon on Sunday.


This group of girls got together to celebrate our blushing bride to be one last times before the big day!

The hostess' house was STUNNING! Not a single detail was missing in her decor, especially in the Christmas department. I so badly wanted to snap a few photos for y'all but thought that may be the "wearing out your welcome" tipping point. ...Maybe next time :)

I pulled the "wishing well" during the charm pull. This symbolized that my wish will come true... I'll just have to keep you posted on that one!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Santa....

Official Christmas Countdown- 17 days!
Official unlimited baby snuggles from my niece and nephew- 13 days!
Official much earned couple days off work countdown- 15 days!

... And since I've been good this year....



Burberry Trench coat for Louisiana torrential downpours
(necessity)

B-E-A-Utiful
(I'll take the toned arms too if you wouldn't mind)


Think of the use I'd get out of these bad boys
(another necessity)



I'll take one in "A" please, Santa.


gold is the new silver


and this just makes me sigh. seems like a tiny bit of my Aunt Eva to have with me always. Elephants were her favorite and an elephant with its tusk up signifies good luck. I'd never turn down a lil extra luck thrown my way.

All this Santa talk makes me realize I need to get on the ball- I haven't done a lick of shopping yet! Hope you are further along than I am!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today's Going to be a GOOD day!


Do you see that? That is my bed. Made! I have been in such a rut and a funk for a long while now and for the past week- I had never even made my bed. I am a jump out of bed and make it kind of gal so really, this is alarming. BUT today I decided it's over! I am up and at 'em, coffee in hand and at my desk A LOT earlier than I have been in quite some time.

Today is going to be a good day.


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Million Dollar Question


How did you end up in Louisiana?

So... I could be considered a gypsy. I grew up an Air Force brat. moved 5 times before 6th grade. Then stayed put for quite some time until college. Went away to school and then came back home for a few months and then decided one night I was going to go visit my sister in South Louisiana for 3-4 weeks.

She had a job that I could work part time to earn a little bit of cash, I could stay with her.... bada bing bada boom. I packed some things and left tire marks on the ground 2 days later.

well..... 3-4 weeks turned into close to 2 years.

I got a job selling radio advertising and well- that was okay. I loved the people I worked with. I lived with a co-worker and who is now one of my best friends. We had an absolute blast. Everyday was like summer camp.... until the day an opportunity to make more money come along.

I interviewed with a start up company, got the job, realized the job was a joke, couldn't stand the "owner", couldn't stand the "partner".... long story short- paycheck bounced. Job, no more.
I did however meet another good friend there- my fellow victim. We got through that mess together and she is now a person I can always be guaranteed a good laugh from and she's my "coffeehouse partner"

so.... no job. no money. depressed. This is God telling you to move home.

SO I did. bada bing, bada boom. I packed everything and left tire marks on the ground 2 weeks later.

That was the day after Valentine's Day- I went out with some friends from High School that first Friday back and one of the friends boyfriend's friend (hows that for confusing?) came along.
We hung out all night and I was a smitten kitten. He got my number through facebook and we started text messaging- strictly text messaging. Anywho- long story short- we hung out for 2 months... ALL the time. yada yada yada- He got a job in Memphis and moved.

fast forward 4 months to labor day-I couldn't seem to get him off my mind. so.... I took the plunge. I text him and we ended up talking all day and every day since.

fast forward another 4 months- (wait no-rewind.... insert countless road trips to and from Memphis) he gets a job and moves to South Louisiana. Yes, you heard correctly.

fast forward 5 months and I get a job in South Louisiana. again. I move down here. again. I am about 2 hours away from before but that means I am 2 hours from amazing friends which makes leaving home (again) and all long time friends (again) that much easier.

SO- greetings from South Louisiana. again.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Beginning to look a lot like....


Growing up, decorating the Christmas Tree was a big "to-do". The whole family got together, cookies were made, Christmas carols were on and all 6 of his helped decorate the tree. Last night I did my first tree without the family, but went through the same routine.... put lights on the tree, turn lights off and then put all of the ornaments on. When its all finished- turn off the lights in the house and then prepare yourself for the "ta-da" moment when you plug in the Christmas lights. ahh its the little things in life.

It's certainly not Christmas without cookies and nothing makes me think of the holidays more than my mom's M&M cookies. She would whip them up at different times throughout the year but they were never forgotten during the annual Christmas decorating party.

This recipe is the modern day Neiman Marcus cookie recipe in my mind. But, like all good things- it must be shared.

Martha's M&M Cookies
ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter or shortening (I use the shortening.... I mean why not?)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups M&Ms (reserve 1/2 cup for decorating)

  • Position 1 of your oven racks in the middle of your oven and preheat the oven 375F.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper for best results. Otherwise, use un-greased cookie sheets.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda until well blended
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter (or shortening) and sugars with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (this may take several minutes) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is well blended
  • Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy
  • Stir in flour mixture with a wooden spoon just until blended
  • Stir in 1 1/2 cups M&Ms
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheets. Press several additional M&Ms into each cookie.
  • Bake one cookie sheet at a time in the middle rack of the oven for 9-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and just set in the center
  • Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies with a thin metal spatula to wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe yields about 5 dozen 2 1/2 inch M&M Cookies

Some parting shots:

My Mac Attack trying so hard to be good and not eat the new "toy"

Handsome little boy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A lot to be thankful for

November was busy INSANE. Crammed a months worth of work into just about 3 weeks... traveled back to St. Louis for the Holiday.... came back to Louisiana and hurried to finish up loose ends. Amongst it all though I was able to see how much I have to be thankful for.

my "tutoots" and I at the train station waiting for Santa arrive- (cool concept but, REALLY poor delivery- instead of Santa arriving on the back of a caboose standing on the back, waving to all of the kids as the train went choo choo...... he actually hopped off an Amtrack that was on its usual route to Jeff City, wiped his complimentary peanuts out of his beard and barely let out a ho ho ho)

anyway- I'm off my soapbox and onto the newest man in my life!

Henry James Lundberg

Born 11/9/2011

...and every bit of adorable.


I hope your Thanksgiving was just as wonderful as mine!