Wednesday, November 30, 2011

fierce & thankful

You are in control of your own success, DO NOT LET YOURSELF DOWN!
This was written in hubby's monthly newsletter in reference to his upcoming drill preparation. I just read it and wanted to share with you all. In the spirit of keeping it real and truly sharing this journey with you all, I have been incredibly unmotivated, moody and disconnected in my down time lately. Having unfocused energy isn't good for me right now and I'm determined to take control of my own destiny again. I've come to realize (by discussion with my new friend and also fellow military spouse, Lindsay) that I am fiercely independent and "Normal Erin" looks for new challenges always and it is often HARD to take the back seat and let your husband's career be the lead when you are still looking to be personally fulfilled. Although Lee is in the National Guard and this military life is temporary, it can be hard to blend two lifestyles that are so wildly different. The word deployment triggers new fears and the quantities of worries are significant and the heartache is indescribable to a spouse left behind to guard the home front.

Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)
Ha! Easier said than done, right?! I.Will.Try.Harder.

We have a ton to be thankful for and look forward to when Lee returns home. The training hubby is receiving is laying the groundwork for our family's future and we have the rest of our lives for me to snuggle into the nook of his armpit at night. I'm not perfect and I can't say that I'm going to dramatically turn a leaf overnight, but I CAN keep pushing forward to a more positive tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

pix & cake

Finally. Here's a couple of pix from NOLA for Mal's Bachelorette Palooza!
This is a few of us before we went out on Saturday night:

This is Friday afternoon getting our first hand grenade drinks while we waited for the rest of the girls to arrive:

Thanksgiving deets: Do you know that I went off and left my pretty cranberry relish in the fridge instead of loading it into the car for our trip to have Thanksgiving with Lee's family?! Goodness. I swear I'm losing my marbles.
I obviously have to redeem myself during Christmas at Christmas dinner. Christmas dinner has turned into a fiesta since everyone seems to be over turkey and the fixings by then. I've already decided that I'm doing my Mexican cornbread and Taylor's yummy chicken enchiladas. I'll prob do my queso too since that's easy and it's always a hit. I'll post recipes when the date gets closer!

But first-I've decided on what I'm taking to the Army luncheon thing this weekend!

Taylor made it for Lee and I one time and it was all she wrote. This is prob my favorite cake (as long as Taylor makes it) but I'm still perfecting it. I tried making it into cupcake bunnies for Easter one year and it was a disaster. I think it makes a much better cake. Here's to hoping it's a hit this weekend, I got the ingredients last night:

Tay's Caramel Cake (aka maple donut cake)

1 package of white or yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (melted)
1 cup milk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Pour into two round cake pans.
Bake @ 350 for 27-29min, or until toothpick clean from middle.

When cake is in oven, start frosting:
In a medium saucepan, mix:
Melt 1 stick butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar

Stir until mixture comes to a boil (~2 minutes)

Add 1/4 cup milk

Stir, and bring mixture back to a boil, then remove pan from heat.

Add 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 TBSP Vanilla

Beat until smooth.

Frost cake while icing is still warm (not boiling-let it cool a little while) or it will harden. They say if it does harden while frosting, place pan back on heat and stir til softens.

Now...what outfit shall I wear?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

step 7,436,231,928

Def not getting one but today I do have an uncontrollable urge to tell you that I want this:

I mentioned selling Lee's truck, HERE. Well, we've got it sold. Dropping it off tonight and signing the paperwork, etc. We got what we wanted for it and I'm so blessed we were able to do so quickly. I feel like there are mucho steps when preparing for a 1st deployment. Everything is incredibly new and scary not knowing what to expect. I know we're making the right decision to sell the truck seeing how it will only depreciate each day he is gone but I'm weirding myself out by being sad about saying bye to Lee's wheels. Silly girl. We're one step closer to this launch and it scares the HELL out of me. Wish we could trade the truck in for some bigger balls for me. I see so many military wives that make this life look like a cakewalk. Think they're eating their Wheaties?
Anyway...I made the cranberry relish last night! It looks delicious. I'm going to taste test tonight. I gotta make sure it's fit to eat, right?!  I couldn't last night bc it had to gel/mold/chill in the fridge overnight.
Looking for a hairDO for Thanksgiving? I stumbled upon A Beautiful Mess and found a cute beehive tutorial that involves a loofa. I'm giving this a shot: (I'm going to buy a white loofa and use some old natural colored pantyhose in lieu of the fabric they suggest. I think that will better match my hair)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

cranberry goodness

I've decided on what I'm taking to the Thanksgiving lunch with Lee's family. I'm doing my Granny's Cranberry Relish and you should too! I'm kinda nervous about making it for the first time, but my mom gave me a fail proof recipe to follow. If you're used to that canned cranberry crap, you're in for a treat.

Granny Mable's Cranberry Relish
1 qt Cranberries (grounded)
2 apples (chopped fine)
1 can of Mandarin organges & juice (don't drain)
1 cup of sugar
1 small can of crushed pineapple
2 pkg red jellow (disolve w/ 2 cups of hot water)
Mix all ingredients & chill
*Some of my family likes to add a bit of celery-I do not.

This is the with a bit of butter on a warm roll fresh out of the oven. MMMMMMM...

Monday, November 21, 2011


O man! What a great weekend! I really had a blast in NOLA and I am extremely worn plum out. After Lee picked me up at the airport, I'm pretty sure I took a good 4 hour nap when we got home. Woke up to eat a lil something and then went back to sleep. I did take some good pictures but I don't have my connector cord with me right now to share. However, I have a pic to share from my phone:
Panty/bra set is from VS. I ordered the masks from HERE. The penis straws and 24" inflatable penis were bought at Spencers. A personalized sash & veil was ordered too from HERE!

More details to come. It's a Manic Monday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

this & that

My Nina (Dad's mom) is 82 years young today.

I'm officially ready for NOLA, just need to throw my pile into a suitcase. O and I ended up returning THAT grey and white striped sweater to GAP. Just didn't fit the way I wanted it to with my red pants. I wanted something more like this:

I did find a shortsleeve striped sweater at the JCREW outlet yesterday to wear with it instead. I'll take plenty of pix this wknd. Promise!

I priced some flights for Lee to come home and me to go to him when his starts training. I'm going to try to work it out where we get to see each other at least 3 times during his training. That would be a trip to Houston where we'll meet for Mal's wedding in Jan. A trip home for him mid Feb. It's looking like airfare is on the high side in March so that month may get skipped. I go to him in April and then he's back home in May! Fingers crossed for cheap air.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

holiday cards & such

I ordered my Christmas cards today. I always order from Tiny Prints and they have their holiday cards 20% off + free shipping today! Woot Woot! I get the photo card style each year and hope to do something fun with them one day. I might start a large coffee table album to set out during the holidays as our Christmas history grows. This is our 4th Christmas as a married couple and we started doing Christmas cards only when we got married so my history pile is somewhat small.
As a kid, I remember always looking forward to getting Christmas cards in the mail and loved the ones with photos so you could see the smiling faces of loved ones that you may've not seen as often as you would have liked throughout the year. Remember folks, this was before facebook, etc. Anyway, photo Christmas cards are my favorite and part of my getting rev'd up for the holiday Season. THIS chica over at Enjoying the Small Things thinks so too. Her Christmas history photo card stockpile is way bigger than mine and pretty neat too! I'm well on my way.
Now. Whoa! Let's slow our roll and enjoy Thanksgiving. The months are turning into days and going fast enough already. No need to start skipping holidays with my boo just yet. We're having our turkey dinner with Lee's family this year (we rotate Thanksgiving). I'm wanting to bring something to impress and I'm thinking my granny's famous cranberry salad or this pie (recipe, HERE):

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

shopping cart

I bought a Chelsea and Violet top to wear in NOLA with black dressy shorts and tights. Not crazy about the back ribbon tie so I'll prob leave it untied and hide the ribbon in my bra or something so it leaves the back with a simple scoop back. I like the scoop back.

GAP had a 30% percent off entire purchase so I got a gray and white sweater to wear with my red skinnies:

And a T to wear with my leather leggings and blazer:

New tank with chiffon overlay in pink ambrosia from New York and Co. (w/ military discount). I got THIS necklace too, but I can't find the earrings online that I got to match. I imagine wearing this with my black leather leggings too. Options are nice:

Also got some stuff from AE: THIS love T. THIS navy sweat pant. This orange plaid shirt. (w/ 30% coupon off my entire purchase) I plan on wearing all this together with my jean jacket. Excited for the season of layers.

I got a new lip color too:

Monday, November 14, 2011


I read THIS article that Justin Timberlake wrote about his promised date to a military ball. It was refreshing to hear a celeb be real and speak of the military in a positive light. Whether he really wrote it or not-I found it interesting that I was interested to read what he had to say. I hope his letter opens the eyes of others that may not be so interested in what's going on in the real world. AND I think it's super cute that Kelsey, the marine, asked him out. So ballsy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kate Spade released her new arrivals and gift giving guide for the holidays today! You can see it HERE.  Of course I found a couple of yummies.
I love red and pink combos:
Who would not want a golf hedgehog coin purse?!

This got me thinking about what I want for Christmas. I think I want THIS 8x10 kilim rug to be my gift this year. I think I'm pushing for it to be a gift because Lee can't debate pink decor when it's a gift, right? Plus+ it goes with my dream house ammo board. I call it ammo instead of mood or inspiration bc I'd like to pow pow take these items into captive like the Army does. (I'm a dork, I know.) And with that, Happy Veteran's Day! I love my soldier and thank my blessed stars that we have courageous men and women to freedom fight for wimpy folks like me. Pretty sure I'd hide behind a bush if my squad were pushing towards enemy lines.
Whew. Back to decor, in the giant scheme of things, I'm being cost efficient for future spending. One less thing to buy for the dream house. Oooo how my mind works...

I love the lines on this sofa, but I DO want to make it a sectional with an attached chaise lounger.
The blue chair isn't so much the style I want, but I DO adore the color of that blue fabric and I DO want a matching ottoman. We tall people like to prop our feet up.
Walls? Paint will be a very light grey with a suede texture. We have Ralf Lauren's Brown Suede in our dining and living rooms now and I really like it.
Lots of creamy white mouldings will surround those grey suede walls.
This room will have tall floor to ceiling windows too. On those floors, will be hardwood, but Lee wants a darker shade than the one shown above.
Now, where can I find those chandeliers?!

Things I have already to complete Ammo Board:
  1. Houndstooth wing back
  2. Beveled mirror
  3. Pier 1 pink peonies
  4. Brown & cream zebra pillows (2)
  5. Yellow & cream rosette pillows (4)
  6. Globe
  7. Photographer's tripod floor lamp
  8. All wall coverings seen above (my sailboat canvas is only a tiny bit different)
  9. Mirrored side table
(10 beans says I change my mind before the day comes. )

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It is hot in my office today. I mean I have boob sweat and this is ridiculous. I share an office with a dude and we have this fan. When he stepped out, I turned the fan on me and it took him an hour to figure it out. Sneaky sneaky me. We have decided that I am not into sharing and I'm OK with this.

I just found out that I get to coordinate Project Elf again this year!!! I brought the Secret Santa idea to our company for the first time last year and I've been begging my arse off to get us approved to do it again. Super stoked and honored to serve kids in our State's care for the holidays. Tis' the Season, ya'll!

I found some faux leather leggings!
Michael Kors:

I bought them on my lunch break at the new outlet mall around the corner from my office. I saw them a couple of months ago but was a scared little chicken to spend 60 bones on something so edgy but after seeing them styled all over the mags and sweet Pinterest, I found myself dreaming of them. So. I bought them and they were more on Sale Sale. They retailed at $79.50 and then the outlet sale was $59.99 and then they were on MORE sale for $37.49. Score. See here. I am not yanking your chain:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

escape route

O what a day at the office?! I need a vacay stat. So glad I have a girly weekend planned soon.

I found myself escaping the madness by checking my gmail for Operation Dream Home news and by golly, I got a response about some land we inquired about so that tid bit of info is giving me the ammo needed to get to 5. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

weekend update

Lee had drill this past weekend and I had guests from Houston! Mal and James kept me company while Lee was gone. We had fun at the game and experienced a (minor) earthquake all in one day.

At first I thought we were just having a heavy wind storm. Earthquake was the very last thing on my mind. I had just climbed into bed when Cooper sat up in a startled position and took off to my nearest armpit. The wind went crazy and stuff started to rattle. Being in tornado alley, I assumed it was just a heavy wind storm??? When it finished, I got up (carrying Cooper, of course) to check on Mal and James. Mal informed me that it was in fact an earthquake and I reacted with a “Hmph, well I’ll be darn.” And that was that. Coop and I went back to bed (where he stayed snuggled in my armpit the entire night) and my phone rang-it was Lee.

It was a great lazy Sunday. I watched lots of stuff on DVR, took a nap and did a load of laundry. When Lee got home Sunday evening, I had only managed to shower and change my pjs after Mal and James headed home. The three of us (Coop, duh) climbed into Lee’s truck to go hunt land to build our dream home on when he returns from deployment. Searching for land to buy has become a go-to activity when the mood strikes. When it got dark we stopped by the Braum’s near our house and got a chocolate shake. Mine was dinner and Lee’s shake was his dessert after he finished off my leftover Chinese food from the night before.

Lee says during his next drill there is a family briefing that I am to attend. Briefing? What briefing? What am I being briefed about? The last Army briefing I went to was during his OSUT training. I got a POA and drilled about insurance crap. Maybe FRG will be there. Do I care about FRG? Maybe I should. But to be involved I would have to drive 3 hours to a mtg, right? Maybe they have a FB page. If not, maybe I could start one. What if no one likes me? Who wouldn't like ME?! What should I wear? Lee said it will be casual so not to worry. Again, what should I wear?

You should know (if you don't know already) that I really love chandeliers. I believe that lighting sets the mood for the exterior and interior. So why not do chandies in clusters?! Sign me up. I've got this idea up my sleeve as I get my inspiration boards together for the dream home.

Friday, November 4, 2011

head first

Taylor bought the Moroccan Oil that I keep hearing about.

My stylist didn’t have any when I got my hair did the other night after work, but she had L’Oreal’s mythic oil and I’m sure they’re about the same thing. She put it on my hair dry and I loved it so much I bought some. She had a holiday pkg that came with poo, a conditioning masque and a bottle of the oil. I’m not a huge fan of the poo bc it comes in a smaller bottle than I like and you don’t get a good soapsud lather (that I love) but my hair is soft after the poo rinse and I suppose that’s all that matters. However, the masque and oil are amaze balls.

I stopped by Ulta to get my concealer. I love Benefit’s Erase Paste. I wear the FAIR 1 shade and swear by this stuff:

And then I noticed they’re moisturizer’s packaging. I needed to stop by the Chanel counter to replenish my empty jar, but I couldn’t help but notice Benefit’s skin care line (and that it was ~$40 cheaper). I decided to give it a whirl and picked up a jar to take home. I really like everything about it except for the smell. I don’t like obvious perfume-y scents and this one seems to have one. It could be a much cleaner, softer scent. Maybe I’ll write Mrs. Benefit and tell her just what I think.

TGIF ya,'l! Have a good one.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I lost a dear childhood friend this week. We hadn’t been in touch other than FB in years but shared many fun memories growing up at baseball games, youth group trips and everything that is Sunday School. He had a huge smile and was a laugh out loud fun person to be around growing up. He leaves behind 2 beautiful girls and wife. My heart breaks for this family when I think about his sudden absence. Please pray for this young family today, tomorrow and every time you see a baseball. I'm counting my blessings today and hugging my hubby a little tighter tonight.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The drool worthy pictures above are only a few of the images shared on Edie's home tour as she takes us through her struggles and steps to rebuilding her family's dream home after a tragic fire where she lost so much. You can read about the fire, HERE. I love how Edie's describes her DESIGNER taking her vision and making it a reality.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

epic fail, NOLA & horses

I've been doing an unusual amount of online shopping, but nothing is the once I receive it in the mail! My red pants I ordered were too short so I ordered them in another size and in a longer length. The velour suit I ordered from VS (bc they had free shipping the other night) came in the mail and it was too big and the length was too long...the over the knee riding boots fit me midknee (made my knee look like it had a wedgy) because apparently I have long shins (I'm 5'10). So lots to send back to exchange or return. I'm back on the hunt for the perfect tall riding boot.
I'm trying to figure out what I'm wearing to NOLA for Mal's bachelorette trip in a couple of weeks. I'm thinking my red pants one night and my dressy black shorts with tights the other night. But what top and shoes for my tootsies?!
On another note, I really love this image and wish I could blow it up huge (like really huge) on a canvas somewhere in my house.