Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A life change in my mouth!

You heard me....Another life changing moment!
I will never eat the same again!

Meet the best I ever had...

Sweet Tea Cured Pork Chop

with Hoppin John, Haricot Vert sauteed with housemade Tasso, a Red Wine Vinegar Sorghum Glaze, Rosemary Black Pepper Brown Butter and spicy Rhubarb Relish
from the

Honest moment:  I don't know what all that stuff means...hoppin john...sauteed vert...whatev girl!  I just know that it was a miracle in my mouth!
Wish I had taken a picture of it for you guys!  It was a beautiful presentation as well!  It was served with beautiful green beans, sweet potato pancakes, and an apple chutney!  Once again chutney-smutney...
It was the best pork chop...better yet meal I've ever had!

B wanted to take me on a special date so he made surprise reservations at Yellow Porch a place I have always wanted to go...Isn't he the best?  Hands off Ladies!  He is taken!  
This was my first Yellow Porch experience and I will never be the same.  I've already planned future events there.  It is right down the road from Baja Burrito...my all-time favorite restaurant...It's like God created this street special for my belly!  If you plan to go, maybe make reservations.  And it is a little on the pricey side depending on what you think that means.  I can eat at Baja for like $4 so Yellow Porch was steep for me, but I will be back there for sure!

Just wanted to share the wealth!  It just might change your life too!  Love you friends!

PS--Have you had any life changing moments big or small lately?  Don't be stingy...Share!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Da da dada...Da da dada...

Here comes the bride... All dressed in white... 
I remember singing this song as a child while I walked down the center of the playroom wearing a polyester princess dress to meet my pretend fiance at the altar...a.k.a. the fireplace.  Didn't you do that?  Maybe not.  I suppose only a family of 4 sisters would sing that while playing house and pretending to marry guys at least 15 years our senior.  What?  They were in the youth group at church when we were like 5 and we luuuvvved them!

Well last weekend, some school friends and I made a road-trip to central Illinois, the land of corn, soybeans, the covered bridge festival, and home of Dick Van Dyke!  Awesome, huh?  This is where our beautiful friend, Sarah Jo, married her prince charming, Jared.

It was so beautiful!  

The tables were themed as all the places they have visited in the world and where they hope to go together.  Each table also had a card for a specific anniversary year for the table members to decorate and fill out with well wishes.   Then Sarah Jo and Jared will open a card a year.  What a great idea!
Card from her Nashville friends!
All of you engaged ladies and gents out there should so steal this idea!  It was so fun and will be a blessing or a source of hilarity in some cases...wink...on each anniversary!
So glad I could be there to celebrate with you!
Instead of throwing birdseed or blowing bubbles, they released balloons on their exit with notes for the persons who find them to email them and let them know where they were found.
It was a crazy 6 hour adventure there and back, but I wouldn't have missed it!  You were beautiful, Sarah Jo!  Hope you are having a relaxing, wonderful honeymoon!  
Mr. and Mrs. Bouton

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

O_R_G_A_N_I_Z_A_T_I_O_N day!

Yeah for fall clothes!  Better yet, let's get excited for fall re-organizing and cleansing!  
It feels so good to have an organized closet!  I love organization...however, I am really only good at it if I have time to commit to complete the project in one sitting and ideally enough room for everything to have its own place.  Let's get real folks...I rarely have either of those things.  Who am I kidding?  I NEVER have enough room.  Have you seen the cottage I live in? ...cottage makes it sound so cute and cozy doesn't it...  Despite the odds, I do my best every few weeks...more like months to re-organize my house.  A great time to do this when you change out your summer and winter clothes.  It always makes me feel so clean, which is a nice change since I am not a big fan of showers.

So here the method to my madness:

1.  Clean up first.
I can NOT get organized if it is messy.  I need a clean slate to work on... and so do you!
... so this needed to go.  Just making the bed makes this task so much easier!
2.  In order to get organized, you have to create structured chaos.
You may not be able to tell what all these piles are but I knew.  There were piles of things to re-organize and replace in the drawers to keep for winter.  There were piles of summer clothes to store in bins in the attic.

Lastly, there were piles to go to goodwill.  I have trouble getting rid of stuff sometimes...Not in a TLC-Hoarders kind of way, but a "well maybe next year I will fit in that" or "What if I have a clinical that makes me wear _____".  The first excuse is ridiculous...I never go down in sizes only up.  The second is totally legit or so I let myself believe for 1 more year until I know what kind of physical therapy I want to do when I grow up.  So have kept those 5 polos that I own and haven't worn in two years just in case I am required to dress like a man in khakis and a polo on a clinical in the spring...I hate that outfit.  I look like a box.  Women want to be on hourglass not a big, manly, burly square box.  The last excuse I have is "Awe, I wore this when _____ happened".  That is why I still have these 2 shirts that I haven't worn in 2 years.
The sweet cream strapless number is what I was wearing when B proposed.  Awe!  I know it was special and looked fab with my new bling!
The hot coral number is what I wore on our first date!  That's how I hooked such a great catch!

3.  Decide on what organization style will work best for you.
I like organizing by color so I can quickly find the specific shirt I am looking for.  In the past, I have organized by color separately within my tops, pants, and dresses.  This year, I took a tip from my fabulous sis, Carebear, and organized tops and dresses together by color.  I think it will be much easier.

In B's closet, I organized by type of shirt then by color.  His closet looks much neater due to a much better size to amount of clothes ratio.

B doesn't care for the color organization so much but he lets me do what I want and I don't get on to him when he doesn't keep it that way.

4.  Finish the task by properly putting all of your bins and random miscellaneous stuff you found in your closet away.  You know whenever you organize your house you find the random-est stuff you haven't seen in months!  Here is all my chaos before Carebear helped me put it in the attic.
This is a lot of random stuff, huh?!  Notice my hanging clothes lying in the front of the photo.  I just place a trash bag over top and pull one up the bottom and tie them together.  Works great for keeping clothes clean in my crazy attic.
My mom taught me a lot so once again I will share the wealth of her knowledge with you.

Jackie Tip's for your Closet:
  • Always button the top button of a blouse or sweater or men's shirt.  Not only does it make it look nicer and help it stay on the hanger, but it also helps it keep its shape.  No one wants a collar that is awkwardly positioned...folks...popping your collar is way over.
  • Keeping to the button theme...Always button at least every other button on the top for all of the above reasons.
  • Always button your pants before you hang them.  
  • Always hang your pants with a proper crease in the front.  You can do this by grasping a few inches on either side of the zipper/button and folding them toward the middle.  Then just fold the pants over the hanger.
  • If you put it away correctly the first time, you will have less to do later.
A few months ago I re-organized my kitchen cabinets and it was life-changing.  I know I know some of you are thinking...Man she uses that "life-changing" word a lot.  You're right, I do.  And sure I'm not talking Jesus life-changes because nothing can compare to that.  But I do believe simple things can change your life for the better.  Case in point...when I watched Oprah's bra revolution.  No kidding...I never joke about this moment in my life.  You guys have heard me tell this story and I think you would agree many lives were changed that day.

Back to my new cabinet set up:  I recommend it to everyone at least twice a year.  You realize quickly how wasteful you can be when you find food past its expiration date.  Performing this cleansing will help refocus you and maybe you can get creative to eat what you already have in your cabinets.  And no one ever regrets being able to find things a little easier!

So have you gotten re-organized this fall?  What organization style do you use?  
Please share I love hearing other people's perspectives!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm in LOVE!!!!

You heard me correctly!  I'm in magical, sigh-filled, heart-warming love!  It all started when I woke up this morning to a beautiful day.  I slept in til 8:30 which is HUGE people!  My gorgeous husband made me coffee.  I laid down on the couch with Good Morning America and my computer and it was bliss.  

Side note:  Alexa Ray Joel was singing on GMA this morning.  I'm telling B how much she looks like her dad, Billy Joel.  He has no clue what Billy Joel looks like?  But more surprising, he doesn't know what her mother looks like...its Christie Brinkley.  I mean I even know that she had her last baby at 43 and named her Sailor.  ...I have lots of random knowledge...I almost said useless but I think it serves me well.

Then while I'm reading blogs I find on Cherry's side bar, I find my new love!

Its absolutely fantastic!  I'm telling you right now...I want to do all of this.  And in my naive, over-confident mind I can, despite only getting an A for effort in art, not artistic genius.  So once my life slow slightly...I know what you are thinking "She's crazy...that never happens."...But give me a little leeway here people, try not to rain on my parade and step on my delicate, push-me-too-far-and-I'll-go-crazy, too-much-grad-school-changes-you-for-the-worse mind.  I WILL have more time and 100 times less stress.

And...She's adopting from Africa!  So of course I love her! 

This is one of my favorite finds on her blog.
This DIY Beaded Chandelier tutorial
Photo courtesy of www.apennysavedblog.com.
What do you think my chances of pulling this off are?  Slim.  I know.  But I might try one day.  I love to play the...if I had a house, what would I do...its easier to dream than to do.
But doesn't it look similar to these...

Image from Marjorie Skouras Design

You can buy this one here for $6,000!
Why don't they just smack me in the face?

Can you believe it?  That is not in my fun money budget.  So maybe I can learn to make it myself one day.  I'm going to say I can.  Fake it til you make it!

I have a miniature project in mind now.  I don't know when I will find time to get it done since school is literally sucking out my soul but it will eventually happen.  I won't give a hint of what it is just in case I never do it...that way you guys won't know it didn't happen.  See how that works?  No accountability means no shame.  Works for me in the craft world.

Love you!  Enjoy your weekends!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I almost BROKE my blog today!  
Sorry if you checked it in the midst of the chaos!  So the new template is up but will be changing when I have more time.  I just finally got one to work after hours of work...Yes I know its crazy that I spent hours but I was panicked.  So love you guys!  
Here is a picture of my favorite friend today.
I'm babysitting for Cara who is babysitting for my parent's dog, PK.

Ok...So now that I have wasted an entire afternoon.  I will see you guys in a few days!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


God thinks I'm awesome.
My sisters must think that too because they want to be like me.
Case in point:  Camille is now a Delta Sigma Lion!
The legacy lives on...That makes 3 Cross girls...count it:
Me-Fall 04   Cara-Spring 07  Camille-Fall 10
Of course, I dressed to match my blue and gold!

Grrr... Yes this is a common DS pose.  Its strange but we love it!
Who are those gorgeous ladies?  Oh wait!  My sisters!

Carebear, when she pledged...look at those pearls.  She's all shmancy for pledging!
Now, we aren't even going to go into my stance or your stance on pledging.  It's a super complex conversation that doesn't bring out the best in anyone so we aren't going to talk about it.  All I know is...Delta Sigma is lucky to have a former NCAA softball player and strongest girl I know on their intramural teams.  (She once's squatted over 300lbs...WHAT?  How did it not crush her?  I know she's special!)

I loved Delta Sigma.  I learned so much and made so many memories with my Sisters of Joy.  And I hope Camille has a fabulous time making those special memories too!

Things I loved about Delta Sigma:  cute t-shirts, Fall 04's Fantasy Island getaway, jersey day, the special bond I have with the lady at Kroger who was in delta sigma 20 years ago, meetings, the lion, amazing devos from  Daley, Singarama, intramurals...and on and on.

Last but definitely not least:  I don't want to leave out my glowingly gorgeous prego sis, Candace!  She's 29 weeks pregnant with my sweet baby Coleman!  
Drum roll please................
75 days til Aunt Neet Ney gets to be Coleman's favorite aunt!  Maybe I should start picking out my outfit for the birth!  Let's be honest, I need to make up for my outfit at the gender announcement.  It was a neutral vanilla.    

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Will Follow You

**WARNING:  Serious post
--lots of words, minimal photos--

I have been so emotional in the last few weeks.  It all started with singing the song "Follow You" by Leeland featuring Brandon Heath at Ethos a couple of weeks ago.  

Then yesterday, I was shopping at TJMaxx with my favorite mom, Jackie.  We were stopped talking to an old friend when we noticed police officers moving briskly with intention toward our area of the store.  A man about 10 feet from us in the shoe department was their target.  They asked him to go with him and he complied without a scene as did the woman with him.  Soon another man was brought in from outside and he appeared to have been wrestled to ground as he was covered in grass.  About 20 minutes later they were each individually marched through the store in handcuffs.

And you guys, it broke my heart.  I nearly wept in the store as they took him.  There is no obvious need for me to cry for this man.  He was obviously involved in something serious...these were no mall security guard wannabees.  These were the real deal cops.  He was not a child who was helpless of the actions he as caught up in.  He was a grown 20-something.  He looked like a gangster...which I know is not politically correct and perhaps unkind to say but I merely say it allow you to picture him.  He had on the too-big, baggy shorts and long dreadlocks.  But for some reason to me, he looked like such a nice man.  
My heart just continues to cry out for him.  He obviously needed something...money, a family, attention, something.  Someone didn't teach him right from wrong or maybe the first time he needed something, he tried to go about it the right way, but someone, probably a Christian, turned him away.  So he did what people do in desperation without God.  He made a poor decision.  People aren't innately robbers or murderers.

On my way home from shopping, I heard the song from church, Follow You.  I just sobbed as I sang with my hands raised (driving with my knees...do not follow my example).  As I promised God that I would follow His calling.  I don't know what that calling is specifically or why God is moving in me but I know He has called me to love.  To love those you look like me and those who don't.  To love my enemies and my family.  To love the orphans and poor around the world and in my own backyard.

I am not good at it.

But God doesn't expect me to be perfect.  In fact, He knows I will fail.  He calls me to try.

Here is the song.  Take some time to just close your eyes and listen.
Side note:  Of course, Will makes this song a hundred times better...Its funny hearing a song at church and falling in love, then hearing it on the radio and going, "Man that is just not as good as Will does it."  Thank you for doing such an amazing job of leading worship Will!  We are so thankful for you!

I don't know if that song resonates with you, but it strikes me deep in my soul.  I am not usually an emotional person.  I think Brandon has seen me really cry a handful, maybe two handfuls, of times.  Sometimes I get teary and my eyes glisten but real tears for me are rare.  (if you are in grad school with me, don't count the tears shed during/after practicals...I do cry when I'm nervous and exhausted).  I have a hard time crying at those moments when they are practically mandatory like at funerals.  Thus the cold hearted labeled began.
So when Brandon looked down a couple of weeks ago at church and saw me in tears during this song, I'm sure he was confused.  Then last night, I came in after not seeing him for 3 days and started immediately into this story about a stranger being arrested and started bawling about God calling me to love this man.  God has just been moving in me through this song.  

"And I'll follow you into the homes of the broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs of the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the world."

What is God calling you to?  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Craft day REALLY was the BEST day!

Craft Day is the Best Day - Halloween edition was a hit!  I will be talking about this for a looooong time!  I L - O - V - E  luuuvved every second of it!  I'm not usually a big halloweener.  I'm more of a fall girl...Fun Fact:  My middle name is Autumn...perhaps that's why.  But I will forever be excited for Halloween so I can get down my new Halloween tree!

We started with yummy halloween snacks and apple cider!  
The gorgeous, oh-so-talented, future-famous creative genius, Caity, of Craft Day is the Best Day!
These cute little brown sacks were full of ghoulish goodies from which we made ornaments and strung brightly colored garlands!

Before = Nervous, After = Delighted

After multiple cups of cider being replaced after glitter and pom pom balls were found floating, several near cuss words when trying to thread a needle and decide if a decoration was indeed a sticker or was in fact not, words of encouragement from Caity and one another, and lots and lots of laughter and fun had by all...
...we were very proud of our trees!
We were wearing old school junior high glitter make up!  You aren't crafting if you aren't covered in glitter!

It was the best day!
You should visit Craft Day is the Best Day for more fun, creative crafting ideas!

Here is my creative masterpiece:
Aren't those the shiny-est pumpkins you've ever seen?
 I know you're jealous of my Halloween decor...But back down sistas (and brothers if you're reading)!!  You can purchase a Halloween tree with ornaments on Caity's etsy site.  You will not regret the decision.  It even comes with super duper handy storage directions. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pretty Little Things

For some reason, when I opened this page to start this blog post, Beyonce's song,"Single Ladies", started blaring in my head!  You can join me and rock out to it while you read!
(Confession:  I just busted a "Single Ladies" move while typing...if you know me you know its true! and you know it wasn't even close to the real thing)

Sarah Jo is officially showered!
We had so much fun getting her ready for her honeymoon!  We ate at Maggiano's and the food was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!  (My stomach might have hurt all night but it felt great going down!)  Linnea, Corey, and Jessica did a great job planning the party.  We had cute little masquerade mask to wear!
 Sarah Jo looked so cute in her sexy red shoes!

You can tell that we were much too loud and quite a spectacle in this nice restaurant.

Yay!  For fun ladies nights!   I laughed until my intercostals...fun fact: inter- = between, -costals = ribs...so the muscles between the ribs... were cramping!  (Gotta use my doctoral knowledge somewhere.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Coming soon to a computer near you...

This weekend I have a couple of fun things going on!  YES!  Can you believe it?  I'm not going to lock my self in my study dungeon all weekend...part of the weekend but not the whole time.  Brandon is going to be out of town all day Saturday doing man stuff so I'm off to

So here is a preview...

1.  Bachelorette Par-TAY!  
Sarah Jo Lyons is getting hitched in 15 days!  So we ladies must giggle, gasp, and shower her with lace and goodies!  Granted...You will only get a censored version of this party...it will not all be blog-legal.  

The Lovely Couple.  They will change the lives of so many as a couple.  God truly brought them together.
2.  Crafting with Caity
I can not tell you how excited I am about this.  My uber talented friend, Caity Shinnick, is a crafting queen!  She runs a crafting blog that you should all check out, Craft Day is the Best Day !  Its so cute!  She also has an etsy shop that you shouldn't miss.  I'm convinced she could have a crafting business where she host crafting parties for ladies and their friends...you know a fun girls night out!  
Isn't she beautiful?!
Anyway, there is never enough bragging about this sweet girl but I will move on...we are having a Halloween craft party!  Picture this, beautiful women all sitting around a table with laughter and voices abounding with hot glue, glitter, and pipe cleaners everywhere!  If that doesn't warm your heart and make you jump up and down then you need to go to the doctor and get a prescription for fun!  

I couldn't stop at one...I'm proud she's my friend. 
Can you tell?

I will be back in a few days with posts on my exciting weekend!  
Hope yours is whatever you need this weekend...fun, relaxing, productive.
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