Monday, March 30, 2009

Dallas & stuff

This past weekend, Kendall and I went to Dallas overnight for 3 things:

- See Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover Live"
- Ikea
- Sprinkles

Okay, so Dave Ramsey was the real reason we went. The other two stops took a little convincing to get to, but KJ's pretty easy so he was okay to check out these places. As long as we were able to fit in a good steak for dinner after Dave (and check basketball scores), KJ was good to go.

I've been a big Dave Ramsey fan for about 3 years now. I've read his books and listen to him almost daily on the radio. He has really inspired me. (In case you're not familiar with Dave, he's a Christian financial guru and teaches people to live debt-free and how to build wealth. He's on from 1-4p on 970 AM and is also on the Fox Business Network. He's been on Oprah, GMA, and lots of other talk shows.) KJ doesn't get as much Dave exposure as I do so we thought it would be a good thing to see him live and learn some more. It was really, really good. It lasted 5 hours, but was very informative. So glad we went. Kendall recently took a new job so this allowed us to have a weekend to do a quick road trip. We just felt this trip would be good to do as a couple since financial troubles are one of the #1 causes of divorce and we want to do everything we can to avoid financial problems. Plus, once you start living below your means, it just frees up money to be able to give/help others. It's not about becoming selfish. Anyway, it was great and that was the reason we went. Plus, I love to continually learn. I'm definitely the nerd in our family.
Then there was Ikea. For years now I've wanted to go to an Ikea. Then, when the one in Frisco opened, I was thrilled. However, it still took me a while to get time to visit. Let me just say this: It was AWESOME! Oh my word. I want to go back ASAP. It was better than I could have imagined. Even Kendall was a little impressed. He said it was basically a girl's version of Sam's. (Which is funny, bc I love Sam's too.) I bought all of us a down comforter. Some plastic plates and cups for Lola and "the little man" when he gets here. Some cute fabric that I have no idea how I'll get the nerve to ever cut to turn into a project. A fish-shaped ice cube tray for my juice cubes I referred to last summer. A cute bag for picnics. Some Swedish chocolate. A step stool for the kids. Some hooks to hang our bath towels from. I can't even remember what else. And it was all so inexpensive!!!! I really believe I could have furnished my entire house from nothing but Ikea products. I HAVE TO GO BACK.
Lastly, was Sprinkles. KJ doesn't quite understand the appeal of a cupcake bakery. He's not as into food as I am. He was amazed that people were standing in line outside the door to buy cupcakes. I was so pumped to actually be there! I love to see how these cool little places are designed and decorated, what their packaging is like, if the food is even good...(it was!) I take it all in. It did not fail. I bought half a dozen. Somehow though, I only made it home with 4. They were killer! Below are some pics of the last 3. (I sent one home with my parents last night for keeping Lola all weekend. A red velvet. Now that I am typing this, that's kinda cheap to send them home with 1 cupcake when I still had half a box. Now I feel bad.) Owning and running a neat little shop like this would be my dream job. For years I've imagined what my logo and packaging would look like whether it be on crafty things or food -- or both. Isn't that crazy?
Below: (Okay, so this was before I ate the first two yesterday. I got two red velvets, a lemon, a vanilla, vanilla milk chocolate, and a carrot. The color of dots indicate the flavor. They only bake certain flavors each day and the menu is huge. I love the modern dots! So cute.)
Below: The last 3. Actually, as I type this, it's 2 and a half.

Below: Look at the icing! I watched the owner/creator of Sprinkles last year on Martha and she said they take pride in having a neat, smooth appearance of their icing. FYI: You can buy Sprinkles' cake mixes at Williams-Sonoma. Their flavors are limited, though. I've never made one. I did make Sprinkles strawberry cupcakes from scratch for Valentine's Day last year. I got the recipe from Martha's website. The owner shared her recipe for the show. They were very good, but I have to admit: I think my mom's strawberry cake recipe is just as good....)

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Heart The Duggars

(FYI: I stole this pic from you, Jodi! Glad you had your camera phone. What was I thinking? Why did I not take my own?!?)

Okay, so last weekend me and my friend Jodi went to Barnes & Noble to a Q&A/book signing with The Duggars. The Duggars are the great family from Arkansas with 18 kids. They have a show on TLC called "18 Kids & Counting." For the past several years I've followed this family on Discovery/TLC specials. I love these guys! They are a Christian family and are not afraid to share their faith. Aside from that, the mom, Michelle, is so fascinating to me. She seems like one of those people who I could just sit and listen to hear speak for hours bc she speaks so crisp and cleanly, she seems so pleasant and friendly; I could just soak her up. (Maybe that's bc I'm a court reporter and can ALWAYS appreciate a person who speaks so clearly. Plus, she has very pretty teeth.) So, to sum it all up, I'm a huge fan of these guys and when I learned they would be in town, I knew I had to go. I called my crazy friend Jodi -- who also loves them, but was still thinking they're a tad nutty -- and she was more than happy to go with me.

Saturday rolled around and after we had lunch we got to B&N an hour early just to get up close to the table they'd be sitting at. We sat on the floor like a bunch of school children and waited an hour. Legs going numb the whole time. Finally they arrived! Michelle and Jim Bob were literally within 2 feet of us the whole time. I could have grabbed her. I was totally absorbed in their talk and wish they would have been able to stay longer. I wanted to ask her if she had any tips on potty training, but I didn't have the nerve. I totally chickened out. I'd like to get Lola potty-trained by the time Baby Boy arrives, but just don't know where to begin. I figured Michelle would have all the best tips...but, like I said, I chickened out.

Anyway, it was awesome. I just love them even more now. 15 of their 18 kids were there. (And so well-behaved.) The oldest and his wife were at a marriage conference and I forget where the others were. What was cool was that the production crew from TLC was there too, so maybe Tulsa will make it onto one of their episodes! I think the Duggars are just so darn neat. They only buy clothes from secondhand stores; nothing is ever new. Their philosophy is "Buy used and save the difference." They also live totally debt-free. That is so awesome to me too.

Okay, so that's my Duggar story. Love them. Love their show. Wish I could spend a day with them :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


(These pics aren't that good bc I wasn't able to adjust my camera settings fast enough to capture the moment, but they'll just have to do.)

Okay, so we don't have screens on several of our windows. Our beloved mutt, Izzy, ripped and ultimately destroyed almost all of them not long after we got her and we've just never taken the time to replace them. Hopefully, we won't have to live with it much longer bc I can't handle all of the leaves and grass and dust that blow in every time we open the windows. (Which is a LOT.)

Anyway, so while I was fixing dinner the other day it was quiet for quite some time, causing me to wonder what was Lola doing. This is how I found her -- only Izzy was licking Lola's face ALL OVER and Lola was happily just sitting still for her. I'm talking literally ALL OVER: eyes, forehead, mouth (sorry), chin, cheeks...

So, I guess actually the pic above is Lola trying to play it all off like she's not doing anything. Then, Izzy popped in one last time and gave a final sugar, and this is all I could get....

Meet Penny

This is Penny. She has been one of Lola's best friends since birth. We used to tuck Penny into the side of Lola's baby carrier/car seat anytime we would leave the house. She spent many hours dancing for Lola, playing Peek-A-Boo, and just being her little friend.

This morning before getting dressed, Lola decided to drag out every doll she owns and kinda rediscovered Penny. (Poor Penny must have been buried under all the other dolls for a while now.) So, below are the pics of their reunion.

Giving sugars.....

Rocking Penny...

And, just a random one with some of the babies. (I was trying to put to practice a rule of "lines" that I learned at SnapShop.)

Monday, March 23, 2009


Last weekend I attended a photography class called SnapShop. It was all day long and pretty intense. I learned soooooo, sooooo much. I have always appreciated pretty photography, but frankly knew NOTHING about it. And, on top of that, it didn't help to have family and friends make remarks about how I needed to learn how to do it bc I have an "eye" (their words, not mine) for craftiness, etc. , and they knew I could do it. This was really encouraging to me.

Well, about a year or two ago I learned of a photographer at my church, Ashley, and quickly became hooked to her blog/website. Every morning I check it out just to see recent pics and get cool ideas for lots of things. I was so inspired by her work that for Christmas Kendall bought me a very nice camera and lens so I could learn more about photography. And, as luck would have it, Ashley was going to take a break from photography, but begin offering photography classes! I was beyond thrilled to finally get a chance to dive into photography without having to go for semester(s) at a college, etc. (Which I had checked into a million times.)

So, last weekend was the big day and it was, quite simply, AWESOME. Ashley was a great teacher and was able to take some stuff that was pretty technical, but explain it in a way that made sense to me. Plus, there were only 10 of us, so it allowed plenty of time to ask questions and just jump in. I learned a lot about photography, but still have so much to learn. (And lots of practice ahead of me.) However, I'm having so much fun learning to tell stories with my pics. Even if no one ever saw anything I photographed, I would love it just as much bc I feel like now I have the "tools" to start narrating my family's lives through pics. I just want to look back in years from now and have real-life, pretty pics of my kids and family, rather than stiff, posed, unnatural traditional photos.

So, to gain plenty of practice, don't be surprised if I show up with my camera the next time I see you!

Best Buds

These are just some pics of KJ and Lola goofing off. We'd just gotten home from church yesterday and had lunch when the games began. I wish there was a way to include the sound of her laughter with each picture bc it is just the best sound in the world. These two are the best of buds and I'm so lucky to have such a good daddy for my babies. (And, despite what it might look like, KJ and Lola didn't purposely color-coordinate their outfits! She chose her own dress to wear and it just happened to match his shirt.)

Below: This is just a shot I captured once things began to wind down. (And Bee was able to catch her breath.) I don't know what's up with the goofy grin.... :)
Below: I just took this pic bc I thought it was cute. This is how Lola spends most of her time on the floor these days playing or coloring. She and KJ were drawing on her Aquadoodle. I just love her little toes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


(Beware of the fake smile below. This is happening more and more these days....)
Obviously, Lola has inherited my love for shoes. (She even likes to mismatch her plastic ones with Disney princesses on them.) I buy about 97% of my clothes at Target, but when it comes to shoes, I'll splurge on a good sale at Dillard's. That's not to say I'm a shoe snob, though. I don't care where my clothes/shoes come from. I've even got a very cute pair that I bought for $3 at Dollar General.
Anyways, back to Lola. Whenever it gets too quiet, most of the time I can find her in my closet trying on shoes. She especially likes these bright, melon-colored BCBG heels of mine. Granted, they're hardly ever on the right feet, but she loves to clomp around in them anyway. When I've had enough of her messing up my shoes in the closet, she does occasionally retreat to Kendall's work boots. This is always funny bc they go over her knees and she really can't walk in them, so she ends up just standing in place the whole time. I need to get a pic of that.


This is an awesome series that my church has recently started. Click the logo above to watch the trailer for it. Each week I can't wait to learn more. It's a whole new spin on a story I've heard a hundred times in my life.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my church? I feel so blessed to be part of a place that is touching so many lives.

Counting the days...

...until this book is out! March 31 Martha's book goes on sale and it's all about crafts. I can't wait! I have a hefty Barnes & Noble giftcard that I've been saving since Christmas and this will be the perfect thing to use it on. (And probably a new cookbook. But not a Martha cookbook. I just don't dig too many of her recipes. Southern Living cookbooks are the best.) I am a nut about Martha's craft supplies that are sold at Michael's. Every time I have a coupon I buy something from her line. Even if it's just a pack of stickers or a bottle of glue. LOVE it!!