Friday, November 30, 2012

Meals, Moments, Reviews, & Remembering in Novemeber

Last month I started my new monthly wrap-up post inspired by Lisa's Yarns. Although if you want a longer explanation of the idea behind it check out last month's posts. Since now we all know where the idea came from, let's get to the idea itself!

I had a ton of awesome food on my trip to California over Thanksgiving (which I've yet to blog about). I could take the easy route and say to wait for that post, but instead I'm blogging about this.
Campbell's Thai Tomato Coconut Soup
I picked this up on a whim, because the idea intrigued me. I thought it would taste like tomato soup, with a hint of coconut. But instead it was more like Thai coconut soup with a hint of tomato. It really did surprise me by how much I enjoyed it. I haven't seen it in stores, since I tried it, but I'll definitely be on the look out for it again.

I had planned on participating in NaBloPoMo this year. Except the first weekend of the month I wound up re-installing Windows on my computer, and missing a few days as I tried to get it to work. Turns out the type of laptop I have has some sort of bug where it won't just install Windows without a few tweaks. I probably need a new laptop (I've had this one for 5 years maybe?), but for now it's working, and I'm hoping for at least another year out of it. And even with that setbacks still managed to blog 24 out of 30 days, and am on track to make 2012 my most blogged year ever.

This month I've reviewed 5 books and 5 movies.
Queen By Right by Anne Easter Smith
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Adventures of Tila Pinkerton by Angela Shelton
Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson
Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad
The Man with the Iron Fists

Rise of the Guardians
Breaking Dawn: Part 2
Life of Pi

My favorite out of all these would have the be The Perks of Being a Wallflower. (The book version at least, I've still yet to see the movie.)

November is quite the month for memories. November 20, 2006 is when the boy & I first became official. On our 4th anniversary, on November 20, 2010 is when the boy proposed and we became an engaged couple. And one day before our fifth dating anniversary, on November 19, 2011 is when my mom passed away.

What are the meals, moments, reviews, and remembering have you experienced in the past 30 days?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Show Us Your... Appetizers

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner
The past few weeks I've been linking up with Kelly's Korner, sharing favorite recipes, and today is no exception. This week theme is appetizers, and while I don't have a ton of recipes to share (I guess I'm not big on making appetizers?), the ones I have are delicious!
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Bacon-Wrapped, Parmesan-Stuffed Dates
Fried Halloumi Cheese
Fried Halloumi Cheese

Do you have a favorite appetizer to make? Which of these would you most want to try? And if you're stopping by from Kelly's Korner, be sure to say hi!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wishing & Hoping Again

Two years ago I wrote this post with my holiday wish list, and I thought it would be fun to bring the idea back this year. I'm not really expecting anyone to buy things from this, but just thought it would be fun. Plus I think it's interesting looking at what I wanted two years ago, and see all how many similarities there are, and just what is different.
Pasta Maker from Sur La Table, which was actually from our wedding registry and never gifted.
Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy
While this exact book wasn't on my last wish list, there still was another Jean Plaidy title I was lusting over (and have since read).
Soup bowl in our Vera Wang china pattern from Macy's, also left over from our registry.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Duvet cover from Pottery Barn
And yes, this was also left over from our registry.
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
And again, while this exact book wasn't one my list two years ago, there was a Greggory book on it.
Towels from Pottery Barn
The boy actually received the purple towels he wanted, but these are the blue towels I wanted. Do we really need separate towels? Probably not, but this is a wish list, not a need list after all.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Taylor Switf's Red
Finally, while Red wasn't on my list from two years ago, I bet by now you can guess what was on my last one.

What's on your wish list this year? Are you lusting over any of the same things as me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From Miss to Mrs: Prepping the Plantation

While the girls and I were getting ready, preparations for the day ahead were taking place all over the venue. In the photo below you can see the courtyard being set up for our cocktail hour.
I had originally planned on us setting up the reception room while we were getting ready. But since were unexpectedly getting ready in the bridal cottage, which was on the complete other side of the plantation, that made set-up difficult. Luckily my godmother, aunt, and grandmother came to the rescue and made sure the centerpieces, candy buffet, and everything else happened.

I had planned on printing out photos of the centerpiece set-up so everyone knew how it was supposed to look. Except that didn't happen. Instead I was able to do was pull up this blog post on my phone which showed my mock-up. Definitely a perk of blogging about the whole wedding planning process.

Speaking of things I didn't do, I also didn't draw a map as to what table went where. I went to do it mid-morning, but realized I didn't have the cards, and I couldn't remember which people were assigned to which table. Luckily my family came to the rescue here, and mapped out the tables based on the names they recognized. As it worked out, the tables were assigned almost exactly how I had mentally arranged them.
Linda - 17
Now, if you remember in my last post, I was told by our coordinator that the grass was too wet in front of the house to have our ceremony in front of the house as hoped. This was always a possibility, which is why our rehearsal had taken place in one of the gardens instead. But Bridesmaid Chicago and my SIL weren't letting them happen. Instead they tracked down our coordinator and the groundskeeper and talked them into a ceremony on the front lawn.
Concessions were made to make this happen. Instead of having our chuppah in between the first set of oak trees we were going to have it closer to the house. By doing so, we also needed to have fewer, yet longer rows of seats. This way less grass would be walked on. And in some ways I liked this a lot better than our initial plan. I think by having so few rows, and having everyone sit so close to us, made the whole ceremony feel much more intimate.
Who did most of the set-up your wedding morning? And would you have been the type to stand up for the right to have the ceremony where you had wanted, or would you have let your bridesmaids make that argument for you?

All photos in this post courtesy of friends and family.

Miss a Recap Post?
From Miss to Mrs: The Calm Before the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: There's a Hurricane Coming?
From Miss to Mrs: Here Comes Isaac
From Miss to Mrs: Weathering the Cane
From Miss to Mrs: After the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: Trials and Tribulations
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Errands
From Miss to Mrs: A Night on the Town
From Miss to Mrs: The Hangover
From Miss to Mrs: Rehearsing in the Heat
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Supper
From Miss to Mrs: Gifting the Girls
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Night
From Miss to Mrs: Oh What a Beautiful Morning
From Miss to Mrs: Getting Prettified

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rise of the Breaking Pi

Rise of the Guardians
When I first starting seeing previews of this movie I thought it looked cheesy, and like one I wouldn't want to see. But I wound up being pleasantly surprised by this; it may have even drawn a tear or two.

One thing I found really interesting is that this wasn't based on an already published book series. Instead the author had, and was able to get a movie studio to make it into a movie while she was writing the books. Each is slightly different, since neither was based on the other. Instead they each tell stories of The Guardians, and by doing it this way you didn't have to worry about the movie living up to the books. An interesting idea, but one that you probably won't see that often since you'd have to have a lot of faith in the author to do it.

Breaking Dawn: Part 2
These movies seems to have gotten a lot of backlash lately, which is funny because when it first started getting big it didn't seem so cheesy. I feel like a lot of fans have moved onto other franchises (Hunger Games mainly), but I still love Edward and the Twilight story.

I really loved this one. And thought the movie flew by. I could hardly believe when it was time for it to end, and while it was a little disappointed it was over, I absolutely loved the way it ended. I remember reading an interview with Kristen Stewart where she said something like the end of the movie is definitely for long term fans, and while I had no idea what she was talking about then, it's a perfect description.

Life of Pi
I hadn't read the book coming into this. From the previews I thought I knew what to expect, but while there were bits I expected, most of it took me by surprise. I may have needed the boy to explain the ending to me, but I think even without his help I would have enjoyed this.

Then of course there's the fact that this is so visually stunning. We saw it in 3-D, at the Arclight in Hollywood, in the Cinerema Dome. And if there's ever a movie that desires that ultimate treatment this is it. I don't know that I'm dying to watch it again, but I loved the experience of seeing it. And also don't see how watching this on the couch at home could compare to our initial viewing.

I think if you're looking for a movie to see, you can't go wrong with any of these choices. It really is just a matter of what type of movie you're in the mood for. But if I could see one again, without a doubt it would be Breaking Dawn: Part 2.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Social (9)

I've been in California the past few days celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. But last night we got back into Louisiana, and so far we've been enjoying a relaxing day around the house. I've been writing about the trip eventually, but for now I'm linking up with A Complete Waste of Makeup's Sunday Social.
1. Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life:
  1. Summer Camp Counselor
  2. Lacrosse Team Manager
  3. Head of College Math Lab
  4. Underwriter at an Insurance Company (Probably the most I've ever said about my current job on the blog.)
2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over:
  1. Love Actually
  2. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  3. The Little Princess
  4. The Notebook
3. Name 4 places you have lived:
    I think this one might be a favorite
  1. Long Beach, California
  2. Crab Feast
  3. Towson, Maryland
  4. With the Pont D'Avignon
  5. Avignon, France (Assuming 3 weeks on a study abroad trip counts.)
  6. In Death Valley
  7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
4. Name 4 of your favorite foods:
  1. Lasagna
  2. Feta Cheese
  3. Foie Gras
  4. Creme Brulee
5. Name 4 things you always carry with you
  1. Cell Phone
  2. Book I'm currently reading
  3. Wallet
  4. Camera (At least I try to make this happen.)
6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation:
    Cotton Candy in front of the Eiffel Tower
  1. Paris
  2. 04
  3. Florida Keys
  4. Me and My Mom before doing pottery
  5. Japan
  6. Myself and Sara in front of the western wall
  7. Israel
If you haven't linked up with Sunday Social, let me know some of your answers in the comments. And if you have, please say hi so I can stop by your post!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sweeter Than Candy

Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad
It's been over two years since I read L.A. Candy, which made it a little hard to follow this at first. (I actually went back and read my review as a little refresher, and while there was surprised to how many of my current blog friends commented on that post.) It took me a while to really get back into Jane's world, but after a few chapters I was hooked.

These books are really similar to The Hills in that you know you don't need to be watching this, but you can't help but enjoy yourself. (Obviously, there are a ton more similarities to The Hills, since even though it isn't officially, this is basically Lauren's story of what filming was little for her.) I did think it was interesting how there was somewhat of a "good Heidi" character and a "bad Heidi" character. It was almost if Lauren was writing how she wished hers and Heidi's friendship had turned out, along with how it actually did fall apart.

I had been a little disappointed with the first book since I hadn't noticed a Whitney character. But in this one it's very clear who is supposed to be Whitney, and it really makes you wonder if this is how Whitney's and Lauren's friendship really began.

This was a fun little piece of nostalgia for me, and makes me want to go back and watch old episodes of The Hills. (Although I actually have seen it somewhat recently, when I watched a piece of an episode the night of my bachelorette.) After finishing this, I'd definitely like the read the third, and I believe final, book in this series. Hopefully it doesn't take me two years to get to it this time.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Not That Innocent

Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson
This is a somewhat of a short story, that in a way could easily be described as a novella. It reminded me of Fifty Shades of Grey, at least a version where Anastasia decides to stand up for herself and pay Christian Grey back for his actions.

I wasn't a huge fan of the actual writing in this, especially the moments of dialogue. (And I didn't mind the writing in Fifty if that means something to you.) But really did enjoy the actual story, and thought it was a fun ride.

The end of this is very sudden, and in some ways I think it would have worked better if this entire book was only first first part of a whole novel. But I do think there is a lot of potential here, and I would be curious to see where Nelson takes Kat's story to next.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through Virtual Author Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Before the Frost

It's been a while since I've done any type of post on our backyard. That's mainly because it's so overgrown most of it is embarrassing. I love the idea of having a huge backyard, but I just don't have the passion to maintain it. Anyways, with the cold weather quickly entering Louisiana, I figured it was time for one final flower post, at least until next spring.
There are white roses.
And red roses.
As well as my favorite, our Confederate roses which are both red and white.
I know these are mainly weeds, but I love the little yellow flowers (weeds they may be) sprinkled through the green.
Back to flowers that are supposed to be there, we have day lilies.
As well as these white flowers, which I don't know enough about to identify.
Satsumas to Eat
Our satsumas are ripe as well, which is exciting, but not nearly as exciting as ripe fig time.
And for one final shot, here's a little frog on the doorway of our backdoor.

Do you have a favorite flower (either pictured or in general)? Or do you have any idea as to the name of the white unidentified flower?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

From Miss to Mrs: Getting Prettified

Since we were arriving later than expected, as soon as we reached the plantation our hairdresser got to work. She had been recommended by my SIL and MIL, and while I didn't meet her till my hair trial two days before the wedding, she really was wonderful.
She started off with my bridesmaids and planned on doing my hair last. That way it would have the least time to fall before the actual wedding started. Which was great because it gave me the time to finish the last few programs. Yes, I was still making programs the morning before the wedding, and as it was I probably should have made more because there wasn't a single extra one after the wedding. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't be like me and still be working on projects the morning of your wedding.
We had tons of food to snack on while we were there (partially due to a minor miscommunication by me, but at least no one went hungry). We had drinks as well, on top of the water. I brought a few of those frozen drinks in a bag that have gotten popular lately, and the orange juice you can see was, of course, for mimosas.
Wedding Spread
While I did have a sip of BM Chicago's daiquiri, and maybe a sip or two of champagne, I didn't drink much except for water. My stomach was still covering from the bachelorette two nights ago (although at this point it also could have been nerves), and after remembering how miserable I had been a mere 24 hours ago, I wasn't jumping at the chance to put more alcohol in my bloodstream. But I was finally ready to get my hair done after everyone else had finished.
I hadn't really thought about wearing a tiara until just before the wedding. But lucky for me, my SIL's MIL owns a bridal store, and she lent a few options to try out. Basically, I'm saying I didn't decide on a tiara until the morning of the wedding, and considering that I'm really happy with how it worked out.
I also had our hairdresser attach the veil my grandmother made for me, that way no one would have to worry about messing my hair up attaching it.
As for make-up, all of my girls wound up doing their own. But for me, I always knew I wasn't going to do my make-up for the wedding. I so rarely wear make-up, and when I do, I wear it the exact same way. I never really researched make-up artists, but it worked out where my MIL's friend who does Mary Kay was a willing artist. And considering, I didn't do my own make-up, it's amusing that the only photo I have of the make-up process is me applying mascara myself. (Which is because I can't do the whole "stay still thing," so it's pretty much always been impossible for anyone by myself to put mascara on me.)
Photo by Sabree Hill Photography
While we were getting ready our coordinator at the plantation came by to check in. She also let us know that after taking with the groundskeeper we wouldn't be able to get married on the front lawn as we had hoped. Considering all the rain from the hurricane, they felt the grass was just to wet. They were afraid that with all the foot traffic too much damage would be done. Instead we would have to have the ceremony in the courtyard where we rehearsed. It was a disappointing blow, but it was our wedding day and I was determined not to let anything get me down.

Where did you wind up getting ready the morning of your wedding? And how do you think you would have handled being told to settle for plan B, the morning of the wedding

Unless otherwise indicated all photos in this post courtesy of friends and family.

Miss a Recap Post?
From Miss to Mrs: The Calm Before the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: There's a Hurricane Coming?
From Miss to Mrs: Here Comes Isaac
From Miss to Mrs: Weathering the Cane
From Miss to Mrs: After the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: Trials and Tribulations
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Errands
From Miss to Mrs: A Night on the Town
From Miss to Mrs: The Hangover
From Miss to Mrs: Rehearsing in the Heat
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Supper
From Miss to Mrs: Gifting the Girls
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Night
From Miss to Mrs: Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mailbox Monday (13)

I hope everyone is gearing up for a great Thanksgiving week ahead. To start things off, I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday to share the books I've picked up this week. I'd like to thank our host Bermuda Onion's Weblog for stepping up to host for the month of November. So let's get to the books!
Mailbox Monday
Borrowed from Kassiah of The Fictionators
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Speaking of being thankful, I am so appreciative of Kassiah for lending me these books! After I posted my review of Divergent, she commented saying she'd be happy to lend me a copy. And since she was already lending me one book she asked if there was anything else I was looking to read. I loved reading Cold Kiss last year, and knowing she had just read the sequel made the decision easy. I can't wait to read these books, and after loving the first of each series I'm sure I'll love these one too.

What items in your mailbox are you thankful for this week?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

From Miss to Mrs: Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Normally when my alarm goes off I hit snooze (maybe multiple times even), but on my wedding morning, it actually got me out of bed. I do remember lying there for a minute or so, wanting to go back to bed, but knew that today it really wasn't worth it. So up I got, and logged onto my computer to write this post while waiting for my bridesmaids to wake up.

I woke up at 8, and was hoping to leave the house by 9 to meet our hair stylist at the venue by 10am. Except my bridesmaids didn't really get out of bed till around 9. But eventually they were all up and ready, and we loaded the cars so we could be on the way. (I didn't really think about how much stuff I would be needing to bring with us. We wound up needing to take two cars, my own Echo and Bridesmaid NYC's rental. I wasn't completely sure how my car would be getting back to house at the end of the night, but figured there would be enough people there for us to find a willing driver.)

Once we left the house we made a stop at Starbucks for my last Pumpkin Spice Latte as a single woman. And while we were still in the parking lot our hairdresser sent me a text letting me know that she was at the venue waiting on us. I felt so awful that wewere going to be late and we were making her wait. But at least we were in the car at the point, and there was nothing to do except finish the drive.

We called our coordinator at Houmas House on the drive just to check-in. She wasn't actually at work yet (not too surprising because it would have meant she'd be there over 12 hours), but it wound up being a good thing since she let us know our "getting ready" room had changed.

We were originally supposed to get ready in a room attached to our reception room. Except once the power came back on, the air conditioner in that room didn't. It wound up not being a big deal since there was another location onsite for us to use. (Again not surprising since they'll often host multiple weddings in a day. We were lucky in that we were the only wedding there that weekend, probably because other brides were smart and didn't want to risk hurricanes.)

Our appointed room was now the bridal cottage, which was slightly bigger than we were expected, but also was on the complete other side of the property. We had tons of boxes for centerpieces, the candy bar, and everything else in our cars, but thankfully one of the employees brought a golf cart out to us and drove everything in multiple trips to the reception space.

Now, just to set the scene, here's a few photos (all borrowed from family and friends) around the plantation from the day of the wedding.

How quickly (or not-so-quickly) did you wake up the morning of your wedding? And are you the type of person whose always on-time, always early, or always late?

Miss a Recap Post?
From Miss to Mrs: The Calm Before the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: There's a Hurricane Coming?
From Miss to Mrs: Here Comes Isaac
From Miss to Mrs: Weathering the Cane
From Miss to Mrs: After the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: Trials and Tribulations
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Errands
From Miss to Mrs: A Night on the Town
From Miss to Mrs: The Hangover
From Miss to Mrs: Rehearsing in the Heat
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Supper
From Miss to Mrs: Gifting the Girls
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Night