Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shoppin' & Registerin'

This past weekend the boy and I set off for the mall. He had promised me a new wallet for Valentine's Day, but since he wanted to be sure it was one I liked wanted me to pick it out myself. After a quick snack, a cookie for me & pretzel bites for him, we were ready to go.
Double Doozie
The first stop was Dillards, which is where we found a wallet. To be honest, I've had the exact same wallet since high school, so it more than time for me to upgrade. I wound up decided on this Guess wallet.
New Wallet
I picked it out partly do to the overall look, but more because of the number of pockets and slots for things. Of course the deal with the new wallet was that I'd have to weed through what to transfer, which means I'm no longer carrying around receipts from my AP tests and every id since 6th grade.

Once we had accomplished our main goal for being at the mall in first place, I took the two of us to Macy's to start a registry. After getting a bag, and book with various coupons they sent us on our way.
At Macy's
Not quite sure what I'm registering for here, but I believe it's this pitcher. Although I also registered for the glass jars you can see behind my head. But the real reason I wanted to register at was because I wanted to register for china. The boy's only request was that the design symmetrical so I went with Vera Wang and Wedgwood's Grosgrain design. Now here's to hoping this doesn't end up discontinued before the end of the year.

After we finished up at Macy's we went to Pottery Barn to register as well. Pottery Barn was a little crazy, but the still were able to make time for us.
At Pottery Barn
In full disclosure, I wasn't actually registering for these blankets. Instead we were almost finished and I realized I still needed to take a registering picture in this store. The goal here was to register for blankets and towels. While we did register for a few things, in general all of our registries are still pretty empty. The goal is to now go online and complete them, and make sure there aren't any overlaps between the stores.
BBQ Salad
Finally finished registering we ended the day with lunch and a movie (The Secret World of Arrietty). We went to Pluckers, which we used to visit all the time when I was still in school. We haven't had it an a year or so, and this was also our first time eating at their new mall location. I went with their BBQ salad, which was an old favorite of mine.

Now with Sur La Table we're up to 3 different registry locations. Initially I was thinking of doing some type of universal online registry as well, but I think we may be good at this point.

How many registries do you think it makes sense to do? Or how many, and where, did you wind up registering at?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Into the Mail

Now that I had the magnets for the save-the-date, the next thing was too actually mail them. I wound up not going the diy route for the std itself, and could have done the same for the envelope just handwriting everything, or printing directly onto envelopes. But I at least wanted to put somewhat of a special touch on it all.

I remember reading how Mrs. Honey used address labels from Office Depot that turned out really cute, so I wanted to do the same. Not really sure what I was looking for I browsed at Office Depot and wound up with a few somewhat unexpected options, that wound up coming together really well. I'll get to the specifics in a bit, but here's all the supplies I used.
For the mailing addresses themselves I used actual textured business cards. (See not what you'd expect!) I was worried about getting them to stick so I used both "glue runner"
and photo corners, both leftover from my scrap booking days.
Since you have to be curious by now, this is what th business card/address label actually looked like, along with the forever stamps I used for postage. The outline, leaves, and textured background were all already part of the card. The only thing I added was the address itself.
For the return address labels, I did the opposite and started off with a completely white label. But the company's website had templates for their labels which is where the blue & green flowers came from. I would have preferred to use blue & purple, but couldn't find a download with that combination. Plus the green kind of matches the forever stamps on the front. And I just wanted to give a shout-out to how professional the flowers looked since their courtesy of our printer.
As much as I love how cute the envelopes turned out, what I loved even more was how easy they were. The hardest part was probably getting the printer to actually print. Yes, doing them this was took some time, but I wound up watching a marathon of Kourtney & Kim Take New York to give me something else to pay attention too. ::Insert joke here about Kim Kardashian and wedding projects::
Once they were reading to mail I went back to Office Depot, this time to their mailing center. I was hoping to get them hand canceled there, but the girl I talked to had no idea what that was, and when she asked her manager was told they couldn't do that. But interestingly enough when our STD arrived, it looked like it had been hand canceled anyways. (Not that I can really tell the difference between something that's hand canceled or not.)
And yes, the fact I have this does mean I mailed a STD to myself. But I was worried that that everything would fall off, and wanted to know how long it would take to arrive. The answers to that, are that nothing fell off and less than 48 hours.

Did you wind up mailing a save-the-date to yourself? And can you tell if our letters were hand canceled or not?

Monday, February 27, 2012

They're Borowers!

The Secret World of Arrietty
Going into this I knew it was based on the Borrowers books I enjoyed growing. To be honest I don't remember a lot about them besides the basic idea, and that I really enjoyed them. (I don't think I read the entire series, but know I at least got to book 3 or 4.)

I actually thought this was a really cute movie and had a lot of fun. It definitely felt like the Japanese movie it was, with the songs, the dialogue and really just the overall feel of the movie. I think partly because of this, it felt like a little more of an adult movie.

But there were A LOT of kids in the theater, and most of them seemed to get bored throughout the movie. More ridiculous to me was how many parents seemed to be bored. I can't remember the last time I was in a theater and saw so many people on their phones throughout the movie. However they was a group of pre-teen boys sitting behind us and they seemed to love it.

It did wound up being a really cute movie, and a pleasant surprise. Leaving the theater, I couldn't help but want to go back and reread the entire series again, and hopefully I'll have the chance too!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's Oscar Time!

I completely forgot that the Golden Globes were even on tv, and I'm not making that mistake tonight. No I don't have an elaborate Oscar themed meal planned, but I have still made my predictions. It's an odd year for movies, and there's nothing I'm dying to see win. But I guess we'll see how I do!

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Actor: George Clooney - The Descendants
Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh - My Week With Marilyn
Best Actress: Meryl Steep - The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer - The Help
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Best Documentary Feature: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Best Documentary Short: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Best Animated Feature: Chico & Rita
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: Steven Zailian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin - Moneyball
Best Cinematography: War Horse
Best Make-Up: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow - Part 2
Best Art Direction: The Artist
Best Animated Short Film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Live Action Short Film: Time Freak
Best Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow - Part 2
Best Costume Design: The Artist
Best Film Editing: The Artist
Best Sound Mixing: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Best Sound Editing: Drive
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource - The Artist
Best Original Song: "Man or Muppet" - The Muppets

Friday, February 24, 2012

From America to China

The Foremost Good Fortune by Susan Conley
This book is kind of like Eat, Pray, Love but instead with China and cancer. Or at least it's like that what I imagine since I haven't actually read or see the movie. But here, Susan agrees to move to Beijing with her husband along with their two sons, and while there she discovers that she has breast cancer.

Picking this up I was hoping to be transported to China. And while there was times that that was the case, in general I don't feel like I was transported. That could be because I didn't have anything to base the experience on, never being to China myself. But I did love the pieces of China that came across and wish I would have been able to better immerse myself in the culture. (Although I may to actually move to China for that truly to occur.)

I loved hearing her write about her sons, who were 5 and 7 when these events took place. I felt that as a reader we really got to know her sons, and they came off as adorable. It was really interesting not just getting to know her boys, but somewhat getting to see China through their eyes as well.

A lot of the book did deal with finding yourself and the author dealing with her own mortality once diagnosed. I feel like an awful person for saying this, but I just don't really get "finding yourself" or at least reading about someone doing it. But if you enjoy that kind of character exploring I think you'd love that aspect of this book.

With all that said, I still really enjoyed reading this. Yes, I may have wanted more China, especially since I loved the stories where I felt she was able to capture the country, but even I really enjoyed reading this one. (Plus there's the fact that I think the cover to this is adorable.)


Disclosure: I was provided this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's in the Package?

Earlier this week I shared the STD designs I created on MagnentStreet, but didn't reveal the final decision. So I thought it would be fun to reveal it like you would opening a present.
This is the box I received in the mail. Know idea what most of the information you can see if, but hopefully I didn't unknowingly share my mailing address with the world.
Inside the mailing box was this blue box. To be honest it was packed so perfectly in there, it was a little difficult to get out, at least not without dumping the entire thing over.
But I did manage to rescue it. And inside of it was...
the actual Save-the-Dates! Along with envelopes, a receipt, and of course a catalog of other MagnetStreet products. I think from this you can finally tell which ones I choose, but just in case...
I choose the second option. I was kind of surprised that everyone seemed to guess correctly, but I guess if that's what everyone else thought I would pick I must have guessed correctly. But onto the rest of the box's contents.
I had wanted to line the envelopes, but was surprised to find that they were already lined. No I wouldn't have picked silver, having it already there definitely saved me a step.
So here's one final picture of our save-the-date on its rightful place on our fridge. And yes, it is holding last year's (as in 2010's) holiday card as well as a well as a photo strip of pictures I took with one of my bridesmaids at from a bridal show that I went to and posted about almost a year ago.

Just for fun, how old is the stuff on your fridge right now?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How Far Would You Go

First You Try Everything by Jane McCafferty
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting. Although to be honest, looking back, I'm not quite sure what I expected. It opens with Evvie and Ben and you start to see their marriage fall about. It makes you consider the question, just how far would you go for love, and at what point you'd stop. It's definitely a story that makes you think, and in some ways it's similar to an Emily Giffin book.

The book does have two distinct parts to it. So much happens in the second part that looking back, it's hard to even remember what happened in the first 200 pages. When I got to the second half of the book I couldn't put it down. But is it any surprise that since I can't really remember what happened within the first half, I can still tell you it felt like it dragged.

It's definitely an interesting book, and I'm still not completely sure of my feelings on it. I think it's the kind of book where I need to sit back, think, and process what I read. And the feelings I have on it now, have the potential to be completely different with the passing of time.


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

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Save-the-Date Action

Now that we had the engagement photo it was time to start work on the STDs. If you remember the plan was to do a small magnet that would be inside a vellum envelope on bigger card. So using our picture, I designed a magnet about the size of a business card on MagnetStreet.
I loved everything about this magnet. It had our colors, it had the picture, and it was the exact size I was looking for.

Except it was already the middle of January at this point, and I had wanted to send out save-the-dates in January, and I still hadn't designed the card itself. I was planning on having my mom help me design the actual card, which basically means I wanted her to do it. Except the end of 2011 didn't go as planned, to put it mildly, and here I was without a card and without my mom.

I know I could have designed a card looking the way I wanted at this point. But I was freaking out about timing, and to be honest just didn't feel up to it at the time. I wasn't a huge fan of just sticking a card in an envelope, but to preserve my sanity that's that I had to do at this point.

They date have a larger magnet that used the same one as my mini-magent, but that one needed 3 pictures. Since I only had 1 engagement photo it was back to finding one I liked just as much. I went and designed two more larger magnets that would be big enough to mail on their own, that I could basically stick in an envelope.

Did you have any of your wedding plans not go your way due to circumstances beyond your control? And which of the two larger designs do you think I went with?

Monday, February 20, 2012


The Vow
Like everyone else seemed to, the boy and I went and saw this one for Valentine's Day. I know there's been a lot of people unhappy with the ending, but I'm not completely sure why, since I actually liked the ending. Not it isn't a Nicholas Sparks perfect fairytale ending (or really his or more like the obsolete with a heartbreaking ending), but it made sense and I thought it worked.

The boy wasn't a huge fan, but maybe not for the reason you'd expect. He couldn't help but feel for Channing Tatum's character, in that he had to do all the work to get her to fall in love with him not once, but twice.

If you haven't seen it yet, you probably should, if only because this way you'll know what everyone else is talking about. It's definitely a movie I'd love to own, and I'd also love to read the book which is written by the actual couple who went through this.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Princess of Egypt

Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
Last year I read Dray's first book about Cleopatra's daughter, Lily of the Nile and absolutely loved it, so much that I picked up this sequel almost as soon as it came out. So it's almost ridiculous that I've waited so long to read this, especially since I love this one just as much if not more.

Since it had been so long since I read the first I was a little worried that I would be confused since I couldn't remember all the details. But Dray manages to subtly recap all the details of the first book without resorting to a Baby-Sitter's Club-esque chapter long recap. It didn't feel like I as hit over the head with the prior events, but I still felt more than adequately caught up.

Before reading this books I knew little about Cleopatra and had barely heard of her daughter, Cleopatra Selene, and afterwards I feel like I've learned so much. Granted these books take place in the 20BC, and we don't have a lot of details from that time. In the afterwards Dray mentions what details she used to base the story on, and those details seem to be few are far between. Which does mean that I can credit a lot of the world building to Dray herself, which I absolutely fell in love with.

Reading this I didn't want to put it down, and couldn't wait to find out the ending. Except I didn't want the story to end and would have gone on reading about Selene and her kingdom forever. I believe this is only Dray's second book, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!


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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Engagement Photo

If you remember the boy said no to an engagement photo shoot, but was willing to take a single posed picture. Except I wasn't quite happy with the compromise, since it meant I didn't get exactly what I wanted, and didn't really take time to think about the type of engagement photo we would take. But even though I only mentioned to my mom that we weren't taking engagement photos, she too thought we could take and single picture, and even had an idea for what to take. Since my parents were coming out to visit me in October, and were planning on heading to brunch at our wedding venue, the plan was to take a single picture there.

The morning of brunch my mom wasn't feeling well, so the boy, my dad, and I left for brunch while she stayed back at the house. For brunch I had the exact same thing I had the first time we ate at Houmas House (which was back before the boy and I were even engaged).
Eggs Creole
This is eggs creole, which is basically eggs benedict on top of fried eggplant instead of an English muffin. I wasn't actually planning on taking a picture of it since I already had one, but since it was plated differently than the first time I figured I might as well.
Cornmeal Peacan Pancakes
The my dad and I also split the cornmeal pecan pancakes for dessert. Yes, that's ice cream on top of pancakes, although I think i might have preferred it with whipped cream instead. And as for the plate itself, its modeled after the house china from the 1800s, and it's what they'll be using as plates at our wedding as well.

Besides eating delicious food, we did mange to take the photo my mom imagined. It's the boy and me holding hands looking towards the exact spot where we're getting married.
Houmas House
When we arrived home one of the first questions my mom asked was whether we got the photo, and I was happy to tell her yes. I think the photo was a great idea by my mom, and I'm happy that's she's still able to influence our wedding. I can only imagine what other ideas she would have had, and it's too bad she's not still here to share them.

If you could only take a single engagement photo what do you think you would do? And do you think you'd prefer ice cream or whipped cream on top of pancakes?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tag, You're It

I'm sure by now you've seen the meme going around the blog-o-sphere. But considering I was tagged by both Heather at The Fox Family and Lori at At Home on Brooklyn I couldn't not participate. If you haven't seen it yet, here are the rules...

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 Random Things
1. I'm currently obsessed with apple cider k-cups. Seriously! I've been having like 2-3 a week. I told myself after I finish my current box I won't buy more, but we'll see how long that lasts.

2. My STDs are in the mail! I think at this point everyone has probably received by now, which means I can start posting about them. Get ready to hear all about our Save-the-Dates in the days to come.

3. Mardi Gras is on Tuesday. The boy and I are planning to head to a parade (or two) this weekend so hopefully it isn't too cold those days.

4. I still haven't added the facebook timeline. I want to, but don't really want to spend the time editing my posts from college. Eventually though I don't think I'll have the option.

5. My google reader hasn't been empty since last October. Did you know that after 30 days it automatically marks items as read? I didn't know until recently, but can only imagine how many unread posts I'd have otherwise. I'm getting close to under 100 unread, so hopefully soon it'll be empty.

6. I currently have 48 books sitting next to my bed waiting to be read. That is A LOT of books! I used to always look down on people who had a ton of unread books in their house and now I'm one of them.

7. I haven't bought a single new book in 2012. Which is needed considering #6. I do have a Barnes & Nobles gift card, so at least when I finally give in to temptation I won't need to spend money.

8. I'm more than ready for it to warm up so I can start laying out an tanning! (And hopefully make a dent in my reading pile as well.)

9. I'm not looking forward to it warming up because I don't want to tackle our garden. One thing I loved about the house when we bought it was the garden. I still love the idea of it, just not having to maintain it.

10. I ordered 8 books of girl scout cookies. And I'm the only one in our house who likes sweets. Sounds like I'll be eating a ton of cookies in the weeks to come!

11. I've noticed that my blog has been getting a ton of hits lately, and I'm not exactly sure why. But if you're new around here, please let me know so I can stop by your blog and say hello!

11 Questions from Heather
1. Do you have dreams regularly? Are they nightmares, or good dreams?
I don't normally remember my dreams. But the ones I remember tend to be bad ones.

2. What is your all time favorite television show?
I loved Party of Five. I have the first 3 (or maybe 2?) season on dvd. I would buy them all, except they haven't yet been released.

3. If you were on a deserted island for a month straight, what is the one thing that you would absolutely need to bring with you?
Besides food, I'd need a ton of books.

4. Have you ever gambled, and won big? Lost?
I have won money on slot machine before. Granted it's never been more than $20, but it's still better than losing everything.

5. If you were to get $10k just for yourself what would you do with it? You can't spend it on your kids, you have to spend it on yourself.
I'd want an amazing meal at some fancy restaurant, and then I'd probably pick up a ton of books.

6. What is your chocolate of choice? Dark? Milk? White?
Definitely white chocolate.

7. If you had to sleep with Criss Angel or lose both legs would you choose?
One would be over pretty quickly and the other I'd have to live with forever. So I'd say option A.

8. Do you have any dreams or goals that you still haven't met yet? What are they?
I'm not really a big goal person. But I definitely dream about my future children and can't wait to be a mom

9. what time do you normally go to sleep each night? Wake up?
My goal is to get in bed by 11 and read for 30 minutes or so. And I normally wake up around 7-ish.

10. What food would you eat everyday for the rest of your life if calories were not a factor?
Creme Brulee

11. What is your all time favorite scary movie?
I'm not a huge scary movie person. I'll go with The Ring, because that's the last one that I really remember loving.

11 Questions from Lori
1. What is one book that everyone must read?
There's several I could think of, but I'm going to go with Gone with the Wind

2. Favorite name for a boy? Girl?
I love Tacy for a girl. But I don't really have a favorite boy name.

3. Favorite movie quote?
I'm not a huge quote person, but maybe, "The force will be with you, always."

4. If you needed a rocking new outfit, which store would be your first stop?
Again, not really a shopper, but I tend to buy most of my work clothes from Express.

5. What is one thing on your bucket list?
I'd love to go to Australia or Greece some day.

6. Favorite sports event/team?
The boy has completely influenced my answer here, but LSU football or LSU baseball.

7. Where is your dream vacation destination?
I guess see #5

8. What movie can you watch over and over and over?
Love Actually or The Notebook

9. Favorite Word? Least Favorite?
Again don't really have a favorite. Although when I text I say "yo" a lot.

10. Boots or Heels?

11. Other than your current profession, what profession would you most like to pursue?
I'd love to be a writer, and at times I want to be a teacher.

11 Questions from me
1. What's your favorite type of candy?
2. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
3. How many phone numbers do you have memorized?
4. What are 3 things you'd love to have in a dream house?
5. The beach or the mountains?
6. What's your earliest childhood memory?
7. What's the last thing you ate?
8. What's your favorite type of drink to order out at a bar?
9. If you could live in any state (or country), where would you pick?
10. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?
11. If you were to use one of my questions, for the questions you choose to ask, which one would you choose?

If you're still here reading this ridiculously long post, I applaud you! And to end I'm leaving you with the 11 people I'm tagging.
1. Lisa
2. Kelsey
3. Linda
4. Amber
5. Amber
6. Drew
7. Jennifer
8. Wiz
9. Miss Sweet Tea
10. Melissa
11. JP

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hangin Tough

Last week I arrived home surprised to see a package on our doorstop. I wasn't expecting anything, so had no clue what it could be. Looking back if I had known it was going to be blogworthy I would have taken a picture of the package itself, but you'll just have to survive seeing the gift wrapping instead.
Any guesses as to what could be inside? Well, here's a clue...

via Mrs. Lox
In case you still haven't figured it out, it's a customized hanger for my wedding dress! It may be hard to tell since I blured some out but it read "Mrs ..." showing the boy's current and my future last name. (I kind of hate how I blurred it out, but at least left a few random letters to still give you a feel of it.)
It's custom-made from Two Broads Design and was sent as a gift from my fabulous Maid-of-Honor. I'd been hoping for a beautiful hanger to match the dress, and love that she thought of it without me even mentioning it. Now that you've seen my hanger, here's a few more shots of how I'm hoping it'll be used.

via Mrs. Teaspoon
It's kind of hard to tell, but I believe Mrs. Teaspoon went the same way and used her married name on her hanger as well.

via Mrs. French Fries
While this isn't the same type of hanger, but I absolutely love everything about this photo. Mrs. French Fries' dress just looks absolutely gorgeous here.

via Mrs. Bacon
I love how Mrs. Bacon used her wedding date on her hanger. To be honest, I wasn't completely sure the boy's last name would fit on a hanger (although I'm happy to say it does!) and was initially thinking of doing something with the actual date. But I love Mrs, Lox's "forever" in the first picture as well, and think the idea of using a single word that means something is quite inspired as well.

Have you given any thought to what you'd like your wedding dress to hang on? And assuming you'd want your hanger to say something, what would you like it to say?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Play it Safe

Safe House
This movie is a lot like all the other movies I seem to be reviewing lately. Yes, it's enjoyable and yes, I'd be willing to watch it again, but it isn't something I feel in love with. Ryan Reynolds does play a more serious role than normal here, and I thought he did great in it. As for the big reveal of the bad guy, I had no idea who to expect. The boy on the other hand said he knew as soon as he was introduced.

Basically if you're planning on seeing this I think you'd enjoy it. But it probably isn't won I'd really make a point to go see otherwise.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In My Mailbox (34)

It's been a few weeks since I've been able to participate, but I'm happy to be back linking up with The Story Siren for In My Mailbox. So let's get to the books, shall we?
In My Mailbox
From TLC Book Tours
First You Try Everything by Jane McCafferty
I've actually already read this one (review to come!). I wound up enjoying it, although it wasn't quite what I expected. It's main story is that of a marriage ending, and it's definitely one that makes you think.

Won in a Giveaway from Silly Little Mischief
The Discovery of Jeanne Baret by Gynis Ridley
After reading Linda's review of this it definitely sounded like one I'd enjoy and I'm glad to have won her giveaway. It's a biography of a woman who sailed around the world disguised as a teen-aged boy in the 1700s. I love reading anything historical, and have a feeling I'm going to enjoy this one quite a bit.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Ballerina Story

Bunheads by Sophie Flack
I started this one excited to read it because it reminded me of Center Stage the movie. So it's almost ridiculous that early on my biggest complaint was that it was too much like Center Stage. But as I continued to read the story headed in a different direction than I expected, and the more I read of the story the more I enjoyed it.

Looking at the author's bio as well as her acknowledgements at the end, I have a feeling that this book is semi-autobiographical. And I think that made Hannah's life as a dancer within the Manhattan Ballet company completely come alive. Although to be honest I had no idea what most of the ballet terminology used actually meant, but have a feeling it was all used correctly.

My only complaints about this book was that I wish it took place earlier in Hannah's life. Hannah has been dancing with this company since age 14, but the book takes place at the age when Hannah would have been in college. I think it would have been quite interesting if Hannah had still been in high school and was having to juggle actual company classes along with dancing. Although I could see how reading about school may not be the most exciting thing.

Also there were a lot of other dancers and a lot of instructors or choreographers, that I never could seem to get straight. But I have a feeling if I was paying a little bit more attention to the details it would have been as much of an issue.

This book was a really cute book. There was a bit of romance in it, which I enjoyed, but still what I loved was that I seemed to have gotten an inside glimpse into the life of a dancer. It not only met my expectations for that, but surpassed them.


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

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spinach & Feta in a Pocket

Amy's Spinach & Feta in a Pocket
Let's start by saying that I messed up cooking this. Yes, I read the directions wrong on a frozen meal. But here's how it happen....underneath the microwave directions it said to put in toaster over for 2-3 minutes at 375. So I put it in the toaster oven for 2-3 minutes, except parts were still frozen when I took it out. Instead since it was under the microwave directions you were supposed to do that AFTER microwaving it. To use the toaster over by itself it needed 25-30 minutes. So I had to wait forever to eat this.

I think the suspense is what killed it for me, because this wasn't as good as I was hoping. Basically it's an organic (and more expensive) hot pocket. Except I don't like hot pockets normally because they're a little too cheesy & gooey for me. But I'm obsessed with feta, so I knew I'd love this.

My problem though was that there wasn't enough feta, and there was a ton of spinach. It wasn't bad, and overall I did enjoy it, I just probably wouldn't buy it again. Although I do have a friend she said she sprinkles feta on top of these before heating them, so if I ever try them again I'll definitely take that route.

No, this meal was not provided to me. I bought it completely on my own. So somewhat obviously then, all opinions here are my own!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Superbowl Sunday Snickerdoodles

I've you noticed I've been pretty regularly making desserts (or at least regularly for me), so I knew I wanted to do something for Superbowl Sunday. I decided to try out my new dessert cookbook for the first time. I went through bookmarking pages trying to decide what to make and wound up deciding on snickerdoodles (a cookie that I always remember my mom loving).
Snickerdoodles from I Heart Sugar

I cup butter, softened
scant 3/4 cup sugar
2 extra-eggs, lightly beaten
(or be like me and just crack them directly into the bowl to lessen cleaning)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
(or again be like me and use ground nutmeg from a jar)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (which I opted not to use)
2 tpsb sugar (it only called for one, but I doubled it)
4 tsp cinnamon (it only called for 2, but again I doubled it. Although looking back I may have accidentally added 2tsp sugar to 4 tsp cinnamon... Who knows at this point!)
1. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt into mixture. Add the pecans. Stir thoroughly until mixed
4. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 375*. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
(As you'll soon see I didn't have parchment paper, so I used aluminum foil. Except I ran out of aluminum foil near the end, but managed to make it work!)
6. For the coating mix together cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon mixture to coat and place on the cookie sheets.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. (Except mine never really got golden brown, and I cooked them for about 18 minutes. But while they weren't golden some were on the verge of being burnt.)
8. Let cool and enjoy! (Preferably with a warm drink! My drink of choice, my current obsession, apple cider k-cups.)
As for a final verdict on the cookie, they were good, but not what I'd call snickerdoodles. First I've always had them as a flat cookie, instead of in ball, but I realize that isn't a huge deal. More importantly they just didn't taste like I was expecting. I thought they tasted a little too nutmeg-y. Although looking back now, it might have been getting the mix of the cinnamon/sugar off. As for whether I'd make them again, it's a maybe. If I made them again I'd make sure to read the directions better. But I think I might do better at trying a different recipe next time?

Are you a fan of snickerdooodles? And did you make anything exciting to eat for the Superbowl?