Friday, May 31, 2013

MMRR in May

It's hard to believe but we're about to be entering June! Summer may not be officially here, but it sure feels like it in Southern Louisiana. As I've been doing the past few months, it's my monthly recap post inspired by Lisa's original version.

I had a lot of pretty delicious food this month. (See mushroom risotto with truffle oil, chicken parmesan, sesame noodles,...) But my favorite had to be my meal at The Pelican House at our book club meeting. I actually started with a glass pear cider. I almost never drink beer or cider, but since it was a pub-type place felt that type of drink only made sense. I definitely made a good choice, because I really enjoyed it.
Pear Cider
And then had the basil chicken sandwich I blogged about before.
Basil Chicken Sandwich
This was so delicious, as were the bites of food I tried of my friends. There were a ton of things I'd want to order from their menu, and can't to be back to try more of them!

The boy and I went to the last regular season home game for LSU baseball together. While the regular season is over, post season starts today with LSU playing Jackson State in their regional tonight.
The boy also bought me my new Cannon Rebel! These two photos were taken with my new camera, from the same point of view, but changing the flower in focus, just to give you an idea of what my camera can do.
This month I reviewed 5 books and 4 movies
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashers
The Keeper of Secrets by Julie Thomas
Iron Man 3
The Great Gatsby
Star Trek Into Darkness

Fast & Furious 6
As for a favorite, call it biased all you want, but I'm going to have to say The Ward.

Four years ago, in 2009, I wrote about cooking Marriage Meatloaf for the boy. It's a recipe from Glamour that's supposed to make your current boyfriend propose, and while it may not have worked immeadiatly, we are married now, so I guess I'm a success story!
Marriage Meatloaf
What are your meals, moments, reviews, and remembering from this past May?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Song for the Ages

The Keeper of Secrets by Julie Thomas
Upon finishing this book I wasn't sure know how else to describe it except that it's almost beautiful. In a way, it's kind of like a painting, in that even though I've seen (or in this case read) it once, I can't help but look back on it and smile.

The book includes three main story lines. The first is Daniel Horowitz, a fourteen-year-old violin prodigy, who isn't quite ready to devote his life to music. The second part, tells the tale of Daniel's grandfather Simon Horowitz, and the horrors he lived through in Nazi Germany. The third is that of Sergei Valentino, a boy raised by his aunt and grandparents in Stalin's Soviet State. In the last concluding section, all three tales come to one together for the grand finale.

If there's any complaint with this, it's that I wanted more. Part of that is because I read the entire thing in a day or two since I couldn't put it down. Maybe if I savored it a little more, I would have felt more fulfilled by it. Instead looking back I wanted more details. I think because each of the subplots could have stood on their own, the fact that they're only a third of a book means in a way we missed out.

As for the musical subplot, I'm not really a classical music person, but still really appreciated the musical details within. And I loved all the historical chapters, but still really enjoyed those set in modern day. With everything together, I really loved this book and can't wait till I can read it again.


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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Yesterday, I posted about the LSU baseball game, and today I'm back posting about baseball. Although a slightly less exciting game depending on who you ask.
As promised in my Project 365 post, I'm posting about the boy's baseball game. He decided to play in a men's league this year, so each Sunday I'm out supporting him. (He's the catcher in these photos.)
Of course my version of support means I'm out at the games reading a book or a magazine while he's playing. But the fact that I'm there means the most, right?
At the Boy's Game
Do you play in any sports leagues?

The boy keeps telling me I should join a soccer league this fall, which is the sport I played in college, but we'll see what happens there.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And It's One, Two, Three Strikes

Last month, I blogged about the boy's and my first trip of the season to Alex Box Stadium to watch LSU baseball. Well, this past weekend we were back again!
2013 LSU Tigers Baseball
While it was our 2nd game of the season it was actually LSU's final home game of the season (against Ole Miss). Unfortunately, we got there just as the finished honoring the seniors before the game. But were able to see the two senior stars, Mason Katz and Raph Rhymes, be welcomed off the field after playing in their final regular season home game. (I'd say final home game, except for the fact we're hosting a regional playoff this next weekend. And assuming we win that will be hosting a super regional as well.)
Mason Katz & Raph Rhymes
Also the night before they renamed the field, to Skip Bertman Field at Alex Box Stadium. While again, we weren't there for that ceremony, the new name was definitely made known.
They already had the new name up on the scoreboard and over the press box.
Skip Bertman Field
For those who don't know (aka me, before I moved to Louisiana) Skip Bertman is the former baseball coach who lead the Tigers to their first 5 National Championships, and also the former athletic direction. While not the best view, they even added his signature to the field as well.
Funny enough as we were leaving the game we even saw Skip Bertman himself, standing outside Skip Bertman Field.
Skip Bertman
The weather was ridiculously hot though, in the high 90s. We were both drenched in sweat and sunburned what felt like immediately, but still had a good time.
At LSU vs. Ole Miss
Part of me wanted to try another meat pie like the last time, but I couldn't quite do it. Instead the boy and I each had a snowball. And while I realize you can't quite see the flavors since each were white, mine was half wedding cake and half pina colada.
Half Wedding Cake & Pina Colada
We left about halfway through the game, not quite able to stand anymore heat, but first grabbed one final picture with a Mike the Tiger statue.
With Mike
LSU did wind up losing this game, but considering they've since won the SEC tournament, are ranked number 4 in the country, and are heading into post season play it really doesn't matter. So hopefully they close out the amazing season with a trip and a win at the college world series in Omaha. Geaux Tigers!

Have you been to any baseball games yet this year? And do you call them snow cones or snow balls?

I always called them snow cones in California, but since living here I've slowly adapted to using snow balls, at least most of the time. Sometimes the California in me still slips out!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Movie Review

Fast & Furious 6
I never saw the first 3 movies, nor did I really have any desire to. Which is why it's a little surprising how much I've come to enjoy these movies. I wouldn't list them as my favorites, but they're a lot of fun. And I think it says something that this is the movie I chose to see this weekend instead of Hangover 3.

I'm not sure I really have a complaint about this. So of the stunts may have seen a little unrealistic, and there was about 5 million endings, but it worked. Plus there was a cute baby cameo, which I think always adds to a movie.

I haven't seen Hangover 3, at least not yet, so I may not have the best opinion over which to see. But I can say that if you decide on this, I don't see how you'd be disappointed.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mailbox Monday (33)

Normally when I post my Mailbox Mondays it's a sign that the weekend is over, and we're heading back to work tomorrow. Except with tomorrow being Memorial Day, there's still another day left of fun! Either way, I'm still linking up with Mailbox Monday, hosted by For the Love of Books in May, to share the recent books I've picked up.
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
Natural History by Justina Robson
Two years ago when my mom was in the hospital she asked me to login to her paperback swap account. A book had been requested from her, and she asked me to send an e-mail on her behalf saying she was in the hospital and would mail the book once she was out. Except instead, after my mom's passing, I followed up and made sure the book sent on its way.

From there, I wasn't really sure what to do with my mom's account. I changed the e-mail so I received notifications, but never really responded to them, and her account was put on hold. At least until I received notification that this book on her wish list was available. I had never heard of this book before, but it's science fiction and seems like the type of book my mom would love. And one that I would enjoy as well. So decided to accept the wish and received my copy.

I'm still not quite sure what to do with my mom's account especially since there's still credits and money tied to it. I'm thinking of using the credits and money, and then at that point opening my own account? Or maybe just using the account indefinitely? But I guess that's something I'll figure out as time goes on.

Are you a member of paperback swap? And is this a book anyone else has heard of before?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Project 365: Days 137 Through 143

Another spin around the carousel of time, and we're back with another installment of my weekly project 365 photos.
Angel Hair Toscana
May 17, 2013 - 137/365: I had a girl's night with some friends where we saw The Great Gatsby, and then stopped at BJ's Brewhouse house for dinner. I had the Angel Hair Toscana Pasta. We also split a red velvet pizzokie, and while I don't have a picture of that it was easily the high point of the meal.
At LSU vs. Ole Miss
May 18, 2013 - 138/365: The boy and I spent the afternoon at the LSU baseball game. More on this to come.
The Boy's Game
May 19, 2013 - 139/365: More baseball, this time it was the boy playing. He's the catcher in the photo above. Again, expect at least one baseball heavy post this week.
Mushroom Risotto & Roasted Chicken
May 20, 2013 - 140/365: The boy made dinner of mushroom risotto (with truffle oil!) and roasted chicken. Both delicious, although the risotto with truffle oil was easily my favorite part.
Lunch at Starbucks
May 21, 2013 - 141/365: Lunch at Starbucks: Lime refresher, spinach and feta wrap, and a lemon cake pop.
White Flowers
May 22, 2013 - 142/365: White flowers in our front yard. Anyone know what these are actually called though?
Truffle Gouda
May 23, 2013 - 143/365: Snacking on truffle gouda and cheddar.

I think looking through these photos it's clear we have a mild truffle obsession. But really I think it's well deserved. How obsessed with truffles would you rate yourself?

I'm linking this post up with Random-osity & Kleinworth & Co. for Project 52!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Without the Pants

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashers
I knew going into this book it was going to be sad, but what I didn't expect was the roller coaster of emotions I'd was going to be taking.

I had expected an almost awful tearjerker ending. But instead the game changing chapter is what sets the story up. From there I couldn't stop reading, because I had to know what would happen. I kept telling myself, "The point of this all has to be coming!" because I couldn't imagine all the tears and crying I did were for nothing.

I has been a while since I read the original series. (Although not that long, since I didn't read them to grad school.) But even though I wished they were fresher in my mind, I didn't feel like I was missing out. I think if you hadn't read the books (and maybe just saw the movie), you could understand all the plot lines. Although I'm not sure the feelings you have while reading this book would be worth it without the first four as a fond memory.

Looking back, I can now say I enjoyed this book. Although in the midst of it all, I couldn't imagine any review of mine saying it was anything, but depressing. It was good in a way to reconnect with these characters (although now reading it pictured all the actresses from the movie). I will definitely say, Ann Brashers know just how to drag all the emotion out of you.


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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sesame Noodlicious

Normally the boy and I have a night or two a week where we scrounge for dinner. Which for me calls for a can of soup, feta, or a frozen Kashi meal or instead macaroni and cheese or a frozen pizza for the boy. But without any of my normal choices in the house, I branched out a little. I have pinned this noodle recipe from Pioneer Woman a recently, and since I had all the main ingredients in the house, I decided to give it a go. Her version is actually meant to serve a family for dinner, but since I only had about 4 ounces of noodles adapted it for just myself, along with a few other small tweaks.

Single Serving Sesame Noodles
4 oz of Rice Noodles
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 scant tsp Sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp Rice Vinegar
2 heaping tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Siracha
4 tbsp Olive Oil

1. Cook rice noodles according to package directions.
2. Mix all othe ingredients together in a bowl.
(Note to self, photographing a black sauce, like soy, in a black bowl does not make the best picture. But I wanted to use the bowl I was going to be eating out of, so unfortunately there wasn't a lot of other clean options.)
3. Add cook noodles into sauce and mix until coated. Enjoy!
Easy Sesame Noodles
I really enjoyed this and since we had all the ingredients already it wasn't a pain to make. In fact, the longest part was getting the water to boil, and once that was done I was ready to eat. Definitely an easy single serve meal, although really it would be just as easy to increase everything to serve more than one person as well.

How often do you cook to serve just one? And what's your normal "scrounging-type" meal?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

From Miss to Mrs: Ceremony Details

With our ceremony at such a gorgeous location, off the porch of a grand plantation home, framed by towering oak tress there wasn't a lot of decoration needed. Except since we was having a primarily Jewish wedding, the one thing we needed was our chuppah.
The structure of this was actually made by the boy using pvc pipe, flower pots, and a bag of cement from an online tutorial. If I remember correctly, my FIL was the one who put it all together, and my SIL took care of the flowers at the bottom.
The chuppah in progress - personal photo
As for the covering itself, for a long time I wasn't sure how that would come together. As it happened, once the boy and I were first engaged, the one request my mom made was that she make our chuppah cover. Since it was something I hadn't really thought about, I told her I agreed, and from there she asked me to come up with ideas on what I wanted it to look like. I think I bookmarked a single image since I really had no idea. (And yes, I mean bookmarked. Pinterest hadn't quite taken off yet.) Except, by now you probably know what happened, and my mom died about 10 months before the wedding which meant not only did I have no idea what I wanted it to look like, I had no idea how it would be made at all.

I didn't really want to ask anyone to help at this point. I figured at some point it would come together, and I'd find a solution. Instead what happened is I said something in passing to my MIL, and without a hesitation she decided she'd sew our chuppah for us. Which is how my Catholic MIL happened to make the centerpiece of our Jewish wedding. I still had no idea how I wanted it to look, and left it up to her. She wound up embroidering it with flowers, our initials, and even a small tribute to my mom.
00376 - Copy
Speaking of my mom, almost a year ago I wrote this post about leaving flowers on a chair in memory of my mom. Except as it got closer to the wedding, it became something I didn't want to think about. Which is why I was so surprised when someone, I believe my godmother, pulled the extra flowers from our centerpieces to leave them on the chair where my mom would have sat.
On a less sentimental note, I put the boy in charge of buying the wine for the ceremony. I didn't tell him it had to be Kosher, just that it was something I wanted him to take care of. He remember that a few weeks prior we had gone to Doe's, and shared a pretty delicious bottle of wine. He actually tried to track down a bottle of it in an actual store, but wound up going back to the restaurant to see if they'd sell it to him. And while it wasn't their standard practice, he must have been convincing.
The ring bearer pillow was bought on clearance at Michaels. I didn't really care what it looked like, only that it was plain so I could dress it up. The blue and purple ribbons, may not have been gorgeous, but they did tie it into the overall colar scheme. Plus I had the ribbon leftover from when I crafted the escort card holders.
The flower girl basket came from our florist. One aspect I loved was that the petals weren't simple rose petals but actually matched the flowers in the bouquet. Of course, they weren't actually thrown, but if you look my niece didn't actually have a free hand to do so. I was told that about half way through the ceremony she whisperered in realization to my SIL, a bridesmaid, telling her she forgot to throw her petals and was reassured that it wasn't a problem.
00296 - Copy
Really the only other item on display was our ketubah, which we signed before the ceremony. I had it custom framed at Michaels, and asked them not to put felt over the back so we could take the print out to sign it. The stand itself was provided by our venue.
Are you the type to notice details at a wedding? And if you're already married, how much did you decorate your ceremony site?

Unless otherwise noted all photos in this post courtesy of Sabree Hill Photography
with editing by me to protect privacy.

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
From Miss to Mrs: Prepping the Plantation
From Miss to Mrs: Turtle Time
From Miss to Mrs: The Photographer Has Arrived
From Miss to Mrs: Becoming the Bride
From Miss to Mrs: Dress Details
From Miss to Mrs: Ou Est le Groom?
From Miss to Mrs: A Bridge-y First Look
From Miss to Mrs: Couple Time
From Miss to Mrs: Just the Two of Us
From Miss to Mrs: Grouping the Girls
From Miss to Mrs: Ain't No Party Like a Bridal Party
From Miss to Mrs: Fun with Family
From Miss to Mrs: Making it Official
From Miss to Mrs: The Bedeken
From Miss to Mrs: The Final Minutes
From Miss to Mrs: Programming Break
From Miss to Mrs: The Processional
From Miss to Mrs: Walking the Walk
From Miss to Mrs: Circle to Ceremony
From Miss to Mrs: Remembrance to Kiddush
From Miss to Mrs: The Exchanges
From Miss to Mrs: Lucky Number Seven
From Miss to Mrs: Mazel Tov

Monday, May 20, 2013

Star Trek Into Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
I feel a little silly admitting this, but even though I read this in high school, I really didn't remember the book. In fact, the only thing I remembered is the ending. So when I say it felt true to the book, what I mean is the one scene I remembered was there. But even though I didn't quite know what to expect with the story, I really enjoyed this.

What's even more surprising is that I think I liked it more than Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet or Moulin Rouge. There was just something about it, that I can't quite describe, but really spoke to me.

I never would have expected the Jay-z soundtrack to work, but yet it did. It was definitely a fun ride, and one I can't wait to take again.

Star Trek Into Darkness
It's funny because even though these two movies look to be so different, there's something about them both that makes them feel similar to me. Again I really liked this one, I just can't quite articulate why.

I haven't seen the original tv series or a lot of the Star Trek movies, but even so I got a lot of the insides jokes. And I have to imagine if I was more well versed in the Star Trek universe I'd be catching the insides jokes in every scene or two.

I really think either one of these movies is worth seeing, just depends on what you're in the mood for. Although the one I'd most want to see again would have to be Gatsby.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mailbox Monday (32)

Mailbox Monday is a weekly gathering place for bloggers to share the books they've picked up recently. It was originality started by Marcia, who now blogs at To Be Continued. It currently travels to a new host each month and for the month of May we're linking up at 4 The Love of Books
Mailbox Monday
Beach Blondes by Katherine Applegate
I actually picked up the sequel to this, Tan Lines, almost two years ago. Since then I've been wanting to pick up the first in the series so I didn't read them out of order. I actually almost bought this once before, but put it back because I didn't really need it. This time though I gave into temptation. Although did tell myself going into Books-A-Million the only thing I'd let myself buy was this if I found it on clearance, which I obviously did. I didn't buy anything else though, so I was at least able to resist going too crazy. Plus it seems like the perfect time to read this with summer about to be starting. And it's 3 books in one, so $1 per book, it really is a pretty good deal.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And what is your opinion on reading books in a series out of order?

Sunday Social (14)

With temperatures getting up into the high 90s the past few days it's really starting to feel like summer. Which is why I wanted to be sure to join in with this week's Sunday Social since the questions are all about summer, at least for the most part.
1. What is your favorite kind of surprise?
I'm pretty sure I'd be happy with any type of surprise. But I'd think it'd be fun to be thrown a surprise party someday.
2. Flowers or Chocolate?
While I do enjoy flowers (the photos above are from the last time the boy decided to randomly buy me flowers), I'd still probably prefer chocolate. It's just a little more delicious than flowers, at least in my opinion!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry
3. What is your favorite summertime activity?
I love laying out in the sun with a good book. Even better if there's a pool or the ocean nearby.
Reading on the Beach
4. Do you have any vacations planned this Summer?
We're actually planning on taking a trip to Destin, Florida later this summer. (The photo above was actually taken on our last trip there.)

5. Favorite Summer Holiday?
Unless I'm missing something, you're looking at Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. I think normally I'd say the 4th, except this year our first anniversary is on Labor Day. So I'm pretty sure I'm obligated to say Labor Day here.

6. Dream Vacation?
My top 3 dream vacation locations would have to be Greece, Egypt, or Australia.

If you're stopping by from A Complete Waste of Makeup, please be sure to say hi in the comments! And if you haven't linked up with Sunday Social, what would some of your answers to these questions be?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Project 365: Days 127 Through 136

I almost didn't have a chance to post this today. Except I am at least managing get this up before we head out to LSU's last home baseball game of the season. So I'll try to keep the past week and a half short and sweet.
Chocolate Raspberry Fiber Luna Bar
May 7, 2013 - 127/365: Chocolate Raspberry Fiber Luna Bar. These are actually pretty interesting in that they're more like a Nutrigrain bar than a Luna Bar. I do like them, but maybe not quite as the normal Lunas.
Baby Figs
May 8, 2013 - 128/365: Baby Figs.
Rustic Chicken Sandwich
May 9, 2013 - 129/365: Rustic Chicken Sandwich at Maxwell's Market.
Starbucks Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino
May 10, 2013 - 130/265: Starbucks' new Caramel Ribbon Frappucino. Definitely a fan, and think it's a step up from the normal Caramel Frap.
Baby Satsumas
May 11, 2013 - 131/365: Baby Satsumas.
My Mom's Perfume
May 12, 2013 - 132/365: My mom's perfume on Mother's Day.
Dessert & Reading
May 13, 2013 - 133/365: Reading before bed.
Chicken Parmesan
May 14, 2013 - 134/365: The boy made chicken parmesan for dinner.
May 15, 2013 - 135/365: Wisteria
Crawfish Etouffee
May 16, 2013 - 136/365: Shrimp and Crawfish Ettoufee from the Three Bones food truck.

I'm linking this post up with Random-osity & Kleinworth & Co. for Project 52!