Monday, January 30, 2012

Randomness

As I was reminded this weekend by Mrs. Massey, I have been neglecting my blog.. So here are some updates on where I have been.. and some of my favorite things at the moment...

At the beginning of the month I was in Scottsdale.. Cant beat the view.. except that when I took this photo was the only time I saw the view in daylight.


Then it was off to Baltimore a few days later.. where they had just gotten their first snow the day prior.

The Harbor is beautiful.


But the hotel creepily encourages you to use binoculars to stalk people outside?


I had an event at the National Aquarium - so a photo op was necessary!


I am home, safe and sound for a few days then I am off to my favorite town



I got home and started working on my second "job" (& my most favorite, by the way).. Helping Miss Jenna B plan her wedding!


We have a date set, a venue booked, a dress almost picked, a color scheme, and a budget started. WHEW! She's been a busy lady this month - and all the fun stuff starts now - the deets! Loving it. Every.single.part. Thinking about taking some courses in wedding planning - may make me better to help my friends! If anyone has taken courses, design courses, really anything, let me know - I would love to chat about it!

We hosted Supper Club this weekend - Italian evening... here's a sneak peak of my tablescape.. More will be posted via Chocolate Broccoli this week, so be sure to tune in over there!



We tried this new beer this weekend... J is a fan. I dont think it tastes any different than regular Bud Light, but what do I know?


Loving my Party Ideas board on Pinterst... its fab!

Can I have this?


Or this?


Can I get this tutorial?



Thats about all I got for ya this week... Happy Monday!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

Oh life... how you have been crazy. Just got home around midnight on Sunday, heading out Saturday, and trying to have a life in between... here's a little update for yall:

I came home to this OCD closet:



Wanna know what this makes me want to do???? SMOOOOSH 'em together!!!! Hahaha - funny story, when J&I first started dating this is what his closet looked like and Heather and I in a drunken stuper on a fun night - smoooooooshed it all. It felt so good. I am resisting the urge for now, but we will see....

I also came home to this:



Dont get it??? Guess whats missing!?!? ::celebration dance::



Yep! That guy has been donated - niiiiiice!

This little lady - is doing MUCH better after her gross accident:



And one of my BESTEST of BESTESTS is engaged. I L.O.V.E. Jenna and Philip and am oh.so.excited. for them to get married! H&I got to get a few drinkys and dins with the bride to be this week:




Pretty amazing updates in my opinion.... hope to have more for you next week... lots of love!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Love is..


Scottsdale, Arizona this week/weekend....


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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Overprotective Momma

Sunday night we noticed Layla was bleeding on her foot.... and upon further expection we found this:


EW!!!!!!!

So I went into Overprotective Momma mode and cleaned her up, put on a bandaid, put on a sock and taped that sucker on.... Not sure she was happy with my ghetto bandage!



Monday morning we spent visiting Auntie Heather at the vet.. where they clipped, pulled or something the nail off... without a peep from Boog, but closed eyes and hands over ears from Momma ((Even Auntie H wouldnt touch it!))

So happy to see this booger face all good again & cuddling with her family!



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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Lift Me Up

Today was definitely not my most favorite day thus far this year... Crazy, crazy work day... Crazier than I have had in a l.o.o.o.o.o.o.n.g. time! But Its 9:00 pm and I am done, so I will spare you all with the complaints.

When I got home, my wonderful hubs had a glass of wine for me and dun-duh-da! Birchbox!!!!!

So even though I had to set up and work... at least I got to enjoy my new goodies that I literally oooh'd and ahhhh'd about... CHERRIOS! Ask Kate! Hahahaha!

So this is what my night looked like:


But like I said before, I wont complain... lets get to the good stuff! My Birchbox contents:



Archipelago Pomegranate Body Soap
Juicy Couture Perfume
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner (overly excited about this)
Zoya Nail Polish in Megan (Extreme OOOH-ing here)
Witchcraft Granola

Also for the first time I noticed another little goody in the box... "Mini Detoxes" Its like little ideas to help detox yourself.. here are this months:

- Your Mind: turn off your computer, iPhone, or Blackberry one hour before bed. You'll sleep soundly and wake up sunny not stressed
- Your Relationship: Send your grandma a handwritten note, give your little sis a call or tell a colleague they're doing a great job
- Your Closet: Take out anything that makes you feel less-than-awesome and donate it to a charity like Dress for Success
- Your Diet: Cut out processed foods for a few days. Focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plenty of dark chocolate
- Your Bathroom Cabinet: Check expiration dates and throw away any products past their prime

Just another reason to love the Birchbox?!

I am so glad that I signed up for this... just the pick-me-up I needed today!

Night friends!

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Corn & Crab Chowder

My girl Rachel Ray does not disappoint...

I love crab and lobster bisque or chowder. When I travel to the Northeast, these are ALWAYS a must, but I wanted to bring it home to North Dallas.. and I found a Rachel Ray recipe that I felt confident enough in sharing with our sweet friends the Cabreras.

Chris is my number 1 follower, and oh so critical if he can be, but I voluntarily brought him this meal... and it didnt disappoint!



Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream

2 tablespoons butter

2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning blend, found near seafood department or, on spice aisle in your market

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth

1 quart whole milk

3 cups corn kernels, scraped fresh from the cob or, frozen kernels

8 ounces cooked lump crab meat, fresh is available in plastic tubs at many fish counters

4 small bread boules, 6 inches, hollowed out, preferably sour dough, optional

Toppings:
Oyster crackers

Hot cayenne pepper sauce

Sliced scallions

 
Directions


Heat a deep pot over moderate heat. Add oil and butter. As you chop your veggies, add them to the pot: potatoes, celery, onion, and red bell pepper. Add bay leaf to the pot. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Saute veggies 5 minutes, then sprinkle in flour. Cook flour 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and combine. Stir in milk and combine. Bring soup up to a bubble. Add corn and crab meat and simmer soup 5 minutes. Adjust the soup seasonings. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bread bowls or soup bowls and top with oyster crackers, hot sauce and sliced scallions.

Holy goodness. do.it.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thug Lovin

I saw this on Facebook the other day.. so true!




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Thai!

I hadnt eaten Thai food since the beginning of college, and I cannot tell you what struck me about this recipe on Pinterest, but I really wanted to try it.

Maybe it was the whole crock pot thing? My husband who wont eat anything "scary" will literally eat anything out of the crockpot... he could care-less what it is. It was made in the crock pot - DONE.

Maybe subconsciously I knew it was the only way I would be eating Thai... that aside, this recipe did not disappoint.

Hot & Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken
Notice my amazing quality photo???? Thanks baby for my new blog worthy camera!
Ingredients
2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
1 1/2 cups sliced carrot (3 medium)
1 small red sweet pepper, cut into bite-size strips
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces I used breasts
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 - 3 teaspoons red curry paste Next time I make this I will use more.. there was no heat to ours
4 garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup frozen peas
Hot cooked rice We used rice noodles
Chopped peanuts
Snipped fresh cilantro

To Do:
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, place onions, carrot, and sweet pepper. Top with chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, lime peel, lime juice, soy sauce, tapioca, ginger, curry paste, and garlic until smooth. Pour over all in cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. I did ours for 6 hours... personally I think the chicken was a bit over done... so next time I will probably only do it for 4 - 5 hours

3. Stir in coconut milk and peas. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

4. Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked rice (noodles). If desired, sprinkle each serving with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Makes 6 servings.

The always critical hubby gave it thumbs up!


Enjoy!!!
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NYE '12

this year J&I decided to ring in the New Year together... just us. However; we certainly were not missing out on the delish food of New Years, nor the yum drinks.

I have found sooooo many recipes on Pinterest in the past months, that our meal was much inspired by the website, but ZERO disappointments - and thats pretty huge on our extensive menu...

Saturday morning, J made me the "Breakfast of Champions" - Waffles, OJ & Beer.... cant beat that right???? And my Aggies beat Northwestern that morning... goooooood way to start my new year!


Then there were apps:

Bruschetta... a family recipe I will share at a later date... if youre lucky! ;) Stuffed Shrimp, Toasted Ravioli, Asparagus App....


Main course you ask????

We had Green Beans, Pesto Twice Baked Potatoes (also my own brain child) and overly delicious oscar steak..


I also made Raspberry Cheesecake Bites...


A delicious evening to say the least... & also a fab night with my honey...



Happy New Year from the Dunaways (Boogs included!)!

Now onto bigger things.... New Year Resolutions.... lets discuss my 2011 resolutions..... ((BIG FAILS!!!!))

*Write more handwritten notes/letters/cards... snail mail is such an awesome surprise Semi Sorta Fail on my part - 2012? I will dominate!
*Like everyone else in the world, I want to get healthier.. I wont say I want to lose weight, blah blah blah, but I do want to watch what I am eating, how much I am drinking and make sure I am working out just to be healthy. J&I are talking baby 2013.... maybe, maybe not. but i would like to be the healthiest I can be prior to it happening.... game on?
*I want to take J to Chicago this year. I l.o.v.e. that city, and I want him to see why. i'll be honest. With our current travel schedule for 2012, this goal with a grave heart will probably be postponed.... unless Nick & Tina decide to get married ;) No Rush or anything!!!
*I want to be financially smart this year... post wedding of course. Lets all be honest: financially smart and weddings are oxy-morons Financially smart should be a goal year in and year out. But defi after the year of the wedding. all debt? erased in 2012. We can DO IT!
*I want to do vounteer work. Yes, somehow in my ridiculously hectic schedule, I can find more time to give to underprivelaged children. Its my passion and I miss it. ugh - my heart aches for this. i WILL do better this year.
*I want to master my job. I am getting there. Always room for improvement.
*I want to learn to be a good wife and great at everything that marriage entails. I'd love to say that I am the BEST WIFE EVERRRRR, but I know that wouldn't be true... I will continue to be a better spouse through 2012

2011 seems to be a year that I did not accomplish a lot according to my resolutions... but all in all that would be a lie. Although I will not add to my resolutions this year, I truly hope to accomplish my resolutions much better this year...

Happy New Year to all - what will 2012 bring????
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Way to My Man's Heart

A Philly Cheesesteak... Thats all you need if you want to coerce J to do anything...

We go to Texadelphia and its J's mecca of Phillys, but we dont have to go to a Philly specialty restaurant for him to get one.. if your menu has one, he will eat it, even if we are at a mexican restaurant or an amazing italian restaurant, doesn't matter... its on the menu, its on his plate.

Until I cooked this meal, I am prety sure the best Philly J had was at Cowboys Stadium... and I'll agree, they are pretty DANG good!

However... I kid you not... these Philly's are legit... I found them on Pinterst... who is surprised?

Well, we had them for dinner, then lunch the next day... and if we had not ran out of meat, we probably would have had them AGAIN!



2 c. beef broth
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 lb. Black Angus rare roast beef (regular roast beef works great too, just make sure it's from the deli and thinly sliced)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 large white or yellow onion, sliced
8 oz. cream cheese
sliced provolone cheese (2 slices per sandwich)
3-4 hoagie rolls


Bring beef broth and onion soup mix to a boil. Add roast beef, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, in a large skillet saute onion and green pepper. When beef is done simmering, drain juices. Add roast beef to skillet along with about 4 oz. of cream cheese. When the cream cheese in the skillet is all melted, generously portion beef mixture onto each hoagie roll. Top with provolone cheese and place sandwiches, open-faced on a large baking sheet. Broil on high for about a minute or until cheese becomes bubbly and bread becomes slightly toasty. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

All I can say is YUMMMM-O! We will be having these again, and if J has anything to do with it, it will be frequent. Enjoy!


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