Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pretty Cool Article I Just Read

I just read this article on Apartment Therapy, and I kind of love it. It is definitely helpful with my entry level salary. It is such a great reminder that a room/house is never going to be complete and will always be evolving...well at least that's how I see it. I am always, always changing something in my house. Even just rearranging something little makes me happy. 

9 Things I Wish I'd Known About Decorating a First Home

By Abby Stone
(Yes, this is my living room. And, yes, it has already undergone a transformation since this picture was taken)

1. Buy your big pieces of furniture secondhand: This is not just about saving money, it's also about how your style will change as you learn what you like and don't like. Don't spend a lot on a piece by justifying that it's a piece you've always wanted and an investment in your future. The likelihood is that your style will go through three or four metamorphoses before it settles into something that's you.
2. Reconsider before you reject: When you move into your first place, people will often be so excited for you that they'll want to gift you with some of their old stuff (or they may just be trying to get rid of it!). Before you turn up your nose at it or toss it, make a list of inexpensive changes you might make to it. You might reupholster an old couch or paint its frame a shocking pink, remove a skirt or add a pillow or six. Not only will this save you money, it will hone your ability to look at a piece in a flea market or antique shop and see its potential.
3. Inspiration boards are not always good for decorating your first space: I know that goes against everything we're always talking about but I've found that trying to recreate someone else's room in your first space, a space that will go through a lot of transitions, ends up costing you a lot in time and money.
4. Embrace the serendipity: Your first home will not be perfect. There will be odd chairs around your table, a couch that's a lot fussier than your ideal -- and that is exactly how it should be. You're learning what you like to live with, not just what you like in a picture.
5. Paint is your best friend: You can paint a wall or a piece of furniture, dip the legs of your mismatched chairs in paint to unify them or paint a block of color behind your bed to act as a faux headboard.
6. Accent walls are your decor secret: You don't have to paint the whole room. One wall is plenty and as much as most people have patience for. It's also easy to change it up if you get bored or don't like the color.
7. Friday is move your furniture around day: Okay, maybe not every Friday but at least once every few weeks try a new arrangement. Sometimes the most unexpected arrangements work the best. This is great fun to do with friends!
8. Let your home annoy you: It's tempting, after a day of looking at decor mags and blogs, to want to fix everything in your apartment, especially when it comes to storage issues. But instead of trying to solve it immediately (which usually involves buying a lot of storage containers), live with the problem for a while. Often you'll happen upon a better solution that will end up being cheaper and simpler. Which brings me to the biggest lesson.
9. Live with as little as you can. It's tempting, when you first live alone to want to get all that stuff you've been eyeing for ages. Yes, you may be a home decor nut but, instead of buying every pillow and flowerpot you see, take a picture of it, pin it to your Pinterest board or post it on your blog. Just wait a few years or a few months and your home will have accumulated plenty and you'll spend weekends trying to cull it. Embrace the minimal while you can.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Herb Roasted Tenderloin

This is what I made for dinner the other day. 

Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans, and Pork Tenderloin. Yum!

I took the recipe from The Pioneer Woman, and it was so simple. All it takes is a couple of ingredients.
1 pork tenderloin
Some Greek Seasoning, Salt & Pepper
 1 tablespoon White Vinegar
1 cup Plum Jam
1 cup Water

How easy are those ingredients? I had everything but the pork in my kitchen. 

Just press as much of the seasonings as you would like into the tenderloin and throw it in the oven at 350. It is really that easy. Let it bake for about 20-25 minutes...or until it isn't pink when you cut into it. Then let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grab a small saucepan and add the vinegar, jam and water. Bring it to a simmer then pour it over the pork. And, Voila! You are done! Easy, right!?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Psalm 28:7

Zondervan sends me daily bible verses at work. They are the best start to my mornings. This morning the sent me this verse. It is such a comforting truth. When the world becomes simply confusing and chaotic, this verse remains true.

Monday, October 17, 2011

3. Complete a Triathlon

October 16, 2011

I did it. I did it. I did it. I have no idea what my time was, my bike wouldn't change gears and rattled the entire 10 miles, my calves cramped, but I finished. And, I finished well. After training and having several moments of sheer panic, I completed my race. I can cross number 3 off my list.  It feels good. Real good. 

5:30 AM: I am ready to go. Can't you tell? 

Here are some of the pictures that one of my friends got on her iPhone (Thank you so much, Lydia!)...

7:25ish: The boys start first (Way to go Josh and Drew!). To tell you what a novice I am, I was completely expecting for all of us to jump in and start. I was not expecting to tread water for 5 minutes beforehand. There is a lot of muck in pond water. I'm pretty sure I kicked a fish. It was real fun. 

7:40ish: I swam and as quickly as possible switched to biking. Note to self, make sure your shoes are untied before the race starts. I was literally yelling at my shoes as I tried to put them on and start biking. The girl who came running up after me must have thought I was completely nuts. 

8:45ish: I finished. Yay! I had a ton of energy at the end, too. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to do it. I think I was in a daze the whole 3 mile run. Hopefully, they will find my time soon so I can know how I can have a time to beat next time. 

"Why don't they have my time?" you ask? I just had to go and loose my ankle chip right before the race. I had it somewhere safe, but thought I was going to forget to go get the strap so I moved it and of course, lost it. After realizing this, I proceeded to completely lose it. After searching everywhere I went and pleaded for a new chip. Thankfully they gave me a new one. Not so luckily however, they did not get my time recorded. The funny part is, as I finished the swim I saw the chip just sitting by my helmet. It was right under my bike's nose. Lovely. 

We got medals for completing our first Triathlon!! A medal makes every race even better. 

Thanks Pam, Catherine, Josh and Drew for completing this with me!!! It was so much fun to train with you all and enjoy the finish line with ya! And, Thank you soo soo much Lauren, Zach, Marcia, Topher & Lydia for coming out to watch! Y'all were such a great encouragement!!

Now on to my next mission: 
36. Complete a 10k. Turkey Trot 2011, Here I come! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Please Don't Stop the Rain

Pinned Image

Dear Rain,

It has been too long! So Glad to have you back. We have missed you here in Houston. I must admit, I didn't think you would be coming back anytime soon. Feel free to stay for a little while. I will thoroughly enjoy laying in bed  listening to you pour outside my door all day.

All my love,


P.S. I compiled a couple of songs that reminded me of you.

James Morrison, Please don't Stop the Rain
Sara Bareillis, Let the Rain

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple Bread Pudding

A couple weeks ago, I got some bread from my favorite restaurant in College Station. Unfortunately, I did not have time to eat it before it went stale. Womp. Womp. No problemo. I can just make me some delicious bread pudding. Yum! Wonderful idea! Right?

So what do I do? I get onto the ever kind Pinterest and type in "Bread Pudding." Please note, I don't think I had even tasted Bread Pudding before this endeavor. Have I told you how much I LOVE Pinterest? Within seconds I had found a fantastic that would be absolutely perfect for sweet fall time.

Fast forward to a week later and I am ready to make this bread pudding. Unfortunately, my bread got tired of waiting. I told friends I was making it for that night. There was no way I could use the bread. So, what do I do? I scour my local Kroger and find an old loaf of bread. Then I turn to the apples. Here is the thing. I am allergic to fresh apples, so I just don't buy 'em. I must have looked like a complete foreigner in the fruit section. In the end, it all came together. And I loved it. Delicious!

Apple Bread Pudding

  • 6 cups of bread cut into chunks
  • 2 cups diced apples, you want to use an apple that is good for baking
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix together apples and bread.  In separate large bowl whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, then add bread and apples.  Mix together well. Pour into an 11×7 or about that pan.  Place that an into a 9×13 pan and fill the outer pan (9×13 pan) with about 1 inch of water. Your size of pan does not matter so much, as long as the pan with the bread mixture can fit into a pan with water into it. You are creating a water bath, which is important in giving this bread pudding its texture. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by Grace you have been saved, through Faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works so that no one can boast.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Check it off the List

38. Attend 10 Concerts. One down, nine more to go.

Saturday night, after a grueling run, I hit House of Blues for The Script Concert! They did a great job of playing all their sing alongs. Hot Chelle Rae opened for them. Do you know who they are? Because I definitely did not. They are not too shabby...they wish to be Katy Perry. What can go wrong with that dream?

The Script: For the First Time
Hot Chelle Rae: Tonight Tonight

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekend Update

Saturday morning I joined 3,800 Houstonians in racing for the cure for breast cancer. I have done my fair share of 5k runs, but this was by far the most crowded. It is crazy to think that this many people are affected in some way by breast cancer. Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered from this form of cancer.

It was almost too crowded to get a good run in...almost. People were still starting as I was finishing, and I was starting as people were finishing. It was a crazy circle! Competitive Runners and Noncompetitive Runners already were walking 5 feet into the run causing me to almost trip over a couple people, and   literally (accidentally) running into a couple people as I was trying to run around them (Sorry if I hit ya!). Pure Mayhem. I was surprised I didn't see Mr. Mayhem himself from the Allstate commercials. The good news though: Even though I had to do my fair share of zig zagging, I finished under 30 minutes! Whoop! 

28.44, I will take it! And, I wasn't even winded. That my friends, is a great feeling.
57. Finish a 5k in under 30 minutes. 
Completed.  Thank you very much.

Now, here is to hoping my triathlon goes as well. 14 days til race day! Eeek!!