Favorite Things :: September 2011

Pumpkin spice lattes are being served at every coffeehouse in town.

Shop windows showcase capes, coats, boots, and hats.

October officially begins tomorrow.

So why is it still 90 degrees in Little Rock? Weatherman? Hello? Answer me!

I am learning that fall in this part of the country looks a little different from fall in New England. You would think it wouldn’t matter to me. That a Southern California girl who doesn’t even have “seasons” as they are traditionally known, wouldn’t care.

Oh, I care.

Somebody bring the 50 degrees and ice cold winds stat. And don’t tell me that I’ll be complaining and wishing for 90 when the temperature hovers around 22. I won’t. I have promised myself that I will NEVER complain about Little Rock being too cold again. I’m serious. I might state facts, like : “Oh wow it’s cold!” or “Look, my breath just froze!” but I will HANDS DOWN take 20 degrees over 110 and muggy every! day! of! my! life! Move me to Alaska. I’ll live next to the Palin’s and kill my own caribou.

On that note, let’s get to the September installment of Favorite Things.

1. Fall/Autumn.

One year ago in Deer Valley, Utah. Look at those colors!

Despite the fact that fall in Little Rock is nowhere near chilly and I certainly don’t need to wear a sweater, the weather HAS cooled off quite a bit and it’s making everything a little more bearable. One day it was even 65! I shivered! Oh, glorious shiver. Plus, Glenn spent last weekend in Boston celebrating a college buddy’s wedding, and I feel like I lived vicariously through his apple picking, cider drinking, jacket wearing days.

2. Truvia.

Zero calorie. Natural. Used by Hannah and Olivia of Biggest Loser fame. Sign me up! I have been mixing about a quarter of a packet into my plain greek yogurt and it makes it taste a lot less like sour cream. Mmmm.

3. Isaiah.

Yes, the book in the Bible. My ladies Precept Bible Study just started up again and we are diving into Isaiah. I am LOVING it. What an incredible message of repentance and redemption. I honestly feel like I’m learning more about God and His character and glory every day of the study.

4. Pork.

I’m a little late to the pork bandwagon, but I don’t care. I like it! I never realized how versatile and low-fat it can be. AND inexpensive. Schnitzel, Saltimbocca, Pulled Pork; you name it, I want to make it. I am beginning to see just exactly how “the other white meat” pork is. Side note: you should make Amanda’s Pulled Pork immediately. It’s kind of life changing.

5. Running.

Glenn and I enjoying a post-run meal at Boulevard Bread Company. Oh how I love Boulevard Bread Company. 

I am falling back in love with running! Taking 7 months off was one of the best things I could have done for my body and for my passion for the sport. I am, as an old man crossing the bridge the other day pointed out, a “real athlete”, and am happy to be enjoying running again.

Happy Friday, my lovelies. Thank you for reading and commenting, I am seriously BLESSED to get to share life with all of you: those I have met and those I have not, I cherish you all.


Around Town

As I was driving around town yesterday, running all sorts of errands, I saw some crazy stuff.

There was this man, dressed in a chicken suit. He was the advertising for Arkansas Silver and Gold. Naturally. Why wouldn’t you wear a chicken suit to tell everyone you buy silver and gold?

I was almost home when I drove by this guy. See him all the way to the left? It’s a Google Earth photographer. Kind of creepy but also kind of cool to see this Google Earth in action.

Finally, as Glenn and I were on our way downtown, a man sprinted across the street, into oncoming traffic, and came INCHES away from the hood of my car. I slammed on the breaks, squealed, and thanked God something bad didn’t happen. We then promptly inhaled these delicious pretzels at The Flying Saucer.

Weird day!


Favorite Things April 2011

I have experienced a few things this week every day this week that I have never experienced before.  And when I say never, I mean NEVER IN MY TWENTY NINE YEARS. Never ever ever ever ever. Until now. When my life has somehow turned into a Middle America thunderstorm.

I took this picture of the TV a few moments ago. See that bright red part? The part that says “SEVER WEATHER!” That’s my neighborhood. We have gone from Tornado Watch to Tornado Warning to Tornado Sirens to Tornado Emergency. What. The. Hail. {sorry. I had to. it’s been hailing like mad! golf-ball sized hail.} I have a completely new understanding of the sweet childhood phrase “April showers bring May flowers.” The only problem is all those early blossoming “May flowers” are getting trounced on by excessive rain, hail, and lightning, then not-so-politely ripped out of the ground by tornadoes!

I am officially sick of weather. And with that, my friends, I bring you this month’s installment of Favorite Things.

1. Hunter Rain Boots

I do not own these boots.  I put together a list of reasons why I should own them and handed it to Glenn last week. Top of the list? Princess Diana wore them often. Every other reason? See the 3 paragraphs above.  I wear a size 7 and have my eye on the green ones. They are available at Nordstrom and Zappos.com. This has been a public service announcement. *Side note: I realize I am breaking a Favorite Things rule by not actually owning the boots. I apologize. It was necessary.*

2. Brown mustard

I’ve always been a Dijon loyalist, but the brown varietal has crept up on my list of yummies lately. The other day my lunch consisted of a cup of soup and a sliver of baguette that I tore up into teensy tinsy pieces and dipped in brown mustard. It was delicious.

3. The Weepies

I am so not musically cool, it’s painful. I am pretty sure everyone who knows anything about music has been a fan of The Weepies for years now, but I just discovered them and it’s making me happy! Another new musical discovery? The Head and The Heart. Oh me oh my I am in love.

4. Magnum Bars

Memory: We would ride our bikes around the Old Danube; up and down and up and down, Mom and Dad doing their best to guide us away from the French (aka topless) parts of the strand.  Halfway through our bike ride, we would find an ice cream stand, where we could each pick out any kind of ice cream bar our little hearts desired. The Magnum bar was at the very bottom of the menu. It was the most expensive, but also the best. Pure vanilla ice cream covered in a thick, rich Belgian chocolate that would drip down my arm on those particularly warm days. Summer had arrived.

These fabulous bars were recently discovered on US soil in none other than my local Walmart. Be still my beating heart.

Love and excessive amounts of cheek kisses to all of you.


Our Apartment

Some of the writers and blogs I keep up with give their readers hotel room tours when staying at out of town hotels.  I really enjoy reading the hotel room tour posts that others write, mostly because they are an inside look at hotels way out of my price range, so I can dream of the day when I walk into the Beverly Hills Montage (that was for you, JH) and picture myself drowning in luxury.  On my recent trip out of town, I decided it was just as important to share hotel room tours of the low-budg, off the beaten path, well under $150 a night places.  Of course I didn’t think of this until AFTER I had stayed at just such a place, but alas, on my next hotel visit believe you me I will be giving you all a tour.

With that little teaser, I introduce my first tour of any kind: the tour of our corporately leased apartment.

This is our first apartment.  From the time we got married until (almost) 7 months ago when we came to Little Rock we lived in a 3 bedroom house with a tiny side yard and a cute front porch.  It was an old house… really old… and not in the hip Craftsman home way.  It had lots of bugs. Lots of bugs. It had no central heating or air.  But it had a fireplace that helped keep us warm, it had 3 bedrooms so we could share our home with guests, it had really low rent, and we never had a problem squeezing in as many people as we could when we threw parties.

Back to our current apartment. We are so blessed because, along with the craziness of our jobs, we also get the benefit of someone else doing all of the hard work of moving for us. They find a place for us to live, they furnish it, they give us directions on how to get there, we walk in and make it our temporary home. The only disadvantage of this is, well, that whoever decorates these corporate apartments clearly has NOT been reading Elements of Style or subscribing to Elle Decor.

When you walk through our front door, this is what you see. It’s the living room. I brought the picture frames to make it more personal, everything else was provided by the Corporate Housing people. Thanks, Corporate Housing! Although I don’t love your decorating style, I appreciate having a couch.

Next up, the other side of the living room. This is the newest addition to our home: a vintage desk. We like it. And it was only $25. This is something we will either have shipped back home or drive back home when the time comes. Please also note the extremely heavy hand weights. We are the definition of physical fitness. In the physically fit world it goes like this: Arnold in the 80’s, Jillian Michaels, The Murdock’s.

Attached to the living room is our dining “nook” which we haven’t used in months, mostly because one of the chairs is broken. We typically use our coffee table as a dinner table and eat like we’re in Marrakesh: sitting on the floor. It’s kind of fun.

And finally, the most important room in the house: the kitchen. I brought 7 of my own aprons from home {that was half of them. why do you ask?} and we hung those on the wall.

I also brought most of my important appliances: my KitchenAid, my food processor, my immersion blender, and of course, these beauties. You should see the knives they provide in the Corporate Housing world. Believe it or not, most businessmen don’t moonlight as professional chef’s, so they give you what might as well be plastic. Chopping carrots with plastic-esque knives is not an easy task.

We are now at the end of our tour. Thank you so much for joining me. I might include the bedrooms and bathrooms next time… they were a little dirty this week.