Sunday, October 19, 2008

15 x 15

One of the fondest memories I have of a friend is looking into the congregation during communion at my wedding and seeing this friend taking the bread and the wine. There's a lot to remember about a wedding but this image is sharp and clear in my mind. I just remember looking up and seeing Willie there.
Our friend Willie T. was passionate about music throughout his life. He was a talented singer and musician, often on stage with his band CloverStreet or at church. Willie worked with my husband and I never saw him without a smile on his face. Willie died of osteosarcoma in 2006 at the age of 19.

Before Willie died, his mom Lisa asked him to compose a list of his 15 favorite songs by 15 different artists. Think of it as a soundtrack for your life.

You can learn a lot about yourself through the music you listen to. Compiling this list is harder than you think. And I think the list is probably fluid and will be different at different points in your life. My list is included below, in no particular order.

01 U2 -- All I Want is You
02 Derek Webb -- Share in the Blame
03 Jack Johnson -- Good People
04 The Beatles -- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
05 Barenaked Ladies -- If I Had a Million Dollars
06 Bob Dylan -- Like a Rolling Stone
07 Matt Costa -- Sunshine
08 Coldplay -- Clocks
09 David Gray -- Lately
10 Jimmy Buffet -- Cheeseburger in Paradise
11 Steppenwolf -- Magic Carpet Ride
12 Tom Petty -- Wildflowers
13 REM -- Nightswimming
14 Elton John -- Tiny Dancer
15 Nancy Wilson -- River Road

What's on your list of 15 x 15?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Poll!

My previous poll was about your favorite flavor of pie. After a long-standing tie between apple and pecan, I thought I was going to have to find a recipe for apple pecan pie, pecan edged out over apple which I am going to be testing for my mom-in-law's birthday. I will be sure to let you know how well it turns out. :-)

In honor of Halloween, sort of, I decided to ask a question I think could pose a challenge for some of you. And I'm preparing for an upcoming post/rant about my opinions of the future Harry Potter theme park...

Monday, October 13, 2008

True Confessions: I am a Dallas Cowboys Fan

It all started when I married my husband and realized how much he really watched ESPN. If he were writing this blog he would argue about how much I watch the Food Network. But there's only one Food Network competing with at least 4 different ESPN channels on cable television! And then there is Fox Sports, NFL Network, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, and on and on.

In order to combat this necessary evil that invaded my house shortly after my wedding, I decided I had better get used to watching at least some sports with him. Little did I know that I would soon be yelling at the TV and urging players to score touchdowns.

There's just something about the sound of helmets clashing, the suspense of a 50+ yard field goal, and those darn football pants that got me hooked. Why the Cowboys? Well, I used to live in Dallas and the Texans just aren't that promising (sorry Houstonians). I'm also a pretty big fan of the Colts and the Giants because what's not to love about two brothers who are starting quarterbacks in the NFL AND back-to-back super Bowl winners? 2007 and 2008 were good years for the Manning family.

NFL football is a weekend event in my house and I'll admit that I look forward to watching the games throughout the week. I've even watched an entire Monday night football game when Aaron was out of town! Shh, don't tell.

Ladies, don't worry, I still ask questions like, "Do you think Jason Garrett is married? What about Jason Witten?" or "Why does that player wear his hair like that?" (I wikipedia all of this and more during halftime.)

I have learned a lot of the rules and lingo of NFL football but I still have to ask, "What does 'lining up shotgun' mean?" or "Offsides? What is that?"

Now that I have asserted my Cowboys fan status, can we talk about what happened during Sunday's game? Did they actually think they were going to win like that? They sucked it up. Royally. We pay previously mentioned Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett waay too much. Hey Jerry [Jones, Cowboys team owner], why don't you just pay me that much to tell Marion Barber to run on EVERY first down? It's getting a little obvious and I'm pretty sure the opposing team is on to you Jason Garrett.

Or maybe quarerback Tony Romo (9) is just a wuss and doesn't feel like throwing the ball on first down. How 'bout we take some risks once in a while and play out of the box. What if we actually try to throw the ball downfield and not just dump it to Barber so he can shuffle for half a yard then fall down. Tell me why exactly we are paying Terrell Owens (81) if he isn't going to catch the ball and run like hell to the endzone?
And Jason Witten (82), what happened to you? A couple dropped passes and unable to get open? We can always count on you to come through! Get your head back in the game! Please!

And don't even get me started on Jessica Simpson. Every game she has come to and been on camera, Tony has managed to lose. I have yet to see her this season but I'm pretty sure she's getting into his head because he's still managing to LOSE. We had a golden opportunity in overtime (thank you Nick Folk (kicker) for making that 52-yard field goal to get us to OT even though you jacked that other field goal in the second quarter) but Romo squandered it away in a quick 55 second possession. Who exactly told him it was okay to get on the field and go 3 downs and out in SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME? That would be Jason Garrett. Again.

And now, Tony has announced that he's broken his pinkie finger. Ok, I know that finger is probably essential to throwing a football but doesn't that sound like the wimpiest injury you've ever heard of?Sigh. As you can see, I'm getting worked up about this. But NFL football plays with your emotions! One minute it's a last ditch field goal attempt to get us into overtime (YAY!) the next minute, the opposition has blocked our punt attempt, broken our punter's foot, and scored a touchdown (CRUD, or another expletive that's bouncing around my head but I won't write here).

Cowboys, I'm still with ya for the duration of the season but our backup quarterback prospects are bleak. Brad Johnson (14), 40 years-old and coming off a 2 year stint on the bench, I'll be praying for you. I hope Tony's back soon.


Roger, over and out. Time to watch Eli Manning and the NY Giants defeat the Cleveland Browns. (Unless they play like the Cowboys, wink).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Pumpkins are Here!

One of my most favorite times of year in my town is the arrival of the pumpkin patch harvest. Every year I look forward to the seemingly bottomless piles of orange pumpkins gathered in front of the 150 year-old First Methodist Church.

The 18-wheeler truck that transports the bounty to Georgetown delivers your traditional carving pumpkins, mini-pumpkins, white pumpkins, blue pumpkins, and gourds of all shapes, colors, and sizes.And that's not all, a second 18-wheeler truck restocks the patch two weeks later!

I was overwhelmed with joy last Saturday morning when I saw they had finally arrived. The patch is open from 9:00am 'til dark everyday and all proceeds from pumpkin sales benefit the youth mission trip fund.The pumpkin patch also heartily welcomes babies for that ever-popular pumpkin photo op. I'm trying to convince my husband to take our annual Christmas picture there but I don't think he's even going to humor me. ;-)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Fashion Diagnosis: Investment Pieces vs. Trends

What are my fashion credentials you might ask? Well, my fashion resume consists of a few years in retail management at J.Crew and a distinct interest in mirroring my personality through my choice in wardrobe. My style is decidedly preppy (it's undeniable really) and a lesson in high/low shopping. That's just code for a closet consisting of a few J.Crew, Anthropologie, and BCBG pieces but bursting with a miscellany of Target, Old Navy, JC Penney, and anything-Outlet snags.
The trick is to successfully marry those pieces into an outfit without looking like Joey in that episode of Friends where he tried on all of his clothes at once. Or looking like I buy everything in the Juniors department as I move into the eve of my 27th year.

Let's start with
investment pieces. These are the quintessential go-with-anything, always-lookin'-good, wardrobe staples that you probably want to spend a little more coin on in the name of quality.

1. blazer (my all-time fave is a navy wool version with gold buttons I got for $90 after my employee discount. Think blazer with a tee/tank and
jeans or blazer over a silk dress, etc.)
2. grey wool pants (I just grabbed a new pair from Martin
& Osa because the waist fits wonderfully high over my love handles and the inseam is long enough for my 5'9" frame.)
3. knee-high boo
ts (in black or brown, a good pair of tailored, leather boots look great with skirts, jeans, trousers, knee-high wool shorts, you name it.)
4. white button-front blouse (you can always look sharp with a starc
hed white shirt. Cute new twist: InStyle recommends trying a men's button-front pajama top under a blazer. How fantastically silly!)
5. jeans (just find a gr
eat pair that fits no matter what the cost. need I say more? I'm a bit of Frugal Fanny so I don't even own a pair of jeans that always fit great. I did find a pretty good pair at Madewell though. They sell jeans using men's waist sizes AND they sell different lengths in the store.)
6. t-shirts (Pima cotton, short-sleeve, long-sleeve, crew neck, v-neck. Find your
favorite and keep it on hand in a few colors for Saturdays around town or under a blazer at work. My favorite is a v-neck with a pocket for a little added character.)
7. black dress (this is a given but why must it still allude me?)


On to this season's
trends. These are pieces that I just don't tend to spend much on because they may be a faux pas before the holiday season.

1. ruffle blouses (in any fabric, they add a flair of feminism to any outfit.)

2.
long cardigan (These look great over a t-shirt or silk camisole and can be accessorized with skinny belts [see #3] or scarves. I've got
an evergreen-colored one from my grandfather I'm about to try as soon as it gets cold.)
3. belted waists (most popular being a patent leath
er skinny belt but wider leather versions are popping up too)
4. colorful tights (these a
re so fun! If you tend to buy lots of blacks and grays like I do, this is an instant color boost to your outfit or can make a mini-skirt not seem so tiny. I bought a citron yellow pair last season on sale but I'm so glad to see them back again.)
5. big jewelry (where to find, I can't say I have any grea
t recommendations. You'll just know that big, bauble necklace when you see it and you'll wanna snatch it.)
6. ankle boots (this I feel like I might not be able to pull off but I just saw a gray suede pair in a DSW ad and I'm thinking my bravery's up.)


When I mentioned to a friend that I might be writing a fall fashion-themed post, he requested that I not forget the men out there. Here you are guys, my diagnosis of the current men's fashions.

1. v-neck sweater vests (a solid or a subtle stripe is super cute over a casual [think un-iron
ed] button-front shirt with rolled sleeves)
2. skinny jea
ns (I'm not sure what this trend is about. Maybe the fit is better for some men, but for my hubs and his seriously muscular legs due to running, these just won't cut it. He was actually turned down recently in a store after the salesperson gave him a once over. She said "nope, our jeans just aren't gonna work for you.")
3. blazers or sportcoats (corduroy, canvas, tailored but casual. Think super smart math professor Charlie from Numb3rs.)
4.
boy scout belts (I don't know why I refer to them as such but I'm talking about leather belts with small, silver buckles. These just make my heart smile.)
5. t-shirts (similar diagnosis as for women, just find one you like that doesn't have any holes in it and that you haven't owned since high school.)


Lastly, here are a few of the current looks I love that illustrate the principals outlined above:













Oops, forgot to mention anything about color palette. This fall berry, yellow, and grey/silver are BIG so supplement your everyday wardrobe with splashes of those colors.

























I feel as though I have barely scratched the surface so perhaps this commentary will continue in a few days. Until then, let me know what you
think!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A little bowl of goodness

So I promise all of my posts are not going to be about food or pastries. But I just had to show you this picture.
Isn't that the best looking bowl of banana pudding you've ever seen? It's wearing a homemade meringue hat!

Thank you Monument Cafe (Georgetown, TX) for making my night.

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