I Love Cookies

I do. I LOOOOVVVEEE Cookies. I think they have to be one of the best dessert inventions ever. Why? Because you can eat them on the go, sitting down, walking, talking, and even running--just don't choke. 

They come in a million different flavors and in a million different ways and you can eat them plain, with icing, ice cream, sprinkles, chocolate or not, soft, crunchy, filled, puffy, or flat! The possibilities are endless. 

I broke down Monday and whipped up a personal favorite, Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies. And they were worth every bite. 

Go make yourself some. Seriously. Go do it.

What's your favorite cookie right now? 

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Little Piece of Home

I'm a total transplant here in OKC. I've really learned to love the city in the last ten years and I've seen it change and grow in some pretty awesome ways like seeing the Thunder come to OKC--boy, was that huge!--and seeing the small businesses just boom. You want a really cool place to eat or shop that's got some local flavor? It's here, baby, and it's all good! 

I love that it's a big city without being overwhelming. Sure, I grew up in the Dallas area, but I wasn't living downtown my whole life. Hello! Suburban kid much? Long ago my dream was to move to NYC and take up residence as another hopeful dancer hitting every audition I could find. It took me a couple of trips and a lot of soul searching to realize that was too big of a place for me and that dream just didn't fit the same any more.  

It's really interesting to find out things about yourself you never knew before (Yes, I did just end this sentence in a preposition. English Teacher Mother, please forgive.). For example, my lifelong desire to live a big, busy life suddenly showed me how much I wanted a steady, slower pace. That was a door in the face. Did NOT see that coming and truth  be told, I was a tad disappointed in myself that I couldn't "just do it," make the move and get comfortable with it. It's like my heart kept shouting out,  "this is not what you want! Just listen to me for a moment and quit trying to force it to happen!" So much racket in my head and an aching heart slowed my roll and gave me serious pause to consider what I really wanted and needed. 

To make a long story short, through a series of surprising and happy accidents, I ended up back in a city I did a lot of growing up in during college. And you know what? It turned out fine. In fact, it turned out to be what I really needed. Plans change, dreams do, too, and I think it's part of growing up, learning to be okay with that especially if you're like me, someone whose harbored a dream since childhood.

In recent days I've come to the realization that all my successes don't have to be in my twenties (Well, I just added thirties to that because that number is coming around the corner too soon!). I've got my whole life to make new dreams and see them through. I'm not too old--please, loving older adults in my life, don't laugh at that line. At one time I could not see what would happen in life after about 25 and I'm pretty far past that now so I have figured out, yes, life does go on past mid-twenties. I just had this idea that I had to have everything happen while I was young. Not really the case. Such a simple thought but resolving that in my head has been SUCH a struggle. 

Okay, back to the point of this post. I can't call myself an Okie yet--I just don't know that will ever happen. BUT, being in Oklahoma sure did make me proud of something I totally took for granted: being a Texan.

I love my home state. I'm pretty proud of it and I'm glad that's a part of who I am. I love my tall Texan man, his boots, accent, and easy going way. I love true Tex Mex, salsa goes on just about everything and how Texas is mentioned in almost every country song. How 'bout them Cowboys, y'all? I've learned more about whitetail deer and Texas hunting season than I ever thought I'd have to know. I love the bluebonnet fields in the spring and big blue skies in the summer. I love how massive the state really is and that you don't have to ask if people are from Texas. They'll just straight up tell you the moment they meet you. 

Best of all, I love that my family is all down there. I can move anywhere and it won't change the fact that when I say "home," I mean the Lone Star State. So I might be transplant whose big city dreams changed and dropped me in another panhandle state, but this girl will always have Texas in her heart. It's in my roots, part of my blood, and a definite part of who I am.

Now, I feel like I need to smoke a brisket, whip up a bowl of queso, and pop open a Shiner. Whose with me? 

Last trip home I stopped at  Nan Lee  in downtown McKinney and picked up this sweet sterling silver souvenir. I wear it as a reminder of home and keeping those I love close to my heart.  

Last trip home I stopped at Nan Lee in downtown McKinney and picked up this sweet sterling silver souvenir. I wear it as a reminder of home and keeping those I love close to my heart.  

Where are you from and why are you proud of your state? Got something that makes your heart go pitter pat for your home state? Share it! 

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Happy Bag, Happy Girl

I couldn't resist and an opportunity to support a friend's endeavors? Well, what more could I say? 

Whoops! Too close! 

Whoops! Too close! 

I got a little something for myself! 

It's mine! 

It's mine! 

Katy Michele's newest bag from Katy Michele Designs

ALL mine! 

ALL mine! 

Can't wait to tote all my necessities around in this cute fall bag! 

Ooh! All that space inside! 

Ooh! All that space inside! 

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Good Morning!

Happy Tuesday all! 

It's a beautiful day, the weather is starting to cool off and fall is around the corner! Yes, I'm totally one of those people who love fall--I only wish I lived somewhere we got to see more of it! The leaves turn pretty quick in OKC and then it's winter weather before you know it. 

For now I'm taking full advantage of the changing season and enjoying every bit of it. This weekend I planted mums....

Discover BOO-terscotch M&M's...

Fell head over nails for this midnight blue nail polish...

I baked delicious fall treats...

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And about fell out of my seat over Katy Michele's newest bag. 

Photo from Katy Michele Designs at www.katymicheledesigns.com. 

Photo from Katy Michele Designs at www.katymicheledesigns.com. 

I've found some serious inspiration from a new, to me, pattern maker and blogger, Madalynne...

Photos from the Madalynne website, www.madalynne.com 

Photos from the Madalynne website, www.madalynne.com 

And I've acquired the most beautiful magazine I've ever seen, Bella Grace. 

Seriously, these little things delight me to no end. So many little happy sussies in my world! 

What little things bring a little fun to your day during this fall change? 

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Friday Five: Obsessions Lately

I've discovered a few new things that have made their way into my every day life. In short, they're my new favorites. 

Friday Five

Obsessions Lately

1. #GirlBoss Radio - Found the podcast when they first aired, but I'm only now catching up with all the posts. Every interview is different and I really enjoy the stories from each girl boss they interview. It's really relaxed--i.e. they cut up a lot and you hear the occasional burp on air--and I feel inspired after I listen to the candid interviews. They don't mince words and they're pretty honest about getting to where they are now. I'm a little late to the game, but I TOTALLY have #girlboss the book waiting in my Amazon cart now! 

2. Make It Happen - This book by Lara Casey was recommended to me by a friend. I'd heard of it before, but I just hadn't take the moment to read it until now. It's so inspirational, makes you want to jump out of your fears and into excitement, take a chance on your own ideas! 

3. La Croix - In the last few months I've been trying some new bubbly options that weren't soda and I've really come to enjoy my La Croix. Favorites so far: lime (LOVE), mango, coconut, and cherry lime. Delicious! 

4. Passion Planner Paradise Blue - Passion Planner just released a new color for their cover and I'm IN LOVE! Don't get me wrong, I adore my GOAL-den cover, but that paradise blue is gorgeous! It's undated and I'm SUPER tempted to purchase to use for next year, but I'm going to hold out and wait to see if they release the cover with 2017 dates! 

5. Honey Mint Chocolate Patties - I found these gems a few weeks ago and I LOVE them! Just enough sweet to satisfy my tastebuds after a meal. Today I discovered they have Almond Chocolate, Pomegranate Chocolate, and Double Dark Chocolate, too! Yum! 

What are some of your inspirations lately? 

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Wednesday Jams

1. I'm still alive. 

2. There's so much to be done. 

To keep me moving and check the to-do's to-done, I'm jamming out to newest favorite album by Cam. 

From Cam's twitter account, @camcountry

From Cam's twitter account, @camcountry

It's awesome. Makes you want to dance, feel, and sang your little heart out. Enjoy. And you're welcome. 

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Friday Five: Fall Fashion

I've always got a running list of things I want to get. Could be clothes, food, project items, knick-knacks, whatever. I've got some stuff I've been waiting to get for this season and I might not be able to wait any longer!

Friday Five:

Fall Fashion

Dreamy items I'm dying to get! 

1. A floppy hat. I love these hats, I have for a long time, and I really, really, really want one!

A  LOFT  find! Now if I can only find it in a cranberry or navy blue..

A LOFT find! Now if I can only find it in a cranberry or navy blue..

2. Cranberry pants. I've actually been stalking these pants for the last three months. Must have them! 

I love the Julie fit at  LOFT . Can't beat the way that cut works for me! 

I love the Julie fit at LOFT. Can't beat the way that cut works for me! 

3. New boots. I love my Borne Boots! I love the brand and how comfortable they are. The fact that they last forever makes me feel like my money is well spent. I am always on the look out for another pair! 

I found these books at  Dillards . 

I found these books at Dillards

I'm also a fan of these ankle boots to dress somethings up. I'd like to find something similar to this Lucky pair. 

Another  Dillards  find for me! 

Another Dillards find for me! 

4. A good flannel shirt. About two or three years ago I noticed that flannel shirts, crop tops, combat/prairie looking boots were coming back. Y'all. That was my childhood, the look of the 90's. It's weird seeing college kids running around in the same thing acting like it's hot off the press (still!)! But, I can't say that I'm not with them. I still like the look. 

Found this one from  LandsEnd --too cute!

Found this one from LandsEnd--too cute!

5. New camo. Say what? Well, I've talked to Pyro Man about going hunting this season. Shockingly enough, I don't have a lot of camo gear of my own so I think he's been on the look out for me. The other day he found this furry hooded camo jacket with a pink hood on the inside. Whoo-wee! I"ll be looking stylin' in the stand this season! 

Found this purty number on  Walmart.com.  

Found this purty number on Walmart.com. 

What are you hoping for this season? 

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Friday Five: First of Fall

Fall finally arrived last week with a hearty blast of heat, but that hasn't stopped this girl from opening her arms to one of the better seasons of the year! 

Friday Five: First of Fall

All the ways I've celebrated the start of a new season

1. Enjoyed a college football game! Went with Pyro Man to see Texas Tech take on TCU last Saturday in Lubbock. It was a blast getting to watch the game literally under the jumbo-tron--perks of knowing the pyro guy. Plus, we got to meet up with my aunt and uncle! Such a fun time! 

Aunt Diana and I before the game!

Aunt Diana and I before the game!

2. First Pumpkin Spice Latte of the Season. On the way over to Lubbock I was in need of a serious caffeine fix. What better way to start a fall day off than with a Starbucks #PSL, I ask you? There is no better way. 

Fully caffeinated and ready to Wreck 'Em! 

Fully caffeinated and ready to Wreck 'Em! 

3.  Purchased appropriate amount of pumpkin flavored food! I like to remind myself that I liked pumpkin flavored things before it was cool so I don't feel like the stereotypical girl buying all things pumpkin flavored. But then I think, who cares?! It makes me happy and that's what matters! 

Fall flavors to enjoy all week long! 

Fall flavors to enjoy all week long! 

4. The fall decor is out! Laid out the fall door mat, pulled down the pumpkin cups and jack-o-lantern cookie jar. I've got the candle holders out, fall flavors burning, the fall table cloth set and all the fall dishtowels ready. Let's do this fall thing!

New mug. I think it's pretty awesome, if you ask me. 

New mug. I think it's pretty awesome, if you ask me. 

5. Crushed appropriate amount of acorns...with my bare feet. OK, so maybe this one wasn't intentional, but nothing says fall like the sharp pain of an acorn splitting under the soft skin of your arch. PSA: Don't go outside barefoot this time of year. 

What's your favorite way to ring in this new season? 

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Throwback Thursday

It's Thursday. Therefore it's time for an appropriate Throw Back Thursday. So today, to continue this newly invented tradition, here is my throwback: Colorado, baby. 

I miss the trees. 

I miss the beautiful creatures. 

I miss the peacefulness. 

OK--that's not really a picture of peacefulness, it's just a shot of my handsome husband that I just had to sneak in here!! 

The trip may be over, but lucky for me I have this fun video of quick moments over those glorious five days!

Might not have the perfect video or editing equipment and I might have annoyed Pyro Man with the camera, only a time...or two. You know what though? I'm so glad I did. Now I have pictures of our time up in the mountains and a fun video of clips strung together, some of my favorite moments with my little family. 

So forgive the shaky camera, the blunt cuts, and some of the fuzziness. It's just a sneak peek at what was for me a perfect vacation!  

What's your favorite family vacation spot? 

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Swoon for PW

Some six years ago I started learning about the blogging world, even started my own (which is still alive, I can't shut it down yet--too sentimental about the old site!). In any case, what really got me following the blog world a little more closely was The Pioneer Woman. 

Holy Hannah. That woman is incredible. She got me through grad school. Well, along with the support and love of then boyfriend/now husband, my parents, friends, and professors...BUT I read that blog every day religiously. It made me laugh, smile, find a love of cooking and baking that's been my solace many times over. 

I bought her cookbook quickly as I could and poured over the pages at breakfast, studying each recipe and story along with it. I wanted to make everything! Thankfully my friends let me try her many butter filled recipes out on them. 

I love Chicken Spaghetti because of the Pioneer Woman. 

I love Chicken Spaghetti because of the Pioneer Woman. 

I loved her humor, the way she said things, how beautiful her homestead was, the light she poured into her photos, the delicious recipes for homey meals and the loveliness of her family life. Since starting to follow her blog, I've bought every book she's written, including the children's books for my niece--how else am I going to justify buying a children's book right now? 

Christmas 2013, Grandma (or GG) reads to her great granddaughter, Maddie, about Charlie's Christmas. Love this picture for so many reasons! 

Christmas 2013, Grandma (or GG) reads to her great granddaughter, Maddie, about Charlie's Christmas. Love this picture for so many reasons! 

Pyro Man--no, his name was not inspired by from her "Marlboro Man" reference, but that's a story for another time!--Anyway, Pyro Man even surprised me with a book signing for PW our second Valentine's together, but unfortunately didn't realize how popular a Dallas signing would be so we missed out. BUT she showed up in Norman, OK a few weeks later where I made a special trip in conjunction with an audition. Y'all, I got there so early I was second in line and my gosh, I was awkward as all get out, just a nervous wreck to meet her in person. She was so kind and I hope to hear her speak at another signing some day! 

Geeking. Out. 

Geeking. Out. 

Her beautiful Spode dishware, well, I can't lie, but I totally picked it out because of PW. The elegance and grace mixed with brown gravy and homemade 'taters, it was perfection I had to have. I've even got a colorful array of Fiestaware but that obsession started long before joining the following. 

Now I've fallen in love with her latest endeavor, her own line of cookeware and dishware. Be still my heart. I've waited for MONTHS for her line to be fully displayed. Until now I've sat and drooled over her preview photos, counting the days. Everything will out in WalMart starting in two weeks. For now, I'll be sitting on my couch and loading up a cart until I can actually get my hands on her incredible gorgeous line! 

Some of my favorites so far: 

Those water glasses are PERFECT for my Spode collection! I have colorful Fiesta glasses but they really don't go with my blue and white dishes for special occasions. I'm thinking I might have to snag those glasses pretty soon. Can't forget the pitcher to go with! 

Oh man. I gotta take a step back or else I'll be in BIG trouble here--so. much. kitchen. stuff. I love it! Now I'm all fired up to make a Pioneer Woman dish! Macaroni and cheese? Chicken Spaghetti? Chicken Parmesan?  Too many good choices to decide! 

What's your favorite Pioneer Woman dish? 

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All photos of products from Walmart.com

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