Sunday, February 28, 2010

project snail mail

Everyone loves snail mail. Sure, emails are great... and a random text from a long lost friend is nice. But nothing beats the feeling of seeing that one little envelope in the mailbox. You know... the one that isn't a bill... or a credit card application... or a random mailer addressed to the "current resident." The one that has actual handwriting on the envelope. The one that boasts an envelope with no clear address window and maybe even a fun color. So without further adu, I introduce to you: PROJECT SNAIL MAIL.

I can't take complete credit for this idea. PROJECT SNAIL MAIL was prompted after reading this post on Kelly's Korner (one of the blogs I recently started stalking).

I want to try to send one piece of snail mail out every week. This snail mail could come in the form of a letter, a fun card, or maybe even a small package... whatever I'm feeling that week. I will probably compose some type of list of all my potential pen pals to help me decide on the lucky recipient for the week.

My list will include the obvious participants (close friends and family), but I also want to think outside the box. Maybe a little note to a childhood friend that I haven't talked to in a while? Or maybe someone from my sunday school class? Or what about a local police officer? Or if you have kids, maybe a letter of thanks to their teacher? Or maybe even a note to the men and women fighting for our country? Or maybe it's just a person that has been on my heart lately, and needs a little bit of encouragement?

I'll keep you posted on my progress, but I would love to hear any ideas you might have or if you want to join me in my quest... my quest for happy mailboxes everywhere!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

jennifer & ty engaged!

This past Sunday I was able to spend some quality time with a really awesome couple... Jennifer & Ty are set to get married in less than a month, and you can definitely tell these two lovebirds are ready to tie the knot! I could not have wished for better weather... or better subjects! I mean seriously, look at this couple...

(Be sure to let them know how great they look... Jenn & Ty get a complimentary 5x7 print for every 10 comments:)

Monday, February 22, 2010

i heart sips'n'strokes

I really do. And what's not to love? You basically get to sip on your drink of choice while a painting instructor helps you create your very own masterpiece... brilliant. Jenna and I selected sweet tea and water as our drink of choice (I know, I know... living on the edge, but it was only 1 pm on Saturday afternoon) and decided to try the Paisley painting class. If you live in Alabama, Georgia or Tennessee, you really should try some sipping and stroking... so fabulous.


progress 1...

progress 2...

progress 3...

jenna's masterpiece...

julia's masterpiece...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

sweet home alabama...

Well, not home technically... but I did spend four years of my life in good ol' Troy, Alabama... and I did get married in the state of Alabama... and my sister does live in Birmingham, Alabama. So, I'd say that gives me permission to title my blog post with sweet home alabama... don't you think?

So, I'm spending the weekend in Birmingham with my sister.... We will be "sipping and stroking" tomorrow. If you just thought something dirty right then, you obviously haven't been introduced to Sips'n'Strokes yet. Just wait... post coming soon. Will also be taking some fun engagement photos this weekend, so be expecting those soon too!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

thankful thursday

This Thursday I am thankful for:

1) My sister. She is beautiful on both the inside and the outside. She is random. She makes me laugh until I cry. She is my fashion consultant. She is the holder of all inside jokes. She is my favorite person to sing in the car with (specifically, Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance with Somebody). She is brave. She works hard in the sweatshop. She loves Elf as much as I do. She is my best friend. Can't wait to see you tomorrow Jenna!

2) Final payments. That's right... aka zero dollar balance. I paid off a credit card today. It was a small one, but the feeling is still the same... success. Lance and I are on a mission to get rid of any and all debt. Next up... the Capital One card. All plastics beware, no card is safe.

3) LOST. I love this show. I can't help it. Lance and I started watching from the very beginning, over 5 years ago. It took some convincing at first, because to be quite honest, I wasn't sure how exciting it could get if they were just stuck on an island the whole time... but oh, was I wrong. And now that this is the last season, I'm not sure how I'll manage without it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

making time stand still...

There's something magical about seeing the world through your camera lens. Something almost euphoric about capturing those special moments... making time stand still. I took a black & white photography class during my last year of college, and I've been hooked ever since. This past year I was lucky enough to be able to photograph some amazing moments for some amazing people...

In March I will have the privilege of shooting my very first wedding in Fairhope, AL. And this coming weekend I will get to spend some quality time with the happy couple as we snap some engagement photos! Jennifer and Ty... can't wait to see you guys in the camera lens!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy heart day

Lance left for a little trip today, so we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day on Friday. I wasn't exactly sure what he had planned for the evening since we are currently trying to live on a "budget." (This has been a dirty word for me, mostly because I like to shop more than I like to save... but that's another post for another day.)

On Friday it took me 2 hours to get home, due to the fact that southerners absolutely cannot drive in winter weather. So you can imagine my delight when I walked in the front door to this...

My beautiful Valentine's flowers, with yes... a box of conversation hearts. These are the things that I love about my creative husband. (Side note here... When Lance and I were dating in college, he had a strict policy that he never gave flowers to a girl unless he knew he was going to marry her. So on one of our first Valentine's together he showed up to my apartment with a dozen long stemmed strawberries. Pretty clever, huh? He must have still been deciding on me:)

Then this...
Lance grilling our fillets out in the snow. He must really love me to fire up the grill in this cold wintery weather!

And then finally this...

The finished product. It was delish. The steak might have been one of the best I've ever had. Those potatoes have brie cheese mixed in... again, one of Lance's brilliant creations, and was super tasty. And you can never go wrong with lobster tail.

Thank you Lance for another wonderful Valentine's Day. I love you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

thankful thursday

This Thursday I am Thankful for:

1) Candied bacon. I mean really... need I say more? Recently, my dad has turned into some kind of Emeril Lagasse and has been trying out some amazing things in the kitchen. Lucky for Lance and I, we were able to be his guinea pigs this past weekend. For our Super Bowl party, my dad tried out a recipe for Candied Bacon (aka heart attack strips), and they were INCREDIBLE.

2) The Ya-Ya's. My mom has this amazing group of girlfriends that we have deemed the "Ya-Ya's." They are all like mothers to me and they all hold a special place in my heart. Growing up, my family lived in this little leave-it-to-beaver-type of neighborhood, where the kids played freeze-tag in the streets and the parents had dinner parties. The kids have grown up, but the moms and dads all still remain the dearest of friends. Once a Ya-Ya, always a Ya-Ya.

3) Things. This is by far the best game ever invented. Seriously... ever. Friday night in Houston was spent playing "Things" with some of my absolute favorite cousins. We huddled around the heater on my parents back porch, listed to the Zac Brown Band, said some incredibly inappropriate "things," and laughed until we peed in our pants. It doesn't get much better than that.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

superbowl sunday...

...which for me, equals good food, good friends, and good commercials.

may the best team win.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

hello, houston...

In Houston for a few days visiting friends and family...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

thankful thursday

This Thursday I am thankful for:

1) My Prius. Firstly, I am thankful that Lance and I are blessed enough to have 2 working vehicles (one in slightly better shape than the other). But I am mostly thankful that Lance and I bought into all the "new hybrid technology" hype back in 2005. We traded our gas guzzling Toyota 4-Runner for the little eco-friendly Toyota Prius. At the time, my commute was only about 10 miles, but who would have thought... my next job would be 30 miles away... and the job I have now is 65 miles away. So, 145,000 miles later, the Prius is still doing her job. Thank you Toyota.

2) Good conversations. Specifically with my husband. Recently, Lance and I have been contemplating some major life decisions, and one would think that those types of decisions would be easy to talk about... but not always. This week we had a really great conversation about how we are a team... a unit if you will. I am thankful that I have a husband who constantly encourages me and considers me a valued member of "the team."

3) Sushi. I know, I know... sushi, really? But this is my list and I can be thankful for whatever I want :) Monday night was "Sushi Night" at our favorite local restaurant. For sushi night, they always seat people community style, about 10 to a table. You may, or may not, know the people you are sitting with. I don't know about you, but that can make for a potentially very awkward dinner. But it wasn't. The table we sat with was hilarious, I'm pretty sure I almost peed in my pants (more than once). So, my point? Good company makes good sushi even better.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

book review...

Okay, so I'm probably not really the best person to give book reviews, considering I only read like one book a month... but I'm working on it. I have this strange obsession with books. I can spend hours and hours in book stores. And I will buy a book in a heartbeat... knowing good and well that I probably won't actually read the book for another 3 years (if ever). I am trying to change my ways though. I'm doing my best to work through my bookshelf... with a mix of chick lit, inspirational books, and some classics sprinkled in there for good measure. I have also become a huge fan of audio books, which I know, is kind of like cheating, but is essential for my ridiculous commute. Here's what's in the works...

The Glass Castle: I actually just finished this one during my train rides in Germany. I really enjoyed it. It's basically a memoir describing the adventures of the author's disfunctional family. Jeannette did an amazing job creating a beautiful story from a somewhat dark childhood. I really love how all the chapters are only a few pages. I feel very accomplished when I can finish 1 chapter in a sitting, and Jeannette's 4 page chapters help make this happen.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: This book has been taking me forever to finish. But, to be fair, I did lose the book for a month (it was under my bed). I'm just not sure that the Harry Potter books are for me. I plan to struggle through it and give Harry a chance... and eventually, one day, I will probably pick up the second book (and probably the third).

The Hole in Our Gospel: I've only read the introduction so far... and it already intimidates me. It's one of those books that I know will challenge me. A very dear friend of mine recommended this book to me after she finished it. I know this one will take a while, as I plan to do some underlining and highlighting. I will keep you posted.

Dark Eye: This is my current audio book. It's a suspense novel and does a great job of keeping my attention on the drive home. Not sure if I would have ever actually picked this book up to read, but it's been a great listen so far. If you are a serious commuter, I highly recommend you try out the audio book section at your local library... it will keep you sane in traffic.