Playing catch-up!


Hey friends! I've missed you!  Let me try and catch you up quickly (idea loosely based on Christina's 'currently' post).

The following photos should be part of that Awkward Family Photos game...

Thanksgiving:  It was great! In spite of the looks on my family's faces, dinner was yummy and we had fun.

I mean really.

This one's blurry, but at least they smiled!

Currently reading:

Have been working on:  Christmas cards.  Finally finished editing pictures and Sweet Birdie's Nest is on the job:)

Favorite meal this week: Hot and Sour Thai Soup: Tom Yum Goong by Tyler Florence; that's a mouthful! I was a bad blogger and didn't take a picture. Here's the recipe, it's delicious and easy but has a few specialty ingredients so you'll need to head to Whole Foods.

Currently wearing: big cozy sweaters. It's cold, brrrr. My sweet mama treated me to this one from Loft.

Also wearing Mizuno Wave Inspire 8's.  More later, but in a nutshell, I'm in love with these shoes.  I had an MRI yesterday and will update my knee situation soon. Had 2 runs this week with no pain! Woo hoo!

Oops, I wore my compression sock backwards, who does that?:)

Currently watching: The Voice, Revenge, and NASHVILLE.

Current favorite treat: these truffles from Whole Foods. I eat one (yes, just one:) every night with a cup of decaf. So good!

Currently enjoying: watching my little men decorate for Christmas:) It's priceless.

So glad it's Friday, what a busy week! Y'all have a great weekend!

Ina's Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts


A recipe, as promised!

Ina's Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts from her cookbook Foolproof


Baking spray with flour, like Baker's Joy
2 cups All purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk (I used 2% and it worked fine)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 stick butter (I used original Smart Balance instead)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 2 doughnut pans well.

Into large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  In small bowl whisk together egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla.  Stir wet mixture into the dry until just combined. Don't over mix.

Spoon batter into baking pans filling each about half full.  (If you over fill, the batter connects on top and looks like a cupcake instead, don't over fill!) Bake for 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and tap out onto sheet pan.

To top, melt 8 tablespoons butter in an 8 inch saute pan.  Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in butter then in cinnamon sugar, either on one or both sides. Or be creative!

Voila! As Ina would say, how easy is that?  Tip: Don't over bake them!

Updates: life lately


Hey friends! The kiddos are out of school which will probably mean less blogging this week. But here's what's up in my neck of the woods.

I made Ina Garten's cinnamon sugar donuts from her cookbook Foolproof for a super fun girls' night on Saturday.  Can I just say how much I love Ina? I know we all do! They were delicious (best straight out of the oven, but so yummy with coffee the next morning:).  I have a feeling my new mini donut pan is going to replace my cupcake pan for favorite sweet treats.  I have visions of the kids adding sprinkles, icing and decorating them fun ways! These were a hit at my house.  Would you like the recipe? I'll post it soon (hopefully later today or tomorrow:).

Some OOTD's:
I picked up a cute sweater at Forever 21.

I wore my hot pink plaid flannel with a pony print scarf.

And I broke out the heart sweater for dinner with the neighbors.

I also finished this book, finally... Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt.

I must be honest, I did not enjoy reading this book.  I finally made it to the halfway point and then felt I needed to finish it, but it was very slow for me and I didn't relate to any of the characters.  I didn't feel invested enough in them to want to know what happened next, if that makes sense.  Disappointing for me because I enjoy page turners but this wasn't one.

Now I'm on to find my next book and I'm struggling to make a decision. Recommendations welcome:)  I've saved about 30 books in my GoodReads "to read" shelf and I can't make a decision!


On a more serious note, I feel I must share this.  I know it seems weird at the end of a frivolous post but it continues to weigh on my mind.  My husband and his family lost a close family/childhood friend yesterday. A girl he grew up with, spent vacations with, and sailed with lost her battle with cancer.  She leaves behind 2 precious children, a husband, and my heart hurts for her family and friends.  I hope you'll hug those you love today a little bit tighter and remember to make them feel cherished.


Sunday Snaps


I'm editing some photos for the 2012 Christmas card and wanted to share this one today.  I couldn't decide which edit I liked better, the second has a rosey antique quality that I like but I love the brightness in number 1.  Decisions decisions!

Hope it's a good Sunday for you:)

P.S. In case I get a question about Birdie {K}, that's a tribute to my grandmothers, Birdie and Katherine with a K.

Linking here-go be inspired!

Ni Hao Yall

Random Wednesday


I'm excited to link up with my blog friend Shanna for some random goodness:)  Here's a little dash of life lately!

I finally downloaded some of my half marathon photos! Ah, the memories.
Exhibit A: feeling good

Exhibit B:  This was right at the finish line.  I know I look pitiful (you can laugh, my husband did) but I still love this picture because I remember exactly how I felt in that moment.  I was hurting pretty badly and thankful to still be on two feet.  I could see the finish line and I pushed myself so hard to run across it.  My goal is to run my next half with no pain, to finish strong and smiling, and with a killer time.  I simply cannot wait!

Speaking of runners, I'm obsessed with what type of running gear people select.  I mentioned I love my GapFit pants like I love chocolate.  I saw this pic of Stacy Keibler sporting Gap's workout line.  She's so fabulous.  I love it more now.
Via Skinny Runner
Also very interested in running shoe choices.  I do believe Reese is sporting New Balance.  I still want to try Brooks.

Via Skinny Runner
How cute is a hot pink flannel from Tar-jay?

Ina's new cookbook Foolproof is at Costco right now for $19.   Go get one, it's awesome!

Does anyone remember Herself the Elf?  I loved her so much when I was little and found this recently in an old book.  It made me smile!

This was on my stairs last night and nearly caused me to go into cardiac arrest.  It's "I" week at school and apparently they were studying insects.  One found his way to my house.

I love Zac Brown's new song "Goodbye in her Eyes".  I listen to slow music sometimes when I run (in addition to Flo Rida;) and his instrumentals are so soothing.  And I love his voice.  He's joining Kenny Chesney for a few concert dates next year, I'd love to see it (no Nashville dates though, boo!) But he will be in Atlanta, fyi ATL friends:)

Can you guys believe Thanksgiving is next week?  Happy Hump Day!

Big Boy Room Plans


I am a tad indecisive.  We have lived in this house (our favorite home to date after 3 moves) for 2 years and I have still not finished my boys' rooms.  I have painted them (each) 3 different times, 3 different shades of blue, all by myself.  It's a lot of work and it is time for me to make up my mind and finish these rooms!

This picture on Pinterest was my inspiration.  I'm ready to commit - I love the checks!

The boys have a Jack and Jill bath that connects their rooms.  Y'all know I dress them alike daily and I admit it, I want their rooms to be similar as well, especially since they are connected.  So far thankfully, they are happy to let me set the tone and add their own little personal touches.  So here's the plan!
What I have:  The smartest thing I did so far was purchase white bedding.  I originally bought a TON of polka fabric (and it wasn't cheap), made duvet covers myself (I can sew), but then realized I just wasn't happy with them.  One room has less light than the other and my 3 year old's room looked dreary.  So I found simple white bedding with navy piping from Lands' End and had circle monograms done (also in navy) on the pillows.  I love it and it allows me to make simple changes easily without needing to dismantle the whole room.

I ordered the check fabric (have already gotten it and it's *so* cute) and am making Euro shams to add a little pizzazz to the white bedding.  My oldest son has a red book shelf in his room (that was in my room when I was little) and I'm going to paint it navy instead.  I love the "brother" artwork (planning to DIY that and put it in the Jack & Jill bath).  The simple navy lamp is from Potterybarn Kids.  The big monogram is made with palette wood and I plan to hang that over each boy's bed.  Mr. C has lots of palettes at work so he's going to put together some boards for me and I'm going to get my DIY on and create that monogram (in tan/ivory/navy paint colors). Since I'm leaving the walls a pale blue (rhythmic blue by Sherwin Williams, identical to the color behind the navy bookshelf in the collage), I think I can get this done in a timely manner!  Possibly by Christmas, crossing my fingers:)

Weekend Update: fall festivities


My friends, here we are again! The 'fast forward' button is still pressed and these fall days go by like a blur. Nonetheless, we had such a busy and fun weekend--hope you did too:)

Some pics. First, OOTD's.

My furry vest is a fall favorite and I wear it so much I'll bet people are tired of looking at it.  And my boots (recent TJ Maxx find you may recall); I refuse to take them off of my feet except to shower.

My ON shirt; I love it.  Heading back for another color.

My precious cowboys.  We had a birthday party this weekend and it was so much fun.  My 5 year old refused to ride the pony (he felt the pony was too tall, ha!) but my 3 year old gave it a try.  We've been to a couple of fabulous birthday parties lately at friends' homes and they are so much fun.  I think I may try to be brave next year and have a birthday party at our house for the first time?! I'm inspired! Clearly I'm renting the pony.

I had coffee with Bailey's on Saturday evening (after the birthday party and dinner with friends), biscotti, and attempted to read my book.  It was so relaxing.  This book is not my cup of tea and I hope I can finish it soon to end the misery.  (It's Pictures of You and I just don't love the characters but I also can't put it down because I'm halfway finished.)

Some playground time; the leaves are amazing, I wish they could stay this way a little while longer.

The hubs made me a yummy breakfast; avocado, fried egg and ham on toast.  Delish.

And I couldn't resist this reality check.  I've had a few emails about my hair (bless your hearts, you must be trying to make me feel good;) and my routine is simple.  I just blow dry, then use velcro rollers (I roll the middle straight back, the sides straight down).  My hair cannot handle a flat iron, it starts smoking then falls off. Not good! Pay no attention to my unclean laundry room as it cries out for help.

Coming up this week (hopefully):  big boy room plans, living room update, and probably something random.

Happy Monday!  What've y'all been up to?

Linking today with my blog bestie Andrea, as well as The Weekend File and Life on Leroy!

Sunday Snaps


This photo reminds me they are still little (even when they seem to be growing SO fast).  Happy Sunday!

Ni Hao Yall

Thoughts for Friday


It has been a busy but wonderful week here!  We have a fun weekend planned with a few birthday parties that promise to be exciting for both the adults (time with our awesome friends) and the kids (pony rides!). I'm also going to make this dessert that my friend recently made for our bible study.  Simple pumpkin cheesecake trifles--YUM! Seriously delicious, no baking required, adorable presentation.

Photo and recipe via My Baking Addiction
When I shot the kids photos this week, I realized I was running short on jokes (not good!).  I found these kid friendly ones on Pinterest that I'm adding to my arsenal.  My boys LOVE jokes! Here's a snippet (this joke made me laugh out loud)

What did zero say to eight?
Nice belt!
Danielle from Mommy and Me Book Club
Where do sheep get their wool cut?
At the BAAAbars!
Deborah from Learn With Play At Home

How did the barber win the race?  
  -He knew a short cut.

I wore a Pinterest outfit this week. I dearly love my Madewell shirt; super versatile!
I love this.

More  pinspiration.
And for my friends...I have amazing friends who bring SO much joy to my heart!! I'm so grateful.

Via Pinterest
Have a wonderful weekend!