Pinterest successes and cooking (obvies)

I haven’t posted my Pinterest kitchen victories in awhile, so figured it’s about time, because I’ve definitely had a few. You can check them all out on my Pinterest Success board, but I’ll name some favs here for ya lazier folk. These are not going to be healthy, because I sort of fell off that wagon for a wee bit, but seeing as my pants are getting a leeeeetle bit snug as a bug in a rug as of late, I better hop back on. I’ll let you guys carry on the legacies of these delicious recipes while I try to pretend grilled chicken and vegetables are the greatest things to ever reach my taste buds.

White Cheese Chicken Lasagna from AllRecipes.com

I actually used Italian sausage instead of chicken, because I was feeding a bunch of manly men (Casey and friends) and I thought it seemed more masculine that way? It was the tastiest.

Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches from Back to Her Roots

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Pinterest is now saying that the link leads to spam and nudity. Weird…cause I remember it being a delicious pasta recipe, but the ingredients are in the pin, and you can pretty much figure out the rest, because you’re smart, and it’s pasta…

The Counter Veggie Burger

Casey and I are recent Counter visitors/lovers, and I am obsessed with their veggie burger. So much so that I had to track down the recipe and make enough to eat it for lunch every day for a week.

Pesto Chicken Flatbread from Center Cut Cook

Creamy Chicken, Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole from Pinch of Yum

Baked Chicken Parmesan from Skinny Taste

This is one of my new favorites. I love love love it, and chicken parmesan is one of the mutant’s favs so win/win.

Grilled Chicken Pasta in a Creamy Tomato Cream Sauce from Kevin & Amanda

Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken and Asparagus from The Food Charlatan 

ENJOY!

Crystal and cat towers

First things first. I’m sure you’re all DYING to see a house update. So I will tell you that we bought our first piece of furniture for the new house. Feast your eyes!

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It’s a tad larger than it looked on the Internet, and it takes up a good portion of “being” space in our current nest, but I’m sure it’ll be less overwhelming in the new digs….No? Agree to disagree for now. I’m sure it will surprise all of you to find out that this purchase was not my idea. No, no, no, Casey came up with this brilliant idea all on his own while scrolling through the Groupon app one night. He justifies the fact that this was his idea by saying that he thought it would take the cats’ attention off him and that it would make them be less “annoying.” Hard to tell whether that’s the case or not, but they are really loving the cat tower. At least one of them is almost always on it, and the nightly catscapades are even more entertaining with a 6′ tall architectural masterpiece for them to use to their advantage.

For those not interested in cat stuff and more interested in how I spent my weekend (can’t imagine either category adds up to much, but there are some of you who keep coming back for both!), here are the deets…

1. Kaitlin ran her first marathon! And in order to swing this conversation back to me, because I’m selfish like that, let’s talk about how I’m the greatest friend ever and woke up at 4:30 a.m. and ran 7/26.2 miles with her! In all seriousness, I’m super proud of her, and my only wish is that she would have been ready to run two years ago so we could have run it together, because the likeliness of either of us ever running another 26.2 again is miniscule. She brought up the whole “I’m never doing this again” at mile 6, so….like I said, small possibility of a numero dos.

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That picture was obviously taken pre-26.2 as evidenced by that giant smile on her face.

Sunday, we had BRUNCH (don’t ya love brunch?) with the in-laws and then obviously made them walk through the house with us for, I dunno, hours? We just love those pieces of wood. Then that night we celebrated my mom’s birthday and got to spend time with her high school friend, Janet, who you might remember once served me vodka after I had just consumed a very spicy jalapeño. Do I talk about that too much? Just such a great experience, ya know. And I want you to think I’m kind of a badass. So anyway, I want everyone to see how beautifully wrapped my mom’s present was so you all know I’m a stellar daughter.

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I didn’t wrap it. I had it gift wrapped, but I had it gift wrapped beautifully, did I not?

My brothers and I are still into Fireball. I know some people are over it, but we are not. But when you drink Fireball at my parents’, you drink it out of crystal, so I feel like we’re still keeping it classy.

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Good times.

To end this, I’ll show you a picture of Molly ignoring the cat tower and sitting on my lap. Obviously glad that still happens.

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Stuffed jalapenos…have I titled a post after those already?

You guys might remember when I outlined the details of how my friend Hannah was victorious in catching the bouquet at my wedding. I carefully selected the word “victorious” only because you might also remember that my twin brother desperately wanted to catch that bouquet. It was a hot commodity that night. Well, because Hannah is engaged (because of the magical power of that bouquet), her friends (me included) finally got to experience the best part of someone getting married: THE BACHELORETTE PARTY. I don’t know about you guys, but I always suffer minor anxiety in the days leading up to a bachelorette weekend. Will I like the other girls? Will they like me? Will I be able to party as hard as them? Ya know all that self-conscious NONSENSE. I say nonsense, because I almost ALWAYS end up having the best time. Isn’t funny how people who pick you to be their friend also pick other really cool people to be their friends?

The weekend immediately started off right in Galveston when I got to shovel several gummy bears in my mouth for no reason at all.

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My mom is feeling really proud right now. I can feel it through my screen. Mom, remember how I never went on The Bachelor? Focus on that.

Despite the alcohol-soaked sugar-laden candy, we had a pretty chill first night. Which was good. Because the second WAS AN ADVENTURE, to say the least.

Mardi Gras took over Galveston this weekend, which turned the bachelorette party into a REAL PARTAYYYY, if ya know what I mean. We started by catching begging for beads on the street. Oh and buying masks.

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I’m the creepy one in the cat mask. Reasons are obvious, so I won’t elaborate.

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A closer look.

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An even closer look.

And just to top off the cat theme, here is the only float in the parade I managed to photograph:

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Then I saw this guy, so obviously I forced Hannah to take a picture with him. Again, no need to elaborate.

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After all those activities, we decided to take a tad bit of rest back at the beach house.

Good thing, because we weren’t at Redfish Pool Bar 10 minutes before guys started buying us drinks. Have I mentioned I love bachelorette parties?

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If you ever go to Nick’s/Redfish Pool Bar, get the stuffed jalapeños. Seriously best thing I have ever tasted. I’m not exaggerating. I could eat a thousand despite the spicy. I did not do vodka shots after like last time. I did take some fireball shots, because it was a bachelorette party. Is that a good enough reason? Thought so. But I waited a decent amount of time to let the spicy soothe itself to sleep. I’m obviously going to be a good mother.

We got a picture of the bride and our AMAZING bartender/waiter. He even brought that little bridezilla a heater per her request. JK, Hannah. Totally reasonable request.

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One of our drink-purchasers:

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Bride obviously having fun.

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Again, bride obviously having fun.

SUCCESSFUL BACHELORETTE PARTY!!! Know what that means? A successful marriage ahead…right? Seems logical.

Dress stress and turkeys

Howdy gangstas. I am back from Thanksgiving break, but sure am not recovered. My workin’ pants were awfully difficult to button this morning, but at least the turkey I ate last Thursday was delish enough to be worth it. Did not help that we attended a gorgeous wedding with oodles of snacks and a to-die-for dinner Saturday night. Had zero self-control. ZERO, I tell ya. Time to reel it back in though, because after Christmas shopping most of last week, we really cannot afford to buy me a new wardrobe. Casey is nodding as he is reading this. I can feel it. Marriage can do that to ya. OH and FYI, I hope you stay til the end of this post, because there is some helpful fashion advice at the end. EXCITING!

So here are the recent haps.

My sister-in-law made another appetizing turkey similar to last year’s. Had to take a picture, because he was just so cute.

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Oh I could just eat him!

My mom and I shopped til we dropped, and she bought me this new coat, which is one of the reasons I love her.

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Isn’t she just the cutest little hipster mom ya ever saw?

Did that Turkey Trot like always. Best 10K time eva, and I don’t mind braggin’ ’bout it or using apostrophes.

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Oh we look so stunning at 7 a.m., don’t we? SO glam.

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Post Turkey Trot, pre-Turkey-Eat.

We decorated for Christmas, and the kitties are thrilled, because now they have a fake pine to chomp on and wrapped presents to stomp on.

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One day I should stop taking all my pictures on my iPhone.

Saturday we meandered up to Austin for Colby and Tanner‘s wedding. It was gorgeous and breathtaking and lovely and just a grand ol’ time. Casey’s best man was the best man again, because I guess he is everyone’s best friend! We sure like him! He likes Casey, too, as evidenced below.

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Casey wasn’t a groomsman, but he did have a very important job.

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More blurriness. Hope you like my dress, because Casey and I sure had an adventure getting it on! We spent an hour (not an exaggeration, even Casey will tell you) trying to zip that thing up before we left for Austin, but it kept getting stuck at the seam. At one point we couldn’t get it up or down, which meant I could not get the dress totally on or totally off. HILARIOUS. Except not, because I was STRESSED. We had to leave for hippie-town ASAP. So, I told Casey I would just deal with it in the car. And he was all “How are you going to do it in the car if you can’t even do it standing up?” or something all practical and logical like that, and I was all “Casey, just trust me” or something all philosophical and marriage-y like that. So, we get in the car, and I am no longer stressed, because I know I have 3-ish hours to get in or out of this dress. (I brought a spare, just in case.) And wouldn’t ya know it, five minutes into the car ride I had successfully removed the dress from my body (and put on another, just in case you wanted to know if I was riding shotgun naked…I wasn’t…for the majority of the car ride). Here was the trick (in case you ever find yourself in this stressful STRESSFUL STRESSFUL situation: relax. You know when you put on a ring that’s too small and then you STRESS and you feel claustrophobic and your finger swells up MORE and then it’s just AAHHHHHHHHHHH I’M GONNA DIE BECAUSE MY CIRCULATION IS GOING TO GET CUT OFF AND WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF MY CATS IF I’M DEAD? The WORST, am I right? But then someone calms you down, you take a few deep breaths and then POP, ring comes off your finger like no problemo. So, I said to myself as this dress was stuck on my bod, I said “RELAX MEGAN JUST CALM THE EFF DOWN FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE.” And I took a few deep yoga-ish breaths, and I just sort of melted out of the dress. Magical. So then I zipped it all the way after several tries, because that zipper had a habit of getting stuck at the seam whether it was on or off my body. I asked Casey if he thought I should try to put it on with the zipper all zipped up, and he said “Megan, just take a break from the dress.” Again with the logic and practicality. This kid. So I took  a break, and then I went in for round 157 of trying to get this dress on, because I REALLY wanted to wear THAT dress. I used the same technique. I said “RELAX MEGAN JUST CALM THE EFF DOWN FOR THE SECOND TIME IN YOUR LIFE.” And then I just melted into the dress. And then I popped back into the front seat, and Casey was just FLABBERGASTED that I got back into that dress. I just LOVE blowing his mind with all my magic tricks.

Conversations and God

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Sometimes it’s nice to have a husband.

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But then I found Damages on Netflix, and now I’m obsessed.

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Luckily running did happen for me though, because I ate 10 pounds of dessert the night before. I left the remainder at Abbey’s.

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My friends are SO godly. Especially when it comes to food.

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Falling asleep and angels

Another weekend GONE. Don’t know how that keeps happening. Casey and I had an overall relaxing weekend, which was nice after we I got super cray last weekend. In fact, 11 p.m. last Saturday night was pretty much polar opposite to 11 p.m. this past Saturday night.

Last Saturday:

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This Saturday:

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Apparently now that I’m 25 it takes a full week to recover from a night out on the town. We went to Abbey and Catherine’s to watch the Aggie game with our friends Saturday night, but at least three of us didn’t quite make it til the end. Give me a couch and a blanket any time of day (but especially after 9 p.m.) and I have no problemo takin’ a bit of a snooze. I was in charge of food for the peeps, and I tried some new Pinterest recipes that all turned out just fab. I was inspired by my recent trip to Pittsburgh to make some stuffed jalapenos. I tried to get my friends (all LiveStrange readers, holla) to do vodka shots after, but they refused, because of this post. Their loss, because now what are they going to blog about? How they just enjoyed stuffed jalapenos on Saturday night? Snore. Good thing they don’t have blogs, am I right?

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Such a good little poser for pictures food hoverer.

Here’s a gem we snapped before we fell asleep.

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Duck faces to the max.

The menu for Aggie game night (all successes!):

Stuffed jalapenos

Gluten-free chili 

Jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins (made with whole wheat flour for a touch of health)

And for dessert: White chocolate s’mores gooey cake bars (no health added)…We had to eat this straight out of the pan because the gooeyness was at level one hundred. So, if you have trouble with germs, I don’t recommend making these. How Picky Palate got her bars to be cut into perfect little squares is beyond me. However, everyone agreed it tasted like angels made it, which is almost true, because I’m practically an angel if you think about it.

Luckily Sunday I had to do some half-marathon training, because I’m running the Houston race in January, and I’m attempting to do it in under two hours, which is a bit of a stretch considering my fastest one yet took 2 hours and 11 minutes, but I’m determined to get faster at these things if I’m going to keep signing up for them. I did my four mile run in 35 minutes, which is ahead of schedule to run the race in 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds, which is the exact time I’m going for. Also, my first mile of that jog was done in 7 minutes and 44 seconds, which made me feel like a future Olympian. I dream big. Considering when I was marathon-training two years ago my pace was 12 min/mile, I’m stoked to have a pace that’s a little farther away from “practically-walking speed.” Anyway point is, I tried to work off that “divine intervention dessert” (named by Abbey) the following day, and seeing as I also got my fastest 5k time (26.45) that day, I’m thinking maybe I should eat that thing every night before a run. Carbo-loading at its finest.