January 23, 2013

caught in a whirlwind

so..it's been a tougher challenge to make time to update this blog than i expected but i still have the intense desire to find the time little by little and have these posts to look back on in the future.  so many social media outlets contain different aspects of my life that it would be nice to use this blog as a way to consolidate it all and emphasize those moments, events, committees, recipes and more that really stand out as the year progresses.

the past couple of weeks i've barely had time to think!  work has been endless and we've had drill team practice for the mlk day parade (ha, yes i'm on my company's drill team).  i have to admit, i'm relieved the parade has passed because i just don't have the time to fit another practice into my schedule.  but the parade was just a fun as last year and our team placed second overall!

i whine that i'm a busy girl but i signed myself up for it and im honestly excited about all the projects i'm involved in this year (i guess i just need a more disciplined bed time...)  i attended the typro's leadership through legislation series on how to effectively communicate with your local and state representatives.  i never took much interest in politics growing up so i'm attempting to be more educated this year.  i helped celebrate my friend courtney's birthday over mexican and margs at senor tequila, had lunch with the executive director of resonance tulsa to discuss joining the committee for their second annual fundraiser, stacked deck, mingled with fellow tulsa's new leader's honorees over champagne and cocktails at saks fifth avenue (where i met some great girls and later went for dinner,) caught up with some more girl friends and finally got to enjoy my favorite burger on the planet at the tavern, saw dr. jeykell and mr. hyde with my friends christy, emily and her parents, and attended the first meeting of the year for arts and entertain crew meeting for the tulsa young professionals

i. need. a. nap. or coma.

what calms me down during long, exhausting weeks like these?  researching and preparing recipes for my sunday pinterest dinners.  this past weekend, like the sunday before i was set on using the proteins that have been occupying my freezer, staring me in the face just asking to be transformed into a delicious meal.  well...ribbit!  

yep, frog legs were calling my name.  i went straight to my pinterest search box and eventually found this recipe from allrecipes.com for crispy frog legs with creamy onion-mushroom gravy.  at first i looked for alternative ways to prepare frog legs because i really didn't want to deep fry but obviously i cave, and for good reason, it's the best way.  and a pleasant surprise in this recipe is that it doesn't even call for a deep fry.  i pan fried the frog legs in a shallow pool of oil (that makes it better right?) the legs were well seasoned and had a great crunch though i wish the gravy came out a little smoother (maybe a puree or less flour next time.)  i paired the frog legs with a light baby arugula side salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette.  it really helped round out heaviness of the meal.

as usual once wednesday rolls around i'm ready for the weekend and this one in particular promises not to disappoint.  plans?  celebratory drinks, trivia night, cooking dinner with friends, 90s cover band and dressing up to chow down at the taste of tulsa fundraiser.

hope you're as excited for the weekend as i am! 
January 14, 2013

Warm Weather Wishes

alright, i firmly believe unless you live in the mountains or the arctic tundra the temperature should never dip into the teens.  i hate the cold.  i just can't handle it and i must have terrible circulation because as soon as i step outside my fingers and toes immediately turn to popsicles.  i've been dreaming of sandy beach escapes, breezy summer dresses and sunday brunches on patios.  oklahoma really doesn't have unbearable winters but that's just a testament to how much i crave the warm weather months.  in an effort to pretend the bitter winds weren't nipping at my ears and freezing my car doors and windows shut i decided to make the theme of this week's sunday pinterest dinner a meal i could see myself enjoying on a balmy summer night under the twinkle of outdoor lights, drinking light crisp wine and surrounded with my best friends.  

as i mentioned in a post last week, i've been dying to try my hand at the soft-shell blue crab i bought and froze a couple of months ago.  this was the perfect time.  then i found this recipe for soft-shell crab sandwiches with pancetta and remoulade from food & wine on pinterest.  just the sound of it made my mouth water.  it all came together when i found this recipe on savoring the thyme for baked sweet potato fries with parmesan and cilantro. are you hungry yet?

  the soft-shell crab sandwiches called for brioche buns. i should have prepared to make these sandwiches earlier in the week because half the bakeries around town are closed on sundays and the other half didn't have any on hand.  if you've ever had brioche you know i had to use this light and fluffy french bread to accompany the sweet crab and salty pancetta.  i just had to. so never having baked bread before i searched for a recipe and to my surprise found this one from smitten kitchen that you can prepare in less than a day.  perfect!

there's not much more i could ask of these sandwiches (which i decided to minimize into cute sliders).  the buns were gorgeous and light, the pancetta and crab were crisp, and the creaminess of the remoulade, the peppery bite of the arugula and the juiciness of the ripe tomatoes provided all the tastes, textures, and aromas to make each savory but sweet bite so delicious.  and even though i wasn't able to get that so-desired crisp on the sweet potato fries, the combination of the parmesan and cilantro was an enjoyable surprise this recipe will definitely be remade in the future.

i invited my sister and my friend jeff over for this dinner and we wined and dined (and wined some more) while watching the golden globes.  what a great way to indulge and reset before the beginning of the week. and i didn't think once about how cold it was outside.  i might have to make these summer inspired meals more often to get me through this chilly winter.

hope you had a happy monday!
January 9, 2013


there's no other title that seemed sufficient for the excitement i have for the rest of this week! yes, i realize it's only tuesday, but tomorrow i get to go to a concert i've been looking forward to all year.  let me preface by saying that i have no shame in being a sane, healthy, mature twenty-four who is in l-o-v-e with justin beiber!  that's right, i'm a belieber with beiber fever.  okay, that sounds a little too intense but i am genuinely excited about the concert because i've been told the kid puts on a great show.  just beiber plays a sold out show at the tulsa bok center tomorrow night at 7pm with carly rae jepsen and cody simpson as the opening acts.  wooo! okay, i promise i'm done.

the teen super senstation isn't all i'm looking forward to.  i've been working on the up with trees gala committee and thursday is our third meeting.  the committee is chaired by one of my high school friends and her older sister.  actually, a lot of my friends are on the committee which is nice.  it provides a certain level of comfort since i haven't had much experience with committee work.  i'm a community outreach chair with a couple other members and our job is to develop relations with potential sponsors, promote the event within the community and to assist in obtaining fun auction items.  simply put i'm a novice but i'm welcoming the chance to learn about all these aspects of non-profit events for the future.

also, this weekend seems to be the first in a long while i don't have something planned.  no commitments, no holiday parties, no events, no traveling, no nothing!  i'm excited.  oh, and friday is my day off! i've really really lacking a good night's sleep for weeks so a long weekend full of no plans sounds like just what the doctor ordered.  i'm hoping to finish putting new shelf liners in the last couple cabinets and am already thinking ahead to my sunday pinterest inspired dinner.  a while back i went on a fish buying spree and grabbed some swordfish steaks, salmon, frog legs and soft shell crab (among other things) on sale to have on hand in the freezer.  i've gone through some of the typical choices like the salmon, tilapia, and catfish but i think i'm ready to tackle a more exotic option this weekend.  we shall see!

until then, i've been looking around for inspiration for my next weekend project.  there are plenty of ideas i have for the house:  finding art/pictures/figures/etc for the gallery wall above my couch that is currently (and has always been) bare, planting a small herb garden to have fresh herbs for spring, cleaning out my closet to determine what staples need replaced and what room i have for new unique, fun pieces....but i've been slightly distracted from all of that as we just recently moved floors in my office and i spent the majority of the day unpacking and organizing my desk (bleh!)  that's when i realized i have absolutely no personal items at work.  there's nothing at my desk that declares it as mine besides the generic name plaque pinned onto my half-sized cube wall.  my realization came at about the same time i came across this blog post on design sponge about home office organization tools which i would clearly try and apply to my little space on the trade floor in our building downtown.  as much as i want to knock those house projects off my list, this may jump ahead of a few of those.  i do spend at least forty hours a week there afterwards so it technically is my second home.  scary.

here's what i'm thinking... i've been in love with the white parsons table from west elm shown in the two pictures below but i obviously can't replace my desk (grrr).  i might use that as inspiration for glossy white desk accessories with a gold touches sprinkled in here and there (see mint julep pen holder and lamp below.)

we'll see how it goes (and when i can get around to it)

happy tuesday!
January 6, 2013

recovery mode

wow, the first week of year is basically over and let me tell you: i. am. exhausted!  every year i cherish the time when the holidays roll around and i think every year i'm also glad they're over.  i love everyone being home, holiday parties, overeating delicious food, and being away from the office for a few days but boy does all that activity take it out of me.  its been nice to try and get back to a normal routine (and shed those holiday pounds.)  

i think this year i've attempted to make too many resolutions so much so that i dare not list them all.  i don't know what it is about this upcoming year but i just have a desire to improve upon many areas in my life.  don't get me wrong, i lead a wonderful life.  i just think there's always room for improvement.  the goals i want to always keep in the forefront of my mind are:
 - save save save!  i've been terrible at putting money away for rainy days or special purchases or trips and now with my house i'm determined to change that so i can afford to decorate and style my home freely -
 - get involved and speak up.  i guess technically i already am involved (a new voices board internship, the up with trees gala committee, i'm on the arts & entertainment crew for the tulsa young professionals and i'm an honoree for the cystic fibrosis tulsa's new leaders event) but this year i want take a more active role in whatever i'm doing.  i'm a pretty quiet person and sometimes get nervous speaking my mind or voicing my opinions but i think those are necessary characteristics in a leader and i want to be able to have a positive impact on my community - 
 - develop stronger relationships, period.  i'm blessed with great friends and family but unfortunately i feel some of those relationships don't dip much further than surface level.  that's entirely my fault.  this year i want to do a better job at opening up so others have a change to get to know me better and in turn i'll get to know them - 
 - as always, be healthier.  i'd say i'm a decently healthy person, especially during the week days when my schedule is more rigid but those pesky weekends never fail to knock me off course.  dinners out, drinks, brunch.... all things i loveee but that continually have my weight yo-yoing.  here i believe moderation is key.  i will focus on portion control and recognizing when i'm full.  a lofty goal will be to completely eliminate fast food from my diet but you know how that goes.  here's hoping - 

this week on my calendar might be one of the busiest this month so i should wrap this up and catch some zzz's (that falls into the health goal, right?)  but before i go, here's my picture recap of the past week

{ ringing in the new year full circle with lights all night in dallas }

 { required "hip" lights all night shoes }

 { allyson trying on the glow gloves before lights } 

 { i just can't leave dallas without it }

 { raspberry lemon drops with friends }

{ seafood boil at the parents to celebrate the new year }

{ weekend projects } 

{ baked salmon with a chipotle-lime glaze and a garlic, bean mash }

 { surprise party for doyle's twenty fifth birthday }

{ emily and i }

{ talley + christy }                { christy with the blow up pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey }

  { sunday pinterest dinner: buttermilk roasted chicken, sauteed broccoli rabe, 
and a roasted cauliflower puree }

January 3, 2013

a look back before a new beginning

to say 2012 was an eventful year might be is definitely an understatement.  each year I feel as if my life has gotten more exciting than the previous one and this year further proved that to me.  pictures have always been my favorite method or reliving memories so here are some of the highlights of this past 366 days (did you forget about the leap year?!)

i began 2012 with my best friend and sister, dana, one of my besties from college, katie, and thousands of fellow festival goers at lights all night in dallas, tx.  This was my first large scale festival and it definitely will not be my last.

i was finally able to attend my first new orleans mardi gras and in style no less.  dana's teammate (my stud sister played volleyball at southern methodist university invited us to attend the endymion parade hosted at the superdome as her parents are big participants in the annual event.


my company was a corporate sponsor for an event called wine, women and shoes in march and a couple of co-workers and I were able to get tickets for our table.  little did we know we would be asked to volunteer to walk in the show - terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time (note: I am no model!)

something i'd wanted to get involved with was non-profit committee work and in 2012 i was a part of candlelight ball committee on the materials & awareness and logistics subcommittees helping to plan the child abuse network's inaugural event on april 23rd, 2012 at the mayo hotel; the first of its kind with the event progressing to three separate levels throughout the evening.

and just two days later i was signing the deed to purchase my first house!  at 23, it was on of the scariest things i've done but i love my home and i loveee living in my cute little neighborhood in tulsa


in may dana graduated from smu with degrees in advertising and accounting with a commencement speech delivered by the impressively intelligent condoleezza rice.  dana, we're proud of you for your accomplishments of being a student-athlete and double major but i hope to never sit through three graduation ceremonies (until my own children's of course)

then just before my 24th birthday in june i finally got to cheer on our oklahoma city thunder as they took on the san antonio spurs during the playoffs in okc with a large group of my friends.  loud city could not be a more accurate name for an area.  i can't wait to see my next game, although maybe not squeezing ten adults into a double queen motel (yes, motel) room. but hey, at least i snagged a bed.

the tulsa drillers' baseball games: a favorite of mine during throughout the summer especially on thirsty thursdays when it seems everyone just knows that's the plan for the night.  during the season opener a famous little tulsa born and bred band, hanson came back to town and sang the national anthem and emily and i were the giddy twenty something girls reliving our childhood as we got a hug and a picture from our favorite member, taylor hanson...swoon

in august i enjoyed the perfect little getaway with my friends emily and elaine to a little fisherman's town just outside of cancun, mexico to puerto morelos.  it seemed like forever since i had taken a (somewhat) relaxing vacation and what better place to jet set than the sandy beaches of me-hi-co where the margarita are bottomless

once i was back home and unpacked it was my turn to help my my new roommate and bestie allyson move into one of my spare bedrooms...it's been a riot ever since :)  i feel so blessed to have met allyson and have her live with me.  we've become good friends, our friends have become good friends and life is just that much sweeter.

i've never been one to enjoy working out and therefore don't exercise as much as i should.  i played volleyball at school and still play co-ed about once a week but i took up tennis as another way to sneak in exercise and ended up loving it (and not sucking too terribly)!  paige and i played in the cascia classic for our first tournament.  we were second in the consolation bracket..more practice? 

and a substantial part of 2012 was that i developed a greater passion for trying new foods and more often cooking my own.  i love learning about new restaurants, eating meals prepared by tulsa's celebrated chefs (which i hope to do more of), and trying my best to almost never make the same recipe  more than a couple times.

but of course i couldn't forget my little lion man, franklin who stole my heart after the untimely passing of my other little nugget, elton.  yes, im officially a cat lady. honestly, i always have been.  there's just something about those kitty purrs and kitty paws i can't get enough of.

whew, i told you there was a lot going on in 2012; and those were just the highlights.  i don't intend for (hopefully) any other post to be this extensive but i couldn't help but include so many of those moments that i appreciate for making me laugh and smile this year.  i want this blog to be a vehicle to consolidate all that 2013 and thereafter has in store for me whether that's fun times spent with friends or family, experiences volunteering on committees and non-profit boards, my ongoing passion for cooking and eating delicious new foods, the process of making my first house into my home, and everything in between mimosas (see what i did there?).  but mostly i can't wait to have this blog years from now as a means to look back and see how these experiences will change in the future.  

i've got a lot to learn about this whole blogging thing -- for instance, getting all my pictures aligned and in the same general shape... -- but i guess that's all part of the experience!

so here's to 2012 and an even more eventful 2013!

in between mimosas © 2013.

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