Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Leopard and Leather

Leopard has always been a love of mine. I feel like it is timeless and will never go out of style but that's just me. On the other hand I just didn't feel like leather was me. It is to harsh and just not really my style until I saw this….

Rodeo's instagram pictures always seem to get me in trouble. I either A. have part of the outfit and want the other pieces to complete it or B. feel the urge to text Katie and tell her I need the whole outfit and have it shipped to me in Houston.

This picture fell under category A. I had to do a few returns from my birthday and had just purchased this super cute sweatshirt style leopard shirt. I needed the skirt!

Then I found a 12 dollar skirt at Marshall's.
     it needed to be black….check
     it needed to be a fuller cut…check
     did I mention it was 12 DOLLAR?!

I bought the necklace and the Houston Holiday market and it really completed my outfit recreation. I have paired this outfit with tights and ankle boots too for the cooler temperatures. 

Overall I feel sassy and confident which really makes an outfit! I am on trend but still true to myself and my style which is always very important to me.

Shirt- Rodeo Boutique in Ruston
Skirt- Marshall's
Necklace- The Woodlands Holiday Market
Shoes- Calvin Klein (last season)

Thanks Meg for my great outfit of the day pictures! Everyone go check out her blog at Everyday Meg, I hope some of her blogging abilities rub off on me one day!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


My birthday was in October and anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my birthday. I reserve the whole month for celebrations and usually have a birthday list a mile long but this year was different.

I didn't have a clue what I wanted. I mean a new David Yurman bracelet is always on the list but David just wasn't in the budget this year. Rodeo, a boutique in Ruston and Baton Rouge, is always on the list too but Ruston is 5 hours away from Houston and I just didn't know how Andrew was going to pull that off but he did. Andrew and Mom insisted the help of Katie, the owner, and she mailed them all some of my favorite things. I really do love Rodeo so much but my love deserves a whole post of its own and now I am completely off topic.

I want to write about popsugar…it is the one thing I knew I wanted.

I came across the website before I started working and knew it was something I needed. They mail you a box of goodies every month which is awesome because it is like stretching out the birthday even longer!

Jessica, the best friend, really came through this year and bought be 3 months of popsugar! I just received my first box about a week ago and it is AWESOME!

It comes in a big white box like this. They email you when it is on it's way so you can track it. Yes I walked to the mailbox in the rain to pick it up…don't judge.

Everything is packed really well to assure nothing is broken during shipping.

You get a little card that explains each item in the box and give the website where you can buy more products like the ones in your box.

And here is my November box in all its glory. The scarf is super cute, the candle smells awesome, the remover is perfect for my purse, the soap spells delicious and makes my skin feel baby bottom soft, the wine tote will look perfect with a monogram on it and I can't wait to order a picture from the canvas website. I haven't tried the food items yet but I am sure the will be delicious.

Bottom line…If you are wondering what to get someone who has everything a Popsugar box is perfect! 

I can't wait to see what the next two boxes include and I am putting the popsugar box on my christmas list too so I can continue to get them after my three months is up!

Click here to be taken directly to the website for all the details.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Best friends are one in a million...Especially best girlfriends. Lets be honest girls are not the nicest creatures on the face of the planet. We are mean, catty, hormonal and often don’t have a clue what we really want therefore it’s rare you honestly find someone you can be best friends with.

I have my best friend from home, Amanda but everyone says you go to college and meet your bridesmaids (insert eyeroll here). It is just to cliché for me. I knew I would make great friends but never dreamed I really would make the quality of friends I have now.  I just feel like I have my people - we just get each other.

I’ve talked about my college best friend, Jessica, on the blog a million times. Almost every college memory has her in it although neither one of us can remember the exact moment we became friends. We think we narrowed it down to a Randy Rogers concert at Rabbs but we just don’t know; it just kinda happened. 

We talk everyday and not living in the same town as just about killed us but I have learned not to take the moments we have together for granted. I talked yesterday about being so busy and one of the best parts about going home so often this fall is seeing her.

One home game in September Jessica met us in Ruston. It was so nice because our boy band (what we refer to our girlfriend group as) was back together. I never dreamed I would get this... (please excuse the picture quality…All I had was my iPhone)

I am so thrilled to get to stand next to my best friend when she says “I DO!” 

Jessica gave Kelsey her wine bottle the same night too and we were so excited and felt it was a perfect photo-op!

The bridesmaids dresses are beautiful (thanks for not making us look ugly) and I know she will be the most beautiful bride - yes I cried when I saw her in a wedding dress so I know I’m going to be a hot mess at the alter. 

I am just so excited to share in this exciting time with her and so thankful for her amazing friendship.  She makes my life a whole lot better and if you ask Andrew he stopped trying to win the best friend race a long time ago because she always wins! (Yes, I love my hubby and he's my best friend thats a boybut girlfriends are in a category all of their own)

Just a little throwback picture, and one of my very favorites from the start of our friendship.

This little gem was to good not to share. Two of my favorite people!

I know this post is long overdue but better late than never right?!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

When did it happen?

When did life get so busy? 

In high school it was all the extra curricular’s, the football games, the parties. In college it was the the parties at the fraternity house, tailgating at all the football games and a little studying here and there. After graduation it was the wedding and we always said things would really slow down after that but they just haven’t.

We moved.
Andrew started a new job.
I started a new job.
Things are busy.

I was feeling really good before I started my job in September. Yes I was sad I wasn’t teaching but I had my life together. I was finally blogging like I really wanted too, our rent house was finally feeling like a home and we were getting settled. 

Then I got my job. I don’t want to sound as if I am complaining because I am not. My job is amazing. It has been such a blessing in my life because I have the best team and parent and kiddos but I really have been in survival mode. I am always making something for my kids, doing some sort of training, or planning for the upcoming week.

I just cant turn my brain off. This has always been a major problem of mine and my granny fusses at me all the time but I really can’t. When something needs to be done I can’t stop thinking about it till its done -- it’s a blessing and a curse. 

My brain (and type A personality) keeps my busy but isn’t  this is supposed to be the slow season in our life? I mean we were so busy growing up and after babies come life is crazy for at least 18 years then you spend the rest of the time worrying because they aren’t home keeping you busy.

I just don’t understand...I ready for the times to sit by the fire pit, or on the front porch sipping coffee. The times of weekends with no set plans.  Weekends to recuperate from the rat race we’re living in. Andrew and I just aren’t rat race people - we like the slow southern life.

I just really don’t know when life got so busy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy 6 months!

I missed Andrew and I's six months anniversary last week and I wanted to post a video for everyone!

We still talk about the wedding all the time and both say we would do it all over again, the exact same (minus the rain), if we could. Thank you again for all of you that made it so special for us!

What a Whirl Wind

My life has been chaos lately...but in a good way!

About a month ago I interviewed for a kindergarten position at Broadway elementary. As most of you know I have been holding out for this "late hire" job. I didn't believe these things really existed and was just fine with subbing and being a nanny!  I mean I applied for 239984532598 jobs this summer and heard nothing so I had to be ok with not teaching. But in 3 days I was called to interview for 4 different kindergarten jobs because of numbers...everyone has to many kids.

I interviewed at Broadway first and I felt the interview went great. I felt relaxed and like I fit in well with the team. I guess they felt the same because they called me the next day and offered me the position. I was so excited and accepted the job immediately! Although I had other interviews I knew that there was a reason God let Broadway call me first and offer me the job so quickly; I knew it was the place for me.

They offered me the job on a Friday, I met my team on Monday, then the stress began on Tuesday. My principal called and informed me that I was not considered highly qualified in the district because I only held a temporary Texas certification. I went in to full blown panic mode. She was so sweet and kept me calm and helped find a solution to our problem! I told her I could take the certification test that week and she told me that they could wait for my results (super sweet right?!).

I signed up to take my two Texas Certification Test, after I got done balling crying of course. I would take one on Thursday and one on Friday. Now here comes the funny part; I have never taken Texas history in my life and would be tested on it Thursday. I am also only certified to teach PK- 3rd grade in Louisiana but will be certified to teach PK - 6th grade in Texas which means that I would be tested on 3 years of material that I took no college class on and lets be honest its been a LONG time since I was in 6th grade.

I have never crammed for a test like I did for these in my entire life.

I took the tests, passed both, and was able to be formally hired as the new kindergarten teacher.  I thought I could breath for a minute but I couldn't; things were about to get even busier.

I found out my test scores on Tuesday morning, signed my contract Tuesday afternoon and started my job on Wednesday. I got some time to set up my classroom and had my first parent night last Monday.
I have had my kids a week today and they are the most precious angels!

So although it has been chaos and a whirl wind I am grateful. I am sorry I have been absent from the blog and yes the Halbrook's are alive and well, I have just been a little on the busy side. It has been a great whirl wind I am grateful for this opportunity and for all of the people I have met already. They have welcomed me with open arms and I am truly blessed to be part of such a great school family!

I will be catching you up on our life though because I have missed a lot of good blogging memories!

It feels so good to be back!

Friday, September 6, 2013

H54F #2

Hey y'all I hope everyone has had a fab week and if not look at it this's FRIDAY!! Well today I am doing another link-up with Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth to look back at my week!

So lets take a little look...

1. Andrews cousins being in town was probably the highlight of the week! We had so much fun with 
    them and the long weekend flew by.  You can read all about our labor day with the Donahoo's here.

2. We finally have groceries in the house. September started so that means the big monthly grocery trip.  
    Nothing feels better than being able to walk in the kitchen and know I can eat just about anything.  
    WooHoo for groceries!

3. Finally people started playing Big Brother this week! I don't know if there are any big brother fans 
    reading but Macranda is finally gone!! Andrew and I have been waiting for Amanda to go home 
    weeks and although JM isn't my favorite I am so glad she won HOH so she could but them up...GO 
    GM! The episode got even better when Elisa went home in the double eviction...Perfection. 

4. I finally got to use my resume yesterday in an INTERVIEW! I had an interview for a kindergarten 
    position at a school close to my house.  I feel like it went so well and the staff was super friendly. I'm 
    hoping to hear something soon and know that I could fit in seamlessly at the school but I know God 
    is in control. If this is the job for me everything will work out but if not something else will come 
    along. All in all it just felt really good to be out there interviewing again.

5. Skyping with these two chics really gets my through the week. I look so forward to seeing their faces 
    and catching up. Although we don't live in the same place anymore technology is amazing and I'm 
    so thankful for their friendships! I think the distance has brought us all closer together as strange as 
    that sounds.

Well that was my week....pretty uneventful but oh so sweet! I hope everyone has a weekend full of college football and family like us!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Labor Day Fun (Mississippi State Game)

The Halbrook's had the best labor day ever! Andrew and I have been looking forward to his cousins coming in for months now and the weekend didn't disappoint! Everyone (minus Mary Margaret) got in Friday night.  Andrew headed downtown to go out with the boys while I stayed in The Woodlands to take care of Lilly.  

The boys had a very good time to say the least. They went to a restaurant called Prohibition and it looked awesome.  The atmosphere and all the drinks are from the time period and they do a show while you eat.  Andrew was actually called on stage for a competition but I will save all of my readers eye by not posting the video of him.  All I have to say is I had to run to the bathroom after watching it I laughed so hard.

Anyhoo...I got up Saturday morning and headed down to the hotel.  Mary Margaret flew in and we actually pulled up at the exact same time so it was perfect timing.  The boys were moving pretty slow but after everyone got ready we headed down to the stadium.

Everyone wad decked out in their maroon! Outfit #2 was a huge hit and I fit right in with the Mississippi State crowd. 

This was my first time to reliant stadium and I was very impressed. It's is like a mall and football stadium combined!  I just want to talk about the food for a moment....I mean one of my favorite things about football season is the stadium food, specifically the chili cheese nachos and Reliant had 3 different places to get a different variety of nachos.  I WAS IN NACHO HEAVEN! Andrew and I finally settled on the BBQ nachos and they were delicious. 

I also loved that reliant was a dome! It was so nice to watch football in the air conditioning.

Everyone loved that they sold beer during the game! The people sitting behind us really loved that they sold beer. Durning the first quarter they spilled their entire cup down the back of my seat. Needless to say it was all over my shirt, in my hair and in my purse.  It wasn't ideal but we laughed and moved on...Welcome to football season Right?

Uncle Jimmy loved that they sold ice cream too!

When we were walking into the stadium Andrew was very excited about the CowBell. It is a tradition at Mississippi State and I had never been around it so I was pretty excited too! I have never been to an SEC school game beside LSU so I thought it would be fun to see the SEC from a different perspective.

That excitement was short lived.

COWBELLS ARE TERRIBLE!! They are so very loud and give you a pounding headache. Andrew and I were not fans of the cowbells at all! When Jesse's broke during the 2nd quarter I wanted to jump up and down and yell thank you God!

The game didn't end the way we wanted but we still had fun! Thank you Aunt Tina and Uncle Jimmy for including us in your Houston plans! It was great to get to spend time with yall and we can't wait to see yall again at Thanksgiving!

Sunday we woke up and headed back to The Woodlands. We ate lunch then went swimming at Aunt Harriett and Uncle Steve's and since it was over a 100 degrees here it felt so nice to take a dip in the pool!  After swimming we went to dinner at Grotto's for 3 hours! It never occurred to me that it was Sunday and they closed early; we ended up leaving dinner around 10 when they closed at 9...opps. It was so much fun eating and laughing together though that I really didn't care that much (we made his tip worth staying).

Monday the boys played golf while the girls shopped then we had to say our goodbyes.  It was so hard to watch them drive anyway and know we might not see them again for two whole months.

All weekend Andrew and Jesse kept saying "This is the best day of my life" and it really felt that way while they were in town. Tuesday was a harsh wake-up call to reality when we all had to returned back to work.  Jesse texted us on Tuesday and said it best, " It's amazing how much the last few days were awesome and now today, just 24 hours later absolutely sucks."

This weekend was my first weekend to really spend time with his cousins and their wives, out of the delta, just the six of us and I left the weekend feeling overwhelmingly blessed. I am so lucky to have gained six new cousins and cant wait for more weekends like the one we just had. Andrew and I feel the same way Jesse...not being together sucks. 

P.S. Price and Laurel were with us too but we didn't take one picture as a whole group...sorry guys!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Month of Meals...

My inner Planning Patty is always battling my inner  Spontaneous Sally. Sally wins a majority of the battles but one battle Patty wins every time is the meal planning battle.

I'm the kind of girl that loves to cook but hates having to go to the grocery store ten times a week.  The weekly trip to HEB isn't bad but nothing irritates me more than being in the middle of cooking and realizing I didn't get such-in-such ingredient...UGH! This discovery usually ends in frustration and us sitting in a restaurant someone where.

I found that Andrew and I were spending way to much money eating out because I didn't have the ingredients on hand to make a meal or just didn't have any idea of what to make when 6 o'clock rolled around. I solved this little issue was meal planning (Patty is doing summersaults in my head right now). I used to only meal plan a week at a time: I would make the menu followed by the detailed grocery list and head out.  Then I got a little braver and would meal plan for two weeks. Now I'm a complete Planning Patty, Beastmode, month at a time meal planner!

I will say planning a month at a time isn't for everyone. It take a lot of time and one very long, expensive trip to the grocery store but I love it! When I was going to the grocery store weekly I found myself buying things that were not on the list and spending about 80 dollars, which adds up. When I do one big shop I stay much more focused on my list therefore leaving out the unnecessary items and saving myself a lot of money.

Meal Planning helps me to use my left overs for new meals too...I might bake a chicken on Sunday and use the left overs for chicken pot pie later in the week. Or instead of buying 3 potatoes I can buy them in bulk because I know I will use them.

Now I walk into the kitchen and start cooking rather than standing in the fridge having the "I don't know what to cook" conversation that leads to eating out.

My Meal Planning Process-

  • Print out any new recipes I might want to try and make a list of old favorites.
  • Print out a calendar of the month and fill it in with any previous engagements that will prevent us from eating at home.
  • Write in all my meals. I pay close attention to all the ingredients to see if i might be able to transform them into a new meal. I also try to mix it up...I mean who wants to eat a chicken meal everyday. I also leave room for leftover eating. I work hard cooking these meals, no reason we should only eat them once and through the rest away. When I am finally happy I type my meals into a calendar (my favorite is a free calendar found here) and print it out for the fridge.
  • Make the grocery list. I write a rough draft then divide it into the sections of my store for an easy shopping experience for the final draft.
  • Go shopping then when I get home I put meats and things in the freezer so they won't go bad.
  • That's it!! I'm ready for the next month of cooking!!

Now although Planning Patty has won and I have every meal planned Spontaneous Sally is still in me which will cause for some last minute happy hour plans and thats OK. If we miss a meal I just add it to next months menu or keep it in the house for meal emergencies! If I wake up and decide I am really in the mood for something I am supposed to have later in the month I just switch the two meals.  Although I plan I feel it is very important to stay flexible. 

Here's a little preview of what we will be eating this month...

Happy September and Happy Meal Planning!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Welcome to Texas

Well I haven't done a room reveal this week so here we go.

The first impression of our house was a little blah. It was a cute house but needed a little pizzazz; everything was just so white. Don't get me wrong white can be amazing and clean looking but our white was just dirty. My inner DIYer started yelling PAINT, PAINT, PAINT so thats exactly what I decided to do!

Like the start of all DIY projects I turned to pinterest and google for some inspiration. I knew I wanted some sort of blue I just wasn't sure if I wanted something on the darker or the brighter side of the spectrum. I dragged Andrew to Lowes after church on Sunday (something that is becoming a weekly date) and picked a few color swatches.  I was trying to get some help from the him but his suggestions were, Camo, Tech Bulldog, Bright Red, and an American flag: None of these suggestions went with my vision so I quickly allowed him to wander and look at something else while I chose 3 or 4 color options.

I started by taping color swatches to the door and that just wasn't cutting it. I couldn't stand at the street and get the real idea of what the door would look like with a one by one square taped to the it.
So I took a leap...I picked my favorite color, bought a quart of it and wished for the best because I painted it directly on the door then stepped back to admire my work.

The hubby didn't even notice until I pointed the color change out but when he gave me the ok I got busy painting the rest of it this beautiful turquoise color.

Overall I love the way it turned out. Much happier, brighter, and our style!

Friday, August 30, 2013

H54F # 1

Today I am doing my very first link up ever!  For those of you who have found my little blog through the link-up WELCOME; I am so excited you have stopped by. A little background on the blog is I started it when I got engaged to keep the family up-to-date on all the plans and it has really just evolved.   I hope you like what you see and come back and visit again soon!

For those of you that have no idea what H54F (High five for Friday) is it is all about taking a quick glance and your week and remembering your favorite parts.

So here we go...

1. We had such a great time hanging out with both of my cousins and their babes this weekend. It is so fun to be around all the kiddos but it makes Andrew and I very glad we don't have any of our own just yet! I love that we share the same love for Mexican and I can always count on a Guadalajara trip when they are in town (trips to Guadalajara will ALWAYS  make my top 5 list!!)

2. It was the first time for us to have friends over to dinner since we moved to Texas. I loved getting to bust out all our wedding gifts, even the good napkins!  The boys were very nervous to use the napkins at first but I assured them that wiping messy hands are just what they are meant for! I mean that's why washing machines were invented...right?!

3. After all the texts and comments on facebook and instagram  I think choice two is the winner, winner, chicken dinner! I feel so relived that a decision has been made and I can't wait to wear it tomorrow. I promise to post a picture so you can see the look on!

4. I am very proud of these social media icons. I downloaded them for free here and then hoped over here for the best instructions on how to make them work!  The email one is still being difficult but I think my blog has come a long way these last few weeks

5. Chocolate Bark is like a little taste of Heaven. I am a sweet lover for sure and there are not may sweets I won't eat, but this stuff is just delicious. The Smith's had it at their house and it's like an air filled crisp brownie; ok I know it sounds strange but it is hard to explain. All I do know is I could have eaten my weight in this stuff and will be finding out the recipe asap.  When I do I promise I will share it because everyone should experience this chocolate bark at least once in your life.

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Thanks Meg for encouraging me to link up! Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


After yesterday's post I hope everyone understand how much I love college football! This year I am blessed enough to attend one of the fist college games (#8 on Time Brando's top 10 games to watch): Mississippi State vs. #13 Oklahoma State. It is this Saturday at 2 but the best part is that the game is in Houston! Andrew's cousins (more like brothers), Price and Jesse, both went to Mississippi State so when we found out the game was in Houston we knew it would be the best excuse for everyone to come for a visit.  The whole Donahoo clan will take Houston by storm on Friday and will keep the party rolling through the holiday weekend! 

Andrew and I have been counting down the days until they arrive for what seems like months now. I was so very excited until last week when we got THE text message from Jesse -- "I hope you have your maroon ready!"

I froze in our living room and started going through my closet rolodex in my brian. Then in a slew of curse words I realized the only thing maroon I own is a pair of jeans and lets be honest it is way to hot for jeans. Panic set it... I knew Mary Margaret and Laurel were going to look so cute and I didn't want to stick out. I mean they both went to State so I know their closets are full of cute maroon dresses and game day attire. Panic is in full blown, melt down mode at this moment! Andrew assured me that I could find something in my closet but when my reaction wasn't the best he quickly reassured me he was "sure somewhere in The Woodlands had something we [could] buy!" My man knows me so well.  

We had a busy weekend which didn't leave much time for shopping and so Monday was the perfect day. I had a doctor's appointment and then was determined to find something maroon.  I went to Marshalls Home Goods and got to work.  I honestly found some of the cutest things.  I walked away with some maroon items but also a pair of Michael Kors skinny jeans, 3 shirts (that aren't maroon), some halloween cocktail napkins, and a mercury glass pumpkin -- I know it's a hodgepodge of items but the bottom fell out when I was shopping so I had to pass the time till the rain stopped somehow.

Yesterday I rounded out the outfits with some jewelry from Charming Charlie and spent the day putting things together. Here are the options:

Option One:
    - I already owned the tank top -- Target
                                       black skirt -- Forever21 
                                       cowboy boots -- Cavenders -- Ariat
    - Shear Shirt -- Marshalls -- 12.99
    - Gold and Red Necklace -- Charming Charlie -- 13.00
    - Gold Necklace -- Charming Charlie --  13.00

 Option Two:
    - I already owned the black skirt -- Forever21 
                                       cowboy boots -- Cavenders -- Ariat
    - Maroon Shirt -- Marshalls -- 9.99
    - Gold Necklace -- Charming Charlie --  13.00

 Option Three:
    - I already owned the white lace dress -- Target 
                                       cowboy boots -- Cavenders -- Ariat
    - Gold and Red Necklace -- Charming Charlie --  13.00
    - Gold Necklace --  Charming Charlie --  13.00

I think I have three pretty solid choices that look really cute on AND that didn't break our bank.  I think the key to planning outfits is to add a little new to a little old.  It's a way to update your wardrobe (or get ready for a football game) on a budget!

Now to the hard part -- deciding. So what's your favorite look...One, Two or Three?