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!