Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Five things

Becky and Aaron's wedding was a success! It was absolutely beautiful, B looked gorgeous, and I didn't take a single picture... except for the glass of wine to flaunt to the boys that they drive slow. I need to get on Facebook and snatch some pics from friends - Pam was paparazzi - but we had fun! We are so happy for them!

I knowwwww... I promised a full reveal of our holiday decor. So how about a sneak peek? I got the hanger from Target years ago; the snowflake and "Merry Christmas" glitterati came from Paul Michael and is hanging on our pantry door. I got the snowflake this year and I am pretty sure that my sister and Jennifer thought I was crazy for hauling that all the way back but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it and so it was totally worth it!... you know, ignoring that a flake broke off and HP had to hot glue it back on for me.

Speaking of holiday decor, I have always wanted to start collecting Department 56 (adding to my ever growing list of collecting Hallmark ornaments, UT radko, Waterford nativity). I saw this in Dillard's and it about made it a done deal! My village would totally have to have a Chick fil A! My mom collects the Snow Village and I have always loved setting it up on top of the piano. I want that tradition to continue in my household so be looking for it soon!

We scored 2 tickets to the Watch the Throne tour this coming Monday. I am so excited! We have seen Jay-Z before (one of my favorite concerts) and my sister and I went to see Kanye before ("Is this what you came for??") but together? It's gonna be epic.

Lastly, we head to Denver on Friday for a quick getaway weekend! I love spending time with Huynh, especially in Denver, but really. 28deg? And snow? It's gonna be freezing. Definitely hot chocolate weather!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deal-licious bonus!

Bonus! Scored this continental wallet online at the Kate Spade sample sale. I resisted all other Cyber Monday temptations ... mainly because we spent an hour at the doctor's getting antibiotics.

Yup. We're that sick.

We'll be back tomorrow hopefully better and full of congee!! Hint, hint :).

Monday, November 28, 2011


Swoon... Black Friday.

{amazon - still on sale!}

Knowing us, you know we stocked up on Movies... 18 to be exact. I saved the most on Water for Elephants on Blu-ray (29 smackeroos to be exact) and most excited about North by Northwest (one movie closer to collecting all 100!). We were at Wal-mart and 10p on Thursday, Target at midnight, at 2am. Not too shabby. So, what all did we snag? Provided in alphabetical order:
  • Bad Teacher DVD (spent $10, saved $9.99)
  • Bride Wars DVD (spent $1.96, saved $3.04)
  • Ghostbusters Blu-Ray (spent $9.99, saved $10)
  • Gremlins Blu-Ray (spent $9.99, saved $14.99)
  • Hall Pass Blu-Ray (spent $10, saved $10)
  • Horrible Bosses DVD (spent $9, saved $6)
  • HIMYM Season 6 DVD (spent $12.99, saved $17)
  • Inception Blu-Ray (spent $7.99, saved $12)
  • Knight and Day Blu-Ray (spent $7.99, saved $22)
  • Letters to Juliet DVD (spent $3.99, saved $9.01)
  • Modern Family Season 2 DVD (spent $12.99, saved $27)
  • North by Northwest Blu-Ray (spent $13.99, saved $21)
  • Pulp Fiction Blu-Ray (spent $3.99, saved $11)
  • Shawshank Redemption Blu-Ray (spent $5.99, saved $14)
  • Sherlock Holmes Blu-Ray (spent $7.99, saved $12)
  • The Time Traveler's Wife DVD (spent $3.99, saved $5.01)
  • Water for Elephants Blu-Ray (spent $10.99, saved $29)
  • Weeds Season 6 Blu-Ray (spent $13.99, saved $25.98)
Phew. Busting out my calculator and including those things which were taxed - five we bought on Amazon so tax-free!, we WOULD have spent $438.04... but didn't. Total came to $165.98 with a total savings of $272.06. Bam.

I love this holiday.

We also hit up Sears the following morning for a tool chest and scored this one for 50% off!

Yup. I know nothing about it other than Huynh was excited (he had been looking for one for awhile) and we had to haul it all the way back from WF to Houston down I-35 in holiday traffic. But you know there will be pictures soon... as soon as we both shake strep throat. It appears we shared more with family then why we were thankful for them.

You know what this means then... we will be reorganzing the garage, reorganizing the entertainment center, and lying on the couch watching movies and eating ice cream... you know... for our throats.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Tomorrow these two will officially become Mr. and Mrs. Stevens. Cuties.

{aaron and becky}

We can't be more excited for them! Tonight starts the festivities... and with a late night last night (hello, good deals scored!), Huynh and I are purely running on adrenaline and (soon-to-be) margaritas.

Cheers to the newlyweds! We love you both!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Huynh. My family. His family. Gatsby. My job. Food on the table. Cherry yum-yum. Unseasonably warm Novembers. Friends getting married. Golf. Disney World family vacations. Educated Guess. Huynh's job. Two cars. Our house. Boston. Watching The Price Is Right with the kids (they get so into it!). Texas. UT football. My brother being born (35 years ago today!). My mom being born (... years ago today too!). Happiness. Fun. My mind. The sunrise and sunset. Sweet tea. Rain. Rainbows. Internet. My iPhone. Pride and Prejudice. Blogs. Time. My bed (and my new bedding). Music. Love. IKEA. West Elm. Hot chocolate with marshmallows. Life's challenges. Heartbreaks. Life. Mother Nature. Christmas. Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me on long road trips. Oxygen. Tears. Mail. The moon and stars. Five senses. HLSR. Chicago. Foreign languages. Telephone. Light bulbs. 27 Dresses. When Harry Met Sally. Vices. Toothpaste. Benetint. Family traditions. PW's cinnamon rolls. Black Friday. Spring Break. July 4th. September 30th. Dwight Schrute. Chanel. Newly sharpened pencils. Sauteed Mushroom. Sauteed onions. Vanilla candles. Reconnecting with friends. 9-80's. LMGTFY. Emoticons :). Cookbooks. Queso. Huynh's Pho. Highlighters. Swings. Snow falling in Colorado. Hugs. Kisses.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve

{at least they are proud?}

We have a long road trip to Wichita Falls today... and at the end of the yellow brick I-45, we have 5 cuties waiting for us:

{m - 8 years old, a - 5 years old}

{l - 6 years old, l - 3 years old}

{l - 3 years old}

I am ready to see them! Huynh is golfing now using up extra vacation days; I'm at work with zero vacation days.


Gatsby was dropped off this morning at the boarders (which he actually loves), we are packed, oil changed in the car. I need to fill up with gas on the way home, pick up some sunflower seeds, download the latest Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and we will be good to go! We are frying a turkey tomorrow along with all the normal Miller Family sides (Stephanie - Dressing, Stephen - Broccoli and Rice Casserole, Me - Cheesy Potatoes). Family is driving over and I think we are expecting about 20 people total. Yay for traditions.

Safe travels to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sweet potato lover

We had a Thanksgiving potluck last night... yes, in the middle of work deadlines and flag football finals, Huynh and I squeezed in some quality MNF with friends and family. Huynh manned the deep fryer - hello, fried turkey - and while I worked until the party already started, before I left for work in the morning, I put together a quick and easy vegetarian* chili recipe with sweet potatoes.

Sidenote: I love sweet potatoes.

It was good, hearty, and we have plenty of leftovers to munch on 'til my heart's content.

It was a really easy recipe that also allowed me to bust out our new "ever so slightly impulse" purchase while out Christmas shopping this past weekend... both from Williams-Sonoma.

The Chef'n Garlic Zoom Chopper is amazing. It made ridiculous fast work of the four cloves of garlic the recipe called for - and better yet, really easy to clean. I honestly can't remember how I chopped the garlic before I had this contraption.


Probably con-ed Huynh into doing it for me.

Okay, let's be real. He even wrangled the garlic for this recipe.

We also picked up a new paring knife - in green - and while it could be that our knives need a good sharpening, I can't help but rave about how sharp this knife is! It made quick work of cutting the potato, onion, and bell pepper... plus it's green. I have made the edict that this knife will never find its way to the dishwasher for that very reason. Let's keep this baby sharp.

So two great gift ideas for cooking lovers. Heck, we even picked up an extra Garlic Zoom for a certain family member - and if you are reading this, you have a 1-out-of-25 chance that it is you!

Back to work...

*I added 1-lbs of hamburger meat and excluded the kidney beans. I can't help it. I like meat.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Green Monster

We made our first green monster yesterday morning and it was... surprisingly delicious. Ignoring the toxic color and the "what are you thinking" text from my sister, I drank about half of my cup - it was pretty filling - whereas Huynh finished his whole cup and we have already made another trip to the grocery store for more fruit. 

We went pretty basic in our inaugural batch:
  • 1-cup Almond Milk (Vanilla, sweetened)
  • 2 handfuls spinach (about 1/4 of the bunch)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1-Tbsp Chocolate Almond Butter - made the difference
  • 1-Tbsp Flaxseed

And then got a little crazier and also added:
  • 1/2 scoop Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer
  • 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Wheat Grass

I supplemented my breakfast with a thin toasted bagel topped with Nutella - yea, it got crazy up in here - whereas Huynh flew solo and didn't eat again until dinner. Yes, it was that filling. Yes, I would make it again, though next time I am going to go with the highly recommended (and thus sold out of everything but the packets) chocolate.

It was scary at first; I had completely geared up to hate it. I even made Huynh taste it first. But it really was good... the banana masks the spinach entirely, and though it did have a "grainy" taste, we did put a lot of supplements in there so that was to be expected... in a completely unexpected drink.

Other than that, we put of the tree this weekend and wrapped all of the presents. So take that to the bank and cash it. Christmas is coming!

Friday, November 18, 2011

6 days 'til Thanksgiving

How yummy do these Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Pecan Cookies looks? Say that 10x fast (and perfectly themed!).

Busy week ahead full of a BFF wedding, Christmas shopping, meeting a work deadline, Christmas tree decorating, cleaning... oh and Thanksgiving where, yes, this and this and this will all be happening. I am exicited for home cooking to say the least but more excited to spend some quality time with the family and remembering what this holiday is all about.

In preparation, I will be making these cookies along with our first attempt at Egg Rolls (we are brave) and packing all weekend long. I will post all next week leading up to our Turkey Day festivites which will include being in line at Target for the midnight opening on Black Friday. I can't wait.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Five things

I decorate the house for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm one of those. I just love all of my decor; I love how home-y the house becomes when the tree goes up. So here are five more things I am debating adding to my arsenal to spruce up the house for Christmas!

Since we don't have a fireplace, thank you Texas, we really utilize above the TV on the entertainment center as our make-shift mantle. We are holding off this year on purchasing stockings (I think Huynh is secretly hoping I will make them instead but Gatsby may just need this one in dog bones) so I think this garland would be perfect!

These lights are perfect mini lights. They link up nicely, super long, and look great in garland or on wreaths! I have a mini-tree that I think I will try these on this year for the entry way. They are a tad on the pricey side; not something I like to buy "just in case" and more to buy because "I need them" but one package seems to be going a long way!

When I was starting out decorating, I started by buying the 12 days of Christmas ornament set from Crate and Barrel on Black Friday because it was 12 ornaments and I was in desperate need of quantity for my bleak tree. Five years later, I am still collecting 12 days of Christmas things (like this from my wish list!)... something about them... they are cute, kitschy, and themed. My kind of thing.

Up there with my love of the 12 days of Christmas is my love of advent calendars... especially this one from Garnet Hill. Traditions like these make me so excited for the holidays!

Also, perhaps I just love numbers? Ha.

Lastly, the eighth annual Bevo ornament is out! I don't have all of the other 7 (I think I have 5) but I am on the look-out to collect them all. I started in 2006 with a graduation present to myself and just haven't stopped.

Obviously I have to have this.

Come on, December. Let's get this show on the road.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All I want for Christmas

My family keeps next to zero secrets about Christmas gifts; urks Huynh to no end. I, on the other hand, am a surprise-hater so I love this.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I already know what my parents are getting me for Christmas!!

Y'all. I am so pumped. It's red!

I was completely surprised when Mom called to tell me that's what she was getting me --- though since her new favorite place is Williams-Sonoma, it comes as no surprise that she was there shopping to begin with. I snuck a peek at it when we were home the other weekend and I cannot wait to get my hands on it and start cooking!

I've already started googling recipes for pasta which is first on my list. Along with oreo brownies, cake, and I will probably even start making sausage. I want it sitting on my counter ASAP. Christmas (err, Thanksgiving, when we celebrate Christmas with my family this year) cannot come soon enough!

What are you excited to get for Christmas this year?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


How delicious do these stuffed portobello mushrooms with feta and almonds look? I love portobellos stuffed with about anything to be frank, and due to my current self-inflicted food funk, these might be just what I need to snap me out of it.

Back to the grind. Pop Tarts await me (and don't even act like you don't know that Unfrosted Strawberry are the bees knees).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kitchen envy

I have been in love with this kitchen since I laid eyes on it. The open shelves, the dark cabinets, the light island. It all looks so perfectly effortless! I love the floor to ceiling cabinetry along with the added crown molding, the hardware - bought off of eBay - and the granite.

And don't get me started on the dark trim and that picture of the corks (P.S. totally stealing that idea!). Swoon.

Since I have been house shopping on the side, I am beginning to realize that, in our budget and in the location that we want:

a. Every house needs a new kitchen,
b. Every house needs a new master bathroom,
c. Most every house has wood paneling, and
d. Every house loves brass fixtures.

Needless to say, we have some work ahead of us when we finally do buy but the fun part is collecting all of these amazing ideas, thank you Pinterest. As for the apparent reference to our weekend festivities? We did nothing productive - which was probably productive in and of itself. That's one point for us. Score.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gotta get down on Friday

It's Friday! I'm working (on my off day) and Huynh is golfing --- jealous but not because it's 36deg outside. The client is in the office --- and from a place where low never dips below 50deg. She's freezing and on her way to buy a heavy coat.

I love Houston.

So I have the best boyfriend. Not only did he take me to Nutcracker Market yesterday, he wandered aimlessly with me through the mad crowds of women, waited patiently as I shopped in teeny booths, and yes, even carried my bags. I know right.

Truthfully, I only had two things in mind that I wanted to be sure to get and score. I have four nieces that will love these for Christmas, especially after we get them monogrammed with "Texas" and "Tech"! Oh to be 6 years old again... Molly would have LOVED these.

Also, yesterday, I got those pesky sale emails from West Elm (really, obsessed.) and Huynh sent this bedding to me. I love it! It's on sale!

And I want to recreate that entire room.

Lastly, it's that time of year again for Williams-Sonoma's Bay Leaf Wreath!

I was debating this year whether to order one but seeing the pic is making the "not order one" decision a tad harder to choose than anticipated. I have time though; Thanksgiving is in Wichita Falls so I wouldn't order it until after then. Let future Sarah decide!!

Big plans this weekend filled with family, friends, weddings, wreath making, stool tufting, Christmas shopping, crawfish eating, football watching and general tomfoolery. I worked a ridiculous amount of overtime so I am ready! Bring it.

Sidenote: The post title is from Rebecca Black's song "Friday" --- I know, I know --- regardless, the dang thing is catchy and it's either that or "T.G.I.F." which is equally as catchy but I can't quite chant while I'm sitting at my desk, so I quietly sing "Friday" while bobbing my head ever-so-slightly as to not draw attention to my excitement. But I digress.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Yes, work is wearing me down! I got home last night at 8:30p, hurriedly took pictures - even emailed them to myself so I could post them today - but alas, I have a meeting in 8 mins which will last all day so only have a hot second to get this post up and out of my cube!

But this news was too exciting not to share... our first leaf FINALLY FELL. Obviously Houston, much less the rest of the state, doesn't get an autumn so any sign is extremely thrilling and nothing short of a photo op. I'm half tempted to frame it.


And, late work hours meant we ate cereal last night...

But Huynh did finish the crate (more on that later)...

And our garage is a disaster area...

The stool really isn't going to make itself...

Nor is this table going to magically grow opposable thumbs sand and stain itself...

But I have some fun decor ready for it's debut...

And a glittery, sparkly wreath ready to be made...

Which ultimately sums up my weekend plans! And it's only Thursday. I'm excited.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Work is totally getting in the way of my life right now - I'm on a tight deadline that looks like it won't let up until February 6th (no lie) and all I can do is think about how much I want a glass of Stag's Leap with my main squeeze at Collina's. Yum-o.

Projects are piling up and the house looks like a disaster but today my goal is to leave work by 7:15p and kick it into gear! Besides, we haven't even had a home cooked meal in weeks... it's even to the point now where we don't even eat dinner at all. Poor Huynh. I'm sure he's starving.

I'll, at the least, be back tomorrow with a full overview of all I got going on... and a sneak peak at Gatsby's new create that I can barely even lift! Here's to hoping even he can't tear it up.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Heard of The Pewter Co.?

Well, I guess I should back up. We had zero serving pieces which was horribly embarrassing. So I succumbed to the craze and picked up the Missoni Two-Tiered Serving dish way-back-when there was the super rush to Target and I spent WAY too long refreshing the online store.

Huynh thought I was crazy for picking this out but honestly some thought went into it. I knew the white would go with our dishes - especially since I hope to eventually get those serving dishes as well and the touch of orange would go with our UT football watching parties. And, as insane as it looks, let's be real. It's pretty neutral. So into my cart it went and a few weeks later, it was on my door step. And that was it. That was all we had.

So this past weekend at Canton, we made our normal stop at The Pewter Co. booth which we mainly do for gifts but this year, I actually picked up some dishes for myself!

I'm not a fan of traditional chip and dip serving dishes for anything other than veggies so I knew this would be a perfect compromise and a good start. I know I will find all sorts of uses for the 3 bowls (especially the larger one) individually as well and when it comes time to bust 'em out, I won't be embarrassed anymore of our plastic, mismatched bowls! And bonus: they still match the Missoni. Score one for me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Canton goodness

Canton was. a. hit. and I found IT.

Tucked on Row 46 was this yellow beauty. It's teeny, cute, perfect and... I squealed (no lie, asked Stephanie) who needless to say, thought I was crazy but little did she know. It was the one (especially after I found out it was only $15!).

Senor Aloe has finally been raised off the ground and is that much closer to basking in the sun's beauty. With the hot, hot, heat outside, I brought this little guy back to life inside the house - though hopefully since it is November, he will soon be relocated back outside for full on sun. Thank you random store. I will revisit you next year.

Yearning for more? A couple more things I picked up...

I hit the jackpot at Paul Michael this year from the rusty ampersand (#1) that a fresh coat of paint will bring back to life to the on sale Halloween ribbon (#3) which was half off holla. I also grabbed the 3 velvet pumpkins (#4) in hopes that they will grace our dining room table centerpiece on Thanksgiving. The hand (#2) was from the random store where I snagged the stool and, for only $2, I think it looks eerily familiar to almost every hand jewelry stand out there. Lastly, the bread bowl (#4) was from a store in the Arbors where I got the sugar mold last year and yes, I already have another purchase ready for next year from that same store. Who would have known random wooden pieces would be such a favorite of mine?

What else did I score? Loads and loads of Christmas decor and the goods to make an over the top autumn wreath. Spoiler alert: it's glittery, orange, and rather large. Whoop.