Monday, January 30, 2012

Bad News and Good News

Hey Gang! I've got some bad news and good news today (hence the title)... My dad says to always start with the bad news so you can get it over with and then end on a positive note. I think it's a good call. So here goes:

Bad News: No Recipe Monday today.

I really don't have a great excuse... The honest to goodness truth is that I didn't cook a flipping thing all week! I realize this probably eliminates me from the running for Wife of the Year Award, shucks... I don't feel bad.

Let me just tell you about our little dinner menu for this week.



MONDAY:Spaghettios and Croutons
Monday I was craving sushi. No, I'm not pregnant, I just made the unfortunate mistake of driving by one of our favorite little sushi joints while on the way to Lowes. It was closed, so of course, I HAD to have it for dinner. I called Brandon and told him I needed sushi but I knew it would be completely unreasonable for us to drive all the way across OKC to our absolute favorite sushi restaurant, Sushi Neko, so I was going to step away and let him choose what to do. I sounded extra whiney about how much I needed sushi, but I understood if he said no. He said that we'd talk about it when he got home, but if I really wanted it that was fine. I did REALLY want it, but my brain kept telling me "Let him choose because you can't be reasonable." So that's what I did. Major mistake. He got home and of course, the poor guy was exhausted so he very sweetly asked if I would mind just staying home for dinner. I agreed (Trying my very best to keep my pouting internal). He just wanted a sandwich so I whipped him up a yummy panini (If you don't have a panini press, you should. I wasn't sure I'd ever use it, but we use it all the time! It makes a plain ol' sandwich so fancy and extra delicious!!) But, I wasn't feeling a sandwich so instead I went for the next best thing after sushi... Spaghettios and Croutons. Yes, I eat like a 6 year old. No, I don't care. Yes, I just ate plain croutons. Yes, I know that's weird. No, I don't care about that either. Clearly, since I took this picture to document this moment, I didn't succeed at keeping my pouting internal. Oops.


TUESDAY:Sushi Neko

But then Tuesday rolled around and Brandon TOTALLY REDEEMED HIMSELF! (Although technically I can't blame him for Monday's Spaghettios... ) I didn't get home from working a basketball game until 7:15pm and so we didn't get to Neko until 8:15pm but it was soooooo worth it! These are my three, all-time, very absolute favorite rolls! Leprechaun is up top (I pick the jalapeno off) and it's full of lots of yummy cream cheese, avocado, fried calamari and it's rolled in something crispy that tastes good! The middle roll is the Terry roll and it has shrimp, avocado, rice and other yummy stuff (sometimes I try not to know everything about what's in my sushi), rolled in soy paper with spicy mayo. The bottom is the Lifesaver roll - crab salad, smoked bacon, avocado, salmon or tuna with a lemon wedge on top! Oh my goodness, it was heavenly! I definitely ate more than my fair share!!

WEDNESDAY:Raising Cane's Chicken
Wednesday night I watched the Bachelor at my friend's house because B had to work a little later than normal... Our Bachelor watching is a weekly event and it just wouldn't be the same if I didn't eat my favorite fried chicken, french fries, super buttery toast... all while drowning each bite in that famous Cane's sauce! Incredibly unhealthy, but oh. so. delicious! 

THURSDAY:Gogo Sushi
Thursday night we met Brandon's brother and sister-in-law for dinner... Remember when I told you in last week's post that we were looking for new adventures since all we do now is eat... This would be one of those times, we just ate to our little heart's delight! Sushi again!! But this time we even added a little filet from the ol' hibachi grill. This meal also made my heart happy, but not in a heart healthy way. Oh well, I worked out this week - it probably cancelled it out, right?!


FRIDAY:Raising Cane's Chicken
Friday Brandon picked me up from work and we headed to Quartz Mountains in western Oklahoma. Since we were in a rush we had to eat more fast food... Cane's again!! I've never eaten the same thing multiple times in a week without kind of feeling "over it" but this was definitely not the case this week - I could go for some sushi or Cane's again, like right now!! We were so fortunate to get to drive straight into this beautiful sunset for almost an entire hour... it kept getting better and better and it definitely made our little road trip extra enjoyable!

SATURDAY:Residency Retreat
We spent our weekend at a retreat hosted by Brandon's residency... I'll tell you all about it tomorrow! But they fed us all weekend and the food was really good!! You'll have to wait on those pictures until tomorrow!

SUNDAY:Genghis Grill
We got back Friday evening and Brandon's mom offered to take us to Genghis Grill. If you haven't ever been to a Genghis Grill, you are definitely missing out. Basically you get an empty bowl and then you go through a buffet of raw meat (Sounds gross but it's isn't I promise), veggies, fruit, etc. Then you pick your spices and your sauces and then they cook it for you... It's a lot like hibachi except you can have as much as you can fit into the bowl!! It isn't weighed like at the yogurt places, it's just $10 regardless of how much you stuff in there! Brandon's mom so sweetly went and rescued our dog, Rylee for the weekend and then bought our dinner! What a great mother-in-law?! She always takes really good care of us, and we are very appreciative of her kindness and generosity!

So there you go, no recipe because I was way too busy stuffing my face all week, to slow down and actually cook! I promise there will be something yummy next week!!

Oh, and the good news!!! Meeting My Match Part III is going to happen this Wednesday! Get excited!! If you missed the first two parts of our sweet little love story you can find Part I here and Part II here!



Also, want to see something hi-larious?! Check out this video of our sweet niece Blake! Is that not the funniest face ever? Love that little munchkin!

Be Blessed!
Raegan

Friday, January 27, 2012

Confession: Sometimes I Can Be A Little Random

Ok, this is probably past the "little" random line, but this blog is all about telling all the frilly little details so here goes...

I must confess...

Last Sunday, after church...

I searched for hidden treasure.

I am a little embarrassed,
and I wish it was a joke,
but it isn't... 

I did it.

And you know what?



It was really fun!

Ok, before I go on my random rampage, let me explain myself a bit. I didn't like put a patch on my eye and purchase a parrot or anything... I went geocaching. I know what you're thinking - geo-what? (It's pronounced geo-cashing)

Searching for our first cache around a bank sign.
I didn't take any pictures from looking in the parks, too awkward!

According to the Geocaching website:
 "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location."

After finding our first cache! Hidden in a mini-M&M container that
was covered in camo duct tape... It was the windiest day ever (hence my crazy hair)!

In other words, it's like easter egg hunting for adults! Basically, you register for free on the website and then type in where you are. The website will generate a list of hidden "caches" (aka treasure) and using your map on your cell phone you go to the location and try to find the hidden container! Sometimes the containers are big (think bucket), other times they are super small (think bullet... for a gun, not the mini-blender). It was much more difficult than I expected!

Every cache has a log in it where everyone writes their team name and date on which it was found!
Why? Why in the world did I go hunt for hidden treasure? Good question. Here's the back story... Brandon and I love to take on adventures with our partners in crime - his brother and sister-in-law. They are a ton of fun and always up for anything! We love to rock climb, play tennis (or attempt to play tennis), go to the driving range, ski at the lake... anything to keep us busy and outdoors! But now they are about three months away from bringing our little nephew (!) into the world, so our outdoor adventures have been put on hold. And while we still love to hang out with them, and we've all become very good eaters (we have to show soon-to-be Momma, she's not in this alone!), we all miss going on our little adventures! Enter GEOCACHING...

The cache hidden in the tree had lots of random stuff with it!
This find was especially fun because the clues taught us history about the city where B grew up.

Brandon and I went on a little trial run in a park near our house... just to make sure geocaching wasn't too nerdy or random or just straight up weird. Well, let's just say, we didn't find the cache AND I'm pretty positive there were a few moms at the park that thought we were creepy pedifiles. In our defense the clue said that the cache was hidden in a "nice place to sit and watch." So we assumed it was hidden on the park benches that circled the playground equipment. We walked around to each one and checked them out... although to an attentive mother it probably appeared that we were vultures circling their children. Needless to say, I finally realized how creepy we looked and insisted that we leave.

The teeny-tiny cache that we found in a bird house hanging from a tree!

We decided that, despite our first failure, we should at least give it a try with B's brother and sister-in-law, so after church we started on our first quest. Yet again we were the park creepers but this time we noticed that we weren't the only one creeping around! We ended up talking to a couple and their little boy who were geocaching as well. They gave us some good hints and we all went on our way. We ended up finding three caches in about two hours - we found one behind a bank sign at a large intersection, one in a bird house behind a church and the final one wired to a tree at a deserted train depot. Randomly, we also found a lady's wallet in a field... It had her drivers license, nursing license, checks and credit cards still in it and one of the checks had been written just five days earlier. So, our good deed for that week was returning it to the lady. Turns out her wallet had been stolen and she was so happy to get some of her things back! Although she did look at Brandon's brother a little weird when he explained that we had been searching for hidden treasure when we came across it! Awk-ward.

Bottom line, we had fun and even though it was kind of random, we'll probably do it again! I think it would be a great little adventure to try with kids... who doesn't like to look for hidden treasure?! We always find it interesting to try new things and we enjoyed the fact that whether we are at home in Oklahoma City or backpacking through Switzerland, there will be a hidden cache nearby!! Kind of cool! What random adventures have you been on lately? Any suggestions for things the four of us should try to stay busy and active until Baby Nephew arrives? Please share!

Hope you have a great weekend!
Be Blessed!
Raegan

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If This Blog Were An Outfit...

One of the most difficult things about writing a daily blog can be thinking of what to write about. There are days when this isn't a problem at all - I've seen/heard something that I feel strongly about and want to express my opinions, or I have a good story to tell, or I just need to brag on my cute little husband! Then there are days when I've got nothing, zero, zilch. On those days I either don't write anything at all or look to the never ending source of inspiration - other blogs!! I read about twenty blogs daily and one of my favorites is written by a fellow OU alumnae, Samantha! Her blog, The Peak of Tres Chic, is exactly that - super chic! Of all the blogs I read, The Peak of Tres Chic, is my go-to for my daily dose of fashion! And it's not just fashion trends in clothing, but also home decor!! Can it get better than that?!

So, now that you and Samantha have been appropriately introduced, let me just tell you about a post she did this week! On Monday, The Peak of Tres Chic featured this super fun idea: If This Blog Were An Outfit. Samantha decked her post out in super fun, ultra trendy clothing that pretty much summed up the "look" of her blog! I thought it was wonderful and fun... and it got me thinking... If Frilly Little Details were an outfit, what would she wear?! Well, it'd depend on the day! Soooo, here's what this blog would wear if it were an outfit...

On a game day:
Got our crimson with a touch of cream... a little leopard is required!

On a summer day:
Short shorts and wedges are a must... along with a big handbag!


On a night on the town:
The perfect little black dress...



On a day in her hometown:
With jeans and boots, of course!



On a work day:
Vintage inspired dress, hat is required!



On a party night:
It's got the "frilly" and "little" parts covered!




On a date with her hubby:
Denim and heels, can't go wrong!



On a cold day:
She'd probably avoid the yellow, she prefers green!



On a day when she feels like doing exactly what she wants
and pleasing nobody but herself:
A touch of country and a whole bunch of frilly!


Wasn't that fun?! Go check out The Peak of Tres Chic!! Thanks Samantha for the inspiration!



Be Blessed!
Raegan

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hate Mail From Cheerleaders

Considering my love for cheerleading (Yes, I know, I'm 27... it's time to move on... Not. Ready. Yet.), you would think I would be anti-Rick Reilly. He did name one of his books Hate Mail From Cheerleaders after all.


The story behind the title is told in the first few pages of the book...
Well, when I first started writing the Sports Illustrated column every week, I did one on cheerleading. I said, "Cheerleading's not a sport! There are 10 or 11 sports for girls at every high school. If you want to play a sport, get in between the lines and play a real sport! But wearing a circle skirt and a tight sweater and facing away from the field going, '2-4-6-8' is not a sport." Well, this went over like anthrax brownies. We broke a record for hate mail on it, but hate mail from cheerleaders really isn't bad at all. It's sort of like getting pelted with rolls of scented Charmin. It's always on pastel paper and usually includes a picture of the squad. And they write, "I hope you die" with a little heart over the "i". His words, not mine. I may or may not have been one of the cheerleaders that wrote him...

Now ladies, don't stop reading just because this is a post about sports because I'm about to teach you a very important lesson! My father taught me this little nuggets of wisdom when I was in elementary school and it has come in super handy... Picture this:

My dad and I are sitting on the bar stools in the kitchen and he starts drawing X's and O's all over a piece of paper. I'm wearing a very big hair bow. (That part is just fyi, not really significant to the story)

I'm thinking tic-tac-toe is about start and I'm pumped.

I readjust in the seat so that I can sit on my knees, I have to make sure I can see everything so dad doesn't cheat (And some people wonder where I get my competitive nature...).

Just as I'm about to write "Raegan - Daddy - Cat" he tells me this isn't a game, this is something very important he wants to teach me.

I'm listening but I'm a little disappointed about the tic-tac-toe.

Class begins.

"Raegan, Boys (Note I was in elementary school at the time of this lesson... now substitute the word "men." If you are confused, yes, there is a difference) love girls who can talk sports. You don't have to know every statistic, team, or player, you just need a few chunks of info and then enough wisdom to keep your mouth shut."

He goes on to teach me about the X's and O's. 

Now, 20 years later, after trying this method time and time again and finding that it works every stinking time, I have come to this conclusion: My father is a genius.

My dad and I playing air hockey in Poland... Confession: He won.

This is where Rick Reilly comes in... Whether you are a sports fan or not, everyone will agree that ol' Rick is HI-LARIOUS. His writing is witty and typically a little back-handed. His sarcasm comes through his typed out words with perfect delivery. Occasionally he'll write about a sports character I'm not familiar with (typically a golfer... because who cares to learn their names?) and even though I don't have a flippin' clue who he is talking about, I'll still be laughing when I'm done AND I'll know just enough to be able to comment on a hot sports topic and then shut my mouth. Trust me, this method works... Husbands love it, Boyfriends think it's awesome, Want-to-be-Boyfriends fall for it! I promise, you'll thank me for this later...

In my line of work, people expect us to know everything about every sport - pro, college, even high school! And as much as I love to watch Sports Center, I'm not tuning in every single night, nor do I have the app on my phone (although I probably should) so I still lean on the old method. Skim the headlines, watch the news and always read Rick Reilly. When someone brings up something I don't know anything about, I'll say, "Did you see ___________? What are your thoughts on that?" and then shut your mouth. Now don't get lazy, read the whole article because you might have to throw a comment in here and there, but typically the guy (who actually DOES know all about every statistic, team and player) will take over the conversation and you're good to go! Works like a charm!


So with the Super Bowl right around the corner... You should probably read this: Eli Manning Up. Eli and the Giants will be going head to head with the New England Patriots on February 5th, and now you're game day ready.


Or, if you were only a football fan when Tim Tebow was playing, you'll LOVE this: Believing in Tim Tebow. I don't care who you, there is no denying that Tebow is a genuinely good guy.


Or, if you could totally care less about sports, but love a feel-good story (think Extreme Home Makeover or maybe a good Lifetime Movie), well Rick covers those too. Check this one out: The Parade of Life. It's about a float in the Rose Bowl Parade dedicated to organ donors. Good ol' tear jerker!


Rick Reilly stories are wonderful - he'll make you hate your All-Star hero and fall in love with some bench warmer you've never heard of. He is not afraid to call the punks in sports bullies, but he will also be happy to point out the good guys. He wrote an awesome story on Oklahoma City's own Kevin Durant last February... Kevin and the Copywriter. Good stuff, huh?

So if you want to read more, you can view Rick Reilly's archives on ESPN.com or by clicking here. You should probably bookmark it for future reference. Hope you guys enjoy Rick's work as much as I do! And don't worry, I'll tell my dad you said thank you...

Be Blessed!
Raegan

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recipe Monday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

If that's not a mouth full, I don't know what is! This was my first time to try these although I've been drooling over them on pinterest for months... I must admit upfront that they weren't as spectacular as I had expected, but they were still pretty darn good! They weren't too difficult to make and they only required a moderate amount of ingredients, all of which I already... Winning! Make sure you cool them off really good in the refrigerator because they are extra delicious chilled!


What you're going to need:
CRUST:
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
5 T unsalted butter, melted

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH:
5 T unsalted butter, room temp
1/3 C packed light brown sugar
3 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 C flour
2/3 C chocolate chips

CHEESECAKE FILLING:
10 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/4 C sugar
1 large egg, room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


What you are going to do:

(1) Preheat oven to 325. Line an 9" square baking pan with wax paper and spray with Pam. (Make sure you've got a little wax paper hanging over so you can pull it out easily when you're done)


(2) Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool.


(3) Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and completely combined (it should look like the start of delicious cookie dough). See NOTE at the end of this post where I rave all about the KitchenAid Flex Edge Beater shown in the pic. 


Add the flour and mix at a low speed so you don't cover your kitchen in white powder. Be careful not to over mix or it will get too crumbly (I know this because I did this and had to start step 3 over, oops). Finally, mix in the chocolate chips with a spatula or spoon and then set aside.


(4) In a medium bowl mix together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix on a low speed until just incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter onto the graham cracker crust.


(5) Using your hands, form the cookie dough into small clumps and then kind of flatten them out... cover the cheesecake batter with the dough.


(6) After completely covering the cheesecake with the cookie dough, stick it in the oven for 30 minutes, until the dough is firm and dry to the touch. Also, give the whole pan a little shake and make sure it seems set. Allow the entire pan to cool completely.


(7)Once your pan is completely cool, stick it in the refrigerator overnight or at least for a few hours. The bars are best served chilled (and with just a little chocolate syrup drizzled on top!). Lift the bars out by the overhang and cut into squares! Tada!




**NOTE: Unfortunately KitchenAid isn't paying me to give them a little love, but I will anyway. If you are blessed with a free standing mixer, you MUST get the Flex Edge Beater. I did a quick search online and it looks like Bed, Bath & Beyond's price of $30 is right on. The joy of the flex edge is that it scrapes the side of the bowl as it beats so that you don't have to stop it and wipe down the sides over and over. It's worth every dime, just make sure you purchase the correct size for your mixer! (Got that Ash?)

Hope you guys enjoy this tasty little treat!

Be Blessed,
Raegan

Friday, January 20, 2012

What Language Are You Speaking?

I'm sure by now you've all heard of The Five Love Languages, a book by Gary Chapman that is based on his theory that love is expressed in five different ways or "languages." Just in case you are not familiar with it yet here is the basic break down - Chapman's theory is that if we were aware of what love language is most pleasing to us and what love language the people around us most appreciate then we would be better communicators of our love. The book explains each language and then you take an easy little quiz to determine what your love language is. 



The five love languages are:
(1) Quality Time, Not just time together, but time spent focusing on each other
(2) Words of Affirmation, Verbal appreciation, compliments or encouragement
(3) Gifts, Receiving something that took time and thought, doesn't have to be expensive
(4) Acts of Service, Helping with things such as chores out of love, not obligation
(5) Physical Touch. This ranges from handholding to back rubs to... well... you know...

You can take the quiz here! Do it... you know you want to!

I had skimmed the book years ago but I couldn't even remember which language I was... Thankfully, before Brandon and I got married we received a copy from a church friend and we went to marriage counseling at Life Church and they had us take the quiz again! I was a little surprised to discover that we were both "Quality Time." Now looking back on it, it makes perfect sense - we both have jobs that are demanding of our time (obviously, B's work is much more demanding than mine, but during basketball season I  can work 2 to 3 games a week) so when we get time together, we don't want to waste a single second of it. This also explains why we love to make mini-road trips together... We are always excited about where we are going but sometimes, we are equally excited to be stuck in the car together for a few hours!

Just because you are primarily one type of love language doesn't mean that the others don't matter... My highest score goes to quality time, but then it's a complete tie when it comes to the other four! For example: When we are at church or out to eat, I love for Brandon to put his arm around me. To me this type of physical touch makes me feel that he is proud to be claiming me as his. At the same time, I show Brandon love through acts of service. I love to do things to make B's life easier. I understand that I can't understand his stress from work, nor can I make his work any less stressful... what I can do is make his life at home as stress free as possible. That may mean making sure he never runs out of clean scrubs, or handling all the bills and keeping up with our budget, or trying my best to make sure dinner is at least underway by the time he gets home - regardless of what it requires, I try to take on as much as I can for him. It's not that he isn't capable of washing his own clothes or feeding himself, he did all of that just fine by himself before we were married, I just do it for him because I want him to feel loved, I want him to know that his wife wants to make his life as easy as possible.

Another thing I find interesting is how your love language changes depending upon who you are giving your love to. I think I mainly show Brandon love through acts of service. I tend to give my dad as much quality time as possible. I prefer to show my mom love with gifts, although lately they've been a bit sparse. Little brother, well, he just gets words of sarcasm but I'm pretty sure that's his love language... Outside of those specific people I tend to be a gift giver. I love, love, love to give people presents! I truly believe that when I give someone a gift, they feel my love. The gifts I give aren't necessarily expensive, lots of times I just take them a dessert I've made or something small that I saw while out and about that made me think of them. My thought is that if something made me think of someone or if I took the time to make something for someone, then I've shown them love. Makes sense to me...

But here is the kicker, the part I don't really understand... What happens when one love language starts interfering with another? What happens when I'm trying so hard to show Brandon love through acts of service that I neglect the quality time he really wants? Ok, maybe that one's too easy because clearly I should put down the laundry and make room for a little QT... but what about when I feel like I should give my parents a little love, but doing so would require hitting the road and leaving B at home? What happens when we have babies, there's no way they don't interfere with your quality time! (And I'm just asking for curiousity sake, we aren't pregnant and we aren't adopting, I just like to think ahead.) Ol' Chapman should have written a Part II...

So, let me know your thoughts, suggestions, words of wisdom. Don't be afraid to make a comment, comments make me happy! I think comments fall under words of affirmation and gifts, it's like double love! And while you're at it, please share what your love language is... Were you surprised? What love language do you speak when giving?


Be Blessed!
Raegan

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lyndsey's Lingerie...

Interesting title, I know. This blog is getting more and more scandalous by the day - yesterday I got everyone thinking we were adopting (In case you are still confused, no, we aren't planning to adopt... I'm just starting to learn adoption law so I can help OTHER PEOPLE adopt. See this post for ALL the details!) and today I'm talking about Lyndsey's lingerie!

Craaaa-zy!

Actually, I'm just bringing you pictures from Lyndsey's lingerie shower... I just couldn't think of a creative title, sorry.  The reason I'm sharing this little party is because I am ALWAYS on the hunt for shower ideas, designs and suggestions, so even though this actually took place in October of 2010, my theory is that it's never too late to look at fun pictures! Hopefully, you feel the same!

So, let me give you the back story on Lyndsey and Casey! To make a really long (yet super cool) story short, my cousin Callie became best friends with Lyndsey during college and Lynds, being from Iowa, came home with Callie a lot! About the time of their college graduation, when Lyndsey was about to head off into the wild blue yonder, Callie's brother Casey decided that (even though she was a Hawkeyes fan) ol' Lyndsey was pretty alright, so he started flirting with her. About 6 months later, Lyndsey began to feel sorry for him and so she came to the conclusion that Casey was pretty decent and they should get married. So a year or two later, they did! Okay, that's not exactly how the story goes but it's pretty close... in real life it was way more mushy than that.

Lyndsey & Callie - Best friends from college and now sister-in-laws
One of the reasons their story is so cool is that while Casey and Lyndsey were dating, Lyndsey told Callie that she wished there was some way that she could repay Callie for introducing her to her future husband...  then it came to her! She told Callie that she just HAD to meet Lyndsey's high school best friend, Levi. While sitting in the living room Lynds called him and told him that he should talk to Callie, he'd thank her someday, and handed Callie the phone... the rest was history! Callie and Levi were married the following April (You'll get pictures from their beautiful wedding soon!)... Casey and Lyndsey tied the knot six months later! If that's not the coolest story ever, I don't know what is!

So, as of October 2010, Lyndsey is one of my very dear cousins! Casey couldn't have picked a more perfect person to fit into our family! We adore her despite the fact that she won't stop talking about the Iowa Hawkeyes (Well, it's slowed down a little bit after OU beat them). Lynds and I have become wonderful friends the past few years and I am always so excited to get to head home to spend time with her and Callie. We both love antiques, sports and being outdoors so we always have lots to talk about! Lyndsey is truly one of the most kind-hearted, sweet girls I know and I'm so thankful to be able to call her family, as well as friend!


Now, back to the shower! Sorry, got sidetracked. Shocking, I know! Like I said before, Lyndsey is from Iowa so it wasn't reasonable for her hometown friends, sister and mom to make multiple trips to Oklahoma for showers so Callie and I decided to throw her a lingerie shower the night before dress rehearsal when they would already be in town. There aren't exactly a lot of venues in our small town so we decided to have a woodsy lingerie shower, not your typical pink frills, and host it at my parent's lodge. Lucky for us, the Lodge is already full of horns, hides and lots of woodsy decor so we didn't have to do much decorating... The little shin-dig turned out so adorable that I just had to share the pictures! (I'll be showing off pictures from her pretty fall wedding later, I promise!)


The main display featured a leopard tablecloth covered in lots  of yummy food! We glazed some pumpkins to add a fall feel and used vintage wooden boxes, buckets and bowls to display the food. I picked up a fun fall arrangement from my favorite florist in OKC, Trochtas, that had kale cabbage and sunflowers... but I messed it up on the drive home so ignore the fact that when I took these pictures, I hadn't fixed it yet. I made the "SOON 2 BE MRS SULLIVAN" banner using cardstock, burlap and my mom's sweet sewing skills.


Up the wooden staircase we hung twine with leaves and clothes pins. As Lyndsey opened her gift they were pinned on the clothes line! I got carried away in hosting and failed to take a picture of the line covered in lingerie, but trust me it was cute! It was an easy way to display each gift and fun to be able to see them all lined up!



We served a mini-dinner, it had all the ingredients of a full dinner but we served everything in mini-portions! Our menu included: cornbread muffins, beans and ham, corn on the cob, bacon cheese fries, fruit skewers, cheese burger sliders and cinnamon rolls or cookies for dessert!



Callie and I served the beans and ham in little coffee cups and we used skewers to stick the mini-corn on the cobs down in a moss covered block.




We made the sliders and then used short skewers to hold them together, as well as, to add the garnishes to the top... Being a picky eater, I hate when my burger comes covered in stuff that I don't want, this was an easy solution allowing anyone to pick off what they didn't want and it added a fun pop of color!


Lyndsey received tons of wonderful things and we all had such a fun time watching her open presents! It's always fun to get to put on an exciting little event for a girl you love and adore!


Be Blessed!
Raegan

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Playing A Little Catch Up

I was thinking about my 34 previous posts and I decided that a few things needed to be followed up on... I mean, obviously there are more parts coming to a lot of posts (like Meeting My Match), but there are a few things that can be summarized in a paragraph instead of needing an entire post. So here goes:


First off, thank you mother for asking questions... all the rest of you, thanks for NOT asking questions so it'd look like my mom is the only one reading my blog (This may be exactly what is happening, but I really hope not) I appreciate you all for keeping me humble. (Yes, that is sarcasm and yes, I hope you feel bad.) Anyway, since my mother was the only one who asked additional questions, I will answer them all... even the ones she asked as a joke.

How do you feel about: list 5 things that make your Mom the best. (ok so I might be pushing it with 5 ---make it 3).
No worries mom, I think I can probably swing 5... Here goes:
     #1.   My mom's priorities were always (1) Jesus, (2) my dad, (3) Zac and me, (4) our extended family, (5) our friends... Notice who isn't in the top 5... herself. She has always been the most selfless person I know.
     #2. My momma can cook and she always makes desserts because she knows that's my favorite part! (Funny side note: I've been getting recipe requests via Facebook from my high school friends! So far nobody has asked for a single one of MY recipes, only my moms... I've gotten quite a few for her famous cookies, but the majority ask for her chicken and dumplings. One of my best buddies literally wrote "Her chicken and dumplings are served in Heaven." He's probably right...)
     #3. My little brother would say my mom is very good at writing papers. If you asked how he knew that, he'd plead the Fifth...
     #4. My mom always pushed me (Before you go call DHS, I don't mean physically). Regardless of what I was doing, when I was at the point where I thought, "Well that's all I've got" she would push me to give a little more. Whether it was on the tumbling mats or the gym floor, in the classroom or in church - my mom has always had more faith in me than even I did. It's always been reassuring to know that whatever I try, I know my mom thinks I can do it and do it well.
     #5. My mom showed me exactly what a wife is supposed to be. I have always known that my dad was the boss, my mom's opinion definitely mattered, but dad made the final call (with the single exception of a puppy that my dad said no to but mom gave the green light on... Dad still isn't over it and it's been 9 years). My mom showed me that it's really important to make your husband look good - whether it's reminding him to call someone on their birthday or softly pointing out something that he could do better - my mom has made my dad look good for over 30 years now and she has never, not once, wanted a bit of the credit. My mom taught me that insisting your family sits down for dinner together, without the tv on, is a really good thing. My mom explained to me that the best thing I can do for Brandon is pray for him daily. My mom taught me that she tries extra hard to show my dad that she loves him when he deserves it the least because that's when he needs it the most. Thanks Mom.

Ok. Maybe this one is more believable. What is the most significant thing you learned in 2011?
Tough one! The most significant thing I learned... I think, when reflecting back on 2011 in the years to come, I will see this year as the year when I truly realized how amazing my family is. I've always known I had a very special group of people that happened to share the same last name as me, but I think this year revealed to me how incredibly awesome my family really is. Growing up most kids had their parents, and maybe grandparents, in the stands cheering for them - not us! Any one of my cousins can attest that whatever we participated in (cheer, basketball, football, baseball, wrestling, dance, doesn't make a bit of difference) our whole, entire family was there... in full force... yelling a lot. I think I took this for granted as a kid... but this year, I learned how amazingly supportive my family is and now, as an adult, I'm going to try my very best not to take them for granted. A few examples are as follows: I was so happy to get to be at the hospital when Baby Blake was born, and apparently I wasn't the only one! All our aunts/uncles were there (8 total) and the majority of the cousins came (13 total) and of course our grandma was there (1)... that adds up to 22 people in the waiting room all for one little tiny baby. When Blake sees those pictures years from now, she'll know without a shadow of a doubt that she was loved by a lot of people literally since the second she was born. Then a few days later, Callie got really sick and had to be put in ICU for a day or two... my family doesn't just roll out on the fun stuff, approximately 17 people sat in the waiting room that day too. When my dad had unexpected surgery this year, I sent a group text while driving to the hospital and by the time I got there the crowd was already starting to assemble... and they don't just drop in, they are there for the long haul. I had to get back to OKC, but one family member or another was with my dad 24 hours a day for almost 4 days. The week leading up to my wedding, I had one GIANT to-do list. My family was "all hands on deck." My older cousin Casey called me first thing every morning to ask what he and Levi could do for me that day. The girls, Callie and Lyndsey, did everything from assembling invitations and programs to finishing up projects that I ran out of time on. The morning of the wedding my Uncle Neal was at the Ranch an hour before me wiping down the pews from the rain the night before. My Aunt Suzanne gave me treasures from her home to decorate with and not just the ones she wasn't that crazy about, she told me I could borrow anything I wanted and she meant it. On my wedding day EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF MY FAMILY - from my 86 year old grandma to my 3 year old niece Zoe - worked to make our day perfect. (Little Z helped carry table cloths to each table.) 2011 made me realize how incredibly blessed I am to have a family that will be right by side regardless of if it's a happy time or a hard time. I will try my best to never take their love for granted.

Or. What one regret do you have regarding 2011? If you could have "do-overs" for one day of 2011 what would you change and why?
I wish with my whole entire heart that I had coughed up the money to video our wedding. At the time, it was something that was just yet another big expense and I really didn't think I would ever watch it more than once... Oh, how I regret that decision! I so wish I could go back and watch that day over and over again. I wish I could hear the toasts - they were so wonderful and heartfelt! But that is the ONLY thing about last year that I'd do differently, 2011 was very, very good to me.


Don't worry, I didn't forget to post the updated pictures of our new and improved bedroom... It's just that it's still a work in progress! We have everything painted and glazed with the exception of ONE wall! It's just lacking that last coat of glaze and it would have been finished with other three walls but we ran out of glaze... and we bought all that the two local Lowe's had! They promise that it should be back in stock this week so hopefully we'll finish it up in the next few days! I've been on the hunt for new lamps for our bedside tables and a few things to hang on the walls! I've been shopping away but just not having much luck! Cross your fingers for me...


I thought I'd give you a quick report on how those New Year's Resolutions are holding up. We are over two weeks in folks!! Keep up the good work! Or try harder!.. depending on which type of encouragement you need!

1. Work out at least three times a week
So far so good on this one, one week I even got 4 work outs in there!! Woohoo for setting the bar relatively low and then topping it.

2. Cut out pop
Well, I'm not going to lie, this one is almost like a gimme. I've only wanted a pop two times so far and both times I just had to remember that I had a new rule and that was that. So yay for self-control, even if it didn't require much!

3. Keep a daily prayer journal Read through the ENTIRE Bible by reading some each day
As much as I hate to admit it, this has been the toughest one for me. It's my own fault for starting it off all wrong. I refused to write until I had a pretty journal to write in (Just in case someday it would turn into a family heirloom, you know? Sadly, I'm serious. I think about these things.) and I didn't find the perfect pretty journal until the 10th... That'll definitely mess with your resolution. BUT while in the hunt for the perfect pretty journal I decided to alter my resolution a bit to make it more attainable while still accomplishing the bigger overall objective - spend more time daily with Christ. So, using YouVersion (a free App that is AWESOME) I signed myself up for a plan to read through the entire Bible in a year. It tells me what to read each day and has a place for me to check it off (because checking things off a list makes me feel good about myself) as I go. I'm really enjoying this and it's given me quite a refresher on a few books of the Bible I tend to skip.

Also, I would really encourage everyone to look into doing a reading program using YouVersion. The app is completely free and you can choose from a variety of different plans - devotional, topical, youth, partial Bible or whole Bible. Each plan has a ton of different options... I choose CCV: The Bible in ONE Year. With this plan each week day I get a reading from the New AND Old Testament, as well as Psalms or Proverbs. There are no readings on the weekends to allow you to catch up or get ahead. The readings take me about 10 minutes total and I have been very surprised how many new things I've noticed about stories I thought I knew very well. For example, apparently my knowledge on Abram/Abraham was only at the children's Sunday School level and I didn't even realize it. I knew the basic story and plot line and I just assumed that was all the details that were given. Now, reading over the life story of Abraham and Sarah I have learned so much that I didn't even know I was missing!

4. One random act of kindness each week

This was the resolution B and I made together and we've been doing pretty good! I think I should have defined "act of kindness" a little more in depth. I mean what's the difference, in just being above normal nice and an act of kindness? Err, should have re-read my own Resolution rules. Nevertheless, Brandon and I have gone out of our way to be EXTRA kind to someone each week and it's definitely a resolution that has been rewarding!


On the adoption front... I'm mid-read on this nice, big book of forms and I'm really enjoying learning more about the process! I've ask my boss if he would give me the green light to possibly miss a few mornings work to (hopefully soon) attend some court dates and he was so very encouraging. Have I mention that I work with some really awesome people?! This weekend Brandon and I are going to dinner with his Aunt's family and hopefully we can get a few dates set for me to do a little shadowing... She very sweetly offered some before Christmas but we've been a bit short staffed at the office so I had to decline, but now we are back in full swing so I'm ready to get this show on the road! I'm so excited to see what God has up his sleeve for me in this new adventure and I'm so, so, so appreciative of all your kind words, love, support and prayers. Thanks gang!



Last, but definitely not least... Our little vacation! After MUCH deliberation we have decided to visit Austria and Switzerland in late May! We could not be more excited!! Now, if we can just figure out how to cash in our frequent flier miles (everybody say a little prayer!). I've already picked up a few books - Rick Steve's and Lonely Planet! Let the research begin!! If you've been or know of someone that's been or have seen or read about somewhere awesome that we just shouldn't miss PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE shoot me an email or post a comment or write on my facebook! The majority of my favorite places in the world were discovered simply because someone told me I should make sure to check them out.



Hope each and every one of you are having an awesome day! If you have any questions or if I didn't update something that you've been waiting to hear about, feel free to contact me! Thanks so much for reading my frilly little blog! You all bring me great joy!

Be Blessed!
Raegan


Monday, January 16, 2012

Recipe Monday: Poppyseed Chicken

Happy Martin Luther King Day everyone! I am in awe of this great American hero. Dr. King was a man of incredible wisdom and extreme courage during such an ugly and awful time in our country's history. I hope everyone enjoys their day off work and spends a little of their free time spreading some good in their community. 




"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, 
but by the content of their character."

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, 
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, 
or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. 
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 
here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. 
He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."  

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."


I've decided to start a weekly post - RECIPE MONDAYS! This way I can bring you something new and yummy to try at the start of each and every week. I don't know about you all, but Brandon and I plan a week long menu every Sunday night. That way I can go to the grocery store with a list of exactly what I need (ie save a little money and don't get halfway into a recipe before realizing I'm missing something) and I don't have to come home and try to quickly figure out what's for dinner! Of course, we don't stick to it perfectly... sometimes we eat out unexpectedly or swap days around to meet time constraints, but having a plan makes my life soooo MUCH easier! You should definitely give it a try if you aren't doing this already.

So for the first RECIPE MONDAY... a can't-live-without favorite at our house:

POPPY SEED CHICKEN

I was introduced to Poppy Seed Chicken while living at the Pi Phi house in college - this was definitely a dinner nobody missed! Everyone looked forward to Poppy Seed Chicken night!! I got the recipe from our awesome cook, Steve. We worked on quite a few party menus together and he was so great! I was always one of the first ones down for breakfast and even at 6am, he was wearing a huge smile. After two years of working on Sorority Row, he had his fill of picky-eating girls and left us for a dude ranch (can't say I blame him!).  Cowboy Steve, I don't have a clue where you are and I'm positive you aren't reading my blog, but thanks for the recipe! You were one cool dude!


What you're going to need:
4-5 C Chopped, Cooked Chicken**
1 C (8oz) Sour Cream
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
1 Can Condensed Cream of Chicken
1 1/2 C Crushed Round Buttery Crackers 
        If you use the fresh stacks, 3 packages is perfect!
1/2 C Butter, melted

*Serving size: 4, but don't expect left overs! This recipe is so delicious B and I pretty much starve ourselves all day so we can eat as much as we'd like!! I actually made two pans of this last week so we'd have some for lunches. You're going to love it!!

**The details on the Chopped, Cooked Chicken:
First off, this recipe fills up a 9x13 pan perfectly... 4-5 cups is almost exactly 2 large chicken breasts or 3 small ones. You can just cook the chicken on the stove and then chop it up and it'll work just fine, but I think the recipe is WAYYY better if you marinate the chicken and then grill it! It takes minimal effort and trust me, it's worth it!


I marinated my chicken by just sticking the breasts in a big ziplock and shaking in quite a bit of Mesquite Chicken Seasoning, Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning, and a bunch of Tony Cachere's Creole (Told you, I use this stuff on EVERYTHING!!). Then I put about 2 or 3 dashes of Lite Soy Sauce and about half a bottle of Italian Dressing (however much it takes to cover all the chicken). Then I just shake it up really good and stick it in the fridge for a few hours. You can use whatever spices you want, these are just a few of my favorites!

What you're going to do:

(1) Preheat the oven to 350


(2) Place the chopped chicken in a 9x13 pan.


(3) In a medium bowl stir together cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Pour over chicken and spread evenly.


(4) In a separate bowl, stir together the crushed crackers, poppy seeds and melted butter.


(5) Sprinkle over chicken and sauce.


(6) Bake for 30 minutes until top is browned and sauce is bubbly. And then dive right in... Enjoy!


Oh man, I can't wait until you try this one... So, so yummy!! Hope you all have a great work-free day!

Be Blessed!
Raegan