July 31, 2009

Happy Friday!!

To everything there is a season, 
and a time to every purpose under heaven.
- Eccles 3:1

Have a great weekend!!

July 30, 2009

Forever Young

Today Britt is 13,870 days old!!
(give or take a few days for leap year)

For years I use to carry a copy of this poem in my bible. I prayed hard to find a good man, and believe you me I have waited a long time so many prayers were said. Britt, God has answered my prayers and I am so blessed to know you and call you mine. We are so perfect together, and I hope to spend 20,000 more days with you celebrating your life. Winnie the Pooh said it best when he told Christopher Robin: "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I will never have to live without you." I can not imagine my life anymore without you in it, all of my tomorrows need to have you near. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby!!!

A Man of Noble Character

A man of noble character, Who can find?
His worth is far more than even solid gold
He is so tall when he is on his knees, he reaches all the way to heaven.
This my friend, is a man of faith, a man of faith and prayer that is.
He is a leader through the example of hard work, perseverance, integrity,
loyalty, and selflessness that he shows wherever he goes.
He provides and protects for those in his life.
He is not afraid of communication for he knows and
understands it is essential to all relationships.
He lives his life with an extra dosage of peace,
patience, and self-control to help him solve any problem.
He is a man of contentment, but he is not afraid to take risk.
He has what it takes because the Lord is his strength.
I love this man, who makes me laugh to have a good time.
His smile melts my heart as I gaze into his eyes and think,
how lucky I am to have found this noble man.

Sorry I could not help myself, the pictures are to cute.

Who couldn't love a face like this? Simply Irresistible!!

July 28, 2009

Cold Turkey

Last night we had a viewing of the season finale of the Bachelorette at Britt's house. Since all of our friends are training for the the Cajun Man Triathlon in September, I decided to go the healthy route and cook up some turkey burgers and baked sweet potato fries. You know me, only the best for our friends, and who knows better than the combination of Oprah and Donald Trump. Oprah found this new favorite food when she tried a turkey burger at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's private club in Palm Beach. "I believe [it] may be the best turkey burger in the entire world," she says. Those same words have escaped the lips of everyone who has eaten this burger, or as Amy from Good-Bye 20's...Hello Botox! put it "I am so sad that my burger is gone." People I would not steer you wrong - TRY IT!!!

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger

1/4 cup onion tops
1/4 cup celery finely chopped
1/4 cup onions finely chopped
3 green apples, peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chipotle Tabasco
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney, pureed

Saute onion tops, celery, onions and apples in the oil until tender. Set aside and let cool. Mix the turkey with sauteed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape the mixture into 8 burgers. A very important step here is to refrigerate the patties for a couple of hours so that the burgers become firm and do not fall apart. Place on grill and cook each side for about 10 minutes until the burger is thoroughly cooked. Serve with Mar-a-Lago pear chutney.


1 pear, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Major Grey's Chutney

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients above and bake for 10 minutes. Cool and serve with burgers.

Recipe adapted from Jeff O'Neill, executive chef, Mar-a-Lago Club

July 27, 2009

Some Girls Have all the Luck

O no you didn't - my cousin Rachel invited me to see Rod Stewart live in concert Friday night. I am always hesitant about attending concerts because I don't care much for large crowds of strange people stuffed in a warm building with all the lights turned off. Actually just typing that made my palms sweaty and now I am feel claustrophobic.  Hold on................ No really, I love music and for the most part I can muster up the courage to put that fear behind me to enjoy the show. But wait America, I have found the answer to my dilemma: The Woodlands Pavilion. It is an outdoor amphitheater!!! We got to the venue early, spread our blanket on the lawn, and plopped our little hiney right in the front on the grass. The weather was beautiful with a cool breeze in the air, and we both enjoyed a rather pleasant plastic glass of red wine. Rod rocked the stage and he played all his classic music, and sorry but we did sing right along with him.

We had a jam packed weekend, we stayed at Rachel's brother house in Houston. We slept late Saturday morning from the long concert and woke up to Justin cooking breakfast for us with a pot of fresh coffee on. We did some shopping after breakfast, and laid out by the pool when we got back. Justin also had Astro/Mets tickets lined up for us on Saturday night. The Astros lost 10-1, but it was worth the money seeing Ivan Rodriguez (I-Rod) warm up right next to us before the game!!!   

We ended the weekend attending the Cirque du Soleil Saltimbanco in the Toyota Center Sunday afternoon. Britt and I had seen the Love/Beatles show in Vegas and we fell in love with the whole idea, so I was super excited to see another show. Saltimbanco did not disappoint!! I found a clip on YouTube to give you a little preview of what we saw. It is quite amazing to see live, and I had to constantly remind myself to blink. 

July 23, 2009

My Thailand Travels

Alright everyone, today we are going to take a little trip down memory lane. Your final destination will be Chiang Mai, Thailand and the surrounding Hill Tribes. Many happenings this week reminded me of this amazing place that I fell in love. Friday, we attended a wedding and I got to visit with the couple that started the mission company I worked with. Then, I made a little trip to my favorite (actually only) Asian grocery store in town. I found fresh rambutans, an Asian fruit, and stocked up on many ingredients for my favorite dishes. I introduced Britt to some new recipes this week, some were met with confusion, but everything was eaten. I think the rambutans pushed him over the edge - on the outside they look like red hairy aliens. Finally, last night our big group of friends went to this quaint little Asian restaurant: The Noodle House. It was true authentic asian food, the guys had some spice in their dishes so they were sweating to clean their plates.

OK so back to our destination, the summer of 2003 my dearest friend Kim and I traveled to Chiang Mai. Kim had previously lived in Thailand for 2 years and attended language school, so it was a reunion for her and a brand new experience for me. She brushed up on her "you speak Thai" skills, and I hit the Internet making contacts and plans for our trip. We stayed with the same family that Kim had lived with, and worked under the Bishop of the diocese. When we arrived the grandmother, Khoon Yah, was ill and had a bed set up in the living room. Her spirits were down and you could tell she was just tired from life. Kim is the funniest friend I know, and with her witty comments and optimistic attitude Khoon Yah was out of bed, sitting up, and taking us out to eat by the end of our stay. Most of our time there was spent visiting the people, teaching english classes, attending services, and helping the Nuns.

So many stories to tell I can't imagine picking just one: We almost died on top of a mountain because I was insistent on riding an elephant down a hill during monsoon season. I ate stir-fried june bugs which its equivalent to eating popcorn for us. They had a guy almost stop our plane going home so he could give Kim flowers, and confess his love. We sang our class the Happy Days theme song to get them to remember days of the week. We would bring plate lunches to this little lady that lived on the streets, and she made it her mission to find husbands for us so we would not leave. We listened to Khoon Yah singing in the shower in her broken english "I love you, you love me." All the late night trips Lu Gang would take us on to find a street cart with our favorite desert Roti. I love the custom of taking your shoes off before entering a building; after Mass it was always fun searching for your shoes amongst the piles. And O how I wish I could I forget the 12 hours that we got stuck in the Singapore airport trying to get home.

We left Thailand with sad heavy hearts. Upon leaving Khoon Yah wanted to give me a compliment, Kim translated "You come here skinny and dark, now you leave white and fat, you pretty now." Ahh the culture difference!!! Every other commercial on TV was for skin whitening creams. I told her in America fat and white is not good that I would have to stay in Chiang Mai with her until I was dark and skinny again.

July 20, 2009

Row, Row, Row your boat

We spent Saturday canoeing down the Whiskey Chitto River.  As we drove up to the rental place there was good old Bearcat with his famous tie-dye shirt on directing traffic.  And the not so famous bus was still parked in the back with graffiti writing "canoe naked."  Umm, please don't. I do not think I have the stomach to handle seeing any of you people naked. Rachel and I were in line to pay for our canoe and she whispers "If you have friends from out of town and wanted to scare them you could drop them off in this place."  Yep Rach I agree, it is like a foreign country in Mittie Louisiana, everyone is as good as gold but - well you know. It's always an interesting trip but always a good time.  This year marks our 3rd annual canoe trip with my cousins, and true to tradition Blake tried to dunk everyone in the water, the kids rolled down the sand hill and lodged sand in every crevasse of their bodies, and Holly flipped her canoe.  We beat the monsoon rain heading our way by 5 minutes, and yes if you must know my butt is still sore.

(2008 canoe trip)

July 19, 2009

You quack me up!

It's been a much needed lazy Sunday hanging around at Britt's house. Sigma enjoyed having the company in HER house making us laugh all day. We were walking out the door, late for church, and she was chilled out in Britt's new shoebox. I had to get a snapshot of the cuteness so yes that made us even later. I still can not figure out how she fit her entire fat self in that little box. We also made a trip to the grocery store, and she could not wait for me to unload the case of water bottles so she could submerge herself in the plastic wrapping (she has clinical issues with licking plastic). Most cats sleep all day dreaming of mice and fancy feast; Sigma sleeps all day and dreams of plastic. We even had time to play with mousey!!

July 17, 2009


I saw this cute little poster on Etsy. Very fitting being Friday, and the next few weekends I have lined up are going to be a blast!! My friend is getting married to a great guy tonight, then a canoeing trip with all my first cousins, next friday is the big Rod Stewart concert at the Woodlands, and the next weekend is my honey's birthday bash.  This moment, this little life I live is VERY happy!!! Now if I could just figure out how to fast forward through work, and press play on just the good parts. 

July 14, 2009

It's a Family Tradition

Where do I even begin? We are officially back from Orange Beach. I had 7 hours in the car to start formulating into words our little vacation, and I am still speechless.  So, I guess I will just start at the beginning and let the story unfold.  The GGCC, the GGCC, the GGCC - that's what everyone kept talking about, and I really had no idea what it was, what it meant, or what I was in for.  Sometimes in life you just gotta sit back and enjoy the ride, as hard as that is for me to do I was bound and determined to let go, not plan ahead, not worrying about time frames, and not be in control.  So when Britt's closet friends offered me a ride down to the beach two days before our "official leaving time" I jumped in the car no questions asked. With freshly pedicured toes, I was ready to meet the Greater Gulf Coast Challenge Invitational Vacation head on. Well, the entire DeClouet family welcomed me with open arms and treated me as one of there own. Anyone standing on the outside would think this family tree is full of NUTS and I was ecstatic to be a nut too.  And my favorite part was that no one looked at me funny when I laughed so hard beer flew out of my nose, or when I had 5 jello shots and a bloody mary for breakfast, or when I almost drowned in 1.5 feet of water we call the lazy river. They just laughed with me because for a few days 'we were f-a-m-i-l-y!' 

Here are a few highlights from our trip: 

The famous Jackers: yes people he is a man after my my own heart, and in true fashion he lived up to my vacation motto "you can do what ever you want." Jack wanted a bath in the sink, Jack got a bath in the sink.  Does this kid make the cutest faces in the world? You got your hands full Mike and Amy he is going to be a ladies man!!!

"I tried being good but I got bored"

What would vacation be without a little splish splash and lots of good old natural sunlight.  After a few hot mornings on the golf course the Lazy river was a big hit with the group.  Many hours, many cases of beer, and hundreds of laps were spent floating in the river.  

The heat is on!

"Come on in I think we can fit one more"

Monday morning I decided to put my big girl pants on and support the boyfriend with his FAVORITE past time.  I neatly tucked away my plans of sleeping late and curling my toes in the sand and went with the group to play golf.  Some would say boring, and I tell you nothing is boring with this clan of people.  


"Mike dreaming of miller time on the 1st hole"

 "It's not a hazard guys" 

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."
- Jane Howard

July 09, 2009

Back in the Swim of Things

We are headed to the beach again!!  Going to Orange Beach, Alabama with the DeClouet family and friends for a few days of golf, sand, ocean, beer, karaoke, and laughter. Vacation, vacation, vacation: I could never get tired of you!! I am updating the ipod, icing down the beer and heading out in the morning. Packing the camera so I can share some of the memories with you guys, so stay tuned.

For Thanksgiving last year we rented a beach house in Fort Morgan, Alabama. I had never been to the beach in November, it was to cold to swim but we had an amazing time.  We got some great shots of the sunset, and literally each night was better than the next.  It's just something about the waves or the salty air that just heals your soul.  

“It’s hard for me to put into words why I like the beach so much. 
Everything about it is renewing for me, almost like therapy...Beach Therapy” 
--Amy Dykens

One question before I leave: Are we there yet?

July 08, 2009

Love minus the Love Handles

Surprise, Surprise!!!  Look what I found on my keychain last night as I was leaving Britt's house. 

It is official - we are members of Red's Health Club.  This is a first for me, hard to believe I am 32 and still a Red's virgin.  I have used the enormous facilities with friends and playing tennis for league, but never have I called myself a member. No more. I am not the minority in this red forsaken town anymore, I will pack myself in the meat market and perspire my way into a healthy lifestyle.  
January 2008 I joined a little gym by my house, starting waking up at 5 am five days a week to workout. I ran my first triathlon last year, and actually fulfilled my New Years Resolution. The gym became a way of life and I jumped at many opportunities to do boot camps and classes. Fast forward to January 2009 and I have not seen the break of dawn in 6 months. I met "the one" and spent many late nights and extravagant dinners getting to know him. The end result was love and an additional 10 lbs of fat. So, the coffee break is over, it's time to get back on the saddle, update the shuffle, and dust off the alarm clock. 

All 5am phone calls are welcome!!

July 06, 2009

Forever is a Long Time

It has arrived (insert me jumping for joy)!!!! Limited edition 25”x 38” poster silkscreen printed in pink and florescent red ink from Village / vllg.com:

I know some people will just never get it, but you had me at hello with your pop-art-like design. My only struggle is do I give this to my favorite 4 year old niece who bleeds hot pink, or do I keep it for myself in the hopes that one day I will have a place for it? My niece would love it and her birthday is in a month.  What a special gift, she would know that her Nanny will love her "for like ever." I fell in love with the poster on the cover of domino magazine. It's like wearing your heart on your sleeve, or I guess hanging your heart on the wall. 


Cute as a button fashion designer Jessie Randall in her home. 

Also in love the modern white West Elm desk behind the sofa. 

RIP Domino - I miss you!

July 04, 2009

America the Beautiful

Happy Birthday America!!! God Bless the U.S.A. 

Boom! Boom! Booooommmm! 
What would the 4th be without fireworks? 


July 01, 2009

Mama, I’m coming home

It’s been two years since I bought my very first home, and Dorothy said it best: “There’s no place like home.”  The moment I stepped into the house I knew that she was the one I had been looking for.  I wanted a diamond in the rough, an old house that need some TLC. I wanted to fix things “MY” way on my first time buyers budget.  When we walked into the house it was a disaster, it was being used as a rent house and every room was filled with junk, clothes, computer parts, skate boards, etc. I saw the diamond, and everyone else saw all the rough. I walked out the house drove straight to the realtor’s office and made an offer. After signing my life away, they handed me the keys and the long nights of work began. 

Here is a little taste of the work we did in the master bedroom. These pictures were taken the day I made the offer on the house; you can see my sister standing against the wall with that mortified look of disgust.

Imagination (n.) 1. a creative ability 2.The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality. The ability to confront and deal with a problem creatively. Synonyms: creation, fantasy.

Well, needless to say everything in that room was cleared out, even the carpet was ripped up to reveal the beautiful oak floors underneath. I spend days taking the staples out of the floor, rented a buffing machine, and for $50 had gorgeous real wood floors in my master bedroom.  Mix in a gallon of Ralph Lauren “Prince” paint, a new ceiling fan, a cup of imagination, and the final project is where I lay my sleepy little head…….

There's no place like home. There's no place like home.