Saturday, October 30, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Master Bedroom

A blog that I follow here and there, has been doing a series called "Show Us Your Life:...".  Each week she chooses a different room in her house to feature and others in blog land link up with posts on that room in their home.  I have never participated, but recently we got new master bedroom furniture and I love it so much I want to show it off.  So, here's my own Show Us Your Life: Master Bedroom. 

We were able to purchase the bedroom set thanks to a very generous gift given to us by my sweet grandfather, Poppy, for our wedding.  Yes, it took us almost a year and a half to pick out and purchase a bedroom set.   We looked a couple times early on and almost purchased a set on one occasion, but couldn't quite commit.  When we determined we would be moving we decided to completely put the purchase on hold.  A couple months ago, I got an email from Costco about a furniture sale.  I decided to take a look and when I did, I came across a beautiful set that really fit what I wanted.  It was simple, had classic details, dark wood, and some other very neat features, namely built in storage drawers.  It was top quality, but even with the sale the six piece set was more than I could really spend.  The five piece set was more doable financially, but I was afraid I would always wish I had the chest of drawers that came in the six drawer set.  After agonizing over the decision for a while, I decided to let it go.  Have I ever mentioned that I am indecisive and often times when I do decide I second guess my decision?  Yeah, not so fun.  Well, that's exactly what happened.  So when the same furniture went back on sale recently and I felt like I had to go look at it again, I determined I must really want this set.  But with that decision I made a deal with myself that I would be happy with the five piece set.  After checking with Will, I threw caution to the wind and ordered it.  Ha.  Have you ever heard of such turmoil in picking out furniture? 

It arrived a couple weeks ago, and I could not be more pleased with my decision.  It's lovely and timeless.  Between the under bed storage, the nightstands and the dresser, there is ample storage.  I don't think I'll end up missing the chest.  Another factor contributing to this thought is the size of the furniture and the size of our current room.  The furniture is BIG and our room is not.  It all fits, but just barely.  There is absolutely no way we could have fit the chest in this apartment. 

The size issue is also why I'm going to show you stock photos instead of the actual stuff.  I can't seem to get a good angle and that room doesn't get much natural light.  You'll be able to appreciate it so much more this way. 

So, now that you are completely bored by the lead up to these pictures, here it is:

Sleigh headboard, bun style feet

Two built-in storage drawers
I have several sets of sheets and a couple blankets in these drawers

My nightstand
I'm so glad not to be using a TV tray anymore!

Dresser: All these different drawers are keeping us organized and everything that was in the chest we were using from my home bedroom set fits nicely in here.

Will's nightstand with built in power strip for charging his IPhone and a cute little night light underneath. 

Will didn't have much of an opinion when it came to picking out the furniture.  He wanted me to be happy, such a good husband.  :)   Thankfully, he also loves what I picked. 

One funny thing...because of the built-in storage and almost platform like style, this bed does not require you to use box springs.  But we already had them and decided we would "see" when the furniture arrived.  Well, we quickly "saw" that we would need to get rid of the box springs.  With the box springs, the mattress was about 4ft off the ground.  I needed a step stool to get into bed.  I felt like the Princess and the Pea. 

Thanks to Craigslist we were able to sell the box springs and the metal frame pretty quickly and now we have a little extra money to play with on our next New Orleans trip or for Christmas. 

Thanks, Poppy, for helping us buy our beautiful bedroom set.

Love you.


Saturday, October 23, 2010


I am typically not a bandwagon type of girl, but lately, with all the talk of pumpkin this, pumpkin spice that, I felt the need to try my hand at something pumpkin.  I set out just to attempt a classic pumpkin roll, but when I came home from the store with a 29oz can of, what else but...PUMPKIN, one pumpkin roll turned into a pumpkin roll, a dozen pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and a pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cake.

I was slightly hesitant about the pumpkin roll at first.  The idea of rolling a cake wasn't resulting in images of success in my mind.  I was already formulating back up plans just in case the whole thing stuck to the pan or crumbled to pieces.  Much to my surprise, however, I was successful in rolling a cake.  What's more, I took pictures!

The line up

Ready for the oven

It's in one piece!

Rolling, take 1

The best part

Rolling, take 2


Pumpkin Roll


3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons butter
8 ounces cream cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a jellyroll pan.  Line with greased and floured parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high for five minutes. Gradually add white sugar, pumpkin, and lemon juice. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and ginger. Spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly on top, and press lightly into batter.

3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it springs back when touched. Loosen edges with a knife. Turn out on two dishtowels that have been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll up cake, and let cool for about 20 minutes.

4. To Make Filling: Mix confectioners' sugar, vanilla, butter or margarine, and cream cheese together till smooth.

5. Unroll pumpkin cake when cool, and spread with filling. Reroll, and push aside the dishtowel. Unroll long sheet of waxed paper. Put pumpkin roll on waxed paper. Dust pumpkin roll with powdered sugar. Twist ends of waxed paper like a piece of candy. Put pumpkin roll in refrigerator and chill overnight. Before slicing, dust with powdered sugar. Serve chilled.

Next time, I'll make sure to flip the cake over once more when it comes out of the pan to ensure that the pecans are on the inside of the roll. 

The pumpkin chocolate chip muffins weren't quite as successful.  I think Will gave them a B-.  The texture was a little off.  They were dense, almost more like cupcakes than muffins. 
The cake is pretty good but needs some more moisture, maybe a glaze.  I'll have to work on those some more. 

We've got storms headed our way.  I'm shutting down for the night.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What would fall be without the...

To me, state fairs are just as synonymous with fall as cooler temperatures, falling leaves and pumpkins.  Growing up we were given a day out of school for the expressed purpose of going to the fair.  We have never been big into the rides or games.  There is just something nostalgic and exciting about the atmosphere.  I have many memories of trips to the Mid South Fair in Memphis.  It was through a trip to the fair where we saw some rabbits, that we convinced my mom we needed one as a pet.  It was at a concert at the fair that my mom severely sprained her ankle and had to be driven in a golf cart to our car.  It was at a trip to the fair that I almost cut off the circulation in my mom's arm while riding the double Ferris wheel.  It was at the fair that I won second place in the student art competition.   Of course, I also have plenty of food memories associated with the fair...corn dogs, chicken on a stick, roasted corn, kettle corn, chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick, pineapple whip, funnel cakes...I think I just put on 10lbs thinking about all that food.

But none of the food at the Mid South Fair quite measures up to the selections offered at the State Fair of Texas, aka...

We have been to the State Fair of Texas three times now.  While Will was in seminary in Fort Worth I would go visit for Fall Break and each time one of our activities was to drive to Dallas for the State Fair. 

2006:  We went on Sunday after church.  It was unexpectedly cool and rainy.  I was unprepared for the conditions and had to wear Will's hoodie.  I also tweaked my ankle that day and was walking around in pain most of the time.  This trip we had fried Coca-Cola, corn dogs, and Will had some kind of fried peanut butter and banana, in honor of our hometown boy, Elvis. 

Look at the cute college kids.

2007: We went immediately following Will picking me up from the airport.  The infamous story from this year involves a Nascar style tire changing competition at the car show in which yours truly beat Mr. Got tradition?.  Let me just say, I can operate a pneumatic nut driver.  If you see him, don't ask him about it.  It's still a touchy subject.  :)  This year we also ate, and ate, and ate.  I recall Will had fried guacamole, fried cookie dough, and obviously some corny dogs.  I'm pretty sure I'm leaving something out.

2010: This year we toured the food building, ate free samples, saw the chicken/fowl exhibit (there are some funny looking birds in this world), went to the car show, and the pig races.  Shock of all shocks, we decided to forgo this year's fried specialties (fried beer and fried Frito pie) and we enjoyed a slightly healthier, and definitely tastier, meal at Chipotle (a new found favorite). 

this year's butter sculpture

A good time was had by all.

Until next time,


Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Orleans.. the Background and Trip 1

A year ago, this weekend, Will took me on a getaway to New Orleans.  It was my first trip to "The Big Easy", and "easy" was exactly what we needed at that time.  Things at home were anything but, so the new scenery, cool air, and good food fit the bill.  To literally fit the bill, we stayed at the guest house at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. 

While there, Will expressed the feeling of a call to return to school and pursue his doctoral degree, but assured me it would not be at NOBTS. 

Fast forward about four months, we had hardly unpacked the last of the boxes from the move to our new home, and Will stumbled upon the new Doctor of Musical Arts degree at none other than New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  He was quickly excited by the format of the program (long distance) and the content of the program (hymnology and music ministry).   Next thing I know we're in a race against the clock to turn in his application before the deadline at the end of that month.  This process also included studying for and taking the GRE.  By May, and by God's design, Will had officially been accepted to the DMA program. 

Let me remind you we are now living three times further from New Orleans and three times closer to Fort Worth than we were before.  Will received his MM from Southwestern in Fort Worth and at one time we believed that is where he would return to do his doctoral studies. 

However, the Lord had other plans, and at the beginning of this month, almost a year after our getaway trip, we made the first trip to campus for the in class part of the program.  This was just the first of many trips we will be making to NOLA over the next four or so years. 

I completely support Will in this new adventure.  I am thrilled that he is able to follow through with his dream and the call God has placed on his life.  I know for sure there is no better time than the present.  But, it is not without sacrifice on both of our parts. 

Our free nights and weekends (I sound like a cell phone ad), which were already somewhat few and far between, are now consumed with reading, paper writing, and musical analysis.  The monthly trip expenses require we tighten down on our budget a little more.  We've had to put some other things on the back burner.  Already, there have been some late nights and a very early morning. 

But, as much sacrifice it requires at this time, it could very easily require significantly more if we were at a slightly different place in life.  So, I'm thankful, and I am thankful that at this time I am able to make the trips with Will. 

While he gives presentations, listens to lectures and studies these...

I get to explore the city.  A few of my favorite shots...

Until next time,


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Welcome Fall and Apple Bread Recipe

Here in East Texas we experienced temperatures in the upper 90s and into triple digits through mid September.  I feared we would completely bypass fall and plummet head first into a harsh winter.  Much to my pleasure, however, we woke up one morning following multiple days of high temperatures to a pleasant crispness in the air.  Dare I say Fall has arrived!  The light breeze and cool air has been so refreshing following the oppressive heat of summer.  For the first time in months we were able to enjoy our tiny patio without needing a shower after five minutes, and we're on the shady side of the building.  As a matter of fact, a couple nights last week Will required a jacket to sit outside. 

In honor of the cooler temps, I whipped up a batch of apple bread to enjoy on our weekend away to New Orleans (more on that soon). 

Notice I only have one picture of the finished product.  I always get to the end, after I've dumped everything together, and realize I didn't take a single picture of the process.  Let's just say, I'm no Pioneer Woman.  I don't know how she chops, snaps, peels, snaps, mixes, snaps, pours, snaps, snaps, snaps.  I guess I'm too focused on getting it done.  Oh well, I'll leave the fancy stuff up to her and I'll continue to be inspired to do better.

Apple Bread

1¾ hours
35 min prep SERVES 20 / 2 loafs


3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla

4 cups apples; core, peel and dice (Granny Smith – dice larger) [about 6-8 small apples]
1/2 cup chopped pecans - optional

1. Whisk flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda, salt and baking powder together and set aside.
2. In stand mixer, beat eggs; add two types of sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla.
3. Add dry ingredients. (Batter will be stiff.)
4. Stir in apples and nuts.
5. Spoon into 2 greased loaf pans.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (Check after 50 minutes with cake tester.)


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my sweet Momma's birthday. 
Even though she doesn't yet read this blog, she may one day, and I don't think she would appreciate me telling you her age.  So I won't.  But I will share some pictures with you.  They may even be slightly extremely embarassing, but not for her, for me.  :) 

Speaking of birthdays, this first picture is of my mom and me at her 40th surprise party.  Mmmm...there are sooo many things wrong with this picture.  I mean look at that mullet!  The patterned turtleneck, index finger ring, and light washed jeans aren't great either, but really, who cares when the guy is sporting a braided leather belt and mullet.  Can you say 90s?!  P.S.  This man is a great person, and we love him all the same, mullet and all. :)

Mom and me at GA Mother/Daughter weekend at Camp Cordova

My high school baccalaureate

Panama City, FL
I was blonde and sunburned.

Atlanta Braves game

Four generations of women
Loxley, AL
I love this picture. 

This year the little token of love my sister and I chose to give mom for her birthday was this beauty, found here

Happy Birthday, Momma!  I love you.