Saturday, February 26, 2011

The mister came home to me last night. We had pizza at Florio's and did started a puzzle. I love these kind of Friday night dates.

It took us back to the days when I lived in an apartment with three of my good friends in Utah. Russ and I were dating, probably close to getting engaged. It seemed like us roommates always had a puzzle on the big table, and Russ would come over and help us finish them. It was over those puzzles where Russ bonded with my roommates and I got the official friend approval. Oh puzzles, such an unexpected source of fun.

Anyway, thank you so much for all the recommendations for the night stands. I now have so many good ideas floating through my head (thanks to you), that making a decision may be harder now than it was before! I guess you could say I'm puzzled! :)

What do YOU think?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A few months ago we showed you the current progress of our bedroom with the "Lewis Elm" shelf (go here for a reminder). I'm itching for another project to work on, and thought I should finally tackle the one I've been putting off for almost a year: re-painting our hand-me-down nightstands. I really love most of our bedroom, or I guess you could say the "middle section." The sides? Not so much. In fact, you could say I hate them. It's the clashing brown wood, the dated hardware, and the "blah" lamps. So I'm going to take this situation into my own hands.

This is where you guys come into play. I cannot for the life of me decide on a color to paint the nightstands. Perhaps this is why I have waited so long. But I know y'all have some really great taste out there, and I am in need of your opinions! Should I paint them...

Black, like all the rest of the furniture in the room...
Gray, to match the pillows/sheets
Yellow, to coordinate with the accent pillows and flower (and heck, we all know I love yellow furniture)
Another random pop of color, like a turquoise/blue, green, orange? 
Another shade of stained wood?
Polka dotted?

Really guys, I'm at a loss. I'm excited to get this project going, and these little old stands are in need of some T.L.C.

P.S. When I originally posted about the shelf, some of you had asked about the flowers. They are from World Market. Aren't they awesome? They add just the right element of "floral," without being, well, floral.

Radiohead, Birthdays, Pirates, & Shaving. All In One.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I bought the new Radiohead album this weekend. It's AWESOME. The last four tracks of the album are my favorite. I have to admit, however, it has not yet topped "In Rainbows," the band's last album. I feel like all new Radiohead is always "out there," and takes time to get used to. It took a few months when it first came out, but now "In Rainbows" is one of my top favorite albums of all time. Yes, I actually said that.

Today is my little brother's birthday. He's turning 21!! I haven't seen him for over a year and a half, as he's serving a mission for our church in Japan, so obviously I miss him like crazy. As of late we have been trying to help him figure out where he'll be living at BYU when he comes back. It's phrases like this that make me miss Jace-face even more: "Those spots all sound really good, though I honestly don't care too much, because I think pretty much every spot will be more fun than I can possibly imagine at this point." Oh the optimism.

{Hey mom, you might want to skip this next paragraph} 

Speaking of missionaries, did you guys hear about the Christian missionaries that were attacked by Somalian pirates off the east coast of Africa yesterday?!? Yes... pirates. It's actually quite sad, because the pirates killed four of the missionaries on the ship. Luckily the Navy stepped in and saved the day. You can read about it here.

Ok, enough rambling. I need to get back to preparing taxes. I cannot wait. I will leave you girls with a little something to help with one of life's toughest decisions:

A Wicked Date

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Russ told me we were just going to spend the night "in" for Valentine's with a homemade meal and a movie from Netflix. Well, silly me, Russ always has something up his sleeve. At the end of the night he pulled out a poem he had written with a few other goodies...

I had sent Russ a not so subtle hint a while ago with some earrings from this shop that I had been eyeing. He then actually went shopping and found a dress that matched the earrings, a cute trench to wear for the cooler evening, and with some help from his sister, some shoes that tied it all together. I was FLOORED. The best part? He had a secret date planned for this Saturday to wear my new outfit to. Let's just say, it was a pretty "wicked date."

First we met our friends Scott and Andrea at La Focaccia, a really great Italian place downtown. Believe me, the wheels were spinning at this point. "...we're downtown... we're all dressed up... it might just be what I'm hoping it is." And sure enough...

...We saw Wicked! I felt like a giddy child sitting in those seats up in the back of the theater. I've been wanting to see this play for EVER, and it was finally happening. (Was that dramatic enough?) I have been listening to the soundtrack for a few years, but seeing the real thing blew the CD out of the water. Or should I say it defied gravity? {ha!} 

Thanks again husband. It was a fantastic night out on the town.


Friday, February 18, 2011

There is something quite magical about holding a newborn. To think of where their little spirits were just hours before is breath-taking. They have such pure, precious little bodies, and one can only imagine what is in store for them on this earth. As far as I can remember, little Carter is probably the "newest" of newborns I've ever held. Our friends Morgan and Karen (mentioned in this post) had their baby, Carter Morgan Allen, on Wednesday afternoon. I went to visit them at the hospital last night. He's just about 24 hours old in this picture, and he's perfect.

I went with my other child-less friends, Brittany and her husband Dallin, and she told me we had to put our "baby-fever-guards up." But those darn babies really are pretty cute, aren't they??

{Please excuse the I-left-the-house-with-wet-hair-and-worked-all-day look. It's so charming.}

Fictionist & Rolling Stone Magazine

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm so excited about this post. I've been seeing Fictionist all over blogland, and it makes me so happy.

I know you guys hear me talk about Fictionist like all the time. In addition to my family loyalty to Stuart, I sincerely think this band is one of the most talented group of musicians out there. Genuine talent. And not to mention a truly genuine group of guys. Before we moved to Texas I worked for the band and got to hang out with them a lot. Even though they look all tough below, honestly, all of these guys are ridiculously funny, sincere, and just down right good people.

On to the exciting news! If you're a Jimmy Fallon fan, you might have seen this Utah band's name read by Jimmy Fallon himself. (If you want to see the clip, click HERE)

Fictionist has been invited as 1 of 16 bands to compete in a national competition with Rolling Stone Magazine! Umm, hello! The winner of the competition would...

Be on the COVER of Rolling Stone magazine
Play live on the Jimmy Fallon show
Recording contract with Atlantic Records

It's all based on internet activity and buzz about the band. To help Fictionist make it to the next round, take a few seconds, GO HERE and rate the band "5 stars," like them on Facebook, or just promote them any way you would like. Go ahead and listen to a few of their songs below. "Before I'm Old" is one of my favorites. You can also come back and click on the 5 Stars in the little gadget below as much as your little heart desires.

Also, make sure to watch the new music video for "Treasure These Moments" (In the gadget above -- you can make it bigger by clicking on the diagonal arrows in the right hand corner of the video). A combination of Stuart in a monkey suit, Aaron's roller skates, Robbie using a guitar as a pinata, the local Sammie's burger joint I used to frequent quite often, and those amazing Utah mountains brings a big fat smile to my face.

14 Reasons

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I told you Russ got clothes-lined. If you were confused, let me explain. Last year Russ thought of little surprises throughout the day for Valentines... and I got him a T-shirt. LAME-O. So this year I really wanted to do something a little more thoughtful, to make sure he knew just how much I loved that he was my Valentine. So, I crept out of bed early in the morning to set up a clothesline with 14 reasons why I am glad Russ is my Valentine.

The clothesline started right as Russ stepped out of our bedroom... it went down the hall... and through the living room. Don't worry, I hung the clothesline high enough wear Russ wouldn't really be clothes-lined, seeing as he was leaving for work in the wee hours of the morning, you know, the time of day when no one is really aware of hidden strings in the hallway.

There were 14 different cards, each containing another "reason." Believe me, there are more than 14.

The clothesline of love ended in the office on our little white chair with a handmade card and a little somethin' for the mister. Top gift? Just some new music for Russ's long drives to Austin (FYI - Iron & Wine's new album, which is appropriately named "Kiss Each Other Clean" is awesome).

 And the bigger one? Well, nothing says "I love you" like a 2 terabyte hard drive. At least Russ agrees.

PS. The reason why Russ is wearing a hand-written name tag that says "Ernesto Aguilar" is because we had watched "The Importance of Being Ernest" the night before... so Russ is channeling the Hispanic version of Ernest. Yeah, he's silly.

The Holiday of Love

It is February 15th, and I am thinking about the last few days feeling incredibly loved. Not just by my wonderful husband, but by friends and family around the world. Words really cannot express how grateful I am for my husband, friends in Texas and elsewhere, for my family, and for the amazing family I married in to. I definitely felt the love this year!

We got to spend time with lots of friends this weekend. Saturday night we went to the good ol' rodeo down here in Texas. We went with a huge group of friends, most of which were some of the first people we met here in Texas. We don't get to see each other that much since we moved to our new house, but when we do it's always a good time. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures with the group, but here we are at dinner with Brandon and Megan.

The next day we threw a little Valentine's shin-dig with a few friends. These are some of our "newest" friends here in Texas, and I am so grateful for them. Karen and Brittney have especially been "there for me" these last few months as Russ has been out of town every week. We've had some good times. You know you've got some good friends when they ditch their husbands to come watch the Bachelor with you... every week.

There was lots of good food, laughing, and extreme game times. (I forgot how fun Catch Phrase is! Holy moly). I think we were all a little enamored by the Valentine-themed Fruit Pizza I made. You guys, this thing was seriously amazing. It's all about the crust. Oh, and the frosting. And heck, it's also about the fruit. The only thing I'm sad about is that it didn't stick around longer. Needless to say, it got eaten. Really fast.

And isn't Karen (on the right) just the cutest? She also happens to be the most pleasant pregnant person I've ever been around. Here she is a week past her due date, and I still have not heard her "complain" once. I hope I can be half as nice as she is when I'm that big. Here's the best part... she's in the hospital delivering that little guy as I type!! Hooray!

{This is my Valentine. I love him}

By the end of the night I think we all got a little slap-happy. I blame it on the sugar rush. Those Valentine hearts I told you about a few days ago turned out to be excellent photo shoot props.

I hope everyone got a little lovin' this past Valentine's Day. Stay tuned to find out how Russ got clothes lined. Confused? Don't worry, you'll see..

Marrying Up

Friday, February 11, 2011

Last week my Dad told me I married up. 

He obviously meant it in a very nice way and nothing degrading to me at all. I'm glad my Dad likes my husband. It really means the world. The funny thing is I think I've known this fact all along, but to have your own father tell you is, well... it's honest. Hopefully everyone thinks his or her own spouse is "the best husband/wife in the world," so I'm not going to say that. All I know is that my husband is the best husband I could ever have for me.

You know those weeks that are a little sub par? And even though the weekend is meant for fun times and partying, you know those Fridays where you get off of a crappy day/week at work and all you want to do is literally hide under a blanket for a while? Yeah, I did that. I literally came home, ate dinner (that Russ had thrown together... again, I know, I married up), and then hid under a blanket on the couch for 15 minutes.

I know, you're thinking... "get a GRIP Camille! You sound ridiculously dramatic right now."

I was. I was being dramatic.

But this is when that whole "Russ is the perfect husband for me" thing comes into play. He knew that was all I needed. I needed a moment to hide from the responsibilities and hard facts of life (like, for example, finding out we owe $2,000 in taxes... ouch). Hiding under a blanket helps a bit.

Thanks for marrying me Russ. Here's to a happy Valentine's weekend. It's gonna be great.

Chicken Pesto Stromboli

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'd like to introduce you to a Russ & Camille staple. 

I originally got this recipe a few years ago from Just Cook Already, a really great source for some good family recipes. We've made it time and time again, and I'm telling you, it never disappoints. And the best part is, depending on how I roll it all together, sometimes it's short and fat (like above), and other times it's long and skinny. Either way, it's absolutely delicious It's great for entertaining, and even better for leftovers (if there is any). I mean, how can you go wrong with chicken, pesto, cheese, spinach, and bread? Oh yeah, you can't. Alright, let's just get to the important details:  
1 Rhodes Rolls Frozen bread Loaf
1/2 cup Pesto Sauce
2 cups Spinach
2 cups Cooked Shredded Chicken
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella
1/2 cups Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Thaw bread according to package.
On greased counter roll out to a rectangle about the size of a cookie sheet
Spread Pesto all over leaving a 1 inch space from edge
Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan on top of pesto. Sprinkle Mozzarella the layer of spinach, last your shredded Chicken.
Now roll, jelly roll style,  starting at the long end.
Roll it all the way so it makes a long tube.
Place on a greased cookie sheet, make sure seam is on the bottom.  Tuck ends under.
Brush with egg. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Garlic Salt.
Cut slits along the top to vent
Let Rise 30 minutes. Bake @350 until golden brown, 20-30 minutes.

This is essentially like a rolled up pizza, so, get creative! You can switch in or out any ingredient you'd like. Russ and I have also altered this recipe to use pineapple, ham, cheese, and BBQ sauce to make a "Hawaiian" rendition of the stromboli. The possibilities are endless! And if you're wondering what it looks like in the middle of this stromboli of goodness, I managed to snap a shot before it disappeared off the plate. Is it lunch-time yet??

Hue and Hum

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You know when you have those friends who are incredibly talented in so many different ways that you kind of want to hate them? But then you can't, because they are some of the nicest, sweetest, most enjoyable people to be around? Yeah, I have a few of those friends, and they happen to be married. Please meet Caitlin and Robbie, otherwise known as Hue and Hum.

(Aren't they so cute? Don't you just want to be their friend? This is them with their adorable dog, Albus, of course)

He is Hum, because he is an amazing musician and the lead guitarist of a very talented band you may have heard me talk about before. 

She is Hue, because she creates some of the most inspiring and original art pieces I've ever seen. Mostly, I just can't wait to own one of her originals someday. This series is one of my personal favorites.

Well Caitlin's art is just what I'm here to talk about today. Caitlin had the fabulous idea of creating a few prints centered around Valentine's Day. Her art is already incredibly reasonably priced, but here's the kicker with these Valentine's prints: you pay what you want. Yes, that's right. You decide how much you would like to donate for the print. Again, you can pay as little or as much as you want. Genious, no? I wish every store had this option.

Both prints are mixed media. I just looooove the colors. They're beautiful, no? She has two prints available: a "lover-tine" and a "friend-tine," if you will. You know, just so you don't leave anyone out that you love for this "Valen-tine's" day :)

So hop on over to their blog and show 'em some love, become a follower, be their friend. Robbie is constantly putting up free music and Caitlin never stops making amazing original art and handmade crafts. Where can you go wrong?

Husbandless on a Snow Day

Sunday, February 6, 2011

As I mentioned in the post before, San Antonio received a "winter blast," as they said on the news. The city practically shut down (freeways were literally closed most of Friday) and Russell was out of town... again. What does that leave a girl to do? Go crafting crazy, of course. One of the projects I did is the "have a heart" project, as found on this blog. Just take a book from Goodwill, some old scrapbook paper, a sewing machine needing some love, and...

... you've got some Valentine's decorations that will instantly bring a smile to your face. Trust me. I like these little hearts so much they might be up a little longer than February 14th. They just make me so darn happy.

I may have gotten a little carried away with the whole "heart theme" and made tons and tons and tons of sugar cookies. Holy moly, these babies are good. Remember Sheri? She is a fabulous baker, and this recipe is a Sheri special. As Lindsay calls them, they are the "Sheri Bird Cookies of Love."

And this next project was another result of a craft extravaganza my friend Megan and I had on Friday night. I've been wanting to attempt making some fabric flower poppies for a while, and I'm pretty sure I like the result. I may or may not have made them in multiple colors. I need to learn when to say "Camille... back away from the fabric flowers."

Anyway, as you can see in the picture, the snow is long, long gone. In fact, this afternoon Russ and I played a board game on the back deck and I think I may have even gotten a little sunburnt. Winter came and left in one week. But the snow was good while it lasted, and hey, it gave me an excuse to stay in, be lazy, and make crafts. 

Winter in Texas!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I left Utah after Christmas thinking I wouldn't see snow till next Christmas break. Well I was wrong!

I know, I'm just as shocked as you are. A lady at my work said she hasn't seen snow since 1984. I wasn't even alive then. So, as you can see, San Antonio isn't prepared for this "inclement weather" and has canceled schools and the majority of businesses. Hey, I'm not complaining, I'm ecstatic and just down-right shocked!

I loved waking up to see our little red brick house "covered" in my favorite white stuff. Even though it will probably melt by noon, it's just what I needed right now. It's like a little piece of home right here in South Texas.

Hello Again, Sandy

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February is here in full force! I couldn't be happier about it. January seemed to crawl by, so I'm feeling optimistic about this month of looooove. In order to help the time pass a little quicker tonight, I dusted off an old friend. I'm not quite sure why it's been so long since I brought out good ol' Sandy, but it has. A few years perhaps. But I miss playing music so bad. Until the blessed day when I own my very own piano, playing Sandy will have to do.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I even remembered a few of my favorites, including the lovely Beatles tune, Blackbird. Playing music is therapeutic. I love it. You may be wondering why I am calling this guitar Sandy. I bought this guitar in high school for $15 from one of my best friend's little brothers, Zak Nelson. (Yes, Rach... that's your little bro!) He had already named and branded this lovely guitar with the name of Sandy, and luckily I thought it fit.

Driving home from the gym tonight, the church outside of our neighborhood had the simple phrase "Opportunity Knocks" on it's sign. I couldn't agree more. Opportunities are always around the bend, and I have a feeling we're on the verge of something great. There's that optimism again. :)

Speaking of the gym, I've had some uber sore muscles lately. I am currently sitting on an ice pack, which is rather unpleasant for my behind, especially with the bitter temperatures outside. Yes, I live in Texas, but believe me the 20 degree weather penetrates deep to the bones with that dang humidity. In fact, weather.com says it feels like 10 degrees. So I guess I'm not that much of a weakling. Ok, moving on.

In closing, one of my favorite songs popped into my head today at work, and I haven't been able to get it out all day. It takes me back to the summer we got married, before we moved to Texas. We went to downtown Salt Lake City for the free "summer concert" series with my sister, her husband, and friends. Such a happy day. We stuck out the crowds and saw Bon Iver put on an amazing show.

So my friends, here's to good music, knocking opportunities, the month of loooooove, optimism, and staying warm. I hope you enjoy.

Apparently he has not made an official video... but luckily I thought this video fit the song perfectly.