March 29, 2014

First Days of Spring

We have been loving the first few Spring days in the past week or so.  

Last weekend we headed to In Sync Wildlife Refuge in Wylie with some friends.  It is a rescue and sanctuary for big cats, so we got to see lots of tigers, some lions, and some other cat friends.  It was a really great way to spend the morning.

Today we enjoyed a fairly free Saturday (which seem to be few and far between!) by taking Lily to the park.  We checked out some of the trails by the creek and found some new places to walk.

 We really love getting to take her on these trails.  Since it is so secluded there is rarely anyone else out there, so we let her off her leash and she will run and explore, but then quickly catch back up with us and stay right by our side for most of the walk

 After we came home this afternoon I decided to go through my closet, get out my warmer-weather clothes and put away my sweaters and scarves.  It always feels good to clean things out and get ready for the changing seasons--here's hoping the weather stays nice!

March 21, 2014

Year of Dates: March Madness

So for Valentine's Day I gave David a year of sports themed dates and we had our first one this past Sunday
Planning our March date was a no-brainer since the middle of March kicks off one of the crazy sports frenzies of the year.  Neither David or I are really into Basketball, but March Madness brackets are still a lot of fun.  I haven't made one in a while, but it is a fun way to keep up with all the craziness together.  (excuse the state of the above invitation, Lily got a hold of it after David opened it)
 On my way home from Austin, I stopped at our neighborhood video store to find some basketball movies to kick off our afternoon.  The only one they had was Coach Carter which we had never seen.  So we settled in for lunch from Wing Stop and a movie.  Unfortunately the disk was messed up and skipped quite a bit, so we ended up watching a different movie.  
I had seen an idea to have a "dunking content" with cookies and milk--even though it's silly, it was a fun way to enjoy an afternoon snack
 We tuned in for the selection show on CBS Sunday evening (Lily joined in the fun too!)
 And then we set to work making our brackets!  We have our own little group set up on the March Madness App and it is tracking all of our points throughout the games.  It'll be fun keeping up with the brackets and the tournament together.  And it made for a relatively inexpensive, easy and fun date night! :)

March 16, 2014

Austin Weekend

This past weekend I headed to Austin to visit Nicki.  I hadn't been down since Nicki and Mathis bought their house last summer, so a trip to visit was overdue.  Since it was Nicki's Spring Break, I invited myself to come celebrate with her.

I always love driving down 35 and getting to see one of my favorite places ever.  It's been even more fun in the last year since Baylor started construction on their new stadium, so I had to snap a few pictures 

 (also pictured is my new Dr Pepper in honor of the ending of the Floyd Casey era that Nicki gave me!  I think I found a nice place to display it in our apartment.)

 Friday we headed downtown to do a little shopping and exploring.  We went to the TOMs store that had just opened--it was a really fun atmosphere.  After lunch and a walk, we met up with Mathis at the Craft Fair downtown.  Nicki and Mathis got a few fun things for their home and his office.  I didn't buy anything, but enjoyed all the fun things there.  

My favorite thing we found, both on the streets of downtown Austin and at the craft fair, were these dinosaur planters
This is a picture I found online, not one I actually took, but these are from the same company featured there the Plaid Pigeon.  It's one of those things that made Nicki and I laugh and think "only in Austin" (Look Nicki, when I was searching for a picture to post, I even found a DIY post of how to make these yourself--just in case you need them for your garden!)

On the way back to their house, they took me by the Moontower Saloon which is a really neat outdoor area that has a bar and food trucks.  We enjoyed the great weather outside and the great scenery before heading home for dinner.

We also had lots of yummy food while I was there
It's become a tradition for Nicki and I to make brownies on our girls' weekends.  And she took me to a really yummy cupcake place downtown

 and a trip to South Texas is never complete without breakfast tacos!

Saturday night we drove to Gruene to meet up with Nicki's parents for dinner at the Gristmill.  It had been cloudy and rainy most of the day, but ended up being a beautiful evening for dinner out there.

 It was such a great weekend catching up and seeing some of Mathis and Nicki's life in Austin.  I'm so grateful for her friendship and how we've been able to continue to visit each other no matter where we are :)

March 3, 2014

Chili Cook Off

This past weekend our Young Adults Group hosted a Chili Cook-Off.  It was originally scheduled for November, but that weekend it rained and sleeted so it was rescheduled for March.

We decided to get a few of our International Students in on making Chili with us.  They came over Friday night to cook

We had choppers 

 And measures and mixers

And cookers!

 I was very impressed with our friend Jackson's chopping skills!  We also put my new manual food processor to use to chop the onions.

 We let the chili simmer for an hour while we played games

And then we had the taste tests.  The students all agreed that it needed more spice, so we added some the next day when we warmed it back up.

Saturday was a beautiful day.  It felt like spring and we could not have asked for more perfect weather to be at the park with friends.  There were lots of chili dishes to try and lots of people to see.  It was a great start to our month!