If you are anything like me, when you go shopping for a wedding gift you want to get something that will stick out in the couples mind long after the wedding has past. I mean anyone can get them mixing bowls or a spatula. Getting all that stuff is amazing and much appreciated but, I got a few gifts that were incredibly personal and touching! Let me say that my mom has an amazing group of friends! They are not only amazing to her but, to me also. I kept telling my mom that I needed to go to "wife school" when I got engaged. I was by far the furthest thing from domestic when I got engaged. I didn't think that I would be very good at some of the more traditional wifely duties. I guess my mom relayed this message back to her friends. They are all crafty and come up with some really cool and unique ideas. Here are a few of the things I got.
This is another gift from Julie. This was more of an engagement gift. Julie made this scrapbook out of brown paper bags. There are tons of vintage looking paper, stickers, ribbon, etc. It is so cute!
My mom sent me this video today that she was inspired by. Within the first 10 seconds I was inspired too. It made me think back to a time when I never left the house without a camera. Even in the good ole days when you bought those wind up disposables, I still had a camera with me. Back in high school and college, I took pictures of everything. I captured moments not only from the big events like prom, birthdays, and cotillions but also the normal everyday things like a silly Tuesday with friends. This video got me to thinking about why I don't do this anymore. I'm letting these years go by without having anything to look back on and remember them by except my own memory. Now that it's so easy to have a little digital camera in my purse 24/7, what's my excuse? I don't have one! There isn't one. I can only say that I will start keeping a camera on me at all times! That's a new challenge I am giving myself. So if you see me out, keep me in check and ask me if I have my camera! I challenge you to do the same!
Now onto my food inspiration. If you've read my blog before, then you know that I am a huge Annie's Eats fan! I read her blog, follow her on Facebook, and I must say I cook one of her meals at least once a week. I haven't encountered a bad one yet. Since I met Manny I knew I could make him happy by offering to cook two dishes: pizza and macaroni and cheese! I mean, when I moved to Seattle and looked in the fridge and pantry all I saw were Totino's frozen pizzas and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese! I've done really well in the pizza department. We've come a long way from frozen pizzas! Annie's Eats has given me some great pizza recipes and all have been ahhh-mazing! Now, I like mac-n-cheese just as much as the next person but, sometimes it needs a twist. And sometimes it needs to be a little better than the one that comes in the blue box. Why not add some other goodness in there besides cheese and pasta! Well it's Annie's Eats to the rescue. I made her Mushroom Herb Mac last night and it was sooooo good! It was a nice change of pace from the mainstream dish! My next mac-n-cheese recipe of hers to try is Creamy Taco Mac. I think it sounds good! We shall see!
I have finished my first project of 2011! We bought this desk back in October and immediately knew that we needed something to go over it. Instead of just buying any random picture to go up there, I thought it would be cool to do a subway art with words and sayings that are about our lives. So I bought a canvas and painted it black with some paint I had laying around. A family friend of mine cut the vinyl and I stuck it on! I love the way it came out. It looks really good over Manny's desk, just in time for him to go back to school. I have one more project that I'm waiting to complete. I'm having the same family friend cut a stencil for me.
Now that things are getting back to normal and I am finally feeling better from my allergies, I feel it's time to put those New Year's resolutions into affect! For 2011, I have decided to read one book each month. I am starting off with Laura Bush's book. I have a few other books in mind for the rest of the year. I'm not into reading for educational purposes. I like entertainment reading. Which is why Tori Spelling's latest book is on my 2011 list. Make fun all you want but, her first 2 books were pretty good! Manny is insisting on adding one book to my list. I feel this is a bit of a problem because we don't have the same taste in reading material. He is really pushing me to read a Dan Brown book. We will see if it makes the list. I am also running a half marathon on my birthday this year, which is only a little over a month and half away! I tried to run one back in college but, had to have a toe procedure suddenly. So I've been training for this one. It's going okay. The holidays were challenging as well as the allergies but, I'm working through it. Manny has decided to work on his "road rage" for 2011. He tends to get annoyed when other drivers don't follow his rules of the road!
We had a really great holiday season. It was very different from our quiet little first Christmas just the two of us in Seattle. This year we juggled all our families and it was a bit challenging but, turned out all right. We started off with Manny's family the weekend before Christmas. His mom and brother came to Austin the weekend before Christmas. I cooked my first lasagna and a really yummy Italian Sausage Soup. The next weekend we left for Fairfield on Christmas Eve. We hung out with my Dad's side of the family Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day. It was really nice to be with them on the actual holiday. Christmas night we left and headed to Conroe. We went to have Christmas with my mom that night and then went to Manny's mom's house. Sunday was the big Christmas at Mimi's and the we made the journey back home to Austin that night. I was exhausted after Christmas! We had a really low key New Year's. We went to the DeShazo's and hung out. Nothing too crazy for our New Year's Eve. I had allergies really bad and Candice is expecting baby number 2 so we just played games and hung out. We actually got Will to play Just Dance 2! It was hilarious! I also found out that one of my best friends is expecting her first baby! I am so excited for Traci and Josh. 2011 will be a good year! I am hoping it's not a hectic as 2010 was. There will be no moving across the country so that cuts down half of last years chaos. Now all the decorations are down and the house is back to normal. I am looking forward to this year and hoping it's just as good as 2010 was to us! Happy 2011 everyone!