Say whhhaaatttt!!! This past Thursday night was the night of dreeaaammmmss! I can’t even describe how emotionally exhausted I was at the end of the whole shabang (at a whopping 9:04 PM, thank you). Jon Boy surprised me with tickets to Pioneer Woman’s book signing for her new cookbook, Come and Get It! The whole day he kept dropping hints until I finally beat it out of him (gently… with words and threats).

I can’t say enough about how absolutely genuine, sweet, gorgeous, and hilarious that Pioneer Woman (Ree, aka my BFF) is in person. She and her husband are hard-working, everyday people that happen to own a gorgeous cattle ranch and know how to cook the dickens off your socks.

meeting pioneer woman

Right before this picture, I was on the verge of tears – #FanGirlMoment. I couldn’t believe I was about to meet her! Touch her! Take a picture with her! Talk to her! Agh! After the picture, she told me I was beautiful and that she loved my top. I told her she inspired it because of the flowers. She said, “Flowers are always a good choice!” OMG. We’re basically soul sisters now.

Pioneer Woman: Come and Get It!


Okay, so I have to admit. I’ve already lied to my BFF. I totes didn’t know we were going to see her when I picked this outfit. Jon Boy told me to wear something as if I were going to meet a celebrity, but to still be comfy. To which I replied, “So, do I dress like we’re meeting Thor – Chris Hemsworth?” He said, “Yes…” without batting an eyelash. I knew immediately that this was big. Maybe not Thor big, but big nonetheless.

Here’s what I wore for Thor… I mean… P-Dub.

Socialite Foldover Cold Shoulder Top | Vigoss Chelsea High Waist Crop Skinny Jeans | Nine West Fifth Pointy Toe Pumps

outfit


The only control I had over the evening was the grub (shocker, I know). Dish Society was in the area that Jon Boy told me to choose from, so I knew that’s what we’d be hitting up for dinner! It’s been on my list of Restaurants to Try since we’ve moved here. Lemme tell ya, it needs to be on YOUR list, too, if you haven’t gone yet.

 dish society

It was still happy hour when we got there, so we ordered a couple of yummy cocktails. Jon Boy got a beer (I drink Miller Lite, so I don’t know the kind), and I had the Red Basil cocktail. Holy Yummo. Both were $6 each and so muah!

Red Basil: Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka + Basil + Grapefruit Juice + Lime + Cane Sugar + Splash of Soda

dish society

We also decided to take advantage of the $5 ‘Social Hour’ apps. We were trying to be healthy, so we chose the Pretzels & Smoked Gouda Queso

dish society

and the Pimento Cheese with Crackers.

dish society

[that was sarcasm, folks – carbs + cheese means I’ll be hittin’ that gym hard for about 7 weeks]

Jon Boy had the Shrimp Tacos.

dish society

This dainty lady had the Brisket Stuffed Sweet Potato.

dish society

And to add a little more to our healthy evening, we shared the Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese.

dish society

We will definitely be grubbin’ at Dish Society soon! All of that I just listed plus two more drinks was only $57! No lies, y’all. It’s fantastic. Plus it’s perfect for families!


Don’t let that smile fool you – I was FREAKING OUT! I was mere minutes away from walking into a book shop to meet my idol. I couldn’t even handle. Jon Boy kept asking, “What are you going to say? What are you going to do? How is she going to sign your book?” HELLLOOOOOO! I’m trying not to pee in my pants, bud!

This book shop was the cutest! It reminded me of the book shop from You’ve Got Mail… I can’t wait to go back and do some Christmas shopping! They had not only great books, but also some perfectly unique gifts for kids that don’t involve technology or Elmo. Sorry, Elmo. I love you, but Mama needs a break.

Blue Willow Books

  

[Freaking Out]

I took pictures of book as we meandered through the store in the waiting line. So many gorgeous covers and titles. I could’ve stayed in there forever.

So, as I’ve said. P-Dub and I are now BFF’s. See – I have proof:

Just chattin’ it up with Marlboro Man (PW’s husband). NBD. He told us about the drive down from Oklahoma (he drove their car, just the two of them), their son’s football game the next day, and basically just exuded hunky cowboy vibes. Sorry, Jon Boy. Actually, I think Jon Boy would agree with me.

Nicest guy! Oh, and Marlboro Man was great, too.

This definitely tops our Date Nights thus far. Although, I have to admit I’m not the greatest with surprises. I had a little anxiety not knowing exactly what to expect. Way to go, OCD. Either way – it was a fantastic night! I’m still recovering emotionally!

With all the malarkey swirling around the Internet + TV these days, I thought it would be nice if we could share some of the non-malarkey-type things that go on – AKA spread the good, not the bad.

Here are a few things I’ve seen that have warmed the corners of my little heart lately. I hope they bring you a little whiff of cinnamon + pumpkins + the warm and fuzzies.


This Guy Right Here. Get Him a Badge and Send Him to the White House.

He’s got a book too, and I’m pretty sure I’m adding it to my YOU BETTA READ THIS list. {Click Here for Book}


This Little Girl’s Reaction to Learning She’s Been Adopted Is Everything. (Click the Link to see the Video)

11 year old's reaction to hearing she's getting adopted

This Barber Cutting a Little Boy’s Hair on the Floor

barber gives haircut boy autism

Image Cred: Fauve Lafreniere


This Chef Makes 45,000 Meals for Victims of Maria in Puerto Rico – and He’s Not Done Yet.

Paella-pot-with-Chef-Jose-Andres-World-Central-Kitchen-FB


These Seniors Defying the Senior Stereotypes

Vladimir Yakovlev John Lowe

Image Cred: Vladimir Yakovlev


A Texas Diner’s Tip That Sent His Waiter to Ireland

texas diner tips Irish waiter

What are some of the non-malarkey-type things you’ve read about or seen lately? Let’s spread the good, not the bad.

Just thought I’d share a few things that we’ve been loving lately – they’re all random, but we love ’em anyway.

I just got this Thug Kitchen cookbook from my sweet friend all the way in Arizona! It was such a great birthday surprise to come home to after our trip to Dallas. I’ve already read the whole thing cover-to-cover (because I’m crazy like that), and I’ve got a ton of recipes I’m pumped to try. The authors are vegan, so there’s no meat or dairy in any of the recipes.

I’m planning on tweaking their recipes to match our lifestyle because I’m pretty sure if I tried to make Jon Boy eat vegan, he’d move us to a cattle ranch just to prove that he loves meat that much.

Thug Kitchen Cookbook

I loved this quote from Julia Child – a great reminder that cooking is all about learning and living and loving!

Thug Kitchen Cookbook

Major FYI – there’s a TON of cussing (if you couldn’t tell from the cover), but the authors do give great tips for cooking basics and nutritional info. It’s a great book for beginning cooks and seasoned pros alike.

Thug Kitchen Cookbook

So, I decided to finally be a big girl and get some lipstick-type-ish stuff. Normally, I’m just rockin’ the Burts Bees all day long (sometimes tinted) because of my years of fever blisters. I basically don’t have a lip line because the blisters seem to change the shape of my lips every time they come and go. To say the least, I’ve got sensitive lips, so finding good lip color that’s still good for my puckers has been tough.

I saw this on the Nord.com and had to order it. I LOVE what it does to my lips – they haven’t been peeling and flaking like normal PLUS the color stays on for a while and still looks natural. LOVE this stuff! I ordered these two colors, but I def will be ordering more soon.

Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 Sugar Nude

 

Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 Nude Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 Bloom

 

Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 Bloom

I got this super sweet pineapple card from a sweet friend. I’m not big on birthday cards, but this little bit of joy brightened my day! If you don’t know my obsession with pineapples, click here to read more.

pineapple birthday card

We stopped at Woody’s Smokehouse on the way back from Dallas and oohh myyy gerrrddd. We love this place! We always stock up on the pickled asparagus, green beans, and okra + the candied jalapeños. BUT I’m pretty sure we’re bringing a cooler next time so we can get some of the yummy smoked meat!

Woody's Smokehouse

If you’re on 45 a lot between Dallas and Houston, definitely stop in Centerville to check out Woody’s. There’s one on both sides of the highway, so you can’t go wrong! Their sandwiches are so yummy and fresh, too!

Woody's Smokehouse

We’re kind of in love with this White Truffle Olive Oil from Olive & Vine (in City Centre if you live in the Houston area). It takes roasted potatoes to a whole ‘notha level. Trust me.

Olive & Vine White Truffle Oil

Now that it’s officially fall, we got our pumpkins for the front porch! I can’t tell you how obsessed with this time of year that I am. I don’t know what it is about this season of pumpkins, leaves, football, and sweaters (or just longer sleeves if you’re in Houston). I’m definitely pumped for all the fall food though. #GimmeDatChili

fall decor

Speaking of fall, if you’re into essential oils, try blending equal parts of:

Cinnamon Bark + Clove + On Guard + Wild Orange

Smells like fall, y’all.

essential oil blend for fall

When the weather is cool-ish (like less than 85), Corey and I have been hanging on the porch. Corey loves to dig for dinosaurs in our little sensory play bucket (all this stuff was from Dollar Tree).

sensory play for toddler

Notice how messy all that “grass” and “dirt” are? Yeah, that’s why it’s outside, y’all. It gives us tons of entertainment though and everything in the bucket is $1, so mama don’t care.

sensory play for toddler

Annnnd Happy Wednesday!

is it fall yet

But really… it’s the worst.

autumn dog poop

Is it fall yet? I mean for real. I’m ready for leggings, tunics, Bath and Body Works candles, and comfort food. Oh wait. I’m kind of workin’ all those things already. Sorry, not sorry. But really, c’mon fall. It’s friggin’ hot.

I made this somewhat fancy pot roast on Tuesday, and boy did it not disappoint. Pioneer Woman really knows her stuff! It’s a very simple recipe that’s just upgraded by a few “fancy” things [like red wine]. It cooks in under 5 hours, too. I put it all together and threw it in the oven during Corey’s nap so that the evening didn’t feel so hectic.

pioneer woman red wine pot roast

The only change I made to P-Dub’s recipe is to add the potatoes + carrots 3 hours into the cooking process so they don’t turn to mush. I also just turned the oven off after 4 hours and let it stay warm until Jon Boy and I were ready to eat. Easy, peasy.

Click Here for Recipe

Side note: this little piggy definitely went to bed without putting the leftovers in the fridge/freezer (they do GREAT in the freezer btw). Talk about heartbreak when I woke up Wednesday morning.


Speaking of Bath and Body Works candles… I snagged this little diddy from their sale a couple of weeks ago! I know it’s a little early for Halloween, but I couldn’t help myself. Fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite time of year, and to be real, Corey’s room smells a lot like a middle school boy’s locker room some times. Mama needs some fragrance up there.

bath and body works halloween plug


I finished this ENTIRE book on the way back from Michigan last week. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, lemme just say that my travels were nothing short of TERRIBLE on Friday. I had lots and lots and lots of time to read. This was an absolutely perfect book for that time!

The Light We Lost is about a couple who meets in college on 9/11. They come together and grow apart many times and in many different ways. He’s an aspiring photographer, she’s got a great career in television, and sometimes we don’t always get what we want when it comes to romance. It’s a story of love, heartbreak, reality, and the choices we make that define our paths. It’s easy to read and the plot flows very well.

the light we lost

I loved the book up until the ending, I must say. The end surprised me as a mom and wife (although I feel Jon Boy is my soulmate, so that does differ from the main character’s life). I still would recommend the book despite my wish that ending had been a little different. I’d love to know your thoughts on the book!


This firefighting chubby bunny and his counterpart there melt my heart. This kid was so excited to see Daddy come home from work that he was hootin’ and hollerin’ downstairs until Daddy came around the corner and said HI!

corey and penny

We’re gearing up for a trip to Chicago in a little over a week. Please, say a prayer! We haven’t taken home boy on an airplane yet [as he says – “paayyypaaannnnee”]. We finally got him to like these headphones, so we’re on our way to a successful flight… hopefully! Any tips for first-time travelers with toddlers?

corey douglas

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I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this book. I loved this very poignant story of two nurses during their service in WWII. They’re two very different woman with two very different paths during the war. The author, Teresa Messineo, researched and interviewed until she had enough factual pieces to weave into this compelling story.

the fire by night

The two women meet during their time at a hospital in NYC when they experience some trauma that’s a little too common during these times. The women embody what nurses are all about: service, self-sacrifice, and commitment to the job no matter the cost. This holds true when the nurses are at home, in Pearl Harbor, or held captive by the Japanese in POW camps.

There are a lot of “no freaking way” moments throughout the book. I won’t spoil them for you, but I will add that Messineo interviewed nurses from WWII and used these interviews to add to her story. The only anecdote I will share is at the end of one nurse’s service, the officer conducting her interview forces her to sign a contract stating that she will not speak a word of her experience during the war to anyone – not family, friends, spouse – no one. I immediately thought of all the stories I hear of family members who never spoke about their service during the war. My great uncle, for example, was taken as a POW during WWII. Uncle Jimmy never spoke a word about his time overseas to anyone. He took those stories to the grave. I wonder if he signed any such contract of silence?

I’d encourage you to read this if only so that you could experience a different side to the war. It’s good for us to relive history in order that we don’t repeat it. I feel this now more than ever with all of the neo-Nazi movements we’re hearing about on the news.