After my inspirational and comforting week in Texas, my return to California felt even more frenzied than usual. Readjusting to LA life always takes a few more days than the transition to Texas time (not so surprisingly, as I have lived in Texas my entire life until now). Let’s just say this week was a work-consumed, almost no time with my husband, bumpy arrival type of week. But even the thorniest of weeks has its fair share of merriments to smile about, and a glowing light at the end of the tunnel –the weekend! Keep that in mind on this Monday, whether marvelous, mundane, or maddening; there are still so many simplicities to celebrate!
UT-UCLA GAME...College Football/Tailgating Season!
Spending the entirety of Saturday & Sunday with my incredible husband, Evan was the perfect remedy to my bad week blues. We attended the UT-UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and the victory was sweet! But, honestly, the entire experience is what made the day so sweet…the camaraderie of being surrounded by burnt orange, the excitement of running into UT sorority sisters and Midland friends, and the amusement of singing along to country songs about Texas at the Texas Exes tailgate. If horns can make you this happy, then Hook ‘Em!
In Dallas, we were able to celebrate the 6th Birthday of Evan’s amazing and adorable little brother, Ean. Since Ean loves to build things and kept mentioning ‘robots’ when we asked what he wanted for his birthday, we decided to buy him ZOOB-BOT by Infinitoy (purchased at Barnes & Noble, also found on Amazon).
If you’re looking for a birthday present, the ZOOB-BOT was definitely a hit. Inspired by Kids’ Submissions to the company’s Online Gallery, the ZOOB-BOT allows kids to actually play with their creations. They can build a nearly endless amount of robot creations by snapping the pieces together, and then the robot moves with its pullback motor and lights up from its eyes. No toy is perfect, but this one is inventive, entertaining, and less complicated than many of the available builder sets.
MODERN HOSPITALITY COOKBOOK BY MASTER CHEF WINNER, WHITNEY MILLER
Evan received this cookbook this week as a thank-you for helping out a fellow entertainment industry person. Always interested in Southern charm and hospitality, I immediately flipped through the entire book while in bed. The author, Whitney Miller, recently won Season 1 of Master Chef. While I had never heard of the show, I instantly became a fan of this kindhearted, delightful, and strong willed young woman. She brightened my day with her gratitude and optimism; mostly, she reminded me of my best friend, Ginny, who celebrated her birthday yesterday. Anyone with that much light and heart deserves major celebration! Plus, her modern takes on southern dishes look delicious.
THE NATE BERKUS SHOW IS BACK!
I adore The Nate Berkus Show. If you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and record it. You can learn so much about interior decorating and design in such a short period of time; I always approach the show as a student, and I receive so much inspiration from it. This week, Nate continued his House Proud segment with the most exciting reveal yet –his very own, new apartment in New York. Check it out!
I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, Directed by native Midlander Douglas McGrath
Evan and I enjoyed a Friday Date Night at the new movie, I Don’t Know How She Does It, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and directed by native Midlander Douglas McGrath. If you’re in the mood for a smart, entertaining, and sincere romantic comedy that will certainly boost your mood, then this is a great choice. All of the actors won me over with their performances, but I especially enjoyed the supporting performances by Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples).
The fact that the Director, Douglas McGrath, grew up in my hometown, Midland, TX, attended the same private school, and took part in the same community theatre (my home away from home growing up) simply made an already enjoyable movie even more special.
HOMEMADE GOURMET – BLACK BEAN SALSA
This week, I made a delicious chicken with black bean salsa recipe that my mother taught me. Simple and spicy, it’s a great weeknight go-to! Plus, you can save the extra salsa and use it for a healthy chip dip while watching football over the weekend. I purchase the Black Bean Salsa mix from Homemade Gourmet.
Chicken with Black Bean Salsa Recipe
Chicken – I use chicken breasts.
Rotel (Mild) 3 cans – If you can’t find 3 cans of mild, I have had success with Original
Plastic Baking Bag
Black Bean Salsa Mix
1. In the morning, cover the salsa mix with 2 cans of Rotel. Cover and put in refrigerator.
2. Place chicken in baking bag and pour can of Rotel on Chicken; place chicken in refrigerator to marinate.
3. Bake chicken 350 for 1 hour.
4. Cut bag open and pull away from chicken. Pour salsa on top of chicken and heat in oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
PINTEREST PICKS OF THE WEEK