Wednesday, August 29, 2012


"A man driving along I-40 West Tuesday had an exotic animal stuck inside his car.

The driver saw a snake pop his head out of his AC vent and almost smile at him, so he decided to pull over to the side of the road and call for assistance.

Animal control located the snake inside his dashboard, but couldn't remove it.

The officer on the scene said he's seen this before, but not while working as a state trooper.

"Six years on the highway patrol, this is the first one. But as a sheriff's deputy, I dealt with this quite a bit, but yes this is the first snake call in a vehicle I've answered as a trooper," said THP Trooper John Carr.

Since the snake couldn't be removed on the scene, the driver asked for his car to be towed away to a safer location where they could take the dashboard apart and remove the snake."

-7:19 AM, Aug 29, 2012,

CAN YOU IMAGINE?!?!?!?!! How this driver managed to pull safely to the side of the road is beyond me. I would have gone CRAZY.

Monday, August 27, 2012


This past weekend was the 2nd Annual Waldron/Thomas Lake Weekend Extravaganza, henceforth and forevermore to be known as the annual Lambda Sigma Lambda (Lewis Smith Lake) convention. Last year was so much fun that I knew I didn't want the summer to pass without making time for this special weekend once again. So back in May, Erin and I were emailing about something totally unrelated and I mentioned to her that we should go ahead and put the date on the books. I am so glad that we did, because everyone's summer filled up so quickly!

There was only one little rainstorm that came our way and other than that, we had good weather. We swam, we tubed, they skied, Adam kneeboarded. We ate and ate and ate and played games and laughed until our stomachs hurt. I left feeling so replenished and happy and blessed to have such special people as these three in my life.

Thanks again, Waldrons!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Lately, I have really been convicted over my attitude, mostly at work. I like my job; don't get me wrong. I have just been doing a lot of grumbling and complaining lately and when I stop and think about it, it makes me sad. And so much of what I spend my time getting snippy over really just doesn't matter.

I have been contemplating what it means to "take captive" every thought, even the ugly ones. I don't like being short-tempered, or quick to anger, or easily frustrated, but I have been. Cussing under my breath when I am frustrated. Muttering unkind things when I don't get the answer I need. And that's just what makes it out of my mouth; there's plenty more where that came from. Bottom line: I would be embarrassed if some of you sat beside me at work for a day. Time to take these thoughts and words captive.

Just like I get up and go to the gym to exercise my body, I figured that I can exercise my attitude before I ever even start my day. I made a CD full of my favorite praise songs. I have listened to nothing else in the car this week and I have to say it helps. Drive time traffic alone makes it worthwhile.

Readers, how do you practice bearing the fruits of the spirit when you would just rather pick them up and throw them at someone?

Friday, August 17, 2012


Football is on TV which, in my book, means it's football season. Translation: I am looking for all the orange I can find. Every season, I have to tell myself "you have plenty of orange clothes. DO NOT go nuts buying more." Then I remember that it's not like I'm ever NOT going to cheer for Auburn, so who cares how many orange things I buy? They'll get worn; football happens every year. Adding to my enthusiasm is the understanding that it's not that hard to find cute orange things in Tennessee. Retailers probably double their shipment of orange stuff to this state because it sells so quickly. Good ole Rocky Top.

Not only do I wear orange every Friday during football season, I also try to wear it on Saturdays if I make it out of my pajamas (assuming I'm not at the game). Heck, I'll wear it any day of the week I feel led. So without further ado, here's the things you will see me in regularly this fall as well as some other clothes that I think are cute but don't own.

Before I get to the good stuff, notice there are no HAIR BOWS in here because grown women don't need to be wearing hairbows like this girl. Also notice there are no high-maintence, backless, one-shouldered, lace-trimmed frocks with a ginormous sash because this is a football game, not the Kentucky Derby. Just because they made it in your team's colors, don't mistake a cute dress for one that makes you look like a birthday party.

Now, where we were?

Look out Derek Dooley, guess who bought herself some orange pants! These are currently in stock at the Gap and I would not be upset if every good Auburn fan went out and bought herself a pair. While you are there, you may also need to try on this shirt, which was 30% off when I was there yesterday:

Don't think that my eyes are only peeled for orange things in the fall. A stockpile is a stockpile. Earlier in the year, I found this cute little maxi skirt earlier on sale at Ann Taylor Loft, and this shirt that looks like it was made for Auburn at J. Crew Factory:

I know. It's mean of me to tease you with something that's not available.

Dry that eye! Here's a T-shirt from J. Crew Factory that IS in stock and is just a good staple. Throw on some jeans and a scarf and be on your way.

If you are like my mom and need something that has a least one spool's worth of sequins on it, this top is available at Express right now. Make sure to wear some pants with it or someone might mistake you for a majorette:

I like this dress from Francesca's Collections. It implies tiger print, but in a subtle way.

But if that's too loud for you, I like this plain orange T-back number. And for that one game they always insist everyone wear blue, here's a cute dress that gets the job done.

Happy shopping and War Eagle!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


My Chick Food Supper Club met last night at ChaChah, a Nashville original restaurant founded by culinary extraordinaire and Top Chef Contestant Arnold Myint. We were women on a mission: to try Patti Myint's famous House Salad. Patti, Arnold's Mom, used to serve this salad at International Market which is her restaurant across the street, where Arnold learned the trade. Now he owns three restaurants in town, and ChaChah is the only place to get this legendary, off-the-menu tastebud explosion.

Leslie nominated this one for our our next adventure after our last Supper Club meeting. You have to have reservations for this for at least 4 people and the whole table has to be in on it. We chose beef and shrimp for our meat selections, she reserved our spot and we were in.

Once everyone had washed her hands, we sat down to admire the bountiful spread before us. I don't think I have ever eaten a more colorful supper:

We were all pretty excited that Patti herself was there to guide us on our journey, and obliged our requests for a photo op or two:

She gave us our marching orders and stood watch while we dived in. The instructions are to get one of everything and ONLY one of everything. One tiny piece of carrot, one single peanut, one sliver of pickled garlic, one tiny wedge of lime, one leaf of basil and on and on. I was impressed that some of the ingredients are grown on-site. You top it with the meat of your choice (never two meats at the same time) and some of the delicious sweet chili sauce. The hard part, however, is not the assembly, which was pretty hilarious in and of itself: "Oops, I got two peanuts!" "Can you pass the lemongrass?" "Who dropped a lime in the mango?" The HARD part is getting the entire thing in your mouth at once. But that's the whole point! That's why all the ingredients are so small. Patti cheered us on: "Keep going! Eat the whole thing! Eat it all in one bite!" Once it all hits your mouth, it's a flavor explosion like no other. I like the way this writer explained it: "The crunch of the peanut needs the give of the cellophane noodle. The sweetness of the pineapple needs the sting of the garlic. The warmth of the meat sets off the coolness of the mint. Each bite is a compact anthology of flavors, textures and temperatures."

Here's an up-close peek at exactly what we were working with:

Patti encouraged us to eat, eat, eat, and when we were full, "go run up the hill and come back." No one decided to take her up on that offer, but we did stuff ourselves with bite after bite. When we asked Patti where she came up with this dish, her reply: "My family likes vegetables!"

We were pretty pleased with ourselves and toasted to our fun night. This one will be hard to top.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Cam Newton. The man is just beautiful. How else do you describe these photos from his latest spread in GQ? It's not even fair how adorable he is:

If my future husband is reading this, he better run to Nordstrom and stock up on this GQ Get the Look collection they are featuring. He may not BE Cam Newton, but at least he can dress like him. It's a step in the right direction, right? Swaggy, indeed.

For the whole story (oh yes, there's words to go along with these pretty pretty pictures) and the rest of the photos, click here. If you need me, I'll be wallpapering my room with these photos and memorizing this quote from the article:

"One thing is conclusive: Cam Newton is that thing known as the Whole Package. On the field, a tantalizing glimpse of the One—a player who unifies the speed of the great modern running QBs like Michael Vick with the pocket skills of more traditional passers like Tom Brady. Off it, a star in the making."

Monday, August 13, 2012


I've been looking for a good pork tenderloin recipe for a while. The first time I ever tried to cook pork tenderloin, it was a massive failure. Just don't ask. It was bad enough that I have been scared to touch it ever since. I did trust my crockpot not to screw it up earlier in the year, but as far as a pan-seared or oven-roasted situation? Not so much.

Figuring it was time to make something other than chicken or sirloin, I bit the bullet and bought some super lean pork tenderloin the other week. It went straight into my freezer while I narrowed down the perfect recipe. I thawed it out last night and HOLY COW, I HAVE DIED AND GONE TO PORK HEAVEN.

Using Pinterest, naturally, I found this little marinate, sear and bake number. Do not make the mistake I made when I read that recipe and underestimate the value of that pan sauce. WOW. I wanted to lick the pan, kids. I might have if it hadn't just come out of the oven. Butter isn't on any of the "recommended foods" list on my fridge but OH WELL.

In the interest of keeping it real, you should know I used water instead of chicken broth, dried parsley instead of fresh and regular pepper instead of "freshly cracked." No one's ever accused me of being fancy, that's for sure. I also swapped soy sauce for Braggs Liquid Aminos, which is a healthier alternative.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Last night, I joined Evan's family to go see his twin brother Elliott as Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie. The show was put on by the Pull Tight Players Theatre in Franklin.

It was an intimate theater, only seating 92 people. We were on the front row and my feet were on the stage. I was really impressed with the quality of the show for a community theater. The sets were good, the music was good, and THIS guy:

Stole the whole show!

A wink of his eye and one shake of those hips and the entire theater was eating out of the palm of his hand.

Great job, Elliott, and thanks to the Thomas family for letting me tag along!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Lest my post about my cute new chairs and snappy new couch make you think I am even the least remotely bit en vogue, let me tell you just how late to the party I am on some of pop culture's biggest phenomenons:

1. Mad Men. Never watched an episode until this past weekend. Whadaya know? It's a good show. Jay loaned me season 1 on DVD and am about halfway through it right now. I have so many questions! Will Betty's hand tremors return? What is UP with that girl Peggy? What exactly does Joan do at that office and most importantly, will Jon Hamm appear shirtless or am I just watching all of this for nothing?

2. Alana/Honey Boo Boo Chiiiiiiiiiild. Okay, this one is a little harder to admit. I don't watch Toddlers and Tiaras but I did You Tube my way into discovering this little American treasure. Now she has her own show? Color me amazed. I have the show page bookmarked since alas, I don't get TLC* and cannot watch this train wreck live with the rest of you. I wonder if she will grow up and be embarrassed when she watches these later in life, or proudly high-five herself every time she remembers "Yes I DID do the truffle shuffle on national television, Honey Boo Boo Chiiiiiiild."

The one culture phenomenon I am on like white on rice? DALLAS. If you aren't watching the new series, you are missing out! Southfork is the place to be right now! Well, it will be when the series returns in January, that is.

*My current cable package is going to have to be reconsidered before football season starts, let's just be honest. I'm not sinking time and money into decorating this condo just to have to leave my own home if I want to watch Gameday or, more importantly, Auburn games that aren't on CBS. Yet, the thought of dealing with Comcast again makes me want to sell my belongings**, renounce modern civilization and move to an island somewhere.
**That is, all belongings but these, naturally.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


On Sunday night, Jay and I grabbed our rain jackets and headed out to see Andy Grammar, Mat Kearney and Train at Nashville's newest outdoor venue, the Woods at Fontanel. This was my first trip out there, but not because of lack of effort. Earth Wind & Fire SOLD OUT the venue and I was out of town for Idina Menzel earlier in the summer.

So, there was a 100% chance of rain on Sunday night. I looked at the hourly forecast and it was supposed to pour at 8 pm, right about the time Mat Kearney was on stage. Typically, this is the type of thing I would curl my lip up at, but I put on my trusty rain boots, some dark clothing that wouldn't get ruined in the rain and left all nonessentials behind in the dry car.

Just one hitch: it didn't rain. My rain boots are CURSED. Last week I wore them on a day that the weather man said it was definitely going to rain and it was sunny all day. I looked like an idiot.

The show was really good. I really liked Andy Grammar, whom I had never heard before. In fact, I came home and bought his album. Due to the imminent storm rolling in, all the acts had to cut their sets short. Train kept getting warnings on the stage and finally told us they had time to play just 2 more songs. I was thrilled when the piano kicked into "Drops of Jupiter." I just KNEW it was going to start raining during the song and it would be just amazing: drops of rain during "Drops of Jupiter" - you can't write this stuff! Except, it didn't. My boots never saw a drop of rain. But, looking at this photo Jay took, you can see why they were trying to end the show:

So, even though it got cut short, the show was still really great! I can't wait to go to another one out there!

Monday, August 06, 2012


This little pretty came to Nashville on Saturday and we had a blast. We got ready together and tried on clothes and helped each other pick out outfits and jewelry and then went downtown for dinner and a fun time out on the town. Then, even though I have a whole extra bedroom, I still made her sleep in my bed, just because that's what best friends do.

Dear Lord, please let it be sooner than 12 months before she comes back again. Amen.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


One or two of you have asked for pics of the new condo. It is still a work in progress, but the living room is my favorite room and is also the room that is closet to being "complete" so I don't mind sharing a few pictures.

The couch arrived in late July. Hot mess before:

Hot mess, be gone. After:

I know. Big improvement, right? I bought those pillows online before I had even moved in. What can I say, I was excited. And check out that mirrored wall. At first I thought it was terrible, but since I moved in, I've grown to like it. It makes the room so light and airy. I won't be installing one in my next home but it works just fine for now! It's like I have my own dance studio.

Next thing on the list was to get some additional seating. I was going to wait until the loveseat sold on Craigslist so I would have both the spare room and the extra cash, but I came across a good deal pretty quickly so there went that idea. I found these two chairs at Kirkland's of all places after seeing them in a similar style at a friend's home. The sticker on the chair said $199, said $149, they were on sale for $99, and I used a 25% off coupon bringing the total to about $75 each. I think that's pretty good for two incredibly versatile chairs! I was torn between this burlap-looking color and seafoam blue, but once I got them home I knew it was the right choice. Plus, like I said, they are so versatile! If I find something I like better, these could go in a bedroom, a dining room, etc. And I LOVE me some nailhead trim! I think the whole space will open up and look much better once that massive loveseat is gone!

I had fewer frames on the mantle but I keep adding them back. Evan says it's teetering on looking too cat lady-ish. The serving dish I have up there like the crown jewels was a birthday gift that I placed up there just to see if it looked good. Does it? The candles by the fireplace were a handmedown gift but I'm not sure why that rogue silver one is still on the hearth. Oops. Ignore that.

The dresser came from Evan, this you already know. And let the record state that those curtains were a pain to hang by myself but I sure do love them. The length was a total crapshoot that went in my favor. The cross above the TV is a shower hostess gift I received in college from my friend Anna.

Things I still need to add in this room include a rug (OMG WHAT KIND?!), more or different pillows for the couch, a bigger coffee table and a side table or two to go in between those chairs and on the far side of the couch. For real: what kind of rug should I get? I was thinking a plain jute one but then I got those chairs. As for side tables, I like this one from Urban Outfitters, but since I came across it earlier in the summer, they've run out of this color AND the price went up! Supply and demand wins again.

But look! Last week I found it at Bed Bath and Beyond for less AND I can use one of their 20% off coupons, and can of spray paint if I have to.

So that's my place! What do you think? My first non-familial visitor is on her way up to see it live and in person so I better get back to cleaning!

Thursday, August 02, 2012


Remember how I told you things were about to pick up and stay that way through Labor Day? I feel like a Ryan Seacrest lately – I am just EVERYWHERE!

A few weekends ago, I spent the weekend helping my sister and her family move into their new home in north Alabama. My official job was babysitter, one that I was all too eager to jump right into. Somebody had to stare into those baby blues while everyone else unpacked boxes! I soaked up every minute on the floor playing with my little buddy and I am positive that he had a fun time as well. Proof: I made him laugh for 5 minutes straight using nothing but my God-given talents and a little teething bug, and my life has not been the same since. I had not heard him really laugh before, let alone caused him to erupt into giggles, so that was by far the highlight of my life the trip for me.

Speaking of laughter, the weekend after that, Mom came up to see me – as I already told you. We shopped (some more recklessly than others), played, ate, etc.

Then this past weekend, ALL of us reconvened under one roof in Birmingham for a special weekend for le petit cherie. Now that my sister and her family are not in Birmingham, it feels like Christmas when we are all piled into Mom’s house at the same time. Other friends joined us to participate in and celebrate the milestone that is dedicating a baby to the Lord and it was a beautiful time with friends and family. James Henry looked just like an angel in his new gown and behaved just like one, too! Family time is extra special now that we are more spread out.

On Monday night I had dinner with my old college roommate Melinda. She and her husband and their daughters moved to town recently and I was SO glad to be able to connect with her. We laughed and reminisced for almost three hours! I am already looking forward to spending more time with her.

Last night, Jay and I went to see the Nutty Professor musical, which previewed and is debuting here in town. For people who (like me) did not realize the 1990's Eddie Murphy version was a remake, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the original plot, which is not too different from the remake but sadly there were no mentions of colonics, Mike Douglas or fried chicken skin. In spite of that, I was REALLY surprised with how good it was. The lead actor was really amazing. There was one scene where he was going back and forth between Buddy and Professor Kelp several times pretty quickly and he nailed it. If you have a free night between now and August 19, when the show heads out of town, I recommend going to see it!

Speaking of heading out of town, that brings me to this weekend! More out of town company! Kathryn is coming up to stay with me and I am so excited I can hardly stand it! This is her second annual trip to Nashville... hope this tradition sticks around!

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