Monday, August 29, 2011

110 Degree Country

This past Saturday was two things: 
1.       The hottest day of the summer at 110 degrees.
2.       The day of one of my favorite Waco events, the Margarita Salsa Festival.
Unfortunately these two don’t exactly complement each other, but my roommates and I weren’t about to let that stop us!  The Margarita Salsa Festival is a country concert featuring three country artists as well as a salsa/queso/guacamole/margarita competition between local restaurants.  It is always a unique mix of everyone from your typical Baylor student to some of the “hickest” rednecks, but everyone always has a great time!
 
Boots...the ONLY option for shoes.
Told you it was hot...I made Peyton stand here so the guy
wouldn't know I was creepin a picture of his sweat stains.
Somehow I missed the food competition the first time I came to the festival; don’t ask me how when the name has everything to do with food and nothing to do with music.  Anyways we arrived right when the gates opened at 6 p.m. to ensure that we could try all the samples before they ran out (and the music started).
Stoney Larue, Eli Young Band, and Gary Allan were the artists for the night and they were all AMAZING!  Since we arrived so early we were literally the second row from the stage! The only downside was that it was a bit warmer since everyone was so close, but by the time we left it had cooled down to 95 degrees which wasn’t bad at all.
I LOVED the concert and this picture of Bekah below.
First up was Stoney Larue, but I didn't like any of the pictures I took of him so here are some ones of us that I like instead.
Following was Eli Young Band.  We were all obsessed with their song “Crazy Girl” and made sure to belt it at the top of our lungs.
Finally figured out my camera settings.
The drummer had the BEST facial expressions.

Gary Allan was the main performer for the night and did not disappoint!  He threw out several guitar picks during each of his songs and guess what?….Emily caught one!  And not only did she catch it, but it happened to be on his song “She’s So California”!  The pick was great and in case y’all don’t believe me, it even says “This pick was stolen from Gary” on it.
Gary Allan.
The guitarist wore a kilt.  I didn't know that was country but I guess anything goes when you are a musician.
"She's So California"
With Gary's guitar pick!  Note how sweaty we are by this point in the night!
Would I weather 110 degree heat again for this concert?  Absolutely!  We all had so much fun and nothing beats good ‘ole country music.
Couldn't ask for better friends!
As we were leaving we ran into more friends.  We thought catching the guitar pick was cool; well they got invited to go to Gary's trailer and meet him before the show!
For those of you who want to get an even better vision of what the concert was like, feel free to watch the video montage from clips I took throughout the night!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Meeting the Neighbors with Monsters

Since we have all new neighbors this year, we decided why not welcome them to the block with some cookies?  Our house seems to have a love for all Pioneer Woman recipes.  She literally comes up about once a day so we decided on her Monster Cookies recipe.  Chloe claimed that all of the boys at University of Arkansas LOVED them when she gave them to her friend’s fraternity.  Since all of our neighbors are boys we decided they were a safe bet.
For some reason our oven is always off on temperature so we ended up FRYING our first batch.  Luckily we overestimated how much we would need and quadrupled the recipe so we had MORE than enough.
Since we don't have a wire rack, tin foil had to do the job.
The cookies were quite a hit, and we are now our neighbors’ favorites!  Guess we will just have to keep up with the baking throughout the year.
Perfection.

Monster Cookies

  • 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) Butter (salted) Softened
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1-1/2 cup Oats (either Quick Or Regular)
  • 1/2 cup M & M's (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped (more To Taste)
  • 3/4 cups Chocolate Chips (milk Or Semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter Chips
  • 2-1/4 cups Rice Krispies

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream butter with sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Add to mixing bowl and mix till combined.
  4. After that, add in remaining ingredients in whatever quantity you prefer. Add more nuts if you'd like, or more M & M's, more peanut butter chips or chocolate chips.
  5. Add Rice Crispies at the very end, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix!
  6. Use a cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, then allow to cool on a rack.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

20 First Days

Monday I had a last first; my last first day of school that is.  If you include 2 years of preschool and 2 years of kindergarten, this past Monday marks my 20th first day of school.  WOW now that is a lot of pencils, schedules, and of course first day of school pictures. 

If you haven’t figured out by now I may be borderline obsessive about taking pictures, but this is not entirely my own doing.  I come from a family where my dad ALWAYS has a video camera in hand and my mom is sure to snap a picture of every milestone in our life, even ones such as the last day of being 18.  I guess you only have one last day of being 18. 
Now Bekah and Peyton weren't too thrilled about me taking their first day picture.
We always had to get ready a bit early for our first day of school to take the traditional picture in front of the front door so we could see how much we had grown over the year.  Then we had to take our sibling picture which never quite turned out how my mom wanted.  By this point my brothers were thoroughly annoyed with the picture taking process and only gave half smiles.
Chole was a better sport (as shown with the thumbs up), and
Emily strategically planned her classes to avoid pictures all together.

As this was my last first day of school (and if I get my MBA that doesn’t really count as a first day), I couldn’t break with tradition so here is my 20th first day of school picture for you mom.
Your final first day of school picture by the front door.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Parkouring in the Park

Well it’s the weekend, and if I was in New York, I would most likely be spending the day in Central Park (or killing my feet by walking a million miles).  However, I am back in Waco, but in memory of my summer days in Central Park, I decided to share a day that I spent in the park with Hannah, Kim, and Lindsey!
 I never did get around to renting a boat but it sure looked fun!
 Trees in New York...not something you see everyday.
 The musicians were my favorite and I sometimes chose a spot
to lay out based on where the best music was.
Oh look it's some grass....
 Oh no that is definitely water and algae....
Gross!
Hannah the mountain climber.
Meet the parkours...
(And for those of you who don't know, parkouring is a method of
overcoming obstacles with speed, efficiency, and agility. -Thanks Wikipedia).
video
video
video

This is the most precious bench in the park!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again

To the chorus of the song Mamma Mia...

Mamma Mia, here I go again
My my, can’t resist sharin’.
Mamma Mia, gotta see that show again
My my, just to hear the music.
Yes, was a bit brokenhearted
Blue since my friends had departed.
But why, why would I let that stop me?
Mamma Mia, now I really know,
My my, half price tickets are the way to go.

Mamma Mia, that’s my dad again
My my, tellin’ me to see the Cloisters.
Mamma Mia, guess I’ll go to that museum.
My my, just to make him happy.
Yes, I wasn’t super excited,
But I was a bit closed minded.
Why, why it actually was amazing!
Mamma Mia, Europe in New York
My, my Romanic, Gothic, Medieval artwork.
On the most humid day of my life, climbing a mountain of stairs wasn't the smartest idea.
These are just the start of them, but at least the way down was easier!
The Cloisters...a museum associated with the Met.
Had to take a picture of this for all my KKGs.
Looks pretty similar to my pictures from Europe, right?
The chapel
The gardens
And it all overlooks the Hudson River...not the view you would expect from 200th in NYC.