Friday, July 31, 2009

Homemade Key Lime Pie

We had a great time in Destin last week with the Lipseys and Hackmeyers. We had good weather, great food and homemade desserts. It didn't take long for the gang to realize that I love a good piece of key lime pie, especially on vacation. On our second night out to dinner and a couple of homemade key lime pies later, we started to get tickled at every menu and sign offering said pie. Let's just say you wouldn't have to be a pie connoisseur to realize "homemade" was a slight embellishment at most places. I'd have to say JC's had the best pie of the week. It even had specks of key lime in it. Here's a picture of all of us on the beach before heading to dinner on our last night.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beach House

I never understood why folks in Memphis had vacation homes, and personally never wanted one.

1. I never liked the idea of having to make my own bed on holiday and wash my own towels.
2. Traveling to different beaches always seemed more appealing. Going to the same place over and over sounded monotonous.
3. Besides, what fabulous destination could you drive to from Memphis in a reasonable amount of time?

Well after spending several days in Destin last week, I threw my "no vacation home" policy out the window. I had forgotten what a beauty that immaculate white sandy beach is. It rivals many other beaches in more prestigious places. We have gone on our fair share of beach vacations from Miami Beach to Laguna Beach to Waikiki Beach, and I am loving the beach at Destin. In fact, I heard it is one of the top ten beaches in the country.

Maybe because I'm growing up and life requires a faster pace and since I greatly value convenience, I can now appreciate the attraction of a beach house. With just the two of us, Bryant and I don't want to put even a little effort into our vacations. We prefer no effort. That is why we went back to Oahu this year instead of trying a different island. We want to eventually visit the Big Island and Maui together, but with Bryant being so familiar with Waikiki, it was just easier. (He flies to Hawaii often with his job). With the increasing hassle of flying commercial, I can see how an 8 hour car ride makes more sense for a family than an 8 hour flight.

As for my earlier objection to washing those towels, I think I can handle it. I hear an ocean view helps time go by faster when you are folding towels. Now that I understand the practicality of having a vacation home, the only thing left to do is get a piggy bank.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Honoring a Great Man

Today I went to the visitation for Steve Collums, headmaster at ECS. He became the headmaster after I had already graduated, but I sure enjoyed having him as an English and Bible teacher. I can't think of anyone who didn't like Coach Collums. He was intelligent, funny, approachable and godly. He will be missed by so many and my heart goes out to his family. He was only 59. Death is unexpected and is never convenient. Psalm 89:48 says, "What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave?"

We know this is not the end. Death is a refuge for the righteous (Proverbs 14:32) and those left behind have a refuge in God. The Commercial Appeal has an article on Coach Collums in today's paper that you can read here.

"A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth."
- Ecclesiates 7:1

Monday, July 20, 2009

Who's the Boss?

Unless you own your business, most of us wouldn't think of ourselves as "the boss". We might have people that work for us on a part time or full time basis like a housekeeper or a nanny. There are also those individuals that we hire to perform a service like the lawn guy or the bug guy. What if you were to ask me how satisfied I was with these services and I told you I would have to research it and get back with you? That would be a very odd thing to say. So why is it any different when we are asked how our local representatives and state senators are doing on the job?

I can tell you that I am very satisfied with my lawn and bug guy. When I'm paying for a service, if it does not meet my expectations I'll find someone else. Government representatives work for the people. Think of it like you are the CEO and you are hiring a manager. You call the shots; you're in charge. You are delegating responsibility to a manager to look after your interests. It only makes sense that you would check in with this manager, making sure their work is up to par. If it's not, you don't have to reelect them.

I'm sad to say that I only recently became concerned with how my managers are doing. Thanks to technology it is easier than ever to become aware and involved with government. With a little bit of FOXNews and The Conservative's Handbook on my bedside table, I think I'm well on the way to an office with a view.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Apricot Poodle

Four or five months after Miles came to live with us, we took him to an obedience class to learn basic commands and good behavior. Our vet recommended Dog Woods, located on Germantown Road. They were easy to work with and overall we were pleased with the progress he made there. One week I couldn't make it to class so Bryant and Miles were on their own. Of course, I heard a gleaming report on how he did. Since I wasn't there, Miles had decided to show off. (By the way, I definitely agree with the obedience trainer in Marley & Me who said, "a dog can only have one master.") The little guy behaved perfectly since Bryant was the one asking.

Bryant wasn't the only one who thought Miles did well that day. The trainer kept saying how the "apricot Poodle" was doing great and the "apricot Poodle" has it down. We had never heard him called that before, but the name sure did stick. We now call him "apricot Poodle" as one of his nicknames, and Miles is not without his fair share of pet names (pun intended). I guess we think he's so cute the nicknames should be just as cute.

Here's some of the names we call him or that others have called him before: cutie, cutie patootie, button, button nose (Bo), bear, bunny (Mandy), puppy (Nancy), fafa (Max), stinker, angel, devil, lion, owl (Sean), Lucifer (FedEx guy), Milo (neighbors), and Milesy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Home Cooking

Bryant and I were over in the Poplar area today and wanted to grab a quick lunch together. He eats over there pretty often with the guys from work and suggested Patrick's, a local home cooking restaurant over on Park. I was surprised I hadn't heard of it before, but after today I will definitely be going back. I would say it's one of the best home cooking joints around town.

For lunch, I had the veggie plate with lima beans, blackeyed peas and yams. Sooo good. We recently discovered the West Street Diner in Germantown , which serves a similar menu to Patrick's. I am quite pleased to know I have two new options for good food. Even though they've been around Memphis for quite some time, they're new to me. The only thing that could have been better was the chocolate blackberry cobbler we ordered to go turned out to be just chocolate cobbler. Obviously our waitress misunderstood us when we asked how the "chocolate blackberry" cobbler was and didn't clarify if we would like the chocolate or blackberry cobbler. Mmmm... chocolate blackberry cobbler. Now, that would have been something to bring home.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oldie but Goodie

Last week I was in the mood for some praise music as I was cleaning around the house. I went to our hall closet where we keep stacks of CDs and started rummaging through all our old praise music. I landed on one group, but after 7 minutes or so I was back to the closet. I wanted a simple melody with lyrics based off Scripture - something worshipful. Disease or Cure? by The Newberrys was just what I was craving.

Not only did I listen to it for most that afternoon, it resurfaced the next day, and eventually landed in one of six slots in my Pathfinder's CD player where it turned daily commutes into praise gatherings. At least that's how it felt as I was singing along with Tyler and Les. Some of my favorites on the album include: "The One We Choose", "Above All Names", "Pursued" and "All About You". Even during this busy work week, I found myself subconsciously singing, "Your love's amazing" and "You are the lover of my soul." Someone may have even heard me at some point. Isn't that typical of praise? "I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Internet Puppy

When I was deciding what kind of puppy I wanted, there were 3 criteria I used in making my decision:

1. I wanted an indoor dog. The thought of an outdoor dog makes me picture a large dog that roams the backyard and spend his nights in the wild outdoors. That sounded much too sad.
2. I needed a hypoallergenic pup. I can spend time with my canine friends but since I am allergic to them, we could never cohabitate.
3. It had to have the cutest face I had ever seen.

It didn’t take long for me to decide on the Maltipoo breed. The Maltese and Poodle are both hypoallergenic due to the fact they have hair not fur. Maltipoos don’t shed which was another plus. I had become more aware of these designer pooches thanks to pictures in celebrity magazines of the celebs out and around town with their furry friends in tow. Or should I say “hairy” friend. After seeing Penny, an adorable chocolate Maltipoo belonging to Blake Lively, I was quite smitten. My search for a chocolate brown Matipoo had begun.

Quite the search it turned out to be after learning 99% of Maltipoos are white. After our local search came up empty, Bryant suggested looking on the internet. PuppyFind had the largest selection of Maltipoos although no chocolate puppies were to be found there either. I thought what could be better than chocolate? I soon found out as I opened an email from Bryant and saw this adorable creature looking at me with cinnamon highlights and black tips on his ears. It was puppy love at first sight. I had to have him right away and even paid extra to get him from Michigan to Memphis on the weekend flight. Miles flew on American Airlines and arrived on Super Bowl Sunday 2008. Although he looks more like a platinum blond now, I tell him to this day how happy I am I found him on the internet.

Here are a couple pictures of our first night with Miles. He was 12 weeks old when we picked him up at the airport.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Design 101

Sunday I went to a design workshop at Ethan Allen located on Germantown Pkwy. Their team of designers gave us a tour around the store and explained how to put more color, pattern and texture into our personal space. One of the designers, Eric, brought up an interesting point about the order in which to go about styling a room. He said the #1 mistake his clients make is to paint before the furniture and fabric are picked out. Since painting is the simplest step in the design process and has the broadest spectrum of color to choose from, save it for last. Start with your area rug, choose upholstered pieces second, then finish with paint. I can relate after spending many hours in search for a 9' x 12' rug for our living area. Since the contents of the room had been predetermined, my options were very limited. Trying to choose the perfect rug after the entire room is finished... hope you're up for a challenge. If choosing a rug is not your first priority, at least acknowledge its significance in the room and work it alongside the furniture and case goods.

Ethan Allen divides their showroom into 7 different lifestyles from Country House to Glamour. While it's hard not to love the entire floor, check out their online quiz to see which style defines you most.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Road Trip

Has God called you to go or to lead but hasn't given you the specifics? Do you feel He hasn't let you in on His plans? Moses felt the same way when he addressed God in Exodus 33:12-13. God had called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt and to a land flowing with milk and honey. Along the way the people became impatient and in a time of weakness looked to other gods to lead them (Exodus 32:1). God sent a plague on the people because of their stubbornness but decided they would arrive at the promised destination but without His presence.

He was telling them to go. He was giving His permission and His ruling. If we make it to the promised land, to the specific place we are supposed to be, is that in itself enough? Not for Moses. Moses said, "If your presence doesn't take the lead here, call this trip off right now" (Exodus 35:15). God then said to Moses, "All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name." For Moses it wasn't all about the destination, but Who was with him on the journey.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

White and Skinny

Are you still looking for a pair of white skinny jeans to don before summer's end? I keep hearing comments about True Religion Brand Jeans having the cutest white jeans of the season. At the hefty price tag that comes with these designer jeans, most shoppers have held off in search for a better bargain.

Making their debut in Transformers 2, Blank shows off their Skinny Classique with Studs Jean in White. Megan Fox wears the white skinnies for almost half the movie. They are hard to miss with their signature silver studs on the back pockets and are sold at a fourth of the price of True Religion. Blank jeans run about a half to whole size smaller. Amanda, who carries them at Sachi, says, "some buy normal size but know they will be TIGHT as in have you seen Transformers because besides looking good the only reason they put her (Fox) in Blanks is because they knew they would not move while she was in the middle of a war zone with robotic aliens." Hilarious but true! So go ahead, you still can get plenty of wear out of them before the end of the season. Just try not to get them as dirty as Megan's.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happiness and Good Fortune

As I was flipping through this month's edition of Midsouth Magazine, I saw an article on none other than my favorite boutique in Memphis, Sachi. Located in Laurelwood's Shopping Center right across from Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Sachi's new space boasts twice the square footage as their old space. With all the extra room, Miki, the boutique's owner, completely renovated the store with curtains for dressing rooms, a dedicated wall for displaying shoes, and a separate area for handbags and jeans.

When you enter the store, it's vibrant, funky vibe can't help but put a smile on your face. The happiness continues as you are greeted with an armful of clothes especially picked out just for you. I must brag a bit here about Amanda, my sister, who buys for Sachi. She is quite the stylist in that she can put together an outfit that will be your season's favorite, even if she met you 5 minutes ago. Sachi carries a good mix of high and low price point items which keeps the budget happy. So while Sachi definitely lives up to the "happiness" in it's name, I wouldn't be surprised when you try on the perfect pair of Genetic Denim you find yourself saying out loud, "good fortune."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monster Conservative

Remember when you were little and you were afraid of the monster lurking in your closet or under your bed? A monster that invokes fear in the liberal left might be exactly what we need today. With so many spineless politicians that are too afraid to stand up for what their constituents value, the Monster Conservative is a powerful voice that speaks out for conservatives all across the country. The Monster Conservative is a website dedicated to spreading conservative principles and informing the public on issues that don't get highlighted in the mainstream media.

On the site, you will find links to conservative blogs, news and radio as well as regular postings that are educational and encouraging for the conservative movement. There is even a link to the Constitution so you can read it yourself. Do you know how many articles are in the Constitution? I'm not going to tell you. You'll have to visit the Monster to find out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independence Day

Independence Day is a day of celebration in our country. A day to celebrate with food, fun, games and fireworks. This July 4th was bittersweet for me. Yes, it was sweet that we celebrated another year of independence as a nation. Bitter in that I wondered for the first time how long will we be able to keep our republic form of government? We forget that our nation is a young nation at only 233 years old! We have slowly been moving away from the principles and values that our country was founded on. Lately the direction our nation is headed and the speed at which we are arriving is just enough to take the sweet out of celebration.

My sister and her husband and my two nephews spent the holiday with us. We managed to have lots of laughs with the boys around despite our grim political discussions. Here are a few pictures of the boys taking a bubble bath - a sweet moment for sure!


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