Wednesday, November 30, 2011

giving thanks to birthdays and traditions...

I don't know about you, but I feel like I am still recovering from the smorgasbord that was Thanksgiving. With a 2:30 Hudson meal and a 5:30 Tison meal, T and I jokingly went on an all almond diet this week. I am grateful to our mothers that made such amazing meals, as well as the side items Laur and Les made. Tison and I literally just had to show up and grab a fork.
This year Thanksgiving fell on Lauren's 25th birthday. A. It feels like I was just 25 and B. It feels like we were just carving the turkey last year. I have heard that as you get older time goes faster and I believe it to be true.
(Look at Leslie's full face- ha!)
Do you ever feel like time is rolling by so quickly and you don't know how to pump the breaks? As Christmas time approaches I am going to make it my concerned effort to stop and appreciate the little things, take deep breaths, look away from the computer to rest my eyes, practice my favorite sun salutations, say "no" to going out and "yes" to cozying up with my puppies, make a gift list and go
shopping BEFORE December 24th, go to church every Sunday, and listen to my White Christmas Pandora station non-stop! Do you stress during the holidays? If so, how do you "let your heart be light" as the Christmas song says?

Friday, November 18, 2011

les boutique de noel...

Here's a snapshot of me with some of the ZeltaMae girls at the Les Boutique de Noel Preview Party. I love going to this event! I typically go every year with my mom and we browse the venders together, which inevitably gets us into the holiday spirit. It is such a special event and I highly encourage everyone to get out in this finally-feels-like-winter weather :) Tomorrow is the last day of the event. It is located at the Bossier Civic Center from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. I will also be attending the Highland Jazz and Blues Festival with some friends tomorrow and possibly the House Concert Series on Sunday.  Don't you love an artsy weekend?!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

breaking danh...

No, I have not misspelled the Twilight Saga that opens tonight! Lauren, Katie and I went to Danh's Garden recently because we were craving their chicken pad thai with peanut sauce. I love this dish SO much! It hits my favorite flavor notes - sweet and savory - and the peanut sauce?! I could drink this stuff through a straw! Although the building looks questionable, the food more than makes up for the lackluster location.
Tison's favorite dish is B6- Stir Fry Lemon Grass Beef Noodle Salad. He was so mad I went without him. Hehe! Until we meet again Danh...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I have to say I am not your typical girl that goo's and gahh's over babies. Yes, babies are cute, sweet, and innocent. Yes, I think little baby clothes are precious, but when I start thinking about being responsible for a little person FOREVER... I get a little freaked out. I mean the feeding, the cleaning diapers, making sure they have everything they need-WOW, moms out there, I mean wow. I can barely keep myself together!

I am so impressed with my sis, Lauren, who handles mommyhood with such grace and ease. Some might consider me the more dramatic sister {stop laughing mom} and maybe I am, but I catch myself starring at Lauren with Hudson and asking, "How do you DO it? How did you know that's what would make him stop crying? You are so good at this mommy stuff!" Honestly, I am so proud of her. Last week when David and Lauren wanted an evening out they asked me to babysit. Oh, no big deal to most of you, right? Well, I was more-than-concerned about him choking on something when I looked away, or falling and hitting his head, or god forbid having a dirty diaper!!! When I showed up, to my surprise (and delight) Leslie, was there to help out. As a team we conquered Hudson-sitting like pros.
 The highlight of the night for me was feeding Hudson his bottle and rocking him to sleep. He is such an active baby. He always wants to be moving, so having him "cuddle" with me for 30 minutes was bonding - even emotional. I swear he gets cuter ever time I see him. As we rocked back and forth, I watched his little baby face relax, those eyes settle into a slumber and a wave of peace fell over me. "I can do this," I said to myself kissing Hudson's forehead, "I can do this."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

saturday morning breakfast rocks!

Hearing "Hey, Linz- wanna grab breakfast at Strawns?" is just about the best way to start a weekend. It is pretty rare that Tison doesn't have to work on Saturday mornings or that I don't have some errands to run. This Saturday was the glorious exception. I was beside-myself-excited to have all day together. We started the day at Strawns Eat Shop...

...Unfortunately I didn't save any room for their strawberry pie featured in Southern Living. It's the best (and is also my dad's favorite dessert)...After breakfast, we walked to King's Antique Mall to look around. We toured Centenary's Meadows Museum of Art and then hit up Max's Pawn Shop. When that wasn't enough browsing we drove to Top Dollar Pawn aka "the King Kong of Pawn." Tison passes it on the way to work everyday and has been dying to know what treasures are held inside. This place is HUGE, but I didn't buy anything. I was surprised by all the power tools and get this- saddles- they were selling! I guess, since I bailed out on our Friday date night to be lazy on the couch, this made up for it :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

thank you sir, may I have s'more...

Am I taking for granted the amount of times I have been fireside with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate? Who here has never had a s'more? Let me explain...

On Sunday evenings my family has been getting together to have dinner and catch up on the events of the week; this is quickly becoming a tradition. We have been alternating houses so that it is not too much work on one household. I would call it Sunday Suppers, but that name is already taken :) Then again, I may use it anyway.

This past Sunday Supper (see) was held at Lauren and David's house. They prepared fried back strap as an appetizer with stuffed bell peppers, grits bread, and corn for the entree. For dessert David lit up the fire pit for s'mores! I was ecstatic to say the least. This Camp Fern activity not only reminds me of my childhood, but satisfies the sweet tooth. As we prepared to head outside I heard my dad say, "Well, this will be fun. I've never had a s'more." Errr, WHAT? Never had a s'more?! I was dumbfounded. Just when I was trying to fathom someone never having tasted one of these sweet treats, I heard my mom whisper, "Neither have I."   The questions were mounting, "What? How? Why not?" when my dad said, "Not all of us were campers, Linz." {refer back to the first paragraph} Who here has never had a s'more before?

I was excited to share with these first-timers the art of preparing your graham cracker with hersheys chocolate, putting the mallow on the coat hanger, then roasting it over the fire. Some like theirs charred, but I am not one of those people. I like to call it the "perfect tan." Just when the outside turns the right shade of toasted, slide that mallow into the graham cracker sandwich you have prepared and let the chocolate melt a little - now bite into that gooey goodness! They are called s'mores, but I'm more of a -one and done- kinda gal.

With happy belly's comes fireside chats; we shared our highlights and lowlights of the week with one another. I am cautious to use the word perfect, but it is moments like these when I am surrounded by the people I love that I just can't imagine being anywhere else. My mom put it best when she said, "My highlight is right now, having all of our family together. Our lives are busy and there are a million other things we could have chosen to do tonight, but we all chose to be together."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Texas Avenue Makers Fair

This past Saturday, on the corner of Texas Avenue and Common Street in downtown Shreveport, vendors lined the covered pavilion with handmade crafts, clothing, jewelry, and southern food. My favorite moment was seeing a kid (no older than 13) selling duct tape notebooks all by himself! My mom bought earrings made out of sterling silver and bullet shells, I entered a raffle to win a 1960s bike, and Les and I shared the best fried crawfish ball ever. I feel so inspired from the experience that maybe I will even make something from my 'j'adore diy' board on pinterest this week.

You can't beat outings with family!

{More pictures of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair here.}

Monday, November 7, 2011

the party was kickin'...

On Saturday we went over to my friend Rachael's beautiful house to watch the LSU vs. Bama game. This was no regular football watching get-together. There was Cane's chicken strips, spinach and artichoke dip, buffalo dip, cheese dip, piggies in a blanket, mini quiche, and broiled shrimp. She made a cake in the shape of a football that when cut into was purple! A vodka freeze machine was rented and about 10 different mixer flavors were provided to add to your tastebuds delight. When the LSU kicker pulled off a win for dem tigas there was champagne to toast! I was mucho impressed. Considering Rach doesn't even get into football just shows she did all this for her friends. Wow! Thanks, girl. Geaux Tigers!

"how old are you?"

"How old are you?" was a question I got from Tison when I told him I had joined a book club. I am never quick on my feet with immediate replies so I am pretty sure I said something resembling, " Oh yeah, well how old are you?!" I'm working on my ability have quick and clever rebuttals, I promise. So when I join a bridge club I will have something really snazzy to say...

Our most recent read was Pioneer Woman: From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. If any of you read this and loved it, I do apologize for admitting I couldn't even finish the book. I am sure this woman is precious and her Marlboro Man is the definition of "Knight in Shining Armour," but I just couldn't get into it. However, the book club nights are always fun. I had no idea when we started this thing how much I would enjoy talking about the book (or part of the book) that I read. These girls have their opinions honey and I love getting to agree, disagree, or agree to disagree with them.

We all agreed that the recipes by Pioneer Woman were delicious! My mouth salivates every time I think about the sweet marinated tomatoes Diane made; the fig-prosciutto pizza with arugula by our host Laura was such an unusual coupling that I can't wait to make it at home.

I heart you book club!

Our next book is Pride & Prejudice. This will be my third time reading this Jane Austen masterpiece. I am ready to fall in love with Mr. Darcy all over again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Halamudas are Hitched!

This was a Camp Fern wedding- and I don't say that because it was an outdoor wedding, or because Whitney and Jeremy met at camp, or even because Whit and I became friends at camp. I say this because the ceremony honored the lessons that Camp Fern teaches its campers by explaining the Fern motto "God First, Others Second, I am Third." The Reverend (Whitney's Uncle, I think) explained that "The Other" is your significant other and how important it is to put your husband or wife's needs before your own. It was very moving. I could honestly feel the love in the air.

{Notice the difference a flash makes in the last group of pictures.}

It was sooo good to see everyone!
Can you guess which head I had to swap in Photoshop? I know,... I'm good ;)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


"Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you
the strength, the patience,and the passion
to reach for the stars to change the world."
                                                           ~ Harriet Tubman

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