September 29, 2011

Colorado or Bust!

Today is the day I've been waiting for!!
I am literally counting the seconds until 6 p.m. 25,860 in case you were wondering. I'm looking forward to piling in the pimped out Explorer (thanks Adam's parents!) with BF and some of our very best friends!

Eight solid hours of pure roadtrip bliss. Don't you worry though, I'm the master of roadtrip entertainment! I have my bag packed full of movies, music, magazines, games, coloring books (big kids can like them too!), and crossword puzzles. Eek!

{ Let the fun begin! }


Looking forward to seeing this gorgeous fall landscape...







...enjoying some Great American Beer Festival...




...hiking through Red Rocks...






...and roadtripping fun with the gang!



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This trip has always been such a complete blast, so I am about to pee my pants with excitement! In fact I woke up with a huge smile on my face. Now my Bella Bear is dropped off at her Auntie Karen's house, and my suitcase is ready to go in my car. Just ready for work to be over and the fun to start!

Now for your enjoyment, picture from last year...


{ Isn't BF cute?! I love my ginger! }


{ Pretzel necklaces are a must! }

{ Oh beer fest... why are you so fun? }


Welp, friends, I'm off to enjoy the day and be super productive! I will be sure to take lots of pictures (I'm so bad at sharing them with you guys!). Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!

PS - Have Twitter? Keep up with my Colorado adventure HERE!


Colorado Bound!



September 28, 2011

The Here & Now

Absolutely love this quote and everything it stands for. Living and loving in the here and now is the most important thing to remember. Life will unfold as time goes on, but choosing to be present everyday and loving life is a gift!





Happy Wednesday, Love Bugs!



September 27, 2011

Travel Tips + Packing Preview

It's hard to focus today.
From the moment I opened my eyes this morning, I knew it was going to be a copious-amounts-of-coffee kind of day. Since filling up my pastel polka dotted mug, I am much more awake... but I have only one thing on my mind. Traveling.

That's right. This Thursday I am heading for the gorgeous Rockies to spend a long weekend with BF and our friends. We have so much fun packed into our little agenda that I can barely contain myself.

Great American Beer Festival. Visiting good friends in CO Springs. Hiking through Red Rocks. Exploring downtown Denver. Oh my goodness... take me there now!

Needless to say, this little blonde has some packing to do! One thing that you may not know about me (and BF + family can testify to) is that I am a slowly recovering compulsive over-packer. Three day stays with 3+ bags in tow is not something to brag about y'all!




Luckily for me (and you!) I have graduated over-packing rehab, and have decided to share some packing tips and tricks that I've learned with you today!

Some of you experienced packing professionals may scoff at some of these "no-brainers", but maybe I can help offer a handy new solution?!

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{ Travel Tricks + Tips }



1) Do the Roll

Want to beat the wrinkle monster and save space? Roll your clothes! All you have to do is lay out your favorite blouse, fold in the arms, and begin rolling tightly from the neckline all the way to the shirt hem. Tuck it in your suitcase, and voila! Room for 15 more tops for your 4-day trip! ;)

You can even lay several tops on top of each other and roll all together to save more room! Clothes come out looking wrinkle-free and this space saver works like a charm! More directions here.




2) Munchkin Size

As you know, I am from Kansas, which naturally means I naturally am linked to The Wizard of Oz. The movie si even life applicable... I think. When packing your toiletries, do as the munchkins do, and buy travel sized!

I purchased my own cute little travel refillables so that I can bring my favorite products with me


3) Bottle Saver

I don't know about you gals, but I always travel with a few Camelbak or Nalgene bottles. Gotta stay hydrated! In case you're in need of more room, you can always put your travel sized item, toothbrush/toothpaste, etc. in your bottle.

It saves your toiletires from getting dirty in your make-up bag too!


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{ My Roadtrip Necessities }


Travel Preview

{Yup, that right there is my packing "carry on" preview.}


Cute hoodie, yoga pants, a hat for messy hair, and the mini DVD player are a must! I have some snacks and mags thrown in there for entertainment value too! SO MUCH to get done tonight!!


What can you not live without on a trip?
Any tips or tricks to share with me?!



Happy Tuesday, lovelies!





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PS - In case you missed the Mingle Monday blog hop yesterday, go check it out! Get your blog some exposure and find some other great blogs!

PPS - I'm {finally} on Twitter!
Follow me HERE!
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September 26, 2011

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

Happy Monday, my friends!
This is a short work week for me, which explains why I am in such a fabulous mood today! The weekend was a complete blast with tons of friends, but I'm in desperate need of working out, doing laundry, and packing for my Colorado trip!

How are you guys doing today?! Is everyone hanging in there? Well, let's get this party started and catch up on some great blogs, shall we?


{ Time to mingle! }

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Pretty Pretty Please...

Pass on the Mingle love. Slip it in a post. Share with a friend. Anything.
As always, if you can find a special kind spot in your heart to want to spread the word, I would love that!

{ Thank you!! }


Mingle 240



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How To Mingle:



1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Come back to [Life of Meg] and leave an encouraging review of the blogs you visited!!

5) Answer the weekly question...

It's Monday, let's talk about those little bothersome things:


** What are your biggest pet peeves?! **



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** MINGLE FAIR -- all blog & runs (not commenting) will be removed. **




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Wishing you a beautiful week!



September 23, 2011

Fall + Weekend = Happiness

Today is officially the first day of fall...
{ahhhh!!} ...and I couldn't be more excited [obviously]!! Autumn is by far my favorite season on the year for oh-so-many fabulous reasons. Everything about it makes my heart happy!

Time to break out the pretty patterned tights, courderoys, and scarves! I have SO many yummy things waiting in my "Fall Baking" board on Pinterest... I may have to go to town in the kitchen this weekend!


{Side note}
I made the most amazing Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches on Wednesday! Soft/chewy pb cookies filled with a pb butter cream... they blew my mind!

They were a HUGE crowd-pleaser with my Bible study/BF/guy friends! Stay tuned - recipe coming this afternoon!





.:: Looking Forward To ::.


ok state football games + our colorado trip + fall decor + halloween
pumpkin spice lattes + cozy warm cashmere + brown riding boots
pumpkin patch trips + fall decorating + hosting a fall party
chicago trip + my 25th birthday + yummy seasonal beers
our anniversary + pretty leaves + running outside
thanksgiving + apple picking + doggy park trips
patterned pretty tights + gorgeous weather

.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Well, I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home. While I'll be missing my favorite buddy, I have a soccer team to cheer on, lots of outings planned, girl time to be had, and a baby shower to attend! Pretty jazzed about it!


{ What are you up to this weekend, loves?}



Wishing you a happy one!



September 22, 2011

Dreamy Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Calling all peanut butter lovers!
I was majorly wanting to bake earlier this week, opened my pantry, and saw peanut butter. After scouring my recipe books and online, I combined a few, and found some inspiration from this blog.

The recipe make a bajillion melt-in-your mouth, d-r-e-a-m-y peanut butter sandwiches! Super soft/chewy cookies, and smooth peanut butter cream in the middle!

I first shared them with my bible study girls, but then I thought I would play cookie fairy and surprise BF with the rest. Well Wednesday night is my girls bible study night, and Adam hangs with the dudes, so I didn't want to interrupt man time!

So... I drove over to his house, tip-toed up his stairs, and left a big pan of them on the door step. After driving down the street I sent him this text as I giggle uncontrollably...


"A little birdy told me you have something special on your front porch."


About 30 seconds later I got a call from him saying they are ridiculously tasty and he appreciated that so much. 500 girlfriend points for me! Within minutes, I had texts from all of his roomies saying the cookies blew their minds.


{ Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies }



** Definitely a must try for all peanut butter lovers!! **



Ingredients

1 c peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 c packed dark brown sugar
1 c shortening

1 1/4 t vanilla
3 eggs
3 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking soda


Sandwich Filling:

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c peanut butter
4 C powdered sugar
2 t vanilla
4 Tbs milk


Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Cream the shortening, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until well blended and fluffy.

3) Slowly add vanilla to the wet mixture at low speed. Next, add the eggs one at a time just until mixed (don't over beat).

4) Combine together flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Once blended, add to the wet mixture a little at a time until just barely combined.

5) Roll the dough into Tbsp sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. flatten dough balls by pressing the fork into the dough making a criss-crossed pattern.




6) Place in the over for exactly 7 minutes. The cookies may not look done, but this is normal. Once you remove them from the oven, they will continue baking on the sheet for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove cookies from the baking sheet


Filling: Beat peanut butter, butter, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth, if needed, add milk until desired consistency is reached. When cookies are completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting on one side and sandwich together.

yield: about 4 dozen sandwiches


Bon Appetit!



A Little Reminder...



I think sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of life and let the important things be forgotten. One thing that you should always remember is you are a beautiful person who truly can make a big impact on the world. So let me be that reminder to you today... thanks to the fantastic quote above from "The Help".


{ Please tell me you saw it?! }


I encourage you to go be the fabulous, confident woman that God made you to be, and go make a difference today! Random acts of kindness, sweet words, or even a smile. Even the little things count!

{Be kinder} than you think is necessary, and I promise you will add a little bit of sunshine to someone else's day... and yours too!


Hugs & Love!



September 21, 2011

DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies

Start your ovens, ladies!
Boy have I got a recipe for you! So, I'm not sure how many of you have actually been a guest at the DoubleTree hotel, but perhaps you've heard of their legendary cookies?

Well, we have a partnership with the DoubleTree here in Kansas City, and when we had a meeting with them in the office, they brought us a ton of yummy chocolate chip cookies!

Naturally, I had to try one... duh. As soon as that delectible cookie hit my taste buds, I knew I had to find the recipe STAT. After doing some research, this is the recipe that I've found on several sites. Apparently it use to be on the Top Secret Recipes web site, which is now charging a small fee for it.

So, here ya go! I can't wait to test it out too, and be another one of the thousand people who say it's spot on the money!


{ DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies }


{img}



Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 eggs
3 cups semi-sweet, chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts


Instructions

1) Grind oats in a food processor or blender until fine.

2) Combine the ground oats with the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

3) Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon juice in another medium bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until smooth.

4) Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts to the dough and mix by hand until ingredients are well blended.

** For the best results, chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking the cookies. **

5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon rounded 1/4 cup portions onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the scoops about 2 inches apart. Bake for 16 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle.

** They may look underdone, but this is normal and the secret to perfectly soft bakery-style cookies. They will continue baking on the sheet after you take them out of the oven. **

6) Remove from the baking sheet after they cool for 4-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


{img}


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Is anyone else in love with DoubleTree cookies too?! Can't wait to get baking!


Bon Appetit!





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PS - In case you missed the Mingle Monday blog hop yesterday, go check it out! Get your blog some exposure and find some other great blogs!

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Denim Distress + Splash of Random

First off, I am in need of some fashion advice...
I'm pretty sure I've been a GAP girl since the day I was born. Everything usually fits me well, I love their design aesthetic, and it lasts me for years! Unfortunately, I have a few pairs of jeans that are either worn out or too snug, so I dropped by GAP last week to explore.


Too baggy. Too tight. Too long. Too awkward.
That's pretty how my GAP denim extravaganza went.


I've been considering making a denim investment, especially after reading Rachel's post on Citizens of Humanity. I want a dark wash with nice lines that will hold up. I would love to find a pair that fit my body perfectly, but I've come the realization that a good pair may cost more than my usual $59.50.


{ So yes, where do you buy your jeans? }




{ Citizens of Humanity: "Kelly" }
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On to that splash of random that I talked about...


1) Best. Dinner. Ever.

I was invited out to dinner at Capital Grille with Adam and him parents last night for his Dad's birthday. I have to tell you that I think this was one of the best meals I've ever had. I ordered the petite fillet mignon with crimini mushroom sauce, and BF and I split a huge vat of garlic mashed potatoes. Yummm!






In case that didn't clog our arteries enough, we split the world's most amazing coconut cream pie and a complimentary flourless chocolate espresso cake with his parents. I don't think I've ever been happier to change into my stretchy yoga pants than I was last night.

To top it off, I woke up full... ugh. Hello detox day!


2) Photo Texts

About a month ago, my 2 best friends {who live about 3 hours away from me} and I started sending each other "getting ready" photos. It all started when I sent this picture to my dear Courtney, because I wanted to showcase the gorgey earrings she gave me for being in her wedding.




Despite the bad lighting, it's fun to send/receive photos, get outfit ideas from each other, and feel like you're catching up! I was proud of the little number I threw together for work yesterday. It's shocking how put together you look when you try?!




You should try it out with your gal pals! What a fun way to see each other - whether near or far!


3) Bella Beast's B-day

My sweet little baby Cockapoo is turning 3 on Monday... where have the years gone?! I sure love my big baby so much, and I couldn't ever imagine my life without my snuggly girl!

I've been browsing around to try and find a doggie cake recipe on Pinterest, but only found homemade doggie treats... waa waa. I may try this Peanut Butter Birthday Cake recipe - she loves the PB! Has anyone ever made a doggie cake before? Tips? Advice?





Well, I promised random and oh boy, did I deliver or what?! Lots of crazy shenanigans going on in my noodle today! Hope y'all are having a great week so far!

Let me know what random things are on your mind!





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PS - In case you missed the Mingle Monday blog hop yesterday, go check it out! Get your blog some exposure and find some other great blogs!

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September 20, 2011

Confessions of the TV Obsessed

Hello, I'm Meg and I have a problem.
Ihave a complete obsession with good {and not so good} fall TV.
Holy cow, y'all! My DVR is totally packed with shows that I need to catch up on, or are coming up soon. Are you obsessed with new shows/series too?!

For example, thanks to my dear sweet Daddy, I was reminded to DVR "The Sing Off" last night. Boy did it not disappoint! I am completely in love with this amazing rendition of "Waving Flag" by the acapella group The YellowJackets.

In fact I loved it so much, I replayed it at least 7 times while dancing around with Bella Beast in my living room. And then I may or may not have played it again this morning [twice] while getting ready. Fast forward to the 2 minute marker to listen!





I have a whole slew of other upcoming gems on my fall TV list...



{ Must Watch }

+ How I Met Your Mother
+ Glee
+ Dancing With the Stars
+ New Girl
{Hello, Zooey D!}
+ Biggest Loser
+ Dance Moms
+ Project Runway
+ It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
+ Pan Am
+ Anything w/ the Kardashian sistas!
+ The Amazing Race
+ Real Housewives of Orange County


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


What's on your fall must watch list?!
Do you have any awesome show suggestions for me?!


{I need more shows like I need a hole in my head... haha!}





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PS - In case you missed the Mingle Monday blog hop yesterday, go check it out! Get your blog some exposure and find some other great blogs!

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September 19, 2011

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

Welcome back to the work week, ladies! Did everyone survive your weekend festivities?! Any good must tell stories? I sure hope you all had a very lovely few days to relax a recover!

Well, I made it back to Kansas City after spending a busy weekend with my family at home. We had a great time celebrating the world's greatest little sister! Once we got home lats night, I was so pooped that I don't think I left the couch for 4 hours. A girl has to catch up on her DVR, right?

Anyway, I'm glad you decided to stop by for a visit. I don't think you all know how much I love your sweet comments! I plan on being super active this week - because I have lots of great things to share!



{ Shall we get mingling?! }

.::::...::::...::::...::::..::::.


Pretty Pretty Please...

Pass on the Mingle love. Slip it in a post. Share with a friend. Anything.
As always, if you can find a special kind spot in your heart to want to spread the word, I would love that!

{ Thank you!! }


Mingle 240



_________________________________________________



How To Mingle:



1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Come back to [Life of Meg] and leave an encouraging review of the blogs you visited!!

5) Answer the weekly question...

** What kind of [Life of Meg] posts/topics are your favorite, or what would you like to see?! **



_________________________________________________

** MINGLE FAIR -- all blog & runs (not commenting) will be removed. **




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Make your Monday count, girlies!



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