February 29, 2012

Over It / Love It

With those wonderful warm rays of sunshine tricking me into thinking it's Spring, I have to keep reminding myself that it's winter, despite unseasonably warm weather. In fact, every year since we've been dating, it's snowed on or near Adam's birthday (late March).

I'm really hoping this is the first year in a while that spring decides to surprise us earlier than expected. I have that spring fever itch and I'm dying to do so many fun things and get outside.

Just a few thoughts as of late...





.:: Over It ::.


+ Although I love seeing my friends at weddings and showers, I wouldn't mind it if life slowed down a bit... I could use a free weekend.

+ I gave up all sugar for lent, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to die from sugar withdrawl. If that doesn't say unhealthy sugar addiction, I don't know what does.

+ I'm so tired of these 20 lbs. that I gained last winter when taking steroid medication to treat my FM. It's so hard to get it back off - but I'm trying!

+ Being stuck inside isn't fun when it's so sunny outside. Do you think I can take my laptop to the courtyard to work today?

+ My messy apartment is driving me nuts! Why is it so hard for me to do one load of laundry from start to finish?


.:: Loving It ::.


+ Driving my new Jeep Patriot! It's so fun!

+ Having BF in town this week... I've missed him.

+ Looking forward to spending time at home this weekend with the fam/friends!

+ Spring decor. Can't get enough of it.

+ The feeling after a long, hard workout. Hitting the gym tonight!

+ Ben Rector/NeedtoBreathe concert is in t-minus 12 days! AHHH!


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



Well, now I'm stuck in a daydream staring out my work window at the sunshine and nearby park. Luckily, I'm heading out soon to run some work errands and get my sunny day fix! :)


What things are you over or loving this week?



February 28, 2012

Roadtrip Weekend in Photos

This week I vow to be a much more present blogger... promise! Being in and out of town the last few weeks made it hard to be consistant, but I'm back and I brought pictures!!

Well this past weekend, we drove my super fun new (to me) car to Wichita to watch Sister perform in Beauty & the Beast! I have to say that Lindsay is so fun to watch and they did such an amazing job! Plus we had a good time giggling at her dancing in her spoon costume during "Be Our Guest"... heehe!

Just a few post-performance photos...



{Please excuse my frazzled appearance... oy!}



{ Parents with our little star }



{ Isn't Grandpa cute? }



{ Adam and I enjoyed ourselves }


It sure was a whirlwind weekend! After Sister's play, Adam and I met my best friend Sarah, her fiance, and our sweet married friends (in town from Dallas) out for drinks to celebrate Sarah's bday. Why didn't I take pictures then? I'll work on it, friends! :)

I also found these little gems on my camera, and just had to share my two favortie furry people... haha.








Bella sure loves snuggling with her Adam. In fact, every night when he leaves, she will sit next to the door and just whine.

Yup, I feel that way when he leaves too, Bella Bear! Don't you worry, we have each other to snuggle with!


Welp, that pretty much wrapped up a lovely weekend! I always love weekends where we can go home and see the fam. Good thing I have a trillion wedding showers and will be back again this next weekend!


How was your weekend, friends?





PS - Don't forget to stop by the Mingle Monday Blog Hop and gain more followers!! :)

February 27, 2012

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

Better late than never?
Yup, it's been a crazy day, but I didn't want to leave all of you who enjoy Mingle Monday Blog Hop to miss out!

Hope you enjoy!!

_____________________________________



{ Time to Mingle! }

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


Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever... and ever.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile for me. I cannot thank you and your sweet generosity enough!

{ Many thanks! }


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) Answer the weekly question...

** What suggestions do you have for Mingle Monday? **


_________________________________________________





** Open until Friday at noon! Please spread the word! **
_________________________________________________



Excited to go check out your blog, dolls!


Have an awesome start to the week!





PS - Are you on Twitter? Follow me on the go!! :)

February 23, 2012

Let the Celebration Begin!

It's been a lovely few years without any car payments, but when my Escape bit the dust, I knew it was time. After car searching for more than 5 weeks, I am proud to introduce you to the newest member of my family...




I pick up my white Jeep Patriot tomorrow afternoon and couldn't be more excited! I've been driving Adam's little Mini Cooper for the last 5 weeks, so I'm sure he's ready to get his car back! I'm sure going to miss driving that little speed demon though!

Adam, Kelly (my brother), Bella Beast and I will be breaking my Patriot in this weekend for our roadtrip to Wichita! Vrroooomm vrrooommm!

Let the celebration begin!



February 21, 2012

World's Best Sale Shopper

Let me tell you one thing I love about Presidents' Day weekend... sales. I am soon to be buying a car, so I haven't let myself shop (other than buying Christmas presents), and to say I had the shopping itch was an understatement.

With a trillion weddings, showers, special occasions coming up, I knew I needed to find a few dresses. I was also in the market for new work pants and jeans since losing some weight. No more wiggling up my pants awkwardly (which I guess is a great problem to have!).

Well to say shopping Banana's sale - additional 40% off sale items - was a complete steal would be putting it lightly. I escaped with 2 dresses that I had been eye balling (originally $130/each), and an adorable geo print tunic top (originally $79)...

...for a whopping $80 for everything!! AWESOME!




{ Twice as cute in person AND it has pockets! }


After Banana, I skipped on over to The Limited and indulged in their 40% off everything sale. I nabbed two ruffley button up work tops (in white and purple), a pair of light gray work pants, and the world's BEST skinny jeans! I seriously love their extra dark wash (so flattering) and stretch comfort fit.






As I was getting ready to check out, I spotted exactly what I had been looking for in the jewelry section... color statement pieces and a pair of gold knot earrings...







So there you have it, lovelies! I am currently feeling fashionabl and feminine in my new frocks! So excited to wear my twirly dresses, tops, and jewelry so that I can snag a great photo to share with all of you soon!

Top of my spring must-have list? This adorable Merona belted trench in a rich buttercup yellow. Definitely need to buy this sucker ASAP!





Find any great deals lately? What's on your must have list for spring?



February 20, 2012

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

Alrighty friends... who had a good weekend?
I kept myself busy with seeing friends and family while Adam is out of town on a business trip {miss that boy!}. Everything from girls night in sweats to a wedding shower to a family brunch. It was a very lovely weekend!

I know I have been very MIA lately, so I'm hoping to be a better blogger this week! But don't worry, I have been getting your e-mails/tweets/etc. and have been reading your blogs from afar!

So let's make up for missing Mingle Monday the last two weeks... shall we?


_____________________________________



{ Time to Mingle! }

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


Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever... and ever.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile for me. I cannot thank you and your sweet generosity enough!

{ Many thanks! }


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 is the best movie you've rented or seen in theaters recently? **


_________________________________________________

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




** Open until Friday at noon! Please spread the word! **
_________________________________________________



Many more posts coming this week! Thanks for sticking with me when my life gets crazy busy! ;)

Hugs from KC!





PS - Are you on Twitter? Follow me on the go!! :)

February 15, 2012

Eleven Things

Whoops! Will you forgive me for being so MIA lately?
I took Valentine's Day off yesterday, and Monday was one big work blurrrr! But thanks to the lovely Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition, I am back and inspired with a post topic... a little fun fact game!


Game Rules:

~you must post the rules
~post 11 fun facts about yourself
~answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you, then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged
~(I'm tagging everyone who reads this!), then anyone who wants to participate makes their own post



{ A Little Meg }




1. Rainy days, like today are my favorite. I love few things more than waking up to a dark cloudy day, cup of coffee in hand, and listening to the rain fall while Norah Jones sings me sweet songs in the background. Mmmm...


2. I moved to San Francisco for a summer when I was selected for an internship with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Not only did I become even more passionate about cancer initiatives, I fell in love with that city.

I daydream often about running the Embarcadero stretch on a sunny day, taking the BART (subway) to anywhere in the city, and the charm of those sweet pastel colored victorians. I need to go back ASAP!


3. The musical stylings of Frank Sinatra make me melt. Perhaps I was born in the wrong era? I just love big band music, heartfelt love songs, and that man's smooth voice.


4. I must have a strong affinity for gingers... because I just can't get enough of my red-headed, freckly, bearded man! He's sweeter than sugar, has sacrificed his car for me to drive while mine is dead (we're going on 4 weeks now - must find new car!!), and would gladly do it all over again. He's a keeper.

5. I am terribly indecisive. Dinner plans. Movie times. Which brand of toilet paper to buy. You name it, I have no clue...

6. I was diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disease, fibromyalgia, last year. It's a difficult disease to manage and no day is like the one before. Some days it feels like every bone or joint in my body aches. Liek the flu. Every day my pain levels are different, chronic fatigue comes along with it, and some days it's just hard to get out of bed.

Slowly losing the 20 lbs I gained while on trial steroids, which was incredibly disheartening, but I'm on my way!

7. I have a 3-year-old daughter, Bella Louise Beast Porter, who is one furry, playful cockapoo. She has an embarrassing amount of nicknames, but I sure love that little baby.

8. I'm a lover of breakfast foods for any meal. I don't really care if it's 7 p.m... waffles always sound good to me! ;)

9. Oklahoma State is where I proudly earned my public relations degree. I will forever be grateful that my degree and education has helped me land my dream job, so I will forever be a Cowboy fan! GO POKES!

10. When I was 3, I got into a little mischief, and ended up with 3rd degree burns on my legs. Apparently I stripped down to my birthday suit, climbed in the sink, and turned on scalding hot water (before our water heater was adjusted), and I was rushed to the ER.

All I remember from that day was wearing Oshkosh B'Gosh pink overalls and I got a My Little Pony from my Aunt Sheryl. Now I have what looks like is a huge birth mark all over my right leg, but people don't now my little secret! :)

11. Name a holiday, because chances are I love it! I'm such a holiday girl, and Adam thinks it's so quirky! Christmas is by far my fave, but I gladly take part in any celebrations, from St. Patty's Day (green beer!) to Groundhog Day! :)





{ Here are the questions Leslie asked... }



1. If you could raid any celebrity's closet, who would it be and why?Reese Witherspoon. She always looks so relaxed and comfortable, while still looking cute and girly. Not to mention she is always wearing adorable dresses!

2. If you were a shoe, what would you look like?I would probably be a cute light yellow polka dotted flat. Girly, yet free enough to prance around!

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?When people don't follow through with their commitments or change plans.

4. Favorite song of all-time?"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. I just love the message!

5. Are you a dog person or a cat person? And why? (If you don't like animals, we can't be friends.)I am a puppy person, because they love to snuggle and play.

6. You're queen for a day. How do you spend your royal 24 hours?Sleep in, breakfast in bed, grocery shop with nobody around, go to an early movie, raid hobby lobby for a crafty project, get my nails painted, go on a shopping spree, and then cook dinner in with my love.

7. What's the most delicious thing you've ever eaten?I can't think of a delicious thing that I haven't eaten... :)

8. What scares you the most? (This can be deep and complex or shallow...whatever you feel like!)I absolutely hate creepy news stories or scary movies. I can't handle it!

9. Which celebrity do you wish would drift off into obscurity?Chris Brown.

10. You're 16 years old again. What advice would you give your younger self? Your dream guy and big girl life are out there, so stop worrying/wondering. God will take care of you day-by-day, you just live life to the fullest and live in the present.


11. What's your Starbucks order?Lately, it's been a tall skinny mocha (thanks for FINALLY adding skinny mochas to your menu! YAY!).





Here are the girls I'm tagging in this game:

I'll follow Leslie's lead and say all of you! I would LOVE
to learn more about each and every one of you!!


Here are the questions I'm asking:

1) Hotdog or hamburger?

2) Best movie you've seen recently?

3) What did you want to be when you were growing up?

4) Dream vacation - who/what/where?

5) What is your favorite sport to watch?

6) Tell me your fast food of choice...

7) What is the best date you've ever been on?

8) If you had a $1,000 shopping spree, what stores would likely get your money?

9) Favorite color and why?

10) Name your dessert of choice?

11) How would you like to spend a rainy Saturday?

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



Why don't you play along with me?! After you post, please come back and leave your post URL in the comments! I'd love to stop by and learn more! :)


Kissy kissy!






February 10, 2012

Have a Glowing Weekend!

My baby sister is now a senior, going to her last Homecoming dance, and I can hardly believe it! It seems liek just yesterday it was my senior year... not sure where time has gone!

Check out the super fun glow-in-the-dark dance that her and her class did. Linds and her besties got together to choreohgraph the dance and then teach the rest of her class! She called and said the costumes were ten times more glowy in person and everyone went wild! ...she's so awesome.


{Hint: Fast fwd to minute 1:11... }




Sissy - Wishing you such a wonderful homecoming - you're going to look beautiful as always!

Wishing the rest of you a glowing weekend full of fun, surprises, and relaxation! Hugs from KC!



February 8, 2012

Valetine DIY - Guest Posting!

Guest posting today over at Simple Little Joys! If you don't follow this blog, it's a daily must read for me, so don't miss out! A big thanks to Rach for inviting me!

I'm sharing some Valentine DIY ideas, including my homemade gift projects for Adam, love-inspired recipes, and decor ideas for your Valentine's Day bash!




Yup, those cookies are featured on there... now you're curious, aren't you? ;)



February 7, 2012

Guinness Chocolate Ganache-Filled Cupcakes

This recipe is for all of my Twitter friends out there who were oooh'ing and aaahh'ing over this weekend's Super Bowl baking photos! Well, like I promised, here is the recipe that you all need to try ASAP. I could tell by my empty cupcake tray after the Super Bowl that everyone just hated them! ;)

Well it all started when Adam's sister, Meredith, gave me the perfect Christmas present... large bakery-style frosting tips! She knows me too well! So needless to say I've been dying to use them since I unwrapped these little gems! Thanks, Mere! xo

I was pretty nervous when I started this recipe for several reasons...


_____________________________________


1) New recipes.
Both the cupcake and buttercream recipes I had never tried before.

2) I've never made ganache.
Doesn't it just sound fancy? Ganache. Woah.
I did not go to culinary school, so something that sounds this fancy just seems hard.

3) I'm not a cupcake baker.
I typically stick to cookies (my specialty), so I think the idea of filled cupcakes was twice as terrifying

_____________________________________



...but I've learned that cupcakes recipes are easy, ganache sounds fancy but is totally doable, and apparently I am a cupcake baker! Now I want to experiment even more with these things!!



{ Guiness Double Chocolate Ganache-Filled Cupcakes }

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker's Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes



{ Footballs = piped melted chocolate! }



Ingredients:

- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream


Ganache Filling:

- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature


Buttercream:
- Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Buttercream Recipe


______________________________________


Cupcakes:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line 24 cupcake cups with liners.

2. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined.

3. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine.

4. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined.

5. Pour 2/3 full into cupcake liners and bake about 17 minutes. Toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.


Ganache:

1. Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl.

2. Heat the cream until simmering on stove and pour it over the chocolate.

3. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth.

4. Add the butter and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.


How to Fill:

1) Using the bottom of a large decorating tip, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down.

2) Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.




{ Filling photo via Brown Eyed Baker }



Frost Cupcakes:

Whip up a batch of the Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Buttercream (in the Meg Cooks section) that I used, or top with any favorite frosting recipe! Instant hit!


_____________________________________________



...and voila! Such a tasty, decadent recipe! The cake part is super moist and delicious, the ganache is smooth, and the buttercream adds the perfect flavor combo to this delight!

this recipe would be great for Valentine's Day, and super rich if topped with a chocolate buttercream! Think about it...


Bon Appetit!




Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Buttercream

Always on the hunt for the best buttercream, I think I might have found a top contender with Magnolia Bakery's vanilla buttercream. The texture is light and fluffy, smooth on your tongue, with a delicious vanilla velvety taste... what a dream! Definitely a must try for cakes, cupcakes, sandwich cookies and anything your little heart desires.


Now, I'm a frosting lover, so it would be hard to find a frosting I don't like. Adam, on the other hand, is not... but he LOVED this recipe - I was completely shocked! So there you have it, folks. If I can convince the frosting despiser... you can convince anyone it's the world's best buttercream!


{ Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Buttercream }

via: Martha Stewart






Ingredients:

- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

- 6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar

- 1/2 cup milk

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, 4 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla.

2. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition, until icing reaches desired consistency.

** You may not need to add all the sugar. I use approx. 6 - 6.5 cups. **

4. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.






Bon Appetit!


Mingle Weekly Blog Hop!

For all of you who were legitimately concerned about me yesterday... don't you worry, I'm okay! Your e-mails/tweets/comments were so sweet! I was quite simply swamped yesterday building the Active for Life healthy living campaign for my office (daily question to follow...), so I apologize for missing Mingle Monday!!

...so why don't I make it up to you this morning?! And then to top it off with extra sweetness, I will be post the recipe to the Guinness double chocolate ganache-filled cupcakes with Magnolia Bakery's vanilla buttercream. To. Die. For.

So, do you forgive me?

_____________________________________



{ Time to Mingle! }

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


Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever... and ever.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile for me. I cannot thank you and your sweet generosity enough!

{ Many thanks! }


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...

In regards to my Active for Life program... we want to provide worthwhile prize incentives for outstanding participants! I'm thinking pedometer, sports watch, workout DVD, etc.... but we have a no giftcards policy! HELP!

** What healthy living prizes would you want to win? **


_________________________________________________

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





** Open until Friday at noon! Please spread the word! **
_________________________________________________



Valentine's Day ideas tomorrow and more inspiration heading your way this week... stay tuned!!


Hope your week is off to a stellar start!!





PS - Are you on Twitter? Follow me on the go!! :)
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