Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Happenings

We had a really good weekend. On Friday, we just came home & relaxed...my favorite thing to do on a Friday evening. Haha! (I know...it's pitiful.) I finished this book & it was really good. Kinda depressing at first, but I noticed that it got less that way as the book went on. And somehow, even dealing with grief, it's told with a sense of humor. Very well-written. Great book!

On Saturday, I got up & went to bootcamp, surprising myself since we stayed up too late Friday night & I REALLY wanted to sleep in! I was there at 8:00 am & had a great workout! Afterwards, I ran to Wal-Mart to get the stuff for dinner. When I got home, it was time to CLEAN! I cleaned the house so good & hubby helped! Nothing like company coming to make me clean like that! I dusted every room, vaccuumed the living room & our bedroom, made our bed, cleaned the kitchen & cleaned both bathrooms. Brad picked up & put away all his stuff and swept & mopped the kitchen. SO THANKFUL for a CLEAN HOUSE! :)

We also hung the new print I got from etsy on my bathroom wall. I LOVE IT. It's so cute & goes perfectly in there! This is so "me". Soaking in the tub is how i de-stress or how i relax. So cute!

You can't tell it here, but the bathroom wall is a really light blue & it compliments the darker blue in the pic! :) 

Our friends Ashley & Dan came over for dinner Saturday. Finally! Ashley & I have been trying to plan a double-date since November! That's ridiculous, I know! She is my friend that teaches the Zumba class I'm taking. She brought a delicious salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing. YUM! She also brought brownies. Yikes! :) I made this Chicken Pot Pie & it was delicious! I was so excited to have found whole wheat biscuits to put on top, that I didn't even realize until my husband pointed out that they were actually dinner rolls. HA! Oh-well. It's basically the same thing! Anyway, we had a really great time hanging out with them!

Sunday was church & I took photos of my friend Melissa's new baby girl's dedication. I have never been asked to do something like this & I had to remind Melissa that i am NOT a pro, but she really just wanted someone with a good camera to take some pics. I really had SO MUCH FUN doing it! I got some good shots too. Here is one of the flops... because it took me a few shots to - DUH! - move them to the side so a big screen wasn't in the background! HA! But aren't they such a cute family?!

Miss Brenlyn got a little annoyed after awhile. ;) 

So sweet! It was fun! It was raining when we left church... actually, during the sermon, it started POURING & it sounded SO LOUD! HAHA! Brad ran to get the car so i didn't get wet (sweetness) & i snapped some cloud pics! The sky looked pretty, even with it raining!

We didn't do much in the afternoon, but that evening we watched the movie CONVICTION, with Hilary Swank. I saw the previews of this forever ago & really wanted to see it, but it was not in the theatres long at all. It was a good movie though. It's about a girl whose brother is convicted of murder. She knows he is innocent & isn't satisfied with the court-appointed attorneys... so she puts herself through college & law school to be his lawyer & prove his innocence! She is a high school dropout & a single mom. I thought it was a good movie. Kind of depressing... they did not have a good life growing up! Minnie Driver & Peter Gallagher were also in it. And Juliette Lewis, too... & let me just say... I have never thought of her as a favorite actress, but she has a scene in this movie where I was like.... "DANG. She is a REALLY good actress!" We enjoyed it.

Overall, it was a really good weekend! I am very much looking forward to this next one, though! Going to visit some relatives I haven't seen in a long time! YAY! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summertime Fun.

Time to fill in some blanks... the theme is: SUMMER

1. One of my happiest moments ever was waking up next to my husband on our first morning as husband & wife. We were at a bed & breakfast for two whole days, with a 7-day honeymoon cruise ahead of us. Ahhhh. Pure bliss & love & contentment. And quiet after all that wedding craziness fun.

2. Summer is wedding season & weddings are so much fun! Especially the one I went to last weekend! Got to visit lots of friends, hear some amazing music & we got up that dance floor, too. SO MUCH FUN. I love weddings. It's like a free date night!

3. This summer has been HOT & HUMID. I know...it's Louisiana...big shocker. But even April & May were hotter than usual this year. June was suffocating! However, this week & last week we've had a LOT of rain, which has lowered those temps quite a bit. Still pretty humid, though! Yuck!

4. My summer food of choice has been FRESH PINEAPPLE. Hands down, best fruit ever!

5. My summer uniform has been just like any other season because unfortunately, i still gotta work! Slacks, cute top & open-toe shoes. Too bad we can't wear flip-flops to work! I wear flip-flops with whatever cool outfit i can find at home, which usually means comfy shorts or capri's with a tee & flip-flops! When I have nowhere to be & no company coming, i've taken to wearing those thin/short silky nighties around the house! HAHA. It's just too hot for anything else! Even though we do keep that a/c running!

santa monica pier, google images

6. If I could spend the entire summer in one location, I would choose Santa Monica, California. I've been there once & it is just LOVELY. It's gorgeous! It has outdoor shopping/eating & right nearby is the BEACH. Gorgeous. I love it. (That's of places i've already visited. I think there are places i want to visit that would be nice too. Like Monterrey, CA or Myrtle Beach, SC.)

7. My summer anthem is ... well, now, Lauren's got "My Girl" in my head. That's definitely a good one! I also still have "At Last" stuck in my head from last week's wedding. And of course, "Summer Lovin'" from Grease.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Right now...

-I'm eating pineapples. My new obsession. I seriously have gone all my life thinking I hated pineapple all because of some nasty ones in cans of syrup. But i remembered taste buds can change when my coworker offered me a piece the week before our vacation (early June). Fell in love. And, well? Now they're my favorite fruit (as long as it's fresh!). HANDS DOWN. No contest. best.fruit.ever! (I learned i still don't like pineapple-flavored things, though!)

-I'm joyful. It's so funny. I was just in a blah/whatever mood. Not terrible, but I guess I hadn't noticed yet that my mood was different than the last few days. I was a grumpy grouch Monday & Tuesday (pms... sorry, guy readers! If i even have any!). I stayed up too late last night, so i was tired when I got to work this morning (tired = grumpy mel). I've just been working & blogging & such, not realizing I was waking up & in a good mood. Just went to the bathroom & on the way there, started singing, "let the redeemed of the Lord say so". Have you heard it? We used to do it at HeartsEase & i could not contain myself when we would. AMAZING song! We sang it at Victory last Sunday so i guess it was still in my head. And I found myself dancing & praising God to that song as i was drying my hands. I'm talking... jumping up & down.

Yes, I just admitted that I'm a little bit crazy on my blog. But it probably made you laugh, right? Picturing me, dancing in the bathroom, while drying my hands, and the possibility of someone walking in?

Well, no one walked in. Thank goodness! But anyway. I walked in the bathroom one way & came out a different girl. Full of His Joy! HAHA! I thought that was supposed to happen in church. Or Bible Study. Or in my prayer closet. Not the bathroom!!!! :)

-I'm excited. We're going to Grenada, Mississippi to visit relatives next weekend. And it will be my dad's brothers & some of their families. These are people I haven't seen in at least 5 years? My husband hasn't met them. They're cool. I'm looking forward to it!

-I'm nervous (but just a little). My friend asked me to take pictures of their baby dedication at church on Sunday. I'm no pro - not even close - haven't even had time to really buckle down & learn some serious photography! She's not expecting pro pics, she just wants a few decent pics, but still. I want to get some good shots for her! Hopefully no one will see me & my camera, & assume I'm amazing. And then see the pics & be disappointed! HA! I'm kind of excited about it, even though it's not really a big deal!

-I'm thankful. For getting a lot accomplished at work this week. For an understanding boss. For answered prayers. For my friend Angel's new healthy baby girl! She's a doll! For a new bootcamp buddy. For God's guidance in every area of my life. For the Bible. For bloggie friends. For quiet time. For days home with the husband. For good food. For ZUMBA! And Bootcamp. For wisdom. For pineapples! For true friends. For LOVE! For my cozy bed. For my funny dog. For Brad's talents on the keys! :)

-I'm antsy. To get my wedding photo book in the mail! After almost 3 years of marriage, I have FINALLY ordered it! Excited that holding it in my shopping cart forever was worth the wait, because I finally got a pretty good discount & had enough money in my splurge account to buy it. I can't wait to see it!

-I'm believing. In God. In His promises. That He will give me wisdom when I ask him the why/how/when questions. That He will direct me & lead me as He has done my whole life! That He loves me & wants the best for my life. That He hears my requests. And that this scripture is true:

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him." -1 John 5:14-15

Happy Thursday, ya'll!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesday.

1. What is your dream job?
Stay-At-Home-Mom who has a part-time acting career.

2. How many best friends do you have?
Well, Brad is my #1, of course. But I have way too many girlfriends. I mean this as a good thing! I'm constantly categorizing them: theatre besties, bloggie BFF, bootcamp bff, etc! Ha! But the one friend who has been there with me through everything? Sarah. We met in 5th grade & have been close ever since. Even if we don't get to hang out as much as we'd like to...when we do, we always pick up right where we left off (& talk for HOURS, i might add!). She's moved away a couple times in the years that I've known her, but we've always remained close. We have tons of great memories. She is a lifelong friend, no doubt about it!

{LOVE YOU, SARAH, if you're reading!}

3. What's the longest road trip you've ever taken?
I went to Urbana, Illinois...twice....from Baton Rouge, LA. That was long.

4. If you had to do one single thing everyday for the next year, what would it be?
Well, I'd love to be on vacation every single day next year. Is that okay?

5. What's one story your family always tells about you?
Mama likes to tell about how, when i was a baby, she never knew if i was awake or not. She'd finally have to come peek in my room, thinking i'd sleep forever. But she'd find me either quietly playing or laying on my belly with my hiney in the air & my thumb in my mouth. I'd look at her & start grinning.

My sister, on the other hand, stood up in her crib at the crack of dawn & made it roll over the hardwood floors while yelling happily, "Mama? Mama! Mama? Mama!" Hahahaha. Figures!!

6. How did your parents pick your name?
Melissa is just a name they liked, I think. They were also considering Rebecca.

But Raye, my middle name, is after my great grandmother RAY (who died of cancer before i was born) & my mom's teen best friend RAE (who was killed by a drunk driver when they were 15). The combination RAYE is my middle name. :)

7. What's one thing that scares you more than anything?
The thought of losing Brad or any close family member or friend.

8. Are you a good cook?
I think so! Not a "great" one, but I'm still fairly new at it. I love it. Brad loves it, too.

9. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Oh, good grief. I'll be 53!!!! 53. Woah. I'll have some teenagers at that age. And still be madly in love with Brad. :)

10. What's your best childhood memory?
Fun times on family vacations & at "holiday acres", a nearby pool. Lots of fun times playing in the woods behind our house, too. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


That last post was getting a little long, but believe it or not, I still have more to share from last night's wedding! The reception was at Boudreaux's. I have never been to Boudreaux's even though it's been here forever & I have heard good things about it. I was SO IMPRESSED by this place. It was beautifully elegant, first of all. The staff was courteous & professional & everything seemed to flow so smoothly. The food was delicious! The band was fantastic! The list goes on. I loved it!

Cutting the cake!

Lizzy & Erin (they both sang in my wedding!)

Me & Erin! :)

I know it's kinda blurry, but I just love their gigantic smiles!

Take Two!

Me & Lizzy!

Sherry (one of the bridesmaids) & her husband, Rich

Megan & Trey! (the bride's sister & brother-in-law)

 Xenia & Samuel - aren't they cute? They will be married this time next year!

 Lizzy & her boyfriend, Tim

Katie & Kayla (Sisters-in-law)

Daryl & Tanja (we sat with them at the reception - friends from the band!)

First dance... I know it's crazy, but I like it!
The band, though probably not affiliated with Boudreaux's, was FANTASTIC!!! The music was awesome & when they asked for all LOVERS to hit the dance floor, me & Brad sure did! HAHA! We had a blast dancing, too! 

Me & my hot date!! :)


Last night we went to one of the most entertaining weddings I have ever been to. Seriously, we had A BLAST at Erin & Jonathan's wedding. The ceremony was beautiful, the music totally our style, & the reception was just plain FUN! Yay!

Erin was the worship leader at HeartsEase (where Brad & I went to church before). She is a phenominal worship leader & we really miss being a part of the band with her as our leader. She is extremely gifted musically, and she's a lot of fun to be around. Erin has waited for her husband patiently, knowing that God would bring her the right person in His timing. I was thrilled when I heard she was getting married! I have enjoyed the few times I've gotten to talk with Jonathan - he has a great sense of humor! And the way he looks at her, well...there is no doubt in my mind that he loves Erin with all of his heart!

Pastor P officiating the wedding...

The bride's siblings, Megan & Josh...

Ooh! Good story! Ok...some background...Erin sang "At Last" by Etta James at our wedding, as we were walking out of the church after saying our vows. Then, last year, we were at her sister Megan's wedding reception & all of a sudden we heard someone singing "At Last" with the live band...& it was Erin. It was AMAZING...everyone was cheering & clapping as she sang. She was UNBELIEVABLE. You will not believe me if I tell you that she is better than Etta James herself, but I truly believe that she is. And so does my husband who is a musician & who is very gifted in that style of music, more than any other. He LOVES the way Erin sings this song. We couldn't stop talking about it!

So when we got to the wedding yesterday, they handed us the programs, and they were kind of in the shape of a CD case. The inside had the program & a pocket with a CD in it. It was music that we assumed would be in the ceremony or at the reception. I noticed that #5 was "At Last" with Erin's name by it. I showed Brad & he got all excited & was like, "That better be her singing it on the CD!" I said, "Of course it is! They wouldn't put her name on it if it wasn't her! I bet she went to a studio & recorded it!" We still had no idea she would sing it during the ceremony.

After Pastor P had them face the congregation & pronounced them Mr & Mrs, Erin turned around & reached for something from Megan, the maid of honor. I thought she was reaching for her bouquet, but saw Megan place a microphone in her hand! And i started bouncing up & down & hitting Brad's leg! HAHAHA! She told everyone she had a surprise for Jonathan, looked at Jonathan & told him to have a seat! And she sang "At Last" to him. And she NAILED it! His face was just priceless. The audience was on their feet with applause as soon as it was over! Ahhhhh...it was awesome!

My favorite shot...she's really belting it out here...& of course he's getting in to it! It was the BEST!

I can still hear her singing it! WOW. I will share it here one of these days! I am sure it will eventually find its way to you tube! :)

Moving on...

This is one of my favorites.

She's stunning!

His facial expressions crack me up! He is proud to have her by his side!

This one's kinda blurry, but i just love how he's looking at her. :)

Congratulations to the Newlyweds!!!

(Reception pics to come!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The living room, rearranged!

 Remember those shelves I bought? I had a groupon for Ashley Furniture for $100 that Brad's mom had given me. I went wanting an end table, but they didn't have anything & my groupon expired that day! I ended up getting some bookshelves. Soon after that I decided our living room needed a total rearrangement. 

It took us FOREVER to go pick up the shelves! But a few weeks ago, we did it. My mom & dad had also called to see if i wanted a hutch that they were getting rid of. I had no idea where I'd put it, but i knew i wanted it if possible (we can always use more storage space!). They came by to drop it off after me & Brad picked up the shelves. I wanted mom here to help me rearrange the furniture (she has an eye for that kind of thing). Dad put the shelves together (Brad started out helping but ended up giving mom a piano lesson! HA!). They all helped rearrange the furniture & hang up some pictures. I am happy with how it turned out. 

By the way.... you probably don't care, but i feel the need to explain! I know my living room doesn't belong in a decor magazine or anything... but i'm doing the best i can with what I've got. I despise the carpet, but there is no point putting in pretty floors when mobile homes do not increase in value & any money we saved for floors would be better spent towards a house. Trust me, it took awhile to get over this one because we were supposed to change the floors when we were engaged, but Hurricane Gustav interrupted that plan! And then I decided to be smart & pay off some debt first. One day when we get a house, it will have pretty floors. I will definitely get new couches, too. These are covered with slipcovers & even good slipcovers can be a pain!! Ok, so there are my disclaimers. :)

{our new shelves!}
 I have more on them now, don't worry!) 

 This is facing the living room from the kitchen. I wish I had a before pic, but basically the red chair was where that white couch is & the white couch was where the brown one is, except backed up all the way against the wall. I really love how i've brought it up a lot. It's so much more homey! The TV is to the camera's left (by the white couch). 

 My aunt painted that beautiful poppy you see. I just love it!

I also love that Brad's keyboard is now set up behind the couch. Can you see it? That's his studio laptop above it. It's like its own little space for it! Before, he had it under the counter & it annoyed me because he would drag the cords across the living room to plug them into the sound system!

I know that wall area in the corner needs something, too, but don't worry... I have something in mind!

The hutch mom & dad gave me. See your apple coasters, Laura? Love them!! People ask me about them. :) All of my cookbooks are there already & they only take one shelf (on the other shelves, they took up the entire set of shelves because they were so narrow! Ha! Those are now in the bedroom.). I have some ideas for stuff to go here now. :) (Ignore the cords... pet peeve of mine... they're now out of the way...kind of...we're making progress.)

 Fievel checking out his new view! HA! The red chair is now on the opposite wall, where the brown couch used to be.

I guess he likes it?!! 

So there you have it! I really like it a lot better!!! Yay!

Mini Egg Muffins

I LOVE SkinnyTaste. Have I mentioned that? She has some of the best recipes. And, for you weight watcher friends of mine, she includes the WW points (old & new) in the nutrition facts of her recipes. Her food is SO GOOD. One of my faves is the Stuffed Bell Peppers. Oh, yum. 

Today I made these for the second time. She calls them Broccoli & Cheese Mini Egg Omelettes, I've gotten used to saying Mini Egg Muffins. But I guess they're not MINI muffins. They are mini omelettes, though. Anyway. Whatever you want to call them, they're DELICIOUS. And healthy, too! (Your husband will LOVE you for these. Mine does, anyway!)

I made these before but forgot to take pictures. :) This was a second time. They are so easy to make & delish! ENJOY!

Broccoli & Cheese Mini Egg Omelettes
adapted from SkinnyTaste (see original recipe here)

4 cups broccoli florets
5 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheese (i used colby/monterrey jack blend)
1  Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. Steam broccoli with a little water for 6-7 minutes. 

When broccoli is cooked, mash into smaller pieces & add olive oil, salt & pepper. Mix well.

this is how i mash 'em!

Spray cupcake tin with cooking spray & spoon broccoli mixture evenly into 12 tins (Gina used 9 tins, this is why her muffins are thicker & prettier than mine!) ;)

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, grated cheese, salt & pepper. Pour into the greased tins over broccoli until a little more than 3/4 full.

Top with a little more cheese & bake in the oven until cooked, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap & store in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week.