Monday, March 31, 2014

Amber Alert: Missing Mommies

Last weekend, Maura and I were both feeling like we needed a break from our real lives and were ferociously texting about it.  Then, her husband, whom I'm not completely convinced is real life, suggested that she see if I wanted to go get a glass of wine, because she needed a break.  Say whaaaaat????

Maura approached me with this offer and I began strategizing just the right time to tell Steve I was getting out of dodge for a couple hours.  I got him set with dinner and said, "Maura wants to get a glass of wine" and ran upstairs to get ready. 

Sometimes a girl just needs some vino, fatty foods, and a good friend to vent with. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's Rodeo Time!

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is back!  Maura, her husband, their daughter, Davis and I went last week in the morning so we could beat the crowds.  Too bad all of the field trip groups had the same idea.  Nothing particularly thrilling or funny happened.  Just a good time with the babes.  Here are some pictures:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

80's British Pub food

There is a small group of us (4 couples and our babies to be exact) who really love getting together, but with the hassles of life, we don't get to see each other enough.  I had the idea (sometimes I have really really good ones!) that once a month we should get together for dinner and we can rotate host houses.  After rescheduling a minimum of 4 times, we finally had a date set, and my friend, who makes me insanely angry because of how little weight she seems to have gained with her second are supposed to have more cellulite than that at this point!, offered to host since she will be having a baby soon and it would be awkward to ask her to cook dinner while running the risk of going into labor at any moment.  They are both from the UK and we were told the theme was 80's British Pub food.  I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded like there would be booze and fattening favorite!

One of the other lovely ladies in our group, Maura, asked me to come along with her to a trunk show at a boutique because one of her favorite Bravo-lebrities would be there, Courtney from Courtney Loves Dallas.  The real selling point was that there would be SWAG bags, and we all know I LOVE free stuff.  I was in! 

The event started at 4:00, so we told our husbands we would meet them at the Brits' house and to not forget the kids.  Actually, just my kid, lady luck scored a baby sitter.  As the event got closer, Maura got more anxious and kept pushing up the time she would pick me up.  The next thing I knew, I was basically being picked up at 5am....I kid....but we were very early.  So early, in fact, that they asked us to come back because they were still setting up.  We walked next door to the tiny boutique to a restaurant and had a glass of rose....very Real Housewives of Beverly Hills of us. 

After our glass of wine, we walked outside to find a line of about 15 people....what the hell!?!?!  We got in line for what was supposed to be 10 minutes, and an hour and a half later, were starting to get cranky.  They said they were waiting for the photographer to arrive..."hey girl, I have my iPhone, I don't need a photographer!"  As we stood in line, it seemed as though every single person the owners of this itty bitty boutique have ever known was just walking right in and enjoying themselves.  Doing mental math (and feeling quite confident since discovering my near genius IQ...more on that another time...cliffhanger!), I was wondering how many of us were going to fit in this teeny weeny boutique. 

FINALLY, the doors opened and we walked inside to find about 5 necklaces displayed from the jewelry line that was having the trunk show.  That was it...bizarre.  You couldn't even buy those pieces; you had to order something later.  I probably would have bought a piece if there was the option.  Oh well, instead we each scored the greatest pants there ever is or was. 

Go With the Flow- Mint

These things are life changing.  They had them in another color and I am thisclose to going back for them. 

We had a drink and wanted to get a picture with Courtney and get on our way.  Looking around there were all of these passive women cowering with iPhone in hand waiting for her to come up to them and ask for a picture.  This was NOT going to work for us.  Instead, we walked straight up to she and the jewelry designer and said, "hey, can we get a picture?" to which they obviously said yes, and we were able to get out of there.
The resulting image....
Photo: Gotta love a good #bravolebrity! #allthewireforpandc @thecourtneykerr @torigonzales_ @bravoandy
WTF.  Would someone please teach me how to pose.  I look horrendous.
We had plenty of time before our 80's British Pub dinner, so Maura and I headed to a bar where they had this delicious sangria that I think gave me more of a sugar high than a buzz.  Obviously I didn't mind, because I had two. 
Anyone keeping count, cause I think we are nearing the danger zone?
Arriving at the Brits' house, we decided that it was time to put on our new pants and get comfy.  We were already 4 drinks in and I couldn't be expected to balance in wedges anymore.  Standing in front of their house like idiots in our matching pants, we were ringing the doorbell on the gate and receiving zero response.  We were out there for about 10 minutes ringing that bell!  I knew our husbands were there....LET US IN!
Finally someone came to the door only for us to learn that we had gotten the time mixed up and were over an hour early.  I hated us on behalf of our friends.  What jerks we are!  We made ourselves at home and were promptly served the strongest margaritas I think I have ever had.  
Here's me with the host:
Photo: Me and my boyfriend Jack. I think he likes me.
He seems just as thrilled that we were early.
We went on to have the most amazing meal (and several glasses of wine).  It was black bird pie, shrimp cocktail with Russian dressing, and an amazing cake.  I ate a ton!  When I say this, I'm not saying it the way an annoying tiny girl eats a piece of pizza and says, "oh my gosh, I ate so much," I mean that I may have eaten more than any of the men at the table. 
The other two toddlers in attendance went to sleep before we even ate.  My little guy, played like it was the best night of his life. 
Photo: Only my kid voluntarily plays in the gated off area during a play date. #trucks
Steve and I were the first to leave so we could get Davis (and maybe myself) to bed before there was a meltdown.  Turns out we missed Jenga.  Damn!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Merry Christmas

Every year for Christmas, my mother-in-law and I go back and forth about 20 times trying to figure out a time to get the entire family together for dinner. 

The first year of our marriage, we all went to the ranch for Christmas day.  Trying to get 15 people to the middle of the country 2 hours from Houston for a meal was like herding cats.  Most everyone was about 2 hours late, the rest of us were starving, and then almost all of the group drove back to Houston a couple hours later.  This just seemed silly. 

The following year, I was 8 months pregnant and definitely not in a place to try to go to the ranch for a meal.  I suggested that rather than 15 of us driving up there, that my 2 in-laws drive to Houston.  Because of the fact that I was big as a house, exhausted, short of breath, moody, and in pain all over my body, my sister-in-law offered to host the dinner.  We all got together and it was great. 

The last two years, I have offered to have it at our house.  This works great for me, because I love to cook, love to have people over, and don't have to worry about Davis and all of his high maintenance toddler requirements (Also, I love being at home; I would never leave the house if I didn't have to). 

Last year we got together right after the new year.  I made stuffed pork tenderloin, grilled lemon zucchini, twice baked potatoes, a corn dish that I can't remember the name of, and a couple other things that are slipping my mind.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, and I got to stay in the comfort of my own home. 

This year, we weren't able to get together until March 1.  Merry Christmas!  Steve's parents had their 55th anniversary on the 28th, so we decided it would be an anniversary party instead.  This year's food theme was Mexican.  These Callaways love Mexican food.  Like could eat it everyday, love Mexican food.  (It's a Texas thing...we Floridians just don't get it.)  The main reason I chose this theme is because it is super easy.  I made a pot of spicy pinto beans, Mexican rice, fajitas (some with my favorite Dr Pepper shredded pork), and crème brulee

My in-laws arrived on Friday and I took my MIL to get her hair done by my fabulous hairdresser.  He did my hair for my wedding and I have gone to him ever since.  We talk about travel and the real housewives, and he gives me wine.  Heaven!

My MIL had informed me that she wanted to go gracefully grey.  She had red hair growing up and has continued to dye it red.  I suggested highlights and she agreed informing me that she and my SIL were going to do it at home.  TERRIBLE IDEA!  I had friends who tried to give themselves highlights.  You want to see what a hair disaster looks like?  Give yourself highlights out of a box.  Upon hearing this, I panicked and told her to go to my guy and that it would be my treat; this is how passionately I believed doing it at home was a horrendous idea. 

This was the first time my MIL had ever gone to a nice salon to get her hair done and isn't something she would ever treat herself to.  I was so happy to be able to do it for her....and I was able to have several glasses of wine.  While she was getting her hair shampooed, I pulled my hair dresser aside to find out what I owed him.  I knew that if my MIL knew how much it cost, she would have a minor heart attack.  I said he was good, never said he was cheap.  She looks like a new woman and says she is the hit of their small town, so it was worth every penny. 

Before everyone came over for dinner the following day, my in-laws, Steve, Davis and I went for a walk.  We wondered into this bird place that is near my house (I can hear those disgusting beasts constantly screeching), and this happened:  Birds scare me  I instantly realized why I had never been there before and why I will never be back!

Dinner that night was great.  All of the food was fantastic! (What would I do without Pioneer Woman?)  Here's the group shot:
Photo: My in-laws' 55th anniversary dinner.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Buddies in Mexico

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my absolutely favorite people, and possibly my true soul mate (sorry Steve), invited me on her trip to Mexico with her company.

Not being one to turn down anything free, especially a trip, I said yes without hesitation and then got to work finding someone to watch my child who I had just agreed to abandon.

Jill (who shall henceforth be referred to as Buddy), informed me that my flight itinerary took me from Houston to Atlanta, and then to Mexico.  This was confusing since Houston is probably the closest major airport to Cancun, but whatevs...I would get to meet up with my Buddy.

After greeting each other in our usual manner, which could come straight from a movie (picture running toward each other, dropping our belongings, a huge embrace which leads to me picking her up and spinning around while spectators look on in confusion), we checked that our flight was on time and then hightailed it to the closest bar.  2 extremely strong (thank you nice lady) vodka sodas and a plate of french fries later, we boarded the plane and were off. 

We had another vodka soda on the plane (I may have had 2 because the flight attendant bought me a second one...thank you kind sir), went through customs, bought ourselves each a beer for the road and headed toward Riviera Maya.  Upon check-in, we were greeted by the kindest lady with a silver tray holding lovely glasses of champagne...don't mind if we do! 

If any of you can do math, you can summate, that by this time, we were substantially intoxicated.  Not letting that stop us, we quickly changed into our bathing suits and made a beeline to the pool to meet up with the rest of the group.  Being the kind and welcoming people that they are, I don't think we had made it all the way into the pool before we were greeted with shots of tequila.

This type of behavior continued until the group slowly dissipated, it was dark, and Buddy and I were the only ones left in the pool.  After forcing one of the bartenders from the swim-up bar to walk us back because I didn't trust we could find it ourselves, I told Buddy I could pull it together and make it to the welcome dinner (Ohhhh... that's why everyone left the pool), but was informed that neither of us were in a state to be interacting with others.

Making ourselves comfortable in our home for the next 3 nights, we ordered room service, went for a vigorous swing on the porch, and woke up at 6am, me still in my bathing suit.  Shocked that we were up so early, I informed Buddy that must be what happens when you go to sleep at 8pm. 

Making the most of this extremely long day we now had ahead of us, we went for a walk on the beach to sweat out any remaining booze, visited the breakfast buffet, and were, shockingly, the first people at the pool.  Slowly but surely, everyone else joined us and we all proceeded to burn ourselves to a crisp. 

I wanted to treat Buddy to some sort of an excursion, and we decided on parasailing.  What I expected to be a nice, relaxing event, turned out to be anything but.  First, we were loaded up onto a jet ski as waves were crashing into us and turning the jet ski into a deadly weapon that could have taken us out at any moment.  Once on, we clung to the driver, a very nice man who is a very hard worker and could have used a nice shower to wash off the day (I was trying to think of a nice way to say he smelled and felt like a month old wet dishrag), as he drove us for what felt like 2 hours across the bay which was so choppy we were suspended in mid-air on a regular basis.  Arriving at the boat, and feeling adequately sea sick, there was a couple being harnessed in and we were informed that we would ride in the boat for the 20 minutes they were up in the air and then it would be our turn.  Once we were in the air, both of us were so sick we spent half of the 20 minute ride trying to determine the best way to throw up without hitting the other person.  We suffered from vertigo for 3 days after this fun little trip. 

The rest of the trip was pretty tame, on our parts.  We have a tendency of blowing our load on the very first night and then feeling its effects for the rest of the trip.  We ate from buffets more than is advised by the FDA, drank a good amount, continued to bake ourselves in the sun, and watched as others performed their drunken escapades in front of the group rather than doing them in the privacy of their own room as we chose to do.  I thank them for that.  Each and every one of them. 

These are the only pictures we took on the trip:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Get skinny fast!

Let me begin this post by stating that the radio silence we experienced this last month was caused by my consideration for you.  You see, I feel as though my life has become quite dull, and I would hate to bore you with all of the mundane events. 

Funny how when you are living something, you believe it is dull; then I read other blogs and think, "there was a post there."  I don't know if that means I have expectations too high for my daily life, I believe my small group of readers have extremely high standards, or other bloggers just aren't afraid to bore people.  Either way, I'm back with several, long after the fact, potentially boring, posts.

My best good buddy (she is seriously one of my top 4 or 5 favorite people on this planet) invited me to be her plus one to her President's Club trip for work. (You can read more about this trip tomorrow....cliffhanger!)  In preparation for the trip, I planned to finally hit my goal weight; which has been just out of my grasp for about the last year.  I was going to increase my exercise and make better food choices....tomorrow.  As the final week before the trip approached and I had decided it was too late to make any real impact on my body, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was doing a 3 day juice cleanse before her trip to Mexico with a different group.  I was inspired.  There was a glimmer of light at the end of the dark, junk food filled, tunnel.

I somehow talked Steve into participating with me.  It went like this: "Hey, I'm gonna do a juice cleanse before Mexico to clean out my system and drop a couple pounds.  Wanna do I with me?" "Yeah, sure."
It was a real battle.

Step 1 was to acquire the juice.  I do not own a juicer and would not have made it past my first glass if made to make it myself, so I began calling juice bars around Houston.  My friend in Chicago who was doing the cleanse told me where she bought her juice, and they have a location here in Houston, but it is in the Galleria (which is a huge mall and a pain to visit for a quick errand), and I am lazy, so that option was out.  After many phone calls, I learned that Central Market sells fresh juice.  Davis and I loaded up and ventured out to the Organic grocery store.  Note: I feel like an idiot in those stores.  I can't find my favorite brands (Kraft, Velveeta, Sargento...I like cheese - sue me, and I don't know my way around.  Rule 1 of navigating a new environment: act like you belong.  I made sure Davis didn't have any processed foods in his possession, grabbed my reusable grocery bags, thought about clean living, and walked inside.  After doing about 10 laps just looking for the produce department (which is essentially its own building and can be accessed through a doorway barely wide enough to fit your cart through), I had my juice and was feeling confident...ish.

Day 1 wasn't so bad.  I think I was still high on doing something new.  The juice didn't taste very good, but really healthy food seldom does. 
Day 2 started to suck a little.  I just wanted to eat something - anything!  I missed the act of chewing and then swallowing food.  By the end of day 2 (remind you, this was only a 3 day cleanse), I had only lost 1 pound and Steve hadn't lost any.  Discouraged and hungry, we decided this was for the birds, and I made us a sandwich.  The sandwich wasn't very good, but eating it felt exhilarating.  We devised a plan.  Tomorrow we would juice all day and then have a celebratory sushi dinner to culminate the cleanse we had kind-of completed. 

With a little food in my belly and the knowing that I could eat again in a matter of hours, Day 3 was a breeze.  It was so easy, in fact, that I had big plans of incorporating juice into my daily life post-Mexico.  The plan was to drink juice all day and eat a healthy dinner.  Being a person of great discipline, I have not consumed a drop of raw juice since my return. 

Photo: One more day. #juicecleanse #thissucks #imissfood