March 28, 2012

Edd.

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At 11:35 yesterday morning, the world lost one of the best and brightest and bravest of its men. He was surrounded by people who adore him, and he was a testament of strength and true love until his very last breath.   I am forever humbled to have known him, to have been a part of his life, and to have been a part of his death.  Edd, thank you for teaching me true selfless love even in the face of cancer and more suffering than most people can imagine. You lost a lot of things—almost everything—but you didn’t lose yourself.  Cancer couldn’t take YOU.  And it never will.
At 5:07 yesterday evening, our 15 year old family dachshund, Nicky, went to be with Edd.  They were best buddies, and it seemed appropriate that they go on the same day. Even so, my heart is broken into a million tiny pieces. A chapter has ended… a long and hard one, but full of characters I truly loved. I’ll miss those two more than I can express.
For the rest of my life I’ll strive to be someone like Edd, and I’ll strive to be the girl he always thought I was.  Rest in peace, Edd and Nicky, and a most heartfelt and tear-filled thank you for all you’ve given to my family.  You fought the good fight. Thank you.
Edd
If you’re new to this blog, you can catch up on Edd’s story here.

March 27, 2012

1581 designs giveaway

Today’s giveaway is from a sweet handmade shop owner named Christina (who has a great blog too!), and she’s offering up one reader the item of their choice from her shop, 1581 Designs!  Christina makes adorable clutches, bibs, croakies, bowtie onesies, and zipper pouches, so check ‘em out!  Enter to win an item below.

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To Enter:

(only mandatory entry)
+ Visit 1581 Designs and comment here with the item you’d like to win

For extra entries
(all represented by separate comments please!)

-- Follow Christina’s blog via Google Friend Connect
-- Like Story of My Life on Facebook
-- Pin a photo from the shop to your Pinterest page (and provide URL)

Good luck!

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And the winner of last week’s Flow Designs giveaway is…

random winner
Congrats Heidi!  Email me and I’ll get you in touch with the shop owner! :)

Double Lemon Chicken Breasts with tomato-basil (and avocado!) salsa (aka the most delicious chicken recipe in the world)

Do you guys remember the most delicious salmon recipe in the world?  Well, now it’s time for the most delicious chicken breast recipe in the world! I’ve been meaning to share it with you guys forever now—within my limited repertoire of culinary successes, this one is a definite favorite and a crowd pleaser every time!  You’ll find that it’s healthy and full of fresh flavors, and it also pairs well with anything from broiled multigrain bread to sweet potatoes to steamed rice.  We usually serve it with a simple mixed green salad as well, to amp up the veggie intake even more.  Hope you make it and enjoy! (see recipe below). 

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Double Lemon Chicken Breasts with Tomato, Basil, and Avocado Salsa
Serves 2
*The original recipe can be found here, but I modified it a bit and also added avocado to the salsa.  It can be left out though, of course. It’s GREAT either way! Also, if I’m feeling lazy or want to make the recipe even healthier, I just saute a plain chicken breast and put the salsa on top. Still very yummy! 

Ingredients

For the salsa:
1 medium roma tomato, diced
1 small avocado, diced
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt

For the chicken:
2 boneless chicken breasts, pounded until 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
A few wedges of lemon

Directions

Mix salsa ingredients and set aside.  Using a fork, combine flour, lemon zest, salt and pepper on a flat dinner plate.  Rinse and dry chicken, then dredge in flour mixture (coat both sides).  Set aside.  Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil, using just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken and cook both sides until juices run clear, then add generous amounts of lemon juice. Top with the salsa, and serve!

Mar 25 045-1 This meal makes a happy husband, see?

Mar 25 049_edited-1Mar 25 053-1Even Gracie and Cooper want in on it. 

Happy Tuesday! :)

March 26, 2012

yes to the dress

Maid of Honor duties called this weekend, and off I went with the BFF and a small posse to search for that perfect dress she’ll don come December 1st of this year. I’m happy to announce that, after a day-full of intensive gown hunting, the ONE was revealed in a bright vision from the heavens (or something like that), and then quickly snatched up at a bargain.  When does that ever happen?!  You find the perfect dress AND it’s the perfect price?  Seldom, that’s when.  The weekend was a success!

In other news, I’ve been camping out at my mom’s as Edd has taken a turn for the worse, and so happy times are peppered in with sad times, but I find myself wanting to feel the full height and width and breadth of it.  This is life… filled with both joy and sorrow; both new birth and, yes, death.  After all, “the deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain,” remember? (from The Prophet.)

We’re thinking hours or days are now left on Edd’s earthly body, but I have to believe that he’ll awaken on the other side with a new body, and that some day we’ll all be together again and all of this will make sense…

Enjoy a few pretty pictures from the weekend, and then go tell the people you love that you love them, OK? Or better yet, show them. Happiest of Mondays to you. :)

   Mar 25 381-1Mar 25 058-2 Mar 25 103-1Mar 25 087-1 Mar 25 064-1Mar 25 111-1Mar 25 153-1Mar 25 356-1Mar 25 186-1 Mar 25 207-1Mar 25 150-2Mar 25 404-2

PS – None of the dresses shown are the ONE Megan chose—wouldn’t want to risk the groom seeing! :)

March 23, 2012

Friday Features

So, do you guys remember yesterday how I said I was sitting here inside by the window, enjoying the breeze without the detrimental effects of being outdoors (insects, most notably). Well, it was kind of a big mistake.  What I hadn’t taken into account were the walls of pollen blowing out of the trees and straight in through that window, and throughout the day I was getting sicker and sicker, but still happily tapping away at my computer, not putting two and two together.  By the end of the day yesterday, I was sneezing approximately 5.4 times per minute, and there was a thin layer of yellow dust all over the table and probably myself.  For all the raving I do about spring here, I tend to forget about my allergies!  Austinites, are you feeling it right now too?!  Oy.

Regardless, I’m feeling a tad bit better now after an antihistamine and closing up the windows (sad), but I just thought that was sort of funny.  I painted a rather glorious pictures yesterday, but that pretty much went straight to snotty hell within a few hours of my post.

And since I have nothing better than pollen and snot to talk about today, go ahead and check out the fab SOML sponsors below!  Happy Friday!

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Shades of Gray is lifestyle blog by the beautiful Amira, a wife, fur-mom, master’s student, and librarian in training! Amira posts plenty of pretty pictures, funny stories, and yummy recipes, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that she and her husband are easy on the eyes!  (check out the engagement pictures she just posted and their cute love story!)  Also, apparently we have the same taste in camera bags, because I ordered the exact one she just posted about, and now I’m insanely excited to receive mine! :) 

Amira Blog | Facebook

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The Semi-reformed Nerd is a blog by my dear friend Julie who specialize in sarcasm, delish recipes, hilarious pictures of her fur-child The Captain, and excellent, helpful posts like this one or, my personal favorite, her post on 15 ways to restore order to your life.  Julie is a seriously funny lady who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in real life, so I can personally attest to her legitimacy.  She is everything she claims to be.  (vs. being an old man faking an entire life on the Internet in order to lure young bloggers into his basement dungeon?).  Check her out. :)

julieBlog | Facebook | Twitter

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And They Lived Happily Ever After… is a blog on life after the altar and follows pretty miss Ashlee and her adventures with her hubby.  She is a self-proclaimed “electrical engineer by day…a super girly blogger by night,” and Ashlee actually has a master’s degree in engineering!  Which kind of makes my head explode just thinking about it.  But I do love me a gorgeous and smart blogger! Learn more about her here, and go make a sweet new friend!

AshleeBlog

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Bouffee e Bambini is a life, food, and style blog by one of the sweetest bloggers you’ll ever meet.  Hanna is a nurse, mama, and wife, she has an amazing story of triumph over weight loss!  Hanna posts plenty of delicious recipes (check them out here) and includes lots of fun photos of her outfits—you will love getting to know this wonderful lady, so head on over there and say hello. :)

hannaBlog | Facebook | Twitter

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Have a wonderful weekend!

March 22, 2012

more sun-filled photos with brittney squire photography

Hey loves!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful Thursday so far.  It is an absolutely perrrfect spring day here in Austin, and I’m currently sitting here at our little kitchen nook table enjoying a fabulous breeze from the back door window.  The best of both worlds, you know?  I can smell my neighbor’s freshly mowed grass and hear the wind in the trees, but I’m not being dive-bombed by craneflies (why are there so many?!) or attacked by unprovoked bees. All things that happen to me on a regular basis while outdoors. It’s a good day!

Anyway, I wanted to share the rest of my favorites from our shoot with Brittney Squire Photography.  Silly as it sounds, I’ve been wanting professional pictures of myself my whole life, and this is the first time I’ve ever gotten them!  Unless you count the lame-o senior pictures they take of you at school, standing on a pile of silk fabric next to the plastic Grecian column.  Yeah, not so much.

I really think everyone should get some nice professional pictures of themselves, especially if you’re a blogger or have a website.  Profesh pics make a HUGE difference on your ads, your about page, etc, and of course they’re the perfect gift for husbands, parents, or grandparents. :)

Brittney did a truly fabulous job on these, and don’t forget she’s offering SOML readers a 10% discount on session fees and prints if you just like her Facebook page!

storyboard001storyboard002Brittney Squire Photography storyboard003storyboard004 storyboard005 storyboard006storyboard010storyboard008storyboard009

The dress is Zara and the necklace is by Nichelle over at Vintage Wanna Bee. Oh, and I found that gorg book at an antique store!  :)  Happy Thursday!

March 21, 2012

Couple’s session with Brittney Squire Photography!

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As you may remember from the stripes vs. plaid debate and the sneak preview post, Matthew and I had a couple’s photo session a few weeks ago!  I’ve been so excited to show you the rest, because they really are fabulous and I’m kind of totally in love with them.

We had the absolute pleasure of working with Brittney of Brittney Squire Photography, and I would most definitely recommend her work to anyone in the market for some gorg pictures (she specializes in couples!).  Brittney’s business is based out of the Woodland’s, Texas (Houston area), but she travels—she’s occasionally here in Austin, so our session worked out perfectly.

The sunlight in these photos… GAH. I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard when I first saw these.  Brittney did a fabulous job of choosing this location and perfectly capturing the light! And as if that wasn’t good enough, she also let me pick her brain about photography stuff at brunch the next day. Win win win.  Oh, and if all THAT wasn’t good enough, she’s offering SOML readers who may be in the area 10% off their booking fee and print products as long as you like the Brittney Squire Photography Facebook page!  Oh, the perks of being my friend.  (kidding) :P  Just get in touch with her if you want to claim your discount!

Anyway, here are just a few of my favorite photos, and be sure and check out her blog too, for even more pictures from our session…

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So what do you think, y’all? Stripes or plaid?  Plaid_Stripes

Personally, I think he’d look hot in anything.  Or nothing. 

Awkward….

Stay tuned for pictures from my individual session with Brittney! :) Happy Hump Day!

March 20, 2012

By the lake

outfit mar 19 050-3 outfit mar 19 051-1 Do not confuse this bun with the “blogger topknot.” This is what I call the “it’s-humid-and-I’m-lazy-messy-Jenni-bun.”

outfit mar 19 058-1 outfit mar 19 071-1 outfit mar 19 076-1 { Shirt and shoes: J.Crew, pants: Madewell (on sale!), necklace: Sora Designs, Bracelet: c/o LeeLaLa—25% off discount with code LOVEJENNI }

I reconnected with an old friend recently… we hadn’t seen each other in about 11 years, and when we finally met back up (thanks to Facebook and the wonderful world of blogging), you'd of thought that not even a month had passed.  I love that about technology, don’t you?  How it brings people together. What in the WORLD did people do before the Internet?! It boggles me, truly.

Anyway, thanks again to Brittany for taking my outfit pictures yesterday! She’s just starting up her own life and style blog, and I feel a very symbiotic relationship coming on… one which could eliminate the need for husband-photographers altogether, ya feel me?  ;)

Also, I’d like to point out that pretty little custom bracelet in the photos above! It was handmade by my dear friend Lindsay over at Lee La La—she runs a shop full of fab wrap bracelets, which you should probably check out.  This was my favorite color combo, but there are lots of other good ones too. (especially this one… I die!) 

The good news is that Lindsay is offering up SOML readers a 25% discount to the shop using the code LOVEJENNI (yessss), so take advantage of it!  And have a great Tuesday!

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