Monday, October 26, 2009

Psalm 126

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

We read this at church on Sunday and it has stuck with me. I took it as my little reminder to be thankful for the many blessings that fill my life with joy. So instead of writing paragraph upon paragraph about our weekend, enjoy this little list of things that have been bringing me lots of joy lately...

  • The beautiful weather that we had while walking to church on Sunday (and the tasty pumpkin spice I picked up on our way home)
  • Coming home to dinner on the table after working late on Friday (thanks Kyle!!)
  • Picking out invitations for the bridal shower I am hosting for Jenn.
  • Having a job that I enjoy.
  • Getting to know the girls at work! I've been waiting quite a few months to know some girls in this town... I'm enjoying every minute of it. 
  • Thinking about spending the holidays with our families.
  • Knowing that we will have a brand new little baby with us for Thanksgiving (my cousin, Kyle, and his wife are having their first baby in a few weeks!)
  • Finally feeling like I kind of know my way around this town (this will probably jinx me and I'll get lost tomorrow!)
  • Going to Six Flags Over Georgia (that will always sound strange to me) for Fright Fest. Kyle and I rode tons of rides and even indulged in a funnel cake treat.
  • Fall weather. I love it even more than I thought I would!
A few people have asked for the name of the store I am working at. If you're interested, you can email me at I would love to tell all of my friends, real-life and blogging, I just don't want to put it up here and let the whole world know where they can find me :)

I hope the week got off to a great start for all of you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

day one.

First off, thanks so much for all of the sweet words of congratulations! They all made me smile and were so thoughtful!

My first day of work was great! Kyle had breakfast with me before I took off and it was beyond beautiful outside. I met three of the girls that I will be working with and will meet everyone else tomorrow at our staff meeting. I learned so much that by the time I got home I was feeling slightly overwhelmed. There is definitely a lot to learn and I will be asking LOTS of questions! It is not at all like working at a store in the mall where we scan a price tag and the computer does the rest.

Here are a few of the things I now know how to do:

  • write up orders (both for regular purchases and wedding dresses)
  • check in new dresses that get delivered for brides
  • organize dresses that are waiting for fittings
  • contact designers 
  • take measurements
I still have a lot to learn about the wedding dresses that we sell. For each dress, I need to know the fabric, price, cut of the dress, the name of the dress and who designed it. I am not kidding when I say, I will be spending today and tomorrow studying wedding dresses! I much prefer this kind of studying to what I can see Kyle studying at his computer. 

I work again on Friday and then three days next week. I'll be working four days a week once November rolls around. I am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the girls and getting more familiar with the shop. If any of you are ever in Atlanta and need to pick up a wedding dress, I'm your girl :) 

And in honor of my new job, here is one of my favorite pictures of my wedding dress...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

working girl.

Let me just start by saying, today has been a fantastic day. 

The biggest challenge I've had since moving to Georgia has been adjusting to a pretty empty weekly calendar. I went from student teaching five days a week, plus organizational meetings Sunday-Wednesday, to a pretty open schedule. It didn't bother me during the summer, because Kyle only had one meeting a week and we had a great time being completely lazy together. But since he has started school and I didn't find a teaching job, it has been a bit of a struggle. Don't get me wrong, I have loved getting to sleep in late and stay in sweatpants all day if I feel like it. I have just had my fill of those rather dull days. 

Well ladies and gentlemen, today I got a job! 

About a month ago my family came to visit and we took my sister to look at wedding dresses here in Atlanta. I fell in love with one of the shops we went to. All of the girls working there were great and it was a more relaxed bridal shop than most. I inquired about job openings and a week later sent in my resume. I had two interviews this week and today they called to offer me a full-time job. I could not be more excited!!

Like I said, the shop is really different from any wedding dress shops I have ever been to. In addition to the wedding dress side of things, it has a boutique attached to it. I'll start out working on that side of things and eventually transition to bridal. How fun is that?! I think it is going to be a great experience and am looking forward to my first day (Monday!). I am so excited to have something to fill my days with and to hopefully meet some great new people. 

I still hope to have my own classroom one day and to use everything I learned about working with children, but I know that this is going to be a wonderful experience.

Thanks for letting me share about our exciting day. We celebrated with a Starbucks trip this morning, fajitas for dinner and are about to enjoy cupcakes and a movie. I hope all of you have had wonderful weekends as well! Can't wait to share all about my first big day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

foodie friday: pumpkin cookies

Happy Friday friends!

Today's recipe is another Theta classic. The recipe makes a lot of cookies, definitely more than we need just for the two of us. If you're in the mood for a fall treat, these are definitely the perfect fit.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Sift together and set aside:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat until well-blended:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter, softened

Add and beat until smooth:
1 cup canned pumpkin (the recipe called for Libby's pumpkin but I used some that I found at Whole Foods. Turns out there is a pumpkin shortage so I had a hard time finding any)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gradually add flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake at 350 fro 15-18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Drizzle with glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

My 'glaze' was a little thick so it was more frosting-like. You can adjust how much powdered sugar or milk to make the glaze whatever consistency you like. We're frosting fans here and Kyle isn't crazy about pumpkin flavored things (although he loves these cookies!) so I figured thicker was better for us.

Let me know if you try the recipe! Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

over the top award.

The lovely Haley Sturgeon (a new aunt to a precious little baby boy!) passed this along to me so I hope you all enjoy. We haven't done anything very blog-worthy in the last few days, so I was excited to get this and have something to write about! Thanks Haley!

I accept and must answer these questions and pass on this award to 7 other bloggers everyone!

1. Where is your cell phone: I have no idea... I've looked everywhere and can't find it.
2. Your hair: in a pony tail
3. Your mother: in Texas :(
4. Your father: also in Texas
5. Your favorite food: fajitas!
6. Your dream from last night: I honestly don't remember
7. Your favorite drink: Diet Coke
8. Your dream/goal: to move back home to Texas and have a house and some kiddos (I'm ready for the Texas part now... not quite the kiddos). I would also like my sis to live next door.
9. What room are you in: living room
10. What is your hobby: shopping and playing piano (I'm still trying to figure out how we could shove a piano into our apartment)
11. What is your fear: losing loved ones
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years: Texas. Texas. Texas.
13. Where were you last night: at our apartment
14. Something you are not: sleepy... thanks to a stop at Starbucks
15. Muffins: blueberry
16. Wish List items: Size: 8 1/2 Color: Black
17. Where did you grow up: Richmond, Texas
18. Last thing you did: drove around Atlanta for about an hour trying to find Blockbuster (in case you're wondering, it's only about 10 minutes from our house...)
19. What are you wearing: jeans and a cozy, red J.Crew sweatshirt
20. Your TV: Desperate Housewives on Lifetime
21. Your pets: Our family dog back in Texas is named Rusty. He is a Tibetan Spaniel.
22. Your friends: delightful
23. Your life: blessed
24. Your mood: excited
25. Missing someone: my parents, sister, friends...
26. Vehicle: Audi convertible, her name is Sadie
27. Something your not wearing: shoes
28. Your favorite store: J.Crew and Nordstrom
29. Your favorite color: pink
30. When's the last time you laughed: a few minutes ago while watching tv
31. When's the last time you cried: Saturday (it was an 'I-miss-Texas' kind of day)
32. Your best friend: wonderful
33. One place you go over and over: Publix
34. One person who emails me regularly: My momma
35. Favorite place to eat? Pappasito's and Escalante's... wish we were eating at one of them tonight!

I am tagging.... anyone who wants to play along :)
 I know, not very exciting of me! I have several friends with private blogs or who have already been 'tagged' so I'm sharing this with anyone and everyone that would like to participate. Let me know if you do, I will definitely want to read it!

Also, Kelsey Smith is hosting a giveaway with some lovely pieces from a great Etsy shop. This is my fave:

Enjoy your evenings! I just made some pumpkin cookies and am off to see how they turned out. I'll share the recipe on Friday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

better late than never.

Apparently I am about a week behind on the A-B-C trend. I missed out on doing it because of our trip to DC, so I'm playing along now.

A- Atlanta, Georgia is my new home while Kyle is in grad school. I miss something about Texas every single day, but love our new town. It is such a great experience for Kyle and I to be somewhere completely new at the beginning of our marriage.

B- When Kyle and I got married, I gained two brothers. I will be getting another one on August 21. (btw, they're all pretty awesome)

C- October marks the start of my favorite time of year, but my absolute favorite holiday is Christmas. I love the music and the cooler weather. I love how cheerful people can be and thinking of perfect gifts for loved ones. My mom decorates every inch of our home beautifully and it makes me so happy to come home to. It is probably my favorite thing about the holidays.

D- Kyle and I are going to see the 3D Toy Story double feature. I am probably more excited than a 23 year old should be.             

E- On November 8, Kyle and I will have our EIGHTH anniversary. He asked me to be his girlfriend while we were riding the bus to perform at a high school football game.

F- Kyle and I took a walk to the park this afternoon and played frisbee. I'm not very good... yet. Crossing my fingers for more afternoons just like this one.

G- Kyle and I are both blessed to have wonderful, amazing grandparents.

H- Holick Lane is the street that I lived on senior year. I lived in the cutest little house with three wonderful girls. As much as I love our apartment here, I miss my sweet little room and our front porch.

I- Blue Bell ice cream is one of my weaknesses. I was thrilled to discover that Texas treat in my Atlanta grocery stores.

J- If I could only shop at one store for the rest of my life, it would be J. Crew. I love everything in that store and everything in it.

K- Kyle Krueger is my new husband. He's the fella that brought me to Atlanta and the guy I will be spending the rest of my life with.

L- There are some 'wifely' things that I really enjoy... cooking, baking, making our little apartment feel like a home, but I *hate* doing laundry. (speaking of which, I should probably get those sheets out of the washing machine)

M- Meet Me in St. Louis is my all-time favorite musical. 

N- If J. Crew disappeared, at least I would still have Nordstrom.

O- October 31st was the date of my first date with Kyle. We were 15 at the time and he came over to my house to watch The Princess Bride. We've both watched it every Halloween since then, but haven't been able to watch it together since his senior year. So if you need us this Halloween, we'll be on the couch watching our movie.

P- My parents are down-right fantastic. I love them both so very much and am so thankful to call them mine.

Q- It cracked me up that so many people had trouble coming up with something for Q. It took me about half a second to think of something: queso. I could eat queso every single day and still want more. Serve some fajitas along with it and you have a very happy Stephanie.

R- Rusty is our family dog. Miss that lazy, friendly pup.

S- I have one sister and don't know what I would do without her. She is my best gal pal and one of my biggest role models. She taught me so much about everything from faith to fashion to being a good friend. We always joke that we could never have another sister because we just wouldn't be able to like her as much as we like each other.

T- In May I graduated from Texas A&M University. I loved everything about going to A&M... the school, my major, Theta and AFC, St. Mary's, Downtown Bryan, the list goes on...

U- J. Crew makes super cute umbrellas

V- I have played the piano since I was five and played the flute in high school, but I have secretly always wanted to learn how to play the violin.

W- My sister and I can sing the entire Wicked soundtrack like nobody's business. 

X- For my dad, all I can think of is C6X.

Y- Right now my Autumn Wreath Yankee Candle is making our apartment smell amazing.

Z- I would love to have Rachel Zoe's job.

I'm off to watch Jim and Pam get married on The Office. I am oh-so-excited! Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

giveaways galore!

A few lovely bloggers are feeling very generous these days. Check out the fun giveaways below and stop by their blogs to enter! 

Ashley went to high school with me and is giving away one of these awesome Tyler Candle Company candles. I am crossing my fingers that this mulled cider candle will soon be sitting on my coffee table. Visit The Kucerca Family Blog to enter!

I do believe that the chocolate brown and blue apron on Danielle's blog would look adorable hanging in my kitchen.  Head on over to her blog to choose which one you would like to win!

Best of luck friends! I'm off to watch Glee and enjoy some warm apple cider. Sounds like a perfect fall evening to me!

home sweet home!

After a wonderful weekend in DC, we are back in Atlanta. We have been traveling so much since July so our plan is to stay put until Thanksgiving, with the exception of the camping trip we are starting to plan (yes, I am going to go camping... I'm as surprised as the rest of you)

Now for the trip recap...

Kyle and I got to DC Friday afternoon and took a cab to Jenn's place. We picked up our furry friend Hero and headed to take a walk in Old Town and get some coffee. When Jenn got home from work it was party time and we had such a fabulous time!

The party was at a lovely French restaurant called Bistro Lafayette. We reserved the second floor of the restaurant which has its own bar and a grand piano. We got to meet Jason's parents and had a great time celebrating with Jenn and Jason's friends. Lots of Jenn's friends from grad school came which was great. I am so glad that I have been able to visit Jenn so much and get to know her friends, it makes events like this so much fun.

Checking out Jenn's fab ring!

The families

My mom decided that since Dad and I will have a chance to give toasts at the wedding, she would like a turn. It was such a sweet gift to our newly engaged couple and she did a beautiful job.

Between my dad, Jason's dad and myself we had the toast documented from every angle!

I also got to give the happy couple a little gift I found on Etsy. I have been wanting to show this to all of you, but had to wait since big sis is one of my most faithful readers.

What's that? You want another picture? Perhaps one where the trinket is sitting on a grand piano?

I purchased this from Miniature Rhino's shop. She was so helpful and I love how this turned out. I loved this because it is so different than anything I have seen. I'm a big fan of monograms and all things personalized, but didn't want to get something that they were likely to receive from someone else. This was a *perfect* find! I highly recommend shopping with her. If you purchase something, let her know I sent you!

On Friday and Saturday nights the second floor of the restaurant turns into a piano bar. The restaurant pushed back the starting time so that we could still have our party. We all had images of some fabulous pianist showing up around 10 and playing some jazz music. We were all quite surprised when this precious little lady came in...

And my friends, she did not play jazz. She started out playing some classics in the background. As our party crowd started to shrink, her crowd of regulars began to grow. Before we knew it, there was a small group standing around the piano while she played show tunes. Everyone was singing along and putting on quite the show. If there is one thing the Simar sisters love, it is musicals and show tunes. We jumped right in and joined the singing group. It was hysterical and so much fun! We sang songs from My Fair Lady, Meet Me In St. Louis and a fantastic little song from Music Man which featured both the gentlemen and the ladies. It was like a scene right out of some ridiculous tv show! I think that some people may have preferred some soft jazz in the background, but Jenn and I could not have been more thrilled!

This picture cracks me up! This guy was our biggest singing competition (as if you can't tell by how very dedicated he is to the song!)

On Saturday we went to an art festival where Jenn lives. The only picture we have from that day is one that my dad took of these little cuties that we found taking a break. The one in the red hat looks so much like a little guy I used to babysit. Check out the ice cream on his nose!

On Sunday we took a trip to the American History Museum and went to see the Constitution. For some reason none of those pictures will upload to my computer, so maybe I'll share part two of our weekend later!

Check back this evening or tomorrow for pictures of my new scarf from Meredith's scarf swap. I also plan on sharing a delicious cake recipe on Friday. If you like whipped cream, caramel and heath bars you won't want to miss it!

Hope that you are all having great weeks! Today I am going to start transitioning my closet for fall, a task that I am actually pretty excited about. I think my fall clothes will get more use this season than ever before. In fact, I may need to pick up a few new pieces to get me through this cooler weather....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

thursday thoughts.

Since I should be doing a number of things right now (none of which include blogging and watching Platinum Weddings), get ready for some bullet points.

  • Operation make friends in Atlanta starts tonight. I am going to a Junior League meet & greet and am both excited and really stinking nervous. I am having flashbacks to recruitment 2005...
  • I have a nail in one of my tires and 3 tire shops claim that it is completely un-fixable. Because of that, we get to replace a tire that is only 6 months old. Not cool!
  • We are going to DC tomorrow for Jenn and Jason's engagement party. We also get to meet Jason's family, go to a fall festival and see Jersey Boys! 
  • I get to see my sister in her wedding dress this weekend!!
  • I just ordered my oh-so-beautiful bridesmaid's dress and cannot wait for it to be here! Now for shoes and accessories...
  • I just started reading the newest Sophie Kinsella book. It is about a girl who sees a ghost... definitely different than the Shopaholic series.
  • My new favorite OPI nail color is Got The Blues For Red. You should definitely pick up a bottle.
  • I miss my friends back in Texas. I am crossing my fingers for some reunions over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • One of the highlights of my day yesterday was buying a congratulations card for one of Kyle's cousins who is pregnant with her first baby :)
That's all for now my friends. I'm off to pack for tomorrow's trip. Have a wonderful Thursday!