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Friday, August 31, 2012


If you are in the working world, you know what this fabulous acronym means. PTO= paid time off. And today I am experiencing the wonderfulness of PTO without being on vacation. I took today off after a long week of traveling and don't know what to do with myself. I slept til 930a, hopped on the computer to write this post and don't want to see my laptop again until Tuesday. 

So why is today so special? Yes I've taken PTO before, even took 2 days last week when we vacationed but I was trying to think if I have ever had a day off work during the week where it wasn't a holiday. And I haven't! I was told by our HR department that I needed to start taking more days off or else I wouldn't continue to accrue PTO. Um okay! I only ever take days off to vacation so now I have a few fun days off in the books.

This feels foreign to me! No work on a non holiday week day? What do you non working people (without kids) do? I feel like I should go to the bank since it's open haha. I've already unpacked from San Fran and came home to clean sheets and clean laundry so no chores! 

We are leaving after Jon is done working for a weekend at the lakehouse...could this weekend get any better?!

Now I am going to leave you with the most random combination of pictures ever

My big headed munchkin

A $15 piece of cake I had this week....people at my work are starting to wonder about my chocolate addiction...

Lately I've had a craving for chocolate milk (and shrimp too, not together but weird)

Okay so my first name is Ruthie, middle name is Lynn. It's not one word but United seems to think so and make me feel like JamieLynn Spears from Tennessee. Southern much? And someone reminded me of the part in the movie Ted where they talked about names with "Lynn" at the end hahah

Weird booth swag...

So I am off to sit on the couch, watch 19 Kids and Counting, eat, doze off, play with Ernie, watch Jon work....I couldn't be more excited!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy dance

Today I am doing a little happy dance because I am on my way home from what is hopefully my last business trip of the year (in reality, I am probably drooling with an open mouth squished next to a burly, coughing man, on my United flight). I am ready for this whirlwind of a summer to be over, mostly because every couple of weeks I have had a weeklong trip for work. Yes it's been fun- Vegas, NYC, Toronto and San Francisco, but it is a lot less glamorous than it looks. Part of me feels like I missed out on a lot of the summer because I was preparing for one tradeshow after the next. I am so glad Jon and I got to get away last weekend and we will be at the lake until Labor Day totally unwinding. 

I am ready to focus on the fall...2 weddings, a trip to Mexico, a weekends in Dallas....a NIECE!!!!! We are on the cusp of my favorite time of the year. Jon and I were talking last week about when we should decorate for Halloween :-).  I have been trying to remove the phrase "super busy" from my vocabulary because friends, we are all busy! I've had a post I wanted to write for a while but need to find the time to write it about being overwhelmed. I am thanking the Lord that I do have things to keep me busy. Busy at work= I have an income, planning parties, showers, happy hours=  I have friends, vacations and getaways= we can afford to do those things. I am very thankful.

I am also very thankful for this chunky nug...

 admit it, he is the cutest thing you've ever seen

Play mama?

down dog?

and thankful for my big Mister. 
(fyi that is NOT my leg in the pic! haha)

The foot of one of Ernie's toys (I think it was a duck) fell off and he is now obsessed with it
"our pet's feet are falling off!"

My hubby rockin' his new shirt and swim in the back!

Is there anything you are doing a happy dance for today?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Creamy avocado & roasted tomato pasta

The other day Jon asked me if I could buy some avocados. don't have to ask me twice!! I usually only buy them to make guac but have been searing for yummy ways to add it to meals. This recipe reminds me of the spinach avocado pasta I made (and LOVED!) but creamier and with a different flavor. Another good recipe on the books!

2 small tomatoes, cut into small nickel sized chunks
3-4 tbsp olive oil
4 servings of your favorite noodles (I used whole wheat spaghetti, wished I used linguini or fettuccine)
2 small avocados, seed and skin removed
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
*optional 1/4 cup pine nuts
Parmesan cheese

1. Wash and chop your tomatoes.
2. Place them on a baking sheet topped with tin foil. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil
3. Bake at 400 for 50 minutes- 1 hour
4. Boil noodles according to packaging
5. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, avocado, garlic, salt and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.
6. Strain the pasta and mix with the avocado mixure
7. Top with roasted tomatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
8. Serve immediately, hot

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Bay where I will be spending the week. 

San Francisco that is.

Jon and I vacationed in San Fran a couple of months ago (recap 1 and recap 2) and this time it is for work, for VMworld if you are curious. I got in yesterday morning and got to do about 1 hour of sight seeing but I knew what I wanted to see...

The seals and Alcatraz are my 2 favorite things about the city of love. 

I also got to see the ending of the team portion of The America's Cup...pretty darn cool!! (and definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity) pictures though.

Have you been??

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Edamame dip

My girlfriend, Amanda, brought this dip to a get together one night and I have been obsessed with it ever since! I am all about dips. Chips and dip. Veggies and dip. I will dip anything into any dip and unfortunately, most dips aren't easy on the waistband. I was so excited about this low calorie, high protein dip and it's a staple in our house!

1.5 cups frozen shelled Edamame 
½ cup water
¼ cup chopped red onion
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp chili garlic sauce (I used garlic Sriracha sauce)
1 16 oz can cannellini beans, drained

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. 
2. Let chill in refridgerator for 30 minutes before serving
3. Serve with fresh veggies or pita chips 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


"Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people" 
- Colossians 3:23

This is something that we all fall victim to, no matter our spiritual beliefs. We want what we want now and we want it to satisfy our own indulgences. Do you want that brand new sports car to improve your status and feel luxurious? Or do you want that car to help you serve others. 

Last night Jon and I had a conversation about what we base certain decisions and choices on. The more we grow in our faith, the more I am finding myself going to God for even the smallest of choices. And of course big ones. I've chosen to give up cursing because of Proverbs 31:46 (She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.). I choose not to get belligerently wasted because the bible warns against indulging in wine. “What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' " Matthew 15:11. I choose to portray the fruits of the spirit when I can because God granted us the freedom to do so (Galatians 5:22-23).

Do I use the Lord for all decisions? No. I wish. But I desire deep in my heart to work for His glory and not my own. Will I ever 100% live out those words? No, not ever. But I can strive and try and pray. There are so many times in my life I've made a decision and immediately regretted it and felt the need to repent. I am a sinful person. But I find myself wanting to please God in so many random aspects of my life and I can sense growth in my dependence on Him. 

You may hate your job but God is giving you the opportunity to serve Him with joy, grace, and character. Each of us was given a gift that's purpose is to glorify His name.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dog Days of Summer Trip

I am fist pumping that it is already Wednesday but scrambling because I am not 100% caught up on life. I am getting better about not answering work emails when I am on PTO but that ends up being overwhelming when I get back! We snuggled into our beds at almost 2am Tuesday morning with an early wake up call for Jon to head back out of town and me to work. Poor Jonny hasn't seen Ernie yet!

To catch you up (if I haven't said it enough), Jon surprised me with a trip this weekend. The last trip we made in February we decided to buy a house so we felt like we needed to name this trip so we called it the Dog Days of Summer trip...aka, get us out of the dang heat. We flew to Salt Lake City and spent time there and in Park City. It was gorgeous! And for those of you who asked/wondering, we are not Mormon, it is just a great place to visit!

If you follow me on instagram, then you will have seen most of these pictures but I want to recap the fun/special parts of the trip for my own sake. We also took my Canon 60d and took some video so once I have some free time, I want to share those or compile into a movie.

Even though Jon told me where we were going on Thursday, he said I needed to be prepared for more surprises. And boy did he go all out! Honestly it was one of the most relaxing trips I've been on because I didn't have to plan a thing. Finding restaurants was the most work I did on the trip and we had tons of recommendations :-)

First surprise of the trip...our rental car. 

Jon originally booked the GT Mustang right next to it (men and cars!) but I was excited for the convertible. Yes the color is obnoxious but it was OH so fun to drive! We normally get your basic sedan and this was a big treat. Jon booked with Hertz points too :-)

Jon booked us a suite at the Sheraton Downtown Salt Lake City (also a surprise, and he booked it with SPG points so it was "free"). One major bummer was our bags didn't make it, despite a 3 hour layover in Phoenix. I planned lots of cute outfits and ended up wearing my stinky plane clothes for our first night out. We didn't get our bags until the next morning so we showered and slept in towels haha. Glamorous! 

Something we did a lot of was eating. One of my girlfriends gave me lots of recommendations and I mentioned before that we ALWAYS use The Food Network for recs (Man V Food and Diners, Drive Ins and Drives). I wanted to make a list of the places we ate in case you are in the area and need a recommedation. The food was FABULOUS in Utah!

Salt Lake City
  • Eva- Mediterranean tapas, super cute patio, very hipster
  • Crown Burgers- this was on Man V Food and Jon got a burger topped with good!
  • Red Iguana- amazing Mexican food
  • The Copper Onion- great for brunch, I highly recommend the goat cheese omelet and huevos rancheros
  • Kneader's- cinnamon french toast with caramel syrup. Enough said
  • Ruth's Diner- how could I not go there?! Loved it! Reminded me of Kerbey Lane in Austin (but better food!)
Park City
  • Ruth's Chris- yes yes I know we have one in Austin but we went in PC. Delicious.
  • Java Cow- cute little ice cream parlor
 Crown Burger/The Copper Onion
Ruth's Diner/Banana bread walnut French toast

Ruth's Chris (I have had a weird craving for shrimp)

java cow

I love vacation because it is like one big date night. I love getting dressed up to go out with Jon and he was accommodating as I was teaching him to take fashion pictures!

Saturday we went white water rafting and I have to say, I think I have a new hobby. Okay I won't really get to do it here in Texas but I told Jon I would love to go on a rafting trip. The trip was pretty mild and there were 9 people on our raft and my adrenaline was pumping when we would go into the rapids. I never thought it was something I would like! We also visited the Hogle Zoo on Saturday evening. It was an AWESOME zoo (we try to go to a zoo or aquarium every trip we go on) and I would go back in a heart beat. What makes an awesome zoo for me is monkeys and elephants. I could watch them for hours. 

I had such a special experience at the zoo with a little squirrel monkey. Ever since seeing the movie Return to Me (one of my all time favorites), I've wanted to walk up to the glass and touch hands with a monkey. And that is exactly what happened! Jon got tons of pictures but this is my favorite...

You can ask Jon. I was pretty much crying tears of joy because this little guy was so glued to me. If I could, I would be one of those weirdos on TLC's My Monkey Baby. No lie, you can read my old journals, I always wanted to be a monkey trainer when I grew up. It also made my miss Chunky boy! 

One of the best surprises was our hotel change on Sunday. I assumed we were staying in SLC the whole time and just driving to Park City (about 20-30 min away) but sneaky Jon was at it again. Jon booked us an immaculate suite at the Waldorf Astoria in the Canyons in PC. This hotel was voted Trip Advisors #1 Hotel in the Luxury category for 2011. It was out of this world. Our room was probably 1,500+ sf with a full gorgeous kitchen and a breathtaking view. Now we are loyal Starwood members and when I saw Waldorf was a Hilton Hotel, I immediately thought, oh Lord we are going to go broke. Friends...our room was $150! I really want to check to see how much it will be during prime ski season because I am sure it would be over $1k. My hubby is the best deal finder!

Sunday we went on a 3 hour private guided ATV tour through the mountains. Hands down my favorite part of the trip. Originally I planned on just riding behind Jon but we switched off driving and I had a blast! It is very similar to driving a wave runner and I got such a thrill. Nothing better than holding onto my hubby riding through the mountains with a chilly breeze. I kept whispering to Jon how every time I look at the view, I want to pray. I want to thank God for the beautiful mountains, the trees, the air, the sun. His work is beyond words.

I went to Park City a few years ago with my family and I remember how cute the downtown strip being. We spent Sunday night walking up and down, peeking into windows and enjoying the crisp air. It is amazing how weather can totally change your mood!

The 2nd best part of the trip was Monday morning lighting the fireplace, opening the windows and laying in bed staring at the view. Despite it being such an adventurous trip, it was the most relaxed I've been in a while. 

Jon sure does know how to treat a lady because we ended the trip with a couple's massage. I got really lucky in the husband department

Jon is in sales, specifically software, and it has it's perks of a flexible schedule. He was able to take Friday and Monday off but being available comes with the job so I was cracking up that he was on a work call, driving through the mountains, in a convertible! How awesome is the iPhone?!

And this is my life. Luckily I am a football fan (I just limit it to watching 2 games a week)

 It's a sign! Ernie needs a vacation! We are silly and miss the crap out of him when we are gone. We always make sure to have lots of videos and pictures on our phones to watch though.

We ended the vacation with a layover in Vegas which included a crappy dinner and gambling (I lost $1 on the slots, boo)

I've been putting off grocery shopping in favor of spending time with this chunk (and catching up on trashy DVR shows). I picked him up from his gramma's last night and he was soaking wet. He is a toot and puts his ball in the water and fell into the baby pool trying to get it haha

I am savoring this time at home because next week I am in San Francisco and then we are spending the holiday weekend at the lake!

Do you and your hubby/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/etc get away every so often?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Roasted Chickpea Tacos

I had seen a few people post about this recipe and I knew I wanted to try it out. My husband isn't always gung-ho for vegetarian dinners but he LOVED these tacos (I did make him some chicken breast on the side for added protein). It was a healthy spin on Mexican food that will definitely be made in our house again. In fact, chickpeas are now a staple in our pantry. You may be weirded out by the name but I promise you will love these delicious tacos. Try them!

*makes 5 large tacos

Ingredients- roasted chickpeas
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp water
1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Ingredients- tacos
Olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 onion
1/2 red bell pepper
Hard taco shells
Toppings- guac, sour cream, shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, lime juice and water. Stir in chickpeas. 
2. Placed seasoned chickpeas on a baking sheet covered in tin foil. Make sure they are lad out evenly and not on top of each other
3. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring once during cooking, until chickpeas are slightly crispy.
4. While baking, chop the onion and bell pepper finely
5. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and saute garlic, onion and pepper 3-5 minutes. Set aside
6. When chickpeas are roasted, spoon into hard taco shells and top with the sauteed veggies and any additonal toppings

Friday, August 17, 2012

Where are we going?

Yesterday I told you Jon is surprising me with a trip and wasn't going to tell me where we were going until we got to the airport. He lied. He told me! Last night he called me upstairs and sat me down for a powerpoint on the TV. Jon is all about to powerpoints whether it is to convince me to do something or surprise me (he said he wanted to make sure  I was okay with some of the activities he planned). He is cute.

So wanna know where we are going?
 (this is his powerpoint)

 *each hint came up separately and I had to guess

 *I knew after the last hint that it was SLC! At first I thought it was Maine, since Jon has been there and LOVED it, and I haven't. I've been to SLC/PC twice, once a long time ago in the summer and once in college for skiing. But never together!

 *bummed that it is so hot but I think we'll spend most of our time in Park City, check out those lows!

And Jon has a full list of what we will be doing!
*we love hiking and being outdoors

And we love animals!

and I am most excited for...

I've never done either!! I am pumped! Jon and I have talked about doing it a few times but I honestly never thought we would. This weekend is going to be packed with adventure and my husband definitely planned ahead...

Jon rocks!

I think it's funny that I was so sure of where we were going but none of my guesses were right. Jon is pretty good at surprising me considering I am the cruise director around here. Honestly it kind of stresses me out planning a trip from start to finish and Jon has already done all of that! I messaged one of my girlfriends who hooked us up with tons of restaurant recs, we love finding local/hole in the wall places (we always check Diners, Drive Ins and Drives and Man Vs Food before traveling anywhere). And Jon said there are more surprises!

So friends, I am signing off for a few days. You're not gonna want to forget about me...Monday is August group giveaway day! Have a wonderful weekend.

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