Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's 78 for the high and I'm already thinking about Christmas...

Did anyone else notice that Crane Paper Co. put their Christmas cards and invitations at 10% off today? No?? Was it just me?

I'd seriously be lying to you if I said I hadn't thought a lot about the Midkiff family Christmas cards already this year. I just love old-fashioned correspondence! I think a little effort goes a long way.

And Crane is simple and timeless, the Cadillac of stationery, in my opinion.

Side note: Love love love the holidays! My family will be spending a week at Disney World ... so no Texas Christmas for us this year, we'll be with Mickey and the gang. {Are we too old for that? Well, if you're asking the question then clearly we should just have a whole different conversation altogether. But in a word, NO.} :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Fall in Tennessee.

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
~Emily Bronte

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Race Results + Weekend Fun

Post-race, and feeling not too shabby!

Okay so today turned out way more awesome than I expected! First of all, the weather was perfect. According to Mr. Weather Man on Channel 4, Nashville saw it's last 90 degree day on Friday. This morning they talked about a possibility of rain, but we avoided all that. It was cool in the morning and warmed up enough to be very pleasant.

Doug and I arrived downtown outside the Country Music Hall of Fame to a sea of women wearing mostly pink. :) I'd say a total of (give or take) 20 men raced today, so Doug was definitely in the minority. It was a great race atmosphere. For not having trained extensively, I was extremely pleased with my results - I came in only 2 min slower than last year at the White Rock where I trained a whole lot more! All in all, a fun day.

Afterwards we met some friends for brunch at Marche, which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Then I went with Kristi and Lindsey to the Craft Fair that was going on at the park by my apartment. It was a lot of Ruidoso, NM style southwestern art. Which is cool, if that's your thing. It wasn't the etsy-type of crafts we were hoping for. We pledged to have a craft party around Christmas time.

All in all, a great Saturday morning. I feel like we are going to nap with the Arkansas/Alabama game in the background :) What did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ready for Rain

Post #2 for the night - I am on a roll, people!!

I just ordered these for all the rainy days I am expecting this fall as I hoof it around Nashville. Aren't they fun?

Zetta Women's rain boots

Then I started thinking: wouldn't these things go GREAT with my new boots??! Sigh....oh to have an unlimited clothing budget right now...! :)

London Fog Cheetah print rain coat

London Fog Audrey Patent tote in Honey

And aren't these umbrellas pretty? A twist on a classic style makes the rainy days not so bad:

London Fog umbrellas in signature black plaid and urban safari plaid

Thoughts on a Friday Night

Tomorrow is the half marathon which Doug decided 2 days ago to run the half instead of the 5K!! How dumb awesome is that!?

So because we're getting up super early it just seemed like a good night to stay in. We made homemade pizza and I baked peaches with amaretti stuffing for dessert. It was a great way to finish up the peaches I bought last week from the Farmer's Market.

Sound good to you? It was delicious. Here's the super easy recipe, I found it from

4 ripe peaches
juice 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup crushed amaretti cookies (I used almond biscotti)
2 Tb marsala or brandy
2 Tb butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tb sugar
1 egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the peaches in half and remove pits. Do not peel the peaches. Take a small spoon and scoop out a bit of the flesh to enlarge the hollow. Place peaches in a shallow baking dish, cut sides up. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Place crushed cookies into a bowl and stir in the brandy or marsala (I used brandy). Let this mix sit for a few minutes to soften slightly. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Spoon the cookie mixture into each of the peach halves, mounding it up as needed. Yum!

While we ate, Doug and I caught up on our shows from the week. Modern Family was okay, and Glee was fabulous! I am sooo looking forward to this season! If you haven't seen it yet (or ever) watch this: (you might need to turn your speakers up a little):

Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't rain on us in the morning!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Update: Football and Food

This has been Restaurant Week in Nashville, which meant all the best places were offering great specials on their menus! We ate at a place called Tayst, the only officially certified green restaurant in Nashville. We loved the food -- organic, local and very tasty! One interesting thing Doug pointed out - the only way we knew it was certified green was that I read about it online. They didn't tout it on their menus, their servers didn't say anything about it to us, it almost felt like that should be normal, routine. Dallas is quite the contrast. It's hip and trendy to be local, organic and green, and we've been to a dozen (delicious!) Dallas restaurants that really like to broadcast their hip and trendi-ness. We thought that was an interesting cultural nuance!

I have no pictures from the first half of the weekend because my camera's batteries ran out!

Saturday was spent running in preparation of next weekend's race. Then I drove to Franklin on what I'd describe as a golden autumn-ish afternoon to meet an old high school friend. I have not seen her since our freshman year of college and it was a fun reunion! We shopped, ate, and just caught up. It's cool how so many things change over the years but also so many things stay the same about people! I have decided that Franklin is like Mayberry: perfect and quaint and everyone just polite and friendly. I can't wait to go back over Christmas when the square is all decorated.

THEN - Saturday night was the annual Battle of the Midkiffs (a.k.a. Texas Tech vs. UT) Let's face it, I didn't think Tech would upset UT, but it was a good time, and once a year I enjoy the Big 12 rivalry between us. We went to a bbq joint that's owned by a UT alum, and the Nashville chapter of the Texas Exes watch every game there. There's several people in the business school also who went to UT so we all got together to watch the game. The place was a sea of burnt orange! It was like stepping back into Texas for the night - the place was covered in Texas memorabilia and longhorn stuff. There were 4 Red Raiders in the place, and I wouldn't be surprised if we were the only 4 Red Raiders in the whole Nashville area! We were the minority, but cheered loudly when we scored our 2 touchdowns! :) Maybe next year, Tech!!!

2 of the 4 Red Raiders + 1 Cornhusker!! We banded together!

My friend Kristine who I knew back in Lubbock. She's in Nashville managing her sister Heather who's about to release her first album!

It's Sunday night and I'm with Doug at Fido, our favorite local coffeehouse. He is working on like a bajillion assignments at once and I am goofing around! That's what our life looks like these days!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quote of the Day: Just Dance

"Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion." – Martha Graham

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Recap

It has definitely started to feel like autumn here in Nashville. I love it!

I may or may not have signed myself up for a half marathon in 2 weeks ... yep that's right, kind of spur of the moment decision! Doug's mom and dad will be coming to town that weekend; Pamela is running the half with me, while Doug and Paul run the 5K. If the weather is anything like it was this weekend it will be absolutely gorgeous! The race finishes at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and I figure it will be a great way to see parts of Nashville I haven't been to yet.

These are my new running shoes I got over the weekend. Aren't they pretty?

Friday night, Doug and I made dinner and dessert at home. We made bananas foster from this recipe from Alton Brown and let's face it, what's not to love about setting your dessert on fire? :) We loved it.

Saturday we went to the Owen Business School's tailgate for the Vanderbilt/LSU game. Overall, I'd say there were as many (if not more) LSU fans than Vanderbilt Commodores. Guess that's what happens when your football team loses more than it wins. They know how to throw one great party though. It's the first tailgate I've been to that had a dj, the culinary club made dinner, flip cup tables, mardi gras party favors and a guy dressed as a cucumber. And that's just the business school tailgate! We had a blast and no one cared that VU lost. Game, there's a game going on? Do you mean the Alabama game? I think you get the picture! Anyway, a great time was had by all.

Allen, me, Kristi and Lindsey at the tailgate ---

The cucumber. Seriously, don't ask because I don't know!

I signed up for a program called "First Friends" through Vanderbilt. The International Student Office pairs up American families with international students. Today was "match day" where I met my new friend. Her name is Sophie, she's from Taiwan and super sweet. Turns out, she lives walking distance from our apartment. They encourage you to "exchange cultures," so she's going to come over for an American dinner at our place and she's invited us to an Asian pot luck dinner they're having. Other than that, they just ask that you be a point of reference for someone new to America. Doug and I told Sophie we are from Texas and asked what her first thought about Texas is. On cue she said cowboys and horses! We set her straight :) and I've already learned that Taiwan is the size of Chicago and they speak Mandarin Chinese and she told me it's crowded and there's nothing to do there and she loves the U.S.

My new friend Sophie.
My husband climbing on the dragon! He cracks me up.
It was a great weekend. What did you do?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Empire State of Mind

Happy long weekend everyone! I thoroughly enjoyed not working for a few days and headed up to NYC for the long weekend. Doug's g-ma invited us awhile back to go with her and some other family to the Big Apple - I jumped at the offer, but Doug had to decline due to grad school. Vandy didn't even give him Monday off, he actually had a stats quiz and a paper due, how's that for Labor Day?

Anyway, I flew up there by myself and met up with Doug's aunt Allison, his cousins Jordan and Chad, their significant others Emily and Lara, Doug's grandma (Nan), and my little bro Michael who happend to move to NYC in January. All in all, made for a fun weekend.

We stayed at The Park Lane Hotel, close enough to Central Park for Allison and I to go jogging in the mornings. We hit up Canal Street and came home with some fabulous treasures (2 pashminas for $8 anyone?) some funky cocktail rings and bracelets, haggled for fake Louis Vuittons and took FULL advantage of Emily's employee discount at Bloomingdale's. I came home with a Coach purse for a steal. We ate tons of great food and saw Chicago up close and personal on the front row. Hmm... what else did we do...eating and shopping, that pretty much sums it up! Allison was the real photographer of the bunch but here are a few photos:

Italian food, yum!

Allison and Lara at the Magnolia Bakery in West Village, amazing cupcakes!

For Sunday brunch we went to the River Cafe, it's on the water just across the Brookly Bridge. Great food and a great view of Manhattan. And if I tilted my head just right, I could see Lady Libert from my seat at the table. I had to take a picture of my food - whole wheat waffles with caramelized bananas and a scoop of vanilla bean fro-yo. I will eat fro you for breakfast anytime!

They loved us so much at the River Cafe they brought out their dessert masterpiece, the chocolate Brooklyn Bridge.

This was just outside the restaurant.

My brother came with us!

On our way to dinner one night - I think we were heading to Balthazar - french food night!

Lara and Nan

One of the last things before I headed back - a boat cruise on the Hudson River. It was actually my first time to see the Statue of Liberty in person besides from an airplane. Prett cool!

Now - back to Tennessee and back to work. What did you do for the weekend?