Confession: I'm a YA Sci-Fi Addict

 photo booklist_zpseeb9f3f0.jpg Let's just dwell on the pure fact that I could binge read sci-fi young adult novels for the rest of my earthly days and consider that a mighty fine success. Thankfully, I have overcome my shame of loving these often 15 year old targeted books at my more seasoned college graduate age.This is my mini-list of favorites. Voted to leave out Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight and Mortal Instruments due to their current popularity. Although, I do have a special place in my heart for all those series and highly recommend you check them out if you haven't already.

1. The Selection (series): America Singer finds herself thrown into a futureist dating "reality show" setting with 35 other girls. The winner is provided the opportunity to escape the caste limited life laid out for them since birth. One of the most creative future society books I've dived into, filled with dynamic plot, relateable to our version of dating tv shows.
- Book quote: “. . .true love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”

2. Delirium (trilogy):  Love is viewed as a dangerous disease in this alternative present society. Once citizens reach a certain age, they are forever cured of being able to "love" and can happily join a totalitarian brainwashed civilization. I enjoyed the depth of describing love from a purely medical sickness point of view. Lots of teen relationship turmoil thrown in within every page.
-Book quote: “Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.”

3. Divergent (trilogy with lots of half books):  Set in dystopian Chicago, Beatrice (Tris) lives in a divided faction society where at 16 you select the faction to move into that you will forever devote the rest of your days, leaving behind your family and all you've ever known. Some of the major themes are friendship, self discovery, trust, love and defining truth. Definite style similar to Hunger Games, but a more likeable female lead.
Book quote: “Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.” 

4.  Shatter Me (trilogy): This gem of a novel plopped  into my lap by a happy circumstance in University, when my roommate's sorority had a pile of them left at their house to trial read. I LOVE THIS BOOK. So stinkin unique in story line and literal style. Juliette's physical touch harms those around her, so she gets locked up and told she is a monster for years. She discovers her inner power and must chose to be a weapon or be a warrior. Nice love triangle and really awesome plot twist throughout the series. 
-Book quote: “I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

5. Uglies (4 book series): Tally is a 16 year old in a world that only values youth and beauty, having all citizens undergo a surgery that makes them forever gorgeous and youthful. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the dissection of what our modern day world values viewed from the lenses of future consequences. I enjoyed how each book gave you an in depth view from the inside of each different member type in their world. Not the most interesting plot or characters, but great read for high school readers or adults who are down with simpler stylistics and narration.
-Book quote: “Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.”

McDonalds - Monday Morning Motivation

My dorking marketing side is always looking for super star commercials on the tube. While in London, this gem played at the movie theater and I was just too happy to contain myself. Might have also spoken to my "missing french fries and ranch and dr.pepper" soul due to the American nature and McDonalds company. Two fist pumps for this marketing crew.

Seven Day Snapshots

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Confession that these photos are more a compilation of the past 14 day snapshots, but due to our lack of social media in the canyon at camp I've decided it's okay just this once. So much has happened in the last week! We got home from our road trip of visiting friends, Bopants completed his leadership roles at 2 Foundation camps, we moved into our first new house, my almost sissy Christy graduated!!, we ate and drank and saw and conquered. Exhausting, but refreshing wrap up to summer. Some of my favorite memories from our Texas road trip include:
- watching William Christopher dominate physical therapy and scarfing down loads at dinner
- meeting some of Bopant's extended family, falling in love with Eloise preciouspot self
- swimming with Lanna and Claire, getting to see their new abode with Uncle Tim
- grubbing down at all our favorite Austin joints
- observing Bo and Dean's riding excursions in Austin
- enjoying happy hours con mis amigos Cameron y Madison at Chuys
- sharing a bed and life with one of my very bestest friends Madi Mae
- attempting to make dream catchers on new beer wednesday with my new friend Sarah
- cooking lazy whites with the one and only Moriah
- long catchups with dear friends such as Katy, Katie, Lizzie and Kristen
- relaxing at the river with my new sister in laws!!
- celebrating with my almost sister, Christy, as she graduated from grad school.. bittersweet since she won't be bunking with Momma and Papa Bear anymore in the summers
- serving alongside hubby at Foundation in Ceta Canyon, home to many memories in our spiritual pasts. So fun growing with the leadership ladies and observing the heartbeat of ministry on Tech campus.

This season embodies change, development and celebration. It's so good to be home.

The Honey Trees. Moon River - Monday Morning Motivation

Keeping with the wedding theme this week, the duo of The Honey Trees brilliantly covers one of my favorite
ballads - Moon River. I waltzed down the aisle to this song. Wouldn't change that memory for the world.
Let's also just comment on her foxy locks and eyeliner. 

Two Drifters Off to See the World

Better late than never, am I right?? Between hustling back to the states, going on a tour of Texas and moving into our amazing backhouse, I managed to keep delaying the posting of our wedding photos. My mind can't even begin to digest that this special day took place just about 3 months ago... say whaaaat. I have been a wife for MONTHS. That's nutso. Let me just start by saying a huge thanks to everyone who helped out with our special day. Quick overview of my handy helpers. Venue: St. Luke's Memphis Campus, Photographers: Two Pair Photography, Wedding Planner: Dawn Fleming (my knight in shining armor and one of my best friends from forever/bridesmaid's momma), Florist: Darla Drum, Caterer: Leah Yancey and Paper Good: Hartsfield Design. I absolutely would have lost my marbles without the aide of all these lovely people. One of my favorite aspects of our wedding was the integration of so many family friends, highlighting their rockin awesome talent by supporting their businesses. Now without further ado..

 photo 72e6fa5b-d4b2-490d-bc0d-342ed92996bb_zps40c36427.jpg  photo f38299f5-9743-4415-9e6e-f4ef5970e758_zpsa3e6a36f.jpg  photo 0da523d3-9e30-4ec3-b055-6fc255eaabbe_zps90cee55a.jpg  photo d366c2d9-996f-429e-b0e3-690c66908bb6_zpscc5bba9d.jpg Some of the guys pre wedding shots. Not even surprised that as the women as running around like chickens with their heads cut off, the dudes are jamming on the piano and enjoying cream sodas.  photo a73e4875-9db2-4fc3-875b-d7b307ed29ec_zps2893147e.jpg  photo 9c9735a0-2239-4c97-baa4-f48e97f37908_zpsd2bf76e7.jpg My wedding dress was first worn by my grandma, Gima in the 50s. My momma bear was the second to sport the beauty down the aisle. Held up well for 3 weddings, 3 body types, and 3 fiestas! Hope I'm just holding up as good in 50+ years.  photo 76f1a343-1253-485f-a74a-3694346ba919_zpsdf74fd2a.jpg  photo 073e4102-2738-41fd-b62d-a9783ff5804c_zps7cfa0129.jpg  photo ff0a5461-1230-4946-9215-6bc4ccf52ead_zpscea8cba1.jpg The dashing wedding parties, comprised of some of the most hardcore rockstars we know. So thankful for each of the colorful personalities represented. I can't get over how awesome these shots are with the mirroring laughing groups.  photo 7c5d8d92-814c-4f87-b4f4-7eef294c82ae_zps606d1221.jpg  photo 9bade0da-b010-4ed6-9904-c7865f19f141_zps60a049a7.jpg  photo ab477b3a-a530-4aba-9ef1-605b0ba923e4_zpsf823663c.jpg
For more snazzy shots and behind the scenes, click the read more after the page break button below

Last Minute Honeymoon Shots

As per usual, life has been all over the place since we touched down back in the good ol US of A. Spending just
 a few days at home, we took to the open road and kicked off a 10 day road trip of Texas. We loved visiting friends and family, catching up on all summer goodness with them! Here are some photos from our last few weeks in London 
and Belgium. We paddle-boated in Hyde Park on one of the sunnier London days. Packing a picnic with all sorts of different yumminess, the day was just "brilliant!" I could definitely get used to living this style of life everyday. 
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My wonderfully awesome family came to London for a couple weeks to visit during their summer vacation travels. I was so blessed to have their company and familiar faces during our 10 weeks abroad. Some of my favorite memories with them while abroad include: high tea, weekend visit to Canterbury, sister travels to Ireland and people watching in Leister Square.
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For the wrap up to our "honeymoon Europe travels", we trekked over to Belgium for a couple days during what just so happened to be the National Holiday. Bopants chose to work on his modeling career while browsing the streets of Brussels, going so far as to borrow a stanger's lovely bike for some casual poses.  photo 5e2c6eb8-0371-425a-a95a-34298bcf0d77_zps14e4270e.jpg
Belgium waffles surpassed all expectations with their amazing flavor and scrumptious fluffyness.  photo f8b63893-8d3e-462c-b842-8a1155b192c6_zpse402ceb2.jpg

The Joy of Books - Monday Morning Motivation

Continuing along with my current stop-motion video appreciation, this insanely detailed "after hours" bookshop video is one of the sweetest 2 minute films ever. Prepare to be amazed.. and have the instant urge to color coordinate every bookshelf in your house.

Lazy White Girl Enchiladas

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Meet one of my bestest Aggie friends of all times, Senorita Moriah. This spicy tamale of a woman has the biggest heart for loving others and cooking amazingly tasty dishes. To this day, she's one of the only college girls I met who has the patience to slave over a stove for hours during study breaks. This type of dedication scored her many points in my book as a rocking roommate.

Freshman year, Moriah introduced me to her signature "Lazy White Girl Enchilada" dish during one of our Business Math Mexican Mondays with MO homework nights. Needless to say, we scraped our plates clean with happily full bellies and abandoned our online homework to embrace our food comas. No shame. My life has been changed ever since that October night in 2010. 

The heartbeat of this dish is simplicity, yummyness and fiesta flavored cooking. You just need to gather your ingredients, turn up that stove to medium high, pour yourself a lil sangria and invite over some friends to help you inhale your meal. 
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Ingredients (serves 4, we cooked for 10 so we had bigger sized everything):
- 1 large can enchilada sauce or 2 smaller ones
- 1 small can of corn
- 1 can of olives, we tend to love them, so feel free to purchase 2
- 1 small package corn tortillas
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 package Mexican grated cheese, or whatever type floats your boat
- Whatever type of meat you want, cooked separately then added
- Optional: ranch dressing, Julio's chips and mild salsa

We always cook up a side of refried beans (with cheese) and 1 box Zatarains dirty rice to munch on alongside. So whip up whatever yummyness you want to accompany your goodies.
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Super simple cooking directions:

1. Chop up your red onion and toss that bad boy onto the stove in a skillet with a splash of olive oil. (If you are planning to brown beef or a meat, you can do that with the onions and drain the nasty juices.)
-Don't forget to warm the beans or cook the rice on a side burner if you are serving those.
2. Cut up corn tortillas into bit sized strips and let soften a bit. Then, pour in your enchilada sauce and bring to light boil for 8-10 minutes or until warmed.
3. Turn stove off or on cool, toss in corn and olives. Cover as generously as you desire with mounds of cheese.
4. Serve onto plates and cover with ranch or salsa, depending on your preferred method of flavoring.
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Forgot to photo until we loaded up most the plates, but let me just say this meal was a hit as always!!
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