Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weekend Getaway

This past weekend the hubs booked us a trip up to San Antonio for the long Memorial Day weekend! We were so blessed to get both Friday and Monday off of work so we headed up to "the big city" for a few days to celebrate both my birthday that was earlier this month and our upcoming 1 year wedding anniversary which is next weekend :) I can't tell you enough how wonderful it was to just get away and spend some time together, just the two of us. We usually spend most of our days either apart, as Mitchell is training during the week, or with friends on the weekends. As much as I love hanging out with our dear friends here in Del Rio, it was nice just to have some "us time" away from Del Rio.

As the food options in Del Rio are slim to none, we pretty much planned our entire trip around where we wanted to eat! Naturally we had to hit up our usuals like Chick-fil-a and Five Guys, but we also got to try some new places. The hubs and I were both so excited that we also got to meet up with a sweet couple who we have known since our time in Colorado. Catching up with Zane and Nichole made our trip even more wonderful.

For our double date we were referred to an AMAZING Italian pizza place called Dough. If you haven't eaten here and you are in the San Antonio area....go! Their pizza tastes exactly like what we had on our honeymoon last year in Italy. Not only is their food bought from local farmers, but it is also certified by the city of Naples as authentic Italian pizza. Needless to say, it was spectacular!

Other than our eating excursions we spent the rest of our weekend at the hotel pool, doing insane amounts of shopping, and just enjoying our time on the Riverwalk. We finished out the holiday at the lake on Monday, which was the perfect end to a great weekend! ...

We had a sweet note and fresh fruit waiting for
us when we got to our hotel room!
View from our room at the Hyatt
Lunch at Fogo De Chao!

Our traditional Chick-fil-A breakfast run 

On the Riverwalk! 
Dinner and drinks on the Riverwalk
on our last night!
Happy Memorial Day from San Antonio!
My two favorite boys...
I am so blessed to have been married to the man of my dreams for almost a year now. This past year has been filled with some of the best and worst moments of both our lives with many losses and many exciting milestones rolled into it. I can't wait to see what the next 50 years bring us, where we will go, and what we will accomplish together. God has blessed me exponentially and I can't wait to see what other blessings he pours out on Mitchell and I as we continue our lives together!


The Etheridges

Monday, May 28, 2012

Buttermilk and Patriotism

I have been trying and trying for months to find the perfect buttermilk biscuit recipe. I figure being from the south, that's something I should know how to do well, right? I remember growing up my grandmother would spend hours and hours in the kitchen baking and cooking all day getting dinner ready. I also distinctly remember her famous buttermilk biscuits she made from scratch every single day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To say the least, I'm pretty sure they were a staple in the Mitchell household. I was never lucky enough to learn her baking secrets and I doubt these are anywhere near as delicious!

To say the least I have been attempting to find a really good (and easy) way to make biscuits for a while now and finally stumbled upon this oh so tasty one from a fellow blogger! Here it is...

1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place stick of butter in 8×8 pan and melt in microwave (or melt butter on stovetop and pour into pan).
As butter is melting, combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour in buttermilk and mix everything until just combined – be careful not to overwork the dough or biscuits will turn out tough.
Pour dough out of bowl into pan, right over melted butter.  Spread the dough out as evenly as you can and pat it into the corners.  ”Cut” the dough into 9 squares with a sharp knife.
Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  As they bake, you may need to dab bits of overly-browned butter off of the edges with a paper towel as the butter

I'm hoping to also learn how to make some homemade jam this summer, which I'm sure will be a good addition to these biscuits! 

On another note, I would also like to voice my gratitude for those that have, are, and will serve our country. I am so vey blessed to be a part of the military community and am inspired every single day to remember the freedoms I often take for granted and how they were fought for by those who sacrificed their lives. I am so thankful for each and every friend and family member that we know who serve in the United States Military. Sending lots of thanks towards all those in the military, to those that have lost their lives for our country, and their families who have also sacrificed just as much by standing by their side every step of the way.

Right after the hubs was commissioned
as a 2Lt in the Air Force!
I couldn't be more proud of him :)
The Etheridges

(P.S. I will post later this week about our weekend getaway to San Antonio for an early anniversary celebration :))

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Funfetti Goodies

Mitchell had been begging me for weeks to make some funfetti cookies that I had showed him on Pinterst! I was surprised how easy and delicious these little goodies were. This was my first experience making cookies from cake batter and I must say, they were some of the best cookies I've ever made/had. Here's the oh so delectable recipe...

                                  1 box vanilla cake mix
 1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C color sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the sprinkles. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet or Silpat.
Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack. They will be very soft at first. 
Cool and enjoy!

I went with "America" sprinkles since I was
making them for Mitchell's flight.

As you can see the hubs didn't leave
 these lying around for long!

I followed this recipe to a T and the cookies turned out very moist and delicious! This will be a favorite in our household from now on ;)

On another note, for those avid bakers (and cooks out there) who do not know what Silpats are let me introduce you to one of the BEST cooking purchases I have ever made. Mitchell ordered us some of these last fall and we have been seriously addicted to them ever since. They are baking rolls that you put on a cookie sheet, much like parchment paper, that not only make for easy cleanup (the best part) but they also keep your baked goodies from burning as easily on the bottom. After having these things for a year now, we have yet to burn a single thing on them! I would highly recommend them to anyone that bakes or cooks on a baking sheet often. We use them for cookies, little smokies, croissant rolls, etc.! They are a tad bit pricey, but worth every penny. Not to mention they last for ages I've been told! You can see them pictured in the first photo above.

They can be purchased here

In other news here are some photos from this past week:

Little Winston "helping" me bake...

The gorgeous flowers my In-Laws sent me for my birthday!
They made my day so special :)

The Etheridges

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lovely Printables

We are crazy over here at the Etheridge house about free online printables! Not only are they budget friendly (who else thinks greeting cards have gotten outrageously overpriced?!) but they are just so gosh darn cute compared to the mainstream cards you get at the store. I started this trend in our home after I was just downright upset at spending $5 on a single card, not to mention postage if I was going to send it, which I didn't since it was for the hubs birthday back in March. So, I began pursuing the internet as I knew from wedding DIY crafts I undertook there were actually a great deal of free things out there for the taking ;) All it really took was typing a few different phrases into google and then selecting images to find some really cute printables! The hubs even copied me and did the same for my birthday card last week, which I LOVED! I will post a picture of the cute one he picked out later. Here are some of my personal favorites...

The most adorable thank you card!
Found here

A cute birthday card!
Found here

A sweet love note ;)
Found here

My personal favorite, lunchbox love notes!
Found here
I absolutely love the lunchbox love notes and send them with Mitchell occasionally for lunch, when I can get my head together that early in the morning to write a sweet note or bible verse and slip it into his lunch. I've found taking a few minutes at the beginning of the week to print them out and then write them out makes that process much easier! Also, when printing I use a thicker card-stock that I had leftover from when we made the fan programs for our wedding ceremony. This makes them look a lot more professional and less flimsy. You can buy cute colored greeting card envelopes at Wal-Mart for about $5 for 40 as well! 

I hope everyone has fun perusing through these and can take as much joy out of printing their own cute e-cards from home as we do!

The Etheridges

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jet Setter

As most of you know, this past weekend was quite the eventful one for me! I had been planning to attend the beautiful Amanda's wedding for months now and was all set and ready to leave Del Rio at 6:08 am on Thursday. I was going to arrive in Atlanta that morning and spend the day with my dad and then be able to attend the bridesmaids luncheon the following morning with the rest of Mitchell's family!

However, thanks to the oh so lovely (and I say that with every ounce of sarcasm I can muster) United Airlines employees of the Del Rio airport, I was not allowed onto the plane because apparently I got there 28 minutes prior to departure and not 30 minutes. I won't bore you with all the dirty details, but after 1 missed flight (which I technically didn't miss at all), one broken plane, 5 hours round trip to San Antonio, one delayed flight, and two layovers I finally made it out of the great state of Texas and to Georgia! Phew, who ever thought it would have been that difficult to get out of this state?!

Anyways, although it was a very emotional process getting me home it was worth every bit of the frustration! Not only was everyone so overjoyed to see me but I was honored to be able to see Quinn and Amanda become husband and wife and share their special day with them. The love between them was apparent in every detail and moment of the wedding. I wish them both all the happiness in the world!

The STUNNING bride a few minutes before
she became Mrs. McArthur!

Some of my favorite ladies :)

I thought they couldn't have looked
more like Cinderella and Prince Charming
if they had tried! Seriously!

At the reception!
I also got to spend a few hours, between the drive from the airport and getting ready to leave the next morning for the wedding, with my dad. He was very sweet and came to pick me up in Atlanta late Friday night despite having been told a hundred times I was and then wasn't coming. He stuck with me through all the United drama, thank goodness! I was sad I wasn't able to spend the long weekend at home like I had planned, but all in all I was just very thankful and blessed to get there at all.

Little Winston was so sad I was leaving :(

The gorgeous view of my dad's yard! He's done
and amazing job with it!

Naturally I had to get my Starbuck's fix
before heading back to desolate
Del Rio.
In other news, Mitchell went on his cross country this past weekend. This meaning that they went on a long distance trip accompanied by some IP's (instructor pilots). They stopped in College Station, TX for dinner and then headed to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the first night. They eventually hung out there for the weekend and then headed back here to Laughlin on Sunday night. Naturally he failed to take any pictures but the one of their sweet rental van...

Classy huh?!
We both ended up having VERY eventful weekends as it turned out but we both got to spend time with either friends or family (or both) which made all the drama and frustration we endured worth every second of it. We are both so blessed to have such amazing family and friends who are always there for us every step of the way. We love each and every one of you dearly :)

P.S. A huge shout out to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law Amelia for forcing me to come to GA at the last minute and making me feel like a "jet setter" this past weekend! You guys were the best cheerleaders!

The Etheridges