Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ava's Office Visit

My Mom came in town on Thursday, so I asked her to bring Ava up to my office on Friday afternoon. I brought Ava up to the office when I was still on maternity leave, but this is the first time she has come up to visit me. 

Ava didn't like the elevator at all and held on to me really tight as we went up to my floor. She was also a little timid at first when we went around to meet everyone. But she warmed up eventually, and really enjoyed her little visit. 

My Mom also really liked getting to see my office and meeting a lot of my colleagues. She loves the fact that she can now picture where I am during the day. 

What a fun day at work with my adorable little assistant :). 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Grampsie!

Happy birthday to the best Dad in the world! Ava asked that I post the following pics on the blog in honor of your special day. 

She thought the card was delicious :).

Ava loves her Grampsie!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chihuly & Pumpkins at the Arboretum

While it is not Austin (if it weren't for the terrible legal market and the fact the the majority of our friends live in Big D, we would most certainly move about 200 miles south), there are lots of really cool things about Dallas, including the Dallas Arboretum

Both the Chihuly exhibit and the pumpkin village were on display this weekend, so it was the perfect time to plan a trip. However, the weather was not quite as cool as we had hoped. 

We met up with Jill and the Hicks, and started off our trip with a picnic from Taco Joint....I'm so glad the new TJ location is open on Sunday! I didn't manage to get any pictures of the picnic, because I was too busy scarfing down my breakfast taco while trying to keep Ava on the blanket at the same time. 

Then it was time to explore. Ava was ready to go. 

And she sported her pink, sparkly Toms for the occasion (thanks, Lolly!). 

 All the Chihuly pieces were incredible. My photos totally don't do them justice. 

There were also pumpkins all over the place (50,000 to be exact). It definitely made it feel like fall...despite the 90-degree weather. 

 I love the "Fairytale" pumpkins. 

And of course we had to take some pictures by the pumpkins...

I even took some with my girls. Love these!

I also caught a cute one of Grant. 

And the Dads with the strollers. 

Ava had a great time taking it all in. 

And it completely wore her out.

What a great weekend outing!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Favorite Things: Häagen-Dazs Bananas Foster Ice Cream

One of the perks of working in the same building as the 7-Eleven headquarters is that the company tries out fun new products in the store downstairs (but I still refuse to try the hot dog-flavored chips), and their vendors also often give out free samples. 

For example, Häagen-Dazs gave out free ice cream cone pens (which unfortunately ran out before I got there) as well as containers of various flavors of ice cream today. One of the flavors was Bananas Foster, and it will be sold exclusively at 7-Eleven stores. 

I clearly had to try it...and I'm so glad I did!

It. Was. Ridiculously. Delicious. 

And I'm not even a huge ice cream that is saying a lot. 

It is made up of banana ice cream and brown sugar swirl. According to the Häagen-Dazs website, "hints of cinnamon and nutmeg with lingering notes of caramel and brown sugar enhance our flavorful banana ice cream." 

Basically, it tastes a little like delicious, warm banana bread with rum-flavored caramel drizzled on top (in ice cream form). It is very rich, so I could only eat about 10 bites...but each one was worth every calorie. 

If only it was lit on fire like the actual dessert. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ava's First Grammar Lesson

This blog is about to get really dorky. Really, really dorky. Brace yourselves.

While there are two schools of thought on this topic, I am a big fan of the serial comma (also known as the series or Oxford comma). We use the serial comma in our marketing materials at work, and I have become very accustomed to using it. As a result, I can spot the lack of a serial comma from a mile away...and my biggest pet peeve is when a document/article/website/etc. uses it inconsistently. Blerg!!

I mainly prefer its use in order to avoid any ambiguity. For examples of what can happen if you omit the serial comma, please see Exhibit A:

Oxford Comma

And Exhibit B:

(Both images courtesy of the Language Log.)

Because of my penchant for using the serial comma, I have made it a habit to point out the lack of this lovely punctuation mark to Ava when we are reading (I also read the names of the author and illustrator out loud just like LeVar Burton did on Reading just seems right). Nevertheless, I will support her choice of whether or not to use the serial comma in the long as she is consistent ;).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sweet Baby Girl

Ava has been extra sweet lately. First, after learning how to share toys with Louie, she has decided that her Mom and Dad clearly need to use the WubbaNubs as well. It is hard to say no to her sweet offer!

Also, as of yesterday, Ava learned how to give kisses. They are by far the best (and most slobbery) kisses I have ever received. I managed to catch one on video (please excuse my annoying voice)...


Monday, September 10, 2012

Favorite Things: Fisher-Price Playtime Guide

In searching for age-appropriate toys/activities for Ava, I recently stumbled upon the "Playtime Guide" on the Fisher-Price website. You can search by your child's age, and the site provides a list of suggested toys listed by type of play (of course, they are all Fisher-Price toys, but you could always find similar toys elsewhere). And perhaps even more helpful is the fact that the guide also provides play tips to "help your baby learn more" as they use the toys. 

In addition to advice regarding age-appropriate toys, the site also provides a plethora of "play & learn activities," which are also searchable by age. For each activity, they list the materials needed, detailed instructions, and safety precautions. 

This is a very helpful (and free) resource that I definitely plan on checking on a regular basis! 

The Cutest Little Horned Frog Fan

Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons, including the fact that it means the start of football season. I especially love TCU football (I even cheered on the Horned Frogs as a TCU Showgirl back in the day), and couldn't wait to share this experience with Ava. 

The first game on Saturday started pretty close to her bedtime, but Ava still dressed up in her best purple outfit (complete with an adorable bow made by one of my friends...check out her Rock-A-Bow Baby shop on Facebook), and cheered on the Frogs for at least a few downs.

I can't wait to take Ava to a game later this fall. Go Frogs!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Second Sunday Brunch Bunch - DISH

Our summer schedules were all a bit hectic, so the Second Sunday Brunch Bunch skipped a few meetings recently. But we brought it back a very delicious way. 

 We went to DISH Restaurant & Lounge, which is a very hip little restaurant in the Oak Lawn area that (as the name suggests) has a nightclub kind of vibe. 

Because of the fabulous pre-fall weather that emerged this weekend, we opted to sit on the patio. It was such a fun patio, and I loved the lanterns hanging from the ceiling. 

The lovely ladies in attendance...

 We all ordered the $10 Bottomless Mimosas...and they weren't kidding about the bottomless part. Not only did they come in very large glasses, but the waiter also came around frequently with a huge pitcher to fill them up. This can be a wee bit dangerous since you are not quite sure how many cocktails you have consumed. Oh well :). 

Rachel ordered the DISH Breakfast Sandwich, which is topped with smoked ham, bacon, eggs, white cheddar cheese, tomato, and mayo. She said that it was excellent...and it was way too much for her to finish. 

Sarah and I both ordered the Fried Chicken & Waffles, which comes with a bacon fried chicken breast (that was the largest chicken breast I have ever seen), gravy, and malted waffles. It was delicious! Note that the picture below was taken before I doused the whole thing in the warm maple syrup. 

Sarah also got a side of the Scallion Hash, which she said was really good. 

Jill ordered the Texas "Scramble" Skillet, which was made with short ribs, eggs, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and a chili hollandaise. She raved about how good it was!

Laura, the french toast aficionado, ordered the Stuffed Brioche French Toast. She claimed that this is her new favorite french toast...but I've heard that one before :).

Rachel, Erin, and I also ordered the cheese grits. Good lord...they were unbelievably good! I wish I could swim in a huge room filled with them...kind of like Scrooge McDuck and his coins. Definitely my favorite part of the meal. 

 Overall, I would definitely go back. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was fun, and the drinks were can you go wrong?! 

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; The Bar Method; pajamas; Topo Chico; reading; coffee; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows and podcasts; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; snoring; bad hair days; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and Miracle Whip. That pretty much sums it up.


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