Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ice Ice Baby

(Alternate Title: I Hate Oncor)

In early December, Dallas got hit with a huge ice storm (which is not near as fun as a snow storm). We knew it was coming, and I had grand plans of hunkering down in our warm house, finishing our Christmas decorations, and drinking lots of hot chocolate. 

But thanks to all the ice-covered tree branches that fell around our neighborhood (and the lack of quick assistance from Oncor), our power was out ALL weekend. That's right...for 72 freaking hours.

Which meant all the fabulous food I had purchased in preparation for the weekend had to be packed up and stored in nature's fridge.

No power also meant no heat, which is no bueno when you have a toddler. Luckily, our sweet friends and family hosted us on Friday and Saturday night. 

We stayed with the Hubbards on Friday. Not only did Josh and I enjoy hanging out with Russ and Tessa, but Ava and Grant also had a fabulous time!

We stayed with the Lockwoods on Saturday, and Ava got in lots of quality time with her cousins.

When our power still wasn't on by Sunday afternoon, we decided to splurge a bit and checked into the Palomar hotel (they allow dogs).

It was a wonderful little staycation in the middle of a crazy weekend. And Ava very much enjoyed her first experience in a Jacuzzi tub :).

Our power finally came back on Monday morning, but Ava's school was still closed. So we enjoyed a fun day inside…while I did about a thousand loads of laundry. And while the ice had thawed a bit, our house and yard were still covered...

While I would love another snow day this winter, I pray our power stays on. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Shepherd family!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trimming the Tree

I am a firm believer in not putting up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, but as soon as we got back from Austin it was time to get in the holiday spirit. With the Pandora Christmas station on in the background and cups of hot chocolate in hand, we started by tackling the tree. 

We stuck with our fake tree this year, but I think it is time to switch to the real thing next year. Ava didn't care one way or the other though...she was super excited to hang ornaments on the "kiss-mas tee." 

And it was very serious business.

Ava was very particular about where the ornaments should go. I wonder where she gets that from ;).

It was so much fun decorating the tree with her, and it's the first of many Christmas traditions we hope to continue over the years. 

Enjoying Christmas through your child's eyes is truly magical.

And Ava only managed to drop one ornament. I call that a win.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

For Thanksgiving this year, we headed down to Austin to celebrate with my family as well as Gary and Betsy, who joined us from San Antonio.

We scheduled lunch during Ava's nap so everyone could sit down at once and enjoy the meal together.

In addition to the traditional turkey and dressing, we enjoyed a plethora of delicious sides. Including…

The Pioneer Woman's Whiskey-Glazed Carrots

Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

And shockingly, there was still room for dessert. Good thing, because my Uncle Ryan outdid himself with his pies this year. 
After our meal, Ava enjoyed hanging out with so many family members.

We even managed to get a picture of our little family…thanks to a "choc-at" bribe for Ava.

 It was such a fun day and all they food was so delicious. And it was even better the second time around for dinner…

Does it get any better than Thanksgiving leftovers?!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


The Sunday before Thanksgiving, we attended the Adolphs' Friendsgiving party. 

The boys spent most of their time frying the turkey and smoking cigars.

The turkey was amazing, and so were all the sides and desserts. 

My contribution was the sweet potato casserole. I seriously love this stuff. 

The Arnolds even made the trip up from Austin for the occasion, which meant that Henry and Ava got to enjoy a milk date :). 

Thanks to the Adolphs for hosting such a wonderful party.

Any excuse to hang out with our friends all day is great, and an extra Thanksgiving meal is a fabulous added bonus. I hope they make it an annual tradition…hint, hint.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Second Sunday Brunch Bunch: Malai Kitchen

For this month's Brunch Bunch, we opted for a more unusual location...Malai Kitchen

When I think of brunch, Thai/Vietnamese food does not immediately come to mind. But you shouldn't judge a brunch book by its cover, because Malai does a fantastic job of putting an Asian twist on all-American brunch classics. For example, their version of a breakfast sandwich is a Ham and Egg Banh Mi, made with a Vietnamese baguette, ham, egg, cucumbers, spicy aioli, Sriracha, cilantro, and Thai basil. 

Before delving into the delicious food options, we ordered a plethora of delicious cocktails, including Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Vietnamese Limeade (house-infused green tea vodka, lime, palm sugar, and mint), and a Ginger Bird Margarita (tequila, lime, agave, muddled ginger, and Thai chiles).

To start, they brought out sticky rice with a spicy eggplant dipping sauce. The sauce doesn't look very appealing, but I promise that it is quite delicious. 

Sarah ordered the chicken Pho Bo, which she very much enjoyed.

 Jill and Erin both got the Thai Eggs Benedict, which is described as "Scratch Coconut Biscuits piled high with Spinach, Thai Basil, Shrimp, and Poached Eggs with Thai Chile Hollandaise." They both raved about the dish, particularly the coconut biscuits.

Note that Jill ordered ham on hers instead of shrimp because she was a little too hungover for shrimp :).

Finally, Laura and I both ordered the Banh Mi French Toast, which is made with a thick-sliced Vietnamese baguette and comes with flambeed bananas and coconut syrup.

I can't tell you how good this french toast was. My only complaint was the puny amount of potatoes on the side. But the ridiculously good coconut sauce totally made up for that. 

If you are looking for something different for your next brunch, I highly recommend Malai Kitchen. It won't disappoint.

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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