Friday, September 30, 2011

Opinions, Please

Tonight I will be watching a girl movie and I am deciding between two films :)

Please share your thoughts and opinions on these:

Which should I watch?

Your opinions are highly valued and greatly appreciated :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


When you can't think of anything to write about, just copy someone else's blog. And in this case, I'm copying Lindsee who posted this cute ABC meme. What is a meme, you ask? Well, I copied this definition from the world wide web:

Meme: In science, a Meme (pronounced to rhyme with “theme”) is a self-propagating unit of thought that is spread from one host to another. Richard Dawkins invented the term as a kind of idea-gene. Like genes, as Memes spread they mutate or die. Only the fittest Memes survive.

For bloggers Memes have become synonymous with internet quizzes, surveys, and novelties that people link to and pass around on their blogs, forums and via email, things like the “which superhero are you most like” test…

Now that you've been educated on what meme's are all about, I shall proceed:

A. Age: 27

B. Bed size: King. Grant and I inherited a king size bed when we got married and while we are ridiculously too small for it, (we are both very slight in stature) we now can't sleep in anything else. Mostly because I am what you call a ROLLER. I'm all over the place :)

C. Chore that you hate: Carrying groceries from the car to my house. I think I hate this less when it is less than 100 degrees outside, but still. Sometimes I consider telling the bag boy at the grocery store that I'll pay him $50 to follow me home and carry my groceries into my house.

D. Dogs: Just 1 dog. My little Moxie boy. He's quirky and I love that.

E. Essential start to your day: C.O.F.F.E.E.

F. Favorite color: GOLD! Isn't that weird? But I love gold.

G. Gold or Silver: See F.

H. Height: 5'2. I'm very wee.

I. Instruments you play: Piano. French Horn (seriously, but it's been awhile) and one Sunday a few years ago a choir director made me play the harp. I told him that I didn't know how to play the harp. He said that the harpist was sick and that if you know how to play the piano you can play the harp. Turns out he was right... but it hurt my fingers. :(

J. Job title: Social Media Manager.

K. Kids: No babies yet!

L. Live: Texas- Oh hail the mighty state! I love Texas and I love Houston. That is all.

M. Mother’s name: Cheryl Kay. She's pretty much awesome..

N. Nicknames: Jen. Jenny. JD.  Jiffer. Jiffer Markin. Neefer. Neef. Jennifer Juniper. Drojen. JenJen. Big Red. JeenyMartini. Martini. MiniMart. THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.

O. Overnight hospital stays: I got my tonsils out when I was 7 and something happened 2 weeks post surgery where I started bleeding and stayed in the hospital two nights. Lindsee came to visit me and was silent and wouldn't talk to me cause she was freaked out. Hid behind her mom. Hilarious.

P. Pet peeves: When people sing along to a song they don't know the words to.

Q. Quote from a movie: “Oh, lavender, you get on my head."

R. Right or left handed: Right handed, what what!!

S. Siblings: Two older sisters. And they have some husbands. And Grant has a brother and he has a darling wife That makes 2 sisters, 1 sister in law and 3 brother in laws. :)


V. Vegetable you hate: Green beans. GAG.

W. What makes you run late: Oversleeping. Jen loves to sleep.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Feet. I get lots of hairline fractures from running into things. 

Y. Yummy food that you make: Mashed potatoes :) And some awesome desserts.

Z. Zoo animal: Panda Bears are adorable.

Feel free to steal this meme!

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Hard to Blog After a Vacation

We just got back from vacation last night. I always find it really difficult to write a coherent blog post after I return from a trip. Therefore, I am just going to do this blog as if I'm filling out a form, because that is the level of creative writing that I am currently capable of producing.

Where did you go? I went to Orange Beach, Alabama.

Why would you go to Alabama? There are actually really pretty beaches there as you get close to Florida.

How did you get there? Grant and I drove there. Yep, it was about 9 hours. We rented a car to save money on gas and to avoid putting all those miles on one of our vehicles. We ended up with a bright red Jeep Patriot. We drove halfway there Wednesday night, slept in a hotel from 1:15am-7:00am and then woke up and drove the rest of the way.We got there by 10:30am Thursday!

Who else was on this trip with you? My husband Grant, his awesome parents, his brother Chase and his  wife Ronda (Ronda is the one who had the idea to introduce me and my Grant... we're forever thankful for her!), their 3 children (Evan age 2, Emmy age 2, Olivia age 1), cousin Wendy and her husband Cosmo, and their 2 children (Isabella 10, Sofia 4). That makes 13 adults and 5 kids. 

Where did you stay? We stayed in a gorgeous condo right on the beach. We all chipped in to a great condo with a kitchen, living room, 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. There was a jacuzzi on our balcony. For reals. 

What did you do while you were there? I napped everyday. I hugged and loved on sweet kiddos. We watched a lot of football. We went to the beach and to the pool. We went to the outlet malls. We ATE MORE FOOD THAN ANY HUMAN SHOULD EVER EAT.

Did you take any pictures? Um, that's a negative.

What?! I'm sorry?! You didn't take any pictures? Um, no.

Why the heck not? Well, all I brought was the camera on my phone. And I brought that to the beach one day and took a few pictures and they all turned out bad cause the sun was so bright and then I realized that I didn't want to spend my vacation taking pictures. And also I want the children to love their Aunt Jenny and not be annoyed by her constant picture taking. And the kids are hard to take pictures of because they are running away at all times.  Also, I don't love photos of me in swim suits. Also, I don't love photos of me in swimsuits when I'm mega pale, which is all the time. 

Did you have fun? Yessss! I had so much fun and it was hard to come home.

What are you doing right now? I made tacos for dinner and I'm waiting for Grant to get home from work. I'm trying hard not to eat anything before he gets home. I'm watching Dancing With the Stars because I only watch the most sophisticated of television shows. 

So you really didn't take any pictures? Move the heck on. 

Would you like to say anything else about your trip? I love to eat off of the kids' plates. Their food is awesome. (Macaroni and cheese)

Are you gonna end this blog now? Pretty much. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

So, How's Work?

So, it's been over 3 months since I started my own business.  3 months since I up and quit my long-term, steady job to take a risk on something that was just that: RISKY.

I get asked a lot how things are going, (great!) if I'm liking what I'm doing (absolutely!), and if I regret leaving the law firm (absolutely NOT). Does it have its stressors? Yes. But is it rewarding? Abundantly.

There are things that I wasn't prepared for, like having to mess with quarterly taxes and the logistical issues of setting up a bank account, a PO Box, establishing an entity with the Secretary of State, and the large amount of pressure (self-inflicted, of course) of financial goals and trying to achieve them.

There are things that I am loving, like setting my own hours, doing something that I love, helping people, businesses, companies, and organizations get the word out about what they're doing, getting emails from clients telling me that they are seeing a difference since I've started to work for them, overcoming obstacles, conquering challenges head on, and, of course, lunch dates with friends that can last more than an hour!

The freedom that I am feeling, the amount that I am accomplishing, the fulfillment that I feel after a hard days work, and the joy of knowing that my husband and my home are taken care of is indescribable. I know it seems small, but the stress of balancing work and home life was not good for me before. I got home from work and was either tired or frustrated and laundry would go weeks without being touched. Literally. WEEKS. But I now have the ability to do chores in the morning and still start my workday by 8:30 or 9am. And, let's face it, last week I wasn't feeling too good so I worked from 8-10am in the comfort of my own bed. (Totally honest here, in 3 months that was the first time I worked from bed!)

I just feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I feel better, I've lost weight, I don't break out as much and I'm not frazzled like I used to be. So many people have told me that I am a different person since I left the law firm. Calmer. Less panicked. I think my husband would agree... I am much more pleasant to come home to!

I do miss my friends at the firm. Believe it or not, we did have some fun there and I miss the jokes and the comradery that I had with the girls there. Sometimes the house gets really quiet and I can't wait for Grant to come home.

I've been pleasantly surprised that I don't find it hard to stay disciplined. I was worried that I wouldn't have as great of a work ethic without supervisors breathing down my neck each day, but to be honest, I feel like I get MORE work done now that I'm working for myself! I rarely leave my office during my workday and I sometimes have a hard time turning work off after Grant gets home.

My client list continues to grow (I think I have 7 now?) and I have two promising meetings next week. I'm blessed for sure.

The moral of this story is this: Work is good. I am beyond blessed and beyond thankful that the Lord provided this opportunity and that I have a husband who supported me as I chose to take a big risk.

I've never been much of an "entrepreneur" and never would've thought that I'd start my own business. It's working though, and I am so, so grateful!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Red Carpet: Emmy Awards 2011

Y'all. It's been a long, long day. I was at church from 7:15am till 6:00pm. I had several rehearsals, meetings, performances and such, but all day I have been looking forward to the Emmy's! Y'all know how much I love the television. And y'all know how much I love the red carpet. 

As soon as I got home from church, I changed clothes, cooked dinner, got my laptop, pen, paper, dinner, and Diet Coke and got to work on the red carpet specials that I DVR'd.  I will finish my evening with a slice of italian cream cake. Life is good. Here's what I've got for you tonight:

(I did something a little different tonight. On some of the photos I wrote my comments directly on the photo so I could pinpoint the actual objects I'm discussing)

This is Angela from The Office. On the show her character is very plain so this is a WOW moment for her. LOVE the dress. Beautiful, classy, timeless. 

JUST ONCE I want to hang out with them. Amy Poehler always looks good in blue and her husband Will Arnett cracks me up. He's so goofy. 

Cat Deeley from SYTYCD wore a GORGEOUS Monique Lhullier dress. Monique is one of my faves.

Christine Baranski looks fantastic. Great dress. So flattering on her....

Claire Danes' dress is a great cut but the color scheme reminds me of something I could've gotten at Gadzooks in the 9th grade. 

Cobie Smulders (aka Robin Scherbatzsky) looks AMAZING. That color is divine on her!

I give Dianna Agron two thumbs up for modesty but felt that the cut wasn't doing anything for her. Color is beautiful, I love blue on the red carpet. 

Elizabeth Moss chose something very elegant by Marchesa. She looks stunning. 

1. This color does nothing for her. 2. The dress is a bit too froo-froo for me. 

I am not sure what is going on with the top of her dress. 

Well, well, well, if it isn't Julia Stiles?! Welcome back! Where've you been? 

Why this length?! Seriously? Why? You were so close to a great dress if you were to add 16 inches!

She actually looks pretty stinkin' cute. 

Everyone is ranting and raving about Lea Michele. I liked the back better than the front. 

Marchesa does make a great gown. The structure of the back really is amazing. She may be trying too hard with her sexy face pose, though. 

Maria's earrings are beaaaauuuuutiful!!!

For as gorgeous as she is, I found this dress underwhelming and an odd choice. She looked like she could be going to a funeral. Very lovely, but just not a WOW moment for her. But she would look good in a clown suit. 

I am generally not a fan of dresses that are the color of mustard. I just don't think it's flattering on anyone. 

Hey! It's the office gang!

Does anyone else feel like this doesn't fit her!? It's just odd. Not so sure about this one. 

I loooooved this dress. Jewel tones are great for red carpets, and that belt is MAJOR (to quote Rachel Zoe)

Sarah Hyland from Modern Family looked pretty and youthful. Such a fun color. 

I was so excited for Modern Family. They won so many awards and I love that show. I was EXTREMELY disappointed that Steve Carell didn't win for his final season of The Office. He never won an Emmy for his performance as Michael Scott. :( 

That's my Emmy post, people! If you've missed years past, check out my Emmy award posts from 2010, 2009, and 2008

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I've been trying to get creative with my meals lately. I have a general rotating menu:

1. Jambalaya with sausage and cornbread
2. Tacos
3. Chicken with sides
4. Pork chops with sides
5. Steak with sides
6. Lasagna with salad
7. Grilled cheese and soup (for when I'm lazy)
8. Tamales with chili and cheese

Please note that the sides for items 4, 5 and 6 are any combination of the following: Potatoes, Salad, Broccoli, Carrots, Rice, Crescent Rolls, Corn on the Cob.

Frankly I can tell we've been getting bored. Now that I work from home (Hallelujah) I have a bit more time to make some different meals. Here are my favorite two from this week:

Pork Roast with Mashed Red Potatoes and Steamed Veggies

Monday was a big day in our house. My darling Grant who is an amazing golf played in the qualifier for the Houston City Amateur Golf Tournament, and he made the cut for the 2nd year in a row! I am so, so proud of him. (This means that he is qualified to play in the real tournament in October).

To celebrate, I made this yummy meal for him!

It was easy peezy. I bought a 2 1/2 lb pork roast at HEB. I covered the whole darn thing in a lot of olive oil and then rubbed dry salad dressing (the mix stuff in a bag) on top of that. I threw that in the oven for about 2 hours. Then I made mashed red potatoes (those are our favorites around here). I'm a bit of a purist so all I added to those was half a stick of butter, a little bit of milk, and salt and pepper. Steamed veggies are simple enough, just olive oil for some flavor and salt and pepper! It was good and gave us good leftovers.

Pioneer Woman's Penne alla Betsy

I've made this a few times before and made it again this Tuesday. It involves shrimp which I do not eat but thankfully I can eat around them and the dinner is just as good! You can find PW's recipe here.  Any recipe that includes white wine is okay by me.

I don't eat any seafood. At all. Never have. So, if you had asked the non-married version of myself 7 years ago "Jen, do you ever see yourself standing in a kitchen pulling tails of of shrimp with your bare hands?" I would have said "HECK to the NO".

Ah, marriage. How it changes you.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of 9/11. I've been pretty quiet on the subject on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. The truth is, I have not been spending a lot of time watching the coverage on TV. It's just too much for me.

I participated in the worship services yesterday at church as we honored the victims and prayed for our country. I was so glad that our leadership decided to end our service on a victorious, triumphant, "WE TRUST IN GOD" note rather than defeat.

September 11, 2001 was a very, very hard day for me. Probably the scariest of my life. Out of respect of those involved, I'm not going to get into why. Just know that someone I love deeply was at the twin towers, ran for her life, and survived. While we spend much time remembering those whose lives were lost and praying for their families, I think we forget to pray for those who survived. Yes, they kept their lives, but many of them suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The anxiety, the nightmares, the panic attacks. They witnessed things that weren't shown on television. They were covered in dust and walked for hours as there was no public transportation.

So yes, keep praying for the victims. But pray for those who lived through it and carry it with them to this day.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beyond Proud

There's a cast of characters here on the Jen the Newlywed blog... people that have been coming up in posts since I started this thing. One of them is my best friend Lindsee.

I have a lot of work to do today, but I just have to take a moment and share with y'all a new chapter in her life and rejoice with her! I am beyond proud of her and get teared up just thinking about how the Lord is blessing her. 

Yesterday was Lindsee's first day at her new job. She's now working for Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore's ministry). I'll let Lindsee and Beth share a bit more about what she is actually doing. 

You can go to the Living Proof Blog to see more!

Lou, I am so, so proud of you and am honored to call you my best friend for 25 years! I LOVE YOU!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Having a hard time forming coherent, cohesive thoughts right now. So here are a few snippets:

Today was lovely and breezy and was the first tolerable day we've had in months. It was God's gift to me and I am so very thankful.

I tried something new for dinner tonight. I roasted potatoes rather than mashed them. I also coated chicken breasts in oats to give it crispiness. The potatoes were delicious. The chicken underwhelmed me.

I saw a tweet the other day that had me giggling for a long time. "Every pizza can be a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself."

Hot dogs are amazing.

I'm trying some new things for work. I've set a goal to meet by October 1, a goal to meet by November 1, and a goal to meet by December 31. I'm not telling anyone what those goals are, but I'm super motivated!

In other news, Grant went hunting every day this weekend and brought home many many doves that are in my refrigerator. Apparently he will be making "dove poppers" one night for dinner. That night, I will be eating "peanut butter sandwich".

I'm dreaming up an entire overhaul of my master bedroom. We spent some time walking around Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn this afternoon for ideas. Note: Grant and I have different tastes. This makes things difficult.

I emptied the laundry basket Thursday night. All clothes were washed and put away. How it is now overflowing again on Monday is beyond me. THERE IS ONLY TWO OF US WHO LIVE HERE.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about it and I've decided that while I don't know that I can watch Law &  Order: SVU without Detective Stabler, I also don't know that I can't  abandon Olivia Benson in her time of need. It will be painful and sad, but I will continue to watch.

Okay. That is all of my snippets for tonight. I know that this has been a literary masterpiece and you're all walking away from your computers feeling like you can conquer the day now that you've been enlightened by my eloquent and important words of wisdom.