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Never Too Early

It is never too early for Christmas.  Yes, I self-admittedly am one of those people.  One of those people that calls into my local radio station voting yes for Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving. One of those people that will start to pull out the Christmas decor on November 1st.  I am also one of those that goes through a temporary depression for about a week after putting the decor neatly back into their boxes and up into the attic.  (My tummy hurts to think of that sad, sad day.)

Last week I was asked to bring a dessert for a birthday celebration at work- there wasn't any preference whether it was some kind of cake or cobbler, cookies, or pie.  It didn't matter, they (my co-workers) just wanted to try my food/dessert.  Being that I was preparing this dessert on a weeknight- I immeadiately went for something simple- the cookie.  I'm a big fan of cookies.  There are a lot of desserts that I've, well- for lack of a better word- out-grown?  I used to love sweets and desserts, but I've grown into a preference of having the extra portion of mashed potatoes and another dinner roll  rather than having a a slice of cake.  This is true for most of the time- except for during Christmas when my mom makes her Butter Drop Sugar Cookies.  Did I mention they were ICED sugar cookies?  I love them.  One of my favorite holiday memories- Santa has enjoyed them year after year, and still to this day.  So- since I wasn't making a cake for this birthday girl, I decided to make these cookies- extra special iced sugar cookies.  Its not too early for these yummy things.  I wanted to share the recipe, allowing you a taste of the yumminess for yourself.
2/3 cup white shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 whole eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon butter extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

ButterCream Icing:
1 cup white shortening
4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-9 teaspoons water
1 pound pure confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
Food coloring of choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until dough comes together. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place them on an unprepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottom is light brown. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

For Icing:
Cream shortening, butter, extracts, and water.  Add confectioner's sugar and mix on medium speed until ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together.  Blend an additional minute or so, until creamy.  Makes 2.5 cups.  If adding color- blend in food coloring of choice, mixing well until no color streaks remain. 

Needless to say,  I came home with nothing but cookie crumbs..So delicious and will be making them again, and again.  Hopefully you will share the love with these bad boys- creating an (early) Christmas tradition of your own :)


Maybe TMI

Just maybe..  BUT I have to share my personal GROUND breaking discovery.  While in Austin for Hailey's bachelorette party we stopped through for a pedicure at a salon in downtown Austin.  I usually warn my nail technician about my ahem (horrible) feet, and they always say, 'No, is fine, I've see all kinds of feet before, no worries!'  I have bad feet that usually can't get away without a pedi ever 2-3 weeks or so, if I'm lucky. You see, my feet are what I call 'non-sweaty'.  Even when I'm working out, I get home and the only thing that is not drenched in sweat are my feet.  With that being said- they are notoriously dry.  I mean crack-and-bleed kind of dry (ouch!!) See, I told you- TMI.  But, this is all just the background to where I'm going with this post.

As the poor nail tech at this place was developing tendonitis in her elbow working on my footsies, she started asking me questions like 'Do you have hard-wood floors?'  Yes. 'Do you walk outside barefoot?' Yes.  'Do you wear socks often?'  Not in 100+ degree Texas summers, no.  In the winter, yes.  'So, there is your problem.'  What?  Apparently the wood floors in my house are sucking the life and the moisture out of my (already dry) feet.  REALLY? No wonder my feet seem to be less of a problem for me in the winter- I never take my slipper boots off!  ding Light bulb #1.  The nail genius then introduced me to the pedicure in a bottle: Footlogixding Light Bulb #2.  Oh. Emmm. Geeeee.  My feet have NOT been the same.  I've been using this, plus making sure to keep my socks on, and this past weekend was my first pedicure in almost two months.  No cracks, no dryness, and ten healthy toenails. I actually didn't need a pedicure, but wanted one.  What a difference something so simple can make- plus this pedicure in a bottle stuff.  That was the best $24 I ever spent.  And wont be the last.

Sorry for all the talk about my feet.  Sorry if feet gross you out.  At least I didn't take a picture. :) 


Let's Do Brunch

It has been aprox. 4 months since I (we) completed internship- WOW, 4 months?!  Hardly seems like it has been that long.  Ashley attended a wedding this weekend in Dallas, and what better time than that for a mini reunion of the Presby Intern Class of 2010?  After having brunch with them, I realized how much I missed them and our time at the hospital.  Hearing all of their stories made for a good laugh!

Jessica, Ashlyn, and Ashley. Ashley is working in Arkansas as an outpatient educator, Ashlyn is in grad school at TWU and working part-time at an LTAC (long term acute care), and Jess has been covering maternity leave for the mommy dietitians at Presby.
Anna and Amber- SWEEt, sweet girl.  Love her.  She is now a WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) high risk educator in Dallas
The group (minus Sandy and Hannah-missed those two!) outside of Breadwinners in Dallas.  Hello- fabu food, love that place. 
Good times with forever friends.  No one will ever be able to replace those friends I made during the 11 best months, ever!


Happy Birthday to My Seeeester

JBree is 2-6 today :)  Happy day to her!!!  In honor of her birthday I decided to post some random pics (in no particular order..) just for fun!

This is me with short hair!  Sure do miss it was cute, cute!

 Being silly at the fire station- never a dull moment with this girl.
 Jenna's Pre-Wedding party!
Lake Belton, Christmas 2005. We both got (the very first, ever made!) pink Irving Fire Department shirts.  Gotta support the Massey men.  Leave it to me to request something pink :)
Love my Seeester!


Hippity, Hop

For the first time in history the Texas Rangers have made it to the ALCS and we got to go to a game!!    Some terrific friends of ours, or should I say firefighter family..are always falling into something awesome and never hesistating to bring the Massey's along.  Saturday after finishing my last day at Arlington Memorial Hospital- my sweet hubby picked me up and we headed out to the game to meet our friends in Suite 208B :)
I've been to plenty of Rangers games and never have I ever seen a crowd this big!  It was fun listening to thousands of people chant "Let's go Rangers, Let's go (Bomp, Bomp)!!"  Oh, and then the chant "Yankees SUCK."  That made me giggle after singing along. 

This was the view from our suite- never again will I do a sports game but in a suite, no matter what it is! 

 The ladies of Suite 208B- AHEM..that would be two suites down from Bon Jovi.  YES-Bon Jovi casually buying a margarita while the girls of 208B, mind you- with cameras and phones (with cameras), freak out while hugging him, but no picture for proof.  I promise, he was there ;)

 Yep, thats us- my fireman looking soooo sosososososoooo cute in red.  Don't tell him, he'll get a big head.

Allison and Me.  In all reality she could almost be my mother- but I adore this young-hearted woman to death.  I think it would have to be the whole I'm-married-to-an-immature-fireman thing that makes it easy to be close with someone almost twice my age.  Our husbands have been labeled the 'pretty boys', and are usually connected at the hip and being obnoxious.

 Kisses after a Ranger WINNNNNN!  There was insane cheering and high-fiving after every play- a homerun, or a base-hit.  Didn't matter to those Ranger fans what the team did.

That would be us, again.  This was taken with my iPhone camera, which I nearly dropped after taking this picture. "AmBERR, Thats enough with the pictures. FINE, JorDAN."
Cannot forget about the Texas game!  We had the TV going watching the Horns pull a win, too!

Sunday we met the future D-Ways at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Cowboys get penalty after penalty.  BOO.  And that last twelve seconds.  LAME 'Boys. 

 Me and Smash- Looking quite the beautiful Bride she is.

 After BWW with Ashley and Jarrett, we headed straight to Uncle Julio's to meet the newly wed Webb's for dinner.  We hadn't seen them since they left for their honeymoon- so it was fun to play catch up and hear all about the cruise they took over a three hour dinner.

It seems we played 'friend hop' well this past weekend!  Good times!  Rangers are bringing it back to Texas now, lets see about getting those World Series Tickets, ehh??  The Massey's are in, for sure. 

Now off to ice my cake- the Massey's are hosting Supper Club this Friday for the Cabrera's, Tapella's, and the future Dunaway's


Proud to Say

I am now the Registered Dietitian at Kindred Hospital in Dallas.  Finally my hard work payed off!!  Since graduating internship I've been working part-time at Arlington Memorial Hospital, giving me great experience and preparation for my new role as the sole RD at Kindred :)  I'm well into my first week of work, and it is going well- fitting in with everyone just fine.  It is a neat place to work, focusing on high risk patients in need of wound care and/or respiratory therapy.  A very multi-disiplinary dynamic- making easy to talk with the MDs, Nurses, and PT/OT crowd about patient care.  

Loving it so far!! 


Discovery of the Term- LATE twenties

It totally snuck up on me.  Never even saw it coming. Twenty-Six.  Let me say it again..Twenty-SIX.  Ehh..not so bad.  Actually I really don't even care- I thought I would be a bit dramatic, but I can't play it off I don't think.  But no matter how you put it, I'm out of my early twenties and on a downward slope to thirty.  This year my birthday was super low key- Jordan actually had to leave that afternoon for College Station on a ten day stint in training for the fire department.  I was sort of bummed, but I think he cared about the fact he was leaving me on my birthday more than I did.  He was extra sweet with eveything he did in attempts to make up for the fact he wasn't spending the day with me, so I was soaking up the sympathy and playing the "I'm-so-sad-I'll-be-alone-on-my-birthday" card. (If he didn't know that before, he does now! Ha!)
Among many little things, I requested new dishes for my birthday!  Maybe the only 26 year old, not getting married, requesting dishes as a bday gift. Haha, not really, but wouldn't surprise me if someone questioned my motive for the gift.  Anyway, I chose some beautiful pasta bowls from William Sonoma that I fell in love with and have been coveting for about 3 months. 

Beautiful, right?  UGH! So cute.  I must say I've used them eveyday, just because.

The weekend before my birthday was Hailey and Justin's wedding, so the majority of our time was with them, but Sunday evening Jordan took me to dinner for a little celebrating, just him and me.  The day before J had brought home a couple of iPhone 4's, AMAzing.  I thought I was obsessed with my phone before- but oh, no. Now more than ever.  This was taken via the iPhone camera.

Soooo, then Jordan left me..ALONE..on my birthday.  AND my best friend was gone on her honeymoon..and my OTHER bestie was gone on program for work.  (Pulling out the card, again.. feel bad for me, yet? Teheee!)

Leave it to my sweet Jessica to plan something so unique, and extra special.  How about a girl's night at the Winspear Opera House?  Perfect!  We sat on the patio accompanied by gorgeous weather for dinner at Manny's in Uptown (oooh YUM!) and then off to the Cinderella Ballet.  (This was taken with my iPhone, too!)  Our outfits were not planned.  They never are, but so often we end up dressing the same!
Let me tell you something about the ballet.  One word- Perfection.  Those dancers gave me a whole new respect for the term grace and beauty.  I really don't think I got it before I saw it in person- but I sat the entire 2 hours with a smile on my face.  And the fact that the storyline was all too familiar from one of my favorite childhood stories (A toss up between Cinderella and The Little Mermaid..Under the Sea still gets me singing along.  Oops, I just admitted that outloud.) 

So- happy twenty-sixth to me.  :)  Like I said the day after my birthday- Looking in the mirror.. My late 20s and early 20s look the same- I think.

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