Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peace Out Dallas

I've got a new look going with the blog and I hate it. Stupid blogger seems to hate my guts today, and I have run out of patience with it. So this will have to do for now.

Dustin and I went to our friends Katie and Alex's wedding this weekend in Fort Worth. We had a great time, and on the way back I stopped by with Kendall and her boyfriend to chat with them at lunch. I had to wait until Ferguson could be picked up at the borders, so why not just have a BFF chat, right?

Here's how the conversation went...

Kendall: So, my brother can't go to Aspen anymore.
Taylor: No way! That stinks.
Kendall: Hey! Since you are off for the summer you should just come with me and my parents.
Taylor: To Aspen?
Kendall: Yah! It will be like when we used to go on trips together when we were younger.
Taylor: Ok, When do you leave?
Kendall: Tomorrow!

So I'm off to Aspen tomorrow morning! See you all Monday when I will finally get to update you with everything we have been doing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Youth Writing Camp

A few summers ago, I joined the North Star National Writing Project. Not only did it give me six hours towards my Masters, but it also helped me become a better teacher to my students. I was able to join reading and writing together more. Best part was I got to make some relationships that I never knew possible.

This summer a few of my Project members ran a Youth Writing Camp. I have to tell you that at first I was wishing I hadn't signed up for it. I was extremely stressed out at the end of school and it felt like another thing added on. Running the camp made me so happy that I had decided to go through with it. I had the best time.

We had two camps running at Calhoun Middle School and Guyer High School with 18 students ranging from 4-10th grade. The pieces that these students came up with were incredible. Many I had during the school year, and I had no idea that they could write like that. We got to do a lot of activities to help deepen their writing and make it more their own. A lot of the students camp willingly and many came by force of their parents, but at the end of the week each one of them couldn't stop talking about how much fun they had. We had started a blog for them to publish their writings, and many were using that as a way to stay in touch. I seriously can't wait to do this again next year.

We had a celebration for them at the end of the week. Our sponsors, UNT members, and parents got to see and hear all that they kiddos had been working on. I found myself coming to tears a few times at what all they students had taught us.

I get a worried about showing students' faces on the internet, but I thought I'd show a few pictures that I have that are faceless.

 One of the stations we had for the students to write
 Decorating journals
 Decorating journals
 Writing time
A decorated journal 
 Learning to blog
 A fun writing center
 Set up at Guyer
 This is the back of our t-shirt
 Some of the posters at our celebration. We coordinated them with our t-shirts
The kid's mail bags that they had all week

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: The 50 Shades Triology

Yup, I read it. Quickly, judge me or relate to me with my obsession of these books. While I know that pretty much every one knows what these books are I will give a quick little summary of the first one.

Ana is just about to graduate from college when her best friend, Kate ask her to go cover an interview for her with the most successful bachelor in town, Christian Grey. Ana finds herself very intimidated by Christian; while, he finds himself drawn to her somehow. Without going into too much detail, Christian and Ana find themselves entering into a dominant/submissive intimate relationship. 

If you liked Twilight and don't mind reading some naughty behavior, you will most likely like this trilogy. Seriously, subtract the vampires and add in some sex and you've got Fifty Shades. While E.L James seems very knowledgeable in the type of relationship that the two of them have her narration is very juvenile. I read each book in about a day. Taking out their submissive/dominant relationship and you would probably find this on the shelves in a YA section of a book store.

I, however, loved the books. I liked how strong, yet weak, Ana was. I could see nearly every girl in her. She was strong in knowing what she wanted and when to say no, but she also was just so in love with Christian she couldn't think straight. Their quick relationship was a little hard to believe, but I feel like it is like that in many books. I could go into so much more detail about the trilogy, but I'm afraid I'll ruin what happens. 

If you don't mind reading their intimate encounters, then you may enjoy the love story. It is a book that reaches every woman's dream. Ana changes Christian in just about every way. What woman hasn't tried to change a man? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our First Anniversary!

Today marks one year for me and Dustin. I can't believe that our wedding was a year ago. It blows me away with how quickly time has gone by. It also boggles me with how natural it has all seemed. All my friends keep asking if I can believe that I have been married for a year. Truth is that I can. It has just seemed so natural for the two of us.

Many say that the first year is the hardest. Dustin and I have somehow made it through with hardly any bumps. We have learned so much from each other. At Katie's Bachelorette Party, we all went around and told what we thought was so important in marriage. My advice was to just except that, that's the way he is sometimes. I think this is what Dustin and I have truly learned. We brought in two different living styles and just had to learn that we had our ways.

I am so incredibly blessed with everything I have learned from Dustin. I have learned more about the person that I am, as well as him. He is truly more of a husband than I could ever imagine.

Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you more than you could ever know. 1 down forever to go!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Dustin!

Today is my sweet husband's birthday! While I have probably told you all several times how much I love him, you get to hear it again on his birthday.

For those that don't know our story, Dustin and I technically had our first meeting my freshmen year and his sophomore year at Tech. He was a Sig Ep, and I was... well, I was about how groupie as you get. I went to everything. Parties, football games, softball games, happy hours, house parties. I was at it all. I even remember going to Dustin's house once because I was friend's with his roommate. I don't remember, however, ever talking to him.

Fast forward four years, I had just updated my Facebook status saying that I was back in Coppell at my parents' house. Dustin was living in Coppell at the time, and commented on my status that he didn't know anyone knew where it was. After happy hours, one crazy ex-girlfriend, a six month break up, several concerts, movies, and Texas Tech games we got married.

I don't know if I could be any luckier. He has been there for me so much over the past four years. He has been such an amazing man. He takes care of me and looks out for me. Most importantly, he puts up with my crazy antics and mood swings. He brings me out of my funk when I am stressed or depressed. Dustin could make me laugh for days.

I love you babe! Have a wonderful birthday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: 11/22/63

I just recently joined a book club at school. I'm the worst member though because I have yet to make a meeting. The first book that we read was Stephen King's 11/22/63. I was completely dreading reading this book. Stephen King has never appealed to me, and when I received this brick of a book in the mail I was totally against it. Of course, the literary gods proved me wrong and I absolutely loved it!

Jake Epping is a recently divorced high school English teacher. He also teaches GED classes. This is where he meets Harry. Harry has had an extremely tragic life. His dad murdered his brothers, mom and sister when he was younger. Harry was injured in the attack as well. Jake feels for Harry and wishes that he could change this janitor's outcome.

In comes Al, who owns the diner that Jake has always ate at. Al has come down with Lung Cancer and before he goes he wants to show Jake a secret that he has been keeping. Working in the back one day, he stumbled upon a time portal. Every time Al steps in he is in Maine 1958. He decides that he is going to change the world and stop the Kennedy assassination. This means that he will have to live in the past for nearly 5 years. Each time he comes back to the present though it has only been two minutes. Al never made it to 1963 because he became sick. His dying wish is for Jake to finish what he has started. Jake decides that he can save Kennedy and his dear friend Harry.

Even after reading the summary I was still hesitant to read it. I loved this book. The ending was not what I wanted to happen, but the sweet love story that happens throughout definitely made up for it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Annie!

Today is one of my very, very best friend's birthday Annie!

Annie is one of my pledge sisters from Theta and was one of my bridesmaids. We met when we went to a pre-party for the 80s Prom that our sorority was having. We were pretty much inseparable after that. Annie and I's friendship worked great. I never had any money to go anywhere and she didn't have a car. Therefore, I drove and she paid. Not speaking for a while in college and building back up our friendship, is what makes her so special to me. We both decided that we valued each other enough that we wanted to make our friendship work. We worked out our problems, and I don't know what I would do without her now. Annie and I have a way of just looking at each other and laughing. A car ride with us can be quite deadly with our laughing and the fact that neither of us is very good at driving. We have numerous inside jokes and love to dance. If there is a dance floor with boy band music or anything from the 90s you can be sure that you will see us out there boppin' around with our hands in the air! Dance parties = Story of our lives. Seriously, we live for them.  Annie is always down to have queso, chips, and margs (which is the main reason she is my best friend)

Annie has one of the kindest hearts that I know. She is an extremely loyal friend that will do anything for you. She can make me laugh whenever I am needing it. Annie would go out of her way for anybody and she is one of the strongest people I know. Even when things aren't going so great for her, she will always put others first. She is a great listener. She is also completely understanding. Her birthday is two days before Dustin, so normally I either can't make her birthday plans or have to leave early when they are the same night. She never says anything about it and always understand the situation I am in. I don't know what I would do without Annie as a friend. She is always there for a crazy text message, picture, good chat, girl's night, dinner, etc.

 At my 20th birthday party
 Snow Day 2011
 Annie's mom, Annie, and I doing the Theta kite
 At my wedding
 At Segreti's house with all the guys
 Our favorite pic from a Sig Ep Party 2006
 Tech/OU game 2006
 LoneStar Christmas 2006
 Tech/Baylor game 2010
 Memorial Day Jam 2009
With Julia on Annie's 21st Birthday
 Roger Creager concert 2009
 Another Roger Creager concert 2009
Visiting her brother Joe in New York 2010
My 20th Birthday. Being "those" Thetas.  
 Our first picture together the night we met. 80s Prom 2005
Girl's Night
Pete's Piano Bar 2010

Happy Birthday Anndizzle! I love you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

What's Cookin' Good Lookin' v.2

When I had originally started this series back in April, I had planned to update maybe once every two weeks. Preparing for the end of school, planning for trips and weddings, and getting ready for a Youth Writing Camp I was running just didn't leave time for that. Poor Dustin had lemon chicken and corn, sandwiches, and pasta for about a month. I also somehow always forget to take pictures of when I actually do cook.

Here we have it though!

 First, let me apologize for this picture. I obviously forgot to take one until I was about halfway through my meal.
My brother's girlfriend Alexa gave me this recipe. She makes these Slow Cookery Ribs for my brother all the time and I knew Dustin would just love them. Rating my meals is a little joke that Dustin and I have had since our honeymoon. These ribs were my very first 10! She got the recipe from Sandra Lee on the Food Network. They are so delicious and extremely juicy. The recipe was super easy too!


  • 4 pounds baby back ribs, cut in 1/2
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
  • 1 cup Catalina dressing
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat broiler. Line bottom portion of broiler pan with foil for easy clean up. Spray top rack lightly with cooking spray.
Season ribs with garlic salt and pepper. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes, turn and broil for an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Place browned ribs in slow cooker.
In a mixing bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour sauce mixture over ribs. Move ribs around to make sure they are all coated. Cover and cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
With tongs, remove ribs from slow cooker and let cool slightly before cutting into individual rib pieces. Skim grease from sauce. Serve ribs with sauce on the side.

I may have just decided that I am just awful and taking food pictures. 

We eat Salmon about once a week at my house. I love seafood and it is pretty much the only kind that Dustin will eat. I found this recipe on Pinterest and of course have no idea where it came from. 

It was super easy. Cut a lemon and place it on the foil. Put the salmon on top. Add Sea Salt and butter. Cook at 300 degrees until it is cooked completely through. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Fabulous Bachelorette Party!

Last Saturday night I went to my friend Katie's Bachelorette Party. It was probably one of, if not the, best one I have ever been too. I had so much fun!  Katie's sisters, Emily and Sarah, did such a great job planning everything. I don't think there was anyone that didn't have a blast.

We started off the day meeting at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. After causing a ton of noise in the tourist waiting spot, our guide Roger showed up to take us on the Wine Tours in Grapevine. I have lived in the Dallas area all my life and had no idea how many cute wine places there were so close to home. We started off at place called Homestead. If I have a choice, I am buying all my wine here from now on. It was excellent and so different tasting from what I'm used too. If you ever do one of these tours, make sure you stop here. They are also very generous in the amount and variety that they will serve you. We went to another place in the Grapevine downtown area that served us a delicious lunch. Our next stop was the Delaney Winery where we were given a tour and a slight history lesson before getting to actually taste any wine. The whole trip was so much fun! Katie and I already decided that we are taking the boys on a wine tasting date one day. Who else wants to join?

Once we got back to the hotel, we headed down to the pool and then to the Sports Bar. Christy, Katie, and I laughed at the fact we were at a Bachelorette Party and still somehow ended up watching the Rangers Game. Everyone got ready after dinner and we headed down to the suite Katie's sisters had gotten for a party. I don't know if I have ever laughed that hard. We headed out to Ghost Bar which is part of the Gaylord later on that night. I had never been there before and had so much fun. We danced the night away.

Can't wait for the wedding in three weeks!!

Homestead Winery 
 Katie and her sister Sarah
 Delaney Winery
 All the girls!
Megan and Katie
 The pretty wine glasses Emily and Sarah decorated for us
 All of Katie's presents
 The Bride to Be
 Christy with her decorative lips
 I had way to much fun with these!
 Erin and Tracy
Dana, Katie, and Tara