the change-your-life cookie

Brandon and I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. LOVE them. They are a bit of a weakness for us, really. We love cookie dough too, and we make a mean chocolate chip cookie dough, if I do say so myself. We CAN NOT make a good chocolate chip cookie to save our lives, however. As soon as we bake that delicious dough it loses all of its pizazz.

Therefore, we decided to go on a culinary quest for the best chocolate chip cookie out there.

Enter the Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie. I stumbled upon these on A Cup of Jo and thought they looked uhhhhhhh-mazing.

So I whipped up a batch the other night and they are THE BEST CHOCOLATE-CHIP COOKIES EVER! They have officially changed my cookie-life. They're the first recipe we tried and we both agree that the search is already over. I guess I can't really claim they're the best cookie ever unless I try all the other ones, but I'm going to do it anyway because they're that good.

AND they're still awesome a couple hours later and even the NEXT DAY! I never like old* cookies so that is a really impressive fact to me.

*and by "old" I mean anything that isn't right out of the oven.

Try these! Or else you have not lived.

Photos by The Ambitious Kitchen. Also, I think she invented this recipe. She is a saint.


old school cool

My fabulous cousins Paul and Shannon, the design-duo behind Paul Allen Design Group, recently renovated the old Washington School House Hotel in Park City, Utah. The "the historic schoolhouse-turned-boutique-hotel" is on "Park City’s list of ultra-luxe inns." The hotel was also featured in Martha Stewart Living's Summer Travel Issue!

Their design and renovation are breath-taking and I just had to share. They have an absurdly acute attention to detail and staggering style. In short, they are just SO COOL. The article is great too, because it turns their aesthetic and design sense into decorating tips we can all use.

My favorite details are the stunning elk antler chandelier lacquered "and bejeweled with dozens of crystals" by my cousin Paul,  the antique rug "over-dyed in dark blue to give it a modern edge," and "the 10-foot antique French opera house mirror." 

(click the images to enlarge)
It might still be too small to read (drat!) so if you'd like to read the article let me know and I'll email you the pdf. :) 


new puppy-do

(photo of the whole litter by evie larson)

My mom and dad just got a new puppy! They decided on Sunday that they might take one of Sara's last little ones who needed homes, and had him by Tuesday! Meghan also discovered that Sara's dog Asia (and the puppy's mom) is from the same kennel as some of her family's labs. So now our families are all related.

He is an English Labrador and is so labradorable! har har. My mom is trying to decide whether to name him Willow Wellington or Wellington Willow. Votes?

I'm really itching to go home and meet him!


wild horses

Love this new Louisville Anthropologie storefront by artist Margherita Terrone. I like to think the style is a little bit Texas with a little bit of me.

More photos.


food fail

What happens when you're making corn bread muffins and you have extra batter so you say to yourself, "hmm I'll just make a small corn bread loaf for later," and then you forget all about it so that later on when you smell burning you think, "hmmm there must be something spilled at the bottom of the oven and Oh! I forgot to turn the oven off, silly me," so you turn the oven off?

Well, the next morning after all of your corn bread muffins have been eaten at a dinner party you think, "hmmm some corn bread might be nice, perhaps I will break out my little bonus loaf from last night," and then in an INSTANT you see the whole situation, and realize you have no memory of ever seeing that loaf last night and that you must have....*opening the oven*...yes indeed you DID leave it in the cold oven ALL NIGHT.



Upon request, I've been trying to make Christmas lists for this year. I feel so blessed as I realize I am not in any way in need. Praise the Lord!

I could, however, probably come up with a few things that I want.

I'm excited to see the new TOP SHOP collections at Nordstrom. Perhaps I could find something to ask for there. Unfortunately, the closest Nordstrom is 1.5 to 2 hours away. Well, I had better take a Christmas-scouting-trip, lest my list remain bare.


:type travel tuesday: {jesus saves}

I always intended to get a picture of this sign while we were living in Charlotte. We passed it a billion times hidden in the rooftops off I-77. I kept not stopping because it was in a sketchy neighborhood and we were always on our way somewhere (and running late at that (most likely my fault)).

So, before we moved away I put, "Take a picture of the Jesus Saves sign," on my list of "Things to do before we leave Charlotte." Then, all of sudden I couldn't find the sign anymore. It had always been kind of difficult to see from the road. I second guessed where it had been and was left scratching my head. I never did find it before we moved, and I was sad about that.

Last week, I was doing a generic stock photo search for work and a picture of THAT very sign popped up, reminding me of the whole debacle. I decided to find an image of it to post for Type Travel Tuesday, even though I never took one myself. In the process, I found a number of articles about how the old building the sign had been perched upon was going to be demolished, and how there was a movement to "save the 'Jesus Saves' sign!"

It turns out the sign was taken down and saved in 2010! It's just in storage somewhere now, until they decide what to do with it. I was so relieved to hear that I wasn't crazy because I couldn't find the sign
and that it had been saved! Glad someone was on top of that, since I was completely oblivious, and I'm glad someone else got a picture of it too!

This photo is by mark pollitt images.


colors for fall

I was recently looking at Pantone's colors for Fall 2012, and realized I've been seeing them around (of course). It's always funny to me that "they" just decide on some colors to make trendy each season, and everyone follows suit. Ok, I submit.



sorghum festival

(This is for you G & G Bandstra!)

Labor Day weekend we headed out to Homestead Heritage (a traditional arts/crafts village and organic farm just outside Waco) for their Sorghum Festival. Sorghum is a sugar-cane-like plant that is used to make Sorghum syrup, which is a lot like molasses but more vegetabley.

It was very interesting to see how they cut and pressed the stalks, then heated the sorghum boiling off the "vegetable material," then strained it. I'm not sure where in the process the burning / caramelizing / reducing comes into play. I was only half listening as they explained it, I guess. I was probably taking pictures instead of paying attention.

Besides it's being stinkin' hot outside we had a fabulous day with friends. It was so hot I wore shorts. I WORE SHORTS! If you know me well, you know this is shocking. Here's a photographic journal of the day. (click photos to enlarge)


passing through

Mom and Dad "passed through" Waco on their way to California and we had a super short but superfun visit! Thanks for thinking we were on your way! You're the best.


september in texas

1. buy a sun visor for the car
2. dust off my dashboard
3. refill my washer fluid
4. stay inside and do all those things after it cools off


chad visit

Brandon's dad was in Dallas on business last week so we got to spend the evening with him! We picked him up at his posh downtown hotel and went to a genuine dive for dinner. It was so much fun to see him!

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