Happy Easter!

Good Afternoon Guys!

I know I’m a day late but technically I celebrate Easter for the next fifty days, so I don’t feel too, too bad about sending my well wishes to you and your family a little late. Easter is the beginning of a new season of grace and a time of joy and thanksgiving. So, the celebration of Easter actually ends on Pentecost Sunday for the Catholic religion, which is fifty days after Easter.

Below are a few photos from yesterday’s festivities. Since Brett had to work Easter Sunday, I travelled to both of our hometowns to visit with our families.

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After attending Easter Sunday mass, my Dad’s side of the family enjoyed a BBQ for lunch under my Paw Paw’s carport. It was a lovely day spent with some of my favorite people.

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My Aunt Amy (Dad’s sister), Paw Paw Lou (Dad’s dad) and my Daddy enjoying their afternoon.

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Me with my cousin Karen and her daughter Abby. Thanks again to my cousin Karen and her family for the hospitality Saturday night. Since my parents no longer live back home in Cut Off, I typically spend the night at a relative’s house each time I return home. Karen and I enjoyed catching up, and especially enjoyed talking about my upcoming wedding plans.

And speaking of planning, tonight Brett and I get to attend our first taste testing for a potential caterer.

Wish us luck!

What was your favorite part of your Easter celebration?

Mine was definitely being able to share the day with family. I don’t get to see my family fairly often since we live so far apart. It’s always so wonderful to catch up with everyone and also recollect memories of past times together. Although I only took pictures visiting with my Dad’s side of the family, I was also able to visit with some of Brett’s family on Saturday and my Mom’s side of the family later Sunday evening.

Have a great week!

 

Feeling Like a Champion

Good Afternoon Friends!

I feel like this week flew by, especially since I do not have to report to work tomorrow due to Good Friday. I’ve also been extremely busy as well. So busy that this post has taken me several days to complete.

A few weeks ago I shared a picture of myself and two co-workers presenting a donation check to LPSS Robotics Program. I also mentioned that we were preparing to have the students from each sponsored Robotics Team visit our facility. The visitation took place this past Tuesday, and I was extremely happy to witness such a successful event. The students were able to transfer all the robotic information they are doing in their high schools to what actually happens in the industry. Our intentions of the visit was to inform these students that there is a lot of highly engineered equipment that’s manufactured and designed right here in Lafayette. We’re trying our best to keep highly educated graduates in our community of Acadiana.

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Above are a few photos captured by our in-house photographer during the event. Although I do get a bit stressed out planning these types of events, it truly is a rewarding experience once all the details come together. My job is truly a blessing, and I’m so thankful to all of my co-workers that helped me pull everything together so well.

Yesterday I was invited to attend a Champion’s luncheon that was put on by United Way of Acadiana. The luncheon was their way of recognizing Champions in the community and workplace. They brought together people from the community who help United Way of Acadiana to do great work. It was truly an honor, and my co-worker Connie and I had a blast participating in the fun and games.

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After signing in, Connie and I got split up into different teams. I was on the EverGreens and she was on Good as Gold. Before the games began, we were asked to take a selfie and hashtag #uwachampions to all of our social media outlets. See my selfie below. I’m definitely not a champion when it comes to taking selfies. I rather photos that capture the actual moment when it’s happening.

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After the selfies were taken, the games began. I volunteered to compete in the basketball game and a marble balancing game. The twist  to the basketball game was that we had to shoot the ball using a granny-style approach. I was sort of disappointed since the idea of shooting hoops regular style excited me all too much. I played basketball in high-school, and I actually mentioned to Brett the other day that we needed to get a basketball goal for our home. He immediately shot down the idea since we really don’t have the available space in our driveway. Maybe in our next home…

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My team didn’t do so well in the games, but my marble balancing group was able to complete the passes in one try. Connie’s team, on the other hand, stole the show. She was so happy that I invited her to the luncheon, and she left the event bearing a gift for her team winning as well as the largest door prize. Connie is an Engineering Assistant, and I always enjoy working with her. Although my team wasn’t the champion of the day, I still felt like a champion as I cheered my team on throughout the fun-filled morning. It was great meeting other fellow community volunteers, and overall a pleasure to be recognized by such a fantastic organization.

Due to lunch being provided for me throughout this week, I haven’t been consuming as many fruits and vegetables as I would like. Throughout the week I’ve made sure to pack nutritious smoothies in order to provide myself an afternoon pick-me-up. In the mix yesterday was one frozen banana, five to six frozen pineapple chunks, one tablespoon of peanut butter, one container of vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt, lots of spinach and enough milk to get the mixture moving. I could really taste the pineapple in this mixture, and it totally made me crave a Pina Colada! I’m so ready for SUMMER!

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I’ve kept up with my workout regimen this week by taking a pump class Monday morning, a circuit class Tuesday afternoon and after work yesterday I headed to the gym and completed the below workout.

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This afternoon I’m leaving work a bit early to sign the contract for our wedding reception venue. We have chosen The Warehouse in Rayne, LA. Brett and I totally fell in love with the style of the building as soon as we walked through the door. It totally reflects Brett’s old soul and my love of the Country French style. I cannot wait to start brainstorming the décor details.

Hope you guys have a wonderful Easter weekend, and if you’re traveling, please be careful on the highway and remember not to text and drive.

 

The Wedding Crafting begins…

Good Evening Guys!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! My weekend was filled with family time, and I also dove into my first wedding project. Although Brett does most of the DIYing around our house, I often enjoy partaking in small craft projects of my own as well. I’m very excited about the project I worked on this weekend, but I won’t leak any details until I’m completely done.

The rest of my weekend was pretty laid back, yet entirely too quick. On Friday evening Brett and I enjoyed a sushi date at Sushi Roxx in Broussard, LA. We each started with a mushroom soup and edamame, and then shared the sushi rolls below.

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We also shared a canister of Saki at dinner and decided to stop by Albertson’s on the way home to purchase a bottle of Saki to enjoy later that evening.

I took a Body Pump class Saturday morning which resulted in soreness all day today in my chest and abs. I ran a few errands after the class, and then later that afternoon my parents arrived to my house. That evening they took Brett and I out for dinner. Once we returned home, we all got to bed pretty early since today was a busy day for all of us.

We attended mass at St. Genevieve this morning, which is where Brett and I will be getting married next year. The mass was beautiful, but the choir was outstanding. I literally felt like I was attending a live musical. There were a few guest musicians in the choir today, so the music throughout the mass was amazingly powerful. Some songs even moved both my Dad and I to tears. Yes, we both have huge, soft hearts. I honestly love this special trait of ours, but I’m certainly not sure how we will make it down the aisle on my wedding day.

After returning home and eating lunch, everyone got to work. My Dad and Brett pretty much worked on the outside of our home today. They are currently replacing a few of the exterior wooden panels to the house. Once the rotten panels are repaired, we’ll then move on to painting. I cannot tell you guys how much this excites me since I cannot stand the Christmas theme colors that appear on my house at the moment. See below.

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Below are a few pictures I captured today.

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And of course, like any project, a mess was made.

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In the midst of all the remodeling today, Brett was also able to cook all of us a Chicken Stew for dinner. I wrote down his recipe as he cooked the stew today since we all know that Brett is horrible at documenting his amazing recipes. He claims it’s all stored in his head, but I told him that I knew our readers would appreciate my efforts of jotting down the recipe. See recipe below.

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Chicken Stew

2-3 pounds of chicken (we used boneless thighs and breast tonight, but we usually use bone-in legs, thighs and boneless breast)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Kitchen Bouquet

2-3 onions
1/4 cups of cooking oil (Vegetable or Canola)
1 quart of Guidry’s Creole Seasoning
Water
One whole bunch of green onion
Savoie’s Instant Roux & Gravy Thickener

Season meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then add a tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet and toss meat in order to coat evenly. Brown onions in cooking oil. Once they are browned, add chicken to the pot. Once the chicken is browned, remove from the pot. Add a pint of Guidry’s Creole Seasoning to the pot and brown. Once the Guidry’s is browned, place the chicken back into the pot and add three cups of water. Cook on medium fire until chicken begins to break apart. Add green onion. Then finally, place Savoie’s Instant Roux & Gravy Thickener into pot until a stew-like consistency is achieved.

We served the stew over rice with a side of potato salad and roasted broccoli. Everything was delicious!

Well, we are all off to take showers and get some rest for another busy day of working tomorrow. As always, I wish you guys a fantastic week ahead!

Wedding Update: We officially have a date, a ceremony site, a reception site, a photographer and a florist. Woo hoo! I won’t be announcing the date via Facebook or the blog until we send out Save the Dates to our potential guest. 

 

Asian Almond Crunch Salad

Hey Guys!

Just wanted to pop in real quick to share with you guys a recipe and a workout I came up with today.

I always face a challenge during lunchtime if I do not have leftovers in the fridge. This past Sunday I purchased a bag of broccoli slaw, and wanted to incorporate it into my lunch in order to consume some very nutritious vegetables. I looked around my kitchen (actullay dining room, since Brett is renovating in the kitchen at the moment) for other items to toss in with the slaw, and also created my very own dressing. Below is the recipe for my very own Asian Almond Crunch Salad!

Asian Almond Crunch Salad

2 cups of broccoli slaw
1 1/2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
1 tablespoon of green onion

Dressing:
2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
2 teaspoons of Asian salad dressing
2 teaspoons of Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce

I mixed my dressing first in a bowl, then added the rest of the ingredients and tossed until evenly distributed.

This was my kind of meal since there were little dishes that needed to be cleaned afterward.

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If you have a tough time consuming vegetables, I highly recommend giving this salad a try. In fact, I think I may toss another one together tonight for dinner.

After work today I headed to the gym and completed 10 minutes on the stair-master followed by one round of the below workout, then 10 minutes on the elliptical.

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I had initially planned to do the circuit workout for two rounds, but because Brett was off of work today, I decided to cut the workout a bit short. Even though I cut the workout short, I was still dripping with sweat as I left the gym.

So, as I mentioned earlier, Brett is renovating in the kitchen this week. It drives my OCD bonkers when the house feels like it’s in a million pieces. I took a picture of our dining area, but I’m a little too embarassed to share it with you guys. Although these stages of renovating drive me nuts, I try my best to keep my thoughts positive because I know that the improvements will make the house look great in the end.

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The kitchen renovations all started with the installation of recessed lighting this past weekend. Now it has moved on to painting the walls and possibly painting the cabinets as well. Brett is not crazy about the idea of painting the cabinets a creamy white color but I’m all about it. What are your opinions? I cannot stand to looks at those ugly, orange cabinets anymore. I’m hoping to ask my co-worker to photoshop a picture of the cabinets the color I’m envisioning so that I can finally convince Brett that this is indeed a stellar decision!

And last, but not least, check out our flowerbed near our patio. Brett finished up this flowerbed the same day that he proposed to me. I guess I got a bit consumed with out recent engagement and kept forgetting to post the before and after pictures on the blog. It looks a million times better, don’t you think?

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Well guys, we’re halfway through the week! Enjoy your evening!

Weekend Update

Good evening guys!

Wow, I sure am happy that today is finally over. We had some horrible weather come through last night which kept me up until almost one in the morning. Needless to say, I didn’t get the rest I needed to power me through this busy, busy Monday.

It’s always really difficult for me to get back into work mode when the past weekend was super fun and also not quite long enough.

Our weekend began by attending the Way of the Cross Friday evening as a family. Afterwards, my parents took Brett and I out for crawfish. On the way home, we needed to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart for a few items. Little did we know our quick trip would take us a bit longer than we expected. As we were parking, a middle aged woman flagged us down. Her vehicle was not starting and at first we thought she only needed a jump, but it turned out that she needed to replace the battery to her vehicle. Luckily my Dad and Brett helped her choose a battery, and also purchased the tools that they needed to replace the battery since the maintenance department had already closed. It was truly wonderful to see my whole family come together in a random act of kindness, and definitely made all of hearts feel warm and fuzzy.

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Earlier that day, Brett had found a lawn mower on the side of the road and was determined to bring it back to life. I tell you, this guy loves picking things up off the side of the road. After about an hour of trying to fix the lawn mower, he finally admitted defeat. Oh well, even though he was not successful, we were able to enjoy a few cocktails while socializing together.

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The next day Brett and my Dad installed recessed lighting in our kitchen. We’ll dedicate another post later on the blog about this, but I must tell you guys that it’s quite amazing what different lighting can do to a space.

My parents headed back home early in the afternoon, and after cleaning ourselves up, we headed out to Rayne, LA. Brett and I had an appointment to check out a possible wedding reception venue in Rayne, and I think we may have found a winner. We have one more place we’re going to check out tomorrow, then it’s decision making time.

After wrapping things up at the venue, we headed over to Ryan and Angie’s for a small get-together that evening.

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It was such a beautiful afternoon spent with most of Brett’s co-workers from the hospital.

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Rachel was super sweet and brought Brett a cake in order to celebrate his birthday with everyone.

Later that evening, Brett’s co-worker Toby was nice enough to let us sample his homemade wine.

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All three wines that I tried were fantastic, and I’m very impressed with Toby’s neat hobby.

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Below is a picture of Brett with all of his nursing buddies.

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Thanks Ryan and Angie for an incredible evening and for your hospitality.

Sunday was spent doing my usual Sunday rituals, and we ended the weekend by watching 12 Years a Slave. I give this movie four out of five stars. It was a really great movie, but I must warn you guys that it was a bit hard to watch at times. I found myself tensing up many times throughout this movie, but overall it was fantastic and very well deserving of the Oscar it was awarded.

Today was a very busy day in the office. I had two meetings, one of which was revolved around planning for a visitation of four high school Robotic teams to our facility. My company sponsored the kits needed for these teams to build robots for a regional competition. We found out in the meeting today that one of the four teams placed first place and will be competing nationally later in the year. Our main objective for sponsoring these teams was to give back to the future of our company. We’re hoping that these students can potentially become engineers for our company, and ultimately realize that they do not need to leave our community in order to find a career in this profession. Below is a picture of myself and two co-workers presenting a “big check” to the Lafayette Parish School System.

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After work today I headed to the gym and did 15 minutes on the stair master followed by a 50 minute cycling class. So, I think it’s safe to say that I’m beyond exhausted, and now I’m off to shower and get to bed early.

I hope your week is off to a great start, and I’ll be back throughout the week with more post!