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Katie Scarlett Posts

Por que no?

One of the best things about having friends and family come in from out of town is taking them to eat at some great places. It makes and old favorite feel like a new experience when shared with new people. So this past Thanksgiving holiday we headed over to Por que no? for some margaritas and tacos.

Por que no? has two locations but they have the location on Mississippi closed down for remodeling, which I hope means that they are making some more room so it is easier to get in and enjoy their great food. We headed over to their other location on Hawthorne, which did seem to be a little larger, which was great as we had a larger group than usual.

The wait was about 15 minutes to get in and then we found ourselves squeezing 8 people on the end of a tiny table, but we made it work and it was fun. There is usually a fresh fruit margarita of some sort featured and that night it was a watermelon and cantaloupe, so good! They also always have a few other fruit juices to choose from and really, really good horchata, that you can get spiked with rum, also delicious!

But what we really always come for are the tacos. They have multiple choices and usually a couple specials as well, they are pretty tiny so I suggest ordering 2-3 depending on how hungry you are. You can also order one of their plates and you get rice & beans along with a good helping of your choice of meat and a side of tortillas. If you’re feeling hungry that is definitely the way to go based on price. I, of course, love the variety so usually order a few different kinds of tacos. We have also tried the tamales and they were great as well.

If you’re having a craving for perfectly made Mexican food, give Por que no? a try, it can be a bit of a wait, and I would recommend smaller groups as the space isn’t very large (but we made it work, so it can be done). Make sure to try one of their juices or margaritas, I am positive you won’t be disappointed.

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Homemade Gift Ideas – Sugar Scrub & Whipped Coconut Oil & A Winner!

Week #2 of homemade gift ideas is something so luxurious, yet so simple, you will wonder why you haven’t been making it all along – Lemon Vanilla Sugar Scrub & Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter. First let me just say that these two little gifts go together so well and smell so fantastic you almost want to keep all the goods for yourself (and maybe even taste them). And that is what is so great, they are easy to make and can be made in a variety of ways all from stuff you already have in your house, so there is enough for gift giving and a little for yourself.

I always find with the cold temperatures this time of year there is nothing better than a good scrub and some moisturizing body butter to help combat the dryness and chapped skin and these really work so well and are so much more affordable to make. The scrub is a combination of olive oil, sugar, lemon zest and some vanilla and when you open the jar in the morning it smells like joy, I mean pure happiness. The burst of lemon zest is a bright wake up with the scent of vanilla lingering in the background. The body butter is so simple; it is just a couple cups of coconut oil whipped up to a thick, creamy lotion.

The yellow of the scrub and bright white of the whipped coconut oil are so pretty on their own that you really don’t need to do much so I packaged these gifts up fairly simply, just little mason jars with labels and some raffia, a pretty red or gold Christmas ribbon would also work well for the holidays.

The indulgent, luxurious feeling of this gift combination would make a great gift for the people who you really want to show your appreciation to – the great teacher, mom and sister, your best overworked friend, or maybe the new mom who has a hard time finding some time for herself (not to say it is only for women, if you happen to know a guy who has to work outdoors a lot, the scrub and oil would be great for dry hands). I know I always love receiving a great gift that makes me feel pampered and this one I love!

And finally, thank you to all who participated in Friday’s giveaway, I hope everyone had a chance to visit Lemon Sweet Jewelry’s site and pick some items out for the wish list or gift list. And thanks to Lemon Sweet for choosing to do this giveaway on Cookies & Corgis, it was so fun and appreciated. The winner of the tiny dot gold necklace is Kate! Thank you for subscribing and taking the time to leave a comment as well, I will be in contact to get your shipping information. Thanks again to all who participated!

Lemon Vanilla Sugar Body Scrub

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine the sugar and olive oil and mix really well, you want the sugar very well coated with oil. Then add your zest and vanilla and mix well. That’s it, so simple! Store in cute jars for gifts (add a label and some ribbon) or keep for yourself. I recommend scrubbing up with it before turning on the water in the shower since the sugar will dissolve easily once you rinse off.

Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter

  • 2 cups coconut oil

Put coconut oil in stand mixer and whip it for about 5-10 minutes. I only did about 7 minutes. I also recommend putting the mixer bowl in the fridge first since the oil warms easily and then is liquidy to whip up.

Enjoy!

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Guilty Pleasures – Halloween Candy

As a kid we would always trick or treat with all of our cousins or groups of friends and my favorite part of the night was when we got home and emptied the bags of goodies on the floor – after a quick sort through by our parents (at which time they took a few treats for themselves) the trading began.  I have never been much of a candy person, even as a kid, but I have always had a few favorites, so as we would sit there and sort the goods I was always on the lookout for Hot Tamales & M&M’s. Even today there are times when I break down and as I’m leaving the grocery store or when we go to the movies I have to go for those king size bags of peanut M&M’s or big boxes of spicy Hot Tamales.

So this week when I went to pick up a few bags of candy to hand out to our trick-or-treaters I made sure to include a few of my Guilty Pleasures as well.

Hope everyone has a fantastically sweet weekend!

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What a HORRIBLE Week For a Diet!

I realize how stereotypical I am, but when I am approaching my Special Time each month all I want is chocolate and ice cream.  I CRAVE chocolate and ice cream.  I DREAM about chocolate and ice cream.  And let me tell you, when I do not get my chocolate and ice cream, my Special Time just feels a little less special and a little more hellish.

Particularly when, on the second week of my diet, Sonic goes and decides that they’re going to give away free root beer floats on Thursday night, and that they will air a commercial to this effect every bloody second on every bloody commercial.  (Hm, perhaps a bad choice of modifier there… ew.)  Last night, I practically broke down in tears when I saw the Free Root Beer Float (!) commercial at 11 o’clock and I realized that the opportunity had passed me by.  You’d think I would be proud of myself for resisting the siren call of the delicious, bubbly, icy cold, creamy combo of soft serve vanilla and root beer, but no, all I could think was, “Good job, asshole, you missed your chance!”

Tonight I’m finally meeting one of the absolutely fabulous internet friends I’ve made over the past four years, and apparently the restaurant we’re going to serves a chocolate cake that is absolutely to die for.  I don’t know how I’m going to hold up and make it through the evening without tears.  I cracked under the pressure of the root beer float, however am I going to make it past a dessert with the name “Chocolate Insanity”??  It’s cruel really.  Shouldn’t there be some kind of clause in the dieting contract that exempts you from participation when you are faced with such temptation?

The only light breaking through all of these black dessert clouds is that I am ever so excited to be meeting my friend and Colby should be arriving home some time tomorrow.  At the exact point at which I lay eyes on him for the first time, I plan to go into full on campaigning mode, my platform being that we should hire the adorable painter who came yesterday and gave me an extremely reasonable quote for painting the majority of the remaining, unpainted interior of our house.  The thought of picking up a paint roller again makes me feel physically ill, and I can’t bear to see another room of our beautiful new house butchered by our complete lack of painting skill.  I was completely charmed by the painter when, on our first phone call, he segued from room sizes and number of coats of paint to an ongoing narrative about a bird that was talking to him, and playing with a ball.  Then he emailed me a picture of his dog.  Apparently, just because. 

Now, that is the kind of endearing insanity that I wholeheartedly endorse, and I feel that our only choice is to do our part to support his bird talking, dog loving lifestyle.

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Dreaming the Hours Away

When it comes up in conversation that I am currently unemployed, so many people make the typical envious comments, but then quickly add the fact that they couldn’t handle the boredom, that it would drive them crazy.  I’ve got to be honest with you–I could happily spend the rest of my life just like this!

I’ve managed to keep myself busy with a number of projects and still find myself wishing for more time in the day.  Friday and Saturday I spent most of the day organizing various storage spaces in the house–my recent favorite online store is Stacks and Stacks. I have fallen madly in love with their wide array of organizing supplies–for the first time in my life all of my jewelry is well organized, the bathroom is (fairly) decluttered, and all gloves, hats, and umbrellas are stored neatly in the downstairs coat closet.  I cannot tell you how exciting this is for me!

Many hours of my day are spent on TripAdvisor researching and filing away all of the useful information I can find on Italy.  The Word document I started months ago with a briefly sketched out itinerary has grown to 9 pages chock full of travel tips, restaurant recommendations, and train schedules and I have become utterly obsessed with traveling.   I think a lot of that obsession stems from the fact that Colby is gone so often traveling to places like Germany and Iceland along with the less desirable missions, while I sit at home watering the grass and feeding the dogs.  I’m not that I’m bitter but his sporadic phone calls back home and never fully unpacked bags highlight just how little traveling abroad I’ve done in the past few years.

When I joined the Air Force, I was under the terribly misguided impression that I would be traveling the world and seeing exciting locales that I might not have the opportunity to see as a civilian.  During my tenure in the Air Force I moved from Louisiana to Arkansas and then had one trip to Alabama and one trip to Mississippi.  Not exactly the exciting world travel I had anticipated.  In contrast to that, between my 17 and 19 birthdays I had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in England, Scotland, and Wales and to study abroad for 6 weeks in Ireland, traveling around the coast on my own for a week and a half following the classroom portion of the trip.  I was bitten by the travel bug and it pains me that it has been almost six years since I’ve been out of the country, with the exception of a day trip to Canada.

One of the things that terrifies me about settling back into a standard 9-5 job is that I won’t have the chance to have all of the big travel adventures that I really want to squeeze into the next 4 or 5 years, before we start thinking about adding kids to our little menagerie.  I’ll sit down to check my email and before I realize it, three hours have passed during which I’ve been researching Prague, Vienna, Amsterdam, Greece, Paris, Australia–I devour travel blogs and am already counting down the days until 2018 when we will finally be headed off on our honeymoon.  I love my own country, and appreciate all of the beauty and history that it has to offer and I’ve been lucky enough to experience, but there’s something so incredible and indescribable about immersing yourself into the beauty and history of another culture.  I proposed to Hubby that starting with our 2018 Italy adventure, we make a real and concerted effort to take a trip out of the country each year, and always to somewhere different.

I know that my ability to travel won’t come to a grinding halt when we have children, but I do understand that the experiences will be different.  Honestly, I would absolutely love to be stationed in another country for a couple of years when I do have children.  I think it would be such a great experience for them to have country boundaries blurred a bit, to know that just because you live one place doesn’t mean that you can’t branch out and appreciate others.  I want them to be bitten by the same bug that bit me, to always want to experience new places and adventures, not to feel tied to one specific place.

What I love about travel was said, better than all the words I’ve written could ever say,

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page.” 

by St. Augustine.
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The Goodbye Girl

This morning I waved Colby off for the third time this month.  It never gets any easier, you know?

On the up side, it’s all of these trips that give us the ability to buy new furniture and plan fun trips, even without a solid income on my part (I’m still using my unemployment check each week to pay off the balance I racked up on my credit card during the months that I had no income at all… ugh…), but as I’ve told him many times, I would happily trade our bedside tables to have him home again.

Sometimes it feels as though things haven’t changed all that much since the days of our long distance relationship, and it gets a bit daunting to think about how I’ll be able to adapt to this practice of saying goodbye over and over again for at least the next 8 years.  But then I look around at the home we’re making together, and I think about how very proud I am of him for doing what he does every day, and I remember how very worth it this all is.  The tax free paychecks don’t hurt either.

And it helps when a bouquet of beautiful irises arrive on the doorstep.

It was great to have him home for a day, and we made tons of progress organizing the garage yesterday.  I should have taken some before pictures to fully illustrate how terrifying it was out there.  We’re using the garage to store all of the furniture and boxes upon boxes of items we plan on donating to Airman’s Attic, the base thrift store.  It’s absolutely amazing how many things it’s possible to accumulate in a lifetime, and as a recovering packrat, I’ve managed to say goodbye to quite a few things that I just don’t use anymore, or have completely forgotten I even owned.  I’m still working on curing Colby of his packrat ways, but I’m confident that he’ll get there eventually. 

We’re also having trouble figuring out exactly what it is we need to do to have our garbage picked up each week.  It seems that the garbagemen flip a coin each Tuesday to determine whether or not they’ll dispose of our garbage that day.  It’s always a gamble that we’ll have an empty trash can at the end of the week, and for the past couple of weeks, we’ve lost that bet.  So, now we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 very large bags of garbage as well as a full trashcan that we’ll probably have to bring to the dump along with my old ratty couch!  There’s also piles of broken down cardboard from our moving boxes as well as all of the standard “garage stuff”, but we’ve at least mananged to organize it all into piles that we’ll hopefully be able to tackle when Colby returns and maybe someday we’ll even be able to get one of the cars in there!  I’m really aiming for the stars there.

And finally, I’ve undertaken the difficult task of trying to find the perfect yellow for our living room/kitchen area.  The best descriptive term I can think of for what I’m looking for is “Tuscan Yellow”, but so far both colors we’ve tested, after sifting through tons of paint chips, have dried to a much sunnier yellow than I want.  I want the room to be bright and airy, but I don’t want to feel as though we’ve been swallowed by Big Bird–I want “muted, bright, and airy”, if that makes even a lick of sense.  Anyway, I predict another trip to Lowe’s in my near future for some intimate time alone with the paint chip walls.  We’ve had some great times together in the past, I just know it won’t fail me in the end.  Right, paint chip wall?

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