Thursday, August 18, 2011


this past weekend, my hubby and i spent a few days in tulsa celebrating my 28th birthday. we stayed at the amazing aloft -- the same hotel my girlfriends and i stayed at the night before my wedding.

saturday we spent some time poolside and did some shopping. we had dinner at bonefish grill and finished the night with a movie.

sunday morning, shane gave me my present, a kate spade "i do" necklace. it's pretty and dainty, and i love it to the moon and back.

we had birthday doughnuts (as is tradition) at krispy kreme, where the birthday girl made her favorite boy wear the silly hat for a picture.

after doughnuts, we contemplated the tulsa zoo but decided against it because of the heat. instead, we saw another movie and then met up with my family at dave and buster's for lunch and games. there are zero pictures of the family festivities because everyone was too busy winning tickets to stop for a photo. 

it was a great weekend and honestly one of my very favorite birthdays. 

28, be good to me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

my birthday dream come true.

my best friend in the world lives across the world -- japan, to be specific. she's a real pretty lady who apparently attempted mt. fuji today with her husband, dylan. and if i know bethany like i think i know bethany, she was the most stylish lady climbing that nearly 13,000 foot mountain.

admire her style here and here.

my story today, though, has little to do with her style.  here's what you need to know:

my 28th birthday is this sunday, and celebrating without one's bff is a recipe for disaster. but, i must tell you, disaster has been thwarted. minutes ago beth's mom arrived at my door with two birthday packages.

notice the cake batter rice crispy treats wrapped so perfectly. i noticed the treats right away because i had recently pinned the recipe for them on pinterest (best. website. ever.) -- according to linda, bethany sent her the recipe and requested that she make them for my birthday. so sweet and so thoughtful... that's my friend. i'm eating one now and i could not care less about the sticky mess on my keyboard.

i saved the big package until after linda's departure -- if i had been wise, i would've opened while skyping with beth, but i didn't think of it nor did i have the patience for such a rendezvous. i began opening the package immediately.

THIS, my friends, is what i found inside:

notice the debris in the background. i tore into the sucker. now, notice the beauty of the dooney.

take a minute...

how stinkin' adorable is that bag? it's the perfect rene bag. a long strap to wear across my chest when my hands are too full or too busy shopping to carry said bag and the perfect handles to hang fashionably on my wrists. oh, and the inside... let me show you the inside.

the pink and white stitching make for a beautiful inside, and the colors contrast the amazing turquoise color of the entire bag. every detail is perfect! i'm in love.

this bag, my birthday bag, is the very same bag i pinned on pinterest months ago. never could i have imagined that i would be the proud owner. pinterest, after all, is where you daydream about things you want but don't really think you'll ever get.

take another look.

gorgeous, right? just like my friend, my best friend forever.

bethany, i love you. thank you so much for my birthday dream come true.

we've been featured.

a few of our engagement pictures were recently selected and featured on a great wedding blog called middle of the map weddings. so cool!

how sweet are the kind words written about us? i must admit, i teared up a bit. i must also admit that the balloon photos are some of my least favorites from the entire session, BUT we didn't get to pick which ones were featured, AND apparently someone somewhere loved them.

i adore the first two shots. the colors are so vivid and kim newman captured us so well.  simple splendor photography, you rock!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

garlic shrimp and linguine.

i'm blogging frequently for two reasons: 1. i go back to school soon and know blogging will probably slow way down. 2. i want to have several posts on our blog before we start sharing it.

while yesterday's lunch was takeout bbq, today's lunch was a summery homemade treat: garlic shrimp and linguine. delish!

i prepared the shrimp by covering it in chopped garlic and parmesan. (i found a jar of chopped garlic at the store a few months ago. i keep it in our refrigerator and use it in practically every recipe. saves so much time.) i refrigerated the shrimp while boiling the pasta for five minutes in heavily salted water.

while the pasta was boiling, i chopped eight to ten stems of parsley, minus the stems, of course.

after five minutes, i removed the pasta from the stovetop. i drained the pasta (i used angel hair but called it linguine because it just sounds better -- and, the strainer just happens to say "linguine." how cute is our strainer, by the way?) i rinsed the pasta with cold water in order to keep it from overcooking. residual heat is a tricky little devil. oh, oh! i almost forgot -- keep half a cup of the pasta water. you'll use it in the next step.

simmer four tablespoons of olive oil and a good deal of chopped garlic. after a few minutes, add the half cup of pasta water and the parsley. simmer a few minutes longer and then add the pasta. stir until pasta is coated and then add shrimp. stir again and let simmer for at least ten minutes.

the final picture is a bit dark, but i was too hungry to take another photo.

lunch was so good, and i'm excited to gobble up the leftovers tonight! shane isn't a big shrimp eater, but he complimented the flavor and even ate a few pieces of shrimp along with his hefty portion of pasta.

if you decide to give the recipe a try, let me know how it goes. happy eating!

barbecue -- hold the sauce.

word to the wise: spell check corrected my title, thus insinuating that "barbeque" is not the correct spelling but instead "barbecue" is how one would correctly spell the word of the day. i must say, i'm not convinced; therefore, i will be, from here out, referring to it as bbq (weird... is that a "q" i see? -- surprised it's not abbreviated bbcue).  ;)

yesterday my love brought home a delicious bbq sandwich for our quick lunch together. we're savoring our lunch dates while we still can. school starts back up soon enough, and i'll no longer be home for lunch.

what's so great about this particular bbq is that it's from the very place that catered our wedding. we didn't have bbq sandwiches on our big day, but we did have bbq and it was from the very bbq place that prepared our lunch today. just knowing that made our lunch a bit sweeter.

pictured is my pulled pork sandwich. i eat mine without the added sauce which means shane gets double the sauce and we're both happy. don't overlook the delicious fries. so good!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

remembering our wedding.

i remember the colors and the bitter wind.

i remember the venue we worked so hard on, the ceiling that was a beautiful glimpse into what once was.

i remember our first kiss as man and wife, a confetti kiss that we'll never forget.

i remember the dancing, the music, the smiles.

i remember our getaway: the cheering, the clapping, the relief.

i remember our wedding day -- my very favorite day with my very favorite man. i look through the thousands of pictures from that day and try my hardest to thank God for each blessing. i say "try" because there are simply too many blessings to ponder at once. honestly, it's blessing overload. my mom, who passed away twelve days later, was there, at our wedding. my best friend forever, who spends more time overseas than in the states, was by my side, along with my two beautiful sisters. and, most importantly, i left married to the man of my dreams. God is good.

all photos by Simple Splendor Photography.  we thank them kindly.

a new chapter.

family and friends! you've found us and we're so glad.

after nearly seven months of wedded bliss, we've decided to start blogging. it's like a little yearbook for the school of stanley. and, things have finally slowed down enough that we think we can maybe handle a blog.

rene (that's me!) will be doing the majority of the updating, but you should look forward to mr. stanley's posts as well. he's promised he'll contribute -- in fact, this whole thing was really his idea.

we hope you'll visit and comment often. we know that documenting this and other chapters of our lives will be something we'll cherish for a long time.

thanks for joining us on this journey.