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Allan in Texas

7 Jun

Just thought you’d like to know that I started this post January 25, 2013.  Today is June 7, 2013. #GetOnIt

And since this blog is also for our “Dear Diary” purposes, I suppose I should go ahead and finish this one up about Allan’s move to Texas!

Big thanks to everyone who decided to spend their very first night of 2013 at Iron Age to surprise him with a dinner…. which was only kind of a surprise:

Iron Age Send-Off

The very next morning, my mom and I got into the car with Allan and began what would end up being an 18.5 hour car ride.  Let me give you time for that sink in. Eighteen. And a half. Hours.

It was basically a whole lot of this:

Heading West

After stopping at least once in every state to use the restroom, Allan firmly informed Mother and I that we were absolutely not stopping anymore…. Allan = Road Trip Grinch!  😉

By the good grace of God, we all made it without chopping each other’s heads off and spent the night in a motel – that’s pretty much all we could find at 1 am in the outskirts of Odessa.

The very next morning we headed to the leasing office and I watched my baby brother sign his very first big piece of legal agreement…. *tear*

Allan Signing His Lease

The following events were the usual things involved with moving… and I may be speaking for myself, but I had fun with the moving and shopping!

Purchasing Necessities

Purchasing Necessities

Allan and I put everything together while my mom made as much food for him as possible.  The best part was probably the fact that we had snow while we were there, which is also unique for the city according to the locals. Btw, he was one of the first ones into the complex….

Snow and Buildings

And here’s a little snapshot of the place:

Allan's Apartment

Although we had our first meal eating like this….

First Meal

…. we did manage to get out and explore the city too.

Mexican Olé!


We also had a lot of fun in between…. I don’t know these two:

Crazy Asians

We miss Allan like crazy…. we did finally get to see him again Memorial Day weekend when we came home.  It was almost harder to say good-bye the second time around… definitely did some crying after he left.  So we basically count the days until we can see him again….

But I feel better knowing that he has beautiful morning like this to see {with all that flat land everywhere}:

Departure Morning

Note the oil pump thingies

As long as learns what to do for tornado drills and keeps lots of sunscreen… I will worry less!  Until then… I hope you know how much we miss you, Allan!

Love For Allan


Note… Can anyone explain to me why there are so many big ass trucks everywhere in Texas???

Allan's Work Truck

Allan’s Work Truck

Let There Be Light

14 Feb

The Earnest household is shaking a little right now… so distraction is proving to be the best thing for the moment.

This e-card from Christy and Ava helps:

Valentine's Day Card



Whenever my mother comes into town, she comments on how dark our house is… and I was starting to agree.  I feel like we had to turn on all the lights all the time just to get some decent lighting.  Therefore, I decided to change the lights to a brighter, whiter light when I painted the office.


These lights are CFLs, so they give you the power of 60W while just using 13W.  The prices aren’t bad either… a 4-pack for ~$8.  The biggest different is that these are deemed “Bright White” instead of “Soft White,” so they have a 3500K warmth as opposed to 2700K.  Chris thought it was a little less intense than the “Daylights” at 5000K and I agreed with him, since the space isn’t incredibly large.

Light Deets

And…. we loved it.  And, by “we” I mean “me.”  Chris says he likes the yellow lights more.  But it makes me so happy to see white light… so I responded, “I hear you and I understand, but I am going to change ALL the lights now.. mmk?”  Chris (shakes head): “Okay. Whatever you say.”

So I bought 3 more backs, the only difference being they were 900 lumens vs. 800 lumens as above.  According to the packaging, I shouldn’t have to worry about these lights again until after we should be moved out of here.

And for a (blurry) side-by-side, while ignoring the in-progress blah bathroom:

Yellow vs. White

I love the brighter, whiter lights and am so happy to have gotten rid of them all.


And, for the life lesson of the moment:  this brush does not work for my hair:

Not My Style

Confirmed it.

Your Average Thursday… NOT

10 Feb

So, I got to experience this:

YHL Amazing-ness

some serious cheesing on my end

That’s right…. Mind. BLOWN!  After working all day, an alumni happy hour event for Emory, and an hour and half wait in line…. I got to meet John & Sherry from Young House Love!  You may have noticed their names pop up throughout my posts because they, along with Katie from Bower Power, were the reasons I wanted to keep track of things I did around the house.  They both write as if they are speaking directly to you, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised at how welcoming they were in person.  They were so amazing and so kind!

I have to admit, I was kinda nervous right before going up to meet them, so there may have been random words thrown around and my mind was a complete flurry of mess.  When Sherry learned my name, she asked if I was a twin… I let them know that I had the next best thing – a best friend named Nina!  I thought it was a hilarious question as John kindly explained that Sherry believes all Nina’s are twins.  Ha!  Sherry also complimented me on my outfit, which, coming from the queen of color-pops…. MADE. MY. WEEK!

But the cherry on top?  Katie and Jeremy were in another corner, with their own line, and with new baby Weston.  When I got up to Katie, the event was nearly over and I don’t know if it was the free wine that Flor provided for us, or the sheer joy of it all giving me helium-brain, but it was almost surreal to have Katie Bower (!!!) joking with me.  We talked about my pants (again!) and then how Chris and her brother in law both work at Case Mate.  We laughed, we joked, we complimented each other and I cannot tell you how hilarious she was.  I even had to apologize to Sherry for holding Katie up because YHL had finished while a group of girls were still waiting their turn to have a picture and autograph with Katie.


Yes, I realize that the pictures are blurry, but the memory is still there!  The picture on the right is right after she shoved my butt up in front trying to hide everything but her face, so we made up for it by diva’ing it up.

Thank you guys for everything!  Meeting you all in person makes me adore you more… and I can’t wait to see what all you guys do in the future! 

Other fun things to note: 

Loved this girl taking pictures for everyone…. and yes, I made sure to tell her that not everyone can pull off a one-piece like that.

Outfit Love

Creepin’ a little

Shout out to some new girls I met while waiting in line.  These two had just met that night too, believe it or not:

Keeping Warm!

A Bit Windy….


Latest Hit: Crunchwrap Supreme

5 Feb

We’ve had a very popular dish at our house lately… not healthy, but popular.

And when I posted a picture to my Instagram (ninasquared) ~3 months ago:


By popular demand, I am writing up a quick tutorial how-to!  (All of this is based on this link from Pinterest; and the original is from Busy Mama Bird)

1. Lay out your supplies.  Other than cooking the ground beef, it’s a DIY food project for everyone.  You can put on whatever you’d like, so I just lay out all the toppings that you’d normally like on a taco.  The only extra added ingredients are (1) nacho cheese sauce, (2) largest tortillas you can find, and (3) flat taco shells a.k.a. tostadas.


I had Chris play hand model to show how he likes to make his, going left to right:


With a house full of boys, it’s important to note that these crunchwrap supremes get pretty fat.  And I am the designated tortilla folder.  Just start on one side and fold up as you go around the tortilla.  In addition, you can do what we normally do and have an extra tortilla martyr to take pieces off of to help enclose the crunchwrap supreme.

You can tell in the top right picture below that if we didn’t lay down the small piece of tortilla, the edges of the large tortilla would not have closed the crunchwrap supreme enough, making it much more difficult to eat.

And finally, always start cooking with folded edges down FIRST.  If you heat the pan up as people begin their creations, you can minimize the cooking time.  Cooking on the pan is crucial to melting the nacho cheese and shredded cheese, but most importantly, gives the crunch in crunchwrap supreme.


And voilà!

Let me know if you guys try it out and how you like it… hope it’s a hit in your house like it is in ours!

Link Party: THRIFT SHOP Awesomeness

1 Feb

In case you haven’t heard/seen it yet….

Yours truly (Nina^2) decided to join this party, hosted by my favorite bloggers at Young House Love – to see what we could scrounge up.

Update: Here’s the link for the original creators of this challenge!

We first attempted Psycho Sisters in Sandy Springs. And I say attempted because this is what happened:

All Thumbs DOWN

All Thumbs DOWN

Apparently, many thrift stores close early on the weekdays.  And for those who get off a little later than usual (like the ONE time I had to stay behind….), no bueno.

No matter.  Goodwill never fails!

Hence….. the THRIFT SHOP CHALLENGE put on Young House Love!

Basically, up to $20 to spend on whatever you can find.

Nina R

Nina E

Though I wish we could have had a longer amount of time for this, our brains must have been fried because we didn’t find many items we really wanted.  Maybe our hearts were crushed because of the Psycho Sister letdown, but I did manage to get away with some toys that I wanted to add to my office stash (plus there’s my #3 item of an image with *multiple* broken keyboards):

Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge

And Nina walked away with a pretty nice tennis racket for like $3.50…. and her #3 item was footie pajamas:

Nina's Macklemore Thrift Store Challenge

Though we probably could have had more fun if we were able to plan ahead a little more, but it was still so much fun to spend the evening together in the middle of a work week.  Plus, Nina finally found a chair just for her size:

Classy Lady

I kid, I kid.  Happy Friday, everyone!

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