Posts tagged ‘Blog Friends’

Finding Your Blog Soulmate.

Hello! This isn’t Chelsea! Now, before you freak out & run away, allow me to introduce myself. Many of you already know me. I’m Lauren From Texas. Please don’t click the little red bubble in the upper left corner (that’s if you’re a Mac; “x” in the upper right if you’re a PC). Instead, stick around & read this lengthy & not very cohesive post. It’s what Chelsea would want you to do.

Not too long ago, Chelsea posted about what it means to be a BFF Friend Forever & opened the floor for questions directed towards her, her husband, & her family. Little did I know that I would be included in this round of questions, so when Chelsea asked me to write a guest post for her, I thought, “What better time to answer the question?!” Actually I thought “Oh crap I have nothing interesting to say & her readers are going to be so disappointed & hate me forever.” But after a dinner of brain food (leftover cheesy french bread & chocolate chip cookies with milk), I decided I CAN DO THIS. So here we go. I’m armed with only my thoughts & feelings. And a glass of Pinot Grigio.

The question came from Chelsea’s friend Lyndsey, who I have never met but am dying to, & who is a new blogger. Check her out here. Here’s her question:

“When did you know that you and chelsea would be Best Blog Friends 4 Ever instead of just Blog friends or Best Blog Friends?”

Great question, Lyndsey. I am going to stretch out my answer as long as I possibly can because A) I like to talk, & B) Because Chelsea told me to write a post & it’s 8:25 the night before she needs it & nothing else is coming to me.

When I started my blog in April 2009, I had no expectations. OK, that’s kind of a lie. I had just figured out that people could become famous by BLOGGING & since I am an English major & have always wanted to be a famous writer, one night I was late for my period & thinking way too much (but not very clearly) & thought, “Hey! I should start (another) blog!” I say another blog because I have had at least 4 blogs since the age of 16, 2 of which are still in existence (and no, you may not read them). So I started a blog and plunged myself into the depths of the blogosphere, saying to myself, “Let’s see what happens.” I’ll tell you what hasn’t happened.

  • My blog hasn’t won any awards. (Yes, I’m still sore from my loss in the 20SB Bootlegger Awards. Never mind the fact that I didn’t know I was a finalist until the day the awards were being announced; I’m a perfectionist & it stings to not win, even if you didn’t know about the contest. That makes no sense so I’m moving on. And clearly, I’m joking.)
  • I haven’t made any money blogging. Unless you count that time a restaurant offered us Happy Hour-priced drinks for the duration of our stay, in exchange for good blog publicity. Let’s see, I saved a couple bucks that night, so I guess you could say my blog has made me SEVERAL NOBLE DOLLARS. You get my point.
  • I have not achieved fame from my blog. Well, one time, at the Pioneer Woman book signing, a girl recognized me from my blog & came up to say hi, but I ended up acting like a huge dork because I was shocked someone reads my blog, had recognized me, and STILL WANTED TO APPROACH ME. (Hi other Lauren from Texas!) My point is, I am not famous.

But you know what has happened since I’ve started my blog? I’ve found a place, a little niche where I can put to use that English degree my parents spent so much money on. I can unleash my creativity, tell funny stories, & make people laugh. And when it comes right down to it, that’s all I ever wanted to do anyway. But possibly the best thing that has happened to me since I started my blog are the PEOPLE I have encountered. When you’re a blogger, you can’t really use the word “met,” because chances are, you haven’t met most of the people you’re talking to. You email, you tweet, & before you know it, you’re telling them your deepest darkest secrets and you feel like they’re your BFF Friend Forever… & quite possibly, they are. It’s not up to me to decide what defines a BFF Friend Forever. Rules like “Before someone can be your friend, you must meet her in real life to make sure she’s a girl & not a 60-year-old pervo with a hatchet” seem to fade away when you have a heart-to-heart email conversation.

I should know, it happened to me.

Chelsea emailed me shortly after I started my blog & we started to correspond. We emailed all the time, & found we had so much in common. We took our relationship to the next level & became Facebook friends. Then, after a few weeks of such correspondence, we decided it was time. To meet.

We met for brunch at a charming place & sat outside. Since it was June in Texas, I sweated my guts out & Chelsea remained cool as a cucumber (probably half from her peach bellini & half because she is a freak who doesn’t feel temperature). I thought, “If this girl still likes me after I am drenched in sweat & my makeup has run down the front of my shirt, this must be real.”

After a brunch date that lasted 4-5 hours, I realized, “I could be friends with this girl. No, I could be blog friends. No, I could be BLOG FRIENDS FOREVER.”

And from that, a title was born: Blog Friends 4Ever.

In going through some old emails, I found this conversation we had shortly after our brunch.

Chelsea: “I wonder what I clicked on that day to find you.”

Lauren: “Probably ‘best blog ever’…. Maybe?”

Chelsea: “That could have been it. Or maybe it was from that eBlogery site where they match you up with your blog soul mate based on compatibility and all sorts of meaningful things. You could view your matches for free… that’s all I remember.”

Lauren: “I filled out that questionnaire. They asked my height, age, and ‘on a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love food?’ – obviously we were meant to be together.”

In conclusion, dear Roots & Ring readers, friendship is a lot like dating. And blogging is the eHarmony of friendship. For just pennies per month, you too can find your Blog Friend 4Ever.

January 21, 2010 at 9:30 am 25 comments

Seven Quick Takes (vol.11)

What a glorious Friday it is, my friends! Almost every minute of my weekend is planned, but I’m okay with that. Anyone else doing Seven Quick Takes? Make sure to add your name to Mr. Linky over at Conversion Diary.

7_quick_takes

1.
Bloggers, be prepared to be jealous. Last night I had dinner with Kathleen from Kapachino and Lauren from, well, Lauren from Texas. Long story short, they went to the same conference and made plans to have dinner afterwards. Luckily they asked if I wanted to meet up too. Of course I do! So we had a great dinner. We talked about our lives, our blogs, how the non-bloggers in our lives think we are weird, and we talked about y’all.

Let me just say that I was quite naive when I began blogging. I thought I’d just write and maybe my mom and husband would read. I had no idea that strangers read blogs. Or that you get to know other bloggers via their blogs. Or that sometimes you actually meet them in real life. I didn’t know this. But its a nice surprise!

2.
So… that balloon boy… yeah…

3.
Stephen and I are having dinner with Lauren and her husband on Saturday. Of course we are thrilled because we just love them to pieces…. not literally, you know, like Lennie. Just metaphorically… We like them a lot. Anyways, if you don’t follow Lauren (you should), she recently got her wisdom teeth taken out. She’s still in a lot of pain so we aren’t quite sure what she’ll be able to eat. I’m bringing dessert and a side. I’m bringing PW’s roasted garlic potatoes. This is the third time I’ll be making them in ONE WEEK. I can’t help it, they are just that good. And easy. But the question is this: Is it cheating if I take dump cake and vanilla ice cream?

4.

\m/

For those of you who don’t know what that is, I’m not talking to you. For the rest of you, what time is it?

5.
I’ve only had two pumpkin spice lattes this season… both were the first week they came out. This is a travesty, I tell you! I think I’ll get another one sometime this weekend. I think I’d feel better about myself if I got one. It’s really a disservice to Autumn if I don’t, right?

6.
When you have some spare minutes on a computer with speakers, visit this site: http://www.iamsecond.com/ You won’t regret it. I haven’t watched them all but I’ve watched the one with Colt, Colt and Sam, and Michelle Aguilar (from Biggest Loser) and I’ve been thoroughly impressed!

7.
Congratulations to the winners of the giveaways!! I wrote up all the entries, put them in a bowl, and Stephen drew two names. We took our jobs very seriously.

DSC01369

draw1

molly

DSC01378

southerngal

molly won the custom onesie! (Which is perfect since she’s pregnant!)
Southern Gal won the jewelry tote! (Which is perfect because she probably has some jewelry to tote!)

Email me to claim your prize!! chelsea.hurst (at) hotmail (dot) com

Visit these two Etsy sites when you’re looking for Christmas gifts. Apparently we had another issue with the text of the link being too close to the regular text. I’ll help you out: CLICK HERE to look at EdieCastle’s shop and CLICK HERE to look at Taryn’s shop. I hope you enjoyed the giveaway. That’s just a little preview of what’s to come in the next couple months! So stick around!!

Have a good weekend, y’all! It’s 9:18 and OU still sucks.

October 16, 2009 at 9:18 am 25 comments

Stage Fright.

Chelsea and I decided Saturday, while we were up to our elbows in chopped onions and spaghetti noodles, that this whole “Blog Swap” thing was going to be rather nerve wracking. I mean, here’s how I look at it. Some of you know me. Some of you don’t. Usually, when I am writing on my own blog, my writing decisions affect only me. (Maybe my husband too.) But here I am, hammering out a blog post on someone else’s blog, and there are all these people reading, with all these expectations. SO MUCH PRESSURE.

To quote a conversation from yesterday:
Me: “I made Sangria. Is it too early to start drinking?” (It was 11am.)
Chelsea: “No! Never!”

So maybe I’ll just have a glass of leftover Sangria and proceed.

I’m not going to bother talking about myself. I do enough of that on my blog. But I do want to tell you that 1) Chelsea is a genius, 2) I now have enough food to last until Christmas, and 3) it’s great to spend the day with a fellow blogger.

Let’s begin.

Chelsea arrived at my house around 10:30. I had previously (like, the night before) had full intentions of getting up early(ish), getting in a work-out, showering, and being 100% prepared for her arrival. But sometime between the time I woke up and 10am, I ended up doing nothing of the sort and instead stuffed mine and my husband’s faces with cinnamon rolls and watched “Iron Chef” on the Food Network (which, come to think of it, was probably a good choice of program considering the activities lined up for that day). When she got here, I was brushing my teeth and apologizing for my dirty kitchen floor. As you well know, Chelsea lives in a house she calls “Hurst Castle.” That’s a little intimidating, given the fact that my whole house is probably the same size as her living room, from the way it sounds. Oh well, my kitchen is painted the cheeriest shade of apple green, that should cover a multitude of smallness, right?! Anyway, we rolled up our sleeves, donned our super cute aprons, strands of pearls (provided by me, so we could be “just like Julia!”) and started cooking. We cooked and cooked and cooked and cooked. 5 recipes, doubled, ended up making 26-1/2 8×8 foil panfuls of food. That’s 13 for me, and since I am a nice person (and Chelsea beat me at arm wrestling), 13.5 for her.

Let me just say: this was Chelsea’s idea, and it was a GREAT ONE. Now, whenever I get done with a hard day of work and have a hungry husband on my hands, all I have to do is pop one of these gleaming silver packages in the oven and… VOILA! Instant dinner! It’s like having a maid. (Probably not, but since I’ve never had a maid, I can pretend.)

I think the best part of the day (besides the Sangria, which I can’t take credit for either – credit goes to Emeril – click herefor the recipe) was spending all day with a fellow blogger. Our conversation never veered from these 3 topics: husbands, food, and blogs. The only thing I can liken it to is dudes (or girls, I ain’t no sexist) talking about sports. They can talk about it for hours, and if you’re not into all that, it can sound kind of boring (not to mention confusing). The same goes for blog-talk. My husband was in the other room periodically and I’m sure he was thinking, “Who is Bon Bon Rose? What is SITS? WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT?” But we couldn’t stop talking about blogging. When she left that evening, after a second batch of Sangria, some really bad television, a delicious pizza that was NOT homemade, and The Mexican on DVD, I had a big grin on my face. Michael asked me, “Did y’all have fun? Do you think you’re becoming better friends?” To which I answered, “I think we’re already pretty good friends.” True, maybe this was only the 4th time we’ve seen each other in real life, but when you have such a huge part of your lives in common, and when you can email and comment and read and write and blog and facebook each other all the live-long day, what’s to stop you from being friends? Really, really good friends? BF4EV, even?

Suddenly, I’m not scared to post on Roots & Rings. We’re all family, right? Or at the very least, blog friends?

For kicks, here are the recipes I brought to the table. I doubled them both.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (I got this recipe from my mom)

Ingredients:

3-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 medium onion
1 can green chilis (or 3/4 c. salsa)
3 T. butter
12 corn tortillas
1 lb. grated Cheddar/Jack cheese
1/2 saved chicken broth

Directions:

Boil chicken, cool, and shred (save broth). Preheat oven to 325. Saute onion in butter. Combine onion, soups, broth, chilis, and stir. Cut 6 tortillas into small pieces and cover bottom of 9×13 pan. Spread 1/2 chicken over tortillas, then 1/2 sauce and 1/2 cheese. Repeat layers. Bake 30-40 minutes until bubbly and brown.

I would just like to say that when you double 3 tablespoons of butter, you end up with almost an entire stick of butter. Chelsea never batted an eyelash when I dumped that much butter into my cast iron skillet. It was then I knew we’d be friends forever.

Next recipe.

Mediterranean Tuna Casserole (I ripped this recipe out of some food magazine – I am not trying to say I made it up. There now, no one can sue me.)

Ingredients:

1/3 c. olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 lb. wide egg noodles
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
4 cans (6 oz. each) tuna in olive oil, drained
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and thickly sliced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil 2 8″ square (or other shallow 2 quart) baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until 2 minutes short of al dente according to package instructions; drain, and return to pot.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add bell peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, 4-6 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer.

Step 3: Remove from heat, add mixture to noodles in pot, along with tuna, artichoke hearts, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper, and toss. Divide between prepared baking dishes, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

So there you have it. Chelsea should be posting her recipes over on my blog; if she doesn’t, let’s all agree to annoy her until she does.

And the moral of the story is: go grab a friend, a bunch of ingredients, and a kitchen. Cook for a few hours, drink some wine, and laugh a lot. Then guest blog for each other.

And get over your blog fright.

BF4EV

 

August 24, 2009 at 8:58 am 23 comments

Oh, The Anticipation

Last Friday I told you to come back on Monday so we could all talk about our weekends. Then I went and saw Julie & Julia and couldn’t think straight. So I had to get yesterday’s post out of my system and now I”m back to my normal self. Back to the uninspiring posts about Rookie’s seasonal allergies and my frozen Double Stuf Oreo addiction. I apologize. You probably read yesterday’s post and thought, “Wow. She’s really growing. She’s becoming a much more serious writer. This is fabulous.” Nope. I’m not. It was a fluke.

I almost peed my pants on Saturday night.

See. Back to normal.

Really though. Stephen and I went to Austin on Saturday morning. Our friends were in town from Germany. They had limited time in Austin so we made sure to force them to see us as much as possible. We think that if we force ourselves upon people and do our best to be funny and charming, we’ll convince them all to move to Houston. I don’t know if it’s working or not, but we’re not going to let up any time soon.

Some of our old community group met up for lunch at Trudy’s. We ate food that was too spicy for me and I reapplied my Chaptick about 428,9347 times. We caught up and went through the required questions. How are you? How’s your job? How’s your church? How’s your dog? Are you pregnant? etc. etc. etc. So Saturday night when we all met up again, we could just go straight to where we all left off before we all married each other and moved off to random places.

We had a blast. We sat around and talked for a while. Made the boys go outside and talk about us so that we could stay inside and talk about them. Then we gathered again over burgers and beer. We decided to play Catch Phrase. There is almost nothing more fun than playing Catch Phrase with a group of people who share many of the same inside jokes. It was probably the best ab workout I’ve had since I started ignoring Jillian in my DVD player.

Throughout the evening we pumped ourselves up about our upcoming vacation. Ten of us are heading down to Galveston at an undisclosed date to hang out for the weekend. (It’s only undisclosed to you since you aren’t invited. They all know the date.) The more we talked about it, the more excited we got. Cooking, laying out, sitting on the porch at night, playing games, drinking beer. That’s the life. We are counting down the days and can’t wait until it’s finally here.

I love that group of friends. When we get together we laugh until we cry and almost pee our pants. We have history. We knew each other when we were single. Before we had jobs and houses and responsibilities. We’d hang out until all hours of the night because we could.

I’m in the process of developing a friend like that here. Lauren. Remember her? My blog soul mate? My friend date? We live about an hour and a half apart but we are doing everything in our power to pretend that we are actually neighbors. This Saturday we have great plans to hang out all the live long day. We’ll be cooking! This week, Stephen and I are eating our very last meal from our freezer stock. Time to replenish. I’ll tell you more about it later and we have a surprise in store for you on Monday. If you read her blog, you’ll see what the surprise is. If you don’t, you’ll just have to wait and see!!

I know, the anticipation is killing you. Me too.

What did you do this weekend? Anything exciting that would make me jealous? Anything totally boring that will make me appreciate my weekend even more?

August 18, 2009 at 9:37 am 11 comments

Word Count: 582, Quality Count: 0

So this is the deal. I have nothing to tell you today. Nothing at all.

Stephen and I were going to go get ice cream from Baskin Robins last night with our monthly Buy One Get One Free coupons but those plans got postponed since he and my dad were too busy tearing apart our washing machine. My dad came over to take a look. Approximately .672 seconds after he looked at it he realized the problem was not with the lid clicky thing and that was what he was counting on. “Well, I’m out of advice…” So they unscrewed some things and checked out some wires and did something with some fancy contraption that makes a beeping sound when something happens. And after all of that, they think they found the problem. Stephen will get the replacement part tonight and see if he can work his magic.

Then maybe we can go to Baskin Robins and I’ll have some funny story to tell you about how Stephen ate a super rich ice cream cone even though he’s semi lactose intolerant and ate too much fiber cereal for breakfast and spent the rest of the night rolled into a ball screaming with stomach pains. (I say this so that it won’t come true. I’m pretty superstitious like that.)

Or maybe tonight I’ll Shred with Jillian and have something entertaining to tell you about how I’m about ready to punch her in the face for using words like “phone it in” or “I’d do just about anything for those abs”… Or about how annoyed I am that the chick on the left works out with her hair down. Who does that? (Besides Helen from the pink team… remember her? Ugh.)

Thanks to all of my blog and real life friends for your words of encouragement yesterday. I loved your comments and emails. We’ve all been in these sticky situations and it’s nice to have a few people around to tell you that sometimes you have to try harder to make lemonade. Sometimes you don’t actually have lemons, you have oranges. And sometimes you just need to add some vodka to make your lemonade taste better. Blog friends are great.

This weekend I was at Bella Rose with Lauren and her friend from Canada. My brother stopped by to help my dad fix a few things. As I was introducing them, Justin asked, “How do yall know each other?” This is where things get awkward to non-bloggers. “Well, um, Lauren is my blog friend. And I don’t actually know Corlene.”

His face was priceless. “Blog friend?? O…kay.” If he only knew. It’s a twisted little world we all live in. And I love every minute of it!

I’ve thrown this out there before and I usually get two or three tidbits of good advice. For days like this, when my life is dull and I have nothing to tell you, what do you want to hear? Are there any questions you have? Like… Is Stephen really that fun? (Yes.) Does he care that you write about him so much? (No. He likes it.) Does he even read? (Yes, everyday. Our marriage depends on it. Not really. But he does read.) Etc.

Additionally, I have a hilariously sarcastic friend who has decided that he wants to be my guest writer the next time I’m out of town. This is intriguing to me. I’m thinking this could open up a whole new world of fun here. Thoughts?

July 21, 2009 at 10:14 am 11 comments

Bloggers Annonymous

We all have temptations in our lives. Things that we can’t resist. Things that taunt us and consume our thoughts. I have two vices. The first is something that I’m sure many of you haven’t experienced… Frozen Double Stuf Oreos. OH.MY.GOSH. There is nothing better. I never buy them because I have absolutely no self control. Don’t believe me? Go down to Galveston and look in the freezer at my parents’ house. There is a package of Oreos that is half gone. “So what, Chelsea?! Half gone? That’s not bad!” Yes. Yes it is. We were only there for about 24 hours. It’s bad. I actually said the sentence, “No, I don’t think I’ll eat that last slice of pizza. I’d rather eat 4 Oreos when we get back.”

The second addiction is obvious- read the title. Blogging. I sort of had a feeling this would happen. When you commit to doing something once a day, it becomes a big part of your life. I don’t necessarily think this is a problem (don’t all addicts say this?!)… I’ve really enjoyed it and have benefit from it. But over the weekend I realized I had a problem. Not an oh-crap-these-Oreos-are-so-good problem. More like an oh-my-gosh-I-love-this-eyeliner-so-much-does-that-mean-I-have-a-problem? problem. This is how you know you have a blogging problem:

On Friday I mentioned that I’m looking for a cabinet for my bathroom. Some of you were nice enough to send me some links to bathroom towers you’ve found. For some reason they were either 4 feet tall or over $300. Neither were ideal. So the emails went back and forth. We discussed options and our taste. One may argue that this is the proof of me having a problem – talking to people I don’t know about plans for my bathroom. But one would be wrong. I don’t see anything wrong with getting advice from outside sources. Here is the problem: On the way home from work on Friday I stopped at Hobby Lobby to see if I could find a cabinet there. I had in mind what I wanted. Something brown with drawers that are baskets. Seemed simple enough to me. Up until that point, I had searched just about every online store that sells furniture. No luck. So I walk into Hobby Lobby and saw it. THE cabinet. I stood in front of it with my jaw on the floor. I got my phone out and took a picture. I needed someone else to tell me how perfect it was. My mom was at the beach, Stephen’s phone was dead. I knew yall could have helped me. I honestly stood there thinking, “I wish I had my blog friends’ phone numbers to send them the picture!” But I didn’t. I could have emailed it to all of my helpers but I wasn’t willing to hang out in Hobby Lobby for the next 5 hours, waiting for you all to check your emails and respond. So I bought it anyways. Stephen loves it. It’s perfect. Here is the picture I took at Hobby Lobby… check out how great it is!

cabinet

Second reason I know I have a blogging problem. Stephen and I went to Galveston on Saturday afternoon. We went to the beach for a couple hours, went out to eat on The Stand, hung out at the beautiful Bella Rose. The next day we went to the beach again and helped move things in and put things away. We had a great time but I can’t help but feel a bit guilty. So many of you asked me to take pictures of us at the house but I forgot my camera. Isn’t it awful? If I was Pioneer Woman I would apologize and have a Kitchen Aid Mixer giveaway to make sure you all forgive me. But I’m just not that hardcore. So you’ll have to take my written apology. I’ll make it up next weekend, I swear!

And the final reason I know I’m a blogger to the core… Friday was my Uncle Brad’s birthday. The whole family was in Port Aransas for about 4 days. I texted my mom and told her to tell Brad happy birthday for me. His response was “It doesn’t count unless you put it on your blog!” (Can you say ‘enabler’???) I may be three days late, but I’m here to make it official. Happy Birthday Uncle Brad! My Uncle Brad is awesome. He is one of the smartest people I know. He’s a wonderful Christian man who truly knows what it means to be a family-man. He’s fun and goofy and generous. We love him and are proud to call him family. Check him out:

Brad and Lisa - Wedding

That’s him with my Aunt Lisa at my wedding. Lisa used to have blonde hair that was so long I thought she was a princess. In case you ever have the opportunity to meet my uncle, you may not recognize him from this picture. He normally looks more like this:

Goofy Brad

July 13, 2009 at 9:48 am 8 comments


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