Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

My new love….

Posted by mandyhuckins on March 4, 2010

Avocado.  Well, this isn’t exactly new….I have been loving them for about a year now.  I can’t believe there was ever a time that I didn’t want to eat them!  My favorite way to consume them is sliced and drizzled with good olive oil and then sprinkled with sea salt and McCormick’s Montreal Steak pepper grinder.  Wow!

That is like heaven on a plate!

Today I made a delicious sandwich for lunch.  I cut a pita in half and then opened it.  I slathered some Hummus in the pocket and then stuffed it with thinly sliced cucumbers and red onions, some of these avocado slices and arugula.  Mmmmmmmm!

Bonus – how green and pretty this is – I will have to make it again on St. Patty’s Day. 

Note: I just realized how health conscious this post sounds – please know that is not true.  Just yesterday I polished off a half a bag of Doritos while I was lounging in bed all afternoon because I didn’t feel well.  For dinner, I had my husband bring home a sourdough Philly cheese(less)steak sandwich and fries for dinner.  AND I ate a pinwheel cookie for dessert.

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Preppy Pony….

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 19, 2010

Please do not think for a momentt that I neglected to buy Dancer a little something special from Equifest.  Here she is after our ride last night enjoying her dinner and modeling her new preppy cooler.  It has matching leg wraps too.  I don’t think she is a real fan of this blanket.  When I first brought it out to try it on her, she turned her head all the way around as if to get a good look at it, then she faced the front, hung her head low, put her ears half-way back and cut her eyes at me.  The look on her face was pretty clear, “I am NOT a preppy pony!”  But, I pay the bills, and I think she looks very cute.

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Brownies….

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 17, 2010

My girlfriends got me re-hooked on brownies. I just made a tray at home. Here is what you don’t want to hear when your ask your husband (who is in the kitchen) to bring you a brownie….

“Wow.” As in, where did all the brownies go?

Well…I thought I was doing well to have any left at all after two days.

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Equifest….

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 16, 2010

This weekend, Wichita hosted Equifest, which is an equestrian exhibition with vendors, clinicians, lectures and exhibits.  It was really fun.  Although I kept hearing people say that it was better/bigger/more well attended in previous years, it was fun for me because it was my first time.  I really enjoyed seeing Kay Meredith’s clinic on Saturday about dressage.  And, of course I enjoyed the shopping.  Here is the one thing I bought for myself:

This came from South Pointe Equestrian Jewelry.  Their stuff was gorgeous and it was so difficult to make a final choice.  Another lady and I were shopping at the same time and as I often do, I started commenting on what I thought SHE should buy.  At one point, we even exchanged necklaces, but ending up trading back for our final purchase.  Her husband had been hanging back, waiting for her to make her final selection.  She called him up when it was time to pay.  I was hanging back and continuing to browse while the husband paid for his wife’s purchase.  Unbeknownst to me, the lady working in the booth mistakenly assumed that we were all together, since she had seen me helping the lady choose her necklace.  She started to ring up both of our choices for the gentleman to pay for!  He said, “I didn’t realize she was going to pick more than one…but, whatever she wants, I guess.”  Isn’t that sweet?  Unfortunately, we discovered what had happened and I didn’t get a free necklace that day.  Darn.

You can’t see them in this picture, but I have the perfect pair of earrings to go with this necklace.  They are delicate pieces of turquoise my sister bought me on a business trip to New Mexico.  I love it when new things you bring in complement and enhance things you already own.

(Note: what is up with the double chin in this picture????)

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Sunday morning breakfast…

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 16, 2010

Special milk-free french toast.  YUM!

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Retail therapy….

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 16, 2010

***NOTE***This post was originally written on January 21st, but because I couldn’t find my camera, wasn’t completed until February 16th.

Ok, so I can’t afford the Jason Wu dress from yesterday’s post, but this weekend I did indulge in some retail therapy.  I have been feeling blue lately and I just thought I would go look at the Dillard’s shoe department.  This is what I decided I couldn’t live without:

They are really cute!  I wear a lot of brown, so I thought they would actually go with a lot of things in my closet.  I was wearing a pair of dark wash jeans when I was at the store, and these little pointy toes peaking out from under my jeans were really cute.  They will also be good for brown pants and a camel colored sweater for work or a brown skirt or dress (both of which I already own).  They were even on sale.  How could I resist?

Then, I walked by a rack of handbags that had been marked down 50%.  One in particular caught my eye.  I picked it up and put it on my arm.  I looked in the mirror.  I loved it.  I bought it, but I am having a bit of buyer’s remorse.  I haven’t cut the tag off yet, because I am trying to decide if I should return it.  I don’t need it – I just love it.

***END NOTE*** Obviously, I decided to keep the purse. 🙂

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Virginia Beach Shopalooza….

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 8, 2010

One of the primary activities of my girls week in Virginia Beach was shopping (the others being sleeping, facebooking, talking and eating brownies).  We found some amazing, amazing deals, so I thought I would show off a few.

This is an outfit I put together for church yesterday.  The skirt (Banana Republic Outlet), shoes (Kenneth Cole) and tights were mine already.  The t-shirt and jacket were new purchases on this trip.  The jacket came from Ann Taylor Loft and was originally priced $89.50.  It was on the clearance rack for $49.99 and the store was having a “take an additional 50% off clearance prices” sale.  So, that ended up costing $25 (a 72% savings off the original price).  The t-shirt came from JC Penney, a store I don’t normally frequent.  But, it is very cute and comfortable.  All that bling at the top is made up of little, silver, plastic circles sewn on.  I have no idea how this will wash (I will turn it inside out and wash it on the gentle cycle), but at $5.17, I couldn’t resist.  The original price of this shirt was $26, still not bad, so my savings was 80%. 

Today, I put on this outfit to venture out into the snowy world and have a consultation with an oral surgeon.  Not too happy about having to do that, but at least I was comfortable and liked what I was wearing.  The only thing new in this outfit is the sweater.  I bought it at Macy’s.  Original price was $48 and I paid $11.52 for a savings of 76%.  I paired this with some dark jeans, brown high-heeled boots, a brown t-shirt and some turquoise jewelry.  I apologize for the picture quality – this is what you get when you try to take a picture of yourself in the mirror in the hallway!  But, you get the idea, right?

Stay tuned for more outfits from the Virginia Beach Shopalooza.

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The. BEST. Mascara. Ever.

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 7, 2010

I learned a lot of things last week while spending the week in Virginia Beach with my girlfriends.  One of the most dramatic involved a wonderful new mascara – Double Extend from L’Oreal. 

Apparently this mascara uses “beauty tube technology” to lengthen your lashes and advertises “salon like lash extensions”.  I don’t know exactly how it works, but it certainly does.  Here are some photos to demonstrate my results.  (Please ignore the fact that I need to pluck my brow.  Please do look closely in the reflection in my eyeball to see the ocean – that was the view from our 16th floor penthouse suite in Virginia Beach!)

A picture of my eye without anything on my lashes:

Now, here is a picture of the first step – a white under coat that nourishes and protects your lashes that creates the “perfect base for the tube application.”

The final step is to apply the mascara that wraps around the white undercoat and forms the tube.

Isn’t that amazing!?!?  And, the best part is that this mascara will never run.  You can cry your eyes out (and I did) and you won’t see a single speck out of place.  Once your lashes have been soaked in warm water (i.e. washing your face or in the shower), you can gently slide the tubes off of your lashes and let them go down the drain.  That was scary to me the first time I removed them – I thought my actual lashes were falling out, but of course, that wasn’t the case.  Now, I think it is kind of fun.

A HUGE thanks goes out to Allison, the beauty genius, who recommended this mascara miracle to my friend Lori. 

And, if you want to download a $2 off coupon for this mascara, visit the L’Oreal website to establish an account and then download and print off coupons. (Salley, Lori, Lisa and Jenny, I have already sent you each a coupon via email.)

http://www.lorealparisusa.com/_us/_en/default.aspx#/?page=top{userdata//d+d//|diagnostic|main:subcategory:cosmetics_eyes|media:_blank|nav|overlay:_blank}

We purchased ours this weekend at Target for $8.99 each.  Just now, I looked at the Target website and I see that they have a double pack available online only for $9.99!  If it is possible to combine the coupon (and I don’t know that it is), then that would be a super, super deal.

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It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks…

Posted by mandyhuckins on February 7, 2010

I spent the past week in Virginia Beach with some of my dearest and closest girlfriends.  We have been friends for almost 13 years.  And while we have tried to get together for reunions at least annually, the military has done a pretty good job of keeping us geographically apart.  This week, we put distance aside and all six of us met in Virginia Beach.  Unfortunately, a heart-wrenching tragedy was the catalyst that instigated this trip.  One of our number lost her beautiful baby boy, John Matthew Ennis, on November 29, 2009.  The rest of us felt this loss very keenly and wanted to at least try to comfort each other with our presence. 

This week, we cried every day.  But, we also laughed every day.  We stayed up late talking.  We went shopping.  We slept as late as we wanted to.  We renewed our friendships and loved each other. 

The loss isn’t any easier to bear, but I think this week ministered to all of us.  I hope that we were able to provide some comfort to Lori.  I know the sorrow we feel is just a mere drop in the bucket in comparison to the depths of her oceanic grief. 

The post she wrote about the week is more beautiful than anything I could ever write and I encourage you to read it here:

http://loridoesmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/much-loved.html

Matthew, your Pensacola aunties love you and miss you.  We look forward to meeting you someday in heaven and until then, we will do the best we can to look after your mom.

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I wish it were spring…

Posted by mandyhuckins on January 26, 2010

Two weeks ago, I was out doing some retail therapy (wrote a post about it, but I can’t finish it because I can’t find my camera – so frustrating!) and I saw these.

Honestly, how could anyone feel blue with these sunny little numbers on her feet?

Those are going on my wish list – along with this beautiful dress from J Crew:

Hurry up spring!

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