30 September 2011

Have a fabulous weekend.

Just wanted to give a quick shout out and thank you to Jenni at Story of My Life for giving my blog a sweet mention today. I love my blogger friends! :)

My hubby has some time off of work this weekend and I plan on doing a lot of this. We'll also do a lot of cuddling, relaxing, coffee-drinking, and NCIS re-run watching. :)

What are your weekend plans? Hope it's a great one!

29 September 2011

Guest Post by Following The Walkers!

I am so excited for today's blog post for a couple of reasons. First off, The Hinton Hook-Up has its first guest blogger!! And secondly, she is a very dear friend of mine. Stevie Walker (Following The Walkers) and I first met when she was still Stevie Bittner. We interned together at CBS News in the Press Office during the spring of my senior year and her junior year of college. Stevie and I had a hilarious time navigating our way through the CBS building while trying to stay caught up with school work and planning our weddings at the exact same time. This beautiful lady played a precious role in my life while I lived in the city and I'm so grateful for her friendship, even though we now live 1,847 miles apart! Since that semester in New York, we have both graduated from college and married our long-time boyfriends (Did I mention we both got engaged within days of each other about a month before our internships? Crazy!). The one-up that Stevie has on me is that she is now back in the city with her husband, living and working full time. I'm SO jealous! Although I plan on getting back there soon, for now I have to settle for living vicariously through Stevie's blog, which isn't the worst option. She takes fabulous pictures!!
So, without further ado...

When Sara first asked me to guest blog for her, I was all "heck yes!" Because, honestly, Sara was the person who inspired me to blog. For years I was a doubter, but her enthusiasm for the craft sparked my interest, and here I am today. She is my blogmother :) And, as Sara would say, I'm so happy to be here with y'all today.

1. You and your husband have been married for a little over a year now. How was your first year of marriage? Was it what you expected it to be? What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a newlywed?

Our first year of marriage was incredible. Blake (my husband) and I had dated for almost seven years before we got married, so we had worked out most of the kinks already. Of course, there are always challenges, and we weren't without our fair share, but after years of long distance we dwelled in togetherness. With that said, I suppose it wasn't what I expected it to be - it was better. I was warned that the first year would be hard, but we had a good balance that worked for us.

The biggest lesson... that's a tough one. Pick your battles. Recognize that you need time with friends and time to yourself. Talk to your mother/sister/best friend a lot. Hold hands. Acknowledge when you're wrong. Laugh at his jokes. Appreciate the little things. Be flexible. That's eight lessons for ya, because I'm nice like that.

 2. You’ve been living in New York for a few months now and just leased your first apartment in the city (Congrats!!). How was the move? What’s your favorite part about the new apartment?

Thank you! I'll be posting about the move in the coming week or so. To put it bluntly, it was a huge pain. Moving to the city is no small feat. It took us at least two months to find a place, and the qualifications for approval are strict. But we did it, and we're so glad we did. Our new apartment overlooks a small park, with views of skyscrapers to the north and brownstones to the south. It's a pea-sized little place, but it felt like home immediately. Our bedroom is probably my favorite place in the whole world and the roof views are amazing. Advice for the NY bound: be patient, have all your paperwork handy and realize that most brokers here are sheisty as all get-out.

3. Tell me a little about your job a MSLGroup.

I love my job - truly. MSL New York is the agency arm of the Publicis Groupe network. We handle PR for a variety of national and international brands - PUMA, Citibank, Outback Steakhouse, Heineken, Kellogg's, etc. I work in Media Relations, so my responsibilities vary from client to client and from month to month. It's exciting work, and I've learned a lot in the last four months. Plus, the people that I work with are fantastic, so that helps.

4. When we worked together at CBS News, I was always so envious of the way you juggled and organized school work/internship/wedding planning/life. What’s your secret?

Ha - thank you :) Inordinate amounts of caffeine? Honestly, this is a constant struggle for me. Working out at least three times a week tends to keep the stress down, along with a lot of prayer and keeping my planner at the ready. My husband is a great support system, too. But I feel like I'm always striving for the balance.

5. With this past Friday being the first day of fall, what is your favorite fall fashion trend this year? What are you seeing on the streets of NYC?

I'm seeing a lot of great boots this season, along with bulky sweaters, maxi dresses (carried over from summer), bold stripes and shawls. I love a good pair of boots, and I've been completely obsessed with ASOS recently. This dress is one of my most recent purchases. LOVE.

6. What are those must-have items that a young professional woman in NYC should always have with her?

Cash. No, seriously. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a food truck that I wanted to try out and haven't been able to because I almost never carry cash. A good pair of flats in your purse is always good, along with mints, your iPod (for the subway), a healthy snack and a small umbrella (it rains when you least expect it). If you frequent the subway, carry a book that doesn't make you look like a moron. If you're over the age of 20, any of the Clique books are unacceptable.

7. What’s your favorite restaurant in NYC? Favorite place to buy a cupcake? Grab a drink after work?

So difficult to choose. We've been to so many great places in the city. We loved Raoul's in the Village for a nice outdoor dinner. Serafina and Sarabeth's are good for brunch, as is the Lexington Candy Shop (a little less formal). Brother Jimmy's BBQ is good for an after work dinner or drink, and they have three or four locations in the city. Of course, you can't beat rooftop bars like 230 5th or 3 West Club for happy hour.

Cupcakes are my weakness. Definitely check out Sprinkles near Grand Central for their red velvet, and Molly's Cupcakes in the West Village has amazing cupcakes and a really cute atmosphere. For other desserts, check out Georgia's Cafe and Bakery on the Upper West.

8. What are three things you couldn’t live without?

My planner, the David Gray Pandora station and Nutella. I could probably live without all three, but I wouldn't want to...

Alright friends, this is Sara again. Now, go follow Mrs. Walker's blog right now! Believe me, you won't regret it. :)

27 September 2011

Brooklyn's Day at the Groomer/Vet

This morning Brooklyn had an appointment at La Pooch with Miss Nancy to get her hair cut, nails clipped, the beauty works! I dropped her off on my way to work with the plan of picking her back up on my lunch break. At about 10 til noon, I got a call that she was ready, so I got in the car to go pick up my baby. She always looks so cute after a good haircut, so I was excited to see her! But when I got to La Pooch, instead of focusing on how cute she looked, Miss Nancy began to tell me that Brooklyn had a big tick right above her right eyelid and that she was afraid to mess with it just in case the head of the tick got caught in Brook's skin (gross). A TICK?! WHAT?? Not MY baby!!! But yes, it was true. I was appalled. Where did she get a tick?? She's an inside dog!! I don't even want to know where this stupid tick came from. All I knew in that moment was that we were immediately headed to the vet.

 {On our way home from the vet after all this tick/shots nonsense. Poor Brook was so worn out}

We got in the car and drove 20 minutes to the vet's office. I guess this was a blessing in disguise, because it also happened to be time for Brooklyn's annual shots. This poor baby got worked on a little more than either of us expected today. Not only did she get a haircut, she got two shots, a tick removed from her eye lid, 6 more months worth of heart-worm/flea/tick meds, and an appointment for her series of anti-venom shots. My friend, Libby, who is also a camp wife, told me that I should get our pup anti-venom shots once we move out to Zephyr just in case she was to ever get bit by a snake (I can't believe my baby would ever even be in this position!). Looks like those shots start in a couple of weeks. :/

{New bow from the groomer!}

Looking on the bright side of things, I learned that Brook officially weighs 10.8 pounds as a fully grown maltipoo and that her coloring, although it is most popularly known as "party" or "party poodle," is also known as "panda." She's a panda dog! And because she's getting better at sitting still while Miss Nancy cuts her hair, she got a free, new bow for her collar! Cute, huh?

{The best pup in the whole world!}

I think our baby is finally feeling a little better tonight. She's chewing on her rawhide bone and trying to play fetch with me. I guess those shots didn't make her too sore. She's been through a lot today, but I'm glad to know she is up to date on all her meds and is as healthy as can be!

As you can read, I'm slightly obsessed with by child furbaby.

26 September 2011

Fad Diet #497

Hello, my name is Sara and I have started a fad diet.
Yes, another one. 
There is a good chance that it will be over in 3 to 4 days.
But wish me luck, nonetheless. 

Please note all of the fruits and veggies I bought tonight. And yes, I'm allowed to have small amounts of coffee creamer and low-fat ranch dressing. 
Doesn't sound too bad, huh? I'll let you know. I start tomorrow!

Disclaimer: I'm not the biggest fan of fad diets, but every once in a while I do something random like this. Just humor me. :)

25 September 2011

Decorating Ideas!

Ok, friends. Since yesterday's post was a little sad, I've decided it's time to start looking on the positive side of things and to get happy again (*que Here Comes The Sun*). Since Luke and I are going to be moving into a house in the next few weeks or so, I wanted to show y'all a few decorating ideas I've been looking into on Pinterest (duh). 

{I'm absolutely in love with this windowsill. Our new house has a similar window above the sink and I will be trying to re-create this look to the best of my ability}

{I have an old window screen very similar to this guy, except instead of 8 small squares, it has 4 larger ones. I think I may paint the frame this exact color. Who knows where it will end up!}

{I am in LOVE with this office! Because our new house has 3 rooms and we don't have any kiddos yet, there is a good chance that one of the rooms will turn into an office/workout room. I wonder how Luke would feel about me re-creating this office?}

{When you walk into the back door of the new house, you walk immediately into a "mud room." I would love to re-paint and re-organize somewhat similar to this. We even have similar steps!}

{And to keep with the fall spirit, I must learn how to make one of these cute yarn wreaths! I'm a huge fan of something cute hanging on a door to reflect the current season}

What was your first/starter house like? Did you have to do a lot of work to it? If so, what improvements did you make? What was your favorite DIY project?

24 September 2011

Zephyr love.

Brooklyn and I had been planning on coming out to Zephyr this weekend since Monday of this past week. We followed through with our plans and have had a nice time relaxing while also being able to see Luke while he's at work.

But what we didn't plan on happening was learning that some of our best friends from camp will be moving to East Texas in the next month. It has been an emotional weekend for Zephyr. We are excited for these friends and the opportunities that lay ahead for them, but are also sad to see them leave. This means a lot of prayer and change. I've never been to good with change; I tend to fear it. So for now, I'm clinging to this verse...

"David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished."
1 Chronicles 28:20

God will not fail us. He will not fail Zephyr. There is work to be done and the Lord will see to it that this work not only gets done, but glorifies His name. This evening I was walking with friends and took this picture of a Zephyr sunset, the pretties around (I could be a little biased). It reminded me of the Lord's provision and promise. It also gave me great hope for the future of this camp. 

If you get the chance, please lift up Camp Zephyr in your prayers. There are many decisions to be made over the next few months. Please pray for guidance, direction, and strength. Thanks. :)

22 September 2011

A picture isn't worth any words if it isn't taken...

For Christmas 2009, my mom bought me my first SLR. I hadn't asked for one and had no clue that I was unwrapping such an awesome gift. The reasoning behind my new Nikon D5000 was that just 2.5 short weeks later, I was moving to NYC for my last semester of college. I did the best I could to take great pictures of the city and all of my adventures, but although I was using this fancy-schmancy camera, my pictures still looked like I took them with a little compact, hand-held camera. No bueno.

The whole Hipstamatic/Instagr.am/take-a-pic-and-edit-on-your-phone fad did not begin until long after I had left New York. Disappointing, right? But I definitely love using these apps all the time now. So much, in fact, that they have become all the more reason to not use my SLR...

So, I've decided to learn how to really use this fancy-schmancy camera! I've seen what professional photographers can do with such cameras, so I know it must be possible for me too. I took mine out this evening, started snapping a few pictures of the pup running around outside, and reminded myself of how much I really do still have to learn about this foreign object. I mean, who had time to think up all those settings??

What kind of camera do you have? Do you use it to its full potential? If you have an SLR, do you have any tips for this should-be-average beginner photographer?

21 September 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Sorry I'm so late getting to this post! Wednesday is practically over. ;) Without further ado...

{Revenge starts tonight!! I have been most intrigued by this show's promotions and can't wait to watch a sassy blonde girl get revenge on her father's killer by seducing a man, teehee.}

{I've been a little extra impressed with my Nook the last day or so. New apps, new books. This little guy helps make life easier and more fun!}

{Today during lunch, I took a bootcamp class at my gym downtown. Last time I took this class, I couldn't move for about 3 days. Hoping for more good results!}

{Krylon’s 'Looking Glass' spray paint. I've been looking for a fun idea like this! I have three lamps that desperately need to join the rest of us in the year 2011. DIY pics to come!}

{Pumpkin cookies w/cream cheese frosting!!! Any pretty much any other food pertaining to fall, which begins FIRDAY I might add!}

And last but not least, I'm loving that I'm only 4 followers away from 200!! If you read my blog, but haven't "followed" me using Google Friend Connect (on the right-hand side of my blog), please do so! I would love to know who you are!! :)

What have you been loving this Wednesday? I'm dying to know!

20 September 2011

New Girl

This. show. is. awesome.
Missed it? Catch it next week.
Tuesdays on Fox at 8 p.m., CST.

18 September 2011

Big news!!

So, The Hintons have a pretty cool announcement to make...


Yup, Luke and I are moving out of our two bedroom apartment in Corpus Christi and into a house out at Camp Zephyr!! For those of you that don't know, Camp Zephyr is the Christian camp/retreat facility where Luke has been working full-time in guest services since the summer of 2008. Before that, he and I both worked at the camp as summer staffers during our summers in college. This magical place has played a huge role in our lives as Christians and as a couple. We both would not be where we are today without our Zephyr family, both past and present, and can't wait to invest even more into God's ministry at this camp by moving out there. 

Plus, Luke and I will FINALLY be living together in ONE PLACE! This. is. huge! After almost 6 years of long distance dating and now almost three months of marriage while living part-time at camp/part-time in Corpus Christi, we will have one home. We can't wait!!!

"Now, how is this going to work with Sara's job in Corpus?" you may be asking yourself. Well, with this move comes adapting to change in other areas of life as well. Instead of a 15 minute drive to work, I will now have a 50 minute drive to work. At first, I wasn't so thrilled about this part. I mean, come on, what non-morning person would be? But after some calculating, we've learned that this move will still be positive for us financially, despite the gas it will take to get me back and forth. Plus, I have family and friends in CC that will let me crash a night or two during the week at their places to help save on miles. And I must admit, I'm really excited to decorate our first little home. :)

We still don't have a set move-in date, but it will probably be sometime after the 1st of October. It is our plan to be all moved in and settled by the end of October. The more we talk about it, the more excited I get! Camp life, as I've learned from the other camp wives, can be difficult at times. Living at a place like Camp Zephyr takes sacrifice and selfless love. It takes looking at the big picture and putting hundreds of other peoples' needs above your own. It can mean not spending time with your husband for days at a time (mostly during the summer). But ultimately, it means being a part of something so much greater than yourself and having the humbling opportunity to effect the Kingdom of God in a mighty way. It is my current prayer that God would start changing my heart as I move from the mindset of "summer staffer" to that of a "camp wife."

{Summer 2008, as summer staff}

{Dec. 2009, Engagement picture at the gates of Camp Zephyr}

We've always known that God was going to take us, as a couple, on some crazy adventures. I really believe that this move is one of those adventures. Look out Zephyr, here come The Hintons!!

"But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Ruth 1:16-17

12 September 2011

Roses and stroganoff

Today I came home to a clean apartment. And I mean CLEAN. Like vacuumed clean. I was so impressed! Luke's job isn't the kind where he has the same, set days off each week. Some days he'll have a weekend off, others he'll have a Monday and Wednesday off. His schedule just depends on camp guests, jobs to be done, and if he is running the retreat/weekend/event or not. He had off today and will have off tomorrow as well because he works this upcoming weekend. Because of this, I came home to a clean, vacuumed apartment and...ROSES! One dozen red roses to be exact. After the long day I had, he couldn't have given me a sweeter gift. I am so grateful for him!!


Just like clockwork, becoming a wife has brought out the cook in me. Now, please note that I did not say gourmet chef, just cook. I guess it was inevitable. "Man cannot live by college nachos alone..." or something like that, right? ;) All joking aside, this whole wife-cooking-for-her-husband instinct has been very intriguing to me. You see, I've never been a cook. My great-grandmother was an award-winning cook and wrote her own cookbook, my mom has cooked perfectly for a family of 6+ for over 19 years, and my sister Emily was the assistant manager of a French restaurant in midtown Houston at the age of 20. In college, I was lucky if I "cooked" Chicken Viola once or twice a week.

But things are different now. I want to cook to Luke; I enjoy cooking for him. My repertoire is a little shallow still, but for now I just want to master the basics. I'll get fancy later. Tonight I made beef stroganoff and steamed broccoli. I know this may sound pretty basic to all you wives and moms out there, but I was pretty impressed with myself! It was my first time to cook this meal for Luke and he LOVED it! I think I'm going to enjoy these wife instincts that are starting to surface. :)

{Yum! It was so good!!}

11 September 2011

Warning: I'm just rambling...

So, I'm just sitting on the couch at our apartment, folding some laundry and watching Friends on Nick @ Nite. Have any of you been watching Friends the last week or so? Re-runs have been playing on N@N over and over...I'm LOVING it!! I think Luke is wondering when he'll get his wife back, ha. Anyway, my Mac Book prompted me to install 7 updates (a little behind?), so I decided to try and post from my Nook. It's not as easy as if I was on my trusty laptop, but I'm digging it. Ok, time to go fold the load of laundry that just finished drying. See, I warned you. Just rambling...:)

08 September 2011

Count your blessings

I've been thinking a lot about blessings recently. God blesses me in so many ways and I unfortunately don't always recongize these gifts.

There is something about the temperature dropping 20 degrees that reminds me of God's grace. Hurricanes flood us, fire tear us down, but God's love and provision remain.

Today I've recognized His blessings in...

...the first sip of this season's pumpkin spice latte.
...in the way my maltipoo's excitement because her momma came home for lunch never weakens.
...in sore muscles because I've been blessed with a body that has the ability to workout.
...in the way my husband drives 1 hour to come home every night because he knows
how important family is.
...and in the piles of paper on my desk because I have a job that challenges me and
colleagues that believe in me.

Too blessed to be stressed. :)

04 September 2011

Summer weddings and long weekends

This weekend concluded mine and Luke's summer of weddings! We attended our own (obviously!) on June 25, 2011. Then one month later, I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's wedding. The following weekend, I drove to Dallas to see a college friend get married. And finally, this weekend Luke was a groomsman in one of his best friend's wedding. Three of these four weddings were those of "camp couples." Luke and I met at Camp Zephyr back in 2005, I worked there for 4 summers through college, and Luke is currently the camp's full-time staff supervisor. Sarah and Andrew met at camp in 2007 and both of them spent a few summers working there. And Tyler and Aubri practically grew up at camp. Tyler's father is the executive director of Zephyr and both Tyler and Aubri have worked at camp for many summers as kids. It's been such a blessing to watch of all these Zephyr alum grow up, chase new life paths, and fall more in love with the Lord and each other!

{Our wedding 6.25.11}

{Sarah and Andrew 7.30.11}

{Kara and Brett 8.7.11}

{Tyler and Aubri 9.2.11}

Whew! Yes, it was as tiring as it looks!! But we've had an amazing summer celebrating love and God's provision over all of these relationships. This was definitely a summer for the books!

**I must make a quick intervention here to say that while Luke and I were at T&A's wedding, the BAYLOR BEARS kicked some major TCWho's butt on Friday night!!!! I was so proud of my Bears! This game was an amazing way to start off the season and I'm so excited for future games. Rip 'em up, tear 'em up, SIC'EM BU!!!**

Luke and I have also been enjoying our long Labor Day weekend! Aubri and Tyler were married on Friday night, so on Saturday Luke and I drove up to San Antonio for the day. We love getting away every once in a while and SA is the closest "big city." We made a stop by Americus Diamonds to have my engagement ring and wedding bands soldered together, ate lunch at Panda Express, took Brooklyn to PETCO to find a new food/water dish, made a quick stop at The Container Store (LOVE!), and had coffee with some of our best friends, Justin, Michelle, and Gabi Graves. It was a quick trip, but totally worth it!

{Family road trip to San Antonio!}

{Starbucks with Gabbers}

{Brook with her first "puppaccino" from Starbucks!}

{The 3-drawer cart trellis that I bought at The Container Store! Luke put it together for me this evening. Can't wait to organize SOMETHING}

The rest of our weekend has included church and rest. Luke and I are really enjoying attending Yorktown Baptist Church here in Corpus. Worship was amazing today (as always!) and the youth minister, Joel, gave the message this morning. He spoke truth in a very unapologetic way and was so relatable (is this a word?). I would definitely love to hear him speak again! After church, I got to pick up my copy of the book for this fall's women's Bible study. We get started on Sept. 20th and I can't wait to dig into the Word with the ladies of YBC!

I hope you all have had a fabulous long weekend and enjoy your Labor Day tomorrow!!