31 January 2012

No Internet. Whaaaaat?!

Hey everyone! Sorry I've been MIA the last few days. For some reason, our internet at the house hasn't been working. As if living out in the middle of no where isn't rough enough, we can't seem to figure out what the deal is (two 30-minute-long convos with our provider and still NOTHING!!). No worries though; I'm sitting in the husband's office finally catching up on the last 72 hours of my life.

And just so you can see that I'm still alive and well...

Here I am! Just being cute and shooting a car commercial at work today. :)

I hope you all have a great evening! And hey--let's catch up on each others' lives soon, k? I miss y'all!

25 January 2012

Sponsor The Hinton Hook-Up in February!

Hello friends. :)

The Hinton Hook-Up is now accepting new sponsors for the month of February! I'm trying something a little new this month and will begin charging a small fee for sponsoring. Don't worry swap buddies! If you would like to continue swapping buttons with me, I'd love that too!

**Sponsors that purchase a large ad will get their own sponsor highlight + the opportunity to guest post or do a giveaway on The Hinton Hook-Up.

**Sponsors that purchase a small ad will be a part of a group sponsor highlight (no more than 3 sponsors at one time) + the opportunity to guest post or do a giveaway on The Hinton Hook-Up.

**Sponsors that would like to swap buttons will be a part of a group sponsor highlight.

Please check out my new rates and ad sizes. If you're interested in sponsoring my blog, just send me an email me at thehintonhookup@gmail.com. I look forward to working with y'all to promote your awesome blogs!!!

My husband referenced 'Friends' and it was fabulous.

So, the other night Luke and I were driving home from dinner in Corpus and we were just talking, catching up on each others' days and talking about the future. While chatting, my husband said something I never thought in a million years I'd hear come out of his mouth.

Sara: Babe, I'm booking a flight to New York REALLY soon.
Luke: Oh really.
Sara: Yup, I'm doin' it!
Luke: Doin' it, doin' it, phone, doin' it...

Oh. my. goodness!! He totally quoted Rachel from one of my favorite Friends episodes (The One Where Everyone Finds Out)!! I died. Seriously, this was the most hilarious things I've ever heard Luke say. I love the effects I have on that boy.

P.S. Happy 7 months of lovin' to Luke and me!

For your viewing pleasure: the link to part of this Friends episode. :)

23 January 2012


I'm linking up over at Recently Roached for this fun post about anything/everything that went wrong during our wedding. :)

The good news? Everything went pretty smoothly for the most part. The bad news? There is no bad news on this one! As "perfect" as everyone makes your wedding day out to be, there are going to be little hiccups. The most important thing to remember is that at the end of the day, you're married to the man of your dreams. And those little hiccups? They make for fun blog posts!

1) During the rehearsal dinner, Luke and his groomsmen started talking about their suits for the wedding. After checking in with all the guys, Luke realized that a couple of them had bought the wrong suit (we didn't rent tuxes like most). So at 9 a.m. the morning of our wedding, Luke met the guys at the mall to exchange their suits and get the right ones. The best part? He knew about this the night before the wedding and did not tell me, knowing that this would have stressed me out even more than I already was. He was an amazing husband even before we said "I do." :)

2) No one would have known this unless I told them, but the flowers did not turn out right. No biggie though, because they were still BEAUTIFUL! But our florist added flowers that I didn't ask for, especially in the centerpieces on the tables. But when you're a couple of hours out from the wedding and it's time to do your hair, do flowers really matter anymore? Nope!

3) See these sweet toasting flutes? We didn't get to toast with these. One of my little second cousins ran into the cake table during the reception and shattered one of them. So, we toasted with mason jars instead! They were fun, different, and it totally didn't make a difference in the long run!

Ok, I'm sitting here going through pictures, trying to think of any other "whoops!" incidents that we had, but the others really aren't worth detailing. Luke and I struggled to cut the cake, ha! I mean, come on. No one preps you for this part! The food was laid out wrong at first, but was quickly fixed before dinner was served. A few people had to sit outside by the cocktail tables because our venue was so full and that's a problem I was happy to have. I loved that our wedding was so full of friends and family!

Overall, our wedding day was amazing and I wouldn't trade a second of it for the world. Luke and I are celebrating 7 wonderful months of marriage on Wednesday and I just might look through all of my beautiful pictures for the umpteenth time to celebrate. :)

18 January 2012

I'm Loving

1) Chicken Fingers w/Curried Ketchup! This is on the menu for dinner tonight and I'm pretty excited about it! I'm a chicken lover and brocolli is my favorite vegetable. For the recipe, click here. 330 calories per serving? Yes!!

2) Inexpenive book shelves as shoe racks! My husband would totally appreciate this idea. The poor thing is always picking up my shoes around the house and telling me I need more shoe storage. And since I have a pretty nice sized closet, I may be putting something like this together in the near future!

3) Thoughts of summer! ALL I've been thinking about is this upcomg spring and summer. I'm a South Texas girl, which means from May to August, I practically live in my bikini! I love spring/summer clothing lines the best and cannot keep away from diet lemonade, flip flops, and any body of water (a pool, the lake, the beach, etc.). I love this summer outfit and it makes my skin ache to be tan again!


4) My Fitness Pal! If you're looking for an iPhone/iPad app to help you keep you eating/calorie counting in check, then let me recommend My Fitness Pal. I'm loving this app! I'm a little in love with all salty and spicy foods, which is ok in moderation, but I'm not a very good moderator. Since I'm going to be training for a half marathon soon, I wanted to start eating a little healthier and this app is helping me.

5) Curtains from World Market! I haven't hung any curtains in our living room just yet because I haven't found any I like. It hasn't been too bad, since we don't have a ton of windows in our living room, but when I saw my husband attempting to hang a sheet on our one large window to block the sun, this girl got the hint. :) I've been looking online and I think I may have just found some cutains! I love these and these from World Market. We don't have any patterns on our furniture (all solid colors), so I think pattern curtains would be perfect! Now, to just decide which ones...

What are you loving this Wednesday??

16 January 2012

Miscellany Monday: Weekend Edition

Today is going to be rough after the relaxing weekend I had. Why is it that the weekends go by so quickly and the weeks so slow? One of life's mysteries, I guess. :)

1) The puppies got a lot of lovin' and got to play outside a ton this weekend, which resulted in some pretty sweet naps. Normally our babies have to hang out in the house without us because Luke and I are both at work, but they had me home all day Saturday. Good times for momma and the pups!

{Sleepy heads and partners in crime}

{It's tiring chasing around a puppy all morning}

{Lazy Bentley Roo}

2) On Sunday, Luke and I made a special trip in HEB Plus to buy "fancy" groceries. And by fancy, I mean not the dinky Super S in OG whose "produce" (if you can call it that) lasts 24 hours before growing fuzz. No offense OG--your Super S saves me often when I've forgotten to plan dinner and frozen pizzas are a must. For this I am thankful. :)

For the first time in my life, I made a grocery list tailored to the 5 dinner meals I plan on cooking this week. This was good for me, because I so easily drift away from the vegetables and over to the chip or dessert aisles. Fail! My list (and the husband) helped me stay focused though. One of the meals I planned to make was white-bean chili and this ended up becoming Sunday night's dinner. 


{Final product. So YUM! And only 245 calories per serving.}

{And for dessert...vanilla yogurt with strawberry granola and blue berries!}

So, the rest of my miscellany isn't necessarily weekend related...

3) I'm loving my new tennis shoes! I've been a Mizzuno girl for a while, but after trying on every pair of Mizzunos in Corpus, I couldn't decide on a pair I liked. I did, however, stumble across a pair of Brooks that felt really good when I tried them on. Luke wears Brooks and loves them, so I decided to give this pair a try. So far, so good! They give me great support and I think they'll be good for that half marathon I've decided to run in 2012!!

4) I'm attempting to stop drinking coffee and let me just say that it has been ROUGH. I've had a pretty consistent headache since Thursday and I'm not the biggest fan. I'm replacing coffee with hot tea, which seems to help a little, but it's definitely not the same. Blah.

5) I'm buying a desk!! I'm pretty excited about this. My friend, Holly, is having a baby in a couple of months and in preparing the baby room, she is selling an old computer desk. Except, it's not that old and it's cute! The desk is from World Market and hardly has a scratch. I'm pretty pumped to take this off her hands. The nerd in me has been dying for a "work space" in the house and now I finaly have a reason to remove our Christmas tree from the new office nook and replace it with adesk. Yes, the tree is still up. Don't judge.

6) Last night, a college friend of mine (Sarah!!) who knows I'd love to run a half-marathon this year, suggested that I run the the Rock-N-Roll Nashville half-marathon with her. And I'm seriously considering it! I have a $100 voucher for Southwest that must be used this year, so why not?? Plus, this race benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the charity that mine and Sarah's soroity raised money for while we were in college. I don't know if I'll be ready by the end of April, but Sarah passed along her training schedule, which starts in February. Hey, you've got to set goals, right? Now is as good of a time as any!

Hope everyone has a blessed Monday!!

15 January 2012

I am not crafty, but I made a craft.

I am so not crafty. Because God did not bless me with this particular skill, He gave me artsy, crafty friends like Aubrey and Cat (whole I solely rely for all house decorating ideas!). However, I have managed to find a DIY pin on Pinterest that seemed harmless enough, put my own spin on it, and viola! I completed a craft!!! And it doesn't look half bad, if I do say so myself. Check out my new jewelry board:

So, here's how this little project went down. I have had this old cork board since I was in high school. Many pictures, special notes, dried flowers, and awards have hung from this old guy, but as of the last year or so, I haven't had any need for him. I also have a ton of necklaces that had yet to find their home in the new house and I had been trying to decide how to organize them. Enter Pinterest.

I had seen a pin on Pinterest using a cork board as a jewelry holder, but it used a patterned fabric to bring life to a cork board. I chose scrap booking paper instead, which I found super easy to work with (and super cheap!). My husband bought me some white spray paint and push pins and I went to town!

First, I spray painted the frame of the cork board. This took 2-3 layers of paint to finally look completely white.

After the board was dry, I laid down the scrap book paper and positioned it the way I liked. Using a miniature stapler, I stapled down the paper strategically so that the staples didn't really show, but the paper was securely fastened.

Next, I laid out my jewelry on the board to make sure it all fit. Then I attached the push pins in their proper position. Luke helped me hang the final project on the wall in our bedroom next to my side of the bed. Once it was hung, I put my jewelry on it!

This project turned out so much better than I imagined! Now, I know this may not be the most difficult DIY project you've ever seen, but hey--it's me! I love the way it turned out and I'm proud to see something I created hanging on the wall. Plus, I think the total project cost less than $10. Woohoo!!

11 January 2012


I have new motivation to start prepping for bikini season. It's only January, you say? Well, it takes me a while (ha!). Plus, I've had a series of motivational events occur, which in turn has pumped me up. It's time to start thinking about Summer 2012!

A couple of days ago, a sorority sister of mine posted on her Facebook about Needtobreathe's newest album and how this was the perfect music to listen to while working out. I had just been thinking about how it was time to update the workout playlist on my iPod (thanks for the tip Natalie!), so I decided to take the chance and buy the album. I've only listened to a couple of songs, but I'm already loving this music. Time to get on that treadmill!

Today was gorgeous! There is nothing like a high of 75 and abundant sunshine to make you want to skip work and lay out on the beach instead (this girl is TOTALLY dreamin')!! So, I settled for the sunroof down while I drove around town this afternoon. It was blissful!

So, after I had discovered new workout music and was teased by South Texas' bipolar winter weather, I bought a salad for lunch. Whhaaattt?! Shocking, I know. Don't worry, I didn't make it too healthy. It was from McDonalds, after all. All joking aside, it was a yummy salad! I may buy another sometime. :)

Besides working out and eating healthier, I've been thinking about little ways that I can take better care of my body. I drink way too much coffee and diet coke. I'm sure the amount of caffeine that my body thinks it needs to function is abnormal. So, I've decided that one small cup of coffee in the morning before work is all I get. I knew that this decision would be difficult, so I decided to buy myself a prize to reward good behavior. Check out this guy:

It's a Brita water bottle! There is a filter inside so that I can get water from the water fountain at work and it will be filtered before I drink it. Cool, huh? With a fun water drinking system, I'm going to trick my mind into thinking that water > coffee. Wish this addict luck. :)

And last, but not least, I need new running shoes. Badly. I've had mine for over 3 years and they are worn out. I love them, but it may be time to retire the old Mizzunos for a new pair. I won a little competition at work which resulted in an unexpected $100 prize. Cha-ching! New running shoes will hopefully be purchased shortly. I'm thinking about these:

Plus, remember that half marathon I decided to run in 2012? I need to get going on that training and these running shoes would be a great place to start!

So, no excuses ladies! It's time for this blogger to get out of the winter funk and start a more consistent workout/healthy eating routine. I have new workout music, sunshine, a super cool water bottle, and hopefully some new running shoes in the near future. 2012 bikini body, here I come!

{I'm hoping that by setting this goal "out loud" on the blog, it may actually motivate me to stick with it. If you set no goals, you'll reach them every time, right?}

06 January 2012

That time I was given a free iPad.

That title got your attention right? I mean, how does someone just get a free iPad? Well, I did! And there is definitely a cool story behind it.  :)

In December, I had a great opportunity to travel with my manager and another rep from the station to Phoenix, Arizona for a sales training. Cordillera Communications, the company that owns the TV station I work for, sent new hires from it's 13 TV stations around the country to participate in a Jim Doyle Upgrade Selling seminar. Jim Doyle & Associates is an amazing team of sales and marketing consultants who teach companies, business owners, and TV reps like myself to increase the results of advertising. I can honestly say that after 2 days of training, my brain was on advertising overload! I took a ton of notes and soaked up every opportunity to learn from these professionals and their real-world experience. I also loved getting to know other reps that work for the same company I do, just in other states. Overall, this was a great experience.

 {I had my own hotel room for two nights. King bed all to myself = fabulous!}

{Dinner in Downtown Tempe on our first night}

{I woke up to mountains. This was a different experience for this Texas girl}

{Amber, myself, and our new friend from Lafayette, Heather, out at dinner with the entire group on the second night}

{The KRIS team with Jim Doyle}

So now, I'm sure you're wondering about the iPad. We're almost there!

On the first full day of training, the president of Cordillera Communications, who was also in Phoenix with us, took a few minutes around 10 a.m. to get all of the TV stations on one conference call. The purpose of this call was to announce the winners of the 2011 President's Club Award. The winners of this award are recognized for their many accomplishments throughout the year, may it be meeting and going beyond their goals/budget, billing outstanding numbers of new business, etc. It was announced that these winners would not only be receiving a plaque with their names on it, but would also be receiving a new iPad 2 from the company! Whoa!!! I thought this was a pretty sweet deal for those winners and even sweeter when all of a sudden, MY NAME WAS ANNOUNCED! I was floored. What? I won?? I mean, I had had a great year and I work for great people who have taught me so much and believe in me (which I truly believe is a key to success), but I definitely wasn't expecting to win such a cool award. And this is how I won a free iPad.:)

Crazy, huh? The iPad arrived yesterday and I love it! I'd like to think this is God's way of rewarding me for planting my feet firmly where He has called me and persevering through what has been a huge learning curve professionally in 2011. It felt really good to be reminded that hard work pays off. :)

{Hello iPad 2}

03 January 2012

I guess I should mention a few resolutions...

Can you believe it's 2012?! Actually, I can. :)

As wonderful and blessed as 2011 was (our wedding, honeymoon, job growth, a new puppy, etc...), I am looking into 2012 with a refreshed perspective on life. 2011 was stressful. There was a lot of growing up to do and I must say that I'm pretty proud of Luke and I for making it through.

I know I'm a little late in writing a post about my goals for 2012, but I promise I've been thinking about these a lot. So, without further ado... 

Sara's 2012 Goals

1) Travel, travel, travel! I have waited for this time in my life for nearly 25 years. I'm young, educated, employed, married, and have zero children. It is time for my husband to steal me away to exciting cities! I want to visit Chicago, San Diego, and Nashville. I want to go back to New York this year at least once, if not 2 or 3 times. I'm already planning mine and Luke's 1 year anniversary trip (but not to NYC). I can't tell you where we are going yet, but it's going to be amazing!

2) Be a better friend. 2011 has felt a little too "all about me." My wedding, my honeymoon, my job, my life. I'm ready to turn the focus around quite a bit. I want to rejoice in my friends' and family's successes and joys. I have a friend getting married in August and I can't wait to be there for her. I have a sister graduating early from college (potentially) this year and I can't wait to celebrate that accomplishment. I have friends that are on the cusp of exciting life changes and I can't wait to see where the Lord takes them. 2012 needs to be less about me and more about others. Please hold me to this. I mean it. :)

3) Cook at least 2 nights per week FROM SCRATCH (not Chicken Viola, frozen chicken strips, etc). I want to be the kind of wife that my husband says, "Whoa. That woman I married--she can COOK!" Wish me luck, ha!

4) Pay off all debt, minus Luke's student loans and my car. These are our two largest bills, so to speak, so monthly payments are just going to have to do for now. But everything else? I want it GONE. Luke's medical bills from his motorcycle accident? Gone. Our two credit card bills? Gone. Luke's car payment? Gone. I. WANT. THEM. GONE!!!! And thanks to our new budget that we've put together, I totally believe that Luke and I are going to accomplish this goal. Yay!!!

5) Train for and run a half-marathon. I really, really want to accomplish this. Mainly because I want one of those 13.1 stickers for the back of my car. :) And because each time I see other people accomplish such a goal, I ask myself why I'm not trying. Running a half-marathon is totally do-able for me. I just need to go DO IT.

6) Pack my lunch for work at least 2 days per week. This might sound a little silly to you, but it sort of goes back to the whole saving money thing. I spend way too much money eating out. So, I'm cutting back.

7) Learn to use my SLR at an intermediate level (at least). For Christmas 2009, my mother bought me a beautiful Nikon D5000 to take to New York for my semester abroad. It takes beautiful pictures, but I don't know how to USE it, ya know? I can point and click, but I want to learn how to adjust all the fancy settings and to make pictures look a certain way. See, I don't even know the vocabulary!

Ok, that's only 7, but I can't think of any others at this point. I know there are more, but it's 10:30pm and I still have to go run before I can hit the sack. Hold me to my goals, ok blogger friends? You don't know how encouraging your comments and kind words can be. :)

And one last thing: my blog made a little appearance over here today. Check it out and give Breanna a little love. Thanks!

02 January 2012

I encourage others to spend money.

In the last two days, I have had two sweet ladies @reply to my twitter handle, saying thanks for blogging about some recent purchases. After reading the love confession I wrote on my blog about my new Erin Condren day planner, Stacey purchased one to help her organize her days as a working woman and new momma (to the most precious little girl!). My Delta sister, Paige, read my blog post about purchasing a new pillow top for our bed with Christmas money and has now purchased one for her and her husband. How sweet is this??

P.S. Who isn't paying me for helping promote sales? If you're this person, please give me a call. I'd love to collect! Tee hee. :)

But in all seriousness, I love hearing that my blog helps others (even if it helps them spend money, ha!). Encouraging comments to bloggers really makes their day! And thanks for reading the ol' blog Stacey and Paige. You two are some pretty incredible ladies and I'm proud to call you friends!