28 May 2012

Blog makeover...FINALLY!

I'm so excited to announce that the ol' blog is about to get a serious make-over! 
{I know, I know, it needs it, fo' reals.}

I'm working with Bobbi over at Today, I'm Bobbi.
You should check out her blog. She's super cute! And, she'll be giving my blog a nice facelift. :)

I can't wait to reveal the new look once it's finished!!!

20 May 2012

Chicken Fingers with Curried Ketchup

Since before I can remember, my mom has been cooking my sisters and I chicken fingers with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy. This was one of those meals that became a staple in our family. As a newer wife, I'm still trying to figure out which meals will become those staples in my own home.

If you're a new wife, or just new to cooking, The Food Network website is amazing! You can find quick, easy, and healthy recipes in seconds, which is definitely appealing to me! When I came across this Chicken Fingers with Curried Ketchup recipe, I immediately wrote down the list of ingredients needed to pull it off. This recipe was super easy, definitely healthy (only 330 calories per serving!), and gave chicken tenders a fun twist.


  • cooking spray
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1.5 to 1.75 lbs., cut into 1-inch-wide strips)
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • juice of 1 lime

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a rack on a baking sheet and mist with cooking spray. Whisk the eggs, mustard, 1 teaspoon curry powder, the cumin and 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl. Mix the panko with 1/2 teaspoon curry powder in another bowl.
  • Dip the chicken strips in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then coat with the panko. Place the chicken on the rack and mist all over with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot with a steamer rack or basket in place. Add the broccoli, cover and steam until crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Mix the ketchup, lime juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon curry powder in a small bowl. Serve the chicken strips with the curried ketchup and broccoli.
(**Ingredients and directions from FoodNetwork.com)

 {Instagramed pictures of my own success with this recipe}

I hope you will try this recipe and then let me know what you think! My husband is a big guy and tends to eat us out of house and home, so I normally make about 2lbs. of chicken tenders. If he doesn't eat it all, then I just pack it for lunch the next day! I also have a super easy garlic mashed potatoes recipe that I will substitute for the broccoli, just to change things up.


18 May 2012

Beach To Bay

This weekend, I'm running in my first race since the half marathon. To be completely honest, I didn't really work out the first two weeks after the half. I thought it only fair to give my body a little break from running since I had just pushed it to the limit. However, this probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. As my fellow runners can atest, two weeks off after extensive training means that you lose consistancy in your pace and you must rebuild endurance. Ouch! Let's just say that during my 4 mile run yesterday, you never would have guessed that I had run a half marathon 3 weeks prior. Woops!

Beach To Bay is one of my favorite races of all time! It was the very first race I ever ran and I've only missed one race (due to my college graduation) in 8 years of running. This will be my second year to run on the KRIS-TV team. This race is a relay marathon, which means 6 people all run about 4.5 miles and pass a baton from start to finish. I'm running leg 3 (again, my favorite!) which takes me over the water and JFK causeway as the sun is rising. I'm seriously so pumped!

After the race, I'm headed home to help my hubby in any way possible. You see, a few of his co-workers are on a mission trip to Guatemala. A few others are in East Texas for the director's son's wedding. So Luke and a couple of other guys are holding down the fort and running the weekend on a less-than-full staff. He's amazing and I have no doubt that he could run camp with his hands tied behind his back, but poor Luke is so incredibly drained by the end of the day. After the race, I've got to put on my super wife cape and get to work! :)

What are you up to this weekend? Any fun plans? I'd love to hear!

14 May 2012

weekend recap + anniversary + vegas!

How was your weekend? I hope it was wonderful! Luke and I had an awesome weekend. Probably one of the best in a while, if I'm completely honest. For the first time in what feels like forever, Luke had an entire Saturday off. WHAT?! Yes, we got to spend two entire days together! With summer (Luke's busy season) around the corner, we know weekends like this are going to become even fewer and more far between. So, we took advantage of our time. :)

{Dinner at P.F. Changs}

On Saturday, we slept late, went for a ride around the lake, layed out by the pool that afternoon, and then went into Corpus for a date night. On Sunday, we slept in a little, I went for a quick run, and then we took off to Hallettsville to visit family for Mother's Day. It was great to see my seeesters. I hadn't realized how much I have been missing them!! We talked about our upcoming family trip to Vegas in August to celebrate Claire's graduation from Baylor. She's graduating an entire year early (over-achiever!!). Claire found an amazing hotel rate at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and the family is already making plans to see shows, lay out by the pool, and eat at amazing restaurants. Luke and I are getting pumped for our first trip to Vegas!

{Yes, please.}

And speaking of trips...our first anniversary is around the corner! I have been trying to plan a getaway for Luke and I for a while now, but life has just been crazy. I went to NYC in March and Nashville in April. With Vegas in August, our plane ticket budget is running a little low. So, instead of hopping a plane, Luke and I decided that we are going to drive up to the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch Resort in San Antonio for few days. We have heard many friends rant and rave about this resort and its 800 ft. lazy river. Luke and I can't wait to get away for a few days in June to celebrate our 1st year of marriage!

{Can't wait to relax here!}

So, I guess you could say that I spent my weekend hanging out with Luke AND planning a few trips, ha! But hey--I told y'all that traveling more was a 2012 resolution for me. Plus, my job gets pertty busy around the holidays, so I have to take my vacation days when I can. I guess it's time to start my next half-marathon training plan. Looks like there is a lot of bikini and cute dress wearing in my future!

11 May 2012


I've been obsessing over this song lately. I heard it on Adele Pandora not too long ago and just had to download it. "City" has been getting me through this Friday. I hope you fall in love with this song as quickly as I have (if you haven't already!). Happy weekend. :)

03 May 2012

Music City Marathon: My First Half!

So, as many of you have already read, I flew up to Nashville this past weekend to run in my very first half marathon. It was amazing!! I never thought in a million years that this sprinter would become a legit, long-distance runner, but yes, it has happened. To say that I'm proud of myself is an understatement. Throughout my life, I've set many goals. Some I've achieved; others have fallen through because of a lack of commitment (a tough confession, I assure you). To set my heart and mind on training for a half marathon and to then cross that finish line was unlike anything I have ever felt. I was actually a little emotional! I'm still on my runner's high just a bit, which means I'm insane enough to be researching my next half. I may need to go to RA (Runners Anonymous).

Last Thursday, I left work a little early to drive to San Antonio and catch a flight to Nash. I didn't get in until around 10:30pm, so my adventure really didn't begin until Friday morning. I was staying with my friend Sarah, so on Friday morning I dropped her off at work and she let me take her car into Franklin, a suburb of Nashville. I did a little shopping and met up with some friends at a cute little restaurant called Merridees.

{With The Rippkes at breakfast}

After hanging out in Franklin, I picked Sarah back up from work and we went to go pick up my race packet at the convention center. I'm so glad we went mid-afternoon because by the time we were leaving, the line was wrapped around the building!

{Sarah creeped on me to get this pic, ha!}

After picking up my race packet, Sarah and I stopped by my friend Helena's office. Helena and I both lived and interned in New York at the same time and were both a part of the Baylor in New York program. I hadn't seen her in so long and it was really fun to get to see where she works!

That evening, Sarah and I grabbed dinner at World Market and called it an early night. I was so tired from the work week and traveling that my body was begging for a good night's rest before the half marathon. No joke--we went to bed at 9pm. It was fabulous!

I woke up on race day feeling great. Sarah ran in the mini-marathon, which began at 6:45am (mine didn't start until about 7:20am), so we left her house around 5:20am to find good parking. We arrived in plenty of time, so we checked her bag and found her place at the starting line. After I left Sarah at the beginning of her race, I did the most logical next step: found the port-a-potties. Yikes! The lines were outrageous and of course with 27,000+ anxious/nervous runners, you can imagine the unpleasant experience! But hey--it's part of it. I made my way to corral 14, which was where I chilled until the race began. This half did a staggered start, which means they started us in groups based on how fast we would run the race. I was in the 2.5 hour group.

{At this point, I was a bundle of anxious nerves!}

{Approaching the starting line}

Wow, I had gotten myself into something else! This race was no joke. Almost immediately after starting the race, I got a shin splint in my left leg. I thought I was going to die! I just kept praying that it would work itself out because if it didn't, I knew I wouldn't be able to finish the 13.1 miles. But by mile marker 2, I was good. At mile marker 5, I felt my body hit that wall where you go from making an effort to autopilot. I set into my rhythm and jammed out to my music. I got a sip of Gatorade at every other mile and this seemed to help with hunger/lack of calories. At the 10 mile marker, this is where the race became a mental challenge. While training, I had only ever run up to 10 miles. At this point, I was fighting against my body. I was NOT going to walk! After mile 11, I was still moving. Mile 12 was a little slower, but I could feel the finish line. But as I made the last turn at mile marker 12 to begin my 13th mile, I saw my worst enemy: a steep, inclining hill. I was so mad! My left big toe had a huge blister that I could feel throbbing, my right hip felt like it was going to pop out of socket, and my feet felt like they were barefoot and slapping cement with every step. I felt my body begin to give out and at that point, I had to walk. So I walked as quickly as I could uphill for about half a mile, and then ran in the last .6 of the race. I thought I would feel like crap if I walked, but to be honest with you, it hardly made a difference! Plus, I RAN 12 STRAIGHT MILES! Something I have never done before! I finished the race with a time of 2:37:45 and I'm super proud of this.

{After the race. Happy girl!}

{With Sarah after the race}

The first thing we did after leaving the race was go to lunch. 13.1 miles not only wears you out, but also makes you EXTREMELY hungry! We ate tacos, chips, and queso (my fav!) at San Antonio Taco Company a.k.a. "Sat-Co." This food hit the spot for sure. I mean, come on, I'm a South Texas girl. Of course I would want Mexican food after my first half!

{So yum!}

After lunch, we went back to Sarah's house, showered, and then napped for 2 hours. This was probably the best nap of my life! Once I finally woke up, my body hurt so bad. I seriously thought I wasn't going to be able to walk. Slowly but surely, I climbed out of bed and dressed up a little for a night out in Nashville. Sarah and I grabbed some coffee and just caught up on life. Then, we picked up one of Sarah's co-workers, who went to dinner with us at Whiskey Kitchen (such a fun place!). After dinner we met up with more of Sarah's friends for drinks and just had a great time hanging out.

I flew back to Texas on Sunday morning, but not before grabbing coffee and breakfast at my favorite coffee shop in Nashville, Fido! Luke and I made a quick stop here during a layover in Nashville on our honeymoon. I had fun reminiscing! I was back in Texas by 1:30pm and home by 3:30pm. It was a quick, but amazingly fun weekend!

I still can't believe that just 5 days ago I completed my first half marathon. It seems so surreal now. I have had so many people congratulate me and I really appreciate that! This was an amazing experience and I cannot wait to sign up for my naxt half (crazy, I know!). If you have any questions about the Rock-N-Roll Marathon series, running in Nashville, or running a half marathon in general, let me know! I'd love to share more about my experience with you. :)

02 May 2012

Birthday Boy

Happy 26th birthday to my absolute favorite guy in the entire world...

Dear Birthday Boy,

I'm so glad you were born. I'm so thankful that the Lord orchestrated it so that we would be able to spend the rest of our lives together. Today, I was looking back through old pictures of us from our early dating years and we look so young. We were babies, really. And now here we are, "old" and married, ha! I know you don't really like birthdays and the way I make such a big deal about them because you like being young and hate the thought of growing older. But hey--it's inevitable, so I'm glad that we get to grow old together. I'm crazy about 26-year-old Luke. He's already my favorite. :)

I can't wait to eat cake and hang out with you tonight. It's a bummer that you have to work, but we'll make up for it soon. I love you like a crazy person!


{Just babies; about a year into dating}

01 May 2012

May Sponsor Swap!

Good morning lovely bloggers! This month I'm changing it up. After trying out the whole "charging for sponsorships" thing, I've decided it really isn't for me. So, from here on out, I'm just going to be sponsor swapping! If you'd like to swap buttons with me for the month of May, please send me an email at thehintonhookup@gmail.com. I'd love to feature you and your blog!

In other news, a post about this past weekend's half marathon is on the horizon. Be keeping a look out! But to hold you over until then, here is a picture of my awesome bling that I received after the race...

{What what!}

Happy Tuesday y'all!