Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fried Catfish!

I'm confident in the kitchen, but not when it comes to fried food. It's pretty intimidating! The whole "I could burn my apartment down if this goes wrong" thing is pretty scary, BUT I've had some frying success since July. I've gotten pretty good at Pioneer Woman's fried chicken, and I just tried fried catfish, and boy was it good, so I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Not the greatest picture ever, but you get the idea- it's yummy! (Even if I did make ginormous hush puppies)

Daddy's Hush Puppies (a family favorite)

1 whole onion (finely chopped)
1/8 cup oil (just a dab)
3/4-1/2 cup Self Rising Flour
3/4-1/2 cup Corn Meal
(you want equal parts of flour and corn meal)
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper generously

1. Beat egg
2. Add dry ingredients (this includes onions)
3. Add milk until it reaches a thick pancake consistency (or cake batter consistency- it'll be
kind of thin)
4. Fry -- I don't have good instructions for this, but tonight I fried them with the oil at 375.
They don't take long, just let them fry until they are golden brown and flip them in between.

Fried Catfish (I adapted this from a recipe on Food

3/4 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1/8 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
1/3 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Catfish Filets
Oil for frying

1. Mix all the seasonings, cornmeal, and flour together.
2. The original recipe didn't call for this, but I seasoned the filets with seasoned salt and
pepper before dredging. I also cut the catfish into smaller pieces.
3. Dredge filets in the cornmeal mixture.
4. Fry -- with the oil at 375 degrees, I did about 2 minutes per side.

Another tip for frying-- I use my dutch oven for frying, and I don't go too crazy on the oil. I can't tell you the exact amount but I think it's probably around 3/4" or so. With the dutch oven, too, you can put the top on while your frying-- but beware, that makes it get a lot hotter in the pot, so you don't want it on high heat or anything when you do that. And I generally never put it on high heat when I'm frying- it just gets the oil too hot, I think (but this is a frying novice speaking, here). Be careful!

I hope ya'll enjoy these recipes :) We sure did!

Love from Houston,

J & L

Christmas at the Holloways!

I don't have a lot to say about our decorations, just that I am so excited to share my first Christmas with Lan. It's important to me that we have our own Christmas and start our own Christmas traditions. To me, this is part of establishing our family :)

To that end, we celebrated early (on the 11th). Little did I know that Lan planned it this way because of the nature of my presents-- most of them are Christmas oriented (yay for Christmas tree dishes!) and he wanted me to be able to use them this year (how sweet is that?). This was the Christmas extravaganza weekend - Bible Study party, Christmas, Symphony, Church Christmas Program, and Sunday School party. We were really tired after, but it was a great weekend! Fun was had by all.

On Wednesday, we go back to Mississippi to celebrate with our families. Can't wait! I'll have more to report on this next time.

So, here are some pictures of our Christmas decorations!

Christmas tree area :) We didn't have room for a big tree, so we have this little one. Notice all the MSU ornaments (Hail State!). The frame on the table says "Tis the Season to be Jolly."

Close up on the tree.

My favorite ornament--Lan's mom gave us this ornament and I wanted a close up of it, because it's so darn cute!!

I bought this platter last year at Stewart's Florist and just love it. It says "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger... He was named Jesus" - Luke 2:7,21

We got this while we were in Clinton for Thanksgiving, and it's so cute! It's a glass platter.

These 2 shots are of a Christmas bowl I painted at my Bible Study Girl's night. I love it! I just wish it was a little bigger- our bananas don't really fit in it very well.

Low budget centerpiece (well, not the bowl part). We keep this bowl on our coffee table all year and I wanted to make it more "Christmasy" so I put these ornaments in it. They came from one of those massive packs of ornaments you can get at Wal Mart (they were leftover from last year, but are so cheap). When you get close, you can tell the ornaments aren't great quality, but from a distance, it looks pretty nice! I've gotten a couple of compliments on it!

Merry Christmas all!

L & J

Thanksgiving and Tales of my Canton Adventure

Thanksgiving was a couple of weeks ago, so I feel obligated to say a bit about it... We traveled back to Mississippi, which wasn't our original plan, seeing as how we only had 2 days of vacation. We left on Wednesday and came back on Sunday. It was a nice trip! Not very long at each house, but it was nice to see everyone. And, it's not that long until we go back for Christmas and get to see even more family!

We have decorated for Christmas (yay!), so be expecting an upcoming Christmas blog with apartment pics.

Ok, now to the main purpose of my post... Canton. I have discovered my new favorite thing about Texas--Canton. Canton is a town a little (under an hour, I think?) outside Dallas. The first weekend of every month, they hold a trade days. It's kind of a big deal.

Basically what happens is this. They have a massive trade days area (and I mean massive- we were there from 10:30 to about 4:30 and didn't see everything there was to see) and vendors come from all over and set up shop. You have some really nice areas, with nice antiques, things for the home, etc, and you have some outdoor areas that are more like a flea market (anything and everything). Oh, and everyone and their mother goes. Like I said, kind of a big deal.

Our friend Emily invited me to go this weekend with one of her other friends and some of her family. It was SO FUN. Emily's family had all been to Canton before, so I was happy to be with people that really knew what they were doing and where they were going! I had a great time, and will definitely be going back.

And, I got some cool things...

I guess you would call this a candle holder. It's silver and glass. The dots you see in the picture are flecks out of the silver lining in the glass container. You put a candle inside and the light shines through and it's really pretty!

Soup and dip mix vendors are pretty popular at events like this, and we visited a really good one while we were there! They had lots of yummy samples, so I selected a dip mix and a soup mix-- Cheesy Chicken Enchilada and Southland Spinach dip. Both were REALLY yummy. For my Chi Omega sisters, the cheesy chicken enchilada soup tasted a lot like the Chicken Enchilada soup at the Chi O house, so I am really exciting about the mix!

This is a sugar mold. They were really popular at Canton, and are really cool! It's a wooden block with 5 holes. Inside the holes are bronze tins. You can use it in a variety of ways. In the holes, you can put candles, flowers, or even silverware (for serving lines or the table). They had all these on display, and I really liked the way it looked. I am really excited about this one!!

So that's Canton... Coming up for us is our big Christmas weekend-- Friday night is our Bible Study Christmas Party, Saturday, we are celebrating Christmas and going to the symphony, and Sunday we have Celebration at Houston's First (their big Christmas production), and our Sunday School Christmas Party. We are going to be Christmas'ed out. And I am excited :)

Love from Houston!

J & L

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Been a While

Boy oh boy, I have been a slacker. I guess we've been pretty busy and I've let blogging fall by the wayside. But, here's an update on our life.

We've fallen into a pretty steady routine. Sundays, we go to Newlywed Sunday School class and church at First Baptist. Mondays and Tuesdays we either enjoy a night at home or visit with friends (sometimes going places to meet them, sometimes inviting friends over for dinner). Wednesdays, we go to bible study in Katy -- Wednesday is one of our favorite nights a week, because we love spending time with our bible study friends! Thursdays are TV night (Greys, The Office, Outsourced, It's Always Sunny, Big Bang Theory, Community-- we watch lots of TV). And we usually fill our weekends with spending time with friends and running errands.

It's sad, but I can't really tell you specifically what we've been doing the past couple weeks, but I can tell you that we haven't had a lot of free nights at home! We stay busy.

I guess the biggest news in our life this week has been our decision to go to Colorado with some of our friends from bible study!! We are so excited. Neither of us have ever been to Colorado or been snow skiing, so this is a really exciting trip for us! We are going MLK Day weekend (though neither Lan nor I get MLK Day off). We are staying in a really nice looking condo and can't wait to try our hand at skiing (and tubing!) and play in the snow.

I would post a google picture of the place we're going, but I'm afraid of copyright laws. Just search Keystone, Colorado River Run. That's where we're going!

Up for us this week -- back to Mississippi for Thanksgiving (can you believe it's here already??) and shortly after, Harry Potter (wish you were here, Lindsay).

Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's New

Ok. After this blog, I will finally be caught up! Here's what we've been up to for the last couple of weeks...

Last weekend, we visited Lan's aunt and uncle in Beaumont, TX. The original purpose of this trip was to see Lan's cousin, Emory, play football. He had a game in Houston earlier this fall that we went to, but we barely got to see him play because he had an infection in his hand. So, we decided to try again. But, alas, he was injured again (this time with a foot injury). We've decided that we must be bad luck...

But, even though we didn't get to see Emory play, we had fun at the game and had a really great weekend! On Saturday, Lan's uncle took Lan and his other cousin, Ethan, hunting. I stayed with Lan's aunt and we went to a tailgate party at their church.

Oh, and we ate. Lots and lots of yummy, yummy food. Bean dip, sausage/blueberry breakfast casserole, grilled chicken.. the list goes on. In summary, the food was awesome.

On Sunday, we went to Lan's uncle's church and heard him preach, which was fun because I have never heard him preach in person before. So, overall, the trip was great, and we look forward to a trip back at some point!

This weekend, Lan returned to Mississippi to see MSU take down KY (7-2!!), and I stayed home. On Friday, our bible study had a Halloween party, which was really fun! Yesterday, I volunteered with my friend Anne Marie at our church's fall festival. We worked one of the many bounce houses. We had a good time. Other than that, my weekend has been pretty low key. Some shopping and lots of TV.

I don't think we have any big plans coming up in the next few weekends, which is actually really great. It's nice just to enjoy being at home!

In other news, I have a recipe I'd like to share. For my MSU Chi Omega sisters, this recipe reminds me of apple crisp (but better!), so you should try it! Some of you know that I was never a big fan of apple crisp. I tried, I really did, but most of the time, I would pass my apple crisp on to a deserving sister, like Laura Ficken. But, I tried this recipe and fell in love! It is SO YUMMY! I made it for our bible study last week, and everyone really liked it, so I think you would to.

The recipe is from the October issue of Southern living (check it out-- it has 5 stars!!):

I made it with browned-butter icing.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, but there's one on SL's website. I was a little concerned about making this because of all the "apple work." I've never been as good as my mom or grandma at slicing/peeling apples, so that part was pretty labor intensive, but oh, was it worth it. Try it. As soon as possible. You won't regret it.

Love from Houston!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Last week, I had a revelation. The first sign that I was really adjusting to Texas culture. I decided that I wanted to eat... (wait for it)... a breakfast burrito. My normal thoughts on breakfast burritos go something like this, "That's weird. I'll take my eggs and breakfast sausage on a biscuit, please." But this time, I almost craved it (odd, since I have never eaten a breakfast burrito before).

It's confusing to come to a place with new food that you know nothing about. For instance, what will I eat on my breakfast burrito? I don't know what's good on a breakfast burrito. And what's the difference between a breakfast burrito and a breakfast taco? I've always been a little fuzzy on their distinguishing characteristics.

So I had this revelation while driving home from work. When I got home, I shared it with Lan, who was initially hesitant (thinking I was suggesting trying one from McDonald's-- nope, not what I had in mind), but happily agreed when I told him I wanted to go somewhere local.

Though a shroud of mystery surrounds the breakfast burrito, I look forward to trying it. If it's just egg, meat, cheese, and tortilla, I think I can handle it. Do I think this is a sign that I'm "becoming a Texan?" Not quite, but I am happy to be here. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary SSRC!

Yeah. I'm behind. So sorry. Two weekends ago, I was in Mississippi for the SSRC's 60th anniversary celebration, so that is the theme of this post. First, a little background... May 2008, I started work at the SSRC as the editor of the SSRC's 60th anniversary book. I was given the job by the SSRC's director, Dr. Cosby. I don't normally like to be serious in blog posts, but my experiences at the SSRC are so important to me. Dr. Cosby put me in this position at a time when I was really trying to figure out where God was directing my career, and this position gave me the direction I needed. I will always be so thankful for that opportunity. Anyway, the SSRC was having a big shindig for their anniversary two weeks ago, and Dr. Cosby graciously paid for me to come back and enjoy it (and my current boss graciously gave me the time off!). It was the official "book release" so it was really a cool weekend for me. Here are some pics...

Me with "my book"

Me with my friend Katherine (if you keep up with my blog, this is my friend that introduced me to Pioneer Woman!!)

Some of my work buddies :)

Me and Sangeetha, my SSRC bestie :)

So, I have lots of other updates, but no time to blog about them now! Expect another update this weekend. Lan will be returning to Mississippi for the Kentucky game, so I will have lots of free time :)

Love from Houston!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Things

Everyone loves getting new things, and this weekend, we got THREE new things. And I have pictures to prove it. That's big news.

1. Curtains

I ordered these wayyyy back in August, and they were on back order until last week. I am glad they are finally here! They definitely make the living room look more homey.

2. Purse

Well, I guess this is more of something I got than something "we" got... I have been needing a new purse for a long time, and I wanted to get a nicer one (the lining of my last purse broke about one month in- I would be happy if that never happened again). So ta da! Thanks, Nine West.

3. Chair 1/2 and Ottoman (I saved the best for last!!!!)

We have been thinking about and saving up for this purchase for some time, so it feels really good to finally have this in our living room! It's pretty and comfy and I love it :) Come visit us and we'll let you sit in it. Oh, and Lan and I can both fit in it!! Score.

So those are our new "things." Other exciting things in the Holloway household include our first houseguest, Lan's brother Brandon! He came for his fall break last weekend. I feel like we didn't do anything really exciting (sorry Brandon!). We sat at home and watched TV a lot. But he got to go to our church and meet some of our friends and eat at our favorite restaurant, so we had fun! Thanks for coming, Brandon!

This weekend, the Bulldogs are coming to Houston!! How perfect!! And I don't just mean the football team. Our friends Anna, Kim and Ben are also coming to visit for the game! It should be an eventful weekend. There's an alumni tailgate before the game (free food=yay!), which I'm sure will be fun. Good times will ensue.

Then, next weekend, I'm heading back to Mississippi for the SSRC's 60th Anniversary celebration. I am really glad that I was able to get off for this and I can't wait to see all my SSRC friends, college friends, and my family! Yay!

Well, that's all for now. Love from Houston!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Cooked a Chicken

I cooked a chicken. Not just a chicken breast. A whole chicken. This is a first! And it was a success. I wouldn't say that I made up the recipe, I just put something together based on other recipes I'd read. Here's what I did.

We got a two pack of cornish hens for this project. They look really small, but we cooked one and it was the perfect size for us! No leftovers=success. I stuffed the inside of the hen with onions and crushed cloves of garlic, then I coated the outside of the hen with oil and seasoned with sage, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I rubbed the seasonings in, because that's what you're supposed to do. It's a little icky, but I wanted to make sure everything was pretty evenly seasoned. I baked it for an hour at 380 (it's supposed to cook until it has an internal temp of 180- and beautifully golden brown), then I let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

As I was cutting it (which, by the way, is harder than it looks), I realized that I forgot to take a picture. I can't believe I didn't take a picture! It was pretty :) I wish you could have seen it.

In other news, we've got some busy weekends coming up. This weekend, Lan's brother is coming to visit and we're beginning the search for a new chair for the living room (yes, I hope there is another monkey picture in my future!). The next weekend, MSU is playing Houston here so we've got lots of college friends coming to visit. Then, the week after that I'm heading back to Mississippi for the SSRC's 60th anniversary celebration! Busy, busy, busy.

More updates on our life next week. Love from Houston!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mac and Cheesy Goodness

I want to share with you my favorite Mac and Cheese recipe ever. If you love Mac and Cheese (and who doesn't), you will definitely love this recipe. This is a Pioneer Woman recipe. I owe my PW obsession to my friend Katherine. So thanks, Katherine, for opening up the door to PW culinary delights! After hearing of PW's awesomeness, I bought her cookbook (best purchase I ever made), and my junior/senior year roomie and BFF, Sarah, and I started working our way through it. Good times. This recipe is one of Lan's favorites. And it is oh so tasty. Here's the link...

I must say, this can be a little daunting at first, but not to worry, you can handle it (and it's totally worth the work). My advice? Definitely read through it first. Do the prep work (measure everything out) before you start. It also couldn't hurt to recruit some help for your first time, though you can definitely do it on your own (especially if you measure everything out first).

Also, if you're cooking for 2, half the recipe. You have to half an egg (which can be a little confusing- I normally beat the egg then take out what I think looks like half for the recipe), but I do it almost every time and it still tastes great. One other thing we do is leave out the dry mustard (I'm sure it tastes good with it in, but Lan doesn't like mustard, so I leave it out).

A picture...

Yum! (Yep. This is a half recipe.)

We had it with grilled BBQ chicken. Lan seasoned the chicken with Weber Smoky Mesquite seasoning and coated it with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ. This was also quite delicious. I'm getting hungry just looking at the picture.

Well, that's my recipe for the week. As you may have guessed, not much is going on with us right now (which explains the whole blog post related to food). We are taking some time to relax and rest from our busy lives, which is nice. When we start doing exciting things again, though, you'll be the first to know.

Love from Houston!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Married Life

So, I write a lot about things we actually do, but I thought it would be a nice change of pace to write about married life in general. We LOVE married life. Living with your best friend is so worth the wait. We really do have a lot of fun. And laugh. A lot. We laughed together when we were dating, but our laughter has, like, increased twofold since we've been married. I think it makes our marriage that much happier. It's fun to do the little things together. Like grocery shop and watch TV. We are enjoying learning about each other and learning about how to be a good spouse. It's easy to see why God considers marriage to be so important. Not only are we learning more about each other, but we're learning how to be more Christ-like in a way that we didn't when we were single. So, in summary, marriage is awesome. :)

Another fun part of married life is cooking. I get to try lots of new recipes with Lan (though if they involve lots of vegetables or tomatoes, Lan sometimes rejects them...). This is one of those. We made it for the MSU game last night, and I'd like to share it with you. It comes from the Southern Generations cookbook (Starkville JA).

Cheesy Bacon Dip (serves 8 to 10)

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cp mayonnaise
1 cp grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cp butter crackers (Ritz), crushed

Mix together the first 4 ingredients. Transfer to a baking dish. Top with bacon and crackers. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Everyone who ate this last night commented on how tasty it was. I added a little more cheese than it called for and more bacon (yum!). If I had it to do over, I would mix more bacon in the actual dip (the recipe doesn't call for this, but I did it anyway, and I liked it- I just wish I would've put more) and not add so much extra cheese (it made the dip too cheesy- which was tasty, but it made it harder to spread).

Anyway, we have a fun-filled weekend ahead. We're going to visit our friends Chris and Marley in the Woodlands tonight and tomorrow, Lan's aunt and uncle are coming to visit and we're going to see his cousin play football! Fun!

Happy Friday!
Jennifer and Lan

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I Secretly Want to be a Food Blogger

Well, you all know how much I love food. Last week, Lan and I made an amazing dinner, and I felt the need to share the recipes we used with you. But first, some background. A long time ago, I had a steak at Harvey's that was marinaded in soy sauce and pineapple juice. Well, it was delicious, and ever since then, I've been interested in trying a similar marinade, which is how we ran across this Teriyaki Pineapple Juice Marinade from

We have now used this recipe twice (once for the steaks and once on chicken) and have loved it both times. I will say that if you have never cooked with Sesame Seed Oil before, you may be a little surprised. I almost substituted canola oil for it, but they definitely aren't the same. When I added it to the marinade, I instinctively regretted it, because the smell is very strong, but not to worry. Stick with the recipe and it will turn out great. The smell may be strong, but the flavors are balanced in the final product. Also, both times I've made it, I halved the recipe. It was almost too much for the chicken (2 large boneless breasts), but just right for the steak (3 small steaks-- maybe 8 ounces each?).

And, for your viewing pleasure...

The finished product! The picture turned out a tad bit blurry, but it was DELICIOUS.

The second recipe we tried that night was for Grilled Corn Salad. This is a recipe of the Neely's, who I love, so I was not surprised when I loved this recipe. We didn't exactly follow the recipe, though. We left out the arugula. Though I thought it would be delicious, Lan doesn't do salad, so we left it out so he would like it. Also, I didn't really do the Lemon Dressing. I didn't have fresh lemons, and I knew store bought lemon juice wouldn't be a good substitute, so I just tossed the salad in olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper and the Neely's BBQ Seasoning (to taste), though it would have been delicious with just salt and pepper.

One more thing... we halved the recipe, and it was waaaaaay too much for two. We ate it that day, and ate it again with two of our friends last Sunday. So if you're cooking for two, half is probably going to be too much.

The finished corn salad- YUM!

Okay, that's all my food info for now. For those of you not interested in our food life, here's what's new with us... Last weekend, we made a trip to New Braunfels to float the river. I've been to rivers in Mississippi many times, but I've never floated a river in my adult life. We had a really good time! We went with our friends Chris and Marley and one of Chris's work friends.

This weekend, Lan went back to Mississippi for some awesome football. I am very proud of the bulldogs and very pleased at the outcome of the Ole Miss game :) He's not quite home yet, but I know he had a really good time seeing friends and watching football.

I spent the weekend resting and getting things done. Yesterday, I got my hair cut and had an awesome afternoon of shopping for work clothes with Emily! We went to Katy Mills, a REALLY BIG outlet mall in Katy. Last night, I went over to Jonah and Anne Marie's (our friends in Katy) and we grilled steaks, went to HEB (a really cool Texas grocery store!), and watched Star Trek. I spent the night and went to church with them this morning. I had a great weekend!! Oh, and I saw Beth Moore at church this morning! She's doing a study on Tuesday for the women of church, so I'm really excited about hearing her speak. More on that next time :)

Love from Houston,
Jennifer and Lan

Monday, August 23, 2010

Waco Weekend

First- I would like to announce that our wedding pictures are posted on our photographer's blog here: and we love them!

And now, on to the Waco Weekend story :)

Lan and I took our first ever Texas road trip last weekend to see our good friends Ashlyn and Matt Matthews. A little background for those of you who don't know Ashlyn and Matt. Ashlyn and I have known each other since freshman year through Chi O, and this past year, we grew even closer as we planned our weddings together! Ashlyn and I got engaged and married exactly one week apart! We like to think that we're wedding twins, since we had a lot of the same ideas and are basically the same person :) She and Matt got married at the end of June and have been in Waco a couple of weeks. They moved there so Ashlyn could go to law school at Baylor. She started last Wednesday, and I know that she will do very well!

Okay... so here's the weekend recap.


We left Houston around 5 (a little later than we'd hoped, but it only took us 3 hours to get to Waco). On the drive, I noticed how beautiful Texas is ("Texas isn't ugly." - Lan) and how many ranches there are in Texas ("There are a lot of ranches here" - Me ; "Yeah, we're in Texas." - Lan). Anyway, it was a very pretty drive and we got to pass through College Station, home of Texas A & M (the MSU of Texas :) ).

This was awaiting us when we got to Waco:

Not surprisingly, everything at Ashlyn's apartment was super cute, including this really cute table setting :)

Friday night was pretty chill. Matt and Ashlyn made dinner and we watched TV and played on our phones :) We downloaded an outrageous number of Apps. It was awesome.


We'd been pretty set on visiting the Dr. Pepper Museum for a while (Dr. Pepper is Lan's drink of choice), and, low and behold, last weekend was the one weekend a year that the Dr. Pepper Museum lets people in for free! Go figure. We were pretty happy about that, not just because it was free and they gave out Chic Fil A gift certificates, but also because the Museum wasn't worth the $7 they charge you for normal entry. We had a good time anyway.

Arriving at the Dr. Pepper Museum. Yeah, that's Mary Pepper in the background.

Matt and Ashlyn posing beside the creepy wax figure that tells you the history of Dr. Pepper.

Me and Lan posing in front of the Dr. Pepper delivery truck.

I'm pretty sure this guy thought I was crazy, but I felt the need to document this. This is us trying a pure cane sugar Dr. Pepper. He made it right in front of us. Old school soda shop style. Yeah, I know, very cool.

After the Dr. Pepper museum, we headed over to Baylor to get Ashlyn some law school books and take the driving tour! The campus was beautiful (but not as beautiful as MSU's campus...) and we saw the Baylor bears (sort of). Apparently it was too hot for bears to be out and about, so they were hiding in the caves in their habitat and you couldn't really see them. Oh well. Maybe next time. Here are some photo highlights of Baylor...

Me with Lan in the very fancy Baylor bookstore.

Oh, you know, just the Baylor parking garage.

The science building/castle.

The bear habitat, sans bears. They were hiding in the cool of the caves.

We did lunch at Chic Fil A (we had to cash in our gift certificates) and finished out the evening with Chuy's and Sherlock Holmes. It was a good day :)

Sunday -

We went to church at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. Which, apparently, is where all the college students in Waco attend church. It was packed out, and interesting, but we enjoyed it. After church, we drove by Waco's very own castle (cool!) and ate lunch at McAlister's. It was nice to eat at a restaurant that we had back in Starkville! We also passed by a Mazzio's Pizza (which I'm pretty sure we'll visit if we ever go back to Waco).

So, that's our weekend in a nutshell :) We had fun and are so glad that Matt and Ashlyn moved to Texas! Yay!!! We can't wait for you guys to visit us in Houston.

Love from Houston!
-Lan and Jennifer

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mallory Gets Hitched

I hereby dedicate this post to my beautiful friend Mallory. Mallory and I go wayyyyy back. We went through youth group at Starkville First Methodist together and had lots of fun times. I have always kind of thought of Mallory as a tension releaser. She always makes you laugh and is one of the most practical, honest, and open people I know. She got married last Saturday in Starkville. She has had her heart set on getting married at the Rose Garden for some time now, and though many were skeptical about her choice (outdoors in August?), the weather was nice and everything was so beautiful! So, Mallory, thanks for being my friend and I wish you many, many years of happiness with Daniel!

Walking down the aisle. She walked a really long way, I was impressed because her heels were high!

Look how happy she is!!

This part was sweet :)

I really like this picture because they both look really happy.

Katye looks unsure but I'm not really sure why.. She's being escorted by our really good high school friend and engineer extraordinaire, Ian.

Raysha was also making a funny face. Her fiance was sitting right behind us so that may have had something to do with it. I'm thinking she wasn't happy to be slightly taller than Jacob :) but that's okay because she looked like a Barbie.

This is us at the reception. It was at her parents' house and it was really fun!

Me and my former roomie, Sarah, who I love and miss very much! She has plans to come visit for the MSU v. Houston game (yay!).

I couldn't leave out the picture we took :)

I'm trying to make posts at least once a week, so be looking for one next week! On the agenda for this weekend- I'm finally getting a new phone (which is lucky because my current phone only holds charge for about 10 minutes of phone calls) and we are having a lazy weekend at home (which we are excited about after 2 weekends of traveling!).

Love from Houston!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


It's been really busy around the Holloway household this week. As many of you know, we had to make an emergency family trip back to Mississippi last weekend. We got back home around 9ish Sunday night and I started work bright and early on Monday.

I like the job so far, though I feel that I don't really have a feel for it yet. I've been doing a lot of training, and I think I will like it more when I get to work on my own some. I can't believe I've almost been there a week! My job in a nutshell-- I'll be filling orders for direct mail. Basically, we have marketing folks that sell direct mail and email to car dealerships. The dealer picks out templates for these things, and my job is to go in and customize the template to fit the dealer in question. Hopefully next week I'll have more to report.

Other fun things we did this week-- date night. You all know how much I adore Olive Garden, and Lan and I went yesterday. Much to our dismay, our favorite item, Manicotti Formaggio was removed from the menu (apparently they weren't selling enough). Luckily for us, they replaced it with a similar item. Some sort of Lasagna rolls (I'm a sucker for filled pasta). They were yummy! After dinner, we went to Dillards and bought our canisters! Finally! Date night = success.

Sorry this post was so scattered. Like I said, crazy week! I hope to be more diligent in blog updates in the future. On the agenda for this weekend-- Mississippi weddings!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So, I'm proud to announce that I am will officially be employed beginning next Monday. I'm very happy to accept a job at The Reynolds and Reynolds Company. Basically, they provide marketing solutions for car dealerships. I'll be a graphic designer, which, as you know, is a passion of mine. I love design and hope that I get to do lots of it in my position. I'll be designing and customizing direct mail. Yeah, the stuff you throw away without reading, but I'm still excited. More on my new job after I start!

What's new for Lan? He is back from Tulsa, but not quite back in the office. He's at training this week (but I get the feeling that he knows most of the things they're teaching). The good thing about training is that once training is done, he gets to come home! And lately, he's been finishing REALLY early. Yesterday he came home at 11:30! It's nice to have him around the house after being away from him for a whole week.

Coming up for us... we just mailed off a check to pay off half my student loans (yay for being halfway out of debt!), are about to get our own car insurance and cell phone plans (who knew being a grown up was so expensive?), and this weekend, we're going to Schlitterbahn (a ginormous water park) in Galveston! Being newlyweds is fun.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Furniture and Monkeys!

As mentioned in a previous post, Lan and I were looking at purchasing nightstands (we had one makeshift nightstand for a while, but were looking to upgrade). We ended up buying from Gallery Furniture, yes, the place with MONKEYS (see previous post for picture), so, yes, I got to take a picture with a really cute monkey!!! (Lan opted out-his loss) See below...

I was laughing because I just couldn't believe I was holding a monkey! Her name is Cinnamon and she is 6 months old, according to the trainer. She was super super cute and soft. And she is wearing Curious George diapers. Awesome.

I guess I should be more interested in the nightstands than the monkey (since this was our first big purchase as a married couple and all), so, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of our new nightstands in the bedroom.

The nightstand by my side of the bed.

Close up of the nightstand.

Bed and nightstands.

We are both really happy with the nightstands. I love the way they look and they make our bedroom look way more "grown up!" Now if we can only get this old TV out of the floor...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Birthday week commences...

So, this weekend, Lan and I went furniture shopping. First, let me say that I never realized how expensive furniture, especially good quality solid wood furniture, can be. Growing up, we didn't really buy much furniture because everything was provided for us (preacher's family and all). We have pretty ambitious furniture goals... new bedside tables before the end of the summer, new chair (to replace the infamous purple couch) this fall, and a new recliner for Lan next spring when Lan gets his bonus.

The first store we went to was Gallery Furniture, by far the biggest furniture store I've ever been in. Lan said it was comparable to Miskelly's in Jackson. My favorite feature at Gallery was their live animals... They had MONKEYS! And exotic birds, but mostly MONKEYS! For your viewing pleasure, I took the following picture...

Sorry it's sideways... I don't know how to rotate it.

If you buy furniture at Gallery you get to hold one and take a picture :) My new goal in life.

In other news, Lan left yesterday for a last minute work trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma, he'll be helping out with some tool testing. This is a pretty cool opportunity for him professionally, it's just a little untimely this week (my birthday is tomorrow). Lan, being the wonderful husband that he is, gave me my birthday present early, though we can't actually use it until he gets back so he can hook it up. See picture below...

Anyway, I'm anxiously awaiting Lan's return. We have a lot of Wii to play :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Life in Houston (so far)

Our honeymoon post is on hold until I can get Lan to help show me how to find pictures on the iMac (yes, it's really confusing!), so I figured I'd post about our life so far. I have officially been a permanent Houston resident one week and one day! So far, I have...

1. Hosted a dinner party

We both love entertaining anyway, and when you get SO MANY serving pieces as wedding gifts, you find that you can't wait to have someone over so you can put it to good use. I made Baked Ziti (, which is super budget friendly. We made a couple changes to the sauce recipe-- we cooked it down longer, used ground sausage, and added a can of tomato sauce. We will definitely be making this recipe again. Everyone loved it!

2. Nearly got lost (far away from home)

So Tuesday, I met Lan and some of his work friends for lunch at Chuy's (his favorite restaurant of all time- he seriously eats there once a week). After, I needed to go to the post office to pick up some postcard stamps. Lan directed me to the nearest post office, which I found easily. After standing in line, I was told that they didn't have postcard stamps, so they sent me to the next nearest post office. I immediately got turned around so decided to use Garmin to find it. I kept missing turns and getting confused, but I eventually found it. I was proud, and I learned a very valuable lesson. Always drive in the middle lane.

3. Interviewed for a job

The interview story (in case you haven't heard): When I got the first callback, in March, they told me they were sending me a personality test. Well, I did the personality test (with interesting questions...) and they also sent, basically, an aptitude test. I went in for the interview and had to take another aptitude test (where I almost had a meltdown because I'm not that great at math- the test lasted an hour and a half) before the interview. I get through the interview and am told they are hiring for May, but there's no way I could've been in Houston at that time. They called me back right before the wedding and wanted to continue the process. I had to fill out another application (with great questions like, "what is your favorite participatory sport?"). The interview went great. I thought, "this has to be the end of the process." But no, I was wrong. I had to do a 3-part design project and now I'm waiting for the results. So, essentially, this has been really long and drawn out. Who knew finding a job would be so extensive?

So am I a Texan yet? I choose to believe I'm just a Mississippian living in Texas...

An update on Lan (the card-carrying Texan)... He went back to work on Monday. It's been a very busy week for him. There were some complications on a tool they had been designing. Luckily, it's not exactly the tool Lan works directly with (he's in charge of the same tool in a different size). Lan's boss and some of his coworkers left to go test the tool earlier this week, so the latter part of the week has been less busy for him.

More from us later! On the agenda for this weekend: furniture "window shopping" (we need bedside tables).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Honeymoon :)

So, here goes my long-awaited honeymoon details post...

Saturday, we spent the night at the Fairview Inn in Jackson. It was SO NICE. I wish we would have had more time to spend there. The inn itself was so beautiful, and so were the grounds. There was a really cute gazebo and garden and lots of places to eat outside. We were really hungry by the time we got there, so we had a dinner of wedding reception leftovers (yum!). We were sad that we couldn't take them with us to Cancun, but we were pretty sure we couldn't sneak big slices of wedding cake through airport security (sadly). Some pictures of our suite...

We left early on Sunday morning for the airport. After a long day of traveling, we made it to the resort. We can't speak highly enough of the service we received there. Everyone was so helpful. They wouldn't let us touch our bags, which they carried to our beautiful room. Here are some pics...

The most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. We were told it was tempurpedic.

Our sitting area.

The view from our balcony (we were on the second floor of a 2-story building).

My personal favorite part of the room, our jacuzzi. The windows overlooked the beach. The picture doesn't do it justice. I miss it already and am working on convincing Lan that an awesome jacuzzi should be a priority when we buy a home.

A summary of our week... We absolutely LOVED the resort. I've always thought of Lan as someone with high expectations (really, as much as you pay to go to all-inclusive places like this, you really should have high expectations) and he had no complaints. We loved everything about the resort. The food was great and everyone was so nice. There were 7 restaurants to choose from-- Mexican, French, Japanese (Hibachi), Seafood, Steakhouse, Indonesian, and Italian. We ate at the Mexican, French, Japanese and Steakhouse restaurants and they were all fabulous. Lan says that the Hibachi was better than American Hibachi. Here are some pictures of us at dinner...

Us at the French restaurant, this was the nicest restaurant at the resort, and the food here was my favorite, I think. Lan had quiche, orange duck, and chocolate mousse with nutella and I had vichyssoise, pork filet, and apple tart.

Us at the steakhouse. Lan had the filet and I had the New York strip. Yum!

(We didn't take a picture of the Mexican night and the picture from Hibachi is on Lan's camera. I'll post if it ever surfaces)

As far as activities, we spent some time at the pool and at the beach, but it rained a lot (tropical storms...). We also did snorkeling (where I proved that I am a terrible swimmer) and a shopping trip to Playa Del Carmen. More pictures below...

Us on the beach! This is the beach that was behind our room. The day we were here, we were the only ones on this part of the beach.

The strip in Playa Del Carmen. It was rainy, so we had our resort umbrella handy.

Lan by the Senor Frogs gift shop in Playa Del Carmen.

A shot of the awesome pool. We really wish we had been able to spend more time here.

Well, if you are interested in more pictures, check Facebook. The snorkeling pictures are also on Lan's camera, so they'll be added to the Facebook album when he gets around to uploading them to the iMac.

In summary, the honeymoon was great and we can't wait to go back to Cancun! Maybe next time, we'll go in the winter and skip out on the rain. Here's one final picture, us leaving the resort to fly back home...