A Balanced Weekend

Friday night date night was back this past Friday in the Lyles' household. We started the evening by cooking dinner together at home. Since John has been studying non stop for his boards, I decided that he deserved one of his favorite main dishes: steak. That paired with my slimmed down twice baked potatoes (recipe here)and a side salad made for the perfect John approved dinner.

Afterwards, we headed downtown to Iron City, a new music venue located downtown, for the Jim James concert. We had seen him before in concert but with his band My Morning Jacket. So, seeing him perform his solo work was something that we had been looking forward to for a while. It was quite the show and his stage presence and high energy were incredible. We also enjoyed watching the opening act, Birmingham native Maria Taylor and her band, which mostly consisted of her own family members.

Saturday was pretty laid back seeing as I spent the majority of the day dog sitting and watching football. However, late that afternoon John and I headed downtown for Art Walk, an annual arts festival held in the loft district. More than 100 artists come out for the two day festival to showcase their talent in the streets of Birmingham. While we didn't purchase any work this year, we still enjoyed walking around and taking in the beautiful sites and sounds.

That evening, the football watching continued. So, luckily I had planned a crock pot meal for our dinner- red beans and rice (I got the recipe here). The recipe was so simple and it ended up being delicious and perfect for fall and football watching. I also made skinny baked jalapeno poppers (recipe here) using jalapenos from our very own garden. They were pretty spicy, but the cream cheese filling balanced the heat perfectly.

Today we celebrated Mrs. Lyles' birthday at Slice, a delicious pizzeria in the Lakeview district. We enjoyed great food and conversation while spending much needed time with our loving family. For dessert John's sister, Kelly, made a homemade carrot cake that was to die for and I made birthday cut out cookies. After making Alabama cut outs for the lake last weekend, I decided to make them again, but try to perfect my recipe including homemade icing this go around. I also purchased some fancy icing bags, cookie cutters, sprinkles, decorating tips, and professional quality (super color concentrated) food coloring for this project (all from an indulgent trip to Hobby Lobby). I have to say, they turned out pretty good and the decorating tools made it ten times easier.

This afternoon I headed to Birmingham Southern College for AOII's mock recruitment. Since I'm not an alumna of the chapter, I was very excited to see all of the girl's hard work and continue to get to know them in the process. They were awesome and their run through was great! I can't wait to continue to help out in the next few weeks leading up to recruitment.

While our weekend was pretty busy, I loved having a balance of downtime, family time, sister time, and time with my wonderful husband (& Henry of course).


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