Mis Amigas

Austin and I are welcoming our first house guests this weekend… The Proti clan! Yes, yes that's right, we couldn't even go two months without seeing our dear friends Kelsey, Chris, and their son Alex from Columbus… it's love, people! 

Haha… actually, while I'm ECSTATIC that they're coming here, the idea for the trip was born from their desire to check out Hurlburt Field at Eglin AFB (located between Pensacola and Destin), where they'll be moving this summer. So, with them house hunting a mere two hours away from us, how can we NOT meet up with them for the 4th of July?? I'm so excited! :)

The holiday plans included Mindy too, who was planning on stopping here for Independence Day activities during her road trip down to Tampa. However, she was sadly snatched up by the convenience of air travel… I'm happy you don't have to spend all that time in the car Mindy, but goodness, we're going to miss you this weekend! 

I love these girls.

We'll have to make a Mindy/Sara/all the Columbus people I love stand-ins on the 4th of July. It's only polite, after you all were so kind to bring Austin and me along to Birmingham with you! 

All the photos y'all took that day are HILARIOUS. And so sweet.

Alex's pale Uncle Austin and Aunt Molly… hey did we move to Florida or what?

As it is, I am very ready to see Chris and my dear Kelsey:

And her precious little son, Alex, who I remember as being this big:

But has grown a mind blowing amount since we moved from Mississippi and is even crawling around the floor now! So crazy. He's become a bona fide water baby this summer, I'm excited to see if he enjoys the beach as much as the Columbus AFB pool!

Then, since this post is already somewhat discombobulated (or so it feels to me, anyway, my brain is trying to shut off) I'll mention that I met another wonderful friend today on base, Donna! She lives just a few houses up from me, and as it turns out, we have the same brain. It's rather amazing, we couldn't stop marveling about how similar we are! Artists, lovers of antiques and oddities, tacklers of DIY projects (though she way has me beat so far!), and we even share similar mannerisms that had us cracking up. It was great. We plan to paint on the beach next week, with a blog post surely to follow!

All of this reminds me of how truly lucky I am to be a spouse in the Air Force community, I have met so many wonderful women that I'll truly never forget. Now, can't you all have a convenient reason to stop by and spend the 4th of July in Florida partying with us and the Proti? :) Then how about all my far away loved ones, ya? Hehe. Missing all of you tonight.

Annnnd my rambling stops here… good night everyone!


Oh Deer, drama…

"Please, don't let anyone see me eating with this chick. I'm clear… right?"

"Gah! Oh no! Is that someone at the window? …hmm, I guess not. Thank goodness, the embarrassment… except where is my friend to save me? Should have been here by now…"

"Did I hear you say something?"

"Oh, no."

"I could have sworn I heard you say something…"

"Just mumbling to myself."

"You sure? You keep looking around too, what's going on?"

"Is it necessary for you to be staring at my butt as we talk?"

"BAHAHA as iiiiiif! But fine, I'll keep eating… hey now where you goin'?"

"Over… here. Checking out the delicious sand. Would it have been so hard for you to pick a yard with actual grass?"

"Okay okaaaaaayyy. I still think it tastes good." 

"Ah! GEEZ! You're finally here, thanks for taking your sweet time!"

"Yeah yeah, sorry… ha and look who it is!"

"Hi hi! Have you tasted these leaves yet? They're awesome!!"

"Um, no, as I just got here, you see…"

"You seriously left me alone with her. You owe me big time."

"Aw relax, she's not that bad. Let's go to a better yard, one with actual stuff to eat, there's a bunch down this way."



These cupcakes do things

In April, I showed you what various dresses were up to. Let's continue the theme by checking out what these cupcakes are busy doing…

These cupcakes are busy looking like super realistic hamburgers:

Hamburger Cupcakes from Glorious Treats

These cupcakes are busy being hot chocolate:

These cupcakes are busy being carnivorous fish surrounding a vacant life saver:

This cupcake is busy being stolen by Bender,

These cupcakes are busy wearing donuts as hats:

And this cupcake is busy being a smashed wicked witch of the East.

Wicked Witch Cupcake from Sweet Rewards

Cupcakes are so cool now. And these bakers are so talented/patient/awesome. When did cupcakes become so avant-garde? Or have they been for a while, and I'm just now noticing? Either way, things like sushi cupcakes are in my life now, as are Thin Mint cupcakes. Definitely not a bad thing :)


Little did he know

Retrospection can be so fun! Check this out: 

Here's Austin, as a little boy, feeding peacocks at the County Line restaurant located in the outskirts of Lubbock, TX. Little did Austin know that one day, on that very bridge behind him…

…would walk his future wife, escorted by his future father-in-law as they made their slow procession to where he waited at the altar! 

©Lewis Woodyard Photography. I adore this photo.

I'm so happy to have stumbled upon that picture of Austin at the old County Line, the location that would eventually serve as our wedding venue. He's had many happy memories there with his family, and while the restaurant is no longer operative and the location now exclusively used for events, he was still grateful to have his wedding in a place that he's known since childhood. I was simply happy to be getting married in Lubbock at a place that did not look like Lubbock at all! (i.e., it had big, beautiful trees, actual changes in elevation, peacocks, a stream fed by the Brazos River— making it resemble nothing like the flat farmland that surrounded it!)

I'm not knocking Lubbock. That city has become incredibly dear to me. But I got to walk with my dad on a bridge over a stream under the thick shade of trees in a place that my soon-to-be-husband used to feed peacocks as a child… does that immediately sound like West Texas to you? :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend (we had a lovely and unabashedly lazy weekend, ourselves), and I wish you good night!


Those Sunny Days

Another music mix for you all! I made my first one back in April, Take Me Back, and have been working on a few more since then. This is the first to be completed, as it's comprised of my favorite songs to listen to as I've been busy setting up the house. They're upbeat and motivating, although be careful— some discourage all types of productivity as they compel you to dance around the house like a complete goofball! (especially Heart it Races, for some reason, and of course Que Veux Tu

If you have a busy day of running around, hopefully this playlist will help you keep moving/dancing too :)

Design ©Molly Cooper. Painting ©Lea Magruder

I'm happy to feature my mom's painting, Board Violation, on the playlist cover! Perfect for a summer music mix. Check out her website here if you like, and Those Sunny Days is available for download here— enjoy!

[1] Constellation by Darwin Deez

[2] Dare by Gorillaz

[3] Day of the Dead by Voltaire

[4] Falcon Jab by Ratatat

[5] Gold Gun Girls by Metric

[6] Heart it Races by Architecture in Helsinki

[7] Heaven Can Wait by Charlotte Gainsbourg ft. Beck

[8] Lose it by Austra

[9] No One Does it Like You by Department of Eagles

[10] Oslo in the Summertime by Of Montreal

[11] Que Veux Tu (Madeon Remix) by Yelle

[12] Strike Me Down by Jape

[13] The Phoenix Alive by Monarchy

[14] This Tornado Still Loves You by Neko Case


Happy Father's Day! [part two]

Happy (late but official) Father's Day! Parents deserve to be celebrated far more often than just one day out of the year, but the holiday does give me a good excuse to upload a bunch of photos from my childhood featuring my loving Daddo and grandfathers. :) 

This Father's Day celebration begins with these two handsome fellas: Papa and Grandpapa! 

Eating my first birthday cake and chilling with my grandpas

This is Papa, my dad's dad, and he has the best laugh. It's hearty and warm and always accompanied by a huge smile across his face. His greetings are similar, and I love hearing "Heeey Molly!" when we meet them for lunch at Avila's. He'd take Katherine and I hunting for stray golf balls near their cabin in Cloudcroft, NM, and the two times I've been fishing have been with him! I'm so fortunate to have grown up near Papa and Mimi, enabling me to see them nearly every week, and I always look forward to seeing them when I'm home.

Fishing in Ruidoso, NM!

My mom's dad, Grandpapa, was a very special man. He passed away when I was ten, and I'm so sad I never got the chance to really know him. He was such a great story teller, but I didn't know to soak in his stories of serving as an officer in WWII or leading as a drum major in the OSU marching band. Now I'd hang on every word given the chance, and I'm sure he would have loved to watch me lead as drum major in high school, and later walk down the aisle to my own military man. I did however, even as a little girl, fully appreciate and adore his great big bear hugs. 

Easter in El Paso: cracking a confetti egg on Grandpapa's head!

Then there's my Daddo… :)

Dad, Katherine and me in Cloudcroft, NM

I grew up to the sounds of my dad singing and playing guitar, filling our house with his music. He'd provide lively tunes for me to dance to in the kitchen, or make up stories on the spot while improvising chords that would assist his storytelling, causing me to sit and listen with delight. He showed me how to drive in his huge Chevrolet Caprice station wagon, and kept all the drawings I created for him in his desk at his office. Dad truly has a gentle strength about him, and the love he has always shown me and support he's always given me is simply astounding. Thank you Daddo, I love you so much :)

Gorilla mask: not scary, just fascinating!

Sporting some cool overalls.

Then there's the most recent father figure in my life, Austin's dad! I've mentioned before how grateful I am that Ed and Kay have truly taken me in as a beloved daughter of theirs, and I'm so happy I was able to spend so much time with them while I lived in Lubbock (even though I was a frenzied design student most of that time— they still loved me!). I'm so happy that I get to celebrate a wonderful father-in-law this holiday as well, and to see the love that Austin has for his dad. 

I love this picture of Austin's family! It's sadly low-res because I'm scanner impaired, but it shall be fixed tomorrow :)

And so concludes the official Father's Day post! I have so many loving people in my life, I am incredibly blessed. Now I wish I had made the Mother's Day post equally as detailed, but I suppose it was better to break you in slowly to my sappy childhood memories :) That's what blogs are for, right? Haha. Good night everyone!


Rambling, cheesecakes, & bookcases

You know how when, sometimes… 

it's a Monday morning and after your doctor's appointment you decide to get Chic-fil-a which is tasty at the time but soon makes you feel absolutely awful then your internet goes out for the rest of the day nixing any chance to blog then suddenly it's Tuesday afternoon and you write a food blog guest post featuring mini Oreo cheesecakes and later that night you agree to meet friends for Buffalo Wild Wings and drinks which is 27 miles away in Panama City Beach and you don't get home until well after midnight? 

What? That never happens to you? Just me, then…

Haha so yes, that has been my week so far! Monday was not fun, I hate it when Chic-fil-a fails me. Austin was able to pamper me that day though, and it was very nice spending a quiet evening with him sans-internet. Tuesday night was much more lively, spent with some of Austin's classmates at Pier Park, a very touristy area right next to the Gulf. I've enjoyed getting to know the people Austin spends every workday with, and we had fun checking out the, umm, interesting crowd Panama City Beach attracts!

Then there's the guest post I wrote for Kelsey's food blog… I highly recommend checking out it out. Why? Because I MOLLY COOPER was featured on a FOOD BLOG! Sure it's my dear friend's blog, and it involves a no-fail recipe, but it's an achievement all the same :)

My set up, with my computer opened up to the recipe on Playing House

And the finished product! Check out my post on I'm a Cooker!

Today was spent being busy and productive at home, which included us building a new bookcase for the living room! (Or rather… Austin built it, and I handed him nails/ held the tape measure/ took pictures of him with my camera phone)

I'll be sure to include a picture once I have it filled up. I'm looking forward to the day we can afford solid wood furniture that you know, can be passed down to our children as heirlooms, but for now pressed wood bookcases purchased from Amazon will work just fine :) 

All right, it's bed time. Good night everyone!


Happy Father's Day! [part one]

Welcome to "Happy Father's Day part one!" I wanted to write a post similar to the one I wrote on Mother's Day, but this weekend has actually been exceptionally busy and I don't want to rush something that is more than deserving of all my attention. So here is a quick post to tide you over until I write the official Father's Day post! 

This picture is perfect to feature my wonderful dad, with him in the focus in the foreground while my mom and I hang out in the background. He is more incredible than I could ever describe to you, and has a heart with so much capacity for love it is truly astounding. I love you so much, Daddo!

…and to be continued! I am blessed with loving grandfathers, and an amazing father-in-law. More on all that plus pictures, soon :)

There is many a blog post to write, for these things happened this weekend as well:

More kayaking! Single person kayaks this time. 

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes— soon to be featured in my guest post on Kelsey's food blog I'm a Cooker!

Coffee, blueberry scones with a streusel topping, and wonky glasses. 

As well as a lovely dinner on Saturday with Austin at a restaurant right on the water, a barbeque for Austin's flight that took place today, and lots of running around. It has truly been a busy but fun weekend. Thinking of all the wonderful dads out there— Happy Father's Day to every one of you! And be sure to check back for part two of this post :) Good night!


That house on the corner

Mmmm, rain clouds. These in particular made our house quite ominous looking.

Although, as promising as they appear, no rain came our way this evening! That's all right I guess, we have been receiving a considerable amount of rain lately (see how the grass below is slightly greener than it appears in my spray paint pictures?) but I certainly do miss the consistent rainy days Mississippi gave me! 

Goodness, I'm so obsessed with rainy weather. I promise I'm interesting. :)

I took the above picture to show off the only tree in our backyard— well, what's left of it, as it's a goner— and I'm glad I did because it emphasizes how awesome the sunset became not long after it was taken!

Whoa dang. Now, if only I could have been on the beach, a mojito in my hand, watching that sunset… ah. That's going to be a priority for Austin and me tomorrow, I've just decided. Not one more sunset should occur without us by the water— we've been in Florida for over a month and haven't done that yet, is that some sort of crime? 

Anyway, today was really great. It included much needed friend time, both on the phone with loved ones far away and here as Michelle and I washed our salt covered cars. My Corolla hadn't received a good scrubbing in QUITE some time, hopefully you didn't judge me too harshly Michelle! :) After a long period of staying inside and working on the house, this has been a very lovely week filled with new friends on base and keeping in touch with those far from me. 

Austin has already taken two tests for Air Battle Manager training, and has done fabulously on both of them! He is very much enjoying training so far, and is getting along great with his fellow classmates. It makes my heart soar to see Austin so confident and upbeat, it's clear affirmation that this is where we're supposed to be :) 

Tonight I made fish tacos for the first time, and now am going to persuade Austin that a trip to Dairy Queen is clearly our next priority. I hope everyone is having a fun Friday evening!


Mermaids & Water Spouts

First of all, isn't this just fabulous? 


An illustration by the talented Kris Atomic. The world could use a lot more things like coy looking mermaids in hoodies, don't you agree?

Second of all, Austin and I can't seem to get away from tornados. Big Voice was chatting up a storm this morning outside, and I finally comprehended enough of what it was saying to learn there was tornadic activity in our area. You'd THINK, after nearly missing all those tornados last April, that I would take this warning more seriously, right? Ha well, apparently not— I tuned out the long drone of the warning siren and continued to make my coffee, Austin leaving for training just as usual. Because I mean, come on, this is Florida… hurricanes sure, but tornados? Really?

Well, yes really.

[Photo taken by SrA Tysen R Couture]

This water spout occurred in the bay just North of base, near the flight line. Thankfully it was just a little guy, but I'm still simply amazed that I have been in the proximity of more tornadic activity than I ever was living in the Texas, the famous "Tornado Alley." Hmm. 

And last of all, I'm very happy to have found a great group of girls here on base. Last night a social for the ACS (Air Control Squadron) spouses was held, and tonight Austin and I went to a farewell party for one of the girls I met last night and her husband. Haha yes, you read correctly… we went to a farewell party for someone we just met. That's the crazy/awesome thing about the Air Force— we make friendships fast and strong. I am very grateful Sarah invited us this evening to her sendoff party, and it's such a shame I won't have more time with her! Austin and I got to meet a lot of new people though, most of whom live in our neighborhood, and it was very nice seeing the girls I had just met the night before. The military life is truly like no other, and it's wonderful having instant access to a group of such friendly girls. 

All that's all I have for tonight! More house and life details tomorrow, I am very much ready to crawl into bed. Good night everyone :)


A labor of… misery?

Cooking is often called a labor of love, right? Love or passion has to be what keeps us at the kitchen counter/stove/sink for well over an hour preparing food that's gobbled up within minutes. I've been trying my best to fan the flames under my developing culinary skills, but I was bound to take a tumble some time (and well, here too)… so what do you call that? A labor of sorrow? misery? hate? 

Haha, oh goodness. Dinner was a complete disaster tonight. I picked two recipes for an entree and side dish, knew they were going to be somewhat complex, and alloted what I thought was going to be enough time to complete everything. Ah geez how wrong was I! I'm still so bitter I don't even want to share details… so I'll simply say it involved chicken and sweet potatoes. I find it very disheartening to invest that much time into something to have it turn out so wretched, but of course, mishaps are inevitable in the learning process. 

I dreaded watching Austin eat his dinner, me having already abandoned my plate. He is such a darling and ate as much as he could, but sheepishly looked my direction when he put his plate down, not completely finished. There was no need for him to be sorry, I was all for tossing it and going into town for food! It's easy to get so fed up that you don't even want to be around the evidence marking your failure, you know? 

Ah well, I'll chalk it up to experience, and move on. Something I did get right though today: a lovely afternoon drink when you're desperately craving a Sonic drink during their happy hour special. I needed a little sugar pick-me-up but didn't want to waste all that time going into town for just a soda, so I made one at home that more than satisfied my craving! 

It's beyond easy, and nothing groundbreaking: Sprite, pineapple juice, and a splash of lime cordial. It brought back memories of the punch offered after our Suzuki piano recitals back in the day. :)

And one more silly picture, ya? 

Mmm I almost want to make another one to wash away the taste of dinner. Either way, I'm very ready to turn off my brain for the evening, so I'll leave you here! Good night everyone :)


You call it complaining, I call it comparing

My hope is that anyone who gives my blog even the most casual of glances will get a clear impression of how much we love love love Florida. We have officially been living in Panama City for a month, and we've settled in well and are loving all the people we've come across! So, that all being said, don't get me wrong when I mention the one thing I'm pretty bummed about compared to our home in Mississippi: we went from this, the backyard that I was obsessed with

To this. Our house sits on a corner lot, so our backyard is at the end of a row of many other chain link fence backyards, all with the same meager patches of grass struggling to find root in the sandy ground. 

So if this is the biggest thing I'm bummed about, my silly view out my porch and dining room window, then it's safe to say we made it out pretty well! But I'm all I'm saying is, comparing those two backyards, Columbus beats Panama City hands down. Mississippi may have a few negative connotations, and there was no beach a few miles down the road from us, but it was definitely pretty

Also, when I took the above picture, the second I stepped out on the porch my camera lens completely fogged up! Ah it was HUMID today, it just about drowned this poor little desert rat. It wasn't as humid last Thursday thankfully, when I spray painted most of my desired objects. This is how our backyard normally looks, drenched in sun and the grass particularly dry and miserable looking. 

Yay repurposed moving boxes!

Here's a sneak peek of what some of the newly painted items look indoors! I am mighty pleased with how this display turned out with my Robovino wine bottles I designed for portfolio. I'll include a detail shot soon— the colors turned out really dark here, but you get the idea :)

Robots and mermaids! Perfect.

Is it possible to have too many gallery displays? Ha, I'm guilty if so! We just have so many things I want up on the walls. Here's a close up of one display with a few painted frames,

And another display on a different wall. Hey, when you can't paint (or is very inconvenient to do so), you might as well fill up the house with art and photos!

Things are so close to being done, which I'm so grateful for. I can tell you after a month of my living in Mississippi, the house didn't look nearly as put together as our Florida home is looking. I am at least ecstatic about that :) More pictures soon, I promise! 

So, not all bad comparisons. And don't take me too seriously, our backyard isn't the worst ever. It's interesting being able to compare two Air Force bases, and Columbus was a great one to start at. In many ways, it only gets better from there :) I'll save the rest of the updates for the next post, good night everyone!