Sunday, August 28, 2011

Orange Beach Recap - Pt. 2 - Shopping, Eating, Etc.

We did a lot of cooking/eating at the condo this trip - I made my Chicken Tamale Casserole in advance and froze two casseroles so we could just heat up while we were there.  I think it was a success?  One night, just the girls minus preggers Wendy decided to go out for sushi at a place close to our condo called Arigato which was very good!  Our favorite roll was the Dynamite roll (I think?). 

Lisa & I before Sushi 

Tim & I also caught up with a dinner date one night at a place called Wintzell's Oyster House because we were craving some fresh oysters.  The restaurant had funny quotes all over the walls which provided quite the entertainment.

Another day, we decided our skin needed a little break from the sun and we hit up the outlet malls in Foley, AL.  Lisa started a new job shortly after we got back from the beach, so we got her a few business casual clothes since she had been wearing scrubs at her last job.  I may or may not have also treated myself to a few things!  Funny story - we ran out of diapers for Crew but still wanted to hit one or two more stores before going home.  Allie crafted a diaper from Crew's blanket (pictured below) until we were able to pawn one off a helpful mom!

Madi, Crew, Allie, Lisa, me & Kristen at the outlets
Crew & I hanging at the condo - Landon actually took this picture!!

Our last day, some of us decided to get dressed and take pictures out on the beach.

Lisa & I

Hatcher Family - Nate, Crew, Lisa, Landon


When I was adding these pictures, I remembered when we stayed in this condo in 2008, we took VERY similar pictures and thought it might be fun to compare how their fam has grown.
Nate, Lisa & Crew - Shoalwater 2011

Nate, Lisa, and Landon - Shoalwater Summer 2008 - Landon is about 3 months OLDER than Crew is in these pics

Hatcher Family 2008 (left) and Hatcher Family 2011 (right)
Allie, Kristen, Madi

Our little photographer

Lisa, Rondy, Madi

Can you see our new L initial necklaces we ordered from Etsy??

And now, just so I don't forget - here is a pic of our car loaded up to drive down - it was PACKED.  It was nice having almost everything we needed already when we got there, but it was a lot of effort!!!
And the trunk is totally full too!!!
Last, but certainly not least - can't forget the lovely t-shirt we saw at the Taco Bell during our drive.  Nothing says "I love you" like a neon spray painted Browning symbol**.  Tim's really hoping for one of these on our next trip...WOW is all I have to say.
**Sorry to Micah and Courtney if you ever happen to stumble on this blog  :)

All in all, a fabulous trip!  I'm already wishing we were back there!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Restaurant Week & AU Event

Whew!  Hard to believe it's already Friday - this week has flown by!  This week was Birmingham's 2nd annual restaurant week - where several of the local restaurants get together and offer usually 3-course meals for a fixed price (in Birmingham's case either $10, $20, or $30).  It's a good opportunity for the restaurants to get some publicity and a good way for customers to branch out and try something new!  You can read more about Birmingham's restaurants here.  I first participated in a restaurant week with my friend, Jill, when we spent the summer after our junior year interning in New York - it was such a fun experience and I was excited to hit up a few spots this week (even if it was not quite so beneficial for my waist-line!)  For Tuesday lunch, I went with a few girls from work to Bottega Cafe where the menu included salads, pizza and cookies & ice cream for dessert (because who doesn't need a 3-course LUNCH).  We were highly disappointed to learn that due to the large demand the ice cream which had to be made on site daily was not available and had to settle for an olive oil cake instead (which sounds about as good as it was).  The pizza and salad were worth the trip, however - I had chicken pesto pizza and saved 1/2 so I could eat it for lunch for two days!  Delicious!  Bottega cafe isn't a new restaurant to me, but can't say I've often gone for a normal work lunch.

On Wednesday, I headed to Auburn after work for an event my Company was hosting which was pretty awesome.  Jay Jacobs, Auburn's athletic director, was the speaker and we got to sit in the room with all of the 2010 trophies (please excuse the picture quality - all I thought to bring was my phone):

BCS National Champions!

Emily Ann & I looking official with the trophy

Okay, couldn't help myself - "holding" the trophy

Heisman Trophy - WAR CAM EAGLE!

More Cam awards - Davey O'Brien Award (best quarterback), Maxwell Award (best all around)

Nick Fairley's Lombardi Award

AP Trophy

On Thursday night, I met Tim and some of his co-workers at Chuy's.  Tim is actually starting a new job next week which we are both excited about, but of course he will be sad to leave.  We had a good time celebrating with them.

Chuy's - GVMG (Mary Beth, you made the blog!  :) )

After Chuys, I headed straight to Highland's Bar & Grill where my friend Caroline had made us a reservation for girls night out.  I have always heard great things about Highland's but for some reason had never tried it and thought Restaurant Week would be the perfect time!  I ordered the chilled corn soup with shrimp and cucumber, the hangar steak with ratatouille and the sweet and salty cake.  The soup was not exactly what I was expecting - the flavors were good (look at me...shouldn't I be a judge on Top Chef or something?!), but the temperature really threw me off - it wasn't just chilled, it was downright COLD - the bowl was chilled, the soup was chilled, my spoon was chilled, etc.  Maybe I just don't have a sophisticated enough palate - there goes my Top Chef dream  :(  Caroline and Emily Ann had the salad and said it was fantastic.  My entree was delicious - the hanger steak you could cut through like butter and it melted in your mouth just as easily! 

Hanger Steak at Highland's
But let me tell you, THE DESSERT.  It was off-the-charts amazing.   I did not have high expectations given the only description was "sweet and salty cake" and given my previous experience with the olive oil cake.  I wish I had snapped a picture for you, but by the time I stopped to breathe from inhaling this deliciousness, only crumbs were left!  The cake had a chocolate base and had the most amazing toffee-like sauce, the closest thing I could find on the internet is probably this:

Sweet & Salty Cake by Martha Stewart - Recipe found here
Just picture the above with a yummy gooey sauce.  Don't worry, I've already pinned that recipe to Pinterest and plan to try sometime soon!

Overall, it was a great week and I'm looking forward to the weekend!

Me, Caroline, Caroline, and Emily Ann at Highlands

Monday, August 22, 2011


Before I finish recapping our beach vacation, I am excited to share with you about an upcoming event.  As some of you may know, in October 2009, my stepbrother Will was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer which primarily affects adolescents.  Through a difficult journey which included 14 rounds of chemotherapy and an extensive surgery, I am happy to report that Will currently shows no evidence of cancer!

You can read more about Will's journey here.  (The website asks you to register which was a requirement of keeping the site private, but your email address should not be used for any other purpose).

To honor Will and help raise funds for children's cancer research, I am participating in the Birmingham CureSearch Walk on October 22 at The Campus Green at UAB.  I was able to participate in the Dallas CureSearch Walk in 2010 and was excited to learn that CureSearch was planning its first ever event in Birmingham this year!

Our family at the 2010 DFW Walk 

Will & I 

Being a little goofy... 

These are the reasons we walk!
Will at the 2011 DFW walk
The green bandanas you see in most of the pictures are used at every CureSearch walk - different shades of green represent the different reasons for walking - you can walk in memory of a loved one, in honor of a survivor, in honor of someone in treatment, or as a corporate friend.  It is neat to see the different teams and learn about the people they are supporting.

So, I also need YOUR help!  If you are in the Birmingham area, I would love if you would consider walking the race with me - it is a very short walk (I'll have to ask about the exact length).  You can join the Will to Win team at the following site:

If you are not in the Birmingham area or are unable to make the walk, you can still become a virtual walker - you would be included on our team and would have your own personal page where you can raise donations.  Otherwise, you are able to make either a general team donation or donate on my personal page:

Lyndsay's CureSearch Page

I am also on the planning committee, so if there are any in-kind donations you would like to make for walk day (water, food, speaker rental, entertainment, etc) or if you would like any additional information, please email me at

Thanks for your support!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Orange Beach Recap Pt. 1 - Fun in the Sun!

As I hinted in my last post, Tim & I just spent a week in Orange Beach, Alabama!  I have been waiting to post to hopefully get a few pictures off of Lisa's camera (hint, hint), but since I'm probably going to have to break this anyway, thought I'd go ahead and post.  Lisa and I (with various combinations of our family members) have actually been to the beach several times together....

Florida - May 2004 - Lisa's 21st Birthday

Sandestin, FL - July 2007 - Rondy's work conference ('re so cute!)

Orange Beach, AL - Summer 2008 (Same condo building as our current trip - Shoalwater)

Also, Gulf Shores, AL - Summer 2009 - Rented a house, but can't find any pictures!

This year, our beach crew included:  Nate, Lisa, Wendy, Rodney, Justin, Madi, Kristen, Allie, Rondy, Landon and Crew (all in a 3 bedroom condo!)  We had great weather and a ground floor condo which was really nice because of the incredibly easy access to the pool/beach.

 View from our condo nice!

We had a great time hanging by the pool and the beach, doing some summer reading, catching up with each other, sipping on cocktails, and getting some sun!


Crew did so well - I swear, that kid hardly fusses!  I did get a little bit of a peek into life with a baby - I slept in the room with Lisa a few nights and therefore heard her getting up to feed him, I seriously don't know how she does it! 

Landon (who is a little harder to catch in pictures now by the way) really got to enjoy the pool - he did a good job of entertaining himself and was quite the little swimmer.  He was a little scared of the ocean, but loved playing in the sand - he let Nate bury him up to his neck!  That kid also has a memory like you wouldn't believe - RoRo (Rondy) gave him a list of things he needed to remember to pack, which he could list for anyone who asked.  He also had a rule that he wasn't allowed to go past the patio gate without 1.  Water wings 2.  Swim Trunks and 3.  Sunscreen - sure, he'd try and push the limit and go anyway, but he always KNEW what he was missing when we wouldn't let him!

Rodney and Wendy always bring their board for cornhole which is the simplest game, yet so much fun!  We seriously played this for hours everyday (mostly the boys).  You have two person teams and the goal is to throw washers into the holes on the board - 1 point for the closest hole, 2 for the middle, 3 for the furthest.  The first team to exactly 15 points wins!  You can "jackapoo" (no clue on that spelling) and win automatically by either getting one washer in each hole or all three of your washers in the same hole on one turn.  Rodney and Justin and Tim and Nate were definitely the pros, but I think we girls gave them a run for their money on a few games.

 We also tried to be better about getting out our cameras for a few group shots one of the last days we were there.

Nate, Crew, Lisa & Landon  - I think this picture is so cute - definitely a framer!!

Tim & I

This next picture is our effort of getting a "cute" but different picture...haha...I think there was something lost in translation here and I'm sure the Baylor girl we found on the beach and asked to take for us really thought we were "special." 

We did manage to take a few cute ones...