Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I feel, I can't say...


I listened to this George Harrison song about 47,000 times while Google searching "love", because that's the kinda day this Wednesday has turned out to be. I also looked at my old tumblr account and found these bits of inspiration here. 

Here's to a LOVELY day (and hoping this inspiration sticks)!

I spy

This lone tree just couldn't wait to show off its yellow and orange hues.

It's autumn in the Capitol...or at least it will be soon.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crockpot Love


I have a budding relationship with my crockpot and, who knows, by the end of winter, maybe we'll be monogamous. It's getting hard to juggle my time between the oven, stove and microwave anyway. And my poor toaster oven just sits in the corner...waiting to be loved.

My list of "need-to-try" recipes is growing and a coming out on top is:

Do you have an awesome crockpot recipe to share? Let us know!



Monday, September 26, 2011



I pretty much want to be the Pioneer Woman. I became hooked on her when I first stumbled upon her love story and haven't been able to get enough of her since.

So I was especially happy when I saw her posts on the Mean Ol' Schoolmarm because nothing erks me more than incorrect grammar. I'm not saying I'm a grammar aficionado but I'm dumbfounded when I receive an email littered with ridiculous mistakes. And secretely (or not so secretly now), I judge. I judge hard.

Take a lesson from the Mean Ol' Schoolmarm. She may teach you a thing or two.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cake Batter Ice Cream

For my daughter's second birthday, I made her an Elmo cake (Super easy using a cake mold!  Thanks Katie!)  The mold uses more than one, but less than two, boxed cake mixes.

Luckily, I had planned ahead and used an egg substitute in the batter.  That way, I could enjoy the batter without the fear of poisoning myself or my soon-to-be son.  I started by swiping my finger across the lip of the bowl to clean it off. 


Then, I'm a little ashamed to admit that my temptation got the better of me, and I dipped all five fingers into the batter and licked each one in pure bliss.  Then, I pulled myself together and thought about my options.

1.  Grab a spoon, the bowl and You've Got Mail.  Enjoy a guilt-free night with my guilty pleasures (followed by a guilt-filled week of, "Why, oh why, did I eat ALL that cake batter?")

2. Make cupcakes

3. Make cake batter ice cream.

I went with option 3.  At least this option is a more socially acceptable way of eating the cake batter with a spoon.

Photo found here

I found this recipe for cake batter ice cream and modified it since I had already added oil and water to the cake mix.  I used the recipe to make a yummy custard and then used my ice cream maker to turn it into magic.  I waited to poured the extra cake batter into the frozen custard until the last two minutes of the cycle hoping to create a delicious swirl of batter and custard.  

Unfortunately, a delicious swirl of batter and custard is not what I got.  The custard and batter mixed and neither taste is predominate.  This experiment was a failure! I would have enjoyed the cake batter much better simply from the bowl with a spoon in hand and my eyes fixated on Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks doing their thing

On the bright side, I didn't (and won't) eat ALL THAT CAKE BATTER.  And a guilt-free week might make this whole experience worth while.

Hugs to our followers (especially those that can relate, even if they won't admit it, to dipping their whole hand into a delicious batter),

Thursday, September 22, 2011



One day, I was lunching with my mom at a tiny cute French restaurant and I tried it...a Croque Monsieur sandwich and (without being dramatic) it changed my life. It was the most amazing sandwich I've ever had and if I'm being honest, I still think about it. A lot.

Hot ham with Gruyere cheese covered with Bechamel sauce. Love.

So, when I came across this Paula Deen recipe I decided it is a must try. Bon Appetit!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

They Say It's Your Birthday

How CUTE is this two year old?!

Goosey--Watching your birth was the single most awe-inspiring moment of my life. I'll never forget it and I'll never forget what a wonderful little princess you are. You make me smile. I love you, cupcake!


Aunt Kate

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bye Bye Summer

For the first time in many years, I'm actually embracing the approach of Fall.  Lucky for my husband, the pregnancy hormones have kept my body running warmer than normal.  We actually slept with the windows open in 40 degree weather, and I was walking around in shorts and a t-shirt in 60 degree weather.  This is so NOT typical for me!

37 weeks and counting

In addition to a smooth stout and a hearty beef stew, I'm looking forward to losing my beach ball stomach and gaining access to my fall wardrobe again.  In particular, my collection of coats.  As Kate taught me several years again, a classic coat (or twelve) eliminates the need of an extensive wardrobe (very good news in my case because I won't be fitting into most of these clothes until after Spring arrives!).  I plan on making jeans and a white t-shirt my clothing staples and then dressing it up with a great coat, cool scarves, and boots.

Currently, I am in need of a white mid-thigh/knee-length coat.  Twice now, I've turn to Victoria's Secret for their affordable collection of coats.  But, I just can't seem to order the right size.

Side note: I fell in love, ordered,and promptly returned this coat from VS last year.  It was NOT flattering on me, and made me realize that I'm NOT a Victoria's Secret model!!!
Photo found here
I've also been searching for a Northface jacket for YEARS.  But, why don't they make Women's Tall sizes?  The jacket hits me at just the wrong place (as one of my not-so-nice college roommates once informed me when I tried to borrow her jacket.  I think her exact words were, "See, you're too hippy to pull this off.  Its meant for someone petite, like me."  ::Ugh, please get over yourself!::

Despite my larger hips/thighs, my hope is that my jackets will camouflage the remnants of my baby belly (at least until I can crank out enough crunches and planks this winter to get six great ab muscles.) ::dreaming::

Au revoir Summer.  Hello belly concealing jackets!

Hugs to our followers,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hello, Gorgeous

Dinners this week have been easy:

 A medley of roasted fresh vegetables with a sprinkling of olive oil, salt and pepper. I'm pretty sure I'll soon turn into a vegetable. I hope it's a zucchini.

Don't worry, Mom. I'll eat more protein this week. Promise!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy List

Things making me ridiculously happy this week!!:
-nude ballet flats
-Trader Joes
-"bring your puppy to work" week
-evening walks
-anticipating a new season of Modern Family

What's making you ridiculously happy this week?


P.S. Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Home is where the heart is...

Home. It's such a wonderful feeling. I love knowing that I'm safe and comfortable at home. I am definitely a homebody at heart. I'm lucky that I've known so many wonderful homes and that I still consider a great deal of them my home to this day.

I went back to one of my most favorites homes this past weekend. Just a quick getaway to where I spent four fantastic years of my life. If you've never visited James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia then I suggest you go soon. It's still this perfect small town university on a stunningly beautiful campus. I loved my time there and it felt good to go back and get recharged. There's something about fall on a college campus that just makes everything ok.

There have been a lot of changes there since I graduated.  I was worried that it wouldn't be the same school that I had fallen in love with years ago.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that some things changed for the better (Starbucks inside the library!) and some things stayed the same (mmmm, D-hall).

JMU always had the most beautiful flowers. I swear, they were updating the flower pots daily. I still love the purple and gold color combo in my pots (and no ECU fans, it's not your colors).

Wilson Hall is still the beautiful strong building anchoring the quad. I was fortunate enough to graduate on the lawn in front of this building.

Here's Joe and I on the Kissing Rock on the quad. That's Wilson Hall in the background. It was a beautiful day and I loved showing off my old school to Joe.

There was a home football game while we were there. That is one change that is huge! Football wasn't that big while I was there but it's taken off in a big way since. There were tailgaters everywhere...kind of wish I had joined in!  I know the stadium is still small potatoes compared to PSU but it's pretty big by JMU standards.

All in all, it was a great visit. I love going back home even if it is just for a visit.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the Hunt

I'm in negotiations with Mother Nature to halt the on set of autumn weather. I don't think I'll win.

I'll try to embrace the cold so I've decided to begin a search for a cozy flannel shirt. One that's roomy, yet tailored and perfect for weekend-wear. The inspiration? This beauty from Country Strong:


So far the front runner is an understated plaid button-down from Madewell:

And I don't want to get TOO crazy here, but I'm also digging the idea of having the cuff monogrammed.