Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

After every storm is a rainbow

I came home from walking the dogs the other night to seeing this gorgeous rainbow right outside my house.  It was amazing to see a full rainbow from end to end.  It has to be a good sign, right?

Look at how brilliant the colors were!  My camera doesn't do it justice.

It brought a smile to my face.  Mother Nature has some cool tricks up her sleeve.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

So big so fast!

Remember this picture?

The two of them could fit in the dog bed together...even if they fell out of it.  There was plenty of room for their tiny little puppy bodies.

And now...

They can barely fit on it alone let alone together!  Which means they end up wrestling.

Crazy puppies. But oh so cute.


Friday, August 24, 2012

It's a Love Story, Baby Just Say "Yes"...

Check out those two love birds, pretty adorable huh? Today is the 44th anniversary of my parent's wedding. They have one of the BEST love stories ever, it's like a fairytale! For the 38 years they had to celebrate together my dad always made a HUGE deal out of this day: flowers and a great meal (usually calamari included) and some bling! But the real magic of their marriage was how they treated each other every day, the little moments are the ones that counted the most and gave me the best example of what a loving, happy marriage should be.
Thanks mom & dad for taking a chance on love- for being crazy kids determined to make things work, even when "there was a war on". August 24th will always have a special place in my heart, it's a great day to be in love :)

I heart ice cream

Remember this post:  Can Ice Cream Change Your Life?  And this one:  Infused Vodka?   We've been at it again.  My husband had the brilliant idea to extrapolate our vodka infusing to include bourbon.  He did his thing and made a peach-infused bourbon that is definitely something to write home about.
Image found  here 

Afterwards, we were left with bourbon-infused peaches.  We didn't want to just throw them away.  Originally I thought we could eat them as an after-dinner treat.  But, after tasting one and getting slightly tipsy from it (who knew fruit could absorb SO MUCH liquor), we decided to go in a different direction.  This is where homemade ice cream entered the thought process.  

Image found  here

I used the same decadent  vanilla custard base as usual.  After much thought, I decided to add in silky, salted caramel,  crunchy, sugared pecans , and the bourbon-infused peaches.  yum, YUM, YUM!  I can't get enough.  I just wish I had made twice ten-times as much.

Hugs to our followers,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Phone

I'm the proud new owner of a smart phone.  I'll admit, I fought tooth and nail to keep this new addition out of my life for as long as possible.  But times are a-changing, and I knew I had to get with the program.  With the upgraded Samsung Galaxy now out in markets, I got a steal on this phone.  Much to my husband's dismay, once the phone arrived, I waited a week before activating it.  I had to make sure I was really ready to move away from my cute, small, indestructible, came-back-to-life TWICE Razzle phone I'd been using for the last two and half years of my life.  Look at it.  So cute.  So dated.

Image found  here

After giving myself a small motivational speech and making my husband sit next to me (but not touch anything) for an HOUR, I turned on the phone, read the manual, and proceeded to conquer my fears.  Say hello to my Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Image found  here 

Its so pretty and new.  I love almost everything about it (but really miss the flip-around keypad of the Razzle.  The tweens in my life couldn't get enough of that.)

What I love the most (and how have I survived 30 years without it?) is the camera.  How convenient to have a great built-in camera next to me 15+ hours a day.  Check out some of the spontaneous photos I've been able to capture in the last week.

bounce house fun

for the love of peanut butter

Hugs to our followers,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Not Lazy, Nor Cross, Just Perfect

Look at this boy.  Total cuteness, right?

If you're like me, after I move pass the chubby cheeks, oh-so-cute smile and button nose, I see one eye that's slightly off-center.  Despite hearing time after time that I was over-thinking and over-analyzing Maverick's pictures, I had to figure out why that eye had a mind of its own.  Even after his pediatrician checked the direction of reflecting light in his eye and confirmed that everything looked normal, the mom in me had to get a second opinion from a specialist.

The pediatric ophthalmologist did a series of tests and concluded that Maverick's eye was not lazy, nor cross.  It was just as it was meant to be.  So, why does his eye look off-center?  It turns out that some babies, Maverick included, are born with a flat upper nose (looks pretty cute to me!).  One's body knows that the nose will grow throughout life and compensates by "storing" a little extra skin around the area, so the skin won't pull/stretch later in life.  The extra skin around the eye changes the shape of the eyelid.  So, the eye is straight and working perfectly, but the eyelid makes it appear off-centered (similar to an optical illusion.  Here's a good example of one: Induced Grating).

 Give it a few years, a bigger nose, and stretched eyelids, and this boy will have the girls lined up around the block.  For now, I'll take that he's allllll mine.

Hugs to our followers,

Friday, August 17, 2012

An artist I am not...

But I wish I was! I truly have very little creative talent. What I do have is an ability to copy creative things that other people with said talent do.  I cheat. I copy.  Oh well.

When I drove up to parents house on the 4th of July I was greeted to a charming chalkboard sign welcoming me and my husband. It was the cutest darn thing ever.  Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when my mom surprised me with one of my own for my front porch.  I am obsessed with chalkboard lately.  Love it.

I tried to be a little artistic with my first sign.  My mom had also given me some of the fancy chalkboard markers that I wanted to use.

Here I am at work. I finished sketching out my design. I wish I had taken the picture so that I would have seen where I was crooked.  Whoops.

 And here are some views of the finished product.  I'm pretty happy with it! The chalkboard markers are awesome. They are easy to use and the colors are incredibly vibrant.

Next time I think I will stick to just white chalk. Or I may buy regular chalk in the pastel colors. I like the vibrant markers but I also like the whimsy of the old fashioned chalk.  We'll see!


Mmm...cookie dough

New challenge!  It is cookie dough theme week. So many options, so little time.

From Heat Oven @350

From My Baking Addiction

From Bubble and Sweet

From Kevin and Amanda

From The Domestic Rebel

From The Big Red Kitchen

From Babble

From Willow Bird Baking

From King Arthur Flour
Any preferences?  I can't decide!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

To Kate:

Image and recipe found  here 

I found this recipe for roasted beet and walnut salad.  Because I'm new to the beet craze, I want to make it for someone who is really going to enjoy it (and not gag on it like certain members of my family would).  Think this is an appropriate fare for our quickly approaching yearly picnic and concert? 

I'll provide the salad.  You provide something that will inevitably end up all over my picnic blanket.

Can't wait!

Hugs to our followers,

Oh yeah, I went skydiving

Mostly on a whim, last year I declared that I wanted to go skydiving. So when the opportunity knocked, I answered.  People gave me sideways looks but I decided that it was time to start checking items off my bucket list instead of just talking about it.

Folks, there is no talking about skydiving. There is just doing. And I did it. Once. Never again. It was incredible. Scary but only in the sense of my-stomach-is-in-my-throat-and-I-just-leapt-out-of-a-perfectly-good-plane.

I'm not a risk taker. Most recently, I browsed wallets online for months (multiple months!) and finally after much deliberation, I clicked the "buy" button.  And this was just a wallet. Imagine how I am with the big stuff.

On this particular day, my parents drove down to watch their youngest fall from the sky. We filmed it as proof although, obviously, we couldn't capture the free fall. You can tell the parts where my mom took over filming by looking for her thumb blocking the lens. It's ok, Mom, it adds character (=

Check it out...I actually went skydiving! The video can be found here. What you can't see is me saying to the instructor during the dive, "Is everything going as planned?" "Are you sure everything is going as planned?!!" And my sigh of relief when the parachute opened. I'm sure it was heard for miles.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Best cupcakes ever

Remember this post? I chose to make the Twinkie Cupcakes from The Domestic Rebel.  At first I wasn't quite sure they were that good but the blog post said to eat the cupcakes cold.  

Oh. My. God. 

 When Joe got home from work we both had our first bite.  Delicious.  Seriously.  It's the best Twinkie I have ever had.  

With a little effort you can have a homemade Twinkie without the preservatives that is delicious. I will be making these cupcakes again. 
And again. 
And again.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And It Was All Yellow...

I woke up with this song running through my head. I sang it (poorly) in the shower, and then started YouTubing it and found this adorable little video. It's adding some sunshine into an otherwise gloomy Tuesday.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The little things

 When I'm having a bad day I look at pictures of my puppies.  They immediately bring a smile to my face. They make me feel like a superhero.  It makes me excited to finish up my work and head home because their little butt waggle of excitement is purely for me. 

Sorry for the shaky video. I'm still getting the hang of it.  The pups crack me up.  Abbey is a hoarder and toy thief. She feels compelled to have control of every toy under the sun.  Poor Duke doesn't stand a chance!

They like to play under our arm chairs. They can sit under there and "talk" to each other.

They have mastered the stairs. Thank goodness for baby gates.

And when I'm having a bad day and they come snuggle up on my lap all the bad disappears.


This photo makes me smile.



Monday, August 6, 2012


I've been too busy with work lately to do much else. It's a fact that I've watched less than a total of 45 minutes of Olympic coverage, which is really quite a shame.

When I do have a few minutes of freedom though, I've been...

I borrowed the book American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld for a summer read. The story is loosely based on the biography of Laura Bush and honestly, I thought it would be a bit of a bore. I was wrong. It's actually a pretty engaging read and I carry this dense book around with me wherever I go hoping to get a few spare seconds.

Washington Nationals Stadium

I finally made it to the ballpark this summer for a Nationals game. And coincidentally was able to celebrate International Beer Day with Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. Sundays were made for baseball and beer.


I scored these awesome measuring cups on sale at Anthropologie. They may not be super practical, sure, but they are pretty. And they were begging for me to buy them. I had no choice.

I've heard countless praises for Breaking Bad so I'm going to queue up the series and jump on the bandwagon. Fair warning, I have big expectations for this show. BIG!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

5 ingredients or less...

Another week, another challenge.  This time the challenge is to make a dessert that requires only 5 ingredients or less!  I love this challenge.  I'm all about simple and easy desserts.  Now it's just a matter of picking from the many options. 

Smores Bites

From Style with Wisdom

Cookies and Cream Bars

From Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Smores Dip

From What Megan's Making

Strawberry Cheesecake

From McCormick
 Smores Truffles

From Liesl's Confection Dissection

Peanut Butter Pie

From Food

Can you tell that I really like smores?  I need to think about this one a bit more.  Any thoughts or suggestions?


P.S. Last week I ended up making a Blue Moon cupcake.  My thought was that Blue Moon is made in America but it's a Belgian wheat style beer. And then August is going to be a blue moon...they ended up being very tasty!