What's been cookin'...

Here's a little bit of what we've been cooking around here lately...

Zesty Chicken Enchiladas
Recipe out of Real Simple

They are super good. Tangy and zesty from the tomatillos with lots of gooey melted Monterey Jack on top!

A favorite: Roasted Veggie Orzo
an Ina Garten recipe
I think this is all I ate that day. Really hard to stay away from it! Easy recipe and good for a crowd. My friends often say "bring the orzo!" if we're all bringing something for a party.

Potato-Zucchini Pancakes
A Giada recipe
Those were super tasty--would be great for a party, especially a Christmas/Holiday party since there is Rosemary in them. Mmm!

White Bean Dip
This was a recipe out of the Everyday Italian book I've been cooking from. A great, easy little snack to whip up. Just a few ingredients: White kidney beans, lemon, parsley, olive oil, s&p! I've also made the Marinara Sauce out of that book and it's really fresh and full of tomato flavor! I can't wait to try the fried calamari to dip in it. Completely different from the usual spaghetti sauce I make, which has brown sugar in it (somewhere, an italian woman just rolled in her grave...).

I can't believe Thanksgiving is in 2 days! BG's parents are coming up, so it'll just be the 4 of us...and 3 dogs. I'm making my mom's traditional turkey, dressing, and gravy, but I thought I'd mix up the sides and try some Pioneer Woman recipes. I'm going to make the Whiskey Glazed Carrots (had these at a friend's house once, delicious!), Creamy Herbed Potatoes (made these for Easter this year, delicious!), and Green Bean Casserole (this one's different...it has peppers! And bacon!). We got everything from Trader Joe's, even the turkey. Their cornbread is SO good and I can't wait to make the dressing with it again.

I plan on taking lots of pictures of our goodies, so I'll be sure and share them here! And Friday is Christmas Decoration Day! I got some new ornaments and a few other things to change up our decorations this year, so I'll be sure and share that too!

I hope everyone has a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!



Hi friends! It's been almost a month since my last post...tsk tsk. Things have been pretty busy around here, so here is a quick update on what we've been up to:

  • Work, work, work!
  • My mom came in town for her birthday and I made her some cupcakes. Happy Birthday Mama! I made her some mini cupcakes.

  • I haven't cooked my next Giada recipe yet, but I have been cooking a lot of new things...mainly recipes that I've pulled out of magazines. Some were good, some not.
  • Billy and I have been riding our bikes a lot more lately on account of the weather being so nice. So, we can blame the weather for my absence here, right?
  • I've been reading a lot. I've read 5 of the 9 Sookie Stackhouse books...and we've joined Netflix, so we're watching a lot of movies.
  • Here is something else I have cooked: Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. The pumpkin cake is a recipe that my grandmother made for years. I'm currently obsessed with small things (mini cupcakes, small appetizers, etc) so I decided to adapt this recipe for smaller amounts. I also tweaked how you put the ingredients together, based on what I've been learning about mixing dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, and sifting your dry goods. These turned out so much lighter than the actual cake, and they were delicious! I'm not knocking my grandmother...what can I say, she was old school!

So that's about all I have to say right now. I'm considering pulling the plug on this little blog...I'm so AWESOMELY BAD at posting regularly. Should I just do a "picture a day" type thing where I just show you what I've cooked that day, or something that we've done? Not sure yet. I'm still working on my photos and cooking/baking. We'll see what I come up with.

Happy Saturday everyone!! Enjoy it!


New project!

It is a GORGEOUS fall day here in Nashville, and I've started a new project. I was really inspired by Julie and Julia and decided that I, too, wanted to cook my way through a cookbook. I have a whole shelf of them that I rarely ever try recipes from, and decided that needed to change!

So, I'll be cooking through Giada de Laurentiis's book, Everyday Italian. We all know I'm a huge fan of hers: I DVR both of her cooking shows and watch them in my down time and I often try the things she cooks on her show. Our favorite pork recipe is actually a Giada recipe!

So here we go. My plan is not very strict. I'll cook when I have time, and try to do 2-3 recipes at a time until that gets too ambitious. The first section of the book is Everyday Antipasti and I've done 2 of those for today. I love that each section has a "cooking from the pantry" section how many of these recipes can be done with little or no special grocery shopping since these are items many of us have in our pantry already. I, myself, actually did have to pick up a few things, but not much. And I don't really feel right about posting the actual recipe, since I'm working from a book, but I bet you could find them on the Food Network website.

The first thing I tried was the Tuna and White Bean Salad.

This was very a light and refreshing, simple recipe. There are only a few ingredients: cannellini beans, tuna (it called for dark meat tuna in olive oil, but I had albacore in water, so sue me), red onion, red wine vinegar, s&p. I've never actually thought to put red wine vinegar with tuna, but I loved the tangy zip it gave the salad. This would be a great light lunch, especially over some arugala or romaine.

The next one I did was the Crostini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Chickpeas.

I loved everything about this. The texture of the dip is very similar to hummus, which I love, and has the yummy flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes. I didn't have the dried basil or parsley that it called for, so I just used some herbes de provence and I think it tasted great! And then a little garnish with some fresh basil from my garden and some lemon zest. The crunchiness of the baguette complimented the creaminess of the dip very well, and it was easy to make. Who doesn't love just throwing things into the food processor and letting it do its thing? Needless to say, I'll definitely be making this the next time we have people over.

An added bonus to this project is that I'm trying new recipes, of course, but it's also giving me a way to practice with the photography. You can only take so many pictures of the dog.

I have the ingredients for the next one, so I'll probably try that tomorrow.

In other news, I'm down 8 pounds total with Weight Watchers, and Billy and I have started Power 90. The weight's not falling off as fast as I'd hoped, but I think this is really setting me up to live a healthy lifestyle from here on out and it's not so much about losing a bunch of weight quickly. Fad diets never work anyway, so I think this is the right program for me. I love that we are working out again and I feel stronger with every workout.

Billy and I also celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary last Sunday, the 10th! It was extremely laid back--we had friends over and hung out outside around the fire pit. I also made homemade marshmallows and graham crackers, but would you know I did not take a single picture! It was really laid back and we had a great time. We even had thawed out the top tier of our wedding cake and ate a slice for breakfast that morning and it was so good! We didn't do the traditional first anniversary paper gifts, unless you count the concert tickets we bought ourselves. Actually, a few weeks ago we went out to the Prime Outlets in Lebanon, TN and got our gifts together. I got a new Coach purse and Billy got a new Coach wallet and some new Oakley sunglasses.

So anyway, that's what's going on with us right now. Talk to you soon! Enjoy the day!


Our house in the middle of our street...

Today, September 30th, is the 2 year anniversary of the day we closed on and began moving into our home...here she is:

I had no idea that you could fall so in love with a piece of property, but it's possible! Billy and I fell in love with this house the moment we walked into it in 2008 and never looked back. We know it was our "home" immediately.

House, here are a few of the many things we love about you:
  • How charming you are, in all of your 90 years (that's right, she was built in 1920!)
  • Your beautiful leaded glass front door
  • All of your windows
  • How you keep us safe and dry
  • How you sit up high on a hill
  • How you make our friends and family feel like you're their home, too
We also have another anniversary coming next week! Can you guess what that is?


Snack time!

Happy Tuesday! I just wanted to share with you a little snack recipe that I found on the Weight Watchers website. It's for Roasted Red Pepper Dip--but I tweaked it just a bit because the original recipe called for cilantro and I don't really care for that. Whether or not your watching your weight or just want an easy, tasty snack, I urge you to try it! It's super good!

Mmmmmm! Snacks!

Roasted Red Pepper Dip
15 oz. roasted red peppers
1 c. fat-free sour cream
1/4 c. basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Put all ingredients into food processor and pulse until smooth. Serve with Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips and enjoy!!

I think this would also be a great recipe to take to a party, which I might do in the future so I will have something yummy to snack on without wasting all my points...like I did the other day with our friends' queso dip. Oops! And I'm happy to report that even after a week in NYC, I still lost a pound! I am definitely stepping it up this week and it's been a lot easier since I'm at home.

I hope everyone is having a great week, and that the weather is nice where you are!


House Tour--Master Bedroom

Hey y'all! It's a gorgeous Sunday morning here in Nashville. I LOVE fall here. Although the weather hasn't quite changed yet, I know it's coming and that makes me so happy! Time to get out my fall decorations.

So, I know I said I would write again "tomorrow"...but the very next day I got a crazy email from my boss that they needed me in New York for help on a project! So, all last week I was in NYC. We worked a lot and I actually got a chance to see a lot of the city and even New Jersey; it was a whirlwind to say the least!

Billy and I were talking and he thought it would be a good idea to have pictures of our house for insurance purposes, and it gave me a good reason to get off my lazy butt and take some pictures, and then post them here as promised. I'm actually going to work from the BACK of our house and move forward.

Today, let me show you our master bedroom. The fact that it was actually clean is a miracle in itself, so please enjoy!

Master Bedroom

Sitting area to the right of the bed

Area to the left of the bed. Door on the right is the walk-in closet;
door on the left is the bathroom.

View from the left side of the room.

Vanity and "throne" in the bathroom.

Take a shower, you smell like New Jersey!
- a funny quote from my new work friend from last week's project

Storage and stuff. I can't believe I put this on here!

The paint color is Behr's Quiet Moment, but my friends and I have affectionally dubbed it "Adult Blue". I'm seriously thinking about painting--I want the room to have a peaceful spa-like airy quality, and I'm just not getting that with the "adult blue", and it really doesn't flow with the rest of the house. Maybe I've been spending too much time in hotels, because I really want something light and neutral and clean, much like a hotel room. Some favorites right now are Martha Stewart's Spring Melt for the bedroom and maybe Whetstone Gray for the bathroom. I also like Behr's Ivory Mist. I think we'll try to pop over to to the HD today and get some samples.

The furniture (bed, side tables, and chest of drawers) are all from Haverty's, the Marseille bedroom collection.

The bedding is from Crate & Barrel, the Lindsey Paisley Bed Linens. It's actually on sale right now!

  • Lamps on the side tables, curtain rods--World Market
  • Curtains--JC Penny (I think! I've had them for a while so I don't really remember!)
  • Long mirror over the couch--TJ Maxx Home Goods
  • Small round table was my grandmother's
  • Metal candle-holder over the bed--Pier 1.
  • White shelves in bathroom--Target, from my college apartment.
  • "Art" in bathroom, small white bud vases--Ikea

So, there's that. Like I said, I have some plans to change things up in there. If we had the time and the money, I would gut the bathroom and start over--or at least fix some of the things that bother me. We fell in love with the slate tile in the shower when we saw the house and do still love it, but there are other things about the bathroom that are just not functional. Maybe the BG will let me mix it up a bit...yeah, probably not!



Brain dump...

And here we are again...almost 2 months since my last post. Bad blogger lady!! We have a lot to catch up on, and I have a lot on my mind, so this post might be a bit of a brain dump. Here we go...

I've moved several things around in the house and I do so want to post pictures. I've almost gotten to a point where I don't want to touch another single thing around here, as I love the way it is THAT MUCH. Somewhere in Nashville, Billy's jaw just dropped...

That pesky 5% is still the adult blue in our bedroom. I just can't figure out where to go with it. I'll post some pictures of how it is now, promise, and then let you see what you think of some potential color choices. Definitely loving some of Martha's new shades.

And then there is work. I had a really good day today. Most of my job is learning and implementing Salesforce.com with some of the projects that our marketing team has been working, and I gave a training presentation today and had great feedback. Within minutes I had an email AND voicemail from my fabulous boss saying how great she thought I had done. Phew!!!!

In August I went with my two friends Kara and Jennifer to our other friend's wedding in Savannah, and it was the best time! BG couldn't go, but we had a great time, just us girls.

I took lots of pictures but honestly, I still feel a bit wonky with that camera attached to my face. But K and J reassured me that it is a MUST accessory on our adventures. I still have to thank them for making me lug it around as I got some great pictures! Here's one for you of us at Catherine's super-swank wedding. I fixed the color just a bit, but didn't crop because I love to see all the background people having as much fun as we did! Cheers!

Jennifer, Kara, and me at Catherine's wedding, 8/7/10. Love them!

And one more thing...I know how many times I've posted that I'm gonna do P90X and finish, or how I like Power 90, or recently that I've started (trying) to walk 3 miles a day, or even post on here once a day. Here's what I've discovered about myself: I have no self-discipline. And it really doesn't bother me that much, honestly. So, I've decided I'm going to do my best, at whatever it is I choose to do. Lately, especially after dress shopping and seeing myself in pictures, I've decided that the self-discipline thing definitely needs to change and I need to start taking better care of myself, so I put myself on Weight Watchers last Thursday. Today was 1 week into it and I've already lost 5 pounds. I'm hoping to lose 20 at least by the end of the year, and I think I've got a good chance of hitting my goal.

Part of me feels really embarrassed by admitting it, but the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. Truth is, I was so proud of myself when I weighed this morning and actually had a RESULT!! I love the accountability of the points and being mindful of everything I eat, and seeing that line go down on my weight tracker. And the fact that there is an iPhone app to help when I'm out and about or traveling for work REALLY helps. I don't feel deprived at all or that I'm even on a diet. I still get to eat the things that I love, although not as much, but it makes me appreciate it that much more.

As far as this blogging thing and self-discipline goes, I know I have to treat it just like a work project--do a little every day. And that's what I intend to do! I'll put it on my to-do list right up there with unloading the dishwasher. Baby steps!

Until tomorrow,


Time flies...

Well, y'all. July has just been crazy for me.

As you know, BG and I returned home from Texas on July 5th, and obviously things have been hectic around here as I have not posted ONCE since we got back! Lots of things have been going on though:
  • I got a job! At my previous job, I was helping someone with a side project and she had been persistently trying to get me on her team since about February. Some how she managed to make that happen, and I have been working again since last Monday. I will be working as a contractor until the end of the year, and then we'll see where things go from there! Last week they had me in Minneapolis all week for training on a sales database, and then next week I'll be in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington DC) for a meeting.
  • I finished the desk! It is not perfect by any stretch, but I finished it. I built a desk! I'll post a picture soon--I'm still working on getting our "office" together and I want you to see it when it's all done and pretty! I took the color inspiration from a binder that I used when I was planning our wedding. Think: chocolate brown, turquoise, a light celery green, and white.
  • We've been working hard on the yard...we have new grass and everything! I have a few plants to shift around, and then I'll post pictures. PROMISE. And by "we", I mean Billy. He's the best.
  • I got an iPhone! Yeah, yeah, so what. But it's big news for me!
So anyway, the moral of the story is: I've been pretty busy. Since the beginning of June and then running through next week, I'll have been in or through 9 states! The girls and I drove to Florida, so that put me in Alabama, too. Then I drove to Texas, so that puts me through Louisiana and Arkansas. Last week's trip to Minneapolis, and had a stop in Illinois. And then next week I'll be in Virginia for work and then Georgia for our friend's wedding. Counting Tennessee, I've hit up a good 20% of the US!

Once I get settled in with work, I plan to get back on the workout wagon (I started Power 90 on Tuesday and it is so much better for me than P90X!), and finally put up some pictures of our house. I've been moving a lot of stuff around so it's kind of a disaster right now.

I hope everyone has a splendid weekend! I've got a birthday party to go to, and then week 2 of our card group...what about you?



We're back...

We're back from Texas and I just wanted to show you how insane our kitchen looks right now.

It's pretty ridiculous.

I have lots of things to share: what we did to my mom's house, what Billy did while he was at home and I was gone, and what I'm up to now that I'm back.

Stay tuned!



Here I am in Texas, and I guess it's been a while since I've been here during the summer months because OH. MY. GOSH...it is hot! It's not even 12 noon as I'm writing this and it's already over 90 degrees, with the heat index expected to be over 103. And don't even get me started about the humidity.

We've been doing our best to stay inside and keep cool and decided to have a little fun. And so, I wanted to introduce you to my mom. Blog, meet Marilyn!

She's goofy. She's funny. She's caring, opinionated, passionate.
And a barrel of fun and laughs.

Here's mama with the rugrats, Sophie (her dog) and of course, my Murphy.

Sophie just loves Murphy. Murphy, on the other hand, could take it or leave it.
There has been lots of growling in the past couple of days...

Sophie is such a cutie, but she is so mischievous!

And there's my sweet boy.

There will be many more pics from my little adventure in Texas, so stay tuned. On Friday I get to see my good friend Jill. We haven't seen each other in about 3 years, but we were super close when she lived in Nashville. I can't wait to see her and meet her sweet little girl Mia!

Stay cool, y'all!


Meet Victoria!

Well, I've been a busy bee this month. How is it already June 16th?! On Sunday I returned from a quick little trip down to Watersound, FL to celebrate our good friend's bachelorette party weekend. And then this Friday I'm headed down to Texas to visit for about 2 weeks. Hopefully I'll get some of my beach pics up before I leave for Texas!

Anyway, Billy's best friend, Adam, and his wife, Ashley, recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world: Victoria Taylor Nelson. They were taking Adam's brother to the airport here in Nashville and decided to swing by for a visit, and we are so glad they did! Billy has been so busy with work, that we hadn't had a minute to run back to Billy's hometown to meet her.

Here are some pictures of her visit:

What is cuter than baby feet? Really!

Victoria with Uncle Billy

I can't even begin to describe how it made me feel to see Billy holding a little baby. It will definitely be a couple years before we start on Project Baby, but I know when the time comes, he will be such an amazing father! It was hilarious hearing him say "Hey little baby!".

It's time to go get ready for my trip! Happy hump day, y'all!


Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

Happy Friday!

I got bit by the baking bug today. Either that, or Billy kept asking me what I was doing with the butter on the counter that I was letting come to room temperature. We'll really never know.

In my folder of "Recipes To Try", I had a print-out from Tasty Kitchen, a complimentary website to our favorite Pioneer Woman where regular folks like me can submit their delicious recipes. It was a recipe for...Oatmeal Cream Pies. Now, I LOVE Oatmeal Cream Pies. But I also like knowing what is in my food, as opposed to buying treats like these from the grocery store. So I thought I would give this one a whirl.

Here is the link: Oatmeal Cream Pie Recipe. Oddly enough, it was posted by "whatmeganismaking"...sounds like this girl and I have a lot in common!

Here are a few pics I took:

Fresh oatmeal cookies, straight out of the oven!

Oatmeal Cream Pie!

After a pesky husband swooped in a took a bite out of my finished product...I won't name names.

I'm going to be honest here. I really did like this recipe, but I thought the oatmeal cookies were better by themselves!! I will definitely keep this recipe around, but probably just for the oatmeal cookie recipe. They were really easy to make and they made the house smell DELIGHTFUL!

**If you haven't checked out Pioneer Woman, I suggest you click on that handy little link above and give her a visit. Not only is she funny and delightfully quirky, but she has amazingly delicious recipes and even has a photography section--one from which I've learned quite a bit about photography and Photoshop. I've tried out several of her recipes and I'm rarely disappointed. I took these potatoes to our Easter gathering this year and they were a big hit!

Tata for now!
mrs g.


Martin's BBQ

Last week, I got to tag along with my friend Jen Cook, who is one half of the very dynamic photographer duo Photographix here in Nashville. Jen and Ann are actually the ones that shot our engagement pictures, my bridals, and our wedding, and they do a fantastic job!! (If you have any sort of event coming up, you should check them out, for real!)

Jen was kind enough to let me tag along on her food assignment shoot for Southern Exposure magazine at Martin's BBQ Joint in Nolensville, TN. I had heard of this place before, mainly that the bbq is pretty legendary. They actually appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives last Monday!

Here are some my favorite shots:

I definitely have learned a thing or two from Miss Jen over the last few weeks that she's let me tag along with her and pick her brain:
  • How to use the light meter in my camera so I can get the correct exposure. This definitely takes the guessing game out of it, and I feel more in control of how good the shots turn out.
  • Take pictures of EVERYTHING. When she does shoots like this one, she says she takes hundreds of shots while the magazine will only use 4 or 5, but it's best to give them lots to choose from.
  • Some simple ways to enhance my photos in Photoshop, simply by adjusting the levels.
I'm getting a little more comfortable with both my camera and editing my photos, and seeing some of the ways Jen photographs stuff has given me a different perspective on how to shoot things on an angle or what to do in certain situations. Thanks so much Jen!


Yummy Pasta Salad

Happy Saturday, everyone! I wanted to share with you the pasta salad recipe that Billy and I took for a spin last night. We wanted something light and fresh and this hit the spot!

I originally pulled this recipe from a magazine, that I'm guessing is Family Circle--the only clue I got was the familycircle.com on the bottom corner of the page. This was a reader recipe that was sent in and I LOVE any kind of pasta salad so I decided to try it out.

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
1 pound rotini
2 pounds thin-sliced chicken cutlets
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large sweet red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 large green pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 medium-size red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly slided
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil

1. Cook pasta following package directions. Drain.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat grill pan or broiler. Sprinkle chicken with the lemon juice and grill or broil for about 2 minutes per side or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Set aside and let cool.
3. When cool, cut chicken into bite-size pieces and mix with cooled pasta in a large bowl. Add diced peppers, onion, scallions, and dill.
4. In a medium-size bowl, whisk mayo, vinegar, honey, mustard, sugar, onion powder, parsley flakes, salt and black pepper. Gradually whisk in oil.
5. Pour mayonnaise mixture over the pasta and chicken and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Now I have to admit that I improvised a little on the recipe. I didn't have a red onion, so I used Vidalia onion. I did not have fresh dill, onion powder, or dried parsley flakes. I used dried dill weed in my sauce. And I only used half of the oil. I like how mine turned out but I'm curious how different it would taste if you follow the recipe exactly.

Things I liked about it:
  • The creamy yet tangy and light dressing.
  • The fresh crunch of the veggies.
  • The pasta--duh.
I'm not really a chicken fan, but I do like how it added some good protein in there. I think it would also be great with shrimp.

Billy mentioned this would be a good dish for a summer picnic, and I completely agree. This is one of those dishes that ABSOLUTELY tastes better the next day, when the sauce has had time to hang out and all the pasta is nice and cold.

Next up: Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies!!!


Quick one...

I decided I needed to share two things with you real quick...

My dog.

My lunch.

That's all. So far this "freedom" thing is agreeing with me. :)


Here goes nothin'...

Friends, I've recently been handed some lemons. At work I was up for a pretty decent promotion, which I did not get. I'm still trying to understand why that happened, because I looked back on that job description and checked off the requirements like you check off the items on your grocery list. While I have my own opinions about it, I'm not the type of person that's going to run my mouth (fingers?) because I didn't get my way.

I've decided to make something out of those lemons: I quit my job. I'm not sure what I'm making with those lemons yet, maybe lemonade? Maybe a cake? Maybe I'll take pictures of those lemons and sell them on Etsy? I dunno.

I've though a lot about this, even though things happened very quickly. I like to think that maybe the only reason for working there was so that I could meet Billy. Fortunately, our Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball has crushed many of our bills over the last several months, and with Billy working so much it has definitely afforded me this opportunity to jump ship and maybe pursue some things on my own.

Here are some things on my TO DO list:
  • Learn more about photography and SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT!
  • Finish Photoshop Classroom in a Book, so I can edit my photos.
  • Restart P90X--we made it through Phase 1 and 2 last time. I'm going to do the Lean version this time and I'm determined to make it all the way through.
  • Cook. A lot.
  • Work on some things around the house. I plan on building myself a desk, and then tackling our laundry room with some help from Ana's plans on Knock Off Wood.
  • Teach myself how to sew finally.
  • Work up to at least a post per day.
  • Make a trip or two to Texas to see my mom in Houston and my friends Jill and Jenny in Dallas. Jill's baby Mia is soooooo cute, and I've been dying to squish her for MONTHS!
I'm not sure where this journey is going to take me. Maybe something with photography? Food photography? Catering? I don't know. I know there is a plan for me and I just have to wait and see what that is. I'm scared, anxious, excited. And scared. So, we'll see. Wish me luck.


Roast It Yourself...

One of my favorite things to do on a quiet weekend morning is to get up and watch cooking shows--shocking, I know. A few years ago, I happened to be doing just that, and happened across Ellie Krieger's Healthy Appetite on FoodNetwork. On that particular episode she was making her Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce and it looked yummy and healthy, so I thought I would try it out.

Let me tell you, I completely fell in love with that dish. It is a staple in my repertoire and I make it often. But I always made it with the called-for jar of peppers. Until Saturday.

I had a big bag of sweet red peppers, rainy weather, and an empty house, so I decided to roast the peppers and play with my camera a little bit. It's really easy, and I totally have pictures of the whole process but for some reason my computer isn't cooperating with me at the moment.

I'll walk you through it anyway...

First, lay out your peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet and stick it under the broiler. The peppers will bubble, blister, hiss, sizzle, squeal, and make all sorts of noises you didn't think they should make.

When they are all bubbly and brown on one side (about 10-15 minutes), flip'em over and roast the other side.

Then, put all the peppers in a big bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Leave them in there for at least 30 minutes or so. This way they'll be cool enough to handle, and being in that bowl under the plastic wrap will steam them and make it SUPER easy to peel them.

Finally, peel all of the skin off, pull out the stem, and clean the pepper of all the seeds. If you don't use all of the peppers right then, you can store them in olive oil in an air-tight container.

I used about 3 of my roasted, cleaned peppers and made my favorite pasta, and it was a million times better than with the peppers out of the jar...totally worth the extra effort! With that, friends, I leave you with this photo of my finished pasta:

And believe me, it was every bit as good as it looks.

I hope everyone is having a superb week!


Treasure Hunt.

Last night, I came home and the Billy Goat had a little surprise for me.

It started at the back door, with a note that read:

“Ready to Play?

When I am visiting, I need to get clean...”

With that note was a 4G SD Card. Hmmm...

I thought for a minute and then decided that if I was visiting and needed to get clean, I would go to the guest bathroom. So off I went. Nothing in the sink. Nothing on the toilet. I checked behind the shower curtain...a-ha!

Note #2, taped onto a camera bag.

“What good is an empty bag? There has to be more.

You can say when I’m in the kitchen I’m TOP SHELF”

So I went on to the kitchen. Nothing on our top shelves in the cabinets looked out of the ordinary, so I checked the pantry...bingo!

Note #3, taped onto a ZOOM LENS...

“So you do agree I’m Top Shelf? I’m kind of pointless without my body...

I like to hang out in very dry places...”


Being the ding-a-ling I am, I looked in the washer first...oops. Nothing there. Look in the dryer next, and dug under some clean clothes I really need to fold...

Note #4, taped onto a CANON EOS REBEL T1i DSLR CAMERA!!!

“You found me!!! I’m all yours. Love, Billy and Murphy”

Swoon. Sigh. Grin. My husband sent me on a little in-home treasure hunt for the camera I’ve been gabbing on and on about for at least 6 months. My BFF Kara was there, and got to witness the whole thing. I was sort of in shock, and she summed it up perfectly when she said I was all “twitterpated”. You got it, girl.

So that lead on to lots of hugs, kisses, thank yous, beers, and the best darn burgers and potato salad I’ve had in months! I took a couple pictures but haven’t gotten very far in the manual yet to know how to upload them...haha. I’m working on it and will hopefully have some pics to post later today or tomorrow.

Now that I think about it, is TOP SHELF a play on TOP CHEF? Or could it be just that it is really good? Either way, I think it’s adorable.

I stinkin’ love that guy.



A few years ago for my birthday, one of my work friends gave me this cookbook: 500 Cupcakes!

While I haven't tried as many of the recipes as I would like, I have definitely found a favorite...for life. The Zucchini & Feta Muffins--these muffins are to die for!

Billy mentioned that this was one of the ways I reeled him in...I think I brought one of these to him at work when we first started giving each other that sideways look...hehe. I try to make them for him every once in a while. He loves them. They are especially good right out of the oven with butter. Mmmmmmmm.

Dogs love them, too! Murph was very insistent that I let him sample a piece, just to make sure they were ok. They passed the test.

And for the record, I cannot WAIT to get my hands on a DSLR so I can take better food pictures...

So, if you happen to come across any of those 500 cookbooks, I definitely recommend picking up one or two. I have the appetizer one as well, and there are some yummy treats in there, too!


I want to go to there...

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I watch a lot of Food Network. In particular, I'm a giant huge-normous fan of Giada De Laurentiis. At the moment, I'm watching some episodes of Giada at Home that have been collecting dust on our DVR. Have you ever watched the show?

I couldn't find many pictures of the house, but some of the images they have on her show are enough to make even the luckiest girl go green with envy. On the beach, the lawns are perfectly manicured, and I absolutely adore her kitchen.

You can see the waves from her little window there. And I just love how the bottom cabinets are dark while the top cabinets are white with glass fronts. And the tile backsplash. Everything is just so light and airy! Makes me want to go remodel the kitchen...JUST KIDDING, BILLY!!

Really, you should go watch it. You might learn how to cook something yummy, too!



I have been a really bad blogger lately. Here's what's been going on:

  • On March 4th, my parents came up from Texas.
  • On March 7th, I turned 27.
  • My parents were here all through the next week until this Monday, the 15th.
  • Since the time change I have been ABSOLUTELY WIPED OUT! I know it's only an hour, but I have never been so tired in my life. No, I'm not pregnant.

I have made some developments in our living room decor though. I was somewhat perplexed about what else to put in here and the thought of driving to a bunch of stores absolutely puts me in a panic. So, I put together another mood board.

What we already have:
  • Our walls are painted Behr's Garden Wall.
  • The blue is the color of the curtains.
  • The rug is from Pier 1.
  • The couch is from Haverty's.
What is new:
  • The pretty flower print, also from Pier 1.
  • Some bright pillows, from Pier 1, in a pretty coral. I decided this room was too blah and needed to dial up the color a bit.
  • That pendant lamp is the awesome one at West Elm. However, Billy wrinkled his nose at the thought of wiring a light where I wanted it, so we got the one I've been keeping my eyes on from CB2. It came yesterday. It's perdy.
  • I already have a ceramic garden stool, but it's in a creamy ivory color. I'm contemplating spray painting it copper.
  • I really want that big Expedit shelf from Ikea. Maybe we'll use this as a reason to visit Atlanta!
I'll get some pictures taken this weekend and post up here for an AFTER moment. I'm definitely much happier with how things are looking around here compared to before, although my "I want to do this..." list seems to grow by the minute.

I hope everyone has had a great March so far!