Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thankful Wednesdays

I work night shift tonight so I had all day today to enjoy the weather and relax.

Everything about today so far has made me appreciative of my life:

*I slept in until 11.

*I woke up to fresh coffee (thanks husband!) and a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. ;-)

*I hung out with Matt for a couple hours

* I meandered around Target for awhile after grocery shopping.

*I baked homemade orange almond biscotti.

*The sound of my Kitchenaid mixer as it's churning flour, butter, eggs and sugar into something so delicious.

*I made homemade salsa to marinade in the fridge for 24 hours before our mexican feast with some friends tomorrow night.

* I drank sweet tea out of a mason jar with a lime.

*I burned my first pumpkin spice candles of the fall (pre-fall rather).

*I made stuffed peppers and had a good homecooked meal with my husband.

*Drank some coffee and ate aforementioned orange almond biscotti before heading off to a night of being a nurse.

*I get to go take care of people all night.

It was a great day and I am thankful for it.

"For this is the day the Lord has made.
I will rejoice and be glad in it".

What are you thankful for today?!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Monday is Your Saturday

I worked all weekend. 3pm-11pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

So today, my Monday is your Saturday.

The weather is beautiful outside and I am headed out to run about a million errands. Granted, all of these errands are fun (well except getting the oil changed in our car). I'm headed out to get my passport photo taken *my passport is expired and is in my maiden name*, then I'm headed to ANTHROPOLOGIE to droo
l over things like this:
and this for fall:

Then I'm headed to World Market to oooo and awww...

then I'm headed to DSW for some new tennis shoes for work. Walking around for 12 hours a day without sitting has done a number on my current tennis shoes. It's time for an upgrade. My back and feet have been informing me of that the past couple days especially.

There may be some coffee in that picture and some lunch also. It's a me day while the husband is being scholarly in class and the stuffed peppers are cooking in the crock pot for dinner. ;-)

What are you doing today?!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer Baking

I absolutely LOVE baking.

My secret (ornotsosecret) dream is to own a coffee sh
op/bakery/breakfast burrito place with Matt. He would make the breakfast burritos (he is so good at it!) and I would make the coffee and ALL the baked goods you could dream up.

Anyways, back to reality here. This summer I have be
en baking up lots of things. Very rarely do I ever use a box mix. I am sort of a snob like that I guess. My grandma never really used one when I was growing up and that's who I learned my skills from.

Here is what I baked this summer.

Triple Berry Pie

I baked my very first pie all by myself. As you can see, I ran out of dough for the last little bit of the lattice top. I have made 2 pies since this one and I have improved my lattice work since this first experience.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze
Chocolate Chip Muffins with Crumble topping

4th of July Cupcakes

White cake batter turned red, white and blue. Wit
h Cream cheese icing.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Ganache Icing
This icing is my ALL TIME favorite. It's my grandmother's recipe and I always had her make me this cake for my birthday. It is my favorite.

Matt's 25th Birthday Cake- Pineapple Mandarin orange cakeThis is Matt's all time favorite cake. It's yellow cake with mandarin oranges in the cake. The icing is a cool whip based cake with pineapple in it. Delicious!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream cheese/chocolate chip filling and Mocha Icing

I made these for an event here on campus for the wives fellowship. They were a hit. I mean, chocolate+women= no kidding.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Butter cream Icing
Now, these guys may have been my favorite cupcake so far that I've made. SO GOOD! The little yellow on top is candied lemon peel. Delicious. ;-)

Next, Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter icing and a surprise in the middle!

The Surprise--

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese icing

It has been a very fun summer baking. I am excited for all the fun fall will bring as well. Pumpkin season! Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie! pumpkin cupcakes!?!?

I am also taking a cake decorating class this October. I am SUPER excited about it. I already bought the Wilton kit and will be practicing.


Interested in any recipes specifically? Leave a comment and I will do a specific post. ;-)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There's nothing like being in your childhood home.

We're back from West Virginia!

Our trip was amazing! It was short and extremely bu
sy but full of hugs and family and friends!

There is something about going back to where you were raised. Where all your family lives that once you go back, no matter the amount of time you were gone, it feels like you've never been gone.

We had such a great time.

We arrived Thursday afternoon and went to lunch with hi
s sisters and parents. We ate our weight in chicken wings and french fries with ranch dressing. Then we all rubbed our bellies for 3 hours. That evening Matt and I drove to Morgantown to have dinner with some of our friends that are still around Morgantown. I got to see my best friend and her husband and their adorable little boy! We also met up with one of our good couple friends who are expecting their first little one, and Tiffany one of the greatest friends and people I know! Our friend Kim was there and unfortunately her husband had to work. It was so much fun catching up with all of our friends.

Friday I got to spend some much needed time with my Mom. She is my longest best friend! We are so much alike! So,
Matt and mom and I did a little shopping and got lunch at the mall. Then, we went to visit my grandma. When you add her into the mix, you have 3 peas in a pod between me, my mom and my grandma. I baked some yummy chocolate chip cookies for our 2 day run of cookouts between our 2 families.

Friday night Matt went off with 2 of his best friends from kindergarten, and I went off to dinner with my parents. My mom and I.
My dad and I after dinner.

Saturday we woke up and went to the farmers market in morgantown!
We then headed to Fairmont to spend the day with his whole family. We had a big cookout with his family, grandparents and some cousins!Matt's little niece Tessa and his nana and cousins bethany and amy.

Matt and his sisters.

Sunday we went to my families church. It was like a homecoming as well. We went home and waited for my nieces to arrive! We haven't seen them since Christmas! They are so grown up and
so smart!Ava and Kadence with Uncle Matt and Aunt Katy

Little Ava doing what she does best. Looking cute and ornery at the same time!

Kadence bein silly with Aunt Katy.

Matt's family and I at my parents house for the cookout. Ava is playing with the Ipad. She is 2 and knows how to work that thing better than I do. It was unbelievable to me.

It was a great visit and so great to see everyone! Like I said, it was short but felt like we'd never been gone. So good to be home for a few days.

Now back to reality... I work my first night shift in 6 months tonight. Should be interesting...

In the meantime, I'm gonna bake some chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes with a little surprise in the middle of the cake. Stay tuned for that! ;-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rivers and Roads til I reach you...

My family lives in a different state.

Matt and I both are from West Virginia. All of our family is there with the exception of some cousins that live elsewhere. Our roots are from West Virginia. I even have the slight southern accent to prove it.

Neither of us have been home since Christmas. We have seen our parents and his sisters since then but no one else.

Needless to say I am beyond excited to go home! ;-)

The entire weekend is pretty planned out and designated to family and friends. It will go by so fast, but it will be fantastic!

Stay tuned for an update when I get back on Tuesday!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer To Do List 2011

Summer 2011 has been one of the best ever!! It's our first full summer being married and we've had a great time!

Here is our to do list:

We have had lots of lemonade.

On the 4th of July we had an EPIC water balloon fight with all of our neighbors.

Going camping with friends will wait until Fall.

Drive in movie also has not been checked off the list
just yet. We're workin on it.

I made a triple berry pie. My first pie ever. This is the first time. I ran out of dough for the little bit of lattice
there but it was DELICIOUS!

We've been to a lake.

We have explored Chicago plenty.B Boy battle on Michigan avenue.
Architecture tour on the Chicago river.

Taste of Chicago
Grant Park Chicago is such a fun city! ;-) I love exploring. Especially in the summertime when it's not below zero and FREEZING! And next on the list: We're going to WEST VIRGINIA on Thursday! We haven't been home to see our families since Christmas. Granted, we have seen both of our families once each since then, but being home is different. I can't WAIT! We celebrated 1 year of marriage on July 31st.

We had a fabulous weekend together. Saturday I woke up and made pancakes from scratch and a nice big breakfast with my husband. Then we got ready and went downtown for the day. We walked all the way to Navy Pier and caught the architecture tour around the city (seen above). Then we went to a delicious dinner at an Armenian restaurant downtown.

Sunday we woke up and went to church, then I got my surprise! We went to see the Million Dollar Quartet downtown. It was so great! It was a musical about Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. It was so good! The guy who played Johnny Cash looked freakishly like the real Johnny Cash that at times it freaked me out. It was a great show. Afterwards we had Tapas (the picture right above). It was a wonderful 1 year anniversary and we look so forward to the next 100 years (hehe!).

Back to the list!

We haven't been antiquing yet or to Six Flags (carried over to fall).

Getting junk food late at night?! Please, that happened a little too often.

We've been fishing! My husband caught his first fish ever!!! :-)

Ice cream with sprinkles?!?! Maybe tonight?!?!

It's been a wonderful summer as you can see and it's not over yet! ;-)

Stay tuned for all the deliciousness I've been baking this summer... and also my first giveaway coming soon!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Roots Have Grown

Here I am!

Sorry for the hiatus. This whole blogging thing can mess with my emotions sometimes. It's hard to know if people actually read it and then you think you put all this time into something that no one actually reads or cares about. But, here I am, back with vengeance. I have plans for blog posts and want to start a new series about my baking.

This has been one amazing summer.

Matt and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary!
We made this list on our chalkboard of all the things we wanted to do this summer. Our Summer To Do List nonetheless. We have almost conquered everything on that list! There are only a couple things that we haven't done.

Stay tuned for a post on that and a full life update! ;-)