Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spring Break at Myrtle Beach, March 2010.

This is the boys running excitedly towards the water because YAY we're at the beach and it's spring break!

This is the boys seconds later.

This is Alex ummm... complaining it was just a little too cold for some areas.

This is the boys wondering why on earth did they do that. And plotting. They were plotting too.

This is me being dumped unceremoniously in the water.

This is the boys being boys and running back into the water.

This photo is an example of why you don't ask really tall people to take your picture.


My darling Dakota is a terribly confused puppy.

Exhibit A:

Most dogs don't like to pee on linoleum.

Dakota is much more likely to pee on linoleum than carpet.

Exhibit B:

Most dogs sniff things to see if it's something good to eat, then they eat it.

Dakota eats it then spits it out and sniffs it. Example: Lit cigarette.

Exhibit C:

Most dogs whine while they're being given a vaccine shot.

Dakota cried bloody murder before the shot. Then was silent during it.

Exhibit D:

Most dogs go pee then kick up dirt to cover it up.

Dakota kicks up dirt then pees on it.

I could go on... but I'll just leave it at that.

Monday, September 27, 2010


My entire life I have avoided watching sports. Actually, I’ve really avoided playing sports too. Yes, I played tee ball and softball when I was little, and the obligatory six year old soccer. But I was the one sitting on the grass picking daisies hoping that the ball never came near me. It didn’t work too well when I was goalie. But now I have a boyfriend who is INTO SPORTS. Like… TV always turned to ESPN, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, plays sports competitively, bets on brackets, fantasy football fanatic, wears the jerseys, gets depressed if his team is losing, and is ecstatic when they’re winning… into sports.

The little exposure to this sports life that I had before now was from my brother in law insisting on watching the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving. Which was always a fight because Thanksgiving is about family not football. And okay I went to Virginia Tech and attended all of the home football games… but let’s be honest, that was about the tailgating and turkey legs, not the football.

And then I start work at a place that is male-dominated… which meant I needed to be able to talk sports for small talk. So Lauren and I cooked up this idea of starting an all girl fantasy football league.

*picture coming soon*

And now, I can talk putting in Wide Receivers and taking out Running Backs, and what Corner Backs are gonna affect what Wide Receivers with the best of them.

*picture coming soon*

Friday, May 7, 2010

Peanut Butter. And Jelly??? No, just peaut butter.

Bella loves peanut butter.

Bella loves peanut butter a LOT.

In fact, I don't think there's anything Bella wouldn't do to lick the end of a jar of peanut butter.

"How do I get the rest of this stuff out?!???"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The love of my life.

Once upon a time a little (okay, not so little) girl went with her boyfriend and a friend to the Pulaski animal shelter in search of her dream puppy. She wanted a small puppy, eight to ten weeks old, which would get to be a smallish medium size, hopefully hypoallergenic, and didn't require too much exercise.

The first puppies she saw were absolutely adorable.

They looked something like these little guys, but a little bit older.

These puppies were so sweet and licked her fingers when she tried to pet them and were crawling all over each other. Unfortunately, the animal shelter guy said they were baby st. bernards and were going to get HUGE. Cute as they were at that age, they were just not the right dog, so girl moved on to look at the other dogs at the shelter.

One pretty puppy stood out when the girl was walking around. The girl walked past her kennel the first time and commented "oh, she's so pretty!" but kept walking, cuz this puppy was a barking puppy and the girl did not want a yapper. But she kept going back to the same kennel because boy, was this dog pretty! And maybe she was just barking because she wanted to play, who could blame her? So the girl asked for a leash and took the pretty puppy in a play pen to try to determine her personality. The puppy ran all around the pen five times getting all of her energy out while she wasn't cooped up, and the girl sat down to watch. As soon as the girl sat down, THIS happened:

The puppy stopped running around and jumped right into the girl's lap! And oh my gosh the girl fell absolutely in love. This was exactly the personality of dog she wanted, a cuddler that loved people!

But the puppy was just too old! She was already ten months old, and the girl wanted a baby puppy that she could train and raise from infancy. Who knew what bad habits this puppy already had??

Then again, this was exactly what she wanted when the puppy WAS ten months old, and a dog is a fifteen year or so commitment. She only missed a few months in the beginning, and that's just a fraction of how long she would have the dog for! And who knew what type of personality a baby puppy would develop, it could be awful! And this puppy's personality was already developed and was sweet as can be.

The girl was in such a quandary, but the more she stayed and played with the puppy, the more she fell in love with her. However, her pragmatic boyfriend suggested that she sleep on it, and not rush in to getting a puppy the first day she started looking.

As they were leaving, the girl asked the animal shelter guy how long the puppy would be at the shelter, if anyone else would come adopt her really soon. The guy said she's an older dog and mostly people only adopt the puppies, she'd been here about a week and they'd probably give her another three weeks before they put her down. "PUT HER DOWN?????" the girl was shocked. She had thought it was a no kill shelter! They couldn't possibly put this puppy down!

But nevertheless, she did have some thinking to do, because just because it might break her heart if they put this dog down, if it wasn't the right dog for her then she would be miserable taking care of her for fifteen years. So she went home and thought about it.

She stayed up late that night trying to decide if this was the right puppy or not. She tried to look at it from every angle and be completely objective. Her boyfriend suggested that she try looking at other shelters to see if there were any other dogs out there that would be a better match.

So in the morning, the girl and her boyfriend went to two more places to look at dogs. The first one was the pound, and it was such an absolutely miserable place the girl left crying, she couldn't stay any longer.

The second place had two different litters of puppies that were eight weeks old! And oh my gosh these were some cute puppies! And so playful! And were going to get a little bit bigger than the girl wanted, but still would be a medium sized dog, which wasn't too big!

They weren't these guys, but were just as cute and playful!

But the whole time the girl played with these adorable puppies she kept thinking about the pretty golden puppy that was at the animal shelter. So after playing with these puppies for a while she turned to her boyfriend and said "Can we go get my puppy now?"

So off they rode to get the pretty puppy that had wormed her way into the girls heart.

This is the ride home from the animal shelter. The new puppy was so good in the car!

After much thought, and lots of help from her sister, the new puppy was eventually named Dakota. And as it turns out, the not so little girl was me!

So world, meet Dakota, the puppy that has stolen my heart!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Okay, so I got REALLY behind on posting. BUT I still want to post about Easter because it was cute and I had a good time.

I'm going to skip the entire day until the evening. I don't remember what happened during the day... probably just slept and watched TV. So skipping on ahead, to start off with we went to dinner! Yay!

This is an awful picture of the two of us, but it's all we took!

Dinner was at Olive Garden, and it was totally scrumptious. We wanted to get wine but we were both broke, so c'est la vie!

After dinner we made Easter eggs! And really, the easter eggs are all that this post is about. We were very creative making them, and they turned out really well. Alex loves sports, so of course his first three were all sport related.

The dye kit came with a wax crayon, which is what he used to draw the lines. I'd never done that before so I thought it was pretty cool!

After a while, I tried to find a way to have the egg sitting halfway in the dye without me actually holding it the whole time. I decided to use a shot glass.

This ended up being REALLY COOL because the shot glass blocked dye from getting to the bottom part of the egg, which resulted in a strip of dye.

I took the shot glass out of the dye and just let the egg sit on the glass for a little while to try to prevent drips down the egg.

The I forgot to take pictures of the egg for my next couple of steps BUT

this is what the finished egg looked like. The blue strip in the middle was the result of the shot glass.

While I was messing around with my shot glass idea, Alex got all sneaky with a wax crayon on an egg.

Sneaky sneaky. See my shot glass egg sitting beside him in the dye?

When he was done with his egg he showed it to me. This was the first side...

Please excuse the bad photography, eggs are trickier than I expected to take pictures of because they're round and reflect light. Maybe I need to take a photography course. But that's off topic.

This is rotating the egg around...

Can you guess what's coming next? Cuz I totally didn't. I was too distracted by my eggs.

Isn't that really sweet? He made an egg with him on one side and me on the other. I loved this egg so much. It was the last one I ate because I wanted to treasure it.

And for the finale:

These are all of our eggs! Notice the bottom right one? I had seen that Alex had an "A" on one side of an egg so I was like "Cool! I'm gonna do one with my initials too!" Guess how dumb I felt when I saw he was actually doing BOTH our initials.

So that's my easter evening! I hope everyone else's was fun too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

St. Patty's Dinner!!

I forgot to take pictures for it! I'm a tard.

So not to bore and just to sum: the food that was cooked as planned was the goulangeres, the main dish was of course the corned beef and a the side were bangers and mash. The goulangeres did NOT look like the pictures in the slightest. The corned beef was DELICIOUS and had a brown sugar and mustard topping that I absolutely loved and want to make again. The sauce from the bangers went awesome with the mash.

Dinner was running late (as usual if I have anything to do with it) so Margaret helped me out and brought an extra appetizer: Gouda and crackers. I love cheese and crackers, really one of my favorite appetizers. Also, I forgot that Ashley was a vegetarian and pretty much everything involved meat so I ran out and bought some asparagus for an extra side dish. And I didn't have time to make dessert so Margaret also brought little short cakes with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream.

And, although I had planned to be the master chef for this master dinner I ended up kinda just being the coordinator. Alex and his little brother Dan helped a ton (they made the goulangeres and helped with the corned beef) and Margaret and Cally did the asparagus. I used premade mashed potatoes and cooked the sausage. But I swear I was busy and running around the whole time! I'm not very good at big dinners though, and the Easter dinner got canceled since the Irish dinner was only three days before and was a LOT of work, so from now on I'm gonna not say I want to cook everything. Maybe I'll just stick to desserts, that's what I'm good at.

I swear this was just a summary, I really could have gone on for pages more, but what's the fun without pictures? I've got some really exciting blogs coming up soon, as soon as I upload my pictures!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Post Secret

This is my favorite Post Secret card for this week:

What an interesting tale THAT would make!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patty's Day Dinner!

Which will be roughly a week late, because it's still in the planning stages. In fact, it's barely even a plan because I have yet to invite anyone to it. And I want it to be BIG! I love big dinners. However, because I am excited about all things irish, and because yesterday was St. Patrick's day so I still have GREEN on the mind, I'm going to start planning the food I want to make right now. And beware, I may have relied heavily on TastyKitchen! Hold on to your coattails boys and girls!

The Appetizer:

Blue Cheese and Irish Cheddar Gougeres

These babies from TastyKitchen have three VERY scrumptious sounding main ingredients (two of which can be found in their name): Blue Cheese, Irish Cheddar, and Dry White Wine. I'm going to start making these an hour before I tell everyone to come over, so that when people arrive these little suckers will have just been taken out of the oven and will be ready to eat!

The Main Dish:

Authentic Corned Beef and Cabbage

This picture is just a random picture of corned beef and cabbage because the recipe I'm going to use doesn't come with a picture. St. Patrick's day dinner is just not the same if it doesn't have corned beef. I loooove corned beef SO MUCH but I get it less than once a year (because there isn't always a St. Patty's dinner) so to skip it on this important day is just sacrilegious. At least in my eyes. The TastyKitchen corned beef recipe I found looks delicious, and comes with a perfect score in its ratings. It claims to be a recipe from an old irish pub, and just that fact makes it sound even more perfect for the dinner I'm planning!

The Sides:

Bangers and Mash

Bangers and Mash is apparently the irish way of saying sausage and mashed potatoes. And wow, I like their way of saying it! This side is actually labeled as a main dish in TastyKitchen, I guess because of the sausage, but I'm still going to make it anyways, probably just because of the name. I think it's actually the only side I'm going to do because the corned beef is made with cabbage, so we'll have cabbage, mashed potatoes and sausage all as sides. Does that sound good enough? I was also thinking of making some type of bread item, although I'm not sure I need to because I'm making the Gougeres for an appetizer. Thoughts anyone?

The Dessert:

Irish Potatoes

I actually really don't like irish potatoes. The main ingredient is coconut, and for some reason I can't make myself chew and swallow coconut. Unless it's in a pina colada, but in that case it doesn't have the waxy gross texture, which is where my problem with it lies. BUT. Just like corned beef, St. Patty's dinner is just not St. Patty's dinner without some irish potatoes, so they will be made! I'm going to be calling up my mom for the recipe on this one. I'm also looking for ideas for another irish dessert... any suggestions?

So that will be my St. Patrick's Day (A Week Late) Dinner! I'm looking forward to it! I will of course also be decorating the place with lots and lots of green, and I will probably be serving Guiness as a drink. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bored of Pandora?

I was playing with my Stumble Upon button (which come to think of it I don't think I've ever blogged about and I should) and I stumbled upon a new music site. I haven't decided yet whether I like it more or less than pandora, and it definitely has some drawbacks, but overall I've had a lot of fun playing with it.This is a picture of the site.

The main drawback with it is that to really play around with the site you have to pay for it, which I refuse to do. But you can still have fun with the free options. What you do is choose what type of mood your in, energetic or calm, and dark or positive. You can also choose what decade you want your songs coming from, and what style of music. There are buttons at the top where you can say "play your favorite artists," "similar artists" and "discovery." Unfortunately you can't choose "favorite songs" which plays your fave songs (duh) but I don't really mind that. The "discovery" button searches for less popular songs which I think is pretty cool. The annoying thing is you can't skip around the map it's drawn out unless you get the "premium version". You can still tell it what songs you like and what ones you don't like tho, so I'm happy enough with it. The interesting thing (to me) was that when I was signing up all the questions were in french (or another similar language?). But it wasn't hard to tell what they were asking. You can also use it without signing up, but where's the fun in that? I've liked most of the songs they've played, once I got my settings in a good place, and now I'm rocking out! :) You should try it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This made me laugh today

Redneck Love Poem

Susie Lee done fell in love;
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy 'bout it all
She told her Pappy so.

Pappy told her, "Susie gal,
You'll have to find another.
I'd just as soon yo' Ma don't know,
But Joe is yo' half brother."

So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said, "There's trouble still...

You cain't marry Will, my gal,
And please don't tell your Mother,
But Will and Joe and several mo'
I know is yo' half brother."

But Mama knew and said, "My child,
Just do what makes you happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe,
You ain't no kin to Pappy!”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To do or not to do?

Applying for jobs recently has gotten me to thinking about what exactly I want to do for my career. And really, I have not yet gotten it narrowed down yet. My favorite options, in no particular order are:

~Become an EIT (on the way for that, I'm signed up for the FE) and then a PE. Meet lots of contacts in the professional world and find "a niche in the market," as my dad would phrase it. In other words, when I'm a PE I want to be meeting contacts so that I can open my own consulting business, hopefully by the time I'm thirty. I just need to figure out what exactly people would be consulting with me for. But I do already have a logo!This is me working at a construction site working for ECS. On my way to becoming a PE!

~Become a world famous novelist. Of course, that means I have to become any type of novelist first, but if I never write a book in my entire life then I'm going to be very disappointed with myself. Also, this is something that I plan on doing whatever my career is, and this would only be my MAIN career if I did become world famous. And rich.

~Open a bookstore. This is definitely one of my favorites. And the least likely. Belonging in this category is also opening up my own pastry shop. I've been doing a lot of baking recently, and I've discovered I'm pretty talented at it. What would be really cool is if I could open up a bookstore with a pastry shop in it. I guess I might as well serve coffee there too. But does that sound too much like Barnes and Noble or Borders? If I opened up my own bookstore I would want it to have some cool twist so that I could compete with the big boys.I've posted this picture before, but I haven't taken any other pictures of my baked goods apparently! I should have gotten a picture of my peach crisp... it's my fave so far.

~Work for Forella Group. Maybe expand what we do so that I can use my ME degree. I would want to become a PE before I did this though, Forella Group needs more credentials. Also, I could help Forella Group really grow and then open my own branch in another part of the country (Florida). That would be awesome.

~Go back to school and get my Masters or PhD and figure out what I want to do from there. I don't know what I would do with it though.

So those are the most likely options at the moment. Of course, winning the lottery should be in there too, but I'm just going to take that one for granted.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Automatic Replay

I have a new song I'm totally obsessed with and can't stop playing. Actually, I don't think it really is a new song, it's probably just the first time it's come to my attention. Whatever the case may be, I've been playing it over and over ever since I downloaded it... yesterday. But just because I've only had it one day doesn't mean that this will not be a long and hard obsession... I may need to make it my ringtone. BUT. I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but I'll do it anyways. The song is from the new Dante's Inferno EA game that's coming out. And boy did they do good marketing because now I'm not only obsessed with the song, but I want the game too. SO BAD. It reminds me of Diablo, and Diablo and I really had some good times together. Oh, and of course seeing the commercials for the game also really makes me want to read the book Dante's Inferno. It's next up on my list. The song is Ain't No Sunshine (When She's Gone) by Bill Withers. Check it out. Like right now.

This is a picture from the game... I know I'm a dork but it looks SO COOL.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Obsession

My newest *online* obsession is Post Secret. I read one of the Post Secret books ages ago, and I liked reading through it, but ever since I stumbled upon it online, it's become an obsession.

This is the Post Secret book that I read.

The only thing holding back my obsession is that they only post new secrets every Sunday. However, never fail, every Monday morning I go through my blogs starting with Post Secret. Some of them really hit home, and I feel like I have an identical twin out there somewhere in the world going through the same things as me, and I wish I could meet them. Other secrets make me really feel for the secret-keeper, and I hope that whatever it is they're wishing for comes true.

I like to imagine the stories behind all of the secrets. I wonder who I would get along with, and who I would think is just crazy, or conceited, or selfish. Some of them make me want to write a book about what I think the story could be. I think that it would be really cool to choose my favorite secret and publish a book with what I think the story could be, with the postcard printed on the cover of the book. And then maybe one day the secret-keeper will contact me and tell me I had it all right and they could correct me just on the details. Or maybe they'll contact me and tell me that I'm completely wrong and don't try to understand something I could never understand. Whichever way it went, I would love to find out.

This is my favorite secret from this week.

I like this one a lot too.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snowed In Dinner Time!

The snow hit here pretty hard Friday night and into Saturday night, so a lot of people got snowed in. We had originally planned to make a big dinner Saturday, and we decided we still wanted to go through with it. There were escapades driving to the grocery store on unplowed roads, but unfortunately I had forgotten my camera. I wish I had gotten a picture of Kaitlin's car having to be pushed up a big hill, mais c'est la vie. However, I DID chronicle our dinner, kinda PW style!

The first creation was made by Kaitlin, assisted by Margaret. Some of them are triple decker crackers with a layer of peanut butter and a layer of chocolate. Others are just crackers with peanut butter in the middle and chocolate melted on top. They had a lot of trouble getting the chocolate to melt, but in the end, although they weren't pretty, they were delicious!

The next course was bread drizzled with olive oil and herbs and baked in the oven by Alex...

...with three different types of cheeses supplied by Margaret(gouda, smoked provolone, and smoked cheddar)...

...topped with caramelized onions cooked by Alex! I used to not be a huge onion fan, but recently I've really gotten into them. And these onions cooked with brown sugar and regular sugar were just delicious. The images of the bread, cheese and onions were after we had already started digging in, because I got so distracted by food I forgot to take pictures immediately! Also, we ate some of the cheese and onions with bread that wasn't baked, and that was really good too because the bread was sooooo soft.

Now to make things make sense food wise, I'm going to skip the fact that I started making the pie around now, and just start talking about dinner. But, before I can go into dinner, I have to mention the wine! When we went to Kroger this guy had a stand in the wine section where he was giving everyone samples of hot mulled wine and cheese and crackers. The wine was really good, and PERFECT for a snowed in evening, so Alex bought the ingredients to make it to go with dinner. I can't remember what they were exactly... something about a bottle of white wine, a bottle of red wine, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whatever citrus-y fruit you've got laying around.

Not the best picture, but the wine was really good! We let the fruit sit in it for a while so the wine would soak up the flavor. Yum yum yum!

Now, for the main course, provided by Margaret! This happened to be an entirely vegetarian meal, which is certainly odd for me, but everything was delicious! The main portion of it was lentils and rice.

Margaret made a huuuuge pot of lentils and rice, almost twice as much as we could all eat. And there were 8 of us! I can't remember the seasonings that went into it, but the main point was just the lentils and rice. And then of course everybody made jokes for the rest of the night because we were all eating lots of beans.

The other main component of dinner was cabbage. I was really worried about not liking this because it's green and looks like leaves and I don't eat salad, but I looooved this. Margaret sauteed the cabbage in soy sauce, olive oil, and something else, I can't remember what. She said she was going for the chinese food dish of cabbage, and it really did remind me of that. There wasn't any cabbage left over after everyone was done eating. Part of that was because since it's such a light dish, it's easy to still pick at even when you're really full.

The master chef! Margaret cooking away on the stove. It looks like she's posing for this picture, but she really wasn't. While she was cooking she remained stirring at the stove almost the entire time.

And for the finale of the meal, which of course everyone was way too full for: strawberry rhubarb pie! I've never had rhubarb before but I love strawberries, so when Alex requested that I make it, I wasn't hard to convince.

Mixed inside the crust here are strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, quick cooking tapioca, salt, and orange zest.

This is the pie baking in the oven. I coated the top crust with boiled sugar water so that it would be a little glazed. The aluminum foil ball to the left is my extra pie crust that I didn't use stuffed with the left over cheese from the hors d'oeurves.

I had to cover the outside crust partway through cooking because it started to get too brown.

The finished pie! The outside edges were pretty brown, but not burned, so it was fine. Wow, it's so much easier to chronicle things step by step when you're the one taking the pictures! I kept getting in Margaret's way so I couldn't get lots of pictures of her cooking. And, the final food item:

The cheesy pie crust. Which actually wasn't that good because it had too much crust and not enough cheese. Oh well!

And that's it for our snowy dinner! :)