Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wedding Snapshots: Table Numbers

You could definitely say that I was one of those girls who has dreamed about her wedding since she was five years old. During the year leading up to our engagement, we were invited to, and attended, at least five weddings. Once we got engaged, I think we attended at least five others. This was an awesome thing for me, because it allowed me to see so many different themes and ideas, so by the time I was really into planning our wedding, I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted.

I was also lucky enough to have a sister (my Maid of Honor), and Mother who have an unmatched eye for design and decor. I like to say that I planned about 95% of our wedding on my own, but the truth is that I couldn't have done it without the two of them, and I will never be able to express the gratitude I have for everything they did for me during that special time in my life.

One of the elements of our wedding that was most important to me was photography. I knew that the pictures would be one of the only physical memories we would have to keep for the rest of our lives. Again, I was lucky enough to have multiple friends that felt the same way and were either photographers themselves, or had someone fabulous to recommend. When I chose Dana Duncan, my plan was to choose our wedding date around her availability. Yes, I was that girl. Fortunately for us, it was not hard to find a date that worked for everyone, and next thing I knew, we had a wedding date and an engagement shoot scheduled!

B wasn't a huge fan of the idea of an "engagement shoot," but being the wonderful man that he is, he put on his sweet smile and tried to make the best of it. And, of course, being the lovely woman that I am, I made sure to include a quick stop for drinks along the way. We chose Baltimore for our engagement shoot because we live in Maryland, and the wedding was in New Jersey (near my hometown), so I thought it would be perfect to add a little Maryland flavor into that aspect of the wedding.

One of the ideas that I had seen and loved was the use of pictures of the bride and groom, accompanied by a number, and framed to use as the table numbers. I decided that the engagement session was the perfect place to capture these pictures, and Dana obliged. The pictures turned out great, and it was so much fun to see them adorning each of the reception tables. And, even better, we got to keep them and have a few of them around our house today.

So, whether you're wedding planning right now and looking for ideas, or you just love weddings like I do, I thought I would show you a few of the table number photos that we used.

We ended up with 16 tables, which was actually a relief from the 20 we had originally planned for!

This picture was taken right along the Inner Harbor in Baltimore - love.

If you know me (or have read my "About Me" section), you know that I'm a huge NY Jets fan, so we thought it would be a cute addition to use our football jerseys to represent numbers 5 & 6.

So, there you have it; a little glimpse into our wedding. I promise to post some more ideas and pictures. All of our hard work paid off, and it is so much fun to look back on our big day!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Wish List: iPad Users!!

So, I bet you're not surprised that the new iPad 2 is on my current wish list. Isn't it on everyone's? A few of my friends have the original iPad, and they all love it. Naturally, I wanted to wait until the second generation iPad was released before I thought about getting one. Well, we got one in at work last week, and it only took an instant with it for me to fall in love. I'll admit that it spurred me to make a super early Christmas birthday list?!
Do any of you have iPad's? What do you love or hate about them? I'm trying to do some serious field research before B and I adopt one into our family. The best news? B works for a home builder as a Project Manager, so his truck is his office, and there has been some talk around the company about getting the Project Managers iPad's instead of new laptops! Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Because They Go Perfectly With Coffee

I guess you could say that I have a bit of a sweet tooth when it comes to some of the items that I love to pair with my morning pot cup of coffee. Recently, I've been on a baking kick, and will make a loaf of bread or two every month for us to grab for breakfast before work. If you follow my blog, you might have seen the pound cake recipe that I posted a few weeks ago.

As much as we love breads around here, I have been feeling like muffins would be an even easier (and already portioned for you) grab-and-go breakfast item for us. And so, I wanted to share this new recipe with you.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large, ripe mashed bananas
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12-mufin tin with liners or spray.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix bananas, egg, butter and milk in separate bowl. Then stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 of the way. Bake about 32 minutes, or until muffin tops are gelden and toothpick comes out with only melted chocolate on it.

If you're wondering if I'm a seriously creative and talented baker, the answer is no. I am merely a decent "Google-er" and love to scope out new recipes! I found this one here.

And yes ladies, you can blame me if you aren't able to eat just one of these for breakfast; God knows I'm guilty of downing 2 or 3!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Productive Weekend

We had an awesome weekend. We actually stayed in MD for a change; caught up with friends, cleaned, ran errands, played with the pup and got to spend most of it together. What more could a girl ask for?!

The weekend didn't start out on such a positive note though. Remember that job I interviewed for last week? The one that I was waiting to hear about the second step for, and was super excited about? Well, I found out Friday afternoon that the company decided to go in a different direction with the position (read: they decided to hire an entry level person for much less money). Needless to say, the news put a damper on my Friday afternoon, and I was worried it would do the same for the entire weekend. B came to the rescue and made sure I wasn't feeling down and out, or so he tried.

I have always struggled a bit with self-confidence. It is probably in direct correlation with how much stock I placed in relationships with boyfriends, and how I let a break up tear me down one too many times. Well, now that I am older and wiser in my relationships, and have married the man of my dreams, that lack of self-confidence has come lurking in the form of "you're not good enough for that job or career." I guess I can understand how that could happen since my meeting last week was so positive to start with. The recruiter felt that I was the perfect person for the job, and I was gearing up to meet my "future" colleagues who just happened to work for a company that is ranked in the top 5 companies to work for my Fortune Magazine. Sounds perfect, right?!

Well, I guess this job was not what God had in mind for me. I have realized that this experience, though negative in outcome, has a silver lining: it helped me to figure out what I think I want to do next as far as the field I want to be in. I have substantial experience in legal recruiting, and have decided that I'd really like to get back into recruiting in some form. I also realized that there is still some action going on in the job market. I have been able to land a few interviews over the last month or so, and it's been reassuring to know that companies are starting to hire again.

All of that being said, it's still a blow to your ego, and a tough one to swallow when you feel like you're so close to getting something that you think you want, and then having it taken away from you as quickly as it was presented. I know that God will answer our prayers, and that I will find something bigger and better. I am a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason," but know that it can be easier said than done in some circumstances. Do you ever find it hard to just leave your fears at the foot of the cross and leave it all up to Him? I do. And, I'll admit that this is mostly due to my fear of losing control.

So, this week? Sure, I'll continue to job search, network and pray about what's next. But I will also be working on giving up some of the control I think I have, and trying to simply trust that God knows what's next, and he won't lead me astray. A tall task at hand, but an important one at that.

Do any of you struggle in this way in any areas of your life? I hope I'm not alone, and have a feeling that I'm not. Sorry for the rant, but at least I left the serious stuff for Monday, right?!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

Saturday Morning Scene

Happy Weekend!! We are happy to be at home on this Saturday morning.

 I decided to finish that dining room decorating project that I shared with you a few weeks ago, and boy am I glad I did! It's looking more complete, don't you think?!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Furbaby Friday and Stream of Consciousness

Is it Friday already?! If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I interviewed for a job on Wednesday that I am pretty excited about! As of now, I am still waiting to hear back about the second step - waiting is hard! Nevertheless, my apologies for my two-day hiatus. We are still here and excited for another weekend!!

I couldn't let this Friday go by without sharing one of the latest and greatest "Furbaby Friday" pics with you.

This is how I found Riley while I was sorting through piles of laundry (including our sheets, which is why our comforter was strewn across the floor!) I think this picture is just to die for!! Doesn't she look like a full-sized dog already?!

The other things going on around here can be described like this:
  • My March Madness bracket got totally busted last night - how did I manage to get ZERO points when FOUR games were on?
  • B is also out, because he chose Pitt to win it all in both of his brackets - I guess we won't be winning any prize money this year!
  • I am praying hard (and have my fingers and toes crossed!) that I will hear something about the next step with this job today, Lord willing!!
  • I have found myself wanting to branch out and try some new recipes in my kitchen - I just need to figure out where to start?!
  • True Confession: I have only worked out ONCE since we brought Riley home. That was about 7 weeks ago (Insert shame here!)
  • I have been craving a trip to the JCrew outlet this week - still working on how I can get B to come with me and let me buy some new threads (that I obviously do not need).
  • I think I'm going to buy my flight to Atlanta to visit my sister at the end of April today or this weekend. She just moved to Buckhead, and I can't wait to check out her new city!!
What are you all up to this weekend? We'll be staying in town, visiting with some friends, and taking Riley on some more playdates, of course! Hopefully I'll have some more goodies for you for Saturday Morning Scene tomorrow!
Happy Friday from the M's!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

B and I both love a warm, homecooked meal. I mean, who doesn't, right? But, being the ever-savvy wife that I am, I am always looking for ways to spice things up in the kitchen. You know, so we're not eating the same four things on repeat.

About a year ago, I saw that Kelly had posted this recipe on her blog, and mentioned that it was one of her "go-to's" and super easy! Well, I thought it looked gorgeous, and would make this wifey look like a pretty darn good cook!

So, about two months ago, I decided to venture into the unknown, and have my way with a brand new recipe. I changed up a few things, but still stuck pretty closely to the original recipe. The results? Not only was it easy, but it was super delicious and had the Hubby asking for seconds and taking the leftovers for lunch the next day! It was definitely a hit in our house, and I hope it will be in yours, too.

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables Recipe

6 tablespoons olive oil (use more if you're using more than three chicken breasts)
2 lemons, thinly sliced (I often sub lemon juice for this)
4 cloves of garlic (I am liberal with my garlic!)
Salt & pepper to taste
5-6 carrots, sliced
3 red potatoes, quartered
1-2 sweet potatoes, quartered
2-4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 450. Coat a large baking dish (I use my large Pyrex baker) with olive oil. Arrange lemon slices from first lemon in single layer across bottom of dish (this is optional). In large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice of second lemon, garlic, salt & pepper. Add red potatoes to mixture and toss to coat. Using tongs, remove potatoes and arrange on top of lemons. Repeat for sweet potatoes. Add carrots to mixture and toss to coat. Use tongs to remove from mixture and arrange on top of potatoes. Place chicken in mixture to coat. Remove chicken from mixture and place as top layer in baking dish.

Roast for 40-50 minutes. Remove chicken and continue to roast potatoes and carrots, if necessary.
Isn't the mixture just gorgeous??

I will be surprised if this meal doesn't become a hit in your house - I hope you all enjoy it!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene: Home in New Jersey Edition!!

Saturday Morning Scene

Well, since we missed sharing our actual "live" Saturday scene with you, I thought I'd get it out there for first thing Monday morning so that I could share a snippet of our weekend in Hometown, NJ.
My sister's miniature Shiba Inu, Bella meeting Riley for the first time. It took them some time to get used to each other!!

B doing tricks with the girls.

Our little fam of three :o)
If you're wondering why all of our pictures are of the dogs, it's because we spent basically the entire weekend with them. Riley was spoiled with so much attention from us, so this work week should be an adjustment back into real life for her, too!

Thanks again to Katie over at Loves of Life for heading up Saturday Morning Scene again!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Road Trip!!!!

I decided we would skip our usual Furbaby Friday around here to make room for a joyous post about the road trip that B and I will be taking this weekend!!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may already know that I was born and raised in Northern NJ, lovingly referred to as Hometown, NJ. Until recently, my entire immediate family: Mom, Dad, two sisters and a brother (all younger) were still living at home. When I left for college in 2002, I stayed south of the Mason Dixon line, and then settled in Maryland after our wedding. My younger sister just moved to Atlanta and my baby brother is a freshman at Penn State, but it still always feels like I am the only one who moved away.

Truth be told, I think I need to start making more of an effort to go home for a weekend here and there on my own, but right now I love making the trip with B, and now Riley, in tow. It's like a mini family vacation, and my parents still treat me like a special guest, since I'm only home once every few months. I am sure that once we have kids, I will try and take the time to go visit for a week at a time, but right now, the best we can do is a long weekend every two months or so.

Well, the long weekend has arrived, and by the time you read this, our sweet little family will probably already be on the road headed north! We plan to spend the weekend relaxing, catching up with my parents, playing with the puppies (my parents have a miniature Shiba Inu at home) and participating in our family March Madnesss pool!!

I may be a bit distracted this weekend, but should be around tomorrow for Saturday Morning Scene! Obviously, I had to leave you with a little NJ flair!
Had to include this gorgeous shot from my actual hometown :o) This pond is actually right across the street from my parents neighborhood!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Official!

We've made some big decisions around here this week, and we're excited to share them with you!

Our new address will be - this transition should be complete over the next day or so, so keep checking back!!

And a special "THANK YOU!!" to all of our new followers!! If you're new and haven't left a comment, please introduce yourself so I can follow your blog, too!

Oh, and of course I wouldn't forget, likely because of all of the Irish blood in me (about 50%!) ...

Are you doing anything special to show your Irish Pride?!

A Weekend in the Mountains

As I mentioned one day last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Women's Retreat with some wonderful ladies from my church just a few weekends ago. I knew I wanted to attend this year as soon as I saw the information in the bulletin, and it listed Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries as the speaker.

A good friend of mine arranged it so that 4 of us ladies could share a room (2 of which I had never met). It was obvious from the moment I met S and E that the four of us would hit it off and were going to have an emotionally and spiritually full weekend. So, we packed up my Honda and headed up to the Rocky Gap Resort in Cumberland, MD. Cumberland is a very small town, but it was such a nice break to be able to travel outside of our comfort zone, and really turn the world off. We left our worries, plans and struggles behind and prepared for what would be a life changing weekend!

This year's theme was "A Confidant Heart" and let me tell you, Renee really rocked it. She was such an inspirational speaker. The way she spoke and told both intimate and lighthearted stories from her own life really made all 265 of us feel like we had made a new friend in her. The weekend consisted of worship, large and small group sessions, a bunch of free time, and lots of new friendships. We all left the retreat feeling lighthearted, loved, inspired and encouraged. I think it was a real blessing for us to bring all of those things home to our families.

I know I cannot describe the way that we all really felt after the retreat concluded in this post, so I thought that I would encourage all of you to try and be a part of of a women's retreat in your own churches, you definitely won't regret it!! And, here is a video of Renee is you want to check her out!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Wish List: Sunglasses

Daylight Savings has reminded me that warmer weather is just around the corner. Right?! Hence, I thought it would be fun to daydream about the pretty little shades that may adorn my little face this summer. After all, there are many trips to the in-laws beach house, and the ever-famous Seacrets in my near future, and this girl has got to protect her eyes!

My history with sunglasses has always been to buy that adorable $9 pair on the rack near the checkout at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, and see how long they last. This method definitely got me through high school and college, and I was better for it, because any expensive pair would likely have been lost or broken. Maybe. This method has also left me with multiple pairs of partially chipped, faded, or cracking cheap sunglasses, and to be brutally honest, nothing seriously chic either.

So, in an effort to be a more stylish, nowIamamarriedwoman gal, I started making a mental list of the "grown-up" sunglasses that would be a great addition replacement for my collection.

I have never had a pair of Ray Ban's before, but this chica has a real hankering for a pair now!
The Original Wayfarer in black - simple and classic

The Original Wayfarer, but in tortoise!! Swoon.

A classic spin on Ray Bans - the classic (and shiny!) Aviators!

 So, what do we think? All of the items on this list are $100 and higher online, so I am going to have to choose one out of the three so Hubs doesn't have a heart attack.

So, let's take a poll. Do you choose:

1) The Original Wayfarer's
2) Tortoise Wayfarer's
2) The Classic Aviators

Ready? Go!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

'Can't Live Without' Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

My reasons for sharing this recipe are short and sweet: who doesn't love comfort food, and don't we all want homemade chicken noodle soup when we're feeling down or sick??

I got this recipe from one of my very best friends, A, and have been using it incessantly ever since. The combination of spices and ingredients are divine. This truly is the best chicken noodle soup I've ever had. I typically make a large pot each time so B and I can enjoy the leftovers for a few extra days.

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

One shredded rotisserie chicken (I buy my rotisserie chicken at Costco and use about 80% of the meat for this recipe)
1 cup (each) chopped carrots, celery and white onion
1 Tablespoon (each) of: thyme, parsley, oregano, poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of pasta of your choice (uncooked)
1 box of chicken stock ( I always use Kitchen Basics low sodium stock)
4 cups water
4 chicken boullion cubes
Handful of flour

Chop vegetables and saute in the bottom of a large stewpot with a drizzle of olive oil. Shred chicken. Once veggies are somewhat translucent, add spices, poultry seasoning and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Add chicken stock, water and boullion cubes and stir well. Cover and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Then, add pasta. Toss the shredded chicken in flour to coat (using a separate dish). Add shredded chicken to soup about five minutes after the pasta. Stir well and cook on low for another 10 minutes or so.

I normally serve this soup with fresh-out-of-the-oven crescent rolls, and it is to die for!!


Monday, March 14, 2011

A Date With Bethenny

So, you all know Bethenny, right? You know, the Bethenny from The Real Housewives of New York turned true reality star with her own show Bethenny Getting Married last year? Well, she is back at it again this year! Her show, now lovingly referred to as Bethenny Ever After allows its viewers an intimate look into her life as a newlywed, a new mommy, a business woman and much more!! If you've ever seen her in any of her shows, you know that Bethenny is stunning, creative, sylish and has a sense of humor like none other. My DVR never goes a week without recording her show, and I am a total sucker for any Bethenny marathon on Bravo.

I jumped on the RHONY train a bit late in the game, but it didn't take long at all for me to fall in love with Bethenny. Once I found out she had gotten her own show, it was a signed, sealed and delivered deal. I have even been known to force ask B to sit through an episode of two with me. Well, amidst the joyous premiere week of Bethenny's new show, I received a text from my sister-in-love, Ashley Paige letting me know that Bethenny's Skinny Girl Night Out tour was headed to our very own Baltimore in about two weeks!! Naturally, I rushed to the computer and ordered us two tickets for the show, plus all of the absurd add-ons and fees.

Well, this past Saturday night was the night. We broke out our red, applied a little extra makeup and headed to the Hippodrome Theater to hang with our girl Bethenny. Let it be known that Bethenny did NOT disappoint. We were surrounded by close to 1200 of Bethenny's closest friends fans, had Skinny Girl margaritas in hand, and were soaking up all of the gossip, dishing and honesty that Bethenny had in store for us. Saturday night was the final night of her tour, so I feel like we really got the best show, though I may be a tiny bit baised.

I will summarize our night out with Bethenny with a short list and a few pictures. At one point in the night, all of the following things were said, asked or done:

1) "Where do you guys get good crabs around here? Is that just a touristy thing?"
2) "Things are going to get gnarly!"
3) We moved up about 20 rows to be a little closer to the action.
4) We may or may not have been "scolded" by a sweet old lady for trying to use flash photography when it was "strictly forbidden."
5) "Spit or swallow?" Yes, someone actually had the nerve to ask Bethenny this question. And she answered in true Bethenny fashion. Her answer? Well, I think it's a bit too personal for this post.

Had to capture the NJ license plate - just another reason to love Bethenny :o)
Of course we had to take pictures in front of the Skinny Girl bug!!

Bethenny was as real in person as she is on her show, and I think that was one of my favorite parts about seeing her live. Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, she is even skinnier in person, what a hot Momma!! If you're not already watching her show, you need to remedy that today!! You can catch Bethenny Ever After tonight on Bravo at 10 PM EST.

You're welcome :o)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

Saturday Morning Scene

Have you seen the Saturday Morning Scene link party that Kate started over at Loves of Life? Well, if not you should totally go check it out. I decided to join the party this Saturday morning, and show you what's going on today in the M household.

If you know me at all, you know that I am not at a normal functioning level until I've had at least one cup of joe. It's my favorite part of my morning!

Piping hot (and flavored!) coffee, fresh fruit, some March Madness preparation and lots of playtime and snuggles with the pup. That's about all we've got going on around here this morning.

Happy Saturday everyone!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Furbaby Friday!!

Since I missed my posting yesterday due to a crazy busy day, I figured I would share an extra picture or two of Riley today for Friday funsies!!

This is what laundry day has turned into around here
She still loves a nap or two when she can squeeze one in :o)
Riley had another check-up at the vet yesterday! She is now 12 weeks old and already weighs 15 lbs!! Little girl is growing out faster than she is growing up!! She is our little teddy bear :o)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Wish List: The One Where I Get Really Honest With You ...

Well, it's Wednesday again, and time for another wish list! This week, I thought I'd do something a little different than just another material wish list.

I had the privilege of attending a women's retreat with some wonderful ladies from my church over the weekend, so I thought maybe I would take this Wednesday and share with you about that. But, I think I'll save that for another day. A day when I'm feeling more positive and really want to share all of the wonderful insights that we learned.

Today, I really want to share the number one thing on my "wish list" these days: a new job.

Let me give you a little history. Back in 2009, I was working at a law firm as a recruiter. I loved that job. So much so that I knew that once B and I got engaged, we may need to consider staying closer to that job in VA, as opposed to me relocating to MD. Well, the legal industry took a serious hit when the economy tanked, and I was one of the unfortunate ones to be laid off when the inevitable "reduction in force" came along. I was devastated and pretty shocked that I was effected. I had never been let go from a job before - it was pretty awful.

Luckily, I had B and lots of wonderful friends to take me out for drinks immediately help pick me up and get me back on track. I was too worried about money and my future to really take any time off, so I hit the ground running. I applied for countless jobs, and decided to take the layoff as a sign that I was now ready to move to MD and finally be closer to B. So, I moved in with some friends in Baltimore, and a short month later, my future father-in-law hired me to run the Marketing department at his IT company. My father-in-law had asked me a few times in the past if I would come work for him, but I was always employed somewhere else and not ready to make a move.

Well, November of 2009 was finally the right time for me to take on the challenge of my "soon-to-be-family's" business. Sure, lots of people asked me if I was "sure" I wanted to work with the family I was marrying into, but I didn't really see it being a problem since I liked them all so much.

Fast forward sixteen months later, and I am still working for the family business, I'm a newlywed, and I'm just not feeling like my career is satisfying me. Sure, it's not easy to work with your husbands family, but would it be harder to move on than to just stick it out? After all, I felt like I owed them so much for rescuing me at a time where I felt like I had few options. This was the decision that I was mulling over and over throughout the last few months.

Well, I finally made my decision. I finally decided that I no longer wanted to mix my personal and professional life so closely together, and have put in my "three weeks?" Coming to this decision was liberating for me. I feel like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I can now focus on what will make me happy in my professional life, and then enjoy my in-laws as just that. Family.

What's next for me? I'm not sure yet, but I'm hoping it won't take me too long to figure all of that out. I am blessed beyond belief with a husband who supports me no matter what, and has chosen to exercise his support to its fullest in this circumstance. I'm excited to see what God has in store for us. After all, I'm no longer on my own, I'm part of a team, and I love it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vanilla Yogurt Pound Cake Recipe - An Absolute Favorite!!

B and I love nothing more than a scrumptious slice of homemade bread with our coffee in the morning. So much so, that I have made the following recipe about 4 times over the last two months. We're suckers for pound cake, what can I say?
I actually got this recipe from my MIL, so don't tell her I'm spreading it all over the blog world, OK? It's just too good not to share.
Yogurt Pound Cake

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 up butter (I use salt free)
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla (I usually add a bit more than this)
1 cup Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt

Dry Ingredients
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Spray standard sized bread pan.

Begin by creaming sugar with softened butter. Add egg whites and vanilla. Beat on low speed until well blended (I typically use my hand mixer, but plan to start using my Kitchen Aid for this recipe). Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Begin adding dry ingredients and yogurt alternatively beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Once the batter is well mixed, pour into lightly greased (sprayed) loaf pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. This will vary depending on the strength of your oven. Keep an eye on it starting around 45 minutes and let bake until toothpick comes out clean at the center of the loaf.

And the best part? My MIL is sort of a health nut, so I figure she's a good person to get a pound cake recipe from, since I know they can be really heavy and super fattening. I think this recipe yields a light and tasty treat!!


Monday, March 7, 2011

A Dash of Spring Decorating!!

I have always had a flair for interior design and decorating. This is probably due to the fact that my Mom truly loves (and is great at) decorating a home. She can take an empty room and come up with a vision for it, and then put it all into action. I like to think that I got my home decorating taste from her, because, I can only hope that my house is as well decorated as hers some day. You know, when we have a real house, maybe?

Since B and I are in "saving money to buy a house" mode, we chose an adorable one-bedroom apartment for our first real "home" together. As adorable as our place is, there is only so much storage, and only so much decorating one can do with white walls and limited space! There are a few spaces through our place that I have chosen to use as my seasonal decorating spots for now. Around Christmas? I like to make our place look like Santa's workshop, or the Macy's in NYC during Christmas season, but that's a post for another day season.

Since Spring is starting to peek it's head out around these parts, I decided that our place needed a little color, and some freshening up! After all, isn't March too late to still have a Christmas red themed centerpiece on your dining room table?

So, I paid my typical weekly monthly visit to our local Home Goods (loooove that place!), and found some new goodies to make our place feel more springy!!

Here is the before - my very pretty, but super Christmas-y decorating that stayed with us until, oh last week?! My apologies for the camera quality, I am still using my little point and shoot for now!
The vase and candlesticks were engagement gifts that I LOVE, accessories from WalMart and Target!!

This plate rack is one of my absolute favorite things I have. My Mom passed it down to me a couple of years ago, and  I held onto it until we had a place of our own to use it in! That gorgeous pointsettia plate? A Williams & Sonoma puchase that I was able to use a gift card for. Score! The "Joy" plates are also from WalMart - gotta love that place!

And, now that we are ready to move onto more appropriate to the season items here in the M household, I present that after:

Most of the new accents seen here are from Home Goods :o) I love the detailing on these new plates!

The new blues, greens and yellows really make it feel like spring around here, although these pictures definitely made me notice how bare and white these apartments walls look. Sigh.

Do you decorate for seasons? Holidays? I'd love to get some new inspiration!!