Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

Saturday Morning Scene
This Saturday, we have been lazying around since the early morning hour of 7:00AM. Yes, our puppy still wakes us up early on weekends - advice welcome.

Since there isn't anything exciting going on here today, I thought I'd show you what we have been up to the last two Saturday mornings.
Two weeks ago, we headed out to the Eastern Shore of MD to one of my besties' river houses. We relaxed, played games and let the pups play for hours on end. Her pup, Molly is the boxer mix on the right next to Riley above.

Easter weekend we headed to my in-laws beach house for the weekend, and Riley got to see the ocean for the first time! In true lab mix form, she loved it and even swam on her own briefly!!
Happy Weekend, friends!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where Have I Been?!

Hello, lovelies! I know that my temporary hiatus may have come as a welcomed change, but I am back and my life is starting to feel like it's back in order again!!

Since I was last here, B has recovered from our brief stint in the ER, Riley has gotten even bigger, we have been to the beach for Easter with my in-laws and I have accepted a new job!! Yes, all of that and I have still managed to squeeze in a trip down to ATL to visit my sister in her new town!

I start my new job on Monday, so I have been spending time with family and friends, and trying to get all of those pesky to-do list items that you never want/have time to do during "normal life." Oh, and the transmission went in my car last week. That was fun, and set us back about $3K. Ugh. 

Where/what is my new job, you may be asking? It is a Director of Marketing position for a business in Annapolis, MD. Can we talk about how excited I am to start working in Annapolis? B and I are even thinking about trying to buy a place out closer to Annapolis this summer or fall when we start looking. If you've never been to Annapolis, definitely add it to your list of east coast places to see!! And, for your viewing pleasure, I've thrown in a few pics of this beautiful Maryland city.

Well, that's about all I have for right now. I am off to enjoy my last day here in Atlanta with my sister before I head back up north! I hope you all have a fabulous day, and that your homes and families are safe after all of the storms that passed through. Happy it's-almost-the-weekend Thursday!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wedding Details: Bride's Accessories

I had so much fun posting the table numbers from our wedding reception last week that I decided to try and share weekly tidbits from our wedding with all of you!
 This week, I thought I would share my bridal accessories.

I wore a veil for the ceremony. It was actually my "something borrowed," and was borrowed from my best friend who had worn it in her wedding just a few months earlier. The feather piece that you see in the picture above was what I wore in my hair for the reception. My sister (also my MOH) just placed it in for me once we were done with formal pictures and I had taken the veil off. I love the look of something extra in the bride's hair after the veil is taken off, it just dresses it up so nicely!

I just HAD to show you these yummy pictures of my dress hanging in the fall-colored trees in my parents backyard. When I first starting looking at dresses, I wasn't sure what I wanted, and proceeded to try on just about every style there is. But, when I got this this dress, I knew right away that it was the one!! My dress was my "something new" and had a blue ribbon sewn into the bustle to act as my "something blue."

In addition to my engagement ring and new wedding band, I wore a few other pieces of bling on our wedding day. I was lucky enough to be able to wear my late grandmother's wedding rings on my right hand for the entire day (her beautiful rings are in the ring box in the photo above). My grandmother passed away rather unexpectedly about nine months before the wedding, so it was so special to me to have a piece of her with me throughout the day. Her rings were also my "something old."

The other pieces that you see are the faux-diamond and super fabulous bracelet that I wore, as well as my sparkly, dangle earrings and those fantastic purple, Badgley Mischka heels.

Seriously, how hot are these shoes? Two of my bridesmaids convinced me to splurge on these pretties, and I am so glad I did!! They were the perfect pop of color for under my dress and were super comfortable as well! I haven't worn them since our wedding day, so I really need to remedy that!
This was my bouquet, and I loooooved it. I decided that I wanted to carry colorful flowers, and my girls wore purple dresses and carried white flowers. I thought the combination was gorgeous! I also bought the peacock feather that you see in the above picture for a little something extra.

And this was just one of the awesomely creative ways that our photographer captured our rings on camera that day. The purple, foil-wrapped kisses were part of the favors that we had for our guests, and I thought this picture was just stunning!!

Although wedding planning can be stressful, looking back at these pictures makes every single second worth it - there isn't a thing I would change about the decisions that I made for what I wore on our big day.

What was your favorite accessory??

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Wish List: OPI Edition

I think I have mentioned before that I am a "do-you-own-mani/pedi" type of girl. As a result of this fact, I have slowly obtained close to an entire drawer full of OPI nail polish colors over the years. Although I do not swear to only use OPI polishes, the majority of my collection is theirs, and they also make most of my favorite shades.

I think it goes without saying that my favorite shades change with the seasons, but I wanted to pass along the ones that I just can't seem to live without!

In the fall, I can't wait to start using Lincoln Park After Dark again. B calls it "gothic-looking," but I just can't get enough of it!! The dark shade is a nice transition into the colder months, goes perfectly with my mostly black wardrobe, and looks great on my "it's not summer anymore, and I'm pale again" skin.
When I'm feeling a little "saucy" (read: sassy, I guess?), I sometimes go for something a little more "out on the town" feeling. Since Lincoln Park After Dark is a matte color, I decided to buy Black Cherry Chutney as well. It's very similr in shade, but has some shimmer added to dress it up!
This winter, I was loving the new taupe colors tht have been everywhere. I have two different brands in my stash, and neither of them are OPI. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen the pic that I posted a few weeks back of the "Showtime" color that I love so dearly. But, since I couldn't find a picture of the bottle, I thought I'd share it's close friend, Commander in Chic, by Sally Hansen. I actually found out about this pretty little number from my sister-in-love, Ashley Paige.
Now that you've seen what colors have been adoring my hands and feet over the last few months, I thought I'd show you where we're headed now that May is just around the corner!

By far, one of my all time favorites is OPI's Strawberry Margarita. It is the perfect, summery pink, and always brightens my day. I always make sure to have a fresh coat on my hands and feet before we head to the beach. If nothing else, please buy this color, you will not regret it!!
And, just for funsies, I was scoping out the OPI website, and thinking that I might have to add the Katy Perry "The One That Got Away" to my collection this summer!

Do you have any favorite OPI colors? I'm always looking for new suggestions!!
You can buy any of the OPI colors here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

Happy Tuesday, Friends!! Things are on the up over here in our little corner of the world. B is back to work today, and seems to be feeling pretty much back to himself. Praise the Lord!!

This Tuesday, I thought I would share a recipe with you that was shared with me at my own bridal shower. One of the requests that was made was that each guest bring a favorite recipe to pass along to the bride-to-be, and I definitely got some great ones!! One of my good friends makes this recipe all the time. I have eaten it when she's made it, but haven't made it myself yet! Now that the warmer months have arrived, that is likely to change very soon!

Hot Chicken Salad Recipe

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken (prep by boiling)
3 cups chopped celery
3/4 cup toasted almonds
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup low fat mayo (I always use Smart Balance)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chinese noodles
1/2 cup fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except cheese, chinese noodles and fried onions. After combining remainder of ingredients and mixing together, place cheese, chinese noodles and fried onions on top of mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes. Serve and enjoy!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Jell-O Thowback Weekend

Oh the life of young newlyweds; date nights, new puppies, parties with friends, trips to the ER .. Errm, what?! Yep, these things were all on our list over the past weekend here in the M household.

A little background: B and I are both very healthy and active (thank you, Lord!) and hope to continue down this path for many years to come. Flash forward to the present now, are you still with me? OK. Friday evening, I got my first job offer, and was super excited to share the news with B, and for us to use our free Friday night (a hot commodity around here) to celebrate with a happy hour date night. Well, we did just that, and the night was perfect. A fresh, brick oven pizza, a few cold beers, and a movie on the couch all snuggled up with Hubs and the pup = total bliss if you ask me.

B and I went to bed a little later than normal, but still at the decent hour of about 11:30 PM. The next thing I remember was B waking me up out of my dead sleep asking me which side your appendix was on, and if localized, sharp pains in his lower right abdomen might mean appendicitis? Well, thank God for my iPhone, because at 2:30 in the morning, this little wifey would have sworn your appendix was on your left side, and that he'd be fine. But, with a few clicks, we were wide awake, and on our way to our local ER to have him checked out.

Fast forward to 6:30AM - we have been seen and admitted down in the ER. They have run labs, which looked great, and have him scheduled for a cat scan, which came with the lovely preparation of drinking about a gallon of cherry-flavored "special juice." At this point, all signs were pointing to it being appendicitis, and we are just going to wait for the cat scan results to confirm. By this point, Riley had also been at home by herself for a few hours, and it was getting close to her usual wake-up/breakfast time. So, I head home to take care of her and pack her things to possibly head over to my in-laws place for the day. One hour at home somehow turned into two and a half, and B finds out that his cat scan showed absolutely no inflammation of his appendix. Weird.

So, it's 9AM and I'm headed back to the hospital to keep B company and find out what's next. We wait around a little while longer (until roughly noon), see a few more nurses and PA's, they run another set of labs, and conclude that it is not appendicitis, and that they feel comfortable releasing him to go home and rest with a prescription for pain killers in hand. While I was a bit scared to take him home to be under only my supervision, I think B was somewhat relieved that he could finally get out of the ER, and head back home to rest. So, we left the hospital, headed straight for CVS to get his prescriptions filled and surprisingly, made it home in one piece.

The hours that followed consisted simply of lounging, monitoring, and trying to fulfill his appetite with a mere liquid diet. I whipped up some chicken broth, broke out the Gatorade and then decided to get old school and throw together a big batch of good old Jell-O. Weekends and episodes like this take me back to times when I was sick as a kid, and my parents would take care of me. I have to say, B was a real trooper, and  was pretty proud of myself for not having a total breakdown in the middle of the ER. I guess you could say my maternal instincts kicked in? So, we'll continue to pray that B only gets better, and that this little "ER scare" will become a thing of the past.

Life as a newlywed sure can be exciting, huh?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Furbaby Friday

I think it's about time that I updated a Furbaby Friday post so that you can all see how big (and adorable) Riley is now!! She had her last puppy shots yesterday at the vet, and weighed in at a whopping 25 pounds!!

She absolutely adores her Daddy <3
We simple love her to pieces!!
Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Wish List: New Summer Threads

Even though the weather outside has still been "frightful," I can't help but start daydreaming about summer days and trips to the beach. And, because I'm a clothes horse girl, I can't help but daydream about the pretty little spring and summer items I've been eyeing lately!

Something you may not already know about me is that I am addicted to the JCrew outlet. I am not the type that pays full price for my JCrew threads, so I like to take advantage of the "last season, bargain" prices. So, of course, I have picked out a few things that would go great in my closet!

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 And, who doesn't love the affordability of Forever 21? Truth be told, I have to be in the mood to shop in their stores, because it usually takes me at least an hour to sort through all of the piles and racks of mismatched clothing, but I have been known to find some treasures there! I check out their website from time to time, because they always seem to have limitless options, and it's broken down by category for you already.

Who doesn't love flirty sundresses?
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Despite Forever 21's low prices, I usually end up spending a pertty penny because I buy ten items instead of one or two. Oops.

And, of course, I'll never go another summer without my loves ...

What are you wearing this summer??

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole Recipe

My long weekend blog hiatus has come to a close, and my apologies for falling under the radar! Things have been busy and I will have more updates about the job hunt for you this week.

So, to get back into the swing of things, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite family recipes. My Mom got this recipe from a friend many years ago. It was an instant hit in our house growing up (even with picky eaters), and has become one of B's favorite meals as well!!

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

6-8 boneless chicken breasts (can sub pulled rotisserie chicken)
1 large bag of broccoli (frozen or fresh)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 cup mayo
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 box of chicken flavored stuffing

Preheat oven to 350. Spray Pyrex baker or aluminum throw-away baker with PAM.

Begin by pulling rotisserie chicken or chopping chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes (raw chicken breasts will need to be boiled). Blanch broccoli for a few minutes so it is still slightly crispy.

Combine cream of chicken, lemon juice, curry powder, mayo and chicken broth together in bowl and stir well.

Place chicken as bottom layer in baking dish. Top with broccoli. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and mix well. Top with melted butter and stuffing.

Bake for 45-60 minutes uncovered.

I think the curry is what really sets this casserole apart from other chicken casseroles. It is simple and super yummy, and will feed a whole family!