Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Courtesy of John Benson

I thought this was a great picture to post for today because it shows the beautiful American Flag, and also is a great gift to give to newlyweds or new homeowners. This painting of our house was a gift I gave to my hubby for our wedding. The artist, John Benson, is just outstanding! We loved our painting so much, we decided to get one for each of our parents for wedding gifts too! You can find his work here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...

Off to South Carolina this weekend to visit my beautiful cousin!!! I am just so excited!!! I can't wait to see all the Palmetto trees! Hope you all have a wonderful, fun, and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Glass Fusion

My MIL gave me this adorable little tray and I have just the treat to serve on it (stay tuned)! These beautiful trays are designed by Lori Siebert. You can find them at many stores and online. My MIL also gave me a beautiful fruit platter for my birthday one year that I also love! My mom loved it so much and kept borrowing it, so I finally got her one too, as it looks beautiful to display yummy fruits for a brunch! Great gift idea or for hosting and entertaining!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Bucket List

What a great movie! It really makes you think; what is truly important in your life and what do you want to do before you die? After being an oncology nurse for a couple years, I feel this question has come up more than a few times. And so many of my patients would give me great advice on and a different outlook on life. Some days I would think I was having a bad day, then I would get to work and talk with my patients and realize, my life is pretty good. But it also makes me think of things I would like to do before I die. If tomorrow, or next week, or next year never came, what would I have liked to accomplish?

I feel I have partially accomplished some of the ideas on my bucket list, such as:

1. Go away to college and graduate with my BSN (GO VOLS!)
2. Find a nursing job I truly love.
3. Live on my own.
4. Complete my Masters degree in Nursing.
5 Fall in love and marry the man of my dreams
6. Have my dream wedding
7. Honeymoon in Hawaii
8. Vacation in the Bahamas, Aruba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St John, St. Thomas, and Mexico
9. Fly first class
10. Take dance lessons (Okay, so we didn't exactly finish them, but we had fun during the couple we went to! And trust me, the instructor is probably glad we didn't complete our package, as we need more help than she could provide!)
11.  Hot air balloon ride.
12.  Learn sign language (alright, I already forgot most of it, but I did take it for a semester in college and it was by far one of my most favorite classes where I learned a great deal).
13.  Go parasailing.
14.  Live at the beach for a summer.

But there is still so much more I want to do in my life:

1. Visit all 50 states (or at least most of them)
2. Meet Peyton Manning (I mean, outside of OCI in Knoxville)
3. Go Sky Diving
4. Go on a cruise
5. Learn to stitch, and be taught by my grandmother
6. Take sailing lessons
7. Watch the sunrise with the love of my life
8. Open a gift shop
9. Stand outside The Today Show at Rockefeller Center
10. Stay at Sea Island Resort in Georgia
11. Experience a true "Spa Day"
12. Take an annual girls trip...and really stick to it, regardless of weddings, pregnancies, and births! (No wonder guys can take these trips each year without difficulty!)
13. Decorate our dream home
14. Go to "Regis and Kelly Live" and meet the two of them!
15. Take golf and/or tennis lessons
16. Host a dinner party, and I mean, a real sit down dinner party, not just our usual cookout atmosphere (although, we love to entertain outside on nice days!) with our fine china and all!
17. Visit the Greek Islands
18. Adopt a family for Christmas
19. Become a mother
20. Buy my first home
21. See the Cherry Blossoms in D.C.
22. Stay at a bed and breakfast 
23. Visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco
24. Grow a garden full of beautiful flowers and veggies
25. Host an annual Christmas party
26. Fly in a helicopter (cant believe we decided not to do this in Hawaii now!)
27. Go wine tasting in Napa Valley
28. Attend the Kentucky Derby
29. Visit these sunny spots: Antigua, St Kitts, St Martin, Anguilla, Barbados, Cayman Islands, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos, St Croix, Bermuda, and Costa Rica (I have a lot to do!)
30. Take an annual week vacation in North Carolina's Outer Banks or somewhere that becomes a family tradition.
31.  Go to the Biltmore Estates at Christmas time.
32.  Ride a train 
33.  Own a pet
34.  Go zip lining 
35.  Go apple picking.
36.  Visit Niagara Falls
37.  Visit Ireland.
38.  Visit Italy.
39.  Be kissed in the rain.  

Now, what's on your bucket list?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Chocolate Marshmallow Pops

This is one of my VERY favorite treats my mom used to make as a child. It's quick, it's easy, and it's so very very yummy!

(Here, I placed the finished pops in a container I picked up from Michael's for easy traveling!)

Bag of large marshmallows
one bag milk chocolate morsels
tub of sprinkles
lollipop sticks

I made ~18 pops, but these ingredients can probably double that amount.

1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place one lollipop stick in center of each marshmallow.

3. Melt chocolate on low-medium heat until melted, stirring occassionally.
4. Dip each marshmallow into chocolate, coating bottom and each side well.

5. Immediately dip chocolate covered marshmallow into bowl of sprinkles and coat well.

6. Place marshmallow on baking sheet, standing upright.

7. Place marshmallows in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Perfect for a summer treat!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Parmesan Shrimp and Broccoli

14 oz bag frozen, cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
14 oz bag frozen broccoli florets
Shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Thaw shrimp under running water and drain.
3. Fill resealable bag with grated parmesan cheese. Fill with shrimp and shake to mix well.
4. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. (you dont have to line sheet, but I like to for easy clean up!)
5. Pour shrimp on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, cook broccoli in a microwaveable bowl for 4 minutes.
7. Drain broccoli.
8. Grease round casserole dish with cooking spray and add broccoli.
9. Pour shrimp on top of broccoli.
10. Add shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
11. Place back in oven for 10 minutes.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Favorite Cleaning Supplies

Well, the entire house is clean!!! Oh it feels so wonderful to be in a nice clean house! But I couldn't have done it without these products...

Tide plus Febreze Sport:
This stuff is wonderful! The first time I used it on our sheets, I could not believe how wonderfully they smelled when I was lying in bed. So fresh and so clean! I actually got all the laundry done (including towels, sheets, bath mats, rugs) except for one load that I will finish up tomorrow!

Pledge Wipes:
This may be because I'm lazy, but I just love these! I hate using reusable cloths to dust, as I feel like I go through them like crazy and end up with more laundry. These are wonderful and disposable!

Handi Wipes:

My dear Handi Wipes, what would I do without you?!?! I use them just about everyday. I have one I use in the kitchen and then keep the rest of the stack in the cleaning bin for days like today. They do a great job and don't fall apart, yet can still be tossed away when you are done with them-no more laundry involved!

Well, it's been a great Saturday! I got all the cleaning done in the house, ran with the hubby outside at the park, went to the store and stocked up on some fun goodies for a mini-cookout with my parents, baked a Sweet Treat for dessert, and took care of our recovering pup. Hubby got to play golf, I have a nice clean house, and we were able to spend some time with family...wonderful day for all!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Productive Weekend Update!

My productive weekend started off like this...

1. Get everything together for taking call. I really think a nice glass of wine would help with some of the jitters of having to take call for the first time, however, I'm afraid one glass would turn into two...or three...and then I might be a little impaired to take care of patients. So, I decided to just keep my mind off of it and get some errands done, while of course having my phone glued to my side.

2. Target for some cleaning supplies for the weekend. And thankfully, for once, I stuck to my plan and did not come out of there with a bunch of other items that I did not necessarily need!

3. Dry Cleaners to make a drop off.

4. Bank, to make a deposit! YEA! It's so nice to make a deposit instead of a in the county, here we come! (in the far, far future)

5. MIL's house to drop off some of the wonderful purchases I made at Macy's a couple weeks ago. They were having a GREAT sale and I picked up some of the lingering items off of our registry. We have all of our Villery & Bock everyday dishes and I couldn't be more excited! They even had Waterford on sale so I picked up one of our wine glasses. I can't wait to entertain in our new house (in the future) with our new dishes and serving utensils!

6. Then, I headed to Road Runners with the hubby. He said he wants to start running with me, and I'm SOOO excited! And I didn't even ask him, he wanted to do this on his own! Road Runners was awesome! They measured the hubby's feet, put him on a mat to see where he puts most pressure, and then watched him run on a treadmill. He got a new pair of sneakers that he says feel AWESOME!

7. And our last stop (in between the many pages I received and trying to figure out what to do with all these patients I dont know), was at the vet to pick up this:

Our little buddy got "fixed" yesterday and was all tuckered out! He did great, but since he's a very playful pup, he must keep the collar on for a couple days. And that green bandage is just from where the IV was. Poor little guy!
Well, that was my productive Friday! Here's to more productivity on Saturday!

Spring Cleaning

I'm going to try to be all domesticated and everything this weekend (starting today). It is my first weekend "on call," so being the new nurse practitioner I am, I plan to stay close to home where it's fairly quiet. Since I'm going to be home all weekend, I plan to have a constructive weekend!

I plan to do some serious cleaning. I love this book by Martha Stewart, as it helps break down what you should do daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, and annually to keep your house clean and up to date. I'll keep you updated on what I do this weekend, as I love to "check" things off my list!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spinach Quiche

1/2 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
5 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp salt (I omit this)
1/8 tsp pepper
12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

1. Saute onion and butter until tender. Add spinach and cook until moisture has evaporated.
2. Cover bottom of greased 9 in pie plate with cheese. Add spinach on top and gently mix into cheese.
3. Beat together eggs, salt and pepper. Pour on top of cheese and spinach mixture and gently mix.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pretty in Pink

One of my favorite things about spring is all the beautiful colors! After wearing black, brown, navy and cream all winter, I can't wait to break out the pinks, purples, blues, yellows, greens, and oranges!!! Right now I've been on a purplish-pink kick and thought I'd share with you some of my favorite purchases of the season!

Kate Spade pink stud earrings! My MIL gave me green ones for Easter one year, and I wear them all the time, so I thought the pink ones would be a nice addition for spring.

I know Talbots might seem a little "granny-ish," but I saw this jacket online and was in need for a nice rain coat to wear to work (besides the usual black or tan one). I tried it on, and LOVE it! Of course, being only 5'2'', I ordered the petite and its still way longer than it is on this model, but it's perfect!

And this is my all time favorite! This Nicole Miller purse I found at JC Penny's on sale for only $30! They also have it in an off-white and black, which I might go back and get one, I love it that much! My camera does not show the color as beautiful as it is, but you get the point.

Hope you have a wonderful (and colorful) spring day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Good Old Fashioned Rice Krispie Treats!

Remember these good 'ole babies?!?! One of my favorites!!! I decided to make them the other day for my hubby to take to a party where there would be kiddies.
3 Tbsp butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
cooking spray
sprinkles (optional)
1. Melt butter in saucepan. Add marshmellows and stir until melted.

2. Add Rice Krispies and stir until cooled. Spread mixture into 9 x 13 greased pan.

Spread evenly into pan. (Add sprinkles if you desire at this point) Let cool. Cut into squares and serve!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girls Night Out at Boordy Vineyards!

(This image here)
Boordy Vineyards has been around since the 1940's and is located on a historic 240 acre farm in Long Green Valley. Even though I've lived close by to this beautiful winery my whole life, this weekend was my first time there, and boy am I glad we went! This weekend, Boordy hosted a "Girls Night Out" and had many different vendors including Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware, and other jewelry, chocolate, craft, and handbag vendors. There was even a cupcake vendor with multiple flavors of cute cupcakes!

And of course there was plenty of wine tasting and great music! Here are some of the many wines to taste. We didn't taste the Chardonnay Blush, but how cute is that bottle with the little crab on it?! Great for a little hostess gift!
Our first bottle that we shared was this Chardonnay.
(I wish I had gotten a better picture with the beautiful horses in the background. The atmosphere is breathtakingly beautiful here.)

The cute little barn where the actual wine tasting is located.

Two of my favorite girls that spent "Girls Night Out" with me. Thanks girls! I had a great time!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


In honor of the Preakness today, I thought I would add a recipe for a Black Eyed Susan cocktail.

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
2 oz Orange Juice
3 oz Pineapple Juice

Mix together and stir. Serve with garnish of orange or lime and a cherry in the drink.


Friday, May 14, 2010


During all the wedding planning, I came across these fun stamps, which just so happened to match our monogram on our wedding invitations, program, cocktail picks, napkins, etc! I was so excited! Noteworthy stamps are great, as every stamp looks perfect, even after the million times I've used it! They were great for return addresses for thank you notes for all the bridal shower gifts, for wedding gifts, and everything in between! The exact stamp I used was this one, except that I put our address around the monogram.
As part of a wedding gift, friends of ours gave us a new stamp that is great to use for all the cards we send. ( I love cards and real mail!). This is the stamp we have now that we love and have already used lots! It is from Paperwink.
Hope you like some of these ideas to spruce up your envelopes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Last night I dreamt that I was on an island that looked similar to this. Why, oh why, did I have to wake up to a car honking its horn and a barking dog reminding me I had to go to work?!?! I can just imagine myself on that hammock, with a nice mojito in hand. Positive thoughts, Positive least it's almost Friday!

Magazine Mania!

I absolutely love getting anything in the mail whether it be a card, letter, magazine, or fun coupons. Anything but bills, really! Four magazines that come to our home on a regular basis are:

I love each and every one of them and can't wait until they arrive each month! Other magazines that I pick up occassionally are House Beautiful, Traditional Home, and People. Maybe I will ask for subscriptions to some of those next year for Christmas! What are your favorite magazines that you read on a regular basis?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, SIL!!!

Happy Birthday to my favorite SIL!!!
SIL's birthday was actually last week, however, I didnt want to post this until I was able to get her gifts to her. This picture was taken a couple years ago during a trip to Puerto Rico during SIL's birthday. What a fun trip that was! Here's to many more birthdays to come!

Presents! I LOVE giving gifts to people and finding the perfect gift is so much fun for me! Here is SIL's gift all wrapped up and ready to go!

I added a little bag of chocolate covered pretzels I made and tied a little bow around the bag. (the bow for her bag was a matching purple)

So what gifts are in these boxes?!?! I'm not going to give away all of her gifts, but one of my favorites is the Bayshore Stripe Ottoman Tray from Jaye's online. I thought it would be a wonderful gift since its quite practical, but also so cute!

"Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live." -Unknown

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle

1 package of brownie mix (and ingredients to make your mix)
2 cups of milk
2 packages (3.4 oz) of vanilla pudding mix
4 tsp instant coffee grounds
2 Tbsp water
2 cups whipped topping
chocolate covered toffee bars, crushed

1. Bake brownies as directed on box. Let cool completely. Cut into cubes.

2. In medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until it begins to thicken. Dissolve coffee grounds in water. Stir coffee into pudding mixture. Fold in whipped topping and blend well.
3. In trifle bowl, layer one third brownie cubes, one third pudding mixture, one third candy topping. Repeat...another layer of brownies...

Another layer of whipped topping...

(and here I had to do some improvising. I thought I bought chocolate covered toffee candy, however, it was just the toffee part, so I went out and got a couple Heath bars, and since we are in Baltimore, I just crushed the heck out of the bars with my crab mallet and got a wonderful candy mix for the topping!)

Repeat layering until all ingredients are used. Chill 30 minutes in refrigerator before serving.
Now, I know most people hate the cleaning up part of baking. But I think its the best part. Place little bit of brownie on a spoon, scrape off remainder of pudding mix onto spoon, sprinkle a couple chocolate candies, place in mouth, and taste the beauty of chocolate and coffee!!! Yummm! (I never will serve guests without making sure it has a test run first! ;)) Okay, okay, now you have to do the dishes!


"A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine" - Lora Brody

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flower Mart

What a beautiful day it was for Flower Mart on Saturday morning! There were so many gorgeous flowers and plants, and just look at that blue sky! Just perfect!
Tulips in a big mint julip cup! I loved it! Plus, this was my favorite stand, as it had the most adorably decorated cupcakes ever!

And of course we had to have a couple treats. Hubby was torn between the Boardwalk Fries or the Fried Dough. Fried Dough won!

And then I got my treat, the reason I was dying to come...Lemon Sticks!!! YUM, now it really feels like spring to me!

For more information on Flower Mart you can click here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My mom is amazing! This woman never runs out of energy and never says she doesn't have time for something or someone. She is a very caring mom who is there whenever I need her, no matter what time of day/night it is, or no matter how far away she is. I gave this poor woman a run for her money during my teenage years, but as adults, we have so much fun together and have so many similar interests. She is caring, she is sweet, she is athletic, she is energetic, she is creative, and above all, she is my mom! Happy Mother's Day to the best Mom ever!

"A Mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take." Cardinal Mermillod