The Wedding, Part I

Since this could possibly be the most epic post ever, I’ve decided to break it up into smaller portions.

Will and I did FINALLY get married on 11/28/09.  I really wanted to write about it in the moment, but that idea was an epic FAIL.  So instead, I will tell you about it now.

It all started when Will’s Grandfather passed away in July.  While he was in NY for the funeral, his Grandmother decided that she was going to give him the money that she had set aside for him that was supposed to be a gift for whenever he got married or bought a house.  She decided to go ahead and give him the money now with the explicit purpose that we GET MARRIED ALREADY!  And so we did.  Will came home and we began setting up our budget and throwing ideas together.  We are pretty lucky that we have understanding family and they didn’t push too much for the things that they may have wanted for us, they really let us do it “our way”.  Since neither of us had ever planned a wedding before, We were really at a loss for what to do or where to begin.  I started at all the big-name wedding sites and I just wasn’t finding what I was looking for.  While Googling inspiration, I came across The Offbeat Bride and after reading some of their wedding graduate posts and looking through the wedding “porn”, I was hooked.  It wasn’t long until I found many other offbeat/unique wedding sites and found PLENTY of inspiration.  I was already pretty familiar with Etsy, but I had not actually made any purchases from them.  That changed VERY QUICKLY  and the first purchase we made were our wedding rings.  We ordered my engagement ringwedding bands and his wedding band pretty much as soon as he got home. The rings we had picked out previously and they seemed really perfect for us since my wedding bands are called the “Infinity Plus One” and that has been a long standing inside thing between the two of us and we decided since none of the rings were too flashy, they were perfect.  (One day I will get around to taking a photo of them on my hand all together, but for now just click the links if you want to see what they look like separately.)  I also had “infinity plus one” inscribed on the inside of Will’s ring so that they kind of match.  If you are looking for something a little different, I wholly recommend Seababe Jewelry.  They are super nice and respectful people who have already repaired and cleaned my ring (for free!) after I snagged a diamond back in December. (DISCLAIMER – I am not being paid for writing this)

From there, we had tons of advice coming in ranging from choosing a theme, cake, food, who to invite, who not to invite and so forth.  Fortunately it was very easy for us to tune out most of this and we just decided that we need a place first (duh!), we knew we wanted it on the beach and we needed someone to marry us. We ended up going with an officiant that a co-worker of Will’s had used recently. ( His name was Charles with Weddings by the Sea and I am going to state right now that he is TERRIBLE!!  If you want any kind of “offbeat” ceremony – this is not your man.  I will get into details later about why, but I am in no way recommending this vendor.)  We chose Pompano Beach since their policies were not too strict and the event fee wasn’t too outrageous and we secured our date –  11/28/09. The drama about the date was pretty much the only real hiccup we encountered as it  prevented some important family from being able to attend (it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving.)  Everyone calmed down after we explained why we chose it (it is our anniversary anyhow) and it helped keep the guest list down and we really wanted to keep it simple.  That was pretty much our mantra for the entire event – keep. it. simple.

So, to recap, we had the essentials down; the Who, What, When and Where.  Now on to more important things – like the food!  The next installment will be all about the food and the reception we chose, so come back!

Our Ceremony Site on Pompano Beach at sunset

Clean Slate

Truth be told, I had pretty much given up on this space.  For months on end, I would sit down to write something, anything –  and my mind would instantly go blank.  I felt like I had TOO MUCH rattling around in my head to be able to sort out each thought into a cohesive post.  I have been going through a lot of changes in my life and I didn’t/don’t quite know how to put it all into words and contrary to what my Mother thinks, I’m not really a writer.  (A blogger does not a writer make) Due to several remarks/requests from friends and family and some encouraging words from my Mom, I think I’m ready to give it another shot.  I’m sure most of the people who frequented here have long since disappeared and I cannot say that I really blame them, but I think that I’m really ready to do this more for me, as a place for me to sort out my thoughts. It was kind of therapuetic until I started worrying about hurting people’s feelings and the such.  I’m over it now, though.  This is MY space and it is for ME.  I will try to keep in mind the “audience” that I have and not use this space to hurt someone on purpose, but I am a firm believer that if you have an issue with someone you love – you talk it out.  My hope is that is I have offended someone with something that I may write/have written in this space that is in my life that they would know that they could come talk to me about it and why it upset them and we could reach a mutual understanding and move on.

Today’s post is just the beginning – a clean slate if you will.

I’ll be back later in the week with The Wedding Story and some pictures (hopefully!)

Sneak Peek

Just like that one girlfriend that you can’t seem to dump for good, I keep returning with more excuses to be better next time.  So, here I am again, hoping against hope that you take me back and forgive my past indescretions.  In an effort to fill you all in on the excitement that has been going on in my life in the past few weeks, I’m going to need a long nap and more time.  So, in order to not blow my load all at once, I’m going to tease you a little first…..

 

Coveting

Some things I’m coveting right now:

doggy bed from Carolinawicker’s Etsy shop

Love Bird necklace by Modernbird’s Esty shop

Paid of Love Bird bowls by PrinceDesignUK’s Esty Shop

 

Songs I’m digging:

What are you really into right now??

On my Netflix addiction

I have a serious problem.  I am addicted to Netflix.

There.  I said it.

Will and I signed up for the Netflix service about six months ago and I have seriously been watching more than my fair share of movies and TV on DVD.  It all started out innocently enough.  I had interest in watching Freak and Geeks and I couldn’t find it anywhere to stream online.  So, I signed up for Netflix and ordered the entire first (and only) season.  Will and I watched it together in the evenings and so started my addiction.  Since then we found out we could sign up and stream anything from our instant que through the XBox360 onto the television and so far we have watched:

Freaks and Geeks – Season 1

30 Rock – Seasons 1 and 2, Season 3 in the que

Dead Like Me – Season 1, Season 2 in the que

Dexter – Seasons 1 and 2 with Season 3 in the que

Weeds – Seasons1 and 2 with Season 3 on it’s way to me as we speak (it’s not offered on the instant yet).

Kitchen Confidential – (very funny and I’m kind of sad that it only lasted one season)

Firely – Season 1 (a western set in space!!) by Joss Whedon.

We are quickly dwindling on things to watch and I am open to suggestion.  I’d love to hear some suggestions about shows that you like that we should watch.

If I can grow plants, I can grow babies, right?

This past weekend, Will and I went out shopping with the sole purpose of me starting a home herb garden.  I’m really not sure what I was thinking, exactly.  I’ve never been able to keep plants alive before I had cats (Olivia) who like to climb in them, eat them, or knock them off of tables.  The only plant I’ve ever owned was a beautiful, leafy, potted plant that someone sent when my grandfather passed away that I managed to keep alive for over a year (I’d water it when it was droopy and kinda “dying-ish”) until Olivia came into my life.  Once she discovered this tiny piece of the African Outback, she released the inner lioness inside of her and then proceeded to climb in it and bend all the leaves around and attack the plant like it was some kind of gazelle.  After I moved it onto a small table to keep her out of it, she managed to chew all the leaves that were hanging down and knock the plant into the floor. (where I’m pretty sure she peed on the plant just to spite me)  Needless to say, that plant had a pretty tough life.  So what made me think I could actually plant and nurture something?? I honestly have NO IDEA, I just go this wild notion that it would be good for me and it would make me happy.  Plus they kept running out of chives and basil at the grocery store. 

We went over to our local garden store and took a look around.  I ended up getting everything I needed for starting a small windowsill herb garden and also a packet of red Poppy seeds, because I like pressing my luck with the universe.  After we got home, I set to work cleaning out my plantar, reading the instructions and planting little seeds to grow my own herbs to cook with. (and to hang my absurd hopes of one day having the ability to nurture a person. No pressure, little seedlings.)  The first night I left the planters inside and the cat (Olivia) decided to LAY DOWN in the plantar and then kick some of the soil around.  She also may have peed in it.  I’m not sure. To avoid having to A) Replace all my seedlings or B) Replace my cat, I moved the planters outside into the shared stairwell.  Her little coo didn’t seem to work, because so far, I must say that I am mighty pleased.  What I think is the cilantro has sprouted first, all crazy like, followed closely by what I think is the tiny tip of a chive (eek!) and something else green is poking up in my plantar, but I’m not sure if it’s the basil or the parsley (I don’t have a labeler and I didn’t put on any cute labels or anything, I just stuck them in there and tried to remember which was which).  My poppies have also started sprouting (double eek!) and I check these little plants EVERY DAY,(maybe twice a day) and spritz them with water, rotate the planters to spread the sunshine, and make sure they are never too dry.  I’m more excited that I thought I would be and I’m now dreaming of other things I can grow.  Do you think anyone would mind if I just built a raised plantar box right outside my front door in the stairwell??

I don’ t know about you, but I equate this little acheivement to mean that I could very well take care of a tiny human. A human that I only had to water and shift in sunlight.

“Hell or Glory, I don’t want anything in between”

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted here.  It’s not because I haven’t wanted to or haven’t had anything to say, it’s just that the pressure of writing here became overwhelming.  Why, you ask??  Because I’m not a writer.  I’m not funny or even interesting all the time.  I put way too much pressure on myself to be creative and make people want to come back and it became something that I resented having to do and isn’t that the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to be??  Well, I couldn’t stay away forever and I’ve decided that I am not going to put as much pressure on myself and I’m only going to update when I want to and not feel like I have to do it EVERY day.  I also looked into what it would take to self host a site instead of using wordpress, but I’m not that good with html code or website design, so I’d better stick so something that is free.  Maybe I can convince my brother to do a website for me since he graduated from college  recently for IT and web design.  Knowing my brother he will want me to pay him and I’m sure he’s not cheap!!

Life has been hetic, sad, exciting, and stressful lately.  Too many things have happened to do full posts and give them justice, but I’ll give you the highlights:

  •  A childhood friend of mine died right after mother’s day of cancer
  • My brother graduated college.
  • My aunt died of cancer
  • Will and I got a lot of our debt off of us.  Two more bills to go and they are the small ones!!
  • Will and I are planning a small vacation to Memphis!!
  • I’ve become addicted to The Pioneer Woman and her recipes.  (I’ve made so many of them at home I’m starting to think that I smell like garlic. and butter.)
  • I haven’t photographed hardly anything in the last 3 months.  I’m going to remedy that today.
  • Will’s grandfather ended up in the hospital with double lung pneumonia and Will ended up in NY for a few days “just in case”.  Will is home.  His grandfather is still in the hospital.
  • Will’s grandmother ended up in the hospital after being found unconscious on her bathroom floor.  As far as I know, she is also still in the hospital.

So, there you have the quick version of my life for the last 3 months.  I’ve got some exciting ideas about this blog and where I’d like to see it go, so if you haven’t abandoned me, THANKS!  And maybe stick around because there is more to come!

Love,

Snarkygirl

Betty Crocker ain’t got nuthin’ on me

Or something like that. 

Lately it seems that I have turned into quite the foodie.  I’ve been whipping up delicious dishes left and right, with no end in sight.  (I totally didn’t mean for that to rhyme, I’m just that good, I guess)

It all started around Valentine’s Day while Trent and Nicole were out of town and Nicole called and asked us to get her cookbook because she wanted to make Trent’s family some of her totally awesome banana bread.  Immediately, all I wanted was banana bread, and lucky for me, Nicole is a cool chick who didn’t mind if I stole borrowed her recipe to make it for myself.  So I did.  I used my stolen borrowed recipe and the tiny heart-shaped pans that I got for Christmas, and baked my little heart out.  This is what I ended up with:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I totally had a shot lined up where I had cut a jagged edge in the middle of one of the hearts, but that picture didn’t come out, it was too dark, so there is no picture of the inside which was amazing and full of texture.  Now, usually I don’t post food here and not post the recipe, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy because this recipe is Nicole’s Mom’s and it’s a ‘family secret’ sort of thing, so these pictures are just a teaser.  I will tell you, however, that there are dark chocolate chips in that banana bread that you can’t see in these pictures and that made them completely an indulgence.

My baking didn’t stop there.  I’ve been holding onto some recipes of my own that I haven’t been trying, I’ve just been sticking to the ‘basics’ every week, so after this little culinary stretch, I decided to take it a little further and start cooking up some yummy things during the week as well.   Will and I also discovered a local fresh market with locally grown fruits and vegetables and for the past two Saturdays, we’ve been driving about 10 minutes out of our way to shop there.  The first weekend we went, we had taken $60 cash out of the ATM (in case they didn’t take credit cards) and the entire time we’re walking around and I’m adding items to the cart, Will is asking me, “Are we going to have enough money for this? How much is that? Do we really need all of this?”  I bought all kinds of things that looked a lot fresher than what we were getting at grocery store.  I got a HUGE bulb of really fresh looking garlic for $0.13!!!  At the grocery store I would have paid over a dollar for one that large.  Needless to say, after we checked out, I had purchased a large eggplant, fresh basil, 10 large fresh apples, an assortment of lemons and limes, garlic, a huge bell pepper, a huge onion, a dozen roma tomatoes, and a large tomato all for $16.07!!  As we’re driving home, Will looks at me and says “Wow, that place was cheap, I’m glad I thought of it!”  We’ve been back since and only spent about $13.00 and we plan on going every weekend before we go to the grocery store.  Combine this awesome new grocery store with my new found desire to cook more organic and locally grown, healthier food, I’ve been a regular Betty Crocker in the kitchen these last few weeks.  Lucky for you, I haven’t abandoned photography as a hobby and you can prepare to drool all over you keyboard.

For dinner this past Saturday, we grilled steaks, fresh corn on the cobb with asaigo cheese butter, and had roasted rosemary red potatoes.  The steaks were marinated in zip lock bags for about 8 hours in lime juice, cholula chili lime seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.  I totally wish I would have gotten a picture of the steaks on the grill, or even after we took them off, but we cooked and ate dinner at Trent’s and I forgot my camera and didn’t feel like going back to get it, so no after photos.  I do have recipes, though.

Trust me when I tell you that this dinner was super yummy and in order for this to not be another teaser, I’m going to give you the recipe for both of these items.

Grilled Corn with Asaigo Cheese Butter:

4-6 ears of fresh corn in the husks

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup freshly grated asaigo cheese

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

For the corn, soak it in water for at least 10 minutes before grilling while you are prepping the butter spread. 

For the butter spread, place the butter, grated asaigo cheese and chopped chives in a mixing bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Remove the corn from the water and let air dry in a bowl for about 2-3 minutes while you heat the grill.  Place the corn on the grill away from the flame and turn about every 4-5 minutes to prevent the husk from catching fire and burning.  After about 15 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill, remove the corn, peel back the husks, slather with the butter spread, close the husks and return to the grill for another 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove corn from grill, peel off and discard husks, add more butter if desired and enjoy!!

This butter is so freakin’ good that I swear you will want to eat it on EVERYTHING.  Fresh bread, bagels, anything and everything.  Just make it one time and see. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

1/2 lb small creamy red potatoes

2 tsp olive oil

kosher salt

black pepper

2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

Wash and evenly dice potatoes.  Mix together with olive oil and fresh rosemary.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Place the potatoes in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray so that the potatoes don’t cook to the bottom.  Bake potatoes in the oven @ 375° for 25-35 minutes.  Once the potatoes are tender and easily pierced by a fork, put on the lowest rack in the oven, turn on the broiler and broil until they are nice and golden brown.  Remove from oven and enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also been experimenting with the previous Guinness Cupcake recipe that I’ve made before since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up.  The recipe I found online is good, but not great, so I’ve been tweaking it a little.  I’ve also been trying to make it a little healthier as well.  See for yourself:

OLD RECIPE

1 c Guinness beer

1 stick plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter

3/4c unsweetened cocoa powder

2c dark brown sugar

3/4 c sour cream

2 eggs

1tbsp vanilla

2c flour

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

8 oz cream cheese

1 1/4 c powdered sugar

1/3 cup of milk

NEW RECIPE

1 c Guinness beer

1 stick plus 1 tbsp smart balance 50/50

3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1c dark brown sugar, 1c raw sugar

3/4 c fat free plain yogurt

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

1 c whole wheat flour, 1 c ground oatmeal

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

8 oz cream cheese

one box powdered sugar

2/3 c Godivia White Chocolate Liquor

Combine the Guinness and the butter (cut into chunks) in a large saucepan, heat to melt butter.  Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa and sugar.  In a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the eggs and vanilla, then add to the beer mixture.  Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the batter. Pour into  lubricated muffin molds and bake for 25 minutes @ 350°.

Using a mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth, soft in 1/3 of the sugar and beat.  Add the Godiva Liquor and beat until smooth.  Add sugar until you reach the desired consistency.  More sugar gives a frosting, while less sugar gives a glaze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I had some left over, I also added 1/2 cup of Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Chips and 1/2 cup of Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips which made these super sweet.  I’m going to make them again for St. Patrick’s Day and I’m going to leave out the milk chocolate chips and I think it will be better. 

After I started all this crazy baking/cooking thing, I decided that I should get a recipe book to keep up with everything, and since I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for online, Will and I went to Barnes and Noble where I bought a lined journal that I thought was super cute to hand write all my recipes into. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love it and I’ve already started to add recieps into it.  I seriously can’t wait to fill it with yummy stuff to share with my children someday.  I’ve already emailed my mom and asked her to send me specific recipes that I want to include to make sure that they get passed down through the generations.  Do any of you have anything like this??  Let me know if you try any of these recipes and how they worked out for you!!

Furday Friday – Meet Abby

It has finally happened – Will and I invested in a home computer (not a mac, boo!) so I am finally able to BLOG FROM HOME!! What a novel concept that is, right??  I usually have to find time to do it at work and that is probably not what my bosses want to pay me for.  So, now I am officially a computer-owner, not a computer-borrower.  Moving on….

My parents were in town for a few days last weekend on their South Florida house hunt and they stopped by and spent one night with us.  For my Mom’s birthday, my dad bought her another Pomeranian puppy, and they brought all their dogs along, so I finally got to meet Abby.  So did Guinness and Mia. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dog is seriously only like 2 freakin’ pounds, and I’m willing to bet that at least a pound of that is her head!!  This is her meeting Mia and Guinness for the first time:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let the look on her face confuse you.  She quickly fell in LOVE with Guinness and all she wanted to do was play with him.  Of course, Guinness was only too happy to oblige.  How does a 95 lb dog play with a 2 lb dog, you ask?? Well, let me show you:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He gets down on his belly, rolls over and lets the tiny little puppy jump all over him:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a while, my Mom felt like Abby had been sufficiently slimed by Guinness and put her away into the make-shift pen that she had made and Abby looked like a depressed little teenager who has been grounded by her parents and not allowed to see “that boy” anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning, she was full of energy and ready to sit still (for some treats) so that I could get some better shots of her:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freakin’ adorable, right??  My mom actually has a better camera than I do, but she hasn’t sent me any pictures of this little one before, so I had to take my own. 

I plan on making a few changes around here in the next week or so, so keep a look out for some new features/themes!!

Furday Friday

I hope everyone hasn’t completely abandoned me, here.  Sorry it’s been so long, but I’ve actually been busy.  Will and I are going this weekend to buy a home computer, so hopefully updates won’t be so rare anymore.  Plus, things are starting to find a nice rhythm at work since most of the snowbirds have settled.  I figured that I would jump right back into the swing of things with a regular Furday Friday post.  Will and I take the dogs to this dog park all the time and a few weekends ago, I finally decided to take my camera with me:

In the XB on the way.  When we get close, both dogs like to stick their heads out of the windows.  I’m sure they can smell the dog park from down the street since about a thousand dogs mark it with their pee about a million times a day.  And this makes them happy.  See:

 Each time we go to the dog park, we take a gamble on the kind of “crowd” that will be there.  We usually find a pretty good group of dogs there that are pretty friendly, but occasionally there will be an overly aggressive dog who just wants to dominate every other dog and their owner doesn’t know how to control them, so Guinness does.  We’ve watched him break-up many potential fights and he always seems to put the more aggressive dog in place without even growling.  It’s an amazing thing we’ve seen him do a dozen times for Mia and Shae alone.  Some of the other “regulars” have even noticed and we’ve started calling him “The Enforcer” because he enforces peace in the dog park!!  It really does amaze me how much personality that our dogs seem to have, and I love watching the quirks and small nuances of their personalities come through around other dogs.  I don’t have any pictures of Guinness being The Enforcer, unfortunately, but I do have pictures of what a wuss he can be.  In this dog park, they have a little “obstacle course”  that the dogs can do.  Guinness is afraid of them:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, he refuses to climb onto the structure and  Mia just prances right up.  That makes her Queen of  the Mountain:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, I also have recently fallen prey to the flu/cold/sickness that seems to be going around everywhere right now and I missed a couple of days from work last week.  I tried to be productive since I was off and wasn’t totally dead and I had folded two loads of  laundry before I decided that I’d had enough physical activity and was tired of sweating from the effort.  I put the empty laundry basket on top of the fully folded basket of clothes to keep the cats off of it because, as anyone with cats can attest, clean laundry is a cat magnet.  Case in point:

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course Olivia climbs right into the empty basket on top of all the clean laundry.  I don’t think she even made it 30 seconds before she did it, either.  If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she just materialized out of nowhere.  I almost didn’t get up and get my camera out because I was hot, coughing, and longing to lay back down on the couch and dream of being able to breathe through my nose again one day.  But I did and I’m really glad because some of these ended up as my favorite shots of her.

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