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…..


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!



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:


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


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

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.

A crippling case of self doubt

OMG!! I just got an email from the mother of the two kids whose pictures I took at the beach one afternoon with the dogs asking if I would take pictures of their family!! And she wants to pay me!! WTF?!?!  I am in no way a professional and I really feel like there is no way I could charge someone for something that I feel they could get better somewhere else.  I said I would take the photos (of course) but I really feel out of my element and I’m feeling a level of pressure I’ve never felt about photography before.

Advise?  Words of wisdom??  Help?!?  All would be welcome.

Beer Fest and Stairs

I’m really sorry I’ve been so absent lately.  Will and I lost our home computer (it was borrowed and we had to give it back) and I can only blog from work and work has been very busy and I’m not going to stay later than necessary just to blog.  Sorry.  All of my readers (hi Mom!!) are awesome, but when it’s time to go home, I’m outta here.   We have been very busy at home, too.  Will and I started moving all of our stuff into our new apartment on Sunday.  We have a few small items left to move and then we have to clean the townhome, but we have until the 31st, so I think we’ll get it all done on time.  The only thing that sucked were all the stairs.  Between moving out of a tri-level townhouse with 2 sets of stairs into a 3rd floor apartment, we’ve probably climbed more stairs than any normal person ever should.  Well, I’ll say Will probably did because being the awesome man that he is, he allowed me to pack/unpack while he carried most of the boxes over – isn’t he sweet?? Trent and Nicole also helped us along with another neighbor who we thanked with a case of beer.  (Hey, cheap labor, I’m not complaining!!)  This week will be all about decorating the new place (yay!) and cleaning the old place (boo!). 

Now on to the beer portion of this post!!

This past Saturday was the 3rd Annual Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival hosted by The Inlet Brewing Company who have an organic beer named Monk in the Trunk.  There were some really unique names for beers there, I was pretty impressed by the creativity!  Such as:

Arrogant Bastard Ale





Nicoles first beer of the day

Nicole's first beer of the day


Right before Nicole's last beer of the day





Needless to say, there was a lot of beer, a lot of monks, and a lot of fun.  Just ask Nicole:

She may or may not be slightly inebriated in this picture…..I’ll never tell!


PS – Happy Birthday, CJ!! I love you!!

Night of the Living Douches

NO, the title isn’t a movie, but the description of this last week of my life. Before we get to the NOTLD, I’d like to explain my absence here.  I know it isn’t necesary, but it would make me feel better.

Anyone who is familiar with Florida is usually familiar with the term Snowbirds.  These are the people who “fly” south to FL for the winter months instead of staying in their homestates where it usually snows a lot.  (usually NY, MI, OH, PA, etc) Hence the term ‘snowbirds’ –  we’re  clever people. 

According to the FU paper(Florida University, not ‘eff  you),  Palm Beach County (where I live) has the second highest percentage of snowbird increases during the winter months.  (winter months are typically considered anytime between January and early April because people want to be in their home states for the holidays)  What does this mean for me, you ask? 

This means increased business for the PT company I work for because old people need therapy.  This means me being so busy and calling the number to verify medicare benefits so many times in a day that I LITERALLY have nightmares about being on hold.  This means I have to deal with people who CANNOT HEAR ME WHEN I AM TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO THEM THEIR BENEFITS AND SET UP THEIR APPOINTMENTS, THUS FORCING ME TO YELL OUT THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THE ENTIRE CLINIC.  This means that there is increased traffic on my way home from work because I leave right at dusk (5:30) and all the snowbirds are on their way home, because, as one of our lovely snowbird patients put it “I can’t see to drive at night and my husband said if I have another accident he’s taking away my car so I need to leave here by 5:30”.   This means that I am extra tired and cranky when I get home.  This means I have less time to blog because I have to do it from work right now since we no longer have a home computer. 

Have I done enough complaining now??  Good.  I feel better.  Don’t you?

It hasn’t been all bad.  Will and I were able to see the Thrashers play this past weekend (Thrashers got spanked by the Panthers 8-4, btw. Sorry, Babe.)  and we followed up that game by visiting Nicole at work at the Yard House where we made her bring us food and drinks.  Wait, how is that different than any other time?  Oh, yeah.  We paid her this time.  Anyhow, as we were getting ready to leave, the restaurant patio was swarmed with the typical South Florida personality – The DoucheBag (must be said with a Wisconsin* accent to get the full effect).  Maybe you’re familiar:






Come on, people, I could do this all day.  But I won’t.  I can’t believe there is so much documented evidence.  Thanks to Google Images for all the photos, btw.

So, you can see from the above examples what FL is filled with, and as we were sitting, enjoying the last of our yummy dinner, drinks, and trying really hard to forget the hockey “game” we had just witnessed, the patio becomes flooded with DB’s (douchebags) and all of a sudden we are treated to nice** girls dressed perfectly appropriate*** with DB guys who keep lifting up their shirts (like the guy in the last photo) so that his buddy could punch him in the abs and he could LOUDLY exclaim how much it didn’t hurt.  Then Trent, aka “The Eraser”, (as he will be known on this blog from here on out) went to the little boys MEN’S ROOM and encountered the ‘grown up’ version of the DB (which looks exactly like the young, 20-something DB but with wrinkles, better jewelry, better clothes, grey tipped hair instead of blonde, and that layer of old man pudge that shows up over what used to be muscle) who proceeded to be rude to him, block the door with their enormous bodies and threaten him with bodily harm for trying to exit the bathroom.  The Eraser came back to the table and was shortly followed out by the ODB’s (Old douchebag, not ‘Ol Dirty Bastard) who proceeded to smoke and give him the proverbial evil eye**** until their buzzer went off and they were escorted to their table for what I like to think was a lot of eye fucking and unspoken promises of tender caresses while pretending to check out chicks to cover for their uneasy feelings towards one another.  We asked The Eraser if he was afraid and he said “Yes, only because they didn’t wash their hands”! 

Following that close DB encounter, the empty patio space was filled with an entire group (flock, if you will) of DB’s and their women***** who continued to chain smoke, drink heavily, and talk louder than necessary.  This is when we decided to leave.  Fun times, people. 

Let’s recap what I’ve learned in my last year living in FL:

  1. Snowbirds suck
  2. Douchebags suck
  3. The window for going out in public without being outnumbered by one or the other is very small.  Too early in the day and the Snowbirds are out; go too late after dusk and the DBs are out.  Normal people are only out between the hours of 5:30-7:30-ish and even that crowd is filled with the slightly desperate, overly eager, semi-drunk singles trying to mingle******.
  4. Realized that Florida isn’t for us long term.  We don’t want to raise children here because of how self-absorbed, self-entitled, and selfish everyone seems to be.  We’re definitely going to keep our eyes open for other possibilities.  Maybe in the NW somewhere…who knows.

* Hi, April!

**Code word for sluts

*** code phrase for dressed like hookers.  Low dollar hookers at that.

**** which I imagine is really hard to do with all of the botox they seem to have injected in their faces.  They had perma-scowl and lip pucker combo.  Must have been on special.

***** Can you still call someone a woman if they are more plastic than human?? Just wondering.

****** code word for drink too much and then settle on someone for the night and “bump uglies”, then regret said “uglies” in the morning.

« Older entries