"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lights, lights, lights!!!

Another great date night!  But, I'm beginning to think every night is date night in the Hood.  Sometimes, it's just date night in!  :)  This was a such a fun date night....we went to Hollywood Studio's at Walt Disney World to see the Osborne's light display on the streets of America!  The Osborne's (not Ozzy) are from Little Rock, Arkansas and after proving to have the most impressive light displays in the US, they teamed up with Disney to make it even more exciting.  I have been wanting to go see the lights all month, and with Christmas quickly approaching, and our calendar getting full, we decided to go! 

It has been quite cold here....no really, it has....27 degrees cold!  So, we layered and pulled out our ski jackets (which haven't been used in over a year), and headed to the park just to see the millions of lights synchronized to almost an hour of Christmas music.  We had such a fun night, and were surprised by the intermittent "snow" fall!  Here are some pictures so you can see how extensive the lights are!

Our attempt at a picture of ourselves!

Someone else's attempt at a picture of us....at least ours wasn't blurry!
And, I thought it would be helpful if you could get a little taste of the experience, so thanks to YouTube, you can check it out here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UySCUo_ek4&feature=related  This still does not do the display justice, as lights are all up and down the side streets, and they are also lit and synchronized. There is also a huge Christmas tree between buildings on the right that is lit too! 

We ended our night by meeting friends for coffee at a local coffee shop.  It was so nice to warm up, and the peppermint latte I enjoyed was amazing!!!  We hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season!  We are especially enjoying getting all of your Christmas cards with pictures in the mail!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thanksgiving...as promised!

I know I am behind!  It has turned out to be a hectic week?!?!  I'm not sure how quiet weeks always seem to end up that way! 

So, before I move on with more blogs, and pictures of Christmas at our house, I thought Thanksgiving pictures were past due!  Now, back to cooking and grocery shopping!  We are hosting game night with our community group tonight -- looking forward to it :)

Breck not too fond of snow!

Light snow in Kentucky!

Little family picture :)  haha

Attempt at a Christmas card picture for Todd's parents.....clearly not a good time of day to take pictures!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cooking Gluten Free!

I just had to share what I have been doing all day!  Cooking like crazy!!  I am so tired of limited gluten free options, and dinner being an ordeal some nights because of it!  Now all of this food is freezer bound and ready for an easy, re-heatable dinner in the near future!  I must also say...I love my labeler!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am finally home after our "Tour of the South" aka Thanksgiving!  We spent a few nights in Charleston to celebrate our first anniversary!!  We had so much fun!  I still can't get over how fast the last year flew by!  Over Thanksgiving we kept talking about how this time last year we were honeymooning, eating Thanksgiving buffet at the Ritz in Maui, and Todd was excited to be going to the Maui invitational!  After Charleston, we proceeded to Atlanta for Thanksgiving with my family, and later in the week Kentucky to see Todd's family.  We drove back to Atlanta on early this week, and Todd flew out to Phoenix for work.  My parents drove back to Orlando with me yesterday, and the rainy, trafficky (spell check does not like this word - HA) drive was beyond miserable!  We got home late, and went to bed immediately!  To top it all off, all three of us are sick with sinus infections and junk!  So, while we were supposed to be playing until Todd gets back, instead we spent the morning at a doc-in-the-box and at the pharmacy.  We have been vegging, and watching movies all afternoon!  Thank goodness for Thanksgiving leftovers, and not having to cook!

I will post Thanksgiving pics later this week, but in the meantime enjoy the charm of Charleston!

Enjoying a night out!

Walking around the historic district

Park along the water - love the trees!

Anniversary dinner at the chef's table at Oak Place!  Wonderful time!

Creme brulee!  I hate the shadow on this pic, but decided not to continue shooting and embarrassing Todd!

Rooftop bar - view of the harbor!

Friday, November 19, 2010


2 days until our first anniversary!!!!

The past year has flown by, and I feel so blessed to be married to Todd!  Every day is a new, and fun adventure....and the evenings are like sleepovers!  We usually cook dinner together, chat about our day, go on walks, sometimes we pick up ice cream, and then settle in for a movie or an evening of our favorite shows for the night!  How lucky are we?  I couldn't imagine sharing this journey with anyone else!  Thank you Todd for so may wonderful memories over the past several years we have been together, and for such a great first year of marriage!

Looking forward to our celebration!!!  ...In the meantime, I'm cleaning, cooking, running errands, crossing off things on my to-do list, finishing laundry, and anxiously awaiting Sunday!  :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What we have been up to....

I decorated for Christmas today, and Breck has been very intrigued with the entire process.  In fact, he is pretty convinced the tree skirt is his new bed - it makes for a great nap!  I took a few pictures I thought I would share...
What is all this stuff??

Woken up from my nap under the tree!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


After a weekend in Birmingham for Todd's Pharmacy School Reunion, I am so happy to be home and caught up on laundry...well, almost the last "batch" is drying!  Now, I have exactly one week before the Anniversary (yes anniversary...can you believe in 10 days it will have been a year!!)/Thanksgiving mayhem ensues to get the following 'to do' list done!

-Clean the house
-Host this month's ladies Bible study brunch (and finish my reading assignment, and make food)
-Host an adoption fundraiser for a friend (You can follow her story here: http://jenyspaghetti.blogspot.com/)
-Kid duty at church this Sunday (first day back in three weeks, and we are in kids!)
-Volunteer on Thursday for our local food bank
-Run errands which include:  grocery shopping, returning glasses to Pier 1, and buying some cute Thanksgiving fall napkins for this weekend's events
-Work on Todd's anniversary gift and then pray it gets here in time
-Make and write the next two weeks of tailgating recipes for http://www.fooddownsouth.com/
-Decorate for Christmas
-Continue Christmas shopping
-Make and order Christmas cards (harder than you think - I have been super indecisive this year)
-Etc, etc, etc

Monday, November 1, 2010

Georgia / Florida Game in Jax!

Todd and I had decided to try to make it to the Georgia / Florida game this season in Jacksonville since we live only two hours away.  So, with my cousins in town from Seattle, we decided to give them a taste of SEC football.  Saturday morning, we headed out to Jacksonville to watch the game!  It was a great game, even though Georgia lost in overtime :o(  We stopped for dinner at OC White's in St. Augustine, Florida on the way home.  This turned out to be quite fun since it is an old pirate town on the coast, and it was the weekend of Halloween!  Here are the few pictures I managed to take!

Kaili and me!

...and on to overtime!

Dinner in St. Augustine!!

Everyone's visit to Disney!

My family came to visit last week, and we spent our time at Disney World! Here are some pictures of all the fun!

Mom and Dad

On Pirates of the Caribbean - a favorite of the kids!

Jake the pirate!

3D Movie!

Waiting to drive cars - they were all very giddy!  These are their silly poses!

Dinner at about 10pm!  So hungry!

Like father, like son -- making music at Animal Kingdom!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I was asked to make cupcakes and a small cake for a Halloween-themed wedding today.  So, I spent the majority of the weekend baking, frosting, and decorating!  Todd was surprisingly helpful and even made several batches of icing for me while I frosted cupcakes!!  I haven't made a cake for anyone since I moved almost a year ago, so this was kind of an interesting experience in figuring out where I stored all of my cake stuff, and finding cake supply stores in the Orlando area!  I have had several people ask me about cake decorating lately, so I figured I would post some "behind the scenes" pictures!  Enjoy!!

Making gumpaste

Gumpaste disks...

Todd helping!!!!

Decorated and ready to go!

All ready to go!

Top view

Halloween theme!

And, the final product!!

Breck is One!!!

Breck turned one on October 7th (he shares a birthday with my mom).  I made him a dog-safe cake and he LOVED it!!  It was made wtih peanut butter, egg, carrots, flour, and vegetable oil and I frosted it with cream cheese and peanut butter.  Here's some pictures of the "celebration":
Licking batter!

Birthday Cake!!!

LOVING my cake!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Newlywed Game

I know it has been a while since I have blogged!  It is so nice to be blogging about our fun comings and goings versus the other blogs I have been doing lately...which is why I have been so absent!  I have been doing a tailgating recipe blog for an SEC football site, and it has seemed to take up all the memory on my camera, all my time on the comp, and all of my creative juices lately!  It has been so much fun, but also a lot of work...and pressure to make sure every week is the best!  Check it out at:  http://www.fooddownsouth.com/ !

So, in honor of mindless blogging, I was sent this "Newlywed Game" blog format from a friend, and thought it would be super fun and especially appropriate since Todd and I are less than 2 months from our 1 year anniversary!  Time has flown!  I'm sure you know the Newlywed Game drill, but just in case:  Below you will see a series of questions.  Todd has responded to them with what he thinks I will answer.  He did VERY well!  A+ for Todd!  :o)  Enjoy!!

1. She's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?
Todd's answer:  Food Network
My answer:  Food Network, or else mindless trash!  It was so nice of him to leave it at Food Network :)

2. You're out to eat, what kind of dressing does she get on her salad?
Todd's answer:  Vinegarette
My answer:  Vinegarette

3. What is one food she doesn't like?
Todd's answer:  Hot dogs
My answer:  Anything that is junk filled (processed foods, not all-natural, etc) -- So, yes hot dogs are at the top of that list!

4. You go out to eat and have a drink, what does she order?
Todd's answer:  Glass of wine or Firefly/lemonade...and a salad with homemade dressing, and a steak because it's one of the few things on the menu without gluten
My answer:  Wine with a steak and yummy salad!!  --  I love Firefly with Lemonade...how could I forget that!

5. What shirt size does she wear?
Todd's answer:  XSmall
My answer:  Small or XSmall

6. What shoe size does she wear?
Todd's answer:  Four...ok a 5 (after my look of surprise)...I don't know!!
My answer:  Six -- Todd thinks I am smaller than I am!  That is a good problem to have!

7. What's her favorite type of sandwich?
Todd's answer:  None, since she is gluten free -- she would love a sandwich, so I think any would be her favorite if she could eat one
My answer:  A monte cristo -- He is right though, I wouldn't be picky!  I hear Jason's Deli has gluten free bread, I will have to head over there soon!

8. What could she eat everyday?
Todd's answer:  Creme brulee....DESSERT

Our homemade Vanilla Bean/Bourbon creme brulee last week
My answer:  Ice cream or creme brulee!!  --  See how well he knows me?  :)

9. What is her favorite cereal?
Todd's answer:  Chex -- Gluten free
My answer:  Lucky Charms!!  --  He is right though, most recently it is gluten free Corn Chex since Lucky Charms are most certainly not gluten free!

10. What would she never wear?
Todd's answer:  A moo-moo...in leopard print
My answer:  A tank top with a scarf in the middle of winter like some of the people in Florida!  Such a strange fashion trend.  However, I am learning fashion is not a priority here!  -- Todd is right though, I have never worn anything leopard print, or moo-moo-esque!  haha

11. What is her favorite sports team?
Todd's answer:  The Georgia Dawgs....but they suck right now. So, the Magic!

Capitol One bowl while we were dating -- GO Dawgs!
My answer:  UGA -- Love that Todd is pushing his love for the magic on me :)

12. What is something she does that you wish she wouldn't do?
Todd's answer:  Stay up late
My answer:  I have no idea...probably not take so many pictures, and I think he secretly hates it when I ask other people to take our picture for us!

13. You bake her a cake, what kind of cake?
Todd's answer:  Um...probably vanilla with cream cheese icing, or whatever recipe I can find online
My answer:  Considering Todd has never baked me a cake, this is difficult.  But my favorite cake is red velvet with cream cheese icing, so probably that?!?!

14. What could she spend hours doing?
Todd's answer:  Cooking
My answer:  Cooking and baking!

15. What is a unique talent that she has?
Todd's answer:  She can cook, and bakes and decorates cakes

First birthday cake I made a few years ago - one of my favorites!
My answer:  I don't know that I have a unique talent -- Todd did hit on a passion of mine with baking though :)

16. How does she like her coffee?
Todd's answer:  She likes 90% coffee, 10% cream, and agave or sugar in the raw
My answer:  Coffee with heavy cream and sugar in the raw or agave at home, but out I like a Cappuccino -- Todd is so on top of it, and I don't think he has ever made my coffee!  :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Todd's in the Kitchen!!

As some of you may remember, Todd lost a March Madness bet to me six or so months ago!  If I won, he had to cook me dinner and dessert and choose a wine pairing!  For the last several months, he made excuses like, "It takes me a long time to plan a meal!"  He would be eating cereal every night if it took me months to plan one meal!  I was really over it, and had come to the realization he was not going to pay up, he would probably never cook a meal for me, and that I should never wager a home-cooked meal when placing bets with him in the future! 

However, he surprised me when he offered to go to the grocery store for me yesterday, and had 4 pages of printed recipes in tow! 

He came home with scallops, mixed baby greens, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, a bottle of wine, and green onions among other things!  I was so impressed at this point, I don't even think it required him to actually cook the food he had brought home!

He started making dinner last night, and I have to admit it was very entertaining.  I sat at the bar with the camera and a glass of wine! 

I tried to stay out of it, and let him do it completely on his own.  Todd seemed a little bit perplexed as to how to time everything, and forgot about the asparagus he planned on cooking and the noodles for his sauce until I reminded him (like a good wife - ha).  So, he let the scallops sit in his simmering wine butter sauce until the aspargus was ready, and the scallops were nice and rubbery!

I was still very impressed, since he was very ambitious with his meal and the sauce, salad, and asparagus were great!  This is how it turned out (notice his plating and setting of the table):

Todd did find some yummy recipes, but has no idea what websites he got them from!  He made a dressing for the salad that was great!  I will have to use it again....2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp honey, and 4 cloves minced garlic.  He tossed the mixed baby greens in the dressing and topped it with shredded parmesan and dried cranberries. 

Todd also found a wonderful macaroon recipe that he paired with ice cream for dessert!  The dessert was a comedy of errors including not being able to use the cookie scoop, and thinking the cookies were gluten free when the recipe called for wheat flour, but the cookies turned out amazing!  For this recipe, he was supposed to whip the egg whites in one bowl, and mix the dry and wet ingredients seperately.  I caught him in time, as he did not whip the eggs, and was ready to start dumping all the ingredients in one bowl to simply mix them together!  Unlike many things in life, he was very disappointed to find out, he actually had to read the section of the recipe that says 'directions'.   Maybe baking is not his forte!

So, now that I know Todd can cook, I am looking forward to a night or two off each month!  Even if it's not a great meal, I know I can plan on some pre-dinner entertainment! :o)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Southern Hospitality

I wasn't born in the South, but I like to consider myself a Southern girl after spending a large part of my childhood and adult years there.  I love many southern traditions, style, and character -- and embrace them as my own.  One of the things I particularly love, is the hospitality. 

Every once in a while I have a slow Sunday afternoon, and like to plan my meals for the week by browsing through some of my less-used cookbooks.  Today was one of those days (and add rain), so while Todd is at the gym I've been digging through recipes and making my grocery list.  Last year, while Todd and I were engaged, I was given favorite recipes from the guests at two of my bridal showers in Atlanta.   I was given a recipe binder at one of the showers, so I compiled all of the recipes shared with me on cards, hand written notecards, and printed papers within the pages.  I decided to go through the binder today -- which is appropriately decorated with pineapples, a symbol of Southern hospitality.  I was so excited to find recipes ranging from spitfire shrimp to caramel corn and bourbon chocolate pecan pie to black eyed pea soup and breads.  I think when I was given these recipes, I was in wedding planning/moving/working/invite addressing/registering/thank-you writing/to-do listing mode, and because I could barely find time to pick up take out and didn't even have a kitchen since I was renting a room, I didn't fully appreciate the wonderful gift that these recipes are!

After looking through my recipes from family and friends that have shared in my life, I felt so overwhelmed by their love.  It is such an intimate thing to share a meal with someone, and especially to share a beloved family recipe.  I realize that the southern women who surrounded me at these showers were not just sharing a recipe for food, but instead sharing their family traditions and giving me a piece of their kitchen and dining room tables.  The kitchen towels, aprons, and pot holders I was given at these showers will wear and fall apart, but these recipes will be shared with friends at our table, be favorites of our children, and provide nourishment for our grandchildren in the years to come!  What a wonderful, and thoughtful gift!  How could you not love the warm and giving hospitality found in the South?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Where have we been?

Where have we been???  New York City!!!

Since my last post, we celebrated my birthday, went to New York City, and celebrated Todd's brithday yesterday!  It has been quite an eventful week, and we have enjoyed being able to play hard...just the two of us!  We had an amazing time, and I can't wait to go again...after my feet get rested!  I don't know that I can quite put our trip into words, so I will let the pictures do the talking! 

Posing with the bull in the financial district
Showing our love :)
View of the NYC skyline from Liberty Island
Dinner at Park Ave Summer - wonderful restaurant!!