It is the chocolate and kisses of life that make us rich. Enjoy what brings a smile to my face and love to my life.....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tucker Turns Three

I can't believe my little devil turns three today! Which means in doggy years, he's of legal drinking age! Maybe in honor of his birthday will crack open a cold one, just for him! Today's post is a tribute to my pup, who despite all the lovely things he might do, has a very warm place in my heart... he was our first dog!

The day we brought him home.

Sleeping with favorite soccer ball. A few days later he learned to hump it, typical man.

Isn't he precious?

First bath.

Something tastes good.

A place he has learned to call bed.

Handsome little fellow.

There's a little too much stuff for this guy to get into trouble, eh?

His favorite place to chew his bone, the treadmill.

How could you not love him?

The day he got a sister. Mom, what the hell is that?

So, you look like me, but way smaller. 

Not loving the nerd sweater. But, if you do want him to stay still- here's the ticket!

You know how they say grandma's spoil their grandchildren.... yeah this would not happen in my house!

The old fart himself, he's such a party pooper!!

So, Happy Birthday Tucker!! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

After Dinner Snack

Being that I am home a lot by myself, it causes me not to want to cook or bake all the time. I do love to cook for others, to feed their hungry bellies. When it's only me, it looses its luster. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook by myself when I know someone is coming over to eat it! Today I decided that it didn't matter if no one else was going to be home for hours, I was going to cook and bake.

I tried out a new recipe for chicken. I had some chicken thighs and looked online to see what I could do with them instead of just a little seasoning and bake them. I stumbled upon a recipe that would use the rest of my bread crumbs up, so why not?

I used this recipe but tweaked the ingredients by adding crushed red pepper, salt & pepper and some garlic powder.

Review: The topping stayed too mushy for my liking. It did have some good flavor though. Next time, I'll just stick to what I know, eggs & flour- scratch the butter. You win some, you lose some. I would say definitely try this coating because it's good, just don't completely follow the recipe.

What did knock my socks off, like it always does are my favorite roasted potatoes! Now when I give you the recipe, I don't really measure anything when I cook. I get it from my personal chef DG. So, basically the amounts are just to your liking.


Potatoes (any kind that you like)    
salt & pepper
olive oil
cayenne pepper
dried parsley
parmesan cheeese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut up potatoes (small into quarters, big into 6 or 8 pieces). Place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and add all seasonings and parmesan cheese to your liking. Mix well and then place in oven for 1 hour. You can turn potatoes after 30 minutes. If you like them crispy you may want to cook them a little longer and turn them another time.

These potatoes are great. I mean you could do anything with a potato if you like them and it wouldn't be bad. Minus the whole eating them raw. I use to know someone who did that, not right.

After dinner, I felt like being nice to my DG and baking something so I searched my cabinets and found a box of brownie mix. I could have made him brownies from scratch. If in the mood to get really down and dirty, try these Cookie Dough Brownies by Mels Kitchen Cafe. They are AMAZING! Very rich but totally worth it! Instead I opted for the easier option, still made with much love. Chocolate Fudge Brownies with caramel drizzled on top.

Is it bad that even before I've mixed all the ingredients, I'm picturing myself eating the batter?
Or that as I melted the caramels, I drooled?
DG seemed to enjoy the finished product. Eaten in about three bites.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Things you can't live without

There are certain things in life that you just can't live without. You can't make substitutions. These are things that are THAT important to you, that no matter what financial situation you are in, you WILL have them.

Such as.....

Febreeze. Makes everything smell better. 

Cholula. I would bathe in this stuff, it is that good.

Bare Essentuals Make up. It makes you feel beautiful even on your worst day.

Macbook. I will never own another PC, sorry Dell- you lost a long time ago.

Samsung Fascinate. My favorite phone by far.

Notebooks. I probably own 10 notebooks at this point, and every time I see a new one with a pretty cover, I buy it. It's ridiculous.

Woman's World. My mother got me hooked when I was young. Every week, it's the first stop I make in the grocery store as if they would sell out by the time I get to the register.

Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Iced Coffee. I started early this year, and bought my first iced coffee two weeks ago. I'm willing spring to come early.

Sausage. Any kind, any time. No I'm not being a pervert. It makes all foods better.

Ipod. Music makes you want to move. Moving is good. I'm on my second because this beast ate my first.

Yankee Candles. Brings me back to my childhood. Nothing beats having a yummy candle burning in your house.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It's just friggin' good.

Crystal Light Pink Lemonade. It's a treat, and maybe better than soda? I'll keep telling myself that.

I'm sure there are other things that I can't live without that might be more important. Like air, but I don't have to go to a store to purchase that, yet. With the way this economy is going, we might get taxed to breathe sooner than later.

What are your favorite items that you can't live without?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Bridesmaids

It was very easy for me to pick my bridesmaids.  While I have many friends that I absolutely adore, I mean why would you have friends you didn't? There were four people who stood out amongst the rest.

My Maid of Honor: My sister, Nicole
While our sisterhood has not always been a perfect match, as we got older we definitely became best friends. Despite what she may think, I have always looked up to my sister, even when we were young and having our sissy fits! She is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I am blessed to have a sister I love so very much. I couldn't ask for a better person to be my maid of honor. She truly values life and beauty and she deserves all the happiness this life has to offer her, and much much more.

Bridesmaid:  Best friend, Kayte

I met Kayte in middle school when our town mixed with well, hers. She left to a different state, but even though she has not lived near me in over 10 years, she is one of my bestest friends. We don't need to talk all the time, or see each other all the time to know that we will always be there for each other. She is an individual that always shows so much strength whenever life hands her, well crap. She is the kind of friend that will always tell you what she thinks, honesty is one of her best qualities. She doesn't give herself enough credit, she is a beautiful person, wonderful mother and an all around fabulous person.

Bridesmaid: Best friend, Sage

I also met Sage in middle school. It's funny how our friendship started because honestly, I wasn't the nicest person to her. Most likely due to my own insecurities but eventually we became friends. She has always been there for me through the years. The kind of person to drop everything to be there if you needed her. She has always been such a thoughtful person, and I'm grateful to have her in my life.  She has helped me many times in the past year, to plan for this wedding.... and I'm happy she is apart of this wonderful process.

Bridesmaid: Best friend, Lauren

I met Lauren when I started to work at Starbucks my freshman year in college. She actually didn't want the manager to hire me because she thought that I was a B*TCH! Haha....  well, years later, we have been through our ups and downs in life, but she is one of my dearest friends. We lived together in a fabulous apartment for a year, and while it didn't last long and (didn't end all that well) I miss those mornings we had our coffee sessions, and fabulous dinners of grilled chicken tenders, olives, pickles and pretzels. She will always hold a special place in my heart and I am very honored to have her in my wedding.

These ladies are all very special to me, and I look forward to the next few months that are filled with their beautiful faces. They will all look stunning in the beautiful dress I have chosen, I can't wait to have them standing next to me as I marry the love of my life. It brings tears to my eyes as I write this. It'll be a good day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wedding Crunch

Less than 4 months and I will be walking down that infamous aisle to marry the man that stole my heart 7 years ago!

When we got engaged in January 2010, the day June 10th, 2011 was 16 months away. It felt like FOREVER!

Now we are approaching it very fast and I have LOTS to do. I've crossed the big stuff off the to do list a while ago, but now we still have a lot to focus on! As the time gets closer and closer, I find myself becoming more scatter brained, and the only thing to help are to do lists. So here is my current to do list.

- Send save the dates (2 months behind!)
- Find centerpieces
- Figure out favors
- Find shoes
- Have all rings appraised so we can insure them
- Apply for passport
- Finalize flowers
- Figure out hair style and make appointments
- Have engagement photos taken
- Have separate photographer take picture for newspaper (one of my patients gifts to us!)

Blah, blah, blah. There are a few more things but I'm boring myself with the list, so I will stop. This is such an exciting time, but all this work for 5-6 hours??? I think wedding celebrations should last for a week. I know that we still have the showers, jack & jill, and the B&B parties but maybe I just want more love & happiness!!

Well, time to get cracking on some "stuff" before the night is completely over and I've wasted my day. I'll leave with a few photos of these cuties.....

How could you not fall in love with these babies? Wish they stayed that small, minus the constant chewing and peeing on everything!

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