Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Almost 10

Almost 10 years.
I think back on us. Where it began. Who we were back then. Two kids. Still in college. You, with your Holister sweatshirt and sweatpants texting me during class. Me working at Holister and buying a new outfit every time I thought I'd see you.  Our first date: Applebee's. I was so nervous I literally couldn't eat. I remember the exact table we sat at. It was our first face to face dinner even though we'd had several nights out as college kids do and I was terrified. In a good way. I remember your red polo. I remember your swag. I remember you dancing with me. I remember you holding my hand even though you needed to shift and shifting your Audi with your left hand so you didn't have to let go.  You always had something up your sleeve.  Telling me to get in the car and showing up on our date that was anything but typical.  From Howe Caverns to the driving range and I absolutely loved it.  Your job? A Zamboni driver and hockey score keeper at the Y.  I surprised you with a sandwich one night and you gave me a ride as you coded the ice at the end of the night. 

We couldn't keep our hands off each other. For a solid few months we were inseparable. You said I love you first but I was already thinking it, worried it would be too soon, relieved when you let me know it wasn't. You asked me to be your girlfriend and we became "official" on the 10th of November 2005.  Shortly after, I moved out of 433 (shout out to my college roommates!!) and you out of your parents to our first home together, our tiny apartment on Washington that didn't take dogs, but Scoob "didn't count", that was just close enough to walk to and from the bars after having our friends over for drinks and having parties and was right around the corner from the park where we took Scoob.  We had some of our best memories in that place and I still remember them whenever I drive by.

From the beginning I knew something was special when it came to you and me.  I look back at how far we've come. How young we were but still able to stay the steady constant through all the years. 

As I sit on our couch in our second home that we bought on a piece of land in the country with a white picket fence that we've been renovating for the past seven years, I think about the latest projects we accomplished.  The deck that we had done just in time for guests to come and hang out before and after our wedding.  And our kitchen that is such a dream come true right down to the skylight. And most recently, the baby's room.  

Your sweats have been replaced by slacks and suits when you have a client meeting, and my Holister jeans have been replaced with pencil skirts as we both grow in our careers. And our spare time previously spent mostly with friends and homework is now spent managing our home and preparing for our first child. 

As I sit here reminiscing about two young kids that couldn't keep our hand off each other and think how those crazy in love kids have transformed into the two adults that give a peck as they get home from work and talk about their day, I am so incredibly grateful.  Though we don't have to hold hands at the cost of our driving safety anymore, we can sit in the car for 18 hours and have the best time driving to an Alabama wedding.  Though we don't have as many date nights, but we take turns cooking and cleaning up after a long day.  

As I sit here 8 and a half months pregnant with our daughter, I'm in awe. We made it.  We're here! And I am so impatiently awaiting our next adventure. 

Baby Girl, we are so ready to meet you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This skirt!

You only live once, right! So why not pretend to go on another date for the Bononos style challenge?!  And plus I had two looks that I was dying to style, so here goes.

 For my second look for the styling competition for Bonobos' new men's suits collection I decided to go with one of my favorite combos, black and pink.  And this skirt! IN. LOVE.  


Sweater: H&M | Skirt: Banana Republic | Belt: Target

Back in the Swing of Things!

Hi everyone! Sorry it's been so long.  I've been pretty busy.  Since I've posted last, I got a husband and a new job!  You could say things are going pretty well over here, but this little blog has taken a back to seat to my very hectic, yet very rewarding life.  

But with a new job, came new clothes! So I thought I'd try out my [not so good] modeling skills to show you a few looks!  In addition to that, I'm going to try my hand at a styling competition for Bonobos' new men's suits collection and pretend to be going out for a night on the town with one fine looking gentleman! 


And what doesn't make a great cocktail dress than a keyhole back?!  
Probably my favorite part of this dress.

Dress: H&M | Shoes: INC

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Day with Mom: Veggie Garden Planters How-To & A Quick Blue Bird Lesson

This summer Eric decided he wanted a bigger vegetable garden.  To do this he completely dissembled the fence so he could rebuild it, but with this summer being so crazy with the wedding he never got around to finishing it.  So long story short, we still wanted veggies but didn't have a place to put them.  
Enter: Planters!  

I've known people to use planters to grow vegetables, but have never tried it myself.  So naturally, I called Mom.  She found the planters big enough to fit everything in and even painted them for me! Then she had me over and taught me all about how to do it just right to make sure I got some really great results.  Now, I can't selfishly keep all this great knowledge to myself so here you go! From my mom to me and now to you. 
First you need the planters.  The bigger the better, but a 3-5gal should be fine.  And a lot of potting soil.  The multipurpose is great and I like to make sure it has the moisture control because, let's face it, I'm not so great at remembering to water my plants.  

Next you'll need a wheel barrel or something to mix the potting soil up with. 

Dump in a good amount... 

Now for your additives.  You didn't think my mom would just use potting soil, did you?! 

First you'll need a little Osmocote plant food (just a few shakes) which will "ensure a continuous supply of nutrients to feed your plants for 4 months".  This is great and will last you all season long.  Next, add some Coast of Main Lobster & Kelp plant food (one scoop) which is "ideal for fertilizing vegetables".  I know people who swear by this stuff to help the plants produce awesome crops for the season.  And last, add some Hydrated Horticultural Lime (about 1/4 cup) to "reduce soil acidity and increase efficiency of fertilizers".

The next thing she does (which is genius by the way) is fill the bottom of the planter with styrofoam popcorn.  This is done for two main reasons: 1st, to help bring down the weight of the planter after it's complete and 2nd, to help the filtration of the water and keep loss of soil when watering to minimum.  Then after they're in, go ahead and fill up your planter with your potting soil mixture and start planting your veggies, adding more soil as you need. 

Plant whatever you like to eat, of course, but if you're planting tomatoes, start with them.  When planting a new tomato, place it on it's side in a valley of the soil (rather than the traditional hole) after scraping the bottom of the stem with your nail.  This will allow the plant to root along the stem as well as getting it's existing roots established, and will result in a stronger mature plant.  Then plant everything else around them.  

We planted lettuce, bell peppers, a squash, some lettuce, and even threw some oregano and magnolias in there to help deter the bugs from eating the plants. 

When planting, be sure to not plant them too close to the edge of the planter.  You want to have about an inch of soil all the way around the outside of planter.

We added some stakes for when the tomato plants need some additional support as well. 

Drooping of the plants is completely normal and they'll bounce back in a couple of days.  Next we gave them a shot of some Miracle Grow when we watered.  Also, keep them in a shady spot for the first few days so they're not baked by the sun and make sure they're watered every few days, or when you see them wilting. 

And there you have it!  Keep them watered and watch them grow!  After I got them home I put them on a stand that placed them about 2ft above the ground to help with the rabbits that just LOVE my veggies every year, and we've gotten a great crop from them.  Even when we get our vegetable garden rebuilt, I might still do a planter or two instead of annuals.  They serve as decoration too, so why not?!  Hope you enjoy!

Boomer helped!

After we were done making the planters we took a walk around her property.  Since I thought you might be bored of seeing mine all the time, I thought I'd share.

Mom's Veggie Garden :)
As we walked I got a quick lesson on Blue Birds that I though you might also like...

My mom is a member of the North American Blue Bird Society and watches her Blue Birds very carefully and takes great care of them each season: switching out their babies' nesting materials to avoid them being bit by blow flies, watching them fledge, & shooing out invasive birds to allow for the Blue Birds to nest.  She has many Blue Bird houses on her property and says the main thing that makes or brakes a good bird house is ventilation.  She bought the white one seen below online and doesn't get many residents because it's too hot for them.  But the one she built herself is always one of their favorite.  Though it might not be as pretty, the ventilation is the seller.  As you'll see below, she has equipped it with drainage holes on the floor of the box as well as ventilation on the roof. 

Operation Blue Bird
Bought online, but not the best box for Blue Birds

Drainage for the rain as well as ventilation.
Ventilation where the roof meets the wall of the box.
Handmade and it's their favorite!
It was great being able to spend the day with Mom on her property.  She loves tending to her gardens and her land and takes such pride in the result of her hard work.  Here's just a little more of our walk on this beautiful day. :)  Thanks for reading.  Till next time! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dinner in 5 Ingredients or Less

Sometimes when I'm in a rush and hungry I just want to cook the food I have. I don't want to do anything fancy with other ingredients or seasonings, I just literally want to COOK. THE. FOOD.

Which brought me to this post. I have a feeling I'm not the only one.  Well this meal is just that. Cooked food.  Takes no brain power whatsoever and is done in no time. 

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 pork sausage
2 bell peppers
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup marinara sauce

Cook sausage 10-20 min on med heat in a large skillet until browned
Add peppers about half way in, cook in same skillet 5-10 min depending on preference of tenderness.
Add to roll or bowl and serve. Add marina and/or mozz cheese if desired.

Prep 5min; Cook 20min; Serves 2

First, I heat up the olive oil on med heat, then add the sausage and cook for about 15 min turning them every so often so not to blacken one side more than another.

Meanwhile I got my peppers ready.  I'll share this with you because I one point I thought it was the coolest thing.  Some of you will already know this little trick and think it's old news, but for the rest of us...

Just cut the peppers in half along the stem and take out the stem with your hand! Rinse out all the seeds and viola!  Then cut them into strips, then cut the strips in half. Another good tip: cut with the peppers in this position. The peppers are softer on this side and it's not as slippery making it less likely to slip off and cut your finger. (Yup that happened a few years ago, so thought I'd share)

After the sausage is about 1/2 way cooked throw in your pepper and stir occasionally. At this point I put it up to med-high (or just a little hotter). In total the sausage take about 15 min to cook through.  I like to cook them a little on the slow side so the outside doesn't get too crispy but if you like them a little crunchier turn it up a little and they'll be done quicker too.

Then your done! Eric's likes his plain on a roll, but me, I like mine cut up...

With some sauce on it...

And some peppers on top...

Sure why not, throw some cheese on there too...

And a little more sauce for good measure.

And that's it! Dinner in less than 5 ingredients!  Quick and easy!

Enjoy! What are some quick meals you guys like to throw together when you're hungry and just NEED FOOD? These recipes are my favorite!