Friday, July 30, 2010

Pretzels + Rolos + Pecans = Pretzel Turtles

I can remember exactly where I first had this delicious treat, it was at a Halloween pumpkin carving party with a bunch of girlfriends. A friend of a friend brought these and I think I ate the entire plate myself before anyone else could try one! Warning #1: Once you start you can't stop. This treat is the perfect mixture of salty and sweet, plus they couldn't be easier to make! Warning #2: The finished product is bite size so one leads to another and another and before you know it, you look down and realize you ate the entire plate full! Oops!!! I promise this treat will be a big hit wherever you take it!


small pretzels (any shape works!)
chocolate covered caramel candies (I used Rolos, they fit perfectly on the pretzel)
pecan halves
parchment paper


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on each pretzel.

Bake for 3-4 minutes or until the caramel candy is soft but not melted. Immediately after removing the candies from the oven, while the candies are still warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel. Let stand or place in refrigerator until caramel candy is cooled and harden completely. Store in an airtight container.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Beer Punch

Here is a recipe for a refreshing summer punch. It's the perfect drink for a summer cookout or porch party with your girlfriends.


1 can frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
1/2 cup vodka
3 and 1/2 beers. I use Mich Ultra and it turns out delicious.
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
Sliced lemons and limes


Stir all ingredients together, adding the beer and raspberries when you are ready to serve.


Disclaimer: So I know you are probably wondering what has gotten in to me with posting all these drink recipes, so I wanted to let you all know I am not a drunk. I share these drink recipes with you because they are something that I have enjoyed and shared with my friends in hopes you will do that same while being responsible. I am not preaching, I am just saying!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weekend, is that you?

Although it's only Wednesday, Saturday feels like forever ago. I wish weekends would last forever, but then I guess if that was the case they wouldn't been so exciting. My boss invited Thomas and I over for dinner and a boat ride on Lake Murray on Saturday evening. Being a polite guest, I of course asked what I could bring and he said dessert. Boss Man must of read my mind because I love to bake! Not knowing whether we were going to eat dinner on the boat or at their house, I decided I would make Symphony Bar Brownies and fish shaped sugar cookies since I knew both of those were easy to transport.

Boss Man and his wife have a beautiful house outside of downtown Columbia close to Lake Murray. After briefly getting lost, because I thought I remembered how to get there, we arrived a shortly after 6:30pm. We enjoyed a cocktail before dinner, Boss Man made a Peach Fuzz for his wife and myself, while him and Thomas enjoyed a beer. The Peach Fuzz was delicious by the way, I will have to ask for the recipe and share it with you! Dinner was ready soon there after. They made a shrimp boil and Boss Man made his own recipe for cocktail sauce which was out of this world. It was so good I could have eaten it by the spoonful, seriously. Did I just take that too far? Whatev, it really was that good!

We left the house for the boat without clearing the table because we were going to miss the sunset if we didn't hurry. To be more specific, we were headed out on the boat to Bomb Island which is an island in the middle of Lake Murray where over 750,000 Purple Martins come to roost on this island every evening during the summer. Before last summer, I had never heard of such a thing! By Boss Man's description I thought I understood, but boy was I wrong. This is unlike anything I've ever seen. We made it to Bomb Island just in time and there were at least 50 boats already scattered around the island watching the Purple Martins.

We were in such a rush to make it there in time, I forgot to bring my camera, but here is a picture from Google to give you an idea of the crazy number of birds there are on the island.

Once the sun set and the Purple Martins were finished putting on their show, we cruised around the lake for a little while longer, before heading back to the house. Boss Man has many hobbies, but his most recent is old cars. Sometimes when the weather is nice he will drive one to the office and take us all for rides. Thomas has heard Boss Man talk about his old cars when we have been on my company trip or when he has gone fishing with him, but he has never gotten to see them in person.

When we arrived back at the house the ladies headed for inside, while the men stood around outside talking about cars, but before I knew it Boss Man was back in the house asking if we were ready. Of course I asked, ready for what? He replied, to go for a ride! I am sure I had a puzzled look on my face, wondering how four adults were going to fit in to a tiny two seater convertible? What I soon found out when I stepped outside was Thomas sitting in the drivers seat of the MG.

Silly me, we weren't all riding in one car, Boss Man and his wife were riding in the Austin Healey while Thomas and I followed in the MG. Two thoughts went through my head: 1) Thomas do you know how to drive this car? Please don't wreck this car this is my Boss or kills us! 2) Thank you Boss Man for introducing Thomas to this expense hobby, I am forever doomed!
We drove around Lake in the old cars for close to hour. Obviously Thomas didn't kill us and I lived to tell you that crusing around town in the MG was SO much fun!

The entire evening was a blast thanks to Boss Man and his wife! We can't wait to do it again soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's here!

My iPhone 4 arrived in the mail less then a week ago and I am gradually starting to use it. It is a lot of working switching cell phone numbers and making sure you have contacted everyone to let them know so. In a previous post earlier this month, I wrote about my debate between upgrading to the Blackberry Bold 9700 from my current Blackberry Pearl or switching to AT&T and the iPhone 4. I have been a Blackberry user for 4 years now and I have loved every minute of it, but after four years I decided I wanted a change.

I embrace change willingly and the latest and greatest technology is usually of interest to me. I was one of the first of my friends to have a Blackberry, but one of the last to jump on the iPhone bandwagon, but honestly I really didn't like the iPhone when it first came out. I can speak from first hand experience now when I say I didn't quite know what I was missing out on because after only using it for a very short time I am extremely happy with my decision!

I know I am new to the iPhone world, but one thing I do know is the capabilities of the iPhone are endless. So I am asking for your help, what are you favorite apps, capabilities, shortcuts, or just little quarks you've learned and love about the iPhone?

Monday, July 26, 2010

John Mayer in Concert

For my birthday Thomas got us tickets to see Train and John Mayer in concert at the Amphitheatre in Charlotte. We had the best time and John Mayer is just as amazing in concert as he has always been. I have seen John Mayer in concert twice before in his early days a musician. Of course we all know how talented of a musician he truly is, but something you don't know about him until you see him in concert is his great sense of humor! He is one of the few musicians that I can honestly say sounds just as good live as he does on the radio, now that is what I call talent! Below are a few of the photos Thomas snapped for me, I was too short to reach over people's heads to take pictures, I hope you enjoy!

For the encore he sang at the very back of the amphitheatre in the middle of the crowd sitting on the lawn! I think it goes without saying, but the crowd went nuts!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

About Last Night...

Thomas and I met some friends at Rockaway's for dinner last night. Rockaway's is famous for their Rockaway burger, a hamburger covered in pimento cheese, yum. We won't even go in to how bad I am sure this burger is for you, because that's besides the point. If you like hamburgers and pimento cheese, order the Rockaway burger, it will not disappoint, nor should you feel guilty. After all, it is not everyday that you eat a pimento cheese burger! If a hamburger covered in pimento cheese is not your style, they have plenty of other hamburger and cheeseburger options, chicken wings, a variety of salads, and of course various sides of fried things like okra, mushrooms, zucchini, just to name a few.

Rockaway's is a great place to enjoy comfort food. It is actually where Thomas and I had our first date! They are known for their pimento cheese burger and pimento cheese fries. Caution: Be prepared to get messy when you order the pimento cheese fries, as there is no easy way to enjoy them, but they are ever so worth it.

I know the picture is unappetizing, but don't judge, because they are delicious!

As I am sure you have already figured out, Rockaway's is known for their pimento cheese burger and fries. So much so, President Bush ate lunch there when he was in town, because you really can't leave Columbia without trying either of the two.

Here's proof!

After a very comforting dinner, the group decided we wanted to head downtown to The Rooftop Bar on top of the Sheraton Hotel. The hotel opened over a year ago along with the bar. Thomas talked about going there plenty of times last summer and I was always hesitant because for whatever reason I always felt like the first time we go we needed to have a group of friends with us. Don't ask why I felt this way, because I have no clue. So last night was the night to take the plunge. The Rooftop Bar is on the 17th floor of the Sheraton Hotel with amazing views of downtown Columbia. The bar was crowded, but not packed, there were plenty of seats at the bar, where we sat and enjoyed each others company as well as the beautiful skyline. It was such a neat atmosphere with an incredible view, so much so you didn't feel like you could possibly be in Columbia. The bar was a big hit with the entire group and we will definitely be back. With or without a group of friends!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bloody Marys

I enjoy Bloody Marys probably a little too much, but I absolutely love a drink that is both salty and spicy. Through my process of sipping and sampling bloody marys from various restaurants, bars, and as a guest in friend's homes, I pin pointed two key ingredients that are necessary for a perfect bloody mary.

We all know there are many choices when it comes to drink mixers, so much so it is overwhelming at times. Most of the time when you are in need of mixer it's for a sugary drink like pina coladas, strawberry daqauris, etc. and how can you really go wrong when its sugar and more sugar. On the other hand, it seems hard to find a Bloody Mary mix that isn't bland. Like I said earlier, the reason why I like Bloody Marys is for the devine combination of salt and spice. Look no further than Zing Zang. It is the only Bloody Mary mix out of a bottle that I have been able to find with spicy flavor. There is nothing worse then vodka and tomato juice if you ask me.

Absolut Peppar. Yes, there is actually a purpose for this flavor vodka. If you are like me when this vodka debuted a few years ago and there was advertisement after advertisement for Absolut Peppar in magazines, I kept thinking to myself, what drink could possibly call for pepper flavored vodka? Then it hit me! Bloody Mary's,duh! And I can tell you from first hand experience it makes a huge difference. It adds extra zing the drink!

Now that you know the two key ingredients for a delicious Bloody Mary, here are some additional ideas of how to take your drink to the next level!

Rim the glass first with lime juice then with Old Bay seasoning or celery salt
Add a celery stalk or pickle spear to the inside of the glass
Add as much horseradish as desired for added spice
Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime and/or a piece of shrimp


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Molly's Arrival & How You Can Help

Say hello to Molly! My parents drove to Lexington, Virginia on Saturday morning to meet Molly's foster Mom, Anita and to bring Molly home. My parents are so excited and I couldn't be more happier for them. I was sad I couldn't be there with them, but I will be making a trip back home at the end of August and will meet Molly then! Although that seems like such a long time from now, I know there will be plenty of phone calls inquiring about Molly which will hopefully make the time go by faster!

This picture was sent to us from Molly's foster Mom, Anita and is one of our favorites!

Molly with her new parents and foster Mom, Anita!

New Mom, Karen and Foster Mom, Anita making the transition!

Last group photo before the trip to Molly's new home, she looks quite happy!

In our recent dealings with dog rescue organizations, it has really put in to perspective for me how many dogs in the United States have not been fortunate enough to find their forever homes. Why buy a puppy from a breeder who is having litter after litter of puppies to make money when there are thousands of dogs all ages, sizes, and breeds already without homes. I am a firm believer in rescuing animals after my parents wonderful experience in adopting Sparky from Welsh Terrier Cares and Molly from Fox Terrier Rescue. These rescue organizations are run by people just like you and me and they do it because of their love for animals. There are many needs for these type of nonprofit organizations from foster homes, and adoptions, to volunteers, and monetary donations. If you are interested in getting involved please click on the links above to learn more.

Molly is adjusting extremely well to her new home and my parents are absolutely in love with her! Please take the time to spread the word about pet adoption and together we can save innocent animals from cruelty.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Windy City

I arrived in Chicago Sunday evening to attend a two day conference. We had a full day of intense meetings yesterday with a reception and dinner scheduled in the evening. Our hotel is spectacular, but after a day of meetings in various rooms within the hotels and eating two of three meals here as well. We decided to skip the reception scheduled for this evening and go out to eat pizza, of course! After all we are in Chicago!

Thomas and I both have a love for Chicago, so much so we have thought about living here, but the winter weather stops us dead in our tracks every time. Thomas' last trip to Chicago he discovered Gino's East, rated one of the best for Chicago's pizza. Every time we talk about Chicago or pizza, he reminisces about Gino's deep dish pizza. As soon as we decided we wanted to get out of the hotel for dinner, I recommended we go to Gino's.

The most delicious and unique deep dish pizza I have ever had! The crust is definitely different, but incredibly tasty. We ordered a large supreme pizza, in case you are wondering, I am traveling with two male coworkers which explains the choice and size in pizza.

Gino's East has several locations in Chicago, so the next time you visit the Windy City, be sure to make it one of your stops! And if you've never been to Chicago, you're missing out, plan a trip today. Once you get here, you will fall in love, as long as you don't visit in the winter!

P.S. I apologize for not posting yesterday, time got away from me!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Comments, Comments, Comments

So I am sure you read my blog every day (not!) and might have noticed that you wanted to comment on something in my post and weren't able to. I apologize! I am new at this whole blogging adventure and did not realize the comment section had been turned off.

I am here to tell you that has all been changed since the middle of last week and I welcome your comments, input, opinions, feedback, etc. I am very interested in what my readers have to say and I hope this opens up other doors for us to share ideas!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Queen City Here We Come...

As part of my birthday gift Thomas got us tickets to see Train and John Mayer, two of my favorites, in concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre tonight in Charlotte. I CAN'T WAIT!!! I had been talking about getting tickets to this concert months ago when I heard about it on the radio and every time I would forget. Something different, huh? I was so excited when Thomas surprised me with tickets!

It actually works out great that the concert is Friday night because we were already planning on heading to Charlotte Saturday to spend the day with many of our friends and to celebrate my friend Lindsey's birthday Saturday night!

After what I know will be a very fun and exciting weekend, we will be heading home around lunch time on Sunday because I need to unpack and repack within just a couple hours to make it to the airport as I am headed off to the windy city for a conference!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Champagne Magaritas? Yes, Please!

It was a week ago today that I was celebrating my birthday. To keep the celebration going, I thought I would share a recipe that I recently discovered that puts a new twist on one of my all time favorite drinks, margaritas. The twist in this recipe is champagne, which I agree seems strange, but it works! Get ready because this recipe will have you hooked after the first drink! So hooked, drinks like these should come with a warning--it's too easy to drink, even for those who aren't big fans of tequila.

The champagne rounds out the strong flavors of the tequila and lime, adding bubbles and a wonderful flavor that will have you reaching for flute after flute.

Champagne Margaritas

(You can double or triple this recipe to make it for a crowd.)


Finely grated zest (colored part only) from one lime
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup Cointreau
1 cup 100% agave silver tequila
Superfine sugar, if needed for adding sweetness
Half a lime for moistening the glass rims
Coarse (kosher) salt
1 bottle chilled Brut Champagne


1. Make the margarita mixture: In a pitcher, combine the lime zest, lime juice, Cointreau, and tequila. Taste the mixture. If you like the flavor (it will be quite tart), leave the mixture as is; if it's too tart for you, stir in a little superfine sugar. Cover and refrigerate until chilled , about 1 hour.

2. Serve: Strain the mixture to remove the zest. Moisten the rims of eight 6-ounce Champagne glasses with the cut side of the lime half. Spread coarse salt on a small plate, then upend the glasses into the salt to crust the rims. Fill each glass halfway with the margarita (it'll take a generous 1/2 cup). Slowly fill the rest of the way with Champagne and hand to one of your lucky guests!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My First Award!

I was thrilled this weekend when I found out that I received my first blog award!!! Thanks to my cousin, Lauren at Sweets & Treats for the Sugar Doll award!

The rules for this award go a little something like this:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 10 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award on to 10 bloggers you recently discovered who are fantastic and contact them to let me know you picked them for this award.

10 Things About Me:

1. I'm an only child. As my good friend Ellie calls me on a daily basis, figlia unica (only child in Italian). Although, I am an only child, I have 18 first cousins on my Mom's side of the family and 9 first cousins on my Dad's side of the family and I think of them as the brothers and sisters I never had!

2. My Mom is my best friend-always has and always will be. It is hard that we live in different States, but I hope we live closer to each other one day soon! We talk daily both on the phone and through e-mail and usually see each other once a month!

3. I love to travel. Whether it's traveling to a different city, state, or country, traveling excites me! Thomas and I took our first trip abroad together to Spain in May and had a wonderful 10 days. At the end of our trip we made a promise to each other that we would plan a big trip each year from here on out. We are already thinking of places to go next year!

4. I much rather bake than cook. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing anything in the kitchen, but I enjoy baking the most. Maybe it has something to do with my endless sweet tooth?

5. I have the best group of girlfriends a girl could ask for! Seriously. Who can say they lived with 8 of their best girlfriends in one house for 2 years during college, not fight, and are still friends years later? We can and we are proud of it! I have the best memories from those two years we lived together. Since graduation, we all still live in the South and see each other a few times every month!

6. Thomas makes my life better in every way. I truly believe you find your significant other when you least expect it. In my case, I was friends with both of Thomas' roommates yet never spent much time around Thomas. I am so happy that we ran in to each other out one evening 3 years ago because he truly is my better half!

7. I enjoy planning-especially parties and trips! I love to entertain and I can't wait to some day have lavish dinner parties and celebrations with family and friends. I look forward to planning these events just as much as I enjoy the actual event.

8. Forever grateful to the University of South Carolina and it's Gamecocks for the best 4 years! I still get chills when I think about attending football games at Williams Brice Stadium and hearing 2001. It was at USC where I made the most amazing friends I could have ever imagined.

9. I have been very blessed. I have the most amazing parents, family, and friends. I am thankful for the good health and fortune God has blessed us with. I consider Miss T a part of the family, she is my little buddy and I can't imagine life without her!

10. I have a true passion for fashion. In all seriousness, I majored in Fashion Merchandising at USC and although I not currently working in the fashion industry, it is my dream that I plan to have come true one day soon.

I award the blogs listed below with the Sugar Doll Award:

1. Laroque

2. Nella Designs

3. Peek through our window

4. Catalog Living

5. Blue-Eyed Bride

6. Preppy in the DMV

7. Fly Through Our Window

8. Erin & Wesley

9. Urban Grace Interiors

10. Puttin' on the G.R.I.T.S

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday and enjoys the blogs I have listed above!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can't Get Enough

Over the weekend I bought Eric Church's album "Carolina" off of iTunes. I was already familiar with two of Eric Church's songs "Love your Love the Most" and "Hell on the Heart" from hearing them on the radio, but I didn't know both songs were by the same artist! There's something about Eric's tone of voice and the lyrics of his songs that puts a huge smile on my face. The entire album was great company while I cleaned my house over the weekend and I've been hooked ever since!

Monday, July 12, 2010

'Tis the Season

I have reached the age where wedding bells are ringing for many of my friends and family members and I know this is just the beginning. With that being the case, I have taken my mom's advice and started to set guidelines for myself. That way, I can make sure I stay within my budget and fair to everyone.

I am fortunate enough to have large family and lots of friends and I think it is important to make sure you come up with a budget at the beginning that works for you for bridesmaid dresses, travel and hotel costs, the amount of money you can afford on engagement gifts, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and wedding gifts. That way you'll always have a guideline that will keep you in line with your budget and fair to every friend and family member whose wedding you are asked to be a part of.

Below are some tips for wedding guests on a budget. Let's be honest here, we all have a budget whether is $50, $100, $500, or $10,000, we all have a limit at some point.

Shop around for hotels. Just because the couple blocks of rooms at a particular hotel, say the Ritz, does not mean you have to stay there nor that you are getting the best deal. Shop around, there are plenty of discounts, AAA or booking online that could save you money.

Wear the same outfit. This is much easier for guys, as they can easily get away with wearing the same suit to multiple weddings by changing the necktie. If you are expecting several invitations that require black tie, it is more economical to purchase a tux then to rent one each time.

As for us women, there is the pressure to dress differently for each wedding, but that shouldn't require a whole new outfit. Purchase a neutral color dress and accessorize it differently for two different weddings.

Bridesmaid dresses on a budget. Once you are finished with the dress you can resell it on eBay or a local consignment shop to recoup some of the money you spent. Also, unless alternations are included in the price of the dress, you'll often save money by doing them with an independent seamstress than the one who works for the bridal shop.

Do your own hair and makeup.

Plan the bachelorette/bridal party carefully. Make sure you decide in advance who is paying for what. Collect money in advance if you can or choose a venue where you can easily split the bill.

Still can't afford it? Just say no. There's no point in going into debt over someone else's wedding, so sometime it makes sense to decline.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carrie Underwood & Mike Fisher Tie the Knot!

So I don't usually take the time to write about celebrities on my blog because honestly what's the point? There's really not that much worth talking about. But when it comes to Carrie Underwood I just couldn't resist. I am a huge fan of American Idol and have enjoyed watching Carrie's success skyrocket from winning the show. The thing I find neat about Carrie is she was just like the rest of us before winning American Idol, so much so she had never been on an airplane until she flew to LA for the show. There is something about her amazing talent and girl next store likeability that has me hooked!

Carrie's Play On Tour made a stop here in Columbia back in the beginning of May and trust me I was there! I absolutely admire her talent and love her music. The concert was very entertaining, yet so real. It seemed as though it was Carrie, just being Carrie. That the person you see performing on stage is the real her and she would be just as enthusiastic, thankful, and sweet if you met her on the street. I listen to her album Play On at least once a day!

It has been said that Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher tied the knot yesterday evening at the Ritz Carlton, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, GA. I have actually been to Greensboro, GA and Reynolds Plantation as one of my best friend's mom's lives there! It's magnificent, I can't wait to read about the details in People Magazine!

Carrie & Mike at the airport boarding their private jet.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Birthday in Review

So as some of you might know, I work for a fairly small company here in Columbia, SC and wouldn't you know that myself and two other employees share the same birthday? This wouldn't be so unusual if our company was much larger, but considering the small size, I think it's pretty neat! One of the ladies in the office had cookie cakes made for each one of our birthdays. The cookie cake was delicious, so soft and chewy it melts in your mouth!

Thank you Eagle!

For dinner, Thomas took me to Baan Sawan, a Thai Bistro on Devine Street to celebrate my birthday! We both have been wanting to try this restaurant for awhile and my birthday was a great excuse!

The bad news is, I forgot my camera. Needless to say, I was very upset with myself. I needed a a glass of wine fast to get over it. I ordered the only glass of Riesling they had on the menu because Rieslings are usually my favorite and as it turns out this one is now top on my list. It was the perfect combination of dry and sweet and it was ice cold which made it that much more enjoyable on a hot summer evening. For the curious, the wine is Richter Peisporter Michelsburg 2008. I can't wait to find a local store that sells it and stock up for special occasions since it is on the more expensive side at $35 per bottle.

To start we ordered calamari to share, it was prepared crisp and drizzled with plum-ginger sauce that was out of this world y'all. The calamari was delicious, both Thomas and I were remarking how we had never seen such thick pieces of calamari. Delicious!

After a tough decision, we finally decided on our entrees. I ordered the pad thai, rice noodles tossed with their slightly sweet, tart and salty pad thai sauce with bean sprouts, ground peanuts, onion and scallions. You had the choice of adding chicken, tofu, or shrimp, I chose chicken. Thomas chose one of the curried entrees. Step 1 you pick from chicken, shrimp, vegetables, tofu, sliced sirloin, duck, or fish of the day. Step 2 you choose a curry. I won't go through all the different types of curry, but Thomas settled on the red curry which is described as medium bodied.

The atmosphere at Baan Sawan is very laid back and relaxing. You feel as though you are enjoying dinner in someone's home with no rush. Our entrees arrived a short time later and both did not disappoint. Warning: be extra cautious when ordering the spice level of the curry. Thomas enjoys the hot hot hot flavor of spicy foods, however the hotness from curry is measured on a different scale.

We spent the rest of the evening enjoying one another's company before heading home. My birthday celebration will continue for a few more days, as I am celebrating with my friends tomorrow night and with Thomas' family sometime over the weekend or early next week.

Until next year thank you to my family and friends who made my birthday very special!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Who's Birthday you ask? My birthday! I celebrated with my family at the beach last weekend, since we couldn't be together today. My cousin Christina and I are 13 days apart and every summer we celebrate our birthdays together! My Aunt Mary Ellen made us dinner, grilled shrimp and filet mignon with rice and grilled vegetables, she is an excellent cook! And for dessert, Christina wanted homemade Apple Pie and I asked for Carvel Ice Cream Cake, because it's my favorite! (I hope they can make ice cream wedding cakes, what do you think??)

Me and Christina celebrating our birthdays at the beach!

Tonight I'll celebrate my birthday with Thomas, I can't wait! I don't know what plans he has made, but I am sure it will be something special.

I have been so blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends and I am very thankful to be celebrating another birthday with you all!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Making Your Own Spa Cucumber Water

For a refreshing, calorie free, cost free beverage, try adding a couple of slices of cucumber (scrubbed, but not peeled) to a glass or pitcher of ice water. It's heavenly!

Cucumber water improves the taste of tap water. Spa aficionados already experience the benefits of cucumber water for improving the look of your skin. On top of it, the drink is easy to make at home.

Cucumber Water Recipe

*In order for the cucumber to fully release its juice, you need to prepare it the day before your event.


1 cucumber sliced and peeled + 6-7 cucumber slices for decoration
1 1/2 to 2 liters of filtered water
Half a lemon sliced and unpeeled (optional)
Ice cubes


In a pitcher mix the water, cucumber, and lemon (optional). Let it rest in the refigerator for 24hours. If you prepare the water at the last minute. cut the first cucumber in 3 to 4 pieces. Then squeeze the cucumber pieces to release all the juice.

Before serving remove the cucumber slices used to flavor the water. Then stir with a wooden spoon, add some ice cubes, and 6 or 7 fresh cucumber slices.

Enjoy this refreshing drink!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bean Dip

Here is a SIMPLE recipe for a delicious dip! It makes a great appetizer for a summer cookout or easy snack to take to a football tailgate.

2 cans black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cans white\yellow corn
2 cans Rotell tomatoes (original)
Italian Dressing
Tortilla Chips


Drain all the cans and mix together in the bowl. Squeeze a good but of Italian dressing, start with a small amount and gradually add more as needed. Mix together. Cover bowl and place in refigerator overnight. Before serving transfer dip in to a fresh bowl and serve with tortilla chips.


Monday, July 5, 2010


As I posted on Friday, I headed North to spend the 4th of July holiday weekend with my family at the beach. Well Thomas surprised me and decided to make the 9 hour drive from Columbia to the beach late Friday afternoon. I was so excited, yet so worried about him making the long drive by himself at night. He arrived here safe and sound just before 1am Saturday morning. I am so happy he made the trip and so is my family!

We are having a blast at the beach with my entire family. The weather has been gorgeous, we've been so lucky! Our days are spent on the beach while the past 3 nights we have alternated having dinner between two of my Aunt's houses. Tonight we are having dinner again with the family and are celebrating both mine and my cousin, Christina's birthday. My birthday is later this week and Christina's is July 21st, we are just 13 days a part! I'm looking forward to ice cream cake for dessert (it's my favorite)! More on that later...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! I am very much looking forward to spending the day on the beach with my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I haven't been at the beach for 4th of July in a long time, so I really don't know how they celebrate here, but I sure hope I see some fireworks!

Last 4th of July I drug Thomas to Pine Island to see fireworks. Needless to say, he was not happy camper due to how crowded it was. Although, once we arrived and got situated he ended up having a great time, isn't that what matters? This year we are spending the holiday a part and unfortunately not by choice. Happy 4th of July Thomas, we miss you!!!

Oh, and Mom if you reading this in the other room, I hope you are making your blueberry pie for this evening!

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blackberry Bold 9700 vs. iPhone 4G

What a tough choice! I have been a loyal Blackberry Pearl user since the Pearl first debuted. After 4 years, 2 generations later of the Blackberry Pearl, I am ready to make a change. Yes you heard me say it, a change!

For those of you who know me, know how much I love my Blackberry Pearl, always have and always will. Its just been recently that I have decided I wanted to make a change. I can't exactly remember how it all came about, but it must have started when I realized my two year contract on my current Pearl should be expiring very soon, which it is.

I really don't know anything different then a Blackberry because before then I had no fuss flip phone. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, I am scared to leave the Blackberry world and enter the world of Apple and the iPhone. I need reassurance, desperately! If I make the change will I be pleasantly surprised?

What I love about my Blackberry Pearl is the size, blackberry messenger, the reasonable cost for minutes and data plan through TMobile my current service provider, the ease of sending and receiving e-mail from multiple e-mail accounts.
Blackberry Pearl
Why I think I want the iPhone? Touch screen (still a little nervous about it), internet, applications, and its something different, a change, which keeps us all young!
It's time...I am ready to take the plunge whether it is upgrading to the Blackberry Bold and staying with TMobile....


making the change to the iPhone 4G and AT&T. So, before I make a final decision, please help me make a choice! Any feedback and opinions are welcomed and much appreciated! Please, I am begging you!

In return, I'll keep you update on my decision...!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Heading North

I hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe 4th of July weekend! By the time you read this, Miss T and I will already be on a plane heading home to go to the beach for the weekend. I can't wait to spend the next few days with my family down at the beach!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bubble Bath

OPI Bubble Bath is my go to color for my nails. It doesn't matter what time of the year it is or the color of your skin, nothing looks better then freshly manicured nails painted with OPI Bubble Bath. I agree that it is better to keep your nail color simple and subdued while painting your toes something wild and crazy. I have never been to a nail salon that doesn't have a bottle of OPI Bubble Bath available, but it doesn't hurt to purchase a bottle for yourself to keep at home. It will come in handy midweek for touch ups or when your in a pinch and don't have time visit a nail salon.

Happy Shopping!