Wednesday, February 29, 2012

leap day & what i love

[fresh raspberries as a mid day snack]


[twinkly lights hung in the trees to make a light canopy..makes any space look magical]


[homemade arroz con pollo. crazy simple and such great flavor]


[saffron used in spanish dishes]

[stews made with apples and beer. not exactly a fan of either but in a stew....oh my gatos good]

[art that has fun intricacies you have to search for in each piece]

happy leap day everyone! hope you had a hopping good time!

Monday, February 27, 2012

ode to my mom

to my sweet mom: it was only twenty-five years ago that you brought me into the world at your own twenty-fifth year. this year you and i get to marvel in our gold and silver birthdays together and i honestly feel like the luckiest daughter to have you and to share this moment with you. to share so much of myself with you and to think that at this time in my life you were (and still are) so strong and beautiful is an inspiration for me in this year. i love all the lessons you've passed on to me, the most important 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' and can only hope i do as amazing of a job as you have in the future. i love you to the moon and back.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

surprise birthday visit

so you may not know but my 25th birthday is tomorrow! i've been spending the whole weekend so far celebrating with friends (family visit home to celebrate is upcoming) and it has been so amazingly wonderful. but today has certainly taken the cake! what i thought would be a sweet birthday brunch with T and my brother turned out to be so much more when....

my parents surprised me at the restaurant!!! i'm pretty sure i squealed when i saw them sitting at the table i was so happy. i beyond love surprises plus it doesn't hurt that i am so gullible so i never know when i'm being set up. after yummy food and gifts we thought of stopping by the art museum to look at the new glass pieces by chihuly...i of course took some snapshots along the way :)

the day was absolutely perfect and if you hadn't noticed, my family and i are going to destin later this year! eep, happy birthday gift indeed! i can't wait.

right now T is prepping some birthday shenanigans as i prep dinner and i have to say i'm so excited for my silvery year. i'm sure it will bring loads of new adventures, surprises and new ways to 'make lemonade'. either way i am so happy just having such great family and friends...and T + pup :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

smoked gouda 'n fontina mac & cheese

so i realized it has been a hot minute since i have done a recipe post and this one is beyond delicious on extra chilly days...or honestly any day it's that yummy. now with this recipe i did, as cheesy as it was i think i may add more gouda next time so feel free to put in a few extra dashes!

here's what you'll need:
pasta (you can go traditional and use elbow but i switched it up and went with trumpets)
2 cups of shredded gouda cheese
1/3 cup of fontina cheese
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
4 cups of milk
4 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup of breadcrumbs (you can either buy these at the grocery store or just make it yourself)
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. begin by melting your butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat; meanwhile cook the pasta to its directions reducing the cook time by 2 to 3 minutes since it will finish cooking in the oven

2.  once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk together until smooth.

3.  begin adding in milk 1/4 cup at a time until completely blended in smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4.  add in parmesan, gouda and fontina; whisk until blended. pre-heat your oven at 375.

5.  combine cheese sauce and pasta together

6. add the mixture to your cassarole dish

7. sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top and put in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. then serve up and enjoy its cheesy goodness!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

life according to my iphone

[1. the pup trying to lick my phone, 2. seeing a late night movie with T, 3. frozen yogurt treats at orange leaf, 4. T and i making pizza and messy, 5. the light snow we got for one day, 6. goofing around while cooking]

Saturday, February 18, 2012

night at the opera

a couple of weeks ago T and i went to the opera! the production was called great moments in opera and highlighted a lot of italian and french operas. T happens to be a huge fan and i love almost anything to do with theatre or music. the soprano sarah colburn was in a word a knockout! i don't think i've ever been such a big fan of anyone on stage right off the bat aside from kristin chenoweth. probably what i loved most about her was her sassy attitude and demeanor as she sang. i mean, i have seen quite a few operas before but never knew a singer to finish a note by putting her hands on her hips! it was so cute! (plus her costume changes were dynamite) we just loved every minute of it plus it was fun to get to do something a little outside of the normal routine. afterwards T and i went to our favorite little brazilian bar for caipirinhas and music. it was such a great night out and on a girlie note, i was so excited to have a musical date with T!

p.s. sorry this pic is so grainy and out of focus but i had to share it as i am completely OBSESSED with this dress! lulu's i swear between you, anthropologie and chicwish you will be the death of me...or my bank account ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

o sweet valentine

on valentine's day i was very sweetly greeted with these cheesy and very cute gifts spread throughout the day. first starting with the puppy and a poem written by T waiting for me when i woke up. from someone who truly cannot grasp writing a line that makes sense let alone an entire poem, i was speechless (plus it was crazy early, ick!). it was so sweet and thoughtful and while stuffed animals aren't really my thing, i love the sweet meaning behind it. later at work T surprised me again with cupcake balloons and my favorite bottle of cupcake wine to be followed with cooking me a fish + pasta themed dinner...yum! sigh, i do love that man o' mine. he just knows how to make me smile and while i don't think you should reserve all your sweet gestures for one (very cute) holiday, i love his just the same.

hoping your valentine's day was lovely whether it was celebrated with your sweet someone, friends, family or even a cute pup :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


i have to say i love valentine's day. it is by far one of the cutest holidays created besides easter and that's mainly because it's themed around cute bunnies. it even to this day brings out the schoolgirl within who hands out valentine's with treats to friends....yes, i really still give valentines! this year i have decided after all the inspiration from paper source, martha stewart and etsy that i had to make my own. i figured i would go with simple accents to make each card unique and personal. here's a few of my favorites i made....

now i'm off to whip up some cute valentine's day themed cupcakes...mmm!

hope you had a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

pup diaries

i really want that pizza...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

what i love

[cupid's day flowers displayed with outside twigs to add a little extra]

[my new 2012 calendar with its cute tree stump stand]

[loads of extra citrus in the fruit basket for the last stretch of winter]

[midwest sunsets]

[my new heart stamp to be used on valentine's day cards]

[balloons for any occassion really]

Saturday, February 4, 2012

kicked up bruschetta

i love bruschetta, it's probably one of my favorite snacks to have whether it's at a restaurant or at home. i pretty much love any way it's been made but i especially love the extra kick of adding in balsamic vinegar..mmm. with the weather staying unseasonably warm, i have been wanting to have bruschetta with a glass of vino practically everyday. i have a feeling T is eventually going to put his foot down and say NO MORE! until then, here's a little tutorial on how i make my own bruschetta. hope you love it as much as i do!

here's what you'll need:

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 package grape tomatoes, diced
1 package of yellow grape tomatoes, diced
10-16 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
mozarella, diced in to cubes (size depends on how big or small you like)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette, sliced (toasted in your oven or stove top briefly)

[sauté over medium-high heat chopped garlic in evoo for 2 mins or until golden, then remove from heat]

[in a mixing bowl, add your diced tomatoes and basil together]

[now add diced mozzarella and garlic to mixture, with salt, pepper and olive oil to taste]

[dizzle balsamic vinegar over mixture until flavor is to your liking and stir well]

[serve over toasted baguette and enjoy]

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

cupid's day

so this isn't a real holiday by any means...this is a holiday that T and i made up (long story as to why and how it happened) but basically it's a holiday for us to be sweet on each other on purpose using creative means. i'm sure you are already thinking this sounds like valentine's day which the little schoolgirl within still loves but this is different. T and i have small price limits set so that we stick to just the creative ideas to being extra sugary. i know it's silly but i honestly love it. so today i set out to surprise T at the park with my idea...

so if you couldn't tell, i filled the balloons with my favorite memories from the past year saving the best one in the magenta balloon! T loved it to say the least :)   

happy hump day to all (cupid's day)! 

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