Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the wooden spoon: parmesan and spinach risotto

this is bar-none one of my favorite side dishes to make especially when we need to make use of soon-to-be wilted spinach!
here's what you'll need:
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of arborio rice
1 cup of parmesan cheese
3 cups of chicken broth (or if you're vegetarian, veggie broth work great too)
fresh spinach

first heat up a few dribbles (or 3 tablespoons) of evoo in a medium pot on medium-high heat. once warmed, add in your cup of arborio rice and toss about in the evoo until completely coated and rice is warmed. this doesn't take more than a minute or two so don't leave the kitchen to do things like watch girl tv (what T calls the shows i like to watch like the real housewives of new jersey)!

quickly add in a cup of chicken broth, stir the mixture and let sit until broth is completely absorbed into the rice.

like so (man, this would be a great time to know how to create an up arrow!). once absorbed, add in another cup, stir and let sit until absorbed. then repeat once more with your last cup of broth.

now that your rice - now risotto, has done the amazing growing trick, turn off your burner and add in the parmesan cheese. stir about until well mixed and deliciously cheesy looking.

then add in your spinach - this part is up to you as to how much you may love Popeye. T and i are big fans so we add in a pretty heaping handful (or handfuls).

serve up and enjoy! our favorite pairing with this side dish is usually salmon but, of course, you can get creative with what you'd like to serve it with!


Sunday, August 26, 2012


this month has been a pretty busy one! so i felt a photo catch-up was necessary to help fill y'all in on what all has happened in between now and then :)

[p.s. this guy is my favorite]
T and i first ventured up to Tulsa to have an inpromptu dinner with my parents to start off my mom's birthday celebrations (it's her golden birthday!) as well as surprise her with part of her birthday gift. needless to say, it was a lot of great sushi, drinks and the exact reaction to her gift i was looking for :)

the next weekend, we came back up for the birthday celebrations for my mom, brother and cousin josh. as a surprise to my mom, my grandma jeannie flew here - my mom had no idea! so the first night we were up, we had dinner at home and family game night. the game timeline has never been so funny.."welcome to the team" - T

the next day we had family over for the birthday parties and my dad whipped up his amazing chicken tikka marsala. (i had been so excited all day waiting to have it!)

after all the food, laughs and presents we enjoyed some delicious desserts (my favorite being my mom's infamous key lime pie - the perfect combination of sweet and tart).

the next weekend, my friend lindsey came in town from texas for a girlie date with dinner at cool greens. it was a great way to unwind and catch-up with vino!

we then ventured over to blu to enjoy some extra girl talking and laughs. i can't wait to see her back soon!! until then, T and i are excited to enjoy the slightly cooler weather, college football season, our upcoming family beach trek, T's birthday as well as many other festivities.

hope everyone has had a great almost month!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

small potatoes

there are times where as optimistic as i can be, i am thrown for a loop. where i get so frazzled, i can't see straight and can't figure out how to turn it around. and the only thing that makes it kind of funny are the things that frazzle me so! for instance, today i got frazzled, to the point of dispair, because a recipe i had been planning to make - that i had finished prep work and all, oven turned on, stovetop hot - read at the very end to cook in a crockpot for 5 hours after all is cooked down. what!! this is one of two recipes this week that revealed after all prep cooking was finished that it needed to finish in a crockpot. grr!!!! (i also get equally frazzled when my necklaces get tangled)

frantically trying to think of what to make for dinner now (with an exhausted T from the longest day at work) and instantly wanting to curse the day i found that recipe, T turned me 'round and stopped me in my tracks. very calmly he said "baby, i know this is not how you wanted this to go but, we can fix it". before i could list all the reasons i had come up with as to why it could not (which mainly revolved around how terribly written this recipe was), he stopped me again and said, "baby, small potatoes".

*for those who may not understand this reference, since T and i have been together, he has always said "small potatoes". i really didn't get what he was saying for awhile and kind of thought he was crazy for referencing potatoes at inconvenient times ;) but, here's what it boils down to: when life has you in a frazzled frenzy over something that isn't life threatening or, even truly life-altering, you have to take a breath and think, in the long run is this really that upsetting? will this matter so much to me 5 years from now or even 5 minutes? usually the answer is no. T explained in the stew of our life, these little moments are the small potatoes in it. sure, they are a part of it but, they are not critical to making up the contents of your life. *

so with a deep breath, i looked back up, nodded my head and found a new way to get creative with our dinner ingredients :)

happy almost weekend!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

rainy days: the good and the bad

i love rainy days - the smell, the pitter-patter sound it makes outside and, the way it makes me want to sleep in all day. however, it does make getting things done a little difficult. especially when you have two pups. so here's the good and the bad of those sweet rainy days....

the good: getting to splash in puddles with my rainboots...

taking the pups outside to explore - they're so cute!

seeing wet puppy tracks, big and small..

the bad: the pups as a matter of fact do not like rainy days. they get bored very easily so when they're outside, they try to get as gross and muddy as possible. ick. (leads to a lot of baths!)

their boredom also leads to trouble like when solo decided it was a good idea to pee on our bed...wasn't happy about that. which meant i had to wash all our bedding right then. grump.

which i suppose it wasn't all awful because at the end of the day with a movie marathon of harry potter, a bowl (or two) of homemade chili, a little snuggling fest with T and two sweet napping puppies made it a little worth the ick part of the day. granted, i could do without another accident on our bed :)


Friday, August 17, 2012


now for those who do not know, breakfast is quite easily my least favorite meal. and not because i dislike breakfast foods, quite the contrary - i love it, but i really dislike waking up so early (by early, i mean in the AM hours..they're all early in my book). hence why pancake saturday is one of my favorite breakfasts since T whips them up once i've woken up; which is hours after T's first breakfast ;)

however, several weeks ago i felt like i wanted to give a go at making pancakes and felt like this recipe via the rockstar diaries was just easy enough for my barely 'wake brain to make!

since i couldn't decide whether to have a strawberry or blueberry 'cake, we had both. equally yummy and equally easy to whip up. i mean who knows, i may just start taking over pancake saturdays! well, let's not get ahead of ourselves ;)


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

vintage finds: a pop of color

okay to start off, how awesome is this dress? i love this just screams summer and instantly makes me feel a little extra peppy. both the jacket and dress were a vintage find via my mom - have i mentioned how killer she is at spotting these things??

i felt like a dress this color needed a softer accent color so i wouldn't look like a walking highlighter so, i paired it with this golden-colored jacket, a cream belt (that i honestly can't remember buying..i think it just appeared one day) and some tan flats to finish it off. 

did i mention this dress also had pockets?? pretty much why i think this dress is the jam..and not like the jam that i got on my iphone today while eating a pb&j wrap. who does that anyway? obviously me because i couldn't pull my phone away from my lunch. geez.

happy peppy hump day!


Saturday, August 11, 2012


have you ever noticed how candlelight and great music can really make a room feel magical? like there's a feeling of warm, cozy-ness in the air? i love it. it instantly sets a great mood for any gathering even if it's just T and i. yesterday, we had all the intentions of going out with friends to check out The Dark Knight Rises (again i know but it's just so awesome!) but after a rough day for all involved, we changed our plans to dinner and drinks at our house. the day had really gotten to us and no one felt like venturing out. a night in to recharge our batteries was just what the doctor ordered!

so T came up with a simple but yummy idea for dinner - baked balsamic chicken, pesto gnocchi and asparagus. our friend Caroline who came over made a yummy cucumber tomato salad and Brian put together dessert. everyone was in charge of bringing over a bottle (or two) of wine and be prepped for some relaxing friend time.

for ambiance, T lit candles all around the house and i set the house to our Ray Charles Pandora station. the pups made sure to have dirt in their mouths to properly greet everyone. cute...but really not that cute.

the night itself was wonderful. following dinner, we ventured out under the light canopy to enjoy the cooler weather, watch the pups show us their new sticks and put the weariness of the day to bed. it was what everyone needed and ended with all venturing home to bed, feeling as if the day hadn't completely been all least the end wasn't :)


Tuesday, August 7, 2012



sorry for the gap in posts! the past week+ has been a little of an off week for us as we've been: enduring the raging 105+ degree heat wave rocking through, T and i came down with an icky virus and, we kept our eyes out for news about wildfires in the area....not exactly our favorite but there were some great moments in between like: T (when we weren't sick) made his homemade cookies - amazing, the pups had some funny fights and, we had netflix marathons of arrested development.

side note, i can't believe i waited so long to check out arrested development - it's so funny! i really should have been more on the ball with that (to switch it up a bit, we watched the infamous mystery flick chinatown which was dynamite in itself - i never saw the twist coming!)


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

pup diaries

oh boy i hope i get that cheese...i love cheese.

maybe if i just sit here patiently, he will give me the whole thing..

good thing my little brother has no idea what's up there or else i'd have to share!


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