Wednesday, December 21, 2011

all I want for Christmas is...

a Gingerbread Latte. It warms my heart :) Another post about coffee? Well, yes. Of course. Starbucks' Gingerbread Latte is my favorite Christmastime choice!

I apologize for being a long time gone, but yet another semester of law school is complete and the holidays are in full swing. I hope to have time to post more soon! But in the mean time, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy your family and friends...I know I will!

a coffee addict.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

runnin' on dunkin'

Recently I acquired a gift card to one of my favorite coffee spots. It is called Dunkin' Donuts. Perhaps you have heard of it? :)  I made a special stop there this morning because I was jonesin' for some Dunkin' coffee (and I may have also indulged in two chocolate munchkins. they are my absolute fav. judge if you must). And I say special stop because there is not a dunks between my place and work. So I am looking at a 30 pit stop in the morning and trust me when I say I rarely have that kind of time to spare in the mornings.

Throughout my undergraduate years, however, to drive 30 minutes out of the way to find a dunks (what I have lovingly coined the place) was not necessary. You see, I went to college in New England. If you have never been there, I highly recommend visiting (during the months of May-October). My disdain for the cold weather shines through. But I digress...

In New England, there is a dunks on almost every corner. Sometimes two right across the street from each other. And definitely one inside the grocery store. Amazing. You never have to drive (or walk) very far to find a dunks. I clearly could go on and on....

Dunks' original brew is one of my favorite plain types of coffee. I love it. If they have fresh brewed vanilla or hazelnut, I would go for that as well. But more than my love for the coffee and the munchkins and bagles though, dunks makes me nostalgic for my undergrad years. (This happens to me when it has been too long since I have seen my best friends from college. And yes 3 months is too long) The years of blissful ignorance. I was not thinking of student loan debt (though I should have been) or worrying that my bills would paid. Though I did not realize it at the time, those were some truly carefree years. You put a dunks coffee cup in my hand and I go back in time about 4 years. It makes me miss my friends, being surrounded by people who drop their r's at the end of words (or all r's whehevah they fall in a word), and even studio (evah so slightly). Nothing bettah than pulling up to the dunks drive-thru window at 4am to get a coffee and bagel because you had been up all night in studio and you knew sleep was nowhere in your future due to the amount work you had left to do :)

Isn't it funny that something that only cost 2 bucks and comes in a foam cup (with cream of course) can do that to you?

Now DO NOT get me wrong. I am very confident that I am exactly where I am supposed to be (praise the lord). I just so happen to be married to the most amazing man, working and living in the warm weather. I would trade it for absolutely nothing in the world. 

But it is fun to take the occasional trip down memory lane and to be so incredibly thankful for how far one has come :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy (belated) Halloween!

So I am a day late, not very surprising! Happy Belated Halloween! But I have a cute Halloween recipe to help make it up to you! (I know, I know, it might have to wait until next year since I waited until November to actually post it)....

Mini Black and White Orange Cookies

Theses cookies are perfect when you are looking for something different than your everyday cookie to bake!

The only change I made to this recipe was mixing red and yellow food coloring into the white icing (sadly, it is not orange flavored icing). :) Sorry, G. Be sure to ice the flat (bottom) side of the cookies. It is MUCH easier!!!

Bottom side up to ice!

My icer got creative with our 2 test cookies :)

Happy Halloween! And always remember.......

Sunday, October 23, 2011

desktop background

Just thought you might want to take a quick look at what I look at all day on my computer at work :) Definitely helps me get through the work day. Hubs took this pic with his iphone from a roof top bar looking toward the gulf last weekend! Would not have missed the view (or that moment) for the world.

What helps get you through the work day?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

So a few weeks ago, against my better judgment, I branched out and made an attempt at FANNETASTIC FOOD'S Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins. As some of you know, I am not the BIGgest fan of Pumpkin, but thought I would give them a try anyway. And much to my surprise they were not overwhelming Pumpkin-y! I made normal sized muffins, but next time I will likely make a mini-muffin version (I am obsessed with my new mini-muffin pan) and hopefully they will taste like little bites of Fall. In addition to making a mini version next time, I will not use muffin baking cups, just spoon the batter right into my new non-stick pan! You should give them a try (and forgive me for forgetting to take a pic of the completed product)!

I still had my doubts about the Pumpkin taste right about here :)

Going in the oven!

 Enjoy your seasonal treat! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

What. a. week.

Where did this week go?

Who knows.

I am just glad it is over :) It was hectic and sleepless, but is now over. All that matters. So, T.G.I.F. Bloggers!

I hope you all have a wonderful and restful weekend! Mine will likely be filled with studying, reading, cleaning, sleeping and hopefully a bit of beach time if it warms up!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Cheers to the Weekend :)

T.G.I.F. Bloggers! Is anyone else's Friday afternoon absolutely draaaaaggging?? Mine is moving so slowly it has nearly stopped.

I can hardly wait for the Rays game to start! First pitch is in just a little over an hour! What an amazing comeback they made to make it to the post season!!! It will definitely be an exciting weekend in Tampa Bay!

Any big plans this weekend? Mine is shaping up to be a fun one (with lots of school work and case law squeezed in). Dinner tonight at our favorite little italian restaurant in town. It looks like tomorrow is going to be a fabulous beach day (after I sleep in, that is)!

And then the hubs and I are going to watch the Georgia Tech Football game with some fellow alum at a sports bar downtown! On Sunday we will head to church in the morning and we have an evening charity event (dinner and wine tasting-right up my alley) in Tampa! In between times I will have my nose in the books because I have a lot of catching up to do! Fun fun fun.

If you need a weekend blog read check out G's post about our wedding! It is super sweet and I really appreciate her putting it together :)

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I'm Loving...

Hi there! I am linking up with Jamie to share a few things I'm Loving today!

  • I'm Loving... that the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks is finally back in season! I need to get one ASAP! (Have I mentioned that I like coffee?)
  • I'm Loving... that I have officially been a married woman for over a month now!
  • I'm Loving... that we have a trip home planned for the last weekend of this month! Cannot wait.
  • I'm Loving... that we are going to see Brad Paisley on Friday night! (And loving that the tickets were free!) And yes you may be be able to find me in a camo tank top and cowboy hat and boots :)
  • I'm Loving...that this week is a short week and I'm still loving this past long weekend! It was wonderful!!
  • I'm Loving... Rihanna's new song Cheers!!! Love. It.
  • I'm Loving... this dress from White House Black Market! I bought it a few months ago and adore it. I am thinking of getting another one in Red! Possibly a New Years dress? Who knows!
  • And as always I'm Loving my new husband and wonderful family and friends!
What are you loving???

Friday, August 26, 2011

Long Time Gone...

Hello Bloggers!

This is your long lost friend LJ! I know it has been a while (over a month)! But after a pretty eventful month and a half, life is starting to return to normal. So I just wanted to do a quick post to say hi and that I will be back to blogging a bit more regularly now!

A few updates on my life...I am now a married woman! Crazy! We are trying to get organized, get our condo cleaned up and restore a bit of calm to our lives. I have also started my fall semester of law school, so that is going to definitely keep me busy! I will be back soon with lots of photos from the wedding and the honeymoon (St. Croix, beautiful).

In the mean time, I have a few prayer requests. A few things have happened recently to really put life in perspective. Things like these remind us not to take a single second with our loved ones for granted.
First, please pray for one of my beloved law school classmates and friends who has recently suffered a terrible loss.
Second, please pray for the family of one of my sister's co-workers, who passed away recently. He left behind a wife and a toddler son, the same age as my baby niece.
And lastly, please pray for the safe return of a young woman who went missing earlier this month from my hometown of Fairfield, OH.

Thank you bloggers. Every prayer helps...

Much love~

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I'm loving Wednesday!

Once again I am Linking Up With Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!
Here are a few things that I am loving on this beautiful Wednesday....

  •  I'm loving...The mere fact that today is Wednesday. Fo' real.
  • I'm loving...That a month of weddings is about to begin!!! One of G's best friends from home is getting married this weekend, one of my best friends from home is getting married next weekend and then I will be a bride in less than 4 weeks! That is crazy!
  • I'm loving...That there is a possibility of frozen yogurt in my near future (hopefully this evening) from my new favorite place My Yogurt Cafe!
  • I'm loving...That I am only one final quiz and one final exam away from completing my summer semester! Thank goodness! This time next week I will be enjoying of few weeks of freedom :)
  • I'm loving...My new running shoes!
  • I'm loving...That one of my bridesmaids officially set the date for her own wedding!! April 21, 2012!!! On the beach of course :)
  • I'm loving...That we received an early wedding present from that same bridesmaid and her husband-to-be this weekend! That's right folks. A Georgia Tech cornhole set! It is AWESOME!
  • This is my board. Buzz has pink wings :) Naturally.

  •  And as always, I am loving my sweet soon to be husband. Bless his heart for putting up with my crazy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Patriotic Pancakes!

Better late than never :)
I just wanted to share our bit of patriotism!
In honor of the 235th anniversary of our great nation's independence...
We ate some patriotic pancakes on the 4th of July :) Made by the Mr., of course. And they were delicious!
Red, While & Blue! (More like pink, tan and blue, but you get the idea!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Under the 6 week mark...

Hello hello! I know my posts have been few and far between lately, so I wanted to let you know that I am still kickin! Things have just been a bit crazy around here! I am right in the middle of my summer semester and have less than 6 weeks until the big day!!!! The time is slipping away from me (and I am getting crazier by the minute). My mother (who is on her way to sainthood) is thankfully down for the week to help us out! And we are ever so grateful! Don't worry, in between work, school, catering tastings, shoe shopping and wedding favors, we have managed to squeeze in a little bit of this...
and this...

Until next time...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flip Flop Frenzy!!!!

I know I have been MIA lately (it has been crazy!) but I am back today to show off my flops :)

My flip flops from the Flip Flop Swap arrived today!!! And they are so cute :) I love them and am wearing a pair as I type! My partner is quite crafty and completely out did me in the creative category!

Here are some pics....

Action Shot :)
I hope everyone enjoys their flip flops! Show Breaking Through some love for putting this awesome swap together!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

It has been one of those....

Have you ever heard anyone say that before? Someone says that it has been one of those ..... mornings? days? weeks? months? years?

I have. In fact, I am guilty of saying it. Actually, I just now thought it to myself, "It has been one of those weeks."

Shame on me.

So, I had a rough week at work. And it is only the first week of class of the semester and I already have a ton of work to do/feel behind already. And I have not physically felt 100%. And my car battery died last night in the school parking lot (had to have it jumped not once or twice, but three times in order to make it to work this morning). And I have been an emotional basket case (please tells me the emotions calm down after the wedding planning is over and we are married, pleaseeeee).

Please notice how the above list does not include anything life threatening, seriously health related or traumatizing. If it did, then maybe I would have something to complain about. But relatively speaking, in the grand scheme of things, I should not be complaining about a single thing. I am so blessed and take it for granted so often. Scott and I are healthy. We are gainfully employed. Our family and friends are healthy (and we get to see them this weekend). What more can we ask for? Life is good. For so many others, life is not so good. My high school classmate, for instance, who lost her father this week, has every right to complain. As does the cancer patient and so many others who are fighting for every breath. So who am I to complain?

People. It is always something. It always has been and always will be. Always. Deal with it and move on. When I finally made it to the car dealership this morning to get my new battery, I indulged in half of a cake doughnut with chocolate icing in the lobby, read some case law, and caught a few minutes of Gaga in concert on Good Morning America. I call that living the dream, folks.

At the risk of sounding cliché, don't sweat the small stuff. The next time you think you are having a bad day, week or month, think again. And be grateful for what you have and enjoy it :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

So with a little over a day to spare, I checked the last remaining item off of my to-do over break list! I tried the Shrimp Scampi recipe (courtesy of The Pioneer Woman) last night! Shocking I know, but I actually cooked dinner. And Scott seemed to like it (and went back for seconds) so I consider it a success! The Pioneer Woman's version is much more pleasing to the eye, but mine ended up tasting surprisingly well! I made just 2 changes to her recipe - I used whole wheat angel hair and did not use any basil. I also made the whole box of pasta, so there are some serious leftovers. It ended up being a great, flavorful, almost-summery meal and I highly recommend trying it sometime. Here a few snapshots to prove that even a novice cook can make this meal happen :)

We ate dinner out on our screened back patio and watched the sunset :)
And it is back to class for me tomorrow! Break just flew by (hopefully Summer Semester will too).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!!!

Once again I am Linking Up With Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!
Here are a few things that I am loving on this beautiful Wednesday....

  • I'm loving... Breaking Through's Flip Flop Swap!!! Check it out and sign up! I mean, who does not love flip flops?

  • I'm loving...that my wedding hair and make-up trial is TOMORROW!!!! (And that I get to see G for the first time in weeks!)
  • I'm loving...sparkling water :) Simple, I know, but oh so good. I have been on a serious Pellegrino kick lately!
  • I'm loving...that weather permitting, we get to go boating this weekend with our friends M & J!
  • I'm loving...that one of my bridesmaids (RV) is walking in her graduation from U of Hawaii this weekend! She is getting her P.H.D. people! Awesome! This also means she will be back on the mainland soon! Cannot wait.
  • I'm loving...Simply Scratch's recipe for Easy Lemon-Garlic Tilapia! I tried it last night and it was delicious!
  • And as always...I'm loving Scott :) My husband-to-be in less than 3 months. Here is the quick version of how we met!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Meeting my hubs-to-be

Scott and I both found their way to Florida a few years back to take advantage of the warm weather and sunshine of our great job opportunities. I moved to the Tampa Bay area a few months after college and began working at a small architectural firm. After working in Georgia and California, Scott moved to the area to continue his career in the lighting business. Little did we both know that we had both chosen to live in the same small neighborhood on Snell Isle. Our paths did not cross immediately, however. After the firm I was working for closed its doors, I ended up working 3 different part time jobs (2 of which were nightmare-ish). I had no idea that those jobs would (thankfully) change the direction of her life in the best way possible.

One of those jobs was tending bar at the small, Snell Isle neighborhood bistro. The name of the bistro was Brophy’s (this is a photo of the bar area decorated for New Years:). For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit Brophy’s, you understand why we hold this place so near and dear to our hearts. The Broph, as we lovingly refer to it, was famous for its chili. One quiet (and by quiet we mean that the bar was empty) Saturday evening while I was bartending, a stranger walked in wearing an old Georgia Tech hat. This stranger ordered a bowl of chili and beer. Thinking that there was no way this guy was 21, I asked for his ID. After seeing that his name was Scott and that he was actually 27, a few years older than I was, I was thoroughly embarrassed. Scott must have loved the chili, though, because he became one of my best (and favorite) customers. And the rest is history!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I'm loving...

Today I am Linking Up With Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!
Here are a few things that I am loving on this lovely Wednesday....

  • I'm loving...that my husband-to-be took me on a date last night :) To a movie no less!!! So exciting!
  • I'm loving...The Lincoln Lawyer. It was a fantastic movie! I absolutely loved it. A must see.
  • I'm loving...being on break from law school. I do not even know what to do with myself. Oh wait, yes I do! I am checking things off of my to-do list :)
  • I'm loving...that our wedding invitations were mailed out on Monday! Yay!!!!
  • I'm loving...that G finally gets back from France this week!!
  • I'm loving...Scissors & Spatula's Strawberry Walnut Bread! I made some this weekend and it was awesome!!! With that being said, I am also loving my Kitchen Aid Mixer!
  • I'm loving...the sample triangle shaped top tier of our official wedding cake!! Thanks to Mindy from Sweets by Mindy! It was perfect! And delicious!
  • I'm loving...Island Way Grill in Clearwater, FL! We ate there this weekend with an out of town visitor and the food was perfection!
Check out these shrimp!! (And please not the delicious edamame in the background)

I love that I'm loving so much food :) Happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Toxic Guilt

Today an emailed popped in my inbox containing this article from Spark People. I started subscribing to Spark People right around the new year (you can find some awesome healthy recipes and healthy living articles among many other things). It was also when I made the firm decision to begin my wedding weight loss battle journey. All of my wedding to-do checklists suggested beginning your "fitness" routine with about 6-8 months to go. And since I do not think there is EVER an easy time to begin to lose weight, the start of the new year sounded just as good as any other time (especially after I indulged in a few too many Christmas cookies and spirits). So here I am, 4 months later, having (proudly) lost a few pounds, but knowing I still have a few pounds to go. My hair and make-up trial is next week so I plan on trying my dress on then and seeing how it fits! We shall see how it goes :)

Anyway! Back to the article. The article talks about guilt. Toxic guilt to be exact. And as I hopped on the treadmill this morning, I was definitely remembering that delicious flourless chocolate dessert I enjoyed last night. I felt so guilty (But it was soooo good!) So when I read that Spark People article I could relate.

I hate feeling guilty. Though I swear I have some sort of guilt complex. I know (and have been told) that I feel guilty about things that no one else worries about and things that do not deserve a second thought, but I cannot help it. I admit that I am not perfect :) I am a work in progress.

Food and I have a love/hate relationship. I love eating it, but hate what it does to my waistline! Lately, food has definitely been at the top of my list of things about which I feel way too guilty. From now on, I am going to make a serious effort to limit the toxic guilt I feel about eating. Am I going to keep trying to lose weight? Yes, of course (I want my dress to fit like a glove!) And does that involve making sacrifices? Absolutely. But I need to work on not being so hard on myself. I still have 3 months to go! I can't get burnt out! Slow and steady wins the race :) If I deprive myself of all of things I love to eat and drink all of the time, I will never make it!

Looking back, I am so grateful that I started losing when I did so that it was healthy, gradual loss. I have good weeks and bad weeks. But my goal is to keep the drastic measures to a minimum. Which means making conscious decisions about what I eat (and not feeling guilty aftward), keeping up with a regular work out routine and remembering that it is okay to splurge and treat myself every once and a while! But not to get crazy! :) I refuse to let the toxic guilt from inhibiting my weight loss success!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Well folks... 1 exam stands between me and the end of my spring semester. Evidence Exam @ 6pm, tomorrow night. So why am I blogging and not studying on my lunch break, you ask? The answer is because I am the world's biggest procrastinator. Sad, but true.

The truth is that I have the Federal Rules of Evidence pouring out of my ears and cannot stand to look at them for another second. But no worries, I will pull them back out again tonight when I get home from work. Until then though, I will immerse myself in the goings on at my full time office job, enjoy my delicious chai white tea (if you have never had it, you MUST try it), and day dream of my wishlist of things I want to do over break.

So in the spirit of procrastination I have decided to put my wish/to-do list in writing for your viewing pleasure!

  • Go see a movie! Yes, at an actual movie theater! And treat myself to popcorn and Milkduds :)
  • Maybe even watch a movie at home, on my couch.
  • Actually finish a book (fun reading, not caselaw).
  • DVR and watch the Royal Wedding!
  • Speaking of weddings, do some planning of my own wedding! This law school business has been distracting me from what I really want to be doing and that is wedding planning :)
  • Cook a meal. Perhaps the new shrimp scampi recipe I found today? I think so.
  • Get my hair cut (and dyed - my guilty pleasure:).
  • Log some serious beach time. I need some sunshine in my life.
  • Clean. Clean. And clean some more. My condo is a disaster!
  • Make some long overdue phone calls to my wonderful friends who think I have disappeared into a black hole.
  • Do nothing at all, in the company of Scott.
  • Blog.
  • Relax.
  • Sleep in.
  • Sleep.
That pretty much sums it up! And I swear you will not hear from me until after the completion of this semester. I swear.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

what I'm loving...

Today I am Linking Up With Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!
Here are a few things that I am loving on this lovely Wednesday....
  • I'm loving that there is less than a week of my spring semester of law school! The end is in sight and I just have to make it through next Tuesday night :)
  • I'm loving that I have finally found the perfect gift(s) for my bridesmaids (after months of looking)!!!! I would give you a sneak peek but I do not want any of them to see :) I ordered a sample of the gift last week for myself and adore it!!!
  • I'm loving that one of my best friends (who lives in Beantown) just got an amazing job offer (including a big bump in pay) in the Architecture field! She is amazing! Don't mess with the best is my motto!
  • I'm loving G chat. Enough said.
  • I'm loving that I get to pick up a sample tier of my desired wedding cake tomorrow night! Our (potential) baker is testing out a triangle shape cake for us to see if we like it! Mindy is so sweet and her cake is awesome!
  • I'm loving the inspiration (that I have the pleasure of wearing everyday) for our triangle shaped cake...
  • And last, but certainly not least, I'm loving Scott. I do not know how he puts up with me people! I really don't :) I hope he still wants to marry me after the wedding planning stage is complete!

Just another Wednesday in paradise ladies and gents! We are halfway to the weekend!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Beach Bridal Shower

My bridal shower was a few weeks ago, here in the Sunshine State, and it was fabulous! The party was hosted by my sister and mother. I have amazing friends and family (some of which were future in-laws:) who traveled from all over the country to share in the celebration and I would not have traded it for anything in the world! I could go on and on about it, but instead here are a few photos to tell the story for me ....
Me and my sister Rachel (my Matron of Honor who can throw one heck of a party).

Opening my very first string of real pearls EVER. And please note the Bride-To-Be sash, courtesy of G of course :)

All day people were sassing me about "breaking the ribbon." For the record, I did not break any of them :)

Seed Paper Favors!!! Love these!! Plant them and wildflowers will grow!

That balloon is a huge diamond ring :) It is still floating around my condo today! Love it.

Cupcakes from The Cupcake Spot in Tampa. They were delicious!

Everything was pink :) As it should be.

The view from our table.

A fan that I will definitely be using on my wedding day when it is hotter than the blazes in here Florida :) This is one of the many, many handmade gifts that Scott's mother brought me back from her last trip to the Philippines earlier this year. Beautiful.

My surprised face, of course!

The sun setting on our wonderful evening!
I owe a huge thank you to everyone involved in making the day a success! Words cannot express my gratitude!

That's all for now!