Tuesday, April 3, 2012

THE Kitchen

If you read my previous post, you knew this one was coming. My parents moved into their current house almost 26 years ago. About 10 years ago (or later) when our kitchen fell into the "outdated" category my mom wanted to renovate it SO badly. A kitchen is one thing you can't just re-do on the fly. My mom enjoys nice things and didn't want to have to settle on anything when the time came to update, so she waited...and waited...and waited. Ten years later my mom finally has the opportunity to get the kitchen of her dreams, without holding back at all. It's so amazing to watch someone's dream come true; that's what makes this special enough to post about it. I'm going to let the before and after pictures do all the talking.
After, again.
The next set of pictures are some other little details about the kitchen that I love.
Storage behind the fridge.
The oven is blue inside, and I told my mom to guard that kettle when I'm there b/c I want to steal it!
I am so incredibly happy that my mom FINALLY has the kitchen she has always dreamed of. I can't wait to enjoy many homemade, delicious meals in my mom's new baby.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Still Here!

Just checking in to let everyone know that I am still here! There haven't been many things that required me to post, so I thought I'd wait for something to come along. Well, there actually is a post I am planning on doing about my parents' new kitchen. You might think it's odd to post about a kitchen, but my mom has been wanting a new kitchen for probably 10-15 years, NO JOKE! I am just so excited about it, that I want to share with peeps. The reason I am not posting it yet, is because my sister Courtney hasn't seen the finished product yet. The before and after pictures are a complete transformation. I am SO happy for my mom and dad (he gets all the delicious Lllllllllunches and dinners) that I couldn't pass up the future post. One more small thing that is going on with me is I'm trying a whole new concept of eating, to me at least. This is definitely not a new concept, but something that I have not tried to do enough- eat MORE fruits and veggies. There is a whole book called Eat for Health that tells you exactly how to get comfortable with this process. Side note: I had this whole blog post typed up and went to publish it. My Internet stopped working and I lost the rest of it. I really don't feel like typing it all again, so to make my food overhaul story short, I will say that I have been craving fruit and vegetables when I get home from work now! Another side note: Either it's my computer or this website, but sometimes the words do not show up when I type until about 2 minutes after I'm done typing, and that is .... annoying!! If you have more questions about the Eat for Health book and how you can build up your macronutrient intake, please comment on this post! :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

~ Valentine's Day ~

For all of those who know me, you are aware that I considered Valentine's Day to be a pretty stupid holiday. I hadn't celebrated this holiday in about five years, so it was just another day to me. I still kind of think it's pretty cheesy, but if it's that one day where people feel extra special and romantic, have fun with it. It's pretty funny to think about how a day that used to have no meaning to me at all has SO much meaning to me now. I met my boyfriend in January of last year. We met at our apartment complex on eHarmony (wow, that's the first time I have "said" that for the entire public to know)! It's actually a pretty crazy story. I know I'm getting off topic, but since this is what lead me to have a memorable Valentine's Day, I might as well share how it all started. I had been having a really hard time meeting someone in Atlanta. People always say it's super easy to meet someone, but in all honesty it's not. Meeting at the grocery store is so cliche and  I'm there to shop, not pick up a sweet dude while picking out  the perfect squash. I am certainly not going to meet someone at the gym. Unlike some girls, I do not do my hair and make-up before working out. If anything, it's the opposite. I have one mission at the gym: work out and leave. All the friends I have I've known for a while, so the chances of meeting a friend of a friend were a little slim. I did meet one guy at the dog park, which is also pretty cliche, but he turned out to be quite lame. After the failed attempt with the dog park guy, my sisters insisted that I get on eHarmony. After much hesitation, I decided why not? For the first week or so I was matched with some really interesting people (not in a good way). I know it's not supposed to be about looks, but I'm pretty sure you have to be attracted to someone for it all to start out positively. Feel free to disagree with me if you would like. I was certainly not getting matched with any potential suitors and figured all the attractive men out there were taken, like usual. Enter Greg, an environmental scientist who enjoys art, rocking climbing, and music. Did I mention he was good looking? I figured I would go ahead and begin communication- best decision of my life! To make a long story short, when we finally talked on the phone we realized we lived in the same apartment complex. How crazy is that?! Who knew the guy I was going to fall in love with was right under my nose for 5 months?! Since neither of us were comfortable enough to tell people how we met, we told people we met in our complex. I mean that's not that much of a lie! So how does Valentine's Day tie into all of this??? Well, we actually shared our first kiss on this day last year. We celebrated two things on the 14th: the typical cheesy holiday and being together for one year! Last year, Greg invited me over to his place and we went to the store and he cooked dinner for me. Needless to say the butterflies in my stomach were really fluttering before we shared our first kiss. This year, he cooked me dinner and I took care of dessert. It was really nice to reminisce on the memories we have shared the past year and to relive that day a year ago. It was great to be more relaxed and not be shaking with nerves! Greg cooked a delicious meal of chicken, Israeli couscous and salad.
Yum! And yes, that is a heart-shaped pepper :)

I was going to surprise him with the dessert I was making, but inviting him to the grocery store while I bought the ingredients wasn't the best idea. There aren't many desserts that call for 3 8oz. packages of cream cheese that aren't cheesecakes. This is Greg's favorite sweet treat, so I knew I was kind of setting myself up. I was planning on trying it before giving it to Greg to see if it was good, but it looked like it came out OK so I waited. This was a turtle cheesecake. It was a mixture of regular and chocolate cheesecake then garnished with different toppings. I was very anxious right before Greg took a bite. The verdict- he thought it was great!! He even posted the picture he took on facebook with the caption that I make the best cheesecake. What a cutie!
I have to say that it was pretty tasty.
We really enjoyed this special day and I can't wait to spend many more with Greg! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Good Food.

I don't meant to "toot my own horn," but I have been making some pretty tasty things recently. The first in the series of good eats is a delicious smoothie. Greg has always spoiled me with fantastic and nutritious smoothies. He will usually throw some things in there that I would never add to a smoothie myself (almonds, dried cranberries, and even kale!), but, to my surprise, I can barely taste those ingredients. I always thought these frozen drinks were best made with ice, fruit and juice...wrong! The key to a perfectly blended beverage is no ice at all; frozen fruit is the key. I decided I wanted to try and rival one of Greg's smoothies, so I bought a bag of frozen classic fruit medley complete with strawberries, pineapple, red grapes, mango, and peaches. I added some reduced sugar grape juice, water, and fresh mint leaves. I'm on a fresh mint kick and this is such a great addition. I have to say, the finished product was AwEsOmE!! Greg thought it was good, but I think he wanted to still have the best smoothie, so his only comment was that he doesn't really like pineapple in the ones he makes.
All the tasty ingredients.
Finished product.

The next things I made that were pretty tasty were strawberry and nut pancakes. I would have never thought to put nuts in pancakes. I really like Arrowhead Organic Buttermilk Pancake Mix and on the back of the package there are ingredients that you can add in to amp up the flavor and texture. One of those items was nuts. I just happened to have some chopped peanuts and pecans on hand and decided to add them along with strawberries to the batter. Wow! The crunch the nuts add is great and the strawberries I have been buying recently have been so sweet and tasty. I certainly started my day on the right foot.
So, the previous two food items are pretty healthy (minus the small amount of butter and syrup on the pancakes), but my last item is a bit of an indulgence. I definitely cannot say that I made this particular food either, because all I had to do was break and bake. Do you all see where I am going with this? You guessed it...cookies! These are not your typical Tollhouse break and bake, these are Limited Edition Oatmeal Butterscotch break and bake. I don't typically like butterscotch, but I just had to try them. What a dangerous success! I will have to fight my grandest temptations to not eat them within 48 hours.
Now you see them...
I hope that I have provided you with some good food ideas. I will return with more posts about delicious food and of course, my oh-so-exciting life! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spaghetti Squash is the New Pasta!

I remember way back in the day my mom made spaghetti squash as a side dish and I absolutely loved it! I always forgot about this delicious food, until now! I finally bought a squash yesterday at the store and decided to cook it tonight. I figured that whatever I make with angel hair I could easily make with the squash. I roasted it in the oven at 375 degrees for an hour and 20 mins and it was perfect! While the squash was cooling off I made a brown butter sauce with sauteed onions. I know the sauce doesn't sound too healthy, but I saved 180 calories for the pasta subsititution! And isn't there a saying, "Everything is good in moderation?" Ha :) If I'm telling you to switch from spaghetti to spagehtti squash you know it must be good; just see for yourself. Oh yeah, I also added a few pieces of turkey meatballs just to amp up the flavor a little bit.

I just need to work on my plating skills ;)

*~*Happy Holidays*~*

I figured I would post about the holidays once everything settled down. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Columbus, Georgia with Greg to spend Christmas with him and his family. My dad and sister, Courtney, had to work on Christmas, so our family wasn't going to celebrate it until later in the week. My mom was nice enough to take care of Dunky on Christmas, so I dropped him off and then Greg and I were on our way. We enjoyed a nice Christmas Eve opening gifts and eating delicious crabcakes made by Greg's mom. Greg got me some awesome hiking/climbing gear including a backpack, a Patagonia long sleeve shirt, and other devices to help with my new rock climbing hobby! On Christmas morning, Greg, his family, and I went to church. When we returned back to Greg's parents house we munched on some delicious and cheesy fondue, yum! We went to Greg's sister and brother-in-law's house after and ate even more food. It's Christmas, so it's a totally legitimate excuse to eat double the amount you normally do! :)

Enjoying our time at Christi and Tommy's house.
 Since my mom was taking care of Duncan, Greg and I planned to leave on the 26th to relieve my mom's hands of my annoying  lovable dog. We were in the car turning onto the highway, when BAM, we got T-boned. Greg didn't realize that one of the cars coming our way was not actually turning onto the highway. When I realized this car was continuing to drive straight, all I could do was yell Greg's name and closed my eyes. Everything happened too quickly to even prepare for impact. I had never been in a car accident before, and needless to say it was very scary! Greg felt horrible and asked me right away if I was OK. I was still in shock of everything so I said yes. Turns out my neck and left shoulder hurt pretty badly. Once we figured out a way to get back to Atlanta I paid my dad a visit at Kennestone while he was working. Nothing major was wrong with me except whiplash; which I never knew hurt so bad! We are very fortunate that everyone was OK!
The damage done to where the car hit his truck was not too bad, but this is what happened when we spun around and hit the stoplight pole.

A bit blurry, but this is the car that hit us. We are so glad they were OK!

 After we rested our sore backs for a couple of days, we went up to my parents' house on the 29th to celebrate Christmas with them; it was so great! It felt just like Christmas day. I'm so glad Greg got to be a part of it. The next night we went to 246 in downtown Decatur and enjoyed a delicious dinner for Ryan's 30th birthday. New Year's Eve was the next night, obviously, and it was great! I went to my friend's awesome apartment and then we headed to a local bar that wasn't too crowded, which is a huge bonus! It was an awesome night with great people.

Happy New Year!
 Now I sit here typing this post savoring the last couple of hours of my amazing winter break! Back to the working world tomorrow! I hope everyone had a safe, happy, and fun holiday. Here's to an incredible 2012!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The other night I made homemade quiche for the first time. It was so delicious! I have to give my mom credit considering it is her recipe. I called her to ask a question about the pie crust and she asked me if I was using her recipe, and I wasn't. She was interested in the ingredients so I told her it had six eggs and heavy cream. She stopped me after the heavy cream. She told me to ditch that recipe and go with hers. My mom's recipe only calls for 2 eggs, 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 c. light mayo. It was such a healthier way to make the quiche and a HUGE success. One benefit of this quiche is once you have the egg, mayo, and milk you can add whatever ingredients you would like. Mine was a shallot, mushroom, and fontina cheese quiche; it goes great with a tomato soup. It's definitely a delicious and comforting meal. I can't wait to play with this recipe and see what different quiches I can come up with. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the quiche, but I think everyone knows what it looks like. :) Hope you find yourself making a great quiche one chilly day!