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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our Adpoted Pets

I'm very thankful that Darling Husband and I are both cat people. My family had both dogs and cats, but the dogs were all before my time. Darling Husband grew up with cats and dachshunds, which if I'm being honest, aren't the doggiest of dogs.

We always knew we wanted to get a cat together. My senior year of college, when Darling Husband was in his first year post-grad, we adopted our first fur baby, Patches. Patches was about 7 months old when he came to be part of our family and we fell in love immediately. Since I was in my final semester of college, Patches and Darling Husband spent a lot of quality time together. Their bond is adorable. Patches always follows Darling Husband around the house, sits in his lap when he's working from home, and is the first to greet him when he gets home from work. It really is so sweet how much they love each other.
{Patches' first night living with us}

 {Patches has since grown quite comfortable. Here is is on my side of the bed looking comfy as f#$k}


After having Patches for about 8 months, we knew he needed a friend. So we adopted Poppy. Poppy and Patches got along swimmingly. They would play, cuddle, and groom each other, which caused our hearts to melt. Poppy and I quickly became girlfriends and our home was divided into teams of the sexes. When Darling Husband and I would come home from work, Patches would greet him and Poppy would greet me. We'd all watch a movie together in the living room and snuggle. Poppy has been such a perfect addition to our little family.
 {We came home from work and couldn't find Poppy. She had climbed up the back of the bed, through the pillows, and found a safe spot next to Mr. Bear}

{Patches and baby Poppy}

{This is how Poppy and I lounge}

Darling Husband and I were dead-set on not having more animals than people in our home. Fast forward 4 years and we've exceeded said ratio. I was casually perusing PetFinder one day when I was at work and I kept sending links to Darling Husband (just because they were cute!) and after several hours (and several links sent his way) he responded with a link and a sentence that read, "Look at Chewy. We have to save him." Long story short, Chewy (male) ended up actually being female and we named her Penny. Penny's litter was found in a very rural area of North Carolina when the kittens were just a few days to a week old. They were all alone and their mother had died, so a very nice woman took them in, but couldn't keep them. We took Darling Husband's advice and saved Penny! We met her when she was 3-4 weeks old and fell in love with her teeny tiny kitten self. Penny came to live with us a week later. She and Poppy are IN LOVE. I think Poppy thinks Penny is her kitten. They love each other so much. Patches hisses at Penny and runs away from her, but she really doesn't seem to care. We're hoping he comes around...

 {A very tiny baby Penny}

{Poppy and Penny love}

 {Sleepy Penny Pellegrino}

{The one time Patches and Penny hung out}

We're so happy we've been able to provide a forever home for Patches, Poppy, and Penny! We love them so much and they bring such joy to our live! So, my friends, I advise you to adopt, not shop when looking to add a pet to your home.

 {Penny. Poppy. Patches.}

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Brie & Caramelized Onion Phyllo Cups

I've come to learn that often times the simplest appetizers are the most delicious. A few weeks back I was hosting a wine night with my girlfriends and I just didn't have it in me to do a full-on big spread of food choices. Instead, I opted for something really simple that ended up being a huge hit!

Caramelized onion and brie phyllo cups are easy to make, yet are packed with flavor. Plus, in my experience, I've found that people gravitate toward bite-sized apps, rather than something more labor intensive, like a cheese plate (I'm not knocking the cheese plate by any means - it's just easier to pick something up and pop it in your mouth than it is to assemble some cheese on a carbohydrate vehicle of your choosing).

What you'll need:
1 wedge of Brie cheese
1 large onion (or 2 smaller onions)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white wine
1 package frozen phyllo cups
Salt to taste

{supplies}

What do to:
Chop up your onion and put it in a sautee pan with the butter on low heat. After a few minutes of stirring and sauteeing, add in your white wine and season with salt. Let that simmer for 15 minutes or so until the onion start to soften and come to a pretty caramel color.

 {Caramelized to perfection}

Pop a teaspoon or so of onions into each phyllo cup and top with a little cube of brie (i like to cut the rind off, but if you don't have time, don't worry about it).
Pop them in a 350 oven for 3-5 min and KEEP AND EYE on them. You don't want those suckers to burn. Pull them out when the brie is melted and delicious looking. Serve warm.

{Caramelized onion & brie phyllo cups served alongside tea sandwiches and sweets}

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Baby Shower Tea Party

Recently, my sister-in-law, Amy had her baby shower. My mother and I hosted along with one of Amy's best friends, Melissa. Since she's having a baby girl, we thought it would be perfectly appropriate to have an uber feminine tea party to celebrate Little Lady and her Mama.

 {baby booties and rose petit fours}

For decor, we decided simplest is best. No baby carriages (with the exception of one bad ass bassinet that my mother made from her wedding gown) or storks. Rather, we opted for pink and white florals, pink paper poufs that a sweet neighbor let me use, a feminine banner, and let the food and teapots take center stage.

{Bassinet in late morning light}
  
The menu was fairly straight forward. We chose tea sandwiches, cupcakes, scones, chocolates,
caramelized onion and brie bites, and mini popovers.

 {BRIGHT pink menu card}
 {Tea time}

{Simple flowers, yummy treats} 

{My sweet Dad put on a pink shirt and tie and played Bartender for the afternoon}

My gift to Amy was a little different. Since I've already purchased Little Lady some fabulous frilly pink clothes, I decided to go the more sentimental route. I found a creative and darling idea on a mommy website and decided to roll with it! I bought Amy and Little Lady a cake knife and attached a poem explaining my choice.

"This is a very special cake knife, as you will see. You will use it to cut her birthday cakes for many years to be. And while she is so tiny, it's hard to believe that one day, she'll be all grown up and ready to leave. She'll find her perfect match and become his wife and to cut their wedding cake, she can use her special birthday knife."


 There was also a headband making station where everyone could choose different headband bases and add flowers, gems, etc. What a cute idea, right?!




It was a lovely afternoon and Little Lady is adored already!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Orlando

I know a blog post probably isn't going to change anything. Maybe that's the problem. My heart hurts when I think about the loss of lives in Orlando. I am completely disgusted and my soul aches for the victims, for the unimaginable pain their friends and family are being forced to endure. We live in a free country that's a powerhouse with vast resources. Yet, we haven't fixed the problem. People are being murdered in our country and we aren't doing anything about it. It's unforgivable.

We need to focus on education. We need to teach our people to be understanding, empathetic, and accepting. It's 2016 and racism and sexism still exist, which is complete and utter bullshit. We need to teach that it's perfectly fine to be different. I have a very good friend who teaches her students the importance of letting their freak flags fly, which I think is incredible. It helps them to grasp that being different is normal and it's ok! 

We also need to help the people who are incapable of helping themselves. Mental health is a huge issue in this country and there are millions of people who need help, but either won't or can't seek it out themselves. Mental health is just as important as physical health and our great country needs to champion that importance. 

We need to make it more difficult to buy firearms. Yes, it is your second amendment right. I am personally all in favor of people having guns for safety and to protect themselves or for hunting purposes. However, I feel there need to be stricter background checks and a mandatory waiting period. It's simply too easy to buy a gun and the majority of these murders are from guns.

We need to keep our country safe from itself and the only way to do that is through education, mental health reform, and gun control. 

My Nautical Home

I had some wine the other weekend and took a tour of all the various boats in my home. Spoiler - there are a lot.
















Monday, June 13, 2016

Morning Bacon, Evening Bacon


Sometimes, the culinary stars align. The aforementioned alignment occurred for me the other day after I had made Darling Husband breakfast in bed and was letting the bacon grease cool on the sheet pan (so appetizing, I know).

While bacon pan was doing its thing, I was back in the kitchen a few hours later prepping a potato salad I planned to serve with hot dogs. Well, I reached for the olive oil as I was going to roast the potatoes and paused when I saw bacon pan. I thought to myself, “Why use olive oil when I can use bacon drippings!”

You know I threw those chopped potatoes on that bacon grease laden pan and tossed them in that yummy, fatty gloriousness. Then I lightly seasoned them with a bit of garlic salt and black pepper and roasted those suckers at 400 for 40 minutes. They were so beautifully golden brown and smelled delicious!

I tossed them in a bowl with some sour cream, shredded cheddar, chopped bacon (more bacon is always the best, in my opinion), and green onions and served that along with hot dogs fresh off the grill and some pasta salad.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What I've Been Reading

I love to read. I recently bought a Kindle and it's really upped my reading game. I feel like since the Kindle is easy to have on hand, I can squeeze in more reading throughout the day. Here is a roundup of what I've been reading lately.


 {In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware}


{Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll}


{Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin}


{Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben}


{Me Before You by Jojo Moyes}

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

G&T Goes HGTV

When we first bought our home, the front landscaping was very drab. It was the six or so plants that the builder put in and they weren’t anything special. Darling Husband and I knew we wanted to mix it up and change out a few things. Also, we knew that the sloped terrain at the front of our home would not work. We decided to build a retaining wall and level out the slopey side. After deciding on which stones to use, we got to work digging, leveling, and building the wall.

{the mess we were left with after ripping everything out}
I quickly grew frustrated with leveling the base row of stones and was re-assigned to ditch digging duty, which suited me just fine. Bless Darling Husband and his patience! He rocked it out and the wall looks great!


{the wall is finished! and I'm sitting in a rocking chair drinking coffee...}
We decided to plant lavender in the bottom row and they’ve done so well! They really like the sun and are very low maintenance (plus, they smell incredible). On the top row, we removed a crepe myrtle tree and re-homed it in the backyard. We also planted four hydrangea bushes and some gardenias.

{lavender and hydrangeas}
 
Darling Husband surprised me one morning with a bunch of annuals called celosias, but I refer to them as “the Whoville flowers” because they look like they were torn from the pages of a Dr. Suess book and planted in my yard. They’re oddly adorable.

{See what I'm talking about? Whooville.}

We also encircled our trees with the same stone and made a little border in line with where our trash cans are hidden.

 {hidden garbage cans}

It was a laborious weekend, but I’m very pleased with the end result.


 {Growing in nicely}

Monday, June 6, 2016

Breakfast in Bed


This past weekend I woke up a little early (thanks, internal alarm clock) and looked over at my snoozing Darling Husband and felt overwhelmed with love and appreciation for him. Out of nowhere! So I decided to make him breakfast in bed.

I cooked some bacon in the oven (I’m HORRIBLE at making bacon in a skillet), whipped up some French toast, and cut up some fruit. After plating our breakfast I felt something was missing, so I pattered to the front yard and snipped a fluffy blue hydrangea and put it in a bud vase on the tray. Ta-da! Darling Husband was very surprised (he smelled me cooking but thought I was making myself breakfast and leaving him high and dry… which has been done before because he’s not a huge fan of eggs and that’s my go-to) and very appreciative of my early morning culinary efforts.


It was a lovely way to kick off Sunday.