Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate Christmas

Tonight I celebrated Christmas with hubby's family because I'm about to hop on a plane and head home to Louisiana. We feasted on BBQ and opened presents while Heaven ran around in her Santa outfit. I wanted to make something special for hubby's family, so I decided to spend the day making chocolates.

{Peanut Butter Balls}

{Chocolate Sea Salt Truffles}

{Miss Claus sniffing out one of her presents}

I will be taking a break from blogging while I'm in schedule is going to be pretty hectic while I'm there. In addition to holiday cooking and spending time with family, I will be studying for my comprehensive exams which are over the Christmas break. Leave it to doctor school to make sure that no "break" is really a break. I will be back on the 30th, so I look forward to catching up with all of you then and starting off a fabulous new year!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

My baby needs Xanex

Yesterday was an emotionally trying day...our baby got attacked on her morning walk.

While hubby was walking Heaven, a chow broke it's leash and attacked her. The chow picked her up in his mouth and shook her around as she screamed. It happened so fast that hubby wasn't able to intervene in time. It just so happens that a vet lives in our complex and heard Heaven screaming. She was so terrified...she tried biting the vet and hubby. She was seriously traumatized...she was shaky and scared all day. She hid under the couch and wouldn't come out...not even for treats. It broke my heart! We found a puncture wound on her stomach, but it doesn't appear to be anything serious. I am so thankful because it could have been so much worse. When she went on a walk last night, she was even scared of the leaves blowing. She is in better spirits today (she was extremely interested in stalking the McDonald's bag I brought home tonight), so I'm hoping she will be back to herself in no time.

It's so scary how these things happen so fast. Has anything like this ever happened to one of your fur babies? If so, how did you help him/her overcome the fear and anxiety?

{Scared to come out from under the couch after the attack}

Monday, December 14, 2009

Parties & Peppermint

This weekend was rather busy with Christmas activities. We attended Christmas parties on Friday and Saturday night, which meant preparing holiday treats to share. For Friday night's party, I made a peanut butter pie which was quickly devoured. Saturday night's party was a fancy affair, so I wanted to make something that could be nibbled on easily. Peppermint bark turned out to be the perfect option.

{The hardest part was not eating it all before party time!}

{Hubby and I at our friends' Christmas party}

I am also rather disappointed in myself. Friday's party included a Secret Santa exchange, and I made one of my girlfriend's a little retro apron. It was seriously the cutest thing I've ever made, and I forgot to take a picture of it!! I definitely plan to make more of them but the fabric combination I chose for my friend just turned out so freakin' cute.

Have you been making any homemade Christmas treats or gifts this year?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby it's cold outside

Well, cold for south Florida. We were blessed with temperatures in the 60's over the was pure bliss! I wore a scarf for the first time this year and even a light jacket! It's supposed to be hot again this week, but it was fabulous to get a little cool weather for a few days.

Since we were having a cool front, Heaven's grandparents let her have her Christmas present a little early. Doesn't she look precious in her new little pink Snuggie?

She loved it so much! She pranced around in it and was so proud to show it off. I think it's quite possibly the cutest thing ever.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

I've been longing to go to ICE since moving to Florida a few years ago.
Saturday evening we made the trip inland to check out this holiday favorite.
We had an amazing time...the temperature inside the exhibit was a crisp 9 degrees (I soaked in as much as I could!).

After getting our fill of winter, we warmed up over dinner at a wonderful Mediterranean restaurant at the Gaylord Palms. The hotel was decked out in Christmas decor and tons of people were bustling around drinking hot cocoa and listening to performers sing Christmas songs. It was the perfect way to start the Christmas season.

{The lovely tree at the Gaylord Palms}

What are you doing to get into the Christmas spirit?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


{Pumpkin cupcakes for Thanksgiving dessert}

I just adore Thanksgiving and the days following the holiday...good food, time with family, Black Friday, the LSU vs. Arkansas game, and the official start of the Christmas season. We had a delicious Thanksgiving steak dinner, then my MIL and I left the boys watching football and went shopping. Michael's opened at 5:00 pm Thanksgiving night, so we hit up the sale and had a blast buying Christmas trees and decorations. Even though things are tough for us right now with the recession and my school stress, I am so thankful for God's blessings in my life.

I am especially thankful for...

Jesus and the gift of salvation that He gave to me
My amazing family
My wonderful friends

{Heaven and I after having Thanksgiving dinner}

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday!!

{And of course I'm dying to know if you had any luck on Black how did you do??}

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Cookin'

Lately my weekends have been filled with nothing but loads of school work. This weekend was no exception, although I managed to fit in some quality time with my kitchen. Friday night I decided to whip up a homemade pizza. After wrestling with the dough for a while, I started to question my decision and wondered if we would have to end up calling Papa John's. But in the end it turned out great. I had forgotten just how much I love homemade pizza.

{Homemade pizza with whole wheat crust and turkey pepperoni...served with ice cold Stella}

Saturday night I decided to make some good ole' Southern comfort food...chicken and dumplings. Accompanied by cheese muffins, they were the perfect weekend supper.

{Chicken and dumplings + cheese muffins}

I also managed to take a study break long enough to hit up the Vogue pattern sale at JoAnn's. I found some amazing designer patterns (Alice + Olivia, Badgley Mischka, Anna Sui, and Issey Miyake). Now I'm dying to sew. School is seriously getting in my way of becoming a star on Project Runway =)

Did you spend anytime in the kitchen this weekend? I'd love to know what you whipped up!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

27 Candles

Last Friday was my 27th birthday. It's crazy to think 20's are just flying by and I don't really feel like I've started my life yet because I'm still in school. I still vividly remember celebrating my 19th birthday as a Freshman in college. So bizarre to think that now I'm in my late 20's.

We decided to spend my birthday at the Magic Kingdom (sometimes living in Florida does have its benefits). We started the day out at my favorite bagel shop then headed inland. We had a blast at Disney, then did a little shopping in Orlando (which included a stop for truffles at Godiva, of course!). We ended the day back in Tampa at one of my favorite restaurants, Mel's Hot Dogs. The rest of my birthday weekend included sushi, lots of presents, and a birthday lunch at the Thirsty Marlin (best fried grouper sandwich ever).

{Hubby and I at Disney World}

{Haunted Mansion}

{Hubby was afraid of what we might find in the Haunted Mansion}

{Entire day spent with hubby + Magic Kingdom = amazing birthday}

{One of my favorite birthday traditions is my birthday is birthday bag 2009)

{Sprinkles banana birthday cupcakes}

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

thinking of you

I am missing you ladies! Doctor school is absolutely insane right now...I feel like I have literally fallen off the face of the planet. I've had so much going on lately that I just haven't had time to blog or catch up with you all. I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things is just crazy right now! But please know that I think of you all often and I am desperately missing reading about what has been going on in your lives. Hope you are all doing well and hopefully I will be back soon!


Friday, October 30, 2009

The Life and Death of a Pumpkin

If you have an extra 5 minutes to watch this today, I think you will get a kick out of it. I thought it was amazing. Hope you are all having a perfectly ghoulish Halloween Eve!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I thought corn was corn no matter where you live...

Well, this weekend I learned a hard lesson...Florida corn is not the same as Louisiana corn, or Georgia corn, or Illinois corn for that matter.

Let me explain...

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was craving a trip to the corn maze. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that there was a corn maze less than an hour away. The website sounded fabulous and included an aerial photo of the maze, which looked pretty amazing. Hubby agreed to go with me to the maze on Saturday, so I was beyond excited. I could just imagine the rows of thick plush corn creating an intricate maze that would be tons of fun to navigate with my man.

So you can imagine my dismay when we discovered that Florida corn is actually short and looks more like weeds.

Hubby and I inside the weed maze (no Children of the Corn here!)

As you can see, there is nothing in this maze that even resembles corn.

Once upon a time, I think this was a sunflower.

No chance of getting lost in this maze!

I think the expression on hubby's face explains it all!

The website advertised a huge pumpkin patch...not so much, eh?

Determined to have a good time, I made hubby pose for silly pictures.

At least this little guy didn't have to do worry about keeping any critters away from the "corn".

We were famished after making our way through the weeds, so hubby took me to another little town for lunch. The San Ann Market was just the right spot.

One of the best parts of the day was this Italian sandwich...sooooo yummy!

Even though the maze was a disappointment, I got to spend time with hubby, so it was actually a perfect day. And I'm sure we'll still be laughing about the crappy maze for many years to come!

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Aint Afraid of No Ghosts

It' s times like these that I wish I were computer savvy enough to figure out how to make the Ghostbusters theme song play as you read this post. But since I'm not, please just try to hum it along to yourself, k? So yesterday I {hopefully} left you in suspense as I was recapping my weekend getaway to St. Augustine. Being that St. Augustine is the oldest city in America, it only makes sense that it should be one of the most haunted too, right? So hubby and I decided to brave the spirit world and eagerly headed out on the Ghosts and Graveyards tour.

Hubby and I aboard the trolley, ready to hear some true ghost stories {and maybe even see a few ghosts!}

The tour took us through St. Augustine, with the guide pointing out some of the most haunted sites. She told us the stories associated with the hauntings. Most of the ghost stories were associated with events of despair. For example, when yellow fever hit St. Aug, so many people were killed they had to bury people 12 deep in the graveyards. As a result, ghosts are often spotted at the graveyards.

Throughout the tour, we were encouraged to take pictures because spirits often show up on film even when you can't see them with the naked eye. We were able to capture quite a few orbs, which I've pointed out in this picture taken downtown. Orbs are a way ghosts often show up in pictures.

After touring the city, the trolley dropped us off at the Old Jail. This jail has actually been featured on a number of paranormal investigation shows because it's so haunted! It's even on the national registry of haunted places. Now that you know what an orb is, can you spot the ones in this picture?

Once inside the jail, we were given the history by this incredible actor. He told us the stories of the 8 men that were hung at the jail.

The conditions are the jail were deplorable. The inmates slept on these metal beds with no mattress, no blankets, and no pillows. Often 3 or 4 men had to sleep in one metal bed! There was no running water or sewage at the jail. Once inmates were checked in, they were no longer allowed to shower (can you imagine?!). Since there were no bathrooms, the inmates shared one bucket per cell. It's no wonder the place is haunted, right?

The gallows were built right behind the jail. Each inmate sentence to be hung had to build his own gallows and then stare at them through his window. See the orbs?

And now for the holy grail...a picture of an actual ghost! Hubby and I could not believe our luck! If you look carefully, you can see the ghost of a man staring out of a cell. The part of the jail he is in was maximum security, which is one of the sites of the most paranormal activity. When we zoomed in on him, we were shocked by his creepy smile. It makes me wonder how many ghosts accompanied us on our tour when we were inside the jail.

The ghosts at the jail tried to keep hubby, but I was able to free him just in the nick of time!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gelato, Truffles, and Ghosts

In order to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, hubby and I took a little weekend trip to St. Augustine. You probably remember learning about St. Augustine in American History was the first European settlement in the United States, making it the oldest city in the country. I fell in love with St. Augustine the minute we drove into the historic district. The cobblestone streets were lined with quaint little shops, pubs, and gorgeous old houses. We had the perfect lovely weekend, so I just have to share some of our photos with you.

One of the first shops we wandered into was a fantastic little chocolate shop. Hubby and I both have a slight addiction to truffles, so we started our day with milk chocolate and white chocolate champagne truffles. We are still kicking ourselves for not bringing a box home.

We spotted this sweet little man playing in one of the streets. He was quite the character!

After a lunch of authentic Italian pizza, we immediately hit up a gelato shop.

Happiness in a cup.

Gelato = Joy

Next, we hit up the Castillo de San Marcos, which was a fortress built by the Spanish to defend themselves from the British. Quite a few flags have flown over the Castillo. It just blows my mind to think that long ago soldiers actually lived and fought here. Can you tell I'm a bit of a history nerd?

View of the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the Castillo.

Beautiful, no?

Crossing into the Castillo

One of the few pictures of us together...don't you sometimes feel like you need a photographer to go on vacations with you and your man just so you can get pictures that include the both you you?

I love this picture that hubby took of one of the cannons. I think we may blow this one up and frame it.

A reenactment of Spanish soldiers firing the cannons. Can you imagine having to wear those outfits in the hot Florida sun?

After exploring the Castillo, we made our way to the Mission of Nombre de Dios.

The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

An old cemetery at the Mission

Apparently, the Mission was a safe haven for squirrels. They were literally EVERYWHERE. You could not look around without seeing four or five squirrels playing. I think squirrels are quite possibly one of the cutest things ever, so I happily took pictures of these little Christian squirrels for quite some time. It was such a lovely moment to be in such a serene place, surrounded by God's blessings.

The Mission was full of beautiful statues and monuments.

A little further down from the Mission is Ponce de Leon's fountain of youth...and here it is! I don't think you can even see the water in this picture, but it's just a little spring coming from that heap of rocks. In Leon's day, it was quite a site, but time has not been kind to the fountain of youth. As a result, most of the water is now underground in a well. However, we were served cups of water from the fountain, so I fully expect to never look a day over 26.

After a lovely day of exploration, hubby and I decided to go looking for a different type of history...of the, shall we say, ghostly type. Pictures from that adventure to come later =)