Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My husband.
For being the best friend I could ever imagine.  He makes me laugh every single day and gives me the strength I need.  He drives me crazy and challenges me and loves me no matter what.


My family.
For loving me and supporting me in such an incredible way.  I’m so thankful for every single member and appreciate every second we get to spend together.


My niece and nephew
They are the greatest ever.  I love them as my own and more than I ever dreamed possible.  They never fail to make me smile.


My in-laws. 
For accepting me and giving me another family to feel at home with.


My friends.
For being the best friends any girl could ever ask for.  For growing up with me and always picking up right where we left off, regardless of the time or distance that separates us.

My education
I often think how lucky I am to be getting my dream degree at such an incredible school.  I love the program I’m in and that it is giving me the ability to help people beat cancer and have another chance at life.

My health.  
I'm reminded of this daily being surrounded by people, both young and old, fighting a battle I could never dream of facing.

My furbabies.
Mostly, they are completely insane and make me laugh, sometimes sweet and cuddly.  Sometimes they drive me absolutely crazy but I’m thankful we saved them from the shelter and gave them a family who loves them.

Look at Pouncey's paw around Jaz :)

And, the little things:

For the gators (yes, even this season).

For my Christmas tree, because it’s sparkly and makes me so excited for the holidays.  

For Nashville.  Because I was terrified to move away from home for the first time and was able to fall completely in love with this place.  

For running, because it keeps me sane.

For my mixer and the amazing cookies it makes me (all too frequently).

For good jeans, because they never fail me.

For using this post as an excuse to go back through wedding photos, because it was the best day of my life.

For Ugg slippers, because while completely unnecessary, they are totally amazing.

For Garth Brooks tickets, no explanation needed.

For Gainesville, because it will always be my home.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Best. Dessert. Ever.

After staying up way past our regular meemaw/peepaw bedtimes last night to catch a late showing of HP7 (oh yeah... it was awesome!), we decided to figure out something fun to do at home this evening.  This goal often leads us to the kitchen to make something a little out of the ordinary.  Tonight, Hubs requested fried ice cream.  I've had many experiences with the dessert- most not so good (except for the ridiculous cake-like version at Dragonfly), but decided to go for it.  We combined a couple recipes we found online and the result was so delicious!  I was completely impressed. 

Vanilla ice cream
Frosted flakes
Sugar cookies
Toppings: whipped cream, chocolate syrup

First, make balls out of the ice cream.  I recommend keeping the hot water running during this process because you will inevitably have to use your hands and it will hurt.  Place them on wax paper and freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm. 

ice cream balls
Next, make a mixture of equal parts (I used about 3/4 cup each) of crushed frosted flakes and crushed sugar cookies.  If you're lucky enough to shop at a Publix, their bakery versions are perfect.  Add ~3/4 T cinnamon to the mix. 

Roll the ice cream balls in this mix.  Not much will stick, but that's okay.  Freeze again for ~30 minutes.

minimal crumb "stickage"
Mix two eggs and 1 tsp sugar in another bowl.  Dip the balls into the egg mixture and then into the remaining cookie crumb mixture.  Freeze again for another 30 minutes or so.  Supposedly, you can repeat this process multiple times to make a thicker crust if you wish.  We were anxious to eat them so we opted for just one dip. 

ready to fry
Heat oil in a fryer (I'm sure you could do this on the stove with a little more effort) to 375 degrees.  Fry ice cream balls for about 15 seconds.  Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup (or honey if that's your thing) and enjoy!

 I can't wait to fry up the rest over the next couple days for more sweet, melty goodness. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Several weeks ago I found out about a promotion by POM Wonderful (the company that produces pomegranates and the now popular POM juice) called Pom-a-Gram.  All you had to do was fill out a page on their website and they'd send a pomegranate to the person of your choice.  Mike laughed at me and told me it would never come but he was wrong! 

I was very excited when our Pom-a-Gram arrived and wanted hubs to take a picture with it.  This was all I got...

The box was adorable and what was inside was even better!

HUGE pom
Cutting it up was messy but luckily it came with directions so it wasn't quite as disastrous as my past experiences have been.  So delicious!

lots of arils- yum!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CMA Country Christmas

Thursday night we dressed up in red and green and went downtown to be a part of the live audience for the taping of CMA's Country Christmas.  Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland was host for a night when various country stars got together to sing Christmas songs and film the holiday special.  Tickets were only available from CMA members so we were lucky enough to be invited by friends with connections.  It was a very unique experience to get a behind-the-scenes look at a TV filming and, of course, awesome to see some of our favorite singers performing carols.  There were quite a few "re-takes" so we got to see many of the performances twice.  The atmosphere was much more laid back than your typical concert and many of the stars would casually address the audience when not filming.  It was a really neat experience and I can't wait to watch the show when it airs to see how it all comes together!  If you like Christmas songs as much as I do, you should check it out too!

Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, Reba, Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts

Awesome set with lots of fake snow!
 The special will air Monday, November 29, 9:30-11:00 pm ET on ABC.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

white chicken and broccoli pizza

When things get a little crazy with school, the mister happily takes over the chore of planning meals, grocery shopping, and preparing dinners.  I'm incredibly grateful to him for doing this task (thanks, hon!). Last week I picked up a Publix Apron's Simple Meals card (these things are so great for quick and easy dinners!) for White Chicken and Broccoli Pizza.  Mike made it this week and it was a simple meal that turned out very delicious!

First, cook chicken on stove and cut into bite sized pieces. 

Chop broccoli into small pieces. 

Mix alfredo sauce, broccoli, and chicken in bowl. 

Spread over pizza crust.

Cover the whole thing with cheese and sprinkle spices on top.

Spray top lightly with cooking spray.  Bake 15 minutes at 425.  Eat!

(Our Modified) Ingredient List:
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1.5 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
1.5 cups shredded reduced-fat Italian blend cheese
1 cup Alfredo sauce
1 pizza crust
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Olive oil cooking spray

My only complaint suggestion: I didn't love the jar Alfredo sauce.  They sell a small envelope near the jar sauces that you can make very simply that I think would make a huge flavor improvement!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Blame it all on my roots..."

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been obsessed with Garth Brooks.  I still haven't let my family live it down that way-back-when they all got to see his show and left me at home (yes, I was probably far too young... but still!).  Hubs and I have had a deal for as long as I can remember that if he ever came back on tour, we'd be there.  Lucky for me, last week I heard the most exciting announcement ever... Garth would be performing in Nashville!!!  The days following the announcement were pretty stressful for me as I knew I HAD to be there and yet the chances of actually obtaining the much-coveted tickets were so slim.

Following a crazy wrist band acquiring line on Thursday and a second random number drawing line on Saturday, I ended up about 10 people back in line at the Ticketmaster outlet Saturday morning.  Thinking this was a somewhat decent spot to be, you can imagine my horror when THREE people made it through the line in the approximately 1 minute the tickets were on sale before selling out.  Before I could cry, the manager announced that they were going to be opening more show dates based on the number of people in lines at the various locations around Middle Tennessee.  Luckily, when the next show date was released, I happily claimed the final four tickets sold at my location!!  I literally screamed in excitement, wished good luck to my newly acquired line-friends and danced out the door.

I am officially going to see Garth Brooks!!! I still cannot believe it.  Plus, two of my best friends (one of whom also has this concert on her Bucket List) will be flying in from Philly for the show.

Overall they ended up selling 140,000 tickets to nine shows and raising $3.5 million for flood relief.

Now let's just hope he sings that third verse...

Sorry 'Dores!

One of the pros when deciding to attend Vanderbilt for grad school was that I was guaranteed to get to see the Gators play every other year when the rivalry was brought to Vanderbilt stadium.  We convinced Alex and T to make the drive over to Nashville for the weekend to join us in cheering for Florida.  I'll have to admit a teeny part of me felt bad for Vanderbilt but it was pretty exciting to see the Gators kick some tail in person.  The game day atmosphere was awesome: cold and sunny and about 80% orange and blue. 

lots of orange and blue!

good thing I've got long arms!