Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Mister!

Today I want to wish a very happy twenty fifth birthday to the boy I fell head over heels for back in 9th grade English and who I've continued to fall in love with nearly every day since.  I have loved growing up with you and am so proud of the man you've become.  I'm looking forward to the next hundred birthdays spent together.

From then to now... (stolen from our wedding slideshow)
valentine's day

first anniversary

junior prom

port charlotte

senior prom

high school graduation

uncle sam and statue of liberty


gator football

mountain biking

J&M's wedding

ski trip

my 21st

blue springs
our engagement

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Given my crazy schedule this semester with few nights free, we upped Hubs birthday celebration a few days.  We dressed up and went downtown to a restaurant we've been wanting to try since moving here.  The Acorn is a Nashville original and conveniently had a one day deal on their website a few weeks back for 50% off gift cards of any denomination.  It was an amazing experience and we both loved it.  I decided it was one of the best meals I've had in my life.

They even brought out champagne and sherbet cocktails for us both in honor of the birthday boy.  The candle on his glass was such a nice touch.  Not an easy thing to snag a picture of...

Handsome birthday  boy :)
For you foodies out there, we split the Smoked Cheddar Salad with field greens, blackberry vinaigrette, toasted pumpkin seeds, and smoked cheddar.  I had the Chorizo Crusted Grouper with sweet potato hash, country green beans, and jack daniel's pecan cream sauce while M went for the Braised Lamb Shank with celery root mash, pot likker (this made me laugh), and gremolata.  There also might have been a Knob Creek and coke and glass of sauvignon blanc in the mix too.

All around, great experience.  Loved my meal and wished we had bought more of the half priced gift cards.

{If you are like me, you'll like how we had a $75 gift card and a bill of $78.  3 dollar dinner, yes please!}

We skipped dessert at the restaurant to come home and nibble on the birthday cake I'd made the night before... I'll show it to you soon :)

I'm off to yet another all-day Saturday lab.  Love spending 8 hours in the clinic on Saturdays..... is it May yet???

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Making Sushi

Another one of our Denver adventures included making sushi.  Mike and I have been wanting to make sushi for a long time but were a little unsure of the process.  When my Dad asked if we wanted to make a fun dinner, we knew just what to request! 

the goodies

fanning the rice

raw fishies

frying the shrimp

cutting it all up

making rolls

rolling them up tight

pops at work

the extras

some finished products
We couldn't believe how good the sushi was.  I felt like it was totally comparable with the rolls I get at my favorite restaurants.  M and I will definitely be attempting this at home!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Expanding our zoo

The mister and I have talked about adding a dog to our little family for as long as I can remember.  A few times since moving into our rental house we've seriously considered it and then shied away, always coming up with reasons why it was a bad idea.  Eventually though, we came to the conclusion that there is never really a good time to add something to your life that chews on everything, isn't aware of the proper place to use the bathroom, needs constant supervision, and requires an unending supply of patience (a quality that is neither of our strong suits).  Realizing that once May comes around I'll be a full-time resident and have way less time at home than I currently have, I began my puppy search.  

A golden retriever fit all of my criteria for a dog including big, smart, furry, long life expectancy, and minimal health problems (when compared with other large breeds).  I called lots of area breeders and finally succeeded in persuading Mike to go see this little girl.  From the second they opened the door to three tiny golden puppies, we were hooked.  We played with her sweet momma, gorgeous dad, and adorable brothers before calling her Ellie Mae and taking her home.  

Ellie has since knocked our world on it's side in the greatest of ways.  She is a ton of work and incredibly frustrating at times but super cute and sweet and so worth it.  Overall, she's been a great puppy.  We've been "accident" free for over a week and she sleeps all night long in her crate.  If we could just get her to stop chasing the cats life would quiet down quite a bit!  We laugh at her all day and cuddle her every chance we get.  Every night I ask her not to grow any that night but sadly, she's not listening.  I apologize in advance for the millions of pictures I'll probably be posting :)

saying goodbye to mommy

one good thing about snow

Friday, February 4, 2011


Happy Birthday to another one of my bests.
I don't remember my life without you a part of it.   
You were my first best friend and 22 years later I still love you as a sister.
Here's to the next 25 years of friendship. 

PS... you better be very glad I can't get to the albums of embarrassing pictures I have of the two of us.  You know I'd post a few ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Caramel Corn

While mostly I am a cookie monster, I actually have an affinity for all things sweet.  One of my favorite sugary treats is one of my Mom's specialties: homemade caramel corn.  I have fond memories of this being made in our house for the holidays (and sometimes just because).  I remember the popcorn being measured out of a big container and popped in the air popper, squealing as the caramel bubbled way up in the pan, and waiting what seemed like forever for it to bake when it already looked ready to me.

Mike and I decided to try our hand at the recipe one night.  It was a little scary as I envisioned a sticky mess over our stove, counters and pans, but it turned out to be a complete success!!

5 quarts popped plain popcorn (about 2 microwave bags)
2 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Pop popcorn.

Prep pans by spreading out popcorn.

Add butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a large pan. 

Heat over medium-low heat, stirring to combine.

Stir ingredients until they boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (it will grow!)

Remove pan from heat.  Add baking soda.  

Stir to combine (it will grow some more!). 

Pour over corn.  Spread as evenly as possible.  It will be very sticky and hard to do! (My mom seemed to have a much better handle on this than we did... maybe it takes practice!)

Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour.

Cool and Enjoy!