number 47

ok ok. so i went back on my word. “i WILL blog again tomorrow” turned into a month later. the holidays are busy times for us all, and i’m sorry i couldn’t provide you with a little holiday reading! to update you on what’s going on in our world: we welcomed not one but two new friends into our house in the month of december.

meet annie and bangarang:

DSC04943 DSC04956

annie likes to play and be sociable, and bang likes to hide from you. they’re both super cuddly and sweet in their own way. we set out on our adventure to the animal shelter at the beginning of the month wanting two kittens for our christmas presents to each other. 2 so they could keep each other company while andrew and i were away at work. after seeing how many full grown adult cats are left unadopted, we couldn’t turn these two away. both are under a year old (roughly) and are definitely still feeling the kitten vibes.  - i’ll just say that they loved the christmas tree.

i was finally able to make the trek up to richmond to see my best girlfriends. emily graduated from vcu’s school of nursing with her bachelors degree, and us fun girls gathered for the celebration! congrats emB!DSC04995

and conveniently enough had a zeta christmas party the following night: 


anytime we get together is a guaranteed good time, and this weekend was no exception!

the next weekend danville had a miniature blizzard (aka more snow than i’ve seen in a whiiile) which made for a fun, work-free weekend. i was lucky enough to borrow my mom’s SUV so andrew and i could actually interact with the rest of the world. (the truth of the matter is that i got my car stuck trying to go to my parents house and, it had to stay there for a little less than a week. woops!)

sidenote: i’ve been horrible about taking pictures of the last half of the month. blame it on my laziness – my camera battery has been dead, and i haven’t made the effort to recharge it.

with the holidays came lots of family, food, and fun. i threw my first cocktail party in our new apartment. quite a success! we had a small group of family over for drinks and apps and took a moment to relax before the madness of christmas. complete with [what i will forever refer to them as] “richmond ham biscuits”.  i feel like i would be breaking some unspoken rule if i posted it on the blog. inquire within for the recipe, and i’ll share.

more recently, we celebrated christmas this past weekend with both mine and andrew’s families. santa was SO good to me this year. i received lots of shoes which would please any girl! AND santa husband gave me a new laptop which i so desperately needed but didn’t want to admit! it has the new windows 7 installed on it with a really neat program called live writer which makes blogging REALLY easy and fun! ok. yes. this is why i decided to blog now. i’m not ashamed.

well, i think this pretty much catches you up to speed. we’re excited for the new year! we’re planning a short trip to arkansas in january which i am PUUUMPED about! i plan to get back in the routine of taking pictures, and andrew and i are finally going to get in shape starting 1/1. who doesn’t say that?

happy new year, friends! xoxo! 



number 46

ive been such a horrible blogger! i'll admit it myself!! i'll blame it on the fact that i couldn't blog before december 1st without talking about christmas! with that said:


please, be our guest - take a tour of our christmas-y home.

i'm very proud of my :[first]: tree, ask anyone who's visited.

fluffy topper!

my unfinished centerpiece (using lots of wedding crystal!)...and the mural.

that's about all i have for christmas decor. our place isn't all that big - too much christmas could be overkill.

you have my word that i WILL blog again tomorrow - i've got some big news! don't get too excited, we all remember my last news, and andrew and i have a long LONG timeline as far as little ones go...

in the meantime, i've been busy painting some new ornaments, be sure to check out my facebook profile to see pics!


number 45

this is the first of a few blogs dedicated to my 2009 holiday essentials. since i failed (yet again) today in my attempt to find adequate christmas ornaments for my new, awesome, PRE-LIT christmas tree, i'm taking the opportunity to tell y'all about a fabulous buy that i DO have for christmas 2009.

since andrew and now are a "family", i expect we will be sending out a few christmas cards - saving my pretty right hand from a few cramps, my new favorite holiday essential is brought to us today by PSA ESSENTIALS. my stamp just came in today!! i purchased the dagwood design: with our new residential info, obvi.

here's the christmas catch, the INSIDE is removable only to be replaced by these cuties and a red inkpad! yes, i do work at a stationery boutique. and yes, i'm in love with paper.

with me being a daughter of the south, my nana has always stressed the importance of handwritten correspondence. i'll never forget it. well, maybe it's because i'll be looking for any excuse to send a letter, simply to stamp the envelope!


number 44

if you've known me since college, or before or after for that matter, then you know that i love to craft! fun, cutesy, painting is one of my favorite things to do! i spent about a quarter of the time in my sorority in college painting banners for philanthropies or recruitment, or crafty little things for my little sister. with that said, melissa at the invitation destination has been nice enough to let me showcase my "talent" and hopefully make a little profit off it! here are a few photos of some cute chistmas ornaments i've painted recently! i've already had 2 inquiries for custom orders and sold one!

the price for 1 is $8.50 or $10.50 if you would like me to add a name or intial to it. and i'm offering a discount if you buy 5 or more! happy shopping! black friday is this week! *yay* let the christmas tunes begin!!!


number 43

somtimes i wish i hadn't started numbering my posts. i'd like to have a clever little post title every now and then!

andrew and i spent the past weekend with sarah and ben! wonnnderful hosts! we had a BLAST in bloomington, and can't wait to go back again! along with eating great food, listening to sweet music, and going to fun parties, we traveled north to a find a hidden gem. the exotic feline rescue center in center point, indiana is unlike anywhere i've ever been before. this is no zoo. a gravel road leads to you to this rustic retreat where nearly 200 wild lions, tigers, and other exotic cats are treated for abuse and malnourishment. separated only by a chainlinked fence, we were able to see these massive animals up close and personal. amaaazing! anyone who ever travels within a 100 mile radius should alter their route to visit this venue. the center relies solely on donations as it does not receive any type of state or federal funding. ok ok. i'll stop! the pictures speak for themselves:

big ups to andrew for the awesome photography skills! needless to say, a fantastic experience - one that i'll never ever forget!

with the cold, nasty weather arriving in full force, i've been in the mood for winter. with the winter mood comes the christmas mood!!!! don't get me wrong, i LOVE thanksgiving (a national holiday centered around eating), and it should definitely not be overlooked, but there isn't exactly thanksgiving MUSIC. i think you know where i'm headed with this...today i downloaded 20 new christmas songs. so, come december 1 (honestly, november 27), my christmas playlist will be ready and put on repeat. i made this little find today, and i'm passing it on to you: andrew introduced me to bright eyes (not long after we'd first started dating) and this romantic single, first day of my life. download this - if you haven't heard it, do it - you'll love it! to my delight, he also has a christmas album! traditional songs with an indie twist. i like. it's a little tricky to find as it was released in 2002 as an AIDS relief effort, but if you're persistent, i'm sure you'll luck out. i'm really looking forward to playing this while i decorate our FIRST christmas tree!

ok, no more christmas talk until AFTER thanksiving!


number 42

happy november! today was a gorgeous fall day, and it put me in a great mood! lucky you -- a new blog post!!!

this past weekend was halloween, and being the party people that we are (hah!) andrew and i joined some friends for some halloween fun! not TOO much to document, but i'll share a few pictures:

who is this little spellcaster? it's your friendly neighborhood wizard?! no, it's andrew!

awesome, right? my costume was not so easy to spot, but i tried my best to look as crazy as i could and channel my inner gaga: yes, i have lost my mind.
our great friends, preston and jordan, definitely had the most awesome costumes!

all in all, it was a great weekend (despite the nasty weather!), and today has been a great night! my awesome husband downloaded the carrie underwood cd for me. mind you, it doesn't hit the shelf until tomorrow. what he doesn't know is that he'll be listening to it ALL the way to indiana this weekend! we're going to visit my lovely sister-in-law, sarah, and her awesome hubby, ben, in bloomington! i'm sure we'll have fun stories and pictures to share after our adventures.



i wasn't tagged, but i don't care.

1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Your hair? black
3. Your mother? awesome
4. Your father? best
5. Your favorite food? pizza
6. Your dream last night? blank
7. Your favorite drink? milkshake
8. Your dream/goal? success
9. What room are you in? den
10. Your hobby? learning
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in six years? progressing
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren't? unmotivated
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? porsche
17. Where did you grow up? woods
18. Last thing you did? breathe
19. What are you wearing? shorts
20. Your TV? sony
21. Your pets? none
22. Friends? amazing
23. Your life? perfect
24. Your mood? pleased
25. Missing someone? fam
26. Vehicle? sebring
27. Something you're not wearing? hat
28. Your favorite store? j.crew
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? movie
32. Your best friend? laura
33. One place that I could go over and over? sleep
34. One person who emails you regularly? ae's
35. Favorite place to eat? tbell

number 41

my good friend, meredith, tagged me in one of these fun questionnaire posts. i've seen lots of them, but i've never completed one myself. here it goes:

so, here are the rules:
fill out the questions below, using only one word. then pass this award along to six of your favorite bloggers, and tell 'em you did so! have fun. :)

1. Where is your cell phone? purse?
2. Your hair? dirty
3. Your mother? friend
4. Your father? busy!
5. Your favorite food? pizza
6. Your dream last night? disturbing
7. Your favorite drink? dc
8. Your dream/goal? ROCKSTARRR (hah)
9. What room are you in? den
10. Your hobby? crafting
11. Your fear? snakes
12. Where do you want to be in six years? happy
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren't? boy
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? bangerang
17. Where did you grow up? delta
18. Last thing you did? blinked
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? xbox
21. Your pets? jack
22. Friends? best
23. Your life? fun
24. Your mood? mellow
25. Missing someone? mom
26. Vehicle? volvo (wishlist?)
27. Something you're not wearing? socks
28. Your favorite store? forever
29. Your favorite color? changes
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? september
32. Your best friend? emb
33. One place that I could go over and over? destin
34. One person who emails you regularly? nana
35. Favorite place to eat? tbell

haha! thank goodness for well-known abbreviations!!
& my victims are...

emily (didnt know you had a blog, sneaky!)

i only have 5, the rest of the people on my blogroll, i stalk.

that was fun! y'know what's even MORE fun!? couple's GAME NIGHT! yes! i decided that andrew and i were a little too young to become recluses so early in life. for the 2nd thursday in a row, we're having friends over to enjoy a little friendly competition. or, in andrew's case, not so friendly! i made brownies (out of a box). i hear the kitchen timer buzzing now! later lovers!


number 40

since i've been a horrrrible blogger lately, this will be my super post to make up for it! deal?

last week at work, we had the opportunity to make some really great programs for an upcoming fashion show at a local downtown boutique. the show's profits were to benefit the danville cancer association in honor of breast cancer awareness. thursday, the day of the show, i get a call from my boss explaining to me that one of the models fell ill, and they needed a replacement. i look about her size, you say? to my suprise, all of her scheduled outfits fit me as well, and as a result, i was first down the runway. mind you, i have never been in a fashion show (other than the ones that i put on with my girlfriends), and i vowed never to have my looks on display since i failed miserably in a high school beauty pageant. however, it's for a great cause, why not? a few pictures from my adventure:

why, yes, i am wearing a fox fur poncho. note: i did NOT fall down and make a fool out of myself, and i did make a new friend, lindsay, along the way! it pays to help out!

october is a month that is close to my heart. october is breast cancer awareness month! i joined zeta tau alpha my freshman year in college, and this was one of the prime reasons why: zeta's philanthropy is breast cancer awareness! my girls are still working hard to raise money for the cause, and i couldn't be prouder!

to mark my 1 month anniversary of being a wife, i attempted a seemingly impossible dinner tonight: fried chicken. and guess what? i CAN fry chicken! and so can you:

laura's ranch fried chicken


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (halved)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 package of ranch dip mix (powder)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup plain yogurt
canola oil (a lot)
paper bag
salt and pepper


in a large pot, heat about 2 inches of canola oil on med-hi heat. you'll know it's ready when you stick a wooden spoon handle to the bottom of the pot and the oil bubbles up around the stick. cut the heat down a little towards medium because i found that this may be a little to hot for the chicken.

combine the yogurt and buttermilk in 1 bowl, and combine the flour and ranch mix in the paper bag. after seasoning your chicken breasts with salt and pepper, toss them around in the buttermilk bowl then throw them in the paper bag. i reccommend doing 2 at a time to prevent overcrowding! roll up the top of your paper bag and shake the chicken around until it is completely covered in the flour. slowly ease the chicken into it's grease bath, and let it cook in the oil for about 8-10 minutes. i took it out and cut it down the middle around 8 to make sure it was cooked all the way through. it looks ready before it really is.

don't cook it too long or the crust won't taste good! look! my first pretty food:

the chickie in the back was in the first batch. he was cooked too long. andrew said it still tasted great, but eh. not so much. my side dishes were mac and cheese and butter beans and corn (southernly known as succotash). i feel like a younger, hotter version of paula deen - with less butter.

i've been badgering andrew for the past week about ideas for halloween costumes. we've grown to love the show true blood, and i suggested a bill/sookie combo. due to the stigma associated with sparkly vampires, my manly husband put the X on that real fast! any suggestions? andrew is supportive of anything that is highly controversial.


number 39

friends! check this out! my good friend, meredith, liked my new blog design so much that she asked me to help make her one! check it out and tell her how much you love it!


number 38

brrr! in lieu of this lovely weather we've been having, i have been in the perfect mood for belly-warming food! saturday, mother nature kicked it off with a gusty overcast day. we had some fresh veggies in the fridge that needed to be used, so after a little searching, i found a great recipe for mexican zucchini cheese soup. sound strange? it is! it's like runny cheese dip with veggies. but who doesn't love cheese dip? haha. andrew and i both ended up liking it a whole lot, it had a little bit of spice, but with the weather the way it's been, that spice is appreciated.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Rotel tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/4 inch slices
2 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
12 ounces processed cheese food, cubed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and saute the onion and garlic until tender. Season with oregano. Mix in the chicken broth and Rotel. Bring to a boil. Mix in the zucchini, yellow squash, and corn. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.Mix the cubed processed cheese into the soup. Continue to cook and stir until cheese is melted. Season with pepper.

i did make a few adjustments to the original recipe, only because i love Rotel and know it makes everything better! i thought the cilantro might be overpowering with all the other flavors as well. the soup really hit the spot. i love those people who take the pictures of their pretty food. i tried. i failed. my soup wasn't as pretty as i had hoped. will we have it again? maybe? i froze the rest so we'll be having it again sometime! it's so different - not something that my mother would have made.

yesterday was even COLDER! did someone say chili? yes! please! i whipped up some of my mom's chili when i got home from work. VERY SIMPLE!

1 package chili seasoning (any will do, but my mom uses this: from food lion, kroger, etc.)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can Rotel
1 can chili beans

brown the ground beef with the onion, drain the fat. to a large pot, add chili seasoning, tomato sauce, and rotel. once the beef is brown, add this to the chili mixture. let simmer for 15 minutes, add the chili beans, then let simmer for another 5 minutes.

ENJOY! with shredded cheddar cheese and saltines! YUM! easy chili = good chili! andrew accuses me of never eating leftovers. this chili alone will help me prove him wrong!

what's your favorite "warm-me-up" food?


number 37

if blogger had status messages mine would say this: sitting on the couch with a glass of wine watching my husband do billy blanks tae bo.

how supportive am i!? he's currently on minute 10 - 17 is the record to beat, and 30 is always the goal. i know our first floor neighbor is liking us A LOT right now with all of these jumping jacks! i've decided to do something productive with my down time - share minimoon pics with my blogger friends!!

andrew and i spent the sunday-wednesday after our wedding in asheville, north carolina. it's only about 3.5 hours from danville - a nice relaxing little road trip. we left a little later than planned on sunday, due to the fact that there were still so many fun people in town!
we arrived at our cabin and it was exactly as we expected - i would post pictures of the cabin, but the pics from the website definitely did it justice! we even took advantage of our hot tub on the very first night!

i think monday was my favorite: we spent most of the day meandering around downtown asheville, trying to get acclimated and seeing the sights. we had lunch at a charming sidewalk cafe, bistro 1896. delicious - i had my old standby, the chicken salad sandwich, and the suprisingly tasty thai chili carrot soup. andrew had the turkey, berry, and brie sandwich which was amaziiing - i had a little sample.

*andrew is on minute 22!!! woohoo*

monday night we chose a restaurant that had great reviews in all of the asheville events magazines, the lobster trap. i highly recommend this venue if you're a seafood lover as we are. we started off with some lobster toast - yes, it IS as good as it sounds. and a sampler of their raw oysters. now, up until this point, i had assumed that an oyster was an oyster, slimey and bland until you add a little cocktail sauce and a cracker. i was mistaken.

we sampled oysters from le soleil, nh, nj, and ma. i have no idea where le soleil is, but they were by far my favorite. small little guys, but PACKED with flavor. we sampled some of their house brewed beer and hit the road to visit as many asheville places as we could! along the way, we stopped at the flying frog bar and jack of the wood - a local favorite. andrew learned this little tidbit: apparently asheville has the most breweries per capita in the world! i haven't found any validation for this online, but it was interesting to say the least.

we ended our night at the french broad chocolate lounge where we dined on hot chocolate and a box of truffles. i must have made the comment, "this would be a great first date" about 47 times that evening. definitely one to remember.

tuesday, we brunched at the sunny point cafe. i love asheville because it seems that they take real pride in their community. most of the restaurants and cafes use local ingredients in their dishes. no lie - it was likely the best breakfast i've had in a long time! sausage and cheese omlette and fresh breakfast potatoes. doesn't get much better than that!

we toured the biltmore all afternoon and made reservations at the grove park inn for dinner. just a little picture of our view from our table. whoa. yes way. we dined on the sunset terrace - a heated terrace with spectacular views of the city and the parkway. the food was so-so. however, we probably should've ordered steak. it's no green valley grill!

all in all, it was a fabulous time. just what we planned!

andrew made it to 27 minutes! definitely an "A" for effort!
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