Friday, August 31, 2012

it's in the air...it's football time in tennessee

today signifies the beginning of another football season for my beloved volunteers...i am so giddy i can hardly stand it. it's like it's the first day of school all over again---ekkk! i am hoping for good things from our boys this fall and i cannot wait to be in knoxville cheering on the orange and white VERY soon. until then, you'll find me doing the following:
singing a little bit of my favorite song "rocky top"
baking away some of my favorite tailgate dips and treats
 sporting orange & white every friday & saturday in anticipation of game day
indulging in a little afternoon cocktail...jack and coke=perfect gameday drink
and carting around peanut who will be decked out in her finest UT attire, as well
our first game is tonight against north carolina state...even better, we're going to be taking it easy at home and tuning into espn from the comforts of our big screen...LET'S GO BIG ORANGE!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

baking away over here...peach cobbler and banana bread

i'm turning into betty crocker right before your very eyes! i've been whipping up some yummy baked goodness in the kitchen lately and i can tell a difference in jeff getting excited to come home to something tasty and sweet. here are two of my latest hits that are sure to please during these next few months.
first up, easy peach cobbler
ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided 
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
directions
a. Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
b. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
c. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
d. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.
and now, onto a classic cream cheese banana nut bread
ingredients *Makes 2 loaves or 16 mini loaves*
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
directions
a. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
b. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanillla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4 inch loafpans.
c. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary. Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

are these not easy? simple, delish, and perfect for sharing with loved ones and friends...enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

well hello friends...

it's time to revisit the old blog...not going to lie, i have missed you all LOTS! however, i feel way more energized, a bit refreshed, and am happy to write again now that i've got a tad bit more time and don't feel like i "have" to.
what have we been up to these past few weeks you ask? oh all sorts of fun!
i had a few rough days and had to deal with the dermatologist... two spots were removed for "moderate to severe abnormalities" and had to go back to have additional tissue removed-OUCH! luckily, i've been given a clean bill of health now that all my pathology tests came back and all is well. i do have to say a big thank you to my mom, grandparents, and jeff though-without them, i don't know what i would've done seeing as i was out of commission after each procedure due to my stitches. they always know how to jump in and save the day and i was so grateful they were there to give me time to recuperate and take care of my girl.
ok, now on to the fun happenings...we've been doing all sorts of things and i have been documenting most everything through instagram-this is when i am so thankful for technology!
we spent lots of time being lazy
and we spent time lots of time reading
 
i got back to cooking in the kitchen (peach cobbler)
and caroline tried new food, too! (please ignore my ridiculous "mommy voice")
we took a little visit to the nashville zoo
 
 
and celebrated a friends' gorgeous wedding
 
made some goodies to drop off to family (cream cheese banana bread)
we had loads of outside fun time...picnics, afternoons in the yard,
and walks on the local greenway

and shared in the joy of baptising our gorgeous girl
other than that, things have been spectacular...throwing another party for our wonderful friends lauren and andy, finishing another calligraphy order for my friend lindsay, and even finding time to get a little fall shopping done in preparation for lower temperatures, too! full recap of some of our festive events to come soon i promise.
thanks for all your well wishes on my blogging break. i'm back, though i'll be posting a bit less in order to combat some of that stress that seemed to be consuming my life. i'm really excited to catch up on what you ladies have been up to lately...have a great week friends!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

crock pot recipe..pot roast

i found this on pinterest and this recipe was quickly added to the recipe box...a BIG hit in our house and of course, even better that it was prepared in the crock pot. hard work i tell ya ;)
ingredients
2 lb pot roast cut of beef
16 oz beef broth (i use the reduced sodium version)
1 packet of dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup (i use reduced fat/sodium)
chopped carrots (i used the mini ones instead)
chopped celery
chopped cremini mushrooms
diced sweet onion
pepper
small diced potatoes (optional: i am the only person in the USA who doesn't like potatoes so we don't use these, but i know most people do...sorry jeff)

directions
1. place dry onion soup mix packet, cream of mushroom soup, beef broth, and pot roast in crock pot and cover; cook on low for 6 hours or 3 hours on high
2. turn pot roast over; place veggies in crock pot and add pepper to taste; cook for 2 hours on low or 1 hour on high
3. use slotted serving spoon to add as much as you like to your dinner plate; we also served ours with baked crescent rolls and it was the perfect (oh so easy) dinner

Friday, August 17, 2012

hello caroline...5 months old!

hey there yall! just thought i would drop in and say a quick hello...i cannot lie, taking a bit of time off has beeen incredible...for me, for my family, and for what's most important in life. we have been able to relax and spend our afternoons lounging around the house, taking little drives in and around nashville, and spending time with just the three of us, savoring these last few weeks of summer. i know i made the right decision to back away for awhile. alas, i wanted to update you on little bit and just how much she is growing...
dearest sweet caroline,
this month, things have gone crazy at our house...with you trying food, to say you've become messy would be a mild understatement. my little darling, you are a pig when it comes to eating. it's all over your face, hands, and snug seat tray, yet i can't help but laugh at how much you love new foods.
we started with rice cereal which you weren't crazy about, then moved on to oatmeal...hold your horses because you went NUTS and haven't stopped since. you beg like a dog for more once you clean your bowl and then i have to reassure you a small bottle is coming your way before you freak out and think i'm not going to feed you. i love that you are trying so many different foods...so far, we have tried green beans, carrots, and squash. {and yes, everyone has their opinions on baby food, but we are using the tried and true gerber brand for now. it worked for millions of other children...i bought some ella's brand too so we'll try that soon}
as far as activity, you are a girl on the move peanut. your exersaucer has become your our new best friend and can keep you entertained for quite awhile. you jump up and down like a monkey, making noises and giggling and you put on quite a show (even the ladies at our church's nursery said they were impressed with how much you love to bounce)...i think i am in for one hyper child, but that's ok because both mommy and daddy have loads of energy and we would expect nothing less from you caroline. let's face it, a relaxed, easygoing kid most likely isn't in the cards for us ;).
you still like to sit and watch tv (especially baby einstein, barney, yo gabba gabba, and mickey mouse) in your bouncy seat, but you're getting so long that i doubt you'll be able to "fit" comfortably much longer...sometimes you wiggle your way out and i have to keep an eye on you at all times. the activity mat is a total hit or miss...one day you love it and can't get enough, whereas the next day you want nothing to do with it and roll over quickly to get your head up and peak to see what is going on around you.
with regards to your routine, you take about 3 naps throughout the day, napping for about an hour each time, although lately you've been fighting me on the afternoon nap, insisting you aren't tired and screaming until i come pick you up and tote you around with me. on the other hand, you sleep between 9-10 hours every night. we have stopped swaddling you and now we opt for the aden + anais swaddling sacks which you seem to love...it's like a pillowcase with arm holes!
(oops...drool!)
 
you have developed quite a funny personality my sweet daughter. you laugh, want all toys and books in your mouth, and you arch your eyebrow when you're investigating (pappy says this is an expression you totally got from me). this past month has also marked you reaching your arms out when you want someone/something...at times, all you want is momma and you will reach out and look at me with those pouty eyes and my heart just melts. on certain occasions, we'll sit at home and i'll just laugh all day at some of your actions...you're entertaining caroline cate.
we don't go to the doctor this month, but my guess is that you weigh around 16 pounds, which helps give me a great arm workout each and everyday since you LOVE to be held. you are still in size 2 diapers and are in 3-6 month clothes...yes, i had another meltdown as we finished putting away all the smaller size frocks. i want this time to slow down because i know deep down inside you'll never be this tiny again and it breaks my heart. i want this to last forever! i am trying to document all your milestones as frequently as possible, and we have taken some wonderful videos and captured tons of sweet, sweet pictures so we can eventually show you just how precious you were at such a young age.
here are some other notes worth mentioning:
**first trip to the zoo on august 11th, first time to try baby food on july 23rd, first time in the church nursery on july 15th
**favorite toys: sophie the giraffe, mia the monkey (plays music), anything you can chew on (wubbanub pacifier, teething rings from the fridge, and your taggie blankets)
**favorite foods: oatmeal, green beans, and squash
**nicknames: peanut, sweet cc, baby c, monkey, tuttie, pumpkin

you are our world sweet cc...you are everything that is wonderful in life and i cherish each and everyday because i get to spend it with you. thank you for the smiles, the hugs, the laughter, and happiness! mommy and daddy love you oh so very much and thank the good lord above for such a wonderful daughter.
we love you the most, forever and always!

Friday, August 3, 2012

it's time for a little break

if i actually say it, it must be true....for so long, i have had something on my mind, yet i haven't been able to communicate my feelings or make the change, but sometimes there comes a point where you just have to go with it and see what happens.
i have to be honest friends, i need a break. i need a break from a lot of the things i have had constantly piling up on my plate. to put it nicely, i'm tired. my priorities get shifted and i get lost and overwhelmed and emotional because it seems like i can never accomplish what i so desperately want/need to get done.
i love blogging...it's my "thing". it's my escape from reality, it's one of my favorite hobbies, and it's something i am passionate about. i love journaling my life-all of it...the good, the bad, and the not so pretty. but i need to take a little time away. i need to spend my afternoons cuddling with caroline and my nights lounging on the couch having a cocktail with jeff and with the pace i've been going for the past few months (if not longer), my body is telling me to take a chill pill and step away for a bit.
i promise it's not forever and i'll be back soon in the coming weeks, updating on just how much peanut is growing and sharing all sorts of fun things we have had going on, but for the next week or two, i am putting away the social media and making time for me and my family. i hope you understand ;)
see you soon friends!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

all the rage...statement necklaces

big and bold is back in the best way possible this summer, am i right? it seems like eveverywhere i go, i see some huge bauble around someone's neck and i cannot help but stare. i love how these pretties dress up any outfit and complete a look in a snap...here are some new favorites i found online (and no, it's not the bubble necklace that everyone has either!!)
green peaks necklace via francescas
statement of the art necklace in blush via modcloth

on the boulevard necklace via deja vu
brazilian getaway necklace via francescas
i adorn you in royal blue via vestique
yours always necklace via deja vu
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