Wednesday, August 24, 2011

wednesday whistle.

Because she  is cool and quirky
& gives Beyonce a run for her money.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


 one venti ice coffee with soy, a beautiful sunset behind me
& six hundred and twenty miles of open road.
destination: florida.

Dear [Future] Birthday Girl

Remember that year you were 21? A lot of great things happened that year. You lived with two girls who became your best friends. You did a lot of baking, eating of baked goods, crafts and studying. In the fall, pancake Saturday's became tradition at our house. When our bellies were full of fluff, we would head to the football tailgates. It was always a thrill to enter Doak Campbell Stadium and cheer along with the 80,000+ fans rocking it out. That year, the Noles had their best season in the four years you were at Florida State. You did a lot of growing up that year and learned to appreciate the little things in life. You looked forward to Tuesday and Thursday afternoon re-runs of Sex and the City with Carolyn as you ate lunch, roommate outings to Costco and dinners at Red Elephant.

In the spring, the reality of graduating became really exciting but kind of frightening. You experienced a lot of Tallahassee that semester and are still regretting not getting that hot dog at the Springtime festival. Hard work paid off. You got all A’s and as a result danced up the isle at graduation. A week later, you got to proudly watch your brother graduate from college too. Above all else, your trust in the Lord’s plan was strengthened as you began to see him work all things together and provide you a job in Alabama.

Moving was hard. Really, really hard but you were embraced by a great community in Alabama and began some awesome friendships. You became so aware of God’s goodness. Especially on your birthday. You had wonderful friends and family make you feel loved from nearby and miles away. Your sweet mother sent you five cards. For real, five cards! You got to share your birthday celebration with you awesome new friend, Winnie, who is just one day older than you, go to a Navy jazz band concert in the park, and delight in a banana cream cheese cake with friends and [new] family.

You felt so blessed.

21 was an awesome year. Definitely one for the books.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Living Colorfully

"The art of being happy lies in the power
of extracting happiness from common things."
-Henry Ward Beecher

- taken with Instagram - 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

wednesday whistle.

I have seen the Dave Matthews Band perform in Tampa that past two summers.
Both concerts were excellent and the company was even better.
It was sad when it was announced they wouldn't be touring this summer.
We are hoping for tradition so Mr. Dave, please tour again. Thanks.

Our first summer at Dave:
 Tailgating in the trunk of a Hyundai Sonata named Sylvia.
We are dedicated fans.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fruit Pizza

[yields 2 pizzas]


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


16oz cream cheese
[room temperature]
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons milk
Assorted fresh fruit:
       strawberries, bananas,
       blueberries, kiwis, peaches
Chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400°. Cream butter and shortening together, add sugar. Beat in eggs. Stir in dry ingredients. Grease two pizza pans or tart pans [12″], spread dough on pans and bake at 400° for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. Cream together all ingredients for filling and spread on cooled crusts. Top with fresh cut up fruit and pecans.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Match Made in Heaven

This I know to be true; these three  four pairs are meant to be together.
  1. Chocolate & Milk
  2. Peanut Butter & Jelly
  3. White Chocolate & Macadamia Nuts
  4. Me & Ryan Gosling
A couple of weeks ago I had a white chocolate mini kit-kat and it was surprisingly tasty. You could say my hankering to bake with white chocolate began there. Usually when making cookies, I stick with chocolate chip because you can never go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie. Sometimes though, life calls you out of your comfy baking corner and when that happens, you just go with it. This simple recipe for white chocolate macadamia nut cookies is divine. Alert your taste buds, this is going to be a sweet treat.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
 adapted from Betty Crocker
 makes 2 dozen small cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8  teaspoon salt
1/2 coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan melt the butter, stirring the butter until browned bits appear in the bottom of the pan. This may take about 5 minutes.  Once the butter is browned, remove pan from heat and set aside to cool a bit while you measure out the dry ingredients and set them aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the brown sugar and slightly cooled butter.  Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Add egg and beat for one minute more.  Add milk and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. 

Add the dry ingredients all at once.  With either the stand mixer on low, or by hand with a spatula, incorporate the dry ingredients until just mixed in.  Fold in the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips.
Scoop two teaspoon sized balls onto a lined baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are browning.  Remove from oven and let rest of the baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

And there ya have it. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

wednesday whistle.

Why hello there,
It is that time of the week. The time of the week where you are growing tired the same cycle of songs on the radio or your playlist is getting a little redundant and you are looking for a new, catchy tune to feast your ears upon. Well, ask and you shall receive my friends.

Switching gears...but not really...

Starbucks is great for so many things. It is generally a pretty cozy place to read a book, enjoy  a delicious coffee beverage, buy a cool coffee mug, and sometimes score free music. A couple of weeks ago I picked up a card with a code to download 10 songs for summer. I'm a pretty frugal gal so naturally my free-dar was on high that day. This freebie was definitely worth it and was my source for this week's Wednesdays whistle.

 Eyes by Peter Bjorn and John.

I hope you enjoy this fun little song. Maybe with the windows down.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

coffee on the rocks.

Dear Fall season,
If you decide to jump the gun and come early this year, I won't be mad.
Sincerely, I'm melting.

It has been unbearably hot here in Alabama.
I think I'm getting a battery operated fan necklace to wear from now on. At all times.
So what to do when you really want a cup of coffee but it is 115 degrees outside?
Throw a little ice in your glass, pour yourself some extra strong coffee,
add a splash of cream, a pinch of sugar, and a fun straw.

Here is to enjoying this refreshing caffeine fix and not letting the sticky
 Summer heat get the best of our days.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Double Mail Monday

When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do was get the mail. It was the concept of  being able to mail tangible things from place to place in a matter of days that has always fascinated me. Our mail lady would come somewhere between 11:30 and 12:00. She was usually very punctual and I liked that about her. 

Technology though has really made 'getting mail' a little less fun and a little more like "there is no way it is time to pay the utility bill again". Don't get me wrong, e-mail was a fantastic invention. It is pretty much instantaneous and makes communicating with someone quick and efficient. If however, quick and efficient is less your goal and anticipated and thoughtful is more of your objective, I would suggest writing someone a letter. A hand written letter that turns half cursive when your hand gets tired kind of thing. All parts of the process are fun: sitting down to write a note, addressing the envelope, getting out a stamp for the right corner, walking it out to the mailbox and finally flipping the little flag up.

Receiving a letter in the mail is wonderful. It would be far less meaningful to simply print out an email you got from a friend. To get a letter in the mail is (at least for me) kind of like a little piece of Christmas. Someone thought about you, took the time to tell you what was on their mind and then addressed it to make sure it was going to you. No one else. This is special.

I love the mail. Maybe when I'm retired I will work at the US postal service. That would be nice. Given the previous paragraphs, it should come as no surprise that sending and receiving mail are among my most favorite things. One of my roommates in college had this theory that Monday's were the best days for mail because the mail didn't run on Sunday therefore we were getting two days worth of mail. I'm still not sure if I completely understand or agree but none-the-less, today was what we will call a 'double mail Monday'. I got a sweet package from my mamma. She knows how I feel about the mail and has figured out how to stuff small bits of home and family into a sealed envelope in a special way that an email, picture or a phone call is not able to.

Ok, so here is what I want for you. I want you to love the mail as much as I do. Start with writing someone a letter, a note or just a little word of encouragement. You won't regret it. Promise.