Friday, February 24, 2012

Reading Wishes

Hello all!  It seems that with all my current "hobbies" and with my crazy work schedule, I never have time for a good book...however, a good book is something I truly LOVE.  Like, seriously, love!  I love it so much that very rarely do books measure up to my "love" standards.  Here are a few books that are on my reading list right now, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help me out with additional suggestions (nothing scary or depressing though...I'm really weird about depressing books):

1.  The 5 Love Languages:  The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
I happened to think about this book the other night.  See, I started reading it back when my beau and I hadn't been dating all that long, and put it down because I didn't feel like we were far enough along in our relationship at the time for it to be applicable.  However, since we're saying "I do" later this year, now may be a great time for us both to take a look at it...

2.  Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

I read another book by Andrews last year called Fixer Upper and it was super cute and fun...this may be the perfect book to read when I just want to veg out on the weekend during tax season!

3.  The Obamas by Jodi Kantor
I am currently reading this book right now, and I want to love it...I really do.  I am just as infatuated with the Obamas as a lot of people are with the Kennedys (myself included).  However, I think maybe I need to pick it up again this summer...I think I'm just too brain dead in the evenings right now and that maybe it's just too serious of a book for me to get into this time of year.

As I said above, I would love some good reading suggestions!  PLEASE!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Save the Dates and Wedding Website

It's that time again...yep, time for a wedding update!  Since it's tax season, and there is only a limited amount of time right now, this post is purely dedicated to our Save the Dates and Wedding Website.

Last week, we finally dropped our Save the Dates in the mail, so now that I'm PRETTY sure they have all been delivered, I'm ready to reveal them on the 'ole blog.  So, without further adieu:

As you can see, we decided on a postcard to let our guests know about our upcoming nuptials.  I'm really pleased with the way they turned out, and I'm super excited for people to start receiving them!

Also, thanks to our amazing photogs, Streetlight Republic, we were able to set up a really cool wedding website!  Go check out when you get a chance!

That's about it for now...I'm working on several other small items during these next couple of months, but I'm trying to keep it simple for now...I'll definitely pick everything back up come April 15, and I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Hello everyone!  I certainly hope you are loving life on this lovely Wednesday!  Despite my long work hours, I am still trying to focus on the wonderful things in my life.  Therefore, on this day, I am loving:

1.  My new running shoes!  Last year, I visited Fleet Feet and they fitted me for the Saucony Progrid Guide 4 running shoe.  Well, as much as I loved those shoes, it was definitely time for a new pair.  Instead of paying full price for the newest version, I found these puppies on Amazon.  They are the exact same shoe I ran in before, BUT they are in Go Vols, bright, bright orange!  And I LOVE it!  Take a look:
I definitely don't have to worry about drivers not seeing me!  =)
2.  My Mama!  I know I've said this before, but I am continually amazed at my mother!  Not only did she clean my condo this weekend, but she also picked up Zoey from doggy daycare, she met with someone about my hot water heater, she ran all over town helping me run my weekly errands, and she even bought my dinner...In fact, I had to trick her into letting me buy one of the three meals we ate together this weekend.  I'm seriously so lucky and I just hope that I'm half as great of a mom one day!  =)
3.  HGTV -- Seriously?  It's ridiculous how much HGTV I watch on a regular basis...especially on weekends when Patrick is out of town.  House Hunters, House Hunters International, For Rent, you name it, and I'll watch it!  I guess there are worse things to watch right?
4.  Hot Water -- So, last week, my hot water heater went out completely, and I had to spend the weekend trying to find someone who could fix it for a reasonable price...SO, I didn't get to take a shower at my house ALL WEEKEND LONG!  Thank goodness Patrick lives just 5 minutes from me and I could head to his house to shower everyday...otherwise I would have really been in trouble.  You don't realize how much of a luxury something like hot water is until you don't have it...I don't think I'll be taking it for granted for a LOOOONG time!
5.  And finally, I'm loving these 2:
So, what are you loving today?  Tell us all about it over at Jamie's blog!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

So, the other day at lunch, a lady I work with was eating the best looking soup I have ever seen.  She said it was Chicken Tortilla Soup, so I decided it was a necessity for me to find a recipe of my own and make it this weekend!  I found the perfect recipe at and changed up a few things, and THIS is the final product:

2 Whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used 3 because mine were kind of small)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
1/4 cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper (I LOVE red bell pepper, so I used 1/2 cup)
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can (10 oz.) Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies
32 ounces, Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 cups Hot Water
2 cans (15 oz.) Black Beans, Drained
3 Tablespoons Cornmeal
5 Whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 to 3 Inches

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
Step 2:  Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides.  Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Step 3:  Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done.  While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion and bell pepper.  When chicken is done, use 2 forks to shred and set aside.

Step 4:  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat.  Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic.
Step 5:  Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix.
Step 6:  Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Step 7:  Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Step 8:  Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water.  Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes.  Check seasonings, adding more if needed--add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt.
Step 9:  While the soup is simmering, cut the tortillas into strips (I used a pizza cutter to do this).
Step 10:  Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.  Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.
So, here are my thoughts on the recipe:

1.  I thought it was delicious, and will definitely make it again...with a few changes.
2.  I don't think the next time that I will cook it for quite so chicken was a little well done, and I think this would prevent that.
3.  I don't think it was thick enough, so next time I'll probably add the tortilla strips earlier in the cooking process.

Overall, it was really yummy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Update!

With my beau being out of town visiting his mama this weekend, MY mama decided to head to Nashville to visit ME!  She picked Ms. Zoey up from doggy daycare on Friday and she also CLEANED my condo!!!!!  Woohoo on that part!  By the time I got off work on Friday evening, I was pretty exhausted so we just ordered a pizza and relaxed around the house!

On Saturday morning, I got up early and headed into the office.  After work, my mom and I headed down to Cool Springs to run some errands.  We had my ring examined (I have to do that every 6 months to keep the warranty active), we did a little shopping for her (I'm not shopping right now because it seems as though I'm going to have to replace my hot water heater this week), and we picked out some really pretty yarn and knitting needles to make my very first knitting project!  I can't wait to share it with when I am finished!  After a delicious dinner at Las Palmas, we headed home to, once again, spend lots of time relaxing!

On Sunday morning, we headed to church, then to lunch at J. Alexander's.  Next up, was my weekly trip to the grocery store, and then it was time for my mom to head back to East Tennessee.  =(  We had such a great trip, though, and she helped me out a TON with Zoey this weekend!

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing, doing laundry and making yummy Chicken Tortilla Soup (don't worry, recipe coming soon)!

How was your weekend?  Hopefully, wonderful!!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Yes, I realize it's technically not even Wednesday in some sections of the US, but I still have an hour left of this day in Nashville, so I decided to take this opportunity to tell you what I'm loving today:

1.  I'm loving Valentine's Day!  Despite the fact that I had a minor hot water heater emergency yesterday, I still had a wonderful evening with my beau!  Not only did he make a DELICIOUS dinner, but he also bought me flowers, chocolates, an Amazon gift card, and a wireless keyboard for my was a good day indeed...

My beautiful flowers!

Our table set-up
The menu for the evening!
2.  Knitting Club!  A group of ladies that I work with have started a knitting club during lunch, and it is a wonderful break in the middle of the day!  I am so fortunate to work with some wonderful women, and we have a great relaxing time every other Wednesday!
3.  My Mama and the fact that she's coming to Nash-Vegas this weekend!  I am so excited to see her and hang out with her, and it's just icing on the cake that she's cleaning my condo while she's here. =)
4.  And finally, I'm always loving these 2:
Zoey's getting to be such a big girl!

I hope you have as much to love on this Wednesday as I do.  =)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To My Beau...


These last 3 and a half years have been the best of my life, and I am so excited to see what the next 50, 60, heck even 70 years hold for us.  So much has changed since last Valentine's Day.  We went on our first big trip out of the country together, we got a wonderful doggy, and best of all, you "put a ring on it."  =)  The next few months contain so much excitement and I'm so proud and happy to be experiencing it all with you!  Happy Valentines Day!

Love you,
Oh, and I can't forget about Sweet Zoey!  Here's hoping she has a wonderful Valentine's as well!  =)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Update!

This past weekend was so nice...It's amazing to me that the older I get, the more I enjoy relaxing weekends with my favorite people.

Friday night, I did Zumba at work and then spent the rest of the evening getting my weekend chores out of the way!

Saturday, I was up bright and early and got into the office very 7:00 early!  I have decided this is the way to go on Saturdays.  I can't manage to get up that early every day of the week, but once is nice because not only do I get so much work done, but I also get to leave fairly early!

After heading out of the office and meeting with a wedding invitation vendor, and then it was time to head to the Nashville Junior Chamber Bayou Bash event!  It was at the Hardrock Cafe, and was so much fun!  Here are a few pics:

Me posing with Alysia
Me with my Beau!

With our Masks!
 On Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast with Andi and Rob who were in town for one last trip before Baby Kennedy makes her appearance in this world!  It was great catching up with them and having some food from the Pfunky Griddle!

After breakfast, we spent the rest of the day relaxing and catching up on our nap time.  Oh, and we also got our Save the Dates ready to drop in the mail...and I managed to run 3 miles, too.  All-in-all, a productive weekend...

What were you up to this weekend?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Update and Photo Catch Up!

Do you ever have those weekends that you don't think will be very nice because the weather is supposed to terrible and you have it too jam packed with stuff to do?  Well, this is what I THOUGHT this weekend would look like...however, it ended up being very nice!

Friday night, I drove down to Cool Springs after work and met Laurie, our photographer, for a girls' night dinner at Swanky's.  Have you eaten here?  It is amazing!  At least I think so...and I'm pretty picky about my Mexican food, so that's saying a lot!  You should definitely check it out sometime soon!  It was so fun to hang out with Laurie!  She's so fun and sweet!  Hopefully, we get to see each other soon!

On Saturday, I was up early and headed into work.  After putting in a half day, I headed to the Dog Park to get the Zoey Birthday Celebration started.  We spent quite a bit of time at the dog park and Zoey had a wonderful time...we could tell by how muddy she was when we got home...needless to say, she got a bath on Saturday night!  =)

After we wore Zoey out, we decided to head over to Elmington Park to the Wunderland Food Truck event.  By the time we got there, things had slowed down a lot, but we still were able to grab a quick late afternoon snack.  Next up, we headed home to continue Zoey's Birthday.  Not only did her Mommy get her Birthday gifts, she also got a party hat and a birthday cake (aka a McDonald's Ice Cream) with a #1 candle in the middle.  Here are a couple of pics:
Happy Birthday Zoey!

Best Birthday Cake a Dog could ask for!

I think she likes it!

One last photo opp!
We also got a really cute video of Zoey as I opened her gifts for her, but the internet is being kind of slow tonight, so maybe I can upload it tomorrow for all to see!

That evening we decided to go out for a casual dinner.  Patrick had read about Siam Cafe, a Thai restaurant near our houses.  We thought we'd give it a try and we were not disappointed!  The food was delicious...and the service was great, too!  After a yummy dinner, we headed back home and watched I Don't Know How She Does It with one of my favorites, Sarah Jessica Parker.  It was really cute, although I'm not sure how much Patrick liked it.  He was a good sport though.  =)

After sleeping in on Sunday, I headed to the Bridal show with Alysia.  It was fun to hang out with her for the afternoon, and I was able to get some information at the show, but IT WAS SOOOOOO crowded!  We still had a great time!

Last night, we headed over the Adam and Alacia's to watch the game, and what a great game it was!  I love the Mannings, so I was so glad to see Eli's team win!

Well, that was it for my weekend...what about you?  Did you have a good one?

Oh, and before I leave, let me take a minute to catch up on my Photo a Day Challenge pics:
Day 3:  Hands -- My hand with my favorite piece of jewelry! 
Day 4:  A Stranger -- At the Dog Park

Day 5:  10 am -- Relaxing in bed with coffee and my iPad!
Day 6:  Dinner -- Nothing beats a Smart Ones (I hope you sense my sarcasm)!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Bowl Party Treats...and Day 2

Since the Super Bowl {i.e. the last day of football until August...tear} is this weekend, I thought I'd do a little post of some of the snacks that I would love to see at any football party I attend this year...
Skinny Taco Dip from

Baked Southwest Egg Rolls from Annie Eats

Taco Cupcakes from Plain Chicken
Smore Croissants from Nothern Cottage
Football Cheese Ball from AllRecipes
Black Pepper & Artichoke Pizza from Kraft Foods
Mac 'n Cheese Jalapeno Poppers from Kraft Foods
So excited for Sunday night to see what kind of good eats we all get to taste!  What are you making for your big party?

Also, it's Day 2 of the Photo a Day Challenge and today's topic is, I share you with my favorite quote: