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Friday, June 29, 2012


Excited for the weekend. There's so much I have planned, since C's busy most of the time. And Magic Mike is definitely on that list. Because I'm a girl, and I love abs & male strippers like the rest of you ;)

Disappointed in Russell Brand's new FX show. I really fell in love with the man when I read his autobiography, and was hoping he'd make a decent name for himself (you know, besides "loser who dumped Katy Perry / sex addict") ... but last night's 30 minute episode was awful.

Counting down the days to the OLYMPICS!!! (We're a month out now. Woo hoo!)

Thinking of things that aren't awful: I started watching Downton Abbey, just to see if it'd be something I wanted to watch once I finished Gossip Girl, and I think it made my list! Happy I found my next Netflix show.

Reading a new meal plan that my friend Ben sent me last night. He's a certified personal trainer and I've been asking him to help me out. Hopefully it'll be a great, big success, which then of course means a blog post. So be on the lookout for that.

Remembering my time in Austin last weekend & wishing I was back there again to do all these awesome things.

Dreaming of meeting "celebrity" bloggers. And by "dreaming" I literally mean in my dreams, I have met a few "celebrity" bloggers. So. Not embarrassing at all.

Working on a few new projects that could have a good affect on my life. This summer has turned into an exciting one!!

Wishing you a lovely weekend ♥ Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

You want to hear a not-so-secret secret?

These two just make me happy. They are pure joy (and a little bit of tears) every time I see them. And this Monday - for odd reasons that may come at a later time - the moons aligned and I got to hang out with these guys for a few hours.

You see Pepper Jo, smiling? That's only the second smile I've gotten from her, in her 3 months of existence. But, this is the first one I caught on camera. And I am in love. And Danzig, up there on the left, ate the entire meal insistent that salt would cure the "spicy" of the sausage. Oh joy.

It's really good for me to be an Aunt right now, because it's preparing me for motherhood. Not in the "I know how to change a diaper!" kind of way, but more in the "I'm experiencing love I can't explain" kind of way.

You want to hear a not-so-secret secret? I don't like babies.

Which baffles half of you, and relieves the other half. But it's true. I'm not the girl who coos and giggles the second a little one is brought in the room. I babysat in my teens, but was never really good at it. In fact, even when holding these two above, I'm not very good at it.

But the second I'm around these two something *clicks* and my heart does something that can't properly be explained. And I know that it's preparation for when I have my own. Feeling my heart melt over these two softens me to the idea of being a mom. And I need that lesson right now, because the time's coming quicker than I ever thought possible.

As C & I come up on our 3 year anniversary in a few weeks, I can finally say I'm starting to look into the not so distant future, and what was once complete static now has a little form in it. And I can say, with 100% certainty, I owe that to Danzig & Pepper. ♥

also can we just agree how adorable their names are? 
I have to give my sister props for that!

Have a Lovely Day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beat the Heat: 5 Ways to Enjoy Austin in the Summer

Texas is hot. I think that's well established. This morning it hit 85 before I even got to work. The heat can be unbearable at times. So that's why I've created my weekly Beat the Heat series. Because the heat isn't just in Texas. And everyone wants to have fun no matter what Mother Nature throws their way.

Today, I'm bringing you tips on how to beat the heat and a little tourist guide to one of my favorite cities...

This is what I've been loving this week....

1) Avoid the day, embrace the night.
Patio bars & cafes are probably my favorite place to be. There's just something magical about being under the stars while chatting with friends. After we move, our backyard is one of the first things C & I are going to try to set up (since we've been living without a backyard for 3 years!)

Clive is a patio bar that my friend Lauren worked out during SXSW as a stage manager. She couldn't wait to show us the place - and for good reason. It's in an old house with a gigantic back porch with lots of seating and open air. Plus it's off the main party street, so you don't have Top-40 Dance Music screaming at you.

2) Grab a spicy drink.
Jalapeno-infused drinks were everywhere we went this weekend. I had a few, just to see if I would like them or not. And while I'm not sure they're my favorite thing in the world, the extra spice really does work perfectly with a warm, summer night.

Above left is a Jalapeno Prickly Pear margarita from Opal Divines. They had great Sweet Potato Fries, an awesome patio, and one of the best waiters I've had in a long time. Above right is the special drink from Clive - a Pineapple Jalapeno Mezcal, which is served out of a special hut in the "backyard". Definitely a must-try if you come to town.

3) Eat Tacos, at the appropriate times & places.
Tacos are a must-have in Texas. As my Taco Adventure Day should show you. But the problem is, you have to do it right. A Taco Truck in 100 degree heat is unbearable. But if it's the perfect night, why would you stay inside while munching on that Picadillo? Here's my rule: inside in the AM, outside in the PM. Easy. And fool-proof.

We tried out Juan in a Million for breakfast - which just so happens to be the site of yet another Man vs. Food challenge. Their specialty is the Don Juan Taco ($4 for a GIANT heaping of eggs, potatoes, bacon & cheese for which there's even a Taco Hall of Fame wall for those who eat the most).

And Taco trucks at night are everywhere. We stumbled across The Art of Tacos while walking back to our hotel, but I've never found a bad Taco Truck in Austin. (We did pass up the G'Raj Mahal food truck, which I've been regretting ever since.)

4) Find a Dive to dine in.
Dives are usually dark. This one we found had wine and gourmet comfort food. Sitting in the dark, back corner, sipping on wine and eating an Arugula Peach salad was such a wonderful break from the heat.

I fell in love with Max's Wine Dive the second we walked in. It was industrial and hip, and the menu was absolutely to die for. We tried the Pan Borracho ("drunk bread") and the Grilled Peach Panzanella salad, and I was this close to getting the Bourbon Peach Bread Pudding before I realized I could barely eat anything else. This may be my new favorite place in town.

5) Find Water. (my personal favorite)
Austin - and really the Texas hill country in general - is blessed with a bunch of lakes & rivers (albeit, man made. but still counts!). I grew up floating and boating on various bodies of water throughout Texas, and will always feel most at home staring out of one of these watery landscapes.

We always find ourselves heading over to Hula Hut when the weekend is over, to sip on Mimosas and just relax before driving back home. And recently, we've discovered Ladybird Lake Walking Trail, which has proved to be a great way for C & I start our Austin evenings out (with a slow, meandering walk in the woods).

♥ ♥ ♥
To see what others are loving & Pinning, visit
The Vintage Apple and This Kind of Love
Have a lovely day & stay cool!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Behind the Business: Bubby's Blankets

I had such a wonderful weekend. I can't even begin to tell you how blessed I was by C & how much fun I had celebrating my birthday with my friends. Plus, I continued my love affair with the city of Austin and have too many wonderful things to say about that today.

Today - instead of re-capping the weekend - I'm bringing you a tale of a great independent business that I'm really excited about. I hope you enjoy ♥

When my niece Pepper Jo was born in April I went a little bit posting crazy here, on Twitter and Instagram. But, when a newborn baby is introduced into your life - especially when you're related to her and she'll be in your life forever - it's hard to keep quiet.

When she was born, you all were so kind and sweet. Lovely comments were left. I loved the companionship our little online world can offer. One reader, Courtney, went above and beyond and sent me a lovely blanket and matching burp rags as a congratulations for my sister.

Seriously, how sweet is that?

And they were some of the nicest baby linens I'd ever seen. My mom and aunt and sister ooed and ahhed over them. They were soft, yet sturdy. And totally cute. Plus, you can tell they're made with love.

Because I was so impressed with Courtney's work, I wanted to share her story with you guys today. So grab a cup of coffee and let me introduce you to this wonderful lady blogger:

Friday, June 22, 2012


... Packing to go visit friends this weekend. We have a hotel, dinner reservations & a great time planned. I can't wait!

... Sleeping really well. Finally. I went a few days this week without any good sleep, and it took a real toll on me.

... Browsing pictures from my birthday - and discovering old ones from my niece's birth that I forgot I had taken on my other camera! There may be some cuteness headed your way next week ♥

... Drinking protein shakes blended with frozen fruit every morning. It's delightful. Today's is Chocolate with Mixed Berries. Yesterday was Vanilla Mango.

... Laughing at my Dad - he called me on my birthday and didn't say anything. About four hours later, he called & said he had just realized what that day was! It was hilarious.

... Wishing my mom safe travels this weekend. She's flying up to Wyoming to visit my dad (he's working there for the summer). It's still weird when both my parents are out of the state, even though no one lives at home anymore.

... Telling you to have a fantastic weekend!! Enjoy yourself.  

See you Monday ♥

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just a regular Thursday...

Today is my first full day as a 24 year old. Not old by any standards, and not really a monumental year by my standards. It's just here. Today is Thursday - and, oh yeah, I'm also 24 now. I have plans to celebrate this weekend, and we had a great time last night celebrating my actual birthday.

But I didn't want to just continue on. Not just yet. I wanted to think out loud about what this next year may bring for me.

I know this upcoming year is going to be an interesting one. We're out of school, C will probably start grad school soon. We've been in this town for longer than we ever imagined, and we want to move back closer to family & friends.

I want to work free-lance. Pursue writing. Try out marketing. I want C to get experience in a counselor's office, pass his GRE, and get into a good grad school. I want him to take that next step to having his own practice.

That's what we wished existed.

And now it's time to make our wishes come true. It'll be hard work. We'll be going out on faith. We may be challenged more than we're ready for. Or it may be simple. There's no way of knowing until we try. But this next year is our year for taking that next step. One step closer to where we wish we were.

And I'm excited about it. I'm so excited about it finally being time to pursue our wishes. To mold our ideas of "the future" into "the reality." I'm excited about the plans set before us - even if our minds and plans are changed - I know there's something good ahead of us.

I find myself with a blank canvas in front of me - and I'm excited about seeing what comes out of it. ♥

Now back to regular, old Thursday...

{Image adapted from Work is Not a Job}

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weekly Loving. Birthday Style.

Things I'm Loving Today...

There's only one thing on my mind today:
my birthday.

Today I'm 24. And I couldn't be happier! Thank you for all the lovely comments & friendships I've made here. So glad to celebrate just a little of this special day with you all. 

Tonight will be a fancy dinner with my man - and my sister who totally surprised me last night!!! - 
and then drinks with friends this weekend ♥

I hope you have a lovely day!

PS - Birthday Outfits || Birthday Year

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beat the Heat: Summer Party Outfits

Welcome back to Birthday Week, day 2! I came home last night to a beautiful vase of yellow flowers & a clean kitchen. I do have the sweetest man ♥

My favorite part of birthday week is always picking out the perfect outfit to wear to a sexy dinner with my man, drinks out with friends, or a family picnic. Since I'm gifted with a summer birthday, I've always had the luxury of hosting indoor (dinner parties) or outdoor (swimming parties) events. It's fun to have that flexibility!

Here's a few outfits I'd love to wear over the next few days...

As you can see, they're all perfect for the summer heat. ♥

What's your outfit of choice?

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's my birthday week!

C doesn't believe in birthday weeks. (Forget birthday months.) But I celebrate my own birthday week. With big smiles, and bragging blog posts, and just living in an elated state of mind. And my actual birthday is on Wednesday - so it's pretty perfectly set in the middle of birthday week. Which makes me terribly happy.

I also like to celebrate my birthday by thinking back on the past year and remembering. So....

Here's a favorite moment of each month of my 23rd year:

JuneCelebrating my 23rd birthday with great food & getting my favorite necklace ever.

JulySeeing Katy Perry, the Civil Wars and Iron & Wine all within the same month. It was a month of music & it was awesome.

AugustThe highlight of August was seeing my best friend Meredith for the first time in almost two years (so many great memories!)

SeptemberSeptember is the start of football! Really, with how hot September is here, football's the only thing I like in that month. Ha!

OctoberWhat would October be without a big BANG at the end? We did Halloween on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Not much more fun than that.

NovemberMy favorite part of November is friendsgiving, going to the local Renaissance Festival and watching football. It may be my favorite weekend of the whole year.

DecemberI love Christmas. But getting Christmas card pictures taken was definitely a new one for us. And I loved them ♥

January: Can you believe I don't have a single picture of myself from January on my blog? It's mostly because January is my slow, thinking month. Lots of growing happens for me in January.

FebruaryI had started a new job, and was still getting calls for interviews. It was a weird growing month for me - way more than January ended up being!

MarchI got my iPhone in March -- which totally changed my daily routine. Amazing how technology can do that!

April: The birth of my niece is the highlight of my year. So precious.

MaySpending a day by the river with family. Now that's a way to end my 23rd year off right!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

That's not a bad year, if I may say so myself. It's such a fun ride to go back through & see how I've grown and developed over the year (please remind me to never chop my hair off like that again -- it did NOT look very good on me!). I've learned a lot, and even changed a little.

Here's to a great week - for both me & you! ♥

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 15, 2012


...Waiting for the weekend. I need a break & we're staying home this weekend, so that'll be good for me.

...Cleaning up my Email inbox. I'm thinking about being a grown up & switching over to gmail. I have an account there, but don't understand how it works. So for now, I'm still stuck in 1999 with my hotmail account (which I unabashedly love)

...Feeling very antsy and restless. I have a few potential, life-changing opportunities all swirling around in a big cloud of promise over me just out of reach. I'm not very good at playing the waiting game.

...Planning on going out on a date tonight with C. ♥ It's movie night!! (and hoping to sneak some pizza, burgers or Mexican food in... I'm not picky)

...Dreaming of new ways to decorate our new place. We're a little more than a month out and my excitement keeps growing! My Pinterest board has some lovely ideas in it. Ideas that may soon become realities.

...Satisfied with my marriage post yesterday. You know when you write something that so perfectly encapsulates how you're feeling? That's what I experienced after writing that post.

...Wishing you a good, wonderful, blessed, relaxing weekend ♥

("Currently" inspired by Danielle)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Marriage, Doing Your Own Thing and Sacrifices

It's taken me a while to accept the fact that having different interests and hobbies other than C is a good and necessary thing. Space is good - and sharing everything can get overwhelming and eventually plain annoying.

We should know - because up until about a year ago, we agreed on 99% of everything. From politics to religion, but also what movie to see, TV show to watch or restaurant to eat at. Since we've been together since our teens, C & I developed the same likings to pretty much everything. And we didn't really need "our own thing". Our college roommates even called us out on spending too much time together, and we just responded that why wouldn't we spend all our time together, since we both want the same things?

But, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

Over the years, I discovered C & I both need alone time. We're both slightly introverted and actually need time alone - even apart from each other - to be productive and happy. So, now, I have my TV shows and blogging, he has his comic books and other daily reads. We still do almost everything together to fault, but we've been getting better spending time apart as well.

So, when C started playing poker with some buddies, I never even considered joining in. Even though they're my friends too - and at times, I wouldn't have been the only girl around. I just resolved it was C's thing & left it at that.

But this past weekend, due to a series of unusual events, I found myself with nothing else to do but be at the poker table watching. We were out of town, my family was busy, and they were playing poker where we were staying for the night. So I joined in. I figured why not?

And let me tell you - I had a freaking amazing time. Like, stay up until 3 am because the game's addicting good time. I kept making deals with myself ("if I break even, I'll cash my chips in and go to bed") but never kept them. I was enjoying myself, and the amazing whiskey C picked up, too much.

Because I had such a good time, I found myself in a predicament. I kept wondering: should I still let C have this? I amazingly enjoyed it and was amazingly decent at the game, why shouldn't I join in? But, I also want to let C continue to have his thing.

As I was mulling this over, a post my friend Lisha from The Lucky Mom had written came to mind about a similar circumstance. It's about "taking one for the team" and sacrificing your desire to have fun for the greater good. And since Lisha is an amazing mom & wife, the "greater good" was her child & husband's happiness.

The "greater good" here is giving C the option to have his own, even if I like it too. That doesn't mean I'll never play again, but it means I'm not going to insist I join in every single time. I think ultimately being willing to make the sacrifice - even if you're never asked to give it - is one of the keys to this whole marriage thing.

So thank you boys, for letting me join in on your world. And thank you Lisha for always have a word of wisdom on everything. ♥

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weekly Loving.

Happy Wednesday! Halfway through the week, and almost halfway through the month. It's so crazy. But it's been a great month so far & I still have so much planned!

Here's a few things I've been loving this week...
  • The Civil Wars at Banaroo. Can't believe she did this 10 days before her due date! So crazy.

  • I put up a Summer Movie Guide yesterday & was loving the comments. Pop on over to join the conversation!

  • This interview of Liz from Late Afternoon is pretty old - but still amazing & inspiring to read. She's such a lovely, interesting, and beautiful person!
Source: himys.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • This is a great tutorial for editing pictures online in a free program.

And that's what I'm loving this week ♥
To see what others are loving, head on over to

{Happy Wednesday!}

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beat the Heat: Summer Movie Guide

The Summer movies are here!! Maybe you've already gone and seen Snow White and the Huntsmen or Prometheus. Maybe you're the type that waits until DVD releases (and if so, come back and read this around Christmas time). I unapologetically LOVE Summer movies. They're fun, adventurous, and it's a nice way to get out of the heat.

So, to continue my Beat the Heat series, I'm diving into the Summer movies I'm most looking forward to. (For an entire Summer Movie Guide, go here.)

Rock of Ages
I've been anticipating this movie since Adam Shankman stopped judging on "So You Think You Can Dance" last summer. I love him, and have followed his producing career for a few years now with mild interest. Then when this movie was announced, I jumped on that cheesy, throw-back bandwagon. I don't anticipate this being the best film of the summer, but I'm already so in love with it that I wouldn't miss it for the world. Plus, who doesn't want to see Alec Baldwin as a old hippie?

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
If Steve Carell had to leave "The Office" to pursue a movie career, he better impress me soon. And I'm really praying this movie shows me what Crazy, Stupid Love tried to show me last summer. Plus, Keira Knightly in a role that somewhat resembles her care-free Love, Actually self is something I'd love to see. And as  plus, the movie's from the same gal that gave us the fun-loving (though mediocre) Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It could surprise us all.

To Rome with Love
If you would have asked me 5 years ago what my favorite Woody Allen film was, I probably wouldn't have been able to name one. But after watching Annie Hall and Midnight in Paris, plus a few more (and a random PBS documentary we accidentally recorded - to our delight), I am obsessed with the gentleman. And will definitely be catching this quirky flick.

Katy Perry: Part of Me
I don't hide my love for Katy Perry. I think she's fantastic. And since I actually went to her tour last summer - which the film follows - I can't stay away from the theatrical telling of it all. {See my review of her concert here} I'm a sucker for all things Katy, even if the buzz is slightly negative.

Hope Springs
Meryl Streep in a romantic comedy which may allow me to see Tommy Lee Jones crack a smile for the first time since 1995? YES PLEASE! Plus, it's another Steve Carell performance... which I'm considering his back up in case Seeking a Friend... totally flops. ♥

Premium Rush
Michael Shannon - one of Christian's favorite actors - and Joseph Gordon-Levitt - one of my favorite's - rounds out the summer with this low special effects, high action bicycle thriller. Even if the script and plot may be like many others that we've seen, the promise of these two brilliant actors together is enough for me.

Don't think I've forgotten  The Amazing Spider Man & The Dark Knight Rises. I'll definitely be catching those, probably multiple times. We've been catching up on the Christopher Nolan Batman films in anticipation. I just figured we're all on board, and this couldn't be a comprehensive list anyway... you'd never get to the end ♥

What movie are you looking forward to this summer?

PS - Summer 2011 Movie Guide

Monday, June 11, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Spinach "Salad"

Don't eat dinner in front of the TV.

That's something we've been trying out in our household lately. I want to create a culture in which food is enjoyed, not just simply eaten out of necessity. One where I'm thankful and glad to be peeling endless vegetables, or taking my sweet time getting things ready.

I turned a little creative last week in order to give us a little incentive to be excited about the plate in front of us. That, paired with some wine on our back porch at dusk, made up for the fact that our latest TV obsession had to wait 30 minutes while we ate.

Also, we talked. Shared about our day and thoughts in a way that no "How was your day?" while walking in the door could ever compare to.

The recipe is simple. Take bright, colorful vegetables, brush them in Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes (I don't have a grill - but plan on trying this out there as soon as I can). The vegetables I chose were from a local farmer's grocery, bought an hour before I cooked them. I can't say that means they taste better, but it makes me feel more appreciative of the end result.

I chose carrots, Poblano peppers, Jalapenos, Tomatoes and Yellow Summer Squash. I also added garlic cloves at the last second. And those may have been my favorite part of the meal. Oh how I love roasted garlic!

Once the vegetable were roasted, I threw them on top of some raw spinach. Which wilted ever so slightly from the heat. Which was delightful. I added an Avocado and two Poached Eggs for protein.

(I've been on an egg kick lately. So be on the lookout for that.)

This was such a beautiful creation. I was really proud of the whimsy of it. Plus it was really easy and could be customizable to any family's preferences. And it was super tasty & fun to eat. I hope you enjoy it!

Roasted Vegetable Spinach "Salad"
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 Jalapenos
  • 3 Poblano Peppers
  • 4 Tomatoes
  • 5-8 Squash
  • 1 Head of Garlic
  • Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 bag of Spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut and clean vegetables, place on baking sheet. Brush with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Ten minutes before the vegetables are done, set a pot of water to boil. Crack each egg into a separate dish, and let them reach room temperature. When the water is at a rolling boil, pour each egg -- one at a time -- into the water. Place the lid on the pot, turn the heat off, and let sit for 3-5 minutes, until Yolk is at desired doneness.

Arrange the plate: Put a handful of Spinach Leaves on dish. Top with Roasted Vegetable. Have fun with the arrangement! Slice an Avocado and place near salad. With a slotted spoon, remove egg from water, shake slightly to dry, and place on plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Serves 2

* * * *

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Happy Monday ♥

Friday, June 8, 2012

10 Things, Volume 21

1. The weather is getting hot. I'm starting to stay inside for lunch instead of going to the picnic tables outside. It makes me sad, but I hate being sweaty in the afternoons!

2. My brother Clark graduated from high school, and we're having a big graduation bash for him. I love this kid so much -- hard to believe when I left for college he was 12. He's grown up so much since then, and I'm so excited to see what he decides to do with himself. (Watch out - he's a great chef!)

3. Despite this, we're heading out of town this weekend to attend the party and to have some fun with friends. And I get to see my sister Dana for the first time in forever! {plus this cutie and this one}

4. We're spending the night in San Antonio for a little change, though. Usually we go to Austin or stay in New Braunfels. But we're mixing it up, and I'm really excited to venture out to a new nightlife.

5. On a completely other random note, New York & Company is having a 50% off dress sale through tonight. And all I can say is get on that. They've got some cute stuff. My eye is on this $15 dress, which is perfect for summer!

6. While I'm out & about, make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I never stop posting there!

7. Whether you're staying home this weekend or going to a party - here's some great cocktails perfect for summer. And that's my promise. (I tested them all myself, after all!)

8. My friend Valorie's MAJOR giveaway is still going on. You could win a FREE WEDDING photographer. So if you're engaged, or know someone who is, pass this along.

9. I just discovered 101 Cookbooks. How's that possible? It's amazing.

10. And speaking of amazing, thank you for reading & just being here. It really does mean a ton to me, and I don't think you enough for it.

{Have a Lovely Weekend}

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A few things I've been really enjoying lately...

Evening swims

Catching up on TV Shows

Watching old movies, even when he doesn't want to

Testing out drink recipes

Planning out the summer months

Talking about our upcoming move

And looking through old pictures while packing

Honest analysis of genuine complaints

Cuddling through our alarm

Comparing work out notes

Eating dinner at the table, instead of in front of the TV

Rushed kisses as we both try to get ready for work

Spending time apart (makes those times together even better)

Watching Gilmore Girls in bed

Splitting microwaved banana bread

Sharing budget frustrations, but working through it together

Just being married

It's not just the big things that make it worth-while ♥

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekly Loving.

I was so off last week, I completely forgot to link up last Wednesday! But not today. Today I'm back. Here's some things I've been loving online:

  • This summer manifesto! I'm thinking of doodling one myself soon.

Source: aliedwards.com via Amy on Pinterest

  •  How to grow your own Sweet Potatoes. I'm putting this one in the back of my mind, because I'm seriously wanting to do this once we move....

  • These summer cocktails were really fun to put together & I featured them on my blog yesterday. Go see what are your favorites ♥

  •  I L-O-V-E this coral, color-blocked dress. And *bonus* my husband did too. Now I just have to press "buy".

Source: lulus.com via Amy on Pinterest

  •  Finally, I fell absolutely head over heels for this bright & sunny & colorful kitchen. I love the blue cabinets! This goes in my "new home ideas" board.

To see what others are loving, head on over to

Have a great Wednesday! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beat the Heat: Summer Cocktails, With a Touch of Rosemary

A few weeks ago, when I came across this recipe on A Cup of Jo, I decided I had to try it. Because who doesn't love that perfect summer drink? It was such a great recipe to pull out while lounging by the river with my family. But once the weekend was gone, I found myself with a lot of leftover Rosemary Simple Syrup. (Boil 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar & a few Rosemary sprigs. Boil until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.)

And then I thought, why not try use it to make a few other Summer Drinks? After all, not everybody loves Gin. And while I love Prosecco probably more than the average person, I don't always want to commit myself to an entire bottle. Sometimes I just want that one perfect drink to sip on after work. (Or to pour into a plastic cup to sneak into the pool.)

So I did a little research, then a few taste tests. And C & I came up with five summer drinks that are perfect with that little added Rosemary flavor. I do hope you thoroughly enjoy these.

There's a little something for everyone.

♥ Rosemary Mint Julep ♥

As someone who doesn't necessarily love mint, I was really hesitant when C poured this for me. But, I love Bourbon, and had to say the floating leaves were beautiful to look at. As soon as I took my first sip, I realized how good the Rosemary and Mint mixed together. It was really refreshing. And according to C, this could actually be on someone's Summer Cocktails Menu.
Glass: Old Fashioned

  • 3 tsp. Rosemary Syrup
  • 5 Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz. quality Bourbon
  • Club Soda

Directions: Muddle the mint leaves in the rosemary syrup. Pour in the Bourbon and stir. Add ice (crushed is best, if you have it), and top with club soda.

♥ Rosemary Detroit Martini ♥

Once I decided I didn't hate Mint, I was brave enough to pull this beauty out. I always love Martinis, and this was no exception. Sipping on ice cold Vodka is a delight, and the addition of fresh Mint and Rosemary made it even more so. Though, it's not for the light of heart. While it is smooth and sweet, it is still a martini. This would be perfect for dessert, after a long summer evening.
Glass: Martini

  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • 6 Mint Leaves
  • 1 oz. Rosemary Syrup

Directions: In a shaker filled with ice, shake ingredients hard (until Mint Leaves are almost completely broken up). Pour into chilled Martini glass.

♥ Grapefruit Rosemary Mimosa ♥

We are a Mimosa family. I try to have a bottle of sweet Prosecco and Orange Juice ready almost every Saturday morning, because I seriously believe there's no better way to thoroughly enjoy a lazy Saturday morning. But this drink is something else. I usually hate Grapefruit, and the use of a Brute Sparkling Wine threw me off. But the end result was something completely spectacular. It was a great way to mix up my usual Saturday morning indulgence. And I have to give total credit to C - this was his idea & he executed it perfectly.
Glass: Champagne Flute

  • 2 c. Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 c. Rosemary Syrup
  • 1/8 c. Orange Liqueur
  • Dry Champagne/Sparkling Wine

Directions: Pour desired amount of Champagne into flute. (I usually fill half the glass). Add Rosemary Syrup, Grapefruit Juice, and Orange Liqueur. Add sprig of Rosemary & garnish with a slice of Grapefruit.

♥ Lynchburg Rosemary Lemonade ♥

If you're looking for a drink that the majority will love, this is it. There's something about "Lemonades" that scream summer. I also am currently having a love affair with Southern Bourbon. (We used Jim Beam for this, but Jack Daniels would be even better.) And the mixer of Ginger Ale just makes the child in me ecstatic. (Anyone else order Ginger Ale on airplanes as a kid?) I loved this so much, that I took a glass of it into the pool this weekend. Try it... trust me.
Glass: High Ball

  • 2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 2 oz. Bourbon
  • 2 oz. Rosemary Syrup
  • 1 oz. Orange Liqueur
  • Ginger Ale

Directions: Fill High Ball with ice. Combine first four ingredients, top with Ginger Ale. Stir with a sprig of Rosemary. Serve.

♥ Rosemary Vodka Cran ♥

Vodka Cran is Chelsea Handler's favorite drink. (I read her books, what can I say?) And I suddenly had to order them whenever we went out for a while. But, I grew tired of the predictable (and sweet) combination, and moved on. However, Vodka Crans were made for hot summer afternoons. And adding in a fresh sprig of Rosemary freshens up an otherwise overly common cocktail.
Glass: High Ball

  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Orange Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Rosemary Syrup
  • Splash of Lime
  • Cranberry Juice

Directions: Fill High Ball with ice. Combine first four ingredients, top with Cranberry Juice. Serve.

And... Remember to drink responsibly.