Monday, January 31, 2011

2010 Rewind - Our Year in Pictures

Miller enjoying the snow. I'm sure Sydney was off chasing her ball and too busy for pictures.

My youngest brother, Charlie, playing the bass with his band, TUNA.

Jason's parents took us on an amazing trip to Carmel and Pebble Beach, California. Jason and his dad spent most of their time playing golf at the different courses at Pebble Beach. I did some exploring of Carmel and had a little spa day. I totally fell in love with this cute little town! The house pictured below is one of the local storybook houses. People actually live in them!

My middle brother, Ross, "teaching" my niece, Anna, how to play guitar.

Sydney and Miller stopped for a photo op on a hike up Paris Mountain with the fam.

Yummy cake at a baby shower for my BFF, Linds. They did not find out what they were having so the baby was affectionately called Critter. :)

"Critter" makes her debut!! Emma Gray was born on July 31st. Such an exciting day to finally find out if it was a boy or a girl!!

Playing in the river Meg (my middle) and Evans (Ross's girlfriend...far left) after a zipline canopy tour in the mountains with the whole fam.

A day in the park downtown with the dogs!

Surprise 50th birthday party for my fabulous mom!

I had to force my husband and brothers to take a Christmas picture for my mom. Of course, they complained the entire time and acted like they hated it. I would like to note that my husband was the one who came up with this cheesy pose.

Lots of Christmas festivities! Christmas with friends, family picture in the white Christmas, Cousins hanging out by the bonfire, and my childhood stuffed animal. There's a story behind this cat...but I'll save that for another post. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Charlie Horse!!

So, who all is watching American Idol? I totally thought that I wasn't going to watch this season because of all the changes with the judges. I just couldn't imagine Idol without Simon! But, I actually really like it this year. I think JLo is genuine and sweet and not trying to hard like Kara did. Steven Tyler is a little bit out there, but I like it. And I've always loved the Dog.

This week had some really great moments...some really talented people (last girl in Nashville...SO good!) and as usual, some ridiculously horrible people. BUT, nothing tops this moment for me. I was watching this all by myself and seriously could not stop laughing. Best Idol Moment EVER.

I kinda feel bad for laughing...but I can't help it. And Ryan Seacrest just put the icing on the cake when he told her she needed to drink more water. Thanks for looking out, Ryan!

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend!!

(PS...2 posts in one day! Wooohoo!)

It's that time of year!!

Girl Scout Cookie time, that is.

We recently placed our order with one of the sweet little girls in our neighborhood and I am counting down the days until they come in!

My faves are Caramel Delights and Peanut Butter Patties. What are your favorites??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Slow Cooker Brisket Sandwiches

I love looking for new recipes and like to add new things to my "standard weekly menu" that I always fall back on. So, from time you time, you will probably see some of the things that we've been trying posted here. These were a hit with everyone who tried them so I figured this recipe would be a good one to start with.

Slow Cooker Brisket Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

The cast of characters:

5 to 6 lb flat cut brisket , cut into 3 pieces
Vegetable oil
Salt & Pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
One 12 ounce beer (recipe calls for stout beer, but I used Miller Lite b/c thats what we had)
4 stalks celery
2/3 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. tomato paste
1/3 c. dijon mustard
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika
Hoagie Rolls

Start by mixing the brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, bay leaves and paprika in a small bowl.

Next, heat the oil in a skillet and season your meat with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and brown brisket on all sides.

Transfer browned meat into crock pot and nestle the celery around it. Then pour the beer into the skillet with the garlic and simmer for about a minute, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Pour over beef in the crock pot.

Next, add your sauce mixture that you prepared earlier to the crock pot. Stir as best you can to mix beer mixture and sauce together.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Transfer meat to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. The recipe says to thinly slice, but I opted to shred it instead. I placed shredded meat in a large bowl and added several large spoonfuls of the sauce on top. Serve on hoagie rolls.

We decided to go french dip style and dip these babies in some extra sauce. YUM!! We've been eating left overs (which you'll have lots of) for the past few days and I have to say, the meat has gotten even better. This is a perfect weekend dish since you can throw it all in the crock pot in the morning and not worry about it for the rest of the day. You'll definitely be thinking about them though because they make the house smell delish!!

So, go try these for yourselves and let me know what you think! Enjoy!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sweet Stella

Allow me to introduce you to my mom's new puppy, Stella...

She is the sweetest little thing! She reminds us of a little deer the way she prances around. 

I need to post a video of her so you can see her adorable personality. When you throw her ball, she loves to run up to and pounce on it. Hilarious!

I never thought I'd be a poodle person, but she has totally won my heart!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Old School Jams

Our Friday night sounded a little bit like this...

You're welcome for reminding you how good that song is.

Jason and I spent over an hour listening to classics such as Boys II Men, Blackstreet, TLC, Brian McKnight, and Mariah Carey. And I loved every second of it. Jason said I missed my calling and should have been in an R&B group. I think I agree.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not quite sure what's going on here...

Did anyone watch the Golden Globes? If you did, I'm sure you saw this:

Really, Michelle? Did you go shopping in my closet circa 1993 for this dress? I think I wore a short version of this on my 13th birthday. I seriously don't get it.

Anne Hathaway's was probably my fave:

Very classy yet sexy at the same time with the super low back.

What did y'all think? Who were your faves?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good News, Bad News

The GOOD news is that we actually made it on our trip this time. We out-smarted the weather and decided to leave a day early. Thank goodness we did because otherwise we would have never made it. We got a huge snow in SC (well, huge for the south at least!) and we were a little bit sad to miss that. BUT, the trip was SO much fun and we were very excited that we actually made it there. I promise there will be a recap coming soon!

The BAD news is that I am back at work. :( Which means I have not yet found the motivation to download my pictures from the trip yet (or unpack my suitcase...or do anything productive for that matter!). There are some good ones stay tuned!

And in other GOOD news (because who wants to end on a downer), my mom got a puppy! If you know me in real life, you know how excited I get about anything to do with dogs! Needless to say, I am loving having a puppy that I can see whenever I want. Her name is Stella and she is a standard poodle. She is 4 months old and she has the cutest little personality. Pictures of her to come also!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Blog Slacking & A Change of Plans

Wow...not a great start to the year for me as far the blog goes! I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted anything. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind and somehow I never found time to update. Now that I am back at work and completely SWAMPED, I feel like my brain is being pulled in a million different directions.

The holidays were great...we enjoyed some much needed time off and spent some good quality time with family. I had planned to do a Christmas recap, but clearly that hasn't happend yet. Maybe I'll still squeeze one in a little bit late.

As I'm sure you recall, the week after Christmas we were supposed to be here:

However, I think I jinxed us with my wish for a white Christmas because we actually had one! As exciting as that was for me since I've never seen snow on Christmas before, it created just a few issues when it came to travel. Not to mention that NYC was getting a blizzard themselves. So, on Monday the 27th, we loaded up the car, went to airport and checked in and went to our gate...all of us excited about the trip ahead but a little bit concerned about just how cold we were going to be when we got there. About 20 minutes after we got to the gate, they broke the news to us that our flight had been cancelled so it was back to the Delta desk for us. They told us there was no way we'd get to NYC so we said, "Ok, well our bags are already packed...we'll go anywhere!" After a lot of searching and a couple hours at the airport, we learned that the only destination that we could actually make it to was Omaha, Nebraska. I'll let you guess whether or not we took them up on that offer. :)

After realizing that a vacation wasn't in the cards for us that week, we headed back home to do some rescheduling. In the midst of our "we'll go anywhere" flight search, we started thinking that maybe we'd just go skiing out west. And when it came time to rebook our flights and hotels, that's exactly what we decided to do!

So, this coming Monday, we're heading to Park City, Utah to go skiing!! Between the four of us going, there isn't a whole lot of skiing experience so it could get a little interesting! But I know that (if we can actually make there...darn you, potential snow in the southeast!) it's going to be an awesome trip!

Our trip is going to include some skiing:

Snowmobiling, which I am pumped about!:

And exploring the cute little town of Park City:

I'm sure we'll also spend a decent amount of time soaking our sore bodies in the hot tub! I see a lot of falling in my future! I just pray that my fear of falling right as I'm getting off the chair lift and holding up the entire line doesn't actually happen!

And I promise a recap with lots of pictures when I get back!