Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Foodie Blogger and My Personal Friend: Keene In the Kitchen

 I know I said I was taking the summer off, so consider this a PSA!  :-)

I want to introduce you to my very good (and in-real-life) friend, Candi!  She is an AMAZING chef and baker.  She loves to cook and baking is her passion (she went through 12 lbs of sugar last week, she's a serious baker y'all!). 

We have been friends for years starting just before the 2004 Hurricane Frances that hit south Florida.  She was one of the ladies that threw my baby shower when Lallie was born and if you've ever seen sandbar pictures on my blog, her family was most likely alongside of us!
Going back to the 2004 hurricanes: Candi and her husband had JUST found out they were pregnant with her first child; the first to be born into our little group of friends.  After the hurricanes of 2004, she was one of very few that had electricity (Husband and I....we were out for two weeks) and Candi so graciously opened up her home to several people (stinky and non-showered) and cooked and baked for all of us. 

She also introduced Husband and I to one of our now favorite foods, Conk Peas.  Don't know what they are?  If you follow her, I'm sure you'll find out! 

Since that time, her boys have grown and are in school and she's starting to share her wonderful wealth of cooking and baking knowledge with all of us!  Seriously, the woman has more cookbooks in her collection then I've ever seen.  The other day, someone on her facebook asked a question about bread and she pointed them directly to the cookbook that should be used in that particular instance!  She is very knowledgeable!

So, if you love recipes, cooking and baking, head on over to Keene in the Kitchen!  Both her BLOG and her FACEBOOK!  I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Happy Summer Y'all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Hello Y'all!

Where have I been the past couple weeks?

  1. Helping plan Ashleigh's wedding
  2. Working (crazy schedule right now at work)
  3. Hosting company (my mother in law was here for a week helping take care of Lallie during the one-week break between school and summer sessions)
  4. BOATING!!!
  5. SWIMMING!!!
  6. Planning Lallie's fourth birthday party (she's been quite specific in her wishes....and so it begins!)
  7. Playing with my sweet, sweet Lallie.  (Note to self:  by more Crayola paint supplies).
  8. AND - last and certainly least (notice the lack of the word NOT), lacking blog content. 
Lately, I've been lacking content and just haven't been interested in finding content in which to post.  I think I'm taking a little break and will post when I have something interesting to say about Lallie or about Ashleigh's wedding (IF she'll let me post non-specific details about her wedding.  There may be a poll or too needed to help her decide something!).  I will continue to post crafts, recipes and Lallie stories here and there, but I think I'm going to just take a break this summer and pick everything back up in the fall.  Finding blog content is just not as high on my list right now as other things.

Sound like a plan? OKAY!  That being said, I was bad this weekend and didn't take a single picture. I know!  Shocking right?  So, I promise to do better on that front so those of you looking back home can keep after Blondie-Joe (as her grandaddy calls her).

Happy Monday Y'all!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Let's Eat Y'all!: Blackened Scallops over Angel Hair Pasta Alfredo

Good morning y'all!  I know I have been absentee the last few days and I apologize!  Lots going on with work, visitors and Lallie's new school, it's been tough to keep up.  But I plan to be back to regularly scheduled programming next week!
Husband and I tried blackening our own scallops this week.  We have this guy we call "Ron, the meat guy."  He comes to our house every couple of weeks and brings us individually wrapped chicken breasts, steaks of all sorts and he also has fish and some of the biggest scallops I've ever seen!  Everything is restaurant quality, so the chicken is never rubbery like store bought can sometimes be and the steak are so thick and juicy with just the right amount of marbling for fat flavor.
A couple weeks ago, we bought some of his scallops.  We've never worked with scallops before and weren't quite sure what to expect.  We decided to play it safe and blacken them using the same blackening recipe as on my blackened chicken HERE.  Though I will point out that you need to double the salt, the blackening was a little bland without the extra salt.  This time, it was PERFECT!
So, how do we do this?
  • Thaw your scallops under cool water, this won't take long, so don't water log them (yes, run the water directly over them).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix up your blackening season and coat each side of the scallop.
  • In your cast iron skillet (and on your outdoor grill burner as this will smoke up your house).....blacken the scallops for about 1 minute each side.
  • Transfer the scallops, in the skillet, to the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Serve!
We served our blackened scallops over angel hair pasta mixed in some Alfredo sauce with some added sauteed onion (LOTS of onion, we LOVE onions in our house!)
This whole thing from start to finish, including the thawing, took about 30 minutes!  Can't beat that!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to reading all of yours!
Have a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's In It Wednesday: Purse/Handbag

Welcome to the second edition of What's In It Wednesday!  I hope y'all are ready to show us your purse and its contents!  Why?  Because every woman carries their favorite products in their handbags and I certainly want to see yours and show you what I am currently loving!  AND, as a special, Ashleigh is sharing what's in her purse too!  So, double the fun!

I normally carry a Louis Vuitton Batignolles Horizontal.  But for the summer, I am carrying my lovely Francesca Joy Palm Beach tote custom designed for moi in pink and green palm trees and shells.  I love it!

My job has me on-the-go constantly, so I need lots of room to carry everything I need for the office, home and Lallie.  This tote works wonderfully.
Picture from Francesca Joy's Tumblr account.

I always have my Lilly makeup bag and Lilly pouch (made from a child's Lilly apron by yours truly).  I usually have my Kindle when I'm not checking out books at the library

(YAY for supporting your local library!  I try to use the library unless there is a long waiting list
for a book I want to read.) 

I love Mento's and I have my LUNA bar notepad and a pen (thank you LUNA!)

Inside my Lilly makeup bag:
  • Hairspray
  • OPI travel size hand lotions in Coconut Melon and Grapefruit
  • Sally Hansen's Grow Nails Now! and Continuous Hardening Treatment (I had my acrylic nails removed so I'm trying to healthy up my nails)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • OUCH pouch from Pillows Sew Cute on Etsy with bandaids, Neosporin and contact drops
  • LUNA chapstick in peppermint (love this stuff!)
  • Nail file
  • Hair "doeys" (prounounced "do-eeeees")
  • Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter from LUSH (I got through POTS of this stuff)
  • Two Avon Glazewear Shine Lip Gloss (I can't read the colors, but they're pink - Thank you new sissy-in-law, Jess!)
  • And also from Jess, my monogrammed mirror

My Lilly file folders:  Bills, Work, School, Recipes to Try (isn't that funny!), Ashleigh's Wedding (tres importante) and Misc.

Car keys, camera (I took these pictures with my new pink covered iPhone), CVS wipes (I have a toddler you know), Dentek flossers, the pink thing is one of Lallie's motorized bugs that she threw into my purse and my Vera Bradley wallet.  I'm not a Vera fan, but I'm very picky about my wallet set up and I love Vera's setup. 

Inside my oilcloth Lilly is my FlipVideo, Target's Real Simple card caddy and my new iPhone earphones

Now onto Ashleigh!  And this is in her own words....

I can't find a purse I like right now so I am using an old one. It's not that great but it does the trick.

My camera. I NEVER go anywhere without my camera. I almost always have this one but if I don’t, I have the one on my phone.

I LOVE this! My Target business card holder that I use for credit cards. I have gone through at least three of these over the years. When the plastic rips, I buy another one. I have my driver's license in it and all of my credit cards. I love it because I can grab just it and my keys and go (if I am just running down the street or something). I have 3 more of these on standby in my closet.  (Insert Jennifer here....I stole this idea from her, I love mine too...)

My Thirty-One Hard case wallet. I have my cash, change, and loyalty cards (like My Panera, my Ulta Club card, etc) in here.

 I never leave home without a ponytail holder, toothpicks (I actually have more in my car), dental floss, a pen, fingernail clippers, and my migraine medicine (in a Tylenol bottle).  (Insert Jennifer again here....she never once mentioned her Kindle.  That's the green thing and I guarantee that she always has that with her too!)

A straw! Because I can’t stand having ice clink up against my teeth. So, if I am somewhere that doesn’t have straws readily available, I am prepared!

Carmex, Dr. Pepper lip smackers, and three Studio Gear lip sticks, Studio Gear Vitamin E. This is the best feeling, most soothing lip stuff ever! I love it. It’s a bit on the pricey side but I LOVE it! I normally ask my mom to put it in my stocking at Christmas.

Studio Gear Flirt. My favorite shade of lipstick. It has been discontinued :-( 
I have just a little bit left. I am trying to save it. I took it to Ulta and tried to find a similar shade but there is nothing that is quite as perfect. I had to settle for…

Studio Gear Whisper.
A close second.

I LOVE these lipsticks. They feel good. They taste good. They last a long time.
It’s really the only brand I will wear.

And last but not least, my garage door opener. My garage where I live is not attached so I like to open the door while I am still inside. Especially when it’s raining. I get made fun of a lot for having this in my purse but it’s quite convenient. And since I’m getting married, I will be moving soon and hopefully I’ll have an attached garage and this won’t be an issue anymore.  (Insert Jennifer here too.  For some reason Ashleight put a frowny face after this, but I took it out because I can't figure out why she'd be sad to have an attached garage and getting married.)

So, that's our bags!  I can't wait to see yours!  Be sure to link up and let us know what's in your bag.

Happy Wednesday Y'all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My new iPhone

Hello y'all from my new iPhone! I am typing on the BloggerPlus app and so far, so good!

I've been using the Droid for about 18 months now and it was an awful experience! Dropped calls, constant misspellings and lately there had been non-stop forced closure of applications. When I didn't receive emails or phone calls all weekend but walked into my office yesterday morning to find 3 missed calls and 25 emails, I knew something was up. I went to the trusty Verizon dealer where they did a master reset to which the phone got worse and wouldn't respond at all!

Since the phone was out of warranty, here I am with an iPhone 4 and I am THRILLED! It types perfectly, understands what I'm trying to spell and I haven't had one dropped call and I've received all emails and texts, no issues. Yay! And kudos to Verizon for working this out for me speedily! I can't work without a phone since I'm on the road a lot.

So I'm curious all you iPhone users.... What are your favorite fun and hip apps? Of course I have Facebook, goodreads and fooducate (which is super nifty if you're into label reading at the grocery store like me).

So tell me. I want to know!

Don't forget about What's in it Wednesday tomorrow! Be ready to show us your bag/purse and product reviews! I will have Mr. Linky ready for you too!

Happy Tuesday Y'all!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Misc. Monday

Happy Monday Y'all!

Lallie is out of school this week, so Granny flew down to take care of her while yours truly and Husband head off to work.  It was a great weekend, boated on Saturday (and got burnt, ouch!) and lazed away yesterday except for our fun trip to Target (fun!)

Friday was a difficult day for Lallie though.  It was her very last day at Montessori school before starting Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten in the fall.  She is going to church camp all summer, but we've been prepping her for the change in schools and Friday afternoon was filled with tears as we left her old school.  Her teachers were crying as was Lallie and she looked at Miss Kiera and said "I'm never going to see you again".  It broke my heart, especially as we drove off and Lallie realized that she forgot to hug and say goodbye to some of her friends.  I almost turned around, but knew that carline is already a zoo, I felt horribly for her.  But....she's getting older and we're moving on to bigger and better things.  And by Friday evening, she was just fine.  Though, we will miss her old school greatly. 

Here's a picture from Lallie's dance recital last week!  She did so well, followed her teacher perfectly.  We are so proud of our little ballerina and she can't wait to go back to dance class in the fall.

Saturday, we headed out on the boat to the sandbar where we bumped into our friends Niki and Sean and their two kids Turner and Merritt (two of her friends from Montessori.  She told them "see you at school" as we left....heartbreak). 

Look at these Lilly Lovers, are they not the most adorable things?

Sunday, Lallie had her fingernails and toenails painted in what else....but pink!  After they dried, she wanted to ride her bike and show them off.  So she put on her pink sandals, her green and white polka dot sunglasses, her pink helmet (safety first) and rode her pink bike around the neighborhood.  She's quite the miniature fashionista!

Husband caught these two little rascals in our garden last week.  Not that we're eating the lettuce anymore (hence the lettuce trees), but they are eating up our tomatoes, beans and onions!  Gah!  We're not eating the lettuce as we couldn't keep up with the production.  We had lettuce coming our our ears and eventually, it became to tough to eat.  Next year....not as much lettuce!

Now, what to do about these "little varmints" to quote Yosemite Sam!

I've changed up my book tracking and reviews.  I've joined Good Reads where I can keep track of what I've read, what I want to read and what I'm currently reading.  I know several bloggers that are on Good Reads and will *hopefully* becoming your fried.  So, if you so desire, check out my bookshelf and join me and reading fabulous literature!

Book recommendations, book reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

AND, last but not least.  Don't forget about What's In It Wednesday!  This week is your handbag or purse!  So take pictures, review your favorite products and link up with me on Wednesday.  I may even be able to get Ashleigh to review her you'll get double the product reviews!

Happy Monday Y'all!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Let's Eat Y'all: Macaroni & Cheese with Proscuitto

Y'all remember this scrumptious pasta I made for our Memorial Day Picnic?  Well here's the recipe.  I promise it will not disappoint (and y'all know that when I make something and post a recipe, it's good.....especially if I took the trouble to shred cheese and make homemade cheese sauce!)  This is fabulous for leftovers too!  Enjoy! 

Macaroni & Cheese with Prosciutto
(I would recommend reading the recipe in full before starting and also, gathering all ingredients, measured out, in advance)

(IMPORTANT:  Notice I have all my ingredients ready to go....that is because once you start the cheese sauce, the process goes FAST and you MUST have everything ready).

1 lb cavatappi or other spiral shaped pasta (I used ziti, it turned out the same)
6 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk (2% or whole)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper (ground)
2 cups Gruyere cheese (grated and divided)
1/2 cups Gouda cheese (grated)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

*NOTE* If making large sums or a double batch, like I did, Gruyere and Gouda can get expensive (we're talking $40 worth of cheese).  So you can substitute sharp Cheddar for the Gruyere and Monterey jack for the Gouda.  It's still amazing!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease or Pam a 13x9 baking dish (glass) or 8 ramekins.
  • Cook pasta according to directions
  • Cook prosciutto in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, stirring often (6 minutes) until brown and crisp.
*NOTE* - I take the deli sliced prosciutto and tear into pieces the night before and lay between the sheets of deli paper on a plate.  Prosciutto tears quite easily.  And this way, it won't stick together.  Also, if having people over, it's okay to either fry it in advance (to get the smoke smell out of your house as it is potent) OR use a side grill burner outside (recommended).

NOW - this next part is going to go fast (and thus the reason I don't have pictures).  You MUST whisk constantly, don't stop or your mixture WILL burn!
  • Melt butter in dutch oven over medium-high heat (if don't have a dutch oven setup, you can do this right in the pot on lower heat)
  • Add flour, WHISKING CONSTANTLY, for 1 minute
  • SLOWLY whisk in milk, whisking constantly, five minutes until the mixture becomes smooth and starts to thicken.  You will know when it's ready because the milk will start to foam and boil.....when it starts to boil, take OFF the heat immediately (it will boil over if not careful, so pay attention).
  • Add 1 cup of Gruyere, whisking until smooth
  • Add the Gouda and Parmesan, whisking until smooth
  • Add Prosciutto and pasta to mixture and stir to combine
  • Transfer mixture to ramekins or glass baking dish
  • Top with remaining Gruyere
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until bubbly.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Last Wednesday marked the end of my eight week Body Back session.  Our amazing trainer Lisa (the one on the middle on the teal board) threw us girls a paddleboarding party!

As a side note, as of the beginning of Body Back, I could complete three pushups in one minute.  At my eight week assessment, I could do 33!  I'm not lying.....33 push ups (with a water bottle showing me how far down I had to go....on my toes.... in one minute!) 
I hate to boast but really, that's an accomplishment for me.....the girl who's never completed a fitness course in her life!  So, I'm taking a bow and saying "thank you, thank you!"

She had two instructors come to the waterside park in which we work out and had them teach us how to paddleboard.  After, we had finger foods and wine in celebration of our achievements over the eight weeks.

Paddleboarding isn't nearly as hard as it looks.  The boards are long and wide and you stand with your legs at about shoulder length apart.  In this stance, there are still about five inches to either side of your feet, so keeping your balance is really not as difficult as it would seem (say, like a surf board).  We were in knee deep water and not one person fell off the board into the water.

I think of it as kayaking, standing up.  It is definitely a workout though. 
If you want a core workout, go with paddleboarding! 

Whoo hoo, I've mastered the art of paddleboarding!!
My first lesson, learning how to paddle and stand.

Here we go!  It was a little tough heading out as the wind was blowing the current back in, so the board kept wanting to turn around.  And that is where the core workout came in...trying to keep going against the current.

So, now I want a paddleboard to strap to the top of the boat "T" top so I can paddle board when out at the sandbar.

I'm thinking this one from Girl in the Curl. 

Happy Thursday Y'all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What's In It Wednesday: Closet

It is time for our first edition of What's In It Wednesday. 

As y'all know, my blog is a hodge podge of family, fashion, books and random.  I don't have a particular theme but I love to blog and love reading blogs.  However, I've been lacking for content lately.

So, after quite a few emails over the past year or so saying "I'd love to see what's in your closet" or "I'd love to see what's in your bag" (which I've done a couple of times over the past couple years, but it's always changing), I thought it'd be fun to start up What's In It Wednesday!

You can participate each Wednesday if you like and link up.  And if not, it doesn't bother me.  It just gives a chance for me to show what I'm loving right now in my closet, purse, workout bag, shower, pantry etc. 

So instead of random posts here and there, you'll get a weekly edition of what I'm loving.  
This week I'm starting with my closet!

This is my side of the closet (yes, I know that I am one lucky girl....sad thing is, my closet is almost bigger than my kitchen.  This would be a problem if I cooked, but I don't, so yay me!)
No it's not glamorous and decorated.  It's a closet (though I would love something other
than a wire shelving system. Yuck!)

And this is Husband's side!
Just kidding, his closet is on the other side of the hall, this is just his decades old
bureau for socks, belts and tshirts.

Shirts organized by Lilly, button downs, polos, short sleeve tees and cardis. Can you tell
which is the Lilly section?

Dresses and coats.  I honestly don't wear many dresses or coats. 
I'm a skirts, capris and shorts girl.
Pants, capris and skirts.  Organized by color and Lilly, again. 
I just like keeping the bright Lilly colors together.
The few winter clothes I own, on the bottom shoved into the back.  South Florida girls don't have too many winter clothes per se, but they are capris, skirts and pants in winter colors.  Make sense?

SHOES!!!!  When I winterized, I downsized my shoe collection big-time. 
I got rid of a lot of old shoes that either I don't wear or are worn out.  Closets tend to collect things and be kept for too long.
The next two pictures are the top of my closet.   Here is my preserved wedding dress, old pictures, Lallie's Easter basket that I haven't stored yet AND see those two antique chairs in red, white and yellow?
Those are the chairs that will be painted pink for Lallie's room.

My wrapping paper station!  It's a Home Depot bucket with a pocketed skirt holding tape,
tags, ribbons and other supplies.  Nifty huh?

Name one Lilly collector that doesn't have a Lilly bag where one collects Lilly tags.  I have discovered several other bloggers that do the same.  It's silly, I know. But I just can't stop myself.

This is my great grandmother's antique chair, that I think (not sure) was handed down from her mother.
The seat needs to be repaired and the cushions covered.  It's on my list of "things to do."  But for now, it's perfect for my closet when I need to peruse and think about what to wear, to put on shoes OR to just sit and think when I need a moment to *breathe*.

My overloaded rack of everyday totes, scarfs and my Susan Tancer handbag (the handpainted one on top, isn't it cute?)  The other totes I don't use as often are up top on the other side of my closet.
Of course, my pink U of K hat and pink fluffy robe hang here as well.

So that's a tour of my closet.  I hope you enjoyed!

Next week, your handbag.  So mark your calendars if you want to participate! 
I'll add a Mr. Linky next week. 


On another subject entirely, Oh Happy Day is giving away a trip to Paris!  Yes, a seven day airfare and hotel included trip to Paris!  Ummmm, yes please!  Not that I'll win, but can't help but try.  If anything Oh Happy Day is just a fun blog to read and super crafty.  In addition, with Ashleigh and her wedding planning, the blog has some fabulous ideas there as well!  Check the blog and the giveaway out HERE!

Happy Wednesday Y'all!