April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding!!

Ok I know I said I'd stay away from blogland until after my finals but OMG did everyone wake up and watch the royal wedding this morning?!?! Despite my having an exam from 1-4 today, you better believe that I sprang up out of bed at 5:30 - without even hitting snooze - and soaked up a solid hour or two of royal wedded bliss before I started studying for my employment law exam!

Kate's dress ---- to die! I am still amazed at how well she carried herself. She was so poised. So relaxed. So confident! She just looked like she was born for this day! I loved the sweet moments she and Prince William shared ~ this was soo not the stuffy royal wedding of yesteryear! Props to them on making it so "them" and for sharing sweet moments and laughs despite the 2 billion estimated eyes that were upon them :)

As I sat Indian-style on the floor with a kitty by my side and my nose mere inches away from the TV screen, I kept thinking 1) WOW. This is a once-in-a-lifetime even to be watching live and 2) I wish I could relive my wedding day over and over again! I LOVE WEDDINGS! And I love love... can't wait for my next friend/sister to get hitched!!

Happy Royal Wedding Day! Alright, now back to the books... with E! still on in the background recapping the wedding details while I cram for this final all.day.long, of course!

April 26, 2011


It's that time of year again. The one where I hole up in my apartment or plant my booty in a Panera booth and try to cram into my brain the 14 weeks' worth of materials that I a) neglected to learn throughout the semester b) didn't bother reading, rather I "skimmed for the main idea" -- as if this will help me pass the bar and c) failed to outline on my own and instead decided to rely on other peoples' notes passed around the internet. Good plan?? Probably not my best. But, I had a fun semester and I think that ought to count for something... maybe not points on my exams, but... something.

My first final is tomorrow - so any prayers, well wishes, etc. you care to shoot my way would be greatly appreciated. I'm convinced that it will take nothing short of a miracle for me to pass my finals this time around. C's get degrees, right? Right. I'll cross my fingers for better than C's but if that's all I earn, I can rest assured that its all I deserve at this point! Procrastination only can last so long. As Sheila artfully put it tonight after a mild panic attack I had while studying Sales & Secured transactions... regardless of what we know, we CAN'T STOP THIS TRAIN!

Terrifying. And oh so true! So its back to the books for now... then back to blogging in a couple of weeks! {Although, I think I'll sneak in one little post I have *mostly* finished and saved so I don't lose you all between now and May 6th!}

In the meantime... I'll leave you with this amazing rendition of an old hymn that literally gave me chills. I can't stop listening to it!
And with that - I hope you all had a fabulous Easter with your families and are well-rested from a long weekend of egg hunting and baskets full of goodies! Hopefully amid all the bunnies and chocolate you took a moment to acknowledge the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday and reflected on the sacrifice that was made for each and every one of us!

April 20, 2011

Bison Meatloaf

Alright, kids... are you ready for a healthy, hearty, feel-good recipe? The husb has been reading a lot about making sure your "environment" is healthy so that you can live a long, disease-free life --- in normal people talk this basically means: stay away from stuff that isn't good for you. But it doesn't stop with fatty, greasy foods! Bad things include preservatives, hormones, pesticides, artificial ingredients, and the like. Of course, keeping the fat and calorie content down doesn't hurt. So lately I've been on a mission lately to find good tasting and good for you recipes and this one is a hit!

Bison meat is leaner than beef, and comparable to chicken as far as nutrition goes. It is sweet, and tender, and just delish. Bonus: its affordable. Whole Foods sells it best ~ natural and grass fed and hormone free! Here is a great Ground Bison Meatloaf recipe that is a perfect blend of healthy and home-y, organic and tasty! I dare you to try it.

What you'll need:
1 lb. ground bison
~ 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 packet onion soup mix
1/4 cup mozz. cheese
1 tomato (chopped) OR 1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1/4 cup ketchup
A few teaspoons of brown sugar

**the more of these ingredients you can buy ORGANIC... the better!**

To start, dump all of your meat, onion soup seasoning and bread crumbs into a medium mixing bowl. Grease a loaf pan with some sort of non-stick spray and set aside. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
If you are using a can of diced tomatoes, drain them really well so your meatloaf isn't too soggy! If you are using a regular tomato, start dicing it up! Plop the tomatoes in your mixing bowl, and then chop up your onion the same way and add it to the mix.

After you've combined your ground bison, bread crumbs, onion soup mix, diced tomato and chopped onion, add your egg to the colorful mixing bowl.
Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper, and then stir up all of your ingredients with a fork... or your hand if you don't mind getting a little messy :)

I like to add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce to my meat loaf. You don't have to - I don't really know that it adds much - but I'm convinced that it makes all meat meals more tender. This is my unqualified, amateur chef opinion.
Dinner isn't complete without a little cheese, right? That's my mantra anyway. So toss in 1/4 cup (or more...) of your favorite cheese. I think shredded mozzarella works best, but I'm not one to discriminate against any of the cheeses.
Make sure its allllll mixed up and then smoosh your mixture into your non-stick loaf pan! Smash it down so its flat on top... or don't, I'm betting it doesn't make a difference, but this looks prettier.
In a baby dish, mix together your ketchup and brown sugar, then spread it evenly over the top of your little loaf.
It should look something like this before you toss it in the oven! If you want to change the flavor a bit, you can substitute BBQ sauce for the ketchup. Or use both. Get creative!
Bake your oh-so-legit-looking meatloaf in the center of your oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. I poked a few holes in some potatoes and wrapped them in foil to bake and serve with my loaf. Please ignore the nastiness that is living on the bottom of my oven... I'm terrified of the self-cleaning function, and too lazy to wipe the bottom of the oven myself. A dirty oven won't ruin the taste of your dinner. Swear.

While your meatloaf bakes, I suggest that you watch Seinfeld re-runs with your hubby. Or scold your bad kitty girl for chewing on an ice pack that your husb left beside the bed. You can tell her that it is poisonous, but more importantly you can tell her that her sharp little teeth made the blue yick spill out all over her mama's white carpet.
See the teethmarks in the top left corner? We almost had a dead Bella. Thankfully I caught the mess before she did too much damage to herself. Or my carpets. But it was late, and I was sleepy... so I tossed a glass of water and Andrew's pj pants on top of the blue stains (dilute and cover - that was my genius plan) and went back to bed. This, I'm guessing, didn't make it any easier to get rid of the blue marks the next morning. But I wouldn't know... because I haven't cleaned them yet...

She's lucky she's cute. And fortunately for her, I think she is still cute even when she looks cross-eyed in candid pictures.
Enough of Bella. Here is what your finished Bison Meatloaf and baked potatoes should look like when you pull the deliciousness from the oven! Yummmm!

Top your taters with whatever your little heart desires - butter, cheese, Ranch, butter... oh I already said that one? Add some more. Let your meatloaf stand to cool for a few minutes then slice it up and serve with your His and Hers beers! Or wine if you are classy like that. You could fill the bare white spots on the plate w/ veggies or a salad if you wanted to. I was too busy playing w/ my cat to remember a green food item.

Enjoy!!! If you are cooking for two, this will definitely leave you with some leftovers - which is great, because Andrew had lunch for a week. Even after 5 days in a row of Bison Meatloaf....... he asked me to make it again the next week! Success :)

April 14, 2011

Springy Style

Spring can be a weird season to dress for. When is too soon for sandals? White pants? Straw hats? How late is too late to still be wearing boots? Wool? Normally I dread spring shopping... and generally just avoid it all together. I go from basically winter to summer when it comes to my wardrobe. But not this year, my friends! I'm loving these spring trends from some of my favorite (and most affordable) stores!
Bright, flirty skirts! White pants! Horizontal stripes - in nautical colors! Sleeveless dresses! Straw hats and belts, omg. I am gravitating toward outfits that are school/work/play appropriate these days. The more versatile, the more I love it! These are all outfits that fit into just about any budget - even mine! - and can be found at Ann Taylor, Loft, Gap and Banana Republic :)

This just got me really excited for birthday shopping! Now if only I can muster up the patience to wait for gift $$$...

April 11, 2011

Blogs + Coffee = Love

I don't love my own blog... in fact, most days I hate that I even have it. But I have come to realize that I love reading other blogs! Some of the most peaceful "me" moments as of late have revolved around me sipping a cup of coffee while catching up on my favorite blogs. I have some new favorites, and some old favorites, and here a mix of both that I have enjoyed most lately:

My blog reading has led me to a few conclusions about myself: 1.) I am extremely nosy... I love knowing other peoples' business, and if they want to blab about it all over the internet for me to read - you better believe that I will! 2.) I'm a s.u.c.k.e.r for celebrity gossip and I love nothing more than reading about where they got their $1,400 shoes they wore to some sporting event they only showed up at to be photographed or who made the overpriced bag they are carrying on a date with their reality show boyfriend. 3.) I'm a wanna-be decorator, and someday the hundreds of beautiful home decorating and DIY pictures I've saved away on my computer WILL be put to good use {maybe not by me personally, but in my home somehow} 4.) Most of what I love to read is some combination of the following: fashion, food, and family.

At least I'm drawn to a fairly equal mix of celebrity gossip and cooking blogs. And somehow I think the stay-at-home-moms-decorating-their-house-on-a-budget-and-raising-babies blogs cancel out the ones I read that just showcase sinfully overpriced fashion on emaciated celebs. Right? Check out some of my faves... just don't blame me when you get hooked :)

April 8, 2011


Its almost my birthday! Its almost my biiirthday!!!

Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family... probably too big at times (one year I think I had like 6 parties. excessive you say? yes, I'm aware.) but that is the last thing I'd ever complain about! The over-the-top birthday celebrations continued well into my teen years, and sadly in my early 20s not much has changed :) The husb loves it... not. When we first started dating he indulged me and went along with the ridiculousness of "birthday month" but now that we are married {and getting to be ages that are somewhat less exciting}, he has reigned me in a bit. We now do "birthday week." Fine by me - just so long as he doesn't try to abbreviate my celebrations any more as the years go on!

Here is what I have learned about birthdays in my (nearly) 24 years of life:
- They get less and less fun as you move farther away from your 21st.
- Parties are no longer the norm, they are actually almost embarrassing... until you hit 30 or the dreaded 5-0.

Now that I'm a big girl I go out and buy most of my "needs" as I, well, need them. Like, if I need new sneakers? Why wait for a birthday, just buy them. Need new bathing suits? Order some. The wants are the things I try my hardest to save for Christmas and birthdays,  but when the time comes around to actually compile the list of things I've been ogling for months --- I draw a blank! Or as the case may be... my list has grown so long that I can't even narrow it down. This year, I'm plagued with having to narrow down. Here are some of the "wants" currently on my wish list:
I've been crushing on two-toned Michael Kors watches for months. Ever since my sister got one at Christmas I have thought it was the cutest most versatile little accessory! Add to that the fact that I have to use my cell phone as a watch (gets annoying) and the great price... and I think this sucker just might have moved into the #1 slot on my list!
 I have heard nothing but rave reviews about this Nars blush in Orgasm! Sheila wears it, and she is basically my make-up guru since I am c.l.u.e.l.e.s.s when it comes to cosmetics... but now that I know my reality TV idol Emily Maynard wears it - I am obsessed! The $27 price tag makes me cringe, but I could justify it as a gift rather than an everyday purchase.
I just may have to have this perfume. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh = heavenly! I first caught a whiff of this stuff while I was flipping through the pages of a magazine, and when it got Andrew's stamp of approval I knew it was just meant to be my summer fragrance! He is super picky about my perfumes, but this is one we both agreed smells amazing... its light, and floral-y, and just screams "SUMMER!"
This Kate Spade beauty definitely goes in the I-want-you-but-totally-don't-need-you category of my wish list. Kate teases me with emails almost daily, and today I found this gem in my in-box for 25% off the already low sale price! Teal is not usually my favorite accent color, but this bag is so fun and springy, and I'm just really liking that it is a great bag for a great value!

One of these gift cards would also be much appreciated as I am finding that my warm weather work wardrobe is somewhat lacking. It would be nice to cutesie up my summer clothes now so that I'm not sweating to death in cardigans in the sweltering Georgia heat that will hit me like a brick wall any day now.
I'm also hoping for a charm of his choice from the hubbs to add to my Pandora bracelet and, of course, a fancy pants romantic birthday dinner date! As a rule, I send my wish list to Andrew first and let him have first pick of what he wants to get me. Sometimes he wants to be creative and come up with his own ideas, and other times he appreciates the not-so-subtle hints I drop.

Lucky for me, I have lots of special people in my life who are asking for my wish list... so while I might not get everything on there, I know that I will end up with at least a few of the goodies on my list and will undoubtedly be flooded with lots of love via text, card, call and email from the people who mean the most to me on my bday. And if I've learned nothing else in my 24 years, its that the latter is what will really make this birthday special! Gifts from my list would just be the icing on my (cheese)cake :)

April 4, 2011

Get grilling!

For my fellow Southerners, you know that grilling season has commenced! The weather down here has been a little erratic - 80 one day, 56 the next? - but the evenings almost alllways cool down to a perfect temperature for cooking out. So, we have been taking advantage! But after our dual spring break weeks, where we splurged and indulged, we need to cut back a few cals and toss a couple of nutritious meals on the grill. 

Some of our grilling *healthy* favorites include: ground bison burgers, turkey burgers w/ feta and spinach, beef/chicken and veggie kabobs, and salmon and asparagus! All are easy peasy to make, and if you have a cute grillmaster I hear they taste even better :) Here is how we grill up our most loved fish!

The ingredients are so simple (you already own most of them, I promise) and now that we have a little grill basket this is even easier to cook - but I took the pics before we owned the handy grilling contraption so I'll have to save its grand introduction for another post! Here is all you do to make this nutritious grilled meal:

What you need:
  • 2 salmon filets (or a single cut ~3/4 lb. for two people)
  • A bundle of asparagus
  • Minced garlic (we like the kind in olive oil)
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wash the asparagus and snap the little ends off, then spread them on a piece of foil
  • Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil, lemon juice, and sprinkle w/ salt and pepper to taste
  • Put the salmon filets in a separate piece of foil and do basically the same thing... except drench it in the olive oil, lemon juice, and then scoop on as much minced garlic on top as your little heart desires!
  • Transfer your foil "pouches" to the grill - salmon over the flames, and the asparagus on the top rack or off to the side of the heat - with the sides folded up so your yummy stuff doesn't roll out
  • The salmon should cook in about 20 min depending on how well-done you like it, but just check it with a fork and it should be cooked once it sort of flakes apart
  • The asparagus, off the heat, should cook in about the same time as the salmon... you can scoop a little minced garlic over it when its close to being finished, too!

You can serve it all over a bed of spinach if you are like my hubby and are into lots of greens... or, if you are more like moi you can pair your feast with a good-for-the-heart-so-its-totally-justified glass of vino! Seriously so easy... and since grilling outdoors is soo much more fun than being cooped up in the kitchen while your other half watches Seinfeld re-runs, I plan to post some of our other grilling favorites soon!