Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sassyrae Giveaway!

Ooooh, have I got a treat for you!  Just in time for the holidays, Megan from Sassyrae Expressions (a FABULOUS etsy store) is offering 1 lucky reader 2 wonderful gifts from her shop!

Megan is so creative and fun, and her items are absolutely adorable!  From notecards, to invitations, to desktop calendars, you can find a gift for anyone on your Christmas list, or to even stuff in your OWN stocking!

Whoo Whoo Baby Shower Invitation - Set of 25

Christmas Card - Merry and Bright - Print Yourself

Christmas Card - Peace Love and Joy- Print Yourself

Fun Frame 2012 Desk Calendar

Little Peanut Baby Shower Invitation - Set of 25

Chevron 2012 Desk Calendar

Go here to check them out!

Now, for what YOU can win!!
Megan is giving away to ONE lucky reader:

1 set of Christmas notecards
1 Desktop Calendar

Lyrical Christmas Cards - Set of 9
Christmas notecards

Chevron 2012 Desk Calendar
Desktop Calendar - (on MY wish list!)

Ways to Enter:

1) Be a follower of my blog - and leave a comment that you are :)
2)Visit Sassyrae and let me know what your favorite item is

Extra Entries
(leave a comment for each one)
1)Visit Sassyrae and make the shop a "Favorite"
2)Visit Sassyrae's facebook page and leave a comment on her page about this giveaway
A random winner will be chosen on Dec. 15th.
If you are chosen, you will be put in touch w/ Megan about which specific items you would like!

Good luck!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Me, A to Z


I saw this cute list on Liz's blog last weekend and I thought it might be fun to do!  It's basically a list of random things about me from A-Z.  If that sounds completely and utterly boring to you, then maybe click out and come back tomorrow!  But if you are interested in the slightest, keep reading!  And let me know if you do one on your blog, too! :)

A. Age – 27.

B. Bed size – King for sure.  I love all the wiggle (and snuggle) room :)

C. Chore that you hate – Dusting.  It makes me sneeze.

D. Dogs – Sanderson Cooper was my childhood buddy.  Now we are saving up for a Goldendoodle!
I mean, look how precious...


E. Essential start to your day – Since I work the night shifts 1/2 of the week, my start to the day is watching the Ellen Degeneres show, and having a ham and cheese omelet.  I STRIVE to also have a daily devotional 1st thing when I wake up.

F. Favorite color – Turquoise and Coral, it's a tie.  I love all things bright :)

G. Gold or silver – Tricky....I like both, but lately I'm loving gold.

H. Height – 5'5 (and a 1/2)

I. Instruments you play – I played the piano throughout my childhood.  I can still play "My Heart will go On" from Titanic....but for now, mostly I just whistle or hum.

J. Job title – Ultrasound Sonographer...and I love it!

K. Kids – Love them. Can't wait to have them!

L. Live – Currently, North Carolina.  John graduates from Duke in the spring, and we may be moving, but we don't know where yet! 

M. Mother’s name – Marie, aka. Mom, Momma, Marmie

N. Nicknames – Emmie, Emmie-lou, Em-cicle, Em (my favorite is "Peaches" though - love you hubs!)  

O. Overnight hospital stays – None that I can remember -- knock on wood!

P. Pet peeves – When people make "I" possessive.  For instance:  "Come to John and I's apartment." or "I just finished the photo album of Mom and I's trip."  HATE IT.  Also when people chew with their mouth open.  I'm guilty too. 

Q. Quote from a movie – "I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."  When Harry met Sally

R. Right or left handed – Righty Right

S. Siblings – Older brother, Brad!  Love him dearly.  He is an amazing person, and successful lawyer in Florida, and he's single.  Email me for more information :)

T. Time it takes you to get ready – Hmmmm, that depends if I have to wash my hair.  I've been loving dry shampoo lately, so if I'm using that, then 30 mins!

U. Underwear – I don't really know how to answer this one..... I love Victoria's Secret underwear - they are the best!

V. Vegetable you hate – Tomatoes.  Well technically they are a fruit. 
So maybe cauliflower?  They are so boring.

W. What makes you run late – My hair.  That's why I love dry shampoo so much!  ;)

X. X-rays you’ve had – No X-rays.  But CT's of my head for sure.  Boo sinuses.

Y. Yummy food you make – My favorite dish that I can do in my sleep is Lasagna Bolognese.  My favorite sweet would have to be peanut butter brownie pie.  Ok, now I'm hungry.

Z. Zoo animal – Monkeys.  They always seem to be having so much fun!

Ok, that's it!  I'm amazed if there is anyone who actually stayed intrigued long enough to get to the end :)  Are there any of you who have some of the same random facts as me??


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adventures with Spaghetti Squash

This was a delicious and healthy meal I cooked last week and it was so good!!  Better than I thought it was going to be, and hubs LOVED it!  I will definitely be making this again.  It was my first time cooking with spaghetti squash, and it really was amazing how similar it is to spaghetti noodles.  Now, the texture is a bit different, but you definitely feel like you are eating something more "carb" than "veggie".  At least in my opinion.  Check it out -- it's a fun new twist on the classic chicken and veggie meal :)  
And let me know how it goes!  

Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes


1 whole spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp EVOO
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 C chicken broth
1/3 C sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 C broccoli florets
1 C frozen peas
2 whole chicken breasts, grilled (or sauteed) and sliced
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt/pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
2. With a sharp knife, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape/remove seeds with a spoon.
3. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet: bake for 45 minutes. Let squash cool.
4. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash with the tines to remove strands.
5. In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute.
6. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, sundried tomatoes, and broccoli and saute 5 minutes.
7. Add peas, grilled chicken, and remaining 3/4 cup of chicken broth. Shake about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese into mixture (just enough to thicken the chicken broth).
8. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes.
9. Serve on top of the squash strands with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.


P.S. If you aren't familiar with Spaghetti Squash, look for them in the produce section with all the seasonal squashes.  I found mine in the local Farmer's Market section of Harris Teeter..and they look like this:

after baked, the inside shreds apart like spaghetti noodles, hence the name :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Pinned Image

in the spirit of thanksgiving, i thought i would share a quick list of some things that i am thankful for this year.  there are so many things, but here are just a few:

getting to marry my best friend and experience our lives together- sometimes i have to pinch myself

our wonderful families that love us deeply and encourage us daily

God's unchanging and unconditional love for me, and the fact that no matter where I am in life, He is beside me every step of the way

my wonderful job - i feel so blessed to do what i love, and to help others every single day

my friends who are there in the good times and the bad

the beauty of fall, and the changing of colors

christmas music and holiday decorations - they make me so happy and joyful

iced chai tea lattes - "christmas in a cup"

getting to spend thanksgiving with john's family in nashville - and finally getting to meet our new niece, AG!

and last but not least, i'm thankful for...

no i'm kidding, kind of

 i'm thankful for my blog, and all my followers.  it is a wonderful outlet for me, and i love being able to write about the things i love

happy thanksgiving!

"it is not happy people who are thankful.  it is thankful people who are happy."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Peace Up, A-town Down

I love road trips, always have.  Whether it's a car full of friends, me and the hubs, or all by my lonesome, I'll take it.  I love exploring new cities, driving on cruise control, blaring Glee soundtracks, and of course the road trip snacks.  (My faves are Swedish Fish, White Cheddar popcorn, Chex Mix, and Pretzel M&Ms.)  Oh and of course lunch at Chick-fil-a and dinner at Cracker Barrel (a tradition me and the hubs have.)

I took off last weekend for a road trip to the great southern city of Atlanta to visit my college besties, Chelly and Elly, and my "nephew" Carter.  It was a much-needed vacay with the girls, and we had a blast together!  
Thank you girls for everything!!  Miss y'all already!!

Pics from the trip!

1st night - dinner at Uncle Julio's

margs obvi ;)

We all have the iPhone now!

Afternoon stroll with C-man

Shopping w/ Chelly
Lunch at The Fickle Pickle

Mr. Pickle and me

Delish dinner at Noche
Mussels, mmmm
Kinda blurry!  Love it anyway!
Next night - dinner at Roux
Best shrimp po-boy!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

I tried this dish out when I had company in town recently, and it was a hit!  Quick, easy, and scrumptious. 
And I think I only had to clean 2 bowls -- added bonus.  Great for a weeknight meal, and especially great for those hubbies who love leftovers, because this makes a lot!

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

8 oz uncooked rigatoni
1 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed
3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8 oz) container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese
½ t salt, ½ t pepper
1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare rigatoni according to pkg directions.  Spread oil on bottom of 11x17 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender.  Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside.

Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels.  Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, & next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl.  Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes; uncover & bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh Hey!

Oh, hey blog!  It's been too long.  One post a week just isn't gonna cut it.  I'm slacking, I know.
You see, with my new shift at work (NO MORE WORKING WEEKENDS!), I am taking full advantage of spending all my free time hanging with the hubs and friends.  And taking naps. 
So I've neglected the ole blog a little. Sawwwy.

Speaking of neglecting, I also have not been working out much here lately, and my elliptical machine reminded me of that, when it beat me up yesterday.  I was trying to jump off with it still going, to run get some water, and one of the pedals slammmmmmed into my shin.  I literally fell to the floor and tears instantly welled up in my eyes.  It HURT!


I'm better now though, but is it bad that I don't really want to get back on the elliptical? I'm skerrrred.
(And I'd rather just watch Ellen and eat my weight in Cheezits. 
Hey, they are reduced fat, so that's kind of like working out.) 

So now that I'm back to blogging, I need to update all my fabulous readers my Mom on things here in the beautiful state of NC.  John has been working so hard at school, and is still recruiting for jobs next fall.  It is definitely an exciting time for us, as we will find out soon where our journey will take us next! 
We are confident in the Lord's plan for us, and pray that we will trust Him completely with this next phase of our lives.

I've been cooking lots, and of course baking!  Some of my recent faves have been:

Gnocchi - 1st time making, so good!

Chicken/Spinach Pasta bake

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies - not so pretty, but oh so yummy

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Veggies


I had one of my BESTIES come visit 2 weekends ago, which was fabulous!!  Aubs traveled from Nashville to NC, and we had the best time shopping, eating, exploring, and catching up. 
Here are some pics from her visit!  Thank you Aubs for coming!!

Shopping for her baby registry (!!) at PB Kids

Getting our "winter" on at Gap

More shopping

Best brunch EVER at Parker and Otis

Duke Campus - gorgeous

Pizza at Pop's 

She introduced to the "Fave Reds" and now I'm addicted ;)
We had SUCH an amazing time!!  See you soon Aubsie!!

And last weekend, I packed up my bags, my Swedish Fish, and my newest book on tape (Breaking Dawn), and headed off on a mini road trip to Atlanta to visit some more of my BFF's! 
But since I want to have more than 1 blog post a week, I'll save the stories and pictures from that little adventure for my next post!  So stay tuned!