Thursday, June 30, 2011

Valley Vineyards

To kick off the official beginning of summer we got some of our friends together and we headed to a local winery. During the summer months you can cook out on their huge outdoor grills. We had a blast hanging out with our most wonderful friends while eating delicious food and sipping on local wine. If you live in the Cincinnati area you should check out Valley Vineyards! Now on to the pictures...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So you are getting 2 posts in one day from me because it is summer time and I have officially lost track of the days. That is such a great feeling! I'm linking up with Jamie to share a few things I'm loving today.
I'm loving that my friend Betsy is coming to stay for a few days!
Us getting ready before our friend Katy's wedding

I'm loving that it is almost the 4th and I already have a few fabulous recipes picked out to create
Option 1:

Option #2:
    And if you want to see the absolute cutest set up for a 4th of July party on the Lake check out this website.

I'm loving all the ideas I am finding for my sister's upcoming Bridal Shower that I am throwing...can you guess the theme?
          I'm loving the old window panes that I found at a garage sale. My head is spinning with all the things I can create with these. Here's what I'm thinking about doing at the moment.

                  I'm loving that my hubby is home! He was at a teaching conference in Cleveland for 2 days and it is just lonely around here without him!

 Happy Wednesday!

Belts, belts, belts

As I'm analyzing my closet for my remix outfits I am beginning to notice that I just might have a problem. I am a little bit obsessed with b-e-l-t-s. As this realization hit me I was reminded of some of the pictures my kindergarten students have made for almost every picture they have drawn of me, I am wearing a belt. Exhibit A:
Aren't I beautiful? Haha.
I never used to be big on belts, but then I realized how skinny they can make your waist look and how cute they can make any outfit! So I am very sorry if every picture you see of me includes a belt, but these pictures are no exception. Here is Outfit #3:
Dress-Fossil (I have a friend who gets me 50% off so I can actually afford it)
Sweater-Ann Taylor Loft (Teacher Discount)
Belt-Michael Kors (gift)
Shoes-Dillards (gift)
Headband (which you probably can't see due to the fabulous back lighting)-Forever 21

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Pear-fect Salad

I have to share this salad recipe with you especially if you like pears. I will admit that I hardly ever eat pears so when my sister in law gave me a recipe that included pears and swiss cheese I wasn't quite sold...until I tried it.
My sister in law is a fabulous cook. She is in a "Book Cooks" club in Nashville with some of her girlfriends. They get together once a month and cook their way through a whole cookbook. Maybe I'll have her do a guest post about it because I would love to be in a club like this with my girlfriends! Anyway, she recently gave me a binder full of all her favorite recipes. She called it Tried and True because it is full of recipes she has tried and loved.
This salad was the first thing I tried out of her cookbook and I've already made it 3 times.
Ingredients for the Poppyseed dressing:
 -2/3 cup vegetable oil
-2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
-2 tsp. finely chopped onion
-1 tsp. Dijon mustard
-1/4 tsp. coarse salt
Ingredients for the Salad:
-1 large head Romaine lettuce, stems removed
-3 cups arugula
-1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
-1 cup whole cashews
-1/2 cup craisins
-1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and cubed
-1 ripe pear, cored, and cubed

1. Mix together the dressing in a lidded jar; shake until thick and smooth.
2. Combine salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Let me know what you think if you try this salad out! And if you just can't get enough of me today I'm guest blogging about wall treatments over at Life of the Liles!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fashion train

Ready for outfit #2 of my remix? I actually wore this outfit the night of my birthday and was so proud of my new creation. I have had this skirt for an entire year and have worn it with the same sweater every time...until now! It is amazing what a belt and some bling will do to an outfit.
The restaurant that hubby of mine and I went to on my birthday was fantastic. It was called The Works and was in the cutest downtown ever. We found an adorable candy shop and walked on the bike trail after dinner. Here is a picture of the restaurant, which used to be an old fire house. I loved the atmosphere!
And here's my wonderful hubby who spoils me!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I was so much more motivated to wear a cute outfit today with the 30 for 30 challenge as my motivation. Sometimes when you don't have big plans for the day it is easier to put on your favorite jeans and throw on a comfy t-shirt and just be done, but I had so much fun going through my closet and picking out my first Remix outfit this morning. I am already learning from this challenge that the key to these outfits are going to be my accessories!
Tonight that hubby of mine and I are going to our first cook out of the summer. I'm taking this Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip that I tried out last week. It is so easy and definitely a crowd pleaser.
Here is the link with the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip.
I can't believe how fast the summer is already going so far. SLOW DOWN SUMMER! Seriously, I have so many things on my summer to do list and at this rate I will get about 3 of those things done. Hope your weekend is off to a wonderful start!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jumping on the fashion bandwagon

I am so excited to be starting the 30 for 30 remix. Read all about it at Kendi's blog here! I may have missed the link up and I'm starting two weeks behind all the other remixers, but I'm doing this for me and all the clothes that never get worn in my closet. I don't claim to be a fashionista, but I do like to know the latest trends and I want to step out of my fashion "box" and start putting together some new outfits! Here are the 30 pieces I've picked to remix.

10 Tops
3 pairs of shorts
3 Dresses
4 Skirts
1 Cardigan, 1 Vest and 1 Sweater
6 pairs of shoes (disregard the white shoes...sorry I'm lazy and didn't want to retake the picture)
1 pair of jeans (not pictured-blame the wash)

Over the next few weeks I will be posting more about "fashion" than ever before on this little blog of mine and hopefully I will find a few new outfits to wear out of this! I will post my first outfit tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WILW-Birthday Edition

I'm linking up with Jamie for another edition of What I'm Loving Wednesday...I have a lot to love today!
I'm loving all the cards, texts, phone calls and facebook messages I got on my birthday. I am so blessed!
I'm loving my new GREEN Brita filter, I love me some ice cold, clean water!

I'm loving that my husband loves our cats as much as I do. He made me a calendar of our cats complete with captions as part of my birthday present. He is so thoughtful. Some people make calendars of their kids. Us? We make calendars of our cats and we are not ashamed.
I'm loving my new Michael Kors belt from my Mom and sister.
I'm loving my new NOOK and cover. I can't wait to use it! And for all you Nook users out there, did you know you can borrow Ebooks from the library???
I'm loving the new restaurant hubby and I went to for my birthday dinner. Great pizza in an old fire house and free dessert. Yes please.
I'm loving how spoiled I feel and probably sound right about now.
Happy Wednesday friends!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's your birthday...get free stuff!

My birthday is always a day I look forward to. It is probably because I get spoiled on my birthday and who hates to be spoiled? Not me! This year more than any other I have received more emails and cards offering me free stuff than ever before. Getting free stuff on your birthday is a snap, just go to a few of the websites below and sign up for their e-newsletters or become a reward club member. Here are a few places you should let know you have an upcoming birthday and why:
McAlisters-$5.00 off your next meal
Qdoba-Buy one get one free burrito
City BBQ-Free dessert
Limited- $15.00 to spend on your birthday (when you have a Limited Card)
Graeters-Free Sundae
Firehouse Subs-Get a free sub on birthday
BD's Mongolian BBQ-Free stir fry
Caribou Coffee-Free coffee
First Watch-Free entree
Benihana-Join the Chef's table to get a 30 gift certificate!
Let's just say this year I'm cashing in and I will be eating my way through the rest of the month of June for little to no cost for me. I love birthdays and I love free stuff! Hope you can use some of these tips to make your birthday even happier.

Here's the dress I just bought at Limited using my birthday AND teacher discount on top of 30% off...score! You will be seeing this dress again, but with a new belt in an upcoming post.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,
Thank you for always being there to support me. Thank you for providing me with a home filled with love and so many happy memories. I will never forget the time I left Thumper on the Disney tram and you chased it down for what seemed like miles just to make sure to get back that silly toy bunny for your 5 year old daughter. Thank you for passing down your love of chocolate and your love of people. Thank you for working hard to provide for our family. I don't tell you thank you enough, but I hope you know how grateful I am to have a dad like you! Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

3 Reasons Why I Love Country Concerts

Thursday night that hubby of mine and I went to see Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton in concert at Riverbend. For those of you wondering what Riverbend is, it is a huge outdoor event venue on the Ohio River. It was the perfect night for a concert, weather in the 70's and a full moon! We met up with my hubby's cousin and his wife and had a great time. Any excuse to wear cowboy boots, yell Yee haw and fist pump while enjoying country music and I'm in. Here are 3 reasons I love country concerts, this one in particular.
1. Country concerts give you your money's worth. We had lawn seats because a. they were cheaper and b. the lawn is more fun anyway. So mid-song Brad Paisley wanders out onto the lawn with his band and then proceeds to perform 2 songs out there. I have never seen anyone do that before. He said he wanted us all to get our money's worth too and we did.

2. Country concerts are a surprise. Blake Shelton brought along his team from the Voice who performed his song Honey Bee with him. I am loving this new show and was surprised to see some of their faces on stage.

3. Country concerts are the best place to people watch. I wish I could have taken pictures of some of the ridiculous outfits I saw. A few of my favorites were guys in cut off shorts with cowboy boots and a beer belly, girls in bikini tops that were too small and then there's always those older woman who dress like they are still in their teens and paw on young "studs." Ew.

Here is a style that was quite popular last night that I actually love.
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

I hope to attend at least one more concert at Riverbend this summer. Do you have a place you like to see your favorite bands?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beer Can Chicken

Have you ever had Beer Can Chicken? Oh my gosh it is amazing. It is the perfect beach or lake vacation food! But of course I can't just give you the recipe...I have to relive our family vacation to Douglas Lake (where I first had and became a fan of Beer Can Chicken).
Jet skis plus...

amazing sunsets on the water plus...

fun family plus...

fishing, boating, tubing, water skiing= a fun summer getaway
Now for the recipe for Beer Can Chicken. It is what it sounds...a whole chicken and a can of beer on a grill. Now don't be afraid if you don't like the taste of beer, I promise it only enhances the flavor of the chicken and makes the chicken so incredibly moist. See picture below.
  • 1 whole 3-4 Pound Chicken, Giblets Removed
  • 1 can Beer (12 Ounce Can, But You Can Drink Half)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Seasoned Salt
  • 1 stick Butter
    For detailed instructions on how to prepare the chicken please go here! Anyone else ever had Beer Can Chicken before?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm linking up with Jamie to share some things I am loving today!
I'm loving that my birthday is in 6 days. I always look forward to my birthday...probably a little too much.
Source: via Allison on Pinterest

I'm loving that I get to see Brad Paisley in concert TOMORROW

I'm loving fish tacos. They are my new favorite summer dish and here is a recipe you should try: Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos
I'm loving that hubby and I have tennis courts within walking distance of our house and the fact that we will be playing frequently this summer.

I'm loving this idea for a Smores bar! Adding this to my list of summer party ideas.

                     What are you loving today?