Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The List

Some of you may not think too much of Ohio, but I really do love it! We may not have the ocean, but we do have the beach (water park), Kings Island and Cedar Point. We also have some great sports teams,  amazing parks and rivers, restaurants, shopping centers and we get to enjoy all 4 seasons. I love my state and I love my city...granted I was born and raised here, but I promise there are some perks to being a Buckeye. My husband and I sat down and made our own Cincinnati Bucket List and I am finally posting the official list. I expect this list will grow and change as we add more to it and cross things off.
Our Cincinnati Bucket List:
Go to Findlay Market
Go to Opening day at the Reds stadium
Be a part of the Opening Day Parade
Go to the Cincinnati Art Museum
Find and visit several Ohio Vineyards (yes there are vineyards in Ohio)
-Valley Vineyard
Visit local Ohio breweries
Eat at a few different Jeff Ruby Restaurants
Go to Taste of Cincinnati
Visit Newport Aquarium
Have a picnic at Eden Park
Visit the Cincinnati Observatory and look at some stars
Find Nature preserves and hike the trails
Attend a concert at all the concert venues in the area:
-US Bank Arena
Stay at The Netherland Plaza
Run a 5K through the Cincinnati Zoo (Cheetah Run)
Go on top of the Carew Tower
Ride in a carriage downtown around Fountain Square
Attend a play at Playhouse in the Park
Maple Syrup Tapping at the Cincinnati Nature Center
Bike the Loveland bike trail
Zipline at Camp Kern
Bet on a race at Riverdowns
Go to a Cyclones hockey game
Camp at different camp sites:
-Hueston Woods
-Hocking Hills
Go to an exhibit at Union Terminal
Go to Jungle Jim's 
Ice skate on Fountain square
Go to Krohn's conservatory
Participate in the Flying Pig marathon and/or the Color Run
Visit all the state parks within 30 miles of us

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cake batter milkshakes

Saturday night one of my girlfriends and I made cake batter milkshakes...it is going to be our new girl's night ritual until we have tried every flavor of cake mix there is. We got the original recipe from here.
We decided to go for the devil's food cake mix since we both love anything chocolate. All you need is 4-5 cups of milk, a box of cake mix, 4-5 scoops of icecream (we used chocolate) and then the other ingredients called for on the back of the cake mix (minus the eggs.)
They were delicious, but the next time I make these (because I am making them again) I will make a few changes to this recipe. I do love cake batter, but wow...using a whole box of cake mix was way too much for my taste buds to handle. Plus it was so thick it took effort to suck the shake up through a straw.  My recommendation is that when you make these that you make the cake batter in a separate bowl and slowly add it to the ice cream and milk in a blender until you are satisfied with the taste. We just dumped all the ingredients in the blender and hoped for the best.
I don't even want to guess how many calories are in one of these shakes, but on a girl's night I've been told calories don't count right?! I would definitely recommend giving these shakes a whirl.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear sweet as pie husband,
Thank you for supporting me as I am putting the final pieces together for my Etsy shop. You listen patiently to all my ideas and you even helped me paint my photo backdrop and let me abandon you for my sewing machine for hours. That's true love.
Dear French fry cutter,
Where have you been all my life? I had no idea I could make french fries with such ease. I love you, but hate you for the fat you will add to my thighs now that I've found you.
Dear Pioneer Woman,
Your tour dates are now posted and Cincinnati is not on the list this year. I am so sad. Please come back. Oh and your new cookbook comes out this month. I can't wait to try some new recipes. Your sugar and butter filled recipes never let me down.
Dear sister,
I know you found out some tough news this week about grad school, but you are amazing and God has BIG, BIG, BIG plans for you. I love you lots and wish I could give you a big hug.
Dear Ohio Weather,
It's snowing?! Really? Yesterday it was 55 and sunny. Will you please make up your mind already? 
Dear Carly (who just turned 21), 
We had so much fun celebrating with you on Wednesday night. You look cute in a sombrero.
Dear husband (again),
I can't wait for sushi and Downton Abbey tonight. You did know we were watching Downton Abbey right? Oh I forgot to mention that? You are a trooper and I love you more than words could ever say.

Love, Allison

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving that last night's meal turned out so amazing...Pork medallions with Balsamic-Honey glaze. Yummo. Click here for the recipe!
I'm loving the package I got in the mail from my sweet friend Emily!!! Go check out her blog. She's awesome.
I'm loving Downton Abbey...It's the perfect show to craft to and I'm intrigued by the lifestyles and the era surrounding this show. It's on Instant Netflix if you want to try it out.
I'm loving that March is almost here. March means spring break, Ali's wedding in North Carolina and The Hunger Games movie! My book club already has a date for dinner and this movie planned.

I'm loving my kitties and how much they love to cuddle...they make me take "breaks" from grading papers and lesson planning to give them my full attention.
I'm loving this amazing find on Pinterest...these cake batter milkshakes look so good!

I'm loving these Lauren Conrad dresses. I have bought 2 dresses from her line and I love them both...why not add some more to my collection??
                                                                                                 Source: kohls.com via Allison on Pinterest
                                                                                                  Source: kohls.com via Allison on Pinterest
                                                                                            Source: kohls.com via Allison on Pinterest

And as always I'm loving my husband! (He's even better than crab wontons.)

Monday, February 20, 2012


This weekend was so refreshing. My sister and her husband were in town and we had a lot of quality family time, which included delicious food, games, sewing lessons and movies. Saturday night Alyssa and David cooked us an authentic chinese meal and it was amazing. David's dad owns a chinese restaurant so the egg roll recipe is a family secret or else I would share the recipe. Oh Yum!
Sunday afternoon my sister gave me some sewing lessons! She has been taking lessons in Indiana so she passed along some of her tips and tricks. It was so nice to have some sister time and my sewing machine was so happy to not be neglected.

I'm so thankful for my amazing family and for long weekends. Here's to a short work week!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Photo editing sights

                                                                                              Source: etsy.com via Allison on Pinterest

Okay friends I have a question for all of you photo editing lovers. Since Picnik is closing (I'm so sad!) I'm looking for another place to store and edit my pictures. I loved the ease and amazing features Picnik had to offer. Is there anything out there that's similar? As badly as I want to start learning the ins and outs of photoshop I'm not sure I have the time or money to devote to this right now. I saw that Google + has some of the features similar to Picnik in their creative kit, but you can't make collages and I love collages.

So I'm curious...what do you use to edit your pictures and why? I'd love your advice on which one I should try!

Google + creative kit?

Oh and since GFC is another Google feature that's kicking the bucket I decided to give Bloglovin' a whirl. Click here if you want to follow me there!
Happy Weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Letters

I'm so happy it's FRIDAY! I'm linking up with Ashley for another edition of Friday's letters!
Dear Husband of mine, Thank you for making my Valentine's day so special. I'm one lucky gal to be married to you! Can you believe you have been my Valentine for 10 years now?
Dear Presidents, Thank you for being so great...great enough to give me a day off of school Monday!
Dear Stephinella, We have a date tonight to see the Vow...how romantic. We tried to get the boys to go, but they opted out this time. Their loss! Let's hope we don't cry as hard in this movie as we did with our last one.
I am so cute when I'm puffy eyed and crying...haha
Dear 2000 Ford Taurus, Don't fail us now...we are car shopping this weekend! Please stop having the shakes when I drive you. Why don't you ever do that "trick" for Drew????
Dear North Carolina, I will be visiting you in exactly one month for Ali's wedding. Please be warm so I can go to the beach!
Dear Bloggy Friends, Thank you for your creativity...after scanning all your Valentine posts I already have my vday meals and crafts planned for the next 5 years. Haha. You all are the best.ever.
Dear Drew (again), Thanks for making dinner for me last night after my hard day at school. You (and Chicken Pot Pie) always know how to make me feel better. (click here for the recipe)
                                                                                              Source: realsimple.com via Allison on Pinterest

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Once Upon A Time...

You can find me over on Natalie's blog today! I'm doing a guest post about how Drew and I met...here's an amazing picture to entice you. Haha.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

simple & sweet

Drew and I have now shared 10 consecutive Valentine's days together. Our first ever Valentine's day was complete with a 3 course meal cooked by my then 17 year old boyfriend. He was sweet enough to include my mom (the pastery chef of the evening) my brother (the waiter) and my sister (our server). We have had every kind of Valentine's day together, but my favorites are the simple and thoughtful ones. Last night was my favorite. We went out to dinner at an adorable Italian restaurant where we enjoyed a violinist, chicken alfredo pizza and delicious wine. Then we headed home to try a dessert I found on Pinterest. Click here for the best cupcakes ever! We worked together in the kitchen making the frosting and filling cupcake liners and while the cupcakes were baking we opened our jars where we had each written 25 things we love about each other. We took turns reading them aloud as we cuddled on the couch. We didn't buy each other expensive gifts or spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy dinner we did life together as we always do and it was perfect. I'm so thankful to have such an amazing husband and best friend to do life with.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Night Circus themed book club

Remember how I told you my book club was reading The Night Circus? Well we went all out for this month's book club meeting. In this book there are a group of people that follow the circus around everywhere and they are known as the "Reveurs." They wear black and white with a splash of red so that they will recognize one another and guess what? Yes, we all dressed in black and white with a splash of red. We are total book nerds and I love it.
We also brought black and white food to go with the theme with the exception of homemade caramel popcorn because it was a circus themed book after all. I'm hoping to get the recipe soon because it was the best popcorn I have ever had. I promise I'll share the recipe when I get it!
I pretty much love my book club. Our next book is Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet if you want to read along. What are you reading?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

    Time for another Scavenger Hunt Sunday over at Ramblings and Photos!

    Here are this week's topics: facial feature, shadow, spicy, gold and fabric. And here is my take on it...

    Facial feature-I can't go long without taking pictures of my cats. Bear was my model for this shot.

    Shadow- It hasn't been very sunny in Ohio the past few days so I had to find some shadows to play with inside. I love the shadow the Mason Jars cast.

    Spicy-My first thought when seeing the word spicy...

    Gold-We have an old Crosley radio in our house and I just love the way it looks.

    Fabric- It helped that I had these fabrics including my favorite (burlap) lying around for future projects.
    Happy Sunday!

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    A Friday Night Art Show feat. my sister in law!

    Last night was the opening night for my sister in law's art show. She was one of 3 art students from her college to be selected to participate so obviously she's a talented gal. I really do have a love and appreciation for art so I was excited to go. Carly's pieces were my favorite...I'm not biased or anything.
    We went out to Carabba's to celebrate after the show...what's art without a little wine?
    And that was my Friday night. Wine, family & friends, and a little art.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Oh How Pinteresting...Valentine Edition

    Today I'm linking up with Michelle over at The Vintage Apple for Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday!
    This week all my pins have to do with Valentine's day! I have always, always adored Valentine's day. I will give my parents credit for this because growing up they always made me feel extra loved and special on Valentine's day just because they could. I never felt like I needed a boyfriend to make me feel loved and I am so thankful for that. Now I feel weird if I don't wear pink or red and pass out Valentine's to people. I love love and not just the romantic kind. So in honor of my love for Valentine's day here are some of my favorite Valentine themed pins.
    Source: etsy.com via Allison on Pinterest

    What are your thoughts on Valentine's day? Do you think it is overrated or do you use it as an excuse to spread the love? Either way...I hope you feel loved this Valentine's day.

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

    I'm so excited to be participating in my first Scavenger Hunt Sunday. I loved being on the hunt for ways to capture these five things this week: Strike a pose, footwear, hobby, shiny and color me green. Here's what I came up with....

    Strike a Pose-This is my parents newest dog, Bailey. They got him right after Christmas because his family could no longer take care of him. I've been stopping in frequently to get acquainted with this adorable face and I had to snap a few pictures of him. This is my favorite...he poses quite nicely.
    Footwear: A pair of some of my favorite shoes that my friend Bekah bought for me. When I was younger I went through a cheetah print phase and my room was decked out in cheetah. I still have a secret love for it.
    Hobby-I had a tough time deciding which hobby I should snap a picture of. Friday night I was working on some banners for my shop and found my opportunity.
    Shiny-I loved taking pictures of my new watch necklace from Shabby Apple! I won it recently from Ashley over at Adventures of Newlyweds. I've already gotten so many compliments on it.
    Color Me Green- This picture I pulled from my archive because there's not too much green around here this time of year. This is a picture I snapped this summer of a peacock at Drew's cousin's house. It just screams green! I love that I captured Drew's cousin and his horse in the field behind it.