Monday, December 3, 2012

A Busy and Productive Weekend

This weekend was a very busy and productive one!  We are moving this weekend so most of the weekend was spent packing.  Dave has done most of the packing while I have been doing schoolwork and finishing up our Christmas cards.  I did go through all of my clothes, shoes and bags and am donating a TON!  Since we are downsizing a bit, we thought it would be a great idea to get rid of things we don't use or need anymore.  As if we didn't need anything else on our plate, our car decided to die on Saturday.  Luckily it's being fixed now (and I got to take good 'ol public transportation to work today), but it looks like we will be buying a new car pretty soon.  This will be our first big purchase together, which is kind of exciting! 

Hopefully, the rest of the week is less eventful and our move goes smoothly.  Luckily my mom is coming up on Thursday to help us finish packing and help us organize our new place!  We have tickets to the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center on Saturday and I am really looking forward to it.  This was my anniversary gift from Dave and I've been counting down the days - it will be my first time visiting the Kennedy Center!

Image courtesy of Ballet West:  The Nutcracker

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Hard to believe it's December.  Does this mean I can mail out our Christmas cards now?!?! :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

So, my Thanksgiving break didn't go as planned but there were some definite goods times.

First...THE BAD

 1.  Horrendous traffic into the city on Wednesday...NEVER traveling the Wednesday before Thanksgiving EVER again.
2.  Did not go to the parade due to how stressed out I got because of Wednesday's trip.
3.  Got food poisioning which was AWFUL!  (stupid deli wrap! :(  )
4.  Missed my parents and sister

Me at the High Line!


1.  I have a wonderful brother-in-law who got us a car, through Uber, to get us out of the city on Wednesday night.
2. Drinks and girl talk on Wednesday night
3.  Soccer game on Thursday morning (even if I was horrible)
4.  Errands and pie making with Casey
5.  Fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with family!
6.  A game of Celebrity
7.  A trip into NYC!
8.  Being surrounded by family who genuinely care about me
9.  Food poisoning = not gaining an ounce over break!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


As Thanksgiving approaches, I'm reminded of how lucky I am for what I have and the wonderful life I have been blessed with.  Here is a list of things I am thankful for:

1.  My health
2.  My husband, who loves me with his whole heart and is ALWAYS there for me.  He makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the whole wide world.
3.  My parents - they love me uncondtitionaly and support me with everything I do.  They are always there for me and I love them more than words can say.  I am truly lucky to have such amazing, selfless parents who would do anything for me and my sister..
4.  My sister - we might not always get along, but I love her and am so lucky to call her my sister.  I love you, Allie!
5.  My new family - I'm so happy to be a part of the O'Brien family - you guys have made me feel so welcomed and I am so lucky to have married into such a fun and loving family.  I love you guys!
6.  My friends, old and new; I am so lucky to call you my friends.  Thanks for always being there for me.
7.  The Dunns - who have taken Winnie into their home with open arms and are treating her like a princess.  She is one lucky pup!
8.  My dad's new job - hopefully one that will make him happy and enjoy what he is doing

This list could go on forever...I am so lucky for the life I have and sometimes need to stop and remind myself how lucky I truly am.  I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving spent with family and friends.  Hopefully you will see Dave and me on t.v. during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happiness Is...

Things that are making me happy these days:

<Sunday morning coffee dates with Dave>
<Boot weather>
<Baking with Dave!  Here is our yummy pumpkin granola!>
<A night of baking and drinking with my love>
<Picnicking >
<My new iPhone case!  Love being a Mrs!!!>
<Caramel apples>
<Our yearly apple pick!>
<Fun nail polish>
<Fro-yo with colored sprinkles is a MUST!!>
<Wine with a view with my better half!>

What makes you happy?  Are you enjoying all the festivities as much as I am?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sweetest Thing

This morning when I woke up for my run I kissed Dave goodbye and wished him safe travels since he was heading to Chicago for work. I wasn't going to be back in time to see him before he left so I gave him the biggest hug and kiss.

On my way home from my run I see Dave standing at the corner in his suit with his suitcase. He said he had to see me one more time before he left. This simply made my heart melt! He is always doing the sweetest things for me and this is exactly what I needed after a stressful few days!

Thank you Dave for making my morning and more importantly making my life so great! I love you with all of my heart!!

The love of my life!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baking Extravaganza (Thanks Pinterest!)

Dave's good friend, Jared, moved to the area this past week.  He was coming over on Sunday to watch the Patriot's game with Dave so I decided I would make him some yummy treats to welcome him to the area.  I got most of my cookie ideas from my Pinterest board.

A little drinking & baking with my hunny! 
The best sous-chef!
First I made the dough for sand dollar cookies from the recipe I found here since it had to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours (I ended up refrigerating it over night.)  Next it was onto the pumpkin snicker-doodle cookies.  This dough needed to refrigerate for at least an hour so while the dough was cooling, I decided to whip up a batch of classic chocolate chip cookies.  Dave was a tremendous help throughout the whole process by measuring out ingredients, cleaning up after me and keeping me company.  It was such a fun night of baking together.  Once we were done with the chocolate chip cookies, it was time to bake the pumpkin snicker-doodle cookies.  Before I could put them in the oven, I had to roll the dough into little balls and dip the balls into a cinnamon sugar mixture.  After that, I took a small wine glass and rinsed the rim with water then dipped the rim into the sugar mixture.  I took the bottom of the glass and pressed down on the dough to form flat cookies.  Once I finished this process it was time to put the cookies in the oven.  The cookies made our home smell like was fabulous. 
Flattening the pumpkin cookies


Delicious pumpkin snicker-doodle cookies

Sunday morning we finished making the sand dollar cookies.  These cookies were not the easiest cookies to make because it involved trying to find the perfect almond shapes and pressing them into the cookie deep enough that they would stay put but not hard enough that they would break.  The sand dollar cookies tasted ok, but I prefer my Martha Stewart snicker-doodles any day!

Sand dollar cookies - NOT worth the effort! :)

Jared's goodies! :)
The next task for the cookies was how was I going to give them to Jared.  I had seen on Pinterest a wrapped Pringles jar to put your baked cookies in.  I picked up some wrapping paper from The Container Store, along with some tins and gift tags.  I bought some Pringles, something we never have in the house, took out the Pringles and put them in a Ziploc bag and cleaned out the Pringles container.  After I dried it, I wrapped it with wrapping paper, made a gift tag and tied it onto the container.  I put the other cookies in separate tins that we also picked up at the Container Store.  It was such a fun project that I got to do with my husband.  I hope Jared enjoys his cookies and his new home!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Vineyard Wedding

This past weekend was spent in New Jersey celebrating the marriage of my beautiful cousin, Lauren, and her now HUSBAND, Neil.  My parents came up to our place on Thursday and we brought them to Founding Farmers for a delicious meal.  My dad absolutely LOVED their cinnamon sugar popcorn and the chocolate mouse we had for dessert!  After dinner we took a stroll by the White House so my mom could get a couple pictures.

At Founding Farmers
My parents after dinner

The next day we drove up to New Jersey, stopping in Philadelphia to pick up my sister from the airport since she was flying in from Austin, TX.  That night was the rehearsal dinner which was at a lovely Italian restaurant.  There was lots of great food and even better company.  It was a great night to start off the wedding weekend!

The beautiful bride walking down the aisle with her dad

The wedding started at 7pm on Sunday and it was at a beautiful winery.; the view was breathtaking.  Lauren looked absolutely STUNNING and Neil was just as handsome.  I'm so happy for them; they are truly the perfect couple.  We had such a fantastic night celebrating, dancing and photo-boothing.  Thank you Lauren and Neil for letting us be a part of your *special* day!

At dinner!
Photo-booth fun!

It was such a wonderful weekend surrounded by family and love!  Now it's back to reality - taxes and schoolwork! :(

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jam-Packed Weekend of Fun

This past weekend was filled to the brim with a lot of fun activities!  Since we knew that Saturday and Sunday were going to be super busy we decided to have a relaxing night in by watching The Lorax and The Hunger Games  I had watched The Lorax as a kid and enjoyed it but wasn't too impressed with the new movie.  I would give it 3 stars.  I haven't read The Hunger Games but decided to watch the movie with Dave.  I really enjoyed it and want to know what happens next, so it looks like when I'm not studying for school, I will be reading the books!  We also took a break to get some fro-yo...yummy!!! :)

Saturday morning we drove to our jeweler so I could pick out a simple wedding band that I can wear when I'm exercising, at the beach/pool or doing other activities that I don't feel comfortable wearing my original ring since it has a lot of tiny diamonds and is very delicate.  It was fun to be back at our jeweler...I mean what girl doesn't like to look at jewelry?!?! :)

Guitar-Shaped Margarita/Strawberry Daiquiri and a Funnel Cake!  Concert FOOD!
Dancing to "Then" in the rain <3
Jeff & Susanna being cute! :)
Saturday afternoon we headed out to Bristow, VA for the Brad Paisley concert with our friends Jeff and Susanna.  We tailgated for a little while and did a lot of people watching (OBVIOUSLY this is a must for country concerts!)  Easton Corbin opened up as well as The Band Perry.  They both were amazing and I especially loved The Band Perry.  Their song, Postcard from Paris, has become a favorite of mine.  Brad Paisley was out of this world!  He's such a good performer, seems so genuine and has an amazing voice.  This was my 3rd time seeing him in concert and he was just as good as the first two times.  Unfortunately, it rained but that didn't stop us from enjoying the concert.  The highlights from the concert included:  being able to experience Jeff's first concert with him :) , dancing with Dave to "Ticks" (the night we met, we played this song on Guitar Hero together), dancing with Dave in the rain to "Then" (our first dance song), Carrie Underwood coming out and singing with Brad Paisley and just having a wonderful night with great friends!

The Band Perry:  "Postcard From Paris"

Pulling up to Cirque Du Soleil!
Sunday afternoon Dave surprised me with tickets to Cirque Du Soleil Totem.  This was the first time for both of us to attend one of their shows.  We had such an amazing time; the tricks that they did were phenomenal.  We kept looking at each other in awe of the performers.  It was such a fun date and something different from what we usually do.

It was such a fun-filled weekend with great friends and my wonderful husband.  Now we have my beautiful cousin's wedding to look forward to this weekend in New Jersey.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Birthday Surprise in Charleston

Waiting to board our flight to Charleston!
Thursday night, Dave and I flew into Charleston to surprise my dad for his birthday.  My mom told my dad she was going to the movies with friends while in reality she was hanging out at her friends' house until she picked us up from the airport.  When we got to my parents' house, she went into the house through the garage and Dave and I stood at the front doorsteps.  She told my dad she had a present for him at the front door and once he opened it and saw us standing there, he was in total shock!  It was so fun to surprise him and he really had no idea!

Out-of-this-world shrimp and grits from Hominy Grill!

Happy Dave

Big Nasty
Friday we all went into downtown Charleston for a nice Southern meal at Hominy Grill.  If you ever visit Charleston I highly recommend this restaurant. It has been featured on several shows on Food Network and has become one of our favorite places to go when we visit.  Usually I order the fried green tomato sandwich but I decided to try the shrimp and grits since shrimp and grits is one of my favorite meals!  Let me tell you, their shrimp and grits were out of this world!  The grits were creamy, the shrimp were cooked to perfection and the flavor was out of this world.  I will be definitely have this dish again because it is probably one of the best shrimp and grits I have ever had!  Dave had his usual, the Big Nasty, which was featured on Man VS Food.  It's a fried chicken biscuit topped with sausage gravy and cheddar cheese.  My mom had the fried green tomato sandwich (a favorite of mine) and my dad had the vegetable plate which included macaroni and cheese that he said was outstanding.  All and all it was a delicious meal with the best company!

Happy! :)

Yabba dabba doo at Husk
After lunch my dad and Dave decided to check out the Charleston Museum, which ended up being a total bust, while my mom and I shopped on King Street.  Later that afternoon we all met up for a drink at Husk.  I had been wanting to try this drink, Yabba Dabba Doo, which they no longer have on their menu, but the bartender was nice enough to make it for me. It tasted just like an orange creamsicle!  We were supposed to go on a sunset cruise but due to the weather they had to cancel and we had a wonderful dinner at Fleet Landing, overlooking the water.  We saw tons of dolphins jumping during our dinner which was such a wonderful sight to see.  It was a fun-filled day with tons of great food!

My amazing parents at dinner!
Our view at dinner!

Saturday we had a relaxing day at the beach and my dad grilled us a wonderful dinner:  steaks for my mom and Dave (not seafood lovers) and swordfish for dad and myself.  Dinner was amazing and it was a relaxing night.

Winnie being cute!

Sunday my dad and Dave went to visit The Hunley and had a great time. My mom and I went out shopping AGAIN :).  Later that night we went to one of my parents' favorite pizza places for dinner.  It was such a fun last night in Charleston.

"grits are good for you" - had to get this at Hominy Grill!

 This past weekend was absolutely perfect.  I don't know what it is about going to my parents' house, but I just feel so relaxed there and always have the best time but I'm always so sad when I have to leave.  Luckily my parents will be staying at our place next Thursday before we drive up to New Jersey for my cousin Lauren's wedding weekend on Friday. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shark Week

So Shark Week is my dad's favorite week of the year and he likes to send our family an email reminder right before it starts.  I'm not sure why he loves Shark Week so much considering he's an avid surfer.  After watching some of the attack stories I am now petrified of the ocean.

My dad surfing!

In honor of Shark Week, my sister and I decided to send my dad a dozen of Georgetown Cupcake's Shark Week themed cupcakes!  They just arrived and he's so happy!  I wish I could have seen the smile on his face!
Shark Week Dozen
Image Courtesy of Georgetown Cupcake

How cute are those cupcakes?  Do any of you get super excited about Shark Week?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Fun Weekend With Friends

Okay, so I wrote this post earlier this week but hadn't gotten around to adding the pictures, so please forgive the delay!

This past weekend was P-E-R-F-E-C-T!  We started the weekend with a fun game of Top Golf on Friday night with our good friends, Jeff and Susanna.  We all took golf lessons together this summer and wanted to practice what we had learned.  Even though I forgot some of the things I learned during our lesson it was still a fun night with great company!

Dave & Suman at the aquarium!

Saturday we drove up to Baltimore to visit our friend Suman and his girlfriend Rupal.  It was so good to see them again since we hadn't seen them since our wedding except for about 5 minutes back in December.  We decided we would spend the afternoon at the Baltimore Aquarium.  I had never been to the Baltimore Aquarium and was really looking forward to it!  My favorite exhibit was definitely the shark, are those things creepy looking!! 

Dave w/his "grape soda"
Yummy baked gnocchi
After a fun day of exploring the aquarium we were all famished!  Rupal found the perfect little Italian place for dinner.  I had baked gnocchi which was TO DIE FOR!  Dave thoroughly enjoyed his "grown-up grape soda!" :)  The food, drinks, conversation and company were amazing!

After our big meal we decided to walk back to the Inner Harbor.  As we strolled we came upon this little park that had instruments you could play and the craziest walkway I had ever seen.  We hung out there for a bit before we decided to grab a drink.

Rupal & Me playing in the park!
I swear I'm only squinting b/c there was a huge fan over my head!
We walked by Dick's Last Resort and I was immediately drawn to the ginormous margaritas with beers in them!  We decided to get a drink there so Rupal and I each ordered a margarita and shared it with our guy! :)

What a wonderful day it was with great friends!

Sunday was spent relaxing at the pool and catching up on chores.  All in all I would say it was the perfect weekend!