Thursday, June 25, 2009

Blogs I Adore - Second Time Mommy

I've been waiting for the perfect time to share with you all one of my "must read blogs" and this is extra special because it's written by my dear friend Brooke and she doesn't even know I'm writing about her.

Brooke is a "Second Time Mommy" to two handsome boys - Chase and Dylan and her stories about her boys are hilarious - seriously and I can't even relate. I have known Brooke for about 8 years and she is one of the most special friends that a girl can have. I met her at my first job out of college and we have worked together at 2 of the 3 companies that I have worked for. She is a woman that can do it all and look good all at the same time.

I remember the first time I met Brooke, I kind of called her "Miss Susie Sunshine" because she was the most positive person I have been around and I was just soooo envious of her positive outlook at life. I am so blessed to have had a friendship with her for so long and over time her positive demeanor has rubbed off on me and I just love that she looks at things in the most positive way whenever possible. Don't get me wrong, she has her moments with her little boys and she loves to share them with her blog readers -those are the stories I look forward to the most. She isn't afraid to tell you how raising 2 young boys really is - it's not all sunshine let me tell you but she puts it out there and gets right back on the horse.

I strongly encourage all of you mommies, or even those without children, to check out Second Time Mommy's blog - you won't regret it. Some of her stories or shall I say, conversations she has had with her oldest are some of my faves, Chase is one smart kid. Here are a few of my faves:

If these aren't enough posts to read and you want to learn a bit more about this extraordinary woman, check out this blog post. Brooke aka Superwoman is one extraordinary woman!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'll See You Soon Keith!

Besides being absolutely gorgeous (pitter patter pitter patter), Keith Urban is the best country singer around (take that Kenny Chesney) and the meanest guitar player that I've heard. I am so excited to see him in concert on Friday night and I'm sure the show will be even better than last time that I heard him. I've been a fan of Keith's for quite some time but when I heard him in concert playing that guitar and singing away to me - my love for this singer went through the roof. After the long work week is over, I'm really looking forward to this concert.

P.S. Isn't he gorgeous? Even the hubby says he has a "man crush"on him. (I hope he doesn't read this).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Birthday Beach Bash

Me, Carolyn, and Sheila.
Happy 39th Carolyn - we can't wait for next year!
I bet you didn't know you would be drinking mai tai's out of a fishbowl all night?

Not everyone realized the beach bash was on the beach, although Pam they are the cutest shoes ever! Where did you get them?

Carolyn and Pam celebrating

So happy to be spending sometime with me hubby. I've really missed him and so happy to be only a few blocks from home. Our hometown really has some great restaurants/bars on the lake.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blogs I Adore - the Lettered Cottage

This Southern Belle from Alabama has a sense of design that is very beachy, relaxing, and is like a breathe of fresh air. Layla is a beautiful lady that runs a very successful design consulting business while renovating her little cottage that is beyond adorable. Her and her husband are also wonderful photographers and have some artwork for sale that will be making it's way to my doorstep very soon (seriously it's on order so stay tuned). You must stop by for a breathe of fresh air at her blog, the Lettered Cottage.

if Layla isn't providing design consultations to her clients she is..............

taking photographs or creating artwork or........

finding some awesome accessories at flea markets and thrift stores.

She has inspired me to add some beachy twists to my living room and I'm so excited to reveal those projects to you very soon. Here's a little tease - picture an old, rustic ladder from the farm, some modern artwork that is cool and calm, and some elements that remind you of the beach or your favorite childhood memory.

My hubby keeps reminding me that we don't live by the ocean but that doesn't mean that my house can't "feel" like I'm on the water. I've always loved beachy decor (i.e. our 2nd bathroom) ever sense my hubby said "will you marry me?" on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Love is in the Air

I'm back from my 2 weeks of traveling for work and I must say - absence does make the heart grow fonder. My hubby truly missed me and it's so lovely when they are able to express that. My last post was about how my hubby decided that "he was bored" and needed to take some walls down in the garage - because I missed him so much, I couldn't even get mad (that's not my norm).

Traveling has prohibited me from blogging and I've had a lot of blog reading to catch up on. This morning I am sitting on the couch with the laptop on my lap, my pup cuddled up next to me (scared of the storms), and reading all of the inspiration that is out in the blogworld. I was visiting Decor 8 Blog and was attracted to all of the posts about "love". What can I say, love is in the air.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What the Hubby Does when I'm Gone

I'm back from Vegas and back to the real world. While I was working hard on my business trip, my hubby decided to tear down our storage room in the garage! He's been begging to do this but I love having temperature controlled storage in the garage and a sink for cleaning up after gardening and painting - but that didn't stop him. I got a text message with this picture attached on Thursday night and I thought I was going to hit the roof but I realize now that this is something he really, really wanted done so he can park his car in the garage. Our driveway is full of drywall, insulation, and studs so I'm so not sure how he plans on getting rid of that and dealing with the electrical and plumbing - this ought to get really interesting soon. Stay tuned.....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I'll be back soon

I'll be in Las Vegas for the next week for a business trip which means I have to work hard to play hard. Staying at the Palazzo and Venetian which are gorgeous hotels.

Isn't this gorgeous? - the canal, the shops, and the gondola rides are really unique.

I'm arriving early and will be at the pool deck all day tomorrow - or as much as my pale, white complexion can handle. Don't worry I have a full bottle of sunscreen packed for the day because I'll need it. I'll find a nice shady spot to hide for a while too. It'll be soooo nice to have a bit of relaxation before the mania begins - it's going to be a LONG week! I'll miss you all but I'll be back on the blog next weekend.

P.S. Did I mention I'm seeing the Jersey Boys show? I'm so excited!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let's Hope it Grows

Remember a couple of months ago on Earth Day when I vowed to plant a veggie garden, build a rain barrel, and begin composting? Well last weekend we built and installed the rain barrel and the following week we completed the garden project as well. After all of that hard work, I don't know if I have the energy left to begin composting - that one may have to wait until next year.

We knew we wanted a small garden because we aren't known for our gardening skills that's for sure, more known for our ability to kill anything green! Starting out small would allow us to start off easy and then if all goes well we can do more next year.

We decided to place the garden next to the fence where Tanner loves to jump and try to get to the very large dog next door. Can you see his paw marks on the fence? In addition to trying to stop the jumping and clawing from occurring, we also knew that it was the sunniest spot in the backyard as well.

After picking out the location, we headed to the home depot to get the wood, chicken wire, lots of topsoil, some mushroom compost, and the veggies/herbs for planting.

Next the hubby screws the pieces together after mapping out the location. This went off without a hitch.

This is where the hard work began. We began to dig up the sod.....and dug some more....and some more....and a little bit more. (Note: don't dig up WET sod - it weights a lot!) This required some major teamwork and a whole lot of muscle too.

Next we prepared the soil with some good ole topsoil and mushroom compost (if the botanical gardens recommends it, I'm all for it). And then the planting began- sorry no pictures because I was covered in mud! We decided to plant tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, basil, dill, and parsley.

Look at that green and healthy garden.....let's just pray it grows otherwise I may shed a tear or two after thinking of the labor of love that went into it. Some sunshine, water (from the rain barrel of course), and a little miracle gro and I'm told this really should work.

Notice that the hubby thought it was funny to put a decorative touch in the garden which reads "Garden of Weeding". Isn't he so funny?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Margarita Cupcakes

The vacation may be over but I'm still thinking about those delicious margarita's that the hubby makes with the Margarita machine. I found this recipe on Hostess with the Mostess and these cupcakes should tie me over until the weekend! We are in the process of planning a summer bash (lemon and lime theme) and these will definitely be on the menu.


1 box white cake mix
8 oz margarita mix (liquid)
2 oz tequila
1 oz Grand Marnier
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp grated lime zest

Lime Buttercream Icing:
8 Tbsp butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp lime juice (approx 2 fresh limes)
1 Tbsp margarita mix1 tsp lime zest
5 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
cane sugar & fresh limes (for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 350º and prepare muffin pans.
2. Combine margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass and stir well.
3. In large bowl, combine cake mix, egg whites, lime zest, vegetable oil, and margarita mixture from step one. Stir ingredients together, then beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for approximately 2-3 minutes.
4. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pans. Fill each cup/liner about 2/3 full.
5. Bake at recommended temperature on cake mix box (usually 325º - 350º) for 20 - 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. In a large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, lime juice, margarita mix, and lime zest. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
7. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and continue beating until smooth. If icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, a couple tablespoons at a time.
8. Spread icing generously on each cooled cupcake* or use a pastry bag to frost. Sprinkle cane sugar around the edges of the cupcake for a “salt rimmed” look and garnish with lime wheels & wedges.
*Make sure to remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely before frosting.
Tip: Leftover frosting makes a great dip for fruit!