Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Early Gift

On August 2nd, Bryan and I will have been married two years! Prior to me coming into his life, Bryan was a mountain bike guru. He ate, lived and breathed bikes. The last couple of years he was in college Bryan worked at a bike shop and was a bike wrench (as they like to say). Since he worked for the shop, he was able to use one of their bikes for every-day pleasure and for the races in which he rode. Sadly, a month before we were married, Bryan said goodbye to the bike shop and all of the perks that went along with it. We have a whole room upstairs devoted to Bryan's bike stuff. Just no single speed mountain bike for him to ride. For two years I've listened to him talk about getting a new bike, but there has just never been the right time. The past couple of weeks certain bikes that he has found have been brought up in conversation (me perking my little ears to listen). I decided to take matters into my own hands and take the plunge. I bought him a bike!!!!!! I ended up telling him last night, just because I wanted to make sure it was really one that he would like. Bryan has wanted to build one, but at this point the bike that we found is a nice one with good components, but that he can slowly switch out pieces to make more to his liking. I'm so happy that I could sort of surprise him with a bike!!! Happy early anniversary honey!!! The top picture is the one that Bryan is getting...the rest are just fun ones that I like.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Marvelous Monday Morning

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Bryan and I were extremely busy catching up on everything that has needed to be done around the house for the past two weeks. I planted a few new flowers and re-planted my herbs in planters on the back patio. Bryan's brother, Allan, came on Friday, so the whole weekend wasn't entirely devoted to work. As I awoke this morning and thought about all that lies ahead of me this week, I thought about all of the things that help get me though the week. So, on this Marvelous Monday Morning I give you the top five things that get me though my summer weeks.

1. Tory Burch Flip Flops--There hasn't been one summer day that I haven't worn these.
2. Breville Espresso Machine--What keeps me from going back to bed when I wake up with Bryan at 5am and get him off to work.
3. KitchenAid Blender--Perfect for blending refreshing summertime drinks, from iced pink lemonade to margaritas!
4. Banana Boat Lip Balm--I only use it in the summer, but wouldn't go a summer without it.
5. Coppertone Sport Spray--Thank you for protecting my skin and reaching the middle of my back when I cannot.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Amazing Asian

Real Simple has become one of my favorite magazines in the past year. In every issue I find all sorts of wonderful tips, cute styling ideas, and amazing recipes. I cannot even begin to tell you all of the wonderful meals that I have cooked using this magazine. Even better, not once have any of them been bad. Since the February issue, I have cooked this Asian Pork Shoulder recipe at least five times. If you like a little bit of spice, you have to make this meal!

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp. chili-garlic sauce
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
2 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed fat, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 head bok choy, thinly sliced (8 cups)
2 scallions, sliced

In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine soy-sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, 5-spice powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Add pork and toss to coat. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender, on high 4 to 5 hours or low 7 to 8 hours. Twenty-five minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, skim off and discard fat. Gently fold in the bok choy and cook, covered until heated though, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions.

*5-spice: cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, szechuan peppercorns

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seashell Pink

Better Homes and Gardens showcases different homes around the country in their "House Tours" section. I recently stumbled upon this New Jersey beach home, designed by Jennifer Watty for Suzie and Ainar Aijala. It is sophisticated, yet comfy, with its neutral color palette with pink accents. Subtle beach touches are seen throughout, from the mother of pearl buttons on the slipcovers of the dining room chairs, to the seashell chandeliers. I would love to escape to this home on my weekends.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's A Wrap

Ahhhh, I'm not even where to start! Last week was one of the best vacations that I have ever had! After attending two weddings in two weeks last summer, and scrunching a visit to Savannah in the middle, Bryan and I vowed to never use vacation time for weddings. Already eating those words. When one of Bryan's good college friends got engaged and said the wedding would be in Destin, there was no way we were going to miss it. My husband is very fortunate to have an amazing set of friends from college. Add in wives that all like each other and you've got a wonderful group of people! There were just four of us until Wednesday, then everyone else arrived. It was very nice to have a more intimate vacation at first, then be with friends at the end!

Here are some pics of me with my wonderful hubby.
Here are some girly pics from the beach.
Drew and Ashley have the most adorable little girl, Anniston. Everyone passed her back and forth the whole time. She completely stole the show.
A great surprise on the trip was that I got to see on of my best friends, Jax! She and her family were celebrating her parents' 40th wedding anniversary in Seaside.
On Saturday, the bride and groom were glowing! The rain (and oil) held off all week, but once everyone began to arrive on the beach for the wedding the sky turned dark, the wind began to blow, and rain started sputtering. Right before the kiss, the canopy blew over! Even though the outside reception was rained out, everyone had a wonderful time inside the beach house. Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Chester--thanks for giving us a reason to get together!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day Two

Today was so relaxing. Bryan and I slept in, then enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on the rooftop patio. Everyone else was still a tad bit sunburned from yesterday, so we opted for the pool for a couple of hours. It was so hot that the water didn't even cool me off after lying out and reading my book. Pool time didn't last very long. The boys were wonderful and took us shopping for the second day in a row. "Running to a couple of shops" lasted all afternoon long! We were torn between three different restaurants for dinner. After walking into number one, we quickly walked right back out. Number two was where we ate. I enjoyed my meal, but not everyone else was crazy about theirs. We ended up going to restaurant number three for Bryan to go in and check out...it was the happening place! All four of us vote for dinner there Thursday night. Tomorrow is when everyone else will be arriving, so the peace and quiet will turn into chaotic fun. It has been so good to have a few days to ourselves, but we cannot wait to see the whole crew! Here are a few pics from the past 24 hours.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sand and Sun

Today was a full day at la casa de Humphrey and Stewart. Last night we arrived at our destination only four hours later than planned, and found that our townhouse was already occupied! The owner knew we were going to be arriving after check-in, and had left a key in the drop-off box. After meeting our nice neighbors, who welcomed us in for steak, shrimp and drinks, we were greatly relieved to find out that the man who left the keys for us had written the wrong townhouse number down. I will take pictures of where we are staying and post them later. It is nicer than the pictures had looked to me. This morning we went to the grocery store for breakfast and lunch food. We spent the afternoon on the beach, then shopped at the outlet malls early in the evening. Dinner was good at Pompano Joe's. Bryan wanted to try and catch crabs after dark. We just go in from doing that and walking on the beach. It is a beautiful night! Now I am tired and heading to bed. Big day two tomorrow!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dishes Galore

One of my favorite blogs, Kelly's Corner, http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/ had a blog yesterday titled, "Show Us Your Life-China Patterns." I've linked up and thought I would show you mine! First let me say that I can be very picky with dishes. But, I somehow find dishes all the time that I want. Since Bryan and I are living in my parents' home while they are living in Europe, all of my dishes are in storage. I wish I had them around me, but it is going to be like Christmas when I get to unpack them! Enjoy!

Lenox Solitaire Platinum White
Kate Spade Larabee Road Platinum by Lenox, for accent pieces
Mikasa French Countryside

Fiestaware in Scarlet