Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Review

It is hard to believe that 2011 is coming to a close...it has been a good year! We celebrated with friends who got engaged and married...
Baby Eli made his debut into the world and my aunthood doubled...
Later in the year Baby Eli moved to Alabama...
The biggest event of 2011: Buying a house!
That needed a facelift...
We welcomed a new puppy into the house:

Favorite new dinner recipe from 2011: Southwestern Chicken Wraps
Favorite new dessert recipe: S'mores Cookies
Thankful that I got to experience the last year with this one at my side...

Here's to 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Catching up

I am embarrassed to say I didn't take any pictures on Christmas this year! I will have to do better next year. This Christmas we stayed here and celebrated with Fletcher's family. We had a wonderful time together on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Now I am recovering from the Christmas craziness with a few days off of work. This is the first time I have ever taken days off without a specific reason or event. I have nothing planned and it is wonderful! I am enjoying the days of rest and catching up on things around the house. Drinking multiple cups of coffee, watching the Today show, lunch with friends, and spending time with my nephew is the way my days have been filling up. I could get use to this! Since I didn't take any pictures on Christmas I'll leave you with an iPhone review of the last week...

The last picture deserves a description! My vacation days started off with Eli spending the night! His first night away from home ever. It went so well! Mainly because he is such a happy and easy-going baby! Plus he and LuLu are biffles.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"The message of Christmas can be summed up in four words-God sent his son. The gift we celebrate at Christmas was not wrapped, it was crucified. It was not under the tree, it was nailed to the tree, and it was not opened on Christmas day, it was opened on Easter morning."
-Douglas Webster

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Christmas Time

Christmas is in full swing around here...December is the busiest month of the year for both our jobs, so it has been crazy. We are thankful for the time we have together at home. We loved decorating our new house for Christmas and it is about time I post some pictures of our decorations!
The decorations on the stairs were inspired by pinterest. Fletch made the garland out of Christmas tree scraps!

The entry way...the glitter candles made it back again this year! Much to the husband's dismay.

If you're wondering why there are three stockings, here is why...

Fletch thought she deserved a stocking too. We love our little pup so much! She is growing like a WEED. She went to the vet this week and she has gained 11 pounds in the last 3 weeks! I couldn't believe it. Turns out those big paws do mean something!

10 more days until Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving

I spent Thanksgiving this year with my family. We missed our Baltimore portion of the family and missed my sweet husband who was working like crazy over the Thanksgiving weekend. It was a great time to see family, catch up with cousins, and spend some long overdue time sitting at Susu's kitchen table. I felt like I got my batteries recharged and I am now ready for the month of December. And I have to show a picture of this one...

who gets a star on her chart for her first successful visit to Susu's.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lately...

It has been a great last few days around here. This weekend Fletcher and I had a belated anniversary celebration and caught up on some much needed R&R.

Yesterday this sweet little thing stopped through town on the end of their trip across the south.

It was just for a night, but I am always thankful to see them. Baltimore is too far away and I soak up every minute they spend in the south. We also attempted some more cousin pictures. They both seem so much bigger than last time around.

Last cousin picture with just two babies! Next time we see Ev she will have a little brother!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Allison!

2 Birthdays 2 days in a row...Happy Birthday Allison! I am so thankful to have Allison as an older sister. We are so similar that she relates so well to me, yet she is far enough ahead of me that she can give me wise advice and keep me in check. She is an incredible sister, wife, daughter, and mother. It has been so fun to see her as a mom over the last year and a half and watch Evelyn grow into such a sweet little girl.

Sisters are such a blessing and I am so grateful to have double the blessing with two wonderful sisters. Happy Birthday Allison! I love you a lot and am proud to be your little sis!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my sweet Mom's birthday! I feel like most people fear turning into their mother one day, but my hope for myself is to be more like her every day. Her generous heart and gentle spirit have kept our family going over the years and I am so thankful to have her as a mom. Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Football Food

Saturday night we had some people over for the Alabama vs. LSU game. I found it somewhat disturbing that we hadn't had people over all season for an Auburn game, yet we had people over for the Alabama game. But this was the first weekend we didn't have anything going on Saturday night and obviously it was a pretty big game. I definitely don't like LSU, but it is always nice to see Alabama lose...especially when their fans cry about it. Anyways, back to the purpose of this post, football food! I miss tailgaiting food, so this was the perfect excuse to fix some finger foods. The menu: Tazikis Friday Special, Chicken Bacon Bites, Spinach Dip, Hummus, Lacey's Little Party Pizzas, and S'mores cookies.

These little pizzas are SO easy! And they are always a hit. You brown the sausage (Lacey does hot sausage, but I have to do mild!), then drain the sausage. Melt the velveeta then pour over the sausage. Put on party bread and broil for 2-3 minutes or until Sausage browns. Next up, dessert!

I've been wanting to try these cookies for a while now, and they did not disappoint! Preheat oven to 375. Line baking pans with parchment paper and lay out graham cracker squares (as close to each other as possible). In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Then set aside. In an electric mixer cream together butter (softened), white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and combine on a low speed. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough for one hour. I didn't do this and the dough was kind of hard to work with, so next time I will obey this step. Place tablespoons of dough on graham cracker. Put in the oven for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes remove and place hershey square on top of dough. I did 1 hershey square on each cookie. Put back in the oven and bake 5-10 more minutes.

Take out and let cool.

Yummy!

Little Party Pizzas
1 lb. sausage
1 lb. Velveeta
Loaf of Party Bread (Pumpernickel or Rye)

S'mores Cookies
11 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 and 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Choc. Chips
1 cup Mini Marshmallows
3 Regular Size Hershey Bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages of Regular Graham Crackers, broken into squares

1 Year

Yesterday was our 1 year anniversary, I can't believe it has already been a year! It was fun to think about everything and remember what a special weekend it was! I am so thankful to be married to Fletcher and we have had a wonderful first year. Marriage has taught me about forgiveness, sacrifice, repentance and grace. This first year of marriage has also taught me how much more I have to learn about all of those things. Marriage is challenging, but marriage is so rewarding. The lessons and joys of marriage make it completely worth the challenges. I am so glad to be on this adventure with Fletcher.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Granola

My mother-in-law has the most delicious granola recipe! I had it at her house years ago and knew I had to get the recipe. I made it all the time in college and I realized that I hadn't made it in over a year Fall is the perfect time to make this recipe. I love the way the house smells when it is in the oven and I love having it on hand for my morning yogurt.

Mix together nuts, oats, and all spices in a big bowl. Heat honey, oil, and vanilla on stove just until boiling point. Spread oat/nut mixture out on a sheet pan (with sides) and pour liquid mixture evenly over oat mixture. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes., stirring every 5 minutes. It is really important to stir throughout the baking process so the nuts don't burn.

And just an extra picture because she is so cute! I'm starting to wonder when her "doodle" is going to kick in since she still isn't curly, but she is cute either way...
.
Granola
1 cup almonds
1 cup pecans or walnuts
6 cups Old fashioned Oats
1/8 cup (or 2 Tbsp.) Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 cup Honey
1 & 1/3 cup Canola (or Peanut) Oil
2 Tbsp. Vanilla

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Southern Living Article

My boss was featured in Southern Living's November issue. The article is on the tradition of cooking in her family and it includes a few recipes! Two of my favorite items on our menu are featured in the article -Mushroom Puffs and Tiny Tomato Tarts. Below are the links to the recipes...
Other Ashley Mac's recipes featured in the article that are also delicious - Marinated Shrimp and Artichokes, Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves, and Tuna Apple Mini Melts. Go get your magazine today and see what is cooking outside of my office all the time!

image from southernliving.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Picture Review

This weekend was the first weekend Fletch and I have both been off work and both been in town since July! It was a great weekend of laying low and catching up on some much needed R&R.

One of my favorite things about the weekends are waking up slow and enjoying multiple cups of coffee. Eli enjoyed his Saturday morning coffee too!

Saturday afternoon we went to pick up our new puppy! Her name is LuLu and she is a goldendoodle. She is a sweet little mess! Most of the weekend after that involved playing with her!

Saturday we went over to Sarah and Tom's to catch the second half of the Auburn game...proud that we won, even if it wasn't the world's most exciting game.

Smores after the Auburn game...it was the perfect night to be by a fire!

All in all it was a perfect weekend! We napped, we ate yummy food, and we enjoyed time with friends and family!