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I’m Back, Baby!

16 Aug

Wahhhh! I’ve been gone for S-O long! So much has happened in the last few weeks that I have had almost no time to blog. Today is the first, yes first, afternoon that has left me with nothing to around 5pm.  After all the craziness, it feels great to be back to a schedule and have a sense of organization.

You’ve really missed out on a lot, my friends!  Here’s a quick re-cap to keep you up to date on my goings-on:

  • We moved! Yessir! Since signing the lease on our most favorite home to-date, we’ve packed up and cleared out.  We’ve already gotten all of our important items unpacked and have only one room full of “junk” (i’m saving it for a rainy day).  It is so relieving to come home to an open, clean and comfortable home.
  • Heather hosted girls night to celebrate Becca’s birthday!  I won’t reveal her age; she might sock-one-to-me if I do.  We enjoyed a delish Italian meal made by Ms. Patterson, and a heavenly cake made by our lovely friend Hannah
  • We celebrated my birthday! Yes, this old girl is now 23.  Let me know when I can pick up my walker 🙂

    Me and Mr. Jake

    We had a great night at Brew at the Zoo, an incredibly fun Beer Festival hosted by Riverbanks Zoo. Despite the fact that the Heavens opened on us, we had a great time touring the zoo with our 2-ounce sample glasses.  My favorite, by far, was the ACE Pear Cider made by The California Cider Company.

    Heaven in a Bottle

    It was bubbly, and light, and oh so refreshing.  Although it is a Pear flavored cider, it had a hint of banana – which I loved!

    The Ladies I Love!

  • Slightly less interesting than the above three, however so important to Jake and I – Brock became a crate-dog.  Jake was really resistant to it, but as a condition of our lease, we needed to at least HAVE  crate for him in the house.  Baby Brock ended up crawling into his crate while no-one was even paying attention. Ahhh…I can just feel the anxiety rolling off my shoulders!

    I want to lick your face!

I have some really fun posts planned for the next few days, so keep your eyes open!

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Great Night To Celebrate

26 Jul

When I think Monday I normally go straight to “ugh, back to the real world.”  This particular Monday, however, was one I have really been looking forward to!  Despite all the crazy things that have been happening lately, I have found excitement in some small things.

After work I skipped the gym and went straight home to knock a few things off of my to-do lists (yes that’s plural) and get ready for this evening.

When Jake made it home from work we quickly changed and drove a few minutes down the road to the home of our new landlord. We have sealed the deal, folks! The lease is signed! I can now breathe in, breathe out and retrieve my sanity.

Is this even normal?

As soon as we finished up with the lease, we rushed over to one of our favorite little sushi restaurants to celebrate.  Our celebrations were not limited to our new home though; we were joined by our favorite couple: Amber and Joe Ben!

JB embarassing Amber...again.

Amber and I have known each other for a few years now, and is one of my best friends.  She and Joe Ben also had some celebrations in order: Amber’s Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the one person who will answer the phone in the middle of the night when I have something stupid to say 🙂  We have spent our birthdays together for the last few years and I have to say that this has definitely been the most tame (except for some Sake).

Apple Infused Sake = Amazing

The restaurant where we dined, SakiTumi, is actually a place I worked while in college.  In my opinion they have some of the best sushi in town, and I surely wasn’t going to turn down an invitation to stuff my face enjoy some time with Amber and JB.

On Mondays, SakiTumi has an awesome special – 2 for $28.  Jake and I definitely took advantage of that!  The deal includes an adult beverage, an appetizer, and an entree per person.

Jake enjoyed a draft Sapporo, while I sipped on a light and refreshing glass of Pinot Grigio.  My appetizer choice was the Miso Soup, which I loved.

Fire Island Roll

And oh. my. goodness. My favorite sushi roll in the whole world was my entree of choice.  The Fire Island Roll.  Shrimp tempura with avocado, rolled in soy paper and topped with spicy tuna tartar and crispy tempura flakes. Delish!  Jake and I shared a few pieces of Butterfish  too (also amazing).

Post Sushi Attack

I guess Amber liked her sushi roll too!

And if you thought our indulgent meal wasn’t enough, Amber directed us to one of the best little dessert spots in the city.  Nonnah’s is only a few blocks away from SakiTumi and has the most delectable and coma-inducing desserts I have ever had.

Jake's slice of Heaven

Mr. Jake chose the “Chocolate Temptation”.  A rich chocolate cake with Godiva liquor, layered with vanilla cream filling, finished with chocolate ganach.

My Sinful Delight

I, however, chose the Turtle Cheesecake.  A pecan-filled cheesecake topped with chocolate, caramel and even more crunchy pecans.  The cheesecake was so wonderfully airy and though I’ve never tried nuts in a cheesecake before – I’m in love.

Phew, now I’m super Fat and Happy and I seriously cannot complain.  What a productive, fun, relieving kinda Monday!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

24 Jul

It was really great to be able to enjoy a standard Saturday for a change.  Due to all of the events we have had lately, most of my weekends have been dedicated to planning this and doing that.

With our move coming up very quickly, Jake and I spent most of the day packing and cleaning.  Late in the afternoon, when our efforts were exhausted, I headed to the kitchen to get cookin’.  Earlier in the week one of my friends, Heather, asked if I would bring a dish to Tyler’s Cookout.  Of course I was happy to do so, and she specifically requested my Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Sure, everyone and their mother has this recipe; but I like to think mine is a little something special for all my favorite people.  The dip is pretty basic, recipe-wise, however I end up making it a little differently every time.  This is one of those things that you really just have to make your own.

Here’s what I did:

2 Cans Chicken (yes, cans)

2 Cups Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

2 Packages Cream Cheese (cubed)

2 Cups Ranch Dressing (I used Fat Free)

2 Cups Buffalo Wing Sauce (I used Texas Pete Wing Sauce)

1. On Medium, heat the hot sauce in a large saucepan until warm.

Hot Hot Heat

2.  Add chicken and stir until chicken is broken up and completely shredded.  Allow to warm until the mix begins to bubble.

3.  Add chunks of cream cheese and allow to melt.  Stir mix until there are no more chunks in the pan.

Packing in the Calories

4.  Fold in Ranch dressing and warm until mix begins to bubble.

Ranch-a-holic

5.  Add Cheddar and allow to melt before folding in.

I keep my dip in a crock pot when serving, to keep it warm.  However, it is still delicious when eaten cold.  Sidenote:  this dip is obviously in no way healthy at all. Whoops!

Not to toot my own horn, but this dip was delish! I made sure to put some aside for the Honorary Guests for their long drive.

Gift for the Road

I think everyone had a great time at the cookout.  It was wonderful to be able to spend time with all of our friends in a laid back environment (even though it was 108 degrees outside).  This was perfect for all of us to be able to spend one last fun night with Tyler and Biff before they ride off into the New Hampshire sunset.

Tyler & Biff

While this was surely bittersweet, I know these two enjoyed being with their loved ones.  We stayed up late and all avoided the “goodbyes” for as long as we could; I was able to escape without tears.  The evening ended on a happy note, and we all took some memories with us for sure.

T & B will be back as soon as possible (they better be), because football season is right around the corner, and I know they cannot miss a little Gamecock action! In Tyler’s Facebook words: “This is not goodbye South Carolina, its see ya later!”

Sophie’s Bachelorette!

27 Jun

This weekend was a whole-lotta-fun. Exhausting. Ridiculous. Out of Control. Fun.

Pre-bachelorette (Friday) I had a few offers for some Bachelorette entertainment..sans clothes.  However, I didn’t think Sophie would appreciate entertainment that was not only “sans clothes”, but also “sans teeth”.  That’s right folks, I met some aspiring toothless male strippers. Unfortunately for them, some of the mamas were attending – so I scrapped their ideas all together.

The Bride!

We started the evening at Katie’s condo with some fiesta fare, cocktails, games and gifts.  I don’t  think i’ve ever laughed so hard for so long!  These girls know how to have a good time (the mama’s too)! 

Sophie and her Mama

Sophie and her Mama Sophie and her Bridesmaids

After a dance party, and some good times, we called our trusty Designated Driver (Sophie’s brother) and headed downtown. 

Sophie's Brother, Richard

Our night was filled with dancing and lots of “woohoo’s!”  Sophie even got on stage with a band, double woohoo!

Taking my "Wedding Test"

Overall, I think our bride had a fantastic time.  I cannot wait for all the wedding fun next week!