Monday, July 20, 2009


Please check out this site:

awkward family photos

Now try to look at this site without laughing....yeah it's pretty much impossible. Enjoy! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Below are two recipes that I've made quite a lot (hence they've become staples in our house), I hope you enjoy them :)

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg substitute, and yogurt; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.

Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

(Much thanks to for the above recipe.)

Blackberry Crumb Bars

  • 6 tbsps. unsalted butter, melted, and 1/2 cup room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 containers (5 oz. each) blackberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter and flour paper, tapping out excess.
  2. Make topping: In a medium bowl, whick together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt; add 1 cup flour and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room-temp. butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.
  4. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40-45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.
Much thanks to Martha Stewart for the above recipe.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

prized posession

It's only fitting that I post just one more post...and being the true fashionista that I am, I need to dedicate one post soley (no pun intended) to my wedding shoes (the most fabulous, expensive shoes that I own!):

wedding pics

10 things that i've learned in the past year

In my infinite wisdom of marriage I will list to you the 10 things I've learned in the past year...

And awaaaaaay we gooo:

1. When you look marriage up in the dictionary the word right next to it should be "compromise".
2. It's okay if you argue with your, it really is, because you are two separate human beings and you will never have the same ideas on everything.
3. Ignore the guilt trip you get when you sleep until 11 on a Saturday morning--it's soooo worth it!
4. Husbands should always compliment their wives when they get dressed up and wives should always compliment their husbands on the handyman work they do around the house.
5. No matter how much fun he makes of them, he really does enjoy watching the TV shows that you watch (even if he'll never admit it).
6. Try new things--that's why God matched you with someone who is completely different than yourself, so you can teach each other things.
7. Husbands and wives need to keep each other in check--God called us to hold each other accountable for our actions, even if it's a hard conversation to bring up.
8. Always remember that you're married to your best friend who is an absolutely incredible person, even if that best friend is driving you up the freakin wall.
9. Act silly and play, even though you're 'adults' you don't have to act like it.
10. As cliche as it is...let go of the small things, take a deep breath and keep moving on.

Hope you enjoyed my wisdom :)

one year strong baby

That's right, a year ago today these two JKs were united forever (aka hello, its our one year anniversary!). That means that at this time one year ago most of you (if not all of you) were having the time of your lives at our wedding, and yes I swear I'm a modest person. So to celebrate, John had a surprise evening planned last night for us, wahoo! That meant that we went to eat at The Grand Concourse and had a lovely dinner! Saying that it was incredible is almost an understatement. I was then whisked away to an unknown location until I was told to get out of the car and run down the street to get tickets in his name at the 'will call' while he found a parking spot. Wahoo! That means that we were going to see Les Miserables (I was still hoping) just like I suspected. Well since I don't really know "theater lingo" I had no clue what a "will call" was so I asked around and basically found out its the place where you go pick up your tickets (go figure...and don't act like you knew that either). I squealed (no, I really did) when I realized that we were in fact going to see Les Mis! Wahoo!! And let me tell you, it was awesooooome! I love the story--it's actually one of my fave books that I read in high school, so of course I enjoyed the musical. However, my "always on the go" husband was about ready to jump out of his skin at the end of the 3 hour musical. But hey, that just means that he really loves me, right? Right. After that we came home and I gave him his present, a subscription to Sports Illustrated. See, we both followed the rule of giving each other paper for the first anniversary--man, we're good!

Today we pretty much hung out around the house. And even though we went to an incredible dinner last night, I still felt like we needed to do something special for tonight. So I made a dinner I had never made before, shish kabobs and grilled corn. Yummy! The shish kabobs consisted of green bell peppers, red onions, squash, zucchini, shrimp, and mushrooms. I marinated them with some delish seasoning and threw them on the grill and voila (!) 5 minutes later they were done! And as for the grilled corn--hello! Loved it! We're definitely having both of those recipes again. We also had black beans and rice (thank you Zatarains and thank you Dad for the suggestion)--those were delish! And since we were fatties/realistic and ate our wedding cake before and after our honeymoon I felt like I needed to make something to honor our marriage. The next best thing to wedding cake...homemade chocolate chip cookies! We also drank a lovely bottle of champagne (much thanks to Mom and Dad's friends Farris and Joyce--they gave it to us two days before our wedding) and it was wonderful. What an incredible day and night! I was sitting around the house today and thinking that I couldn't be happier, I'm so thankful that God gave me this man.

PS-As for the waiting a year to eat the top layer of your wedding cake--I was skeptical of how good it would be after being frozen in Raleigh, driven 8 hours to PA and being re-frozen so we just ate it after our wedding, can ya blame us?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

grad pics

Here are some pics from Katie's graduation weekend:

Katie and her friend Katie

Katie, Katie and Meghan (best buds)

Katie's fan club

The significant others hanging out at the grad BBQ

One of my fave pics of us--laughing :)

Meghan and Sterling--Katie's best buds hanging out at the bbq

Katie and Andre with crazy Dixie


Sorry I've been absent for what seems like the last year. We've been pretty busy and logged in wayyyy too many road trip hours over the last few weeks. After we rested in PA for a few days we were off on our next excursion--John's aunt, Mary Ann's wedding in TN! After we arrived we crashed because we had driven through the night. Once we caught up on rest we were able to enjoy some good time with John's parents, Heather and Patrick (sister-in-law and John's brother) and their adorable little Anna! We then went to downtown Knoxville to begin the pre-wedding festivities. Mary Ann and Dave planned such a great weekend, we were staying at a hotel in downtown Knoxville, right near Market Square, which is this cute...well, market square...with tons of cute boutiques and interesting restaurants. It was awesome and we loved it! After their 6 minute wedding ceremony (yes, Mary Ann timed it and yes, I do believe that should be a world record!) we all went to Oodles to enjoy a sweet reception. Once the reception was over we all went our separate ways (some of us took naps, some of us played in the pool...I bet you can guess who did what) and the fam rejoined later to enjoy a fabulous (!) dinner at Oodles. One thing I have to say is that Mary Ann can pick some good food and of course congrats to Mary Ann and Dave!! The next couple of days were spent hanging out with John's family, which was a lot of fun especially since we haven't been to TN since Thanksgiving!

I had to leave on Monday to come back to work and John, his parents and Dixie came back on Thursday. My intentions were to keep ya'll up to date during my time here alone however it was mostly spent cleaning because I had a dog-free house to myself. I again found myself taking after my mother--I was actually excited about cleaning and really enjoyed it! How weird! But to be fair we haven't done a "deep" cleaning to the house since we've had Dixie--just straightening up.

Now we're all joined together in PA--John and his dad are building a fence in our yard so that the pup can run free and Kathy and I have been running errands, walking the pup and hanging around the house--ok she did some yard work too but somehow I missed out on that (oops). Last night we enjoyed a great dinner and some really cool fireworks, now we're back to the above mentioned I really have to go to work tomorrow? Sitting around is sooo nice...