Monday, December 31, 2012

ice skating

The week before we left for NC, John and I decided to be festive and go ice skating downtown.  Let's just say that I am not coordinated at all nor do I have much experience with skating in general (ice or roller).  My anxiety going into this activity was off the charts.  And the people zipping around the rink doing triple axles didn't help either.  That last part was made up.  But maybe I saw one triple axle.  Anyway, bless John's heart, he was so patient with me and didn't get irritated/show signs of wanting to knock me out.  He demonstrated the correct skating method numerous times.  I tried my best to convince him that it simply didn't work that way for me.  Well it did, eventually.  I ended up having a wonderful time!  It was very festive and I loved being able to share that experience with him.  We went walking around downtown ( it's pronounced here, ugh) and took some pictures of the Christmas decor.

the tree at the rink, practically Rockefeller Center :)

I'm pretty sure right before this picture I said "John we need a picture now before I fall and need to be carried out of here!!".  Just a calm, festive evening skating around a tree.

dahntahn decor

John getting artsy with the decor.

sweet tree on the corner of a building

big park downtown with blue snowflakes and Christmas trees

 blue Christmas

big tree, from a distance

a little closer now

a cool bridge leading to the downtown park, I think it looks pretty sweet

this was like the 20th take of this picture, finally the three of us (tree included) fit in

The hotel on the left is where we stayed the very first time we visited Pittsburgh. Oh, nostalgia.

adventures in pittsburgh

A few weekends ago Katie and her sweet friend, Jessica, came to visit us. The day after the Christmas party I showed them around Pittsburgh because it was Jessica's first visit.  Here's some documentation...

sisters on the North Shore

trying our best to sit in Mr. Rogers' lap (Fred Rogers lived in Pittsburgh and his show was filmed in the city)

Jessica's first time up the Duquesne Incline (you basically ride a trolley car up the side of Mount Washington)

the three of us on Mount Washington overlooking the city of Pittsburgh

sister sister (downtown Pittsburgh in the background)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

christmas party pics

I know I'm like a million days late posting these but better late than never, right?

friends waiting for dirty santa/white elephant to begin...

I'm pretty sure he got an old key ring filled with fake keys

Katie waiting not so patiently for her turn

Lucky her, she got a Stillers cup!  

Friends.  I was trying to get pics of our friends at the party but that doesn't work too well when you only take 2 pictures...

Me and John at the end of the party.  (Yes, I'm too lazy to crop and edit these pictures.)

I know Katie has a thousand more pics on her iphone so I'll see about getting those sent to me so I can post them (ahem, Katie...).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

wine quote

For all us winos out there...

Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.

Paulo Coelho, Brida

Saturday, December 15, 2012

it's chrsitmas, y'all!

Things have been in full Christmas swing here lately and today is no exception because it's our annual CHRISTMAS PARTY!!  It look and feels like Santa's workshop here (Christmas elves included, i.e. me)!  I'm so excited to post some pictures from the night (probably tomorrow or a following day).  A lot of our good friends are coming and my sister is gracing us with her presence as well!  Yay!  This is probably our last Christmas party here so we'll make it good one!  Have a great Saturday y'all!!


If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

Fred Rogers

Friday, December 14, 2012


Yes, Tommy, pray. Pray hard.

Mary, It's A Wonderful Life

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ho hey (the lumineers)

I'm not quite sure when this song came out but my sister put it on a CD for me awhile ago and I've been obsessed with it ever since.  Great song, cute video, hope you enjoy :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

 Maya Angelou

old friends

Danielle, one of my old friends from high school, and her husband were in Pittsburgh the past couple of days.  We had the joy of hanging out with them Sunday and Monday nights!  They are currently going all over the US to interview for residency (med school stuff), hence why they were in Pittsburgh.  Obviously we were more than happy to show them the things that we enjoy around the city.  So thankful for long friendships and good times!  Here's a couple of pictures Danielle took on Mt. Washington...

I'm 5'1" and she's 5'10".  Yeah, it was real fun trying to keep up with her walking around high school and what not.  Those long legs could out-walk me any day.

hubs :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Why, darling, I don’t live at all when I’m not with you.

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

dinner tonight

I LOOOOOVE buffalo chicken anything.  I'm definitely obsessed.  I've made these burgers for us many times (usually with ground turkey because I can't easily find ground chicken) and they're always a hit!  They're super easy too :)
(photo and recipe credit go to: How Sweet It Is)

Sweet Potato Chips 
These were a Pinterest recipe and really good.  Maybe a little heavy on the spice side, I would maybe cut the amount in half or just cut some of the spices out.  But mostly they were really good. 
(photo and recipe credit go to: The Recipe Diva)


We can do no great things--only small things with great love.

 Mother Teresa

Sunday, December 2, 2012


This one looks familiar, I think I've posted it before but here we go again :)

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

 Mahatma Gandhi


I know I'm pretty much the world's worst blogger...ever.  Sorry about that.  I'm just pretty inconsistent with updating y'all with what's going on in our lives.  Usually I cycle between being really overwhelmed with daily activities or there's absolutely nothing going on.  So here's us lately:

We were able to go to TN and spend Thanksgiving with John's family this year, which was a blast!  Our trip was filled with cooking, eating, chatting, football, spending time with family and even...Black Friday shopping!  That's right, Kathy and Heather braved the crowds with me on Friday.  The traffic and crowds weren't actually that bad, which was a nice surprise.  :)  I'm thankful for John's family and all of the time we got to spend together, it was simply wonderful.  Thank you, Kathy and Gary for the sweet hospitality :)  it was nice to be back in the South for a bit.  I'm already looking forward to making our way back down South for Christmas!

Once we returned to PA I went into overdrive decorating our house during every spare minute I had.  I'm happy to announce that our house is completely decorated for Christmas now, yay!  I've also been working on cards and baking.  Now if we can just get to that cleaning up part...hmmm, I feel like a kid when it comes to cleaning.  I have all the energy in the world when it comes to decorating/making a mess but it always seems that I'm just pooped out when that cleaning part rolls around.  Sigh, the troubles of being a grown up :)

And I'm so excited that Christmas movie time is in full swing!  We watched It's A Wonderful Life last night and darn-it if that movie doesn't make me cry every single time.  Then we watched a couple of (cheesy) Hallmark Christmas movies, and it was splendid!  I told John (as I do every year), "If I say it once, I'll say it a thousand times...I COULD TOTALLY STAR IN A CHRISTMAS MOVIE!".  He responds by rolling his eyes and nodding his head, to appease me, no doubt.  Now I love my Christmas movies but I'll be the first to admit that most of them are ridiculously cheesy and the acting is almost always sub par.  Which is why I could totally star in one.  One day, one day.

Now onto wrapping presents, yay!  I sure do love this season :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Hot coffee and cold winter mornings are two of the best soul mates who ever did find each other.

Terri Guillemets

Sunday, November 18, 2012

the bridesmaid by beverly lewis

Note: I received a free copy of The Bridesmaid from Bethany House Publisher.

The Bridesmaid is the second book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. It is based on Joanna Kurtz, a young Amish woman that is single and beginning to push the courting age limit. She meets a young Amish man, Eben Troyer, while both of their families are visiting Virginia Beach. The couple is attracted to one another and begin to correspond via letters once they return to their homes in different states.

The book follows their story together from each of their individual points of view. It gives a great glimpse into day to day Amish life, familial and community relationships as well as romantic relationships in the Amish culture.

I really enjoyed this book. It is one of many books by Beverly Lewis that I've read and she never dissapoints. She always seems to paint a beautiful picture of daily Amish life, including the joys and the struggles. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, The Guardian.

(What can I say?  I'm a sucker for Amish fiction :)


found here


found here

Saturday, November 17, 2012

21 secrets for your 20s

I came across this article today and man, it's awesome.  I just started looking around on the website and it looks pretty amazing!  It speaks directly to 20-somethings that are in that phase of "not in college but also trying to find a grown up job" which is ahem, my life.  So yeah, pretty applicable so far.  I encourage you to poke around on the site too.  Enjoy!

The article: 21 Secrets for your 20s

The website: All Groan Up


Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.

Gilda Radner

Friday, November 16, 2012

if ever there were a shirt that i needed...

it would be THIS ONE!

found here

I'm buying it in like 2 seconds!
(thanks to my cousin, Emily, for sharing)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Never thought of it like that.  Found here.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

your daily beautiful quote

found here

this week

I finished this book the other night and I loved it!  What a great book.  It's a sweet story set in the Lowcountry about family, grieving the loss of loved ones and how to live through it all together.  Loved it, highly recommend it!

We had this for dinner tonight and it was: 
1. Super easy
2. Delicious
3. Healthy
So you should pretty much make it ASAP.  It's a great weeknight meal, seeing as it takes a total of 30 minutes (at the most) to make.  Yay!
(photo and recipe cred to: The Recipe Critic)

I read a review for this book in People magazine today and REALLY want to read it:
As soon as I started reading the review it reminded me of A Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs (which I read a couple of years ago and loved!) and it turns out the author was inspired by Jacobs' book and began her own journey which led to this book.  I'm very interested to read all about her journey.  I rarely buy books (full price at that) but this may have to be an exception.

So it looks like all I do is read and cook and well...that is pretty much my life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

election day quote

Hope y'all voted today.  I know I did.  I really liked this quote when I saw it on this blog and thought I'd share.

 (complete credit to rage against the minivan)

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Not a fan of Paris Hilton.  BIG fan of this quote.
(found here)


found here

i'm baaaaaack

I have a computer!!  Yippee!!  I feel so connected now, phew!  I've already trolled facebook, various blogs I follow, Dog-shaming and I've updated my status on Goodreads. There's a lot of stuff to take care of on the internet, people.  With that said, it was refreshing to not be connected to anything  (while I was at home I was not connected, I used an iPad at work for emails and occasional facebook checking) for a couple of weeks.  But now I'm back.  And here's what I have to say:

This show is amazing!  Country music, drama, Nashville, enough said.  I am hooked.

We watched this last night and it was great!  Acting was great and it was super dramatic.  I highly recommend it.

Currently reading this book and loving it!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

it's official

My computer is deadsville.  It's gone.  But my ever-productive and on the ball husband found a new one for me (it was pink!) and his dad even had to go to Knoxville to pick it up (it wasn't available in stores around here) and they brought it all the way up here for their fall visit!  How about that for a family effort!  Sadly it did not pick up wifi very well unless you were 5 feet from the server.  That's not going to work, so he had to return it (I mourned yet another computer in just a few days...and it was pink!  Did I mention that?!).  So we're back to square one.  I'm stealing away some time on John's computer while he's asleep to make sure all my followers don't think I've fallen off the face of the earth.  It will still be a little while longer until I can regularly post, thanks for your patience. :)

However, John's parents did come visit and we had a wonderful time with them!  Thank y'all for making the trek up here!  John has come down with something and I think it's starting to creep it's way toward me.  So we'll be hunkering down, eating potato soup and doing nothing while this cold rainy weather takes over Pittsburgh.  Hope y'all are doing well and staying safe with Sandy on her way!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

wild and wonderful

That's right, this weekend we went to wild and wonderful West Virginia!  Never thought I'd be excited to be going to WV but it was really fun!  We stayed at Black Bear Resort and were able to have our own cabin (that was dog friendly, yay Dixie!).  There was a wood burning fireplace (which we used both nights) and everything was so comfy and cozy.  During the days we went hiking and one night we checked out a local restaurant while the other night we stayed in by the fire with some yummy chili.  It was a great Fall trip and it was so nice to spend some time away from everyday life with John (and Dixie).  The area we visited in WV is Canaan Valley and I highly recommend it if you want to get away for a long weekend or even a week (it would be beautiful any time of the year).

With that said, my computer is still messing up and deciding when it does and does not want to work soooo I probably won't be posting often :(  We're working on maybe getting me a new computer...that's exciting and kinda crazy but here we go.  Hope y'all are all doing well!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

it's been awhile

Just wanted to let y'all know that my computer has been broken for the past week and that's why I haven't posted.  It was interesting, at first I was having the DT's from not having a computer but then I began to really enjoy the freedom.  I wasn't trolling blogs or facebook and I actually went to bed earlier.  It was nice.  I'm going to try and keep to that, having minimal computer time.  We'll see how it actually goes.  Also, a big shout out to my husband who fixed my computer.  It was a $15 fix (some part on something that was broken, blah blah blah) but I'll tell you what; if he wasn't in my life I probably would've bought another computer.  So thankful he's in my life :)  Here's what I've been up to lately:

I saw this movie earlier tonight and it was pretty much amazing.  I read the book a few years ago and I was very impressed with how closely the movie followed the book.  If you're interested in seeing it you should know that it's an intense story, not a lighthearted one.  It was great though.

And I'm currently reading this book right now and enjoying it :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

crock pot jambalaya

photo belongs to plain chicken

Y'all, this jambalaya is delicious!  It's easy, healthy and tasty...and you should try it immediately!  Here's the link to the recipe.

your daily (fall) quote

found here

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

your daily quote

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.

C.S. Lewis

book review: travelers rest by ann tatlock

Note: I received a free copy of Travelers Rest from Bethany House Publisher.

Travelers Rest is a sweet book about a young woman whose fiance comes back from war and is paralyzed from the neck down. Her fiance is placed in a VA hospital in Asheville, NC where she visits him almost daily. During her visits she meets and becomes friends with a retired doctor (and veteran) who lives in the community wing of the hospital. As you continue to read you see the relationship with her fiance play out as well as the friendship with the doctor and another new friend acquired at the VA, a blind lawyer who volunteers there.

The book is sweet and heartfelt and was a delightful read. It touches on some tough topics such as war and the aftermath on individual soldiers as well as their families, segregation in the South, loss and addiction. I recommend this book, it's just deep enough to feel like you are really connecting with the characters but not so deep that you are overly affected by their stories. I truly enjoyed it.