Friday, July 12, 2013

'Til Death Do Us Part

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. 

This has been my mantra the last few weeks. Wedding season is in full swing and they always seem to fall on every weekend that you would love to be doing something else. 

And just to top off the stress factor, my family experienced incredible loss. My grandfather died June 26th and my grandmother July 5th. 

"Failure to Thrive". 

This was my grandmother's cause of death. It's a pretty incredible idea.

You hear of people 'dying of broken hearts', but I never thought it would hit this close to home.

I had a harder time with this loss than I imagined. Once person's words really stuck with me. Instead of saying sorry for my loss she said "what a love story!".

This is why I love my job. 


I get to experience the 'can't live without each other love' at almost every wedding. :)

As far as I'm concerned, we need to change up the wedding vows; death does not part us. It brings us back together for eternity.

Cheers G&G. Love you for eternity.

My mug at work. Jk. Sort of.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hi Blog

Oh hello there. I missed you. I've been galavanting on the best vacation ever and then relishing in extreme laziness since I've been back. 

But here I am. I have not forgotten about you...although I'm sure readers have. Are you with me??? 


Anywho. I'm back. About to start this crazy thing called summertime. Which equals extreme job stress and lots of lovely (and some not so lovely) brides.

I hope to write every Monday or Tuesday about my wedding weekends and let you in on a few funny stories while still keeping up with some recipes and a little home improvement.

Stay tuned! :)


Friday, March 22, 2013

Bubble Up Enchiladas

I leave for this gorgeous place in 19 days.

Cue longing. 

Sidenote: Get a load of this counter space!

You're jealous.

I have been so unproductive because I can't stop day dreaming about laying on the beach with a cocktail in hand ALL DAY LONG. ugh. hurry up.

I also can't stop online "shopping". I use quotes because I hardly ever buy the stuff. 

Do you ever go on a shopping website and add EVERYTHING to you cart and then you go to check out and you're like $534?!!!?? ugh. That is how much I currently have in my Target shopping cart.

Imaginary shopping. My fave.

Any-who...vacation is on the horizon and I am trying to lose weight fast look great in a bathing suit and feel comfortable and that all starts with healthy eating!

I've seen this recipe around Pinterest and was interested to make it, but beef up the health.

(No those aren't marshmallows. Photog skills need advancing.)

We LOVED it. Sean was very skeptical but at the end told me I could make it all the time. 

It is so versatile too. You can add ANY veggies or beans. You can even use pizza sauce instead of enchilada and add your favorite pizza toppings. The possibilities are endless. AHHHHHH.

Sorry. this up kids cuz it's good for ya!

I forgot to take a picture when I topped it with cheese and pulled it out of the oven...mas Corona's.

Act surprised.

Made over Bubble Up Enchiladas

Serves: 6

1 tsp olive oil
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1.25 lbs extra lean ground turkey
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups 2% milk sharp cheddar, divided
1 (10oz) can refrigerated biscuits


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Saute bell peppers and garlic in oil until soft, about 3 minutes. While you are sauteing, cut each biscuit into six pieces. 

Remove peppers to a plate and brown ground turkey. Season with chili powder, cumin, S & P. Drain and rinse black beans and slightly mash some of them with your hands leaving the majority of them whole. I think it gives it a creamy texture.

Pour in enchilada and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of cheese. Stir in biscuit pieces and transfer to a prepared baking dish. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 21) then remove from the oven, top with remaining cheese and return to oven for 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, serve up and enjoy!

Have a LOVELY Friday!!!! :)


Friday, March 15, 2013


I have been fighting off a monster cold all week.

I'm so sick of this weather and the fake out warm sunny days. 

I need consistency. I'm ready for consistent weather, health, work...

Does the feeling that you are always in transition ever go away? 

I have a job where I plan the future for people. I'm really good at thinking ahead. But am I missing what is right here, right now?

It has always been a struggle for me to focus on my life right now and stop thinking about the next best thing. 
In high school, I thought about college, in college I prepared for my career, after I got my job I focused on falling in love with myself, when I felt I knew who I was I focused on finding love, now that I found love I think about marriage, when I'm married will I start thinking about kids? 

I feel like I wish away the present in the hopes of a bright future. Instead of focusing on what I have right now...I always want for more.

So beginning today I am going to live in every moment I get to share with my family, Sean, his family, my nephew, my friends...not on the future things I will share with them. I will constantly thank God for everything he has blessed me with each and every day.

And to think...I began this post about a cold.

Have a lovely weekend Friday :)


Monday, March 11, 2013

Brownies with Cookie Dough Frosting

I never understood people when they would exclaim 'he's just so cute I want to eat him up!' It's just weird.

Now I totally get it. 

Those people gave up sweets for lent and have a nephew that looks like this.

I'm going to eat him.

Lent is always something I have participated in since I was a kid, but I would always do it halfway. I would give up all ice cream except chocolate or all candy except chocolate or all chocolate except dark you see a pattern? 


So this year I bit the bullet and gave up ALL sweets. I'm crazy and I know it. It's been challenging for say the least...but this is the first year I haven't replaced the behavior with something else.

Well maybe snuggling my nephew, but that is a positive behavior!

So today I'm being a little masochistic and posting a brownie recipe. Fear not - I actually made these the Sunday before lent started. Enough time to stuff my face with a few and then pawn them off on my co-workers and boyfriend.

These are so decedent and yummy! 

You can find the recipe for the brownies at Lauren's Latest & the frosting at The Girl Who Ate Everything!!

Eat these. Not babies.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A "Collaboration"

We all know woman are typically the brains behind every relationship. The boss, if you will. But there comes a point in time where shockingly your other half has a dinner idea....that is actually good.

This phenomenon happened to me on Sunday evening. 

And let me tell you I was a little speechless. 

RGP and I were driving home from a wonderfully fun and relaxing weekend up at the are some pics...

Gorgeous right? It was a beautiful sunny albeit cold day! So we had a daytime bonfire...with beverages obviously.

Yes, I am wearing Carhart overalls. Judge me. They are warm.

Look at these awfully pale cuties.

I was dead tired and wanted to put forth minimal effort to dinner when we got home.

I pulled up Pinterest and tried to file through the millions of pins to find something that contained what we had in the fridge.

Sidenote: do you ever go on a Pinterest binge?? Where you pin and pin and pin and you come out of this coma like wtf just happened??!

Anyways, I proposed Jalapeno Popper Chicken from Whit's Amuse Bouche(a "pin binge" where I searched for Jalapeno Popper ANYTHING)

It sounded good but he suggested making it into a quesadilla. 


The man could eat anything smothered in cheese and slapped between two tortillas.

But, reluctantly I will tell you it was a great idea. So here is our transformed Jalapeno Popper Chicken in quesadilla form.

I'm such a horrible photographer. Halp me.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Quesadillas

Serves: 2

4 pieces of bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. Olive Oil
2 burrito size flour tortillas
1 Tbsp. Butter or cooking spray
2oz light cream cheese, softened
pinch of chili powder (optional)
pinch of cumin (optional)
1 small jalapeno, diced
2 green onions, sliced
6oz pepper jack cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350. Cook bacon in a small skillet until crisp. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Season chicken breasts with S&P and drizzle with olive oil. Sear chicken on both sides until brown, about 2 minutes each side. Turn off burner and transfer pan to oven. 

I always cook my chicken breasts like this; the outside is crisp and the inside is cooked through and juicy.

While chicken is cooking, about 10-12 minutes, mix cream cheese with chili powder and cumin. Spread one side of the tortilla with butter and the other side with 1 oz of cream cheese. Sprinkle jalapenos, onions and crumbled bacon over cream cheese. Sprinkle with a little pepper jack on half of the tortilla.

Remove chicken from oven and let rest for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute. Slice chicken and arrange over cheese on half of the tortilla. Top with remaining cheese and place in a large skillet. Let the tortilla crisp up a bit and then fold the side without chicken over and press down with your spatula. Let crisp a little more and flip. Cook until golden brown and remove to a cutting board. Slice in pieces and enjoy!!

BYE kids.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Salmon en papillote...sort of

I'm so sorry I have been MIA. Did you miss me?? I know you did not.

I have been busy being an auntie to the most beautiful baby boy on the planet! I'm so lucky to have him in my life. :)


So I'm back! I promise. Here to stay and don't look so disappointed. 

This is a SUPER simple, fast, healthy recipe. It literally takes 5 minutes to prep everything and it has SO much flavor!

I love salmon and making it this way makes this an easy weeknight meal.  I have posted a lot of 'sometimes' foods and I don't want you all to think I'm a 500 pound girl who eats butter and cheese with a side of wine. 

If only you could stay skinny and do that.

Well here is my easy salmon. It's so flaky, yummy, garlicky, lemony, buttery...stop me I can go on!

You can use parchment paper if you like, but I personally like the sturdiness of foil and in the summer you can throw it on the grill instead of the oven. 

Dear Summer: are you ever coming back?

I'm sick of hearing those commercials on the radio about sliding down the slopes on fresh fallen snow. Pure Michigan my ass. MELT ALREADY.

Tangent. But seriously.

H E A L T H.

Salmon en papillote...sort of

1 sheet of foil
3-4 slices of lemon
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
6oz piece of salmon
1T Dijon mustard
2T butter


Preheat oven to 400.

Place foil on work surface. Slice lemon and lay in the center of the foil slightly overlapping. Sprinkle sliced garlic over lemon slices. 

Pat salmon dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper*. Place over lemon and garlic slices.

Using the back of a spoon, spread mustard over top of salmon. Dab pats of butter on top.

Fold foil around salmon creating an pouch so the salmon can steam. 

Place pouch on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Let pouch sit for a few minutes, open and serve! I had a little cous cous and veggies with mine...YUM.

*If you want your salmon to be crispy on the top place it in a pan with oil skin side up and sear for a minute. I was too lazy to clean a pan.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Peanuts & Alcohol

This is my older sister, Britten. up to that is fun.

She is gorgeous, fun, and my best friend. She has always been my biggest supporter. I am so proud of the woman she is and feel lucky I get to call her my sister.

This is her beautiful family.

Uh. Yeah. They are real. Seriously.

Lars (the dog) looks a little shocked because he is about to have a brother tomorrow. And I am about to become WGA. World's Greatest Aunt.

Tomorrow will be spent at the hospital anxiously awaiting the arrival of the most perfect baby on the planet.

Seriously...look at them. The kid is gonna be a model.

I'm so excited to hold the little peanut and snuggle and love and kiss him!!! AHHHHH. 

But the second thing that is exciting me the most is my sister being able to consume alcohol again. I know, shocking coming from me.

Before she got herself knocked up, Britten liked to party.

The wine glasses might have been as big as her head, but she will slam it.

But now that she is like this...

Drinking is not really considered acceptable.

She may have her occasional glass of wine with thousands of ice cubes to make it 'last longer'.

She has been a very responsible pregnant and stuck with the St. Julians. 

Oh hey 5th grade New Year's Eve where we pretended to get drunk. I'm just kidding that never happened (nervous laughter).

We have all rubbed it in her face a little bit. 


 Especially my boyfriend and her husband.

That's not weird at all.

But really we are all just excited for our little peanut to be here...and maybe to celebrate with a little champagne that my sister smuggled in her hospital bag.

Congrats Britten and Brad! Love you both!

Can you believe he's gonna wear these?!!!!!! I can't take it.



Monday, February 11, 2013

Pioneer Woman Sunday Night Stew

I will never put cubed potatoes in stew again.

I never realized the magic of creamy ridiculous mashed potatoes at the bottom of a hearty pot of stew.  

Seriously, anytime I have a soup or stew that calls for cubed potatoes. I'm gonna yell "screw you cubed potatoes!" and pour it over unbelievably creamy, buttery mashed potatoes.
Sorry cubes. 

For the last few years I have made PW's mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. They are RIDICULOUS! I will NEVER make another mashed potato!

Sorry...I will stop shouting at you. 

Pioneer Woman recipes just make me so excited! Oops.
The whole stewing/mashing process took me about 5 hours. Hence the reason PW calls it Sunday Night Stew...girl's gotta have some tiempo on her hands.

I cooked mine a little longer than PW says to, but I wasn't getting the thickness I wanted.  I made a little roux and added it to my stew; notice the rhyming skills. It turned out beautifully!

Don't you just want to face plant into this???!!!! My mom and I did.

Here is the recipe. Head on over to Pioneer Woman to see the full step-by-step recipe and superior photography.


Beef Stew

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 pounds Beef Stew Meat (chuck Roast Cut Into Chunks)
Salt And Pepper
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
4 ounces, weight Tomato Paste
4 cups Low Sodium Beef Stock Or Broth, More If Needed For Thinning
Several Dashes Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
4 whole Carrots, Peeled And Diced
2 whole Turnips, Peeled And Diced
2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley

Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds Russet Potatoes (peeled)
1 package (8 Ounce) Cream Cheese, Softened
1 stick Butter, Softened
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Salt and pepper stew meat. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add butter, and as soon as it melts, brown half the stew meat until the outside gets nice and brown, about 2 minutes. (Turn it as it browns.) Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate. Add the rest of the meat to the pot and brown it, too. Remove it to the same plate. Set the meat aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot, stirring it to coat it in all the brown bits in the bottom of the pot. Cook for two minutes, then add the tomato paste to the pot. Stir it into the onions and let it cook for two more minutes.
Pour in the beef stock, stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire and sugar. Add the beef back to the pot, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, add the diced turnips and carrots to the pot. Stir to combine, put the lid back on the pot, and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be very thick, but if it seems overly so, splash in some beef broth until it thins it up enough. Feel free to add beef broth as needed!
When the carrots and turnips are tender, stir in minced parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve piping hot in a bowl with mashed potatoes, letting the juice run all over everything. Sprinkle with extra minced parsley at the end.
Cut the potatoes into quarters and cover with water in a large pot. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 25-30 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then put them back into the same pot. With the heat on low, mash the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes to release as much steam as possible.
Turn off heat, then add cream cheese, butter, cream, seasoned salt, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Serve potatoes immediately or spread them into a buttered baking dish to be reheated later. To reheat, put them in a 375 degree oven, covered in foil, until hot.

Have a lovely heartwarming Monday!!