A while ago, I introduced our new family addition, but have neglected to include the most interesting member of my family in any post since then. Shame on me! But, we recently discovered some super cute things Wonder-Puppy likes to do. With all of our summer weddings, Hubby and I have amassed a great collection of bubbles. Sunday morning Hubby was blowing some, and Wonder-Puppy must have thought they looked exactly like her favorite toy, any kind of ball, because she started chasing them, popping them, and trying to eat them. Very funny. We tried it again tonight, and I managed to get a bit of it on video. Enjoy!


She’s not as energetic here as she was Sunday morning, mostly because she wore herself out playing in the back yard. I walked into the kitchen to clean up our dinner dishes, and saw out our glass door, a giant, furry, black object fly by. Yes, FLY. Like some kind of giant flying squirrel. Except it was a SEVENTY POUND squirrel. Why was Wonder-Puppy flying? She was chasing her beloved mostly-deflated soccer ball.


Works For Me – Decorating Ideas

This week, what works for me, has to do with decorating. In February, Hubby and I bought our first house. We’re so excited to be here, and we LOVE our cute little cape code. We don’t, however, love our furniture too much. Most of what we have are hand-me downs or cast offs from family members. In fact, most of our furniture are cast offs from my brother in law, who received those pieces as cast offs from aunts and uncles. I would have loved to have bought our house and bought new furniture for our living room and family room, but we couldn’t afford that, and there’s no reason to go into credit card debt to furnish our house. So what’s the daughter of an owner of and architecture and interior design firm to do? Make a plan!

I love to thrift shop and antique shop, but man, that can suck you in fast. You really need to know exactly what you’re looking for, otherwise you’ll end up with a mish-mash of stuff that won’t work together, or just plan too much stuff! So, if I couldn’t buy everything all at once, I decided the best thing to do would be to come up with a plan. First, I decided what pieces I really wanted to add to my room, and what peices I already owned would work in my redesign. Then, I put all of the pictures together, so I would have a referance for what the room would ultimatly look like. I’m not positive all the things that are my inspiration will end up in the room. For example, I found the acyrlic ball lamp at my favorite on-line retailer for over $200. I KNOW I can find one with a similar look at Target or even Urban Outfiters for $50 or less. Now, when I’m furniture browsing and see a great price on a piece of furniture, I’ll be able to assess if it really fits the look I’m going for. It definely works for me!

Thoughts on Batman

With the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, release quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking about what the film’s reception is likely to be. Since I’ve excited to see the movie since the end of Batman Begins, I’ve had high expectations for the second installment in this re-vamped series.

I first fell in love with Batman watching the old live-action TV series staring Adam West when I was about four. For years straight, I was Batman for Halloween. Try as they might, my parents could not convince me it would be better if I pretended to be Batwoman or Batgirl. “I’m BATMAN,” I would defiantly cry. One of the first gifts Hubby have me was the box set of Batman movies; I watched them all in about a two day span. He purchased Batman Begins before we married, and every time I came to visit him, we watched it. I just never get tired of the theme of good versus evil and the struggle to remain good in such proximity to evil. I’m excited the films are getting revamped, as some of the latter films lost sight of this theme and became, well, just a little silly.

Thus far, positive reviews are now abundant (you can see some of them here), and many have focused on the prevalence, and wonderful subtlety in the way the theme is presented. Hooray! But, my fear since learning of Heath Ledger’s untimely death has been that it will overshadow the film and bring it more acclaim than it perhaps deserves. Not that I don’t want the movie to have a great reception, but I want it to garner what praise it receives because it is genuinely a good movie. I hope this will be the case, but this morning I found this article discussing Ledger’s chances to win a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker. Both a nomination for a role in a superhero flick and a posthumous win would be relatively unprecedented. I haven’t seen the movie, or any clips (other than a few TV trailers I’ve caught), so I can’t really pass judgment. Regardless of the film’s reception, I know I’LL enjoy watching it time and time again. And I take comfort in the fact that, as the article states:

Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are profuse in their praise of Ledger but have been diplomatic about the Oscar talk. Awards publicity generally pads a movie’s box-office and DVD receipts, and the studio has cautiously avoided any appearance of profiting from the added attention Ledger’s death has brought to the film.

Of Weddings and Gardens

Hubby and I just got back from our four-day trek down to Richmond for his brother’s wedding. Normally, I wouldn’t count four solid days with my in-laws in their crazy glory to be high on my “things that are fun” list, but the trip was surprisingly a lot of fun.

We kicked things off Thursday with a trip to the spa. The bride, her matron of honor, two sisters in law and I went for manicures, pedicures, and massages. It was nice to spend some time with my future sister-in-law and her family, and hey, a massage can only help! Her sisters in law were also her bridesmaids, but I was pleased I didn’t feel like I was crashing the bridesmaids party, just included as part of the family. After the spa, we added spouses, and spouses to be, and had dinner.

Friday got off to an early start when hubby had to make a 9 o’clock tee time on the other side of town for golf with the guys. I had breakfast with the fabulous Erin and a great New York style deli near the hotel. All I’m saying is that Challah French Toast is where its at! It was great to catch up with her and to have a break in all the family festivities, not to mention getting to forgo the “on your best behavior” meeting the bride’s relatives and many of my hubby’s for the first time necessitated. Almost directly after this, I headed out with my mother-in-law and my husband’s two aunts to the bridal luncheon. Then, it was back to the hotel to change for the rehearsal and dinner.

The wedding was held in the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, which are absolutely beautiful! If you are ever in Richmond, I highly suggest paying them a visit. After mingling and eating at the rehearsal dinner, hubby and I made our way over to the Children’s Garden, which was near where the ceremony would take place and had the added bonus of have a round stilt house over-looking the water. Walking around there, we decided if we had kids we would take a trip just to visit the gardens. There are all kinds of different areas representing the plant life in different areas of the world, the kids are encouraged to take care and explore all of the plants, and imprints of animal and leaves are all over the concrete walkway to make for a great scavenger hunt. AND they have a great water play area. We loved it!

It was also a perfect setting for an intimate style wedding, which this certainly was. The rain held off until well after the ceremony and pictures. After the bridal party had left, the pastor had a little somethin’ extra to tell the rest of us, saying that if we really wanted their marriage to be successful, we shouldn’t give them advice, we should instead love them, listen to them, support them and, above all, pray for them. With just under a year of marriage under my belt, it really made me think about how often I do things in my marriage because someone else said it worked for them. Just as every person is different, so is every marriage different, and what works for one couple can cause a whole lot of heartache for another. I do think advice is sometimes needed, but I think how much better my marriage would be if I considered the advice I had been given, prayed about it, and asked the person who advised me to pray about it as well. Definitely something to chew on!

So, I’ll leave you my discovery that I can get along really well with my in laws for long periods of time if we have a project to work on together and if I have an attitude of service towards them (which is a hard one), as well as some of my favorite pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!

The Bride and Groom on their way to the rehearsal dinner.

Everyone got some honey made by the groom’s uncle.

Picture frame towards the front of the gardens.

Bridesmaids help the bride with her dress.

The mother of the groom waiting for the ceremony to start.

Mother of the groom with her bouquet and ceremony program.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Worst Love Note Ever

About the middle of last week, I got up right after Hubby had walked out the door to go to work. I greeted the wonder-puppy, who was eagerly awaiting my morning appearance, and stumbled my way to the bathroom. At the door, I noticed a note sitting on top of the toilet.

“Oh boy!” I thought to myself, “Hubby knows I’m halfway through my first week at my new job and he’s left me a nice, encouraging love note!” I could not wait to see what he had written. So, I quickly walked up to the toilet to see what my wonderful hubby had left for me. And that’s when the illusion was over. What I saw was this:

So, I made my way upstairs to use the “creepy toilet.” Wonder-puppy was so excited about our morning adventures, she just couldn’t stop running and turning in circles. I wonder when I’ll actually get a love note….

Judy McNair Chicken and Buttermilk Biscuits

This week, Works for Me Wednesday is themed! Everyone is posting some of their favorite 5 ingredient recipes, and of course, I’m following along as well

When I was much younger, my parents were in a couple’s Sunday School class that had frequent get-togethers at the leader’s house. One evening, I guess my parents couldn’t find a baby sitter, because my brother and I ended up tagging along for dinner. That night, the lovely Judy McNair served a wonderful Italian-inspired breaded chicken dish. It was a hit! My mom later modified the recipe to be a little lighter, and consequently, a lot easier to make!

Judy McNair Chicken

What you need: breadcrumbs, Italian Seasoning, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and some kind of boneless, skinless chicken (I use both breasts and tenderloins)

1. Mix breadcrumbs and Italian Seasoning in one bowl (sometimes I like to add parsley flakes for the pretty green color).

2. In another bowl, mix equal parts mustard and Worcestershire sauce (I don’t measure anything, just mix until I have a consistency I like, and add more if I need it).

3. Coat chicken with mustard and Worcestershire sauce mixture, transfer chicken to other bowl and coat with bread crumbs.

4. Put on pan and cook at 350 F for about 20 minutes (you may need to cook longer if your chicken pieces are rather thick).

I served my chicken with fresh green beans and corn, both one ingredient, quick cooking foods. If you’re feeling a little ambitious, you could make these 5 ingredient buttermilk biscuits as well.

Buttermilk Biscuits

You will need: 1 1/2 c. self-rising flour, 2/3 c. shortening, 1/2 c. buttermilk.

1. Place flour in bowl. Add shortening and cut in until evenly distributed evenly in pieces with flour.

2. Add buttermilk and mix. Mixture should not be too damp.

3. Roll dough out on flour on wax paper and pat or cut into rounds.

4. Back at 425 for 13 min.


Dining Green

Saturday night, hubby and I went out to dinner to help a friend celebrate her birthday. She chose to eat at this super cool place in one of the older areas of town, Fork in the Alley. Not only is this restaurant super cute in it’s alley location, but it serves great food and is even a certified green dining location. One of the things they do I especially like is donate leftover food. Since we’re in a city that has a lot of homeless, I think this is especially important. What’s even cooler? You can use the Green Restaurant Association’s website to find a certified green restaurant near you!