Friday, February 27, 2009

Let them eat cake!

I am SO excited about the fun present I'm giving my friend K for her shower this Sunday! I really wanted to get her something fun and unique, since bridal showers can sort of be boring with all those toasters, blenders and bedding. I decided to buy her the towels off her registry because one of my friends at work offered to turn them into a "cake" for the shower. I had never heard of such a thing, but once she was describing what she could do, I got really excited!
Here's the final product:

Super cute, right?? She did such a good job and I love the ribbon and the bow on top! So I just need to attach a gift tag and I will be all set! I'm definitely going to have the cutest present at the shower!
Happy Friday Ladies!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I stole this from Pink, Green and Southern! All about me and the wonderful fiance! What are your middle names? Mine is Joy, J's is Nolen. I love his middle name and I hope to use it for one of our son's middle name's. It's a family name, hence the spelling.

How long have you been together? April will be 3.5 years.

How long did you know each other before you started dating? It was pretty much right away. We met on my 24th birthday, saw each other 3 nights later at a party on his birthday and he asked me out for a real date for the following week. After that, we pretty much started dating and became serious quickly.

Who asked out whom? He got my phone number the night we met and called me 2 days later. I invited him to a Halloween party at my house for the next day, which was his birthday.

How old are each of you? I'm 27 and he's 29. Our birthdays are 5 days and 2 years apart! He's a Halloween baby!

Whose siblings do you see the most? Well considering I'm an only child, I will say his brother. We see him pretty regularly. He's the best man in our wedding and his wife is one of my bridesmaids!

Did you go to the same school? No, we didn't meet until after college. He went to school in MD and I was down in NC for college.

Are you from the same home town? No, he grew up about 30 minutes away from me.

Who is smarter? J is seriously the smartest person I have ever met regarding's sort of crazy! He knows so many random facts, he NEEDS to be on jeopardy! He's more of a math/science guy and I'm into the writing/reading/news stuff.

Who is more sensitive? Probably me.

Where do you eat out the most as a couple? Our favorite meal to eat is brunch on Sunday mornings. There are 2 or 3 local restaurants we love going for brunch. We also go to this mexican restaurant by our house pretty often because they have the world's best margaritas.

What is the furthest you've traveled as a couple? San Diego last February. But in September, we're going to Aruba!

Who has the craziest exes? Ehhh...neither one of us really has any crazy ex's or baggage.
Who has the worst temper? We both are sort of hot headed when you get us going...makes fights pretty intense! Luckily we rarely fight.

Who does the cooking? We split it pretty evenly actually, but I think he's a better cook!

Who is the neat freak? Umm do you even have to ask this question? I have a disease!

Who is more stubborn? Probably me...I can definitely give the silent treatment for a while...yes, I'm very mature!

Who hogs the bed? HIM! But only because he loves to cuddle and I would rather have space...haha.

Who wakes up earlier? We both usually get up around the same time.

Where was your first date? We went to a bar to have a drink and then grabbed dinner. I ended up getting sort of drunk because I was so nervous and kept drinking wine. ooops!

Who is more jealous? Neither one of us really.

How long did it take to get serious? Probably like 3 months when we both started realizing it was getting serious and we wanted to be together and get married. Jake said the L word first, like 5 months into dating.

Who eats more? haha...probably him, but I can definitely eat! Funny how my diet keeps getting pushed back! Yikes!

Who does the laundry? Both of us, but he usually does most of it on Saturdays while I'm at work.

Who's better with the computer? Definitely me...he's never owned a computer in his life and he knows nothing about them.

Who drives when you're together? Probably him, but we usually take my car because his Jeep is loud.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Change of Plans

So we've changed our honeymoon destination. Yes, we're indecisive. It's really mainly me, since Jake is very easy going and told me he would be happy going anywhere. The more we looked and explored the Costa Rica trip, I realized it was getting a little bit "adventerous" for me. Too much traveling, driving, exploring, etc. I literally just want to park my butt in a lounge chair by the beach all day, every day. And I want it to be a white sand beach, with crystal clear water and a slight breeze. Not that I'm picky or anything...

That led us to explore a few other options. Obviously hurricane season is a factor for us, so we decided on ARUBA!

I am SUPER excited! Aruba is located far enough south (literally it's off the coast of Venezuela) that it never gets hit by a hurricane and the weather is usually perfect pretty much every day. Quite a change from tramping through the rainforests in Costa Rica, but I really think this is more what our honeymoon should be...totally relaxation and luxury. I think Jake was slightly bummed because he was looking forward to Costa Rica, but we've decided it's a good 1 year anniversary trip.

Again, we are using my super fabulous work connections and staying at a wonderful hotel (upgraded to a waterfront suite!) for really cheap. Right on the beach, huge pool with swim up bar and close enough to walk around a small town for shopping and restaurants. Plus I think Aruba has enough options to keep Jake entertained...we can do a jeep tour to the rocky side of the island, he can go fishing one day and we can eat at new fun places every night. My only requirement for our honeymoon is that I want room service breakfast in bed every day. I plan on being a major beach bum all week!

(this will be where I spend my days on the trip)

We're not doing the all-inclusive thing, which I think is good because we really do like to get out and explore new restaurants. They have several amazing looking restaurants there, right out on docks over the ocean and super romantic!

Anyone have any reviews or information they want to share about Aruba? Restaurants, activities, cool things we should see while we are there? And can I just leave for the honeymoon right now???

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to the Cold...

Can I just say when I stepped off the plane yesterday morning, I about had a heart attack from the frigid air and horrible winds. Ugh! But Florida was seriously FABULOUS! I had the best time...and the weather was seriously perfect! Low 80's every day, nice breeze, full sunshine. We had a beach day Saturday and then walked around cute Delray Beach and did some shopping and had lunch outside on Sunday. It was SO great to see my friend C and catch up! I miss her so much...I'm so excited to have her up in MD for our wedding weekend! And she tried on her bridesmaids dress and it fits perfectly! So no alterations...yay!

This Sunday I'm co-hosting a bridal shower for my BFF K. It has REALLY snuck up on us, so we're going to be super busy this week! It's a huge shower (50 guests), so I'm a little nervous that we won't have enough food or people won't have fun, but I guess it will all work out. We're doing a pink and brown theme with polka dots and so far everything is coming together so cute! We're doing pink paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling:

Pink "K" cookies for the favors, in little bags tied with pink ribbon (sort of like these...only we are making them, so I doubt they will come out this good!):

We are serving fun pink lemonade with champagne...bubbly and sweet:

I'm also going to attempt to make a chocolate covered strawberry "tree"...I saw Paula Deen make one and I've been obsessed with this idea ever since! Hopefully I can get mine to look as cute as hers!

I'll be sure to post all the fun pictures after the shower! It should be quite an event!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Florida Bound!!

I'm off to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the weekend to visit one of my very best friends from college, C!! She's also one of my bridesmaids, so I'm bringing her bridesmaids dress down to her so she can try it on! I haven't seen her in forever, so I can't wait to catch up and enjoy some warm Florida weather!

Here's the MD forecast for this weekend:

Rain/Snow/Sleet Mix and about 38 degrees all weekend...YUCK!
Here's the FL forecast:

Beautiful sunshine and high 70's!! YAY!
I have my flip flops and summer dresses packed! Be back Monday!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The Pink Julep tagged me to list my favorite things that start with the letter "K"!

Well obviously I'm partial to K because it's my initial! When I started thinking about K though, I realized it's sort of a hard letter to think of words and things that I love. But here goes...


I love getting kisses from Jake and I love wet slobbery puppy kisses from Spencer!

I took a knitting class a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since! It's very relaxing, especially in the winter. Unfortunately, I haven't really progressed past just making scarves...hopefully one day I'll be able to make a hat or blanket!

Kilwin's Toasted Coconut Ice CreamKilwin's is a small chocolate and candy shop in Annapolis (it is a chain, so there are other locations) and their ice cream is seriously to die for. Especially the toasted coconut...OMG! It tastes like a samoa girl scout cookie! Yes, it's $8/pint, but totally worth it!!!

The Knot

I love this wedding can find tons of good information and pictures to use for inspiration! yay wedding planning!

Kilmarnock, VA
This is the teeny tiny house where Jake's parents have their vacation home on the Potomac River. I absolutely love going down there, it's the most relaxing place on earth!

Yay for the letter K!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The new love of my life

Yes, I am now the proud owner of an amazing Apple MacBook. Can I just say how obsessed I am?? My old 5 year old Dell laptop died a slow and painful death over the last few weeks and it finally collapsed on Monday evening. I had known that the next computer I would get would be a Mac, so it wasn't really too hard of a decision for me to go get one on Tuesday night. 

I'm obviously still majorly adjusting to it and it will probably be weeks before I really start understanding everything. But it's already so incredible!!! I guess I'm in the Mac cult now!!

Bad Blogger!

I have been so bad about blogging this week! Tons going on between work, wedding planning for my own wedding and finishing up the plans for my BFF K's shower, which we're throwing her next Sunday! I will have tons of updates soon! I have some fun stuff and pictures to share!! See you girls SOON!

(and I'm heading down to FLA this weekend to see my BFF C in Ft. Lauderdale...considering they are calling for 30 degrees and rain here all weekend in MD, can you imagine how excited I am???)

Friday, February 13, 2009


Have a Sweet Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All about the boys

After MUCH debate, we finally got everyone on board with the guys outfits for the wedding. My mom really wanted tuxedos, but we convinced her that with a completely outdoor wedding in early September, it will just be too hot for all of that. Plus, our wedding is seriously casual and Jake had NO interest in wearing a tux for the wedding.

The guys will be wearing khaki pants, white button downs and navy blue blazers. I love this look!

(photo by Steven Voss Photography)

We got the ties this weekend (MAJORLY on sale) and I'm totally obsessed with them. They are just the right colors and they have a fun preppy stripe. We're giving them to the guys as part of their groomsmen gifts.

Sorry for the crappy picture quality...I've realized I am really bad at taking pictures! The 3 groomsmen will be in yellow and Jake will wear the green. Here's the closeups...
Because I'm a huge nerd, I also took some pictures of the ties next to the bridesmaids dresses. Even though they do not perfectly match, I think they look good together.
Can I just say how obsessed I am with those flower belts we got?? They look black in the picture, but they're navy. They really do help to dress up those dresses, since they are also pretty casual.
The groomsmen will just have a green cymbidium orchid boutonniere, with probably some berries or some other small flower with it. Love the green grosgrain ribbon on this one...
And my FAVORITE part of the boys outfits is Jake's boutonniere. I found this a few weeks back on Tying the Knot (which is a wonderfully fabulous wedding blog!!)

(photo by Paul Johnson)

I am TOTALLY in love with this! The fact that Jake is seriously obsessed with fishing pretty much sealed the deal when I saw this picture. I showed my florist and she's so excited to re-create it. She'll be using the same green stuff (I have no idea what it is) and adding in yellow instead of that reddish flower like the picture. At first I was going to do this as a surprise to Jake, but I wanted to make sure he would actually like it, so I showed him. I was so happy that he loved it! I like that his flowers will be a little bit different than the boys and will totally represent him and his favorite past-time!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I need this

For the rehearsal dinner. The color is amazing (and it's one of our wedding colors!) and I love the belt. I'm so close to hitting "submit order"...

Also, the lovely Amy at The Pink Tutu tagged me to post the 6th picture in the 6th folder from my computer. I busted out laughing when I realized this pic was the 6th one:

This is from my friend A's bachelorette party last March. We went to a super fun club in DC and had our own private table and dancing area (very Sex and the City). Obviously this is towards the end of the night, since I'm quite happy and excited about something (probably the million bottles of champagne we drank that night). The picture also makes me laugh because my friend M (in the turquoise dress) is being super scandalous and giving that guy her number. My friend S in the green dress next to me obviously is in on the joke as well. Also I like this picture because it reminds me of how short my hair was and I realize that I'm doing quite a good job at growing it out because it's a lot longer now.

Happy Wednesday Ladies!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekend Recap

We did ALOT of wedding stuff this weekend. I feel accomplished, but overwhelmed by what we still have to do as well. I'm feeling very blah and unorganized in all this wedding planning madness...I really need to energize myself to get back to staying organized. Less than 7 months now!

Sunday morning we went to Macy's to register. Yeah, I totally thought it would take an hour and we were def there for almost 4 hours. Yikes. It was actually super stressful and overwhelming. We literally roamed the aisles of the housewares department with no real direction or plan. I think our biggest problem that the woman "helping" us was really quite annoying. I asked her for a checklist we could use when we were going around the store and she said they didn't have that. Umm, ok. Too bad my BFF K got one when she registered there. It would have been nice to have so that we could go to each section logically and register that way. She literally followed us around and each time we scanned something, she went "hmmm that's not the item I would have registered for, but if that's what you want". I just really wanted her to go seriously felt like we were on candid camera because she was so in your face! I kept asking Jake if we could just be done and leave. But we stuck it out and got through pretty much everything. We head to Crate and Barrel this Sunday and I really hope our experience is more enjoyable.

While we were at Macy's, we headed down to the men's jewelry department because they were having a big sale, and we got a bunch of discounts since we were registering that day. We weren't planning on it, but we ended up getting Jake's wedding band for 75% off! It's just a plain white gold band...exactly what he wanted. Can I just was WEIRD to see that ring on his finger!!

We also went to the men's department and found all the ties for the boys and saved 50%...we got all 4 ties for less than $70 total! Woo Hoo! I'll have to post pics of the ties this week, I'm totally in love with them!!

Hope everyone had a nice relaxing weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yes, but can you monogram it?

Obviously, I am quite obsessed with monogramming things. I personally think there's not much in life that doesn't look better with a monogram on it. I am very very excited to get my new monogram after Jake and I get married because I love it: kEj I will be dropping my last name and keeping my middle name. Even though I'm the last one in my family to have this last name, I'm not a huge fan of it and it doesn't sound right as a middle name. My old monogram (kHj) is nice, but I just like the E much better.

I've had my eye on several items I'd like to get with my new monogram. My BFF K actually already gave me my first married monogrammed item (but don't worry...I have not and will not use it until after the wedding!). She got me a fabulous jewelry case from Pottery Barn, in a fun green velvet, with my new initials in light pink. I'm definitely packing it for the honeymoon! (it's just like the red one in the bottom left, but it's in the green color)

Last night, after several glasses of wine, I ordered this amazing new bathing suit, to wear on the honeymoon, with my new initial embroidered on the bottoms...

I got my monogram in pink on the bottoms! So excited! I love bandeau tops...they work well on small chested girls, like myself

I have a silver monogrammed ring that I wear every day that I got for my 21st birthday from my sorority sisters. I'd love to get a new one with my new initials...possibly a perfect wedding day gift for Jake to get me??? Is it weird that I don't need/want nice fancy sparkly jewelry from Jake for our wedding, but instead I want a wonderful preppy monogrammed ring??
You can really never have too many bags. I like this oversized weekender bag from Periwinkle. I would get it in pink with a chocolate brown monogram. Yes, please!!

Can I just tell you how obsessed with this bedding I am? I love the big oversized monogram pillows and how crisp and clean everything looks. Actually, I'll just take the whole room.

There really should be a way to indicate on your registry that you'd like certain items monogrammed. My friends and family know me very well though, so I'm sure I will get plenty of monogrammed items!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Flower Inspiration

Just a few pretty photos today of stuff I'm showing my florist this weekend...

Love the colors in this bouquet. Not a huge fan of roses, so I would want to switch those out for nice big fluffy dahlias. I heart green orchids and cream hydrangea!!

Garden perfect alternative to having roses and they look like peonies!!

Sigh. I love ranunculus. Not sure if we can get it in September, but I'm totally obsessed!

LOVE this for the bridesmaids bouquets! With their yellow dresses, I want to go with green and white flowers tied with a navy ribbon.

Wheatgrass grown in large silver galvantized tins for our place cards...I love that the place cards are on sticks!
For cocktail hour, we're putting small mint julep cups filled with fluffy green hydrangea on all the cocktail tables.
Does anyone ever feel like they can't find the exact flower pictures they have in their head??? I think I have a lot more research to do!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Valentine's Day Menu

Jake and I never go out to dinner on Valentine's day. To me, it's just overrated. We've always just stayed in, cooked a nice meal, drink lots of wine and relax together. Our 2nd Valentine's day, we made the most amazing meal, and it's now become tradition for us to make this meal on V-Day. It's actually a Rachel Ray receipe that I found on Food Network...

Black Cherry and Black Pepper Lamb Chops with Sweet Pea Risotto

1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus some for drizzling
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup peas, defrosted
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 loin lamb chops, each 1 1/2 inches thick
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup black cherry all fruit preserves (recommended: Polaner brand)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Place the stock in a small pot and warm it up over medium low heat.

Place an oven rack 8 inches from broiler and preheat broiler to high.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 turn of the pan, with a tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium to medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add onions and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes the add Arborio and cook a minute more. Add wine and cook it all away, 1 minute. Add a few ladles of warm broth and let that cook off, stirring occasionally. The risotto will take 22 minutes to cook. Add a ladle of broth from time to time until risotto is starchy, creamy and cooked to al dente.

Add peas about 2 minutes before serving. Add in cheese, chopped mint and parsley just before serving.

When the risotto is half-cooked, 10 minutes from being done, drizzle the chops with extra-virgin olive oil and arrange on a slotted broiler plan. Place chops in oven under hot broiler and cook 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare.

Place a tiny pan on the stove over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and shallots to the pan. Cook shallots 2 minutes then add the preserves and whisk them together with balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Heat to a bubble then remove from heat and add remaining pat of butter. Whisk butter into sauce.

Season the risotto with salt to taste. Place a generous serving of risotto into shallow dinner plates. Arrange 2 chops on each plate alongside the risotto and drizzle the black cherry pepper glaze over the chops and garnish plates with extra sprigs of mint.

** The only changes we make is to pan saute the lamb chops because it's easier for us. If you are all about broiling, then go for it **

This is actually the first time I had ever eaten lamb and now I LOVE it! I think lamb is an aquired taste, but you could probably do like pork chops if you don't like lamb. The star of this recipe is definitely the black cherry sauce...YUM!! It's so rich and tangy and sweet all at the same time. I make this sauce all the time now, to serve with other things, because I love it so much.

It's definitely a special meal to cook with your Valentine!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


So I wasn't tagged to do this, but I just stole it from another blog because I'm bored...

1. Make a list of things you can see without getting up: My work bulletin board with all my pictures, my work phone, two large planters on the top of my half wall to my cubicle, my desk calendar, my Coke Zero, a stack of wedding packages for the hotel, an air filter, the fax machine.

2. Favorite football team: Professional football...The Ravens of course!! Still a little bitter about the playoffs. For college football, I really like USC and the Terps (MD Pride)

3.What are you wearing now? Black Turtleneck sweater from J.Crew, khakis and my black boots.

4. What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading? I recently finished Twilight...I loved it! I will be starting the rest of the series soon!

5.Who was the last person you hugged? Jake this morning

6.What’s your current obsession/addiction? Wedding Planning!

7. What was the last thing you said aloud?: "I just cannot answer my phone right now. That bride is seriously driving me absolutely CRAZY and I am not going to deal with her right now" to my co-worker who sits across from me. I'm dealing with a mega bridezilla who calls me 10 times a day. I've started screening...hehehe!

8. What was the last thing you bought? Groceries yesterday

9.What are you listening to right now? office sounds and my phone ringing off the hook from bridezilla calling me.

10. What is your favorite weather, and why? Summer...I love warm weather!

12. What is your most challenging goal right now? Getting motivated to work out and trying to save as much money as possible

13. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Probably the ability to fly.

14. If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? Hmmm...this is so tough! Someplace fabulous, warm and tropical like Key West or Hawaii.

15.Favorite vacation spot? Outer Banks, NC! We go there every summer with my entire extended family and rent a huge house. I hope to continue that tradition with Jake and our future kids.

16. What is your favorite children’s book? I used to love those "choose your own adventure" books when I was little. I had a bunch of them and was totally obsessed with them!

17. Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you: M&M's....such a weakness!

18. Favorite hair product? My Sedu Hair Dryer and my Chi straightener.

19. What was the first tape or cd you ever bought yourself? Wilson Phillips! The CD, when I was like 10. I was so obsessed I listened over and over and danced around my room. Awesome.

20. Describe your perfect day: Waking up at like 9am, going for a long walk with Jake and Spencer, coming home and making a huge brunch with mimosas. Spending the rest of the day relaxing, reading and shopping of course! Going out for a nice dinner and then a cocktail or two afterwards.

If anyone wants to steal this for their own blog, it's all yours!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stimulating the Economy

We were huge nerds and did our taxes on Friday night. We use Turbo Tax, which is SO easy and "free" ($20.95 to actually file online, which is totally cool with me). My taxes took about 20 minutes and Jake's took about 35 minutes because he had his 401K stuff to factor in. This is probably the last year our taxes will be so easy since we're getting married and probably buying a house this year. And we were both lucky enough to each get a fair amount of money back this year! YAY! While most of that money is going into a honeymoon fund, I did decided that I needed to "stimulate the economy" and purchase a few new fun things for myself.
The Boat Canyon clutch from Halsea in Bonfire Brown and the Steve Madden Bonanza boots in dark gray. Totally obsessed with both and I can't wait until they get here!!
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