Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mango: the Most Popular Fruit in the World!

When we were in Jamaica last year, I acquired a taste for mango, which I probably wouldn't have had otherwise. Well, maybe I would have, but the chances are slim.

Every morning at the beach, mangosas would be brought around as soon as you claimed your chair. 
During dinner, mango sorbet would be served between courses to "cleanse your palette" (I have always thought that was so bizarre...), and I would eat such small bites to make it last as long as possible! haha.

I've been trying to find some mango sorbet or ice cream at the store, but I've really only found them in fruit pop form, which I guess I'm just going to have to end up getting!

Even if I couldn't have a bowl of mango sorbet in front of me, I did want to try making a mango smoothie, so I searched Pinterest for some recipes and found one that I liked. Matt and I both had them last night, his made slightly different than mine, and we both agreed that they were good! However, not very "smoothie" like. More just like a fruity drink, but still just as good!

This drink includes:  vanilla yogurt, pineapple juice, banana, mango, coconut milk (Matt used regular milk) and then we threw in some ice! Very simple to make, healthy, and yummy! Please don't ask me exact measurements, because when working with Matt in the kitchen, I've learned there ARE no exact measurements (only when I'm making something myself!). I can tell you that for the yogurt...you know the individual cups of Yoplait yogurt you can buy at the store? I used 1 of those individual cups last night (1/2 in each of our smoothies). There's 1/2 a banana in each smoothie, and 1/2 a mango in each smoothie. As for the juice and milk...psh..forget it. I have no idea.

Now, if only we can figure out how to get this view back while drinking our mango drinks....

Friday, May 23, 2014

One Year as Homeowners!

All through college, I kept looking back on the last year and think, "MAN, that literally seemed like just YESTERDAY!" I'm really starting to understand the saying that as you get older, time just really starts flying by!!

For instance, it has now officially been a year since we bought our first house! WHAT?! Yep, we've been homeowners for a year now, and it feels like it's been no time at all!

I know I've been lacking in the picture department of sharing pictures of our house, except for mostly holiday decoration pictures, haha, but that's because we still have a lot to do and we're starting to figure out what we want to do where, paint colors, etc. For now, I thought I'd share what we HAVE done just to give you a little peak into the past year :)
  • We've painted two whole rooms in our house: Matt's "man cave" upstairs, and my "craft room" upstairs (which I just realized I never blogged to show you the color!!). Neither room is near finished! Haha. They are currently more like "holding cells" for all of our stuff that we're still moving in to the house! I have a feeling my room will be a big summer project for me to finish, since I won't be working!
  • We started our garden this spring, and planted new bushes and bulbs out front!
  • We've hung up stuff on the walls (after I finally decided on permanent places! haha)
  • We (and by "we" I mean Matt and his uncle!) installed a new thermostat.
  • We've started making half of our garage into a small gym. Matt's currently working on closing off the walls, and we'll hopefully get a fan put up soon!
Of course, all of these great things aside, there have also been the not-so-fun things that we've had to deal with:
  • Occasionally, a huge block of ice will form in the freezer, and we'll know this because there will be a puddle in kitchen floor. Easily fixable, so that's one of our lesser problems!
  • Several of Matt's work pens have taken the death spin in the washer and dryer (and exploded...). Thankfully, all of Matt's uniforms are dark navy blue, so you'd never know if they have an ink spot on them now...haha
  • We've caught many field mice....by using several mouse traps, and other creative ways to catch a mouse at 4:00 in the morning. (If you're with Matt and are curious, ask him to see the picture of that mouse--he has the picture on his phone!)
And, because every post needs a picture, here's one of my favorite pictures of our house....but just you wait and see it next Christmas ;)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mexican Dinner - Trying New Things

We have Mexican for dinner often, but we usually have tacos, nachos, or Matt's occasional quesadilla.
While going through Martin's buying all of the ingredients, Matt decided he wanted to try making enchiladas! He's always good and cooking new things, so I knew these would turn out well....although I was nervous...the sauce just kinda looks weird to me.
Anyway, I tried it, and besides the fact that we accidentally picked up Hot & Spicy taco seasoning, and used it anyway (every part of my mouth was burning, from my lips to the insides of my cheeks!!), it was really good!!

I forgot to take "after" pictures, so just trust me when I say it looked and tasted good!

Also, I found a recipe for guacamole to try making and guess what, it turned out well (and was edible!).
The only time I really remember having guacamole before was this past Christmas, when my cousin Alison made a yummy taco dip, and guacamole was one of the layers.
Plus, I'll take any excuse to use these fun salsa bowls my dad gave us!

If you'd like to make this guacamole, here's the easy recipe I followed:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 plum tomato
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
So good! The only thing is, I was in a rush and wasn't thinking, so I didn't mash the avocado before adding the rest of the ingredients. It didn't make it taste any different, but it would have a better consistency if I did that! I'll be sure to remember it for next time! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Love List

If you've seen Frozen, you can't help but sing along when you hear "Let it Go." Even if you still haven't seen the movie, you've probably heard the song enough times now so you also know it by heart. Anyway, my mind must be telling me that I lovvvvvve this song, because I literally woke up every day this past week SINGING IT IN MY HEAD. Every. Day. The same part. I don't know why. Until today....when I woke up with "Love is an Open Door" playing on repeat in my head. I don't get it. I guess Frozen really is the best movie ever made!

Jimmy Fallon--he's been my favorite for forever. Conveniently, my second favorite is Seth Meyers, so when Jimmy moved to the Tonight Show, you KNOW I was thrilled that Seth would be on Late Night! Anyway, Jimmy Fallon has these HILARIOUS segments called "Ew!" and if you haven't seen one, please do yourself a favor and go to this YouTube channel now. I promise you will laugh! Here's one before you head over to the link!

The Tacchino Salad at Roma's is my new go-to meal. I LOVE it. I tried it several weeks ago, just for something completely different from what I usually get and I couldn't believe how tasty it was! I laugh because it's presented just slightly differently every time, but always tastes just as good! The salad is mixed greens, turkey, red onions, tomatoes, candied pecans and dried pecans. It comes with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing that I really don't care for by itself, but it goes wonderfully with the salad!

For those that know me well, you know I hate birds! Have you ever seen the movie, The Birds? If so, that's the reason I don't like them, ha. So, if birds keep their distance away from me, I'm good.
Anyway, today, I saw not one, but FOUR dead birds. One while cutting grass at church, one in the floor at Lowes, and two in the streets while I was out on my run. I felt so bad for the little things, so, even though I don't like birds, they'll temporarily be on my Love List, just for sympathy reasons...haha.

I knew that there was a parody book of The Hunger Games, called The Hunger Pains, but did you know there's also a parody movie out? Yep, it's called The Starving Games. We randomly came across it on Netflix. 
We intended on finding a Disney movie to watch, and that's what we ended up with. ha!
For the most part, it was pretty funny. Then, there were those moments when you're just like "really?!" I know I blurted out "Oh....Em....Gee" several times, just because I couldn't believe some of the things that were included in this movie. I don't want to give too much away, but there were characters from random movies, some of who's last names may be Potter, Weasley and Granger, amongst others. Even a couple cartoon animations, too.
Now, I will say, given this is a parody, some things were definitely exaggerated, and just flat out gross. I couldn't even watch at some parts. But, I have to give credit where credit is due...we saw it on Netflix and HAD to watch it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Susan G. Komen - Race for the Cure

Saturday morning, I participated in the Race for the Cure with Mom and some family friends.  We walked on our friend, Paula's team, "PT's Rack Pack." Paula and her family have been friends of our family for what seems like forever! I don't remember not knowing them, and her daughter, Jessica -- or "Caca" as Abby and I called her-- used to babysit us and decorate our Christmas trees with us! Now, Abby babysits Paula's other daughter, Stacey's, three boys! It's cool how the circle comes around like that :)

During the walk, we had a lot of fun and weather was beautiful!!  If you haven't heard of the Race for the Cure before, it's a 3.1 mile walk, and all of the proceeds go towards breast cancer research.  You can find out more information here, on the Susan G. Komen website, and maybe you'll find a race to sign up for, too!

Leading up to the event, Mom and I spent several evenings making tutus to wear.  It's not hard, just very time consuming....especially if you run out of tulle, ha.

When we first got there, we were just standing around, waiting for the team to gather together, but we stepped away for a couple pictures with Andrew Freidan!

Here's mom, me and Brandy!

Ready to go!

Here are two of Paula's grandkids. It was great seeing them come out to walk, too :)

Enjoying the walk!

Towards the end of the course, we passed these pretty pink flowers, so of course we had to take some pictures in front of them!
Here's mom and me with Paula:

And mom and me (we were all taking "flamingo" pictures, haha)

We're following Paula, our mother duck!

We can see the finish line!!

aaannnd she's off!!

What a great morning for a walk around Richmond!
Thanks for letting us be a part of your team, Paula!!!

Mom mentioned that we wouldn't be able to walk next year....
....because we'll be at Abby's graduation!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Our First Prom

Seven years ago, we attended our first (of three) proms together.

We weren't even boyfriend & girlfriend yet, and we'd only been on one date (to a restaurant that's no longer there :( ).

Before prom, we met ALL of each others' grandparents for the first time.

I couldn't get your corsage pinned on....and nothing really changed until four school dances later, I think I finally was able to pin it on without help from mom. ha.

Before prom, you also sat through my entire dance recital, watched me dance in five dances, and then we FINALLY went to prom.

And then we went to after prom, which was pretty much a flop.

And then I drove you home when you asked me to be your girlfriend. 
(insert the "awwwwwws")

As the years went on, you sat through two more dance recitals, we went to two more proms and two homecomings.

At the time, I had no idea that seven years later, I'd be sitting in OUR house, almost married a year, writing this blog post reflecting on the second time we went out.

I'm glad we're now a lot less awkward, and can laugh about how you intentionally left your shoe in my car that night.

At the time, this is the only picture from prom I can find electronically to share. 
(the rest ARE somewhere...just not here at this house!)
We look so little and so awkward..haha...I couldn't even stand up straight seven years ago, apparently. I'm quite hunched over, haha.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


After I posted the pictures of our garden earlier this week, I kept meaning to post pictures of some new flowers we bought, but kept forgetting!

So, here are our flowers that I have not yet killed.

Mom will probably appreciate this post the most, and since Mother's Day is tomorrow, it only seemed appropriate to post it this weekend! haha

Here's one flower pot on our back deck.
Since I took this picture, another pink and purple flower have each bloomed!

I had some of these kind of flowers last year, and I just think they're neat and different looking, so I had to buy some this year, too.

I just love how this flower has different petals all in one bloom!

And then this flower pot was a gift to me from one of our administrators for Administrative Professionals Day.

Several years ago, my mom made a flower arrangement in an old chair similar to this.  Last summer, I decided I'd attempt to make one, but I only got around to painting it, and never filled it with flowers.This year, I decided I really needed to. haha.

The reason I went with a red chair, is because I planned to only use red and white flowers in it, with all of the green leaves, stems, etc......

....anyone catching on yet?

Here is my CHRISTMAS FLOWER CHAIR!  haha :)

There ya go, Mom. You should be proud of all my flowers! haha.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Our Garden

We had been talking about planting a garden for a while, and we finally have one!

Several weeks ago, Matt surprised me when he came home from Lowe's with a bunch of vegetable plants to get us started with our garden. Because the weather outside was still so unpredictable, we kept the plants inside mostly, but when we were home (and knew it wasn't going to downpour in five minutes..), we'd leave them outside so they could actually see sunlight. haha.

Two weekends ago, Matt got to work, measured out where the garden would be, and started tilling up the ground!

After tilling everything, Matt stayed out late one night, in the dark, cutting out the boards to line the garden.

In the before pictures above, you only see one garden.
Well, we later decided to add a second, smaller one right beside it.

On Saturday, we spent the afternoon planting all of our vegetables and fruits, and even made a trip to Lowe's for a couple more!

Here's the finished product!

And now, we wait. Can't wait until all of our varieties of peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and watermelons all grow!!