Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our engagement...and the blizzard of 2009

Little did I know that the storm blowing through the East Coast would also be bringing me something more than snow...

On Friday morning we were all hearing weather reports for 6-12 inches of snow in central Virginia. My sister, who was in Orlando visiting a college friend, was trying to get back to our hometown before the storm set in. She decided to take a direct flight to Richmond, which left 10 hours before her original non-direct to our hometown. I picked her up at the airport Friday afternoon excited to spend the weekend snowed in and watching movies. The weekend went flying by and we literally did not leave the house the entire time--totally snowed in. On Sunday Bry got kind of dressed up, which I won't lie seemed a little odd to me, and meanwhile I was ironing and hanging curtains (which had literally been sitting in our den for months!). After he helped me straighten everything out he told me that he had another Christmas present for me in our bedroom---this is when I started freaking out a little. I walked into the room and there was a beautiful stocking over our bed full of old love notes and pictures. After going through the stocking, and not finding anything else--he gave me the ring later once my parents arrived, Bry started talking about us and how we were perfect for each other and asked me then, everything is a blur in my mind trying to remember except that I started crying. So we basically hung out for a while, him talking, me crying, and then decided we would wait to tell my parents who were due to arrive at the apartment to celebrate an early Christmas--since we would be in Utah.

The best part of the whole story is that Bryan was working with my Mom for almost a month! to research and purchase a ring I had found over Thanksgiving break at an Estate jeweler in my hometown. She was actually bringing the ring to Bryan on that Sunday afternoon. My mom, sister, and I had gone together to look at antique rings, my mom's obsession, and I tried on some wedding rings just to get an idea of what I liked. I found, and fell in love with, the ring I have today. I showed pictures of the ring to Bryan when we got back home but after that we didn't really talk about it. We went ring shopping a few other places but I never found anything I liked more than my ring. I also love it because I found it while shopping with my Mom and sister in my hometown.

So after telling my parents and calling friends and some family we decided to wait to tell Bryan's parents until we arrived in Utah on Tuesday morning. They were so surprised and thrilled at the news--so it made for an extra celebration over Christmas.

In the post below is the most accurate picture of my ring I could find online...

*I will say to all who are thinking about rings right now, go try some on! This was great advice given to me by several people. I thought I knew what I liked but after trying on more traditional settings I decided on something totally different.*

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

It is 1 degree in Utah right now...that's right uno degrees. We're having so much fun hanging out with his family and skiing a little bit. Last night we saw A Christmas Carol and went out to dinner at the lodge.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Merry Christmas Eve!!

oh and one more thing...

we got engaged on Sunday!! My parents came into town shortly after it happened and we waited to tell Bry's parents until we got into Utah. So far it's been a flurry of calls, messages, and excitement from the families. More to come on how it happened...(!!!!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ski Bunnies

We're headed out to Utah tonight for Christmas! I can't wait to see family and hit the slopes.

(but not in our neon 80's snow-suit attire...)

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Change of Plans

So with half a foot of snow descending upon Virginia it looks like we'll be shut-ins for the weekend. My sister is flying in today from Fla. because she couldn't get to my parents house before the snow starts. Thankfully I made a huge batch of Barefoot Contessa's Parker's beef stew, which is delicious--you can find the recipe here. During lunch I'm planning to run out to get a few extra essentials:

Popcorn tin of goodness--I have been wanting one of these for months!

Some beer to keep us warm!

Bryan has never seen this movie! tragic--so I'll be picking it up today too...

This is the beef stew--it's amazing...

I'm also planning to make Paula Dean's Mexican Wedding cookies tonight--I'll report back on that project. Other than that we'll just be opening presents!yay!, watching Christmas movies, and relaxing by the space heater. I hope everyone stays safe and warm in the east coast snow--have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra!

I almost forgot my favorite Christmas tradition--phew...I am out of it

We always go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve, every single year since....forever I can't even remember. There is also another family from our town that does this and we see them there annually--haha my hometown is obvi a small place. I will be sad to miss out on tradition this year but in memory of the Christmas duck:

"Deck the harrs with bows of horry, Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra! 'Tis the season to be jarry, Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra!"

I'll be singing this all the way to Utah ;-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's like a birthday two weeks of Christmas!

For those of you who don't know this, every year I celebrate a birthday two! weeks, one week before your b-day and one after. I find it hard to smash all the birthday stuff into one little day so two weeks is just enough time for flower deliveries, drinks out, yummy dinners, gifting...haha ok you get the picture. So this Christmas, without even planning it this way, we'll be celebrating for two weeks as a result of our Utah trip to see Brys parents over the actual holiday. My parents are coming up this weekend to exchange presents (and drink eggnog and sing carols--though they don't know about this part yet). We wrapped everything up last weekend and "put up" our mini silver tree a few weeks ago.

It will be strange not to be at home for Christmas this year and I'll miss our family traditions such as: wearing paper crowns during present opening...and the rest of the day (they come from the Christmas "crackers" that you pop open and they have little presents inside), watching the christmas story 5 times over, stifling laughs through our churchs' crazy choir directors christmas song choices (one year it was a very caribbean christmas to give you an idea), and eating tons and tons of fudge mom will inevitably make. Unfortunately our parents live on two different coasts, basically, so we won't ever be able to combine holidays. How does everyone else cope with splitting holidays?

Monday, December 14, 2009

I somehow convinced Bry to let me open one gift yesterday--we had been wrapping gifts all morning and will be doing Christmas early with my family since the two of us will be in Utah for Christmas this year. I gave him a few jcrew items and he gave me the owl city cd! which I said I wanted a few weeks ago and it is amazing people. They have a very postal service sound but it's easy to listen to an hour of their music and will be perfect for the plane ride coming up. I would really recommend trying them out.

Other weekend notables:

Celebrating with newly engaged friends at fun bars downtown

It was the weekend of high school, just about everyone I saw this weekend was in my high school graduation class...which is a good/not so good thing. I still enjoy just a few people from my high school and thankfully they were sprinkled amongst parties

Mad Men: Season 1--still in love

Watching the Christmas at the White House Special: Oprah and the Obamas, amazing

Cheddar popcorn, sundried tomato pizza, chocolate eclairs....enough said

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Coming Clean

This is a post for all the single ladies out there (put your hands up!), haha ok enough joking. This is a serious post because I feel like it's time to share my SSB (remember this from sex and the city) yes, thats right, my secret single behavior. Some of you may be shocked, some of you may be appalled, and some of you may kindred spirits (if this is the case, leave a girl a comment of solidarity!).

For the record I know! I am not engaged, or probably that close to being engaged, though the talk of rings has picked up lately. We've looked at a few rings and discussed what I thought I might like, so it's not my fault--this SSB--once you try on a big sparkler I'd like to see you try to tell me the thought of having that thing on your hand permanently doesn't enter your ring-crazed mind every now and then.

So! without further ado I give you my secret shame:

my wedding files

I read somewhere that it's never too early to start collecting wedding day inspiration--obviously I took this to heart. The funny thing is though, I don't even know if I want to have a wedding--I don't like the idea of all that attention on me. Maybe a justice of the peace wedding followed by an awesome party or a destination wedding with few friends and family--I'm just not sure. I know it's supposed to be your decision as a couple and the options are pretty wide open but it seems like after you get engaged its decision making time (x 100)!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Who's it going to be?

We've had top chef parties every Wednesday for the last 4 months and now it's finally time to find out who the winner is. We sat through the tats and the piercings, not! appetizing Bravo..., through the Robin drama, and the "brotherly" competition. It's time to pick a winner winner chicken dinner!

I really really hope it's Kevin or the good brother, Bryan.

Pick this guy! pick this guy!

Please do not! pick this guy:

The picture says it all...what a jerk!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I have been waiting for this to come on for two! weeks---and I am not a cartoon person, unless it involves Charlie Brown. It's tonight at 8:30 on ABC, yay!

We also watched this last friday:

Any other good holiday specials I should tune in for?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Recap

Our weekend was finally! spent at home, running errands, and doing holiday related activities. Friday night was spent celebrating Bry's application completion to UNC. He'll be applying to a bunch of other schools in the next few weeks as well! I cannot wait to have this process behind us and looking forward. We are so ready for a new city to explore and new job situations. Saturday was costco run/christmas shopping, followed by massive amounts of football watching. Sunday we finished decorating around the apt. and did our cards.

We signed, sealed, and will deliver all of our christmas cards this week!

We pulled out our little silver Christmas tree, circa my 4th year in college. It was decided that we won't get an actual tree this year. A curious cat and a mess of tree needles, left alone for a week, doesn't make for a good combo.

I also attempted these wine bottle decorations, from good housekeeping. I didn't make them into candle holders but used wrapping paper and ribbon in gold and brown to keep the look consistent.

I made this delicious! apple bread, taken from Southern Living.

Here is the Recipe:

Prep: 20 min.; Bake: 1 hr., 6 min.; Cool: 1 hr., 10 min.; Cook: 5 min. Sour cream is the secret to the rich, moist texture of this bread. There's no butter or oil in the batter—only in the glaze.

Yield: Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 lb.)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 4 minutes.

2. Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until blended.

3. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped pecans; lightly press pecans into batter.

4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

5. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a 1-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread; let cool completely (about 1 hour).

Note: To freeze, cool bread completely; wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Even though I'm on the road for work today and it's soo cold out--the little red netflix envelope I've been waiting for is here! Bry and I started watching Mad Men a few weeks ago and it is sooo good, and incredibly addictive. The characters are all developed so differently and the story always has some new scandal. I love being able to watch a show and go through all the seasons at once. If you haven't tried this one yet, I highly recommend it. The first few episodes are a little intense, a pretty strong dose of 1950s male mentality, but stick with it!, it evens out after that.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And we're back

Everyone setting thanksgiving dinner...

Sorry it's been a while! I took a little vaca from my computer over Thanksgiving but here is the recap--

We had a really fun and relaxing stay in my hometown. We got in Wednesday night after a two hour ride in the car with ms. reagan who screamed and meowed all the way. Thursday was fun--we went to work lunch at the local Daily Bread where they serve meals for the homeless or anyone who needs a hot lunch or dinner. We went through soo much food it was unbelievable. After that we went back home and put in the turkey, watching some football here and there, and getting ready for the big meal. The turkey Mom made was soo good--she used a Barefoot Contessa recipe where you spread butter and herbs under the skin of the bird before you cook it, yum! We didn't do the Black Friday's just not my style to get up at 4 am, unless it's J Crew related ;-) On that note we did hit both outlets on Friday and found out about the secret! J Crew warehouse sale later that day, I guess it was word of mouth only. We came back, haha, at 3 pm when they opened the floor of the warehouse--it was the best sale ever. I found this coat:

And these boots:

Saturday and Sunday flew by. We didn't do much except well eat...obviously, and take long walks with my parents dog. There is a pasture with a horse barn close to where we live so we took some carrots and apples up to the horses. Overall it was an awesome weekend and I needed the break from work like you wouldn't believe.

The kids...