pinterest inspiration

So like everyone else in the world, I have been completely obsessed with pinterest for the past several months. (Where was it when I was planning my wedding??) I love pinning crafty things and decorating ideas. We have this big wall in our living room that I have been wanting to turn into a collage wall. I slowly started collecting empty frames and antique platters.. I didn't really have a plan, but I wanted it to feel unsymmetrical but balanced. I really like the way it turned out! I'm sure I'll be changing things, but for now, it works. 

I'm planning on painting the TV stand.. My father-in-law made it years ago along with our coffee table (which I painted). He hates both pieces and threatens to chop them up for fire wood every time he visits. 

I'm also obsessed with the chevron print. If I could have it in every room, I would. I ordered some fabric and sewed these pillows. They're usually the floor because Toby sleeps in these chairs, and the pillows make it too crowded for him. :) 

See? Too crowded.. The pillow was on the floor seconds later.

 I got these  books for my birthday and Christmas. So lovely and full of decorating inspiration.

I took these pics with our new SLR camera that we got from Brian's parents for Christmas. LOVE it.


One of the greatest things about living in Atlanta is that everyone has a connection to this city. I am thankful that my sweet friend Emily is from Marrietta, so every Christmas she visits her mom who still lives there! This means that I get to see her! We met at Cafe Intermezzo for dinner and dessert. Yes, dessert. Even after all of the holiday sweets, we had to indulge in a slice of cake. Don't go here unless you want dessert. It's amazing. I should have taken a picture of the dessert bar. Thanks for making time to hang out, Emily! 

Last night, Brian and I drove up to Greenville to have dinner with the Days! They were in town visiting Andrew's parents. It was SO good to see them and just what we all needed! We ate at Chicora Alley.. Carrie and I branched out from our usual fish tacos and got the shrimp tacos... it was the goat cheese that did it. Add goat cheese to anything and it tastes better. 

Carrie and Andrew! They're first married Christmas!

The city was still all lit up for Christmas. So festive. 

They boys and their chucks...

After dinner, we grabbed some coffee and walked around the town... Brian and I had never been to Greenville. It's so cute! We'll have to come back again during the day. 


Christmas in Ormond

We left Leesburg on Friday night and headed over to Ormond for Christmas with my side of the family. We were welcomed with taco soup for dinner and then watched home videos with Dan for the first time. Lots of laughs... "My heart, my heart!" 

Dan & Nat with Toby. 

We took both dogs to the dog beach on Saturday. Toby hadn't been to beach since his first visit as a puppy. He hated it then, so we thought we'd give it another try now that he was older. 

We were so excited that he liked the water! He wasn't actually swimming, but went a lot deeper than we expected him to go. Walter was so funny with all his jumps and splashes.

And then the waves from a boat came and ruined everything. So sad. Toby remains scared of the ocean. 

Things kept getting worse. My dad took Walter for a walk, and he sliced his paw in an oyster bed. Lots of blood. While we were all focusing on tending to Walter's wound, Silas jumped in the ocean with all of his clothes on. My dad carried Walter and Tiffany carried Silas (naked and wrapped in a towel), and we all headed home. Dog beach disaster. 

 With nine people in our family who have very different schedules, I was so thankful that it worked out for all  of us tobe together on Christmas Eve. Mom made Magu's manicotti we sat around playing games. Manna and Papa read Silas a Christmas Eve book before he went home that night.

Scott and Dad playing video games.

 John, Tiffany, and Silas on Christmas morning!

Our little family of three on Christmas day. It was 80 degrees that day!

This  was the last time I will see my parents until probably April. :( They are moving to Los Angeles in two weeks for fifteen months! I am so excited to visit them for spring break! I've never been to LA before!

Christmas in Leesburg

It's really weird to think that this was the third Christmas for me and Brian since we've been married! This year we headed down to Leesburg, FL to celebrate Christmas a few days early with Brian's whole family. We continued traditions that were started when Brian was a kid... Like driving through Christmas Tree Lane. This year we crammed nine people into a mini van so we could all be together. Memories were definitely made. :)

I went a little crazy with cookies this year.. Along with about four other kinds, I had to make sugar cookies. My favorite. I iced them for six hours straight and loved every minute of it. 

Lloyd and Susan took all of us to Silver Springs to ride in the glass bottom boats!

Uncle Brian and Jack walking through the park

Joy Lynne and Truett waiting for the second boat ride.

My favorite part was the family bike ride! 

new car

Two weeks ago when Ginna was visiting, we were told by the mechanic that Brian's old '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee was broken and not worth fixing... We needed a new car. Sad. So we began the searching process that dragged out two weeks! We explored lots of options, but none of them seemed to work out. On Monday night after work we were driving over to the Honda dealership when this happened...

We got rear ended at a busy intersection. It doesn't look as bad as it seemed when it happened, but it was just enough to shake me up a bit.. We were both fine minus some sore necks, but it could have been a lot worse. We headed back to Honda the next day and found a 2006 Element, which is what Brian had really been wanting. I thought they were ugly, but it really was a good car, so I considered it.. Also Brian could fit comfortably behind the wheel!

After a couple days of negotiation with Paul who we sort of liked, his boss Rodney who we hated, and Ramon who was so nervous he stuttered, we drove home with this: 

I'm so thankful it's over! We feel good about our decision, and are looking forward to hopefully not buying another car for at least another 5-10 years... Toby approves! :) 

Now we are enjoying our Saturday resting at home, not car shopping at all! Hooray!

birthday weekend!

This past weekend my parents and Walter came up for a visit! They are moving to Los Angeles for 15 months in January, so we were thankful for a nice relaxing weekend together in Atlanta. On Saturday, my dad and Brian shopped for cars while my mom and I enjoyed a "treat yourself day." Apparently there's an episode of Parks & Rec where they do this? My mom's been talking about it ever since she saw the episode. We got our nails done, went out for lunch and did some shopping. It was lovely. Later that night, all of us went out to dinner at Bistro Niko

We then returned home for chocolate mint cake that my mom made. YUM!

We were entertained by Toby and Walter who played the entire two days together.. Here's Walter after just waking up from a nap. He's getting so big!

One of the rare moments of rest for both dogs.. You can see that Toby didn't want Walter to get too far away from him. :) 

I got the dogs antlers in the spirit of Christmas. Toby looks so goofy here.

Walter wasn't too pleased with them.. Maybe we'll try again at Christmas. 

Monday morning came, and it was back to reality. Thanks for coming Mom and Dad! It was so fun having you here! 

a lovely weekend

This past weekend Ginna came to visit! She found a cheap flight to Atlanta and even used a vacation day from work to come and stay with us. Despite me being a little under the weather and practically having no voice at all, ("she wants the yellow paint!") we had a fabulous time. Tapas and sangria at Noche, cake and fancy coffee drinks at Cafe Intermezzo, "White Christmas", "Love Actually", "The Holiday","White Christmas" again with Rosemary Clooney's commentary, snuggles with Toby, pumpkin scones, tortilla soup, Christmas shopping, and more cake at Monkey Java.. It was grand. It was just what we needed, and we were both thankful for some great quality time together and reminded us of our years as roomies. So fun!

Thanks for the pic, Gin!

let the training begin!

Last weekend my friend Kristin and I signed up for the DC Rock 'n Roll half marathon! The longest race I've run was the Cooper River Bridge Run last year, which is only a 10k... but I've been wanting to run a half for a while. I'm a little scared but a lot excited. The race is on March 17th (must wear green!), so we have 16 weeks to train. I can't wait to be back in DC again! 

[photo taken from pinterest]

the best soup ever

Sice the beginning of fall I've been on a soup kick. I usually make a different soup each week. When I was visiting my friend Nina, we were discussing recipes, and she told me about The Culinary Couple's Tortellini Soup. I made it one night and it was AMAZING. Seriously. I couldn't stop talking about it or talking about it to people. It's fast, easy, full of fresh vegetables with some hearty meat to please the husband. I have made it twice and am ready to make it again. I told my mom, and she's made it twice in the past month. So yummy. You have to make it!!!  

Tortellini Soup

1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage (chicken or turkey sausage also works)
1 cup onion, chopped (I leave this out since my super-taster husband hates them.. I don't miss them)
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef broth
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
4 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup tomato sauce
1-2 zucchini, chopped
8 oz. cheese tortellini (can substitute another pasta)
1 package or 1 bag fresh spinach
1 tablespoon parsley
Parmesan cheese

  1. In large pot, cook sausage ~5 minutes. Remove meat and set aside.
  2. Add onion and garlic. Saute.
  3. Add broth, water, wine, herbs, tomato sauce, and vegetables (except zucchini and spinach), and sausage. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered ~30 minutes. 
  4. Add zucchini, spinach, and tortellini. Simmer ~25 minutes. 
  5. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve with crusty bread.

boone trip #2!

This past weekend Brian, Toby and I headed up to Boone for the second cabin trip of the season! We met up with my friends from grad school! What's better than a group of SLP's hanging out discussing the frustrations of artic therapy, swallowing, medicaid, and school systems? Our poor husbands... But really. It's always refreshing to see these girls and discuss all that goes into the day-to-day life of being an SLP. :)

We went to the game on Saturday and sat on the hill very snug to stay warm. 

The dogs! Ellie May, Toby, and Marley! They played wonderfully together and were quite entertaining. 

Brian and I love being back in Boone.. So many memories there. We are thankful we were able to go twice this fall! 

iron & wine

Last week, my friend Julie told me that her husband Josiah would be filming Iron & Wine for a dvd of their show... A few days later, she said she won free tickets and asked if I wanted to come with her! Yes! I have loved this band since college.. Never seen them live though. I drove down to the Buckhead Theatre straight from work that night and met her there. It was amazing. A smaller, more intimate show with only 500 people in the audience. Totally worth feeling extra tired the next day and getting sicker! Really. It was also cool to see Josiah at work.. filming is hard work!! I had no idea what all was involved. He did a great job, and we had a great time! Thanks Julie!

As Josiah said, "It's dark, but it is an image." 

puppy high

Get ready for puppy overload... Dan and Natalie came up from FL for a visit and brought WALTER! This was the greatest weekend ever. It was love at first sight. He is the sweetest, most laid back pup ever. 

He is so snuggly!! We spent Saturday at Piedmont Park.. It was the perfect fall day. The leaves were beautiful and the weather was lovely. And everything is more fun when you have a puppy! 

He got so much attention from people at the park. Every time he greeted a dog, he pawed like he was shaking the dog's hand. Then he'd prance along happily. Adorable. 

It's not an overstatement to say I was obsessed. A lot obsessed. How could you not be??? 

His first ride in a Trader Joe's shopping cart.. Not too sure about it! He ended up jumping out of the cart in the parking lot. He prefers to be held. :) 

Toby did such a good job. At the dog park he wouldn't go very far.. He kept coming back to check on Walter. I think this is the beginning of a great friendship. 

Thanks Nat and Dan for the pictures! I hope you come back again soon! With or without the puppy. :)