Not Dead

I promise I'm not dead. Despite the fact that all I'm really doing is thinking about blogging, I haven't had a drop of time to post since last Thursday. I've been overwhelmed by real life and the extra work I've taken on. This may even be my only post this week. I promise I'll be back very, very soon, though. Promise.


What's for Dinner?

This seems to be the question that A.P. and I sigh about the most. I am responsible for feeding us on a daily basis, but I can't tell you how tiring it gets. It seems like every night A.P. asks me what's for dinner, and every night we have to figure out what we're eating. I love to cook, but I'm always so tired after work that cooking is sometimes the last thing I want to do. So I'm always on the hunt for a quick and easy recipes. I made a variation of this recipe from Martha Stewart for us the other night and the results were delicious!

Here's my variation on Martha's recipe:

Pork Chops with Parsnips and Carrots


Pork Chops (whatever cut you prefer)
Parsnips (2 large)
1 cup baby carrots
1/4 c. chopped parsnips
1/8 c. cider vinegar
Sea Salt
Olive Oil

Heat 1 tablespoon or so olive oil in a large dutch oven or lidded frying pan. Salt and pepper pork chops and cook over over medium to high heat until brown on one side (about five minutes). Meanwhile, peel and chop 2 good sized parsnips into rounds. Quarter the larger pieces. Flip pork chop and brown for 1-2 minutes. Add parsnips and 1 cup baby carrots, adding additional salt and pepper to taste. Cook until vegetables brown slightly, then place lid on pan and lower heat. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove lid, and stir in 1/8 cup cider vinegar. Cook for 1 minute, and remove pork chops. Continue cooking vegetables until cider vinegar is reduced. In the last 3o seconds, add the chopped parsley and stir around. Remove from heat, and serve immediately.

I wanted to make a mushroom barley risotto to go with this, but this took so little time, that I didn't end up having time. This was so delicious that A.P. gobbled it up! I didn't omit the shallots on purpose, I just sort of forgot about them. I'm sure this variation would be good with shallots, too.

Now if only I had taken a damn picture!

(Photo via Martha Stewart)


Book Geek

A.P. made fun of me A LOT the other night because I became obsessed with this site after finding it on Avoision. Better Book Titles tries to summarize a book with a new title. The result is hilarious! Here are some of my favorites.

(All Photos via Better Book Titles)


Oh, Deer!

I don't know what my fascination with deer is, I really don't. Nevertheless, like birds, I love them. When I first moved in with A.P., I bought the cardboard deer head you see below, mounted it to the wall above our barrel. (Say what?!? It looks cool, and always gets compliments, so meh.)

And now, after reading yet another deer inspired design post on A Cup of Jo, I'm thinking I'm ready to buy the real thing, vintage of course, or a cool resin version.

Plus 10 more deer inspired decor items.

1. Quirky Deer Art

2. Metallic Deer Antler

3. Vintage Miniature Brass Deer Rocking Horse

4. Cute Deer Print for Baby's Room

5. Sophisticated Deer Print for Living Room

6. Adorable Deer Pony Tail Holders

7. Fawn Onesie

8. Two-headed Deer Necklace

9. Vintage Brass Deer Hook

10. Cardboard Deer Head

(Deer Bathroom Photo via A Cup of Jo; 1. Quirky Deer Art Photo via BeatUpCreations on etsy 2. Metallic Deer Antler via AustinModern on etsy 3. Vintage Miniature Brass Deer Rocking Horse Photo via filedaway on etsy 4. Cute Deer Print Photo for Baby's Room via leearthaus on etsy 5. Sophisticated Deer Print for Living Room Photo via RococcoCo on etsy 6. Adorable Deer Pony Tail Holders Photo via okeykaraoke on etsy 7. Fawn Onesie Photo via Msg1983 on etsy 8. Two-headed Deer Necklace Photo via Fable and Fury on etsy 9. Vintage Brass Deer Hook Photo via Portuguese Vintage on etsy 10. Cardboard Deer Head Photo via ModCloth)


Love, Hollywood Style

Here's a little Valentine's Day inspiration for you! I'm in love with these photos of these in love classic Hollywood couples.
1. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

2. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier

3. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard

4. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

5. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart

6. Jimmy Stewart and Gloria McLean

Happy Valentine's Day, lovelies!

(Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward Photo via Guest of a Guest; Grace Kelly and Price Rainier Photo via CBC; Clark Gable and Carole Lombard Photo via Dr. X's Free Associations; Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor Photo via Nightmares and Boners; Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart Photo via BonzaSheila; Jimmy Stewart and Gloria McLean Photo via Juggle)


Dance Me to the End of Love

Monday is Valentine's Day, people! Here's a very late, but appropriately themed Friday dance!

First up we have this gorgeous Valentine's Day themed engagement shoot photographed by Laura Leslie and featured on Green Wedding Shoes.


...slip one of these printable Valentine's Day themed coffee sleeves on your sweetie's morning brew.

...channel Betty Draper in this pretty vintage nightie.

...suds your deer ones up.

...how many ways can I tell you I love you? Let me count the languages.

...a place for the lovebirds' wedding rings.

...Je t'aime these cute earrings.

...sip your soda with these flirty straws.

...brighten up a room with this vintage red phone.

...wear this with your best LBD for a poppie of color.

...sweeten up baby's room with this sweet message in vintage blocks.

I've never been so happy for a weekend to arrive. I'm planning on attending a work training tomorrow, then napping the day away! I need to catch up on some rest this weekend. And Sunday is supposed to be warm...40 degrees! So perhaps we will finally leave the cave and play outside a bit. Have a great weekend, party people!

(Dance Photo via Jess James Jake Authentic Vintage; Valentine's Day Engagement Shoot Shot by Laura Leslie via Green Wedding Shoes)


Work, Work, Work

I am so sorry for not posting yesterday, people. I started a new temp job on top of my regular job, and this was the first week. What that means is that twice a week, I stay after work and do another job. That means twice a week, I work 12 hour days: 7:30-7:30. It, well, sucks. But it means more money in my pocket, something for my resume, and surprisingly I get some of my regular work done during the extended hours, so in some ways, I bring less work home. It's just temporary. I'm going to see how it goes, and then I can decide if I want to do it permanently. So far, it's exhausting. I had to drink a cup of coffee tonight to stay away, and I rarely drink coffee (I'm more of a Diet Coke person).

Anyway, yesterday, I came home, cooked dinner, watched a ton of TV, and completely forgot to blog. By the time I remembered, I was so tired, I just skipped it altogether. Since I'm not really bringing home work this weekend, I figured it's a good opportunity to pre-write a bunch of posts so that this absence doesn't occur again. In the mean time, though, this post might have to suffice for tonight. I'm so tired I can't even see straight.

Let's dance tomorrow, peeps!


Plus-Sized and Pregnant

First off...Not me, don't worry.

Second off...I guess I do count as plus-sized, even though I freaking hate that terminology, and most people would rather smack me than count me as "plus-sized" when I'm at my thinnest, even though I'm still technically "plus-sized." I have never been a thin person, but I have been a slimmer person, and there was a time when I wasn't this big. I was, in fact, a size to two sizes smaller. I'm 5'10, so gaining weight isn't the huge nightmare for me that it is for some people; ten pounds does not a whole other dress size make when you are 5'10. Still though, since I met A.P., I have struggled harder with my weight than I have my whole life. Blame it on never feeling 100% comfortable with other men to eat whatever the hell I wanted until I met A.P. Blame it on the less active lifestyle I lead now (A.P. is one of the most inactive people I know...he is allergic to exercise). Heck, blame it on the fact that I just got busier.

I gained a ton of weight. A TON. Like 40 lousy pounds. For me, that was a ton. I have NEVER been this heavy in my life. Prior to the wedding, I was able to lose about 25 of those 40, but my goal has been to lose the rest. And I have a secret I'm only going to share with you guys...I want to do it before we have kids. I know that sounds weird, but anyone who has struggled with their weight will get it. I want to be at my normal weight before I gain weight, because I can't bear the thought of losing weight on top of weight. Because I fear then I'll never lose it. But also, I can't imagine finding clothes that will fit me. After all, I'm not huge, but I do have some huge parts, including but not limited to feet, boobs, and shoulders. That means shopping for pretty much anything sucks all around. And I loooooove clothes and fashion. It's already depressing, so what will happen when I gain more weight?

That's why I found this article I randomly found on Big Fat Deal so interesting. I've already thought about all the ways being pregnant might be both interesting, but also sucky for me personally (e.g. the fact that I absolutely HATE to throw up, the fact that I am very pain sensitive, but also am scared sh*tless of needles, etc.), but I never imagined finding maternity wear would be so miserable. I wish the girl who wrote that post had included some sizes for reference. Like what is "plus-sized"? Is it size 14? Or is she having trouble finding a size 20? I don't really care either way, I'm just curious as to what's hard to find out there.

I know I probably come off as shallow, but when you have a problem you struggle with all your life, the miracle of birth doesn't cloud that. It's pretty much like an addiction that you have to consider in all aspects of life. I was also really happy when I got to the end of the article and saw that the author, too, had had the same feelings.

For those of you who had/have/are having babies, or those of you who some day hope to have babies, do you/did you think about this? Or have I really lost it (my mind...not the weight)?

Daring? Me? Eh...

Do any of you know about some of these daring bakers out there? It seems like everyone is a bit of a daring baker these days. Or a daring cook. Either way, they're daring! They make all these complicated, crazy desserts and blog about them. Some participate legitimately, and some do not (if you opt out more than 4x a year, you're excluded from official membership).

I'm always a bit humbled by all these brave, bold bakers! They make things I wish I could make. And it's not that I'm incapable, it's just that I've gotten incredibly lazy about cooking and baking over the last two years (yet another thing I love claimed by my work life). I have so much respect and so enjoy reading the blogs of so many of these daring peeps not just because I'm jealous of their ability to create these fabulous desserts, but more so because they take the time out of their busy schedules to do it.

So I'm thinking that maybe this month, I'll get a bit audacious myself. I'm not promising miracles, but it would definitely be a step in the right direction in terms of putting me before work (a to do on my 2011 list). Since Valentine's Day is next week, I was thinking about making this:

Want to be fearless with me? The tutorial for the cake can be found here.

(Photo via I am Baker, Found via A Cup of Jo)

PS. How many more synonyms for daring do you think I could have squirmed into this post? I'm guessing five more.


We Came to Dance

You all know I love How I Met Your Mother, right? (Evidence here and here.) Well, this year they've been showing all the episodes in reruns on Lifetime and a local affiliate and I've actually been getting home in time to watch them! The other day they showed Marshall and Lily's wedding, which I'd kind of forgotten about. I remembered that problems galore plagued their ceremony, but I forgot that they had a small intimate ceremony with just the gang before the big event. The intimacy and sweetness of this gorgeous little elopement featured at OnceWed reminded me of that fake, tv wedding. So today's Friday dance is all about the elopement, something I'm sure everyone who has ever gotten married has thought about doing at some point or another, but which only a brave few seem to be able to carry out.

Plus some other elopement merriness...

One man's plan to elope.

A sweet elopement story with an awesome video!

A hop, skip, and an elopement across the pond in NYC.

Here's an idea: Elope during lunch...complete with picnic!

Pitch perfect elopement style on the part of the bride.

Simple, elegant elopement announcements.

(Friday Dance Photo by Me!; Elopement Photos by Wrinkle in Time Photography via OnceWed)

Bring on the Hot Cocoa!

This was A.P.'s first blizzard. Mr. Florida was amazed at how much snow could actually fall from the sky! Plus the whole experience of having a snow day and a city shutting down was so fascinating to him. I always make fun of the local news, calling it the half hour weather show, since that always seems to be what they lead with, but this is one time where I gladly watched every moment of coverage.

So now, with Valentine's right around the corner, I'm thinking about buying him this mug, since he drinks EVERYTHING out of a mug (juice, milk, soda, coffee, sometimes even beer)!

What do you guys think?

(Photos via AQuartzyLife etsy shop)



Some photos from our blizzardly past 24 hours...

First up is our "walk" with the dog last night. I put walk in quotations because we were outside for a total of two minutes. Our dog, Radar, was soooo not into it.

The weather was so insane. This is my second blizzard, and Lord knows I've endured many a bad snow storm, but this is the first time I heard thunder and saw lightening during a snow storm! It was so crazy! The dog was all kinds of confused as to how to get over that little pile of snow in front of the door, and as soon as he peed he turned around and walked right back in. We really were out there for a total of two minutes!

A.P. and I both had the day off of work today. He had to work from home, and I should have worked from home, but instead decided that what I really needed was to lay around and not do much. So that's what I did. After a few hours of relaxing and watching people start to emerge from their homes, we geared up and headed out to clean off our car and dig it out of the mess a bit.

Our car was not as buried as some (see the little teal car below), but it was still knee deep on the sidewalk side. So crazy! We had the car running the whole time to help melt the snow and let the engine run a bit, so I took a break inside for a bit while A.P. dug the car out.

After we dug the car out, we tried to get it out of the spot, but that was a no go. So we parked it back in the spot and took a mini-walk around the neighborhood. All around, people were starting to materialize. They were coming from the CVS and various neighborhood stores, and most everyone was walking in the street. The only cars out seemed to be giant SUVs that could manage the snow. At the end of our block was a giant snow hill that was taller than A.P.! We posed for some photos in front of it, and then trudged back home. Before getting back home, I collapsed into the snow and made an angel. You ask why, I say why not?

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