Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fashion? Update, Charleston

I may have been quite harsh in my previous post to the fashion ladies so let me give a shout out to the ones that DON'T make me want to kill myself.

1. www.cupcakesandchashmere.com
2. www.thelook4less.net
3. www.thechloeconspiracy.com
4. www.ambersnotebook.com

Anywho, I am currently in Charleston staying with Amanda and her fiancee Ashley and they are treating me like gold! I am going to be spoiled when I leave here. Amanda's fiancee is a great cook and makes the most bangin' Shrimp and Grits ever! After feeding me they took me on a little driving tour of Charleston and the coolest bridge I've been on. Tomorrow is bridesmaid dress fitting, eating, shooting guns (YES!), more eating etc.

I was extremely excited that one of our suitcases has SECTIONS!!!! This helps me organize so of course I am very proud and had to take a picture.

For some reason the cats love love love packing. I laid out outfit clothes before I put them in the suitcase and all three were up in my business. Here is Petey among the pre-packing piles of clothes.

Actually tried out a new recipe this morning and it was delish. Will have to post that tomorrow! Here is a sneak peek though!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I totally understand that I am not the most fashionable person in the world. Regardless, fashion blogs are one of my guilty pleasure, although recently I am seriously questioning my sanity. I will never be that effortlessly fashionable girl that wakes up, throws on whats in their closet and looks amazing. Nor will I be the girl who has thousands of dollars in credit card debt just so that I can take pictures of myself in different outfits and post it on the internet. Here is why.

1. A common thread to these "fashion" websites? These girls have lots of daddy's money. The Christmas present posts alone made me want to vomit up my cherry twizzlers. One blogger got thousands in cash, a new mac computer, a canon rebel camera, designer sunglasses, giftcards, designer shoes, etc. Really? In this economy? I don't think so. Sorry but I am not taking "fashion advice" nor reading about your lavish life nor wanting to ever be anything like you. One girl's site is a "guide to style". Does this mean that you are going to tell me how to get my parents to give me thousands of dollars in gifts next Christmas? Because if so, I would read that blog.

2. I am not a stick figure nor keeping my calorie intake under 1500. Obviously. 99% of clothing for non-stick people are so disgusting and ridiculous that hell would freeze over and pigs would take to the skies before the "clothing" ever touched my body. Most plus size "designers" think that women are A. blind B. have given up any hope C. are willing to put anything on themselves to avoid arrest for public nudity. No thanks. It takes a lot of effort for me to not look like a homeless or crazy person most of the time.

3. I am not willing to put myself in thousands of dollars of debt for the excitement (sarcasm) of taking daily pictures of myself and putting them on the internet. Give me a break. The ones who aren't getting money from daddy are surely sacrificing their credit score for some pieces of fabric. No, I would like to buy a house one day and have a good FICO score. Oh another thing, doubt some of these people know what a FICO score is.

4. Surprisingly, I have other things to do than spend all day looking up internet fashion deals, ruining my credit, spending daddy's money, or constantly take pictures of myself in a mirror. College? Ever heard of it?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Top Ten Christmas Pics (plus One)

By now, most of you have seen the pictures I posted from Christmas, but I wanted to highlight a few that, for some reason or another, are my favorites.

My, Candace, Caroline. I love the three generations all together looking happy and beautiful. They are all three glowing. Definitely a precious moment to remember.

I love the colors, and the juxtaposition of the two rooms shown in this photo. Caroline is in one room and games being played in the other. This encompasses our Christmas this year.

I love Caroline laying with Mike and My smiling at her in the background.

What I like: the easiness and that they were playing a game that we play with the Short's when we get together. It made them linked in my brain.

Do I even have to explain this one?
Pure love.

My Grandmother's Church on Christmas Eve. I love the light and angle. I can almost feel, see, smell everything from that night by looking at this picture.

New Camera Pictures start here:

Caroline caught off hand, I love her facial expression and the light in this picture.

Joe and Sammie after he got soaking wet in the downpour we experienced the majority of Christmas Day.

Mom after she opened her new Pandora Bracelet. So happy!

This photo is one of my favorites merely because of Joe's facial expression.

Here is the plus one I took when i got home using my new camera...LOVE.
(and its kind of christmasey right?)

Merry Christmas!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday, I know I did! Especially now that I have a CANON REBEL! The last two days I have been taking pictures of basically anything and everything with my beautiful new camera...Ithink that I will name her. Martha? Candy the Canon? Roberta the Rebel? Name is still in progress. Next up: New Years/bridesmaid dress fitting/wedding discussion/lots of eating, talking, drinking in Charleston SC with my favorite med student/bride to be/best friend Amanda. Can't Wait!
Name Suggestions?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Road Trip!

....or just a long car ride. Yesterday Mom and I drove up with Uncle Mike to meet Candace and Caroline in Virginia and drive them back to North Carolina. Unsure of the road conditions, Uncle Mike packed lots of sugary snacks to keep us from going into depression should we become trapped in a snowbank for days at a time. Chocolate-covered Oreos, caramel chocolate brownies, peppermint bark oh my! Depression was not on hand in that car! I had to take some of Sammie's car sickness meds so that I could ride in the back of the car. That stuff works wonders! I didn't get car sick, but a little loopy and sleepy. Just how you want to be in a car ride, but at least I wasn't driving. Here are some pics of the CRAZY snow that we found in VA. They got somewhere around 18 inches!

We got Candace and Caroline and came back to NC, no problemo..isn't she sweet?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Letdown

So there is a huge snowstorm on the East coast, but it decided to skip Raleigh! We saw some nice snow for about an hour, but it was sadly over too soon. This is the only "snowy" picture I got, at this point I'm pretty sure it was sleeting/snowing/raining. Yuck!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Cheesy, Melty, Sweet, Spicy Grilled Ham Sandwiches

Yes, I realize that there are a lot of adjectives in the title of this post. But I couldn't pick just one to describe the dinner made tonight. These are comfort food all the way, easy, delicious. Here's what you'll need:

Sourdough Bread
Honey Ham (sliced)
Baby Swiss Cheese (sliced)
Honey Mustard (french's)

First, Slice the bread and spread honey mustard on one side and honey on the other. Be LIBERAL! This is the good stuff!

Then add the Ham and Cheese and assemble

Next: Melt butter (about 1-2 tbsp) in a skillet over medium high heat then add sandwiches

While the sandwiches are getting melty and delicious, put a pat of butter on the tops of the sandwiches.

Once browned, flip over and brown the other side. Keep cooking until adequately browned and melted.

Slice, Serve, Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


So my computer got a virus. It sucked. The background of my screen turned green with big red letters that said "YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN INFECTED!". No shit sherlock! Sadly, all recent pictures were deleted, as well as some writing I had done (and all of my music, videos, homework, papers, notes, etc) Of course I tried to fix it myself, running every anti-virus that I could think of, all to no avail. So off I went to the hellhole of my college...technology services. I wondered...is it part of tech training that you learn how to be completely unhelpful, or is that just an added bonus? I mean I already was lost, lonely and confused about my technology mishap. The last thing I needed was an apathetic person taking my computer to willy nilly ERASE IT.
Life without my laptop for the last 36 hours has been terribly boring. Thankfully it is back, although REIMAGED. Apparently tech services felt the need to reimage my computer, essentially deleting my life. And they were oh soooo nice about it (NOT!). It is simply TOO painful to come to terms with ALL OF THE WORK that I lost. The good news? I backed up about two months ago so not all is gone, but alot is. Sometimes I hate computers!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


The semester is finally over (Meredith gets out a bit earlier than other schools..yay!) and i'm still waiting for a couple of grades before I announce my victory over the past four months of education. Also, I have finished all my christmas shopping and the presents are wrapped and under the tree...score! Our family makes several christmas sweets which of course will be covered on my fabulously foodie blog, but these are my favorites so i'm starting with them first! This is the first year I have been the one to make them, and let me tell you, they are a huge pain in the butt. You have to stir constantly and then practically burn your fingers off to form them into balls and cover them in powdered sugar. My thoughts? Worth it. The whole house smells like buttery sweetness. This recipe is from my great grandmother...we all know those are the best recipes.

Recipe: Cook these three ingredients for 8 minutes, stirring throughout
2 Sticks Butter
2 8oz packages chopped dates
1 1/2 Cups Sugar

Recipe Continued: after cooking, add:
3 Cups Rice Krispies
2 Cups Chopped Pecans
2 tsp Vanilla

Stir well then cool until balls can be formed and rolled in powdered sugar

These are sooooo messy!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cranberry Tea

Please note, this is not really tea, which is good because I HATE tea. Sweet, unsweet, iced or hot, I am not a big fan. But if you are a Tea fan, you will still love this. Our neighbors make this and we got the recipe from them. Very tangy, sweet and delicious!

Boil and Simmer for ten minutes the following ingredients:
1 lb fresh cranberries
4 sticks of cinnamon
8 whole cloves or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 1/2 QTs Water

Strain the liquid and mash the cranberries into the strainer

Then add the following
1 - 12 oz can orange juice
1/2 bottle (7.5 oz) frozen lemon juice
1- 6 oz can lemonade
1 Cup sugar

NOTES: I used 1 1/2 Cups of sugar and I also put at least a spoonful in each individual cup because I like the sweet to overpower the tang a little bit, but add sugar to your own tastes!! This is served HOT!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Find My Family

There is a new show on ABC called "Find my Family". I thought "How sad it would be to not know your mother, father, siblings or family". Then I thought, in a way, my family is missing a big piece. I sometimes have to remind myself that I have a sister out there in the universe. A woman who shares my blood but whom I haven't seen since infancy. The only connection that I have to her now is the grainy picture on her facebook profile blurb. I look for traces of myself in her face. Do our eyes look the same? Is our smile the same? I also wonder about her interests. Does she like horses and musicals and dogs like I do? Or does she like basketball and football like Joe does? I wonder what her memories contain, if they interweave with mine. God has blessed our family so much with Brad and Rhonda. Especially knowing my sister has brought me peace and joy. She is an automatic built in supporter and friend.
As for Brad, I have never felt more loved for simply being a sister than I do with him. As my relationship with Rhonda gets closer, I wonder more about Kelly. She has missed out on that trip to Ihop last year where we took up a whole corner and ordered pancakes and grits until our pants split. She has missed the year when we all piled into one hotel room in Lubbock for New Years countdown. And she has missed the North Carolina Beach summers when we cooked, played, hunted shells and laughed together. She has kids. Kids that miss out on our "kids" bowling trip to middle of nowhere Texas. My heart was torn for years because of Rhonda. I didn't know whether she liked me or hated me. Turns out it was neither. In a christmas card she sent when Joe and I were still very small she added to the bottom "give my babies a kiss for me". She loves me. And I her.
I have hated my phantom sister. The one always lurking in the dark corners of my father's mind, and in the shadows of my own. I have hated her for not talking to my dad, I have hated her for talking to Brad and Rhonda but not Joe and I, and I have hated her for extending her anger at my father towards Joe and I. While I cannot even begin to understand her reasons and experiences, I recognize that they are worlds apart from my own. Every now and then I wonder about Kelly and how our lives would be different if she had decided to be in them. But then i think that it is her that is missing out. She doesn't know how funny Joe is when is reenacts facebook comments, or how dad curses when he spills water on the floor. She doesn't know that Mom and I make jewelry and cook together. She also doesn't know the competitiveness with which we play card games like Canasta. Someday I would love for our family to be "found". For there to be no more holes in the family tree, and no more heart holes and no more hatred and anger. But that reality seems much more like a fantasy than a feasible reality, so for now all I have is that grainy picture and some made up memories of her.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanksgiving isn't about food; it's about the people who lovingly prepare it, and the people you eat it with. Our meals during the holidays are pretty simple - all are traditions. Turkey, sweet potatoes, rice, gravy, potato salad, rolls and deviled eggs. Simple. Delicious. Thanksgiving is my appetizer for Christmas. Bring it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doggie Dental Cleaning.

Not only is my mom a dental hygienist for humans, but dogs as well. Hey, it saves a vet bill!

Miller was helping.

Reese was not a fan.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Allison's Pasta Salad

I made one batch of this Friday and it was gone within two days, then I made another batch for a dinner party and it was gone in two hours. This stuff is delicious and addictive. Perfect for lunches, cookouts or as a side dish!

From: Taste and Tell (http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/2009/08/allisons-pasta-salad.html)

Allison's Pasta Salad
slightly adapted from allrecipes.com

Serves 8

1 3/4 cups farfalle pasta
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
2 cups diced ham
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, cider vinegar, mustard, sugar, black pepper, dill weed and salt.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, grapes, ham, onions and cheese. Toss with the dressing. Cover and chill overnight, or for at least 6 hours.

NOTE: I put about 3/4 of the dressing on while the pasta was still warm, then the rest before serving.

I highly recommend this! It is superb!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Double-Chocolate Pudding

I love Ina Garten. No, I LOVE LOVE LOVE her. Barefoot Contessa is the best cooking show out there and I have never made a recipe of hers that I didn't like. This pudding recipe is no different. Extremely rich, you'll probably want to eat this in small batches with home-made whipped cream and chocolate shavings. I stayed true to the recipe but used seven egg yolks and added a teaspoon of instant espresso powder.

Double Chocolate Pudding
From: Barefoot Contessa Parties!


  • 6 extra-large egg yolks (seven if they are smaller)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons very good cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-ounce very good semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light yellow and thick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed. On low speed, add the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan and, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the chocolate mixture. Combine well, then pour the mixture back into the pan.

Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until thickened. If the mixture begins to curdle, remove it from the heat and beat it vigorously with a wire whisk. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream, and mix until the chocolate and butter are melted.

Pour into serving bowls. Place plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding, and chill thoroughly.

Before combining milk and egg mixture

Just starting to whisk and cook, it's still really thin

What it should look like when it's done

Before Serving

If you aren't going to eat it all right away, cover the tops with some plastic wrap.

Served up!