Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm Baaack...I Think?

Oh hey there!  Miss me?  I'm afraid that I have once again neglected my little blog.  I promise it's with good reason.

I bet you're wondering if it's because I've been cooking up a storm? Finishing my Master Bedroom Master Decor Plan?  No and no.  (...though the Master Bedroom is ALMOST done and ready for a reveal. I've heard from many of you who are anxiously awaiting photos!)

We have been busy though...I left you with images of Ryan's birthday celebration back in March.   Well, the very same day as that post we discovered that I was PREGNANT!  That's a right -- a little Edmonds is on her way!  (In fact, Emily Britt Edmonds is due in just 5.5 weeks.  Time flies.)

My pregnancy has been extremely healthy and smooth -- with one little distraction.  I threw up.  A lot.  Every day.  Until I was 6.5 months pregnant.  Hence, the lack of blogging.  (People kept telling me that it would get better after the first trimester, and I would smile and say "I am 26 weeks pregnant!") I look back now, and it doesn't seem that bad.  I think that they call that Momnesia.  However, the thought of blogging (or doing anything worthy of blogging about, including cooking, decorating, hosting, etc) was so far from the front of my mind.  So I just didn't.

So, I'm having a baby.  What else have I been doing that's kept me from posting you might ask?

Oh yeah, Ryan and I developed a product. And launched a business. The idea for a reusable, eco-friendly gift wrap came about over a year ago for a business school class on entrepreneurship I was taking.

It took us almost a full year from my initial business plan to fully prototype, file a patent, source materials, develop packaging and marketing materials, find sales reps, and get our product to market.  (Whew.)  It has been extremely exhilarating and a lot of hard work -- but we did it.  We are still doing it.  And, I promise to keep you apprised of our progress.  (Now, go buy a lilywrap and support our growing family!  Or, at least follow us on Facebook.) 

So there you have it.  A baby and a business.  Oh, and a full time job, a few fun vacations, a nursery to decorate, volunteer work..

I promise to TRY to be better about posting.  (I will have plenty of time on my hands come November, right?!)  I need to update you on the Master Bedroom, Emily's nursery, a few baby showers, new recipes and more.

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ryan's Birthday Celebration: Flip Burger Style!

Ryan turned the big 2-9 this weekend.  To celebrate, I threw him a birthday party featuring menu items from his favorite restaurant, Flip Burger Boutique

We had a slider bar with a range of toppings--- pickles, pimiento cheese, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, blue cheese, guacamole, avocado slices, sprouts, cheddar cheese, bacon, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, coleslaw, ketchup, mustard  -- you name it, we had it!

...and I have to mention the sides --- brussels sprouts with bacon (of course) and sweet potato fries!

....aaaaand last but not least: KRISPY KREME MILKSHAKES!  That's right.  We recreated the most delicious dessert offering on the Flip menu.  The ingredients are calorie-free simple-- vanilla ice cream, whole milk, and Krispy Kreme donuts.  I didn't measure exact amounts -- but I can tell you that about 6 donuts went into every "blenderful".  That's almost a full donut per shake.  (Forgive me for not taking pictures of the shakes themselves -- it was a bit of a sticky situation!)

Oh yeah -- and we had plenty of Ryan's new found favorite beer on hand.  (By the way, we were SUPER excited to find out that Costco is now carrying Guinness.  At $25 for a pack of 24 -- it's a steal!  Those suckers are over $2 each at Publix/Kroger.)


Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate!  We are so blessed to have such great friends.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Photo

Okay...I know I said no sneak peeks.  But, I am just too excited!  Here's a look at the progress on the bookshelves.  This was earlier in the week before the crown molding was added and prior to the first coast of paint.  I LOVE them. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Master Bedroom "Before"

Remember how I mentioned that we are FINALLY decorating our Master Bedroom?  Well, I am SO excited to report that we've made a lot of progress.  (No pictures until it's done!)  Ryan has been hard at work constructing built-in bookshelves and I got the Pottery Barn Napa Chair and Lidded Barrel Basket for my birthday.  Still on our list:
  • artwork for behind the bedside lamps
  • rug
  • bench/chest/baskets for the end of the bed
  • tiebacks for the drapes
  • swing arm lamp for above the chair
  • writing desk
  • accessories for desk/shelves
  • remove giant black armoire
While that seems like a lot, we are making really good progress and I hope to have it complete in the next few weeks.  To make myself accountable for that statement, I am going to share the before pictures below.

Any suggestions??

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recipe Recap

Remember how I was trying 3 new Pinterest recipes last week?  I am happy to report that I followed through!  You already heard my reflections on the Mexican Chicken Casserole.  Here is my review of the other two:

I would  It's okay.  In all fairness, I did mess up the recipe a little.  The directions say to cook it on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1.5-2.5 hours.  In the daze of my sinus infection last week, I cooked it on high for 4 hours.  Whoops.  Let's just say that the chicken was VERY browned.  Luckily, thanks to cooking it in the crock pot, it was not charred and was still edible. 

I just didn't really like it.  However, I am not really a sweet sauce person.  Ryan liked it (while admitting it would be better if a little less....cooked) and thought we should try it again.  I served the leftovers to my mom, aunt, and cousin on Thursday, and they all liked it too.  (Aren't I so nice?  Serving leftovers to house guests?) 

Grade: B- 

Yum!  (With some additions.)  This is what I love about blogging.  I posted that I was going to make this, and Ryan's sweet Aunt Sheila in Houston sent me a note to tell me that she'd had friends who had tried the recipe and that they recommended the following:
  • Use the entire zucchini, more bell pepper and Pete's Hot Sauce
  • Add 2 zucchini, 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, "fiesta" corn, green chilies, half an onion diced, lime and cilantro. She also added that next time she would add another can of black beans to give more protein.
I was all geared up to add more black beans, another pepper, green chilis, and lime--- but I TOTALLY forgot to stop at the store during my daze drive home.  So, I had to use what I had on hand.  I added 2 extra zucchini, the entire green pepper, and a whole onion.  I also spilled my entire thing of instant rice on the floor (it was a great night), so I had to use the Trader Joe's seasoned rice I had on hand. 

The result was pretty delicious.  (Sorry-- I forgot to snap a picture!)  And, I absolutely LOVED how easy this meal was to throw together.  I think it took me all of 15-20 minutes.  (Note: My veggies were chopped on Sunday when I prepped for the week.) 

The flavor of this recipe was definitely more Italian savory, and I think I was expecting more of a Mexican skillet.  So for next time, I plan to add more black beans, substitute the fire-roasted tomatoes for diced tomatoes with green chilis, and add cilantro and lime.  (Ryan really liked it -- but he suggested that adding some sort of meat-- pork, sausage, bacon, shredded chicken -- would make it extra delish.)

Grade: A+ (with the changes)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Update

Oh hi there, neglected blog.  I promise to become a more regular blogger one of these days...

This weekend was both busy and relaxing all at once. 

Saturday morning we visited with my parents and my grandma ,who was in town from Florida.  As usual when my parents are here, Ryan and I dragged them from room to room soliciting advice on everything from frame sizes to bookcase construction to furniture placement.  (I'm pretty blessed to have an interior decorator mom and extremely handy dad and husband!) 

The rest of the afternoon consisted of running errands to Home Goods and Home Depot.  (To all of my MBA friends at Home Depot-- we had the most helpful, friendly experience ever.  I know it must be all of your hard work at the corporate office!) 

That night we met up with our dear friends, Maggie and Tim (also an employee of the big orange box!) to devour burgers and shakes at Flip Burger. (Yes, for the second time this week.  Yes, we have a problem...)

Though Saturday was fun and relaxing, Sunday was the type of productive day that, though busy, is also energizing and extremely satisfying.  After church and a quick trip the grocery store, we got down to business. 

For me, getting down to business meant taking down my winter decor, redecorating the vacated spaces, serving as Ryan's construction assistant (more on this later), prepping meals for the week, and cooking dinner. 

In what I may later deem an overzealous effort, I am attempting three new Pinterest recipes this week: Mexican Chicken Casserole, Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken, and Zucchini, Black Bean, and Rice Skillet.  To make my week easier (and it more likely that I cook during the week), I went ahead and sliced, diced, and prepped everything I need for the meals this week:

Throughout the day, I was on call as Ryan's construction assistant, as he started building the bookshelves I've been wanting for our bedroom today.  (Back in January, we met with my mom and put together a design plan for our room.  Look for the "before" pictures soon!)  Check out my skills on the table saw!

Here's the progress of the bookshelves so far:
(Our black lab, Katie is right there to help.  Always.)

Finally, I got started on my first Pinterest recipe of the week.  First up? The Mexican Chicken Casserole. We have small group on Mondays, so I needed a recipe that produced yummy leftovers for tomorrow night. The recipe took about 45 minutes of hands-on time (which was a little longer than I expected) and then 30 minutes of cook time.

The result? Served on a plate, the dish looks like a yellow and white pile of mush (forgot to snap a photo!). However, it tastes delicious and is a low-calorie Cooking Light meal. Ryan loved it.

Consensus? Let's keep this one in the rotation.

Look for posts on the master bedroom before pictures, Pinterest recipe recaps, and my pillow sewing project soon.  Have a great week!

Monday, January 23, 2012

tag! you're it!

My friends, Cara & Lindsay, tagged me in a little blogger game. And because I'm "it" you get to find out 11 fun facts about me (actually 22 -- since they both tagged me, I will answer them all!)

the rules to tagging:
1. You must post these rules.
2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
4. You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.
5. Go to their page and tell them you have linked him or her.
Cara's Questions:

1. If you could have someone do one chore for you for the rest of your life, 
what chore would it be?
 Easy.  Mop the floor.  I hate mopping.  Like really hate it.  Vacuuming?  Easy breezy.  Too bad for me that we have a lot of hardwoods.  That sounds super-complainy.  I love our house.  Just not mopping.
2. Which song do you always sing at-the-top-of-your-lungs-super-loud-yelling style in your car?
Adele - Someone Like You.  I can't help but belt it out every time it comes on the radio.  Which is a lot.  This is most unfortunate to anyone who happens to be in the car with me.  To say that I cannot carry a tune is an understatement.  That does not stop me with this song.  It's just too soulful to not be shared at full volume.
3. Publix or Kroger?
Publix.  Hands down.  My husband and I frequently debate this with friends.  Publix has a MUCH better bakery, meat/seafood selection, and better produce.  Pair that with the super-friendly staff, zero wait time, being walked out to my car, and the fact that my Publix is a Publix Greenwise Market (aka, competes with FreshMarket and Whole Foods at Publix prices).  How can Kroger compete?  
**Note: I am also a huge fan of Costco and do half of our weekly shopping there**

4. What instrument do you wish you could play?
Piano.  I am not cool enough for guitar, but I think that I could pull off the piano.
5. What did you eat for breakfast?
We had a fun coffee/breakfast date at The Library with our small group friends Tim and Ashley before work today.  I devoured a bowl of oatmeal with dried cranberries and a little brown sugar.  Yum.
6. If you had to buy your clothes from one store for the rest of your life, 
what store would you choose?
Tough.  I would probably say J.Crew.  Classic, yet stylish with lots of fun, bright colors.  I would like to say Anthro -- but I don't think that I can carry that look off all of the time.
7. What is one quirky thing you do that others may find strange?
Eeek.  I don't know?   Maybe that I let my coffee get lukewarm before actually drinking it?  Or that for every party I host I type up a 5+ page "party plan" complete with menu, decor, "to do", responsibilities delegated?  I don't know...
8. What TV show is your guilt pleasure?
The Bachelor.  I don't really watch reality TV -- but the ridiculousness of this show (and the awesome destinations) has me hooked.  I know that it's over-produced and so many fake surprises -- but all the drama sucks me in.  It's all about love ;)
9. What is your favorite season of the year?
Spring.  I like that everything is new and green and like a fresh beginning.  Plus, it holds all of the anticipation of summer.  It's like how Christmas Eve is actually better than Christmas due to the anticipation.
10. When was the last time you felt homesick?
Not in a very long time.  Maybe when I interned in NYC after my junior year of college?  I loved New York and the experience -- but I missed the South.
11. If you could be best-friends with a celebrity, who would he/she be?
My celebrity best friends club is getting pretty long these days.  I think I would have to say Carrie Underwood, probably.  First of all, we are both excellent singers (see #2).  And second, she just seems really nice and down-to-earth.  We went to a Predators hockey game in Nashville over Christmas, but Carrie was nowhere to be seen.  She probably didn't realize that I would be there ;)
 Lindsay's Questions:
1. When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A CEO.  I don't even think I knew what this meant -- except that you got to be boss.  I liked that.
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I love traveling and have been very fortunate to visit so many places.  If funds were no object, I would probably say Bora Bora.  (Just in case you want to take me on a second honeymoon, Ryan!)
3. If you could go back to high school and revive one fashion trend, what would it be?
Goodness.  None of them.  So terrible.  My husband would say those stretchy black Express pants circa 2001.  They are now called yoga pants and more appropriately worn to the gym.  Not parties.
4. What is the weirdest food you have ever tried?
I get to travel to Asia frequently for work -- so this list is pretty long.  I would probably go with Sea Cucumber though.  It was fresh.  Very fresh.  As in, an old woman in Korea dove down into the sea and brought it up...and I ate it.  It's a tradition.  Check it out on CNN(And, yes, it was very rubbery.)  I also had cow tongue in China -- but that was a complete accident.  That dish was NOT Mongolian beef.
5. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy?
Vacation house on the coast.  I love the beach.
6. A picture is worth 1,000 words... what's your favorite?
 Our amazing wedding photographer, Renee Brock, took this during our first dance back in 2009.  Best day of my life.
7. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Yogurt.  I love it and never get tired of it.  Maybe that should have been my quirk?
8. What's the one thing you wish your parents would have let you do when you were a kid?
When I was a kid, I really wish that they let me eat white bread, potato chips, pop tarts, and sugar cereal.  Now that I am an adult -- thank Goodness they didn't!  Smart decision, guys.
9. NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?
NSYNC.  Is that even really a question?
10. Favorite thing that happened in 2011?
What I should say: Finishing grad school. 
The truth: Our anniversary trip to Italy.
Seriously, my MBA was an invaluable experience, and I gained so much from the program -- a wider breadth of business knowledge, a business plan for a new venture, a large professional network, and some great friends.  Vacation is vacation though, and I love travel.

11. And what are you hoping for in 2012?

Cheesy-- but to enjoy every moment. 
Now for my questions:
1. What is your favorite kitchen tool?
 2.  Of the places you've traveled, which destination would you recommend most?  (This is self-serving, as I am trying to plan a vacay.)
3.  What is the best beauty tool/secret that you've discovered?
4.  What is your go-to dinner recipe?
5.  How much time do you spend on Pinterest?  Really.
6.  Favorite blog?  (Other than mine, of course.)
7.  What is the first website you visit every morning?
8.  What is your guilty pleasure?
9.  Favorite meal of the day?
10.  What exercise do you dread the most?
11.  What is the best deal you've ever found?
And who I'm tagging...
Jennifer @ Lopez Family
Meredith @ Face Painting

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cookie Party

Happy New Year!  Our holidays turned pretty hectic with the combination of travel, out-of-town guests, and a nasty cold -- so I am just getting back to the blog.  I am working on a couple of posts and hope to be less sporadic in the new year.  For today, however, my mom prepared a guest post about our recent return visit to DC (this time WITH husbands) for my Aunt Lynne's annual cookie party.  Enjoy!

In Wendy's Words...

Each year, my sister hosts a Christmas Cookie Open House for family, friends, neighbors and work associates. After hearing rumors that this might be the last year for the extravaganza, Ashley and I (along with Ken and Ryan) decided to make the journey to Alexandria to attend this year’s festivities.

After several days of sightseeing in D.C.,

Operation Cookie Party Preparation began!

Cookies were unloaded from two freezers at the house and an overflow freezer at the school where Lynne teaches. She stopped counting at 350 dozen!

Last minute touches were added to varieties that didn’t freeze well.


Saturday morning, arranging all the cookies on serving pieces was a major undertaking. Lynne has a huge collection of milk glass that she uses every year to display the cookies.

Ashley carefully arranges the ribbon cookies with all the stripes lined up in the same order.

We had to stop Grandma Britt from prying apart the cookies that were stuck together; Lynne had carefully sandwiched the chocolate stars together with raspberry preserves.

With everyone dressed in their festive attire, we began removing the saran wrap at 12:30 in anticipation of the 1:00 start time

Party Time!

The green and red color scheme of their home makes for very festive Christmas décor.

While the dining room held the most cookies, they were everywhere throughout the house.

On the desk and bookshelves in the office

On every available surface in the living room.

Even the upstairs landing had cookies.

I love how she has included her children’s early artwork in her holiday décor.

Jared’s masterpiece: “Santa in the Blender”

Clyde got into the festive spirit of the party!

Dixie was just hoping for dropped cookies.

Another Successful Cookie Party!