Saturday, May 28, 2011

sweetest kids on earth...

i miss my nieces and nephews SO SO SO much! Here are a few of the adorable pics i got when visiting last weekend.
 this is hysterical... poor ava is getting too much love :)
alyssa, reagan, and ellie on nana's swing.
sweet sisters

a wagon ride through huntington. 
such a sweet start to summer with all these beautiful baby faces.
the only two i missed were ethan and lauren... he was busy with baseball games and she was at dance competition!
relay for life was also this past weekend, and a bit different this year for my family... my dad walked the first lap as a survivor. the back of his shirt said living proof... and he truly is. 
i unfortunately had to miss this extremely amazing event, but just hearing my mom describe it made me cry.
hope everyone is having a great spring/summer so far. it sure feels like summer in the south! and the countdown to the beach is ON!
Friday, May 27, 2011

straw bale garden = SUCCESS!

seriously. i never imagined my garden would take as well as it has. everything is massive and any space available is long gone. we had a bout of heavy storms recently and i feared my tomato plants would drown, but they ALL pulled through! just yesterday while watering, david and i counted 27 better boy tomatoes, and the largest is the size of a plum! even the upside down tomato plant is coming around and has three tomatoes already! we have countless romas, lots of super sweet 100's, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers are popping up all over the place, snap peas are ready for their first picking, banana peppers that are almost 5 inches long... it's all just amazing! 
just so everyone knows - straw bale gardening seriously, SERIOUSLY works. here are some pics of the garden progress starting with my hydrangea that has surprised us all -
the color of a hydrangea bloom all depends on the soil where its planted. the acidity is what changes the color, so some people have green blooms, or pink, purple, or the beautiful deep blue... i guess my soil is on steroids... our hydrangea, which is GINORMOUS, has every color bloom you could get! and im amazed!!! and completely in love. i think i take a new picture every single day :) and i have also cut lots of blooms and have them drying in mason jars around my house.

 these are garden beans and i started the seeds in a huge pot. every seed took, so i left four in the pot and moved the others to the raised bed garden. all are blooming!
 and these are the snap peas also started by seed in a large pot, and also moved to the raised bed garden. all are producing lovely little pods!
 all the sprouted carrot seeds taking very nicely! i really hope these turn out.
 banana pepper
super sweet 100 tomatoes
more herbs (thyme, oregano and more basil)
we have a major overload of basil... so we made lots of fresh pesto and froze it.

hope everyone's garden is full of joy!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

wedding shower and weekend #1 in WV

it was January when i was home last... which has felt way too long. this month has already and will continue to make up for all that lost time. i have traveled home for the past two weekends. first for my sisters wedding shower and then the very next weekend to work on our BEAUTIFUL home in WV to prepare for the sale.... (so sad), then my sisters wedding is june 18th, so back home again for that! and we're not finished with the house, so probably another trip to fit in there somewhere...  THEN THE GLORIOUS BEACH TRIP!!!!
it feels like forever since i have posted a blog, and i have so much to catch up on... 
brooke's shower, the handmade wreath i made her, and the amazing night out we all had before.
exercise and all the hell i have been putting my body through.
my garden that is seriously bursting at the seams. just amazing.
two weeks at the beach coming up in ONE MONTH!
we will just cover brooke's shower and the first weekend in wv.
first the wreath. 
i have seen these for sometime and have been wanting to make one. it's completely simple and here is how i did it... 
use satin fabric of any color you chose, and cut out three different sized circles. burn the edges of the fabric with the flame of a candle then put them all together with either glue, or a beaded scrapbook brad (which is what i used). then hot glue them on your grapevine wreath. 
sisters :) 
we had such a great time the night before the shower. We all met up at brooke's new BEAUTIFUL house and shared two bottles of skinny girl margaritas (yum) then went to see Bridesmaids... funniest movie!
 a great weekend!
Monday, May 9, 2011

new england seafood bake

this is the best seafood bake recipe i have yet to find. its completely simple and is literally a no dish dinner! i found the recipe HERE... 

2 Tbs butter, at room temperature
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish (if desired)
1 small clove of garlic, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces red potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 lb skinless cod fillet, cut into four equal pieces
16 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 ears corn, quartered
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced

1. Heat grill to medium.
2. In a small bowl, combine butter, dill, and garlic; season with salt and pepper & set aside.
3. Fold four 14-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half, forming 4 rectangles. On one half of each of the four rectangles, arrange potatoes in a single layer, then top with cod, then shrimp. Place 2 pieces of the corn on the side. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the butter mixture and two lemon slices. Fold foil over ingredients, and crimp edges tightly to seal.
4. Place packets on grill, with potato layer on bottom. Cook, rotating (but not flipping) packets occasionally, until fish is just cooked through and potatoes are tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
5. Carefully remove from grill. Slit packets open and transfer contents of each packet to a plate. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Servings: 4

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving

Calories 254
Calories From Fat (26%) 66
Total Fat 7.48g
Saturated Fat 3.91g
Cholesterol 93.70mg
Sodium 127.26mg
Potassium 937.55mg
Carbohydrates 19.24g
Dietary Fiber 2.14g
Sugar 1.46g
Net Carbohydrates 17.10g
Protein 27.91g

WW Points: 6 
to go along with the bake, i made a baked vegetable medley... which is also SO GOOD! i just cut up a pint of cherry tomatoes, squash, zucchini, sweet onion, garlic and rosemary- mist all the veggies with my MISTO (an amazing kitchen product!) and bake it in the oven. 
Saturday, May 7, 2011

one month!

i never imagined how much my garden would grow in just one short month. everything we planted is already producing! Here is some pictures of day one compared to one month in - 
romaine lettuce is almost ready to cut!
here is a photo of the red lettuce, broccoli, and romaine lettuce on planting day, compared to one month in -
 both tomato plants are doing great - we have three roma tomatoes and about 4 better boys! 
cucumbers are forming!
zucchini blooms 
crooked neck sqaush starting to form under the blooms!
to show a bit of a comparison... here is a picture of the cucumber and zucchini plants... day one-
and now - 
we are getting large and AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS strawberries... 
the raised bed is doing amazing. the eggplant has doubled in size, and all the seeds are growing!
we have more basil growing in large pot, and also added a supersweet 100 tomato plant.
i'm LOVING my garden! 
i am leaving town next week for my sisters wedding shower and i know i will miss my daily routine of checking everything out, but it will all be waiting for me when i get back. 
lots of great things have been going on here in good ole' South Carolina. 
1 - the weather has been PERFECTION. i put my brand new bathing suit on today and sat outside for an hour reading.... got some major burnt shoulders! (preparing this skin for the beach)
2 - david and I are on LEVEL THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE of 30 day shred. let me tell you... this 30 days (minus only about 3 missed days) has been crazy. the workouts are unbelievable and you really think your body cannot make another lift or move, but each day you really do get better. its amazing and we can both tell a BIG difference. can't believe we are almost finished with the program and can't wait to measure!!!
3 - i am training for a 5K!!!! and super super super pumped about it. 
life is good :)
Thursday, May 5, 2011

plantains ~ a healthy way!

it definitely looks like a banana, but it does not taste like one... it tastes better! 
most people fry plantains, but when you use a tiny bit of olive oil, and constantly flip them in the pan, they taste just as amazing! and have about 3/4 less calories! 


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