Mar 29, 2010

Shower for Baby Lee

My best friend Rachel had her first baby shower this weekend in Columbia, SC.  I made the long drive down there and went extra early so I could spend some time with the Lippard family and Rachel, while everyone else got ready for the shower.  Rachel and I talk almost every day, but don't get to see each other that often so I couldn't wait to give her and that tummy a big hug!!  Rachel and Andy have chosen to be surprised by the sex of the baby, but everyone has strong opinions on wether it is a boy or a girl.
You can see here that I am "team boy" and Rebecca (Rachel's twin) is "team girl".  Rachel stayed nuetral and wore a blue dress with pink flowers.  The shower was beautifully decorated with petit fours, a diaper cake, and pictures of Rachel when she was a baby.
Stefanie and Katie (Rachel's bonus sisters and both of our flower girls from our weddings) are really looking forward to being Aunts!

We played a few games including a song/lyrics game where all the songs had the word "baby" in them and you had to list the artist and song title...Rachel won that game of course!  Also the usual "guess how big Rachel's belly is" with a piece of string.  Katie (the youngest at the party) won and was the only one who was not too big.  Here is a picture of the other pregnant guest helping her measure for the winner.
Rachel looks amazing and is still so tiny!!!  I hope I look that great and can still wear high heels when I am that far along.  She got a lot of great presents included the boppy pillow, bumbo chair, clothes, monkey butt paste, a pack 'n play, car seat, spa gift cards and diaper bag.

Here is one of the presents I made with Andy's number on it...

It really is amazing seeing someone go through the precious journey of motherhood.  I love hearing all the new things happening and can not wait for Baby Lee to finally arrive!!  I only wish we lived closer and I could see her and Andy more often:) 

Mar 24, 2010

Warmer Weather

We have ALL enjoyed this warm weather the past two weeks.  We have been rolling down the windows in the car, taking walks around the lake, and eating dinner on the deck.  I have noticed that our dog Riley loves the sun too.  There is a window that shines light into our living room everyday.  It starts at about 10:00 and reaches the other side of the room around 3.  The funny part is Riley actually gets up every 20 minutes to move a foot to the right, so she can still lay in the direct sunlight...ok might not sound funny, but it really is.
On Sunday we went to the Farmers Market again and found mangos on sale and decided to create the entire dinner around them.  This is a simple, quick, and lite meal if you are entertaining or just making it for yourself.
I then put Ryan in charge of the chicken and I cut up the stuff for the salad.  I always toss the salad with the dressing, but put extra dressing on the table because Ryan usually wants a little more.  For the chicken all we did was coat it with the mustard and cook on the grill until done, easy but has a tone of flavor.
Ryan and I both have a sweet tooth so for dessert we continued the mango theme and got mango sorbet, shredded coconut and blueberries.
I am normally the person who makes a detailed list of the meals I am going to make with recipes before going to the store.  I have to say just showing up and seeing what was in season and creating a meal on the spot was really fun!

Mar 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

rI have enjoyed baking more over the past year and have just gotten over my fear of messing it up!  I recently played around with two of my favorite things, Peanut Butter Cups and Brownies:)  If you want to recreate my delicious dessert you will need the following:
First make the brownies according to directions on box.  I again turned to my good friend Betty.
While these are cooking you can start on the next two layers.  For the Peanut Butter layer place peanut butter, butter, and salt in a bowl and heat in the microwave for a total of 1 minute, stirring ever 20 seconds.

Then stir in vanilla and powdered sugar until it has the consistency of dough...add more sugar if needed.

When the brownies are done and cooled a little, spread this mixture on top.  Place in the fridge to cool while you make the 3rd layer.
For the final layer melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Stir often and make sure all the chocolate has melted.
Then spread the melted chocolate on top of the brownie and peanut butter mixture.  Put in fridge until the chocolate has set and hardened.  Now enjoy!!!

Mar 16, 2010


A few weeks ago we received this in the mail...
Ryan and I have been "juicing" for the past 3 weeks!  We are already pretty healthy eaters, but the benefits of using this daily are incredible.  I have seen a difference in my energy and skin already!  We have fun going to the farmers market on Saturdays and picking out 2 bags full of fresh fruits and vegetables for under $ is truly amazing the amount of money saved and the freshness of the products that local farmers markets provide.  The best is trying new things like beets and seeing what color the juice will end up being after juicing several different things together.  Here are some of our creations.
I would encourage anyone trying to get more fruits and veggies in their diet to try juicing:)

Mar 15, 2010

Spring Break

Since Ryan is still in school, we still get to celebrate Spring Break:)  Ryan volunteers on several committees/boards and one upside is the traveling he gets to do.  For the dental research annual session we got to go to Miami and Key West last year!!  This year we went to Washington was really windy, raining most days, and temperatures were in the upper 30's/low 40's.  This is not what I imagined after Florida weather last year, but we made the most of it.
We started our trip by going to Annapolis, Maryland.  We loved the vibe of the town and all the sailboats.  We spent our day eating clam and seafood chowder, shopping, and admiring all the boats at the marina.
While in DC Ryan had a lot of meeting and seminars to attend during the day so I went to A LOT of museums. My favorite was going back to look at the exhibit honoring Julian Child and her kitchen.  I love to cook and loved the movie Julie and Julia so I thought it would be fun go to see her kitchen again. I love how she hung everything on the walls so it was easy to get to.  My system is everything has a place and I put it away so I can't see it...
Other highlights were the Air and Space Museum, Library of Congress, Portrait Museum, National Museum of American History...and they are all free.  That is the great thing about DC...there is SOOO much to do and its mostly free.  Within these museums I saw Abraham Lincoln's hat, the Hope Diamond, dinasour bones, space ships, the first sewing machine and many more.

I didn't spend the entire time in museums though as I ate delicious food, visited some of the famous landmarks of our Nations Capital, and did some window shopping in DuPont Circle.

Since we don't go out to eat very often, and since we have been to Washington DC several time over the past two years, we decided to try some very different kinds of foods on this trip.  We tried both Korean and Indian food...both great!  I would highly recommend either one of these places.  The Korean restaurant is called Mandu and the Indian place Rasika.
It was fun getting all dressed up to go to cocktails, dinners and banquets with Dental Research organizations, Senators and the UNC Dental group.  Overall it was good to get away and look forward to going to San Diego next year for Ryan's last Spring Break!!!

Mar 8, 2010

He's 2!!!

We have been out of town for the past week for Ryan's spring break...I'll post about that later.  I just couldn't help talking about this little one's big day first:)
On Sunday we went to Clayton for Zach's 2nd Birthday party.  The theme for the Birthday party was John Deer tractors.  There were several of his little friends at the party and it was lots of fun!!  Here is the table which included place mats for all the lil guests (which I made), cute little cow boy hats, bandannas, food, John Deer sippy cups, and party favors.
The hit of the party was the screened in porch covered with balloons...what can I say it's not hard to please 2 and 3 year olds.
From this moment on it was really hard to get pictures of any of the kids without candy in their mouths!
One of the little girls at the party, Reece, had a major crush on Ryan.  It was the absolute cutest thing to watch her follow him around ALL day!  I took two quick pics...

We also had cake and opened gifts...
I loved this picture of the strategic gift opening...haha he cracks me up!!  By the way this is actually the gift from Ryan and I that I made!!  I was super proud of myself:)  When everyone had gone home we made him try on the pj's...John Deer tractor pj's of course...
After allllooott of candy (you can actually see the sucker in his hand here) we could not get Zach to stand still for a picture and he thought that was hilarious so Ryan helped me get this pic.
Before everyone left they got their picture made with the John Deer cardboard cut out, and the little guests got a personalized party favor bucket.

What a great party!  Zach is such a lucky little boy to have so many people that love him and came to celebrate!!  Michelle, bonus mom, you are such a great mom and very creative, we had a blast!!