Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bribery

A few weeks ago we found out that our friend Gina and her dad were going to open a law office together RIGHT by our office! This was of course exciting because we love them but even more exciting because the house they purchased as their office has A POOL!!!! I have been day dreaming of eating lunch by the pool and enjoying a nice fruity drink poolside after work UNTIL Gina told me that her dad hates pools and wanted to fill it in for parking. What kind of a silly idea is that???? Well I have launched a full assault and am trying my hardest to convince him to keep the pool. Today's form of bribery included a homemade pecan pie, a la Southern Living. I wish I could say it turned out yummy but I didn't dare take a bite since this pie had its own purpose.

Southern Living's Mama's Pecan Pie
1 pie crust, floured and pressed into pie pan
3 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Mix eggs and next 5 ingredients in a bowl until well blended.

Stir in pecans


 and pour into pie crust.


Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until set.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring!

We are SO happy that it is spring!!! Spring for us means long walks before dinner, opening the windows during the evenings, going to the lake, and so much more! Here is a look at all of the "spring" going on around our house!!!
I made this spring-y wreath! I got really motivated while looking on Pinterest one day and decided I could totally make this. I did, but it is definitely "Monet", meaning it looks much better from far away. After spray gluing moss to my kitchen table, I think I will just buy things from now on!!
Pre-tulips, I caught this rascal (Sullivan-the neighbors' dog) in the flower bed!!!

My tulips!!! I think they are divine. Forrest planted them last winter and we were really surprised they came up so quickly! We are going to dig up the bulbs and put them in a collar formation behind the pansies for next spring. 

Minus the trash can in the yard, I think the house is looking grand!!!
Sonny sharing a stick with his new buddy Rio!
Loving all of the dogwoods!!

Girlfriend Gala

Last night was the Girlfriend Gala!! This year Farrah and I were set to be co-decorators again. You may remember that last year, for our first ever attempt at being table decorators, we pulled off this adorable number:
Tinis and Tiaras

This year, the over all theme was Wild About Girlfriends so we of course were going with a wild animal theme. I instantly "called" elephants, red, white, and houndstooth at the initial meeting (you have to choose a theme early because no two tables are supposed to be alike) but I didn't have a title, which was fine. One day I got a text from the table decorator coordinator saying she had come up with the perfect theme for our Bama table: King of the Jungle. It was BRILLIANT!!! We could have a subtle Bama theme yet stay classy and elegant. Of course, that loss we suffered to LSU in November made the theme slightly questionable, I mean, if we didn't win the championship, we couldn't call ourselves the kings!! THANKFULLY, we pulled it out and we got to stick with our original idea (yea, I am sure while the guys were our there beating LSU to a pulp in the championship game they were thinking "we gotta win this for Catherine and Farrah--they just CAN"T change their table theme!). Once we got it all put together, I thought it was magnificent! See for yourself!!!
We didn't want it to be tacky Alabama, so we went for subtle and elegant.

We wanted it to look like the elephant was running through our beautiful jungle

At each place setting we had a silver charge, gift for each girlfriend (elephant necklace!) and wine glass decorated by Claire!




Here are some of my favorite tables:
Alie's Wild Orchid table

Kendall's Fins Up table



Kelli and Holly's table

Barbara's

Twilight table, complete with life size Edward

The night of the gala was super fun, as usual. We got to wander around chatting with EVERYONE (because seriously EVERYONE you know is at the gala) and checking out the tables, eating passed appetizers and sipping on delicious jungle juice. Then we all sat down at our table for dinner, catered by the Fish Market. Next, it was time to award door prizes and watch the African dance troupe--they were awesome! Over all it was a GREAT night out with the girls and we succeeded in raising TONS of money ($50000) for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library! I think we will be able to buy over 16,000 books! Hooray! Isn't that great, for a bunch of girls???? :)

Co-decorators!

They wore the same dress!

Some of our book club girlfriends

Cheese!
Shannon, Catherine, Kelly, Me, and Farrah

Me and Mom

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Paws for a Cause

A few weeks ago we attended the Humane Society's annual charity event, the Paw for a Cause Charity Auction. I was chosen to be on the board this year and I was SUPER excited to be apart of an event that means so much to us. If you remember, we got Ruffles at the auction 2 years ago!!! In addition, Ruffles was asked last year to be the "Featured Success Story" so she got to come to the event this year and be presented. I was THRILLED!!! I have been anticipating this for an entire year!!! The event was right before St. Patrick's Day so it was a green theme. I wanted so badly for Ruff to have a cute little outfit or tutu and maybe a princess crown (Forrest was UNIMPRESSED with this idea). However, I came to my senses because Ruff HATES things on her head and I didn't want her to be fidgeting with her outfit all night, so I opted to have her groomed, put a bow in her hair (this again was a long shot) and put a big green bow on her collar. Planet Doggiewood was AMAZING and donated her grooming. Although Ruff was a DIVA when I left her (that girl would NOT go into the cage to wait her turn--she had to run around the office like she owned the place), she looked SO beautiful!!! I know that sounds silly to say about a dog, but really, she usually looks so shaggy and ruffly, and after her groom, she looked absolutely lovely!!! (I took several of these photos off of Lisa Nail's facebook page. She was so sweet to photograph Ruffles and the entire event!)
See!!! Isn't she precious??



"Ok, enough with the pics"

Ruffles and I got to Convention Hall early and boy was she excited. Everyone was oooing and ahhing at her and she got over her jitters right away once she realized that everyone there wanted to love on her. Ruff's "job" was to solicit donations for the "Feed the Pets" game. We walked around with a lady and a hat and Ruf would "beg" (she can stand on her hind legs and dance--very cool) for money. All of the money in the hat was auctioned off at the end of the night! She was great at this job and earned lots of money!! Everyone was petting her and feeding her little treats and showering her with attention and OMG--she was eating it all up!!!
Snagging a treat!

After her "shift" we got to sit at our table to eat. The Hayes, Smiths, and Gandhis all came to support the Humane Society and Ruffles! The Hayes and Gandhis (also Merit Circle residents) each have Humane Society dogs too!!! Ruffles was very good while we ate and was rewarded by people in the food line--they were all handing her little bites as they followed the buffet! She ate everything, from feta cheese, noodles, chicken, rolls, and even roasted veggies!!! I turned around at one point to see her on her hind legs walking down the buffet line with the guests. Too funny!
Being a good girl



Once we were finished eating Ruffles and I had to go back stage to be announced. She was the success story of the emergency care fund--the one they use when dogs come to them that are in really bad shape. When they found Ruffles, she was in an abandoned house with lots of other dogs. It was full of scabes and she had mange and numerous other problems. That is how she got her original name "Ruffie" (you know I had to give her a proper name once I got her!) They called us out on stage and Ruff got a little nervous. Then when everyone started clapping and cheering for her (who clearly made a huge transformation from pound puppy to beautiful lady), I swear to you, that dog posed, just like she was in the pageant. She would stop and look at the crowd, then take a little prance, stop, look over her shoulder, and then prance some more!!! The announcer even said "Work it girl!!!" to her! It was so cute!!!
Strike a pose!!

Awful action shot of me, but here she is posing again!!

She got to prance through the crowd while they introduced the new ambassador for the shelter, Jonz. Poor thing was found chained up with his tail and ears chopped off. He made a full recovery and is now helping the shelter raise awareness in the community.
Unfortunate Jonz!! Not so unfortunate any more!

The event raised TONS of money and I was SO glad to have been a part of such a worthwhile cause that means the word to my family!!! Thank you for everyone who supported us!!!
Me and my sweet girl!

The girls, minus Mamatha!! She had to go let sweet Rio out! :)

PS-Ruff was also in the paper the next day!!!

Chicken Pot Pie

I had all of these wonderful plans made before Forrest left for Colorado there was even a list entitled "things to do while Forrest is gone".  I ended up being super busy (after the 2 days of laziness and movie watching) and not accomplishing most of them, but I was bound and determined to make the pot pie because I wanted Forrest to have a yummy home cooked meal when he got home. That meant I was cooking at 10 pm, but at least I finished!! I just love crossing things off of my list!!
I had never made pot pit before and my mom never made it either (that I recall) but I love getting it at meat and 3 lunch places so I was excited to try my hand at it. It was not very involved and didn't take too long make. I thought it was a little low on flavor but I guess that was my fault for not adding enough!! Overall I thought it was very good. I have plans to make an italian version with italian seasonings, chicken, italian style diced tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, and maybe artichoke hearts. Stay tuned!!

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie (I used chicken that I pan sauteed--very easy and tasty)
1 pie crust (1/2 of Perfect Pie Crust recipe)--I used a Pillsbury pie crust
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery (didn't have any so didn't use it)
2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded (or both!)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
splash of white wine (optional) (all I had was red, so I didn't do this but I wish I had!)
1 cup heavy cream (I used fat free condensed milk instead---way healthier)
Frozen peas (optional) (I used these and some frozen corn)
Fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.)

Add turkey and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.





Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Splash in wine (you can leave this out if you’d like.) Pour in cream. (May add frozen peas at this point if you’d like.)
Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and fresh or dried thyme to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs.






Pour mixture into a casserole dish or deep pie pan.
Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using.
Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust.

My crust fell! Boo!! But as Julia Child says "No apologies! No excuses!"





Bake for 30 minutes or until very golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for a little bit before serving. 




Spring Break

Well, it was Forrest's spring break at least. His LAST spring break ever!! To take full advantage, he went with his cousin Logan to Colorado to ski! Forrest loves to ski and is really good at it! I am not that big of a fan so I opted to stay here where it was 80 degrees and have a weekend of "me" time! I took the boys to the airport in Birmingham and was able to stop by and see my granddaddy on the way home. He is doing much better after his surgery--thank you all for your prayers and concern! It was good to see him and hang out with my grandmother and Aunt Fran as well! Next on the agenda was dinner at the Courtyard with my parents and sister. MMM had just gotten home from her own spring break at the beach AND she had done her model shoot that morning for B Metro Magazine. Thanks again for voting on her fashion week picture and helping her earn the shoot!!! We had a lovely lovely lovely family dinner. Afterwards, it was movie time for me! I had rented several DVDs and was determined to squeeze in as many chic flicks as possible while Forrest was gone! I managed to watch Jane Eyre before falling asleep on Friday night and then on Saturday I watched both the old and new Footloose movies, just for comparison! I am a tiny bit ashamed that I didn't take advantage of the beautiful weather on Saturday but a lazy day was just what I needed! I did un-lazy enough to go to Mass and get myself ready for the Highlander's Ball. Forrest and I were chosen as new members this year and so were Justin and Farrah. I couldn't let a good party go by the wayside just because he wasn't there, so I went with the Hayes and Jay and Claire. First, Farrah cooked us a delicious dinner of beef tips and some brussel sprouts, which I had never had before. Yummy!!!

Justin showing off his kilt and Jay showing off his kilt koozie. All of the male members of Highlanders wear kilts to the party.

Girls

Afterwards it was time to head to the Club for the party. I was esctatic to find out that 2nd Coming, the band from our wedding, was playing that night! Instantly I knew I had worn the wrong shoes but I was ready to dance the night away with the girls!!!
During the lead out. 

On Sunday I redeemed my lazy self by going to the lake with my dad, Sonny, and Buddy. Dad fished while I soaked up some sun, read my book, and threw the tennis ball to Sonny about 100 times. That dog LOVES the lake so much!!!
One happy dog in the water!!!

He noticed this huge branch in the water and wouldn't rest until he had it safely on shore. It was longer than him!

One happy (and dirty) boy!!

He ran up and down the dock bringing me that ball ALL afternoon!

Dad and Buddy reeling in a big one!! (Well, the largest of the day)

Then we had dinner at Mom and Dad's as usual and I stayed late talking to Mom and MMM about funny stories from years ago!!
Forrest  had a blast skiing!!! Here are some pics to prove it!!!!

Forrest at Uncle Tommy and gang at Breckenridge. Forrest is on the right in the red. Notice the black diamond sign behind them. 

View from top of A Basin. Forrest skied over 80,000 vertical feet while he was out there!

View of Lake Dillon from Keystone. Magnificent!!

 
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