Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving to all! Well, my Thanksgiving has started off wonderfully... got up and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while drinking coffee and making my squash casserole and now the Westminster Dog Show is on, and I'm in love with the golden retriever! We're enjoying the holiday from sunny St. Petersburg, FL and looking forward to a house full of family in a short while.

There are many things I am thankful for this year... my wonderful husband, family, friends, being gainfully employed, health, the ability to travel and spend the Holidays with our families, living in a free country, the men and women who risk their lives and have lost their lives to protect our way of life... just to name a few. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on how truly blessed we are. I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving and are able to appreciate the good things in your lives!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday Evening Dinner Party

In celebration of my friend Kelly's 27th birthday, I threw a small dinner party (because 7 people was definitely enough to fill our little place) on Saturday evening. If you haven't paid a visit to the Good Things Catered blog, I insist you do so immediately. No, really, go now and then come back after you're done salivating. Katie is an amazing cook and posts all kinds of delicious recipes, including most of what I made for Kelly's dinner. I prepared roasted chicken with onions, garlic and herbs, garlic mashed red potatoes (my recipe), green beans with herb butter, homemade rustic white bread (from, and chocolate cake. I had a few mishaps along the way (like putting one cup of milk into the frosting instead of 1/3 cup... oops), but everything turned out really well in the end.

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, anyone?

Jenny, Jenn (and Madelyn), and the Birthday Girl!

That's a lot of candles!

And, that's a lot of smoke! Ha!

I can't believe it, but I didn't take any pictures of the food. Oh well. It was good! After dinner, Matt, Kelly and I went out with a few of her friends from work. My trainer was celebrating his birthday at a bar called The Warren, so we joined in on the festivities. Suffice it to say, we had a good time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's friggin' cold

So, forget a low of 26... how about a low of 20 with a windchill that makes it feel like 10!? Is that allowed to happen in the South (or at least this far south)? Apparently. Today's high is 44 with up to 40 mph wind gusts and the "it feels like" high is 36. Sweet Jesus, it's cold.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

But, at least it's sunny. Today isn't too bad... the high is a balmy 58 degrees! But, Saturday morning's low is 26 - brrrrrrrrr! This Florida girl has gotten much more used to the cold weather. It wasn't too much of a change, since it actually does get chilly in Jacksonville and Gainesville. However, it doesn't last as long. So, I've broken out my houndstooth coat that always gets compliments, my fake pashminas from the $10 store in the airport, and my unusally large collection of cheap gloves. Now, all I need is a car with an automatic starter and heated seats so it's not so cold when I get in and some of this...

Nutritious and Delicious Minestrone
This is a great, light and healthy soup that makes a quick and delicious weeknight (or any night) meal.

Extra virgin olive oil (1-2 tbsp)
2 small onions, diced
1-1/2 c. celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 bay leaf
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
7 c. low-sodium chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
4 oz. ditalini or other small pasta
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
salt to taste
parmesan for garnish
parsley for garnish

In a large stock pot, saute the onion, celery and carrots in olive oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add green bell pepper and continue to saute for another 4 minutes or until it all smells really good. Add the tomatoes, broth, garlic, basil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer for 5 minutes uncovered. Add the beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Remove the pan from heat, add salt to your liking, and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parmesan and parsley! Mangia!

P.S. I've already eaten some of it... several bowls since I made it, in fact, and it's still delizioso!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Darn you, Whole Foods.

Darn you and your delicious little samples that you scatter throughout the store. Especially the delicious display of corn chips and five layer dip you laid so aptly by the salad bar, which caused me to then buy fiesta dip (aka: salsa and guac combo) and blue corn chips... along with my 1.25 lb salad bar plate. Sigh. At least I resisted the five layer dip, which consisted of sour cream (yum), black bean puree (yum), guacamole (double yum), shredded cheese (yum), and tomatoes/scallions (yum). Yay for me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gator Bait

Nice catch.

Mercy, Percy.

Touchdown scored after Demps turned on his afterburners.

Touchdown Tebow.
Hilarious quote from this article... "Meanwhile, his players were trying to get a grip on just who this Buffett fellow was.
"That was my first time ever hearing of him," Spikes said innocently. "Somebody told me he sang Margarita-something.""

I sure do love Gator football, especially when it's this dang good.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby Fever

Everyone is preggers or having babies! Okay, not everyone, but I am blessed to already have the cutest little nephew, James (almost 3 years old) and two "nieces", Miriam (3.5 years old) and Sarah Ruth (1.5 year old) and a few on the way. (Side note: Miriam and Sarah Ruth are really Matt's first cousins, but since they are 26 and 28 years younger than him, we call them nieces.)

I love this picture of James from our wedding. So silly.

Sarah Ruth


I also have another "nephew", Easton (almost 2), who is my cousin Amy's precious little boy, and they just had baby boy #2 on Tuesday! Welcome Noah Scott!

The little bundle of joy.

Proud big brother, Easton.

Congratulations Amy, Todd and E-man! He's beautiful!

I am also so excited to have another niece and nephew. James will have a new baby brother in early April. Steve and Christine already have such a smart and handsome boy, I can't imagine how this one could compare, but I know he will, and I can't wait to have another little boy to dote on. My best friend, Jenn, is also preggers and is due with little Madelyn Grace in late April! She is going to be one spoiled little girl! :) I am especially excited for this one since she lives just outside of Atlanta, and I will be able to see her whenever I want (and babysit)!

Madelyn Grace - my Matt says she looks like she's doing the Gator chomp... sorry Matt M! We're brainwashing her early on! (Jenn's husband, Matt, is a big Georgia fan... unfortunate.)

All the baby talk of late has given me a bit of baby fever. We are not ready for children and don't plan to have any for a couple years or so, but it's hard not to have the fleeting moments of wanting one of those bundles of joy with the man you love! Until then, I will settle for being Aunt Kristin, the coolest aunt there is. ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Blog Background

I stumbled across Leelou Blogs and thought I'd spice things up with a pretty background. What do you think? Is it hard to read? Does it load quickly?

Leelou Blogs

Monday, November 10, 2008

Music City

Thanks to one of my bestest friends, Kelly, I was able to spend the weekend in Nashville with a few other friends and enjoy a Gator victory over Vanderbilt! It was my first game of the season, and it was so nice to cheer on the Gators in person, even if it was pretty darn cold!

Nashville is a great little city, and I hope Matt and I can make a weekend trip there sometime. Broadway was great, but my liver doesn't like me right now! Thanks to BD (aka: RMF) and his OMF friends for subsidizing our Saturday. I barely spent a dime. It was such a fun weekend, and my abs definitely got a good workout from laughing so hard! Go Gators! SEC East Champions!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I am a Republican. If you look up the Republican Party in Wikipedia, it states, "Today, the party supports a conservative platform, with further foundations in supply-side fiscal policies (check) and social conservatism (maybe half a check)." So, maybe I am only half a Republican. Or, maybe I am a Libertarian. According to Wikipedia, "The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects the group's particular brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets (check), strong civil liberties (check), minimally regulated migration across borders (no check), and non-interventionism in foreign policy that respects freedom of trade and travel to all foreign countries (no check)." I won't recite any more political party platforms for you, but suffice it to say that I don't favor the Democratic Party, Green Party or Constitution Party either. I guess I should classify myself as Independent.

It's hard to stereotype people into a group. When many people thing of Republicans, they may think of wealthy, white America and right-wing Christians. Well, I am not wealthy and I am not right-wing. I believe in the government and economic policies of the Republican Party, but I am also pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. Yes, not gay civil unions, but gay marriage. I am also Catholic, and my religion teaches against abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research. But, here's the thing... the Bible wasn't written by God, it was written by man. And, it is my firm belief that God creates all of us - gay, straight or somewhere in between - and loves all of His creatures the same. I just can't believe that He would want us to judge and not allow two people who truly love each other to enjoy the bond of Marriage under His Holy Covenant. But, that is for the Churches to decide. And, one of the beauties of America is the separation of Church and State. So, let's take the religious factor out of it. The fundamental principle of our country is that ALL men are created equal and have certain UNALIENABLE rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So, why does that exclude gay men and women from marriage? I don't know. I get the family thing, but I just happen to know so many wonderful gay Americans that would certainly outlast 50% of American marriages and be wonderful parents. Some of them already are, because they once tried to conform and live a straight lifestyle. I think if kids have two loving parents, that's better than one or none, despite the sex. But, I agree that they need to have someone who is very involved in their lives of the opposite sex of their parents, as well. Anyway, all of these thoughts came about today due to Californians passing Proposition 8 banning gay marriage. That's fine if the Church does not want to marry gay people due to doctrine, and I hope that changes for all the religious gays who want to be married with God as the center of their marriage, but I don't think the government should deny its citizens that right. I understand the argument that marriage isn't a governmental institution and it was created by God, BUT may I remind you, a heck of a lot of people get married by the government and not the Church.

To quickly address the abortion issue, I am personally pro-life. I could never have an abortion, and I do believe that it is a form of murder, but as long as we have the death penalty, we should not make abortion illegal. I don't think it's my right to tell another woman she shouldn't have an abortion. You never know what it's like to walk in the shoes of someone else. Not to mention, women will still have abortions and have been for years before Roe vs Wade. It will become a black market health procedure and probably a lot less safe for the woman.

So, that's my political rant for today. I guess I'll just keep considering myself a moderate conservative until I invent my own political party that encompasses all of my crazy views on life. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The people have spoken...

and Barack Obama is our president-elect. As I have made abundantly clear, he was not my choice for the top office of our nation and the most powerful job in the world. However, I certainly don't think this is the end of our great country. The beauty of democracy is that we have the ability to elect our leaders, and if we don't like them, there will be elections in another two years for Congress and four years for President. I sincerely hope Mr. Obama surprises me and earns my vote in 2012, because that would be saying A LOT. I hope he does change our country for the better, I just don't feel comfortable that I understand what that change will be and how it will be better, but I will be optimistic. I will pray for him and his family, as well as vice president-elect Biden and his family, and all of the lawmakers as I would for any of our leaders... I pray that they have the faith, courage, and intelligence to do what is in the best interest of our country. I am certainly more worried about a Democratic majority in Congress than a Democratic President. I believe they hold the real power that affects the American people, our rights, and our money. I heard a pundit comment the other day that most presidents are probably shocked at the limited power they really have when they get into office, and I agree with that.

On a lighter note, Matt and I were watching election coverage last night, and we both about spit out our drinks when we saw this... they were breaking down what Indiana voters felt about Obama (too liberal, just right, too conservative), and 4% thought he was too conservative. We about crapped ourselves and laughed at what whack jobs they must be to think that! Crazy Hoosiers (love ya, Rhi! lol) I hope they think he's too conservative, because he isn't pro-gay marriage and not because they don't think his economic and government policies are liberal enough! Yikes!

Now that this election is finally over (thank God), can't we all just get along!? Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, Black, White, Purple, Green... we are all Americans and we all must unite and do our part to keep our country the wonderful, free, capitalistic society our founding fathers laid out for us in 1776. It's the American dream...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you go vote?

I did. It wasn't too bad. I got in line at 7:00 am and proudly hit the "Cast Ballot" button at 8:00 am. Matt didn't have the same luck. It took him 2 hours! I hope your polling location is/was as organized as mine. The poll workers at Mary Lin Elementary in Candler Park rock! They had their stuff together and got that line moving as quickly as possible. Kudos!

Now, get out there and make your voice heard. Regardless of who you're voting for, just go vote. It's your right and your civic duty. God bless America!

And, just in case you need a little urging, the following places are giving away freebies for your "I Voted" sticker:
-Starbuck's - tall coffee
-Krispy Kreme - patriotic doughnut
-Chick-fil-a - chicken sandwich (but you have to actually give them your sticker, so go there last... haha)
-Ben & Jerry's - scoops from 5-8pm
And, if you live in DC, Vegas, LA or Orange County (CA), you can get half off your $500 haircut and other services from Cristophe Schatteman or one of his talented stylists!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Deep in Enemy Territory

It's not so bad living in enemy territory (that's Bulldog country) when you cream the enemy 49-10. I loved coming to work this morning. I only rubbed it in subtly, as the game hurt those Georgia fans bad enough, but of course I had to ruffle a few feathers.

A lot of people are predicting Florida to play in the National Championship against Penn State. I certainly won't be holding my breath, but you can bet I'll be cheering them on the whole way there! Especially this weekend in Vandy and next weekend in Gainesville (which could be two tough games and we still have to beat Florida State). Assuming all of that happens, if anyone has the skinny on SEC tickets, holler at me!

P.S. I had a VERY productive (and sober) weekend. Thank you notes are done, and now I just need stamps! Hallelujah!