Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Say "I do" - Engagement

The year since I last posted has been was a big one. Derek and I got engaged, planned a wedding, and pulled it all off when we said "I do" on January 12, 2013. Since I'm back in blogging-action, I thought what better come back than to share the details of this very special year!

So to kick it off, we'll go back to the beginning--the engagement!


Derek and I have known for a long time that we wanted to be together forever. We'd looked at rings several times and settled on a style in the summer of 2011, so I knew it was coming soon. I just wasn't sure when!

In late October, Derek and I were out to dinner after I returned from a business trip when he said, "So, should I tell you after I talk to your dad?"

Of course I replied, "No!" I knew once he had "the talk" with my dad, the proposal would be any time, so I wanted it kept a secret. A few minutes and a few bites later he blurted out, "I just have to tell you! I talked to him!"

All I could do was laugh. Derek told me it was such a big conversation, he wanted to share it with his best friend. He just couldn't hold it in! That's how I found out the proposal was on the immediate horizon.

Over the next few weeks, I was on the alert for anything out of the ordinary that might signal the proposal was coming. I made sure to dress extra cute every day, so I would be just picture perfect when he pulled out the ring.

The Friday before Thanksgiving, Derek suggested we stay in, pick-up food, and watch a movie. After a long work week, I was game, and totally sure the proposal was coming after the holiday. We grabbed some Chipotle, I put on my sweats, and we snuggled in for the night.

I was watching TV, nibbling on chips, when Derek started acting totally strange! He wasn't forming sensical sentences and smiled like a maniac! I thought he was just being silly so I ignored him, but he kept it up. After a few minutes, I finally saw it! A beautiful, fancy ribbon tied around our dog, Arnold's, neck. I called Arnold over and pulled off the ribbon. Tied onto it was the ring! When I turned around, Derek was on his knee and asked me the big question. Obviously, I said "yes!"

For me, it was the perfect proposal. I was caught totally off guard, it was private between the two of us (something I wanted), and it involved our third musketeer--Arnold. I couldn't have asked for better. Sweatpants and all.

Just after the proposal with the ring bearer himself.

Two thumbs up! We're getting married!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leftover Lovers Pizza

When you're cooking for two, chances are you'll get to the end of the week and have a few leftover items - be it veggies, cheese, or proteins - that won't make it past the weekend. You could just throw them away, but if you're anything like me, you hate to waste! Well luckily I live with a pizza-holic who could eat the stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday of the week. So I came up with Leftover Lovers pizza - an almost weekly ritual that helps me use up whatever's in my fridge!

You can start with a store bought crust or a homemade version. My personal favorite is a recipe from Bon Appetit. It's thin, crisp, and absolutely perfect. Here's how it's done ...

In a large bowl, combine 2 tsp sugar with 3/4 cup water and 1.5 tsp active dry yeast. Stir it up, it will look like this:

Let it sit around for about 5 minutes until it looks spongy. Something like this ...

Now stir in 1.5 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 2 1/4 cups flour. Knead it up for about 5 minutes. You'll find it therapeutic ...

Now take the dough out and coat the bowl with a dab of olive oil. Add your dough ball back into the bowl, cover it with a towel, and leave it alone for about 1.5 hours. It should go from this:

To this:

Now you'll want to turn your oven to very hot (500 degrees) and put your pizza stone or pans in the oven. This is key because the hot pan will help crisp up the dough when you put it on. While the pans are warming, stretch your dough out with hand, a rolling pin, sheer will, whatever works! I like to make mine into two long flatbreads, but you can do two traditional circles or even squares. Here's mine:

Now toss that towel back on top of your dough, and let it rest for another 15 minutes while you drink a little pre-pizza beer and get your toppings out of the fridge and chopped up. After your crust rests, take the hot pans carefully out of the oven and put the crust on them. You'll hear them start to crisp up a bit on the bottoms. It's lovely!

Now you're ready to top it off. For these two pizzas I did:

Pizza #1 which was out of this world

1 cup Manchego cheese
About 1/3 link of crumbled chorizo
Around 10 large shrimp chopped up

Pizza #2 which was decent but paled in comparison to its oven-brethren

Smear of olive oil on the crust
About 6 blanched green onions
A couple of slices of shredded Prosciutto
1 cup grated Mozzarella
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Now bake these in your 500 degree oven for 10 minutes, slice 'em up and enjoy! The beauty of these pizzas is you can really top them with whatever you like. I'll keep you updated on what combinations I successfully come up with in the future!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh happy day

Last week Derek had a birthday.
I'm pretty darn happy this guy was born 26 years ago, so celebrations had to be made.

While Derek was out golfing (his favorite past time) I prepared the surprises ...

Like a yummy cake - I used this recipe.

And a delicious meal including a signature drink featuring two of Derek's favorite flavors - strawberry and basil - recipe here.

And balloons and other birthday decor that Arnold adored ...

until he popped one.

There was some music and dancing.

And of course candles to blow out.

Happy birthday love!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The cutest time crunch

Allow me to introduce you to one of the major culprits of my lack of time ...

Meet Arnold. He's our new 3-month-old Vizsla puppy and Derek and I are pretty much obsessed with his little face. As in we've already taken about 500 pictures mamarazzi obsessed ...

 Or make-up-songs about him and talk to him in silly voices obsessed ...

Even triple-spoon sleeping arrangements obsessed.

Let's call it puppy love. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Making a comeback

If you're here and you're reading this after my several-month hiatus, you are AMAZING! Although I've taken the last few months off from blogging myself, I haven't stopped reading all of your awesome blogs. It's been nice to enjoy the blogosphere without worrying about what I'm going to post, and my crazy busy life just got in the way of spending additional hours beyond my workday at my computer each night.

After reflecting on the time investment and what I enjoy most about blogging, I've decided to begin again, albeit quite casually, blogging on the fly when I have something I want to share or a memory I want to capture for my own benefit. Hopefully you enjoy reading along!

Thanks again for stopping by! One of my favorite things about blogging is reading your lovely comments checking out your own fabulous blogs.


Monday, March 28, 2011


Oh, I have had a crazy couple weeks: a visit to NYC for work and fun, sake and sushi, karokee (pictures too embarassing to share here), shopping galore, and a few new projects! I'm trying to get myself in order but thought I'd share a couple of pictures from my trip so I'm not not totally stagnant on here!

Visiting friends ...

and vintagey NYC views from my hotel ...