...nest me...

Last night Benjamin and I signed a lease, I accepted a job, and we celebrated at a restaurant in walking distance to our new place.  I'm excited to get moved in and settled to our first place.  We're both very excited about it and I'm glad he approved as I basically picked it out without him seeing it.  He showed up, approved, and we signed on the dotted line.  I am so glad Benjamin was here for a bit, we got some wedding details done, he got to open a few presents, and now he's off to South Carolina for the weekend before heading up to Ohio for our wedding!  Saying goodbye this time wasn't at hard because I'll see him again on Wednesday.  And then...for forever.  Happy Friday!

...blender gazpacho...

I made this cool refreshing soup a bit ago, and was a fan.  I always love gazpacho in the summertime.  This one isn't as chunky as I might prefer, but quick and simple it sure is.  Enjoy.

Recipe thanks to Martha


Serves 4
  • 1 cup small pieces white bread (torn from day-old rustic bread, crust removed)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, plus 8 very thin rounds for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 peppers) jarred roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Stir together bread, garlic, vinegar, and 3/4 cup cold water in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Process cucumber, roasted peppers, and bread mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Puree half of the tomatoes in the blender, and transfer to the bowl with cucumber mixture. Puree remaining tomatoes, slowly adding oil while blender is running. Transfer to the bowl; whisk to combine. Stir in salt; season with pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 30 minutes.  

another frittata sunday

Is it bad that I have the tune of "it's another tequila sunrise" in my head?  The Eagles. Some bands just never fade.  I made one of these yet again.  Such a satisfying way to not just have eggs.  I will say though, that blueberry pancakes have become a Saturday tradition for the past 5 weeks or so.  We're finding that Martha's Blueberry Flapjacks are the winning recipe.

blue cheese cole slaw

So, this might sound a little weird, but I didn't really like this dish.  That said, my Mom and Dad loved it.  I don't really like this creamy of a cole slaw dressing though, so I'll continue on.  I like mine more crisp and with a vinegarette over creamy sauce. 

I made this as part of my Dad's birthday meal because these are two of his favorite things- blue cheese & cole slaw.  He loved it, so maybe you will too!

Recipe loosely adapted from the All Recipes Ap


  • 1 (16 ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, cheese, sugar and vinegar. Add the coleslaw mix, grapes and stir until evenly coated. Chill until serving.


These awesome silhouettes will appear in a special form on wedding day.  I absolutely love what Liz did here, and can see framing the one of Benjamin and me and then someday having silhouettes of our kiddos around them.  Too soon?!   Yes.  But c'mon.  It'd be cute.  Thanks, Liz!

...makeup trial...

There are oh so many details with wedding planning.  While in Chagrin, I got my makeup trial done by Kimberly of Kajal.  She was super sweet and did an awesome job.  Apparently this business will stay on all day, and through my tears.  Can't wait to have her help me out on the big day.  I know it'll be awesome.  This is the only picture you get to see- if you saw the finished product that might look too close to what I'll look like on wedding day and we're not going there!

...tasting wedding cake at the farmers market...

I'm not sure that this situation could have gotten anymore perfect for me.  My dear friend Anne is making our wedding cake, did a trial, and brought it to the Farmers Market Saturday where she and her family have a stand.  It was so fun to see the Endeavor Farm stand there and their delicious produce, bread, and biscotti.  I'm really excited about the cake.  I know it'll be delicious and not just "wedding cake."  It means so much to me as well that she's making it!  We tasted, dissected it, talked about other flavor combinations, and then ate some more.  Can't wait!

...game time...

I've needed to catch up on blogging of late so hope you won't mind a couple posts at once.  This past weekend Ana, my maid of honor, came in and was a great help!  I knew once she got here it was game time.  We decorated guest bags and did some other wedding planning details which of course included laying by the pool for a bit.  I can't have tan lines after all!  We did the seating chart as well and confirmed some other details. It was great to have her here, all be it that it was a very quick trip!

Now things are really speeding up for us.  The movers are at Benjamin's today and he'll start the drive east on Saturday!  I'm excited to see him briefly soon before the big day!  Once wedding details are set, I've got to start looking at packing up for a move into our new place... 

...watermelon margarita bridal shower...

We've had a lot of these of late and since they've showed up at a lovely shower hosted by Jennifer, I've had several people ask for the recipe.  I will keep it to myself no longer.  Make these up for a refreshing treat and a great marg without weird additives like "yellow #5."  These are about as natural as you can go, with little sugar and a great taste.

Recipe thanks to Cooking Light.  I sometimes add ice into the blender at the end so their especially cold.

  • 3 1/2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec
Combine the above in a blender, add ice, and enjoy!

For more on the Good Life, I can't help but post some pictures from the shower.  Jennifer is quite the hostess and added a lot of details with little signs, fun games, and really yummy lemon tarts, my favorite cheese (Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog) and really awesome scones using a recipe from a restaurant in Seattle. It was a very fun afternoon with some great ladies!  Thanks, Jennifer!

...all wedding all the time...

I have a feeling the next two weeks are going to feel like "all wedding all the time" but in a good way.  I've been getting lots of good advice of late; take mental pictures of the day, no one remembers the details (but I so want them too!) and when it's said and done, you'll be husband and wife no matter what.  so true.  and really, I feel like I'm doing a good job in the stress department.  Even the thought of rain doesn't scare me.  But Umm Lord, a blue sky would be lovely, ok?!  I'm excited to marry Benjamin, to celebrate with friends and family, to honeymoon in California, and to come home to our new place.. to be announced shortly...

Last weekend my Mom and I headed to Chagrin for our final weekend there before the wedding day!  We stopped into Lizzy and Jane, this adorable dress shop, and I got shoe clips to dress up my flats.  I like em, they have some bling, and well, they're clips.  I can use them on other shoes I want to spice up!  In the chic store, they have a leather couch and this cart coffee table.  Ladies and gentleman, this is very similar to the leather couch I'm marrying into, and the cart coffee table.  Almost exact in fact.  I like how they used it in such a girly place, and made me realize this man cave furniture will be a.o.k. in a married home...

...chesapeake bay...

The past couple of weekends we've gone up to the eastern shore. Annapolis one weekend to meet up with Todd and Kristen and for my dad to do a reunion of sorts with some of his classmates from the Naval Academy, and then the following weekend up to St. Michael's for my dad's 60th!  We took a little ferry across and enjoyed walking up and down the streets and into little shops. 


It had been so hot and humid here that being closer to the water definitely cooled things down.  We ate some seafood and enjoyed the bay.  Sailing classes just might be in the horizon someday, and something tells me I could get used to living close to these areas.  I value being able to get out of city life and see trees and WATER!  It's not the Pacific, but I'll try not to complain.  Life is good.

key lime tart

It's a shame I haven't been able to post more often, because boy have things been busy.  As of today, we have 27 days to go- yikes! I am excited for this day to come, and hope I'm able to just enjoy the weekend and soak it all in.  It really is a fun and weird time when it really is all about you and your fiance.  I'm so glad we'll get a chance to see our friends and family who are traveling far and wide for us the night before the big day, because if I just saw them at the wedding, it'd be even more overwhelming!

So, in the past 2 weeks I've made this tart 3 times.  It's really that easy, and that good.  Everything starts with a graham cracker crust, which I've made with graham crackers, teddy grahams of sort, and then one time my Mom bought the pre-made crust.  The filling is simple and easy and the last time I made it I omitted the 1/2 cup white sugar and added about 1-2 T agave. The friend who I made it for couldn't even tell the difference, so I guess it worked!

I'd recommend this tart to get through the heat of summer.  Enjoy, and once again, thanks Martha!


  • 9 to 10 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 to 6 limes), or fresh or bottled key-lime juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • Slivered lime zest, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Process graham crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs form; add butter. Process until combined. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; pat into bottom and up sides. Place pan on a baking sheet, and bake until crust is fragrant and slightly colored, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt; whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into crust (warm or cool is fine), leaving 1/8 inch at the top; return to oven. Bake until filling is set around edge but still slightly loose in center, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Cool completely at room temperature; then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. To store longer, cover and refrigerate, up to 2 days. Serve, garnished with zest, if desired.

Congrats & Amen Blueberry Compote

So... Long time no blog...but I hope I have some good reasons.  Sometimes when things are going on, you can't blog about them til they are official.  I know many of you face this same dilemma.  Wink.  In the last week Benjamin was here, had many an interview, got an excellent offer, accepted this offer, and the house hunt has begun!  We're hopeful just like the Lord provided the right job, we'll be in the right home.  Exciting times!  I am beyond thankful that things are falling into place and that come our wedding day, we'll know where we'll be living!  Hooray!! 

Because I know some of you come here for my recipes more than my life, here's a simple and oh so good sauce that I've used over pancakes, and over cheesecake.  It's oh-so-simple I think and with all the bounty of blueberries, a delicious way to taste them as they pop.

Place about 1-2 cups, your liking, blueberries in a saucepan.  Add the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1 lemon and about 1 Tablespoon of sugar.  Simmer and stir and cover, checking every couple minutes until the blueberries pop and the sauce is delicious.  You don't want them mushy, so 5-8 minutes should do.  Enjoy!