Monday, January 31, 2011

Cali's 1st Birthday

I planned quite a fun day for Cali's 1st Birthday.
The weather was so warm, so we went for a really long walk at Latta Plantation.
The hike wraps it's way around the Catawba River, about 5-10 miles south of Lake Norman.
Cali loved her day out in nature!
And we even found a hidden beach for her to play in the freezing water
It was so remote that we let her off the leash and she just paced back and forth along the shore line and pounced in the water when she saw something floating
Such a beautiful January day
Catawba River
Cali saw some horses for the 1st time and she really wanted to join them on their treck
We all went out to lunch and sat on the patio of JD's, which Cal loves.
We came home and gave the birthday girl a turkey hot dog for lunch.
Later that day we brought her cake out...
And sang happy birthday to her.
Yes, we are SO those people.
And yes, Cali's doggy cake has a "1" candle in it!
It was seriously hilarious watching her go to town on the frosting!
Her cake was made out of peanut butter and banana's, so clearly I had to try it.
It was pretty bland... not bad at all!
I cut her cake into pieces and gave her a little triangle to devour
Pure heaven!
Shannon and Piper stopped by with a little present for Cal and we love everything, including the...Leopard Snuggie!!! LOVE IT!
And Cali's obsessed with her new toy we got her :)
All in all, Cali had a wonderful day and seemed confused over why she was getting so many treats and extra attention.
Happy 1st Birthday Miss Cali Hanah!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cali the Cutie

Cali is such a little cutie and she gets so much attention when we're out and about.
Everyone loves our little "Yorkie", but what they don't know is that she's a mix breed.
Cali's a Yorkiechon.
Cali's dad was a Yorkie:
Cali's mom was a Bichon Frise:

Cali was 1 of 5 in her litter and she was the only one with Yorkie coloring.
Her siblings were all white like their mom.
She doesn't have a silky coat like a Yorkie, nor does she have a curly coat like a Bichon.
It's almost like Cali has real hair with many, many different colors in it.
Her body is really long. As are her legs, tail, ears and snout.
She doesn't have a Yorkie's body, but she is small... about 8 lbs.
She has the face of a Bichon and looks exactly like the one above, minus the extra poofy face.
It's amazing how everyone thinks she's a Yorkie, but if you really look at her, you can tell that there's no way she's a full-bread Yorkie.
She has the craziest of personalities and is the best cuddler.
She hops like a Bichon and is over-protective like a Yorkie.
Cali's a social butterfly, but is caucious with who she'll socialize with.
We love her mixed look and mixed personality to pieces.
Today my fur-baby girl turns 1!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Husbands are the best!

Last night I couldn't control my thoughts.
I was on the computer.
I was watching American Idol.
I was talking to Bryan.
Nothing could get my mind off of cookies and cream ice cream.
To say I had a craving would be a gross understatement.
I was obsessed.
Bryan kept telling me to just go get some.
I was comfy in his robe with my hair in a wet braid and not a stitch of make up on my pastey face.
Me going to the store was not an option.
After about 20 minutes of me blurting out "ice cream" in every tone and voice I could think of, my hubby put on his shoes and coat and walked out the door.
Of course he had to give me some grief before he left and I screamed in my dorkiest voice "I love you" as he shut the door behind him.
When he walked back through the door not even 10 minutes later I said "You're awesome!"
He said "Why?"
I said "Um, for the ice cream."
He said "I got milk."
Ooooooh..... he's a funny one... and smart.
My guy got milk AND ice cream.
Not only did I get ice cream last night, but I got to have cereal this morning!
Hooray for awesome husbands who go to the grocery store at 8:30pm during AI's Nashville episode to please their wives.
I'm convinced he just wanted me to shut up.... or maybe he thought it would get him out of scratching my back.
Because yes, as I lay on Bryan's chest to fall asleep he scratches my back.
He's scratched my back every night since we've been together.
Because he wants to.
Whatever it was, I was in HEAVEN when he brought me the tub of ice cream with a little spoon!
Oh, and Bryan definitely dove in for a few bites too.
Husbands are the best!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love, Lust and Faking It

Bryan got me this book for Christmas and I recently finished it.

What an easy, fun, provocative, enlightening and and empowering read!

It is not a book for the prude. That's for sure.

I couldn't relate to most of it and I think I lost a few brain cells in the process...

But man does it make you feel proud to be a woman.

And boy did I laugh out loud a lot at Jenny's crazy love life stories that really began in elementary school.

Honestly, I didn't even really know boys existed in elementary school and I noticed them in middle school, but was too insecure and uncomfortable in my own skin to act like I knew they existed.

I didn't have my 1st boyfriend until I was 17 years old.

With that being said I do have many stories about guys, as Bryan and I didn't meet 'til I was 26 years old, but those stories are sealed in a vault *wink*

Jenny's life has been one crazy ride and I seriously loved reading about it all, especially the excerpts with her therapists giving advice, as I did actually learn some valuable information about relationships throughout this read.

I made Bryan read the chapter titled Cheating: Thou Shalt Not Covet Another Vagina.

And then I made him read Man Junk and Lady Bits because it was hilarious stuff!

So fun!

I've since gone to the complete other end of the literary spectrum and am now reading a book I got Bryan for Christmas, Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach.

I'm already gaining all of those lost brain cells back...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Diet Coke Brownies

I've had a bag of Betty Crocker brownie mix sitting in my pantry for 6 months, and after having it stare at me every time I open my pantry door, I finally caved in and baked them.


I baked the healthier version by mixing the brownie mix with a can of Diet Coke.

You can do away with the high calorie eggs and vegetable oil that the recipe on the box requires. Extra ingredients are not necessary, as this recipe only requires brownie mix and a can of diet soda!

What you'll need:

1 can of Diet Coke + 1 bag of brownie mix = moist brownies in approx. 30 mins

That's it. It really is that simple!

They taste the exact same as the normal brownie, but the consistency is much more moist.

The normal sized brownie square has approx 200 calories and 9 grams of fat.
These Diet Coke Brownies have approx 115 calories per square and only 2 grams of fat.


You can use this Diet Coke recipe for any cake or cupcakes also, including white cake, in which you'd want to use Diet Sprite.

If Diet Coke and Diet Sprite aren't your thing, try regular Coke, Cherry Coke, Coke Zero, Root Beer, Pepsi... pretty much whatever you have in your house and at your disposal. The soda does not change, add or enhance the flavor of the brownie and/or cake.

I tend to make these brownies with Coke Zero and Funfetti cupcakes with Sprite Zero.


Make sure to tooth pick your brownies to check the center, as these brownies take longer to bake than the "regular" recipe states. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Bryan and I both sat down separately and completed the below statements -- it was a neat little project for us to find out more about ourselves and each other...


I Am... really lucky in life.

I Want... my parents to move to North Carolina yesterday.

I Have... a way about me in that I make people comfortable enough to open up and disclose all of their personal information to me even before they know a thing about me.

I Wish... that the next 10 years are as good as the last 10 have been.

I Hate... it when people belittle my job… Yes people, I have a real job and a real career path and I work really hard! Get over it that I don’t work a 9-5 52 weeks of the year.

I Fear... my parents death.

I Hear... Steel Magnolia on CMT.

I Search.... for more friendships in my new town.

I Wonder... all the time and about everything under the sun.

I Regret... that I allowed someone’s negativity to ruin several wonderful moments/days/weeks/months leading up to my wedding for me.

I little family of Bryan, myself and Cali making it on our own way out here in North Carolina.

I Ache... literally. I’m sore.

I Always...photograph everything because when all that’s said and done, memories are all we have… and with my awful memory I’m sure to forget it all.

I Usually...see the glass half full.

I Am Not... very domestic and I don’t long to be.

I Dance...all the time with Cali in the family room.

I Sing…with a horrendous voice that no one wants to hear.

I Never...say or do anything to deliberately hurt anyone’s feelings, but it happens anyhow.

I Rarely... go a day without cussing.

I Cry... when I’m happy, sad, mad, irritated, stressed, excited, touched and often at inopportune and embarrassing times.

I Am Not Always... confident enough for the world to see me without make up on in the winter months - scary.

I when Bryan tells me that he and his brother agree that one of them should have died instead of their sister because their deaths would have been easier on their mom.

I'm Confused... to why more bad things don’t happen to bad people.

I Need... a glass of wine nearly every time Bryan and I talk seriously about building our house.

I Should... continue on with the path I’m on because so far so good.

Bryan:I Am... in love with my beautiful wife.

I Want... to land an amazing new job and have a childhood friend move to NC with me.

I Have... the perfect little family with my wife and dog, Cali .

I Wish... I could win the lotto so I can do a job I love as opposed to having to do a job for money.

I Hate...the fact my family & closest friends live 2500 miles away.

I Fear… being a failure as a husband.

I Hear... the wheels turning in my head about what it is that I really want.

I Search... for the real reason why I’m here.

I Wonder... what life has in store for me and Kate.

I Regret... my college years and not going away to college and parting more.

I Love... that I have such amazing friends, family and a wife who believes in me. Not to mention a roof over my head and a life filled with excitement.

I Ache... when I don’t work out for a week.

I Always... want more and I’m not sure why because I have so much.

I Usually... can’t sit still.

I Am Not... very outgoing when it comes to meeting new people and it has been a big downfall in my life.

I Dance... never… okay at a wedding here or there, but I have to have a good drink on.

I Sing... almost never unless it’s in my head or one line of a song.

I Never... want to get old and die.

I Rarely... go a day without picking my nose.

I Cry... more times than anyone might think.

I Am Not Always... the best husband, friend, son or brother but I love all of them with all my heart and would do anything for them.

I Lose... my cool when things don’t go my way.

I'm Confused... about what direction I want my career path to take.

I Need... a million bucks to fall from the sky.

I Should... be more grateful for what I do have and stop worrying about what I don’t have.

My Perfect World… I would touch as many lives as possible. I would have enough money so that I could provided for my family and most of all do the job that I want. What do I want…??? I truly want to volunteer more I want to be a big brother, not just to one kid but to many kids, I want to help build the homes for the less fortunate, I want to help those who need a job find a job or provided them with one. I just want to do more in life than just for myself and my family. I feel I have so much to give but zero time or money to give it and that’s what I TRULY WANT!


Aw, I love my husband and his sweet, sensative ways so much. I must admit, I learned some pretty awesome things about him thru this and love him even more because of it.

{I got this idea post from Sweet American Honey}

Monday, January 24, 2011

AFC Championship Party

Steelers vs. Jets
This was a HUGE game for my family and in my household, so I decided to throw an AFC Championship Party serving finger foods with a Mexican theme.
I had all of the Steelers decor already and because my favorite color is yellow, I was good to go with candles and napkins, plates, etc.
Funny, but the black and white paisley napkins were from my lingerie party in St Thomas... I shipped them home from the island and was happy to get use out of them, Steelers style!
I made labels for each item on the table. These labels each had 2 clumps of 3 stars totalling 6, which signifies the Steelers 6 Super Bowl wins. Bryan made his famously healthier version of 7 layer dip. "7" for our 7th Super Bowl win comin' this year!
My kitchen table is small, but by removing the surrounding chairs the space opened up and I was able to fit various foods, condiments, drinks and decor on the table. I have 2 Steelers scarves, so I used one to run across the edge of the table (to keep the pitcher from dripping onto my table and to add color) and the other went on my mantel. And, of course, we had Yuengling in the cooler off to the side!
I coaxed everyone into wearing black and/or gold by telling them they had to play truth or dare if they didn't, hahaha!!! It worked! Our friends came in festive attire!
Piper the cheerleader and Cali the football player
Super Bowl XLV here we come!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steel Defense

Big game today.
AFC Chapionship title will go to either the Steelers or the Jets.
Go Stillers!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two Peas in a Pod

Cali Hanah and Piper Annabelle

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Indoor Dog Park adventure

So the indoor dog park wasn't all that I expected it to be.
Cali was social for the first 15 minutes and then she just wasn't havin' any of it.
She just wanted to hide in the corner or behind people.
She'd look up at me with these eyes that said "Mommy, please don't make me play with these animals... I just want you, Aunt Shannon and Piper."

Cal's went down the slide... it was pretty funny. We all clapped for her as if she was a child, haha!
This platform was Cali's safe spot... until the other dogs caught on! Hiding
My little anti-social chicken
Cal really only needs 1 friend, Piper Annabelle
And boy are they best friends...
The indoor dog park was totally $10 down the drain.
We won't be going back anytime soon, but we did keep Piper over night last night, so I know Cals was in all her glory playing with her besty!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is It Weird That...? Wednesday

Is It Weird That...?I wasn't counting down the days to my wedding so that I could live out the happiest day of my life. I counted down the days to my wedding so that it would be over and I could live out the happiest days of my life with my husband, knowing that they were to come...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here we go Steelers, here we go!

Steelers vs. Ravens
What can I say, I'm a Steelers fan thru and thru!
I was born in Pittsburgh...... It's in my blood.... I was raised to bleed black and gold.......... I can't help it.
Bry plays my game and roots for the Steelers, but only when the Chargers are out of the playoffs.
Oh yes, we are drinking Yuengling, brewed in Pennsylvania, out of our Steelers beer glasses.... with my Terrible Towel and Pittsburgh "Bad Call" brick *that I throw at the tv when the ref makes a bad call* while wearing an abnoxious amount of Steelers gear... I couldn't decide which pair of Steelers pajama pants to wear *because I have so many* so I went with olive green tights *don't ask* and don't be jealous of my black and gold striped socks/gloves and Steelers slippers! Even Cali's wearing her jersey...

It's a Steeler Nation!