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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WYMNKW Round 2

Well it's Wednesday again!  And you know what that means-it's time for round 2 of "What you may not know Wednesday!"  Try to contain your excitement :)  Last weeks edition focused on Christmas, and with it being the last Wednesday before Christmas it's all I really have on my mind.  So here goes....

1. One of the best gifts I've ever gotten (for Christmas) is the jewelry armoire William made me a few years ago.  I mentioned I needed something to organize all of my jewelry in and sent him a photo of something really neat I had found on etsy.  It was really the only mention I made of it.  He and his grandfather managed to craft something much more beautiful that I had expected.  It meant so much that he took the time to build something just for me.  He's the best :)

2.  My next most treasured gift is one that my sister, Rachel, made for me in 2011.  She put together a book of pictures (and captions) of my oldest nephew, Ryan.  It is something I will treasure forever.  I wouldn't mind another one of those for Adam (hint, hint)! 

3.  My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night.  I just love it and it gives me chills every time I listen to it.  With that said, I get completely pumped when any N'Sync, Stevie Wonder or Mariah Carey Christmas song comes on the radio.  I'm a big fan of Christmas music. Big.

4.  We are having a Christmas Party on Friday night and I am SO excited.  I am making probably way too much food and thinking about it WAY too much but I just look so forward to getting friends and family all together-especially around the holidays.

5.  I became a godmother this week!  I know-it's not technically Christmas related, but I felt so honored and special and I just love all of the Rogers family and I'm so humbled that they thought of me.  I am lucky to have so many friends that feel like family.  Thank you for loving me as much as I love you all!

If I don't get a chance to blog again before Christmas, I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday.  With everything going on in the world today, I hope we can all find it in our hearts to remember the reason for this special time of year and tell the ones we love the most how much they mean to us.  I am truly blessed and thankful.  

Merry Christmas!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What You May Not Know Wednesday

In an effort to get some comments going on this blog, I thought I would open up the floor for some sharing.  Now don't get too excited just yet-it's really pretty simple.   I thought that, perhaps, I would designate Wednesdays as a time to share a list of five things you may or may not know about me.  Bonus for me, I like making lists :) Sometimes there will be a theme, and sometimes not.    So here goes the first edition of "What You May Not Know Wednesday"-Christmas style.....

1.   When I was young (maybe 3rd or 4th grade) my Dad wrote initials on the bottom of all of our Christmas gifts.  Rachel and I had them all figured out pretty fast days before Christmas.  For instance, HA2= Home Alone 2.  It was kind of a bummer at the time, but now I think it is pretty darn hilarious.  Who can guess what FW was??  Gosh, we got a lot of movies that year....

2.  Speaking of Home Alone, it's my favorite Christmas movie.  I mean the one-liners in this one are just classic.  "Buzz, your girlfriend-woof!"  "Keep the change ya filthy animal!"  "You're such a disease!"  "You guys give up, or ya thirsty for more??"I mean I could go on and on...It's silly and funny, but still manages to capture the Christmas spirit.  Kevin McAllister, you're the man.  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-you are also the man. And a close second.  Thanks for figuring out the Abominable Snowman just needed a dentist, he was super scary up until then.

3.  Sausage balls remind me of Christmas.  My mom used to make them for our annual family gathering  each year, and it was the only time they really came around.  We went crazy over them (and still do).  Whenever I make them I think of her and all of our family gatherings around the holidays.

4.  We used to do caroling and "toasting of the trees" at each neighbors house in our cul-de-sac growing up.  I think it was more like a traveling cocktail party for the adults but it was fun for the kids too.  One year, one of the parents had made jello shots.  Of course, being maybe 10, I had no idea what those were and I gobbled up quite a few...and then felt pretty funny.  When I told the neighbor "mom" I liked her jello, she warned me those were for the adults and to stay away.  Oops.  Guess that was my first "buzz." 

5.  This Christmas will be the first one I have been able to spend with my hubby and I am very excited.  We are both very close with our families so we have always been separate, until now!  We are going to Tennessee this year and I am so excited to see how the Walker/Rose clans do Christmas.  From the sounds of all of our emails, I know there is going to be lots of yummy food, and lots of family fun.  And that is what the holidays should be!

What a wonderful time of year!  What are some of your favorite Christmas movies or memories?  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yummy fall recipes

Preparing a meal for others or creating a new dinner for me and the hubs is one of my favorite things to do.  I look forward to getting in the kitchen, turning on the food network and going to town. I know-NERD ALERT!  There are a few "stand-by" recipes that we repeat from time-to-time, but I often like to mix things up and make something unique.  This year, for Thanksgiving, I was assigned the sweet potatoes.  Now, they have never really been my favorite.  I think it's because the majority of the time I have them they're covered with marshmallows or brown sugar and pecans, and it's just too much for my taste.  So (while I was a little bummed with my assignment) I decided to change things up and make a savory sweet potato dish and the search began.  I found a recipe for sweet potato and andouille soup and it was a HIT! Here is the recipe and link for this recipe. 


  • 3 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (this ended up being 2 medium/large sweet potatoes)
  • 1/2 pound andouilee sausage (I removed the casings and browned/crumbled)
  • 1 cup julienned onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil and place in a small baking dish. Place the baking dish in the oven and roast the sweet potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are fully roasted and fork tender. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin from the potatoes. Reserve the sweet potato flesh until ready to use.

Heat a 1 gallon stockpot over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the andouille to the pot and saute until most of the fat has rendered and the meat is well caramelized, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the andouille and drain on a paper-lined plate. Set aside until ready to use. Add the onions and saute until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the cayenne pepper and chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the soup and stir to blend. Simmer for 10 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a bar blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, if necessary, and stir in the heavy cream. Season with the salt and if necessary more pepper. Garnish with the cooked andouille, chopped chives and serve.

Everyone loved it and I think I am now a fan of sweet potatoes!  The only changes I made to the recipe was that I added some chopped celery (just because I had some in the fridge) and a bay leaf (removed before blending). BONUS-I got to use my immersion blender that I got from my friend Seantel as a wedding gift-love it!  If you don't have one, get one.  It's a wonderful tool to have, especially if you like making soups and sauces. It was delicious and definitely one that we will repeat.  I just served it in small ramekins garnished with andouille and chives for the Thanksgiving meal, but a whole bowl would be filling enough for a meal for sure. 

Another new creation that you might enjoy for the fall is pork and green chile stew.  It is a hearty meal that will warm you up on a cold night-and it is SUPER easy.  The crockpot definitely starts making a lot of appearances when the temperature starts to drop so I was excited to try this one out.  I used this recipe but (as usual) made a few changes. We like spicy around our house so I added quite a bit of hot sauce, a can of black beans, a diced green pepper and added some emerils essence, thyme, bay leaves and oregano as well. We topped ours with some avocado, jalepenos and tortilla chips-YUM!  I'm sure if you weren't a pork eater, chicken or beef would work well here too.  Give it a try and let me know though :)  Here's the recipe and link to the website where I found it!
2 lbs* boneless pork loin roast, lean, all fat trimmed off
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cans (4.25 oz each) whole green chiles, sliced into thick rounds
  • 2 tbsp chopped jalapeƱo, or more to taste
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Ro*Tel Mild)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


Cut pork into 2-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large non-stick skillet on high heat; when hot lightly spray the pan with oil and brown the pork over medium heat on all sides, about 3 - 4 minutes total. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of flour over pork and stir to cook 30 seconds, sprinkle remaining flour over pork and cook an additional 30 seconds. (I just coated the pork with seasoned flour before browning).

Add browned pork to the crock pot, along with the remaining ingredients (I sauteed the onion and bell pepper in the pork drippings before adding to the crock pot-why not?). Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours (if using a Dutch oven, cook on low heat for 3-4 hours). When done, adjust seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

I didn't remember to take a picture of that one-but here's one of us from Thanksgiving!

I just had my last work event of the season this year, so hopefully I will have a little more time to blog!  Sorry I've been slack (Kelly :))

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is looking forward to Christmas!  I know we are!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Well I know I sound like a broken record, but really-where is the time going?  First it was "man-this summer flew by!" And now here we are with just WEEKS-yes, WEEKS left in 2012.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought I would write about some of the most special people and things in my life.  The ones that I am so very thankful for. 

My husband. Thank goodness for such a patient man.  One who makes me laugh and supports me even when I know I can get a little crazy.  William had an amazing work opportunity that had him out of town the first two weeks in November.  While we have only been married a few short months, it really made me realize how much he does for me (and Mr. Henry) with him not being around.  He rakes the yard, keeps the kitchen tidy, feeds the dog, takes him for walks, and most of all-lets me be me (and of course keeps me entertained!) :) I am so blessed to have such a loving partner in life. 

My sisters.  All of them.  There is something so wonderful about having a sister.  Someone to confide in, depend on, laugh with, be silly with, dance with, cook with, cry with, share with and someone who will forever love you unconditionally.  I am so thankful for all of the sisters in my life, I love you with all of my heart.

3.  My nephews.  I mean, just look at this picture.  My little sock monkey and olympic gold medalist swimmer are just as sweet as can be and I am so thankful they are in my life.  Now, can they just stay little forever?  They are growing up entirely too fast.
My parents.  I am lucky to have not 1, not 2 but now THREE sets of parents.  Mom and Jimmy, Dad and Lillian, and my newest set-Newton and Jayne, better known as the Walkers (or Newtie-baby and Mama-Jayne depending on who you are).  They are all wonderful people and I am so very lucky to have them all in my life.  I do have to say something in particular about my in-laws. When the talk of William leaving for a few weeks (which happened to also be the same date of a large work event for me) they stepped right in. They came and helped me with set-up, bought tickets to attend the event and made me feel so special. They are such caring and kind people who genuinely wanted to be there for me, and it meant so much. They did not have to do a thing, but instead they did far more than I could have ever expected, and for that I am so grateful.  I wish I had a picture of us all at the event but alas, I forgot to take any :(  So here we go again with wedding pictures.....

My precious friends.  Each of whom are special to me in very different, but similar ways.  Always good for a laugh, there to lend an ear and who always make me feel important to them.  I am thankful to have a great group of friends who make time for me and always make me feel good about myself.  I love you all so very much.

(Laura didn't make it into the group shot so I had to show the love!)
My job.  I know, I know....what?  It stresses me out to no end, I complain about it non-stop occasionally and it give me nightmares.  But, I am lucky to have my job, and I am fortunate that I can say that what I do helps others.  And I am very thankful for my coworkers.  It is nice to have a team you can rely on and who "get it" when you need to vent about work-related stuff. Sometimes your hubby just can't relate or will just try to "fix it" and make you mad -haha (y'all know what I'm talking about here, right?)
Sometimes we tend to overlook the things in our lives that are most important.  We get wrapped up with work, social obligations, even family commitments, and forget to just live in the moment and be thankful for what we have.  I am so guilty of this at times.  In fact, this morning I noticed that my "flip book of quotes" has been on the same quote for weeks-who knows, maybe months (years?). I walk by it everyday, more than once and haven't even noticed.  But this is what it said:
"The best and most beautiful things in this world, can not be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart."
What a true statement and an honest and simple way of looking at things.  I am looking forward to the holidays and being able to spend time with the ones I am most thankful for.  The ones that fill my heart with love and happiness.  To me, they are the most beautiful things in this world.  I am so thankful they are in my world. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What We've Been Up To......

The Walkers fall has been pretty booked up.  I think we may finally have a free weekend coming up in November, but don't hold your breath :)  The best part about staying busy though, is all of the fun things we have been doing. 

We took a trip to Asheville to see my cousin, Justin, tie the knot and do a little sight-seeing.

 A quick beer flight at Pack's Tavern.....

Our ride to the reception :)

Wedding cake and grooms cake-a NC State helmet, perfect for Justin!

Jimmy, Mom, William and I at "The Venue"-their reception site, so pretty!

AND-this past weekend, my friend Laura and I threw one of our favorite gals, Kelly, a "cowgirl" themed baby shower.  It turned out really cute and I know everyone had a great time.  Here are some pictures of all the details:

Party favors-haystacks, mints and cakepops!

Drink station

Food table

"Hannah" game-guess what's in the bag (all baby related items)

Wishes for baby Hannah. Elizabeth filled out one, my favorite response was "I hope you respect..." her answer was: "My house" haha :)

Sweets table

Chocolate and regular milk "shooters"


Large picture of the Rogers family

Mama Kelly and big sister Elizabeth

Having fun!

Baby Beluga card-too cute!

Hannah bloomers in USC colors

Balloon lined walkway

Welcome sign!

We love you so much, Kelly!  Can't wait to meet baby Hannah and add another wonderful addition to our friendship family.  Can't believe she will be here so soon!  Good thing there is still so much love to give!  Can't believe it's almost November....I better start my Christmas list!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tailgate Time!

Tailgating is so much fun.  Delicious food, getting to see all of your friends, college football, cornhole, ice cold beer.....the list could just go on and on.  We are fortunate enough that our group all gets into theme-ing out the tailgate and we like for our spot(s) to look good-I think we've grown into about 6 total. 
And when I say good, I mean people can hardly stop themselves from asking for a bite of food or dropping their jaws when they see our amazing cornhole boards.  Seriously.  In fact, a kid dragged his mom back to our tailgate a few weeks ago asking for a pig in a blanket.  And not just any pig in a blanket, a pig in a blanket made with hebrew national hot dogs.  Class, people. 
So this past weekend we decided to do a "mini" theme-bite sized versions of our comfort food favorites.  Here's us on our way in along with some of the delicious treats from the tailgate! 
Sitting in traffic!

Mini Pizzas:

Mini caramel apple shots--super cool!

Mini tomato pies:

Here's some of the group excited about those caramel apple shots :)

Mini meatballs:

Mini burgers:

We really do have a lot of fun.  So next time your tailgating-stop by spot 422,  but keep in mind, you won't wanna leave. Rumor has it that the last tailgate before the 2012 election (October 27-Tennessee game)  there will be a "Bring your Best Dish" tailgate theme complete with voting (ballot boxes) and someone will be elected Tailgate President.  It's going to be awesome.  Promise :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Grow baby grow.....

You are probably all familiar with my main man, (boy) Ryan. He is incredibly smart and cute but his sweet little brother, Adam, is growing up right before our very eyes and I wanted to make sure he got a spotlight on the blog.  Adam is a chubby-cheeked, cute-as-can-be little guy that (like his older bro) I am unfortunately not able to see as often as I would like. I got to bond quite a bit with Adam at the beach this summer. Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I might be one of his favorites :)  Aunt Bec Bec LOVES her boys SO, SO much!

That is just the best sound in the world isn't it? Doorbells are funny :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My favorite boys

So most of you know that I have two of the cutest nephews in THE WORLD.  Since my super awesome sister, Rachel, has taken quite the hiatus from the blogging world....I thought I would show you what these two adorable rascals have been up to.  I miss them SO much and wish I could experience these moments in person.  But for now, this video is as close as it gets.

Does it get any cuter?!?!  The answer is NO.  It does not.  I'm the proudest aunt in the world! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Wedding News

Y'all!  Remember how much I said I love weddings?!  Well guess what?!  One of my BFF's got engaged over the weekend!  YAY!  I am so happy for Paige and Ryan.  Paige and I met a few years ago when I started working at WLTX.  We became fast friends and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding earlier this summer.  We talk on the phone every morning and always have a blast together- and I just couldn't be happier to see her as a bride :) 
Here they are:
The Future Stonewells 
(They aren't sold on that name yet but I'm working on convincing Ryan to go with it :)

Aren't they adorable?  They went away for a long, Labor-day weekend getaway and came back an engaged couple!  As long as I was working at WLTX, Paige always had a photo of her "dream ring" which was a canary yellow diamond.  Well, she got it!

Good job, Ryan!  It suits her perfectly! 
I was able to visit with the happy couple on Sunday night and had the best time talking about all of the exciting things ahead for them! 

A few months ago, Paige and I bought a living social deal for a "wine and design" night out.  We had never done something like it, but had heard it was fun, and we were right! Paige, Kate and I went to the class together.  We were told we were very entertaining :)

Here we are getting ready to paint:

Here's some pics along the way

This is Kate's painting.  We referred to it as the burning bush :)

And here are our final products:

In other news-this weekend was the first home tailgate of the season.  Here's the only picture I took.

  We had a great time, but man was it HOT!  We're glad next week is a 7 o'clock game so that we won't have to deal with the heat AND we can focus on our theme.  We are going to try to incorporate a them into each weekend if possible. Mexican, Italian, Southern, Minis...the possibilities are endless!  We all have a great time coordinating and planning.  Can't wait to see what all this season has in store, although I am hopeful for at least cooler temperatures :)