Friday, December 31, 2010

E: Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed QUICK Bread

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! Any fun plans for tonight? Mandi & Bryan are coming over for some good eats and to hang. I am very excited!!

I am meeting up with my group fitness manager (GFM) and another group fitness instructor friend this morning for breakfast (to my favorite spot, of course). Since it was recently my head GFM’s birthday, I picked her up a very cool new southern- themed cutting board and made her up a baked good treat. I decided since I am sweet-ed out, that she probably is as well. So, I decided to make her a sunflower and pumpkin seed quick bread based on this recipe.

As Amanda describes in the recipe, the dough does look like oatmeal that needs a little milk added:


and the final product:


The bread looks and smells fabulous! The only change I made to the original recipe was to use sunflower and pumpkin seeds (vs. just sunflower seeds).

Couple other fun items of note: 1. Checkout this adorable set of measuring spoons Josh’s Dad picked up for me in Disney:


2. A big thank you to two friends who sent me fabulous packages recently!! First, my friend Kelley who sent me an adorable spatula, measuring spoons, a fun book & a soup mug:


And the thoughtful Janetha, who sent me this amazing looking lemon emulsion! I LOVE lemon flavored baked goods and can’t wait to use this. Thank you thank you!


3. And, just in case you haven’t had enough, here is a Smile Box I made on our Disney trip. It contains three short videos that I took on my new Flip Cam (LOVE!). FYI: George is Josh’s amazing Grandfather who recently passed away- you will see his name mentioned in the video.

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See you in 2011 ;)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

E: Orlando!!

Hello! I feel SO out of the loop but totally relaxed! How have you been? Tell me what you’ve been up to!! I will be trying to catch up on your fabulous blogs over the next couple days. Josh and I went away with his family to Orlando to celebrate Christmas. We had an INCREDIBLE time. Here is just a taste of what we did:

Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure (the new Harry Potter portion is AMAZING):


Josh’s brother Jeremy with two little cookies:


I also got to meet Meghann!!  I have been reading Meghann’s blogs forever and was very excited to meet her. She met us out at Rainforest Cafe and went to Islands of Adventure too. She is SUPER down to earth and so sweet. She told us lots of great Orlando secrets.


We stayed the first night at the Lowe’s Portofino Hotel:


Next up was three nights at the Beach Club near the Disney resorts:



The chocolate and gingerbread carousel inside the hotel:



We got VERY lucky and got upgraded to the presidential suite. It was ridiculous:

IMG_1081 Our time there included a dinner at one of our favorite spots, Cape May cafe. Josh was being funny:


Josh’s sister (Jenny), Mom & brother (Jeremy):


Josh’s Dad enjoying a crab leg:


We hit up three parks, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios:


We went to Animal Kingdom at 6:30 AM and it was FREEZINGGGG. Josh & I in front of the tree of life:


The ginormous Gingerbread House at the Floridian:



Based on Meghann’s recommendation, I purchased a shingle…delicious :)


All of us in front of the tree at the Floridian:


And on the monorail on the way to Magic Kingdom:




Josh’s parents on the people mover:


Me & Josh with Pirate Goofy:


And an AMAZING picture of the castle at night:


Our last couple days were spent relaxing at a Ritz (I had never been). We had so much fun :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

M: Christmas in D.C. Part 2

A few more pics from Christmas vacation that I thought would be fun to share =)

Bryan and one of his best friends, Chuck, whose parents throw an annual Christmas Eve party. They are Greek – yep, you know what that means…Ouzo shots all night long. Their parties have been known to get very interesting =) So much fun!




Our table the next morning for Christmas


My mama-in-law in action


Our Christmas desert – apple cranberry tart with maple candied walnuts – YUM


The table at Christmas dinner (cornish hens, homemade cornbread stuffing, parmesan zucchini and squash, sweet potato casserole, and congealed cherry/walnut salad)


The day after Christmas was winery hopping and some shopping (if you haven’t been to any northern VA wineries, definitely do it, they are fantastic and have definitely become some of my favorite wines) One of my all-time favorite wineries, Chrysalis


Their viognier? Amazing!



The Piedmont Winery


Dinner out at Ozzie’s in Fairfax


And finally a wonderful visit from cousin Laura, her hubby Greg and their adorable twins Sulley and Colton – so glad we got to see more family before we left =)

Miss Laura and I:


Sulley and her princess shoes:


Colton and his truck:


Hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday! Now it’s time to get back to normal back at home and start cooking for myself again instead of being fed by my MIL! (tear) Oh yea, and it’s time for New Year’s, can you believe it?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

M: Christmas in D.C. Part 1

Hi everyone! Merry Christmas! So, I just wanted to share some pics of our holiday vacation in D.C. Bryan's parents are from that area so that's where this year's Christmas was spent. It being Christmas and all I don't have much time to share too much, but here are some fun pics =)

The greatest thing about sharing Christmas in your hometown is you get to see your best friends and spend time with family that you love and....yep....get home cooked meals from Mom that you've loved for years =) Even though this isn't where I grew up, Bryan's family and friends have become my extended family as well, so it's just as much fun for me as it is Bryan to come to D.C.

Bryan and his best friend Chris:

My MIL's incredible peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies:

My MIL's porcupine meatballs:

The Christmas tree:

If you've never been to downtown Alexandria at Christmas time, seriously is incredible. This is my favorite Christmas shop in Alexandria, the Christmas Attic:

The beautiful city streets:

Dinner at Chef Geoff's in D.C. (fantastic):

A capitol building in D.C.:

The White House:

The National Christmas Tree:

Bryan and I:

The Washington Monument:

Bryan and I:

Hope everyone is having as great a Christmas as I am! More fun holiday pics to come =)