Friday, March 29, 2013

happy easter weekend to you & yours!

{design idea: dear lillie}

happy easter weekend to you & yours!  i hope you get to spend time with loved ones, eat your family's traditional easter dishes, & wear white & pastel until your heart is content.  all the while celebrating that Christ is risen, i hope you take time to remember this good friday & what had to happen before sunday morning.

by this time it was noon, & darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock.  the light from the sun was gone.  & suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the temple was torn down the middle.  then Jesus shouted, "Father, i entrust my spirit into your hands!"  & with those words he breathed his last.
- luke 23: 44-46

love love,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

thankful thursday - pink isn't just a color.

my wonderful & amazing sister sent me the best "happy spring!" gift this week!  it's a barbie hot pink coffee mug with vintage barbies & a quote stating "pink isn't just a color.  it's an attitude."

& it's fabulous!  absolutely made my day & gave me a huge smile all day long.  & probably every time i drink out of it from now on.

the package was addressed to "aunt kenlie", so i guess it was technically from #littlemalcolmv.

 {the cutest little man in the whole world!}

julie also sent me a taste of the chocolate nugget she made.  it didn't turn out exactly as she wanted it to.  but, oh my gosh, it's delicious.  it's amazingly sweet & i could still eat the entire container in one sitting.

my sister is the best.

i hope you can think of something today for which you are thankful.

love love,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

brat night with onions & peppers & brussels sprouts too.

blakey loves bratwurst.  so when we discovered our favorite local grocery store, v. richards, makes their own brats in house, we had to try them!  this was one of the simplest yet quite delicious meals we've had in awhile.  if you want to make your man super happy with little effort, give it a try.

beer brats with onions & peppers

2 T evoo
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
3-4 bratwurst
1 beer of your choosing

1. heat oil in large buffet over medium high heat.  when hot, add the onion & pepper slices.  sprinkle salt & pepper on top.  stir until coated.

2. toss in the brats & beer.  lower heat to medium low.  cover.  cook for about 15 minutes, stirring onions & peppers occasionally & flipping the brats to cook all over, or until brats are fully cooked to an internal temperature of 155.

3.  when the onions, peppers, & brats are done, remove them from the buffet, leaving the liquid in the pan.   increase heat to medium & continue cooking, stirring often, until liquid has reduce to "nappe".  that just means a texture that coats the back of a spoon.  it's the good consistency you pretty much always want for your sauces.  this sauce is pretty much amazing.

4. serve the brats on top of your onion & pepper mixture with some of your sauce on the side for dipping.  yum!

i needed something green to go with my man food, so we also made some delicious brussels sprouts.  if you are saying to yourself, "oooh gross - brussels sprouts!" i really really really encourage you try these.  they are delicious!  seriously.  trust me.

oven roasted brussels sprouts
found on: pinterest.  some where.
i cannot find the recipe anywhere now!
so, my sincere apologies to whoever originally posted this.
your brussels sprouts rock.

12-16 good sized brussels sprouts
2 T evoo
1 T balsamic vinegar

1. trim the bottoms off each brussels sprout & cut in half.  throw them all in a bowl, including the leaves that fall off.  {these leaves are going to turn into amazingly crispy bites of goodness!}  top with oil, vinegar, salt, & pepper.  toss to make sure all of the sprouts are coated.

2. on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spread out all of the sprouts in an even layer, cut-side down.  

3. bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, stirring once, until the sprouts are crispy & the leaves are dark brown goodness.  enjoy your delicious little green bites!

love love,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

a cinnamon roll cookie.

for a yummy little monday pick me up, i made {these!} cinnamon roll cookies {that i obviously found on pinterest}.  confession: the first batch was ugly as sin.  like really ugly.

{1st: super ugly.  2nd: not so ugly!}

you know when you make actual cinnamon rolls, the instructions always say to pinch the end to the roll?  yeah, apparently that step is important.  

yes, they are cookies, not yeast dough.  but they have every bit of the delicious buttery, cinnamony goodness of the rolls!  yummm.

& when you drizzle cream cheese icing on top, even the ugliest things can become a little beautiful.

{ahhh, shucks.  y'all are too kind.}

love love,

Monday, March 25, 2013

hop city!

we discovered the neatest beer & wine store this weekend!  hop city is in southside birmingham, just a few blocks from our house.  it specializes in craft beer, growlers of draft beer, & wine.  & it's pretty much the greatest one we've ever seen.

"growlertown" is draft beer central.  they have 60 different beers on tap, including an incredible amount of which we had never heard.  that's impressive.  they have a great local selection from around alabama, as well as many other delicious & interesting {good interesting} choices.

for $1-$2, you can taste any of the beers you'd like.  on our first trip {yes, we went twice this weekend}, we sampled the harpoon 100 barrel series directors cut, old black bear amber lager out of hunstville, alabama, & stillwater existent dark saison.  all were quite good.

once you find something you love, you can buy a growler of the delicious brew to take home!  how cute are these growlers with vulcan drinking a beer?!  on friday night, we took home the harpoon & for saturday evening, we had avery brewing company's salvation belgian golden ale.  so good.

in addition to the awesome draft beers, hop city has an incredible selection of canned & bottled beers.  seriously, an impressive amount of beer.  we are pretty darn excited to further our palate! 

{i really really want to try one of these harvest ales.
$11 or $12 for 9 oz?
that must be some good beer.}


the wine selection was quite good too.  we found the bottle of sparkling red wine we loved at my birthday dinner at the spence in atlanta!  score!

 {a guide to actually tell you about the wine in stead of just judging by the label}

 {our first hop city trip was a success!}

 {boomer sooner!}

love love,

Friday, March 22, 2013

happy spring, y'all!

{lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream & candied lemon slices!}

happy spring time, friends!  & with the beginning of spring, i wish for you warm weather, sunshine, pretty flowers, & delicious spring desserts.

 {hawaiian black salted caramel donuts}

a big congratulations to my sister for winning the vernal equinox contest for the first time in so long!  have i mentioned to you the dorkiest game ever that my dad, my sister, & i play?  each equinox & solstice, the first one to mention the so called holiday to the other two wins!  we've played for as long as i can remember.  it's awesomely nerdy.

{iced lavender & lemon shortbread cookies!}

happy friday!

love love,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

thankful thursday - he built a table for me.

blakey built a table for me!  & it's fabulous.  he knows i love farmhouse tables, so he found a diy farmhouse table on pinterest to model ours after.  dark wood table top with wide planks... stark white legs & chairs... it's beautiful!

our dining room table had seen better days.  it was almost a decade old.  the top was unattached to the legs in a corner or two.  the finish had started to come off in many places.  & there were about 400 pinholes from a certain wedding pinwheel project that will remain nameless...

my favorite duty of the project was picking out new drawer knobs!  i love looking through beautiful drawer knobs but have never had a reason to buy them.  until now!  so julie & i had a fun knob shopping spree at anthropologie.  check out these beauties we picked out:

clear knobs with little bubbles blown in the glass.  so interesting!  so awesome.

on to the table building!  the legs & chairs were holding their own, so we painted them a bright white.  blakey took the chair seats off, sanded them down, & stained them the beautiful dark brown.

we threw out the old, sad table top & bought five 2" by 8" boards for our new top.  the nice fellas at home depot cut them down to the length we needed.  blakey sanded those down too & we got to staining.

 {tanky was a huge help.  green man too.}

once everything was sanded, stained, & dry, blakey put the table back together!  nailed the wood to the support from the bottom... re-built the drawers... screwed the chair seats to the chairs... & a gorgeous table was shining in our dining room when i got home from work!

thank you, byrds!!!  you're the best in all the world.

i hope you can think of something today for which you are thankful.

love love,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


our trip to houston was all for a beautiful wedding celebration of a great porter family friend & his bride.  chris & diana were married on a gorgeous spring evening on the patio of a fun downtown restaurant with park trees, tall buildings, & a lovely sunset backdrop.

it was a delightful ceremony with a wedding reading i had not previously heard called "blessing of the hands".  i hope you read the entire poem {here}, as it really is beautiful.  my favorite line is the ending:

& lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled & aged
will still be reaching for yours,
still giving you the unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

after the ceremony, a fantastic party commenced!  champagne, four layers of wedding cake flavors, & dancing all night long.  we had a marvelous time!

{joel bear!}

{the ladies... yeah!}

{always great man time}

& dance we did...

so many blessing on your marriage, chris & diana!  & thank you for a fantastic party!

love love,