Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Here and gone

All traces of the holidays have left the building (literally and figuratively). We took down the decorations Monday night and it was back to the grind yesterday. I really can’t complain though, since our time off was well spent with friends, family and a healthy dose of date nights!

Here are some highlights:

Had my first red cup of the season.

Saw Young Adult and loved it. Charlize Theron was perfect for the role.

Discovered a new Pinot Noir that I like.

Went on a beautiful birthday celebration/double date night with Kristen and Sean at Longwood Gardens and Dilworthtown Inn.

Kristen and I at Longwood Gardens. Here is a full recap of the night.

Got 1 mani and painted my nails 2 more times.

Zoya Shay w/Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Big Money as an accent nail
Venique in B-Ceen-B-Gorgeous w/Venique in Twinkling Glitter as an accent nail

Revlon Scene Stealer

Had a fun shopping day in Delaware with my mom and got Red Robin…yum!

Went to WWE Raw with Geof (since he's taken me to see Britney and Lady Gaga). I’d be lying if I said I wasn't a little interested in the storylines. We went to Denny’s afterwards and some of the wrestlers showed up.

Geof and I at the Wells Fargo Center, me with The Miz and Zack Ryder, Geof with Nikki Bella and me with Dolph Ziggler

Watched Elf for the first time ever.

Drove around and looked at pretty Christmas lights.

Saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Besides a few differences from the book, I thought the movie was done really well.

Finally saw Love and Other Drugs (first half – good, second half – depressing).

Went down to the city to have lunch at Reading Terminal Market and then went to Macy’s to see the light show. It’s also where the movie Mannequin was filmed!

Baked lots of Christmas goodies.

Spent Christmas Eve at home with my mom and Geof.

Spent Christmas Day at my cousin Bill & Lara’s house with the entire family. I had such a blast with all of my cousins.

Me with two out of the three triplets on Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are gearing up for the new year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A lovely night at Longwood

On Saturday night, we celebrated my friend Kristen’s birthday at Longwood Gardens and finished the evening with dinner at the historic Dilworthtown Inn. The night was all about Kristen, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it brought back memories of the night Geof proposed almost 5 years ago.

Geof and I at Longwood Gardens

Beautiful Christmas Tree

Pretty display inside the conservatory

Longwood Gardens is truly a magical place during the holiday season and photos don’t come close to doing it justice. I remember driving through the area as a child and seeing all of the beautiful lights begging my dad to take me there. As an adult, I enjoy it even more and truly appreciate all the work that goes into making it so special.

Kristen and I

We walked around the outdoor gardens to take in the pretty lights and finally made it to the conservatory to see all of the exhibits. The hybrid tea roses were a real standout and I also really loved the Bonsai display. Most of the trees were over 100 years old or close to it. To end the evening, we caught the fountain show and then headed off to dinner at Dilworthtown.

We went and found the bench where Geof proposed

Tea roses

Fountain Show

Dilworthtown Inn is my favorite place to dine. The history, ambiance, service and food set it apart from any other place I’ve been. The restaurant dates back to the late 1700’s and it’s located off the beaten path. You really feel like you’re away from the rest of the world when you go there. The restaurant has a total of three floors and fifteen different rooms. Every visit is a different experience and I’ve never been in the same room twice. We enjoyed a fabulous meal and it was great to share a new memory with Kristen and Sean.

Dilworthtown Inn

Us at the Inn with Santa (we all thought Santa was playing air guitar)

Happy Birthday, Kristen! I hope you had as much fun as we did.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter Wonderland

We spent the majority of Saturday night transforming our little house into our own Winter Wonderland. Here are some of our decorations:

2011 Christmas Tree

A few of my favorite ornaments

I love how it looks not in focus with the lights twinkling

Pretty bow topper

You can see the ruffle tree I made in there


And more decorations

We're definitely in the Christmas spirit over here and I hope you are too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna Soup

I don’t know about you guys, but it has all of the sudden become freezing around these parts. What better way to warm up than with a bowl of delicious Lasagna Soup! I originally found the recipe on this blog and thought it would be perfect for a chilly night.

1/2 Lbs. Fafalle Pasta (cooked about 1/2 way)
1 Jar 26 oz. Garlic Onion Pasta Sauce
1 Lbs. Ground Beef (cooked)
2 C. Beef Broth
2 1/2 C. Water
1 Tbs. Oregano (dry)
1/2 Tbs. Salt
2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
2 Tbs. Steak Seasoning
7 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 Tbs. Parsley
1/2 Tsp. Pepper
1 Egg
1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta 1/2 way
2. Brown ground beef
3. In a soup pot, add the ground beef, beef broth, pasta, pasta sauce, water and seasonings.
4. Cook over medium high heat for about 20 minutes.
5. While the soup cooks, in another bowl mix together the ricotta, parmesan, parsley, pepper and egg.
6. After the 20 minutes of the soup cooking stir in the ricotta mixture and cook for another 10 minutes, stir to combine the cheese mixture well.
7. Serve this soup along with salad or garlic bread (optional)

This was absolutely delicious and the leftovers were just as good.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Tree Cutting 2011

We ventured out to Linvilla Orchards on Friday for the annual cutting of our Christmas Tree. This is our 4th year keeping with tradition and I’m so happy this is something Geof and I have continued to do together. Linvilla is such a warm and cozy place and we wouldn’t go anywhere else.

Pretty wreaths and centerpieces for sale at Linvilla

Getting ready to look for our tree

We got there late in the afternoon and headed out on the hayride to the tree farm just before sunset. It was absolutely beautiful as we searched high and low for the perfect tree. We found it just in the nick of time before it got too dark out.

Geof has his eye out for the perfect one

Beautiful sunset

This is the one!

Geof sawing away


When we got back to the main area, we went over to see the deer, even though it was dark. It’s the first time they all came over to us. I guess they were hungry. I used up all my quarters buying as much corn as I could to feed them. They’re so gentle and sweet.


After we went to the see the deer, we went down to the Farmers Market and got some of their delicious honey and some cookies from the bakery. We paid for the tree and headed home to decorate it!

Farmers Market

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ruffled Felt Tree {and tutorial}

There are endless amounts of beautiful craft projects on Pinterest. Picking one to make can be tough, but with Christmas right around the corner, I figured one with a holiday theme would be best.

I went with a Holiday Ruffle Tree and I'm happy with how it turned out!

My Ruffle Tree

What you’ll need:
Styrofoam tree form
Fabric scissors
Dressmaker pins
Circle template
Decoration of your choosing or glitter (optional)


I used a bottle cap as my circle template and folded the felt over so that I was able to cut lots of circles each time.

I did the circles very close together on the tree and probably cut about 350 in total, which made this very time consuming. You can do less and space them further apart.

Take each circle and fold it in half two times to make a rosette shape.

Insert one dressmaker pin as close to the bottom as possible and push it into your tree form starting at the top.

Continue these steps and work your way around until you complete the tree.

Top with glitter or decoration and you’re done!

When I finally decorate for Christmas, this will look nice tied in with all of my other decor.

P.S. The lucky winner of the Julep Nail Polish giveaway is Leslie from Life in its Ordinary Form. Congrats, girl! Email me with your information when you get a chance. Thank you to everyone that entered!