Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet Mandy

Today my dog Mandy passed away. To write that sentence feels like a nightmare, but I know that it’s reality. She was 9 years young and taken away far too soon. I’m sure God has big plans for her and that’s why she left. It feels like a family member is gone and my house seems empty.

I’ll never forget the day we adopted Mandy for her previous owner. Her last words to Mandy were, “Have a good 2nd half of your life”. I know we’ve given her the best life possible and that Chase was her best buddy. She’s been around since he was only 4 months old and that’s all he’s ever known. We often called her “Princess Mandy”, because we’d never seen a dog that loved being pampered or dressed up as much as her. She loved attention and would go to anyone willing to give it to her. She was a special dog with a loving heart. I’ll never forget our sweet girl.

I’ll leave with my favorite dog quote that says it all..

"A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his."
― John Grogan

Monday, January 23, 2012

Man Candy Monday – Justin Chatwin

It’s been awhile, but I’m linking up with one of my best blogging buddies, Leeann for another edition of Man Candy Monday. There is no better way to start the week than staring at some Hollywood Hotties!

Shameless on Showtime is back in full swing which means I get to see my latest celebrity crush Justin Chatwin, who plays Steve/Jimmy on the show. I don’t know if it’s the scruff or the blue eyes, but he is just so handsome. Let me know if you agree…

Justin Chatwin

October 31, 1982

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

Relationship Status
Unknown – has been linked to Camilla Belle

Interesting Facts
-Studied commerce at the University of British Columbia
-Enjoys camping
-Favorite band of is U2
-After the USA miniseries Traffic, Newsweek magazine labeled Chatwin an "Actor to Watch."

Notable Roles
War of the Worlds
Taking Lives

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Nail Files – Week 3

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but glad to be playing along! Nail polish is one of my favorite things and it’s always fun to share what shades I’m loving and to also see what everyone else is wearing.

Tara and Vicki are hosting this. Please visit their blogs and join in on the fun!

We’re expecting snow and it’s been freezing, so I decided to brighten my mood with a light polish. This shade is called Crinoline and comes from the Tracy Reese Fall 2011 Collection for the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line.


It’s a creamy, opaque whitish pink that covers well with two coats. The first one is a bit streaky, but everything smoothes out with the 2nd. I have to say that I really love this color. It reminds me of a bit of Mod About You from OPI, but it’s lighter. Colors like this always look classy and fit just about any occasion.

As a base, I used Sally Hansen Advanced Hard As Nails and for a top coat, I used INM – Out The Door Super Fast Drying Top Coat. This is my first time using the INM and I have to say that I’m impressed. My nails didn’t dry quite as fast as they do with Seche Vite, but INM doesn’t have the horrible smell and dangerous chemicals that Seche Vite has. They’re just as shiny as when I use Seche Vite and the extra minute or two of drying time was not a problem.

Base, Polish and Top Coat

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Crescent Chicken

Any recipe involving crescent rolls is usually a winner and this one was no exception. I found it while browsing Pinterest (where else?) and made it last night for dinner with scalloped potatoes and corn. It was hearty, filling and the perfect meal to warm up with on a cold winter’s night.

Crescent Chicken

1 (8 or 6 jumbo count) package refrigerator crescent rolls
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk (using soup can)

1. Boil chicken and cut/shred into pieces
2. Cook soup with 1 can on milk on stove top
3. Preheat oven to 350
4. Lay out each crescent roll and place 3-4 bite sized pieces of chicken and about 1Tbsp of cheese in the center of each triangle.
5. Roll each one up and gently seal off all edges
6. Place rolls in a 9×13 baking dish and pour soup mixture over top (salt and pepper, if desired).
7. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Golden Globes 2012 - Red Carpet

This year the red carpet was impressive with the colors of the night being blush and navy. Most of the stars wore gowns that suited them perfectly and this is one of the first times I’ve had trouble narrowing down my favorites.

Here are the best and worst of the night (according to me):

Best Dressed:

Charlize Theron in Dior Couture

This was by far my favorite gown of the night. From the blush color that suits her skin tone perfectly to the fit and style. She was stunning!

Reese Witherspoon in Zac Posen

It's no secret that Reese is one of my favorite celebs. Her style is always on point and she looks beautiful as the lady in red.

Kate Beckinsale in Roberto Cavalli

Kate is always so classy and absolutely gorgeous. My favorite part of this gown is the beautiful chiffon pleat detail at the bottom. Her jewelry and hair also fit the look perfectly.

Zooey Deschanel in Prada

I wouldn’t have liked this dress on anyone else but Zooey. The black and green combo had an almost mod feel to it, which goes so well with Zooey’s overall style. I also had to include a shot of her fantastic Tuxedo nails that she posted on Instagram.

Nicole Richie in Julien Macdonald

Nicole has come a long way with her style and the dress she wore to the awards proves that. The dress shows off her arms and back beautifully and the beading really makes it a standout.

Heidi Klum in Calvin Klein

I couldn’t post this without mentioning Heidi Klum’s turquoise necklace. That’s what I call a statement piece. It made her entire look!

Worst Dressed:

Lea Michele in Marchesa

This looks a figure skating costume gone bad.

Amanda Peet in Marc Jacobs

This dress might make for some cute shabby chic curtains

Piper Perabo in Theyskens’ Theory

This is all wrong from the color to the fact that it's see through

To end on a positive note, I had to include these cuties on the carpet!

Ryan Kwanten

Uggie the dog from "The Artist"

Who were your fashion hits and misses? Please share.

Image source links: Yahoo, MTV

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nashville – Day 3

This was our last full day in Nashville and we wanted to do as much as possible. Unfortunately, I was getting over a cold most of the time we were there, so I really didn’t get myself together until late in the afternoon. We headed out at 3:00 and drove around downtown for a bit. We decided to go to the famous Loveless Cafe for dinner and it was worth the trip.

Me outside the Loveless

Loveless is located on the outskirts of Nashville and has been around over 60 years. The food and service was everything you would expect from a small Southern cafe and more. The biscuits are something they’re known for and it was obvious at first bite. I don’t know what they put in them, but they’re delicious and the homemade preserves they serve alongside the biscuits make them that much better. For dinner, I got meatloaf, cheesy grits, fried green tomatoes and macaroni and cheese. It doesn’t get better than that! We completed our visit with a trip to the Ham & Jams Country Store and got some goodies to bring back home. I’ll be dreaming of that place until I’m lucky enough to visit Nashville again. If you go to Nashville, you must visit the Loveless.

Delicious biscuits


Loveless Cafe

To end the night, we went back downtown to take one last stroll around the city. We walked down to the Ryman Auditorium. The building dates back to the late 1800’s and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001. The venue has hosted everyone from famous singers and performers to actors and political figures.

Me outside the Ryman

Broadway was where we started our trip and it was the perfect way to end it. We walked up and down a few blocks before finally heading back to our hotel. We capped off the night with a soak in the hot tub and a dip in the pool. It felt good to be swimming in January.

Nashville Symphony

Geof outside the Bridgestone Area

Me on Broadway

Getting our fortune told by Willie Nelson

The next morning, we packed up and went to Gigi’s for a cupcake. Geof and I have a tradition whenever we travel to always try to find a cute little cupcake shop. He’s so good about it. I got the Birthday Cake cupcake and he had Banana Cream. They were yummy! After our sweet treats, it was time to go so we said goodbye to Nashville until next time.

Cute cupcakes!

Ultimately, Nashville is a beautiful city with plenty to see, even if you don’t love country music. The people are friendly, it’s easy to navigate and the Southern cooking is so good.

Thanks, as always for hanging in there with me during my trip recaps. Some probably find them incredibly boring while others really enjoy them. I honestly love to document each time we travel. These posts are some of my favorite ones to look back on over time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nashville – Day 2

We got up, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed over to the Opryland Hotel. I heard some positive things about the property and gardens, so we decided to check it out. It was overwhelmingly big and it turns out that it’s the largest non-gambling hotel in the world. We decided to take a Riverboat Tour of the indoor gardens that gave us a great view of all the different plants, flowers and waterfalls. Our guide was great and informed us that when the Delta River was built, the hotel requested water samples from all over the world and from every river in the United States. A “mixing of the waters” ceremony was held when the river opened in 1996.

Waterfall in The Cascades Atrium

One acre skylight in the Conservatory

View from the Riverboat in Delta Island

Christmas may be over, but this is too pretty not to share

From the Opryland Hotel, we headed over to the Grand Ole Opry House to see a little piece of history. I’ve never been a big fan of country music, but the Opry was a must-visit. To see the spot where so many country superstars have performed is impressive. I also can’t believe the venue was partially underwater less than two years ago. You would never know it by the looks of things now.

Us outside the Grand Ole Opry House

I don't think you're supposed to stand up there...whoops!

We headed back downtown for dinner and settled on Sole Mio for some Italian. After dinner, we got ready for the night and went to 12th & Porter to meet-up with Chad & Amy for the SafetySuit CD Release Party. I couldn’t have been more excited to see SafetySuit there since it’s the venue where they were originally signed.

12th & Porter

Us with Chad & Amy ready for the show

The opening acts consisted of Chasing Change and Throwing Gravity. The bands did a great job warming us up for the main event. SafetySuit took the stage and about two songs into their set, it was obvious that something was wrong. Doug (lead singer) wasn’t playing his guitar and just didn’t look well.

Ultimately, he had been battling a stomach virus all day and it took everything in him to come out and perform the 5 songs he was able to make it through. He even tried to give it another go while he used the mic stand to hold him up. He apologized profusely and acknowledged that so many people had come from all over for this event and it’s not his style to cancel a show. You could see the emotion all over his face as he appeared to be even more disappointed than the fans. Personally I can’t imagine making it to the mailbox with a stomach virus, so to see him push through tells me everything I need to know about what kind of band SafetySuit is (not that I didn’t already know).


The drummer, Tate came on the mic and said they were going to try something different. The rest of the show turned into a sing-along with members from the opening bands coming out to lead the crowd. This speaks volumes about the kind of fans SafetySuit has. While most people would have left after hearing Doug was done for the night, everyone did the exact opposite and showed their allegiance by singing and celebrating what the night was all about: SafetySuit and their new album, These Times. It was bittersweet and I’m glad I was there to be a part of it.

Us with Tate, J and Dave from SafetySuit