Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Party at Vana & Joe's

Vana and Joe hosted a potluck cookout this evening to celebrate Memorial Day. Derrick, Kayla and Mom chilling on the steps.

Everyone was happy and laughing as Joe threw some hot dogs on the Big Green Egg!

Chips and shrimp cocktail started the feasting!


Kayla made beautiful deviled eggs.

Dennis showed up with his famous chipotle dip!! Sooooooo addicting.

Gin and tonic! This was hard-fought because Mom and Dad brought gin but forgot the tonic. Then Cheryl drove to her house to pick up a bottle because she lives right down the road. When she got back, we couldn't find the limes!! So we improvised with some orange and they were actually really good.

Mom and Dad just happened to bring one bottle of Joe's favorite beers in the whole world!! Lucky Joe! I tasted it and it was really yummy.

Mom made orzo dill salad!

I made ANOTHER Eating Well recipe. Cherry, Wild Rice and Quinoa salad. I highly recommend this recipe! So nutty and chewy!

Time to eat!!

I LOVE party buns. Smaller burgers on little buns!! So cute AND it means you get to also have room for a hot dog!!!

Happy Memorial Day!

Hi, Dad!

It's FUN to hang out on the steps!

Hello, Iris!

Mmm, Cheryl brought blueberry pie.

So much amazing food! I love celebrating!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cooking Club at Nancy's - Cookout!

Nancy hosted cooking club this month. Since her pool was open and the weather was hot, we did a cookout theme! Summer made some delicious grilled marinated zucchini with ham and a delicious vinaigrette.

Emily made a chilled cucumber soup with shrimp. It was refreshing!

I made grilled rosemary salmon and tomato skewers. Another successful Eating Well recipe! Check it out: Grilled Rosemary Salmon Skewers

Kramer loves it when all the ladies come over to pet him.

Yumi made a big fresh salad full of farmer's market produce!

Nancy made a big pile of ribs! They were SO GOOD.

Mmm, what a great combination.

Valerie made these apple, gouda and oatmeal cookies. THEY WERE AMAZING!!!!!! The cheese was chewy and the apples were sweet. There were golden raisins, too!

Oh, look who it is!! Mr. Handsome! Hello, Sal! Look at his fancy PANTS!

Thanks for hosting, Nancy! MMM!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


It's been in the back of my mind for awhile that I need to find a super comfortable waterproof sandal so that I can hike a lot when Ben and I go to Hawaii this fall. I bought a pair of Keens last week and I love them. Tonight at Valerie's Memorial Day party, Nancy pranced over to me with HER new pair of the SAME KEENS!!!!!!!! Obviously they are different colors, but YAY TWINS!!! And we didn't discuss our purchases at ALL! Great minds think alike.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Baby Birds

This spring, a momma bird built a nest right under the roof off of our back deck. It has been the BEST getting to watch her feed her babies and to see them grow up!! She is there all the time, feeding them worms. I took a few photos over the past week to document the cuteness.

May 19
Look at how tiny and cute they are. They are SO little and desperate.Look at that one just sitting there with its mouth open, hoping for worms!!

May 22

There's the mom!! Taking great care of her little babies!

Look at the little guys!!! There were three babies.

May 25

They got big fast! I love how they would just sit there FOREVER with their mouths wide open after their mom would fly away. Just HOPING that she might turn around and come back with another worm any second.

Finally, here is a little movie of them, so you can see the cuteness in action. They have all left the nest now and I miss them!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Best Part About Getting Married?

Well, maybe it's not the BEST part, but cake tasting was pretty awesome. Heavenly Confections is going to make our wedding cake and tasting these cakes was AMAZING! I wish I could taste cakes every day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Conference in Atlanta

Conference this year was in Atlanta, Georgia. On Saturday, after a long day of traveling, I met Elizabeth and we got a delicious beer in the sunshine! Beer always tastes so good at conference.

That night was the Kentucky Derby, so we headed to a sports bar to watch. Look at Cheryl and Judy getting into it!

They had these drinks called "Blue Motherfuckers." We all ended up with one. They were very, very strong. I couldn't finish mine!

Jim wasted no time getting into relaxation mode.

These girls were giving out free keychains if you bought a corona, but what I really wanted was one of their hats! But they wouldn't give it to me!

Dance break!

We were so relaxed, we stayed for dinner! I got fish tacos. They were delicious.

We ended up staying there until dark!

The next morning, we opened up registration. This year's setup was great, because not only did we have a booth, but we had a little SNACK ROOM. With a stocked pop and water fridge!

And snacks!!! And coffee! And tea! All just for us!

On Monday night, we went out for dinner. Judy got a new unicorn pegasus!

We went to a restaurant called Pacific Rim. I got sea bass and it was sooooo good.

So good, in fact, that we went back the next night! This time I got grilled dumplings as an appetizer.

Caelyn got to come to conference this year!! She was there last year, but she was in Lindsay's belly.

Asher and Mark! Asher is sporting an origami hat made by the one and only Tony Tadasa.

Tony and Tom.

Mmm, Tom and I split sushi!

Tony got a giant bowl of deliciousness.

After dinner, we went in search of ice cream. We asked the iPhone where we could find it, and it led us on a wild goose chase!

Where is the ice cream?!


We finally found the ice cream place. It was closed. We looked at the hours, and it looks like it is open until... never o'clock?!?!? Tom was like, "Eauh."

Tony tried to say "Eauh," but he is just a little too nice to get it just right.

Instead of ice cream, we decided to head to the top of the Westin, for a 360 degree view of the city. Riding the elevator to the top!

It was awesome!!! We felt like we were in space stations in the FUTURE!

Look at that view!

It was fun to look down upon the rotating restaurant below us.

I'm sure the diners loved that we were peeking on them.

Tom thought maybe we would see Batman up there in that tower.

It also felt like we were on a ride, so I asked everyone to pose like it was the Tilt-a-Whirl. So realistic!

There was a karaoke bar right down the street from our hotel, and apparently it was the place to be!! It was FILLED with NBIA members!

Dance party!

Tom sang "Sweet Home Alabama."

Tom and Cheryl had an Irish Car Bomb contest.

Tom finished his like a SPLIT second before Cheryl, but look at the aftermath!! He got beer all over the table, and Cheryl didn't spill a drop! I declare Cheryl the clear winner.

Another conference under our belts! Next year we go to Boston.