May 29, 2012

Up in the Air

With this absolutely gorgeous summer weather, all I have been thinking about is being outside. I tried to soak up as much sun as possible this weekend between running, soccer games, and pool time... I can't get enough!

Recently, I started making a little summer bucket list. I am determined to pack this summer with fun adventures and cool new activities. While on the hunt for fun things to do, I recently learned that on the top of a high rise in downtown is the coolest outdoor urban park.

Within moments of discovering the Green Roof, I added it to the bucket list in no time flat. And I might have also sent BF a text saying we need a picnic/urban park date ASAP!

I just love the idea of being surrounded by lush gardens and flowers while a gorgeous downtown landscape is the backdrop of your sunset extravaganza. Take a look at some of these gorgeous rooftop terraces... I'm in love!









I just want to transport myself to those places! When I lived in San Francisco, several friends had rooftop terraces on top of their buildings. We would spend all afternoon up there drinking wine and sharing appetizers, and it was so romantic and beautiful when the sun was going down.

Those of you who know me, know that (500) Days of Summer is one of my all-time favorite movies. I blame that gorgeous balcony scene for my love of rooftop soirees. And I'll betcha I'm going to cross that one of my bucket list by the end of summer!




Have you dined up in the air?
Hosted a lovely terrace shindig?

(Do tell.)

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Stay tuned this week for my Memorial Day weekend recap, my tasty Chicken Pinenut Pesto Pasta recipe (say that 3 times fast!), and my summer bucket list!


Kissy kissy! Hope your week is off to a great start!





May 25, 2012

Confessional Friday

Hello super long weekend!
That's right, Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and I just got an e-mail dismissing us from work at 2 p.m. to enjoy our time off. I love my job! I'm kicking the weekend off right by hitting the gym to get a strong workout out of the way, and then I plan on having a relaxing night in with my hunky manfriend and pup!

This is our first official weekend with no events planned and we cannot WAIT! I'm sure there will be a mega weekend recap heading your way next Tuesday... woo hoo!

So anywho... Today I'm linking up with Leslie's Confessional Friday over at A Blonde Ambition... join the fun!




1) I may or may not have slept in until 15 minutes before I was supposed to be out the door for my work commute. It was so cozy in my big bed, Bella was curled up next to my feet, and it was thunderstorming when my alarm went off... can you blame me? Needless to say, I am really awesome at getting ready on the fly!


2) This weekend, I plan to be an utterly ridiculous and lazy. I like to think that I deserve some down time after a crazy whirlwind of constant traveling for the last month. I foresee sleeping in, staying in my PJs until noon, and watching an ungodly amount of DVR'd shows. Heaven.


3) Speaking of shows... is anyone else obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance?
Well this little gem is back on air for another amazing season of unreal dancers. These folks are so unbelievably talented, and I might possibly be prone to getting off the couch to dance along with them. I was so in love with this song and audition last night - what a sweet story...




4) I went on a baking/tasting frenzy this last week! So tasty, yet so tempting, so I have to bake for other people and get it out of my house!! Just in case you missed it or were looking for some amazing recipes, try my Chewy Monster Cookies or my Mama's Key Lime Bars recipes! Yummm!


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Welp, I hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend, and don't forget to remember all of our heroes who sacrifice for our country every day!


Have a safe weekend - see you Monday for the weekly Mingle Monday blog hop!!



 

May 23, 2012

Big Chewy Monster Cookies

Many of you following along on Twitter and Instagram asked me to share my Big Chewy Monster Cookies recipe with you, and here it is!

To give you a little background, Adam and his friends took part of the day off to help him beautifully landscape his front yard. I knew the boys would be working hard all day in the sun, so I thought they deserved a nice little afternoon treat!

I was able to whip these deliciously chewy cookies up over my lunch break yesterday - so easy! When I was trying to dream up an idea, I wanted to find something ooey gooey, peanut buttery and hearty for these hard-working men!

My mind instantly shot to the Monster Cookies we made when we were kids.
These cookies are packed full of oats, crunchy peanut butter, melty chocolate chips, and M&M candies.

I swung by for only a few minutes, but upon leaving I got texts raving about how amazing they thought these cookies were. Yay! Music to my ears! These Chewy Monster Cookies would be perfect for a bake sale, birthday treats, or if you're craving some decadent cookie dough...

Recipe adapted from Paula Dean

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter (can sub creamy PB too!)
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup m&m candies
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips  
2 tsp. baking soda
4 1/2 cups quick oatmeal (not instant)

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Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2) In mixer, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well.

3) Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter until combined.
Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, baking soda, and oatmeal.

4) Use a 1/4 cup to make large balls of cookie dough, and place on the baking sheet. I suggest leaving the dough in big round quarter cup shaped unrounded balls, so that once baked they are very chewy and melt in your mouth. Leave 2 inches between each cookie dough ball.


Bakers Note - I tried not to eat more than one scoop full of dough, but it was pretty hard to do... don't say I didn't warn you! :)



5) Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Do not over bake - cookies should barely start to look golden. Cookies may look slightly gooey, but they will set-up and continue to bake on the pan... promise! 

** Not over baking is the key to make them so deliciously chewy later! **

6) After 4-5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack.


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Bon Appetit!



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Mama's Key Lime Bars

With summer arriving, I've been craving the delicious fresh tastes that come with the season. Fresh fruit, vegetables from the farmer's market, light and refreshing summery drinks, and tangy desserts.

Needless to say, my taste buds were pretty happy last Sunday when my mom made Key Lime Bars to add to the dessert spread for my sister's graduation party.

Zesty, lime curd filling, melt-in-your-mouth crisp coconut crust, and that little drizzle of white chocolate cut the tartness of the bars perfectly! Are you drooling yet?

Everyone raved about my mom's cooking - but then again they always do - so I asked her if I could share the recipe!

Well, you all are in for a real treat! These bars would be perfect to bring to a potluck, show off at your 4th of July summer picnic, or just a nice little surprise after dinner. What I would give to be relaxing in a hammock, enjoying one of my mama's Key Lime Bars, and listening to Zac Brown Band! :)


{ Mama's Key Lime Bars }


Recipe by Bonnie Aeschliman


Ingredients:


Crust:

2 cup flour
1 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 tsp. salt


Filling:

1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup key lime juice
2 tsp. grated lime zest
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup flour
Powdered sugar for dusting
1 oz. melted white chocolate

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Directions:


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 baking dish.

2) Combine flour, butter, powdered sugar, coconut, and salt in a food processor until it forms moist clumps.
Press into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes or until edges are golden.

3) Whisk sugar, eggs, lime juice, lime zest, baking powder and flour in large bowl until blended. Pour over hot crust. Bake until topping is set and lightly golden, about 25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

4) Cool in pan on a rack slightly. Drizzle with white chocolate. Cool Completely and then cut into squares. They stay best when wrapped tightly and chilled.

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Bon Appetit!











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PS - Want to gain new followers?!

Click HERE to visit my weekly Mingle Monday blog hop! Open all week long! :)

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May 21, 2012

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

Welcome back from the weekend!
I hope your last few days have been full of adventure, surprises, relaxation, happiness and all things lovely!! I sure enjoyed the very first weekend I've been in town in 3 weeks. I was lazy, slept in, lounged around and LOVED it!

Saturday night, Adam whisked me off for a nice dinner and then to downtown to see Jersey Boys the musical. What a blast!! :)

And then yesterday we took a little day trip to Wichita to see my baby sister graduate from high school and it was so much fun! I'm sure proud of that little lady, but there's more to come on that later in the week! :)

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{ Shall we Mingle?! }
 
 
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Pretty Pretty Please...

If you could find it in your big heart to pass the Mingle word along... I will love you forever and ever and ever... and ever. Twitter. Blog post. You name it, I love it.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate each one of you who take an extra minute to go the extra mile each week! I cannot thank you for your sweet generosity enough! Let's add to this party!

{ Many thanks! }
 
 
Mingle 240



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How To Mingle:


1) Must be a [Life of Meg] follower to participate.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to enter your blog.

3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!

4) Answer the weekly question...

** Favorite places to shop.... GO! **

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Pretty pumped to visit blogs today... not going to lie! Stay tuned for later this week...


I have a tasty key lime bar recipe, a detailed recap on the weekend and photos of sister's graduation, some summer plans, my shopping wish list, and so much more!! :)



Now get out there and show this week who's boss!











PS - Are you on Twitter? Follow me on the go!! :)

May 18, 2012

Confessional Friday

Friday has finally arrived and I couldn't be more thankful!!
We've had a blast going to our dear friends' weddings the last 3 weekends in a row (yes, 3 weekends), but by the end of the year we will have gone to 9 weddings this year... possibly 10-11. Needless to say, as much fun as they were, both Adam and I are excited to be home!!

I foresee a mellow/relaxing evening at his house watching a movie and playing games after our post-work run. Yahooo! And I can't wait to snuggle with my doggy and sleep in tomorrow morning - bliss!

So anywho... Today I'm linking up with Leslie's Confessional Friday over at A Blond Ambition... join the fun!




1) Last night I had frozen yogurt for dinner.
Yes, that is exactly what sounded tasty, so I threw some fruit and granola in there and made myself pretend it was healthy.


2) After being out of town for weekends on end, my home is in desperate need of tidying! I would like to think that I am a clean person, but that comes with the disclaimer of *when I have time*. Well, I will be making time tomorrow, because I always feel so de-stressed when everything is picked up and deep cleaned.


3) On Tuesday morning, Adam and I made a little running date before the work day. My alarm went off at 5:45 a.m., he met me around 6 a.m., and we ran a solid 3ish miles. After he left, I decided to take a shower... and also a nap... BEFORE work. How weird am I? That's not normal. However, it did feel spectacular to have a workout done by 7 a.m. I see many more a.m. runs in my future!


4) Speaking of naps...
I have been known for taking a quick 30 minute nap over my lunch break in my office. I just close the door, lay my head down, and occasionally crawl under my desk until my alarm goes off. Yes, I've seen that Seinfeld episode and it may or may not have been my genius inspiration.

My goodness... now a nap sounds good!


5) We're finally going to see the musical Jersey Boys this weekend in downtown KC, and I couldn't be more excited. Adam purchased the tickets last fall, so it's been a long time coming. Photo recap to come!



Welp, my parents were in town for my dad's oncology check today, so it was fun lunching with them. Looking forward to a wonderful/relaxing weekend! We're driving to Wichita for my little sissy's graduation on Sunday afternoon, but other than that I am going to enjoy my minimal plans!!

Have a delightful weekend! See you Monday for the weekly Mingle Monday blog hop!!



 

May 16, 2012

Wedding Photo Mega Post

Many of you have been asking for a wedding weekend recap and photos of the big day. Well, today's the day!! I feel so very thankful and blessed to have been best friends with my dear friend Sarah since 5th grade.

She is one of my sweetest, most gentle friends with such a humble heart and always ready listening ears. She has been there for me when both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer, held my hand in the tough times, and giggled with me in the great times.

We've always been excellent note writers as we made up nicknames for boys we liked in school and code language when we had to share stories in between classes. Most of my dearest memories stem from my friendship with sweet Sarah, and I'm so blessed that our friendship withstood thousands of miles, other relationships, and 14 years!

So anyway, I was so extremely excited to be right beside her on her wedding day. We had a blast doing tons of fun things leading up to the wedding: bachelorette dinner/drinks, a tasty luncheon followed by mani/pedis, and a whole bunch of silliness before the wedding began.

The church was beautiful at sunset, the country club was candlelit and picturesque, and the hundred foot tall outdoor tent just looked like a billowy piece of heaven. Oh, and I forgot to mention one minor detail... she completely looks like a little model in her GORGEOUS designer dress.... she's gorgeous!

Warning:
There are a ton of photos. Most are mine, but I borrowed a few of the beautiful professional looking ones from my fancy friend, Court. :)



{ Happy Viewing... }




Bridesmaid Tea/Luncheon



Champagne + almond pear tarts at the afternoon bridesmaid mani/pedi.


Getting ready... don't you love the personalized hanger gift?


Best friends since elementary school.


Dress detail close-up.

Isn't it stunning?





The beautiful bride all ready to go. I love my best friend.

The church was breathtaking. Aren't the flower colors so pretty?


 This photo cracks me up. We needed to re-enact a little Runaway Bride moment.
Afterall, Sarah and I did see it 4 times in 5th grade.


The reception country club foyer.



Doesn't the outdoor tent on the country club grounds look picturesque? So elegant.


Apparently I was really excited when the groom dropped by for a visit - ha!


Love that man. He's pretty handsome.


A great photo with our little bridey!


I sure loved dancing the night away with mom and dad. I wish sissy was in this picture too!
Aren't my parents adorable?


The night was capped off with mini sliders and tumbleweed milkshakes... yum.



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Sar / "Zerbs" / "Dawah" -

I love you with all of my heart and I couldn't be happier for you and Nate. So lucky to have such an incredible best friend. Can't wait to see where the years take us... but I'm hoping they lead us to being next door neighbors, sitting in our front porch rocking chairs, giggling like always and growing old and happy!

All my love,

Your "Porter Potty" :)



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All in all, what a perfect day for my best friend, and such a great weekend for the memory book. Can't wait until she gets back from Key West so we can recap all things wedding! Ahh!!


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