Work 'Picnic'

I had to work late last week, but I was getting hungry and cranky so Sweet Andrew packed us a dinner of leftovers and walked them to my office:) I was pretty excited and thankful, not to mention I was able to finish my work!!

Isn't he great?

Did I mention that when I flew home a few weeks ago to Florida we had a bit of a bus mishap and I had to drive to the airport at the last minute and park my car there? And that Andrew took the bus to the airport to meet me when I landed? Well, it's true. He took the last Sunday night bus, which leaves downtown at about 7:30 pm, to wait for me to get in on my 10:30 flight. Yep, he's great. It was a super fun surprise! :D

PS Tomorrow is the big day!! The big sunflower day:) We're hoping for good weather!!



Recipe of the Week

Recipe of the Week + 4th of July Recap

For a 4th of July party
at a home where Andrew gardens we made Cherry Berries on A Cloud--4th of July style, of course.


It's a dessert you definitely have to prepare for--it has to sit overnight.

Prep: 20 min.
Chilling: 12 hours
Bake: 1 hour + cooling


  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • (We added blueberries to make the flag)

Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form (do not under beat). Spread evenly in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 275° for 1 hour; turn off oven (do not open door). Let cool in oven overnight or at least 12 hours.

In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; gently fold in whipped cream and marshmallows. Spread over meringue. Chill for 4 hours. Cut into 16 pieces. Combine topping ingredients; spoon 1/4 cup over each serving.

Yield: 16 servings.


Bake it up and enjoy!! It's amazing!



Stoked About Sunflowers

So I've gotten quite into this blogging thing. Unfortunately for you, I fallen in love with reading blogs, instead of writing them. I'll work on that. I really miss you, I do.

Since it's been a while, here's the latest:
  • We've decided on a reception site and date; January 16, 2010.
  • We're doing engagement photos in downtown Chicago on September 6th with an amazing photographer while we're in town for Andrew's cousin's wedding. (Double apostrophes...can you do that? Oh, well.) So stoked!
  • I have a beautiful wedding dress to wear. Stoked again.

  • I went to Restaurant Week 3 times. Yep, that's right. Three. It was amazingly overfilling. I mean, who gets an appetizer, entree, and dessert for lunch usually? No one! Well, I did, three times this week:)
  1. I went to a restaurant called CAV with some co-workers. Great food, delightful atmosphere. Loved it. They have all these antiques in the restaurant for sale, but mostly for decoration. I can't wait to take my future mother-in-law there--she loves antiques.
  2. I went with a friend from church to a cute little French place called Pot Au Feu--great atmosphere, decent food. I think we got the "Restaurant Week" treatment (opposite of VIP treatment), so I'm willing to try it again in the future with the expectation that it will be amazing. Sometimes the service isn't quite the same since they know you're only coming because you get great food for cheap.
  3. Lastly, Andrew and I went out for Mexican (our favorite) in the Italian district at a place called Don Jose Tequilas. One word: Amazing. Some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. He says the food in Cabo is still better, I say, "Prove it." :D
  • Also, the last thing I'm stoked about is: sunflowers. Andrew loves sunflowers anytime and all the time so I'm always on the look out for them. I have a friend who's family has a sunflower festival in Georgia, but well it's in Georgia and we're not. So, when I was reading a blog that I found on another blog (this is how I get hooked on blogs) I saw pictures from a field of sunflowers. I thought, "Yes! Please let this lady live in New England." So after I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out where she lives I discovered that it was Arkansas, which was not going to work. But determined, I started my google searches: "sunflower fields New England"..."sunflower fields Massachusetts"..."sunflower fields Connecticut"...BINGO!! Less than an hour from my apartment is this precious gem: Buttonwood Farm. Sunflowers for Wishes, Griswold, Connecticut. Not only is it a sunflower field, but it's for a good cause: The Make-A-Wish Foundation. And as if that wasn't enough, they have hayrides, famous ice cream, and for $5.00 you get a bouquet of sunflowers!! It's a one week event from July 18-26, 2009, that was extended one week through next weekend so we can actually go and see it!! How amazing!! We are so stoked to make a day trip out there. Hopefully we'll bring you back some beautiful pics! :)
Alright, I must go. We're off to watch #95 of The Top 100 Movies!



Restaurant Week? Yes, Please!

I know Providence may not be the most rockin' town on the planet, but sometimes it's just pretty great. For example: Restaurant Week-- 3-course lunch for 13 bucks or a 3-course dinner for $30!

I'm pretty pumped about getting lunch with my co-workers today and a friend from church tomorrow. I'm not gonna lie, I don't want to leave Andrew out of the mix so I'll probably eat 3 lunches out this week! Totally not in my budget or in my wedding-preparation food regimen, but oh well, you only live once:D

Happy eating! Come visit;)

PS I have not forgotten a weekend recap. You will get a little run-down after I decompress a bit. 10 reception sites in 2 days + a bridal show = a tiring whirlwind of a weekend!



A Quick Trip

I'm heading home for the weekend to check out some reception sites and churches, discuss plans with the family, etc. Wish me luck!!

Be back soon!



Andrew, My Hero

So it's been pretty hectic the past few weeks. As you can imagine, adding "Plan your dream wedding" to an already full To Do list is quite a task. Between juggling work projects, saving a little leisure time, hanging out with friends, baking goodies for 4th of July parties, and squeezing in a wedding movie or two (Father of the Bride and Bride Wars), life has been a bit busier lately. So the icing on my little frazzled cake occurred yesterday.

I was walking to my car after work, ready to get home, relax, look at more reception locations, and indulge in Taco night! To expedite the process I thought I would pull out my keys and parking card, so that I would be fully prepared to exit the parking lot. I get to my car, throw everything on the passenger seat, and head toward the gate. Where is my parking card? I check the cup holder (the usual culprit), nope. I check the pocket in my purse that it lives in (the second culprit), nothing. So I reverse back from the gate to check under my seat--obviously it had fallen between the seat and the console. Not there folks. So now I'm completely confused, frustrated, and hopeless. [Super dramatic, I know]. I push the seat forward, I push it back. I check under the floor mats. I check under the passenger's seat. I retrace my steps. NOTHING. Finally, I do what any wise woman would do, I call my man for help.

"Hi Andrew," I explain in panic. "I just had my parking card in my hand, I got in my car, and now I can't find it anywhere! I don't know where it went!"

Hearing the irrational stress and unnecessary panic in my voice he says, "Okay, calm down, I'll come help you." My fiance sprints to the parking lot arriving winded, but ready to help. Together we continue the process of moving seats and mats and retracing steps and checking pockets...we do it all. Then, sweet little ole me checks the purse, again, this time lifting it to my lap and unveiling the itty, bitty parking card that was hidden under my giant carpet bag purse.

"Oops," I said in a cute little voice, as I batted my eyes with added exaggeration hoping he couldn't resist.

"Not a problem. The sprint was good for me," he assured me as we rode off into the sunset for taco night!

What a guy!

Lessons learned:
  1. Stop and smell the roses a little more.
  2. Take a few deep breaths more often.
  3. Leave carpet bag purse at home for use as carry-on luggage only.
  4. Thank Andrew for being so patient and gracious.
  5. Walk the 1/2 mile to work. It's not going to kill you, who cares if you have to leave 10 minutes earlier, it might make you feel a little better in that snazzy wedding dress, and you might even catch a ray or two of sunshine!



New York, New York

Late last week Andrew suggested we make a spontaneous trip to New York City. "Hmmm...okay," I thought, a little intrigued by the proposition. Andrew and I are the two least spontaneous people I know. We plan everything to the T. Even the grocery store. In fact, I often re-write the grocery list to lump items into categories corresponding to their location within the store--you know, meat, dairy, produce... So a spontaneous trip to the city made the little wheels in my head start to churn.

I was busy with work so I wasn't really able to contribute to the weekend's plans so he had free reign to determine our schedule. He arranged for us to meet up with some friends from our church in Providence who had just moved to the city last month. We headed out early Saturday morning to catch the Metro North Railroad in New Haven, Connecticut. We made it to the train station smoothly, with plenty of time to spare. We jumped on the New Haven line train, bound for Grand Central Station. We marveled at all the families and travelers headed for a weekend in New York City as well. We played a little Gin Rummy, I dominated, of course. And before we knew it the streets of New York City were beckoning us to come play.

We walked a few blocks from Grand Central Station to our friends' apartment and dropped off our bags. Then the four of us jumped on the subway for a lunch date in Madison Square Park. Any of you that know New York City may guess that we were headed to the Shake Shack. And we were. Shake Shack always has a long line so our friends Ed and Rosalynn offered to hold the place in line while we walked around for a bit. This made me a little suspect. "Don't they want to hang out and talk to us for a bit while we all wait in line?" I thought. But they insisted we see the city and not waste any time so we started to walk through the park a little when I spotted the dog park, "Let's go!" I pleaded. "Are we allowed to go in without a dog?" we wondered. "Will we look like creeps?" we worried. Well, we went in anyway and had a blast.

Dog watching is about 100 times more fun than people watching. Dogs have a lot less inhibition. It was like we were watching carefree kids who didn't know they were supposed to behave properly in public. We watched as a group of dogs all ganged up on one little dog and then watched as the sad owner promptly left the park with her little outcast. We contemplated if the owner felt bad about their dog being picked on like a parent would when their kid comes home crying from school. Then we watched the young New Yorkers come in all dressed up in posh clothes with their little yippy dogs--clearly at the park to mingle and meet other young 30-somethings since their dogs were too busy hiding under the bench to play with others. Or there was the little boxer dog that sprinted off his lease upon release, running around the park looking for dogs to play with. We animated his voice as he went from dog to dog looking for someone to notice him and play with him--Milo and Otis style, of course. Lastly, there was the bull dog that we couldn't get enough of. He could not have cared less about the other dogs in the park. He just waddled his fat self around the park pushing a ball with his nose oblivious of the function of a dog park. Then we laughed about how the owner looked just like his dog.

We sat in the dog park for a good 30 minutes enjoying ourselves and learning about the dog culture of urbanites. We even enjoyed people asking us to pick up our dogs poo and then gleefully told them it wasn't our dog. Before long Ed and Ros called us and told us they were getting close to the front of the line. We headed back and enjoyed a lunch of cheeseburgers and french fries in the park.

Next, we split paths and Andrew and I headed out into the city as Ed and Ros headed to a coffee shop to read. We jumped on the subway and headed towards the infamous Wall Street. Took a few pictures and then headed down towards Ellis Island. We got to the tip of Manhattan and realized that we would have to wait in 3 hour-long lines just to get onto Ellis Island. We decided it wasn't the best use of our time and headed toward the Staten Island ferry. We briskly walked toward the ferry that we saw quickly approaching land and made it on within seconds of it pulling away from the dock. The ride was amazingly relaxing. There was a beautiful breeze, we passed Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, and rocked slowly to the hum of the engine. We took the return boat immediately back to Manhattan and ventured off to our next stop: Brooklyn.

Somewhere in my lack-of-geographic knowledge I thought that Brooklyn and the Bronx were interchangeable. I expressed my lack of desire to go to Brooklyn because it's dangerous, but Andrew convinced me that he found a list of famous people who live there and we had to walk through and admire the architecture and Brownstones. We strolled through the beautiful Brooklyn Heights neighborhood and then ended up on the Promenade overlooking the skyline of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. We found the perfect bench and relaxed for a while. My wish for the weekend was to spend all day laying in a park and relaxing, so sitting and watching the sunset over NYC was perfect.

As we sat admiring the scenery and the glamor of New York City, Andrew told me he made something for me. He proceeded to hand me a flat object wrapped in tissue paper with a card on top. The card was a collage of pictures of us, pictures of NYC, a poem, and at the bottom was a hint to a location somewhere. I wasn't allowed to unwrap the tissue paper yet and he proceeded to hand me five more of these. The promenade was pretty empty...right up until this point, of course. Then a flood of people began passing by steadily and I began to realize what was going on. After handing me 6 cards with something wrapped in tissue paper under them, he said he had one more. He handed me a blue pouch and began to tell me nice things about me and our future. I knew what was coming next. Unfortunately, I had noticed when we first approached the bench that we were sitting on one of probably two benches (out of a string of 15) that were surrounded by dirt and mud. At this point he began to get down on his knee and I panicked. A combination of gawkers and the thought of him wearing a pair of khakis for two days with a huge dirt-stained knee caused me to beg him to not get down in the dirt. He protested, but like a wise man he eventually obliged. At this point he pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. I said, "Yes," of course.

The ring I received was my great-grandmother's ring passed down to me from my mom. As part of the gift, my mom gave me a picture of my great grandparents with it. By this time I was pretty emotional, so to lighten the mood a little he said, "Your mom wanted you to have this picture with it." He paused. "...She didn't mention that your great grandfather was Dwight D. Eisenhower!" We had a good laugh and then I was able to open the presents.

There were 6 DVDs of locations we had talked about wanting to travel to someday, but now they are presented as potential honeymoon destinations. [With Andrew's permission I'm putting up a sample of the sweet cards he made me].

Next we began processing and talking about all this entails. We were ready to take some pictures, but of course, it was about to downpour so all passersby whom had been ever-present before were suddenly nowhere to be seen. Typical. We snapped a few shots of us, the ring, our bench, the view and then headed up the hill to a pizza joint in Brooklyn.

We were told we had to try this pizza place right under the Brooklyn bridge. We made our way to the restaurant, had a celebratory drink, and waited out the rain. When the rain let up we walked outside to hear people shouting about the incredibly bright rainbow we had to see.

Next stop: Central Park.

We snapped a few more pictures before sunset and then headed to the Upper West Side for dinner with a friend of Andrew's from grad school. We enjoyed some wonderful Italian food and then exhausted, headed back to Ed and Ros's place. Our sweet friends eagerly awaited our arrival. They ran down to the door to greet us with hugs, champagne, and my first wedding magazine. We all spent the next two hours talking about the day and then passed out from exhaustion.

We had an incredible, fun, and memorable weekend in New York, New York. The weather was beautiful for the first time in a month. Ed and Ros were incredible hosts and accomplices to Andrew's plans. The timing for his proposal worked out perfectly (minus his disappointment for not getting to get down on one knee). And the rest is history!

We aren't certain about any plans or dates yet, but you'll be in the know! Check back often and enjoy the wedding-planning ride with us!