Thursday, March 31, 2011

dinner for two

this recipe, from my fresh market cookbook, is super easy and quick to make. it can be made veggie-friendly, but the cream definitely makes it filling.

creamy tomato basil soup

what you'll need:
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic, basil and oregano
salt & pepper, to taste
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced (i always use more!)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth to make this veggie-friendly)
1-2 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup heavy cream

preheat oven to 450 degrees. strain tomatoes, reserve juices.
spread single layer of tomatoes on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. roast tomatoes until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

in medium saute pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. add garlic, yellow onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. add roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, chicken broth and bay leaves. reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

add basil and heavy cream, stirring to combine; remove bay leaves. in a food processor puree until smooth (i used a blender, on puree setting).

this made enough for two people (actually, one big portion for beau, and a tiny one for me. next time i'll probably double the recipe). i cooked a chicken breast in the oven and served the soup with a chicken caesar salad and warm crusty bread.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

warm weather wishes

i have a feeling almost everyone in a northern part of the country feels the exact same way and my floridian blood is not to blame for this next statement: I AM OVER YOU, COLD WEATHER. and i don't care who knows it. i mean, seriously. friday is april 1, and unless you, mother nature, are playing some cruel april fool's joke on all of us, we are done. d-o-n-e. done.
so, to get back at MN i am shifting my focus today to warmer thoughts (ha! you can't win this time, lady). i am picturing myself slathered up in sunscreen, laying on the beach in my new j. crew bathing suit (that i definitely can't afford), and instead of blending into the white sand, i am back to my normal shade of olive that my italian mother so graciously handed down to me.
ahhhh, to dream....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

local find (and we're alive)!

in an attempt to explore our new city of south bend, i'm going to use this blog as a way to force myself to get out of the house (away from all the boxes) and navigate around our new grid.

but first! why not start in the town i feel most comfortable in? yep...that's right - we're back in athens. i mean we couldn't stay away for THAT long, could we? [well, in all honesty, as part of the agreement with notre dame and beau's program, which will allow him to still get his degree, he is supposed to come back to athens  three tuesday's throughout the quarter for class, sooo i guess we were kinda forced to come back].
athens has TONS of cute little coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques lining court street, but the one i have been to most often is definitely brenen's (you might recognize the outside of their shop from this post). they have great coffee and specialty drinks (their vanilla chai is a-mazing), bagels and breakfast sandwiches, and a HUGE lunch menu...lots of veggie options (their  tomato bisque is fabulous). the entire place is has floor to ceiling windows, so it's an awesome place to pop-a-squat and get your work done [yes, they have free wireless]. i've spent many a-hour soaking up the sunlight through the inside of their cafe...the owner even knows my name...

on  a side note, beau and i are alive! this is the first time i've had contact with the outside world since friday, so i'm trying to get as much in as possible before we drive back to south bend tonight...back to no internet and no 'real' tv.

the move was successful. my dad and beau did a bunch of work on thursday - picked up the truck and moved a bunch of boxes to the garage. then, those two heavy-weight lifters, and our gracious, gracious neighbor, spent six hours loading the 26' truck on friday. woke up at 6am saturday and drove six hours to south bend, spent four hours unloading the truck (with the help of beau's uncle and grandparents. yes...grandparents). and completely crashed that night. and crashed is probably an understatement.
it will take a few weeks to get our new home in order, but i'm up for the challenge :)


we're alive!
will update later this afternoon :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

let me get sappy for a sec.

see, when beau and i first moved here i hated this place. it's tucked wayyyyy back, away from what most would consider 'civilization', in the hills of southeastern ohio. it's a small town, too. only like eight square miles with about 20,000 people - most of which, i'm assuming, are the college students. and, going with the whole away-from-civilization-thing, athens is a true college town. i classify a town as being a true college town when there is nothing in that city BUT the university. [beau and i have had multiple heated conversations about the definition but i'm right]. now, sure, there are businesses in the surrounding areas that employ lots of locals, but in athens county, ohio university is the largest employer. period. 

sooo, after about 6 months of being homesick and feeling sorry for myself, i finally snapped out of it. [then winter hit and that cycle started all over again, but didn't last as long]. looking back on our time here, i hate to admit it, but this little place has grown on me. all along we knew this would be a short-term stay. one of beau's professors put it perfectly - "you came here to leave". we knew we would be here for two years and then peace-out, but i don't think either of us expected our time here to go by so fast, nor did we expect to meet half of the amazing people we've gotten so close with - people whom we would have never had the chance to meet if we didn't take a leap of faith and move 1,000 miles away from our 'home'.

having to leave athens two months earlier than planned is so so bittersweet. i mean, we are moving to south bend for beau to start a position at notre dame. it's an unbelievable opportunity that we couldn't be more thankful for. but, that means we have to leave behind the place we've made our home...our first home as mr. and mrs. 

today is our last day in athens. our life has been stuffed into boxes and the truck is being packed. i will miss this litte town and all it's shenanigans - court street, shuffles, two-for-tuesdays, my haning crazies, the uneven brick roads that make you feel like your car has hydraulics, the hippies at the farmers market, the "sig. others" and our dinner dates, being able to walk everywhere, the dance floor at broney's, but mostly we will miss the people. we love each and every person that has been apart of our life here in athens. you all have made our experience what it was, and it was nothing short of unforgettable. thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being so welcoming and giving us the gift of your friendship. you will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

...know we will be back - even if just for a visit :D

Thursday, March 24, 2011

fast facts & a rap

learn something new:
- ohio university was established in 1804 as ohio's first university
- home of: ohio brew week, hockhocking folk festival, sustainability festival, pawpaw festival, boogie on the bricks, bong fest, hookah in the hills
- student body from 50 states and more than 100 countries
- nationally-recognized, both academically and socially (ranked as the #2 party school in 2010)
- the athens farmers market is the largest open-air farmers market in the state (and it runs all year! yeaaa...even in the winter. it's pretty friggin' awesome)
- notoriously haunted: athens was voted the 13th (lucky #, right?!) most haunted place in the world
- not athens-related, but chillicothe was the original capital of ohio...not columbus..
- famous for the "mardi gras of the midwest": athens' ginormous halloween party attracting 10-30K people every year from all over the country to partake in their costume shenanigans, over multiple blocks of brick roads [it's a sight to see and should probably be on everyone's bucket list]
- the student union, baker center, is home to athens county's only escalator system (and their food court was named one of the top 10 most vegan friendly campus food courts in the nation!)
- home to a city skate park funded by the tony hawk foundation, featured on the MTV show "viva la bam"
- the alden library is one of the 100 largest libraries in the country
- also, charles j. ping center is one of the largest recreational centers in the united states and sustainable!
- another non-athens relation and probably my favorite claim-to-fame for the area: my beloved sarah jessica parker was born in nelsonville, ohio - in athens county!

betcha didn't know some of those, did ya?! or maybe you did...either way, at least i learned something new :)

annnnnd, you have to check this out! one of the baseball players here made this sick video, with sick rhymes (ha! you like my attempt at trying to sound like a rapper?) about athens. be warned: it's catchy and the video is pretty legit too. click here to see the goods.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



this is our life right now and it's complete chaos.
every room has a maze of boxes to navigate around. i really wish there was a night vision camera in our bedroom - it would have got me on film, in the dark, tripping over 3 boxes, at 5am this morning and doing a little p90x, back & bi's, between 2 big wardrobe boxes. that would have been a sight and a half...not one that i would ever share, but entertaining nonetheless. [uh! and if you're moving in the near future you must check out these a-mazing boxes. they are, in my husbands words, "the cat's ass"]
i can't wait to get this mess out of the house and on the truck...just to move it and unpack and create more chaos in our new place :)

good news? my dad is flying up here today to help us move. i can.not wait to see him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

office organization c/o etsy

thursday is my last day at work and it's going to be a sad, sad day in my little world. i've made some really, really great friends here, but there's no doubt in my mind that i will remain friends with these people for a very long time.

just thinking about starting a new job makes me nervous. interviewing is not my favorite thing. starting some place new and being "the new girl" makes me feel a little uneasy, too. i'd like to say that i get excited about it, buuuuut i don't. so, to help myself get pepped up about having a new office [even if it is at home, in a bedroom, with no one else to talk to] here are my picks to help me stay organized at my new desk...wherever that may be...

Monday, March 21, 2011


florida state and notre dame played last night. needless to say, there was a severe case of house-divided. beau thought it would be slick to invite a few boys from the program over. he says it was because he wanted to hang with them a bit before we leave this weekend; i think it's because he wanted to get the numbers up in our household for those cheering for the irish. i wagered a friendly little bet to make the game even more interesting than it already was: if florida state won he would have to finish packing the rest of the house. period.

florida state WON 
thus, requiring me to leave a little love note for mr. beau this morning.
good morning, sunshine :)

monday's review : ND road trip

5 1/2 hours in the car to the bauer's
+ 1 1/2 hours to ND
+ 1 hour to the bauer grandparents
+ 1 hour to ND
+ a wedding
+ signing a lease on a townhouse
+ 1 hour to the bauer grandparents
= a lot of time in the car together :)

review of the weekend:
1. as far as i know beau praises God every day for navigational systems. he claims i am navigationally-challenged. and i would have to agree (have you met my father?!)
2. when beau is talking business, he's allllll business. and i'm just there to provide the comedic relief. 
3. march madness is my favorite time of sports-year.
4. the basilica at notre dame is one of the most beautiful cathedrals i've ever stepped foot in and the notre dame campus gives me chills every time i walk through it.
5. our wedding spoiled us. 
6. no matter how many weddings i attend, it always makes me fall more in love with my husband...and kind of makes me want to do the whole thing over again ;)
7. grandma's have the driest humor.
8. once you have a place to live you're able to get excited about all the other stuff you were supposed to be excited about 3 weeks ago (what's that thing? the hierarchy of needs? yea...that stuff is fo realz).
9. country life is slow and simple, and good for the soul. country roads on the other hand, when you get car sick super easy...not so much.
10. neither beau nor i can sing, but get us in the car together and we swear we are jay-z and beyonce...just better looking (duh)
11. nothing makes you feel better than knowing that your daddy is flying up from florida to help you move...because sometimes, husbands just can't do it all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

tired & bored

product of a really tired and slightly bored b & b on a friday night.
off to sign our lease, basilica wedding and then back to good ol' monterrey :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

road trip

 beau and i are prepping for a road trip this weekend. we have a wedding to go to, and of all places, guess where it is - south bend! convenient, right?! so, we are going up a day early to look at a few places. [i'm keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed hoping that we find something.] and, because i have severe ADD while packing, i came across this article in one of my old lucky magazines and had to share.
[i'm sure everyone knows these, but they're those types of things i usually tend to forget]

tips for packing:
-roll, never fold
- check out the weather report
- put a change of clothes and some toiletries in your hand luggage (especially your toothbrush!)
- never get on an airplane, or car, without a cashmere blanket (i'd take any kind of blanket) and a scarf
- bring an extra bag - the kind that rolls up real nice and small - in case you really go shopping on your trip
- pack socks and good snacks
- pouch everything: all your electronics go in one, your toiletries in another, etc.

{above::sweater - the other place, tank - forever 21 (similar), jeans - forever 21 (similar), boots - carlos santana}

happy weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

my sunshine

this is my beau.
he's my sunshine (my only sunshine). he seriously makes me happy...when? when skies are greyyyy [you like my singing?!]
last night we were driving back from dinner and i was thinking about everything we still need to do to move next weekend and totallllly stressing. we don't have a place to live yet, but we are packing up our house anyways? move it where?! i leaned over and gave beau a big hug [yes, as he was driving] and asked him "we're going to find a place, right?", he of course said "yes" and turned this song on, real loud, and we jammed the whole way home:

"we don't have to worry 'bout no money
to have us a real good time
and we don't have to leave in the morning
the whole day just you and i.
and it don't have to get any better
it's perfect you in my life.
we don't have to worry about no groceries,
we can fill up on love alone.
if we ain't got enough for a movie
we can just sit at home.
 quit your worrying baby,
quit your worrying girl.
you don't have to worry no more.
if you're cool, then i'm cool, then we're cool"

...and that is why i love him <3

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

living room dreams

packing and moving always, always, always makes me craaaave some new interior goods. you sort through all the stuff you've been staring at for the past two years [well, in our case it's never been more than two years...we've literally moved four times in the past four years], purge your old stuff and make room for new, right?

well this year i'm dreamin' pottery barn BIG! i'm obsessed with the place, and once our budget allows for some PB in my life you best believe that's where i'm heading [yes, beau in tow]. so here are my picks for our make-believe L-R:

Monday, March 14, 2011

in honor of:

st. patty's day

 outfit one [top, bag, crops, wedges]
florida wear [hat, handbag, sweater, sandals, shorts]

i couldn't help include my thoughts on florida wear for this st. patty's day. spending all day on the beach (notre dame cornhole boards included), green beer that night, ahhhh...memories.
that's okay - hopefully the weather will stay nice till thursday and us northerners can enjoy some time outside...celebrating the irish in all of us.
cheers, mate :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

happy saturday!

the sun is shining and i'm a happy little lady. temps are supposed to reach the almost 60's! so, to celebrate (not really...i was going to make this regardless)  i made my favorite granola this morning. the recipe was given to me by a friend, but it's from the barefoot contessa, back to basics cookbook. the recipe is for homemade granola bars, but you can make it into granola if you'd prefer that instead. it's so good and perfect for a (somewhat) warm saturday morning :)

here's what you'll need:
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed 
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(you can use any combination of dried fruit if you don't like dates, apricots or cranberries. just make sure your total dried fruit quantity is 1 1/2 cups. i used all cranberries in this batch)

-preheat oven to 350 degrees. butter an 8x12" baking dish & line with parchment paper

-toss oatmeal, almonds & coconut together on a sheet pan & bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in wheat germ

- reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees

- place butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. add dried fruit and stir well

- pour mixture into prepared pan (lined with parchment paper)

here's where the recipe differs depending on if you want to make bars or just plain granola:

for bars,
- pour mixture into prepared pan. wet your fingers and lightly press the mix evenly into the pan.
- bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned
- cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. 

for granola,
- pour mixture into prepared pan. evenly distribute mixture on pan - do not press down.
- bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned.
- separate mixture once you take it out of the oven and scrape off of parchment paper (using a spatula). leave on pan to cool for a few hours.
- instead of cutting into squares, the granola should be somewhat broken apart already. continue to crumble into pieces, if needed.
- let the granola cool and place in an airtight container

both recipes are great with your favorite yogurt or as an afternoon snack. MUCH better than the store bought kind! they make great holiday gifts too - last year i gave little mason jars full of the granola to co-workers for christmas. tied a little ribbon around the top...granola was gone by the end of the day. yum-mie! (oh, and ps...beau has already eaten half the granola i made this morning. my money is on it being gone by tomorrow afternoon).


Thursday, March 10, 2011

i can dream.

word on the street is that we are supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow over night. now, to some that might not sound like a lot, but for someone who is oooo-va-her this's a lot. and it's a lot of annoying :)
so, as the snow comes down, i will be dreaming.                               
dreaming of these days:
...and maybe this handsome guy, too:

good night, world.
see your white-self in the AM.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

my soles.

shoes: TOMS

 i'm here. here to admit it: my new found obsession for these little guys. [my brother got me these bad boys for christmas, i quickly fell in love]! these navy babies are so comfy and with spring around the corner, i have my eye on a sparkly pair next :) i'm thinking these or these (or maybe even these!) after all, every pair you buy gives a pair to a kid in need. definitely justifiable.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

on the move.

nd v. navy - fall 2010


[drum roll, pleeeeasseee!]'s OFFICIAL. on friday, beau accepted the position with notre dame!
[hence the flashback photos above ;)]
he will finish school remotely and start his new fancy-schmancy position on march 28th. i'm so stinking proud of him! but, yes...that's right...three weeks to pack our life into cardboard boxes, find a place to live, and...MOVE! we've been packing since saturday and i've come to the conclusion that i would rather UN-pack 20 houses then pack one! this is not my cup of tea, especially since the hus is busy trying to finish up school work and work-work before we leave and has no time for anything right now [blaah!]. however, he has been bringing up boxes from the garage on a daily basis, so i guess i can't complain. thanks, beau ;)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

spring, where are you?

our backyard.
 this is what we woke up to this morning. yes, it's pretty. no, it doesn't make me like it any better.
good thing? gives me a good excuse to stay on the couch all day [till the hubs comes back from campus and tells me it's time to start packing!]
happy sunday :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011


             wedding day 2009
well, this is us.
beau and brittany, brittany and beau, and we are best friends.
we're set to celebrate our two year anniversary in a few months, but it feels like these pictures were taken yesterday.

these photos were taken by the oh-so-talented ashley brockinton. she and her husband are simply amazing...they have talent some people only dream of having. we were lucky enough to have them shoot our engagement aaannnd wedding photos. that's right..l-u-c-k-y. pure perfection, they are. [sooo, little brides-to-be in the south florida area, you should definitely check them out...pronto!]

Friday, March 4, 2011

let me explain

 above: fort myers beach

sooo, i think i've got it all wrong. see, most people move from somewhere up north TO somewhere down south, right?! you know...they get sick of the crap weather and decide that they want sunshine all.year.round. yea? well, not me. i did it all backwards.
i'm a true floridian. [not one of those people who move to florida when they're like 5 and claim to be one. no, i was born AND raised in the great sunshine state]. grew up spending summers in the pool, once a month at disney, and christmas at the beach. that's my norm. welp, it all changed when i met this boy. his name's beau and he's now my husband :)
long story short? we met in undergrad, started dating, got engaged, and then he pulls a fast one. decides "oh, wait...i think i'd like to go to grad school". but it's not like "hey, let me apply to schools in florida" no. he goes and gets accepted to ohio athens, OHIO! oh-io, you say? yes...oh-blah-o. (mind you it's only because this school has one of the best sports ad. programs in the country...minor detail.) we get married, go on our honeymoon, spend three weeks apart - he in ohio, me in florida - and then i did it. i did the unthinkable. i moved. moved away from my friends, my family, my life, and...the warmth.

that was almost two years ago. yes, i've survived two years in ohio. now, by no means have i gotten used to this thing called "winter", but i'm trying. i really am. the whole wear-a-gazillion-layers-to-go-outside-for-two-minutes-to-get-the-mail-thing is a little annoying, but i feel like everyone who does that feels the same i now feel like i've joined the rest of the world. because lets face it...floridians live in a bubble. it's a mighty nice little bubble we live in, and if given the choice i'd hop right back to it, but we're definitely in our own little world down there.

anywho, two years later i decided to create this blog. i want to start something and actually see it through (i tend to get side-tracked very easily...thanks, dad). so, i'm here to announce the opening of our online journal (ooooo-ahhhhh!...i know...) beau finishes grad school in a few months. lots of changes are on the way for us and i'm ready to start sharing. sharing our life, humor, personal style, and my transition from sand to snow.
so, sit back and enjoy...stay a while if ya like, and come back often ;)