Another One

Today was another one of those “not-so-much-day-of-rest” Sundays.

This is the first time I’ve managed to sit down on the couch all day!

Good thing I had a hearty breakfast to fuel me through the numerous things on my to-do list.


Since my sister spent the night, I wanted her to wake up to a yummy breakfast.

I decided to make walnut Greek yogurt pancakes, which I made by following this simple recipe and adding 1/3 c. chopped walnuts to the batter.

In no time at all, we had pancakes hot off the griddle.

Addin' the Syrup

I topped three pancakes with syrup and dug in!

I think this is my favorite pancake recipe ever. Though I absolutely love fluffy pancakes, there’s something about the doughy, eggy flavor of these ‘cakes that I just adore.


Take a Bite

Since I had a little extra time before we had to head out the door for church, I made a batch of scones using Stonewall Kitchen traditional scone mix that I received from my friend Merri who got it from her boss who told her the mix was the “best scone mix in the world.”

He wasn’t lying!

Stonewall Kitchen Scone Mix

These scones were unbelieveable.


Before baking, I brushed the top of the scones with egg whites and sprinkled them with sugar for a sweet effect.

My sister, Ryan and I all enjoyed a hot scone fresh from the oven and agreed that the scones were wonderfully moist.

I don’t typically enjoy scones too much because I find them rather bland and dry, but these were totally different. They were buttery, moist and slightly sweet. YUM.

Church + Errands

With full bellies, my sister Leslie and I headed off to church while Ryan headed to soccer practice.

After the service, Leslie and I drove to the outlet malls and did some serious damage at Banana Republic.

I am in love with the Banana Republic outlet! I cannot afford 95 percent of the stuff in a normal Banana Republic, but at the outlet, I can almost always find shirts for less than $15 and bottoms or dresses for less than $40. It’s a steal!

Upon our arrival back home, Sadie was quite curious about my purchases.

"What did ya get me, Mama?"


After dropping off our finds at the apartment and picking up Ryan, we headed out to Chipotle for lunch.


Leslie & Ryan - Wasting Time in Line

Me & Les - Wasting More Time

Chipotle was slammed, but the wait gave us a chance to decide what we wanted to order.

I opted for a vegetarian burrito bowl with guacamole.

Chipotle Vegetarian Burrito Bowl


I love Chipotle’s mild salsa and guacamole. I think I could eat an entire salad made of just those two ingredients!

Along with my burrito bowl, I had several helpings of Ryan’s chips and guacamole as well.

Once we were done eating, we came back to our place and said goodbye to Leslie as she headed back to her apartment in Gainesville. I miss my lil’ sis already!

Before Leslie left, we tried to log onto my computer and had no luck because the charger thingy (that is its professional name 😉 ) wasn’t working. When I tried to adjust it, the thing broke in half!

Unexpected trip to Best Buy!

Once I had a new charger, I ran a couple more errands and brought home a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ to make Ryan smile.

When I revealed my surprise purchase of a box of funfetti cake mix to him, a big smile appeared on his face. You see, Ryan has a serious obsession with the funfetti cookie dough that I make when I bake a batch of funfetti cake mix cookies.

Naturally I got to work in the kitchen making a batch for us to enjoy immediately.

Funfetti Cookies

I had two fresh outta the oven (as well as an inordinate amount of cookie dough).

Colors of Tastiness

I absolutely love baking. Cooking is fun and I adore making yummy meals, but my heart truly lies with baking.

Do you prefer cooking or baking… or take out? 😉

First Dance

Over the weekend Ryan and I were talking about popular “first dance” songs at weddings.

Dance, Dance

This made me curious as to what the top ten most popular first dance songs actually are, so I did some Googling and found this list on

10. Bryan Adams – Everything I Do (I Do It For You)
9. Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
8. Etta James – At Last
7. Rascal Flatts – Bless the Broken Road
6. Journey – Open Arms
5. Jim Brickman & Martina McBride – Valentine
4. Barbara Streisand – I Finally Found Someone
3. Aaron Neville & Linda Ronstadt – Don’t Know Much
2. Journey – Faithfully
1. The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody

If you’re married, what song did you dance your first dance to as bride and groom? If you’re not married, what song do you want to dance your first dance to at your wedding?

Ryan and I are planning on dancing our first dance as bride and groom to the song Everything by Michael Bublé. That man has the voice of an angel. 😀


Today’s lunch was a total knock-off of the burrito bowl I love from Chipotle.

I combined a slew of veggies in a big bowl and topped it off with guacamole and fresh salsa.


Guacamole + Salsa

My re-created burrito bowl contained:

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Roasted cauliflower
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa

All Shook Up


I also enjoyed a freshly baked peanut butter and chocolate chunk Otis Spunkmeyer cookie. An office down the hall from mine makes these regularly and today they were callin’ my name. I could smell the peanut butter and chocolate and couldn’t resist. So tasty!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie

My afternoon snack was a cup of yogurt pudding.

Pistachio Yogurt Pudding

I added a spoonful of Jello sugar-free pistachio instant pudding mix into a cup of Fage Greek yogurt to make my “pudding.” I don’t think I’ve ever tried pistachio puddingbefore and I loved the flavor.

Back to work… 😀

I Bought THE Dress!

I did it!!! I officially placed a down payment on my wedding dress. 😀 I am beyond excited!!!

Today at Something Blue Bridal‘s veil and headpiece trunk show, I saw my dress in person for the fourth time. It is so beautiful and finally, after four separate appointments to see and try on this dress, I feel 100 percent positive that I found my perfect dress. (Can you tell I am a very thorough person? 😉 )

The women at the boutique said the designer of my dress, Jim Hjelm, will be in town in April and I will get to meet him in person. My dress is actually designed by James Clifford, but he is  Jim Hjelm, so I cannot wait to meet the man behind the masterpiece in couple of months.

Though the trunk show for my dress’s designer isn’t until April, the women still offered me the trunk show discount on my dress, which saved me around $160. For a frugal gal like me, this made my day!

Since I cannot post pictures of my dress since I don’t want my hubby-to-be to see ’em, I hope you’ll enjoy these pictures of me trying on veils today. I want my veil to be a combination of these two veils… long, but with lace trimming that starts around my fingertips and goes to the floor. I love the cathedral veils!

Long Veil

Short Veil with Lace Trimming

Does anyone out there have any tips as to where to look for a less expensive veil?

Any advice is appreciated!

Errands and Eats

Oookay, let’s back up a bit. (I got a little too excited to share my wedding dress news with you!)

After breakfast, Ryan and I headed to Home Depot to pick up a new air filter before stopping by IKEA to check out furniture and brainstorm decorating ideas for our new apartment.

Ryan ❤ Home Depot

We forgot what size air filter we needed so we bought two, figuring one would work. Turns out neither were right! Such is life. 🙂

Ryan and I had a good time in IKEA and found several pieces of furniture (a chair, dresser and bed frame) that we definitely think would make a wonderful addition to our new home. We wrote down all the details and are planning on stopping by again sometime soon.



We came home and immediately wanted lunch. I made two hummus sandwiches… mine with zucchini and Ryan’s with turkey. I used roasted red pepper hummus and it was so tasty! I think I had several servings while I was making the sandwiches…

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus



I also enjoyed a cool and very crisp Jazz apple.


After lunch, Sadie needed some lovin’, so we took her to the dog park.

Sadie Girl

The weather was gorgeous today! Ryan and I both commented on how wonderful it felt to feel the sun on our skin again.

After the park, it was time for me to head out to the bridal trunk show, so I made a quick quesadilla to snack on in the car. Sadie was very intrigued…

"Gimme the 'Dilla"

After the trunk show and officially placing the down payment on my dress (YAY!), I stopped by Fresh Market to browse for a bit.

That store is gorgeous! I was most impressed with the bakery and the large selection of desserts. YUM. I bought a piece of peanut butter Ghirardelli chocolate and some honey roasted nuts to munch on while I drove home.

Peanut Butter Chocolate

I think I ate more nuts than I should have because I wasn’t all that hungry by the time I got home.

Ryan was ready for dinner and talked me into swinging by Chipotle for some grub. I kept my dinner relatively light with a burrito bowl, topped with lots of guacamole.

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Stirred Up

Guacamole makes great salad dressing!

Ryan and I both also shared a bag of chips and more guacamole. Olé!

When we came home, we took Sadie on a short walk to the grocery store where I bought mix for Jello Oreo pudding. We’re currently waiting for the pudding to set before digging into our dessert. 🙂

Ryan and I are taking it easy and staying in tonight. Today was a go-go-go kinda day and Ryan has a soccer game early tomorrow morning, so an evening of relaxin’, move watching and flipping through our never-ending stack of magazines sounds perfect.

See ya in the morning! 😀

Day at the Zoo

After a big breakfast of eggs and pancakes, Ryan and I headed out to volunteer with our friend Dru and a group of other people from his church at the Central Florida Zoo.

Volunteer Group

We were initially told we’d be transferring sand into the tortoise exhibit, but since it rained yesterday and the sand was more like dirt, we were assigned a different task: demolition.

I think Ryan’s eyes lit up immediately when he heard he’d get to help destroy stuff!

Me + Ryan

We helped break apart an old reptile exhibit, stripping the wiring and tearing down the framework.

The final product:

End Result

It was quite chilly and my hands and feet felt like ice by the time we were done.

Fortunately we warmed up with hot chocolate and coffee before going on a tour of the zoo. It was neat to go on a tour led by a zoo employee who gave us the “inside scoop” and told us lots of funny stories about the animals.

Bird of Prey - Watch Out!

Jabba the Hutt the Toad

Beautiful Leopard

I’m not sure if it was the cold air or what but the animals were very active! 


Our tummies were grumbling by the time our volunteer work and zoo tour were over.

Chipotle sounded like a great option and I ordered a big burrito bowl with extra guacamole.

Burrito Bowl


Ryan stuck to the traditional burrito with pork and let me enjoy a couple yummy bites.

Burrito Boy

Gossip Girl Marathon + Apartment Search

After lunch, I headed over to my friend’s apartment for a Gossip Girl marathon. We talked while watching a few episodes and muching on Girl Scout cookies, crackers and cheese, Valentine’s Day chocolate and fresh berries. I left quite full! 😀

I then joined Ryan to check out another potential house which also didn’t have a washer and dryer. C’mon! 😦 We ended up driving around different areas of Orlando we like looking for “For Rent” signs for about an hour. We have another appointment to see a place tomorrow and have a couple other possibilities we want to look into further.

Tonight we’re cleaning our apartment because our landlord wants to be able to show it tomorrow. I also see an ice cream break in our future… 😉

See ya tomorrow for Valentine’s Day!!!