Pasta Party

This morning while watching Sadie hunt lizards in our new backyard (!!!), I had a chance to upload pictures from Saturday night’s pasta party.

After moving all day on Saturday, Ryan and I were so ready to chow down!

Hungry Couple

Our friends Merri and Pete were having a pasta dinner party to “carbo-load” for Sunday morning’s 5k race. Any excuse for yummy pasta and garlic bread, right?

Pete & Merri

Pete and Merri spent hours preparing a real Italian meal for us to enjoy. Pete is Italian and made his own pasta sauce and meatballs. He said his mom would make this elaborate dinner every Sunday night when he was growing up! Lucky boy, huh?

Garlic Bread

Laurel's Salad

Pasta + Sauce + Meatballs + Italian Sausage

Everything was so delicious. I think everyone went back for seconds of everything.

Fuelin' Up for the 5k!

We had to adequately fuel for the 5k, right?

I seriously couldn’t get enough of Pete’s sauce and Merri even put a bunch of it in some Tupperware for me and Ryan to take home with us. (We already ate all of it last night when we made ravioli!)

After dinner, we hung out for a bit before it was time for dessert. Even though we were all full at this point, we still managed to call our second stomachs into action for zepploes.

I had never had or heard of zeppoles before Pete and I haven’t looked back since. They’re beyond delicious!

Pete makes the zeppoles by wrapping mozzarella cheese in pizza dough, before frying the balls and tossing them in powdered sugar. Are you drooling yet???

Fry Awaaay

Gimme Some Suga!

Ready for Eatin'

I had three and enjoyed every last bite!


It was a great night with great friends and great food. Great all around! šŸ˜€

I’m off to shower… See ya after breakfast!

Ladies Who Lunch

According to Wikipedia, ladies who lunch are “slim, well-off, old-money, well-dressed women who meet for lunch socially, normally during the work week. Typically, the women involved are married and non-working.”

Well, today I was a lady who lunched with two friends, but all of us are employed, and only two of us were married (Not me… at least not yet!)… We’re off the mark a bit from Wikipedia’s definition, but I think that’s a good thing. šŸ˜‰

Lunching Ladies

Are you a “lady who lunches?” If not, would you want to be?

I’ll take the old-money, well-off, slim stuff… but the “unemployed” part throws me for a loop! I think I function better when I have more stuff on my plate, and without kids or anything to occupy me in the day, I think I’d go crazy without a job!


Today I met up with my friends (and former coworkers) Ryan and Ashley for lunch downtown.

Ryan and Ashley

I enjoyed a roast beef and provolone cheese unwich (a sandwich made on lettuce rather than bread) from Jimmy John’s.

Jimmy John's Roast Beef and Provolone Cheese Unwich

We had a nice time catching up over yummy food.

Ashley got married in the beginning of January and I haven’t seen her since her wedding. I loved hearing about her newly married life.

Ryan ran her first half marathon at the end of February and I was anxious to hear about her race. She did awesome! We’ll both be running in a 10K on Saturday which should be lots o’ fun. šŸ™‚

Q & A Update

Last night I took a lot of time revamping my Q&A page. I added a bunch of the questions I received multiple times during the Ask Me Anything week to the page and I think it’s a lot more comprehensive. I hope you enjoy! As always, if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you at


After work today Ryan and I are taking a mini road trip (Does a one-hour drive count as a road trip?) to Winter Haven to check out some scuba diving equipment that my dad found on craigslist.

The pricing seems great and we’re anxious to see if the stuff looks good in person. The couple is about our size so hopefully everything will fit and be functional.

We’re hoping to get some decent scuba gear as the summer approaches because we want to be able to dive a lot!

Are you a fan of craigslist? Have you ever bought anything from someone who posted something on the site?

I love craigslist. I’ve found three apartments and a couch on craigslist. I’m quite a fan!

Artichokes, Good. Pasta, Good.

As I was prepping my lunch last night, I asked Ryan whether or not he thought artichokes would taste good in pasta. I’ve never had artichokes in my pasta before and wasn’t sure if the flavors would mesh well.

Ryan’s reply? “Artichokes, good. Pasta, good.”

How Joey Tribbiani of him! šŸ™‚

“It tastes like feet!” Hahaha!

For those of you counting, that’s two references to Friends in two posts so far today… let’s see if I can include another during my dinner post tonight. šŸ˜‰

Who is your favorite Friends character?

I love Ross. I think he is hysterical and I love smart, nerdy guys.

Back to lunch…

I took Ryan’s reasoning to heart, and included several artichoke hearts in my pasta bowl.

Artichoke Pasta Bowl

I also included portobello mushrooms, marinara meat sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Stirred Up

Wednesday's Lunch

The verdict? Success! Artichokes do work well in pasta.

Morning Snack

Since I had leftover cream cheese from the cream cheese apple dip I made for my friend’s Super Bowl party on Sunday, I incorporated it into my mid-morning snack.

Cream Cheese and Apple Tortilla

I topped a Joseph’s tortilla with a big smear of cream cheese and a slice Fuji apple.

I folded it over and ate it quesadilla-style.

Morning Snack

This was my first time trying a Joseph’s tortilla and boy-oh-boy was it good! I will officially be switching from Joseph’s pitas to Joesph’s tortillas.

Tonight’s Plans

Right after work I am heading to Something Blue, a bridal boutique in Orlando to meet with my mom. I will be trying on my top two wedding dresses.

I’m very excited because the dress from Saturday that I think might be the one is at this shop. I love it and can’t wait to put it on again. The two dresses I will be trying on are 100 percent different. One is a big ballgown with lots of pick-ups, while the other is a romantic dress with lace and a more classic look. I’m leaning toward the lace dress at the moment…

After our dress appointment, we’re heading to La Luce, a restaurant in the Hilton Bonnet Creek hotel to meet my dad for dinner since he’s in town on business. The menu looks amazing (even though I can’t understand half of it).

Should be a fun night!

“Here She Comes…”

“…Miss Ameeeeerica!”

The Miss America watch party atĀ our friends’Ā Merri and Pete’s apartment was a blast!

Merri is a wonderful hostess and within five minutes of walking in the door I had a glass of my favorite kind of wine in my hand.

Relax Riesling

My parentsĀ gave me a bottle ofĀ Relax Riesling wineĀ for my college graduation in the spring of 2007 and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since!

Aside from my favorite wine, Merri and PeteĀ had a beautiful display of food… the majority of which was really healthy!

Fresh Fruit


The Spread

IĀ am a fruit lover andĀ gobbled up a lot of the delicious fruit. The grapesĀ wereĀ perfect –Ā really crunchy, but very sweet.

Merri also brought outĀ homemade spinach artichoke dip which I ate a ton of as well. It was cheesy, creamy and homemade how was I to resist?

Unfortunately our sorority sister, Miss Florida, didn’t make it all the way in the pageant, but she looked beyond gorgeous and her body was smokin’. I gotta get on the Miss America fitness plan, STAT! šŸ˜‰ Great job, Rachael!Ā 

Before leaving, Ryan and I managed to stuff ourselves with tons of cookie dough and a billion oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies. Merri made a huge batch and we dug in!

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had more than five… I am officially a cookie monster. šŸ˜€

I’m off to make breakfast. Pancakes are callin’ my name!

I hope you all have a relaxing Sunday. I’m going to try to swindle Ryan into seeing New Moon (the second Twilight movie) with me at the dollar movie theater since I still haven’t seen it. Wish me luck!

Mexican Birthday Dinner

Last night Ryan and I headed out to meet up with our friends at Mucho Tequila and Tacos, a new restaurant in downtown Orlando to celebrate our friend Merri’s birthday.

Celebrating a Birthday

The Boys

We were one of the first ones there and orderedĀ a bucket of Presidente Light beer to share.Ā I typically stickĀ to my favorite (Miller Lite) when I drink beer, but this was pretty good! It was a great compliment to theĀ copiusĀ amounts of chips and salsa we ate beforeĀ andĀ during dinner. Ā 

All Smiles

Enjoying Some Drinks

Me, Laurel and Kaitlyn

I was pretty full on beer and chips and salsa by the time our dinner was served.

Ryan and I shared a Mucho Mexi Burger with sweet potato fries.

Mexi Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

The burger was only okay but the sweet potato fries were fantastic! We gobbled them up in no time!

Overall the experienceĀ at Mucho was great! I would definitely go back to enjoy some more chips and salsa, but I think I would order the fajitas or tacos as my entree next time.

Today will be a relaxing day. We’re going to run someĀ errands,Ā clean the apartment, do laundry andĀ may take Sadie hiking on some trails.

Enjoy your Sunday!