Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Cooking: Hawaiian Pizza + Princess Training

Sunday evening, I tried a supper recipe I've been wanting to try for a few days, Hawaiian Pizza. It definitely met my expectations and the whole family just loved it. 


It's really easy and quick to make so it makes a great weeknight staple for evenings you may be crunched on time. 

You need:
 1 refrigerated pizza crust, I used pillsbury. 
1/2 jar pizza sauce. I used Kroger brand pizza parlor style
Mozzarella cheese
Monterey Jack cheese
1 can Pineapple Rings
Julienne ham strips
2 pieces bacon cooked and chopped. 

Roll out the pizza dough on a non-stick surface. I did mine on a sprayed aluminum foil strip since I don't have to wash my pan that way. Spread pizza sauce over dough, then sprinkle with as much mozzerella and monterey jack as desired. Dice up 2 pineapple rings and spread over pizza, then finally sprinkle with ham strips. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Once you bring the pizza out of the oven, sprinkle the bacon on top and let it cool a bit before you slice it up. 


Monday morning, Caroline got a package in the mail that was from one of my favorite new places to order her clothes, The Smockling. It was a sundress I pre-ordered a couple months ago and it is just so precious on her! She immediately wanted to put it on, so I obliged and let her wear it around the house. I said to her, "Caroline, you just look beautiful." That rotten girl looked at me and said, "You can just call me Princess Caroline." Noted. 

She proceeded to twirl, curtsey and spin all around the living room for the next thirty minutes. It was a sight to behold. We sure have our hands full :)






Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Weekend

We had such a fun, low-key weekend around our parts. Friday evening, we headed over to my sister and brother-in-law's camper at the campground and had a cookout and a campfire. They got their camper last summer and it is such a fun time for the whole family to hang out right on the river and just relax. 


We stayed at the camper pretty late by our standards these days so we slept in Saturday. Shortly after we got up, Juston already had breakfast ready and my parents picked me up and we went to an antique show that we visit every year when it's in town. We spent a few hours just wandering around. It was nice to be footloose and toddler-free going through all the breakable things. It poured rain most of the rest of the day, so we hung around the house, and then the family all came out to our house for another cookout. 

Sunday, Juston headed to Morehead to go turkey hunting with a friend. He ended up getting a jake and a tom so it was a good day for him :) Caroline and I did some major cleaning up around the house, getting ready for the projects I'm tackling once it warms up just a bit more. 

Once Juston got home, we hung out outside for a while and finally I headed inside to make a new recipe, Hawaiian pizza. 



It was so delicious and super easy and quick to make. I'll share the recipe on Wednesday :)
Hope everyone's weekend was long and relaxing. I'm excited to tackle a few things around the house that have been on my list for awhile. Warmer weather always puts me in a creative mood and in the mood to clean. 



Friday, April 24, 2015

Five on Friday

One.

I've got quite a few projects on my home to-do list and right up at the top is painting our front door red. Juston's face when I told him I was thinking about doing this was priceless. He's never really been much of a color guy. Right now, I have it stained a dark mahogany type of shade, but the sun beats on our door all day long, so every stain fades within a couple of years if it even lasts that long. I painted our shutters a few years ago on the house and it hasn't faded a bit yet, so I'm thinking painting the front door may be the way to go. I've always adored a red front door, so I think I'm going to give it a whirl. The only thing giving me pause is that I can't take it back to stain if I don't love the paint. I can only paint it a different color. My favorite red is the door below. 



Two.

Sticking with the front door, I have been searching for the pineapple door knocker below. I found a few on ebay and bid on them, but I always forget to check back and end up getting outbid. So annoying, but I think it would look great with the red door and pineapples are a "Welcome" symbol, so it'd be perfect if I can find one. 


Three. 

Derby weekend is right around the corner, so I grabbed Juston a fun little pair of socks from Kentucky for Kentucky. They have the bourbon bottles and barrels like I got Juston, and they also have a pair with horses and roses just for Derby. 


Four.

Lilly Pulitzer released their first run of summer styles earlier this week and I love so much of it. It was a genius marketing move to get the media talking about their brand after the whole Target fiasco, then launch a new collection the next day. I often wonder how much of the website crash is intentional to an extent to drive more early traffic and force people to buy impulsively so as not to risk losing an item when the site inevitably crashes every year.  It's really a smart plan if you think about it. Anyway,  I really love the Tusk in Sun pink print, but I think I may end up with this romper. They have a little coordinating one for Caroline, too. How can I pass that up?


 

Five.

While we were in Sanford a couple of weeks ago, we went in the most incredible antique shop. It was two stories jam packed with beautiful and interesting vintage and antique items. I dream of the day I can afford to buy some of the antique pieces I drool over when I see them and have a house large enough to put them in. My favorites were definitely this GORGEOUS armoire...



And this little piece, as well. 


Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to check out the whole place since we got the close to closing time, but I can't wait to go back next time we're in town. Hope everyone enjoys their Friday and has a wonderful weekend. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Our Weekend

We had a fun little weekend around our parts, I hope everyone enjoyed theirs as well. We've had a busy last couple of weeks between me and Caroline traveling and Juston traveling for work and back home to Harlan to help his mom with a procedure. This past weekend had some running around for us again. I swear, it's like we hunker down and hibernate all winter but once it warms up, we keep the roads hopping.
 
Friday, we just hung out and enjoyed the beautiful weather on the back patio. Juston got the have two of his favorites, Kentucky bourbon and Carolina beer.
 
 
 
I gave Caroline the option of going with me to Northern Kentucky Saturday or staying home to play with her daddy, and she picked going with me. I'd planned for awhile now to go watch a friend of mine compete in one of her first figure competitions and it started at 9:00 am so we had to leave home around 7:45 to make sure we got there in time.
 

It's a terrible quality photo, but the best my old iPhone could do with the stage lights. My friend, Katherine is the gorgeous one on the right end. She did amazing and I was so proud of her! She was just made for this. We used to cheer together at NKU in college and she has always done everything 110%. I wouldn't be surprised to see her earn a pro card in the next year or two.
 
A funny story about watching the competition, there weren't a ton of people at pre-judging and it was in a smaller auditorium so fairly quiet. Well, Caroline's not the quietest kid around and when the male bodybuilders came on stage, she asks me at the top of her lungs, "Mama, why do those boys have boobies?" Face palm. She was so loud, too!
 
After the competition, I'd made plans to meet up with a very dear friend of mine who's been living in Florida and Georgia for the last few years. She was in Cincinnati with family so I just had to see her while she was in town! Margie and I worked together for years at the YMCA coaching cheerleading and gymnastics and just having a blast. We have so many great memories from our time working together and I just think the world of her.
 
We had a few hours to kill before we were meeting up with Margie though, so I decided to make the normally twenty-thirty minute trek to Kenwood Mall to check out their Lilly store. Well, once I got on 71 north, I found out it was completely shut down and was re-routed through some questionable neighborhoods in Cincinnati and it took us nearly an hour to get up to the mall. Caroline was so good all day, I took her in the Disney store and let her pick out a treat. By the time we went in a few stores, it was time to head back south and meet up with Margie.
 

 
Caroline hadn't seen her since she was about six months old, so we were very excited to meet up with Auntie Marge.
 

 
My selfie game isn't so strong, but I really wanted a picture of all three of us. We met at McAlisters Deli and it was so good. I hadn't been before but had wanted to try it for a long time. It did not disappoint. Their peach tea was amazing, too!
 
 
 
In the Disney store, Caroline picked out a Minnie Mouse baking set, so she asked on the way home if we could make cookies. She was so well-behaved, I figured what the heck. We whipped up some sugar cookies.
 
 
She just loves to dump ingredients and stir.
 
 

 
And lick the spoons and rolling pin. That she gets from her Daddy. I'm always having to swat his hand out of anything I have going on in the kitchen.

 
I tried my hand at royal icing for the first time and it actually turned out pretty good. I think with some practice, I could be pretty decent at making some cute cookies.


 
Saturday night, my sister and her family asked to take Caroline to the high school musical, Mary Poppins, so Juston and I enjoyed a date night dinner at a local restaurant. Sunday, it poured all day so we just stayed around the house and I did a lot of cleaning and hit the gym. This coming up weekend, we don't have a thing planned so I'm looking forward to doing some yard work and projects to spruce up the house.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Gone to Carolina

Last weekend, Caroline and I packed up and hit the road to Sanford, North Carolina. I absolutely love the Carolina's and try to get there as often as possible, so when one of my best friends and one of the sweetest ladies you could ever hope to know asked if we could come stay with her youngest daughter for a few days while she and her husband took a trip, we were so excited to do it!
 
I was admittedly nervous about it the closer it got to time to leave just because it was seven hours drive time with just me and Caroline. I thought she'd do well for the first half and then just be over it and scream and whine. Typically, when we travel, Juston and I take turns riding in the back with Caroline to play with her, hand her things and just keep her entertained. If you've known my child for any amount of time, you know travel was absolutely not an option for about a year and a half after we had her. She'd scream bloody murder from the time I put her in a car seat until she got out. It was misery. I guess we're making up for lost time now traveling so much.
 
Anyway, we packed up Thursday morning and hit the road around 10:30 after running a few errands in town and stopping to see Juston before we left. I think he may have been more nervous than I was. They were forecasting some pretty bad storms for part of our drive, but we never saw a drop of rain until we were already almost there, so it worked out great.
 
I had the iPad loaded up with a whole season of 7D, Caroline's current favorite show, so I knew she'd be content for a least a couple of house. Can I just tell you, my child barely made a peep and before I knew it, we were already in North Carolina.
 
 
Honestly, she probably would have ridden a bit longer, but mama needed a bathroom break and we were both ready to stretch our legs. We climbed the rock walls at the rest stop, chatted with anyone walking by and pet every dog in sight while we were there, then we loaded back up for the last two hours of the trip. We did hit some heavy rain just past Greensboro, but after a quick stop at Bojangles, we got to Sanford around 6:30. I was so proud of my girl. She never once complained the entire drive down.
 
 
 
Friday, we made muffins for another friend of ours and delivered them while Addi was in school.
 
 
 
I also picked up a bubble blower as a treat for Caroline since she was so good during the ride down and she played with that little $4 shark more than anything I've seen her play with recently. It really is the simple things in life.
 
 
 
Caroline just loves their pup Aubie, too, so we played with him until he was tuckered out all day Friday. I just can't get enough of his cute little face. He was my buddy while we were there and even wanted to sleep with me and Caroline every night. I used to dog sit for him years ago so I guess I made a good lasting impression.
 
We picked Addi up from school Friday, then she gave us a little tour of the town before picking the cutest little place for us to eat, The Fairview Dairy Bar. Caroline passed out on the way, so she slept through most of dinner, but just happened to wake up right as they were delivering our ice cream ;) Gets it from her mama.
 
Saturday, we drove to Chapel Hill to take Addi to her tap class, so Caroline and I just busied around town, visited some different shops and walked while class was going on. And of course, there was some frozen yogurt involved.
 
 
I swear, I love snapping pictures of Caroline when she's in the eating zone. They always crack me up. Once Addi's tap class was over, we headed back to Sanford and visited an Italian restaurant for dinner. I can't think of the name of it, but I was just a gorgeous evening, so we sat out on the patio and enjoyed the night.
 
 
Before we knew it, it was already Sunday and time for us to hit the road back home. How cute are those chicks?! I swear, Addi is just the sweetest little lady you could meet and Caroline just adores her. I will say, for as good as she was on the ride down, she took on a bit of a sassy streak once we got to Sanford. I was hesitant to be too hard on her though knowing she may get me back on the seven hour trip home haha
 
We made our first pit stop going home in Mt. Airy, NC. I can't visit without getting some Cheerwine, so we hit a Sheetz and took a lunch break.


Caroline's lunch choice was a trey of pepperonis and Colby jack cheese! She's a nut! I was thinking the trip home may not go as smoothly. It started out with the GPS taking us the backwoods way to get back to the interstate, and of course I blindly followed her orders, but we eventually got where we needed to be. Then not even an hour in, Caroline asked to get out and kept saying she wanted me. Generally not a good sign, but I was prepared and had downloaded a whole season of The Backyardigans before we left Sanford. Genius idea. Once I turned it on, she didn't say hardly a word until West Virginia, where we made our only other stop of the drive home. Once again, more for me and than Caroline, but she was definitely ready, too.
 
 
 
I definitely don't want to jinx myself, but I think I may just have a travel buddy for life in this little girl :)


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cooper River Bridge Run

 The last weekend in March, Juston and I headed to Charleston, SC to participate in our first Cooper River Bridge Run. It was the 38th annual run and it was by far my favorite race I've ever done. I was a nervous mess that whole week leading up to the race though.

We got to Charleston late Thursday so we had the whole day Friday to walk around, eat at some of our favorite places and hit some of our favorite local spots. I'll do a separate post for all things non-race related. 

I really started stressing myself out around Monday the week of the race. I knew I was physically prepared to run the distance, but the incline really had me nervous that I would end up having to walk. I was going to be so disappointed in myself if that ended up being the case and I just got myself all worked up over nothing. 


We had to stay in North Charleston since everything in downtown was booked or extremely expensive since it was a special event weekend. 40.000 people participated in this race! Since we were about 15 minutes from where all the shuttles were running the racers to the start line the morning of, we had to get up around 4:15 Saturday morning to ensure that we got parked and had time to walk to Calhoun street to get in line for a shuttle bus by 6 am. I am so not a morning person, so I don't think it would have been hard to talk me out of running that morning! Juston was pretty well in the same boat since he only did like 7 training runs total. We both joked about going back to the hotel, but I think neither of us could tell if the other was serious and was afraid to ask haha.

The shuttle bus lines were very long but moved incredibly fast. I really couldn't believe how well run this event was. I can't say enough good things about it. The bus ride over to Mt. Pleasant where the race started took around thirty minutes. The line for the porta-potty was almost equally as long, but I can't run without peeing first (sorry, TMI). I have this ridiculous fear of porta-potties. I'm terrified that if I get it one, it's going to get knocked over with me inside and I could never get clean again. That's really random, but true. 



The sun was just starting to come up as we made our way to our Corral to wait for the race to start. It was SO COLD that morning. It was tough to dress to stay warm enough while waiting to run, but cool enough while actually running. Taylor Hicks sang the National Anthem and they had parachute jumpers with American flags descending as he sang. It was a really cool thing to see. 

The first corral took off at 8 am sharp and they released the following corrals about every 5-10 minutes after that. We ended up taking off at 8:30 am. The course went through a main drag of Mt. Pleasant, over Shem Creek and finally up the onramp onto the Ravenel Bridge!



This was when the bridge first came into view from the course. I really loved that they had live bands set up about every half mile through the entire course. Things like that just really make it easier to keep going. There were lots of spectators and fun signs along the course as well.  I was sort of worried about feeling claustrophobic with so many people, but the way they do the staggered start times, it really wasn't an issue at all. Looking at pictures, it looks really crowded, but it didn't feel that way most of the time, especially since you had an entire six lane bridge to spread the runners across. 


I snapped the picture above right as we got to the peak of the incline. I was so happy that I hadn't stopped that I could have cried if I thought much about it. All that stressing and it really wasn't bad at all. Something about the raceday environment they created just made it easy to keep running. 

We reached the halfway point while on the bridge and it was all downhill from there :) After crossing the bridge, the course took us up part of Meeting Street before turning onto King Street, then wrapping around to finish on Meeting Street. There was a point in the race that looked like the finish line, but it was just a fooler right before the six mile mark. Not cool. King street was really neat because there were people on the tops of the buildings cheering you on, there were tons of people lining the streets cheering and a lot of the participants were finished by that point as well, so a bunch of them came back to encourage people as well. There was just a really uplifting and positive atmosphere.


Once we crossed the finish line (Praise!) we had to keep running on to Calhoun Square where Bi Lo had TONS of yummy food for runners. Some of the best muffins I've ever had. There was fresh fruit, water, muffins and lots of cool activities for participants and their families. 


I was so proud of myself for running the whole 10K and every single mile, we ran faster than almost all of my training runs. At one point training, I felt like I was getting slower every single day. I'd strained my hamstring lifting weights and in compensating for that, my knee started hurting, but race day, everything felt great. I'm so glad we decided not to go back to sleep that morning ;)

We got some post race treats at Cupcakes Down South on King Street.



Even after swearing to Juston I would never ask him to do another 10K as we were driving into run that morning, I looked at him after the race was over and told him I'd love to do he CRBR again next year. I might be nuts...does that make me an official Runner?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter

We just celebrated the most wonderful Easter weekend with family. I ate entirely too much good food and took entirely too many pictures, at least according to Juston and Caroline. 



Friday morning, Caroline and I did a store run to pick up everything we'd need to cook Easter lunch for the family on Sunday and I couldn't pass up the beautiful white tulips they had. Caroline discovered Peeps this year and has been obsessed. I personally think they are disgusting, but to each their own. 


I found the cutest idea on Pinterest awhile ago and made bunny pancakes for breakfast over the weekend. I thought Caroline would be so excited! Instead, she looked at it and said, "I thought it would be green. Can I have a green pancake?" Guess she prefers St. Patricks breakfast pancakes. 

Since Juston only had to work a half day on Friday, we headed to Lexington to order Caroline's pictures we had done at Mark Kidd Studios earlier this month. It was a really hard choice because I loved them all, but we finally decided. Caroline begged for Chick-fil-a as soon as she knew we were in Lexington, so we went there afterwards. Turns out she only wanted to go for the playplace. At least until the older boys in there repeatedly ran into her and knocked her over. I was about to lose my shit on some kids parents for not being in there watching them, so we left after a few minutes. Caroline had a meltdown and we had to drive home in the pouring down rain. There was a ton of flooding on the way home, but luckily we made it safe and sound. 

My sister's kids spent the night with us Friday night. Caroline absolutely loves her cousins. Jayden made everyone breakfast Saturday morning and we all just hung out that day. 


I got all of our Easter food and our clothes prepped and ironed Saturday so we wouldn't be rushed Sunday morning, which is always inevitable, then we stayed up late watching the Cats lose a tough game. You could basically hear the entire state of Kentucky cry as the clock ran out. It was a great ride these Cats took us all on and they were a blast to watch all season. 



We got up Sunday morning to check out what the Easter Bunny left for Caroline.


Once everyone was dressed and ready, we went to my parents to meet up with the family and take pictures before church.



After church was over, everyone came out to our house to eat and do an Easter Egg hunt.  Mom made half the food and I made the other half. It seems like no matter how much I prepare in advance, I always feel rushed and like things didn't get done when it comes time for people to arrive. Luckily, family doesn't really care if the rugs got vacuumed first. 




Caroline went to children's church with Camden for the first time and did really well. She's the little bonnet baby in the back .

Sunday evening, we finally got around to coloring eggs and I think it was sort of anti-climactic for Caroline. She doesn't do waiting well. I think she would have had more fun had we done it on Saturday when her cousins could have done it with her. I'll have to remember that next year. 



Hope everyone's Easter was wonderful!