Gag Gift Heaven

First, be sure to pronounce the word “gag” with a full blown Wisconsin accent. Something like… gaaaaaaayyyyg.

My lovely friend Christen had us over for dinner the other night, and unbeknownst to us, Christen had over 20 gag gifts to give out to us. Is that love or what?

Each guest received very special glasses.

Gifts such as hulk boxing gloves were given.

I received a Queen Kit — only appropriate, of course — and Katy received a Jesus doll. Have you hugged Jesus today?

Thanks to Christen for making a regular weekend something quite special :)


On my calendar today: “Indiana”

Hi Friends! Just a quick hello — I’m heading out of town this afternoon for a baby shower for my beautiful friend Carli. Remember when she got engaged? Hard to believe that a little girl named Lily Lee is going to be here before you know it.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a girly weekend of crafting and chatting with some of my favorite people. And I’ll be back on Monday to tell you all about it!

I Wish I Could Go Back To College…

Today is Commencement Day.  And two years ago, that was me.  Crazy.

Do I wish I could go back and do it again?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no…I have to admit that life with a salary and a house has some major perks.  But I still relate to this song from Avenue Q.  And now and then, I like to think about all the fun and joy in the four years I had as an undergrad, in spite of the occasional obstacle.  So, amidst all the moving and change that is going on in my life right now, I just can’t help but get a little nostalgic over the really fun stuff…

I wish I could go back to college.
Life was so simple back then.
What would I give to go back and live in a dorm with a meal plan again!

I wish I could go back to college.
In college you know who you are.
You sit in the quad, and think, “Oh my God!
I am totally gonna go far!”

How do I go back to college?
I don’t know who I am anymore!
I wanna go back to my room and find a message in dry-erase pen on the door!

I wish I could just drop a class…
Or get into a play…
Or change my major…
I need an academic advisor to point the way!

We could be…
Sitting in the computer lab,
4 A.M. before the final paper is due,
Cursing the world ’cause I didn’t start sooner,
And seeing the rest of the class there, too!

I wish I could go back to college!
How do I go back to college?!

I wish I had taken more pictures.

But if I were to go back to college,
Think what a loser I’d be-
I’d walk through the quad,
And think
“Oh my God…


These kids are so much younger than me.”

–Avenue Q

Would you go back if you could?

Here’s a video in case you’re curious…

Ode to Kenner

On Saturday, we’ll move away from the house we have loved for the last two years. A lot has happened in and around these walls — happiness, heart break, hope, homework, meals, craft fails, parties (lots and lots of parties), snow, friendships, fights, and the list goes on.  The people who have lived in and visited our house have really made it the home it is.  So, much like Katy’s part one and part two, here is my Ode to Kenner.

Beautiful from the day we moved in:

We made our very first turkey:

I started getting into photography and experimenting around the house:

I even took a photography class…for which Halloween made a good topic:

There were many game/wine nights:

Katy got Tucker…

Who ran away and got hurt:

Two great Christmases, along with wine and cheese parties:

I could go on and on with the great events we’ve hosted with our even greater friends, but I’ll stop at this.  More than anything, I’m just going to miss the everyday comfort of a place that has really started to feel like home.  Fond memories, always.

Oh, and I’ll REALLY miss my days on the porch…



Weekend with Carli {MM Bonus Post}

This post is really just for myself, and for the handful of you who may care.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I just spent a great weekend doing all things girly with Carli, who is currently residing just outside of Chicago.  I just had to share with you a few of my biggest takeaways from our time together.

{Taken on Carli’s iPhone: Our amazing waiter at the Brazillian Steak House practiced his martini-caligraphy (martinigraphy?) on this heavenly chocolate martini}

1. Brazillian Steak Houses are the coolest, meatiest restaurants I have ever experienced, and Dad, we must find one because you would be in heaven.

2. A whisk covered in red velvet cake batter does, in fact, stain carpeting.  And clothes.

3. I can only dream of being as fabulous a hostess and showing the level of hospitality Carli and Spence showed me.

4. Let’s talk about heaven.  Then let’s talk about a giant, homemade, pink marshmallow, thoroughly covered in pink sprinkles.  And THEN let’s talk about how they are the same thing.

5. After our first attempt at a heart-centered cake, which turned out just a tad rough around the edges, I think it’s pretty obvious we should try again soon.  Who wants cake?

6. Dora The Explorer personalized birthday video = win.

7. A paper bunny explosion is a great project while watching 9 to 5, The September Issue, and Singing In The Rain.

8. I need more Le Creuset in my life.  Apparently, I also need more TJ Maxx in my life. 

9. And I definitely need more Carli in my life.

10. Forty-eight hours away from computers, phones, school work, work work, chores, calorie-counting, and exercising can, in fact, feel like the longest, best vacation of your life.

Carli and Spence, I love you both!!  (and you too, Kashi!)

{MM Review} Urban Flats

Every now and then, I visit a restaurant or read a book that I just MUST share with all of you lovely people. This weekend, we ate at Urban Flats, which has quickly become one of my new favorite restaurants in Nashville. Their dinner menu has creative combinations that made it hard to choose! I had the Californian and got to taste the Steak & Portabello…and they were both AMAZING!  The Californian had a sort of tangy sweetness similar to BBQ chicken but more complex.  It doesn’t seem to be listed on their menu online, but if I recall correctly, it had a raspberry jam sauce, with chicken, toasted walnuts, and goat cheese.  Heaven?  Yes please.

And even before we ate, we ordered hummus, which came with four different kinds–one in particular, honey macadamia nut, was a treat, as I’ve never had a sweet hummus like that before!  Two glasses of wine, appetizers, flats, and friends made this a wonderful night!

I can’t wait to go back and try something else!

Chicken Lasagna = Monday Night Dinner Party

Katy made this amazing chicken lasagna one Monday night when we had a few of our favorite girlies over for dinner.  It was so cheesy delicious I just cannot WAIT to make it again…

Chicken Lasagna

10-11   lasagna noodles (I use no-boil! I use a few more – they are smaller.  If you use no-boil, it will take the box of 16 and is better if you make 3 layers, saving 1/3 of the cheese for the top and adding none to the last layer – as the recipe also says.)
1          (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 C      chicken broth
8 oz     cream cheese, softened
1 C      sour cream
½ t       salt
½ C     Swiss cheese shredded
1 C      Cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ C     parsley
¼ C     spring onions sliced
¼ C     green pepper diced (could use a little more if you like)
2 C      mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 C      cooked chicken, chopped


If you don’t use no-boil, then cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain.

In a bowl combine soup and broth.  Stir until smooth; set aside.  In a separate bowl, combined cream cheese, sour cream, salt, Swiss cheese, parsley, spring onions and green pepper.  Set aside.

In a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch dish, first spread a very thin layer of the soup mixture, then a layer of noodles, layers (in order) of the cream cheese mixture, cooked chicken, soup mixture, cheddar cheese and mozzarella.  Repeat these steps for at least one more layer.  (I think I sometimes get one more.)  Finish with a layer of noodles.  Save enough mozzarella cheese and Cheddar to spread on top.  Bake at 375o for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I can’t wait to have everyone over again!!