10.12.14

Two weeks ago, I married the love of my life. The day was a big blur, but it was wonderful the same. I couldn’t have asked for better friends and family for all their help! Tony and I are so thankful for everything and everyone, and we are so far enjoying our married life. Here are a few photos from the special day. When we get the rest back, I’ll post them too!

First Kiss as Husband and Wife 🙂

Mama and A-Lib helping me get ready

we have the best friends

Eight years of friendship. Couldn’t do it without her

this girl was my sanity for the majority of the day. love me some A-Lib

these four beautiful ladies mean the world to me and it meant so much to have them share this special day with them. I honestly wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them ❤

he did good 🙂

Ephesians 6:9

love my handsome hubby

Farmer Jim and Mama ❤

the lovely little Poarch ladies 🙂

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this day amazing ❤ We love you guys and we appreciate it all 🙂 Thanks Elizabeth, Kelsey, Scott, Seth, A-Lib, Alana, Christine, Helen, Farmer Jim, Mama, Raimo, Mary-Alice, Mareck, Michael, Robin, Mama Carolyn, and Becca, you guys are the best!

Christmas!

Christmas this year was pretty fantastic! Even though it was rough getting into the Christmas spirit for me, I still enjoyed the holiday and loved getting be with my family.

I worked until 3ish on Christmas Eve (something I am still extremely bitter about). After that I came home and showered and laid in bed with my fiance and watched TV for a while. Then my uncle came over for dinner and we had a yummy feast (mac&cheese, ham, corn, and biscuits)! After dinner we all played Yahtzee and listened to Christmas music. I went to bed pretty early because I’ve been having problems with my back and have been on medication that makes me super groggy.

0 here’s a picture of us playing Yahtzee!

I woke up early on Christmas morning and had breakfast with my parents (yummy cinnamon rolls!) and then we opened our presents to each other. I got some really nice gifts and I feel so blessed. After that we all got ready and then Tony came over and we opened our presents to each other and from my parents. Then we went and had lunch with my family!

After my grandmother passed away in 2009 we started a new Christmas Day tradition of going to a local Chinese restaurant to eat lunch/dinner! It has probably been the best idea my family has ever had! It’s so much fun and we eat so much yummy food! This year we had pretty much the same group of people, although my mom’s best-friend and her husband did join us (altogether it was: me and Tony, mom and dad, my uncle Nick, Alfred and Robin (who are practically my aunt and uncle), Ricki and Wayne (my mom’s best-friend and her husband), and my cousin Wade and his girlfriend Bonnie). It was so much fun and I’m so glad we started the tradition. After we ate lunch Tony and I came home with my parents and dad and Tony played games on the Atari Flashback 4 that I bought my dad! After Tony went home I spent the rest of the day being lazy and hanging out with my mom.

Here’s some pictures from the day! I hope everyone had a good Christmas and is ready for a new year! (I know we’re not prepared at all)!

1 our yummy cinnamon roll breakfast (accompanied by hot chocolate of course!)
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the beautiful Christmas tree in the living room
3 my mama’s beautiful Christmas village!
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Farmer Jim’s gifts from Santa

6 my gifts from Santa!
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mama’s gifts from Santa!
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I got a bottle of Rum! (to replace the three bottles my dad has drunk and then replaced)
12 8 I got the cutest cupcake clock! I cannot wait to have a place of our own so that I can hang it in our kitchen!
9 mama’s awesome new bird feeder!
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dad was really excited for his pistachios!
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  the bud-bud playing in the paper
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14 I was sooooo excited to get this book! I’m such a psychology nerd and I absolutely love Oliver Sacks and his books!
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dad got a Red Baron plane!
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my new cupcake platter!
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dad got a new shirt! I promise he was more excited than it seems!
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mama got a new M&M charm bracelet from daddy!
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I got a gift certificate for a massage from Farmer Jim! I’m so excited!
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yes we did get Farmer Jim Wink! for Christmas!
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mama got me a subscription to Food Network Magazine! I absolutely love everything Food Network, like I have a serious problem
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and I got a mini cupcake maker! so exciting!
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my gifts after opening!
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mama’s gifts after opening!
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Farmer Jim’s gifts after opening!
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all of my gifts from my students!
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Farmer Jim’s tractor!
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a beautiful birdhouse from my cousin and his girlfriend and an adorable snowman plate from my aunt Helen
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the Stinky looking possessed amongst the wrapping paper
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gift cards from my students
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dad’s new Atari Flashback 4! which he loooves!
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33 I am in love with Ree Drummond and her cooking! I love her show and her cookbooks and I am so excited that I got two of them for Christmas! I cannot wait to start making these recipes.

34 mama and daddy with their little black babies (Ziva and Abby)
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mama and daddy with Ziva and M&M
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M&M and Abby (the best of friends)
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me with my new laminator thanks to my awesome fiance!38 I have had my eyes on this cookie jar since Hobby Lobby put their Christmas stuff out back in September. I was so surprised that I got it and I cannot wait to use it! thanks babe!39 my new cupcake carousel!
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my future mother-in-law has the best taste in clothing! she got me this cute pink sweater and this adorable earmuff headband! I love them both!

Engagement Pictures – Shot With a Bow Photography

A few weeks ago Tony and I had our engagement pictures taken by an old co-worker of mine. Mary-Alice is the sweetest girl ever and she did an awesome job! These pictures make me swoon every time I look at them! I highly recommend her to anyone in the Richmond, Virginia area! Thanks so much for the wonderful experience girl! I can’t wait to see how the wedding pictures turn out next year 🙂 Here are a few of my favorites from the session, all credit goes to Mary-Alice Jackson and Shot With a Bow Photography!

Website: Shot With a Bow
Blog: Show With a Bow Blog
Facebook: Shot With a Bow Facebook

ImageImageImage <– this one’s my favorite ❤ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage <– I also really really love this one 🙂ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

we decorated for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving, despite me feeling like crap after wisdom teeth surgery the week before. We were a little scared at first because we have a new kitten and she’s quite the handful, but so far she’s managed okay (I think she’s bored with the trees already). The inside of our house looks wonderful and festive! (hopefully my dad will finish the outside today).

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our first Christmas together!
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my favorite cross ornament!
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my tree! it’s decorated in patriotic ornaments, crosses, Yankees and Redskins ornaments, and babe and I’s stuff
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some of my mom’s M&M ornaments
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our engagement ornament! I ordered it off of Etsy and I am completely in love with it ❤ I’ve gotten so many compliments!
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Mama’s Christmas Village 🙂
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our second Christmas together!
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my glitter duck
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one of my mom’s new houses! (I’ve bought her three this year!)
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my cardinal tree topper in honor of my Granny!
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my tree again!

December Currently

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Listening: to Law & Order: SVU – I am looooving these marathons on USA lately!
Loving: that we finally have our Christmas decorations up!
Thinking:
I’m so proud of myself for making such good grades this semester! Dean’s List and Straight A’s
Wanting:
I really wanna go the Christmas lights around town!
Needing:
Family Time – it’s my favorite thing of the year!
Favorite Tradition:
Christmas Open House – we’ve had it ever year for as long as I can remember and I absolutely love it!

My Favorite Foods

Now as you guys can guess, I love to cook! I love to eat even more though! Some of my favorite foods are simple things to cook too, so last weekend I took it upon myself to make my favorite things!

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Paula Deen’s Mac&Cheese
This is by far the best mac&cheese recipe ever! I honestly cannot get enough of it! It’s a hit with my entire family! (My uncle eats it by the bowl full). It’s super easy as well and doesn’t take any time at all to prepare.

New Potatoes and Green Beans

This recipe rocks! We’ve made it at least 4 times since discovering it last Fall. We even made it for a family reunion where it got rave reviews! The recipe calls for ham, but we’ve also made it using bacon. (I think it tastes better with bacon).

Helen’s Hot Dogs – this is my aunt’s recipe and it’s amazing!
Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. hot dogs (use the good kind! like Ballpark, otherwise they will be rubbery and will not taste very good)
  • 1/2 c. red currant jam
  • 1/2 c. brown mustard

Directions:

  1. Cut up hot dogs into bit-size pieces.
  2. Mix together jam and mustard.
  3. Add hot dogs.
  4. Microwave until jam and mustard have melted into a sauce.
  5. Stir well before serving

Meatballs

These meatballs are the easiest things to make! You can make them on either the stove-top or in the crock-pot. All you need is a package of frozen meatballs and a bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce (I normally use original sauce, but last time I ran out so I added some of the Sweet Baby Rays Hickory BBQ to it and it was wonderful!) Just mix the meatballs and the sauce together and let them cook! It took about 20 minutes for them to cook on the stove at medium-high heat, but we’ve put them in the crock-pot before to keep them warm (for parties and stuff) and it takes about 2 hours for them to be ready.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl

So, I loooove Chipotle! Like, love it. It’s an addiction that an old high school teacher of mine, the wonderful Molly Stillman, got my hooked on during my senior year of high school. Now normally I order the same thing when I go there: Chicken Soft Tacos, and I love them, but I may have to start branching out to the burrito bowl after trying this recipe at home! This was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had and I couldn’t get enough. We had it set up as a make-your-own-bowl type thing and everyone but my mom put everything together and devoured it! It was just that good! The original recipe can be found here. It called for a can of diced tomatoes, but we found that fresh tomatoes worked just fine (especially since we grow our own tomatoes and have them coming out of our ears). It also called for things like guacamole and seasonings, but we didn’t use any of that.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls
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Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can corn
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 (8 oz.) Taco rice
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1-2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Shred the chicken, add taco seasoning, set aside.
  2. Cook the rice according to the directions on the box.
  3. Heat on medium-high heat a large frying pan; add 2 tbsp. olive oil.
  4. Add chicken and cook together.
  5. Open the cans of black beans and corn and put in small bowls (I recommend heating them up).
  6. Once chicken and rice are done, you can start plating.
  7. In a bowl or on a plate (a bowl works better), place lettuce, rice, chicken, and then add toppings of your choice.

Homemade Hush Puppies

To go with our seafood dinner on Sunday, I made homemade hush puppies (per my father’s request). I didn’t eat any, but I got rave reviews on them! They were super easy and I recommend them for sure! However, they aren’t very sweet, so if you want sweet hush-puppies you might want to add some sugar to the mix. It’s also a major plus that this recipe doesn’t require you to fry/deep-fry them! (you bake them in the oven!)

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