Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Christmas rush is through


I can't believe that the Christmas hustle is done and over with! I also can't believe that we are embarking on a new year in a few days...hello 2010!!!!!

Daniel and I had a wonderful first Christmas together. We got much, much, much more than we ever could have imagined. We are SO blessed to have such amazing parents. I often come to a loss of words when thanking parents...I don't know how to thank my parents for all they have done for me (and Daniel). Daniel's parents are just as amazing...we are so very blessed. Our parents are truly God-sent. Thank you, thank you for such a wonderful Holiday and for everything you do for us. We wish we could think of a better way to thank you...there will never be enough words and expressions to help communicate our thanks and appreciation.

Daniel and I spent Christmas Eve through Christmas Day with my side of the family. It was a great time! Lots of Mom's good cooking and lots of relaxing time with my family. On Saturday, we went to Daniel's parents in Raleigh. We got back from this trip yesterday (Monday)...and as always it was a good time with lots of laughs! :) Now, I'm back to working at the gym...and my new big job begins Monday!

I hope that you have some time to relax before the new year is off to a start!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Although today is Christmas Eve, I probably won't be posting tomorrow on Christmas day. I hope that Christmas brings you lots of joy, love, cookie eating, present opening, laughter, and the remembering of the true reason we celebrate this special holiday.

Zeus is quite excited for Santa to come tonight:
video

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cooking and Baking

I LOVE to cook as you've read in my previous posts. Not only is it much healthier for you (if you use the right ingredients)...it's also much cheaper than going out to eat! I am weird about a few things. #1) If I go longer than two days without exercise, I get crabby and in a bad mood #2) I need to eat something every 3-4 hours, even if it's just an apple or a healthy snack...I get low-blood sugar quickly and I become "hangry" (hungry and angry!) #3) I always eat breakfast right when I get up in the morning (this is known to be good for you, as your body has not had nutrients for the last 8 hours or however long you've slept and your body needs FUEL!) And, last but not least #4) I don't enjoy eating out all of the time. It actually grosses me out. I could go on and on about this, but I'll stop there.

Needless to say...I love to cook...I love everything about it. I enjoy searching for recipes...I am constantly reading recipes. I have a stack of yummy recipes that I'm just waiting to try! Daniel and I cook (or I cook, he cleans---we are a good team!) about five nights a week. I am big on leftovers too, so we have those a lot (on the menu for tonight-leftover meatball/cabbage stew). If a dish I make makes tons, then I freeze half, so we can pull it out for an easy/quick dinner on a busy night.

As I've said before, I get this cooking "bug" from my Mom and Grandma. Both are ahhhmaaazing cooks!!!! Both are also amaaazing bakers. My Mom gave Daniel and I a plate of her homemade Christmas cookies and yummmo they are delish!

I will post a few pics below of some yummy things I've made recently. I'll try to be better about blogging good recipes that I cook and taking pictures of them. Enjoy!

"Festive Candy Cane Brownie cupcakes"


1 brownie mix 9×13 inch size

A package of your favorite holiday candy (I used small Hersey candies)

1/2 Cup chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons heavy cream (I used skim milk and it worked just fine)

3 original candy canes, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and scoop into a muffin tin pan that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray, about 3/4 way full. Press kisses (or other candy) into center of brownie batter, do not push all the way to bottom, some of the tip should stick out the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely.

2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, 30 second intervals until smooth and melted. Stir in cream until silky smooth. You can place back in microwave for 10 seconds to smooth more if needed. Dip tops of brownies into melted chocolate, then sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve with a tall glass of milk. Enjoy!! You'll bite into something delish!


"Pecan encrusted Trout with broccoli and homemade whole wheat mac n'cheese"

Apple Coffee Cake for Daniel's Birthday! Courtesy of Emeril!

"Homemade Split Pea Soup" Daniel made this!

Homemade banana bread


Monday, December 21, 2009

We're nearing the end of 2009

Good friends of mine had this little saying in their Christmas card this year. I love it and thought I'd share it with you.

Thank God for dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell
While other folks go hungry, we're eating very well
With home and health and happiness we shouldn't want to fuss
For by this stack of evidence, God is very good to us.

Throughout the ups and the downs of 2009, I am thankful for our dirty dishes!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

6 Months!

Six months ago today, Daniel and I got married! What a wonderful, fairy-tale weekend it was for us. It was the best day of our lives, by far!!! I can't believe that six months has gone by so quickly. In another six months it'll be a year...phew. Time flies when you're having fun!

We also went to see the Nutcracker today with my parents. What a lovely time had for all! Now, it's the countdown for Christmas...are you ready?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Walking in a winter-wonderland

Zeus playing in the snow:
My husband on our walk:

We have around a foot of snow!!!!! Weathermen are calling for more tonight! We haven't had this much snow in a very long time...at least eight years or so. We especially haven't had this much snow around Christmas time. It is so special and fun to have a white Christmas...or at least, have snow around the season.

I was supposed to work today, but the gym was closed! So instead, Daniel and I have had a nice, relaxing day. We made waffles for the first time in our new AMAAAZING All Clad waffle maker...yum...hands down the best waffles I've ever had. Period. Then we took a nice long walk in the snow. It was cold, but we bundled up...took pictures...and breathed in the fresh, snowy air. We took Zeus out for a bit in it, but he does not enjoy the snow. He gets very cold, and especially his feet get chilly. He makes us laugh as he tries to not get near the snow...sometimes he just has too. We've found a special spot for him to do his business...this seems to be working well so far. After our nice walk, we came inside to warm up. We had lunch, then went back out! We live so conveniently to a mall, so we went and walked around there. We both got new running shoes which we both needed desperately! :) I got all of our Christmas presents wrapped...now we are relaxing again. I think we are going to walk over to the mall and go to PF Chang's for dinner.

Such a fun, quiet, Christmas-filled day! Love to you and yours!
video

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Zeus-"The Moose"


Zeus as a wee-little puppy

Around Spring of 2008, Daniel and I began to seriously consider getting a puppy. We began the discussion of which kind of dog to get. I grew up with Goldens, so I was leaning toward a Golden or a Lab. I love big dogs...they are sweet, fun, and great to exercise with. The only small dog I've had was a Lhasa Apso...our family's first dog. This dog was not very nice, and especially horrible around young children. He, Casey, was my impression of how small dogs acted. Daniel also great up with bigger dogs, Labs. We both thought about getting a big dog, but then re-thought how much space and exercise a large dog would need. At that time, we were living in two separate small apartments...and, mind you, we were not engaged---so had no plans to live together yet.

Since Daniel was young, he saw some pug puppies and it was love at first sight! He mentioned to me..."What about getting a pug?" The perception I had about pugs were that they were fat, ugly, loud, snorters and...gross. I thought...no, I don't want a pug! After lots of convincing, and reading up about pugs, I decided to make a go for it and let Daniel have what he's always wanted. I do have to admit that after reading a lot about pugs, getting a book on them, etc... it seemed to be the perfect fit for us.

Now, it was time for me to research pug breeders! We knew we wanted a AKC certified pug, so we looked up breeder's through this. The first breeder we visited was great. This is when I fell in love with pugs. There were about five little tini-tiny pug puppies running around us...they were SO sweet, funny and cute, cute, CUTE. After lots of thinking and consideration, we did not buy from this breeder because these dogs were show dog quality and were way too expensive for our puppy budget. On to the next breeder visit! This breeder we found in Richmond. It was awful. The breeder basically had a puppy farm of pugs all in his nasty, dirty house. It was gross, it was smelly, it was dirty, the dogs were not taken care of...it was sad. Needless to say, we did not get a pug from there. To this day, I wish we would have reported this breeder...this is NOT how puppies should be brought into the world! Now, for the third breeder we visited. "Serenity Haven Kennels"...this was it. A breeder out in Pamplin, VA...they breed Pugs, French Bulldogs and Bulldogs. A couple runs this kennel, and they are the most loving, caring people...not to mention the kennel was spotless and did not smell at all!!! This is where we bought Zeus. We had to wait a little over a month to take him home and could not wait!

Now you ask, "Where does the name Zeus come from?" Daniel liked the name "Zeus" for a pug, so it was easy---that was his name. And....it really fits him!!! We have lots of nicknames for him: "Zeus-The Moose," "Moose," "knucklehead," etc.

Zeus is the sweetest, precious, most loving dog I've EVER had and been around. He is the perfect apartment dog, super easy, and the most cuddly animal possible. He cracks us up daily with his cute face, his "pug runs," and his hilarious personality. As I type this, he is cuddled up on my lap. If you are seating down or sleeping, he is right next to you...he can't get too close and nestles into your side or lap. He is the biggest smuggler, ever!!! Daniel and I watch what he eats so he won't become a fat pug. He is probably the most in shape, and healthiest pug yet. He loves to run and play, and his favorite snacks are apples, carrots and green beans.

Daniel and I are basically obsessed with our little "fur-baby." Zeus is our main topic of conversation each and every day. We laugh, because we really talk about him 95% of the time we talk. We love him like he really is our child. Oh, I can't imagine when we actually have real children! haha.

Zeus has been with us for many important events. He was hiking with us when Daniel proposed in November of 2008. He was with us when we moved into our first apartment. He was with me the morning of our wedding. I will never forget that morning...when I woke up he greeted me with a "wooowoooowooooooooooooooo" noise...it was the cutest thing ever. I swear he was saying "Mommy-I'm so happy you and Daddy are getting married today!!!" Zeus has also been a blessing to me since I was laid-off from work. He has brought happiness to our lives when times have been hard...you can't be unhappy around this sweetheart.

To Zeus, your Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Video on the day we brought Zeus home:
video

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ohhh Happy Day!

Today marks a very happy and special day in my books! I was offered a job at the Retail Merchants Association. I have been waiting for this day, for almost a year!!! In early January it will be one year since the dreadful day I was laid-off from Univar. I am sooo happy to have a full-time, Monday through Friday job! This economy is the PITS, and I am thankful to have finally landed something.

I took a sales position at this company...after three rounds of interviews, others interviewing with them, and lots of background checks, I was the one they choose. :) Ohhh, Happy Day!!!! I will be selling memberships to Retailers, Restaurants, etc. This will be a girly job (I get to visit many stores!) and the territory is just Richmond (although that can get huge with all the stores, malls, restaurants, etc.). I start January 4th! Check out their web-site: http://www.retailmerchants.com/

Retail Merchants Association's motto is: Think.Shop.Buy.LOCAL.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support through this hard time. I got through it because of your love, support, and positive words of wisdom! My Dove Dark Chocolate today said "All things work together in the tapestry of life"...how perfect is that??!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Health & Prayers

I am especially thankful for my good health during this holiday season. I was reminded this yesterday while I was working at the gym with the children. A boy, about nine years old was in "KidzZone" (where I work)...he has stage 4 cancer. My heart broke into pieces. He is such a sweet, loving, kind boy and I just could not even begin to imagine what he and his parents are going through. On my way home from work that night, I was listening to Delilah (yes-I'm a cornball, but I do enjoy listening to her when I'm in the right mood)...a song came on, and my eyes welled up with tears! To see this sweet, innocent boy suffering from cancer...ahh...so sad. This boy and his family will be in my prayers this Christmas...and always.

My sweet Grandmother (my Dad's Mom) is suffering from Alzheimer's. She is getting worse and worse everyday. She no longer knows who we are...this is especially hard for my Dad. My Grandma's mind is gone. I no longer talk to her on the phone much because our conversation repeats as she forgets what she has said. Recently she has forgotten how to turn out the lights, so she just unplugs them instead. She is such an amazing, loving person...this is hard to see/hear about. Grandma is always in my prayers.

My beautiful cousin, is having bad eye problems. She came very close to loosing her eye-sight last week. Cassandra is in college at Liberty University in VA. She has recently had a rare eye problem, and it has continued to get worse. Can you imagine loosing your eyesight? Please keep her in your prayers...she will most definitely be in mine.

One of my best friends has Cystic Fibrosis. I know this has been a rough year for her. I am always praying for her and her health!!!!!! In 2010 I am going to get involved with Richmond's Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I am looking forward to raising money for this, and helping to find a cure for this nasty disease.

On a happy note, my Grandfather (my Mom's Dad) of 96 years old is one amazing man. He has been blessed with good health...other than the getting old typical problems. Today, he rang a bell outside of the grocery store in the freezing cold temperatures of Ithaca, New York for the Salvation Army. What an amazing man he is!

Take time to give thanks for the things in life that are easy to overlook. Say your prayers!

Busy Season

Well, it's been a few days since my last post. It has been a busy week/weekend!!! I worked and babysat all week, celebrated my husband's 28th Birthday on Tuesday (yay!), took a CPR class and am re-certified for that, had a 3rd interview for a company that I've been interviewing with, took a high-energy step class for the first time (ouch-I was SORE!), cooked and baked lots of Daniel's birthday, did a little Christmas shopping, had Elise stay with us Wednesday night and hung out with her some, and did I mention, I worked, worked, worked? I worked most of the day today (Saturday), and I work tomorrow...no rest for the weary!

I am actually happy to be busy, even though it's been crazy! I haven't been busy in a while, so this is a good feeling---believe it or not. I am sooo ready to have a full-time job again. This is the #1 thing on my Christmas list this year!!! I really don't want/need anything else. Daniel and I have had SO much given to us this year with an amazing wedding with family and friends. We couldn't have asked for more...and are truly content with everything we have right now. We are both so happy with what we have that we have no clue what to get each other! haha. I think we are going to get a joint gift...maybe a bigger TV??! I wouldn't mind spending the money on a joint gift that we could both enjoy. We are trying to watch our money in this economy, so we don't want to buy things just to buy. I like to live simply, and I don't like "stuff" in the house...my motto is, if you don't use it or if it doesn't mean anything to you...get rid of it!

Daniel is out of town this weekend for a "boys weekend." This is my chance to eat sushi and I'm pretty darn excited about it!!! I hope that you are enjoying the holidays...always keep in mind the true meaning of the season.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our first tree as a married couple!

Daniel and I bought our Christmas tree this past Saturday. It was the perfect day to get our first tree...a very cold 34 degrees and SNOWING! Light snow, but hey--it was snowing and it doesn't do that much in Richmond.

Our tree is big---much bigger than we expected, but it is so beautiful---the perfect tree! Apparently it was a fresh cut tree, but we are getting a little worried as it still hasn't drank the water in the tree stand. :/

Enjoy the pictures below! Also, you'll see our fur-baby in the lights. He loves Christmas, and this is his first tree as well...neither Daniel nor I had one last year in our apartments.



Our Engagement ornament from last year!

Our wedding picture, this year!

Clemson and NC State ornaments



Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's a..............BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!


And you're thinking...Laura and Daniel are pregnant??!! No on that one! The Conschafter family is so excited that Michael (my brother) and his wife, Amanda, are pregnant and due April 23rd. My parents (especially, Mom) have been wanting a little grand baby for a while...their wish has finally come true!

Amanda and Michael came to tell us the good news in late August. They stopped in for dinner to tell us the news. We had no idea this was coming! They gave my parents an anniversary gift (their anniversary was in August) and it was a pacifier!!! We all screamed with joy and cried happy tears. At that point, they were newly pregnant, so we had to zip our lips until we got the clear from Amanda and Michael to spread the news. I think we did a good job with that!

We all gathered together at my parents lovely beach house in Pawley's Island, SC, before Thanksgiving. Amanda's sister, Erin, is ironically due two days after Amanda! Erin lives in Pawley's Island, so while we were all there, we went to a 3D Ultrasound place and found out the sex of the baby...with Amanda and Erin together. It was such a neat experience. We saw "Baby Con" moving around...sucking his thumb...and wondering "why in the world do they keep moving me around?!" It was so exhilarating to see life inside Amanda...what a special experience. Oh...and Erin is having a boy too!

I know that Michael and Amanda will be amazing parents. My Mom and Dad are on cloud 9 with all of this. They are even taking "Grandparenting classes!" haha...go figure! :) I am already an Aunt to two precious boys, Trey and Peter, and an adorable baby girl, Lily, on the Hoffman side. I am very much looking forward being an Aunt on the Conschafter side and can't wait to meet Baby Con in April.

The picture above is what Baby Con is looking like now in his 5 month of pregnancy. Fat is beginning to form, helping to keep him warm and keep his metabolism going. His lungs are beginning to exhale amniotic fluid, and the circulatory and urinary systems are working. Hair on his head, eyebrows and eyelashes are filling in!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cooking



I love to cook and bake. I got this attribute from my Mom and Grandma (my Mom's, Mom). Growing up, Mom always had a homemade dinner ready for us every night...we always had a good and filling breakfast, and she made our lunches when we went to school. I'm a lucky girl! My college room-mates used to laugh at me, because I would read cookbooks all of the time. I'm sure they thought, "Just read a book!" but reading a cookbook was just as good (if not better) to me that reading a novel.

Now, when I'm saying my Mom cooked...that doesn't mean she heated up a Stouffer's Lasagna...people, she cooks from SCRATCH. This is rarely done in this day in age, but I love it and hope to do this the rest of my life. Being the nutritionist that my Mom is, cooking from scratch was not only done to save money, but she also prepared healthy meals. My Mom taught me simple ways to cut fat, cut sodium, etc. I bow down to my Mom and thank her for being such an amazing role model in my life. When I was younger, I didn't appreciate the meals that much...now that I'm older, I appreciate them SO much. She always finds a way to make healthy meals even when she works full time for Johnson & Johnson.

My Mom is a planner...and so am I. I have discovered that you have to be a planner to be a good cook. You have to plan ahead what your meals will be, then get the ingredients ahead of time. That way, you are all prepared when the time comes to cook! Now being married, I know my husband enjoys the home-cooked meals. We don't go out to eat a lot because we are trying to save $$$, so this is a great way to save money and eat healthy. Daniel will cook fancy dinners for me sometimes, or we'll cook together. It is great fun!

This past Monday night, I made home-made mac'n'cheese (with whole wheat noodles), pecan encrusted Trout, fresh broccoli and ceasar salad. The picture is above. Last night, we had White Bean Chicken Chili that I put in the crock pot Tuesday morning...oh and with that we had biscuits---yumm. It was delish!!! I love a warm crockpot meal at the end of a cold day.

I will put any super delish recipes on my blog when I discover them! Bon Appetit!

*Live well, Laugh often, Cook much*

Monday, November 30, 2009

Traditions



Time to get the Christmas decorations out! I can't believe that tomorrow begins December. Where has the year gone??? Daniel and I have some Christmas decorations for our little apartment. We will be getting our first Christmas tree sometime this week or this weekend. We are excited! I will post pictures when it is up.

I had a great Thanksgiving with the Hoffman's in Raleigh. It was my first Thanksgiving away from my family. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about this. Everything went so well though! We had lots of great food, great conversations, loads of laughs, and plenty of time to relax. Daniel and I ran the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning which I loved. I think this should be a new tradition!!! Daniel has always done this on Thanksgiving. Me, on the other hand usually spends most of Thanksgiving Day in my PJ's watching the Macy's Day parade. Then, we eat around 4:00ish. I like the idea though of getting a good run in before the feast begins!

Daniel and I will be with my family in Richmond for Christmas. We are all going to go see the Nutcracker in a couple weeks. This has always been a family tradition that every year around Christmas we go and see this lovely ballet. I know we didn't always love it growing up, but now I've come to enjoy and admire it. Daniel has never been, so I'm excited for him to experience the show.

We were always given advent calendars from Mom and Dad to countdown until the day Jesus was born. We must not forget the true meaning of Christmas!

Another tradition of ours is to have a Christmas Eve dinner of shrimp creol made by my Mom, then homemade cookies and peppermint icecream for dessert. Then we head to the Christmas Eve Church service. After church, we would come home and read "Twas the Night Before Christmas," leave cookies and milk out for Santa, and carrots out for the reindeers.

Our tradition for Christmas is to first open our stockings all together, then eat a big/yummy breakfast, then open gifts from family members. My Mom is big on traditions...I have a feeling I'm beginning to get that way too... :)

Do you have any special holiday traditions?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!! I have sooo much to be thankful for. My family, husband, friends, our puppy, my good health, and the list goes on and on. I am in Raleigh for Thanksgiving with Daniel's family. Should be a fun time! Daniel, me and Steve (Daniel's oldest brother) ran the Turkey Trot (8K...5 miles) this morning...such a great way to start the day.

I'll write more later...everyone enjoy the day! We are blessed!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Special Treat Night!!!

Daniel and I just got back from a "special treat" dinner. My parents, Daniel and I went to Julep's Southern Cuisine in downtown Richmond. We had a very delicious dinner!!! Daniel and I both had amaaaazing crab cakes, complete with red wine and white chocolate bread pudding for dessert. It was yummo in my tummo!!!! We have had this dinner scheduled with my parents for a couple months. My parents marked it as a celebration for both of their birthdays, for Daniel's birthday in December, and for our "engagement anniversary" (we were engaged last year, November 9th). It was a special treat for us, as we don't go out to fancy dinners very much. Thank you, Mom and Dad for this treat!!!!!!!

My weekend is full of working, but that's ok as I enjoy it. Tomorrow after work, I'm heading to my parents beach house in South Carolina! I am sooo excited. My Mom will be there, so I'll be having some fun time with her. We are going to be doing a lot of baking for Thanksgiving and hanging out. The rest of my family will come late Tuesday/Wednesday...then I'll head to Raleigh on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with Daniel's family. I am sad that Daniel won't be able to join me tomorrow at the beach, but the man's gotta do his job.

I am looking forward to a nice time at the beach, and then to Raleigh for a great Thanksgiving with the Hoffman's! I have SO much to be thankful for!!!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Special Treats"

You may have been wondering..."What is this special treat stuff??" Back many years ago, when I was a little girl, I remember my Mom using this phrase. If my memory serves me correct, these words were first used when we'd get some candy, icecream, cake, etc. Growing up in a family whose Mom is a registered dietician, you get "special treats." Most people say to me, "Oh, yikes, you grew up with a Mom who's a dietician? You must have never had candy, chips or any bad food!!!" Well, those people were wrong. My Mom raised her three children how I wished more people raised their children these days. We had plenty of sweets around the house in little hidden stashes...Mom was/is an amazing baker, so we always had lots of homemade cookies and coffee cakes around. What she taught us was how to eat in moderation. We weren't allowed to eat two pieces of cake, but one...of course! I probably shouldn't use the word "not allowed"...if we really wanted to, we could have more than one slice of cake, but for some reason, I think we just knew. Don't get me wrong though, we had many veggies, fruits and always a healthy homemade meal. I am so thankful that I was raised this way!

As I grew older, "special treats" turned into other things besides food. When Mom and I would get a pedicure together, or go shopping, or go on vacation with the family...we would call it a "special treat." These "special treats" are things that don't happen every day...but when a special treat happens, you know you've deserved it (well...for the most part)! Sometimes these words are good to use when you're trying to talk your Dad into something..."Pllllease Dad, it's just a little special treat!!" Then, he usually gives in. ;)

Have you had a special treat recently?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!

Happy Birthday, Dad!



Where have the years gone?? Just yesterday, he was a high school football player! Today marks a special day, for a special person. My Dad has taught me many things...most importantly how to love and how to work hard. He has always been there for me...to make me feel better and to give me words of wisdom. To this very day, he is a role model to each of his children, works hard to do the best he can, yet still finds time to exercise, take care of house and home, and spend quality time with family. He always wants the very best for his family, and it shows.

On our wedding day, Dad walked me down the isle. It was a special moment I will never forget. I love you Dad!






Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beginning of an adventure!

It's the beginning of an adventure for me! I have decided to begin blogging...everyone does it, so why don't I? This is not the first adventure of my life...2009 has been quite the year!!!!!

Fresh into the new year, I was laid-off from my outside sales rep. position. It was tough, but meant to be. Because of this, I have grown in faith and the knowing that God will do what's right for me.

On June, 20th, I got married to my best friend, my confidant and the companion I had always dreamed of (Daniel). After being laid off, I had a lot of time to enjoy wedding planning and wedding parties. After our wedding (the best weekend of our lives!), we went off on our honeymoon to Jamaica. This was wonderful as well....very relaxing and just what we needed. After the honeymoon, we came back to our cozy one-bedroom apartment in Richmond, VA (Daniel moved here about a month before the wedding). Life is good for the newlyweds!

Since the wedding, I have been searching hard for a job. I enjoy being busy, and now that wedding planning is over, there is only so much house-work, cooking and working out I can do! The job search has been tough...really tough. Sometimes I don't feel others truly understand, unless they've been through it themselves. This economy is awful, and I pray everyday that next year will be better. I was finally driving myself (and my husband) NUTS from not working, so decided to get just any job. Now folks, I tried to get a full-time job at retail stores, but nope---they are only hiring part-time. What? I have a college degree, work experience and I can only get part-time??? This is only a small fraction of the frustrations of this economy. Nevertheless in October, I landed a part-time job at ACAC...a fabulous gym in Richmond. For now, I am working with the children, which I love. I may try to work up to a higher level at ACAC, but I also continue to job search to see what else (if anything) is out there.

Throughout all of the adventure's of this year...I am SO very thankful for my loving family, my very supportive husband, and my amazing friends. Daniel and I also have a pug, Zeus, whom you will hear a lot about in later posts. He is our fur-baby...the love of our lives. Everyday I am reminded how LUCKY and blessed I am. I try to see the good in the bad things, and believe that God has a purpose for everything He does.

I hope you like reading my blog posts! Hopefully I will keep them shorter in the future. I told my husband...this is what happens when I'm not working full-time (haha). My blog posts will be composed of my life adventures, work updates, cooking/baking recipes and other fun things.
Enjoy the adventure and the special treats of life!

(I will post soon about what the title of my blog means, stay tuned!)