Wednesday, September 30, 2009

twilight and presents

Do you want to know what I've been doing all morning and most of the afternoon thus far?
I've been sitting on the couch reading page after page of Twilight.
Yes, I've fallen prey to this addicting saga.
My sister started reading them last week and has since become enamored with Edward and his love for Bella.
I decided to finally decide for myself what all the fuss is about (even though I was embarrassed to buy the book at Barnes and Noble) and the world isn't lying...
this is a good, wait I mean a GREAT, read.

Anyways a few minutes ago our doorbell rang.
I opened the door to find a package from our best buddies, Brian and Jill Diemar.
I opened the package to find a gift bag to me from Jill that said it "was for me to wear while getting ready on our big day". :)

It's perfect and I love it!

There was also this recipe binder with a photo of the four of us on the cover.

I've needed something like this in my life for years now.
I have a drawer full of recipes that would agree with me.

Lastly there was a meat pounder.

You see we had the pleasure of hosting the Diemars at our humble abode recently and while they were staying with us I prepared us a dinner.
I was pounding the chicken breasts (so they'd cook evenly) with a drinking glass.

*Diemars, it's true friends like you who would remember this and send us a meat pounder as a thank you "for the hospitality".
Love you guys!

Okay, now if you'll excuse I'm going to try and pry myself away from the couch (and this book) and finally into the shower.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today while out and about with my sister we stopped by the Jewel Box.
I was looking for gifts but walked out with my wedding jewelry.

Wanna know how much I spent?
You do! I know it.

Well I did have a $5 coupon.
It doesn't even sound right to say coupon and jewelry in the same sentence.
I'm 80% proud and 20% ashamed.

I also received my lovely hair flowers in the mail from Chelsea of Oh My Deer Handmades.
They are darling and I couldn't love them more.

It's coming together folks. It's all coming together.

Weekend Update

Had yummy barbecue chicken and my sister's left over twice baked potatoes (thanks sis!).

Then Mr. P and I drug ourselves to the gym.

After the gym my lovely fiance took me to Cookout so that I could get a Huge Diet Coke.
They have rabbit turd ice as Mr. P calls it and that makes for the best fountain drink.

Then I ran myself a bubble bath.

Then it was time for some cuddling in bed while watching Season 1 of The Mentalist.
Simon Baker anyone? Man that guy is the second sexiest man alive! ;)

Woke up, snuggled with the dog.

Went to Toast Cafe and had turkey sausage, eggs and pumpkin walnut pancakes.

Headed back to the gym.

Came home and got in dressed in our best Hokie attire.

Headed to our friends house for some football fun.
*Thank Heather and Al for being such lovely hosts.

Watched our Hokies defeat Miami in an incredible win!


Laid on the couch.

Ate 3 yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream.

Laid on the couch.

Watched lots of tv!

Ate lots of chinese takeout!

Watched some more tv.

Went to bed!

Ah! My perfect kinda weekend. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

I love Friday's!

My sister treated me to a pedicure today complete with hot stones.
It was incredible and very much needed.
She told me yesterday that I "need some relaxation".
Isn't she the sweetest?
*Thanks again sis!

I also whipped up a batch of yellow cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing for her future father in laws 70th birthday this weekend.
Didn't they turn out cute?

Now I'm catching up on some Project Runway and waiting anxiously for my fiance to arrive home and our weekend to begin.

Our plans you wonder?
Tonight Mr. P is going to help me put together a list for our know a list of 'must hear' and 'DO NOT PLAY' (It's a big N O to the macarena or any other song that has choreographed dance moves!).

Tomorrow we are meeting up with our good buddies the Oakleys to watch our Hokies defeat Miami and their Georgia bulldogs defeat Arizona St.

Then on Sunday, since the low is 58, I'm going to try and convince Mr. P to take me to the corn maze! :P
*Babe, you hear that? It's going to be cool Sunday night. Can we??? PLEASE!!!

Happy weekend folks!

P.S.-That banana bread I told you I was making yesterday turned out to be the best banana bread I've ever eaten!
Olivia, I think you'd really like it. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tomatillo Chicken Stew

For those of you who don't know, my lovely fiance was born in Mexico.
It's thanks to him that I now love cooking with tomatillos, lime, cilantro and jalapenos.

When I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes a couple of days ago I knew I had to make it.

Even though yesterday ended up being a hot, muggy day I still made a big batch of this stew and it was very delicious my friends.

suggests serving over rice and that's exactly what I did.
I prefer Basmati rice because it's nice and sticky.
I also love to add fresh lime juice and cilantro to my rice (Qdoba anyone?).

I highly suggest checking out Simply Recipes.
Elise hasn't steered me wrong once.
In fact I'm baking her banana bread recipe at this very moment.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

busy, busy day

Today was a very productive day in terms of the upcoming wedding.

Let's see...

I hoped on the bus this morning and headed downtown to meet my sister.

She accompanied me to my first alteration appointment.
Luckily I need very few alterations.

Then Mr. P swooped me up and we headed to Diamond's Direct to order our wedding bands.

Then we headed to Paper Source to pick up some envelopes so we could send off the 15 invitations going to Mexico (still waiting on the calligrapher to finish up before the others go out).

Then we met with P's parents for a lovely lunch.

Afterwards we stopped by their house to pick up our invitations (his mother rescued them from our doorstop this weekend since we were in VA!) and also to see the adorable flowergirl dress she made for Pepe's niece Lauren.

Isn't the dress incredible?
Man I wish I had her sewing skills!

Anyways, I'm a very happy little lady on this cloudy Tuesday.
We are checking things off the to-do list left and right and it feels good.
Real good. :)

I and Love and You

My buddy Matt e-mailed me this afternoon to let me know that NPR was featuring a first listen of the new Avett Brothers album that's to be released next Tuesday, September 29th.

I couldn't wait to get on my laptop and give it a listen.
I'm already hooked!

I love, LOVE the Avett Brothers. I'm not eloquent enough to truly express how much I love them, so I won't try.
If you haven't heard their music give it a try.
It makes you feel and that's the best kind of music.

Here's a song off the new album that I've already fallen for:

Wanna hear the entire album?
Click here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kiss for Calligraphy

Kate is the lovely owner of the Etsy shop Kiss for Calligraphy.

I can't rave enough about Kate!
I contacted her about making some custom stickers for me and she's gone above and beyond to make these stickers perfect.

I told Kate that I wanted these stickers for our cookie buffet favor table.
I wanted them to say "kiss, swak and mwah" so that guests can seal their favor bags with a 'kiss'.
Get it?

Kate searched and searched for the perfect stickers because I wanted them to be on a roll.
She finally found the stickers, cut them into two separate rolls for me, dotted them with adorable teal dots and took it upon herself to buy vintage spools for us to put the stickers on.
Love her!

Here are a couple of photos...

You'll have to wait until later to see the completed project.

Also our invites will FINALLY be in the mail this week.
I don't have the words to convey what a relief this is going to be.

Here's a sneak peek at the invites...

Warning: This Post Could Bore You

I've finally done it!
I decided on the songs for our wedding ceremony!

I learned in the past two hours as I sat on youtube and that I actually really like Bach.
Huh? Who would have thought it?

Our lovely, beautiful grandmothers will be seated to a classical guitar version of this beauty:

Our wonderful and gorgeous mothers will be seated as this song is played:

Then we'll switch things up a bid with some modern day tunes.

The bridal party will be walking down the aisle to this pretty Coldplay song:

Me, I'll be walking down the aisle to meet my handsome groom as this song plays:

Lastly we'll take our walk back down the aisle as husband and wife to this celebratory tune:

Phew! One more thing marked off my list, 12 more to go.
27 days to go.

Weekend Update

The Hokies that is.
Did anyone see the ending of the game?
It was incredible!

We were losing to the cornhuskers 15 (5 freaking field goals) to 10.
We drove 88 yards to score a touchdown with 21 seconds on the clock.

At this point in the game we were already in a crowded bar which errupted in celebration.
Hugs and high fives were aplenty.

Here's a few photos from the day...

Carly, promoting peace!

*At this point I was apparently very upset that the Hokies were losing.

*Last two photos taken from

Hope everyone had as happy a weekend as we did.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Today, Tomorrow

Friday's are often spent with my sister (it's her day off) and I love it.
Today we lunched on tacos, test drove a Volvo SUV (for her, not me!), hit up Petco, Old Navy (what? i'm in love with this store), and no day is complete folks without a visit to Target!

Afterwards we came back to my house to do a makeup trial for the wedding.
In case you all didn't know my lovely, gorgeous sister is a make-up artist and has a company with her equally talented fried Tatum, aptly named Simply Chic Hair & Make-Up.

Let me gift you lovely followers with a little before/after action.

Woah! The photo of me with NO make-up is brutal huh?
I think my sister didn't a MARVELOUS job, although I still have to get used to seeing myself in make-up (I wear absolutely none about 6 of the 7 days of the week).

*Thank you sister, you are AMAZING!

Now the Mr. is treating me and the Barzees to a lovely dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, 131 Main.
*Thank you my sweet.

Then tomorrow we pack up the car and head to Blacksburg, VA for the VT/Nebraska game!

I'm really excited for this weekend, especially since my sister and her fiance are also attending the game.
I'll try to be responsible and take plenty of photos.

Happy Weekend to all.
I love you folks.
I really do.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Our beloved canine, Mr. Tucker Putnam Diaz-Llaneza, will unfortunately not be a part of the ceremony, but that doesn't mean he can't be look fly while he roams the house as the girls and I get ready for the big day.
This pup is such an important part of our lives I had to insist he be there with me in the days leading up to the ceremony.
Luckily my mama san has offered to take him back home with her while we are on our honeymoon.
*Thanks Mama!

I ordered my handsome man, whose head rests next to this computer right now, his very own tie. One that looks very similar to the tie the groomsmen will be sporting.

Want a tie for your four legged man?
Come on, I know you do!
Check out Dogties on Etsy, right here.

*This lovely little pup featured is not our son, he's the handsome model featured on this Etsy shop.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bachelorette Party Weekend

Missy aka soon to be Mrs. Johnson and Sistah at the taco night pre-bash.

My Chele Belle and I

Bling from left to right: Missy's, Chels', Mine, Sistah's

Caroline, Missy, Chels, Me, Sistah & the lovely host Miss Laura at the bride to be's lingerie shower.

Missy in the underwear she plans to wear on her wedding night. ;)

Elizabeth, Chels, Me & Caroline out on the town.



Rain, Fall and thensome

It's supposed to rain here in good ol' Charlotte, North Carolina all week and shockingly I'm excited.
When the sun is shining it makes Fall seem so far away.
And folks, like many of you, I'm beyond ready for Fall to be here.

I ordered my first latte of the season on Monday and man did it feel good to be browsing the aisles of Target with caffeiney goodness in hand.
If we weren't getting married in a month and severely over budget I would have snatched up every pumpkin, witch, and black and orange candy package in site.
I mean that, I really would have.

But this year I'll have to settle for a mum!
oh and a wedding.
A wedding, that in case you didn't know, I'm very excited about it.
Even though lately the thought of our wedding stresses* me out, I know deep down somewhere I'm still really excited.

*In case you were wondering, I'm 1 million percent certain I wanna marry my P, I just don't know what freaking songs we want to hear from 7-8pm!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My mom told me this morning that "i'm not a good blogger anymore".
ha! It made me laugh a little.
She's right.
Mom's always are!

I had the most perfect jam packed weekend and I had every intention of sharing the details with you yesterday.
HOWEVER, my fiance was coming home from Vegas (his bachelor party) and I had to pick him up from the airport at 6.
I spent the whole afternoon tidying the house, making his favorite soup, making a meatloaf and mashed potatoes in case the soup wasn't enough, and attempting to make the mini cobblers once again only to end up with the same freaking mess.

Anyways, my fiance is safely home and away at work.
I really, really didn't want him to leave this morning, but if he hadn't I'm certain I wouldn't be here talking to you.
There's always a silver lining folks.

This weekend I attended a lingerie shower for my friend Missy, a pre-bachelorette party mexican fiesta, a bridal shower in my honor, Missy's bachelorette party uptown, I cleaned my closet (first time in over a year), spent LOTS of time with my sister and squeezed in a little time with my friend and bridesmaid Lauren who was visiting from DC.

I don't have pictures from the weekend yet, but when I do I promise to share some from the festivities.

*On a side note we are now about a month out from the Wedding.
I get emotional as I type that.
I'm so excited about the time we get to spend with our closest family and friends and most importantly I can't wait for Pepe to be my husband.
I think about it a lot lately.
I love my life with Mr. P and every year only gets better.
I'm excited about all that lies ahead of us.*


Friday, September 11, 2009

Oh me, Oh my is so right!

It probably sounds crazy to say that I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to post (you know because I'm unemployed and all), but I truly have!

I've been working on a special baking project (I promise to tell you about it later).

This morning I dropped my fiance off at the airport (he's Vegas bound for his bachelor party).
Can I just tell you that this morning he handed me the sweetest card with two little monkies sitting in a tree.
Inside were a bunch of scratch off lotto tickets.
He also got me a six pack of bacardi mojitos (don't poke fun! they are good).
The message in the card said now you can gamble and booze like me.
I can't may have made me almost shed a tear.

Then sister and I ran errands all of Charlotte. Really, we did.

Now we are headed out to the first festivity of my great friend (and bridesmaid) Missy's Bachelorette Party weekend.

Tonight: Taco's & Sangria=HEAVEN

Tomorrow: Pool Party/Lingerie Shower followed quickly by a shower being thrown in my honor, then a cookout with my friend Lauren who's visiting from DC, then we are throwing down in Uptown Charlotte for Missy's "official" bachlorette party.

Phew, I'm tired just typing that!

Okay, out the door I go.
I just didn't want to leave my few followers hangin'.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you Monday if I'm still standing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Madison Belle

My mother purchased me some lovely vintage milk jars from Madison Belle last week.
*You should really check out their site!

They arrived today and I LOVE them!
I honestly have sat and stared at them for the past half hour.

For the wedding these beauties will sit on our 'cookie buffet' table as vases.
Remember me telling you about this?
I just think it's a cute play on the whole 'cookies and milk' thing.

After the wedding I plan to use these on my desk to hold fresh flowers.

*thank you mama san!

Note: the pretty little mason jar in these photos is my mama's, but it was too pretty not to photograph.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Joanna over at A Cup of Jo has a series going featuring other bloggers and their "secrets to a happy marriage/relationship".

It's been really inspiring to read everyone's advice.

I definitely suggest going here and checking it out.

*One of my favorites so far is from Anna Bond of Rifle Designs, she says:

"Love your other how they need to be loved, not how you need to be." A friend told me this simple mantra, saying that it had transformed his parents' marriage. It has stuck with me ever since. It makes so much sense and yet is so easy to forget because I think by nature we tend to be pretty selfish. Love is selfless, though, and what truly makes me happy is when my husband is happy. So, a key to a good marriage is trying your best to focus on what your significant other needs you to be to him, instead of what you want him to be to you."

Weekend Update

Well let's start with the negative, our Hokies lost.
Boo hoo! :(

Okay now let's try to move on...

Aside from watching football for 10+ hours on Saturday our Labor Day Weekend was pretty uneventful.

Mr. P is convinced we would have been more productive had our beloved Hokies won.
He's probably right.

Now on this Tuesday morning I find myself boiling eggs and feeling guilty about the 1000s of calories I consumed this weekend.
Let's tacos, shrimp salsa, 2 red barons pizza (I ate the majority of both), brownies, banana bread, pancakes.
Are you sick yet?
I should be.
With only 40+ days until the wedding it's back to egg sandwiches for me.

Speaking of the wedding, I made this lovely to do list that actually makes me feel less stressed about all there is to do.
I'm really excited to mark things off.

In case anyone cares I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Hope you all had a most wonderful 3-day weekend.
I really do.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Weekend

Today Sister and I marked the beginning of the Holiday Weekend by spending the afternoon at the pool.

I think it's safe to say it was the last I'll be seeing of the glorious swimming pool until our honeymoon.
Which fortunately for me is only 44 days away.

Mr. P gets home from work in a little over an hour and then the start of our 3 day weekend officially begins. YAY!

After a quick trip to the gym we plan to pick up some clams and shrimp to make this yummy recipe once again.

Tomorrow is a much anticipated day in this househould.
It's the first official day of college football and the anticipation is killing us.
Our Hokies play Alabama at 8 tomorrow night!
Root for us.
Or don't.
Hopefully we'll win regardless.

Not sure what the rest of the weekend holds for us and I like that.
Definitely lots of football, hopefully lots of cuddling, and plenty of good food.

Happy Labor Day folks!
See ya' in a few days.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

adventures in cobblerland

Do you all read Pioneer Woman's blog?
If not you definitely should.
I could spend hours browsing her recipes.
A few days ago I spotted her recipe for individual raspberry cobblers.
With Summer on it's way out of town I reveled in the opportunity to use up some scrumptious summer berries.

Yesterday I took out my muffin pans, preheated the oven and began to line my counter with all the necessary ingredients.
That's when I realized I was out of sugar (really emily? how'd you let this happen?).
Off went the oven and back in the cupboard went my pans and supplies.

Last night on our way home from a run with our buddies the Barzees, I asked Mr. P if I could stop at the store to get sugar and he happily obliged.

This morning I began round II only to realize I was also out of butter!
So sister and I hopped in the car and headed to the store.

I grabbed butter, some fresh milk and headed to self checkout.
I decided to carry my groceries out without a bag (no need to be wasteful), plopped myself back in the car and laid my purchases on my lap... only to realize I'd grabbed unsalted butter.
Back in the store I went.

Finally home and finally with all the necessary ingredients I tied an apron on and set to work.

I was so excited to FINALLY be baking that I neglected to spray my muffin pans even though the recipe says to "heavily spray them".

So now I'm stuck with this mess...

And a Tupperware container filled with what I could salvage from the disaster.

Maybe this is the man above's way of telling me too lay off the baking?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Life is Good

You all know the story of this brand, right?

It's pretty remarkable actually.
Two brothers, back in 1989, thought "hey, life is good"! One brother drew up and printed the now notorious logo onto some t-shirts and, as their website says, "a star was born".

No word yet on whether the follow-up to this successful endeavor, LIFE IS BETTER, is in the works.
There's no doubt in my mind that life is, well better!
I mean come on peeps, just think about the increase in their bank accounts. ;)

What got me thinking about this?

Well I'm sitting in our comfy bed (freshly laundered sheets no less)
in a pretty little home
with my furry friend curled next to me
who will more likely than not steal my side of the bed tonight
only to result in me sleeping closer to my handsome fiance

Yes, Jacobs brothers, life is good!

Oh and tomorrow is the beginning of college football season.

Life is real, real good!


Last night's dinner was, in the words of my fiance's ancestors, MUY BUENO! ;)

In all seriousness, allow me to humbly state that it might have been one of my best.
I even manned the grill completely on my own while Mr. P was at the hair salon.
*sorry my love, that funny yet completely true detail was just too good to leave out.

Truthfully all credit really needs to be given to the masterminds behind these scrumptious recipes.
The chicken had a glaze that was somewhat sweet but still had a little bite to it.

The arugula corn salad with bacon was my favorite part of the meal.
Probably because it consisted of three of my favorite ingredients: corn, bacon and cumin.

I also must mention that I finally succeeded at grilling corn.
A feat I've tried to master for 2 years folks!
Once it caught on fire and once it was so undercooked I was left wondering if the grill was actually working.
Well yesterday I resisted the urge to take the corn in it's completely blackened husks off the grill after only 10 minutes and allowed them to cook for about 25 minutes.
The end result...perfectly sweet and smoky corn!

Wanna try these recipes?

Check them out here and here!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I get anxious if I haven't baked in a few days.
Thus the reason I spend hours weekly browsing food blogs looking for recipes for which I have all ingredients handy.

Two days ago I discovered Simply Recipes and have been hooked since.
In fact, yesterday I based my grocery shopping around some of her recipes that I wanted to try.
For dinner tonight, grilled chicken and arugula corn salad with bacon.
Is it 6:00 o'clock yet?

About an hour ago I was browsing her cookie recipes.
I'm always on the lookout for yummy cookies considering we are having a 'cookie buffet' at our wedding.
I read Elise's recipe for Snickerdoodle cookies and was sold once I realized how easy it was (and that I'd get to use my new stand-mixer)!

Let me tell you my sweets, these are amazing!

Try them.
You can thank me afterwards. :)

sister, target and stuff!

Sister came by this morning.
She works most weekdays now so it's always a nice surprise when we get to hang for a bit.
Normally if the sun is shining we'd seize the opportunity to lie by the pool for hours upon end.
However, for the past two days you can feel Fall on it's way in and sun bathing just didn't feel right.

So we did the next best thing.
We went to Target.
You know, to stock up on essentials like butter, ketchup, horseradish. ;)

While there I finally picked up a journal.
I've been meaning to buy one for quite some time.
You see I often daydream about the day Mr. P and I will have babies.
To say that I'm excited to be a mother would be an understatement.
I used to be all awkward around babies, sometimes I'm sure I still am.
BUT I know once we have OUR babies, it will just feel right.
It may sound silly to some but I just really think I was meant to be a mommy.
You know like some people are really talented on the violin or an amazing ballerina?
Well I think I'm going to be an amazing mommy.

Before it's time to birth our youngsters there are lots of exciting things to look forward to.
Like getting married and being newlyweds for a bit. :)

In the meantime I thought it might be nice to begin a journal of sorts.
I'll begin each entry 'dear future baby'.
Hopefully one day our children will want to read this journal.
You know, so they can have a glimpse of the way mom and dad were back before they were 'mom' and 'dad'.

I just finished my first entry and I feel unbelievably happy and at peace.

Happy September friends.