Blueberry & Balsamic Brie Pastry

When I discovered the ingredient match ups for the blueberries meet their match contest, puff pastry and brie came together almost immediately....if you don't count the two days that I sat scratching my head over blueberries and balsamic?! What would you possibly combine with those? Well, I have the correct and yummy answer for you;)

and then this came about because of a cranberry relish left over from thanksgiving and my friend Rhonda was looking what to make with it and I hinted at the puff pastry and then I wondered why not do a similar version with my blueberries!

1 pkge fresh blueberries(around 6 oz)
1/2 cup balsamic
1/4 cup sugar
1 round brie slice
1 puff pastry
1 egg
1 tbsp water

in a sauce pan, combine the blueberries, balsamic and sugar. simmer on low heat for about half an hour or till it reduces. After it has cooled, place puff pastry on greased cookie sheet. Place brie round in center of pastry and pour the blueberry balsamic reduction over it. Take the edges of puff pastry and crimp together over the brie and blueberry  mixture. Whisk egg and water together and brush over top of puff pastry. 

Bake for 15 minutes at 350. 

you can enjoy this with crackers, but I think I recommend with crusty bread!

To find out more about the contest and these little blue dynamos here

Tye Dye And A Baby

I hope the thoughts I have today come and aren't frozen midair...To have been in the 80's less than 2 weeks to waking up this morning to 19 bleeping degrees. How can I even be expected to live this way
? I am not sure how our family in Boston do this. All I know is Carolina  better get its act together. I am already way over it.

Anyways, let me stop being a whiner(at least verbally;) and ramble on about my happenings this past weekend. We left Saturday to head home and went straight to my uncle's wedding. It was a long time coming and a multitude of feelings. I am just so happy for him and I will delve into that more this week.

Saturday night was too cold to really do anything so we headed out for a quick trip to LaCa which is adjacent to my parents. The food was as yummy as usual but I tried my hand at a new margarita they were offering, the tye dye. 

I suppose I should take a second to talk about how this was the maybe absolutely most assuredly the strongest drink I ever thought about taking a sip of. Apparently my mom came into the guest room and I was laying face down with one foot on the bed and the other on the floor...can't keep an old lady down. or perhaps you really can;)

 On Sunday, we threw a baby shower for my sis in law and brother. Since we held it at my aunt's log cabin, we decided to go with the whole rustic fall theme with just a few pink touches. My SIL Aimee, had the idea to set up a picture wall to take fun pictures in front of all these streamers and homemade puffs she made. 
and most of the touches were from her house, as it is full of fun stuff. I love all of the vintage items.

My other SIL, the Rue Boo, bought the wish cards to fill out for the bebe and one of my favorite books, along came you. We used it as the guest book as a keepsake for when she gets older. 

and then, on our way out, I was so grateful to catch one of my favorite things about Virginia...the sunset. This picture didn't even think of doing it justice, but you get the idea.

and a shout out to miss Jennifer for designing my page. I love the sweet touches and the light colors. and the signature may be my favorite, thanks again girl. You rocked it out. And I should have my navigation and what not up to par in these next few days.

Devil Of A Time

I am going to state this emphatically...My heart bleeds blue and orange. I am a Wahoo born and bred. I love the University of Virginia. Always. They will forever be my fandom. But...

after 12 years of working at  & my husband getting his masters from Duke , I think my adoration was solidified quite some time ago. The first few years I worked in the SID office, football was one of the main sports I helped out with. I was there for multiple winless games. and yes, entire seasons without a win. 

You would think with basketball (men's & women's) & lacrosse...I would be spoiled, but this is the South, I longed to root for the team and there be a legitimate chance to win. When they hired David Cutcliffe a few years ago, the differences were swift. Attitudes changed almost immediately and I found myself believing we could win a few games a year.

Last year when we made a bowl game, I was so elated. And yet, at this point I was a believer. I took coach at his word when he said that we would not only compete, but that we would vie for the top of our division in conference. So for this last game, we were in position to sit atop the conference and possibly beat Miami. Even writing the mere possibility of beating a team of their stature would have had me in stitches just two years ago.

So this past Saturday...I sat in that stadium in awe.  Of the line to get in(line? for a football Duke? say what?!) The excitement in the air. and as the game carried on and we were ahead of Miami, I would catch myself  thinking that we may actually pull the win off...and I would shake the thought away for fear of the superstition that thinking it would jinx it.

and when the game was pretty much won, the last few seconds ticking off the clock....and the students were chanting "our house" and "football school"  at a game, my eyes brimmed with tears. Happy tears. and I loved every second of it for it was a long time coming.  Seasons of no wins, my friends. That is not just games, I saw players whose entire careers never had a W in it.

and I will relish those few moments for a very long time coming.

Especially because in the last ten minutes, as I finished writing beloved Patriots just lost to the Panthers. And I live in North Carolina, people. Would you like to guess how many of these people I have ever seen comment about the Panthers before tonight? Boo on that.

Under Construction

As you can see, my site is in the process of undergoing a makeover and I am really excited for the finished product. So that should explain the differences in design elements at the moment. 

It should be up and running by the end of the week! 

Stay tuned, I know Jennifer's making it awesome.

Can't wait.

If You Are Pregnant With Twin Girls

then I should probably not throw your shower. Unless we schedule it when you are ready to have them. One of my other friends had twins two years ago and on the morning of her shower, at 29 weeks, she gave birth. And so the joke with this one was I would not serve any thing remotely close to what I had made for the other. We made it through the whole thing and then the three of us watched the season premiere of revenge(this was in September) and at 11 I thought my jinx was over. I wrote this post and scheduled it to go live that Wednesday when at 2am I got a text she was heading to the hospital in pre term labor. The curse of Maddie struck again. 

And one month ago yesterday, the little ladies were born. and oh my gosh, they are so sweet! And strong little misses, they only had to stay in the NICU for about 10 days. Nicole is who I went to the hockey game with on my birthday and our husbands stayed home on twin duty. I am pretty sure Tony was terrified he may have to hold one. hahaha he said they slept the whole time. Shame, they shoulda put him to work! But now, onto the details of that fun day.

Twin ladies means that there was lots of pink and purple in the air that weekend, I have mentioned Miss Nicole on here multiple times before and the time to celebrate the girls was finally here. Her sissy, Ashley, & I worked out for a while how we would do the shower.

Due to the fact that her mom threw her a Mad Hatters party back home in Indiana, the two of us decided that simplistic would be key for this go round(and what I really mean is I am not that creative,so) We had no real theme, just went with lots of pink and purple with hints of green.

Party City was a great help, as was Micheals and AC Moore, but lots of ideas came from pinterest and via the greatness that is ETSY. You can throw a really great party with out a theme. The small touches were what made a difference, the ribbons on the punch jars, the wishes that Ashley made herself. The green that was thrown in. I loved it all.

We were able to secure the party room at her apartment complex and it was the perfect location. Minus our twenty minutes of panic when we realized they had double booked the room and a wedding shower was going on! Luckily they were winding up and headed on out just in time for us to decorate.

 We played the Onesie game where every one brings a onesie and then she had to guess who had brought it. She guessed most of them, only got stumped on a few. But the best part was for half of them she thought they were from me. I am an anomaly;)

 This was our favor table, rock candy, bubble gum and dark kisses. I mean hot pink rock candy? Let that sink in for a second.

 I painted letters to match the theme for Hazel & Skylar
 Made two punches, a raspberry pineapple and an apple cider.

 I do love this cake! But I will admit that the twenty five minute drive holding this case was beyond stressful. I was holing it as if it was a baby. Or a football. Bith equally important to not fumble.
This cake supposedly only served 25 people...Well, about that. This is how much was left after we fed 28 people. I am not exactly sure how big the slices were meant to be. Oh my gosh.

The momma and her sissy.

Nicole, it was such an honor to be a part of your day. I value our friendship more than you can ever know(and it is deeper than our shared affection for the brand of jeans Luke Bryan wears;) I am so appreciative of you in my life and my burgenoing friendship with miss Ashley. I think I am about ready to hold the ladies now;)

Love Is All Up In The Air

Let us all take a moment for it to sink in that I am partaking in an outfit post. I can't even remember the last time I did. And even this one is probably sub par with my ugly, cheap mirror in my hallway. But because we are all friends here, I am presuming you have already forgiven that small detail.

Last Friday I was perusing the aisles of the money pilfering store some refer to as Target, when I stumbled upon the Phillip Lim clearance rack.Walking towards it and crossing my fingers that they may still possibly have the green blouse I had been eyeing. Lucky me, it was as if Target knew it was my birthday and wanted only for me to have a great one and there, in the middle of the rack, almost as if it was calling to me...

Blouse- Phillip Lim for Target (clearance) $14.98
Scarf- gift
jeans- Ross: $11
boots- T.J. Maxx (clearance) Madden Girls: $22

And for some laughs, Wiki is an engineer and often comes across as quiet and introverted an always in thinking mode...but believe me, once you get him talking...he never stops and he likes to drive his wife insane by never taking a serious picture...but these did make me laugh when I got a closer look.

At first glance I loved this picture and then started laughing when I noticed he was emulating my normal pose. You ladies know the one "Arm to the side, knee slightly bent and back a little arched"

On this one he went even farther and gave the snub. he does have nice form in this one.
I really liked this , especially his smile and then I saw myself more closely and there was one particular reason I was not the largest fan.
Ummm, actually make that two particular reasons....
And this one was probably my favorite. After we had walked off and Rhonda had taken the picture and proclaimed it "to be great" as I am looking closer...I noticed we had gained a child. A light haired blonde one at that;)

and in case you may be hungry, I have for you on the food blog today, 

Linking up with Sarah, Shanna, THe Pleated Poppy

Permanent Smile On My Face

This past week has been one of the best I can remember in a long time. Some of my birthdays over the past few years have not been overly spectacular and I just don't know that I have words that can do justice as to how joyous my heart was these past few days. Even with a broken down car and being on day three of going carless.  So I will more so share how awesome my friends and family were to me this weekend. 

It actually started last week when the mister took me to Angus Barn. Only the home to the 4th largest wine cellar in the country and some of the best steak you have ever even thought about having. We ate in the Wild Turkey Lounge upstairs and then after dinner we headed through the kitchen and went back to the meatlocker. They now have a new place for their meat and turned this into a bar with tv's and heaters outside. They even bring you blankets! The mister was beyond stoked that he can smoke a cigar while he eats his steak. I will just enjoy some of their many bourbons.

I got a sweet gift in the mail from my inlaws and then on Thursday, as I walked up to the door I spied a package and when I saw a cupcake shop in the return label, I knew before I even tore into it and saw my card that my brother & sister in law had struck again. Every year they outdo themselves. This year just happened to fall in day 12 of 14 of no sugar so waiting for two days was torture!!
This year my treat was cupcakes in a jar, and the top of each one had a different Patriot emblem.
 Loved it!

Then on Friday afternoon, I was opened the door to my bestest friend(who was sick beyond sick, mind you) standing there with balloons, sour patch kids and my favorite, a Chic Fil A gift cart. I cannot remember the last time I was gifted with balloons on my birthday, it made my day! Can't wait to head to Florida this weekend to celebrate her 30th. Harry Potter world here we come!

Then I noticed flowers, a sephora gc and a card from the mister. I am not too prpoud to admit that it may have taken me less than 15 minutes to get on the website and use up errryyy penny of that puppy. Can't wait till it gets here tomorrow. Woo hoo. and seriously, how great is this card he got me?! So stinkin funny. Especially because I may have a slightly shake when I walk...but only slight;)

I was then beyond shocked when my husband came in with mail and I opened this beyond awesome gift from my lovely Srey! I broke it in in about 5 minutes. The Laura Mercier is for sure my favorite.

After hitting up the Blogger Meet up, I joined one of my besties and her sister at the Canes/lightning game. and then on Saturday we headed up to Virginia to more birthday goodness at the Brew Bluegrass and Bqq festival. and my sweet lady Rhonda has started a new business and gifted me with a few of the goodies. If you are looking for any gift ideas, especially if anybody has a nut allergy, she makes all nut free and natural bath and body products.

After a cookout on Sat night, my mom had another family lunch on Sunday so I could see everyone!

and I could not talk about how great my birthday week was without delving into how much a couple of my bloggy buddies cross the line of real friends once again and made my week that much more special. 

I received a package early last week and I had no idea who it could be from until I opened the package and I knew exactly who sent it, my one and only blest, or known to most people as the amazing Being Bracco. 
I may be drinking some Zen tea out of it as I type. Heaven.
and then my other bloggy bestust, Miss Kerry, made me the greatest hat! It looks store bought and I am so excited that it is finally getting a slight chill in the air so I can sport it without getting weird looks like when i wear sweat pants and boots in July. Till Then, I will be smiling very often;)

 Tonight I get to go have wine at Fig. Half price wine night. Woo hoo. Thanks again to everyone who made this particular birthday so great. I had the best time ever and am so grateful for people who make me happy. They almost make up for people I would like to punch. Almost;)

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

The further on you read in this post, the more sense the title will make. But for now, my weekend was absolutely amazing. I am so thankful for the people I have in my life, even ones that play an intermittent role as they made for one of the best birthday weekends in a very long time.

My Friday was out of control with birthday surprises and I am going to do a more thorough post on on the shenanigans tomorrow, but I can touch base on a few things today while delving into the joys of the past few days.

Friday was stock full as in the morning I nannied for a bit before picking my sweet sis in law up at the airport and arriving home to sweet gifts from my the mister and then opening my door to run out to find this girl outside, prepping to decorate my porch for when I stepped outside.

Then I had my hair done my the lovely Elizabeth and headed out to the blogger meetup. As I was walking out of her studio, it began to rain like I have never seen it rain before. I mean, the heavens opened right on up. But I fought the rain and made it...barely, as my car was throwing a fit.

I stayed for a bit and picked up some sweet swag that Ashley and Angela put together for us, but not before they serenaded me with a Happy Birthday. I could actually feel my cheeks burning. hahaha but it was one of my favorite moments of the night. I wasn't able to stay long because one of my bestie had gotten us hockey tickers, but it was fun to see everyone for at least a little and to meet some new faces.
Loved our goodies! and are they trying to get me to organize? 
My husband is probably thankful;)
and then, after the hockey game and on my way home...this loveliness happened.

I let nothing stop me and we decided to just not worry about it till we got home last night and instead went home to Virginia to see my family for my birthday. My brother called last minute and asked us to meet them at the BBQ, Brew & Bluegrass festival at Red Hill. Which is the home of Patrick Henry. The former Governor of Virginia and major player in the American Revolution. Most known for one of the most famous lines ever uttered in History...You guessed it "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death"
The perfect festival. Beer for him, Vino for me. and then they made my day and let me try all the ciders.
My people!!!

The grounds were absolutely breathtaking this time of year. I am often spoiled by the beauty of Virginia and our history. We did some exploring, bought some goodies, indulged in some yummy bbq and tasted a plenty of wine and cider!
My brother threw football with my nephews. 
Just absolutely gorgeous.

yum! and they had warmed mulled cider.

I think I...Love this shot.
Osage Orange tree. 330 years old, oldest and largest in the country. 
The sky. Doesn't get much better.
I want this truck!
Then yesterday my mom had a birthday lunch for me with all the fam and then she decided to drag me with her to an opera. Do not tell her, but I may have actually enjoyed myself. Plus, I came home to a Pats victory.

We drove home late last night. I already miss my people, but am so grateful for the ones I have down here. Can't wait for what this week brings. wine night for birthday comes tomorrow. and thanks to having AAA, my car is being towed for free. Guess what, I want a new one;)

First Day Of The Bestest Month

Due to my appearing on the face of this lovely earth 35 years ago today, how can it not be the most awesomest of months? You are correct in your answer if you so rightly can't! Hi Five for 35!
Yes, I am a born ginger. 
Last night may have been one of my favorite Halloweens yet. I made dinner and it was such a festive meal- fajitas. It just screamed all hallows eve to me;) Wiki and I passed out lots o candy and this year he decided to play the game to win and we gave out full sized candy bars. I can only assume we have now fully established our reign as the coolest in our 'hood. We also watched Hocus Pocus because why wouldn't we?! The only other movies that even get an Honorable mention from me are Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice & obviously Charlie Brown. But since it was the 20th anniversary, Hocus Pocus it was. and how in hades has it been 20 years since that came out?

Anyways, a look at my five of my birthday memories.

My 32nd. I went to Florida with my neighbor Theresa and stayed with her and her lovely momma for a week. A yearly tradition and this one was on my birthday. She took me to the rum bar for drinks.

I am nothing if not lady like

Last year, my favorites from Virginia came down and we went to my second home the wine cafe down the street with some of my besties from here. So much fun!

23. The first one I spent with the mister. We had been dating for about ten months at that point. He came to Virginia to celebrate at my annual Halloween birthday bash and then the next week I flew up to Boston to spend time with him and his family. 

My 13th birthday. Wow. I wonder if I could have cheesed just a little bit harder? This was the night before my usual party and hay ride. It was after our school's football game. Heather and I were in our lovely sweatshirts my mom made for us. Next I should bring out the Christmas ones she made us don each year. Who else can I embarrass?
 But this makes me smile! Lisa and Heather. I miss those two ladies so very much. Memories. upon memories. Burnt popcorn, Heather? Deceived & The Butcher's Wife as a twofor, Mrs. Lowes? Although, I think Danny's photobomb before there was such a thing may be my favorite part about this. 

and hands down the best was my 30th. The mister threw me a party. Which obvisuly I knew was coming. What I didn't know was when and that three of our friends would be flying in from Miami and NYC. I had a blast that night. As the multiple pictures will attest to.
kinda surprised

Here's to the weekend. I am ready!

Linking up with five for friday, high five, friday favorites

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