Monday, February 27, 2012


And so much to do.

[and feel free to send in those RSVPs sooner rather than later!]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Its 9:39 PM and Here's What I Think.

Its one of those nights where I feel like my head and heart are about to run themselves ragged. 
I need to escape to somewhere.


School has worn me down. The Norton Anthology of (insert class subject here) has worn me down.
Wedding planning has worn me down.
This apartment has worn me down. 
BV has worn me down. Winter has worn me down.
An 11 month engagement has worn me down.
The same old song and dance has worn me down.


Every time I'm driving with Joey I think about how easy it would be to get on the highway and just keep driving until we decide we've gotten far enough away. Not forever, just for a little break, but a vital break. 


When things get tough, I always day dream about Italy and how desperately I want to go back there with Joey. It makes my heart hurt sometimes.


As I write this, I'm realizing that sometimes I'm ashamed of how I feel. As soon as I typed everything, I immediately started to type an apology for my cheesy-ness, drama-ness, sappy-ness, girli-ness, emotional-ness, -- whatever-ness, as if I'm not allowed to be frustrated or stir crazy or impatient ever. But world, this is how I feel right now, 
and there is nothing wrong with that


I'm happy, I am. But right now my heart craves a change of scenery, a change of pace. An escape with the one I love from the life I know. I crave the novel and new.

It Snowed Once.

Oh yes, we finally had snow in BV on Sunday. Besides a few flurries around New Years, this has literally been the only snow we've had. But you know what? I was actually a little salty about the whole experience. And heres why:

You see that? In less than 24 hours, four inches of snow pretty much came and went. Call me crazy, but I was actually frustrated when I walked outside to go to classes on Monday morning and saw that most of the snow had already melted. I mean what was the point?! All the snow did was give me anxiety about Joey driving back to VMI on Sunday night, and then make everything muddy and swampy come Monday. Sure, it was pretty for a little while, but in general, this snow just didn't deliver. What makes this even more bonkers is that the Saturday before, it was beautiful and 65, and by this Thursday its supposed to be sunny and 73. Uhhh, come again?

So winter, it was nice knowin' ya, but lets get the show on the road, ditch this fickle weather, and get to spring already!

Monday, February 20, 2012

First VMI Parade of 2012

Last Friday, VMI had their first parade of the year, and Joey ended up marching the captain spot for the S1 staff! Even though he was nervous since he'd never done it before, he sure did great (and looked even better, ow ow!)

The Lion King

Photos from our day trip to Richmond to see The Lion King at the Landmark Theater!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Here it is friends (this means you, Jena G!)--The recipe for the red velvet cream cheese brownies I made Joey for Valentine's Day!

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
Recipe: Sunny Anderson

Red Velvet Brownie Layer:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (I left these out)
Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Special equipment: 8 by 8-inch baking pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.
Brownie layer: In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter. Remove the butter to a large bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between additions. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir it into the cocoa mix. Fold in the flour until lightly combined. Stir in the walnuts and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.
Cream cheese layer: Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Very Lovely Valentines

Isn't Valentine's Day wonderful? Even when I was single, I never really hated it. There is always someone in your life that you can say 'hey, I love ya, and I'm so glad you're a part of my life'.  Well, for two Valentine's Days now, I've been blessed to have a special someone to just say 'hey, I love ya' to. I'm so grateful that I have Joey in my life. He is my best friend, my love, my confidant, my sounding board, my cheer leader, my everything.

Even though Joey and I like Valentine's Day, we don't love all of the commercialism and craziness that can go with it. We like to have a pretty low key day. No singing cards, no stuffed animals, absolutely no roses, no going out--just a thoughtful gift, a letter to each other, and a meal we cook together.

Joey did surprise me with some tulips--my favorite!
Joey got me a game of Phase 10 because we really like to play games together, but he also wrote something on every single card--yellows were things we love, greens were favorite memories, reds were things he loves about me, and blues were promises for our future. 

For Joey, I did a little inspiration searching and finally designed this print to hang in our future home. He loves that I design and paint and is always saying he wants me to design pieces for our home, and since Virginia is so special to us, I thought this would be perfect.
Lastly, I made him a batch of red velvet and cream cheese brownies for a little twist on one of his favorite desserts (recipe coming soon!).

And for today, we are heading off to Richmond to see the touring production of The Lion King! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mid-Winter Formal

If you're friends with me on Facebook, then you probably know that I've been rushing like a mad woman to finish a dress for MWF. You also probably wondered what the heck MWF was! MWF is Mid Winter Formal, a dance at VMI for the winter semester. Its the only one Joey and I like to go to because its a little more classy than Homecoming or his Ring Figure (sans the grinding that some people like to call dancing). 

I was horribly stressed about getting everything sewn in time, as well as making dinner for three other couples we had over before the dance. And on top of everything, I had a stye on my right eye that was so swollen, I felt like quasimodo. it was bad news people, bad news.

I'm happy to say I was able to finish my dress in time -- I finished at 4:30pm and the dance started at 7. It was not without a few tears, and its definitely the worst quality I've ever produced (I used a glue gun to finish the fabric detail on the sleeves. Yup, a glue gun), but at least I had a dress, dinner went fine, my eye was manageable, and most importantly, I had a great time with my beau.

Our dear friends Courtney and Cameron

A little twirling to show off the godets in my dress, per Joey's request.

First Cam attacked Joey, then he tried to smooch Joey, then stood too close for comfort next Joey, and finally gave a nice photo with Joey. Its a Brother Rat thing.

So, I kinda love this guy.

What a great way to kick of our Valentines week!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Get Ready for Major Cuteness

I've always joked that the only way to have a successful blog is to have a cute baby. People just gush over the little things! However I've got nothing in that department (and don't foresee one any time soon, so don't worry, mom!), so I've been resigned to a state of ho-hum blogging.

But ha! Not today! 

Last Sunday Joey and I were over at the Hughes' house, and my friend Lauren Skinner (was Hughes) let Joey and I hold little miss P. We were just happy as clams, and I was able to snap a couple photos of Joey with the little bean. 

Now let me just say, we didn't hold the baby just to take photos and use her for blog material (the stuff at the beginning is a joke, people). But we just loved spending time with P. And I'll just come out and say it: I'm sharing these photos because I just can't get over Joey -- I mean he's totally handsome to begin with, and then you toss in the baby and wa-bam! An attractive man with a baby is any woman's dream. So there, I said it. I'm a baby lovin', Joey smoochin', photo takin' cheese-ball. 

A Favorite Study Snack

When you go to two different schools and have a schedule like VMI's, you take every chance you can to spend time together, and lately that has meant doing homework together for Joey and me. 

And what's studying without a little late night snack? Our favorite lately has been blood oranges. I randomly found them at the grocery store when I was a freshman, but hadn't seen them since. In Italy I ate them all the time, and its been one of the things I've missed most from my trip. And then on one glorious day, Joey spotted a big bag of them at Walmart! We ate so many, we had to buy another bag about a week later!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Attempt at Waffles

So, Joey and I on a whim decided to buy a waffle maker and make our own chocolate chip waffles (my one and only reason for going to Waffle House). Let's just say, it took a second try (or four...) to get it right.

We may be able to make homemade pasta like nobody's business, but a waffle maker gave us a run for our money. But hey, at least they tasted great!

The Last Bit of January

Joey and I had just a few more photos from January that we thought we might share. Our friend Cameron Stoddard's birthday was the day before Joey's, so we got together at the Hughes house for a little birthday celebration. But before dinner and cake, Joey made a new little friend...

Stella just loved cuddling up to Him.
We loved our celebratory noise makers and party blowers.
And the birthday girl with a yummy cake, 
thanks to her boyfriend (and one of Joey's brother rats), Marty.

We always love our time with the Hughes family and are so grateful for their hospitality!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Love Where I Live

Sometimes there are these moments here in Virginia where the clouds, the mountains, the...everything, is just stunningly beautiful. I'm excited to move on next fall when Joey and I move further south, but Virginia will always have a special place in my heart.

Weekend with Mom and Amy

Saturday afternoon my mom and sister, Amy, came down to Virginia to bring me my wedding dress! Since the store didn't ship dresses, my mom picked it up from the store in Cincinnati and was so kind to bring it down to me!

So now Mallory (who's getting married 12 days before me!) and I both have our wedding dresses! But hmmm, where to put them, because hanging on our closet door is not the most convenient..

Joey was busy at VMI with Breakout (he is so proud of his used-to-be rats!), but we were able to snag him for a late dinner at Niko's, the Greek restaurant in Lexington. Their flatbread and tzatziki sauce is to die for!
And of course we had to finish off our fabulous meal with a little ice cream from Sweet Things, a cute ice cream place in Lexington. Joey and I love our little Lexington gems, so it was great to show them to my mom and sister.

After church in the morning and a quick lunch on Sunday, mom and Amy had to head back to Ohio. It sure was nice to see them though, and I know they really loved seeing Joey again (they hadn't seen him since May). And hey! I have my wedding dress!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Joey's Birthday + A Cheesecake Recipe

Joey's 22nd Birthday was simply wonderful. I made him meatloaf with his grandma's  barbecue glaze, mashed potatoes with asiago cheese, and crisp parmesan green beans for dinner, and then we relaxed and took a break from school with one of his favorites: the Office.

And for Dessert: A Double Layer Heath Cheesecake!

This baby has a chocolate crust, a chocolate cheese cake layer, and vanilla layer, heath bar around the outside, and a caramel topping--holy moly!

After researching tons of cheesecake recipes, I came up with my own recipe to get exactly what I want. Its no New York Cheesecake (who has all day to make a monster dessert?), but its great for a first try at a cheesecake and doesn't take too long to make.

Double Layer Heath Cheesecake

For the Crust:
1 box chocolate teddy grahams
3/4 cup butter (or margarine)

For the chocolate layer:
4 oz semisweet or dark chocolate
1 egg
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 tsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese, softened

For the vanilla layer:
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
16 oz cream cheese, softened

heath pieces
caramel sauce (I just used ice cream topping but you could totally make your own)

For the crust, crush the whole box of teddy grahams. Melt the butter, and mix with the graham crumbs. Press into the bottom of a greased spring form pan to form an even crust.

Chocolate Layer:
In a bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with a mixer. Add in the egg, corn syrup, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave (if using chocolate chips, heat in the microwave until they're just starting to melt and they look glossy, then stir--the heat will melt it the rest of the way, and you won't burn your chocolate), and then mix into the cream cheese mixture. Pour over the crust.

Sprinkle some of the heath pieces over the chocolate layer

Vanilla Layer:
In another bowl, beat the 16 ounces of cream cheese, then mix in the brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Pour several dollops over the heath layer and carefully spread the mixture into an even layer.

Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. Since all ovens are different, make sure you check it the last few minutes to make sure it doesn't get too brown on top!
Refrigerate at least three hours.
Place the cheesecake on a serving plate and remove the spring form wall.
With a knife or small spatula, apply a thin layer of caramel around the edge of the cheesecake. Press the heath pieces into the edge.
Pour the caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake. Top with some more heath pieces.

Wedding Invitations

Joey and I did quite a bit of folding, gluing, printing, arranging, stuffing, 
licking, and stamping the last couple weeks. 
But it was totally worth it. 
I got to design to my heart's content (and then some), 
he got to do a little crafting, 
and we both got to spend time together.

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