We Ate In The Buff.

Grab yourself a seat, a drink, and get ready for a long post! It has almost been a month since I posted and boy do I have lots to talk about! Lots of events and cooking going on in our lives and I can’t wait to share it.

First things first, our trip to Colorado! It was great! It started out rough as our first flight scheduled for 8 am got delayed 2 hours due to the crew not receiving enough rest time from their previous flight. We didn’t make our connecting flight in Chicago to make it to Denver, so we were very delayed on our arrival, but we never travel so it was fun to walk through the airports. After 12 hours of traveling we made it to Colorado and were greeted with great food and company. My cousin Tyler, Ashley, her husband Zach, and their daughter Hadlee were all awaiting our arrival with some great BBQ and some catching up time! Last time we saw Hadlee she had just started walking and now she is starting to talk so it was great to see her, as they grow up quickly. Ashley is like my big sister and no matter how far away she is, I know she is one of my biggest supporters. It was great for them to share their space and for us all to catch up. Saturday morning we headed out for breakfast at The Buff where we both got Heartland Skillets with bacon, tomato, onion, potatoes and cheese! We also indulged in their homemade jam on english muffins. Our next stop was Pearl Street in Boulder were we did some sightseeing and bought some souvenirs. We went to The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse which is a replica of a teahouse in Dushanbe with gorgeous tiles and pillars on the inside. Here is a look!

IMG_3472
The Dushanbe Teahouse

After spending time in downtown Boulder, we headed back to Ashley and Zach’s house as a big storm headed in. Ashley made beef stroganoff for dinner and then we stayed up playing cards and laughing a lot! I kicked butt in Sevens and I will proudly hold that against Zach for awhile. Sunday we woke up to biscuits and gravy. The boys cleaned off the driveway so we could head out for the day. We headed up into the mountains to visit my aunt and uncle at their house and to take a hike in the snow. We got to see Elk and some great views.

IMG_0156We also got to taste my Aunt and Uncle’s home-brewed wine and enjoy some chili.

Colorado was a good trip and a good break from work for the both of us. It’s always good to see family, too.

There are some new things happening in the apartment! We painted the bedroom. Our bedding is a mixture of cream, brown and white and with the vaulted ceilings we wanted to warm the room up so we painted one wall a dark brown. It helps out a lot and looks really good! With the warm weather arriving (fingers crossed) we have started getting the patio ready. Thanks to Taylor’s mom we now have a great little patio table with chairs for the back deck. Taylor added some bulbs and it has now become the new hang out spot for us after work. Great for relaxing with a beer and playing some cards.

IMG_0157We have a new favorite spot in Lexington, and that is the West Sixth Brewery. We headed there Friday after work to eat and get some drinks. They have a fish ‘n chips place on the side where they cook farm-to-table fish. You order your food and then walk into the brewery and get your drinks, then you sit down and they bring your food. It’s a great environment to hang out. I think it’ll continue to be a great spot throughout the summer with their big garage doors and patio. Taylor went back this week to pick up a growler of their new seasonal beer, and we have been enjoying it on the patio after work.

Food. Food. Food.

We have still been cooking new meals! We have made our own sesame chicken with fried rice, and it was fabulous. I actually found the recipe on Pinterest instead of the same cookbook we’ve been using. We made homemade chicken nuggets one Sunday for Morgan and her new boyfriend, Hayden! It’s always fun to host and cook for more than just us. We were in Louisville this weekend visiting Taylor’s family and got to enjoy a stirfry by his dad. Sometimes the pictures just don’t do the meals justice.

Warmer weather means we will get to plant flowers in pots soon. We are excited to keep putting together the outside area of the apartment and open up the doors. Hopefully it stays like this!;)

Happy (almost) weekend! Until next time,

Happier, lovelier, and more alive.

-Jennifer

Advertisements

Snow. Snow. Snow.

I’m behind! I haven’t posted in two weeks, and I know I’m in trouble. Family has already been wondering where my posts have been, but I promise I didn’t fail at my new years resolution yet! I do have a reason to be posting late as it has been a busy couple of weeks! But we have still been cooking great meals and living life to the fullest.

Our travel home to Ohio was a success a couple weeks ago! Trisha found her dress on the third try-on and it is beautiful! It’s the perfect dress for her and accentuates her body perfectly. She went in wanting something different than what she got, but the consultant we had was amazing and figured out Trisha well and what would look good on her and made her feel good. On top of finding her wedding dress we also found the bridesmaid dresses. Taylor got to go suit shopping with Jeff and his best man. Unfortunately a much wanted meal at Piada for Taylor turned into food poisoning… We had to head home as a snow storm was coming and Taylor struggled in the car ride home. But, we made it and Taylor got to have someone take care of him, waiting on him hand and foot for a day:) Little by little things are coming together for Jeff and Trisha for the wedding!

We are still working out of Skinnytaste for our meals. We made a very colorful dinner, a cajun chicken pasta with red and yellow peppers, red onion, mushrooms, and lots of spices.

IMG_0991

Taylor and I are not the biggest fans of sweet potatoes, but we love some fried chicken. We made our own oven “fried” chicken with sweet potato wedges. The chicken was delicious. It marinated in buttermilk over night and was rolled in panko bread crumbs and corn flakes. The sweet potato fries were good, but didn’t really change our taste buds.

IMG_3430

Work has been offering overtime, which I hear is very rare, so I have been working 10-12 hour days for the past two weeks. I am very tired, but it will be worth the paycheck! It also gives Taylor the opportunity to stay late at work too when he has long days, and then we ride home together. It means we have been slacking a little on the fancier meals but still eating at home. After some long days at work though we were able to celebrate Valentine’s day together this weekend and had some great couple time. Friday we went out to dinner for some much-needed beers downtown to Saul Good (Debbie we got the Crab Rangoon flat bread pizza and thought of you:)). Saturday Taylor made a wonderful dinner at home while I made some goodie bags for Taylor’s student staff that were participating in DanceBlue. Taylor’s menu included filet mignon, grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes, and chocolate covered strawberries, which we received all from Fresh Market.

IMG_3439

I got Taylor some new cologne and he got me personalized pads of paper for my office! After dinner we headed to DanceBlue. If you all remember, this is the 24-hour no sitting, dance marathon at UK for pediatric cancer awareness. We danced my junior year and Taylor’s senior year, and it was the most humbling experience. Last year we were able to volunteer, but this year Taylor had some students participating so we went to cheer them on and bring them snacks. Being there always brings back great memories and makes me wish I was a student again. They raised $1.6 million dollars! Woohoo!!

IMG_3448

Definitely proud to be an alumnae and to say I was a part of this great cause.

This week we head to Colorado!!! I am so excited! We get to see family, and Taylor gets to see Colorado for the first time. Can’t wait to see everyone and have some new experiences together. Tomorrow we are expecting a huge snow storm, and I hope it’s all gone by the time we have to travel Thursday. UK has already closed for tomorrow. Unfortunately, a hospital never stops so Taylor will be driving me to work tomorrow:) We are expecting anywhere from 7 to 12 inches of snow. Safe travels this week! Can’t wait to share about the trip next post.

Lovelier, happier, and more alive.

-Jennifer

In Dog Beers, We’ve Only Had One

Brrrr has it been cold here! With a couple days of warmth here and then snow, I’m not sure what mother nature is doing to us! Cold weather called for staying inside and cooking. On the menu this week was Salisbury Steak with a mushroom gravy. The best part of all these meals is the cookbook was written with a dietician, so when you eat the meals you know it’s not terrible for you! A gravy may sound too heavy, but she has good substitutes and different things to add flavor instead of just salt and pepper. Although, she mentions that sometimes you do have to use salt. It’s all about moderation! We have been trying to make sure we have vegetables on the side. As you may know, the darker the vegetable, the more nutrient dense. That’s why spinach and kale leaves are better than iceberg lettuce.

Thursday evening we headed to Hugh Jass Burgers for trivia with some friends. We used to go almost every Thursday when we were in school because it was close to campus. Our team name was “In Dog Beers, We’ve Only Had One.” I don’t think as many people thought it was funny, but I got a good kick out of it. We didn’t have too much luck in winning, but we got to share some drinks and indulge in nachos.

Saturday morning we woke up to Lexington’s first big snow of the year! Three inches!! Being from Ohio three inches is nothing, as we would still be in school. Even after a little covering of snow today, schools were on a delay which would never happen in Ohio. My family in Colorado and New York can get a big kick out of the three inches of snow we had:) The snow called for a pretty view though

IMG_3392
View from our back balcony

Saturday was another Drake’s day for the basketball game where we got a good spot on the couches next to the fire with a few friends. Taylor and I then set out to go grocery shopping at the new Kroger. As you know, we enjoy cooking. Well, Taylor LOVES grocery shopping. I’m not complaining, because not many men will volunteer to go to the store AND cook. There was a Kroger close to campus (Euclid Kroger, named after the street it was on) that I had been going to since freshman year of college. Well spring semester of my senior year they tore it down to build a new one. Not many people were happy that lived around there, that it became known as Fort Kroger. Well, now it is the fanciest and classiest Kroger I have seen. There is a parking garage on the roof, with escalators to get down or elevators to take your carts, a Starbucks, a Sushi bar, a sandwich bar to go, and lots of people. It took us ten minutes to find a place to park as people circled looking for spots. At one point we were on the top parking garage and Taylor said, “People are picking bananas below us.” We spent probably more than we should, but we were excited to have our old Kroger back and a new social gathering for Taylor as he is at the store three times a week and runs into everyone he knows.

We started this week off with Santa Fe Taco Salad that was made with turkey and an avocado dressing. It is a colorful meal with lots of flavors as the turkey is mixed with spices, corn, black beans, and jalapeños. Taylor and I love to cook and eat Mexican food, so this meal was right up our alley.

IMG_3401We have some more meals planned for the week with lots of colorful vegetables so look for those next week. I hope Mother Nature stays northeast as this weekend is the first outing for wedding dress shopping for the soon to be sister-in-law! I am hopefully headed home to look at wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses this weekend with Trisha, family, and the bridesmaids. Jeff and Trisha have been working on their colors and it is going to be very classy looking:) I am so lucky to have them include me in some of the planning even though I’m in another state.

Cat photo of the week:

IMG_3389
Rory enjoys wrapping himself up in the blankets for bedtime

Rory got under the blankets all by himself. You can tell it’s been cold here. Hope everyone stays as warm as he is this week!

Lovelier, happier, and more alive.

-Jennifer

Chops, Chang’s, Cats

Another week in the books! Some new meals, as usual, and some eventful days. We started last week with Teriyaki-Glazed Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa. I’m not a big pork chop fan, but the sauce and sweetness of the pineapple pleased my sweet tooth. This recipe had a lot of ingredients — most of which you probably already have in your spice cabinet.

Here it is! Photo credit and presentation to Taylor.

IMG_3366

We anxiously awaited the weekend because Friday night was date night! Once a month we always splurge and go to P.F. Changs. I’m sure some would say,”You splurge on P.F. Changs?!” It’s true. There aren’t many good Chinese restaurants around here and those who know me well, know I love me some Chinese. Plus, they have a great deal for two and we can’t pass that up. So we had a nice dinner by the bar where Taylor got his new favorite drink, a Moscow Mule, and I got the Red Sangria. After dinner we headed to the movies to see American Sniper. I won’t spoil the movie, but I am a big fan. I don’t really go for the shoot ’em up, bang ’em up movies, but this movie also had an emotional side to it and really captured my attention. It is a long movie, but in the end it was worth it. Despite its controversy, I think it ranks as one of the best films in the past twelve months. Taylor suggested Call of Duty be in my future, but I doubt that. This movie will last me awhile in the war/action genre.

Saturday was game day for the Cats! We slept in and then decided that instead of going out to watch the game somewhere we would host our first little gathering. It was a beautiful day out so we made a pitstop at the Arboretum for a walk then headed for the store. Our menu consisted of the usual chips and salsa, guacamole, Caliente Bean and Queso Dip, Loaded Nacho Potato Skins, and lots of beer. These snacks are still from the same recipe book we have been working out of since the beginning of this blog. So we had a few friends over, drank some beer, ate delicious snacks, and watched our Cats dominate Alabama.

Sunday Brunch Day! We met Morgan at a Lexington favorite, Wild Eggs, for brunch. (Colorado Crew might know this place too!). We had Mimosas and devoured some eggs, pancakes and potatoes! I think it is a new favorite spot that we will have to make a regular outing. After spending three hours at the eye doctor that day I can now say I am a part of the contact lenses world! After about a half hour I finally got them and am slowly transitioning to them, and I am happy to not have glasses sitting on my face all day. My dad was happy to know my eyes hadn’t changed too much since I still have a ways to go till I meet his eye sight.

Some of us did not get the benefit of having the day off today, but I just have to remember I got time and a half and Taylor brought me lunch today. He made his own buffalo chicken nuggets with salad. Quite the lunch at work! Today we got another wonderful walk at the arboretum and made some Parmesan-crusted Tilapia with broccoli and rice for dinner!

IMG_3376

It’s Bachelor night! Mondays I always go to my friend Sarah’s house to watch the Bachelor for some girl time and Taylor gets to catch up on his shows – works out well for us.

Cat photo of the week. After we had people over on Saturday, we were an old couple and passed out by ten. Rory fell asleep on also-sleeping Taylor’s legs but had a hard time keeping his head up.

IMG_3375

Hope everyone has a good week! Talk to you all next week.

Lovelier, happier, and more alive.

-Jennifer

Work. Food. Sleep. Repeat.

Happy Tuesday!

What a busy week last week! But lots of great things to share. I have exciting news  to smile about and some great food for you to drool over.

Last week we had some great meals out of the same cookbook. We started the week with Sirloin Steak Sandwiches and Lemon-Roasted Asparagus. We had a guest of honor, Morgan (Taylor’s sister), for the meal. Taylor cooked the steak on the grill, I made the asparagus, and Morgan made the salad! We all sat down at the table for this lovely meal…

IMG_3346

We all had a great time trying to figure out how to use a lemon zester, a gift from one of Taylor’s grandparents.  It took three of us and Google to figure it out, but those lemon zest bites were the best. We really do know how to cook. Morgan and I were able to exchange Christmas gifts, and we all got to catch up.

With a busy week and weekend we resorted to some classic spaghetti before making our next new meal this weekend. We ended the weekend with Chicken Marsala! Mmmmm! I think this is one of the best yet. Taylor mastered this recipe on the first try. I have grown to like mushrooms in small amounts, so this meal was great.

IMG_3363

Excuse me while I clean off the keyboard… are you drooling yet, too? Good food after a busy weekend. Taylor worked this weekend at a conference for employees and students of visitor and welcome centers at college campus across the country. Since Lexington/UK was hosting it, Taylor got to see some of his design and print work in the hands of 200+ students and staff at the conference. He is most proud of this part of a brochure he helped design…

SDI Inside Cover

While he stayed busy at work, my old roommate, Alyssa, visited from Chicago. And I cheered on the Cats in their win over Texas A&M; although, I about had a heart attack in double overtime.

The best news of my week was when my brother called me on Sunday. He and his girlfriend Trisha were on a cruise all week, and they came back ENGAGED!!! I am one happy and proud sister. I am so excited for them and this next stage in their life. Let the wedding planning begin! I’m going home this month to help Trisha on her first dress looking excursion. Congrats Jeff and Trisha:)

It seems like we were on repeat all week, but great food and news called for a good one. I can’t help but end the post with a classic cat photo. Rory and I cuddled up for some House Hunters after a long day at work. Have a great week everyone!

IMG_3364

Lovelier, happier, and more alive.

-Jennifer

New Year. New Beginnings.

Everyone makes new year resolutions. I admit that I never stick to them, but a new year calls for a new begininng.  I have decided to start my own blog to share my life in Kentucky. With friends and family in many different states it’s not always easy to know what’s going on in everyone’s lives. Hopefully this blog will be a start to sharing more and learning a little more about everyone else, too. Christmas brought some inspiration as my parents got a new cookbook that Taylor and I ordered online right after we saw it. And Taylor got some new toys — drill and grill — that has gotten us to start some new projects. Plus, we love sharing pictures and stories of our cat, Rory.

This weekend was filled with DIY projects and new meals. We took down the Christmas decorations and after trying to find storage space in little closets we noticed it looked a little empty in the apartment. With some inspiration from Pinterest, we picked out two projects to take on. Thanks to Taylor, we have a new TV that takes up lots of wall space, but we needed a stand of some sort for the DVD player and accessories. After two trips to Lowe’s, we finally got everything we needed. Being in an apartment, we don’t really have the space for fancy tools, so we were able to get them to cut all the wood pieces for us. Plus we kept an extra piece for a later project.

IMG_3335

IMG_3336

We were able to find a post on Pinterest that had all the measurements and nails and screws we would need. After putting a couple extra holes in the wall (either the wall is crooked or we were too excited to notice it not being straight) we got the support up. We put together the shelf that would go on top, stained it, and then let it dry over night. And…

IMG_3340

Here is the final product! Unfortunately the wall is an exterior wall, making it harder to hide the cords. We are still working on that one.

With an extra piece of wood, some stain, mason jars, and some plumbing clamps we put together a crafty storage piece for the master bath. Another inspiration from Pinterest.

IMG_3342

On top of all our projects, we cooked two delicious meals out of the new cookbook, Skinnytaste by Gina Homolka. Enchiladas with a homemade sauce and turkey burgers (cooked on the new grill!). All in all it was a successful weekend with lots of new things to enjoy. I think the cat is tired from watching us and having new things to get into.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

I hope to post once or twice a week and share the meals we will be cooking and who knows what project we will get into next.

Lovelier, happier, and more alive.

-Jennifer