One year

One year ago today we got approved for our house in the afternoon and engaged in the evening.  It was a big day, huge day actually!  Not only did we finally find the place we wanted to live and on the path to purchasing it, but we were also getting married! Now, two months from yesterday, we will be at our wedding, it’s wild.

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A lot has changed in the past year, but I wouldn’t change it.  I still can’t believe the wedding is only 2 months away…ah so much to do!

xo – J

The last two weeks

Over the last 10 days I was in NYC and NJ visiting friends, family, and work.  It was such a great trip being able to not only see my friends before Christmas, but getting to my Mom’s concert, and enjoying the city at Christmas time (complete with snow!).  I miss New York so much, but there is nothing like coming back home to Jay and Rondo.

To everyone I got to see last week, I love you all so much and miss you constantly.  How lucky am I to have you all in my life?!

xo-j

Come Sunday…

Come Sunday…

Jay and I will be getting married in 6 months!  I can’t believe it!  We’ve also been together 4 years, which is crazy.  In the past 4 years we went from living a block away, to moving into our own (tiny) apartment (again, so tiny), we got a puppy, we got engaged (!), we bought a house, and now we are just half a year from being married.  So many things have changed, and with each step, everything has gotten better.  I can’t wait to see where we are in 5 years, and 10, and 20…


(just a few weeks after we started dating – our first new years eve together ringing in 2010)

Next week I will be in NYC working, visiting friends and family, and enjoying the season in the busiest/scariest/wildest place on earth to be at Christmas time.  I’m really looking forward to being there, though I will miss my boys :(.  Poor Ron is so used to having me home all day!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xo-j

Umm that wind was wild

Soooo the wind this weekend was absolutely insane.  I thought our house was going to blow over at least 3 times!  This is the part of dog ownership that totally sucks.  Going out in 20 degree wild wind is not my idea of fun at 8am…yuck.

The cold weather does lend itself to crazy heavy and delicious meals though, which I love.  I made tortilla soup on Sunday without a recipe and it came out really really great (going to share in a minute).  Every single recipe (even the ones that said “easy”) online had 55 ingredients.  I am a good cook, I can handle making something difficult, what I don’t want is to have to spend $30 on spices I will only use once, and waste vegetables that I won’t cook with again soon enough.  Plus, the grocery stores were so busy this weekend, I nearly had a fist fight in Trader Joe’s (ok I didn’t, but I wanted to!).  Anyway, here is what I did, and like I always say (and mean it) it came out really great!

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WHAT YOU NEED:

1 1/4 lbs of chicken breast cubed((ish)
15 oz can diced tomato & green chilies fire roasted (Traders! or buy separately)
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (this decides the heat)
1 chopped medium onion
2 boxes Swanson Mexican Tortilla Broth (greatest product ever)
1/2 tbs garlic (to taste)
Some garlic salt, onion powder, s&p
Lime, Avocado, Tortilla Strips, Cheese, Sour Cream (all optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Put chicken, tomato/chile, chipotle peppers, onion, garlic, & broth in the crock pot on high.  Let this cook for about 2 hours.

2. Use a ladle to take out the chunks of chicken, onion, tomato & pepper.  This doesn’t have to be exact, but make sure to get the big pieces of chicken.  Put this in the blender and blend it up quickly. Don’t purée this, just give it a light, quick mix.

3. Put it all back in the crock pot (do the blending in batches) and add the seasonings you are going to want.  I added about 1 tsp of onion powder, garlic salt, and just a pinch of salt. Now let this cook for another couple hours (or 10 minutes if you need dinner).

4. You’re basically done.  Scoop it out and enjoy with whatever toppings you like.  I did some lime juice, pinch of cheddar, tortillas and sour cream, but honestly, it would have tasted great without these additions too!

Mmm.

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On a totally different note, thanks to Jay for being my cheerleader.  Saturday I really missed my friends.  Everyone was together in NYC &  NC and I was struggling a bit with how much I missed them.  I love our new life here, but there will always be days I miss the ease of having my best friends right around the corner (whether it’s college or Brooklyn).  Thankfully, I have Jay, who not only completely understood, but got me ground beef disturbing Taco Bell for dinner, played a flower game with me, and reminded me of how lucky I am.

xo-j

Thanksgiving Table

We are having Thanksgiving at our house this year, and I’m really excited, and also terrified!  I’ve never made a turkey or hosted a legit dinner for 14 people before…but I’ve made a million lists, and purchased (I think) everything we need.  Anyways, the best part has been getting to plan for the table and making decorations.  I found the cutest mason jar mugs last week, and have been picking up all different glass bottles/jars over the past month to make different groupings for the centerpieces (need a bunch since the table will be so long!).

Here is some of what I’ve done so far:

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(Place Cards / Remember which drink is yours / Thanksgiving Party Favor)

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I’m so happy with how everything turned out!  Now, as long as I don’t destroy the turkey we are good to go!

xo-j

Warm Fall

Yesterday was bizarre, it was 65 degrees!  I decided to eat at my desk and take Rondo to the park for my lunch break since it was so beautiful outside, and before I know it there will be snow.

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Not the same as wandering around midtown at lunch, but I’ll take it!

xo-j

Sausage & Brussels

We eat chicken sausage probably once a week.  They are so delicious, and not SO horrible for you!  How I have never combined my bizarre love of Brussel sprouts and sausages before I don’t know.  The hardest part of this recipe is chopping the sprouts, seriously. Anyways, wanted to share another simple one that ends up really really tasty!

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Chicken Sausage & Brussels

What You Need:

Chicken Sausage (I get Aidells garlic & gruyere)
Ziti
Brussel Sprouts (I use the frozen ones)Olive Oil
S&P

Directions:

Make your sprouts! Preheat oven to 425*.

1. Defrost the sprouts in mic with 2 tbsp of water and then cut them in half/quarter

2. Toss the chopped sprouts in olive oil and about 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt (change this to taste)

3. Spread them out on an aluminum foil lined pan and bake for about 30 minutes, but this depends on your oven and how brown you want them.  Keep on checking and shaking and tasting and salting throughout the cooking process.

4. In the meantime boil your water, cook your pasta, and cook your sausages.  I slice the sausages up while cooking into bite size pieces.

5.  When it is all cooked, toss it all together with a little bit of olive oil and done!

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Hope you guys make this one and enjoy it, it has become a staple over here!

xo- J

Lately

I was in NYC again last week for work for only 24 hours but I was able to cram in two lunches with my favorite lunch partner, and most importantly found my bridesmaid dresses with Lauren and Adie!  I wish I could share pictures of that, but it’s a secret (plus, I was able to try on my dress next to them so I really can’t share any pics!).  Here are some other pics from life lately…

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(halloween treats are the best)

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xo- j

 

Waking Up

For anyone who follows me on Instagram this is a repeat, but I thought I would share what it is really like to wake up with Rondo, since pictures and stories do not to his weirdness justice.  This is a typical morning, Ron is under the covers, and then when he decides he is ready he will emerge and being his lick attack.  Such a maniac…

my true love

Yea, ok, I’m obsessed with Rondo…If I’m in a room Rondo is there, if I leave the house he is upset, he sits outside the shower and waits for me to finish, he sleeps curled up in my legs at night, and we spend everyday all day snuggling together.  Anyways, I just want to share a few of my favorites from lately…he cracks me up…

The beckoning sexy man:

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The iwanttosleepyouarereallyannoyingme:

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Jay was away a couple weeks ago and I wanted to send him a picture of me kissing Rondo’s head…this is the result…

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He was cold the other day in the car so I moved a towel up front for him.  I looked over and this is what he had done…and yea, he is asleep.

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This one is the norm: ears flipped back, paying attention to your food…

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The den/my office downstairs gets so cold.  We decided to share my sweater.  Again, most pictures he ends up licking…

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And for good measure, I was at my parents house last week while working out of NYC and I got to see Cali the weirdo.  She is eating my hair tie here…

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That’s all for now!

xo – j