Monday, March 9, 2015

Adelyn's Newborn Photos


Adalynn was born last year; her Mommy and Daddy won a contest to have her newborn pictures taken. I can't believe that these were almost a year ago! In honor of her birthday I decided to post some of her newborn photos on my blog so you could see her adorableness. 

Adalynn's dad just got home from deployment before these photos were taken. So many military couples have to go through their pregnancy and their childbirth without their significant other by their side to share in the joy with them. I love that I got to capture these memories for this precious family!

Happy Birthday Sweet Adalynn!




















Friday, February 27, 2015

Spinach, Bacon, and Potato Fritatta



These pictures were taken with an iPhone. I'm sorry for the picture quality, or lack thereof. 

The night was cold, icy, dreary; for North Carolina that is not a typical night, but we had been having a lot of those lately. I wanted soup or chili but hadn't been to the grocery store in a while so instead I decided on another comfort food, which to me is breakfast food. A frittata to me is easy comfort food, with a bit of added elegance. HA! It's seems elegant; even fancy, but SO easy. In fact breakfast foods are my lazy day food if I don't really feel like cooking, or thinking about what I'm making. This is nice because it's simple and easy, you probably have everything in your kitchen right now to make this, but it's delicious, hearty, filling, and hits the comfort food area of my belly perfectly. 

My husband was a fan and my kiddos called it "pizza" and gobbled it up. I even sent leftovers to work with my hubby the next day because it not only reheats well but you could eat it at room temperature too.

Enjoy!


Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 cups potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks (small dice)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1-1 1/2 cups Italian shredded cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 425° F.

In a 10 inch, oven proof skillet (I prefer non-stick) over medium heat, cook diced bacon until browned. Add onions and continue cooking, stirring, until bacon is cooked and onions are softened. Remove onions and bacon from skillet to a paper towel.

Remove all but a few tablespoons of bacon grease from pan.  Add the potatoes to the pan and cook, stirring to coat with bacon fat. Add some salt and pepper. Continue to cook in pan with lid for about 8-10 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and a bit crispy. Add a bit of oil throughout if potatoes seem to stick to the pan. 

White potatoes are cooking, whisk together eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of cheese and set aside.

Once potatoes are browned and cooked, add bacon and onion mixtures and stir. Add the spinach on top of the hot potatoes evenly and allow to stand for a few minutes to wilt it slightly; don't stir.  Carefully pour the egg and cheese mixture evenly over everything and top with additional cheese if desired.

Place skillet in the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted. Switch the oven to broil and broil until the cheese is bubbly and browned (optional)




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Oreo Cake (Made with a Cake Mix)




This cake is so good. You won't believe that's it's from a cake mix, but it is. You amp up a devil's food cake mix to make it all kinds of wonderful. If you serve this at a party, your guests will have no idea you used a cake mix as the base for this amazingness. 

I wish I could say that I made this cake for some special occasion but I really just made it "just-because." Seriously. I need to stop doing this baking all the time for fun because it's adding pounds and inches to my waistline! It's almost summer too and that means bathing suit season! What am I thinking??? It's also Lent season which means most people have given up something. I'm sure some of you are looking lustfully at this cake and wishing wholeheartedly that you had not given up sweets or sugar. I'm sorry. But this cake may just make you break that Lent and sin...oops; sorry! 

Too good to pass up ladies and gents. Taste and see why Oreos may just beat out Girl Scout Cookies for my favorite cookie when added to this cake!




Ingredients

Butter and flour/cocoa powder for flouring pans
1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 TBSP vanilla
2 cups mini chocolate chips


Directions

Butter 2 8 inch or 9 inch round cake pans and sprinkle with a bit of flour and cocoa powder to coat the butter. Shake off excess.

Combine cake mix and dry pudding powder in the bowl of your stand mixer (or large bowl.)

In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and sour cream, stirring until smooth.  Whisk in oil, vanilla, and milk, until smooth.  Add wet ingredients to the dry cake mix ingredients and mix on low with paddle attachment. Scrape down the side and increase speed to medium/medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and lump-free.  Add chocolate chips and mix just until combined.

Divide cake batter evenly between both pans and tap on counter to remove any air bubbles. Will take about 35 minutes if using 8 inch pans and less if using 9 inch. When a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are fine but no wet batter) the cakes are done. Let cool on wire rack.

Frosting

6-9 Oreo Cookies, finely chopped

Whole Oreos for decorating
2 sticks (1 lb) unsalted butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP vanilla extract
Up to 4 TBSP heavy whipping cream
You might want to double or triple this icing recipe depending on how much icing you like!

 Whip butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time beating on low until incorporated and increasing speed after adding each cup until your desired level of sweetness. Then add salt and vanilla. If you think it's too thick add in 1 TBSP of heavy whipping cream at a time until it's your desired spreading consistency. I normally ending up adding 2 TBSP. 

Add in chopped cookies until well mixed.  Frost cake and decorate with additional Oreos.







Recipe adapted from: Our Best Bites

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Beachy, Backyard Colorful Wedding

This wedding happened almost a year ago, and at that time I was pregnant and due in a month with our third boy. Right now I have a 3 1/2 year old, a 2 year old, and a 7 month old. Times are crazy, fun, wild, exhausting, loving, exciting, and consist on living with very little sleep. I call myself a lazy blogger because that's me; definitely not lazy in life but lazy in putting my life into my blog. I'm hoping to turn over a new leaf in this area. 

This is the wedding of my dear friend Jill; she was planning this from a deployment so I did the wedding coordination, planning, flowers, cupcakes, decorating, and photography. Yes, at 9 months pregnant! I was exhausted, but it was SO much fun. I love getting to go back to my roots and do weddings occasionally. They're a lot of work so I don't do them too often anymore and I'm very picky about the ones that I do, but this was a blast to do. 

Jill is super easy going and had an idea in her head of what she wanted but left it up to me to make it happen. That is my favorite type of wedding; when I am given the creative reigns and freedom to make someone's vision happen. 

This was a beach wedding and backyard reception. We saved money by doing pretty much everything ourselves. Everything from the appetizers, cupcakes, flowers, decorating, set up, take down, photography; the only thing we didn't do was set up the ceremony, run the ceremony, and cater the reception, that was pretty much it. 

Here are some photos of the beautiful day and some details of that day. 





The bride's bouquet was a hand-tied bouquet of white hydrangeas and yellow mini calla lillies  





 Instead of a cake the bride and groom served chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla butter cream topped with white and yellow flowers 

 Favors for their guests were mini galvanized pails with blue gummy fish in them that said "Jillian and Bobby; the perfect catch"


In lieu of a traditional guest book, guests signed seashells with well-wishes for the couple. 

 The ocean front ceremony site with benches for seating.

The sand unity ceremony with sand in the colors of the wedding


Mason jars hung by shepherd's hooks filled with yellow and white flowers











The signature cocktail was a mojito and there was a mojito bar for guests to make them any way they wanted including adding different berries. 



 The table centerpieces were each unique and hand hand-made table numbers. Vintage mason jars, and vintage milk glass were combined with clear vases from the dollar store to mix the beach, vintage, and eclectic vibe. Starfish were glued onto burlap and seashells were scattered on each table on top of teal table runners. We purchased chair ties and used those instead of table runners for a less expensive alternative and a pop of color.

Mason jars were used with colorful stars to drink out of.

A piece of plywood was painted with chalkboard paint and hand-drawn with the mojito recipe.


The appetizer area.



 The happy newlyweds!