Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a year in travels.....

2008 was a pretty darn good year.

Stone and I got to travel A WHOLE BUNCH so I thought I would post a few photos from our year in travels

We decided it was time for Stone to get the hell out of dodge... So we took a trip to Italy. Our first stop: Corniglia in the Cinque Terre. This is the view from the room we rented.

Next stop: Florence
Our friend Lisa made the trek with us
Lil Jon decided to visit Florence too!!!!

We decided to kick back and take a looooooonnnnnggg lunch after a day of museuming it.

Next Stop: Rome
true story......I was having a very rough go of it the day we went to the Vatican (above)....we had been out the night before with peeps from our hostel. While walking around St. Peter's Basilica I kept thinking to myself "everything just looks SOOOO blurry". No matter how many times I rubbed my eyes, the amazing sites to see just wouldn't come clear! (this went on for about 1.5-2 hours) I then realized that I in my haste/fog that morning I had put the ole contacts in the wrong eyes.

Next stop: London
The weather in Italy had been AMAZING...I even got a little sunburn. Therefore we were NOT prepared for the frigid temps upon our arrival to the UK.

we had a great time sampling the brew at local pubs

My sister invited the whole family down to their condo in Clearwater, FL for the 4th of July
(above: my niece Laney ready to rock on the 4th)
my mom, me and my sister soaking up the rays

We hadn't been on a real live family vacation in years so it was great to just sit back, relax and enjoy the family time.....and it didn't hurt that the weather was beautiful

I threw this in just for kicks.....this is one of my bro's CLEARLY loving his life while in the sunshine state.

My good friend Emma up and moved to San Francisco...well not really, she has lived there for about three years but you catch my drift. It was high time we hopped a plane to see her!

We had just been on a tour (which turned into 3 hours of free tasty brew) of the Anchor Steam Brewery....needless to say silly times were had on the way back to her apartment.
This could quite possible be the greatest picture I have ever taken. I love it!!!

We had dinner one night at Suppenk├╝che and got to drink our beer out of a giant break it you buy it though so BE CAREFUL!!!!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas weekend in a nutshell part 2:

Once family time is done it is time for quality time with my favorite peeps. Here are the highlights:

* I had lunch with the girls (Lisa, Emma, Kitty & Sara) on Friday at Yats. As always it was good convo and good food. NOTE: if you live in Indianapolis and you have NOT visited Yats I feel sorry for you. It doesn't get any better than a little spicy Cajun creole and crispy bread! NOTE 2: Yats was nice enough to bless Chicago with a location now too!

No photos were taken at lunch so here is a pic of me and some of my gal pals at my wedding........From the left: Lisa, Jennie (married to my bro), Abby, Me, Sara, Kitty & Emma.

*Friday night brought a night out (again, NO thank you Indianapolis for NOT going smoke free!)

*Saturday was lazy and I loved every minute of it. Kitty and Kev came over to play some Wii.... I must confess that I am sore now. Really? Yes, Wii bowling has not only made my back sore but my legs and arms are a bit tight too. Perhaps I should make "staying committed to working out" one of my New Years resolutions??? I'm embarrassed!

It's only natural for these two best buds to fall asleep holding one another. Five minutes before this picture was taken the following was said by Kitty (above) to her boy toy Kev:

"Kev I don't know why you're not drinking....this beer is going down like WATER!!!"

*I had a rough go of it Sunday. Kitty and Kev were nice enough to take Stone and I to a Colts game (the new stadium is AMAZING!)....but Saturday night's impromptu Wii party + too much beer = this little lady was in bad shape at 9am when I had to get up to tailgate for the game. Not to worry though, after a few touch and go moments I was ok. After the game we had a Mexican feast for dinner and got to see Emma one more time before she hopped a jet plane back to San Fran.

Isn't the new stadium great!!!!

Thank you Stone for being the creepy guy to ruin a cute pic!....but it made me laugh

Best quote from the game:

Little boy in front of us: "Excuse me. Do you mind if I ask you a question?"

Me: "Not at all!"

Little boy: "Who scored the first touch down?"

Me: "Sorry buddy, I have no clue....I'm here for the beer."

Then his mom/sister/friend who he was with stated "Me TOO!" and cheersed me.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in a nutshell....

We take these pictures every year right before we load the car up to go to my sister's house. Gotta love Stone's's the same EVERY YEAR.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with my family at my sister's house. She has a beautiful home and always puts together a delicious meal and a great time!

Here is a pic of me and my Papa....he has a tough go of it sometimes (he has Alzheimer's) but on X-mas Eve he was in high spirits and had a blast! He was so excited that it was Christmas!!!!

My mom and sister in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on dinner. We have turkey, ham, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes (made by yours truly) and lima beans (I respectfully pass on those)...basically we have Thanksgiving dinner again. I LOVE IT!

Matilda and I were VERY happy with what Santa brought us!!!!

Stone and I decided to start a new family tradition....homemade waffles and mimosas for breakfast on Christmas morning. They were DELICIOUS!!!

I also went ahead and did a little "shopping" on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Thank you to everyone for tying such pretty ribbon and bows on all of our gifts. Now we have all of our ribbon for next year! I only had to buy one roll of "curly ribbon" this year....I don't think I will have to buy ANY ribbon next year. Why buy when you can just reuse!
Stone and his little sister saying CHEESE for me. We celebrated with his side of the family on Christmas Day and it was great fun. His parents gave us a Wii!...can I even begin to tell you how excited I am about this!?!?!?! AND Stone surprised me with one more gift while we were at there house.....Guitar Hero! I LOVE IT!!!
Stone loves it too and won us a bunch of new songs over the weekend! haha!
more on our fun filled weekend tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

tasty treat to take to a party:

I thought it only appropriate to post a DELICIOUS recipe, what with all of the holiday gatherings and such.

This is not only tasty but it is easy

(easy with the illusion of being hard....which lets be honest, is the BEST kind of recipe)

Artichoke Dip

Shopping List:

*2 pkg cream cheese

*1 cup Mozzarella cheese

*1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

*1 cup mayo

*1 can artichokes (IN WATER)

*2 tablespoons artichoke juice from the can

*garlic powder to taste (we use about 3/4tsp...but you can use more if you like)

How To:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

With a mixer, mix the cream cheese, mayo, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder

Cut up the artichokes (BE SURE TO RESERVE THE 2tbs OF JUICE FROM THE CAN)

-I just break them up with my fingers

Add the artichokes and 2tbs of juice to the creamed cheeses and mix for a bit

Pour into a baking dish (medium size)

Bake for 30-45 minutes (you want it just a bit brown on top)


I'm the BEST!

This Christmas I decided it was time for me to clinch my numero uno spot as THE BEST AUNT EVER.

Technically I am Chloe & Laney's only Aunt related to them via blood (that sounds sick but you catch my drift). Therefore I think it only natural for me to be NUMBER ONE....but I thought it a good idea to really hit a home run and seal the deal.

I don't need them to be tempted to replace me with one of their "related via marriage" aunts. I mean COME ON!!! I have known them since they were growing in their momma's belly!

Back to why I ROCK! (sidenote: I have written proof from both Chloe and Laney that "I ROCK" is generally written on every card I receive from them. "Court YOU ROCK!")

Chloe is currently obsessed with Twilight.

I mean O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D.

When I happened upon these little diddies on at Etsy I knew I had hit the jackpot.

photo courtesy of

I'm 99% sure that Chloe might just might hover in the air due to sheer excitement when she gets these.


That is the sound of my spot AT THE TOP being made PERMANENT!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekend Review

This past weekend was ACTION PACKED!

Friday I took a half day, Stone had the day off so we went on a little lunch date to The Brew Pub and then finished up our Christmas shopping. Anthropologie is/was having a HUGE sale so I had to purchase myself two cute little plates! It was so great just running about town on a lazy Friday with my love.
We then went to the Pacers game to watch my niece Chloe dance at half time....she is in "the company" at her dance studio and they did a little Christmas half time show. It was VERY cute.

Chloe is standing on the "CO" of CONSECO

Saturday we hosted Stone's office Christmas cocktail party at our house. Lets just say, things escalated and we did NOT feel too hot on Sunday.

I am pretty proud of the spread I had out for the coworkers....unfortunately I didn't take a picture of it until after some of it had been eaten.

see the little green plate on the shelf....that is one of the plates I HAD to have

On the menu: shrimp cocktail, fruit (the apples & pears had been eaten by the time I took the photo), cheese & crackers, hummus & pretzel chips (I like pita chips too but we went with pretzel chips on Saturday), veggies & dip, Nancy's spirals (I know cheating because I bought them from Sam's Club but seriously Stone LOVES them and he might have gone bananas if I did not get them), buffalo chicken dip, artichoke dip and chili cheese dip (which I ended up never heating up because I had no room on the table for it)

Desserts: oatmeal raisin cookies, rice krispie treats, Christmas tree sugar cookies (thank you madre) and buckeyes (thank you madre)

Sunday was the greatest day EVER (well I felt like crap all day but Sunday night was the greatest night EVER)

Kitty and I went to see the greatest singer in the world....

CELINE DION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moments before I started crying and Celine started singing "I Drove All Night...To Get To You!"
Also please note our red/pink cheeks...we had been in the stadium for about 20 minutes and still were frozen from the walk was literally 3 degrees yesterday.

All you need to know is this:

I cried twice.

I would "drive all night to get to you" were AMAZING

We thought that all of the husbands in the audience were dragged there against their will. That is until the stadium got quiet waiting for Celine to start her next song and the husband of the woman sitting in front of us screamed


I almost peed my pants laughing.....

Kitty, there is no one in the world I would've rather shared the CMCD concert with.

PS: Thank you Swiss (wink wink)

PPS: Is this blog becoming a tribute to my friend Kitty????

Friday, December 19, 2008


I think it is only fair to post "re-takes" of our Christmas tree.

You know, like in school. I would get the packet with my yearbook photo (full of the wallet size to pass to friends... oh those were the days) but instead of being excited I would take a look at the picture and cringe. The thought of THAT picture being printed in the yearbook for people to see/remember for all of eternity was enough to make me cry.

But then a warm fuzzy feeling would come over me...I remembered "RE-TAKES"!!!

What a life saver those were! long as the re-take photo wasn't worse than the original. But that is the risk you take with re-takes.

So back to the point of my post.

I decided it would only be fair to my living room/Christmas tree to post the re-take photo I took.

I pushed back the sheer on one window so passers by could see our x-mas tree.

Notice anything different????

YUP, I did it! I bit the bullet and made the BIG curtains purchase!

I gotta tell ya....I love them! They pull the whole room together and make it look SOOOO cozy.

And guess what. I hung them ALL BY MYSELF! Stone was at my brother's watching the Colts game so I took down the mini blinds, got the drill out, measured where they needed to go, drilled pilot holes (using the right bit and EVERYTHING), and mounted those babies in no time!

My mom came over for emotional support (there were a few choice words said due to stripped screws in the mini-blinds) and to iron the new curtains for me....Thank you madre, I would be lost without you!

With my new found handy ladyness (not a word but it works), I feel like I can take on the WORLD!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Meet my friend Katie, aka: Baby Peach (she doesn't like to be called this) or Kitty

Flannagan x-mas card??? Hope you don't mind I borrowed this pic!

We have all sorts of fun together....

But lately someone has been trying to horn in on our fun!

That someone would be Matilda.

Matilda seems to think Kitty is her BFF!

I guess I see why the little pup thinks this....they do like each other a WHOLE BUNCH:

And they always have such a good time when she comes over....

But I'm sorry Tilda....she is MY friend. I will kindly thank you to stop butting in and trying to steal her from me!

It hurts my feelings!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

tisk tisk tisk

Stone told me Matilda was bad on Saturday night.

He took this picture of her in "the cage" to deter her from being bad.

He said the next time she starts getting crazy he is going to show her this picture and remind her of how much she hates being in "the cage" and if she doesn't calm down he will be forced to put her back in.

Oh Stone, you silly silly silly man! Don't you know that Matilda thinks WE are HER pets!?!?!?

All she will do is bark (doggy laugh at you) then take her little paw and knock that photo out of your hand. She knows you are but putty in her paw.

Monday, December 15, 2008

B-day Girl!!!

Happy Happy Happy Birthday to my sister!

Isn't she lovely. Her name is Heather and I think she is FABulous.

I thank my lucky stars for her.

the day that never was.....

This past Saturday was a day I have been looking forward to for an ENTIRE MONTH.

Saturday was supposed to be "Lord Of The Rings Day".

What is that you ask? Well it is EXACTLY what it sounds like. I am a closet sci-fi girl (although lately I have come out of the "closet" so to speak) and on Saturday I was forcing my two best gal pals to watch ALL THREE of the Lord of the Rings movies with me.

But Blockbuster failed me. They only had the second two movies.

Now I know I should really take the blame for this little hiccup in Saturday's plan. I mean the day had been scheduled for an entire month and you would think I would've prepared a head of time and picked the movies up sooner.

However I have decided to place ALL the blame on Blockbuster. SO THERE!

I couldn't help but notice the look of relief on my friend's faces when they didn't have movie #1.

It was then that I decided to abandon the plan.....after all, it is wrong of me to force my love for sci-fi on others.

Friday, December 12, 2008

blended to perfection

Harney & Sons Tea

I'm a tea drinker.

(if you would like to read this post with a British accent that is fine with me....I'm typing it with a British accent in my head)

Lately though I have turned my back on tea. I'm sorry tea, but I replaced you with 1 (just 1) cup of Joe a day.

I'M SORRY!!!!!

I thought that was all I needed. One cup of SUPER STRONG coffee (it's from Ethiopia so you know it is good stuff) to get me going in the morning.

But then winter came and a cold set it on my bones that I just couldn't shake. It was then that I remembered my old friend TEA!

Thank you tea for soothing my soul and keeping me warm throughout the days/nights of this VERY cold winter. I will try not to forget about you again next spring.

WARNING: spring/summer causes me to be forgetful (how can I be expected to remember anything when the glorious sun is shining down on me once again? All I can think of is a backyard barbeque!) so please tea, don't be angry with me if you slip my mind once more.....

SIDENOTE: How cute are those little tins of tea up top!?!?!? Not only is the packaging too cute to boot, the tea is definitely something to write home about! If you live in Indianapolis I personally think it a GREAT idea to stop by a little shop called Tangerine Gifts to pick up a few tins for yourself....they are on sale for $2.50ea!!!! If you do not live in Indianapolis (I don't blame you) click on the ole link and get some directly from Harney & Sons! it.