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Summer Camp

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Carley, who is technically my goddaughter and first cousin once removed although I sometimes refer to her as my niece for ease of conversation, is all grown up!  I can hardly believe it, but she went off to spend-the-night summer camp this year and not just for one week but for two (at her insistence despite her mother's hopes).  When I think summer camp, I think arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing and care packages!!!  Her camp will making sure she is constantly entertained with a variety of activities, but it's our job to make sure she is showered with love and attention in the form of care packages.  And really, it's just to remind her about us, because I'm sure she's too busy meeting new friends, celebrating Christmas in July, and roasting marshmallows.




A lot has changed since I went to summer camp... Now we can email Carley through the camp's network, read daily updates on the campers' activities, see pictures each day of the day's events and even watch the daily video. But I'm sure something that stays the same is that exciting feeling you get when they call your name during mail call, so I put together two care packages-- one from me and Andy and one from my parents.



Hopefully these will help Carley stay entertained during rest time and most importantly, remind her that we're thinking about her!

Wine Tracking

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
My love for wine has developed slowly.  In college when everyone was drinking wine, I seemed to prefer whatever mixed drink was being served...even if it did come out of a trash can!


Side Note: Stacy once said (paraphrasing here...) "if I could go back and tell my college-self something, I'd tell her don't drink anything out of a trashcan!"  It always makes me laugh that, yes, we drank punch concoctions that had been mixed up in a giant trash can and didn't think anything of it.  The alcohol kills everything, right??

I started sipping on white wine upon moving to DC but did not have a discerning palate at all and just recently I've started enjoying red wines.  When I taste something, I know if I like it or not, but I've never been good about carrying that knowledge further. Enter Drync Wine (the free version).


You can also see the Wine Ratings app that I tried and didn't like as much.  I like Drync Wine because you can enter as much info about the wine as you like and it stays private.


I mean really, who wants to know my silly comments besides me?  I'm no wine connoisseur and I'm sure what I like isn't what's the most highly rated but that's not the objective here.

You can organize your wines into wines that you have had to drink, that you own or that you want to purchase.  I haven't really used the own and want features but I suspect they would be handy at some point!



So now stop laughing at my silly notes and go out and get this app (and no, nobody at Drync Wine knows who I am or about this post... as if!) and then suggest some wines that I should try.

Infusions

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I think Andy has quite a knack for cocktail crafting which works out quite well for me!  It all started with a trip to Jackson a couple of years ago when we were introduced to Backporch Lemonade by EJ and Alicen (next time we make a batch, I'll post the recipe).  It has become our signature celebration cocktail... we even served it during our wedding weekend!


Then on a subsequent trip, EJ made a mint simple syrup that we now consider a staple in our fridge.  Andy first infused vodka after we had a refreshing cocktail that was made with ginger vodka.  We couldn't find that at our neighborhood liquor store, so he made it.

While we were in Dallas over 4th of July, I had a cocktail at Hibiscus that was one of most memorable cocktails I've had in a while.  My go to cocktail is a vodka gimlet, so when I saw a Cucumber Basil Gimlet on their cocktail menu, I was intrigued but not sold.  See, I don't like cucumbers but I do love basil.  I decided to go for it, and I was not disappointed.  Since then I've been chatting about it ever since, Andy infused some vodkas over the weekend, so we could try to recreate it.

Chop fruit, vegetables, herbs or spices of your choice.  We went with oranges, cucumbers, cherry and fresh ginger.


Add vodka.


Cover (not pictured) and let steep for 48 hours to 2 weeks.


I'm not a very patient person, so right as the clock struck 48 hours Andy made me the cocktail on Sunday.  If it wasn't just the same as the original, it was equally as refreshing and delicious.


Cucumber Basil Gimlet

1 1/2 oz cucumber vodka
3/4 oz Rose's lime juice
Limes
Lemon Zest
Basil

Muddle basil leaves with lime juice and lemon zest in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.  Add ice, cucumber vodka, Rose's lime juice and fresh squeezed lime juice.  Shake and pour over ice.

Then the cherry vodka was just calling my name... so we came up with a Cherry Lemonade cocktail.


Cherry Lemonade

1 part cherry vodka
1 part lemonade

Shake together with ice and serve.

While the color of the cherry vodka is as pretty as can be, it still needs to infuse a bit longer for some flavor...

Weekend Recap

Monday, July 25, 2011
Sitting here on Sunday evening, I'm wondering where did the weekend go??  Andy and I both worked late on Friday, so we stayed in, ate some repurposed leftovers (pea pesto with pancetta over pasta).  Despite the heat wave that has parked itself over DC, Andy still played golf on Saturday!  So I took this opportunity to take a road trip with Weaver to Ikea.  I needed picture frames for a mini-project-- a gallery wall in the apartment. Sneak peak of the gallery wall planning...


We managed to escape with very few extra purchases but did leave realizing how under utilized our apartments are.  It's amazing how tastefully and efficiently the fine folks at Ikea can space plan tiny little dwellings.  I did also pick up the large and small Rationell Variera storage shelves for a quick bathroom cabinet organization.


Dramatically different before and after?  Nope, not at all but at least now my hairdryer fits without being precariously balanced on top of the leaning tower of stuff.  I can easily access what I need without taking everything else out.

While most of the weekend was spent trying to get stuff done, we did catch up with some friends over cocktails at Commissary on Saturday evening and I managed to sneak in a spa afternoon with Weaver for some belated birthday celebrating!

Andy and I did tackle some other projects that I think deserve their own posts, so stay tuned!

4 Month Countdown

Thursday, July 21, 2011
Whoa, only four months to go until I turn 30! I'm by no means fretting about 30, but I am a bit stressed about accomplishing my 30 Before 30 to-do list.  So I'm going to start a monthly check-in to hold myself accountable.  This post can go right into the this-is-for-my-purposes-only basket, but maybe someone else out there likes managing someone else's to-do list just like I do (hi, Cooke!  How's that to-do list?).

Sidenote: Summer after junior year of college, I lived in Georgetown in a row house that should have been condemned, but I was living with fabulous girlfriends so we looked passed the squirrels that also took up residence there.  Cooke and I shared a room with bunk beds and as we were falling asleep each night we'd discuss her to-do list and plan of attack.

Ok so back to the 30 Before 30...
  1. Photo Albums - Catch up on old photo albums.  I haven't printed pictures since college.  I want to get my photos organized and into albums... think I'm going to do digital photo books (probably on blurb.com) as opposed to printing pictures and putting them in a book.  More compact this way. --> Yeah, I'd forgotten about this one.  Need to get moving.  Good thing is that most all of my photos are digitized so it's just making the books.
  2. Flossing - I need to become a flosser-- apparently this is important. --> In progress.
  3. Herb Garden - Start an herb garden and keep it alive! --> I'm going to go ahead and scratch this off the list and consider it accomplished!  "Planted" about 2 months ago and still alive and thriving.
  4. Marine Parade - Try to go see the Marine Parade.  Think this one is going to have to be replaced as there are no more reservations for 2011!  This one is being replaced as there are no more 2011 reservations.  I'm replacing it with a matter of business which is Completing My Name Change.  While I am official according to the DC Courts, Social Security & DMV, I still need to have everyone else (credit cards, bank accounts, frequent flier accounts which I hear is the worst!) process my new name.
  5. Pizza - Perfect pizza at home from scratch (this is not going to be a fun process...) --> Need to get to work on this one.  I think I've found my go to crust though... 
  6. Tallulah & Vidalia - Get T&V up and running. I think starting the blog helps with this one! --> In progress but definitely moving along.
  7. 5 a Day - Easily incorporate 5 fruits and veggies into my daily diet.  This is probably easy for most but considering I could live off of any combo of cheese and carbs, not so easy for me.  --> Hmmm...
  8. Random Acts of Thoughtfulness - I used to be much better about this.  Now I just think of things and never follow through.  Time to change. --> Kind of hard to measure but I've definitely acted on a few things I thought about instead of doing nothing.
  9. Get (and stay!) Organized - Financially, craft supplies, kitchen, closet.  I definitely believe that everything should have a place and everything should be in that place, so I need to find a place for everything (or get rid of it). --> Work in progress although it needs a lot more progress.
  10. Time Capsules - Start a tradition of a yearly time capsule with mementos from the year. --> I think this blog is serving as a Time Capsule of sorts.
  11. (private)
  12. Photography - Practice, practice, practice --> Practicing yes, but still need lots of work.
  13. Baked Alaska - Make a baked Alaska!  Why?  No real reason... I just want to. --> Need to do this.
  14. Stop Procrastinating - Self explanatory.
  15. Wines - Start and maintain a like and dislikes list. --> Found an app I love and am tracking.  Will share more details later.
  16. (private)
  17. Hair Stylist - Find a hair stylist in DC that I love.  It's hard when the bar is set so high by Stephanie in Dallas, but I think it's time to find someone to supplement in DC. --> I have been to the same lady the last 3 times and I do like her so maybe?
  18. Segways - Finally do that segway tour of DC! --> Still open... 
  19. Accessorize - Clean out my closet and organize so I can easily accessorize each day .--> Clean out closet, check! Organization still needs to happen.  
  20. Bike to Mt. Vernon - Going to have to work up to this one.  Andy, this involves you too! --> Considering Andy and I haven't ridden our bikes since he moved into DC, this is a tough one...
  21. New Recipes - Make a new recipe from one of my cookbooks each week. --> While I don't cook a new recipe each week, I'd say I probably average that considering some weeks I cook lots of new recipes.  So I'm happy with this progress.
  22. Sewing - Take a class or read a book and practice. --> Definitely open.
  23. Birthdays - SEND BIRTHDAY CARDS!!! --> August... august it is!
  24. Reach out to family more frequently --> Hi family!
  25. CPA - Get licensed!!! --> In progress...
  26. House Hunting - Start checking off the tasks of what must get done before we can start actually looking at houses and buy one! --> Hmm... Andy?  I forget what tasks come first before I can actually start decorating... oh finances, finding an agent, etc.
  27. Constantly Question Myself - "Is this really what I want to be doing?"  If the answer is no, then CHANGE IT!  (this applies to a lot of things... daily activities like when I'm sucked into Facebook and don't want to be and more life long ones) --> I've definitely been doing this which has saved countless wasted time on Facebook.
  28. A Thought a Day Journal - Start and maintain.  --> I think this blog is serving as my Thought a Day... I bought the journal but didn't keep it up, at all.
  29. Scan Pics - Finish scanning pictures.  --> Still open for some lingering pics, especially the really old ones which aren't necessary to complete #1.
  30. Develop skin care routine --> Still open on this one as well.
Hmm, that's only one thing that's scratched off.  This could be an interesting 4 months...

Birthday Dinner

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Even though we previously celebrated Andy's birthday, I obviously was still going to do a little something on his actual birthday. You see, the usual dinner routine around here (unless I've done a meal plan for the week) goes like this:

C: What do you want for dinner?
A: I don't care.
C: Is there a certain cuisine you want?
A: Nope.
C: Anything you don't want?
A: Cauliflower
C: Ugh! You're no help.

So for his birthday, I didn't make him go through this little dance instead I took charge and just made dinner (so sweet of me, right?).  What did I decide to make?  Something I rarely, if ever, do... crab cakes.  And a simple salad and roasted red potatoes.


Andy got home from golfing after work and the conversation went a little like this:

A: What are we having for dinner?
C: Well, since it's your birthday, I wanted to do something a little special and that I rarely cook.
A: Ok, what's that?
C: Crab cakes, roasted potatoes and salad

{half a second delay during which Andy tried to maintain composure but I could see it in his eyes }

C: Please don't tell me you had crab cakes for lunch!
A: { Literally laughing out loud } Yep
C: You never order crab cakes!!!!
A: You never make crab cakes!!!!
C: Well, mine better be better than what you had at lunch (not knowing at the time that he went to Coastal Flats which has my favorite crab cakes in the area)


Maryland Crab Cakes
From the Family Cookbook (don't know the original source)

1 lb lump crab meat, cleaned
1 1/2 Tbs finely crumbled Escort crackers - I used breadcrumbs because I had some in the freezer
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
dash Tabasco
1 tsp white pepper
~ Oil for frying

Place crab meat in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle crumbs over crab lightly. In another bowl mix egg, mayonnaise, salt, mustard, parsley, cayenne Tabasco, and white pepper. Mix together and add to crab meat mixture. Shape into small cakes (about 50 balls) or entree portion size (about 4 cakes). Fry in hot oil at 250° until brown.

Russian Dressing
Adapted from Helen Corbitt's Cookbook via the Family Cookbook

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs finely diced celery
2 Tbs finely diced green pepper
2 Tbs finely diced red pepper
2 Tbs finely diced yellow pepper
2 Tbs diced sweet pickles
1 Tbs chopped pimento
2 Tbs chili sauce
1 Tbs ketchup
~ Frank's or Tabasco hot sauce.

Blend well but do not use a food processor. For thicker/crunchier consistency use more diced veggies. Great with boiled shrimp, lump crab meat, or as a salad dressing on sliced tomatoes and sliced avocado.

Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 425.  Scrub and rinse red potatoes.  Slice and place on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until golden brown (about 30 minutes), flipping the potatoes (if you want) about half way through.

And in case you're wondering, I didn't make Andy wait to eat his dinner while I photographed as promised... I just didn't join him immediately.


Weekend Recap - Philly and NYC

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
We had quite the weekend trip up to New York, by way of Philly and then back.  The impetus of this trip was to celebrate Virginia and Oliver's engagement at a party on Saturday in NYC. Since we were heading up that way and had yet to meet Miss Kate, AJ and Kelly's newest addition, we decided to tack on a night in Philly to visit them. Friday night started with a bit of excitement...



That's the boys pointing out where the fire started.  See that fire extinguisher in the background?  It's not just for show; it was in fact used in extinguishing the flames that were shooting out of the grill.  Does everyone know where their fire extinguisher is?  Thankfully Kelly was quite prepared and now so am I!  Locating the extinguisher in our building was the first thing I did when I arrived home from the weekend trip.

{ Ooops, those of you that read this on Reader will see that I misfired earlier! }


Do you like your buns toasted?

We had a great stop in Philly-- just wish we had more time to visit and go to the pool! But we had to get started on our trip to NYC.  We stayed up a bit too late on Friday night and were in need of arriving in NYC asap to take a quick nap before the party.  When we arrived at the hotel, The Mondrian, I knew we were in for a little mini-vaca.


I absolutely loved the entry. How awesome would that be to do in a backyard?  On a smaller scale, obviously.  Anyway, the hotel was great and was just what we needed since we were only in town for 22 hours.  Andy pulled closed the black out blinds and climbed into bed while I set out to get some lunch.


Alston pointed me in the direction of an adorable taqueria, La Esquina, which was right around the corner from our hotel.  It was just what the doctor ordered.  I enjoyed looking around and people watching while I waited for our to-go order.  How fun would it have been to sit at the cute counter!?


The reason we picked The Mondrian was because it was the perfect location for our weekend.  We walked to Blair & Luke's adorable apartment for Virg & Oli's party.


The hosts and hostesses did such a fabulous job making it a special celebration!





At the end of the party, the wine was still plentiful so we just stuck around for the post party! We had plans to meet up with some other NYC friends, but instead they just came over to the party.  I mean, why would we want to leave such a fabulous location?  My friends from high school, Meredith and Kyle, along with Mere's husband Steve stopped by for a visit as did Andy's friend from growing up, Vanessa and her friend Mandy.  It was so nice to be able to catch up with everyone.





Thanks hosts and hostesses for a great party.  Congratulations to Virginia & Oliver!  Looking forward to celebrating with y'all in November!

One more stop before we headed back to DC.  I can't believe I had never met Andy's friends from college, John and Ana!  They were kind enough to meet us downtown at Bubby's for breakfast on Sunday morning.  So nice to finally meet them and their little one Nico whose curls were so adorable they just killed me (didn't want to whip out my camera during breakfast the first time I meet someone... at least I try to play it cool).

After breakfast we were energized for our trip back home... NJ Transit out of the city, pick up the car and hit 95-South.  Thankfully it wasn't too bad of a drive.

Happy Birthday Andy!

Monday, July 18, 2011
Happy birthday to my wonderful husband!!  You are so patient, kind, hysterical and caring and deserve the perfect day. In celebration of your birthday, I promise not to make you wait to eat dinner while I photograph your plate!


Happy Birthday Love!

Jewelry Organization

Friday, July 15, 2011
Next up, organize my jewelry collection.  I did this back in 2007, and it turned out great.


But since then, it has become bit disorganized as my collection has grown (remember? I'm trying to accessorize more), and it has started to fall apart.  So I want to revamp what I have-- make it more substantial (no more nails falling out) and better suited for my current jewelry collection (more bracelets!).

Here are some images that are my inspiration.  Like I said, I am working with the black shadow boxes that I originally bought from Michael's but hope to incorporate some of the design aspects below.


1 // Towne and Reese via Young House Love // Love the linen canvases.  Such a clean look.  But I do think I'd miss having a little shelf to stash some things on... although maybe it would be a good thing not have one!

2 // Better Homes and Garden // Great idea to use a radiator grate!  I love just being able to hang my earrings on the fabric/mesh backing of my current boxes.  This is another way of being able to do that.

3 // Martha Stewart // Love love love this but won't really work for my current, wall hanging system.

4 // Better Homes and Garden // Love the drawer pulls!


Tequila and Tacos - Recipes

Thursday, July 14, 2011





Margaritas
1 can frozen limeade
Tequila
Triple Sec
Limes

Pour frozen limeade into a pitcher.  Fill the empty can with tequila and pour into pitcher.  Then add 1/2 a can of triple sec.  Stir until combined.  Pour over ice and top with a squeeze a fresh lime.



Grapefruit Tequila Punch

Mix together equal parts grapefruit juice and tequila in a pitcher.  Pour mixture over ice and top with gingerale.



Americanized Queso con Chorizo

1 lb Cream Cheese
1 lb Velveeta
1 lb Jimmy Dean Sausage
2 cans Rotel, undrained

Brown the sausage and drain on paper towels.  In a saucepan, combine the cheeses, Rotel tomatoes with juices and sausage.  Stir together until melted and blended.  Devour with Fritos Scoops and tortilla chips.


Smoky Beef Tacos

Tom kindly prepared both of the meats, so I can't give any tips or changes here.  I'm not sure if he cooked it in a slow cooker or not, but I'm sure you could.

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1/2 cup ketchup
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 pounds), excess fat trimmed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, stir together chiles, ketchup, 1 cup water, garlic, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cut beef into 4 equal pieces. Add to pot, and turn to coat. Cover, and bring to a boil; transfer pot to oven. Bake, covered, until beef is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer beef to a bowl. With a large spoon, skim off and discard fat from cooking liquid. Shred beef with two forks; moisten with cooking liquid as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve beef with tortillas and desired toppings.



Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Don't be scared away by all of the ingredients (easy for me to say since I didn't make this!), because the pork was so flavorful.

3 whole ancho chiles
3 whole pasilla chiles
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (untrimmed), cut into chunks
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick

Put the ancho and pasilla chiles and the garlic in a bowl. Microwave on high until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Stem and seed the chiles; peel the garlic. Transfer the chiles and garlic to a blender.

Add the chipotles, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened.

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and transfer to a large slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook on high until the meat is tender, about 5 hours. (Or cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350 degrees; uncover and cook 30 more minutes.)

Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. Serve the shredded pork in the tortillas, along with toppings.


Corn and Bean Salad

SALAD
2 cups canned black beans - I use two cans of black beans and one can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
2 cups canned corn - I use two cans of shoe peg corn
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups scallions, chopped - I usually don't use because I forget to buy them.
6 pear tomatoes, chopped - Never put tomatoes in mine.
1 red bell pepper, chopped - I use two red peppers
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
~ salt and pepper, to taste

DRESSING
2 small jalapeƱo peppers - I sometimes include, sometimes omit and use cayenne pepper instead
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup chopped parsley - I always omit this and use more cilantro instead.
¼ cup chopped cilantro - No chance I'm measuring.  I just use an entire bunch of cilantro.
1 cup mild olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp cumin, to taste

For dressing, place all ingredients into a food processor (jalapeƱos and garlic mince better if thrown in first with machine running, then add herbs, etc).  Combine red onion, scallions, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn and beans. Pour dressing over all. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Roasted Veggies
Slice red and yellow peppers and red onion, toss lightly with olive oil.  Roast at 425 for 30-45 minutes.




Chocolate Cake

I knew I wanted to make a chocolate cake with white icing, so I googled "best chocolate birthday cake" and came across this recipe from Kevin & Amanda's blog (nope, don't know them!) for "THE BEST Chocolate Cake" and I might have to agree... it was pretty darn delicious.

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 small pkg Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mini chocolate chips - I used regular sized chips and prefer that.

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl (use your stand mixer if you have one), mix together all of the ingredients until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into cake pan.  In the original recipe, she uses two 9" pans but says you can use whatever.  I used two 8" pans and while the batter didn't overflow, it was close.  Next time, I'm using four 8" pans. Use the cooking times on the back of the devil’s food cake box as a guide and add 10 minutes to whatever it says. Then check on it every 5 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

I cut my two 8" cakes in half so I'd have a four layer cake... increases the icing to cake ratio, which in my opinion, the higher the better.


Grocery Store Inspired Icing

Is there much better than the sugary sweet grocery store icing?  Don't think so!  This is not for those who favor less sugar but that's not a problem that I have!

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons milk


Preferably in a stand mixer bowl, cream together the shortening, butter, vanilla and salt until combined.  Add sugar a little at a time until it's incorporated and then add the milk.  Turn the mixer on high and whip for 10-15 minutes until fluffy.  This is when the stand mixer comes in handy.  If not, find something good on TV.


Tequila & Tacos!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I would say the party was a success! Good food, great people, bottomless cocktails.  Isn't that all you need?


The plan was to do as much ahead of time so that we could all enjoy the party.  That meant pitchers of cocktails instead of making individual margaritas, slow cooking the meats as opposed to grilling and finishing all other party prep before people arrive.


While it was quite warm before the sun went down, at least it wasn't rainy!  




My only party regret is that I didn't take any detail pictures. It's one thing to ask Andy to wait while I style our food and drink, but it's another to hold up a party!  I'll have to work on this aspect of party prep and photographing.



Can you see the drink swizzle sticks?  I think they turned out pretty festive except, note to self, think about the cups you're using.  The sticks were a little long for short glasses!  Oh well, Hap and Hugh (not pictured) were resourceful and used it as an accessory instead.


The 2200 Girls... We can never leave!


Thanks to everyone who helped pull off the party... could not have done it without y'all!



Happy (Early) Birthday Andy & Catherine!