December 18, 2011

WC Alumni girls 2011

This past weekend I had my annual high school girls get together. I am so fortunate to have such great girlfriends, and to have a bond that has lasted all these years. We may live all over the United States and  have busy lives, but during the Christmas season we try to make to make a good effort to see each other. This year is our 9th Annual Christmas!!!! Holy Crap!!

I love getting together with these special ladies. We talk, laugh, giggle, and just have so much fun together. It is like no time has passed between us. We even try to have a yearly sleepover during the summer at a different girls house every year. I don't have any other girlfriends that I can do such things with: staying up late laughing, and reminiscing over great times and memories. I am so blessed to know these girls, and am thankful everyday for their friendship.

November 27, 2011

Black Friday, never again

This past Thanksgiving I went up to see my family in PA. Jack was in California for work which was a bummer, but at least I didn't have to do Thanksgiving alone. While up in PA, talk about Black Friday shopping up. I was mildly interested, because I had never gone. Even after working at a mall for 5 years on Black Friday, I had always stayed away from it.

This year I got talked into it. And I got roped into driving. My mom & I, our destination? The Premium Outlets in Philly. I had been there before and gotten some SWEET deals.....esp from Vera Bradley. The outlets were having midnight madness, I mean how bad could a 30 minute drive to tons of shops be? ABSOLUTELY INSANE. The drive took 2 HOURS in bumper to bumper traffic once we neared the outlets. Parking was crazy. I saw people parked on the curb, and even hitting other people's cars and driving away! I saw on the news people fighting, pepper spraying each other, and hitting each other with tasers! Really people, is that necessary?

I was so annoyed by the time we got there at around 2am, that I didn't even want to shop. I was able to go into a few stores and get some deals on Christmas gifts. I didn't even want to shop in Vera Bradley because it was so overcrowded with people it made me claustrophobic. I couldn't even enjoy myself.

What I learned......wait till like 3am, the crowds are less, and you can find parking. Never get tricked into driving. Have a game plan, and figure out what stores you want to hit. And lastly, never go at midnight.

November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe. Homemade!

I love pumpkin season. I try to use it as much as I can. As much as I dislike coffee, I do sometimes LOVE the smell. Especially the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I just don't like the idea of spending $5 on one. It just smells lovely, even though it just tastes like coffee to me. I decided before work yesterday I was going to try something for jack with some left over pumpkin I had. I figure it couldn't be that hard from home to make. Or at least figure out how to spice up the coffee.

I had googled and searched for a recipe, but I did not find anythnig I really wanted to try or do, or it really just sounded to complicated to try for one cup of coffee. I decided to just take some ideas from a few recipes to make it work. And this is what I came up with! Yesterday Jack said it was good, but the coffee taste was too strong. Today I adjusted it. And his review it today "AMAZING."

We have a Keurig at home, and ours has a reuseable filter so was can use our own coffee it it as well as the little individual containers. But, you don't need a Keurig for this, just a hot cup of coffee plus some other ingredients.  I guess you can all it a latte or just a really awesome coffee. :-) Save yourself the $5. Make it home yourself!

Melissa's Pumpkin Spiced Latte/Coffee:
 1 cup of coffee
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
 Dash of vanilla
 Whipped cream, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice to garnish (optional)

Brew your favorite cup of coffee.  Strong, if you want a strong coffee flavor in your latte.  We use a single brewer Keurig since we don’t go through pots of coffee at our house.

Add pumpkin puree, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, dash of vanilla to a half cup of milk.  Stir together.

Next: microwave. Two or 3 minutes later your pumpkin milk mixture is hot and frothy and ready for the latte. Pour mixture into your hot cup of coffee. Stir it around, top with whipped cream, and garnish with pumpkin pie spice & nutmeg.

There you go! Enjoy your nice warm homemade pumpkin spiced latte! If you have an comments or ways to improve it, please let me know!

November 7, 2011

Who rescued who?

Who rescued who? This is a magnet I have on my car. I see it on other cars, and I can't help but smile. 

Guinness' Story: We rescued Guinness this past July from a Shepherd Rescue Adoption agency outside of Baltimore. He is great. I love nothing more when he comes up to me, puts his big shepherd head in my lap with his giant ears, and just stares at me with his big puppy eyes. His story is unknown, other than he was neglected, underweight, and very shy of people. Anyone who would not love this beautiful gentle dog must have been crazy.  He is now more sociable, happy, he can enjoy his puppyhood,  his separation anxiety has calmed down, and loves sleeping on his giant dog bed.

I think back to our other two pets: Gracie & Patches. They were rescues too. I rescued Gracie 4 years ago, and Patches 2 years ago when they were kittens. Ads on Craigslist!

Gracie's story:  I rescued her from a nasty disgusting house in Alexandria VA. I wish I could have saved all of those kittens from that unsanitary house. I showed up, and it was a horrible house, and all it was were kittens piled into a box. I was looking at an orange tabby kitten, when this little ball of fur started clawing at the box at me, almost in a desperate plea "save me, save me!" I decided she was the one to rescue. They even gave away the kittens too early. The average age for adoption is 8 weeks. Gracie was about 4 weeks. I took her home, and to the veterinarian the next day. She weighed 1lb, 1oz!!! 4 years later she is 13lbs, and her favorite place to sleep is in Jack's lap, bathing in the sun or the linen closet. 

Patches Story: Patches is another Craigslist rescue.  I am not sure how she came to where she was, but she was being fostered by a vet. (lucky her!). But she needed a forever home. Patches is one of the most friendly, cuddle bugs ever, and I LOVE her to all her mismatched fur pieces. She was not 100% welcomed a first by Gracie, but now they co-exist peacefully, with the occasional sister fight. Her favorite place to sleep is on top of the dryer, in a box in the closet, or the linen closet. She is a crazy little kitty who loves to play, and surprisingly likes the snow! She hasn't quite warmed up to Guinness, but I think they are soon on their way. 

After a long day of work, when Jack is traveling, or when I am feeling down or sad.....these 3 know how to reach my heart, and cheer me up. Even if it is only a lick on the hand or a cuddly purr, they know how to make me smile. Adopt you need to be rescued?

November 2, 2011

Eagles fan

I don't care if his last name is Gibson, or if he is an Irish Beer named Guinness. He is part Eagles fan!!!!

October 19, 2011


I have been working on my photography skills. I am hoping one day to quit as a police officer, and have my own business full time: taking pictures and baking cupcakes!!

 I went to a workshop last weekend with Morby Photography and it was very helpful and informational. I learned a lot. I was in West Chester visiting last weekend, and was able to put that workshop skill into my phototaking. Jess & Steph let me practice on them which was great, as well as my adorable photographic nieces! Here is a few of the pictures I took.

I hope one day that this can become a more permanent career. I love capturing photos and moments in life that you don't want to forget. Here is the link to my photography blog/website. I am currently having a professional logo designed!

BIG change

Jack & I both made a big change. New vehicles! Jack got a great trade in for his truck. He really needed a new car, his was starting to be a pain...always having to fix something etc. He has always had a big car, so he didn't downgrade or anything. His new car is the 2011 Dodge Durango. It was the demo vehicle, and he practically stole it price-wise out of the lot. 

I didn't necessarily NEED a new car, but I could afford it. I decided I wanted to get something now before there was a time in my life when I wouldn't be able to get it. My new car? 2011 Nissan Xterra. I have wanted this car since high school. And now, that car dream has come true. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Versa, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this new car. And it has 4WD, which I am super excited about. Now, I won't have to depend on Jack to drive me around when the weather is bad!

September 20, 2011

Guinness update

Here is our big boy. He was sick for awhile with stomach issue and lost 12 lbs, but he is doing much better! He is now up to 60lbs and still growing! The vet thinks he might grow to be about 90lbs, but I think he might top off around 80lbs. We will see as he grows! He is still very young, much like an over grown puppy.

 He has adjusted well to us and the house.  He is still wary of the cats, but getting used to them. Gracie and Guinness will sniff each other, but Gracie still lets him know that she is in charge, and poor Patches doesn't care for him much. Hopefully that will all pass in good time!

September 18, 2011

my kind of saturday night

Jack has been traveling a lot for work. Which means I don't have much to do. So what do I on my Saturday nights? Craft making! I am really thinking I should start selling these things online or at craft fairs or something. I decided to be a bit craftier with this one. I bought wooden letters and hand painted them and then hot glued them on. It turned out to be a very fun wreath!

September 10, 2011

Autumn...just around the corner

Goodbye August....hello September! 

Once August is officially over, I mark September as being able to decorate for the fall, even if it is 80 degrees outside. Jack is gone for the weekend, so I figured I would decorate. I was sort of bored on last night (friday night). And being the cool and awesome person that I am, I found a random assortment of fall decorations that I hadn't made anything with yet, and decided to throw a wreath together. 

Did I mention how cool I am?

I was at Michaels yesterday, and found an awesome cute autumn find! For $1.49, I found these super cute flower napkin holders. They came in about 4 different colors, but I liked yellow because it was nice and happy!

Once October hits, I can't wait to decorate for Halloween!

Catching up on August

I realize the entire month of August, there has been a lack of blogging. August was a busy month for us. Every weekend, I was in a different state! I was in West Chester, PA; Jackson, WY; Los Angeles, CA; and whitewater rafting in WV! Busy busy busy!

Here is catching up on August:

West Chester, PA: Lucy turned 3! Happy Birthday Lucy!

I participated in my Summit for Someone. It was a mountain climb I did for charity. I summited the Grand Teton in Jackson, WY. It was AWESOME! 

Traveled to LA to celebrate Flynn's birthday! Happy 1st birthday Flynn!

Ended up the month whitewater rafting in WV!