Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ABC 123 Katie Marie

Last week I stumbled across this great post, and loved it. Chelsea from The Williams Journey shared here ABC's of bloggers in effort to get to know one another better and I thought it was such a fun way to share + it's always good to share an about me refresher for those new faces that head over the blog!  Thought I'd join the part and share a little ABC-123 about Katie Marie.

A- Age: 28 … I'm on that downward slope to 30. How did THAT happen!?

B- Birthday: September 19

C- Color: This one's a struggle for me. Color favorites vary for me regarding the context .. but I think if I had to choose a favorite that I'm capable of incorporating frequently it would be a shade of teal. It was an accent color for my wedding too. These maps were created by MaKenzie ... she'g got an awesome Etsy shop here. Hehe.

D: Drink: Diet Coke, Coffee and my latest affinity for Sweet Tea

E: Essential Item: Tervis Tumbler. I start every single day with a big ole' tervis full of my coffee. Don't mess with that routine.

F: Flashback: College. Any and all times + studying abroad in Italy and London. Miss it so.
G- Gent: Sigh and roll your eyes, but it's been this fella for a long time … and still is.
H- Hobby: Traveling and Blogging. 

I- Indulgence: Kung Fu Girl Riesling

J-Job: I am the marketing director for a venture capital | real estate investment firm.

 The boy, the myth, the legend … Bennett Bernard {20 Months}
L- Live: Nashville, TN … we've been here all of 3+ weeks. Bahh.

M-Music: Hands down a country music fan, but I like to consider myself pretty well rounded when it comes to tunes. I like just about all music (in the right setting).

N-Nickname: Katie Bugg, Goose, Neaceface, Mama :)

O-Overnight hospital stays: Just pregnancy! I've been blessed in that department.

P-Pets: Our adorable three year old dachshund, Maggie! Or if you ask Bennett, it's Mo or Mah-yee.
Q-Quotes: The world is like a book, and those who do not travel have only read a page. -St. Augustine
R-Right or Left: I'm right-handed, but I'm gonna go with left.

S-Siblings: Yep! Two brothers. Older: Jon Ryan | Younger: Max.

T-Temperature: I would rather be cold 100% of the time vs hot.

U-Univeristy: University of Kentucky, Wildcats Baby! (hubs is also in blue, hehehe)
V-Vehicle: Lexus GX 470

W- Worst Habit: Lack of patience.

X- X-Ray: Yes, I've had several of those. Bring on the lead vest.

Y- Yuck: Grits. Ew.

Z- Zoo: Are we referring to my life? Or the actual place?  When it comes to the place - the monkeys are my fave.

So there ya go - ABC-123 all about Katie Marie!  Share something in my comment box about yourself. Choose any letter. Chat soon ...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Recipe Monday: Cake Batter Bar Blondies + Babies

We moved south and in turn got hit with an ice storm that closed down the entire city. Schools are still closed TODAY! An entire week later!

So, naturally in our cabin fevered apartment, we decided sweets were the only way to cope. We made these delicious cake batter blondies and my son and husband couldn't get enough!  It was the perfect pick me up for our cold weather blues. In case mother nature decides to play another cruel joke on all of us and dumps more ice and snow, here is the recipe so you can be prepared!


Bar Ingredients:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup milk (less is better)
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Icing Ingredients (they don't need icing but we wanted the extra frill ... and we had a lot of time on our hands!):
  • 1/2 stick salted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup powered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • milk (to help smooth if needed)
Mix together cake mix, oil, egg, and milk. Add milk slowly, you want cake batter to be as dense as possible (less milk is better).

Note: don't eat batter with raw eggs ... it'll make you sick. Oh wait, we don't even follow our own rule!

Once your batter is good and mixed, add in you chocolate chips and sprinkles. Note, don't use sprinkles that have black or brown in the mix ... they won't be pretty at the end result. We used Valentine's sprinkles because we had them leftover from our deliciously dipped rice krispy pops.
Pour into 9x13/9x11 prepared baking pan, sprinkle a few more sprinkles on top, and bake for 25 minutes until edges are just turning brown.
When those are getting close, throw your frosting together. Melt that butter, baby.
Add in your powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
Mix milk as needed, until it's smooth and creamy.
When those yummies come out of the over, spread some frosting over the top and add a few more sprinkles - then let cool for atleast 30 minutes before cutting. .
In other non-recipe news today I have not one, not two, but THREE very exciting birthdays to share! One of my very nearest and dearest friends, since I have been a tiny tiny tot (talking kindergarten here folks) brought two precious baby boys into the world! Everyone meet Beckett and Camden, the most adorable twin boys you ever did see!
And most certainly you all know about MaKenzie, my favorite cousin and sister from another mother. She brought to the world her fourth girl, Salem Christian. 
My heart is so so full. Welcome to the world precious littles. You are so loved! 
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Australia: Melbourne

I don't know about everyone else ... but life in Middle Tennessee right now is reminding me much more of Rockefeller Center at Christmas time than the muggy honky tonks everyone expects.  Sunday evening were were hit with a frigid cold front that left the us in a "State of Emergency" and everything in it's wake covered in nearly two inches of ice. Baby B and I finally made our way outside today and got a little human interaction, which was MUCH needed. 

But now we're back at home, holed up in the apartment looking at the cold bleakness that is winter and wishing we were back in Melbourne. So, for today let's pretend we are!  

And just like that, we're in city numero dos of the trip to the land down under.  Catch up on the travel and our first city recap, Cairns and the second Cairns: Photodump here if you need to. 

Ahh, Melbourne.  
My absolute favorite city we visited on the trip. Such a great mix of awesome modern architecture, fancy canals and bridges that had a Chicago-esque feel, and one of the most awesome live renditions of Silent Night I've ever heard. 

Tuesday, December 23

We landed in Melbourne on December 23 in the late afternoon and my child was being a HOLY TERROR. He was so tired and just completely over it, and it literally drove me to drink out of the mini bar in our room (that's acceptable right?). Although from this adorable picture, you would never guess this tiny sweet thing eating ice cream only a few hours earlier could ever be anything other than perfect. Ha!
We stayed at the Hotel Crown Metropol. It was awesome, attached to a casino and a ton of restaurants and things to do. Which was perfect for a long day of travel and a cranky toddler who was hungry. After we got settled into our room we headed to dinner at Merrywell, which had been voted best burger in the city. Nom Nom.

Wednesday, December 24

The next morning we woke up and grabbed a quick coffee from the hotel at a place called Degani. Bennett opted for a blueberry muffin and couldn't have been more happy about it. After we had our caffeine fix we piled into a can and headed to Queen Victoria Market, the largest openaire market in Southern Hemisphere.
Uhhmm … yes puhlease.
We kept eating little delicacies from all of the shops and trying new things. It was the perfect way to spend the morning.
Sidenote: it was at this very moment while I was chowing down on olives and cheese .. I received a text from one of my besties, Baili, with a video of her Lee boy proposing! It makes this picture of half eaten food so special :)

After our bellies were full we walked around, hit up some food truck donuts, shopped some of the local boutiques (shout out to Madame Proper and their ADORABLE little bags momma and I swooned over … and purchased, duh). Naturally, the boys tired out quickly and opted for a foot massage instead of shopping … some things never change (Look closely, Bennett laid on top of his daddy and snuggled him, cue heart melting).
After the market, we walked around Victoria and just took in all the city had to offer. The boys headed into the Maserati dealership, and we checked out the Victoria state library, complete with the most interesting street performers ever (Max, if you're reading this you know EXACTLY what I am talking about).
And of course we had some sweet treats to top it off in the Oasis. Plus macaroons from The Cupcake Factory (not pictured) and I think they were some of the best I have ever had. 
After our family-scapades GoGo and PaPaw took beebster back to the hotel to swim in the pool while Hubs and I had a day date. We ventured down Swanston Street and headed up the Rooftop Cinema Bar.

And kooky who we ran into … Barbara Corcoran!  I was so nervous to take the picture I forgot actually look and focus the image … soo, It's a little blurry - but you get the idea.
After the rooftop, we walked around a little more and grabbed a little sushi snack at one of those sushi carousels before Christmas Eve celebrations. 
 It's Christmas Time in the City!
 We headed to Federation Square to be a part of the city's celebration for some food, drinks, and Christmas caroling.

 Well hey there Santa.
 And for good measure, we ordered "Frozen Snowman" drinks to make it feel a bit more Christmassy.
 Panorama of our Christmas Eve!
 And we all gathered into the "star" in the square and lit out candles and sang silent night, which was broadcast all over the country on the broadcast.  Such an awesome night.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25

We woke up early Christmas morning and exchanged very small love tokens before boarding the car with our mini Santa to head to Philip's Island. 
 Quick outfit change and all of a sudden Rudolph also joined the Christmas party.
 We had Chinese for our Christmas Dinner and ordered duck because it was so cliche. Hello, A Christmas Story … Fa-ra-ra-ra--rahhhhh.
Merry merry!
 We topped off the night by checking out our girl JLaw in Mockingjay Part 1. Solid.

Friday, December 26

Bright-eyed and bushy tailed we started off the next day by heading the WWII Memorial
 Hello, Melbourne. I like you.
Next, we took a stroll through the botanical gardens.
 Then we checked out the Queen Victoria Gardens, which I coined the Central Park of Melbourne.
 We continued to stroll along the Yarra River while little man snoozed in his stroller.

 We stumbled upon a great little lunch spot at the Public House and played some mad ping pong games.    
Fun fact … McDonald's is called Macca's in Australia. WOAH. Mind Blown. After lunch we shopped along Bourke Street and took advantage of some Boxing Day deals. We checked out the Christmas Extravaganza at the hotel, and maybe took a tiny nap :).
We wrapped up the night  on Lygon Street and stuffed our faces with Italian food.
And of course completed the evening with Gelato.  Ice cream is always a good idea.
Saturday we had an early flight and were headed to Sydney!  Leg three of the trip is up next!
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