Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sometimes You Just Gotta...

Go. (No, not like THAT.) Get away. Take a break!

In the last few weeks, we've been doing a lot of traveling. I MISS blogging, so I'm here to catch you guys up on where we've been going and what we've been doing. When friends start to write and say, "are you alive?" I know I have been away too long, LOL!

Normally we aren't this busy, but we recently had several opportunities to travel to fun places for weddings and other fun occasions. Some of these little trips were planned a bit hastily and last-minute for my Type A personality (I need order and organization, apparently. Wait...who's surprised? LOL!) The result was that we traveled out of town three times in five weeks, which was exhausting but super fun!

I already mentioned our jaunt to Miami...catch those details here if you are interested.

A couple weeks later, we took off for Destin, FL. When I was growing up, the family of a friend had a great house in Destin. We used to visit there in high school, but I had not been to Destin since. We really enjoyed this trip - we went for the wedding of hubby's law school roommate and his beautiful bride. The wedding was lovely (sorry I did not get any pics from that!) and was held in Santa Rosa Beach. We stayed just down the road, in Miramar Beach. Hubby found a place that would allow us to bring Miss Pixie, and voila - we were off!

Here is the Travelin' Dawg herself - she was not very excited about having to ride in her crate, but her usual position in Daddy's lap would not really be safe on the interstate!



So we loaded up the family truckster and took off down the road, literally watching this movie on the laptop: (raise your hand if you know this movie - it's one of my all time faves!)



The place we stayed was nice - you'll actually hear more about the hotel in a later post - but for now I'll just say that this was the view from our balcony. The beaches in Destin are world-famous for their crystal-white sand. It is gorgeous and has the consistency of sweet & low. Great for kids and, as you can see here, the water is usually very calm. Perfect for little ones, and we saw a lot of families on the beach.

The water there is also gorgeous - there is a lovely inn/hotel just down the road called Watercolor. And you can see where it gets its name! :-)



We only stayed a couple days - went down on a Saturday for the wedding, and stayed through till Tuesday. We spent most of our time on the beach, but here are a couple other photos - both from our balcony. The first is the view from our balcony as the sun began to set.



And then here's one more of the Munchkin, once again safely restored to her favorite place on Earth - Daddy's lap, from whence she can rule the world, LOL!



That's all the pics I have at the moment, because hubby vehemently forbids me to post any pics of him on this blog (spoilsport). But at least you'll get an idea of the trip!

Hope you enjoyed this visit! You'll see this place again in an upcoming post - stay tuned for next week's edition of Fx4, when we travel back to Destin... with friends in tow!

As always, Fx4 is hosted by Candid Carrie. Head over to Carrie's for more Friday Foto Finish Fun!

Love, Dahrlin'

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chicken Farfalle with Walnut Pesto



This is one of my all-time favorite summer recipes!



I love pasta and I love chicken. And I love pesto and nuts of all kinds. So there's pretty much nothing in this pasta that I don't love. Hope you all enjoy it too! It's a great recipe for any party, and if you left out the pasta it would make a lovely chicken salad all on its own.

The recipe is here. My only notes are that I use grilled chicken (much better flavor), add a little lemon juice, and double the olives. Let me know how you like it!

For more great recipes, head over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, hosted by Lisa and Lana!

Love, Dahrlin'

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My New Favorite...

Purse!

I just read Jane's post on girly-girls, and it reminded me that I have not yet posted about a recent gift that I just adore!

I am not super-girly, usually preferring to be as casual and comfortable as I can be in any given situation. However, I do love cute accessories, and this is no exception!

My Dad and his wife recently went on a lovely trip to Europe. They did one of those river boat cruises and had a great time - and Dad's wife, Sheri, found some AWESOME purses. She got one for me too and I am so excited, as it brings together some of my favorite girly-girl elements:

Here we have two of my most beloved things in the world - chocolate and martinis... this pursemaker, who must have read my mind, even included the name "Cosmopolitan..."



Then there are purses-on-purses (love this!), high heels (that I can no longer wear, but love on others) and cute outfits...



And they are all brought together on one adorable purse! Wheee!!



Sheri found these in a shop in Hungary. Cool, huh? The guy makes an entire line of these and they are beautifully handmade, with attention to detail and great quality materials. Sheri got one for herself that has little Westie dogs on it. Very appropriate, as Dad and Sheri have a dog who looks a lot like (and may be part) Westie.

Thanks Sheri! I love it!!

Love, Dahrlin'

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Red White and Blue Swaparoo!



I am really late in posting this, and hope April and Mamarazzi will forgive me!

I recently participated in another of Mamarazzi's awesome swaps, and the theme this time was Red, White and Blue. Surprisingly, I found the theme a little hard to shop for, only because I was not born with the Creative Gene. But it was tons of fun and I hope my partner enjoys all her loot!

My partner for the swap was the lovely April over at April Showers Blog Design. April is a super fun girl who does beautiful blog work - be sure to check out her site!

She sent me an AWESOME package that included the following:



Included in my fabulous goody box were:

Fun 4th of July kitchen towels, and a red spatula (April knows I love to cook!)

A neat little backpack that I can take anywhere!

Some yummy treats like a Toblerone, some Odwalla bars and nummy chocolate!

Cool 4th decorations that helped me spruce this place up for the holiday!

Fun red, white and blue jewelry,

Oh - and cherry-red and cherry-scented nail polish! How fun is that!?

Awesome treats, April and thanks for being such a great swap partner!

Love, Dahrlin'

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Pasta



It feels like forever since I have posted a recipe here, and I guess it has been! We've been busy and traveling a lot, which has been fun but I am desperate to get back into some sort of routine during the weeks, and I really miss cooking. But in the meantime, we are having some household electrical issues, which makes cooking fresh food and putting anything in our (larger, downstairs) freezer a dicey proposition. So for the next couple weeks, we are eating completely out of the freezer for dinners. We need to get it cleaned out until we can get the electrical issues fixed.

So this past week, I found a container in the freezer that took me a couple minutes to identify. I usually label everything, but this was something I was unsure about freezing to begin with, so I just tossed it in (thinking we would use it quickly). There was only a small bit of it, so I sort of threw it in the freezer just so I did not have to throw it away. But I forgot to label - don't you just love playing "identify this frozen blob?" :-)

I finally figured out that it was frozen chicken enchilada filling, from this recipe. I had a little extra filling last time I made these (and no room in the pan for another enchilada), so I just froze the filling. Then when I thawed it the other night, I could not find any tortillas. Hmmm...what to do? Wait, tortillas are bland and really only serve as a delivery vehicle for the filling. What else works well in that capacity? Bread sounded gross, but pasta sounded...perfect. And it was! Even hubby came downstairs (he ate while on a conference call) and said "what was that? It was awesome!" We both loved it, and I will definitely make extra filling next time to use this way again! I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post, but between fixing dinner, keeping the dog out of hubby's office and talking with the A/C repairman (who was at the house at 8:30 pm for the second time in two days), I forgot pics!

As a side note, the extra filling was a little short on grilled chicken (I guess it was the filling left in the bottom of the bowl). But I also had frozen grilled chicken breast (something I am discovering has 5,362 uses and now ALWAYS keep in the freezer!) so I tossed some of that in as I was reheating the filling. And it was GREAT!

So here you go! Two meals for the effort of making one. Several more meals, actually, if you make extra portions of either recipe, or both. Try the original recipe or this handy weeknight version and let me know how your family likes it!

For more great recipes, head over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, hosted by Lisa and Lana!

Love, Dahrlin'

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I can no longer stand...

...the lack of blogging going on in this house. We've been crazy busy, and I promise I am going to catch you up on what we've been up to in the last few weeks, but first, I have got to get back into at least a little of my usual routine. I just can't stand it anymore, LOL! So without further ado, this will be a quick post just to say hi, we are alive, and more updates will be forthcoming!

One area I've tried to get back into this week is my couponing. We've spent tons of money lately on "extras" like travel and unexpected household repairs, so saving $ is even more of a priority at the moment. So I also want to give another shout out to Jenny over at Southern Savers. I think I've mentioned this before, but Jenny posts the deals for various stores every week. She focuses on the southern states, but there are others like her all over the country, so find your local site and start saving!

If you've missed my prior posts on how to play the CVS game, check out the labels on the right sidebar of my site, or (even better) check out Jenny's tips on how to play. This week's deals were not too exciting at CVS, but we actually came out great and I am very happy with what we picked up. I had some ECBS' I had to use before tomorrow, and I had a couple good coupon matches for sale items. So hubby and I went in yesterday and picked up these items:



Included in the purchase - 2 full-size bodywashes, 2 full-size toothpastes, 2 deodorants and 2 full-size Tums.

Ready for the totals?

We paid $2.68 and walked out with $7.00 in ECB's for future use. That's a net gain of more than $4. Not too bad for a ho-hum sale week!

Happy to be saving $ (AND blogging!) again!

Love, Dahrlin'

PS I will be around this week to see what all of you guys have been up to. I miss you!! Have a great and safe 4th! MWAH!
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