Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To a very special man

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well. 

I have realized that I havent once talked about my grandparents on the blog. I've mentioned them but have not "introduced" you to them. The post today, however, will focus on one in particular. My dad's father

His name was Leo and he was an amazing man. Lets face it, none of us can wish for what type of grandparent we went since we arent even born. Him, though? I look back at all the times I spent with him and can honestly say that if I was able to wish, I would wish for him. He was strong, courageous, very knowledgeable, put up a fight when he needed to, always had a positive attitude, and he loved life. He was in the Korean war also. His life was revolved around his kids and us grand kids and made sure every last one of us was taken care of before he pleased himself

Him and I had a very special bond. My mom's dad died many years before I was born so this grandfather was basically the only one I had. It might sound mean but he was the one I'd ever known. My mom's a nurse and worked 3-11 like she does now. He, my grandmother and my great aunt were my babysitters. They'd come over in the afternoons and stay until my dad got home from work. They'd cook dinner and would clean the house and just take care of me. They were wonderful. And by being able to spend 3 days a week with them, we got to do many fun things and share moments that many others probably dont get to share. He taught me many things:

1) the soup dispensers at school should never be empty (this was a "you had to be there" moment)
2) I cant date until I'm 30 (oops!)
3) to this day no one (not even myself) can tie my shoes or get my jacket zipper unstuck like he did
4) lots of french songs!
5) how to eat a whole bad of popcorn and watch soap operas (when they'd babysit at their house, they'd pop me a whole bag of buttered popcorn, plop me in front of the TV and put on General Hospital)
6) what bowling was
7) that McDonald's is gross (that was a favorite fast meal to give me)
8) What the store Bradley's was
9) how to tan
10) and mostly just how to love unconditionally and be the best I can be

So you might have noticed that I"m referring to him in the past tense. That's because he had to leave us. And thats why I'm talking about him today. 

14 years ago today, God called for him and he had to leave us. He had tongue cancer. He and my grandmother both died of cancer. they both smoked. He was diagnosed but didnt tell anyone, even  his one children for about 6 months. He was a man of very little words. He kept his emotions inside and just "went with the flow" He didnt want anyone to worry. He had had a few major surgeries in the past. Once we all found out, it went downhill from there. I was 9 when he died. I knew something was wrong but it was hard to show as much emotion as I probably should have. I didnt know what cancer was. This thing was making my grandfather sick and I had no idea what it was. I remember one night on the way home from their house my dad said to me "you can ask anything if you want". I had nothing to say. He got sicker. Stopped smiling, hated taking pictures. He ended up in a wheelchair. I'll never forgot pushing him around in it. Although he couldnt communicate, there was still a connection. We could feel what he was thinking and he could feel us. 

And then the day came. The day he passed away. I was brought to my aunt and uncles the night before so my parents and other siblings could go see him and be there. My mo picked me up in the morning. We came home and waited. I'll never forget that day. We all knew it was happening. Around 1pm, my dad called. The news we had been dreading. The pillows that were laying on the couch were my "punching bags". I dont think I'd ever gotten that upset. The world was taking one of the most important things in my life away from me. 

You want to know what his final wish was? He wanted to die on his birthday. And guess what? It came true. Yes, thats right. Today is also his birthday. He'd be 86. While the wish may not be the greatest wish, it proves wishes come true. He was at peace with it. At midnight on that morning, my aunt, dad, mom and grandmother stood over his bed where he lay and sang happy birthday. .

today is a day that will always be with us. A day where the greatest man was lost. But a day to remember all of the wonderful memories with him. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crock pot Peanut Butter Cup Cake

As I was searching on Pinterest this morning, my mind was made up about posting something desert for today's Taste of Tuesday. Different kinds of cupcakes? or Healthy desert ideas? There were so many choices. Until I came across this. What can be better than chocolate overload that takes NO preparation except to put in the crock pot...yes I did say crock pot. I thought it was kind of cool!

  • 1 (18.25 oz) pkg chocolate cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 (3 or 4 oz) pkg of instant chocolate pudding mix any size will be fine
  • 1 cup mini peanut butter cups, or 1 cup chopped peanut butter cups
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water

How to Make
  1. Spray crock pot with non stick spray. I used my 8 qt crock pot.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and pour in crock.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6 1/2-7 hours until center is set.
  4. Serve warm with ice cream.

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica

Monday, July 29, 2013

The one place where Crime + Funny can intertwine - TV edition!

If you came and took a look in my DVR right now, you'd find about 30% being shows Brian likes and the rest being my reality TV junky stuff. Things such as The Bachelorette, House Hunters, Four Weddings, Catfish and Guiliana and Bill. I like real people. I like being able to go on their twitters or facebooks or blogs or websites and see what they are actually doing. Being able to make the connection between the TV screen and real life. Plus I'm kind of a sucker for love and family.

My TV show selection is very limited and I'm very picky. We all are like that though. Stick to the same TV shows and sometimes the same types of shows. One thing I've never been into is crime or drama or honor or anything that has the word "murder" thrown around a hundred times in a 30 minute span. To me it's just creepy and leads to nightmares. Sure it's not real but we all have to admit that after watching a horror film, we have checked our doors a few extra times. 

My parents are into that stuff. Criminal Minds, Revenge and now my mom and Brian love the new show Motive. And then there's Castle. 

My parents started watching it a year and a half ago. It was something that I would peak at as I walked by the living room. I refused to give it a chance. Solving murders? Thats not fun or enjoyable. And then one night......they told me to give it a chance. Trying to please them I sat, I watched and by the end, I was hooked! They are so so funny. Each episode is something you can just watch over and over and never get tired of it. Because of the hilariousness of it, here are two videos that include a mixture of funny things they say. 

Enjoy your Monday :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lets Get Creative

Happy Friday lovelies!! I havent had much new to report this week which is why I've been a little absent. A few highlights are we got the pool running and have used it every excited! Today it was 65 degrees, rainy/cloudy and seriously felt like fall. I truly enjoyed it.

Today is going to be about you instead of me babbling.

As you might have read back in June my 18 year old cousin/god sister graduated from high school. I seriously could not be more proud. She is one of the hardest workers I know and spent hours on end studying and doing homework so she could achieve all the wonderful A's she got. You can read my letter to her here. Anyway, my parents decided to put money as her gift. Then there was me. I dont normally buy any of my younger cousins presents. My name usually just goes with whatever my parents get. But this time was different. One of my best friends was doing something major. I pondered for months but nothing seemed good enough. Back in the winter when she got her acceptance letter to the school of her choice I said we'd go to dinner to celebrate but then we all got busy. Perfect! My gift would be to go out to celebrate going into college. Simple but something that is special to us. But then I got another idea...the day of her party to be exact, go figure! Make her a "things to survive in college" box. 

This is where you all come in. I've thought about it since that day and have a few small ideas but I wanted other opinions for you all. I figure that while whatever I'd pick is fine, there wouldnt be variety because it's all from me. Plus you all are so creative!

My main vision for the box:

Lets say you all were just starting back at freshman year. What kinds of things would help you to get through? Can be funny things, serious things, simple things. I want this to be a survival guide. Lets say its midnight and she hasnt finished studying, she takes a break and does what? Think back to your experiences. I dont want to spend tons of money but something that will fill a medium size box or so. Any websites, other bloggers, anything. 

I would love to get a bunch of ideas together so I can start to go shopping soon. That'd be a cool link up, huh? College survival guide..:)

So, please any ideas would be so helpful!! :) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Taste of Tuesday: Spinach Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you all today! It's a summertime anytime favorite for our family. It's funny because everyone in my family (this is including aunts, uncles, cousins) pretty much likes the same food. Sure, everyone might like or not like a different part of the food but when it comes to actually eating it, usually its unanimous. The following recipe is always a hit. Ever since I can remember my aunt has been making this and its always so tasty! She makes it as a side salad with just spinach, dressing, almonds and strawberries whereas this recipe is a main dish.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken
2 Tb sesame seeds
1 Tb poppy seeds
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C white vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb minced onion

2-12 oz bags baby spinach
1 qt strawberries, sliced
1/2 C slivered almonds, toasted
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
2 large chicken breasts, seasoned, grilled and sliced

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the dressing.
2. In a large bowl, dress the spinach with desired amount of dressing and toss to coat the leaves. Plate the greens on each plate and top with remaining salad ingredients.

3. Enjoy! 

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica

Friday, July 19, 2013

This weeks highlights

Wow! I feel like the past two weeks have dragged on....

1) My weekend recap of the 4th I mentioned Brian and I watched my aunts dogs while they were on vacation
2) My sister in law, brother in law and niece drove up to Massachusetts for a long visit that same weekend
We've spent alot of time out and about with them going to the beach, to Boston, to the farm and so much more
3) It's been hot. Every single day since last week. The heat index for today is 109
4) My dad's been trying to get the pool ready. The pool isnt ready in the middle of July you say? Nope. Because of all the rain in June its delayed the clearing of it. The water is green. This past weekend the fliter gave out. Luckily a guy came today to fix it!
5) The washing machine got a lose belt last weekend. Needless to say we've spent time at the laundry mat

Here is my H54F 

1. Dad got a new tattoo. This is the third one. The other two are on the other arm. This one is of our family crest. Its not as big as it looks. My grandmother isnt too pleased...

2. Day at the beach!

3. Now I'll show sympathy for all you bloggers who have had this heat for months...

4. Caved in and got the iPhone. The nice guy at Verizon showed me 3 different options but this seemed to be the simplest. Plus the phone was free! Who wants to be the lovely ones that tell me what apps and such to get?

5. Loving the new color! By far my favorite so far. Aqua maybe?

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

xoxo Rebecca

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Taste of Tuesday Texas Caviar (aka Summer Salsa)

If I asked my mom what she's addicted to, two of the things she'd say are Candy Crush and Pinterest. She can si on Pinterest for hours! While she has many many baords, one of her favorite things to look for are recipes. She's made many of the ones she's found too and they've been awesome! She would also tell you that she's trying to eat healthier because well lets face it, chocolate and junk food are very hard to break from, right? So last week she was in a "healthy recipe" mood. We went to the grocery store on a mission to buy things to make something she found. A salsa/dip to be exact. As her and I are walking through the asiles and she's picking up this and picking up that, I was cringing. Peppers and onions in a dip? I was a little confused and tried to convine her to just get the salsa already made. But no, she was determined and told me to trust her. We came home and after dinner my grandmother and I sat there watching her cut three peppers and onions. Pickiest eater award goes to me so obviously I was having no part of it.....but the next day when it was ready she made me try a tiny bite and it was awesome. We brought some to my aunts and she practically ate the whole container in one sitting

Texas Caviar

For the salsa:
3 multi-colored peppers, diced (I usually use red, green, and orange for the most I had yellow instead of orange).
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, rinsed

For the marinade:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar


Dice peppers and onions, combine with rinsed beans, chickpeas, and corn into a medium sized bowl.

Combine marinade ingredients in a small saucepan, heat to boiling and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Pour marinade over salsa and refrigerate overnight.

Drain before serving (save some of the marinade to store leftovers in).

Serve on tortilla chips or crackers. *This recipe is from Pinterest. My mom decided to try the blue nacho chips inside of just regular ones and they are so much better..and healthier!

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fashion Post! Favorite outfits for all seasons

Happy Monday loves! Today is not going to include all the overly exciting things we did this weekend because well, I'm pretty sure that going to the laundry mat, food shopping and trying to get the pool running isn't exactly part of the "exciting weekend" list. So, I'm going to mix it up and bring you a little fashion post. You're probably thinking, fashion? You? Ok maybe you aren't exactly thinking that but if you are, you arent wrong. I'm not sure I've dedicated even one post to fashion entirely. Reason being? I'm not big into fashion. At the moment I'm wearing capris and a shirt from 2004. Sure, my Kohls credit card has only had a 0 balance once in the last year but I'm not one to go on a big shopping spree. I hate spending even $15 for a shirt. Cheapo, I know!

Anyway, as I mentioned last week my sister in law Samantha, brother in law and beautiful niece are up visiting. In Brian's family they laugh because every time Samantha comes to visit she "brings" something with her. Tornado warnings and the type of weather are the biggest things. So we've been saying that this week they brought the heat. It's been 95 or something and will continue to be this upcoming week. They miss living up here for many reasons but one being the different seasons. Correct me if I'm wrong southern bloggers but Samantha always says how down there they basically have one or two seasons. She always says though how she wishes our niece could experience the fall and winter seasons too.

As I sat this weekend picking through clothes, I thought about what she said. As I've mentioned I always have trouble thinking of what to pack when Brian and I go down there because no matter what it'll be hot. It's hard when New England is in its winter prime because all my summer stuff is put away. I then thought about how I think I've only seen short sleeves for all of them when we go down there. Maybe sweatshirts but thats it. So today I'm putting myself in their shoes and thinking about the outfits I would love to have for each season.

What are your favorite outfits??

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Whats in a marriage?

I was lacking in a post today and then saw this on facebook (the facebook page is linked to this website). I've been told so many times "wait until you get married". While I cringe because it gets annoying to hear that saying over and over (and the fact that the people that tell me this think I"m still a child and dont know anything), I know they are right. I like to think Brian and I have had it easy. Maybe not in terms of adjusting to living together but in our relationship by itself. We have our struggles but its normal. But we are able to resolve anything and everything. We are able to share the deepest of secrets. We've experienced so many moments, good and bad, together. I can only hope and pray that when we get married our relationship and friendship will grow into so much more.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend recap - lakes dogs and babies

Whew! What a weekend. I have to say that I'm glad its Monday. I'm not sure if its the fact that I'm getting old (ok, maybe not exactly but it sure seems that way at times) or if was actually the business of the past 4 days. I cant remember the last time I've done as much as I did in just a days time. It was so much fun but by the time we got home last night at 10:30pm, I was totally done. 

The main event of our weekend was watching these two cuties

My Uncle, his parents and sister own a business. A printing shop. They all work there every single day of the week and have many other people on staff who are great! Every year my uncle's parents will pay for the whole shop plus the families to go stay up at the beach for 4th of July weekend. We used to go and its so fun! The hotel is right on the water so they have it made. When Brian and I started dating, my aunt recruted us to be the house/dog sitters and we love it. It gets tiring though. We sleep over which is fine but its hard to really go anywhere because we have to take care of them when we get up, have to go back at like 3pm and then get back for the night at like 10pm. All weekend we drove back and forth. Who knew dogs could be on a tighter schedule than humans?

On Thursday we headed to the lake. It was beautiful but HOT. Oh my gosh! We thought the sun was never going to go down. The temp reached 100 degrees. 

We took a few rides on the pontoon boat which felt so good. The first time my uncle drove. There were so many people on the lake that there were tons of waves. Everything was wonderful until a wave hit us the wrong way. It came up over the side and flooded the floor of the boat and we got all wet. It was refreshing but definitely a shocker. We werent sure if they fireworks were going to happen but they did! 5 houses did them. We all sat on the pontoon listening to Jason Maraz. 

On Saturday we unexpectedly went to the lake again. This time is was just my aunt and uncle, my parents, Brian and I. We had the boat and jetski. There was like no one on the water so we enjoyed it. We ordered dinner and sat on the boat and ate. 

Good life!

One thing I havent mentioned is that my sister in law, brother in law and beautiful niece are up here for the week. We are so excited! Every year Brian's grandmother has a cookout. Nothing big. Just Brian, myself, his mom, aunt and uncle and cousins. This year my SIL, BIL and niece got to join in! We had such a great time as always. Brian's grandfather is so nice and hospitable! We got rained out for about 3 hours. We took cover in the basement where we played games and ate and let the kids run free. Little balls of energy!

That was our fun filled weekend! I had started a H54F post but didnt have time to finish so here are pictures from last week

Yup he's a hunk! Sorry Brian...

This hand was part of a fake wooden was interesting to say the least!

We took my grandmother to the book store. I indulged in this...

Starbucks in the fav!


Tons of pictures I know! I hope you all also had a great weekend! 

Going to get a new phone today. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wedding Wednesday Link up- Cake!

Hello, everyone!

We are working all summer long to bring you some exciting link ups on one of your favorite topics-weddings! Kristen and I both have wonderful men in our lives (Kristen is engaged!) and enjoy talking about weddings together.  We thought we would join you in on the fun!

There is a linkup below! 
If you are linking up with any similar wedding post (we aren't that strict ;D)
please don't forget to tag us and also put this photo on your sidebar/in your post! 

Copy and paste this HTML code to insert our button:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt=" photo linkup_zps98bf0304.jpg"/></a>

Today's Trending Topic: CAKES!

Rachael's Cake Dream-Spiration:

To be honest, I never really understood all of the ho-hum about wedding cakes. 
I mean, it's just a cake, and you eat it, and then it's all over....right?
Well, the more you think about it, the more you realize this is the only day in your life where you 
will ever have so much control over every single detail in a party that celebrates your love. 
Why not have fun with it and run away with your theme and the celebration that only lasts a day!

I have always known that I wanted a nautical themed wedding. 
I don't know how crazy I will get when the time comes, but here are some cakes that 
inspire me...and my hunger!

This is like, my ultimate cake. 
However, no one would want to sit there and pick off all the shells. 
I know I wouldn't. 
One can dream!

I love the pastels in this cake. 
Although this probably would not fit with my wedding colors, 
you certainly could use the template design for something simple!

I think this is truly adorable, and kind of simple!
However, putting flowers on the cake can start to get expensive.
I have always been that kind of person who can't justify spending millions on something I will eat. 

This is simple and adorable! 
They are my favorite "animal" besides a seal. 

I love this...especially with the symbolism that the knot has!

This is probably my favorite cake...

with this being a close second! :)


Kristen's Cake-Spiration!

I'm pretty sure that picking out the cake for your wedding is one of the favorite parts of planning for any bride...and groom of course. I dont know much about cakes since I'm not a cake baker but know that the professionals can do wonders! From what I've been told, mixing and matching the cake with filling is always the fun part. If you arent a baker, you probably arent aware of the many types of cakes and fillings that can be combined. I sure wasnt aware until looking up different flavors on Google, and my goodness! But, I also trying looking up on Google what seems to be the most popular types of weddings cakes, I came to the realization (although I pretty much already knew it) that its really personal preference and that you could have tons of orders and none will be exactly the same. Some bridges ever base their whole wedding off of the cake, which makes the cake even more important. With those weddings though, the cake is usually way over the top

Although that can be great, I personally dont want that. My fiance and I havent talked about the cake yet but I'm pretty sure I know what I want. Once again, I'm simple. I want it to make a statement but have clean lines and just be something that people can say "wow" too. It wont be too big either since our guest list is under 100 people. Cakes seem to get pricey the higher the guests.
© 2013 MicrosoftTermsPrivacyDevelopersEnglish (United States)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weekend Recap!

I'm kind of in denial that its Monday already! Anyone else feel the same? And to top it off it's already July 1st..blah! I feel like we were just celebrating Christmas. Most of us are already half way through summer break....time just needs to stand still for a bit so I dont have to go back to school. Last night i was watching some episodes of Gilmore Girls, one of my all time favorite shows! And in one of the episodes the words "Manic Monday" were used. And I couldn't help but think of the song.

Anyway, here was our weekend...

Friday: it continued to rain. It was promising for awhile but then bam. 2pm hit and the thunder started. I'm not one for thunderstorms. Rain is fine but thunder and lighting gets to me. And of course Brian just had to pick Friday to go register his car. He didn't get back until about 3 and needless to say I was SO glad! Luckily he had gotten me a Dairy Queen blizzard to make up for me being alone...I guess you can you say I'm a little spoiled! The storm lasted about an hour. I was sitting watching TV in my room and I looked out the window and saw the biggest lighting was crazy! Then it happened...the power went out! I was catching up on watching the Bachelorette too...perfect timing. The outage only lasted an hour and a half. In the meantime the sun made an appearance.

Bailey wasnt complaining! The sun was nice and warm. And yes, that blue thing is a snuggie...he stole it from me :)

We went out for dinner afterwards...cant go wrong with a buffet!

Saturday was basically stuff around the yard. We took Bailey for a walk since it was finally a beautiful day! The pool still isn't clear. My dad was told it was because of the rain. Hopefully it will be running soon. Summer isn't stopping for anyone. We made a pit stop at the lake

I cant get over how relaxing it is! 

We came home and played some games. Yahtzee and Mancala to be exact! So many childhood memories!

I was going through things downstairs and found this movie! We made some popcorn and watched it

Sunday we didn't do much. Dad and I ran a bunch of errands! Made a stop at Trader Joes...I cant go in there without wanting to buy tons of things. I have to thank my grandmother for that! We went and checked out the new Super Market Basket they opened. In replace of one regular store they closed, they are now putting in a Whole Foods. Anyone shop there? We have NONE here so this is really new to all of us!

We went and picked up some nice "wall art" if you will. I love them!

And lastly I bought another Boston shirt...

How was your weekends??

Linking up with SamiLeeann and Sarah

Content Happiness is a Mood Not a Destination | Design Poppiness Designs