Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celebrate the Fourth

Hey everyone,

As per custom, Matt and I celebrated the fourth with the Cottle family. For those of  you that don't know, it's a continuation of a long-standing tradition in my family to watch fireworks at Murray Park. My great aunt and uncle lived across the street from the park for years. For as long as I can remember, my family always spent the fourth at their house. We would have a croquet game (yes, people still play that), a barbecue, a baseball game, night games with the neighborhood kids, our own fireworks, and finally, the big firework show.

This party took place all my life and even before I came along. It was ALWAYS a favorite of mine and my cousins. There were few family parties that outdid the fourth celebration. :)

However, around 2005, my uncle died and shortly thereafter, my aunt followed. Their kids sold the house, and the tradition ended. Around that same time, I started college and met Michelle. She and I quickly became very close friends...the second year I knew her she invited my then boyfriend and I to her parents' for the fourth. We accepted, and when I asked for the address, we discovered that her parents live across the street from where my relatives had lived. :D

I was so happy to continue my family's tradition and watch the Murray Park fireworks!


For the past couple years, I've attempted to use my supa dupa awesome camera to take pictures...to no avail. Too blurry, not bright enough. I couldn't figure it out.

Then, this year, I had an epiphany.

It's called Google.

Have you heard of it???

After approximately 1 1/2 minutes of research, I was ready to try it out.

Here was the result:

Aaaaaand, my best of the night. Believe it, this is straight out of the camera. :D!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Someone I'd like you to meet...

While we were in PA this year, in between holidays, family, and visiting, Matt and I had our most impulsive moment to date. 


I'm not this spontaneous, or crazy.

And this was ca-raaaayy-zy.

It started as a bet, or a dare, sorta...next thing you know, we're on our way to Jersey. 

And it all ended with this:

Ohhhhh yeah.

Sooooo, we got a puppy. Sure did.

Was it planned? Nope.


Not at ALL.

We made our usual trip to the local pet store in PA, and while we were there we met the cutest puppy. He was a little Aussie Shepherd. I'd never heard of the breed before, but he was super friendly and endearing. Er, he was also $1080. 

Say whaaaaa?


So we left, but that little one really made an impression on Matt and I.

While eating dinner the next night, Matt picked up the local daily classifieds catalog. He said something about puppies, I said something like, "yeah, right," and he told me if there were Aussie puppies for sale in the catalog we would go look at them the next day.

Well, what are the odds?

Apparently they were great, there were two puppy ads and one of them was definitely for Aussie puppies.

Location? Too far away?

Nope, a simple twenty minute drive across the border into Jersey.

We made an appointment and they next day we drove out to a little farm (very Charlotte's Web-esque) and met the puppies.

Amongst the crazy yipping, licking, climbing, crying, and nipping that you can expect from seven puppies, there was one that was sitting back from the group...just watching.

I put my hand out, and he Bambi-hopped over to me, tail wagging, and I was sold.

Soooo cute, calmer than his crazy sisters, and less destructive than the brothers. 

Oh, and he LOOOOOOVED Matt.  :)

After more playing and discussion ("Are we REALLY doing this?"), well, he was ours. :D

And with that, I'm pleased to introduce to you the newest and smallest member of our lil' family.


These pictures are from our first day together. 

Looking back, even though it's only been three weeks, I can't believe how little and different he looked. 


I took some more pictures after we'd had Cooper for about a week. 

We tired him out so he would sit still long enough for me to snap some photos.  :-)

As I said, tired boy:

I only have a few more.


These are from yesterday, and like I said, I can't believe how much he's changed:

These last two are my favorite. 

*Enter "Awwww's" here*

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chicken Alfredo

I LOVE my crock pot.

I don't know if I can convey just how much I LOVE my crock pot.

It's a magical thing.

I put dinner in first thing in the morning, come home, my house smells A-MAZ-ing, aaaand dinner is served!

I recently began following Simple Daily Recipes, and if you don't follow it, I highly recommend you change that. Immediately.

She has some wooonderful recipes! One of them is a slow cooker recipe for Chicken Alfredo. This is soo easy to make, doesn't take much prep work, and can be ready to eat when you get home from work!

Yaaay, happy day!!

You'll need to have about 20 minutes before putting this in the crock pot.

Start by laying 3 frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and pour grated parmesan cheese over top.

Melt butter in a saucepan.


Add flour, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper.

Whisk until it's smooth...make sure you continuously stir this or it will develop a thick lumpy layer on the bottom. (Boooo...)

Slowly pour in chicken broth, and keeeep whisking. No lumps people. None.

After it begins to thicken a bit, turn off the heat, add sour cream and whisk until smooth.

Pour your delicious sauce over the chicken boobies and cheese.

(Make sure to lift chicken a bit so the sauce gets underneath)

Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours or high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

Shred with a fork and ta daaaa!


Doesn't this look good? Well, it is. WONDERFUL, in fact.

Go make some! :-)

Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo
from Simple Daily Recipes
Serves 8
6 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3 chicken breasts, frozen
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lb whole wheat fettucine
In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, lay chicken in bottom and top with parmesan cheese. Set to low heat.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth, continue for 3-4 minutes. Slowly pour in chicken broth, continue whisking to prevent lumps. When sauce begins to thicken (about 1 minute), turn off heat. Add in sour cream and whisk until smooth.
Pour over chicken and cheese (lift chicken to make sure sauce gets under). Cover and cook on low for  5-6 hours or high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Twenty minutes before finished, cook pasta according to directions.
Cut/shred chicken. Pour over pasta and serve!