Monday, October 31, 2011

My first blog award

I check my blog roll religiously a few times throughout the day, and I was thrilled / honored to have been selected as one of Fran's Liebster Blogs.
The Liebster Blog Award is given to an up and coming blogger who has less than 200 followers. 

Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.To keep this award going, pass the award along to 5 other new deserving bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The rules for the Liebster Blog Award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love, too!

So I'll start with a huge THANKS to Fran over at The Jenkins Family. Fran was a friend of mine in college whom I very much looked up to, and really still do - I mean, look at her beautiful family!

And now, without further ado, my top five picks (in no particular order):

Leslie at Diary of a Southern Drama Queen 
While we've never actually met, Leslie is my kindred spirit. She's the friend of a friend, and we tweet, facebook & blog with each other. Such a sweet, southern beauty! Her blog lets her relationship with Christ shine through without being preachy, which I just love. 

Page at It's Marvelous
She & her husband Andrew just welcomed their first born, an adorable baby boy named Jack, so she doesn't really look like that anymore, but you get the drift. Page is inspiring and real. She has a lot of grace in her writing and it reminds me to pray, read scripture, and breathe.

Brett at The Bakery
Another writer I've never actually met, Brett is married to an old childhood friend, Nathaniel. She's a beautiful girl, so smart, and her writing is vulnerable and beautiful. Few blogs move me to comment like her's does. 

Rebekah at There Goes the Neighborhood
Becky & I went to church together growing up and I recently started following her blog. I have to say she may be my favorite writer ever. She's snarky without being cynical, wise without being judgmental, and has a beautiful outlook on the world. I can't get enough.

Caroline at Clumsy Crafty Happy
Sweet little Caroline used to work with us at McKinney (briefly) but moved back to FL to be with her love. She is, in a word, hilarious. But you should follow her - if nothing else - for her amazing crafts. Oh, and pin her boards on pinterest. She has amazing taste.

So there you have it! If you were one of my "lucky" top five ... CONGRATS! Just kidding ... kind-of. And please pass the love along - who doesn't like to be loved on a little bit?

PS - I will try to add the award to my blog, but ... as you may have noticed ... I'm not so good with the HTML / formatting / design stuff. I leave that to my oh-so-talented hus!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Each year we have this great potluck at McKinney (the advertising agency where Ben & I work) to support one of our co-workers. His daughter has a prosthetic leg, and is very active with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, an awesome organization that helps people with disabilities participate in athletic events. Coincidentally, Ben's cousin Alex also has a prosthetic leg and is very active with CAF - Alex, "Papa Bud" (Ben's grandfather) and Brenna (Ben's sister) competed a triathlon last year in San Diego before Papa passed away.

ANYWAY, Megan Wade made these amazing peanut butter chocolate bars for said potluck, and I begged her for the recipe but never got around to making them. Until, of course, I saw them on Pinterest. So thanks Glen & Elena, the reason behind the potluck, and thanks Megan, for bringing them to the potluck, and thanks The Girl Who Ate Everything for Megan's inspiration.


  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (do NOT use store brand, trust me on this one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter and eggs in a large bowl with a hand mixer
  3. Press the mixture into a 9x13 pan, reserving 1.5 cups to crumble on top later (ATTENTION: that says 1 and 1/2 cup. Not 1/2 cup. Don't make that mistake)
  4. In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter (don't stop stirring until it's totally melted)
  5. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla
  6. Spread chocolate mixture over peanut butter mixture in pan
  7. Crumble the 1.5 cups of reserve peanut butter mixture on top, evenly
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
  9. Cool COMPLETELY before cutting into bars
  10. Put on a pair of stretchy pants and call it a day

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Craft Corner: Aubrey's Wedding Gift

I started to post this last week, then remembered that Other Aubrey follows me and I didn't want to ruin the surprise! I made this invitation ornament based on an idea from - you guessed it - pinterest.

The photo was originally pinned by ...from glitter to gumdrops and there's a lot of sweet ideas on there. And they're simple. Y'all know how I need love simple.

So here you have it:

What You'll Need

  • Round, Glass Ornaments that have a removable top (available at Michael's in a 4-pack)
  • The Invitation in question (could be wedding, baby shower, anything!)
  • Scissors
  • Coordinating Ribbon
  • Round Straight Pen

What You'll Do

  1. Remove the top of the Ornament
  2. Cut the invitation into strips; I used each line of the invite as a strip
  3. Curl each strip around the pen
  4. Gently "shove" them into the small hole in the ornament, taking care for special words (their names, the date, etc) to show on the outside glass; you can use the pen to move them around if necessary
  5. Replace the top
  6. Tie a coordinating ribbon through the top of the ornament to hang it and include coordinating charms on ribbon (optional)

Ta Da!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recipe: Skinny Taco Dip

Yup - Another Pinterest find. After YET ANOTHER weekend of traveling, I was needing some fresh veggies. This dip is a delicious combination of yummy, colorful, healthy vegetables and quasi comfort food. And it's not TOO bad for you ... unless, of course, you eat half the dish like I did. Thanks to for the inspiration on this one!

Also, I halved the recipe, but if you're serving more than 5-6 people, don't!


  • 8 oz fat free sour cream
  • 8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese (Neufchatel cheese)
  • 16 oz mild salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup skim cheddar cheese
  • 2.5 oz sliced black olives


  1. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, salsa & seasoning in a medium bowl with hand mixer
  2. Spread on the bottom of a large glass dish - 8x12 or 9x13 should do the trick
  3. Layer lettuce, then tomatoes, then avocados, then cheese, then olives
  4. Serve with baked tortilla chips

Step 3
Step 1 - 2

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It's this running joke, between Tyler, Ben, Brenna and myself. There's some girl they went to high school with, who posts hilarious Facebook statuses (stati?) which are not meant to be ironic, but are. Example: My daughter just ate all her broccoli, I AM SO BLESSED! It never ceases to amuse the group when one of us follows up an otherwise inane statement with "I AM SO BLESSSSSSSED!!!!!"

But I just have to tell y'all ... I am. SO blessed.

My husband still gives me butterflies and makes me blush when he kisses me, just like he did six years ago.

 October 2005                                                                            October 2011

Apologies for the double-post, but today was just one of those days, and these thoughts were just too long for Twitter.

Recipe: Kelly's Black Bean Burgers

My best friend Kelly is an awesome *and healthy* cook. When I visit her in Greenville, SC she spoils me with deliciousness and it's so lovely to be cooked for, for a change! Several months ago she made black bean burgers for dinner when I arrived and they. were. amazing! I love black bean burgers already (a discovery I made when I gave up meat for Lent a few years ago), but these have a spicy kick to them that makes them even more delicious. And easy!!

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded & diced (I used a couple slices from a jar, but fresh is better)
  • 1 garlic glove, minced (I used three!)
  • 2 14oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1/3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I'd cut back to 1/3 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (I'd also cut this back to 1/3 tsp - mine were just a tad spicy)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (I used dried cilantro, 1-2 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 hamburger buns


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large saute pan over medium heat
  2. Add onions and cook, taking care not to brown them, until soft, fragrant and translucent (about 8 minutes)
  3. Stir in garlic and jalapeno, saute for 2 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, pour beans, bread crumbs, spices and cilantro into large mixing bowl
  5. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno mixture
  6. Using your hands, mash and crush the beans until paste-like
  7. Form mixture into 4 patties (this makes for HUGE burgers. you may be able to get away with 5 patties)
  8. Heat 3 tbsp oil in same saute pan over medium-high heat until simmering
  9. Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and slightly browned, turning once (about 4-5 minutes on each side)
  10. Serve on hamburger buns (I topped with guacamole & provolone cheese)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Craft Corner: Hand Painted Wine Glasses

It's a general consensus that Whitney over at The Pink Elephant must never sleep. Somehow, between working 75-hour weeks, hitting the gym, and attending 34 weddings a year, she finds time to craft, paint, cook, create, refurbish and dress up her little dog Olivia in hilarious costumes. I don't know how she does it!

But, lucky for us, she shares her secrets. And lucky for me, I'm a pretty good copy-cat. So here you have Whitney-inspired hand-painted wine glasses, that I made as my secret seashell gift for other Aubrey.

What You'll Need

  • (4) Wine Glasses (I got mine from the dollar store!)
  • Glass Paint & Sealant (available at A.C.Moore)
  • Thin Paint Brush
  • Print out of monogram you wish to paint

  1. Tape the monogram inside the wine glass, with the letters facing out toward you
  2. Using the print-out as a stencil, paint with your desired color of glass paint
  3. Let dry for recommended period (I think it's probably overnight, but the paint should say)
  4. Repaint with sealant
  5. Let dry for 10 days

Whitney used these as a bridal shower favor, mine was a gift for a friend who's about to get married ... either way, it's an inexpensive yet thoughtful - and useful - gift!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Craft Corner: Tressa's Wedding Gift

We spent our 4th anniversary in beautiful Savannah, GA and then headed up north to Hilton Head, SC for my dear friend Tressa's wedding. The whole thing was a blast, but unfortunately my camera was dead when we got there, so photos are limited. Luckily, Tressa hired an amazing photographer (also, our friend Abby's husband) and here's one of my favorite shots that he's posted so far:

More to come on the trip & the wedding, but I wanted to share this gift, as I'm very proud of it and I'm just certain Tressa will love it. She's a travel guru and when I found these prints on pinterest, I just had to do something with them.

So, 3 antique-y ribbon frames + 3 Michael's 40% off coupons later ... here's the result. Ignore the poor picture quality from my sad little iPhone 3G.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Craft Corner: Wine Cork Monogram

Even before I knew it, I loved pinterest. I had girlfriends send me photos, ideas, recipes, etc. from there all the time. The Wine Cork Monogram I made for Aubrey is a perfect example.

Before we go any further, I should mention, in case I haven't already, that yes - my name is Aubrey. And yes, this is a relatively unusual name, especially for women, and especially for women of my general age range. And yes, one of my best friends from age 15 until present is also named Aubrey.

Now then, back to the Wine Cork Monogram. This was a gift from me to other Aubrey for homemade Secret Seashell. And I think it's a-dor-a-ble (and so is other Aubrey) and so easy to make. 

What You'll Need:
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Print-out of letter(s) you wish to make
  • Glue Gun + Glue Sticks
  • A Shit Ton Lot of Wine Corks
  • Picture hanger, available at any craft store
sawtooth picture hanger, should come with 2 nails
  1. Cut the cardboard to fit the template of the letter you want. Hint: The thinnest part of the letter should be slightly thinner than a wine cork, so the cardboard doesn't show.
  2. Place the corks to ensure you have enough
  3. Fire up your hot glue gun and get to work!
  4. Once complete, place a heavy book or other flat object on top to ensure they're drying flush to the cardboard
  5. After they're totally dry (shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes but you can leave for a few hours just to be sure), nail in the picture hanger to the back
Again, I must give credit to The Elephant's Trunk, the blog that originated the idea for me, put in my field of knowing by Caroline. Also, to Sara Cobaugh who supplied 99% of the wine corks.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Enchilada Soup

Happy Monday, bloggies! I'm up to 10 followers, though I think 1 of those is a duplicate but I'll take it anyway, and I think that warrants a celebration! Pathetic, I know, don't care.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I discovered pinterest. And y'all?


I know, this was news to you guys like 2 years ago, but bear with me. One of my favorite boards is the one I've titled "Foodie <3". I will never be the girl who can make food look like it jumped out of an issue of Real Simple, but I can make it taste good. I'm not the perfectly sliced meat, garnish on the white plate, clean counter kind of cook. I'm the hearty, down-home, casseroles and crockpots and lots of cheese kinda cook. And that is exactly the kind of cook I want to be.

Now, from this lovely board, I found this recipe and as per usual, made it my own.


  • 2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes (diced tomatoes + chiles)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 slices of jalapeno peppers (I buy mine in a jar)
  • 6 oz cubed velveeta cheese
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips or strips
  • Sour cream (optional)


  1. Dump everything (except cheese, chips & sour cream) in the crockpot
  2. Turn it on high for 4-6 hours
  3. Break apart the chicken (should shred easily) with a spoon or fork once it's cooked
  4. Add cheeses and some tortilla chips and let melt / dissolve for about 30 minutes
  5. Spoon into a giant bowl, top with some tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream
  6. Hibernate