02 October 2012

The Return of the Last Minute Party Planner

Months ago, I scrambled to put together a birthday party for my 4-year-old son, Liam.  It was a very elaborate and idealistic plan, and at the time, I had no real idea how I was going to execute all of the wonderful things I had imagined.  Luckily, with the help of some amazing women (Ma and Bri), the party (Superhero themed) went off without a hitch.  Complete success and further proof that procrastination is often magical.

Welp, I figured, why not!!??  Why not wait until the very. last. second to iron out the final details of my hub Bren's 30th (surprise) birthday party.  It's not like this is a milestone or anything, and it couldn't possibly be any more complicated and stressful than a 4-year-old's party (especially since I hand-made capes for all of his guests-- Coolest Mom Ever-- I know).

So here I am, 3 days away from go time, and I am just now putting together my scheme, again with my Partner in Crime, Bri:

First, the food, because he's a man and that's pretty much priority #1 in his life (immediately following me and the kids, of course!!).  ;)

Happy Hour Fare:

Red Velvet Style

As for presents, I'd like to do something fun for him like this adorable gift basket below:

  I'm also serving Skittle Flavored Vodka, because despite turning 30.... ah, screw it.  Do I really need a REASON to spike the rainbow?

We'll see how this all turns out.  If all else goes to hell, we'll have lots of beer and liquor.  Not bad for a safety net.

Updates to follow!!

OH!  And can we all say a collective HALLELUJAH!  Today is officially my last day at GMU before heading on to bigger and better things.....

... like party planning.

Smile at everyone today.  Literally, everyone!



28 September 2012

Last Night's Dinner: Chicken Marsala

 This is kind of a big deal.

I have never made Marsala Chicken before, and it's one of my man's favorite dishes.  Luckily, it turned out really well, (he was more impressed than I was- that's all that matters to me).  Definite room for improvement, but overall, pretty awesome.   

Side note:  Didn't get to watch my Raven's play last night because for some insane reason, we don't get the NFL Network.  I was only a little bit furious.  Calling Verizon ASAP.

Okay, back to food.
 Found this great recipe on Pinterest (duh... where else do people get recipes these days?).  Tweaked it here and there, but stayed true to it for the most part.

Chicken Marsala with Brown Butter Pasta

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 – 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour +
Yield: 8 servings


4 thin sliced chicken breasts – cut into cutlets
1 lb mushrooms sliced
2 bunches green onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
Dash of Balsamic Vinegar 
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp 
3/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
2.5 sticks butter, divided
4 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
1 cup dry Marsala wine
2 cups chicken broth
pinch of salt – to taste
1/2 cup parm
1 lb pasta – spaghetti

  ...Time to git er dun...
  •  Slice chicken into cutlets.   
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, marjoram, salt, and pepper . 
  • Lightly coat  chicken breasts in flour.  
  • Slice your veggies- mushrooms, garlic and scallions

  • Melt 1/2 stick of butter and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet. Heat over medium-high until butter is melted. Add mushrooms, garlic and scallions.  Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Balsamic Vinegar.  Sauté over medium-high heat until water is cooked out of mushrooms and they are starting to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.  
  • Add another 1/2 stick of butter and 1 tbsp oil to the pan. Also start your pot of boiling water for the pasta at this point.
  • Place chicken pieces in a single layer in frying pan over medium heat. Allow to brown on both sides. Remove and repeat with remaining breast cutlets. Remove all when done, leaving behind the butter and brown bits in the pan. 
  • Add Marsala to pan and let simmer for approximately 1 minute. Add chicken broth. Stir to combine and add in mushroom/onion mixture and chicken breasts. Stir and then let simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until sauce is thickened, approximately 20 minutes.
  • While your sauce is simmering and thickening is the time to start your brown butter. In a small pot melt 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat. Don’t touch it, but watch it carefully. It will start to bubble, foam, and under that foam it will start to brown. Brown  well, removing from heat just before you think it’ll burn. If you under-brown it you end up with greasy pasta. If you brown it well you end up with little bites of heaven.
  • When pasta is done, drain well and toss with browned butter and grated parm.

And there you have it!  Serve it with some crunchy, garlicy bread and a clean salad.


Thank the good lord it's Friday!   It's been a long week (aren't they all).
I'm going out to celebrate one of my besties b-day tomorrow night!  Should be a good time!   Hope everyone has great weekend!




25 September 2012


I'm a big girl now, peeps!  Not that I wasn't before, but now it's totally official.  

After months years of trying, I am finally about to embark on a new professional opportunity!
YAY!!!  (says the big girl)

It's a weird feeling.  I have been in my current position for just about 4 1/2 years now- learning and growing and meeting fabulous people along the way.  I have been the veteran, the expert, the go-to girl for so long... it is tough to imagine beginning that process again.

But alas, the time has finally come for me to spread my power-suited wings and (try to) fly.  
I promise not to poop on anyone's head while I'm soaring on the highs of newness and possibility! 

In other news, I am on Instagram now and my obsession with taking and posting pictures of my children (and admittedly myself) has reached an all time high, or low... depending on how you look at it.  I'm a perpetual optimist, so to me, it's fine.  Completely fine. 

My inclination to quit Facebook cold turkey has only deepened and seems more appealing than ever now that I have Instie to depend on.  
It's a tough call to make though because I am addicted to Facebook.  I might need to seek out a therapist before making any drastic and life-altering decisions regarding my online presence.

In other news, the fam is doing well.  My hubby is still better than yours, sorry.  
Can't you just be happy for me?!  ;)

My 4-year old boy is still the most amazing kid I know and I don't foresee that changing.   Latest Liam-ism "Mommy LOOK!  I crushed my salad! And now I'm going to crush my spaghetti!"
Oh you crushed them, did you!?!?!
He also told me the other day "I am certainly not done with my potatoes."  
The kid kills me.

My other (wonderful) baby boy turns 1 in about 2 weeks.  That's really as much mention as I want to give that topic because I puke in my mouth every time I think about it.

Oh, here's something FUN!  I was at the Raven's game on Sunday and saw this little number up close and personal.  Hilarious!!!

Streaker on the field does the lawnmower

All in all, things are looking up 'round here.  I had a really rough Spring/Summer for reasons I am still uncovering.  Another topic another post.  I don't want to ruin the sarcastic tone I've got going on here today.

I disappeared off the radar for a while, but I fully intend on setting realistic blogging goals, and sticking to them as best I can.  Hopefully, one day, this will ease my transition into the small percentage of the population who isn't on Facebook.  :)

Have a great week, world.  I am glad to be back!

Go smile at a few rando's today!  Make 'em think!



27 June 2012

04 May 2012

Friday's Letters 9.0

Dear Self-  
It has been such a rough past month or so.  And things have been so crazy.  
Just know that I am proud of you and I love you.

Dear Nasty People in the world-
 You will not bring me down.  But go ahead and wear yourself out trying...

Happy Friday, friends.  Be strong.

Linking up for my only blog post this week.  Sorry y'all!  I hope to bounce back soon.



27 April 2012

Friday's Letters 8.0

Dear Baby Jesus- THANK GOODNESS IT'S FRIDAY!!!!!!!!

Dear Chest-wrenching Cough that I Have had all Week- You're bags are packed.  I left them by the front door.  I called a cab.  You can leave anytime now.  Nice knowin' ya.

Dear Liam and Collin-  What say you two conveniently decide to sleep in until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning?  NO?  How about 8:30?  8:00?  Fine.  7:30, and that's my final answer.

PS- I love you both IMMENSELY

Dear Broccoli- I love you.  You look like a tree, you're a platform for spicy ranch, and you help a sista out.  I could go on and on, but I think those reasons alone prove my case that you're the best veggie alive.

Dear Maria-  Thank you for making me the most delicious coffee every morning (Hazelnut Iced Coffee, to be specific).  You are very important to me.

Dear Bed-  Thank you for housing me and my sick, pitiful self for the first 3 days of the week.  I probably could have left your side a few times, but you just wouldn't let me.

Dear Grilled Cheese-  Ima eaaatttt youuuuuuuu!!!!!

Dear Current Job-  I am worth WAY more than you make of me.  You know what that means, don't you?  I don't know when, or how, or where, but I will be finding a replacement for you.  The main thing is that now, I know WHY.

Dear Family-  Thank you for always supporting me.  Each and every one of you play a significant role in my life, my happiness, and my sanity.  I promise to always honor you.

Dear Friends-  As I said in my last post, Happy Friday!  

Linking up for Friday's Letters with Ashley and a ton of other amazing bloggers!  
As always, go peep her blog.  She's great!

Until next time....



Victims' Rights Run & Walk

George Mason University hosted it's 16th Annual Victims' Rights Run & Walk this afternoon.  The event raises awareness and support for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and other crimes.  It is part of a series of events during National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

I have been an employee here at Mason (Go Patriots!) for going on 4 years now, and I have signed up to participate in this walk every year.  As is often the case with having small children at home, I have gotten pulled away to tend to the needs of my family each year, and I have not been able to actually walk/run with my department.  

Not this year, baby!  This year, despite having been on my death bed all week, hacking up lungs and all, I walked with a group of co-workers ("Team U-Hall").  

 It was a perfect day... sunny, 60 degrees, with a chilly wind.  It was so nice to get out of the office for almost 2 hours mid-day and support a cause that deserves as much attention as it can possibly get: Victims' Rights.

I know several people who have been personally affected by physical and/or some form of sexual abuse.  This is a cause very near and dear to me, and it has been a central theme over the last 4-5 months.  Not on purpose, actually.  Just random pieces that are forming a bigger puzzle for me.  I have written papers about this topic, I will be giving a presentation on teen dating violence next week, and today, I walked for victims.  While all of these things were not planned around or because of each other, I think I have found a calling; a cause that I want to throw myself behind.

What are some causes you hold dear?

Happy Friday, friends!!!



26 April 2012

Superhero School

With the help of some great people, including my Super Mom, Liam had one heck of a birthday party last weekend.  Here are some of the sweet, silly, beautiful moments:

Looking forward to getting back to posting soon.


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