Monday, October 24, 2011


What happened to my poor blog?  I will be back at it ASAP! 

In the meantime, here are some older pictures of me...





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #15

Ten on Tuesday

All About You!!

A. Age: 31
B. Bed Size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: cleaning the bathroom
D. Dogs: yes - I have one... Shelby :)
E. Essential start to your day: Morning news & GMA
F. Favorite Color: Yellow (and purple... and hot pink...)
G. Gold or Silver: Silver
H. Height: 5'5.75" 
I. Instruments you play: I used to play the flute...
J. Job Title: On Demand HR Generalist and Thirty-One Independent Consultant
K. Kids: just Shelby :)
L. Live:  Live??  I don't get it...
M. Mother's Name:  Judy... visit her blog!
N. Nicknames: Ash, Gruppy, Smash
O. Overnight hospital stays: Maybe one when I was younger?
P. Pet Peeve: dumb drivers
Q. Quote from a movie“A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.” (John Grogan from Marley & Me)
R. Right or Left Handed:  Right
S. Siblings: none
T. Time you wake up: 5:45am on weekdays... weekends I sleep as late as I can!
U. Underwear:  yes, I wear underwear :)
V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel Sprouts
W. What makes you run late: myself!
X. X-Rays you've had: both ankles & back
Y. Yummy food that you make: Cookies
Z. Zoo Animal: Giraffes

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Best Lemon Bars

The Best Lemon Bars


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 lemons, juiced (about 2/3 cup)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar.  Press into the bottom on an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.

    3.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. 

    4.  In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.

    5.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. Add powdered sugar.


    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday #14

    1. Do you listen to the radio in your car? If so, what type of station do you like?
    Yes, most of the time.  I listen to Maryland stations 98 Rock I(mostly talk) and Mix 106.5 in the morning... I like more talk stuff to keep my mind occupied.  Other times I listen to 92.1, 96.9, 99.3, 106.7, 101.3, 103.3... I stop when I hear a song I like.

    2. What is the best concert you have ever attended?
    That's hard... probably any Kenny Chesney... although I went to my fair share of *NSYNC concerts that I loved too...

    3. What is the most embarrassing concert you have ever attended?
    I don't think I'm embarrassed by any concert I've been to??

    4. If you could have the singing voice of anyone in the world, who would it be?
    Carrie Underwood

    5. You’re auditioning for American Idol. What song do you sing?
    Do I have Carrie Underwood's voice??  If not, then nothing. (you're welcome America)

    6. If your previous weekend had its own soundtrack, what would be a few of the songs?
    OMG - "Come on Eileen" was in my head all weekend... except I kept substituting "Irene" for "Eileen" :)

    7. Most annoying television show theme song ever?
    Can't think of one?

    8. Are you and your significant other music-compatible?
    No significant other here... so sure! =P

    9. A song that brings me back to middle school:

    10. A song that brings me back to high school:

    11. A guilty pleasure song:
    I have a ton... I have a soft spot for boy bands, so anything by NKOTB or *NSYNC is my guilty pleasure... lately I've been listening to a lot of Colbie Caillat... is that a guilty pleasure song?

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Baked Eggplant and Zucchini

    During the hurricane, I decided to try a recipe I had seen online... it was simple and delish!!

    2 cups tomato sauce
    1 small eggplant, cut into long slabs
    2 small zucchini, cut into long slabs
    1 cup each shredded fontina and parmesan
    1/3 cup torn basil

    As you can see I made some minor adjustments... I added mushrooms and used a 6 Cheese Italian blend cheese.


    1. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with eggplant, zucchini, 3/4 cup sauce and half of each cheese and basil; repeat. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

    First layer...

    Second layer (I forgot to put the mushrooms on before the sauce & cheese)

    After... yummm...

    It was pretty tasty!!  Next time I would slice the eggplant and zucchini thinner.  I also added some Tastefully Simple Italian Seasoning mix which helped give it some flavor.  

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday #13

    I fell really far behind in my bloggin'... so back on track and catching up!

    1. What do you do for a living?
    I work in Human Resources (HR) consulting.  I just started in HR a little over a year ago and really like it so far!

    2. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
    The people I work with :)
    Some of my co-workers
    3. What’s your least favorite thing about your job?
    Getting up early!  Blech.

    4. If you weren’t a ________, what would you be?
    My dream job is to be an event planner... more specifically a wedding planner.  Yes, I want to be J. Lo.

    5. What is something that you would love to get paid for that you think no one would ever pay you for?
    Umm... fun stuff... watch movies, go out to dinner with friends, eat ice cream, drink wine :)

    6. If you could have any job for exactly one day, what would it be?
    I think it'd be fun to have Ellen DeGegeneres' job for a day... lots of fun, meet famous people & give some cool stuff away :)

    7. If you had to do manual labor, what would you do?
    Something that would give me a little exercise & maybe a tan... but nothing where I would get too dirty. LOL

    8. What is something you were forced to learn in high school that was supposed to be super important, but you never actually use?
    Probably science stuff... 

    9. Who was your favorite boss? Why?
    I was lucky enough to have many awesome bosses... Ted @ Bob's Pizza back in my college days, Erika @ Grandma's House for Pets back in my summer college days, and Lesli @ WorkforceTactix now :)

    10. Where would you rather work: Dunder Mifflin Paper Company (The Office) or Initech (Office Space)?
    Definitely the office... looks like a lot more fun!!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday - #12

    I took a little blog-vacay last week... now time to catch up!

    Here is ToT from 8/2/11...

    1. Do you do laundry all at the same time or a load here and there?

    Both!  Normally all at the same time, but sometimes here and there when I'm busier.

    2. What kind of detergent do you use?
    Gain... it's the best!  Smells so good!
    3. Do you use fabric softener?
    Yes! Snuggle... also smells sooo good!!

    4. Do you use dryer sheets?
    Yes! I think the ones I have now are Gain dryer sheets.

    5. Do you iron your own clothes or take them to a cleaner to get pressed?
    Iron them... normally in the morning right before I put them on!

    6. Do you like heavy starch or light starch?I don't use starch or take my clothes to the cleaner.  But if I had to pick, I'd say light starch.

    7. Do you wash all your laundry at once or separate it?
    Separate it by clothes that go in the dryer and clothes that do not - lol!  I'm only one person so this seems to be the most 'energy efficient.' Every so often I will separate my whites and add a little bleach.

    8. How do you separate it? By people or by colors?
    See above :)

    9. What clothes get hung up and what goes in drawers?Jeans, PJ pants, exercise stuff, t-shirts, & tank tops go in drawers... everything else gets hung up.

    10. Do you use plastic, wire, or wooden hangers? Do they all match?
    Plastic & heck no they don't match.  I have all kinds of colors, shapes & sizes.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday #11

    Ten On Tuesday
    Find questions at the Roots & Rings blog!!

    1. What color are your toenails painted?
    Fluorescent pink!  One of my summer favorites! J

    2. What color are your fingernails painted?
    Au naturel...  I haven’t been taking care of them lately.  I am trying to get them all one length, but I’m not putting on the clear coat to keep the long ones long and help grow the short ones.  So, I think I’ll file them all short and start again!

    3. What is your favorite brand of nail polish?
    Definitely OPI!

    4. As the norm, do you DIY your nails or get mani/pedis?
    I used to get bi-weekly manicures, but then some tragic stuff happened with my income, so now I do them myself.  And I get one pedicure a year, at the start of the summer season!

    5. Have you ever had a gel mani? Do you recommend it?

    6. What is the last movie you watched on television? (TV, Netflix, Redbox, etc.)
    Holy cow, I can’t remember!?

    7. What is the last movie you watched in the cinema?
    I think it was Bad Teacher?

    8. Is there a movie that everyone talks about as if it is a classic but you haven’t seen?
    There are a lot of old classic movies that I have not seen. 

    9. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
    I have a couple – My Best Friend’s Wedding, Lizzie McGuire Movie (don’t laugh), Lilo & Stitch, Music & Lyrics…

    10. Have you ever seen a movie and thought it was better than the book it was based on?
    Never!!  The book is always better!!!

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Mushroom Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers

    (I'm going to attempt to try a new recipe once a week... wish me luck!)

    I had some ground turkey in the freezer, so I found a recipe on (my favorite recipe website!) - Mushroom Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers.


    1 pound ground turkey

    8 ounces fresh mushrooms 

    1 onion

    2 tablespoons soy sauce (I didn't have soy sauce, so I used worcester sauce)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese.


    1. Preheat grill for high heat
    2. Finely chop onion & mushroom

    3. Mix together ground turkey, mushrooms, onion and soy sauce (or worcester sauce).

    4. Season with salt and pepper and form into patties.

    5.  Place patties on the prepared grill and cook for 10 minutes per side, or until well done.  Top with blue cheese during the last few minutes (I actually mixed the blue cheese in the burger mixture).

    I used a little Chipotle Mayo & tomato on a whole wheat hamburger bun... it was pretty good!  Very tasty!  

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday #10

    1. What is your favorite zoo to visit?
    I've been to the Maryland zoo, DC zoo and Pittsburgh zoo.  I don't remember the Pittsburgh zoo, not a fan of the DC zoo, so I choose the Maryland Zoo (in Baltimore).
    2. Do you visit a zoo very often?
    Nah, the last time I went was in 2009 with Meg.  We had so much fun!  We got to feed the giraffes!!! 

    3. Do you have a membership to a zoo?
    4. When you visit a zoo, do you stay all day or just an hour or two?
    Enough time to see everything!!  Don't want to miss anything!
    5. Do you buy food at the zoo or pack a picnic lunch?
    Neither... last time we stopped at Cheesecake Factory (I think).
    6. What is you favorite animal to see at the zoo?
    The giraffes, elephants & big cats.
    7. What is your least favorite animal to see at the zoo?
    The snakes & spiders... ew.
    8. What is your favorite memory of going to the zoo as a kid?
    I can't remember any? :\
    9. Do you visit the gift shop when you go to the zoo?
    Yes, because I don't have any children! LOL!  I love playing with all the stuff, but I never buy anything.  Or did I?
    10. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best and 1 being the worst) how nice is your city’s zoo?
    Um... I don't have much to compare it to, but I guess a 7?  One day I would like to go to the San Diego Zoo... but that would be way in the future.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday - #9

    Another ToT (on Wednesday) J

    1. When you are on a plane and the kid behind you is kicking your seat, what do you do?
    Probably nothing since I have no balls.  Unless it’s a really long plane ride and it’s really annoying, then I might be mad enough to say something or give the kid the evil eye through the seats! J

    2. What food that you KNOW is bad for you and you shouldn’t have, but you love/eat it anyway?
    Soda (specifically Diet Coke… I stopped drinking it for over a year, but now I’m drinking it again… only a couple a week, so that’s not too bad!), ice cream, pizza, french fries… yummm.  Why is everything that is GOOD so bad??

    3. What is your favorite book of all time?
    Sadly, all I can think of is Twilight!  I just started reading for pleasure again the past couple years so I have a lot of catching up to do.  I also loved Water for Elephants!

    4. If I came to visit you in your town, where would we eat?
    Well I like Mexican, so I would go to El Rodeo or Fiesta Mexico or something along those lines.  Although I also like some restaurants in downtown York like White Rose, which is a bar that was just remodeled and has some decent food.  I can’t think of any other places off the top of my head right now…

    5. You have 500 dollars and 40 minutes to spend it at any store you want. Where do you go?
    Target… holy moley I could do some damage.

    6. What blog do you read every day/the most often?
    My mom (aka Judy)’s ( to keep up on her art work!

    7. What’s the longest you’ve ever been stuck at an airport?
    I’m thinking it might have been during spring break on our way to Panama City Beach, FL in 2003.  I cannot remember how long we were stranded, but I remember it was a long time and the airline even offered to put people up in hotels (you know that was a LONG time ago).  We stuck it out though!

    8. What’s your daily makeup/face/cleansing routine?
    I wash my face twice a day (morning & evening) and always put on face lotion in the morning (with sunscreen) and then my makeup (with more sunscreen).  Nothing too exciting!

    9. Where is your farthest away friend?
    I have some friends that are far out there… hehe!  I do have a lot of friends that live too far away… Meg in North Carolina, Sandy in Missouri, Jayme in Michigan… I don’t know which is the furthest!?

    10. Where is your favorite place to go hiking (or to enjoy nature)?
    I never go hiking… sadly, I don’t even know where I’d go?  But I do like to take Shelby on walks in various locations.  Her favorite is Cousler Park.  But that is a paved course – nothing like hiking!

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Flag Cake

    I made a really yummy cake the other night and must share!  It's very popular this time of year and very easy to make! 

    1 package yellow cake mix*
    1 8oz container whipped topping (thawed)
    1 3.4 oz package vanilla pudding mix
    1 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Cook cake as directed on the box.
    2. While cooling, make topping:  Combine pudding mix with milk and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.  Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain.
    3. After cake has cooled completely, spread the whipped topping over cake and garnish!
    *I wanted to try lemon cake mix, but they didn't have any at Target. :(

    I choose strawberries & blueberries to make a flag of course!


    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday #8

    1. What do you traditionally do for 4th of July?
    I actually do not have 4th of July traditions!  Back in the day when I was a kid, I would go lay on a blanket & watch fireworks with my parents.  Then in my college days, we went to Ocean City, MD every 4th of July holiday.  Now, every year it changes!  Last year I went to a York Revolution baseball game and this year I went to Pittsburgh to see Kenny Chesney!  If I’m able, I do go to my parent’s house for fireworks and/or cookout.
    7/4/10 - York Revolution game
    2. Did you follow your tradition this year? How did you celebrate yesterday (aka 7/4)?
    Well on Sunday night I did follow some tradition and went to my parent’s house to watch fireworks and have dinner.  Monday was actually kind of laid back and boring!  Went to dinner with some friends and then read all night!  (Had 200 pages to read in 24 hours… oops!)

    3. What’s the best fireworks show you’ve ever seen?
    Lately I would have to say at my parent’s house!  They live on a small lake and one of the neighbors shoots them off over the lake.  Everyone has parties and cookouts around the lake in the afternoon and then watches the fireworks together – it’s really neat!

    4. Have you ever been injured by a firecracker?
    No – thank goodness!!  (knock on wood!)

    5. Burger, Brat, or Hot Dog?
    Definitely NOT a Brat… it depends on the day if I want a hot dog or cheeseburger (it has to have cheese!)  Normally I want both and I can schmooze someone into splitting one of them with me!

    6. Do you sport red, white and blue on our Independence Day?
    Sometimes… sadly this year I did not… I did wear white… does that count?  Last year I wore red - see question #1.

    7. If you had to be from any country other than the USA, what country would it be?
    I honestly have no idea?  I don’t think I would want to live anywhere else?!?  Plus, I can’t really make a truly educated guess, so I’ll plead the fifth.

    8. Charcoal or gas?
    Shout out to my grill! =P
    9. What’s your favorite thing about this fair country of ours?

    And most importantly - I love our troops for protecting our freedom!

    10. God Bless the USA, My Country Tis of Thee, or the Star Spangled Banner?

    God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood
    Although I do love singing the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events!

    "What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for yourself the alternatives of choice. Without the possibility of choice and the exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing."
         — Archibald MacLeish

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Ten on Tuesday #7

    Another ToT

    1. What’s the recipe for your favorite drink? (Smoothie, alchoholic, coffee, whatever.)
    Lately I love a Chargarita – you take a bucket of frozen margarita mix and add Chardonnay  instead of tequila… oh my goodness it’s yummy!!

    I also made a White Peach Sangria for my Thirty-One party a couple weekends ago & that was a big hit!  Find the recipe here.  Except I used peach schnapps instead of peach vodka and I added ½ bottle of club soda.

    2. What kind of razor do you use?

    3. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
    Uh, Cookie Monster fer shur.

    4. What makes the perfect salad? (Lettuce type, toppings, dressing, etc.)
    I love a good Cobb Salad… or anything with avocado!

    5. What was your favorite subject in school?
    In high school – my communication arts class with Gretch. 
    We had soooo much fun!
    A picture of Gretch & I developed in that class... one of my favs!
    In college – costume makeup, even though I had cow walking through campus with no makeup on (you can to come makeup-less), that was my favorite class!

    6. What’s your favorite summer tradition?
    Going to see Kenny Chesney with Meg!  He didn’t tour last year and it didn’t quite feel like summer.

    Me & Meg - Kenny in Bristow, VA 2009

    Oh, and going to lawn concerts at Nissley Winery!

    7. Do you suffer from season allergies? How do you combat them?
    Absolutely!  I take Omnaris (shout out!) and started allergy shots last year.  That’s a 4 year commitment, so they better work.  But I used to be so miserable I would hide in my parents basement in the spring.  Oh, and I also had turbinate reduction surgery last year because I couldn't breathe, and that has worked miracles!

    8. How often do you have to charge your cell phone?
    Every day!  If I forget at night when I wake up it is dead.  But I have a charger at home, at work and in the car, so I’m never worried.

    9. Do you have a bucket list?
    Nah... although that might be a good idea to motivate me to go outside of my comfy box.  

    10. Do you have any desire to go back to school?
    Sometimes… but mainly at the end of the summer when there are all the “Back to School” sales and advertisements! Haha!

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    The Story of Us

    Today is Shelby's "Gotcha Day"... the day I welcomed her into my home and more importantly my heart.

    There were many steps that finally led me to Shelby.  After I graduated in December of 2009 with my graduate degree, I was determined to get a dog, specifically a Lab.  I found a really nice breeder online and put my name on the waiting list for a puppy.  I was so excited!!  Then I received an email that the mother had a false pregnancy.  The poor thing went through all the symptoms and signs of a pregnancy, but with no puppies.  I was devastated, not only for myself, but for the dog and her family.  That family was not going to have puppies again until the fall and I could not wait that long.  So, I found another breeder close to home, Roundmeadow Labradors.

    I went to visit the kennels the beginning of June and immediately put a deposit down for a puppy that I would be able to bring home in a few months.  The litter was due in a couple weeks and I kept checking Roundmeadow's website for updates.  One Friday afternoon I saw this picture on their website & fell in love:
    I went to see Shelby on Monday and picked her up on Wednesday, which was June 23rd.  
    Shelby at Roundmeadow when I first met her
    On our way home...
    Watching the Twilight special on TV first night home.
    Things were rough at first, it definitely was not an easy transition for either of us, but every day got better and better.  Now I cannot imagine my life without her!  I am so lucky and so blessed to have Shelby.  Most times I am certain she 'saved' me.  It's like that bumper sticker, "Who Rescued Who?" even though I never consider Shelby as rescued since she came from one good home and into another.

    This year has brought many happy memories that I will cherish forever!  Here are some of my favorite pictures of my Shelby (aka: Shell, Honey Bunny, Shelbinator, Scaredy Cat, and Pretty Girl):