New Camera

For Mother's Day, I got a new camera to take with us on our trip. It is a Nikon CoolPix P90. Drake found it downtown at Roberts Imaging. I love it. I am still trying to figure out how to use it. Kat and Aaron came to dinner and Aaron showed me some cool features. I can't wait to test them out. Earlier today, I went out and took some pictures of some of the flowers. Nothing exciting but a great chance for me to try out the new camera on something that doesn't constantly move (I tried Dempsey earlier but he kept coming up to me and trying to lick the camera). My next "subject" will hopefully be Dempsey if I can get him to cooperate :)

Here is a picture of the camera. So far, so good!

Here is a picture of the flowers from one of my hanging baskets.

Close up of one of the annual flowers (I can't remember what it is called.)
Lilies...I love the color!
Another close up of the lilies.

I took a photography class in high school and loved it. I would like to take another class sometime just for fun. Hopefully I can figure out this camera. I will post more pictures I take (when this weather gets better).



Now I have never had a "green thumb." I love plants and flowers but never seem to have the best of luck. This year I decided to have my mom come and help me plant. I also made sure to get a few suggestions from Lorie on what to plant. So everyone keep your fingers crossed and hope they last this summer and come back next year!

(Side note: I planted a few tomato plants that I purchased from a school fundraiser. Everyone said they are one of the easiest plants to grow....well they aren't looking too great. I made a few adjustments and hopefully they will produce some tomatoes!)

On Saturday morning, Drake and I went to Frasee Garden in Brownsburg to buy flowers. I decided to stick with mostly perennials this year. We bought day lilies, coneflowers, and coreopsis. We also bought a few annuals that are in front of the boxwood. Later my mom and I went to Menards and bought a few hanging baskets and asiatic lilies. Earlier this Spring, Drake bought me a few hosta plants. My mom brought one more for me and we decided to plant those together. I hope I can keep these plants alive and they come back next year :)

I am very glad that my mom came to help! There was a lot of work. While we worked on planting, the boys went fishing. We first had to remove all the old mulch. We also removed the two azalea bushes we planted last year. They were not doing so well this year. After we dug hole for the plants, we put down the weed barrier. We planted the plants and put down the new mulch. I think my mom planted a few of the flower a little too deep :) Oh well, everything turned out great! My mom suggested getting a few hanging plants. We found great deals at Menards and bought a few hooks to hang the plants from. After all the hard work, we went and enjoyed a glass of Bubble tea from Greenleaf. It was a great day! I can't wait to see all the flowers bloom! Here are a few pictures...

Today Drake and I went to Lowes and bought a few flowers to plant in front of our new boxwood bushes. We bought a few more asiatic lilies and day lilies.

Today I went outside and a few of my asiatic lilies were blooming :) They look beautiful! I love the colors. I also went out and gave each plant a nice serving of Miracle Grow...hopefully with this rain, it will help them (especially my poor tomato plants).


Race for the Cure!

A few months ago I decided I needed a change. I wasn't happy with myself and the fact I had "let myself go." So my coworker and I decided to start Weight Watchers and start exercising together. To make sure we would stay focused and on track, we decided to sign up for a few races. One of our parents also wanted to help us out. She is training to be a personal trainer and also has completed many races and triathlons. We decided to do the 5K Race for the Cure in April, the 5K Outrun the Sun in June and the sprint triathlon in August. We thought we could try the first race and time ourselves and then see if we can beat our time for the second race. We didn't think we would be able to run the whole race in April...but we did!

I am a little nervous (maybe a lot) about the sprint triathlon. It is a 500 meter swim (about 10 laps in a pool), 10 mile bike and a 3 mile run. It will be on August 21 at Eagle Creek. We have been doing a little swimming and biking but mostly we are trying to focus on the running. I have found that I am a horrible swimmer...and I am not exaggerating. It is the piece I struggle with the most. I am hoping with more practice it will become easier. I don't have a lot of upper body strength which doesn't help. I can do about 2 laps before I am out of breath and feel like I have to stop. Kate thinks it is because I don't seem very comfortable in the water...hopefully I will get over it soon especially since the swim will be in open water.

So far I feel great! I have lost about 16 pounds so far. I also feel pretty good running 3 miles. Now this might not sound like a lot, but for me it was. I never was a runner and didn't think I would enjoy it but I am. It was hard at first (running a few laps around the track was a struggle) but I am feeling more comfortable with running. It is nice to have someone there to help motivate you and push you through the running and other workouts. We both are determined and so far are doing a great job with staying on task. Drake has also been a great help. He is eating the foods that I am eating and helping me with Weight Watchers. He also helps make dinner (especially when I don't get home until 8 from school and softball). It is nice to have someone who supports you.

Here are a few pictures from Saturday!

Kate and I before the race! It was a beautiful (a little chilly) day.

After the race! We did it! 1 race down...2 more to go!


Spring Is Here!

With Spring here, Drake and I have started working on some landscaping. We have done a few little things to help get us started. Drake pulled out the three small bushes in front of our office window. He thinks they are yew bushes. (He has a rash on both arms from pulling them out.) We replaced these bushes with 4 small boxwoods. We bought a boxwood last year and liked how it stayed green all year and just the over all look of it. Here is a before picture when we first bought the house...

Here is a picture of our new bushes. I think it looks so much better. (Sorry the picture is a little dark)

We bought these flowers at Menards to put in the flower pot on our deck. (We can't remember what they are called....Drake thinks it is "wandering" something.)

We also bought these two hosta plants for the front. We have a small pot that we will also put there once we find a plant for it.
Last fall, I planted tulip bulbs. I wasn't sure if they would come out.....but they did! They looked beautiful for a few weeks, but after the strong wind the other day...sadly there are just a few petals left :( Oh well, they looked great while they lasted!

Hopefully soon we will have some more posts of other planting we do! Next week we are going to put more weed fabric down in the flower beds....



This was a busy weekend! We headed back to my hometown. It was Chris and Sara's wedding (4-10-10). It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. Her wedding was perfect! They both seemed happy and relaxed. I am so happy for the two of them but am sad that she will be leaving Indiana for Nevada. There will have to be many visits! Here are a few pictures from her wedding...

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Dalton

Friends since 7th we are both happily married :) It is crazy how fast the time goes. I will miss her!

The bridesmaids waiting for the wedding to start.

All of us with the beautiful bride :)
Lindsey, Emily, Sara, Amanda and Jenna

Chris and Sara...I wish you two the best and lots of happiness! You two are perfect for each other! It was a beautiful wedding!


Gift From A Friend....

My friend Katharina has picked up a new hobby. She has her own little area in her basement where she makes stained glass pieces for windows. She has made many amazing pieces! As a gift, she made this piece for Drake and I. We put it in our kitchen...and we love it! The colors match our kitchen perfectly. Thanks Kat!

It looks great from the inside and outside of the house.

On another note...I am so happy that the snow has melted and the sun is shining! You know what this means...flip flops!


Homemade Pies

Drake turned 25 on February 28! In the past, I have made or bought him a cake. This year he said he would rather me make him a pie from scratch. I have been trying out new recipes from scratch and so far so good! I have never made a pie (only the frozen kind you stick in the oven). I found a few recipes online and thought I would give it a try. I decided to make a berry (fresh strawberries and blackberries) pie! It is not the prettiest pie, but it tasted good! I will have to work on my presentation next time :) Anyways, here are a few pictures and I will post the recipe at the bottom!

Again, it isn't the prettiest...but the crust was flaky and buttery...yum!
A slice of berry pie:)

You can find the pie crust recipe here from Smitten Kitchen. It is a quick and easy recipe.

Pie Filling (from All Recipes)


2 cups chopped, fresh strawberries
2 cups chopped, fresh blackberries
1/2 white sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 nine inch pie crusts

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add berries and gently toss until berries are coated.

2. Line a 9 inch pie plate with half of the pastry. Stir berry mixture and transfer to the crust lined pie plate. Top with second crust, and seal the edges. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the pie with foil.

3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes when using fresh fruit. Remove foil. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool on a wire rack.


Wishing for Spring

I am ready for Spring! I am over the snow and cold weather. I can't wait for warmer weather, sunshine and of course...flip flops! Drake and I did book our trip to South Korea for this summer! We can't wait! We are leaving Sunday, June 13 and returning July 4th (early in the morning). I was five the last time I was in South Korea. It will be great to visit new places and see family that I haven't seen in a while. Recently, we have been reading blogs of people who have traveled to South Korea to get some traveling tips. On a side note...just two and half more weeks until my Spring Break (two weeks off!).....can't wait!


Girl Scout Cookies

Drake and I love girl scout cookies! Well, I didn't have a chance to order any from school (which is a good thing for me since I am trying eat healthier this year) but I did find a great recipe for one of our favorite Girl Scout cookies....Samoas.

My new favorite baking blog is called Baking Bites. Nicole Weston is the creator of the blog. There are so many recipes that I want to try. While browsing through the blog and bookmarking recipes I want to try, I came across a recipe for making Samoa Bars. I thought this looked great and not too difficult to make. A few weeks ago, I decided to make them. They turned out great and almost tasted exactly like the actual cookie. Next time I make it, I want to try a different short bread recipe for the base of the cookie. There are also recipes for some of the other Girl Scout cookies too! I recommend everyone to check out this blog. I can't wait to try out another recipe.

This is my favorite kitchen appliance (I know...a little dorky). This was the one thing that I really wanted for our kitchen. After moving into the house, we bought one from my one of my favorite stores (Bed, Bath & Beyond).

Here is a picture of the final product! Delicious!


Let It Snow....Let It Snow....Let It Snow...

Dempsey loves the snow. He gets so excited and runs around jumping into the snow piles. Last year I found a doggie coat at Old Navy on sale for $7.00. I couldn't resist...I had to get it. He looks so silly in it but he doesn't mind me putting it on him. Now I don't make him wear it every time he goes out but every once in a while I will put it on him. I think he looks adorable. Here are a few pictures of him from the other day playing in the snow....

I threw a tennis ball for him and he had the hardest time finding it. He would not give up...he would keep sticking his head in and out of the snow.

We are supposed to get more snow this coming week...I am over it It can all go away. I am ready for warm weather and sunshine....and flip flops!