Monday, November 21, 2011


Okay, I'm late in announcing the winner of the gift card, but one of my best friends had a baby this weekend, and I was a little busy holding and loving on my new niece! The winner is...

"True Random Number Generator

Min: 1

Max: 4



Danielle said...

Of course I could use this! With 2 growing boys, sign me up! My favorite Thanksgiving dish isn't really a dish per se, it's the homemade yeast rolls Wes' aunt makes! Yum!!

Yay Danielle! Email me your mailing address and you should have your card very soon!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kroger Gift Card Giveaway!

That's right, MyBlogSpark has provided me with a $25 gift card to Kroger, AND they're allowing me to give one away to a lucky reader!

This is great timing as Kroger is running a great promotion right now. From November 13th through November 26th, with the purchase of any four participating General Mills products, you will either receive free milk (up to $3; limit of 2) or receive $3 off your shopping order.

Free milk? Yes please! I don't know about you, but we go through a lot in the Maxwell House. Like, at least 1 1/2 gallons of skim milk a week! We love our dairy.

Want $25 to spend towards this promotion? And maybe grab some ingredients for a special Thanksgiving dish while you're there? All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me,

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Deadline to enter will be Saturday November 19th at 12:00 pm EST. Winners will be chosen right after that. Make sure I have your email address so I can contact you to get your mailing address. My card came really fast, so you should still have plenty of time to take advantage of the General Mills promotion.

Good luck!

Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holly Hill Inn

When you're born on a holiday, you get used to celebrating your birthday on a completely random date. This year my birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day again, so we celebrated this past weekend. Friday night we went out with all our friends and then people came back to our house and hung out for a while. Now that everyone has started having kids, we're kind of like a circus rolling into a place!

Saturday night Nick and I went out.

Usually we go somewhere like Malone's. Which, don't get me wrong, I love; but I wanted something different this year. No chain restaurants, and really good food. I'm not sure why it took me so long to think of a place, but I finally did. Holly Hill Inn. Have you heard of/been to this place? Go. Make reservations right now, and go!

I had never eaten a sit down dinner here, but had been to a fabulous wedding there once where there was amazing dish after dish served. Michael, one of my bosses, and his wife, Brigitte got married there. Yeah, she's on the cooking channel now, and is just as nice in person as she seems on TV. I can't really even describe to you how neat their wedding was. It was one of those situations where you felt more "hip" simply for being there. The atmosphere was amazing, live music, food-incredible, there was a guy hand rolling cigars and then suggesting the perfect bourbon to accompany your cigar...the whole night was spectacular.

But on to my birthday dinner! I had mentioned to Michael that we were going on Saturday. We get there, are seated and then the manager comes over to us. His exact words:

"Michael Prather just called and said that you all would be here celebrating your birthday. He said you are an invaluable part of their team and your entire meal is taken care of tonight and you'll be having the 5 course Chef's Tasting Menu and feel free to order any drinks you would like. And if you would like to sub out any of the courses, we will take care of it for you."

Seriously?! I was blown away, I didn't know what to say. I immediately sent him a quick text and tried to thank him the best I could. Nick and I just kind of sat there looking at each for a moment. We had planned on doing the three course menu, so we flipped our menu over and looked at what we would now be enjoying. I had already decided that I wanted to do the "wine flight" before the manager had spoken to us. This is designed to go along with the three course menu and they have a wine specially paired with each meal. I spoke to the manager again and asked for them to please place that on a bill for us, and he cut me off before I could even finish my sentence, saying Brigitte and Michael made it very clear for us to get whatever we wanted.

Now, on to what we actually enjoyed that night. Before our first course was brought to us, they surprised with another little special treat, an amuse-bouche (a small bite). It was a crostini with some kind of spread I still can't remember topped with smoked trout. Nothing I would ever order myself, but, it was so good. Great way to start the evening. Oh, and also at this point they brought me out a glass of Chardonnay, and this wasn't even part of my wine flight.

Next up, first course. This was the only course we ended up subbing out. It was supposed to be shrimp, which I just don't like and Nick has a slight allergy to. I had the Bluegrass Lamb Ragout with Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Nick had a Warm Smoked Quail Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette. Both so different, but equally amazing. I also started my wine flight at this point, couldn't tell you now what this glass was, but it was delicious.

Second and third courses. I can't remember which order these came in. What can I say, there was a lot of wine! We had a quail dish served with wilted mustard greens. This was prepared beautifully, but I decided quail isn't my favorite protein. Then there was Zak's Fresh Striped Bass Almondine, Rolled in crushed almonds, sautéed in brown butter with garlic, lemon and capers.  Again, this is nothing I would have ordered. I'm not (or so I thought) a huge fish fan, and I don't normally like almonds. But really, this dish. It literally just melted in my mouth. There was a great buttery quality to it. It was served with a pickled beet dish that was a perfect accompaniment.

Fourth course. Alltech Angus Delmonico Bordelaise, Ribeye pan-seared in a cast-iron skillet with a rich red wine sauce. This was served with a small, perfect roasted potato and mustard greens. The steak was cooked exactly as we ordered it and the red wine sauce was fantastic. I had a nice red wine at this point, and considering I hardly drink anymore, things were a little fuzzy!

Fifth course. Dessert! I ended up choosing the pumpkin cake and Nick got a chocolate terrine. Both incredible! They brought mine out with a candle and Happy Birthday written on my plate. They also gave me a little card signed by everyone in the kitchen, how thoughtful!

If you've made it through this l-o-n-g post that didn't even have photos of the incredible dishes (I was too busy eating them!), really, make a reservation and enjoy an amazing dinner. Tucked away in Midway, the chef and owner, Ouita Michel is a 4 year James Beard award nominee, and along with her husband, also owns Wallace Station, which was featured on Diner, Drive-ins and Dives, and Windy Corner Market and Restaurant.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Enjoying the Sunshine!

We have been having such wonderful November weather here in Kentucky the past couple of weeks. I know these days are coming to a quick end, so I made a promise to myself to enjoy every bit of sunshine and warmth mother nature decides to throw at us. Which this weekend, meant trips to the playground!

When I walked out of my office at 5:00 on Friday I knew I didn't just want to go home and sit on the couch until time to go out to eat. So I rushed home, got the girls ready, called up a friend, and we headed to the playground to have a little fun before going out to eat some yummy Mexican food.

There was lots of sliding.

And this little girl loved every second of it!

Hi baby Drew!
Daddy, come down from taking pictures and play with me!

Then on Sunday after we did our weekly grocery shopping, it was so nice outside that we decided to do it all over again! Only this time we took a little picnic to eat lunch there before we played. Then it was off for more sliding, swinging, running around and giggling.


Daddy's are just plain better at certain things. Like not being as nervous about their little girls climbing rock walls as this momma is. I try not to be that mom, but I just can't help it. I usually have my hand right under her little bottom the whole way up. I think there's a reason God didn't give me boys, I'm not sure I could handle the fearlessness most boys tend to have.

Big sister took a little time out of her running around to stop for a quick photo with her leaf munching sister.

Other than eat leaves, Peyton LOVED swinging! She would just giggle the entire time.

This face cracked me up!

And of course she needed to see what the slide tasted like too!

Then we had a little mini photo shoot.

 Which resulted in the tasting of more leaves.

By the time we got home, both kiddos were exhausted! This was pitiful little Peyton while I was trying to change her diaper to lay her down for a nap.

And Bailey ended up taking over a 3 hour nap! They both had so much fun. It's easy to forget that it really doesn't take much to make kids happy. Just a quick trip to the small playground near our house and they both were as happy as could be!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Happiness

I love the feeling of making things for my family. Something about knowing exactly what I'm putting in the mouths and bodies of my loved ones, knowing that I made it with my two hands, makes me happy. Makes me feel like I'm doing something good. It also makes me feel like I have a connection to the happy housewives in their pearls and aprons. Only I'm not a housewife, I only wear pearls to work and I usually forget my apron and end up wearing whatever I'm making.

Today, this is what makes me happy.

Opening my fridge and seeing my big batch of homemade chicken stock and the little bit of pizza dough I have hanging out in there.

What, you don't keep your asparagus in a Tigger cup? You're missing out my friends.

Friday, November 4, 2011


This girl is busy!

No idea why Bailey is sitting in the bumbo seat. Or how she can still fit in there.

Can't tell you how much I love these Big and Little Sis shirts!

Peyton is pulling up on everything now. We've already had our first bruise when she fell one day standing up next to the toy box above. As soon as I lay her down for nap now she pulls up and plays with the toy attached to her crib for a few minutes before finally going to sleep. I'm not quite ready for this next step, does anyone know where the pause button is? I think this kid is going to be into everything!

My Sweet Girl

My sweet Bailey, I just love her.

This is what Bailey's teacher told me when I picked her up yesterday. Apparently one of the little boys in her class had gotten hurt on the playground, and it really upset my sensitive girl. To help make him feel better she kissed him on each cheek, hugged him and gave him a leaf. Mrs. Lydia said Bailey was concerned about his well being the rest of the day.

Her daddy didn't think this was as sweet as I did. Something about his little girl kissing boys...for whatever reason, didn't go over as well. He calls on school days at lunch time to talk to Bailey and see what she learned at school that day. After he was told the story he told her not to kiss boys. Her response?

Please daddy, let me kiss...PLEEASE!

I couldn't help but bust out laughing. Oh my sweet little girl is kissing boys.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Halloween!

While I never quite got into the Halloween spirit this year (I didn't even manage to get out a single Halloween or fall decoration this on my part!) seeing these two cute kiddos all dressed up sure put a big smile on my face!

Just like last year, we headed out to our future neighborhood and participated in their trick-or-treating on Saturday night. It was a beautiful night, with just a little chill in the air. Nick had started feeling sick earlier that day, but he toughed it out and came out with us. We had such a good time, and just like every time we venture out there, it makes us want to move out there even more! Bailey's little 4 year old legs got tired pretty quickly. She complained a few times about getting tired and Nick and I had decided when we finished the last house on the street we would head back to the car. Just then Bailey announced, "I'm going to one more house and then I'm going back to the car." I couldn't help but laugh out loud! I'm pretty sure mom had to drag me in on Halloween...maybe next year.

Aren't they just sweet together? And here's Bailey in this same shirt on her first year trick or treating.

Bailey was 1 year old when she wore this shirt...Peyton isn't even 8 months old yet!

All ready to go get some candy!

My precious ladybug.

Both my beautiful girls! Hope everyone had a great Halloween1

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let's Get Mommy

Hey sis, look, there's mommy. Let's get her!

Come on, we're almost there!


Sis, where did you go?

Here I am Peyton!