Category Archives: Life

Weekdays Made Easy

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The freezer is a wonderful invention.  It makes my weekdays a whole lot easier.  I rarely have time to “assemble” my lunch before work, and I would rather not go out to eat because it takes up too much time, money, and calories.  I make it easy on myself by taking one day on the weekend or a weeknight to prepare most of my meals for the work-week.

I did some major cooking and baking on MLK Day since I had the day off from work!  I decided to make winter veggie burritos and used Jenna’s method for slow cooker black beans.

 Winter Veggie Burritos

  • black beans (canned or slow cooker style)
  • cheese
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • steamed kale
  • super sweet corn
  • salsa

Roll all of the ingredients up in a tortilla.  During the summer I use zucchini and yellow squash in place of the sweet potatoes and kale.

Once you’re done rolling, you can wrap them individually in foil and place them in a bag in the freezer.

I ran out of tortillas, so I used brown rice instead.  Brown rice freezes nicely; you just cook it, let it cool, and then it’s ready to go in the freezer.

You can take them out the night before to thaw, or you can take it out in the morning and put it in an insulated lunch bag.  Mine is still frozen 4 hours later, without refrigeration.  It usually takes about 3-4 minutes to warm in the microwave.

Lunch is not the only thing you can prepare ahead of time.  I made blueberry muffins for my breakfast all last week.  The recipe comes from The Cupcake Calendar that my sister-in-law gave me (Thanks Ellen!).  It’s a neat little daily calendar that has a cupcake/muffin recipe for everyday.

I left six out for Vee and I to eat over the next couple of days and wrapped the rest individually in foil and put them in the freezer.  Just unwrap and nuke the muffin for 30-45 seconds in the microwave and you’re good to go.

Snacks can be frozen too!  I made hummus and put it in small freezer safe containers that hold about two servings each.  You can put the container in the fridge overnight to thaw.  Assuming that you freeze it right away, it will last two days in the fridge.

All in the name of time. Amen.

Do you any have meal-time saving tips?

Wise Up

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This is a sample of what I’ve been eating lately:

Baby food, yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes….thanks to having all of my wisdom teeth taken out last week.  One thing I am enjoying and taking fully advantage of, is frozen yogurt and shakes.

I’m already plotting what I hope to eat sooner than later….A way-bigger-than-my-mouth FAT juicy burger from the local neighborhood grill, a SPICY chicken sandwich from Chik-Fil-A (even though it gives me heart burn) and some sweet, sticky, CHEWY-licious chocolate covered caramels from Trader Joe’s (eat some for me Becca!) and some HARD @$* nuts….just because.

GUM AND GET IT

BRING.IT.ON.SOCKETS!

Getting Hitched in Savannah

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Three things I’ve learned since getting married:

1.  Wedding planning isn’t fun.

2. Save more money than you’ve budgeted for.

3.  It was all worth it in the end.

We tied the knot in gorgeous Savannah, Georgia last Friday.  It was the perfect day.

Photo by Maggie Ngo

We had the ceremony at the Whitefield Chapel in Bethesda.  The chapel is almost a 100 years old!  Bethesda is a home & school for boys and was founded in 1740.  It is the oldest orphanage in the US.  Here are some photos of the chapel that I took when we visited back in March.  The brick flooring, stained glass, and wooden pews are all original.

Well, I know you’re ready for the details, so here goes….

First, I had my hair styled by the talented Katherine Hammonds and I LOVED it!  My makeup was done by Karen Hough from Dollface by Jules.  The makeup was really expensive, but totally worth it.  Karen did an amazing job!

I was supposed to be at the chapel at 10:30 to go over some things before the ceremony started at 11:00.  Well, I was running late.  I tried calling practically everyone in Vee’s family to tell them I was on my way, but everyone had their phones off!!  My mom suggested I try to call my brother Emilio Kenney, to see if he was at the chapel and relay the message.  Here’s our phone conversation:

Me:  Hi Kenny, are you at the chapel?

Kenney:  Yeah, I’ve been here since 10:00.

Me:  Is Vee and his family there yet?

Kenney:  Yeah, all of them are here…I’ve been taking pictures with all of them.

Me:  Can you tell them I’m on the way?

Kenney:  Yeah, everything ok?

Yes, everything was fine, but I was freaking out.  I couldn’t be late for my own wedding!  I had to call Kenny back again to ask if they found the flowers and at that point, Kenny sounded worried that I was going to back out or something.

Here is a photo of Vee and his brother, the best man.  Aren’t they handsome?  This is what they were doing while waiting.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

Who's that HOTTIE? OH, that's MY husband. Photo by Ellen Nicoll.

So, I made it to the chapel with 10 minutes to spare and before I knew it, I was on my way down the aisle.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

This is Dad and I before he walked me down the aisle.  I was so nervous!!  I love the wink and I don’t even remember this photo being taken.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

Rudy LoMonaco performed the ceremony.  It was short and sweet and Rudy did a wonderful job.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll - my sister and his brother

Tons of photos were taken outside.  I can’t wait to show you the  photos that our photographer, Brittany Sweat, took of us.  She put up a few sneak peaks and I am so excited about them!

After the ceremony, everyone took a trolley ride to the reception site, Vic’s on the River.  This place is so awesome.  Here is another history lesson for you:

The architect, John Norris, who designed the Mercer House (which was featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) also designed a cotton warehouse on Bay Street in 1859.  That cotton warehouse is now known as Vic’s on the River.

Photo by Maggie Ngo

Our reception was held in the Stoddard Room overlooking the river.  The room  still has its original heart of pine floors.  The ceiling was left open because it collapsed (before the restaurant opened) and they decided to leave it open to showcase the old rafters that had once been damaged in a fire.  I think it looks interesting.  I got my information from a Vic’s on the River recipe book that my brother-in-law, David, gave to me.

All the staff at the reception were incredible and the food was delicious.

Check out our menu:

First Course:  Mixed Green Salad with white balsamic vinaigrette.

Choice of entrée:  Baked Salmon with Creole Mustard Cream or Pulled Pork Sandwich with Vic’s BBQ sauce.

Sides:  Roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans.

I had the salmon; Vee had the pork.

Photo by Maggie Ngo

And of course, we had an AWESOME wedding cake for dessert!!

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

Vee painted our cake toppers.  I think they are so adorable.  The wedding cake is by Sonja Fishkind of Art Cakes.  I love, love, love the way the design turned out and the taste was even better than I’d hoped.  It was chocolate cake with bourbon chocolate and peanut butter filling!!!

Photo by Maggie Ngo

Sonja had made us a smaller cake for us to take home and freeze for our one year anniversary, but do you really think I could have let that delicious goodness sit in the freezer for a whole year?!?  Um, no, we ate it ALL within the next couple of days. 🙂   It was goood.  I told Vee we can just buy a new cake for our anniversary, hehe.

Big thanks to Ellen and Maggie for the photos!!

Me and my sister-in-law, Ellen!

Me and Maggie

The day was truly wonderful and many thanks to all the people who were able to share it with us.

 **Vee, I love you and I’m so excited to share the rest of my life with you!**

I’ll leave you with some fun photos that Ellen took at Vic’s.  Posts about our honeymoon in Savannah coming soon!

She told us to look fierce

Can I just live in this dress?

LOVE ROCKS!

I Cried

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I cried over cupcakes.

I know! I don’t know what came over me, standing there in the Sweetie Cakes bakery in Lumberton.

I was in my hometown in North Carolina, and Mom and I were there picking up cupcakes for my bridal shower.  She had already told me what she had ordered (and she was soooo excited):

Red Velvet

Photo by Christie Hill

German Chocolate

Lemon Apricot with Lemonglaze

Photo by Christie Hill

Swiss Chocolate with Peanut Butter Buttercream

And a surprise cupcake – Butter Cake with Buttercream…..made into a sunflower!

Photo by Christie Hill

I cried over the sunflower cupcakes because I didn’t expect them and Mom really surprised me.  I thought it was so sweet because my favorite flower is the sunflower and they will also be the flowers in my wedding.  She got me good.  I was quite embarrassed that I cried though.

Photo by Christie Hill

These cupcakes were insanly good.  I have two favorites:  The Swiss Chocolate with Peanut Butter Buttercream and the Lemon Apricot with Lemonglaze.  The Lemon cupcake was bursting full of tart lemon flavor.  Vee also likes the PB and Lemon cupcakes the best.  Great minds think alike, heh heh.  My Mom’s favorite is the German Chocolate.

The thing about these cupcakes is that the cake part is super moist.  Everyone wanted to know where Mom got them and how much they were.  I’ll be making a pit stop at Sweetie Cakes every time I’m in Lumberton, and you should too!

The shower was lovely.  My soon to be sisters-in-law, Jenny and Christie, put up festive decorations.

Photo by Christie Hill

My other soon to be sister-in-law, Ellen, made an awesome photo collage of Vee and I over the years.

Vee’s Mom made amazing Filipino food as usual!  Pancit, Fried Rice, and Egg Rolls.  Everyone loves the Egg Rolls.

Photo by Christie Hill

Games were involved – we all had these clothes pins to wear.  Anyone who said “good” or “wedding” lost their pin to the person who caught them saying those words.  The one who ends up with the most pins, wins a prize.  Aren’t these pins the cutest!!

Photo by Christie

There was also a game which involved me chewing a piece of Bubble Yum each time I gave a wrong answer to a question about Vee.  Some questions were:

What kind of animal would he want to be?

What is his favorite color?

Who is he named after? etc.,etc.

I think I ended up chewing 8 pieces.  I maybe only got  three answers right (with help).  Who am I marrying??  I apparently don’t know!

And of course, there was fun gifts.

Thanks to everyone who made this shower special!

Luv, Ash

What I’ve Been up to Lately

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1.  Planning a wedding in gorgeous Savannah.

2.  Planning a wedding in gorgeous Savannah.

3.  Planning a wedding in gorgeous Savannah.

You get the picture.

I’ve also been eating yummy Demeter pizza at Revolution.

and taking yoga photos of this gal:

She is entered in the Yoga Journal Cover model search.  Vote for Adelfa here!!  Voting ends April 20, 2011, but vote NOW!!!

and lastly…….finding hot mannequins on the street:

Score!

What a stud.

A Lovely Surprise

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This past weekend it snowed!  Only for around 30 minutes, but still, it was pretty.

Then I packed up and drove 3 hours to have Christmas with my brothers and Dad.

There were lots of crazy kids (my nieces and nephews) running around.  This picture makes me laugh.

We had lots of good food and my brother Kenny made us a surprise!

Doesn’t he look like Emilio Estevez?

I digress.

The surprise was our Gramma Emma’s Boiled Custard.

Our Gramma passed a few years ago, but she used to make this treat every Christmas.  It has probably been at least seven years since I’ve had it.  So it was definitely an awesome surprise.

I’ve never really heard of Boiled Custard outside of our family.  It is basically eggs, milk, and sugar heated over a double broiler and then chilled.  My Gramma would chill it in a ceramic dish, (we think) to create little ice shivers.  The taste kind of reminds me of snow cream.  My brother Stevie tasted it and said “WHOOOO, that’ll pull you right out of a diabetic coma!”

Don’t ask for the recipe because I don’t have it, and even if I did, I’m sure my family would kill me if I posted it!  You can google it and find all kinds of recipes for it though.

Here is a video of my Gramma from 2006.  It may not mean much to you, but I’m so grateful to have this little clip and to be able to hear her voice.

Have you ever tried Boiled Custard?  Does your family have a certain dish that is served every Christmas?

Filipino Goodies

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More Thanksgiving recaps as promised.

I had Thanksgiving with my future in-laws on Saturday.  I always look forward to the Holidays with them because it means some good Filipino cooking by Vee’s Mom ( I mean quality family time 🙂 ).

On my plate I have an egg roll, pansit, fried rice, Monte’s stuffing, beans, and turkey.  Mrs. Emily’s egg rolls are seriously famous in my hometown.  They are stuffed with ground beef, cabbage, and carrots.  She always makes extra for family friends.  Her fried rice is delish too.  I tried to make it once.  It tasted good, but certainly wasn’t as good as hers.  Vee proclaimed “Hmmm, not bad.  You’re almost Asian baby.”

Pansit taste pretty much like fried rice except it is made with super thin rice noodles and you know the rest.

Later that night we had Miswa Soup.  OMG, love it!  It has noodles, chicken, and bok choy in it.

Quit eyein’ my soup!

Charlie and Beulah had fun running around.

And getting SPOILED!

The tree went up!

And I believe I witnessed a new Christmas tradition!  Christie and Jonathan made Christmas Balls for their Mom’s tree.  In Greensboro, there is a neighborhood that decorates all of their trees with a LOT of these balls.  It’s really a beautiful sight to see.  Now Mrs. Emily is the only one on the block in Lumberton with these pretty things.

She was so excited and couldn’t wait for it to get dark so we could see them.  We all gathered outside to watch them light up.

I love the Holidays.