Monday, August 30, 2010

Ay Caramba!

Saturday night, we friends got together to throw a Fiesta "His & Her" Shower for the Soon-to-be-Searsons. 

I think by all measures, that the Par-Tay was a success, and that the Bride and Groom had a blast celebrating with their pals. 

Here are some pics to capture the night's festivities:

Food Table:
Chicken Quesadilla Wedges
Southwestern Egg Rolls
Chicken Taquito's
Corn Dip with Fritos
Cookies and Brownie Bites

That's Billy the Bull - the super cute Pinata I picked up. 

Need an easy centerpiece idea?  Mason Jars. 
Fill some up with some coffee beans and pop a votive candle in there - presto cuteness. 

And delicious smells, as well. 

Me and The Bride.

Contrary to popular belief, I did not just get finished with a Fanta commercial.  I think my festive lime green ruffle shirt fit in nicely with the Fiesta theme, right? 

Bride and Groom

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Phi Mu Pledge Sisters

Three Amigos!

Special thanks to Mrs. Carroll for opening her home for this Fiesta and spending her party time partnered up with her oven. 

She can bake those Sam's appetizers like nobody's business. 

Last Round of Premarital Counseling.

I kid, I kid.  Billy the Bull Pinata had it coming to him, though. 

He never stood a chance against the Groom.

Just look at that face of determination. 

R.I.P.  Billy the Bull.

We'll miss you. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hometown Pride - Possum Day 2010

This is absolutely true, I swear.  Tomorrow, in my hometown, they are celebrating Possum Day 2010. 

I don't know any of the details, except what I've read while cringing on this website.  I mean, seriously???

You cannot make this stuff up. 

To each their own, I guess.

Happy Possum Day! 

A Merry "Bugtussle Bill" shout-out to everyone!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And the Crowd Goes Wild!

For Chicken Spaghetti, that is.  A popular dish around the Smith household is this delectable dish, which is both economically and taste bud friendly. 

You'll Need:
3-4 Chicken Breasts
Spaghetti Noodles
1 Can Mild Rotel
8 oz. Sour Cream
2 Cans Cream of Chicken
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom
Fiesta/Mexican Mix Cheese

Let's Get Things Started!
1.  Cook the chicken first, for 30 mins, at 350 degrees.
2.  Cook and Drain your spaghetti noodles like normal.
3.  While those guys are doing their thing, mix your Rotel, Sour Cream, Cream of Chicken, and Cream of Mushroom together.  I usually throw in some of that cheese too at this point.

4.  Once your noodles are finished, line them in the bottom of your casserole dish. 

This recipe makes a full 9X13 casserole dish, but I made one casserole for us in a square casserole dish, and froze another one for future dinners.

5.  Now that your chicken is probably finished cooking, cut it up in bite size pieces and mix it together in your bowl with your other ingredients.  (This is probably the easiest way to get everything on top of the noodles.  Trust me, lesson learned.)

6.  Now pour that mixture over your noodles.

7.  Cover with your Cheese.

8.  Then Bake at 350 Degrees for about 30 minutes.

Hello, You Delicious Dish!

The Rotel makes it already have a little kick, but Mr. Smith likes his with a dash of Hot Sauce. 

Typical Southern Men, right? 

We had our Chicken Spaghetti last night with a side salad... yum!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Then & Now

Saturday night, I attended a fabulous little soiree to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of Miss Cecelia Brown, a pledge sister of mine, which gave all of us an excuse for a mini-reunion. 

Here's a snapshot of us "Then" and "Now." 

We all agreed that we've aged pretty well... seeing that we've all been out of college for FIVE WHOLE YEARS now. 

Good Lord, we're ancient. 

Disclaimer: Please ignore the fashion sense of the Spring of 2002.

Not all gals represented in "Then" and "Now" pictures may be the same. This was the best pics I could scrounge up via facebook, though!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Got a dollar? Want to go see a movie?

Looking for something fun to do for $1?  Join the rest of the Hoover-Birmingham area at the Carmike 10 on Lorna Road.... fondly known as the Dollar Theater.  That's right... $1 for your admittance to see great movies.  Mr. Smith and I went last night to break up the normal humdrum of the work week and treated ourselves to "Knight and Day" for $2 total.  And don't think I didn't pay with 8 quarters we had lying around in the change dish!  (It's okay, lots of people do this here, and the ticket lady had quite the stack building up at her station.) 

I was surprised at how crowded this theater was on a Tuesday night, but with $1 admittance... who wouldn't be there? 

To see their current showings, all you have to do is visit Fandango, and search under the "35216" zip code.  The Carmike 10 on Lorna Road should be the first theater to pop up.  Granted, the movies have been out for a little bit, so no brand new movies are there, but still a great collection!

P.S.  "Knight and Day" was pretty good.  I'm usually a little skeptical with Tom Cruise, given his recent public antics, but I must say this movie exceeded my expectations.  We laughed out loud about 98% of the time, and Mr. Cruise was great in his role.  Does he ever age? 

P.P.S.  The concessions at the Dollar Theater are not $1.  They are the regularly priced snacks and goodies like any other theater.... which means astronomical, so be prepared. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Burns-Fowler Wedding Extravaganza

After yet another whirlwind wedding weekend in T-Town, we are slap wore out.  Again.  However, the Burns-Fowler weekend was a tornado of fun and thunderstorms, all mixed together.  Guess it keeps it interesting, right? 

The Rehearsal Dinner Friday night gave me the chance to hang out with this Hot Mama:

And by Hot Mama, I mean that literally.  Mrs. Pilsch here is currently preparing for her third child.  Yes, that's right - THIRD.  Twins Cullen and Jackson just celebrated their first birthday last month, and Baby Pilsch #3 is scheduled to make his/her arrival around the holidays. 

You may begin praying for her sanity and perseverance at any time.

I was more than willing to help a girl out by eating all her feta cheese from her salad. 
True friends will sacrifice for each other right? 

P.S.  Doesn't she look phenomenal? 

The wedding ceremony itself was gorgeous, as was the reception at Smith Hall (no relation). 

However, there was one moment that truly stole the show. 

A performance, really, of epic proportions. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, Mrs. Anna Fowler Burns, UA Crimsonette.
Along with her fellow Crimsonette bridesmaids and wedding attendants, we were treated to the treat of the Crimson Tide Fight Song Crimsonette Performance.

You can only imagine my sheer joy when that song came on. 

I actually think I had chills. 

If only I had brought my shaker.

These pictures say it all.


Plus, I got to hang out with this cutie patootie and his mischievous brother all night.

And by that I mean, Jackson and Cullen, not Suz. 

Who is cute, but I wouldn't necessarily reference her as "cutie patootie." 

That's reserved for munchkins under the age of 5. 

They are walking now, but that didn't stop us from scooping them up and dancing the night away with them.

Just ignore the baby food on my dress.

I'm not that skilled in feeding one-year-olds in a cocktail dress and heels just yet. 

And, while you're at it, ignore our sweaty faces.  We did not just run a marathon. 

 It was a tad hot on the dance floor.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You Can Help Make Miracles Happen!

I'm so lucky in my job to be able to coordinate super cool community relations projects such as the Cash Bandits Campaign for our local Children's Hospital. Our local Children's Hospital in Birmingham has grown to become the 10th busiest pediatric medical center in America, seeing over 670,000 outpatient visits in 2009 alone. If there's one thing that can shake this old gal's core, it's helping kids.

This special lady, Lindsay Jones, is this year's Alabama Child of Children's.  I dare you to watch this video and not be moved.  Double dog dare you. 

Team Smith is actively participating in helping anyway we can, and I invite you to do the same!

How Can You Help?

Sign up now to become a new participant and create your own personalized Cash Bandit fundraising page. Send an email to your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues and ask them to support you in making miracles happen at Children's Hospital. "Lassoing" a little loot from each person can go a long way in ensuring our patients receive the best care possible. 

Or, if you just want to help out Team Smith, we'd love to "Lasso your loot" for these amazing kids.  Just clickon the link below and search for "Team Smith." 

Click on this link to get started:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ladies Night, O What a Night

This weekend, while Mr. Smith was off celebrating the end of Bachelor-hood with his baseball buddy Mr. Burns at the beach, I got a little slice of heaven with my own solitude this weekend: doing absolutely nothing except what I wanted to do.  Granted, Coop Dawg and The Princess Abby were there to keep me entertained, but my weekend consisted of the following: 

Friday night's guilty pleasure: 
Movies Mr. Smith does not want to see.

Thoughts?  Very nicely done, Carey Mulligan.  No wonder you were nominated for an Academy Award.  Applause all around for you. 

And if you're a big 1960's fan, you'll love the general aesthetics of the movie, with it's rich cinematic tempo of the music, clothing, cars, and even attitudes from that time period. 

Saturday morning and afternoon were spent working at an event for work, so later on that night I figured Mrs. Carroll and I needed a Ladies Night Out, to which she quickly agreed upon, seeing how her husband was also partaking in the Beach Bachelor Party of Mr. Burns.
(P.S.  Don't you just love alliteration?  No?  I'm the only nerd here?  Fine.)

  We headed to Jinsei, a sushi place in Homewood, that is getting rave reviews.  It was the perfect beginning to an eventful night, and I enjoyed a refreshing Cucumber Mojito, along with some Miso Soup and Kadoma Tuna dish.  I janked these two pictures from  It's a great website for local restaurant reviews and such. 

The Kadoma Tuna... there are really no words.

It rocked my socks off.  

Some sort of mixture of sweet and spicy, with a rice patty, topped with tuna, then avocado, jalapenos, smelt roe, soy sauce.... I don't even know.  It was a burst of flavors, whatever the magical combination was. 

I'm actually going to have to stop talking about it, because I'm starting to salivate. 

Pavlov would be proud. 

After our delicious dinner, Mrs. Carroll and I spent our night shaking our tail feathers at Above, which is fast becoming a favorite establishment of myself.  Unique crowd, gorgeous view, amazing music.... sigh.   The only downside of this place is the Bama heat, which proceeded to weigh us down with its sticky, hot, overwhelming presence at all times since this place is an outdoor venue, located on the roof of the Redmont Hotel. 

Since I am becoming more geriatric with each passing day, this break in the norm was a nice jolt from reality; however, Sunday morning brought some soreness from all the exercising of the dancing. 

Grudgingly I'll admit that I'm not as young as I used to be, right? 

Happy Monday! 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Snuggleship Reunited!

Last night I had the pleasure of spending the evening with one of my nearest and dearest friends from college, Mrs. Bremmerman, aka "Snuggles" or "Snuggs."  We call each other this affectionately, since college, because of our days in the sorority life of being slovenly every afternoon after class, but before dinner.  We spent many an afternoon watching Oprah together, and let's be honest, napping, to get prepared for the night ahead. 

Snuggs has brought a Snuggs, Jr. into the world, Miss Madilyn, and the last time I had seen her precious babe was in January, with Mrs. Shepherd.  Feeling the need for some time with this BFF and her munchkin, I drove to her house last night and did my best to keep up with her little innocent one, who is - quite frankly - a handful.  I was exhausted by the time I left.  Exhausted!  She is crawling everywhere and into everything.  We played, we ate, we got a bath, a bottle, a visit from Uncle Chase and Aunt Lizzie.... a full evening of activities.  This little diva knows she is in charge, and my condolences to anyone who is unaware of that fact. 

Kudos to Snuggs who has the energy to do this every.  single.  day. 

I tried to give Miss Madilyn some early piano lessons. 
We attempted Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" since that's what her toy played. 

She showed some real talent, here people. 
I sense a future pianist on our hands. 

I got a lot of these looks last night. 
Girlfriend has attitude, and she knows it. 
I'm pretty sure that's a "Talk to the Hand" gesture as well. 

There was a bit of lounging. 

And some dancing with Aunt Stina to the Backyardigans. 
I think I'm telling her that "See Madilyn?  Frog and dog rhyme."
And then Snuggs had to interrupt and say, "Good Lord Snuggles, she's only 8 months."
It's never too early to learn people. 

Miss Madilyn tried to make a dash for it with her carseat after her bath. 

Probably to get away from me, who was smooching and snuggling with her all night.
Her expression says it all. 

The End. 

A request:  Snugg's brother, Chase, is having some pretty serious surgery next week.  You can read all about his story here.  He is quite the courageous young man, and an inspiration to us all!  Please remember him, his lovely fiance, Snuggs, and their families in your thoughts and prayers. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

The Smith's had a completely wedding-free weekend, so we tried to live it up as much as possible.  And by live it up, I mean be completely slovenly.  After Friday night's dinner with high school BFFs, I got up Saturday morning to a freshly mowed yard (thank you Mr. Smith), and decided to make some chicken salad to snack on for the weekend. 

It's a really easy recipe: 
Cook about a pound of chicken, for 30 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.  I usually salt & pepper mine, with some lemon juice.

Grind it up.

Plop it in a bowl and add these four things, to taste:
Mayo, Sweet Relish, Chopped Pecans, and Red Grapes, which I cut in halves.

Served on croissants with pita chips... hmmmm...
The bitter/sour taste of the pecans and relish is an excellent juxtaposition against the sweetness of the grapes and croissant. 
 Er.... I mean, it tastes really good. 

Saturday night we headed to the Carroll's for a seemingly friendly "Game Night."  However, I'm more "Monica Gellar" about games than anything else. 

I want to win.  And I want to win badly. 
Competitive, no? 

Luckily my pals Miss Soon-to-be-Searson and Mrs. Carroll were there to be just as aggressive.  Poor Mrs. Schmaeling didn't know what was coming. 

We started out with a feast of sorts.

We had homemade mashed potatoes, squash casserole, tossed salad, rolls. 

And this was after our appetizers of cream cheese with pepper jelly and hot spinach and artichoke dip. 

Not that I ate all of this stuff, or anything.  I'm on the hunt for the recipes...

Mr. Smith grilled his Pork Tenderloin.

And then we moved to the real reason for the night.... Total Domination. 

Round 1 of Catch Phrase was an easy victory for our team.

See?  Not ashamed to hold up the #1 sign. 

However, Rounds 2 & 3 proved otherwise.  The boys swooped in and down right cheated. 

And by cheated, I mean CHEATED. 

There was answer stealing (by Mr. Smith, nonetheless), buzzer holding, and enemy tactics I haven't seen in quite some time.  Miss Soon-to-be-Searson even brought out the rules for clarification, even said they were in bold.  You can read her account of the night, here.

We moved on to Scene It, where the boys somehow won again.  We were ahead the entire time, and they swooped in with some Lou Ferigno reference, who is The Hulk in that old TV show. 

I hate boys. 

Until we meet again boys... watch your backs. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

As Promised... Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Okay, for starters, I'm sorry I haven't posted this sooner.  The weekend got away from me, but here it is: Gloriously Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Melt-in-your-Mouth Cream Cheese icing.  Every good Southern girl should have this recipe in her cook book, right?  Just don't make it into an armadillo as an ode to Steel Magnolias, and we'll be fine.  :) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Set this bowl aside for later. 

Beat 1 cup butter (softened) and 2 cups sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed for five minutes or until light and fluffy. 
It's important to use real butter, here peeps.  None of this margarine or low-fat stuff.  Real.  Butter.  You can do it, suck it up. 

Whip it until it looks like this: light and fluffy. 
Now, add in eggs (4), one at a time. 
It's important to do this one at a time, so the whipped batter can breathe and absorb in the eggs completely. 

Next, mix in 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 ounce red food color, 1 ounce red wine vinegar, and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract. 

Then whip it, whip it good.

Gradually beat in your flour/cocoa mixture on LOW speed until just blended. 
Do not overbeat. 

Spoon that batter into your muffin pans, filling each cup 1/2 full. 
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, then cool in pans before putting icing on them. 
Frost with vanilla cream cheese frosting, which you make by doing the following:

Beat together the following until light and fluffy:
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of butter, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
16 ounce confectioner's sugar

Confession:  I would have pictures of this frosting, but I was mildly preoccupied licking it off my fingers and spatula. 

Don't judge me; it was a weak moment. 

There are no pictures of this, for obvious reasons. 

Enjoy the bliss!

(Special thanks to Izzy's Curly Cakes Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe!)