Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ravioli Lasagna


This recipe is one of those recipes of my mom's that I just knew Pat would love. The man loves him some pasta so of course this was right up his alley.


Ingredients
1 lb of Ground Beef (Turkey would work too!)
1 cup of onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Bag of frozen cheese raviolis
1 1/2 jars of marinara
1 bag of shredded Italian cheeses

Throw the garlic in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Allow it to saute for 1 minute so the garlic begins to open up (I sound like I know what I'm talking about!! I assure you it's from watching too much Food Network). After the garlic has been sauteing for 1 minute throw your onion in to the pan. Allow them to saute to together for about 3-4 minutes. After 3-4 minutes add your meat and cook until browned all the way. Drain your meat once you are done.

Add your meat back to your pan and add your marinara sauce. Allow it to warm through. Add one ladle full to the bottom of your pan and spread evenly. 
Side note: I use a 9x11 Pyrex dish when making this. I spray mine with Pam to make the clean up easier.
Once you have added your ladle full or two of sauce add one layer of raviolis. Sprinkle a handle full of cheese on top and then add a ladle full of sauce and spread evenly. Repeat the previous steps one or two more times. It really depends on how deep your dish is.

Make sure to save enough cheese to sprinkle on the top of your lasagna. Cover your dish with aluminum foil before sticking it in the oven.

Bake at 400 degree for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wanderlust Part 2

I love living in the city I grew up in. I have my favorite places to eat, favorite shops and know the back roads as well as the freckles on the back of my hand (there's a lot of those). Every once-in-awhile I get wanderlust for places I have been or lived before. Today and right now? I am wanderlust for DC. 


Living there for the summer of 2009 was hands down the best experience. I love history and I love America. Perfect combo.


I made some of my best friends that summer. We discovered the places we loved most- Eastern Market, weekend excursions to Annapolis, going to Georgetown to eat BBQ and get sweet tea, our weekly trips to Five Guys, etc. The summer of 2009 was by far the best summer of my life.


I loved every thing about being on The Hill every day. Everything. I loved learning about the way our country is run and what goes into actually making a bill and then getting people to support it. My most favorite part was giving tours of The Capitol. I was one of two interns in our office that got to do it and I will never regret signing up for that job. 


I loved being able to sit in on Senate meetings and do something so simple like take minutes for the senator. I loved just being able to walk to the rotunda and sit in awe whenever I wanted. I even loved the stupid little Willy Wonka train that ran from the Senate buildings to the Capitol to the House Buildings.


I will never forget how sad I was when I realized our summer was over. When I realized that our last self-guided tour of the Capitol was really our last one.


But no worries!! I get to cure my wanderlust next month. I cannot wait to go back to one of my favorite places on earth and reunite with one of my BFFs from college. I can't wait to show Pat around and show him my favorite places and favorite treats (what up, toasted marshmallow milkshake!!). 


The only thing I'll be missing are my two amigos to complete the Three Amigos of DC.  Oh, and that dang red badge that would allow me to go to the rotunda when ever I wanted. I'm really going to miss that.

Hurry up, July!! I can't wait to get back to DC.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sorry!

Have you ever felt so tired that you just can't seem to string together a single idea or thought? That's been me for about two weeks now. Last week was due to an insane work schedule. This week is because I didn't get to workout last week due to said insane work schedule. I swear once I get back to working out (Tomorrow because I left my gym bag at home today) we will be back to the regular scheduled program around these parts. For now I'll just continue to look like this at my desk...

Spring Break- April 2006


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Because it's totally normal to take family pictures before a funeral

Yep, you read that right! This past Sunday was the funeral for my mom's uncle. He was a wonderful man and so so kind to everyone. He was one of those people who was truly loved by everyone who knew him. That can't be said about just everyone. RIP Uncle Gerald

So my whole family got together to go to the funeral. Of course we are all dressed up. Naturally this means my mom wants us to take family pictures. I mean, what family doesn't do that?! Totally normal!!


My mom, Uncle Britt (I'm named after him) and my Mamaw



Southerners are known for their hospitality and cooking lots of amazing foods to bring to families and friends in need. This time, we took family photos. Southern fail.

In all seriousness, it was wonderful to see my grandmother and uncle. My uncle lives on a boat (SO jealous) in Florida so his trips are few and far in between. We ended up staying at my parents house for way too long because that's what you do when family is in town. Now I'm ready for a full on family reunion. Next one isn't scheduled till we all get together for my Uncle Johnny's 90th birthday next February. It's going to be a full on Bullock Clan throw down. I cannot wait!! 

Is my family crazy? Or have your parents taken advantage of everyone being dressed up to snap a few family photos too?

Friday, June 13, 2014

World Cup Hotties

Look, I am seriously so very happily married that it doesn't even bother my husband when I say stuff like this. I think he's just happy that I watch soccer with him ;)

No, but really I love the World Cup and Euro Cup. I grew up playing soccer and if you're new around these my hubs is just a little soccer obsessed. He played professionally for 3 years in Croatia and we still watch a lot of soccer all. the. time. 

World Cup 2006- Quarterfinals Game: France vs. Portugal
I always love watching all of the games. I have been known to stand on the couch for a time or two when things get really intense during a US or France game. As I type this, I just realized this will be the first World Cup I am not in France for part of it since 2006. Seriously sad moment over here.

Now every 2-4 years I see American women all of the sudden get really hyped up for soccer. Why, do they do this you ask? Because they are all finally realizing what I have known for years. Soccer players are the most attractive athletes in the world. You can argue this with me but you will not win. Here is my list to prove it to you-

Gerard Pique (Spain)

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Fernando Torres (Spain)

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 Olivier Giroud (France)

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Gary Cahill (England)

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Michael Bradley (USA)

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And there are seriously countless others. I am sorry but you will not see any Italian players around here. I am still a little bitter about the 2006 World Cup match (USA v Italy). Worst officiated game I have ever seen.

I hope that you all found a reason or two to watch the games. If any thing, it really is a beautiful sport and I always give major props to the players. The conditioning for soccer is intense and I would argue that they are the most in-shape athletes in the world.

Happy World Cup, y'all!

Go USA and Allez les bleus!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

If I had a million dollars...

I know y'all do this too. We all do it. I dream about what I would do if I ever won a million dollars. What is the one splurge I would do while trying to be responsible with the rest? 

I would go here...

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And I would do this....

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And this....

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And this....

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And Pat would be sitting there laughing at me the whole time.

If you can't tell by now, I love the Sound of Music. I still remember the first time my mom made me watch it when I was 5. I was so not looking forward to watching this movie when I saw that it came on two whole VHS tapes. TWO!!

Then the opening shots of the Austrian countryside and the mountains and Salzburg. Then I was in love. I have literally dreamed of going to Salzburg, Austria ever since.

So, if I had a million dollars I would splurge and go all out in Salzburg, Austria. Hiking, every Sound of Music tour and touristy dinner thing they have, take a million pictures and run through the hills. Without shame.

What would you splurge on if you won 1 million dollars?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Remember when...

This my homage to National BFF day that I just completely skipped. And my excuse to show old pictures of my that I find hilarious. AND my need to relive childhood as work has already driven me to the ledge this week. Just go with it :)

REMEMBER WHEN...


Making a pallet on the floor and setting up all your Beanie Babies with your BFF was a good night....

Running in the backyard and catching fireflies while sucking on honeysuckle made for some of the best nights


Summer camp became your other home. You'll grow to crave that place as you get older. Enjoy every minute of the cheers, the songs, the waterskiing, rock climbing, tubing and white water rafting. Soon you'll be sitting at a desk for 40+ hours a week.

Climbing trees made your afternoons quickly melt away into night time. Climb as many as you can. Soon you'll be too big and then probably cause the branches to snap in half.


Posing with your BFF on the beach was cute.


Summertime meant rides in either the old jeep or the old truck to go get candy from the gas station. With your parents and your BFF's parents, or course.

Remember every thing about the Olympics. Not everyone can say their hometown hosted the Olympics games. Go watch the torch run by..


And make sure to go to the Coca-Cola Village. You'll love it because it'll be the first time you'll ever get to have a key chain with your name on it.

You stepped outside of your comfort zone and went on a ride that scared you? Learn to get that fearlessness back. You could surely use it today...

I'm on the left. The other ging to the right is my cousin, Haley :)
You knew how to play piano? You should have stuck with those lessons and actually practiced like your mom asked you to. Practice means recitals which means pretty flowers...


You had to eat all your fruits and veggies and you couldn't wait to be an adult and choose all the good food for yourself? I hate to tell you this but as you get older you have to stop eating all those "good" foods all the time and eat almost all fruits and veggies. Getting old can stink.


You were an only child? Relish those moments, but you're going to love every second of being an older sister. No matter how much they scare or annoy you. They teach you a lot and you wouldn't trade them for the world.



You barely had a care in the world? Relish those days. Soon you'll be married and soon your BFF will be getting married in less than a year.

If you learn one thing, little B learn this... Keep that BFF from preschool. You may not talk every day, you may go to separate colleges and not talk for months, but you will always pick up right where you left off. After all, she was the first person you called about your first kiss, the person you cried with after each of your high school graduations, and the person you sobbed with when you moved away. She's your person and your constant. Never, ever let that friendship go. Here's to (almost) 24 years of friendship, Ellen! And here's to 70 more after that. After all, I need to have someone to gossip with in the nursing home when we're old and gray.

Friday, June 6, 2014

70 years

70 years ago American, Canadian and British young men were storming the beaches of Normandie (French spelling). 10 years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to visit the beaches and I will never forget how awestruck I was at the beauty of Normandie, France.

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I will never forget the moment I first stood in the middle of a 360 degree theater watching unedited footage of the Invasion. I don't think words could ever be said to describe the feelings that came over me.

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Images of the cemetery there will never do justice to the magnitude of the place. It seems like the crosses or Stars of David go on for miles. You can't help but be struck by the beauty of the place while feeling the eerie peace that seems to wash over Omaha Beach today. You can be there with 100s of people and still hear a pin drop. It's a place where people really do come to pay respects. They don't yell or scream. They wonder around, thankful for the sacrifices those hundreds and thousands of men made for each and every single one of us.

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 The French people have done an amazing job at preserving the beaches. You can still see the bunkers where the Nazis were hunkered down and firing on the American soldiers. You can still see barricades, the amphibious tanks that sank and a ship that was run aground down on the actual beach.


The landscape itself is still very hilly from where bombs hit the area. They are rolling hills today that almost seem to tell the story of what went on there 70 years ago.

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It's almost impossible to describe the feelings of emotions that come over you when you find out that soldiers were landing on the beaches and then scaling massive cliffs. They were scaling these cliffs while coming under intense fire. I cannot even imagine the strength it would take to overcome that or the terror you have to swallow and put out of your mind. There is a reason why they are The Greatest Generation.


I will be forever thankful for my Uncle Johnny. Not just because he can always make me smile or laugh but because at the ripe age of 19 he stormed the beaches of Normandie with the second wave. He doesn't talk about his experiences there but who could blame him.

I really hope and pray I can get back to the beaches again one day. In some twisted way they are my favorite place I have ever visited. I ache to go back while Uncle Johnny wishes we could forget all about them.

"You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.
The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt." President Ronald Reagan - June 6, 1984

Thursday, June 5, 2014

But first lemme take a selfie

Any one else out there terrified of this new trend? I send selfies through snapchat to hubs and some friends but I don't post them every where.

I have a friend who posts at least one every day. EVERY. DAY. It's to the point where people block him on social media. I just giggle when I see them because they are so ridiculous.

I say this to say I thought they were absolutely ridiculous until I saw the joy they brought to someone in my life. Yes, joy.

Let me introduce you to my Aunt Susie, the self proclaimed #queenofselifes. Yes, hashtag and all.

Right smack dab in the middle. Even has her friends doing them with her.
Maybe you'll see her do one while getting pumped up for a race...


Then you'll see her do one during a race...
Getting Brooke into the selfie spirit!
The kiddos from her job love her for doing them all the time...


She's even got my 86 year old grandmother doing them...

I'm leaving this in it's proper snapchat orientation. Yes, she does snapchat too.
Maybe, just maybe she gets the family to do one when you see her...


But maybe she's on to something. At least when it comes to selfies with my grandmother. Those are kind of fun...


And she never fails to make me laugh. I have grown to love that every single time I see my Aunt Susie the first words out of her mouth are, "We need to take a selfie!" Oh Susan, don't you ever change. Keep being young at heart. It's one of the things I admire about you most.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Let me tell you 'bout my best friend

Or my dog's best friends. But their owner is my real life BFF!

As I wrote yesterday, we made another last minute trip to Greenville, SC. This meant that we had to find somewhere for our Chloe girl to stay for the night. My first reaction was-

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Then one of my other friends says, "What about Jeff and Ellen?" It was like a light bulb just burst in my head. They have two huskies, Chloe is part husky. The three girls love to play together and it could be like one giant sleepover! I texted Ellen right away and she graciously accepted.

Not only were they wonderful enough to keep her for the night, but they also sent us pictures throughout the day. As a pet owner, nothing makes me happier than knowing my "kids" are OK while I am away.

 BUT I don't think she missed us at all...

The three BFFs
The time did come when it was time for us to bring our Chloe girl home. Her two besties were just not having it. They were howling their dissent at her leaving and throwing what would probably be a temper tantrum if they were human children. 

We get ready to put Chloe in the car and all of the sudden Pat just bursts into laughter. We all turn around to see this...



Those blinds are now permanently destroyed
Look at that nose! Haha!
Shiloh was protesting the departure of her little sis/BFF. Ellen and I always said we wanted our kids to be friends when we were growing up. I just don't think we expected it to be our dogs or for them to protest even more than we did as kids at the end of sleepovers. You just gotta love 'em and laugh at their antics.

I really don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time. Happy Tuesday, friends! And I sincerely hope you have a friend that would be just as devastated that you were leaving after a sleepover. ;)