Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Morning Mashup

Mornings can be a funny time around our house.  Curt is getting ready for school.  I am getting ready for work.  Curt is usually doing some last-minute studying for a big exam....I am doing very important things like drying my hair and putting on makeup.

My favorite mornings are the ones when Curt begins to sing a random song, followed by another random song...usually followed by another random song.  I call it my morning mashup.  Today's morning mashup consisted of these songs:

"Bossy" by Kelis

"Till the World Ends" by Britney Spears

"Beautiful Disaster" by 311

Just in case you're wondering....yes, I did buy the new Britney album yesterday.  And yes, it is amazing.

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Surprise visit to meet Mary Ellen!

On our way from Greensboro back to Yorktown last Sunday, the Kenneys graciously offered to make a pit stop in Richmond so Curt and I could meet Mary Ellen for the first time.  We had a quick visit with my family, but it was SO great to see them and to meet Mary Ellen.  She's just as sweet as she looks in the pictures!

These first two I stole from my sister.  This was when they were still in the hospital.

What a proud big brother!

What a sweet family!  We can't wait to spend some more time with this cute new addition when we're home in April.

Lana's 90th Birthday

Last weekend we flew home to Curt's parent's house in Yorktown, and then drove down to Greensboro, NC to celebrate Lana's 90th birthday!  We really enjoyed hanging out with Curt's family, spending some time out in the warm weather, and reminiscing about life with Lana and Papa.

Our first stop in Greensboro was Blue Zoom, an advertising/marketing company owned by Curt's cousin Jeremy and his wife Liz (you may remember their adorable daughter, Maya, as the flower girl in our wedding!).   They have an amazing office in downtown Greensboro that includes this rooftop patio.  We enjoyed catching up, drinking some wine, eating some delicious spinach-artichoke dip made by Aunt Sue, and the warm sunshine.

Here are a few of Lana as Queen Birthday Girl...

Skyping with Grace and Andrew...

If you remember the sneak peak from a few weeks ago, the top picture was an apron for Lana.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of Lana wearing the apron :(....  But I did take a few before we left so I could remember the project.  I found the tutorial here, but changed the measurements as this one was measured for a child. 

Happy Birthday, Lana!  We love you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My other sister has a new baby girl!

Mary Ellen Cowgill was born yesterday to my older sister Julia and brother-in-law Bobby!  Curt and I were thrilled at the news of the arrival of our new neice!  It's times like these that it's tough to be away from home.  We can't wait to meet you, Mary Ellen!

As of now, this is the only picture I have.  I promise to post more sweet baby pics as I get them.  Look how tiny she is!  Love it.

On another note, we are on our way to Virginia today!  We will be spending the weekend with the Kenneys to celebrate Lana's (Curt's grandmother) 90th birthday!  We can't wait!  More to come...

My sister has a blog!

My younger sister, Mary, is a nurse by day (or night...depending on her shift) and a make-up artist/hair stylist by day (or night..once again, depending on her shift).  But seriously, she's really talented and LOVES make-up.  I'm constantly asking her about her favorite new products, quick fixes for under-eye circles, etc (among other things)...which is why I'm super excited that she's started a blog!  She gives out a helpful tip every Tuesday and she just posted her top 10 favorite skincare/make-up products....with a description for each one.  Yay!


Monday, March 14, 2011

sneak peek!

Here are a couple sneak peeks of some projects I've been working on recently.  More to come soon!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday morning baking

I love Saturdays.  I love not having to get up for work.  I love having time to drink my coffee, read my Bible, and enjoy a quiet apartment.

I also love baking something new on a Saturday.   There is something therapeutic to me about combining flour, sugar, milk, and eggs....something therapeutic about kneading dough, listening to music, drinking coffee, and creating something delicious and warm from scratch.

Today I decided to make this yummy cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread, posted by Joy the Baker the other day.  As one who has an obsessive love of all things cinnamon and sugar, I knew I had to make this. 

 I also made a half-batch of the same icing I made for my cinnamon rolls.  We drizzled a little over the top.  Sooooooo yummy! 

 It puffed up a lot in the oven!

Like the cinnamon rolls, it takes time....but the end result is definitely worth it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Welcome back, Britney!

It would not be untrue to say that I love Britney Spears.  She's been through some rough times, but in the end I'm always rooting for her.  She may not be the most talented singer, but she's a great performer and an icon for pop music.  If you don't agree with me, I'm okay with that.

Now, even though I'm a big fan, I was a little disappointed with her new single, "Hold It Against Me."  Isn't that based off of a cheesy pick-up line or something?  I was holding out for something better.....and my faithful friend delivered.

"Till the World Ends" is the second single off Britney's highly anticipated album, Femme Fatale (in stores March 29th, in case you're interested).   It was leaked on the internet yesterday and is now available on iTunes.  We, at the Kenney household, are big fans of this song.  It may have replaced Justin Beiber's "Baby" as our mini-dance-party song of choice.  If you too share my weakness for pop music, do yourself a favor and listen to this:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The best quick meal you've ever eaten...

So, as I've said before, I really do love to cook.  However, I don't have hours and hours of free time in which to do all this cooking.  I prefer to cook bigger, more complicated meals on the weekend and keep our weekday meals pretty simple. 

Curt and I have one absolute favorite quick meal that deserves to be mentioned:  Mandarin Orange Chicken from Trader Joe's!!   Okay, it deserves a whole blog post.  It's that good.  Seriously.

(Please accept my apologies if you live in B Building or work with me, because I've probably already talked your ear off about this meal.)

Since I've made this meal a million times now...and because I'm extremely type A...I've gotten the process down to a science (please note:  this is not a meal you would typically need directions does come in a bag from the frozen foods section, after all :).  I thought it would be fun to take you on a little picture tour of how we make this scrumptious meal (with pictures....lots and lots of pictures)!  Get excited.

Okay....step 1:  Measure out enough rice for 4 people (Curt loves rice).  Put the rice and the water into the rice cooker (in my opinion, the rice cooker is the key to all things awesome that are related to rice).  Add a splash of rice vinegar and let the rice soak for about 30 minutes before cooking (the rice vinegar and the soaking time are crucial for  making "sticky rice"....our fave).

Step 2:  While the rice is soaking, wash all the dishes in your sink that are leftover from the morning and your husband's "second dinner" last night.

Step 3:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (I have found that washing the dishes and waiting for the oven to preheat equal the exact amount of time that the rice needs to soak....amazing).  Open the bag, put the chicken onto a cookie sheet and set aside.

Step 4:  Empty the two bags of sauce into a small saucepan and set it on the lowest heat setting.

Step 5:  This is where several things are happening at once.  Put the chicken into the preheated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.  Also, plug in the rice cooker and flip that switch to "cook."




Step 6:  While the chicken and rice are cooking, slice up a few green onions and set them aside.

Step 7:  Take a break and read the new J.Crew catalogue.

Step 8:  The rice and chicken should be done at pretty much the exact same time (I planned it this way :).  Toss the chicken with the sauce in a large bowl.  Toss in some of your green onions.

 I LOVE this setting!  It can sit like this while you get everything else ready.

Just look at that yummy, shiny goodness!!

 Step 9:  Make yourself a yummy bed of sticky rice, put the chicken on top, and garnish with a few more green onions.

Step 10:  Feel like you've died and gone to heaven because what you're eating is so delicious you can't possibly be in a fallen world anymore.

That is Curt giving the "#1" sign, just in case you were curious...

It's super, super easy and only takes about 20 minutes to make - start to finish.