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Friday, July 3, 2015

Pineapple Love

My latest obsession...Pineapples!

Pineapple has always been one of my favorite fruits, but I'm also loving all of the cute pineapple clothes and accessories that seem to be everywere this year. From t-shirts, to jewelry, to cell phone and tablet cases, there are so many fun things that I just have to have.

Pineapple Love

I currently own this pineapple t-shirt from Ily and I just love wearing it with white jeans. I also recently purchased these cute pineapple Kate Spade earrings and I can't wait to wear them with my pineapple t-shirt.

I would love to get a cute pineapple phone case, but I seriously need to get a new phone first. It's on our list of things to do sometime soon. The Keds and the cute wallet would just finish off my outfit. Someone has a birthday coming up next month...hint hint :)

Is anyone else loving pineapples lately?

On another note...looking for your opinion...iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy? Go!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Grow Little Garden

This is the 3rd year for our little garden and we have loved getting to grow and enjoy our harvest these last few years. Gardening is definitely a learning experience. We have had great success with some veggies like tomatoes, peppers and lettuce, and we have had some learning experiences with others like squash, carrots and radishes.

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This year we are bringing back the tomatoes, peppers and lettuce. We are also adding to the mix green beans, peas and sunflowers (both regular and Mexican sunflowers). This year we also tried something different and started a bunch of plants from seed. Rick's parents gave him a greenhouse for his birthday back in March, so our peas, green beans, sunflowers and some of our pepper plants were grown in our greenhouse from seeds. The lettuce was also from seed, but we grew that directly in our garden beds. The tomatoes were purchased at Home Depot, and I also purchased a few other pepper plants as well as the peppers in the greenhouse had a pretty slow start and we didn't think they were going to make it at first.

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Pretty flowers on our pea plants...and lots of insects too...can you see them all?

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Which have turned to pea pods in the last week. I'm so excited to start harvesting these as we eat peas and green beans ALL the time. The green beans and the tomatoes have started to flower as well, so I'm hoping we will have more veggies soon.

I think it's always fun to see the progression of the garden, so I started taking pictures a month ago, and have a few progress pictures to share:

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This was about a week or so after we planted everything. The lettuce was actually planted about a month earlier in the garden bed.

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Here we are a few weeks later. The peas and the tomatoes started to take off, so Rick had to stake them to keep them from growing everywhere (a lesson we learned from growing squash).

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And here we are a few days ago. You can see everything is really taking off. The lettuce is at the bottom, then the green beans. The peas are in the middle and the sunflowers are at the top on the right side. The peppers are at the top on the right side (getting overtaken by the sunflowers I'm sad to say), and we have a few other boxes with the peppers (you can see one at the bottom) from our greenhouse.

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Here is a side-by-side progression. It has rained no-stop for the last 2 weeks which is great for our garden and things are going crazy. It's supposed to rain all this week as well, so I'm sure it's going to look like a wild jungle by the end of the week. You will also notice Rick weeded the right side between the garden bed and the house and then added some gravel to keep the weeds from coming back. We had some poisen ivy growing back there, and thankfully the rocks are keeping the weeds and the poisen ivy away for now.

Although most of our plants are doing really well, our poor pepper plants aren't doing all that great. Between the sunflowers taking over, and possibly a weird fungus in or beds, they are barely growing at all and something is eating all of the leaves. I tried to move my purple pepper plant  to one of the containers to see if that might help, but only time will tell. We may need to look into another solution. Any advice on how to deal with something eating pepper plants?

We also have some herbs on our deck, but I'm hoping to share an update post on our deck sometime soon, so I'll share those later.

Anyone else love to grow veggies? What have you had success growing?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our 1 Year Anniversary

On Sunday Rick and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. It's so hard to believe it's been a year, but time goes by quickly when you are having fun right? On the day of our anniversary, Facebook Timehop shared some photos from 2 years ago of the two of us at a concert together. At the time we weren't engaged, and maybe had a few talks about marriage, but I think we both had no idea that exactly 1 year later we would be getting married. It's amazing what can happen in a year, and I can't wait to see what all has happened by next year at this time.

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We celebrated our anniversary all weekend long. We dressed up on Saturday and went to dinner at Cooper's Hawk Winery. I wore my reception dress, along with all of my jewelry and the shoes I wore on our wedding day. My actual wedding dress is all tucked up in a preservation box, but I love that I could re-wear these things on our anniversary to remember our day.

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Cooper's Hawk Winery is one of my favorite restaurants, and I love going here to celebrate any big occasion.

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We had a wonderful dinner and then finished off with the dessert and wine sampler.

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Although I loved it all, my favorite was the raspberry wine and the chocolate covered strawberries.

The next day we had lunch on the patio at Old Bag of Nails, and then explored Delaware, a neighboring town. We also came across a small park near our house that we can't wait to go back and take the dogs for a hike.

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Later that evening we grilled out steaks, and then enjoyed some of our wedding cake. We were both surprised that it tasted wonderful. We ended up having an anniversary cake made because we needed all 3 layers of our wedding cake for the reception. The anniversary cake was already wrapped up and ready to freeze, which I think was perfect and kept it fresh.

In case anyone is curious how it was wrapped, she put the cake (unwrapped) in a small cake box, then wrapped the cake box in foil, then newspaper, and then freezer paper. We took the cake out of the freezer about 48 hours ahead of time to un-thaw in the fridge, and then took it out about 2 hours before we cut into it to allow it to come to room temperature. We have been feasting on it all week long, but have kept it in the fridge just to help keep it from going bad.

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I didn't get a chance to get a good pic of these at the wedding, but I got these cute cake forks that say "I Do" and "Me Too" with our wedding date on them. I have been keeping them in a shadow box all year long, but got them out, along with our cake knife. We also used our cake plate for the pictures.

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Here is a closeup of our toasting glasses that my good friend Suzie gifted me at my bridal shower. We toasted with some Almond Sparkling Wine from Cooper's Hawk, that we also toasted with on our wedding day. It was fun to get out all of our wedding stuff and recreate the evening.

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The top layer of our wedding cake was Strawberry, so I asked for our Anniversary cake to be Strawberry as well. And I'm so glad we did because it is so good. I'm going to be very sad when it's all gone. I may just have to ask Kelly to make us a cake every year.

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Rick got me 2 dozen red roses, and some bracelets from Michael Kors to add to my arm party.

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We also exchanged paper gifts and Rick's gift to me was handmade paper (that he made by the way!!) and then turned into artwork. Mustaches have been a big inside joke for us, and we actually had chocolate mustache candies as our wedding favors, so it was only appropriate for him to include one in his gift to me.

He also got me a photography book, and the Charleston Receipts cookbook to remind us of our honeymoon. It's an interesting cookbook that I'll have to share details on in another post. He also wrote another entry in the journal he gave me on our wedding day. I love that he is willing to write me a little love note every year.

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My paper gift to Rick was this custom map that we can document all of our travels. I'm still trying to figure out if we want to use markers or stickers to document on the map, but I think it will go great on the gallery wall I'm working on for our stairway, and the perfect way to remember all of our fun travels. I also got Rick a gift card so he could get the wooden workbench he has been wanting for some time. It's not exactly paper, but paper is made from wood, so I'm going with it...ha!

It was a great anniversary, and I can't wait for the many more to come!

You can find more details from our wedding, and our wedding planning process here.

Linking up today for Wedding Wednesday.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Summer Turkey Burgers with Lemon Herb Potatoes

Hi ya'll! Now that it's officially Summer, I wanted to share my Summer Turkey Burgers recipe. Why are they called Summer Turkey Burgers you ask? Well basically because this has become my favorite way to make burgers and I'll likely be making them this way all Summer long.

We use a lot of ground turkey in our house for 2 reasons: it's much leaner and it's much cheaper than ground beef. When did ground beef get to be so expensive??? But the problem with using ground turkey for burgers is that sometimes they get dry or are just not very flavorful.

This recipe gives the turkey a lot of flavor, and really goes well with any burger topping...we prefer bacon, avacado and mayo. They are perfect for cookouts all Summer-long!
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Summer Turkey Burgers 

Makes approx 4 burgers 

-- 1 lb ground turkey 
-- 1/4 cup of whole oats 
-- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar 
-- 1 tbs low-sodium soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free) 
-- 1 tbs Italian seasoning
-- 1 tsp black pepper
-- Lots of toppings -- bacon, avacado, tomato, lettuce, cheese, and don't forget the Hellmann's Mayo 


To make, I first grind up the whole oats in a food processor until it resembales coarse flour. This will help your burgers stick together. Then combine all ingredients, mix with your hands, and then make into 4 patties. Then get your handsome husband to cook them on the grill for you.

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I served our bugers with lemon herb potatoes. To make those I just diced up potatoes, drizzled them with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkled with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, and then baked on 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Then I finished them off with some fresh thyme and rosemary herbs. The fresh herbs totally bring the flavor up a notch!

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My favorite part about grilling out during the Summer? Its that my handsome husband is the cook! I can't wait for many more Summer grilling nights!
What is your favorite burger recipe? Do you prefer ketchup or a mayo on your burger? I typically prefer ketchup, but I'm kind of liking this mayo that we tried out compliments of Influenster. It's got great texture and flavor, and Rick loves that it's a squeeze bottle and he can write his name on his burger. It's the little things!
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Friday, June 19, 2015

5 (or 6) on Friday: Fuzzy Friday Edition

Happy Friday! So I've had some complaints from a few 4-legged family members that although this blog is called Life, Love & Puppy Paws, there hasn't been enough "Puppy Paws" features. So today we are going to dedicate a 5 on Friday (or really a 6 on Friday, because everyone needs a fair chance in the limelight) to our favorite puppies.

I fully believe that you can tell all about a person by looking at their photo album on their cell phone. If you got a hold of mine, you would definitely see that I love food, flowers and that I'm a crazy dog mom. Rick and I are always taking crazy pictures of the pups and texting them to each other. So today I thought I would feature some of my favorites I came across the other day while trying to clean/up manage my photo storage (#toomanyphotos #neverenoughstorage).

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How much is that beagle? Apparently the same price as a bunch of bananas.

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One night when I came out of the bathroom from getting ready for bed I came across a puppy all cozied up on my pillow. I asked him if he was the Prince and the Pea.

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Every morning I have to literally pick Bryn up out of bed and carry her downstairs so the pups can go outside to potty. Apparently walking down the stairs is just too exhausting for her to handle in the morning. Sometimes we make a stop in the bathroom to check out the puppy in the mirror #crazydoglady.

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"Ma! Where's the gravy???" Abby refuses to eat her food these days unless she has a little gravy (aka beef or chicken broth) on it. Are you seeing any trends here? #lazy and #spoiled

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Bryn enjoying a little Rick time. The way she sits always cracks us up.

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I really don't understand how this can be comfortable.

So tell me, what would your phone photo album tell me about you? Any others out there with too many crazy dog pictures?

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