Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas from DC

Christmas is 5 days away! And only 3 days til I get to see Giselle and the rest of the family! S2h and I will be heading to the North Pole (aka NH) to meet up with everyone and celebrate. We have been trying to get into the spirit here in DC...some photo proof!

{visit to the national tree}

{NC Tree}

{our first real christmas tree!}

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

{so excited!}

{s2h=best snow angels}

hello blizzard! we are completely snowed in today here in alexandria. this is the most snow i have ever seen! hopefully it will stay around long enough for a snow day on monday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Still Celebrating Pumpkins

Don't worry, I may have been lacking in posts, but I didn't forget to get pumpkins! S2H & I went to CT to visit my family and enjoy some Fall Festivities. We stopped by my favorite childhood grocery store, Stew Leonard's, and got pumpkins, apple cider donuts, and sticky pumpkin bread. While I was trying to reminisce and relive my childhood some little guy was taking over the pumpkin patch!
{this was just one of the many things Miles (baby cousin) scaled during our visit}

Giselle Takes DC

Ah the wonderful days of college and the fabulous vacations like "Fall Break." Miss. UNC herself came to visit me for her first fall break! (Thanks Padre for the sponsorship!) Now I must admit, I failed in the picture taking department. Giselle was here for four days and I only have a handful of pictures but we had tons of undocumented fun!
{perfect lady lunch=shakes+burgers+seasoned fries from good stuff eatery}

{hey Bravo Top Chef! Spike, the owner of Good Stuff}

{old town photo shoot take 1}

{question: do we look alike? i really can't tell.}

{miss her.}

Life with Louie...very belated

My favorite house guest is back! And thank goodness, I should have posted about this little snuggler when he came to stay for a full week, but alas I was too busy dressing him up and taking pictures of him!
So who is the new little man of the house? It's Louie, the sweet pup of Mike & Ang! Mike & Ang are way more popular and well traveled then S2H and myself so every once and awhile we win the puppy sitting lottery and get Louie during their travels. Louie is in high demand and we have tough puppy sitting competition!
Louie is the perfect dog and is not helping my urge for my own little pup. The week with Louie was supposed to deter me from getting a dog, but Lou is so well behaved that now I just want to get him a playmate! Lou is back tonight and has inspired me to blog. I guess all you need to get out of a blogging rut is a little pup who fits perfectly on your tummy (not sure what that says about my tummy) and snuggles while you upload long overdue pics. For your enjoyment: October pics of the little man!
{bath time!}
{should have posted this two weeks ago...}
{and i'm in love.}

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BFF & Fall Baking

This past Sunday my friend Angela and I got together and channeled our inner Martha Stewart and got to baking! This little baking session was long overdue and we were both dying for something pumpkin. We decided on brown butter iced pumpkin cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcake book. This book is heavenly and also a recent gift Angela gave me! Well we decided that 30 cupcakes just wasn't enough! I had a charity bake sale at work right around the corner and we wanted to bring treats to a mutual friend who had recently moved into her first place. So we went a little crazy and made banana nut muffins and chocolate chip cookies! Here are the results!
{cookies and muffins all wrapped up for the charity bake sale!}

{bites of heaven perfectly dipped in rich buttery icing}

*recipe for cupcakes soon to follow, i can't seem to find it online.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Searching for Inspiration

I am in a blogging funk...maybe a life funk. No words today, I can't seem to find them. Just some images I am pondering.

*images courtesy of the bottom of the ironing basket

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Find

I failed last week at my promised Fall Find, but I am quite excited about this week's find! This little gem was passed onto me by my sweet and cheery friend Hilary! Hilary is one of those amazing people who is always thinking about others. She's the friend who will shoot you an e-mail with a news article about a book you have recently read or some fabulous new restaurant by your house. AMAZING. Knowing I love all things food, Hilary passed on this very cool FALL Recipe Exchange! It is being started by another blogger, and I think it is just the best idea! I am already trying to decide if I should submit my Cheddar Apple Pie Dip or Pumpkin Bars, maybe both! The recipe exchange is scheduled for Monday, October 12th. So get your recipes ready and bask in the glory of all yummy things pumpkin, cinnamon and everything nice!

*Looking for a good book to get cozy with?? Check out Hilay's Blog, Pritt-y Story to Tell, you will be impressed!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blessings Come in All Sizes

My first draft of this posting felt all wrong. I started writing about the story of Ben & Jake, Scott's twin baby nephews. Well, I feel like you can never tell the story of a sick child unless you are the parent. Only a parent can feel their baby's pain and only a parent can tell their child's story. I am not a parent, I am not even technically a family member. And now, as I edit this post, this really isn't about Ben & Jake. It's about what they gave me, a renewed faith.

I have been blessed to be included in S2H's family for the past year. We have made lots of visits to see his brother's family in Hershey, PA during this time. I fell head-over-heals for Jen & Tim's two girls, Hannah (4) & Emma (2). Making sugar cookie lollipops with these two would be the highlight of my week! To add to the excitement this past June, to everyones' surprise and utter happiness, Jen & Tim added twin baby boys, Ben & Jake, to their family! I met these two little bundles when they were five days old. Holding an infant for the first time is always a memorable experience and it always feels different. Holding Ben & Jake gave me an overwhelming, warm feeling and I could not stop staring! I was in pure awe of these two little miracles. S2H and I were both dopey in love.

About four weeks later, S2H called me at work and told me the boys were both in the hospital. We were kind of having an "off" day that Monday but oh man can news like that snap you out of a selfish, moody state. The next two weeks were kind of like a blur of tears. We found out that the boys were extremely sick with what looked like viral meningitis. I was crushed. Anytime someone gets sick I automatically think about the loss of my mom; and all that pain and hurt came rushing back to me. It's a curse to lose someone like I lost my mom, it changes you in ways I can't describe. Since I lost my mom I have continually struggled with my faith and what prayer means to me. My thirteen year old prayers weren't answered, and that is a hard thing to bounce back from. But before I knew it, I was sending an e-mail to my friends and family to pray for Ben & Jake. I felt helpless and this was the only thing I could think to do. I was taken-aback by the response. I am so thankful for everyone who joined the S2H family in prayer and helped give them a happy ending.

S2H and I went to PA to help out for two weekends in a row. The first was to take care of the girls while Tim & Jen stayed with the boys in the hospital. We played games during the day, baked treats and read stories. That night we switched shifts with other family members and went to see the boys in the hospital. I didn't even make it into the hospital room before the tears started; I saw Jen in the lobby and it was all over. First we visited Jake, he looked pretty good and was definitely starting to look like himself after a hard week. We had to go to the PICU area of the hospital to see Ben. Ben was not Ben. I'm not going to go into detail or try and pretend like I know every symptom, ailment, medicine, or pain Ben was experiencing; because I don't. I just know my heart was crushed when I saw him. He was hooked up to so many machines you couldn't even pick him up. So awful to see Jen not be able to hold her baby boy. I was afraid to even touch him, my tears just feel on his little baby blanket. S2H and I left PA in disbelief that the healthy, happy baby we knew could end up so weak. I also left PA in amazement of the S2H family. This family gathered around Tim & Jen and held them up. It left me speechless.

The second weekend in PA was 5,000 times better! That week Ben rallied, fought, and came back from the awful illness that threatened him. Everyone was amazed, doctors, nurses, specialists, and the list goes on. We got the news and all I could think about was all the prayer that surrounded Ben. I am still working through the power of prayer in my little head, I think I'll be working on the whole prayer, faith, God thing for a while. But in some way I understand that Ben's return of health was a result of all the prayers for him. We went to PA that second weekend and saw all four kids at home with mom & dad. Very awesome!

Now you may be asking, Meghan, isn't this post a bit off in the timing?? Well, I didn't have a blog back in August, and more importantly Ben & Jake were baptized this weekend! (see the connection?!) I watched S2H stand behind Ben as his godfather. I watched Tim & Jen hold their boys with their girls huddled between them while the priest blessed Ben & Jake and welcomed them to the church. I sat with the family that prayed for these boys and I'm sure promised anything to have them healthy and back in their arms. It was beyond a special day. Every once in a while God finds you and you actually recognize Him. I'm not what one would call super spiritual, but I do have new faith.

{Jake & Tim, Jen & Ben, Emma & Hannah @ the baptism}

{Ben checking me out, he has already won my heart}

Monday, September 28, 2009


Well...technically I am not Penn State-r, but hey, I don't mind partaking in a party!

This weekend the boy treated me to a weekend in Happy Valley, aka Penn State/PSU/College Football Promise Land/#1 Party School! We headed up to State College, PA with our newly engaged friends, Jayana & Dan, early Friday morning. Jayana & Dan are also Penn State alumnus and awesome weekend warriors(it was J's bday on Sunday too)! We spent Friday afternoon touring downtown State College and exploring the massive Penn State campus. The downtown was gorgeous. The shops, restaurants, and bars glistened under the early Fall sunshine; and you could feel the gameday buzz in the air. Let me start by saying my alma mater will always hold a special place in my heart that can never be replaced. But people, PSU has a CREAMERY on-campus!! Like a full blown home-made ice cream mecca smack dab in the middle of their School of Agricultural Studies. The ice cream is to die for! Having no dignity, I got myself a mint milkshake and proceeded to sample S2H's peanut butter swirl, and Jayana & Dan's pumpkin. It was all AMAZING! Had the thought of dairy not been the last thing on my mind come Sunday morning we would have definitely been making a second trip!

{#1 fan, impostor, & the lion shrine}
{s2h, jayana (bday girl) & dan (happy couple)}

Ok, ok, I know all of my PSU friends are ready to hear what I thought about the "Great Show" and get off my usual food here it goes. I have never in my whole 24 years seen anything like the football passion I witnessed on Saturday. Not only is it football passion it is tailgate passion as well. There where miles and miles of fields full of RVs, trucks, SUVs, tents, pop-ups, grills, 5-man beer bongs, flags, dogs, satellite dishes, flat screens, and I lost track of everything else from over stimulation. And, this was all by 10am in the morning when we showed up to check out the ESPN College Game Day scene. So yes, the gang got me out of bed and across the campus before noon to see the ESPN guys in action. Mind you the actual game didn't start til 8pm! These people know how to rally!

{tailgating with ang & mike}

Since the name of this blog includes the word "cheerful" I usually try to discuss all things happy. However, I can not report out on my amazing PSU weekend without mentioning the game day weather. 100% CHANCE OF RAIN. And boy did it rain. It rained from the minute we got up til the moment we layed our heads downs. I even went back into town mid-day to buy rainboots so I could survive the rest of the day! But no worries, the spirit of the PSU fan carried on and we tailgated in style and enjoyed the day. Penn State played Iowa that night in a "Whitehouse." A "Whitehouse," I learned, is when everyone in the stadium wears white, especially the student section. The effect is pretty amazing. The stadium practically glows and you experience the intensity of the fans through sight and sound. PSU fans are totally hardcore. The students stand the WHOLE time! Everyone cheers, chants, sings, boos and actually pays attention! It was pretty fun! I even enjoyed my first cup of hot chocolate this season! Very much needed in the cold, dreary weather. It was an awesome experience, and I can't wait for my next game!

{well hey there jo pa!}
{student section}

{umm...where are our bodies?!}

*I will not be reporting on the actual football that took place during the game...not so cheerful.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Find

With the first week of Fall coming to an end I am inspired to do a little shopping to celebrate the season. So what do I have on my little Fall Wish List?? Well, I am always thinking about food, particularly the sweet stuff! Imagine my excitement when I came across these little gems on the Williams-Sonoma website! These mini pumpkin/apple pie molds are perfect for the upcoming apple picking trip and my very near cravings for all things pumpkin. I just love the small size and easy pocket. I can just imagine sending S2H off to work with a little personal-sized treat in his lunch! Be on the look-out for my newest Fall Find next week!

*pictures courtesy of

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Green Monsta!

As excited as I am about the beginning of Fall...even though the 80 degree DC weather is kind of stealing the season's glory, ahem...I have had an amazing summer. One of my favorite memories was going up to visit my grandparents with S2H for a true New England weekend. My grandparents, fondly known by all my lovies as Maggie & Bill, are true hosts and always keep the laughs coming! Their house on the coast of New Hampshire has a special place in my heart and I was so excited to show the boy my summer stomping grounds. The night of our arrival Maggie treated S2H to his FIRST lobster! Now being true Boston-breed folk Mag & Bill were dismayed that Scott had never had a true lobster, but I think they were ever so excited to welcome him to the wonderful world of the REAL New England delicacy. S2H got a lesson from the pros on how to eat the lobster and even a plate with step-by-step instructions! Only these two would have a set of dishware that display how to eat a lobster! The big event of the weekend was the Red Sox Game! The happy family hopped in the car and made the short trip to Fenway Park. We had an awesome afternoon game full of sunshine, Fenway Franks, over-priced beers, and great company! The Red Sox knocked out the Toronto Blue Jays and we couldn't have asked for a better game!
Cheers to summer!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome Autumn

Today, according to my planner is officially the beginning of Autumn! Fall/Autumn is my favorite season and I get shiver bumps just thinking about pumpkins and hot apple cider! To celebrate Fall I got in the kitchen and baked some festive peanut butter-cup cookies. I l.o.v.e Reese's peanut butter cups, umm HELLO Reese's pumpkins! This recipe from the October issue of Real Simple was super easy and a big hit!

>Preheat oven to 375
1.5 cups all-purpose flower
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter (@ room temp)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (i substituted 1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 12-ounce package of small peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
>Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt
>Using electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat til combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in candy.
>Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough about 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on baking rack.

*Real Simple says the recipe makes 48 cookies, I got about 32 cookies from the recipe.

{ta da!}

To make the treat complete I brewed a bit of Dunkin' Donuts Cinnamon Spice Coffee. A kitchen can't smell much better than peanut butter, chocolate and cinnamon spice! Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


is it friday yet??

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who do you love?

I know this is cheesy and I will most definitely get made fun of, but look at my kissing tree!!! I found this sweet little tree at and couldn't resist. So who do you love?? Make one or as many as you want and send them off to your special someones! xo

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hmm...How do we feel??

Fall is still officially a week away, but magazines have been talking about it for months! In my last issue of Real Simple magazine they featured the top nail color picks for the upcoming season. I am obsessed with this YSL Stormy Grey color. I was never into the whole Channel black nail thing but there is something about this grey. Nin thinks it might be too gothic, thoughts?? What's your favorite Fall go-to nail color?

Check out Real Simple for the rest of the Fall 2009 Nail Color Trends

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tarheel Love

Giselle recently entered the fun and fabulous world of college! I am so proud of her and she is the cutest Tarheel I've ever seen! Nina and I decided to go spend a night with her over Labor Day and eat our way through Chapel Hill. Giselle, now being a campus restricted eater, was all about free, yummy meals that did not involve a plastic tray! We started our little foodie adventure with a stop at the Yogurt Pump. This a delightful little frozen yogurt shop hidden in a little cove off of Franklin Street. I had a summery blend of Raspberry & Vanilla, Giselle had chocolate with her favorite topping, M&Ms, and Nina went with the Toffee Nut sprinkled with Chocolate Chips. It was the perfect sunny day treat and the Yogurt Pump does it right by giving you two layers of toppings. Nina was so happy to find chocolate chips sprinkled midway through her treat.

{the beauties with their sweet treat}

Next, we made our way to Target. This is always a necessary trip for any college girl when she has a car to use and a big sis to pay! After our Target trip we were a little famished and stopped at Moe's, a favorite of Giselle's. And oh my they do have the best queso and chips! To quote the soul mate, "I could swim in this queso!" For dinner I finally filled my sweet potato fry craving at Carolina Brewary. I ADORE sweet potato fries and Carolina Brewery makes them with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar, TO.DIE.FOR. Accompanied with an Amber Ale, I was in heaven!

We finished off a fulfilling eating day with a stop at Starbucks to share a Pumpkin Spice Latte. A perfect ending to share with my girls. {see side bar of nin & i enjoying our favorite Fall beverage}
No worries, the eating didn't stop with just one day! After a lazy morning, we headed to Carrboro for a local breakfast. Elmo's Diner was a cute little hangout full of biscuits, jam, and all things to start off a happy day. I had the Farmer's Omelet with a biscuit fit for any good ol'boy. We all left with smiles and took a walk around the Chapel Hill campus to stretch our full bellies! I totally embarassed Giselle and made her take pics all over campus, gotta document her freshman year! It was a great trip all around, and I can't wait for all the visits to come. Gooooo HEELS!

{little love & i in front of the old well}