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}

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The perfect birthday gift is always a tough one. I either have wonderful inspiration or nada. My sweet JMU friend, Amanda, recently had a birthday and I discovered the perfect gift! Well, the perfect gift for us. I signed us up for a Crazed Card Making Class at Paper Source. It was a delightful two hours of experimenting with Paper Source Goodies and using a little bit of our creative mojo to make some handmade cards! We played with embossing, stamping, and even cut decorative paper lining for the envelopes. It was totally worth every penny to spend some much needed time with Amanda and end up with some cheery cards to send to others! At the end of class we all got a little discount coupon and I couldn't resist picking up a few extra things for the craft box. Here is a sampling of the newest craft box additions: envelope line template kit, and the birthday card making kit.
*picture courtsey of

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Little Itty Bitty Apartment and the 42" TV That Lives There

This past July I made the big adult leap and rented a one-bedroom apartment for me, myself, and I. While I am still getting used to living on my own and the challenges that come with it, I absolutely LOVE it! I think I am blossoming in my own little space!
With it just being me, there has only been one person to pay all the bills, making things a little tight. So for the past two months I have gone without a TV, internet and cable. YIKES! Actually, it hasn't been too bad since the summer has been busy with travel and time spent outside. However, one little visitor was getting quite antsy living without the modern luxuries, especially with football season starting! S2H gave me a strict football opening deadline to get a TV or else his presence would be missed for the season! Well I barely made it but a HUGE TV was purchased this week and the boy is glowing with excitement!
All 42" is now proudly displayed in my living room! I may not be too excited about football, but I am secretly excited to get back into Project Runway and all my guilty pleasure shows!

{S2H so excited for the new living room addition}

Read Along...

I love to read! And it is so much more fun to share good books (and good wine and treats) with a group. My friend, Angela, brought me along to her book club about a year ago and I am hooked! Book clubs are the best idea EVER! I always love hearing everyone's different perspectives and it makes you appreciate all different types of literature. This month we are reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. Read along if you want and let me know what you think. I hope to start this weekend and give you an update! {see my side bar for past reads}

Night in Greensboro

My little sister, and best friend, started at UNC-Chapel Hill a few weeks ago. I was dying to see her in this new chapter of her life and made the decision to visit over the long Labor Day weekend! In an effort not to disturb her new party hopping schedule I decided to visit on Sunday & Monday. This actually ended up to be a bonus as I was able to have a quick visit with my newly engaged friend, Lo! Lo and I have known each other since 7th grade and it is so crazy to see her with the bling on her finger!
My soul mate, Nina, meet up with Lo and I in Greensboro and we spent a fabulous 24 hours getting mani/pedis, sharing a yummy dinner, discovering the mos
t precious cupcake shop, sipping on wine spritzers and watching Project Runway. It was just what the doctor ordered! Here are a few pictures to document the day!

(Maxie B's Dessert Cafe, Nina & her Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcake)

(me, Nina & Lo)