Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Catching Up

Whew, it's been quite a whirlwind few months in the Snider household!  We last left off with this pic:

I've been all of those place (Dallas), plus a trip to the lake, the 4th of July Holiday, Labor Day and I still haven't caught you up on my LAST Dallas trip or our 5th wedding anniversary!  Why bother catching you up?  Because I get the pleasure of reliving these last few amazing months now that I am finally able to take a breath and slow things down a bit!  You've probably seen pictures on facebook, but you haven't been able to really hear the stories (well, at least the "you" is probably my mom and the two other people who read this blog).  But, I promised I would make this my online scrapbook - therefore this is kind of like those furious scrapbook weekends where you're throwing pictures on a pretty patterned page from 2 years ago  :)

So, after Amber and John's wedding weekend, Tim & I and hung around Dallas for a few days to see friends and hang with family.

Sunday evening, we headed over to Ross & Sally's to see Forrest & the rest of the Bouje gang that was in town for Memorial Day.  We all decided to just grab whatever and have a random dinner of pizzas, fruit, guacamole, and cheese/crackers.  I'm also certain there was dessert.  To me, that's what really makes a friendship - its when you can just show up, no fancy plates or presentation and just be (what, you thought I was going to say dessert?).  It's just comfortable.

We hung at their pool and had some great conversations - each of us shared our highs and lows of the past year and what had been going on with each of us - so relaxing and encouraging.

Scrapbook page!
Memorial Day was spent at Mom and Allen's pool with Ryan, until I packed the hubby up and sent him back to work!  I headed to my Dad & Renee's to celebrate a belated birthday for Ryan.

Dad, Ryan, me
Katie & Will - celebrating Ryan's birthday
Before I left, I had to get in some quality time with Tim and I's godson, Landon (oh yeah, and I guess his mom Lisa).   We took him to Starbucks and Lisa & I met our good friend from high school, Ayla for lunch at Kona Grill...why does Birmingham not have a Kona Grill??  It's delicious!!  Ayla was 5 months pregnant at this time, although you seriously could not tell!  She just had a precious baby girl, who I got to meet on my next trip to Dallas - more pics later!

Before I knew it, it was time to head home...another great Dallas trip!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adventures in Cooking - Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Swirl

This post is actually from LAST Thanksgiving, and I just got around to posting  :)  But, I saw it in my draft posts and realized this could actually be good timing!  I think I may be, gulp, HOSTING Thanksgiving this year, so I better get on our menu!  Here's to hoping this brings you some inspiration -

Last year, I was tasked with bringing a non-chocolate dessert for Thanksgiving and I let Tim pick since he's not much of a chocolate fan.  Tim's almost officially declared cheesecake his favorite dessert (with peach cobbler coming in a close second - he's a weirdo).  We subscribe to Food Network magazine and he found a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Swirl in the booklet of pies in the last issue.  I tried to find the recipe online to no avail, so hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws by posting it on here!


1.  Make pumpkin pie filling with 3/4 cup of pumpkin, 1/4 cup evaporated milk, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground Ginger and 1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.

2.  In a separate bowl, combine 12 ounces soften cream cheese, 1/3 cup each of sour cream and sugar and 2 eggs.  Stir 1/3 of this mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

3.  Pour the pumpkin filling into a pre-made pie crust. (adapted by me - recipe calls for homemade pie crust, but just call me Sandra Lee - love cheats to make things easier!)

4.  Top the pumpkin filling with remaining cream-cheese mixture and swirl top with a toothpick.

5.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees - Enjoy!

I know there's a trick to not getting the cheesecake pie to crack, but honestly - it tastes the same to me, so why does it matter?! :)  Maybe you could make this for Halloween - the cracks look kind of creepy...I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan, so not sure I'm the best judge of this dessert - but Tim was happy.  He's already put in a repeat request for this year!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Last of Us

I'd like to formally introduce you to someone....

His name is Bouje and well, he's everything we're not.  No, I haven't lost my mind.  I've just returned from a fabulous wedding weekend with this little character and thought it was about time for you guys to hear his story.  Bouje started when I was in high school (probably junior or senior year?).  I was with some church friends at a white elephant gift party and my friend, Lauren received an actual white elephant.  For some reason, she was feeling destructive and decided to intentionally crack off his ear and trunk on the table ( may want to talk to someone about those tendencies).  And then, Bouje looked like this -

Okay, okay - he doesn't glow - the picture was staged for effect.  He really looks like this:

Ever since, he's been an integral part of my core group of friends - in high school, we traded him off at church each week and whenever one of us was going on a trip we'd make sure Bouje got to go.  This guy has seen some pretty incredible places and if we'd had digital cameras back then (it was the dark ages), I'd love to show you pics of him in California, Vegas, Europe, etc - maybe I'll scan some in one day. 

When we all went to college, we had a mini ceremony and each made our own miniature bouje from some soap shaped like an elephant.  Okay, we may have taken it a little far back then - we didn't keep up with those, but Bouje has stayed around.  We now have a tradition that as each of the "original" 6 get married, the spouse becomes an official Bouje member and must take their portrait with the rest of our group and they get to hold Bouje in the picture.  By the way, I must really love you guys that I'm willing to share some of these horrible pictures of me for the entire world wide web to see....

Ross & Sally's weddding (2006)

Tim & I's wedding (2007)

Chris & Kristine's wedding (2007) - I'm holding my arm out for Tim!
Lauren & Patrick's wedding (2009) 

Matt & Lindsey's wedding (2011) 
And last, but certainly not least....

Pam & Troy's wedding (2012)

As of the past year, we've affectionately named those who married into Bouje to be the "Enhancements."  We've also picked up some Bouje babies along the way  :)

To me, he's now come to represent an amazing group of friends who feel more like family...everytime I am around them, it just feels like coming home.  This weekend was no different.  Troy is such a welcome "enhancement!"  If you're wondering about the title of this post, you need a little bit of background.  You see, Troy is an incredibly talented voice over actor.  Allen (Pam's dad, my stepdad) - so cleverly worked the title of one of Troy's upcoming game roles into his speech at the wedding - since Pam and Troy round out the final Bouje wedding, this really represents "The Last of Us."

We always also like to incorporate Bouje into the ceremony in some sneaky way....
See Bouje hiding in the church during Lindsey's wedding ceremony??
 For Tim & I's wedding, Lauren and Chris (who are both amazing singers), sang a song from our old church choir days and held him during their performance.  For Pam's, our nephew Jackson who was the ring bearer carried Bouje down the aisle with Troy's ring tied on him!  :)  I'm telling you, Bouje is a sneaky little thing...

I know I owe a looooooooong recap of the last few months which have been quite a whirlwind, but for now, I'll leave you with a few Bouje pics from over the years:

Original Bouje Girls - Lauren, Lindsey, Pam & I

Original Bouje with Matt & Linds at their wedding

All six Bouje girls - Lauren, Kristine, Lindsey, Pam, me & Sal

Lindsey, Bouje & I at my wedding shower

We can always crack each other up...

In other great news - Bouje is now residing at the Snider residence!!!  We have passed him around a few times the past few years and now he's making home in the great state of Alabama.  :)