List Five - My Guilty Pleasures

Guilty pleasures are the little things in life that make your day just a teensy bit better. Of course, they're also the things you're not supposed to like; Think Perez Hilton, junk food, rap music, etc....Today, I'm not embarrased to share my guilty pleasures. Why? Because they make me happy.

1. Hall and Oates

2. Sleeping Late

3. Celebrity Gossip

4. Cookie Dough

5. Reality TV

6. Singing Loudly in my Car

7. 80's Movies

8. Silly Chic-Lit

9. Long, Hot Baths

10. Pajamas

11. Gossip Girl DVDs

12. Fashion Magazines

13. Girly Movies

14. Coca-Cola

15. Twilight

16. Summer Dresses

17. Sex & the City Marathons

18. Watching the Same Movie Over & Over & Over

19. Earrings

20. Snickers

What are your guilty pleasures?

(5 down, 47 to go)


Wagon Wheel Pasta with Pancetta and Peas

Will & I love pasta. LOVE it. It's always fun running across a new recipe, and trying it out....then the two of us discuss whether or not it will be a repeat recipe, or if we'd rather not try it again. I ran across a recipe in a recent issue of Rachael Ray and it sounded delicious, so after a few small tweaks, I prepared it for dinner last week. If you love pasta, you'll love this dish! The flavors are distinctive and delightful. And did I mention you can make this meal in less than thirty minutes? Needless to say, this will be a repeat recipe at our house!


Salt and pepper

1 pound wagon wheel pasta

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 pound pancetta, or lean, thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock

2 cups frozen peas

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

Grated peel of 1 lemon

A handful of grated pecorino-romano cheese

2 cups ricotta cheese

1.Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.

2.While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the wine, then add the peas and heat through for 2 minutes; season with the thyme, lemon peel and pepper.

3.Add the reserved 1 cup pasta cooking water and the drained pasta; toss to combine. Add the pecorino-romano and toss. Serve in bowls and top with the ricotta, for stirring in as you eat.

Home of the Lions -Part One-

The weather was beautiful outside, so we decided to visit my Alma Mater, the University of North Alabama, which is here in Florence. UNA is steeped in history and tradition, and some say it is haunted. Wesleyan Hall, where many history and political science classes are held, where I actually spent most of my time on campus (I received my BS of Political Science in 2004), served as a Civil War Hospital for both Union and Confederate Soldiers in the 1860's. Wesleyan Hall is actually credited as the site where General William Tecumsah Sherman uttered the iconic phrase, "War is Hell". More than a few students have reported paranormal activity in Wesleyan, and other places on our historic campus. But aside from a rich history, one of the greatest things about my college is that it is the permanent home to two six year old African lions, Leo III and Una. The sibling lions live on campus, in a state of the art lion habitat. Leo III and Una came to the University after their birth in 2002. Before the siblings, UNA was the proud home to Leo I from 1974 until his death in 1988, and Leo II from 1988 until his death in February of 2000, which was my freshman year at college. One of my fondest memories of my freshman year was sitting in English class every afternoon, and hearing Leo II roar from his habitat right next door to where I was studying. He was loud, and he was amazingly beautiful! It was very sad for our community when he passed away. He was even voted the Nation's 2nd Best Mascot by Sports Illustrated in 1997.

We wanted to Hudson to see the lions, so we strolled through campus to pay them a visit. Can you believe that we just missed them? They can usually be seen in their habitat from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Unfortunately, because we went after Will arrived home from work, the lions had already gone in for the night....But we can't wait for the next pretty day. We'll be checking out the lions again soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some pictures of the beautiful UNA campus.


{Ampitheatre at the center of campus}

{At the George H. Carroll Lion Habitat}

{Frank Fleming Lion Sculpture}

{Sculptor Frank Fleming is a graduate of UNA}

{Looking for Leo III & Una}

{Bibb Graves Hall}

{Recognize anyone?}

{Harrison Plaza}

{"These aren't real lions are they, Dad?"}

{"Roar Lions! I love UNA!"}


To Gennie and Grand-Dad's House We Go!

While Will was gone to Chicago for business, Hudson and I spent a few days at my parents' house. We had fun relaxing, shopping, and visiting.  Hudson's favorite part was bathing in the kitchen sink!

{Bath Time}

{Rub a Dub Dub...}

{....Hudson and his Ducky playing in the tub}

{"Is anyone going to bathe me?"}

{"I know I'm cute, but let's get this bath over with!"}


Daddy went to Chicago....

......And all we got were....


Thanks Daddy! We are so happy you are home!


Hershey's Better Basket Blog Hop

Hershey's has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network for in excess of 20 years, and this year, bloggers get to help!

For every blog post sporting a virtual Easter basket post, Hershey's is donating $10 (up to $5,000) to the Children's Miracle Network!!!


* Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.

* Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.

* Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.

* Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.

* Leave your link at http://betterbasket.info/BlogHop/ comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.

* Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).

* Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.
I received my basket from Whitney at The Brink Bunch.
I'm passing a virtual basket on to :

Please consider helping out for this excellent cause!


Afternoon Sunshine

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”