Saturday, December 20, 2008

Camera snaps

Some of my lastest creations: Veggie Lasagna
Adam's birthday cake! Strawberry jell-o cake (thanks for the recipe, Megan!)

Our Christmas-themed dining room. I'm trying to be a good decorator!

Our Christmas tree and my new hair color. I love it! I believe every girl should have the right to be blonde once in her lifetime. I lived it, loved it, and have now moved on. Rock on sista friend :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just Because

Friday night Ryan and I headed up to Atlanta to attend a Christmas party hosted by our friends Charity and Derek Carter. We had so much fun! There is nothing like the company of good friends, especially during the holiday season. A couple of days before, Ryan decided to book us a night at the Westin downtown just because we had the opportunity. If you haven't been there, I highly recommend checking out the Sundial restaurant. The restaurant slowing turns, giving you a complete 360 degree view of Atlanta. The restaurant is on the 73rd floor of the hotel, and the only way to get there is to ride a glass elevator to the top. Unfortunately, the elevator's windows were blacked out because a tornado took out a lot of the windows, windows that are still been repaired. All in all, it was great! So romantic! I'm so grateful for my marriage and all the things I've learned and have yet to learn about loving someone to the fullest. I love you, honey!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Best Mashed Potato Recipe

I tried this recipe for Thanksgiving, and it was such a hit! Thank you Paula Dean and Liz!

5 cups water
4 cups frozen hashbrown potatoes (shredded)
7.6 oz pkg butter & herb instant mashed potato mix
1/2 c butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 c monterey jack cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 c canned french fried onion rings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Boil the water and add hashbrowns. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Drain.
Prepare mashed potatoes according to the package directions. Mix in the hashbrowns in a large bowl.
Soften the butter and cream cheese in the microwave. Add to the potato mixture in bowl.
Mix in jack cheese, sour cream, and seasonings.
Place in a greased 3 quart casserole dish.
bake 25-35 mins, or until golden on top.
Sprinkle the onion rings on top and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes.

Makes 8-10 servings

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tis the season, but not just because it's the season

I find myself so humbled today with my life. In these trying economic times, I have a great job, a wonderful husband, a lovely home, and a knowledge of the true gospel in my life. I'm very aware that circumstances change and are changing all over the country for millions of people who thought their life was set and job secure. My heart aches for all the people out there who are struggling because I know, at any moment, that could be me. As I learn and grow and appreciate things so much more, I grow in my love of the Thanksgiving holiday.
I found this quote today, and it has struck a chord inside me:

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."

Amen to that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Relief might be in sight

Went to an urgent care clinic yesterday since I couldn't get into see my doctor. Tonight I will have been on steroids and a new and stronger round of antibiotics for 24 hours. Hopefully, my husband will be able to sleep in the same bed as me (my humidifier and coughing are not good sleeping aids). Columbus definitely has allergy issues, so if this is going to be a reoccuring theme, I'm going to really think about my future plans here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clarise, the red-nosed wife

Ugh. Talk about no fun for the last 3 weeks. The weather keeps changing from warm to cold to warm again so flowers are blooming, dying, and then blooming again. Columbus seems to be allergy capital of the world, which I am not too happy about. I have gone through countless tissues, hot tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, cough drops, airborne, and claritin. I've even invested in a humidifier and the best air filters money can buy. I've tried every home remedy, had a round of antibiotics, and lost my voice completely. I really hope this clears up soon. There's a great possibility my sanity could be on the line.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Before Saturday, I had never ever ridden a horse. I really wanted to on our honeymoon, but we never got the chance. Well, Ryan (being the thoughtful husband he is) arranged for us to go for a trail ride out in this gorgeous country town about an hour from our home. Ryan's horse was named Chase, and they took to each other immediately. My horse was named Mississippi and he always wanted to be in lead (my kinda horse). He scared me a couple times when he trotted ahead, but all in all, we had a great time. It was so relaxing for us to ride along all the trees that were changing colors. Now, I'm working the Icyhot on my sore muscles!

Even the drive there and back was gorgeous!

Ryan and Chase

Me and Mississippi (and the trail guide)

Who knew?

I can cook! There is a lady in our ward who used to be a gourmet cook, and she offers cooking lessons. I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of her classes. I took notes and made Ryan this spaghetti sauce from stratch with whole wheat pasta and fresh herbs. Our home smelled like heaven for hours! Ryan has always been the main cook in our household, but I think I'm going to give him a run for his money!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A great birthday present

( Ryan snapped this picture of me on a Sunday after church. I'm closing the door to our guest room so you can't see how disorganized it is!)
For my birthday, my mother-in-law bought me these oh-so-comfy house slippers/boots. They are now a wardrobe essential! I will spend half my life in these; I am sure.

Shout out

Here's my shout-out to ATL, home sweet home! How I miss you!

Thank you, McDreamy!

To say I'm a fan of Grey's Anatomy, is a bit of an understatement. Ask me a question about the show, I probably know the answer. It is the only thing I have to compare to my husband's football passion. Grey's is my passion! I mean, really, who would pass up an opportunity to check this hot doctor out every Thursday night? Anywho, I love this new season because there is enough blood and guts to attract my husband. Yes, you can believe it's true. I actually can sit and watch my beloved show with Ryan at my side. Life can't get much better than this!
P.S. To all the other fans out there, don't forget to check out the writer's blog after every episode:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ooh Ooh Baby

I took the plunge and changed my hair! Ryan took this picture with his phone, so it's not that great, but you get the idea.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Haunted House

One interesting fact about Ryan is that he is in love with gingerbread houses. No joke! Well, he couldn't wait until Christmas; when he was at the craft store with me, he spotted haunted gingerbread house kits. With a cute face like his, how could I say no? I had to wash my frosting-covered hands quite a few times to snag these priceless pictures:

We started out in the living roomthen moved to the kitchen tablehe was determined the finished product:
scary, yet delicious!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Zip Lining

Ryan and I are thinking of going zip lining next weekend. Check out this cool place (and it's not too far away!):

And here's a youtube video of someone zip lining at this place:

We can't wait!

Halloween Decorations

Thanks to everyone's advice, I went to JoAnn's Monday night and stocked up on Fall/Halloween decorations at 50% off! Loved it!

scarecrow dolls:

cute little pumpkins:welcome pumpkins:

Monday, September 29, 2008


Somehow, I seem to have spent my adult life with little or no holiday decorations. Well, I'm ready to make up for that. Anyone know some good places to shop?

Friday, September 19, 2008


The year was probably the most eventful year either one of us have ever experienced! Ryan and I began dating in November; Ryan proposed in February; we were married in August! I was working for a stucco company in Atlanta, but they transferred me to the corporate office in Columbus this summer. Ryan works for a marketing business for home contractors, and he's lucky enough to work from home most of the time. It's such a treat to come home on my lunch break and be able to spend time together! We are adjusting well to married life, and are learning so much about each other. We miss all our friends in Atlanta so much, but are trying our best to make the most of small town life!