Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Break

Last week was SPRING BREAK  and it could not have come at a better time! To begin the break I headed to Nashville to see one of my sweet friends, Elizabeth, get married. It was perfect and a great time to catch up with some of my favs! (All photo credit in this post goes to C. Harvey :))

 Most of the Deltas
E. Woods, Camille, me, and Eleanor

Then, I headed to Destin with some of my favs for my bachelorette party. It was such a fun and relaxing week. Here are some highlights:

 Long walks on the beach!
 Probably right after we sung forget you at Rum Runners on St. Patty's day
My Family met up with us for a day on Boatweiser :)
 Dad with the girls
 My "little" big brother and dad
 surprise t-shirts
 Coach O'Neill at his finest

 Cookies from Etsy

 3 mile walk to the Donut Hole for the best late-night ever
M.O.H. and me at the Red Bar 
 Camille, Calli, Julie, and Dabney!
 right after Julie made us some new friends!
 In almost every night by 10 :)

Overall, it was an amazing spring break with much needed time with friends. We laughed, ate good food, and took a break from reality. Happy spring y'all. 

78 days!! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Bowers and I were engaged at an inn right outside of Knoxville, Blackberry Farm. We had been there  to eat two weeks before when his parents were in town for graduation. I had not shut up about it so Bowers decided that it would be the perfect place to propose. He proposed at the chapel on the property and it was PERFECT. 

We celebrated with dinner at the barn and decided that it was only necessary to purchase their cookbook (I have a slight obsession with buying cookbooks). 

9 months later and we still had not made anything out of the cookbook. So... for Valentine's day we opted to stay in and cook from our cookbook. Our dinner consisted of: Black-eyed pea hummus, skillet okra, southern grits with caramelized onions, and lamb chops. The only recipe that was not from the cookbook was the lamb chops. 

Our favorite recipe was the skillet okra:

5 ounces bacon (4-5 strips), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large vidalia onion
1 pound okra, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. In a large ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat for about 8 minutes, until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

3. Add the onion to the bacon drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 5 minutes, then remove and set aside along with the bacon.

4. Add the okra to the pan along with the salt and pepper. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once gently, until the okra is tender. Add the bacon, onions, and tomatoes in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve warm.

*** Do not stir the okra too much so that it will not become mushy.

ENJOY! YUM.. I cannot wait to make it again in the summer when I can get fresh okra from the Farmers' Market.

2 weeks until I will be in Destin!!! Oh the perks of being a teacher...SPRING BREAK :)

Friday, January 21, 2011


We have chosen a honeymoon destination... an island off of Antigua! We will be spending our first married week at Jumby Bay Resort. It is a small all inclusive resort and we CANNOT wait. I begin to think about sitting on the beach sipping pina coladas with Bowers when I get stressed about my research project, job hunting, and wedding details. Happy Friday!

 Clear water...check
 yummy food and neat restaurants...check
 pina coladas...check
 private villas...check
and how cute...the bike comes with it :)

AHHH only 142 days until we will be sitting in those beach chairs!!

P.S. I have made it one week dairy free! only 23 more days! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm Back!!

Wow... how did I let 2 months go by without blogging? So much has happened that I do not even know where to begin! Sadly, this post will not have as many pics as normal because... my computer crashed! Bye bye grad school work and the wedding guest list (luckily my Mom has a copy or I might have pulled my hair out.. can you even imagine?!?) I will spare you all the little details and just hit the highlights:

-Bowers moved to Knoxville= No more long distance :) I am realllllly glad to be in the same city again. (Probably the main reason for my lack of blogging..)

- We traveled home for Thanksgiving and celebrated with his family. It was sad to celebrate the first holiday without my family but a really exciting new beginning. My family celebrated in Florida and it was way harder than I thought it would be to stay at my house alone. My sweet mom left me a care package that had this in it..... SO FUN!

- I had my first shower, a Christmas shower! Hopefully I will be able to add pictures later. My sweet Knoxville bridesmaids threw it for me and I was so overwhelmed with love and joy. Bowers and I are going to have such a special first Christmas with our sweet gifts. 

- I had my first illness at a teacher (ear infection/sinus infection),  finished the first half of my internship (Wahoo... I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel... and am hoping that it is not a train coming at me ;), and had my first snow day( days... we have already had 6 snow days in Knox County!)

 - I traveled home for Christmas. This Christmas was a very special one because it was my last one as an O'Neill. It was wonderful to be home with family and begin new traditions. We spent Christmas Eve Eve with the Clement's for the annual lobster dinner. 

-On Christmas day, we had 3 Christmases... the first was brunch with my family, the afternoon with the Clement's, and dinner/game night with the O'Neill's and Seessel's (Bowers' Mom and Step dad). We played the game Things and I highly recommend it (Thanks to the Drummey's for introducing it to us at supper club :))

- Santa was super good to me this year.. here are a few favs:
So I may not be able to shoot a duck, but at least I look hardcore.. maybe Bowers will take me hunting now :)

LOVE this cookbook and LOVE the pictures.. so far I have cooked the meatballs! They were delish (even with soy milk substituted for milk). I am trying to learn how to cook dairy free but it is reallllllly hard. Last night, Bowers convinced me that if I do not eat dairy for 30 days that he will buy me a piece of furniture that I have been wanting. I started today and so far I have craved: peppermint creamer in my coffee, cream cheese on my bagel, frozen yogurt, and cheese on my lunch. We will see how bad I really want that furniture....

- So much for Christmas "Break".. I was a busy girl. We nailed down many wedding details and I am getting SUPER excited. Less than 5 months!!! We ordered invites, picked the menu (I get hungry every time I think about it... food stations...get excited), tasted/ordered the cake, planned the ceremony, picked out programs, picked out lighting, etc. etc. etc. All I need now is for June 11 to hurry up.

- Last weekend, we traveled back to Memphis for our engagement party. We were overwhelmed with all the friends and family that came to support us and had a blast. Thanks to Mrs. Karen's quick fb uploads.. here are some pics from the weekend. Sadly I never managed to get a picture with the groom:
 Molly, me, Calli, Rebecca, and Meggie
 Riley, Alex, Kolby, and Bowers

Allie, me, Meghan, and Caitlin 

Coming soon: honeymoon details... and no they do not involve Alaska :)