Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A must read...

For all my 20-something married readers (or about to be/ want to be marrieds):

How not to be a starter wife

So many great points in this article. A couple good ones:

- "Relationships and people change over time. The more skills you have for dealing with what's happening, the less likely you are to get divorced. But younger people come into my office and say, 'I'm leaving this relationship because I'm looking for my soul mate, someone I have more in common with.' It takes them a while to realize that the grass isn't greener on the other side. It may cost them their marriage to learn that lesson."

- "Women now place more of a premium on being fulfilled in their marriages — having their dreams for intimacy, for sexual satisfaction, for challenge, all wrapped up into their marriage. That's a hard order to fill, and these people are likely to end up on the rocks because they learn pretty quickly that no one person is capable of delivering all their deepest hopes for meaning and purpose and happiness."

I know I harp on it over and over again, but I really am passionate about marriages... especially young marriages. It breaks my heart to hear of young people giving up on marriages so soon - and usually because they had completely unreal expectations of what a marriage is (and is not) to begin with. Hopefully articles like the one above can provide you a little insight.

I think Pioneer Woman reads my blog

... I just blogged about pancetta the other week... and I blogged about being a leek freak (my term first) not too long ago. Then low and behold, today PW put up the recipe Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks.

She wants to be me. Or I want to be her. Whatever.

In either case, it will be made in Casa de Barnhill next week.

I actually made her recipe for Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta o
n Monday night. Since Chad wasn't home to do the grilling in time - mine was more of a pan-seared chicken. But regardless, it was delicious!

Oh yes, and I forgot to tell you kids that we rearranged our living room the other week - much more open than before. The room is still begging for drapes... but I'm waiting until our bank account has recovered from the irrigation system before trying to find an interior designer (Lord knows I don't trust myself to pick my own fabrics), buy fabric and pay someone to make the window treatments. So all in due time. For now, we're just enjoying the bright sunlight!

Ignore the fact that my couch is not on the area rug - details, details. I'm planning on moving the couch up more to make room for a huge antique cupboard --- the ones you see at a flea market so big you wonder how the heck you move 'em... nevertheless get through a door.

Oh well, that's a job for Chad to figure out. A couple of these from Restoration Hardware wouldn't be bad either... but I think the $4k price tag might scare Chad off.

Oh, and one last thing... "hi gorgeous snapdragons!"

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's been awhile... Rude

Let me set the stage:

Chad and I stopped by Harris Teeter so I could get an icy beverage from Starbucks. He picked up a large Red Bull for himself. We get back in the car. Let the rudeness commence!

Me: "Ugh. The smell of that Red Bull makes me want to vom. Could you please hold the can out the window?"
Chad: "What??!? Why?"
Me: "Because they are disgusting. That smell is nasty."
Chad: "You don't like Red Bull?!?!"
Me: "God no. They taste like liquid Sweet Tarts."
Chad: "You don't like Sweet Tarts!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?"
Me: "No!"
Chad: "I wish I would have known that before I married you."


Friday, July 23, 2010

Big week

So it's been a busy week for me - lots of stuff going on.

Two things of note:

1) I finally beat the 1,000,000 mark playing Brick Breaker... with hundreds of lives to spare. I then promptly killed myself off so that I could rid myself of my BB obsession. Just putting me one-step closer to giving up my Blackberry once *hopefully* iPhone comes to Verizon.

2) I've been really tense the last couple of days, so I begged Chad to give me a quick massage last night. Usually his massages are not very great (you can tell he's rushing and not into it) but I was desperate. However, he made the mistake last night of giving me an honest-to-goodness massage... and let me tell you... it's one of the best ones I've ever had. I yelled at him for holding out on me so long. I melted into a puddle when he was done. Big mistake on his part. I'm going to want one every night.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Remember to Laugh

So I've had a rough several days. I think I've cried more in the past week than I have in the rest of my life combined.

But the other night I was watching TV with Chad. And something on it made me laugh.

And I laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

The kind of laugh that makes it hard to catch your breath. The kind that hurts your cheeks and makes your abs cramp. Tears rolling down the face laugh.

And it was the best I felt in a long time.

Never underestimate the power of a good laugh.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Downloads: RA Edition

I love music.

I really love Ryan Adams.

He's my fave.

If you haven't listened to him before - here is a list of some of my favorite songs. Download 'em.

"If I Am a Stranger" - I love to blast this song loudly and dance around the house to it. And I do. And try to get Chad to join in. (Only the studio version. The acoustic version is much more mellow.)

"Let it Ride" - This song reminds me of my big brother. We loved to jam to Ryan Adams together in college. This was one of our favorites.

"My Love For You Is Real" - The song that shoulda been our first dance at our wedding. Didn't hear it in time. Love, love, love it.

"Now That You're Gone" - good sleepy-time song.

"La Cienega Just Smiled" - the first of Ryan Adam's songs that I fell in love with.

"Wonderwall" - yes, a cover of the old Oasis version. Ryan's blows it out of the water. Same lyrics - a completely different tone. Makes it sound like a different song. Haunting.

"So Alive" - much more rock and roll. Fun.

There's a million more. But that'll give you a taste. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


That hot summer sun has done a number on everyone's yards. Our poor garden has practically bit the dust... minus the occasional zucchini or sweet 100 that keeps popping up. Our flowering plants have wilted. Our grass is alive (barely) thanks to the diligence of my dear husband.

So I'm already looking ahead to next fall/spring planting season.

I'll tell you some flowers that WILL be planted:

1) Hydrangeas

2) Peonies (the official flower of MPLT)

3) Snapdragons

4) Zinnias

Can't wait to put together some beautiful arrangements.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I've already shared with you all some things that annoy me.

Here are a couple that Chad.

1) Cyclists. Don't even get him started. We've had many a' blowout over Chad wanting to roll down the window while driving to yell at them. It's bad. Real bad.

Frequent outbursts include the phrases:

"Nice logo suit. Are those your sponsors, Lance Armstrong?"

"Move over f%#fg^&%$." (insert curse word of your choice.)

2) People who have those flip flop decals on their cars (bonus hate points for people that have one for every member of the family.) Chad: "What does that even mean?!? They like flip flops?" Me: "No, I think it means they like the beach." Chad: "That's the stupidest thing I've ever seen."

Update: Wordsmithing

Yesterday I wrote about this.

Update: Chad - again - forgot his lunch. I'm going to have to tie it around his neck at night with a zip-tie to get him to remember it in the morning.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I was making a dish this week that required pancetta bits. I went to good ol' Harris Teeter to do my g-store shopping, and found pancetta in the deli section - a small package for $8.

I couldn't justify it... especially since I only need a little bit.

I asked the woman behind the counter if there were any other options for pancetta. She said "Of course! Let me slice you some fresh - and I'll just carve it in wider slices so you can dice it up yourself. It will be fresher that way, anyway." So she carved me 2 slices of pancetta --- for a grand total for $1.80.


So if you're buying pancetta, have them slice it for you at the counter fresh! Better tasting and less expensive. Love when that happens!


Snippet of conversation Chad and I had last night before bed:

Things you need to know ahead of time-
1) I made homemade hot crab dip this weekend with our leftover crabbies.
2) Chad always forgets to bring his lunch.

Me: "Don't forget to bring that crab dip I packed for you to lunch tomorrow. And don't forget to pack some pita with it."
Chad: "Did you already cut them up into the little triangles?"
Me: "No, just bring a whole piece and you can tear it off yourself at work."
Chad: "Well then why did you yell at me when I tried to tear it for my parents?"
Me: "Because we were entertaining. Besides, there was a knife and cutting board for it out already."
Chad: (sigh)
Me: "Fine, just cut the pita bread in half and then stuff it with the crab dip like a sandwich."
Chad: "I can't eat a dip sandwich. That makes me sound like such a fatty. 'Hey, what are you eating today?' 'Nothing, a dip sandwich."
Me: "Then don't call it a crab dip sandwich. Call it a crab spread on pita."
Chad (satisfied): "Okay. I'll do that."

And that, my friends, is why people call us PR folk 'spin doctors.' And I can spin it like the best of 'em.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I hope you readers had a great weekend - we definitely did.

Saturday we went to a restaurant in downtown Wake Forest called Backfins for some good ol' MD-style blue crabs. They were awesome. Chad always laughs that a girl that is scared of raw chicken has no problem picking around the guts of a crab.

Then Saturday night, Chad, my dad and brother went to a local golf course that has lights (allowing for nighttime play.) Mom and I rode around with them in the golf cart to (silently) cheer them on... since you can't really cheer at a golf course. The nighttime air was nice and cool (a nice relief from some of these hot Carolina days we're having.)

Sunday was nice and relaxing. I spent the day watching over a bubbling pot of pasta sauce I was making (family recipe), watching the World Cup with Chaddy, and finally wrapping the evening up with a bubble bath.

Next Sunday Chad and I are teaching our first Sunday school lesson for 2nd and 3rd graders at the church. We're excited and I'm sure we'll have some great Sunday School Adventures stories.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Carolina Grown

North Carolina has so many great treats that were "born in the Carolinas."

Recently, two of the greats - Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Cheerwine - paired together to create Cheerwine-creme filled chocolate covered doughnuts.
For you readers who aren't lucky enough to live near a Krispy Kreme... you are missing out. They are the best doughnuts in the world.... and kill Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, etc. I must admit - even though I was always a KK fan - I grew to love them even more when (during my time at a PR agency) Krispy Kreme was one of my clients. They were so much fun to work with. Plus, when we'd head to the Krispy Kreme headquarters for meetings, they actually had full cases of doughnuts... of every variety... right in the middle of the hallway for anyone to have. I swear if I worked there full time I'd weight 200 pounds. And honestly, those doughnuts at the headquarters were by far the best Krispy Kremes I've ever had.

Anyway - so it got me thinking about how many great Carolina products we have! We've got Nabs (or Lance crackers to those who aren't from 'round these parts), Pepsi, Cheerwine, Krispy Kreme, Peanut Roaster peanuts and so much more.

What about you? What are the brands your state takes credit for?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sweetest Thing

So we had a fun weekend with family and friends this weekend. Chad went to a private school from grades K-12... so he's had the same group of guy friends since they were little. Amazingly enough, they all have stayed close... and we all now literally live minutes from each other. The best part is I adore all these guys and their wives... which makes get-togethers so much fun.

So for the 4th, all the guys and their families came over for a cookout. We had a great time. But the best part of all:

My sweet little Annabelle (the closest thing we've got to a niece) actually took a few steps to me for the first time! She just turned one in June - so this is a huge deal. It was so exciting to see her come toward me with the biggest smile on her face. You can tell she'll be running around the place in no time.

It was awesome. I can only imagine the pride her parents feel. We're just friends but we love that little girl like crazy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

From Sea to Shining Sea

Happy 4th y'all.

God bless America!