Vacation Time

We are heading out for vacation/a lil work week!! I'm so excited to get some down time with the hubs and end our week with the fam... and a baby shower to boot! Lots of pictures and baby shower planning to come... I can't wait. 

Until next week... 


Birthday Cakes

We are celebrating birthday cakes on the blog today. Why, you ask? It's my half Birthday!! 

... and a big one at that. only 6 months left until I turn the big 3-0. What to do with myself... get on the 30 b4 30 list . Yes, maybe I should do that... or maybe think more about "what I want to be when I grow up"... yes, maybe I should do that.. but to be honest, I don't think I'm ever going to really "grow-up." We {as in my husband and my family} are really kids at heart, so I don't really know if growing up will ever really happen - not on the inside at least!  But, I figure why not take every advantage to celebrate something... so half birthdays rack right up there with the first day of summer, international pretzel day and May Day! :)

So back to this birthday thing... One of my favorite things about a birthday is the cake {just like weddings}. So, today we have my six favorite cakes - one for each month until I turn 30! 

via Pinterest.

Can you tell I have a thing for bright colors??  I love sprinkles and candies on cakes... they make it so much more fun. Happy June 13th!

xo, trace


Tasty Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash

One week until we leave for a work trip/summer vacation {finally!}, so we are trying to a.) use up all the food we have in the house and b.) eat healthy. 

Last night we tried a new fun creation... 
Buffalo Shrimp over Spaghetti Squash {with Kale on the side}

It turned out really great. I cooked the spaghetti squash according to the simple directions online. Cut in half, scoop seeds from middle and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. It baked perfectly. 

For the shrimp: I peeled the shrimp {one dozen} and set to the side. Next I sauteed garlic and olive oil in a hot skillet. Once fragrant, I added 1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce and let it cook for about 3 minutes - just to marinate the flavors. I added the shrimp and covered it to saute around 5 minutes. 

While the shrimp were cooking I scraped the squash clean with a fork and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spoon shrimp with buffalo sauce over spaghetti squash. Top with mozzarella cheese and enjoy!

I served with warm garlic bread and sautéed kale {in onion and garlic}. It was simple and delicious! 

Happy Tuesday and Healthy Eating!

xo, trace


Summertime Under the Stars

Happy Monday!! We had quite the busy lil' weekend - but it was SO much fun!

Friday night we had dinner with my new boss and her friend at The Palms. It was fun showing them around Lexington and getting to know her outside of work. That night one of our groomsmen {who just moved from Lex} drove up to see us and spend the night on the sofa before heading to C'ville on Saturday for some Fun under the Stars!

Starry Nights at Veritas was SO much fun! I can't believe we just found out about it - but we will most defiantly be going back! We picked up 35 pieces of fried chicken from Wayside Deli {amazing!} and chowed down on some delicious sides throughout the night. Here is a brief recap of the fun...

Cheers to great friends, great food and wonderful memories!! 

xo, trace


5 on Friday

So today I am linking up with A. Liz Adventures, for the very first time, to join in on Five on Friday...essentially you post about 5 things...y'all know how random I am, so this is perfect for me!

So, here is my 5 on Friday.

{ONE} Cupcake's new Angel Food Cake Wine.  A little taste of heaven in a bottle. Yummy! 

{TWO} Birchbox. We could all say that I'm not the connoisseur of make-up or the hippest trends in cosmetics... so joining Birchbox has really brought me up to speed on what's new today!

{THREE} Perch Glas Charms. Are these not the cutest things you have ever seen. I can't wait to give them for a gift {or pick some up for myself!} Just Precious.

{FOUR} Utensil Caddy's. I have been looking for a fun caddy for parties and came across this fun one from Pottery Barn. Pretty cute!

{FIVE} Veritas Vineyards Starry Nights kicks off tomorrow! We are getting together with some old buddies and heading to Veritas for the first Starry Nights of the season. I can not wait for our picnic under stars and enjoying time with old friends while listening to some sweet Motown!

Wanna join in on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...

1.)  Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.)  Share the logo above on your blog and link back.
3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!


Really Happy People

You know those really happy people?? Yes, the ones that are always smiling, skipping through the office at 7:15am and still going strong ... long after your 3rd cup of coffee, 2 diet cokes, spilt milk and no afternoon snack. Yep! They are still skipping on by. Well, I must confess, most of time, that may be me... maybe at some point every day, but certainly not 100 % of the time. So today I was reading my weekly newsletter from CNE {who also spurred last weeks Thursday post} and I came across an article titled, 6 Things Really Happy People Do.  This should be interesting... right?

After reading it, I just had to share on my blog! It's really great advice and a fun read.  I didn't want to paraphrase {I'm afraid it looses the effect} so, welcome Kevin Daum!

How do they do it, these happy people? How do they let troubles bounce off them and make the best of every struggle? Many believe a constant state of happiness is in the category of mermaids and unicorns. But there are people in this world who, short of major unexpected trauma, have figured out how to be truly happy most of the time. These people have mastered a perspective worthy of imitation. Here are some common traits for you to emulate in your pursuit of happiness.

1. They clearly define happiness.

I have heard many people claim happiness comes from people or children or community or work, etc. Each one may be true for some and not true for others. Happiness is a personal objective only reached by knowing what it looks like for you. Happy people understand what makes them happy and are therefore able to make changes in their life to eliminate unhappiness. They don't hope for happiness, they decide to make it happen. Try keeping a journal listing the things that make you happy and those that don't. Then focus on making the happy list happen.

2. They find pleasure in the little things.

Many people are waiting for happiness to come from a major event like a promotion, wedding, or winning the lottery. Truly happy people find joy in simple things like accomplishing tasks, pleasant conversation, beautiful images, or nice weather. Those tiny bits of joy add up--like manufactured runs in baseball--to a winning disposition. Open your eyes and ears to seemingly inconsequential items and events around you. Be a curious observer and enjoy the wonder of small detail in this amazing world.

3. They believe in their own self-worth.

So much unhappiness comes from personal insecurity. Anxiety can be a good motivator for success, but too much will suck the joy out of accomplishment. Happy people choose to be confident so they can focus their time and energy on opportunity and relationships. Cultivate your self-confidence so you can enjoy the journey to success as much as the end result.

4. They take continuous action for self-improvement.

Happy people love to grow. They commit to constant learning and personal development. When they feel themselves becoming stagnant they actively pursue new opportunities to discover and challenge themselves. Set yourself a regimen for learning. Books, classes and clubs will not only make you smarter, but you'll meet like-minded learners to add to your personal circle and help you be a better person.

5. They graciously impact others.

Those who are happy have a positive effect on the people around them. Some generate a happy atmosphere just by their presence. But many constantly make an effort to brighten the days of other people. These people inspire others by engaging them in entertaining activity and conversation, but never in an overbearing way. Be an instigator and a leader. Create opportunities for others to share in your love of life. Give selflessly of your time and joy so others can draw from your happiness and energy.

6. They live in a constant state of gratitude.

Happy people consciously recognize the many blessings they receive. They are truly appreciative of the people and opportunities that come their way and they demonstrate their gratitude generously and unabashedly. Make a habit of outwardly showing your thankfulness every day. It may feel awkward at first, but many people around you will recognize your love for life and may discover they also have much for which to be grateful.

Of course I recognize that being truly happy is not easy. People will spend a fortune on therapy, pharmaceuticals, and self-help to get to a happy state of mind. But all efforts are worthwhile even when the path is slow. It took me a fair amount of trauma and several decades of struggle to make changes necessary for a happy life. But I can't imagine a single reason to revert to the alternative, so come join me on the happy side.

Like this post? If so, sign up here and never miss out on Kevin's thoughts and humor.


Tasty/Terrific Tuesdays!

It's Terrific Tuesday because my PaPa would have celebrated his 99th Birthday today!

My PaPa was such a cool guy. He was born and raised in Uniontown, PA {still on the bucket list to visit} which is not too far from where we live now. He was born into a big cole family. They worked hard... and grew up by pretty simple means. PaPa enlisted in the Army in January of 1942. Papa didn't tell us much about the War, but he did loose a younger brother Sam in battle - who my dad is named for - and we got a few crazy stories of hiding high in the trees at night with the "Japs" walking under them down below. Just crazy to imagine. I wish he was still here everyday to tell me more stories. He was a quiet man, but a great story teller.  His most favorite thing to do was sit and listen to the planes & pilots on his radio in the dining room. Happy 99th Papa, I know you're flying high above us today sending us this beautiful weather!

On another Happy note - my brother and sister-in-law bought a house!! Roberto wrote Karen a sweet poem when he gave her the key, love my bro and I'm so happy for them. :)

For my Tasty Tuesday, I wanted to share one of my all time favorite summer dips!

Momma J's Cucumber, Banana Pepper & Dill Dip
3 blocks softened Cream Cheese
2 Cucumbers, peeled and seeded (diced)
Fresh Dill, to taste
1 jar Hot Banana Pepper Rings (drained well and chopped)
1 tbsp Jane's Crazy Salt
Lemon to taste!

Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with Wheat Thins, Veggies, Pita, etc.



KJ says Goodbye to Lex!

Happy Monday {and June too}!

We had a really nice weekend here in Lex. Friday we kicked off our first Friday's Alive of the summer - a summer concert series hosted by the Jaycees that raises funds for local charities - and it was a huge success! We had near perfect weather, great attendance and a brand new stage in Davidson Park!  After the concert we celebrated KJ's last night in Lex. Which is what I wanted to dedicate today's blog to. My Dear KJ, where to begin...

Kelly was my "right-hand lady" here at the office and it's Day 1 and I already miss her to pieces!!! She's off to bigger and better things in the big city of St. Louis, but she made time for bagels with me and the hubs this am before she left town. I thought it would be fun to re-cap some of my favorite memories with KJ since she moved to town...  {you can thank KJ for being so good at documenting all our good times}

Day 1 in Lex for her Interview!
{Please note the change in hairstyles from Day 1 to Day 730 - hehe}

Kelly's First Christmas in Lex... Jaycee's Party, Gingerbread Houses and Miracle on Moore Street!

So the fun begins... with Costume Parties,

Board meetings... and Nashville! 

...and Chamber Dinner Dances. 

...and wedding crashing. :)

Convention 2012 

We didn't miss a B'ette night {even on the road}.

We even went to the Circus!

And Wayne's Lanes!

...and even when KJ couldn't be there, she was there in spirit!

We can't forget Wine Fest {x2}

...and Pumpkin Carving!

And more costume parties...Moore Street... and Christmas! 

And one last big trip to the Vinyards!

Not to mention our Walk n Wobble nights... trips to Sweet Frog {and critters}... Target, Ross, Chick-fil-a and TJ Maxx runs. Fried Pickles, Drive-In's, Wine Nights, Donny-T's, Football days, Floats down the River, Goshen, Boat Drinks, Back-yard BBQ's, Vineyards, the Palms, Natty Bo, snowflakes and the Inaugural Gobble Wobble!

I hope you will always remember your time here in Lex and cherish the memories, because I know I certainly will!  I can only hope that one day you will have monograms on your towels... Lilly in your closet and a pineapple on your shelf... and that you'll always remember that there is a backyard at the Lyons' Den that could use your company! 

I love you KJ!! ....and miss you dearly!!