December 9, 2012

Technical Difficulties

First things first, as you have undoubtedly noticed, I am encountering some pretty major technical difficulties with the blog.  When I went to write my most recent post, I was informed that I my blog had outgrown its alloted 1GB of Blogger space.  After paying a fee to update my GB space, all of my pictures inexplicably disappeared.  

Bo has already spent hours trying to figure it no avail.

As of now, in the midst of the holidays, our move, getting settled, finding new yoga studios, we simply don't have the time or energy to devote to addressing this issue.  

Therefore, it is a with a heavy heart that, I have decided to put the ABC blog on hold.  

I may choose to return to it in the future when I have both the time and energy to dedicate to it.  
Until then, I will keep in other ways.

Ally and Bo

December 7, 2012

Moving Scenes and Makin' Pepper Jelly with Mom


I know it's been a couple of weeks - and yes, our computer is still packed up on a truck and headed to Whidbey - but I'm writing this post from my NEW LAPTOP!  Bo found a great deal for it on Black Friday; and now that it is all set up and ready to use, I figured a blog post was the perfect inaugural project!

First things first, 

Dining Room and Living Room

Living Room



Guest Bedroom

Poor little Lola girl had to stay either outside - or in her crate - throughout packing/moving day(s).  She was a little sad, as you can see; but she didn't whine or bark once.
Truth be told, I think she was just a little depressed that she wasn't able to make any new friends!

We arrived safely in Springville, AL on November 30 (my mom, step-dad, and step-brothers all live there).  Whenever my mom and I are together, we try our best to make the most of our time.  This time, one of the first things on our "to-do" list was to make H-O-T pepper jelly.  So, bright and early on December 1st we woke up and got to work!

First, I had to dissolve the sugar into the vinegar.

Second, we had to chop the H-O-T peppers.

Lola, of course, fulfilled her role as kitchen supervisor! ;)

Me, stirring and...stirring and...stirring and...

Look at all those beautiful colors after dumping in the pepper and carrots.

Although she wouldn't let me take a face-shot of her (supposedly because she had no make-up on and hadn't fixed her hair), I assure you that my mother WAS in the kitchen.  
Here's the evidence!

Then Lola proceeded to lay on mom's foot while she stirred the jelly mixture.
It's a good thing she's cute because she sure can get in the way!

When I stepped outside with Lola for a walk, this is the sky that greeted me.

Alabama really is the land of the beautiful.

In the end, mom and I made six beautiful - and S-P-I-C-Y - jars of deliciousness.  Spread a little cream cheese onto a cracker and "Wha-la!," you have YUMM-O in appetizer form.

They are simply divine.

Question of the Day:

Have you ever eaten pepper jelly?!  If so, did you eat the green or the red kind?  What did you think?  Did you like it?!

Ally and Bo

November 21, 2012


Just a heads up to all you lovely posts will be quite erratic over the next six weeks. Between Thanksgiving travel, packing up our house in Jacksonville, moving (literally) all the way across the country, and getting settled in Whidbey Island, WA, the next six weeks are going to be C-R-A-Z-Y, CRAZY!  

(Not to mention, our computer will be packed (along with almost everything else), and finding a computer to blog on at either my Mom's, Dad's, or in-law's might be a little tricky.)

Regardless, please...pretty please...with a cherry on top...STICK AROUND! By the time the new year arrives, I will be setting up to blog regularly again from our new home. I am sure that I will have LOTS of adventures to share with you, along with loads of new recipes and posts from our new home!

Wherever you are this holiday season, may your days be overflowing with love and laughter.
May you be surrounded by family and friends.
May you cherish every precious moment that you are given.

Until next time!

Ally and Bo

November 19, 2012

Long Weekend in Cape Cod and Boston

I know that I haven't posted in a week, my apologies.  As I mentioned in my last post, I've been in and out of town all month.  Yesterday I got back from my trip to Cape Cod/Boston, and today I have a LOT to share with you from my weekend away from home (apologies ahead of time for the HUGE PHOTO BOMB that you are about to experience).  Originally I was going to break these pictures up into two (or maybe even three) posts; but since we are leaving again on Wednesday morning to head up to Alabama for Thanksgiving, I just don't think that I am going to have the time to get more than one post done.

Here goes nothin':

I went up to the Boston area to visit my friend Colbi.  She and I met while Bo and I were stationed in Corpus Christi.  Colbi went to grad school in Texas, and was working in Port Aransas (just outside of Corpus) at the time.

Since then, she has gotten married and moved up to Cape Cod to live with her husband.  Long story short, Colbi and I both love the Twilight franchise.  In fact, if you have been a reader here for a while, you might remember that we went to the midnight showing of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 this time last year.  Outside of Twilight, we also have a ton of other similar interests, including:

In fact, she has one that I gave her framed and hung in her yoga room. :)

I also sort of (OK, totally) fell in love with Colbi's house.  It's an old one, and it needs quite a bit of work; but if you had the time and money to put into it, you could really turn it into something special.  Colbi and her husband, Brad, are just renting, so they won't be putting any blood, sweat, and tears into the house.  Regardless, it has a TON of potential that I couldn't help sharing with you all.

For instance, I just loved the little built-in shelves in the upstairs bathroom.  The woodwork is amazing, and adds something unique and special about an otherwise common feature.

The staircase was beautiful.  I especially loved the railing (original to the house) and the hardwood floors - which you can't really see in this pic, but were also gorgeous and seemingly original to the house

The kitchen needs some work, but the bones were really good.  The room itself has P-L-E-N-T-Y of room for an island or small breakfast nook set, and lots of natural light makes its way in through the kitchen's four large windows.  

The floor and countertops would probably need to be replaced; but the cabinets were in good shape, and the windows are brand new.  
I LOVE the wood details around the windows and cabinets.  
In the end, I think that a coat of paint and new fixtures would do wonders for making this kitchen look brand, spankin' new!

Also in the kitchen (directly across from the sink and windows) is this large, GORGEOUS, built-in shelving unit.  I would love to display some of my china or great-grandmother's silver on these shelves; and once again, the wood detailing is stunning!

Continuing with the theme of built-in character, the formal dining room includes two of these corner cabinets.  These would be the perfect place to display old family heirlooms or family pictures.  

You could always buy a piece of furniture like this to put in your home, but - in my opinion - it just wouldn't be the same.  Something about it being a part of the house really makes it special.  It's like, before you even put anything of yourself in the home, the home itself has a personality.  

The living room has a large portrait window that opens into this unobstructed view of New England's fall colors. 

Here's a view of the house from the front yard (I was standing right in front of the trees from the previous picture.  You can see the portrait window right in the front of the house).
Isn't it adorable?!
Granted, if you owned the house and wanted to refurbish it, you would need to redo the outside quite substantially.  Regardless, I think that the house itself is so cute!  It has a personality all its own!

Old tree, outside.

Colbi and Brad's chickens!

Beautiful fall foliage.

View from one of the stained glass windows in their home.

By some strange stroke of luck, when we arrived at 7:40PM on Thursday night we were the only ones there!  
I couldn't  believe it.  
Last year we had to stand in line - outside - for 30 minutes, before we were even allowed to enter the theater and wait.  

Whatever the reason, we were stoked!  
By being the first in line we were certain of having the best seats in the house for the grande finale!
The theater ended up being packed, so we were really glad that we got to the theater as early as we did.  Our earliness really paid off!

YES, we are that big of fans!
YES, we loved the movie that much!
AND YES, we were first in line AGAIN!

Again, the theater ended up being completely packed, but our pre-planning paid off.  We sat in the best seats in the house for the second time in a row; and the movie was just as good, if not better, the second time around.  
I won't spill any spoilers for any of you who have yet to see the film; but let me just say, if you are a fan you WILL NOT be disappointed.  The franchise's finale film is awesome, action-packed, full of surprises that you won't see coming, and concludes with an ending that will leave each and every fan satisfied.

On Saturday we took the T into Boston for a day of exploring!

We started off by walking parts of The Freedom Trail.

And, of course, stopped along the way to take pictures. :)

I loved the cobble-stone streets.  
As we were walking around downtown Boston, I could imagine horses trotting along these roads, people protesting before the Boston Tea Party, and some of our countries greatest leaders walking to meetings that would change our countries' history forever.  

And then we walked by the Christmas tree that was going to be lit later that evening.  
As you can see, it was HUGE!
I'm not even sure that the tree in Central Park, NY is that big!

Originally, we were planning to stay for the tree lighting later that evening; but truth be told, after 5+ hours walking around in the city, we decided to head home.  Downtown Boston was getting CRAZY busy, and the cold factor was getting chillier by the minute. After all, we did get to see the tree, it just wasn't lit yet.

I had never eaten there - or even heard of it - but Colbi promised me that it would be a good time.  
For those of you that don't know the premise behind Dick's, it's this: the waitstaff are rude, a little mean, and a lot condescending...but the whole thing's in fun.  The restaurant is an attempt to loosen people up, make people laugh, and give everyone a chance to enjoy their delicious food (especially dessert)!

Colbi and I split one of their infamous Mile High Peanut Butta Pie's and it was TO. DIE. FOR. delicious.  Seriously, this is the best peanut butter dessert I have E.V.E.R. eaten, and it was HUGE!  
Colbi and I couldn't even finish our piece.
(Well, we could have; but we would have been miserably full afterwards, so we didn't.)

Beautiful downtown Boston.

Mike's Pastry is a local legend, a national treasure, and is known for its cannoli.  
We ended up buying four cannoli (Don't worry, two were for Colbi to bring home to Brad.  We weren't THAT greedy...especially after our Mile High Peanut Butta Pie for lunch!): strawberry, chocolate chip, pumpkin spice, and pistachio.  
Of the two I tried, the pistachio was the best.  I would be in serious trouble if I lived too close to this place!

Before we left to head back to the hotel, Colbi snapped one more picture in front of the Christmas tree.  

I had an absolutely amazing time with Colbi in Cape Cod and Boston.  I feel so blessed to have several amazing friends in my life, of which, Colbi is one.  We share so many interests, and have so much fun when we are together.
I can't wait to do it again!

Until then, I do have a new book series to keep me company.  

I finished reading the second book in The Mortal Instruments series on the plane to Boston, and am starting the third book today (there will be six books total, only five have been published so far).  The movie version of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones comes out in August 2013.  Colbi is going to start reading the series soon, so who knows, maybe BOTH The Hunger Games trilogy and The Mortal Instruments will be our new series to enjoy together!

Question of the Day:

Have you ever been to the Boston area?  If so, what did you think?  Did you like the city?  Did you have a fun time exploring?!

Ally and Bo