5 Layer Mexican dip

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Want a super simple appetizer idea that is utterly delicious & is guaranteed to please? The 5 Layer Mexican dip is one of my favorites! The way I cook is not always measuring ingredients out, so I apologize if I use vague measurements like: a dollop, a spoonful, a can or so; that is just they way I learned how to cook & I love it!

5 Layer Mexican Dip
1 can refried beans
Grated cheese
Gucamole(store bough or homeade, both delish)
Sour Cream
Green Onions

Mix one can of refried beans and 2 or 3 spoonfuls of salsa, spread on plate, then layer over salsa/bean mixture with guacamole, layer sour cream over guacamole, sprinkle grated cheese generously over sour cream. Top with chopped green onions to pull the dish together! I also like to add sliced black olives as well as jalapenos, because I like it spicy!! Refrigerate for an hour or so & serve!

Serve with chips and a extra side of salsa & you have a super easy & delicious appetizer! I like to take to parties or serve it to my man with a cold corona! Enjoy!!

King of the Grill

Isn't my husband handsome? That is the "I am man, me make fire" grin. I don't get it, but boys & fire go together like peanut butter & jelly. Every man I have know has this common interest in fire, especially my husband. Since we lived in a condo for 3 years, we didn't grill out very often, but now that we live in a house grilling out is weekly delight. And in my personal opinion, there is nothing like the smell of a charcoal grill, and the taste of the food is always absolutely mouth watering. 
grilled chicken, squash & zucchini

burgers with pepper jack cheese: y.u.m.

grilled corn on the cob: delish!
So for this upcoming holiday weekend, I hope you all surround yourselves around the grill with great friends & family. You know that's where we'll  be!!

Relaxing Weekend?

Friday, June 24, 2011

What is on the agenda for the weekend??
For us, on Friday we will be taking a quick trip down to Raleigh, NC to pick up Chris' car from the mechanic shop, and hopefully this "car fixing" saga will be over for good! The plan for Saturday and Sunday are to start packing up our few things in the rental, I will be cleaning & Chris will be doing the "hard" yard work ie: weed eating, mowing the grass, weeding, and Lucy, I'm sure will watch us intently & continue chewing on her bone. We are still anxiously waiting to close on our new home: any prayers, good thoughts, positive vibes sent our way would be much appreciated, as we anticipate our closing date? If the gods are on our side & we do close today (highly unlikely) our weekend will also include painting away in the new house.
This is what our dog has looked like the past few days

Paint colors? What do you think?

Yes, our weekend sounds full & busy and not very relaxing, but that's ok, hopefully we can reward our hard work with a Large Pizza & refreshing adult beverages at some point in our crazy weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend??

Thank you

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This is our beautiful rental home that we have been living in since we moved to Virginia Beach in March. Isn't it gorgeous! Inside is even better! Fully furnished with beautiful, yet comfy furniture, this home has been such a wonderful place to stay while we got acquainted with the area & searched for a new home to buy.
 The house wasn't totally vacant, two little furry brown bunnies live here. These cute little companions reside over the back yard, and expect their breakfast served early in the morning. The back porch is not only a gathering for the bunnies, but birds of all kinds as well. I have seen Robins, Cardinals, Finches, & even a mouse :) I have to admit, I have felt a little like Snow White, with all my furry forest creatures greeting me daily on my back porch. It has been a joy to share the house & yard with these two bunnies, I know we will miss them, especially Lucy!
Lucy loves the bunny brothers!

Its a little dark, but do you see the 2 furry bunny brothers in the grass?

Hiding under the porch
The owners, Mr. & Mrs. Johnson, have been such a blessing. They rented out their beautiful home to us & without them I would not have met their daughter, an awesome Realtor, for whom I now work for :) Their entire family is an inspiration, even through difficult times they keep faith in God and focus on what is most important in life, family.

So thank you Mr. & Mrs. Johnson  & JoAnne Evangelista, you have made our transition to Virginia Beach a wonderful experience.  I hope that even after we have moved out of your home we will stay in your lives.
Chris, Katie & Lucy Stroud

Sweet Summertime

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today is the first official day of summer! Although my tan suggests otherwise :) One of my favorite seasons, Summer is filled with days wasted away in the sun, sandy feet, tropical drinks & evenings grilling out and spending time with the ones you love.

This summer I am looking forward to moving into our new home! Spending the 4th of July on the lake with some of our best friends, exploring the Virginia Beach ocean front, and attending all the fabulous festivities associated with my two best friends weddings!!

Now raise those cold tropical drinks in the air & toast to summer!!

Girl's Best Friend

Friday, June 17, 2011

This is Lucy, my beautiful Pembroke Welsh Corgi!  She brings so much joy to my life, I don't know what I would do without her. She is my constant companion! A sweetheart to the core, she loves to play fetch, tear up her dinosaur,  and is always ready for a cookie!
She loves the Beach! Sandy nose!

She loves to snuggle on the couch, with as many pillows as possible. (Sorry Mr. & Mrs. Johnson!)
Isn't she cute! She is really the best dog ever, and the perfect addition to our little family!

Summer Reading

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer is my favorite time of the year to sit on the porch with a cold glass of water (with lemon, of course!) and a good book. I enjoy reading during any season, but I would have to say summer is my favorite!  I love how you can take your book to the beach, and bring it home with sand in the spine and smelling of fresh salt air. This summer I have been especially into reading as many novels as I can get my hands on. Here are just a few of my favorites!
I impatiently awaited the arrival of Charlaine Harris' 11th book, in her Sookie Stackhouse series. I read Dead Reckoning in about two weeks, trying to savor each chapter, knowing I will have to wait more than a year for her next novel to be published. It was filled will love, danger, lust, humor, magic, & blood everything you come to love and expect from a vampire novel. I know it sounds crazy, but this book series has swept me away into the world of vampires, fairies, werewolves, witches, & telepaths all located in deep south of Louisiana. Trust me this series is to die for ( pun intended, too much?)
Then I went on a Nicholas Sparks spree, I read most of his novels when I was younger, and as I got older I moved onto different genres (like vampires ;) but I recently found "The Lucky One" a gift from my sister for my birthday in 2008, and I was ashamed that I never read it. It was a great story, it had all the elements to a Nicholas sparks novel, and so it "sparked" me too continue reading his stories I loved so much when I was younger. "The Guardian" is one of my favorites of all time, and who can read Nicholas Sparks and not love his debut novel, "The Notebook". Undoubtedly his best novel of all time.
The book I am currently gobbling up, is by an author I have never read before. Elin Hilderbrand's "Barefoot" is the perfect summertime novel, filled with love, secrets, sadness, and of course sand! I am currently halfway through and have only had the book for a few days. I look forward to the rest of summer, where you will probably find me on the porch with a refreshing drink and a good book!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Today is our wedding anniversary! We are celebrating 2 years of marriage, although we have been together a lot longer, 8 years to be precise. Which is why, it feels like we have been married a lot longer than 2 years! ( I make sure to tell people we have been together for 8 years, because hey! I want the credit :)

We took advantage of celebrating our anniversary the entire weekend!
Saturday, we spent the afternoon exploring the Virginia Beach Aquarium. We had a great time, there was so  much to see! Komodo dragons, seals, sea otters, turtles, tropical fish, sharks, birds and so much more! 
Mr. Turtle

This little guy was my favorite! He was very protective over his sea anemone.

Our good friend David joined in on the fun. Don't you just love the 3D look!


Friday night David joined us for a cookout at home. Our menu consisted of crackers with brie and an olive assortment for appetizers, Yum! Chicken and steak kabobs, asparagus, & corn all grilled on our wonderfully classic Weber grill! It was absolutely mouth watering!
Sunday evening Chris surprised me with dinner reservations to a great local Italian restaurant. We wined and dined and enjoyed every minute of it, reminiscing about the past 2 years, and dreaming of the many years to come. 


Happy Anniversary Chris! I love you!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Testing, Testing...is this thing on?
To say that I am new to blogging is an understatement, but I am incredibly excited to let my creativity take over, at least for a few times a week. I have wanted to start a blog for a while now, but I never committed to it. Unfortunately, I am one of those people whose desire for perfection, defers me from actually beginning projects simply due to the fact that I am unsure of how to complete them perfectly (does anyone else suffer from this too?) And thus the vicious cycle continues, until the day where I say to myself, “Katie, this is crazy! Do what you love, and do it to the best of your ability. Life is an adventure, and you will never learn unless you try and don't take yourself too seriously" Aren't I insightful? 

So here it goes! I am using this creative tool as a way to document my life now, as a newly married women (I have been married for 2 years, when are you not considered a newlywed anymore?) who just moved to new city, and just bought a new home. For now, here is a taste of a few aspects of my life!
Who doesn't love the beach?!?

Gardening is a new love, although my thumb is not yet green

Lucy & Chris snuggling on the couch

Our beautiful rental home in Virginia Beach

my beautiful Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Lucy

everyone enjoys one of these after a hot summer day!