Archive | August, 2011

Birthday Wishes

19 Aug

Today, three very important people are celebrating their birthdays, and I want to take a moment to appreciate each of them.

My Grandpa Densmore is celebrating his birthday at the Dainty Maid Bake Shop in South Bend, Indiana right now. He is picking up his cake, heading out to lunch and then dinner with my grandma. If you have every had anything from this bake shop, you know how insanely good it is! I hope you have a great fishing trip and a wonderful birthday, Grandpa.

Grandpa Densmore, Grandma Densmore, MommaNut and Poppanut

Next, my niece Jordan is celebrating her birthday. She doesn’t live nearby, but PoppaNut and I will be thinking about her today and wishing her the most special birthday ever. We had a great time when Jordan came to visit us and we all headed out on an Orlando-family vacation. Jordan was also so sweet to Peanut and Cashew and I can tell they miss her! Happy birthday, Jordan. We love you!

Kayla, Christopher and Jordan

Last, but not least, I’m thinking of my Grandma Tam today. She passed away while I was in middle school, but I think about her often. Today would have been her birthday. I like to think I got my writing skills from her, as she also published a book (even though it was on sewing quilts and I haven’t touched a sewing machine in my life). I wish she was still here with us and I hope she knows how much I love her. Happy birthday, Grandma. I hope I made you proud.

And that’s life in a nutshell … remembering your family and friends on their birthdays is a wonderful way to show them how much you care.


Kraft Beef Enchiladas

19 Aug

When I got back from my trip, I decided to whip up a homemade recipe for dinner. I ate out enough in San Jose, and I was ready for a homecooked meal.

After a quick trip to the grocery store, I was ready to create! I picked an easy recipe I found on Beef enchiladas is a recipe I have started making … and PoppaNut seems to love it too. I’ve included the recipe you can try it at home too!

What You Need

Kraft Beef Enchiladas Just Out of the Oven

1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup  chopped green peppers
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1-1/2 cups  TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick ‘N Chunky Salsa, divided
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp.  KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
8 corn tortillas (6 inch)
2 Tbsp.  chopped fresh cilantro

Make It

HEAT oven to 400°F.

BROWN meat with peppers in large nonstick skillet. Stir in 1 cup salsa; simmer 5 min., stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup cheese.

PoppaNut Helping Me in the Kitchen

SPREAD 1/4 cup of the remaining salsa onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish. Brush dressing lightly over both sides of tortillas. Stack 4 tortillas; wrap in waxed paper. Microwave on HIGH 20 sec. or just until warmed. Spoon 1/3 cup meat mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-sides down, over salsa in dish. Repeat. Top with remaining salsa; cover.

BAKE 20 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 2 to 3 min. or until melted. Top with cilantro.

And that’s life in a nutshell … find an easy recipe that will make you a star in the kitchen and make it for the one you love.

My Way Fitness 24/7

16 Aug

PoppaNut is officially a gym owner! That’s right … PoppaNut took over Anytime Fitness and started a new gym called My Way Fitness 24/7, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of him.

When PoppaNut and I first started dating, he talked about owning his own gym. It had always been a dream of his, and it’s amazing watching that dream come true!

Our friend, Brad, designed the logo, a big group of us spent a Saturday painting and it officially opened as My Way Fitness on August 12, 2011.

I’ve started designing the website … it still needs some work but you can see it at If you have a testimonial you would like me to add to the website, just shoot me a comment and I’ll send you my email address. Here are some photos so you can see what the new gym looks like!

And that’s life in a nutshell … seeing your best friend get everything in life he always wanted is unforgettable!


San Jose: Day 4

12 Aug

This post is especially for the car lovers who happen to read this blog. When you visit eBay Motors, you should expect to see some cars. And see some cars, I sure did! Pulling up Thursday morning to eBay headquarters, these little rides just happened to be sitting outside. Which one would you drive?

After exploring these cars, I headed to dinner at Chin Chin in Los Gatos, a suburb of San Jose. The hills were amazing on the drive to dinner, so I took a few photos.

And that’s life in a nutshell … take a moment to enjoy the beautiful views or amazing cars waiting for you to notice them.


San Jose: Day 3 Though 5

11 Aug

So, I’ve been working like a crazy woman, so I haven’t been able to post much. This is going to be short and sweet with a bunch of photos for you to enjoy! I’ve included photos of the basketball court and original SKYPE house that I wrote about on Day 2. You’ll also find a photo of Yankee Pier, the restaurant I ate at on Tuesday evening on Santana Row.

Santana Row is a wonderful shopping district, and the restaurant served fresh seafood. I got fish tacos, and they were so yummy.

On Thursday afternoon, I headed to the Winchester Mansion. This woman in the 1800’s built the most amazing mansion with 160 rooms including 40 bedrooms. She lived a very sad live … thinking ghosts were haunting her since her husband created the Winchester gun. So, this woman built a confusion home that made no sense at all (a door that leads to nothing, a cabinet that is four room longs, a room put together with glue) to confuse the ghosts. It was pretty amazing to see.

eBay Basketball Court

Original SKYPE House

Yankee Pier on Santana Row


Winchester Mansion

And that’s life in a nutshell … sometimes the craziness of life just doesn’t allow for creativity!


San Jose: Day 2

9 Aug

I’m actually writing this blog on Day 3 of my trip, but I’m here to talk about Day 2. I made it to the eBay offices! Yes, eBay really does have a real-life building that it calls home. In fact, it is more than a building. It is a series of buildings that are constructed like a college campus.

You’ll find a gym and a cafeteria, too. There are signs along the way pointing you to the correct building, which are each named after a shopping category. For Day 2, I was in the Hoops building. And it is called that because there is a HUGE basketball court right outside.

Right next to the basketball court is the SKYPE house, where SKYPE was founded. Now, it is an eBay property, but very cool!

I also headed to the eBay shop. eBay has a store dedicated to eBay. You can find eBay fans, eBay books, eBay coffee mugs and even eBay wrapping paper among other finds. I picked up a few things, which I’ll bring back with me to Tampa.

And that’s life in a nutshell … explore the eBay campus is a little like exploring a college campus for the first time … with a lot more colors!


San Jose: Day 1

7 Aug

This morning, way before the sun was up, PoppaNut drove me to the airport so I could head out to San Jose, CA for work. I’ll be out here for a week, and I’ll be sending you updates as much as I can.

It was very hard saying goodbye to PoppaNut. We haven’t spent more than three days apart since we first started dating. So a full week is going to be hard. I hid notes for PoppaNut to find while I’m gone. He got the first one this morning. I hid it in the tin-foil drawer, because I usually make chicken for PoppaNut’s lunch on Sundays, and I wrap the chicken in tin foil. So, I placed a note there so he would know I was thinking about it and missed him terribly.

And PoppaNut surprised me in return, with flowers sent to my hotel room. It was so sweet that I started crying! I have the best hubby in the whole world.

Once I got settled into my room, I ran outside and took a few photos. San Jose does have amazing weather. It is nice to walk outside and not start instantly sweating, something that happens in Florida all the time! And everyone seems to be enjoying the outdoors … walking around and biking and just hanging out. I hope you enjoy them!

Fairmont’s Gym
Fairmont’s Pool



Now, I’m going to relax and get unpacked. I’ve got a big week ahead of me, and I need all the rest I can get after eight hours of plane travel.

And that’s life in a nutshell … absence really does make the heart grow fonder with a week of travel, but I already knew I would be missing my Tampa life and my wonderful hubby before I even stepped on the plane. I love you, PoppaNut!



Happy Birthday, Miss Madison

5 Aug

Last weekend, PoppaNut and I headed to New Port Richey for Miss Madison’s first birthday! Wow, how the time flies. It seems like just yesterday that PoppaNut and I were living with Miss Madison’s Mom and Dad (Ashley and Randy), who were not parents at the time.

Ashley and I had moved in together when she relocated from Indiana. We had a two-bedroom place in Tampa, and we had no idea how much our lives were about to change in one year. PoppaNut proposed to me in the living room of that very apartment, and Ashley and Randy started dating while we were there as well.

I used to laugh and say apartment changed everyone’s lives. You either got married, found out you were preggos or broke up. Yes, there were several breakups that happened in that apartment, with Ashley and I listening from the balcony as a few couples we know fought in the parking lot. It was quite a time! Luckily, Ashley and I had better luck with me getting engaged and Ashley starting a family with Randy with the arrival of Miss Madison.

So, celebrating Madison’s first birthday makes me celebrate how far I’ve come in my own life as well since Madison came along. It was so great to get everyone together, and see Madison enjoy her very first slice of cake.

It was also good to see Uncle Greg, Aunt Debbie, Bryan, Ashley, Randy and my brother Davie. I hope you enjoy the photos I took while we were there too. We love you, Miss Madison!


And that’s life in a nutshell … celebrating a milestone as a family is the perfect way to spend a Sunday.



2 Aug

PoppaNut and I had our good friends, Brooke and Brad, over on Friday night. They are expecting their first baby, a little girl named Lily, in November. In fact, I went to Brooke’s baby shower the weekend before.

Brad, Brooke, MommaNut, PoppaNut (The Night We Got Engaged)

It’s been so fun watching them get their home ready for little Lily. The spare bedroom that used to hold Brooke’s extensive Beetles collection is now outfitted with pink and green decor. With the room ready, we are just waiting for Lily to arrive.

PoppaNut was actually very good friends with Brooke and Brad before I ever came along. When I first met them, they couldn’t have been nicer. They welcomed me with open arms, and we have all been close since. And now we will be even closer now that Lily has asked PoppaNut and I to be her godparents! When Brooke and Brad came over, they gave us this note … and it made me cry like a little baby!

No one has ever asked me to be a godparent, so I was so touched by this note. I’m even more excited to meet the next Cole family member now.

And that’s life in a nutshell … friends really can turn into your family after all.


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