East Coast Bound

As of tomorrow morning at 7:10am, I will be on vacation for 10 glorious days. My parents and I are headed to Virginia and Washington DC. Here's a rough outline of the trip...

Friday - Sunday: (Fredericksburg, VA) My mom and I are doing the Marine Corps Half Marathon on Sunday morning so we are spending our first weekend there. Visiting with Chris and doing all the race stuff will certainly keep us busy.

Sunday - Friday: (Washington, DC) My parents and I are going to DC!!! I am so beyond thrilled as I have never been to DC other than to the airport. My Dad and I are first timers, while my mom has been there at least 2 or 3 times already. I planned out a day by day itinerary so we could squeeze in as much as possible. I can't wait to see the sights, and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous. Chris is in training all week, but might be able to drive up for dinner one night.

Friday - Monday: (Jersey Shore) Friday morning Chris and I are dropping my parents off at the airport and we are going on the New Jersey to spend Memorial Day weekend at the shore. I think the beach might be a bit too cold for this desert diva but we shall see. Either way I'm looking forward to going to the shore during the "season" aka when everything is actually open. Definitely different than our trip there in February. As long as I get Duffers ice cream, I will be a happy camper, or beacher I guess (hahaha).

I'm hoping to blog every day since I have my computer, but I'm not sure if that's going to happen. I may end up just doing short recaps instead of longer posts this time around. Thank goodness for free Internet at both hotels. We don't have Internet at the shore, so that will have to wait until I get home.

~~~~~~~~~ON A TOTALLY DIFFERENT NOTE~~~~~~~~~~~

Not sure if anyone knew this, but back in October Mother's Cookies closed their doors. I was pretty much devastated that I would no longer be able to enjoy those famous pink and white frosted circus cookies with the non-pareils. Seriously, they bring back a ton of memories. I remember buying them at convenience stores as a treat when I was younger, and my mom and I would eat them, not looking at the nutritional label, as those things could not possibly be good for anyone. I hadn't had them in a few years, but when I heard the news I was crushed. I even went around to stores seeing if they had any leftovers.

But this month the most marvelous thing happened...they reopened!!! Actually Kellogg's' purchased them and their recipes and started re manufacturing all their cookies in the original packages. I found this out earlier this week and yesterday I actually went to the store specifically looking for my circus cookies. Low and behold I found them, bought a bag, and opened them the minute I was handed my receipt. I was overjoyed to find out that nothing had changed. I am pretty sure I could eat the entire bag in one sitting, but I did manage some self control and stopped at 3. Conclusion: Thank you Kellogg's for saving my cookies!

How can you resist one of these little guys?


Happy Mother's Day!

***Note that I wrote this Monday, but due to my busy week is just getting posted today***

I know that Mother's Day was yesterday, but I was so busy yesterday celebrating that I forgot to write anything, so this is more of a recap than anything else. Yesterday was great, and I enjoyed spending time with some of the mothers in my family. I was in charge of planning it, so I tried to make it as low key as possible. We decided to have a late lunch/early dinner at my grandparents house. Unfortunately it's been way too hot here to eat outside, so we settled for indoors. We also went with a simple meal consisting of pork loin with strawberry-avocado salsa, roasted veggies, sliced tomatoes and sesame bread. My dad and grandpa grilled the pork, I made the salsa, my aunt Janis made the roasted veggies, my mom brought the tomatoes from her garden and my aunt Julie made the sesame bread. Everything was so good, and everyone loved how healthy and light we made it.

After dinner we opened up some Mother's Day presents and cards and then had dessert. For dessert I made Hummingbird Cake. I had seen the recipe a while ago and thought I had to make it, but was lacking an occasion and I certainly didn't need a two layer cake to eat myself. It was actually the first time I've ever made a layer cake, which was very shocking considering the amount of baking I do. I give it a 7 for looks, but a 10 for taste! Everyone loved it and my uncle even proclaimed it his new favorite cake. The recipe is from Southern Living magazine, and is a very popular southern recipe, choc full of banana, pineapple and pecans. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a easy recipe for an amazing cake. My grandpa also made homemade ice cream which is possibly the best thing ever, and a wonderful surprise for the moms since its usually something we reserve for Father's Day and 4th of July.

Last but not least, Happy Mother's Day (again) to all the moms out there. I am lucky enough to be taking a vacation with mine starting on Friday to Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. We are very excited to get out of this 100 degree weather and do some sightseeing and seafood eating. I love you Mom, thanks for everything you've done for the past 26 years, and especially the last 7 months!


It's still spring...right?

I realize that I've gotten behind on the blogging, but really, Easter is the only big thing that I've failed to blog about that was of any real importance. I'll give a quick recap with some good photos. When I was younger, even when I was in college I think, my whole family would go out for Easter brunch. I am a huge fan of both brunch and buffets (good ones of course, not shady ones) so I always loved this. I can eat, and I mean really eat, when I go to a good brunch buffet, so when the family decided to stop going for expensive brunches and instead opting for home cooked meals, I was a little bit disappointed. I quickly got over it though, and this year was probably our best homemade Easter celebration. It was small, my grandparents, parents, Aunt Janis and my Aunt Julie and her husband Mike. Nevertheless, the selection of food was one for a giant crowd. The menu consisted of the following

Honey Roasted Turkey
Fresh garden salad
Fruit salad
Scalloped potatoes
Hot cross buns
Sunflower cake
Butterscotch nests

I think that sums it up. Oh and candy and chocolate...a lot of it. I ate all day long and felt pretty overstuffed that evening. We had a great time, sitting outside and enjoying the beautiful Arizona spring. Here's a few pictures detailing the festivities.

The beautiful table. Each place setting had candy and a cute Easter lollipop.You can't tell but mine was a marshmallow flavored bunny.
My parents. The shadows disfigured them a little :)
The bunny bread. How cute is he! Tasty too
My mom's scalloped potatoes. They are full of mushrooms and amazing.
The beautiful sunflower cake made with Peeps and chocolate chips. Inside was yellow cake.

The whole family enjoying the day outside.

I am going to talk about the butterscotch nests and quiche that I made in a different post so I can post both photos and recipes. Stay tuned!


Welcome Sophia Jane

This weekend was super fun and super busy, and one of the highlights was getting to meet the newest addition to the Bryson family, Sophia Jane! My friend Jessica had her little one a little early, 5 weeks actually. No one expected her to quite make her entrance so soon, including her Mom!, but that's a whole other story. The sex of the baby was a secret until the big arrival, so I was so happy to finally find out with an early morning call from my mom. She was born last Sunday and yesterday my mom and I went to see her. My parents got to see her last Sunday evening in the hospital, but they weren't able to hold her because she was under lights because of some Jaundice problems. She's still a little yellow (sorry Jessica, I know it will go away) but she is the cutest thing I have ever seen. My mom and I were joking that I hadn't actually been around a newborn baby in over 10 years. We have had a big drought in our family, which is probably a good thing since I am the oldest of the cousins! Here are a few pictures to show off her cuteness. At first I wasn't sure about holding her because she feels so small, but I got used to it after a while. Congratulations Jessica and Matt!