Friday, February 27, 2015

6 monthversary Austin Trip

Hey ya'll!!

I mentioned in my previous post that my husband surprised me with a trip to Austin to celebrate 6 months of marriage and Valentine's Day! We had such an awesome trip. The weather was beautiful and warm compared to Maryland's arctic freeze we've been experiencing this winter! 

On Friday we arrived at about 10:30. We picked up our rental car and headed to the hotel to freshen up. Austin is such a foodie town and boy did we take advantage of that! We went straight to get some fancy grilled cheese sandwiches from a great food truck. It's Lent so we're fasting from meat on Fridays! We were happy to have some delicious grilled cheese! Then we spent the next couple of hours walking around South Congress Ave. This was one of my favorite streets when I was in Austin a few years ago. So I was really happy to be able to see Scott's reaction as well. We went into a boot shop that sold super expensive boots! Some were over $1,500.00! We stopped and had some chips, salsa, queso, and a beer at a little bar. Then we met up with my college roommate, Bethany, and met her boyfriend for dinner. We had dinner at this awesome Mexican restaurant. Scott got shrimp enchiladas and I got fish tacos! They served avocado margaritas! So fun. Then we went out to a few local bars to meet some more of their friends. 

Saturday we slept in, which we never get to do anymore. Having a puppy is like having a baby/toddler. It's certainly getting us ready for that next stage in life :) We met Bethany and her boyfriend for brunch and stuffed ourselves! I got a HUGE chocolate milkshake and sausage gravy with biscuits...yum. Bethany then took us to a look out point where you can see the entire city. It was a bit cloudy but it was such a beautifully warm day! There was a free concert in the city that we went to after the mini hike. We soaked up some rays, listened to good music, and relaxed on the grass. Then we went on a brewery tour at Hops & Grain. Neither of us had been on a brewery (ugh...hate saying that word. you have to say it so slowly!) tour before and it was fun! Then we went out for dinner at Haymaker. Best.Sandwiches.Ev-er. We literally could not move after dinner and decided it was time to go back to the hotel. We snuggled up and watched movies in our big king sized bed!

Sunday we met Bethany and her bf for lunch at Torchy's. Amazing, cheap Tex Mex! Getting hungry just thinking about all this food again! It was a rainy day so the four of us went bowling. I'm pretty terrible at bowling but I still love it! Then we decided to have a Sunday Funday and went bar hopping on 6th Street. We found some fun live music, some terrible live music, and then went to an awesome game bar. We had so much fun! They had giant Jenga. We tried to make it as tall as possible and it ended up being taller than me! We played ski-ball and basketball. It was a blast. Then we ended the night with...more food!! Oh my goshhh best hamburgers ever at Hopdoddy. It's a burger bar set up kind of like a Chipotle. We were again stuffed and went back to the hotel and crashed. 

Monday we were on our own because Bethany, our personal Austin tour guide, had to work :( We drove through University of Texas and just kept driving! Scott and I had a rental car that he hadn't used most of the trip so we decided to burn some gas before we left! We love to drive around and look at houses at home and when we travel. Sometimes we go into open houses of mansions pretending we're interested in buying. So I started looking up the most expensive houses in Austin. We drove to a bunch of houses worth $7,000,000+ it was so wild how big these houses were. Something we noticed were that the houses were all very beautiful and intricately designed. The million dollar/expensive houses in Maryland that we've seen so far are just so boring and boxy. We then got hungry for some BBQ and had lunch at a fun little place in the city. 

Our trip didn't end on a high note but wasn't so terrible. Our flight got delayed 3x and then once we finally boarded the plane they had to de-ice the plane. So we didn't end up getting to Baltimore until about 2AM. We had to go pick up our pups at my mom's house. She had very graciously watched our two little furballs for the weekend. So we didn't get home and settled until after 3AM. Woof. What an end to such a fun trip! 

Many thanks to my great friend Bethany for showing us around and suggesting so many fun places to go. It was so fun seeing her. We only get to see each other about once a year. I really cherish the time we get to spend together reminiscing about our silly college days. 


Austin over-look


GIANT Jenga!

xo, Mrs. Slem


Sunday, February 15, 2015

banana bread

My house smells divine and my mouth is watering! I already burned my fingers trying to cut it and eat before it cooled off. Yum!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Yield: Makes one loaf.
No need for a mixer for this recipe! Clean-up is easy too, if you want, you can mix everything in one bowl.
The best bananas to use for banana bread are those that are over-ripe. The yellow peels should be at least half browned, and the bananas inside  squishy and browning.
You can toss in a cup of chopped nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips if you want.

2-3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup of sugar (can easily use 3/4 cup, or drop it down to 1/2 cup if you want it less sweet)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (check at 50 minutes) at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)
xo, Mrs. Slem

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

surprise trip!

Can I just say, my husband ROCKS! Scott came home from work on Friday with a very exciting surprise. He spontaneously booked us a trip to Austin, TX in 2 weeks! He booked it as a Valentine's Day and 6 month anniversary gift to me. I've been in a little bit of a funk these past couple of weeks because of work and the dreary weather we've been having. I can't wait for our long weekend together in the South!

He coordinated with my college roommate who lives there now. We don't get to see each other very much because we live so far apart. The last time we saw each other was for my wedding. I was so busy that day that I didn't get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked. So, I'm thrilled to get to see her. I've been to Austin before to visit her and had such an awesome time! It helps that she's a local and can take us to all the awesome spots. I'm looking forward to warm weather, food trucks, and catching up!

We are leaving early in the morning on Friday, Feb. 20th and return very late Monday, Feb. 23rd. Scott got us a great hotel room close to downtown and close to where my roommate lives. The hotel overlooks the Colorado River and has a walking trail along the river right outside the hotel. There's a rooftop pool too, but it probably wont be warm enough to swim.

A post about our trip with lots of pictures will be coming!

xo, Mrs. Slem

Monday, February 9, 2015

our engagement

This is our engagement story as told by my love:

I love that this moment was captured!

We got engaged on July 14, 2013 and the day couldn't have gone any better.

Planning started weeks in advance and was supposed to be a birthday celebration for my brother Cole and Caitlyn who happen to have their birthdays 2 days apart.  Little did Caitlyn know that her life would be changed forever.

I was able to get both families together and we all met 2 hours before the game to walk
around the Inner Harbor.  I was able to get Caitlyn's Mom, brother and aunt to come as well as my parents, my sister, & my brother.  As we came back to where we started, my mom asked Caitlyn to get pictures taken in front of the water fountains like we had done multiple times before.  The fountains have always been our spot since our first date, our first kiss, and multiple other anniversary date nights that followed. Caitlyn says "we dont need to get our picture taken, we have plenty of them already".

I thought the plan had been ruined!  But, luckily I was able to persuade her to go take a picture.  As we stood in front of the fountains, Caitlyn looks up and says "Why do 8 people have their cameras out?"  I played it off but thought she might know something was up.

As we walked up the steps, under the falls, my hands were shaking, palms were sweaty but we made it to our spot.  The picture you see here is "our spot."  I gave her a huge hug, told her I loved her, and this is where she finally knew what was happening. My entire body was shaking at this point.  I got down on one knee and popped the question.

She gave me an immediate "YES!" and that was it...

She finally realized why there were 8 people taking pictures, why all the family members were there, why everyone had been acting weird, and why my body was shaking.  As I put on the ring, one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen, fell across her face, and I was happy.

I will remember this day for the rest of my life, and now you will too.

Love you Caitlyn.

Our Engagement

So giddy!

Our family!

These pictures are our engagement photos that my
amazing and talented mother took for us! (huge $ saver!)

how we met

We met September 11, 2011 through a mutual friend for the Ravens home opener. Neither of us remember much from that game (Ravens won!) because we spent the entire 4 hours talking to each other.

We went on our first date on September 17, 2011. The first part of our date was to the aquarium, then a short stop at the fountain at the inner harbor (our engagement spot!), out to eat, then to the O's game, ending traditionally at Pickles Pub. (We have taken the same picture in the same spot, gone out to eat, gone to an O's game, and then out to Pickles Pub, every year since our 1st date!)

We've made many memories together with all of our friends and family. We've gone to the beach, gone on family trips, spent summer nights BBQing with friends, gone on the trip of a lifetime together to Hawaii, embraced our pasts by going to college homecomings, celebrated many holidays together, renovated our future house together, laughed often, been in our own little world, and danced the night away on many nights out!

This is from our 1st date! Also, the spot where Scott would propose to me 2 years later!

This was from our picturesque trip to Hawaii!

xo, Mrs. Slem

Monday, February 2, 2015

girls night vs. guys night

We had so much fun Saturday night. We have an awesome group of friends that live locally. Really my husband has some awesome guy friends that have accepted me into their group who now have some really wonderful wives! I seriously feel so lucky and blessed to have these people especially these women in my life! We are all newlyweds or soon to be! It helps having us all at the same stage in life together. We are all happy with our careers, newly married, young couples. Us wives have a little pact going on to start trying to have babies this time next year. We would all love to be pregnant together and you can really time and plan babies like that. (right??) We all know it's a plan that might be difficult to accomplish but it's fun to talk about! Surprisingly all of our husbands are on board :) far!

So Saturday night we decided it was very necessary to have a guy night and girls night. Guys would be coming to our house and the girls to another couples home. We decided to make it a true girls night and dress down wearing sweats and sweatshirts and bring lots of food and wine. And boy we outdid ourselves. It was so nice to be comfy and cozy with all the girls. We had SO much food. I made chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pineapple, and pretzels. My friend made cheese fondue with chicken, potatoes, crackers, and pretzels. Amazing! It was so fun chatting with the girls, talking about life, and being silly about future baby plans. Lots of laughter, story telling, and dancing happened! The guys played poker at our house and in true men's fashion had pizza and beer. We all reconvened back at our house to end the night together!

xo, Mrs. Slem

Sunday, February 1, 2015

egg drop soup

What do we all want on these cold winter days? Homemade, very quick, and tasty soup! I experimented with this recipe for the first time last week and couldn't believe how amazing it was! I've always enjoyed getting Chinese food and enjoying their delicious egg drop soup. I never knew how easy and probably more healthy it would be if I made it myself. 

Egg Drop Soup 

sweet onions
fresh garlic
32oz. chicken stock
3 eggs.

I sautéed the onions, garlic & some of the chives beforehand. Bring chicken stock 32oz. to a low boil, scramble eggs in a bowl, slowly pour in eggs as you whisk slowly to break up the eggs. Dump the onions, garlic, & chives in. Mix, serve, and top with more chives! 5 min prep, 5-7 min to cook. 

xo, Mrs. Slem

homemade meatballs!

Meatballs are SO cheap and easy to make, so why go out and buy frozen ones? I just made these for me and my husband Friday night and they are a huge hit in our house! 


Olive oil

1 large onion, 1/4-inch dice

Pinch Salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 pound ground beef
1 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

In a small bowl combine the milk and breadcrumbs and allow to sit and soak. In a large bowl combine the meat, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands. Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the milk and breadcrumbs and give it one more good squish. The mixture should be quite wet. 

Shape the meat into desired size. Cook for about 20 min or until meat is cooked through. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees F. 

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce on top of pasta, spaghetti, on a roll (meatball subs!) or just as a side! If you make more than you plan to eat in the next couple of days, throw them in the freezer and save for a busy night that you don't have time to cook!


xo, Mrs. Slem

scrambled egg omelet in muffin tin

I love to cook and I am going to start sharing some of my favorite recipes to make on the blog! This recipe is amazing. It is so quick, easy, and delicious. I make these almost weekly for my very hard-working busy hubby! They are perfect to make ahead of time, store in fridge or even freezer! After they're made you can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and either eat them by themselves or put on a bagel or english muffin! They are great for people, couples, and especially kids that are on the go! I often substitute different toppings each time I make them just to change them up a bit! Enjoy!! 

scrambled egg omelet in muffin tin

xo, Mrs. Slem

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