Friday, August 31, 2012

Michigan = 45th Parallel

Do you know what the 45th parallel is?

Do you know where the 45th parallel is?

Do you know why the 45th parallel is so important?

Well let me give you some insight as to what the 45th parallel is and what it means.  The 45th parallel north is a circle of latitude across the globe.  It crosses places in Italy and France as well as Michigan.  The reason why this circle of latitude is so interesting is that for some reason, grapes tend to grow extremely well on it!  Therefore, great wine can be produced because of this.

In Michigan, there are so many wineries to go tasting at!  Zachary and I went to a few of them and I wanted to share below!  We stopped at the M22 Winery in Glen Arbor and the Good Harbor winery in Good Harbor and the Cherry Republic Winery in Glen Arbor.  See below some of the pictures we took tasting some of the wines.  They were absolutely delicious and we came home with a few bottles we can't wait to try! 
Yeah for Wine Tastings!
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Library Time: Vacation Edition

Hello All!
On vacation I read two books - I decided to go modern classic and read my first James Patterson novel and a Danielle Steel novel.

The first I finished was James Patterson's mob thriller Don't Blink.  It was very entertaining and I couldn't put the book down because I had to solve the mystery.  It was a pretty easy read and the mystery was there until the end.  I highly suggest it as a quick fun easy read!

The second book I read was Danielle Steel's Happy Birthday.  This was a romance novel about three people who all have the same birthday, and somehow all their lives cross.  In the midst of it all, there are two romances that start between some unlikely characters.  There is suspense, love, sadness, and happiness.  It is another great easy read!

Keep on Reading!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hiking it Up the Lake Shore...

One of the days we were on vacation last week, we went on this absolutely beautiful hike along the Lake Michigan Lake Shore.  Click here for the National Park Service's explanation of the hike we went on. Along the way, there were 6 different landmarks we looked at about the preservation of the Sleeping Bear National Park.  I wanted to share some of these stunning views!  The colors are incredible and in person, they are so much brighter!

Crazy plant we saw - still don't know what it was!
One viewpoint!
And another one!
Zach, Charlie, and Pops
Zach and I on our hike!
 Breathing the air up there and seeing the view was just incredible!  Take a hike when you get the chance to - you won't regret it!

Happy Hiking!
xoxo Sarah

Tea of the Week!

It's back!

I finally got to try some new teas on vacation and one was actually homemade and can't wait to tell you about it!

Have you ever been driving down the freeway and seen plants that like like these:
Source: Here
The above plant is called Red Sumac.  And this plant makes an amazing tea.   All you have to do is pluck one of the red seeds and place it in water until it boils.  Once it boils, let it seep for an hour.  After that, strain it through a coffee filter into a pitcher and serve it cold.  Take a look below at our boiling sumac:

Here is a little bit more information on the red sumac plant and the antioxidants it produces:,193,145164-240199,00.html

You would be surprised at the number of natural resources that are out there for you to try - as teas, food and even household remedies!

Yeah for Red Sumac!
xoxo Sarah

Best Burger in the World!

I tried the best burger in the world 5 years ago in New Buffalo, MI.  The place was about a mile off the freeway and I was told I needed to have one.  So since it is kind of tradition - we made sure that we stopped there again.  The place I am talking about is Redamak's - click here for the website and menu.  It was the first stop on our drive to Glen Arbor - and when we got there, I knew we were finally on vacation.

I swear though these are the best burgers and shakes you will ever have!  Take a look below and I am sure your mouth will water!
Single burger with cheddar and a chocolate shake - what a great start to vacation!
Just looking at these two pictures makes me want another!  But it's a treat and only on vacation!  

Yeah for Redamak's!
xoxox Sarah

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Michigan Holiday

Hello world - back to reality!!

 So Zachary and I just got back from our summer vacation in Glen Arbor, MI.  We had an amazing time going to the beach, eating great food, going to wineries and distilleries, going on hikes, playing cards, and just relaxing.  I took soo many pics it would blow your mind but here are just a few of vacation in general!  I will being doing other posts about specific things I saw, tasted, and did as well - but for now - enjoy!

First off - just look at this sunset - you'd think you were in Hawaii!
Family fun - and more pictures/posts to come!
Yeah for vacation!
xoxo Sarah

Monday, August 27, 2012

Library Time!

Hey All!

Just got back from vacation yesterday!  I have many many posts coming I promise!  I wanted to get this one out before I left but we were busy getting ready!  So I have read a lot of books this past month...let's start off the list - I will have a special "Library Time: Vacation Edition" as well!

First Off - I finally read Firefly Lane that both my friend Katie and Angela raved about - and I am about to as well!  I couldn't stop crying for an hour after this book - not in a bad way - in a good-life-is-beautiful way!  The story is about two friends that go through life through the decades.  Starting in the 70's when they met when they were teenagers, these two girls turn into women and go through life's ups and downs and continue to be friends throughout the way.  In life, these relationships are so special - I know I have this with my sister, my friends from college, and my best friends from home -  women around the world should read this book.

Secondly, I read Adriana Trigiani's new novel The Shoemaker's Wife.  What another beautifully written story about family and love.  This is about a man and woman who meet when they are young in Italy in the early 1900s, and their paths keep crossing when the immigrate to America and through life's crazy obstacles.  I found this to be a really great read!  I highly recommend it!

Thirdly, I finished Adriana Trigiani's "The Big Stone Gap Series."  I wrote about The Big Stone Gap here and I finally finished the series the week before I went on vacation - there were three more books and they were quick reads!  The three books are:
1) Big Cherry Holler
2) Milk Glass Moon
3) Home to Big Stone Gap
All three of these books were fast reads and great continuations of the first book.  I wish all these movies would be made into movies so I could see what the characters look like!  These a great series to read and I really recommend it!

Ok keep reading!  It's good for your mind :)

xoxo Sarah

Friday, August 17, 2012

Final Wedding of the Summer!

Hey Ya'll!  We did it!  We made it with crazy wedding madness!  The last wedding we went to was my cousin's Liz.  She was just beautiful!  Liz and Justin - I have known for many years - have been dating since high school and are now down in Texas living their lives down South!  Although we miss them terribly up her in the north, I couldn't be more proud that she is living her life beautifully and with a wonderful friend and companion!  Take a look at the pictures below!

Congrats Liz and Justin - best wishes to you!  We love you - xoxo Sarah and Zachary
At the Rehearsal Dinner
Getting ready in the morning..... :)
Before and After the wedding...I was in the wedding so I didn't get any pictures during it!
Doing the professional picture thing...

At the Reception...
xoxo Sarah

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer's almost gone...

Can you believe it?!

Summer is almost gone!  I can't believe how fast this summer went.  Sorry for the lack of posts the last month - but we have been so busy with weddings, family, and fun!  I am so happy that I am able to share with you a little door into our lives.

What has been your favorite activity this past summer?  Our's might still be coming up because we are headed to MI Friday after work for 8 days.  We are so excited - so I won't be able to post anything next week so I wanted to give you all a heads up.  I haven't been to Glen Arbor in 4 years - and I am so excited to be going this year - the wineries, the lake, the cherries - so yummy!

Zachary and I in Glen Arbor, August 2008,
I hope the weather is just as beautiful and the sunsets just as gorgeous   

I hope you all have a great last couple of weeks of summer - I will be posting don't worry!  I'm sure I will have a ton to post when we get back from MI!

Tell me about your summers!  I can't wait to hear!

Happy Summer!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bon Anniversaire Julia Child!

Today would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday.

I wish I had the cookbook "The Joy of Cooking" because I would have made something tonight from it in honor of her...but I don't so it's ok - maybe next year when it is her 101st birthday!

I love watching Julia Child with my husband Zachary - whether it is on her own show "The French Chef" or with Jacques Pepin on their show "Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home."

I also love the movie "Julie and Julia" starring the most amazing Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

Julia is known for her French cooking and what she brought to cooking especially for women.  She's famous for her use of butter, her French Onion Soup and also her famous Beef Bourguignon as well as many many more recipes.

So cheers to you Julia - Happy Birthday and Bon Apetit!

Source: HERE
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Brie and Tomato Salad

I have a secret obsession with Brie cheese.  So how happy was I when I found out my husband makes the most amazing brie salad in the world - I was pretty excited :)

One of our summer staples is Zachary's Brie and Tomato salad.  It is unbelievable and so so so good.  I have tried to make it before just from sight for my friends but it's just not as good.  I don't know what kind of love he puts into it - but boy is it awesome!  And even the day after as a spread for a sandwich.  He keeps the recipe secret so I can't share that with you - but I can share a picture of this awesomness...

What is your favorite salad - as a side dish?  I would love to know!

xoxo Sarah

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Skinny Chicken Rollatini with a Spinach Filing

As you all now from my many posts - one of my favorite blogs to cook/bake from is Skinny Taste.  I just love the fact that this blog has recipes but a healthier version of them.  Just by using skim milk instead of whole milk - or yogurt instead of sour cream.  It's the little things that really make a difference.

I have seen this one post since I started following this blog and every time I see it, I wanted to make it.  It looks so so so so good and it doesn't look too hard - a little messy but not bad!  It's called "Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigana."  Click HERE for the recipe.  Just a little hint I used with chicken - I always cook chicken a little longer than you are supposed to because myself and Zach like chicken well done.

This is such an easy and filing dinner - and a great left over for lunch the next day!  But it can get a little messy - so just be prepared!

Happy Chicken Recipes!
xoxo Sarah

Monday, August 6, 2012

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Happy Monday everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days - just have been a busy lady!  We have our last wedding of the season this weekend and then we are headed to MI for a week!  Yeah - get me there! :)

So last week I talked a little bit about a bake-off/cook-off Olympics we did at my office.  Each day was a different food item!  Monday was BBQ and Dips, Tuesday was anything bacon, Wednesday was cookies, Thursday was chili, and Friday was cupcakes.

I decided to participate in both cookies and cupcakes.  I don't have the picture of the cookies - but Zachary helped me on those :)  Thank you baby!

But - I did make the cupcakes all by myself.  My mother-in-law makes the best black bottom cupcakes in the world.  I decided to make a little different one from David Lebovitz - I follow his blog!  I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen - also another blog I like to follow :)  Click HERE for the recipe.

Just a hint - I used apple cider vinegar!
How to describe black bottom cupcakes...hmmm...they are like Heaven - a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate chip cream cheese top!  It is unbelievable - no frosting necessary!  And since I love cake more than frosting, this is the perfect cupcake for me!  

Happy Baking!
xoxo Sarah

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Black and White Cookies

This week at work we have the baking/cooking Olympics in our office so there will be plenty of posts coming.  But also for work, I had to teach a class to some of our associates about different computer applications in our office.  To treat those that attended the class, I thought I would try my first take at black and white cookies.  I got the recipe from Joy the Baker.

The recipe is HERE.  Like I said - this was my first time making these - so they aren't perfect!  But still delicious - I need to learn how to make that white glaze perfect!  Take a look below - what do you think?

I always remember seeing black and white cookies at different cafes or coffee shops - I always thought they looked sooooo cool :)  So it was fun to make them!

Happy Cookie Baking!
xoxo Sarah