Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Queens Birthday Weekend

A week ago we enjoyed a three day weekend in Grand Cayman, courtesy of the Queens Birthday public holiday on June 13th. It was a bit of a bummer for us since Brent ended up having to work every day, but we still got to squeeze in some fun times.

Beach Bonfire

It all started on Friday night when Jeremy said he had a craving for s'mores. Plans were made and a beach bonfire was scheduled for the next night. Jenn and Nate live next to Barker's Beach, which is a more remote part of the island. Nate had gone earlier in the day to dig a hole for the fire, so we were able to get it started as soon as the sun went down.

I was a little worried it would be too hot to sit anywhere near a fire, but the evening was relatively cool with a very nice breeze.

Brent had the task of picking up ingredients for the s'mores, but to our surprise, the grocery didn't carry Hershey's chocolate bars. Don't worry, we made due with Cadbury.

Such a perfect summer night.

Black Trumpet

Brent had to work while I went to church on Sunday, but we still got to do a nice lunch date. I was really excited to try Black Trumpet, a gourmet delicatessen in Camana Bay.

My Italian Stallion sandwich

Brent's Jerk Chicken Wrap

As we were picking out what to order, I couldn't help marveling at the case of desserts. We decided to split this hazelnut torte. It was AMAZING.

Cooking in the Kitchen with Katie

Speaking of food, I've been trying some new recipes recently that I thought I would share. This one is Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter. I didn't have any penne pasta so I used whole wheat rotini instead. I just LOVE roasted asparagus. I actually cut the rest of the recipe in half but used the whole pound of asparagus. This had great flavor and I would definitely make it again.

I made these Skinny Sloppy Joes last week and they were a big hit. You were supposed to chop the veggies really fine using a hand chopper or food processor, but since I don't have either I cut everything by hand as small as I could. Definitely a labor of love! So, if you compare the picture on the website with mine, you can see it's supposed to be a more blended, less "chunky" look. But the taste was still wonderful. And 1/2 a cup is only 2 Weight Watcher points. That's pretty good!

I also made this Baked Garlic Lemon Tilapia last week, and it was my favorite new recipe. Super easy and so yummy.

Wrestle Mania

Walter loves to wrestle, especially right before bed. One thing that really gets him riled up is when Brent does push ups. Walter just can't resist climbing on top.


The dog slept hard once everyone went back to work. This was the view from my desk.

Close up on the "Lip Puddle"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rainy Season

As we boarded the flight from Grand Cayman to Charlotte, I saw a man with a Kings Island bag. I asked him if he got that in Cincinnati and he said, yes, that's where him and his wife are from. They live in the Caymans most the year, but go back to Ohio for the rainy season. Brent asked, "When does rainy season start?" The man replied, "Now."

Turns out he was right.

Brent and I both said that rainy season "snuck up" on us. I don't know if that's because I've always had in my head that rainy season was July-August. Or maybe it was because the end of May flew by with Brent's parents visit and the trip to NJ. Whatever the reason, June and rainy season are upon us.

So far it's not so bad. It still seems to be hot and sunny most of the time, but there's usually a couple rainfalls a day. Sometimes they are merely a drizzle that lasts 5 minutes, sometimes they are a full blown thunderstorm. I was at the pool one day this week and it started lightly raining. I didn't even bother getting out of the pool, and within 10 minutes it was scorching hot again.

Brent and I went to the beach last Thursday and caught an interesting post-rain sunset. The water was choppy and the clouds were a dark purple-blue.

When you looked out to the horizon, you could see storms taking place in the distance.

Know what this means? Someone needs their nails clipped.

Walter's gotten quite brave in the water, even with the bigger waves (as long as he doesn't have to go past where he can touch).

Pretty sunset colors.

Walter getting a "lecture" (he wouldn't sit next to Brent for a picture).

Dog whisperer, Brent

Another magical night in Grand Cayman

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This and That

Sunsets and Fashion

You know we love our sunset walks on the beach. This one took place the day after we got back from NJ. When returning from a trip off island, we flock to Seven Mile Beach ASAP. It's our way of regrouping - a reminder, "Ah yes, this is why we left family, friends, home, and everything familiar. But of course."

Brent and I were thrilled that we got to squeeze in a mall visit while in the States (American shopping, oh how I miss you!). Note the new apparel:

Hat - PacSun $15, Dress - H&M $12

Brent was looking handsome in his new shirt too. (Walter got cut out of these pictures because he wasn't being a good little model.)

Even masked by clouds, the sunset is a glorious thing.

Sweet Sister

Last week, I got this wonderful care package from my sister Amy.

Cincinnati Bengals pens, Cincinnati Reds napkins, lipsmackers, eye make-up, head band, and stationary. My sister knows exactly what makes Brent and me smile. Getting this package was like like getting a little taste of home. It made me feel missed, which I know is a silly thing to want but I like it all the same.

In related news, this amazing sister just got engaged last Saturday! I am so excited to see her as a beautiful bride and to stand beside her as a bridesmaid. I love you, Ames!

Sleeping Beauty

Last but not least, some OLD shots of Walter. I've had these on my point and shoot for such a long time, but since I hardly ever use that camera, I completely forgot about them. These pictures were taken on two different days when I looked over as I was working and spotted Walter in some unusual positions.

He sure does know how to get comfy! I was telling my mom the other day that the best part of having a dog (for me) is how much he makes us laugh. I always wanted a snuggle-y dog, but Walter likes his own space. He may not be the cuddliest pup, but he is a constant source of comic relief. I just love this little guy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Jersey Visit

As I mentioned in my last post, Brent and I took an unplanned visit to the States last week for his grandpa's funeral. It was an emotional and busy five days. Pop would have been 92 years old on June 4. He lived such a full life, loving and enjoying his wife, children, grandkids, and great-grandkids. We know he is completely restored and rejoicing in heaven, but it is still sad to think that we won't get to see his smile till we join him some day. It was especially hard seeing Gram say goodbye to her best friend. The services brought back sad reminders of my own Paw Paw passing away last summer. But throughout the week, there were many old memories shared and new memories created. We celebrated his life with the whole family together, just like Pop would have wanted.

Here are some pictures from our trip to New Jersey. Let me just say, I am blessed with some amazing in-laws.

At the gate - going from Charlotte to LaGuardia

Finally arrived to the hotel at midnight on Monday

I only brought my camera to the family get-together after the funeral. Brent's cousin Matt and his wife Naomi opened their beautiful home to everyone. We all enjoyed hanging out in their beautiful backyard (and I really enjoyed the drastically reduced levels of humidity!).

Pressley just waking up from a nap. Precious.

Sweet Savannah

Aunt Donna and Brent's sister, Joelle

Perfect weather for cornhole!

Kru, our only nephew on this side of the family

Brent's cousin's daughter, Lilly, giving Gram some love

Our youngest niece, Hailey

Brent's mom and sister, Lorren

Brent and I were soaking up the time with our nieces and nephews. We love these kiddos!

Our immediate family with Gram (five kids ages three and under, no thanks to me and Brent!)

We were incredibly thankful that Brent got three bereavement days from work so we could join everyone. Now it's back to home-sweet-home Grand Cayman. A special thank you to Jeremy and Sheena for watching Walter and to Nate for getting us to and from the airport. Have I mentioned we have awesome friends?