BLATE {Part 2}

If you missed Part 1, read here.
Beware: this may be the longest post, ever.

We're at Friday now... my glorious day of birth and the arrival of Erica and Jess!

I woke up to Billy picking up iced coffee's for all of us and cooking breakfast for us in bed. Rewind. Breakfast in bed...how many birthdays can I get a year because I know that one is just not enough?! Steph thinks she "invaded" on our personal little breakfast in bed, because Billy ended up eating on the floor, but Billy demanded she get breakfast in bed too. He was so sweet.... scrambled eggs, fruit, toast, bacon (which I ate a bite of!), the whole she-bang!

Major points for the hubs. 

After our much needed lazy morning, we headed to the store to pick up some last minute things (OSU gear...that is much needed, right?) and then off to the pool we went (we are pool rats if you can't tell!) My girlfriend, Jessie, had the day off work as well and we wanted to hang out with her and her boyfriend/get some rays before the girls came in town. My girlfriend, Marissa, also ended up joining us so it was one big par-tay! When I showed up at the pool, Jessie had the most gorgeous flowers sitting on my chair for me!

{co Stephanie Howard Krysh Photography}

Now for the girls arrival.

Erica got to our house first and we all went running out of our garage to go meet her! She was REAL!! and much TALLER than we had imagined. hahaha. Erica drove 11+ hours from Boston, all by herself mind you, to come for the weekend. How sweet is that?! Right away, I could tell Erica would fit in perfectly, and was exactly who I thought she was! A gorgeous brunette with a heart (and sense of humor) of gold. Erica has the sweetest soul and we quickly bonded over how much we both love Boston and our course, Lil' Wayne!

As most of you know, I had met Jess multiple times before this blate, but Steph and Erica had not. I was excited for them to meet her, too. Jess arrived like a bronzed blonde goddess with that Southern drawl we all know and love. All I really remember is that she packed a TON of alcohol with her, and that to me was typical Jess. ;)

It was crazy how comfortable everyone was with one another. We just started catching up and introduced everyone to our boys (meaning Billy, Beau, and Rocky). We all exchanged gifts in our family room and I'm serious when I say the girls went overboard! They gave me so many wonderful gifts..it was incredibly sweet. 

Jewelry. Booze. Chapstick. A mustache baking mold (amazing!).
Beach bags...oh my!

Afterwards, we had some drinks, got ready together, and then headed to dinner for me and my best friend Lindsay's birthday celebration. We had reservations downtown at a place called Gordon Biersch (a brewery) with a bunch of our friends and it was so nice to be able to introduce them to all of my real life friends! After dinner we bar hopped downtown and things got cray pretty quickly..... dance parties, steamers in purses, shots, creepy men trying to pick up Erica on multiple occasions, and an epic cab ride where we played 20 questions with our cab driver "Reggie", that ended really inappropriately. Hey....what do you expect at 3am? GOOD times, I promise.

{my in real life best friends: Angela, Emily, Lindsay, Me, Marissa}

So thankful for such an amazing birthday!

Our original plan was to head to Put in Bay where Billy bought us a campground spot and go boating for the day, but by the time we woke up and got everyone going, we decided to stay in Columbus and head to the Goat where a really popular band (Lt. Dans New Legs!) was playing. We knew we made the right decision because it ended up being so incredibly HOT that we probably would have had heat strokes in those tents and the pool was a BLAST. Saturday night was probably my favorite. We grilled out at our house, set up cornhole, and played drinking games. There are so many funny memories we made this night and some are just too inappropriate to share on this blog... sorry. ;)


We decided to give everyone a tour of our city, and then spend the day at the Columbus Zoo! Our first stop was THE Ohio State University campus to show them our stadium and what being a Buckeye is all about!! When we were showing the girls the stadium, Jess noticed that some little boys were being let in for a tour of the stadium, so I immediately ran up and sweet talked kindly asked if he would let us out on the field to get pictures! Much to my surprise, he said YES, and next thing we knew we were on the OSU field! I was so excited that they got to see the field and our stadium. It was amazing. It's safe to say they are all Buckeyes now! Afterwards, we had lunch and explored the Ohio Union and other areas around campus before we made our way to the zoo.

It couldn't have been a more perfect day for the zoo.
Even though it was hot, almost all of the animals were out to see and were really active. I think everyone really had a blast. Later that night, my parents had all of us over for a cookout which was so much fun. My parents got to meet all the people I talk about all the time and vice versa.

....then Monday came and all of us had to say goodbye and depression set in.
Just kidding...somewhat. Who really wants to say goodbye?
Since Jess lives only 3 hours away, I knew I'd probably see her soon, but it was so sad to say bye to Erica that morning. I wasn't sure when I would see her again and she is just too cool for words to be seperated by so many miles!

We had a couple hours to spend with Steph and BBFT, so we took them to Easton to walk around and get lunch. The entire time we talked about our future trip to Houston to visit them, what we would do, when it will be, etc. When we dropped them off at the airport and had to say goodbye, the tears were flowing hard. It was by far the saddest I've been in a long time. The bond I have with Steph is undescribable and she really is a sister to me. I miss her so much already.

Erica, Jess, Steph and BBFT: I hope you all had a blast here in our city and you're always welcome back to the Krysh household! Thank you for all the laughs and memories. I can't wait until next time. Because, you know, there WILL be a next time. Let's make it over a Wednesday...mkkkay?! ;) We love you all!

*Steph made an amazing slideshow of all our pictures that you can watch HERE and want to see all those bad pictures we didn't post (including ones of BBFT picking his nose and us in towels)?! Look HERE.
*Read Erica's Part 1 and Part 2: HERE and here

Now, do you know what today is? It's May 31st.....

which means it's my best friend, Lindsay's,  27th birthday!

 Lindsay is the epitome of a best friend and we've been celebrating our birthdays together for over a decade..that is crazy to me! I love you so much Lindsay, and look forward to celebrating with you this weekend! <3


Memorial Day Weekend Blate {Part 1}

Here we go!

Today, I'm sharing days 1 & 2 of our big Blate here in Columbus. I figured one post doesn't do this whole last 5 days justice, and I'd probably start to get dizzy from so many pictures on one post, so you get 2 posts for this amazing recap.

Steph and BBFT flew in on Wednesday night and the other girls weren't coming in until Friday, so we got to hang out with them for a day and a half before the other girls arrived. I was literally so excited to pick them up..I just couldn't wait any longer.  See?

Dance parties in your room are totally acceptable.

I can't say I wasn't nervous to have Steph, BBFT, Erica, and Jess all stay at our house. I mean, would they feel welcome? Would they hate it? The pressure was on and I WAS nervous! Luckily, like Billy told me 50 times,  everything was fine in the end and I had nothing to worry about.

Steph and BBFT finally landed safely (after they texted me 3 times pictures of their drinks they got on the plane) and I told them we would wait for them outside and pick them up by passenger pick up. I decided to just run in myself with Rocky and surprise them while Billy pulled the car up, and I just immediately went running over to Steph and about knocked her down with the biggest hug ever. Then came my infamous "BBFT!!!!" scream and huge sesh and suddenly all was right in the world. They were in my city, already fell in love with our pups Rocky after 30 seconds, and the girls would arrive soon. Happiness.

Once we got home and settled in, drinks were made, our house tour was given, and then we just sat up and talked until about 3 in the morning. Beau and Billy were back to their normal conversations about guns, hunting, and inappropriate bathroom things. A taco bell trip may or may not have happened, as well.

The thing about Steph and Beau is that we have only "met", technically "vacationed", with them once before this trip, but they feel like our closest of friends. I can honestly say we consider them our best friends. The four of us have so much fun together and we are all so similar. It's comfortable and effortless with them. They really are the kindest, most fun couple. It's perfect because Steph and Billy can hang out and talk together, while BBFT and I are off doing silly things that they judge us for, and it's perfectly normal. Nothing is off limits for us to talk about (and trust me, we talk about it ALL) and there are so many times we mention how much we lived in the same city. Actually, it was more like Steph saying, "I mean, besides your friends, family, and jobs-what else do you have in Ohio? You might as well move to Houston!"

...ok, ok, she's right.

 The blogging world is wonderful, isn't it?!

{I spy yellow shorts...}

We decided to exchange gifts this night as well. I had some fun aviator sunglasses, a scarf, an OSU koozie, and a water bottle for the pool for Steph (and one for BBFT). Steph got me and Billy "red neck" wine glasses (aka a mason jar with a candlestick on the bottom), the most AMAZING "Keep Calm and Blog On" tshirt, a beach bag, UH koozies (of course), a fun headband for my birthday, and the best of all....a picturebook from our trip to Naples. Pages and pages of all our favorite pictures from our trip together, and that meant the world to me!

The next morning, Thursday, we woke up and made Steph and Beau breakfast and knew exactly where we would spend the day....our favorite pool/restaurant/bar, called the Goat. Let me just say this, the weather was in the upper 80's and lower 90's all weekend long, with zero rain. We couldn't have been any luckier!

side note: you'd think that since Steph has lived in Texas her whole life, the Ohio heat wouldn't effect her. WRONG. Girlfriend gets HOT instantly and was often caught licking sitting on top of our air vents! I'm not sure who loves them more...her or Rocky? Steph famous line of the trip: "I'm soooooooooooooooo hot". Beau's response? "Shut it, Stephanie!"

Where was I? We soaked up the sun, made some interesting random friends at the pool,  ate lunch outside together, and sipped on drinks all day. Me and Steph have a tradition of getting McDonald's iced coffee's together (a tradition can be just twice, right?), so once we were done at the pool, we picked some up so that we were all ready to have a nice night out together. But first, we had to make a pitstop at our local Kohls to pick up Beau new flip flops. Why, you ask? Because the ones he bought smelt like a dumpster. I can just hear Steph now saying, "BEAU! We can smell those! Why didn't you get new ones before you came?! SICK! We are going to get new ones now!" ...and that we did. We had a hilarious trip inside the Kohls (considering most of us had quite a buzz) and made friends with an employee who ended up giving Beau the $20 pair of flip flops for a whopping $2.98. It was hysterical (one of those-"had to be there" moments.)

the bromance
 back together again...

so typical
 of me and Steph...

Thursday night, we took Steph and Beau to dinner in downtown Dublin at a place called Mezzo. Downtown Dublin is a super cute area with modern shops and restaurants, and it is the city I grew up in.  I knew we wanted to eat outside on a patio to enjoy the weather, so we thought it was the perfect place to take them! We had a great dinner, and then we wanted to show them some of the local bars we go to on a regular basis. We stopped at a bar/restaurant where I play sand volleyball at in the summer, called Flannagans. Flannagans recently built a pool and swim up bar, so we sat outside in lawn chairs and had drinks by the pool. After Flannagans, we took them to another bar we go to often and Steph bought us some of the nastiest birthday cake shots I've ever taken. ;)

{the patio of Mezzo}

Have I mentioned I'm really awful at taking shots?
I am.

Who knew that Ohio could be so much fun?! I told ya'll (for you, Stephanie) it's a fun place to live. Also- right before the pool this day, Billy and I showed them all around where I grew up, my parents house, and the lot where my parents are building their new house. It was the best feeling to be able to show them the areas where I grew up and where we hang out at often. At the end of the day, I can say this was one of my favorite days I've had....ever. Loved every single part of it!!

...oh, and it only gets better from here when Erica and Jess join in on the madness.
Rocky got so much attention, he could hardly contain himself.
Look how presh he is..

PS-Notice how Beau and I are matching and Steph and Billy are?
Not planned!

For those of you who have asked, both Steph's skirt and my dress are from Target!

Stay tuned for Part 2! :)


Memorial Day Blogger Bash Sneak Peek...

So, you mean, I have to go back to the real world?

I guess me and Billy's 5 day "staycation" had to end at some point. I can't be totally selfish and expect the best 5 days to last forever, right? or can I? All of our visitors have left and it's definitely a little lonesome in the Krysh household. Even Rocky misses all of his new friends he made (which, by the way, Rocky was the star of the show this weekend.) But, I can tell you this much, this was one of the best birthdays I've ever had (and a special thank you to each of you who sent me sweet messages and wishes!) and this weekend couldn't have gone any better.

Seriously...it was the best. I'm over the moon happy all the girls (+BBFT) decided to come here and stay with us. We had such an amazing time from our days spent at the pool and the zoo, all the sunshine we soaked up, the ridiculous amounts of food and drinks we consumed, the games in our backyard we played, the inside jokes we now all have together, and our late nights with crazy cab experiences that we were up until 3am or after (which was almost every night). The girls spoiled me rotten with all of the gifts they brought, and everyone got along so well. It was like we've been friends for years. I'm in denial they are all gone and the weekend is officially over.

While I don't have the full blogger bash recap to share with you today (I still need to go through all the 700, yes 7-hundo, pictures Steph took and loaded onto my computer), I do have a short video + sneak peek, and then the amazing friend, mother, and chef, Krysta, is taking over to make you laugh, entertain you, and then make you really hungry with an amazing taco salad recipe of hers. She's going to win you over with this one, I'm telling you. She always makes me hungry before 10am even hits and I pin 99.5% of her recipes on Pinterest.

Anyways, here's what you have to look forward to this week....

So much goodness to come.
All these pics make me so happy, yet sad because I miss them all already!

Now please give my good friend Krysta, from My Life in Food, a warm welcome.
You will be thankful I introduced you to her blog, trust me.
I mean, just LOOK at her full list of recipes. AMAZE, I tell you.

Hi there. I suppose this is the part where I'm supposed to say something like this:

"Hi all you Keep Calm and Carry On-ers! I'm Krysta, from My Life in Food, and I'm so happy to be taking over Katie's blog today"
But honestly, it sounds super weird coming from me for some reason. It doesn't sound strange when I read it coming from other people, but when I write stuff like that? It's like I'm popping into a room full of people I don't know all wide eyed, crazy smiles and jazz hands.  

Shudder to think

I'll just stick to the "Hi there". One thing I don't feel goobery about is thanking Ms. Katie for having me. KC&CO is one of the best blogs I read, and I am really glad to be here.

I'm a food blogger, and normally my posts revolve around the food I make along with the in's and outs of my daily life. But today I thought I would take you through some pictures that mean something to me.

All pictures herein shall begin with "I love this picture because..."

because this is me and I suppose you should know who I am. Plus I was just treated to the best hair blow-out ever at a spa in Phoenix, May 2009
May-Sept 09 055

because my daughter was actually posing like this for the picture and I think it's hysterical

because my two favorite boys, my husband Jeremy and son Jeremiah would get up really early in the mornings before everyone else and on Saturday they drank "coffee" together. Black for Jeremy. Heavily milked for Jeremiah.
Nov-Dec 08 138

Because my husband brings me incredible bouquets of flowers and I like to take pictures with them, and...
July-Aug 2008 014

Because my sister, Kaylee, likes to take pictures with the flowers also, and pretend they are for her
July-Aug 2008 015

because this was my favorite Christmas card that we ever sent out

because this was one of the last times I cooked with my only daughter before our son was born
Family Sept-Oct. 2006 044

and it made her really happy
Family Sept-Oct. 2006 048

because I was checking out my newborn son for the first time
Jeremiah's Birth Oct. 27 2006 030

because this was the most fun costume party, ever.
Halloween 2007 004

because I dressed my son up as cupid on Valentines day and set him lose in my husbands office

because we won tickets for box seats and our own catered suite at a Broncos game on New Years Eve and invited all our friends and had an absolute blast, baby and all
Christamas and New Years 06-07 062

because I let my son wear lip gloss when he asked and I'm a mean mom for posting it
May - July 2008 126

and as long as I'm being mean...

because in our house, we pull our kids shirts up over their head and yell "Mother Theresa, Mother Theresa!"

because this picture was taken before we drank one too many vodka raspberry lemonades

And these were taken after...


because this was our wedding day
Wedding Photos 2004 087

Wedding Photos 2004 108

Wedding Photos 2004 099

Wedding Photos 2004 203

because this was my Grandparents wedding day, July 4, 1958
Old Family Pictures- Basil Grillo Memorial 110

because this is my cute mom as a kid
Old Family Pictures- Basil Grillo Memorial 071

because my friend Melissa and I kicked Emerald Mountain's ass one morning

because this was my surprise 30th birthday party, and that pretty thing to the right of me is Danielle, who kicks Emerald Mountains ass on a mountain bike. Dang, girl.

because my pretty little girl who used to dress like this

is now in a stage where she likes to dress like this. Sigh

because this is the recipe I'm going to share with you. I can't stop thinking about food for too long.


Vegetarian Taco Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
serves 6-8 dinner size salads

for the salad:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-15oz can corn, drained
1-15oz can pinto beans, drained
1-15oz can black beans, drained
1 can of Rotel
6 romaine hearts (about 24 oz or 1 heart per person)
2 packets store bought taco seasoning
3-4 avocados, chopped (or 1/2 an avocado per person)

optional toppers: Jack cheese, jalapeno rings, black olives, salsa, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, tortilla chips, grilled shrimp

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and red bell pepper and saute until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add corn, and both beans and stir to combine. Continue to cook until beans are heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the packets of taco seasoning plus 1/4 cup of water and stir to combine. Let cook together until heated through. It should be saucy. If it's too thick, add more water. Turn the heat off and leave to cool for a few minutes.

Chop the hearts of romaine and divide the lettuce among six large bowls, and top each evenly with the bean and pepper mixture. Garnish each bowl with 1/2 a chopped avocado, and drizzle with the cilantro lime dressing and any additional topper you desire, especially more plain Greek yogurt. You can freeze any leftover bean mixture.

Tip- You can add taco seasoning to leftover chili (vegetarian or otherwise) to use as your bean mixture for taco salads instead of making one from scratch. It works just as well. 

Cilantro-Lime Dressing:
adapted from simple food healthy life

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 head of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Whirl everything together in a blender until smooth

Tip: If you are particularly short on time and you can't make the dressing, just top your salads with cilantro springs, plenty of plain Greek yogurt and salsa, and you don't actually need it, but it's really yummy if you do.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got this delicious man waiting for me as soon as I'm off the computer



Now, I suggest you come back if you want in on the amazing Memorial Day Blogger Bash...
epic. But hey, it's up to you.

PS-Raquel, from Dream Out Loud, you are the winner of my Kintage $25.00 shop credit. Congratulations! I will be emailing you soon.

Over and Out!