Wednesday, December 31, 2008

fish tacos


I'd never deep fried anything before so I'm proud of these. I had a craving for them earlier in the day and tackled them this evening. Success. I combined a few recipes I found on Tastespotting. We use this site a lot for food inspiration and it's worth checking out. If you're not up to making them yourself, hit up Taqueria Del Sol in Atlanta for a mean fish taco and the best fried chicken taco I've had the pleasure of tasting. Props to the Green's for introducing us to Taqueria Del Sol. It's now a favorite of ours.

The next post will not be food related...well...not completely food related - I promise.
Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the best skittle... the purple Skittle.
Or maybe the red Skittle. Tough call.

Monday, December 29, 2008

recipe sunday no. 2 | beer cheese soup

Okay dish number two:Beer Cheese Soup. Can you tell we're soup people? Overall this was good, but I think we decided that we'd prefer it without all the accessories (carrots, potatoes, etc.) with a smoother consistency. Also, I'm not sure all the beer was cooked out because I was tipsy afterward. Ha. Just kidding, but really, it was pretty potent and probably could have cooked longer. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

recipe sunday no. 1 | onion soup gratinee

I have to admit that, although I really love cooking, I've done little of it since we got married. Not getting home until 6:30 or 7 most nights means that, if I do cook, we don't eat until 8:30, and by the time we're done cleaning up, it's 10pm and that's just exhausting to do every night. We'll get into a good routine, but for now, we're going to start with Recipe Sundays.

Here's the first dish: Onion Soup Gratinee. It was a hit for our taste buds and budget. I used gruyere instead of provolone, & swapped out 2 of the yellow onions for a red and some scallions. I also added some red wine to the mix.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a year ago today...

...Sara and I got engaged - unexpectedly.

I had been trying to plan a way to propose to Sara in January but hadn't quite figured it out. And then this happened:

The video is kind of embarrassing to watch but it's pretty cool too. Sara super surprised me. Last night she said to me, "a year ago, I was keeping a secret"{smiles all around}. She gathered everyone together and raised money to get me a brand new drum set. She did this at a time when I really needed it, as I was contemplating putting my sticks down for good. Everyone came together and showed me support and love. For that, I am truly thankful. For Sara, I am truly thankful {tear}.

Happy birthday Sara. I love you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

happy birthday pete

Today we celebrated Pete's 25th birthday. Good times were had. Here's us enjoying some of Pete's hilarious jokes. What a kidder!
And here's Pete helping Sara decorate the tree. These siblings are always helping each other out!
Happy birthday Pete!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

honeymooning continued: pärnu

Sara recently taught me a few of her tricks in Photoshop. Now I'm a little less dependent on her to get pictures sized and edited to look dope. Hooray.

We updated a little from Riga but we never finished sharing Pärnu.

Pärnu is a beach town in Estonia located right of Pärnu Bay in the Baltic Sea. One day it was nice, sunny and windy, the next, it was cold and extremely calm. Check out what the wind did to these trees:

 The water was so calm this day:
In Pärnu we had time to relax and enjoy each other's company. It was very pleasant. We spent most of our days there in coffee shops, at the beach, or resting. There was a local market a block away and since we had a kitchen, we did a lot of cooking ourselves. The market had loads of fresh (and not so fresh) fish and was also well equipped with different meats and sausages, fresh produce, fresh eggs, pickled goods, and cheap clothes. The food was cheap and the atmosphere was fun. Shame I didn't get any pictures of the market, but I have plenty from the Central Market in Riga.

Not too much, not too little. Perfect size.
Just some fun pics:

Sara is working on some really cool design stuff right now. It's keeping her super busy but it is some of her best work yet. I'm blown away every time I see her screen. REALLY good.

Next up: our trip to Riga

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

furniture re-furb : dining room table

So you might be asking yourself, 
at what sort of table does this couple dine?
Well maybe not, but here it is. Like pretty much everything else in our apartment, it's a hand-me-down to which we added our own little touch. We got the table from Pete + Glo. It was the right size for our dining room and I liked the architecture of it, but the finish was a little icky. 

After using a heat gun to strip off the waxy coating, the wood wasn't in great shape to just do a stain, so we decided to paint it. KC came up with the idea for the place settings, and I painted the sort of reverse-stencil tediously, with help from my mom of course. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

bread machines are for sissies

this weekend i made some dope (crusty on outside chewy on the inside) bread. i'm a sucker for good fresh bread and i was pretty pumped i was able to pull this off. you can too. i did the two day recipe but i plan on experimenting some more.

i enjoyed the loaf with my brother Corey (who i would link to but he's lame and doesn't have anything i can link...or does he??). he brought over some homemade ham balls and we chowed down while discussing movies, computers, and comic books. i don't know how i managed to stay engaged in a comic book was probably the wine.

in other news, Sara got new boots, i got a cardigan, the Estonians are awesome (music soon), honeymoon pictures and stories are on their way. also, if your day needs cheering, check out these puppies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

beans & rice, and rice & beans. and hot sauce.

the dave ramsey way - that's how we roll.

economical, yummy, and guaranteed leftovers.
what compromises do you make to achieve your goals?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

7 years ago...

...we snogged for the first time. in casey's parents' basement. after Remember the Titans.
it was awkward.

i know we start over with the anniversaries now that'd we're all married and stuff, but happy 7th babe! i'm so proud to have you as my husband.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

wedding food

Our taste palettes are wide open, but we knew that many of our guests' might not be. We really wanted to offer our guests cuisine that we felt represented us in our foodie spirit, while accommodating those more timid tasters. KC & I felt good about using Mitchell Anderson from MetroFresh. We love the restaurant in the highlands and felt that his style of cooking captured our international tastes in subtle ways that would please everyone.

{above: Mitchell - you might recognize him from somewhere...}

We didn't end up getting any photos of the table, but the final menu was:

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta served with Crostini
Fresh Roasted Corn Salsa with Blue Corn Chips
Mango Avocado Chunky Guacamole
Warm Asian Pork Meatballs with Three dipping Sauces
Thai Chicken Salad on Lettuce Leaves
Indian Roasted Vegetable Curry - Jalfrezi
Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
Grilled Blackened Chicken sliced – served cold with Lime/Avocado/sour cream sauce
Green and Red Grape Salad with Endive, Walnuts, Crumbled Blue Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Wheatberry Salad with Dried Fruit and Nuts

I really wish I could have eaten more of the food. I was so hyped up that I wasn't hungry, and when I did get my plate, I kept putting it down to hug and talk to friends and family. KC & I made a trip out to the restaurant last weekend to eat a killer lunch and snap some shots for you guys. We were greeted by a warm "It's the Giessens!" welcome, and enjoyed some lovely fall weather on the patio. MetroFresh changes their menu daily and always has something yummy fill your belly. If ever have a hankering for something healthy, fresh, and satisfying...hit them up and tell them the Giessens sent you.

{above: our lunch}

{above: the kitchen}

{above: the super sweet girl who came and hugged me right before the ceremony, while i was bawling in the field alone}

The cakes were done by a Giessen family friend, Amy Diss. We didn't want anything too fancy- just a really yummy cake. The main cake was a lemon cake with buttercream icing. We also did white and chocolate individual brioche cakes with powdered sugar and a summer fruit compote. My mom decorate the table beautifully with a fun quilt, flowers, cake stands, and a handmade branch "chandelier" above.

{above: us as we cut the cake. SAI!}

Friday, October 3, 2008

october eats

Wednesday night : KC made pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella, and gorgonzola. He made dough from scratch. It was pretty perfect.

Thursday night : KC wanted tuna boats; I was hesitant. It's not my favorite meal, and last time we made it, it wasn't great. But this time we used wheat buns and added swiss cheese, tomato, and spices. I made a salad of baby spinach, white nectarines marinated in balsamic, garlic + olive oil and feta.

{above: kc's tuna boats}

{above: those are nectarines, not potatoes- I promise}

Tonight : beer brats. Num num.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

2 months in....

....and my wife is still a baller. i love that girl.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

wedding tuneage

i love music. music holds my attention like nothing else. i am constantly thinking about all things music and sound. my career and hobbies are largely music related. i judge a movie by its soundtrack (and i'll judge your wedding by its soundtrack too...sorry!) needless to say, the music at my wedding was important to me. the sound at my wedding was important to me. i wanted the music to fit us and fit the wedding atmosphere i had laid out in my mind. in the past, i've found feedback and sound issues at weddings to be very distracting. it's probably just me, but i feel that sound should looked at just as carefully as anything else in the wedding. with all that said, it's necessary to point out that i'm no musical prodigy/genius, nor am i an extremely renowned musician (quite the opposite actually). i'm just picky and probably have an opinion (and am working on expressing that opinions less frequently).

funny how things pan out. the music for our wedding came together VERY last minute: my bad.
sara reminded me on several occasions that music for the wedding was my responsibility and - apparently - i can be a bit of a procrastinator. luckily, with the help of some fantastic folks, we pulled it off.

my uncle ron is pro audio guy and i'm crazy in debt to him for all he did. he's also a bit of a rat bastard which isn't surprising as he's one of my dad's long time close friends. nevertheless, his experience and expertise in running live sound at large conventions and concerts and such, left me with little to worry about. all i needed to do was tell him what i wanted and i knew it would get done. we had no power out in the field and he took care of that by bringing his own generator. he and my cousin nick saved the day when the generator died EXACTLY when the wedding started. we drained the generator with the string lights hanging between the pallet panels. oops. we didn't anticipate they'd draw that much juice. that one got blamed on me, but ron and nick had us back up and running within 10 minutes. we paid ron zero dollars; money well spent. thanks uncle ron!

my dad wanted to have his buds play at the reception and i was cool with that. Dan Coy and Mac Mckibben are a duo that have been playing together in atlanta for some time. they showed up in their hawaiian shirts and really did a great job of setting the social mood. they are fantastic musicians and easy going dudes. some of you may have noticed a couple unusual jazz renditions they slipped by. i know for sure they played a nirvana song and the flintstones theme and would not be surprised if they had thrown in some 2pac and queen.

both the PA situation and reception band were set in stone at least 2 months before the wedding. however, i had not found musicians or picked music for the ceremony until much later. i had been looking for an accordionist for some time and hadn't had any success in booking one.

through a person, through another person, i finally stumbled upon the husband and wife duo of Mackenzie and Randy Chester. together they are 4 and 20 Blackbirds. they live in northeast georgia with their baby girl, rosie, and are a super fun couple. they write some really funky music and we dig it. i posted a music video they made towards the bottom of this post. it's a fun watch. they are gonna hit the studio for a few days soon so be on the lookout for that. they also bailed me out big time: they were excited to do the wedding and they were excited about my visions for the wedding.

sara and i love The Beatles. we opted to have Beatles songs played instead of the wedding march (whatever it's called). we really enjoyed the covers done for the "Across the Universe" soundtrack. i'm not usually a fan of covers, but i found these to be very tasteful and well done. to announce sara coming towards the ceremony site, an mp3 of "Girl" (listen to it loud) sung by jim sturgess was played loudly over the PA. this song is so beautiful and gives me chills every time i hear it. when the song finished, sara and her father could be seen on the horizon walking towards the chapel. this is where 4 and 20 Blackbirds played an accordion and guitar instrumental version of "Blackbird" (ironic?) in place of the wedding march. i couldn't hold it in. i was crying like a baby... and you probably were too. it was crazy beautiful to me, and my bride was downright stunning. hubba hubba. randy and mackenzie performed a beautiful stripped down version of "Be Thou My Vision" when sara and i shared communion. it was perfect. and to top it all off, sara and i were introduced as a couple to "Typical" by MuteMath. i love the energy at the beginning of that song. it pumps you up. i thought it was a bad-awesome introduction.

general guests at the wedding sat down to a fantastic mix (if i do say so myself) of oldie love songs: Ray Charles, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, and Ivory Joe Hunter to name a few. i intended for the wedding party to be seated to "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles, but that's when the generator died. sara choreographed our first dance to "You Never Can Tell" by Chuck Berry. that was a lot of fun. sara is a much better dancer than i. sara shared a dance with her father to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman and i shared a dance with my mother to "Mama" by BJ Thomas. sara and i left the reception, rather appropriately, to "The Final Countdown" by Europe. sweet.

we may have lost power, we might have even had a tiny bit of feedback, and we may not have had the perfect wedding. but to me, at that time, it was the most perfect thing in my life.
thanks to everyone else who helped out with the music and sound stuff. and thanks to dad for letting us use his gear. you rock.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

kyle hale - gangster

{i straight ganked this image from facebook}

we've mentioned him lots on this blog and in our various casual conversations but we still get asked frequently who was behind the lens for our engagement photos and wedding photos. this is the man: Kyle Hale.

Pete referred us to his old GCSU college buddy and we were blown away when we saw his photos. there's quite a few surprises hidden behind kyle's sexy little beard. not only is he bad awesome with his camera and computer tricks, he's got a degree in audio engineering, owns bunches of cool instruments, likes good music, likes good design, loves God, laughs a lot, works at the CNN center, rides a vespa, smells nice, and protects the innocent. i like him a lot.

for those wondering, kyle shoots with a Nikon D80, a Nikkor 24-120 f/3.5 VR lens, a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, and a lot of skill. we lost light quickly after the wedding and kyle did a great job snapping the photos before we completely lost light and editing photos to make it look like there was light. our engagement photos were as fun as they looked largely due to kyle's creativeness and knowledge of the city. there was a lot of improv and laughs with only a few life threatening situations. we'll probably work with this guy again in near future. you should too.

check him out at

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

august 2nd

it was the perfect day.

it was the perfect evening.

we got married.

hilarious stories of imperfection to come, but for now:

view all the photos, of course by kyle hale, here. thanks kyle!