If you know Ryan and I, you know that one of our favorite things to do is cook - and of course, eat.  And lately, I've realized that I've neglected this essential need in life as far as the blog goes, so here are some of the recent recipes we've whipped up at the Tollis household.

First on the menu is chicken with prosciutto and mushrooms topped with parsley and pepper.  Simple yet delicious.

Ryan made these spicy burgers with mushrooms and onions.  I'm not a huge burger fan, but these were awesome!  (Excuse the not-so-great iPhone pic).

We also had chicken with caramelized dates and parmigiano reggiano, along with a side of peppered sweet potatoes.

Next up is what I like to call "refrigerator stew" - I gather whatever we have laying around in the refrigerator and pantry and throw it together to cook all day.  Not too exciting but it makes for good comfort food during Colorado winters.

This next chicken dish was delicious!  It was a loose spin-off from my mom's chicken marbella and it's definitely one of our favorites.  Chicken with green and black olives, prunes, capers and tons of spices.  We also added some Marsala wine we had on hand and it gave it a wonderful, rich flavor.  If you're looking for a fun new dish and like Greek food, I highly recommend this one.

Last but not least are some Thai-inspired lettuce wraps I came up with that turned out pretty good.  I started with chicken breasts, then added chicken seasoning, red bell peppers, scallions, garlic, fresh ginger, cabbage, carrots and nuts.  I glazed it with hoisin sauce and served it with butter lettuce leaves for wrapping.  Fresh, fun, and tons healthier than lettuce wraps you'll find at any restaurant.

Hope you enjoyed!  Stay tuned for some exciting posts to come - pictures of our little nest (one of the main reasons for starting this blog)!



Last weekend, one of my good friends had her baby shower for a little girl they're expecting in May.  Instead of picking out a card at the store, I decided to DIY one.  Very sweet and simple, but I thought it was fitting for a baby shower.

Of course I wrote on it, but I almost didn't want to.  I thought it would be cute just like this in a frame collage or something similar as cheap yet cute homemade "art".  I just bought a piece of 4 x 6" plain cardstock and the stick-on letters were on sale and seemed very baby-esque.  And since I had leftover letters, I made one as a little tribute to our wedding song.  Very girly, yes, but I'll just put it on my nightstand and not his.  Although I do wonder how long it would last if I did put it on his...

Anyway, just a fun, simple project that took about five minutes flat and turned out kind of fun.  Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!



I'm not even embarrassed.  Ryan and I ordered as many boxes of Girl Scout Cookies as the average family of five.  Two boxes of Tagalongs, two boxes of Samoas (but they're really Caramel Delights and my absolute fav!) and two boxes of thick mints, as Ryan has appropriately re-named them.

We got them on Friday and we're one and a half boxes down.  That's not bad, right?



WARNING: This post is not intended in any way to construe the fact that we are, or will become pregnant in the near future.  It is for informational purposes only.

OK, with that message to our moms disclaimer out of the way, I will explain why I am writing about "childbearing age."  I got the term from the back of this bottle:

I know all you mommys and mommys-to-be out there know that ideally, you're supposed to be taking this for a period of time before getting pregnant.  At my last visit to the Doc, he told me that I need to be taking folic acid at least three months before we start trying to get pregnant.  So, I wrote that down in my little notebook and made a mental note of it.  Recently, however, I read an article that suggests taking folic acid one to three years(!) before getting preggo and that all women of "childbearing age" should be taking it just in case.  I figured it could only help things and since our idea of when we would like to have kids probably falls in that one to three years category... I bought some.  I also figured that by leaving it on our bathroom counter-top, the whole idea would work its way into Ryan's brain little by little every day... surely that's a proven strategy.  I do have to say though that he was proud of me for being proactive about my health and buying vitamins.

I felt weirdly grown-up and even proud when I was checking out with this little bottle.  All it talks about on the label are the benefits related to having children, so the checkout lady must know we're thinking of it and that must have just touched her heart, right?  Maybe not, but I still couldn't help smiling to myself when I swallowed the first one yesterday.

Again, this is me being proactive so that when we're ready, we're ready and I'll have one less thing to remember at that time.  Still just the two of us for the time being, and right now, I love it that way.



Since part of the point of this blog is to become a sort of journal of our married life, I have to document what we did on our first Valentine's Day, right?  Despite the fact that it's the third V-Day post I've done.

It was wonderful - we decided to stay home and cook dinner by ourselves, for ourselves.  Dinner was fabulous.  We had surf and turf, garlic mashed potatoes and chocolate fondue for dessert.  Ryan was in charge of the filet mignon and the lobster, and I whipped up the garlic mashed potatoes and everything for dessert.  We drank a bottle of the wine we made for our rehearsal dinner, put on some Frank Sinatra and stuffed ourselves.

Earlier in the day, I also snuck over to my family's house and played Cupid (which included making everyone's bed too)!



Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  As I mentioned in my last post, Valentine's is my favorite and it always has been regardless of my relationship status.  I know people don't like it and think it's a Hallmark holiday and why do you need a special day to tell your sweetheart you love them and blah, blah blah... but why not?  Why not have a special day all about love to look forward to?  I love it.

This year is especially sweet given it's our first one as husband and wife.  Happy Valentine's Day to my sweetheart, who has been for four years now and will be for all my years to come.  I love the way you love me baby!



Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday, always has been, regardless of my relationship status or how many Valentines I had in my school mailbox as a kid.  I think a part of it has to be the two symbolic colors, red and pink.  I used to refuse to let my mom dress me as a kid and would wear these hot pink stretch pants with a red striped shirt.  Even though it's not what my parents would have preferred I would have left the house in, just look at the Victoria's Secret campaign colors now, right?  I was on to something.

I get all excited for the hearts, chocolate, little notes and all the other lovey-dovey stuff and while perusing some of my favorite blogs and websites, I found these little pieces of eye candy just in time for the holiday o' love.  I really do believe it's all the adorable little things that come along with Cupid that just give me the warm n' fuzzies inside.  I love the colors, shapes and symbols of Valentine's Day oh so much, it makes me smile.
You could add a little Spanish flair with these adorable "corazones conversación".  I'm pretty sure that's the literal translation of heart, as in the internal organ, but whatever.  I also LOVE this Andy Warhol mug!  Wouldn't it just make your day to have your morning coffee out of that?  See, Valentine's Day really does make me such a sap.

This last picture is my favorite.  How sweet is that little heart-shaped button used as a cufflink?  Not sure if the husband would be as sweet and actually wear it though...  but maybe since we're planning on staying in and making dinner ourselves it would be a possibility.  Even though we're all about dining out every chance we get to indulge our foodie tendencies, we decided to forgo long lines, annoyed servers and watching awkward first dates for the comforts of home.  That's not to say we're not enjoying a fabulous meal though.  I hope everyone enjoys their Valentine's Day, you have to love love!

Mug image found here, conversation heart image found here, button image found here, lollipop image found here, plant image found here.



Last week/weekend, we celebrated Ryan's birthday.  What was originally dinner on Friday night turned into that plus making dinner Thursday night and having a small family celebration on Saturday afternoon.  He must be quite special :)  On Thursday, he requested Osso Bucco (I had never made it before), Friday we went to the Mona Lisa for some incredible fondue, and on Saturday we had some yummy appetizers and Ryan grilled for everyone (he wanted to despite the snow and 20 degree temperatures.)

Birthday dinner for two at Casa de Tollis.

Ok, so this is the Osso Bucco, which was pretty good.  But check out the giant bone in the middle, the bone marrow all of which Ryan ate.  I like different foods and have to admit it tasted wonderful, but man...

The Mona Lisa was wonderful.


Haha, I definitely decorated our condo when Ryan went to run some errands.

Happy Birthday Love!

Oh yeah, and I made him Eggs Benedict too... a very extended birthday, but much deserved.

Oh yeah again, he also got this lovely pink present from Carlos and Elyse.  At least the cigars inside made it somewhat manly, haha.