Monday, March 14, 2011

You Want This Easy Recipe For A Divine Dinner, I Swear.

What happens when you take three good friends who are all going through a few relationship problems and add good food and wine?  You get three good friends who were much calmer together, than we would have been apart.

What could have been disaster turned into a wonderful day.  Do you ever have those pivotal days?  It could go either way, but in keeping a Happy Heart...all is well.

My BBFF, also known as Thing One, made the most incredible dinner last night.  It was simple in it's elegance, but let me tell you right now...this bad boy is decadent.

Pecan Encrusted Chicken Breasts stuffed with fresh Spinach and Colby/Monterrey Jack Cheese which was served over rice.  It was paired with Black Box Chardonnay.  A perfect meal for whatever (and whomever) ails you.

Thing One began by crushing about a cup of chopped pecans.  He placed the pecans on a few folded paper towels and then rolled an empty wine bottle over them until they were good and crushed.

He performed the same rolling task over large chicken breasts until they were thin and flat.  Take one chicken breast, dip into an egg wash comprised of 3 eggs scrambled well and a dash of milk... a layer of fresh spinach leaves and a heaping handful of shredded cheese onto the flattened chicken breast.  Roll up.  Dip the rolled breasts into the crushed pecans until covered, place onto a broiler pan, and then spear with two or three tooth picks to stabilize the perfect pockets of wonderment.  Take whatever pecan crumbs are left and sprinkle on top of the chicken.  You will thank me later when you taste the toasted pecans on the rice.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Peek on it occasionally and let the aromas dance around your kitchen.  Make your favorite rice dish to accompany the chicken.  Notice all the cheesy goodness coming out??? That's what I'm talking about, baby.

Serve the chicken breasts on top of the rice and call "All the Churrin' " to dinner.  You know those meals where everyone is silent because the food is THAT was one of those nights.

Yes, it really was.  The wine was great, too.  Have you ever tried Black Box Chardonnay?  I was impressed.

This is Home Girl and I loved it when Star Jones (on Celebrity Apprentice) said, "If you are trying to take out The Queen, you better kill her first."  My thoughts exactly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crazy Times We Live In

My heart just breaks for those dealing with the earthquakes in Japan and abroad, the Tsunami's around the world, and the volcanic disruptions currently taking place.  The images are mind blowing.

This all leaves me weary of our future for some reason.

It makes me pray even harder for salvation for not only myself, but for those I love.

I went on a walk to ease my soul and to spend some alone time with Him.  It helped.  I looked at the bounty of Spring growth around me and it made me smile a little...

even in the midst of bad news coming in from around the world.

This is Home Girl...does any of this scare you???

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning

It's raining here today.  It's one of those "stay inside because it's too yucky to go out" days, but sometimes those can be the best kind.  There is Spring cleaning to be done and this does not exclude In The Heart of Happy.  I am just so excited about this news I am going to share with you...right here, right now.

In The Heart of Happy is moving!!!  Yep, I have become quite frustrated with Blogger and their inability to  provide photo hosting without charging huge fees.

It will take me at least one more day, maybe two to get everything packed up and moved, but it will definitely be for the better.

I am getting my own domain and will be using Wordpress, so I am pretty excited to say the very least.  I hope that this move will allow me to continue to grow and to bring you content I want without having to make sacrifices.

When the blog goes live, you best believe I will come here and let you know...and if you have a hard time finding me after it's all said and done, please feel free to leave me a comment here and I will connect with you.  Promise.  I will be leaving this blog open as well, because I have a lot of my favorite reads on my dashboard and well, I am not a fan of Google Reader, either.

Hopefully this move will be permanent for a while.  It's with some mixed emotions that I say goodbye to this "house"...I have lived here through so much, but there comes a time when we must get bigger digs when we are ready for them.

I am ready...ready for In The Heart of Happy Dot Com!!!!!  Yeah!

This is Home Girl and I moving on up...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Promise More Tomorrow!

I really do.  I finally have a clear and unscheduled day where I can write and comment on my favorite blogs.  I know those that have been reading for a few years now understand and most know what I have been up to on that social platform called Face Crack, but for those that have missed me, I do sincerely apologize for my absence.

I got it excused from the principal.  It was worth it.  Trust and believe.

I have missed you all terribly, though.  My heart would ache at times, I missed you all so much.  I had my lap top with me, but apparently Virginia does not believe in 4G wireless and well...

3G coverage does not like large photo files, so I needed to wait until I got home.

It was a great adventure that is turning into some more adventures in my near future.  Great things are happening.

God is just SO good!

This is Home Girl and I missed my Homies more than you'll ever know!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My First Wedding Shoot

Last Thursday, I had both the privilege and the honor of attending the wedding of two very good friends. Like myself, they have a unconventional relationship, but the love they share far outweighs the obstacles they face.

I not only watched this day unfold before me, but was thrilled to photograph it as well.  I know from a technical standpoint there is much work I need to do, but I am very pleased my my first attempt results.

Wanna take a peek?

It snowed the day that A and Z became a couple and it snowed on their wedding day, as well. 

We're here!!  Nervous happiness filled the air.  

Such a stunning venue. 

A and his stunning thrilled for this day!!  

Not a dry eye in the house!!  Such a touching ceremony.  

Capturing the love and excitement as two, become one. 

It's official!!  Love their smiles!

A great day in D.C.

Wedding Reception in The Cavendish Suite at The Renaissance, Portsmouth, Virginia.  The waterfront view of Norfolk, VA through the window.  

Red Velvet Wedding Cake paired with opulent wines, champagne, and prosecco.

United as One

This is Home Girl and I am house sitting while these two are honeymooning in Aspen, CO.  No, I'm not hating...not at all!  

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Day of Wine and Roses

Love in a Look 
by Henry Van Dyke

Let me but feel thy look's embrace, 
Transparent, pure, and warm, 
And I'll not ask to touch thy face,
Or fold thee with mine arm.
For in thine eyes a girl doth rise,
Arrayed in candid bliss,
And draws me to her with a charm
More close than any kiss. 

A loving-cup of golden wine,
Songs of a silver brook,
And fragrant breaths of eglantine,
Are mingled in thy look.
More fair they are than any star,
Thy topaz eyes divine --
And deep within their trysting-nook
Thy spirit blends with mine.

This is Home Girl wishing you, today and forevermore, hours filled with abundant love.   

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yes, I have Pink Hair


I was in desperate need of a cut and color.  I have very ethnic hair.  It is terribly difficult to find people who are capable of understanding how to cut my hair and of course there's the coloring issue.  I wanted something a little wild, sassy, and free.  A new hair style that says, "Home Girl".


Pink hair in graduating shades from bright to dark which is not staying after Valentine's Day, but is really fun and a super asymetrical cut that is short, short, short in the back and long in the week I am having mocha layers added in.

Ya Home Girl can do her thang!  (I do have amazing natural curls)

Yesterday, I photographed a wedding in Washington, D.C.  It was amazing.  I was so thrilled to be a part of the wedding as the photographer.  This is my favorite shot.  I promise to share more in the next few days.

This is Home Girl and I believe in love that knows no bounds.  To me, that is real love.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This and That Thursday by Mental Pause Mama

~It snowed for what is likely the last time this year, and it's okay and all, but even I am over it.  Come on Spring!

~Gender has nothing to do with love and marriage.

~My favorite food experience this week is Key Lime Cheesecake with Strawberries.  Oh yeah.

~I don't know how I feel about my hair, right now.

~It's pink.

~It's pink, like remember Pink's hair when it was pink.  I love the cut though.  I might have to get some darker layers put in to find a happy medium, but the cut is awesome.

~I am wondering how close the wedding venue will be to Red Velvet Cupcakes in Downtown D.C. and if Russia and I can sneak down there and get back without anyone noticing.  Hmmm.

~Russia and I have the same mutual attraction to designer cupcakes.

~Have you ever had Sweet Dreams, Chocolate Caramel Covered Popcorn???  I had a cupcake moment after eating this tempting treat.  Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake with Caramel Creme that has been dipped in Chocolate Ganache (or Chocolate Shell) and sprinkled with the Chocolate Caramel Covered Popcorn.  Sweet and Salty and Chocolaty and Yummy.

~I seem to have cupcake moments a lot.

This is Home Girl asking...What would be your cupcake moment??

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crazy Busy Week

I had a feeling that this week would be insanely jam packed...and it is.

I love it though.  I really do.  I am having an absolute blast.  Today is the lull in my week.  It will be a day filled with making a baby quilt for a shower I am attending on Saturday, creating a surprise for friends who are getting married in Washington, D.C. on Thursday at The Washington Court Hotel, and then...

Home Girl's getting a complete makeover tonight!!!!  Yes, I will be sipping on some nice wine while getting completely pampered.   The whole color, new cut, new style.  New Me!!

I might do a before and after.  I said, I might.  Don't count on it though.  I don't know.  I am still deciding.  Not questioning the makeover part, but the showing you a before photo.  We shall see.

I had a great food photo shoot on Monday.  I will get to that later on this week after I finish processing all the photos.

I mentioned that we got to sample all the food I shot, right?  I will also tell you I am not eating all.  Opulence and stellar food are wrecking havoc on my caloric intake and Home Girl has a wedding to go to on Thursday where she is not only a guest, but the wedding photographer.

Where there will be even more wonderful food, cake, and wine.

Then there's Valentine's Weekend, Daytona Speed Week, and last, but not least...My Birthday Weekend.

Also, I can NOW tell you, Home Girl is going to the South of France on a two week, Blogging/Wine Barge Tour in September.

And you wonder why I have a princess complex???

This is Home Girl and I love the way my tiara fits.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Whirlwind Weekend

Sorry to be in a rush, but I am trying to get out the door for a food photo shoot...and I wasn't home at all over the weekend.  The few hours I was home, were spent napping.

I love a good nap.  Don't you?  I love Sunday Morning Pancakes, too.

I will catch up with everyone later on tonight and tomorrow when things calm down for me, for at least two days.

I love my life.

This is Home Girl and yes, he ate it all!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Maybe The Groundhog Wasn't Lying

While a greater majority of the United States was going crazy with Winter weather yesterday, I enjoyed a breezy and balmy Wednesday near 70 degrees.

I know...don't hate.

The glorious temperatures provided a much needed chance to walk about Olde Towne as much as I pleased...and it was wonderful.  For those of you that aren't familiar with me, I live in the historical district of Portsmouth, Virginia.  It is simply called Olde Towne and it's a magical place.  I have left and come back and this quaint little sea village is still able to thrill my heart.  It captivates my soul.

I guess that's when you know you really love something.  That feeling is your sign, that you can bloom where you are planted.

As I was walking, I noticed something coming up from the dark brown soil...could it be?  "No, that what I think it is?"

Yes,'s your sign!!!  Spring is actually on it's way!

 Where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing.
~Albert Laighton

Maybe we should rely on animals to predict the weather more often??

This is Home Girl and I wish you beautiful green buds to brighten your day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Project Me at The Maddy Chronicles

Project Me: Hosted by The Maddy Chronicles

It is my sincere honor to be guest posting over at The Maddy Chronicles today for the inauguration of Project Me.  Please click the button above to go see me there.

You can come back here and give me hugs and kisses, because you know I like that kind of, scoot...what are you waiting for...

CLICK that button!

Yes, that's brownie bites sitting next to Chocolate Covered Cherry, Sweet Bliss wine.  Just another great way I celebrate Me!!

Project Me: Hosted by The Maddy Chronicles

This is Home Girl and I am so happy for today!!  Welcome to the world Project Me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy First Birthday Communal Global and Some Me Time...

Going back to The Spit was great...despite any fears I may have had about what I would feel.  My love for The Spit has changed and although I rather enjoyed myself, I knew deep in my heart, I love Olde Towne more.

It was a relaxing weekend filled with lots of laugh, great food, and even better friends.  I even managed some "Me Time", walking alone along the beach on a cold morning, shooting photos.

I want to wish Communal Global a Very Happy First Birthday!!  What a great group of people from all over the world to be a part of.  It truly gives you a window to the world and I am so glad I joined this group...not only is the photography stunning, but each of the contributors has an amazing soul.

I hope this image warms your soul today if you are dealing with less than stellar weather and temperatures.  Don't be fooled was so cold and windy when I shot this, but it brings hope that warmer days are ahead.  Hope springs eternal!!

Tomorrow is a very exciting day.  Project Me at The Maddy Chronicles begins and I will be the first one to post!!  I am rather thrilled about it all!  I hope you join us.

This is Home Girl and I dream of warm days on the beach.  And you?

Monday, January 31, 2011

i heart faces ~ Favorite January 2011 Photo

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

I was reminded of this much loved poem when I shot this stunning photo of my best friend dozing off while rocking her youngest son.  I thought it to be a sweet sentiment that is all too forget about the things we think we "must" do and to remember the things we "ought" to.  

Like spending the time to cuddle our little ones, before they are not so little anymore.  

Please go visit all the other entries in this weeks, i heart faces challenge.  Just click on this button to go see some of the most amazing images on the web.  You will not be disappointed.  I never am.  

This is Home Girl.  Deuces.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Secret Garden Love

Today marks a very momentous occasion for Home Girl.  Today, I am going back to The Spit for an overnight slumber party with my favorite four year old boy, Lil'A.  I am looking forward to spending some time with him and his Mom, but it struck me that in the past year, I have never returned to my former home.  I think it's time...I think I am ready, ready because I am going back on my terms...and well, let's be honest...when I last left The Spit, things weren't so wonderful in my life.

A lot has changed in a year, huh??

I should have trusted some of you more when you told me that things would be okay...that things would work out the way He wanted them to, but ya know of little faith and all.  I think one of the biggest things I have learned since last year is that, I am not the one driving the big bus called life.  He is.  I have learned to trust a whole lot more.  I still have issues trusting "people", but I have gotten to a serene place in my life where I completely trust God.  I look for the fruit growing on a vine that I might have looked past before.

I also recognize another huge change for me and that relates to happiness.  Use to be...I would equate happiness with what I was doing for others and what I was creating for others and there was no real fulfilment in that.  I was miserable, because ya know what...we can not make others happy.  They have to make themselves happy and then throw the collective pieces into one big bucket called happiness.

There are still bad days.  There are still bad things that happen, but it's in our approach that we seek the freedom from being miserable.  Sure, you can sit there and say, "blah, blah, life is so crappy", but what is the sense in that?  Turn it around and force yourself to focus on the moments of joy and your mood will lift.

There is beauty, even amongst the dead leaves and darkness of a cold, dreary day.

 There are moments when we get to see the sparkle of an old chandelier in a unique location.  

A home is just four walls that have found it's happiness.  I am so glad I found mine.  

This is Home Girl and I hope you focus on happiness today...pure and simple.