Little Letters


Today I'm going to do a "Little Letters" post inspired by The Freckled Fox. Hope you enjoy!

Dear NY State, why must you make it so difficult to obtain a drivers license? Don't you understand that it's not my fault you A. want to take away my Texas license that explains that I was once a Freeman and now an Aslan B. You don't think my new Texas license with my new last name is valid because I have only had it 3 months. C. That I'm a little hesitant to apply for a licensee when the all around [or]deal will cost me well over $100.
Dear February, why do I always forget you have far less days than many other months? And where have you gone??
Dear upstairs neighbor, do you ever leave your home? And I swear you're following me around my apartment. We always happen to be in the same room at the same time. How do I know this? Let's just say you're a heavy treader.
Dear Mother-in-law, thank you for your WONDERFUL iced tea recipe. I think I have made a pitcher every two days lately. People think I'm crazy for drinking iced tea in the can take the girl out of the South but you sure can't take the South out of her!
Dear Nike Fitness app, we have quite the love hate relationship...I'm incredibly sore today. I hate love you for that.
Dear Breaking Bad, why must you be such a dark dark show that my husband likes to watch right before bed? Yikes! We just ended season 2...WOW
Dear co-bloggers, thank you for your advice and support on my new blog journey. I appreciate you and enjoy reading your stories!
Check out her great blog and read her "Little Letters"

Glad it's Thursday! I am working on a little something DIY that I will be sharing soon. Also keep an eye out for a new ootd post coming your way tomorrow!

From our home to yours,
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Little by Little
Loves on a Thursday

Texas vs New York: Part Two


Alright, how about a few more of these lingering oddities that my new home offers up everyday. How nice, right? I definitely miss these "comforts" back in Texas.

  • Here in NY you are not able to put the gas nozzle in your tank, engage the "automatic fill lever" and stand there and look pretty. (No I NEVER get back in my car for fear of the static electricity phenomenon.) No, here in NY you pull up to a pump, get out, and continuously "pump" gas until your tank is full. And don't make the rookie mistake like I did and forget your gloves...youch! Yes this may sound dramatic, but it was definitely something very new to me!
  • New Yorkers love their heat, just like Texans love their air conditioning. If you plan on doing your weekly grocery shopping in your layers, hoodie and down insulated're not from around here. I made this mistake and came out from Wal-Mart looking like I just stepped out of a steam sauna. Therefore I no longer layer before shopping trips, and I always have a bottle of water in my car because that heat will leave you parched!
  • The produce is ridiculously awful up here. It is not rare to find molded onions, tomatoes, potatoes  and fruit in the for sale bin! No I am not joking. I now know that if I want to cook with produce, (every meal) I must purchase the produce no earlier than three days ahead of time. Otherwise everything goes bad...quick! I have stopped buying produce from Wal-Mart which now extends weekly grocery shopping to three different stores...yes three. Food from Wal-Mart because it is the cheapest. Flavored waters for Joe's lunch and a special sesame dressing from Target. And now produce from Fresh Market. Yes it's crazy and I have made sure that Joe knows this probably won't happen once I have a full time job.
  • The friendliness in people comes out when there is new produce at Wal-Mart. I had a man approach me and tell me that I better hurry over to the broccoli while the good stuff is on top. Why thank you friendly fellow consumer; broccoli wasn't on my list but it sure is now.
  • This morning I woke up to a strange sound that I had never been awoken to before. A large snowplow clearing our front drive for us. It about scared the daylights out of me, but I am thankful for this large plow. It is amazing to me; I woke up with a fresh new four inch layer of white snow and there is not a single flake on any road...anywhere. It still boggles my mind and I am forever grateful for these individuals who plow every single road. I now know why New York has a state tax.
My view this morning.

I haven't posted a culinary creation lately so I thought I would share our most recent success.
This recipe was for "No Peek Beef Tips" from Mommy's Kitchen found here.
Check out her blog for the full recipe and details. this is how ours turned out...delicious!

Guess which side was mine...

the dish was also paired with a loaf of the rosemary garlic bread from this post, but without the mishaps this time!

The dish was given an A+ from Joe, which is always a plus in my book! Enjoy!

From our home to yours,
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Behind The Scenes: First Look


As promised, here is another post from Behind the Scenes at the wedding. First off I wanted to explain what exactly you can expect. The photos in these posts are to give readers an inside look at all the happenings that went on before the wedding and things that guests may not have been able to experience. They will not be the full album of pictures and they will often be candid pictures that have a hidden story behind them.
That being said, be sure to check out my Facebook for the entire album if you're interested!

"The First Look" 
I was extremely set on doing the first look with our photographer,  but Joe wasn't too keen on the idea.
I explained to Joe that I'm not a good "outward emotionalizer", meaning that I would not give him all of my raw emotion if it were to be in front of a large crowd. I'm not quite sure, but I think my tear ducts freeze in the spotlight or I'm shy to show my emotional side.
With the first look we were able to have a moment with just the two of us (extremely rare that day) to soak up each other's emotions. It was also a moment that brought us back to the whole meaning of the day.
It was just the two of us, embarking on this new adventure, which looks, smells, and sounds scary and down right terrifying at times.  But at the end of each day, it is just the two of us,
Joseph and Casey Aslan.

Our photographer made sure that we were back to back before the reveal,  which heightened our anticipation even more!
Here are our thoughts on this exact moment seen in the picture above.
Casey's thoughts: My heart was in my throat and my hands were shaking. It was silly to me, all the anticipation made me so nervous in front of my best friend. I remember thinking why am I so nervous? This is just Joe, this is the man who feels like home to me
Joseph's thoughts: "I remembering feeling like my throat was swelling and the coat was quickly becoming too small for me. My heart was racing, and it was hard to concentrate on breathing normally and keeping myself together. My face hurt from how much I was smiling."

On the count of three we turned around and faced each other.
I love these next two pictures because you get to see each of our reactions individually.

Casey's thoughts: His reaction was perfect and more than I had expected.The most distinct memory I have from this moment was seeing a huge vein pop out on Joe's forehead that I had never seen before. You could hear his breath catch and a his smile was the biggest I had ever seen.There was so much passion in his expression that it made me melt. And yes, a nurse would notice the large forehead vein first.
Joseph's thoughts: "This is my bride and how beautiful is she?!"

Casey's thoughts: The first thing I thought was WOW we are getting married today! And of course, goodness he is so incredibly handsome. This is my soon to be husband!
Joseph's thoughts: "The first thing she asked me was, am I beautiful for you? Am I pretty?"

This was the moment when I felt a huge sigh of relief. All the anticipation melted and I was in the arms of my protector and best friend. Everything was no longer scary or downright terrifying. I was home and felt like I could take on the world with this man at my side.

Joe says that he is glad we did the first look because a point that the pastor told us really sunk in. Pastor Brent told Joe that on our wedding day, you will see the moment Casey becomes your wife. Joe did not understand this comment until the first look.

Lets go backwards for a moment. In our premarital classes Joe and I had multiple books and assigned readings for us between classes. These books were all about marriage and relationships and what your partner is really thinking. In one of the books, written for the future husband, it explains that a little girl growing up is always seeking the approval of their dad or parents in general. An example is growing up and playing dress up. A little girl will twirl for her loved ones and seek approval of her beauty and talent. When a woman gets married and submits herself to her husband, it is now the husband's role to shelter, protect and encourage that little girl who is now "twirling for him" as she becomes his wife. The moment when I asked Joe "Am I pretty?" was the moment he knew he now held the place of what that little's girl's parents had done so long ago.

Hope you enjoyed our second Behind The Scenes post. What were some of your emotions on your wedding day? Did you do the first look?

 Check out the new "Connect" page! Let me know what you think!

From our home to yours,
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God Bless Texas


What a wonderful weekend here in the Aslan abode. We had our first set of visitors here in the Capitol Region! 
Joe's older brother, Jon, and his friend Mike flew into Albany to "pass through" before heading to Maine for a ski trip. 

 They were such good sports. It was 21 degrees, windy and felt like 9 degrees! I couldn't let them visit the Capitol Region without seeing our beautiful NY capitol!
We also visited Albany's musts:

It wouldn't be a visit from Jon without a few games of Catan! 

Our other wonderful visitor was my one and only April Nicole! I had been missing home and especially my girls, so this was a wonderful treat to have her under the Aslan roof this weekend! I almost didn't let her go, and the snow almost helped me make that happen, but no such luck!
April flew into Boston (much cheaper) and we explored my favorite city in the Northeast! Thankfully is was sunny and mid 30's so it was a beautiful day to venture around.
We visited Boston's musts:
Do you know the importance behind the Old North Church? This church was where the lanterns were hung "twoeth by sea" to warn the American people that the "British are coming, the British are coming!"
Actual lantern from the night of Paul Revere's ride. 

Dog Tag memorial honoring those fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Amazing Farmer's market with insanely inexpensive produce! YUM!

Back in Albany we ventured out to one of our favorite restaurants "City Hall Beer"
To ride the Bull...very Texan of us. And to celebrate "National Margarita Day" with a great craft brew!

We then checked out The Barrel Saloon for a little two-stepping and interesting people watching! Texan's are definitely the best two-steppers!
God Bless Texas!

A taste of home was definitely refreshing and I must say, Joe and I are worn out this Sunday evening after hosting an extremely eventful weekend!

Thank you for visiting! Stay tuned for tomorrow's "Behind the Scene's" post with more wedding pictures. If you are a fellow blogger who is wanting to get your name out, post a comment with your blog web address so others can enjoy your work. 

Happy Oscars watching,

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Behind the Scenes


Get excited folks! We received our wedding photos in the mail this weekend from the lovely and beyond talented Stephanie Rose Photography.

I wanted to do a quick post with three pictures from the wedding and explain why I love them so much. This is to ease everyone into the photos and to not overload you at once.


These two pictures make me melt when I see them, and I'll let you know I cried and cried when I saw them for the first time. Here is the story behind these two photos.
The entire wedding day I did not see my dad because he was running errands and helping with the reception set up. My dad had seen me in my dress during the final fitting, but this was his first time to see me on my wedding day all "gussied up".
As you can see in the top picture, I was extremely anxious to see my dad because I didn't know what emotions would come from either of us (story of the entire day). The moment he saw me, we both burst into tears. I also love the reaction my mom has in the second picture. It shows raw emotion and that is what I love the most.

A dad and daughter bond is one that cannot be explained in words, but this picture just about does it. He has been the constant man and super hero in my life and my wedding day was very bittersweet. He was no longer the only man who deserved my affection and attention. He will never be replaced in my heart and what I love so much is that every day Joe will do something that reminds me exactly of my dad. I just smile and understand why Joe feels like home to me.

Now this picture isn't the most romantic or stunning of myself, but man does it tell a story. This is "the moment". The moment where, without warning it hit me that I was about to be a married woman. I would be walking down the aisle to my husband who had never seen me in a beautiful white dress like the one I was wearing. 
Anxiety overcame me and my poor mom had to calm me down to keep me in that dress. I suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe and that there was no way I would walk down that aisle without passing out. 
No, I didn't have cold feet. I was anxious that I was about to be the wife of this amazingly perfect man. I had thoughts like, would I be able to be the perfect wife? Would I fill the shoes his wonderful mom had raised him in? Would I live up to his and God's expectations as a wife?
Thankfully my mom and wonderful bridesmaids were able to calm me down with a few good laughs and a couple bottles of water. Phew I'm entirely indebted to them all.

And no, I did not pass out and I did stay in that beautiful dress!

I'll be posting many more behind the scenes of wedding photos posts.

Happy Sunday,
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Family Fridays

The Purrfect Day


Happy Valentine's Day to all of my lovely readers!
I suppose my last post was enough mush and gush to last until next Valentine's Day right? Nahh, but I won't drown you in sappy love this time.

Since I've been in Albany, I have been trying to find ways to get connected in the community, and out of the house during the week while Joe is at work. I came across Whiskers Animal Benevolent League who was in need of volunteers at the shelter. Whiskers is a no kill cat shelter where many stray cats are brought in off the cold streets of Albany.
Some cats are young, some are old, sick, sweet, sassy, but most of all they are loved.
They are loved by over 100 volunteers who are constantly in and out of the shelter. I am excited to be one of the newest Whiskers volunteers. Ok, ok so yeah I'm a cat lady...but hey I need to make friends somehow! There are no better friends than sweet kitties who only want some love, belly rubs and Friskie's Feast wet food.
The shelter is run entirely on support from volunteers. Food and other supplies are donated by local food banks and local Veterinarians.
Every Thursday I am assigned to the Infirmary, fitting right? The Infirmary kitties are quite the crew. Many of them are sick, require medications, and close observations from a cage. Sounding familiar? The other cats in this population are prone to urinary crystal formation, which gives our room the knick name "Kitties Krystal Palace". Love it!

Alright already, time for the grand introductions:
The crew snuggling with full bellies
Lilly and Ant'ny enjoying some lap time loving

Charm posing for the camera

This is my main man Nutter Butter
Nutter Butter is by far my favorite so far. NB is approximately 9 years old and came to Whiskers after his owner passed away. His owner's husband felt that he was unable to take care of NB and his brother.  NB has called Whiskers home for quite some time and he is a sweetheart. His left ear is clipped but also remains flopped over permanently from a prior hematoma from a probable bite. He is always so talkative and tells me about his day every time I see him. His meow is much different from his other kitty friends so I can always hear him from a mile away!

I think Joe is thankful that we are not allowed to have pets at our new apartment. Every week I come home and tell him who I would have brought home that day.
So here is my plug to encourage anyone who is thinking of bringing a new pet into the family, to seriously consider adopting from your local shelters. There are many wonderful pets in these shelters who are in need of loving homes, and don't forget about our senior animal friends. They are just as lovable. 

Well I know this isn't my usual post genre but I thought I would update readers the going ons here in Albany. I am still working on getting my nursing license completed up here, but there have been quite a few hoops to jump through. Hopefully I can get the process completed soon.

As always remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you...not just because it's a holiday, but do it everyday.
Make Valentine's Day everyday.

Wonderful Valentine treats from our new friends Gabby and Bobby!

And of course, Happy Valentine's Day to my sweet and wonderful husband. 
This is a sneak peak of two of our wedding photos which we should be receiving soon, compliments of Stephanie Rose Photography.

With love from our home to yours,
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Nothing says welcome to winter like "Worst blizzard since '78". I am thankful to say that we survived the "storm" and received 5-6 beautiful inches of snow. Joe was able to come home from traveling early, our electricity remained on, our cars were parked underground, and I now have a backdrop that looks a little like this.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say I didn't draw the short stick on this one! I still feel like a giddy small child who, every morning, wakes up and heads straight to the window to make sure the snow is still there. 
Friday morning we woke up and just couldn't wait to play in the snow. We bundled up as best as we know how and took a few pictures while we were at it. Between the two of us we had one set of "proper" snow attire. 
  • I had the waterproof boots, and beanie, but no waterproof gloves or pants. 
  • Joe had the waterproof pants and gloves, but no waterproof shoes or a beanie. Yet he was still the one diving head first into the snow...boys!

So here is where I get sappy and for those allergic to sappy, just pass on by and look at the next cool pictures. I promise I won't be too long.

I just want to say that I think, no I know that I am the luckiest woman in the world. I have a man who is selfless, patient, hardworking, driven,  a God fearing Christian, and an awesome best friend/teammate. He puts up with my emotional shenanigans, promotes my individuality and just smiles when I do something dorky. Not to mention I think he is pretty handsome, but I'm sure I'm partial.

I know that men can seem like they are from an entirely different and foreign planet, but you know what? They were designed and wonderfully made in that way. Each day I am in awe of our differences, but in the end I am thankful I'm not married to someone who is wired, or weird like I am...phew!

Throughout our premarital classes we explored a lot of tricky areas where at times I just wanted to scream "who are you and why do you think that way"? I often asked our pastor why in the world would God make us so completely different? Is it a cruel joke?
Pastor Brent just laughed and said unfortunately it is no joke. Joe was made perfectly and correct in all his ways. He said that if he wasn't made the way he was, then I wouldn't grow in to the woman I was intended to grow and mature into.  When I look back at it, he is 110% correct! Without Joe I'm sure I would be a pile of mush on the side of some road...not really, but pretty darn close.

Alright enough rambling and mushy sap. Here he is, my wonderfully and perfectly made husband.

Handome right?

Beanie: Joe's from Old Navy, Scarf: Old, Necklace: Sterling Silver Monogram necklace (similar), Pea Coat: Wilson's Leather (loving this one), Leggings: Love Culture (wanting these, and these) Boots: Sorel (these but found at the outlet mall for MUCH cheaper). 

Excited that we will start having guests in town pretty soon. I'm needing home right now, so I can't wait to enjoy their company!
Stay tuned for more culinary creations and what I do every Thursday morning, coming to you later this week!

From our home to yours,

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P.S.  Any thoughts on the new layout of the blog? Harder or easier to read?Aesthetically pleasing? Come on, don't make me beg you for a comment or two!