Out'n About

Y’all might have guessed already but we went on an excursion this past weekend. A quick trip up the coast to the Outer Banks so that DS could meet some groms and do a little coaching. As with any trip short or long, I’m playing catch-up this week. In the mean time I thought that you guys might get a kick out of seeing a few pictures of the kids and their coach at the contest this past Sunday. I know I did. This was my first time watching my surfer in action with a fresh group of young die hard surfers. I’m used to watching him coach some of our local groms that I’ve watched grow up from the time they were tiny tadpoles. Those knuckleheads are use to me hanging around terrorizing them.

A couple of young competitors waiting ever so patiently, yet oh so intensely for their heats to begin.

Heat: A 20-30 minute competition where you are trying to accumulate points based on maneuvers, degree of difficulty, landings and the length of your ride. You’re only allowed a certain amount of waves.

“Alright son, make sure that you count your waves. You see that break over there? That’s where you should be. Don’t get caught up in the pack either…”

“Put me in coach! I’m ready”

This would be a pack during a heat. Everyone out there is jockeying for the same waves whenever they come rolling in. The fastest surfer wins the peak. But if you stand up and try to drop in on a wave at the same time as someone else you’ll get disqualified for that wave and loose points.

Dedicated parents who deserve a shout out. They run their kids up and down the east coast from VA to FL, even all the way to the west coast. On occasion they take them out of the country for some competitions. When I grew up there was only football, baseball and tennis. My softball team practiced once a week and had games on the weekend. Now I’m married to a traveling coach and raising part-time gypsies and by no means is that a complaint. I love our gypsy life!

This young man’s focus and dedication to his sport impressed me so much. If this cutie wasn’t in the water competing he was right beside DS as he was filming the other kids. Picking up pointers by chatting about the other heats while they were taking place in the water.

Eat while you can cutie, you don’t know it yet but your coach is a slave driver. No sugar, no sweets, no breaks…he’s a ruthless tyrant! Run, hide in the ocean. Maybe he won’t notice that you paused for a donut.

 Nah…just kidding, but you do need to stay out of the water long enough to enjoy your food darlin’. It’s should be savored love, not scarfed down in a millisecond between sessions.

Don’t forget, girls surf too! Not to mention they usually have the most colorful and stylish boards out there. I adore this sweet young girls polka-dots, I’m pretty sure that I had a pair of kicks that matched at one time.

This little lady works just as hard as the boys out there, sometimes competing along side of them during open heats. Okay, surf trivia time. See how she’s diving under the waves with her board, that’ s called “Duck Diving”.  I thought I’d share that little tidbit of lingo with y’all, just in case your life doesn’t happen to revolve around surfers, mountains of sand and lovely skintight wetsuits.


Okay, you busted me. This photo’s just for my personal pleasure and my compulsion to ogle my darlin’s bum. Sorry I couldn’t help myself, my Ga Ga’s have a mind of their own. 

I suppose it really is beneficial to review your heat with your coach right after the competition, but personally I would be distracted by the donuts and looking for the nearest tent to hide under. Hence some very good reasons why I’m not a competitive surfer. That and I’m a sloth.


After an all day marathon of… in the water brrrrrrr freeze…out of the water wait, wait, wait…in the water brrrrr freeze  it’s so nice to pack up, head for the hot tub, gorge on some pizza and pass out by 9pm. Surfers, they have it so rough don’t they?

 More Outer banks fun to come, as well as some yummies 🙂

Love you guys!

Tickled Red


My wish for you all everyday is that your days be as serene and peaceful as our east coast sunrises.

I love you guys!

Tickled Red

Last Saturday I had the privilege to witness this beautiful, ecstatic, young(er) couple start their journey into material bliss. Ryley, the lovely bride happens to be my step brothers sister-in-law. I know, it’s a bit of a brain twister but that’s family fun for you. It was truly a perfect fall wedding held at their home.

Massive bouquets of roses, sunflowers, Irish bells and sweet wildflowers arranged by the brides mother, family and friends.

Ryley’s sisters Jenni, my (step)sister-in-law and McGee, having fun as always.

The delicious wedding cake made by Ryley’s aunt. Hahaha…who wear’s the pants in your house?

Couples on their wedding day always make me tear up a little. They bring back memories of walking down the aisle towards my darlin’, who was waiting anxiously for me at the end. It stills feels like we were married only yesterday.

Okay, do you see the red car in the background? The really cool, old, red car? Ryley arrived in that gem. I spent half the night drooling over it. Some mornings I have visions of it sitting in my driveway.

The reception tent filled with food and guests making merry.

A one of a kind wedding arbor built with love by Jerry. Ryley and Josh will always be able go to this spot and reflect on the day that they shared their love with family and friends.

What’s a wedding without shrimp cocktail? Compliments of dad.

My one and only stuffed mushroom recipe.

Strawberry, orange, pecan salad made by a family friend.

My great grandmothers’ Blue Ribbon corn bread recipe which I made into little bites for the wedding.

Roast beef and herb chicken made on site by dad and Sherry.

Green beans with shallots and sesame seeds, yum!

Fresh corn, mashed potatoes and Sherry’s amazing sweet potato casserole.

Precious moments stolen between the bride and groom during the reception.

Jerry…my sweet step brother who built the lovely arbor.

Jamie my darling step sister who caught Ryley’s bouquet. Stay tuned for wedding pictures of her in the very near future 😉

That first dance with dad is always bitter-sweet but treasured in a young brides heart for all time.

Ryley and Josh…

It’s only the beginning.

Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your wedding day it was exquisite. I wish you everlasting love.


Tickled Red

Some of my favorite moments would be stormy days along our coast. The skies begin to subtly turn a moody shade of gray. While everything green becomes a touch more vibrant with anticipation of the rains.

Stirred up from the coming storm the ocean churns and grumbles. Swelling her voluminous waves, while spraying frothy foam in a show of dominance and power.

Solid structures built by man who usually stand proudly defiant of the sea, now seem as frail as a house built of sticks. Riding out the storms with bated breath.

The wind whips and stirs up a fog of pelting sand. Encompassing a few lone souls, who can’t help but be drawn to the elemental forces around us, like moths to a flame.

Even the worn old oaks have learned to bend and twist to the will of the wind. All but contorting themselves into something alien and separate from their brethren growing inland.

As with all storms they eventually pass and dissipate. The winds die down, the ocean clams and life in all its varied forms return to the shores.

The sun comes out, a canopy of Carolina blue streams overhead and youthful energy abounds.

I am romanced by it all.


Tickled Red

With the boys back in school I have been looking back at what we did this summer, perusing some of our photos. This year our summer seemed to fly by faster than usual. I know, it seems that way for us all each year but this one just felt different. We usually fit in a camping trip but we couldn’t seem to squeeze one in this year. We did however find some fun activities in our backyard so to speak.

Each summer our local amphitheater hosts Shakespeare on the Green. They usually have at least two different productions running. This summer the productions were The Merchant from Venice and Romeo & Juliet. While my darlin’ was away during one of his coaching trips I had the brilliant idea to take the monkeys to see Romeo & Juliet.

We packed a picnic basket full of scrumptious food for supper, stopped by  Fresh Market for some snacks, fun drinks and headed off to see one of the foremost classic tragedies of all time. The best part was sharing my love of the theater with the monkeys. Being outside and discovering some of their classmates up on stage was a nice bonus as well. Here are some photos from our evening of Romeo & Juliet along with some lines from the enigmatic bard as well.

Clubs, bills and partisans! Strike! Beat them down! Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!

We loved the fight choreography and how they used drumsticks for clubs.

You are welcome, gentlemen!–Come, musicians play.–A hall,–a hall! Give room and foot it girls.

Chorus: Being held a foe, he may not have access—To breathe such vows as lovers us’d to swear; And she as much in love, her means much less—To meet her new beloved anywhere: But passion lends them power, time means to meet. Tempering extremities with extreme sweet.

Being a former costume designer I found the chorus dressed as woodland sprites with inverted masks very creative.

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

As Shakespeare’s tale of love and woe was being spun before us, we were able to enjoy supper al fresco. Cabbage wraps of chicken & vegetables with soy sauce, roasted potatoes, green beans and corn on the cob.

Oh and I can’t forget the fun bottled drinks that the boys picked out. There is just something about an ice-cold drink in a glass bottle on a mid summer’s evening.

The night sky began to descend during intermission. Heralding in a beautiful cobalt sky with black lace trees framing the amphitheater. My monkeys, good food and Shakespeare… I couldn’t have asked for a better gloaming hour.

Mercutio: O calm, dishonorable, vile submission! [Draws] Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?

Tybalt: I am for you [Drawing]

Mercutio: Come, sir, your passado. [They fight]

Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day: It was the nightingale, and not the lark, that pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear. Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree: Believe me love, it was the nightingale.

All things that we ordained festival turn from their office to black funeral: Our instruments to melancholy bells; Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast.

Oh my love! My wife! Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breathe, hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.

Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath [stabs herself]; there rest, and let me die.

A glooming peace this morning, the sun for sorrow will not show his head: Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things. So shall be pardon’d and some punished: For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

The monkeys had so much fun experiencing Shakespeare and the theater in an outdoor setting this time. Next summer we are going to see both productions, as well as some of the concerts that are going on this fall at the amphitheater. Try to keep in mind, on those occasions where plans fall through or have to be postponed due to busy schedules, that there are usually some wonderful activities nearby. Sometimes our hometowns can be the best place to discover something new and fun.

Just curious, what have you discovered in your town that you usually would have passed by or not made time for?


Tickled Red

Exactly seven days ago I left my three loves to fend for themselves and flew to New York City. A brief two night adventure to meet up with some other wonderful women who like me love to share on their blogs a passion for food and family. It was a last minute trip taken on a whim and the post about this adventure has turned out to be one of the most difficult I have ever written. Not because it wasn’t fun, quite the opposite. Because it was so all encompassing for me on so many levels that I really want to make sure that I do it justice.

My flight arrived later than expected due to some thunderstorms that rolled through most of the NC and SC coast but it worked out perfectly. My lovely roommates Kristen & Robyn met up with me at our hotel the Le Parker Meridien as they were ending their busy days. Robyn was in NY for the BlogHer convention as well as the event I had flown in for. Kristen, well we all twisted her arm over Twitter to come and have fun with us. This gave her the opportunity to attend to some other exciting business for her blog.

The Le Parker Meridien was gorgeous and very eclectic. A mix of modern and exotic old world. My favorite part was the Ventian/Moroccan lounge off the main lobby. There has always been something about velvets, paisleys and coffered ceilings that have appealed to me.

After settling in and meeting the girls the next item on my agenda was food! I was starving. There was no way that I was going to snack on the plane when I knew that in only an hour I would be in a city filled with the most wondrous options when it came to cuisine. Falafels, Italian, 4 star restaurants,  bakeries, hidden burger joints behind curtains you name it New York City has it. Rather than letting me go off on my own foraging for sustenance, my darling new buddies twisted my arm and dragged me off to an amazing fun filled roof top gathering instead. With food.

An uncommonly light cool breeze surrounded us. Scrumptious, mouthwatering appetizers were passed around while the sun set over the city.  There was a perfect peek of the harbor through a couple of buildings; cool blue water licked with flames, framed by industrial steel. The whole setting was serene and inviting. Just the place to unwind from a long flight and meet new friends.

Of course I ended up devouring gobs of buttery crab stuffed mushrooms, vegetable spring rolls and numerous other decadent yummies. If by chance you are reading this, were at that gathering as well and are wondering where were those mushrooms and spring rolls…ummm disregard that last sentence entirely. Stuffed mushrooms? Spring rolls? Who? What?

Friday evening was the the epitome  of my little two day adventure to meet new people. A delicious hint of what was to come.

The following morning bright and early, after closing down said rooftop gathering in the wee hours of the morning  Kristen, Robyn and I met up with Amy and Alice. We headed out of NY on a road trip into breathtaking Bucks County, PA. to the home of the Anderson Family. Pam, Maggy and Sharon of Three Many Cooks along with Erika of Ivory Hut had put together an informal event for east coast bloggers called The Big Summer Potluck.

Five ladies, three electronic mapping devises, two states, multiple quick fire interchanges and lots of laughter later we arrived at the Anderson home only 15 minutes late. Amy can drive me anywhere, anytime… she was amazingly patient with all of the interchanges and traffic. If we had stopped to take photos of every picturesque stone cottage or to peruse all of the antique shops we passed along the way, you would see our husbands on CNN forming search parties. A leisurely trip back with a truck is a must.

When we arrived we were greeted by a beautifully simple,wood and metal infused modern cottage set in a clearing surrounded by lush shade trees. For me the solitude and peace emanating there  would carry throughout the entire gathering and lingers with me still. In a living room banked with windows, streaming in light and warmth we mingled. Getting to know each other over coffee, scones and muffins. Some of us had spoken to each other through blog comments or on Twitter but there were many of us who had never even heard of each other until this day. It was such a joy to meet other enthusiastic, like minded fellow bloggers.

After mingling a bit Maggy, Sharon and Pam got the day rolling with introductions and their plans for how the day would progress. They had lined up guest speakers and tutorials on recipe development/writing, food styling, photography, photoshop, Q & A and a keynote speech from Alice of Savory Sweet Life.

Brief Overview of Our Schedule

Pam Anderson– Recipe Development: How to Make a Recipe Your Own

Abby Dodge– Cooking Demo: Orange-Scented White Choc. Raspberry Mousse

Pam Anderson-It’s personal: How to Write Your Own Recipes

Melissa DeMayo-Food Styling on the Fly

Erika Pineda-Photography: Basics, Shooting & Post Processing

Jason Fox & Christina Reilly– Auritt Communications Group: Culinary Green Room (discussing the future of SEO and culinary videos)

Alice Currah-Keynote Speaker: “Being true to yourself and your voice will always create a lasting love affair with your blog and it’s readers”

All Spectacular Thumbnail Photos were taken by Erika of Ivory Hut

As you can see Erika, Maggy, Sharon & Pam had planned this event out in detail. A lavish breakfast, over the top lunch and sweets for tea time. Being a  potluck comprised of food bloggers, most everyone brought something of course. I’ll save my story on what I made for later. Our hostesses didn’t miss a beat. They also had us well covered on all topics pertaining to blogging that you could possibly wish to know. I for one, being a naive newbie to everything blog related, thoroughly absorbed everything possible. It was like walking into a round table meeting of artists that have had their work displayed in galleries for years. Because if I learned only one thing this past weekend these women/ men are artists in their own way and right.

They are as passionate about their craft (photography, food, recipe development, writing, web design, etc..) as any novelist, painter, architect or chef. I was always under the impression that blogs were basically another aspect/forum so to speak of ones journal and they are. For some people though they are so much more. Their blogs are the living, pulsing embodiment of their creative soul that needs to be feed, released and expressed.

Being allowed the privilege to experience and observe all that these talented women (and men) had to share has been so moving for me. Pam, Abby, Melissa, Erika, Alice, Maggy, Sharon, Christina and Jason didn’t just share their accumulated wealth of knowledge in their respective areas. They shared their joy of what is a phenomenal and yet supportive industry; that blogging is about community. Alice’s speech alone was beyond inspirational, it still resonates with me and has me filled with joy.

I personally walked away from Big Summer Potluck with a feeling of bliss, peace and  renewed creative direction. So ladies and gentlemen from the bottom of my heart thank you! I am honored to call you all my new friends and I wouldn’t miss another Big Summer Potluck for anything.

My short trip evolved into an experience of encompassing warmth, friendship and inspiration. I am sure that I will be talking about this trip with you all more as time goes on. In the meantime have a good evening and I look forward to sharing all that I have learned, spreading my creative wings with Tickled Red and bringing you all along for the many adventures.


Tickled Red

How do you like that photo? I think that I will just pause here for a moment while you take in all of the details.

{whistling, sipping lemonade, flipping through Coastal Living}

Mmm, Mmm, good!! Ketchup, mustard and don’t forget gritty nutrient filled sand 🙂

Can you breathe yet? Do your ribs hurt? These photos CRACK me up. I don’t think that I have ever loved the colors red or yellow more in my life. You see, a game of  Corndog is one of the many ways we have fun during a contest and by we I mean the adults of course. Don’t get me wrong the kids have a blast participating but the adults are simply hooting it up over how far these kids will go for a hat, stickers, surf wax and other such goodies that the sponsors usually give away at a surf contest.

For me personally it TICKLES my funny bone to no end seeing them all messy and covered in food condiments, it reminds me of the good ole days. What can I say, I’m the oldest of four. There were always those moments where someone came away covered in food.

Here is how the game Corndog works…

1. Get wet

2. Roll around in the sand. Sand=Bun, it’s a color thing.

3. Squirt yourself or be squirted with ketchup & mustard. From head to toe, in your ears, up your nose, in your mouth, down your…okay you get my point.

4. You are now a walking, talking, moronically grinning human corndog. The one drenched in the most goo wins.

You know that you’re the winner when you need help finding your way down to the water to wash off. Also when you’ve turned the other boys around you into squeamish Nelly’s squealing,“Ewwwwww…gross dude!”, you know that you’re the best doggone Corndog player ever.

You might be wondering where my monkeys were in all of this. This fun bit of entertainment occurred on the very first day of the contest and my monkeys didn’t make it down in time. Monkey One had his first job that weekend dog sitting our friends adorable pooch Casey. Although I can promise you they would have been the first in line to play this game. It’s one of their favorites.

Here I’ll show you a glimpse from the past courtesy of Volcom’s Cooterfish Surf Series

Volcom loves to make collages out of their photos. That would be Monkey Two squirting ketchup into his big brother’s mouth a couple of years ago. Did anyone else notice the guy in the back? Seems like he’s always jumping into the photos when food games are going on. Corndog is just one of the games that were played during the contest. I have a couple more silly ones to show you later.

Surfers and little surf groms just love playing with food during a contest. I’ll keep playing with my food as well but in the kitchen where it belongs. Speaking of food I am off to make another cheesecake for ya’ll so that I can have it posted tomorrow afternoon.

I hope that you enjoyed the shenanigans, have a great Saturday evening!!


Tickled Red

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