Chicken Divan

One of my New Year’s Resolutions: cook more; eat out less.  And, so far, so good (despite the Starbucks addiction — that is still a problem)!  It is exciting to experiment with new recipes, especially when they are successful.  After trying out a variation of Mom’s Easy Chicken Divan, it is my new favorite meal.

IMG_1040Here is the recipe I used:


  • 3 Cups of Cooked Rice
  • 2 Cups of Frozen Broccoli
  • 2 Cups of Boiled Chicken
  • 2 Cans of Cream of Chicken
  • 1 Cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon of Lemon Juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Butter baking dish
  • In the buttered baking dish, mix together the cooked rice, boiled chicken, frozen broccoli, cream of chicken, mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of cheese, and lemon juice
  • Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the mixture in the baking dish
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes

If you have any yummy chicken recipes to share, I would love to try them out!


International Spy Museum

I have stated this before, but I love being a tourist in my own city!  This weekend, my boyfriend, Adam, and I decided to explore the International Spy Museum.  He purchased tickets on Groupon a few months ago (more than fifty percent off), and they were set to expire soon.

According to the Secret History of History section of the International Spy Museum, “Espionage is called the second oldest profession. Intrigue, trickery, and guile have always been powerful weapons. Spies have shaped the destiny of nations since the beginning of time—some inspired by patriotism, some driven by fear, others fired by greed or a combination of motives.”

While the museum was not my favorite (James Bond, a fictional character, who I could not care less about, makes up a significant portion of the museum), I did enjoy the historical exhibitions (World War II, Vietnam War, Cold War, etc) displaying the role spies had throughout world events and the artifacts they used.  One of my favorite signs to read pertained to the Cold War, and the U.S. and Soviet Union bugging each other’s embassies as they were being built (hiding eavesdropping devices).  After seeing Sun Tzu’s display in the museum, and reading quotes from The Art of War, the book is now on my Goodreads “Want to Read” list.

There is nowhere you cannot put spies to good use.

A military operation involves deception.  Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent.  Though effective, appear to be ineffective.

No one is given rewards as rich as those given to spies, and no matter is more secret than espionage.

-Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Williamsburg, Virginia

2018 started off well; we took a weekend trip to Williamsburg, Virginia!  With the outside temperature ranging from -8 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and roads and sidewalks covered with ice and snow, the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg was practically empty.  To me this meant touring the sites most interesting to us (Capitol, Courthouse, Governor’s Palace, Governor’s Palace Kitchen, Gunsmith Shop, Magazine, Charlton’s Coffeehouse, and Weaver), taking a few photographs, and then visiting a couple of vineyards on the Colonial Wine Trail (New Kent Winery is now my favorite vineyard; every single one of their wines on the tasting list was high enjoyable).  Since we ate at Sal’s by Victor twice, in under 72 hours, I should probably mention that their pizza is delicious.

Sweet Tooth Breakfast

Sometimes, I wake up with such a sweet tooth, which, is a problem when I am trying to eat healthier!  This morning I tried to fulfill the urge with somewhat balanced ingredients – a baked crescent roll, cream cheese mixed with sugar and milk for the icing, and blackberries and strawberries on top.  Health-wise, it was definitely not the best and surely not the worst, but boy does it look pretty! FullSizeRender.jpg

Paradise Springs Winery

This weekend, my grandmother was in town from Pennsylvania.  To escape some of the political madness on Inauguration Day, we spent the afternoon at Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, Virginia.

Paradise Springs Winery has two locations-Clifton, Virginia and Santa Barbara, California.  The Clifton, Virginia location is approximately 30 miles from Washington, DC.  They are open 11am to 7pm daily (until 9pm on Friday).

The Winery offers tours, tastings, a relaxing environment, and so much more!  They have live music ever Friday 5pm to 9pm, Saturday 2pm to 6pm, and Sunday afternoon.  We enjoyed the view with a bottle of Cabernet Franc 2014, which is grown at the Virginia Paradise Springs Winery.

Tourist In My Own City

Last weekend, I took the time to be a tourist in Washington, DC with old friends and new.

My friend Mary was in town from Truman State University, and even though we went to the same college, we actually met in Washington, DC while both interning in the city.  Catching up with her is always a blast, whether it is reminiscing about old times, discussing graduate school politics, gossiping about boys, or making future plans.

In the little time we had together, we fit in a quick walk-around two (the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History), a trip to Starbucks, and some pictures in front of the White House.  It was a much needed Friday off work!

Sunday consisted of visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and walking along the National Mall and Tidal Basin (while visiting the White House, Vietnam Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial) with some new friends, Julie and Amanda.  The dog park brought us together.  Our puppies, Chance and Bucky, are inseparable!