Wedding weekend, breakfast strata, and other news…


Well, it’s official ladies and gentlemen. My sister is married! Alica Brown and Alan Skinner tied the knot in style this weekend. It was a gorgeous wedding and Alicia made a stunning bride. She exuded grace, beauty, and elegance.

The best part of the wedding weekend for me (other than cutting a rug on the dance floor?) was seeing my sister so blissful. I’ve never seen her so happy. I could have watched her all night. Alicia is the best sister a girl could ask for, and she deserves the sun and the moon. Actually, she deserves the whole universe.


In my toast to the happy couple on Friday night, I mentioned a quote by Emily Bronte. The second I happened upon it I thought of Alicia and Alan.

Miss Bronte wrote, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Alicia and Alan’s souls truly are the same. They are the definition of a perfect match. I love you, sweet sister, and I am so happy for you. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Alan into our family.


It was a weekend full of fun festivities. From a wonderful rehearsal dinner and a killer reception, to a Keener family brunch on Sunday morning. I brought along one my favorites to the brunch, the breakfast strata casserole. It’s a cinch to make, and is perfect for entertaining house guests- definitely one of those recipes that’s too good to keep to yourself.


24 oz sausage (12 oz hot/12 oz regular)
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 tsp dried sage
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 soft white bride slices
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
2 Tbsp fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter a 9 x 13″ baking dish.

Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, and drain. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, sage, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.



Lay the bread slices in the baking dish… (I was doubling up the recipe).


Then layer the cooked sausage on top, pour the egg mixture over the sausage, and top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until strata is set in the middle. Let cool for 20 minutes…


My favorite part: garnish with fresh chives.


Such a delicious treat, hearty to boot, and it reheats like a dream. If you don’t like your breakfast spicy, simply use all regular sausage (us Texans like it hot).

And in other news, we had a slight accident at the Aars household this weekend.


We decided to add a little excitement to the weekend, since there wasn’t enough already. The lawn mower “threw a pebble” into our sliding glass door on Saturday. I wasn’t a witness to the incident, and part of me still thinks Michael is covering for Hershey. (Not really, but doesn’t it just seem like something she would do?)

An expensive accident, yes. But the silver lining? The beautiful pattern it made after it shattered. I’ve never seen such a lovely disaster. Love finding beauty in the little things…



Last but not least, a very special thank you to Grandma and Grandpa A for all of their help this weekend! They stayed with Isaiah from Friday to Sunday so we could attend all of the wedding activities. We couldn’t be more thankful to have such amazing family. From the bottom of our hearts, we cherish you- and so does Isaiah.