Monday, December 27, 2010

Menu Mondays

Among many New Year Resolutions that Brandon and I have been discussing... eating at home has been a main one.  We're not huge NY Resolution people, usually.  But, there are some big habits that we would like to change and I hope we both can commit to them.  With our schedules, we are guaranteed to not be home before midnight two nights a week.  We are also guaranteed to not BOTH be home before 9 or 10pm another two nights a week.  This leads to us eating at the Family Biz or another restaurant TOO much and also eating too late at night.

So, I got an idea.  I know there are a ton of bloggers that do menus and post them and I've always 'ohhh ahhhh'd over them!  Now, I probably have mentioned before that I am an organized brain stuck in an disorganized body.  That means that while disorganized and cluttered stuff drives me batty, I'm not always ambitious enough to tackle the jobs!!! HA!  But, I figure if I can write a rough list of menu items down and hang it in our kitchen it will be easy for both of us to see what to expect that week.  The weeknights that I know we'll be home, we can schedule meals and then I will leave a few floating meals to make whenever we are home and have the time.

So, over here at WWW (ha!) I am going to try to post my menu for the week and I will call it Menu Mondays. I'm not looking for a huge following or anything, it's simply to keep me organized and hopefully will motivate me to plan a menu every Sunday!!!  I found this cool site that has some fancy menu plans... Mine won't be that fancy but maybe I will join her Linky thing on the weeks that she does them!

So, for this week... here goes nothin'!

Sunday - Pan grilled Pork Loins and Macaroni & Cheese with Brussel Sprouts
**Marinade pork in ziplock w/olive oil, salt & pepper, fresh rosemary & thyme for no less than one hour. Grill in grill pan and finish cooking in the oven.  Use PW's basic M&C recipe adding crisp bacon and caramelized onions.  Broil or steam brussel sprouts.
Monday - Chicken Pad Thai and Peanut Sauce with Broccoli
**Pad Thai for Two package (take the help!), bean sprouts and scallions for the Pad Thai, Homemade peanut sauce (curry paste, fish sauce, coconut milk & PB.)  Steamed broccoli. YUM!
Tuesday (float) - Chili & Cornbread
**Classic chili recipe with typical seasonings, mixture of beans and seasonings with ground turkey.  Start in crockpot in mid morning.  Packaged cornbread mix with an added can of corn. Yum and EASY!
Wednesday (float) - Teriyaki Chicken & Grilled Veggies with a side salad
**Marinade chicken tenders in teriyaki sauce and grated ginger root. Use grill pan for chicken and set aside, grill julienned carrots and zucchini and serve with a salad!
Friday - Lemon Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower and Broccoli/Brussel Sprouts
**Stuff a whole chicken with a lemon, rosemary, thyme and sage (whatever fresh herbs you have) and maybe an apple (I promise, it's good!) Make two or three balls of tin foil and put them in the bottom of your crock pot. Put the stuffed bird in the crock pot on top of the foil balls and lather the outside with olive oil and salt & pepper.  Cook on low all day. This chicken is SO good! The skin doesn't get brown, but we don't eat chicken skin anyway so it doesn't bother us. Plus, the cleanup is SO easy with this dish. You could roast it in a pan also but for a weekday meal I prefer the crockpot.  It literally falls off the bone and is SO good! I will be using a new recipe for the mashed cauliflower! I've had it before but never have made it myself. I'm excited to try! They're a great substitute for mashed potatoes.  We'll have steamed broccoli or brussel sprouts depending on what is left over.

Saturday & Thursday - Feed yourself days! There are likely to be left overs even after lunches are packed... and there are just some days that you want a sandwich or cereal for dinner, right?! :)

Whew! Now, that may not look so organized but I hope to get better as the weeks go on! I was really good today about going through our freezers and pantry to locate ingredients for all of these items.  I then only went to the store for the items that we needed for this week.  Thankfully, we mostly just needed fresh veggies and fruits as well as some dairy items.  The checker at Safeway said "You're making me look bad! You have so many fruits and veggies!" HA! That's a good thing, right? ;)

If you made it through this post, comment and let me know how you do your menu planning.  Do you follow a blog that does it? If you do, let me know so I can check it out!  Have a great Monday!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Back in the Saddle!

Alright, I'm here! Present and counted for! (Is that the right saying? or is it Present and ACCOUNTED for?)

I have spent the past six or so weeks freaking out over my school finals and such.  Honestly, I have been thinking about my blogging comeback (not that it is THAT big of a deal or anything) and I hadn't come up with anything funny to blog about from the past month or so, so I suppose that maybe if something pops into my head then I will blog about it! :)  However, I fully intend on blogging about our trip to Mexico!

Anyway, I am happy to be back and am SO excited to be done with school! But, I am still holding my breath because final grades have NOT been posted.  While I am a straight A student typically... I may (or may not) have chosen to not write a final essay that was worth a good chunk of change... The damned thing was due when we were in Mexico and Brandon and I counted up my points vs. points possible in the class and kept coming up with a B as a worst case scenario.  So, I figure even if I get a C it's no big deal because that's still passing! HA! But, I keep telling people "I'm not done YET... when grades are posted and I know I passed, that's when I will be DONE!!!!"  I plan on having a few drinks the night that grades are posted! I'll have one in celebration if I DID pass and about FIVE in disbelief if I DIDN'T pass!!! HA!

I have already caught up on Christmas posts... and tried to drop by and say hello to my usual blogs but if I didn't make it to yours tonight... HELLO!!!!

Have a great week everyone!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Well, Hello There!

Ok, so this is just for those few readers that I have that check in....

I am going missing. HA!  No really, I don't think I will be posting for about a month.  I seriously need to concentrate my efforts on school right now because I have Senioritis like a mother!!!! Holy man!  I have two classes left and about 4 weeks left in each of those classes.  I have one huge research paper on "The Importance of Effective Listening as a Communication Tool" and then another final type paper for an elective class on the history of Search & Seizure Law.

Sounds fun, right?  I know. So, my usual habits of blogging and commenting here there and everywhere need to cease... And there is a ton of stuff that I want to write about (my trip to Chicago, the holidays!) but I will just have to postpone it.

So, as much as I hate to say it... See ya in a while! I will probably still sneak in blog reading on my phone here and there... so I hope to keep up with my favorites!!! :)

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas (in case I don't get back in time) to everyone... enjoy your families and blessings this holiday season!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Windy City.... Wasn't Very Windy!

It wasn't that windy... but it was cold! 21 degrees, to be exact, on the morning of the Hot Chocolate 5k!!!! Holy MAN!

I have a ton to write about:
Meeting the A Daily Dose of Davis family and extended family... FABULOUS!
My admiration of Jen...
My new BFF Addie!
Adventures in the city with my BFF Claire...
Garrett's gourmet popcorn... YUM!
The Sears Tower (I had to do it!)
Perspective and how mine has been adjusted...
Appreciation for my life and what it is right now... So often I find myself "wishing" for the future and I am so blessed for what my life is NOW....

However, I do not have the time to write about all of that now.  I just wanted to do a quick update to tell you all that the Chi was awesome and I can't wait to bring Brandon back and do all of the touristy stuff! :)  I haven't quite left yet... but I am supposed to be working on some homework that I failed to do this weekend before my flight leaves... ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Timing is everything, right?

I'm leaving for the weekend.  Well, that's what I told my husband over a month ago when I kept asking him (a million times) if he minded if a took a trip... I kind of have  way with words.  I suppose a Wednesday-Monday trip isn't really a "weekend" is it? Hmmm... Oh well! Thankfully, my husband rocks!  I have been lucky enough to have several girls weekends in the past couple of years! Yahoooo!  But, every time I go, I can't help but feel guilty.  I try to talk myself out of the guilt by saying that I better do this now, while I can... before we have kids.  I'm sure that it'll be much easier for him to do fun things when we have little kids than it will be for me.  It just kinda seems to work out that way for moms, I think.  Plus, he is flying to San Francisco for a Seahawk game with his dad and my BIL in December, that'll be fun for him!  See, I'm totally trying to validate my splurge...

Anyway, the reason why I feel so guilty is because our animals are kind of a handful.  I know I've told only half of my stories about Jackson, but you can tell that he's high maintenance.  And, I'll be the first to admit that I have fed into his high maintenance"ness" a bit as well.  We hardly ever leave him at home... partially because I was afraid for a long time of what "creativity" he would demonstrate in our house but also just because I felt bad! Then, over a year ago when we inherited Rainie (have I told that story?) I felt guilty about leaving her out in the kennel because she is sixteen freakin' years old and the cement is hard on her bones! The damned dog won't lay on any blankets or beds out there, either. Stubborn brat.  So, they go with is 80% of the time.  I have gotten better, that number used to be 95%!  Most of the time, when I'm with the kids during the day, the dogs can come with me no problem! Elaina LOOOVES Jack!  He doesn't really LOOOOVE her, but he tolerates her and is calm and patient with her, none-the-less!  The other times when we are at work or school, I leave them in the car.  I fold down the back seat of our SUV, make sure they have food/water and check on them every two hours! I mean, c'mon... that's got to be better than freezing their fur off in the kennel, right?!  People always roll their eyes or think I'm crazy about leaving them in the car... Whatev.  They're spoiled, I get it.
**Please note that I am very mindful of the heat in the summer! They are never left in a HOT or WARM car and they always have ventilation no matter what time of year it is!!!**

So, that brings me to why I feel guilty about leaving Brandon with them... he is going to have to leave them in their kennel quite a bit because he works at the family biz way more than I do and doesn't have the flexibility of letting them out every two hours, like I do.  Also, Rainie has potty problems. Yikes!  I think it's partly from her being sixteen (I mean, really!) and partly her just being stubborn.  But, she gets extra stubborn when I leave.  She also wakes up to go potty at least twice during the night, which Brandon rarely gets up to do. He claims he doesn't hear her? Hmmm! So, I know he'll have messes to clean up and I will get angry texts about my dog!!! Dangit!

To top it all off and to refer to my title... TIMING IS EVERYTHING!  Libby, our delightfully healthy cat was acting odd last week.  It seems like she was having a potty problem too! Yikes! She NEVER has had accidents and is always very routine in her daily activities.  So, I could tell something was wrong with her.  After a urinalysis we found out that she had/has an inflamed bladder, UTI and urine crystals!!! Oh my! Poor baby... she was hurtin'! So, she is on a course of anti-biotics to get twice a day as well as a special wet food diet that she needs to get another medicine with twice a day! Holy Cats!

So, the control freak in me will be calling/texting Brandon every day making sure that everything is in order... and the empathetic part of me will be feeling bad that I put all of this on him.  Ugh!!!

But, the good news?!  I am going to CHICAGO!!! Yesssireeebob! I am SO excited to make a trip to the midwest! Not only am I spending much needed quality time with BFF Claire, but I am getting to meet and stay with bloggy BFF Jen!!! I am so excited! :)  I get to hang out with her mom, Jan and her SIL Diana too!  I just know they're going to be a riot!  Oh, did I mention that Jen and I are running the Hot Chocolate 5k downtown Chicago! *insert nervous look!*  I am not able to run it all, but I think I will be ok to walk/jog it and I can't freaking wait! The forecast for that day is clear but cold and it is in Grand Park downtown!

Ok, well I'm glad I got that off of my chest, I really am feeling guilty! HA! I probably won't blog for a bit... Afterall, I will be gone for the "weekend."  But, I will be sure to post about everything when I get back!!! Yahooo!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall TV... So far!

I feel like I've been busier than normal this fall... I suppose that is true. Honestly, most of the time I feel like I'm drowning.  For instance, last night was the first night in a month that I spent two hours picking up shit clutter around the house.  Our house isn't DIRTY but it was mighty MESSY though!  Half of the clutter was shit stuff from the car that I took to have detailed a couple of weeks ago.  I took most of the junk out (or so I thought) before I dropped the car off... turns out the detailing place found THREE grocery bags worth of more crap! Ha!!! That kind of crap is just the "what do I do with this?" kind of stuff.  Think sunshades from when we lived in AZ, three pairs of sunglasses, multiple flashlights, cd cases, pens galore, etc. I was so surprised to see that much stuff! I didn't think the car was THAT bad! I digress...

Along with everything else, I've been behind on my fall tv shows.  I have always thought that Brandon and I watch too much tv, but after comparing us to some others... I realize that we really don't watch half as much as some people!  I record Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Real Housewives of *whatever city*, Private Practice, Cougar Town and Oprah.  That seems like a lot, but I don't ever watch all of the Oprahs and Cougar Town & Desperate Housewives are shows I put on in the background when I'm doing dishes, folding laundry or blogging. Ha!  So, I really don't commit THAT much time each week to tv shows. Brandon records a number of shows but only seriously follows a few also. Even at that, our DVR has been FULL of my shows the past month or so! Brothers & Sisters is my favorite but Private Practice follows closely as my second fave.  I never watched Grey's... I just wasn't into it.  But, I love PP!  Brandon likes it too, so that's nice to watch together.  However, both of these shows make me bawl! Seriously, I cry like a damned baby while I watch these shows!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This whole post was supposed to be about the most recent episode of PP which shows Dr. Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland) being brutally attacked in her office.  Of course, the only show us teasers of the next episode but today I caught KaDee's interview with the ladies on The View and I am even more anxious to see Thursday's episode! It surely won't sit in my DVR long!
I thought it was interesting because KaDee was talking about how she is so proud of this story line because it is bringing attention to an issue that is very important.  I think the jist of what KaDee was trying to say is that she hopes that in seeing the story line that we're about to see Charlotte go through, victims of sexual crimes will find courage to tell their story or seek help.  I was very impressed with her interview.  However, I know that Thursday's episode will bring me to tears several times.
Just when I was pondering if Charlotte was becoming my favorite character on the show, the go and do this to her! I'm hoping to see her character develop a bit though and it is going to be interesting to see her in a more vulnerable place.  Charlotte is so HOT and I love the connection between her and Cooper... not to mention her sweet southern accent which is REAL! :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My old stand by favorite, Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
is going through some interesting stuff on the show also.  But, I think for now Charlotte will step in for being my favorite... especially since my heart strings will be tugged by her emotional situation!  I will totally feel like I'm cheating on Amy though, I've loved her since I watched her in Judging Amy all the time! :)

Do you watch PP?  If you do, who is your favorite character?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloweenies!

I was looking forward to being home this Halloween so I could see if we would actually get any kids! In my adult life, I have never passed out candy! Crazy! 

My change of plans wasn't so bad, though!!!  When my SIL asked me if I'd come over to hang out, eat pizza and pass out candy with her and Nickolai I jumped at the chance, DUH!  Turns out that both of the kids and their moms and my MIL all came over for the fun.  We took the kids out for a whole thirty minutes or so.  Now, I know what you're thinking... these kids are too young for candy! But, what else were they supposed to do in their cute costumes?  We really just went to show them off to all of the neighbors that were excited to see them!!! Ok, we totally ate their candy... I knew you were already judging! HA!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Elaina was a pretty good trick-or-treater... she was in good spirits and only had one meltdown! :)  I'm glad that these mommies let this auntie tag along because I love those kiddos!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Guest Bedroom Ideas -- Show Us Your Life

I have never participated in a Show Us Your Life from Kelly's Korner... but I'm going to today! :)  I could spend hours (and have) going through all of the bloggers that link up on Kelly's blog! Fun!!!

So, I have a list a mile long of things I want to do when I'm done with school in 8 short weeks (8 weeks!)  One of them, is re-doing our spare room.  Right now, it houses my old queen size bed from Pier One that is a creamy white and has slats that look like shutters.  I still really like the bed, it just needs a room to suit it!!! It's a bit shabby chic, which is just fine with me.

I want to go with a "cool and calm" feel in that room.  The rest of our house is pretty warm with browns, taupes, cranberry red, burnt orange, blacks and beiges.  I figure we could use a change of pace... :)

So far, I love the look of two duvets from Pottery Barn... Deirdre and Sydney.

I love Deirdre for the warm colors in the bedding... but I was trying to get away from that.  However, it may be a great way to tie in warm colors with a calm feeling... What to do you think?  I could do the walls in a nice green or blue... or even a similar color as what is shown.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then, Sydney just grabs my eye as being cool and calm, don't ya think?  In this room I think I would definitely go with a green or blue wall. Hmmm...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have some time to make a decision, but which do you like better?

Well, I never have any rooms cleaned and photographed in time to participate in Show Us Your Life... HA! But I do love looking at all of the ideas over there! Last week was nurseries/children's rooms! FUN!!! 

If you're one of my regular readers, hop on over there and check out the talented ladies that post their rooms and if you're here from SUYL... thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Pick-Me-Up

**Thanks for everyone's kind words about me being dizzy.  If it keeps up, I will make an appointment with my pcp!!!***

I thought this is appropriate for the mundane hump day since music definitely serves as my pick-me-up!

Brandon is not nearly as into music as I am... in fact, recently he's gotten "old" on me and started listening to news radio! Holy MAN! What does he think we are? Adults?! Ahem... kidding! :)

Anyway, he is funny about his music choices.  He doesn't like just anything, like me.  But, some of his favorite are Pink, Casting Crowns, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, AC/DC and... Sara Bareilles. Huh? Ha! Luckily, I love all of the above... well, I'm not a LOVER of Garth but I can handle his twang and AC/DC isn't my top choice, but it'll do as well.  We were doing errands with our sweet little man, Nickolai the other day and he asked me who was on the radio.  I promptly went to Target to buy the cd!!! So, anyway... Sara's new cd Kaleidoscope is chillin' in my car's cd player and I will probably play it continuously... for a while. :) 

So, if you haven't heard it... here it is! And if you  have, enjoy the video.  She really is beautiful! I appreciate her not being too overdone and I like her natural beauty! :)

Elaina & I were groovin' while we were running errands today!!! :o)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Long Weekend Review -- Under the Weather

I'm pretty sure I jinxed myself.  I have been thinking recently about how I am so lucky to not get sick very often.  Other than the strep-throat that I consistently get once or twice a year... I'm pretty healthy.  I also get seasonal allergies that are a real pain, but such is life. But Sunday morning I woke up with a bad case of the dizzies... and I can't shake it.  Hmmm...

I had a long weekend. This turned into a long post.

It started out early on Friday with an appointment at my Endocrinologist's office.  I had a full blood panel and thyroid ultrasound in July and my blood work came back fine, my primary care physician found a "nodule" on my thyroid.  Well, I suppose the radiologist is the one that really found it. Anywho, she kind of scared me (us) a tad by discussing that while the "nodule" AKA lump could be nothing, it could also be thyroid cancer.  Thankfully, I'm not too much of a hypochondriac but it freaked Brandon out, that's for sure.  I was referred to a specialist, Mr. Endo, but he didn't want to see me for three months or so.  Apparently it was so he could measure whether the lump had grown or not.  Thankfully, I had forgotten about my appointment because I had kind of been fretting about it for a while, but eventually I put it on the back burner.  I got a reminder call on Thursday and realized that D day was finally here.  The whole time I didn't really think anything would come of it, I just was nervous over what they would do at the appointment.  I'm not a huge fan of needles and having a needle stuck in my neck for a biopsy didn't seem like a grand ol' time... ;)  Anyway, Dr. Endo is hilarious.  He is a younger guy and certainly quirky, as I believe most docs are... but he put me to rest with his jokes here and there.  He showed me his normal acting thyroid on his ultrasound machine and then I got to see mine in comparison.  That was kind of cool.... except mine is dead and black while his is nicely alive and white! Ha! Oh well, my meds take care of that. :)  Thankfully, the lump has not grown at all and is apparently small enough for him to not be concerned.  So, no biopsy.  However, he did let me know that the biopsy is no big deal and would just leave a hicky looking thing on my neck.  He said I was free to tell anyone that I got it at the Dr. but I was not free to say that Dr. Shannon gave it to him... he warned me that I would have a 5'2'' Asian lady after me (his wife) and "she's no scrapper..." he said! Haha!!!  He also mentioned to me that if we ever decide to become pregnant, or are blessed with a pregnancy, that him and I will be really close.  I then joked that we would be BFFs and he said "yeah... but without the necklace, ok?!"  Ha! Then he proceeded to explain that while I would have to see him every 6 weeks for blood draws, he will not be looking at my "bajinga" or anything. Hahahaha! I about died when he said that... Bajinga has now replaced "hoo haw" in my vocabulary for body parts!!! :o)  So, he wants to see me in 6 months to measure the lump again... I'm sure it'll be fine! :)

I then worked a 13 hour shift at the family biz on Friday. Sheesh! We were BUSY!

Saturday was a busy day too... I have been putting together a "cousin reunion" on my step-dads side of the family as we haven't seen each other in over a year.  It's just kind of one of those things where the family isn't that close and if you don't do something to organize a meeting... it just doesn't happen.  So, a few hours of visiting and some snacky foods and we're set for another year! ha!  Then, we have been having Texas Hold 'Em tournaments at the family biz on Saturdays so it was a bit of a busy night that night too... But, we were home and tucked into bed by 11pm that night... a rarity for us, especially on a weekend night!

Although I got plenty of sleep, I woke up Sunday exhausted!!! We were supposed to go to dinner at B's parent's that night and I had plans to make pumpkin treats with a friend during the afternoon... Well, for some reason I have been super dizzy.  I thought when I got up for the second time (at 11am, mind you) that I just needed to eat something because I was so dizzy I almost fell off the toilet! HA!  But even after I ate a sensible breakfast (one fried egg on whole wheat toast and greek yogurt) I still felt icky.  But, Brandon had plans to practice golf while I was with my friend, so we got ready and headed out.  Needless to say, I spent two hours on BFF Shandy's chair while she watched Confessions of  a Shopaholic and I nodded off here and there!!!  Brandon came back early as it was raining sideways...! He isn't hardly bothered by the rain so he must have been kind of tired...

Sidenote:  He's started practicing seriously for some golf tournaments! Golf is his true passion... I only want him to be happy! So, he's (we've) decided for him to take it seriously and try to make a name for himself!!! He has been playing awesome lately, but he only plays about once a month and NEVER practices.  But, when he can be only 3-4 over par when not playing very often... he can be a scratch golfer, easy!!! He has so much talent and love for the game... I hope he follows his dream! :)

Anyway, so we proceeded to his parents house which was fine because they don't care if I wear my sweats and they have a cozy fire going in this type of weather! *wink* Plus, Nickolai was going to be there.  I haven't had him for a couple of weeks because they haven't needed a sitter and Auntie misses him!!! :)  My MIL put on a feast, per usual... we had peanut soup, beef wellington, pear/gorgonzola/candied pecan/craisen/rasp vinaigrette salad, and a yummy green bean dish. Whew! I know that took her forever to make... I mean, who  makes Beef Wellington from scratch!? She even takes the time to cut out sweet little fall leaves to put on top of the dough... Oh my.  Oh! I forgot, she made her famous creme brule (sp?)  too... It's amazing. Better than any fine dining restaurant, I promise. I promise that I did the dishes.  I did! I  made her go hold her little grand baby, oh right, like I had to force her! haha!

So, I had today off... and really don't have a TON of homework to do so I wrote a list on my mirror of things I needed to accomplish:
Figure out airport transportation (aka ask my BFFs if they'll take me)
Make a hair appointment for next week
Get a pedicure? Wow!
CLEAN!!! Oh, geeze, the house is a wreck.
Take care of a title/registration for a quad Brandon bought a month ago... Shoot! Fines!
Laundry (have I mentioned that my uber-expensive washer broke two weeks ago!?)
Make a meal plan

Well, I slept in late, again. Shoot! And caught up on my DVR... because honestly? I'm still super dizzy.  I have ZERO other symptoms.  I am not nauseated, no cough, no fever, just dizzy with a slight headache. Sigh. Wasted day off... At least I managed to make dinner and do the dishes... Oh yeah, and I put away the laundry that has been sitting on the love seat for weeks....

So, after WebMD'ing dizziness... I see that common causes are a drop in blood pressure & low blood sugar... I don't think I have either. What gives?!

If you made it through this very long post, I thank you... haha! Have you ever had random dizzy spells? What could it be? If it lasts much longer, I'm going to call my doc.

**I'm not pregnant.**  Not sure if dizziness is even a symptom, but I'm NOT! LOL!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meeting Ms. Cakeball Herself!!!!

Well, I'm a little obsessive over Cakeballs.  Have you had them? WHAAAT? You haven't? Holy man... you DO NOT KNOW what you're missing!!!! Where have you BEEN?

Hey, I warned you I was obsessive.  If you haven't had Cakeballs, you certainly haven't me me IRL. In fact, Midwest girls? I should totally make Cakeballs when I'm at Jen's! Addie will help, right!?

I first found out about Cakeballs from my sister-in-law who found them off of Pioneer Woman's blog.  In fact, I helped her make her first batch.  They're pretty fool proof, really.  She did a post on her blog about them and then it was all history.  Now, I make them for most family birthdays and any other special occasion.  I just followed the tutorial from PW for the longest time until I realized that the real pioneer (ha!) of the cakeball was in fact Bakerella!  Heck, she has TONS of delicious recipes on there! I made my other SIL this Chocolate Peanut Butter cake for her birthday this year... WOW!!! Delicious!

So, when my BFF Shandy asked if I wanted to go with her to Bakerella's Cake Pop book signing, I didn't hesitate! Better yet, it was on Shandy's 25th birthday! See, she even got #25 in line! Sweeet!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

We had to drive to a Snotty Potty town a little east of Seattle to meet her, but no big deal. Once at the big gorgeous mall, we all huddled into William Sonoma (holy snotty store, btw!) and listened as Bakerella answered various questions about the perfect size for cake balls/pops, etc...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then we were pushed back out into the mall and let in to meet her by groups of 10.  At this point, Nickolai was OVER meeting Bakerella! Ha! I had been wearing him in his Bjorn most of the time and we both were sweatin'! His stroller was used mostly for storage of our Starbucks, purses, cupcakes, Harry & David goodies and Lululemon loot! But, at one point he was happy and smilin' in his stroller! .

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

We were pretty close to the beginning of the line so we really didn't wait long.  Then, the snooty William Sonoma lady sneered at us to come inside the store to meet her... and then when I asked if we could have a picture apiece she snarled at me again! Good LORD! You can bet I bought my damned Cakepop Cookbook and that was IT! No $20 muffin mixes or $200 crock pots for me! Sorrrrrry lady! Haha!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have to say, while the WS staff ticked us off a tad, Bakerella was really so sweet... so was her photographer that she had with her. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So, there you have it! I've now met both PW and Bakerella and they were both so gracious and sweet! Both of them spent a good amount of time answering questions about their recipes and techniques and other random stuff too!!!

Now, don't forget to remind me to tell you the story about the day that BFF Liz and I met Lady Gaga... Oh.Lord.  Thankfully, it was pre-meat suit days. Geeze, she's weird!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tid Bits of Fall

My life is crazy right now. Dangit.  So, I literally have maybe five fall decorations up... Man!!! Falltime is my second favorite season!!! Ha, Christmas is number one, for sure.  I just haven't had the time or energy (if we're being honest) to go down under the house and get my bins of fall stuff.  Actually, not only have I not done that but I haven't tidied up the house enough to decorate.  Do you do that too?  Do a good cleaning and de-clutter before you decorate?  I definitely do... So, for now... my few little decorations and Yankee candle will have to do.  I got a new Apple Pie scented Bean Pod candle, I should light that baby up.  Bean Pod candles are my ultimate fave! I swear one little candle puts off so much scent!!!  Anyway, here are my measly fall decorations!!!

Pretty fall colored Dahlias on my extra tiny table!!! I also love these tiny pumpkins, they're a tad glittery! Oh, see that sweet wooden high chair lurking in the corner?  That was my mom's and all of her siblings and then my high chair! Isn't that sweet?  I'm not sure if I'll use it for its intended purpose... but I love it anyway. :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My lovely fall wreath... oh, and my favorite wreath hanger from PB! I love it, it says 'The Weedons' on it. :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I forgot to mention that I did manage to get Elaina to the pumpkin patch last week... She had a blast talking to the goats, sheep and chickens but when it came time to make the piggie noise she was confused.  Her lion noise kept coming out, ha! The animals were definitely her favorite, she wasn't so interested in the pumpkin part!!! Ha! She wouldn't let me carry her through the rows of pumpkins and kept tripping over the vines but she just kept on truckin'! Ha, she's no sissy girl!!! :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Happy Fall Friday! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MyAgenda Finally Arrived!!!

I have been putting off ordering my very own MyAgenda from the MomAgenda website.  I have always been afraid that I would spend a good chunk of money on a planner and then never use it... But, my phone's calendar setting is just not enough for keeping track of all of my obligations.  I've only had it a little over a week but... so far, I love it!!!

First of all, I ordered it in my favorite color, purple.  It's beautiful! A little flashy, I will admit... but oh well!  I had my name put on it too! The part that sold me on this planner is the week at a glance style with an additional FOUR places to organize obligations or tasks!!! Now, the original MomAgenda suggests using these spots for keeping track of different kids' activities.  For me, I am using the extra four spots in the MyAgenda for school, work, exercise and meal planning.  Whew! I love being able to write everything out!!! If you're in need of a great planner, head over there!!! I certainly linked the website enough... Haha!!!
By the way, this was my first attempt at using Picasa3 to make a collage and then posting it... So, it's a little amateur! Ha! I need to figure out Picasa because it seems much easier than the other route I was taking to upload pictures... Is that what everyone uses???

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hickery Dickery Dock

Elaina is too cute... I can't imagine what I will be like as a mom because I find myself snapping pictures of her all of the time and even taking way too many videos!!! Please disregard my silly voice!!! Isn't it weird to listen to yourself?

This is her favorite nursery rhyme... Hickery Dickery Dock!  Sorry that Nickolai fusses at the end... :)

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

These two cousins are funny.  I know that they will have plenty of years to come of fighting and annoying each other... but it'll be fun to watch them have tons of laughs together too!  Cousins are a special thing and I can't wait to have my own kids to add to this mix!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Recipe Review: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ok, I'm on a recipe kick... I've been meaning to post quite a few for a while so I'm just going to keep going until I run out of steam! :) 

I've seen recipes for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins a few places... A couple of weeks ago I saw Jenna's recipe here and was hell bent to try it.  Except, I couldn't find canned pumpkin.  Call me crazy, but I wasn't aware of the shortage! So, I gave up after toting Nickolai around to two stores... ugh!  But, I was reading another blog tonight and she noted that THIS blogger had mentioned just adding canned pumpkin to a boxed Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Muffin mix.  Hey, not a bad idea! I love to make stuff from scratch, but I don't always have the time.  I mean, who does really?  Taking a little help from the store is a bonus!

So, assembly of this recipe is super easy.  Thanks Betty! :)  I added more pumpkin than this blogger calls for.  I added half of a 15oz can and reduced the water accordingly.  I also added another handful of chocolate chips and a tsp of cinnamon.  I baked my muffins for 15 minutes and they are perfect!!! I was bummed that I am out of powdered sugar so I couldn't make the nummy looking glaze... and I improvised with a brown sugar concoction - not the same.  It's okay, but the glaze is probably much better!

I still want to try Jenna's recipe and will someday when I have more time.  I made her favorite chocolate chip cookies last week and they're AMAZING! I'm not a great baker and usually my cookies aren't so hot... But, these are awesome! Totally my favorite CCC recipe from now on! :)

Now I have half of a can of pumpkin to use... any suggestions?  I guess I could just make more muffins and give them away.... or freeze them?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Recipe Review: PW's Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

I haven't had a chance to try as many Pioneer Woman recipes that I want to... But, I'm trying to work a few in here and there.  When I stopped by her cooking blog earlier this week I decided I should give this one a try.  So, I'll give you all the link here and let you know my/our thoughts!!!

Prep/Cooking Time:
In my opinion, the most important part of this is letting the sauce cook for as long as you have time for.  I only let it cook for about 45 minutes and it was delicious, but if I had the time I would have given it another 45 minutes.  I just love the taste of long & slowly simmered home made sauces!!! :) I also would have preferred to use more sauce.  Adding a cup of water while it's simmering would help stretch it a bit. Also, I realized that I only bought regular shells, not jumbo.  So... Um... I stuffed a lot more shells! Ha! That's the only difference that I can see though...

I took a few pics, but really? Who am I to out do P-Dub's recipes? I mean, she takes a picture of each step for the love! It's that easy for us to follow!!! :)  So if you want to see pictures of this yummy recipe... go HERE!!! :)  I served ours with fresh green beans with some granulated garlic and butter spray! I thought it was great... Brandon put it above spaghetti (he really doesn't prefer sketti) and below lasagna (he loves zanyah) so... those are our ratings!!!

Oh, I also made a dish for our friends that just had a baby girl today.  I plan on giving it to them tomorrow.  I went ahead and baked it and they can just warm it up in the oven... Easy!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Huge Spider & Beetlish Cricket?

This was about a month ago... But, I still thought it was blog worthy. 

I always expect a few not-so-hot things to happen around fall time, but I usually let them slide because I love the crispness in the air and the gorgeous scenery.  Not to mention my CROCK POT!!! :)

I already posted this picture a while ago, but in case you missed it here's the same one again!  Actually, in all honesty... I forgot I posted a picture of this already until after I wrote this post and I just didn't want to delete the spider part.  Sorry! Ha!

So, while folding the dreaded "sock collection" that usually sits around for about 6 weeks while we dig through it every day for socks (no joke!), I found this nasty little huge spider!!! I mean, I know this is a cell phone pic with poor lighting/quality... but check out the size of that mother in relation to my sock!!!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Holy Geeeeeze! I was home by myself so I eventually (ten minutes later) had worked up the nerve to go whack it with a hanger.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I mean, what was I thinking? Why didn't I get a broom? Or... anything other than a hanger?  Hangers do not exactly produce precise results, FYI.  But, I killed it (sad, really) and then flushed him. Sorry Spidey, I just couldn't do it. Ewwww. 

That same week, only a couple of days later... I went to put Elaina down for her morning nap and a giant *idunnowhattocallit* was chilling on her crib bumper!!!!  Can you see him?
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
I seriously thought it was fake at first!  I put her down and stepped toward it carefully... then I realized it was GINORMOUS and freaked out a little (on the inside..)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
and got the bright idea to attempt to get it into a giant cup.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Great idea! I certainly wasn't going to put the child in the crib with a freaky critter and I was sure has HELL not going to get closer than arms length to that thing either! SICK!  I still don't know what it was... but I let it sit in the cup until her parents came home... I figure they probably let him free.

So, the last story of ewwy gooey fall critters is about a nasty little slug man.  We are VERY used to seeing slugs around these parts. Sick!!! But, they just are a fact of life around here.  With dogs that are roaming around the yard to potty and whatnot, I am always mindful of their feet and tennis balls (yes, sick!) when they come inside.  So, the other night I was sitting in bed using the laptop and Jack came up and wanted some love.  I had just let him inside from going potty and I noticed what I thought was an eye boogie.  Well, you guessed it... when I went to wipe it... and it was slimy... I freaked out and flung it on the floor... A couple of seconds later when I looked closer I realized it was a teeny tiny baby slug.  Sorry baby slug, I just had to flush ya. EWWW!!!

I hope I'm done with my fall critter encounters... I don't mind a spider in the house here or there... as long as they're on the ceiling or whatever.  I don't want them in my sock pile!!! Haha!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blog Challenge: Day 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10!

I'm consolidating... :)

Day 6: Five people who mean a lot to you.

This little challenge seems to be a little redundant, no? ;)

1.  My HUSBAND!!!! Duh!

2.  My BFFs... Shandy, Kristine & Liz

3.  Our Parents... They're really good to us!

4.  Our extended family... I'm super close with my aunt, all of our grandparents and we're just so lucky to have them all!!!

5.  The buddies I've met through blogging!!! I mean, I'm going to stay with Jen in November! How lucky am I?!  It is nice to have a new group of people that I have different things in common with than my long-time BFFs.  I love them dearly, but it is always great to be able to be close to new people!!!

Day 7: Four turn offs.

1.  Bad breath... period.the.end. YUCK! I am obsessive over oral hygiene... In fact, I was ASTONISHED to hear recently that there are people that only brush their teeth once a day!!! SICK!!! I'm not a super germaphobe but that is just NAS TAY!

2.  Cockiness or the "always right" syndrome... This goes for men & women alike.  I cannot stand someone who thinks that their ish doesn't stink. I am all about being real and down to earth.  Sure, sometimes I'm a bit too much for people to handle but I certainly am the first to admit when I'm wrong!  However, if I really do think that I'm right?  I will stand my ground! Ha!

3.  Ignorance.  I mean this in the sense of... just plain being ignorant.  Not dumb or intellectually challenged... because that is just fine. I am not great at math either *wink*!  For instance, I was reading a blog last night and the lady was openly talking about how her and her husband were having a really hard time finding a babysitter because neither of them trusted any "non-Caucasian" people to sit for their son. Um, excuse me? Is this 2010? Is that REALLY tolerated in other parts of the country? Because, it is NOT here. IGNORANCE.  There is no excuse... in my book. Ugh.

Day 8: Three turn ons.

1.  Smelling great!!! Not overly perfumed, just a yummy scent of some sort.  I am known for seeking out girls' hair to smell it if it "looks like it smells good..." If that makes any sense at all, ha! 

2.  Clean teeth... and fresh breath!

3.  Being able to make jokes and laugh without it being at the cost of others.  Life is really funny... jokes don't always need to be racist/sexist... etc.

Am I coming off snobby? I sure don't mean to...

Day 9: Two words that describe your life right now.

Chaotic & Exhausting... Just wait until December, I'll have different words for it then when I'm done with school! ;)

Day 10: One confession.

Serious, or goofy? One of each? Ok!

I smell my armpits throughout the day to make sure I'm still fresh...

I'm very self-aware.  I know my good and bad attributes and am constantly reminding myself that I am a work in progress.  Life isn't about the destination of who I want to be but the journey that is making me who I want to be. Right? Right!!!

Thanks for reading all of this!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blog Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: Six things you wish you could change or wish you would have never done.

Oh my... I tend to say I like to live without regrets... But honestly, I definitely have them.  Let's see if I can come up with some decent ones.

  1. I wore a terrible snake skin, skin tight contraption to my sophomore Tolo dance... It was just after a breakup and I was trying to be hot to make my ex jealous, I think. Hahahaha! Oh, it was terrible. Bad. I wish I knew how to operate my scanner I would SO scan that picture in! :)
  2. I would have never chased after a high school best friend.  I was so clearly used and abused (emotionally) and I just kept chasing it. I feel stupid now, even almost ten years later. I lost friends and time in high school that I'll never get back. Stupid!
  3. I wish I would have not verbally lashed out on my step dad months before he died.  He made a very stupid large purchase in a time when my parents were very financially unstable and he drove that purchase to our house to show it off and I went off on him.  I feel bad now. I should have expressed myself differently...
  4. I sometimes wish I would have gone to a four year school right out of the gates.  This is one of those wishy washy "never regret" statements because in the long run I believe my choices have landed me in places that I wouldn't have otherwise been and I'm thankful for that.  But, school would have been so much easier if I had just gone the conventional way... but I'm not conventional.  So, there ya go!  To think that I could have my own classroom already RIGHT NOW? That's crazy.  Or, to be the RN I always wanted to be? Nuts. Oh well, such is life.  If it's meant to be, I'll have my own classroom by the time I'm 30 after I go back to school AGAIN for my Masters. Ugh!
  5. I regret never finishing a diet program.  I really do.  It's one of those things I want to fix so badly, but just can't find it within me.  Just to think, if I would have finished the first diet I ever attempted... I would be 50lbs lighter. Wow.
  6. Lastly, I have to say... I have a big mouth.  I have learned over the years to try to be less outspoken when it isn't going to do any good.  So, my last one will be all of the little things that I have said and will continue to say that hurt someone's feelings when I didn't intend them to. However, I never regret being honest and authentic with someone over "saving face" by telling a lie.  I DO NOT tolerate lies. In fact, I found out today I was lied to.  A stupid little white lie! But... NOT OK WITH ME! GRRR! Oh, sorry for that rant! :)
Onto the next day...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blog Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Not in order of importance!!!

  1. I am always contemplating ways to get the most amount of homework done in the least amount of time... I think some people call that procrastination.
  2. My weight. It's a constant struggle and a daily battle that I usually lose.
  3. Brandon.  He brings smiles to my face hourly!
  4. Everything in my/our future.  I'm always thinking about kids, houses, jobs, vacations.... etc.
  5. Friends/Family that I don't get to call or visit with often.  I wish I would just take one day and call the ten people I've been meaning to call forever!!!
  6. Unfortunately, I'm addicted to Social Networking... Um, so I'm kind of ashamed to say that Facebook, blogs and Twitter crosses my mind a lot. Hmmm...
  7. Food! I'm always hungry or wanting something. Coping mechanism, no?
Ok, day four down! Are you bored of me yet?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blog Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: Eight things you couldn't live without.

Only eight? Okay... I'm going to take the less sentimental route here... So, I'm not going to list Brandon, my mom, friends, etc... okay? But do note that I don't want to live without those people either!!! ;)
  1. Music.  I love it, I need it... I couldn't live without it.  Period!
  2. My animals.  I am an animal lover, for sure! Mama Moose and Jacker Whacker are lucky to have me!!! Oh, did I just say that? ;)
  3. Chapstick.  Preferably Burt's Bees Pomegranate... Yum-O!
  4. My Droid. Oh, love. :)  How else would I check Jen and Candice's blogs five times a day... Neurotic? Me? No.
  5. Tom Kha Gai - Or Thai food in general. It's amazing.
  6. Sarcasm. Life just wouldn't be worth it, would it? Nah.
  7. Philosophy's Amazing Grace. It's my body wash, my lotion... my love. Oh, and Pureology hair products. *sigh*
  8. Flip flops/sandals.  I really don't like real shoes... I prefer the flops.  I got a kinda "greenerish" pair this year because my feet have really taken a beating... I bought a pair of Birki's. Oh geeze.  Now I own Birkenstocks AND Danskos.  Yes, I live in the PNW. :) Oh well, my feet thank me.
That's it! This is a cake walk... only seven more days!!! You should join me in the challenge!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blog Challenge: Day 2

Day 2:  Nine things that most people don't know about you.

This is kind of silly... I'm a really open book.  Most things people don't know about me are embarrassing, that's why they don't know them! DUH! Ok... I'm going to try to come up with them but if they're TMI consider yourself warned!!!

1.  I am incredibly intuitive. I consider this a good thing, but it definitely makes me uncomfortable sometimes.  At least, this is how I have always described myself.  I can sense someone's mood, whether they're genuine, lying, not being authentic, dangerous, what their thoughts are, etc.  I can read people like books and while it is usually a good thing, sometimes it isn't!!!  I also

2.  I have a really good memory.  I have memories way back when I was 18months old.  My parents were entering into a divorce so I remember some details about my life then, because it was a difficult time.  I believe that this is where I gained some of my very dominant personality traits... when I was that little. Kinda weird, but I'm convinced.

3.  I am always late and hate it.  You bloggers wouldn't really know that about me... obviously IRL people do.  I am rarely late to work, because I have to be on time.  This is a serious confliction within myself.  I know that it is rude to be late.  Why am I always late then!?! Ugh! I think it stems from an overall lack of discipline... that's a whole 'nother story! Ha!  I do feel bad for it though and it causes me much anxiety... I hate it.  It seems like it should be easy to change.

4.  My feet stink.  I told you, TMI! They do... it's bad. My BFF Shandy told me she had something for me the other day... She whipped out some fruity smelling shoe inserts for me! HAHAHAHA! I mean, really?! She had found them at Big Lots on sale... *shudder*

5.  I can't stand fidgeting... when it is someone else doing it.  Brandon shaking his leg, tapping something, etc.  However, I have my own little quirky things that could be considered fidgeting.  My argument is that they don't annoy other people... haha!

6.  I am terrified to visit a lot of places outside of the US.  I really don't care to (at this time) go to any Asian, African, or South American countries.... oh, or Australia/New Zealand!!! I'm terrified of the food in the first three examples and the bugs in all of them!!! Oh, bugs and other weird things!!! I don't ever care to go to FL or the deep south for those reasons too.  Oh, I'm kind of ashamed to admit this... sorry. I've seen the special on the Burmese Python one too many times... Ick.

7.  I am scared to scuba dive.  That's kind of random, but  not many people know that about me.  I don't LOVE being IN or ON the ocean, so I mostly think that is why but I think that it's a control issue. I enjoy the ocean from the beach!!! It's beautiful to LOOK at! :)  I also think it may be a claustrophobic thing... eeek!

8.  I have to constantly keep myself from searching for new homes and cars.  I could waste hours doing either of those things.  I think I get this from my mom.  We always were moving to a new beautiful house as well as she was always getting new cars... I'm kind of obsessed.  Like, to the point that we've had one of our vehicles for over three years and I'm dying to get a new one.  We don't NEED a new one and this one happens to be perfect... except for the stinky dog smell. Ugh, dogs. Oh, and the fact that it is blue... I hate blue. But, I'll have it detailed and it'll be good as new.  Except, it won't be new... that's the problem. Haha! I should specify:  "new" means "new to us" not "off the lot, new" because well... we're not loaded and we don't really think its worth the money to buy brand new cars. :)  Brandon wants either a truck or a Hummer H3 next... I would be okay with either.  A truck would be nice but terrible gas mileage.  My parents had an H3 and we loved it and got about the same MPG as our Highlander does...   But, I really love my Highlander... it's so comfy and the perfect size for hauling the kiddos and my dogs! :)

9.  I am dying to start our family.  My close friends may *kind of* know this but I don't lead on too much because I think it scares the daylights out of most of them... I secretly think they're dreading for us to have kids because it means our relationship will change.  I don't talk to our parents about it because it will get them way too excited.  We're not quite there, but I am SO TIRED of waiting. I can't wait!!!  I feel like I was meant to be a mom and I'm not worth much before I have that opportunity.  That may sound kind of pathetic, but its true...

Ok! Day 2 down!!! Learn anything? Wish you didn't know my feet stink? Sorry!!! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blog Challenge... I need it!

Chelle over at Never Had A Better Day  posted about this blog challenge which she was inspired to do by another blogger.... Anywho... I always think I have grand ideas to blog about but then I always talk myself out of it because it just seems like a rant and makes myself look like a big ol' biotch!  Also, I've been meaning to d/l pictures of great recipes that I made weeks ago but... I haven't. :) So, this will give me some motivation to post WAY MORE than I usually do!!! :)

The challenge:

Day 1: Ten things you want to say to ten people right now.

Day 2: Nine things about yourself that most people don't know.

Day 3: Eight things you couldn't live without.

Day 4: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day 5: Six things you wish you could change or wish you would have never done.

Day 6: Five people who mean a lot to you.

Day 7: Four turn offs.

Day 8: Three turn ons.

Day 9: Two words that describe your life right now.

Day 10: One confession.

Day 1:  Ten things I would like to say to ten people, RIGHT NOW.  I think I've thought about this for too long... because now I'm trying to decide if I should be mushy or just be spontaneous. Hmmm... If it gets mushy, so sorry! :)

1. Brandon- It’s no surprise you come in as number one. You are my rock and so much more. We have so much fun together and I can't wait for what our life has waiting for us... I know God has a great plan for you because you are so easy to get along with and a big dreamer. Soon, I hope and pray, that you and I will find a direction that uses your talents and brings you great joy. Although you don't read my blog (and make fun of me for having one...) I love you so much!!!

2. Mom- You like to say that we are too much alike, that's why we butt heads sometimes. I'm not sure if I think we are really that much alike, but none-the-less I can see the traits that you have passed down to me. Thank you for instilling my constant drive for more in life... for always telling me I'm beautiful because I certainly don't always feel that way... for bragging about Brandon and I, although it's embarrassing when I'm standing right there, I'm glad you're proud of us... For teaching me to be adaptable, for change is inevitable... For teaching me to be responsible from an early age. Because of you I cannot stand irresponsible moochers that think the world owes them something... I love you mom and choke up in an instant thinking of ever losing you. I remember waiting for you to come home when you worked nights when I was a kid. Long past my bedtime (unbeknownst to Don) I would sit in the upstairs balcony and look out the window waiting for you to come home... Crying for fear that you wouldn't make it home alive. When I would see your car pull into the driveway I would scurry into bed and fake that I was asleep when moments later you would come to kiss me goodnight. I worry for you still, mom because I have always felt the need to take care of you. Because I've lost too much already in my lifetime and I can't fathom what life would be like without you in it. So, while we may have disagreements often... I love you so much and appreciate all you have sacrificed for me.

Dad- It feels weird to type that. As if I ever had the chance to write you an email or letter? I certainly didn't. I just want to tell you that aside from all of the cliché things one may say to a passed father, the simple things are really what I wish I had the chance to know about you. What were your quirks, annoyances and how the heck did you like your coffee??? I am thankful for your family and friends that can tell me stories about your crazy escapades and I can't wait to chat with you someday... Another thing? Giving me your muscle-y calves was a bit unfair, don't you agree? This girl can never find a pair of cute boots... dangit! Oh, by the way, Brandon is great and I wish you could have met him. :)

Don- We all miss you more every day! Brandon and I always crack jokes and talk about things that you did that were so *dumb* at time but that we *cherish* now. I hope you are peaceful and are not hurting or lonely anymore. Don't laugh too hard when Brandon and I are arguing at the boat launch ok? I know you and mom did that all of the time, maybe that's where I learned it! ;)
Nickolai- I love you buddy! I can't wait to watch you grow up and to be close with you!!! We already spend a good part of the week together and I can't tell if you like me or not. But, I kind of think you do. You are so serious that you only really give big grins to mommy and daddy. But, if I act like a huge dork and jump around and make weird sounds sometimes you'll grin at me. I mean, c'mon! Throw me a bone dude! I feel so privileged to be with you so much... I know your sleep schedules, how you like to fall asleep, when you're getting fed up and what songs you like me to sing to you. I hope in a few years you still will put up with me when I'm jumping up and down at your soccer games and cheering you on like a big goofball... oh, you're going to be so embarrassed. You have lady-killer dark blue eyes and all of those ladies are going to have to get through this Auntie first!!! Love you little Duder... can't wait to see you in your Husky outfit and sweet football socks that Auntie bought you! :)

My SIL- I'm so thankful to be getting closer and closer to you all of the time. I appreciate your openness, honesty, patience and good natured way. You listen to me gripe about the most mundane things, help me with my school work and make me laugh with your sarcastic ways. I've never had a sister and I certainly feel like you are becoming more of one every day. I love hearing the stories about Brandon when he was a kid. Thank you for allowing me time with your son, I cherish it. I know you fully trust me in caring for him and I appreciate that more than you know. I promise I never text while driving if I have him in the car!!!!!! You don't read this either... or even know I have a blog (I don't think...) but if I could say all of this to you without crying, I would. And if I did start crying, you would call me a dork. And, I love you for that too. :)

Gram- I can't believe we almost lost you this year, Gram. It's too soon - I'm not ready. I have been spoiled because you've been so healthy all of my life. I lost my other Grandmas early on and I just am not ready for you to go yet. You have to meet the baby girl I will someday have... remember? You remind me that you're ready for me to have kids every time I see you. Last time, you went as far as to discuss which of Brandon's and my traits our children will have. Ha! I love spending time with you. Last time, all we did was make meat loaves and pies for our grieving family members... but I savor every moment I have with you. Thank you for putting up with Gramps for so long. He's gruff, but he loves us all and I know you love that. I can't wait for the day that I can call you and tell you "Ok! Knit a blanket!!! I'm preggers!!!" Love, love, love you Gram...

Kristine- I am so glad you are my married BFF now… I am so happy for you and Uriah and am glad to have someone to commiserate with now. :) You are my only BFF that I share my faith with and I am so glad to have that to glue us together. While we are very different, we share our love for God and know how important it is to lead lives that are godly. It is wonderful to share beliefs and values with you because often times I can’t actively voice opinions and things I believe in as I am the minority, it seems. I can’t wait to be able to ask you and Uriah to be godparents someday… Eeep! :) Although it’s not a happy thing to share, I’m glad another bond of ours is the loss of our fathers. I’m so glad we understand our feelings about the whole thing 100%. I wanted to say this in my MOH speech at your wedding, but couldn’t get through it without tears: It means more than words that you flew up to WA at a moment’s notice to be with me for Don’s service. I have good friends who lived in the state who didn’t even bother to come, let alone make a trek across states. Thank you for your support. I love your curly hair and am jealous of it!!! Could we be more opposite??? By the way, I’m eating a delicious pot roast right now that you would hate. HAHAHAHA! Maybe I should make and send you some cake balls soon? Love ya, Tina Bean.

My Old Boss- You really should get out of the business that you’re in. Seriously… it’s not good. You are inconsistent, not thorough and frankly greedy. I believe you are a good person, at heart. But, you really shouldn’t be responsible that all you are responsible for. It’s dangerous and that is why I had to leave… but returning to school was a good excuse.

Estranged Family- Somedays I have a tender heart and wish we all as a family still spoke. Most days, I don’t. Most days I am so thankful for the drama-free family get togethers. I mean, seriously… it’s such a relief to not have butterflies on Christmas wondering what the big fight will be about weeks after or what snarky comments will be made about others. I am sorry for the damage that has been done and do honestly wish that someday things will change. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Did you really make it through that? If so, I thank you.  If not, I don't blame you.  Either way, it was therapudic for me to write that out!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brings Me to Tears

I looooooove music. Music brings me to tears often.  Which is surprising, honestly.  I don't tend to let myself cry often.  I think we've I've discussed that earlier with posts about the loved ones that I have lost.  For some reason, music has the ability to change my mood in an instant.  I love it.  All of it.  Well, my Grandpa (who was a very old Grandpa, might I add) used to listen to professional whistling in the car.  Did you know there are professional whistlers? Hmmm... there are, trust me. 

Anyway, I was reading one of my favorite blogs Clover Lane when she posted about her friends who just had a baby who was in need of prayers.  My heart breaks for so many families out there right now that are in tough places with their wee ones.  I can't imagine being in the place that they are and staying so strong.  So, Sarah at Clover Lane posted a link to Bowen's Heart which is dedicated to Matt & Sarah Hammitt's baby boy who is suffering from a heart condition.  Incidentally, Matt is the lead singer for Sanctus Real, a Christian band I happen to love. While I love their popular songs, I had no idea of any of their personal lives.

Oddly enough, I just heard their latest single for the second or third time on Sunday and I loved it so much that I actually stayed in the car an extra three minutes to listen to it.  Does anyone else ever do that? Brandon is always wondering what I'm doing in the driveway.  "Just jammin' to some tunes baby!" Ok, I don't say "jammin" nor do I ever call Brandon "baby." Ha! This was the first time I was actually listening to the lyrics and not just enjoying the melody of this song.  I found myself tearing up when I was realizing how I could relate to the song, in some ways.  I try to be such a strong woman that has her own goals and dreams in life.... but in reality I need Brandon to be strong and I need his help when I feel weak or off course.  I just have a hard time asking for it.

A lot of Christian songs do that for me... bring me to tears.  I'm not usually a gushy person and I'm not even overly open and loud about my faith.  Every church service I attend, you can bet I will be shedding tears during the worship service. 

Ok, one last video of my other favorite Christian band, Casting Crowns.  I love this song... I love lots of their songs. 

That's all! I was feeling moved tonight... so I felt like sharing. :o)  Everyone have a wonderful Wednesday!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

History Was Made

Fellow blogger, Jen, had posted on Facebook about how she asks her students to write about their memories of 9/11 every year (she's a college English Prof.) Of course, I think about 9/11 every year on the anniversary (and throughout the year as well) but for the life of me I cannot remember my actual experience that day.  Usually I have an impeccable memory.

I can remember that I was sitting at my vanity in my bedroom doing my hair and makeup for school.  I was listening to the local radio morning show that I still listen to today!  My older friend who drove me to school before I had my license had walked into the room and we briefly discussed what was happening with my mom before we rushed out the door for school.  While we were at school the teachers had the news on in all of our classrooms, even after our principal ordered that the tvs be turned off.  I can assume that most of us high schoolers didn't understand the seriousness of what was taking place.  History was being made, right then.... right there.  Brandon remembers our school playing the news in every classroom and he remembers our school counselors being available for those kids that had relatives or friends that they couldn't contact.  I would like to assume that parents came and got students that were in that situation, but I just don't remember.

Over all, I feel very guilty about 9/11.  I feel guilty because I was not directly affected by anyone that I loved losing their life or having their lives dramatically altered by the attacks.  Of course, like all Americans, my life was indirectly affected.  I also feel guilty because while my family has military ties from Nam and previous wars, we don't have anyone who is serving right now.  Brandon and I do have some friends who are serving and we recently welcomed him home from Iraq for the last time, hopefully. We also don't have any family/friends who are firefighters or police officers. Geeze!

Anyway, this whole post is jumbled and doesn't make a ton of sense... but I'm just reflecting so please forgive me.

I want to give my biggest, most sincere thanks to all of our service men and women who fight for our lives while risking their own  Without you and the sacrifices that your family has to make -- I don't even want to think of what our country would be without you!  Thank you!!!!!!
September 11, 2001 Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, September 6, 2010

Swagger Wagon

The first time I saw this video I was cracking up!!! My sister-in-law and I always joke about how we're going to be mini-van moms soon! Ha! She only has one baby now, so she's definitely waiting to get a van for a while but once we have more than one apiece and then gain all of their little buddies that need rides, vans will be in order!  I'm not afraid of vans though! Dang, some of the vans are really nice now days!!! They're not like the killer 1989 Dodge Caravan that had fake wood paneling that my mom won free for being a top Tupperware manager! Haha! I was the only young kid in the house at the time too! My mom used to roll up with just me sitting in the back all by myself, how cool were we? Haha!

Anyway, check this video out, love it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Black Thumb

Yard work is not my thing. It never has been. When I was a kid (I feel old saying that...) my mom knew that I would not argue with her when she asked me to clean the inside of the house. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, even deep cleaning was no problem... but yard work was NOT my bag. It doesn't make sense to me to go bend over, sweat, get itchy from dirt sticking to your sweat, ruin your nails, get nasty feet, get thorns in your butt... and get a backache too! Oh, and don't forget about the dirt in your eye because inevitably your eyeball will itch and you'll forget you have dirty hands! GAH! This goes for berry picking too.  My mom & her side of the family love to berry pick! What the heck!? Who LOVES that?! No way.  I'll pay the local berry farmers to do it for me

Anyway, like any one else, I enjoy the look of a well maintained yard and of beautiful flowers too. So, every year I try to have a hanging plant or two to give the front of our house some color. Oh, and I hire someone for the yearly cleanup duties too so we don't look COMPLETELY Whiskey Tango.

This year, we built an outdoor patio or "smoking area" as we sometimes call it at the family Biz. Four years ago, or so... Washington State passed the "no smoking in bars/restaurants" law (thank God, if you ask me.) We put in a patio so people can take their beverages outside to enjoy their 'grittes. Fortunately, it is a big enough area that non-smokers can enjoy it as well without getting smoked out. :)

My dear husband was at a local nursery in early July once the outdoor patio was finished and spotted some beautiful hanging baskets that were HUGE and marked 50% off. He nabbed one for the family biz and one for us too! How sweet he is! :)

Well, we have a resident Green Thumb which happens to be our day bartender/server. He is always bringing in amazing bouquets from his own garden to freshen up the place. So, naturally, the basket that is hanging in the outdoor patio is flourishing!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Mine, however, looks like it spent the summer in the Mojave for the love of God! 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have a good explanation.  When I leave the house in the morning, I am always rushed.  I pull out of the garage and can see the plant and try to make a mental note to water it that evening when I get home.  But, I sure as heck don't have time to stop the car, get out and water the danged thing then! So then, that evening, I usually get home after dark.  So, I pull into the garage once again and don't see the damned plant! It's not unless I have to get the dogs from the front porch that I see the plant.  I should have written myself a reminder or set a reminder in my cell phone.  Something.  Geeze. Poor plant!

In other news, Friday was a beautiful day! I'm sure it was one of our last nice days but it was a perfect summer day of 83 degrees! That is a beautiful thing in the PNW! So, I was home most of the day and let the Libster outside a bit.  She doesn't go outside unless she is supervised so she's mighty thankful when I let her out to roll and bask in the sunshine!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then, later... in order to pay me back for being so nice and letting her outside, she got her head stuck in the trailmix I was snacking on.  Way to be sneaky...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Finally, while I was home Friday, watching too much tv and wasting a gorgeous day doing chores before work, this GIANT spider flew out of my sock pile!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

SICK! Holy COW! I mean, I know its no tarantula... but that sucker is LARGE! I promptly left the sock pile and returned fifteen minutes later to kill the spider with a hanger.  I had to wait that long to build up the courage to do so! :)

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!!! I hope you all will be enjoying all things BBQ, sunshine and good company! :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Who Ya Rootin' For?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I was raised a Husky. Brandon has just literally always rooted for the Dawgs since he was a tot.  I suppose a lot of it has to do with coming from generations of Western Washingtonians.  Typically the Eastern side of the state roots for our rival, Washington State University. With the exception of ONE cousin on my mom's side who went to our rival school, my family are all Dawg fans.  The University of Washington is all Brandon and I know.  Neither of us have attended UW, yet. I will attend there in a few years if I actually decide to become a teacher. 

Hubbs is pretty hardcore.  For his birthday last month, I got him a set of highly sought after tickets and so did his parents.  He's so excited to enjoy a couple of games from Husky Stadium because last year we worked too much on Saturdays and he didn't get to go at all! 

In true Seattle style, the stadium is right by the shores of Lake Washington! Beautiful!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

While I like sports and I like football... I certainly don't get all worked up about it.  I do understand Brandon's viewpoint that college is so much more exciting to him than the NFL.  I enjoy that the game isn't about million dollar contracts and brand new stadiums and is more about the game and the kids playing. But to let the outcome of a football game ruin my day... or even my week? Not going to happen! ;)

Brandon says he's nervous for the game today.  We'll see how it turns out!  As for us and our home? We will serve the DAWGS! Purple & Gold baby!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Who are YOU Rootin' for and why?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Giva-who? Giva-what? GiveAWAYS!

I have yet to win one of Jens giveaways from A Daily Dose of Davis... but im hoping for this time! She's giving away a fitness ball thingie-ma-bob! You know, the one I roll off of because I'm really sweaty while working out? Ha! You should try to win too! Go check it out at:

Jen's SIL Diana, who is hilarious, is offering a giveaway too! What was this, family blog giveaway week??? ;o) kidding, you two! Go check her blog out too. She's the ultimate 'Do-it-yourself' in the kitchen, garden, chicken coop (ha!) lady! Http://

By the way... posting from my trusty phone's browser... so if there are misspellings or other whacky things, give me a pass... kay? :0) I know the blog addy's aren't going to pop up as links, you'll have to copy & paste! Remember how? I kid.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Not Much to Say

I don't have much to say tonight... but it's been a while since I posted.  I am on my last week of vacation from school for the summer (I got a whopping 3 weeks.)  I return to classes on the 30th and will have no breaks until I am done.done.done.... in DECEMBER!  Of course, I will have a break for Thanksgiving but other than that I have a crazy schedule!  My last classes are Theories of Personalities (not really looking forward to it...), Research Project I & II (Senior req), and another elective of my choice. I really am not looking forward to all of the writing that the next 16 weeks is going to have in store for me... icka!

I am so looking forward to being done with school.  I am looking forward to being less stressed and having more time to focus on myself and Brandon and living healthier lifestyles.  I have recently been thinking/realizing how much stress has an impact on our health.  Not only my mental health but my physical health too. Ugh!  I am looking forward to actually having time to do fun activities every week or even just be lazy on weekday evenings after cooking dinner MYSELF before ten o'clock.

Anyway, I'm being a bit negative I think.  I have just felt a bit more somber lately so I guess this is why... I'm just tired.  :)

On a brighter note... I opened another savings account with our credit union about six or seven months ago and I have been stashing money here and there throughout the months.  I have been *trying* not to remember the amounts I've been putting in and have only asked for the balence a couple of times. : !!!!!!!!!!!!!  (that's my excited face!)  We have enough stashed to use my mom's timeshare here in December after I graduate and we also have enough for airfare/car/hotel in Arizona (probably Scottsdale) for a long weekend this fall!!!!  Hubbs hasn't been on a vacation that was extra relaxing for two years... So, I think the long weekend in AZ will be great for him to golf and for us to visit old friends.  Even if its only for two nights, it will be awesome!!! I sure hope we can go... Running a family business tends to ruin our plans sometimes... *crossing fingers!*  I am super excited about going to Cabo.  My parent's bought into the RCI/Pueblo Bonito timeshares over ten years ago and the resorts are seriously amazing.  We stayed at this one for our honeymoon (thanks Mom & Don!) and we never wanted to leave the resort... dreamland.  Anyway, so I'm glad I decided to write about our possible upcoming vacations because that put positive thoughts in my head!!!

I'm off to look up flights... :)

Oh, and to TAPG.... I still have more Jackson Tales! I will get to them.  For goodness sakes, I haven't even told you about how he broke out of the same house window TWICE or ate our car! Gosh! So much to share!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Pictures From My Phone...

I suppose I could have titled this ' A Day in the Life..." HA! Is it just me that finds totally random things on my phone that I thought were cool enough to snap a quick picture of?  Mostly mine are of the babies or my animals... Here are a few!

I woke up from a lazy Sunday afternoon nap to this.  If she had been ANY closer to my face she would have been sitting on it. :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I finally think that baby E is ready for the park.  Before, there wasn't a whole lot she could do but eat wood chips! HA!  So, we've ventured out a bit... She is so independent so I supervise closely but she just does her own thing.  The slide backwards is a popular choice.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have a set of about five of this same picture... except she has her head turned LEFT or RIGHT in every one of them!!! No, E! Look HERE!!!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then, there's baby Nickolai.  He is NOT a fan of sleeping... EVER.  So, we have a process... I swear the entire 20 minute process negates his 25 minute nap, but whatever.  Stage #1
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Stage #2 occurs about... ten minutes later?
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Oh, shhhhh! Finally! Now, to transport him to the crib... that's tricky!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is a sad day when poor Pink Floyd gets spit on... :(
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I could never forget about Sasha, the niece dog. Silly girl, she thinks she's a cat!!!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ok, well that's about all of the clear ones I have for now! These animals and kids move fast!