Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekend Recap

Sorry for the lack of posts this weekend... the word of the weekend has been PRODUCTIVE - and it has been nothing but that... which always makes me feel good about relaxing by the end of Sunday.

Friday night I took my car in (Herbie) to have a new tire put on (I had a flat probably 2 months ago and I have been driving around on the full spare - typical female - i know i know!) and I also got new tail and headlights. One of my "secret/silent" new years resolutions for 2010 is to take better care of my car, my parents gave both my sister and I a nice car for our graduation gift from college, and I need to take better care of my car and treat it with respect (including car washes!). My dad sure does appreciate when I come by their house and my car is washed!

Saturday morning was a morning I was dreading, I promised JM that I would take down the Christmas decorations (they have only been up since early November! and were having a few people over to watch the Superbowl and it would be pretty embarrasing to still have my tree up in February!). Taking down of the Christmas decorations turned into cleaning and organizing a lot... here are some of the pictures to prove it! My Christmas decorations have been up for so long I can't remember what my mantle looked like prior to the holidays - whoops!

When we were able to see the floor of the family room, JM suggested that we run to the mall to get out of the house and get a few things that he needed, and when walking through Macy's I spotted this coat - that I thought I might as well try on... nothing that I needed but if the price was right it might be worth it???
So when I tried it on, and the sleeves were perfect length, and it fit well everywhere else, I looked at the price tag.... $89.99 (eek), I looked up at the sale tag on top of the rack, marked down to $31.99... my eyes light up, then I realized that I had a $25 gift card to Macy's in my purse I realized that I would be paying very much for it... So i pretty much got this cute winter jacket for only $7.99! So it was totally worth leaving my productive day of organizing to find the deal of the month!

We came home from Easton and relaxed at watched the X Games (I really wish these were on ALL the time!) I enjoy watching what the skiiers and snowboarders are able to do - and what they have the courage to do! It is rediculous!

This morning we went to church, ran a few more errands. I found this scarf at world market and JM bought it for me... I love grey and scarves.. It was more of a must have than a want - ha!

When we got home from running errands I got busy in the kitchen make all sorts of things.... I think today gave me enough to post for entire week of make me a meal WEEK...

Chicken Salad
Multigrain Blueberry Pancakes (I cheated here and used Hodgen Mill mix)
Stuffed Pablano Peppers

Pineapple Cake (Trust me there is nothing but deliciousness below the cool whip topping!)

So that sums up my weekend, it was the last weekend that we had that is "free" for quiet sometime. I hope you had a great weekend, I sure did :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Baby Blake Update

I was able to visit Baby Blake today after work. He is still in the ICU at Childrens' here in Columbus. They are hoping to have him breating better, as well as getting him a little more stable before he can move out of the ICU. I truly believe in the power of prayer, and I really appreciate everyone who has said a little special word or two for Blake. Each day is more promising, and he is now in a much more stable condition in the ICU. As you can see from these pictures, he was much more awake than that last time I posted pictures of him. Although he was a little fussy while we were there, when he was comfortable, he seemed so content with everything that was going on.. which is beyond calming!

And there is something about this picture that I LOVE! There is something about the trust babies have with their parents, as well as something to be said for the healing touch... He grasped onto Missy's finger.

HANG IN THERE BLAKE (and Missy, Kevin and Zach), you guys are constantly in my thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Show us your life - Fashion Tips

I am definitely not someone who is "proud" of my style... but its me, its who I am, its what I am comfortable in.. and most of all its VERY simple!

Here are my winter staples... I have a few of these - simple cotton black dresses, this one is my favorite, it has an elastic band under the bust.. its very simple, and you can either dress it up tall black boots or dress it down with Ugg boots. (Since ya'll have asked - this dress is from New York and Company)

There are not many outfits that I don't wear a scarf.... not only is it a great accessory, but it also hides the girls when needed in a low cut shirt! Thank goodness they are in style (well at least I think they are still in style) because they give me so many more options for outfits

As of last year I had one of these lovely long sleeve white tee shirts... as of now - I have at least 5 of them... I swear I wear them at least 3 or 4 times a week under short sleeve sweaters. Because of the beaut (a long sleeve fitted white tee) I am able to extend my wardrobe by 50%. It also looks cute under short sleeve tee's as well... I wear them just plain or with a vest over top... its all about the layering. I love layering UNTIL its laundry time..

And my last MUST have for the winter... my gray Uggs. I LOVE the color gray this season - and these wonderful shoes allow me to dress down a pair of jeans or dress.
So there is my simple/boring fashion tips... I think a few staple items can make or break a wardrobe... and these would definately be my staples!

Visit other blogs ideas of fashion tips by visiting Kelly's Korner. What are your winter staple items?

Have a great Friday Bloggers :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mid Day Week Snack - Molten Lava Toffee Brownies

Who doesn't love Paula Dean? One weekend I was having a lazy morning and just decided to lay in bed and watch the food network.. and Paula was making her favorite BBQ meal... well its a good thing that I continued to watch even though I don't care for BBQ sauce because I watched her make my "go-to" dessert... its simple, easy and SIMPLY delicious!!!

Here is what you will need

Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix, which calls for
  • oil
  • 2 eggs
  • water
3 Large Candy Bars - we always use the Symphony Toffee Bars, but you can use anything you would like.

Mix the box just as directed

Spray a pan with cooking spray, and place half of the batter down in the dish
Then place the 3 large candy bars side by side in the dish

And then take the rest of your batter and spread it out on top

Follow the directions on the box for the baking directions. I think this one is 27-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

And when you cut into these delicious brownies this is what you get
If you serve this brownie warm it tastes like molten lava cake... its delicious! My favorite part about serving this to people is their reaction when they realize there is a toffee candy bar in the middle... and when I tell them how simple it is to make they are even more excited about the dish! ENJOY!

**a little side note - did you know that you should always cut bar cookies with a PLASTIC knife? it glides through the bar so much better than a metal knife ever would!**

Dinner Bridal Shower

On Monday we had a dinner bridal shower. It was for my parent's next door neighbor's youngest son's fiance... haha - did you follow that. Basically Jodi is engaged to one of the guys who lived next door to me when we were growing up. Since they have been dating a short amount of time, and the engagement has been very brief, we needed to meet this wonderful lady who is going to be joining the Bennon family, so Mrs. Peet had us all get together on Monday night for a shower.

The last time I had been over to the Peet's was when I babysat for her kids a LONG time ago, so it was nice to have a nice adult conversation with these ladies. There were only 6 of us (besides myself 2 of the guests were my mom and sister) so it was an awesome time to get to know Jodi.

Mrs. Peet really out did herself with all of the food. We had 2 different types of quiches, homemade lemon poppy seed bread, and then my mom made one of my favorite salads.

Then she moved us into the main dining room for our dinner. I felt as if I had been removed from someones house and dropped down into a little tea room. The room was decorated so quaintly.

The centerpiece was so cute. She had little wedding cake toppers to decorate all over the room.
So after encouraging all of us to go back and have seconds she brought out these variety of desserts... She made everything from scratch. The middle dessert holder had chocolate covered strawberries, biscottis dipped in chocolate and a lemon meringe in a coconut cup.

And here is the guest of honor for the evening Jodi, with all of her presents. I had to laugh at Mrs. Swint's wrapping job. I totally know the feeling of what she went through, she had the present for a while, finally found a box to fit everything in it, and then the day of the shower when she went to wrap the gift - and realized she only had enough to cover the top. Can you tell which gift is hers?.. ha! Oh well, it was a nice conversation starter. It was a wonderful shower, and it was nice to all get together. I can't wait for the wedding Feb. 5th!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Biggest Loser and

Today is Tuesday, which also means Biggest Loser weigh in day for our groups competition. Well let me tell you that I was not feeling all that motivated to get out of bed this morning to step on the scale. The main reason that I was so nervous because I knew I had not eaten very well this week, there was a lot going on, such as...... restaurant week, a baby shower, a big breakfast on Sunday and a bridal dinner last night.... so I was dreading stepping on the scale. So this week I am committed to doing better.

So somehow this week I stumbled upon which can help you with tracking your calories, based off of what you eat and what different restaurants have to offer. In addition to tracking your meals, it also can help with your calorie burn based off of exercise. It will help you with letting you know what your daily calorie intake should be based off of how many lbs each week you would like to loose. It also talks about your BMI and wither you are average, overweight or obese. I would HIGHLY recommend looking into this.

I am hoping that in addition to my biggest loser competition and now Livestrong that I will be able to achieve my goal of loosing 23% of my body weight. Here's to next week being a better weigh in and a large weight loss!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make me a Meal Monday - Chili

So there are certain recipes that I have always liked my mom's recipe better than anyone else's (chicken salad, potato salad, meatloaf) and CHILI! I am very picky about my chili, I don't like it sweet, I like it with a little bit of heat, but I like a hearty chili. So I called my mom and asked her for her recipe (and of course she doesn't have an exact recipe) but what she had made last time was the following. She also told me it would make enough for 3 meals (well not thinking, I assumed that meant 3 servings, not 3 meals serving 2 people a piece - whoops!) So I thought I would double the recipe and take it over to Jason and Katie in addition to the "Congrats you had a baby pasta". Well you will soon see how much chili this recipe made (I will put in perenthese how much I used for this batch - however the quanty to the left will be what you will want if you would like to make a normal batch that will make 3 meals!)

1 (3) onion(s)
1/2 (1) green pepper
2-3 (3-6) spicy peppers (mixture of japelenos and habeneros)
1 lb (3lbs) ground turkey (93/7)
2 cans (4 cans) tomatoe puree (the big cans)
2 cans (4 cans)petite diced tomoatos (normal sized cans - however I used 2 large cans)
1 can (2 cans) Chili Beans (Bush or Brooks and you can pick mild or spicy depending on how spicy you want it
1 can (2 cans of each) black beans, northern beans, kidney beans
Salt and Pepper
Chili Powder

Chop up all the onions, and peppers (I deceeded 2 out of the 3 jalapenos and 2 out of 3 habeneros)

Place in the pot and let them start to saute (or as the Food Network would tell you "let them sweat"

Put in the ground turkey (you can always use ground beef - but turkey is so much healthier)

Add salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Remember you can always add more afterwards.... I put in about 4-5 dashes of cumin and chili powder, and then 1/2 tsp of S&P

Add in all of the tomato puree and petite diced tomatoes.... and allow this to simmer.

It was a this point when I realized I was in trouble on two different categories... The first, I am completely out of room to add beans, and the second - HOLY HOTNESS! I about dumped out the entire pot of chili and decided to throw my hands up in the air and forgo the entire thought about chili, but I had already opened up all of these beans so I figured I would move forth with the recipe.

So I was VERY thankful that I had received another large pot from JM's parents for christmas, and I was able to transfer some of the soup to another pot after it had simmered for a little while.

Dump in the chili beans with the sauce, take the remaining beans and rinse, and then add to the rest of your soup.

Allow your soup to simmer for a little while on low heat, at this point, I would recommend once again trying your chili, and you can always add more seasoning if necessary. I will admit, the spicy factor was completely toned down after I added the beans - and on a scale of 1-10, I would say it became a 4 (but before the beans it was totally a 13!)

On a side note, I found out a little culinary trick the other day - If you put a raw potato in whatever is too spicy, and take it out right before it completely cooks, it will take out some of the heat! Which is very good to know for the future when I think that I can take on 3 habeneros in one big batch of chili! ha

I was able to make enough to give a big container to Jason and Katie (which I'm pretty sure Jason enjoyed!), I had Chris and Laurie over, and we still have a big container left to freeze. Overall, I think it was a pretty successful pot(s) of chili!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A little bit of this... and a little bit of that type of a weekend

Its hard to believe its Sunday night already (why is it that the weekends go by so fast!) It has been a non-stop weekend.

Saturday I went to a baby shower for our good friend Lauren. It was at her mom's house, and it was amazing. Lauren always jokes that I should probably be Ruth's daughter, because we are so much alike when throwing parties... I just like to think that there are others out there that enjoy planning large events as much as I do!

I was so excited when I walked into the shower to see petite fours... I know that they are big in the south, and I only know of them via blogs, however I tried my first one on Saturday (yes, I totally know they are not on my diet!) and yum were they delicious! It does not hurt that they were made by Schneiders, a small bakery in Westerville.

Here are all of the gifts that were brought to the shower for Marshall, Lauren and Mike!

The nursery is all under the water themed, hence the under the water themed diaper cakes

And here is where Ruth (Lauren's mom) and I differ, she made this amazing quilt for Marshall, (the only quilt that I will ever make is under the strict guidance of my great grandma!) The quilt she made is of Walter, the family cat.

This morning I started my day off by meeting up with Ashley, Aly, and Kush at Mimi's cafe. I would have LOVED to take a picture however someone wasn't cooperating (I will not name any names - but next time she will be prepared for blog pictures, even if it is on a Sunday!)

I then headed over to church after wards to help out in the nursery. My sister and I help out once a month, which is a nice way to give back to what the church has given us over so many years.

After church, Alli and I went over to my parents house to clean out our rooms... and let me tell you - there as a LOT of stuff. My thought going into this afternoon was, I haven't needed it in the past 3 years, why would I need it now... but somehow I still ended up with this much stuff coming home with me (let me tell you how thrilled JM was about this!)

I was lucky to get out with just that much!

As if I didn't bring enough stuff/crap home with my from my parents, I headed out with my friend Jen to Bed, Bath and Beyond and to Homegoods/Marshalls, to get a wedding shower gift, and a scarf for my upcoming scarf exchange. Well the good news is that I walked out of BB&B with just a gift for the bride to be... the bad news is that Homegoods/Marshalls that was not the case.... but I could not allow myself to pass up new pictures for my foyer. I settled on these pictures when I first moved into my place (they looked similiar to what the previous owner had - and I found them on sale - so I went with them, but they have never really grown on me)

So when I saw these I new that they just HAD to come home with me and replace these boring pictures - they match my place so much better, they have polka dots and they were only $15.99 a piece - whats not to love about them?!? What do you think, was it a good purchase?
So its now getting later on Sunday evening, we are watching the rest of the playoff game before heading to bed... and maybe I'll start putting away all of my newly acquired items from my parents! ha!