Friday, December 24, 2010

santa's little helper.

I'll start eating healthy again after the holidays...

For now, I'm getting everyone in the Christmas spirit with some delicious homemade goodies like Peppermint Bark and Chocolate Fudge...

I'm loving the "Gourmet Food" setting on my new camera, and am awfully proud of my baking skills today. Dad and I have a date to make mini pecan pies later...hope they turn out just as yummy!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays - it's wonderful to have time off to relax, enjoy family and lots of good food!

Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

sweet secret.

It is clearly no secret that I may have a little sweet tooth.

And just as clearly, the holidays are a good time to "train" my little sweet tooth. When surrounded by holiday goodies, how can I resist?

  But that's not what this story is about.

Well, I guess it explains my territorial behavior, but there's more to this story anyway.

In the spirit of National Brownie Day, a co-worker brought in delicious, gooey fudge brownies topped with icing and crushed peppermint bark yesterday. To die for, no?

He specifically said he made them for me because he knew they were my fav dessert. Therefore, I was put in charge of the brownies {aka they were just sitting on my desk all day testing my self-control}.

So the team enjoyed bites of brownies throughout the work day {because if you eat dessert in a series of "bites" instead of an entire serving, the calories somehow don't count, duh}.

Before leaving, I carefully covered the brownies with tin foil so they wouldn't get stale and set them on the corner of my desk.

Then this morning when I got to work...GONE!  Not just the contents, but the entire glass dish! And I felt terrible because now co-worker lost a nice piece of kitchen-ware because of my unrelenting sweet tooth.

Not even 5 minutes later, another co-worker strolls in with an EMPTY brownie dish. He had taken them home to his wife and kids. What? Who gave him permission to do that?

No longer felt bad about "losing" the dish.

All morning people around me kept saying "Gosh, I'm really craving a brownie..."

And the greedy brownie co-worker whined, "Now my wife thinks I should be making brownies since those were so delicious, can I get the recipe?"

He's getting no sympathy from this girl!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

magazine miracle.

I realize not everyone is as crazy psycho OCD organized as me. 

 Read: Color coded closet with identical shirt hangers.
However, I think this cheap little trick could be handy for anyone.

I always have an issue with keeping the shoes in my closet organized. Particularly boots because they are tall and floppy all over the floor.
So may I suggest zipping up your boots, rolling up an old magazine, and inserting in each shoe.
And just like that my boots are standing straight as soldiers. Problem solved {and for zero dollars, no less}!

Taa daaaa! Now get on wit yo bad self - go do some good old fashioned organizing! You know you want to...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

snow bunny.

What a lazy winter Sunday! All I wanted to do today was snuggle up, relax, and read. Which just so happens to be exactly what I did.

I did make it to the grocery and decided to make Santa Fe Stew for dinner with fresh baked cornbread muffins. It's so funny to me that I was so lazy all day, but when it comes to carrying in groceries I somehow muster up the energy to carry ALL grocery bags at once. Do you all do this? Struggle with a million bags so that you only have to make one trip into the house? Well, I do. And as you'll see by the recipe I'm kindly sharing below, today's grocery trip included LOTS of canned goods. Quite heavy, but I work out. ;)

I think this is a delicious winter meal. Beware that it makes a ton of soup, but it freezes well. I make it when it starts to get cold, then freeze portion size amounts that are easy to warm up throughout the snowy cold winter months. It's pretty yummy!

Santa Fe Stew
1lb lean ground meat (turkey or beef)
1 chopped onion
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 can black beans
1 can red beands
1 can Great Northern Beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can diced mild green chilies
1 can sliced potatoes
1 can corn
1 can green beans
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 pkg taco seasoning

Brown the meat with onion and garlic. Drain. Combine all ingredients, UNDRAINED, in large pot and cook low until warm throughout (about 30mins).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

flaws and all.

I have a confession. 

I came to this revelation tonight, but I have a serious issue with commitment.

The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one, right?

Whether it be deciding on an apartment to rent, what color sweater to buy, or simply what I would like to do on New Year's Eve {the  most recent conundrum), it causes me anxiety. And then I get annoyed.

Perhaps the deeper issue is the fact that I am continuously wondering what my other options are. I don't fear that I am making the wrong decision, just that there may be a better one. And the longer it takes me to commit, the longer I have to conduct an internal debate about other possible solutions.

I need to work on being content and grateful. For example, no matter what color sweater I buy, I'm still getting a new piece of clothing... and everything goes with jeans so any color would work.

No matter what the New Year's plans are, I'll be with friends {and some drinks} which guarantees a good time. Who cares what the other two folks who can't make it are doing, right? I should just focus on what I'm doing and have fun doing it.

Perhaps this character flaw also has something to do with why I am perpetually single??

Bottom-line: Lower standards a smidge and be happy with the opportunities that are given to you.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the little things.

Recently, I was missing the spontaneity and randomness of college. Just as I was craving little daily surprises, I was pleasantly amused by...

1. FINALLY getting professional wedding photos from my cousin's beautiful wedding...

all images from Kelly Rashka Photography

2. Coming home to a generous "holiday" gift from work {and conveniently instantly having delicious chocolates to indulge on for dessert}. 
image here

3. Very unexpected compliments from co-workers. ;)

Despite staying at work until 8:30 tonight I'm feeling pretty happy thanks to the little things in life.

Are you taking time to be thankful for small blessings?

Monday, November 22, 2010


I am currently swooning over...

My new Birthday Boots

Chunky Sweaters & Skinny Jeans
The Camera on my Phone that I just discovered and the resulting Picture Mail capability {sorry if I'm annoying you mom and dad :P } & obviously still Starbucks...

Shellac {new nail polish that does NOT come off!}

Sunday, November 21, 2010

weekend visitors

I love these girls and would not be the same without them! Whether for a good laugh, trustworthy advice, a confidence booster or a fun time, these friends have helped make me who I am! I love you all! :)


I had a fun weekend, come visit again soon!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME :)

Although this season is all about the Turkey, I will admit that my birthday turns me into quite the Ham.

I had the most wonderful birthday weekend. It started with an amazing cranberry mojito, delicious appetizers, and good friends at Palomino's...

...followed by a night of dancing {get it, Kristen}!

My Saturday started with Starbucks {thanks to new giftcards!! :) }, followed by lovely surprise gifts from my mom, lots of shopping, and a yummy meal at Cheesecake Factory. I really enjoyed our mother/daughter day of shopping. Even though mom hates to shop, she was a really good sport on Saturday! And of course we had to get a piece of cheesecake...

I am so very thankful for the way my parents spoil me every year! Perhaps they are the reason I act like such a diva during the month of November! ;)
I am equally thankful for my loving friends. I know I have true friends because they not only put up with me, they support my "all about me" attitude during my birthweek.

All in all, I'm a lucky girl! Thank you so much for all the birthday lovin'!

Monday, November 8, 2010

surprise, surprise.

So, I was telling myself I would try not to be obnoxious about my birthday this year. 24 is not that exciting after all...BUT JUST 3 MORE DAYS! I am most excited about spending Saturday at lunch and shopping with my mom. For those who know my mom, this is not a gift. It is a birthday miracle.

Some things I've got my eye on include:

These boots {if they don't make me look like a duck in person}.

This sweater dress to wear with said boots.

Hopefully some blouses for layering.

And let's be honest...perhaps a cardigan.

Or two.
Who knows what we'll actually find...but I love having something to look forward to!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

life lately.

Time has been flying by and life carrying on as usual. I've been staying very busy, but I don't want to bore you with the details. Instead, a couple pictures to show you my life as of lately.

Enjoying fall in the bluegrass, cheering on those CATS!

Celebrating the wedding of a beautiful couple {picture sans bride, unfortunately}...

Monday, October 11, 2010

mmmm mexican.

In general, I do not enjoy Mexican food. Not even a little.

However, the below recipe has become a stable at our place. And I actually develop cravings for it. Try it, you'll see what I'm talking about...

Chicken Burritos

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
2 cans chicken (I use frozen chicken cooked on the George Foreman)
1 pkg frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 can fried onions (I skip the calories here...)
1 tomato, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream (I use nonfat, and it turns out fine)
1/2 cup scallions
6-8 tortillas

Combine soup, sour cream and milk and set aside.
Combine chicken, broccoli, half of the cheese, half can of fried onions and scallions.
Stir in 3/4 cup of soup mixture, and spoon into tortillas, roll up, place in baking pan.
Put tomatoes into remaining sauce and pour on top of filled burritos.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Top with remaining cheese and onions and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.
Try to avoid eating more than one! :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

so college.

Sometimes it's fun
to forget about life's stresses...
with friends you'll always remember.
We still know how to have fun...
even though were no longer in college.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

faaabulous me.

I was talking to a "friend" at the gym today {don't be impressed, it's my first time back in the gym after a 3 week "hiatus"} about negotiating a new monthly rate.

Amidst our usual witty banter {read: my charming personality, "friend" graciously putting up with me}, he asked why I deserved a cheaper rate.

Without skipping a beat, I responded, "Because I'm a loyal member...and I'm faaabulous."

To which he replied, "Who says?"

"Well, no one lately," I answered, "but that's what I tell myself."

And then I realized, after having this silly, meaningless conversation, that I should be telling myself things like this more often. There's nothing wrong with me dropping myself the occasional compliment. Toot toot.

Are you a member of your own fan club?

As many women are, I am usually my toughest critic. Take a minute {heck, even an hour...or a day! gasp} to see yourself how others see you.

I certainly have my faults, but today I'm recognizing the good because there really is good in everyone.

"If you put a small value upon yourself, rest assured the world will not raise your price." ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

United Bureau of Surveys

Ok, I know I've mentioned it before, but I am in love.

With B-105 in the mornings. 

They are doing prank calls to telemarketers all week and they are killing me. I die with laughter each morning on the way to work as Chris Carr & Co conducts their "Simple Surveys."

Please listen and find out what I'm talking about... :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a subtle reminder.

Feeling terribly sick makes me appreciate my good health even more.

Feeling lonely makes me more thankful for my loving network of friends.

Feeling homesick makes me grateful for a comforting home I can return to.

Feeling lazy and lethargic makes me feel proud of all that I can accomplish when I feel well.

It is easy to take for granted all the blessings in your life, until they are missing. I spent the weekend ill on the couch, hibernating for days. Being sick is a great excuse for taking time to rest and ignore the stresses of the outside world.

Instead of dwelling on the "downs" of this weekend, I am choosing to view them as a reminder of how fortunate I am to know the difference...for some may not even know what it is like to miss the better option.

Monday, September 20, 2010

angie's getting maaaaaried!

What a fabulous weekend!

We arrived in Scottsdale on Thursday and enjoyed a nice, long stay in a beautiful resort out in the desert completely surrounded by family and ready to celebrate the wedding of my cousin, Angela. 

Thursday was spent pampering {aka a 4 hour trip to the nail salon ~ just for me and Ang!} and then rushing to get ready for the rehearsal and dinner. This was the first time I saw the wedding location, and it was stunning.

Proud mother of the bride, Aunt Cathy, with little Austin & Chandler

We then went to celebrate and eat pizza at a local restaurant. I completely chowed down on one of the most delicious desserts I've ever had - a calzone filled with nutella and topped with ice cream - yummm!

Aunt Cathy, Austin & Cousins (Gina and Christy) with me and Tony
After the rehearsal dinner, I was convinced to go get a spray tan {yes, they re-opened the salon at 10pm for our bridal party}. Just because I was too vain to be the "pasty" bridesmaid, I stripped down and let a woman spray me ~ as I stood there totally naked. So awkward. I cannot believe I actually did that. Despite me totally freaking out, I'm the only one who didn't have trouble with my tan ~ all the other girls suffered from streaking/orange hands/and on an on....I won't say "I told them so..." :)

The boys had a really stressful time the next day...

...while the girls were running around like mad trying to finalize last minute details and deal with stress. 

They say every bride has two major mishaps - I'd say Angie's would have to be the fact that half of her flowers didn't make it past customs {what does that even mean?! They are flowers?! I don't know...} and that Andrew tried to make all the name cards for the reception while "under the influence" and completely destroyed all of them. Luckily, Costco pulled through with rose petals for the flower girls, and I was able to utilize my craftiness to fix the labels. Phew!

And then Saturday ~ the BIG DAY ~ came so soon!

Angie gave us all matching towel wraps to wear as we got our hair and makeup done. I was completely obsessed with my makeup. And my hair. 

And Angie looked absolutely stunning. There are no other words. She was just GORGEOUS!  And so was the entire wedding. 

The ceremony was followed by a cocktail hour and reception. The dessert table {prepared by my cousin (Angie's sister) Christy, who is starting her own business} and the photo booth were a total hit! My mom was absolutely obsessed with the photo booth ~ as in, she missed the cake cutting because she was in there taking pictures. We also have proof of her in there with strangers...and my favorite quote of the evening...

"I love this thing! It's like a video game that you NEVER LOSE!" 

 Dad getting the little guys ready for a photo booth session...too funny!

I think this is proof that we all had a blast! 

I wish my cousin and her new husband an amazing honeymoon in Italy and an even more joyous life together. It is so obvious that Andrew simply adores my cousin. He is so great with my little second cousins, and my uncle is included as one of his very best friends ~ invited on many a weekend guy trips. In short, Andrew is a wonderful addition to our family and we love him dearly!

Congrats Angie & Andrew!