Saturday, August 31, 2013

Books... Mer!

Funny Cry for Help Ecard: That moment when you think you have 10 pages left in your book and it turns out to be a preview for another book. 
This is exactly how I feel right now... if you add highly aggravated to the mix.

You see, I was reading The Fall of Five, which is the fourth in a series of I-don't-know-how-many.  And I was reading it quickly because it was making me really mad.  It was a good book, don't get me wrong.  But, you see, I saw it coming.  And none of the characters saw it coming, but they should have.  It was so stinkin obvious.  Why didn't they see it?!  Mer.

And then the book ended at only 88% on my Kindle.  I thought I had 12% left for things to resolve a bit and get even just a teensy bit better before the end.  But NOPE.  POW!  The End!


So, yeah.  That's how I'm feeling at the moment, and I thought I'd share.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sometimes you just have nothing to say...

So... I haven't blogged in a few days...  Partly because I've been busy, and partly because I've been lazy, and partly because I just don't have much to say.  But, here are a few updates anyway.

  • I bought a box of Chex cereal last week.  And in seven days, I made FOUR different kinds of puppy chow.  All of them were delicious.  All of them came from Pinterest.  And NONE of them were the Oreo version I've wanted most to try.  And that's because Oreos are so darn expensive, and I'm really trying to be good with my grocery fund and not spend it on things I don't need.
  • Last week I made homemade "oreos" (via Pinterest), and they were not Oreos.  I didn't use the kind of cocoa powder that the recipe called for, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.  But for a recipe that claims to be better than real Oreos, I was sorely, sorely disappointed.
  • I ended up crushing the cookies (with much difficulty) to make a crust for a Reese's Peanut Butter Frozen Pie.  Which was delicious, by the way, (also via Pinterest) and something I also did not take any pictures of so, therefore, I cannot blog it.
  • This week I was busy with sewing color guard flags.  And seriously, that took hours upon hours upon hours.  So much time at the sewing machine that my body screamed when I would get up and stretch.
  • We haven't seen any movies in theaters lately.  The beginning of fall is usually a bust time for movies to come out.  Unfortunately, it doesn't usually pick up until November.  Unless you like scary Halloween-themed movies... which I don't.
  • Today I spent the whole morning at the grocery stores doing some shopping, and now all I want to do is eat donuts and ice cream and chocolate bars and cake.  But alas, I was a very good girl today and bought none of those things at the store.  Boo.
That is all.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The End of a Weird Week

So, it's Friday.  And technically, since I'm not working right now, that shouldn't make much of a difference, but today it does.  Thomas has been in Tampa all week for work, and he comes home tonight.  And man-oh-man I cannot wait!  He was gone all last week too, which is a lot of time apart for us.  We're basically inseparable, so even a few days apart feels like a lifetime.
Though I didn't blog the last two days, I was still diligent in trying out single serving recipes, so I still have a few I'd like to share.  This particular one doesn't look like anything special.  Mainly because when I got it out of the microwave, it and the mug were hotter-than-all-get-out, so I had to scoop it out into a ramekin so it would cool off enough to eat.

And though this isn't a traditional peanut butter cookie (one of my faves), it definitely satisfied my craving for one!
Peanut Butter Mug Cake
Adapted from: My Happy Place
(Her original recipe makes either two cakes or one twice this size, so I just cut everything in half.  Plus, I needed the other half of an egg for another recipe.)

2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 egg (lightly scramble it in a bowl and then pour half in with your other ingredients)
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 tablespoons oil

  1. Mix everything together in a mug.
  2. Microwave for about 60 seconds.  (If your microwave is very powerful, you might want to start with less time.)
  3. If it is not done, microwave at 20 second intervals until done.  Don't microwave it for too long though, or it will become rubbery.
  4. Watch out!  It will be boiling-lava-hot!  So be careful when eating!

Well, I'm off to work on sewing flags for color guard and continue my Netflix marathon.  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Let's Pretend Like It's Winter

Yeah... so.... most of you probably can't believe those words just came out of my mouth, or rather my keyboard.  I really don't love winter.  Every time someone starts up a conversation about winter, it always includes something to the effect of "Oh, but the snow is so pretty!"  Yes, I agree, the snow is pretty.  But for every pretty day of snow, you have at least five days of cold, windy, grey sky, dreary days.  Basically, I just hate being that cold.

But anyway, it's the middle of August, and it's about as hot as it ever gets during the year, and yet I had a small winter moment this morning.  I was jonesing for a hot, delicious drink, so I decided to try out a recipe that I found on Pinterest for "Hot Vanilla Milk".  Because, I love hot chocolate, so why wouldn't I like hot vanilla milk?!  And I was just intensely curious as to what it would taste like.

It was so yummy!  Warm, sweet, smooth.  Just overall yum!  I didn't really change anything from the original recipe that I found, except that I wanted just one cup of it rather than the four that the recipe made, so I just scaled it down.

Hot Vanilla Milk
From Laugh With Us Blog
Makes 1 cup

1 cup milk
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Mix all ingredients in a mug.
  2. Microwave for 60-90 seconds.  Stir well to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Top with marshmallows if desired.
 Oh!  It was soooooo good!  Next time I'm going to try it with a sugar substitute for less calories.

In all seriousness, I'm really glad it's not winter, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy my few favorite parts of winter!

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's Definitely the Little Things {Lundi Little Lovelies}

Today is a wonderful day so far!  And it's because of small blessings that sometimes would be easy to miss if we weren't looking!  I've found that the key to finding contentment is in appreciating and thanking God for the little things he blesses us with!

So here are some little lovelies from today:
  • I got to meet the hubby for lunch at Panera this afternoon!  And this is like so many little lovelies wrapped up together with a nice, pretty bow!  I love getting to meet up in the middle of the week (and usually a workday) for lunch.  I don't know what it is, but it just makes the whole day better!  It was such a blessing that Thomas had the time to take a break; I didn't have anywhere I had to be; we have the money to get to eat out when we want; Thomas chose Panera!  So many little things that make me happy!
  • Piggy-backing on that, when I got to lunch, Thomas informed me that he also got to work from home the rest of the day!  Yay!  So he's sitting next to me now, and even though he's working, we still get to be together.
  • I made some yummy crepes for breakfast this morning!  The recipe for one serving of crepes is shown below!  I'm still going to be cooking for one a lot this week, so I think I'll be continuing the single serving recipes.
  • Church volleyball starts tonight.  This one is only half of a little lovely, because only half of me is excited about it.  The other half would rather chicken out and stay home.  The last time I played volleyball was in high school.  Eek!  But it was so fun.  Volleyball makes me reminisce a lot.  Thomas and I started dating the summer before our senior year, and I started hanging out with his friends... A LOT.  And man, I just love those guys.  Thomas had the best friends, and hanging out with them was ALWAYS a good time.  But anyway, back to how this relates to volleyball; one year at youth camp, we had this huge volleyball tournament, and I was on a team with Thomas and his friends.  We played like 8 games in a row without a break and were on fire!  It was awesome.  We didn't win the tournament because we lost the very last game we played (I blame it on the fact that we played a zillion games in a row, and the winning team only played twice total.)  But, it just reminds me of all the good memories I have from hanging out with his friends.
Anyway, now I'm off in lala land.  Let me bring it back and give you this yummy crepes recipe.
Customizable Crepes for One
Minimally Adapted from Like Mother, Like Daughter
Serving Size: Makes 4 crepes about 6-7" in diameter

1/3 cup flour
1/6 cup milk
1/6 cup water
1 egg
2/3 tablespoon melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well-combined.  (I used my hand mixer.)
  2. Heat a small skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  ( I used my 8" skillet.)
  3. Pour batter into the hot skillet by the scant 1/4 cup.
  4. Swirl batter around a little to thin it out.  Cook about 1 minute.
  5. Flip the crepe over and cook the other side for 30 seconds.
  6. Place on a plate covered by a paper towel to keep warm until all four crepes are ready to serve.
  7. Fill with your desired toppings and enjoy!
 I filled my crepes with half of a fresh peach chopped up and mixed with some brown sugar and cinnamon.  (I heated the mixture up in the microwave to make it all warm and gooey first.)  Then I topped them with powdered sugar and honey!  But, you can fill and top crepes with pretty much anything you want: nutella, peanut butter, fruit, whipped cream, the list goes on and on!

Here's to the little lovelies that bring me closer to contentment!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Scones for One (Kind Of)

So, this one isn't exactly a single serving recipe either.  I scaled the original recipe down to make three small scones.  So, technically, you'll have to eat these for breakfast for a few days... oh darn!
Honestly, I was amazed at how delicious these scones were.  They were so light and flaky.  Wow!  I could have eaten all three in one sitting, but I managed, with some difficulty, to make them last two days.  They were amazing, and the glaze on top was the perfect finish.  I will definitely be making these again... soon!
Cinnamon Sugar Scones
Adapted from: Money Saving Mom
Scaled down to make 3 small scones (see original website for full yield version)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 teaspoon yogurt (I used fat free vanilla, but plain would work too.)
scant 1 tablespoon honey
scant 1/8 cup milk (if in doubt, start with too little; you can always add more if it's not enough)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or a fork until crumbly.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and then add them to the dry ingredients.  Use your hands to mix the dough until it forms a ball.
  5. Divide the dough into three sections and pat out until they are about 1/2 inch thick, and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  6. Brush the tops with a very thin layer of milk.  Combine 1/2 tablespoon sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over scones.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  8. While the scones are baking, stir together the following ingredients to make the glaze: 1/4 cup powdered sugar, scant 1 teaspoon milk, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla. 
  9. While the scones are still warm, drizzle the glaze over the top.  (When I make these again, I probably won't use the entire batch of glaze just so it isn't overpowering.)
  10. Eat while warm!  Refrigerate any leftovers, and reheat in the microwave before eating.
Once again, I cannot express how incredibly delicious these were.  Wow!  I can't wait to make them again!

Also, here is my tart from Thursday that I didn't get a chance to post:  Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Tart!

The photo isn't great.  But this time, I finely chopped some of my sugared strawberries and stirred them into the cheesecake pudding.  Then I drizzled some melted chocolate chips on top!  It was sooooo good!  Also, I can't wait to make a s'mores version with chocolate pudding and toasted marshmellows on top!

Have a yummy weekend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Strawberry Cheeesecake Tart {Wednesday Wins}

Ok!  I've got a lot of wins today, so let's jump right to them!
I french braided my hair again today, and it was good enough that it held through my morning run!  Woo!

Today was the first day of school for the county.  And I was sitting in bed reading when the bells rang for high school classes to start.

To celebrate my not-first-day-of-school, I decided to pay a visit to my very best friend.  
Of course, it's the beach!  And it was lovely.  The waves were super tiny, and it was so quiet and peaceful.

Also, this is one of my favorite views on the planet.  When you walk up over the dunes and you catch just a glimpse of the ocean.  Love it.

I made some super yummy ham and cheese muffins for lunch, but that recipe is for another day.

Here's what you want to see today:
 Yep, I'm super proud of this single serving baby!  Actually, that's just a tiny bit of a lie though.  It made two servings.  Oh darn... I guess I'll have to eat another one tomorrow.  Boo hoo!
 This recipe is a little more involved than the "mug" recipes.  It does require an oven.  *Gasp*  And there are several steps.  But, let me tell you, it was worth it all the way!
Strawberry Cheesecake Tarts for Two
Crust adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
Makes: 2 tarts

Ingredients for Tart Crust:
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Handful of finely chopped almonds (optional)
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon very cold water

Directions for Tart Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and almonds in a medium bowl.
  3. Cut in cold butter using a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the cold water and 1/2 egg yolk.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead with your hands until the dough can form a ball.
  6. If the dough isn't too sticky, you can go ahead and roll it out, but if it is sticky, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for up to an hour.
  7. Divide the dough into two balls and roll each one into a circle that is about 5 inches in diameter.  Try to use as little flour as possible.  (I rolled mine in between two sheets of wax paper with just a tiny bit of flour on it.)
  8. Transfer each circle into a 4 inch tartlet pan (I don't have any tart pans, so I used ramekins and they worked out just fine).  Press into the pans and cut off the excess dough.  Prick the bottoms and sides several times with a fork.
  9. Cover tarts tightly with two layers of aluminum foil.  (I'm not sure why it's two layers, but that's what the cookbook said to do, so I obeyed.)
  10. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes.
  11. Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 5-6 minutes until crusts start to turn golden brown.
  12. Cool before gently removing from pans.
Assembling the Tarts:
While the crusts are cooling, you can prepare the filling.  Here's where you can be creative and come up with your own versions of the tart.  Below is what I did to make the tart you see in the photos, but your options are as endless as your imagination.

1 box Jell-O Cheesecake Pudding (I used fat free, sugar free.)
1 1/2 cups cold milk
A handful of fresh strawberries
  1. Whisk together the pudding mix and the milk, then place in the fridge.  I used 1 1/2 cups milk instead of the recommended 2 cups because I wanted a nice, thick, rich filling.  *Also, you won't use all the pudding for just the two tarts, so I guess you'll just have to eat it!
  2. Once the crusts are cool, and the pudding is set, you can assemble the tart by filling it with your desired amount of pudding and garnishing with berries.  *Note: the tarts are best eaten on the day they are assembled, otherwise, the crust gets soggy with the pudding filling.
Enjoy your delicious treat!  Mine was amazing!  I'm already trying to figure out how to change it up  for tomorrow!  I'm definitely thinking chocolate!  Yum yum!

And one last win, tonight I get to have dinner with one of my best friends!  Yay for real human interaction!  Lol!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

More Goods than Bads

So, today has been up and down so far.  But, I'm going to go ahead and choose optimism, so we'll say that the goods out weigh the bads.

The Bads:
  • Thomas is out-running me this week.  (I'm proud of him for taking the initiative, but it's also annoying that I run pretty regularly and he doesn't, but he's run farther than me in the past two days.)  But, I'm not changing my plan for this week; I set a goal, and I'm going to stick to it.
  • The single serving cheesecake I tried today turned out horribly.  *Super sad face*  It could have been a personal error rather than a problem with the recipe, but I was sorely disappointed.
  • My face-to-face human interaction today has consisted of two "good morning"s and one "excuse me" at the park today during my work out.  
The Goods:
  • I have run two days in a row so far this week and am a little ahead of my mileage goal for the week.
  • I made a mug cake that turned out pretty good (recipe below).
  • I got to talk to my mom on the phone.  I always enjoy that.
  • I am highly enjoying my Netflix marathon.
  • I have a crazy good idea for tomorrow's recipe.
  • And last but not least, an item that I'm childishly excited about... today, I french-braided my hair for the very first time!!  Woop woop!  I have never been able to french braid, and I've really been wanting to "learn" how.  And by learn, I just mean that I magically want to be able to do it.  I was so darn excited that I even took a picture to show you!  Obviously, it's not great, and the end is crooked because I had to pull it over my shoulder to finish, but I did it!  Yay me!  (Yes, I know that it's ridiculous how excited I am about this... but maybe it gives you better insight as to how my day has been.)
 So, here's today's single serving recipe.

Chocolate Cake for One
Adapted from: Chocolate Covered Katie 

  • 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or zero calorie sugar substitute
  • 2 teaspoons applesauce (or oil)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Mix the dry ingredients very well in a small bowl.
  2. Add the liquid ingredients and stir well.
  3. Pour batter into a ramekin or mug.  (If you're planning on turning the cake out before eating it, lightly grease your baking dish first.)
  4. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds.  (Mine was not done after the recommended 30 seconds, so I continued at 10 second increments until the middle started to look set.  But don't microwave too long or it will become tough.)
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes or so before turning out onto a plate or eating.
Also, the icing was delicious on the cake too!  You could use your favorite store bought icing or a homemade version.  I iced my cake while it was still a little warm so that the icing softened and ran down the sides.  Yummy yummy!  Beware though, with the icing, this cake was extremely rich.  I had to grab a glass of milk to drink with it!

I'm super excited about tomorrow's recipe too!  But this one requires some extra prep, so I think I'm going to go start on it right now!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Theme {Lundi Little Lovelies}

*Ok, so I'll just add photos tomorrow.  They're being stupid, and I'm tired of waiting for them to be ready to upload.  Check back tomorrow for an update with photos.

So, this week, I'm going to be cooking for one a lot, and I'm going to have a little more free time than usual.  And yesterday, while I was doing dishes, I came up with a great idea!  (Most of) this week's posts are going to be revolving around a theme.  And the theme is...

Table for One
{Easy, Single Serving Recipes}

Ok, so I know it's not super fancy or anything.  But really, this is an excuse to try out all of those "mug" recipes I've had pinned for ages.  Some posts may just have ideas for one-person meals, but most will center around recipes like: brownie for one, cookie for one, cake for one... you get the picture.

So... here is the first of this week's recipes:  

Coffee Cake in a Mug
Adapted from: My Happy Place
Some quick notes about this recipe:  First off, next time I make it, I will do so in a ramekin instead of a mug because the streusel topping was stuck at the top, and my mug was so tall.  (This time I made it in a mug, and then ended up turning it out into a ramekin to eat.)  Also, it's not as amazingly delicious as the traditional coffee cake that my family makes, but it is really good for a microwave version.

Ingredients for Coffee Cake:
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Splash of milk
  • Scant 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Ingredients for Streusel Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg
  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl or in your mug/ramekin.
  2. Add the sugars, egg, sour cream, and milk; stir.
  3. Add  flour and baking powder, mix until combined.
  4. Place in your mug/ramekin (if not already).
  5. Stir the ingredients for the streusel together until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Top the coffee cake with streusel.
  6. Microwave for 1 minute.  Continue microwaving at 10 second intervals until the desired consistency is reached.  (My microwave took a total of 1 minute 30 seconds.)
It's really, really hot; so you should probably let this one cool a bit before you eat it.

I hope you enjoy the first single serving recipe of the week!  More to come!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Bunch of Random Strung Together

This weekend has been a little busy thus far.  And yes, I know what you're thinking... You don't have kids; you don't have a job; how can your life be busy?!  You probably sit around all day and eat bon-bons.  And well... you're actually pretty close!  Being a stay-at-home housewife with no kids right now does offer me quite a bit of time to do things I want to do, but that doesn't necessarily mean I sit on my couch all day watching t.v.

Actually, I watched most of my t.v. from the kitchen this weekend.  (lol)  For real though, the weekends are busier because Thomas is home from work and the rest of the world generally uses the weekends for hang out time too.  The weekdays offer a lot more free time.

But let's start out with Friday afternoon.  Thomas decided to work late, and that worked out really well for me because of this... some of my afternoon was spent on the couch because I was pinned there by an adorable sleeping kitty!  (And can anyone guess what show the credits on the t.v. belong to?  Here are 2 tiny hints: I was watching this show on Netflix because it is on break right now; and this episode is from season 5.  I'll tell you at the end of the post in case you are incredibly awesome and guess it!)
 Another reason I was happy that he came home late is because this is what my kitchen/dining room looked like at 5:00 pm.
Yeah, so due to some unforeseen delays (i.e. Netflix being mean so that I had to mess with it and not warp the loom as quickly, and realizing halfway through warping it that I wanted to use a yarn that still needed to be wound into a ball), my new weaving project was not out of the kitchen until about 5:30, which is usually about the time that I'm setting the table for dinner.  However, since the hubs was coming home late, fortunately, my project didn't interfere with getting dinner on the table!

But anyway, here's a quick snapshot of the warp for the new project!  I'm really excited about this one.  I'll post another sneak peek when I get the weaving started.

Saturday, in the morning, we went to see "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters".  And it was pretty good.  Just keep in mind that if you have read the books, the movie is nothing like them.  Basically they went with the same characters and a similar main plot, but everything else if different.  That being said, it was entertaining as a movie.  I just always find it a little disappointing when filmmakers change so much about a book just to "make their mark" on it.

Then, Saturday afternoon, I attended my very first baby shower as an adult.  *Gasp*  I know, right?!  I've "never" been to a baby shower before.  (Never is in quotes because I'm sure I've probably been to one as a child, but I just don't remember.)  And it was surprisingly not terrifying or horrifying or anything (lol).  It was a really fun time hanging out with the girlfriends! 

And of course, today, Sunday, we have church in the morning and Life group at night.  The only thing I don't love about Sundays is that I see all my friends a lot on Sunday and then very little throughout the week.  I just wish I could space out my human interaction a little more!  Lol.  

Next up:  I did the count today, since the summer blockbuster movies are pretty much petering out and school starts this week.  (Backstory: every summer, I make a list of all the summer movies I/we want to see so that I can keep track of all of our movie activity.  Even though, really I do this all year long because I keep every movie ticket ever.  But summer's always a great time for movies.)  So, this summer, Thomas and I saw 10 movies in the theaters.  (Now you can tell how we spend all of our free time and money!)  So here are the ten (organized by release date), with a very quick review of each!  (Note: please do not go see a movie just because I said it was good.  I like almost everything.  Also, these reviews also mention nothing about MPAA ratings, so please research that before taking my advice.)
  1. Iron Man 3 - awesome; definitely on the same caliber as the first two
  2. Star Trek Into Darkness - awesome; loved it; comedy, action, suspense
  3. Fast and Furious 6 - amazing; I love these movies so much.  Not great acting, predictable and outlandish but so so amazing
  4. Now You See Me - very entertaining; kept me guessing the whole time; really liked the cast
  5. Man of Steel - amazing; best Superman movie ever; best Superman ever; props to a super buff Henry Cavill
  6. World War Z - very interesting and original; Brad Pitt is great; another new zombie movie with a different twist
  7. White House Down - intense with some humor thrown in; a good two hours
  8. The Wolverine - dark and different; a step away from the more "traditional" X-Men movies; really interesting
  9. 2 Guns - loved it; Marky Mark and Denzel are great together
  10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - entertaining; very, very different than the book
So there are the summer movies from my line-up.  And as you'll see, there isn't a bad review in there.  So remember that just because I loved it doesn't mean it's a movie worth your time and money.  I have very broad, unrefined taste in movies, and I love it that way!

So, that brings you up to date in my oh-so-fabulous life!  I'm a little excited about this week because I just had an idea while I was doing the dishes... this week is going to have a theme here on the blog, and you'll find out what it is tomorrow!

*** The credits on the t.v. belong to season 5 of Doctor Who.  Best television show in the history of mankind.  (Just sayin)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This One's For You Mom and Dad

Ok, sorry, but this post is going to be sentimental.  So, if that's not your thing, feel free to just stop reading.  It won't hurt my feelings; in fact, I won't even know!

 I just want to publicly declare that I have the best parents in the world.  (I know, I know, you think yours are better than mine.  That's ok; but just know that you're wrong.)  Since growing up, getting married, and moving to Florida, I have come to love and respect my parents even more than I did when I was younger.  Part of this is because, when you're a teenager, you love your parents, but you mostly respect them out of duty.  Another part of this growth is getting to speak to my parents as adults.  Of course, I'll always be their little girl, but I've really enjoyed the friendship and companionship I have felt with them in the past few years.

Being 1100 miles away certainly has something to do with these feelings.  I miss my parents a lot.  Somedays it's almost unbearable that I can't just meet my mom for lunch, or go over to their house for dinner and board games, or just talk to them face to face.  But, it's not just that.  The past two years in Florida have been so wonderful and so difficult for many reasons.  And every step of the way, my parents have been there, on the phone with me, sending emails, listening to me cry, encouraging me, praying for me, loving me.  And I could not ask for better, more patient, more Godly, more wonderful parents.

Mom and Dad, I miss you so much.  I know that I am always in your prayers, and that means so much to me.  Thank you for everything that you've done for me over the years.  But mostly, thank you for guiding me into a life that, above all, seeks to follow the Lord.  I am always working on becoming the Godly woman you've taught me to be.  And I couldn't do it without your love, support, and guidance.  I love you both.

Ok, so I feel the need to end on something funny to get the lump out of my throat.  So for everyone else out there, here's the short version of how I convinced my dad to let me get a dog when I was a little girl.  (Side note: I don't actually remember this happening, but I've heard the story told so many times that I have fake memories of it.)

So, I really wanted a dog.  Really bad.  And there wasn't really a reason why we didn't have one except that Dad did not want one.  So one day, I went to find Dad to ask him if we could get a dog.  He was in the bathroom (but as a toddler, that obviously didn't matter to me).  So, I stood out in the hallway, and asked (I'm sure in the best adorable voice I had) "Daddy, can we get a dog?"

"No honey, we can't get a dog," came the reluctant reply from the other side of the door.

But apparently, I had a back up plan.  "Then, can we get a baby?"

"Ok honey, we'll get a dog."  (Haha!  Cute toddler logic wins!)

So, soon after that, we got Bridgette, who was a wonderful family dog for many years!

The end.  Now I feel like I need to go bake something!  Lol.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip

You probably wouldn't be surprised if I told you that I had to make myself write this post.  The reason?  It's not about dessert.  Lol.  It's true though.  I most enjoy baking and blogging about breakfast and dessert.  We've tried some new dinner recipes recently, and some of them have been genuinely, really good.  But, I just don't feel the need to blog about them like I do about desserts and breakfasts.

But, this Buffalo Chicken Dip deserves a blog post.  It's really good and so incredibly simple.  Not to mention that it's also easy to personalize and to adjust for a couple or a crowd!  Even though it's called "dip", we've eaten it on wraps, sandwiches, and as a dip.  I really, really love a chicken wrap from Buffalo Wild Wings, so every once in a while, we buy a bottle of their sauce so that we can make chicken wraps at home.  So I wanted to branch out and try a new recipe with it.

So, here's a new dinner or party recipe for you that has nothing to do with dessert!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Adapted from several different recipes put together...
Note:  Basically all of the amounts are approximate.  You can add more or less of anything to adjust the flavor to your liking.  I just sample it a couple of times until I'm happy with the flavor.  I don't like spicy, so I usually throw in more ranch than called for.

  • 2 cups of cooked chicken (I use chicken breasts that I boil and shred)
  • 6-8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1/3 less fat for... less fat.  You could try it with fat free too.)
  • 1/2+ cup ranch (I used fat free, and we couldn't tell a difference from regular.)
  • +/- 3/4 cup sauce (Most people use Frank's, but I used BWW.)
  • 3/4 cup of your choice of shredded cheese (I used cheddar and then put mozzarella on my wrap.)
  1. Stir all ingredients together in an oven safe bowl.  Sample a few times to adjust the heat and flavor to your tastes.
  2. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in 350 degree oven.  Stir every 10 minutes until heated through, about 30 minutes.  You can just as easily microwave it; just make sure you stir it a few times during the process.  Or, throw it in a small crock-pot to keep it hot if you're going to a party.
Enjoy in any style you like!  P.S.   Sorry about the horrible pictures in this post.  It's insanely hard to try to take good pictures when your husband is already chowing down and all you want to do is eat your dinner!  Lol.


So, I'm planning on getting a recipe posted some time today, but Thomas showed this to me last night, and I can't resist reposting it.  This is quite literally the BEST IDEA EVER!!!!  (Note: I do not own this picture, nor do I know the original source.  If you do, please feel free to let me know so that I can give this genius the credit that is due!)
Um.  Yeah.  Life=solved!

Monday, August 5, 2013

God knew I needed a win today {Lundi Little Lovelies}

So... now band camp is over, I should get back to being better at this whole blogging thing!

Today, I'm having such a good day so far that it would be a big shame to not blog it!  Seriously, band camp went pretty well, but last week was just exhausting in so many different ways.  Today has gone a long way to make up for all that exhaustion!

Back story: I still have (had) some birthday money to spend, and I also had some coupons that were getting ready to expire.

So today I went shopping and out to lunch.  It was just a peaceful day of walking around, and what made it better was that I had a little bit of money to spend.  (I just hate shopping when I don't have any spending money.)  I started off the afternoon at Charming Charlie, and seriously, it is a HUGELY good thing that the closest one is about half an hour away.  I can barely contain myself in that store.  If God made heaven just to fit my tastes, there would be a Charming Charlie there!  Lol.  After scouring the clearance and adding a coupon, I came out with an a-dor-able fedora and a super cute, summer dress for $14!!!

Next stop was Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  And this is more of a funny story: I'm pretty sure all of the employees thought I was crazy.  Probably because I stumbled around the store about three times muttering to myself, picking things up and putting them back down.  See, I had a coupon but no idea what I wanted to spend it on.  So, I ended up with a 2-pack of whisks (until today, I did not own a whisk.  Crazy, right?  Anytime I needed a whisk, I just used a beater from my electric mixer.  Lol.) and this pack of sprinkles.

I know they say money can't buy happiness, but dude... LOOK at these sprinkles!  There are cookies and cream sprinkles in the middle there!  (Another thing they would have in my personal heaven.)

Then I hopped over to Panera to redeem my birthday pastry and sip on a smoothie for lunch!  Yummy!

My other productive stop was surprisingly Old Navy.  I don't usually shop there because I feel like a lot of the clothes just aren't my style.  But, I happened upon a pair of black shorts that happened to fit and were only $12!  I was super excited since I've been shopping for black shorts all summer.  *Side note: another reason Old Navy perplexes me is that I had to buy the shorts two sizes smaller than my normal size... which basically tells me that no one who is really skinny could ever shop there because they'd have to shop in the kids section... weird.

Last little lovely... even Pandora Radio was pretty nice to me today!  I'm not a huge fan of Pandora; yes, it is free, but you definitely get what you pay for: basically nothing.  But today, I created a Superchic[k] station, and Pandora actually did a pretty good job of playing similar songs and artists!  Yay!

One last thought for today:  Some Relient K came on, and this quote really struck me today.  From "Be My Escape" by Relient K:

"The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair."

Isn't that wonderful?!  Because if life was fair, we'd all be in trouble.  I am so glad that God chooses to show grace instead of giving me what I deserve!