Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A box came in the mail today...

I knew this box was coming today...I waited all day for it.  I couldn't wait to get home, and when I did, it was waiting for me on my doorstep. 

This is the box that was waiting on me.  That's right, I get King Cakes shipped to me.  My Granddad and Nanny love me. 

And this is not just any King Cake...this is a Meche's King Cake!  Meche's is a donut shop in Lafayette that puts Dunkin Donuts to shame.  No other donuts even hold a candle to Meche's.  The shop in Lafayette that I always go to when I am home always has at least 3 cashiers working at all times and there is usually a line behind all 3 cashiers.  On the weekends, they usually have 6 registers open and the line is out the door. 

Yep, Meche's is voted the BEST King Cake and BEST Donut in town!   Meche's includes a history of the king cake, just in case you have been living in a place that doesn't celebrate Mardi Gras, like the place I live now...

And if you are really good, your Nanny sends you Mardi Gras beads in the box!

After unwrapping cutting through 2 layers of packing tape, 2 boxes and 4 layers of saran wrap, I was ready to dive in!

What is that little tan thing on the left?  Why that is the baby!  Every King Cake has a baby.  When I was younger the bakery used to put the baby in the bottom of the cake for you.  The tradition is that who ever go the baby had to bring the next King Cake.  Apparently people are idiots and can't figure out how to chew their food before swallowing it.  People tried to sue bakeries and now they just include the baby on top of the cake and it's the responsibility of the person who brought the cake to place the baby in.  And the babies are quite a bit bigger now...maybe that represents how fat you get after you eat a king cake. 

Soo, I may have forgotten that I am eating healthy and working out more and had a little piece of King Cake...

I may or may not have eaten that whole piece...I'm just saying...

So, I have a huge King Cake that I'm offering out!  If you would like some, stop on by and I will give you a healthy piece.  This stuff freezes well, so you can cut it into smaller pieces and freeze what you don't.  Any takers? It's REALLLLLLLLLY GOOD!

Ok, I'm going to spend the rest of the evening working the King Cake off my butt!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You're welcome and I'm sorry

I found another blog that had a recipe I wanted to try.  I had all the ingredients, so no shopping trip was a major bonus in making this recipe. 
Without further adieu, I give you
Cinnamon Sugar "Donuts"
Biscuits in a can (any size, any kind)
Cinnamon - about 3 tbsps
Sugar- about 3 tbsps
Butter- 3 tbsps
vegetable oil

1.  In a large pan, pour oil to cover bottom of pan.  Turn heat on medium.
2.  While oil is heating, open you can of biscuits- if you are using Grands biscuits, you can cut out the centers to make them look like donuts.  I used the smaller biscuits, so I didn't cut holes. 
3.  Melt you butter in a wide, shallow dish.
4.  Mix your cinnamon sugar in another wide, shallow dish.  If you want to add more cinnamon or sugar, feel free!
5.  Place biscuits in the oil and "cook" on each side until golden brown (about 1 minute).  If your biscuits are burning, lower the heat and wait a few minutes before trying again.  If they burn...they are still good...I speak from experience!
6.  After cooking on both sides, remove biscuits from oil and let drain on a paper towel. 
7.  Dip each side of each biscuit in the melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar.

Like I said, you're welcome and I'm sorry...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Getting to Know You

Lauren M tagged me in a fun little "Getting to Know You" post, so I am passing it along!
Hope you enjoy!

First Things First, The Rules:
- First you must post 11 facts about yourself
- Then you must answer the questions the person who tagged you wrote for you.
- Come up with 10 new questions
- Tag people and let them know!
Eleven Fun Facts About Me:
  1. I am an only child and have never wanted siblings.  When I was 9, I even told my dad not to get remarried because I wanted to be the only woman in his life. 
  2. I was so upset when my parents told me I was going to Catholic school for high school, but it ended up being the best decision.  I loved my high school experience and I don't think my faith would be as strong as it is had I not gone to STM. 
  3. The best $40 I have ever spent was the day I bought CC. 
  4. I have lived by myself for the past 7 years and have loved it!
  5. I used to hate my middle name, but now I love it because it's different. 
  6. When people are late it annoys me.  It annoys me even more when they don't let me know they will be late or they don't have a good reason for being late. 
  7. I owned my own home two weeks before my 25th birthday. 
  8. I really like working.  I don't know if I could ever not work, at least part time. 
  9. Mary Poppins is my all time favorite movie and Wicked is my all time favorite musical. 
  10. If I could only travel to one place, I would go to Vatican City
  11. My dad made all of my furniture in my bedroom and my guest bed. 

  1. What is your favorite vacation spot? What fond memory do you have of the place? I love taking cruises!  My dad's family has taken two family cruises, so eating meals together is a great memory. 
  2. If you could go back in time and meet anyone, who would it be and why? I have always wanted to go back to the Elizabethean era, just for the clothing.  I would want to meet the original Queen Elizabeth. 
  3. If you could take a class to learn something new, what would it be? What would you do with your new skill? I'm dying to learn how to sew, but just haven't found the time to sit down and learn.  I want to learn to make things like curtains and pillows. 
  4. What is your best childhood memory?  I think I have too many of them to name just one!
  5. What is your favorite sweet treat to bake? I love making cupcakes!  There is something so cute about them!
  6. What recent movie made you laugh outloud? Which made you cry? Laugh- Something Borrowed, Cry- I can't remember. 
  7. What is a book you could read over and over and over again? Caddie Woodlawn...LOVE it!
  8. What is something on your bucket list that you want to do? What is something you already have done? Something on my bucket list is to visit Vatican City and attend mass said by the Pope.  Something I have already done is get my Masters degree.
  9. What is something you would NOT do for $1 million?  I would NOT betray my family. 
  10. What is something you hope to pass on to your children? The importance of education and my faith. 
Questions to Answer
1.  How many times have you been in love?
2.  If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be?
3.  What is the first thing you do every morning?
4.  What is the last thing you do at night?
5.  What is something (not a person) you can't live without?
6.  What is your guilty pleasure? 
7.  Are you more of a workout person or a diet person? 
8.  If you never had to worry about money, what would you do every day?
9.  What does your makeup routine consist of? 
10.  What is the most expensive piece of clothing (not including accessories) you own? 

People I Tagged: 

Questions to me from Lauren M

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has their own "guilty pleasures", those things that we know we shouldn't like but we do.  Sometimes they are our own little secrets (my M&M + peanut butter love, NOT to be confused with Peanut Butter M&Ms, yuck), sometimes we laugh about them publicly.  They are our little way of escaping the real world in some way. 
My guilty pleasures lie in 2- 1 hour TV shows: "Toddlers and Tiaras" and "Teen Mom 2".  I am not the "target audience" for either of these shows, I am not a mom (yet), I have never done pagents and I am not a teen.  So why am I addicted? 

These shows are like train wrecks, I can't look away! The great thing about these shows is that they are on networks that replay them CONSTANTLY!  I swear they run them at least once a day.  I can get my fix, even if I'm not able to watch them on the day they actually air for the first time.

Of course, I like other shows as well, other shows that are more socially appropriate to talk about.  I'm not saying those other shows are mentally stimulating (Bachelor, anyone?), but they are more readily discussed among normal people. 

If you have a guilty pleasure show, feel free to talk to me about it.  I don't judge...much...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Please, Be Careful

This is something that has bothered me for awhile...I've tried giving it over to God, but because of my constant need to keep control, I haven't been successful.  So this is my attempt to get it out and let it go. 

Often when I am with a group of women, most of them are married with children of various ages.  When the topic comes to the weekend or free time, I've heard the following more times than I can count, "Oh, that sounds nice, it's because you aren't married and don't have kids." My smart-ass self wants to respond, "Thanks for pointing out the obvious and throwing it back in my face."  My usual response is to sweetly let them know my schedule and gladly offer to trade with them.  This worked a lot more when I was coaching, teaching and going to school.  Now that I am finished with school and I am no longer coaching, I will admit, I have much more free time. 

My reasons for not liking this statement are two-fold...
1.  It makes you SEEM incredibly ungrateful for the blessings you have, in my eyes.  I know many parents who have had to bury their children due to losing a battle with cancer.  I'm sure they would gladly get back those weekends where you have birthday parties, athletic practices/games, shopping trips, making meals, having sleepovers and all the other activities parents do for their children on a daily basis.  And honestly, would you really trade your weekend with your family for my weekend of doing nothing?  I don't think so.

2.  My second reason is you don't know how that person feels about the fact that they aren't married and/or don't have children.  You may be talking to a person who wants nothing more to be a wife an mother and it just has not happened for them yet.  You may be talking to someone who feels like a failure because she wasn't married by age 26 like the majority of her friends, who feels like she isn't good enough for her dream to come true.  You may be talking to someone who is married, but is having trouble conceiving and is going through a very personal struggle, someone who would give up everything she had to naturally have a child with her husband. 

I know this comment is not made with malice or meant to hurt, but people often keep their struggles quiet, especially when you aren't close to others or you feel like others don't understand.  You don't know what people would give up to have those busy weekends filled to the brim with children.  I'm sure after a weekend where you didn't get as much rest as you needed, it sounds great to sleep in and not really do anything. I'm sure you have weekends where you want to pull your hair out because your children are driving you crazy, I'm not naive enough to think that having kids is all sunshine and roses.  I'm sure you need a break from being a mom and you should have one when you need it.  All I am asking is that you think before you make statements to people.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bunco Girls Night

About a year ago, we started a tradition of Bunco/Girls Night.  A group of girlfriends all meet up, usually at my house or Amanda's house, and have a few drinks, a few snacks and play some wild rounds of Bunco! 
Sometimes we get corny and do themes like our "Wig Out" night, inspired by who-else, the Real Housewives of Something or Other. 

Last night, our theme was "Guilt-Free Girls Night".  Since it is still relatively early in January and everyone is still on diets and working out, we all brought healthy stuff!  I made a veggie tray, Kasey and Jennifer brough fruit (pineapple!), Lauren brought dark chocolate almonds, Ashley brought brownies made with diet coke (awesome!) and Amanda brought hummus and pita chips!  We had Skinny Girl drinks, wine, Texas vodka and marshmallow vodka. 

People started arriving around 7 and for about an hour we stood around in the kitchen munching on our healthy snacks.  We had 8 girls in all, perfect for 2 Bunco tables!  It got pretty crazy...yelling, screaming, dice rolling!  If my neighbors were home, they probably didn't like me last night! 

Normally, when you play Bunco, 3 people win, the person with the most Buncos, the most wins and the most losses.  Most losses gets their money back ($5), the rest is split between most Buncos and most wins.  Last night we had to have two roll-offs for money!  Amanda and Ashley had to have a roll off for most Buncos, and Lauren and I had to have a roll off for most got pretty intense! Ashley and Amanda were going for a Bunco and wanted to win, since the Loser Laurens were rolling for most losses, we were rolling to lose!  Of course, I won when I needed to lose! 

After our crazy-dice rolling antics, we headed back to the kitchen and ate more!  People started heading home around 11, but Lauren and Greer stayed and we gabbed until morning! 

A great night was had by all and I can't wait for the next one!

PS- Ok, Lauren, I blogged, you can post pics now ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January New Recipes

Part of my new year's resolution was to try 3 new recipes a month.  I've been doing good latey trying new things, but I wanted some new "go-to" recipes so I am consciously trying new stuff and stepping out of my box.  I didn't get any pictures of these because I didn't think about it because I was too busy cooking, but they were good!
Here are January's recipes:
Italian Turkey burgers
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup dried sundries tomatoes, diced
1 egg
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, dash salt, dash pepper

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then shape into 4-6 burger patties (cook faster if smaller).
2. Heat 1/4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil in lg skillet. (you could grill these as well)
3. Cook flipping after side darkens and darken otherside. Be sure to check middle befor removing from oil.
4. Mix a little Italian dressing with mayo, and serve on buns, toppings of your choice. we usually have sweet potato fries as our side of choice.

I "stole" this from my college roommate, Alisha.  Like me she loves to cook and we always had fun cooking together.  Another friend of ours put together a group on Facebook for us to share recipes and Alisha posted this one.  I made the sweet potato fries with it as she suggested and it was a great combination!  It was quick and easy and I will be making this one again. 

Maple Salmon

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Salmon filets

  • Preheat oven to 400

  • 1.  In a small bowl, whisk together syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt and pepper (I just used syrup, soy sauce, garlic powder, a pinch of salt and and a dash of pepper).
    2.  Pour mixture into a shallow baking dish. 
    3.  Place salmon in dish (if the skin is still on, make sure skin is facing up).  Cover and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
    4.  After marinating, uncover dish and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until fish is cooked fully. 
    Warning...this will make your house smell like pancakes! 

    Spaghetti with tomatoes, black olives, garlic and feta cheese
    1 1/2 lbs of tomatoes (about 3 big ones) seeded and cut into 1/2 in squares
    1/2 cup black olives, pitted
    1/4 lb feta cheese
    3 tbsps capers (drained)
    3 tbsps parsley
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    3/4 lb spaghetti
    6 tbsps olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced

    1.  Combine tomatoes, olives, feta, capers, parsley, salt and pepper in a large glass or stainless steel bowl
    2.  Cook and drain spaghetti
    3.  In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for about a minute.
    4.  Remove frying pan from heat, add spaghetti and tomato mixture and toss until combined. 
    Note: I'm not sure why the material of the bowl matters in step 1, but I used a stainless steel bowl to not upset the recipe gods. 

    I've been finding my recipes on Pinterest and from friends who have posted things to facebook. 
    All of these took 30 minutes or less to prepare!   I highly recommend all three of these recipes and now I can cross January recipes off my new years resolution list!

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    A Trip to the Winery

    During the NYE day, Will and I ventured off on our own to find some wineries.  I had never been to tastings at vineyards before, so I was excited about trying new places.  It was a near perfect day out, so we were both excited to venture away from in great indoors. 

    When we typed in "Winery" to the search function on our phones' GPSs, tons of pins popped up within a 30 mile radius.  We looked at the names of the wineries and Spicewood called out to me, so we set off to find the place, about 15 miles away. 

    We had to travel for a little over a mile on a narrow road that had several "cattle bridges".  Since it's not the growing season, none of the vines had grapes or greenery on them...I must say, I was a little disappointed that the vision in my head didn't match the vision outside of my windshield. 

    We sat down and for $5 each, tried 8 different wines.  It was nice to try different wines and hear what went into the making of them.  I like reading what ingredients go into the wines and I'm always surprised when I see things like vanilla in red wine!  The staff was friendly and very helpful and the winery was beautiful!  We ended up purchasing a bottle of Merlot.  I was a little too excited about buying my first bottle of wine straight from the vineyard!
    They had a cute little pond/creek outside where we stopped to take some pictures.  In the creek, there were some bright orange fish swimming around in little schools. 

    After our tasting and buying, we hopped back in the car to another winery.  I must say, I am so glad we chose to go to Stone House.  It couldn't have been more perfect!  We got to sit outside for our tastings, we had 9 "glasses" of great wine and we got to meet the sweet owner of the vineyard!  She is originally from Australia and still has family vineyards there.  Her name is Angela and my favorite wine from Stone House was a special Cab/Shiraz blend called "Angela's Wish".  I loved buying a bottle of "Angela's Wish" from Angela herself! I almost don't want to open it, but it was soo good! 
    Hi Angela!

    We ended up buying a second wine from Stone House, a Mourvedre that was to die for! 

    Happy Wining!

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    NYE weekend

    This year, we decided to head out of town for NYE!  Our great friends, Ann and Mike (Ann is the friend that introduced me to Will), have a family house in Horseshoe Bay, near Marble Falls.  They decided to head down there for a low key NYE and invite our other friends Lea and Brian.  We ended up with 6 adults, 3 kids and 3 dogs...and we thought it would be low key! 

    We arrived on Friday afternoon and just piddled around the house for awhile.  Ann and I set off to Wal-Mart to get food for the weekend and then to the meat market for steaks for NYE (thank goodness for GPS on the phones!).  Friday night we had great fajitas, and of course, lots of wine and beer! We spent the rest of Friday night watching the OU Sooners defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes (sorry Aunt Judy and Uncle Scott!)

    Mike and Alex "fishing" in the pond...sausage bits don't catch many fish!

    Saturday morning, we woke up with the intentions of going to Bluebonnet Cafe, a favorite of everyone in the house.  Being my first time in Marble Falls, I was excited to try this place because Ann and Lea raved so much about it, Lea swears their peanut butter pie is amazing!  Ann and Mike left earlier with the kids so they could get a table, but later called us to say they were closed!  All 6 adults were disappointed!  We did find a breakfast place that met everyone's needs. 

    On the way to breakfast, Ann and Lea spotted an "open house" so we decided to stop in and be nosy!  The house was REDUCED to just under $2 million, NBD.  I will admit, it was a beautiful house, right on the water with LOTS of space and more importantly, lots of bathrooms!  Two of the bathrooms even had bidets! 

    After touring, we headed back to the house to watch A&M beat Northwestern in another close game! While Will was absorbed in the game, the two babies, and 4 of the adults took naps...I might have been one of the adults...

    Elvis is stoked that A&M won!

    Will and I did visit a couple of local wineries on Saturday...that's another post!

    After the winery tour, Will and I rushed back to the house to make kickoff of the AUBURN game!  We ate a wonderful steak and baked potato dinner (thanks, Mike and Ann) while watching Auburn beat UVA!  We were 3 for 3 that weekend...everyone was happy!  We all stayed up and watched the countdown and welcomed in 2012 with great friends!
    Will is ready for midnight
    Brian parties like no other!

    Brian and Lea

    Our wonderful hosts!

    Happy New Year!

    Elvis doesn't really like having his pictures taken

    Bring it on 2012!


    Yep, it's a new year and time for resolutions again!  While I make resolutions every year, like many people they rarely stick for more than a few weeks.  Not this year though, this year I have a plan!  I have a...

    Resolution Calendar!

    That's right, a calendar soley created to track my resolutions!  I even created a...

    Resolution Spreadsheet!

    I listed my resolutions out and made checkpoints for each month for me to track whether I completed my goal for that month.  I am such a calendar/checkpoint person anyway, I can't believe that I didn't think of this sooner! 

    None of my resolutions are really anything worth writing home about (but apparently they are worth blogging about, go figure), but I'm content with them.  In no particular order they are:
    • Make better daily choices (choosing to see the good)
    • Workout at least 3x/week for at least 30 minutes per session (hopefully it will be more, but I thought I would start small)
    • Save more money (targeted goal each month)
    • Try new recipes at home (3 new ones per month)
    • Do the things I put off from last year: use my camera more, learn photoshop, learn to sew and actually use my sewing machine
    • Read at least 50 books this year (I'm hoping that since I no longer have to worry about my masters classes, I can focus more on reading things I enjoy
    • "Unplug" more.  While I would like to say go "electronic free" more, I realized that would mean no music, so I'm just going to go computer/tv/phone free more.  I'm not sure how I'm going to track that, but it's a goal. 
    Happy New Year!