Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Thursday

And is anyone else blown away by the fact that tomorrow is ALREADY OCTOBER?! What in the world -- where did the time go?! I feel like we were JUST celebrating my husband's birthday at the beginning of the month! Tomorrow marks 91 days until the end of the year -- which means there are LESS THAN 90 DAYS UNTIL
I know some of you are freaking out right now, but don't. This is a happy time! =) Just think, candy galore this month, stuffing your face for Thanksgiving next and then Christmas and holiday cheer! My favorite thing to do is watch "The Grinch".  I watch it a couple times throughout the season.  It really makes me feel like it's that time of year.  My family and I always watch "The Preacher's Wife" as well and I really get into the spirit. This year, being it's our first MARRIED Christmas together, we are going to establish a couple of our own traditions.  We'll see how that goes =)
I am getting way ahead of myself here.  It isn't even OCTOBER yet -- until tomorrow. =)
Last night, J and I were driving around and we saw this:
What in the world is going on here?!  In case you can't see it, this is a white van with neon yellow smiley stickers all over it. Whatever the reasoning behind this, it made us smile =)
My goal today was hunting down Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses.  I was SUCCESSFUL!!  I had traveled to a couple Walgreens and CVS (ok I stopped in as I drove by, I didn't go out of my way - let's be real) AND Publix wasn't even carrying them.  Thanks to good ol' Target, I found them!! And I am trying one...right now....
Hmmm..that's different.  Don't get me wrong they are very good but completely the wrong consistency for Kisses OR pumpkin anything-I've-ever-had. =)  My advice for this little piece of scrumptious is to make sure you eat it REMEMBERING it is NOT chocolate.  That will help with the taste =)
One the SAME exact end cap, I found Caramel Apple Kisses!! WHAT?! YUM!!! 
It's chocolate on the outside and the filling is flavored caramel apple! HEAVEN!
These are definitely yummy snacks to 'ring in' the fall season and October!  =)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Running Shoes

It has just dawned on me that I didn't share my running shoe story!  I asked for opinions and went to the store on Friday at lunch. 
You need to understand the way I 'try on' running shoes.  I put them on and jog around the store.  No one has ever said anything to me about far. Anyway, I pick a couple pairs of shoes that are in my price range and I commence jogging.  I do this until I narrow it down to 2-3 pairs of shoes.  This is ALWAYS the process...apparently I have picky feet!
So after about an hour in Kohl's on Friday, I had it narrowed down to a pair of Avia shoes and a pair of Asics.  THEN, as I normally do, I try the shoes on mis-matching.  Yes you read that correctly -- I put an avia on one foot and an asics on the other.  Commence jogging.  THEN I switch it up.  This is how I decide.  I walked away with the Asics:
I was really happy with the purchase and felt that these shoes would be good for me.
Boy, was I wrong!  I guess it makes a difference when you are long distance running??  Maybe my feet just don't like to wear anything other than Nike?  Whatever the issue is, I ran THREE miles on Saturday morning and thought I was going to take my shoes off and find HUGE open blisters.  I didn't find that but the side of my foot was red and puffy. =/ BOO!!
So off I went with the Parental Unit {yes that is how I refer to them, don't hate =)} to the Navy Exchange to try some different shoes.  I spent MORE than an hour trying on different pairs of shoes while Daddy shopped for groceries for their house.  Mom was a trooper! She was patient and I'm sure thought my foot fiasco was a little silly but that's OK, we had a good time.  Picking shoes this time was much easier, and I attribute this to my sore banged up feet from that morning's run.  The second I had the shoe laced up and started walking, I could tell if I was going to have the same issue.  I did try on about EVERY 8/8.5 shoe on the shelf, so that took time but I didn't have to wear mismatched shoes.  THAT choice was easy.  I went with NIKE {of course! why do I ever buy anything else?!} Pegasus 27:
Sunday morning would be the true test of the shoes and whether or not my fickle foot would approve. 5.1 miles later with my running girls and we were doing great!!  YES!!! No more hurt tootsies!! WOO!
So for those that were curious, now you know =)

PS: anyone think I should get a Nike endorsement deal for this post?! =) Tee Hee I kid!
ALSO:: I have found that you can return running shoes within days of purchase -- just clean off the bottom and as long as they don't LOOK worn, it's no biggie (Kohl's has a FABULOUS return policy!)

DIY Candy Jar

I have seen many apothecary-type candy jars that are super cute.  I wanted one for work BUT I didn't need 3 like the tutorials I have seen.  I also wanted the jar to be big enough that you could put your hand in it to get the candy out.
So I browsed the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby and here is what I found:

Vase: $1 @ Dollar Tree
Base -- 2 (1 for base & 1 for lid): $1 each
Smaller Base (for lid): $0.50
Wooden Candlestick (for base): $2.99
Wooden Knob: $0.25 (left over from Leash Hanger project)
Ribbon: $0.50 per roll
Paint: Had at the house
Project Total: $8.75
I used my Cricut to cut out "Happy Halloween" and free hand cut out the 'shadow' portion.  I used silver paint thinking I will be able to use this candy jar throughout the year by changing the ribbons and phrase. =)  I am going to eventually make one (or two) for the house =)

BWS tips button  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Driving Privileges

Disclaimer: this is not directed to any specific person, gender, age group, etc. These are just my general observations and are not meant to offend =)
It's a hot topic and for some, it's a sensitive issue.  At what point should we test our driving and determine what privileges we should have?  Sometimes, I agree that at a certain age over 70 (I think) the driver's test need be retaken. 
Then there are days like today when I swear my car is invisible. I'm cut off, almost side-swiped, tail gated, the list goes on and on.  Then I see people like this silly girl who crossed me while I sat in the median.  I wanted to go straight, she wanted to turn left.  Maybe I don't understand the driving rules, but I thought if she was going to go around me to turn left she should have stayed on the driver's side of my car.  She definitely did not do this.  She CROSSED in front of me and came in on the right side of my car.
I have determined that your driving ability pretty much has nothing to do with anything.  You're either a good driver or you aren't.  I don't know that if you're a bad driver, you can get better??  I don't know if it's a focus issue or skills issue or intelligence issue...sometimes I swear it's just a lack of thinking issue. 
If you cut me off and I honk at you, don't flip me off.  It's not my fault that you changed lanes at an intersection and didn't see me or you pulled out in front of me while I'm traveling at 45 mph and you don't feel the need to accelerate more than 15 feet per minute, causing me to slam on my brakes. Come to think of it, it would be funny if your brakes were wired to your horn. =)  What's with the horn anyhow? I know it's to get the person's attention but what if you aren't going to be able to stop, is it to let them know "hey guy, I'm gonna hit you!" so they aren't just blind sided by the impact?
Then you have little issues, like driving too slowly when you're on the phone.  If you lack the capacity to drive a safe speed while on the phone, don't be on the phone.  You will cause everyone less headache and you won't be getting beeped at. 
Then you have forgetful vehicle issues like you didn't screw your gas cap back and on and now it's flapping on the side of your car as you drive down the road.  And don't you look at me like I'm out of my mind when I tell you about it, I don't care how ridiculous my gas cap miming is! ;)
Our attention spans are apparently that of a gnat - we can't even remember that a moment ago we turned our blinker on.  Seriously??  You have a light and noise to remind you not look at your dash often? I look at mine a lot but I'm checking engine temp, fuel, speed, checking to see if any random light has come on, etc.
Sometimes I think we need to install cameras in different areas of our cars and when you're honked at or have to slam on your brakes, a video is instantly emailed to you so you can see what happened, who was in the wrong, and whether or not you were making good decisions. Just a thought.
I know it's a little crazy out there; and yes, there are lots of other vehicles, pedestrians, etc, and if you are like me and easily distracted, it's hard some days with everything going on.  Just take a breath and 'keep swimming' (*Movie reference for those still with me)
I'm just sayin'.  Thoughts?

PS: This is actually the kind of thought process that makes its way through my head.  Notice I was ready to segue into a happy little Disney movie??  Yes, this is my world -- "all are welcome. and Steve's wearin' a toque"  <-- note: probably only one or two people will understand that. Don't feel bad =)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

DIY Ruger Bed

Our fur-kid's bed was in sad sad shape.  We originally purchased it when he was 6 months he is almost 2.5 years old.  It was time to get him a new bed.  J and I searched high and low looking for a good bed that didn't break the bank.  Yeah right, good luck trying to find a big dog bed for less than $40.  I love our boy, but seriously -- that's a little steep. 
Our solution: I would make one! I figured it absolutely HAD to be cheaper to DIY than to buy.  I had to decide how we would stuff it since it was going to be so big.  J and I own like 7 extra bed pillows that we don't use, so I decided the best way to do this would be by using 2 of the pillows as the bedding.  I didn't disassemble the pillows, I left them as you would to put in a pillowcase. 
I sewed some ribbon to the edges of the fabric and stuffed the pillows in the open end.  I sewed the open end shut and sewed the edges of the fabric together to create a little flair with the ribbon. 

This really gave it a finished look.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  The dimensions are 35"X29". 
Ruger's pretty happy with it =)

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Award!!! YAY!

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Faith over at Life.Love.&Marriage graced me with my very FIRST AWARD!!! EEEP!!!!  She is such a sweetheart and I am so touched by the award "One Lovely Blog"!!

Now that I've accepted the award, I am paying it forward by doing the following things:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other lovely bloggers.

Now, in case you didn't know, I follow a LOT of blogs - and the subject matter ranges from crafts to cooking to every day life.  I love so many and it was hard to pick just 15!!!

1. Airing My Dirty Laundry
2. Chronicles of a First Year Teacher
3. Because Chocolate Can't Get Pregnant
4. Bride Flu
5. Confessions of a Young Married Couple
6.  How Could You Not?!
7. Skip to My Lou...
8. The Survival Guide for the Young, Fabulous & Newlywed
9. The Answer is Chocolate
10. Anngela's Pretty Little Things
11. Sew Woodsy
12. The Glamorous Life of a Housewife
13. The Nelson Diaries
14. The Saucer's
15. Red Dirt & Crazy

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

Thanks again, Faith!!! xoxo!

J & A Chronicles: To New Friends

I have introduced you to our friend M; he introduced J and I....remember?! OK, glad we are caught up. =) M is also the reason I now have a solid amazing group of girl-friends.  His birthday that year(2008) was held at M&C's house and he invited lots of people that I didn't know.  This was a common theme for a while, as I didn't really come into the relationship with many friends.
This party was the VERY first time I met Christina, her (then) boyfriend (now finance!!!), R and D.
We didn't really talk but this is proof of when I actually met them =)
The reason this is relevant is because now J and I have a group of couples that we get along with very well and when it's girl time, I go hang out with the girls and J gets together with all their significant others.  It works out perfectly! OH AND Christina (check her out at Skip To My Lou) is getting married {hence the fiance note aforementioned} and she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids!! EEP!! I'm so happy for them and honored that she has asked me to be a part of their big day!
The other notable [unrelated] event at this party was the food fight and then hamburger-ing that ensued.  Someone threw a jello shot which prompted a mini food fight with the leftover grilled hot dogs.  Someone found a left over hamburger patty and the guys clobbered and rubbed down one of their friends with it.  To this day I am still unsure why this happened -- maybe the guy being smothered in beef is the one who started the fight??
This is the significant difference between boys and girls -- girls would NEVER do this unless they wanted to be hated the rest of their lives.  All these guys are still great are so strange!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I've Been Tagged!

Amber over at The Survival Guide for the Young, Fabulous & Newlywed tagged me today in a post! Thanks girl!! I participated in this a couple weeks ago, but I'll at the very least answer her questions =)

1) What is your favorite thing about being in a relationship with your boyfriend/fiancé/spouse?
My favorite thing about being in a relationship with J would have to be that it's always fun.  Yes, we have our disagreements, but we have fun all the time.  We laugh a lot and joke around and even discussing and planning our future together and making decisions (big and small) have been a lot of fun.

2) If you could go anywhere in the world for an entire week with your girlfriends, where would you go and why?
Probably New York City.  I have been once and I went with the guy I was dating at the time.  It was a lot of fun but I would have rather been there for more than the weekend.  J doesn't particularly care to ever go to NYC but I want to go so badly!! I think my girlfriends would enjoy all the aspects: shopping, Broadway shows, site-seeing: way more than J would. 

3) What persona were you in high school: Miss Popular, The Sporty Girl, The Book Worm, Etc.
I don't really know if I had a specific persona...I guess the one that comes to mind first would be Sporty.  I played soccer through most of my high school career and ran cross country one year.  I wasn't the best student and I wouldn't dare say I was super popular.  I also spent time in the performing arts in high school: Show Choir, Women's Choir and Musical Theatre.

4) Have you ever been stereotyped in any way? What did you have to do to overcome that stereotype – or are you still struggling with it?
Wow this is a deep question.  I don't think I have had to overcome a stereotype...OK I take that back.  The one that popped in my head just now was when I moved from Texas to Florida my sophomore year of high school.  The school I went to when I got to Florida was in a small town and swear a lot of those people had never traveled outside of the city limits.  A lot of the kids asked me if I went cow-tipping or if I lived on a farm or rode a horse to school.  I was also asked why I didn't have a country accent and did I say Yee-haw often.  Oh, I was also moo-ed at...yeah some of the boys would moo at me.  SERIOUSLY?! Looking back, I roll my eyes because really, how absurd were these kids being and were they serious?! being 15/16 years old, it was intimidating and frustrating because I lived in a big city - San Antonio.  It would be one thing if I had been from a little no name town with a population of 40 but that wasn't the case.  All this lasted just for the Fall semester and then I guess they grew tired of it.

5) What’s your favorite song of all time?
I am going to name 2 songs:Paradise City/Sweet Child of Mine -- Guns 'N' Roses

OK I lied I am going to name 2 more:
Don't Stop Believin' -- Journey
Cherry Pie -- Warrant

6) What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas is most definitely my favorite!  I love the sites and smells and tastes of the season.  I really enjoy the way that entire time of the year feels -- especially when the air gets crisp out and we have to bundle up to be outside.  And of course, the family time that goes along with this holiday is the best.

7) If you could change one thing about yourself (body, personality, abilities, etc) what would it be and why?
I wish I could dance...I THOUGHT I had rhythm and then J and I started Hip Hop Abs.  It's great for working abs.  No, I am not going to beg you to try it.  I felt ridiculous.  Watching it on the info-mercial and then seeing the introduction, I thought to myself "This is going to be so fun!"  Well I was right that it's fun but I do NOT have much rhythm.  I can keep a beat and clap along, move side to side and the 'choreographed' dances that are popular right now but, sadly, I have learned I am not one of those white girls that is good at dancing. =/ BOO!! They should put a disclaimer on the product saying "is not helpful for white girls with a little booty and even less rhythm"!

8) What is something that makes you feel incredibly feminine?
Wearing heels and when J exhibits chivalrous acts; i.e.: opening a door for me, pulling out my chair for me, etc.  But really, what is more feminine than a hot pair of heels!? =)

I am not going to tag other people as I did this a couple weeks ago. But GREAT questions Amber!!  This was fun -- PS I LOVED reading the answers to the questions Devil Dog Darling gave you. =)

{Recipe} Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

While the chicken was boiling for our Casserole, I mixed up some Pumpkin Spice Muffins and cream cheese frosting.  I have seen the recipe a couple times and decided last night that I would be adventurous.  I used the recipe found at The Pioneer Woman.

1 c. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 c. Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
1 c. Pumpkin Puree
1/2 c. evaporate milk
1 whole Egg
1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons Nutmeg
::Cream Cheese Frosting::
1/4 c. softened Butter
4 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In one mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. 
Mix in butter (do not melt the butter).
In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg and vanilla.
Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. 
Fold gently until mixture is just combined.

Pour into generously greased muffin pan.  This recipe only makes enough batter for 12 muffins.
Mix Cinnamon/Sugar/Nutmeg  together and sprinkle the topping over the batter in the muffin cups.
Bake for 25 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting: Mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped.  Spread onto completely cooled muffins or place into a large pastry bag to ice. Store remaining frosting in fridge, as it will soften at room temperature.

These were so yummy after our Casserole dish last night and the perfect way to bring in the first Day of Autumn (September 23!!).

{Recipe} Chicken Noodle Casserole

Last night I decided to try another new recipe.  The Cajun Chicken Pasta didn't work out very well and I was really disappointed.  I scoured the Internet for another chicken recipe that didn't require a LOT of ingredients but DID have ingredients that I like.  Enter: Chicken Noodle Casserole. 

2 Chicken Breasts, boiled (Reserve Water)
1 1/2 c. Spiral Pasta
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Sweet Corn (drained)
Crushed Potato Chips

{INSTRUCTIONS}Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Boil chicken in about 3 c. of water until done (about 20 minutes). 
Remove the chicken and add the pasta to the water.  Cook pasta for 7 minutes. Drain.
Shred the chicken and add chicken and pasta to 9X13 baking dish.
Stir in canned soups and drained corn.  Mix well. 
Smooth top of the casserole and cover with the crushed potato chips.
Bake for 30 minutes and Viola!

This recipe was easy and really tasty.  We both even had seconds AND we saved it for leftovers.  For those of you who don't know us, we NEVER eat leftovers so this is pretty huge. =)  It's definitely going to become part of our menu cycle.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Running Shoes

I need new a bad way.  I ran 4.5 miles this weekend and COULD have gone farther except my feet hurt really bad.  I have had these shoes for probably a year so they are well over-due to be replaced. 
I have been running in Nikes...they are usually on sale and comfy.

Shoes I am currently sporting
I recently tried a pair of New Balance and they hurt my feet REALLY badly.  The shoes tore my feet up: blisters and everything after a 3 mile run. BUMMER!
I am looking at buying new running shoes on Friday but I'm kinda looking for some help.  So do you have suggestions?  What is your preference and why?? 
Thanks for the input! =)

{Recipe} Cajun Chicken Pasta

Last night I decided to try a new recipe.  J and I need to eat in more often and I am tired of the 'usual' menu.  I browsed the Internet for about an hour coming up with new recipes.  The one I made last night is Cajun Chicken Pasta (modeled after the TGIFriday's dish).

10 oz. Cooked Fettuccine (cooked al dente)
Spicy Cajun Pasta SAUCE (recipe to follow)
1 or 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cooked and sliced in strips
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Chopped Parsley (optional)

2 oz. Olive Oil
1 Tblspn fresh chopped garlic
1/2 c. coarsely Chopped Onion
1/2 c. coarsely Chopped Green Peppers
1/2 c. coarsely Chopped Red Peppers
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 c. chicken stock
1 c. V-8 juice
Cornstarch (mix 1 tblsp w/ a couple tblsps of cold water to form a slurry)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare Sauce: Heat oil in saute pan; add garlic; saute for 30 seconds; add onions and saute for 1 minute; add peppers and continue to saute for another minute.  De-glaze with chicken stock and reduce to half.  Add V-8 juice and cayenne pepper; bring to boil; simmer 10 minutes.
Thicken to consistency with cornstarch; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add cooked pasta to sauce and heat through until hot.

I really didn't like it =/  I didn't like it so much that I didn't take a picture. =/  I was really disappointed...J on the other hand, LOVED it.  I think my things was the peppers.  I didn't think it would change the taste to vegetable-y like it did with only a cup of peppers.  Maybe since it was sauteed it was so pungent??  If you like peppers, you will probably really enjoy this recipe.  If you are like me and don't particularly care for many vegetables of any kind, you should probably pass on this one. =/  I was disappointed to the point that I felt bratty last night! UGH! so annoying.  I was really excited that I was cooking for J and that I had found a new recipe to try and then it was a big fat flop in my mind.  I have to keep telling myself that J loved it and that I just didn't care for it.  It wasn't inedible or anything like that, it just wasn't my cup of tea. 

I am trying a new recipe keep your fingers crossed! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Obsessions

A List of Things I am Currently 'Addicted' to:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Spicy Chicken Sandwich at Chick-fil-a

Kit Kat Minis (still)

Crab Rangoon

Brach's Candy Corn: I can't get enough of this stuff!

Rules of Engagement

Christina Aguilera's Shoe Closet and Collection

These Badgley Mischka Shoes

These Christian Louboutin Shoes

Mod Podge

The Quilt Behind this Lady (isn't is GORGEOUS?!)

*Image courtesy of Lillie's Quilting Loft
CHERRY Dr. Pepper (I know the can says so, but it really is 'Amazingly smooth'!)

*All other images courtesy of Google Search