Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend Epic Failure

Cooking and I tend to be enemies, "frenimies" at the best of times. This week I think we took two steps backwards, whatever that would be called: perhaps that would make us "supenemies."

Last night I started preparing spinach lasagna, one of the Prince's favorites. I opened up the mushrooms only to find that they all were sporting a white beard just like the seven dwarfs. It is my own fault as they had been in the fridge for over a week, but still. This is a veggie lasagna and the mushroom act as the "meat." Of course I am also out of hamburger, pork, and only enough chicken for Sunday's dinner.

At the same time the Prince and I were preparing to be stuck in our snow castle at least until the upcoming storm had passed. Thus, I through up my hands and decided, we were just going to have to do without mushrooms.

Thirty to forty minutes later I was ready to put the mixture over my noodles only to find that I was out of my lasagna noodles. This NEVER happens. I'm pretty good about keeping two boxes of all the types of noodles I use a lot. I was so stinkin mad and had to cover the mixture and move onto a whole new meal.

Rice and veggies it is. Sounds simple. I even decided to use the frozen veggies. Too bad I burned them to a crisp.

The rices wasn't burnt too terribly bad so we had mozzarella rice and I microwaved some edamame.

By this point, me and dinner were through.

Fast forward to today and I was extra cautious and decided against multi-tasking so that I wouldn't burn tonight's dinner. I was halfway through and realized I didn't cook the dang chicken this afternoon. Seriously? If it weren't essential to I don't know... LIVE, I would so give up cooking from this day forward.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Latest and Greatest

I know, I have been a terrible blogger this week. It has been one of those weeks with a list that is a million miles long and I'm still only one mile into completing it. It's also been one of the up and down weeks.

Tuesday my long awaited (ok it was only a week) test results came in. Sadly, they were all normal. I really detest "normal" after all who really want to be normal in anything?

However, one of the highlights was my latest design for my business, seen above. Don't get me wrong, I really love my job but this client was extra special. Why? Because the little girl you see is my baby sister. Yes, you heard me right, we are sisters and there are a lot of years in between us. She was just a baby when I left for college and now she's all grown up. Some people have asked me if it was hard having a sibling so much younger than me, after all we didn't live in the same house for very long? My answer, not in the least. We are as close as can be believe it or not. Sure our conversations are different than if we were both adults at the moment but that too will come in time. I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world and am so sad I will be missing her special event!

Can you tell we are sisters?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Retail Therapy

I am a HUGE believer that the right pair of shoes can really bring me happiness. True, some of it might stem from my vanity but I promise that's not the whole reason.

Right now in my life I have absolutely no control over many dominating parts, even my counselor agrees with me. I had not control over the tornado. It's not my fault that my brand new computer wasn't built properly. I definitely had no way of planning or preventing a third miscarriage. There are even times when I don't have complete control of my emotions.

Often times these things feel so overwhelming and I wonder if there is any aspect of my fairytale I do have control over.

*Enter Brand New Pair of Heels*

That's right, I have complete control over how I look on the outside, thus I work extra hard at it. If I can appear expertly put together on the outside maybe I will someday feel the same way on the inside.

Probably a week after that dark day in January when my world seemed to momentarily stop I decided I needed to find something to be happy about that day. I got my perfect grey heels out (that I had bought at Christmas) and wore them to the grocery store. I had one day in the heels of June Cleaver and it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

All my problems didn't magically go away. My hormones still spill out all over the place but there are moments in my life that I do have control over.

Have I mentioned how much I love my shoes?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crafting Project (Bag)

*Notice the pockets on the inside?*

I have been a crafting machine as of late. While selecting fabrics for my burnt flowers project, I also found this sweet grey corduroy and floral print to make a new bag for church . Currently I'm taking two or three binders and my scriptures on a "light" day and my old bag just couldn't hold up to the task.

I conned one of my ladies in waiting to help me (totally kidding btw, she's just a really generous friend).

Other than a minor problem with the strap it was pretty easy (under six hours). When the Prince saw my creation I think his words were, "That's pretty cool that you actually made that." Gee thanks, I'm glad you are so confident in my sewing abilities... :)

I'm going to head to the store later today to buy a button or pin to put on the front flap just to accessorize it a little bit.

Who knows, maybe I'll be brave enough to try one of these bags on my own next time.

Crafting Project - (Burnt Flowers)

Last week Prince and I went down to see his parents for the weekend of fun! Yes my mother-in-law is a Queen and I absolutely adore her. Typically we does a lot of shopping when we are together (she has great taste) but this time we were looking for something a little less tiring.

Of course we headed to the fabric store. Seriously, I could be there for hours looking at all of the pretty colors, imaging the potential for each piece of fabric. This particular trip we decided to try our hand at the burnt flowers that are sweeping the crafting world.

My favorite part? They are SUPER easy, which is what I need.

The hardest part was trying to find online what fabric we would need. I ended up mostly just guessing, knowing that some kind of synthetic fabric would burn best. We selected three different types of fabric to try.

Lining (as in jacket lining) - This fabric melted really well as took a high volume shape. It also rarely caught on fire. (In the picture it is the brown, blue, purple, and fuchsia fabrics)

Satin - Be careful with this fabric, it frequently caught fire so watch your fingers. It didn't take as much volume as the lining and was a little flatter when finished. (It is the taupe colored flower in the photo, by far this was both mine and my mother-in-laws favorite flowers)

Tulle - It melts very quickly! It was fantastic though to add a variety of texture to the flower.

Supplies needed:
Fabric ( I got a 1/4 yard of each color and it was more than plenty for lots of flowers)
Three Different Circle Patterns (I just found three different lids in the kitchen)
Wet Paper Towel
Tacky Glue
Beads For the Center
Clips or Pins
Hot Glue

Here were the steps we took.

-Cut three different sizes of circles in all colors; small, medium and large

-Burn the edges around all of your cut circles
*I did this over a wet paper towel in case I ever needed to drop one that was on fire*

-Layer your circles as desired and then sew the middles together, using just a basic X on top and knots in the back.

-Place a small amount of Tacky Glue in the center and place beads on top.
(I tried hot glue but it just dried to fast for me)

-Hot Glue a clip, pin or both to the back


The more I made the better I got. I learned that I liked to offset the layers as well as turn the edges so that some were facing the back while others were facing the front.

Now I use them in my hair, on a vest, as an accent to a bag, etc. Needless to say it was a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Recipe Exchange (Amazing Cinnamon Rolls)

Its a good thing I don't have the patience to bake very often or you might see me triple in size over the next few months. The prince has been asking me for weeks to make cinnamon rolls and for weeks I have been putting it off, mostly because I hate recipes that have multiple stages.

Finally after he took a big test to become certified in his profession I gave in. In attempts previous I have been less than satisfied with the basic powder sugar frosting, it makes me want to gag. Thus, I turned to good ole and found this sinfully delicious recipe.

I looked in the comments section to get some advice. I didn't use a bread machine but put my Kitchenaid to the task. In addition I combined the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar, popped it in the microwave for a few short seconds and drizzled it all on top of the dough. I used all of the cinnamon mixture it suggested but a good portion fell onto the counter as I rolled the dough (next time I would scoop it up and put it on top). I cooked mine at 350 degrees for twenty minutes instead of the original suggestion and I made one and a half batches of the frosting.

After I made these I definitely got the, "Best Wife of the Week Award." I wanted to get a photo to show but alas, they didn't make it that long.

It's definitely a recipe to try but make sure and close your eyes when looking at the ingredients.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Let's Get It Started!

Being as royally stubborn as I am, I refused to live in the dorms my first year of college. It was an apartment or bust. I also didn't go with any of my friends from high school. Guess what, I have never regretted either of these decision. Here I made some of the greatest friends ever.

What brought on this trip down memory lane? Well I was working on a new workout mix, trying to figure out what songs I should download from I-tunes when I settled on one song in particular. It's funny how certain songs label where you were and what was going on in a particular time of life. Someday, I think it would be fun to tell my life story through songs. However, tonight I will settle on just one song.

During those first couple years of college, a few roommates and I would go play volleyball every Monday night with friends and were on a couple intramural teams as well. As we geared up to play one of us would hit the tunes and our "warm-up" song was ALWAYS...

Let's Get It Started - By the Black Eyed Peas.

We would pump up mentally and break out in a dance party physically. I will never be able to listen to this song and not think back on those fond memories, and I like it that way.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Recipe Exchange (Tortilla Soup)

I am in no way a calorie counter nor am I faithful health nut 100% of the time. I am a chocolate lover and can be an emotional eater. With that being said I am constantly trying to find ways to make dinners more nutritious. I also don't have the patience for dinners that take a long time. 30 minutes or less is usually my limit. Thus, when I find a recipe that is both fast and good for you I treat it like gold.

Cook Yourself Thin is by far one of my favorite websites for meals which is where today's featured recipe comes from.

Serves 4
Calories per serving of soup: 165
Calories per serving of garnishes: 95

1 pound chicken tenders, cut into strips
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons ancho chile powder, or your favorite chile powder

To garnish:
1 jalapeƱo chile, cut into rings
12 baked tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded light Monterey Jack cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 lime, cut in wedges

1. In a large pot, bring chicken, broth, tomatoes and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Add the salt and chile powder, and taste, adding more chile powder if desired. Divide soup among serving bowls, and top with garnishes.

The only change I make to this recipe is that I take my frozen chicken tenders and cook them in the crockpot for a few hours; mostly because I'm that lazy and I hate cooking meat. Then I shred it and and put it in the soup.

This is one of the Prince's favorite meals. I have made it for his parents as well as my own and my younger siblings. It has been a smash hit! Seriously there is so much flavor that when your bowl is empty you are almost depressed.

Just typing about it makes me want to make it, especially on days like today when it is so stinking cold. Mmmm

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review - Leviathan

After a month and a half I finally finished the first book of this series. I'll admit, I had a hard time getting into this book at first because it takes so many chapters to get the plot set-up. However there were many things I liked about it. For instance the author creates a whole new reality to what history "could" have been including lingo and they way wars were fought.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for love stories, they tend to be some of my favorite. What I can't stand is usually the damsel in distress. Take books like Twilight and The Hunger Games and by the end I'm plugging my ears trying to get these annoying girls and there "I'm so picked on" attitudes out of my head. Sometimes I want to tell my book to shut-up, it gets that bad. Leviathan isn't like that. The "damsel" takes care of herself and isn't always having a pity party. She's not in the depths of despair because two devilishly handsome men are fighting over her and she's in love with both.

Things I didn't like? It just starts to get really good at the end, like I said, it had a slow start. I have found this to be true with the Uglies series, also by the same author. In addition, I think the character development is slow and random and skips around just a little bit too much.

It's a good book if you are looking for an easy read but not on my top ten list. It was enough though that I am intrigued and have put the second book on my list of things to read.
Overall I would give this book between 3.5 to 3.8 stars out of five.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Falling In Love Over and Over Again

(Over four years ago when I married my fun-loving, frolicking prince)

Last night I had one of those moments where I fell in love with my husband all over. I know what you're thinking... come on don't be so mushy gushy. I can't help it.

There we were, the princess working on her domestic skills (seriously, I was making tomatoe soup from scratch), and then the prince slaving away at the sink rinsing the dishes I had neglected all day. The band began playing softly and Diana Krall slowly sang, "Let's fall in love, why shouldn't we fall in love?"

Our eyes met from across the room when the prince pulls me into his arms and pushes me across the dance floor, twirling me over and over again. I give him a pouty glance as I ask if I can lead for a moment, but just a moment. He laughs and grants me my wish. When he takes the lead again he gets that goofy smile that leaves me giggling. It was magical and kooky all at the same time.

It lasted probably two wonderful minutes and I knew that it was these tiny moments that I live for.

Yes I live in a fairytale. One with dragons and monsters but more importantly my life is full of little glimpses of what happily ever after has in store.