Saturday, October 30, 2010

Don't You Ever Grow Up

This morning has been filled with moments of nostalgia and reflection. I just finished my first 40 hour work week of nursing orientation at my first ever nursing job. As I lay on the couch this morning in my pj's at noon, and catching up on everyone's life on facebook, twitter and the blogging world, I thought about life. My husband has been in class all morning.

I thought about Halloween's past. I thought about th
e approaching holidays. I thought about cold weather and mostly, I thought about home. This is the longest I have ever gone without seeing my parents. I have done extremely well with not being too homesick. I talk to my mom and dad and my mamaw almost every day (sometimes 2-3 times). Some people say "you have to grow up sometime and why do you call your parents and grandma everyday"? My family is so important to me. My mom is one of my very best friends. She is my advisor, my go to, and pretty much a reflection of who I am today. My mamaw is my mentor and taught me what I know about life and baking and cooking and compassion. My dad is my daddy. He taught me to live life freely and to work hard. My dad never opened a pay check. He always brought it home and handed it to my mom who opened it. He worked 35 years in the cold, 800 feet underground in the coal mines.
Needless to say, I admire my parents.

Today is my mom and her mom (my grandma's) birthday!


Aren't they lovely? Such beautiful women!

So I got my schedule for work this week and turns out I will not be home for Thanksgiving (and probably not Christmas) th
is year. I am very traditional. Some of my fondest memories are of the holidays. I love the chaos of our loud (mostly women) family. I love my mom and grandma's Christmas decorations. I love the food of my mamaw and mom and matt's nana. I love the warm and fuzzy feeling that surrounds the reason for the season (Jesus Christ). I love the family time. I love waking up on Christmas morning to get a big ole cup of coffee with my dad and the excitement I still feel in that moment. I love the memories of my brother and I putting ALL the presents under the tree Christmas Eve night. There is so much I love about the holidays.


I more than likely will not be doing these things thi
s year. All I ever wanted was to be grown up, married, and living in a big city (which I never thought would happen). I wished my life away some days. I day dreamed of life married and working as a nurse. Here I am.

I was downloading Taylor Swift's new album this m
orning. (I have no shame. Don't judge me). There is a song on her album that as I was listening to I was looking through my wedding photos. I started to get teary eyed. I thought about growing up and all the things we dream life will be. I thought about all the ways we imagine life to be. Every word of this song was true to me. It was perfect for the nostalgic morning I was having.


Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that (my niece is in the background. This picture is one of my favorites. I think of it how I used to always dream of my wedding day when I was little. and I'm in my wedding dress of my dreams looking at myself now.) love it. This part of the song made me think about being little. My nieces age. To be so free and care free.

Chorus
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up
Never grow up(me when I was little.)

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14, there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older too
And don't lose the way that you dance around in your pj's getting ready for school
(my oldest niece. Isn't she beautiful?! She is 14 years old and life is never easy when you're 14.)
(I remember being 14 years old. I remember the girl "friends" I had back then and the heart break I felt when I became a Christian and my friends were not always accepting of that. I remember being so worried about what people thought of me and I still struggle with caring too much about that. I remember how I felt when my first boyfriend broke up with me. I remember my parents dropping me off places and being embarrassed. I remember wanting to grow up.)


Chorus

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
No one's ever burned you
Nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Please try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder than I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up

Oh I don't wanna grow up
Wish I'd never grown up
I could still be little
Oh, I don't wanna grow up
Wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
Won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even though you want to
Please try to never grow up
Oh
Don't you ever grow up
Oh
Never grow up
Just never grow up




Now, Don't get me wrong. I LOVE life right now. (How could you not with a husband that looks like that and is your very best friend?!?!)

I have just been nostalgic this morning. Thinking about life and loving where I am now and thinking about how life changes and it's not always easy or even what you imagined but life is great and i hope that I continue to live my life for the moment and cherish each and every day I am blessed with. I have a great family. I am starting a new life with my wonderful husband and I am all grown up.

Life is great, but sometimes it's hard to handle change. :-)


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Fashion Week Day 3

It's really my Day 2 of Fashion Week since I'm pretty much a failure. But to be honest, I thought I could keep up with it, but I definitely cannot. I thought on my way home from work tonight-- I Should get dressed up and where my normal new fall clothes for a picture at least for Fall Fashion Week. I just couldn't do it. So, here is what I wore to work today. It's actually kind of fun to dress up this week for work. Usually it's light blue scrubs every day... but for orientation it's business dress. So, here is today:


(HOLY BANGS! I need a trim. HOLY EYEBROWS! I need a wax! I'm letting myself go down the drain! That has to do with lack of $$$. That will be taken care of within the next few weeks.)

Vest and Shirt are both from Maurice's.
Khakis-- Hollister (these pants are from HIGH SCHOOL! holy moly! Take that 3 months of marriage!! People always told me I'd gain so much weight when I got married and "comfortable". Not letting that happen.)
I wore brown flats with these today and a white cardigan from Forever 21 over top for the chilly room we were in today.


My lovely very good friend and neighbor, Emily, let me borrow the shirt and vest. They are not mine... haha! She has to dress up every day for work (teacher), and as I said, blue scrubs every day and I could pretty much wear my "dress clothes" in 2 days. so we went through her closet the other night and I borrowed her clothes. It was fun. It was like we were teenagers again and we both never had sisters (both have 2 older brothers actually) so it was fun to raid her closet and try on clothes. We decided we would swap clothes more often! It's fun!


Tomorrow night we're hanging out with friends so I will be more motivated to wear cute clothes when I get home from work instead of throwing on sweat pants.


In other news: The "Windy City" has been pretty much like a hurricane the past 2 days. I literally thought the wind was going to lift the back of my car off of the ground and flip it over. CRAAAZY!!!


I made pepperoni rolls tonight for our neighbor night tomorrow night. They are DELICIOUS! It's a West Virginia thing. Here's how you make them. By a 4 pack of Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits. Buy 1 pack of sliced pepperoni. You can use stick pepperoni and cut them into smaller strips, but that's a lot of work and it tastes the same. haha!

Flatten out each biscuit. Put 4-5 slices of pepperoni on top (like a pizza) and then roll it up. Make sure the edge is smooshed (or it will unroll in the oven) and smash the ends so they are good and closed.

Bake 10 minutes (or until golden brown on top) and remove from oven. While still hot rub some butter or margarine on the top of each biscuit and let it melt down the sides. (keeps them moist and butter is great! hehe)!

My grandma makes them with frozen bread dough and they are amazing! She makes real big ones! mmm mmm!!

PEPPERONI ROLLS! The West Virginia coal miner's lunch! ;-) That's how the originated. Wives would pack their husbands lunches for the coal mines and they would make pepperoni sandwiches. Then one lady discovered this and now it's a huge thing in WV. You can get them everywhere. My best friend and her mom were in the newspaper for their recipe. They put hot peppers and cheese in there. Some people even put hot dog chili inside!

I was always amazed when I would go out of state and talk about these and no one ever knew what I was talking about! I would stop and ask for a pepperoni roll and people would look at me funny and ask what it was. My cousins from Ohio always make us bring them some when we go visit and when they come to WV they always want them. So I'm anxious for our neighbors to all try them tomorrow night!

So there ya go. Fall fashion and a West Virginia treat. hehe! ;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Carving and tales of a crazy commute...

FALL FASHION WEEK FAILURE! (see Emery's blog HERE for what I'm talking about) I thought for sure that this week being my first week of work, I would dress up for work and come home and put on some more "trendy" clothes that I usually wear. Nope. so far we're sweatpants 2 for 2 days this week. I have an excuse for today (again). So, if you've been watching the news, the midwest is getting hit with this crazy storm. Now, I know Chicago is "The Windy City" and that is very true. However, this morning we woke up to the tree outside our window banging against the side of our apartment building and branches scratching against the glass. We didn't know what the noise was at first at 5:30am when our alarms went off, but figured it out quickly. So, I start driving to drop Matt off this morning and we get 1/4 of the way there and I realize I forgot my phone (this will factor in later in the story). So, I almost just said forget it, but realized that an entire day without contact or in case of emergency would be good for my drive to have my phone. So, we turned around. This put me leaving 30 min. later than I did yesterday. I got a ways down the road and traffic started slowing. I could not fathom that this was going to be this way the rest of the way into the city. I forgot to mention it was a MONSOON of rain when I left along with the wind. Insane. So, traffic sucked and it took me an hour and 20 min to get to work today. I arrived just on time for my 2nd day of work. *whew!* on my way into the building I stepped in a HUGE puddle and my left foot got so wet I literally had to stop and EMPTY THE WATER OUT OF my ballet flat shoe. The entire rest of the day my foot was FREEZING and wet. Not cool. Also, during lunch I needed caffeine. That's another story and I won't get into it, but needless to say, no Diet Coke was consumed by me. :-(

We got out early today! Probably the only day this week we'll get out so early. I was so excited to get home and see my husband and spend the evening with him.

While driving on the freeway, a white truck pulls up beside me and honks his horn and is yelling "ROLL DOWN YOUR WINDOW". Our windows have been on the fritz in our vehicle and at that moment, would not roll down. As we were driving and i'm trying to yell "THEY DON'T GO DOWN" he gets frustrated and finally yells "YOU HAVE A FLAT TIRE" and speeds off. Thanks guy in the white truck!

I do NOT want to pull off onto the shoulder on the expressway, so I pull off the next exit (in the meantime being honked at by other cars informing me of my flat tire). I call my husband. Then call AAA. Wait 20 minutes. They arrive. Change my tire. I finally get to go home for the evening. When I got home my sweet husband took the car for me to the mechanic and I melted into our bed. I called my parents and told them I was in fact okay and Matt was taking care of the situation.

By the time I got home there was positively NO WAY in the world I was going to put on cute clothes. I changed into my sweatpants and shirt. So, Fall Fashion Week fail Day 2. Maybe tomorrow? Definitely Thursday-- (we have plans) and definitely the weekend. It won't be a complete failure but today, I was so over today.

In other news::

Sunday night Matt and I decided to carve our pumpkin.


We left his mustache. obviously.

and we roasted the seeds.

I found a recipe for spicy roasted pumpkin seed
s. I washed the seeds and dried them. Then put them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, chili powder, paprika and salt and a little garlic powder (spice to your liking). Then baked them 15 minutes. They turned out really really good!


So, I'm off to bed. For real. I'm exhausted.

Goodnight world.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Fashion Week- (FAIL) Day 1

So today was my first day of orientation at my new job. I woke up at 5:30 and got dressed up "Business Attire" and grabbed my coffee and was off on my commute to work. It took me a lot less time than I anticipated (duly noted), but leaving so early I sort of beat the rush hour morning commuter traffic. So, I will continue to do this the rest of the week to avoid the hour of sitting in traffic.

ANYWAYS,

this week is FALL FASHION WEEK over on Emery's Bl
og! I have been SOOO excited about this week as I got some new fall clothes that I've been excited to show off. Well, today was a busy day and when I got home I wanted out of the pencil skirt and dress shirt and into something comfy. We had our large group Bible Study on campus tonight so Matt and I had time for dinner when I got home and a little catch up time ("How was your day, this is what I did, dinner was great! thanks for cooking husband!" etc).

So I consider today a FASHION WEEK FAIL as I just thro
ugh this on and to be honest fully contemplated saying forget fall fashion week this year, but I was truly excited about it and though I should have taken my photos last week when I was unemployed and a full time blogger, I didn't and so this is what we get today. (Disclaimer: I have to admit that I am 100% embarrassed of what I look like in this photo. I told my husband not to get my face and he insisted that I looked great and took a picture of my face anyways, so I smiled and decided to give you the raw footage, unedited version of Fall Fashion Fail Day 1).








Top-- from Gabe's (gift from my mom)
Jeans-- Vans from my sophomore year of college i believe?! I hardly EVER wear anything but skinny jeans but lately I've been bringing these back out. They're comfy some days!

Tomorrow I will be home earlier and don't have anything in the evening so I promise to be better tomorrow and the rest of the week!!! ;-)

Anxious to have time to look at everyone's awesome fall fashion!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Weekend!!!!

This weekend is my last weekend of freedom. Kind of.

See, I start my job on Monday morning! I finally have a nursing job and I am very excited about it, and yet at the same time if I'm being 100% honest with myself, Kind of sad that I will not have as much freedom. For the past (almost) 3 months of livi
ng here and being married, I have had so much freedom. I've been able to cook and bake and knit and go shopping and go to bible study every week, have dessert nights with our apartment neighbors, have random last minute adventures, etc. I've loved it. So I must admit that a part of me is a little sad to have to head out to the working field....

Then I remind myself that my job is awesome! I worked so hard for this dream job. I went away to college and got
a degree in something that I could easily get a well paying job. But, being a nurse was never about the money for me. When I think about when I decided I wanted to be a nurse I distinctly remember the moment.

My great uncle was in the nursing home along with my great aunt (not husband and wife. hehe) . When we would visit them,
my heart would BREAK for the elderly who had been forgotten by their families. I would be so sad for the elderly who lost their spouses and their families lived too far away to care for them. They were all alone in a place that was not their home. When we would visit, I started taking my big bag of fingernail polish. (I was probably about 12 or 13 I would say) I would go and sit and talk with the women there. They would all gather around and I would paint their nails and we would talk about their memories, their life stories, their love, their history. It was amazing. I loved it. It was in these evenings with these wonderful ladies that I realized that it was not always about their medical care, but you can TRULY care for someone and make them HEAL by showing them love. It is so true that just by walking into a patients room with a smile on your face and a caring demeanor can truly change a person's day and make them feel better. I believe that with my whole heart.


Anyways, so this Monday I start orientation at my first ever job as a Registered Nurse! It is very exciting! I will be working in pediatrics and it will be amazing! I am excited!


So, this weekend the husband and I are living it up! We've decided to try to have dates like we would have in high school o
r when we first started dating in our undergrad years at WVU. So, last night we went to Five Guys and got disgusting fatty burgers! Then we walked to Best Buy and walked around and talked about Christmas gifts and XBOX games. :-) Then we came home and watched a movie and had hot tea.


Today is rainy here in Chicago and windy (surprise!) and cold. So I plan on staying in my PJ's for most of the afternoon and
knitting some. Then, we're on a date we both FOR SURE would have gone on in high school. We are going to see Jackass 3D (matinee) and then going to none other than APPLEBEE'S! hahaaha! In high school, that was my favorite restaurant. (Partially because it was newer and basically the only place in Morgantown I really liked. Small town West Virginia.) So, that's tonight.

We also plan on carving this guy this weekend:


If only we were talented enough to make our pumpkin look like that one. Instead, he will have a mustache and crazy eyes and potentially will wear a toboggan (hat).


Hope you have a lovely weekend! ;-)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Lovely Fall Day

Today was pretty great. My husband only had class from 3-5 and so we spent most of the day at home.

I have been trying to take in these last few days of unemployment to the best of my ability. Savoring them. Cooking and Baking as much as possible. Blogging. It's been great.

So, today I slept in a little. Woke up, Matt and I made some breakfast sandwiches that were scrumptious. Then we relaxed on the couch for quite a few hours. It was a great mail day! I got my new Robbie Moto wallet I won from Jessica's giveaway over at Wayside Violet. (image via Robbie Moto etsy)


The one I won is like this but green leather with cream color wings. Very cool. I am loving it! Already in the purse! ;-)


So, my cousin sent me a care package yesterday (2 good mail days in a ROW!) with a new Taste of Home cookbook for my collection. It's called Cake Mix Creations and it has 216 Recip
es that all began with a mix. The recipes in it are AMAZING! Matt and I looked through it together the first time right before dinner and we were like, "WE'RE GOING TO BE SO FAT!"

I am kind of a mix snob though. I don't like to follow recipes exactly and I don't like to use mixes if I can avoid it. Although, I do love Funfetti cookies! So, for our dessert night tonight with our Apartment neighbors I thought I would make Butterscotch Pecan Cookies. Nix the pecans, *gag* I hate nuts in desserts. So, I replaced the nuts with butterscotch and chocolate chips. Here is the recipe: SO EASY!

Butterscotch Pecan Cookies (nix the pecans... GROSS!)
What you'll need:(it's late and I don't feel like editing my pictures so you get the raw footage...) *1 Package (18- 1/4 oz) butter recipe golden cake (i used a yellow cake and it was fine) *1 Package (3/4 oz) Instant Butterscotch Pudding Mix *1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour *3/4 Cup Canola Oil ^1 Egg ^1 Cup Chopped Pecans (I used Chocolate Chips and Butterscotch Chips instead of pecans) In large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, flour, oil and egg until well blended. Stir in Pecans (Chips) (your dough will be crumbly). Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, place 2 in apart on GREASE baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 min or until golden brown. Cool for 2 min remove from pan to wire racks to cool completely. ENJOY!


The cookies were a big hit and everyone liked them! ;-)
It's such an easy and quick recipe! Perfect for last minute events!


For dinner tonight I made::

Tomato and Basil Tilapia




Here are the goods:

Tilapia:: 2 filets of Tilapia. Place fillets in shallow baking dish. spray dish with cooking oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on top of fillets. Then add your spices of choosing (I used oregano, basil leaves and garlic salt) then drizzle EV olive oil and add sliced tomatoes and drizzle more olive oil and sprinkle paprika on top. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 min.

For sides I made a yummy veggie dish: (no picture... sorry!)

Here is the recipe though!

Veggie Dish::
Chop up an veggies you choose. (I used carrots, celery, onion, 1 can of corn, and frozen brocolli but zuchinni and squash would be really good in it too). and tomatoes, add them later though, they cook up really fast. Add salt and pepper and 2 cloves garlic (minced) and whatever spices your heart desires. (I used oregano and crushed basil leaves) Sautee in Extra Virgin Olive Oil for about 20 min or until veggies are cooked up and soft. Add tomatoes and 1 (5 oz) can of V8. Cook for another 5-10 min. Serve over white or brown rice.
DELICIOUS and very healthy dinner! I got both of those recipes on Taste of Home's website I believe, but in my true cooking snob style, I altered a lot to my liking!

So I've been trying to do some crafting and knitting as well before work begins! Here is something I made yesterday. I'm a little behind on the whole "garland" trend, but I thought I'd attempt my own.

Here is what I got:


I was going to write out "HOME SWEET HOME" on it, but decided once I got it made that it looked better with just the paper. So I left it. I made 2, I am going to hang the other up above our doorway once I get motivated to stand on the chair and do it. haha!

Cute huh!? It gives our bookshelf a cute little touch. ;-)


Well I'm exhausted, so, BEDTIME! ;-) Goodnight blog world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Etsy and Handmade Love for my Big Day!

Matt and I have been married for just short of 3 months now! So, in honor of being happily married newlyweds, I thought it to be time to post some special details from our big day! We wanted our wedding to be memorable. We wanted it to be the wedding that all of our family and friends felt relaxed, comfortable and would walk away saying "I will always remember this wedding".

I think I am going to do this in several posts because I have a lot I want to share. So, I'll start out with a few things and post more in my next post.



It started out with the Taco and Fajita Buffet. It took some convincing my parents that this was acceptable for a we
dding reception. Mexican food is Matt and I's favorite so when we saw that option on the menu for the reception we knew we had to do it!
As it turned out, everyone LOVED the taco and fajita buffet. We had beef tacos, chicken fajitas, refried beans, chips and salsa, and all the toppings you could imagine. It was really really good!


Etsy Love: Here are some things I ordered online for the wedding. I ordered so much from Etsy!

First off my shoe clips.
I love yourwishcake's blog and etsy store. Kerri is so inspiring to me and I really wanted to support her. So, I asked her to custom make my wedding shoe clips. She sent them to me and I loved them! They were so perfect! Check out her stuff! I love her mason jar obsession! ;-) hehe!

Next, cakes (or should I say CHEESECAKES) cake toppers::

Matt and I don't really like cake very much. Wedding cakes are INSANELY expensive and we were trying to do this wedding as cheap as possible but still elegant and "different". So, my wedding planner knew a lady who made desserts. We met with her and she made is this chocolate cheesecake with brownie crust and kiwi fruit topping (to match our wedding colors)! It was TO DIE FOR! We decid
ed that we would have as the centerpiece at each table one cheesecake on a pretty glass cake stand and covered until served. They were PERFECT and looked AMAZING on all the tables. Matt and I's cake was vanilla cheesecake it was delicious as well!

As for the cake toppers: that took some convincing for my grandma. She wanted it to be more traditional. I found these paper owl cake toppers on Etsy. ( I HONESTLY CANNOT FIND THE SHOP I
ORDERED THEM FROM! IF YOU KNOW IT PLEASE TELL ME SO I CAN GIVE THEM CREDIT!) I loved our wedding CHEESEcake so much! It looked just like i wanted it to! If your from the Morgantown WV area and looking for cake decoraters and bakers her name was Pamela K. Kabbaj. E-mail me and I will give you her e-mail address!

Next: VOW BOOKS!

Matt and I wrote our own vows for the ceremony.
I wanted to read them out loud instead of trying to memorize them. So, I ordered some tiny notebooks to write them in so we could have them forever and read back on them when we need reminded. ;-)

I had a notebook like this :
I don't have the actual picture but it was very similar to this vintage look.

I ordered them from this etsy shop. autumntomay

Matt carried a book like this:(again, not the real picture of Matt's but similar!)

from MyHandBoundBooks etsy shop.


Next: FLOOR DECAL

My mom actually came up with this idea. She ordered this dance floor decal for us!
We ordered this floor decal from Lauren at Ten23 designs. She has been so sweet. She actually e-mailed me today for some pictures and made me think to post this! Is this floor decal not PERFECT?! i loved it and it added such a nice detail to our day!


Well, that's it for now. I'll post more details later! ;-) Stay tuned for some:

*Bridesmaid gifts
*Table decorations
*Reception Love
*Ceremony Details


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

LOVE THIS GIVEAWAY!!!!

I am so in love with this print. So cute! Would go perfectly on the wall in our dining room!



Katy is giving away a print from vol25's shop giveaway over on her blog: Scottyboy and Katygirl


Go check it out!! :-)

What I've Been Cooking and Baking

Like I mentioned in my last post, we had company this weekend. I spent the day Saturday in the kitchen making sure I had plenty for them to eat.

I used this recipe to make Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping.

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • TOPPING:
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, pie spice and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter.
  • For topping, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar and pie spice; cut in shortening until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 1 dozen.
Editor's Note: Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten content prior to use. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you’re concerned that your brand may contain gluten, contact the company.

I forgot to take a picture before we ate them all, but they were DELICIOUS and I highly recommend the recipe for you pumpkin lovers out there! (although I did just see the nutrition facts and immediately regretted eating 4 of those bad boys over the last 4 days... holy moly!)


I also made Homemade Chili and Cornbread for dinner Saturday night. I don't really have a recipe for the chili as I just used 1 lb ground beef, onion, 1 (28 oz can) diced tomatoes and 1 cup water and a bunch of spices and threw it all in the pot. It turned out
delicious!

For dessert I made tiny pudding pies. I used fat free
/sugar free cheesecake pudding. I put them in Keebler's Mini Graham Cracker Pie crusts and on top I put melted chocolate chips in a baggie and squeezed out drizzled chocolate on top of the pies and the same with some peanut butter. It was a yummy dessert and not too many calories!

On Sunday we got Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza.

Last night I made homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. Again, I could not find a recipe I had everything for or that sounded go
od. So I gave up and made it up myself. I cut up 3 small red potatoes, baby carrots, onion and celery. I cubed my chicken into small pieces and sauteed it in a pan with EVOO until it was white. Then added the veggies and poured a can of chicken broth over it and a can of water. Then added 2 bay leaves, some oregano, some parsley flakes and a bit of beef broth for some added flavor. Then cooked the egg noodles separately and added them when they were cooked thoroughly. We ate it with the leftover cornbread and I just ate it again for lunch! So good!


I'm learning a lot about branching out and being brave with recipes. I hate using mixes and recipes and I love to add my own little twist when I find a recipe or Mix I like.
What's for dinner tonight you ask?!?! My Mamaw's Stuffed Pepper Recipe! mm mm! Again, altered by me.

Here is the recipe.
STUFFING:
1 lb ground beef (i used ground turkey for a healthier twist)
Chopped Onion
Instant White or Brown Rice
1 Egg

In a bowl mix beef or turkey with chopped onion, and about 1/4-1/2 CUP rice. Mix together with hands. Add Egg and mix
well. (I just realized I forgot the egg part when I was making mine, I'm pretty sure it won't matter I believe it's just to make sure the stuffing sticks together).

I added some spices. A little oregano. black pepper. paprika (i'm a little hungarian, I love paprika! use it all the time). a sprinkle of chili powder and garlic salt. Mix through meat.

Cut the peppers in half. Take out seeds. Wash well!

Stuff mix into pepper halves.

Put in crock pot.
Add 1 can of tomato soup and 1 small can Tomato Sauce with about 2 cans of water or however much it takes to cover peppers. Add sea salt and pepper and 2 bay leaves. Let cook on low all day or on high for a few hours. Watch them if possible to make sure sauce does not cook off of them too much.

EAT!



Matt and I love figuring out our "Meal Plan" for the week and then going grocery shopping for all the ingredients. It makes grocery shopping so much easier and CHEAPER!

Here it is for this week:

So I start working next week. I have a week of orientation though so I will be working normal hours that week. 8-4:30 which is kind of nice, but kind of sucks seeing as I have to drive downtown Chicago. I'll make it work. Anyways, I realized that I will be working in pediatrics, and I have not worked with kids in like 2 years. My pediatric nursing class was 2 years ago I think and I need a refresher. So I did a little of this today::
I honestly never believed I would look at these books again. My nursing professors always advised against selling our books back and it always made me mad when I would pay hundreds of dollars to know I would get nothing back. I guess now I understand... but I never in a million years thought I would be sorting through the boxes of nursing textbooks I have in our storage room after I took my boards. It happened. But I thought it a good idea as to not embarrass myself on the first day of my first ever nursing job.

I'm off to get ready and knit some while my husband is in class and then we're going to eat those Stuffed Peppers and spend some Quality time at Barnes & Noble this evening. He will read books and I will read lots of magazines! ;-)

I'm still pushing my brothers paintings. He has them listed on Etsy now. Check them out HERE and HERE (ETSY)
Let me know if you're interested or message him via etsy, or just buy something! ;-) Christmas is just around the corner 66ish days!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Recaptivated

Matt was on Fall Break this weekend. It was a very relaxing weekend. Thursday and Friday we're rather lazy.

Saturday some close friends of our came to visit for the evening from Madison, WI. We ate big bowls of chili and cornbread and yummy cheesecake pudding desserts I made in the tiny pie crusts. Then we went to Mickey Finn's and hung out, watched sports (the boys did at least) and caught up.

Janna and I at Mickey Finn's


Skye and Matt


Afterwards we came back to the apartment and the boys played video games while Janna and I discussed Halloween Costumes.


Sunday morning we woke up and went to our Church. Then came back here for some Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza. Group shot.

The boys played more video games and Janna and I went to do some shopping. I got a $6.00 skirt at Old Navy! DEAL!

We had a lovely evening with Skye and Janna. After they left, Matt and I watched "The Road". I don't know what we thought it was going to be like, but it was not what we expected. It was so depressing and kind of scary to tell the truth.


So that was our weekend. What did you do this weekend?!?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Friday I'm In Love

Today was quite lovely. My husband and I slept in. Then we woke up and sipped our coffee and ate yummy cereal. Then we were lazy all morning. Then we made some lunch and got ready, and headed to Joann Fabrics to get some fun supplies for some knitting projects I am working on. Then we did some thrifting at Goodwill (no purchases). While we were there my husband got a call from a friend asking if he wanted to take his extra ticket to the Sufjan Stevens concert tonight. (side note. my husband wanted to go to this concert sooo badly. it sold out in 2 hours. needless to say we did not get tickets). So I obviously told him he should go! So,

This is what my Friday evening consisted of:

ONE:

Candy corn. I may or may not have had a few handfuls into the candy corn jar tonight.



While the husband was out at the concert, I cleaned the entire apartment. I literally cleaned and organized closets. When we moved in we tried to get rid of things we weren't going to use, but it eventually turned into just get stuff out of boxes so this looks like we live here. So I went back through and organized
and threw away some things.

I am still loving my hutch. As I was cleaning tonight I thought I'd share some things I am loving. First off, those nesting bowls. We already broke one. It had a blue one, but somehow we broke it already. I am also loving the paper straws. We had them at each table setting at our wedding so each guest had one. We had extra and so I made sure to scoop those up before the move.


After my cleaning escapade I sat down in my usual spot at the end of the futon.


I lit the wood wick candle to make it seem like we have a fireplace. Made some black cherry tea. I love this little corner of our apartment. Someday Matt and I hope to have a room for our musical instruments (my piano is at my parents house still. no room here for that!) and a crafting room combined. For now, he has a music corner. In that corner you will also find this.


My knitting basket. The basket is from Africa. I got it on my trip to Tanzania in 2009. I am loving the fall colors of my yarn in this photo. I'm working on some fun knit projects right now. Stay tuned for those!!


Hope you are having a lovely Friday! Tomorrow morning I have "Coffee and Crafts" with some of the girls from my Bible Study. We had one a few weekends ago and it was a lot of fun. Tomorrow night we have friends coming to visit and stay with us. I'm making a big pot of chili and cornbread and some pumpkin muffins and it'll be a great evening!

HAPPY WEEKEND!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day Dreamer

Living for the moment, for today, is something I have always struggled with. I have always been a day dreamer. In pre-kindergarten my teacher had a parent teacher conference with my mom one day and told her I was a "day dreamer" during class. I was traumatized. I thought it was something bad. As I grow older I love that I am a day dreamer. It became a problem, however, when I would day dream about the next chapter of my life, what tomorrow will bring instead of fully enjoying today and all it has to offer. It became more like wishing my life away than day dreaming.
I specifically remember when I was in middle school, I jus
t wanted to move on to high school. Then, I went to high school and it took about one week of that experience for me to start dreaming of college. I started college and went to the University in my hometown. I met this boy and we started dating. I had a great group of friends. I was content in this time of my life. It was easier to live for today. Then, that boy and I started dating seriously. I began thinking more and more about our future. Then, I moved away to another college and hour away. A year later that boy moved away to Chicago, while I stayed in small town West Virginia. This is where the pit of me wishing my life away began. I was not content there. I never felt like I truly fit in. The love of my life and best friend lived in another time zone. Every day I day dreamed of getting engaged, of him down on one knee proposing. I dreamed of being a wife. I dreamed of living together. I dreamed of this little apartment. I dreamed of spending every day with my best friend. When I was in this pit, it got ugly sometimes. I would TRY To enjoy the day I was living. I would try to live for today and not "wish my life away". But, like I said, I was never content there.
It got better, that dream of wearing a beautiful ring, planning my wedding with my best friend. It all became a reality.

It is so good to be on the other side of that wis
hing pit. As I was sitting on the couch this morning with the sun shining in and sipping my pumpkin spice coffee, in my lazy day clothes and looking forward to a weekend spent with that man (of which I referred to as a boy the entire previous part of this post), I realized that I am finally happy. I live for the moments I am in. People always told me that "college is the time of your life! you should be enjoying it!" College was never for me. Those first couple years at my hometown University were great, after that I was over it. It was not my scene. I was never into partying and I always thought people were so immature. This is my "time of my life". Newlywed. Beginning my nursing career. No children. No pets. This is our time. This is my contentment. I am finally able to breathe and take in the day. To sit back and reflect on my past and not live for the future. I am happy, relaxed, in love, and loving my life here in the suburbs.

Do you live for today?

Flowers from my husband. I love mums.


Our front door step all ready for Fall.
My husband LOVES "googly eyes". My good friend and neighbor brought me a bag of fun googly eyes that weren't being used f
rom her kindergarten classroom. I gave my husband a good surprise when he came home from class. They were on the lid of the toilet so when he opened the lid he got a good surprise. They were also on the faucet. So, I added them along with a nice manly moustache to our pumpkin. We laugh every time we walk by.

HAPPY FALL BREAK WEEKEND HUSBAND!!!!!! Finishing up my husband's knit tie.
Then moving on to some projects for my
"dream" etsy shop. hehe.



Don't forget to check out my brothers artwork in the previous post.
He is working on a new piece for my first ever GIVEAWAY here on my blog. But first I need to know people actually read this. So leave a comment below and STAY TUNED FOR THAT AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!! (should be within the next few weeks).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Array of Things

First off: Get Pumped!


Because Fall Fashion week begins October 25th!!! I love Emery's blog. Her blog was the first blog I ever read consistently and that was in like 2006 I believe. I have been reading
her blog since then and have loved it. She inspired me to start my own blog and so here I am!Anyways, Fall Fashion Week! If you would like to join! Check out her blog and start thinking about those wonderful fall outfits. Get out your sweaters and tights and scarves and boots! OH MY!


Next on the agenda is this. I am not sure anyone actually reads my blog. But I told my brother that in the case that pigs would fly and someone read my blog, I would post some of his artwork on here.

He has been getting into painting lately
. He used to take Bob Ross painting classes back in the day. He has began painting again and so here are some of my favorite pieces he has done so far.

If you're interested I am sure he would be ECSTATIC to sell some of the pieces. He is looking to open an Etsy shop or a website to sell some of the pieces but really just needs some interest."The Warmth of Fall"


"Unyielding"
(this one is on 2 canvases)

"Sunrise, Skyline""Big City Nights"This one is in Matt and I's dining room. We love it!


If you're interested in any of the paintings leave a comment below with your e-mail. I will e-mail you the dimensions and how much he is charging. If there is interest I may try to see if he would be willing to do a GIVEAWAY on here sometime within the next week. Stay tuned!!


Third:: I'm still dreaming of that Etsy shop. I am going to try to start working on some products this weekend.