Monday, January 31, 2011

What's for Dinner 1-31-11

Chicken Noodle Soup is what is for dinner! I love Chicken Noodle Soup. It's probably one of my favorite comfort foods. There's just something about it on a cold, January day that just really hits the spot. But I must admit that I make soups even in the summer. I just like soup! Anyway, here's how I make mine.

 1-2 cooked and cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast
 2-3 stalks of celery
 2 cups crinkle cut carrots (in a bag. I'm lazy and don't like chopping carrots unless I have to)
2 32oz cartons chicken broth
Egg noodles (this time I used Smart Taste egg noodles, but my favorite to use are frozen noodles)
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
Chicken boullion cubes and water (if you need to add broth at the end)

 First, you need to wash your celery. Give it a pretty good scrubbing. These had lots of dirt still stuck on it, so make sure you get it all. We don't want mud in our soup!
 Then chop the stalks up into small pieces; like so. The next step is totally optional:
While chopping celery, go ahead and chop your thumb too. Take a break from cooking to feel a little unsettled and bandage up that bad boy. DISCLAIMER: DO NOT PURPOSEFULLY CHOP YOUR THUMB. I know you all are smart enough to know I'm joking about actually doing it. ;) Anyway, I didn't injure myself too badly. I just took off the nail pretty far up on the nail bed, so I didn't actually chop off my thumb or anything. It wasn't even bad enough to go to the doctor.
 After bandaging up your thumb, dump the celery and carrots into a crockpot.

 Chop up the chicken. I used one (huge) chicken breast, but sometimes I use two depending on how thick I want the soup to be. Add it to the crockpot.
 Add in the spices and then put the broth in. Now, put on the lid and cook it on low for a few hours. DO NOT ADD THE NOODLES UNTIL LATER. I started mine at noon, and at four I was ready for the next step.
About an hour before you want to eat the soup, add in the noodles. If you add them at the beginning, the noodles will get all mushy and gross. Not something you want. Anyway, add in the noodles. I used a half of a bag of Ronzini smart taste noodles. My favorite to use, though, are frozen noodles. I just add the noodles until I feel like there are enough in there. Make sure all the noodles are covered, and then return the lid and cook for about 45min-1 hour. About 20 minutes after adding the noodles, check to make sure the broth level is good. For this pot, I had to dissolve two boullion cubes in two cups of water to make it more soupy. Keep cooking until the noodles are done and you're ready to eat!

This soup also freezes well. Any leftovers we have I freeze in individual serving sizes and pull them out when we need a quick and yummy lunch. In our house, lunches are generally eat what you want. There's no organization to it all. Haha.

Enjoy your soup!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I want this!

I mentioned earlier this week I was a bit out of commission. I had an overuse injury in my hips from jumping right back into running after taking some time off. Needless to say, I was miserable for a couple days but I'm doing better now. Perhaps the real reason I don't have pictures this week is because it's been rainy and nasty all week too. So next week I'll (hopefully) make up for it. Anyway, instead of a style file, I've put together an outfit I would love to just go out and buy.

Earrings: Moonflower Earrings from offbeet on etsy 
Dress: Front of the Lino Dress from Modcloth
Tights: We love colors (the picture isn't from their site, though. I couldn't find one in the right color. So who knows what brand the pictured ones are. Got it off of google images. BUT if I were to buy them, I would get them from we love colors!)
Shoes: Jessica Simpson Dreis Flat on DSW
Necklace: Picture Paris from trinketsforkeeps on etsy
Sweater: Refined Rosettes Cardigan on modcloth

There you have it! An outfit I'm drooling over!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

quick update

I've been a bit out of commission this week paired with the crappy weather, no style file this week. BUT, I have put together a dream outfit (from various online sources) for you all to enjoy. Keep your eyes out for it on Saturday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Scrappy Wednesday 1-26-11

I was the Stage Right play my last semester at LeTourneau. I played Sue Bayliss in Arthur Miller's "All My Son's". I had such a blast with it. Here are the pages I made to remember it all by. Three whole pages!
I took these pictures during our final dress rehearsal. That's why there are no pictures of me! 

So, to make it all look authentic, some of the actors smoked tobacco-less cigarettes for the show. We all way too much fun with them, and many of us smoked them to be stupid when we were off stage. Our cast picture on the bottom right features us all with a fake cigarette. Now, to understand why this is so scandalous you need to know that the school is a conservative Christian school. We aren't even allowed to drink or smoke off campus, let alone on campus. So we all thought we were pretty BA smoking these stupid fake cigarettes. I must admit, it was pretty funny. But I guess you had to be there.

I kept the elements pretty simple on these pages. The big flourishy thing was fun to use, so there were an abundance of them. And I had just gotten my cricut so I might have gone a little crazy with them. But I also featured the program and the ticket stub to the show. I like to put actual "scraps" on my pages to keep some momentos. Maybe I'm cheesy?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Terrific Tuesday


After my post last week, I did decide to order the Jillian Michael's "No More Trouble Zones" workout DVD. I waited and waited for it to come on Friday. I put off working out because I wanted to do my new DVD. Well, by four it hadn't come and I was running out of time (I also had company coming over for dinner that evening) so I did the 30 day shred. I kid you not, as I was doing the last cool down stretch, there was a knock at the door. It was the UPS man delivering my new DVD (and other Amazon purchases). I just about died from the ironic humor in it.

As of last wednesday, I officially met my overall, "Long term" weight loss goal. I began my weight loss journey in June of 2009. I thought about it that preceeding January, but didn't really do much about it until June. It took me about a year but I lost 25lbs (sometimes closer to 30lbs depending on what kind of week it was ;) ), and I felt great. I had a specific number in mind (exactly 30lbs) but I was having the hardest time losing that last five lbs. I kicked myself back into gear after Christmas this year, because if I'm being honest with myself I ate a ton of junk starting with Halloween on through Christmas. Anyway, I met that number (and actually, I'm 1lb lower than my number) and I just don't know what to do with myself. For so long I've been conscious of calories, not eating certain things, and working out six days a week. I know I can't just revert back, but I have to figure out Maintenance. To be honest, I've never really maintained the same weight for very long. I was either gaining or losing, but never really maintaining. I know I don't want to gain, and I don't really want to lose more, so now I've gotta figure out how to do that! Any tips? Just for fun here is a before and after shot. I don't know if the first one is just a really unflattering shot or what, but it captures how I felt: kinda big and squishy.

On an unrelated note, I spent some of my Christmas money (I had a bunch of Amazon gift cards I wasn't sure how to use) on another Cricut Cartridge. It's the Jasmine font cartridge. It arrived on Friday, so I'm anxious to use it sometime this week. I'm almost done with my current scrapbook ("Our first two years") and excited to move on to Australia. After that, I think i'm going to take on an ongoing Virginia Beach scrapbook. I've never really done an ongoing scrapbook. I usually pick a theme and scrap all the photos I have from that, and call it good. So this will be an interesting step for me. I'll have to let you know how it goes!

I think that's all I have to update you on... We didn't really do anything extraordinary this week. Just business as usual! :) Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's for Dinner 1-24-11

Roast! That is what is for dinner. I love a good roast. I don't make it often though because it's just too much food for just two of us. Good thing we had company over to help us eat it all. 

- A roast (I used an Angus Beef roast. It was about two pounds. I recommend a 2-3lb roast. Anything bigger won't fit in a crockpot!)
- 1 can lower sodium beef broth
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/2. tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Potatoes, peeled
- 1 bag of baby carrots

First, start with your roast. Usually I thaw it completely before throwing it in the crockpot. But this time I completely and totally forgot about pulling it from my freezer. So I had to throw it into the microwave to thaw it. Not optimal, but it worked. That's why my roast is a bit gross looking. But I think raw meat looks gross anyway.

 Ok, so take that can of beef broth and pour the whole thing into the crockpot.

 Just dump it all in. Every drop. It looks like a lot, but trust me, you want that liquid. After you dump it in the crockpot, put the roast in the liquid too.
 Then take those seasonings and mix 'em all together (except the bay leaf) and pour it over the top of the roast. Top it off with the bay leaf.
 Next, take those potatoes. I peeled about six good sized potatoes and cut them into thirds or fourths depending on how big they were.
 Arrange about half of them around the meat like so.
 Dump the bag of carrots on top of the potatoes.
Then put the rest of the potatoes on top. Now, you can put more potatoes and such in too, just make sure to keep the whole thing cooking long enough.

Put the lid on the top of it and turn the crock pot on low. I put this one in at about 11 am and cooked it until six. So that's... 7 hours? Cook it for AT LEAST four hours, but I think six is optimum.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Style File 1-22-11

I was experimenting with a flash on these, and I'm not sure I like these pictures as much as I like my other pictures (my white shirt is a bit over exposed and I have some shadowing) I think they'll do for a Style File.

 I like looking professional. Unfortunately, I do not have a job that requires me to look professional. So I just wear my clothes  to the grocery store. It just counts that I feel good, right? Haha. I've had this denim pencil skirt for a couple years now, but I feel like it's pretty classic. Sad day for me though because it isn't fitting the way it used to (that's the problem with losing weight. You have to find the cash somewhere to replace all of your favorite pieces!
 This is one of my other favorite sweaters. I think I just have a thing for sweaters. I'm sure it's because I'm cold all of the time. Anyway, I like this one because it's kind of a "boyfriend" cut and comes way down in the front. that means I can wear ruffly shirts and still show off my ruffles!
 Don't mind that stray hair there. I know it looks silly. My bobby pin failed me. The purpose of this photo was to show off my pop of color (aka: my orange necklace).

I love tights. I love interesting but not over-the-top tights. I think these accomplish that, no? These are just basic black pumps. Every girl's gotta have some; so versatile! These I got a couple years ago off the sale rack at Kohls. They're leather and I think I paid 15 bucks for them. Pretty good steal, in my opinion. I've found better steals, but this one was still pretty good!

Ruffled button up- Goodwilled
Sweater- Old Navy
Denim Pencil Skirt- JC Penney
Tights- Kohls? Maybe?
Shoes- Kohls
Necklace- JC Penney

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thrift Store Steal

I couldn't resist these boots. I was walking through Salvation Army on Wednesday (you know, "Family Day" where all the clothes and shoes are half off) and stopped by the shoes. Generally I don't buy second hand shoes for a variety of reasons, but mostly I think that's gross. Not judging you if you do buy second hand shoes, I'm just really picky about such things.

Anyway, I was walking along, and on the top shelf of the women's shoes, these were standing there. I swear, they were surrounded in a golden halo and there were angelic voices singing to me. I scooped them up to inspect them. What were they made out of? "Genuine leather". What brand name? Divalesi. Never heard of it, but google revealed it's a brazilian company who is committed to being sustainable and the shoes are rather expensive. I couldn't tell for sure because the site was in Portuguese. What size? 10. Blast, I usually wear a nine and a half, but I decided to try them on anyway. They fit perfectly. It was a match made in heaven. The moment of truth: Price? 15.99 but half off... 8.00! So of course I scooped them up! They didn't have any scuffs on the bottoms or anything, so I'm guessing they weren't even worn outside. I also found a skirt for three bucks, but that's going to get featured in a future style file.

Also, the what's for dinner next week will not be my Chicken Noodle Soup. Change of plans, but I will feature the soup the week after next. This week will be Crockpot Roast and veggies! Yay!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scrappy Wednesday 1-19-11

I had so much fun doing these pages! I co hosted a bridal shower for my good friend Bekah. It was more of a lingerie shower, but it was SO MUCH FUN. And these pages were fun to do. Especially because my mom got me the "Fashion" cricut cartridge, and it had a little bra and panty set I could cut out. If ever there were a page that it would be appropriate to put a bra and panty set on, this would be it. So I did. I apologize if anyone feels scandalized by that. You can see the panties up close in the second picture. :)

I've really been enjoying scrapbooking lately. I don't have a very good storage stystem partly due to lack of motivation to spend money on something more sophisticated and partly because i don't have the space. Currently, basically everything is in  tub and when I get the urge to scrapbook, I have to haul out the tub and haul out everything from the tub. Then my entire livingroom floor is covered in scrapbooking stuff. I should take a picture and show you sometime. So generally I go through spurts of scrapbooking and have a few marathon sessions, before I put it all away and bury it in the closet again. I'm hoping to remedy the storage system problem later this spring, but until then I'm hoping to just keep doing a couple pages here and there to get finished with some stuff. This blog is going to help me stay motivated and and on top of things. I hope. If it doesn't, I apologize, but I'm thinking it will. Especially since I'm not doing school this semester, I should have a lot more time and motivation to get stuff out. Anyway, how do you guys organize all your stuff? I live in a small apartment, so obviously having my own scrapbooking room is out of the question (someday!).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Terrific Tuesday-- an update post

As I sit here sipping my morning coffee, I've decided to add an official update post to my rotation of posts. So far I have What's for dinner? Mondays, Terrific Tuesdays, Scrappy Wednesday, and Style File Saturday. I'm sure the Terrific Tuesday posts will be more like a twice a month things as I get into the full swing of life, but for now they will be weekly! I also added some pages over there to the right. Check them out. :)

Last week was a pretty great week. I didn't get much scrapbooking done, but I got a lot of other things around the house done. I organized a bit, played Donkey Kong, cooked, and pondered meaningful things (ok, maybe not, but I thought I would throw it in there for effect). I also substituted for two days in a third grade classroom. The class was an inclusion class, so about half of them were special ed. I didn't know that going into the job, so I was kind of surprised when I got there and discovered this, but I wasn't on my own. There was both an assistant, and a special ed teacher that teaches in the classroom with the regular teacher. I greatly appreciated their help because without them I probably would have been running around like a chicken with my head chopped off. That's just not a pretty picture.  I learned a lot and now I think I have a totally different idea of what it's like to work with special education students. Before I had this idea that it would be super hard and would be very very taxing, and I'm sure it is full time. But with the help of others, I found that I can handle those students fairly well. I have no reason to be afraid of them because they are usually sweet students doing the best they can.

Saturday was the first day the workout room was opened again! (If you missed it, the hot water heater exploded and dumped 80 gallons of water all over the clubhouse. They had to redo a bunch of the walls and the floor. All of this happened about three days before Christmas so with the holidays and such, it was a relatively slow process getting it all fixed up). I have been doing workout DVDs (Biggest Loser Cardio Max and Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred) but I really missed running. So on Saturday I ran a 5K, and I made pretty decent time despite not running on a regular basis for a while. I did hurt myself a bit though, but I didn't know that until I tried going running yesterday (Monday). I apparently have some very sore muscles in my inner thighs (perhaps it's officially groin muscles?) so I could only do two miles yesterday.

So for all you Fitness DVD owners out there... I usually run six days a week. It's great cardio, but I think to lose the last couple pounds of my goal, I need to do some strength training. I'm probably going to drop a running day and do a strength day in the middle of the week. I know once a week isn't a whole lot, but it's a start, right? I was thinking about getting Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones because it's a strength workout (as opposed to Boost Metabolism Burn Fat, which is cardio) or Bob Harper's Pure Burn (or something like that). Which one should I get? On the one hand, I know and love Jillian. On the other, I really like Bob too. Hmm... Decisions. Right now I'm leaning more toward Jillian. Did you know Jillian is coming out with a new DVD this spring? I think it's a follow up to the 30 day shred and it's called "Ripped in 30 Days". One more thing I would like to point out before moving on. On every single DVD cover, Jillian is wearing the same basic thing and posed in the same basic way: She's wearing a sports bra, some tight pants of some sort, and has one hand on her hip. But if you also look, her abs are much more defined on the "ab workout" DVDs, and her butt is a little perkier on the "butt" DVD. Photoshop? I think so. But Jillian is still freaking awesome looking. Seriously... I wish I could have her abs! (the not photoshopped ones).

Saturday we hung out with some friends and watched the movie "The Brother's Bloom". I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Sunday we went to Kohl's and I finally got some jeans that fit me right! I love Levis 515 Bootcut. I will probably buy them until they stop making them. Seriously, they fit me great. I tried doing a Style File featuring them yesterday, but it was  dark gross day out and I didn't like how any of the pictures turned out. Maybe later in the week I'll try again.

Monday, Brad had the day off for MLK day. We didn't do much but it was still glorious. He did school work, I read and played Donkey Kong. We also started watching the show Lie To Me. It isn't my absolute favorite of all time show or anything, but it's entertaining enough to keep me watching it. I also did things like bought groceries, baked the bread for the week, and cooked a scrumptious dinner. But I suppose those things are just a given.

Today I plan to finally sent my broken tripod back to amazon. I have the box the tripod itself came in, but when I got it from Amazon it was also in a brown box. I don't have that anymore. So I'm hoping I can just tape up the product box and slap a shipping label on it because I don't have another outer box for it. I'm going to try anyway, what's the worst they can say? I can't  mail it that way? I'm also planning on doing a bunch of pages today. It will be fun :).

This week I don't have many plans, except on Friday we're having over a couple from our community group (they're dating. Newly dating, not married or anything. Not sure why I felt the need to clarify that?) and I'm cooking a roast. Perhaps a future What's for Dinner? Other than that, I'm just taking the week as it comes! What are your plans for the week? Anything fun and special going on?

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's for Dinner 1/17/11

 Chicken Nachos is what is for dinner! First you need to cook some chicken (using your method of choice) until it's done (Internal temp of at least 165 degrees).While the chicken is cooking preheat your oven to 400 degrees. I just put this in a pan with a bit of water and cooked it. Then you need to shred it with two forks.  Like this:

 Then you need to put it in a pan and season it up. You could definitely use taco seasoning, but this time I used 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 garlic powder, and 1/4 powdered cayanne pepper. I also added a couple tablespoons of water to give the seasoning good distribution. Cook it until it's not all soupy (just a couple of minutes)

 While that's cooking, spread some tortilla chips on a cookie sheet, like so. These are Trader Joe's less guilty chips, or something like that. They were pretty good! Just eyeball the chips. I based it on how hungry I was.
 Distribute the chicken as evenly as you can.
 Top with shredded cheese. I used colby jack, but you could use the taco blend too.You could also use some beans, tamales, olives, or other such nachoy things. We were feeling like plain janes that night.
Then pop it in the oven and cook for about five minutes. Then check it every two minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve it up on plates and top with whatever you want (like add lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, etc). We put Trader Joes tomatillo sauce on ours and it was very very good.


Next week I'm going to put up my favorite chicken noodle soup recipe. It's something to look forward to, trust me!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Style File 1-15-11

 Well here is another style file! I got the tripod situation taken care of, so I was able to get some pretty decent shots for you! This is one of my other favorite outfits this winter. Leggings are so comfortable. 

 I just got these boots at DSW last week. I just love them! I love the height on the heel and the little buttons on the side. I've probably worn these boots six times in the last week. They were even on sale too!
When I get cold I throw on this sweater. I'll just be honest and say that I get cold about 85% of the time. So I'm usually wearing this sweater over it. You can't really tell in the picture, but the sweater comes down past my hips, so it's a bit longer. I love it. My mom got it for me for Christmas a year ago (as in Christmas 2009). I'm also wearing her earrings from the 80's for this outfit.

I had fun grabbing these pictures. But I will say it's a bit awkward because my neighbors probably think I'm nuts. Oh well!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have been a busy little Scrapbooking Bee since I finished up my semester and got my cricut. Here are a few of my finished pages. I'm going to spread these out over a couple posts because I seriously have 13 pages. Too many for one post!

 My first page with my very own Cricut!
 I cut the letters and the frames on the cricut. I'm still figuring out the potential power of the machine, haha. So hopefully my pages will get more complicated? The circles I cut using the Creative memories cutting system. I got it as a graduation gift from my Aunt-in-Law (I think I just invented a title) and let me tell you what, I love that system. I have a big border template, the circles, and ovals for it. You should get it too because it's stinking awesome.

I really love the way the easter page turned out. I like the colors and how the flowers I cut on the cricut go so well with the flowers on the background. I've had this 12 X 12 paper for a very long time. I tend to hold onto pages I really like until I find just the right pictures for it. Sometimes I think the paper is too pretty to cover with stuff, lol. I am so weird sometimes. But I am glad I found the right pics for it! You'll notice I tend to keep my layouts simple. It's because I like to put multiple pictures on a page because the purpose of a scrapbook, in my opinion, is to preserve memories. I see a lot of layouts out there were there is only one photo on the page and the rest is just stuff put on the page. Those pages look cool, but I just don't have the time to do one photo per page. I like to group pictures together to give an accurate representation of the event.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What's for Dinner? 1-10-11

Baked Ravioli is what is for dinner! Here is what I used: Frozen Cheese ravioli, one left over spaghetti sauce (Prego Veggie Smart) without meat from when I made Lasagna (then froze the sauce), and one left over sauce with meat in it from when I made Spaghetti earlier this week.You'll probably start seeing two patterns in my cooking: We love Italianish food and I'm sometimes very imprecise. We are not afraid of carbs here, and I don't like measuring sometimes. When it comes to stuff like this, it's not really essential that you have the exact amount of sauce I do. It's all a preference; go with what feels natural!

 Step one is to boil water. I know you probably know that you have to do that, but I can't leave anything out. It's a thing with recipe sharing.
 When the water is boiling, add the ravioli. The beauty of this recipe is you can use as many or as few raviolis as you want. For us I cooked 14 (I had the left overs for lunch today).
 The raviolis won't take too long to cook, but in the mean time spread some of the sauce in the bottom of a pan and turn on your oven to 375 degrees. The key with keeping prep short is to heat the sauce before hand. That way everything is basically heated through before you pop it in the oven. Then all you have to do is wait for the cheese to melt. I'm all about the short cuts. Since I used leftovers, I didn't have to use a bunch of meat or anything, but if you were making a large batch of this, you could use 1lb of ground beef or turkey, brown it up, and combine it with a jar of sauce. We're saucy people around here, so I used a lot of sauce in comparison to the amount of raviolis I used. If you are less saucy, this recipe will still taste great if you reduce the amount of sauce. Ok, i think that's all I have to say about the sauce.
 When the raviolis are done (you'll know they're done because they'll start to float), drain them and arrange the first layer in the bottom of the pan. You're going to end up doing a lasagna style layering. After the first layer, put some sauce down, and add a second layer. I kind of staggered them so the second layer was on top and between the bottom later, in the space between the raviolis. I hope that made sense. Anyway, after you have the second layer, finish with the sauce. It should look kinda like this:
Then top with cheese and pop it in the oven for 15 or 20 minutes.Again, I didn't measure the cheese. I just went with what looked good and appetizing. You could certianly use less cheese if you wanted.
 When the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly pull it out and serve it up. We had wine with ours. :)