Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Scrappy Wednesday 3/30/11

These pictures are from our first couple days in Aussie Land. honestly, dealing with the Jet lag we just had a few semi-boring days trying to recuperate. Also, while we were in the school, I couldn't take many pictures of the students because of the Australian Laws about photos of children. The journaling is a summary of some of my entries from my blog from May 2010. You can go check them out if you're curious. :)

On this page, again, I didn't really use my Cricut. I did use a circle punch and some mats, but that's about it. I think I need to step it up with my cricut again... Maybe I need some more cartridges. LOL.

Actually, what it is, is that while organizing my stuff into the new storage system I discovered a boat ton of stickers and such that I've never used. I was also given a lot of "Australia" stickers as a gift, so I figured I would use them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

What's for Dinner? 3/28/11

 Black bean quesadillas are what's for dinner! We used to go OUT for Tex-Mex all the time when we lived in Longview. But the the Tex Mex here leaves much to be desired, so I've been experimenting with making my own incarnations of Tex Mex dishes. This recipe is one I sort of made up, but really... how many original ways can one make a quesadilla? So I'm sure you could find something similar online, or you could easily make up your own! The ingredients are totally discretional and up to however much you want to put in. Most of the ingredients I used were left over from last time I made these. I chopped a whole bell pepper, used what I wanted and froze the rest. Same with the black beans.

What you'll need:
-Olive Oil (for in pan)
- Bell pepper, chopped
-Black beans (I used approx. half a can)
- frozen corn (maybe about half a cup, perhaps more. I just dumped some out of the bag until it looked good)
-Shredded cheese of your choice
-Cumin, cayanne pepper powder, garlic powder, and any other spices you want to add
-Tortillas (I used Trader Joe's whole wheat tortillas. Best packaged tortillas I've had in a while)
-Salsa (for serving. You could also grab some sour cream, guacamole, or any other trimmings you desire)

 First put a tablespoon or two in the bottom of the pan.
Put your onion, peppers, beans, and corn in the pan. Cook and stir until tender.

 Add your desired spices. I used two shakes of each spice I listed, but it's totally personal preference.
 Spoon some of the mixture onto half of a tortilla.
Top with as much or as little cheese as your heart desires.
Place folded over quesadilla on preheated George Foreman grill. Tortilla will get crispier and not stick if you spray the plates with oil.

 Cook until desired doneness is achieved.
 Cut into triangles and serve with some salsa. This picture has two quesadillas, so each one made three triangles each. Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Style File 3/25/11

Ok, so you've probably seen these pics on my facebook, but I'm making a Race Day Style File. :) I ran in my very first race this past weekend. It was the Shamrock Marathon weekend. I ran the 8k that was on Saturday morning, then Sunday there was a half marathon and a full marathon. I managed to run the five miles the fastest I've ever run it. It was so much fun, and I'm hooked! I'm probably going to sign up for the half-marathon next year. I'm also thinking of signing up for a 10k in October. I'll keep you updated!

 The shorts I had acutally just gotten the day before at the Fitness expo that is also put on for the weekend. I found them in a clearance bin for 14 bucks and they're Nike (dri-fit. Love). I have never seen Nike running shorts for less than 28 dollars. So I was pretty psyched. Anyway, I also wear compression shorts when I'm wearing running shorts. Primarily because I don't like how dang short running shorts are, but also because I just like the feel of the compression shorts. I'm not the only one who wears them, am I? haha.
 (this shot is just a gratuitous shot of me approaching the finish line... So maybe I'll take the time to talk about running shoes.) If you don't think they're worth the money, you are wrong. They really really are. I recommend going to a running store and talking with the people there because they will be able to tell you what type of shoe you should wear. I went to a local store and they told me I over pronate, so they got me in some stabilizing shoes that help keep me from injury. While I was at the fitness expo, a Physical Therapist who specializes in sports injuries also did a five minute foot exam. His initial measurements showed opposite of what the running store said (oops!), so he was puzzled. He told me to call him for a free consultation with him, where he's going to put me on a treadmill and film me and watch it together. It's possible that I still run funky even if the stationary exam of my feet say I'm normal. SO I have that on Saturday morning (7 am. Ick). I'll let you know what he says! I have a feeling I really will over-pronate while I'm running because once I got these shoes, I was way less sore.
 (another gratuitous shot...) The orange thing on my shoe is Brad's Nike Plus. I want a new iPod so bad so I can get my own nike plus... Saving my pennies!
 Running is fun. Running also makes me very sweaty, and I've discovered (recently) that spending the money on technical running gear is far superior to running in a t-shirt. The t-shirt just absorbs the moisture and then I feel damp and disgusting the whole time. But a technical shirt (like the green one I'm wearing) wicks away the moisture, keeps me cooler, and is just better in general. Someday I would like to have the money to splurge on Nike gear, but this shirt was seven bucks at Target. Probably not the best quality out there, but it gets the job done. Also, don't mind how gross I look in that picture... I had just run five miles. ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scrappy Wednesday 3/23/11

These are the first pages of my Australia Scrapbook. I was so happy to get started on these pictures. I had so many pictures I had trouble whittling down the number of pictures. In future pages you'll see some creative picture placement and creative cropping to get more on the page. But onto talking about these pages!

I love airport pictures. They just crack me up most of the time. The trip organizer insisted that we show up at the Shreveport airport 3 hours early. Despite the fact that the airport has approximately six gates. And despite the fact that, yes, eventually we were going to end up in Brisbane, AUS, but our flight from Shreveport went to Dallas, TX first. Then onto LAX. So I had to be there 3 hours early, so I missed a vital Church service. And what happened when we got there? We checked in in 20 minutes and then sat staring the rest of the time. But I'm not bitter. ;)

But I did have a chance to get some funny pictures. Especially in the first page where everyone is grabbing some sleep! I didn't get a nap in, but I did read, played with the Roudkovski's kids, and typed away on my blog.

I didn't use the cricut at all on these pages. I just matted the photos, and embellished with a few stickers. But I like the way it turned out. I don't like pages that are too fussy anyway. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

what's for dinner? 3/21/11

Southwest Blackbean Soup is what's for dinner! Recipe adapted from Where do you think? ;)

What you'll need:

1tablespoon olive or canola oil
1medium onion, chopped
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
1to 2 jalapeƱo chiles, seeded, finely chopped
2cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed, drained
1can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic diced or fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4cups Progresso® reduced-sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton) or 1 can (14 oz) vegetable broth
2teaspoons ground cumin

 Ok, so in your sauce pan, put your oil, onion and garlic in. My onions were frozen (I chop up an onion or two then freeze them. If I don't they just go bad in my fridge!) so I put them in first and cooked them for a bit before adding the garlic. Add in your chilies. Usually I use fresh jalapenos, but this time both grocery stores I went to didn't have them, so I used canned ones. 

 Dump in your can of tomatoes. Juice and all!
 And your two cans of rinsed and drained black beans. I made the fatal mistake of grabbing "cuban style" black beans. They're apparently seasoned and have extra chilies in them. This made the soup unbearable for Mr. Brad who opted for a sandwich. I even left out the spices because I could tell the soup was going to be spicy...I thought it was ok... but unless you like super spicy stuff, just get regular black beans. ;)
Add in your broth. And here's where I would put the spices in, if I were going to add them.

I also added in some frozen corn. I just like the little extra veggie in it. :) The real recipe says to mash it up with a potato masher, but I never do that.

Cook it all until it's cooked through, and serve! We usually top our bowls with cheese. That's just how we roll around here. :) Enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Style File 3/18/11

Sometimes I have good shoots. Sometimes I have bad shoots. This shoot, was awesome. I set up my camera, adjusted my settings. Took about 12 pictures in a row, got some really good shots, and was packed up and editing them in less than 15 minutes. I lucked out and had some decent lighting this time!

Anyway, most of this outfit came from Forever 21. I had some money to spend this month, so I bought almost an entire outfit because I was feeling like it. I usually shy away from F21 because I don't think the quality is amazing, but these things didn't seem too bad. The skirt seems like it's going to hold up for more than just a season. Time will only tell!
This skirt makes me feel super girly. I think it's the floaty material it's made of. Even though the skirt kind of reminds me of 1995, I like it. Can't go wrong with a rayon chambray skirt!
I like this tank top because of the ruffles. I just like ruffles a lot. I think I have a ruffle problem. I also like the ruching type thing that's going on the buttone of the sweater. I think it adds interest without being to much.
 Overall, I feel like this outfit is quite feminine. I like outfits that make me feel all feminine and such. Especially on nice, warm, springish days. When I shot this it was about 60 degrees and super sunny. I know all you MI people are jealous!
This shot was to show you the print and try to show you the buttons. But you can't really see the buttons... oh well! They're there, I promise!
And this is my favorite part of the outfit. The Owl Necklace! Isn't it just so cute?!

Necklace, Sweater, Tank Top, and Skirt- Forever 21
Belt- H and M
Shoes- Kohls eons ago

Not much to update you on. Still waiting to hear back about Graduate school. I was supposed to get an email about it on Wednesday, but it never came, so who knows what's up. If I haven't heard by Monday, I'm definitely going to send an email. I also haven't heard anything about the jobs. I tried calling the guy about the academic advisor job several times but he never answered or returned my voicemail. So I broke down and emailed him, to which I did get a brief reply which basically said we're still deciding, hopeing to make a decision by next week. SO! I'm trying not to over analyze what it means that he wasn't accepting or returning my phone calls....

Other than that, this week has been pretty chill. This week I have been running, baking muffins (again. I just really like muffins right now!), watching Take Home Chef, cleaning, doing laundry, and hanging out with the dog, nothing too exciting.

My race is tomorrow morning, bright and early. Today I am taking a day off and resting. I am so pumped for this race. I feel ready. I may not break the top 100 finishers, but I know that I am going to do the best I can, and for someone that at one time couldn't run for three minutes in a row, this is a big accomplishment for me. I'll probably post some pics sometime over the weekend. :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

You may or may not know that I have a bit of an Irish background. Nothing too crazy like having parents who came over from Ireland, but it's definitely in my heritage. As such I thought I would post a few Irish Type things that I like. Some traditional, some definitely not

Claddagh Ring. I love the diamonds and sapphire in this one.

Traditional Irish Music is always awesome...

Ok, so Riverdance is more of a contemporary take on Irish dancing, but it counts. ;)

Shamrock Shake

The Book of Kells
Celtic knots are beautiful. The Celtic artwork is always so intricate and I love it.
And Finally, and Old Irish Blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Scrappy Wednesday 3/16/11

This is the last page in my "Our First 2 Years" Scrapbook! It is finished!

I really like this page. It's simple, but I really love the way it turned out. I cut the lacy background with my cricut, and I cut the lettering. Journal panel, picture. Done! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

What's for Dinner? 3/14/11

This one's not a dinner entree... But tasty anyway! Today we're having Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffins. Recipe is taken from (my favorite site lately, if you haven't noticed. ;) ) And before we get started I thought I would show you the ridiculously small nature of my kitchen. Those living in your less-than-dream kitchen, take heart! It is possible to cook in a small space.

What you'll need:
1cup Fat Free vanilla or plain yogurt (from 2-lb container)
1cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1egg or 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2cup packed brown sugar
2/3cup  all-purpose flour
2/3cup whole wheat flour
1teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4teaspoon salt
1cup fresh or frozen (do not thaw) blueberries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease the bottoms of a muffin tin. Take your oatmeal and yogurt and mix it together in a small bowl, like so. Then set it aside for a bit.
In a mixer bowl, mix the egg, oil, and brown sugar. I used just a whole egg instead of two egg whites.

Stir in the flours, salt and cinnamon. It will look like this when you're done:
Next, add in your yogurt mixture.

Mix it all up. The batter will look kind of weird. It will be kind of like a thin oatmeal cookie texture, like so:

Now, mix in the blueberries by hand. If you use the mixer they'll mash up and make for some pretty nasty muffins.
I used frozen blueberries. It's important that you don't thaw them before putting them in. If you thaw them they will get all juicy amd mushy and again make some pretty nasty muffins. After the blueberries are well incorporated, spoon the batter/dough (i'm not sure what to call it! It's thicker than batter, but too thin to be a dough!) evenly into twelve muffin cups. I ended up with about two rounded spoonfuls in each muffin cup.
Bake them in 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. I ended up baking mine for almost a half hour because my oven is super bad at maintaining a proper temperature. For whatever reason it doesn't like to be 400 degrees. It's either cooler, or it's about 450 degrees. So I baked these for about a half hour at 375 degrees. I could have baked them a bit longer, but they were still mighty tasty!

Mine were a bit ugly, but they were so SO so SO good. I ate them with some of the left over yogurt for breakfast. I may have eaten two at at time... Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Style File 3/11/11

So I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do an outfit post this week, but I pulled one off. The lighting was kind of wonky because I had to do them inside... I really need to get a better flash. The lamp casts a terrible yellow glow, but I had to have it on or else it was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too dark and you couldn't see me! It might have been better if our apartment had over head lighting, but it doesn't. Seriously, we had to get a bunch of lamps in order to have lights in most of the rooms.  Anyway... on to the outfit!!
I got this dress from Target for 5 bucks for a costume party we went to this past weekend. It was a 1920's Murder Mystery Dinner Party, so I styled it like a flapper. But I thought I might also get some more use out of it. Maybe a date night outfit? Who knows! But I do like this. I like the mix of the feel of the dress with the more casual cardigan.

My mom called during my shoot! HI MOM! Please ignore that red sock on the top of the dresser. And my bumpy hair.

This dress is on the shorter side for me... but I do like it. I'll definitely be wearing it this summer. I might restyle it sans the cardigan and wear it with some sandals and fun hair. So many possibilities for this LBD. And for five bucks you can't beat that!
I got these shoes super on sale a couple years ago from Penney's. They're leather peep toes. I love them and as such I wear them a lot.

The belt you might remember from last week. I like this spring cardigan. I love the details on the neck line. You can't really see it in the photos, but the dress has a detail at the neck too. It's kind of a lacy applique... so for that reason I didn't think I needed to put on a necklace. The only other accessory I'm wearing aside from the belt, are red circle earrings. Thanks to the lighting you can't really tell they're red, but I promise you they are! 

So there you have it. An outfit I might wear out for an evening. Brad is taking me on a date tonight... maybe I should wear this!