Wednesday, March 30

all blogged out

I haven't had much interest in my blog or anyone else's lately.  
I think it's because I've been stalking a new found website
I especially love the DIY and home sections.  
Check it out. 

Thursday, March 24

late night dinner

my highschool lover's mom always made a green dinner for st. patricks day 
green food coloring was her best friend and she pretty much died everything
well this year i wanted to be more festive and decided to plan an irish 'feast'
so i found an irish guiness stew
i looked it over and realized it needed alot of simmer time but decided it'd be fine
well by the time i made the stew I completely forgot how timely it was
I started it much later than I should have 
and even cut down the simmer time 
and it wasn't done until 1030
we were both hungry and the soda bread finished right around then too 
so we crawled out of bed, watching ncaa bball
and ate our irish feast.

and it was delicious.

spring break

after we traveled to san fran for fall break, we decided that we should take advantage of these small breaks and get away.  so we kept checking the weekly top 20 deals on travelzoo and almost traveled here
cabo, the perfect spring break destination right?
wrong, after telling my family they thought we were crazy for going to mexico with all the safety issues. 
no wonder there were so many great deals to mexico
so then we were going to go here, but the deal sold out before we purchased

puerto rico 
then we found out that with my new job there was absolutely no way i could leave town 25 days before the biggest deadline of the year 
so instead we are home planning our future trip to here

london, england
and here
paris, france
and here
southern france

so I really have no room to complain that I'm not somewhere fantastic enjoying time off with the my great husband, because I definitely have something to look forward to.
I always said that I would go to Europe with my husband before we had kids and we are finally doing it
I know it'll be an experience and memory that we'll cherish forever
and it's definitely something we've saved really hard to make it possible
but i know it'll all be worth it
it'll be mr. r.'s first time in Europe and I haven't been since 2007. 
we're going to places I've never been and places that I'll forever love.
I can't wait!!

Friday, March 18


Well like most resolutions go by March you've lost your motivation and great desire to really make that change.  I had high hopes to blog more frequently-about every other day ish.  And now life seems too crazy to even pull out the computer and jot down my thoughts
Ironically though as I look back on the past week and half nothing out of the ordinary sticks out to me.  It's pretty much been just normal life around here.

February and March is total birthday season around here, it's like Christmas all over again celebrating so many birthdays.  I kick off the celebration, then emilie, katy, lizzy, josh, andrew, amy, dave, lyndsay and our newest edition this year peter.  and that's not counting any cousin or aunt/uncle.  I love getting together for birthday's.  especially with all my nieces and nephews around.  there's so much energy as we sing happy birthday again.  sometimes i even feel like a kid again as i live vicariously through my 7,8,and 9 year old niece and nephews.

this is ella, andrew's oldest 6, same age as me when he started dating amy.

Last Thursday we celebrated Andrew, he turned 40! holy cow i know.  Andrew is my oldest brother in law, but he's more like a brother.  Andrew started dating Amy when I was just 6 and half.
i grew up with him around.  i did what all little girls did and followed them around the house, trying to show off and have him like me more than amy.  so many times i sat on the couch holding his hand.  as I thought about andrew turning 40 I thought, 'wow that's way old, he's getting up there'.  10 more years and his 50 getting a colonoscopy and using a walker.  then it hit me like a ton of bricks, holy cow i'm only 6 years from 30 and 16 from 40.  the older I get the more time flies by without me even noticing.

this is andrew imitadating his daughter, ella is pictures.... mexico 2008

Andrew was a good sport with his birthday.  kind of a funny, maybe too much for some of you family tradition is to hang bra's on trees and all over the porch with a sign that says, 'help support andrew he turned 40'.  he was grateful he lived at the end of the circle where not very many people travel.  the entire family crashed an after dinner party with 40 balloons, pies, cakes and presents.  i wish i would have had my camera to capture it all. 
what would we do without family to travel through the journey of life.  this is amy, andrew and girls.  girl number 3 arrived just a couple weeks after my wedding.  

Wednesday, March 9

trying something new

being the baby of the family meant that sometimes i got babied
my mom made me breakfast and packed me a lunch
up until the day I moved out
sometimes she'd make me oatmeal
she'd put about 1 tablespoon of butter in it and a bunch of brown sugar
it always tasted good but it was never my favorite

boy does time change
and i swear i become more like her each day
(which is good considering how wonderful she is)
i love oatmeal now!

seriously every morning i have my bowl of oatmeal
after working in cardiac however i don't add any butter
i love how it keeps me full for the entire morning
i love eating something warm especially in the winter/fall months
 i love that i am getting a serving of whole grains and fruit
plus it's delicious.. to me
for months i've just added fruit and sugar, maybe some nuts
but lately i've been creative
if your an oatmeal person like me try these add-ins next time

yogurt, any flavor will do
i prefer peach greek yogurt
it adds protein without fat or added sugar
it creates the best creamy texture
throw in some blueberries or strawberries... fantastic!

or today I tried peanut butter
it also adds protein with 'healthy fat'
i thought i'll put some banana in there
i love anything with peanut butter
i wasn't really loving it, didn't have enough flavor
so i added mini dark chocolate chips
that did the trick.
apparently this combo has a name- elvis oatmeal

can't wait for tomorrow.
do you eat oatmeal? what do you put in it?

Tuesday, March 8

you did what??

many of you have been asking me how i like my new job.
thank's for your concern and for thinking of me

i am acutally loving my new job
i have been pleasantly surprised at how much i've enjoyed the rather dramatic change

**I'm  not sure this is a blog appropriate story, this is my disclaimer
read at your own risk, you will most likely say eww gross at the end

the flu bug has been going around the office
knock on wood I don't get it!!
well the other day 2 ladies were talking about how they were up all night
back and forth from the toilet
they called it 'acid butt'
gross i know...
but it gets worse
this one lady that works here... i call her crazy lady

she goes on to tell us that she made a diaper
out of plastic bag and paper towels
she was nervous that if she fell asleep she'd wake up to a big mess

who does that??
crazy lady.
ew. gross.

Monday, March 7

loving my freezer

one of my new year
goal, resolutions, ambition, hope, dream
or whatever else you call it
was to waste less
I decided that by using my freezer more
I could waste less
since we've been married mr. r has made fun of our ice cube container
each cube is filled with 1 Tbspoon of tomato paste
I was so fed up with buying 1 can of paste and only using 1Tlbspoon
my mom told me to freeze it and everytime I use a cube I think how I saved a dollar
I've saved 12 dollars so far buy just freezing my can of tomato paste.

I have to admit I've never been a freezer lover
I always put my nose up to freezer food
meaning left over meals that were frozen
this goal was going to challenge me for sure

so why did I pick it?
well I read a fantastic article on the ins and out of the freezer
I had no idea how many things your could freeze
milk, cheese and herbs were a surprise
so i've been trying it out
here's some tips that i've tried and loved

when my milk is about to go sour
I pour it into ice cube trays and let it freeze
then transfer to a ziploc
frozen milk is perfect for our smoothies, or cream based soups,
or my favorite homemade ice cream
you should only keep it for 3 months frozen
i love not having to guzzle the milk or pour it down the drain
this method works great with any liquids i.e. broth, juices

fruits and veggies
we pretty much eat fresh fruit and veggies
i avoid buying canned and frozen goods when I can
so whenever there's a sweet sale on produce I like to stock up.
i learned the best way to freeze produce
cut it up into the size that you will mostly like use it
lay it out flat on a cookie sheet
once frozen transfer to a ziploc
this keep the produce from sticking together
most fruits and veggies don't need to be thawed before use
just throw it into the skillet for your stir fry.

my freezer totally saved me this past week
we had new beginnings and made 350,
yes three hundred and fifty fresh baked cookies!
thanks to my wonderful counselors and our freezers
we made the dough ahead of time
and everyone enjoyed warm from the oven cookies

general guidelines
anytime you freeze a meal
freeze it in 1-2 serving sizes. 
the smaller size helps to maintain flavor
try to lay things flat as often as possible for organization
always mark your bags with a permanant marker: include the date
plan ahead (i know it's hard but it's worth it)
and take it out 24 hours to thaw in the fridge before use

and remember if you are going to put forth all the energy to freeze
use it
i love nothing more than pulling something out of the freezer
and know that had i not frozen it it would have been wasted. 
and one day we'll have freezers that look like this...
don't forget the ben and jerry's