Monday, August 31, 2009

In Touch With My Creative Side...

...we've been invited to two of our friend's birthday parties in the next couple of weeks. First off, I'm used to shopping for bridal and baby showers and it is MUCH easier to get a gift when all you have to do is look off a registry! This time it was tough! But after a trip to Toys-R-Us and me telling Matt...no...no...no (I guess he was giving me practice for when we have kids), we made it home with gifts in tow.

However, you know me and I like to do something a little crafty too. So here's what I came up with:

I know, these frames are more for the moms because the boys will be like, "how can I play with this?" It took me forever to find the little letters to go on the frame but Hobby Lobby (or Hobster Lobster as my mom and I like to call it) pulled through.

Couple things I wish I would have done differently:

1. On Garet's, I wish I'd used a different pic under the red hat, the one that's really dark but it was the only one I could find with his dog.
2. I wish I'd put Cody's name on the side like I did Garet's.

Oh well! I hope they like the gifts! I'm off to Cody's party tonight! I'll post pics later.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

...

The Good:
*Ring cleaning
*Victoria's Secret panties
*Brown heels
Total: $8.00

The Bad:
*Wasn't able to use my coupons at Target...

The Ugly:
*Found out the screen on my laptop is going out
*Cost to replace: $300-$500

Guess I'll be looking for a new laptop...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Canning Factory...

...that's what you could call our house last Sunday! Remember the overabundance of tomatoes and jalepenos? Well, this is what they turned into:

Eightteen half-pints of salsa! Before we got started, I did a little research on canning salsa. So picture this, Matt working in the yard, me sitting on the front porch with the laptop folded in half and tilted almost upside down so I could see in the sun with a wasp flying by my ear...interesting huh? So we gave up on the Internet and started calling first my mom then his then my grandma then my dad and finally, the lucky winner to help us? My sister's MIL!!! She gave me some tips and then I went in and started the salsa. It was messy at first until I got into a rhythm. I plan on making a little Mexican basket for the neighbors this year for Christmas. It was a little soupy but I figured if they didn't want to eat it as salsa then the could use it for chili.

Then I called Matt the Master Canner and he canned the big 'ole pot of salsa. Then as he sealed the last jar, I asked him, "Did you taste it?" His response, "No, did you?" So neither of us tasted the salsa so we'll have to break it open before we give any away. Darnit! More salsa for us!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Disappointing Wags Trip...

...so Monday I headed to Walgreen's to try and get some good deals with coupons. All I came home with was some Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato ice cream (I love ANYTHING caramel). They were already sold out of everything else I wanted to use my coupons with....boohoo! OH! Then the registers were all broken except for the ones at the photo lab so I'm standing in line and I look over at the regular cash register. I see this guy holding a cigarette in his hand looking at lighters. I keep watching him as he picks one up and starts to light his cigarette (in the store!?!), I'm watching in awe thinking, "Wow! This guy has got some cahonas!" Then he looks over and sees me staring so he pauses and then comes and gets in line behind me. Weird!!! I think he was just going to light it and walk out of the store.

Now I know that ice cream isn't good for my diet but I've decided that I have to have some sort of sweet after dinner or I will snack like crazy.

An update on the diet: We are now in week 3 and I did well the first week being very strict and counting calories only to gain a pound!?! Then the second week I wasn't near as strict and I lost 3 pounds. I've re-evaluated and here's my new plan. I have my set breakfast and lunch and I figure if I stick to that then I can eat whatever I want for dinner (within reason of course). We've really cut back on eating out and I've been cooking up a lot of good things which is in turn helping to cut our spending back. Since I started the diet, I've only had 3 sodas and a ton of water!!! So another week and trying to stick with it but at least I'll have a little Starbucks ice cream to curb my sweet tooth after dinner.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to...

...Miranda! I love you girl! Last Saturday, it was my co-worker/friend's birthday. They had dinner at Side Pockets and we joined them. We missed out on the real party at Bottleneck but Matt and I both had to work on Sunday. I bought her a Kermit Sperm shot for her 21st birthday last year and ask anyone I've bought that shot for, it is not fun!!! Kristal can vouch for her, I believe I bought her one on her bachelorette party which in turn she bought me one at mine so all was fair! So Miranda begged me not to get her a Kermit Sperm shot so instead, I got her a yummy delicious Electric Lemonade. I think I converted her because I heard her order another one when she finished the one I bought her. So happy birthday Miranda!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Deer Steak Recipe!!!

...for all you deer season widows out there, I randomly created this yummo dish with deer steak. Being that we have a million tomato and I'd bought a pineapple at the fruit market the other day, I was thinking to myself, "What can I make with all this stuff?" I'd seen a recipe for kabobs with pineapple and, well not being a grill master, I wondered if I could just throw it all in a pan...

So here's what I did:

1. First I browned the deer steaks until they were done. Then I took them out of the pan.
2. I threw in the pineapple pieces and let them cook for awhile. Then I added back in the steak and pieces of tomatoes. I let it all just simmer in bbq sauce.
3. I made some rice. Then served the mixture over the rice.

Only complaint from hubs was that there wasn't enough sauce on it, so he just added more bbq sauce to his. Super easy, super good. Kind of like a Chinese dish....green and/or red peppers would have been good too and maybe instead of rice, just serve in a tortilla. Hope you all enjoy if you make it. Let me know if you add any variations that I can try for next time.

To think summer has flown by and it's already time to start thinking huntin'!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can we day diva???

...so last Friday, I got to take Haley to her third day of kindergarten. My BIL, was having surgery on his back. He was home Friday afternoon and walking around-I was impressed! Of course, I wanted to take pictures and she turned into a little diva (I mean she had already gone through this two days earlier). So check out these Top Model pics, this girl cracks me up!




Don't you just LOVE the fierceness?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Surprise! We Got Carrots!!!

...after we'd given up on everything in the garden except the 'maters and 'penos, I come home from work Friday night to a bowl of carrots that Matt dug out of the garden!!! (and also to him telling me he got a speeding ticket on his way home from work). They aren't gigantic and they're pretty dirty but they are carrots home-grown in our backyard!!! I'm pretty excited. I cut some up to put in some pasta salad.

And in case you didn't believe me that we have a million tomatoes, here is a bowl that I picked Saturday morning along with what we already had!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Can you say talent???

...so Saturday at the farm, Matt's cousin drew a picture of Emma and Shadow. Here she is with the picture:
This is kind of a bad picture but this picture is AMAZING! It totally captures both their personalities, Shadow's tongue hanging out without a care in the world with Emma laying down with her worried, anxious look. Matt and I both couldn't get over how great it was.

Not that we ever doubted it because this was her wedding gift to us (again, I apologize for the crappy pic). She drew this and it really matches perfectly to our bedroom walls. It's awesome!!!

FYI-I make her sign everything so we have her autograph when she gets famous!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Holy moly!!!

...what are we going to do with all these tomatoes and jalepenos!?! We have made salsa out the wazoo and Matt's eating tomatoes like apples. He even put a jalepeno in a Bloody Mary!!! I made pasta salad for him with both veggies in it. I'm happy that we're getting stuff out of our garden cause everything else just kind of died out. Any ideas what to do with all these babies before they go bad??? HELP!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Weekend at the Farm...

...sorry this post is so late but we had another weekend at the farm and it wore me out! You'll be able to see from all the pictures. It was a long weekend of family, sweat bees, swimming and hot hot humidity!!!

Matt and his cousins (there are four who are brothers and sisters and are in grades 12, 10, 9, and 8!!!) decided to go swimming in one of the ponds. Not me though, if I can't see my feet then I don't get in! The black head is Shadow swimming out to Matt.

Matt, cousin Katherine and I went on a long walk to lose the calories from dinner (there was so much food and it was all soooo good). Walk was a good idea but forgetting bug spray...not so much. I literally have like 50+ ciggar bites and its no fun.

The only time Emma swam was when Matt and I rowed out in a little boat and then she swam to us. Of course, Shadow got there first and tried to get in the boat...not such a good idea but thankfully, we only rocked and did not tip.

Emma was so tired that she was sleeping with her head up!


She was also the smart doggie that found the one place in the pond that she could lay down and still be in the water. She's so funny sometimes!

I caught another catfish with gummy bears!!! I dare someone to laugh at my gummy bear idea because it works time and time again!

Aside from a ton of leftovers (Matt is loving his lunches this week). We brought home a fresh home-grown cantaloupe and more blackberries. I'm spending tomorrow night at my sister's (I have to take Haley to school on Friday) so I plan on making him the blackberry cobbler tomorrow night since I'll be gone. Nothing exciting to look forward to this weekend, we both are working our second jobs. I can't wait for Labor Day weekend though-I'm going to Cape to just chillax!!!



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Batting Song...

...first off, thank you Linda for the awesome seats to the Cardinals game on Friday. We were 23 rows behind the Cards dugout! Here is a picture showing how close we are to the field:


Matt loves being the model for all my pics. That's Pujols in the front of the left corner warming up.

They played the Padres with lovable David Eckstein. Here he is on base with Pujols playing first.

So this has been mine and my friends thing forever. To make baseball somewhat girly, we always pay attention to their batting song. For instance, when Hector Luna played for the Cardinals it was the song that goes, "It's gettin', it's gettin, it's gettin' kinda hectic." Or as my friends and I would sing, "It's gettin', it's gettin', it's gettin' kinda Hector." Jim Edmonds' batting song was, "Everybody in the club gettin' tipsy." Scott Rolen's was, "Keep rollin', rollin', rollin'..."

Paying attention tonight, a lot of the players had country songs which you don't usually hear. Ryan Ludwick's was "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys. I joked that could be my song since it says, "Brass monkey...you chunky monkey" (or that's how I sing it). So it made me think, if I was a player, what would be my batting song? I have it narrowed down to two. First, "We're Going Down" by the Fallout Boys...like down=long for a homerun. OR if I wanted to go old school (cause you're so cool) then I would go with "Whoop! There it is!"

So let me know, if you were a baseball player, what would your batting song be??? Now you all know the next Cards' game you go to that you'll be listening for this and thinking of me!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

For your next "bring a dish" party...

...OMG! I have this fabulous recipe that is super easy so I had to share with everyone. One of the moms brought this to camp and everyone raved about it so Igot the recipe. I made it for a baby shower at work and I think it went over well (especially with Matt when I brought him home some leftovers). It tastes like a giant chocolate chip cookie....yummy! I cheated a little bit on my diet and had a couple of bites but so far so good on the diet, I'm still on track and not discouraged. This is so easy and so yum!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Ingredients:
*1 package Chunky Chips Ahoy
*1 cup milk
*1 (9 ounce) Graham Cracker Crust
*1 (12 ounce) Cool Whip

Directions:
*Dip 8 cookies in milk (soak them for a minute)
*Place the cookies in a single layer pie crust
*Top with 1/3 of the Cool Whip
*Dip 8 more cookies and place on top
*Spread 1/3 of the Cool Whip
*Repeat with 8 more cookies and remaining Cool Whip
*Crumble 2 cookies and sprinkle on top
*Cover and chill for at least 8 hours

I think I got a smaller pie crust because I couldn't fit 8 cookies so I just did what fit. Since I had the smaller crusts, I could have made two pies with one package of cookies but the Cookie Monster visited our house and we only had enough for one-oops! Let me know if you try it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I love a good bargain!!!

...I rarely shop, seriously, I go on like 2 or 3 trips to Old Navy or Kohl's every year and spend less than $100 for both of us. Today I had a calling, something pulling me to Old Navy so since I got off work early, I headed that way and here's what I made it home with:

Yes, that's five items. Here let me detail them for you along with their super expensive prices:

Jeans for Matt $4.49
Jeans for Matt $7.49
Dress shirt for Matt $7.49
Plaid shorts for me $6.99
Peach shorts for me $2.49
TOTAL with tax: $31.24

When the cashier said the total, I could feel the smile tugging at my cheeks!!! My rule when I go shopping is that if I buy something for myself then I have to buy something for Matt. Plus I figured now was a good time to check things out since it was the end of season (why jeans were on sale-I have no idea) and in the next couple of weekends, I've told myself that I'm going through the closets...again.

The only bad thing about this purchase, which how bad can it be when I got it all for less than $32 bucks, is that I couldn't find tops to match the shorts so I won't be wearing them right away. What color(s) do you think would like good with the peach (in case you can't tell in the pic, they are more orangey than pink)? Please help me out on that one!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another one moves to the Rainbow Bridge...

...recently, one of you out there did a post on the Rainbow Bridge. Well, today my mom's dog and my childhood dog went to the Rainbow Bridge. Maggie was a lab mix, she kind of looked like a black golden retriever. She'd been sick and my mom had scheduled to have her put to sleep at least two other times this summer but every time, she would amazingly get better. Then this morning, after a night of coughing up blood, she went to the woods and lay there all day. At 4:30pm, they took her to the vet to have her put to sleep. They took their other dog Jodie with them and they said that Jodie just licked Maggie's face very calmly as if saying her good-bye.

Maggie was such a good dog, everyone loved her (even if someone didn't like dogs, they liked Maggie). She was my Maggie, my Magpie, my Maggedy and she was always a lady and never did any of those embarassing things dogs do like sniff someone's crotch or lick themselves and she never jumped on people and rarely barked.


One of her favorite things to do was ride around in my mom's '69 Camero. For her last ride, my mom and David first took her for a ride in the Camero and then to the vet. Here is a picture of her and Jodie, it looks like they are driving!


Maggie LOVED to chase balls, it was the retriever in her. When I was in middle school and high school, my mom and David used to drive to my games and park in the outfield. There David would play ball with her inbetween innings. She was famous!!! Everyone would walk all the way out to the outfield and ask if they could throw the ball for her. She would fetch all 7 innings and she loved every minute of it! Here she is with a ball that had a tongue attached. I LOVE this picture and think its hilarious!!!

Another funny (yet embarassing for me) Maggie story was back when I was in college. I went out and had a couple too many drinks. I came home and got in bed, Maggie came in to check on me. When my mom was calling for me and I didn't answer, she came in to check on me and saw someone had upchucked. She asked me about it and my answer was, "Maggie...bad dog!" But Maggie never was a bad dog, she was the best. She saw me through THREE graduations, a new house and a marriage. My mom used to get mad at me in college because when she'd come to visit, I'd always ask if she'd bring Maggie. Maggie was a lover dog and ,not just man's, but everyone's best friend.

I love you Magpie and I'll miss you so much! Thanks for always being there and for all the great memories. I can't wait to meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day One...

...today is D-Day. I am hard core back on the diet and working out schedule. When I first Matt, I was at my smallest ever after high school (I don't count high school because I played sports year round). Then I fell in love and you all know the story, I plumped up.
In November of 2006, we started a weight loss challenge at work and I went all out-hard core! It was great at the time but then I ballooned up again once the summer rolled around and I was comfortable with Matt. While at the time, it was awesome, it really changed my outlook on weight. I'd never really yo-yoed my weight and never really paid attention to it but starting then I have been back and forth with weight loss. It's just constantly on my mind, all the time (even when I'm not losing, just gaining). Part of it has to do with someone in my life that feels they must always flaunt it and wave it in everyone's faces that they've lost weight (funny when they've started gaining not a word, hmmm...).

Well, I'm tired of not having anything that fits and feeling gross all the time. I don't even post many pictures any more because I don't like what I see (so why would I want to share it with everyone else?). I have no one to blame but myself. I know what I do wrong, I know when I'm doing it but I still do it anyways. It's like I'm my own worst enemy...I'm planning my demise or something. Well, not today! Starting today, tis back on the plan to a skinnier, healthy me. I know I can do it...I'd lost almost 30 pounds right before I met Matt and looked awesome (that's how I reeled him in ladies!).

Here I am in Atlanta March 2007

Eww-gross, here I am in June 2009



So here’s the game plan:
-no sodas or alcohol
-walk at least 2 miles or more EVERY day
-journal what I eat every day
-only eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full
That’s the general idea for now, I might add more later. Wish me luck and I’ll keep everyone posted!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mosaic...

...so today was the last day of camp! WOO HOO!!! I am no longer the mother of 200 children and 22 college students...at least not for another 42 weeks (but whose counting). I decided that I wanted to try out Mosaic for my celebratory dinner and since it was Downtown Restaurant Week, I figured what better time to try it out!

OMG! So this was the coolest ever...I just couldn't get over it. As each waiter brought this out to different tables, I would still point it out to Matt in amazement. My dressing for my salad was in a pipette!!! How cool is that!!!

Putting on the dressing with my pipette:


The busboy was taking my plate as I was taking this picture so that's why it is a little over center:


Matt had salmon with mussels which he thought was the best course:

I totally felt like I was on Top Chef! I kept saying phrases I'd heard on the show then asking Tom Colicchio, AKA Matt, what he thought. He just rolled his eyes at me and OH! I was in big trouble for taking pictures because I looked like a dork. I told him all my other blog friends do it!!! Shaklee was having their convention at the Convention Center and Matt's parents (they sell the stuff) wholesaler sat right next to us. Matt wasn't 100% sure if it was him so I had to try to take a peak at his nametag, which I think he caught me a time or two. Matt finally said something as we were leaving and we all decided they'd known each other for over 20 years.
All in all, Mosaic was good. I left feeling full but not stuffed. I was a little disappointed in the dessert and my soup (I had butternut squash but it was so sweet that IT could have been dessert). Service was slow, even before they got busy, and I felt like I was right on top of the table next to us. If you're in the area, I would definately recommend it, but I don't know that we'll be making an extra trip just to go there. It was something different for us, since we never leave St. Charles County to eat.
After dinner, we decided to walk to check out the area since we rarely get down there. Matt thought this was impressive and told me to take a picture. Some car drove through this and split two barriers in half but they left their license plate behind!
Now notice the time I'm posting this...before 8pm on Friday night. This is our life, we have to be home before dark so Matt can get to work at sunset. This is his schedule, Monday-Sunday from now until the end of October (he's got a couple weekends off but not many), so needless to say, we won't be doing much in the next three months. But, hopefully, when winter hits and he's not working too much, we'll still be okay because of all the work he's doing now.
Thanks everyone for the tip to Mosaic...it was delicious!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh Paula!!!

...I love me my Paula Dean! I was watching her show the other day and saw her and Bubba making this Squash Casserole that looked to die for! So I decided I would try it out for dinner tonight but first I called Matt and asked him to bring home an onion from the nursery. Here's what he brought home:

Can you believe the size of that thing!?! It was HUGE! I only used a quarter of it!!! It's almost bigger than a coffee mug (side note: this is a coffee mug that Haley made Matt-its supposed to be camo; the green and brown dots are her thumbprints).

Here is a picture of the squash frying:



I totally meant to take a picture of the finished product BUT...it smelled so good that we dug right into it and ate almost all! And in true Paula Dean style it was cheesy, delicious and totally bad for you! So Matt and I are off to take a walk...but yum yum yum!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cool Calculators...

...alright, so here's a link to a website in case you're ever bored and surfing the net (which I usually do on Wednesday nights because its Fair Night for hubs). So with Kristal being prego and Matt and I coming on our one year anniversary plus everyone that's prego around me, I can't help but have it on my mind! So at this website, you dump in dates and it will tell you when you're due, when your trimesters end, if you're already prego then it will tell you the conception date...everything! They have more calculators there too such as you enter your birthday and it will tell you exactly how old you are in years, months, weeks, and days. Like I said, useless info but fun to pass time especially since Bejeweled isn't working on Facebook.

Two random facts of the day: 1. The L is going out on my computer and its VERY frustrating. If a word is missing an L, now you know why. 2. I am loving the Vanilla Oreos, with a talk glass of cold milk....yum yum yum!!!

Lastly, I'm looking forward to Friday not only because it is the LAST day of camp until next year (I don't think anyone can truly understand the relief and excitement for this day), but because hubs is taking me to Mosaic to celebrate. Thanks to Lucy for letting me know about Downtown Restaurant Week!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fair with the Kiddos...

...this week has been the St. Charles County Fair. Dear hubs takes vacation and spends the ENTIRE week out there. It started off rough on Tuesday with all the storms, Matt was helping to take down a tent during the storm (it was being blown away) and got a huge gash on his back along with some cuts and bruises on his stomach. I've been going out every night and brought back his laundry; the shirt he was wearing has a huge hole in the back from that day!!! Craziness! Luckily, it got better after that. Wednesday night I took Haley and my friend and her kiddos came along. They rode all the rides (except for a couple of scary ones), went to the petting zoo, saw the butterflies and, of course, we had to get cotton candy!!! Here are just a couple pics from the night. The first one is a self shot of me and H.


The fair is held at Rotary Park in Wentzville which has a huge water tower. When we took her last year, she became obsessed with water towers so here she is on Matt's shoulders with the water tower in the background.
Her and Matt on the Cobra ride.
Her and Cody holding hands...these two were so cute all night. I think we may have made a match.
Here is a video of her and Matt on the bumper cars which ended up being her favorite ride the whole night.

video