Monday, December 31, 2012

Manicure Monday : New Years

I am going to go to my friend's house tonight for New Years. She actually told me there is a 'no sequin' rule. I am not sure that I will be following it though... We will see.

I am not that impressed with my nails. The 2013 is good, but the paint drip thing- not the best, and it wasn't completely dry by the time I showered, so it smushed and I had to re-flatten it.

In other news, my resolutions for the year were simple: paint an accent nail every time I paint them (failed on this the week of Christmas, and Thanksgiving), wear earrings everyday- I did improve over last year at least, and the last one was to try, on average one new recipe per week. Which I did. I had started out the year by posting them on the facepage, but then my mate's aunt seemed to think we were in competition, which took the fun out of it. But based on photos I have on my phone, and recipes I remember, I made about 54 new recipes. So, that was successful! :)

I am still working on resolutions for 2013, have you figured out yours? Please share!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Manicure Monday : Steal My Heart

Well, I went to the Dentist today. That was fun.  I haven't been to the dentist in 4 or so years.  I have cavities. Too many.  And I need to schedule to have a deep cleaning instead of just a regular 6 month check up cleaning.  So that will be more fun.

My little nephew also had surgery today.  He had his tonsils and adenoids removed, and his tubes replaced.  He is 2.5 years old. He seemed okay when I visited him, we watch some Madagascar 3, and played with his dinosaurs, and I brought some coloring pages.  He should be fine, other than eating soft, like, runny foods for 10 days.  Poor kid, and over the holidays too.  I am watching him on Saturday as his dad is going out the night before, and won't necessarily be in baby watching condition while my sister is at work.

Either way, for this fun filled day, I painted the nails with a steel gray polish, and painted an itty bitty heart on my accent nail.
Do you have any plans for the holidays?  Christmas is next week already!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fast Food Breakfast - At Home!

The hubster went holiday shopping last night, and decided to swing through the grocery store. Which is nice, but he went without a list, or an idea of what he wanted to eat for the week. We have proteins, but need the sides, and other items to make it into a meal. He sees that we need food.

I re-arranged the fridge after he through his haul in there, and saw he picked up some Kraft single slices, in addition to 3 packs of cheddar slices. Clearly he is in love with cheese.

I woke up this morning, and turned on my CBS Sunday Morning, I think they adequately covered the school shooting, wasn't appreciative of their choice about needing to ban all the guns.. But we are allowed to have our own opinions. I was hungry and remembered that I had a package a Everything Bagels in the fridge that I bought a week or so ago because I wanted one. And thought- hey he bought some ham luncheon meat, and those Kraft singles- PERFECT for a breakfast bagel sandwich!!

Once the hubster crawled out of bed, I asked if it interested him, he said yes, so I hopped to it! He eats about double what I do, so I doubled his meat. We got lucky, because there were only 2 eggs in the fridge. Not really sure what we are going to eat for the week.. guess I will put him on meal plan duty for the week.

Do you and your mate have a similar problem?

I fried up a couple of eggs in a silicone egg mold, and fried up some ham slices, unwrapped some kraft singles and put it all on toasted, buttered bagels, sprinkled a little garlic powder and ¡VIOLA! Magic fast food breakfast!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Manicure Monday : Christmas Tree

For this week, I decided to try out the Christmas tree thing that I've seen a fair amount on Pintrest.

Mine didn't turn out as cute as some of the others I have seen, but, they are all right.

Just a few more weeks left of this year, and this is probably one of the only New Year's resolutions I have kept.

The other one that I may have kept, is to try a new recipe once a week, which would be 52 recipes..
I will have to go through my phone photos to see if I did it.. I might have though.. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Manicure Monday : Snowman!

My finger nails aren't very long right now. I had originally wanted to have a 3 ball snowman, but he looks okay with just the two.

I used some if those nail art metal sticks. I bought them on eBay some time ago. They seem to work pretty decent.

Before the sticks, I would use a dried out pen, or a toothpick. It's kind of nice to have the metal ones though.

Hope you like!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits!

I stumbled upon this recipe today, as I was wondering if I should make regular biscuits or something more super fantastic with our Pot Roast made in the crock pot.

I took a poll on the face page, and consensus was that I should make the cheddar bay off the Internet.

They were actually pretty close. I am sure if I had the required amount of Bisquick, or cheddar, they would have been spot on!

Here is the link!

Have you ever made a copy cat recipe and it turn out fantastic?
Do tell!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Poor Man's Pad Thai

I love peanut butter.  I actually quite enjoy Ramen Noodles.  They are super cheap. And completely unhealthy.  I never had to live on Ramen, I lived at home through college. Both times that I went full time.

Chicken flavor is my favorite.  I tried one a couple weeks ago that was a spicy shrimp or something, it was good too.

But anyways, I saw a pin on the Pintrest.  Peanut Butter, Sriracha Sauce, and Ramen?!  WHAT!  That is out of this world! I had to try it.  So I did, and I have been eating it probably 1-2 times a week, for the past month.

Here is my delicious concoction.  Mind you, this is purely my preference/flavor combo for eating.
So, basically you make your Ramen, drain out about half the water, add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (not organic, I tried that, it wasn't good). And add 2 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce. Or if you don't like it so hot, start with less, and increase to your liking.  They say you can use chunky peanut butter, I have also tried that, it didn't really do anything for me.  I posted the reicpe on my Recipe page, if you want it without all my posty stuff, check out the other stuff there too!

Once you have eaten all of your noodles, slurp, yes, slurp all of your delicious noodle water juices.  I LOVE that part.

Have you tried a weird flavor combination that was a little questionable at first?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Manicure Monday : Snowflake!

It snowed on Thanksgiving, and it has been cold enough for it to stay around.

I painted a base of Nicole by OPI's Party in the Penthouse, and used a toothpick to draw the snowflake with OPI's Rinse Charming. I was bored, so I ended up adding a line to the cuticle area too!

Finished it off with Seche top coat, and wah-la! Pretty nails!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Day 5K!

First off, Happy Thanksgiving!  My most favorite holiday of the year!

So, my running friend D and I have done the Turkey Day 5K for 2 years I think?  For sure last year, but I think the year prior as well, I could go through my closet with the pile of Race T's if I wanted, but I am not at home.

Our T-shirts and my personalized bib!
At any rate.  We did it, our 5K. Finished, I think she did better than usual, or I did worse? I didn't have my inhaler (that's my excuse), and neither of us really know when either of us finished. We both donated a bag of food, and once it was done, I zoomed home, and took a shower, and now we are headed north to have dinner and spend the night at my grandparent's house.  A two and a half hour drive, that I wish was quicker.

Turkey Day 5K, 2012
Hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your family, and you enjoy the fellowship around the table!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manicure Monday : Maroon and Gold

It's Thanksgiving this week!  I LOVE Thanksgiving.  It is my most favorite holiday of the year! Everyone gets together, they eat a bunch of food, and then they just hang out.  There is no giving or receiving of gifts, just people hanging out, engaging in fellowship with one another.

I painted my nails with Thanksgiving in mind, and I decided to do a maroon and gold look.

I am not going to lie, it is really similar to my black cherry and gold manicure I did back in September, but I swear it's not the same, it's a little different.

I painted all my nails with the exception of my ring finger maroon, and painted my ring finger gold.  Then I followed up with gold glitter on the tips, doing a little big of a gradient on them, and then I did all over gold glitter on the gold nail.  Sealed it in with a top coat, and viola! We have a manicure people.

What is your favorite Holiday?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Manicure Monday : French Tips!

I got Married on Saturday! But on Friday night as we were running around we still needed to get our nails done, and a spray tan.
Thankfully we found a place at 7:45pm that would take us for mani/pedis.

I got a gel french manicure with a rhinestone, pretty traditional.

We will see how long it lasts!

Update: It lasted like a week, and then I started chipping it off, which was a bad idea.  It tore off little layers of my nails, and they needed a lot of nail TLC.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Manicure Monday : Teal Sparkle!

Sometimes when my nail polish matches my shirt and even other clothes that no one can see, it really does make me feel like I have my sh*t together. Even if it is for that moment that I realize it.

I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way, right? :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012


So, I tried a juice/fruit only detox. To cleanse the system.

It was supposed to go for 5 days.
I gave up after 48 hours(including sleeping hours).

It was nasty. There was a gross tea, and a DISGUSTING banana flavored protein shake.

This morning I couldn't drink all of either servings. My body was rejecting it (literally).
Hopefully the colon got what it needed, not a full rest, but really, the best I could do.
I will say, I did eat 4 apples, 3 clementines, around 4 cups of grapes, 2 cups of mango, and few glasses of juice and water.
Hopefully I got enough antioxidants in my system.

Still have a bunch of fresh strawberries, pineapple, mangos, apples, grapefruit, clementines, grapes and 5 different juices- including prune- gonna have to incorporate those fully so they don't go to waste... :)

The photo doesn't look like a lot, but when your body is fighting to get it down..

Have you ever tried a detox? Did you make it through it? Any suggestions on a better one?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween out there! 

As an adult, I like it more, but usually just for the Halloween Parties!  The ones I attend, generally have a lot of alcohol.

This party, however, was for work, and I needed to bring something appropriate.  One Pot Luck item that I enjoy the most, is Spinach dip and Hawaiian Rolls.  Super simple, and people will generally eat it all gone.  Today was no different.

I bought the rolls, and cut them up into squares, and then I came up with brilliant idea to use a French roll as the body for a mummy, and then you could dip into his stomach!  I couldn't get the head idea to work out well, I chopped it up, but I never cut all the way through, so there was the opportunity to salvage it!!

I took 5 connected paper towels and cut them into long strips, and used those as the strips around him, and just colored with permanent marker for the eyes.  I think he turned out pretty good.
Spinach Mummy Dip
To help me get in the Halloween Spirit, with out dressing up, I cut up my fiance's shirt, based on something I saw on Pintrest.  He wasn't the most thrilled, but I bought him a package of muscle shirts last week, and this was an old one that had a tiny hole in it anyway.  Boys can be such babies.

I wore the muscle shirt over a black button down, the front I left plain, and just wore some long heavy black and silver necklaces. I didn't take a good photo of my hair, or make up, but the hair was pinned in a kind of a mohawk fashion, and I had heavy black eye makeup on.  It was a little interesting when one of my boss' (yes, I have two. It's super fun - not.) came by and was 'Whoa.. I am going to have to get used to this look.'

Here is a photo of my shirt from the back:
Aside from the bad blurry photo, you can kind of see my wedding dress hanging in a long clear bag, it has an apron over it so, even if the fiance does happen to come into my dressing room, he can't see the top, or really any of the details of it.

What do you think of the dip or the shirt?  I could have probably done a little better, if I wasn't already late heading out of the door, and cutting last minute.

Do you do anything, as an adult without children for holidays?  I would love to hear below!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Manicure Monday : Spooky Eyes

It's the week of Halloween!

And with that in mind, I painted my nails black, I had seen on Pintrest these cute little googly eyed guys, and I knew I wanted to recreate them!  The original pin was from the Icy Nails blog.

It's pretty basic.  Use a pen/pencil/toothpick, or anything with a tip, and put a large dot of the white. Once that is dry, then go back with a smaller tipped item, and put a little black dot on it to make the pupil.  Then, seal it with a topcoat!

Hope you enjoyed. Check out Icy Nails' blog, and if you tried it, let me know! I would love to share your photos!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Manicure Monday : Purple Glitter

Hello Hello Hello!!!

Are you ready for this?! No? 

Well, you better get off my page man.

So, today we are sporting a fantastic purple manicure, with a fantastic glitter polish, looking pretty snazzy, right?!

Hope you like it!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bachelorette Party!

I am officially down to the very last month of my engagement. Yes, my short engagement that has lasted, a little over a month. (more about that here.)

And so, in keeping with tradition (because I am completely traditional) my sister suggested a Zombie Pub Crawl!

In her mind/idea she thought we would all dress up as brides, in my mind, I would dress up as a bride, and everyone else would have brides' maid dresses on.  I couldn't find a bride's dress at any of my favorite thrift shops, and ended up wearing a more brides maid dress.  Little sister wore a white summer type dress, and her friend (well, a family friend really)- wore one of her older sister's wedding dresses. 

I made a Zesty Italian Crock-Pot Chicken, I found it through Pintrest, but here is a direct link to the blog I pinned it from.  It was easy to make, I used 6 breasts instead of 4, and put the raw chicken in the freezer for about 20 minutes and pulled it out, cut it up into 1/2 cubes, and followed it the rest of the way.  I made bow tie pasta like the blogger did as well.  It fed us all, and there were leftovers too.  There were a couple of dips, and crackers and veggies out too.  But this was the main bit of sustenance for us all.  From what I remember, it was pretty tasty!  I would make it again, I think I would add a little milk at the end to make it a little runnier, but, well, I had a lot of 'Pimp Juice' by the time it was ready, and wasn't the best hostest at that time.

Little sister's friend made what she called 'Pimp Juice' and brought that.  Well, let me just tell you.  I don't remember much.  I do know the Fiance drove 4 of us down and we jumped out, and one of my best friends drove and brought 3 with her.

I also remember that I biffed it off a curb, (to my defense, it was dark, and the curb was curved, everyone was waiting to board buses to leave Zombie Island, and I didn't see that I was halfway on/off the curb), I also remember, that at the end of the night, we were trying to get a cab, a van pulled up, people piled out, and I was like, c'mon ladies, I got us a cab, and the lady in the van, looks at me and was pissed, and said - 'Get out of my van, this is not a taxi!'  I am a happy friendly drunk, and was like - 'Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry.' And then started in to my reasoning why I jumped in, as my sister and friend pulled me out.

Either way, here is a photo of our un-dead crew.  As you can see, we had a pretty good drinking crew.
The 'Un-Dead'
This is a picture of my two best friends at Zombie Island, and myself on the right.  The girl in the middle and a better photo of her in the lower right, she did all of our scabs. She did a really good job.  :)

Oh, and the most annoying thing of the night?  DMX didn't show up.  So rude, and they were the ones I really wanted to see. 

How was your Bachelorette Party?  Did you sit around and have high tea?  I am heading back to the couch to sleep the rest of this off.

*18NOV Update*
We set a world record that night!  Pulled from the Guinness Book of World Records site:
Record Title: Largest gathering of zombies
Attempt Text: The largest gathering of zombies involved 8,027 participants and was achieved by Zombie Pub Crawl (USA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 13 October 2012.

Record Title: Largest gathering of zombies
Attempt Text: The largest gathering of zombies involved 8,027 participants and was achieved by Zombie Pub Crawl (USA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 13 October 2012.

Record Title: Largest gathering of zombies
Attempt Text: The largest gathering of zombies involved 8,027 participants and was achieved by Zombie Pub Crawl (USA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 13 October 2012.

Record Title: Largest gathering of zombies
Attempt Text: The largest gathering of zombies involved 8,027 participants and was achieved by Zombie Pub Crawl (USA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 13 October 2012.

Record Title: Largest gathering of zombies
Attempt Text: The largest gathering of zombies involved 8,027 participants and was achieved by Zombie Pub Crawl (USA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 13 October 2012.
And I think I read somewhere that DMX did show up, but really late, and I guess they were rude about how many white people were there.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

TC10Mile, ugh.

First, let me start out with, that was dumb.

I hated it, just about every mile after 5.  I have completed the 10k, and I have finished plenty of 5K's.  But this one sucked butt.

For real.  Yes. I will never do a 10 Mile ever again.  I honestly haven't run that much since the 10K.  I completed the 10K and the 10Mile with the same lady, whom I greatly adore.  I also completed the Color Run in July with her too.

For the 10 Mile, we walked, jogged and walked some more.  From Minneapolis, to St. Paul.  No thanks, next time, I will just jump in my car, catch a bus, or take a cab if I ever need to get from the Metrodome to the State Capital.  For the record, it is also not the shortest distance to the Capital.  I am almost sure of that.

But, I completed it.

I also received my very first medal!! That was exciting too!!

And because my friend is such a good socializer (I am not) she scored us a couple of passes to the special Medtronic Tent.  After we finished, we grabbed our shirts, and our medals, and headed over to the tent for some refreshments, they had sandwiches, and water, coffee (it was darn cold - it was SUPER windy too) and we got some sacks to put our loot in.  While we were there, they awarded the 1st place for men's, women's, and Marathon runners.  Literally like 10 feet away from where we were standing, trying to soak up some sun. So that was kind of cool.

Here is a mash up of some of my photos - notice the hat? My gloves were in my pockets. 

And this is right before the finish line, like literally 30 yards before I was done. Ugh. Again, never will I ever do another 10 Mile.

Have you ever signed up for something that you perhaps should have prepared a little better for?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bunny Butt Cake!

Today is my former neighbor's birthday party.  I used to be, I swear as creepy as it sounds, best friends with her when she was 3, and I was like 13.  So weird.  She turns 21 today.  This is also my Fiance's best friend's little sister.  His best friend is the reason why we met. Or well, more specifically, his best friend's parents are the reason why we met, since they bought the house there 20 years ago.. Or maybe I should thank my mom's parents for building said house 40 years ago?  Another day.

Today we celebrate her birthday.  She is a HUGE animal lover, has an indoor bunny rabbit, which she is madly in love with. Her rabbit is potty trained, and they have a liter box and every thing.

I had seen a bunny butt cake on Pintrest. A long time ago - you know, Easter time.  But I really wanted to make one!  And now I had a reason!

I pretty much followed the recipe directions on the Betty Crocker website.  I didn't use any marshmallows, I made muffins for the tail and feet.  I didn't do any ears for my bunny friend.  I used a bake and fill cake pan for the body.

To frost my friend, I slathered on the canned vanilla frosting, and just tapped it with a butter knife to make the peaks.  I took a little of the white frosting and tinted it pink with food coloring to make the feet.  I mean, the girl is turning 21, she should be drunk by the time I show up anyways.

What do you think?
As you can see, I probably should have done a crumb layer.  I also should have planned ahead, and decided to make this yesterday, so I could have picked up the eggs and frosting before 10am today.

I don't plan on staying at the party very late tonight, I have a 10Mile run tomorrow.  So, I will make an appearance, and head to bed at my dad's house, and get up at what.. 5 am?  ugh.  Why am I doing this tomorrow?!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Manicure Monday : Black Cherry and Gold

This week, we are going Black Cherry and Gold Glitter Gradient.

I talked in a previous post about how to do the gradient, you can find that post here.

It's a pretty easy technique, and not too difficult.  I do hope you try it sometime for yourself sometime soon(and also that you share a photo with me of your handy work, and I will post it)!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Manicure Monday : Leopard Spots

Happy Monday!

Well, yesterday I decided I wanted grey nails, and to add a little pop of fun in the mix,  I have done a leopard print before in my life, this time though, I decided to do the pink leopard look.

I promise you this: it is actually easy!  Paint your nails a base color. and then grab a contrasting color, and put some on a piece of paper or something, and dip the tip of a pencil, toothpick, anything that has a tip of some sort, and kind of dab it on in a dot sort of formation, or drag it a little into a 'v'.  Keep them pretty spaced out, because you need to add the black outline to it too!  For that, put a dab of your darkest, 1 coat coverage black, or other preferred color, and just sort of add a thin line with the tip of a toothpick or what have you around the edge of the dots, 2 or 3 marks should be good.  And then put your top coat on.

Then, as you walk around sporting your super sweet nail art, let everyone know what a bad A** you are.  Because you did it yourself.

I just googled it, and came across this polish-a-holic's site: Candy Coated Tips.  Same idea, grey and pink.

Have you tried this look, or do you have a nail art design you would like to share?!  Let me know below!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BLT's... mMMMmmMMmm....

Who doesn't love bacon?  Have you started baking your bacon in the oven yet?  I have, I like it, but to an extent.  See, yes, it is easy, and yes, you just toss it in, have no worries of frying bacon naked, and free up your stove top for other things.  BUT (and maybe it's just my oven) it tends to take like.. for-ev-er.

At any rate, I I came across this pin, and went to the source.  She used a whiskey/brown sugar syrup on it.  I did not, I am a purest.  I like my bacon - as bacon.

Pretty much followed her directions, for the most part.  I cut the bacon strips in half, weaved them set them in the oven at 350 for about a half hour/forty-five minutes. and then slapped them on top of  some lettuce and miracle whip on wheat toasted bread.

Looks great, right?  Well, it was, sort of.  Let me level with you.  I like a lot of bacon on my sandwich, and I always omit the tomato (not my thing).  But, biting into the bacon sandwich, there was too much bacon. And I generally do use probably about 6 half slices.. not sure why I wasn't a fan of this way.  It was fun, and I had high hopes, it just didn't pan out.

So, moral of the post, I will not do crosshatch/weave bacon again, but and I will use the oven, but only when I have large groups of people over, or need a mass quantity of cooked bacon. 

I am half thinking about buying the pre-cooked stuff in the store. Have you tried the pre-cooked bacon, or do you know of a fantastically faster way to make it in the oven?  Maybe I am doing something wrong. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Manicure Monday : Blue Glitter Gradient

I love how my nails turned out!!

I wanted something more fun than the traditional French tip, and I LOVE glitter, I didn't like the harsh line with glitter though, so I decided to fade it!!!

I used the tip of an ordinary dish sponge, just snipped the corner off, put some glitter on a piece of junk mail, and tapped away!

I love it!

What do you think?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Manicure Monday- the first of Many!

So I decided I needed to put something up once a week, a theme if you will.

I own well over 200 nail polish colors. Mostly OPI, some Wet N Wild, Orly, you name it, and if it's a readily available brand in the US, I probably own one or two colors from the brand.  With the exception of some of the high end brands.  I do own a couple of Este Lauder colors, but really, who needs to pay $17 for a bottle of polish? (please note, I paid like $3 a bottle) Not me, but thanks!

I decided on Manicure Monday, I paint my nails on Sunday night anyways, in preparation of the work week, so by Monday, my nails usually have the extra polish on my flesh washed away.  This week because of the holiday, I painted them a little earlier, and then washed them down really well.

So today, in order to show off my new fancy schmancy ring, I chose to go pretty subdued.

This year my New Year's Resolution was to always paint an accent nail. A nail that was different than the others.  I chose my ring finger this year for that purpose, and have been able to keep this resolution thus far.

I used OPI white and a holographic OPI topcoat for the tips and over the ring finger a few times.

Turns out my hands look really wrinkly.  Wonder why.  I'm only 31, so they shouldn't look that bad.. maybe I am just being hard on myself. :)

Do you have a New Year's Resolution?  Were you able to keep it?  We are almost done with this year, my other New Year's Resolutions were to try one new recipe per week on average (doing okay on that one) and to wear earrings everyday (haven't kept that one).

Duluth! Big things!!

Saturday I did the Women Rock 10K, with my friend Karen. She is also one of the girls that I did The Color Run with too. I am not sure how I talked her into it. My friend Sonya hurt her ribs awhile back, and decided she didn't want to do it.  Karen and I are doing the TC10 Mile in October, and according to the training plan, we were supposed to be running that distance anyways.  I mean, I ran 20 minutes straight on Thursday, I can do this.. Right?

I will say this, I am not quite sure we should have done it.  It was long. But she did make it better than it could have been, and it was the first time I had ever done a race with anyone, like, running/walking with someone, on purpose.

But we got a glass of champagne (warm), a 'W' Necklace with a real sapphire, and a jacket.  If we had signed up for real, we would have gotten a calendar of the half dressed firefighters.  But, at the end, we did get our picture taken with one.
So after we were done, I went and visited my sister's kids, she has 3 now.  I went to see my niece who is 12, and nephew who is 6, they now have a littler brother who is like.. 2 weeks old or something.  I don't have a relationship with my sister. She is evil, and my life has been better without her games in it.

But we went to the little city wading pool, my niece told me about her new school (she has a new one every year) and about the uniforms that they have to wear.  She says she misses me, I miss her a whole heap too.  I was like her second mom until she was 5.  Literally.  She was born in April my Senior year of High School.  That summer, if I went shopping, so did she, people thought she was my baby.  Which I thought was dumb, since she had been to my final band concert, and I had shown her off then.

At any rate, it sucks for her, because she is put in the middle of everything, only hearing the evil and half truths her mother spews.

Changing gears.

On Sunday the the Boyfriend and I went to Duluth!  We like to go once a year, and we hadn't made a trip up there yet.  So we packed in to the car, and started up.  The Boyfriend doesn't really like breakfast, allegedly.  But one of the things you do when you make the trip north, is you stop at Tobies!  They make delicious caramel rolls.  They have a gas station and gift shop and whatever else.  But we go to the restaurant portion of it.  So yummy!
Tobies Caramel Pecan Roll
Once we were stuffed, we hit the road again, and onward to Duluth!  It's a little bit of a drive, about 3 hours from where we live now.  But we did it.  The last time we went there, it was July 4th, and quite fun!!  They had live music in a band shell, and a carnival, and beautiful weather.

Any who, we went up to the rest stop on Skyline Drive.  It's always a nice view from up there.  As a child, we would pile out of the car, and stretch our legs, knowing that it would only be another 20 minutes or so before we got to our Aunt and Uncle's house.

After we stretched our legs we went to Spirit Mountain, just on the other side of I-35, and we took a ride on the Timber Twister, and the Zipline ride.  I will say, the Timber Twister was way more fun!  We rode down once together, and then we each went two more times on our own.  We bought a package that included a trip on the Vista Fleet down in Canal Park on the shore of Lake Superior.  So once we were done with our ride tickets, we headed down to Canal Park.

Once we got to Canal Park we checked in with the Vista Fleet Cruises, and it turns out the only cruise that had any openings, was the 8pm Sunset cruise.  Well, it was only 3, so, we had awhile to walk around.  It was apparently Gay Pride time up there this weekend.  We didn't know, but we saw the stereotypical sailor.  It made me laugh.

We went and signed the log book in the Maritime Museum, dropped a dollar in for a donation, and walked along the park.

We ended up taking a tour of the William A. Irvine, our tour guide, was a college girl, but she had attitude the whole time.  It was one of the worst tours I had ever been on, and what sucked even more, I actually wanted the tour to be good.

After the tour, we walked around figured we should eat something, so we headed over to Little Angie's Cantina.  The food was really good, and relatively inexpensive too!  But while we were eating, it was getting cold, the wind was picking up, and the sun was starting to set.  It was about 7, so we got up and tried to find a couple of cheap sweatshirts, since neither of us thought we would be up there that long.  Our cheap sweatshirts were $35 a piece.  Bummer.

Once we had the sweatshirts, the Boyfriend had to go back to the car to drop off something, I didn't know what, but he insisted I wait in line, we still had a 20 minute wait.  So he headed back to the car, I went in to the store to see if I could use the bathroom, they had closed it already, they really only had the gift shop open to sell any last tickets. The Boyfriend got back just in time for us to be herded up on to the boat.

I used the bathroom on deck, and then joined him on the upper deck which was open air.  It was a GOOD thing that we had sweatshirts, because it got darn cold.

While we were on the sunset cruise, my cousins asked us to stop by, they were camping at a campsite on our way home.  We decided we would stop by for an hour, at least make an appearance.

When we got off the boat, the Boyfriend wanted to take the long way back to the car, and walk along the sidewalk to the amphitheater that we had listened to the bands on the 4th of July when we had came up 2 years ago.

And I was reading a little plaque, and he pulls on my shirt, and I turn around, he's down on bended knee, and he asked me to marry him!!

I said yes.  SO now, I have a ring!! :)

Very fun!  BIG THINGS!
Duluth Skyline from Lake Superior, and my new RING!
To tie up this post, we did end up visiting the cousins at the campsite, drank well into the night, and basically got outed by my cousin's wife, so had a lot of congrats from the seasonal campers.

We got home, and we didn't want to do anything today, besides sleep.  And soak my feet again.

Time to plan a wedding!!

Did you have a great proposal or were you kind of like.. well I totally knew, and it wasn't a surprise at all?
I think as people get older, they, unfortunately, are not granted the opportunity as the young'uns are, I think older people tend to date longer too.. not old, but older than 18-26.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Super Simple Snack : Peaches and Cottage Cheese!

It's August, and I have posted before about the super awesome Colorado Peaches at BoB's Produce.  Love them, absolutely without a doubt.

I also really enjoy cottage cheese.

When I was growing up, my mom would have dinner, and would sometimes serve us up for dessert, peaches and cottage cheese.  I actually like it.  She used canned peaches, proabably because that was what she had on hand.  Well, I have fresh, ripe, super juicy Colorado Peaches! 

I ate this a couple of times for breakfast, and a couple of times as an afternoon snack waiting for the Boyfriend to come home.  He's been working until 6:30 lately, and, in order for me to not be starving and cranky, this was a nice mid afternoon snack for me.

Here we have it 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, and a cut up peach. SO yummy!!
Peach segments and cottage cheese
Peach segments and cottage cheese.
Tonight I made beef kabobs on the grill.  Kabobs are so simple, a great summer time dinner.  Cut up peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes if you would like, some meat if you are into that. Thread them on some skewers and pop on the grill. Turn every 5 or so until the meat is to your liking. 

I cut up some beef cubes the last night threw some soy sauce, wirshesher, garlic, red pepper flakes and ketchup.  Ahh.. yes, quite odd combination, no idea what I was doing, but thinking, they probably taste good on a piece of meat, right?

Turns out I was right, as per usual. (ha, ha.)

I tossed them in the marinate this morning, and again when I got home from work. Once I knew the Boyfriend was on his way home, I fired up the grill, and while it heated up I threaded the cut up veggies and meat on skewers, and threw them on.  Cooked the kabobs for about 15-20 minutes.  And viola!  Dinner.  I picked up some coleslaw and stuffed mushrooms(to throw on the grill) on my way home too, so we had a little mini feast!
Beef Kabobs
I like my veggies charred.  If you aren't into that, turn the heat down.  It was all so yummy. 

Do you have a go-to marinade recipe to share?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Microwave Caramels

Ohhhhh Pintrest, you are a semi-ridiculous obsession.  If you have not heard of Pintrest, man are you lucky.  Basically what it is, is an online corkboard where you 'pin' things you like.  You can have what I imagine are an unlimited amount of boards. 

A few boards that I have are: Dinner, Let's Do Lunch, Breakfast, Drink Up, Spook-tac-u-lar, Bake Me A Cake, and Winter Wonderland.  They are pretty obvious what I have been pinning to each board.  Basically items that would fall into dinner ideas, get pinned to Dinner, lunch to the Lunch board, and Halloween items to the Spook-tac-u-lar board.  Pretty simp - right?  And super addicting.

I literally can waste about an hour a day on that site, on my nifty little iPhone.  If you know anyone that has a Pintrest account, they can attest, that they waste so much time on it.

Well one day back in March or something I came across a Pin for Microwave Caramels that I pinned to my 'Treat Time' board.  Takes only 6 minutes and five ingredients, and you don't have to fuss with a thermometer.  Perfect, because I don't own one of those anyways. 

So I started out, and I swear I always screw up when a recipe calls for x cups of butter.  Plus I hate when it does not indicate if it's salted or unsalted butter.  I know when you bake, generally you use unsalted, but why can't you just indicate if I should be using salted or unsalted butter in the recipe!!! Shoot.. 

At any rate the recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of butter.  I look at the package it says blah blah 1/4 cup of butter.  Perfect.  So I put the whole stick in.

I start melting the butter and the rest of the ingredients.  And at the 3 minute mark, it looks like there is an awful lot of butter in it, what an oil slick.  I have made taffy and caramel before, and I know this is not going to form a cohesive substance no matter how long I have this in the microwave or let cool.  So I scratch my head and think to myself, Self, what the heck went wrong here....  let's look at this again.. okay, 1/4 cup of butter. I re-read the stick of butter, 4 tbs = 1/4 cup, okay.  Look at the stick again.. oh.... there are 8 tbs in a stick.  Why the heck didn't they just say 1/2 stick of butter!!!

SHOOT. Gosh.  Man, sometimes I wish I could comprehend things better.  Well, let's double this biotch.  So I dump in the rest of the ingredients again, to make it double.  And start heating/stirring it up.  I cooked it a little longer because I needed to make sure it all got hot enough to the boiling or whatever that traditional caramels need... and then I decided I would put some in a couple of silicone ice trays that I had that were in the shapes of stars.  Well, doy.  Of course I am going to burn myself with the extremely hot caramel, why wouldn't I? I mean, I have been doing so well with this super simple recipe so far.

Once I have 12 little silicone stars filled, I dump the rest into the buttered 8 x 8 Pyrex, and throw them all in the fridge.  Other people said they wouldn't leave it in there for 20 minutes, so I kept checking them to see if they were hardened enough. 

Uh. No.  I checked at every 5 minutes for an hour.  They were not hard enough.  Then I moved to checking at every half hour. After 2 hours, they were not solid enough.  I would cut through them with a knife, and they were never solid enough to keep the cuts visible.  So I left them overnight, and put the silicone trays in the freezer.

This morning I checked on them, they were sort of ready?  I pulled them out and cut them, and took each piece out, and layed them seperately on a piece of plastic wrap.  And threw them back in the freezer, because I could see they were wanting to relax, spread out again.
Caramels after being in the freezer all day.
They taste good.  I mean, they are soft.  I think it would be super delish to put over ice cream, or throw on some popcorn, well, maybe the popcorn will be too messy yet, since it never really set up.  But it's good, put it in your coffee for a lovely caramel coffee treat.  But yeah, not worth trying to wrap up in individuals.  Too many things went wrong with this to tell if it's user error, or what.  Plus it's in a microwave, and microwaves vary greatly.

Try a different recipe that I have previously posted, check out the ones that are not a fail in my book.
I might make this and then a fudge sauce and then put them in some jars, and give as Christmas gifts or something for an ice cream topping gift.  It really would be good.

The silicones?  I threw them away, caramel stuff and all.

So.  Fail for what I wanted them to be.  But success for ice cream or coffee.  Have you tried this recipe?

*Update*  I dipped the frozen caramels in melted chocolate, to see if the chocolate would hold them together to make them something you could put in a dish or something, it sort of worked, I should have made sure I had a thick coating on them.  The caramel was soft like in a Milky Way bar.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Visitors and the Museum

The Boyfriend's car had some sort of serious issue this week.  I am not a mechanic, and quite frankly, not going to lie, I don't really care what the problem was.  His best friend and his son came over on Friday night and started to fix the issue.  Now, the Boyfriend's best friend's kid is like 9 or something. I have no idea really, old enough to the point where he should be able to control himself, or at least figure out how to be calm.  He doesn't.  The kid isn't a bad kid, just has a hard time being good.

On Friday the kid and I played Uno, and there was a little bit of cheating going on, so, I had to end that.  Otherwise the kid wanted to talk about his DS game.. not sure which one.. but he is very passionate about all the cool things it can do.  I asked him if he wanted to go find the park or something, but he replied he was more of an 'indoor kid'.  I asked what that was, he said I just like to be indoors, I asked why, he said because that's where all his video games are.  Well, that does make sense.  He said his grandma will sometimes tell him to go outside though.  I asked if he had ever been out of breath before, he asked what that was.  Slight problem there..

But anyways, the guys weren't done playing car mechanic on Friday night, the Boyfriend had to work on Saturday, so I knew the kid would be heading over with his dad, not a huge problem, but I have to figure out how we are going to be entertained together, I figured he was old enough to cook or something, so I hatched a plan.

When they came over, I heard some more about his video games and what not, and then I asked him if he liked to cook.  I am not saying everyone who is an indoor person has to like to cook (but what the heck are you doing inside all day if you aren't cooking?!).  But I figured if we worked on creating something, rather than being destructive, than it was okay in my book.  What is one of the simplest things to make?  Well, heck, Rice Krispies!  But, I didn't have any of those, what I did have though, were Peanut Butter Cheerio's that did not have a very strong peanut butter flavor.  So, let's make PB Cheerio Bars!
Peanut Butter Cheerio Bar
Behold, the magic of peanut butter!
It's basically the traditional Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Bar Recipe but made with Cheerios instead.  I had him measure out the marshmallows and the cheerios. And stir it all together.  You can see the full PB Cheerio Bar recipe here.

I had to put them in the freezer to get them to harden, because it didn't take the Boyfriend and his best friend to finish whatever it was that they were doing.  I was baking some boxed cupcakes to hopefully frost with the kid too, but he left before they were really ready.

I had made some Crock-Pot Chicken Taco meat earlier in the day, threw in some extra jalapenos to use to make Chicken Tostadas, I had some cilantro, and threw on some extra salsa and Queso Blanco for extra goodness.
Crock-Pot Chicken Tostadas
Chicken Tostadas
I asked if anyone wanted any, no one did, it was 7pm, and I was starving, more for me then!  So I ate mine, it was SO filling!! You kind of eat it like a pizza.  When the Boyfriend ate some later on, he crushed up the tostadas, and poured everything on it, threw on some regular shredded cheese, added some sour cream, and ate it that way.

I also frosted those cupcakes once they were cooled.  I used my ultimate favorite Rainbow Chip Frosting by Betty Crocker, which is surprisingly hard to find where I live.  When I go down to Southern Minnesota, I stop in at a store in Bricelyn to pick some up.  And since I was there last weekend, it only made sense that I would come home with some.  But that means, I needed to use up an older container that I bought apparently in the Spring, since it was called Spring Chip, date was good, so let's slap it on some cupcakes.
Yellow Cupcake with Spring Chip Frosting
I ended up bringing the cupcakes with me to a picnic with my little sister and her son.  We went to the Children's Museum on Target's Free Sunday.  The Children's Museum was listed in Parent's Magazine 10 Best Children's Museum in 2011.  It was good entertainment for the Nephew (he's just over 2 now).  I will say this, I wish I could go when there were no kids there, then I could get everything to work like it should.. me and my adult sized brain can figure it out all on my own! 

After the museum we went back to the parking ramp, and ate sandwiches, veggies crackers and juice and my cupcakes.  Yes, we ate IN the parking ramp, in the corner on a blanket, next time I think I will suggest bringing outdoor chairs.  I sent her home with some extra PB Cheerio Bars to share with my dad.  I transported the cupcakes in upside down Tupperware.  You can sort of see it in the photo.  It worked out decently.

On a side note, my older sister had her 3rd kid on Wednesday. So now she has a 12 (girl), 6(boy) and newborn(boy).  That's really all there is to say about that.

Do you have a better way to transport goodies?  Do share!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cream Cheese Poundcake

Well I had been trolling blogs earlier in the week, and came upon a recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  I had a slice of Lemon Pound Cake the week prior from a gal at work, and it was pretty good.  So I figured, I should make one.  And with cream cheese?  Sounds even better. 

I gathered up all the ingredients and put it together.  I will say I followed what she said, but it took forever to bake.  Literally. FOR-EV-ER.

True story.  I don't think it was worth it.  The crusty part on the bottom was tasty, I cut it off, because it wasn't sitting correctly.  And cut it up, whipped up some heavy cream with some sugar, and served it with strawberries.
Pound Cake
Cream Cheese Pound Cake with whipped cream and strawberries.
Like I said, I don't think it was worth it, and will not make it again.  Maybe I am not a pound cake person.  I just didn't understand why people always say how much they love a pound cake, but how it is so fattening that they don't eat it very often.

I am just not going to eat it very often in general. 

But on the plus side, I did make some pretty good whipped cream.  It may not have been very stiff, but I really wanted to avoid the problem I had when I made my Magic Strawberry Ice Cream, where I turned it halfway into butter..

I didn't throw it away (even though I wanted to), I brought it to work and left it in the galley, a.k.a. the magic area where everything gets eaten. Were you looking forward to trying a new recipe only to find out that you wanted to throw it away once it was finished?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Birthday Party!

This past weekend was the Boyfriend's sister in law and good family friend's birthday celebration.  Their birthdays are 1 day apart, and they share a bunch of mutual friends (ha - and probably family members), so it really only makes sense to have a joint birthday party!

The birthday party was super fun, had a great time, and met a couple more of my Boyfriend's Southern MN friends.  Got to catch up with the Boyfriend's family, and play Corn Hole.  Which I ABSOLUTELY love.  I love lawn games.  I think there might have been some miss calculation of the score, so if you are playing, I definitely recommend having a score board of some sort.  Here is a site I found on how to make a few different score boards, and with drink holders no less!

Growing up, as a family, we rarely showed up with out anything to share.  I sent a text to the Boyfriend's sister in law, and she said bring a yummy dessert.  AWESOME!  I have been waiting for a reason to make Oreo Truffles.  I know they are extremely unhealthy, and make a ton of servings, so it would be best for me to have a reason to bring them somewhere before making them.  So that is exactly what I did!
Peanut Butter Oreo Truffle
Yummy Peanut Butter Oreo Truffle!
I couldn't decide what flavor of Oreo to use.  But it was a Birthday Party! So I made two different batches.  One batch was made with Birthday Cake Oreo Cookies, and the other was with Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies.  How AWESOME!

Basically you take a package of cookies, crush them into a fine powder, and mix in 8 oz. of cream cheese, form them into balls.
Oreo Truffle Base
Oreo Cookie Truffle Base
Dip each ball into melted chocolate (I used Bakers White Chocolate), sprinkle something to make them prettier on top, and DEVOUR!   Wait, I mean package up so others can enjoy!
Melted Chocolate and Oreo Truffles
Dipping the Oreo Truffles in melted chocolate
I put sprinkles on the Birthday Cake Oreo Truffles, and mini semi sweet chocolate chips on the Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles, so that I could tell them apart from one another.  They were so good!  And were devoured pretty quickly at the party. 

I will say this, they were a little putzy, I found a rhythm once I started dipping, and you can certainly tell that I dipped the Birthday Cake Oreo Truffles first, but I would make again, for sure!  You can find more information about the Oreo Truffles and other recipes over on my Recipe Page too!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Focaccia Bread

I first made this recipe last year, and I absolutely loved it.  And have been wanting to make it again ever since.

I love the America's Test Kitchen TV show on PBS, and their cookbooks.  America's Test Kitchen does the Cook's Country show also, but I like America's Test Kitchen more for some reason. I greatly enjoy how they break things down and tell you why things are the way they are, what they did to make it better, and how you can re-create things on your own at home.

The show has a Rosemary Focaccia bread.  I don't buy Rosemary, and didn't bother with it either time I made this.  I just used the Italian Seasonings grinder that I already own.  I used it on the big grinder setting, and then I twist it to a small grind halfway through, so I can get a big bits, and little bits on my bread.  I don't know if it makes that much of a difference?  But I do it anyways.

You can find the recipe for Focaccia Bread on my recipe page.  You can also view it on America's Test Kitchen site too!

I will admit I made the Biga, let it set for 24 hours, and then threw it in the fridge this time, and on the 3rd day, I made the focaccia.  It still was delicious.  When I first made it, I had cheese on it, and then this time, I forgot the cheese at the store.  I liked it more when I had the cheese.
Focaccia dough
Dough and seasonings waiting for the oven.
Focaccia witch cheese and pasta!
Focaccia without cheese
Focaccia without cheese.

Focaccia with cheese
Close up with the cheese!
I love spending my Saturday mornings watching all the cooking shows on PBS.  I don't have cable, otherwise I am sure I would watch a TON of cooking shows.  But I am sure I would always tune in to America's Test Kitchen.

Is there a cooking show that you love?  Let me know you try this recipe! (or well, any of the recipe's I have posted)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cookies - 2 Ways

My Cookie Jar I found at Goodwill a few months ago!
The temperature has died down today, and I thought that was for sure a reason to start up and use the oven!    So I did.  I knew I had leftover white chocolate chips from when I made Magic Strawberry Ice Cream, and didn't have much to do with them.  I also *might* have opened up a bag of dark chocolate & mint chips.. so.. I should use those up too!

So I made up a batch and a half of Hershey's Chocolate Cookies, and split it in two batches.  I poured most of a bag of white chips in one bowl.  And then I poured most of a bag of Hershey's Dark Chocolate and Mint Chips into the other.  Formed them into balls (about 2 tbsp.) and then I pulled the dough ball apart turned the two halves a quarter turn, and pushed together to look like this:
Forming a rough edged cookie - changes the look of an end product!
By doing the pull - twist and push process, it makes it so the baked cookie doesn't look so store bought, but rather more like a home made cookie!  I did this with both batters, the White Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookes, and the Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies.

White Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookie
See the top of the cookie? It is not smooth like when you roll it in a ball and plop it on the sheet.

Here is a photo of the end product of the Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip cookies.  The flavor isn't bad, it kind of tastes like if you were to chop up Andes Mints and mix that into the batter.  Because of the mint, I think it makes it hard to eat these in multiples. But, that's not such a bad thing really.
Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Chocolate Cookie
I have posted the recipes on my recipe page, check out some of the other items too!