Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mexican Night!

Two great recipes I just tried:

If you are sick of the Lipton Mexican rice packets and the like, then try this homemade Mexican rice!

These enchiladas were fabulous! Only thing I would change is to add some of that delicious cheese sauce inside the enchiladas too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Exciting news!!

Garrett and I are expecting a baby this December! And if that isn't exciting enough, we found out this week that it's a boy! :) We are overwhelmed with joy by God's amazing blessing.

Where did the time go???

Today is my official first day being off from school!!! Over the past few months, I had the pleasure of working with a third grade class everyday. As much as the long-term job was a blessing, I was also ready for it to be done. I think it has been engrained in me that June, July, and August is summer vacation time for the past 20 or so years. So now I am so excited that I have time now to do whatever I, organize, shop, go to the beach, read, take a nap, and of course cook...

And so my time in the kitchen begins:

On the menu today is Feta, Tomato, and Black Bean Salad. It's so flavorful, so easy, and so full of fiber--if that's what makes your skirt fly up!

15 oz black beans (rinse & drain)
1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup cooked rice (cooled)
4 oz. pkg of crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup finely diced green onion
2 tbsp. (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c. Italian dressing

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate.
(Makes 5-6 servings)

Monday, March 23, 2009

San Francisco

Garrett had to go to San Francisco for work so we made a little getaway vacation out of it. We were able to do so much in just a week! In the beginning of the week, we stayed right next to Stanford University. I was able to check out that area while Garrett worked during the week. My friend Katie lived really close to where we were staying so we got lots of quality time in too.

From there, we drove up to Sonoma Wine Country. We checked out some of the vineyards and stayed in the quaint downtown area. As you can see from the photos below, it was peaceful and beautiful...

On the drive back down to San Francisco, we stopped and hiked through Muir Woods and were able to check out some monstrous Redwoods.

We drove to Garrett's cousin Kirk's house in San Francisco (he was out of town) and met up with his wife, Alyssa. Alyssa was quite the tour guide and showed us all around the city. She also brought us to Philz Coffee, which is one of the best, if not THE BEST, cup o' coffee I've ever had!

Katie and her fiance, Ben, were able to meet up with us in San Francisco for dinner. Alyssa brought us to a very unique Mediterranean restaurant. We sat on the floor with pillows and shared some deliciousness like warm apple cider/Sangria, meat and veggie kabobs, and of course, hummus. Unfortunately, we missed the belly dancers which started later in the night.

All in all, it was a fantastic time and we hope to make another trip before we leave California.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My New Job

I've been subbing here and there since January. I was starting to get antsy to have a steady job (I don't really know why?? :)) so I applied and applied and applied. I was spending ample time searching for something...anything on Craig's List. I heard nothing at all. I applied for jobs that I was overly qualified and not even a response.

I know. I know. This is the cry of millions of people right now. But I know it was more than that. God had the perfect gig planned out for me. I just had to wait for it. The principal at my school offered me another long-term sub position. This time in third grade, which is the grade I taught. I was so pumped!!!

The job starts this Monday: a class of my own for the rest of the school year. And something cool on top of that...but maybe only a teacher would appreciate it. Out of hundreds of spelling programs, my new class uses the same one I did in Ohio. On top of that, my new class starts on "Unit 14" on Monday. It just so happens that I BEGAN making "teacher aid" worsheets starting at "Unit 14" in 2006. I don't have anything for Units 1-13; just 14-25. Okay, I know most wouldn't be excited about it...but I thought that was pretty amazing. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Breadmaker, Breadmaker, oh how I love thee...

I feel like a kid in a candy story....

Yesterday I was checking out a neighbor's garage sale and lo and behold: she was selling an unused breadmaker, with recipe book mind you, for $30. I had to...I couldn't resist. I've been looking through the recipe book tonight and I can't wait to get my hands all floured up!! Recipes I'm hoping to make soon: Good Ol' Wheat, Lemon Blueberry (and turn into French Toast), Sourdough, and Beer Bread.....yum! Guess we need to buy some butter! :)

*San Fran update soon to come, along with a video you won't want to miss! Check back soon...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

10 Random Things

1. Tomorrow Garrett and I leave for a week long trip to San Francisco!

2. I continue to love married life with my amazing husband!

3. I'm missing my Ohioans terribly!

4. This is one of my new favorite CDs: The Fray

5. After many attempts at preparing asparagus and ending up with a stringy/soggy mess, I finally found a recipe that works....Roasted Asparagus.

6. Garrett recently gave his brother, Spencer, his commissioning oath into the U.S. Army making him a 2nd Lieutenant. Spencer and his wife, Lara, will be moving to Germany this Fall! We're so excited for them and for a possible trip to Germany!! :)

7. God has been teaching me lots about His faithfulness while studying Exodus.

8. Scrabble is my new addiction.

9. Frustrated from Jack's constant meowing for food, we caved in and bought him a self-feeder. Life has been a lot quieter but Jack's hiney is now a lot fatter...

10. I learned yesterday not to adjust a burner with your bare hands after turning it on may result, in case you didn't know, in a painful burn.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


If you are a salmon fan, try this recipe: Baklava Salmon. If you are a fan of sweets, like me, add 1 T more honey.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Surprise Weekend

(Shirley Temple...look at her little hands!!)

Sarah came to visit this past weekend for her birthday. Little did she know, Lisa and I had a surprise in store for her. We had two of our other friends from high school, Katie and Megan, come in for the weekend too. She was shocked...the expression on her face was priceless. We had so much fun over the weekend doing the Hollywood tourist attractions, hanging out around the beach area, shopping, and just being together. There was lots of estrogen going on at our place, that's for sure. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


My mom said she didn't think the following photos depicted anything too weird so let me give some more commentary at the sites seen at a recent Hollywood trip.

If you haven't yet, click on this photo...view the enlarged version. Seriously, a bunch of stuffed tigers with bendable arms and legs lined up at a gas station. You might have guessed that the gas station was located across from a zoo, but no, just in the midst of some streets in Hollywood/weird.

Then, look at this you can see, Spidey is hanging from a pole striking poses for strangers. We were in Hollywood for 2 hours and he remained on the pole the whole time. Not to mention, the many other creepy characters that lurked around the Walk of Fame. We're talking a dirty costumed Barney and Elmo, Freddy Krueger, and Chucky. Now most people might not be afraid of this situation but you better believe I was. I think Chucky could sense this. I saw that spotted me across the sidewalk and I tried to look away and act tough but I saw his scary eyes watching me the whole time. Then he proceeded to come in my direction. My heart was beating so fast and I wanted to scream. He took out his fake knife and acted like he was going to jab it in my leg. Needless to say, I was freaking out and felt as though this could be the trigger to many future nightmares.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Patterned Chairs from Target

I love these chairs from Target! Most of the chairs are $299. Right now you can get free shipping and 15% off your order. I wish I had room for one of them....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Make This!

You must try this delicious dinner: Bourbon Chicken. (Hold off on the red pepper if you aren't much of a spice fan.) I found it on my favorite recipe website. The cool thing about this website is that you can put a food type in the top toolbar and search recipes for it. Then it will give you all the recipe results and you can sort your results by rating. You will find the highest rated recipe for that food. Bourbon Chicken was the highest rated dish for chicken and had over 1500 ratings saying overall that it was delicous. So of course, I had to try it and you should too!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Next Destination

Today, after a year of praying and lots of waiting, we finally found out that Garrett got accepted into Test Pilot school. I'm so proud of him!! This means we will be moving this December to the desert. I'm excited to see what God has in store for us there. Until then, I will be taking advantage of our beach time here. So...if you want to make a trip out before we leave, book it this year! :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

we're home!

We got home New Year's Eve from an event-filled December! I was so blessed to be at home in Ohio for so long spending much needed time with friends and family. On Christmas, we drove down to Missouri to visit with the rest of our family. Erika, my sister-in-law, told all about our fun together on her blog. We were sad to leave, but we were definitely pumped to get back to the warmer weather and ocean-view. (While we were gone, our neighbors cut down their gigantic tree so now we can see lots of crystal blue waters from our second story la la. :) There are many pictures to come...I just need to upload them.

Since I've been gone for almost a month, I haven't been able to cook at all. On Sunday, I went to town and spent hours in my beloved kitchen making some new recipes: Giada's delicious marinara sauce and her Chicken Ragu. It was delicious, especially over thick, cheesy garlic bread. Definitely sparked a workout the day after. :)

And now if you are up for it.....a story from our first night back home titled Keep Your Doors Closed.

I must start this story to share with you a little dark and stormy (well not really stormy) night a few months ago, I was woken out of a slumber. I thought I heard something so I opened up the bedroom to see what it was. Our bedroom is on the second floor and we had our sliding door open to our porch to get a little breeze. I saw a small furry creature hobbling across the porch and ran back in my room and shut the door in fear of getting killed by the creature. The next morning, Dennis and Garrett laughed at my story because it was "impossible" for something to get on the 2nd story porch.

Well, I'm hear to tell you folks, the mystery was solved on 12/31/08 and this true story proves I was right....and things aren't so impossible.

Anyways, I was sleeping and awoke to a sound again...this time a very identifiable sound....a bell. I thought to what in the world could be making this sound? I left, yet again, to investigate. (Where is my husband in all of these nightly investigations?? Oh yea, sleeping!) This time I opened the door and saw, yet again, a furry creature...this time inside the house and close to our room. I slammed the door shut and screamed! It clicked in my brain! It was a cat...but not ours of course. We went out to investigate and found this cat with a bell on its neck, making a mad dash out the back of our house. (We have another sliding glass door on the other end of our house-second floor-that we keep open too.) We went out to see the cat and it was on the roof next door.

Thus ends our mystery of the furry creature and teaches us an important lesson...keep all doors closed in your house at night, in case you hadn't learned yet.