Monday, January 30

doughnut delight

Here we are again and it's Monday. After a great weekend, I wasn't quite ready to come back to work but Monday came whether I was ready or not. I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. Not necessarily because I was tired (because that's always a struggle) but because I went snowboarding for the first time this weekend and I could barely get out of bed.

A few groans and ughs and I made it out of bed. But oh man was snowboarding fun! Jake kept telling me that I was going to hate it at first but I seemed to think that I was going to be awesome. Turns out...Jake was right. For the first hour or so, I was hating the experience. Even though I had a pretty handsome instructor, I was frustrated, annoyed and hurting. It also didn't help that kids half my size were zooming past me. I may have even glared at a few of them. Whoops.
After we took a little break, I got back out on the board and it seems a bit easier. I actually managed to make it down the hill without fall, except for getting off the tow rope. I still can't managed to get away from it when I let go, so I usually opt for falling and scooting. I'm sure it's quite a sight from a distance.
Once I actually started to get the hang out it, it was so much fun. It was such an adrenalin rush. I was pretty proud of myself and that I stuck with it and managed to really enjoy it. I still have a really long way to go, but I definitely want to go again.

This weekend also included time spent with my dear cousin and her husband. We so enjoy our time with them when we see them. There is always lots of conversation and laughs over great food and drinks.

On Saturday morning, we all managed to squeeze into one corner in the kitched to cook up some delicious breakfast. Laura mixed up some of our grandmother's donuts (a favorite when we used to have sleepovers at her house) and I fried them up. They were delicious. Not necessarily good for the waistline, but so good for the soul.

Easy Tea Doughnuts by Grandma Janice
1 egg
cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup milk
1cups sifted all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Granulated sugar for tossing or 1 recipe vanilla glaze

1 Preheat oil to 375°F in a deep fryer. Beat egg, add sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Beat well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture, beat until blended.
2. Drop by small teaspoons into preheated oil. Fry until golden brown, turning to brown evenly, about 2 minutes. Remove doughnuts and drain on a paper towel. Toss in sugar or coat with vanilla glaze.

Monday, January 23

Bucket Lists

This weekend I went to a dear friend's baby shower. Tomorrow Jake turns 25. We get married in 222 days. When did we grow up?

Sometimes it's still hard to believe that I am 25, living on my own with a job and am now getting married! Life happens so quickly, doesn't it?!?

I have a bucket list. A pretty lengthy one at that and it seems to change depending on my mood. Yet, there are a few things that remain the same.


There are so many different things that I want to do in this lifetime. As I was thinking about it, I had to ask myself if there was anything else on my "pre-marriage" bucket list. I have graduated from college, got my masters, spent time single, been on many adventures, spent a year working and supporting myself, and well...that sums most of it up.

Other than maybe one more weekend trip with my best girls, possibly to a winery (hint, hint), I am fully satisfied and content with all that I've accomplished up this this point in my life. I feel as though I am really ready to take the step of fulfilling another of my items on my bucket list.

There are still so many things on my list. Now, I hope to get to have my favorite guy with me to experience them. Here are a few of my favorites...
  • Travel to Italy & Greece
  • Learn to speak Swedish
  • Then travel to Sweden
  • Speak to a crowd of over 1,000 people
  • Write a book
  • Go to France and eat a lot of cheese, pastries and drink wine
  • Go to a Bears game (preferably the Super Bowl)
  • Meet Keith Urban
  • Own a bakery

Please tell me...what's on your list?

Thursday, January 19

Sniffles & Snow

Oh, the snow is coming down! Big fluffy flakes. Finally, it is winter.

And now that I have said that, I think I'm already ready for springtime. Just kidding. I like some elements of winter. I like bundling up both indoors and outdoors. Wearing lots of layers and snuggling close to the ones you love. I love spending nights with hot cocoa and a movie or a good book. I love the smell of the fireplace at my grandma's house. Oh, grandma's house. How I wish I could be there now....(Especially now because they're snow birding in Florida...where it is not snowing).

But along with winter, comes the sniffles, which I have battling these past couple days. Yuck! I do not like being sick. As if anyone does, but it seems to be even more annoying when you're older because you don't get to stay home from school. Sure, you can stay home from work, but there isn't nearly as much enjoyment out of staying home from work because its all still there tomorrow, just piled up more.

Although, I am pretty fortunate to have someone who loves me enough to take care of me when I have the sniffles. Yesterday, I spent the day on the couch not leaving except when I ran out of tissues. My faithful companion, Winnie, laid with me most of the day. I swear that dogs take on whatever emotion you are feeling. So, Winnie and I watched countless episodes of reruns and the newest episode of The Bachelor. Thankfully, Jake went to the store for more medicine and made me chicken noodle soup and 7UP, which always makes me feel better. So today I got off the couch and went back to daily life. Still sniffling just a little...but now the snow is falling and its beautiful.

Also, Winnie got her first haircut. She went from a floppy puppy to a little lady!

Sunday, January 15

Cozy weekend & soup

It snowed for the first time this week and Winnie had her first snow experience. 

The rest of this weekend was filled with warm, coziness, movies and reading.

I have started reading this book and so far I am loving it. I also tried a new recipe today (you know to continue my resolution). Snowy weather and Jake has been feeling a little under the weather, so I figured soup would be the best. So I made Tomato Basil Soup. So, good. It's definitely something we'll eat again. I paired it with a provolone,tomato grilled cheese sandwich.

Tomato Basil Soup
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 - 14 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
1 - 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes*
2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned
Parmesan cheese

*I used peeled, fresh tomatoes and blended it all with an immersion blender.

In a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes.  Add the whole tomatoes one at a time, squeezing them into the pan to break them up.  Add the juice from the whole tomatoes, as well.  Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar.  Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes.  To finish, reduce the heat to low and stir in heavy cream and basil. 

Tuesday, January 10

Resolution Update

Here is a new update on life. I am now working new hours...9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. I'm am no longer an 8 - 5'er. I have mixed emotions about it still. At first I was kind of...whats the word...upset, about the whole things, but I have decided to change my attitude and see it as a luxury. I'm working on it.

However, one of the perks of this new change is that I can now work out before work and not have to get up before 7 a.m. to do so! Yay! I now have no excuse not to work out expect for sheer laziness, which is usually the reason I don't.

Today I tried a new work out:

It wasn't bad at all. Actually, I probably should have worked a little harder. But after the second wall sit my legs were burning so I feel good about that. I'm still trying to find a routine/workout that I can enjoy or survive through. Still taking suggestions...

I also managed to stay true to my other new year goal: making a new recipe each week. Last night I made Cilantro Lime Rice to go along side our salads. Yum! Also, still trying to adjust to eating healthy again. I really must have let myself go! But the rice was delicious and so easy. I will be making it again. This is the recipe that I used. I think it would go great with a chicken fajita and some beans.

Small victories...but at least they are victories!

I'll keep you upated on my work schedule adjustment. It's all about attitude right?!?

Friday, January 6

Today is brought to you by the letter, W

I am two days into getting back in shape. I have ran and lifted (minimal) weights for two days in a row. I'm impressed with myself. I also have a new running partner.

Although, I'm pretty sure I just slow her down. My jog is her walk, which is good because then I feel the need to step it up a bit. I have enjoyed my two runs with Winnie. I think it's good for both of us. And who would have thought that in the first week of January we'd be able to run outside without a jacket on! Crazy, I tell you. And to be honest...I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I mean don't get me wrong, I love that it's not in the negatives, but my mind is confused as to what month it is. I feel like it's March...not January. I could use a couple good snows. No ice, just snow.

I am encouraged by my motivation but I am sure that it will diminish here again quickly. So if you have any tips or new work out plans that you are enjoying. Please share. I get bored easily so effective and not time consumer works well for me.

Also, I am so excited because it's going to be a wedding planning weekend! Eek! I am heading to my first ever bridal show. I'm excited. I'd be excited to go even if I wasn't getting married, but it just makes it that much more exciting! Here are a few items of inspiration I've been using for our wedding.

Kate Spade


Tuesday, January 3

Welcome to 2012...a bit late

So maybe I am a few days late and maybe I have been a slightly bit absent for, oh, almost two weeks. However, I have managed to have five Christmas celebrations, one New Years Eve, three days of packing and moving, one week off from work and two weeks of crazy, greatness.

A lot has last happened since my previous blog. We celebrated five great Christmas' this year. We managed to have at least one meal with each family in two states over five days. I so wish we could have spent five days with each of them, but we will take what we can get. So many calories were consumed, presents opened, and laughs were shared. I will give you a full photo recap soon, I promise. But to give you a sneak side of my family has gone from this...

To this...

In just a few short years. (Thanks for the pictures, Laura!) There is never a dull moment when you get all of us in a room together for any amount of time. It's time that is so deeply treasured and something I always look forward to.

But as 2011 is now a time in the past, a new year approaches. This will be a big year. A year where there will be two weddings in my family. A year that will change my original family structure into something new, different, and exciting. It is a year of weddings and you know how much I love weddings. So, I am exciting for all that this year brings with it. There will be some adjusting and life changing moments, but also lots of love and joy shared.

My heart is hopeful for what is to come in 2012. I can't believe Jake and I will be husband and wife in just under eight months!

I am also not one to make new years resolutions. I never have and probably never really will. However, this year I have some changes in my life that I think should be in place. resolutions.

It is time to get back on the healthy/exercise track. I've taken a vacation from it for awhile, but I am starting to notice some of the unwelcome guests it brings with it. And with two weddings coming's time to get myself back in shape. Not just back in shape, to readopt my healthy lifestyle. I'm going to need some serious motivation and anyone who wants to join me, I will gladly accept the company. (Jake has even mentioned starting P90X again...eek). But I've also thought that maybe it's time to give up pop and drink more water and I want to try to make a new recipe every week. I need to broaden my recipes since I will soon be a wife.

So that is what I have planned for this year. Think I can manage it? We shall see.