Wednesday, February 13, 2013

God is good.....all the time

It's been one of those weeks....

One of those weeks that makes you rethink some things.  One of those weeks that makes you realize that life is way too short to sit around and waste all your time just dreaming about the future.  One that makes you cherish things a little more....hug loved ones a little harder....let go of the little things a little easier and take action on the important things a little faster.

This week the world lost an amazing guy.  My friend David Collas lost his life in a car accident Sunday night.  It's so hard not to dwell on the "why's" or "what-if's".  It's hard not to question what God was this could possibly be in His plan.  At the age of 19...with so much life left to live and so many experiences left to be could this possibly have been his time to go?  This is one of those times when I truly resent my natural human lack of knowledge and understanding.  The fact is, here on Earth, none of us may ever know why things like this happen...or when they're going to happen.  What a perfect opportunity to practice trading in doubt and resentment for faith and trust that God has it all under control.  Even though these tragic experiences hurt like crazy, how comforting it is to know that our Creator can see the whole picture!  He knew exactly when and how this would happen....and He knows exactly how He's going to help us through it and ultimately bring glory to His kingdom because of it.  An incredible number of people are hurting because of the loss of David, but that in and of itself brings glory to God in that in just under two decades, David was able to bless and influence hundreds of lives around him.  On top of that, what a blessing it is to know that because of David's faith in Christ, we as believers will be reunited with him once again!  I hate that this happened...and I'm gonna miss that guy here on Earth.  May God flood David's family and friends with peace and comfort in the sadness...but also with joy and hope in the promise of eternity.  God is good.....all the time.

Monday, February 4, 2013

An orange peanut...for me?!

If you don't understand the title of this post, go watch THIS now.

It's hilarious.

Seriously...go watch it.

Alright...all silliness aside, I'm not much of a sports fan.  You'll never find me hanging out around the house with "the game" on in the background...nor will you ever catch me checking my phone for the latest scores or stats...but there ARE a few sporting events that I truly can appreciate.  I spent a mere three years of my life living in San Antonio, Texas which is responsible for my undying love of brisket and the San Antonio Spurs. <3 I love a good basketball game...I LOVE watching my Spurs specifically (whether in person or on TV), but I also enjoy watching other teams do their thing on the court.  My hubby came up with a grand idea to go see the Air Force Falcons take on San Diego State this weekend at the Academy.  I don't think I've ever been to a college game ANY I wasn't sure what to expect.  Typically, I'm an NBA fan....I don't follow any college teams...I couldn't even tell you more than about five college team names...but we went, and I truly enjoyed myself!  Patrick "splurged" and got us 3rd row seats, so we had an excellent view of the court and I felt so much more involved in all the excitement!  I was also quite impressed by the obsessed insanity enthusiasm of all the college students...I don't think I saw a single one of them sit down the entire game (no wonder they get their own designated section).

                                                                   I love my hubby <3....He so good to me....

Another sporting event I rather look forward to each year is the superbowl (obviously).  I typically don't enjoy much football, mainly because I've never understood the game (blonde, girly girl)...but last year I asked my sport-minded parents to sit down and give me an official lesson on the game so that I might form some sort of bond with the football-lovers in my life.  After sitting through a few games which my parents recorded, rewinded, paused, and used laser pointers on, I felt I had a pretty good grasp on the sport...enough to at least add my two cents to a football-centered conversation here and there.  I watched a lot of games last season, and just a few this now I feel semi-capable of enjoying the superbowl for more than just the tasty snacks involved!  It also helps that my mom throws a kick-butt superbowl party every year complete with games, prizes and FANTASTIC foodage.  Pretty sure I gained about 12 lbs yesterday in game munchies alone...but it was worth it.  One snack in particular just made my day (however rather ruined my night....holy heartburn, batman!).  Bacon-wrapped sweet and spicy jalapeno poppers (is what I shall call them).  I'll have to make them sometime soon and post some pics.  Pretty sure this would take me to another level of awesomeness in my office if I brought them to the next potluck....*yesssssss*

                                               Proud moment of the evening - I totally called the final point spread :D

Friday, February 1, 2013

Snowball fight

I was chasing my sweet puppy around the yard throwing snowballs at her yesterday when I looked down and I had dog poo all over my work shoes.  Serves me right for exploding freezing cold balls of frost on my little corg's face....she couldn't throw any in return, but she could plant land mines to get me back!  *sigh*....and that's just about how my life seems to have gone all week. 

This week was a tough one at work...and I'm feeling a little burned out.  I think this is half due to work itself with the stressful, crazy-busy environment that is my office these days...and half due to this skin treatment I'm on that makes it nearly impossible to keep my eyes open past noon.  I'm insanely grateful that this is the worst of my side-effects thus far, but I can not WAIT for these next few months of treatment to be over.  This afternoon fog that takes over my vision and holds hostage the ever-important common sense side of my brain is making life a little challenging.  I got home from work relatively early yesterday in order to work out and clean house a bit, but after my workout accompanied by the latest Biggest Loser episode (the guilt helps me keep running) I sat down on the couch to cool down and ended up sleeping for an hour an a half.  When I finally woke up and realized I needed to start dinner, it took EVERYTHING I had to get my big booty off the couch and up to the kitchen.  I managed to do it though...and kept my eyes open long enough to make a new recipe for dinner.  I'm not sure what it's let's name it Yummy Pesto Veggies and Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage.  It actually turned out pretty good! (It just looked weird)

12 oz pasta (we used whole wheat shells)
1/2 lb fresh green beans (trimmed and cut)
1 cup frozen peas
8 oz Italian-style chicken sausage links
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 bottle or can of beer (optional)

I've never worked with sausage links before (I know, sad), so as I do with all things I'm unfamiliar with, I googled how to cook them.  I decided to go with the half-boil, half fry method (you could really cook them however you want....just slice them thinly afterward).  First, I put the links in a pan and covered them with a mixture of beer and water (good thing Patrick had a bottle left over from who-knows-when).  I boiled them in the mixture for about 10 minutes. Apparently boiling beer makes this weird foam... :P

Then I transferred the links to another pan coated in cooking spray.  I cooked the links on medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, rotating every few minutes (I don't have a meat thermometer yet, so I went a little long to be on the safe side...they were a little dry but still yummy!).

I sliced the links thinly and put them back in the pan and poured the leftover beer/water over them.  This was a good idea, helped give the dried-out sausage some of its moisture back...

When it was close to eating time, I cooked the shells according to the package directions and just added the peas and green beans into the water for the last 3 minutes of cooking.  Then drained the pasta, added the sausage/juice, pesto and parmesan and Voila!  Easy food.  Patrick really liked this one.  I don't think it was super healthy, but least we got some veggies in there and used chicken sausage instead of the pork stuff.  Also, it made a TON!  We'll have a few extra lunches and dinners outta this one.

So with any luck, I'll be able to wake myself up enough after work to go home and start that cleaning I've been meaning to do.  That way, I can free up the rest of my weekend for fun times with the hubby!  I'm pretty excited to try a homemade carpet stain remover that I found on pinterest...I'll take some pics and share if it's as magical as it claims to be! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Will you accept this rose?

Ahhhh Monday.  Not typically my most favored day of the week, but today is Bachelor I'm excited!  Yes, I'm addicted to the Bachelor.  I don't necessarily agree with the morals usually involved in the show...nor do I think it is in ANY way a good method for creating relationships....but I'm addicted nonetheless.  I just love the drama...and I love getting attached to a particular contestant and following them all the way until they fail to receive a rose (or otherwise get sucked into a forced, likely doomed engagement).  Patrick and I are part of a young married's small group that meets every other Monday night...and luckily, we are not the only couple drawn to this terribly cheesy on the Mondays that we don't meet for small group, the eight of us that like the show get together and watch it.  This season, we're betting on the top 6 contestants (just to make it more interesting).  Here's the Bachelor Board that Patrick and I made this weekend (waaaaay too much time on our hands).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday!

Fridays rock.  I tend to be pretty busy at work on Fridays, but today is uncharacteristically relaxed.  My fellow employees and I just emptied our 5th pot of coffee for the morning (usually we down about 2), so I guess that's the sign of a hard-worked week.  With little to do around the office, I've been texting the hubby back and forth about weekend plans...we've come up with a few fun things to keep us happily occupied, making the most of our time off.  I can't wait to clock out. :)

Last night I made my Brown Sugar Basalmic Glazed Pork Loin with Oven Roasted Broccoli.  It....was...awesome!  My house still smells fantastic after slow-cooking that tenderloin for 9 hours yesterday...I'm so glad I have leftovers for lunch today!  *stomach grumbles*

Brown Sugar Basalmic Glazed Pork Loin

2 lb boneless pork tenderloin
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

Combine salt, pepper, sage and garlic and rub over pork.  Place in a crockpot with 1/2 cup water and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (I did 9-10 because I was at work worries)

Glaze Ingredients 
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup basalmic vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce

During last hour of cooking, combine ingredients for glaze and heat in small saucepan until thickened. Brush over pork 3 or 4 times during the last hour and serve with remaining glaze on the side.


I also made this Oven Roasted Broccoli to go with it.  I have NEVER had such scrumptious broccoli in my life!  What a fantastic recipe...I want all my veggies like this!

                                                                      Oven Roasted Broccoli

1 lb broccoli (cut, washed and dried THOROUGHLY)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix all spices together with olive oil in large bowl then toss broccoli florets in the mixture until coated evenly.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread broccoli out in a single layer over the sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes, stir, then stick it back in for another 10 minutes (or until broccoli is slightly crispy and browning on the edges)

And for dessert....check out my new favorite brownies.  Double chocolate cheesecake brownies.  Fantastic. (be jealous)

Bowl-Licking Goodness!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm in love with Pinterest

Pinterest is amazing. If any of you have not yet discovered this fantastic gift to mankind, please stop reading this now, go get yourself a Pinterest account and start living like you've never lived before!   **HERE'S THE LINK!!!  CLICK IT NOW....DO IT!!!...see, I just did the hard work for you have NO excuses**    I used to thumb through magazine after magazine if I ever needed a cute decorating idea or wanted to bake a neat recipe for a potluck...but now I have dear,sweet Pinterest so I'll never have to touch a magazine again! When I was planning my wedding, I chopped up dozens of bridal books trying to save clipping of ideas...I just BARELY missed out on the Pinterest wedding phenomenon. Dang it. Ah well, now I'll just use it to feed my hubby and find cute crochet patterns for baby clothes to give other people's future children.

Like this monkey hat and matching booties!  So proud...
I've been trying to be a better wifey lately by actually cooking my husband a variety of home cooked meals rather than just serving up the same ol' Hamburger Helper or baked chicken and green beans (not that I get any complaints...that just means poor Patrick has come to expect the mediocre out of me :P). Usually, I'd blame my lack of culinary oomph on the fact that I'm too pooped after work to serve up anything that requires effort for dinner...but really that's not's really not that hard to stir up some stuff and stick it in the oven. It's more the fact that preparing a meal requires too much premeditation and planning...and to be honest, I just forget most of the time. We grocery shop every Sunday, and it's a RARE occasion that I've actually thought about a meal before we step foot in the store. Usually I just scramble to come up with any of the super easy recipes I know by heart (aka: tacos, spaghetti, jambalaya) and I grab those ingredients and split. Pinterest has changed this aspect of my life. Throughout the week, I'm constantly pinning random recipes I'd like to when I get to the grocery store and draw a blank on what to make, I just pull up my food board and choose a new recipe to try! I've already filtered out the yucky recipes, so I know I'm up for anything on this board. Piece of cake!  The past couple weeks all my dinners have been Pinterest recipes. Here are some of the ones I've taken a stab at...

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Orange Chicken with Asparagus

CrockPot Mexican Chicken
(this one was AMAZING)

Stove Top "Roasted" Red Potatoes
(also AMAZING)

I truly intended to take my own pictures of each of these dishes....but I completely fail at multitasking (can't stir the pot and snap a picture all at the same time :P).  I promise I'll try and do better in the future.  Here's my one attempt at a snapshot of the orange chicken with asparagus and it turned out looking rather nasty (it was delish, I promise!!)

On the menu for tomorrow (since I completely failed at remembering to stick it in the crock pot today) is a delicious Brown Sugar Basalmic Glaze Pork Tenderloin with Oven Roasted Broccoli.....yummmmmm.  I promise I'll try harder to actually snap some pics!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Happenings

What a weekend! I'm sitting at work at the start of my shift already contemplating closing my eyes for a 5 minute power nap, but I know that wouldn't be nearly enough for my greedy little sleep mechanism and would only cause me great amounts of grief for the rest of my workday. *sigh*....where do the weekends go?

Actually, my weekend was a pretty stinking good one as far as weekends go...I was just running around nonstop, so I didn't have much time to sit and recoup from last week's crazy schedule. It started off with taking my sweet puppy to her dog training classes...yay for a warehouse full of adorable fluffy canine cuteness! Now, before I go further, you must know that one of the most wonderful things in my life right now is my 2 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Wicket. Patrick and I "rescued" her from the pet store five months after we got married. Now, neither Patrick nor I had EVER been dog people. I spent my high school summers dog/house sitting and my best friend growing up had several sweet dogs we were constantly around, but to be honest, I didn't really like them at all...I actually found them quite hairy and smelly and annoying....but MAN did my mind change! We bought our baby on a whim with absolutely ZERO knowledge of dog care or what we had just gotten ourselves into...but I can confidently say that was the BEST spontaneous decision of my life! I love this sweet girl with everything I've got...two years into this she's still quite a handful, but Patrick and I absolutely adore her and she has kept us busy and entertained in the best way. We enrolled her in doggie classes (finally) and she's well on her way to being a little lady.

                                      This is our baby the week we brought her home <3

I spent the majority of my afternoon Friday crocheting Wicket a doggie sweater for valentine's day (crochet...another of my newfound passions), and she looks pretty darn schnazzy in it if I do say so myself.

Saturday morning, my mom picked my sister and me up (easy peasy since my sis and I recently bought houses only a mile apart) and we took a road trip up to Boulder to visit my cousin Jennifer who is in town for a dog training seminar (again with the dog training). We toured the Celestial Seasonings tea factory...a fantastic (and free!) tour for any of you that haven't visited. Apparently it's the only remaining tour that actually allows its guests out on the factory floor...up close and personal with all the machinery! You get to walk through the rows and rows of spices and herbs and tea leaves and let the aromas permeate your whole body. They invite you into their "Peppermint Room" to experience the almost painful, definitely intense fragrance of the peppermint, spearmint and catnip (yep catnip) in a super-concentrated setting. If you aren't much of a tea drinker before experiencing the tour, you almost certainly will be by the time you finish! After the tour, you can relax in the tea tasting room and enjoy literally every tea they produce...all for free! And for my fellow girls who enjoy a regular dose of "cute"...the gift shop is overflowing with adorable items for the home, tea-related or not! It's a good thing we were pressed for time, else I would have spent way more cash in there than my husband would like to hear about ;).

                              These are the only pictures they'd let us take...after the info
                  video and before walking out on the factory floor in our beaYOOtiful hairnets

                                             Jennifer (left) My sister Kayla (right)
Me (left)  Mom (right)

Once we were filled to the brim with hot herbal goodness, we set off into boulder to find some delicious local foodage. We ended up at a place called The Sink (on the recommendation of a local), which is a little hole-in-the-wall place that was actually featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a while back. It was SO GOOD. Well, I suppose I was pretty insanely hungry by the time we ate, so a piece of cheese scraped off the sidewalk probably would've tasted awesome to me at that moment, but I ordered a turkey burger topped with green apple slices and warm, gooey Brie on top and I loved it! The rest of my fam really enjoyed everything they ordered as well, so we HIGHLY recommend if you ever find yourself wandering around the town of Boulder, CO with an empty stomach, check this place out!

When I finally returned Saturday night after a long drive home and dinner with a small group from church, I was surprised with my mom's piano waiting for me in my living room! My sweet hubby and my dad and my brother-in-law and his fam all moved it over to surprise me after my day out. I felt so special :). I've played the piano since I was 5 years old, so this particular piano has seen me through countless lessons and recitals and band practices and 'jam sessions' as my dad would like to call when I got married and moved out, this piano was sorely missed. It'll be so nice to be able to play music in my home again :).

Yesterday after church, my buddy at work's sweet fiancée invited me to go wedding dress shopping with her and the girls. We spent hours and hours waiting to give our opinions (don't worry, she wanted them) on pretty much every dress in that boutique. I love doing stuff like this! I just love the atmosphere of all things wedding! I so appreciate her including me in her day :)...and I'm so glad she found the dress!!! Way to go, Sabrina.

So....after dress shopping and dinner and shopping for groceries and catching up on the Bachelor (our small group is doing a bachelor pool this season so patrick and i have to have our top 6 submitted tonight!), we crashed into bed WAY past our bedtime and barely woke up in time for work today! Well...Patrick doesn't work today (yay minor holidays!) so he'll be meeting me for lunch at MY work today! What a sweet hubby I have <3

                                                            Yay for sleepy puppies!