Friday, April 29, 2011

Pesto Pizza

Happy Friday fabulous friends! Growing up, Friday nights were pizza nights with the's an easy pizza recipe for your Friday night pizza craving.  You can use The Pioneer Woman's recipe for yumminess or you can follow the 4 step instructions below for a slightly different version. All you need is pesto, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and your favorite pizza crust. If you are up for making your own crust I would also recommend Pioneer woman's pizza crust, which I couldn't find on her website, but I have listed it from her cookbook below if you are interested. Enjoyyyyy!

Pioneer Woman Pizza Crust: (makes 2 pizza crusts)
1. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water.
2. Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl.
3. With an electric mixer on low, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated
4. In separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture
5. Drizzle it into the flour/oil mix and mix until dough ball forms.
6. Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough into the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.
7. Cover bowl with moist towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours
8. To prepare pizza pre-heat oven to 500 degrees
9. Divide dough in half and lightly drizzle olive oil on a pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet
10. Using your hands, stretch dough to desired shape pressing the dough into the pan with your fingers. The thinner the better
11. Lay desired toppings over dough and bake for 8-10 minutes

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

So today I saw the most amazing rainbow ever. Hubby and I had just finished up dinner and were leaving Chipotle when the rain suddenly stopped, the sun came out and whaaa-la...rainbow! Rainbows are just incredible when you stop and think about it. I mean really all those colors in the same order just hanging in the sky. God is pretty creative right? Hope your Thursday was a colorful one. :) Here's my favorite version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow for your viewing pleasure or scroll down for the classic Wizard of Oz version.

P.S. Did anyone else just cry while watching the Office Finale tonight...whoa I totally did.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New York, New York

 This time last year Drew and I were in NEW YORK! We were both first timers and were so glad to have our own personal tour guide for the week because there is just so much to see! Drew's sister Chelsey was living in NYC for a semester taking fashion/business classes and interning at a cute shop in the SOHO district so she took off work to show us around. Here's a snapshot of our trip...
Places we went in NYC:
  • Statue of Liberty (we took the free ferry and had a great view of the lady liberty)
  • Serendipity
  • Lombardi's pizza (birthplace of pizza)
  • Times Square
  • Bryant Park
  • FAO Schwartz (Giant toy store with piano featured in the movie BIG)
  • Brooklyn Tabernacle (oh my gosh best worship ever)
  • Central Park (I think we went three beautiful)
  • Magnolia's bakery (go for their Banana Pudding)
  • Roof top restaurant (name slips my mind...but it was a restaurant on a rooftop)
  • Dean and Deluca (I was a huge Felicity fan so this was a must)
  • Today Show (we made it on TV)
  • SOHO for shopping (cutest, but most expensive shops ever)
  • Brooklyn Bridge (walk across and get pizza and ice cream on the other side!)

Okay I want to go back...looking at flights now. Haha.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tail Wagging Tuesday

I'm so excited to link up to Tail Wagging Tuesday. Now most people might be posting about their dogs and while I love dogs with our work schedules that hubby of mine and I chose cats and we just love them to pieces. I promise they are not typical cats to those of you cat haters out there. They are more like dogs. We let them outside, they come when we call them (I'm not kidding people), they love to play and they cuddle. Okay I'll get off my cat tangent. The topic this week: Where they sleep.  I love this topic because cats sleep in the funniest places...
Exhibit A: The Sink

Exhibit B: My hair
Exhibit C: Laundry Basket
Cats also sleep in some strange positions...
But their most favorite place to sleep is of course with one of us...last set of pictures I promise.
Are you a cat lover now? :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Candy Bark

You are never too old to dye Easter eggs and you are definitely never too old to devour lots and lots of Easter candy. This weekend I did both!

If your taste buds are getting is the recipe for Easter Candy Bark-
What you need:
*8 oz. milk chocolate chips
*8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
*7 oz. Candy melts (I got mine at Michael's)
*Easter M&M's
*Robin's Eggs
*Mint Oreos
*Parchment paper

First-Add the chocolate chips together in a microwave safe bowl and melt. Pour melted chocolate chips onto parchment paper. I found an old heart shaped cake mold so I decided to be fancy, but if you don't have a cute cake mold just spread the chocolate out into an 8x8 square.
Second, melt the candy melts and place drops onto chocolate...get out a knife and drag the knife up and down and side to side to make the swirl pattern...this got me really excited. I felt like a professional...even though I definitely am not.
Third, add your favorite easter colored candies
Once you are satisfied with the amount of candy in your bark, carefully move the bark into the fridge. Let it harden for 1-2 hours. While you wait...dye some easter eggs and watch the classic move, Easter Parade with Fred Astaire.
Then take pictures of your awesomeness, break apart your bark and get ready for a sugar high!
I got the brilliant idea for Easter Candy Bark here.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday/Earth Day Project

Today is Good Friday (I know, I know it's Earth day too and I have a project for you, but hold the phone) Today as I was reading I came upon Isaiah 53 and it really touched my heart...
"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from who men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows yet we considered him stricken by God...but he was pierced for OUR transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Everything Jesus went through was done for you. I'm so thankful to have a God who cares and who sent his only son to die for my sins. So there's my heart on my sleeve for today...

Now as promised, an Earth day project! Recycle your tshirts into something new and fabulous for the warm weather. I love these tshirt necklaces and can't wait to make my own. Until then here's Martha Stewart to show you how it's done! Martha Stewart T-shirt Necklace

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring decor: Moss Letters!

 I am super excited about this project! I found the idea from Ashlee at On The Front Porch Looking In and then ended up finding a ton of tutorials on the web. I have drooled over these moss letters at Pottery Barn because they would look so great with my house decor buuuuuuut I could never justify spending 80 bucks on moss. it yourself!

Here's what you need:
I got the cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby 50% off so they were about 50  cents per letter. The moss is from Michael's and was $6.99. Round up a hot glue gun and you are ready to begin!
Start by breaking apart the moss and placing it on the letter. It gets a little messy so make sure you cover your working surface. Also keep lots of glue sticks on hand. You will use them!
I wasn't quite sure how these were going to turn out, but I ended up loving the end result!
I decided to make an entire word instead of just one Monogram letter. Next step will be to go back and cover the sides with moss too, but I'm impatient, sorry. 
Ta da!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Take me out to the REDS game

Last night that hubby of mine and I went to our first baseball game of the season. It was a perfect night for baseball. We ate Cheese coneys before the game, parked in dollar parking (take that $10.00 parking!), strolled through Cincinnati and enjoyed awesome seats while we chomped on peanuts and Bazooka bubblegum. It was so nice to relax and actually go out on a "school night."
Woooo baseball food!
I think Brandon Phillips is smiling at me
Please excuse my lack of Red's attire...they are all in hibernation
 Drew is on spring break and I took today off so the pancakes are staying warm in the oven and the bacon is sizzling. Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Finds

My weekend was full of new finds:
New Recipe: I made these chocolate chip cookies from Annie's Eats. YUM!
New Project: Two of my amazing friends helped coordinate a new project with our church called The Esther Project. This is a project that helps high school girls look beautiful for their prom. Girls who normally can't afford to get their hair, make-up or nails done can come for a free day of pampering. Oh and did I mention they can get a free dress as well? Churches around our area each adopted a different high school and helped girls get dolled up for prom. Such an amazing idea! I was so happy to be a small part of such an amazing project!
New Obsession: Jessica Simpson dresses! Oh my...I have always loved her shoes, but these dresses are just gorgeous. If only the prices were just as amazing...but a girl can dream. Check them out...if you buy one I'll be jealous
New movie: Saturday my mom and I had a girl's day. We went to Red Robin for lunch and headed to a cute part of town called Mariemont for their amazing Artsy theater. This theater plays foreign films and other small movies that have won awards at film festivals. We went to see Jane Eyre and were huge fans of this version! If you haven't read the book, it is definitely an eerie story, but a great one. I would highly recommend seeing it!

New favorite place to buy produce: This market is so stinkin cute and hubby and I have decided to be loyal customers. Pipkins has adorable outdoorsy items for purchase along with fresh produce and of all things Gelato. Yum.
image from here

 Did you discover anything new and exciting this weekend?

Friday, April 15, 2011

I want to freeze time

I have almost been married to that hubby of mine for two years now and life with him couldn't be sweeter. We are loving this time in our lives. Everyone always asks what's next...Kids? New house? New car? But I am perfectly content right where I am with exactly what I have. I love our old house, I love our used cars with quirks and as much as I'd love to have kids someday I am truly enjoying this time with just hubby and me. Right now we are growing together. We are learning how to take care of our home and each other. We are learning how to cook, fix cars, balance checkbooks, landscape our yard and how to better serve God and we are doing it all together. I love that we are both teachers who desire to make an impact on the students we teach. I love that we go grocery shopping together and play video games on Fridays. I know it won't always be this way so I'm taking a blog snapshot to remember how much I am enjoying this time in our lives. It's amazing to live with your best friend and take on the world together.
Excited after our IKEA purchases
Hubby standing next to his finished wall
A familiar face on Saturday mornings
Drew and I after climbing the Chimney Tops...we're awesome
The two loves of our lives
Dear Hubby,
You are so good to me. Thank you for being patient with me when I've had a bad day. Thank you for telling me I'm beautiful even in sweatpants. Thank you for encouraging me to do my best. Thank you for loving our cats as much as I do. Thank you for doing the dishes when I decide to actually cook dinner. Thank you for packing my lunch every morning. Thank you for loving me, flaws and all.
Love, Allie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nancy's Banana Bars

You may have gathered from a few of my posts that I am a teacher. This recipe is from my classroom assistant...she brought them in, I tried a bite and I was hooked. I immediately begged for the recipe. So here it is...the recipe for Nancy's (oh so delicious) Banana Bars.
  Banana Bars:
  • 1/2  cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 pkg. 8oz. cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
For bars: In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Pour into a greased 15x10x1 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let bars cool.
For frosting: cream butter and cream cheese in mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well. Spread over cooled bars. Then try not to eat the whole pan at once. Enjoy!
PS. I just may have eaten one of these with my breakfast, lunch and dinner...more than one day in a row. Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Concert, College friends and Change

This weekend was refreshing. My roomie from college, Carrie Jo and her husband Todd came to stay with us Friday night. I just love them. Here are a few throw back pictures of Carrie and I in our college days...
And here we are on Friday at Izzy's, a popular Cincinnati restaurant we went to known for their Reubens and potato pancakes.Yum!
We chowed down and caught up on life and then headed to the Underground for a John Mark McMillan concert. If you haven't heard of him he is a Christian singer/song writer best known for his song "How He Loves Us." He was amazing and his message was's a video clip...
I felt refreshed after his concert especially after receiving some news at school that shook me up. Change has always been hard for me, but ever since I started teaching, change is all I've known. I've moved schools and/or grade levels every year since I started teaching three years ago and I thought this year was going to be different. Whelp, I was wrong and I found that out Friday. I know God will place me right where I am supposed to be and I trust Him completely, but change is never easy. The concert was just what I needed to help me refocus. "I really don't like change, but I can't stop it. I'm moving forward anyway with the promise. You are the anchor of my soul. That's all I need to know." -Francesca B.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Air Jordans

One of the many reasons I love that hubby of mine so much is for his child-like enthusiasm. He gets super excited about watching Cartoons on Saturday mornings, he loves candy and catching critters in the creek, he always buys a bouncy ball when we pass a vending machine and he whistles in the shower. He is adorable and so much fun to live with!  A prime example of his child-likeness happened the other day. We go to the mall, we see his cousin Eric working at Foot Action and we wander in. Drew spots a pair of Air Jordans and begins sharing how he was the kid who never had Air Jordans. His cousin then goes on to tell us it is the 50% off sale and I gladly give Drew the okay to buy them. Cue big smile and giddiness from my husband. Now he wants a basketball and claims he can slam dunk. Haha. I love him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ohio has wineries too

When you think of Ohio you may not think Vineyards overflowing with grapes, but trust me we have a few to speak of. Two of my girlfriends have spring birthdays so we have started a tradition of taking them to Vinoklet Winery to celebrate. What's more fun than a girls night at a winery? We cooked our own food on their giant grill, sipped on fabulous wine and had a beautiful view of the vineyard.
Please excuse our girly-ness, but what's a girl's night without model shots...haha