Monday, January 30, 2012

Mealplan Monday

Today I'm linking up with I'm an Organized Junkie for Meal Plan Monday. (Thanks Emily for introducing me to this!) My meal planning goal for 2012 is to cook 3-4 meals a week...doesn't sound too hard right?

Here are my meals for this week: (You all are my meal planning accountability partners whether you like it or thank you in advance!)

Lime and Soy-glazed Chicken with cabbage slaw (Real Simple magazine October 2011)

Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Pesto cream sauce
Crock Pot Spaghetti Bolognese (Real Simple Magazine February 2012)

Tonight is Chipotle night at our house so my apron is staying on it's hook for the time being and I don't have to feel bad about blogging about my meal plan instead of actually doing it!

Happy Monday...Bachelor anyone?

Oh and don't forget to enter the My Memories Digitial Scrapbooking software GIVEAWAY!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Hello FABULOUS readers!
I am so excited to announce my very first giveaway. I was recently contacted by a company called My Memories asking if I would like to host a giveaway and I was thrilled for several reasons...
1. I love to scrapbook and have been itching to try my hand at digital scrapbooking
2. I was flattered that they wanted little old me to host a giveaway
3. The giveaway is pretty fabulous and you all deserve something for FREE!

Okay on to the F-R-E-E lucky reader will receive a free copy of My Memories (award winning) digital scrapbooking software. ($40.00 value)

Even if you don't scrapbook this software can do so much more than create scrapbook layouts for you. You can make photo books, cards, calendars, videos, you name it! As much as I love scrapbooking, I might have to make the switch to digital scrapbooking after using this software! Before this week I hadn't had time to scrapbook hubby and my camping trip from the fall. I decided to try out the new software and knock out some of our camping pages. All I have to say is WOW...I'm obsessed. There are so many FREE things this software has to offer. You could honestly scrapbook an entire album just using this digital scrapbooking software and all of the free embellishments, papers, etc.! Some of my favorite features so far: All the fonts (no more buying stickers), the paper selections (they have a burlap looking paper!) and the convenience of everything being just a click away. Here are a few pages I've been working on without spending a dime...

So how do you enter to win the Memory suite software? IT'S SIMPLE!

Mandatory (1 entry):
Follow my blog and leave a comment saying you did so.

Want more?
(+1 additional entry): Visit and leave a comment telling me your favorite layout or digital paper pack
(+1 additional entry): like My Memories on facebook
(+1 additional entry): follow the My Memories blog
(+1 additional entry): follow me on Pinterest
(+1 additional entries): Blog about the giveaway and leave me the link in a comment!

So there you go, a possible 6 entries...
I'll be choosing the lucky winner next Saturday, February 4th!

And just for visiting my blog today visit this website and enter the code: STMMMS43950  to receive a $10.00 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10.00 coupon for the store!

Good luck!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Letters


Dear Sweet Hubby of mine,
Thank you for taking care of me this week when I was cranky and sick. Thank you for getting me Panera soup and a bagel when I didn't feel like cooking dinner for you. I promise I'll cook lots and lots next week.
P.S. Thanks for loving our cats as much as I do
Dear Meal Plan,
I'm sorry I didn't stick with you this week you as promised. I'll be sure to cook an extra few meals next week...maybe.
Dear Baby Kitties,
Thank you for cuddling with me when I didn't feel good. You are better than a heating pad and much sweeter. "I feel sick, I need cuddles." (See below)

Dear Bang Bang Shrimp.
I will be eating you in excess tonight for FREE! Thank you for being so delicious and satisfying.
Dear New (to me) sewing machine,
I really, really, really want to be an expert seamstress and know how to make all the cute projects I see on the internet. Work with me okay?
Dear Mom,
I love that I can let my problems spill with you. You have always been a good listener and you give the best advice. XOXO
Dear Valentine's Day,
You are coming up soon. I am pinning so many ideas about you on Pinterest and I'm getting overwhelmed with all the cute heart shaped projects I can create! Please remind hubby to buy me flowers.

Dear Hubby (again),
Thanks for taking care of our leaky basement without complaining. Thank you for making my sandwich every morning. You really are the best. And I know you'd never forget to buy me flowers. :)

If you want more from me today I'm also over at The Smitten Mintons sharing about my sweet kitties on Julie's Furbaby Friday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Calling all delicious recipes...

Tonight I'm not feeling so good so instead of grading papers I'm on the couch surrounded by some of my favorite magazines and cookbooks looking for delicious meals to add to my binder full of recipes. I have been keeping up pretty well with my meal plans and using the form below has made it 100 times easier. Over the summer I came up with 20 different meal rotations and I'm ready to create some more!

This meal planning sheet has been a HUGE help in meal planning. One reason I was always stressed about trying to keep up with a meal plan is never having the ingredients I needed when I actually needed them. Now I shop once a week for all my ingredients and instead of carrying several recipe cards with me around the grocery and looking back and forth between them to make sure I have everything I have been using this sheet to list all the ingredients I need. The best part is that the ingredient list is sorted into categories! I try to shop on Sundays (or sometimes hubby and I will have a grocery store date on Friday romantic and exciting I know.)

Some of my favorite sources for recipes are: Pioneer Woman (website and cookbook), my sister in law Ashley, Pinterest, Real Simple Magazine, and the Tasty Kitchen blog. Anyone have a must try recipe that I should add to my binder of recipes? I would love to add your favorite recipe to our meal rotation. Who has a recipe to share??

I'll leave you with one of my all time favorite recipes: Chicken Spaghetti!

Monday, January 23, 2012

11 Things you should probably know...

There's a game making its way around the blogosphere and I have been loving learning more about some of my favorite bloggers. Now it's my turn...

Here are the rules...List 11 random facts about yourself. Answer the questions provided to you. Come up with different questions, then tag 11 people to do it, too.

So here you go...11 random facts about mwah:
1. If you read my blog you already know that I'm obsessed with my cats and have been known to drop everything for lost animals
2. I eat Nutella by the spoonful
3. My husband thanks Pioneer woman for my new found love of cooking
4. I wish I could Rollerblade as well as I could when I was 10. When I was younger my friends and I sold handmade bracelets so that we could buy costumes and put on a skating show in our neighborhood (complete with choreography, clip on earrings and music). Oh and it's on video.
5. I have watched Survivor since it started oh TEN years ago and i don't plan on stopping. My best friend would come over every Thursday and we would watch Survivor and eat Subway with my family. Our favorite episodes were the finale because we were allowed to have a sleepover on a school night! Oh the good old days!
6.  I love reading and I am in a book club. We call ourselves The Finer Things Club (if you are a fan of the Office you might understand the reference). Some of my favorites are The Help, Redeeming Love, Crazy Love, The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Life of Bees.
7. Hubby and I have Chipotle EVERY Monday. It's the perfect way to start the week because Mondays are my least favorite day (except for when it is Bachelor/Bachelorette season...guilty pleasure)
8. I have a routine when I brush my teeth and when I shower and if I do things out of order I feel weird. *Wet tooth brush, put on toothpaste, re-wet toothbrush...I promise I'm not OCD.
9. I love working with kids and when I'm not teaching I am a camp counselor at the Cincinnati Nature center (which also tells you I love anything outdoorsy!)
10. I started dating my now hubby at age 16! I thank Jesus everyday for this man!
11. I click my teeth while I husband informed me of this habit and my dentist confirmed it. I have to wear a mouth guard while I sleep so I don't click click click...I also drool making me a very attractive person to sleep next to at night! Haha.

Okay now for Julie's 11 questions...
1. What's your favorite TV show? We will go with my current favorite...White Collar
2. Who would play you in a movie? Oh my this is tough...but because of my pale skin, blue eyes and freckles I think Emma Stone would do a good job.
3. If you could pay someone to do one service for you for the rest of your life, what would it be? I would pay someone to vacuum...I've always hated that chore, my mom can vouch for that one! Strangely I'd rather clean the bathroom. Weird I know.
4. What's your favorite store to shop at? I love the LOFT. They also give a nice teacher discount...definite plus!
5. What's your most embarrassing moment? Last summer I went to an annual event in my city called Taste of Cincinnati with my hubby and a group of friends. I wore a brown flowy skirt and I pulled a Marilyn Monroe only it wasn't quite so sexy. We walked around and had to walk over some grates...little did I know air was bursting up out of them and when I walked over  my skirt went over my head. Oh least my underwear was cute that day.
6. If you could only have one gadget, what would it be? My's attached to my hand or at least my husband thinks so. :)
7. What's your dream job? I would love to just craft and plan all day maybe a party planner?
8. What's the best thing that happened to you in 2011? I started this here blog and met all of you!
9. Who was your first crush? The first boy I wrote in my diary about was Tommy Stranko in Grade 3. I cut out his team football picture from the newspaper and stuck it in my diary. It's probably still there. Ha.
10. What's your guiltiest pleasure? As mentioned above...watching and enjoying every second of the drama on the Bachelor/Bachelorette
11. If you could date one Hollywood hunk, who would it be? Hmmm...actually I wouldn't trade my hubby for any Hollywood hunk so I'm going to happily decline.

Thanks for tagging me Julie...
Now I'm tagging these lovely ladies...
1. Carrie @ Life of the Liles
2. Courtney @ Dress up and Twirl
3. Emily @ Hope Squared
4. Meg @ Henning Love
6. Emily @ Meme-and-he
7. Bon bon @ The Whim Wham Life

Here are my 11 questions...
1. If you had to choose between a burger or a slice of pizza, which would you choose?
2. What is your favorite cartoon character?
3. Would you rather be at home in sweatpants or out on the town looking snazzy?
4. Which do you prefer kittens or puppies? (Tough one I know!)
5. Have you ever eaten or heard of Skyline Chili?
6. If you could pick one band to write the soundtrack of your life who would it be?
8. If you could get a free subscription to any magazine, which one would it be?
9. Would you rather live near the mountains or near the beach?
10. What is the best meal/recipe you've ever made?
11. What is your favorite holiday?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cozy Saturday

Last night we had freezing rain and then some snow to top it off...needless to say I won't be going out anywhere today. I secretly like being trapped inside because I am forced to stay in my pjs, craft and watch movies while drinking hot chocolate. Today I'm working on some Valentine's banners for my Etsy shop. Here's a sneak peek...
Quick update...yesterday I got a new credit card just to use for my "business" transactions and my Etsy banner is in the works. I can't tell you how excited I am to get this up and running!

Today I will be doing a lot of this...what are your Saturday plans?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The big 1-0-0

As of today I have reached 100 followers! I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you that follow my blog. When I started blogging almost a year ago I didn't expect to make friends in the process. My blog was simply going to be a place to share my thoughts...I was completely wrong. I honestly believe that bloggers are some of the most caring, generous, creative and encouraging people out there! Thank you for finding something you liked enough about my little blog to follow along.

I have a giveaway coming up soon as a small thank you...don't miss it!
Thank you times a million!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

27 Dresses...

I was watching the movie 27 dresses the other day and it made me curious to go back and take a look at some of the bridesmaids dresses that I've worn over the years. Here we go...
My friend Carrie let us pick out our own style of brown JCrew dress. I still wear this one!
My sister in law Ashley picked out elegant black dresses for her Nashville wedding.
My friend Stephanie let us pick out our own black dresses! Mine is from the Black and White store.
My friend Dawn picked out long red dresses to go with the Cincinnati Reds since she got married at the stadium
My friend Katie also let us pick out our own black dresses for her winter wedding.
My friend Katy picked out these cute pink dresses for her August Michigan wedding
My sister had our bridesmaids dresses made and I L-O-V-E mine. I can't wait to wear it again!
And I'll be adding this dress to my collection after my friend Allison's wedding in North Carolina on March 17th!

Overall I have been very lucky with the bridesmaid dress choices from my friends. Thank you kind and considerate brides! For those of you not so lucky in the bridesmaid dresses filling up your closet there might be a solution. While browsing Pinterest I found what appears to be an amazing website for upcycling your old dresses. It's called Newly Maid. I haven't used it, but it seems like a smart idea! Check it out here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cat vs. Human

I haven't posted about my cats in a little too they make their re-appearance today! I know some people don't love cats, but I love my cats, quirks and all. Really cats just make me laugh.
One of my favorite blogs to check out (and laugh hysterically while looking at) is Cat verses human. I'm going to share a few of my favorites with you...

Here are some places my cats sleep that they probably shouldn't...
In the sink...
On our banister while using a wooden candle as a pillow...
In the windowsill...
On my head...
On his head... 

So I'll have to make my next cat post all about Bear because Sawyer stole the spotlight in this one. Where is a place your pet sleeps that they probably shouldn't?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Birthday a bowtie (G rated)

Today is my husband's birthday! Each year I spend with him I just feel more and more blessed and more and more in love with him. One thing I love about him is his adorable personality. Today he wore a bowtie to work and said "I'm wearing a bow tie because it's my birthday." I must say he looks pretty darn snazzy in a bow tie.
Drew has been in to meet my kiddos and they wanted to call him since it was his birthday. We left a message on his voice mail complete with Cha-cha-cha's in between each verse of Happy Birthday. How could that not make you smile? Drew requested meatloaf for his birthday dinner so I made Pioneer Woman's Meatloaf. It looked, smelled and most importantly tasted amazing. And this is from a girl who was never a huge fan of meatloaf ...until now. Anything that is wrapped in bacon can't be so bad right? Let me just tell you it is a must make recipe! You can find it here.
I am so thankful to have had another year to spend with my amazing husband. Happy Birthday hubby...I'm so happy to have you to wake up to every morning.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

NEW song, NEW recipe

This weekend my friend Betsy came to visit. Betsy is one of my favorite people in the world. We met in college and I'm so thankful we have remained so close. Plus we both like purple apparently.
Betsy and her roommate introduced me to the Pioneer Woman cookbook a few years back and that's when my cooking self came to life. Almost every time we get together we end up trying one of PW's recipes and this weekend was no exception. We decided to make Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce and it was amazingly good! You just can't go wrong with pesto....or Pioneer Woman.
The cast of ingredients...pretty simple
The pesto sauce..mmm
Final product
For the original recipe, click here. You won't be sorry! amazing song for your Sunday evening. Taylor Swift+The Civil Wars new song called Safe and Sound, which will be on The Hunger Games soundtrack!!!!! I love it!!!! Let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sushi, Sequins and Starting fresh...

                                                                                         Source: via Allison on Pinterest

I just love New Years Eve. I love getting dressed up, I love thinking about the highlights of the year and I love setting goals to make the next year even better. It is wonderful to remember where you have been, but it is also important to look to where you are going...
                                                                                   Source: Uploaded by user via Allison on Pinterest

This NYE we went out to dinner at a steak and sushi restaurant with a few close friends then we went back to our house for games, some bubbly and a midnight shot from a flare gun.
The New Year means a fresh are my New years resolutions for 2012...
1. Be more disciplined (in my eating habits, exercising habits and time with God)
2. Open my own Etsy shop...COMING Summer 2012. My little shop is in the works and you all will be the first to know all the details. Here is a clue of what you might find in my shop...I am so excited!
In 2012 I'm looking forward to celebrating 3 years with my hubby, cooking new recipes from Pioneer Woman's new cookbook, being a bridesmaid in my friend Ali's wedding in North Carolina, purchasing a new(to us) car and continuing to learn how to be a better wife to my amazing husband. Cheers to 2012!