Learn More About Me

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This is Me Studying:

I was on the Knot and this girl (the same one I got the dog treat recipe from) has this new blog to track her goals. Here is the original website, and here is her list. I think I'm going to start this AFTER the wedding. I would love to start it now, but most of my goals would be wedding related, and I want to make sure I do a good job. :) Check it out if you have a moment, I think it would be a great tool to keep goals in perspective.

Speaking of goals, do you have specific goals? A few weeks ago I wrote down my short term and long term goals. I was surprised at how many I came up with. I feel like I need to get something put up in my office so that I can see my goals more often than I do in the notebook they're currently in. If you see a cute inexpensive dry erase board or chalk board, let me know. Do you keep track of your goals?

Megan: This would be great for you! This is like the ultimate list making task. Try it, I know you'll love it...I know you're itching to make a list.

Here is the info from the website:
Creating your own 1001 Day Project

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I'm off to update our Target registry. After the fiasco at Kohl's last week I decided I should check on Target too. That way everything is up to date, and I can add anything I didn't want a few months ago. :) I'm so excited for our wedding!

Dog Treats

I found this recipe a long time ago here. I'm not sure why, but I decided to make treats for the dogs. It was really easy, and they love them. But they also love to eat anything they see.

PB Dog Treats

1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
2 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon baking powder

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl (pb and milk). Mix dry ingredients in a different bowl (flour and baking powder). Mix wet ingredients slowly into dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until starting to brown.

My way:
The dogs got JIF peanut butter that we had in the cabinet, I'm not sure how natural that is. Other than that I did this just like the recipe. I mixed it all up in my mixer and then laid it out flat and cut out the shapes. In the blog I found this at, she said it made too much, and that she's halve the recipe next time. I'm guessing that she doesn't have three big dogs. :). It would be a lot though if you only had one dog, and I'm not sure what the shelf life is on these things.

Here are the pictures:
Before they went into the oven:

After baking. They didn't rise much, so don't worry about putting them too close together.

Josh ate one and said they aren't very good.

Yummy Pasta

It's been a while since I've posted a pasta recipe. Josh and Nate were here on Saturday night cleaning their guns because they went shooting on Friday. I was starving and didn't have a whole lot in the house, and I couldn't leave because I was blocked in. Ok, I could have asked for someone to move, but I really didn't feel like going to the store anyway. I was looking at the Kraft Food & Family catalog/magazine that came a few weeks ago and found this recipe.

Spinach-Pasta Toss
Prep: 5min Total: 25min
Makes: Six servings, one cup each

What you need:
1 can (14.5oz) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 cup water
1 package (9oz) baby spinach leaves
1 cup Kraft 2% Milk Shredded Italian Three Cheese Blend

Make It:
Bring tomatoes, pasta, and water to boil in large saucepan; stir. Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 10 min. Uncover; simmer 1 min. or just until pasta is tender.
Add half the spinach; simmer, covered, 2 min. or until wilted. Stir. Repeat with remaining spinach.
Serve topped with cheese.

My way:
I'm thinking that I used too much pasta. It says 2 cups, but I went two cups by weight, not volume, so I used an entire box, when I don't think I was supposed to. I haven't tried it without using so much pasta yet. Anyway, I was a little hesitant because I've never made pasta this way before. I always boil it until its cooked and then add the sauce, so this was different for me. It worked though. I had to let it simmer a little longer than it called for because the pasta was still a bit hard. Since I knew the guys were going to be eating it, I didn't add all the spinach the recipe called for. I used about half of a bag, and it was fine. I think if I had used the whole thing it would have been too much. I knew they weren't going to like it if it didn't have more sauce in it, so I added a big (30oz) can of tomato sauce to it, and it turned out great. They really didn't even complain that there wasn't any meat in it. I just used what we had in the cabinet, so don't worry about substitutions. I used a can of plain diced tomatoes and added Italian herbs to it (basil, oregano, thyme), and I didn't have the fancy Kraft Cheese, so I just used what we had. It's not a big deal. I really like that I didn't have to drain this pasta, I always burn myself with the steam, so that was a nice change :). This dish was great. If my instructions are confusing, click on the link above for the Kraft directions. Enjoy.

Note: I did not become a professional photographer, but that is a picture of this recipe. Its from Kraftfoods.com.


Something odd happened to me this morning. I had a pleasant wedding dream. Typically all of my wedding dreams are nightmares. Funny thing is, nothing in this dream is how I plan for the reception to be, but I was still having a great time. There were only about ten people there, and a Catholic Priest was bartending, but it was great. Hopefully if these kinds of things actually happen at the wedding, I'll handle them as gracefully. :) Josh informed me last night that we have six weeks until our wedding. Which is amazing, because when we got engaged we had forever. I am so excited.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Ugh. My mother went to Kohls last night with my Nanny to get a shower gift for me, and called me around 9:00, complaining up and down the wall about how horrible Kohls was. My mom said I have to go back and re-register because most of the stuff I registered for is gone. So thats what I'm doing this morning. It isn't that big of a deal, because I really liked registering, but I hope no one else has the problems my mother had. Fun! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Photoshop Awards

Why? Why do magazines do this? Here is the original post.
I've been thinking a lot lately. I'm not whining, I just want that to be noted. I've had a lot of time lately for thinking, and even though this is only day 3, things are going to be alright. I've been able to get a lot of things done around the house. Yesterday, I was able to have dinner in the crockpot and ready by dinnertime. I have time to finish the invitations, I just don't want to. All I have left to do is seal them, and that has to be the worst. I've decided though that they are going in the mail tomorrow, no more procrastinating. At work when we have a big project we have these little bottles with small sponges on the tip that we fill with water to seal envelopes. I would use that, but typically it leaves too much water on the back and then the envelope gets the dried water look, and I'm afraid the ink would run on the envelope behind them. Honestly, the best way to do it is with your own tongue. Yuck.

I can't believe I'm actually getting married. It came so fast. We just got engaged. My first bridal shower is coming up soon. I am so excited about it. I was taking with Sarah and Megan last night about RSVP's, and I cannot believe how many people are actually coming. I really didn't think so many people would come. I can't wait though. It will be great to have Sarah in town and to have the shower.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Now, I Understand.

Women stand like this on the red carpet...

So that they don't look like this.


I think I have been the complete opposite of a Bridezilla thus far. I have noticed though, that I'm super nice to my friends, but not as nice to our mothers. I'm like a selective Bridezilla. Me and my mom get like that with each other, but I wish I wouldn't be like that with her. I don't want to argue with her or be snippy, especially on our wedding day. I want to get along with her. So now I'm going to try much harder to be nice to everyone.

Please, hold me accountable.


I wasn't going to post about this, because I refuse to be a complainer. I take that back, I am a big time complainer, but I don't like to complain about things I cannot change. I don't like to be a whiner. I complain to Megan all the time, but its different. Complaining about being tired, or hungry, is not the same and constantly complaining about being unemployed. I'm not unemployed, just underemployed. I actually thought I made that word up, but I just Googled it, and there are all kinds of definitions for it. Good news is, I'm using it in the correct way. I'm actually using it in two ways. One way is when someone isn't working to their full potential, like a medical doctor driving a taxi cab. The other way to use it is when someone wants to work more hours, but isn't allowed to. I'm both of those. There is this girl on Facebook, I can see her profile because she's in the Fort Wayne network (this is where Ashley would call me a stalker) and she always shows up on my "People You May Know" thing. Anyway, ALL she ever does is complain about being unemployed, and how much the unemployment line sucks, and this and that, and blah blah blah. Here's a tip, the best way ever to look completely desperate: post a new Facebook status about how sucky your life is every five minutes. You'll get lots of positive reactions. Back to my story. On Friday I was told that my hours got cut because of budgets and slow work. That's fine. It's happening everywhere. But it really upset me. Wouldn't it upset you? I cried on Friday. A lot. Saturday was better, but I was in a bad mood basically all day. I've been so mean to my mom lately, (even before this happened) and I wasn't very nice on Saturday. I actually spent quite a bit of time with my family, and we worked some things out. Sunday Joshua and I went to the Y, and while I was on the treadmill I decided that I'm going to make this a positive change. There isn't any point of me sitting around, whining in my blog about how bored I am from sitting around on the couch all day (give me a break, this is just my first day..I can whine the first day). I'm going to get the house organized. I am going to get it clean. I am going to be a good student and devote the time to studying that I should, and get good grades this semester. Not just good grades, great grades. (I do my best, and most optimistic thinking on the treadmill). And most of all, I'll know that my life isn't over. It's far from over. On Friday I was really upset because I was afraid we weren't going to be able to pay bills. Now that my head is clearer, I know that I was really upset because it made me feel worthless. Why would they cut my hours and not someone elses? I don't really want this to happen to someone else though. But didn't I do a good enough job for them to at least try to keep me? I can see why this happened though. And since I can't do a thing about it, I'm going to improve everything that I can. I refuse to sit around and be a victim. This will turn out to be a good experience, I just don't know where it's headed yet. I have faith.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Can Never Find Anything At Pier 1

But I love everything in this catalog. I love these prints. However, they are sold separately, and are $30 each. Why do I have a feeling that Pier 1 will be having a "Going Out Of Business Sale" soon? Just a hunch.

If I Had Extra Money

I would so buy this chair and ottoman. I LOVE it. I just spotted it in a Pier 1 catalog that Joshua got in the mail. I would say that its weird that he got it, but I get baby catalogs constantly. I think that could be the fault of my soon to be mother in law. Just kidding. But I don't really have a place to put it. It isn't the same green as my office. I could put it in the guest room, but that would be weird if I always hung out in the guest room. Anyway, I can dream. Even if I had a place to put it, I wouldn't have the money to put down on it!


I passed it! I got my test scores in the mail today, and I actually did very well on it. I did much better than I anticipated, which made me feel good. It is a big relief to have that done and behind me now. On to the next thing now... :)


Invitations are on their way out the door. Ok, not quite to that point yet, but I will be soon. My mother came over tonight and helped me address all of them, and then put the labels on. I really like how they turned out. All I have left to do for them, is to write the names on the inside envelope and put insets in about the hotel block for our out of town guests. I cannot wait to have this project done!
Not all, but most of the invitations after being addressed.

Close up of the front of the invitation envelope.

The back of the envelope, with the return address.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My New Obsession

I love it. You don't even know.


I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I think I should be able to have the smiley faces at the end of my blog posts so I can put what my mood is. If I did have those, today's would say "contemplative". I was just on Facebook, as I usually am, and I was thinking. Last night I deleted a few people from my friends who are particularly annoying to me, and I'm not sure why I was even friends with them in the first place. By "friends" I mean people I used to talk to or be actual friends with in high school, but did not make it into my post-high school life. I've talked before about the "hanger-on" friends, and these are similar, yet slightly less personal. So Facebook friends are typically not actual friends, but some are. In that case, it's unnecessary to have Facebook, because you keep in contact with these friends outside of Facebook. So I had some Facebook friends who were particularly annoying to me, and I was tired of reading about their obnoxious on my news feed every time I signed on. So I deleted them. If you've never used the "delete" feature on Facebook, you're missing out. It's so empowering. I work with an attorney who deleted his sister because she made him angry, and we had an entire conversation about how satisfying it is to delete someone out of your virtual life. I mean it, try it, I know you have someone on your friends list you would love to delete. I had this thing for a while, where I actually kept people on my friends list who I really didn't like, just so I could see what was happening in their lives. It's pathetic, but I can admit it. I went through and deleted all the people I don't talk to, don't know, and don't care to hear about, about two or three months ago. I went from about 300ish friends, to around 70. I really wasn't even that selective in my deleting. Obviously, because I still had people on there last night who bug the shit out of me. So I deleted them, and I decided to put them on block too. Thats the ultimate end to a friendship. A virtual friendship, that is. So today I was looking and decided to block a few more people. Yes, I got power hungry. So while I was going through my remaining friends, I realized that it's actually pretty pointless to have Facebook when my only friends left are my two best friends, my fiance, and my mom.

Yesterday, Megan, Ashley, and I went out for lunch together. Ashley brought up my stalking habit. I suppose you could call me a stalker, but that depends on which way you look at it. I prefer to say that I'm being a caring friend or observant. But honestly, Facebook practically forces information on you about your friends. So the minute that Ashley updates her status and says something depressing, I do ask her whats wrong. Would a caring friend/stalker really let it go for a while before asking, just so her friend wouldn't think she's stalking her? Whatever.

I may end up deleting my Facebook again. I did it before, but I was only off for about a day. I'm pretty sure I'll last longer this time. At least two days.

Country Grunge?

I've been watching music videos in the morning instead of the news, basically because I'm tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. I don't care about AIG anymore. I usually switch back and forth between GAC and CMT, and I've noticed one thing.

Since when did it become cool to not brush, comb or wash your hair in country music? The top picture is the lead singer from the Zac Brown Band, so I'll assume he's Zac Brown who sang the Chicken Fried song. The bottom picture is Shooter Jennings (Waylon Jenning's son) and Jamey Johnson (he sang the Should've Seen It In Color song. Go take a shower, and get a haircut. Yuck.

Natasha Richardson

This is a very sad story. I thought I knew her from a movie, but I just looked it up, and I was wrong. I do know her from Maid in Manhattan though. I'm sure you've heard this story already though. Here is a link to an article that talks about what may have happened to her. Neither her family or the hospital has released an official statement yet though, but doctors all over the internet are speculating that Richardson suffered from "talk and die" syndrome, where a person seems fine one minute and quickly deteriorates. Check out the article if you're interested. Keep her family, and young children in your prayers.

Oh, man.

Joshua and I were having this conversation last night while we were laying in bed watching television. A commercial came on for Twilight the movie because it comes out on video in a few days. We were discussing why so many girls are obsessed over Rob Pattinson. It wasn't a very good debate, because we were both on the same side. Sorry Megan, survey says: he's not attractive. :/

But Jacob Black on the other hand, is hot. Which I'm pretty sure makes me a pedophile because he's like 16.

Could someone please throw Rob a steak, he looks so hungry.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

OK, Go

This video is hilarious. I'm sure you've probably seen it, it came out a few years ago. I was downloading new music for my iPod the other day because all I had on it was really slow stuff and I wasn't working out very hard to it. Anyway, at Women's Health's website you can look up playlists and click download on iTunes and then you have it. It is so easy. Here is a link to the search topic. Check it out. Anyway, one of the playlists I downloaded had this song on it and it reminded me of the video. Watch it, it is so funny. If you don't, you're missing out. Big time.
The bald guy is my favorite.

Welcome To My Invitation Factory

Doesn't this look fun? Can't wait until it's finished!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Great Article

If you only click on one link I post on my blog for the entire year, it should be this one.

Here is a small snippet from the article. If you're serious about losing weight, you should definitely read the entire article.

"Tired of sweating all over every piece of cardio equipment at the gym and still getting zero love from the scale? You need more iron. Not in your diet—in your hands. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a mere 21 percent of women strength train two or more times a week. What you don't know: When you skip the weight room, you lose out on the ultimate flab melter. Those two sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by about 3 percentage points in just 10 weeks, even if you don't cut a single calorie. That translates to as much as three inches total off your waist and hips."

Check it out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Should Be A Designer

I was just telling Megan a few days ago when we were at Hobby Lobby that I liked how empty frames looked on walls. I found this in the online IKEA catalog. They better find me if they need a desiger. I'm good.

A Joke, Right?

Long story short, we went to IKEA yesterday (2.5 hours away) to get a new bed. I had it all picked out and once we got to the area where you pick it up, found out that they were out of stock of one of the main parts of the bed. Not joking. The people weren't super helpful, and basically they told me to order online and have it shipped to me. If you can see the total in the picture, you'll see why I'm going to find a bed in Fort Wayne. Wish me luck.

Closer view:

But look at the bright side, they don't charge tax!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I went today for the decorating meeting at our reception hall. I hate decorating. I love our centerpieces though. We are going to have these big trees on half of the tables and smaller ones on the other half. The bottom is going to be covered with red rose petals and have some votive candles. I think it's going to look great.


I mean really. I told you to get a boat.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mom's Shower

These are the invites for mom's shower :) I'm excited!

Welcome to Fort Wayne...

I hope you brought your boat.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Here is the recipe from the Food Network website. I saw this on Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals and thought it looked great, and if it can be made in less than 30 minutes, it's so for me. Of course, I made some minor changes to it.

3/4 pound chicken breast cutlets
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 teaspoons grill seasoning
1 pizza dough, store bought or from your favorite pizzeria
cornmeal or flour, to handle dough
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
2-3 tablespoons hot sauce, medium to spicy heat
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack CHeese, a few generous handfuls
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425°. Preheat grill pan to high.

Place chicken on a plate and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the chicken then season with grill seasoning. When grill is hot, add chicken and cook about 3 minutes on each side.

Stretch dough to form pizza using cornmeal or flour to help you handle it. If you let it rest and warm up a few minutes it will handle even easier. Set pizza pan to the side and clean board.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and tomato sauce.

Remove chicken from the grill and thinly slice it. Add chicken to sauce and coat. Cover the pizza dough with the saucy buffalo chicken, cheeses, and scallions. Bake 18 minutes or until crisp.

My thoughts: I actually made quite a few changes. My oven was set to 450° because that is what my dough recipe called for. Since I didn't use a pre-made dough, I thought it would be best to use those directions. I also don't have a grill pan. I cooked the chicken in a regular skillet. I bought chicken breast tenders, which are tiny little strips of chicken that cook up quickly. It also made for less cutting, since they were already thin. It does help to let the dough rest if it won't stretch how you want it. I mixed my sauce in a sauce pan and added the chicken to that. I had an issue with the scallions. I didn't know that scallions are the same as green onions. I called my Nanny and she told me that they were different, which is what I thought too, but we were both thinking of something else. I got frustrated at the store and decided the pizza would be fine without the scallions, which it was. I baked for 20 minutes, and it was great. I will definitely make this one again. For pictures of this pizza, see my previous post. They are towards the bottom.

Pizza Dough

I finally perfected the pizza dough! Thank goodness. I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with me! I was following the recipe, but the dough was too powdery for us, it wasn't soft and easy to spread like I had imagined pizza dough to be, but it is now! If you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, this recipe came in your book. If not, I'm really not sure how to adapt this for making it without. I would guess that you just do the same thing, but knead it longer with your hands. Sorry. There isn't really any point for me to try it the hard way though, since I don't have to. :)

Crusty Pizza Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.

Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 1 1/2 minutes, or until dough starts to clean sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down.

Brush 14-inch pizza pan with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough across bottom of pan, forming a collar around edge to hold toppings. Add toppings, as desired. Bake at 450° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings (1/4 pizza per serving)

Per serving: About 373 cal, 11g pro, 74g carb, 3 g fat, 0mg chol, 271mg sodium.

My thoughts: Good luck eating a full serving. This stuff is so filling. Dissolving the yeast at the very beginning can take up to around five minutes, I didn't realize it would take that long. Also, I don't have a kitchen thermometer, or a regular one for that matter, but I set the faucet handle to midway between hot and warm, where I'm still able to hold my hand under it without it hurting, and use that as my warm water. I have no idea if that's between 105° and 115°, but it works for me. What was super confusing to me was the "2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups flour". I didn't know if I was supposed to use 2 1/2 and then add another 3 1/2 cups, or if I started with 2 1/2 and added one more cup to equal 3 1/2. What I did the first two times I made it was put the 2 1/2 in at the beginning and added the last cup while it was mixing. This time (the time I did it right) I only added 1/2 after I put in the initial 2 1/2 cups, making it total only 3 cups of flour instead of 3 1/2, and it was perfect. This may depend on your altitude and humidity also. I end up kneading this for much longer than two minutes. From start to finish I don't turn the mixer off, and it runs for about ten minutes. I'd say the actual kneading time is about six or seven minutes. All of these times may be different because of the dryness of my house, too. If you're going to try this recipe, don't use mine as the law. Adjust it so it works best for you. And when it says "punch dough down", thats literal. I didn't realize that I actually got to punch the dough. So have fun.

ETA 1/27/11: Even though I thought I had it perfected back in 2009, I was wrong. I'm still learning my way around pizza dough. One thing I do know, yeast is temperamental.  I got an awesome rolling pin as a wedding gift, so now when I made pizza, I use one recipe of dough for two pizzas. Once it's done rising I use my dough cutter (you can use a knife, same thing) and cut the ball in half. These make way thinner pizzas, but we like them better that way.

This is what the yeast looks like in the water before it dissolves.

After about five minutes - dissolved yeast.
Water, yeast, salt, olive oil.
Water, yeast, salt, olive oil, flour
Beginning of mixing.
Starting to clump.
Starting to clean the sides of the bowl.
This is where the kneading starts.
Ready to come out.
Looks like a brain, right?

Put in greased bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour. I actually made this in the morning and let it sit all day. It was fine.

Ready to be pizza.

Pepperoni waiting to go in the oven.

Buffalo chicken pizza - chicken only.

Assembled buffalo chicken pizza, waiting to go in the oven.

Finished pepperoni.
Finished buffalo chicken.
Please ask me if you have questions, this can be tricky, but it is soooo gooood.


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