Thursday, December 10, 2009

cold, cold go away!

Tuesday night, Kyle and I made our monthly grocery run, so I finally got stuff to try some of the recipes I've been wanting. Yesterday morning, I made iowagirleats's morning oats, and it was delicious! My morning oats were:

  • 3/4 cup strawberry yogurt ( I got Dannon Light and Fit yogurt...110 calories pre cup, and no fat! I bought the large container instead of a bunch of small ones.)
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • almonds, sprinkled on top
  • honey drizzled on top

It was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! And so filling. Much more than my usual Cream of Wheat or cereal. By lunch, I was hardly hungry, but I had a lunch meeting, so I just got a bowl of soup. I also bought raspberries and blueberries to use as morning oats topping.

Tonight we are getting together with some other couples from church, so I am making a salad I found on the same blog. It consists of:
  • Spinach leaves
  • Carrots
  • Roma tomato
  • Feta cheese
  • Chopped pecans
  • Raspberries 
Sounds so yummy! The recipe actually calls for mixed greens, but I prefer spinach, so I'm mixing it up a little bit. I got sun dried tomato dressing to top it. Probably could have just made a balsamic vinegar dressing, but this will be a little easier.

Last night, we had our friends over for dinner. I stuck to what I knew as far as the meal. I read somewhere that when you have people over, it's not he time to try something new. I don't know that holds true for everyone, but in my case, I think it's best. I made Parmesan chicken topped with lemon vinaigrette spinach salad, and it turned out great! And (bonus!) I didn't set off the fire alarm! The more I make this recipe, the better it turns out. We had our own version of a Christmas Cosmo to go with it. Tasty! After we ate, we braved the brutal cold and went to look at Christmas lights. We lasted about 20 minutes before we came back home to Meredith's black forrest cake (yum!) and hot apple cider. It's becoming a little bit of a tradition for the four of us to look at lights together, so I'm glad we kept it going despite the cold. Afterwards, I asked Kyle if we could move to the Caribbean. I was hardly kidding :)

Our friends!

Me and the Mr. being silly

I've been friends with this girl for half my life! We bonded over purple skittles, and I'm so thankful our friendship has stuck.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

getting in the christmas spirit

Look what we did last night! Christmas-ified our apartment with our very first married Christmas tree. We went out to the Owasso Tree Farm and took full advantage of the apple cider and gift shop. Had to buy an ornament to remember our first tree experience, right?

And then I made Kyle take cheesy pictures with me in these wooden trees.

Cute, huh? The nice guys at the farm strapped our 6 footer to the top of our Jeep, and off we went. I so wish I had taken a picture of the tree on top of our car. We felt like the Griswolds going down the highway, and I kept trying to make sure it was still on the car. But, we got it home, and the decorating began!

My family has, for as long as I can remember, had the tradition of drinking Christmas Coca-Cola glass bottles while we put up the tree. So, Kyle and I decided to adopt that into our little family too, and accompany it with a Calzone and Love Actually on the TV (we LOVE that movie.) Kyle got a nice fire going with the help of lighter fluid, and I got all the decorations ready to go.

Nellie was amazed by the tree, and kept trying to eat it. She actually still tries to eat it. I tried to google this issue, and apparently it's pretty common.

The decorating got going, and I have to say. Our plan was to get a real tree this year, and buy a fake, prelit one after the season, on sale. But our tree smells so amazing, I don't know if I could go back to a fake tree! I can't remember what kind we got, but it smells like pine and orange. Yumm. Probably why Nellie tries to eat it.

After it was all decorated we had to attempt a family pic. We seriously love how it turned out (the tree...the family pic could use some tweaking,) and had so much fun putting the tree up. It one of those things you just know you will always remember...your first married Christmas tree experience...and I think it was a great one to start with.

P.S. Like the painting above our fireplace? It was a wedding gift from our incredibly talented sister-in-law. Check her art out at She's awesome!

Monday, December 7, 2009

behind closed cabinets

Some of my kitchen cabinets are perfectly (almost) organized, and others look like a tornado ripped right through. For example, this one is pretty in white and blue.

Then this's half random bowls and kitchen accessories (I do love my Williams-Sonoma colorful ones,) and half baking items so I can make a disaster of my kitchen (we have a seriously small pantry, so I have to stash things wherever I can.)

So here's a little kitchen inspiration to (hopefully) inspire me to get things a little more organized and pretty. And if not, these photos are still sure to make you drool.

Check out this gorgeous blue light shade.

Oh those gorgeous white cabinets with clear panes. Drooling.

This window shade is so cute! Love having a window over the sink. And check out those exposed shelves! pretty!

I don't think I would ever do blue cabinets, but check out that chandelier! So bold. So pretty.

This looks so very Ikea. Modern. Clean. And glossy cabinets. And that backsplash! Would love to know what that material is.

I LOVE this! White cabinets. Stainless appliances. White, clear and blue. And check out that built in wine rack. Santa, please?

I know I have shown this before, but I had to revisit it. I just love Katie Ukrop's home. Replace the pink with my Martha blue, and it's a kitchen dream come true! and Domino Magazine

Friday, December 4, 2009

lots of updates

The last few weeks have been so busy! With Thanksgiving, and trying to get some work done so I can really enjoy a nice Christmas break, it's just been kind of crazy. I'm SO glad it's Christmastime though, and have done some work on filling our place with a little Christmas cheer.

We still don't have a Christmas tree. Our original idea was to get a real tree at this place, because how awesome does this sound: "Enjoy the Christmas experience, after choosing and cutting your special tree, take a hayride back to the Christmas cabin.  Inside we offer hot apple cider to warm you up while you browse through our beautiful Christmas ornaments and items. "

But then we started thinking about how much easier it would be to just get a pre-lit tree. Considering Christmas is only 20 days away, and I have a Hobby Lobby bag full of ornaments, I guess we better decide fast!

What else have I been up to on my blogging hiatus? Well, finding other great blogs to read, of course. Check this one out, Iowa Girl Eats. Kristin, the blogger there, is all about healthy eating/cooking, and is always putting up great recipes. She makes this breakfast thing called "Overnight Oats." It looks delish, and I'm itching to try it. It's about time for the Mr. and I to make our next grocery run, and I'll be getting the ingredients to test first hand.

The last few weeks I tried several recipes I found on I love the recipes on this site because they give you all the calories, fat, etc. content for the meals. Some of them were pretty good, others were not my fav, or need adjusting. I tried wheat pasta this time around, and I just don't like it too much. Maybe I didn't buy the right brand? Anyway, here are the recipes I tested:

This one was really delicious, but I made it pretty different than the recipe. Instead of Proscuitto, I cut up ham in thin slices and added some bacon and mushrooms. And instead of Argula I was going to use Spinach, but what I had wasn't good anymore, so we just went without the greens. BUT, even with the adjustments (or maybe because of them?) it was really great.

Kyle and I both loved this one, but I went for regular pasta instead of wheat this time. I had never had eggplant before, but it was yummy!

I served shredded sweet potatoes with a little butter and brown sugar with this. The chicken and potatoes were pretty good, but next time I might use a different, more flavorful, cheese.

This was Kyle's absolute favorite, and I have to say I really liked it too. I made homemade sweet potato fries to go with this, and instead of rye bread, I put the patties on the sandwich whole wheat thins. Yum!

This was my least favorite. I also made this first, and used wheat pasta. I just felt like there wasn't a lot of flavor to it.

I made this one last night, and it was OK. I think I would like it a lot better with a cheese other than goat cheese. It's so tangy, it kind of overwhelmed the tastes of all the fresh veggies. But, look at how yummy these veggies look:

One of my favorite recipes is this one, and I think it's time to make it again. Add that to the grocery list!

This weekend I'm hoping to tackle some Christmas shopping. Kyle's Christmas list was complete with a "chimpanzee that knows karate" and a "Baron 58 P (325)" which is a $300,000 airplane, so I'm hoping I can find some more realistic things to get him. Wish me luck!

Hope you are enjoying the start of the Christmas season!