Monday, June 28, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters


[one] I had a great time Saturday at my friends lingerie shower and bachelorette party. Granted, I was really stressed out before hand (I hosted both) I think everything turned out well and my friend had a great time.We had the shower at my house - it was a good idea on my part because it forced me to clean our house. And then went out to Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Artist in You (a pottery painting place) and Starbucks for the bachelorette party - yeah we're really low-key. Then, we stayed up until midnight chatting and catching up. It was a great night!

[two] While at work today, around 9am (I remember because I was thinking...ugh, I still have 6 more hours of work...) I seriously thought I was going to fall asleep right then and there. I was doing a lot of data entry to prepare our e-mail newsletters for distribution to clients...so boring...and it was making me so tired! It probably doesn't help that I went to bed late on Saturday, got up early on Sunday and couldn't sleep last night. I usually chew gum to keep me awake but I didn't have any so I had a mint. It helped a little but there were moments where I thought my eyes would not stay open! I think if I were allowed to listen to music, that would help me stay awake, but nope, can't do that! Anywhoo, looking back on it, it's kinda funny. Does that happen to anyone else or am I the only one? It's okay if I am.

[three] You may have noticed I watermarked all of my images...it's because of two posts I read: one warning people not to take her photos because she didn't watermark them and the other venting about the fact that someone took their photos and passed them off as their own...these were pregnancy, birth and baby photos - that person is messed up! All the photos on my site - unless credited - are my own personal photos - ones that I, as an amateur photographer, have taken. I totally don't mind if you use them for backgrounds on your computer or whatever - it would be creepy if you used one of me though...- but PLEASE don't try to pass them off as your own. I only have 5 followers as of today and I'm not worried about you all, just those that I might not know that have seen this blog.

[four] Have I mentioned how awesome my husband is? Well, he's just great! I've been pretty stressed out the last couple weeks with school and work. I'm always stressed at work...I was seriously considering cutting down to 30 hours a week for this coming semester [my last] because everyone says it's the hardest! Let's just say Chad did not like that idea so he mentioned something about a massage - I have been complaining that my upper back has been hurting - well I took him up on it. I am scheduled for a 60 minute massage today at 3:30pm. I can't wait! I've only had one other massage and it was nice. I'm hoping they can get all the tension out of my back. (Kristin, I guess that's my treat for finishing that stinky paper!)

[five] I just discovered Pandora Radio...it's awesome. If you haven't checked it out you should.

[six] I've started a little surprise project for my husband while he is gone. It consists of painting all the trim and door frames in our house. I will definitely post before and after pictures. I can't wait to be rid of all our ugly BROWN trim - yes ladies, brown. Oh and there's glitter on the ceiling in our living room and bedroom...I have no idea what the previous owners were thinking!

Well that's all for today. I'm off to massage land, later!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Accomplishment of the Week

Since this blog belongs to me I figured I could brag on myself a little. I try to never do this because it's not very nice but I'm just so dag-on excited I couldn't keep from doing so.

I just finished my research proposal for my summer class! {insert applause audio clip}

 Why is this such a big deal, well...
  1. This is the one class I was not wanting to take and especially at a Master's level. I was so stressed out about it! I even changed my major to avoid a research class in college, that is how much I dislike research!
  2. I hate writing papers - there are very few things that I will actually say I hate because I really don't like use that word. But, I have never been that good at English or writing in general. Every English class I have ever taken - highschool, bachelors, masters - I have ALWAYS gotten a B...that is pretty much the sole reason I never had a 4.0 overall in highschool or college. BLAH!
Combine those two things and the result is STRESS galore. 

But, now that it's done, I am stress free. It only took me 7 hours to write and was a total of 14 pages! Not the longest paper I've written by the way.

I'm not looking for comments I just feel like telling the world and anyone in the world can read my blog so this is the closet I'm getting.

Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday and maybe I'll see you tomorrow! Toodles!

Kindred Connection: Movie Edition

Windy Poplars

  1. Childhood favorites: Oh man, there's so many! Here's the short list
    • Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    • Mary Poppins (my Dad sometimes calls me Cheri Poppins)
    • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipmunk Adventure
    • Care Bears Movie
    • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I was sad when they redid it)
  2. Live in any movie: wow, I've actually never thought about this...Harry Potter (I know it might not be "Christian" but I think it would be so cool and I'm kinda a fantasy lover), Austin Powers (these movies are hilarious! I would be laughing the whole time!), Cheaper by the Dozen (I've always wanted a huge family so I'd like to see what that would be like).
  3. Midnight Showings: My dad, sister, brother, husband (boyfriend at the time) and I went to see Pirates 3 and I went with my youth group to see The Passion of the Christ. There might be others but those are the two I can remember.
  4. Movie Release: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1&2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides
  5. Theater goer, renter, wait and buy?: We go see it in the theater if it's something we really want to see and have been waiting for, we have Netflix so we'd watch it on DVD if it's something we can wait on or if it's already out on DVD and we rarely buy DVDs unless they are super cheap!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pictures of the Week

Here are some pictures I took from our anniversary trip.

so that's what the 3rd cup holder is for!

on the way to the cabin

our cabin "Hidden Falls"

the hidden falls

spider...eeek!

the lake

skylift!

gorgeous

my husband and I

 neat/scary/super small tunnel

Good thing we knew where we were because Garmin didn't!

Now I'm off to finish a paper!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{uno} Does anyone else feel like everyone you know is pregnant? I know like 10+ people that are pregnant - no joke. We just found out my cousin is pregnant with her second child, hoping it's a boy this time. And our good friends are expecting as well! They just went on a second honeymoon and my best friend and I were hoping it was a "babymoon" - you know, the last hoorah before you have children. I guess we were right! I'm definitely excited for them! (I know that's not 10 people but those are the two I just found out about). Oh and every time I see my husband's brother and his wife - I am expecting a big announcement from them! I get myself psyched up just to be let down...haha if they only knew! And us? Well WE are planning for a few years from now, but we also understand that God's plans could be different! We just pray that HIS plans are somewhat aligned with ours on this one!

{two} I tried a Bison burger the other day and LOVED it. Seriously, it was the best burger I have ever had! I actually bought some ground Bison meat today from the butcher's shop close to where I work and can't wait to make some for dinner. I did a little research on it and what I saw was that Bison meat has the best flavor and that it is healthier than beef. That's all the research I did before deciding to try one. It is a little more expensive, at the butcher shop the ground beef was $4.99/lb and the Bison was $7.99/lb.

{3} I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be pretty busy this week with school work and getting my house ready for a shower and bachelorette party I'm throwing for a girl I've known since middle school. So, I'm not going to promise a post every day like I did last week (maybe I shouldn't have started off so strong) Oh well, just be forewarned and don't get mad at me =]

Well that's it for me today! I could probably go on and on but I gotta go make me a burger before I dehydrate from drooling!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Reading List

You might wonder how I could possibly have time to read between school, work, blogging, church, husband and family. Well, I really don't! That's why my list isn't long. My goal is to read a chapter-ish every night before I go to sleep - it helps me to relax and sleep better.

1. The Green Book


This is first on my list because it's the one I've already started reading. My mother bought be this book from Kohl's (thanks mom!) - this was at the start of my "green" makeover. It has all kinds of tips on how to create less waste, use less energy and save some green (the best green of all - money!).

2. Eat This Not That For Kids

You might be wondering why I got the kids version...I was actually wondering that myself! I accidentally purchased it at Half-Price Books for $9.98 - but I'm glad I didn't return it. I've only skimmed through it and can tell it's not just for kids - I mean come on, we adults like to eat ice cream too! When I'm finished I'll recycle it back to Half-Price, get barely anything for it and let them sell it for another $10 or actually I could put it up on Amazon! My favorite place to buy books.

3. Nikon D3000 For Dummies
Yep, I'm a dummy! I want to read this book so I can learn how to better use our new-fangeld camera! I want to improve my photography skills and take better pictures! I've said it before, the Nikon pretty much does everything itself, but I want to do better!

4. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
This one is my leisure book. I have read her first two books, Something Borrowed and Something Blue, but I have not read this one. My sister has read all of her books - I think there's 5, but don't quote me on that - and she really liked them. I don't have the book but I plan to purchase it from Half-Price or the ever faithful Amazon. Or if I really don't want to buy it, I'll get it from the library - but some day I hope to have one, maybe once we finish the basement, but that's a story for another day.

Welp, that's my list! Do you all have any suggestions of good books to read? I would love to hear! I hope you all have an awesome Father's Day weekend and relax some. We'll see if I have any time to do the latter...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Peanut Butter Jelly!

I'm on a health kick right now, you probably already knew that from my days without Coke tracker. Well, technically I'm just changing a few things - I can get rid of Coke but I refuse to give up my candy!

One thing I am changing is my peanut butter...

Let me start by saying I love peanut butter! I could eat it everyday on just about anything! I don't know what I would do if I found out I was allergic to it.

My concern is all the ingredients in regular jar of peanut butter? There's too many if you ask me.

I didn't just decide to look on my own. I was actually browsing the Whole Foods website to see if their 365 brand was organic and someone had commented that it had too many ingredients. At that time I was like, come on, really? But now I have a totally different point of view.  If you think about it, shouldn't peanut butter be peanuts only?

Here's the list of ingredients from an unnamed brand of peanut butter:

  1. Roasted peanuts {the good stuff}
  2. Sugar {good ole sugar}
  3. Molasses - this and the rest have 2% or less {more sugar?!}
  4. Fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapseed and soybean) {hydrogenated? why}
  5. Mono & Diglycerides {what the heck is that?}
  6. Salt {just what we need, more salt!}
Here's the ingredients from the new peanut butter I've been buying:
  1. Dry roasted peanuts {now that's what I'm taking about}
I've been shopping at The Fresh Market down the road from my work and they have the coolest machine! Yes, I know I'm weird for getting excited about this but I can't help it. I blame my parents. Just kidding. Anyways, it's a machine that makes FRESH peanut butter right there in front of your very own eyes! How cool is that! I didn't think there was such a thing that us consumers could purchase! I guess you learn something new everyday! And just to let you know I added this to my wish list on Amazon.com

 (credit: Amazon.com)

This is kinda what it looks like - just the one at The Fresh Market looks more industrial. What you do is take one of their round, plastic containers and hold it under the spout. You hit the start button and it grinds up the peanuts from the top and makes a peanut-buttery-goodness goop. It costs $2.99 a pound and they also have almond and cashew butter - the almond is $7.99 a pound and the cashew is $4.99 a pound (don't quote me on that though)

You may wonder what it tastes like. Well just remember the last time you ate some plain peanuts and that's what it tastes like. Chewed up peanuts - sorry for the gross way of putting it but sometimes that is just how my brain works. I think the biggest taste difference is that it's unsweetened.

And because I didn't think the plastic packaging would keep my peanut butter well enough - I have this thing about eating bad food, I'm scared I'll eat some bad food and be sick for a week - I put it in a ball jar that I actually got from my best friends wedding. I like putting free things to good use!

 (please excuse the unclean rim...that's a little embarrassing)

Let, me tell you something...if I like a product or am really interested in something, I could talk your ear off about it - you'll learn that about me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kindred Connection: Pets!

I'm linking up with Kristin from Windy Poplars. She does a special posting every once in a while called Kindred Connection, (I don't know how often she does these special posts because this is the first time I've ever read her blog) this one is on pets. I already wanted to do a post on our puppies so I thought why not get some linking action in there. Anywhoo - Kristin has a cute little blog and has two puppies like me! I see more reading in my future!


Windy Poplars

 
  1. What pets currently reside at your house?
    • Our black lab puppies, Samson & Gus, are almost 7 months old. My husband found them on Craigslist after our first try for a German Shepherd pup fell through. We didn't know there were only two left so we went in planning to buy just one...well we could stand taking one and leaving the other - and I'm so indecisive I couldn't choose - so we came home with both. I'm so glad we did.
  2. What is one really strange thing your pet(s) does?
    • I'm not sure if they really do anything strange but ever since we transitioned them to outside life, they've chewed on everything but their toys...you can read about their most recent chew-fest here. They are very lazy and you can find them sleeping on our front porch almost all the time. So much for being guard pups...
  3. Now fess up here: give us your nicknames for your pet
    • Their full names are Samson Taylor and Gustafer [gus-ta-fer] Leonard. We call them: babies, Sam, Sammy, Gus, Gus-Gus, Gussy and butt-waggers. The last is because when they are really excited they wag their tail so hard that they are wagging their booty as well. It's so funny!
  4. Are your pets spoiled or not (grin)?
    • I don't think we spoil them. We love on them lots and play with them whenever we can but spoiled? Nope I don't think so. 
  5. Insert pet pics here :-)
1. Samson, 2 months
2. Gus, 2 months
3. Our lazy pups, 3 months
4. Samson [left] Gus [right], 5 months
5. Samson [left] - Gus [right], 7 months

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Picture of the Week

I am obsessed really enjoy taking photos. I enjoy it so much, my husband and I bought this camera. Drum roll please...A Nikon D3000.

I had been drooling over this camera daily since I decided I wanted last December. And about a month ago with a coupon and gift cards in hand, we went to Best Buy and purchased it. Why Best Buy? Well because we had a coupon for 10% off and we were able to use the points we've been saving to get $125 gift card to Best Buy. Those two combined saved us $175 plus the fact that the guy at the register accidentally gave us 20% when he rang the coupon up on the wrong item - that's another $50 off. That saved us $225 {insert happy dance} and because I am an impatient person...I was very happy to take it home with me that night and not have to wait weeks for it to come in. That is why we chose to purchase it there.

I haven't had enough time working full-time and being a full-time student to look at the manual or two books I have but I think my pictures are pretty darn good. This camera pretty much does all the work for me. Who knows, maybe I won't even read them...just kidding.

Anyways, on to why I am writing this post. Since I have such awesome photography skills...ok, ok since I have such an awesome camera, I want to do a weekly "Picture of the Week" post. Now, keep in mind, not all of them are going to be museum worthy, like this first one...but they will be my favorite for the week. With out further ado (I'm not sure if that's how you even spell it, but you know what I mean), here's the first installment. I promise the next one won't be so lengthy. maybe.


This is why my husband does not go grocery shopping with me...they were "on sale". Does anyone else have this problem?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

a. My husband surprised me this weekend with a getaway to a cabin the mountains for our anniversary. The beauty of the landscape is spectacular! God never ceases to amaze me! It was a much-needed get away and was very relaxing.


b. Our puppy/ies chewed up some wire on our air conditioning unit...bad dogs! My husband and I like to be cool when we sleep so finding out about this at 9:30pm after we get home from our busy weekend was not fun. Luckily, Chad was able to fix it - thank-you God for giving me such a handy husband! I'm not sure if this is a permanent fix or if we'll need new wires or what, but I'm praying that it will survive the torture our puppies gave it and keep on keeping on.

c. Work is really taking a toll on me. I feel stressed all the time and I'm always anxious at work. Let me tell you, that does not make a great work environment. My student teaching semester is coming up and even though my husband originally wanted me to at least work some, I convinced him that that would not be good for me. So we have really buckled down on our budget and know how much we need to save for each month I will be off. Thankfully it's not much at all. I feel pretty confident that we will survive! The plan is for me to student teach for 3 months and then substitute teach and/or work in the after school program at one of our schools. We feel pretty comfortable with this plan and not that I'm keeping track or anything but there's 125 more work days - that's 172 days - 25 weeks - 6 months.

d. I saw a full rainbow - like the whole arch - this morning on my way to work. If I wasn't driving I would have taken a picture, bummer. When I saw it I thought of two things: I wonder if there's really a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and I thought about God's promises to us. It was nice to have that little reminder and to be thankful.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hi, My Name is Cheri...

Hi, my name is Cheri and I am addicted to Coca Cola.

Shew, it feels good to get that off my chest! I guess technically I was addicted because I have officially given it up. Or at least that is what I'm telling myself. I wanted to start at the beginning of June but I was lacking some self-control, but as of June 6th I haven't even had a sip (even though I've really wanted to).

I love the taste Coke and all its' bubbly goodness, especially when it's fresh from the tap or fountain.

But boy, it sure isn't good for you. I mean, really, it has 9 teaspoons of sugar! That 2 teaspoons more that a whole Hershey's candy bar!

I remember the exact moment I decided to give up Coke. I was watching the television show Bones and one of the characters said, "I drink a Diet Coke every day because it has so many preservatives and I hope to preserve my body so I can live longer." At that exact moment I decided to give up my love for Cokes and let me tell you that hasn't been an easy thing.

Do you know what happens when you quit cold turkey? You are punished for trying to be healthy. And that punishment is a terrible headache...like so bad I actually take medicine for it. And I try not to take a lot of medicine.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel...I have found that the thing I crave the most is the carbonation so I've been stocking up on flavored sparkling water. Much better! It has helped me get past those mid-afternoon - I wanna go home and need a Coke to tide me over - cravings. It's working for now. I hope to keep this going for a long time, maybe forever.

If you haven't already noticed there's a box on the right side of this blog that is keeping track of the number of days it has been since my last Coke.

(photo from of coca-cola.com)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Berry Tasty

I've been shopping at The Fresh Market lately and while waiting for my meat to be packaged, I wandered over to the pastry section...bad idea. There, right before my eyes was the most delectable looking dessert I've seen, a fruit tart. Oh man, I wish I would have taken a picture. The dessert looked delish, but the price was unappetizing and since we're on a budget I decided to make one myself.

The tart I saw on display had at least 5 different fruits but I chose two of my favorites for my version, along with some whip cream and a tray of sponge cakes.



Are you drooling yet? Here's my ingredient list:

6 large strawberries
20ish blueberries
2 sponge cakes
1 cup of whipped cream

First I took the cup of whipped cream and put half in each of the cakes. Next, I cut each strawberry into 4 pieces. The pieces don't have to be exactly the same size and you might not use all of them. Then, I arranged the pieces around the outside of the sponge cake, using the whipped cream as "glue". Lastly, I placed the blueberries in the center of the cake.


 Doesn't it look divine! I made this one first and I'm glad a got a picture of it when I did because in less than an minute is was devoured by my hungry husband!

I plan to make several smaller versions for an upcoming bridal shower. And I'll probably mix up the fruit as well. The possibilities are endless! Hope you enjoy eating making these as much as I did.