Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring Panzanella

I am one of those crazy people who actually enjoy winter.  I love the snow, the cold, the snuggling, the sweatshirts, the soup...I love it all!  I am definitely a four seasons girl who enjoys things about each season. 

So, because we have been having an insanely warm winter this year, I have been thrown off kilter a bit.  I've been making soups and stews way less and have found myself craving spring dishes way too early. 

A week ago, I saw this delicious recipe for Spring Panzanella by Smitten Kitchen pinned pin Pinterest and had to make it.  I love things like salads and olive-type dishes, and this definitely fit the bill. 

For the record, I made our bread and kept it separate from the salad itself because I knew that we would have leftovers.

This recipe did not disappoint!  Do you like salads like this?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lazy Saturday by Paco

This weekend was so lazy.  I slept most of the time, as I always do, but the weather was so gorgeous that one of my humans decided to take me on a walk around our park!  I had a really great time sniffing around and seeing the lake.  We went across this scary bridge, and there were so many things to sniff on the posts!
 I tried to make friends with some ladies, but they were rather loud and unfriendly:
 More interesting light posts:
 Getting some sun:
After that, my human ran some errands while I rode in the car.  Riding in the car is one of my very favorite things in the whole wide world!
She took me to a bath for the car, and I did NOT enjoy it one bit.  Luckily, my human was there to snuggle me and make me feel better:

As you can see, I had a great Saturday afternoon!  I hope you did as well.  When we got back I had to recover so I napped for the rest of the day, that night, and then the next day as well. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Southwest Chicken Paninis

 A few weeks ago I attempted to make these Southwest Chicken Paninis from Annie's Eats.  The pictures on her blog looked SO tasty that I just had to try the recipe. 
However, instead of her filling, I decided to try my own filling in the crock pot.  I put two chicken breasts, tomato sauce, some cream of chicken soup, green pepper, onion, and chili powder into the crock pot and let it sit on high for about four hours.  I shredded the deliciously tender chicken.
However, the end result with the paninis wasn't so fantastic.  First of all, my filling had too much liquid for a panini.  This resulted in a lot of the filling actually slipping out of the sandwich either during the press stage or while we were eating it.  However, if we improvised a bit and used the bread to sop up the liquid and chicken, everything was just fine.

Next time, I'm thinking about either following Annie's recipe OR making these open-face sandwiches with well-toasted bread and the filling on top, which would be eaten with a fork.  Either way, I think that we agreed that we should try this recipe again sometime!

By the way, I can't get enough of the Whitney Houston Pandora radio station.  Yay for soft rock full of Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, and Toni Braxton!  Ha!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another song I like

This reminds me of David for some reason, even though it sounds kind of weird if you listen to the lyrics!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Replacing Scrubbers

I bought a kitchen sink scrubber when David and I moved into our house two years ago and realized this past weekend that it looked grungy, so I threw it in the dishwasher.  It still looked grungy so I bought a new scrubber to use.  To the left is the new scrubber and to the right is the old one...yuck!  I didn't even realize that I was scrubbing our dishes with such a nasty implement! 
How often do you replace your cleaning supplies, like mops, scrubbers, etc.?  I try to be more frugal with things like this but often supplies get too dirty to use!

Whitney Houston

I couldn't let too much time pass without writing a post about Whitney Houston...I was sad when I heard the news of her death!  I think that it was because we used to listen to her songs when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s.  I'm pretty sure that my parents owned a few of her cassettes and I know the words to several of her songs.  I remember my dad singing the songs in the car on the way home from St. Louis during my childhood.  I always liked a lot of her songs and I'm pretty sure that I listened to them even until college with my roommate Julie who also loved soft rock!

I asked David if he had any memories of her songs and he said that he had nice memories of his sister singing "Greatest Love of All" to him at night when they lived in Oregon.  It sounded like an inspirational performance!

When Michael Jackson died, I was sad but I didn't really listen to his music a lot growing up, so I don't think that it affected me as much as other people.  However, I grew sad about Whitney Houston. I wanted to share a few of my favorite songs:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My weekend

I had another great weekend this weekend!  On Friday I decided to drive home to visit my parents for a very quick visit.  We ate delicious pizza and watched a Whitney Houston special.  On Saturday morning we woke up early and I went on a little run and then drove to CoMo to visit my high school friends, Jolene and Rach! 

We ate too much Mexican for lunch and then went and did a little bit of shopping downtown and at the mall.

We stopped in Shoe Carnival and before we got there  my friend Rach made a comment that they always announce something like, "FOR THIRTY SECONDS ONLY....Aisle five has 95% off of ALL shoes!  Get it while it is hot!"  Well, we got in there and sure enough, they totally started to announce sales..."For TEN MINUTES ONLY....AN EXTRA 50% off ALL CLEARANCE!  THAT'S RIGHT, LADIES!  GET BACK THERE!"  And then the entire store stampeded back to the clearance aisle.  People were going crazy, looking in all of the shoe boxes.  And then they all stampeded back to the front of the store at the end of the ten minutes to check out.  This is not to mention the man egging everything on up front on his little podium with the crazy wheel that he kept spinning.  He kept exaggerating everything.  At one point he said that they had "hundreds" of shoes on sale and then he said that he had "over 1,500" shoes on sale.  How could that be?  I am over-analyzing this, I know.

Jolene actually found some cute shoes, but I didn't. 
That evening we wound up at one of our favorite places, Flat Branch.

On Sunday I did a bit of work and stayed home then on Monday I cleaned, cleaned, cleaned.  Overall, it was a great weekend! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Room With A View

I watched A Room With a View a few days ago and it was wonderful.

At the side of the everlasting why, is a yes, and a yes, and a yes.
- E.M. Forester
   It made me miss Florence.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Adventures and Outtakes

Here are some pics of our Valentine's Day for you.  I tried to take a Valentine's Day photograph of all of the animals, which was a big failure.  Keep this in mind when thinking about the context of the pics:

Please note that we started out with Thorina and Paco ON THE SAME CHAIR.

"Hello everybody, how are you doing?"

"I hear something, Arwen."

"Oh no!  You don't think..."


"Lean away!  Lean away!"

"Run for your life!  It is Thorina in a horrible mood with a bow!"

"Help us and quit taking pictures!"

Please note which animal is the only good animal.

Also please note: Despite appearances, no cats were actually harmed during the filming of the Valentine Day pictures.

Paco is the only one who stayed in his pose.

The closest we got to a Valentine picture.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Questions

I saw this adorable meme on Blue Eyed Bride's blog and thought that I would share!  I love Valentine's Day and don't think that it is hokey at all.  Why don't we have a day to celebrate love?  I loved these questions and thought that they would be fun to try.  If you want, answer them for yourself in the comments!

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
 We have been together for seven years.  We met in January 2004 and then started dating in January 2005. 

2. How did you meet? {What’s your “love” story?}
 David and I both joined the same co-ed honor fraternity in college the same semester.  I suppose that I may have met him during rush, but my first memory of him was when we were lining up for the induction ceremony.  That semester, we became really great friends.  

The next fall, though, I enrolled in a History of Math course and he was a math major, so I asked him for help on my homework.  That semester, he worked in the game room at our college, so I would go and visit him in the game room every evening that he worked.  I would bring him ice cream (that was full of that I am married to him I know that he doesn't even love sprinkles, but he ate them anyway!) and he taught me how to play pool.  None of my friends were really dating anybody seriously at the time and I remember laying in bed with the lights out and with my roommate in her bunk wondering when we would find boyfriends.  She always said, "why don't you date David?!?" and I would reply, "no way!"

Eventually, though, I realized that I liked him.  I remember one day, I walked in to the game room with a hat and my hair in braids and he said, "you look darling."  My heart skipped a beat!  Apparently he had liked me all semester but never got the nerve to tell me.  Then, over Thanksgiving, he gave up hope on us and took another girl to see a movie and I realized that my feelings were hurt because of that!  When we got back to school we finally got together.  

Another funny note: we both attended the same camp in high school, had the same friends, and most likely met each other.  However, we don't remember meeting!  We joke that we were meant for each other but that just wasn't the time for us to meet.   

3. If married, how long have you been married?
We have been married for 4.5 years.  

4. If you are married, where did you get married? Big or small wedding?
We got married in my home church in my hometown.  We had a big wedding...303 people!  It was one of the best days of my life.  Having everybody there to support us just meant so much.  Plus, our wedding day went off without a hitch and I think that everybody had a blast.  It was truly a happy celebration with our family and friends. 

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Yes!  David calls me "fair maiden" every day and "sweetheart" when he is mad at me.  Ha!  I call him "bubby". 

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
The thing I love most about David is how kind he is.  I told him once that he is inherently kind.  People feel at ease when they are around him.  If David feels like someone is left out or sad, he feels sorry for them and wants to help them.  He also has a way of always making me feel better and good about myself.  His kindness is a trait that I really admire.

I also love how calming he is.  I always feel that other people, especially children, can sense his calmness.  Finally, I love how he pushes me---he always keeps me on my toes and does not hesitate to tell me when he disagrees with me!

7. Tell us how he proposed?
He took me on a scavenger hunt around our college town, where he had hid 25 reasons he loves me on little pieces of paper!  He also had an ice cream waiting along the way, which was one of my favorite parts!  It was such a great story.

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
I would say more flowers and teddy bear, although he isn't really either!  Ha!

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I love being at home with David and popping a movie in and relaxing on the couch.  We can't forget the pizza and wine!  He eats the cheese off my pizza and I eat his crusts.  We are both homebodies...we love to be at home with our pets.

10. Tell us one thing you’d like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
I would love to go to NYC with David someday.  Other than that, we have already had lots of fun adventures together, so I would love to dance at our 50th wedding anniversary with lots of grandkids around us.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine’s Day.
We will probably stay in that evening.  I plan to make a delicious pasta dish and relax.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine’s day?
Another cat!  Haha...just joking.  I asked for perfume.  David asked for a coffee mug with a lid on it.  So hard! 

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
I think my number one piece of advice is to learn how to ask for forgiveness.  When we went to Engaged Encounter, we learned how to say we are sorry to each other and that it does not matter if the other person's hurt feelings are reasonable or seem justified---if they are hurt you should say you are sorry.  Asking for forgiveness is a two-way street because the other person has to give their forgiveness.  

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Sorry for the bad word in the title, but these videos are going all around the internet right now so I had to share this.  The "Forty Four" accent is straight from my mom's mouth.  Someone commented that St. Louisians don't really have that accent, but clearly they had never been to South St. Louis and heard someone say, "four", "quarter", or "forty".  SO funny.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Snippet: feeding the cats

I really enjoy other people's posts where they describe their day or describe a daily routine.  One day I was thinking about our daily activities and I realized that even my husband has no clue what I really do all day.  When I leave for work, he is out of the loop in my routine and we don't really update each other too much on our goings-on.  This is completely fine, but I thought that I would show my readers some more mundane details. 

This week I wanted to share what I have to do every day when I first wake up.  When I finally roll out of bed or get home from a quick run, this is what I see:

Oh yes, I love this wall.

That picture quickly turns into this:
Quit taking pictures of me and get me my food, lady!
 And now here is the second one coming:
My sister better not be getting something that I am not getting!
 Finally this:
Feed us!
This is usually accompanied with loud meows and demands for a quicker pace.  My cats definitely don't want a late breakfast!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


I watched this movie on Friday evening and it was so cute!  I've seen it in Netflix for a few weeks and never clicked on it because I just figured that it wouldn't be that great.  However, on Friday, I was in the mood for a "bad" chick flick so I went ahead and watched it.  Steve Zahn is so cute in the movie and I really enjoyed it! 

What are your favorite "bad" chick flicks?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Orzo Carbonara Style

I made this recipe earlier last week and it. was. delicious.  You must make it for yourself this week!  It was so creamy and just amazing.  David and I fought over who got the leftovers. 

Monday, February 06, 2012

Our Weekend

 We had a great weekend!  On Friday evening we hung out at home after I had a reallly long day at work.  It was the perfect evening: I ordered pizza and we chowed down.  I watched a movie while David studied.  :)

Then, on Saturday, I had brunch with my friend Jancin and then we went on a little errand run to the American Girl store (my niece got an American Girl, which I love, so I was thrilled to have an excuse to go into the store!) and then to Nordstrom Rack, which was pretty cool. 

Then, that evening, we went to David's sister's house for a fun evening eating and watching the MU/KU game!  It was so much fun and the game was amazing.  Go tigers!!!!
Game face
Finally, on Sunday, we went to a Super Bowl party!  My favorite part is the food and it did not disappoint! 

Did you do anything fun for the sporting events this weekend?

Friday, February 03, 2012

Taking a break

I I have been having to take a break from running.  This is much harder than you may think.  I run almost every day, so not running makes me somewhat nuts.  I've been walking in the morning, but I love the feeling of running.  My hamstring is hurting, which is the reason for the self-imposed break.  While I hate hate taking a break, I know in my heart that it is the best decision for now.  Blah.  Have you ever taken off of working out out of necessity?  

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Praying Mantis

You should go to this blog and czech out the incredible pictures of the praying mantis.  I don't like them but they are very gorgeous!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012