Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall in Colorado

Please forgive me for my absence! Life is crazy, but I am back in the saddle and hope to blog more often. I have missed blogging.

A few weeks ago, Nick and I took a (pretty much) spur of the moment trip to Colorado! Last year, when we went for Thanksgiving, I told him I would love to go back when the leaves change in the fall and it just so happened, this year was perfect for that! There was another reason for our trip though...his Grandpa called and wanted to give him his 4 Wheeler! He had a 1987 Kawasaki that was in really good shape (his Grandpa is a keeper, and keeps everything under like 10 tarps to protect them from the elements). A couple of years ago, when Nick was moving back home from California, he stopped to visit his grandparents and asked his grandpa about buying it, but he wasn't quite ready to give it up. Well, I think his mom put a bug in his ear that just maybe, if he was ready to let it go, that would give us an excuse to come out and see them and what do you know? It worked! He talked to him in September and 2 weeks later, we were on the road for a vacation!

We spent most of the day on Friday with his mom visiting Estes Park (one of my favorite places EVER) and Rocky Mountain National Park. We traveled up to "Rainbow Curve" in Rocky Mountain National Park which is almost 11,000 feet in elevation and is a great place to stop and take in the views. The road was already closed beyond Rainbow Curve due to snow! It was about 32 degrees and windy up there, but definitely beautiful!

These birds and chipmunks are so hungry, as there is not a lot of vegetation up there, so they will eat nuts right out of your hand. (Just a note, you are actually not supposed to feed the animals in the park, but come on, you can't let them starve!)

The views were stunning, you could see for miles!

Nick is not overly fond of heights, so sitting here to get his picture taken with me was not his favorite thing.

I was terrible, and didn't take too many pictures of the rest of our trip. We spent a lot of time with his family, relaxing (and eating, my goodness, I think I gained 10 pounds). Nick took his mountain bike and rode at Devil's Backbone two different afternoons, which he loved! I think if we lived in Colorado, I would be perfectly happy with a little tiny house because you want to be outside all the time! The air is so fresh and clean there, it is amazing. I won't waste your time with boring information, instead here is a photo dump of some of the other pictures I snapped!

Nick with his 4 wheeler, which has since become my 4 wheeler and he bought a bigger one. Now we ride together! :)

All in all, it was a fantastic vacation (the one hour massage I had one afternoon didn't hurt) and I can't wait until we can go back!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Removing Water Rings from Furniture

I'm back, as promised, with a super easy, cheap way to remove those awful water rings from your wood furniture. Up until about 2 months ago, I did not have a coaster on the dresser (the makeshift nightstand) on my hubby's side of the bed, so needless to say, there were several spots that looked terrible. As I was working on my spring cleaning in our bedroom this weekend I decided that I need to do something to clean these up. But how? Google it of course.

The first method that I found was using an iron over a dish cloth to remove the stain. I will go ahead and save you the trouble, because this did nothing for our stains.

The second method...mayo. Seriously? Gross, but I'll try it. The website said to slather on some mayo, rub it in with a paper towel, and let sit for several hours or overnight. It definitely did not smell great in our room, but what do ya know, it actually worked!!! I could not believe it! There are some spots that the stain has actually peeled off, which ovbiously were not cleaned up, but for the most part, it looks great!

Now for the before and after photos...

Pretty awesome huh?

On a side is FIVE weeks with NO pop!!!! Woo-hoo!! :) Have a great evening!

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Update and A Recipe

Well, as I say every other time that I haven't posted for has been crazy! Work is busy, home is busy, and time is flying!

The last couple weeks I have tried to take a step back and thoroughly enjoy life a little more. A friend of ours passed away two weeks ago from pneumonia. She was 23. If that isn't a wake-up call, I don't know what is. It really makes you think about your life and how you are living it. Are you happy where you are in life? Do you love your job or hate it? If you hate it, are you doing anything to change it? Are you happy with your relationships with your family and friends? We control our happiness in our lives. No one but us. My goal for my life is to lay down each night and be happy with how I chose to live that day. I understand that there are some days that might suck, but the simple fact that I am able to lay down each night and curl up with the man I love should be enough to put a smile on my face. I am not proud to say, but sometimes I put so much effort into not liking certain things or certain people and what is the point? Does it make their lives miserable? Nope, just mine. So I have decided to stop worrying and start living. I used to not stress about ANYTHING. Lately, it's everything! That's ridiculous. Does it really matter if the dishes don't get done tonight? Nope, what matters is sitting in the living room spending some time with my hubby. I don't expect anyone to read this and say, yeah, I am going to change my outlook on life. There have been many times that I have heard of something tragic, but it took this one, hitting too close to home, to make me realize how precious life really is.

Ok, on to a recipe that we tried last night and really enjoyed! I found this recipe on Spark Recipes. Have you ever went to Spark People or Spark Recipes? It is a great website that you can create your profile and track things like exercise minutes and food eaten. There are tons of great articles related to fitness, nutrition, motivation, and overall health. Check it out sometime! Spark Recipes is a website where members can place healthy recipes, which you can easily bookmark if you have a FREE Spark People membership.

Of course, I, being the bad blogger that I am, did not get a picture of this recipe, maybe next time. It is pretty fun, the top puffs up! If you have a husband like mine, he will find some great entertainment in trying to pop the bubbles! Oh men...

Pop-Up Pizza Pie

from Spark Recipes

1 Lb lean ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp tabasco sauce
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 envelope (1.5) spaghetti sauce mix

1 cup 2% milk
1 tbls olive or veg oil
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz slice mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

NOTE: Feel free to add other vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant.

In large skillet, brown the ground turkey. Drain well. Stir in onion, green pepper, garlic, oregano, water, Tabasco sauce, tomato sauce & spaghetti sauce mix; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside. In small bowl, combine milk, oil and eggs; beat 1 minute at medium speed. Lightly stir and spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour and salt; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of mixer or until smooth. Pour hot meat mixture into ungreased 13 in x 9 in pan. Top with sliced cheese. Pour batter over cheese, covering filling completely; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until puffed and deep golden brown. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

Easy and yummy!!

Check back tomorrow when I share how to remove the dreadful water ring from wood furniture using a common household item!

I'm off to BUNCO, have a great evening!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don't Give Me No Pop, No Pop

Don't give me no tea, no someone out there singing with me? (Come on Jenni, I know you are! :) That really didn't come out of nowhere, I promise! Stop the presses, I, lover of all things carbonated, have given up pop. For good. Completely. Cold turkey. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya! Now, to some of you, this may not be a big deal, for me, it totally is. I have had a life long love affair with pop. In high school and college, I drank 2 or 3 pepsi's a day. (Gag me, right?) The last couple of years, it has mostly been Diet and only one a day. I have tried several times to stop drinking it completely, but I just have not had the willpower. The last few weeks, it has become Diet Mt. Dew that I am addicted to. This week however, it just has not tasted good, I was just using it to get my caffeine fix. Why would I drink something if I don't enjoy it and it is doing my body ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD? (Sorry for shouting!) So yesterday I decided that was it. No matter how many hours a week I spend at the gym, or how many salads I eat instead of burgers, or veggies instead of french fries, I don't think I will ever truly feel healthy when I am still drinking pop. Then I decided to compare it to McDonalds. Here is a little known fact for you...I have not eaten McDonalds in THREE years! Not one stinking fry people! That's huge, I LOVED McDonalds. The last time I had it was when my grandpa was in the hospital in February of 2008. Then I just decided no more. Now I can hardly even drive past a McDonalds without gagging. It stinks so bad! So to wrap up this ridiculous long paragraph about this subject, I'm just done. And I have told my hubby, and a friend, and now all of you. Now I feel like I have someone to be accountable to besides just myself. Whew!

On to other random topics...

Mother nature is not nice! We had temps in the 60's last week and it was heaven! So amazing! This week? Back to 20's and 30's. Grr!! Today, 4 to 6 inches of snow? Seriously? You witch! Welcome to Iowa!

The bright spot in this snowy, cold day? My two new pairs of high heels that were at my door when I got home! I will snap a picture of them in the daylight soon! I have decided I am going to do all my shopping online now. It was delightful to order 4 pairs of dress pants and 2 pairs of shoes in the comfort of my living room!

Have a great day!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things I Like Thursday

I have to give props to those women that can balance a full time job, kids, and a blog (that they update more than 2 times per month)! I just have not been on top of things lately! Really, it would be great if we could just fast-forward to April 19th (thanks for making us suffer a few more days) and maybe things will calm down. For those of you that don't know, I work for a public accounting firm. So, as you can imagine, work is C.R.A.Z.Y right now! Oh well, it is like this every year, and every year we get thru it!

On to the things I'm loving right now...

Maybe if I start this Noel sign from Frame Fanatic now, it will be finished by Christmas!

These Chess Squares (or Gooey Butter cake) from Kevin and Amanda look divine!

Super cute DIY Barn Door from Crafty Chic Mommy!

I LOVE this Laundry Room from Clean & Scentsible! I can't wait to have an actual laundry room someday.

I have actually started my paint chip wall art (which I showed you on my post a couple weeks ago) so hopefully I will be able to show you it soon!

Happy Thursday Everyone!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Things I Like Thursday

I am finally here with some great ideas from the blogworld! :) I sure don't know what I do to fill up my time, but it definitely has not been crafts lately! One of these days, I am going to do some of these great things that I share with you. Someday...

I don't have a ton of Valentine's Day decorations, but I would like to grow my collection. I love these Valentine's Day Embroidery Hoops from Mod Podge Rocks via The Idea Room!

This is not craft related, but there is a great post with some Soup Sidekick ideas at Tasty Kitchen.

Here is a fun, cheap idea for Wall Art from Under the Table and Dreaming.

I love this organizing idea from A Thoughtful Place!

My husband even likes this Paint Chip Wall Art from Life, Crafts, and Whatever!

I hope you like some of these projects! Hopefully one of these days I will get around to sharing something with you that I have actually done! Happy Thursday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A New Year, A Fresh Start

Hi All! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I finally feel like I have recovered from the craziness of the holdiay season. Work was crazy, home was crazy, and I was feeling a little stressed (as you could probably guess from my lack of posting). I love Christmas time, but this year I was ready for it to be over!

I am not one to make New Year's resolutions. I figure, if something is worth doing, why wait until the new year to decide that you are going to do it? I am very much a do it now person. I do however, look at the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. Not with anything major of course, just with some things in my everyday life. I am going at this year with a goal to pare down the "junk" in my life. It feels like I am constantly surrounded by stuff and I have finally decided, it's okay to have an empty shelf or an empty corner of my home. Before I have always felt like, if a space was there, I needed to fill it with something. My home feels more relaxed and organized when I have some open spaces, like I actually have a place that I can just stop and breath!

I left my Christmas decor up until New Year's day this year. Normally, I get very sad to take it all down and put it away because that is when my house feels the coziest and most inviting, but this year, it got to the point where it just felt like clutter. So most of my Saturday was spent taking everything down and putting it away in an organized manner. As opposed to shoving everything in totes like I normally do! :) I ended up with I think 8 totes full of decorations. :S My husband thinks that is a little ridiculous, but oh well, what does he know anyway!

After all of the decorations were down it was time to clean, clean, clean! The entire upstairs was dusted and vacuumed Saturday, which I hadn't done in a while. Longer than I care to admit really. Nick spent the day putting our kitchen cabinet doors back on (I can't wait to show you guys our kitchen progress, but I think I may wait until it is all done!) It was amazing how much cleaner our house looked with the doors back on!

Sunday, Nick and I spent the day doing some shopping in Des Moines. We found a new sink for the kitchen that I love and can't wait to get in there! We very rarely go shopping together, so it was fun to get a way and do something different. I also got a new laptop! Not a necessity, but my old one was about to make me crazy, it was painfully slow!

Monday it was time to start the organizing process in our house! I had the day off for my New Year's holiday, so I was able to spend the entire day getting things done. I of course had laundry to do, and the bathroom was spotless by the time I got done in there, but my main goal for the day was tackling my disastrous craft room/office. I will let the pictures speak for themselves...

The Before:

And, the after:

Ah, much better! The good news? It still looks like that! Woo-hoo, 3 days and counting!

I actually do have a few more things to show you, projects, our deck, and various other things, I just need to make time to post!

Do you have any "goals" for the fresh new start?