Monday, August 31, 2009

"Go To" Food

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I'm VERY excited about Kelly's blog today. We're sharing our "go to" recipes and I can always use more of those! :-)

I don't have pictures of most of these recipes, and I don't really follow recipes - I just throw whatever in - but they're super easy and VERY good!

Frito Chili Pies (35-45 minute from start to finish)

brown approx. 1.5 lbs of ground beef (more or less depending on how "meaty" you like your chili) in a pot then drain
1 can chili beans
1 can Rotel
1 can tomato soup and simmer until hot

Put Fritos in the bottom of a bowl, pour chili on top and add cheese, sour cream, whatever your favorite chili fixins are and enjoy!

The finished product:

Pot Roast (great if you like slow cooker recipes - I prep the night before and then put it on 'low' the next morning and the house smells amazing when we get home from work that night)

sear a pot roast and place in the slow-cooker
add carrots, cabbage (cut the heat into 8ths), potatoes cut into quarters, onion (cut into chunks)
pour 1 can of tomato soup over everything and then add garlic powder & Italian seasoning to taste

Serve with hot biscuits. GREAT for leftovers!

This is a new "go to" for me. Chicken Divan

Cover the bottom of an 8x8 pan with frozen broccoli and 1 cup of cooked rice
Top with two cooked and chopped chicken breasts
Cover with 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup of mayo, a little lemon juice and 1 tsp. of curry powder (or less, if you're not a fan of curry) mixed together
Sprinkle bread crumbs moistened with a little butter and shredded cheese
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes until brown on top.

School Days

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

***A little late since I forgot to publish while I was in NYC with a great group of friends!

We're going back in time today. Man, this could be scary. I don't have too many pictures with me from middle school and prior with me - my Mom has been scanning all of our pictures so she can put them on CDs for my brothers and me but she took lots of pictures when we were growing up so it's taking awhile. :-) Here are a few pictures that I do have...

This is me and my friend Lauren in preschool. Turkey hats with our hands traced on paper and cut out for feathers and Garfield cups. Not sure the pilgrims celebrated quite that way but hey, we were happy.

This picture was taken after my high school volleyball team won Districts for the first time in our school's history. Mrs. Schwieder was our BIGGEST fan and most of us had her for one math class or another during our four years at LHS. She was by far one of my favorite teachers. Who doesn't love a teacher that will go out and party with the winning team on a school night?! :-)

My freshman suite, plus Lindsey, our freshman year of college. Wow, we look young...

Meet Me in St. Louie

After almost a year, yes, I know that's sad, Mike and I finally made it back to St. Louis. Between my parents coming here to visit my grandparents every few weeks and Mike and I being anxious about everything that has been going on at work, we just haven't made it work but I promise, it won't be that long before we go back.

Mike and I drove to STL Friday after work. We got there late and tried to sleep in a little but Lily had other plans. We hung out at the house for most of the day but my Mom and I did go to the mall for a little bit so I could find some new tops (didn't find any but my Mom did buy me a new skirt and I can't wait to wear it in NYC this weekend!). I also wanted to go into Pottery Barn to look at the rug we want to get for our living room to a) look at it in person make sure it was really what I wanted (it definitely is) and b) to see if it were on sale in the store even though it wasn't in the magazine (it wasn't). We went to church Saturday night and it was so good to see several of our wonderful friends. I'm so sorry if we missed you but again, we'll be back soon! :-)

My car did narrowly miss getting nailed by a huge branch that fell out of a tree next to my parent's driveway. I have a little dent on the trunk but other than that, there wasn't any damage and we are very thankful for that. Not to mention being thankful it fell when it did rather than 2-3 minutes earlier when Mike was looking at the tires. These pictures were taken after we had pulled the branch away from my car to survey the damage.

Sunday morning we went to my Mom's new office. Her company just moved into a new building and OH MY GOODNESS it's amazing! After we looked at her office, we headed downtown to join Cardinal nation for the afternoon. Oh how I miss living in a town with a MLB team! (Family pics are on Dad's camera and I haven't gotten those from him yet.)

We headed back today but not after loading my car up with a bunch of stuff I still had at my parents as well as my grandmother's china. We're having Thanksgiving at our house and I thought it would be special to use Grammie's china so my parents let me bring it back with me.

Hope ya'll had a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

This week I'm thankful for:
  • knowing that tomorrow I'll be on my way to STL to see my family, spend some quality time witht hem and go to a Cards game. Yipee on all counts!
  • the mini celebration I coordinated at work going well. (Thank you to all of my coworkers who were a huge help - couldn't have done it without you all!)
  • fall, and crisp, cool air, being just around the corner.
  • sharing books with my friend, Kathryn. I have several of new books to read and someone to give me reliable reviews.
  • the fact that several of my coworkers saved a baby squirrel today. It's a long story but they have a safe home tonight and that's what matters. :-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My great aunt is singing in heaven tonight. First of all, please keep Irene's daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in your prayers. Instead of being sad, I thought I'd share my favorite story of her.

My family was in Oklahoma City one weekend visiting my Mom's cousin Charlotte and Irene was visiting too. After church, knowing Charlotte would talk for awhile, we decided to head back to Charlotte's and take Irene. We got to our car, a suburban, and when Irene could not get in the car. Between her skirt, being a little older, and her short legs, she just couldn't get up high enough to get in SO I got in the backseat and grabbed her arm while my Mom stood on the outside to help lift/push Irene in. It was hilarious watching us, especially with Irene laughing at the whole ordeal, making us laugh and therefore making it that much harder to get her into the car. It was something I will never forget.

I don't have a picture of Irene (I really need to get the disc of all 1 million pictures of my childhood from my Mom) but here's a picture of Irene's mom (my great-grandmother, aka Nanny), Irene's sister (my grandmother, also named Charlotte), Irene's niece (my Mom, Camille), and me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Out With the Old

I have to brag about my great shopping day yesterday. I really needed some new work shoes and I found a pair at Gap a few weeks ago that I liked but I couldn't make myself buy them because a) they weren't on sale and b) I didn't have a coupon so I waited. In the last week, I got a 25% coupon and had a $20 reward card from when the Gap had their 30% off sale several weeks ago. I ended up walking out of Gap with the shoes and a pair of pants for less than what the shoes originally were because of sales, my coupon and my reward card. SO cool!

The shoes:

The pants:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lock the Door

I taught a gentleman at the Gap a very valuable lesson today. When you go into a dressing room to try on clothes LOCK THE DOOR!

Yep, yours truly walked in on some random guy trying pants and a shirt on. I left the room minutes before after trying on a pair of pants, checked out and realized I didn't have my keys. I went back to the dressing room, the indicator thing on the door was green (aka, OPEN) but I knocked, just to be sure, said "hello" and slowly started opening the door when I see a bare arm quickly reach for the handle and a voice say "Someone's in here - I guess I should lock the door". Ya think?!?!

Turns out, one of the workers had already been in the room, found my keys and they were waiting at the register for me. Lesson learned - knock on the door harder and speak louder before you open a dressing room door but seriously people, lock the door! :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I'm thankful for:
  • the rain we've been getting. It has brought a wonderful break in the heat. (in case you haven't noticed, I don't like the heat)
  • a somewhat happier tone at work - things were way too stressful and depressing for way too long.
  • the next four weekends (one more to take a break, then trips to see family, friends, and a girls weekend in the mountains with my Mom!)
  • little reminders that my challenges aren't so challenging and even when they are, my God was, is, and always will be.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Children's Hour

My Mom used to recite this poem to me all the time when it was little. To this day, there's something about it that just comforts me and makes me smile. (My Mom did change the names of the children and the eye color in the original poem to fit my brothers and me and my Dad.)

The Children's Hour
By Henry Wasworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight
When the light is beginning to lower
Comes a pause in the day's occupations
Known as the children's hour

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet
The sound of a door that is open
Of voices soft and sweet

From my study I see in the lamplight
Descending the broad hall stair
Sweet Sarah, Laughing Andrew
And Jordan with golden hair

A whisper, and then a silence.
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair
If I try to escape they surround me
They seem to be everywhere/

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o brown-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall
That such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin
And moulder in dust away!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Favorite Places

Show Us Your Life with Kelly‘s Korner

Kelly has asked everyone to share our favorite vacation spots this week and I can't pick just one so here goes nothing...

First, Red River, New Mexico. My Mom grew up going here as a child and when she and my Dad got married, they went and loved it just as much as she did and the rest is history. Red River is my home away from home. I spent two summers working here during college, endless summers hiking through the mountains and wading in the river and enjoying God's amazing creation. We have gotten to be great friends with all of our "neighbors" too and I enjoy getting to see them whenever I have the chance.

My second favorite spot is definitely Florence, Italy. I technically haven't vacationed there, just spent 4 months there studying abroad, but I can't wait to go back with Mike some day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I'm thankful for...

  • a night at home with Mike and nothing to do but eat dinner, watch 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and then take a walk.
  • the road construction on the main road next to my house being close to finished. They opened a new lane in each direction today while I was at work - yay!
  • a much anticipated email coming out at work and answering lots of people's questions.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Donut Whole

My favorite thing for breakfast is Sam's chocolate muffins. I've eaten them for as long as I can remember and it was the only thing my Mom could get me to eat for breakfast growing up. I think her theory was something is better than nothing at all.

Unfortunately, I ran out of muffins yesterday morning and had to settle for a peanut butter and honey sandwich this morning. I was very excited that I had run out of muffins this morning because when I oet to work I found a box of donuts from a new donut shop that a coworker has been raving about for a few weeks.

The donuts were really good, and I don't usually do donuts. There was a Smores flavored donut, a donut dusted in Kool-Aid powder (I know, crazy), a coconut creme pie donut, Fruity Pebbles, and their signature donut, a Maple Bacon donut with real bacon crumbles on it!

(Photo from this blog)

Here's their website, MySpace page, and a blog entry that a girl did on the shop. If you come visit, I'll take you there. They have an awesome giant rooster on the roof.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Relaxation After Frustration

Last week, and the start of this one, have been "those" weeks.

After one of "those" weeks/days, I love coming home to make dinner for Mike and me, putting the Norah Jones, Michael Buble or Jamie Cullum station on Pandora and dancing to the music while I cook.

It is one of the simple pleasures that makes me feel a million times better and remember that the little things at work arent' that big of a deal.

(Hearing Mandisa's "It's Only the World" on my way home was definately the turning point in my funk this evening though. That girl can sing and I'm sure the other drivers on the road think I'm nuts as they see me trying to sing along.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Reception & Honeymoon

Show Us Your Life with Kelly‘s Korner

We get to show off our wedding receptions and honeymoons this week on Kelly's Korner!

We had our reception at The Jewel Box in St. Louis' Forrest Park. It's a huge green house and it's beautiful inside and out. It was so neat to walk up to it at night when everything else was dark and the building was all lit up.

Our first dance was to 'Satellite' by Collective Soul. I love how our little flower girl is in the background holding her little bouquet and my huge one - I think it weighed about 10 pounds and she just stood there waiting for the song to finish so patiently.

We hadn't bustled my dress before our dance and the train was getting in the way so I just stopped, picked it up and threw it over my arm and kept dancing.

We had a plain white cake for mine and a double chocolate something for his. They were both incredible (at least, from the one bite of each of them that I got) :-)

We went to Maui on our honeymoon and stayed at the Sugar Beach condos. We had a great time snorkeling, exploring, walking around, enjoying the beach and just relaxing.

Our last day there was actually Thanksgiving Day so we cooked shishkabobs on the resort grills, watched the sun set and enjoyed one last evening on the beach. It was perfect!

Make sure you go to Kelly's to see everyone elses' receptions and honeymoons!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

  • I'm thankful for laughter - it has been such a blessing during a somewhat stressful week. (the ability to laugh at myself takes the cake though)
  • I'm thankful it's Thursday and that the weekend is one day away
  • I'm thankful I get to see dear college friends in a few weeks. I don't keep up with them as well as I should but am thankful we have reserved Labor Day for the girls.
  • Have I mentioned I'm thankful it's almost the weekend? :-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Greatest Trade in the World

This is such a blessing and a bummer all at the same time (but obviously a far bigger blessing). Next to Christ's sacrifice for us, I couldn't agree with what Joe told his Mom.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

VBS Funnies

VBS was a blast. It was exhausting towards the end of the week, going almost straight to church after working all day but I wouldn't have traded it for anything. A few favorite funny moments from helping in the nursery:

Me: Do you have a dirty diaper?
Little boy: No. I'm poopy.

We decorated foam crowns one night and one little boy was going to get stuck with a pink crown, luckily one wanted a pink crown. Later on I asked him if he were a king. His response: "No, I'm a princess." :-)

The other hilarious part of the week was when one little boy complained of a stomach ache and just a few moments later, um, let it rip. Anyone who came into the room for the rest of the night made faces at the lingering smell. The good news, the little boy felt better! :-)

It really was a great week. It was fun to see kids singing and dancing around to the music and worshiping the best way they knew how to.