Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pinterest Inspired Dinners

I have TONS of recipes  pinned on Pinterest.  I doubt I will ever make it through them all, but I got to try out two new ones last week.

First up...Mexican Lasagna!


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1/4 cup milk
1 package (about 1 ounce) fajita seasoning mix
1 pound ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
12 corn tortillas (5-to 6- inch)
Chopped tomatoes (optional)
Sliced green onions (optional)


Stir cheese soup, milk and half the fajita seasoning in medium bowl until mixture is smooth.

Cook beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.

Now here is where I had to improvise...
Stir mushroom soup, water, chili powder, oregano and remaining fajita seasoning in skillet and heat to a boil.

Well I realized I did not have chili powder after I was already in the middle of this, so I had to find a substitute.  I used cayenne pepper!  I was nervous this was going to make it too spicy but it really didn't at all.  In fact when I make this again I am going to try a few things to make it even more spicy!

Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

Place 3 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart shallow baking dish, overlapping slightly.

I took the third one and tore it in half to fit the dish better.

Spread 1 cup beef mixture over the tortillas. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining tortillas. Spread the cheese soup mixture over the tortillas.

Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the tomatoes and onions, if desired.

I didn't have any green onions so I used diced chilies.

Here's how mine turned out...

This was pretty good and really easy so I think I will probably make it again.  But I might tweak this and add some corn and black beans and maybe more cayenne pepper and chili powder.  Any other suggestions?

I also tried this:

Source: via ncsuz on Pinterest

The pin said Spaghetti Aglio... Garlic, chili flakes, olive oil, salt and pepper. so simple.

Well I didn't have any garlic so I substituted oregano and I added Parmesan cheese.

Here's how mine turned out..

This was very light and easy.  Although I do think I went too heavy on the chili flakes because it was a little spicy!

What's been your favorite Pinterest Inspired meal?

Linking up:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Snippets- I can't get no satisfaction

So I know I am usually upbeat and try to be inspirational in these posts, but I have a confession to make.  I'm not satisfied.  I've been feeling very unsatisfied lately.  I've felt kind of like a failure as a Christian because I know I should feel satisfied. How do I know?  Just read some of these verses:

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35

And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

But my eyes cannot stay focused on Jesus.  I keep getting distracted by all these things that I want...

Like a new house, a new car, a hot body that is bikini ready at a moment's notice, a maid, a family, a big family with at least four kids, prince charming, a hot prince charming that is head over heels for me and loves Jesus, a massage, a vacation, a turquoise bauble necklace, a promotion, an award, some recognition for my work, to be beautiful, to be recognized for my beauty, to be loved...I could go on and on.

And I know even if I got these things they would not satisfy me.  Just read the book of Ecclesiastes.  Or look at Hollywood.  All those beautiful, rich people who could have whatever they want with a snap of their fingers...they don't seem to be satisfied either.

I"m committing the sin of coveting.  I'm coveting everything everyone around me has, or everything society tells me I should have and I can't stop.  I really don't know what is going on right now but something has to change because I just keep trying to fill this yearning with food and laziness and despair and it keeps getting worse.  I know it sounds horrible and pathetic but it isn't as bad as I am making it seem here on a daily basis.  Normally I am fine.  I'm just getting really annoyed by this lingering "unsatisfied" feeling.

So I'm going to try some different things.  I started some new devotionals.  One is a "soul cleanse" and the other is a devotional on fasting.  I am going to try fasting at least once a week.  I am going to chase after God and ask Him to satisfy this craving and try to stop "wanting" so much.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Are you a No Reply blogger?? How to fix that!

One of my biggest pet peeves in blogland is when someone comments on my blog and I go to reply to them and I get this: "blogger@noreply-comment".  In fact back in 2011 I included that in one of my Blogging Tips posts.  (You should go read that post.  I still stand by all the tips in it!)

So imagine how horrified I was this week when the awesome Taylor replied to a comment I left her and included this at the end:

"...Anyway, attach your email to your blog so when I hit respond to your comment it doesn't show up at "blogger@noreply-comment"

WHAAATT!?  I was a no-reply blogger!?  How the heck did that happen??

I did a google search because after poking around my profile for a few minutes I could not figure out what had happened.  

Well apparently Blogger profiles were switched to link to your Google+ account at some point and somehow that breaks whatever you had set up to allow people to email you back when you comment on their blogs.  (Makes me hate Google+ even more!)

Anyway, I found a great tutorial Jenniffier did on how to fix it and hopefully have resolved the issue now.  If you comment on blogs regularly I highly suggest you do this!  It so much nicer when you can just hit reply to respond to a comment!  

I commented on my own post yesterday and it worked, but who knows if that was just because it was my own blog?  So if I comment on your blog and you still get the stupid no-reply thing when trying to respond, please let me know! 

If I had it to do all over again I would probably pick a different platform than Blogger.  They just have done so many things like this over the years that drive me batty!  But I have so much content here now that I can't imagine moving.  Who knows?  Maybe one day I will.

And how freaking awesome is Taylor that she took the time to find my email address to respond to my comment!?  That is going above and beyond the blogger call of duty!  Thanks Taylor!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Saw it. Pinned it. Did it. - Re-use those candle jars

It all started with this pin:

Source: via ncsuz on Pinterest

I recognized the jar as being from a Bath & Body Works candle because I use those all the time.  And I thought "why did I never think of this before!?!"  (Doesn't Pinterest always do that to you?)

It was super easy.  Just put the jar in the freezer.  (I do mine overnight usually.)

The use a knife and tap on the wax until it breaks apart.  Then it all come out super easily.

Then remove all the stickers and wash any residual wax out.


This one I used for cotton balls in the bathroom.

And another one I use as a catch-all jar in the kitchen.  It had knick-knacks like my ear-buds, spare change, bobby pins, and lip gloss in it.  Much better to be in a cute jar than a mess on the counter!

I'm thinking of using some to do this next Thanksgiving:

Or you could do "LOVE" for valentines day or "JOY" for Christmas.  Or you could do "HOME" just for everyday.

So lesson learned: Don't throw out those used up candles!  There are so many possibilities for them!

Linking up!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten Ranodm Thoughts Tuesday

1.  I saw this movie on Friday and it was awesome.

I didn't think the torture scenes were too bad.  And I think Bin Laden would be rolling over in his grave if he knew it was a woman that found him and was the driving force behind his death!  Oh and I don't know how accurate the actual mission to capture/kill him was, but I loved watching the portrayal.  Seal Team Six was HOT!  Two thumbs up!

2. I tried out this hot new place Rise in Durham.  I had heard a lot of buzz about it and a lot of people had experienced 30 min.+ wait times just to order.  We went Monday for lunch and it wasn't too busy at all.  There were two of us and we each ordered a biscuit and a donut and split everything.  It was all yummy!

From front to back: Fried Chicken Biscuit, Peanut Butter Cup Donut, Myer Lemon Bomb donut, Apple Braised Pork biscuit

3. I listened to this sermon on how God made Eve to be a helper for Adam.  In it the pastor talks about how men and women interact in the workplace and how a lot of relationships and affairs happen in the workplace because when women and men are working together this reflects God's original design.  It makes sense to me because I do think when you are spending so much time together and working as a team it can form bonds and cause attraction.  Thoughts?

4.  I am loving The Bachelor!  But is it just me or does Sean seem too perfect sometimes?  I gave in and looked at the spoilers at who supposedly wins.  I can tell you she would not even be on my radar if it weren't for seeing that.  Here are my favorites right now:

AshLee- but really?  how can you make a living as a personal organizer?
Lindsay- I know she was a little coo-coo for wearing the wedding dress, but I like her and she's from NC!
Lesley- I loved her awkwardness with Sean during her 1-on-1 time because that would totally be me!

I also really like Kaci B. (although I don't think she is really out of the "friend zone") and Sarah (but I think she could find a better match than Sean.  She wants someone more exciting than him I think.)

5. I just got my first paycheck of 2013 and I want to cry.  I spent months working on my 2013 budget and now I have to figure out how to cut $80/month out of it.  I seriously hate taxes.

6.  I didn't think I would, but I am totally loving this Mark of the Lion series I am reading.  A friend had let me borrow the first book and last night I just ordered the whole series from Amazon because I think this series will end up being one of my all time favorites!

7. Apparently Scotty McCreery came to our church on Sunday.  I did not see him because I go on Saturday nights.  Our campus pastor wrote a blog post about how to respond when a celebrity comes to your church. I'm kind of glad I wasn't there because I probably would have been one of those to point, stare and whisper with my friends.  Who knows?  The closest I've ever come to a celebrity was one summer the guy that played Minkus from Boy Meets World came to work where I worked.  It was right when One Tree Hill had just come on the air so he wasn't too famous for being "Mouth" yet.   His dad worked there and he was on break from Wake Forrest that summer.  I actually had to train him and acted totally normal, but that didn't mean the day before I wasn't pointing and staring and whispering with my friends.

8. I need a maid.  But that will not happen anytime soon.  (see #5)

9. I feel very blah and "stuck" lately.  Frustrated.  I can't seem to get myself out of this general funk.

10. Yesterday we had most of my team and a bunch of people from Worldwide Marketing in a room at work testing some new webpages we are getting ready to launch.  One of the guys in the room said "this is definitely Susan in this video." and people started joking about "was I moonlighting as an actress??"  Of course my heart dropped and I was scared to see what this girl looked like.  Do you guys kind of freak out when people say you look like someone?  The video is below and I do see some resemblance but that girl is way skinnier, younger, and prettier than me.  I said "Haha yeah maybe me when I was 16!"

Sorry for the randomness today, but it's been kind of a random month so far.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Night Lights

I have a new obsession:

Back on Black Friday I noticed Target had the DVDs of each season for just $7/ea.  I had heard this was a great show so I bought the entire series!  I planned on watching them while I ran on my treadmill during these cold winter months.  I don't have cable or anything in my spare room but do have a DVD player and old TV.  So I figured this series would entertain me and make the time go by quicker and maybe motivate me too.

It worked!  I am about 7 episodes in now and I WANT to run on the treadmill everyday just so I can see the next episode!

And there are so many familiar faces from some of my current favorite shows!

The star quarterback is now one of my favorites on Heart of Dixie!

The coach's wife is now one of my favorites on Nashville!

There was even a guest appearance in one episode from this guy...

He is one of my favorites now on the show Suits on USA.

And I totally have a huge crush on this guy...

For some reason I just love coach Taylor!  He is the kind of man I would love to be married to.  I love his character so much!  And I see that he is going to be in Zero Dark Thirty!  Which I wanted to see anyway, but now I have made it a priority and will probably be going to see tonight!

I cannot express how much I love this show!  I was a cheerleader in high school in a small southern town.  It wasn't quite as big of a deal as it is in the show, but that certainly was what my fall season's revolved around.

And I have always loved guys that played sports.  My junior/senior year I dated the captain of the soccer team.  The fall of my senior year he was killed in a car wreck (read more about that here) and watching what the star of this show goes though after his accident (he ends up being paralyzed) has really brought back a lot of emotions around that.  I think about how much it would have hurt him if he had survived but was paralyzed or something and how that could have torn us apart.  It kind of gives me a little peace about it now and makes me realize how selfish of me it was to want him to have survived that crash at any cost so he could be with me now.  God's grace in that situation was probably him taking him so he wouldn't have to endure that.

Anyway I know I am really behind on this, but I love it and had to share!

Any other amazing old TV series that I should look into getting next once I finish this one?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pinterest List Ideas- Travel edition

Inspired by Tara guest posting over at The Vintage Apple, I thought I would share with you guys some ideas for my next 40 before 40 list I have been storing up on Pinterest.  Of course I have to finish my 30 Before 30 list first!

Source: via ncsuz on Pinterest

As you can see most of these are travel related.  I need to find a travel buddy.  Most of my friends are having babies now so they will be too broke and tied down for trips.  I pray God will send me a travel buddy soon because I am kind of getting tired of being the only single gal on couples trips too.

Linking up

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How I spent my Christmas Money & Bonus

For Christmas the only thing I got was money, but that is a-okay with me because then I can pick out what I want.  I also get a portion of my yearly bonus in December and since I have such a small family and not many Christmas presents to buy, that meant I had a lot of extra cash burning a hole in my pocket.

I know I should save this money. But I had to splurge on a few things for myself.

I had been contemplating getting an e-reader for years!  Like ever since the very first Kindle came out.  But I kept putting it off.  I also had iPad envy ever since they first came out, but resisted because I thought "why do I need an iPad when I have my iPhone and a small, very portable laptop?"

Last summer I bought a Lenovo A1 tablet because I work there and they were having a awesome sale.  So combine that with my employee discount, and I was able to get it for like $100.  But sadly after just a week I decided to return it.  It's an Android operating system and I didn't want to have to re-buy all these apps I had already bought on my phone.  And it was a little bit too heavy to use for long time periods as an e-reader.

For months I was contemplating a Nook.  I almost bought the Nook with Glow Light a couple times.  Then the Kindle Paperwhite came out and I was considering that.  Then I heard they were coming out with an iPad mini, so I decided to just wait to see if I liked that better because it would be the best of both worlds and I wouldn't have to buy an iPad and a separate e-reader.

Well Sunday I had to take my iPhone to the Apple store because it was randomly losing connection to Wifi and/or 4G at least once a day and I had to hard re-set it every time it did it which got super annoying.  (For those of you who think Apple products never have issues like all other electronics, you must have never tried to visit the Genius Bar on a weekend.  That shizz was cray-cray!)  I had made an appointment for 3:30, but between parking hell and then waiting in line to check in, it ended up being 3:43 when I made it to the front of the line.  Well, their system cancels your appointment after 5 minutes so I had to wait for the next available appointment which wasn't until 6:10!!

I went and ran some more errands but there was no way I was going to lose my appointment again so I got there at 5:45 to check in.  This gave me plenty of time to get sucked in to "i want" land.  I of course went to check out the iPad mini.  I spent about 15 minutes playing with it and comparing the specs and finally decided this was the device for me.  So I finally caved in and bought one.

I did not get the AppleCare+ Protection though and now I am second guessing that decision.  After meeting with the guy about my phone (which they ended up just replacing with a new one) I am scared that I may have made the wrong decision.  Those of you with iPads...did you get the AppleCare+ Protection?  Do you think it is worth $99 for an extra year warranty and accidental damage protection?  (You still have to pay $49 to fix accidental damage and are limited to only 2 accidental claims.)

The other thing I splurged on:

Not one but two new Coach purses!  Now before you go judging me I got both of these purses with tax and shipping and handling for just $205!  A few years ago I either stumbled across or was invited to this Coach outlet site.  Every few days they invite you to these secret sales.  They usually have pretty decent deals but this was an amazing deal so I just had to get both.  

Earlier this year I got this awesome messenger bag for my work laptop for just $100.  I love it so much!  It is just big enough to fit the essentials and I love the pop of pink on the inside.

If you want an invite to the Coach Outlet site just send me your email address and I will send you an invite.  It took a few months for my other friends to regularly get invited to sales (apparently not everyone is invited to every sale and you can't access the sale if you are not invited.)  But now they get regular weekly or bi-weekly invites like I do.

Do you guys splurge on non-necessities when you have extra cash or are you more diligent about saving it?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dame's Chicken & Waffles

I had been wanting to try Dame's Chicken & Waffles for a while now.  I had plans to go a few times but they always fell through.  Finally on Saturday I got to try it out!

Dame's is in downtown Durham kind of near the DPAC and ballpark.  I love downtown Durham.  I would rather go to downtown Durham than downtown Raleigh any day.  Every time I go it seems to get cuter and cuter and has so much more of a laid back feel than Raleigh.  Yes sometimes I take a wrong turn and feel like I am in the hood and fear for my life, but I think most of that is all in my head due to Durham's bad rep.

We made reservations but were about 20 minutes early so we had to wait.  I highly recommend making a reservation if you plan on eating here.  Dame's space is tiny.  We had to stand in the back hallway near the bathrooms for our wait and it was very cramped with a big family with two young kids waiting back there with us.  I was claustrophobic and so thankful when we were seated.

Dame's menu is mainly all about the chicken and waffles.  They did have a few other options but very limited.    They are famous for their shmears.  Shmears are this wonderful butter concoction that has been whipped with different flavors.

The food was so good!

Top left: What a Classy Hen?  For the mo’ distinguished! A chicken cutlet, a Classic waffle, Vanilla & Almond Shmear

Bottom left: A Quilted Buttercup. We “sandwiched” a Chicken cutlet b/w two petite Sweet Potato Waffles w/ Maple-Pecan Shmear

Top Right: Triple Cheese & Macaroni.  This was slap your momma good!

Bottom Right: You can't see it but their logo is super cute.  It is a waffle that looks like a chicken.

I also tried their Spicy Mean Greens which were really good too.

One thing I will say is that service wasn't the best.  I think they only had two servers working so it was a long wait before anyone even came to our table and a few times we ran out of water and had to flag someone down.  I don't think it was the servers fault because he had so many other tables, but they should probably up their staffing so people get prompt service.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Snippets- Rejection

Warning- this post may be long...

Oh goodness where to start?  On Thursday this week one of the girls in my bible study asked if we wanted to do dinner on Friday.  Most everyone could not do dinner on Friday but there was interest in getting dinner after church on Saturday night.  I always get a little nervous about making plans because they always seem to fall apart for me...but church and dinner sounded like a good plan to me.

A girl I work with had gone to Christmas at the DPAC with me and had said she wanted to go to church with me sometime and we had talked about her going with me on Saturday.  I asked if she was up for dinner too and she said she was.

Then I got an email from Summit Kids leader asking me if I could help out this weekend.  I told him I might be able to do the 4:00 service and asked if I could bring my friend.  So now I had to tell the girl I worked with the situation and asked if she wanted to help out in Summit Kids with me too.  She said she was up for that too. Thank goodness...plans were teetering, but still ok so far.

Meanwhile the b-study group text was blowing up about which service everyone was going to go to and where we wanted to eat.  We picked a place and I volunteered to make the reservations.

Between the time of this text when I volunteered to make the reservations and when I got to church on Saturday, FIVE people cancelled on me.  Two girls had to cancel within hours of making plans because they had already made plans for Saturday but forgot.  Another girl cancelled the next day because she needed some downtime and to save a little money. I had already asked another friend to join us and hadn't added her to the reservation yet, so thankfully didn't have to call and change it.  But that friend cancelled the day of because she had some dental work done the day before and was in too much pain.  And my friend from work cancelled 10 minutes before I had to be at church.

Y'all I do not know why but people cancelling on me or even just telling me no when I try to make plans hurts me.  Which is why I hardly ever am the one to try to plan something up or even invite people to things.

I didn't bring this up before, but that baby shower we threw...besides Kristin and I (the hostesses) and Stephanie (the one we were throwing it for)...only three other girls showed up.  We invited 15 or so girls and more than 3 had RSVPed yes, but yeah that kind of hurt too after putting all that work in to it.

The shower ended up being great with the smaller group and dinner on Saturday ended up being perfect with just three of us, but as I was driving to church I was so frustrated and hurt I cried out to God and asked why I took this stuff so personally and why it felt like such rejection and hurt me so badly.

I could feel God telling me He is no stranger to this.  People reject him all the time.  People say yes that they believe in Him and will follow Him no matter what but end up forgetting about that promise or doing what they want to do rather than what they had promised to do (myself included).

I had said yes to God, but for years forgot about Him and did what I wanted to do.  Even now that I love Him so much and am strongly pursuing Him, I still reject Him sometimes.  I do what I want to do instead of what He wants for me.  I felt so sorry for having said no to God so much because I know how much it hurts to feel rejected.  I told Him how sorry I was for rejecting Him and how sorry I was for all the rejection He has to deal with in general.

When people say no to me or cancel on me, it makes me want to not invite them to things anymore.  I know that is bad, but I would rather avoid future rejection than try to plan something again.  (This tendency of mine is probably another one of the reasons I am still single.  I have such huge rejection issues.)  In fact I told you, most of the time I am never the one to initiate planning of anything because of this.  I have such a hard time asking anyone for anything because I take "NO" so badly.  I am so thankful that I have friends who ask me to do things because otherwise I might never leave the dang house!

Anyway, the message at church that night was just what I needed to hear.  It was on Genesis 37 and the story of when Joseph's brothers sold him in to slavery and told his father he was dead.  Joseph's brothers hated him because he was daddy's favorite.  But despite their rejection of him, Joseph still loved and pursued them.  He went out to the wilderness looking for his brothers and when he finally found them his brothers ripped off his robe and threw him into a cistern.  They contemplated killing him, or just leaving him there, but then some traders going down to Egypt came by and they decided to sell their brother into slavery to them.  The brothers then took his robe, dipped it in blood, and took it to their father so that he would think Joseph had been killed in the wilderness.

The sermon was so good but I was processing even more from this story.

1. Joseph pursued his brothers even though they rejected him.  Same thing goes for God.  He still pursued us even though we reject Him.  THANK GOD!  I need to do this in my life.  I need to fight my natural urge to not plan things or invite people to things because of my fear of rejection.  I need to love them more than I fear the rejection.

2. Even though this rejection hurt Joseph (my goodness, I can't even handle people cancelling on me, I might not have survived this) God was using all this for Joseph and his family's good and also to tell His (God's) story.

If you don't know the rest of the story eventually Joseph comes in to power in Egypt (after years of slavery and even prison) and is able to save his family.  The pastor said "Joseph was rejected for the salvation of his family.  Jesus was rejected for the salvation of mankind."  So even though rejection hurts sometimes, God is using it all for our good.  And I just need to rest in that.

One of the other things the pastor pointed out- Joseph's brothers dipped his robe in blood to try to cover their sins before their father.  What a shadow that is of how we now can cover ourselves in the blood of Christ to cover our sins before our Father.  And the fact that this little detail is part of the story- amazing!  I tell you it is just amazing how God used all these stories in the Old Testament to point to Christ.  How He used these people's lives to tell His story.  I even whispered to my friend "How can people not believe this (the Gospel- Jesus)?!"  Everything points to Him.  He used all these things to foreshadow it.  GOD really is the best writer ever and I can't wait to see more and be a part of this wonderful story of His!

P.S. If you are one of the people who cancelled this weekend and/or didn't come to the baby shower, please do not take this personally or get hurt by this blog post.  I often try to hide my feelings and keep everything inside, or not blog about it for fear of hurting someone else, but I couldn't keep all this in out of fear that getting my feelings hurt and blogging about it would hurt someone else.

Believe me I know you have to say no sometimes.  I was even thinking of saying no to some more things this year because I tend to over commit myself.  And just last week I had to pull out of my New Year's Eve plans because of my tooth pain.  If I could make myself not hurt when people say no and/or cancel I totally would because I don't like feeling hurt.  But that's the thing with feelings, sometimes you just can't control them.  So I apologize in advance if this blog post hurts you in any way, but I just had to get it all out.

Everything ended up just the way it was supposed to be and both events went perfectly, so you were probably meant to say no and/or cancel.  This blog post is not about that or you personally.  It is about the hurt of rejection and what I learned from all this.

Am I alone in this?  Do any of you guys get so hurt over rejection (and or perceived rejection)?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Club Friday- Year in Review

For Book Club Friday this week I am jumping on the bandwagon I saw Amber jump on and doing this book meme all about the books I read in 2012!

My Stats:

How many books read in 2012? 18 (I was pretty slack this year, but in my defense I finally finished The Bible which is a super long book!)

How many fiction and non fiction? 13 fiction, 5 nonfiction

Male/Female author ratio? 5 male, 14 female. I know that is 19, but The Vow was co-written by the couple that experienced it.

Favorite book of 2012? Sorority Sisters-  I read it during beach month and loved it!

Least favorite? Love Lies- I knew it was going to be biased but I was so curious I jst had to read it

Any that you simply couldn't finish and why? I think I started a book but put it back on my to-read list because I was ready for some fiction and it was a non-fiction book

Longest and shortest book titles?  The Bible was about 900 pages of tiny font so that was definitely the longest.  Empty Promises was probably the shortest at 224 pages.

How many books from the library? none.  I live within biking distance of a library but I get most of my books through

How many books read did I purchase? I think I actually purchased 3 of them.  The rest were trades through or borrowed from friends

How many were gifts? One was from a blog book swap, but I don't think any were gifts

How many were given to me for reviews? One

How many books read on kindle? none.  I don't have an e-reader yet.  But I really want a nook or an i-pad mini

Any re-reads? no...i have too many on my to-read list right now to re-read

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading? hmmm honestly I can't remember.  The Bible of course had many and the one I am reading now has already taken me through Germany, Rome, Capua, Judea, and Africa.

Which book wouldn't you have read without someone’s specific recommendation? The last one that I read on fear, worry, and anxiety.  I haven't reviewed it on the blog yet, but it was excellent!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Block Party Baby Shower- Pinterest Inspired!

One of my best friends is having her first baby in the next few weeks so my friend Kristin and I threw a little shower for her last week.  She is having a little girl so we stuck with a pink theme.  A lot of the things we did were Pinterest inspired.  Kristin and I made a secret board to share ideas for the shower where Stephanie couldn't see.  Here are some of the Pinterest inspired foods we served:

Super easy!  Low fat and yummy!

Again..super easy, semi-low fat and yummy!

These were melt in your mouth delicious!

Kristin had actually made these before for something else and I requested she make them again!

The pin said they were supposed to taste like Samoa girl scout cookies...I didn't think they tasted like Samoas but still super yummy!

Kristin adapted these for our pink theme and used vanilla oreos with pink eyes and noses!

So much more festive than a veggie tray and easy to hold/carry.

The recipe for the punch seemed like it made a lot so basically we did half of everything- 2 cans of lemonade concentrate, 1/2 liter of ginger ale, 1/2 can of pineapple juice, 1/2 liter of Hawaiian Punch, 1/2 container of diet cranberry juice with sliced lemons and ice.  We then asked people if they wanted to add champagne to theirs. It was yummy!

We also did this cute idea:

Our version:

At first we were planning on decorating onsies, but Steph had already had a shower earlier that month and got a ton of clothes (apparently that is all people want to buy you when you have a little girl.  I'm guilty of it too because little girl stuff is just so darn cute!!)  So we scrapped that idea.

My work friend told me they had decorated blocks at a shower she had thrown and it was fun, easy and cute, so we decided to go with that instead.  She sent me this tutorial to watch and I purchased the following supplies:

- 1.5" and 2.5" wood blocks (I ordered them online from here)
- Mod Podge
- Tons of scrapbooking paper options
- stickers (baby type stuff and letters & numbers)
- foam brushes
- sand paper pads
- wax paper to use as work area place mats

Before the party we sanded the blocks and tried to pre-cut some squares of the paper (getting them just right was a little hard, but if you just sand the edges a little after you have mod-podged the paper to the block it looks ok)  The girls were so creative!  One even wrapped the block with ribbon and it came out perfectly after the mod podge dried.  I think they all came out pretty cute!  Here are a few examples of the finished product:

And here are some more pictures from the shower:

Steph has to be the cutest pregnant girl I have ever seen!  I will NEVER look that adorable if I'm ever pregnant.  So jealous!

It ended up kind of being a name reveal to most of us too because they had not decided on a name until Christmas day.  They had gone back and forth and each of them had their favorites.  They were kind of at a stand off and I had even joked with her to hold out until she had it and there would be no way he could say no to hers after watching her give birth!

But her husband had done all these nice things for her the last few weeks and surprised her with an iPad mini on Christmas Eve and she was trying to think of something big she could do for him to show just how grateful she was for everything so she decided to give him "his name".  She took a pic of her belly wrapped with a bow and the name he loved attached, framed it, wrapped it up and gave it to him on Christmas.  How sweet is that??

The shower ended up being a small group and was kind of hectic since it was so close to the holidays, but it was such fun, so pretty, yummy, and just perfect!

Finally linking up to this link up Stephanie and Katie do each week.  It's one of my faves so I may move my Pinterest Inspired Wednesday posts to Thursdays.