Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pioneer Woman!

I've recently discovered her, and I love the recipes I've tried so far!  Here are a few that I've made.


Mashed Potatoes

Meatballs - I just took her meatball recipe, used Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, and baked them.

Cinnamon Rolls - These are divine!

Go on over to her website and see everything else she has.  There are so many other things I'd like to try!


You may remember back in December that I mentioned being inspired to make some decorated cookies.   Well I attempted for Ladies' Bible Study, but failed miserably.  I was ashamed to take my cookies!  I've since then given it another try with very pleasing results.   I've done it a couple times now.  Each time it gets easier, and I learn new tricks and what not to do. =) 

Sugar Cookie Recipe
Icing Recipe - this is royal icing WITHOUT meringue powder!  Much cheaper!!

Chocolate Fudge Nutella Brownies

If you like Nutella, you'll love these!

4 - one ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoons pure vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips, optional
1/2 - 1 whole jar of Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter or spray and flour a 9 X 13 inch glass or non-stick baking pan.
Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Do not burn. Remove from heat.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, add sugar and stir until well mixed.
Add eggs, vanilla and salt and beat well with a wooden spoon.
Fold in flour and mix just until smooth. Do not overmix. This is also the time to fold in chopped nuts & chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
Cool for about 15 minutes, then spread desired amount of Nutella over warm brownies.
Sprinkle with more nuts, chips sprinkles or whatever else you like!
Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Yields from 16-24 servings depending on size.

Adventures in Housesitting

Last week I had the opportunity to housesit for the M family.  They have a cat, which was pretty self sufficient.  The only problem with her was that she threw up twice! Gross!!!

Now the dog is another story.  I had a fairly normal schedule during the week, aside from obligations that took me away for a couple of hours each evening. Let's just say, he's not used to spending that much time alone...and you know what that spells...T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!! 

The first night was completely my fault.  I had used the house phone before I had to go somewhere and just left it on the couch.  When I got back I found something on the floor that was rather random, and later realized that he had chewed the antenna off of the phone.  Ok...not that big of a deal because at least it still works. :)

For the next few nights I found a shoe, a bag, and the bottom of a child size rocking chair destroyed or chewed on.  Again...not good, but not horrible losses either.  It was the next thing really horrified me.

Any time you pull up to the house, he is at the window watching for you. It's like the welcome home committee or something. :)  On Friday, he wasn't at the window when I pulled up.  Oh no!  What's going on in there??  I walk up to the house and peeked in the window and what did my eyes behold??  Luke standing in the middle of the living room amongst fluff.  I was trying to think of what it could possibly be.  A pillow?  No...there weren't any in the room.  When I walked in the house it was made very apparent what was all over.  The couch!!!  Oh my word!! I couldn't believe it!  He managed to rip back seam of one of the leather couch cushions and pulled almost everything out of it.  Thankfully, the leather wasn't ripped.  (Just so you know, they were able to fix the couch!)  I didn't know what to do.  I knew now that I couldn't just leave him to roam the house anymore.  I couldn't stay there 24/7 either.  He had a kennel, but supposedly figured a way to get out of it...houdini dog!  I figured I'd give it a shot and put him in there anyways, because I had to somewhere to go that evening.  I put him in and shoved the kennel up against the wall with the door facing the wall.  I gave him a raw hide bone and hoped he would be distracted by that and not try to escape. 

When I came home later that evening I saw him standing in the middle of the living room floor.  My first thought was, He got out!  But upon further observation I realized that he was still in his kennel!  He managed to slip his tray and bone out of the kennel and then move the kennel with himself in it....at least 10 feet away from where I put it!!!  I couldn't help but laugh!  I was cracking up!!  He may not have been where I left him, but he was still in the kennel and nothing was destroyed...yay!!

After talking with the M's that night, I found out they'd be coming home Saturday which was earlier than expected.  So I had one more day to keep Luke from destroying anything else. 

I didn't have to go anywhere until Saturday afternoon and only to run a few errands, so hopefully the kennel would work again.  I arranged it just as I had the night before, except I put up a baby gate to keep him from manuevering his way into the living room.  When I got back it appeared to have worked like a charm!  He had still slipped the tray and bone out and wasn't in the exact spot I put him, but he was still in the general area I wanted him.  Victory....or so I thought.  It was then that I looked down and saw that he got ahold of the front door mat and shredded it!  He also managed to scrape his nose.  In his attempt to escape he loosened some bars on the kennel and I'm thinking that's where he scraped his nose.  Again, I had to laugh because Day 6 would not have been complete without the sixth thing being destroyed.  But alas, I was wrong again...right before I left I was playing with him outside before I put him back in the kennel (not before making sure he wouldn't hurt himself again) and he managed to pop the ball we were playing with.  Nice one, Luke!  I guess 7 is the number of perfection! Haha!! 

When the M's got back how do you think they found Luke?  Trying to get out of the kennel?  Destroying yet another piece of their property?  Nope!  He was just laying in his kennel!  I guess he figured he'd better get his act together before they came home and be on his best behaviour. 

It was quite the adventure to say the least!  I sure got my share of frustration and laughter out of the whole ordeal. :)  I know this was long, but hopefully you got a good laugh out of it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Amy's Wedding

In September I went to Missouri for Amy's wedding. We've known each other for a LONG time...probably since we were at least 4.  It was a great time to catch up and hang out, but most importantly...get that girl to the altar! :-)     
Bridal Shower
Getting manicures & pedicures.  Ahhhh...that's sounds really good right now!
Getting ready!
Bridal Party Pics
The Happy Couple
Having fun!

Pictures by: Carolyn

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Bedroom

In this post, I mentioned putting my room back together after getting our carpet replaced and showing you pictures of it.  My room was finished not too long after said post, but I guess I was just lazy and never posted pictures. Now that I've been decluttering and packing, it seemed like the perfect time to take some pictures!  :o)

My dresser was white and took on the task of stripping it and painting it black.  Boy, was it a task!  Thankfully, my dad came to the rescue and helped me get it finished!  It's so nice with it's black paint and new silver hardware! I also bought a few new pieces of furniture which include the bookshelf (that I put together all by myself!! haha)  and a nightstand/file cabinet. 

You probably don't care, but I'll say it anyways. My comforter used to match the colors in the pictures...but unfortunately some of the seams on that comforter started ripping so I was "obligated" to buy a new one. :-)  I got this one at Macy's during my Black Friday shopping trip...it just so happens to be called Kali!

Sweetheart Banquet 2009

As promised, here's the first of several posts FINALLY giving you some pictures you never got to see.

As is becoming tradition, the SPG's (Singles Pleasing God) put on the Sweetheart Banquet for the married couples in the church in 2009.  You would think that doing something like that would be somewhat of a downer and a very obvious reminder of our single status, but it's actually very fun!  We enjoy ourselves very much, and trust the couples enjoy the evening we plan for them. 

The theme for 2009 in our church was Continue the Commitment and we were able to incorporate that theme into the Banquet.  We decided to go with a wedding theme (which was a perfect way to remind the couples to continue their commitment to one another), and set up the Fellowship Hall to give the ambience of a wedding ceremony/reception.  The tables were the 'pews' and there was even an aisle runner with flower petals!  (Also: Throughout the evening we had a PPT slideshow playing with all of the couples' wedding pictures and wedding date!  It was so much fun to look at!!)

A gift table for donations.
A wedding cake made by AKcreations.
Alyssa played wedding music throughout the evening.
Here's Levi practicing his solo - A Good & Perfect Gift by Abigail Miller
Joel, our parking lot attendant, wishes he was the wedding singer. *smile*
Chris & Josh were in charge of Valet Parking.
The Guest Book
Table Centerpieces
Our Guests
SPG Jeopardy
Vow Renewal
Marriage Certificate - We signed as witnesses :-)
The lovely group of SPGs
And just for fun...Alyssa & I after our cake was cut.
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