Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Valentine's Day...A little late

So I don't believe that we need a holiday to get our significant other something.  I flat out told hubby that I wasn't getting him anything and he shouldn't bother getting me anything.  Plus, we bought new furniture just before V-Day, so I counted that as our gift to each other.  Even though J does not sit on the couch or love seat, we did get a new coffee table for him to eat off or put his feet on.  We couldn't get a new recliner because he says his is finally broke in (and needs a good cleaning!).  I'm pretty excited to get the furniture that was extremely back ordered...shows how popular it is, so it must be nice! I'm not much of a decorator, but that's for another time.  I just thought I would show off how sweet my hunny is.  He got me a cute little rose and daisy arrangement.  When the furniture comes in, I will show off our new additions and transformed living room.  Can't wait to buy new curtains now! :)

Me TRYING to be creative!

Again...TRYING to be creative
Have a great day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Apple Crumble Sqaures

This weekend, I decided to use up a small amount of our massive amount of apples.  I'm getting tired of eating apples.  I searched for a new and easy recipe to use up some of the apples and decided Apple Crumble Squares looked the best.  Very simple to make and minimal clean-up (unless you are like me and completely miss the garbage when peeling the apples).  I made a few adjustments to the recipe, so I will share mine and here is the link to the original.

Crust and Topping:
3 cups flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 whole egg

Apple Mixture:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 whole medium apples, peeled, cored, and grated

Prep Instructions:
Preheat over at 375.  Grease a 9x13 pan.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Work in the butter and egg with a pastry blender (which I don't own, so I used my hands) until pea-sized clumps form and virtually no loose flour remains.  Press half of the mix evenly into the pan.
For the apple mix, in another bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cornstarch.  Squeeze out any excess liquid from the grated apples with your hands, then mix them into the sugar until thoroughly combined.  Sprinkle the apple mix evenly over the crust.  Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the apples. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly golden.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

For my variations: 
 I did not have unsalted butter, so I used salted and added only a dash of salt. 
I used 4 gala apples and 1 golden delicious apple.  Seemed liked 4 was not enough. 
I sprinkled extra cinnamon over the apple mix when it was on the crust.  We like the more flavor.
You could also use more brown sugar and less granulated for the sweeter flavor. 
Sweetness will, of course, depend on the type of apples used.

Our neighbor came over for some computer help and hubby fed him some of these.  We filled the bottom of a cereal bowl with the squares and topped with ice cream.  Now my thought would be to warm the square and THEN top with ice cream.  Instead, hubby warmed it all together for 30+ seconds and we all enjoyed warm apple squares with ice cream soup!  Anyway, these bars were somewhat intended to make the journey to work with me for an office treat, but we inhaled half the pan.  Good think we have plenty of apples so I can make it again soon! 

On another note:  We received another good 8 inches of snow in our neck of the woods.  I will continue to complain about the snow and cold until Old Man Winter decides to make it worth it and give me a snow day off work! Or until it's Spring (which is just a few days away...right!?)! We finally got all bundled up to push and shovel snow away from the house around 2:00pm.  We were lazy after a big breakfast of sausage, eggs, and toast.  Anyway, we braved the cold and wind to clear our paths for the morning trek to work.  I spent a good part of the day cleaning out our "filing" system and reorganizing it into a brand new file cabinet that hubby brought me.  We can now find the receipts I thought I threw away months ago! 

This was taken a few weeks before, but I swear it looked exactly the same

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Such is life

Seems I have been away from the blog world for awhile.   Or I should say, from my blog.  I never leave blog world.  Your random blogs keep me entertained throughout the work day.   I just thought I would stop in and let your know I am still alive.  Our lives have just been somewhat boring lately and I have no inspirations to write with! 

We attended a funeral this week.  Life is TOoOooooOOOO short! I do not like funerals...for many reasons.  They make me sad, they are for our loved ones we lost, and they make me cry.  Anyway, we loaded up the pickup, hubby, my dad, "the best man", and myself to make this 3.5 hour drive to say our goodbyes and send our love and sympathy to one great family.  Everyone, tell your parents you love them, please!

On a happier note (sorry about the downer there)!  I need to link you to a friends blog.  I was going to share one of the top 5 recipes in our house, but I received the repice from C, so I will let her tell you how its done.  We made Taco Sandwiches last night, and as always, they were a hit.  Hubby loves them, I like them, and they are super easy to make!  And hey, while you are there checking out the recipe, check out what C, her hubby, and baby T are up to.  They have a more entertaining life then J and I do!

I did not take this picture. 

One very windy day here in North Dakota! Hope everyone can keep their hats on and remembered to fill their pockets with rocks! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


So, since we have been entirely too slow at work, I have been trying to keep myself busy so I don't go completely insane.  I stumbled upon an article about boy bands and where they are now.  O-Town jumped out at me.  If you remember they were the group that came out of "Making the Band" sometime in the early 2000's I think.  Anyway, I had the biggest crush on Ashley Parker-Angel and I found pictures of him now, and I fell again! jk.  But he is a gorgeous man! His baby face is someone I thought I would have ended up with.  Instead, I got my man :) 
Courtesy of "Ashely's" facebook page
How could you not like that! See, this is what I meant in my "about me" section when I said some days I'm not real sure if I am supposed to be here, a ND country girl.  Because I could take this guy, too! But then wrangler butts and cowboy boats make my heart race too!  Ahh...the confusion!

Courtesy of "Ashley's" facebook page

But seriously, how could you NOT love those freckles! And the eyelashes that have more mascara on them then mine! :) ~Melting~  And to this day, I've never heard of another guy named Ashley.  What were his parents thinking? Poor guy was probably picked on in school!

That is all for now! Have a great day.  There's always time for a trip down memory lane! Comment on your fave boy bands from your days!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Project 31: Day 6

Day 6: Jaded Beauty.  Has the world's definition of beauty ever jaded you?

I will start by saying, I'm sure it has.  I do struggle with somethings about myself because of the world's definition of beauty, but I try not to wear myself out because of it.  I definitely do not keep up with the latest trends and I don't feel obligated to.  My hair is plain, but easy and likable for me.  My weight isn't a "size 0" but I'm healthy.  I don't have tons of designer clothes, and I don't care.  I have a pimple now and then and some acne scars from my teenage years.  I may not fit the standard of a model, but I don't care. 

The only thing that bothers me, sometimes, is my weight.  I am 5'1" and it is sometimes hard to keep your weight maintained when you are that short.  I am mostly lazy and love to eat.  I gain 2 pounds and I notice it because there are few places for the weight to go.  I may not be seen in a beauty magazine, but at least I don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on primping and priming myself everyday.  I have more time for myself and friends and family because I don't spend hours with my "beauty regimen's."  Life is happier when you can just accept yourself.  When I was younger, I had a boyish haircut and wore sweatpants and oversized t-shirts everyday.  I never minded.  I still had friends and "boyfriends." 

Okay, back to reality.  I do and have watched shows/movies wishing I had some other girls life.  Because she is "beautiful" and has a "perfect" life.  One thing I do NOT get caught up in is fashion/beauty magazines.  I look at them and laugh because I know those girls do not look like that and some of the outfits are just plain ridiculous!  Really, I live in ND and do NOT need a dress completely made of fur with my 6 inch diamond heals and a multi-colored plastic purse with a ginormous flower on it.  I can't be jealous of those woman! 

If beauty means something other then rushing home so I can put on my sweat pants and  hoodie, then my husband most not see it either.  Hubby fell in love with me and he knew exactly what I look like.  I have great friends and family who have seen me without my make-up and my hair a mess, and they still love me (that can be a scary sight some times!).  They love me for the inner beauty, not my outward appearances.  I wish young girls could figure out exactly what inner beauty is and how much more it means then looks. 
If you don't mind, I would like to throw out a website for those who might need a little pick-me-up because of "beauty."  Operation Beautiful is a great project and I wish many young woman would embrace it.   - check it out please! :)

Bachelor Time!

Photo Credit: ABC

Ok, this might be my lowest blog post, but yes, I am obsessed with "The Bachelor."  Forgive me, please.  Reality TV is a weakness.  Anyway, so there are 6 girls left.  I am going to give my opinion on them and who I think will be the final girl.  I want some comments on your thoughts, please!

Ashley H. - I like her.  I liked Ashley S. better, but she's gone and we can't bring her back.  Ashley mostly stays out of the drama.  There were a few moments where I thought she was going to get caught up in it because she said some things, but for the most part, she is there for Brad.  Not much else on her because we really don't know her all that well.

Britt - She's a cutie and quiet.  We finally started seeing her in the last episode or two.  I think she's there for the right reasons.  I'm not sure what a "food writer" does, if someone else knows please fill me in!  She also stays out of the drama scene.

Chantal O. -  Ok, this one confuses me.  I like her one day, then the next I don't.  She seems legit most of the time.  She seems like she likes the drama but also seemed very real when she told Brad she had a change of heart and knew she was falling in love with him.  BUT, then she tried to get Michelle (ewww) to spill that she was the one who was giving Brad grief about not handing out a rose that night.  So there is some drama when she is around.

Shawntel - Not really into her.  I can't tell what Brad thinks either.  She did irritate me when she was explaining to Brad what she does as a funeral director.  She needed to quit talking! I'm thinking she will be going home on the next episode.

Emily -  I love, Emily! She's a sweetie (or so ABC makes her out to be!).  She story broke my heart (I don't know why I get so involved).  When she said she "sabatoges" relationships, I was worried that she had taken a few steps back with Brad.  There is a real connection there with them and we all see it.  ABC makes their relationship very obvious.  Brad is so caring and comforting with her and I think he genuinely cares about her.  I would love for her to be the last one, but I think it is way to obvious.  I'm worried that she will be going home after he meets her family.

Michelle (eww) - I can't stand this woman!  She irritates me to no end.  She is DRAMA.  She is very manipulative also.  She has no morals because if she did, she wouldn't say one thing and then another the next time to cover her ass.  I don't care that she cried when she Brad told her he feels like he took 10 steps back with her.  She needed to go home about 4 rose ceremonies ago!  BUT, ABC wants her there for the drama, so Brad has to keep her around.  I wish she would leave on her own!

So...for my pick of the final 2, I will say Emily and ....hmmm, Chantal O.  And he will propose to Chantal and they will be off in about 6 months!  I don't like that prediction because I want him to be with Emily.  But I don't think it will happen.

Fill me in on your ideas and opinions! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Project 31: Day 5

Day 5: Write a blog thanking someone who has made your heart come alive.

This was somewhat easy today.  I could, though, write about many people who have come into my life, but my husband deserves this one!  I was dealing with somethings when I first really met him.  My life was boring and very routine.  I needed a change and more excitement in my life (don't we all!).  From the day we started talking, I wore a smile.  You can ask my best friend how much my "attitude" changed during that time.  I was, however, scared to start a new chapter in my life.  The fireman somehow made this transition a little easier. (maybe a story for another day, it's kind of complicated) 

Along the way, hubby rescued me from my everyday life and brough happiness to me again.  He showed me what it was like to have a good time and a decent outlook on life.  I met so many wonderful people through him who have helped me come out of my little shell.  Because my hubby is such a social person, I learned that talking to and meeting new people was ok.  He made me a part of the most wonderful extended family ever.  The fireman brought love into my life and showed me that it was ok to trust people again.

He not only showed me what it was like to have fun again, but also brought me closer to my dad.  Before I met my hubby, my relationship with my dad was rocky, and had been for about 8 years.  I'm not sure when or how, but hubby made it clear that family was extremely important to both of us and I opened my eyes to the relationship I could and should have with my dad. 
Through everything, I love my hubby!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Project 31: Day 4

Day 4: Post a picture of your favorite outfit

This was a little tough.  I don't have a picture of my favorite outfit because that would be my summer attire!  Also, I have a favorite outfit for every situation.  Like being at home, I love my oversized sweat pants and t-shirts or sweatshirts.  Going out with my friends outfit changes everytime.  I really don't have just a favorite.  I like anything that comfortable and "cute" in my eyes.  I'm short so things don't fit me the way they should so I like what I feel comfortable in.  But when it comes to shoes, I like to wear flip-flops or my boots. So here is a picture of my "usual" outfit.

Engagment picture.  Its the only one I can get to work and you can't really see the "whole" outfit.  I do have my boots on.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Project 31: Day 3

Day 3: Who is someone you know who inspires beauty?
I thought about this post for a long time before deciding who I would write about.  I know so many woman who inspire beauty, but I my bestest friend in the whole world, Jaylea, inspires me!  She is a gorgeous 20-something with a lot of heart.  She is a recent graduate from the nursing program and is a wonderful full-time nurse.  She cares so much for her patients and puts her whole heart into her job. 

I met J when I moved into the dorms in college.  We were paired to be roommates and were suddenly inseparable.  She was my MOH and will always be my best friend.  She accepted me and many others before truly knowing us.  She made lots of friends and has helped me see that I am also a beautiful person.  She is a true friend who is caring, giving, and loving to each person she knows.  She is a genuine person.  She is always looking to make someone else happy and have a good time before herself.  J has so many attributes and values that I wish I had.  The only thing I don't like about J, is that she doesn't live in the same town as me anymore and we NEVER see each other!  I miss her to death but I know she is making a life for herself.
Love you, J!<3

Wedding Bells

Picture Credit:  J. Burman Photography
May 22, 2010.....This picture is me, TRYING not to cry!  Which didn't work.  I bawled my eyes out and could barely recite my vows.  But it was such a happy day, and I'm glad almost everynight was captured in pictures or on tape! 

I we spent 6 months planning this outdoor, on the prairie wedding.  We knew, even before we were engaged, that we would be married on the farm where my mother-in-law grew up.  There is so much beauty to be seen and we knew that we wanted to be surrounded by it.  But the closest "dance hall" was the KC Club in our small, rural town.  The hall can hold plenty of people, but when it comes to seating them for a meal, let's just say, strangers became friends.  But we both wanted a small wedding (which is hard to do when we both have big families) and decided the KC Club would be just fine!  So we had to situate things to fit all our beloved guests to share our first meal as husband and wife.

Picture Credit: J. Burman Photograpy

The day started off a little sketchy.  The clouds were hanging low and it was misting a little.  I didn't let the weather get to me because I knew that either way, this was going to be a wonderful day!  After all the girls got ready at our house, we headed to the farm to meet the boys.  They were already enjoying themselves by taking shots of blackberry brandy and having a few too many beers.  I can't blame them for wanting to celebrate though!  We spent the next 3 hours taking pictures and sharing many laughs.

Now was the ceremony time.  My mom and dad walked me down the aisle.  I was so nervous that I forgot the hug them.  The only thing going through my mind was to get the show on the road and make me Mrs. P!  I spent the next 5 minutes trying to hold back my tears, but they started flowing after my uncle read 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13.  And they continued...and there are pictures to prove it!  Before we go to say "I do", my beautiful sis-in-law sang "When God Made You" while we had the unity sand ceremony.  Once again, all I wanted to do was say "I do" and I forgot to hug both parents while my sis was singing.

The vows were sealed by a kiss and we were sent on our way down the aisle.  Again...forgetful me, forgot to put our "exit" music on the Ipod.  But our beautiful music assistant quickly played a song for us.  Things were a little disorganized at this time and we did not have a receiving line.  If I could go back, I would make sure this happened because I missed a lot of people who traveled to celebrate with us.  But, we jumped on the back of the fire truck and headed out for the party!
Picutre Credit: J. Burman Photograpy

Now is Par-tay time! We successfully got everyone through the food line, seated, filled up, and ready to party.  My MOH gave her speech which ended with "...And may all your ups and downs be between the sheets!"  OMG...did she really just say that infront of the little old ladies who were there!?! Oh well, everyone cheered and I enjoyed it.  And FINALLY, we were able to share our first dance with George Strait's "I Get Carried Away." Kinda old school, but a great song!  Then, to the suprise of our wedding party, we shared a dance with them to Randy Newman's "You got a Friend in Me."  It was a great time.  Over the next 5 hours, we shared laughs, tears, stories, hugs, drinks, memories, and lots of dances.  The night was more then I could ask for.  A perfect ending to the "stressful" 6 months of planning.

And now, we are living happily ever after!
Picture Credit: J. Burman Photography

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter blues...

Today, in this part of good ol' North Dakota, the temperature is a freezing (for a lack of a...different word) -20 degrees.  But don't forget that with the wind chill, it feels like -40.  Oh, how I love negative temps!  Along with all the cold temps, we have a million feet of snow on the ground...or so it seems.
This picture was actually taken last year, before the world of a heated garage was introduced to me. I am fairly certain that we have more snow now then we had when this picture was taken.  But, either way, you get the point...we have SNOW.  And I will sell it to you for cheap! (I will post this years pictures at a later time, but right now I don't want to look at them!)

And I know that I shouldn't complain about the weather and the snow and the freezing cold temps because I choose to live here, but that's what I'm good at.  I will continue to complain about this snow until it goes away that most likely means I will complain, forever! I wish I could say that I am used to it, but I'm not.

I don't think I would dislike winter so much if I had something to do.  But my indoor hobbies are limited to watching TV,  playing online (which you can only do for so long before you are bored again), and putting puzzles together.  I have ONE outdoor hobby, and that is shovling snow off the deck and sidewalk, which takes like 5 minutes (or as long as I can feel my fingers and face).
This is my 7 layers of clothing last year when we were trying to dig ourselves out.  NOT a happy camper!

But please, if you can bring Spring a little faster, I would pay you a billion dollars! Seriously!  I don't like being cooped up in the house.  And I forgot to mention that my husband is starting to drive me nuts.  Remember that saying, Absence makes the heart grow fonder...well I wish hubby had something to do outside because he is taking up my "me" time! Love you, hubby :)

As for now, I am going to go back to starring out the window, wishing for days filled with sunshine, planting and watering my garden, drinks, and watching my boyfrie...I mean Joe Mauer and my beloved Twins. 


Have a WARM day!