Friday, July 30, 2010

Latest Obsessions

I figured I would do a post on the things that I have been obsessed with lately.  Anyone who knows me knows that this list changes frequently (some may even say daily.....lol).


 I have been obsessed with sparkling water ever since I cut pop out of my diet.  I still sometimes crave the taste of a carbonated beverage and this allows me to have that with zero calories!

I love to bake and have been on a huge baking kick lately!  I blame my mother for this obsession.  Luckily I have a company FULL of people who just love sweet treats!  I know if I left them at home Hubs and I would devour everything (no bueno).  Baking kicks aren't always good for the diet!

This website has been a go to source for trying out new recipes when baking.  LOVE this blog!!! I also have been utilizing my Penzys Spices catalogs for new recipes to try out. 

Hubs and I have been trying to get out on a course at least once a week.  It is so much fun having a hobby that both Hubs and I enjoy!

Hubs has agreed that we can start a fund for new counter tops and backsplash for our kitchen.  Oh how this girl dreams of beautiful counter tops and a perfect backsplash to boot! Now if only that fund would fill itself up! :-)

I don't know how Hubs did it but somehow he turned me into a big fan.  Craziest part?! I didn't even like soccer!!!! lol

Shhhhhhh!!!! A lot of people would smack me for wishing away summer but I LOVE the fall! I love wearing light sweaters, my Uggs and cute scarves all while not requiring a coat.  I love the smell of a good bonfire, how beautiful the trees look, pumpkins, warm apple cider, candied apples, etc.  Other than my Christmas decor, I love my fall decor the best! And my FAVORITE sport ever kicks off the fall..........FOOTBALL!!!! :-)

Snickers Bars (and not the mini ones, the regular or king-size bars only)
OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I may or may not eat two one of these delicious bars every day.  I am addicted!!!  I think I need to go get a Snickers now after blogging about it.;-)

 Source
 Oh this obsession is pretty bad too! I like watching all the Real Housewives, Jerseylicious, Jersey Shore, Big Brother, Bethenny Getting Married, The Hills, The City, Teen Mom, Sixteen and Pregnant, etc.  If it is trashy, full of drama or good for a laugh I will watch it!  I think Hubs hates this obsession because he hates all reality TV.  Sorry baby! lol 

My list could probably go on and on but I will stop there so I don't bore you to death!  What are a few things you are currently obsessed with?!

Have a fabulous day!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Attempt.....

.........at making our driveway/garage/front of the house look a bit more fabulous:

Note: I am TERRIBLE at visualizing and putting plants together in planters.  I suck at decorating and at landscaping so I was pretty happy with how this turned out.
I was so worried about finding the perfect planter. It had to be pretty and go with the house.  I ended up going to 5 or 6 different places during my search.  As you can see, I could have bought a plastic, crappy pot and no one would have noticed. The ceramic pot I purchased is sooooo pretty and was only $23!

I planted purple sweet potato plants, pink hibiscus, and fountain grass 

Pardon the crooked picture and all the water, I had just watered the planter before I took this picture.  Now when I pull into the driveway I just smile because it looks so pretty!

Even though I am very happy with how my planter turned out I still have major doubts about my ability to landscape.  I desperately need to find a landscaper to help me do the rest of my flower beds, especially the one in front of our house.  I HATE the plants/bushes that the builder planted and would love to just tie a rope around all of them and yank them out with my SUV.  Trust me, there are days that I have been very tempted to do this.  I have used several different landscaping software/plant encyclopedia's to come up with ideas but am still at a loss.  Seriously, it is so hard to visualize how everything will come together and how it will look once it grows and matures!

If only a landscaper could just show up and offer to help me out for next to nothing out of the kindness of his heart/sympathy at my pathetic attempts at landscaping.  Hmmmmmmm........where is Yard Crashers when I need them?! Too bad they don't come to the Midwest!  Would anyone like to nominate me for Desperate Landscapes?!? lol

Have a great day! One more day until the weekend!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new!

Adios, Auf Wiedersehen, Au Revoir, Arrivederci, and Farewell!
So long TaylorMade Burner Utility Club! You have sat in my bag for over a year and I never really could hit you very well {I am sure most of it was operator error but confidence is everything in golf people}.  So, with my best interests in mind, I decided that it was time for us to part ways!  I hope that you find a new owner who loves you and hits you long and straight.  I am sure there is someone out there who will like your 19-degree club face.

With that being said, please welcome.......

My new favoritist club in my bag {besides my driver because, not toot my own horn, but I can knock the crap out of the ball with that club}.......the Cobra Baffler Rail H.  I know, it looks a lot like the Burner but it is sooooo different......23 degree club face is one of the biggest differences.  So let me tell ya about my best friend {now that song is stuck in my head....lol}.  This club and I compliment each other perfectly!  For the first time ever I can actually hit a utility club** and the ball doesn't just dribble 20 feet ahead of me.  The first time I pulled you out of my bag I was skeptical but you proved me wrong*.  That first shot soared through the air!  So, welcome and make yourself right at home in my golf bag!  Like I said......confidence in a club is everything.....if you hate the club, you won't be able to hit it worth a hoot.

I know, it is sad that I get so excited about a new golf club but I am addicted to the darn sport.  Hubs and I have been playing almost every single weekend this summer.  I definitely am so thankful that my dad insisted that I learn how to play golf when I was little.  It is a sport that I can play the rest of my life.  And a lot of business deals are done on the golf course! And the best part?! It is something that Hubs and I can enjoy together! :-)

* - Hubs would be mad if I didn't include this- when shopping for a new utility club the employee at the store picked out a Ping G-15 for me to try but Hubs insisted that I also try the Cobra Baffler Rail H.  I agreed to test out the Baffler just to appease Hubs.  Who knew that it would be the club that I would pick and love! So, good job Hubs! lol

** - A utility club (also called a hybrid club) is a club that combines elements of a fairway wood and an iron.  Utility clubs are designed to replace a golfers long irons (typically 2, 3, 4-iron depending on the club face degree of the utility club).  People tend to say that the utility club is easier to hit than their long irons and their fairway woods.  These clubs also offer more forgiveness than a typical fairway wood or iron does.  Since I HATE my 4-iron, don't own a 3-iron, and I can't hit a fairway wood this club is perfect for me. 

Have a fabulous Wednesday!


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Monday, July 26, 2010

True Colors

Sadly, my Grandpa is now in the nursing home after falling a couple weeks ago.  :-(  Our family is still coming to terms with the fact that he will not be able to go back home to the farm.  On a lighter note, his new roommate in the physical therapy wing of the nursing home just so happens to be none other than............

his wife aka my Grandma! They are such cute roomies and loving it! :-)

Our family has had to start the difficult task of cleaning the house out.  As if going through everything isn't hard enough, my mom and my aunt have had to deal with my uncle.  We shall refer to my uncle as Oh Greedy One from here on out (you will see why he has earned his nickname VERY soon).

My mom and my aunt have been taking care of my grandparents for the past several years so that they could continue to live on the farm- taking them to doctor's appointments, buying groceries, picking up prescriptions, cooking them dinner, etc.  Meanwhile, Oh Greedy One has been completely MIA.  He would use every excuse in the book as to why he couldn't be there, or even better, he would agree to help and then never show up.  At one point my Grandpa took a turn for the worse and Oh Greedy One asked if he really needed to go up to the nursing home because he was at the casino. REALLY?!? Are you kidding me?!? If my dad was not doing well I would be driving 90 mph to get there to be by his bedside!

My mom and my aunt prayed that things would go smoothly while cleaning out the house.  They are physically and emotionally drained.  They have zero fight left.  Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, my aunt's daughter and I have plenty of fight in us.

{I will warn you now that the rest of this post is going to get ugly because I am beyond furious and need to get this off of my chest.}

Of course Oh Greedy One turned the event into a royal shit show!  He showed up with a Budget moving truck (the size just under a full-size semi) and just started grabbing whatever he could get his grubby little hands on.  He had zero consideration for the rest of the family and just acted like he was entitled to everything.  He even had the audacity to go up to my mom and give her crap about the Winthrop desk that Grandpa and Grandma had promised her, one of the few items that she really wanted.  He told her, "So, I hear that you are going to take the Winthrop desk that belonged to MY mother."  WTF?!? Since when is my mom some illegitimate bastard child?!? Pretty sure they both have the same mother (though now I wonder how such an evil, greedy person could have the same blood as my mom and my aunt). 

My mom, my aunt, my cousin and I are not upset about Oh Greedy One taking anything/everything, we are upset at how he went about it.  Everyone was trying to divide things up evenly to make sure that people received the items that had sentimental value to them.  This was hard enough, we did not need him acting like it was a free for all.  Oh and he is not taking items for sentimental purposes, he is taking items to pawn for money*.  This makes me want to rip my hair out and scream!  

Oh Greedy One didn't even ask my mom or my aunt if there were certain items that they wanted, he just took them.  For example, my Grandfather has an old tool box that has all of his old wood working tools.  Instead of splitting them up or asking if anyone else wanted a tool or two he just took the entire box.....end of discussion.  There were some old couches in the house that nobody wanted.  My cousin is currently living in the house and asked that if no one wanted the couches that they stay with the house for now.  Oh Greedy One's response was, "Well, you can put money in Grandpa's checking account or make a donation to the church for the couches."  He basically told her that she had to purchase the couches and needed to put the money in the bank (towards his inheritance) or donate it even though he didn't want/need them.  Un-freaking believable!  My poor cousin had tears running down her face because she was so angry. 

He had the ENTIRE moving truck packed to the brim and his wife's SUV stuffed beyond capacity.  Oh Greedy One informed my mom and my aunt that he would be back another day to go through the rest of the stuff. 

The point is......he doesn't give a rats ass about my Grandparents.  It's sad, very sad.  All he cares about is his inheritance and how much money he is going to get.  Well, sadly, he will have to live the rest of his life knowing that he wasn't around when my Grandparents needed help.  He turned his back on them and the rest of the family.  In the end I will probably never see or hear from them again and I am perfectly fine with that.  He has put my mom and my aunt through hell and back. 

I was not present thanks to an untimely ear infection/sinus infection.  I probably would have gotten in trouble had I been there.  I did, however, go over to the house after hearing my mom crying on the phone and witnessed the after mass.  When I walked in I found my mom, my aunt and my cousin all in tears.  My heart broke from them and what they had just been through.  I was furious!

* - My Grandpa fought in World War II.  He has several medals and patches from the war as well as his rifle.  He even has his uniform!  Well, Oh Greedy One is taking it all and feels that as the only boy he deserves it.  I just hope and pray that he hangs those medals up proudly and displays them because there is so much to be proud of.  I am praying that he doesn't try to pawn them but I am not going to hold my breath.  Grandpa earned those medals and they should be kept in the family.  They should be passed down so that future generations can see what he did for our country.

If you are still reading- thank you for listening and letting me get all of that off of my chest.  This entire situation just breaks my heart and makes me so mad all at the same time.  Greed has a very ugly face and tends to always show its true colors. 

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Something is Missing

What is missing in the picture below?
 Please excuse all the stir stick/spill stoppers from Starbucks.  I have a slight serious addiction to Starbucks hot tea.  You never know when you might need one! lol

Any guesses?!?

Well, if you guessed my wedding rings/engagement ring then you are correct!
You can even seen my tan line from ALWAYS wearing my ring even when I lay out, play golf, work in the yard, etc.  So you can only imagine how "naked" I feel without my ring today.  I have panicked a few times when I looked down and didn't see it.  I have to constantly remind myself that I left it at home and didn't lose it.  Not a good feeling people, not a good feeling!

Sadly, I somehow managed to remember to put on my earrings and watch but not my ring (which sits right next to my earrings and watch at night).  I am such a hot mess in the mornings!  At least I remembered to take out the trash today.........

Getting ready for the day today: Fail

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"5 More Minutes Mom!"

That is exactly what I was thinking when the alarm went off this morning.  This morning was a MAJOR struggle to get out of bed!  Why is it that your bed feels the warmest/coziest when it is time to get up?!?

Hubs: I don't want to get up! 
Me: {sound asleep, trying to make the most out of those last few minutes}
Hubs: I'm going to slowly work on getting up.  I can put my contacts in while laying in bed.

{Hubs looks over at me......somewhat in and out of sleep.........snuggling with Buerly, who is snoring away}

Hubs: Well, I see your version of getting up slowly is getting your heart rate up from sleeping state.
Me: MmmHmmmmm......5 more minutes please.....{words turn to jibberish as I try to go back to sleep}

Pretty sure Buerly would have preferred that I stayed in bed and snuggled with him all day.  I think I would have preferred that too! Oh and Rooney could be found buried underneath our comforter at the foot of the bed snoozing away.  At least it is Wednesday.  Have a great day!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Womens Sporting Apparel

This is a sore subject for me.  I am an AVID sports fan!  Come football season I am sitting in front of that TV with a beer in hand, typically screaming louder than the guys.  Butler Basketball is just as bad.  I don't take my sports lightly people!  

You can find me rooting for teams like: The Indianapolis Colts, Butler Basketball, Manchester United Football Club, White Sox, and Notre Dame Football (granted, ND is more of Hubs' team....I also like to root for Purdue, my dad's alma mater)

    Now when rooting on my favorite teams (especially when attending the game) I prefer to wear something that shows my team spirit.  Not a new concept.  Here is where I get frustrated:

    You can find TONS and TONS of clothing/gear for guys but heaven forbid that a girl actually be a fan of a sport!!!  And if you do find fashionable womens apparel it is often in the color pink.  I have also tried youth apparel but most shirts are too short through the torso area. 


    Example #1- Before the World Cup I searched high and low for womens USA apparel.  No dice! All I could find was kids apparel or some ugly t-shirt that no one would be caught dead wearing.  Don't believe me?
    Say hello to "The Dude".  {Hello} Apparently he is some sort of weird mascot that Nike created for the US National Soccer team.  What the eff does this ogre looking thing have to do with the USA?!? Give me a damn Eagle!  At least that would represent this country better.

    Hubs, on the other hand, ordered 5 different shirts that were all pretty bad-ass!  And if I had not limited him to 5 shirts he probably would have ordered more.  Blame my bad attitude since I couldn't find anything!  Finally I found a decent Nike fitted polo that I paid WAY too much money for but at least it was representing the US National Soccer team.  I was desperate!  Oh and I purchased a US National Soccer team scarf.  I rocked my US polo, white shorts and US scarf in 98 degrees!!!  {too bad they lost against Ghana.....meh}.

    Example #2- Apparently sports apparel companies think that all women would prefer their fan gear to be in pink.  Seriously?!?  I am not a pink kind of girl when it comes to sports (no offense to women who like pink apparel, my personal preference).  I prefer to wear my teams' colors no matter how ugly they might be {my high school's team colors were maroon and gold.....it doesn't get much uglier}.  If I am cheering on Manchester United I will wear red, black and gold.  If I am watching the Colts I will be in blue and white.  You get my drift.  I don't care if the manufacturers make all the pink t-shirts and jerseys but at least offer them in the appropriate team colors too!

    Ummmmm......last time I checked, Manchester United's colors were red, black and gold not pink. 
     
    Example #3- Come on sporting goods industry! Let's at least try to make things more fashionable! Most women that I know want things that fit properly.  I know I don't want to wear a jersey that hangs down to my knees and looks like I could be hiding popcorn, a friend and my dog underneath it.

    Okay, I will cut some of the industry a slight break because it does appear that they are making an honest effort to create things that allure to women but I still think they could do better.  A baggy t-shirt won't do it for this girl.  I want something cute and fashionable {I know, I hate pink sporting apparel but want something fashionable.....call me picky}.   One company that has really catered to women sports fans has been Victoria's Secret.  They now offer select collegiate (sadly Butler is not part of that select group) and MLB apparel that is absolutely adorable! Now if only VS could produce apparel for all sports (NFL, EPL, etc).
     Good job VS on the cute sporting apparel! Pretty sure I need to order this shirt and these sweat pants ASAP!

    The market for women's apparel has made leaps and bounds compared to what it was several years ago but I still think they have a long way to go.  Offering a selection of 3 t-shirts for your team is a travesty!  Has the sporting world not figured out that women are the shoppers?!?  Wave something cute in front of our faces and we just have to have it!  We are the ones who will go out and purchase the same cute shirt in several different colors, we are the ones who will compulsively buy clothing whether we need it or not and we are the ones who are always looking for someway to be cute/fashionable at all functions.


    Okay, my rant is over! Phew! Sorry, just frustrated as I am trying to find apparel for the upcoming seasons.  Anyone else have issues with this?

    Have a wonderful Monday! :-)
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    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Move Over Betty!

    I was in a MAJOR baking mood last night! I ran to the grocery store after work to pick up the necessary ingredients for dinner and baking.

    For dinner we had a salad and homemade macaroni and cheese:
    Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture before we dove in! It was VERY yummy!

    Recipe*:
    8 oz       elbow macaroni (dry) - I use the large elbow macaroni
    4 TB      butter, divided
    3/4 c.     bread crumbs
    1 TB      flour
    1/2 tsp   salt
    1/4 tsp   mustard powder
    1/8 tsp   ground pepper
    1 1/2 c   milk
    8 oz       shredded cheddar cheese

    Cook the macaroni in a pot.  Drain well and place back into pot to dry.  Make sure that the macaroni is dry otherwise the sauce won't be thick.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 2-quart casserole dish and place the dried macaroni into casserole dish.  In a small sauce pan, heat 2 TB of butter over medium heat.  Add the bread crumbs and toss until all bread crumbs are coated.  Set aside.

    In a medium sauce pan, melt remaining 2 TB of butter over medium heat.  Add the flour, salt, mustard powder and pepper.  Stir constantly.  Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly.  Cook until the mixture thickens slightly and is smooth.  Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.  Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni.  Top with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown.

    Hubs and I LOVED this recipe! Here are a few changes we made/will make:
    • We mixed cayenne pepper in with the bread crumbs to give it a kick (loved it)
    • Next time we might add a dash of the cayenne pepper to the actual sauce but didn't think of this until after we had poured the sauce over the macaroni
    • Next time we will grate our own combination of cheese (maybe throw some pepper jack cheese into the mix).  I think it will enhance the dish by using fresh cheese versus packaged shredded cheese.
    • We ran out of bread crumbs so we used panko bread crumbs.  It was good but maybe a little too crunchy.
    Overall this was a very scrumptious dish that we will make again.  I am sure you can all tell by the changes that we would make to the recipe that we love spicy foods! lol

    Next I made homemade cinnamon rolls! While stalking catching up on my favorite blogs I came across this recipe that Stephanie over at Live.Laugh.Love had posted.  The recipe is from Our Best Bites and holy moly are these heavenly rolls delicious! The best part about this recipe- it is very easy!!!!
    Ready to go into the oven
    After they came out of the oven
    Hot, gooey and iced......ready to eat! Of course, since these little beauties are calorie free {I wish}I felt the need to double the recipe for icing.  You only live once!

    If you have not tried this recipe I HIGHLY recommend you go now over to Our Best Bites and get this recipe!**  Super easy and soooooo yummy! I took these beauties into work this morning and have received so many compliments on them.  Several guys have asked for the recipe to give to their wives. lol  Oh and since it is Friday it would be perfect for the weekend! Saturday or Sunday breakfast anyone?!

    Lastly, my Hubs requested some chocolate chip cookies.  Of course I couldn't say no to that request!  Would you all like to know my super secret chocolate chip cookie recipe!?  Are you in suspense yet?!?
    Go purchase a bag of Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Turn the bag over and follow the recipe on the back of the bag (leave out the salt, leave out the nuts and substitute Crisco Shortening for the butter).  TA DA!!!!! Super yummy, gooey chocolate chip cookies!
    Hubs asked for BIG chocolate chip cookies.  Apparently the first batch weren't big enough.
    Attempts #2 and #3 at making BIG chocolate chip cookies!  The third attempt seemed to satisfy him.  He might as well have asked for a cookie pie. Oh and then that little stinker complained that he needed a bigger bowl glass for his milk because he couldn't fit his cookie in the glass to dunk it!  He's lucky I love him! lol

    Well, that concludes Laura's Baking Extravaganza!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!! :-)


    * Recipe is from Penzeys Spices Summer Catalog (unfortunately they are no longer showing the summer catalog)

    ** Be sure to follow her tip on using dental floss to score and cut the cinnamon rolls.  It really works and makes life so much easier!!!

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    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Trouble with a Capital "T"

    ........or with a capital "R".  DEEP, DEEP, DEEP TROUBLE!!!! {dun, dun, DUNNNNN}

    This is what I came home to yesterday:
    Rooney decided to remodel the wall.  Not sure I agree with his vision.  Maybe he doesn't like the wall color.  Who knows!?  Thank God Hubs is now a pro at fixing dry wall!
    Apparently he has it out for my brand new shag rug.  If he doesn't stop chewing up my rug I am going to use him as my next rug!
    Oh and he must really hate rugs with a passion! Not only did he chew on the rug but he also destroyed the skid stopper underneath. Classic Rooney, classic!

    Soooooooo, in light of the events from yesterday my little demon child chewer will be losing his freedom and spending his days in this until further notice: 
    Kiss your freedom good bye Stinks!
    Rooney's new "crib" where he will be spending his time while we are at work.  The second I pulled that crate out Rooney ran and hid.  Pretty sure he knew what was coming.

    I'm sorry Mama! I won't do it again! I PROMISE! Please don't put me in jail!

    HALLELUJAH!!!! The little brat won't be pestering me while I sleep during the day! Put him in jail and throw away the key! Now I have the couch all to myself! I am living the good life!

    Just another day in the world of owning bulldogs!  No matter how mad I get at Rooney I can never stay mad at him for long.  :-)

    Have a wonderful Thursday!

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    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Needing Some Change

    While I was getting ready for work this morning I looked at Hubs and asked, "Would you care if I repainted the downstairs bathroom? And if that is okay do you care what color I paint the room and/or the hardware that I replace the old with? Basically do you want to have any input on the bathroom remodel that I would to do?!?"

    His response, "You do whatever your little heart's desire!"

    Good answer Hubs, good answer! :-)

    Over the past month or two I came to the conclusion that I hated our downstairs bathroom.  It is painted a burnt orange color which isn't so bad but there is zero natural light so the bathroom is very dark.  If I had my way I would rip out the sink too but that is a little too expensive right now (especially for what I want to do).  So the next best thing I can do is to repaint the bathroom and replace all the hardware (ie- toilet paper holder, towel rack, lighting, and mirror). 

    Here are my choices for paint color so far:
     Blue Cloud

    Clear Blue Sky

    Sea Spray

    Tropical Surf

    White Lagoon

    I would love to go with a fun bright color like:
    Pool Party

    .......but since my bathroom is already dark due to zero natural light I am afraid that this color will make it feel dark.  And since that is the entire reason I am repainting the bathroom I probably should stay away.  Plus, they always say that a color will go on darker than the sample card.  Sooooooo......I will stick to lighter colors in the blue/green families. 

    So what do you all think?!? Which one would you vote for?  

    All paint samples are from Home Depot.

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