Monday, February 28, 2011

WEEKEND UPDATE: FEB 25 - 27, 20111

Highlights from this weekend:
- Getting some much needed rest
- Having lunch with Pops
- Starting our wedding registry at Target
- Family dinner
- Tearing all of the wallpaper off my parent's living room wall
- Doing Oscar ballots with Andrew (next year we are going to bet!)

Because every weekend isn't always sunshine and roses, expect to see some lowlights around here too:
- Still being sick
- Seeing my family cat, Fluffy, aging rapidly
- Forgetting to get my oil changed

Friday, February 25, 2011


It's ok. I know I'm awesome. Last night, I multitasked. I cooked dinner while watching American Idol. Holla! I would chop and then race to the tv, stir and come back to the tv, etc. I'm pretty cool like that. Oh, but how I wish I had a tv in the kitchen! The good news - Tim made it to the top 24! Get ready to do some voting next week.

In attempt to eat healthier, I decided to make stuffed peppers using a recipe from on of my fav healthy eating sites That and I told Andrew I would make a killer dinner for him to look forward to after working a LONG 12 hour day...

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 2 halves • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 303.7 • Fat: 5.9 g • Protein: 29.9 g • Carb: 34.9 g • Fiber: 6.5 g
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 half red bell pepper
1/4 cup parsley (or cilantro)
5 bell peppers (red or green)
14 oz shredded cooked chicken breasts
adobo (or salt)
15.5 oz can white beans
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Cut peppers in half removing seeds and stem. Place peppers in an oven-proof dish. - Next time, I'm saving this duty for Andrew. 

In a medium pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, parsley and red pepper. Saute until soft, about a minute. - Ummm. I forgot to get parsley at the store. Fail. And, I couldn't find my dried stuff. Oh, well.

Add chicken and season with cumin and adobo. - Easy peasy. (Is peasy even a word?)

Add beans and 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until it thickens and the liquid reduces. Adjust spices to taste. - My sauce was not getting any thicker and I added less than 1 cup of water. Also, I was becoming impatient - it was after 7pm.
Preheat oven to 350°.

Fill each pepper with 1/3 cup of chicken and bean mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish. 

Cover tight with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350°. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake uncovered another 5 minutes.

Final thought: I would give it more spice next time and add some tomatoes. I don't think a little cheese or rice mixed in would hurt either. I'm pretty sure that these are impossible to screw up no matter what you put inside. Be fearless, make stuffed peppers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Have you guys been watching this season of American Idol? I sure hope so! It's going to be the best season yet, because my cousin, Tim Halperin, is on it! Check out his performance from last night and don't forget to tune in tonight to see if he makes it to the top 24. Although I can't say for certain, I'm sure that J-Lo won't let him go.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Whoa! I got through those fast!

The Girl Who Played With Fire -
I'm surprised that I liked this book much more than the 1st one. I felt the book followed a simpler story line and helped you to better grasp the characters' personalities. In the first book, I was unsure of where I stood with each character, and now I know who I am rooting for!

Salander faces a slew of evil-doers all while trying to get Blomkvist to solve a puzzle that will ultimately lead to her innocence in a gruesome murder. You begin to hope and cheer for Salander in her effort while at the same time wondering what she is hiding.

Unfortunately, no pictures of this book. I have been letting a volunteer at the church borrow them as soon as I'm done!

Catching Fire-
Ironically, the titles of both book involve fire. I hadn't really noticed that until I typed it out! This book threw me for a loop. I was completely unprepared for the twists and turns that the 2nd book took.

While the romance continues in this book, Katniss confuses me even more with her ever changing feelings. I have no advice for a young girl with this much drama in her life! The games continue out the area as President Snow uses her as a pawn in his new set of games. Not to mention - rebels and secrets and murder, oh my!

While nearing the end, I realized that the 2nd and 3rd book should have just been one. It wasn't like you finishing the book, but just moving on to the next chapter. I think I would prefer a little more finality than that! It's ok though, because I have already started on the 3rd and final book in the series.

Monday, February 21, 2011

WEEKEND RECAP: FEB 18 - 20, 2011

Why did this weekend have to go so fast?

Highlights from this weekend:
- Vintage Tupperware & She & Him vinyl
- Wedding talks with Lindsie
- Fish tacos and sangria at Stokes
- Alone time with Andrew
- Babysitting!
- Nick, Emily, Alex, Mike, & Shelly!
- Laughing, laughing, and more laughing thanks to Loaded Questions
- Staying up til 3:30am
- A late afternoon brunch at Wheatfields
- The cats playing with the iPad
- Murder by Death concert at the Waiting Room

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I was sure that this birthday was going to be a downer just like a lot of my previous birthdays. I have something called the birthday curse (self-named). Every year on my birthday, for as long as I can remember, I have had terrible things happen to me. Here is a small sampling:
- someone stealing my camera
- someone backing into my car
- multiple cold sores
- eye infection
- boyfriend infidelity
- massive snow storms (Ok. So I know it's in February, but come on!)

The list goes on, but I will spare you the agony. This year, it was different! I knew the day was going to be good when as I was leaving from work a fellow apartment tennant said good morning and held the door open for me. What?!?! Didn't he know it was my birthday? Shouldn't he have accidently shut my fingers in the door or something? I took it as a sign that the tides were turning.

Full moon on my bday!

The day continued and it was spectacular! The weather was great (almost 70 degrees), and the birds were chirping. I was able to go to lunch with my fellow coworkers to Goldbergs. Sweet potato fries were like the icing on the cake. Thankfully, that's just a metaphor because my actual birthday cake came from Regina. A delicious Pineapple Upside Down cake. Divine.

After work, it was time for my surprise from Andrew. He had plans for us, but wouldn't let on to any details. I was super excited when we pulled into the driveway of a psychic! I had mentioned that I wanted to do this before and he remembered! Too bad the psychic was running late... we had to reschedule. But it didn't bring me down....time for drinks! We enjoyed a few beers at The Foundation before heading to Dixie Quicks! Yes, the Dixie Quicks. By the time our food arrived, we were the only cats in the joint. It's probably for the best that it was empty, because we ate like pigs. Sooooo good. :)

After dinner, we headed to The Cheesecake Factory for dessert. Thankfully, we got it to go. With my cold, I was on my last leg and crashing fast.

Last night I feel asleep with a full belly and great memories of a fantastic birthday! Thank you to everyone who made the day extra special!

Monday, February 14, 2011

WEEKEND RECAP: FEB 11 -13, 2011

- Celebrating Justin's birthday
- Playing quarters (even though I lost!)
- Justin thinking he could conquer the boot alone
- Boot races at Crescent Moon
- Lunch at Farmhouse
- Finally finding a new top at the mall (Thanks for being so patient, Sarah!)
- Girl talks with Sarah
- Kicking the boys butt in Euchre
- Trader Joe's

Friday, February 11, 2011


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Here are just a few songs to get you through your weekend! Enjoy!


Today, I would like to share a couple pictures of my parents on their wedding day. The had very little time to plan (I think it was somewhere around 3 months) and I'm not sure how they pulled it off!

Pops, G-ma Ruth, Linda, Mike, Jean, Don

How awesome is my dad's tux!

?, ?, Jan, Linda, Mike, Tom, ?, ?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I plan on having doilies underneath the white vases and on top of the white table cloth to break it up and provide a little something extra to the centerpieces.

The first go around with dying doilies didn't work out as well as I had hoped. Although I was shooting for a dark gray, I got a blue color. It was a disappointment, but I'm ready to try again. And this time, I will have a full cup of salt. Any tips for first-time dyers?

I got this wonderful idea last week! Once it was approved by the coordinator, I was elated. Drum roll please.... sidewalk chalk! I could make a few different stencils and buy some spray chalk and like magic, we will have cues to guide the guests from the parking ramp to the ceremony and then to the reception. The wedding coordinator told me that she liked my idea so much that she mentioned it to another bride! Now, I just need to think of some stencil ideas. Suggestions are welcome!

Last Saturday, we met with the caterer and set our menu and picked out the table layout. We also got to check out the hotel. I should have taken some pictures because our room for the wedding night is AWESOME! It has 1 1/2 baths. That's just nutty and maybe a little excessive, but we are totally worth it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Highlights from this weekend:
- Getting a table at the Royal Mile two nights in a row
- Making some official wedding decisions
- The halftime show at the Iowa Energy game
- Trying new beers and making some awesome appetizers
- The Packers winning the Super Bowl
- Seeing Emily in her wedding dress
- Having the day off on Monday

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


1. Adele - Have you heard her new songs! Amazing! I will not hesitate to say that she is my favorite artist. Feb 22 needs to hurry up!

2. Heated Blanket - It is bitterly cold outside, and my parents are saints. I wouldn't sleep as well as I do if it weren't for the heated blanket they gave me for Christmas. With duel heat settings, I can make sure it's always perfect!

3. Yogurt - I don't usually get excited for yogurt, but this stuff is goood. I thought I would give it a try in attempt to kick my afternoon sweets cravings. It's working! The flavors taste as good as the real thing!

4. Catsparella - If you know me, you know how much I love my kitties. This site gives me my daily fix of furry friends. Now, who wants to make me cat cupcakes?

5. Budget Travel magazine - I feel like a giddy school girl whenever I see the mag waiting for me in the mailbox. It makes trips I have only dreamed about seem attainable. You might want to check out this magazine before you plan your next trip.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Although the dinner I attempted to make last night was a complete fail (let's not talk about it), I think the great buy I found at Goodwill more than made up for it.

After Andrew ordered and received his Murder by Death box set that includes all of their albums to date, he has been looking for the perfect record player.

While on my way home from work yesterday, I stopped at two thrift stores to check out their selection of milk white vases and vintage Tupperware. I found a few buys for me and one awesome record player with speakers for Andrew.

I knew there was no way that I could wait to give it to him on Valentine's day, so we spent a good hour last night playing with his new toy and listening to it's awesomeness.

Now I just need to find a place to put it, and start building our record collection!