Monday, May 30, 2011


I hope everyone is enjoying/enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. Although my weekend isn't quite over yet, I thought I would give you an update.

Our original plan for the weekend was to go to Galesburg to visit Andrew's family. But after a mid-week wedding freak out, I thought it would be best if I stayed behind to get some stuff done. So my weekend has included a lot of cleaning (it needed to happen) and random wedding stuff.

The kitties kept me entertained and provided excellent company this weekend.

Saturday: One of these wedding tasks left me walking around the mall wondering why all women's intimates (lingerie, bras, shape-wear) don't come in my size, are so freaking expensive, or just plain ugly. Other than that, I got a bookcase from John and Amanda. Thanks guys! And I was finally able to put their book in their proper place! Color coded nonetheless. Jealous? You should be.

Yesterday, I went to my parents house with my grandpa. On the way there, we stopped at the cemetery where my grandma and uncle are buried. It was nice to be able to visit their sites and pay our respects. The drive after the cemetery is another story. We got lost. With no GPS, no sun, and no signs to point us in the right direction, we were lost for the better part of an hour driving around SW Iowa. I think I'm going to buy a compass until I can afford an iPhone. Geez...

The fun didn't stop there! I found out my dad bought a new motorcycle! How cool is that? We wanted to look up more info about it online... but the computer had a virus. I then spent much of the afternoon uninstalling unnecessary games and programs from there computer. What a headache!

He says it might be too big for me.. and 800 lb motorcycle ain't got nothing on me!

After that, I needed to get started on my wedding rehearsal dress. Wrong pattern size. But how cute is this dress?!? Let's hope I can finish it on time and without too many mistakes. (That's where my mom comes in. She is pretty awesome.)

Ok, Sunday. You win! I then headed home and relaxed for the rest of the evening, missing my friend's grill out and forgetting the dip I made for their party on the counter. Gross...

Monday: I have already went for a walk, written this blog post, and later today I am meeting with someone for a potential part-time job opportunity! Go me! And the best part about today, Andrew comes home! Yah!

Friday, May 27, 2011

VEGAS 2011

Day 1: Vacation time! After getting off the plane, renting our car, and checking into the place, it was time to explore. My first purchase, t-shirts from H&M. I didn't have much shopping time or I would have made a much bigger dent in my wallet. Lots and lots of walking up and down the strip. It ended with dinner at the Harley Davidson restaurant. Our waitress was awesome! If I could remember her name, I would write them a letter.

Day 2: Hoover Dam day! This was my favorite thing that we saw! Super cool stuff. Next time you go to Vegas, add this to your must-see list. But first, a stop by the Pawn Shop from the show Pawn Stars. My mom bought a ring from there! Then to fill our bellies with In & Out Burger. Why don't we have these in NE? WHY? Ok, now time for Hoover Dam! And on the way back, a stop at Sam's Town for some bottomless margs and money winning on the roulette table. Boo-ya! Can you tell that Tuesday was my fav day?

Day 3: We spent the day riding the monorail, trying to find everyone, looking at lions (MGM), going to the salon (pedi = awesome!), and finally going out for a proper night on the town! Fremont Street, here we come! Fun, fun, fun! Everyone had too many drinks, and I won money! This is what Vegas is all about, right?!?! (Can we all agree that my point and shoot takes shitty pictures? Ugh)

Day 4: We were all getting tired of each other and Vegas. We didn't plan a lot for the day, but a few of us did make sure to catch a ride on the gondolas in the Venetian. Interesting story: Our gondola host had lived in Omaha for a number of years while stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. While living here, he worked at Lansky's Pizza. And now you know the rest of the story.

That night we grilled out, swam, and saw the super cheesy Sirens of TI show. Next time you are in Vegas, don't go to this. Later, I played some more Roulette, and Andrew and I turned in early after picking up our last late night meal in Vegas.

Day 5: Ok, now we are really tired and ready to go home. Everyone is complaining, and our feet hurt. Nevertheless, we hit up M&M World (I don't recommend this either) and at lunch at Earl of Sandwich (YUM!) Finally, time to go home! YAH!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm stressed. What more can I say besides that? I have a million things running through my head. All of the details that I need to work on.... The dress fittings that haven't happened yet.... The things we still need to buy.... Oh dear.

Everyone tells me that this stress is worth it in the end. And I can't quit now. I have a vision how things are supposed to look (white, yellow, and gray all over!) and how I want people to feel (welcomed, excited, happy, tipsy, etc.) I can't just give that up.

It doesn't help that Andrew is less than thrilled to help out. Yes, he will begrudgingly go with me to the store, but he doesn't see my vision. I guess I need more pictures.

I need some motivation. I need to see some results! With only 100 days until wed-day, I need to kick it into high gear! Here is my list...

Now if every blog reader takes one thing off of my hands, this will be done in no time! Kidding! Or am I?

Update: Since writing this post, I have gotten stuff done! I have crossed a number of things off the list and couldn't be more excited about it. One of the item was the cake decoration.

Last night, I sent our caterer a picture of what we want the cake to look like. How perfect is this?!?

We also ordered the groomsmen gifts (which are awesome!), but I can't post a picture here :) I hope to have more updates and projects posted soon! Hooray!

Monday, May 16, 2011


- Girls Night Out
- Craigslist finds
- Beer tasting at Brix
- The Old Market - especially the Candy Shoppe
- Wheatfields two weeks in a row
- The zoo!
- Trader Joe's
- Dinner party (sort of?)
- Spending lots of time with Sarah K!

- Having one too many drinks


Tonight, I attempted my first extreme couponing trip. I must say that I was inspired by the recent show on TLC, but I have always been a coupon believer. I don't think you should ever pay full price for anything! If there is a deal out there, I will find it. I have even been known to go back to a store with receipt-in-hand to get a refund on previous purchase that was discounted further. And now, I am taking it one step further... to the grocery store!

Before I even attempted this trip, I did some homework. I already knew that at Target you could use one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon. Then I began following a savvy shopper blog, Man, does she know her deals. With that knowledge, I was ready to shop.

Andrew was insanely embarrassed. He was even more embarrassed when I bought not one, but two 35 lb tubs of kitty litter. Andrew said "Omg, now they are going to think you are a crazy coupon lady and a crazy cat lady." Obviously, I didn't care. Because I bought two, I scored a free $5 gift card to Target for a future purchase. Go me!

So here is my loot....

Bertolli - $1.49/jar
Chex Mix - $1.08/bag
Frozen Veg - $.90/bag
Cat Litter - $9.49/tub (not pictured)
Special K - I used 2 coupons, but also was supposed to get one free. Because some of the coupons didn't match up on the receipt with the corresponding item, there is a lump of coupons taken off at the end and I can't remember how they added up. This might have been my one flub of the night.

Nivea Lotion - $1.04
NYC Nail Polish - $.52
Old Spice Body Wash - $1.08 (2-pack, on clearance!)
Old Spice Deodorant - $3.24

People Mag - $2.99

It is things like the Special K that remind me that I am still a beginner and this is going to take some work. I'm proud of what I did today and how much I saved, but I still have a long way to go! I will take all of the advice I can get at this point. So let me hear it if you have any ideas.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


It's been far too long since I have actually used a cookbook. And there is no good reason for it! I love all of the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and this one had just been collecting dust. Well, not any more! I was searching for a recipe that was off the beaten path, and I stumbled upon this one. It's not often that I make meatless meals, but this one looked to interesting to pass up.

Zucchini Casserole

10 zucchini sliced
2 c. shredded mozz cheese
7 oz. can diced green chilis
2 c. shredded ched chesse
3/4 c. biscuit baking mix
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
grated Parm cheese

Lightly oil a 13"x9" baking dish and layer as follows: 1/3 of the zucchini slices, mozz cheese, chilies, 1/3 zucchini slices, ched cheese, remaining zucchini. - The only change that I made here was to split the chilies and use them on both layers. And if you have more on hand, use it! It won't be too spicy, I promise. Oh, and I didn't use all of my zucchini. I was just sick of cutting them....

Combine biscuit baking mix, milk, and egg. Spread over top of casserole. - Ummm.... I don't think this was enough. But then again, maybe was supposed to be super thin and not cover the entire thing? Either way, I didn't see the point of it. Feel free to skip this step.

Before biscuit mix. Look at those killer slices!

Sprinkle with Parm cheese and bake at 350 degrees for one hour until golden. Serves 6 to 8. - After adding four cups of cheese, I decided that that was enough cheese for one meal and decided to cut the Parm. (Does anyone else love to abbreviate their cheeses?)

This seemed like a great comfort food. I think it would freeze well too! Just freeze before you bake! Andrew gave this dish a 7 out of 10. I would go with 7.5 because it worked great as lunch leftovers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I ran my first 5k last week, and I wasn't the last one to finish! Let's start from the beginning.

I was so nervous. Before I even left work, I was sweating. I arrived about 15 mins before the race started, and I was so glad that Andrew was there to calm my nerves and cheer me on. After saying a quick goodbye to him, we were herded to the trail where the race would begin. I tried to place myself near the back to try and stay out of the way of the other faster runners. Before I knew it, we were off and running.

Andrew wouldn't stop taking pictures of me!
I think I was telling him to stop in this one.

Our route took us south down the Keystone trail, with a turnaround at about Pacific Street. I loved the beginning of the race. After about half a mile, I found my pace and was encouraged by the many other runners surrounding me. It wasn't until the turnaround point that I hit my wall. I became really tired and more discouraged as the crowd started to thin out.

Laughing again at my personal photographer.

The rest of the way back was a mix of walk/run, and a lot of negative thoughts.I thought about how I wasn't a runner and this def. wasn't my thing. I thought about how I would never do this again, and about how I just wanted to walk the rest of the way. All of that changed as soon as I saw the bridge. I remembered that the bridge we had crossed on the way down wasn't so far from the finish. It was also the point where there were people cheering to encourage the runners to the finish. It was just the kick I needed to finish the race on a good note.

Do I really look like that when I run? Let's work on that.

As soon as I saw the time on the clock, I was so relieved. I was done! And I did it faster than I had in any of my practice runs. As soon as I finished, I felt great! I was so glad that I did it, and I was really proud of my time.

Go me!

I am already ready to run another one! And I think next time, Andrew and Sarah are going to be joining me. I can't wait!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Clockwise from top right: Me, Ellen, and Kelli at the farmers market; Mom and Chris playing ladder golf; Deakin and I napping; Kelli and I; Lisa; Andrew holding Deakin and Deakin not crying. 

Grilling and drinking on the balcony
Season 2 of Breaking Bad
Meeting Kelli and Ellen at the farmers market
Shopping (I'm starting to use coupons to get some killer deals!)
Risotto (My first time making it)
Watching Field of Dreams with Andrew (He had never seen it!)
Family dinner for Mother's Day
Seeing and spending time with Deakin
Lawn games

Eating the entire loaf of bread from the farmers market in one day...
Not using my coupons as wisely as I could have
Missing meeting Jeff Foxworthy in the Old Market (Kelli and Ellen saw them right after I left!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Well, I'm def. not a mom, but I do like gifts. Here is a list of the things I would be hoping for if I was a mom this Mother's Day.

1. iPhone cover - I don't have an iPhone yet, but this is the cover I'm going to buy when I get one.

2. Lunch at Mark's Bistro - This restaurant is one of my favorites, and it's been too long...

3. A pedicure - What mom (or any women) doesn't to be pampered?


4. Flowers - *This is just a classic.


5. Sandals - Perfect accessory to accompany your latest pedicure.

*Just in case you were wondering, peonies are my favorite. Hint, hint.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Oh my! So much wedding stuff getting accomplished. I'm so proud of us and our savvy, money-saving ways. What did we do you ask? Check it!

Toasting glasses: Done! I picked these gems up at Goodwill unused and still in the box for $4. Four glasses for $4. Score! Individually, they would have cost $20 from Things Remembered. We did have them engraved there though, but it saved a boat-load by being thrifty.

Andrew's attire: Done! Sneak preview? Ok!

My stud muffin!

A normal tux rental would have cost about $150. Today, we picked up pants and a vest for $73 - Kenneth Cole nonetheless. He will add new shoes, tie, and white shirt that will bring the total to about the same as the rental. But with this version, he gets to keep it. Nice!

More pictures and details to come. I've got some projects in the works.

Now, let's talk about some other things. Here are a couple of things that will not be happening at my wedding...

Receiving line. Does anyone else hate receiving lines as much as I do? They are awkward and slow. If you were looking forward to this, too bad. Instead, we will be doing table toasts. We will be greeting guests at their tables during the dinner hour. I don't have all of the details worked out yet, but it's going to be pretty cool.

Garter toss. I find this kind of disgusting. First of all, no one should be sticking their head under my dress (even my husband). Not to mention that this takes place in front of your grandparents and future in-laws. Gross. Who thought this up anyway? I can think of nothing more unladylike. Save it for the honeymoon.

Hopefully, I will have much more to report next time. Oh, and the date of my shower has been set... July 9!

Monday, May 2, 2011



1. Go to church twice this month
2. Look into my retirement funds.
3. Get involved.

I feel like a huge lame-o. I didn't accomplish anything on my list for April goals and it really bums me out. Really, I have no one to blame but myself. I had opportunities and time, and I didn't take advantage of either of them. I feel like I really let myself down. Bummer.

In attempt to cheer myself up, here is a list of things I did accomplish:
1. Ummmmm

Ok, crap. Well, that sucks.  Yes, I started somethings (making my first dress, a new book, etc.), but I didn't follow through. Not cool, Ashley. Not cool. What happened to 2011 kicking ass? Well, I'm giving April the middle finger and moving on.

May Goals
1. Kick ass
2. Take names

Rant, over.