Monday, December 16, 2013

First Thanksgiving Meal & No One Died

Thanksgiving was a success!  Well, at least no one got sick! :) We had a total of 6 folks at our house - so the pressure was on for my first time preparing a turkey.  I was obviously a little nervous about the turkey.  Who wants to eat a yucky turkey?  I will give credit where credit is due, I spent hours before hand on the phone with my Mom getting all sorts of Thanksgiving Day recipes and tricks of the trade. Overall, it was a success.  And the turkey, well, by the time that it was done, it was falling of the bones. :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Well, well at the request of my adoring fans (a.k.a. my mom) I am back!  In my defense for not writing much these last few months, I did get MARRIED!  I have spent the last few months picking.  When I say picking, I mean picking everything: flower, cake, food, dresses, colors, everything.  I never realized how much detail there was in planning a wedding.  I am glad that I only have to do it once!  Despite the stress that planning a wedding can bring, we had a beautiful, magical day.

Now that the wedding is over, we are settling into "normal" life, whatever that means.  This upcoming week is Thanksgiving & with that comes my making my first turkey.  I'll keep you posted, adoring fan (Mom). :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Birthday Fun

Well, as you can see, I've had a brief hiatus from writing.  To get back on board, I suppose I should play a little catch up - I had a birthday!  Now you must understand, birthdays are a BIG deal to me!  One's birthday is their special day that is just for them.  So now I have started my 28th year.

Throughout my work day, I received two surprises - Gerber Daisies sent to me from my fiancĂ© and another flower arrangement from my boss.  Both were totally unexpected - which Birthday gifts should be. That evening, I was treated to a home cooked dinner and some relaxation with my fiancĂ© and his visiting mother.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Start of Something New

Well, again, it has been a few weeks since my last post - but boy have somethings changed!  To all my devoted readers (aka - my mom), I am sorry for not updating this sooner!  Not to leave you hanging, but my boyfriend asked me to marry him on April 27th and I answered with a resounding YES (or so I was told - I don't quite remember what I said in the moment).

Truth be told, I thought that he was going to ask me to marry him the about two weeks before that when we were at the tulip festival.  When that plan didn't happen, I started running through everything in my mind: maybe he isn't in the same place as me, maybe we weren't as serious as I thought, etc.  Needless to say, those thoughts had me in quite a grumpy, uncertain state!  On April 27th, after dinner, he suggested going for a walk through downtown Seattle.  We were just aimlessly walking, or so I thought, and ended up at the waterfront.  Every time that we has walked passed the waterfront, I had mentioned how fun it would be to go on the newly built enclosed ferris wheel that gives a view of the sound and the city.  On this particular walk - my boyfriend suggested that we go for a ride since it was a clear evening.  I excitedly agreed! On the top of the first spin, he bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him, very unexpectedly on my part.  I believe that I just stared at him for a few moments and I do not quite remember if I actually said the word "yes" - he tells me that I did.  After that, I did not pay attention to the rest of the ride. :)

Now for wedding planning!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Life Updated

Well, the last few weekends have been pretty busy.  Being new to Washington State, I feel that it's only appropriate to explore these new lands as the weather makes a milder turn.  In other words, that Boyfriend of mine and I have taken small road trips!

Two weekends ago, we drove out to Washington's peninsula, which is the western most part of Washington.  Being close to the Olympic mountain range, afforded us beautiful views of the snowcapped peaks.  The area that we went to is known to have many waterfalls and during the spring time, as the weather warms, the waterfalls become much bigger because of the glaciers melting at the top of the mountains.  There are supposedly several waterfalls to be seen in this area.   Some were right off the road, while others we had to hike a little to reach.  Unfortunately, since we live in a modern technology world, both of us were relying on the GPS's on our phones, but we lost signal, so we could not find a few that we were hoping to see, but thankfully we were able to see 4 beautiful falls.

A waterfall in Washington State.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Love Crayon Art... Literally!

I guess I got a little tired or staring at the blank walls in my apartment, so I knew that I needed to do something to add some color!  Out came the crayons left over from my last experiment with crayon art.  Since I used most of the yellows and blues on my last project, I was left with reds, purples, pinks, etc.  After organizing them in the way that I wanted, I grabbed my handy hot glue gun and glued each crayon to the top of the canvas.

I used a box when using the hair dryer to melt the crayons.  

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

I love Easter!  It is one of my favorite holidays - behind only Thanksgiving!  This holiday was a bit different for me, it was my first Easter away from my family though, so that was an adjustment.  Every year, my family would gather at my parent's home and spend time together.  I guess I was a bit spoiled, as my parent still got my sister and I Easter baskets - but we loved it!  In fact, even though I now live across the country, my Mom sent me a few goodies in the mail. :)

This Easter began as most of my Easter's have: going to Church. This year my boyfriend and I went to the early service so that we would get back to his apartment in time to video chat with my family right after they had finished eating dinner.  It may sound a little cheesy, but I loved it!  Seeing them made me feel like I was not so far away.  It was nice being able to actually SEE everyone.  I was able to show them what a beautiful day it is outside today!

 A Beautiful Easter Sunday Day

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cilantro Lime Chicken

I love easy dinners!  Which makes the crock-pot one of my best friends after a long day of work.  I love preparing something in it one evening, putting it in the crock pot before work the next day and then coming home from work with dinner prepared.  The other day I made a tasty cilantro lime chicken recipe.  At the end, I added a slice of avocado and a dollop of daisy, which added a bit more flavor to the dish - next time I want to add some cheese!

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken

1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, juice from 1 lime, 1 bunch fresh cilantro- chopped, 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 red onion -chopped, 1 can black beans - drained and rinsed, 1 tsp cumin and salt and pepper to taste
 Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours) in the crock pot.


In other news, I got my new Origami Owl locket the other day and have been sporting it since!  Such a cool concept: you can pick the locket, the chain and the charms.  Each are unique because you pick the charms that mean something to you.  I picked my birthstone, the infinity symbol, an Ichthus and the sign language symbol for 'I love you'.  Each symbol means something special to me - making the locket very precious as well.  Plus it came in an adorable box! :)

My Origami Owl Locket

Saturday, March 23, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Being from a small town that didn't really celebrate St. Patrick's day in a formal fashion, now that I have moved into a culturally diversified city, this past St. Patrick's Day weekend (aka last weekend) I went to a parade of all things Irish!  As it would be expected, folks lined the streets wearing all shades of green cheering on the many Irish floats.  There were all sorts of things in this parade: River dancing, Celtic music, uni-cylces, deloreans - which were apparently made in Ireland (Who can tell me what movie made them famous?!) and my favorite group: the Irish dog clubs!  Now my boyfriend's favorite was the Irish Wolfhound, but I think my favorite was the Red & White Irish Setter.  Irish Setter

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pinterest Inspires

Well, through so many hours of surfing the web, specifically Pinterest, a girl tends to get a lot of ideas!  Being inspired, I tried my hand at a recipe that I found - Garlic Brown Sugar Baked Chicken.

I gathered 2 Chicken Breasts, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp. brown sugar and 2 tsp. of olive oil (Four 2's! :))  The oven was preheated to 500 F, as the pinterest directions called for.  In a saute pain, I heated the oil and cooked the garlic.  After the garlic was cooked, I removed the pan from the heat and stirred in the brown sugar.  I had the chicken in a casserole dish and covered the chicken with the mixture.  I baked it for about 25 minutes.  When it came out of the oven, the oil had bubbled up and turned black.  I was quite nervous that I had botched the recipe and burnt the whole thing!  Luckily, when I took the chicken out of the pan, it wasn't burnt at all - phew! :)

[caption id="attachment_351" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Brown Sugar Garlic Baked Chicken Brown Sugar Garlic Baked Chicken[/caption]

It turned into a lovely dinner.  In hindsight, I would use a lower heat and let the chicken stay in the oven for a little longer so that it would be a little more moist.  It had a nice flavor though - I love garlic! :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Snacks for a Busy Day

I've been a busy gal! It’s been a process organizing and decorating my apartment in the great state of Washington.  Being that I wasn't able to bring a lot of my belongings with me, I've been scouring the Goodwill to find treasures, but it’s coming along.

[caption id="attachment_339" align="aligncenter" width="2448"]Apartment The apartment is coming together![/caption]

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Finally! An Organized Sink!

I don’t know if any of you have trouble with having too much stuff scattered around the kitchen sink, but I sure do!  Since I have moved into my new apartment, my kitchen is a good deal smaller than I am used to, so I need to have every inch of counter space that is available.  Because of that, all the stuff around the sink does make for quite a dilemma!  It is all stuff that I need on a daily basis, hand soap, dish soap, sponge, etc., but it does leave for a bit of disorganization.

A Messy Sink

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Banana Pancake Good-ness

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am a fan of easy recipes.  I also do not like to waste food (or anything for that matter! :P).  One thing that drive me nuts is that bananas ALWAYS start to turn brown before I can finish eating all the bananas from the bunch.  I have tried all the tricks: taring them apart, wrapping the stems in tinfoil, etc. I usually put the bananas in the freezer when they turn brown and use them to make smoothies (frozen bananas make great smoothies!).  But now I have found another great use for the bananas that are getting a little soft!  Banana Pancakes!

I took 1 banana that was getting little soft, 2 eggs, a dash of cinnamon and tsp of vanilla and smashed/mixed it all together.  It became a thin batter-like consistency.

[caption id="attachment_318" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Banana Pancake Batter Banana Pancake Batter[/caption]

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Goodbye Party

I have been a Washingtonian for about two weeks – time sure does fly!  There have definitely been times of home sickness, that is for sure, but there have been a lot of good times as well.  Before I left Pennsylvania, I had a little goodbye party, simply because I didn’t have time to say “see you later” to everyone that I wanted to and I have been reminiscing on that time.  My dear friend brought a cake with the perfect message on it:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The New Crib

Monday I signed a lease for my new apartment in Washington.  Woohoo!  Being that I only brought a carload of my belongings from Pennsylvania, I wasn't able to bring any big items with me.  Therefore, I feel like I am reverting back to my college days and I only have a futon as of right now.  In a sense, it is like having a blank pallet.  I've been going to the goodwill frequently in hopes that I fill find a few treasures to make this apartment more homey.  I have also been looking for a few diamonds in the rough at the goodwill so that I can give these items a make over for a new (and hopefully improved) look.  We will see what things I come up with! :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Road Trip

Well, you must forgive me for not updating the dear ole blog in a while - it's been hectic!  But don't you worry, I'll make up for my absence by making this one extra long! :P If you have, by chance read the entry below, you know that I have accepted a job in Washington State and I had two weeks to spend packing and being with family and friends as much as possible.  The past four days have been spent driving across the northern states from Pennsylvania to Washington.  Boy am I glad to finally by here and not in that car!! :)

Thankfully the route is fairly simple: the PA turnpike and the route 90 from Ohio to Washington, with a few tolls from Ohio to Illinois.  Through the course of the trip, we went through eleven states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and finally Washington).  The first day of driving, we went through PA - Illinois.  Although I am sure that the Midwest states have beauties of their own, there wasn't much to see from the highway.  However, toward the end of day two of driving, I spotted the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Oh my, how beautiful!  I think that I was giddy with excitement when we first entered the Black Hills.  Truly, photos do not do it justice!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

To The Next Chapter

Whelp, There are going to be several new changes in my life within the next few weeks.  Now that my family knows, I feel like I am free to share my news to the world: I'm moving!  With the exception of my 4 years in college, I have lived my whole life in Pennsylvania.  But now I am heading west, to begin a new adventure!  In truth, it is very bittersweet.

You see, I have this boyfriend that I have been dating for well over a year now, who relocated to Seattle.  When we began to date, I told myself that I would not do anything hastily, so if we could manage long distance dating for a year, I'd consider relocating.  When I first said it, I didn't realize how difficult that it would be: my family, friends, job and home are all in Pennsylvania.  However after the 1-year mark, I started to casually look for jobs and the week before Christmas, I applied for one on the outskirts of Seattle.

I never thought things would progress so quickly!  Within 3 weeks, I applied for this job, had a phone interview, had a job offer and subsequently, accepted it.  When God opens a door, He certainly throws it wide open!  The craziest part is that I am to start February 1st!  That gives me just enough time to give a 2-weeks notice and drive cross country for this new adventure!

[caption id="attachment_58" align="aligncenter" width="249"]Space Needle Space Needle[/caption]

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Years Pizza

I don't know what your family has as their traditional New Years day feast, but the traditional meal for my family is pork and sauerkraut.  I know several others who eat black eyed peas and cabbage or hog-maw (if you don't know what that is - it's probably for the best... ! :P) each year on New Years day. This year I was on my own for New Years day, so instead of doing the classic feast, I decided to make PIZZA!  Now, I have never made homemade pizza before, and some may argue that it wasn't technically homemade this time since I used a box mix for the dough - but hey, it was homemade to me! :)

I knew that I had one of those Pillsbury crusts in the refrigerator, the kind that all you have to do is roll it out, but check out what I found when I went to get it:ruined pizza dough

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday Recap

Tis the season... to be busy!! I am serious and joking all at the same time!  The time between Christmas and New Years is crazy-busy for me, but I love it just the same.  It is full of spending time with family and lots & lots of eating!  On the actual day of Christmas, I visited both sets of my grandparents, with a trip to the airport in between.  You see, my special man friend (aka boyfriend) was able to fly in for a visit, but the only way to find a decent priced ticket was to fly on Christmas day.  Did I mention, that long-distance relationships stink! :P  I was very glad that he was able to visit and stay the week.  Santa even left him a present under the tree!

[caption id="attachment_238" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Sticks for Christmas Someone must have not been good this year! :P[/caption]