Sunday, May 30, 2010

Before and After Patio Furniture

We had gotten some old metal patio furniture that we were trying to decide what to do keep or not to keep? We decided to keep it because we knew we wanted to get a fire pit and these chair would have been perfect. So after a little TLC and a whole lotta spray paint they are done. I sprayed these down with the hose getting all the old chipped paint off. Then I started spray painting. We were not smart when choosing spray paint because we got the textured kind, which looks great but I had to use a lot of it! After many coats, they are done. We went and found some cushions today. They look really good, especially around our new fire pit! Lovin this and
can't wait to use it this coming weekend.

French Toast Casserole...A new staple!

On Saturday Mark's parents brought over a couple tons of mulch. We had to spread so much mulch!! My brother Matt, also came over and brought Lilly and Diana...I bet you can guess how much work I got done with them here haha! So when I saw THIS I decided it was easy, I had everything on had, and looked yummy. It was all of the above. It was stinking easy and really good. Not the healthiest breakfast but it got gobbled up! I am will be making this next weekend when my family is in town and I have to say I am excited!

I will be revealing our new backyard soon, I must looks really good! We have come a long way in a year!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The wheels are turning...

We have a busy weekend ahead of us. I am off the next 5 days which is just fabulous! Im looking forward to spending some QT with Mark and our friends. We also have a lot planned for our house this weekend...We are mulching, spray painting,and getting some new furniture. I am having my parents and Tim, Shonda, Alex and Evan next weekend for the Lilly and Diana's baptism...It is good motivation to get some stuff done. In my blog stalking this morning, I stumbled upon THIS I think it is a GREAT idea. New mirrors are on our list for all of our bathrooms.... This is a great alternative...I'm talking Mark into this ASAP!

I haven't uploaded any of my pictures in awhile, so I will leave you with this...

I am not 100% sure who is who...But I think it is Diana and then Lilly...TOO CUTE!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oatmeal Breakfast Shake

I made THIS for breakfast this morning. It was easy, good and nutritious. I paired it with a piece of fruit and coffee. Some people suggested adding protein powder to it....I will definitely try this. Happy Monday!

Courtesy of Gina's Weight Watcher's Recipes!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A random reflection

I don't know where this is coming from, but I have the urge to blog about my job tonight. I usually try to keep my blog posts light, maybe amusing or something useful, so sorry if I am boring or rambling. I have been in a weird place with my job. I have been there 3 years now, so I am starting to feel more comfortable, have made some great friends and have been challenged. Recently, I have been feeling a little burned out. I haven't really said much to anyone besides Mark. I love the babies I take care of, but all the extra drama has really been weighing on me. Some days its all I can do, to go to work. Sometimes the only thing that gets me there are the people I work with, some of my dearest friends. They are always there to pick me up and make me smile. They are the only other people that know exactly how I am feeling. That is such a blessing. The other thing that has gotten me there have been my primary babies I have taken care of. Tonight on my way home I started thinking about the primary babies I have taken care of over the past year/year and half. I become overwhelmed with a feeling of happiness and I was actually proud of myself. Over this time, I haven been blessed with some amazing families. Parents who play such an active role in their preemie's care, parents who love their babies through all of their struggles, parents who remain positive and hopeful, parents who so openly welcome me into their lives at desperate times, parents who trust me, parents who share their families with me, parents who care about me in return, and parents that keep in touch with me even when their babies are home and the last thing thay want to think about is the NICU. As I was helping my most recent primaries today, I sat back and watched them as they were able to feed their baby safely and I saw this storybook happniess picture. I started smiling and thought " I love helping these people". The satisfaction I felt was something I haven't felt in awhile. So then I thought about all my primaries and realized that as much as I have helped them, they have helped me ten more times. They have opened my eyes to a part of me that is so important to who I am as a person. I feel a sense of energy rush from this and maybe, hopefully the burned out feeling I have been feeling will start to go away. Thanks you primaries, thank you to the wonderful parents who have welcomed me into their lives, thank you co workers for lifting me up and Thank you God I have the ability to help others and do something that makes me happy. Ok...really glad I got that out

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Doesn't Get Much Better Then This...

So I got this in my email today...Honestly, I was shocked. I instantly started crying. I feel so honored and blessed to have been asked to be Diana's Godmother. Matt and Lauren have so many wonderful people in their lives who play this role in Diana's life. I am truly humbled. As many of you know my brother Matt and I have had a pretty good relationship growing up. We are alike in so many ways and different in so many ways. It doesn't mean there have been some times where we haven't gotten along or been on the same page. The past five years the dynamics of our relationship have changed with both of us getting married, they have kids know and our paths kinda go in different directions. But I know Matt will always be there for me, at the drop of a dime. I feel so honored that he thought of me to play this role in her life. It only makes our relationship grow. I am so excited. AHHH!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I went home for Mother's Day the other weekend and my sister and her new husband were there on Saturday. Now usually when I go home I take some kind of baked good because it is a good chance for me to try something new and then I'm not stuck eating an entire batch of cookies or a whole pie. HA! Well, I didn't bring anything this time because I had made mt fruit tart the night before. My sister MB was MAD! She was like " you didn't bring anything, how dare you!" So I decided that I would make some cookies and mail them to them! SO I made these from picky-palate (link in my sidebar) they were easy and really good. I didn't have the muffin top pan that she uses in her recipe so they were just normal size! Enjoy!

XXL M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup sugar

1 Cup packed light brown sugar

2 extra large eggs

2 Tablespoons pure vanilla

3 3/4 Cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 oz bag chocolate chips

1 bag M&M’s (you’ll have some left over)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer beat the butter and sugars until well beaten. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips. Do not mix in M&M’s!!

2. Scoop 1/4 Cup of dough and press into a muffin top pan (or just press onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet). Now, press your M&M’s onto pressed cookies. This way they won’t break apart!! Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges just start to turn golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes on muffin top pan or cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Monday, May 10, 2010

As many of you know Mark started a new job in April. He is working for 2 guys mainly and we got invited over to one of their houses for a cookout. I was excited/nervous to meet them, but they turned out to be very nice people. Their wives were nice and kids super cute. I could tell they really liked Mark and impressed with how he has handled this new challenging new job. They asked us to bring a dessert so I had to pull out the big guns... I saw THIS over on Annie's Eats. I was nervous to try it, but it actually turned out pretty good. It took me awhile to make, but I think next time it would go smoother. Now that I have a tart pan and actually read the entire recipe through (whoops)It turned out pretty and was very yummy. I think they were all impressed...

Posted by Picasa

You can use whatever fruit you want or is available. It was light and yummy. I will make this again! It is hard to tell in the picture, but I used my Grandma's cake plate as well...It is so pretty and makes me think of her!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

There are a lot of things I could say about my mom, but this pretty much sums her up...

Blessed is the Mother...
Who can hold onto her children while letting them go;
Who puts a tranquil home ahead of an immaculate house;
Who knows a kind act will be remembered longer than an easy word;
Who really believes that prayer changes things;
Whose faith in the future sweetens the present;
Whose Bible never needs dusting; and
Whose sense of humor is alive and well.
-- The Promoter

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's in my life... Linda, Shonda, Lauren, Heather and Jess...Plus all the mom's I work with who balance career and home. Also all the other RN's I work with who play the role of mom at work on a daily all areo inspiring. Thank you for being such good examples to me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

And Now the After...

I thought I had way more pictures then this haha....

The after kitchen, we removed the island, painted orange, new appliances and new floors...LOVE IT

This is the room that had hot pink walls and red carpet aka Valentine's Day room

This was the room with bright blue paint and blue carpet

This is what you see when you first walk pretty floors and no more pink paint

I painted this mantle the color of our trim.

Dining room with new table that I adore

View from entryway

A view from kitchen into family room

So I realized I really haven't taken very many pictures of our house with furniture in it. Even these ones I posted we have added more decorations and it looks different, but you get the idea! I would have never imagined that I would love this house as much as I do. It is our little home, our first home together and it has been so fun decorating, making it our own and realizing how much work a house can be. We have a lot of hand me down furniture from Marks parent's or what we had from college and a few new things, but surprisingly it all works so well together. We still have one completely empty room, no idea what we are going to do with it. Mark wants to put a pool table up there, I think I might get a craft table from Marks mom and put it in that room for my cricut and stuff. All I know is we are blessed to have this home and I feel like the only people to really thank are our parents because they never lived in a home like this when they were both first married, but they always wanted to make sure we were in situations where we could. They made it possible through providing school, guidance, financial smarts and support. I can only hope we do the same for ours. I am so thankful!

Friday, May 7, 2010

One Year Ago Today.....

One Year ago today I was signing my life away! We closed on our house May 7, 2009. I was so nervous and excited. I couldn't believe Mark talked me into buying a foreclosure. It needed so much work, it need to be cleaned so bad...I was scared, but so excited that we would have a place to call home after we got married, excited that we found such a good deal, excited it was a good investment for us and excited I pretty much got to pick what I wanted for that house...

This is how the house looked day one, we had to fill that dumptster up TWICE!!
A year later, I can't believe how different our house looks on the insides. The outside looks pretty much the same, different landscpaing and new siding. So thankful we have such a beautiful home and enough room for when family comes to stay!

Here are some pics of the inside of the house when we bought it...
The walls were either a baby pink color, bright pink or bright blue. The carpet was blue in some rooms, the other carpet was white, but looked black and it was DIRTY!

I will post how it looks now tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

I made THIS for dinner tonight. It was super easy, as most shrimp dishes are. I used frozen shrimp, probably would taste better with fresh shrimp. This dish was good, but I think overall I prefer a lemon taste to my shrimp then lime and cilantro...BUT I probably would make this again. Here is the recipe, it is from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes, I served with salad and red potatoes.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 6 oz • Points: 4 pts
Calories: 197.3 • Fat: 4.1g • Protein: 35.9 g • Carb: 2.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g

2 tsp olive oil
2 lb shrimp, shelled and deviened
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
salt and pepper
Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Sauté another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Week in Your LIfe

So I stumbled across THIS! in blogger land and was really intrigued by the concept. This lady documented a week in her life with pictures, words, reciepts, journal entries and so on. I liked it because she found meaning in the ordinary days of life. I forwarded the link on to my friend Brooke at this! and asked her what she thought. So some of girls that I work with are going to be doing this starting today. It is not something that should be super time consuming, just work at your own pace. We plan to meet for lunch and share everyones...Just a look into each others life from a different angle...I am excited!

Banana Muffins

I had some bananas that were going bad so I searched around and found this recipe. It was easy, I had everything in my pantry and they were super yummy. FYI they are not healthy but oh soo good.
HERE! is the link. Enjoy

Crumb Topped Banana Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
1 tablespoon cold butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. In lg bowl, mix the 1st 4 ingredients.
2. Mix bananas, sugar, egg and butter.
3. Stir into dry mixture just until moistened.
4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
5. Combine first 3 topping ingredients.
6. Cut in butter until crumbly.
7. Sprinkle over muffins.
8. Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes, until muffins test done.
9. Cool in pan for 10 minutes.