Monday, November 30

cheese souffle

Cheese Souffle
    - a seriously delightful treat!

You can use any oven-safe straight-sided dish with a 2-cup capacity. Feel free to add veggies or ham, if you'd like! But it delish as is!

Ingredients (Serves 1)

2 1/2 tsp butter
1 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
large pinch of salt
small pinch of paprika
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
1/3 cup grated cheese, such as Cheddar or Swiss, tightly packed

Smear 1/2 tsp softened butter around inside of a souffle dish, and sprinkle Parmesan over it. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Melt 2 tsp butter in a small pot, and stir in flour. Let cook over low heat for a minute, then remove from heat. Pour in milk, whisking vigorously, and return pot to medium-low heat to simmer for a minute, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens. Season with salt and paprika. Remove from heat, and whisk in egg yolk.

Put egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until they form soft peaks. Add a dollop of egg whites to pot, and mix in along with about 1/2 of the grated cheese. Fold in remaining egg whites and cheese; transfer everything to the prepared souffle dish. Place dish on a baking sheet and set it in the middle of the oven. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees, and bake about 18 minutes, until souffle has risen and top is lightly browned.

Such a s fluffy and cheesy treat! I literally made it an hour ago and just finished eating it! I had some green enchilada sauce in the fridge and put some on mine and it was so yummy!

Let me know if you try this recipe!!!

Cheers :)

a very busy weekend - in the most beautiful way

I am sitting here at 5:45am completely rested! I just woke up from basically a 12-hour blackout of much needed sleep! I will now tell you all about my holiday weekend so you can see just why I may have been a little tired at the end of it all!

So, as most of you know, I worked 72 hours in 6 days right before Thanksgiving. I worked Wednesday night, 7pm-7am, and got a free Thanksgiving meal for working the shift before Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving #1). Right after my shift ended, I came home and had to prepare for a weekend out of town. Cooking mashed potatoes, packing for myself and little Penny, and even throwing my Christmas Cards in the mail before we left! 

First stop on Thursday was Tyler's grandmother's house in Longmont (Thanksgiving #2). She is so funny because she is always so prepared for the mayhem that a gathering at her house will bring. She literally tapes down tarps on all of the exposed carpet so that spilled drinks and food (which are inevitable) won't be a big deal. Props to Grandma! Now, when I say mayhem, I mean the kind of noise and crazed wrestling that only 7 children under the age of 10 can bring to the table. Did I mention they are all from the same family? These adorable children (I'm not being sarcastic) go from cute to Energizer Bunny on crack in 3 seconds flat. I do my best to stay out of their way as they gang up on one family member after the other until they have bruised them all. Luckily for me, they know I don't play "band of monkies" (as I have titled them). As for Penny, she became the center of attention for quite some time. In an interesting turn of events, they actually didn't terrorize her like I thought they might. They were actually a little scared of her at first! But then, one of the boys decided to throw a snowball her direction. She happily pounced on the snowball and ate it up. The children were thrilled, and soon she had 7 kiddos tossing snow at her, much to her delight! Then one child decided to toss a stick in front of Penny. Penny was thinking these kids were the greatest! First snow, and now a stick! Once they saw her reaction, they ALL picked up sticks and started waving them in her face. I may have been a little worried she was going to take a stick to an eye, but I was mostly amazed at how one little puppy could tame the lot! This went on for over an hour and then it was time to leave Longmont and move on to Fort Collins.

We got to my parents' house and settled into our old room from the summer (yup, we both lived there over the summer), and I immediately hit the advertisements for Black Friday. I had my shopping list on hand, and I went through each ad to see what time the store opened, what items I may "need" from said store, and how much each item cost. At the end of this, I cross-referenced my store needs to see who offered what for a lower price. A little OCD? Maybe. Productive and effective? Yes. Then, realizing I had been awake for 24 hours, I tooke a 45-minute nap before heading to my Aunt's house for Thanksgiving #3. The good thing about having a lot of Thanksgiving meals, is that I know I will have the opportunity to eat all this stuff again, so I managed to eat a normal meal each and every time. No gorging myself this weekend! At my aunt's, I was finally on my home turf for a Thanksgiving so I could really relax and enjoy the holiday. Penny attended as well, and played with her cousins Copper and Eli. The boys really like to gang up on her, but she holds her own mighty well. During the Thanksgiving prayer, she clearly wanted to chime in, because she provided a little background noise as her nails were digging at the back door, her plea to come inside, throughout the entirity of the prayer. We got back home around 10 and finalized the plan of action for Day-After-Thanksgiving-Shopping. Tyler, in need of a new laptop, was to hit Best Buy at 1am and get a voucher for a cheap laptop. Lindsey (my beautiful little sister, for those of you who don't know) and I would take care of Penny and get up around 4 to be ready to hit Wal-Mart at it's 5am opening time. As we settled in for sleep (Tyler for a mere 2 hours, and the girls for 5 1/2 hours), I pretty much zonked out.

With Tyler being long-gone by the time I woke up at 4 am, I began to wonder what I was going to do with Penny while we went shopping. Tyler was supposed to be back by 5:30, and we were heading out around 4:30, so surely she would be fine in her crate for an hour. Oh...the crate...which is in my car...which Tyler took to Best Buy. Hmmmm. Well, surely she will be fine shut in a bathroom for an hour. Yeah, no sooner had we planted kisses on her head and shut the door, we heard yips then full-on howels. Sorry, parents. So we decided she could come shopping with us. Of course, while I was getting ready to go, Penny took it upon herself to go say good morning to her beloved Grandparents!!! I'm in the bathroom, and I hear, "Kaity. Kaity. Kaity...your dog is in our bed." Ooops. Sorry mom and dad! She licked you across the face? My bad. We piled into the car with all of our supplies: dog, water, water bowl, treats, advertisements, coupons, shopping list, coats, Starbucks gift cards. We went to McDonalds for some sausage biscuit sandwiches and OJ to get us the pep to shop our hearts out. Only after we were trapped in the drive-through line did we realize this wasn't a good plan. The line wasn't even moving. By the time we got to the place to order, the most monotoned-I'm-So-Pissed-I'm-Awake lady said,"We're only taking cash." Well, seeing as how I only have a couple of bucks on me (at best) at any given time...that wasn't going to work. See ya later food. No time for another stop, to Wal-Mart we go. 

We get to Wal-Mart and park far away so that Penny possibly won't freak out with every person that walks by the car. We give her a kiss and march bravely into Wal-Mart. It is literally 5:04am, and people are already wheeling their carts out of there, packed to the brim with electronics and toys. Lindsey literally stared in amazement and asked, "How did you do that?" Giggling ensued. We head in, hearts set on the $2 movies! Found what we needed, bought about 20, and saw that there was a McDonalds in Wal-Mart. Perfect! As we hop in line, Tyler calls to say he is in the Wal-Mart parking lot to pick up Penny and drop off the computer vouchers (seeing as how I'm the Sugar Mama, I had to go back and buy the laptop). Foiled again on the food front. Oh well. We walk out to my mom's car (which we kind of hijacked for the morning) to meet Tyler. Oh, awesome, my car has a headlight out. Can't worry about that now though, we've got to get going to Target!

We get to Target and go to the movie section again! $4 new movies here! Yay. We also pick up $5 Jersey scarves just because we haven't gotten anything to match since our slippers we got last year. We get in line - such a long line - and I decide to hunt down some food for us. Amazing, the food court is open and has 2 sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwiches left! It was fate, I tell ya. I bring back the sandwiches to find that my best friend has joined Lindsey in line! Sydnie! Yay. She is every bit the Black Friday go-getter that I am, except she shops a little more for other people and a little less for herself than I do. Oh well. Target:check.

Moving on to Staples to buy an office chair! Our current chair was about $15 4 years ago, and kind of slopes downward now. That, added to the fact that it is about as soft as a wooden board with a t-shirt draped over it...means we are due for a new chair. Found a plush brown leather chair for $45 (regularly $90!) and waited in line...again. As we are in line, I notice little stands of random products along the way. I think to myself, "Hmmm. I bet they strategically place these products here so that shopping fiends will buy them just because there is nothing else to do." As soon as we get to the stand, my resolve to not buy anything else soars out the window, because they are wipes to clean computer screens! Incredible, how could I pass that up? I'm always griping about the fingerprint smudges and dust on my computer screen and don't know if Windex is an appropriate solution. And at 2 for $10...I was hooked.

Vouchers in hand, we head to Best Buy. THANK GOODNESS at this point it is 7:30am and the early crowd at Best Buy has gone. Early Best Buy scares the crap outta me. Not going to lie. We pick up our laptop that had been so patiently awaiting and a movie or two (duh), and head to the Geek Squad checkout. Success. A really awesome laptop for $400. To celebrate, we go to Starbucks and get holiday drinks: me, a peppermint hot chocolate, and Linds, a caramel brulee frappucino. Yum!

Moving on, we decide to go to the mall. We didn't really need to, but I accidentally on purpose didn't pack an outfit for Sydnie & Brad's wine party the next night, and therefore I had nothing to wear. We get into the mall, and they say that with every $100 we spend, we get a $10 mall gift card and a year subscription to Martha Stewart's magazin! Wow! Not that I would have ever subscribed to that magazine had it not been for free. But, wow! We head to the Limited, where I find an adorable version of the LBD, normally $80 on clearance for $54! Plus an additional 40% off! Yay! Perfect! Limited dress for $30. My sister ,being the great influence that she is, insists that since I got a dress on clearance, I can afford to buy accessories there. Well, what do I do? Buy earrings (for $4) and a necklace (for $12). haha. We then head to Macy's to buy some stuff for Tyler, and to Bath and Body Works to buy the Twisted Peppermint body cream I have been craving all year. I get there and ask for the body cream, and they calmly say, "Oh, we aren't carrying the body cream this year." Simple as that. EXCUSE ME??? It is a beloved nightly ritual of mine to use the Twisted Peppermint body cream!!! Ugh. Ruiners. So I buy two bottles of body lotion instead. I guess this will have to suffice. 

Sitting in the car in the mall parking lot, amidst the bags and boxes piled up behind us, we decide to head home and call it a day with shopping. I love that annual tradition with my sister, amidst the craziness of the holidays! We get home, and Lindsey suggests we watch Stepbrothers, one of our newly purchased flicks. I eat some left over mashed potatoes, and get maybe 45 minutes into the movie before I pass out. I sleep pretty much until 4pm, when I have to get up to go watch New Moon! 

I had been waiting and waiting to see the hotness that is shirtless werewolves, and the time had finally come! Lindsey, my mom, my aunt my cousin, me...and Tyler (what a sport!) set off to Cinemark. Now, Twilighters, don't hate me, but New Moon really isn't a good movie at all. Either Kristen Stewart is the worst actress alive, or Bella was the most annoying character ever created and Ms. Stewart does a fantastic job at interpreting her role. I don't get the appeal of Edward, and Bella and Edward's relationship just annoys me. Period. But the rays of light in the movie come in form of young Taylor Lautner. He is so HOT. Like, so very hot. Yes, he's only 17, so I feel like a total cougar. Oh well. And the Volturi was pretty awesome, including Dakota Fanning (one of my favorites actresses), so at least the movie had that. That being said, there is no doubt I will be seeing Eclipse this summer, even if I gag at scenes with Edward and Bella. 

Friday night, I went to Lucky Joe's to meet up with my fantastic friend in town from California! She is one of those really hilarious people who has incredibly strange things happen to her, and she recreates the stories in the best way! Heard many stories that night! So that was fun :) Getting into bed at midnight, I was exhausted. 

Saturday morning I woke up early, and made breakfast for my family! A Mexican egg casserole. YUM. One of my favorites. Topped with tons of cheese, of course! Tyler and I then decided to finally move the last of our belongings down to Aurora. We went to my in-laws' house and borrowed the oldest, and probably most unsafe, van ever to carry our gym equiptment, a spare bed, and a grill to our home. Hole in the floor of the van near the driver's seat? Check. It rattles like no other vehicle I have ever been in, due to the tools jostling like crazy all over the van. Needless to say, little Penny (who is scared of loud noises), was pretty uncomfortable and anxious for the duration of the ride! We got to Aurora, unloaded our loot, and then went to pick up my new glasses! They are awesome! Wine/burgandy colored rectangle rims, they look so great! I love them. I have glasses that I never wear because I got them sophomore year in high school. Yeah, a little outdated. So, I was stoked! Glasses on face, we head back to Fort Collins in previously described deathtrap. 

Not a good picture (at all!), but it's the first one of me in my new glasses!

Once back to my parents' house, we lounge around with Penny and Tyke, and *gasp* fall asleep! Thank goodness my responsible little sister woke me up at 6:15...we had a party to go to at 7pm. I hop into the shower, put on my new hot little ensemble, grab our wine, and head to Syd's. Thankfully my sister agreed to puppysit, and my mom sent me this hilarious picture of Tyke and Penny together. Tyke is kind of old and grumpy, and Penny is kind of the opposite, but they got along for the most part! Here is Tyke babysitting Penny:

 Penny loves and adores Tyke! She follows him everywhere and pounces on his head at all hours because she loves him so much! She is definitely not scared of the size difference...

Anyway, so this party at Syd's was like party of the preggos! There were 4 pregant ladies, and only like 4 non-pregant ladies! haha. That was a first. But I loved the happy glow on all of their faces! For the time being, I am content with my little Penny...but I know that someday I'm going to want to experience that joy! We went to bed at like 11pm that night because we had to get up the next morning and head to Hugo.

Hugo - never heard of it? Neither had I until I married into the Weigangs. Located about an hour East of Aurora (near Limon), it has a population of maybe 800 people. It reminded me of the town Radiator Springs from the movie Cars! Pretty run down, with a lot of abandoned buildings and homes. But the people that live there are hilarious! Since it is such a small town, they live to gossip. They know everything about everyone who has ever set foot in their town! So, I had Thanksgiving #4 and was honestly glad it was going to be me last one for another year! Penny was whiny, because the dog hadn't really slept much or eaten much all weekend. But she was a hit, nonetheless. We left around 4pm and headed home. Penny and I promptly passed out in the car and left poor Tyler to his own devices to stay awake. We got home, and Penny and I proceeded to fall asleep on the couch until 10pm when Tyler told us to come upstairs. I then slept again, so soundly, until 5am! At least 12 hours. And I am at last finally rested! I can't say the same for Penny though! As I drink my peppermint tea with honey (I feel a cold coming on :/), she is snuggled into me, asleep still. 

Well, I hope you all enjoyed my Thanksgiving weekend description...possibly the longest blog post ever! haha. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too! 


Tuesday, November 24

oh yeah, sleep is important

So, I've been trying to be uber healthy and everything, and there was one minor detail I was leaving out of my health regime...sleep! During 3 days, I only slept 11 hours... I always seem to forget that sleep is so key to overall wellbeing! So, since I have been working so much, I can either sleep about 6 hours during the day and hit the gym, or I can sleep about 8 hours before I have to get up and get ready to head back to work. As important as the gym is to me, I decided to really try hard to get a decent amount of sleep the last few days.

At work while it has been really slow, I have been doing lots of reading. I am just finishing up Marley & Me, and I have to say I loved it. It has so many similarities to when my family dog was a puppy! Such an insane yet adorable yellow lab that becomes an integral part of the family. I recommend it if you are looking for an easy and heartwarming read with a humorous writing style.

Our beautiful family boy! Tyke

While I love our lab, I must say it is a nice change of pace to have a) a girl puppy b) a breed that is not meant for running around all day. Haha. Alright, I have to get ready to go to work...only 2 more nights and then a week off of work and a week in the gym! I am really looking forward to that.

On Thanksgiving, I am planning to mail out our Christmas cards! They are all set! In the envelopes, stamps and addresses on the envelopes and everything. It is nice that I won't have to stress out over them in December! Have a good night everyone ~

Cheers :)

Saturday, November 21

holidayyyy (sang to the tune of Madonna's song)

Today I slept, of course, and we also took Penny to her first puppy class! She already is really good with the basics like: sit, stay (for a while), down, and come (when she wants). Puppy obedience training was delayed due to her icky cough that was around for 2 glad she's over that! She has selective listening when it comes to her name, so that's our homework. And using that clicker for training. So we'll see how that goes! Here is our Boppy's latest mug shot:

 As you can see...she is like a kangaroo with bat wings for ears...this leads to plenty of nicknames, which I am sure hasn't helped her learn her "real" name...Penny.

Yesterday at the gym I lifted upper body and did 20 minutes of speed walking on the treadmill. I took today off of the gym since I had to sleep and take Penny to class. But tomorrow will be a good makeup day, promise :)

I also ordered our holiday greeting cards, and here is a preview:

This is the image on our card, she has Superdog eyes (probably because of her BatDog ears)

On that note, I am going to hop in the shower and make some veggies and ravioli for dinner, then head to work! Have a good Saturday night! Here's to me actually having a night off tomorrow...


Friday, November 20

i wanna be a bookworm

So, last night was  LONG shift at the hospital! They decided to sit me at a desk doing infection control in the Intensive Care Nursery...which means making sure people wash their hands and put on gowns. But really, are there visitors after midnight? No! Soooo boring, but I was so glad I had my book with me! I finally finished Three Cups of Tea - the inspirational story of Greg Mortenson's journey to promote girls' education in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

What I loved most about this story was the different perspective it gave me on American - Middle Eastern relations post-9/11. I believe this man was single-handedly doing more effective Terrorist control by giving the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan an alternative education to the fundamentalist jihad education offered to them. It truly is a story that exemplifies the impact one person can have on the world.

Basically, I recommend it to you! I am now moving on to Marley & Me, a abook I have owned for a year but has been on my shelf of books I need to read. I know it's a sad one, but I've been wanting to read it forever!

During this boring night of work, after I finished my book, I decided to start sketching! It was fun! I sketched things while I was reading that were inspiring to me. I'll post some of them in a few days. They're ammeture, but I am proud, nonetheless!

As for the gym, I was exhausted at the end of my shift so I didn't go! But I am logging off right now and going to the gym before work. :)

Have a fabulous Friday night! I'll be working...

Thursday, November 19

here is my first test

Okay, so today was wonderful because my legs were sore! Sore in that way that feels so good and fatigued from a nice workout the day before :) I just got back from the gym where I did 5.5 miles on the elliptical. Pretty good sweat session!

So, I work nights at a hospital from 7pm-7:30am. I get home around 8am and basically try to sleep til about 4 or 5, get up and shower, eat dinner with my hubby, then go back to work. During the week while I work, this schedule is not so condusive to getting my tush to the gym! I have had the last week off, but tonight I am going back to work for the next 6 out of 7 nights. This will be my first big test to see if I can keep up the gym action! My plan is to pack a gym bag and hit the gym right after my shift. That may seem crazy, but I find that once I have hit the couch I have ZERO motivation to get up and go to the gym before work.

I'll keep you updated...

Have a great Thursday night! To those New Moon loverrrrs, enjoy the movie for me! I will not be seeing it until Thanksgiving weekend, shucks. Send me mental images of Jacob, please!!!


Wednesday, November 18

just one step at a time

I just thought people (meaning my 2 readers, ha!) might be interested to know I am taking this blog kind of seriously and have already taken steps toward each of my goals! 

  • fitness - just got back from the gym, where I ran 5 miles! Sometimes my knees can get the best of me and make running a real pain, but today was smooth sailing! :D
  •  spanish -  I just purchased a year's subscription of Cosmo en Espanol. I figured I should start out with something that I would like to be reading anyways, that way it is more fun and less of a chore :) 
  • arts - on this magazine kick, I also got The Artist's Magazine. It gives tutorials for all different kinds of arts, which I am really excited about! 
I also got Good Housekeeping, because I always love their cute ideas. Although, at times flipping through that magazine can be cause for a little envy. Oh well, just waiting for that first time homebuyer's credit to come through, then we can do some of the upgrades we want to do! So, I'm taking a running start at finally achieving some of my ambitions.  


this is me, nice and vulnerable

This is my first official blog! Welcome to 2009, right? As the holiday season and 2010 creeps right up on us, I figured I need to spend a little more time being introspective and figuring out me. I have all of these ambitions that, for no real good reason, I keep putting on hold. Life isn't about procrastination, and I need to reach up high (I may need to stand on my tippy toes to get there) and hold fast to those ambitions. Maybe a blog is silly. Maybe it will be therapeutic (I keep meaning to journal, but I keep my journal by my bed, and by the time I get to bed each night I am too wiped to write anything!). Maybe it will hold me accountable for these things I aspire to do with my life. We shall see.

So this is me. I am content with the basics of my life. I have the most adoring husband, a cutie little snugglebug puppy, and a job I truly love. But I have this desire for adventure in life that isn't satiated by playing housewife, mommy, and breadwinner. While I'd like to say my adventures involve globetrotting to exotic locales, I think one can also find adventure in the smallest of places, and I plan to do just that. I have a few things I'd like to improve within myself, and they are as follows:
  • fitness: I go through such phases of being a gym rat and getting into great shape, then letting it all go. Why do I do that? My confidence in myself has a lot to do with how fit I feel and how my clothes fit on me. I strive to be consistent with my fitness efforts.
  • spanish: I love the beautiful language! Considering I got a minor in the subject, I am embarrassed that I am less than confident in my ability (or disability, at this point) to hold a conversation in Spanish. Yikes. I want to read/listen/speak more in Spanish.
  • art: I have always had such appreciation for anything artistic - painting, drawing, dancing, singing, theater, poetry, etc. There was a time when art was a huge part of who I was. Doing musical theaters and choirs were kind of my thing. Then, in high school, I felt this pressure to succeed "academically", which, in my house, didn't include the arts. So I basically dropped all of these things I was so passionate about, and over the last eight years, I have found myself literally in tears because I missed these things. Most of all, I missed who I was when I was up on that stage. I was once a girl with all the confidence in the world. So, I am starting this one off small. I am going to buy an easel, some paints, and some canvases. Maybe I'll even audition for a small production sometime.
Well, those three bullet points may seem like no big deal, but they are three areas in my life that have been continually put on the back burner. And it's time for me to get a grip on both myself and my dreams so that I can have that little spark of adventure in me again. Here's to myself - and the journies that lay ahead of me. I hope to have half of the devotion of that guy who dances with the sign on the corner of Harmony and College...haha.