Sunday, October 31


Happy Halloween!

This weekend, whether you played monster, fairy, ghoul, or Gaga...I hope you enjoyed yourself! I certainly did! Halloween & Christmas are almost neck-and-neck as my favorite holidays! The festivities started Friday, when we headed downtown for a midnight viewing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. 

Now, I have never actually seen the iconic 1975 film that is Rocky Horror. But in anticipation of Tuesday's Rocky Horror Glee episode, I at least googled the plot and the Time Warp. Glee was awesome, and it really made me excited for our outing on Friday! Not one to go to a dress-up event without dressing up, I really had fun with it :) Makes me miss doing theater! 

It was QUITE the experience! Have you ever been to a viewing of Rocky Horror Picture Show??? I mean, I heard there was audience participation and such...but I think my jaw was dropped for the duration of the movie because I wasn't expecting a line from the audience during every pause of the movie! LOL. I'm glad I went, it's definitely a life experience worth having! Haha.

Moving on to Saturday, I slept in a bit, and took my dogs to the dog park! This weekend had to be the most beautiful Halloween weekend in the history of Colorado Halloweens! 80 degree weather?!?! Incredible! After the dog park, it was time to get ready to go corn mazing! I have never been to a corn maze before, and this was tons of fun! Creepy "mental patients" crawling through bus windows, clowns breathing down my neck, and men chasing me with chainsaws...every girl's dream! But no, it was scary in that nervous giggling way, so it was perfect!

After the corn maze, it was time to put on my witch get-up! Off to our party we co-hosted with Mandrew, and we had SUCH a fun time! Our double beer pong table was a hit! 

There was flip cup, dancing, snacks, and a costume contest {I won scariest costume!} Here are some photos from the night! The face paint started to go downhill after 4 hours...but that's to be expected :)

Isn't Malificent incredible?

Haha, totally at the end of the night :)

My cutie pie husband. Today, 7 years ago, he kissed me for the first time :)
And now I'm sitting on the couch with my costume-clad puppies catching up on my DVR and wistfully thinking about living in a neighborhood where children actually go Trick-Or-Treating. It's 9pm and we've had 8 kids total. Dammit. Well, looks like my coworkers will be getting lucky at work this week when I bring my leftovers in on Weds! Would you like to see those costume-clad puppies? Surprisingly, they've kept them on since Saturday morning! I was anticipating that the costumes would be in shreds within minutes, but they don't seem to mind dressing up too badly! They're my little flower & businessman! Enjoy :)

Haha, my little munchkins :)

Happy Halloween!!!
What were you this weekend?
Cheers :)

Tuesday, October 26

halloween a la heidi klum!


I hope you are all enjoying your week before Halloween! I just got done watching the Rocky Horror Glee episode...and it was certainly entertaining! I'm actually STOKED because I have never seen the actual 70s movie, and I am going to a midnight showing of it on Friday night. Getting costume {corset} stuff tomorrow and I'm totally going to do my makeup so tran-glam! Excited excited excited is me. Have any of you seen Rocky Horror Picture Show? In one of those crazy environments where there's the audience participation: throwing toasting, spraying water, hollering in all the right places...crazy! 

Needless to say, I am super excited for this weekend!

Friday night = party decorating.
Saturday = haunted houses, haunted corn maze, and epic party time.

What are your Halloween plans?

I was just looking at some pictures today of Heidi Klum's amazing Halloween history...and I had to share with you. Man, I have always loved her, but the incredible costumes she comes up with just made me love her even more! She gives new meaning to "going all out!" I read that she wears custom-fitted fangs and colored contacts {my dream!} every year as part of her costume! So here, for your enjoyment, are some of Heidi's previous costumes...

2001 - Lady Godiva

2002 - Betty Boop

2003 - Sexy Alien

2005 - Vampire Lady
how badass is this??? seriously.

2006 - Eve in Garden of Eden
She dressed as the snake within the apple - this was when she was 8 months pregnant. Brilliant!

2007 - Sexy Cat
The collar's tag said, "If found, please return to Seal." Adorable!

2008 - Hindu Goddess Kali
She. Goes. All. Out.

2009 - Raven

Damn! I wonder what she is going to be this year??? I am not a Heidi stalker. Just an admirer. Here is a picture from one of my favorite Halloweens - 2 years ago when we went dressed as the Simmonses --- I was Gene Simmons from KISS and my hubby was Richard Simmons!!!

Haha! I loved it!
Happy haunting to you!!!

Cheers :)

Monday, October 25

operation christmas child

Hey guys! So I have a fabulous donation opportunity for ALL of you to participate in. Have any of you ever heard of Operation Christmas Child? If you have - YAY! If not - then pretty please - read on...

Operation Christmas Child is an organization that affords impoverished children worldwide the opportunity to experience the joy of receiving a Christmas gift. These kids often don't own any toys, and for this one time, they have a gift to call their own. And the gifts are the doing of the kind hearts of people.
Last year, over 8 million children received shoeboxes.

Just think about the child's life you could affect by filling an old shoebox with a stuffed animal so they can snuggle with something for comfort, a coloring book & crayons to add brightness to their day, and health items we take for granted: toothbrush & toothpaste.

Okay, I know that was cheesy, but here's the deal. You have a shoebox lying around your house. Decide on whether you want to give a gift to a boy or a girl, and choose an age range. Fill the box with treasures a child can enjoy halfway across the world. Then drop off at a local drop-site near you.

Easy as 1, 2, 3...and you'll give a child a Christmas they'll never forget. 

Here is the link to find out more information and where a drop-site is near you:

Operation Christmas Child is dedicated to its mission: to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It's so simple. And so beautiful. Aren't the simplest things always the most beautiful? Last night, my husband and I wrapped 7 shoeboxes:
Tonight we're going to go get school supplies and hair pretties and matchbox cars and stuffed animals to fill the boxes with joy :) If it's too much effort to fill the shoebox, you can always donate money to the cause or volunteer at a local distribution center near you. 

Shoeboxes need to be turned in to a collection site by the middle of November so they can be prepped and shipped out in time for Christmas, so get to it!

I love this project, and I hope you will too. ***Please pass on this information via your blogs! Think of how many hundreds of boxes we could get donated just by raising awareness on our blogs!!!
Do you have any favorite volunteer activities or organizations?
Tis the season to start thinking about giving!!!

Cheers :)

Friday, October 22

warm cookies : a fall indulgence

Hey guys! TGIF :) :) :)

I have had this huge container of almond butter in my fridge for months...after buying it at Costco on a whim before ever trying it...and deciding almond butter isn't exactly my cup of tea. 

Maybe it'll just take a little getting used to, but I figured I'd start my path to the acceptance of almond butter by blending it with sugar and spices and creating a cookie out of it! I don't make cookies often, but the gray sky and leaves swirling in my backyard today made me want to put on my long socks and make cookies! So I did just that :)

I kind of threw together a ton of ingredients and I ended up with a fluffy, gooey, discs of deliciousness! Here is my new recipe :)

Almond Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies
{say that 10 times fast...}

  2 sticks {1 cup} butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar {regular white kind}
1/2 cup almond butter
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 bag of white chocolate chips {or toffee chips or chocolate chips}
1/4 cup maple syrup
Toss in some almonds if you like!

1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add vanilla and almond butter. Add eggs.
2. In a small bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Stir in cinnamon and oats. 
3. Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients, and mix well. Stir in maple syrup and white chocolate chips. 
4. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours. 
5. Spoon dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Eat warm, share with friends, and enjoy with a tall glass of milk!

Do you have any favorite cookie recipes? 

Cheers :)

on a happier note!

Sorry for that yucky post, but here is one that is much more suitable to start the day with! So what do you say we start the day over with this {and forget about spiders and sharks}. 

A good friend {both blog and real life} of mine, Jess at LittleMrsSunshine has awarded me with the prestigious Happy 101 Award!

Yay! Awards make me smile :) And those cupcakes look yummy...

Now for the Happy 101 Award Rules:
√ post who gave you this award. 
√ state ten things you like.
√ give this award to 10 other bloggers
and notify them with a comment.

10 things I love right now:
  1. blankets and warm puppies during this chill of fall
  2. my new addiction to Brothers & Sisters --- I'm on Season 3
  3. that I get to go out to dinner tonight to celebrate my girl's birthday!
  4. that I finally completed my first 1/2 marathon :)
  5. thinking about my upcoming PA School Interview gets me so excited for my future!
  6. my fabulous, time-conscious, back-rubbing, laundry-doing husband
  7. cooler weather means tights with heels/boots = less pain for my feet!
  8. Halloween is in one week!!! Can't wait for our party!!!
  9. in the last week I talked on the phone with two of my best friends that are also nearly impossible to talk to on the phone
  10. candles, candles, candles! 

Now it's time to pay the award forward to some of my favorite bloggers, new and old:
Alright, now it's your turn to think of things that make you happy...and pass this award on to up to 10 bloggers! 

spiders --- eeeek!

Well, it's October, alright. The spiders are deciding it's getting chilly outside and are trying to shack up in my home. NO WAY, SPIDERS! Any ole' spider will usually gross me out, but this morning...excuse me a second, I can hardly type this without shivering or vomiting...there was a black widow in my living room :( :( :( 
{I am gagging at the sight of this picture}

GROSS! Luckily I saw it before the puppies did, or they would've played their game of "put the spider in your mouth, then spit it out, then pick it up, then spit it out..." So I did the ole' cup/piece of paper manuver to scoop it up and flush it down the toilet. I literally still have goosebumps and it's been 45 minutes since the episode. And my head is all itchy just thinking about it. And I'm starving for breakfast but I can't eat because I keep thinking of that nasty huge spider. 


You know, when I lived in Costa Rica for a summer, and the spiders there were tarantulas and other spiders the size of my hand, I got a lot better about handling the itty bitty dime and quarter size guys back at home. In fact, when I lived with 5 other girls, I was the resident spider killer. But it's been 4 years since that trip, and I am back to my little scaredy pants self.

Are you grossed out by spiders?
What is the one living creature on this Earth that scares you the most?
For me, it's definitely SHARKS! They scare the living daylight out of me. 
During Shark Week, I watch as much as I can so that I know how to punch one the right way if it comes to attack me. I prefer to avoid them, but in the event of an encounter, I'm ready to beat one up.

Cheers --- To thinking about happy things: rainbows and puppies and sunshine and...

Wednesday, October 20

seriously delicious x 2

Yes, yes, I have yet ANOTHER panini recipe for you :P But don't worry, I also have another non-panini recipe for you :)

Let's just say at least this addiction is somewhat healthy! Haha. But this panini was YUM-O and you have got to try it if you like buffalo chicken at all! And if you like recipes with only 5 ingredients! Again...out of October Cooking Light {apparently wins issue of the year, in my opinion!}, I got this fabulous recipe for a Buffalo Chicken Panini. Without further ado:

Buffalo Chicken Panini

This toasted sandwich delivers classic bar-food taste in a healthier package.

Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

1/4 cup hot pepper sauce, divided {I used Frank Red Hot's Buffalo Wing Sauce and it did the job perfectly!}
1 pound chicken breast tenders  {I cut up chicken breasts into strips, cooked them on the skillet, then tossed the cooked tenders in the hot sauce in a ziploc storage container}
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
6 tablespoons canola mayonnaise {I used regular light mayo}
8 (1-ounce) slices white or sourdough bread

Preheat broiler; coat broiler pan with cooking spray. Combine 2 tablespoons sauce and chicken in a medium bowl, tossing to coat. Arrange chicken in a single layer on broiler pan; broil 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken in a bowl; toss with remaining 2 tablespoons sauce. Combine cheese and mayonnaise. Spread 3 tablespoons cheese mixture on each of 4 bread slices; top each with one-fourth of cooked chicken and 1 bread slice. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange 2 sandwiches in pan. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Repeat procedure with remaining 2 sandwiches.
FAT 16.2g (sat 4.9g,mono 6g,poly 3.5g)
SODIUM 724mg
IRON 0.8mg

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2010

Recipe #2 is from a random cookbook I got at Ross one day: Eat Up Slim Down Annual Recipes 2008. This cookbook is kind of hit or miss, but one of its hits has turned out to be one of my favorite recipes! This is the third time I have made it, and it is still just as delicious as ever. It's pretty easy to make, and the curry flavor mixed with the sweet apricot jam just makes this impossible to turn down! It's healthy and great to serve guests. I made a huge batch {I always double this recipe} of it tonight so we could have it throughout the week for lunches and things. So here you are:

Curry-Kissed Chicken & Carrots and Rice

Ingredients for curry chicken:
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
3/4 pound chicken tenders
Olive oil spray
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp apricot jam
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream {use 2% milk for a lower-cal option, but I have to admit I love the full flavor that this ingredient gives}
2 tbsp scallions

Ingredients for carrots and rice:
1 cup water
1 cup 10-minute brown rice
1/2 cup shredded carrots

Directions for curry chicken:
Place curry powder on a plate. Toss the chicken tenders {I cut the chicken breasts into small cubes, they cook faster} in the curry powder, making sure all sides are coated. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil spray. Add the chicken tenders and cook 2 minutes per side, until no longer pink inside. Remove to a clean plate. Add the water and apricot jam to the warm skillet and simmer for 30 seconds, stirring to melt the jam. Add cream and simmer for 1 minute to thicken sauce. Spoon sauce over chicken. Scatter scallions on top.

Makes 2 servings.

Directions for carrots and rice:
{Personally, I just use my rice cooker, and near the end of the rice cooking, I toss the carrots in to let them steam} Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in rice, return to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 

Makes 2 servings.

Simple. Delicious. Quick. And honestly it's not overkill traditional Indian food or anything, it won't make your digestive track do strange things. I promise :)

Cheers {maybe I'll take a break from the kitchen for a day???}

panini love

In continuation with my fall recipe kick {and addiction to my panini press}, I thought you might LOVE to have the recipe for the tasty sandwich my hubby and I enjoyed for lunch yesterday! Another recipe from my October Cooking Light magazine, I give you: Prosciutto, Pear, and Blue Cheese Sandwiches. I am new to the realm of blue cheese {trying to abide by one of the Girl Scout rules: try a food 10 times before avoiding it for the rest of your life...or something to that effect}, and I thought the tang the blue cheese added to the mix was phenomenal! Mmmmm. 5 Thumbs Up! Give it a shot :)

Prosciutto, Pear, and Blue Cheese Sandwiches

Time: 20 minutes
Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
8 slices 100% multigrain bread
1 tablespoon butter, softened {Instead of butter, I just sprayed the panini press with olive oil cooking spray}
3 cups arugula {I used the fresh baby spinach I had in the fridge}
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
2 ounces blue cheese, sliced {I used a container of crumbled blue cheese. It melted fabulously!}

Here are the magazine's directions. But I just popped mine on the panini press and I'm sure you could put it on a skillet a la grilled cheese if you want to :)

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 3 minutes or until toasted. Turn bread slices over; spread butter evenly over bread slices. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until toasted.
3. Combine arugula and shallot in a medium bowl. Drizzle arugula mixture with oil and vinegar; sprinkle with pepper. Toss well to coat. Divide arugula mixture evenly among 4 bread slices, buttered side up; top evenly with prosciutto. Divide pear slices and cheese evenly among sandwiches; top each sandwich with 1 bread slice, buttered side down.

FAT 13.8g (sat 5.4g,mono 5g,poly 0.8g)
SODIUM 706mg
FIBER 9.7g
IRON 2.1mg

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2010

Now for your feedback!
--> Do you like when I post recipes?
--> Am I posting too many? I don't want to bore you all!
--> Have you tried any of the recipes I have posted?

Hope you are having a fantastic fall week!!! It sure feels like fall here in Colorado!
Cheers :)

Sunday, October 17

a series of fortunate events

Hey hey!

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend! I have a lot to tell you about! If you read my post about my brother, you'll know I was a little torn up about him being sent to Afghanistan. Buuuuut, it turns out they had more volunteers than they needed, so he was taken off of the list sent to go! I am so relieved :) I know he may be a little bummed about the missed opportunity to serve in the Middle East, but I am glad he will be here for a little while longer and home for Christmas, hopefully. So that is the biggest happy news here!!!

My weekend was great, too! I ended up having a super short work week due to low census at work, and it allowed me to catch up on my PA Interview prep and thus relieve a ton of stress for me. 

Thursday night was SUCH a blast! I went to my girlfriend Denise's bachelorette party, and our friend Erin did the BEST job planning it! She picked the CUTEST theme {Angels & Devils} and got sushi, planned a limo ride to take us around town, and even set up pole dancing lessons for everyone! 5 gold stars go to her :) It was a blast of a night spent with some of my favorite girls in the world that I never get to see. Here are some pics of our fun!

The bride-to-be
 The maid-of-honor super party planner and me!
 Get it, get it, girl!!!
 Awesome self-pic in the limo :)

After the bachelorette party came the wedding, of course! It was in Skyline Park in downtown Denver, and it was beautiful! The colors were gorgeous, and it was very artistically done! Denise looked hot hot hot and the couple looked so happy! Unfortunately, I left my purse in the limo Thursday night {recovered by my fab friend Merri}, so I didn't have my camera during the wedding. But I did get my purse back during the reception, so I got some good pictures there!

I love Jane!!! My table partner :)

The reception hall and the couple's table

Gorgeous bouquets

Cutting their cake! Such a pretty dress!

Love the hats :)

And after the festivities of Saturday night, we came home for a much needed night of sleep before our big run! We got up at 5am and dressed to rock and run :) 
You know I had to dress up just a little bit...

I'm cheesy!!! But also a champion :)

Got my medal, yo 

My cute little hubby :)
 So, I may or may not have sprained my foot during the race...and my legs are sore as HELL...but I finished it in my goal time and I am proud to say that I have done a half marathon! I'm not going to be signing up for another one anytime soon, but I'm glad to be able to check it off of my list of awesome life accomplishments!