Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Year Blogging Party Reveal

A few weeks ago I was paired up with the fun-loving, Ronni for the 2012 Blogging Party.  

I am super happy that I Ronnie and were chosen for each other because we found we actually both had a lot in common, plus it's always cool to a new friend.

Here are Ronni's gifts to me.  I love them and couldn't be happier with the choices!

here are all of my goodies!

the cute card with a sweet message.

the warm, fuzzy scarf that I cannot wait to wear!

I don't even think I told her, but I collect magnets!
And, we live in the same state, but about 5 hours apart.

Yea, chocolate is my weakness and I can probably have these babies polished off by tonite if I tried.

Here's the sweet message.

This was a lot of fun!  Next time it rolls around, be sure to jump in.  I'm grateful to have met a new friend and the goodies are nice, too (:

so long, sweet dog.

Well, today is a sad day for me.  This morning as we were taking Sandea out, she passed away.

This sickness came so abruptly, and I hoped she was on the mend - see this post. But, in all reality she was slipping, and I knew it.

We had her only 9 short months, as we found her as a stray, but I can't believe how much joy and fun she brought to our family.  Her previous owners, whoever those idiots may be, really missed out on enjoying such a loving dog.  

We knew this day was coming since she came to us in bad shape.  Like I have said before, when you get a dog you're setting yourself up for heartbreak.  It's a shame they don't last as long as humans and their time with us is so short.

It's weird how things are suddenly so different in the matter of just an hour.  These are the parts of life that suck.  Never fun, never easy.

It's so cliche to say, but at least she's not suffering anymore. She can finally be happy again. She will be buried up on a family friend's farm with one of our other dogs, Luther.

I am so thankful that we brought her into our home. Now every time there is a thunderstorm I will think of her.  I had talked about it here.   

Everything happens for a reason and there is a reason that we were lucky enough to have her be a part of us.  I know that we gave her the best year of her life and that makes me happy. 

Goodbye, sweet girl.  I will miss you.

Sandea, 2012.

Monday, January 30, 2012

oh, Monday.

I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck.  I probably had at least 5 attempts at trying to crawl out of bed before 7 but just couldn't.  

Not sure why I felt this way; no sleep aids last nite, don't think I'm getting sick....  Maybe it's because my bed is new or maybe it's because we were out until 3a on Saturday and I was running on empty yesterday.  Or, stress!
Don't know.

But I wanted to get up, get the day moving, and plan out some meals for the week.
I don't really have time this week to cook a lot, so I found one of my favorite cookbooks called, '29 minutes to dinner' from Pampered Chef.  I am going to try make all my meals from here since I'll be short on time.  

Hopefully I can stay on track this week and not falter like I normally do with meal planning.

Monday: Paprika Chicken & Egg Noodles

Tuesday: Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach & Ham

Wednesday: Ultimate Peppercorn Burgers

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: eat @ hockey game

Saturday: Grilled Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa

Sunday: super bowl party

This week is going to be super busy for me.  It's getting to be crunch time for taking my boards and I really need to spend more time studying than I am now.  It seems I always, always find other things that need done. That's the a.d.d. in me; can't focus on one thing at a time, ever!

 And, I need to make up for lost time yesterday.  I got nothing done yesterday because I went out Saturday nite.  I feel like I wasted an entire day!
Here are a couple of pics from the Sisters Nite, though.

This is how I wore my hair. It was really cute and I got a lot of compliments on it; hopefully I can do a tutorial on it soon!

My sisters & me!

I hope your weekend was fun and you have a fabulous week!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sisters Nite.

I get to spend the nite with my 2 lovely sisters tonite!  We are going to a friend's birthday party in St. Louis and staying the nite down there.  

We don't get to do stuff like this as much anymore because we're all so busy with school, work, and life, and I really miss it.  They really are my 2 very best friends and always will be. 

Today is also my Grandma's birthday so we're going out first to celebrate that as well.  HBD, Gma!

Definitely a busy, fun nite of celebrating!

What are you all doing this weekend?

Friday, January 27, 2012

High Five for Friday

Well, it's that time again. I'm sitting here wondering how the weekend can already be here!  Once again, linking up with Lauren

Here are my top 5 things from the past week.

1)  I got my new camera and although I haven't had much time to mess with it, I did take a couple of pics of some ice we had a few days ago.  I love this thing!

2)  I haven't downloaded any songs for a while and so I did this week.  My favorite being, Kerli - Army of Love.  If you want a good upbeat, dance song, check her out!  

3)  I won a giveaway!  It was from Abbi @ True Blue Abbi.  Her Aunt is the author of this book and I won a copy.  It looks pretty good and I can't wait to read it.  Thanks, Abbi!

4)  I am getting a new king size bed today!  I will definitely have more room now for all 3 of us and won't have to sleep all cock-eyed.  Definitely looking forward to it!

5)  My roots are gone!  I colored my hair and actually tried a different brand this time.  I seem to like it ok and I think it made my hair softer, but I'll probably go back to the other brand.  I do miss getting my hair done in a salon sometimes, but with this I get a perfect color.  I have way too high standards for color.. .. .

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Product Spotlight: TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo

Each week I am going to spotlight & review a beauty product that I'm currently using and I will also have it shown in the sidebar.  

I have sooooo many hair, makeup, face, and body products, so I want to let you all know how well they work and why I love them so much.

This week's superstar is the TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo.  

This shiz is good!
I wash my hair every other day so this product is great for my second day hair.  I have been using it for a couple of years now and really like it.  

The only downfall is that it's a bit pricey.  I think it runs about $20 a bottle, and even though it will last a couple of months, I'm sure there are cheaper ones that work just as well.

When I want to style my hair, I spray it pretty liberally all over the roots in the front, sides, and a bit on the top.  It gives my hair quite a bit of hold so I can style it how I want and really makes it look just washed.  Some dry shampoos leave the hair looking a whitish-gray from the powder but this one doesn't really; well since my hair is blonde, I can't tell too much, but even when my roots are grown out I don't see it.

I have heard others say that their's has run out pretty quickly or the nozzle gets clogged, but I've had mine for a good while and haven't had any problems.  

I don't use this every time with my second day hair and I can really tell a difference with the way it lays and how greasy it looks.  

You know that little spot you get in the back where you can tell you've laid your head on your pillow all nite?  Yea, me too.  It even helps with that!

Overall I would probably rate this 4/5 stars, mainly because of the steep price tag.

What kind of dry shampoos have you used that work/don't work?  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting!

This is my first time linking up with The Vintage Apple about my lovely finds on Pinterest.  I'm super excited about it, too!
 Here are my top picks for the week ~
How many times do you go to get ice out of the bucket and it's nothing but a watery mess?  Well, here's a solution to that.  Genius!  Can't wait to try it out this summer!

This has to be the best looking once piece I've seen in a while!

I love this outfit. 

I need to keep this in mind . . .


 Super cute idea.



Reminds me of a fairytale...

can't wait to make these suckers!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crockpot 'To Die For' Roast

A friend of mine gave me this recipe years ago and it has always been a favorite for everyone.

This is probably one of the easiest recipes I have made that turns out so amazing.

The roast has a delicious flavor and is extremely tender, while the juices simply make it!

If you want, add some potatoes and carrots to the crockpot and you have a complete meal, or whip up some mashed potatoes for a hearty meal. 
This is definitely comfort food.

All you need is:
3 pound chuck roast
1 packet of dry Italian seasoning
1 packet of dry Ranch dressing
1 packet of brown gravy
1 cup of beef broth
1/2 cup of water

WARNING: Raw meat ahead!!

The simple ingredients

Place the roast in the crockpot. I always use beef bouillon and a cup of water, but however you do it, place the liquid in a pot on the stove with the water.  Open all of the dry ingredients and mix together with the liquid.  Stir until combined, but there will still be chunks of dry that are hard to dissolve.  Pour over the roast, cook for about 10 hours on low, and viola, you have a delicious roast!  Add potatoes and carrots at this time also, if you wish.

There you have the roast that is to die for.
It's so nice to have a meal waiting for you when you get home, so try this when you know you're going to have a busy day and no time (or energy) for cooking!

See below for pictures.

tip:  I always spray the crockpot first so nothing sticks to it and cleanup is a breeze!

Just stir.

That's where all the goodness is!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Happy Ending

I saw a quote this evening that I wanted to reflect on as I think it definitely portrays my day.  

This morning when I woke up I knew today wasn't going to be good when I saw Sandea, one of my furbabies.  She has had cancer for a while now and she hasn't really been affected by it too much, until just a few days ago, refer to  this post.

She just hasn't been herself - no appetite, hadn't been playing with the other dogs, super lethargic, and just different.  

I knew this day would come, but I just didn't realize it would be so soon and frankly, I wasn't ready to lose her.  We found her only about 8 months ago, but it seems like she's been with us longer because she has brought us such joy.

So anyway, she's just been going downhill.  Fast.

This morning she looked as if death was definitely with us so I called the vet and planned to take her out there at 4 to be put to sleep. Tear.  I spent my entire morning in tears, and trust me, I'm a pretty unattractive crier.

Well lo and behold, when it's time to go to the vet, she does a 180 and it seems she has changed.  The vet tells us she has a horribly high fever, dehydration, and a bad infection somewhere, but more than likely this can be treated with fluids and antibiotics. This probably isn't related to her cancer (:

We are home with her!

So when I saw the above quote, it made me realize that I definitely take things in life for granted.  My dogs, especially.

I always think they're going to be waiting for me when I get home and in bed with me at nite.  But this morning, I knew Sandea was experiencing her last day with me in our house.

I know there are plenty of other countless things I need to be more appreciate of and realize they are special.
Eric. My family. My health. Love. Home. My Car. Everything. 

So starting tomorrow, I will begin by being thankful for the things I have been given and thank God for all I have.  Things could definitely be much worse, and they really are quite good.

I realized this morning that my life was definitely going to change when I got home from the vet.  Things would be so much different without my sweet dog around and it killed me to think of that.

But here I with her again and I'm cherishing it.
I am lucky today.

Tomorrow will be the chance to change my life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


It's not unusual for me to wake up feeling perturbed since I do suffer from anxiety, but today it just really got to me.  I woke up with thoughts racing through my head of things I needed to do by noon; I woke up at 10, with a headache, keep in mind.

It didn't help that as I looked out my window I saw remnants of the weekend's ice mixed with new fallen wetness and not an ounce of sunshine in the sky. 

Last nite while at the hockey game I lost my cell phone! Hopefully it's in lost & found, otherwise I'll be getting a new phone, sans sim card ----> no contacts. My phone is the first thing I thought about as I woke up and I called it in hopes that someone would pick up and tell me where it is.

Then, I realized that today wasn't going to work out for me to pick up my new furniture, but my uncle called and told me he would so graciously drive the 45 minutes and bring it to me.  It was a super sweet gesture and I now have a couch and loveseat again!

Trying to study for my boards is really stressful as well because I really have no motivation to do so and have to force myself.  I paid for an online review program that's really helping with studying, and motivation. . who would have thought, but it's getting down to the wire and I need to be more proactive.

So here it is evening and I'm just now getting to my post.  My day didn't turn out too shabby really, thanks to a couple meds, but still, things semi worked out.  

I am a constant worrier and it really affects me, but I guess that is what makes me who I am.  My anxiety gets pretty ugly, and it has gotten worse over the last year and I honestly let it get the best of me.  How do you handle the stresses in your life?  I try to read, exercise, and distract myself and it works...sometimes

Tomorrow starts a new week, so I will just stay positive and make the best of it, while trying to maximize each opportunity I have to do what I need.  Oh, and my new camera came so I can't wait to check it out and share some beauties!

On a sweet and happier note, here is a picture of us from last nite. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

High Five For Friday

I can't believe it's already Friday, but I won't complain!

Here are my top 5 favorite things for the week.

1.  I finally ordered my new camera yesterday!  It should be here today and I am absolutely super excited to get it. I found an awesome deal on a kit and it also comes with 2 lenses. Beautiful pictures, here I come!

2.  I got my letter from the state giving me the authorization to take by boards.  Amazing news, but now that means I have to start studying hours a day. I'm sure I'll have a post on this because I'm totally freaking out now.

3.  Darjeeling tea!  I had been out for a few days and finally got some of this wonderful stuff again.  I am good to go after a couple cups of this in the morn!

4.  We got rid of our living room and sofa to make room for the new stuff my aunt and uncle are giving us.  Hopefully sometime this weekend we will get it.  We will finally have a matching set (:

5.  My boots finally came!  I had ordered these before Christmas and I'm not sure what the hold up was, but after several calls, discounts, and free shipping, they arrived! I love the modern-vintage look!

As usual, I'm linking up with Lauren

Happy Friday, everyone. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Naked Chicken Cordon Bleu

I made this the other nite and it was fabulous!  I think most chicken cordon bleu has breading on it and this one doesn't, so that's why I've named it naked.

This is one meal that I really don't eat that often but when I do, I realize why I like it so much.  It's so full of flavor and tastes so yummy.

I think I also like it because the chicken is pounded thin and I'm not normally a big fan of thick chicken...ick.  It's then layered with swiss cheese and ham, rolled, and sauteed until golden brown.

Here's what you need:
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 4 slices of swiss cheese
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place a chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Use the flat side of a mallet and pound thin to about 1/8" thick.  Remove chicken and repeat with other pieces.

 This is about how thin you want the chicken to be.

Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each piece of chicken. Salt and pepper if you want, but you don't need too much salt as the ham already offers that.  I forgot and added anyway....

Fold in the bottom and sides; roll up and secure with a toothpick.

They will look like this. 

Heat oil in skillet  and cook rolls for 20-25 minutes, turning to brown evenly.  

I found that near the top by the toothpicks, the chicken wasn't cooking through so I had to hold down in skillet on that part.

Remove when golden brown.

You don't have to, but I laid mine on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.  I don't like my things too greasy. 

The end result.  Yum!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A new hobby, perhaps?

A couple of days ago I went over to my Grandma's so she could teach me how to crochet.  The only thing I knew about crocheting is that it uses only one needle, whereas knitting uses two.  I was handed a cute little needle with a hook on the end and told how to begin.

I can definitely tell this is going to be a slow process - bummer.  I was hoping to be able to catch on quickly and be making sweaters by next week.  Not really, but I was hoping I would be able to get a little farther than what I have.  I can make a chain with a second row on it and that's about it.  Fail.

I will have to go back in a couple days and try again.  It doesn't help that I have absolutely no patience for anything, so that's going against me.  Grandma sent me home with a book, so I may take a look at that to see if I can get any further.  In the meantime I will just sit and stew about it :p

A scarf I would love to be able to make in the future; my chain and me; my chain and needle; a basket full of scarves that my Grandma has made for me.

There are a lot of cute things that can be made from crocheting and I really hope that I can figure this out!  It's frustrating to say the least, but I know it takes time and I will have to learn to be more patient with it.

Do any of you crochet or knit?  Was it hard for you to learn?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Doggie Anxiety.

Ahhh, such sweet sounds.  Thunderstorms while sleeping.  It can be such a soothing and peaceful sound - the little rumble of thunder in the distance, the raindrops bouncing off the windows.

Well, not so much when your 70 pound dog has horrible storm anxiety.  Sandea's anxiety is intense.  She is a stray that we found and I am sure she was a former chained up, outside dog forced to live in storms.  But living inside hasn't changed the fact that she is still terrified by storms.

We were woken up about 230a this morning by alerts on the radio and instantly knew we were in for a long nite.  Sure, I can function on 3 hours of sleep!! I crawled out of bed, grabbed her Thundershirt, and quickly put it on her. So we battled round one of the storms for about an hour, fell back asleep, when round two came about 5.  Rather than continue to fight with her, I decided just to get up since it was almost time anyway and I gave her one of her sedatives.  Unfortunately, the storm has been gone about 2 hours and her sedatives are finally working.  Perfect timing!

Poor Sandea.  I feel bad that she is so scared, but it is definitely not fun to deal with.  Anyone who has a dog with anxiety knows that it's very frustrating.  Constant panting, drooling, scratching, shaking, trying to get wherever you are.  It gets annoying, especially because I don't have a lot of patience.  But come one, it's January, not April!  We will be dealing with this all spring, meh....

Luckily the last few times we have had bad storms, one of us has been home to deal with her, but I hate when we are gone and storms hit.  She has cost us a lot of money because she has torn up lots of our doors, ripped off door handles, and even bent the super thick wiring on her dog crate (we learned real quick she wasn't a fan of being in a large crate).  We have tried a couple different sedatives and the one we have found that works, rarely works during storms because by the time it kicks in, the storm as passed. . . like now.  She is knocked out!

Needless to say, I am very tired today.  It doesn't help that it's cold, gloomy, and ugly out, but I'll have another cup of tea and hopefully get some energy so I can clean and study today.  I'm sure tonite will be an early to bed nite and hopefully no more storms.

Have a great day, everyone!

This is Sandea in her Thundershirt. 
What she did to my closet door one day when we weren't home.