Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Favorites ~ January Things

Linking up with Andrea Erika & Narci for Friday Faves!

I'm excited that January is nearing the end. I'm a huge fan of the spring and warm weather so we are getting closer with the close of each cold month! And January was pretty dang bitter here in Jersey. This past week we had 2 half days and a whole day off because of snow.
Hey, I'm not complaining but there is something about those kind of days that are such a tease and make the rest of the work week feel so drawn out! I for one couldn't be happier its Friday! Bring on the weekend!
So my favorites are things from this month...
Starting with my absolute new favorite cookies
Seriously go make them! And eat them ALL!!
You will love them :)
Since we've had a bunch of snow lately, my new favorite piece of snow removal equipment (I'm not sure what the correct word is really)
is this amazing adjustable scraper brush combo
It extends to reach across the entire windshield and is just amazing!
That combined with my remote start makes icy snowy mornings much better!
My next favorite is this blog post I did about my "mid month confessions"
It was so fun confession my craziness!
My next favorite is this delicious lotion
I have the light green one.
The scent is cucumber...and let me tell you its fabulous!
I picked mine up at Kohl's of all places...
I am usually a fan of my Aruba Aloe lotion, but in an effort to NOT use all of my little bottle, I'm substituting this one and it's divine.
And for my last favorite I'm sharing my TWO favorite snacks lately
Ted and I have been doing smoothies in the morning so that's a good healthy change from my normal bun or muffin or buttered roll!
But my snacks aren't always AS healthy. But I am trying.
So my favorite "sweet" grab and go is this granola bar
It's chocolate chip which satisfies the sweet and low in sugar so it isn't terrible.
Next is my favorite "salty" grab and go is this
Who doesn't love a soft pretzel.
Now, I'm not saying I eat these on the daily or even like once a week, but when a hankering strikes me, and I have to have it.... or as WaWa says "Gotta hava wawa"
I answer and get myself one!
For those of you who don't know, WaWa is the greatest convenience store that ever was.
Happy Friday Ladies!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

My New Favorite Cookie!

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips and craisins. 

These little dollups of heaven are out of this world!!

I'm sure I'm not the first person to come up with this recipe, but since we were snowed in I wanted to make cookies. So I looked in the pantry to see what I had and I noticed I had oatmeal and thought ooooohh oatmeal raisin cookies. But I really wanted to change it up a bit so I thought of what else I could stick in there and saw Craisins and white chips and was like Bam! So I made a typical oatmeal cookie and instead of putting in the raisins, I put in white chips and Craisins!
Here is the recipe I used:
1 stick plus 6 tablespoons of butter, softened
3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups of old fashioned oats, uncooked
1 cup of craisins
1 cup of white chocolate chips
What you do:
Heat oven to 350°F.
In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mix well.
Add oats and craisins and chips, mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.
Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whats Cookin' Wednesday ~ Chili

What's cookin' this Wednesday?? CHILI! I'm not a bean fan, so we only use one can but this recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman was delicious! I tweaked it a TINY bit...
2 pounds Ground Beef -OR- Ground Turkey
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/4 of a white onion, diced finely
1 can (12-14 oz. size) Tomato Sauce
1 can petite diced Tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (more To Taste)
1 can (14-ounce) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
1 can (14-ounce) Pinto Beans, Drained And Rinsed
1/4 cup Masa (corn Flour)
1/2 cup Warm Water
Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Diced Red Onion (Optional)
Sour Cream (Optional)
Brown ground meat with chopped garlic in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, oregano, cumin, and chili powder.
Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes.
Add drained and rinsed beans.
Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 25 minutes.
Mix masa with water, then add to the chili.
Stir to combine and simmer for a final 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Serve in a bowl or over Fritos or however you like chili with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and onions (if you like)
I made a box of that Jiffy Corn bread to go with it.
So Yummy!
Warmed the belly and filled us up!
The Masa was an interesting addition, but it was SO good!!
I hope you try this one out - even if you aren't a chili fan - it's yummy!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snowed In !

Well the blizzard didn't deliver 28 inches of snow so I'm a bit bummed about that. But we did get a lot of snow and we have a snow day today.... 

My slider to the back yard...

Out the front door...

The streets across from our house...

Another view from the front...

So my intentions for the day are:
Make pancakes for breakfast...
Bake oatmeal cranberry white chocolate
And watch movies...

Have a fantastic Tuesday and if you're snowed in too... Enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend wrap-up ~ we're under a blizzard warning!

As I type this, our state is under a blizzard warning. I mean, batten down the hatches, get your bread and milk folks because 24 inches of snow is on its way! 
I'm excited - haha. I love snow! I love being snowed in. And at 9pm (Sunday) we already have an early dismissal for tomorrow at school.... 
Can I get an amen?! 

Our weekend was pretty low key. 
Friday after work I got my hair done. Which was LONG over due! 

The most attractive picture of me around:
Then Friday night we went out to Shady Rest for dinner. And I'm thinking of how much I say we eat out but realize that we are still newlyweds and once we have babies eating out will be seldom so I'm embracing our little date nights!! 
Saturday we woke up and power cleaned because we had a house showing. (Fingers crossed!) then took off to do some errands. 

Stopped at Chik Fil A for some lunch... 

Then headed back home. We hung out for a bit then I whipped up some delicious chili 

Recipe Wednesday!! 
We watched the hockey all star skills competition and pretty much headed to bed after that. 

Sunday I made waffles in my waffle iron again and then we went to my moms to get her generator situated in case we lose power with this snow storm. Then headed over to the food store on the island for some groceries. And stopped to peek at the ocean...

IN LOVE with this picture. OMG. LOVE. 

Then we took a selfie...

Then headed back home to drop off the groceries and our pup before we went BACK to moms for an amazing dinner. 
Sunday night was spent getting everything situated for the big blizzard... 

Yup. There we are. 12-24 

Hopefully things don't get too out of hand before I get home... 
And hopefully I get a few days off from work this week because of it all!

And for kicks... Here is the only picture I have of my new super blondie hairs. 

Have a great week!! Stay safe & warm!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites ~ Looking back...

Linking up with Andrea & Erika!
Ok so I'm sitting on my couch watching American Idol thinking about posting a pic to Instagram for throw back Thursday...
I find all these pictures I totally forgot existed... So for my faves this Friday I'm gonna show you my favorite pics from my phone... Boring? Maybe....
But someone out there might enjoy a glimpse into the past few months of my life :-)
This is sadly, right after Sandy... but when you scroll past it on a cell phone,  it stands out for obvious reasons. Almost look realistic..

This is a fox at Island Beach State Park a few weekends ago... they hang out all over the island... they come right up to the truck. Kinda sad, but they are well taken care of.
This was on the way to Kevin & Heathers wedding... Ted was in the wedding so I drove to the church solo... I was having a fabulous hair day, so I showed Manda in Texas... :)
The blue heart I made out of my dads favorite blue shirt and sewed into my wedding dress <3
Little man and my hubby... just cute.
Aruba :)

My nephews
Chalkboard in my moms kitchen!!! :)
I have NO, don't recall this AT ALL but hey, I'm owning it
The donations I received for our local animal shelter instead of wishing well stuff for my wedding shower! We were so excited to make such an awesome donation!!
Jersey Tomato... on a BLT omg. Summer food....yummm
Haha - Me and my co-worker/friend at our friends wedding. Long story behind this pic but has a lot to do with Wedding drama!!!
Aruba ~ At night.. smoochin' my hubby
I neeeeeeeeed this hoodie!!
I hope ya'll have a fantastic weekend! Hubby is off tomorrow so I'm pretty stoked about that.
Stay warm & dry <3

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom

Ohhhh this topic and how so many people have SUCH strong opinions about it!
When I was a little kid, I swore I'd be a teacher or a mom.
Look in my Elementary "yearbook" it says right there in it:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
My answer: A house wife and mom
I grew up with a mom who didn't work.
So in my mind, that's what being a woman was all about!
And I couldn't wait to have a husband and kids... seriously.
I currently work in a middle school with the special needs population and I LOVE IT.
However, I'd leave in a heartbeat if given the choice. lol
So naturally once I got married and we started discussing having kids these thoughts ran through my mind. And this is something Ted and I spoke about before marriage.
He knew that working after we had children wasn't something I was interested in.
In my OPINION...and there is ABSOLUTELY NO JUDGEMENT here...
If I/WE am responsible enough to make the decision to HAVE children,
then it is MY/OUR responsibility to raise them.
Also - the amount of money day care costs is through the roof and I just personally want to stay home with my baby/babies.
We are going to try to have children once we sell out house and get into our forever home because selling a house and buying a house and moving and being pregnant and/or having a baby all at once is way too much!
So hopefully it works out the way we imagine.
It's funny too, because so many people have this awkward jealous angry opinion of stay at  home moms. Like they are better than you if they are working moms because they work AND take care of their kids. And don't get me wrong, once my kids are older and in school I'd want to work again, I think, but not when I have littles.
I just don't understand the nasty grudge some people have about it.
I get how tough it is to be a SAHM, I think they rock!
And like I said, I can't wait!!
But these people (like below) I just don't get it!?
What do the stay at home mama's out there think...
Is going to one income difficult?
Are you bothered "living" off your husbands money?
Do any of you who went from a working girl to SAHM have any regrets?
Do you miss "socializing" at work?
Do your hubby's support the idea of you NOT working?
I'm just curious as to what others, besides the people I speak to regularly, think.
I hear so many stories that it's so un-supported these days.
Share your thoughts with me... I'd love to hear all/any feedback!
Who remembers this gem from Good Housekeeping???
It floats around social media now and then...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's Cookin' Wednesday ~ Go to Lunch

Lunch is my biggest issue during the work day.
I never know what to have.
I'm super picky with what I eat so it's always challenging for me.
I don't eat left-overs because I hate microwaves.
I don't eat much in the form of sandwiches because I'm not a fan of bread.
(Not for any carb-fearing reason, I just don't like the taste)
I don't like salad unless I'm home or out, packing one grosses me out a bit.
I could go on, but I'll spare you the drama.
So when I give myself the time to get it together, I make Chicken Salad.
Here I go again with the Rotisserie - I promise I use other chicken too!! (haha)
Chicky Chicken Salad
*google image*
Rotisserie Chicken - shredded
1/4 Cup Mayo (I use light)
1/2 Cup Sour Cream (I use light)
1 diced up Green Apple
1 Cup Craisins
Hand-full of slivered toasted almonds (or nut of your choice)
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a big ol' bowl mix up the shredded chicken, and mayo & sour cream. Now if that is too much "wet" or too little for your liking adjust as needed. Then toss in you diced up apples, craisins and nuts. Sprinkle in your S&P. Mix until blended and serve on a vessel of your choice. I prefer a light flakey croissant because why not go for that buttery goodness with your lunch!?
Store it in a Tupperware container in the fridge!
I like to make this on a Sunday and have it for lunch during the week.
It's easy to grab a roll/croissant and glob some on there and wrap it up and toss it in a lunch bag. Ted loves it too. You can even use left over chicken diced up. Add some grapes.
Get crazy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesday ~ Let's Get Organized!!

I love to organize everything in my life.
I have baskets and containers for just about everything.
I re-organize my closets all the time.
Currently, in our house I just simply don't have enough room for the amount of stuff we both have and it's driving me absolutely crazy! It isn't terrible, and probably wouldn't bother most people, but it makes me nuts.
So this is my entry table which has baskets under it which I keep VERY random stuff in...
The top left has random small house decorations, the one to the right holds all my candles and the bottom one has magazines in it. Not too random I guess... typical house stuff.
This is currently a mess haha but it's been COLD! This is in my coat closet.
A basket for scarves (coat scarves, my outfit scarves are in another closet)
And winter hats and gloves are in the red one.
Almost looks like his and hers ;-)
I hate this area of our house with a growing passion!
In the den is a door to the back yard. If you look close enough, you can see it.
Our attic is large, but impossible to get these containers into.
There is a small square access hole that requires a ladder to access it.
THEREFORE: I keep my decorations for each season in these containers....
There may or may not be a whole bunch more in my moms basement until we move...
I'm actually putting up a tension rod with a long curtain to sort of "close off" the space.
This picture is almost embarrassing but hey, I'm keeping it real ladies...
This is my "organized" bathroom closet.
I re-purposed a small drawer container that previously housed portable electronics as you can see if you really look beyond the washi tape...
In there holds our medicines in pill form and ointments (I hate that word)
In the basket is first aid and large bottles of medicine. 
I also heavily rely on my Erin Condren life planner to organize things
My "Reminders" app on my phone that I just tell Siri when to remind me of stuff...
Now since I was super busy yesterday, and spending QT with my hubs, I'll wrap up our weekend too...
Like I mentioned here - I bought the Blardigan... and I love it!
It was all full of static Friday so I was very electric but that didn't stop the love...
*Please note the hideous boots I have on but you can barely see...I had just picked these up from my moms because she "found" them in the back of a closet....I tried them on, took this pic, looked at the pic and threw them away!*
I was suuuuuuuuuper pumped to make waffles in my waffle maker on Sunday!
I had picked up waffle mix from Williams Sonoma not that long ago, and we got a waffle maker for our wedding so here it was... They were delish!!
Paper plates ~ Because I LOATHE syrupy dishes!!
My hubby and I enjoyed a nice relaxing day yesterday finished with his favorite beer and my favorite wine while our dinner cooked on the grill! 
I rocked my #MandaStrong shirt and the Blardigan pretty much all day
Needless to say, I was comfy
And today marks 4 months that we have been married!!
I told Ted that we are going to do something special for each month we are married up until our one year anniversary then after that obviously just the yearly thing.... so tonight we are going to dinner at our favorite spot! Via Napoli
Happy Tuesday