Saturday, March 30, 2013

What do you do when...

.... you really dislike your book club book??

When I was younger I always wanted to be in a book club.  I LOVE to read and honestly in my free time (when I'm not trying to plan my wedding) you will find my nose in a book.  A couple of years ago my parents got me a Kindle Fire for Christmas and that has only fueled my reading habit because books are wayyyy cheaper on that plus they have a great selection of FREE books.

Anyways, I digress.  So when someone in the alumnae chapter of my sorority suggested that we start a book club I was all about it!  I was so excited to join... in fact when the leader got pregnant, I even took over running the book club.  Now here is where the problem comes in.  As a group we usually decide what we want to read based on suggestions from the other readers, authors we all like, Chi Omega authors (gotta read some stuff by Chi Omegas since Chi Omega is what got this book club started in the first place), etc.  Well this month's book came HIGHLY recommended by one of our sisters...she said it was one of the best books she has read in a long time, and that it was so good she would LOVE to read it again if we picked it as our book club selection... so naturally we decided to read it.

Book Club is now 3 weeks away and for the past 2 weeks I have been trying to read this book and can't get past chapter 3. It is definitely not something that I would ever pick to read on my own, but then again, isn't the point of book club to get you reading outside of your comfort zone? Obviously I  have to figure out a way to finish reading this book because as book club leader I can't not have read the book.  I keep thinking that maybe it will get better the more I get into reading it... yet I just can't seem to force myself to pick it up and keep reading.

Any suggestions as to how I can jump start my reading?

PS, This is the book....

Have any of you read it and if so... does it get any better?!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happies and Crappies

The Vintage Modern Wife: Happies and Crappies Link Up

Today I am linking up with Stephanie at Vintage Modern Wife for her "Happies and Crappies" Series.


I got to go visit my grandparents today for the first time in like 9 months.  It made me so happy that they were so thrilled that I took the day to just come see them out of the blue.  There is nothing like seeing your grandparents smile because you came to visit them just because.

Grents back in 2007

While visiting my grandparents I took a detour to the beach.  They live abut .5 miles from the beach and I couldn't head back to PA without at least getting my feet in the sand and in the ocean.  Makes me miss summer!
Ocean Grove, NJ Beach today
I finally figured out what to do about my bridesmaid dilemma.  I am going to follow my heart and do what I know is going to make me happiest in the long run.  Forget my "Type A" personality and wanting everything to be symmetrical... I am going with my heart on this one.

MD still loves me despite the fact that I am sometimes crazy.  He puts up with my crazy antics and still manages to make life fun for us.  Man do I love that guy!

One of my BFF's is home from NC for the week while on Spring Break!  Really hoping that I get to see her a bunch while she is home!!


Still really upset about [X]'s DUI.  Every time I think about it I get angry.

I have to miss a surprise bday party tomorrow because my stupid manager scheduled me to work even though Saturday is not in my availability.

Not only do I have to work a Saturday night this week I also have to work on Easter.

Still haven't found a DJ or someone to do my hair for our wedding... I really need to get on this.

Overall this has been a pretty awesome week and I am so thankful that the good outweighs the bad!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Can't Believe

Today I am linking up with Robin at The Sunshine Diary for "I Can't Believe Wednesday" Feel free to head over to her blog and link up with the rest of us!

I can't believe that in less than 7 months I will be married to the love of my life.  October 19th can't come soon enough!
Rooke Chapel where MD & I will be married in Oct
I can't believe that last night at work some customer told me that I was too young to get married, then upon finding out I was 28 proceeded to ask me if MD & I would start having kids right away because I was getting old.  Make up your mind guy... I am either young or old, can't be both!

I can't believe that I have zero free weekends until Cinco de Mayo.  I would love to go away with my girls that weekend, but it looks like none of them are free.  When is life going to slow down so that I can have a life and actually see some of my friends?!

I can't believe that [X] got a DUI.  I worry for [X]'s safety sometimes and when I hear that [X] has done something like this it really boils my blood.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is Life Ever Going to Slow Down?

*NOTE: I started this post about a week ago and just never had the time to finish it as I haven't had a day off since I went back to work on March 9th*

I have been out of commission for about a week now, although I did go back to work on Sunday night.  Whatever this virus was it kicked my butt and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.  It has been so nice to get out of the house, even if just to work (I know, I'm crazy right, excited to go to work) but let me tell you, when you are cooped up in the apartment for 4 days straight with a fever of anywhere from 100-102ish you are just happy that the fever is gone and looking for ANY excuse to get out!

I was feeling better on Saturday so we made the trek up to New Jersey to see my parents and to have my mom come with us to pick out our Save the Dates for our upcoming wedding.  I can't believe it is time to send the Save the Dates out already... where did the time go?! We picked out some really cute magnets and I am hoping that our friends and family love them as much as we do when they actually get them in the mail.  Save the Dates are really making everything more real now... not that our wedding/engagement wasn't real before, but I just feel like it is all a dream still.  Though I should know it is not a dream as my  bank account is hurting from all the payments we have made for things thus far.

Speaking of the wedding... I am having a bridesmaid dilemma.  I currently have asked six of the amazing women in my life to be bridesmaids for our wedding and there is a 7th person I would love to ask.  Problem is, MD has only asked four guys to be his groomsmen.  He says he has two more he is planing on asking which would make the numbers even which is ideally what I want.  He did ask his 5th person but I believe he has yet to hear back from the guy, so again that makes things problematic.  Anyways, back to my dilemma.  I am pretty sure the girl who would be my 7th is a little offended I haven't asked her yet and I just don't know what to do.  Unfortunately for me I have a TON of close girlfriends which made picking bridesmaids particularly hard.  In the end, the girls that I have asked so far are the girls who I have known since sophomore year of college or earlier plus the girl who is most likely going to end up being my sister-in-law at some point in the next few years and is someone who truly feels like family to me. But how do you explain to one of your closest friends that you haven't asked them to be in the wedding because you want things to be symmetrical? That just seems so harsh to me, but that is really what my type A personality is thinking.  Do I try to have MD find another groomsman so that things are even? Do I go with uneven numbers? I just don't know what to do and it is totally stressing me out.

Other than work and wedding planning my life has been fairly boring.  I have no free time.  I never see my friends.  Heck, I rarely see my fiance at this point.  Saturday (March 22nd) is going to be my first entire day off since March 9th and I have no idea what we are going to do with it.  I am hoping to get to spend the day with MD just hanging out and maybe see a few of our friends that I have neglected these past few weeks... ok, maybe this past month.  I can't wait to just find a job in a career so that I can have a bit more free time and get to see the ones I love more!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Times Like These I Want My Mommy

I can't remember the last time I was sick and I mean really sick.  Whenever I am sick I turn into the world's biggest baby and all I want is to be around my mother.  When I was sick my mom used to make me chicken noodle soup, give me ginger ale and let me watch all sorts of TV on the couch.  I would focus on getting better and she was always there to take care of me.

Now that I am a "grown up" and on my own I don't have my mom here to take care of me when I am sick... I have to take care of myself.  And let me say, that is easier said than done.  For the past 24 hours I have had a fever of about 101ish and I want to do absolutely nothing besides sleep.  Eat? Nope. Drink? Nope. Get out of bed? Not really.  I have managed to get out of bed, moving to the couch in the living room.  I tried to eat a little... got maybe a quarter of a bowl of soup down before I was full. And I have been attempting to drink the same cup of tea for oh about 4 hours.

I had all these ideas of things that I wanted to blog about today and instead I am sitting here whining about how sick I feel and how I want my mommy.

Do you ever have days like this? What do you do to snap out of it?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Adventures in Cooking... Rachel Ray's Southwestern Chili Con Queso Pasta Bake

For those of you who don't know, I am a Pinterest addict.  I Pinterest just about everything, although my favorite thing to do on Pinterest is look for new recipes (If you want to follow me on Pinterest you can do so here).  The fiance and I had been getting into a bit of a rut with cooking... we were pretty much only making tacos, eggs, lasagna, pasta, and then occasionally porkchops or baked chicken.  I decided that needed to change because let's face it, I was getting tired of all of the same meals.  Pinterest has been AMAZING when it comes to finding recipes and to trying things that we have never had before.  When I remember I am going to try to post some of my favorite recipes on the blog so that you all can share in some of the amazing foods we have started to cook!

First Up...

Rachel Ray's Southwestern Chili con Queso Pasta Bake 
(original recipe found here... I changed it around a bit to better fit our style and taste buds)

1 lb. Penne Rigate
1 1/2 lb. ground beed
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. roasted ground coriander (I think I am going to leave this out next time)
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 tsp. preminced garlic (from the jar)
2 jalapenos
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 c. milk
4c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta (Here is where I ran into a bit of trouble, I don't think I used enough salt in the water... I think I used about 1 Tbsp, so I would recommend using much more as our one complaint about this was it needed more salt.)
3. While the water is coming to a boil, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the hamburger.  When the hamburger is almost finished, but still a little pink, throw in the garlic, jalepeno and onions.  Finish cooking until the burger is browned and the onion is translucent.  Drain the grease from the skillet and mix in the cumin, coriander and chili powder.  Take off the heat.
4. In a medium sauce pan (you can do this while you are browning the hamburger), melt the butter and add the flour to it.  Cook for 1-2 minutes over moderate heat and then whisk in the milk.  When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in approximate 2 1/2 c. of cheese and the parsley.  When the cheese has melted stir in the tomatoes.
5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it back to the large pot.  Add the contents of the hamburger and all of the cheddar sauce.  Stir to combine.  Transfer to a baking dish (I sprayed mine with cooking spray first) and sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 c. of cheese on top.
6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese on top is lightly browned.

Cooking the pasta and the meat

I really am becoming a master chef... 3 things at once on the stove!
Finished product before putting it in the oven

Maybe master chef isn't the right description... perhaps master mess maker in the kitchen is more appropriate

Like I said before, MD and I really enjoyed this recipe and our only complaint was that we felt like it needed more salt.  I have never been much of a pasta cooker, so I'm sure I just didn't put enough salt in the water when I was cooking the pasta.  But live and learn and next time I'm sure it will be even more delicious!

Bon Appetite!