Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Let's have a Picnik!

I'm probably a bit late on discovering this awesome tool, but I had to share. I always see little teeny boppers with these cute designs and text on photos, and I'm always bewildered as to how they do it! Well, I have discovered their secret! Picnik, a photo editing site, allows you to upload and edit photos for free! This is great for those folks who don't know how to use Photoshop or Lightroom...Lightroom, what! Exactly.

Anyhoosier, here is the site. Go play!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hellooooo Fall!

Dewey grass, dark mornings, glowing sunlight escaping through the foggy sky, pumpkins adorning my doorstep, cinnamon roll scented Febreeze filling the air...WHY YES! It must be fall! And with that, I am flashin' the purple tights and rockin' the houndstooth platform heels with patten leather detail. Hair is crazy curly. Ooooh Baby. I'm a fox today, and the Hubs took notice. Great way to start off the work week!

Great weekend too. There is something so refreshing and comforting about going back home to one's roots. My dandy of a father's berfday is this week, so I went home to grace him with my presence. We celebrated him with breakfast at Charlie Parker's Diner where I had a multi-grain, blueberry pancake that was the size of a dinner platter! It was sooo good. Then took a stroll at the park, Mom spoiled me big time with a desperately needed shopping spree - when you are the bread winner and you make peanuts for money, its no surprise that I was wearing the same pair of black pants every day...gross I know, but a girl's gotta do, whatta girl's gotta do - purchased at least 15 pumpkins from a neighbor...$2 bucks each...what a steal, made a coconut cream pie and chased my little Mexicans around the yard. Great weekend.

Topped it all off with dinner at a dear friend's house to celebrate the homecoming of her fiance from a month-long medical rotation in Oregon. Beef Wellington was on the menu...never had it before, but I'm a fan. I love anything made with filo dough!

Here's to a great, fall work week! May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, May good luck pursue you each morning and night :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

:: Thursday's Travels ::

This will be a new segment I'm starting because sometimes a girl's just gotta daydream about someplace other than her cubicle. So, why not daydream about the amazing places the Hubs has visited!

With the start of fall, I feel like traveling to Ireland (aka Land of Engagement). When my great Uncle Joe passed away, the Hubs thought it would be a "great idea" to go visit where our families are from. The Hubs knew I loved my Uncle Joe, and thought his passing would be a great reason to go to Ireland without me thinking we'd be getting engage. Fyi, I thought Uncle Joe was a real live leprechaun when I was a little girl. He was a short little fellow, with crystal blue eyes, a jolly laugh, and the voice of a canary. He was the sweetest man I've ever known. Anyways, I digress...:)

So, the Hubs and I headed to Ireland. This place truly was as magical and jolly as Uncle Joe made it seem in his tales he would tell me. We saw castles, old, medieval churches, moss-covered stone fences, wild, brightly-colored flowers, tons of sheep, friendly ponies, Celtic geese, and then we'd finish every evening off with a big, cold pint of Guinness. I seriously daydream about Ireland everyday and their Guinness served with a piping hot bowl of beef stew. Oh yum. I'm ready to go now!

Happy 1st day of Fall!

Photos Courtesy of The Hubs

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Family Photo

Wow..This picture speaks volumes...

Mom talking,
Buddy is bored,
Maya passed out,
Brother not looking at the camera,
Elsa not smiling,
Dad, the Hubs and I behaving...for once.

"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."
~ Erma Bombeck

Friday, September 17, 2010

Busy Weekend

So excited for the weekend! It is definitely going to be a busy one, too! Tonight, the Hubs and I are going over to a dear friend's place for dinner.

Then tomorrow, I'm forcing the Hubs to go to a grape stomping festival with me. What could be more exciting and fun than drinking wine and stomping on grapes? That is definitely a recipe for disaster right there!

On Sunday, I will be racing in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. Pretty pumped and ready to get my run on! Can't wait to see all the crazy ladies dressed in pink :)

Happy Weekend to All!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deep Thoughts

1) I cut my thumb the other day and now I can feel it's heart beat.

2) Eugene is back and all I can think about is this brownie.

3) How fast do hotcakes sell?

Rainy September

With all the rain we've been getting, I've been dreaming of green wellies with white polka dots. But why stop there? I also thought it might be nice to pair them with this little denim dress from Target and a big red poppy pin from Emersonmade. If I had money, I would wear this for the weekend and jump in a big rain puddle :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fo Realz

I use to think that when the Bible said to "Be like Jesus," that meant I had to be perfect. I'm re-thinking that thought. Yes, Jesus was perfect, and yes, as a Christian we should strive to be holy and righteous, but I think perfection drives people batty and results in snottiness. No matter how hard I try, I'm just never going to be perfect. And if I'm so busy trying to be perfect, then tell me what is the point of God's grace?

Plus, perfection is so vanilla. And Jesus is far from vanilla. He's more of a double chocolate chip with peanut butter and hot fudge kind of Savior.

I tried the whole perfection thing, and it sucks. I'm over it. As a young Christian striving to be what I thought God wanted me to be (perfect), I found that not only was I feeling judged by other Christian women, but I too was judging others. Well that is just a bunch of cow poo if you ask me. God called us to love one another, and I especially hate seeing women be mean to each other. I don't think that's what Jesus wants. In my humble, could-be-quite-possibly-wrong opinion, I believe that when the Bible calls us to "Be like Jesus," they were telling us to love and serve others. Jesus is the definition of love after all.

Last night, I went to my first bible study group meeting and I was scared. In my heart, I had kind of given up on bible study groups because I never felt accepted. I never felt like I was enough, which is so wrong to feel when I am accepted and I am enough because of Jesus' sacrifice. So, I was scared. I was so scared, I think I might have stuttered a few times...yea, a new habit I've developed. I'm weird, but I just figure its God's way of getting a good laugh, so I'm cool with it. Anyway last night was good. I asked God to open my heart to these women and allow them to see me for me. Flaws, sins, stuttering hot mess and all. Since it was the first night, it was more of a social occasion, but I felt God working in me. My heart was open, and I saw the hearts of other women who were wanting fellowship with real women as well.

Oh, and my bible study leader cusses. She loves Jesus, drinks wine, eats chocolate, can't cook AND she cusses. She's a good woman, a REAL woman, but Lord knows she ain't no angel. And I love it. She needs grace and forgiveness just as much as the next person.

God knows what I need. And man, is He good to me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You may kiss my hand

I've been told a lot of things in my humble, little life. "You are Jesus and rainbows," "You are on crack," "you are a hot mess"...to name a few.

But, this may be the best compliment yet. While visiting a local fall festival, my friends stumbled upon the following quote and both immediately thought of me...

I've got the tiara, now I just need the cape and I'll be set.

Ode to Hubs

I would like to dedicate this post to the Hubs, aka my husband. Wow, that maybe the first time I've typed that. Looks weird. Anyways, I digress...(I love that word and try to use it as often as possible)...digressing again.
So, the Hubs. What can I say about the big lug? He's fabulous. He's great. He's, he's, he's my Hubs. I love him, obviously, or else I wouldn't have married him. But besides all that lovey dovey stuff, he's somethin' else. The boy can throw pottery, make a shoe out of a cereal box, draw really cool fish, do a hand stand for a long time and play the guitar. In high school, he was a wrestler, pole vaulter, football player and diver. Now, he's aspiring to be a doctor ("a docta, a docta, I can't believe I married a docta" ~ from the movie Beaches - rent it and watch it with a box of kleenex)...digressing again. He also loves philosophy, has traveled almost every where in the world - Africa, Thailand, Japan, Prague, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Hawaii, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Vera Cruz, Honduras...I know I'm missing some random country. He's done volunteer work and spoke the native language in Africa, Honduras and Mexico. He buys me running clothes, new running shoes and eucalyptus mint scented candles from Bath and Body. He enjoys cooking, attends Farmer's Markets, and critiques food and wine with me. He even watches Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance with me...and he LIKES IT! I mean, c'mon, the boy is a dream boat.

But the thing the Hubs is probably most proud of is scuba diving and his underwater photography. He's got a real eye for beauty, hence, me. But besides me, he sees beauty in the ocean that the average person would take for granted, or just sit on the beach, get a tan and drink a margarita...which is great too. But, the Hubs loves to be in the water. He is part fish. He even wants to have his body donated to shark food one day. I mean, hello, crazy! But his art is poetry in pictures. It really is breathe taking. Instead of washing the dishes or checking your Facebook account, you should check out his website. It will not only awe and inspire you, but also make you very jealous of his talent and experiences.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Witchy Woman

I love witches! All kinds of 'em. Professor McConagall, Hermione and Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, Elphaba from Wicked, Samantha from Bewitched, Eva Ernst from The Witches, Mary Poppins (yes, she is a witch), the Owens sisters from Practical Magic, the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus and Wendy the Good Little Witch.

I also love the history about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Its amazing what jealousy and envy can do to a person! I find it so interesting (and yes, horrible) that these young, silly girls lashed out at women and even men saying that they had set the devil on them, and adults believed them! I've been reading up about it a lot lately. You should Google it. It's addicting. I may even have to rent the move The Crucible this weekend!

I've also been reading about the history of witches (don't worry ma, I won't be getting into Wicca any time soon), and you might be interested to know that witches have been persecuted since the 1200s! In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII claimed that witches were indeed real, and therefore, it was heresy to believe otherwise. As a result of this, church authorities tortured and killed thousands of women in an effort to get them to confess that they flew through the sky, turned into animals and engaged in various sorts of black magic!

Good GAWL! Crazies, crazies, crazies. I love it. Not the torture, but just the spookiness of it all.

And with that, I will set you off on your weekend with some photos of my favorites spooky ladies :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yo Hubs!

The hubs and I have been spending the last few nights watching the first installment of Rocky. Gotta admit, when the hubs said lets watch Rocky, I was not excited. I thought the movie would be a bunch of dudes spitting, grunting, getting sweaty and touching each other. Fyi, if you haven't seen Rocky, its about boxing...not porn. Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised!

Rocky is just a good ole' Italian boy from Philly working part-time as a debt collector for a loan shark, and a "past-his-prime" boxer. Mick, his ex-trainer, always believed Rocky could have been something great, but Rocky didn't have the self-confidence or respect to train for something better than his reality. He often visits a pet store (he likes turtles like the Hubs!) and meets a shy, homely girl, Adrienne, that he falls in love with. Rocky's love and support helps Adrienne to open up to love and not be afraid to show her beauty.

Current world heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed comes up with the idea of giving an unknown a shot at the title. Apollo checks out the Philly boxing scene, and chooses Rocky. Then, Rocky is visited by his ex-trainer who wants to be Rocky's manager. Understandably, Rocky feels like Mick is just trying to use him because Mick took away Rocky's locker and dismisses him calling him basically a "loser." Rocky goes on a screaming rant, he's definitely got some daddy issues, but at the end of the rant, realizes that friendship and support from Mick is more important to him than his pride. So, Rocky starts training with Mick.

Rocky starts out his training and can barely run up some stairs. You are sitting there thinking, how is this guy ever going to stand a chance against the Champ, but after a lot of hard work, determination and support from Mick and Adrienne, he's finally ready for the match. This is his chance to fight and he wants to prove that he can go the distance with Apollo.

In the end, I'm not really sure if he wins or not. I don't think he won, but I realized that winning or losing wasn't the point of the movie. It's about believing in yourself and proving to yourself that you are worth something. I think its also about surrounding yourself with love and support. Before Mick and Adrienne, Rocky was alone with his turtles. But once he learned to love others and himself, he found something worth fighting for.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Good for the Soul

"Jogging is very beneficial. It's good for your legs and your feet. It's also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed." ~ Charles Schulz, Peanuts

In the wee dark hours of the morning, I decided to get up and go for a run. As I climbed out of bed and stretched my legs, I felt the blood begin to pump through my veins. My eyes surprisingly were wide awake with enthusiasm. As I laced up my shoes and took a deep breath, I took to the pavement. With the cool, fall breeze blowing against my skin, I could feel my muscles pumping to get warm and color rushing to my cheeks. I felt my legs getting stronger with each stride as I ran through the dark with the moon still shining above me. My eyes began to gain focus and muscles felt wide awake. My lungs sighed to take in the fresh, morning air. I felt so alive. {Sigh}

Running in the early mornings is good for the soul, in deed. Not only does it get my blood pumping, but it just makes me a happier person. I smile more at my grumpy neighbors, I start off the morning with a good convo with God and I let bustling drivers on their way to work pass in front of me with a wave instead of a grumble under my breath. Yes, running is good for my soul.

What brings joy to your heart in the early mornings?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Can't eat one more bite!

After this three-day weekend, I am needing to detox and go for a long run. It's a little too early to beginning developing a winter coat (aka poundage), but that did not stop me from eating a lot of delicious food.

The weekend began with grilling burgers and chowing down on homemade fries with the hubs and his sister. We ended the night with beers and smores. A little too many smores :) But they were delish.

In the morning, I made wheat pancakes with chocolate chips topped with peaches! TO DIE FOR! Then, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some craft supplies for the kitchen art, and believe it or not, I actually got the craft started! I painted 4 canvases, and now they are drying. I'm going to try and add the scrapbook paper on them tonight. Then, I went to a local pizza shop to pick up some wheat dough for only $0.75! What a steal! The hubs and I made homemade pizzas, and mine was heaven! I just rolled out the dough as thin as I could get it, topped it with a tbsp of olive oil, sliced roma tomatoes, hand-torn basil, sliced mozzarella and a dash of salt. NOTE: You must pre-cook the dough so you don't burn the mozzarella! I pre-cooked the dough for about 5 minutes, and cooked the pizza with toppings for about 10 minutes or till the crust was a golden brown. So good :)
On Sunday, we ate pancakes again and left over pizza. But, I made up for all the carbs with a 2-mile run and 4-mile walk on the trail and lots of yard work! We ended the night with friends coming over for a game or two or ten of Rock Band. We bought Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and I scored 100%. I did the song proud. We then moved to the porch and fire pitted, drank wine, skewered some mallows and laughed a lot...mainly at myself :)

Labor Day was filled with sun and the pool! A very lazy day of no labor, in deed. The hubs and I then tried to be productive and went grocery shopping and cleaned up the kitchen after a weekend full of cooking. We then headed over to our friends' house for some steak, pork chops, veggie kabobs, asparagus and the infamous cheese dip.

I definitely lived up to Labor Day, and ate my way through the weekend. And now, I'm needing to detox. I ate so much last night that I couldn't sleep! Pathetic. Tonight, I'm running and drinking lots of water. And making chili :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fairy Princess

Last post for the day, I promise. Just so many thoughts racing through my enormous brain! Plus, I'm just making up for it because its a three-day weekend and I'm not blogging Monday. Too much fun to be had.
Anyway, my birthday is coming up in 3 months and if someone (ahem, hubs) would buy this dress for me, my life-long dream of becoming a fairy princess would be achieved. I'd also appreciate a tiara, wings and a magic wand.

Kitchen Art

So, I've been feeling crafty lately, and I've decided that I am going to re-create the art above on 4 canvases for our kitchen. The kitchen is "Key lime Green" and I think the art could look pretty coo. I'm going to paint the canvas, cut out the shapes from some fun colored scrapbook paper and decoupage the scrapbook paper onto the dry, painted canvas. This is a task for this weekend. If I get it done, I'll post pics :)

Food for Thought :: Flank Steak & Edamame

I would like to take a minute to brag on myself. For someone who did not know how to make jello, I have become a pretty good cook. While traveling to Italy, Spain, Ireland and Hawaii, the hubs and I found ourselves spending a large portion of our money on tasting all the different foods from each area. We began taking photos of what we ate, jotting down the ingredients, and critiquing the food, which lead us to our self proclamation as "Foodies."

As a foodie, health nut and newlywed of a fellow foodie and health nut, I began planning meals that were not only gourmet enough for a foodie, but healthy and filling enough for our waistlines. Last night, the hub's return home, I made a new recipe that combined two of our faves: steak and Japanese! The recipe was for Flank Steak and Edamame with Wasabi Dressing, and it was delish! The wasabi definitely delivered and cleared out my sinuses, as well!


  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste


Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub steak with 2 teaspoons soy sauce; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and edamame to pan; cook 2 minutes.

Combine vinegar and wasabi paste in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Place 1/2 cup edamame mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 3 ounces steak; drizzle each with 1 tablespoon vinegar mixture.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 253 (42% from fat)
Fat: 11.9g (sat 3g,mono 3.7g,poly 3.9g)
Protein: 27.7g
Carbohydrate: 5.9g
Fiber: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 28mg
Iron: 2.8mg
Sodium: 653mg
Calcium: 64mg

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rainy Days

"Well it's raining, and it's pouring, and my old man, well he is snoring. Rainy days, please stay..." ~ "Rain" by Priscilla Ahn

Another rainy day here at the university. I love rain. It makes me sleepy and my flowers happy. I just want to cuddle up in sweats and a nice cozy blanket. I'm ready for the holiday weekend! The last weekend of summer, possibly! Ready to grill, watch some football, go for a bike ride, possibly visit the winery and go to the pool for the last time this year.

Sad to see summer go, though. It went so fast this year! I am definitely, obviously excited for fall, but dreading what follows fall. I'm refusing to think past the present. Just going to enjoy the final days of 80 degree weather and prepare for embracing fall festivals, pumpkins, football, chili and leaves. I'm predicting that the leaves will begin to change in the second to last week of September and peak at early November. So excited to play in the leaves :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Poppy Project

You may notice a vine growing on the side of my blog... it's the Coach poppy project!

Follow the poppy trail on the left side of my blog to discover a community of more blogs.

And play with the vine! Look for Poppy surprises in the pattern. If you spot a Coach Poppy bag, it’s your lucky day! Just click on the bag for a special gift.

Tweet: #calamityj Grow, Poppy! Grow! #CoachPoppy

If I get my vine to grow the most I'll win a $2,500 Coach gift card!

Contest end September 2. Help a sister out!!!

Can't contain myself!

It's raining here on this first day of September. The temperature is a cool 68 degrees, and the goosebumps on my arms are telling me that fall is here! I'm so excited to bust out the fall scented candles and decor, and embrace all that is fall! I've already checked out all the fall festivals occurring in my hometown and my current home and surrounding areas. Autumn, how I do love thee.

Something about fall is so inspiring! I love all the colors, smells and activities. MU is kicking off the football season this weekend in STL against Illinois. So excited to see everyone decked out on campus in black and gold. I'm also excited to bust out my slow-cooker, make pumpkin bread, rake leaves (yes, I do enjoy raking leaves!), buy pumpkins, make apple-ciders, soups and chili, go on hayrides, visit pumpkin patches, attend homecoming house decs and parade {sigh}...Can't you just feel my excitement exploding from your screen!

The Tale of Miguel

Once upon a time in a far away land, known to the hubs as "the shire," there lived a little Mexican named Miguel. Full of energy and spirit from an overdose on Mexican jumping beans (aka M&Ms), Miguel aspired to be the first Mexican ninja. He could kick as high as a cactus is tall and karate chop an enchilada in two. There was nothing that this Mexican ninja could not do! He lived off of banana popsicles, chocolate cake and white rice. He gave big hugs and kisses, not sloppy, but nice. He went to class every week to learn the ways of a ninja, obeyed his teachers and got mad skillz that are so major. He earned red tape on his belt for doing good, now he's cleanin' up the streets and revampin' the hood. He's a celebrity in the shire these days, everyone knows his name and be singin' him praise. So if you're ever in the shire and need a Mexican ninja for hire, just ring Miguel, the first Mexican ninja from the shire.