Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Catching Up

I haven't really felt much like blogging lately. Once again - I caught some kind of bug and spent most of the weekend in bed trying to keep food down. I'll spare you anymore details - but obviously there has been a stomach bug going around at school, and being so hip to everything that's in style, I just had to have it.

Sicknesses aside, we have exciting progress on the house that I decided warranted me getting off my rear and posting some pictures for those family members that can't see them already on facebook. We also have our closing date set... we will officially be first time homeowners on Tuesday, March 24th sometime after 9am! Luckily, we have our apartment until the third week of April, so we'll be able to take our time moving.

Here's some pictures of the recent progress:

The master bath finally coming together...

guest bath finally done!

working faucet in kitchen

Hardwood floors going in and appliances! It is SO dirty in here right now it drives me crazy. I really want to go up there with a swiffer and start cleaning!

That's about all the excitement for now. We are headed to Houston this weekend to meet my college roommate's (get a blog Becky!) little baby girl Kate! Can't wait to play with Kate and catch up with Becky and Josh. We're also "running" in the ConocoPhillips 5k Fun Run/Walk on Saturday morning with some friends -- please pray my stomach is back at full strength by then!
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

As promised...
Ok, this is just getting out of hand, people. The GIRL SCOUTS are having to cut back on the number of cookies in their boxes because of the economic recession now?

Regardless of your political beliefs, and whether or not you like our new president, you have to agree with me that we need to do whatever we can to get the economy out of this slump! I simply cannot have fewer girl scout cookies – I mean, good grief, I can already eat an entire box of Peanut Butter Patties (also known as Tagalongs) in one sitting as it stands. Does this mean I have to buy twice the amount of boxes now?

I guess I'll just have to make do, seeing as how this new stimulus package will benefit us first time home-buyers. All I'm saying is, couldn't we have just sent a little money the way of the Girl Scout's too to help them out?
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Monday, February 16, 2009

First meal in our house

This might be my favorite picture of my husband to date...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I love any day that means I get flowers and cards, and this year did not disappoint! My husband came home with 2 dozen pink tulips which are absolutely gorgeous! They make me so ready for spring to be here! We also celebrated our second Valentine's Day together (since we've been married) by eating dinner in our house! Matt surprised me by ordering take out from Macaroni Grill and having it in the trunk when we were "just going by to check out the progress" - as I was walking through the house he ran out and came back in with a blanket, bottle of wine and dinner! We sat on the floor of the living room and enjoyed our first meal in our house! It started raining and got a little cold once the sun set, so we packed up and headed for our apartment after a little while, but it was still fun! I made a red velvet cake for dessert for us, so we spent the rest of the evening recovering from our gluttony.

Happy President's day! I'll be back soon with a comment on the economy...
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We have counters!

Along with painting this week, we have counters and tile! It's amazing what a difference the granite and backsplash make in the kitchen -- it's starting to feel like an actual home! I think the rest of this week they will be finishing up the painting/trim work (although I think they don't install some of it until the hardwood floors are down) and then they will start "grading" our lot to get it ready for the sprinkler system.

Here's some pics :) (Again - mom, you can click on them to make them bigger)

The workers were there when I went today, so excuse all the stuff on top of the island. (Also if you could just ignore the layer of dust covering everything in the house at this point, that would be great.)

The holes on the right are where the microwave and oven will be - the cooktop will be in the middle of the counters

We also have tile now! We are only putting in tile in the utility room and bathrooms, and it's covered in cardboard right now, but here are a few pics of the bathrooms anyways.
Guest Bath
Master Bath

A close-up of the tile (it is the same tile everywhere

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Monday

I just ate five of the aforementioned cookies. UGH - I can't stop eating junk today.

On another note - I am so excited about The Bachelor tonight! I know a lot of people didn't think they'd get into this season because the bachelor, Jason, is a single dad and they didn't "love" him in last season with DeAnna, but I think he has done a really good job so far. I really like all of the girls who are left (Melissa from Dallas has been my favorite from the very beginning, as has Molly), and I think that says something about the editing Jason as well.

I literally look forward to Mondays because of this show! I don't know what I'm going to do once it's over! Here's the girls that are left -- Naomi below



Here's hoping that Obama's press conference tonight doesn't interrupt The Bachelor! (good thing I'm not running the country huh...)

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another quick baking post

I have been in the mood to bake recently so I thought I'd share a little to help you get in the Valentine's spirit!

First up - I made my first 2-layer cake recently. I've obviously made cakes before, but I had never used our round cake pans to make a double layer cake. I had some cake mix lying around, so I mixed it up (and added about 8 oz. of sour cream and a box of instant vanilla pudding - which I do to every cake/cupcake mix I make - I think it makes it extra moist and not too rich - oh and also extra fattening I'm sure). Anyways - I think it turned out pretty well. I attempted to add a heart on the top of it with decorator's icing, but as you can see, that didn't turn out so hot. It may have something to do with the fact that the icing has been sitting in our pantry for about 6 months. Or it just may have been a user error - regardless, here's the finished product.

I also decided to make some cut-out cookies for Valentine's day. Although at the rate that Matt and I are consuming them, I'm not sure we'll have any left for v-day. I used my mom's cut-out cookie recipe and made 2 separate batches of icing. The first is one I found online that is super tasty (that's what I made the pink icing out of) and the second is my mom's cut-out icing recipe which is simply powdered sugar and milk. SUPER healthy :)
I'm not sure why I chose to feature the XOXO's here because they are obviously not very neatly iced - ignore that please :)

I love Valentine's Day - but I know a lot of people think it's just a made up holiday to make people spend more money. I think it's a great excuse to make sure the people in your life know you love them! What do you think?
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Well this is a little late for me to recommend it as a Superbowl appetizer, but I thought I'd share a delicious spinach-artichoke dip recipe I discovered! I haven't done many cooking posts, but with a light at the end of the tunnel on the construction of the house, I thought I'd branch out. If you read all the way to the bottom, you'll see that it's actually pretty healthy! (assuming you don't inhale it in one seating, the way that Matt and I did)

Here is the recipe the way I found it (I made a few tweaks which I marked in red)


Makes 11 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup) (note: 11 servings could also = 2)


  • 2 (6-oz.) packages fresh baby spinach (I actually just used one because that's all I had on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (I doubled this - at least - we are big cheese fans. AND, I accidentally used monterey jack instead of mozzarella, so I think next time I would use a combo of the two)
  • Fresh pita wedges or baked pita chips (we ate this with tortilla chips - but I'm sure it would be good with pita chips as well)


1. Microwave spinach in a large, microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 3 minutes or until wilted. Drain spinach well, pressing between paper towels. Chop spinach. I loved that this used fresh spinach instead of the frozen kind. I thought it was so much easier and quicker than trying to squeeze all the water out of the frozen stuff -- my hands always freeze!

2. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cream cheese and garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until cream cheese melts. Fold in spinach, artichokes, sour cream, and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese; stir until cheese melts. At this point I also added some garlic salt (maybe 1/8 tsp) and some ground black pepper to taste - I just eyeballed this, so you could season this to your taste.

3. Transfer mixture to a 1-qt. shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. (or monterey jack)

4. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately with fresh pita wedges or baked pita chips. (I turned the broil on for the last 30-60 seconds just to give the cheese a nice browning)

Note: Thoroughly wash bagged spinach before using.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 113 (53% from fat)
Fat: 7g (sat 4.7g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 5.5g
Carbohydrate: 8.5g
Fiber: 2.4g
Cholesterol: 24mg
Iron: 1mg
Sodium: 340mg
Calcium: 71mg
Note: Nutritional analysis does not include pita wedges or baked pita chips. (or the fact that I doubled the amount of cheese in this recipe)


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