Thursday, October 31, 2013

Minnesota Weekend!

Happy Halloween! Since MG and I were away during the Halloween weekend, I thought I'd recap what we were up to!
Last weekend MG and I went up/over to Minnesota to see his friends from HS (K&M). His other best friend and his gf (J&J) came from NY and it was one big super fun weekend.

Friday night we got in before J&J, so we went to dinner with K&M and their two boys (who are the cutest things in the entire world!) We went back to the house and just chatted, caught up on stuff and hung out until J&J arrived later that night. We all ended up staying up til well after midnight which would have been fine except that the little ones are up by 6:30 am. There's no sleeping in when little feet are pounding on the floor above you.

The weather was nice on Saturday so we went to Minnehaha Falls with the boys. J and I mused at how our boys acted so much like boys when they're together, and when they're with the little boys.
We had lunch at a place called Yum, and it was appropriately named because everything WAS yummy!

Later that day we were able to tour the Vikings training facility (like we did last year). It was fun to see the little boys take to the big boys so much, running around the practice field and having fun.
you can see just how tiny you are in comparison to an NFL field...
Later that night we all went out to dinner at a place called Chino Latino (it's tradition to go here for dinner at least once), and it's SO good. We had tons of yummy food, and drinks, and I even did my first saki bomb (which splashed all over my pants when it fell into my drink....try chugging beer/saki when your pants are wet and freezing cold! lol)
Sunday we went to the Mall of America just to walk around. The guys went mini-golfing with one of the little guys while us girls shopped...and played hide and seek with the little one in the clothes racks. :)

We all went back home after grabbing lunch and got ready to head to the Vikings/Packers game that night. It was cool to get to park right next to the players' cars, and we even saw Freeman walking into the stadium.
We were able to go down onto the field before the game started, saw K and wished them luck, and then watched the two teams warm up before everything got started:
Since it was a Sunday Night game, there were sportscasters there, too, which was neat to see up close:
sorry the pic is blurry...Bob Costas was there
It's absolutely amazing how BIG the players are when you're standing right next to them on the field. Here are some of the good shots from when we were on the field before the game:
We got to see Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson, and even walked right past Aaron Rodgers, which was pretty cool
Our seats were great--sitting right with the players' families. We even saw Adrian Peterson's girlfriend and youngest son sitting right in front of us:
Unfortunately for the Vikings, they ended up losing the game, which put a damper on our mood for the rest of the night.

We all headed back to the car and waited for K to get done wrapping things up after the game, to head home, and watched the players trickle out to their cars. We all went to bed relatively soon after that since we all had to get to the airport kind of early for our flights the next morning.

Mine and MG's flight was delayed 2 hours which was annoying, but we did eventually make it home, ran some errands, got Cooper from my parents' house (who has a new haircut) and settled back into being home before we had to head to work the next day.

Trips like these are SO much fun, and they fly by. The weather there was actually really nice (not too frigid), too. I feel very lucky that MG has some great friends--I just wish that they lived closer so we could see them more often. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's Cooking? Wednesday: Shrimp Tacos w. Greek Yogurt Sauce

It's Wednesday, so you know it's time for another edition of What's Cooking? Wednesday!

This week I have a Shrimp Taco recipe that I saw ALL over Pinterest. It has a Greek Yogurt sauce to go with it.

I will admit, this wasn't my FAVORITE recipe, but I have some suggestions at the end for what you could do differently that might make it better.
I also need to note that the recipe called for cilantro and I didn't have any so I left it out. I'm not sure it would have made a BIG difference in the taste, but it might have.

What You Need:

-1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
-6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
-1/4 C. chopped cilantro 
-1/4- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 Tbsp lime juice
-1/2 head cabbage thinly sliced (or the bag kind)
-8 tortillas
-4 tsp EVOO
-salt and pepper to taste

What You Do:

1. Heat the tortillas in a warm skillet until they start to bubble (but not burn!) and get some small brown spots on them. Set aside on a plate.

2. In a bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, cayenne pepper, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Set it aside. 

3. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a skillet and add the cabbage. Cook it for about 4 minutes, until the cabbage is barely wilted.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 

 4. If you want, you can cut the shrimp into small pieces. I bought salad sized shrimp so I didn't worry about that. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a skillet. Add in the shrimp and season with salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper. Cook through.

5. Make your taco. I put some of the yogurt/cilantro mixture on the tortilla, then the cabbage, and then the shrimp. 

Here's my main problem with this dish. The shrimp didn't really have that much flavor to it. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more had the shrimp had more flavor. My recommendation is to use the recipe for the shrimp from THIS recipe....or just make that recipe instead. I'm not sure I would make these again. If I did, it would be with the seasoning on the shrimp from the other recipe, and I would try the cilantro in the yogurt sauce.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions!

Link up below to share what you've been cooking, or wanting to cook, lately!






Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Song lyrics that don't make sense...

Have you ever heard a song and thought "that doesn't make any sense?" 
I'm sure you have! 
Here are some that I just can't wrap my head around...
{via}

 Macklemore: "we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us"...
wait...if anything couldn't hold you, it would be the floor. You're not dancing on the ceiling. So, putting your hands up, would only help you hold up the floor for the people above you. Silly head.

Adele: "I set fire to the rain"
What??? Firemen all over the world scratch their heads.

U2: "Uno, dos, tres, catorce"
One, two, three, fourteen. Someone needs to go back to Spanish class...




How about we move on to song lyrics you THOUGHT you knew (or made up because you didn't know the actual words)...

In Kokomo, by the Beach Boys, when I was little and the song got to the line...
"That's where we wanna go,way down in Kokomo.Martinique, that Monserrat mystique..."  
I definitely used to say  "that monster rotten steak" 

Some others that are not mine:

Rock the Casbah-="Rock the cat box" (don't wanna know what you'd find when you rock it...)

Pour some sugar on me...="pour some shook up ramen"

Elton John: Hold me closer tiny dancer= 'hold me closer, Tony Danza"
{via} you heard 'em, Tony. Hold 'em closer!
Take me down to Paradise City= 'take me down to a very nice city' (I said this, and didn't realize it was wrong until doing a little research for this post!)

Adele: Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements="should I give up, or should I just keep chasing penguins" (I say go with chasing penguins...much more entertaining)

Bon Jovi: it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not= "It doesn't make a difference if we're naked or not" (depending on who you're talking to, and about what, this could be totally true)

Do you have any to add to either of these lists? I'd love to hear the ones that you all mess up or make up the words to. We ALL do it! :)

P.S. Don't forget to come back tomorrow and link up for What's Cooking? Wednesdays!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five on Friday!

Wooohooooo! Another Friday is here, which means another weekend is right in front of us! I can't wait! Why? 
Read my 5 on Friday to find out...

{1}- Minnesota
MG and I are heading out to Minnesota this weekend. If you were around last October, you might remember that one of MG's best friends (who is also a groomsmen) works for the Minnesota Vikings. MG and his other best friend try and make it out there at least once a year to see the other friend, his wife, and 2 boys. Last year was the first year that I went, and it was SO much fun. Albeit cold, but fun. Even though the Vikings are not doing so great, it will still be a great time to visit with friends, see a pro game, and just have fun!

{2}-Love Topper
Remember last week when I had you all give me your opinions on the cake toppers? Well, I didn't tell you that I had already bought the white porcelain one the night before I posted that post. Oops! Luckily I was able to cancel the order, and the company I ordered from was very nice and said they would refund the money and re-route the shipment. Except it arrived at my doorstep on Tuesday. So I wrote the company and told them it had come and I would ship it back with a label. The man thanked me for being honest and said that we could keep it as a gift. So nice, right? After seeing the white one, I'm glad we're going with the silver one. It's nice, but I'm going to LOVE (pun intended) the silver one. Thanks, Trish for getting it for us (and thanks everyone else for convincing me to go big!)
(side note: everything is resolved with the cake people from this weekend, too, thankfully!)

{3}-Brrrrr....
It's cold! I know it's Fall, and I'm ok with that, but I feel like we missed Fall and jumped right into Winter! I had to bust out my North Face winter coat yesterday morning because it was 41 degrees! (given, it will be about those temps in MN this weekend, but still). Too cold! Me no likey!

{4}-First Wedding Gift
Our first wedding present is set to arrive today, much to our surprise (I have UPS delivery notifications). One of our couple friends (who got us the Mr. and Mrs. koozies when we got engaged) had told us to pick out something that we wanted, tell them, and not put it on the registry because they wanted to make sure we got something that we really wanted. At the time, the thing we had been talking about and wanting the most was a really nice knife set/block, so I found one and sent it to my friend when I found it. Totally didn't expect her to purchase it right away, but she did, and now we'll have our first wedding gift arrive! Super exciting!

{5} Best. Idea. Ever.
{via}Enough said.

And on that lovely note, have a FAB weekend party people!


(p.s. today marks 2 months til Xmas...where is the time going??? And, oh s**t, I have so much shopping to do!!)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thankful

Today's post is short and sweet. I didn't know what to post today so I figured why not practice what I preach from the other day when I said that writing down 3 positive things a day helps you focus on the positive.
{via}
Here are 3 everyday things that I'm thankful for:

1. The person who flashed their car lights to let me know that there were 2 cops in a speed trap aimed in my direction. Yay no tickets!

2. MG did the dishes and folded the laundry the other night. I don't totally hate folding the laundry but I also don't love it, so when MG does it, I'm very thankful! :)

3. Picture Day at school yesterday messed up my schedule something terrible, BUT it did allow me some extra time to plan and get some paperwork done, which is ALWAYS something nice :)

What are some things you're thankful for today (or from yesterday)?


One more day til weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's Cooking? Wednesday: Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Pasta

It's Wednesday, which means it's time to share another FAB recipe with you! Link up below and share what you've been cooking, or some of the things that you WANT to be cooking!

This week I have a YUMMY recipe for you, courtesy of Pinterest (of course). I've made other dishes using similar ingredients, but this one is different enough, and has a little kick that is awesome!

What You Need:
-3/4 box of fettuccine
-1 lb shrimp (tail off, deveined)
-1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz), we did No Salt Added kind
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1/4 tsp salt
-pepper to taste
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 Tbsp butter
-2 tsp minced garlic from jar (or 4 cloves garlic)
-Optional: feta cheese (2-4 ounces), handful fresh parsley, chopped

What You Do:

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta when done.


2. While the pasta is cooking (for timing purposes, wait until the water for the pasta starts to boil and then start this step), add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet and begin to heat. Add in the minced garlic. Heat for a minute. Add in the shrimp and cook. 
Put the shrimp aside (I put mine in a bowl and covered it with another bowl to keep it warm)

3. Using the same skillet, add the can of tomatoes and the crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Mix it up to combine and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

4. When the sauce has thickened a little bit, add the cooked pasta to the tomato mixture (I actually added mine to the pasta pot since it was bigger than my skillet). Add the shrimp to the mixture. Combine. Add salt if needed. Sprinkle with parsley if desired (I didn't find it necessary). Add in some feta cheese if desired (I recommend it!)

5. Serve it up in bowls and ENJOY!

This dish has a slight kick to it with the red pepper flakes, but not anything terribly hot. We really enjoyed this dish and will definitely be adding it into our meal go-to list!

Don't forget to link up below to share what you've been cooking, or wanting to cook!






Tuesday, October 22, 2013

12 Things Happy People Do...

P!nky sent me this article last week about the 12 things that happy people do, and I really enjoyed reading it. I think it has a lot of lessons for everyone to look at, and grow from, so that we can be happier people overall.
{via}
In the stresspot that is living in DC, I've fallen prey to a lot of things mentioned in the article. The ones that stood out the most to me:

{via}
-avoiding over thinking and social comparison: I've written about this, recently actually, about social comparison and how it robs you of experiencing the joys in your own life when you're so focused on what others have, are doing, etc. The part in here that I need to learn is to stop over-thinking (read: worrying). BAD habit. 
(right, P!nky?? haha)

-expressing gratitude: this is something that I feel like I do more, now, but could always improve on. There are definitely times I take things for granted, and focus on the negative crap, because it's EASY to get bogged down in it. But a quick fix is focusing on the positive stuff, and APPRECIATING it. I know when MG does something and I let him know that I really appreciate it, it makes him feel good, too (and vice versa). We could all do a little more gratitude-ing (yes, I just made that up).

-develop strategies for coping: definitely something I need to work on, that will probably help with stopping the over-thinking. I know for me that one of them is definitely writing....either with the intention of sending it to someone or keeping it for myself and just venting. Not sure what the other ones are, but I definitely need to/will spend some time figuring that out.
{via}

-learning to forgive: this one is hard. Sometimes for me I feel like I forgive too easily....I let someone who has hurt me back in with little to no effort, usually because of how much I hate the stress associated when relationships go bad. But I also am a grudge-holder, too. It all depends. I just know that it takes more energy to hate someone than it does to have no feelings about them. Recognize when someone does not have value in your life, let it go and move on for YOURSELF. Forgive for YOU.

All of the others on the list are great ones, too. Those above are just the ones that rang super true to me.

On another note, if you feel like you're down in the dumps and can't seem to get on the happy side of the street, what has helped me in the past is writing down 3 good/positive things that had happened every day at the end of the day. They can be small like "someone held the door open for me" or big, it doesn't matter. What happens is, you'll find yourself LOOKING for the positive things throughout the day because you know you're gonna have to write them down later. And all of a sudden, you're thinking about the positive things, and the icky stuff takes a back seat!

How's that for a HAPPY post? :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend Happenings

This weekend was actually not too eventful, which was perfectly fine with me.
Friday night MG and I stayed in, ordered pizza, and caught up on shows on our DVR. He was trying to take it easy because he had to be up at 5:30 am the next morning to make his way to the Tough Mudder in WV.

We decided a bit ago that it would be pretty boring for me to go and be stuck there all day waiting for him and his team to complete the Tough Mudder, so he went with his coworkers, and I went to visit my parents who I hadn't seen in a few weeks. It was nice to spend some time with them and catch up...and Cooper enjoyed the extra attention from my parents, too :)

{via}
MG completed the Tough Mudder...he came home hobbling around and in some pain from all of the activities/obstacles, etc. He even had a burn mark on his back from one obstacle that has electricity running through ropes that you have to get through. This whole thing sounded like my own personal Hell, but I'm glad that he enjoyed doing it lol.

Saturday was another low key night, as MG wasn't really in the mood to do anything but lay on the couch and rest.

And then Sunday we ran errands, and then went to a local restaurant/bar and watched the first half of the Eagles/Cowboys game and the Redskins/Bears game  and then took ourselves home to watch the Skins WIN (finally!) and the Eagles lose. We decided to take advantage of the nice weather (and the fact that Cooper needed a bath) to walk up to the dog park near our house and let Cooper socialize. It was fun and nice to get out and get some exercise. After rolling around in dirt and sticks, Coop definitely needed a bath. Now we have a clean and fresh-smelling pup!

The most "eventful" thing of the weekend, for me, was dealing with a situation with our cake people. Last Thursday night we got an email from them asking if we were still interested in using their services. I found this odd, because we had signed the contract AND paid in full for their services. I let them know this and they said they had no payment on file but would look into it and get back to us.
No money, no cake...
Cut to Friday morning, I was emailing back and forth with the owner, who was asking for the exact amount and date of the charge, which I couldn't find out since we had used MG's card and he was at work. I told her I'd let her know when he got home from work, but that I wanted to make sure they still had our wedding date on file. No response.
Later that night I emailed her that we HAD been charged, the date and the amount, and then asked again about the date. No response.
I called the store on Saturday morning and was told the owner was not there but my number was taken and I was told she would call me back. I JUST got an email from the owner's assistant (at 8:30 this morning) apologizing for not getting back to me since she was out (doesn't explain why the owner didn't tho), etc. And she FINALLY told me that they still have our wedding date on file.
Let's just hope they give us SOME kind of compensation for all of this hassle and stress. As a business owner, that's the smart thing to do. 
This place has amazing reviews, and we were really happy with them, up until this situation popped up--I'm less than impressed with how it's been handled, to say the least.

So there ya have it. My boring (and I'm totally ok with it) weekend! :)


Sami's Shenanigans  Mingle 240

Friday, October 18, 2013

5 on Friday

Another Friday is here, and for me, this one came kinda quickly (but that probably had to do with not having to work on Monday :)

Time for some 5 on Friday!

{1}-Gravity
{via}

MG and I saw this movie last Friday--I'd heard good things about it, and the reviews were awesome, but I wasn't sure about it. I didn't get how a whole movie could be about being "lost" in space...or something. But, let me tell you, it was really good! The movie is only an hour and a half, but it is heart pounding and just really well done. Sandra Bullock was great in it (p.s. did you know she's 49? She has a better body than I do at 30...). I don't think you'll regret going. I kind of wish we had seen it in 3D because I think it might have been that much cooler. Either way, I'd totally recommend seeing it!
{2}-Wedding Suit/Tux 
So, I thought MG and I had finally gotten the suit/tux thing figured out and settled on (I even checked it off on my checklist at theknot.com). We were going to do a gray tux from Jos A Bank for him and the guys. We went into a store on Friday (we had already been to one in our local mall which was of no help) to get everything put into the system, picked out, etc. After over an hour of nonsense and incompetence, our wedding party's info hadn't been saved in the system (despite trying 3 times), and MG and I left feeling very discouraged and not even sure we want to work with Jos A. Bank because of how inept their staff have been, at multiple locations.  Now, MG is working with a friend of his brother-in-law's at Men's Wearhouse to potentially do suits there. I took it upon myself to scan their site online yesterday and found something that looks great, and is within a good price range. I sent it to MG and he liked it enough to send it to his groomsmen for opinions (and the Men's Wearhouse guy for a hook up). Fingers crossed it gets done soon, so I can REALLY check it off of my list!

{3}-Furlough No Mo' 
The furlough and government shut down are over and MG is back to work as of yesterday. It was weird being back in our normal routine again, but also nice, too. And nice to know that we will be getting paychecks again, which are much needed. The whole thing was a complete waste of time, and money, but I'm glad that it's over...at least for the next few months anyway.

{4}-Cake Topper and Great Friends
{via}
After many helpful comments yesterday (thank you to all of you who commented!), we are going with the true silver Philly love sign for the cake topper. After reading my post, one of my friends and bridesmaids, Trish, offered to get it for us for a wedding present which was incredibly sweet of her. Now, not only will we have the cake topper that is perfect and I've had my eye on for MONTHS, but when it's in our home after the fact and I look at it, I'll smile knowing that it was purchased with love from a great friend, and made our day just that much more special :)
Special shout out to Jess for doing some research of options for me, too. You all are too too sweet and make me realize just how lucky I am to have you in my life!

{5}-Bachelor Spotting
Do you happen to recognize that guy in the picture? It's Chris from the Bachelorette (and Bachelor Pad). He and his business partner opened up a bar in Arlington a little while ago, called Bracket Room, which was touted as a "female friendly bar" (I'm not sure exactly what makes the place female friendly, but I did like it). MG and I went to check it out for happy hour last night since we hadn't been yet and two of our couple friends came out and met us, too. I didn't actually expect Chris to be there, and especially not when we were there, but when we were waiting for the bathroom, there he was! So we had our waiter ask him to come to our table, and he did. He was nice and talked to us for a bit and then he obliged my picture-loving self and took a pic with us. Fun times!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wedding Cake Topper: Opinions Wanted

This may seem dumb, but I'm having a hard time deciding on our wedding cake topper. I know what I want, but....well, you'll see.

We are doing a two-tiered cake that is purple ombre, kinda like this (the middle two layers) and no flower:
Pretty right? :)

The rest is going to be cupcakes, so kind of like this, but the 2 tiered cake on top:

I know the topper I want...it's actually the LOVE topper in that picture above. Since our colors are purple and silver, and our cake is purple, I thought the LOVE sign in silver would be cute and a good way to incorporate some silver into the cake. MG is from Philly, that's where we got engaged, we LOVE each other; it works on lots of levels....

My 'issue' is that I can only find this on etsy, and only from one seller, for $110-130 (plus who knows what for shipping). That's a LOT more than I want to spend on something that goes on top of the cake (and is a significant portion of what we actually paid for the cupcakes and cake itself). But I like the look of it, and we'll be able to keep it after....so maybe it's worth it....? MG isn't a big knick-knack person so I don't even know if we WOULD use it after, or not...but I'd definitely try to.

The only thing that I've found to come close, kind of, is this:
It's looks kinda silver in the picture, but it's actually white porcelain with the silver heart in the middle. It's also about $20.

This is where my OCD attention to detail comes in. If the heart was laid the other way (the same way the O in the sculpture goes) I think I'd be 100% in. It's cheaper and there's some silver. The end.

But, I really like the Philly LOVE sign. A good majority of our guests are from Philly and I like the idea of incorporating that element into our wedding...but, realistically, people may not even notice the heart going the wrong way. (I didn't until I looked back at the original picture. When I showed MG he didn't notice either.) I was also thinking the white porcelain might pick up some of the lights around the room too, which could look cool.

I dunno. What do you think? Spend the extra money and get the love topper on Etsy, or save a little and get this one that's not quite what I had in mind, but is pretty darn close?

 I feel like I should note, I DO realize just how absolutely trivial this is. I'm just at a point in planning where I can focus on small details and that's probably not a beneficial thing haha.

You all did a nice job of convincing me that the yellow chairs weren't a big deal, so tell me your opinions!

After looking at the above picture, I also now realize I need to find something to put in our cupcakes that's silver and/or purple...crap...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What's Cooking? Wednesdays: Chicken Enchilada Chili Recipe

It's Wednesday which means it's time to see what's cooking!

This week I have the best, and pretty easy recipe for you all. As the temps are dropping, this one is sure to warm up the tummy and make you smile!
Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Chili, courtesy of A Year of Slow Cooking
What You Need:
-1.5 lb. chicken breast
-2 cans of kidney beans (we did reduced sodium)
-2 cans diced tomatoes w/ seasoning (we did garlic and onion flavored)
-2 celery stalks, chopped
-1 yellow onion, cut/chopped
-1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (we used 2 cans)
-1-2 tsp chili powder (depending on how much kick you want)
-1 tsp cumin

What You Do: (it's SO easy)

1. Using a 6 qt crock pot, add in the enchilada sauce, and canned tomatoes into the crock pot.  Then add the onions, beans, spices and celery. Stir it up and place the chicken on top. 

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours (we did 8 and it was great). Try and make it to the 8 hour mark when your house smells SO mouth-wateringly delicious! It's hard!
this was after it had cooked for about 7 hours)
2. When it's close to being done, shred the chicken with a fork. When it's done cooking, serve it up in a bowl . 

Top with whatever toppings you'd like. We did sour cream and Mexican cheese and it was delicious! 
It wasn't as spicy as I had anticipated it being, but it was perfect. The chili was hearty, had a great flavor to it, which wasn't as strong in the Mexican flavor department as I'd thought, but still had a unique chili flavor. We absolutely LOVED this dish and will be making it again for sure!
Link up below and share what you've been cooking, or wanting to cook, lately!






 
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