Friday's Letters

It's been a little bit since I've participated in writing some Friday Letters so I thought I'd get to writing some this morning!

Dear Weather, thanks for giving me a brief respite from the cold this weekend by providing us with 60 degree weather! It'll be nice to go outside and not feel frozen for a bit :)  Dear Christmas Shopping, I have not even begun to tackle you yet and I'm a bit scared at my lack of progress. I have zero ideas for what to get people and I feel like I have zero time even if I DID have ideas (which I don't). Help! Dear Self, despite your problems finding Xmas gifts for others, you've had no problem finding a plethora of things to buy for yourself at discounted rates. Try and focus on the others before all of your money is gone! (At least you can go shopping and look stylish now, tho!) Dear Pinterest, thanks for providing me with so many yummy recipes to try. I have yet to find one that hasn't been satisfying and delicious. Now MG thinks I'm a totally amazeballs cook! Dear person who took my Connect 4 game and didn't return it in the same condition it was given to you, You suck. Thanks for making me now have to spend more of my own money to replace something that you broke and didn't even have the courtesy to tell me about. Jerk.  Dear Gym, please start calling my name a little more often. In the cold weather, motivation is low, and my weight is getting high. Let's fix this, pronto. Dear MG, Happy Birthday this weekend! You're the best thing that's happened to me and I'm so glad I get to spend another birthday celebrating with you!

Hope you have a great, relaxing, fun-filled weekend! Soak it up, cuz you know it goes by way too quickly!!

Why is it that....

Some things I've been pondering lately:

Why is it that....

....every time I'm eating tomato soup or something with spaghetti sauce, I'm almost always wearing white?

...when you're in a rush, you will inevitably find the slowest driver in the world, and be stuck behind them. On a one-lane road. With construction.

...or...when you're in a rush in the morning, and your dog chooses THAT morning to take forever to do their business?

.....preparing a meal always takes about 4 times the amount of time it takes to eat it?

.....the first thing on my body to get cold is my nose?

....things always go on sale when I've promised myself that I won't spend any more money that month?

....or immediately after I've just bought them at full price....

....I carry my umbrella around in my bag for over a month and the one day I take it out, for one reason or another, is the day that it rains?

....when you let someone borrow something of yours, some people think it's ok to return it to you broken, missing pieces, and without the instructions, rendering it basically useless. And then choose not to tell you.
(*cough* Jerks...)

....some people don't know how to say "I'm sorry" tastes so good?

.....after I make a trip to Target and get a bunch of stuff that I need, later that night my hairdryer breaks, and then I need to go back. (Couldn't it have just broken the night before??)

Just a lighthearted ramble from me today! Hope you enjoy your Thursday!

WILW and Oh How Pinteresting

It's ONLY Wednesday. Why does this week feel like it's dragging?

To put my focus on something positive, I'm linking up with Jamie and Michelle:

I'm loving that Thanksgiving with my parents and MG's parents was a BIG success. The families got along and it was great :)

I'm loving that I'm continuing to find good deals on cute clothes. Thanks to the help of P!nky, I bought these two pretties yesterday:
I know they look incredibly similar (and they are), but I see making them work with different outfits.
(Plus, I just bought the necklace in the second picture--and now I know it works with that shirt!! haha)
I'm loving Chocolate Red Wine. Oh Em Gee that stuff is DEEEElish! Even better: getting it for $4 a bottle at the grocery store. Good wine and cheap? Yes please!

I'm loving the Enchilada Pasta Casserole I made last night. Sooooo flippin' good! Recipe to come, but for now I'll tempt you with this picture:

I'm loving that MG's family gave us a CD of the pictures we had taken at the beach this summer with his family. The pictures are really good! 
Oh, you wanna see some? Well, ok, if I have to...:)

And, as always, I'm loving Pinterest and it's awesomeness!
This week I've been pinning....


I need to find a lantern, on the cheap, stat! So cute!

Who doesn't love a basket of cute and cuddly puppies??

Creamy Quinoa Primavera Now that I'm on my quinoa kick!


Follow Me on Pinterest Check out the other stuff I've been pinning!

Here's to hoping the day, and the rest of the week, go by a little faster than the start of the week has gone!

Recipe: Blackened Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Quinoa

As promised last week, I'm back to share this really delicious recipe with you!
Last week MG and I tried another Pinterest recipe: Blackened Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Quinoa (Original website here)

Ours turned out really good and the entire meal was incredibly healthy. Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is a great grain that gives you lots of good stuff and keeps you full. I had wanted to try using it a while back and I finally got my act together with this recipe.

What You Need (Chicken and Rub):
-2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/4 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp cumin
-1 tsp olive oil
For the Quinoa:
-1 cup of dried quinoa (find this in the organic/healthy section of the grocery store)
-Juice from 1-2 limes (the original calls for juice and zest from 2 limes. We used 1 1/2 and it was almost too lime-y)
-2 cups low sodium chicken stock
For the Creamy Avocado topping:
-2 avocados, cubed
-2 T. cilantro, chopped
-1/2 small carton of Greek yogurt (I think we used about 4 oz)
-small amount of milk to thicken the cream and make it easier to blend

What You Do:
1. Mix all of the dry seasonings for the chicken in a bowl. Rub the chicken on both sides with the rub. 
At this point you can either cook the chicken in a frying pan using the olive oil (about 7 minutes on each side) or broil it in your oven. We chose to broil our chicken since MG is the master of broiling!

2. While your chicken is cooking, add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Get it to simmer on medium heat, then once it's simmering, reduce the heat to low, put a lid on the saucepan and let it go until all of the chicken stock is disappeared. The original recipe says 10-15 minutes and ours took about 15 minutes.

3. While that's cooking, chop up your cilantro. I used my trusty herb scissors (you've seen them on Pinterest....and funny enough it was on Pinterest that I learned what they were used for since my mom gave them to me and I thought they were for craft projects. Ooops).

4. Let the chicken sit once it's done cooking. Take the quinoa from the saucepan and add it to a larger bowl (this one cup of dry quinoa makes a LOT). Add in the lime juice (next time I would use one lime) and the cilantro along with a little bit of salt and pepper if you want. Mix that puppy up!

5. Add avocados, greek yogurt, splash of milk, a tsp of lemon juice and some cilantro to a food processor (we used our Magic Bullet). This will be your cream topping to "cool" the heat of the chicken.

6. Serve the chicken on top of the quinoa. Add the avocado cream topping to the chicken.

7. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Recap

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Mine was really great, the time flew by, and I could use a vacation from my vacation :)

As you know, my parents and MG's parents met for the first time and had Thanksgiving together with he and I. It was a little nerve-wracking just cuz it's a big deal, but everything went great! Our parents got along really well and we all had an awesome time. Here's a pic of our group:

After we ate, and felt entirely too full from all of the yummy food, we cleaned up. Cooper helped with the process:
That's my silly dog....

We went over to MG's sister's house afterwards to hang out for a while and see that side of the family. My dad was tired from the drive and the day so my parents went back to the hotel (which was probably a good idea cuz it was the definition of crazy at his sister's place. In a good way, but definitely busy). 

The next morning my parents came over for breakfast before heading back home and MG's sister and brother-in-law and their kids stopped by so they could meet. Everything went smoothly there as well and my mom took a ton of pictures of everyone.

My parents hit the road to avoid traffic and missed meeting MG's other sister and her kids by about 5 minutes. Total bummer, but hopefully we'll all be able to get together again sometime soon.
 MG's sisters and I went to get mani's that afternoon which was fun, and lent itself to some good conversations :)

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging with MG's family, seeing his niece's basketball game, eating, shopping (more on those awesome purchases later), and lots of laughing.

On Saturday afternoon we went with the whole family to go glow bowling which was so much fun. After that. we went to dinner to celebrate MG's birthday which is coming up this weekend. MG's youngest niece (aka, my little nugget) and I spent some time goofing off at the table taking pictures with my phone, as you can see here:

We had an awesome dinner celebrating the man that I love:

All in all, it was a great weekend. Having our parents meet and everything going so well makes things even better. I see our families spending a lot more holidays together :) (*fingers crossed*)

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Stay tuned later on in the week for what I bought this weekend. Trust me, I put my credit card to work!
Have a happy Cyber Monday--go get a good deal!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Glimmering Happy Turkey Day Graphic

As you're reading this, I'm embarking on an adventure. The "parents meeting parents for the first time" adventure. MG and I are driving up to PA today, and so are my parents, to have Thanksgiving with all of us together. Nervous-excitement still present here :)

Since it's Thanksgiving, what better time to share some of the things that I'm thankful for? So here's my list of thankfulness:

{1}- My Family
Losing loved ones within the last year, and having my dad's heart attack scare last year really puts things into perspective. I love my parents for always being there for me, helping me whenever I've needed it, and for setting me up for a successful life. They've been my backbone, my support system and the source of love and caring for as long as I can remember. Love them!

He has been a constant bright spot in my life since we met on Match over a year ago. He definitely restored my faith that there are good guys out there and came into my life at the perfect time. Our relationship has blossomed since this time last year, and he is honestly the absolute love of my life. I'm thankful for the laughs he brings out of me, the smiles he puts on my face, the breakfasts he makes for me on the weekends, the love he gives to Cooper, and the constant love he shows and gives to me. I can't imagine a world without him and I hope that I never have to.

I thank God and the universe for my little guy, Cooper, on a regular basis. I know that I'm biased, but I've never seen another dog who has such an awesome personality, who loves everything and everybody he meets, and who is so fun and sweet that even strangers comment on what a great dog he is. He has the power to make me smile, just with the wiggle of his little stumpy tail that turns into his whole body wiggling with joy. He is absolutely, without a doubt, my doggy soul mate and I'm so lucky that I get to have him in my life.

I'm thankful for the friends who have come into my life, and for those who have been here for a long time. I'm constantly amazed by the new people I meet here, and the friendships that develop from this little bloggie space. I am incredibly thankful for the friends who are there when I've got a problem, need to vent, or just wanna hang out and have a good time. Without them, life would be a lot less fun (and probably a lot less silly, too....and who wants that?) :) I wouldn't be the same without the friends who have come into my life. Some have stayed, and some have gone, and I'm thankful for the impact that each has had (and continues to have) on my life.

{5} My job
First of all, I'm thankful to have a job. Secondly, I'm thankful that I was able to leave a job in which I was miserable, and return to a place that's been nurturing, supportive and challenging (but in a good way). I'm thankful that I don't dread going to work every day anymore and that I enjoy the people and kids who I work with. Paycuts stink, but happiness is golden!

{6}-MG's Family
I adore MG's family--they are so welcoming, so kind and such incredibly thoughtful people. The fact that MG's parents are opening their home to me and my parents today is just one example of that. Anytime things have been going wrong or crazy, they text or call to check up. They ask MG how I'm doing, and tell MG when they miss me. Having dealt with a boyfriend's family who was less than welcoming, this is such a welcome change, and something that I appreciate that much more. I feel so blessed to feel like I'm a part of his incredible family, and can only hope that they'll be my "official" family one day, too!

There are lots more, but these are the most important ones, for now :)
I hope that you have lots of things to be thankful for, that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends, family and loved ones. 
I'm off to get this Thanksgiving and parents-meeting under way!
Have a Turkey-tastic day!

WILW and Oh How Pinteresting!

One day away from Thanksgiving, which really means one day away from stuffing face full of delicious foods. I dunno about you, but I can't wait!

Since it's Wednesday, you know what I'm linking up for:

I'm loving that we're getting out 2 hours early from school today. Even though MG and I aren't leaving town until tomorrow, it's nice to get out of work early, especially when the kids (and the adults) are all hyped about the holiday.

I'm loving that MG's parents are hosting me and my parents at their house for Thanksgiving. It'll give them a chance to meet, and a chance for MG and I to see how well our families will get along (and I'm sure that they will!) And now we don't have to split the holiday, either. Win-Win-Win!

I'm loving that I'm gonna get to eat a bunch of yummy food tomorrow. Might not be so great since I haven't worked out in over a week, though. Oops.

I'm loving that MG and I made another amazing meal of Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Lime Quinoa on Monday night. Recipe to come soon!

I'm loving my family.

And, as always, I'm loving Pinterest and all of its amazing-ness!

This week I've been pinning...

Looks like the perfect outfit to do a little bargain shopping in, while still looking super cute!

Cheesy Potato Soup  Um, heck yes!

Terra Cota pot+glass bowl (from dollar store)+spray paint
Cute holiday decor or gift idea!

A little cuteness factor for your Wednesday!

I die.
Follow Me on Pinterest  Check out some of the other fun/cool stuff I've been looking at!

What have YOU been pinning this week??
Catch you tomorrow for Thanksgiving!!!!

If I were a....

I saw this on p!nky's blog a little bit ago and I wanted to participate and do my own, so here goes...

If I were a home, I'd be a modern Victorian style:
or a Craftsman home:

If I were a quote, I'd be:
Amen :)

If I were a handbag, I'd be one of these:

Michael Kors, Hermes Birkin or a Kate Spade bag....all for different reasons

If I were a cocktail, I'd be a glass of sangria (If you know me, this is no surprise at all!)

If I were a piece of jewelry, I'd be the karma necklace from Dogeared jewelry. I've been eyeing it forever cuz I like it's simplicity and the meaning behind it:
If I were a dress, I'd be something fun but classy like:

If I were a celebrity, I'd be Rachel McAdams
Love her!

What about YOU? What would you be?