Monday, May 13, 2013

Things I Suck At

I am taking direct inspiration from YouTube star Jenna Marbles, (who I adore and find her videos HILARIOUS even though the bf can't stand her), she made a video a while back called This I Suck At. While I am all about positive self-esteem and finding things you are good at blah blah blah, sometimes you just need to accept that there are some things you suck at, will probably always suck at, and perhaps find some humor in those things. I know my strengths but I also know my weaknesses and I think that is a good thing. 
So let me take you through a little list of Things I Suck At.

1.) I suck at saying "No" to that little brown furry face...I just can't do it...she sits in front of me and whimpers and I just let her climb on my chair and lay on me...

2.) I suck at not buying ALL THE SAUCES, I clearly have a lot of dressings and sauces and hardly eat any of them...oy

3.) I suck at cleaning out my purse, like EVER. Unless I buy a new purse and only transfer the things I really need...which means I have a slew of purses in a tub somewhere with random junk I never cleaned out because I just got a new purse instead
FYI not cigarettes, those are cough drops lol

4.) I suck at putting clean clothes away. I am good at not putting dirty clothes all over the floor. I am good at washing the clothes and putting them in the dryer...and then that's it... I just never take that final step and want to put the clothes away

5.) I suck at painting my nails...which is why I don't do it very often because I can never "stay in the lines", they always end peeling and chipping, I can't wait for them to dry and they smudges and indents and marks...this time I have a few dents and a dog hair stuck in one nail...whats wrong with me?!

6.) I suck at using the last bits of anything, these containers are all in my bathroom cabinet, I clearly won't throw them away, but I also won't use the last drops or sprays of any of them. I am a Goo Hoarder...I won't throw away my random goo but I also never use it all up...

7.) I suck at keeping plants alive. I just can't do it. Even the most hardy of plants, like this Christmas Cactus...which basically needs nothing and I think its ready to keel over and die..but I don't know, because I know nothing about plants, that's why I never buy them on purpose, this was a gift from my boss

8.) Finally, the thing that drives the bf the most nuts ever, I suck at remembering things. Mostly short term memory type things, trying to recount a conversation I just had, where I just put something, why I walk into a room...I just can't remember. I could tell you ever detail about something that happened five summers ago, but I certainly can't tell you what I did yesterday

What do you suck at? 
Let's laugh at ourselves together :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekend Update

Wow when work gets busy the first things to go are usually reading blogs and writing in my blog. I have another work trip coming up next week followed immediately by a well deserved vacation. The last week at work has been me frantically planning and organizing this large meeting in Baltimore, where I will be headed on Wednesday through Friday. I hope to take lots of cool pictures and blog about my trips when I can. But in the meantime I wanted to get on here and share some of the highlights from the last few days and also try to catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs!

I got my hair done this weekend and picked up a bottle of Moroccan oil. I had a tiny sample bottle that I got for Christmas and LOVED it, I could totally tell a difference in the softness of my hair and I was in love. After the bottle ran out I went back and forth on if I should spend the money to buy more of this stuff but when I was there getting my hair colored  naturally blonde again, I decided the $48 for a 6-12 month supply was worth it because of how much I heat and chemical damage my locks. LOVE

The bf and I are planning more house projects and we were thinking about adding some patio stone to the area right outside our front door where grass doesn't really grow. But now we think we have an even better idea and I will be sharing about that when we start :)

YUM breakfast smoothie!!! 

Here's my new lunch bag from the bf that I got for my bday, super cute right? He has great taste! And look how much food fits in there 

Got the chance to stop by and see my nephew over the weekend, we like to make silly faces...although mine is more scary than silly lol I adore that kid 

For my birthday I asked my mom for a bunch of random things, included pink nail polish! She got the two cutest colors of pink I can't wait to see how nice they look, I'm thinking the lighter color for my finger nails and the dark color for my toe nails, perfect mani and pedi for vacation. 

For Mother's Day I brought Caribou Coffee breakfast to my mom along with some presents, including some flowers for her to plant and some cute "Toms" style shoes. I got the egg white, spinach and turkey bacon sandwich and my mom got a mini version of that sandwich and a slice of coffee cake, which she gave me a tiny taste of. I also got an iced coffee YUM! Happy mama's day!!!

I also signed up with a great product testing group called Influenster. My first VoxBox came and it was new Palmolive dish soap. There are two scents, "Coconut Butter" and "Vitamin E". The Coconut scent smells like summer and the beach, I really love it. The Vitamin E scent isn't totally my style, smells like baby soap or a grandma's house. I normally buy the cheapest store brand on sale dish soap because I'm so frugal, but it will be nice to see what fancier soap is like. I might share the Vitamin E bottle with a friend or someone who enjoys that scent more than I do. I'm excited to be a part of programs like this and be able to review new things. The products were sent to me for free but any reviews or opinions share are entirely my own.

Are you having a good weekend?
How did you celebrate Mother's Day?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Watermelon Slushies

Have you ever bought a giant watermelon because it was a good deal, and it sounded delicious and you just LOVE watermelon. Only to cut it all up, fill every fridge shelf with containers of watermelon and realize you will NEVER be able to get through all of this watermelon before it goes bad?

Well that happened to me...

My watermelon is definitely nearing the end of its life, but before I tossed it out, I wanted to try something with it...Watermelon Slushie!

So friends, I took some ice and put it in my magic bullet cup, I took a lime and squeezed some lime juice over the ice, and then plopped some ripe juice watermelon chunks on top. If your watermelon isn't that sweet you can add some sugar or other sweeteners if you like.
I then started blending!!!

As the ice and watermelon started to mix together I got more space in my bullet cup, so I added more watermelon and more ice...and continued blending until...
Yummy refreshing, juicy, Watermelon Slushie.

I had it for breakfast yesterday and it was so yummy I MUST do this again soon. And if you are over 21 and it is not a work day (or maybe it is) you could always add some sort of alcoholic beverage to the mix and make it a little more exciting. I'm also starting to think about what other flavors I could add too, like a little frozen strawberry or cherry, the possibilities are endless!

Also, my poor brown dogs, I was WAY overdue in brushing them, especially when it starts to turn warm outside they have lots of fur to shed. So I whipped out my Furminator Doggy brush- which Mason Brown Dog LOVES, and brushed away. Little Bella Brown is not a huge fan of being brushed though...too bad! This was only half of Mason's fur pile from yesterday, he looks very happy!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Draftmark- Tap Beer at Home

A friend of mine recently told me about Bzz Agent, a site you can sign up for to be a part of new product campaigns and get to try things and review them. 

So right away I signed myself up because I love trying new things, I love voicing my opinion, and hey, I love free stuff! After completing some short easy surveys and telling them about myself, I was invited to join my first campaign for this Draftmark beer system. I was pumped! I love beer because hard alcohol is a bit much for me, and the bf also loves beer so we were pretty excited to try this thing, I had never even heard of it before this.

I got the package in the mail and look how cute with little bees on it :)

I knew immediately when I was going to try this beer machine- MY BIRTHDAY! What better time to enjoy fresh draught beer than when you are having a party, especially a birthday party at my own house with family over. I was so pumped! 

It came with some instructions on how to load the beer and use the machine as well as a card telling me where I can find the beer.

First things first, it told me to charge the battery. So I plugged in the A/C adapter to charge the battery- it lit up green right away and the instructions said a green light meant it was charged, so I assumed it had a charge before it got to me and it was ready to use.

I logged on to Draftmark's website, entered my birthday ( to prove I was over 21) and used their store locator to find out where I could buy the beer refill for my new machine- turns out the liquor store I always go to, right down the street carried the refills! WIN

On Saturday, the day before my party I went to the store and bought my beer refill. I picked up Shocktop, it is a beer I know I like and I figured others would too. The system is pretty new so right now there are only like four kinds of beer you can get but luckily there are two lights and two darks so there should be something for everyone. The other plus side is that the beer stays fresh in the system for up to 30 days! So you don't have to worry about drinking it all at once (although you can if you are a party animal)
The refill was $13.99 at my store which I felt was pretty reasonable for a gallon of draught beer. They are $5-7 when it's not happy hour at a restaurant.

Here is the refill, about as tall as my Keurig. I put it in the fridge the day before my party so it could chill.

Each bottle comes with its own spout too. 

The machine and the beer are labeled with pictures on how to load the beer into the system. It was VERY easy for me to figure out. I went outside to do it though because I didn't know if I would mess something up and make it spray or leak or anything. I put the battery in the machine, took it outside and loaded the beer into my Draftmark in about 30 seconds.

Outside I took a cup and poured a tiny taste just to see how it would come out and if it was good. It came out just fine and tasted yummy.

I then put the machine in my fridge and eagerly awaited my party so I could show everyone this cool new toy I had....That's when things went downhill....................

Everyone arrived and when I started offering drinks to people, lemonade, water, margaritas, or BEER ON TAP FROM MY VERY OWN FRIDGE...someone asked to try the beer, I was pumped, I went over to my fridge and took a cup to fill their trickled out a little beer and then NOTHING...umm what?
then I tried again, a little trickle and NOTHING.

:( I was confused and embarrassed and not sure what to do at this point, everyone was there, waiting for drinks and I had bragged up my machine.
I took it out of the fridge thinking I could use my magic birthday skills to make  it work, but now. I thought maybe it just needed a quick charge, so I ran around looking for the charger, I found it and plugged it in. My bf is really hand so he has this little machine that can check the voltage on things, he used it and saw the battery was in fact charging, but when we unplugged it from the charger it immediately lost all charge and w         as a dead battery...WHAT?! that isn't how this should work...

SO long story short, the battery that came with my new beer machine doesn't even work.

I think if I had a working battery if the beer would probably come out nice and fast and everyone would have had a great time at my party and I wouldn't have been embarrassed  And since it was a Sunday I had no other options to get them other beer, luckily we all enjoyed margaritas but still...I love the concept, I like the ease of using the machine and would theoretically like having draught beer at home...I do not like that it didn't work. I plan to contact Draftmark directly to see if they can help me because I don't even know where to get a replacement battery since it is unique to this product.

Disclaimer: I received the Draftmark beer system free but all opinions and experiences in this review are my own I was not compensated in any other way and the beer itself I purchased with my own money.

Tacos for DAYS

When you have a lot of people over for a taco party, and have no idea how much food to make, well then, you eat tacos for days :) I'm not complaining at all because I love taco stuff, especially when it is fresh and homemade! Also, this is going to be a quick and short post because I am posting twice today. YES TWICE, because I have something else special to share about.

Here is my tasty lunch, leftover shredded chicken with lettuce, guacamole, salsa and a few blue chips crumbled on top!

I got a surprise in the afternoon, my co-worker who lives in Texas sent me these yummy chocolates for my birthday! OMG they are so good, and dangerous, those little chocolate balls of sweet fruity-ness. I had to just take my serving and zip that bag right back up lol. But so good. 

Dinner was leftover beef taco meat, with lettuce, cheese, salsa and guacamole. :) I also had a mini red velvet leftover cupcake after. Happy continuing birthday TO ME 

Oh, and here is our new patio set :) Where I enjoyed eating my dinner last night because we are finally having some nice weather!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Birthday

Hey everybody, I'm officially one year older! I share my birthday with the much loved, margarita and taco celebration known as Cinco de Mayo. (I know this is an actual holiday for some and has real meaning, but unfortunately for my family and friends it simply is an excuse for drinks and guacamole)

I had a wonderful birthday weekend. 

It started Saturday morning with breakfast with one of my best friends who moved to Iowa over a year ago. She was up near me with her bf this weekend and we all went out for breakfast at a yummy place called Keys Cafe. My birthday is the 5th and hers is the 10th so it was sort of a double birthday get together. I had an egg white omelet with spinach and bacon. Lol I had to get the bacon! It came with a side of super yummy toast and freshly made jam. 

I spent the rest of the day cleaning house, running errands and doing last minute projects around the house to prepare for my family coming over to party on Sunday.

 In the late morning, the bf called me out into the garage with a surprise present!! He got me a super duper fancy radio for my car and installed it for me :) It can play Pandora and XM radio through my phone, I can also make and receive phone calls through the radio without having to hold my cell phone. It can do GPS, it can tell me local weather and traffic, I feel like it could probably straighten my hair and paint my nails too it is so darn fancy. I love it, and I love that the bf put it in for me and did all that work :) Oh and he also got me a new lunch bag for work because the big brown dog decided to rip mine apart last week. 

I am a really bad blogger because I took zero pictures at my party, I was so caught up in hosting everyone, giving tours of my house and making sure everyone was having fun that I failed at any picture taking. I have none pictures of the food: chicken and beef tacos,  chips and freshly made salsa (a gift from the bf's mother who makes AMAZING salsa), freshly made guacamole by yours truly, and refried beans. I took zero pictures of the wonderful margaritas and zero pictures of my family having fun and enjoying the fact that it FINALLY stopped raining and snowing just in time for my party and it was downright pleasant outside. I FAIL

BUT I did take a picture in my birthday hat!

Overall it was a fantastic birthday :) I'm just going to pretend that it doesn't have to mean I'm one year older though, yuck.

Did you drink any margaritas? Did you have any chips and salsa?
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cookie Monster

I've been wanting to make cookies for a few days now, but every time I think about actually doing it, I decide it's more work than I am interested in and don't make them. Well the ripe bananas I wanted to use for the cookies were really reaching their last bits of life so I knew I had to act quickly. I finally made some cookies, it is sort of a made up recipe based on This Recipe and the recipe on the tub of oatmeal that I bought. I came up with this.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Recipe
Makes about 2 dozen 

2 TBS Chocolate PB2 (or regular nut butter)
1 TBS vanilla soy milk (or any other milk)
3 very ripe bananas
1 individual cup no sugar added applesauce
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees

1.) Blend together the first 6 ingredients with a mixer until well blended
2.) Add salt, baking soda, oats and flour and mix in until well incorporated
3.) Add in chocolate chips until evenly mixed in
4.) drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheets
5.) Bake for 13-15 minutes
6.) Take out of oven and let cook for 3-4 minutes on cookie sheets
7.) Transfer to wire cooling racks to finish cooling

I mixed up the PB2, milk, bananas, applesauce, vanilla extract and brown sugar- oh hey new bowls and new hand mixer!

Here after I added salt, baking soda, oats, flour and chocolate chips.

Mmm Fresh out of the oven- Next time I would make them smaller! I over-estimated my spoonfuls a lot

Cooling- wanting me to EAT THEM

Breakfast of oatmeal (I guess it was an oatmeal day) and raisins, with strawberries on the side.

Leftover turkey dog, pasta salad and watermelon

Dinner was the bf's fave of steak, mashed potatoes and green veggies

My brown dog watching me eat a cookie and wishing she could catch a crumb.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Can't Stop Grilling

I have been getting a bit tired of my berries/cereal/greek yogurt breakfast and so I have been working to switch it up this week. I decided to thaw some wheat pancakes I  made in a big batch and froze a while ago. I adapted This Recipe but added some vanilla protein powder, PB2 and half whole wheat flour, half buckwheat flour. I think they are super filling and yummy. On the side I had some fresh strawberries and fat free cool whip. I obviously was so ravenous for these that I forgot to take a picture until I had mostly consumed the three pancakes. They are really that good, they freeze well and thaw easily overnight in the fridge. I am running low though so must be time to make some more!

For lunch I had a store bought salad I picked up at Target on Tuesday after work. There is a restaurant called D'Amico and Sons in my area and they stock our Super Target with yummy salads, wraps and sandwiches in the deli. There is one salad that I simply cannot get enough of. It has chicken, apple, cheese and walnuts with a yummy poppy seed dressing. So picked one up and enjoyed it for lunch!

While I was on my business trip last week, the bf made his own dinner, which I was pleased about instead of him just ordering out every night...BUT he made his own dinner in my favorite mixing bowls, didn't really rinse them out and left them in the dishwasher dirty for a couple days before the dishwasher got full and was run. Well needless to say my little plastic bowls had mildew or mold or something on them. SO I was pleasantly surprised and way more excited than I should be over bowls when he ordered me replacements and they arrived yesterday!!! These bowls are even better because they are cute bright colors and have nice pouring spouts, double win!

And now to the good stuff: GRILLING

I think I am obsessed with using the grill now, all I think about is looking for things I can grill. Last night I grilled turkey  hot dogs, the bf had been asking for hot dogs and we thought a snow storm would ruin or grilling plans, but luckily it only rained a bit and then stopped around supper time. WOOHOO Grilling time!!!
So I grilled us some Johnsonville turkey dogs for dinner. I had also made a pasta salad they day before in preparation and had more watermelon again. The bf like the hot dogs even though they were turkey and didn't seem to mind the wheat buns :) it's the little things that count.
Now I need more ideas for grilling, especially different veggies ideas I can grill. Off to Pinterest I go!