January 30, 2010

Another Home Improvement....New Curtains!!

I finally had it with our stupid blinds that cover the back sliding door! The individual blinds keep breaking off and with the dogs it wasn't worth going out and buying replacements...

My Mom came over and we headed off on a Shopping Adventure to some discount stores....Tuesday Mornings and Big Lots....and we were SUCCESSFUL in our mission for new curtains!!!

Tuesday Mornings = $45.00, the actual curtains (2 panels) and a BEAUTIFUL curtain rod!
Big Lots = $10.00 for 2 panels of Ivory Sheer Curtains!
And one stop at KMART to get the seperate rod for the sheer curtains!

With Chuck down and out he couldn't help much but his best friend Nick was at the house and they helped me remove the disgusting blinds and put up these new curtains!

The beautiful curtain rod end!
Here they are closed!

And open

We definitely needed something to block out the window so we had the idea of sheer curtains so people cannot just peer into our dining room and kitchen! And they work great! You can still see into the house but not enough to bother me!
And these curtains now make that wall seem huge!! I cannot wait to continue working on the new home renovations and get the dining room and living room completely done!
Wish us luck in our home renovation adventure and stay tuned for more updates!

A's Tickets and Sanders...Could It Get Any Better?

Last night before I slipped into bed I set the alarm!! I double checked it before I fell asleep because there was something I just couldn't be late for!! No I didn't forget it was Saturday!!!

Today at 9AM Oakland A's tickets went on sale...I just had to get the best tickets possible!! AND I DID!!!

My Paps and I are going to see a game (we have started a new tradition, this will be 3 years now) of going to see a game just the two of us!!! And I am so happy that we get to see the A's play the Orioles (his favorite team)...And I got us tickets 18 rows from the Oriole's dugout...I was pretty excited as this is my birthday present to him!!

I also got 2 tickets to see the A's play the Giants, Chuck's favorite team!!

Needless to say I was buzzing without any coffee this morning!

After a quick shower I finally opened up a Christmas gift I got: This little Beauty:

And I have two of these end tables to refinish for our new living room plans:

Does this table look familiar? It should: Craigslist Steal of a Deal

Let the Sanding Begin!!

It took me 15 minutes with this little power mouse to sand the top and edges of the end table! I was ECSTATIC!!! Needless to say I sanded one of the end tables...only thing left is to manually sand some of the little crevices....I might need to go over the bottom again but we shall see when I have more light!

I could not believe how well this sander worked! It is now the BEST GIFT I got at Christmas!! Well it's a tie cause after a day of being on my feet the current foot massager gift that I got is heaven :-)
I cannot wait to finish getting this one prepped and then I'll sand the other...and then we will stain or paint. We need to decide on a color first haha...but I am excited to say we are finally making some headway on the home improvements we've been planning since last year....

Another Book Bites the Dust

So I finished "Little White Lies" by Gemma Townley last night. And I am sad to report that it was a flop!! Not that others might not enjoy...but to be honest the book was unrealistic in a trying to be realistic way....along with the predictable ending.

Now predictable endings don't bother me most of the time....the satstifcation of knowing that everything will be just the way you want it is comforting....but when the story feels rushed and not well put together and lets face it...this book's tale would probably never happen in real life.

And I'm a little nervous about reading another book from this author...but it's one I've bought so it must be read!! I will not however be reading it next.

The next book I am starting will be....................

"The Next Thing On My List" by Jill Smolinksi

January 28, 2010


So I've been MIA for a GREAT reason!! I've been busy reading the first book off my list :-)

I finished Harry Potter last night. The very last book of the series and it was AMAZING!

I'll admit the first half I had a hard time sticking it through...but once I hit the middle things picked up and I started to like the characters again! I couldn't put the book down! I was so excited to finish (won't give away any spoilers just in case) but then after a few minutes of being so happy with finishing it...sadness started to sink in.....no more Harry Potter to read!

Although I was a little sad I feel that the author did a wonderful job of closing out the series! And I'm actually excited to see the movie...unlike all the others I didn't care for the movies...I am looking forward to this one :-)

Hope everyone is having a great week! I already started another book last night. It's going to be a quick read as I'm already halfway through...the book is:

Little White Lies by Gemma Townley. It's a typical Brit Chick Lit...but it's a short one and my brain needed the break after reading the 700 page Harry Potter :-)

Fingers crossed that I'll have some thrilling posts of new creations soon...but not sure when I'll fit in the time :-)

Nothing to update on Chuck....he's still off work...waiting to get into the orthopedic doctor! Fingers crossed he goes back soon...He's sick of being home all the time and I'm sick of him being home all the time LOL.

That's about it for now! Back to work I go :-)

January 18, 2010

Homemade Mint Chocolate Cake

For Chuck's birthday cake he really wanted a Mint Chocolate cake....I searched and searched and searched and then found myself back at my trusty old site....Taste of Home...what can I say it's my standby site and this is exactly why.

First I gathered all the ingredients:

After a quick call to my mom I successfully melted chocolate in the microwave for the first time :-) And OMG did it smell amazing???
The cake batter...looking a little funky but it turned out to look much better after being baked in the oven!

The middle layer of frosting, which this is really the creme chantilly with mint extract, and in this case a little food coloring..oh yummy!!! It almost tasted like Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream without the Chocolate.

The outer frosting...this was so yummy...I could have eaten the entire bowl of frosting...

The middle layer of the cake!! Looking mighty fine!
And I was a little silly and thought the frosting was too thick so I added a little more evaporated milk, so then it was too soft, thus why it ended up in the fridge... But it was a little better because the cold brought out the mint some more!!

This recipe is a keeper!! I loved the frosting and the cake was so moist and delicious! I have found another cake from scratch recipe...Look out packaged cake world...you are going down!!
My next made from scratch cake will be......CARROT CAKE....and YELLOW CAKE... :-) Wish me Luck!

Happy Birthday Honey

So Sunday was Chuck's Big 30th Birthday but as I stated in previous posts he hurt himself at work and we had to postpone all festivities. Hopefully we will be able to celebrate the last weekend in February or the first weekend in March. But I must say even though he's down and out he had a wonderful birthday! I gave him his gift Saturday night cause his best friend Nick had brought him a gift to go with mine. I got him a PS3 and he was so shocked!! And then Nick got him a game...but he got it all set up on saturday night.....

And this was him on Sunday....ALL DAY!!

I was so happy that he was so obsessed with it. Even when his Mom came to see him he had a hard time putting the controller down, but he was happy to show off all the features...overall he had a nice birthday and was really happy :-)


So after watching the Julie/Julia movie I HAD to make some yummy bruschetta!!! She makes it on the night that she decides she wants to write a blog :-)

So one day after work I went to the store and picked up some french bread, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. And let me make one huge factor clear: I HATE TOMATOES!!! Hate, hate, hate them, ever since I was a kid I've disliked Tomatoes. I love ketchup and pasta sauce but I can't stand whole tomatoes. But in my effort to get over foods I dislike that really are pretty good I decided what better way than a little bruschetta. Plus my Paps makes grilled tomatoes with mozzarella on the BBQ during summer and I really liked those...

Just like in the movie...you can never have too much butter...while I wish that was true I must disagree. These were a little more buttery than I wanted but that was a minor detail....

The amazing mixture to put on top. This is actually a recipe that I found from weight watchers. You are supposed to put this mixture on Pita's and make mini pita pizzas, but hey why not try it for bruschetta. It's chopped tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and a little garlic salt.
I toasted the bread with butter in the pan on the stove top, then topped them with the tomato mixture and some mozzarella, then popped them in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes!!

They were so good!! I ended up eating these two for dinner and was stuffed!! I found a new way to enjoy tomatoes....I think I've figured out that I like hot tomatoes but I still can't eat them cold....I am giving it some time before I can eat them like an apple...GAG!!
But yes these are so easy, so UNHEALTHY, but so good...and I was so full with eating these two pieces for dinner....and just to give you a better idea of the size....I just cut off to pieces from a loaf of french bread and that plate is a dessert size plate, not a big plate :-)

January 13, 2010

New Look/Bad Accident

As part of my new goal to blog on a regular basis this year I also decided my blog needed a, let's say, Facelift! And even though the new background takes longer to load it's worth the wait! I love it! Thank you to http://www.thecutestblogontheblock.com/!!

Anywho, this week started out with quite a suprise!! On Monday Chuck calls me and immediatly I can hear something is wrong! Turns out he was in the Emergency Room. While at work he slipped and fell on a wet mat!! He has fractured his heel and sprained his ankle! YIKES! Needless to say the guy was in severe pain and now has been on pain killers since then! I feel so bad for him being laid up and in pain! So I was also lucky enough to be able to work from home and help him out. The guy has been upstairs since MONDAY!! I can barely stay at the house 3 days in a row without needing to get out and run an errand, but he hasn't even seen the living room in 2 whole days!! But he's also more, let's call it, laid back than I am! A.K.A lazy! LOL I know he's going stir crazy and would rather be at work but he's doing better than I would be!

Other than that...we have to cancel the big 30 party on saturday! Poor guy doesn't even get to celebrate his birthday! So we are postponing the party until he's back on his feet!

I've started my Harry Potter book! So far so good, as if I was worried at all...but I am happy to say I've started reading every evening now!

I guess I should go finish the laundry and see if Chuck needs anything! Hope you all are having a better week than me!

January 11, 2010

2010 Reading List

So I've decided that I own too many books that have been sitting unread for MONTHS and MONTHS!!

So one of my New Year's Resolutions is to read all books I own before purchasing more!! Then I even went further than that! I have a wishlist with my Library Account and once I'm done reading the books that I own I am moving onto that list and then once I finish those I will buy just one book! I am constantly finding books I want to read so I either buy them used off Amazon.com or I see if they are at the library!

So I am embarking on a brand new reading adventure! I have listed the books I own on the right, but here is the full list of books and authors! Check back for reviews :-)

1. Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman
2. Baby Proff by Emily Giffin
3. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
4. Her by Laura Zigman
5. My Life in France by Julia Child
6. Something Blue by Emily Giffin
7. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
8. Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Carly Alexander
9. The Fixer Upper: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews
10. She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot
11. Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
12. Girls Poker Night: A Novel of High Stakes by Jill Davis
13. The Egg Nog Chronicles by Carly Alexander
14. The Secret Life of Mrs Claus by Carly Alexander
15. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
16. Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
17. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer
18. Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single by Heather McElhatton
19. Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
20. A Wild Affair by Gemma Townley
21. Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenenfelder
22. Confessions of a Beauty Addict by Nadine Hoabsh
23. Learning Curves: A Novel of Sex, Suits, and Business Affairs by Gemma Townley
24. Little White Lies: A Novel of Love and Good Intentions by Gemma Townley
25. The Hopeless Romantics Handbook: A Novel by Gemma Townley
26. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
27. Lo's Diary by Pia Pera
28. Diana Agafya by Jacob Emery (Chuck's Cousin :-))
29. The Gate Crasher by Madeleine Wickham
30. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling ( How sad that I have not read this one when I read all the other ones within 2 weeks of getting them)
31. Sunday's at Tiffany's by James Patterson
32. The Next Big Thing on My List by Jill Smolinksi

As you can see I have quite a task ahead of me! It's going to be filled with a variety of books! I was going to try and set up a deadline and order of which ones I want to read but I just can't pick. So I am going to either start Harry Potter (cause it's probably the one I've owned the longest) and then I think I'll read the Next Big Thing on My List! But stay tuned for book reviews and suggestions!

I am very excited to get back into reading more books!

January 3, 2010

Crock Pot Mac N Cheese!

Tonight I made a new recipe! Crock Pot Mac N Cheese!!

I added all the ingredients, set it to low and waited 3 hours!!

Here it is after 3 hours of cooking, and then mixed!
Needless to say it SUCKED!! I should just stick with my Mom's trusty Mac N Cheese recipe instead of finding another one! We ended up throwing it out and eating Hamburger Helper, Broccoli and Carrots, and Corn bread! YUM!

Updated Scrapbook Room

So I got a few new items for my scrapbook room for Christmas. I decided to go through and rearrange and clean my room!! So here are some pictures of my very favorite room to be in!!

The windo in the room! I made the Valence with my Mom :)
The scrapbook/all crafts table! It's set of 4 storage square blocks from Target/Michaels. I also got a long piece of countertop from my parents for my birthday!! I was so excited!

Here is this awesome thread catcher bag my parents got me for my sewing table!!

The new sewing box I also got for Christmas. And underneath it is a rolling cart with fabric, patterns, and supplies!
A shot of my whole sewing table!! I also redid the chair and made the fabric on the seat match the valence.

My Paps made this for me for Christmas! I love it!! It's hanging on a wall in my room!
This is an amazing rolling cart I bought at Michaels! It has been such a great purchase!!

This is a view of my closet! I took the closet doors down to make the room feel bigger!! And my Mom bought me the 5 12 x 12 storage boxes, which are amazing!!
Another shot of the closet!

Another one of the closet!

I love my scrapbook room! Happy I could share!

January 2, 2010

Chocolate Mousse - YUM!!

Chuck really wanted some Chocolate Mousse for our Christmas Day dessert! So I gave it a shot!!

Here are my ingredients: Vanilla Extract, Eggs, Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, and Heavy Whipping Cream!!

Some of the ingredients mixed together!!
The egg whites whipped to a "Peak" :-)

Here is the melted chocolate waiting for the eggs!

All whipped together!! Doesn't really look like mousse to me!! I think the chocolate needed to cool longer!

Into the fridge they go! I filled each individual dessert bowl and wrapped them up cling wrap and slid them into the refrigerator!

Right before I served our dessert I had to whip up some whipped cream. Instead of doing regular whipped cream I made Creme Chantilly! You add Vanilla and Powdered Sugar!!

Here it is all whipped up!! Yummy!!
And the finished product!! So the texture was not right! It tasted GREAT!! And we loved it but the texture wasn't quite right! So I am definitely trying it again!!

Another New Recipe!!

One of our New Years Resolution is to not go out to eat! We are going to be so HAPPY if we make it through January LOL, but our goal is to start out at waiting 3 months. If a special occasion like a birthday or our Anniversay we may go out but we are going to plan on doing dinner at home every night. Not only does it mean no more eating out dinner, it includes lunches, breakfast and Starbucks!!! I think we can do it!! So stay tuned...

But in order to try and eat more at home I'm back to trying new recipes!! I think this will keep it spicy and make us want to eat home, we won't get bored!! But in order to make it stick this time (with trying new recipes) I organized my recipes! I went through and cleaned out all of my random scraps of paper with recipes, typed them up and put them in sheet protectors. I then divided them into Recipes We Love and Recipes to Try and then divided them into Breakfast, Appetizer, Dinner and Dessert. It took time and I'm still not completely done with it, I ran out of page protectors, but so far I'm loving it!!

So tonight, despite feeling like shit and preferring take out food, I bucked up and made Fettucine Alfredo! Simple enough and something I never made from scratch! I was super excited to make home made alfredo sauce!
I took 2/3 cup heavy cream and 1/2 stick of butter. Melted the butter into the cream on the stove top.

Then I added 1 cup of parmesan cheese and mixed until it melted. The recipe said the cheese would melt but I found I needed to put it back on the stove for a little while and continue stirring.

Here it is mixed in with the noodles!
We also heated up some carrots! I love CARROTS!

I totally forgot to take a picture of it plated, a little out of practie I guess, but here is my plate afterwards! Can you tell I liked it? haha. I am definitely filing this away in the Recipes We Love binder !!

And we really wanted dessert so Chuck made that!! He took a brownie from New Years Eve and whipped up some creme chantilly and then decorated with a pirouille (not sure if I spelled it right). It was so good!! So much for healthy eating and losing weight tonight HAHA! Once I'm feeling better (hopefully by Monday) I'll be back to my working out schedule!! But how could you pass up a dessert like this one?

The Perfect Brownie Pan & Cutter - AS SEEN ON TV!!

I was so FREAKIN excited!! Awhile ago I had seen this on TV and told Chuck that it would be so neat! I am a horrible brownie cutter! Mine end up in all different sizes! When they come out with a cake cutter similar to this I will be buying it ASAP! I just can't seem to cut anything straight!

But even after teasing me for wanting this cute little contraption....HE BOUGHT IT FOR ME FOR CHRISTMAS!!! I was so EXCITED!!

You just take a boxed cake mix and then pour it into the pan they provide and then put the cutter into the mix and pop it into the oven!

And voila out they come baked as normal and already sliced!!

And the cutter comes out super easy and didn't mess up any of the brownies!!
The set also comes with some stencils so of course I had to try them out! I just used powdered sugar and made a star and a heart! I actually made these brownies for New Years Eve! They turned out so good! and they looked AMAZING!

I highly recommened buying this, even if you are okay at cutting brownies this makes it super easy! No cuttng involved! and they look bakery worthy!!

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