October 24, 2010


I just finished reading our October book club book, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner.

This book is actually about the author searching to find out what makes people happy. He bases his research off of other people's research but he's trying it himself. He goes to 10 different countries which include: The Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Moldove (FYI it's the least happy place), Thailand, Great Britain, India, and America.
This book was interesting. To be honest I was not looking forward to this book at all, it just didn't sound like my cup of tea. First it's not fiction and second it's a research based book. I was suprised to find myself enjoying certain aspects of this book. I like the author, he's got some grumpiness to him, but you can tell he wants to figure out the key to happiness. While he's naive in thinking that someone can lead you to the secret of being happy I give him kudos for his efforts. 
The overall book was boring though. I am sad to say that even his quirky experiences and his dry humor couldn't save me from being bored. Once I got to the chapter on Moldova I was ready for the book to be over. The saving grace?? I wanted to find out what in America people felt was happiness. Boy was I let down, it had to be one of the most boring chapters in the book. Maybe because he's not an outsider of America he couldn't really get into the mindset that he had for the other foreign countries.
The highest grade I can give the book is a C and I can only recommend it to those who like to read about other people's experience in researching a subject with no definitive answer. 

October 19, 2010

Not Your Pie

I was so excited to try out this new recipe.  It's not a Hungry Girl recipe so it's not healthy for you but man of man is it a really yummy mexican recipe! I got this recipe, Nacho Pie,  from the AMAZING Taste of Home Magazine! If you don't have a subscription get yourself one NOW!! They really have awesome homestyle recipes!!

This one is pretty simple all you need is: Tortilla Chips, Ground Beef, Sour Cream, Taco Seasoning, Tomato Sauce, Onion Powder, Crescent Rolls, and Mexican Cheese Mix.

First you must brown your ground beef, (with the onion) then drain. Return to heat and add your 8 oz can of tomato sauce and taco seasoning.

While that is cooking away on the stove top get out a pie pan and your crescent rolls. Take your crescent rolls and put in your pie plate with the point of the roll facing the middle. This was a little harder than I thought and I had to break up one crescent to get it all covered. This is no big deal though as long as the bottom and sides are completely covered.

After you get your crust down layer with crushed up tortilla chips.

Add your beef mixture.

Then carefully layer with your sour cream. I couldnt make it look pretty like the picture but I'm sure it won't affect the taste :)

Add some more crushed tortilla chips.

Then top with Mexican Cheese Blend. And pop into your oven for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees!
Yum look at that golden crust and melted cheese!!

Cut a piece for yourself and....

Enjoy this amazing mexican dish!

I loved this dish...no big suprise!! The only thing I'd change is I wouldn't put the layer of sour cream in it. I'd bake it off and then add the sour cream right before eating! The crescent roll crust really adds a little difference to it but still good. Next time I plan on adding the sour cream to the top and a little salsa! Maybe even some guacamole and salsa mixed together! YUM!! Try it!!

October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes? Yes Please!!

Again Gina at Gina's Skinny Recipes as offered a new recipe using Pumpkin! I was so excited, there was no way I wasn't going to try it!

You will need a few ingredients to make these: Fat Free Milk, Baking Spray, Pumpkin Butter, Whole Wheat Flour, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Brown Sugar, Eggs, Vanilla, and Canola Oil.

Combine your dry ingredients and then your wet ingredients!

Then combine the two. Start heating up a pan and spray with baking spray. Pour out 1/4 cup of the mix into your pan.

This batch made 8 pancakes but I only had two. I should have cut down the batter but I was following the recipe from Gina. Don't these look amazing?!?!?!

I made sure to add a nice dollop of pumpkin butter because there really is never too much pumpkin!

I really loved these with the pumpkin butter. Without the pumpkin butter they were okay. I was hoping for them to be more Pumpkin-y but that's okay. The recipe says you can add syrup to it but I figured why add more fat when not needed so I just smothered them in some amazing pumpkin butter and chowed down. These were great with a cup of coffee and while I didn't like the pancakes on their own I will be making these again as long as I have pumpkin butter.
Speaking of which I am out of pumpkin butter!! I can't believe how quick it went. Guess its time to whip up another batch :)

October 17, 2010

A Wild Affair!

Another book down! I just finished last night another one of my books and that was A Wild Affair by Gemma Townley.

This book was alright. Gemma Townley has a nice writing style but I can't get into it as much as others. This one revolves around Jessica Wild who is engaged and planning her wedding to a "perfect" man when a mystery woman enters. And then her life starts to unravel and she's forced with some tough decisions! If you want an easy read go for it, but overall I give this book a C...it was just average!

October 14, 2010

$10 in Free Money = Score! $20 in Free Money = MAJOR SCORE!!!

Oh Kohls how I love thee!!

Our local Kohls (and probably all other Kohls) sends out $10 "gift cards" in the mail every once in awhile and I LOVE THEM! I don't normally shop at Kohls except during Holiday season but when those little cards come in the mail I'm there within a few days! The best part is that not only do I get a card, but Chuck gets one too!! Meaning $20 for me to spend WOO HOO!!

This last time I was able to score this awesome new white board calendar!

We have been trying to find a system that works for us and normal calendars do not. Our schedule tends to change and I absolutely hate whiting out or crossing out anything on calendars. In my planner and at work everything goes in pencil but at home I was dumb and put everything in pen....So I got rid of our old calendar.
Then I found this awesome steal of a deal at Kohls...the price on the back said $29.99...could it really be worth that....even with $10 off I'm still spending $19.99 on something that I could probably find at Target or Walmart, or at least something similar...

I had already used my other $10 on stuff for a swap I'm participating in so I really didn't have anything I HAD to buy with my other $10...Great thing about our Kohl's is that they have price checkers throughout the store...Just in the off chance it was on sale I scanned.....
On sale for $17.99 WOO HOO...This baby cost me under $10...I was so excited...and since I was saving a few bucks I treated myself to the TransSiberian Orchestra CD they had at the front for only $5, and that $5 went to charity YAY!! Overall a SUCCESSFUL trip...and Chuck loves it too!

Anyone else score any great deals lately??

October 13, 2010

Diet Soda in Cake???

Who knew that you could add soda to a cake?? I certaintly didn't and even when I first heard that I was too chicken to try. But I came across the recipe once again Gina's Skinny Recipes and knew I had to try it.

Super simple...all you need is a cake box mix, a diet soda (I used lemon lime), and two egg whites!

Mix the cake mix, egg whites, and soda together (you only need 10 oz of soda, FYI an entire can is 12 oz)

When the cake mix and soda mixture fizzed and bubbled I was a little put off...could this really be good when it looks like a science experiment?

Pop it in the oven as directed on the cake box....here's hoping.........

You are supposed to cut into 12 pieces but I cut it into about 16 or 18 pieces. We wanted to try it two different ways and neither of us wanted big pieces...

First piece was topped with some whipped cream, fat free of course, like the recipe recommended.

Then we took another piece and sprinkled some confectioners sugar on it.

Can you say DELICIOUS!! Both ways were fantastic and the cake was AMAZING!! Who knew that soda and cake mix could actually turn out to be a good combination? I was a non believer but I'm whistling a different tune now!

Even better was I took the leftovers to work and it was devoured in one day. I can't wait to try other cake mixes...next ones will be Strawberry with Diet Lemon Lime and then Chocolate with Diet coke!

Everyone must try this recipe!!

October 12, 2010

Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte Please!!

Could I have a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte please???

Gina has provided us with yet another AMAZING recipe! This time it was drink: Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte...and yes it is good enough to replace Starbucks for me...And I LOVE Starbucks coffee!!

Super simple just make sure to have some Pumpkin Butter on hand, Fat Free Milk (I used 2%), Vanilla Extract, Coffee or Espresso, Sugar or Sugar Substitute, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and fat free whipped topping (optional).

Take your milk, pumkin butter, sugar, and vanilla and bring to a boil, mixing well.

Remove from heat add in your coffee, mix, top with whipped topping, sprinkle Pumpkin Pie Spice on top and take a long sip of this deliciousness!

My god this was AMAZING! I will never have to go to Starbucks again for a Pumpkin Spice Latte because this is that good. Plus it's a SKINNY drink WOO HOO!! Saves me $5 and gives me an excuse to always have Pumpkin Butter on hand! :-)

Also since I wanted a little extra pumpkin I added some Pumpkin Pie Spice to the Milk mixture while it was boiling...I just can't get enough pumpkin!!

Coffee lovers, pumpkin lovers you MUST try this...Trust me you will love it!!

October 11, 2010

Time to Get B-E-A-UTIFUL!!

On Wednesday I got the most amazing piece of mail delivery!! I got my Benefit Cosmetics Make Up Order!! Ever since my last purchase I've been saving my pennies to put in a big order and replenish with some of my favorite products and also add some new products that I've been eyeballing for months!

It is always packaged so beautifully!

This time around I ordered - the PoreFessional, You Rebel Lite, and the set called This Fab Lane (included BadGal Mascara , That Gal, and Hoola powder) and because I ordered all that and had a coupon code I got the Lana Make Up bag for FREE!! Yes I said for FREE!! And it is AMAZING! My other bag just got to be too small for me (Yikes, maybe that's a bad sign) but this new bag I hope I never outgrow! It's got plenty of room for my daily make up and my "If I have more time in the morning" make up, plus all the brushes I use on a daily basis and more!!! Boy this sounding like a sales pitch....I assure you I don't work for Benefit ....I just love everything about them :-)

First of all you can't go wrong when using the You Rebel Lite moisturizer, it really is amazing! Same with That Gal, which is a primer. But I'd never tried their mascara, Hoola powder, or the PoreFessional....first of all I am IN LOVE with the porefessional. What does it do you ask??

The Porefessional minimizes the look of your pores. I don't have huge pores but around my nose they get out of control...at least when I look at them! And who doesn't see their flaws magnified...so now not only am I in love with another product from Benefit but I also feel less conscious of my pores! WOO HOO!

Their mascara is ehh...it makes my lashes thick but I think it might be a little clumpy to stand on its own. I think I'll only use it when I wear eye shadow!

And the Hoola...it's a tan in a box. And I'm not talking hello orange construction cone...it's a great tan color that is light enough to wear everyday! I was so IMPRESSED with this and since I hardly ever tan anymore...I mean you don't even want to see my legs they are so blinding....this is perfect for entering the winter season. I know I'm going to lose (or have I already lost all my color?) any traces of sun time on my face and now I have a solution! Thank you yet again Benefit...I truly am an addict!

October 10, 2010

What's Not To Love About Pumpkin??

What can I say? I just love Pumpkin! I was so upset when the pumpkin shortage finally hit our area, but Thank You Libby for coming through and restocking all of our grocery stores!! Thanks to this Amazing Blog (Gina's Skinny Recipes) I have found quite a few new recipes to try that are Weight Watcher Approved. Now I'm not doing Weight Watchers but that doesn't mean those recipes won't be good for me and yummy!!

The first one to make is PUMPKIN BUTTER!! If you don't have these ingredients run, don't walk, but run to your local grocery and stock up!

26 ounce can of Pumpkin Puree, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon Sticks, Brown Sugar, and Apple Juice.

Combine everything!!

Bring to a boil and then let simmer for an hour!

Then transfer into containers and pop in the fridge. You probably do not have to refrigerate but thats how I like it.

Then take a piece of bread, toast it and get to spreadin'!

Seriously this recipe couldn't be any easier! And it couldn't taste any better.

As Chuck put it... "It's like pumpkin pie on toast"...Why yes my friends it really is. I LOVE this recipe! So easy, so good, and it makes a BUNCH!! Which is a great thing because Gina supplies you with all kinds of recipes to try with it...which if you've figured me out by now I definitely will be trying them!! The first one up is the Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte...seriously how could that go wrong?? Stay tuned and get to making this Pumpkin Butter!

October 9, 2010

Oh Deer!!

Thursday while I at work I'm just minding my own business, working hard of course....But I take a glance out my office windodw and what do I see? A DEER!! One lonely little doe munching away at a bush in our mini courtyard area. I couldn't believe my eyes. (Definitely not normal for this area to see them at my work) I even hollered out to my coworkers.. "Does anyone else see that deer outside?" Of course it wasn't my imagination...and being the scrapbooker I am my camera was in my purse :-)

These first few shots are taken from my actual office through the glass!

This one is literally right below my window (we are the second story) and she was so close!

Then she started heading to the side of the building....

And climbed up into the parking lot...

Yes I really did walk outside and turned myself into a Deer Paparazzi! I just had to see how close I could get !!! As my coworkers laughed at me I'm sure :-)

She let me get pretty close. Its hard to see in this picture but I was probably 10 feet away from her. She was very scared so I backed off and then she took off, while slipping a couple times on the asphalt :-( Luckily she didn't fall completely and was unhurt...

And she made it back up the hill :-) Stopped to eat some tree before fleeing completely!

It was such a random morning because not only did we see her but there was a hot air balloon as well. Which to me was weird cause it was right over the middle of town but then Friday morning my coworker and I saw three more!! I guess everyone is trying to get their last minute rides in before the weather officially turns to winter!

I hope next week has some interesting sights for us as well, somehow I doubt anything will top the deer sighting though!

October 8, 2010


Chuck and I are always really excited when October 1st comes rolling around because that means it times to really jazz up the house. We love decorating for Holidays and while I put out the fall decorations in September the house isn't super festive until October. And guess what??? IT'S OCTOBER!! 

We pulled out our three tubs of Halloween decorations!! Yes they are black to coordinate with Halloween...I like to be organized.

While we started with the inside decorating first I am going to show you our decorations working from the outside in. We actually just finished our decorating of the outside last night...this year we only did our front patio. The back patio will get decorated next year!!

Welcome to our Home!

Don't you just love our Welcome sign! My Aunt and Uncle gave us that for our Housewarming gift along with holiday banners and an everyday banner!

This year we decorated the door. Usually that gets wrapped out the front pole but I thought itd be more fun on the door. And yes I was right :-) Also those "heads" hanging from the door handle and on the side of the condo are motion sensored. Meaning they move and make noise when someone comes close to them. I LOVE IT!

Here is our little Halloween village that we set up on the breakfast bar. This is Chuck's favorite part of our decorations and he always sets it up :-) It's pretty neat, two of the pieces light up and make noise! We have found all of these pieces in Michael's but this year we didn't really care for the new stuff.

Our entry table got a little festive!

We both LOVE this sign. We got it at Michaels for like 40% last year and it's just so perfect and fun! It hangs in our entryway.

The mantel all done up! We love our candle holders!

The tv stand!

This is a pumpkin Chuck bought me a couple years ago. If you plug him in he glows green! I just love him cause he's fun but kind of spooky! He gets to sit inside this year since we don't have a plug outlet in the front!

My two favorite scarecrows! I found these dolls a few years ago and this is the first year they needed minor repairs. But Mr and Mrs Scarecrow are loving their spot on the bookcase. And that little ghost figurine is another favorite of mine. Chuck and I were out shopping last year and I fell in love with him, but we were trying to only buy what we needed as we were saving money up and Chuck slyly put him in the basket. I didn't even notice til we were checking out :-)

These shelves are on our dining room wall. I love candles and firmly believe the more the merrier!

The other side of the dining room wall...

And last but not least the bathroom downstairs. We only decorate downstairs now because no one but us goes upstairs.

These guys are on the shelf above the toilet! I'm sure for a guy it might be a little creepy to have them staring at you while you are handling your business but I just love them. I found them at a local Dollar Store a few years ago. They actually stay out until after Thanksgiving!

And I am very proud of this guy. I put this together a few years ago. I bought the actual scarecrow but I put together the bag and the fall floral items that are with him. He's survived being attacked by the cats (nearly on a daily basis now) and being smushed a few times in a box. What a trooper! :-)

And just a few sink items. Another fall figurine from the dollar store and a cute candle holder Chuck bought me!

And then of course we have to have wall decorations!

I found these signs awhile ago. I can't even remember where I got them, probably the dollar store as when I first moved out thats where I bought most of my holiday decorations! They really do carry some cute items!

Well that's all folks! We love how decked out our house is from September to January 1...granted we are ready to put things away on New Years but the house is so much more fun during Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course Christmas!

Anyone else all decorated for Halloween?

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