Saturday, August 28, 2010

House Update-Organizing the Kitchen

Today was another VERY productive day at the house. We (seriously this time) think that we will be living there by next weekend. We will spend the rest of this week working on projects and moving little stuff. And then next weekend will be the "big move" (bed, desk, couch, etc).

Today we had our first ever meal at the house that wasn't take out! We grilled burgers, last night I made pasta salad and taco dip, and we ate it outside.

The kitchen after mom and I spent most of the day, cleaning, organizing and putting away.

Lots of picture of organization in the kitchen ahead

Our utensil drawer

The start to our serving utensil drawer
(Right now all my utensils and serving things and kitchen gadgets are shoved in one drawer, so I am SOOO excited to have them organized and easy to find!)

We were finally able to drag the big cabinet that will serve as the pantry out from the back room. I washed it today and tomorrow I will paint it.

The tupperware, Pyrex and mixing bowl cabinet. In a revolutionary decision, mom and I decided to put our storage containers in an upper cabinet so they are easier to access. I am SO excited about the Rubbermaid storage containers that the lids lock together and the containers nest oh so nicely. I really think I may get rid of everything else.

I primed and painted the trim for the closet (see the bottom) and then we put it up. But we forget about the casing for the door. was installed, but I will prime and paint it tomorrow.

The view of our master closet! SOOO excited about it! My dad and sister put it all up last weekend and it looks great. So much room! There are top and bottom levels on both long sides and just a top on the back for long items. As you can see, I started bringing clothes over this week!

Here is my favorite example of how high-class we are. We found an old window AC unit in the cellar that works. However, in order to hold it in, we have used cardboard and yellow tape. No one can call us white trash!

And now....
The most exciting part of the whole day...

My spice drawer with labels on top of the bottles and organized alphabetically!
This is amazing.
I have been wanting this for a LONG time.
When I wanted to find a spice before? I have to dig through all of the shoved on one shelf and it is just terrible to try to find what I am looking for. So we are using one whole drawer. And all the spices are in there. And we put labels on the top. And put them in alphabetical order. And it rocks! I also have all my baking stuff in the back all in one place!

This makes my life!
Clearly I have a bit of an addiction to organization. It is OK. I can admit it. The look of the nicely organized shelves makes me smile. What about you? Do you relish everything in its place all lined up neatly? Or do you like the lived in look? I'm totally not saying my cabinets will always stay that way. But when it is all lined up like that? It makes me feel good deep down inside!

Recipe: Enchilada Ring

I found this recipe on Kelly's Korner and decided I had to make it.

It is called an Enchilada Ring. But I don't really know why. It doesn't have Enchilada sauce. I would probably call it a taco ring.

Either way, it was very yummy!

It called for chicken, and since I don't so much eat chicken, I made two. One for Adam (with chicken) and one for me (with black beans).

They were seriously yummy, but made a TON! It was also pretty easy to make. I probably didn't overlap the bread enough so it made more servings than intended. But splitting it into two different rings seemed to work very well. I would definitely make this again, but probably wouldn't for just the two of us. Maybe when our kitchen is done I will invite someone over and make it again!

The recipe:
Chicken Enchilada Ring

2 cups cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1 cup cheddar cheese (you know I used more than this!)1 small can chopped chilies, undrained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
2 rolls of crescent rolls
1 small chopped tomato
1 lime (juice)
2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips

1. Chop chicken and add olives, cheese, chilies, sour cream and taco mix. Seed and chop 1 tomato and add 2 tablespoons lime juice; add to chicken mixture. Reserve 2 Tblsp. crushed chips and add remaining chips to mixture.

2.Unroll crescent dough and separate triangles. Arrange on round baking stone or cookie sheet making a circle with wide ends OVERLAPPING in the center and points toward outside. ( I did lightly spray oil on the cookie sheet I used). There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in the center.

3. Spread chicken mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle.

4. Bring points of triangles up and over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at the center of the ring.Sprinkle with 2 Tblsp. crushed chips. ( I put shredded cheese all on top!)

5. Bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with tomato and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dryer With a Ding and Rainbow in the Sky

Along with remodeling a house comes with buying appliances.

And that means one thing.


Let's rewind a minute:
The week before our wedding, the refrigerator at my townhouse broke. Completely. And we found it at 11:00 at night on the 4th of July. Of course. We clearly didn't have any time that week to do anything about it, so we had no refrigerator that whole week and the few days after our wedding before our honeymoon. Our first goal when we got back? Buy a refrigerator. Also, we are going to use my townhouse as a rental property once we move into the wanted to find the best deal we could find (read: cheap).

We spent almost an entire afternoon driving around looking for a good deal when my dad found a new Sears Outlet that we later found out had only been open for like 6 days. Before that though we were at a Sears Appliance Showroom and found a semi-reasonable refrigerator and a washer and dryer we really liked. The washer and dryer were $560 for the washer and $630 for the dryer on sale from like $799 each. But we decided to wait.

So...we went to the Sears Outlet and the refrigerator my dad found online for $313! For an 18 cubic foot. Rock on! Then it rang up as $291! Score! So that was settled.

Wandering through the store, we also ran across the EXACT SAME dryer we almost bought earlier in the day.

See it here in our foyer?

For $370??????

So we bought it. There is a little ding in the front.

But guess what?

I can dry my clothes with a ding in the front of the dryer for $370 (on sale from $799!).

We did end up going back to the Sears Appliance Showroom because we didn't find anything as great a deal as the sale they had going on for the washer at the Outlet. So now we have a washer and dryer. They aren't installed. They are both still sitting in the foyer.

But baby steps.

Oh, and here is the adorable rug my mom got us just for fun. Because she is adorable too!

And this....

I just had to post these pictures from several weeks ago. Erin and I met for lunch one day and while driving there I saw these sweeps of color in the sky. I have never seen anything like it ever before! So I took these picturse. While driving. So be impressed. It was like a raindbow all bunched together in the clouds. It was so pretty. And different. And very cool.

So that is my story.

Totally random post. I know!

But the moral of the story? The Sears Outlet is A-MAZ-ING and sometimes there are rainbows mushed up in the clouds!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pretty Shoes

I'm not really a shoe person. I swear.

I am a flip flop girl. All the way.


But other shoes? Not so much.

I love cute flats. I do. But heels? They just don't work for me.

I am a wuss. I can't walk in them unless they have a "toe-thing". You know? In between your big toe and pointer finger toe. Like a flip flop.

Also? I refuse to spend more than oh...about $25 on a pair of shoes. Unless they are gym shoes. And even $25 is pushing it.

But my BFF since I was 3, Meghan, was getting married, I was standing up in the wedding, and I needed gold heels with a strap across the back.

I was on a mission.

I went to oh...about 5 million stores to find something that fit the criteria, I could actually walk in and not embarrass her by falling walking down the aisle, wouldn't break the bank and were cute.

And boy did I hit the jackpot! They were definitely more than I would normally spend on shoes (remember $25 max usually!) but I just loved them and they fit all of the criteria!


From every angle?

So cute!
After walking in the all afternoon at the wedding? I wanted to throw them out the window! But that didn't lessen the cute factor. And I will really try to wear them again. Maybe if I break them in a bit more. But I still am thrilled with what I found!

Are you a shoes person? What rules about shoes do you have?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Recap and Last Day

This has been an amazing summer. Seriously amazing. But also the fastest summer in the history of the world. It was also the first summer I didn't work since I was 15...well...didn't work for pay!
What did I do?
Well I had been working on wedding stuff non-stop for the last few months, in between working on finishing my Early Childhood teaching certificate. But when summer hit and school ended, I had a LOT to do still, in about a month. Also, in June, we had the annual carnival fundraiser at my church. It is 5 days of pretty much living at the church, as I co-chair the ice cream booth. ALSO in June? We attended two weddings.


July started with my bachelorette party quickly followed by the 4th of July and my sister's birthday (yah! she was in the country!). The next weekend? We got married! It was amazing and fast...and you've seen the millions of pictures. The Tuesday after our wedding we headed out to St. Maarten (those pictures will come soon) for a weeklong honeymoon. We got back and I had a week and a half to kick it into high gear to prepare for Vacation Bible School at church....which I am the director of....and had a ton to do since I had been in wedding mode all summer!


I did get everything done and August started with Vacation Bible School for a week of amazingness with wonderful volunteers and little sponges of children. The last day of VBS I left early (Gasp! I missed part of it for the first time in 9 years!) and Adam and I flew to LA for my friend Meghan's wedding! is still August. We have spent the days since Meghan's wedding in full house renovating mode. Oh yeah...don't forget with everything else we did, we have been working like crazy to get the house in liveable condition (we are so close!).

Friday was my last day of freedom and I was lucky enough to spend it with Kristin and Layla. We headed to a 1800s style farm near my house and we had a blast! I can't think of a better way to spend the last day of summer....except maybe laying on the couch in my PJs eating bonbons!

I, of course, love being with Kristin, but it was a total blast to hang out with Layla as well. Her running commentary throughout the day cracked me up! She has so much to say and it is pretty much summed up by the first picture. I wanted a picture of Kristin and Layla in front of the cows she liked so much. But...this was the best I could do because she couldn't stop asking questions about everything in the barn!

I love this picture of her looking at the horsies.

The incredibly huge work horses there

Layla was very brave!

Layla and I looking at the chickens!

This picture cracks me up. Because as I was trying to get a picture of the chicken....this crazy squirrel ran through the shot. Do you see his body on the left? I didn't even realize he was there until I looked at the pictures on my computer!

All in all, it was an amazing summer. It flew by and I hate for it to end, but I am also looking forward to getting back in the routine of the school year and doing what I love. I truly love being in my classroom with my kiddos. The only things that makes me dread the return to school are the politics and decisions that are out of my control. I do love my job and I feel very lucky to return to it this fall!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wedding Day-The Reception!

Of course besides the love and romance of getting married, you get to top it off with an awesome party at the end of the night!

We had such a blast at our reception, I immediately start smiling at the thought of it. We seriously had fun the entire time and we feel like we truly did enjoy every second it.

Do I feel like I got to dance enough with every person? No. Do I wish I had spent a little more time seeking out some people to dance with? Yes. That is probably my main regret....not feeling like I got to spend time with everyone. But it is hard with 220 people! And the night flies by and I knew if I didn't keep dancing, I would regret it. Regardless....I danced with anyone who was out there dancing (who was most everyone!) and we had a blast!

Our black and white cake * that I designed based on a bunch of ideas I found and posted here.
*Luckily from this angle you can't see the huge tumor that was on the side of the cake. Grrrr. We are in discussions with them about it now.

Taking more pictures outside on the patio. This cracked me up! My 16 year old junior bridesmaid said to me, "Don't worry Steph...we won't drop him" and I just thought it was hilarious!

Us with the kids. Aren't they just adorable! The girls were a bit obsessed with all of our flowers! Layla was a great sport about getting in as long as her mama was too!

We came in, fist pumping and all, to "I Gotta Feeling"!

Cutting our cake. We were SO nervous about it... How do we do it? Will we know what to do? Will it be awkward?? But it went really smoothly.

The first dance with my husband!

Our head table. I just love how the black and white turned out. It makes me so happy!

My dad's speech at the beginning. It was incredibly politically charged without offending anyone. Hilarious!

The Best Man speech....he had a few things to say! And may have outed Adam that he used to eat with only plastic silverware!

Um, where did the picture of my sister go?
Well....she did an awesome job too! Made me laugh and cry!

Dancing with my dad. He kept making me cry all day!

The Bridal Party dancing to "These Are My People". I just loved having all of our people so close to us all day!

A friend from work and the Best Man having a Michael Jackson dance off. It was great!

Getting ready to throw the bouquet. We were ready to do it and my sister had disappeared and I insisted that we couldn't do it without her. Finally, she came right at the end of the song....I threw it...the flowers slipped through her fingers and right into Amy's!

Adam finding the garter!

We had a blast dancing all night like I said...but for some reason don't have a lot of pictures of that! is me dancing with my dad after my sister put my hair up. I loved my hair being down, but too much dancing made me a bit sweaty!
Our last song was Kelly Pickler's "Makin' Me Fall In Love Again" and then as a surprise the DJ had everyone gather around us and played "I Wanna Grow Old With You". It was so fun and sweet and a fantastic ending to an amazing day!
Here is the song if you don't know it (and have lived in a cave!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wedding Day-Pictures at the Park

After our wedding ceremony, we headed to a local park to take some pictures since it was an amazingly beautiful day. I just love all of the pictures we took here and don't know how I am ever going to pick.

By the way, all the pictures I am posting are ones friends and family took....but we did just get the proof book from the photog and I LOOOOOOVE them all!!!

When we got there, there were about 5 other weddings parties there taking pictures, so someone jokingly said that we should take a picture on this statue. So we did! They turned out kind of cool!

Romantic pictures with my husband!

Our bridal party by the pond

Me stopping to have a chat with Layla that most well behaved 2 year old flower girl in the history of the world!

Another cool bridal party picture. Also, I was a bit freaked out because my heels were sinking in the grass!

I felt like these dancing pictures were a bit awkward. Apparently I am not a good fake dancer!

The bridal party cheering on the bridge! We were ready to go to the ceremony to party!