Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tis the Season!

Tis the Season to buy gifts for all those wonderful people in your life!  I love giving gifts.  LOVE IT!  And I'm terrible at recieving gifts.  I'm not sure if I'm supposed to act super excited or just say 'thanks' and be done with it.  It's a really awkward sitution for all involved, but for some reason I keep getting gifts every year.  They must love me or somethin'.

Here are my top ten gifts I'm hoping to find under the tree this year:

This Texas-shaped Cutting Board is freakin' awesome!  I'd probably leave it out all the time so everyone could admire my sweet cutting board.
This bar. It's a geography lesson and a party in one.  This may be a need more than a want.
My coats hang over chairs or on tables all winter.  It'd be nice to have a pretty place to hang our coats.

I love this Kate Spade dress, but I love everything Kate Spade.  Her lines are clean and classic from her clothing to her purses to her china.  She can do no wrong.
This is the perfect New Year's Eve polish, so it'd be perfect if it arrived on Christmas Day!
One of my favorite gemstones is opal.  I love how each one has different straitions of color and don't these look perfet next to diamonds?  I think yes!  (No clue where this is from...found it on Pinterest)

This lamp is so cool.  It's sophisticated and crazy all in one (kinda like me!).  Party on the top, plumbing on the bottom....yeah, that doesn't really work.  I'd just have to make sure Cooper doesn't think it's a REAL fire hydrant.
Taylor Swift is a fave.  And since her first single off of this record was my most recent break-up anthem, I'm betting I'll like the rest of her stuff.
Aaaaand we're back to Texas stuff.  What can I say?  I'm obsessed with my state.  Born & Raised, baby!
This nutcracker is so freakin' cute that I'd keep him out year round!  So cute!!

Honestly it was really tough this year to pick out things that I wanted for my birthday and Christmas.  I guess I just buy crap when I want it now.  I've tried to be more minimalist with my crap lately and only buy things when I really want them.  Adult?  Me?  What?  No!  And on that note, bu-bye now!

Monday, December 3, 2012

What will they remember you by?

I'm an avid mommy-blogger-reader.  I read probably 10 mommy blogs each day (interspersed with Twenty-something girl blogs, innappropriate humor blogs and real estate blogs) and a recent blog entry on Cup of Jo about how your eyes should light up when your child enters the room, and it brought me back to this memory I have from when I was probably 10 years old. 

At that point my mom, stepdad and I were living in Austin, but I still visited my dad in Houston regularly.  We had a very close relationship with my aunt, uncle and cousins who lived in League City, and we'd hang out with them pretty much every weekend I was in town.  On this particular day, my aunt and uncle had just bought a brand new Suburban.  The second my uncle pulled into the driveway, we were all out there checking out this huge new car.  It was awesome!  And huge!  There were so many doors and seats and as I climbed from the front seat to the back seat (there was no center console installed yet) my uncle screamed at me that I was ruining his new car.  I was shocked and stunned and froze up as he continued to yell at me about his nice, new car that I was messing up by crawling through where the console would eventually be installed a few days later. 

Why is it that this memory is so vivid in my head?  It wasn't supposed to be a life changing experience.  I was just getting yelled at by my uncle for doing something that he didn't want me to do.  Adults yell at kids all of the time.  But I still react the same way to someone yelling at me to this day.  I freeze up.  I take it.  I take the yelling in my face (and this is much more rare of an incident as an adult) and I cry.  Ugly crying with big tears to where my face swells up.

And the more I think about it, the more I realize that I remember my uncle as angry.  I don't see him any more because of family drama reasons that I won't get into at the moment, but my main memory of him is this incident when I was a child.  And I don't EVER want to be remembered as the friend/significant other/daughter/aunt/wife/mom/whatever who is angry all the time.  Or who is mean to others.  Or makes anyone feel bad.  I don't ever want to be remembered that way by anyone I come across in this life.  I want people to remember my happiness and laughter and jokes and meals with friends and love and caring, deep hugs and everything that is good in this world.  I want to be remembered by that. 

Going back to the Cup of Jo post, she suggests your eyes light up when your child enters the room so that they know they're loved.  My eyes should light up any time a loved one comes in the room.  I want my loved ones to remember that about me.

PS: Don't yell at people.  It's just plain rude!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Top 3 Pet Peeves

You know how there are little things that people do that drive you completely nuts, and you know that you're nuts for letting yourself get so worked up over this crap?  I have a few pet peeves that are completely ridiculous. 

The Microwave Timer
Good god CAN NO ONE HIT 'CLEAR' AFTER THEIR FOOD IS DONE?!?  I cannot stand seeing anything but the correct time on the microwave, and by god it MUST match the oven time or I really might lose my shit.

Weird Smells
I have an abnormally keen sense of smell.  If there is a weird smell, it needs to go away now.  The problem, though, with my keen sense of smell is that I smell things way before anyone else does and it smells way stronger to me.  It drives me nuts when I ask if anyone can smell that disgusting smell and no one knows what the hell I'm talking about. 

Cell Phones
I hate cell phones and I use mine everyday.  The thing I hate about the cell phone is that it's an excuse for so many people to ignore those around them, and that's just rude.  Put the FREAKIN' cell phone away and talk to the company you're sharing.  Do not read the news.  Do not text your bff.  That can wait until you're alone.  Enjoy the company of others (ahem, me).  If you do choose your cell phone over conversation with me, don't expect me to hang out with you too often.

Bugs me!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprout Pizza

I recently bought this weird looking vegetable at the grocery store and didn't know quite what to do with it.  I decided to roast the Brussels sprouts and if you think you don't like them, try them roasted in olive oil...mmmm, so good!
We had some left over pizza dough from the night before.  I use Pioneer Woman's pizza dough recipe.  Pretty much everything she makes is incredible and I get a lot of my inspiration from her recipes.

PW Pizza Dough
  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
2. In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.
3. Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. ***It's best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Pizza
  • 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatos
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • EVOO
1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  To roast the Brussels sprouts: Slice the sprouts in half, cover in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast for 10 minutes on each side or until the sprouts turn golden brown on the edges.
2.  Use 1/2 the pizza dough and stretch it out onto a baking sheet.
3.  Drizzle olive oil over the dough and spread it around evenly with your fingers. 
4.  Put the Brussels sprouts, bell pepper slices and tomatos around the pizza.  Then sprinkle the shredded cheese all over the pizza.  I also used a bit of grated Manchego cheese to punch up the flavor.
5.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.  Slice pizza immediately from the oven and enjoy!
I made a quick dessert of Nutella and sliced strawberries on toast.  Everything is better with Nutella!
And I would never leave you without a picture of Cooper!  I think he looks like a little cow with his red bandana.

Ridiculously Easy Crock Pot Chili

This is a recipe I've been making for a while and it's so easy because you can add whatever you like in your chili and then go do whatever you want...like apply for jobs or lay in the sun with your bff who has Mondays off.

Ridiculously Easy Crock Pot Chili
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours
Servings: At least 8.  Probably 10.  It's a lot of chili.

1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans
1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
shredded cheese
sour cream

Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Ground Cumin
Garlic Salt (or powder)
White Pepper
Black Pepper

TIP: I light a candle when I cut onions so my eyes aren't flowing with tears.  I'm not sure if it's an old wives tale but I swear by it.

1. Put turkey in a non-stick skillet on medium heat and smoosh it down so the whole pan is covered.  Add chili powder until the turkey is mostly covered in red deliciousness, then use about half that amount of cayenne pepper and ground cumin.  Lightly sprinkle garlic salt and white pepper, and pile on the black pepper.  Now mix it up so that the spices are mixed in well with the meat.
2.  Once the turkey is mostly browned, add the diced onions, garlic, and jalapenos.
3.  Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot.
4.  Add in your meat mixture and stir that baby up!  Then add more chili powder (again, cover it in red), cumin and black pepper.  Stir, stir, stir some more.  It should smell delicious at this point. 
5.  Set your timer for 6 hours and wait.
The cat enjoys his bed of extension cords.
 Once the time is up, add some sour cream and cheese and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yeast Free Chocolate Cake

Left is before, Right is after
These were so simple to make.  I think total time (prep and cook) was 5 minutes.  Steph from A BEAUtiful Mess introduced me to this "Microwave Chocolate Cake" and I finally was able to try it last night.  I will be having this again tonight for dessert.

Microwaveable Chocolate Cake

1/4 Cup almond flour
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 Cup Truvia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter or coconut/olive oil
1 Tablespoon hot water
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together in small mixing bowl.
Spoon mixture into ramekins.
Cover with wax paper and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy! (Makes 2 small ramekins.)

I took Steph's advice and added 1 Tablespoon of natural peanut butter on top and let it melt.  I highly recommend doing that!

Monday, January 30, 2012

DIY -- Bow Holder

So quick and easy to make! I picked up my roommate's and my initial ($2/each) and pretty ribbon at JoAnn's.

Paint the letters (I used acrylic) with a color that matches the ribbon. Let it dry and then put modge podge or some sort or sealer on the letters.

Staple the ribbon (abt 1.5') to the back, bottom of the letter.

Nail a hook into the wall where you want the bow holder and hang the letter on it.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hanging with frands

My friends are so funny and so much fun. Dying laughing at the acting and montages in "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus." Deborah Gibson, you aren't fooling anyone!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Things I found on the Internetz


30 Minute Buffalo Chicken Soup
serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a starter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8-10 oz), cooked and shredded
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon oat flour
32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
1/3-1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
sliced green onions and cilantro for topping

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions with a sprinkle of salt to the pot, stirring to coat, then cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Sprinkle in flour and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Add in stock, buffalo sauce and chicken, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often.

Serve soup with cilantro and green onions on top.  (I amended this a bit for my yeast free diet.  Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce has vinegar and canola oil in it...but I love buffalo chicken so I'm letting that slide...)

The Cook's Thesaurus

 Besides finding all of this stuff on the Internetz I've been working like crazy and doing my best to follow my Mantra of 2012: SKINNY AND SINGLE!!  I'm focusing on me this year.  All of the energy I've given to men my entire life will be for me.  I will look my best and feel my best this year.  I will find happiness within myself. 

In the month of January I've already gone from a tight size 10 to a very loose size 8.  My skin has cleared up.  My mood is better.  All in all, I'm much happier so far in 2012 than I was all of 2011.  It's going to be a very good year. 

If you'd like to learn more about the Yeast Free diet I've been doing since January 16th, check it out here.  Steph from A BEAUtiful Mess blogged about it last year and I was intrigued. but this year I tried it and so far I'm loving it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Terra Chips are da debil!

I'm trying this Yeast Free with me thing Steph the blogger at A BEAUtiful Mess told me about and through my research of this diet, I came upon a post about how she made it work for her. And Terra Chips. Homegurl mentions Terra Chips so I'm thinking to myself, 'Yea Nicole, go get yoself some chips cuz you ain't eatin no carbs.' (I make up weird accents in my head when I talk to myself-- true story.)

Long story, short: I've eaten half a bag of these damn Terra Chips in 48 hours. #fatass #ihatewhenpeopledothisnotontwitter