Friday, September 30, 2011

The Happy List

Happy Friday! I'm just glad that I have a three day weekend. Work was less than awesome this week. I had my very first day as charge nurse yesterday. Someone coded. Code blue. Flat line. Not good. I'm so insanely happy that this week is over. I needed a little encouragement and I know that a lot of my friends and family are also in need of encouragement. Actually, when could we not use a little encouragement? Anytime, people, anytime! So I decided to make a happy list. Things that give me a little boost and hopefully will give you one too!

My Friday Happy List

1. A good breakfast

2. Coffee from Einstein Bagels at the hospital. Vanilla Hazelnut and Autumn Roast get me through the morning.

3. A double rainbow. All the way across the sky. I saw this last week and was reminded of God's amazing love and promises for us. (Ok, I was also reminded of the hilarious YouTube video.)

4. June Beatrice Baker. Born on Tuesday, September 27th to Zach and Audrey Baker. I haven't met her yet, but I know she is going to be amazing! 

5. This verse, that I used to carry in my pocket back when I was a brand new CNA and super freaked out all the time. I was reminded of it so many times this week. 
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self control. " 2 Timothy 1:7

6. Friday Flower Club

7. Looking forward to a vacation. (Celebrating 2 years of marriage in Charleston, SC in a couple weeks!)

8. The Today Show and Kathie Lee and Hoda. If I get to watch it, it means I'm probably not at work. And I just love those ladies. They make me laugh.

9. Cajun Chicken Pasta from The Pioneer Woman. I made it earlier this week and it was fantastic. Also it fed both of us for lunch for the rest of the week.

10. Pay Day Friday. Holla!

I hope you are having a great Friday and have time to think up your own happy list. (Thanks for the idea, Rockstar Diaries!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What a good Kiewit wife looks like.

Hey friends, I just had to post a couple pics of Kiewit's family day on Saturday. The power plant is almost finished and they invited everyone to check it out! Somehow I got roped into volunteering. But I did get a radio. And I talked on it. Which probably annoyed everyone. But I don't really care. I also got to drive a caboda (I don't even know how to spell that word), which is like a golf cart but used for more serious things. Like carrying supplies. I used it to give myself a tour of the plant.

All the volunteers, looking very patriotic. Except me, because I volunteered to take this photo.

The Black Family, looking awesome in their matching attire. It was game day, people.

My husband built this. It's kind of a big deal.

In related news, we are probably going to be here through the spring. *Probably.* Because even though the plant is built, they have to make sure everything runs smoothly before the project is over. Not gonna lie, I was a little bummed because I was hoping to be back home for the holidays. But that's ok. You officially have several more months to visit us in the great state of Tennessee!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nashville Nicole

Happy Friday! On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being ecstatic, I am a 10 that I am not at work today. I even cleaned my house after a class I was taking on Wednesday so that I won't have to clean today. Smart, people.

Anyway, last weekend we ventured out to Nashville, home of country music, the Titans, and my darling cousin, Nicole. Some vendor at Caleb's work gave him and coworker box seat tickets, so they football-ed it up while Nicole and I ate and shopped.

We brunched at Marche: mimosas, french toast, and omelets. Ah-mazing.

We shopped at the Mall of Green Hills (free valet parking? yes please!). And then met up with Caleb after the game for some pizza at Nicole's place of employment. That I don't honestly remember the name of. But it was delish!

Love this girl. She is gorgeous, awesome, and has VERY cute clothes. And she is tall, so I wore some wedges so we could be kinda the same height. I am very very jealous of tall people.

Quick but successful trip to Nashville! Cuzin luv forevah!

Sorry to switch it up, but I messed with this photo and like the b&w. I also love the original of this photo which includes Nic's boyfriend creeping in the background. Loved him, fo reals!

I love weekends.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Real Housewives of East Tennessee get crafty

There is this super cool website called Pinterest. Oh, you've heard of it? You and your mom and your dog all have Pinterest? I know. It's very fun. And a great way to waste some time, whether it is free time or not so free time. Pinterest is a place where you can store all your good ideas for pretty much anything and see other people's cool stuff as well. So a few of the Real Housewives and I decided to have a Pinterest Party where we brought one of those good ideas to life.

Let me just say, while I consider myself a creative person, I am not very crafty. First of all, my patience for crafting is pretty low. I expect instant gratification with crafts and that doesn't happen very often. (Flash backs to hot gluing ribbons on my wedding invitations and ironing hems on the pink toppers for the reception tables.) Second, I am slightly paranoid that my crafts look like something a talented preschooler could do. Despite this, I was excited to start this crafty goodness, so we gathered supplies and a bottle of wine and got our craft on.

We decided to make wreaths in the theme of our respective universities. I can't believe I was outnumbered by Missouri supporters. Basically, we took a 18 inch straw wreath form ($5 at Michael's) and covered it with yarn. Mine was covered in KU blue. Emily and Stephanie's were covered in black. Which could represent MU. Or death. (I'm sorry, the anti Mizzou jokes just flow from me.)

So we started wrapping our wreaths in yarn. It was at this point when I started doubting this craft. This is progress of about an hour.

But we persevered, watched a little Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and eventually got our wreaths covered. No one on Pinterest mentioned that it would take 3+ hours to cover the wreath in yarn. So I am mentioning it now: be warned!

After we got tired of yarn wrapping, we started making flowers to go on the wreath. The flowers are the fun, quick, and gratifying part of this process. Take a piece of felt (any size), cut it into a circle but make it kinda wavy. Then cut your circle into a spiral with a circle of fabric in the middle. Starting on the outside of the spiral, wind it into a lovely felt flower. If you wound it the right way, the circle will be at the base of the flower and you can use some hot glue to stick it all together. Perfection. You can't even mess these flowers up. It's kind of impossible. They all turn out different and cute. Like people. (Awww...)

At this point in the evening, it was like 9pm, which is totally my bedtime now. So we took a few photos of our progress and hit the road.
There is even documentation of the time, check out the clock in the background.

Emily is pretty cute for an MU grad!
The next day, Stephanie and I decided we needed to do something with the white letters. (Just wooden letters from Michael's, I think they were $2.50 each.) I thought about covering them in red yarn, but I was pretty much yarned out. So Steph got some Martha Stewart acrylic glitter paint. Which we quickly figured out was also time consuming since you have to paint layers and layers to get the color you want, waiting for the layers to dry in between. (See? I am not a good crafter. Not at all.)

I've been working the past few days, so I finished my wreath up this morning. Filled in some spots on the wreath with extra yarn, just hot glued the letters, and made a few extra flowers and hot glued those on as well.

Not horrible, right? And it goes with my KU wall. I am feel pretty darn crafty right now. Thankyouverymuch.

What you need to make your very own wreath:

*5 hours
*a long movie
*an 18 inch straw wreath form (leave the plastic on)
*a ball of yarn in your color choice
*felt in your colors of choice
*wooden letters
*paint for the letters
*a hot glue gun

So get your craft on this weekend! At least get your Pinterest on, because that is just good clean fun.

Caleb is working this morning and I am catching up on laundry and cleaning and blogging and wreathing. This afternoon we are heading to Nashville for the evening. Tomorrow Caleb gets to go to the Titans game and I get to hang out with my beautiful cousin, Nicole! Holla!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get your cook on!

Happy Monday friends! I just finished a nice long stretch of a work weekend. I'm also battling a cold and PMS, not a sexy combo. So this is a somewhat belated post, I just wanted to share some yummy recipes.

First, Spinach Lasagna Rolls. These are awesome, healthy, yummy, and vegetarian. And it was super easy and quick to make. Caleb even took them as leftovers for lunch the next day. That is epic, folks.

When Kerry came in town over Labor Day weekend, we cooked it up. That girl taught me how too cook back in our roomie days, so it was a good time. We made these Buffalo Chicken bites. Good for football season!

Ker made these Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells for us when she stayed an extra day and we had to work. So so good! She stuffed manicotti instead of shells, perfect.

We also made Weight Watchers Corn Chowder. This stuff is good, Caleb didn't even know it was supposed to be healthy. Win!

These Chewy Cherry-Oatmeal Cookies got rave reviews at my work. It was totally the butta, people. (Butter=not healthy, in case you were unaware.)

I actually haven't cooked anything in a week, so tonight we are having meatball subs and salad. I need to get my carb on. I've also been getting my laundry on.

Hope you are having a fabulous Monday! Now go trick your man into eating something healthy. Or at least something with butter in it...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The perfect weekend: rafting, tornadoes, baking disasters, and bffs.

Alright friends, we have a few things to catch up on.

1. I took a class today for my work (because when I'm not nursing what I really love to do is learn more about nursing). I am now eating cookies and milk because that is what you do after school.

2. It has been raining for three days straight.

3. My house is full of sweets and leftovers of my bffs was in town for the weekend!!! Kerry and I have been friends since the epic 6th grade. It was epic, I'm telling you. We've made it through jr. high, high school, boyfriends, college, living together, and she even survived my wedding. Ha. I love this girl. And we had a wonderful weekend doing crazy Tennessee stuff, baking, cooking, and pretending we were in college again. My darling husband tolerated us very well, I will have to say.

We got our antique on on Friday and hit some stores. It would literally be impossible to go to all the antique stores within walking distance in one day. Literally.

Kerry and I perused the farmer's market on Saturday morning. We got lots of samples. That's the best part of the farmer's market. We also got a gallon of peaches. Divine.

We got some greasy diner breakfast (amazing), picked up Jeff and Emily, and then headed out to the Pigeon River for some intense white water rafting. Kerry didn't fall out. But I did. Par usual. You can't really take pics as you are battling the rapids, so here's a group pic from afterward. Never mind that everyone looks super relaxed except me. I look like I'm about to bolt or something. But really I was just trying to get down so you can see Durbin behind me. And tell the Indian man taking this photo how to zoom the camera lens out.

We stopped for dinner at the AppleHouse restaurant for some good country cooking. They had apple fritters, apple cider, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings...mmm.

As we pulled in Saturday night, three fire trucks pulled in behind us. Turns out there was a gas leak in the building across the street. From the TORNADO that came through Kingsport. It took out the Hobby Lobby! I move to Tennessee, I still get to play Dorothy, who would have guessed? So naturally, we grabbed a couple beers, the zoom lens, and headed out to the roof to watch the action. Caleb took the pics for me, because I am literally terrified of standing on the edge of the roof. A good 10 feet away, thank you. We did enjoy watching the action. Being on the edge of the roof freaks me out, but the possibility of getting blown up from a gas leak obviously doesn't.

On Sunday, we made a peach cobbler for a bbq. Same peach cobbler I've made at least 3 times this summer. Unfortunately a tiny mistake like switching baking powder for baking soda will result in this.

Good thing we bought a whole gallon of peaches.

Kerry was supposed to leave early Tuesday but thanks to me calling and getting her flight cancelled (kidding!), she got to stay an extra day. And we came home from work to a clean house and a hot dinner. She finally got away at 5:30 this morning. Loved having my bestie in town for the whole weekend! (And having my hubby home for three whole days!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Biltmore Mansion Beat-boxing Birthday Bash

We all love a good alliteration to start out our holiday weekend. You are welcome friends. I know I've been MIA the last few weeks in the blog world, but between work and this computer acting strange, there has been no blogging.

On Monday, Stephanie and I took a short road trip to Asheville, NC to visit the Biltmore mansion. Because my darling husband says he doesn't care to spend "a bunch of money to just look at an old house." (Thanks, honey.) Also, it was Stephanie's birthday, so major reason to celebrate.

The Biltmore is this castle sized mansion built in the late 1800s by one of the Vanderbilts. He lived there with his wife and one child. But kind of only as a vacation home. How nice.

The house was pretty cool. We could tour 42 of the rooms but there were still many many rooms that weren't part of the tour. There were 43 bathrooms in the house. A huge super cool library with half of Vanderbilt's collection of 23,000 books. And Napoleon's chess set. There was a pipe organ, a bowling alley, a swimming pool, and a gym inside the house. Mostly it was huge and gorgeous. And we were not allowed to take pictures. Which is why I don't have any.

I have no idea how I obtained this picture.
After swooning over all the little tourist shops they have to get you to spend all your money, we took an extensive tour of the gardens. Which were beautiful. And took a very long time to walk through in flip flops and Tom's.

We finally made it to the waterfall. And we saw the boathouse. And the brick bridge that was apparently in The Last of the Mohicans.  And then we had to walk all the way back.

Exhausted and famished, we got some wine and burgers for lunch. A stellar combo, let me tell you.
Seriously yummy.
I told our cutie waiter that it was Steph's birthday. He brought out a 14 layer chocolate and peanut butter cake with a candle. He told me he doesn't sing. But he said he would beat box while I sang. So he beat boxed, I sang happy birthday very loudly by myself, and Stephanie died laughing. Other diners looked at us strangely. Good quality birthday fun was had by all.
And that cake was delicious.

Next up, the winery. We got to taste all the Biltmore wines (they have quite a few) and it was a great way to end the day.
Steph, getting her wine on.
 We loved Biltmore! Now, just to get my hubby here...

Happy Friday friends! My bestie is in town for the weekend and we are planning to get our shop on and fight some white waters in a raft. Yay for long weekends and bffs!