Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You Won't Hear This From Me

This weekend Matt and I did a lot of traveling and I got to thinking about things that you would never ever probably never hear come out of my mouth.

1. "I just love that Carrie Underwood."
Wrong.  I'm not a fan at all.  Sure, she's got some catchy tunes, a bangin' body, but I whole heartidly disagree with her stances on PETA and animal welfare.  I won't spend my money on her music and have it eventually get into the pockets of PETA.

2. "Ice cream?  I'll pass."
This girl LOVES her some ice cream.  Matt lovingly refers to me as an "Ice Cream Slut".  It's true though, I love the stuff.!  My faves include: Moose Tracks, Cookies 'n Cream, and Mint Chip.  The only flavor I don't get twitterpated over is Butter Pecan.

3. "No thanks, I'm a vegetarian."
I was raised on a farm.  We still raise beef cattle for the purpose of eating them.  Our animals are well cared for and respected until the end.  That being said... I understand the health concerns of eating too much red meat, so Matt and I eat a variety of protein, but we will always be meat eaters.

4. "I wish there were more hunting shows on TV."
My husband loves to hunt.  It's his hobby, I get it!  I really do!  I have my own hobbies too.  But seriously, the guy fills up our DVR with so many hunting shows I could scream.  He watchs hunting shows about deer, turkey, waterfowl, coyotes, mule deer, as well as programs about how to manage habitat for said creatures.  Thankfully, he doesn't make me watch them with him... If he did, he'd be watching some Real Housewives of some God forsaken city with me, I guarantee it!

5. "I'm thinking of getting my PhD."
No freakin' way!  I'm one year away from having my M.S. and I'm so thankful it's about over.  I have enjoyed most of the work, but I'm really looking forward to the day when I don't have homework assignments due or have to commit a weeknight to online lectures.  

**I almost can't bear to even type this one because even seeing it in print grosses me out!**
Ugh.  I can't stand this word!  I don't, DON'T use it.  I don't wear them, I wear underwear!
  It even makes me gag a little when I hear other people use it in a sentence. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Checking It Off The List

I started my 30 x 30 list some time ago and it's just kinda been hanging around waiting for me to get back at it for some time.

One of the things I wanted to do was go with Matt to visit his sister and her husband while they were living in Minnesota.  This goal has since been modified since originally created because they moved again...

To Tennessee!  Just outside Nashville actually.

Matt and I decided that we would coordinate our trip down to celebrate New Year's Eve and a belated Christmas with them.

The trip itself was great!  We took our time driving down on Saturday and were able just to hangout as a group in their beautiful new home the first night we were there.

The following day we headed out to Arrington Vineyards, which is a gorgeous winery owned by Kix Brooks.  We did some sampling and then sat on the wrap around porch to drink our two faves!
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering the streets of Franklin, TN.  We ended the night at a fun sports bar and happily downed a few half-priced beers!

On Monday before we headed downtown for NYE, we took advantage of the overcast skies to take some family photos that didn't involve anyone in wedding dresses or tuxedos....

Sadly, just after we finished pictures the weather took a turn and started sprinkling.  The dreary weather hung around with us as we took in the sights and sounds of the street festival they hold every year on Broadway.
To escape the cold and wet weather, we headed to The Wildhorse Saloon for drinks, live music and some pool.  We also wandered up to Printer's Alley and had a few drinks in a divey bar that reminded us all of our college days!

We made it back to Broadway in time to watch the music note fall, bringing us into the new year!  Shortly after the countdown the skies opened up and it started pouring down rain.  After a mad dash to the parking garage, we high-tailed it back to the house.

Overall, it was a great trip and we're already looking forward to going back again!

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Competitive Side

It's true, I'm a bit competitive.

Okay, maybe more than a bit...

Alright, alright.... I'm SUPER competitive!

If I'm gonna do something I want to do it well and honestly, I want to do it better than you. 

It's true.

This year my BFF Jill and her husband John decided to host a Beer and Cookie Exchange before Christmas.  Bake some cookies, bring some beer and hangout, right? 


As I was reading through the invitation, I came to the part where it said there would be a prize for the cookie baker who was the crowd favorite.

A PRIZE!!!  Um, now I really had to bust out the best frickin' cookie. 

The pressure was on...

Thankfully, Jill and I have been besties since our HS cheerleading days and she is well aware of my dysfunction!

So off to my Pinterest board I went...

I set out to find the most wonderful, tasty, scrumptious, winning cookie recipe that I could find!  Some of the cookies I have pinned were automatically non-contenders.  Per Jill's rules the cookies couldn't be: no-bakes, bar cookies, from a cookie mix, plain chocolate chip or meringue.  

I also wanted to take into account what kinds of sweets people tended to gravitate towards.  Sneaky, sneaky.  For instance, I know Jill doesn't like mint, so anything with that was out in my head because that would automatically garner a NO vote for my cookie and my competitive side just couldn't take it!

I finally narrowed my choices down to three:
Oreo Cream Cheese Cookies
Fudgy Brownie Cookies
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

After much deliberation, I decided to go with the Fudgy Brownie Cookie!  These cookies did not disappoint either.  They now hold the distinction of being Matt's Favorite Cookie!

And on top of that, I was the CROWD FAVORITE at the party!  YES!!!
Me and the loser's, just kidding!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Awesome 80's

The very first year that Matt and I moved into our house we decided that we wanted to host a Christmas party.  And of course it couldn't just be a party, but a THEME party!

I love a theme! :)

Previous themes include:
Dress as Your Favorite Reindeer...
A 70's Dancer

My beloved, dressed as Leroy the Redneck Reindeer

Some of the Dashers, AKA runners
Favorite Christmas Movie Character...
Buddy the Elf

The Leg Lamp and Ralphie
Pajama Party... No Pictures, use your imagination!

This year's theme was Awesome 80's!

I love love love 80's hair bands, combine that with way too much make-up, Aqua-Net and neon, what's not to love?!?!  I had intended to do a workout outfit, but just happened on my awesome red dress at the thrift store in town and knew it would be perfect with some long necklaces, bangle bracelets and a headband!

There was no way this party was not going to be auh-mazing!!!

We had some great costumes this year and almost everyone got in the spirit!  To highlight a few, there were quite a few Jazzerciser's, some 80's rockers, and a Lacoste sweater sporting prep!
The fun people who dressed up!
They're really into Motley Crue, can ya tell?
Love me some G N' F'n R!!
 Of course, there was also way too much food!  Everyone is always so wonderful about chipping in and bringing tasty stuff.  This year I made pickle dip, homemade hummus, candy cane cookies, cinnamon-sugar pretzels, frosted sugar cookies.  In addition, every year I make Cheesy Chicken Taco Soup.  It's always a big hit and so easy!  I just throw it all in the Crock-Pot and let 'er rip! 

Cheesy Chicken Taco Soup
1 15 oz can Stewed Tomatoes
1 15 oz can Sweet Yellow Whole Corn
1 15 oz can Light Red Kidney Beans
1 10 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1/2 package of Taco Seasoning
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1 lb. Chicken, cooked and shredded (It is totally okay to use canned chicken if you're in a pinch!)

Optional Toppings:
Sour Cream 
Corn Tortilla Chips

1. Open all the cans of vegetables and pour them, DON'T drain anything, into your Crock-Pot.
2. If you're using canned chicken, drain off liquid and then put meat into Crock-Pot.
3. Cube Velveeta and put inside Crock-Pot with veggies and chicken.
4. Sprinkle with taco seasoning, stir and cover with lid.
5. Cook on LOW for 4 hours, stirring occasionally if you're home otherwise not to worry, it'll be fine without.
***You can cook this on the stove top for one hour over low heat if you prefer, but definitely keep your eye on it because it'll burn.  Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything....***

Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.
Serves 8-10.