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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Before & After

Thanks to my friend Sarah I tried out a new hair stylist today. I have not had a hair cut since September people! I thought I should rectify this before our big trip to Italy in a week and a half! My hair was in need. I had a short hair cut style last time that doesn't really look right now that it's longer. I've been trying to grow it out again. I'm always going back and forth.
So I had her add some layers to the front and back to give a little more umph! I really liked what she did! If you need a name of a good stylist let me know. ;)
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Live Everyday Like it's Fat Tuesday

We just got home from playing several rousing rounds of Canasta at the Haymonds. I must say it's pure domination on the girls part. We made an agreement that who ever wins 5 sets (three games in a set) of Canasta will have a girl/boy day that we all have to participate in. All I can say is, I'm feeling like the massages, nail appointments and watching a chick flick are in Linds and I's near future. We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant and the boys are still throwing up their Canasta signs. This is when they still thought they had a chance. Ha!
Brad, Lindsey, Ryan & Me
I meant to post these Mardi Gras pics earlier in the week and never got the chance. KC got really into the holiday!
He was protective of his beads!
In honor of Mardi Gras I baked a King's Cake for the first time. I hadn't even heard of them until this year! So I thought I would try it out. I got the recipe off Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade show, but I tweaked it a little bit. Her recipe didn't have any cinnamon or sugar and I heard that is a must in a King's Cake. Ryan ate almost the whole thing in one setting so I would say it was a success. I might try a harder recipe next year. We'll see. :) Ingredients
1 (13.9-ounce) can bread sticks (I used cinnamon roll dough and just rolled it)
1 (1-inch) heat proof plastic baby
1 (12-ounce) can whipped cream cheese frosting
1/4 cup heavy cream
Green sanding sugar
Purple sanding sugar
Gold (yellow) sanding sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Open bread sticks. Press together the ends of 2 of the sticks to make 1 long stick. Repeat with the remaining bread sticks giving you 6 long sticks. Taking 3 at a time, loosely braid together. Repeat with remaining dough. Pinch the braids together end to end. (Again, I just used cinnamon roll dough and rolled it into a long stick)

Leaving a 3-inch hole in the middle, loosely coil braids around one another on prepared baking sheet. Press ends together.

Bake in preheated oven for 16 to 20 minutes or until completely golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely. Carefully insert the baby into the cake in between the seams of the braid.

In a medium pot combine the cream cheese frosting and heavy cream. Heat over low heat until warm and smooth, stirring constantly. Pour glaze over cake and sprinkle with sanding sugars.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fireproof

Last night Ryan & I watched the movie Fireproof. If you are married, engaged, dating or single you need to see this movie (that should include just about everybody). It’s a low budget film so don’t except the best motion picture but the acting is descent. What makes this movie so great is the message. It explores marriage, the difficulties that life can throw at you and what it truly means to love your spouse. I found this movie to be incredibly moving. Ryan liked it even though he wasn’t too sure about it at first. He’s been talking about it nonstop and recommending it to people. I feel like it has helped us reevaluate some things in our lives and look at situations a little differently. There are so many things I could say about this movie, but please just take the time to watch it. I don’t think you will regret it. If you don’t, you will not know why Ryan is posing like this in the picture…



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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great Food

Last night Ryan & I went out to eat at Applebees courtesy of Harlan & Susan. They sent us some Applebees gift cards for Valentines Day that we were more then happy to accept. We hadn't been there in forever either. So we had to go all out with a delicious spinach dip appetizer, oriental salad, chicken penne pasta, and for desert a chocolate chip cookie hot fudge sundae. Needless to say, you had to roll us out of the restaurant. I need to work out doubly hard this weekend but... I haven't started yet! I will tomorrow. :)

THANK YOU HARLAN & SUSAN!!! You made our tummies very happy.

We were holding up our gift cards. It was a casual night for us in our hoodies. I love staying in comfys and grabbing a bit to eat.

This is Ryan being really excited about desert. I meant to take a picture of it before hand so you could see how pretty it was, but we devoured it before I remembered to do it.


And now for Ryan's favorite cookie recipe. They are called Monster Cookies and I had never heard of them until last year. You all probably have and I am just behind the times. I had them at a bible study and just about fell out of my seat when I took a bit. SCRUMPTIOUS! So I hunted down the recipe and came across Paula Dean's. I tried it out on Ryan and now I can never bake anything unless I bake Monster Cookies along with it. It is his absolute favorite cookie. (I sort of regret trying them on him because now all I hear about is "When are you going to make more Monster Cookies??") So if you are ready for your family to constantly ask for them then try this out.

Monster Cookies


Ingredients
1/4 cup raisins, optional (I don't use them, I just add more chocolates)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies
1 stick butter, softened
1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, if using, baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! The pictures above are the Valentine themed version.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

V-Day

Sorry I haven't posted from this past weekend until now! It's been hectic and I'm not quite sure what I've been doing. I can tell you that Ryan & I did play Canasta again tonight with the Haymonds!

Valentines was wonder. Ryan took me to Chili's for lunch and then headed home to watch the fateful K-State game against KU. :( That's ok though! We still had a great date night. Ryan surprised me with a nice new mirror for my bathroom so I don't have to stand to put my makeup on every morning. However, the best gift was Ryan scheduled to have our house cleaned once a month!! I can not wait! It is sooooo worth it to me. <3 He speaks my love language. We got cleaned up and had dinner at the Cheese Cake Factory, always a hit. Then we topped off our date night seeing the movie "He's Just Not That in To You". I would say it's more of a rental but I still cried. I cry at every movie (except scary ones). Which Ryan did threaten me with seeing the 3-D movie "My Bloody Valentine".
We didn't take any pictures of this V-Day. :( So I thought I would post one from our very first Valentine's Day together. We look so young!
I just like this picture because this was shortly after we got engaged. We were beaming! We were so in love and that love has just continued to grow.
OK, now for a few recipes that I promised. Well, this first one really isn't a recipe but I thought it was still cute.
I took a box of Oreo Cakesters...
and these new heart shaped cookie cutters from Crate & Barrel...
and made these! So cute, so simple, and so delicious. I love being festive. I got the idea off of Bakeralla.
I also tried another recipe off Bakerella's site as well.
They are called Valentine's Day Cake cookies. They are pretty rich so beware. If you like cream cheese then you will love these.
Ryan's not a huge cream cheese fan but he still had to try them out.
Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies Recipe:

1 Box red velvet cake mix
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients until combined.
Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter onto baking sheet about two inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool.

Cream Cheese Filling
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 8 oz. Package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1lb. Box of confectioner's sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

In a mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
Gradually add sugar and mix until smooth.

Makes about 24 cookies or 12 cookie sandwiches

I also made Ryan's favorite cookies this past weekend too and I will share with you what kind (and recipe) later.

XOXO

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Awesomeness

This past weekend when Susan & Emily visited, they brought us this amazing vehicle!! This is actually Sally's car but since she is in Italy her car was lonely. So we decided to take it in while she is away and take good care of it! Sally if you are still reading this blog from Italy (props!) I want you to know that your car misses you but it's having a good time in Houston. Thank you Susan & Emily for driving it down and Sally for letting us borrow this beauty.

For those of you that don't know, Ryan & I have only had one car now for the past two years. There are many reasons for this some being that we bought a slightly expensive car and only want one car payment at a time. Also we work together so we carpool together anyway so we barely ever drove the second car we used to have. Plus it's a good discipline that we practice. I know I will look back at this time Ryan & I had with one car and cherish it. It has been so fun riding to and from work together and really relying on each other. We are only doing this one more year and our current car will be paid off. So having this awesome Rav will help out a bit for a little while.

Another little treasure we received this weekend was this gorgeous bird feeder. Susan & Emily picked it up for us while they were out shopping in Houston. We love it! Our backyard was in need of a little sprucing. I wanted to show you guys where we ended up putting it. I hope you like it!

We decided to stay outside awhile and enjoy the new addition. Plus it was our first time to sit outside since the weather started getting warmer. KC decided to join us for a little bit.
The final piece of awesomeness from this past weekend were these homemade coasters! They are made from the trees at the Ebright farm. Harlan cut them and I believe Emily put a little stain on them. They are very special to us and mean a lot. We love having something from back home and they are so stylin'. THANK YOU!!
Well I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day!! I will be baking a few goodies this weekend and will post the recipes later if they turn out well.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Family Time

This past weekend was so fun with Ryan's mom and sister coming in town to visit us. We had a blast and took on the city of Houston.
Friday night we celebrated Emily's birthday in person and we went to eat at a local Mexican restaurant by our house. It was pretty good!
Ryan, Brad, Lindsey, Emily, Susan, & Me
I found this really cute cake shop near our house and picked one up for Emily. It was red velvet and delicious! We ate on it everyday until there was not one crumb left. I will definitely go back there, but I will have to remember a head of time so I can get a themed cake next time. They will do what ever decorations you want.
I think Em liked her cake. I know I did! My tummy was thanking me. Brad & Lindsey you missed out!

Here's Em blowing out her candles. I didn't realize that I had bought some trick candles that kept relighting. It was hilarious to see Em try to fight them off but we finally had to pour water on them to get them to stop! (Not over the cake of course)
Our weekend consisted of hitting up some of our favorite places to eat and shopping until we dropped. This picture is from one of Ryan's favorite places to eat, Freebirds. If you've never been to one it's worth going. They originated out of College Station. I've heard that Chipotle tried to model after them but they aren't as cool.
We also ate at this really neat BBQ restaurant. It had all sorts of things to look at as you eat. The pic below shows the Buffalo we made friends with.
We had to hit up IKEA and kill ourselves trying to trek through that place! It's a place you go every once in awhile but still fun. The letters are still blown out from when hurricane Ike blew through.
If you were wondering what Yogi was doing all weekend you would have found him here. He was obsessed with Emily's purse! He just couldn't get enough of it. We would hide it all over the place and even in closets and he would still find it!! Yogi would just rub his head all over it and try to dig in it. It was a pretty funny sight.
Auntie Em giving some good lovin' to our kitties. (She is probably going to shoot me for posting this pic!) We just got back from one of our many walks from the weekend. It was sad to seem them go this morning but then again we get to see them in a MONTH for the Italy trip! I can not wait!! It has been nice seeing our family almost once a month. It's helped our transition back to Houston.
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Happy Birthday Papa!

Happy Birthday Papa! Sorry this is soooo late! (I don't think he reads this anyway)

Papa is Ryan's grandpa and his birthday was this past Sunday. Since we had visitors in town I didn't get a chance to post his birthday wishes.
This picture I think sums up Papa. Ha! He is one of the most interesting men you will ever meet. You never know what he is going to say or do next! Always makes for good entertainment. One of my favorite things about Papa is that he always has a joke for you even if you may have heard it before. :) He knows how to make you laugh and he truly hasn't met a stranger.
Papa & Ryan
Doesn't he look like he is up to no good? Probably is. I love the 3-D glasses he's sportin'.
He has a way of entertaining everyone including our cats.
Oh Papa, how we love you. You will always keep us on our toes and keep life interesting. You are one of a kind and very special. Miss you lots.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Be my friend!

Hey guys, I know people have to be reading my blog because I see the counter going up! :) I would absolutely love if you would be my friend on the right side bar of my blog. You can still be my friend even if you don't have a blog. I think it even lets you know if I've posted. How awesome it that?? It would be great to see your beautiful faces and click over to your blogs or just see how many people love me! jk. Even my mom didn't list herself as my friend. Thanks a bunch.
Nerd (Who loves soda entirely too much!) but still be her friend.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Harlan!

We are honoring Harlan, Ryan's dad, today! Man, we've really had a string of birthdays lately and even one coming this weekend. Back to Harlan. He is truly one special guy and I see where Ryan has gotten many of the attributes that I cherish. Ryan followed in many of Harlan's footsteps like going to KSU and being a DU too. Harlan went on to get his MBA and decided to go back to the family farm and help out. He has been farming almost his entire life and he is darn good at it too! He could fix anything you brought him. His reputation of generosity, genuineness, and his ability of 'never meeting a stranger' are all things I really admire about him. I feel blessed to be his daughter-in-law. I really couldn't have asked for a better father-in-law!! You are the man!! :oP
Harlan will do anything and go to the ends of the earth for his kids. He has put his kids and wife far before himself. He has been an incredible example for Ryan.
Susan, Ryan & Harlan in San Antonio, TX when they came to visit us in 2006 when we were completely home sick.
He married his college sweetheart after finishing up school, and brought her back to the farm. Are they not the cutest couple ever?!?!
I think Harlan has really taken to our kitties. He is the best kitty grandpa around!
One of Harlan's many talents is a thing called tennis ball rocket. He comes up with the best ideas and loves trying new things. So it shouldn't surprise me that this was one of them.He fills a metal tube thing with gas while the tennis ball is plugging the top so it suctions it in the tube. (I am horrible at explaining it. You should ask Harlan! He could tell you about it in detail). Then you hold a punk up to an opening and the tennis ball flies up in the air with a LOUD, sorry scratch that, DEAFENING bang. The anticipation for the explosion is the worse! You can see in the pic below. (If you click on the picture you can see it better.)
If you were wondering where Ryan gets his orneriness from you can look no further. :oP
Harlan is also the best person to talk to. He seems to know at least a little if not a lot about almost any topic, and if he doesn't know he wants to know. Probably one of my favorite things about him is the fact that he is a garbage disposal. He can eat like no one I've ever seen, but yet he stays so skinny! It's all that hard work he puts in during the day plus he works out early almost every morning. But seriously, he will eat until someone has to tell him to stop or he could hurt himself! Ha! (Evidence below, and this was after a huge dinner, and I think this was his second helping of dessert.)
So Harlan I hope you have an amazing birthday! Wish we could be there to help you eat your birthday dinner... wait you don't need help. I am so thankful for you everyday and you are a testament for how your kids turned out. Awesome!
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