Tuesday, March 30, 2010
As of last night...
Matt and I...
Own our own home!!
We signed the contract yesterday and our house will begin construction next month. And by mid-September we will be moving into our very first home.
Since it's being built, I don't have any pictures quite yet. But I intend on heading over to the model this week to steal some much need photos! Can't wait to show you!
So what am I most excited about?? Hands down...the kitchen. It has granite, a gourmet island, and a DOUBLE OVEN!! Can you even comprehend what I can do with a double oven?? Like, bake two things at once people. For a cake decorator this is going to be such a time saver!
Oh, and my OWN walk in closet! No more sharing with a boy!
And a powder room with one of those gorgeous pedestal sink!?! I love those :)
And a super cool fireplace with brick going up to the ceiling!
And a dining room big enough to fit a dining room table! Guess I should get a dining room table now, huh?
The stress of buying this home was more than I expected. But I am comfortable with our decision (although I almost fainted when I wrote the check last night....) and am moving into the stage where I am just completely excited about how our home will look when it's complete. I can't wait!
Within the next few weeks we are going to be making tons of decisions about colors, cabinets, hardwood, everything. I'm going to need so much advice! So put on your decorating caps ladies. The fun is just about to begin!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Biggest Loser Fridays is back! And I'm back with a bang...
-3.5 lbs. this week!!
Week 10: Total weight loss 11.5 lbs.
I could not be happier with my progress. I'm down a size in jeans already and I'm feeling great! My goal from the beginning was to lose 15 lbs. in our 12 week program...so I'm still on track to hit that if I have a great last two weeks.
Just as a side note...there is a guy at my work that has lost 43 lbs! Isn't that insane? In 10 weeks no less.
Anyways, Hubs is out of town yet again on business so I am on my own until tomorrow evening. (Lean Pockets two days in a row!!) But during the day I will be keeping myself busy with my provisional project for the Junior League. We're heading over to a home day care center and fixing up one of the rooms for the kids. We bought a new rug, a changing table, books, games, toys..you name it...we bought it! I can't wait for everything we've worked so hard on all year to finally come together! And honestly, I can't wait for a break!
Sunday Keith and Kristyn Getty are performing their very last concert of the season at our church for Palm Sunday and I am so excited! If you haven't heard their music you simply must check it out. They are phenomenal.
Monday, March 22, 2010
We had another busy weekend filled with not so fun things like 3 hours of Junior League training...and really fun things like house hunting! We've officially found three potential houses and are just working out the kinks with our Realtor to figure out which would suit us the best. So exciting!
In other, some would argue equally exciting news, I FIT INTO A SIZE LOWER JEANS this morning! After realizing that my current pair...with a hole on each side of the crotch that just keeps growing and growing...could no longer be worn in public, I searched my drawer to see if I had anything in the next size down. I found a pair, slipped those babies on, and they freaking fit! I could not be more thrilled!
In fact, I may've done a dance. And made up a song. It is entitled, "I Fit Into a Lower Size." Clever, right? And those may be the only words to the song...but I do repeat them over and over. And the dance adds an effect you are missing not being here in person. Trust me.
Who knew working out and eating well would help you lose weight? Shocking discovery I'd say!
Hope everyone has a fabulous week! Matt will be in and out of town the entire week so it's back to leftovers and Lean Pockets for dinner for this girl...which I must admit I love :) But I do miss him terribly when he's gone. Ah my love, how you complete me...
I know. Puke.
And how much do I miss this little face!?! He has been covered in a beard and mustache since Christmas!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Onto better news!
All week I have been working on baby shower treats for a co-worker. Here is my first attempt at a royal icing flooded cookie:
I think they turned out so cute!! I just love the contrast of pink and the little girl's initials! I used info from here and here to create these onesies.
I also baked brownies.
See that pink??
It's peppermint icing. And it's delicious.
And these weren't half bad either...
And the big show stopper....my truffle tree!
Approximately 150 chocolate covered Oreo truffles swirled with pink royal icing. I just love the way it turned out! Bringing it to work in the car with me this morning...I did not love. Picture me holding onto this swaying mess of truffles towering up from the floor of my passenger seat for dear life...all the while attempting to keep my car between the center lines...for 35 minutes. Never do that.
But I think it was worth it!
Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I have Junior League training for three hours Saturday morning. Why did I want to join this again? Sometimes I have trouble remembering...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Jenny: "That sign says they're moving. I wonder where."
Matt: "Wherever Marchio is."
Jenny: (hysterically cracking up...tears streaming down face...hardly able to drive) "Honey, that says March 10th."
Perhaps this is one of those moments where you had to be there to get the hilarity of this situation. But just understand that my husband is rarely wrong and boy did I relish in this little nugget.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Yes, two of the boxes are already open. I may have opened them during the three minute car ride back to my house. And boy were they worth the wait! Yum!
Although the rest of our weekend could not compare to finding the deliciousness above, I did enjoy some time with the hubs, dinner with our friends and their almost 1 year old little boy, and did some baking for a baby shower gig I have coming up. I can't wait to show you what I have planned!
Oh...and the great house hunt continues...and I'm hoping to be able to update you later this week! Fingers crossed!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Down 2.5 lbs!
I could not be more thrilled! When I'm alone, I usually end up getting pizza and eating it all in one day...going to the store to pick up cookies and Doritos...and eating chocolate chips right out of the bag. But this week, none of that! I actually stuck to my diet the whole time and I am just bursting with excitement this morning!
Total weight loss: 9 lbs. Sweet!
We don't have any real plans this weekend...probably more house hunting activities. But I am just so glad to have my husband home. 3 sleeps is too long to be apart, right? Ha!
But in all seriousness, although I've enjoyed having 100% control over the T.V. and not rushing home to fix dinner...I missed the heck out of him. So I intend to use this weekend to snuggle as long as he'll let me :)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
These little beauties:
Because these delicious bunches of sugar filled goodness were not for me.
They were for someone else.
Someone who ordered them from a person at my work...that. did. not. ask. me.
No one asked me if I wanted any cookies. No little girl came to my door. No one.
Boy did they lose out on some cash.
I have serious Girl Scout Cookie envy people. Everyone has them and I am stuck lurking in front of supermarkets around town driving my husband crazy yelling, "Look over there! Are their Girl Scouts outside? What do you mean you can't see over the snow? Look harder!"
So keep your eyes peeled ladies. If you see a little girl wearing a vest with patches on it...send her my way. Because I might just go crazy if I do not get some Samoas soon.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Annie has fantastic recipes that I use quite often. I usually have to make a few changes to make them a little more health conscious...but they are delicious! I plan on making her chocolate waffles for dinner next week! (Hey. I didn't say I was health conscious all the time okay? I use skim milk...)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 halves total)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 shallot, minced (I used red onion...that's all I had)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used three...the more garlic the better in our house!)
1-2 tbsp. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used 3 peppers minced...FYI...way too many. We like things very spicy and our mouths were on fire! I recommend 1 tbsp. at the most)
1¾ cups chicken broth
5 cups tortilla chips, broken into large pieces (I used about 4 1/2 oz. I measured them in the measuring cups before I crushed them so I wouldn't use as many)
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (reduced fat my friends)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (omitted...Matt thinks cilantro tastes like soap. Whatever. He's weird)
Pat the chicken breast halves dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides (chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point.) Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining oil, shallot, garlic, chipotle, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer.
Stir in half of the tortilla chips. Nestle the chicken into the broth and cook over medium-low heat until cooked through (reading 160° F on an instant-read thermometer), about 10 minutes. Note: I turned the chicken over and cooked mine a little longer because it was still a little pink. Pay attention! Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a cutting board and shred into bite-sized pieces when it is cool enough to handle.
Return the shredded chicken to the skillet with the tomatoes, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Stir in the other half of the tortilla chips until they are incorporated and moistened.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browning, about 2-3 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro and serve, allowing the casserole to cool 5 minutes before serving.
I'm telling you ladies, this was GOOD! I ate about 6 points worth and it was a perfect amount for me. And the leftovers were just a yummy. Had the rest for lunch today in fact. Yum, yum!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Did you really think it would be anything else?
I discovered this little combo from Pink Sass and my tummy has been thanking me ever since!
I eat one wedge of cheese with about 24 crackers for 3 points. Currently, it is the best part of my lunch. Honestly, it's the best part of my day until I leave work. Sad? Maybe. But tasty nonetheless.
Friday, March 5, 2010
The moment of truth...
1.5 lbs! Yeah!
Total weight loss = 6.5 lbs!
Confession: I took my belt off before I weighed in.
However, there is no way my belt weighed 1.5 lbs. so I say I'm still legit.
I must admit, I'm feeling very excited this week. I am starting to see a difference in my jeans and it is giving me such motivation to keep going (not to mention the three holes I have patched in them...I am NOT buying another pair of jeans in this size!)
I was a little concerned this morning because I skipped spinning last night. I did walk 3 miles on the treadmill...but after that...my legs were like jello! I didn't think I could handle spinning...plus I was starving. So I slacked off and went home. But I have been to the gym every day this week which hasn't happened in so long. I am looking forward to my evening off tonight and catching up on the DVR.
We have a fun filled weekend of more house hunting, grocery shopping, and packing for Matt's trip next week. I'm also going to be starting a baptism class at church this Sunday. I have been anxiously awaiting a chance to do this and now the timing is so right.
Hope everyone has just a fabulous weekend!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
"In Cleveland?" you ask. "But Jenny...you hate Cleveland!"
I know. I know. But you know what's in Cleveland?
Hubs = home...therefore home = Cleveland.
Fortunately, Matt and I tend to prioritize the same things in a house. Does it have a good sized yard? Is the garage big enough to fit both of our cars AND a lawn mower? Can we fit our entire bedroom set in the master bedroom? Essentials.
But there is one room that can make or break a house for us. And that's the kitchen.
I'm a kitchen person. My family is probably cracking up right now because when I was little I couldn't even follow a recipe. My aunt bought me Easy Mac to take with me to college because that was all I could make. I once attempted to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and left the bag of chocolate chips on the oven while it was preheating. FAIL!
But with age has come a love of cooking and baking. I meal plan for two weeks at a time and cook almost every night of the week. Clearly I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen; therefore, we have definite needs and "I want, I want, I wants!!" for our future kitchen.
I need an area to roll large amounts of fondant for my cakes. I want a huge island.
And I flat our just want it to look pretty. And to be an open floor plan looking out into the living room. And to have matchy, matchy appliances. And to have a pantry. And, and, and...
What rooms do you prioritize when looking for a house? Are you a kitchen freak like me? What are your must haves?
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Today I accomplished something I have wanted to do for many, many years.
Today, just a few minutes ago, I finished the last book...the last chapter...the last verse...of the Bible.
Remember when Facebook was all the rage with everyone's lists of their "25 Random Things About Me?" Mine included things like:
- My hands and feet are always freezing. They seem to be the chilliest just before I go to bed. I like to put them on my husband in bed and watch him squirm. It's one of my favorite things.
- I am weirdly obsessed with keeping things clean and organized....like the DVR...I want it to be at 0% capacity so bad...but Matt keeps recording stuff and never erases it. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. I also have to have my e-mail Inbox cleaned out everyday and all of my saved e-mailed organized into folders. I know...it's weird.
- I was Valedictorian of my high school class.
- I miss my puppy and think about her still almost everyday.
- I screen my phone calls. I really just hate the phone. I only call people back if they leave me a message...and usually it takes a few days for that.
- My best friend at work is a 60 year old man with one leg...no joke...he's awesome!
Well, unlike my list of completely irrelevant facts, I read a list of one of my "friends" (AKA girl from high school I never talked to) and she said:
- I read the Holy Bible cover to cover last year.
Not everyone knows my religious background...or how I came to believe what I believe...but it was not something I grew up with. I wasn't the girl who knew the stories from the Bible she learned in Sunday School. I didn't go to Sunday School. I was the teenager in church who was hearing things for the first time and not understanding how they fit. I desperately wanted to know but felt completely lost and overwhelmed by the daunting task of reading something so intimidating.
But this was my wake up call. I actually knew someone who had sat down and just read. Cover to cover. The entire Bible. Why couldn't I do it too? Plus I had just finished Breaking Dawn which was a huge book so how much longer could it really take me to read a few hundred more pages, right? (Unfortunately, this is actually what I thought.)
Well, clearly it took me much longer than a few weeks. It took me just over a year of reading everyday during my break times at work. It was a time already carved out that I could do something useful. I am now officially, "the girl who reads her Bible in the cafeteria." And you know what? I'm okay with it.
I know that God has made it possible for me to do this. I feel more mature in my faith and I have such a better understanding of my purpose than I did before. I feel changed. I feel fantastic.
Now I am in no way ending my journey here. I haven't exactly decided what type of study I am going to pursue next...but I'm on the hunt (any suggestions?!?). I understand that being in the word is a daily task I need to continue that will only strengthen my faith and relationship with God.
I wanted to share this with all of you because:
If you haven't done it....now YOU know someone who has...and you can too!
If you have done it...know you have been an inspiration to me. I never imagined that blogging could so deeply encourage my walk as a Christian but I have met some amazing women who are such an example to me and I thank you so much for the impact you have had on my life.
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!