Keepsake Award and--Wait, Who's Having Twins?

Sunday, May 31

Listening to "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off," Joe Nichols

Keepsake Award

keepsake award

This week I created the Keepsake Blog Award! I like making awards... I get to practice my limited photoshop skills. :)

Rules for this award:

1. Post a funny or sweet keepsake that tells something about you.

2. Pass the award onto 10 other bloggers that you think are keepers!

Here are my 10 bloggers:

1. StephChows: Thanks for always posting such yummy looking recipes-- and photos!
2. Brett:Alexandra:
I may be a little biased because you're a Hokie and I love that... but your blog is too cute!
3. Sarah-Yosh!:
Your blog is too cute at well... I love hearing about your students :) Plus, the random stuff you post just makes me smile!
4. The Gamer's Wife:
Love hearing about your hilarious ups and downs as a gamer's wife. (Just so everyone knows, though, she can beat him at MarioKart Racing!)
5. Samantha:
I love your writing and your posts about your non-traditional wedding!
6. LesJouJou:
I live for your Vintage Day posts :) And your etsy shop updates!
7. KnittingKnoobie: One of my favorite knitting blogs... I've learned so much from it!
8. Slim Shoppin': Your recipes really inspire me to try to cook and eat healthier-- especially since you make everything look and sound so great!
9. Fidgeting Gidget:
I know your work/life adventures are only going to get more intersting :) Plus, she's cheering for the Red Wings too! Woo-hoo!
10. Tamela: Your blog is just too cute. Plus, you've got the best giveway goin on right now-- you could win the 30 Day Shred DVD!! Woo-hoo!!

Congrats bloggers! Feel free to post and participate!

Code for the award:

IF you didn't receive an award-- don't be sad! I'm going to try and invent a new award every month :)

And for my keepsake item:
Me in Cowboy Boots and Mini-skirt!

HA!! This picture will be a lot funnier if you've read the story of how Matt and I met; this picture is from when I was 7... who knew that 12 years later I'd be wearing a similar outfit (minus the gardening gloves) to meet the coolest boyfriend this side of the ping-pong table!

And now...
The Twins Baby-Momma!

I really
didn't mean to turn this into such a suspenseful deal... but I wanted to make sure it was ok with my Dad and Step-Mom before posting this info on my blog...

That's right!! My Step-Mom is prego!! AND SHE'S HAVING TWINS!!

She's due this January and they are not finding out the gender of the babies. So I really need to start knitting!

My Dad and Step-Mother have been married for a little over 2 years now. She's a kindergarten teacher and she loves kids, so I know she's excited about this pregnancy.

I would be lying if I told you I haven't been thinking a lot about a couple things... My three sisters and I are older (my oldest sister is 23, my youngest 17), so it'll definitely be an adventure having a set of little twins running around. I have wondered... how will I manage to be close with these little guys when I'm so much older and not living at home? Growing up, my three sisters and I were so close-- and close in age. So this is new for me! I want to make sure to be a good big sister to them, but it'll be different. Plus, now my Dad will have six children (Eat your heart out, Jon & Kate!). Is that going to be a lot? What else will change?

But mostly, it's simple: there are two little bundles of joy coming into the world this January, and my Dad and Step-Mom are very excited! In the end, I think everything else will work itself out. That's what families do!

I think it's natural to be nervous when you know things are going to change. But this is a happy, good change. I'm getting excited... I really need to start knitting for those little guys (or girls!)! :)

dad maranna

So congrats, Dad and MarAnna!


Other Random News:

  • I did manage to (finally) cook some meatloaf and some mac & cheese, but I think I've said enough for one post :) so next time-- how to cook meatloaf without a loaf pan! (...because you didn't realize that you don't have one until you're halfway through the recipe)

  • I am still knitting the checkerboard-- it's a great little "game" pattern book, there's a checkerboard and a backgammon board and a little game purse you can knit that holds the knitted boards and the game pieces. How cute!

  • Off to the grocery store! Need supplies for my next couple of kitchen adventures!

FINALLY, an apology:

I have been so behind on blog reading... it's just been a crazy, crazy week! Promise to catch up soon :) Hope you're all doing well!!

Your award-giving, all-the-time-babysitting,
behind-on-blog-reading, Red-Wings-cheering
New Girl Blogger

Sorry Baby, No Time for Meatloaf! and Dear Teacher,

Thursday, May 28

Listening to-- the air conditioning people install things at the house where I nanny. Lots of hammering, pounding... it's lovely. I can't believe Jace is still sleeping.

Crazy life!! So it's my last week of nannying, and I start my new job on Monday. I'm babysitting all weekend to earn some extra cash, woo-hoo!, but it'll be perfect because Matt has class anyway. And these kids are cuuuuuute :) I'm seriously going to babysit until I have my own freakin kids. I love it!

I've been tutoring extra, trying to help all the poor kids study before the EOG- End of Grade-- tests. Some kinds are finished with them, others aren't. Depends on the school.

And can I just vent? For one second?


Dear Laura's 5th Grade Teacher:

I know you're concerned about Laura's score on her upcoming Science EOG. I am as well. But when I was helping her during our tutoring session, the following conversation occurred:

Me: Do you remember what a fault line is? I think that might be why we're having trouble with this question.

Laura: I asked my teacher, she said if I see any questions about fault lines, that the answer is probably "earthquake."

Me: But don't you want to understand what a fault line is? That will help for lots of questions.

Laura: I think my teacher just wants me to get the questions right.

Let me assure you, this is not the first time I've heard her talk about her education in this manner.

Now, teacher, I know your job is hard. I can't imagine-- and I'm not patronizing you, I really think teachers have a lot on their plates, much more than they deserve for their salary. And I know that test scores unfairly determine your salary, and that you're put under a lot of pressure to make sure your students pass these standardized tests. I know that, and I am sorry.

BUT giving poor Laura the IMPRESSION that it is more important for her to SCORE WELL on THIS TEST than it is to LEARN is defeating the purpose of

So please, try to avoid that type of language with her. She's working really hard in our sessions and finally seems to enjoy some of her schoolwork-- which is amazing, because school really is harder for her than it is for most children. Please don't take this progress away from her by making class all about test scores.

Thank you.


Laura's Tutor

...I feel better. Thanks.


In other news, I haven't had time to cook a single meal since my glorious kitchen time this weekend.

sad kitchen

Poor Matt had to take me out to dinner yesterday (at a Mexican place!! YUM!!!) because we have no food lol. I keep promising to cook meatloaf and mac & cheese... but there's been no time! Right now it's looking like there will be time... Saturday night. LOL.

And... with nannying and tutoring today... who knows what dinner will be tonight. Cereal, anyone?


Knitting Project
for the new circular needles.

DONT YOU LOVE IT!!!! I can't WAIT!!!


In my NEXT Blog post:
  • I give awards!

  • I'll (finally) tell you who the twin baby-momma is!
    You're gonna flip!

  • I'll (hopefully) have cooked something!

Your running-around-a-lot,
relying-on-coffee, biscotti-munchin,
New Girl Blogger

Memorial Day! Biscottis, Whole Wheat Biscuits and Meatballs!

Monday, May 25

Listening to "Small Town Girl," Journey.
(for some reason this has been the theme to our weekend... I've serenaded Matt with this song twice now in the car. Who knows...)

Cooking Updates

Duo Dishes' Whole Wheat Cheese & Herb Biscuits
-Prep: Not bad at all! Fairly simple ingredients! Perfect for a weekend morning.
-Taste: YUM! Loved these! Full of flavor.
-Tip: I made them a little small... I wasn't sure how the dough would react in the oven and I didn't want them to get too big and run into one another haha. But they didn't rise or spread out much at all! If I had made them bigger, they would have been delish biscuits for a yummy breakfast sandwich! Next time :)
whole wheat herb and cheese biscuits

Duo Dishes' Sweet & Spicy Meatballs
lots of meatballs!

-Prep: So easy! This was a quick make.
-Taste: AMAZING! I loved this sauce!! It was just tangy enough with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
-Tip: I used my grandmother's homemade grape jelly. I love her jelly! It's so great and flavorful-- I think that definitely helped :) If you don't have homemade jelly on hand, I would at least invest in some great stuff! Because the jelly adds a lot of flavor.


From a North London Kitchen's Chocolate Biscotti
(She found the recipe on Batter Splattered)
-Prep: Pretty easy! I don't have a mixer (what?! I know...) but my food processor worked out pretty well anyway.
-Taste: Love. Love. I love these. So glad there are a lot of them. MMMmmm.
-Tip: Ok... so you bake the biscotti log, let it cool, cut it, then bake the smaller biscotiis for a little longer. I let the logs cool for a little too long before cutting, and the logs were a little too hard. A couple pieces crumbled when I was trying to cut them. Don't do that! Still turned out great, though :)
double chocolate biscotti
Mmm... a morning treat for the
rest of the week!

Cooking Goals for this Week:
1. Meatloaf (Matt's request-- I've never made one before!)
  • Excited about this! Most the recipes I read say to use ground beef but I like ground turkey so much better... so I'll try that and let you know how it goes.)
2. Knitting Knoobie's Mac & Cheese (Which she found on Food Network)
  • This will be my second attempt at baked Mac & Cheese. My last one was good but just too heavy! It was more like mac and cheese cake haha. This one is simpler :) I'm going to try to make my own bread crumbs for it!
3. From a North London Kitchen's Mushroom Bourguignon (Which she found on Smitten Kitchen)
  • Matt hates mushrooms-- but I looooove them. And he'll be in class all next Saturday! So this will be a special Saturday lunch for me :)

Knitting Update:

Abby's Jacket: Kinda Finished!
abby's jacket hanging
So it needs
abby's jacket!
But my pattern worked! There is a
body! Woo-hoo!

Circular Needles:

I... made a mistake. I went to the yarn store to by yarn for two new projects... and I also bought a new, full set of circular needles!!!

Do I have money for a complete set of circular needles? Well... maybe should have kept that money in saivngs... but look at all the needles!!!

More on what I have planned for this beautiful new needle set in a later post :)

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is special. I like holidays that celebrate the soldiers. I come from a family with lots of military background on my Father's side-- including my Dad! It's funny, because I'm more Democrat... and traditionally, the military personell are more Republican. So my Dad and I may not always agree on politics.

BUT on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, holidays like this... it's nice. Because the holiday celebrates the soldiers. It's not about the politics behind the war, or anything like that-- it's about those who fight the wars, those who are away from their families in far away countries. It's all about the soldiers.

And I like that.

An older picture from his last tour! He's
actually a contractor now, but I don't have
any pictures of that! This is from when he
was with the Army last year...
he's third from the left :)

So Happy Memorial Day, Dad. I know you don't get the day off like the rest of us, which is ironic! But we're all thinking about you, and all military service men and women! Be safe!


Have a great Holiday!

Your biscotti-munching,
New Girl Blogger

Baby gift ideas & Cooking Goals for Memorial Weekend

Thursday, May 21

Listening to "What'd I Say," Ray Charles.

First of all, thank LesJouJou for participating in that fun How We Met idea I had way back in this post...

How We Met

Telling the story of how Matt and I met was fun, but reading your story was even more fun! I am such a romantic sap... can't help it.

Anyone else wants to participate, feel free! Would even love it if you used that picture up there. Just be sure to let me know so I can soak up the sappyness. Love it!


Cooking Goals for
Memorial Day Weekend:

-Duo Dishes' Sweet and Spicy Meetballs
- From a North London Kitchen (who found the recipe on her friend Batter Splattered's blog)'s Double Chocolate Biscottis. Yum!

Might make some more things as well... but don't want to over-commit. This recipe blogroll idea has worked out pretty well! Plus, you've all been posting some great recipes. Can't wait to make another recipe blogroll when I've finished this one! I already know what like, half of the dishes will be!

Knitting Update:

Abby's jacket is coming along nicely!

Can't believe this pattern is actually working!

Good progress... definitely not finished
haha. Arms to come soon.. I know it looks
rough, but it's not done! Don't worry!

Baby Update:

(Sorry, still can't tell you who the proud, soon-to-have-twins Momma is yet! Soon!)

Instead of knitting her something... how about I get her this?

Hi! I'm Alien Baby, commin out of your front
just to say hello.



Your kidding-about-the-baby-gift,
New Girl Blogger

Zucchini, Blue Cheese, GOOD cookies (finally!) and twins!!

Monday, May 18

Listening to "Orbiting," The Weepies.

Cooking Updates:

Malt Ball Cookies
Before I tell you about My Tasty Treasures' Malt Ball Cookies, I thought I would pay tribute to dear Donna. If you've never been to her blog-- it's hilarious. She's a fire fighter's wife, and always talking about hot guys... oh, and cooking. :)

So, I thought, as a testament to Donna's hilarity, I would tell you about a certain hottie before telling you about her cookies...

Is it just me... or is new Kirk
a SERIOUS upgrade?

Never thought I would like Star Trek. But Captain Kirk... wow. Good choice, casting director.

And Matt, if you're reading this, you're obviously way cuter. Thanks for taking me to the movies! Sorry I ate most of the Milk Duds :)

Anyway! Now to Donna's cookies-- yum. I definitely recommend the recipe, and Matt enjoyed it as well! Much better than my last attempt at cookies... thank goodness.

Simple, quick, original, and yummy!

"Fried" Zucchini
I am in love. Steph Chows' Fried Zucchini was so, so, SO good!! Pretty easy recipe-- just give yourself plenty of time to bread lots of these little suckers, because you'll be wishing you had more once they're all gone!!

They were so good, you would
think that they're bad for
you... a huge improvement over
french fries! Yum!

Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers
I was so excited to try Food Snob's Blue Cheese Burgers. I love burgers, and chicken is so much better for you!! Unfortunately, I forgot... I really don't like blue cheese. Ha!

Matt liked them (he does like Blue Cheese), and I would recommend the recipe to you if you really like blue cheese. The good news is, I liked the chicken part, so I'll definitely try another chicken burger some other time.

Food Snob cooked the burgers on the grill for a couple minutes on each side... I'm deathly afraid of food poisoning, so I stuck them in the oven for a little while as well.... you probably didn't need to, though. Very juicy and very blue-cheese cheesy!

Definitely only for serious blue
cheese fans, but if that's your
style this burger is for YOU!


Nanny Update

I'm not going to be a nanny for Bria and Jace much longer... I'll be finished at the end of this month. I'll miss those little guys!

Glitter Bookmarks
Bria and I finished a fun project on Friday. She saw this butterfly bookmark that Matt bought me after we went to the Butterfly Habitat. She told me she wanted a bookmark too, so I grabbed some fancy tissue paper, some glitter glue, a couple Popsicle sticks and--

Sorry for the bad pic... I only had
my phone. That's my name in Bria glitter :)
We made one for her and her parents
as well. Occupied us for at least an hour!


Baby Update

So... still can't tell you who is having a baby.

But, this person is no longer having one baby... she's having twins.

So, I gotta figure out what TWO handknits I can make. These handknits have to be for a boy or a girl, because they aren't finding out the sex until the babies are born. This baby yarn I have is multi-colored, but it does have some pink in it. So I'm thinking... blankets? Maybe little baby toys? Socks? Baby boys can wear multi-colored socks... yes?

I don't know. Ideas?


Blog Awards:

Thank you SO MUCH for these new blog awards! I'll pass them on in my next post :)

honest blogger

Queen of Alll Things Awe-Summm!!!
Thanks Tamela! I love this award!!!! So adorable :) Will complete my "Queen Duties" next post!

Deer to Me Cupcake Award
Thanks Next to Heaven's Mrs. C! I have never seen this award before-- it's adorable! I'm so glad you found my blog, because now I can read yours as well. Your latest post about the lasagna roll-ups are still on my mind...

Funky Blog Award
Thanks to The Novelista Barista! I love your blog-- and the title of your blog is definitely amazing. Long live caffeine addicts :)


Have a great day!

Your addicted-to-zucchini,
New Girl Blogger

Hummus Review & Tutoring Fun! + Baby Yarn

Tuesday, May 12

Listening to "White Houses," Vanessa Carlton

Recipe Review / Goals:

Steph Chow's Hummus:
-Easy Recipe
-Ingredients not too expensive (Found them all, even the ones I had never heard of before, at Harris Teeter!)
-Recipe easy to tweak/adapt!

The first go-around, I made Steph Chow's Hummus exactly as her recipe instructed. Sooo good, had it with some celery, pretzels, carrots, and pita chips... I love hummus.

Look at that hummus! Adapted the recipe

a little for the chicken wraps...

Adapting the Recipe:
The next night we wanted chicken-hummus wraps, so I added a little to the hummus. I put it back into the food processor, and slowly added cottage cheese and red pepper flakes until it was just the right cheesy-spicy combination. Add chicken and some flour tortillas, couple slices of grilled red peppers-- YUM!

Recipe Goals for This Week(end):
-Food Snob's Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers
-My Tasty Treasure's Malted Milk Ball Cookies

Knitting Update:

Abby's Jacket
Still knitting the body... I'm getting close to the arm holes... I'll see how my pattern holds up! It's the first pattern I've ever designed, so I'm not holding my breath :)

Baby Yarn--for a BABY!
A friend at Stitch 'N Bitch gave me a BUNCH of free baby yarn!! Now, I don't need the baby yarn-- but someone I know is going to need some baby knits soon :)

Can't tell you who yet, but someone very close to me will be bringing a little bundle into the world this January!! She wants to wait for her first ultrasound before I go blabbing about it on the internet! They're not going to find out the gender of the baby until the baby is born (exciting!), so this yarn is great because it's multi-colored:
No idea what you make
with it YET... Ravelry,
here I come!

Tutoring Adventure:

One of my favorite students is a young 4th grade boy-- we'll call him Alex. Alex and I were going over vocabulary words. One of his "prefixes" was POLY-- meaning many. His teacher wrote down a couple examples:

Now, I explained the first two with ease. Then I stopped. Polygamy? Should I attempt to explain polygamy to a 4th grade boy? I decided to wait for his Mom to come pick him up.

Alex's Mom: [Looking at the vocab sheet] Oh! She put polygamy as an example?!
Me: [Laughing] I know! Thought I'd let you explain...
Alex's Mom: [Big Sigh] Well, Alex, in some cultures, marriage is a little different. Instead of marrying one woman, a man might marry many women. That's why they call it polygamy, because of many. It's just a different culture. Understand?
Alex: [Nodding, with a wise look on his face] Yes. It's like a sugar daddy?

I. Love. Kids.


Another busy week here in Raleigh, but I feel a lot better now that I've shared a little on the blogsphere... now, I'm going to go try and catch up on my blog reading! Sorry I've been gone all week!

Your catching-up-on-blog-reading,
hummus-eating, baby-yarn-contemplating,
New Girl Blogger

Perpetually Late? 8 things, and pictures.

Monday, May 4

Listening to "No Rain," Blind Melon.

I've been kinda busy.

Don't get me wrong, I love being busy. I'm just that kind of person-- I need a million things going on to get anything done. But lately it's been a littttle overboard. I'm running around, and I keep running late!!!

It's perpetually late mode, or that's what I think of it as when I'm really busy. Happens sometimes, the perpetually late mode. It usually calms down after a while, just gotta get through it!

What's causing perpetually late mode?

Well... I've got like 4 jobs right now. I nanny kids, tutor students, ref lacrosse games and do part-time web design.

Plus, I just started a new position in my tutoring company. They've asked me to work in the office as an administrative assistant during the day (to help with billing, file maintenance, phones, etc.). So I just started training for that. Plus, I really like blogging (and reading blogs) and knitting and books and cooking... Plus, I need money for new brakes, so I've been picking up extra jobs: extra babysitting hours, extra tutor hours, even dog sitting...

So I'm kinda busy.

BUT! I've been tagged a couple times in the "8 things" meme deal, so TA-DA! A quick, fun blog post. (Tamela, I copied this from you because I like how you put each section in a different color!)

Then, it's back to work for me.

8 things:

eight things I am looking forward to

1. The new Harry Potter movie this summer.
2. Being a TA this fall!
3. Going to Wilmington next weekend with Matt!
4. Having a dog (one day...)
5. Football Season-- fantasy football here I come!!!
6. Matt's birthday (7/5) because I already know what I'm getting him (shh!)
7. Seeing my sisters when they come home for the summer from college
8. Graduating graduate school-- May 2011!

eight things I did yesterday

1. Made stuffed shells-- YUM. Added green onions to the ricotta stuffed cheese and didn't cook the noodles much before baking the dish-- made all the difference in the world. SO good.
2. Tutored forEVER. Tutoring on the weekends when I want to hang out with Matt is hard.
3. Enjoyed WINSTON's company-- the dog we were dog sitting for the weekend. He's a cutie! I miss him already!
4. Knit some more of Abby's jacket-- the one I wrote a new pattern for. It's going well so far!
5. Ate like 5 rice krispy treats-- I made Duo Dishes' Rocky Road Rice Krispies and they're so freaking good.
6. Watched Matt play Tiger Woods on the PS3. He made like 4 hole-in-one shots.
7. Stretched. Was sore from reffing 5 games on Saturday!
8. Enjoyed the hummus I made-- steph chow's recipe is so good!! Will blog about it later.

eight things I wish I could do

1. Go to Europe with Matt. Right this second.
2. Buy a hybrid car
3. Drink coffee without worrying about whether the amount of coffee I drink *...a lot* will affect my health
4. Chop things really fast, like the food network chefs, without cutting myself
5. Take a nap every day. Can you imagine? Would be wonderful...
6. play tennis
7. never lock my keys in my car again *yeah right...*
8. paint. I'm not very artistic. But it would be nice.

eight shows I watch on TV (I don't get to watch too much TV, and if we do it's sports usually, but Matt and I watch TV shows on DVD, or off the Netflix site, so I'm going to list those...)

1. Sex and the City (I have seen every episode and own all seasons.)
2. The Office (We just started watching! We're on season 3-- hilarious!!)
3. Entourage (LOVE. Can't wait for the new season to come out on DVD this summer)
4. Gilmore Girls (Miss it)
5. House (Haven't seen a lot of episodes but it's so good!)
... that's all I can think of! I'll add the three movies that I watch so much, they might as well be TV shows on my television:
6. You've Got Mail
7. When Harry Met Sally
8. Armageddon (seriously, I know every word. Don't know why, love that movie!)

random pictures to go along with this post:

Winstonnnnnnnnnn. He was such a good
puppy while he was visiting. I should
be a professional dog sitter. We had
a blast :)

...I know he looks annoyed. But that's just
because I kept
moving around with the
camera in his face trying to get
a good
picture. He was a good sport about it.

stuffed shells 2
Stuffed shelllls. Mmmmmm. Oh, can't
see them? That's cause they're hiding under
the cheese...

made a 9 x 13 sized dish of the shells.
they're already half gone... which isn't
that impressive, except that the only people
eating all those stuffed shells are matt
and I. that's a lot of stuffed shells
for just two people.

Adult rice krispy treats? Even more mmmm.

egg salad
I did end up making egg salad for Matt :)

vt: nice, toyota. nice.
nice. every toyota should come this way.

after referee x5-- it was a
long day. Ignore the sweat.
I know you're jealous of the
stripes, anyway.

(and if my parents or Matt are reading this--
no, I did not take this picture while I was
driving. I was in the car, but it was a long red
light, I was bored and thinking about my blog, and
then I thought of taking a picture. So don't worry.)


Your tired, busy, but-loving-it,
New Girl Blogger