High Five for Friday!

Hello my wonderful readers. I hope you are as happy as I am that it is FINALLY Friday. It hasn’t been that long of a week, but it’s been a week for sure. I was sick on Monday which totally sucked and I really wanted to do nothing that day but I had a lot to do so I was a good adult and got my stuff done. But, I was feeling so bad I basically passed up on some party food – pizza, cupcakes, cookie cake. Yeah. I felt like crap.

But now it is Friday and I am linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth to give a much deserved high five to Friday and talk about the five highlights of my week.

One. I have today off. Which makes my wonderful weekend FOUR WHOLE DAYS. I can’t remember the last time I had 4 days off in a row. Last Christmas? It could have been Thanksgiving. I don’t take much time off (I’m a hoarder of all things and that includes my vacation time… I could take A MONTH off right now and still have time left over.)

Two. My sisters are having a little girl. I am SO excited about that. Even cuter? we taught Sydney how to say her name and that is ADORABLE. I am dying to see these two little girls together. It’s going to be too much cute to handle I just know it. This pretty much sums up what I’m expecting with these two.

Three. I’m incredibly excited about the consignment sale that I’m going to this weekend. I missed the last one I wanted to go to because of Steve’s unfortunate illness (he’s totally fine now btw). I all about a good sale and these sales are huge. I’m going with my friend & I mentioned it to my sisters and they were excited but I haven’t gotten real word if they’re going or not.

Four. Apple has a battery recall (finally!) and my poor phone battery is apart of it. Which I could have told you without checking because there is no other logical explanation for my phone going from 60% to 1% when all I do is open an app. Like I get that apps use my battery life but not that much that’s for sure. Tonight Steve & I are going to get that bad boy replaced. I’m stoked. Because no one should have to charge their phone twice (or more) a day when they really don’t use it that much.

 Five. We’re taking Sydney to the pool this afternoon because my brother is a lifeguard and I have not been to his pool one time this summer and summer is over (which sucks, let’s not think about that). It should be a fun time – I’m curious to see if she likes the pool right away since she had warmed up to it at my Aunt’s or if it takes her some time. Either way it’s supposed to be a nice day for the pool. We’re having dinner with my parents tonight which will also be nice because I haven’t seen them in a while (they have been on vacation). It’s a big day for hanging out with my family!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend! Until next time!

 

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Not so Wordless Wednesday

I thought about just making this a Wordless Wednesday post but I thought that might be confusing because I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that I’m going to be an Aunt come January (which makes me so excited I cannot stand it!)

My sisters-in-law (my husbands sister and her wife) are expecting their first little bundle of joy and we have been waiting patiently (I do not wait patiently for these kinds of things) to find out if the family will be getting another little Princess or a Prince.

This week we (finally!) had our their Gender Reveal Party!

Boy or Girl?!

Boy or Girl?!

That box my MIL made is actually quite cute but my little Princess is a ham and was quite caught up in the excitement of the whole party. I think she might have thought all of this excitement was for her… which probably means her tiny little world is going to be super rocked come January when she is not THE baby.

Team Pink!

Team Pink!

My in-laws love their granddaughter that they were hoping for another! Everyone was supposed to wear either a Pink or Blue shirt to identify either their guess or what they were hoping to have. I wore blue because I had been feeling like it was a boy this whole time.

IT'S A GIRL!

IT’S A GIRL!

I’m so excited that Sydney is getting a little girl cousin. I think they’re going to be thick as thieves and I can’t wait to see them grow up together.

Now we just have to wait until January… which, is going to be HARD!

We’re ready for you baby… and we love you so much already!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Gyros

We sometimes seem to get in to food ruts where our creativity dies and we eat the same things over and over again. We don’t make bad food, so it isn’t too bad, but it is boring. That’s usually when we take to Pinterest or Google and find something new. This time we found The Girl Who Ate Everything and her DELICIOUS Chicken Gyros.

I have definitely found a new online cook book and can’t wait to try more of her food. I’ll give you a rundown of the recipe (super easy!) but I urge you to stop by her site and check out her vast menu of culinary yummyness.

Ingredients –

Taztziki sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

To assemble:
Pita bread
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin
Instructions –
Shred the cucumber or chop in food processor. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

 

YUM!

YUM!

This was SUPER easy and incredibly delicious. And I’m not a gyro fan so I wasn’t even sure I would like this to begin with (my husband found the recipe). It’s definitely going to be added in to our rotation and I love the taztziki sauce so much that I’ll probably be making that to just keep it on hand even if I’m not making gyros.

Happy eating!

and seriously, need new recipes? Go here for real…. The Girl Who Ate Everything.

What’s a weekend without a recap

We had a wonderful weekend around here and I hope you guys did too! It was busy, but also relaxing which is the best kind of weekend.

Friday night was made up of dinner out with friends (buffet style – my favorite – because I can eat some buffet food!). And then immediately after getting home from said buffet I took a nice long walk to get rid of that incredibly full feeling I always get after diving in to a buffet like I’ve never eaten before. Sydney & I have started doing nightly walks to the slide – it’s her favorite and it gets me out and moving which is great for me too. We hung out back and played some corn hole with our neighbors for a bit. Sydney LOVES this game… and by that I mean that she loves to take the bags and throw them which makes it hard to really keep score.

Cornhole

Steve’s solution to  Sydney’s love of bean bags

Saturday brought an early – but productive – day. By 9 I had worked out (PiYo for the win!); we had breakfast and we were all ready to take on the day. I didn’t even know who I was Saturday morning…but we had a busy afternoon so I was cramming in as much as I could in the morning. After a trip to the grocery store, lunch, and a nap Sydney and I headed to the Discovery Museum in town. We were meeting up with some (new) friends and I was basically a ball of nerves but also pretty excited to give Sydney a chance to just run free and play with some new friends of her own. This was our first visit and we were extremely pleased – not pleased enough to sign up for a membership because I think Sydney is a little too young for all but 1 floor – but still, it was great and she had fun.

Water table!

Water table!

She loves water. All types of water. I had to literally drag her from this table to get her to play with something else.

Building cars

Building cars

We played with some of the activity tables, but this one seemed to interest her the most. The pieces are magnetic so I think that was much cooler than lincoln logs that do not stick to each other.

Exploring the apple harvest

Exploring the apple harvest

This section I probably had the most problem with. But not quite the section, but the children. Several of them gathered together and were gathering up all the apples (it’s supposed to be like an apple farm so the stuff in this section reflects the things that go in to commercial apple picking I guess). But the one problem I had was that these bigger kids were stealing apples from the little kids (not just Sydney – anyone that wasn’t playing with them but had apples got them snatched out of their hands). Sydney was pushing that wheel barrow and it had apples in it but some kid just came over and swiped them from her. I felt bad because she looked confused and sad that her balls (because that’s what they were to her..duh) were gone. It didn’t seem to really phase her too much so I just let her play however she wanted but it would have been nice if the parent(s) of any of these kids had stepped in and told them they needed to share.

We ended our Saturday night at our friends house for his 30th birthday. They have 3 dogs. One tiny little chihuahua that wouldn’t hurt a fly, a mix that’s also gentle and gives plenty of kisses (Sydney’s favorite), and then Enzo – the sweetest Pit Bull I have ever seen in my entire life. Society would tell you that my child would be the most afraid of the fierce pit bull. Society would be wrong. The tiny 4lb chihuahua freaked her out but the pit bull? She couldn’t get enough of her sweet kisses.

Getting love from Enzo

Getting love from Enzo

Anyway…that was basically our weekend. We did exactly nothing on Sunday (well, I baked some cupcakes and we all napped a wonderful 2 hour nap but other than that…nothing.) It was much needed and very nice to end our weekend with such a lazy day. I hope your weekend was as sweet and wonderful as mine. Enjoy your week my friends.

 

The Great Purge. Part 4.

I wasn’t lying when I said this was a multi-part story. I’m in to cleaning and purging our entire house right now. My main focus has been on the exceptional job I’ve done hoarding in our office which really needs to be a guest room but is currently just a disaster. It’s shameful, but it’s real life.

If you haven’t read and want to catch up read about the office purging here.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

The progress for the office has been slow and it got overwhelming so I had to move to something else. And that was just random purging wherever I saw an opportunity. That basically led me all around the house and with a crap load of… well, crap. And since my crap might be someone else’s treasure I loaded it all up in to my lovely vehicle and carted it right on over to Goodwill (and ok, there was actual trash so I did throw trash away because sometimes trash is trash and there is no getting around that).

First up, I said a much needed good bye to some old clothes that I haven’t worn in… I can’t remember how long which is why they are no longer my clothes. I can only focus on one “season” at a time and since it’s summer now I focused on winter clothes. What I end up doing is giving away whatever I really didn’t wear or what I decided didn’t fit from the season that has just ended because if I didn’t wear it then it probably means its been more than a year since it’s been worn and that means it’s taking up valuable space in my incredibly full closet.

Good bye clothes

Good bye clothes

After I got all good and motivated by my closet work, I headed to our basement. We have been in the process of finishing for like 2 freaking years but that’s a whole other long story of how we take our sweet, sweet time doing stuff. My dad finally said he was coming to finish the basement which meant that all the random stuff that had found a home in the basement had to find another home somewhere else. And for these particular things that somewhere was no longer my house.

Trash to treasure.

Trash to treasure.

And while I was going through the basement I found the actual trash. The stuff that I looked at and could not even understand why I was hoarding so much of it…

I’m talking about gift bags and boxes.

WHY?!

WHY?!

I have NO idea why I keep pretty much every gift bag or box that comes through our door. See that big baby shower bag? Yeah. It’s full of ALL the bags I got from my shower. I kept like 2 because bags are expensive and sometimes it’s good to have one or two on hand, but there is no need for 20. Don’t even get me started on the fact that 2 of those bags holds holiday bags – we’re talking Christmas because I never get rid of Hanukkah bags because they are so hard to find. I also decided I didn’t need 50 or so (probably not an exaggeration) gift boxes. I kept some because I don’t really want to go buy them every time I randomly need one, but most of them went straight for the recycle.

At this point our basement is practically empty, which is incredible, and actually almost finished… which is also incredible. Our house feels just as full which kind of makes me sad because I am getting rid of (what feels like) so much stuff. I have a ways to go still but we’ll get there. And I’m learning a valuable lesson in not hoarding things because not only am I doing this but I was inspired by my parents and their efforts to thin out their house after SO MANY YEARS of my mother being just as bad as I am and I do not want to be there. Ever. So purging it is. Thanks for hanging with me!

I’m from the country…

…and I like it that way.

I love that song. Anyway… last Friday night we did what any family would do when the fair is in town. We went to the rodeo. Because it is awesome. I wish we had stayed later but no one we were with seemed interested and we had to get home to get Sydney to bed, but next year? I’m going. And I’m going early so I can actually get a seat in the stands so I can actually see much better.

We got there a little before the rodeo so that we could eat (fried oreos, obviously)

Red velvet fried oreos.

Red velvet fried oreos.

Those were basically the best thing I have ever had. I love fried oreos, but this year. Oh this year. Regular fried oreos were out done by these little bites of heaven topped with cream cheese and powdered sugar. If you ever see these you should really do yourself a huge favor and get them.

After eating we went to see the animals! Sydney loved the horses…but only after we walked away from them. She wanted nothing to do with them while we were up next to a horse, but walk away and she would freak her little freak out because hor(se!)

horse!

horse!

That horse was SUPER friendly. He (?) loved the attention he was getting from all the fair goers. He also was showing off his ribbons by grabbing them and waving them around. It was funny.

There are all kinds of animals – cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and a variety of chickens/ducks/etc. We wandered through the animals as we waited for the rodeo and I think this was my favorite sheep.

sheep trying to be a zebra

sheep trying to be a zebra

We walked through the Young McDonalds Farm, which basically just has some baby animals but I really just like taking our picture with this. I think it’s going to be an annual thing to see how we change from year to year. And it’s cute.

IMG_6611

Top is 2014. Bottom is 2013.

We also took a photo opp with the John Deere tractors. She loved being up on this. Grandpa has a riding lawn mower and she loves riding it with him and apparently being up on this tractor was just as much fun for her. She didn’t want to get down.

Nothin runs like a Deere.

Nothin runs like a Deere.

And then one last photo. Because it melts my heart.

These two. <3

These two. ❤

And that was basically our Friday night. It’s nice living out here.

O Captain. My Captain.

I’m sorry if this is like the millionth post about Robin Williams, but I just feel like I need to say something. Because he has been a huge part of television and movies for decades that he had a great impact on many people.

For me it was Dead Poets Society. It was THE movie that opened up my eyes to literature in a whole new way. It is essentially why I became an English Major in College. His character had a profound impact on me and it has stuck with me all these years.

Find your voice.

Find your voice.

I trusted myself enough to find my voice and to use my words. I don’t know if my words will change the world, but there is nothing that says that they won’t. The only thing I can do is try my hardest and know that even if I have failed I failed successfully simply because I tried to succeed.

Make your choice.

Make your choice.

Every day. We make a choice. And our choices will impact the world and the people around us. If you struggle, with anything, let someone know. Let that be your choice. Make the choice to seek help. To help yourself.

No one should struggle alone. No one can guess what your struggles are. If you don’t speak up, no one will know. Depression hurts and depression lies. Just because your don’t think anyone cares does not mean that no one does. I think everyone, myself included, would be surprised at the number of people that actually care. Find your people, they are out there. But don’t leave them behind because you didn’t think they existed.

Genie, I'm going to miss you.

Genie, I’m going to miss you.

Robin Williams brought great joy to many people and his humor will be greatly missed.