weekend update.

Well friends.  I am in Nebraska this weekend just living the life.  It’s been one of the few weekends I haven’t spent with TJ, so that’s different.  I must remind myself that I did the single girl weekends many times before this, and I will undoubtedly survive.  Nevertheless, I would probably rather hang out with him.  I think that that’s a good sign for me . . . I miss the guy . . . but definitely know that my world doesn’t absolutely revolve around him (aka I still do my own thing!)  In my opinion, and the opinion of a fabulous book I once read call “Why Men Love Bitches,” most girls become way too nice and needy once they finally snag a guy.  I am always reminded to retain my confidence and independence because those are not dependent on my relationship status!  (I know that sounds like a bad self-help book . . . but seriously!)

Since it’s been a while since my last update I will give you a synopsis of happenings:

  • I joined the iPhone world.  Blackberry I love you, but you needed to move faster in the app arena.  I am definitely in love with my little device, especially my personal assistant Siri.  The artificial intelligence makes me feel like my phone is alive!  I warned TJ that if my phone fulfilled too many of my needs he may be out of the picture.
  • There was slight drama with the delivery of my iPhone.  I will be writing letters to Sprint and UPS with some pointed language in hopes of them changing their awful Company policies and treatment of customers.  Ugh.  Thank goodness for good citizens though.
  • I went to Iowa last weekend to see my brother play football again.  Other brother was also home for fall break, so he go a chance to meet and evaluate TJ.  The results were positive.
  • TJ and I tried our hand at making buffalo wings with good results.  The previous week we successfully conquered crab rangoon.  We are pretty good chefs.
  • I worked a relatively normal work schedule this week, and hopefully should continue to in the coming weeks.
  • I am feverishly trying to read the remainder of my book club book (which I selected) before next Thursday.  I am at 60% on my Kindle.  We’ll see if I succeed!

In other news.  All my friends simply must join Pintrest.  I’m not sure exactly how to describe it to people.  It’s basically someplace where other people accumulate really cool ideas for crafts, fashion, and food and you just get to enjoy the fruits of their labor since they have decided to share their ideas on Pintrest!  For example, I found a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls.  They were a creative dinner I never would have thought of!  I had to improvise a little because I was unable to procure egg roll wrappers (SAD).  They turned out to be homemade buffalo chicken “hot pockets” due to the use of puff pastry for my wrapper.  Still delicious and easy!  See some pictures of my creation below!  (Note all pictures were taken by my iPhone, which I am pretty sure has more mega pixels than my current digital camera.  Weird!)



I am trying to get back into the cooking routine (since I’ve eaten overtime meals for a VERY significant part of 2011).  I’ve found it hard to be creative with my meals and stick to my weekly meal plans when I am lured by friends to hit up a local restaurant (somehow your own cooking never sounds quite as good).  BUT I must return to my cooking ways.  I miss cooking supper as an amazing way to relax after a long day at work, or a way to bring a group of friends together at a table for good conversation.  TJ has done most of the cooking in our recent relationship, so I’m also feeling a little inadequate about my domestic skills.  These are all pretty good reasons to put my apron back on and grab a frying pan!

Within the last year I tried my first brussel sprout . . . and now I am in love with them.  A friend directed me to a great food blog, Poor Girl Eats Well, where I found an amazing recipe using my new-found love.  I’ve used this recipe a few times, and it never fails!  Eat up!



Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

 (makes 3 side servings; total cost per serving: about $3)

  • 1-2 lbs Brussels sprouts (about 30 sprouts or so)
  • ½ c dried cranberries
  • 1/3 c chopped almonds
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 oz. crumbled goat cheese (optional – I use blue cheese)

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 T light olive oil
  • 1 ½ T white wine vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • ¼ t granulated garlic
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of black pepper

Prepare the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisking together vigorously until completely combined. Set aside. Rinse the Brussels sprouts, trim off the ends and remove any soiled or wilted leaves, then cut each sprout into quarters (if they’re really small, halves will also be okay). Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and add the minced garlic, cooking until just slightly fragrant. Add the Brussels sprouts and stir fry over medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes or until slightly tender, seasoning with salt & pepper about halfway through. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, assemble the salad by tossing together the sprouts, cranberries, chopped almonds and the dressing. Let the salad sit for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with extra chopped almonds and plenty of freshly ground pepper, and enjoy!

Here is a picture of my finished product!  YUM!

Delicious and healthy!

P.S.  The honey mustard vinaigrette is a divine recipe all alone.  I would highly recommend it as an alternative to your typical store-bought variety.

loving life.

It’s been awhile since I’ve penned my thoughts to the blog . . . apologies.  BUT I have been insanely busy living life.

I am simply happy.  What a wonderful feeling.

London was great!  It was just what the doctor ordered for me.  An independent adventure for ME, and a total escape from work for ten days.  We accomplished every major thing we wanted to do on the trip, and I don’t have any regrets.  We spent the first 6 days of our trip in the London city limits exploring all the major sites (including a virtually complete royal wedding tour, excluding actually seeing any royalty).  My favorite sites of the trip kind of surprised me . . . I LOVED the Churchhill War Rooms Museum and the Tate Modern Museum.   I know what you are thinking . . . I flew half way across the world an my favorite parts were museums?!?  True.  The Churchill Museum was fascinating and very well put together.  The Tate Modern was beautiful and whimsical.  I know a lot of people hate modern art, but I far prefer it to boring stuffy old stuff.  There is only so much Renaissance art that one can look at (in my humble opinion).  After six days in London proper, we began to feel like natives with our tube navigation skills, our cute corner pub finds, and our constant complaining about the high price of everything!  For the last days of our trip we traveled to Windsor, Oxford, Stonehenge, and Bath.  It was nice to see the country side and smaller town life in England.  Next time I venture to Europe, I hope to visit Wales and Scotland to get the bigger picture of the United Kingdom!  (And there will be a next time!)  See a few photos below 🙂

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So obviously a lot has happened domestically since the London trip.  I’ve been back to work . . . yey.  It’s hasn’t been too bad.  We’re in recruiting season trying to convince people to slave away for the sake of their future careers.  I really enjoy this part of the job, too bad it takes a lot of extra time, but no extra money.  It helps me remember what I like about my career, which is a challenge sometimes.  It feels like winter is just around the corner, so hopefully I can keep my positive outlook going into the busiest time of the year!

TJ and I are still having an amazing time!  I just got back from visiting him in Iowa.  We saw two disappointing football games (Iowa State and my little brother’s high school team), but still had a good time together.  Plus he met the parents . . . plus several extended family members . . . eeks.  I am enjoying my time with him immensely, but I’m starting to worry about winter and how that will stink big time with our distance issue.  I guess the good news is that I see a future into the winter!

Life is great!  Blog again soon hopefully!