Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Italian Casserole Creation

This one just came straight out of my head and it was GOOD. It's a combo of all the other Italian, penne-type one pot wonders I guess!


1/2 box of Penne Pasta - boiled until ALMOST done in salty water

1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb italian sausage - taken out of the casings
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 jar (or the whole jar) of Sauce --- I used Bertolli Carmelized Onion & Roasted Garlic

1 bar of cream cheese softened
1 egg
1 package of spinach, thawed and drained and squeezed dry
1/2 cup of parmasan cheese
2 cups of mozerella

Ok so ... get your noodles to boiling
Then brown your two meats, after they are brown, add in the onion, bell pepper and garlic until soft.Then add in the sauce. I only used 1/2 jar because I HATE it when my casseroles are runny. Let this just sort of meld together. Put a cover on it, turn it down low ... let it go.

In a bowl, add your parmasan, the egg, the cream cheese and spinach. When the noodles are done, drain them and add them HOT to this boil. It REALLY helps it melt your cream cheese. I just started stirring until this was pretty well combined.

Then in a greased dish I added a layer of meat sauce, then a layer of the cheesy noodles, then meat, then cheesy noodles, then meat - done!

I actually cooled this in the fridge for an hour and let it meld in the casserole dish.

After an hour, turn the oven on to 350 and I let this cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Then I took it out and added the shredded mozerella to the top and stuck it back in for 10-15 minutes.


Deliciousness. We have plenty left over too - so this week is gonna be GREAT!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Status Update ...

Oh but last week was fun. (INSERT UGLY FACE HERE)

I barely did anything but go to work and come home. I only did the ONE Zumba class. Didn't go to any water classes. I feel like a loser. I could have done it this weekend, but truly I just didn't want to. I am determined that this week be better, even if just by 1 class. You know if I could make 2 I would consider it a successfull week!

The good news is I had a GREAT weekend. So much done AND so much lying around. Perfect combo!

I started and finished the newest Danielle Steele book. I also woke up Saturday and scrubbed the house from top to bottom. I am not even kidding. I took the vacuum attachments and cleaned the baseboards, the blinds, the windowsills, even the slats in the door leading to the laundry room. I washed and put away dishes, wiped down all the kitchen counters- heavyduty style! I cleaned the bathrooms- including scrubbing the shower. (I have gotten smart here. I spray it down, clean the WHOLE house, then when I am disgusting and dirty, I climb into the shower and scrub it down - then myself- GENIUS). I washed clothes, washed the bed clothes, mopped all the floors. It was RIDICULOUS. That should probably actually count for an exercise class, huh?!

I also watched TWO of my Netflix movies- one was Hocus Pocus from 1993. Probably should have saved it for Halloween but what the heck, I was in the mood. Also saw You Again with Kristen Bell and Betty White. SO FUNNY. I howled. Conrad was cracking up - at me.

We actually went out to a great dinner on Friday. New place or NEWER place, been open awhile called Mia Bella. SUPER YUM. Then I made fajitas Saturday and some Italian casserole creation on Sunday that was DELISH and came out of my own little brain. Recipe on that later this week! It was fabulous.

Anyway, weekend was a success. Back to Zumba tonight.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Hello Yellow

I got a coupon a few days ago - my Kohl's had been rennovating and they sent out $10 off any purchase. I don't need anything, but it was a free $10 and they sell Rachael Ray, so I went. What I got was SO MUCH BETTER.

They had black, a natural linen, a yellow and a deep coral. I have never in my life owned a pair of yellow shoes, so even though a little impractical, I went for it. They were regularly $40 - marked down to $20 and I had my coupon. TEN BUCKS - quite the deal!

When I saw them, there were other women there ooing and ahing them ... several were trying some on. I just could not resist. LOVE!

You need a close up? Hello lovlies ....

Conrad laughed at me - he thinks my shoe problem is funny and of course HE would never want a yellow flowered shoe - so I amuse him. But I will be BEAUTIFUL this summer. Laugh at that!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Da' Beach

More fun beach pics! I promised ... sorry they were delayed

My dad, taking a picture of me, taking a picture of HIM. HA!

View from the house, complete with our missing pier.... also thanks to Katrina

My dad sitting on a tree stump on the beach. He looks like he's contemplating. But he's not- he has his earbuds in, plugged into the Iphone- singing at the top of his lungs. I could hear it from the beach house balcony


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Did I?

Did I go to Zumba on Monday night? YES I DID.

I fought it HARD too. I came home from work and talked with Conrad until I had like 2 minutes to get dressed out of the house. I SO DID NOT WANT TO GO. But I went.

It was good too. She did more Latin music this time, which is not my favorite. I like the Rap and R&B stuff ... I tend to "dance" better to that. My little white girl hips were not make for the samba and the merengue and the like ... but it was good and I'm glad I went.

Although it was HOT. It was hot outside and it was hot inside. I don't know if the AC was having to work overtime and thus, not doing such a great job or what, but I was sweating hard. Everyone was.

Today I am a little sore and I didn't go to my water class. I decided to ease back into it. I go back on Thursday for water.... wish me luck. No doubt I will try to get out of it. But if I make my intentions known here - I feel rotten if I don't go. My own accountability group.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Status Update ...

So .... I have not been doing so well with my exercising. The gallbladder surgery derailed me big time! I was FINALLY getting into a groove and got to where I was looking forward to the gym when it all went down. I actually get BAD if I didn't go to the gym. Since the surgery I have been back ONE TIME. I am such a loser !!!

I just can not get back into the swing of things. Work has gotten SO busy for me. I have been managing a major project AND I took on some new accounts. The largest we have. There's a learning curve. I knew from the beginning that work was going to be getting more involved and that June would be CRAZY. I leave here, lately, more often than not, exhausted. It's ok - It will get better and it's not forever ... and it's just because my brain is exhausted from learning new stuff. No big deal, but it makes me NOT want to work out after work. I already have a 2 hour commute a day, plus 8 hours here. Then go work out? No. I am exhausted.

Anyway, I am thinking Zumba today at 5:30. I have been trying to talk myself out of it ALL DAY. All morning I have been thinking well it's too much to start with all over again. I should start small with water aeorbics. It's too hot- I should just do water this summer, yadda yadda. I'll do it next week. Maybe I should do water only for two weeks, then add in Zumba, etc ... I am GREAT at excuses.

So let's just be honest: It's MONDAY. Monday's are terrible. I rarely sleep well Sunday nights. I wake up tired. Blanca was being a pain this morning. I got to work late. I am STARVING but am not a breakfast person, so I have nothing here to eat... I have to wait til lunch. It's HOT HOT HOT and there has been NO rain ... and the last thing I want to do is drive the gym for a one hour HOT workout after working for 8 hours and being on the road a total of 2 for the day. BUT I am going to do it. I am just not going to think about it anymore today. I will think about it on the way home from work. If I think about it all day, I'll just talk myself out of it. One day at a time. I will not even committ to water tomorrow. Just ... get to Zumba today. That is the ONLY thing I need to do today. No cleaning, no cooking. JUST.GET.TO.ZUMBA.


Saturday, June 18, 2011


Proof I can be a little irrational...

What is this?

This is a Santa Clause cup ... it's to be used at Christmas --- not on June 17th ---- and it's used to create a bit of festiveness ---- not something to be used for utility. They sell them 4/$1 at Wal-Mart or any mass market store, around the holidays.

Apparently we have run out of clean cups. They are all in the dishwasher. So instead of cleaning one up and using it, Conrad went into the cupboard, reached WAY up on the top shelf, and got himself a Santa cup. He KNOWS this is a huge pet peeve of mine. I don't like Christmas and holiday items to be out or used, if it's not around the holiday time in question. He must have done this last night, after I went to sleep. Clever.

I woke up this morning, wandered in to make my coffee and saw Santa smiling out from the living room at me this morning. This morning of June 18th. Grrrrrrrr .... no amount of coffee can cure this.

I understand it's a bit irrational, but REALLY, it's unpleasant.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Biloxi Beach

Sorry for the absence! I was on vaca at the beach!

View from the beach house porch

Conrad and I took a few days and drove to Ocean Springs, MS which is a small town RIGHT outside of Biloxi. We met my FL parents there ...  and a good time was had by all! We rented a little beach house that had to be rebuilt because the original one was destroyed by Katrina. We had several trees right outside the house - and two of them (not shown here) were very noticably bent. I'm thinking Katrina had something to do with that. All around us were skeletons of former homes (and piers) and it was REALLY weird to realize a few years ago this was like a MAJOR hurricane area and it was so dangerous and that calm ocean we were looking at and enjoying was like a deadly, bubbling cauldrom. FREAKY!

Anyway, the beach house was nice and it had big wide, long porches. Every single day I was up early (as is almost always nearly the case these days) and I would take my Kindle and my coffee outside and there I would stay for ... well about 8 hours. We bought groceries and cooked most nights. Made lunch every day. (Wal-Mart pizza is good!) We did go out to eat once at Anthony's Seafood and Steakhouse in Biloxi and we also went to a casino, but mostly, the parents and I didn't move from the porch. Conrad wandered in and out and watched some TV - he's not a reader or a porch sitter. We had a fire in an outdoor fireplace and made smores. Good times!

It was very relaxing and just what we all needed. I will have more pics soon. Catching up at work and at home right now!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mr and Mrs

Monday, June 6, 2011

Doggie Daughter

Yes! She's beautiful!

Seriously, she could be a dog model. I wish she'd get on it and apply to some places. She could pay her own vet bills and for those bones she's forever demanding.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Keepin' it Real - The Laundry Room

Part of the Memorial Day cleanup was to put some order to a laundry room that had gotten out of control. I have to pass it every time I go in and out and I hate it. If some random stranger came in they wouldn't know what to think. I bring shame upon my family.

You see that tall box? My Ballard Designs safety pin plaques I had to have in NOVEMBER or I was just going to die. Sitting in a box.

 Oh want me to back up some? So you can see my shame?

We are such pigs
So I cleaned it up ... and hung up my plaques. I'm digging it, but it made me realize we have SO go to get rid of those blinds. I wanted to make a roman shade like a year and a half ago. I am so lazy. Also - that piece of furniture Conrad bought eons before I came on the scene. I like, but I'd like it more if it were a lovely shade of robins egg blue. Conrad has been resisting this idea, but I am wearing him down. I either get my way here, or I keep talking about "what my headaches COULD mean" on Web MD. :)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh - restored order and some lovliness on the walls!

I love the Ballards pins - I just can't wait to have them in a really pretty laundry room and yes I said PRETTY laundry room. It could happen!

and then ....... who I would be if I didn't open a cabinet and show you how AWFUL it has really gotten. I have batteries, flashlights ... all over the place. We are in hurricane country but my stuff is scattered too and fro ... if the lights went off, we'd probably head butt each other, pass out and come too in several feet of water. It doesn't matter that this house is pier and beam - and we are 3 feet off the ground. IT COULD HAPPEN if I don't get organized!


But - I got some cute boxes at Target - and was able to make one for candles, one for batteries, one has flashlights ... one has all of Blanca's stuff like heartworm meds and her Chrismtas collars.

Better, not great
I consider Memorial Day weekend- organizing and cleaning to be a massive success!
If a hurricane hits, we will be prepared. No matter that this next time I'll be somewhere in the region of Nebraska by the time they figure out I'm gone - the house will look nice.


Friday, June 3, 2011


I am in LURVE .... I haven't been struck by shoes like this since ... the Michael Simon monkey sandal incident of 2007.

Yes these ARE cable-knit sweater ballet flats!!!!!!!!! Need to see more? Ohhhhhhhhhhhh-kay.

I KNOW! These are called "Ambrosia" by Chinese Laundry. They come in black and gray. I found them in Southern Living, of all places. I have SO ordered these. (I got gray - no one hardly has gray shoes) Good news! They were only $39 - which I was really surprised about. When I first saw them I thought they might be Tory Burch which would have broken my heart since her flats are like $199 --- but they weren't. I went online to order them and they are down to $29 AND I got a 10% coupon on -- I know SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, right?!

I''m a shoe girl, like most girls - but I don't shop a lot. I find a couple of shoes a year that stop me in my tracks. These were in that category - the only bummer is ... well I think they are winter shoes. They probably aren't like lined with sweater material - LOL - but I mean, sweater = winter. I don't know. I think they will look great with some denim-like trousers in the winter with maybe a white sweater. SO CUTE.



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Doggie Feet

I can't help it - I think she is the CUTEST when she's sleeping. She always crosses those little feet and it just tickles me. She is so sweet and cute - when she's sleeping !!! When she's awake, well ...  (SMILE)

Anyway, nothing is cuter than crossed doggie feet.