Tag Archives: Family

Where Have You BEEN?!

Have you been asking that question? Where did that girl go? Well, here’s some of what I’ve been eating and doing for the last month or so…

Fresh peaches and greek yogurt (quickly became one of my favorite late summer snacks)

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Homemade Chicken (non)Marsala

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The dragon roll of my dreams!! The eel was on the outside, instead of tiny pieces stuffed inside with the cucumber and avocado, and it was the entire thing, tail and all! They even stuck little cucumbers in the other end to make it look like a little dragon, and set the eel sauce on fire. Simply amazing—thank you, Ocean Zen!

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The World’s Best Chili (seriously, dang good stuff!)

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Chris’s Grilled Salmon (deeeelicious!)

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Tacos In A Pan (easy peasy and so yummy!)

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I tried my hand at Mom’s Beer Bread

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The cake I baked for my best friend’s bachelorette party (hehehe)

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Me out waaayyy past my bed time for that same bachelorette party

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The BFF’s St Louis Cardinals garters

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At The Wedding—it was beautiful and she did so much of the décor herself!

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The cake (I want to be this good at cake decorating!)

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Boyfriend and I all dolled up for the wedding IMG_1166

My cutie butt niece spent the night after my sister’s bday party, and devoured a popsicle!

Airi loves popsicles 

Besides that, I’ve been working, working, and working!! I finally finished up training, and now I’m a “real” manager. Since things have settled down and I’m starting to get into a routine, I promise to post more regularly again.

I missed you!

 

Amber

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Cupcakes and Leftovers

Good Saturday morning! How did your week turn out?  Mine was, again, busy and exhausting!

On Tuesday, we decided to have Chris’s birthday party on Wednesday. I came home from work and spent from 5:30pm to 9:30pm in the kitchen baking, filling, and decorating 4 dozen of these cupcakes. I also managed to fix dinner in there somewhere (I think that’s the night we had tacos in a pan?).

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Half of the cupcakes were taken to work Thursday for a bake sale auction to raise money for MDA, and the other half were either eaten Wednesday night or sent home with our families.

Wednesday night, of course, we had my parents and Boyfriend’s parents over to celebrate his birthday. We kept it simple by grilling burgers, my mom brought her famous macaroni salad, and Chris’s mom brought her famous baked beans, and we had chips/dip and fresh veggies.

Thursday I decided that I wasn’t doing ANYTHING when I got home from work. I heated up leftovers for each of us for dinner, took a shower, and then chilled on the couch the rest of the night.

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Don’t get me wrong: I love cooking, I love baking, and I love having family over, but coming home from work every night and not getting to relax and re-energize for the next day wears me out!

Last night was pretty much a repeat of Thursday night, but with different leftovers and TV shows!


Today I’m off to the farmer’s market to see what goodies I can find.  I also need to make a stop at the natural food store to pick up some nutritional yeast—I want to give kale chips a try. Then I’m going to Michael’s to see what I can find to spend my 40% off coupon on!! Smile  I’m pretty sure I have more things than that on my To-Do List for today, but those are the two that stand out in my mind right now.

Have a happy Saturday!

 

Amber

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Dinner, Family, Food, Fun, Health, Shopping, Work

Zucchini Bread Muffins

Remember last week when I told you our house smelled of the amazing aroma of zucchini bread… And that I would share that recipe with you? Well, better late than never, right?

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This recipe can be made into loaves, muffins, or a combination of the two, like I did.

There is also flexibility in how you use sugar. The recipe calls for a total of three cups, which can be split into any combination of your choosing between white sugar, brown sugar, and splenda. We’ve found that the best flavor comes when the ratio of brown to white/splenda is 1:2. For this batch, I used 1/2 cup splenda brown sugar blend (equal to 1 cup of regular brown sugar), 1 cup granulated splenda, and 1 cup of sugar.

This batch was better than when we made them with only real sugar and brown sugar. Chris took the loaf to work to share with the guys, and they told him this zucchini bread is so good that we should sell it! I jokingly named these Devil Muffins, and I bet you can’t eat just one! haha

What You Need

  • 3 1/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c vegetable
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 c grated zucchini
  • 1 t lemon juice

What You Do

Measure and combine all of the dry ingredients into a very large mixing bowl. Little clumps of brown sugar make for extra yummy bites!

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Peel your zucchini, and shred it in the food processor. Squeeze the juice out and pack it into the measuring cup, then put it in a medium bowl. A little extra doesn’t hurt Winking smile 

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Measure out the liquid ingredients and mix them into the zucchini. It doesn’t look delicious at this point…

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Next, add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix it up well.

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Now is another time where you get to make your own choices: pour it into a well Pamed loaf pan…

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… muffin pan, or both like I did!

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Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven. The loaf will take about 63 minutes, and the muffins will take about 25 minutes.

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Make sure you stick a tester knife in it and don’t just go by looks!

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Let it cool about 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan to let it cool completely. You can either eat it plan like this, or kick it up a notch by whipping up a simple powdered sugar glaze to brush on top!

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These are absolutely delicious! You will gobble them up and everyone you allow to try them will be begging you to make more of them soon!

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Please go try these, and let me know what you think!

 

Amber

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Family, Food

Who’s That Chick?

Hey there, happy Friday! 

I was so busy this week, it flew by and today doesn’t quite feel like Friday.

Monday I started the classroom training part of my new job, which lasts through the next three weeks. It’s going great and I’m learning so much more than I had expected (based off what others told me), and I’m so glad!!

Tuesday, Boyfriend worked, which made it feel like Monday for me. He’s usually off Tuesdays so that threw everything out of whack.

Wednesday night, my mom and dad came up to take us to eat at Lambert’s, and surprised us by bringing the World’s Cutest Sweetest Funniest Baby with them—my niece! Smile  I love that chubby little red head!!

Last night, I did something I haven’t done in about a year:

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I had gotten so used to my hair being dark, I thought it was normal (which technically it is I suppose). My hair has been highlighted since I was in middle school. When I was really little, it was naturally platinum blonde but has gotten progressively darker as I’ve gotten older. I never knew how dark until I went a year without doing anything to it!

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It was also begging for a trim, and was getting completely unruly. My bangs had grown out about three inches past my chin! They were no longer bangs.

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(The crazy frayed ends are after I CHI’d it!)

All night last night and all day today, I’ve been taking second looks at myself when I walk past a mirror. It doesn’t look like me, even though my hair looked like this my entire life (except for a couple times I intentionally colored it super dark).

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Tonight, we are chillin’!  We’re having a delicious dinner (I’ll give you three guesses what it is, and the first two don’t count!) and getting a movie. We’ve been busy all week and Chris had to work outside today in the 105 degree (that’s without the heat index!) weather so I’m sure he’s beyond drained.

I feel pretty again (if you don’t agree, I don’t want to know!)!! Smile

Have a fantastic night!

 

Amber

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Filed under Cooking, Diet, Dinner, Family, Food, Fun, Work

We Made A Baby

… a baby tomato that is!! (Gotcha!)

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Isn’t he the cutest little thing??

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I was talking about the tomato….

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We grew this tiny little guy on our Big Boy (I think that’s what the tag said) plant that we bought, which was supposed to produce tomatoes between one and two pounds. I really don’t want a two pound tomato, but one the size of an iPod shuffle is a little runt-ish small.

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Sure is a cutie though!! Smile 

Tonight Chris’s mom and step-dad are coming over for dinner, so that should be fun! Tomorrow is a bridal shower for one of my besties, and I’m so excited!!

Hope you all have had a great week, and a good weekend!!

 

Amber

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Where DID We Put The Hide-a-Key?!

Yeah, we really had to ask ourselves that last night! Here’s how it all went down…

For dinner, we decided BBQ chicken on the grill sounded good. I started the grilling while Chris showered, and when he was done he joined me outside. When the chicken was done and it was time to head back in he went to the door… And the handle wouldn’t move!  We both looked at each other in a panic–what do we do now?! 

All the screens on our windows are the type that can only be removed from the inside, plus even if we did get the screens off, we keep all our windows locked unless they are open. The garage door is electric and can only be opened manually from the inside.  My idea was for Boyfriend to wiggle through the doggy door–until we remembered there’s a cover on it since we don’t have a dog to use it, which can also only be removed from the inside.

What are we supposed to do!? Panic began to set it…

Then I remembered we hid a key–but where?? We searched and searched all the places we apparently discussed putting it, but obviously didn’t. We spent a good 5-10 minutes looking for than darned key!! Crawling around on our hands and knees searching through spider webs under the deck, in the weight bench, on the grill… I’m so glad our neighbors weren’t outside to see us! About the time I was on the verge of freaking out, Chris apparently decided he would risk breaking the handle off the door to get in, and gave it a good yank–and it opened!!! 

Was it locked? No.

The handle just refused to move! Why? We have no clue!

I do know that the first thing on my agenda for today is going to have a couple of spare keys made… Which is where I’m off to right now!

Hope you all have a great Saturday morning!

Did you do anything fun or exciting last night? This was the most excitement we’ve had on a Friday night in a while, haha! Tell me about it below…

 

Amber

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Random Foodage

Hi there!  Sorry I’ve been mostly MIA this week. My lame excuse is that I started working full time  this week and I’m trying to adjust to my new life schedule. I’ve also felt completely drained the last two days, but today I’m feeling normal again so here I am 🙂

 I know I told you there would be recipes and how-tos, and there still will be… Promise!  In the mean time, I thought I’d show you a few of the things I’ve munched on lately.

This was lunch Saturday... And Sunday

Two egg whites plus one whole egg, on toasted whole grain with mustard (Sunday there was no bread involved)

Spinach with THE dressing
 
 
Also consumed this week were homemade crab cakes for dinner Monday (picture capture: failure), grilled Ribeyes ala Chris Tuesday (picture capture: failure) and tonight we went to Ruby Tuesday for an impromptu date night (again, picture capture: failure).
 
At Ruby Tuesday’s I had Seafood New Orleans, minus the sauce which means I had Cajun seasoned tilapia and shrimps, with grilled zucchini and grilled green beans. Boyfriend had 1/2 rack of ribs with crispy shrimps, fries, and grilled zucchini. He said it was up there in the top three things he’s ever eaten at a restaurant!!  I was thoroughly impressed with Ruby Tuesday’s revamped, totally-overflowing-with-healthy-options menu! Check out these sides options: grilled zucchini, grilled green beans, mashed cauliflower, spaghetti squash, grilled asparagus, steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, and sliced tomatoes–and the always amazing salad bar 🙂 Definitely a go-to place for anyone who wants to eat healthy or is on a restricted diet without feeling like the only thing they can eat on the menu is a salad.
 

Time to set up the coffee pot so it’s brewed and piping hot for me when I get up in the morning, then bed time (yes, I’m an old lady).

 BTW: Cassie at Back To Her Roots is giving away a free t-shirt that I entered to win–I’d say go enter for your chance, but I want the tee so if you don’t enter, my chances are better! haha, You should still go check out her blog, she’s a pretty cool gal!

Amber

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Filed under Cooking, Diet, Family, Food, Fun, Health, Special Diet, Work