Monday, July 30, 2012

S'mores Cake

Old Jer Bear's birthday is this coming Saturday and since we will be with his step-mom and dad I decided to surprise him with a birthday cake. He had actually told me not to, as a not to bother with it type of thing. But with all the s'mores craze with food on Pinterest lately I couldn't resist putting my S'mores Cake idea together. 

It worked out great, the guys played flag football for about 2 hours yesterday...just enough time for me to get a cake together. Luckily nearly everything I needed was already at my house. 

Let's face it, aside from Reese's Peanut Buttercups there is nothing better than a S'more. I use to roast marshmallows in my toaster oven just for the sake of it. I probably ate a half a bag a week. Something about graham crackers, chocolate, and melted marshmallow is just divine. If someone would make a sugar free marshmallow I would be in heaven. Why, oh, why must I love sugar like I do? It's an addiction really. 

I promise you this cake is to die for. Literally, you may need to check you blood glucose levels after eating a piece. At least plan on running a mile or two to make up for the calorie intake. 
Yup, you are looking at a food pic on a paper plate. I am sure I just broke some carnal rule of food blogging, but who cares I was in the middle of dishing this out to a bunch of guys. 

Graham Crust:
2 cups of crushed graham crackers (I had a box of pre-crushed)
1/2 stick of melted butter (maybe a little extra if your's is too dry)
dash of salt

Chocolate Cake:
1 box of your favorite chocolate cake (I prefer devils food)
*follow box directions for cake and add the following ingredients
1 egg (making 4 total for your cake mix)
4 oz sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Marshmallow Ganache:
10 oz marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup softened butter (almost melted, the firmer the butter the firmer your frosting)
1/2 - 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350, or whatever your cake mix calls for. Grease a 13x9 baking dish, I used a glass Pyrex. Pour all of the ingredients for the graham crust into the pan, mixing together and press down into an even layer. Mix your cake mix ingredients together and add to the pan. I baked mine for roughly 35-40 minutes. But watch the cake starting at 30 minutes so it doesn't over cook. 

In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, combine all of the ingredients for your marshmallow ganache together. Spread over the cake once it has cooled and enjoy!

***The marshmallow frosting isn't my usual recipe. It didn't stand up well, but it tasted great. If you were doing this in a cupcake format, or wanted to be more decorative with your frosting technique I would suggest using my Easy Marshmallow Frosting recipe. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Joshua Focused Photo Dump.

So weekend before last my parents came down for a few days and brought little dude with them, my sister had to work so she couldn't join. Sucks. Anyway we shopped and hung out with the toddler all weekend. I've come to realize that there is no better age than that of a toddler. The stuff that comes out of their mouths is priceless. For instance, Saturday morning I was in the bathroom doing who knows what and Joshua came in like this:
I asked him what he was doing, and after a series of several yes or no question directed towards a toddler who wouldn't talk but would only shake his head and squeak a dog toy in his mouth I concluded he was a puppy. 
Yeah, life and times with a toddler. Main question always seems to be "Which animal are you now?" I am afraid this began because I was giving the dogs treats, and Joshua probably thought it looked like a fun idea. Then again his regularly tells us that Maddie is his best friend and is constantly concerned for their well being. 

I being the great aunt that I am went along with this imaginary play and pulled out the Coco Puffs cereal because let's face it it is basically child approved fake dog food. We sat in the floor for awhile doing tricks for treats, he never made it past sit and stand. I assume that is because I couldn't convince the pups to do anything past the "growl in a bossy way at me because I'm not giving you chocolate cereal" trick. He enjoyed  himself none the less. 


After a few tricks Joshua decided it would be good to eat like a dog, with no hands. His little boy imagination loved it. Coco Puffs have proved to be the perfect pretend dog food. 






















If you haven't have BlueBell's Christmas Cookies in July ice cream you are missing out. It is amazing. Just ask my nephew who snuggled into whoever's lap was holding a bowl of it. Jeremy seemed to be his target when it came to food snatching. 






























Saturday night we took little J to the park and came upon a toad. Jeremy graciously got it and showed it to Joshua. He wanted me to hold his hand, bad choice, I am deathly afraid of any and all things amphibian or reptile. After the frog jumped, I jumped, then Joshua jumped...but he ran away yelling "Dats a twricky frog!" (thats a tricky frog) Priceless! 
Hope y'all are having a good weekend. I honestly wrote this post over 4 days and have no clue where I was going with it ha! Just remember to stay away from the tricky frogs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If you really knew me...

I am stealing this post idea from Britt who also stole it from Kristin at Vignettes. What else is there to do on a Tuesday night when you're home alone...blog blog blog!

If you really knew me...

You'd know that I was really close to my grandmother and am really close to my mother. 

You'd know that I have two small dogs because we always had large dogs, I always wanted a dachshund. 

You'd know that eating healthy is easy for me, until sweets are present. I can't say no to chocolate anything.

You'd know that while I am a total extrovert I am a homebody, I married an introvert who loves to be out and about. Well I wouldn't really classify him as introverted...I can make just about anyone look introverted. I just like being home. But once I'm out I'm golden. 

You'd know that I don't use the dishes we got as our wedding china because I am afraid someone will break them and they are a discontinued line. Sad face. We have nice dishes and server ware but eat off paper...shame on me. 

You'd know that nothing gets me in an argumentative mood like hearing men talk about women as a lesser being. God meant for us to be helpers and equals. Not slaves. Submission doesn't mean doormat either. Mark Driscoll's sermon The Respectful Wife (podcast) is great on explaining this. Respecting and submitting to Jeremy doesn't mean I am silent and overly agreeable. Yes I have some things to work on...but I am not a lesser being than he is.  

You'd know that I am obviously a closet feminist...is a way. I am all for women's rights, but home girl won't be bra burning or wearing hemp anything. I guess I am just against the oppression of women in any way shape or form. Okay end of rant!

You'd know that I mean well, even though my mouth gets me in trouble. I tend to say the most inappropriate thing at the worst time. 

You'd know that if I am picking on you it means I like you. Yeah I know totally 5th grade, but I am from a joking family. If you can't take my jokes it hurts my feelings. 

You'd know that I like to sleep with my pups. Needless to say I am not the easiest person to sleep with and neither are they...so Jeremy kicked them out. At least I got to stay lol! Luckily Jeremy is heavy sleeper. I am sure I would drive a lighter sleeper insane. 

You'd know that when I can't sleep I either watch History channel or something on Jeremy's computer. Both of these result in me crawling all over poor J looking for the remote or the computer. Like I said, he hasn't complained once. 

Last but not least...

You'd know that I really do love my husband even though I pick with him terribly. People don't always realize that our (mostly my) sarcastic comments are loving and fun. Some people who don't have our sense of humor have thought we were arguing before. And I'll be the first to admit sometimes I take it too far, but I mean well. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Trying to not be cynical about not being cynical.

For the past several Saturdays this summer I have been going through the Beth Moore James study with a group of girl at church. It's been good, real good. James has a way of slapping me in the face that no other book of the bible has been able to do. Reading the book of James feels, in a way, like having a really honest conversation with a super close friend. 

He tells it like it is. 

I'll be real honest with you, today I didn't want to go. We were out late hanging out with the mission team that has been in town this week painting our church and helping with VBS. I've possessed an indescribable negative attitude all week, for no reason I've been able to pin point. Something has just overtaken me and I have fallen into the giant first world sin of poor me. Because let's face it someone driving a new car, with a job, and no real problems to speak of has every right in the world to have a week long pity party, right? Wrong! 

This morning Beth and the ole book of James gave me a solid wake up call. 

My cynicism towards the whole entire world does nothing but hurt my ministry, our ministry as a couple, and my relationships with everyone...including my husband. 

What made me this way? Honestly, I wasn't born not trusting people, it developed overtime. Before I get any deeper, or even share my notes from this morning let me share the definition of cynicism that I got from thefreedictionary.com:

Cynicism - An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others. 

Hello! That is me. Notice the definition doesn't end with "someone who you really want to be around". Because seriously, when I am in a particularly jaded mood...you don't want to be around. Jeremy doesn't even want to be around. 

Beth gave a great quote on cynicism that I have to share, "Cynicism is a form of carnality that thinks it's smart."

True, very true. When I am being cynical I am basically telling others that I know best. Which I really do insinuate, I accuse the world of looking at things through rose colored glasses and not seeing it how it is, dirty and horrible. But what good comes from my dirty and horrible view of humanity? Nothing but a feeling of isolation. It makes me feel more alone in this horrible world. 

I was having a conversation just yesterday with a wonderful Godly woman and I was spilling out my feelings of disappointment and cynicism to her. She told me it is common to feel this way a little, especially later in life...but if I am this bad now, how cynical will I be at 50? Good gracious, does Jeremy need to lock in my a closet and hope to God I forget every little thing that threw me towards cynicism in life? I told her I need to snap out of this, now....who would have known our study today would give me the good James centered whipping I deserved. 

There is nothing wrong with realizing that my cynical demeanor is/was fueled by my disappointment in people. But that right there is the problem, I trusted and hoped just a bit to much in people. People are disappointing, God isn't. Had I trusted God more, and people less I would not have become so jaded. In a less than ideal world, God is the only solid ideal I can trust. He does not change...people do. Therefore people will let you down, but God never will. 

It seems like such an elementary idea to me. So basic. My cynicism is not only a wall I put up to hide my disappointment in people, but it is a wall I put up between myself and God out of sheer fear of what others thought. I let my own insecurities and thoughts about what other cynics thought of me keep me from actually serving God in a manner that ignores the world and solely focuses on him. 

So instead of rambling further...to the 2 of y'all still reading this crazy long post, let me share Beth's 5 reasons to not be cynical

1. Jesus is flagrantly changing lives. 
-if he is changing lives as I have watched him do for years, why have I not trusted him to change my own? Why have I not let go of this cynical exterior.
2. Real people are doing real things all over the world. 
-I realized this while talking to a newly married couple the past few days. They are out there doing and being exactly like I want to be without the slightest bit of fear of what people think. 
3. The appetite to study scripture is increasingly ravenous.
Holy stinking moley! Our mother's and grandmothers were not encouraged to dive into scripture years ago. Women were encouraged to just listen and not be active in biblical discussions. We are lucky enough to be part of a generation  where we are encouraged to arm ourselves with the sword of the spirit and not just take a passive role in our Christianity. 
4. Some long standing barriers are breaking down. 
- I can see it just the in short years I've been alive. People from different backgrounds and denominations are worshiping together and it is totally okay. It hasn't been that many years since the more charismatic Christians and traditionally less charismatic Christians stayed away from each other in worship. More and more now, than ever, are we seeing it become more acceptable to worship how you feel led. The thought of "oh those people are just a little nutty" is flying out the window. 
5. God will kick your tail. 
- And has he ever. I've been wrestling with this for awhile, and it seems to have come full circle as of lately. 

Beth also mentioned that cynicism is a sign of brokenness, being jaded, and all out unbelieving. 

Cynicism doesn't have to be terminal, and I hope I can change that in myself. It doesn't make me feel good to not believe people's intentions or actions. It just makes me more self conscious. 

And like I said earlier, it isn't doing anyone any good. 

What is something you have struggled with and fought to overcome? 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIY Chevron Cork Board


I know I've mentioned this 40 zillion times since we got married, but graduate student life really doesn't allow for living out all your decorating dreams. Maybe I should have hung around the Pharmacy department like Nanny suggested. Just kidding. 

I was on Pinterest, big surprise right, the other day and saw an awesome chevron cork board. Of course you can totally purchase one of these, but I realized this was just the craft I have been looking for. You see, I've had this cork board from my college dorm days that was covered in old high school pics and homecoming corsages. At 26 there is no need to have a homecoming corsage hanging on my wall. So I striped this puppy clean and have been hanging out with it all summer...waiting on Jeremy to hang it. It was never hung people. Pinterest redeemed his lack of hanging things, but more on that later. Let's just get to the craft. 

What you'll need:
cork board
painters tape
spray paint in your color choice

**warning this is a phone photo post, no judging picture quality:)
To start I pulled out my cork board..and removed all the push pins. Don't want to spray paint those push pins. It is also wise to remove any and all homecoming corsages. I'm telling y'all this board screamed 2001! 
This is the 3m blue painter's tape I used. I picked up a 1" roll because it was cheaper. If you want to spend a few more bucks get the wider roll. 
Next I taped off the edges to keep the paint off my metal border. Then I started with my chevron pattern. Honestly I make the center stripe where I wanted it and then eyeballed it. I used my iPhone for measurement. As you can tell I was really concerned with exact measurement. My spaces are roughly as wide as a Otter Box is long. Very precise people!

I then hauled the taped off board outdoors in a dachshund free zone and started spray painting. It took 2 good coats. I did break every spray paint rule out there considering it was in the high 90's and after bringing it back inside I laid it in the floor only to step on it. Because my brain obviously thought I had acquired a blue rug out of nowhere. 

Y'all this tape is amazing! I have used other types of tape only to have it rip off some of my paint. I left this to dry for about 4 hours and came home from VBS and pealed the tape off easily with no problems. 

Now the Pinterest tip I saw but am kicking myself for not thinking of is that I used some of my painter's tape and taped off the distance between the hanging hole things on the back of my board. I placed the tape on the wall where I wanted it and nailed my nails in place. Perfect hanging on the first try. Unlike the 30 rehangings (yeah I made that word up) I did with my gallery wall. 



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blogger 411


I'm linking up with From Mrs. to Mama for the Blogger 411. It's just a way for y'all to know me better, especially new readers and for the visitors from Mrs. to Mama's blog to see just who Louisiana Bride is! 

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
I started blogging in October 2008 to keep my bridesmaids updated on what was going on with the wedding. We all lived far apart so this was the only way to visually communicate. More people started reading and after we were married I was asked by a few people to keep up the blog. These days Louisiana Bride is basically just a lifestyle blog that hits on DIY projects every once in a blue moon and food. 
2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?
When I started college we were still the Indians, my junior year they officially changed to the Warhawks. I still wear my Indian shirts. In case you aren't familiar with the logo, it is the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Yes we beat the Tide once, the one time our football team did something good. But I still cheer for the poor guys because I love them. 

In college I got a B.A in Psychology and a M.A. in Teaching. One day I would love to go back and do something with Psych again, I enjoyed it way more than the Edu thing. 

3. Where have you traveled?
I've been to England, the Bahamas, and Italy as far as air travel goes. Other than that the states I've been to include most of the south, Illinois and Colorado. 

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
I'd pay off cars and student loans first. First actual purchase would be a nice house. 

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
1. Cracking knuckles 2. Odd slurping sounds 3. Lizards on my door.

6. What is your favorite movie?
Rocky Horror Picture Show. I love Tim Curry. My sister dated his God-son a few years ago, that only made me more obsessed with Tim Curry. 

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Water. But I have a really good non-alcoholic pina colada recipe. If only they weren't so calorie laden, I'd drink them and only them. I really think the alcohol ruins the flavor. I love pineapple and coconut. 

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Blogging and working out. Blogging is therapeutic. I've been tempted to do some private posts just to get things off my chest without people who have no business seeing it actually seeing it. 

9. 
If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
Target. What is not to love about Target. 

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
FYI this is a TMI girl response. Consider yourself warned. 
In 7th grade my period got onto my pleated school uniform skirt. A girl saw it and told me I sat in ketchup, luckily at this time not many girls had been blessed with such horrid monthly things. Since m skirt was the same all the way around I twisted it to the front and lied for the rest of the day that I had dropped ketchup in my lap at lunch. It worked and no one ever knew. But I was mortified. 

11. What day would you love to relive again?
The day we went to Pompeii. Or any single day from Italy. 

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
Jennifer Aniston, not that we look alike. But she does have long brown hair and a nose. There is no doubt I have a not so tiny nose. She also has a great sense of humor, a movie about me would definitely be a comedy.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
High school- secretary for an investigator at the police department.
College- Front desk student worker at the Natatorium at ULM, worked at a gift shop one summer, bar tender/car hop type job at a daiquiri barn (don't judge it paid the bills and then some), and then I worked at Sage in Monroe as a hostess and server. The chef (Cory Bahr) from Sage actually won Chopped at the beginning of this season and has a new restaurant, Cotton, in Monroe. 

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Back to England. I just have this thing for Europe. I feel like I should have been born there, especially somewhere in the UK. 

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you. 
We seriously have no picture together. The latest one was at the reunion with the whole family. 

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now
I wish I knew. Where I saw myself at 26 was not met at all, not even a slight bit. So um married, both of us in jobs and more settled. Or if things go as I would like (which means after this year we would move to Alaska and then go to Europe for two years) we would be getting back from our life adventures and settling back in the States. If we want to have kids that would be the time, I'd be 31. But mostly just back in the States. I so hope this 5 year plans works since the last one was shot dead. 

(If we went to Alaska it would be for J's internship and Europe would happen through his job as well.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Southern Married Woman Problem

I've come to notice that at 26 and having been married 3 years that the baby boom is all around me. I use to wonder why on earth these people are having kids so young...but then again let's fact it, anything after 25 isn't so young for child bearing. And my just 2 weeks shy of 28 year old husband seems to nearly be an unheard of commodity. I mean seriously how many married 28 year olds don't have kids. I can't think of a single one I know. 


In the South the pressure to pop out a baby immediately after marriage, and by the time you're 25 is just as heavy as ever. In the other places I've traveled it seems as though the marriage/baby pressure is not quite as strong. Maybe it is just me, but farther north it is not looked at as odd when a person focuses on their career and education instead of babies and marriage.


To top off the when are you birthing a child pressure is the will you stay home or work debate. Plenty of women would love to stay home, but financially don't see it as an option. Others have the option, but would rather work. By the time my generation hit baby bearing age it was pretty well assumed the stay-at-home drama of our mother's and grandmother's generation would have diminished. In the 60's and 70's staying home was really the only option. Jobs for women who were expecting or had children weren't as prevalent. Even in the 80's my own mother stayed home for a few years before reentering the workforce part-time, before eventually going back to school to become a teacher. In the 2000's women have the option. So why is it women are still beating each other down for A) not having kids B) choosing to stay home and C) choosing to work. None of it makes any sense. 


There is enough beating our personal beliefs and choices down in this world. So why are we are women attacking each other's choices? 


Over the past 3 years of marriage I have come to hear a ton of reasons why I should have kids and attacks from people when they hear my reasoning for not having children. 


First and foremost is the comment from singles and people who don't have children - they always feel the need to tell me how much they would love to be married or have children. Which then turns into a slight attack because I have the life they want but haven't taken the opportunity to have the babies they want.


The next most loved comment is from well meaning grandmother types. They just want to see babies. I don't blame them, I love babies too. Just not right now. 


The comment I can honestly say I love the least is the "biblical" one. You know, the one where you're told you're not following God's will because you're not pregnant. Gotta love it. 


The whole point I am trying to make here, for the 2 of you still reading is this: before you make an off handed comment to a couple who doesn't have children think of the possibilities for why they may not have babies. 


They may be trying and unable to get pregnant.
They might have recently lost a child.
Or they have some unknown reason no one has ever thought about. 


Personally it just isn't a financially sound idea at this point in our lives. I may be done with school but my husband is in a strenuous graduate program...that actually told the girls in the program this was not the time to have a baby. Crazy right? When you are living largely off one income and thriving in the rented life it just doesn't work. I want to have a house, decorate a baby room. And actually enjoy being pregnant one day. I don't want to freak out trying to figure out what to do and miss everything that could come with having a baby. I've seen the fun pregnancies and I've seen the women who are just happy to have diapers and a hand-me-down crib. I just personally don't want that. I like having a career and traveling how and when we want. One day we will have kids, but until that day comes expect nothing short of crazy comments meant to tick off the person asking. 


Just remember, there is a rhyme and reason to everything and every season. Just because you are not in the same season of life doesn't make you or the other person wrong. Remember the golden rule. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Life Well Lived - Looking Your Best

It's time again for BlogHer's Life Well Lived Looking Your Best. I love these posts, they get me thinking about style in ways I doesn't normally jump to. So this weeks questions is:

Have you ever asked for or given style advice to a friend or family member? How did it go? What are your best tips for having this delicate style conversation without creating hurt feelings?


Let's break this puppy down into two parts. First off I have asked and given style advice to people and received it from people. Honestly I ask probably more than I give. If I see someone wearing something I like I have no problem asking where they shop. Heck if I thought I could get away with it I would probably ask the person to go shopping with me. It usually goes well, I have occasionally run into people who get a little offended that I asked them a personal question. I've noticed some ladies don't like to give up style secrets due to it being a vague money discussion in a way. I know, weird. 


Now as far as handing out advice, if someone asks I am more than happy to talk clothing. I am careful about dishing out advice, because some may think they look really good when in reality I can see lump, bumps, and quite possibly their unborn-not-even-conceived-yet future children. Those people rarely take it well, don't offer it up. Now I'll quickly tell my mom and sister whatever, or even Jeremy. They don't get mad. Now sometimes my sister doesn't take it quite well, but sisters are that way. We love each other one minute and despise each other the next. 


Oooh now for the kicker question...giving out style advice in a delicate way. 


For one, the easiest way is to go shopping with the person and just suggest clothing options in a friendly "oh this would look amazing on you" sort of way. Now seeing a girl in church wearing something terrible that combines colors a two year old wouldn't even put together is not the time and place to tell said girl she looks worse than a hooker after a long night. It will end badly. Badly. 


Telling someone they would look great in a dress you saw, or a specific color is always easy. It is pretty easy to use a compliment to give style advice. You can always start a convo about whats new fashion wise or about a new blog you found with great style. 


Other than that it is kind of hard to give style advice without hurting feelings. Just be delicate. You know your friends best and really just have to judge how that person will react. Just know that you shouldn't dish what you cant' take. 


Don't forget to visit Blogher's main post for Looking Your Best this week!
Be sure to enter the current Life Well Lived sweepstakes to win an iPod touch!




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

My brain has been somewhere else. The fact that it is Wednesday just blows my mind. Honestly though, it could just be my mind denying that summer is coming to an end. With that said I came across a Farmer's Market that sold spaghetti squash a few weeks back. I had no clue you could get it this time of year. I typically can only find two in the entire month of December. So this was a nice surprise.

With spaghetti squash in hand I knew there was only one dish I was going to make, Lasagna. Replacing the pasta in Lasagna with Spaghetti Squash is about the most satisfying healthy sub. I love pasta so anything that can give me that same feeling makes this girl very happy. I could eat pasta at every meal, my waistline disagrees though. So enjoy this healthy low carb take on Lasagna without the guilt regular white pasta.

Ingredients:
1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (or make your own, Jeremy loves Prego)
1 small container of ricotta cheese (our grocery store always has 2 sizes I just take the smaller)
1 medium onion
1lb of ground turkey or beef
1 1/2c shredded Italian cheese blend
Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper

Method:
Poke several holes in the spaghetti squash and place in the microwave for 12 minutes. Allow squash to sit and steam for an additional 5 minutes. (I've tried several methods and this one for cooking spaghetti squash works the easiest.)

While the squash is cooking dice the onion and saute until translucent. Add ground meat when onions are almost done and cook meat and onions together until meat is browned. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste. Add marinara sauce and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Preheat to 375. Slice squash at the equator and spoon out the seeds. Using a fork scrape the inside allowing pulling out the strands of squash until only the skin is left.

To assemble the lasagna pour about 1/2 c of meat sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and spread evenly. Evenly spread out 1/2 of the squash and top with 1/2 of the remaining sauce. Top with 1/2 of the ricotta and 1/2 c of shredded cheese/ Next layer the other half of the squash, remaining sauce, ricotta, and shredded cheese. Place in the 375 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and browned.

**My oven was taking forever to brown the cheese so I turned it to broil for the last two minutes and watched it.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

thirty things: 20 random things


1. My spinach obsession has turned into a kale obsession. I eat it at every meal, literally. Green monster, kale chips at lunch, and sauteed for dinner.

2. My sister can totally kick my butt, while I may be more in shape, that girl can throw her weight when it come to wrestling. We probably rough house to much, she totally put me in a head lock when I was messing with her last night.

3. Joshua calls me MeMe because when Laura was little she couldn't say Emily. It was MeMe and then morphed into Emmy, then Emma. I thought it would be fun if I was just MeMe.

4. My immediate family still calls me Emma. Most of my close friends from high school do too.

5. I love going to the dentist.

6. My love of working out started in high school when we were given the option to ditch girls PE and lift weights with the football team. I was so in. 

7. Jeremy and I are both the oldest children. 

8. I am terrified of lizards and snakes. I can handle seeing frogs but won't touch them.

9. I was never spanked as a child and don't totally believe in spanking. I think there are better ways to deal with things, but some little boys need their butt whooped to get the point. 

10. I love teaching but if the state keeps it up I may be looking for another career one day.

11. I use to sing in church stuff but quite once I hit high school. I didn't start again until Jeremy went behind my back and told the worship leader I should be on the praise team. Sneaky.

12. Pineapple is my favorite fruit.

13. While I love weenie dogs and their silly personalities, some days it feels like Napoleon Bonaparte is running my house. 

14. While I am really short, I am the tallest girl in my immediate family. My grandmothers didn't get taller than 5 feet so I didn't have a lot to work with. 

15. With that said Jeremy is 6'4'' and is the shortest in his family...except for his Mom. His sister is even over 6 feet. They make me look even smaller than I am haha.

16. I love black expo markers. Other colors get on my nerves, but sometimes I find a good blue one.

17. I love to window shop, but hate shopping with people who are spending money. It is annoying to watch other people shop when you can't. But I'll happily walk around stores alone all day long.

18. I love cooking and baking but my health conscious side keeps me from doing certain things and branching out as much as I like to. 

19. I could travel every single day.

20. I started blogging on Halloween 2008 to document our wedding. 

thirty things


I've decided to start a 30 day blog topic thingy, let's face it the fact that I am using the word thingy just goes to show how out of ideas I am. So here's the list, I got it from Boot's Bow's and the 5oh!

The List: 

1. List 20 random facts about yourself. 
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears. 
3. Describe your relationship with your parents. 
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year old self, if you could. 
5. What are the 5 things that make you the most happy right now? 
6. Why is the hardest thing you have ever experienced? 
7. What is your dream job and why? 
8. What are 5 passions you have? 
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how. 
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment. 
11. Describe 10 pet peeves that you have. 
12. Describe a typical day in your current life. 
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have. 
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments? 
17. What is the thing you wish you were the most great at? 
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why? 
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood. 
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first? 
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? 
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them. 
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs your family dynamic now. 
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history who would it be and what would you eat? 
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong? 
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why? 
28. What is your love language? 
29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you? 
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

Monday, July 02, 2012

weekend wrap-up via Instagram


Can I just start this post by saying that it always cracks me up how uploading phone photos via the Blogger app in one order and how they appear on the blog is another order always cracks me up. Gotta love some technology. 

Thursday: After working out we had dinner with some friends. Needless to say this huge truck was taking up 2 solid parking spaces. Jeremy and I joked in the car about the chalk prank from Pinterest where you draw the person a new parking space and write "a space just for you in front of it." I suddenly remembered the ferret business card joke, but not the entire saying, so I wrote this on my grocery list and put it on the guys car.
Friday: Another couple we are friends with/workout with came over and we grilled and played tennis. I marinated everything...and Jeremy took credit for it (lol). The two things I made inside went terribly wrong. I did Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes and The Bread. All was going great until the propane tank ran out and we had to go on an adventure to locate a new one...let's just say I made the driest potatoes and chewiest bread on planet earth. Tennis was great though, all the bugs that were out made me want to pull out  a Ziploc bag and freeze them all so I could give them to my 10th grade Biology teacher. Am I alone in the high school bug board? Or did anyone else spend a solid semester chasing bugs in the Kmart parking lot for science class?
Saturday: Oddly I can't remember the whole day. I started off the morning not hearing my alarm for a solid 20 minutes, this never happens to me. I blame it on the fact that we still don't have electricity in our bedroom and I am having to use my phone as an alarm. I had the sound turned way down....this made me late for letting the girls in the building for bible study of course. At some point I managed to score a blue Fla-vor-ice. That taste reminds me of my childhood.
Jean and Jeremy outside talking about who knows what. We've been working on getting things with the youth group rolling, it is going to be awesome. I really can't wait for school to start back up and to get 5th Quarter going again...all except the time of night I got home. That kills me, I just can't hang past 10pm.

I managed to score a pic of Jeremy doing his own laundry after playing tennis with Gerard. Nothing I like more than a man who takes care of himself. I am so glad I don't have to clean up behind him...plus we disagree on how to do laundry. I could care less and he has to have things separated. More power to him.As long as he doesn't think he is being mistreated we are good to go haha.

Oh-my-goodness. After sweaty tennis Slush Puppie is heaven. I would love a Parrot Ice, but I never see those anymore. 
Sunday: Photo a Day July was self portrait. I just can't take a serious pic of myself...seems too ridiculous. I've also been shopping in my closet and looking for things I rarely wear and revamping them. This next year or two of Jeremy in grad school is killing my need to buy a few trendy pieces of clothing. I'm dying here ladies! Everything  I had on yesterday was purchased pre-Jeremy. That means at least 4 years old. Home girl could use some trendy clothes...or at least a shopping trip. This no spend thing makes me loco, which is why I fight eating out. I'd much rather have a new shirt than eat at Chili's. It is such a waste of money. I can wear the shirt tons of times, I can't eat some over prices salad tons of times.
Thankfully my need to cook and not eat out was finally met Sunday. I was in sheer happiness overload being able to cook breakfast for the youth group, lunch at my house, and then Jeremy making biscuits and gravy for dinner for a few of our guy friends. Heaven! Granted lunch didn't go over a total hit. I made the Iowa Girl Farfelle with Kale and Sundried Tomatoes. I love kale. I love sundried tomatoes. Turns out Jeremy doesn't like either and has told me about the latter. I just ignore his fuss able kale. Apparently I ignored his fuss about  sundried tomatoes too. But who cares I like them, and I liked out it tasted. He just has perceptions of how much sauce should be in pasta and if it isn't there he doesn't like it. Men. I was told that my love of kale and sundried tomatoes was snobby. From now on everytime he wants sausage or fried anything I'll just accuse him of being a redneck hillbilly. To be honest though as a kid Mom would make fried pork chops and I never ate them, still haven't to this day. I would always just eat lettuce or cucumbers when she did that. I really ate more raw veggies than anything else as a kid. I also threw a big stink when pepperoni pizza was ordered. I loved veggie pizza and I am from a family of picky people, they will be the death of me. 
Perhaps this is all why I love to cook, I have absolute control over things. And trust me when I cook I force healthy on everyone around me. If you eat over here and assume it's not healthy it is because I didn't tell you the substitutions. I'm just sneaky like that. 
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