Tuesday Tips

We got our new couches over the weekend (and love them!), but I don't feel like taking pictures right now, so I'll save that blog post for later in the week!  Instead, I thought I'd pass along a few great ideas on a Tuesday!

#1: Have you ever given a Starbucks giftcard?  Here's a super cute way to display the giftcard!  Take one of the cup warmers from Starbucks, punch two holes in it, tie a ribbon through, and slide the giftcard down in.  Ta da!  This was a birthday present from my friend Katie.  She's so creative!

#2: If you're like me, you have a million scarves and you're not sure how to store them.  You could drape them around a hanger, but they fall off easily and not many fit around one hanger.  You could throw them in a drawer, but then you can't display them to know which one matches the best.  Instead, Bed Bath & Beyond sells these butterfly scarf hangers that allows you to hang 12 scarves in one location.  Genius!  I noticed my friend Rachel's last month when we helped them move, so next time I was at BB&B, I made sure to pick one up! 

Sunday Funday

Yesterday, we went to our friends Josh and Rachel's house for the Packers-Bears game.  They are from Wisconsin and cheer for the Packers, as did most of the peeps there.  Rachel is 9 months pregnant and painted her belly--just too cute NOT to blog about!

It was a fun afternoon!  Great food, great friends, and football.  What more could you ask for?

Rachel, Baby Brayden Belly, and Craig

Bears fan in the middle of two Packers fan aka mommy & daddy-to-be

Us =)

Friends - Brandi, Erica, Craig, and me.  Erica & Craig are boo-ing because the Bears lost.

Our Couch-less Living Room

Here's a picture of our living room.  Yep, there is currently nowhere to sit!  We ordered a new couch and chair in December and they are finally being delivered this Saturday.  On Monday, I decided to post our old couches on Craigslist.  Not more than 5 minutes after I hit "post" we got our first call!  It was a no-go, but we got a hundred other calls/emails and the couches were sold by 5:00 that evening!  I guess we should have listed them for a higher price!  I love Craigslist!  And lucky me got to lay on the floor to watch The Bachelor (hence the blankets) that night!

And I just have to post this picture of K-Dog.  It's just too cute and shows just how much of a prissy dog he is!

Laying by the space heater.  I mean, why wouldn't you when you already have fur???


The New Idol

Snow day #3.  So, what better than to write a blog post, or two?

Who watched American Idol last night?  I did, and I was pleasantly surprised!  I love the new judging panel!  I've always been a JLo fan and thought she was nothing but sweet and sincere on last night's show.  Steven Tyler cracks me up.  He's a little on the odd side, but I think the "rocker" judge is a good addition, given all the recent rock contestants.  I'm glad Randy "The Dog" is still there.  Afterall, something needs to remain the same.

I love that the show is back to 3 judges.  Four was WAY too many!  And of course, the percent of "yeses" needed to make it to Hollywood is now 66% rather than 75%, which means the contestants have better odds of making it through (can't help it, that's the math teacher in me).  I also loved seeing more of the good singers, than the bad, annoying ones.  I think I'm one of the only people that hate watching the auditions.  I get so annoyed by the attention-loving people that just want to be on tv.

Last night was great though!  I'll definitely be tuning in this season!

Buffalo Chicken Paninis

One of our favorite wedding gifts was a panini maker.  It allows for such creative, yet easy, tasty, and cheap meals!  If you don't have one, I recommend getting one!  Or, you could probably use your George Foreman grill to accomplish the same thing.  Anyway, I usually find my panini recipes from the Internet.  Here's one I printed a long time ago, but we just tried for the first time tonight.  Yum!

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
12-oz bottle Buffalo wing sauce
1 Tbsp butter
1 large, red onion
2 tsp sugar
4 6-inch pita bread (we used a whole wheat pita-wrap thing)
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (or you could substitute Ranch dressing)

  • Add chicken and wing sauce to large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • While the chicken is simmering, heat butter in large saute pan.  Saute onions for 10 minutes until soft.  Stir in sugar and saute for another 10 minutes, or until onions are caramelized.  Set aside.
  • Assemble each sandwich by placing onions and chicken on the pita bread.  Top with about 2 tablespoons of blue cheese.  Carefully fold the pita over and transfer to a panini press.  Grill for a few minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve hot.

Note: If you don't have a panini maker, preheat your oven to 350.  Fill and fold panini according to directions above.   Place on a baking sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.   (Or use your George Foreman, as mentioned above!)

Craig's - with ranch instead of blue cheese and lettuce

Mine - blue cheese and no lettuce

Finished product

My 28th Birthday Weekend

This past Saturday was my 28th birthday!  I can NOT believe I'm 28 years old already!  I still feel like I'm in my early 20s; though the late 20s have probably been the best of my life!

Saturday, I spent 12+ hours at a dance competition with 16 great girls!  They performed a total of 6 team routines and did a fantastic job!  I'll try to post some of the videos...but no guarantees it will work.

Team pic after the last performance

Girls with all their awards

Seniors at their last competition

Saturday night, Craig and I tried a new sushi restaurant called RA (pronounced raw).  We stopped by Cheesecake Factory on the way home to get a piece of birthday cheesecake. =)  Unfortunately, I have no pictures from Saturday night except one of our yummy sushi.

Birthday sushi

Yesterday, we headed to Snow Creek in Weston, MO for an afternoon of snow tubing with friends!  It was a blast, despite being only 20 degrees!  I had on 2 pairs of pants, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of socks, a heavy winter coat, snow pants, furry snow boots, and I used hand and feet warmers!  Craig kept calling me an oompa-loompa, but I don't care how stupid I looked because not once did I get cold!  After braving the cold for two hours, we went to an old cave bar in downtown Weston.  It was very cool and has a lot of history!!  We even got a tour and history lesson...turns out the cave dates way back to the days of the underground railroad!  Very cool!  And apparently, it's haunted!  Here are some pictures of our day trip to Weston (compliments of our friend Brandi--my camera decided to stop working properly this weekend).
Snow tubing experience #2.  We went last year on New Year's Eve with our friends Josh & Rachel.

Yes, that's right.  My husband threw a snowball at me and asked Brandi to take a picture of it in mid-air.  Such a sweet husband I have.

The group.

So much fun!

Waiting in line for the conveyor to the top

Erica lost her tube and slid the whole way down on her stomach!  Sooooo funny!  And Brandi happened to capture it on on camera!

On to the bar!


Me and Erica

The tunnel.  This is where the ghost has been spotted a couple times.

The lowest level, 45 feet below ground!

Yes that's right.  I wore sweats and slippers to the bar!

The tour guide/Irish singer.

Luckily, my school decided to give me yet another day off for my birthday and I got to enjoy a 3-day weekend!  (Ok, so really it's thanks to MLK Jr.)  So far, 28's been great!  Oh, and I almost forgot the best part of it all, my gift from Craig!  A gift certificate to a spa for the service of my choice!  Best. Gift. Ever.

Soup in a Bag

This is a super good and easy soup if you're looking for quick meal ideas! All you do is add the powder to 8 cups of boiling water. I was a little skeptical because...well really...how good can powdered soup in a bag actually be? But it was amazing! Definitely a keeper!

My 1st Baby Shower

I hosted my first baby shower last month!  Can I just say that I LOVE planning things like this!  (Parties, showers, weddings...I should have been an event planner!)

Here are some of the shower details!

The Cake:
Made by the same girl that did my wedding cake.  She's amazing and very reasonably priced!  KC friends--if you ever need a cake for anything, contact her!  Here's her website.  Not to mention, it's the best cake I've ever eaten!

The baby is made out of fondant!

The Favors:
So I totally stole this idea from a co-workers baby shower.  I loved it the moment I saw the picture on Facebook. =)  Little bottles of champagne with a note attached:

Tiny hands and tiny feet,
It's not too long before we meet!
When you hear the news that Baby (fill-in-the-black) is here,
Pop this bubbly, make a toast, and spread a little cheer!

They were quite the hit and my bottle(s) are waiting patiently in the refrigerator for little Baby Williams to arrive! 

The Set-Up:
(I was so excited to finally use my punch bowl!)

The Diaper Cake:
(Pretty proud of my creation!  Maybe a "how to" in an upcoming blog post!)

The Beautiful Mom-to-Be!

Such a cute baby bump!

Rachel, I'm very honored to have hosted your baby shower!  Can't wait for Baby Peanut's arrival! =)