Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Strawberry Marg Jello Shots a/k/a Summer Perfection

Okkk so this is going to be maybe my best recipe share ever on the blog.

It is for the most delicious and easy jello shots I've ever made!

Strawberry. Margarita.  Made with Skinnygirl.

Yes. SKINNYGIRL. (Amongst all of our brown booze like brandy, bourbon and whiskey!)

So here's what you will need:

2 packages of strawberry jello (sugar free worked well for me!)
1 bottle of Skinnygirl margarita (or whatever your pre-made marg choice is, don't worry you only use 2 cups of it)
1-2 pints of strawberries, hulled out carefully (larger ones are better!)
Optional:  1 can of Straw-ber-Rita (we did use this)

Boil 2 cups of water and dissolve the jello packets in there.  Once it's dissolved, add in your 2 cups of Skinnygirl and optional, the can of Straw-ber-Rita (if using), and let that simmer for a couple minutes.

Have your strawberries ready to be filled, a/k/a don't try to be hulling them and filling them as you go, it's stressful...I mean maybe I sorta did that and ended up slicing up berries to the degree they were unusable!

If you aren't putting the shot in the strawberries, I highly recommend placing a berry in each of your mini plastic shot glasses, really classes the situation up and tastes awesome!

K, now the tough part...put them in the fridge and wait until you can enjoy the deliciousness poolside, lakeside, riverside, basically anywhere outside. 

See? Look how much happier I am with Jell-O shots in my life!!

I had lots more pictures but then I did something idiotic when I plugged my "new iPhone" into my computer for the first time ever (have had it for 3 months.) and now they are somewhere in the cloud! With all of my puppy pics too! 

Do you have a favorite jello shot?  Enjoy summer fun with these, guys! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Husband!

Today is Bryan's birthday and I am so happy that I can post my plans for him, FINALLY!

I have been keeping it all a big secret to everyone except my parents, and now it can be revealed because he actually knows some of it now!

It all started with a dream...to go golfing. I was just going to book him a tee time and send him on his merry way, but then it evolved...into something much better.

Two of our friends clued me into the fact that he would probably like to play at Tour 18 up in Humble, (silent H, everyone.), and that we could go as a foursome and use a gift cert. one of the guys had...the only catch was everyone (read: me and the two boys) getting off work for today because Bryan already had off.

Oh, and using the gift certificate for a day other than Monday-Thursday, which are the only days it was good for! 

Conveniently, I work in Humble day in and day out, so I drove down to the course one afternoon on lunch and spoke with the manager, who agreed to let us play later in the morning if I paid for our cart fees.

And so, the great birthday surprise was on!

Last night, I let Bryan go to bed thinking I had to work again this morning, and I am waking him up (maybe I already have woken him up?) with the surprise that the two of us are actually going golfing!

Oh wait, Sara, I thought you said there were four?  There are.  He won't know about the guys coming until we get to the course and they magically appear!


So happy birthday, husband! I love you so much, and can't wait to share many more birthdays with you!!

Ps did I mention this will be my first time golfing since high school??

The Weekender :: Vol. 11

Looking back on photos of this weekend, pretty much seems like all I did was drink, drink, drink.  Except for Sunday, when we were way too tired to do anything but nap and eat and nap and go grocery shopping.


Growlers were half price at this great place in Houston, Moon Tower Inn.  They also have awesome burgers, exotic hot dogs, and all sorts of seating under umbrellas so you don't die in the heat!  Not technically the weekend, but still.


It was a long week, so I drank some champs, watched The Sopranos, and we went to bed semi-early!


Woke up to these two boys sleeping under the same blanket on the couch, how sweet.

Then I made some strawberry margarita jello shots, some of which I tried to put in strawberries...more on that to follow soon.

I managed to get a super slow, really hot run in late in the morning.  The app claimed it was only 85 degrees but I know it was lying.  Felt like 100 outside.  DIED.

K, so then my afternoon drastically improved from running to meeting up with the so funny and sweet Lauren from Method to My Madness!  Three hours later, we were like, "shit, better get home and make sure the husbands are alive!'  Needless to say, time flew by and we had a great bonding session over blogging, married life, making friends when you're in your late 20s, accompanied by a few Moscow Mules, Beaver's house punch of the day, and pulled pork sliders!

We failed at being bloggers because we only took this one pic in the parking lot before we left!  I know, good bloggers would have taken like 400 of every drink, sandwich, etc.  

See?  Proof we were at Beaver's.

So then I came home and Bryan and our friend Tom (see him below) were having a little pool party together.

Tom and I trying to look like we like each other. 

Testing out my strawberry creations (which were awesome btw)


Around 4 am on Sunday, Bryan took the world's most unflattering picture of me ever, sleeping so I could see how Barley curls up on top of my head at night.  

Like I said, Sunday was a real lazy day for all of us.

So now some more gratuitous pics of Barley for your entertainment:

Sprawled out and relaxing on the cold floor after a hot walk outside.

Dominating Mom and Dad's couch space.

Totally dominating Dad to get at his bone! He was actually just sitting like this on top of Bryan.  For like five minutes and chewing his bone.  Really bro?

Hope everyone else had weekends that were just as fun as ours was!  After all, it was the last weekend of July...which means that *someone*coughBryancough has a birthday this Friday!

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, July 26, 2013

What It Means to Be a Fan {Fan Friday Link-Up}

Back in the ring for Fan Friday with the amazing Sarah, who also btw donated her hair this week for cancer patients.  You should probably go read all about that here, then comment and mention how crazy it is that Locks of Love SELLS their wigs to cancer patients? Crazy, and go Pantene for not doing that!

Anyways, on with Fan Friday.  Today I want to talk about what being a fan means to me via some pics of me...well, being a fan!

Integrating your team(s) into your holiday decorating:

Brewers logo.  Yes, we know, Ryan Braun just got suspended. A-Rod's hammer is gonna come down a LOT harder, so whatever.

Tailgating properly:

This is blurry for a GOOD reason.  Notre Dame October 2010.

ND 2010 again....obvi the Snickers are what kept us alive that day.

Sporting your teams merch in enemy territory:

Brewers gear in Houston, per usual, you can't see but mine was too.  Astros suck anyways, sorry guys.

Brewers sausage race tee on Wrigley rooftop.  I got a tattoo later this night.  Whhhhhat?

I look a little pregnant in this pic, but I swear I was not!

Fighting with your BFF about being Buccaneers vs. Packers fan so much that you both cry at 2 am in a hotel bar in South Bend, IN in front of her dad.  And then making up with shots:

Pfft this is also from ND 2010.  Next week's post will probably just be a pictorial on the most ridiculous tailgate day of my life there.

Freezing your ass off regularly to cheer on your teams, because it's the Midwest, and we know cold:

Packers vs. Bears, Chicago, mid-December 2010

Badgers vs. Northwestern, Madison, November 20111

Taking CREEP pics of your favorite players before the game (Oh Hhaiiiii Clay Matthews):

Lambeau Field, November 2011

 Taking your first pic as an engaged couple in head to toe fan gear:

April 22, 2011

And finally, making sure you play Monday Night Football at music during your football/garter toss and you have a Packers garter too, naturally:

Dudes were PSYCHED to catch a football, seriously.  Not only are we huge fans but my husband was an all-state QB in high school, so everyone knows that throwing a football is his favorite thing to do.

Why is this pic upside down? Great.

K so let's be real, being a real fan is obviously a lifestyle.  I can't wait until we have a house and Bryan has a media room so I can deck it out in fan art/Wisconsin sports stuff top to bottom.  And I can't wait to get Barley bandannas and collars and leashes that rep our favorite teams either!  Obvi when we have a child one day they will also be raised in the way of  Sunday being sacred for two reasons.

How do you make being a fan a part of your everyday?  

Go link up with Venus!

Venus Trapped in Mars

Thursday, July 25, 2013

30 for 30 Update

It's been a little while since I gave y'all an update on my 30 for 30.  I have 3 years and two months til then so I feel pretty good about how this is going.  Goal-setting is kind of my thing, I love lists, planning, and figuring stuff out, so this feels like my deal here.

1.  Adopt a pet 

Well I think we all know that this definitely happened!! 

2.  Run five 5K races

K, oddly enough haven't registered for any of these, but will do at least one this fall, if not a 10k.

3.  Run a half marathon

Registered for the Houston Half-Marathon on January 19th! See my first post on training here.

4.  Cook a multi-course (six? seven?) dinner party for at least six people.

5.  Actually become good at painting my own nails. 

Well, I got two gel manicures in the last six weeks so I think we know how well that is going.

6.  Go to Europe

Probs not gonna happen til after we buy a house and have spare cash again!

7.  Cook my way through a whole cookbook (minus seafood recipes--my list, my rules)

I have chosen my cookbook! After a lot of debate I am going with The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.  

The debate that ensued in my mind was over what type of cuisine to choose, how far to push the boundaries, and how many recipes to take on.

This book has 120, which is very much doable.  Plus, I love French cooking, and feel there is enough variety in it to keep it exciting.  Finally, I figured some of the techniques will be new which is great!

8.  Make my own chocolate candy (not a bark, something more involved)

9.  Buy our first home!

We actually started tracking our expenses and made a new budget so that we can start saving more aggressively for our down payment! Feels great.

10.  Make a list of Texas restaurants to try and cross them all off!  

Ummm. I don't even have a list for this. Fail. Texas friends, give me your recs! 

11.  Bake four colors/flavors of macarons.

K, so I def bought the macaron book like six months ago.

12.  Re-learn Spanish/get Rosetta Stone.

Me gusta cupcakes.  Still have a little ways to go on that.

13.  Go to the dermatologist!  

DONE on 5/28/13.  It was scary but worth it.

14.  Visit New Orleans (preferably during Mardi Gras)

We are booking a trip to NOLA for our anniversary at the end of September! Please, please leave suggestions for everything from a good hotel to nightlife to food!

15.  Begin/continue paying off my grad school student loan debt 

Set up auto-pay as of May 2013!  

16.  Learn to shoot a gun properly

Also not even on my radar. 

17.  Own a total of eight place settings of our wedding china and the stemware to go with it (currently have 2 settings, 0 stemware)

HA!  This will happen like the last day of 29 when we have bought a house and don't save every extra nickel for that! 

18.  Buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it

Nope.  Totally forgot this was on here, lol.

19.  Visit New York City

Meh, not in the near future for now.

20.  Complete one DIY project that requires staining, a hammer and nails, power tools, etc.

This will follow the house purchase I'm sure.

21.  Watch the IMDb Top 250.

Um I basically hate all of the movies on this list! And I am peeved that certain classics aren't on it.  I didn't realize it was user-ratings generated so now I don't trust it. (Yes, you can have distrust for inanimate things like lists.)

Anyways, looking into the AFI list now.

22.  Rent a dress on Rent the Runway for a wedding/event.

Thinking next spring when we have a few more on deck.

23.  Learn to golf finally!

Omg...soon. Very, very soon.

24.  Go carb-less for a week.

HA.  Def not while in half-marathon training.

25.  Have a Louis Vuitton Speedy 30. (This is my "something ridiculously expensive that you bought just for yourself" item.  And I've been obsessed with this bag since my first "real" job when I was 22.)

Mm..yeah...I should probably start a sep bank account for saving for purses.

26.  Get a Sunday subscription to the newspaper (I love reading the Sunday paper and would rather just have a subscription, plus it's cheaper this way!)

K no, and this has been on Living Social for months I feel like.

27.  Read 30 new books (Including some from genres I would not usually read)

Read: The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult. 

I'm currently reading World War Z (Max Brooks), Inferno: A Novel (Dan Brown), and Steve Jobs (Walter Issacson).  

28.  Go to one yoga class a week for at least three months 

Planning on incorporating this into half-marathon training. The difference between a stretched body and calm mind on my runs vs. being tense and worried about distance is huge.  Aside from the physical benefits I'm hoping this will curb my anxiety over distance and the challenge of the half!

Photo: Two of my primary teachers, Sara Strother and Alyson D'Souza, have uttered these words during class, multiple times even: "Trying is doing."  Coincidence?  I think not.  

I think that my teachers are amazing women who understand their students.  They understand that some days, the practice comes easy and other days, it does not.  They know that some asanas fit like a glove and some simply do not.  

This week, join me to honor the advice of such wise women both on the mat and off.  Catch me on the mat at  Village Yoga Chicago: 

* Tonight | Beginners Vinyasa | 5:45p-6:45p
* Thursday | Sunrise Flow | 6:15a -7:15a
* Sunday | Detox Vinyasa | 12p - 1:15p
Inspiring words and photo from my yoga guru gal pal in Chicago :: Angie Starz Yoga on Facebook

29.  Actually do one of the 400 million mason jar DIYs I have pinned! 

Hm, yeah I could paint the inside of some jars next month.

30.  Begin going to church regularly.  

Honestly we have just not found a church we feel could be our place here.  To be continued.....

All in all, not. so. bad.  What have you done lately that you're proud of?  And what do you still want to do that you?  What's your number one to-do before you hit that "certain age"?? 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How to Dominate Being a Puppy Parent

Man, so here we are, about 6-7 weeks into being puppy parents.  After all this time, we have learned some pretty important lessons!  So today I present with my top ten pieces of advice on how to dominate being a new puppy parent!

1.  Do your research.

Well, there are a lot of things you should research for your puppy.  But this applies to your puppy directly-what kind of breed is best for you?  We knew we wanted an active breed, and a large dog, and one that would be kid-friendly in the future.

2.  Prepare before you bring home puppy.

Here is a sampling of what we brought before we even knew Barley existed:  food and water bowls, chew toys, rag bone, lead, Nature's Miracle, etc.

After we got him we bought his crate and pad, food, treats, collar, and other things that are more breed and size-specific.  

3.  Be patient!

Um, you WILL get frustrated with your new puppy.  Guarantee it.  I would say on a daily basis, one of us has a freak-out because he's barking so much, or won't go to sleep, etc.  There will be days where he/she is an angel, and days where you swear Satan has taken over his/her soul.

4.  Decide on your parenting style.

Will puppy sleep in your bed at night?  Is puppy going to be allowed on the couch?  Will you plan on taking him to obedience classes? Crate or baby gating during the day?  Can you both (if you are co-parenting) stay on the same page about discipline and obedience techniques?

Definitely take some time to talk this over with your spouse/boyfriend/etc.  It's easy for one person to slip off and be all, "oh but he's so sweet, just let him pee everywhere."  This is when you need to be benched, and the other parent gets called in.

5.  Research your pup's food.

Barley eats Blue Buffalo large breed puppy.  We knew it had a solid ingredients list, and didn't want him on a corn-first diet.  Total personal parenting preference, plus we know my mother-in-law's dog loves it too.

But make sure that you check it out and see what is out there--when you walk into a pet store and see the millions of options, you will be overwhelmed and it's easy to make a snap decision that may not be what's best for your puppy's breed, potential size, and overall health.

6.  Find a great vet.

A great vet makes all the difference.  Barley had some tummy issues when we started to introduce new food (we are back to the old), but our vet was closed!  Luckily their voicemail directed us to a 24 hour pet clinic we could call.  I spoke with a vet tech who assured me it was the food change, and I felt so much better.

Our vet has also been really helpful with getting him de-wormed, getting us safe flea meds for him, and just generally giving us good advice.  Worth it! 

7.  Repetition, repetition, repetition.

When training, repetition is key.  And we aren't really training aggressively right now besides curbing jumping and working on potty training.  Part of repetition is making sure that you and your co-puppy parent are on the same page! 

8.  Crate training is rough.

This is probably more about you as a parent than about puppy.  But puppies will cry, whine, scratch, basically do anything to get your attention to make you let them out of their crate.  

Barley sleeps in bed with us, and basically always will.  We are totally cool with that.  But daytime means crate time for him.  And now he knows that, and is good about it.  No more whining or crying when I put him in, maybe a few half-assed barks, but he knows it's ok in there.

Just don't fall victim to the sad whines and cries, because then your puppy will think that all they have to do is go absolutely ape-shit and they will get their way!

9.  Have a variety of toys ready for puppy to play with.

Barley has a Kong, a stuffed porcupine, a stuffed Kong alligator, bully strips, a Nylabone, a rag bone, a water bottle holder elephant thingy, a tennis ball, a bouncy football...the list continues.  

Puppies need entertainment, and they need it on the regs.  So make sure you have a wide variety of options for him or her!  Barley's attention span lasts anywhere from five seconds to an hour depending on his mood and the toy, so it's great for him to have a huge variety of options we can rotate for him.

10.  Love, Love, Love!

Most importantly, just love your puppy!  He/she will make mistakes, pee on your new rug, put chew marks on your shoes, pull on his/her lead, try to eat your dinner, maybe chew your furniture, I mean it's all possible.  But just remember to give lots of kisses, pets, sweet words, and snuggle time (if they like that), and your new puppy will figure out that you only want to love them!

Now CLICK QUICKLY to Ms. Adriana's page by following the button below and read posts from other fellow animal lovers/bloggers!  And next Tuesday (I got my days mixed up this week!) be sure to link up your own post about your animal!

Tall Tails Link Up
Lil really wants you to! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Today's Outfit :: Navy, Nude & Gold

I felt like I really did a good job getting dressed today (which I guess is rare!) so here's my outfit:

FYI dresses with pockets are the BEST dresses. This is from the Gap outlet, and the shoes are Target.

Also sporting some of my most favorite accessories today. 

Clockwise from top left:

My grandma's diamond and sapphire snake ring.  I love this ring for many reasons-
1. It was my grandma's and she was a jeweler, so all of her pieces are amazing and we are lucky to have them to remember her by.

2.  I hate snakes, and my friend Nippy and I decided a long time ago that "wearing" them helps us assert our angry dominance over them. Kind of like, "haha snake you are a purse now!!"  

3. Bryan called this my "drug lord ring" once (which is making my grandma question why I married him now) and so it kinda cracks me up when I see it. Sometimes I wear it on my pinky to make it extra drug-lord-like.

K, so then my necklace-obsessed w my $2.80 steal from Forever 21!  I also have it in silver and I wear them constantly. 

Finally, my bracelets--my Coach bangle was a gift from me to me a few years ago, and the snakeskin (see the pattern??) was a present from my best friend's study abroad trip to Florence 5 years ago!  I wear that at least four times a week.

What's your go to accessory??

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Weekender Vol. 10

So this weekend was full of beer, apparently.  Or at least that's all I took pictures of. 

Friday ended up being at work a little later than usual, especially for a Friday, so happy hour was a necessity.  Which turned into me asking the waitress "Which beer flight has the most alcohol by volume?"

Ended up with the Belgian beer flight, which was pretty decent.  

So, Bryan usually brings home a case of beer every week anyways from work, but this week was beer pick up so he can get multiples (One time he brought home like 10 cases.)  THIS TIME, and this was very exciting, they had Goose Island Summertime as the special one for the month. 

So. Excited.  Also, Strawberitas, and Michelob Ultra, yum.  Plus we have some leftover Zigenbock there, and some of his home brewed stuff.  

Lala, reading the Sunday paper....come across this ad.  For a DOLL. Horrified.

I'm obviously not a Texans fan, but this would be creepy with any team's branding.


Sunday morning I got Barley outside with me for a nice run/walk.  We did the same thing Saturday morning, and he has done great both times!  We finally got a nice little nylon harness for him after my friend advised that helped them a lot with pulling for their dog.  He has improved by like 75% overnight with it on!  No more choking himself out, no more us feeling bad, etc.  

Anyways, after the run, he was just exhausted, puppy-style.  Which means you lay like this, fully stretched out, on the cool concrete floor.

And then when you finally do get up to the couch, your mom does crap like this to you.