Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Exciting Bead Happenings

Jen Valasquez of Jen Judd Rocks! is coming to Hampton, Virginia! Our local Bead Haven is having an open house in her honor on Saturday, August 21st from 11 AM - 2 PM. This is exciting news!!

And the weekend before that August 14th & 15th the Intergalactic Bead and Jewelry Show is coming to Virginia Beach, Virginia! I've never been a large bead show. This seems exciting and dangerous all in one. I have it marked on my calendar...if you're in the area let me know and we can meet up.

In September the first annual Art Bliss Workshop is happening September 24th-26th. This sounds exciting and fun and originally I had thought about going since my friend Elisabeth offered to let me stay with her but that is the weekend before J leaves for Japan so I'd like to spend it with him. But I'll be ready for next year... 

In November the Bead Mercantile Show is coming to Williamsburg November 20th-21st. I've been to this show a couple times and there is always a good selection of supplies and beads. They also offer classes too.

So lots of exciting things coming up. What about you what are you looking forward to the rest of this summer and this fall?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What to do with Frizzy Hair in Humidity...

I have incredibly coarse, thick, naturally curly hair...and a lot of it. Now some of you may view this as a blessing and I realize it could be worse. But it is an uphill battle most of the time with my hair in a humid climate such as Southeast Virginia. As a side note I've also done a fair amount of stuff to my hair in the past year like dyeing it and then having the color stripped off so it is a bit damaged on the ends. So when I was having my hair cut last week my hair stylist suggests Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy. Unlike other straightening treatments it involves protein instead of chemicals so it actually helps your hair. It is a lengthy process as in 4-5 hours because they put the protein on and then flat iron it multiple times to seal it in. It is also costly...for my amount of hair they said it would be around $250-300. But they said the difference in my hair would be night and day. Currently I just can't justify the expense but I'm thinking it might be something in the future. We'll see.

Any of you have advice for frizzy hair?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mish Mash

Sorry for the disappearance last was Vacation Bible School at work, my co-worker who shares duties with me was on vacation, my bosses decided to do a mailing, and it was an amazing and exhausting week. I'm still recovering...

We had an amazingly relaxed and yet exhausting weekend all in one. Time at my work, time with friends, time with my Mom, and a nice grilled pork chop dinner to finish it off. We have been a tad bit neglectful in going to church. We want to go but on Sunday morning we seem to lack motivation to go. This concerns me and we are working on it. I'll let you know how it goes.

J is in school number 2 of 4. He grumbles about going but he actually enjoys it. I like that he is in school as long as he is in school they can't send him to Japan just yet. I realize when I married a military man I agreed to time apart as part of his duty. But that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. 

I'm trying to get my business going and it slow going since I work full time but it is going. I'll keep you updated.

J has a tad bit complicated family life at times but I wouldn't change it for the world. I love my in-laws more than I can express. I know I'm lucky in that regard. (Especially when I hear horror stories.)

I cannot stand the current heat wave here in VA. This weekend every day was 101 + and it dropped down to a balmy 90 + at night. Today it is 93 (I think) and it feels good because it is cooler. I guess it is all perspective. We need rain at a new level of desperation...our grass is brown and our roses are fading.

I am loving menu planning. I have planned the week of Aug. 1st and Aug. 8th and J has approved of the menus. (He gets veto rights since he does the cooking) I planned on posting a weekly menu. Now I think I'll just post my menus in bulk.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Difference between my Husband and Myself in the Kitchen

{picture from Our Best Bites}

As I've mentioned I've started making out menus two weeks at a time. I put the menus up on the fridge with a list of needed ingredients and the location of the recipe. (although usually I try to get out the recipe) J gets home before I do so he starts (sometimes even to the point where I walk in the door to dinner) dinner before I get home. Well last night's menu was Stuffed Pizza Rolls from Our Best Bites (a great recipe site). I had written the recipe down from the website to try later but I read through the recipe with pictures on the site so I knew how it was supposed to work. It was a fairly easy recipe or so I thought. Apparently halfway through the recipe he was cursing my name. He overstuffed put the sauce and the toppings on the squares of dough and then they wouldn't cooperate into neat little pouches. So they turned out more like pizza tacos. Very yummy pizza tacos. And they were delightful!! Especially since I came home to them hot and fresh out of the oven. But I've learned a valuable lesson. Make sure the recipe fully explains each step or give J pictures because sometimes what seems obvious to me isn't to him. I don't even think it is a Mars vs. Venus thing. I think it is a experience vs no experience with certain recipes thing. So next time more detailed instructions will follow. Tonight...BBQ chicken...really easy...preheat the oven to put some BBQ sauce in a Corningware Pan, put in the chicken, make sure it is covered, bake until done. Enjoy!

P.S....I realize I'm blessed with an amazing husband. The fact that he cooks dinner for me is wonderful and frankly it could be burned to a crisp and I'd still eat it and say yum! And tonight's dinner of BBQ chicken was awesome. Sticky Finger Sweet Carolina Sauce is great!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Review

It was a good weekend for us but Saturday was a busy one.

Friday was a relaxed evening for us at home.

Saturday involved a trip to Fresh Market to stock up for our next two week menu. It was a bit busy but not too bad. We decided to take the bike to a couple of gatherings. One about an hour away the other was about 20 minutes away. It was a nice day for a ride although we did hit a bit of rain on the way home. We got home and relaxed a bit.

Sunday was a laid back day. Laundry in the morning. Lunch with my parents at a local German restaurant. A "quick trip to Lowes" that lasted an hour. (pretty usual for us) Then home to relax. We finished the night with True Blood.

This week is Vacation Bible School at work and my co-worker is off this week. She claims it was coincidence but we're not so sure. ;-)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Favs

Last night we went to a double feature (created by us) of Despicable Me and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Both were great movies but completely different from each other. And both had good messages to them. (I'll elaborate on that another day) But those movies inspired a Friday Favs post.

Favorite Movies....

Princess Bride - "The Storybook Story" I read the book of this after seeing the movie and an unusual thing occurred. I liked the movie better. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It has a great story and great quotes.

Dirty Dancing - "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" I first saw this movie in middle school and I loved it. I would rewind and watch the end dance over and over again.

 Cinderella Man - A true story about a boxer and his ups and downs during the Depression. This movie was emotional because of the love story but also because of the climate at the time.

Miracle - I like sports movies. I love hockey. Best of both worlds. No matter how many times I watch this I end up in tears at the end. It is also based on a true story, about the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. It is a great story and a touching movie.

Star Trek - I am the child of trekies. I have seen most of the original Star Trek episodes, all of the original Star Trek movies, and many of the spin offs. I loved this new Star Trek movie. They did a great job with casting, story, and connecting new to old.

DodgeBall - I have never laughed so hard in my life. It has a lot of stupid humor but it is funny and it doesn't take itself too seriously. Definitely good for a laugh.

So what movies do you like? Which ones can you watch over and over?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Green Bead Giveaway!!

In honor of her bead designs being published Jen over at Jen Judd Rocks is having a giveaway of green beads. And she has so much to giveaway she is actually doing two giveaways! So check out  Jen Judd Rocks for the details of her fantastic giveaway in honor of her designs being published! Congratulations to Jen!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Second Wedding aka the Church Wedding

J and I surprised his family at the family reunion last September by getting married. We were at a camp ground so we went casual in jeans and Harley shirts. But we also wanted a formal church wedding at our church. It would also give my family and our friends a chance to attend. A little while back I posted pictures from our Camp Ground Wedding. Here are pictures from our Church Wedding...


Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Update

So this weekend was big plans. My kind of weekend.

Friday I got off work almost on time. Whoo hoo so I go home and find J on his way out the door to go get lumber for building an arbor around our hot tub. (more on this later) I decide to relax on the couch with puppies. Good decision. He gets home and unloads stuff I decide I should start dinner. We eat dinner then I spend the evening inside while J spends the evening outside with our neighbor. Worked out well for all involved. Early to bed for me. Late to bed for J.

Saturday I get up to deal with dogs. J stayed in bed a bit to catch up from his late night. The morning was relaxed and that was nice. We watched Miracle and Invincible (you know I'm a sucker for sports movies). J decided he was still tired so he took a nap. I decided to go run some errands on Saturday. I stopped to get a cupcake on my way to getting a pedicure. I stopped by this salon and decided to try a bite of my cupcake before going in.(side note it was an amazing cupcake) All the sudden there is a guy in my side view gesturing for me to roll down my window. So I do...and he is asking me questions about how to get to a street that is less than a block up the road. So I tell him keep walking it is your next street with a traffic light. He goes on to tell me he's new to the area and isn't familiar with the area. Will this next street take him to Jefferson (another major street). Yes I explain then he says he is really trying to get to this 7-11 on Jefferson close to rt. 17. I explain to him that it is a long walk (15 minutes by car) and he might want to call his friend to see if he can come get him. He proceeds to ask me if I'm married. To which I respond "yes happily." He says he respects that. He asks me if I live at the house I'm stopped in front of. No. Then he asks if I work there. No. Then he asks me if I'd be will drive him to Jefferson the next major road. I say I'm sorry but I'm not headed that way so maybe he should call his friend. He walks off. I check the salon it is closed. So I get in my car make a u-turn and head elsewhere. If J had been with me maybe but not by myself. Weird. I go home and tell J the story. He agrees with my decision not to pick him up. We ordered dinner. Watch the movie The Cowboys. Then we decide to go out to a local putt putt and arcade. We play putt putt, then a racing game, then skee ball. My favorite. I love it. Seriously even as an adult I love it. (as a side note I beat J by one point in putt putt) This urks him.

Sunday was an equally leisurely day. Woke up. J went to work in the yard. I met Mom for lunch at Olive Garden. Came home relaxed. Made dinner. Finished the night making cookies and watching True Blood.

So what did you do this weekend? Any interesting stories?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Favs

So I was going to do a post about some of the political things I've observed of late but I decided to go more lighthearted. Here is a list of some of my favorite things in life during the summer...besides spending time with my friends and family.

 A baseball game on a warm summer night. Makes me think of chewing Big League Chew
while sitting on metal bleachers when I was living in Alaska as a child.

Ice just isn't summer without it. (but let's be real I love it all year round)

A frozen margarita on a warm summer night. With or without Mexican food.

 Fireworks...interestingly enough the best I've ever seen were in the small town of Bangor, Maine.

 The ocean. I could listen to it all day and night.

What are some of your summer must haves or favorites?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Financial Peace University

We are seriously considering taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. It is a Biblically based finance class to help you get your finances in order. Both the church where I work and the church we attend are offering the class. I'm trying to talk to other people who have taken it and get a feel for it. Our neighbors took it and loved it. So we'll see.

Have any of you taken it or know anything about it?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Here's What I'm Cooking This Week

I've begun menu planning...I started with Sunday, July 4th so here it is for this week.

Sunday - Hot Dogs & BBQ - The church we attend had a July 4th Celebration so we ate there...bbq sandwiches and hot dogs. Yummy! And easy!!

Monday - Tacos - I like this dinner because it is easy and good. (After much trial and error I've determined I like the Taco Bell seasoning best for the meat. We use medium because it is a compromise.)

Tuesday - Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches - A big thanks to DAR for this delicious recipe that my husband loves and is easy to make!! You throw it all in the crock pot and then enjoy it when you get home from work.

Wednesday - Grilled Pork Chops - We bought very thick, boneless pork chops that I will marinade in the morning and J can grill that night. We'll have some vegetable with them because I like to round it out like that.

Thursday - WW General Tso's Chicken - This is my husband's favorite Chinese dish and this makes a nice light version with a bit of a kick. And it is easy.

Friday - Hamburger Pie - This is a family favorite from my childhood. And it is really easy and very tasty. {see recipe below}

Saturday - Free Day  - I figure we can use leftovers or go out to get something...just a bit of variety.

* I've noticed a trend in my recipe choices...I like easy.

Hamburger Pie 

1 lb ground beef (I use the leanest ground beef which around her is 93-96% lean)
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened (I use the 1/3 less fat but please please don't use the fat free)
The next few ingredients depend on your can use more or less depending on preference.
2-3 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce (I use the low sodium French's)
2-3 Tbsp of mustard (I like a spicy mustard)
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the ground beef, Worcestershire Sauce, mustard, salt and pepper until well mixed. I use my hands but you can use a large spoon too. 
  3. Take half of the beef mixture and place it in the bottom of a pie pan (love my Pyrex) flatten out with some coming up the sides. 
  4. Place the cream cheese in on top of this layer and press down a bit but not all the way to the edge.
  5. Take the other half of the beef mixture and place it on top of the cream cheese. Seal the edges together.
  6. Bake for 15-30 minutes depending on your stove and the doneness you like. We like it a bit less done and our stove cooks fast so I cook it about 20 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. (this makes it easier to cut and serve)
  8. Serve with ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, or even steak sauce for dipping. Enjoy!!
(As a side note if you want to make this a bit healthier you can cook it on a broiler pan instead of a pie pan.)

Whirlwind weekend...

 The Griffin at Busch Gardens

As I mentioned my brother and his girlfriend (now fiance) surprised us for the weekend by coming in on Thursday. Whenever they come it is always a bit of hectic weekend but it is a blast. So Friday I took a half day at work we already leave at 3:00 PM on Fridays but I left at 12:30 PM. Then they decided they wanted to go to Busch Gardens (a local theme park) so we said we could go on base to get tickets cheaper than at the gate of the park. (a good $20 cheaper a person) And the base MWR (Morale, Welfare, & Recreation Office) we found open on the start of a holiday weekend was at the Weapons Station. A piece of advice...don't take a British citizen onto a military base on 4th of July weekend. We all showed ID and then the guard said..."Oh, she's a foreign national we have to take her ID and call the Master of Arms." So we waited and waited and waited...finally after some paperwork and some brief interviews for her and J we were allowed to go buy tickets. But in the future we will go get the tickets separate. Busch Gardens was a blast. But it was tiring. After Busch Gardens we came home and took Mom to Dairy Queen for ice cream for her birthday. My brother and his fiance wanted to go shopping at the Outlets near us Saturday morning. My brother wanted to get there first thing in the morning so he said he wanted to leave at 9:30 AM sharp. So we agreed, then we went home to take care of the dogs.

 Prime Outlets Williamsburg
Saturday we got up early to take care of the dogs. J worked on my car stereo that was having problems and we got ready to go. We pulled into the driveway at 9:30 AM. We beat my brother and his fiance. They arrived at 10:00 AM. So then we were on the road. The outlets were amazingly empty. So shopping was pleasant. But I found nothing I needed or wanted. My brother found some things then we headed back to Mom and Dad's. We went to lunch at 5 Guys. It was yummy! Then we came home and played the game Mrs. & Mr. it is like the newlywed game. J and I won...150 to 90 it was tricky but we know each other well. Then we decided since we had had a late lunch that we would have cheesecake (made by moi) for dinner. Then we called it a night and said good bye. They were heading out Sunday morning.

Sunday we were going to get up and go to church but we hit a wall. I know not a good excuse but we were exhausted. So we puttered around the house. J worked outside and I sewed a quilt (well part of it) I will post pictures later. Then we got ready and went to get Mom and Dad to head to our church for fireworks. There was a band playing and then the fireworks started at 9:00PM. They were really good!! Then we dropped Mom and Dad off and went home.

Yesterday we went to the grocery store to stock up for my planned menus. And had a nice relaxing day around the house. After dinner we took the Harley out for a ride. It had been a was fun but a bit warm because we always wear jeans. Nice night all and all. And it brought the end to our whirlwind weekend of fun.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!!!

Thank You to all of the men and women who have served our country we appreciate your sacrifice for our country and freedom! Have a happy and safe 4th of July!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Brother is full of surprises...

My mother's birthday was yesterday! And my brother called her earlier this week telling her a birthday gift was coming around 2:30 PM yesterday. We assumed flowers, fruit, etc...we assumed wrong it was my brother and his girlfriend. They arrived to take her out to dinner for her birthday. You may be wondering why is this that big a deal. Well my brother and his girlfriend live in London, England. So they took a hop across the pond. They took us out to dinner at a very yummy local steakhouse. It was wonderful!

While at dinner they also announced another surprise. They are engaged....they got engaged in February...and they are eloping the end of the month. Whoo hoo!!! We love her and are thrilled for them both. They wanted to tell us in person that is why we didn't know sooner. My brother is planning the wedding as a surprise for her which I think is hopelessly romantic.

So I get to celebrate my husband not leaving, my brother getting engaged, and the 4th of July all in one weekend does it get any better?