Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
So I'm sure you guys all remember my little mini pillow fiasco. Well, I have redeemed myself! Last night, we had a girl's craft night with my Sunday School class and I made another, more improved, bigger pillow! WOO!!!
Don't worry, I'm including a photo. The only problem now is that I don't want to get rid of the mini pillow. It's still really cute. So for now, I have two pillows on the bench until I decide what to do:
And I put up my Fall Wreath this morning. I have had this for a few years and it has taken quite a beating through all the fall weather it has experienced, but it's still hanging in there. Maybe I will try to spruce it up a little bit soon. Any ideas?
Also, Mark and I are TOTALLY going on a cruise on FRIDAY!!! We will be leaving Friday and coming back the next Saturday, late. We are going to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Jamaica. I am VERY excited!
And, I plan on finding something cool in the Caribbean so that I can have my first GIVEAWAY when we return. So be on the lookout. Cause I'm pretty sure you will want to be entered in the giveaway. (-:
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It has been a tradition in our family over the last few years to hold a pumpkin carving competition. This year will be the 4th Annual Pumpkin Carving Competition. I contend that every single year I have been ROBBED of the grand prize.
You might think that's a ridiculous statement, but let me explain. I go above and beyond. I do research. I do practice pumpkins before the competition. I don't mess around, folks. Yet every year we get judges that just don't quite get it.
They might pick a pumpkin because they "like the theme". THIS IS NOT A THEME COMPETITION, PEOPLE!!! We're looking for the BEST pumpkin. Not some little cutesy pumpkin anyone can do. We're looking for an impressive work of art.
Let me use some photos to help explain. The first year, 2006, we carved an alien spaceship. Now, this is the worst of the pumpkins we have carved, and the photo is terrible, but I'm still including it:
And yes, that is Miguel, who always manages to get into every photo.
That year, we lost.
The next year we stepped it up several notches. We carved BILL COSBY. First of all, who doesn't love Bill Cosby? Second of all, if you can carve a person's face on a pumpkin and people can tell who it is, you should automatically win. The second one is Bill Cosby, and the others are the other pumpkins in the competition. The pumpkins that won instead of mine.
That year, we lost again.
And finally, last year, we went with the whole presidential election thing and carved one of the candidates:
Thursday, September 17, 2009
What is significant about this bag of dog food, you ask? Well, other than the fact that it is FABULOUS dog food that you should all check out (http://www.bluebuff.com/), this bag weighs 30 pounds.
Yes, folks, 30 pounds.
Mark and I have EACH lost almost 30 pounds. I felt that since we have each made such significant achievements in weight loss, it was worth a blog post.
Mark's weight loss has come all since Memorial Day weekend. He has lost TWENTY-EIGHT POUNDS!!!!!!!! And he's still on the way down. I am SOOO proud of him. Just to get an idea of how much weight that is, here's Mark holding the dog food:
***Brinkley refused to get out of the photos, so sorry there is a floating dog head in here....
My achievement came slowly over a couple of years, and I have really had to work hard to keep it off. It's always those 5-7 pounds that come back. Right now, I am about 25 pounds less than I was as a senior in high school. TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS!!!! And I'm only 5' 3.5"!!!! (We didn't have a 25 pound of dog food, sorry.) But here's the visual:
That bag was HEAVY, too! I don't how I carried all that around! (I'm sure I'll know again once I'm pregnant - but hopefully that's a ways off!)
How did we do it, you ask? Well, for both of us, it was the old fashioned way. We ate better and we ran. Pretty amazing what healthy eating and exercize will do for a person, huh?
So, if WE can do it, anyone can do it! Those last ten pounds you want to lose... yeah, you can do it too! Have you lost a significant amount of weight? Or any weight? Do you plan to? How did you do it?
One last picture to go... we tried to get a sitting picture and Brinkley REFUSED to get out of the way. So we took the whole "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" route and just took a photo with all the dogs, their favorite dog food, and me, 25 pounds lighter. (-:
Here's to you and your weight loss goals!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Okay, everyone! I decided that since I love cooking so much it would be fun to do a semi-regular segment called "Cooking with Kat". Cute, huh? (-: I thought of it myself.
So, for this first edition, you get to see and read how to make chili. There is even a taste test at the end.
We will start with the ingredients. Here is what you need:
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground beef (you can do all turkey if you like)
1 onion (I use half of a good sized one - depends on how much you like onion!)
1/2 bell pepper
1 Tbs paprika
1 teas cumin
3 Tbs chili powder
1-2 teas garlic powder (I use 2)
1 teas oregano
1 teas pepper
1 teas white pepper
1 teas red pepper
3 Tbs flour
1.5-3 quarts beef broth (if you like a more soupy chili, use more broth. I use 2 quarts, but I would go with 1 - 1.5 if you want a thicker chili)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp)
10 saltine crackers
You also need one big chili pot: (my apologies for the cheesy pose, I had to set the camera on the counter).
So. the first thing you do is brown the turkey and beef. It will look like this when completed:
While the meat is browning, you can dice finely the bell pepper and the onion. Or use a food processor. I decided to take the long way this time and actually cut them up.
COOKING TIP: When cutting onions, one way to get around the teary eyes is to take a couple of wooden matches (DO NOT LIGHT THEM) and put them in your mouth and breathe through your mouth and NOT your nose. It has always worked for me... give it a try and let me know if it works for you! It will also probably depend on the strength of the onions. And here's me, clear eyes, onions, and matches:
Once the meat is browned and veggies chopped, you put all the seasonings and flour and veggies in the pot. It will look like this:
Stir everything together and cook for five minutes. While that is cooking, you can be finely crushing your 10 saltine crackers. The best way I have found to do this is to use a ziploc baggie and a rolling pin. Put the crackers in the baggie and roll them till they are finely crushed.
Once the mxture has cooked for five minutes, add your beef broth and cook until the onion is soft. Once the onion is soft, go ahead and add the crackers, the ketcup, and the 2 cups of cheese. Then you just let the pot simmer for a while. You can let it simmer for a couple hours (you will lose more liquid if you do this) OR you can simmer like 30 minutes to an hour or so, and then eat some. Here is what the simmering chili looks like:
The beauty of this chili is that you can let it cook for a while, eat it, cook it a little longer, and then put it in the fridge. It will be better each day as everything mixes together. Then, you can eat it however you like. Last night we had frito chili pie. I put some fritos in the bottom of a bowl, added some cheese, and poured on the chili:
If I do say so myself, this is DELISH. Here is my taste tester's approval.
I mean, really, who doesn't love a good bowl of chili? Especially in the fall, AND it's healthy! Yes, folks, it's healthy. This chili does has a bit of a kick to it, so be aware. You can adjust your seasonings to your taste.
Now - is this cooking segment something you are interested in? If so, I'll keep it up. So speak now or this might be the last cooking segment!
Happy Tuesday! Now go home and make some Chili!
Monday, September 14, 2009
It's ALMOST officially fall... we are about a week away. I am a little behind on my fall excitement this year. Usually by this time I've got my fall decor out. I think I might hold off this year since we have SO MUCH STUFF in the apartment. I'll pull out my fall wreath, though, if I can find it. It's beautiful.
As far as fall goes, my top Fall Festivies priorities are as follows:
1. Make a pot of turkey chili. I LOVE chili, and turkey chili is healthier, so it's a win-win. And we have a really greatt family chili recipe that I love. So I need to get on that asap.
2. Get prepared for the 4th annual pumpkin carving contest at my parent's house. More to come on that in the future. I will say, though, that I have gotten ROBBED just about EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I'll try to find some photos to back up that statement and post about it.
3. Pick a Halloween costume and round up some trick-or-treaters in my apartment complex. Any ideas on a creative costume?
And now, for the more important news, we are going on a cruise in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. Come on, people, let's get excited!
We are leaving next Friday and will be cruising along the Western Caribbean. We are sooo excited, and get to go with our best couple friends, Dayna and Levi. I'm pretty pumped to just lay on a beach for a few days. WOOO!!!!
I guess that's all for now. Happy Monday!
Posted by A Nerd and A Free Spirit at 11:36 AM
Monday, September 7, 2009
So, for Labor day, Mark and I went to Edmond to visit my brother and sister-in-law. We decided that we would take advantage of free Chick-Fil-A, so we all sported our favorite team logos. GO POKES!!!!!
From left to right, we have my brother Harrison and his wife, Tiffany, then Mark, me, my sister, Bekah, and my dad in the goofy hat. This is us very excited to get some free food. Woo!!!
Here is us all in the car, still hungry.
And here we are in Chick-Fil-A. You know, it was a madhouse, but we were in and out of there in about 20 minutes. It was very impressive. So, we got SIX free chicken sandwiches. We splurged and all split three large fries. And Bekah got a free water. I'm sure they loved that. ha.
And here we are with our loot:
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I am at my brother and sister-in-law's apartment in Edmond. I just wanted to share their blogsite in case you wanted to check it out. Hopefully I will have a posting update early this week.
Check it out and leave them a comment, and I'll see you soon.... hopefully with some more pics of something.... I'll be thinking....
Posted by A Nerd and A Free Spirit at 9:45 PM