Must. Learn. To. Garden.

We moved into our house almost exactly a year ago and I vowed to start a garden this spring.. butttt I have way too much going on with work right now and it’s just not going to happen. BUT we are thinking about fixing up our landscaping a little bit and I have fallen in love with..

Container Gardens!

Seriously, they’re just too adorable. So here’s a bunch of pictures ūüôā

sunken-planter-buried-pot-garden

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You could totally grow herbs in these!

undertreeplanters

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Bright, cheerful, and so pretty.

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Topsy turvy pots. Love this.

barrelplanters

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Cute country barrels.

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Huge and busy, but motivation!

What gardening tips do you have?

What I’m Doing Wednesday #1

Let me begin with some background information.. Amber from MommaInBloom was my first friend on WordPress (and is actually a real life friend too!). I keep finding all these awesome ideas from her blog, so pleaseee go check it out. I’m borrowing some of my ideas from the section of her blog titled “Loving and Pinning,” where she talks about the things she’s currently loving and currently pinning. She linked her Pinterest/pinning idea to a blog called The Vintage Apple¬†that has a section titled “Oh, How Pinteresting!”¬†¬†– you should definitely check that out also. ¬†I ALSO discovered “What I Wore Wednesday” from The Pleated Poppy, which another fellow blogger (MrsBurnett22) linked up with here. (PHEW!!)

Now that THAT is out of the way.. let me introduce you to¬†What I’m Doing Wednesday.¬†It’s going to be an (almost) weekly update on random things that’s happening in my life at that current time. It might not be the same things every time. It may be only 3 things.. or maybe 7 things.. I really have no idea. It’ll pretty much be random (of course), but feel free to join in and link up! So here we go!

What I’m Reading

I Like It Like That,” which is book #5 in the Gossip Girl series. I¬†loved¬†watching the TV series and now I’m heartbroken that it’s over, so I felt like the obvious next step was to read the books. It’s a little bit weird because there are definite differences, but it’s a quick, easy read – I’d definitely recommend it!

gossip girl

From Google Images.

What I’m Wearing (on my nails)

I’m not allowed to have my nails painted when I’m at work so the first thing I did when my mom came to visit (and I was off work for a week!) was get a manicure. I think the design is supposed to be zebra print. Either way it’s super adorable and I’m going to be so sad on Friday when I have to go back to work and back to ugly nails. Bleh.

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It’s really hard to take a pretty nail picture.

What I’m Buying

We have a local spice shop that sells all sorts of spices for really reasonable prices. I happened to come across this yummyyyyy Dill Dip spice. You’re allowed to taste everything while you’re there and this stuff is so so good. You can add it to sour cream for a dip, cream cheese for a spread.. or you can just sprinkle it over some cooked vegetables like we did for dinner. Seriously, so good.

spice

Blacked out the address, don’t want stalkers, lol.

What I’m Looking At

I recently discovered this website called Reddit. It’s full of hilarious pictures – sometimes I almost cry because I’m laughing so hard – but it also has a lot of drug related and perverted pictures, so look at your own risk. Anyway, I came across this insanely awesome picture of a bookshelf that someone uploaded. Not only do I LOVE bookshelves, but this one is seriously a piece of artwork. Gorgeous!

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So awesome.

What I’m Pinning

I’m still trying to figure out how to embed these directly from Pinterest, so for now.. they will not be centered and I haven’t figured out how to add any additional words.. so I’ll write my little notes up here.

1. Glue wooden letters to canvas and paint. Super pretty and seems super easy!

2. A Jack Daniel’s bottle as a soap dispenser? Pretty sure my husband would not only approve of this, but would also LOVE it. Maybe for our downstairs bathroom??

Anyway – let me know what you think of What I’m Doing Wednesday!¬†

Sometimes You Just Need To Be Random

Well, it’s been quite a busy few days for me so this update is going to be quite random.¬† There’s so much I want to share! First, the bake sale was a huge success at work – we made almost $300! Go us!

Earlier in the week I had my performance evaluation with the director of my floor – all good reviews, a 2% raise (not much, but eh), signed up for an ACLS class, agreed to start training for charge nurse AND I agreed to be a preceptor to a senior nursing student for a whole semester starting in a few weeks. 2013 is sounding like it’s going to be awesome!

Then I forgot to share a recipe for a super delicious slow cooker chicken taco soup that I made last week. Surprisingly, this recipe did NOT come from Pinterest. I know, I know.. recipes from other websites?! How old fashioned of me! But seriously, I didn’t really change this recipe at all – I just used an extra can of black beans and I used a can of chicken broth instead of beer because we didn’t have any in the fridge. And it was SO SO SO GOOD! I added tons of cilantro because I’m obsessed and it was amazing. It didn’t even need sour cream or cheese but that’s up to you.

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NOMS!!

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This is what I added on top.. Sooo yummy. Try them with fajitas too!

Friday night at work was TERRIBLE so I went out for some early morning drinks and breakfast with one of my coworkers (when you work night shift, it’s totally acceptable to drink alcohol at 8am – right?). There’s not really a story here, I just wanted to show some pictures of FALSE ADVERTISING and everyone can realize how upset I was when I paid $7 for this piece of cheesecake that was not at all what I was expecting.

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This is what I thought I was ordering..

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This is what I got.. uh.. no.

Saturday night I went out with some friends – which resulted in me being hungover all day Sunday. Which resulted in me not cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or grocery shopping like I was supposed to. Bad decision making skills. Ugh. When will I ever realize I can’t party like I’m 21 anymore?

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All cute and ready to go!

And then last and most importantly, Sunday was my Princess Roxie’s 3rd birthday! I can’t believe how big she’s gotten! When I think about when we brought home this cute little 2 1/2 pound black and white ball of fur.. I can’t believe it’s the same dog that we have right now!

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Surprise presents!

Anyway, that’s it for now. Talk about being random and babbling nonsense – but that’s the way my life is so I feel like it’s only appropriate to update in the same manner. Happy Monday everyone!

Recipe: Baked Ziti

So this week I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights. I also have a bake sale to prepare for on Friday and I’m still fighting an annoying cold.. so I needed some simple meals to make that would give my beloved hubby lots of leftovers for work for the week (and to eat Thursday night while I bake my cookies). I’ll try to eventually post all the recipes – because seriously, I picked some winners – but I’ll start with Tuesday.

Tuesday night was Baked Ziti. It’s the second ziti recipe I’ve tried and it’s definitely the winner. Soo yummy! I can’t say it was the quickest meal because of browning the meat, making the sauce, making the pasta, and then baking the whole thing in the oven – but it was definitely easy and I was able to get some other stuff done while it was cooking in the oven.

I made the following variations and/or additions:

  • I used ground turkey instead of ground beef or sausage because it’s healthier for you and once you add the seasonings and the sauce, you seriously can’t tell the difference. I promise! It might even be a little cheaper to use.
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Add your herbs and garlic before you add the sauce.

  • I made my own sauce – I used a 32oz can of tomato sauce and a 12oz can of tomato sauce with Italian seasonings already added, fresh basil and fresh oregano, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. It’s super easy and super yummy! It tastes even better the more you can let it simmer.
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Simmering sauce.

  • I like adding fresh herbs to the ricotta cheese to give it more flavor. I also added about half a cup of mozzarella cheese to the ricotta to make it extra cheesy and gooey. And I used the whole 16oz container of ricotta instead of only 1 cup.
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Ricotta with basil and oregano.

  • I also used extra mozzarella cheese (more cheesy and more gooey!). I added it on top of the first layer of pasta and then I added it at the end like the recipe states. I sprinkled a little fresh Parmesan on the top, but that’s pretty much it.
  • Lastly – I let it bake for like 30-40 minutes instead of 20 minutes. I wanted the cheese to be more melted because I added so much extra.
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Never thought to do this – Add sauce to the pasta before layering. Adds more flavor!

I didn’t make any drastic changes and I think the recipe would probably be equally delicious without them, but I just went with what I felt sounded yummy. I think it’s okay to play around with layered dishes like this because you can alter the order of the ingredients or you could add extra ingredients in between some of the layers. Next time maybe I’ll add mushrooms for my husband (they’re his favorite!).

Anyway I posted the link above and seriously, give it a try! It was delicious! What other variations could be done?

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All ready to go in the oven.

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Finished product – NOMS!