Recipe: Braided Spaghetti Bread

I actually mentioned this recipe 2 months ago (see the post here) and I JUST now got around to trying it over the weekend.

Braided Spaghetti Bread

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The hubby and I were both SO excited about this recipe. Let’s be honest here, the idea of it sounds amazing! I didn’t really alter it too much – I just made my own spaghetti sauce and added ground beef. Unfortunately, the hubby and I were both mildly disappointed. It was good, especially dipped in extra meat sauce, but it wasn’t amazing. There was just too much BREAD flavor. I brushed the top with butter and then added garlic powder and Parmesan cheese, but it still just tasted like bread.

Overall, I would say it was good.. but I’d rather just make baked spaghetti. The time and effort that went into this meal was more of a pain in a butt than anything.

Another Pinterest recipe that I tried.. Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole. And (not so) surprisingly, I forgot to take a picture of it. It actually looked so pretty too! Now this recipe was definitely a winner! I loved it, especially with some sour cream on the side. Yummmyyyy. Although, I did cook the chicken prior to putting it in the oven – the idea of putting raw chicken on top of cooked potatoes kind of grossed me out.

What did you find on Pinterest this week?

What I’m Doing Wednesday #4

Oh crap, it’s been a WHOLE WEEK since I updated last?! And I’ve actually been off work for over a week too.. so no excuses! EXCEPT I kind of have an excuse, because I finally painted another room in our house! The master bathroom is now a gorgeous burnt orange from Sherwin Williams called Pennywise 🙂 Go me! Unfortunately, now I really, really want to get new flooring and a new vanity put in there.. oh how I wish we could win the lottery and support my redecorating desires!

Okay, whining done… time for another edition of What I’m Doing Wednesday!

What I’m Wearing

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Life as Mrs. Burnett for What I Wore Wednesday!

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Flats – Guess (purchased from Macy’s), Shirts – Aeropostale
#oldclothes #perkypony #ithinkimcute

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I just liked this one, so I’m adding it.

So this is actually yesterday’s outfit. I’m returning to work tonight and currently in scrubs, so I figured that wouldn’t be very interesting! Unfortunately, this outfit isn’t very interesting either.. considering all I was doing was going grocery shopping. I think I look kind of cute though?

What I’m Obsessed With

Seriously.. MANGO SALSA. Oh my goodness, first of all (confession time).. I have a total love affair with cilantro. I mean, full on obsession. So this mango salsa was SUPER yummy and it was the perfect addition to this Jamaican Jerk Pork  🙂 I actually made a pork loin in the oven instead of the slow cooker pulled pork, but it was so, so good. It’s from this awesome website called Skinny Taste that has TONS of delicious and healthy meals.

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Not gonna lie, I ate it by the spoonful.

What I Bought

A Himalayan Salt Block! I actually bought this 2 weeks ago for my mom’s birthday but she just got it in the mail last week and finally got to use it this weekend. You can read more about them on this website (which is also where I purchased them).

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Picture courtesy of my mom.

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Picture courtesy of my mom.

What I Pinned – And Did!

I made THE CUTEST makeup brush holder based off a pin I saw on Pinterest! My hubby bought me these awesome makeup brushes for Christmas, but it was always such a hassle to use them because they were being stored under the sink. Now they have an adorable display right on the counter which makes them super easy to find and use! Once we figure out an actual decor for our bathroom, I might try to make a little canister with an actual design/pattern on the outside. But for right now, I seriously love this! More ideas can be found here.

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((Vase – $2 from Michael’s, Stones – $5 Target))

What are YOU doing today? Feel free to link up!

What I’m Doing Wednesday #3

Welcome to yet another installment of What I’m Doing Wednesday!

What I’m Wearing

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Life as Mrs. Burnett for What I Wore Wednesday!

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I honestly have no idea where I got half my clothes from (how do people remember every single item?!) but I somehow remember everything about this outfit except for the jeans.

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((Striped shirt – Macy’s, Cami – Aeropostale, Boots – Ninewest, Necklace – Body Central))

What I’m Reading

I’m STILL working on reading the entire Gossip Girl series. I’m currently on book #10 – “Would I Lie To You.”  I LOVED the TV series so much, it’s just killing me to keep reading this when it’s almost nothing like the show. I guess I should’ve realized this beforehand. BUT I’m going to keep reading it because that’s just how I am.

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What Makes Me Go “Awwww”

Okay, so this is a completely random category but seriously, look at this picture of my babies! SO CUTE!!

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Snoozing in the same crate!

What I Made For Supper

Tonight I tried a new recipe – Chicken, Chorizo and Tortilla Soup by Rachael Ray. It was definitely a winner! Although, I made a few changes —  (1.) I used shredded chicken instead of bite sized pieces. (2.) I didn’t add the hot sauce because I wasn’t sure how hot the chorizo would be. I think it was the perfect heat level without it, but everyone’s different! (3.) I accidentally bought chicken broth, instead of chicken stock, so it needed a little extra flavoring. I just added half a packet of taco seasoning. (4.) Next time I won’t use the potatoes, I don’t feel like they were really necessary. Seriously, try this recipe!! So good!

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It looks pretty too!

What I’m Baking

My mom bought me a mini donut maker for my birthday on Monday (yeah, she’s awesome like that) and I used it for the first time today! I didn’t feel like going to the store to buy anything fancy so I just made the basic donut batter and used granulated sugar and powdered sugar as the toppings. I’d say I did pretty good for my first try!

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What I’m Laughing At

I’m laughing at myself today! Have you ever seen pictures of perfectly vacuumed carpets with perfect, symmetrical vacuum lines?

Well, I vacuumed and shampooed my bedroom carpet earlier in the week. No, a blind and drunk person did not do that. I don’t even know how it got that way! I don’t remember walking in any circles, but apparently I did.

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Doggy footprints everywhere!

 

What are YOU doing today? Feel free to link up!

The Return of ME!

I am SO sorry for being MIA lately. I felt like I was doing so good at blogging – and I was so proud of myself! – but then the weather started spiraling downhill and raining and/or snowing for days and days. And it was so cold and dreary. And work has been absolutely insane the last month. I just felt like I needed a few weeks to relax and cuddle on the couch and have me time. But I think I’m back now and I have so much to talk about! Where oh where do I begin?

First of all, I officially have my own domain name!

http://www.lovelywanderingthoughts.com

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We’re getting too much of this lately.

Second, I finally caught up on everyone’s blogs.. and you guys are as awesome as ever!! I tried to like and/or comment on quite a few posts (some of you may have been bombarded with both!) but I just wanted to let ya’ll know I haven’t forgotten about you!

Third, I found this awesome recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken Divan on Amber’s blog over at Momma In Bloom. It was so creamy and cheesy and just plain yummy! I don’t have an oven-safe skillet, so I just put it in a 9×13 Pyrex pan and it worked fine. I definitely recommend trying it out!

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Fourth, my beauty products! I’ve been contemplating cancelling my Birchbox, so I didn’t bother writing anything about February’s box. I should be receiving March’s soon. I’ll discuss my Julep box on Friday (for the Friday Nail Files). And that leads me to.. my first Ipsy bag! I actually received it in February, so I’m not going to go into TONS of details – as my March bag should be arriving soon – buttt you can check out this awesome blog called Pearls and Paris and she goes into much more detail (we received the same bag!) AND gives discount codes for all the items. Unfortunately, I’m a little late to update and the codes expire tomorrow.. so get shopping!

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Quick review Black patent leather makeup bag – looks kind of cheap, but still cute for little items. Eye shadow pallette – the yellow looks a little too bright, but I’m willing to try it. Primer – went on super smooth and made my skin feel really soft. Mascara – I’m very, very faithful to my current mascaras but it defined my lashes nicely and didn’t get clumpy. Lash card – I have tried these things before and was not impressed, so I just threw mine out. BUT the winning item in this bagthe gel eyeliner!! I am not a fan of liquid eyeliner and I always have difficulty finding pencil liners that give me the look I want. I used a small eyeliner brush to apply the gel liner.. and I instantly fell in love! Overall, I was super impressed and the $10/mth price is pretty awesome too 😉

Fifth, my BFF from PA introduced me to this jewelry brand called Alex and Ani. They sell bracelets that are like charm bracelets – except they’re bangles! Their prices vary (some are quite expensive!), but most of them are really affordable. I’ve never been a fan of charm bracelets – they’re a little too gaudy for me – but these bangles are seriously SO cute.

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$48 – source

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$38 – source

And lastly, I was tagged by the lovely Mrs. Burnett for a Five Things About Me challenge and I figured.. why not?

One – I have a problem with things that don’t match or things that aren’t consistent. A few examples – I have all 4 books in the Twilight series but only one is paperback and it drives me crazy every time I look at it. I color code all my notes at work and if I write something down in blue instead of green on accident, it’ll seriously drive me nuts until I can either rewrite everything or use white-out to fix it. I can’t think of anything else right now (way too sleepy!) but you get the idea. Is this OCD-like behavior?

Two – I have baby fever to the extreme. Like I really, really, really want a baby. Most people are aware of this. (Mom – are you aware of this?!) The hubby is well aware of this and is – thankfully – on the same track as me. So yay 🙂

Three – I don’t feel like the same person I was before my grandparents died. Sometimes I don’t understand how I’m continuing to live my life without them. I know I was running away when I moved to NC. I know I did it because I couldn’t handle living in the same town they lived in. It hurt too much. Thankfully I love our home and the city we live in, but it’s sometimes hard to know I’m here because I wanted to hide from my fears.

Four – I could watch HGTV for hours and hours and hours and not get bored. Seriously! I love watching shows about people house hunting or renovating their houses or selling their houses or anything! If I even watch 2 seconds of a show, I have to watch the whole episode because I need to find out what happens! I get drawn in so easily!

Five – I got a tattoo my senior year in college. It’s a red rose on my right hip bone. Yes, it hurt. No, I don’t regret it. Yes, I still love it every time I look at it. And yes, I sometimes contemplate getting a second one but I don’t know if I have the guts to do it!

Feel free to join in and write 5 things about yourself on your blog – just don’t forget to tag me! 😉

It’s Friday, Friday

Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Fridayyyy

And thank you Rebecca Black for this song! 😉

 

Ok, I’m truly sorry for getting that stuck in everyone’s head, but for some reason it’s in mine today and it’s driving me CRAZY. I know I’ve been MIA recently. I’ve just had one of those weeks (ok, two weeks). Work has been insane, the weather has been off and on miserable, it’s been cold, blehh. I just can’t seem to get myself together and my days have consisted of watching DVR’d shows.. and not cleaning my house. Which is what I’m supposed to be doing right now.. but I wanted to take a minute to chat with all my lovely readers 🙂

A few weeks ago I made a post about my Top 10 Favorite Reality TV Shows, you can check that here. But today I’m going to make a post about some of my favorite recipes that I’ve discovered on Pinterest. I’m not sure if I’ll come up with 10, but we’ll see what happens!

I’m sure it’s the same for every household – with or without kids – we have the same meals almost every week. It gets SO boring and I’ve been trying so hard to find yummy meals that don’t take forever to make. I haven’t exactly been making sure they’re super healthy, but maybe that’ll be my next challenge? And so.. some of my favorite Pinterest meals!

1.  Chicken and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce – Mine never looks like the picture does and I don’t like mushrooms, but I still love this recipe. It’s quick and yummy and the sauce is sooo good.  Recipe here.

2.  Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce – I can’t seem to successfully cook pork chops, but I’m getting super good at making pork loins. This says to cook for 30-40 minutes, but just keep an eye on it while it’s cooking to make sure it’s actually done before you serve it (yes, I learned this the hard way). Recipe here.

3.  Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup – I seriously LOVE this. My hubby isn’t a huge fan of having soup for supper, but I seriously love this soup. Oh my goodness. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think I want to make it this weekend! Recipe here.

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This is actually my picture!

4.  Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni – I made this for the first time last week and it was a huge hit. The hubby ate like 4 servings of it that night and then for breakfast and then for lunch the next day. I added lots of extra bacon and cheese, yummy. Recipe here.

5.  Twice Baked Potato and Ground Beef Pie – I guess this is a rendition of Shepherd’s Pie? I was a little hesitant about this one, but it was seriously awesome. (Side note – I browned the beef before putting it in the oven. Putting in raw beef kind of grossed me out.) Recipe here.

Well, I’m only going to do 5 recipes because I seriously need to get going and start cleaning, but here’s a few recipes I found that I’m dying to try!

1.  Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole – Recipe here.

2.  Braided Spaghetti Bread – Recipe here.

Seriously though, do they look AMAZING or what?!

What awesome recipes have YOU found on Pinterest?

My Brain Is Exploding!

Oh myyyy, I feel like my brain is about to explode! I woke up today (after only 2 1/2 hours of sleep after working all night) and I felt like my brain was going in 8,000 different directions. There are so many things I want to write about but there’s just not enough time in one day, so I’m doing the only thing I can think of.. I’m going to make a list! I love lists!

Cybill’s List of Future Topics

1. It’s OK Thursday – will be done today!

2. 30 Day “What If” Challenge Day 11 – will be done today!

3. Inside my 1st Julep Maven box – coming tomorrow for The (Friday) Nail Files!

4. Top 10 Favorite Beauty Products – coming soon!

5. My first guest post about my own personal love story – coming soon!

Phew, I hope you guys are ready for all of this! I definitely am! 🙂

It’s OK Thursday #2

Well, I’m technically linking up with Amber from MommaInBloom for It’s OK Thursday (because it’s her idea) but she wrote about a yummy and healthy chicken salad today instead – you should still check it out!

It’s OK..

That I’m never able to cook pork chops correctly. I found this yummy recipe for honey garlic pork chops and I decided to bake it in the oven instead of grilling it. Well, the marinade was super yummy, but the pork chops were tough and dry. I’ve tried making pork chops a million different ways – with only a handful of times actually being successful – but I’m not giving up!

It’s OK..

That I love reading pregnancy blogs and looking at pregnancy and/or baby boards on Pinterest.. even though I’m not pregnant. BUT someday I will be pregnant and I’ll already have tons of awesome ideas in my head. And I’ll already have tons of topics to discuss with my awesome readers 🙂

It’s OK..

That I’m nervous about being a preceptor to a senior nursing student. It’ll be my first time being a preceptor so I feel like I have every reason to be nervous – but I’m sure I’ll feel even better after I take my preceptor class! (I’ll probably end up writing about this more in depth at some point.)

It’s OK..

That I had my time zone set as “South Georgia” and I couldn’t understand why it was putting my time as 3 hours later than the actual time. Apparently, South Georgia is not the same as the actual state of Georgia. I am now correctly listed as being in the NY time zone, phew.

It’s OK..

That even after feeding my dear hubby dry, tough pork chops last night – I’m feeding him Hamburger Helper tonight because I’m too exhausted (aka too lazy) to cook anything. In my defense, I worked 7p-7:30a last night and then had a CPR class from 1-4 today – so I’m running on less than 3 hours of sleep today!

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Easy AND yummy.

30 Day “What If” Challenge

Day 11 : What if you could hear what someone is thinking for a day, who would you choose?

Hmm I’d probably say my husband. Yes, I understand this could be a good or a bad thing. It could be good because most men (including my hubby) are not always very verbal about what they’re thinking. It’d be interesting to actually hear everything that goes on inside his head! On the negative side – there could be things that I definitely don’t want to hear. Anything from checking out the bartender or cashier or someone else attractive (he would never! hehe) or complaining about some of my terrible dinners (he better not!).

My second choice would be to hear the thoughts of one of my patients at work. Now I think I’m a pretty good nurse and many of my coworkers have told me that I’m a great nurse, so I don’t worry about that. But I have this problem of being quite clumsy.. and I drop things.. and I run into or trip over things. A lot. I’ve been told by many, many patients that I look too young to be a nurse.. so I wonder if they look at me and think “who is this girl who looks like she’s 15 and keeps dropping things and should I trust her to take care of me?”

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First day of work as a nurse.

Whose thoughts would you want to hear?

Monday Already?

Well, I didn’t update yesterday for two reasons..

1. I was lazy.

2. Date night with the hubby!

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shoes

#BCBG #orange #isthenewpink

So with that being said, I ran 800 errands today and decided to make fajitas for supper. Fajitas are definitely a favorite in our household – and they’re super, super easy to make.

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Chicken, onions and peppers for the main stuff.
Tomatoes and cilantro for pico de gallo.

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These tortilla strips are #thebomb.

And then the most important part – THE SAUCE. This stuff is seriously amazing! I always make sure to shake it up really well, because all the seasoning is at the bottom of the packet so you gotta make sure you scoop all the good stuff out.

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Oh, heavenly sauce.

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NOMS!

Lastly – the pico de gallo! I’ve pretty much perfected my recipe, but I don’t really have measurements for the ingredients because you just add everything to taste. Diced tomatoes, garlic (minced really, really small), cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice. You could also just add garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic. And then let it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes. (I prefer mine to be cold – for the contrast in temperature – so I always make sure my tomatoes are in the fridge for awhile before I even make it).

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Yummy, yummy pico.

((I forgot to take a picture of the completed meal because it smelled so, so good and I couldn’t wait to eat!))

In other awesome news – I received my January Birchbox today!

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Face cream x2, shampoo, perfume, highlighter/blush in one, and lash lengthening serum – all for $10!

30 Day “What If” Challenge – Day 8

Day 8 : What if you could choose how you were going to die, what would you choose your death to be?

Well, honestly, I think this question is kind of silly. Would anyone really want to die a painful death? Hopefully I have many, many, MANY more years left, but if I had to choose, I guess I’d just choose to die in my sleep. Peacefully, without pain. Simple enough.

What would you choose?

Oh, What A New Year

Oh gracious. I promise I’m not neglecting you my faithful readers (there has to be some of you.. right?!). I wish I had more time to update, but I’ve been way too busy being sick (I think I’m finally better now), working, and cleaning like a crazy person because I was preparing for my mom’s arrival. She arrived on Thursday and is staying until the 10th so I can’t guarantee a ton of updates this week.. sorry!

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She really, really wanted a sign.

We had a billion days of rain last week so on Saturday when I took the dogs out after working all night.. my precious little Roxie decided to lay on her belly and pull herself through piles of mud. Yep, through the mud. She was quite pleased with herself.. until she realized that it meant I would be giving her a bubbly bath. At 8am. After I worked 12 hours. UGH! But look how cute she is 🙂

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Muddy feet.

I’m working on organizing my life and my first project was using my awesome new makeup organizer that I talked about here and that you can purchase here. I seriously love it! It’s meant to be placed on top of the counter, but I have a serious issue with things cluttering my counters.. so I made room for it under my cabinet and it’s beautiful! I seriously love using it and now I need to go out and buy more makeup because the whole back half of it is literally empty.

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Perfection!

Today is Playoff Sunday.. let’s go Redskins! My mom and I made a feast with tons of yummy foods and most importantly, we made Cranberry Pomegranate Sangria! You can find the awesome recipe here which I found on Pinterest, of course. It’s seriously amazing. Unfortunately, the Redskins appear to be losing and will most likely have lost by the time I end up publishing this. My dear hubby is not very happy.

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Pot ‘o Sangria.

So I guess I’m going to finish this update with my New Year’s Resolutions.

1. To become a better, more successful blogger. I want to become more involved in the awesome WordPress blogging community and participate in daily activities. Or maybe even make my own daily activities/topics to blog about! I have a seriously hard time updating when I have to work, so I can’t promise daily updates, but I hope to update at least 3 times a week. One of my favorite things is “It’s OK Thursday” by an old coworker of mine. You can read her blog here.

2. To become more involved at work. I’ve already begun working on this goal, go me!! I’ve been working as a floor nurse for 3 1/2 years now and I feel like it’s time to start working on my career. I’ve agreed to be a preceptor to a senior nursing student for an entire semester (which should be starting in the next few weeks). I’ve agreed to take a charge nurse class. I signed up for an ACLS class. I’ve signed up to be on a committee to help educate other nurses on new nursing skills. I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, especially because education is something else I’m very passionate about.

3. To become more organized in my life. Pinterest exists for a reason!! I’ve pinned a billion different ways to clean and organize my life.. now it’s time I get started! I’ve already begun working on this goal. Go me! My next task is figuring out how to make my closet a little less chaotic.. at least until we can have someone come in and customize/rebuild my walk-in closet for me. I also hope to FINALLY paint some more rooms in this big ol’ house. I’ve only succeeded in painting the living room, the downstairs half bath, and the upstairs guest bathroom.. and we’ve lived here since May!

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I have way too many beauty products.

I think I’ll just leave it at that for now. Wish me luck!

And now something to make you giggle.. that I found on Pinterest.. of course.

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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!

How I Discovered Wax Paper Is Not The Same As Parchment Paper

While as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my work is having a bake sale today for the National Kidney Foundation – I work on a renal floor, so yeah. I found this recipe on Pinterest for cookies with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and pretzels – and it looked awesome!

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Mine did not look like this.

Now as I also mentioned, I’ve been fighting off an annoying cold for almost 2 weeks now and my mind has been a little bit scattered. So my baking adventure yesterday started off a little bit shaky when I realized I didn’t have baking soda – I only had baking powder. Thanks to Google, I managed to solve that problem. After I got my cookies in the oven, I started working on yesterday’s post when I realized I smelled something burning.. and when I went to check on my cookies, I realized smoke was rapidly filling up inside my oven!!

APPARENTLY wax paper is not the same as parchment paper. I have no idea how I’ve never discovered this before. I’m not even sure why I have wax paper if it can’t be put in the oven?? But thank goodness it didn’t actually catch on fire – which is what terrified me because I was home alone and scared of disaster – but it seriously almost made my whole downstairs fill up with smoke. Obviously I didn’t think to take a picture, but use your imagination.

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Anyway, the cookies managed to turn out awesome! They don’t look as perfect as the cookies from the original website (and I’m definitely not a professional food photographer!), but my dear hubby said they tasted super yummy!

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My little sidekick in the background.

Thanks again to Pinterest for yet another winning recipe!