Sunday, September 30, 2012

Couple-y Cooking Project

One night before we had started dating, J wandered through the frozen tundra that was our campus to teach me how to make Oreo truffles (future post??) in my dorm kitchen.  In the three Thanksgivings we have been together we have spent the Wednesday before baking all of the pies for his family get together.  As you know, cooking is not my strong suit, but J and I make a great team.  He whips up delicious masterpieces and I push Preheat on the oven.

Today we tackled pumpkin spice bread. 
Note: This KitchenAid stand mixer was the best wedding present ever!
  3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 lightly beaten eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
Mix this well

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
Mix, and add to pumpkin mixture beating well.

Bake for about an hour in two 9x5x13 in. loaf pans at 350. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before you take it out of the pan.

If you're feeling frosty and let's face it, what's pumpkin bread without some cream cheese frosting?, mix up 1 block of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 tbsp 
2 cups sifted powdered sugar.

Happy fall, y'all!
xo Steph

Sunday Social-All About Childhood

Sunday Social

1. What do you miss most about being a kid?
Probably not having any responsibilities.

2. Did you have a nickname growing up? What was it?
I did. It was "Weeble". Apparently while learning to walk I resembled the beloved childhood toy; "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down". My dad's whole family still calls me Weeb.

3. What was your favorite thing to do at recess?
We had a really great playground and a lot of land at my tiny school so we made some pretty awesome forts.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. Or a singer.

5. What was your favorite toy?
Does the pool count? I loved being in the water. Otherwise good old Barbie.

6. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about?
I hated having to go to bed when I was young. I was convinced that all of the fun happened after bedtime and didn't want to miss anything. My mom still reminds me that I always said "Sleep is stupid!" when she made me to go bed. This often comes up when I mention sleeping in or being tired.

Hooray for childhood memories! I hope you had a great weekend and are well rested for another week! xo Steph


Friday, September 28, 2012

The Luckiest

I just want to talk for a minute about what happened today.

The school day flew by, praise the Lord. After work I went to the library only to find out it closed at 6:00, not 8:00 like I originally thought. It was 5:45 when I got there. This girl found 9 picture books for class next week in less than ten minutes. Hold your applause. 

If you didn't know, J helps out with the high school football games so Friday nights I'm flyin' solo. Tonight that meant CherryBerry for dinner. When I came home though, this is what I found.
I hit the husband lottery with my hot stud of a spouse, did I not? Flowers. Chocolate. The man bought me Cosmo.
The note told me to check the fridge; of course a bottle of the best wine in the world Naked Grape Moscato was standing front and center. My apartment is spotless. This guy is seriously incredible.

On an unrelated note. While I'm enjoying a cold beverage which obviously means wine, I'm catching up on my DVRed season premiers. First up is Law & Order SVU. 

When I was living at home my mom watched this show all the time and I hated it. Now I hole up in my apartment for Saturday afternoon marathons on USA, the signature Dun-dun (you know what sound I'm talking about) is my ring tone and I'll admit to a lengthy mourning period when Detective Sexypants Stabler left the show. I digress.

I'm off to enjoy the glorious start of this weekend. 
xo Steph

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Ok Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays
 Let's just dive right in, shall we?

It's ok...
  • to still feel incredibly and overwhelmingly blessed to fall asleep next to J every night.
  • to go to bed at 9:00. Sometimes this girl just needs some sleep.
  • to constantly have little kid songs stuck in my head. "Five little ducks went out one day..." is on repeat.
  • to be a little intimidated by the upcoming observation of my classroom.
  • to wish a few of my good friends lived anywhere near me. Instead of different states and countries.
  • to order hot lunch at school so I don't have to pack anything. It's pizza day.

Can we just talk for a second about how it's the last week of September? Halloween is just around the corner! Kohl's (the one by me), of course, has jumped the gun and started putting out Christmas trees. A little bit not ready for that. 

Anyway, I hope everything is OK with you this week!
xo Steph

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sweet & Sour Nightmare (Tuesday is For Foodies)

 I'm not a cook, but bless my heart for the ambition. Tonight I ventured to tackle a sweet & sour chicken recipe I found here.

I love Chinese food. And when I say love, I mean I probably bleed soy sauce. When I lived in Florida my roommate made this dish a few times. Of course she was one of those people. You know the type. The ones who make cooking look so effortless. Jerks. Here are the chronicles of my attempt.

This is a picture of two eggs, and a cup of corn starch. And a glass of wine, which I highly recommend having on hand at all times when you cook. This is where things started going wrong.

The recipe calls for 3-4 chicken breasts cut up into cubes. Check.
Roll the cubes in cornstarch, then egg. Oops. 
The next step is to brown the chicken in oil on the stove. Which would have worked wonderfully, had I dipped them first. 

Once I picked the chicken out of the pan and starched/egged every last one of those suckers I was back on track with gloppy hands and a disaster zone for a kitchen. It browned nicely, aside from leaving most of the  a bit of breading in the pan.
Put your chicken in a greased 9x13 pan and pour the sauce* evenly over the top. 

3/4 cup sugar
4 tsbp ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Bake at 325 for an hour, turning and stirring every 15 minutes. 

Despite my frustration during the prep process and the giant mess I made in my kitchen, the final product was delicious. I would definitely make this again. The rice was from a pouch. I added water and pressed buttons on the microwave; don't judge me. I hope your kitchens are kind to you.

xo Steph

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

1. What is something you have wanted to do but are afraid of?
I'm a big chicken and am scared of a whole lot of things. One scary thing I really want to do though, is go up in a hot air balloon.

2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I'd like to have a kid by then. Maybe two. I would love to be able to stay at home with my kids while they're young if possible; at least part time. I don't want to be teaching while I have kids at home. Even though J's call here was a one year assignment, I can honestly see us being here for a while. And out of our one-bedroom apartment.
All of this is subject to change, and does so regularly.

3. What are you looking forward to before the end of 2012?
A trip back to Michigan to see my family. It probably won't happen until the very end of 2012, but it's what I'm looking forward to most.
4. What are your hopes for your blog?
Mainly I want my blog to continue being a place that I can share my thoughts and ideas, and to meet connect with new people and make new friends!
5. Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city?
Definitely not always. But for the time being, I like where we live.

6. What is your morning routine?
My alarm goes off at 6:20. I reset it for 6:30 and pull the covers back over my head.
First I shower and get dressed.
Then I have a quick breakfast and spend a few minutes with J before he leaves.
After I brush my teeth I throw on as little makeup as I can get away with and straighten/put my hair up.
Finally I grab something to take for lunch and head out by 7:45.

I hope you all had a great weekend. I'll leave you with this gem.
Does Not Wurrrnt 

xo Steph

Friday, September 21, 2012

High 5 For Friday

   I realize that a ridiculous amount of my posts lately have been link ups. I have some original posts cooking, I swear. But link ups are just so much fun! Here's one I haven't done before from From My Grey Desk!!

1. I woke up early this morning. Early enough to catch a Boy Meets World rerun, and early enough to sit down and enjoy it. (To which J came into the living room and said "What show is this?"....what?) Another pleasant side effect of waking up early was that I got to spend a few extra minutes with J before he left. Almost as good as Shawn Hunter. Almost. Just kidding.

2. The weather forecast told me that today is a good day for flannel and a scarf. AKA cloudy and chilly. AKA my favorite weather.

3. We have no plans or obligations or plans this weekend. Starting at 5 pm tonight, I am free to do whatever I please this weekend. Which probably means that tonight will be DVR, pjs, and wine.

4. Crunch Berries. The breakfast of mature adult champions.

5. Let me say again; Bath & Body Works fall scented candles. 

xo Steph

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Ok...

Its Ok Thursdays 
Linking up again today to tell you what's ok with me today.
It's Ok... love the dreary weather we've been having. There's something so blissful to me about being cozied up inside sipping coffee while it's chilly and cloudy outside.
... to admit that sometimes I'm not sure I'm in the right profession. want to go and buy every single fall scented candle from Bath & Body Works.
...and some new scarves.
...and a pair of boots. 
...and to be a little bit obsessed with all things fall.
Autumn is on my mind big time. What's ok with you this week?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

An Ode to Red Wedges

As excited as I am for fall to be right around the corner, I wanted to get one more use out of my favorite summer shoes. 
At the close of summer, my solemn pledge is
to give a shoutout to my favorite wedges.

Your soft canvas sometimes gets dirty
but when you're clean you're cute and flirty! 

Your little bow is oh so sweet
and you never hurt my feet. 

You were my favorite shoes of summer. 
Putting you away will be a bummer. :(

You are striking, red, and bold
but I cannot wear you when it gets cold.

You look great with jeans or a summer dress. 
I'm so glad I bought you at Payless!
I am not a poet. But these are great shoes, are they not? J and I had a little date night this weekend and they seemed like the perfect shoes for the evening. :)

xo Steph

Social Sunday

Sunday Social

1. 5 items you can't live without on a daily basis(water, food, shelter, and clothes dont count) 
  • My laptop. For blogging, browsing and communicating. :)
  • A blanket. I'm usually cold, and there's nothing more cozy to me than being curled up with a soft blanket.
  • Caffeine. In the form of coffee or diet coke, depending on my mood.
  • Pen and paper. I'm always writing little lists and notes. 
  • Toothpaste. Nothing better than fresh breath.
2. All time favorite book? Why?
"The Outsiders" by S.E Hinton. We read this book in my 7th grade reading class and I've read it so many times since then. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

3. Something you'd like to accomplish by the end of 2012?
Be organized. My classroom and my home would run so much more smoothly if I could get my act together.

4. If you could go back and relive any year of your life, which year would it be?
My freshman year of college. I lived with high school friends and didn't get involved in very much. I wish I had started meeting new people and getting into things right away.

5. What do you wish people knew about you without you having to tell them?
Probably how shy I am. I'm uncomfortable talking to a lot of people, so I'm quiet. I'm sure sometimes that makes me look like a jerk. I'm not, I promise!

                        I hope you had a great weekend, and are refreshed and ready to start the week!
                                                                               xo Steph

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's Ok Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays 
It's Ok.... nibble on graham crackers without a second thought and count it as lunch. be excited about the cool weather, even if it's raining. already be excited about being able to spend a rare Friday night with my husband. have been rocking ridiculously chipped nail polish for about a week. be longing for pj's and a blanket. At 2:00 in the afternoon. admit I can't do it all. And ask for help. It really really is.

That last one is something I'm struggling hard with right now. Today has been (and is continuing to be) one of the most trying days I've had at this job.

Potty accidents, toilet overflows, and toddler meltdowns (I teach preschool, if that didn't give it away) have rendered my plans fairly useless. Some days I don't get things done that I want to get done, and those days are incredibly hard for me. Today is one of them. 

Three more hours, and I will be at home with a glass of wine reading about what's OK with you today. Enjoy your Friday-Eve.

xo Steph

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If you really knew me...

I saw a couple of these posts floating around and have wanted to do one for a while. Life is not perfect. It's not always a snappy title on a colorful blog page about the cutest clothes for fall, and I think it's important to share what's real every once in a while. 

If you really know me, you'd know...
I am a compulsive worrier. There is hardly a moment when I am not stressing about something I could or should have done differently. I get lost in worst case scenarios in my head and can't get out. Resulting in crabiness and distraction.
I need to frame this quote above my bed. Or tattoo it on my body.

I'm incredibly insecure. I am a chronic people pleaser and am constantly stressing that I'm not being or doing enough. Obsessing over making people happy makes worries run rampant.

 I am a mama's girl. Sometimes I get really jealous that we live so close to J's parents and mine are so far away. It's hard to look back on all of those crappy stupid arguments we had and realize they are wasted moments. My mom is the greatest. 

 "In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song". I have this tattooed on my foot. In music form. My dad and I went to get tattoos together a few years ago. This phrase means a lot to me, and I love having it as a constant reminder. I also love music. And the memory of going to get inked with my dad is one I'll never forget.
 Well, there's a little insight to my life outside of the blog.Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

xo Steph

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Social Sunday!

Linking up for Sunday Social. This one is all about blogging!

What is the name of your blog and how did you come up with it? The name of my blog is Stephanews. If you couldn't guess, my name is Stephanie. My blog is about what's new in my life. I thought it was clever. 

What do you love the most about blogging? Like I'm sure everyone else says, meeting new people. I love getting to know new people by catching a peek into their lives. And of course, finding new ideas, styles, and recipes.

What are your two favorite posts you've written? My yoga bag, because I think it's pretty awesome. And my wedding post. I love telling the story of my wedding. :)

What is something you'd want to tell someone just starting out in the blog world? Well I'm kind of new to the blog world, so I don't have a lot of sage advice. But I would say connect. If you want people to be reading and commenting on your blog, you have to do some reading and commenting. Put yourself out there and get to know people.

Biggest blogging learning experience? I don't know that I've had any groundbreaking experiences. I would probably say learning the advice that I gave above. And finding linkups. :)

Three Blogs I love: (in no particular order) Sprinkle of Glitter, I Wore Yoga Pants, and Brunch with Amber!

Today I am getting installed as preschool teacher. Today is also the first Packer game of the season...and I still don't care. But J's dad is having a big party, which will be fun. I hope you all enjoy your Sunday!

xo Steph

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Ok...

Linking up today for "It's OK"

Its Ok Thursdays

Let me tell you, it's been a doozy of a week already. This post is well needed. I've decided that It's Ok... have forgotten that it was Thursday and all about this post. be in bed by 10 pm. Completely exhausted. be writing this post sitting in Culvers on my lunch break. Eating a juicy burger. have made a huge mess in my classroom "cooking" applesauce with my kidlets. All 16. be in Wisconsin and NOT be excited about the Packer game this weekend.

Today is one of those days where I look forward to getting a potty break just so I can have a second to myself. Friday, get. here. now. Anybody else get thrown for a loop this four-day week? I can't seem to get with it. Here's hoping the afternoon flies by! I hope you're having a wonderful Thursday!

xo Steph

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rimmel London: Desert Rose

I'm itchin for fall. This lovely color screams autumn to me. 

I picked this polish up at Target. It has a really nice wide and flat brush that makes application easy. The formulation is nice and smooth, and two coats is plenty for full opacity. I've been wearing this for about four days and it has held up pretty well. Three cheers for Rimmel London (hooray! hooray! hooray!)

What are some of your favorite fall nail polishes?

xo Steph