What We Ate: {Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken}

So. As we discussed before, many of the recipes that I make are from Pinterest. I spend Saturday morning searching for said recipes and then I take my grocery list and head to the store for the week. So. I buy all the ingredients for this certain recipe that I had planned to make on Sunday. Luckily, there wasn't too much involved. Because Sunday after church, I try to open that darn link from Pinterest and it wasn't working! Hmmph. Well great. Husband to the rescue. He gets on Pinterest and finds us something that we can make instead. You'll see why that story was important when you see this picture....
Because I would never ever wrap chicken in bacon.

But that being said, we had all the ingredients that we needed for this recipe and that after church hunger was quickly setting in. So I caved. And I'm so glad I did, because it was delicious!

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

The Stuff:
Chicken Thighs (or breasts, but we had chicken thighs from the other recipe that we were supposed to be making)
Bacon Slices {we used turkey bacon}
Salt and Pepper to tast
Garlic Powder
Chili Powder
Brown Sugar

The Doing:
Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder. Wrap each piece of chicken with bacon {and we secured with some toothpicks} and roll in brown sugar. Grill away.

And we served with a side of brown rice. Mmmm.


What Is On My Mind: {Monday Random's}

Wow, did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or what?
I hate Monday's.
Lets talk about this.
Why are Monday's really so horrible. Honestly, what is the difference?
I still come to work Tuesday thru Friday, so really the actual day of Monday is no different.

And I hate winter {even though today is supposed to be 66 degrees}.
But Winter. Eww.
January thru March are the worst. It's cold and dead and there isn't a single work holiday.
I don't really even like Spring for that matter.
I think we should skip from December to May. Skip all those crappy, cold, dead, tornado-y months.

Some days are like that. Even in Australia.
10 points if you know what that's from.

Flip Side:

Aren't Sunday afternoon's the greatest?
Even in the winter I get to experience 2:00 Sunday perfection.
There is a room in my house that from about 1 to 3 the sun shines in so perfectly and warm.
So I declare siestas so that I can be home from 1 to 3 to enjoy that sunshiney room.

Did I ever tell you that Mike and I fell in love through letters? I know, quite the romantics we are.
And we kept all those letters.
A few years back I took all the letters and compiled them in chronological order in a book.
So last night I curled up on the couch with those letters and with some of Mike's mission journals and read.
Oh how I adore my sweet man.
Small excerpts coming soon.


What I Got: {Tagged}

Well, I normally try not to post on Sunday. You know, family day and all, plus just a wonderful day to enjoy doing nothing. But, plain and simple....I'm bored. Mike is studying. And I was tagged in a post....so I figure I could take a moment to answer a couple questions....

{I was tagged by Brielle over at Him and Her}

1- what was your favorite thing that happened today?
I taught Sharing Time today in Primary. I asked the Jr. Primary what we have been learning about this month. I said, "It starts with an A...". A boy answered, "Agency." "Good Connor." Adorable Mathias raises his hand. "I know another one! Ahmergency {emergency was what he was going for}"
I love kiddos.

2- what did you always want to be "when you grew up?"
Oh man. Well I kinda just always wanted to be famous. Singer, actress, you know, whatever got me that fame! But strangely, I was also a very shy child. I did have a small stint of wanting to be a "scientist". But that definitely didn't last very long.

3- how would you describe love in one sentence?
Love is the most consequential choice that one can make but you decide whether those consequences are good or bad. 

4- what is your favorite color of nail polish?
Red. Red. Red.

5- who is your favorite band or artist?
A question, that unfortunately, is nearly impossible for me to answer. Depends on the decade. Depends on the style of music. But Elton John is definitely at the top of the list.

6- short or long hair? why?
Long. Because it's been long nearly all my life. And its prettier long. And Mike likes it long. And it makes my face look thinner. And on and on and on.

7- how many kids do you have/want to have?
We want to have as many as we can that we can afford to raise. But really, its not about what we want, its about what we are lucky enough to receive.

8- what is the ideal date?
Hmmm, that depends on location. But here in Oklahoma, I would say October 15. Because Fall is my favorite season and October is the perfect combination of the warm Summer air and the cool Fall crisp.

9- why do you blog?
I blog because I love it. I love writing down things that happen to me. I love giving family and friends the opportunity to read about the things that I do on a regular basis. I love knowing that people are reading because it gives me the push I need to write things down.

10- what is your dream car?

11- what is the last thing you said aloud?
"I don't need to focus."

12- are you more of a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a morning person. I can barely stay awake until 9pm. And on the weekends we're up by 7:30am at the latest.


What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

Happy Friday, huh? Wahoo.

I don't know if I'm just not feeling the music, or maybe I'm just feeling it all so much that I can't pick.

But then I remembered yesterday. On my way home from a long day, I found myself going from radio station to radio station, no song was peaking my interest. So I throw open the center console in my car to find one single CD.


Now, if you haven't heard of Kalai. You need to search him out. This guy is awesome.

I have to say, I had never heard of Kalai either. Until about 5 years ago.

When a relationship begins, each person brings in there own self, their own personality, their own ideas and thoughts. And their own music. And Kalai was something Mike brought into our relationship. He introduced me to this song. {I like to think that he did so because I was that "pretty lady on {his} mind".} And I loved it. So much so that it made a small appearance on our wedding video. So here he is in all his glory....Kalai.

On My Mind

{My other favorite song by Kalai is Patience Lies, so if you enjoyed this song....you should definitely check out that song too.}

The next video is from my friend Sarah!

She says {in response to last week's post} "i was doing that very thing... being on youtube going from 1 video to the next... this is a cover band as well, and i love them. this song that is. it is called "Somebody that I used to know"- by Walk Off The Earth. Hope you listen to it. It's a good one!"

And you have to watch this video! I bet you have never seen 5 people play 1 guitar at the same time! Now you have!

Somebody That I Used To Know
Walk of the Earth

And don't forget...feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}

I linked up here...


What We Ate: {Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup}

Yep. I fell victim. Don't deny it. Most of us have.

But let me tell you, Pinterest has made my life better.
Oh stop with the scoffs and scorns. Let me at least explain why.

It's actually quite simple. Because of Pinterest, I cook dinner. And I do it 3 times a week. All because of Pinterest.

When we got back from Utah this past summer, I was able to change my work schedule to be something more of what I wanted. Which means going in earlier and leaving earlier. Therefore, I was able to get my gym time done earlier. Therefore, actually giving me time to make dinner. Now, that makes it sound easy, but then I had to actually break my bad habit of cereal/ramen/sandwiches/tuna for dinner every night. Which actually wasn't very hard. You know what the hardest part about making dinner is? Finding something to make!

And let me tell you, those first two pre-Pinterest months were rough. There was a whole lot of looking at Rachael Ray's website. Which worked for a while. I also got a great cookbook for my birthday which led to some great dinners. But after two months of those, I got bored.

But you know what? I have to make dinner. It's my duty {sorry friends, no feminist here}. My husband works his butt off at school all day, the least I can do is find something to feed him. And he always helps me cook, anyway.

And then Pinterest came.
And cooking went from mediocre, to just plain awesome.

How fun is it to just pretty much have a million different recipes thrown at you at once?
So fun.

Anyway, today's recipe is brought to you by Pinterest. And I may have to make claim that this is the best meal, so far, that I have made from Pinterest. So with that being said.....

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

The Stuff:

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
8 oz. baby carrots, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup rice
2 tbsp corn starch
1 12 oz can evaporated milk

The Doing:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, Add the onion, carrots and celery once hot. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds. Add the chicken broth, diced chicken, rice, bouillon cube, basil, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the soup up until it boils. Mix the corn starch and evaporated milk thoroughly in a bowl. Add the milk mixture to the boiling soup and stir. Lower the heat and let simmer for a few more minutes.


What Made Me Sad: {Picnik}

For all us poor, starving college students {a little dramatic, but still...}, sometimes we just have to go without. One day, I'll have some of those bells and whistles, but for now, we sacrifice. Someone once explained it to me like this....you take out student loans to pay for that graduate degree. Yep. Those student loans {especially those graduate student loans} charge you a hefty amount of interest. Which by the way, is compounding. Lucky us. So even though you are not paying right now {since student loans don't come due until after graduation} you are still accumulating interest. Mmmhmm. So say you go out shopping. And I am quite the clearance shopper, if I do say so myself {people at work have coined the term "Abby Priced" because of how good of a deal I can usually get things for}. You find a shirt. It's half off! Good deal! But just remember, that when you actually pay that shirt off, it will be nearly twice the amount than you originally paid. So really, you didn't get the 50% off that you thought you were getting. Now you may say, well I wasn't using student loan money to pay for it though. Technically, all your money is student loan money. Unless, you, by some stretch of the imagination, make more money than your student loan payoff will be in what, 10, 20 years. And if you, or a spouse, is in a graduate program, then I highly doubt that.

You may think me a little ridiculous, but this is all very true. And yes, I still shop and buy things. Everyone deserves a little something every once in a while. But it just puts a different perspective on all that shopping and all that buying. Just a little food for thought.

But anyway, the reason that I started down that long road of student loan jibber jabber was because did you guys see this?

Take heed! Picnik is closing this April!

And if you don't know what Picnik is, it's one of the best {free} online photo editing websites that there is. And I really am just plain devastated. I edit all of my pictures with Picnik. All of them.

And I've seen the wonders of Photoshop, but who can afford that? Not poor, starving college students that have extreme ideas of student loan interest like me! And maybe if I was some fabulous photographer, I could justify it, but hence, I am not. But I do like to try to make my pictures look the way that I want them. And Picnik did the best {free} job.

So now what?

I guess I get my edit on since I have 'til April 19th before Picnik is officially gone forever.
Oh and guess I'm taking suggestions for other user friendly, awesome, free, online photo editing websites.

Ready, set, go.


What I Made: {White Chocolate Popcorn Mix}

There are a few things I learned while making this.

1) It is a WAY better deal buying M&M's from Sam's Club than it is from Walmart. Assuming that you need large quantities.

2) I have no self control. This stuff is addicting, I tell ya.

I am in the primary presidency in my ward at church, and I made this stuff for an activity and it was a complete hit. Luckily, I didn't go home with too much and Mike took the small amount of leftovers to work, saving me from too much extra poundage.

It was quite a sight seeing this stuff cover my kitchen table though. Yep, there was that much of it.

White Chocolate Popcorn Mix

The Stuff:
1 bag microwave popcorn, popped
1/2 to 3/4 cup melted white chocolate
3/4 to 1 cup M&M's

The Doing:
First off, I feel like this recipe is definitely based off of tastes. It all depends on how many M&M's you want and how much white chocolate coverage you want. I started off light with my white chocolate coverage and then got a little heavier as I got closer to being done.

Mix popcorn and M&M's in large bowl. Melt white chocolate over double broiler on stove or in microwave {be careful not to burn}. Pour white chocolate over popcorn and stir to coat. Spread popcorn mixture over wax paper to cool.

Something that I learned while making this....if your white chocolate is too hot, it will start to melt your M&M's. I just made sure that when I poured the white chocolate into the popcorn mix, I did it slowly and I avoided direct contact with the M&M's. The white chocolate cooled fairly quickly after I poured it on.

After I was done, I drizzled the leftover white chocolate over the popcorn mixture that was laid out on the wax paper.

And since the Super Bowl is right around the corner, this would be a fabulous treat! You could get the M&M colors for the team's colors that your cheering for. And what a festive treat it would be!

*Update* I have been notified {by my sister, nonetheless} that the teams that are playing in the Super Bowl this year happen to have the same colors. {Yep, I didn't know.} Hmm. Well red and blue M&M's will be cute, no matter who you are cheering for.


What We Did: {Family Pictures}

It's a sweet, rare moment when my family can all be in the same place at the same time. And then trying to plan around snow {that just wasn't falling in Utah in December} made it even harder. But Mom wants a snow picture, so we are going to get her that snow picture. So a week before Christmas, early Sunday morning, we head up the canyon to get a couple of shots. It may not look like it, but we nearly all froze to death. It's true.

But gosh, aren't we just adorable?

 I love my siblings.

Oh, and here is the happy couple. Totally worth nearly freezing to death. It's true.


What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

Does anyone else ever have those nights when you watch one music video on YouTube, and then it leads you to another, and then another, and then two hours later you find yourself  discovering some new cover band that you have never heard of? Mike and I do that. A lot. And we have found some great ones. So my song today is from a cover band that Mike and I have been following for a few years now. They are just the bomb. Really though. And this song has always been one of my favorites anyway, and then they did it...And the song became even more awesome. So here is my cover band song choice.....

Fix You
Boyce Avenue

And I'm so happy today because I actually have a couple featured videos from readers.

The first is from my friend Teandra from The Never-ett Ending Story.

We have known each other for years and I'm excited that she is my first FridayFreeForAll feature! She said, "My suggestion is LMFAO's Party Rock just because, lets face it, the music video rocks." 

And lets be honest, it really does rock.

Party Rock

My second feature comes from my sweet sister, Ashley.

She said, "Gravity-Sara Bareilles. This song pierces my soul every time I hear it. It represents any negative influence in your life that no matter how many times you try you can't seem to completely get rid of. This could be people, bad habits, addictions, etc. Lyrics aside, I love her voice."

So you should watch it. Right now.

Sara Bareilles

And lastly, Mike. Can you believe that he had an opinion about a video?! I was so excited! His video happens to also be a cover band that we discovered on YouTube. And they do some really awesome mash-ups. So you should definitely watch his video. These guys are actually really good!

E.T. / Waiting for the End
Michael Henry and Justin Robinett

And don't forget...feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}

And I linked up here...


What We Ate: {Sweet And Sour Chicken}

I have been requested to post more recipes. So the plan is {please don't hold me to it, plans frequently change} to post one dessert recipe and one dinner recipe a week. Could be more some weeks. Could be less. Who knows. Most recipes I pull from the internet {thank you, Pinterest} or are from my momma. But if there is a link, I will always link back. I'm not here to steal anyone's ideas, just here to present them for my readers. With that being said.....how about some Sweet and Sour Chicken!

This recipe is so so good.
Nuff said.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

The Stuff:
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 beaten egg
4 to 6 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

The Doing:
1. Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and pepper. Slice chicken into chunks. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then in cornstarch or flour.{Cornstarch supposedly makes chicken crispier, so thats what I used}. Brown in hot oil. Place in baking dish. Cover with the following sauce: Mix sugar, vinegar, chicken broth, ketchup, and soy sauce in bowl. Pour over chicken. Bake uncovered for about an hour {keep your eye on it, my oven is pretty funky when it comes to time}. Turn chicken about halfway through the time.

We served ours over brown rice and it was pretty much to die for.


What I Did: {Piano Refurb}

So I know I have a talked just a tad about my piano. Yep, its turquoise. When we moved here, and I wasn't working and had nothing to do all day, I dreamed about playing the piano. I always grew up with a piano in my home. Trust me, my playing is nothing special {Mike can definitely attest to that} but still, I liked the idea that getting a piano would give me another something to do during the day while Mike was at school. And we talked about buying one. Since we plan to do so one day. But then the thought of having to move it around with us as we figure out where we are going to settle down was just scary. So that's when Craigslist comes in. In one day I found TWO free pianos just a couple of minutes from me. {Seriously people, Craigslist is the way to go for cheap pianos.} Within hours, I was renting a Uhaul and bringing that puppy home. It was in pretty good condition minus two of the keys didn't work, but they aren't commonly used keys anyway, plus, it was FREE!

At that point, I hadn't figured out what color I wanted to paint it. I considered a cream color, but it was sitting against a white wall, so that wouldn't really work. I considered red. But that was just a little too Elton John {even though I love love love Elton John}. I pretty much had decided to just do black, when it dawned on me, when am I going to have another opportunity to paint a piano any color I want? I'm still young, I could do any color! And turquoise just came to me. I have always loved turquoise. And my living room was red and tan so what a great accent color! And then, I just went for it.

And it was hard. Very, very time consuming and stressful. I did minimal sanding because let me tell you, this piano is extremely heavy and it wasn't going anywhere, and I didn't really wanna go crazy on the sanding while it was sitting in my house. I did one coat of primer and then it took about three coats of paint. Between the taping and the painting, this thing took me like a week to finish. So many nooks and cranny's to get and you have to get each of them three times. Hind sight is 20/20 and I can tell you that I will never paint another piano again!

And here is the finished product! I am obsessed with it. I thought about doing some glazing, but with all the work that it was to paint it, it wouldn't be worth it to glaze it and run the risk of hating it. And I'm glad that I didn't. I love it just the way it is.

And then we moved. And my walls went from white, to like a burnt orangey/brown color {which makes natural light pictures nearly impossible in my house}. But I love how great the piano looks up against it. And then I got a little brave and added a pretty little decorative piece in the center. Which really, was the final piece to the puzzle. Isn't it just gorgeous? It has definitely become the focus of the room, which I don't mind at all. Unfortunately, this puppy won't be moving with us when we figure out where we are going next. So, in time, it will be up for sale. But until then, I will continue to play my awesome turquoise piano to my hearts content.


What We Ate: {Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes}

School started for Mike today. So it couldn't be more fitting to do a post about chocolate.

I am not a cupcake fan. Gasp! I know, right? Never really been much of one, that I can remember. {Unless its those cream cheese filled ones that my mom used to make....love those.} But my boss {now former} loves cupcakes. And he loves the sweet combination of chocolate and peanut butter. So Friday was his last day and I thought I would make him a sweet treat to show him my appreciation. {I bake a lot for people at work, so this wasn't too out of the ordinary.}

And these particular cupcakes are out of this world. And that's coming from someone who doesn't even like cupcakes. And I heard from two different people that these were the best cupcakes that they have ever had. Do you know what this means? It means you must make them.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

The Stuff:
1 devil's food cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups {plus more for garnishing}
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

The Doing:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put muffin liners in muffin pan {recipe makes 24}.

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.

Pour batter into liners and bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool.

Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and then pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes.

This is when your preference comes in. This is how I did it. I dipped the top of each cupcake in the ganache mixture and then put them on a cookie sheet and put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes. {Leaving the ganache just sitting out....don't put it in the fridge!} Then I redipped each cupcake in the ganache again and immediately topped with some chopped peanut butter cups and put them back in the fridge. Ganache can be quite runny, so putting the cupcakes in the fridge can help them set up quicker. Feel free to let your ganache cool for longer than 10 minutes. The longer it cools, the stiffer it becomes, so if you wanted to just frost them with a knife, you would have to have the ganache cool for a while. Either way, get that ganache on there because thats what puts these over the top.


What We Did: {Temple Trip}

"I know your lives are busy. I know that you have much to do. But I make you a promise that if you will go to the house of the Lord, you will be blessed; life will be better for you."
—Gordon B. Hinckley

We don't make it as often as we'd like, with school, studying and work, but when we can get out there, it is definitely worth the drive.

Each time I go, I am reminded of my first time going through the temple. Having family, but most importantly, my sweetheart, there to support me. And I will never forget looking across the room and seeing Mike staring at me, and then without hesitation, doing the sign for I Love You. What a wonderful man I am married to. And what a wonderful opportunity I had to marry him in the temple. A forever marriage. And what wonderful opportunities we have to go back to the temple to serve the Lord, and also to be able to have such precious memories come flooding back to us.

Now, do you think that we'll just magically not get a ticket for not paying the toll on the toll road that we didn't realize that we were on {stupid GPS...you were programmed to AVOID TOLLS}. I mean, we were on our way to the temple....

Yep, we didn't even have 60 cents on us.

Lets not even talk about the stop sign that Mike "didn't see" on our way home from the temple.
{Not our best moments.}

 So, um, when using a mini tripod, and having the sun glare so bad you can't really see what your doing, and you can't really lay on the ground to get it right because your in a dress, chances are you will definitely stand directly in front of Angel Moroni.
 And I learned how to tie a tie on the way home from the temple. Go me.

No, taking pictures and tying ties are not the reason for our breaking of the law.
We honestly have no excuses for that.


What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

So raise your hand if sometimes you have dance parties in your bathroom while doing your hair.

I do. I try to do it when Mike isn't around. {Because one time I tried to get him to have a dance party with me and all I got was maybe a small hip shake and a couple of strange looks.}

So, all us dance party-ers have a favorite song to break it down to.

This is mine.

Fire Burning
Sean Kingston

And don't forget...feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}


What I Did: {Updated 'About Us'}

Hey y'all. I have updated the About Us page so click on the link up top and have a look.

A special shout out to Mike, who wrote all his own factoids about himself. He was more than willing to participate in sharing some random things about his personality with you all.

Love him!


What We Did: {Trespassed}

Those who play together, stay together.

So you know what's convenient for me? Being married to my best friend.

I always have someone to play with.

Even if it means breaking the rules every once in a while.

Oh and those who kiss often, will also stay together...

I linked up here...


What We Did: {Bowling}

We went bowling when we were in Utah with Mike's family. Mike loves to bowl. I haven't been bowling in years. Its just never been that fun to me. That is, until this particular bowling adventure. When we played two games. And I beat Mike. Both times. Me, competitive? No....

But apparently we were having so much fun we couldn't even hold our phone steady while snapping a couple pics...
Third times the charm.


What We Ate: {The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies}

Let me just tell you. When I found this recipe a few years back, I had no idea that it would be my all time favorite. No jokes, people, this is the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe ever. And I wish I could credit whosever recipe this is. And if its yours? YOU ARE AWESOME. I've done my fair share of chocolate chip cookie recipe tryin'. And I've found some good ones. But this one just does it all for me. Soft n' chewy. Just the way I like it. And guess what? I'm gonna share it with you.

I'm so nice.

The Stuff:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 {3.4 ounce} package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

The Doing:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

And then share them with your neighbors. Or secretly eat them all by yourself, which is usually what I do.


What Made Me Angry: {Grocery Shopping}

It's quite possible that my level of maturity has yet to surpass that of a 7 year old. Either way, this made me angry.
1) This city that I live in is lame when it comes to grocery store options. There are exactly two different grocery stores within decent driving distance of me. The first one is overpriced. The second one is ghetto and small. Therefore, my grocery shopping is forced to be done at Walmart. I don't hate Walmart. I am not too good for Walmart. But, I would never choose to do my grocery shopping at Walmart because normal grocery stores usually have better sales.

2) I am not a couponer. I wish I were. Those people can save crazyawesome amounts of money. But every Saturday before I do my grocery shopping, I do check out 4 different coupon networks just to see if I am interested in what they have to offer. That is the extent of my couponing experience.

So. Last week, there was this coupon...

Um. Yay! We need cereal and this is a good deal and we love Honey Bunches of Oats. I proceed to clip the coupon and buy the cereal and use the coupon. Coupon doesn't work on the first try but worker says "these online coupons always freeze up the system", then she proceeds to manually deduct the $1.00.

This has happened many a time to us. It seems they usually have to manually deduct the amount.

So today, same coupon is still available, and the network lets you clip each coupon twice. So I decide that I should just buy another box, since its such a good deal. Clip coupon, proceed to grocery shopping, buy biggest box of Honey Bunches of Oats that Walmart has. Get to register. Coupon doesn't work. Typical.

And then the lady says that "if the coupon doesn't work, we can't do anything about it. Sorry." And then she hands me back the coupon.


1) Lets take a look at the coupon just one more time. Top, left hand corner. What store is that? Oh right, Walmart. Which is where I am.

2) Did you really just change your policy during the week? Really?

3) I bought the biggest freaking box they had. Which also means I spent a good amount of money. And I'm a tightwad. Which means I need that coupon to work.

But what did I say to her, you ask?

"Oh, okay."

Yep. That's it.

But then I proceeded to buy the box of cereal. And stomp out of the store. And to get back at Walmart, you know what I did? I wadded up my grocery list and left it in the cart and then I left the cart in a parking space. Hah.

That'll show 'em.


What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

I think I am going to start something new. Let's call it FridayFreeForAll.
The FridayFreeForAll will consist of me posting a music video.
This could be a new favorite, a classic oldie, a guilty pleasure, or anything in between.
Don't worry, I will let you know.
That's when you come in. You tell me if the song I posted is also your new favorite, a classic oldie, your guilty pleasure, or if you just plain hate it. {Feel free to expound, those are not your only 4 options.}
I want to know what you think about the songs that I post!
And please, feel free to leave your own suggestions for the next FridayFreeForAll!
If you give suggestions, I will highlight you/your blog/and your video on next week's FridayFreeForAll...just make sure you give me all the details! {And you must be a follower.}
{Oh and all music videos must be appropriate. We are family friendly on this here blog.}

So let's start this thing.

Today's video?

We Could Be Together
Debbie Gibson

My sisters are probably just dying right now, but I love this song. Yep, its a guilty pleasure of mine. I'm disappointed that I couldn't find a decent website with the real music video out there so you get the live video. {But the real music video is awesome, so you should definitely search it out.} Either way, don't deny it, this song was a hit!


What I Caught: {More Sickness}

Yep. Again. I'm sick. Again! This, my friends, is the 3rd time in less than a month that I'm under the weather. And mind you, I did get my flu shot this year. Of course, this time its the nose/throat/feel like I've been hit by a train sickness. Other than its an easy excuse to get out of going to the gym, getting sick is the pits. I asked Mike yesterday if we could have popcorn and hot chocolate for dinner. Luckily, I regained my self control before dinner time and I even cooked a fabulous dinner. But, its a new day, and once again, all I can think about is popcorn and hot chocolate. We should probably throw some peanut M&M's in for good measure. Look what being sick does to me! Good thing I don't set New Year's resolutions or they would be blown.

{Oh, and sneezing. Isn't that like the best thing ever? It's like a quarterofasecond of pure relief when your sick. And I have an overly dusty office, so it works out really well for me.}

Luckily, we have been having some fairly awesome weather here in the Midwest.
Yep, see that temperature? That's what our weather has been hanging around. So even if I can't shake this season's sickness, I guess if I can walk outside in January and have the warm sun shine on my face, it's still a pretty good day.


What We Read: {The Death Cure}

Ah. The final book in The Maze Runner series. Check. {Of course, until August when the prequel, The Kill Order, comes out!} With the long holiday weekend, what better way to spend it than reading Mike a good book. And to finish a book series? Success. I do have to say though, that of the three books, this was easily my least favorite. Exciting? Of course. But it just didn't captivate me quite like The Maze Runner or The Scorch Trials. However, it's still a fantastic series, and I definitely give it my recommendation.

Here is the short synopsis pulled from the authors website: {once again, probably shouldn't read it until you read the first two books}

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says. The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure? 


What We Did: {Target Practice}

For Christmas, Mike got a Nerf gun. Yes, I do realize by getting him a Nerf gun, I am practically volunteering to be a target. Which is why I bought two Nerf guns, therefore giving me the opportunity to defend myself. So what happens on a quiet Sunday night at home with the Once Upon A Time marathon running in the background? Well, with a dry erase marker, a piece of glass {ours pulled out from the center of our coffee table}, and a couple of Nerf guns, you can have hours of fun. Evidence that this really happened...
Yes, I do realize I got my butt kicked. But leave it to the loser to say that it's not about who wins, it's about how you play the game.