What Got Me Thinking: {Definition of Me}

Sometimes there are things in life that happen, and you wonder why they happen. Sometimes those things are things that are easy to laugh at. Other times you can't help but get upset. I was able to have the opportunity this weekend to see myself from the outside. I now understand why men think women are crazy. Because women are crazy. I saw myself go from happy and laughing, to sad and depressed, and then back to happy and laughing way too many times this weekend.

I hate drama. More than anything. If I sense a dramatic situation, I retreat. Which is why I find myself becoming more and more of a home body.

Yet, even when trying to avoid drama, I obviously am able to create my own by just being a girl and having a couple mood swings.

There are times that I think, Mike probably thinks I'm crazy.

Then I quickly remind myself that all women are crazy, so if it wasn't me he was married to, he would just be married to some other crazy person.

I try to be normal. I try to consciously think about what I am doing, while I am doing it, attempting to create fewer regrets. My blog name was chosen for that reason. Because it is the definition of me. I try to put all I have into everything that is important to me. I don't think striving for perfection is a negative thing.

I have heard many ex-Mormon's say that a reason they left the church is because they couldn't take the pressure of trying to be perfect. But shouldn't we all be striving to be perfect anyway, whether or not we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? We were placed here on this earth to be tested and tried. To show our Heavenly Father that we can overcome. That we can give all that we have to be with Him again.

You have to try. Jesus Christ has made up for the difference. But you still have to try. And some days, it's down right hard. And some days I just don't want to do it anymore. But then I remember why I chose Tainted Perfectionist as the title to represent me and my life. Because it's who I am. It's who we all are. Learning how to become just a small piece of what Jesus Christ was, and continues to be.


What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

It's Friday!

Unfortunately I don't find myself in a particularly peppy mood this morning.

But fortunatly, I have a video that may help with that. {Thanks to my sister who introduced this song to me a few years back.}

So like Ben says in The Family Stone, "You have a freak flag. You just don't fly it."

Wavin' Flag

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 He Won: {Awards}

Mike wins awards and stuff! Good job babe!


What Annoys Me: {The KnowItAlls, otherwise known as Advice Givers}

I've kinda been on one lately. I don't know what it is that makes this attitude of mine come out. But here is a current thought of mine.

do not like when people tell me things I already know or give me advice that I did not ask for.

Here are several true to life examples that have either been said to me, or said to others around me.

"Being married is seriously the best." -Usually said to someone currently engaged.
{Well thank you. Because of course, until you told me that, I figured I was getting into something that would make me depressed beyond all misery. Why do you think I'm getting married? I don't need a confirmation from you to tell me that being married is great. I know this. Which is why I am doing it. Not because you told me it was "seriously the best".}

"You will love being a mom." -Usually said to someone currently pregnant.
{"I was so worried! I thought I would hate it! But now that you have told me I will love it, I am sure I will." Why do you think that they chose to have this child? Because they knew they would hate being a parent? Doubt it, friends, doubt it.} {Not a pregnancy announcement, btw.}

"When you have more experience, you will understand." -This one is Mike's, coming straight from the mouths of Law professors.
{Obviously. We pay the Law school thousands and thousands of dollars so Mike can be taught that no matter how much they teach him, he won't understand anything until he gets experience. It's a good thing that little piece of paper called a diploma means so much, otherwise I would be worried we were just donating money instead of actually paying for an education.}

"You follow all the rules with the first, and then after that, all the rules go out the window." -This one is referencing children, whether talking about pregnancy or talking about actually raising the kids.
{Just because you decided to be perfect with the first child/pregnancy, and break all the rules with the second, does not mean that everyone does that. You are trying to make yourself feel better. Just stop it. If I want to eat all fruits and veggies while I'm pregnant with my first, I will. That may or may not mean that I will do it again with my second, third, etc. I will do what I choose. Don't tell me how "busy" I'll be. So busy that I can't try as hard with the second as I did with the first. That's a fools game. And you are full of excuses.}

Guys. I have like a million and one more of these. And just writing this post as got me all revved up.
And all I'm saying is, don't give people advice that they didn't ask for. And don't rub your experiences in other peoples faces. It's annoying. Stop.

{I have a similar post that I wrote like this right before we moved to Oklahoma. You can read it here.}


What I Appreciate: {Working}

I'm not a job person. I have never liked working. I don't want a career. I went to school and got an education because I knew that was the smart thing to do. I did not go to school and get an education so that I could help support a family. That's Mike's job. And he's completely okay with that. He wants to. And he wants me to stay home.

I have been asked many times, by many different people if I plan on sitting for the CPA exam. And I honestly considered it. I thought about returning to school to get my Masters in Accounting. I prayed and prayed about what to do.

Mike knows more than anyone, I'm not the most fun person when I am in school. I had to work really hard to get good grades in college. Therefore resulting in a stressed, wanna-rip-my-hair-out attitude. But suddenly, you graduate, and you forget all the bad stuff. I imagine it's quite like child labor. But after much prayer, and remembering what it was that I really wanted for myself and what we had always wanted together as a couple, I decided to not go back.

I have never once regretted that decision.

I consider myself successful. I don't need a CPA license to tell me that.

A few weeks ago at work, we had our annual reviews. I am known around the office as being "the favorite". I hate that term. I don't think I am the favorite. But I do know that I am quite the brown-noser. I like being liked. Of course I am going to do everything I need to do for my boss to like me.

{Picture Taken July 2009}

That being said, my review was first out of all the employees in the Accounting department. Annual reviews are scary. Like the feel-like-I'm-getting-up-to-bear-my-testimony feeling.

Immediately after walking in the room, I was put at ease.

"Well Abby, I have a really hard time coming up with things to criticize you about."

I was shocked. Coming out of this guys mouth, that is quite the compliment.

He continued to give me positive feedback throughout the entire review. I left feeling elated.

To accompany our annual review, we also receive our annual raise. Because the raise doesn't go into effect until the end of the month, I didn't think they would be giving me one. My last day is two weeks from today. I figured they would think there was no point because I would only have about a week and a half at the new rate.

Boy was I wrong.

I got a great raise. So much so that when I looked down at the paper, I didn't even see the correct number. My mind changed the numbers to what I thought it would be.

Yes, there was a double and triple check.

I love the company that I work for. And no, not just because they gave me a good raise to enjoy for a week and a half. But because it's just a good company. And a great job. I have learned so much from being in this position.

My boss was always the type to give as little information as possible. The entire year and a half that I worked there, I always complained about the poor communication. Why doesn't he just tell me what I need to know to do this project?? Because he was teaching me. I couldn't get past the frustration at the time to see that. I feel like I learned and retained more at this job than I did during my entire Bachelors degree.

I'm grateful for opportunities to work. Even though I hate work. Even though providing for us during a time when Mike needs me to is sometimes downright frustrating. Work gave me the opportunity to prove myself. To prove that I actually did learn something in college. To prove that I actually can contribute to the income of this family if I need to.

And even though I wish I could say this is my last job ever, it's not. We're on to a new city where I will be on to finding a new job. Where I will be learning something new, and proving even more that I am capable of these things. And when the day finally comes that I can quit my job and not have to find another, I can look back and be glad. Glad that I had the opportunity to be a working girl so that I can truly appreciate being home with our children.


What I Sold: {Piano

Remember my piano?

Well I had to part with it this weekend. It was time, you know, moving and such.

This is how I say goodbye...


What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

So, besides the fact that I guess Blogger finally forced this new dashboard format, today is a great day! I love Fridays! I'm looking toward {note the word is toward, not forward to} a weekend full of the husband studying hardcore for finals. Which means guess who's going to be packing? Yep, it's going to officially start this weekend. And when you're excited to move, packing really isn't so bad.

Oh and the husband just seconds ago received 34 pounds of prep material for the bar course. 34 pounds! I swear this studying thing will never end.

In celebration of the weekend, I present you with the FridayFreeForAll. Because what's a weekend without a little music.

And my favorite song of all time?
Yes, OF ALL TIME. {bold statement, I know}

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 We Tried: {OK Bucket List-Blue Bell Ice Cream}

Let it be known that I have a bucket list.

There is also a Oklahoma specific bucket list.

We were able to cross something off a couple weekends ago.

Eat Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Its some big name brand ice cream out here, that is super expensive. That 1/2 gallon container that I'm holding is regular price $6.00. {$6.00!!}

It went on sale so I figured that was my chance.
Picking a flavor was tough. But give me peanut butter and chocolate and I'm usually one happy chica.

The verdict?
Totally not worth the money.
I would pick Great Value over Blue Bell any day, even if they were the same price.
It wasn't creamy. It tasted like they made it with fat-free milk. If I'm going to eat the calories, I want it to at least taste like I'm eating the calories. Am I right or am I right?

But crossing something off the list always feels good, doesn't it?


What I Thought About: {Utah}

Six years ago if you would have asked me if I would ever live outside of Utah, I would have laughed in your face. Never. No way. I didn't have any desire to leave my safe bubble. I enjoy being surrounded by family. Mike's family and my own family are my best friends. I love the mountains. I love being surrounded by people of my own faith. I love being surrounded by what I know. The streets, the cities. I feel safe there. I feel safe because those are the things and places that I know. I just wanted to be 'normal'.

Mike was not the same way. He wanted adventure. He wanted to try new things, and see new places. When we were dating, he would talk of going to school far, far away. I never really took it seriously. That was the single Mike talking. I thought when we got married, he would sink into the 'settled down' life.

Even after we got married we argued about it. {Don't worry, this was healthy arguing.} I would cry. I didn't want to leave Utah. Why can't we just be 'normal'? We began to understand the being married thing a little bit more. It's about compromise. It's about sacrifices. We were both in school at that time, so moving was not an option. But then our Bachelors degrees drew to a close. We had to start making decisions.

Mike picked Law School. Which there are two of in Utah. He applied to 10 schools. Including those in Utah. And that darn kid got into all of them. Then we had to decide. Some were easy to cross of the list. Some, a little more difficult. We ended up with a top three. One of the Utah schools made the cut. However, after much thought and prayer, Mike and I came to the conclusion, that even though the Utah school made the most sense, it's not where we were supposed to be.

Hence, why we currently reside in Oklahoma.

There have been times of wonder. Why here? Why did the Lord want us here? I'm still not really sure I know the answer to that question. Sometimes we think things would have been easier in Utah.

Do you know how hard it is to find a job in a state when you currently don't reside in that state? Hard. Nearly impossible. Especially when the legal job market is crap as it is.

We want to live in Utah. We love Utah. We love our families. We love the mountains. We love the feeling of home. But for some reason, we continue to take the scenic route getting back there. A three year law degree has turned into a Summer in DC which has turned into additional education, once again outside of Utah {more news on that to come}.

I've heard it said before that if you leave, it's hard to go back. I never truly understood that until now. It doesn't mean it will be hard to go back because you won't want to {well for some it may}. It means that its difficult to find the opportunity to go back.

We continue to look for that opportunity. We continue to pray for that opportunity.

But those student loans come due, whether your working or not, so you have to go where the job is. Or for us, just go to more school. No professional students here. Just two people who think that in order to get somewhere in the world, you have to rise above the average.

You wanna know what prompted this post?
It may seem funny to some. Actually when Mike and I saw this ad, we laughed. But honestly, it's not so funny to me anymore. Because that's where we're trying to get back to.

So we'll continue to look. And continue to pray. The opportunity will come. Trust in the Lord's timing, right?


What We Ate: {Avocado Basil Pasta}

Did I ever tell you how much I loooovve food?

Well I do.

Side note: Mike found a delicious looking recipe on Pinterest a little while ago, and as I was planning the menu for this week, I decided to make it. Bought all the ingredients. Two days {two days!} after looking at this recipe, I get online so that I can make it and this girl has privatized her blog! Two days! Such bad timing.

Unrelated side note: Just started using this Instagram thing. Still figuring it out a bit, and trying to remember that I have it so that I will actually take pictures. Follow me at abbys14.

Today's recipe plain and simple.....rocks. {Except for maybe my over-enthusiasm when adding the basil}. Mike says the leftovers weren't that awesome though. More of a 'day of' meal. But its so so good the day of. I promise.

Avocado Basil Pasta

The Stuff:

8 ounces dried bow tie pasta
2 medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped
6 slices turkey bacon, crisp cooked, and crumbled
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

The Doing:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the avocados, bacon, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and salt. Add the hot pasta and toss to combine.

Super easy, right?


What Happened This Weekend: {Tornadoes}

I struggle to even write this post. As you can imagine. Our weekend, here in the Midwest, was eventful, to say the least. I've honestly never been so happy to see a Monday.

Luckily, we didn't see the worst of it where I am. And I continually pray for those in Woodward, OK and in Kansas and Iowa and Nebraska.

To even share my individual experience seems petty. Minuscule.

Friday afternoon I head out of work at 3:30, which is my normal quitting time. Mike calls to say that they let him out of work early because of the weather so he's going to stop on his way to fill up on gas, and then he'll be home. My drive home was easy, maybe a little more traffic than normal. The radio broadcasters played music and promised that if the weather got serious, they would switch to wall-to-wall tornado coverage. I got home and pulled my car in the garage, which I don't normally do. I came inside, hit the power button on the TV and went to open the blinds while simultaneously dialing my mom.

The TV blares.

"Tornado warning, there is a tornado on the ground!"


Instead of calling my mom, I call Mike.

"Where are you?"
"There is a tornado coming."
"I can't believe you aren't here with me."
The tornado sirens go off.
"I can't believe I am here alone."
I turn up the TV and run to the closet and lay on the floor.
"I can't believe this."
"Where are you now?"

Mike simultaneously saying,
"Are you okay?"
"Where is the tornado?"
"Abby, you need to talk to me!"
"Traffic is at a standstill, I'm not going anywhere."
"Where is the tornado now?!"

All while I'm trying to listen to the TV to hear where the tornado is.

4 miles away.
3 miles away.

"I can't believe you aren't here with me!"

"Abby, you have to talk to me, where is the tornado now?"

The tornado hits 2 miles from our house.

{Tornado from our backyard, my neighbor took this picture...remember...I was laying on my closet floor}

Luckily, only an EF2.


If Mike hadn't of stopped for gas, its a high possibility that he would have been on the freeway at the same time the tornado was on the freeway.

We were definitely being looked out for.

I hate the Midwest.

When Mike got home, he was barely through the door before he had me in his arms. "I love you. You were so brave."
He has a way of making things better. Swoon.

We packed a bag. We had to be ready to get the heck out of here if we needed to. Fortunately, we never had to use the bag.

But the entire weekend, we were on edge. Family and friends called and texted.

Thank you for your love. We appreciated every single person that was looking out for us.

You know I used to consider Friday the 13th as lucky? My first date with Mike was on Friday the 13th.
I'm not so sure about the whole "lucky" part anymore.

27 days until I leave the Midwest. And heaven help me, I'm never coming back.


What Today Is: {Weekend Outlook with a FridayFreeForAll}

When people who have lived in Oklahoma their entire lives start getting nervous about this weekends upcoming weather, I know that things are getting serious.

Here is tomorrow's forecast...

See the arrow? That's about where I live. Notice: red. Red means bad. Severe. Scary. Tornadoes. So this is when you start praying. Pray for the Midwest folk. Because the next 48 hours are bound to be quite the news story.

Hope your weekend is looking a little better than mine.

And here is a song.....because it's FridayFreeForAll! {Hah, you thought I forgot! No way dude.}
A new favorite {but look at him.....is he falling to pieces or just going a little boho on us?}

I Won't Give Up
Jason Mraz

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 We Ate: {Amish Peanut Butter}

Once upon a time, Mike's brother and his family lived in Indiana. And once upon a time, we had the opportunity to go and visit. If you've never been to Indiana, you should probably go. There is a quaintness about it that is adorable and it's so beautiful and green.

 Anyway, while the boys went to the Notre Dame football game my sisinlaw, niece and I went to Shipsheawana. Yes, you guessed it. We went to Amish country. Which is another experience that y'all should be adding to your bucket lists. This town was adorable. We had a great time wandering the shops and purchasing some of the homemade goodies.

{Mom, I took this picture for you!}

One of the specialties that we came across, and which forever changed my life was Amish peanut butter. I cannot even explain to you the deliciousness that is Amish peanut butter. It's like candy, sweet and gooey, but with the delicious peanut buttery taste. I walked away with one single jar and a dream that one day I may have the opportunity to purchase more.

When Mike's brother moved, they made some final Indiana special purchases, and you better believe they got me a jar of this peanut butter. I relished every last drop. And then, it was gone again. And unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near Amish country. You can actually buy it online, that's how awesome it is, however at over $5 a jar, I just can't afford the stuff plus the shipping.

And then came the recipe.

My life was again, forever changed.

Now, from what I remember, it doesn't taste exactly the same, but it's close enough to pacify me until my next trip to Amish country.

Amish Peanut Butter

1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup marshmallow creme

Mix all in a bowl until well combined. Store in air-tight container.

{So delicious on a nice thick slice of homemade bread....or on a spoon straight from the jar....}


What We Read: {Divergent}

Welp. I have another book review for you guys!

We actually finished this one over a month ago, but I'm just getting around to sharing the wonderfulness of this book...


I loved this book.

It's not quite as good as The Maze Runner series or The Hunger Games series, but it is definitely worth the read.

Its all the same idea as those other books. You know the dystopian type that seem all the rage these days.

Who needs vampires when you have psycho controlling futuristic societies?!

Here is the synopsis from the authors website...

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.
And the sequel Insurgent comes out in 19 days...so you better hurry up and get your read on.


What We're Up To: {Guess What....}

Thanks to my dear neighbor, we've been collecting newspapers.
This isn't a normal collectible in our house.
Til now.
Guess why...
We're moving! Yep, we are!
Mike is finally {finally!} graduating from Law School in a month {a month!}.
Which means we are headed out.
Where, you ask?
Washington D.C.
I know {I know!}
It's only temporary. Mike got a fabulous {fabulous!} clerkship there for a couple of months.
I think we are still in shock. We have yet to make any plans beyond that of actually going.
It's a little stressful to even think about moving there.
But we are so {so!} excited!
After the clerkship is over, we will be moving again {again!} to a land unknown.
We've got it down to three different locations.
But we've still got a bit a prayer to go before we figure out that one.
We are so grateful for this opportunity and cannot believe how blessed we are to receive it.
It literally fell right into our hands.
And of course, I have my wonderful husband to thank for being awesome enough to be considered and offered such an opportunity.
I cannot wait to discover this wonderful city. {And spend the 4th of July in the Nation's Capital! You just can't beat it!}


What We Celebrate: {Easter Traditions}

I hope that everyone had a fabulous Easter! Ours was pretty low key. No Easter egg hunts or egg dying over here in the lonely OK. But we have created some traditions of our own since we have been married. Of course, we do the whole Easter basket thing. We won't once we have kids baskets to fill, but until then, we get to fill each others baskets. And being the total cheap skates that we are, we do not put any Easter candy in each others baskets. No way. Because the day after Easter its all marked down to 50% off. And then my friends, I go pretty hog wild. Easter candy is some of the best all year and at 50% off.....yes please. I wait all year for these babies to come out...
Last year I think I bought 6 bags. We ate them all Summer. I have already picked up a package and am headed to Walmart tonight to snag a couple more. It's a sick obsession. They just don't taste like the regular cups. Am I right, or am I right?

Something I learned when I got married. Mike doesn't like eggs. Or didn't. Who doesn't like eggs?! Now he'll eat them scrambled or sunnysideup. But he will not eat a hard boiled egg. Which makes the whole dying Easter egg thing suuuupper lame. Because then I have to race to eat all the hard boiled eggs before they go bad. My body can only have so much cholesterol in a day, people. And since we don't have an Easter egg hunt, just the two of us, dying Easter eggs is even more lame.

So a couple years back, Mike introduced me to something called Angel Eggs. This is poor mans food. That's what we call it. And I quickly became addicted. Apparently Mike's family had it all the time growing up. And the beauty? You used hard boiled eggs in this recipe. Masked under the taste of bread and gravy, Mike will actually eat a hard boiled egg. Hence the Easter tradition of Angel Eggs was born. The perfect way to use up all the hard boiled eggs that you dye on Easter.

Well this year I was feeling particularly lame, and so we didn't even dye the eggs. But we still kept the tradition alive and ate Angel Eggs for dinner {woulda been breakfast but being at church by 9am is hard enough...can't throw a fancy breakfast on top of anything more than the actual getting ready for church}.

Angel Eggs

The Stuff:

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3-4 cups milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

The Doing:

In large frying pan, make a rue by melting the butter and flour together over medium heat. Add milk and turn up to a simmer. Rue should slowly begin to thicken. If it's too thin, whisk in more flour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped hard boiled eggs. Let simmer for another minute. Serve over the top of toast {we like to use Texas Toast}.


What Today Is: {FridayFreeForAll}

Good Friday morning all!

Because it is Good Friday after all.

My plans this weekend are: cutting Mike's hair, coloring my hair, and crossing some things off the Oklahoma Bucket List {yes, we do have one of those}.

We are making some exciting decisions up in our house these days, and I can't wait to share them with all of you. Don't worry friends, it'll be very soon.

But until then, I leave you with today's FridayFreeForAll.

Because who doesn't love a little magic for their Friday?

B.o.B ft Rivers Cuomo

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 We Ate: {Oatmeal Candy Cookies}

Mike found this recipe. He had to have it. I changed it up a bit by throwing in a couple of our favorite candy bars. Nothing is better than a delicious cookie and a delicious candy bar mixed together!

The Stuff:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cups oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chunks of the the delicious candy bar of your choosing {we divided the dough in half and used two candy bars. its how we roll}
optional: 1- 2 tablespoons milk, if dough is crumbly

The Doing:

Heat butter in small pan over medium-low heat. Whisking constantly, cook butter until bubbly and browned – about 5-6 minutes. Watch closely and immediately remove the butter from the heat, whisking for an additional 30 seconds. Set aside and let cool completely, should not be warm to the touch.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, oats and cinnamon, mixing, then set aside.
Once butter has cooled, add to a large bowl. Stir in sugars. Add in egg and vanilla. Slowly begin to stir in dry ingredients. If dough won’t come together, add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time (I didn't have to do this.) Stir in candy chunks. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes. {Watch closely...the Mr. Goodbar cookies were perfect at 9 minutes but the Hershey's Special Dark cookies burned at 9 minutes.}


What I Won: {March Madness}

So after all the March Madness hooha, guess who took home the gold?
I'm not talking about the teams, I'm talking about our brackets.
Well lets just show you...
This may be the first year that I feel that I have literally crushed the man.
So I said last night, what do I win for beating you?
Guess what that bugger said, 200 extra calories.
I don't know if he's mocking the fact that I'm on quite the calorie counting kick, or if by some stretch of the imagination he thinks that is a good award.
Excuse me sir, but if I wanted an extra 200 calories, I would EAT an extra 200 calories. I don't need you to gift it to me.
And I don't want an extra 200 calories.

So apparently winning the gold in our house means you get to eat more food that you end up regretting later. Yaaaaaayyyyy.

That's when I promptly took myself to Target and bought this little beauty...
And I had a $5 Target Gift Card from my work.
Now that is what I call an award.
Thank you Target clearance.
And thank you Jason Wu.


What We Ate: Spinach and Sausage Risotto

I had my doubts about this one. It's actually been pinned for quite a while now. But when you run out of new ideas, you turn to the old ideas.

And I'm so glad I did. And Mike is too.

Sausage and Spinach Risotto

The Stuff:

3 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 1/3 cups water
16 oz pork sausage, crumbled
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white rice
6 oz baby spinach
Parmesan cheese

The Doing:

Bring broth and 1 cup water to a simmer and keep warm over low heat. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage to pan and cook until browned. Add onion, garlic and Italian Seasoning. Cook for 1 minuted. Add rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and cook until absorbed. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed. Continue to add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next. Remove pan from heat and add spinach, stirring until it wilts. Top with Parmesan cheese.


What We Did: {Weekend}

Good Monday morning friends! I know, I know, I've been a little out of commission. I had all intentions of posting but then life got the better of me and both Thursday and Friday were over in a whirlwind.

We spent the weekend enjoying each other, family, and the beautiful sunshine!

A few things we did this weekend....
Went to the Medieval Fair. Ya know, where people ride elephants and such. {I have a small obsession with this picture. We look like we are trying to bring the camera in for a group hug.}
Ate some so-good-it-sticks-to-your-thighs food. Including these spiral spuds covered in nacho cheese and bacon bits. I know, right?
Played and played and played with these two.
Crawled in small holes.
Hung with some sharks and other fine fishery at the Children's Aquarium.

I did catch one whole session of Conference {click for more information}! Which is more than I actually see on the day of. I can't wait to catch up on the other sessions! Any favorite talks I should be throwing to the top of the list?