Saturday, October 30, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

Here is the recipe for the breakfast casserole I made for last weekend. My family makes it every Christmas morning and large family get-togethers so it always reminds me lots of talking and celebrating and perfect family time, and since these girls are like my family this was obvious thing to make for breakfast. This is such an easy recipe plus the best part is you make it the night before then pop it in the oven in the morning!* Try it this weekend!
*remember I said I made it at 2 am?

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb sausage
3 c. milk
1 tsp salt
9 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
3 slices white bread (cut into 1/4 " cubes)
2 c grated cheese

Directions:
1. Brown and crumble sausage and drain well.
2. Mix eggs, milk, mustard and salt.
3. Stir in bread, sausage and cheese.
4. Pour into a greased 13x9 pan.
5. Cover w/foil and refrigerate over night.
6. In the morning bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I like mine with a little bit of salsa on top and a big glass of orange juice. On Saturday we also made a fruit salad and I made Muffins That Taste Like Donuts from PW's Tasty Kitchen for a little something sweet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Catch Up: Part 3

(Read Catch Up: Part 1 here and Part 2 here)
Since Peter is still in college I still got to go to his fraternity's homecoming dance- this was pretty much the only time I saw Peter this weekend, he knew how important it was for me to spend as much time as possible with my friends. However the function was surprisingly really fun! Four of the guys in his fraternity (one of whom I lead Young Life music with) played in a band for part of the night! I had a blast dancing like crazy with Peter and my sister plus there were a ton of my sorority sisters there!
After the dance I threw a jean jacket on over my dress to make it more casual and headed downtown with Peter to meet up with my friends. Downtown was a little less crazy that night and I was a little more tired so I didn't stay out as late but it was still a blast and I came back and crashed.

Let me take this moment to explain how the sleeping arrangements worked this weekend.
Friend 1 slept with me.
Friend 2 slept in a sleeping bag on the floor in my room.
Friend 3 and 4 slept on the couch.
Friend 5 pulled out the trundle and slept on that.
Friend 6 slept on an air mattress in the hallway.

Sunday morning however, sucked. People slowly started trickling out. A few of them stayed a little longer though so we could go to our friend's bridal shower. I am so glad they organized this because it allowed me to sit down with some of the people I just bumped into downtown and actually catch up in a quieter setting. We also opened gifts and played a couple of cute little shower games. I gave her a recipe book and put one of my favorite recipes in each section- it's such a simple gift but I think it's personal and fun too!
The girls at the shower, for some reason I decided to stick my head in middle, or maybe it's just that I was too short to be in the back row. (Also you may not be able to tell but the girl in the front row on the far right has a toilet paper flower in her hair that's left over from the toilet paper bridal gown game. She was on my team and we were all about the accessories.)

When I left for the shower, my apartment had looked like this (except a little worse because I took this on Saturday morning):
When I got back from the shower my sweet friend had tidyed almost everything up before leaving. I was sad to see that she had left but it was easier not having to come back alone to an empty and messy apartment.

After a few more trips to the car and tearful hugs the first two girls to arrive were the last ones to leave.

Although I hated saying goodbye, last weekend totally reassured me of the strength of my friendships with these girls. It was like they had never left. We picked up right where we left off! I know that no matter how long we go without seeing each other it will always be like that. We are already making plans for huge family vacations all together. One of us is going to have a beach house, one a mountain house, one a lake house, maybe a ski lodge or a ranch out west, and maybe a castle in Scotland somewhere. We'll kindly push our husbands to all be friends as well and our kids will roll their eyes and be totally embarrassed when they see their mamas acting like they're still in college.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Catch Up: Part 2

I'm just going to jump right in and recap my weekend:

Last wednesday the first two of my friends arrived. Remember how I said my friends don't pack light, well let me make sure you understand exactly what I mean. Friend 1 arrived with her entire laundry basket because she didn't have time to do it before she came. She also had two bags and about 6 things on hangers. I shoved over all my clothes in my closet to happily make room for her to move in. My next friend got here at about 11:30 that night. I thought to myself surely she wont have as much stuff as friend 1. I was mistaken. In fact I think she had more stuff. She had a dress bag and a duffel (maybe two) plus a wheelie suitcase. All their stuff tricked me into thinking they would stay past the weekend...

I had to work friday when everyone else was getting to town and when I was pulling in to my apartment building I was giddy to see everyone, literally shaking! I have never been more happy to see my apartment crowded and cluttered.

Friday night we all went out to dinner then went to campus where everyone was building floats and hanging out. Then we headed downtown for an incredibly overwhelming reunion with everyone. EVERYONE. Seriously, everywhere you turned there was someone you hadn't seen in months. Basically there was lots of screaming and jumping up and down and hugging. I was horse by the end of the night. We got back really late, around 2am and what did I do? Made breakfast casserole. Yep, I made breakfast for the next morning. Fortunately it's a really easy recipe so you don't have to be that awake to make it.

Saturday we slept in a bit, then we all had breakfast and mimosas in our pretty champagne glasses.

Then after a round of showers and a couple of blown fuses from all the rollers and hair dryers (my shower was a little chilly and partially in the dark hehe) we got ready and headed to the tailgate.

(Group shot of 5 of the 6 girls who stayed with my plus some lucky girls who are still in college, I'm in middle in the red boots.)

(My sister, friend 1, and me!)

It was perfect fall weather, not hot but not too chilly. My friends and I opted out of the football game and headed downtown for lunch at this yummy cafe. Then we wandered around some shops and picked up bridal shower gifts for a friend whose shower we were going to on Sunday. Then we headed back to my apartment to nap and snack and relax.

I am going to cap this post here for now, it's getting a little long. And I will finish up tomorrow with Catch Up: Part 3 and I am going to share some of this weekend's recipes too!

Catch Up: Part 1

I am back! I have finally caught up on sleep and picked up my apartment and read through all the blog posts I've missed. I needed a few days to regroup before I could sit down to my own blog again. Be expecting quite a few posts recapping the weekend and what not.

First I am going to share the weekend set up, aka the decorations, aka what my apartment looked like before 6 girls swarmed in and took over (my friends do not pack light).

My handmade crafty decorations:
(tags for the gift bags)
(Front door sign- this is the name of the hall we all lived on together)
(Here's my front door- I didn't make the pumpkin hanging sign)
(I also made this "Welcome Home" sign)
(The goody bags-I painted champagne glasses with purple and white paint, decorated magnetic picture frames, and got everyone purple nail polish)
(I made these adorable pom-poms to put in all the corners of my apartment.)
Next, decorations I didn't make:
(I got dried wheat bundles and gourds from publix and changed all my candles to fall colors)
(This adorable pumpkin was a gift that my old roomie brought me)
(I used more wheat and leaves in this vase, plus how cute is the Eek sign from Michaels?!)
Stay tuned part 2 is coming up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I Am Looking Forward to The Most

Homecoming!!! Most people are getting to town tomorrow, some tonight. Here is what I am bouncing off the walls ready for:

One big giant sleepover with my closest friends
Endless talking and catching up
Sneaking onto our old hall from sophomore year...
Hanging out on campus again
Getting ready to go out with the girls
Lots of laughing
Taking the campus shuttle like old times
Hanging out downtown with all the other "homecomers"
Lots of photo taking
More talking and catching up
Wonderful reunions
Pretending we never graduated!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Time Travel Tuesday

Like flashback friday only on Tuesday....

Since all my besties are coming back into town this weekend and since this weekend will be filled with reunions and bouncing back and forth between campus and my apartment and downtown I can't help it...I've been reminiscing about when we were all here together.

Is there anything more fun than getting ready for a fun night out with your friends? In college, living on the sorority hall you could hear the hubbub of everyone getting ready for a night out-people bouncing between dorm rooms borrowing shoes and swapping clothes (in fact we joked that this one particular strapless black going-out top that magically fit everyone was like our version of the travelling pants). And when we all lived in apartments I'd take my clothes and my makeup and head over to my friend's apartment with curlers in my hair so we could pre-game and all get ready together.

My one friend would always be pushing her luck with the time and I'd end up having to help her take out her hot rollers (which meant removing the curlers one at a time than twirling the curl around my finger and hair spraying each one individually) or I'd have to "pack her purse" (id, lip gloss, phone, camera, keys, cash) so that maybe we could leave on time. We'd blast girly pump up music, crowd around the mirrors, and change outfits a dozen times. Then maybe if we were organized we'd remember to snap a couple pictures before crowding into the campus shuttle (formally referred to as the drunk bus) and heading out!

Ahh..fond memories of living with your best friends...

Monday, October 18, 2010

T-Minus 4 Days

That's right folks... my friends are coming in 4 (ish) days! Prepare yourself because I can barely contain my excitement and I will definitely talk about the weekend in evey single post leading up to it, and probably a few after it's all over...

So tonight I am going to visit my one friend for a little pre-homecoming fun. She's coming to stay with me for the weekend as well but she has the whole week off from med school for fall break so she wants me to come meet some of her med-school friends. I know I have a ton of laundry and deep cleaning to do before the weekend but obviously time with her is a top priority.

Speaking of laundry and cleaning here is my list of what I hope I can get done before everyone gets to town:

  • Wash my sheets (on my bed and the couch/bed/trundle in the living room)
  • Wash my towels (plus get out all the extra towels too)
  • Wash bathroom rugs
  • Clean bathroom (shower, toilet, sinks)
  • Empty all trash cans
  • Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum
  • Clean baseboards (this might be a little too ambitious for me)
  • Hang my fabulous decorations! (tune in later this week for pictures)
  • Bake and decorate cookies
  • Charge the batteries on my cameras
  • Finalize goody bags
  • Make yummy snacks/food for the weekend (I'll share recipes soon)

Good thing I am in this kind of mood right now:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Home Sweet Apartment

So way back in July I ordered some stuff online from Urban Outfitters including this adorable little rug:
Well it was really really back ordered but it finally arrived yesterday! It had this plastic-y smell so I put it on my porch to air out. Wouldn't you know this morning a water main burst below my porch and showered my entire deck (cute rug included) with lovely muddy brown water. I didn't notice at first because I was distracted watching an SVU marathon and assembling goodie bags. However it only took me about a minute until I noticed the man on a ladder power hosing my deck and my now brown rug....

I awkwardly asked the workers what had happened, gazed sadly at my rug, then subtly closed my blinds and planned what I was going to say to the housing office about my ruined rug.

Anywho.. crisis adverted. I've washed it twice now and the mud as well as the plastic-y smell is gone. This has been without a doubt the most difficult rug I've ever owned.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Got Swag

Well my shopping excursion was very successful!
I'm not showing you everything because my girlfriends read this and I don't want to give everything away. But, needless to say, Michael's pretty much had exactly what I was looking for. After I went there though I still needed some little knick-knacks to put in the goody bags so I went to Wilson's 5 and dime. It looks like this:
They literally have everything under the sun... it scares me.

Anywho... now I am going to pop in a movie and get to crafting.
Happy Columbus Day!

Shopping List and Pumpkin Plans

Today I will be running around getting more fall/Halloween decorations as well as getting things together for homecoming which is next weekend!
Here's my list:
  • 2-3 pumpkins for carving
  • a cute wreath
  • mums
  • purple patterned paper to make college decorations (for example a "welcome home" sign)
  • paper products (cups, plates, etc. because I don't want to waste anytime with my friends by having to do the dishes)
  • goody bag swag (I am making little goody bags for everyone staying with me next weekend!)
To get all this stuff here is my plan of attack:
The bank-Michael's-Old Time Pottery-TJ Maxx-The Tomato Vine.

Next week I will be getting all the grocery items and I will share all the yummy food I'm going to make! Stay tuned.

Now for the plans I have for my pumpkins:
I am going to decorate one with my college's logo and then maybe another more traditional Halloween-y one. Plus I am definitely going to make this one:
(Courtesy of Martha Stewart of course!)

I am also going to roast all the seeds! They are great when seasoned with a little bit of ol' bay!
Don't worry I'll share the finished products! Well, I must run... I have a busy day ahead of me!

Friday, October 8, 2010

2 years

Yesterday was our 2 year anniversary!
Two years ago and a couple days earlier I'd told him I wasn't sure about us, then he went out of town and I kicked myself and said "what the heck of course I want to be with him!" Pretty much the second he got back in town I told him to ask me again because I had changed my mind.
(This is us last year around this time-we don't always wear this much camo.)
Last night we went out to dinner just the two of us, then we got ice cream. It doesn't sound like much but we hardly ever eat out (we get a lot of take out) and it was a simple and perfect way to recognize the day. These past two years have been the best lesson in unconditional love, forgiveness, and humility-and I love him more now than the first time I said it.
Yay us!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dinner Last Night

I had a lot of time on my hands yesterday so I cooked dinner for Peter and I. Here's what was on the menu-warm fall comfort food and it's super easy!
Slow Cooker Brisket
Here's what you'll need:
  • One cut of brisket (the piece I got for Peter and I was 3.24 lbs which means I'll have plenty for tonight and enough for left overs as well!
  • One packet of Lipton's Soup Mix
  • 1/4 cup of water depending on size of brisket.
Just put everything in the crock pot and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or if you are like me and you accidentally slept in, cook on high for 4-6 hours). Your house will smell absolutely delicious-no one can resist it!

Mashed Potatoes
Because this brisket yields a good sauce to use as a gravy, I like to make mashed potatoes to go with it. So I'm making Pioneer Women's Creamy Mashed Potatoes. This recipe allows you to make it ahead of time then refrigerate it and pop it in the oven 30 minutes before you're ready to serve it-because I don't think there's anything I like less about mashed potatoes than mashing them last minute! PW's recipe makes 8 servings but since it's just for me and Peter I cut the recipe in half (still plenty for left overs).

Cinnamon Baked Apples
Peter would've been happy with just the meat and potatoes but I've been craving cinnamon baked apples! They just scream fall to me! And I'm pretty sure Peter wont complain about this yumminess.
Here's what you'll need:
  • Green apples- I used 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • Lemon juice
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
Peel, core and slice the apples. Layer bottom of baking dish with butter. Layer sliced apples (squeeze a little lemon juice over them to keep them from turning brown) sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Continue layering: butter, apples, cinnamon sugar. Bake at 325 F for about 40 minutes.

The finished meal:
(Tender, flavorful brisket)
(Creamy, thick mashed potatoes)
(Warm, cinnamon-y sweet apples)

Sincerely,
Shannon "The Little Chef"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Tunes: I'm In Love

This week my boyfriend and I are celebrating our two year anniversary. Thursday October 7th is the actual date but I've decided to dedicate this Tuesday Tunes to us (and to all the other lovers out there...do I sound like Delilah?)

Every couple has that special song that reminds them of their significant other. The song that was playing in the background when they met, or the first song they danced to....Anywho, here's my playlist of songs that make me smile and think of Peter and they are just plain good love songs:

I Could Hold You- Ray Lamontagne
Better Than Love- Griffin House
Sparks- Coldplay
Up All Night- Counting Crows
I've Just Seen A Face-The Beatles
Stolen-Dashboard Confessional
By The Way They Dance- Jump Little Children
On A Night Like This-Dave Barnes

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend Peter was pretty occupied with fraternity stuff, new pledges, and writing a smarty pants scientific paper (that he occasionally asks me to proof read and that I don't understand a third of). This worked out well for me though because it let me have lots of much needed girl time.

So, Friday night I went to dinner with Leah and Liz, who were both Young Life leaders with me. I've said this before but my Young Life team is seriously like a second family. These two girls in particular joined the team at the same time I did and it warms my heart that we are still close, in both distance and in spirit. I cannot tell you enough how invaluable these friendships are- in keeping me accountable, in being prayerful listeners and a solid support system, oh and did I mention that they are just oh so much fun!

"For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them."
Matthew 18:30
Saturday I had to work most of the day but then Leah and I had a sleepover, watched Sex in the City, and chatted for a long time. In the morning the two of us picked up Pumpkin Spice Lattes (seriously I'm obsessed) and headed to church together. There they shared 1 Corinthians 3:10-23 and talked about building everything in your life (the church, marriages and friendships) on the foundation of Christ because nothing is stronger. It was quite appropriate and wonderful I thought (although my brief summation can't possibly do it justice).

Since I worked both Saturday and Sunday evening I have today and tomorrow off. This afternoon Peter and I went to Whole Foods for lunch. We both piled our plates with yummy-ness from the hot bar. Then we wandered around for a while and we both decided we should just move in (he'd live in the meat section and I'd live in the fresh produce). Oh and I dropped anniversary hints like crazy for these chocolate covered strawberries and daisies that I saw there.

So that's what's been going on since my last post on Friday.
Happy Monday ya'll!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Home Tour Friday: My "Dining Room" and Kitchen

Welcome back to another link up with Kelly's Korner where I am showing you all my lovely post-college apartment. Today : My "Dining Room" and kitchen. I know it's supposed to be just the dining room but I don't really have that so I'm combining it with my kitchen.
The seating area. This table belonged to my parents, I think it was their first kitchen table together. (Mom look, I got a table cloth just like you told me to-see I listen.) Parents, a word of advice. Do not throw away any furniture! Save it for your college kids. Put it in your basement-it will appreciated again one day! I promise.
In the center of the table. A cinnamon apple spiced candle, a mini pumpkin and napkins that say "I'm not saying she's a slut... Well okay, yes I am." hehe
My little cooking area.

My fridge and pantry door all ready for October. I will share all my fall decorations soon!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies.
Do they make anyone else think of fall? Here's the recipe.
What you'll need:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp of vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
sugar for top

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl combine white sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Beat until light and fluffy.
3. Add peanut butter, vanilla, egg and blend well.
4. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well again.
5. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet.
6. With fork dipped in white sugar lightly flatten and make the criss-cross pattern.
7. Bake for 6-9 minutes or until set and golden brown.
8. Immediately remove and let cool.
9. Pour yourself a cold glass of milk.
10. Enjoy!