Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Year Old!

Yo Bloggity Readers!
Guess what?
The Bloggity is turning one year old!
One year ago, on July 28, 2010, I published my very first blog post.
Thanks for coming back and reading all my latest rantings and ravings over the past year.  I really love you guys!
Although I haven't written many posts over the course of the year due to neglect ahem, super business of school, graduating, moving, and starting a new job, I feel that over the last few months I have really picked up some momentum.  I hope this continues and you continue to come back and read what I write.
I'm still trying to find my blog "voice" and define my blog better and I think over the course of the next year, you will definitely see that.  Don't worry I will still write about random insights of my life.  I really know that's what you guys are coming here for.

So for my one year blogoversary I decided it would be a lot of fun to do a giveaway.  That's right, I am going to give one winner something.  That something is a $15 Target gift card (because of my devoted love for that place) and a batch of my Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies.

To enter "Follow" my blog (click on the Google Friend Connect "Join this Site" or follow by email) and leave a comment below.
The giveaway will be open until midnight on Saturday and I'll choose the winner with a random number generator and post the winner on Sunday.

Thanks for reading!
If there is anything you would like me to write more about please comment below!

Monday, July 25, 2011

If you can be my tan-legged Juliet, I’ll be your Redneck Romeo.

*My Kinda Party*
Last week was the Great Jones County Fair, only the best county fair in the world.
I'm not bragging or anything.
Actually I'm not even from Jones county so not even sure why I said that.
I think I've gone every year for at least the last 7 years, which really isn't that impressive.
I bet some people haven't missed it in 20 years.

It was back in full force this year after the last two days were rained out last year.

I took Friday off work (my first vacation day!) so I could go see this guy Thursday night.
That, my friends, is Jason Aldean.

And he was so good.
He serenaded us with Dirt Road Anthem.

And pumped the crowd up with Hicktown and She's Country.
And lots of his other hits.
It was awesome.
Matt and I decided it was probably the best concert we've ever been to.
It was that good.

Chris Young opened for Jason Aldean and he was amazing as well.
The crowd wasn't even deterred when it rained on us.
And then rained on us again.
And the ground got way way way muddy.
I accidentally wore flats.
They were disgusting and extremely hard to walk in.
And it was still awesome.

See. Proof it was awesome because we were still smiling at the end of the night.
I wanted to show you a picture of my hair too, but this came out kinda crappy.
Because, well, it was dark, and I'm still a newbie photographer. 
Amateur, inexperienced, making crap up as I go. 
But I'm trying to learn some things.
Anyways I'm teaching myself how to French braid.
And this little creation is inspired by Reagan at Hairdresser on Fire.  
If you have questions about hair go there now.
She has these awesome tutorials as well.  
So this is my side braid into a side bun.
I really like it.
I did this without a mirror after it rained on my hair so the results aren't perfect but it still fun to do.

What's the best concert you've ever been to?
Jason Aldean was wonderful, but Rascal Flatts also puts on a great show. 
I really like people who talk to the crowd and try to get them involved. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quick and easy pesto dinner

I think the first time I ever had pesto was when I was 20.
I waited 20 years before I experienced the joy that is pesto. 
What I was waiting for? I'll never know.
But my life is so much better now that I have pesto.
The best thing is that it's a quick meal.

It's been too hot here to even think about cooking.
That means I haven't turned on the oven or stove since last week.  
I just want to lay on the couch and enjoy the air conditioner.

But tonight I had to make something.
Mostly so I can take something to work tomorrow to eat.
Because an apple, carrots, and yogurt combination just isn't working for me anymore.  
So tonight I made pesto.

Here's my dinner.
Evidently I was going for the green theme tonight.

I mixed pesto with some whole grain pasta, tomatoes, and green peppers.
Mostly because that's what I found in the fridge.
And it was slim pickings.
I wish I had some zucchini or summer squash in there because that combination would have been great.
It was delicious.

Special thanks to my basil plant for making this production possible.

Here's the recipe for you to try!

2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves (I didn't quite have enough so I threw some spinach in there too)
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 c. Parmasean cheese

Toss the garlic into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to chop it.  Put the rest of your ingredients in the work bowl and blend together until desired consistency, scarping the sides as needed.

Throw on your favorite pasta or vegetables and enjoy!
And have some seconds because it was so good!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shedd Aquarium

This past weekend I had the chance to go to the Shedd Aquarium with my friend Laura and her mother.
This was my first time ever at Shedd Aquarium.  
I've heard a lot of great things, and I must say it did not disappoint.
We didn't get to see the dolphin show or the Jellies exhibit, which was sad but we still saw a lot of great ocean, fresh water, and lake creatures.


Check out this fish's neon outfit.

This sea lion barked louder than a dog.

The penguins had funny hairstyles.

 This guy was wearing some weird jean jacket.
You can see it all bunched up on his side.
My jeans do that too.

 And outside there was some great scenery.
I love this city.

Shedd Aquarium was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it if you get a chance!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Garden

One of the things I miss about living with my parents is all the fresh veggies during the summer.
My mom has a huge garden in the backyard.
Barbie, Barbie quite a smarty, what does your garden grow?
Potatoes, tomatoes, and tasty green beans.  Cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli galore.  Kohlrabi, carrots, and green onions to munch on.  Radishes, bell peppers, jalapenos, my momma's beets which I don't eat.

Last year I had the wonderful CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which delivered a fresh box of vegetables and other grown things.  I miss it.
This year, since I can't have that and farmer's markets around here aren't very good and cheap, I'm growing my own stuff.  I tried this last year too, but the tomato plant just didn't pan out.  I think because I didn't water it enough.  Oops.  It got all leafy and green but only sprouted about 2 tomatoes.  Sad. :(

Bloggies meet my garden.
Garden meet the bloggy world.
My tomato plant and my herbs.  The tomato planter also housed some green onions and radishes.  The radishes didn't turn out that great as they were a little crowded.  The onions I ate and enjoyed.

I may have forgotten to water these babies one weekend.  And that resulted in some dead looking herbs.
Thankfully the basil popped right back with some watering.
Just look at those luscious leaves.
I'm making some pesto soon.

Can you guess how many tomatoes I have growing?

One here.
 Four here. (With an odd shaped one on the left end.)
 One here.
 And a brand new little one sprouting here.
That makes 7 total.
Now all I have to do is keep 'em alive for a few more weeks.
And then eat them with a passion.
I sure do love me some tomatoes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A new beloved friend

Meet my new little friend.
 A Cuisinart 600 watt blender.
I bought this baby off Craigslist.  
Along with many of my other prized kitchen possessions it's previously loved.
But I always love my appliances more, as long as they stay faithful.  
Read: I like them unless they break.

I bought this on Tuesday, and since then I think I've made a smoothie everyday.
I've gotten my inspiration from IGE and The Fitnessista.
 (If you like food and fitness and you aren't reading their blogs, you should.)
Meet my method for making a Green Monster.

Throw some ice in your blender.

 Throw a handful or two of spinach in the blender.

 You can throw in a scoop of protein powder if you would like as well.
This helps my smoothie fill me up for longer.
 I'm admiring my nail in the above photo.  It makes it look kinda nice.  
They really don't look that good in real life.

Dump it in.

I usually mix this part up first because I really don't want any spinach or ice chunks.
Pour some milk into the blender.  
Maybe a 1/4 cup or so.  
I don't like to measure.
It just makes more dishes and let's be honest, I hate dishes.
 It's all pretty green now.
Sometimes I throw a little almond butter in here at this point.  
And sometimes I skip it, like this time.
(Why does Blogger turn my pictures?)

Throw some other fruits in of whatever you fancy.
I've used pineapple, bananas, and raspberries so far.
I also want to use some mango.

Tonight I threw in some frozen raspberries.

Peel a frozen half banana.
It makes for a nice creamy texture.

Slice her up and throw her in.

 Then add my favorite.
Honey bear.
I bet honey doesn't taste as good if it doesn't come in a bear bottle.

 Blend her all up.

 Dump it into a nice glass.
 Like this beer glass.
Reminisce about when you actually drank a beer out of this glass.

 Don't forget your big pink straw.
 The color of this one comes out a little gross.
Next step is to sit and sip. 
Or slurp.
Just drink it fast because it's so awesome.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A weekend wedding

This weekend traveled to Des Moines to a friend's wedding.
My favorite boyfriend met me there.
 The ceremony was in this quaint little chapel tucked a way in small town.
There were only 3 sets of pews and folding chairs set up in the back portion of the chapel.
It felt so intimate and cozy.
 The ceremony was sweet and romantic.

 My friend Austin was an usher.
He looked very confused and didn't know what he was doing.
He missed the rehearsal because "no one told him about it".  
We may have sat in the back and snickered when he looked bewildered.
 It was a beautiful day for a wedding, albeit a little humid.  
Everyone survived although fanning yourself with your program was a must.  
 The bride and groom were beaming with joy!
 One of the best/funniest things about the wedding was that it was Hawkeye themed.
The colors were black and gold.
The ring bearers wore Iowa jerseys and carried footballs.
And the bride and groom entered the reception to Back in Black.
 Congrats Adam and Sam!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New nails

Dear Female Readers of my blog,
(which is most of you anyways I think)

I must tell you about this new thing I've found. 

Sally Hansen Nail Effects.
Pretty much awesome. 

They are just these little stickers that you peel off and put onto your nail.  
Pretty easy to put on yourself too.  
And look at the sweet pattern.

This one is called Lace I believe. 
It actually hides chips pretty well too.

I've had mine on since Sunday and today is Thursday and I think they still look pretty good.
A little bit of chipping but not bad.  Probably a comparable amount to when I paint my nails.

You should check these babies out!  
I bought mine at Target but I believe they have them other places as well.
I have a feeling I will be buying these again!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Next big adventure

Well I've gone and done it again.
What is it you ask?
Signed up for a triathlon.

After my last triathlon I felt so accomplished and awesome.  My adrenaline was running so high even though I was absolutely exhausted.  And now I want that feeling again.
Maybe that feeling was just a lack of oxygen getting to my brain.

My 2nd triathlon will be the Chicago Triathlon on August 28, 2011! I'm very excited!  Although I'm not very excited that this thing starts at the crack of dawn.  Which means I will be getting up when I sometimes am going to bed. Ugh.  I wish I could be a morning person but it's just not going to happen...ever.

So I'm deep in the trenches of training.  Including a few sessions of swimming, running, biking, and weight training every week.  I've been slacking a little but the last week and a half has been better.

I'm excited to train and get faster!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Redemption: Project Rice

I still had some stirfry veggies and chicken from last week.Yeah that time when my rice looked like this brown soup. 

So I finally got around to making myself some new brown rice. 
 So I could eat the rest of my stirfry.
Look how glorious it turned out.

 So light and fluffy.
And so much incredibly better than the first batch.
I hate my stirfry and rice for lunch.

Have you ever have any cooking fails?
One time I forgot about a calzone I put in the oven and found it burnt to a crisp and about 20 minutes overcooked.  Oops.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Taste of Chicago

Happy Independence Day!
Hope you all enjoyed the weather and a nice day off!
I enjoyed the visit of my lovely friend Laura this weekend.  She arrived on Saturday and right away I whisked her off to the train station.  An hour on the train and a short walk later we arrived at our destination.
I had heard mixed reviews of Taste.  Some people said it was dirty and expensive.  Others said it was fun but crowded.  I decided it was something I at least had to do once to call myself a real Chicago(surburb)ian. 
Turns out it was pretty much all those things plus super duper hot.
 We started off with 24 tickets.  That really didn't last us very long.
Two cheesy garlic bread toasts to split.
One Chicago dog for me.
Four toasted ravioli for Laura.
Then we cooled ourselves under a misty spray thing and rested on at park bench.  
Sweat and sweat and more sweat were seriously pouring out of our bodies.  It was disgusting.
In order to cool ourselves down we bought more tickets so we could get a little of this.
Frozen yogurt.  It was worth every penny.  
So cold and yummy.
The blueberries and granola paired so nicely with the mango kefir.
We saw some other interesting things.
A large vat of cranberries.
That people could walk in.
 We tried the new Ocean Spray sparkling cranberry juice.
 It was good but a little flat.
We also had samples of Pepsi Max and Sierra Mist.  Okay maybe we had 3 samples of Pepsi Max.  Hey it was hot.  And the pop was so cold.
We happened to have a few left over tickets.  The only thing we could find was more ice cream.
So we bought it.  And it was so awesome.  It came with fresh strawberries and about 2 tablespoons of ice cream.  
Then we walked back to the train.  Except we got a little lost.  We had a little dispute over which way the river was.  Except we were both right because the river curves.  
Don't worry we found the train in time.
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