February 26, 2013

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese

I'm very excited to be posting the first recipe for the blog! The past few days have been interesting. First, with some news I cannot yet share, and second, with Joseph getting the stomach bug that I had last week. I am on call for work tonight, and ended up working extra today, so my usual "after work grocery run" to pick up a few items turned into "What is Abby craving right now?". 

Joseph is sleeping off his illness, so I was on my own for dinner. I have been wanting to make pimento cheese for the past few days, so I finally got some pimentos and went to town. The recipe I found is very similar to Taziki's (click link to see menu and if there's one near you!) pimento cheese, which is delicious and slightly spicy, which I always LOVE!

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and only switched fresh jalapenos for pickled because that was all I had at home. Click here for the original recipe. 

4 ounces cream cheese 
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder 
2 ounces diced pimentos, drained (1/2 of a 4 ounce jar)
2 ounces diced pickled jalapenos, drained 
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in standing mixer or with handheld mixer until well blended. Add salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy! You can double or triple this recipe to take to a party or tailgate. Dip with crackers, or make a sandwich. I used pretzel crisps, they're my favorite right now! 

In other news, I have a new guilty pleasure snack. I have always loved Talenti gelato (you can get it at any Publix), but I have never tried the Salted Caramel flavor. Well, ladies and gentleman, it is out of this world good! The flavor is wonderful, and there are little chunks of caramels in the ice cream with a hint of salt in them. You CANNOT just take one bite. I actually did that, then 5 minutes later I was opening the freezer to get another spoonful of goodness!


Anyway, here's to a quiet night on call and a great day tomorrow.  Fun shopping news to come later this week! 

- A

February 22, 2013

A lil Pepto will do a lot of good + new book-ness.

Yes, I have been a little MIA this week. I had the stomach bug :( 
No fun at all. It started with spaghetti for dinner, and ended with spaghetti in the toilet. The best part was when Joseph asked me if I saw any whole noodles. REALLY? While I'm still sick? 

But yes. Whole noodles were sighted. After a dose of Pepto and a WHOLE lot of light blue Gatorade, I recovered. I think I slept for about 30 hours. I wish I could have those hours back!! 

Anywho, I just started reading an interesting book yesterday Called tales of the MADMAN underground by John Barnes. Yes, that is how the title is on the book cover. So far (well about 20 pages in) it is pretty good. It's about a high schooler, but I'm probably still about as mature as a high schooler, so it works. My english teacher friend lent it to me, so if it's terrible, I can blame her! Hah. She has an awesome blog by the way, which you can read HERE

Let me know what you think about this book if you have read it, Also what is your favorite rainy day read?? 

- A

February 16, 2013

A Father's Love

Most of us have fathers. Or at least a father figure. I want to take a minute to talk about mine. Do you ever have one of those bittersweet moments where you miss something from childhood? I had one of those today...

My dad is a big relationship man. He is a people person, and loves to talk. But he doesn't just talk to hear himself talk...he has meaningful conversations with all types of people. In church, he finds the person that seems lonely and has no one to talk to, and he strikes up a conversation with him! So it would only suit him to always go to the same car place and know them all by name.

Earlier this week, I told y'all that I went to get an oil change and the mechanic told me I needed a bunch of stuff fixed on my car. So what do I do today? Call my dad, of course! It's not that he knows a ton about cars, but he knows who to trust when it comes to cars. 

Talking to him on the phone today made me miss being little. I know I can always call my parents for advice, and if I need something they only live 15 minutes down the road, but it's the constant presence that I miss. What's funny is I NEVER thought I would admit that to ANYONE! 

All that to say I love my dad. Whenever I call him to ask a question he always keeps me on the phone for 15 or 20 minutes asking me how J and I are doing and what is going on in my life. I don't want to take those moments for granted. EVER. So today I am praying that I will cherish each and every moment of being close to family, because that could very well change in the next 6 months. If all stays the way it is now, we WILL be leaving home. I never thought I would be sad about leaving Alabama, of all places. But you know what they say....HOME is where the HEART is. So no matter where we go, I will carry my home in my heart forever. 

I love you dad!

Dad and my brother

Dad and Mom - - right after he had ankle surgery (very painful) 

Alabama tailgate 2009

The family plus J at our engagement party! 

<3  A

February 15, 2013

Unconventional Valentine's Day

For all of you that I didn't see yesterday, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! What is Valentine's Day? Is it a reminder not to take your loved ones for granted? A time to buy candy and flowers for your girlfriend or wife? Is it a time to remember and mourn because you DON'T have someone to love? What do you think? 

I think it is all of those, but really none of those. Especially for the people that feel lonely on this day for no other reason than the fact that it is Valentine's Day. People need to remember that this day does not mean anything about them! If you have someone special in your life, you should thank them EVERY day, not just on Valentine's! And if you don't have "someone", think about what you're saying for a minute. Think about your friends, your family who love you so much. Thank them everyday. 

For most of us, whether single, married, divorced, or anything in between, Valentine's Day may remind us that the love we have with people is not perfect. Well here's some truth - - It is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PERFECT! If our love for each other was perfect, we would not need God to love us perfectly. All of life's disappointments, including break-ups and broken relationships, reminds us that this earth is not our home. Through our mess-ups, God is continually molding us to be the servants he wants us to be. People who know they can't be perfect, but trust God to help make them better at loving Him and others. 

So maybe even though I don't really like Valentine's Day for some reasons, it is a good thing that it exists. It's not pointless consumerism. It is a reminder of our sin and our GREAT God who loves us enough to die for us and wants to have a personal relationship with us! He is revealing himself to us each and every day, and if we listen just a little bit we can hear him whispering in the quiet moments. 

- A

February 11, 2013

Pink Duct Tape

What is that you say? Someone tired? But it's only Monday! 

It has been a heck of a Monday. At work this morning I ended up doing some administrative type work (really not something I enjoy), then got off work and went to get my oil changed, just to find out there are about $700 worth of stuff wrong with my car. Good thing they didn't even ask me about the pink duct tape on driver's side backseat window...haha. 

Anyway, it's been one of those days, and really nothing bad has happened. I just made a grilled cheese that's really bad for me, and now I'm off to bed with a steaming hot mug of passion tea (props to the hubs) and the computer so I can watch some guilty pleasure tv. You know you ALL want to do the same! By the way, it's not even 8pm...wow. 

Goodnight world! 

- A 

February 10, 2013

Bridesmatron? Or bridesmaid?

For those of you that do not know, my sister and BOTH of J's sisters are getting married this spring/summer! Wow. We are both so excited to be a part of these weddings, but we want to make it an affordable few months. Both of us are in all 3 of the weddings, so that could make for some expensive dresses and suits, and all the accessories to go with. So let me break down my wedding wardrobe for ya! 

My sister's wedding: Becca (my sister) is getting married on June 29th. She is graduating from Alabama in May, and then heading straight for marriage! She picked out bridesmaids dresses from the same place she got her dress, Alfred Angelo. We are all wearing different styles of dress in the same color and fabric, which is "first blush" in chiffon. I cannot believe we all picked out different dresses, seeing as there are 9 of us! Thankfully, my mother was kind enough to pay for my dress, so that's one down! Here's a look at what style I will be wearing...

I am SO excited about the one-shoulder thing! I also found some shoes at 6pm.com (favorite shoe shopping online!). I wanted wedges for comfort, and I needed nude shoes for all 3 of the weddings, so let's kill 3 birds with one stone! Here are my versatile shoes! 

(image courtesy of 6pm.com) - these were only $34.99 at the time! With FREE shipping of course! YAY! 

Allison's wedding: Allison is J's older sister. She is getting married on April 20th. Her color palette is similar to Becca's but more beiges than pinks. We were all told to get a beige/cream colored dress, and Allison found us several options for us on Modcloth.com. I of course searched through the sale dresses to find mine! Coincidentally, it is also in the one-shoulder category. I guess that means I can't wear a one-shouldered dress to Erin's (J's younger sister) wedding! haha. 

Here it is! I got this one for only $51 and change! Can you believe a bridesmaids dress that cheap? I can't! I tried it on with the shoes I bought the other day, and the tones go great together! 

Erin's wedding: Erin and her fiance, Andrew are getting married on June 15th. Not sure what the bridesmaids dresses are going to be yet, but I know the color scheme has to do with pale yellows. She is trying to find dresses on Etsy.com. If any of you have suggestions or have ever ordered a custom made dress from anyone, comment below! 

So the grand total so far is $86.99 for me (just rounded up to $52 for the cream dress). The only other addition should be the dress for Erin'w wedding. I have a feeling J is going to have to spend more money than me on his stuff, partly because renting a tux is expensive, and also because he needs suits for dental school stuff, so we would be better off for him to buy suits instead of rent them, if suits are the wardrobe of choice for these weddings. 

Will post an update soon when we get J's wardrobe and my last dress picked out! 

- A

February 9, 2013

Final update to office overhaul...for now...

After I finished organizing the office and cleaning the apartment, something dawned on me. We are moving from this place in just a few short months. J and I have decided that no matter whether he gets into dental school here or not, we want to find more of a single dwelling home or town home to rent for our time in dental school. This is mostly because we know we will both be gone a lot (Me with work and J with school and studying), and we want Dexter to be able to stay outside during the day. 

Good idea, but why did I just organize the office again? Well here's a reason -- J got a J-O-B! 

So, J's dad is a doctor. He has a bunch of medical records that need to go from paper to computer. So guess what J is going to do for the next 3-4 months? Organize and scan ALL of the papers into  the electronic medical record database! Fun? Maybe not, but it pays the bills. We will be able to save up some more money before J starts school and we take out a HUGE loan to pay for it. 

That was a huge answer to prayer, so while J was at his parents house figuring out all these boxes and how he was going to transport them back here, I quickly finished organizing to give him some workspace. So here are the photos before He brings in loads of papers...

My desk/wall before


J's desk/wall before 


Closet wall before


Deer Head wall before


(I even found a way to "upcycle" my old shoe shelf from college into a makeshift shelf for J's weights!!) -- well, the small red ones are mine, of course! 

I think not only does this room look better, but it is WAY more functional as a useable space (because we never really went into this room before now). Also, if I do walk in, my brain doesn't hurt as much, which is always a plus. 

Though this may be time wasted, I will have a much better idea of what we want our office space to look like wherever we live in the next chapter of our lives! 

- A

February 5, 2013

Organizing all of the yarns - (office overhaul part two)

Many of you may be thinking "What did Abby do on her sick day yesterday?"; "Maybe she slept in and watched movies with a box of tissue?"; or "What about some herbal tea?". NOPE.

So what didn't I do...haha. I DID sleep in, took some cold meds, then proceded to continue my office overhaul in the afternoon. Sometimes when I am home alone, I get stir crazy. No matter how bad or tired or whatever I feel I can't just lay there and do nothing. I think I have a disease!

So you may remember my last post on sorting all of my knitting supplies and such. Today I just have a few progress photos for you from the office. Keep in mind that I am doing this (hopefully) without buying any supplies at all! Just using stuff I have lying around the apartment, so it probably won't be as awesomely cool as someone else's office overhaul.

Here goes... (before pics)

Wall One

Wall Two

Wall Three

Wall Four

On a separate note, while I was organizing and cleaning, I made myself a strawberry-peach protein smoothie to sip on:

 1. 6 oz orange juice
2. 1 handful frozen strawberries and peaches
3. 1 large handful spinach
4. 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
5. 2 large spoonfuls plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

I blend mine with an immersion blender because it's easier than putting everything in the regular blender and having to clean the blender! Haha LAZY!

So...as I drank my smoothie I got some things organized. Here is what I have so far...

Progress on wall two

Beautiful, accessible, organization

 Cute little corkboards I found when I was cleaning out J's desk!

 Still don't really know what to do with the shipping supplies, but I at least got them somewhat under control.

More to come on this later, but right now I am home alone with J starting a job with his dad this week in Hville. Risky business? Nah. I think I'll just veg-out on the sofa and catch up on Walking Dead! Premiere Sunday Feb 10th!

- A

February 4, 2013

Last two interviews down...waiting to go.

As some of you may know, J had 2 interviews last week. One was at the University of Louisville, and the other was at UAB. As you can imagine, we both want to go local, but we can't really complain since we know he is going to school this fall no matter what. So here's as much as I know...

Monday. University of Louisville interview. After driving into Louisville Sunday night, J got some sleep at his hotel. Monday morning was his interview. He said that all went well, and after the interview he met up with a mutual friend that goes to U of L dental school to talk about the interview. J was so tired that on the way back he stopped at a hotel in Tennessee to rest and made it the rest of the way back to B'ham Tuesday morning. That same morning, he got an email from Louisville saying that he was on the "first to contact" waiting list!! Yay! 

Wednesday. J got up and went to his 11am UAB interview. They first had lunch with current students and walked around the dental school. So weird that I was only a few blocks away at work (UAB Hospital) while all this was going down. He then sat and waited for his interview (of course he wasn't first). He said all went well, and he was told he would know in the next two to three weeks whether he gets into UAB! 

SO stay TUNED! We will know something soon, but if neither of these schools work out, sunny Florida here we come!!! I only hope that if we move there the people I end up working with understand using Roll Tide as a greeting. Seriously. Those of you that I work with now know what I'm talking about.