Monday, February 28, 2011

some stuff

1. I'm thinking of growing my hair out again. Whadda ya say people? These pictures made me miss it.

2. While reminiscing I came across this pic...

That's my baby sister. She shouldn't look so grown up. And this picture was taken almost 3 years ago. Isn't she gorgeous? Also, is it bad that she looks older than me in this picture (taken when she was 17) than I do above (taken when I was 22)? Yup it's been like that all our lives.

3. Last night there was an awful thunderstorm. Dixie was going nuts, she hates thunderstorms and therefore she was running little circles around the living room and panting. Fast forward a bit, we're asleep and it's 5 A.M., I get up to go to the bathroom, then John gets up to go to the bathroom, once we nestle in bed we hear a huge crash! In the amount of time that it takes John to get out of bed Dixie is already up in our room. She had pulled down the spring loaded baby gate and ran up the stairs in an amount of seconds. Drama queen much? She proceeded to run little circles around our room and pant very dramatically. She eventually laid down and went to sleep. What a great way to start the day.

4. The 2 1/2 year old I nanny for took my phone from me today and told me that it was "old" then gave me a pretend "new" phone. I asked for my old phone back and he said "no it's old, you need to use your new phone". Now I'm feeling pressure to get a smart phone from a 2 1/2 year old? :) Then we proceeded to dance to the ABC's in Spanish for a solid 15 minutes. Love my job.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

your daily quote

I wished for nothing beyond her smile, and to walk with her thus, hand in hand, along a sun-warmed, flower-bordered path.

Andre Gide

i want this cake like now

photo cred to

Saturday, February 26, 2011

your daily (love) quote

Love is the answer at least for most of the questions in my heart.

Jack Johnson

food, lately

Here are a few of the tasty recipes I've made lately:

Lazy Bolognese-Style Lasagna
(I used ground turkey instead of beef, did not put in cloves and nutmeg and used skim instead of whole milk)

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins

all of the recipes are really good and for the most part pretty simple. enjoy!

temple grandin

Apparently all I do these days is read and watch movies. It's cold people, there's not a whole lot more you can do. Anyway, tonight I watched Temple Grandin and oh my gosh, what an incredible movie! She is such a fascinating, brilliant woman! I had heard great reviews about this movie and Lord only knows why it took me so long to watch it but I'm so glad that I did. Not only does it put the spotlight on how incredible this woman is but it also helps explain Autism to the rest of the world. And Claire Danes did an incredible job portraying Ms. Grandin, no big surprise there. Now I think it's one thing to be able to read about Autism and study it but it is another to be able to see it through the person's eyes. And this movie did an incredible job of portraying the world of Autism through Temple Grandin's eyes. I mean wow. I highly recommend this movie!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

a few things...

Just to update ya'll on a couple of things:

1. As of 2/22/11 John and I have been together for 6 years. Yes, 6 years! Wow, where does the time go? Some of you may know the story of how we actually went on our first date on 2/21/05 but he waited until after midnight (as we're both night owls) to "ask me to be his girlfriend" so that he could easily remember our anniversary...2/22. Math nerd.

2. We finished the last episode of Prison Break last night and it was wonderful. The show is altogether wonderful. Very thought've got conspiracy, action, love, drama, etc. I've been thinking about the ending as well as the entire show a lot today. It's just one of those things that sticks with you. I highly recommend this show, as it's no longer on TV you may have to Netflix it, stream it online, etc.

3. Last Friday it was 68 degrees here. Monday it snowed. Like 8 inches. What the heck? I want spring and I want it now!

4. You know you're getting older/wake up early for a job when you regularly wake up before your alarm goes off on your days off. hmmm.

5. Tonight Anna and I watched 17 Again and it was super cute! I was unsure of how it would turn out but I loved the whole movie. And now I have a secret teenage crush on Zac Efron. :)

your daily quote

I disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.


little women

That's right, I just now read Little Women for the first time. What an incredible book! Louisa May Alcott was brilliant! I really enjoyed her style of writing and I just overall loved the book! I mean maybe I'm a sucker for being captivated by a book, but really I think I'm just captivated by really great books and this is most definitely one of them. If you are like me and somehow did not read it before now you must pick it up and if you have read it, maybe you should reread it because it's just that good! Thanks Anna for this lovely birthday gift :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the romantics

I watched this the other day and I was really psyched because Anna Paquin starred in it and since I've recently been obsessed with True Blood I thought it would be a great movie largely due to her. However, it was not. It was only OK. And I mean that as in only OK. Like meh. Like I could shrug my shoulders and be done with it. Basically. And yes, I tried to not only look at it with my natural girly, non-movie critic eye, I tried to see it through the lens of "I'm into real life kind of movies now". But this one just plain stunk. It made me sad and at the end I was left saying "for real?". Dixie was confused. But also happy that she was able to lounge around on the sofa and not penned up in her crate. Boo to you, The Romantics. Sorry but it's true.

Monday, February 21, 2011

your daily (love) quote

Come live in my heart and pay no rent.

Samuel Lover

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The sign of frustration. I started messing around with my sewing machine and after it was threaded and I was ready to go, it didn't work correctly. That was a week ago and this picture was taken a few minutes ago. I told John that he needed to fix it because I was done.

Disgust and disapproval. From Dixie. First she threw up on the couch the other night (about an inch from where I was sitting) and then when the slipcover was laying on the ground bundled up waiting to be washed she decided to chew a hole in it. I think she's trying to tell she doesn't like the color.

The culprit acting like she doesn't give a crap.

The sign that all is well and perfect in the world. I saw this recipe and knew I had to try it. And it makes me feel like a happy little girl. And it tastes amazing!!

we've been here that long?

ECE winter parties through the years...




And now I feel like I'm aging...

winter partay

Every year John's department throws a winter party and this year it was at the Heinz History Center, which was quite a lovely venue. Here are a few pics from the night.

Overall the night was fun. Like I said the venue was really cool and unique. The dinner was yummy (minus the questionable apple pie/eclair/doughy creation for dessert) and the entertainment was nice. Then there was a lot of Indian music, like a lot. Needless to say I didn't dance :( and right as I was walking out they started to play the Cupid Shuffle! John quickly escorted me out of the building.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the kids are all right

I watched this movie on Valentine's Day (by myself, ha) and I really enjoyed it. I must say that I am starting to get into the whole "real life" type of movie scene. This movie is about a lesbian couple who went to a sperm bank to have their two children. Then when the daughter turns 18 she contacts the sperm donor, and the story begins...

But seriously, I thought all of the actors did a wonderful job and even though the ending doesn't completely resolve I was OK with it. What? Am I growing up? Am I realizing that not everyone has a happily ever after ending? Weird. But on the real, it's a good flick and I recommend it :)

praying peace

I enjoyed reading this book, it was suggested by my Aunt Donna :) I liked the different point of views that it offered. The title is very fitting because the entire book is focused on learning how to pray peace. Not pray for peace but pray peace. Note: in the book they stated that if you have to "pray for" something then you are assuming it doesn't exist, therefore if you are "praying something" you realize it exists (even though it may be hidden) and you want it to shine through. Pretty insightful. The people speaking in this book have decided that there are seven pathways to peace and I really dig them. Focusing on the seven pathways helps to make all of the craziness in the world seem a little more simple. Here we go:

1. You are always praying; thought itself is prayer.
2. Whatever you focus your mind on, increases.
3. To change the world, change your thoughts about the world.
4. If you want to experience peace - become peace.
5. Peace is always present, though it is sometimes hidden.
6. Love is the only force in the universe.
7. The world is already healed.

Now you can say what you want but I think that no matter who/what you believe in, just about everyone can get behind these principles. Again, it seems to minimize the craziness in the world around us and it helped me feel like I had a little more grasp on things...if only in the way that I pray. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

your daily (love) quote

I'm just going to keep with the whole love theme for February. You know, just because...

Can miles truly separate you from friends...if you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?

Richard Bach

Ahh such true words Richard, such true words...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

recap of v-day

Not a whole lot went on here, it was just like any other day. Other than the fact that I'm super festive and I really love the color pink kind of took over. I made funfetti cupcakes with pink icing and red sprinkles Sunday night, you know just so I could spread the love. Then this is what happened yesterday morning:

pink peanut butter pancakes!

my sweet neighbor and her precious son (my valentine) came over to share in the holy pinkness (he's actually devouring a cupcake here)

this is the closest I got to him trying to give Dixie a hug (darn you slow shutter speed!!) but it was definitely the most precious thing I saw all day

Monday, February 14, 2011

cute love pics

Let's be honest, I'm a hopeless romantic at heart. Even though J and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day because it is a "holiday created just so card/candy/flower companies can make a lot of money" (his words, not mine) you can't help but feeling a little warm and fuzzy and romantic during the day. So I decided to look up pretty images of love, here you go...

your daily (love) quote

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

despicable me

We watched this last night and it is a-dor-able! I was thinking "hmm another cartoon movie, I wonder if it'll be any good". And it definitely was! Cute, funny and Steve Carell and Jason Segel play two of the main characters. Wonderful. Obviously very kid friendly and the creators made it enjoyable for adults too (clearly...why else would we choose it as a Friday night movie? hee hee, we're kids at heart). Plus this is the theme song and I kinda love it...enjoy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

memphis sweet potato fries, ya'll

Another gem a la the Neely's, ya'll. I mean if you haven't watched their show, please YouTube an episode and count the "ya'lls" coming out of Pat Neely's mouth. But on the real, these sweet potato fries are incredible, the Neely's have done it again...ya'll. Come on, I had to do it.

4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together olive oil, paprika and ground cinnamon. Toss the potato strips into mixture, to coat well and spread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and brown sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.

Chef Jessi's notes: I doubled the recipe because we had that many sweet potatoes and I wanted to be done with them. Also, turning them every 10 minutes is key...I know some of you may think "whatever, I'm sticking them in there for 30 solid minutes and they'll be fine" (cough mom...and sometimes myself). Anyway, they will not be just fine, they will be burnt and nastay. So make sure you turn them, I did and they turned out fabulously.

(photo and recipe cred to


This is a tasty, tasty Lebanese dish that I adopted from the family that I nanny for. Things I love about this recipe:

1. very tasty
2. very easy
3. cheap to make
4. vegetarian (I like variety :)
5. leftovers are versatile and you can create other things with them

So here goes...

1. 1 cup of lentils with 2 cups of water, let it reach a boil then
simmer on low for 15 minutes until tender
2. add 1/4 cup of rice
3. let simmer for 10-15 minutes
4. season with salt and pepper
5. cut 1 onion and cook in olive oil on the side. when golden brown,
add to rice & lentils.

optional: fry more onions and add as a garnish

Also, it is traditionally served with a salad which I find very delicious but I knew John wouldn't like, so I served it with this sauce on the side.

i am so over

SALADS. I try to get in my daily amount of veggies (5 servings) every day and its starting to become a bore. Oh, also, I haven't hit 5 servings per day in like 2 weeks. An easy way of getting some of these servings is a salad at least every day or every other day. Well I am quite sick of them. I do every healthy possible thing to try and spruce it up. We're talking: feta, dried cherries, dried cranberries, different tasty low cal dressings. Today I even put bacon (what?! a few weeks ago I didn't even like bacon) and ranch on my salad just so I could choke down some greens. Oh and I haven't had ranch on a salad since I was like 13 or when I was "treating" myself. So I'm begging you all know any good, healthy salad recipes?? It doesn't have to be your typical iceberg/romaine lettuce salad...just anything with veggies. Thanks in advance friends :)

my feelings about salads personified

Update: why does ranch have to be so freaking bad for you!? ughhhh

your daily (love) quote

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Lao Tzu

Thursday, February 10, 2011

she & him

Love this band. I think I already told ya'll how much I adore Zooey Deschanel. Now I adore her a tad more. I really dig her voice and the style of this duet...think June Carter/1950s pop/jazzy and bluesy/Death Cab for Cutie. Love it. I highly recommend them! Oh and their Pandora station is aweeeesome!


I've been feeling a little out of sorts lately. Maybe its the 16 degree weather or the gale force winds or the fact that I've been a grandma and going to bed at 10:00 p.m. Who knows. But I apologize for the lack of posting this week, so here are a few thoughts:

1. Today is my baby sister's 20th birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE!! I love that girl so much and she will be forever 3 years old in my head. I know I'm weird, but she's still a baby! I hope your day is wonderful even if you have to be in class until 9:00 pm!

2. I'm reading Little Women (for the first time) and it's awesome!

3. I appreciate my readers' comments on the Kindle, I'm leaning towards buying one! Thanks for the insight :)

4. Soba noodles=disgusting. I follow quite a few food blogs and all these people have been talking about soba noodles, so like a month ago I bought an "all in one soba noodle dinner" in a box at Trader Joe's. I made it last week and both John and I took one bite and threw it away. Nastay. If you like them, please let me know how you make them edible because I think they taste like c-r-a-p (oh yeah, I'm getting quite good at spelling out "bad" words, being around a 2 year old and all).

5. I'm officially a master at Just Dance 2. Except that "being a master" pretty much means I jam out and dance all by myself (wah wah) in my basement and have the time of my life. I also imagine that I'm performing for thousands of people. It makes the workout go by quicker. And yes, it's a workout.

6. Last week I finished True Blood season 2 in the matter of 2.5 days. I'm obsessed.

That's pretty much it except that Dixie has been extra crazy due to lack o' exercise because the sidewalks have large patches of ice on them. I'm just not willing to risk my life for a walk. Oh and btw, when is Spring getting here? I'm itching for it's arrival!

your daily quote

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and a man cannot live without love.

Max Muller

Monday, February 7, 2011

belated birthday surprise

I came home to a lovely surprise today. So I decided that a photo shoot was most definitely in order.

I mean have I ever mentioned that I love things that are gold and glittery? Like ever? Or that I love shoes? Or organizations that give back? I know ya'll probably already know this but for every pair of TOMS that is bought, they give a pair to a needy child. I pray that there is a little girl in some country, somewhere, that will be sporting these same shoes soon. Please TOMS, please. Oh yeah, thanks to Mom and Dad for the wonderful new pair of shoes! I love them and both of you! Yippee! Snow, snow, go away so I can wear them, now!

just puttin it out there...

So I received some money for my birthday. And usually I deposit it and eventually spend it (for example, when I got shopping in like a month I may find a dress that I like but I don't need so then I justify that it is birthday money paying for it) but this year I'm thinking of something different. I'm thinking about maybe...just maybe...purchasing a Kindle. I know I have some friends and family that own one, so what are your thoughts out there readers?

Please take these things into consideration:
1. I am a nanny and when the kids are napping, I read.
2. I am a book worm, I would rather read than watch TV.
3. I have a large amount of actual books that I still haven't read yet.
4. I also have a long "wish list" on Amazon of books that I would like to buy/read and its cheaper to buy Kindle books than regular books, right?
5. Does it take all the fun away from getting a book from someone you love? For instance, I love when people give me a book as a gift and say "oh I just loved this and knew that you would too", would they still do that? Or just give me an Amazon gift card? Can you "purchase" a Kindle book for someone else?
6. I am hesitant to take one step closer towards this ridiculously technology driven world (I still don't own a smart phone and I'm kinda OK with that). I kind of fear that one day we will be taken over by robots (and no, the irony is not lost that hubs could very well be the one building the robots) but nonetheless they are robots! And we won't have paper or humans anymore, ahh!

Ok, so give me your thoughts. Really, let me know. Comment down there. Even if you've never commented before, ya'll are my blog readers and I would love to hear your opinions. OK, thanks!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


As we all know the Super Bowl is on as I type. Essentially this means 4 things to me: funny commercials, half-time show, guys running around on the field with a ball and an excuse to eat tasty dips and comfort foods! So I usually make a point to whip up something really tasty (even though John would be fine with a frozen pizza, thank God I'm a foodie otherwise we would never have a home cooked meal) and here's what I made tonight:
Align Center
Buffalo Chicken Dip
(Very tasty, but quite spicy.)

Chicken Mac and Cheese
(I chose this because I've had about a month long craving for mac and cheese. This was pretty freaking good.)

birthday thanks

Thanks to everyone who sent cards, called, texted, posted on my facebook, sent gifts, etc. for my birthday! I felt very loved, thank you!! Here's a recap of the day:

25 presents from my sister :)

Miranda and Arianna at my birthday lunch

me and Arianna (and Jackie in the back)

some of my friends at a delicious lunch at Gran Agave, thanks girls!

John and I wrapping up the day at Silk Elephant for a tasty birthday dinner

Friday, February 4, 2011

your daily quote

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine.

Morris West

Here's to the fact that the sun is actually shining today in the 'burgh!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

annnd i swear i'll...

stop posting after this last post. Sorry, I think you all know that I'm a binge blogger. Geez.

Anyway, after my cousin urbandiciontaried her name I thought I would too. Copy cat, copy cat, hee hee hee.


1. The female version of of the name Jesse. Can also refer to someone made of awesome.

2. A being, female, made entirely of stardust, always ready to shine, but sometimes burns too brightly only to burst into flame and become dust once again, ready to repeat the process.

3. The short sexy type. Always on alert. A force only to be reckoned with if you understand her heart. The best friend anyone can possibly have. With curves like a dirt road on a drunk night. Very probable to be the most intriguing person you've ever met. Irresistable to the point of addiction. Any man who comes in contact will quiver, and have no self control to turn the other way. Can stop a heart from beating, and bring the beat back with only her smile. The best wife any man could ever desire. Perfect in every way.

I personally like #3 the best, and who knew that John submitted an entry about me on Urban Dictionary? How sweet. Ha.

no strings attached

I forgot to blog about this movie, I went to see it last week with a couple of my movie pals. It was cute. I adore Natalie Portman (as previously stated) and I think Ashton Kutcher is wonderful (even if John claims that he hasn't done anything good since That 70s Show) so I knew it would at least be cute. And it was. It's definitely the movie you go see with your girlfriends or the one that you make your husband/boyfriend suffer through on Valentine's Day because you get to pick the movie. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a lighthearted romcom then I definitely recommend it.