Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
I love this time of year and this sugar-filled holiday. Rhyno and I celebrated the spooky day with some friends at a costume party last weekend--it was a blast! We are spending the actual Halloween evening passing out candy and watching Hocus Pocus and trying not to eat all of the aforementioned candy.
We had a fun experience with our costumes--I was SO excited to buy our costumes online. I spent a couple of hours eyeballing and price comparing every costume. I finally settled on the cutest looking gnome costumes and had to have them rush shipped to us before the costume party. So they arrived and I was pleased as really good punch...until we tried them on. Um, remind me next year to just sew our dang costumes instead of trying to bargain buy them.
These costumes looked like garbage...worse than garbage. My "cute" gnome dress added about 30 pounds to my frame (which I don't need) and gave the illusion that my boobs were down to my waist (oh hell no). Rhyno's gnome beard was knotted and kind of questionable. We had the fun task of running out to find something with only three hours until the party.
So...what costumes did we wind up wearing into the bar?
I didn't realize until now that we didn't take ANY photos together. Bummer dog.
Hot diggity dog! Yeah, this is real life. Don't I look happy? Also that was not Rhyno's hat...
Do you dress up for Halloween? What costume are you rocking?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


 Cutie Violet takin' a Sunday snooze.
I am currently...
....eating so many avocados. We are getting to the time of year where buying an avocado is dicey--I have already purchased two that were straight up nasty. So now when I find one that is perfectly ripe, I slice it up and gobble it faster than you can say "Avocado Lover!"
...making Christmas gifts! I am so excited to give all my nephews and nieces homemade and awesome gifts. No fruitcake for this frugal gift-giver!
...on my To Do list deep cleaning our house before winter! I always like to do one last big clean before freezing weather sets in so I can open some windows to let fresh air in. I need to do that this week.
...listening to Runnin Around by Rilo Kiley. I have said before Rilo Kiley is my FAVORITE BAND EVER. I fell in love in high school and they basically just keep me alive (despite being broken up). I bought their RKives for myself as a birthday gift and I love it so much. I cried out of sheer happiness when I first gave it a listen (because the break up means this was the last new thing I might ever hear). Runnin Around reminds me of one of my newest and favorite friends and I love it so. Can't stop. Won't stop.
...reading Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. It is changing my life hardcore.
...watching so many documentaries. I watched Blackfish last weekend and I was straight up haunted. As a longtime animal lover, I already knew the injustices of the fur and meat and pet mill industries but SeaWorld was a little shock. I grew up wanting so badly to be a dolphin/whale trainer. I had no idea the real depression whales face in captivity and now I can't NOT think about it. Hashtag Free Tilly, right? I have watched this doc two times in two days. So good. We also saw Gravity last weekend and I am in love. I was sobbing most of the time and I thought it was so amazing. I want to see it so many more times. I love outer space and both of those things are making me sad. WHY!?
...loving  my naughty little Violet. She is real crazy. We are learning to jog together and I find it calms her down a bit. Rhyno and I are still debating getting her a sibling so she has someone to play with and they can even one another out. Today I caught her laying on the coffee table and then she tore apart an entire box of tissues. Butt.
...hoping for a book deal! Just kidding...sort of. Just like everyone else, I have been outlining some things and I'd really like it to work out. I have been laying out pages whenever I have a few minutes to spare and my office looks like a crazy villain's post-it filled lair.
...thankful for every dang thing. Hot damn, my life is so good.
 Have the best Halloween-Eve!
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Almost New Year's Resolutions.

Hey, how the heck is it already almost 2014? Like, time, am I right? I am really excited for the upcoming holidays, I love this flingin' flangin' time of year.
Feel free to listen to this as you read this post. I am.
I love a good resolution as much as the next chump. I love to believe that every new year brings with it the chance to be the perfect version of myself. With the new year looming in the not-so-distant future, I can't stop thinking about my resolutions and maybe just getting a big, ol' jumpstart on them now.
So...what are my initial resolutions and what can I do now?
1.) As usual, my  biggest resolution is to be as healthy as possible. I'm done with back-and-forth of being fat and thin, I just want to be healthy and I'm working toward it. I recently purchased Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr and I am so inspired. I am loving dry brushing and oil pulling, I can't wait to take even better care of my health. I have been planning more clean eating meals (posts to come) and trying to move a bit more.
2.) Only do what makes me super happy. Oddly, this is hard to do. As someone who tends to "lay down and die" when it comes to conflict, I'm trying to learn to stick up for myself and my own happiness a bit more.
3.) Get pretty! I used to really pride myself, however vain, on putting time into myself. I am making a conscious effort to put more time into how I look--no matter my size. I find that when I've gained some weight I stop dressing adorably and I just stop trying. I am trying to put more time into the face I present to the world and taking time to really making myself CUTE.
4.) Be good. I just want to be good...basically in my whole life. I spent some time being bad and being MEH. I want to be good to my family and best friends and close friends and other friends and strangers. I want to give more and take less.
Are you already thinking of your resolutions? Or am I just nutty?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Paddling My Own Canoe.

Sometimes my friends tell me cool stories of living in the city and bumping into random small-time celebrities or hitting up book signings after work and I feel a PING of "aw, shucks, wish that was me" self-pity.
But then I moved to the country and just happened to buy a house in the town riiiight next to where one of my favorite actors/authors grew up. Then a year or so later he stopped by his hometown and did a book signing/reading/sing-along at his old elementary. If you already know who Nick Offerman is without clicking the link I already think you are way super awesome cool, if you have to click...well, then click away and fall in love. He is funny and mustached and insightful and sweet in the manliest way and, hey, he's Ron effing Swanson. Dang, I love Parks & Recreation.
Sorry for the shitty photo quality--my camera AND phone died before the reading even started so I had to use Rhyno's rinky-dink garbage phone camera.
 The senior Offerman, Nick's dad, introduced the evening and it was kind of the most precious thing ever. Nick Offerman's entire family was in the audience and it was cool to see a hometown celebrity come back home and be so modest and hilarious. He told funny stories about wanting to be a break dancer (his name was Tick Tock) and gave a list of reasons why he loves his wife (Megan Mullaly) so much and told the audience how much it meant to him to grow up in this teeny, tiny town in the middle of almost nowhere. He ended the evening with "Bye, Bye Lil' Sebastian" which any Parks & Rec fan would die over. I died over it. I'm basically dead.
Um, so then came the book signing and I nearly barfed in my mouth because I was so dang excited to meet him.
In the effort of saving time, no one was allowed to take an actual photo WITH Nick. So my homemade mustache that would make for the perfect photo opp went unused.
I have met a handful of celebrities in my time and I sometimes act like a dingbat. I once met one of my very favorite authors (Susan J. Gilman) and was so awestruck by her hilarity and intelligence that I ditched the pre-made speech I had in mind and nervously yelled, "I LOVE BOOKS!" and whipped her own hardcover at her face. I could not do that again. So when I got to the table I very calmly admitted, "I am freaking out." Mr. Offerman simply said, "No. Do not do that. Let's just talk like humans." And we did. And it was rad. I told him how much I loved Somebody Up There Likes Me and he told me a bit about working with the director and how proud he was of that movie and how nice Chris Pratt & Amy Poehler are. I was grinning like a buffoon and happy as a clam.
 It was one of my very favorite moments of 2013. Thank you, Mr. Offerman.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sister Birthdays.

So on my birthday my lovely cousin-like-a-sister wrote this sweet, humbling, wonderful post. I hope I can half repay that favor.
She: in all black. Me: Unfortunately in all peach.
Samantha is my sister, whether or not you or the universe likes it. She was born my cousin but I will always think of her as my closest family. She is one of those people who makes you feel understood, is willing to gripe with you, and makes you almost pee your pants with laughter every dang time you see her.
Seeing my Samantha become a mother has been something kind of magical. She has transformed into this amazing woman-hero  who is capable of baking, child rearing, working, and blogging all in a span of a few hours. Like, are you Superwoman? Get outta here! Plus she chats with me via Facebook IM the whole time.
Honestly? I don't know what I'd do without her. If it's good news or bad news, she is one of the first people I tell every single time and I sprint to her for advice at every obstacle. I love her face and guts and heart and soul. She is someone who is forthright with her feelings, she will make you feel like a million bucks and like you are worth an actual million bucks.
Kaeli, Samantha, Me, My Mom
Sam always works to better herself as a human--which sets the bar high for the rest of us since she's already really great. She is my cousin, my sister, my bestie, the coolest.
I love you, Mantha! Happy birthday!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Positive Things.

Just a lil' happy thought for the day.
Have a happy Friday Eve!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy Anniversary.

Happy third anniversary to my favorite man meat, Rhyno!

There are so many things I'd change about our wedding day if given the chance--the people involved, the photographs, the prep beforehand, the food served--but I would never change the person waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I would  never change the confidant smile on your face as I walked toward you or the heart-thumping excitement I felt while turning the corner to see you at the altar. I would never change my dad's refusal to cry that also helped me stay dry-eyed and laughing. I wouldn't change teeny-tiny Addie as our flower girl despite her day-of protest. I wouldn't change the delicious tortellini. I wouldn't change our family and friends laughing and dancing around in celebration of our love. I wouldn't change you rubbing my feet at the end of a long wedding reception or first dancing with you to a song neither of us was too crazy about. I wouldn't change our hand-carved pumpkins or s'mores favors. Dude, I would never change those cupcakes we ate in place of a giant wedding cake. I would never, ever change our Disney honeymoon and the week we spent just enjoying life and our new marriage and each other and lots of soft pretzels and pictures of Mickey Mouse.
Most of all I wouldn't ever change the feeling I had when I glanced at you right after our vows, the first glance at my husband. The feeling that my heart had found its missing piece and I was whole. The feeling that I was safe and loved and beloved.
Of all the things I would change, I would never change you.
Happy third year, my dear, and cheers to many more!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Good Vibrations.

Um, pretend this is well thought out content and not just a happy quote....ok, love you, bye!

Monday, October 21, 2013


I'm officially 28. My birthday was yesterday and now I am officially in my late twenties.
I wish I could fit in and say I am freaking out but I kinda feel fine. I freaked out for a minute and now I'm fine. I brought 28 in watching Bewitched (an oh-so-thoughtful gift from my husband), laughing, and eating (for the very last time since it is closing forever) at the Pepe's in Chicago Ridge with some of my favorite people. I spent my day with my husband, my two favorite little boys, my parents, my grandparents, and my sister and her husband. I spent my first evening of 28 laughing while Jackie was adorably yelling at me, "You get nuffing! I get sumfing!" and Charlie ordering me to tell the waiter we need more salsa ("No, Sera Cupcakes, stop talking to Ryan. Tell the other man we need more salsas. And more chips.").
The location was pretty special even if the food isn't great. I've been going to Pepe's since I was a little kid. I can remember my late grandpa taking me there in fifth grade, just me, when I was sad because kids were bullying me. "Come on, let's go out, Rosie. Just me and you." I felt so special and so worthy. The food will always be mediocre but the company will always be cool.
 It was in that corner booth that my Grandpa Pat said, "Who cares what those other kids say? Know what you say back? 'That insult will be SO funny to me when you are pumping my gas in twenty years.'"I miss him and sitting there eating our last meal ever reminded me of him and his tough love. It reminded me of learning to be an assertive and strong woman. It reminded me of good report cards. It reminded me of my older brother who lives so far away. It reminded me of high school evenings spent in those booths with old friends and the years that have passed since then. It reminded me of pouring my heart out to my cousins over RC. It reminded me of so many things that can happen at a franchise restaurant table.
I walked out of our family favorite yesterday with a smile in my heart. I was turning 28 and life was going to be fine. I had spent the evening with some of my favorite people, laughing and smiling. Our family's favorite trashy restaurant was closing but I was going to be kind of fine.
I am 28 now and life is so good.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Birthday Wishes.

Happy Friday!
Birthday flowers from Rhyno a couple years ago, he's sort of the cutest.
I am super, extra, totally excited for this weekend because I'm turning 28 on Sunday! I mentioned before that I love birthdays, my own especially. I have no shame in it, I love to celebrate my birthday!
P.S. I have zero shame in saying this has been one of my favorite quotes since I was about 19 years old and I think of it often.
Last year was not my best birthday for a lot of reasons and now I am happy to start fresh on 28 and kick the new age off with a big, ol' bang! I've let Rhyno know he's in charge of making super, ultra fun plans so we are hitting up RPM tomorrow (get at me, delicious burrata!) and then the local farm to pick out pumpkins and carve 'em up on Sunday. I can't wait to see what else is on tap for the weekend!
P.S. Also a HAPPY, HAPPY birthday today to one of the funniest, cutest, silliest gals I know--Olive! She is such a little doll, I can't believe she's already TWO!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just Some Rambling.

I am just going to spit out some random thoughts relating to life right now and then I will call it a blog post, cool? Cool.
My favorite band in the whole wide world is Rilo Kiley. I recently (FINALLY) bought their b-sides and rarities collection, RKives. I died because I loved it so much. I am dead. I listened to the album at least four times in a row the other night and this song is particularly pulling on my heart. Oh, Jenny, I love you so.
I've been working a lot this week--until about 2 or 3am every night--and in that time I've rediscovered my deep, deep love for Community. Out of the blue I decided to start watching the series again from the pilot and I forgot how funny it is! I am such a sucker for Troy and Abed, they make me for real L-O-L.
Do you love Hocus Pocus? Me too! Actually, this Buzzfeed article makes me think that there isn't anyone who is capable of NOT loving the crap out of Hocus Pocus.
"I am beautiful, I am bountiful, I am blissful."
Yogi Tea is my favorite because of the tiny quotes on each bag. This one was tacked to my bag of kombucha and I really needed to hear it. It made me smile so, so big.
Boy! If I could go back and tell 9 year old me about what my tweeting future held....she'd be like, "What the hell is Twitter? What's an internet?" Because I'm old.
Violet visited my office for the first time! The gals loved her and she was, shockingly, a total angel. Our office mascot, Boris the Butler, was super into her and offered to hold her treats on his fancy tray but she hated him. When we first go there she kept barking at him and wouldn't go near him. The above photo is as close as I could get her to him without a total barky freakout. She's such a goof.
Ok, that's all, have a great day hotties!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Good, Ol' Dry Brushin'.

So you already know that I love me a good detox and/or beauty habit, right?
In addition to my morning oil pull and ice cube facial, I've also been scratching my skin with a thick and naturally bristled brush. I said that somewhat dramatically but it's totally crazy and true. I mean I brush my teeth and my hair (not really...curly haired people sometimes don't do that), so why not my sweet pale skin?
Over the years, I've read a lot of articles about dry brushing and I've heard of all these celebrities who swear by it. Being someone who is trying to be the best caretaker ever to her bod and maybe reduce the appearance of some cellulite (big whoop, most of us have it) I finally tried it out. After reading this article, I bought my brush (I have the one above and it was el cheap-o) and got to work.
I. love. it. I sweep my body in long strokes (that felt weird to write) from bottom to top moving toward my ever-beating heart. I tend to brush right after my daily shower and I am sure to cover my bod in vitamin E oil right after. I've been brushin' for about three weeks daily and I feel like my skin is softer and someday maybe that cellulite on my thighs will disappear a little bit. Not to mention that, since your circulation really gets going, it warms your body up to brush (great for winter!).
To keep my brush clean I wash it weekly with warm water and makeup brush shampoo, making sure to keep it very dry after washing. Scrub-a-dub-dub, indeed.
Do you brush?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Coat Love.

It is getting straight up chilled in the Midwest!
I actually love when the weather cools down and we have to kick the heat on in the house for the first time since March. One of my very favorite things in the whole, wide world is walking in from the cold into a warm home (preferably one that smells like some sort of delicious comfort food).
Another reason for my excitement for the oncoming cold weather? I am in love with a cute coat. I love finding that perfect, girly, functional, colorful piece of outwear to rock the whole winter long.
Some choice favorites for this winter?
 (though totally out of my price range)
Do you have any coat crushes for the upcoming winter?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Clean Eatin' and Cardio Fiendin'.

So, at this point you are pretty used to me not sticking to regimented weight loss plans, right? Go ahead and L-O-L because I'm changing my mind again.
I'm embarrassed to admit that after all the planning and hoping with Body for Life and making it seem like it was my last hope, I'm going another step farther. With BFL, I've been having two major issues. 1.) SO MANY PROCESSED FOODS. Honestly, because of the protein requirements I was eating meat-alternatives (typically soy based and kind of super expensive) at least twice a day or I was constantly chowing on eggs (hey, cholesterol). 2.) I couldn't, despite my damnedest effort, get Rhyno on board. He is just reluctant to change and wasn't willing or able (because of his job) to eat at certain times of day and since he is a Type 1 diabetic there are certain times he has to eat, even if he's already hit his six BFL meals for the day. Since he wasn't on the plan our grocery bill was higher than usual and a few days a week I was making separate dinners--ANNOYING.
After a long talk last week though, I did manage to get Rhyno on board with a simpler plan: eating clean and doing daily cardio.
Our first foray into clean eating! Homemade whole wheat waffles with organic honey and chopped pecans.
So, for the rest of 2013 we have both made a commitment to eat as clean as humanly possible and be more active together (Violet's necessary daily walks and addiction to Frisbee definitely help with that). I'm finding it much easier to find clean recipes that are also vegetarian without relying on Boca and MorningStar to supply all my protein.I do plan to continue with the daily BFL strength workouts in addition to cardio, so I'm really only changing my diet.
What are your favorite clean eating recipes?

Friday, October 11, 2013


I am currently...
....eating honeycrisp apples! One of my favorite, favorite parts of Fall. So sweet and wonderful.
...making Christmas gifts. I'm starting to scope out some handmade gift ides for friends and family. I need to get to work on those pretty soon!
...on my To Do list is demo-ing the garage. Rhyno started ripping the place up last weekend and we are hoping to get it all dry-walled and sealed before winter.
...listening to the Jillian Michaels podcast. I downloaded them all from iTunes a while ago and was slowly working my way through whenever I felt like it. I'm trying now to listen to them for inspiration when I'm cooking or cleaning. It's nice to get a little dose of Jillbot every day.
...reading a few different things. I mentioned re-reading The Secret. Since seeing the movie, I also picked up The Bling Ring book as a bit of a guilty pleasure. Dang, I love reading.
...watching The League. I've been meaning to catch up on the new Fall shows but I keep watching reruns of The League instead. I. love. funny.
...loving Fall, of course. Having the windows open, pumpkin candles, spooky movies, playing Frisbee with Violet at dusk, even sweeping up all the leaves on our patio. I say it all the time but I don't care. I LOVE FALL.
...hoping for good things, like always. :)
...thankful for pretty much everything. Sometimes I catch myself walking around our house and I'm just thankful for everything we have. It's easy to focus on what you don't have or the problems, but it's refreshing to go in the kitchen and be thankful you have food, go to the closet and be thankful you have clothes, etc.
 Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, October 10, 2013

What's Up, Prep-py?

If you know me, you know I am crazy about prep work in every aspect of my life. I have always been the kid who set their school clothes out the night before and packed my lunch for the following day the second I got home from school. I'm happy to say that now as an adult, I'm still that way....even crazier if you can believe.

 I still lay my outfits out the night before--complete with shoes and jewelry. I make my week's breakfasts and lunches on Sundays. I plan our dinners and keep them on a chalkboard in the kitchen. On Sunday night Rhyno opened up the fridge and asked, "DANG! Could you be more prepared?" Probably, yeah, I could. Because I love it so much.

Just a glimpse of the crazy--lunch already packed, the week's lunches (spicy pumpkin oatmeal) already in Tupperware, the week's breakfasts (green smoothies) in jars, Rhyno's breakfasts (Chobani Flips) ready to go, snacks (hummus, olives, pickles, salsa, and guacamole) at the ready, and produce already washed and cut up.

To add to the crazy, at night I also put all my tea bags for the next day (4 cups black or green, 1 cup Kombucha, 1 cup ginger, and 1 cup dandelion root daily) in a mug next to my vitamin organizer and jar of coconut oil (for the morning's oil pull).

I like spontaneity, but I love preparation.

Do you prep for the week or day ahead?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Secret (Exactly What You Think it is).

I'm not sure if you already know this but sometimes life is, like, really stressful. Instead of really succumbing to the stress by drowning myself in cheesy pizza and a vat of wine, I've been expecting the best and working toward solutions for every problem.  Yes, not hoping for the best, I'm expecting it.
Why? Cause I'm Secret-ing the shit out of life, bro. I know, I can actually hear your eyeballs rolling into the back of your head but hear (read?) me out.
Many moons ago one of my best friends, Katie, handed me a copy of The Secret and told me to read it. I loved it. I loved the notion of attracting positivity and pushing negativity from your life. Though I didn't agree with every point--mostly that everything you get is a direct result of your thoughts and behavior because sometimes bad things do just happen--I felt like my eyes had been opened. Katie and I wound up also watching the movie together (you can find it on iTunes, it's basically the book come to life). I realized there was a direct relationship between my attitude and how my life was going at any given time. In the early 2000's when I was going through a very selfish phase and was kind of out of control? I attracted bad situations, unsavory people, and squashed dreams. In 2010, right before my wedding, I was consciously trying to radiate positivity and was starting every day believing things would go well. Guess what? They pretty much did. There were still bad days or cranky people here and there, but overall, it was the happiest I've ever been and in a lot of ways the most fortunate too.
Since my initial reading, because I haven't really picked up the book or read any of the following works by the author (though I may check them out from the library soon), the sentiments of the Secret have kind of fallen out of mind. I've allowed myself to believe I didn't deserve certain good things and that I did deserve certain bad things. After a stressful few months I've decided to pick the book up off the bookcase and begin actively practicing the laws of attraction again. Because, why not?
Know this, I call myself a realistic believer in the laws of attraction. For example, when they say to eat food and expect it not to have calories I draw a bit of a line. Because, you know, science. But I do believe there is a definite connection between being good to yourself (including treating yourself with respect, nourishing your body, and making yourself happy) and the universe being good to you too.
I know a lot of people call boo-hockey on the Secret and poo-poo the idea that you can attract things you want, but I figure...what's the harm in being positive? If you are still working hard for what you want, what's the problem with deeply believing you deserve it? Get your hopes up, gurrrl. Be happy whenever possible, boi. Believe that you deserve all the good things you really want and that you'll get them. 
So go forth, Obi Wan, the force (of the universe) is strong with you...and with me too. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Halloween Inspiration.

At my house, ALL Halloween décor must be sparkly.
Since I was a kid, I've loved Halloween. I love candy and dressing up and all the décor and seeing all my favorite littles in their costumes. As I get older, Halloween gets much more tame than in years past (no more beer bongs and super crazy, kind of culturally inappropriate costumes) but I still love dressing up. Our Halloween plans have yet to be set in stone, but we are thinking of hitting up a local bar. If we wind up staying home with our two best couples, I'll recycle an old costume (Poodle Skirt Girl, probably) but if we go out I need a bangin' costume to win any long as the contest includes gals who wear clothing on Halloween!
My favorite costume ideas, that aren't even a little skanky, include:
Moonrise Kingdom
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Leg Lamp. 
A Deer.
And my favorite...
What are you dressing up as for Halloween '13?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Soup Love.

Man, I love soup.
In an effort to get healthy, lose weight, and save some moolah, Rhyno and I have been making a conscious effort to cook more meals at home. While it's SUPER easy to get stuck in a rut (for us that means stir-fries over spaghetti squash, spicy pasta with vegan ground "beef," or...when all else fails or laziness sets in...take out), I've been trying to find recipes that are fun and quick. This Saturday, with nothing great on our chalkboard dinner board (post on that forthcoming) we decided to keep it light and have soup. After much discussion and looking for recipes, the Guffeys Make Dinner: Soup Cook-Off was born.

We decided neither of us could use a pre-existing recipe. I will say upfront I have no recipe for Rhyno's soup. He was a madman, running around the kitchen tossing things into a pot. He decided on a broccoli-cheese concoction, I chose a tomato-basil soup.

So, here's mine...

What You Need
-1 tablespoon coconut oil (olive oil would work too)
-5 cloves of garlic
-8 large tomatoes
-a handful of fresh basil (ours was homegrown!)
-dash of sea salt
-dash of black pepper
-1 cup plain 0% greek yogurt

-as much and whatever kind of cheese you prefer (I used gruyere)
-Bacon or a bacon substitute (if desired, for topping)

What You Do
1.) Girl (or boy), grab a big ol' soup pot and heat it up on a front burner
2.) Chop up those garlic cloves, add the oil to the pot (careful, if it's super hot it WILL pop!) and then toss in the garlic
3.) Chop up all them tomatoes, add 'em to the pot (I squeezed mine a bit while throwing them in)
4.) Dash a' salt, dash a' pepper
5.) Chop up the basil (it doesn't matter how fine)
6.) Once everything has cooked together, turn the burner off, toss it all in a blender
7.) Once in the blender (you may have to do it in stages, depending on the size of your pitcher), add the greek yogurt and hit Puree

Yes, I have man-hands. They look just like my dad's hands but with nail polish. Move on.

To Serve
Add your cheese (I sliced my gruyere with a potato peeler) and add any additional toppings like bacon imitation or garlic croutons. Then, enjoy it!!

We counted our Soup-Off as a draw--they were both pretty delicious...and filling! I was stuffed for the rest of the night. With the Midwest weather cooling, I think we have quite a few more soup nights in the works.

What's your favorite soup recipe?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Enjoy Your Weekend (and Your Life)!

Have a great weekend!
Also, how great is Zombieland?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Murder by Death.

So...for Rhyno's 31st birthday I got him so many gifts. I got him a Post-It Ninja, The League on DVD, some movies, and some other treats and trinkets. His BIG gift (that he actually received in May) was tickets to his very favorite band, Murder by Death. They played Reggie's Rock Club last Sunday.
It. Was. Awesome.
Admittedly, I was not a big fan of Murder by Death before the show. I had never heard many songs by them (PS before you ask...we always drive my car so I don't hear a lot of his music, we are ruled by my out-dated iPod). I just knew my hubba was a huge fan and that was enough. During the show he even said, "How are you not already in love with them?" I have no idea. This is my kinda music! And my kinda leading man with his suspenders, swoon!
So excited! He nervously paced around the house for hours beforehand.
Thank gosh for their restaurant! We were  both starving by the time we drove up to see the show. We got fried pickles and burgers. I can say now it was THE best veggie burger I've ever spicy and delicious. SCHWING.
I didn't get photos at the show itself, which I regret, but the drunkard next to me bathed me in High Life a few times and a guy who was at least 6"4 said, "I'll just cut in here" right in front of my 5"5 self (don't worry, I gave him what-for but I'm so short he really didn't care). Also I made friends with a couple who was SUPER stoned who let me stand on their backpack to see the stage. We were really only about 10 feet from the band (Sarah especially), it was amazing.
Near the end of the set they played this cover. I died twelve times. It was so amazing. A crowd member yelled, "That was better than INXS!" The lead singer barked, "LADY! Nothing is better than INXS!" and then laughed. I was pretty much in love.
Rhyno bought a record...after his YEARS of making fun of all my (super old, not hip at all, inherited) vinyl! We danced in the basement to his new Murder by Death record last night and life was kind of perfect for a hot second.
All in all, the show was amazing. I told Rhyno he owes me big time but, secretly? I fell in love!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All Nighters and Other Terrible Habits (Well Really Just the One).

I have this really terrible habit that I've had since I was in junior high...
I love to stay up all night. Well, maybe love is too strong a word. I sometimes feel like I have to stay up all night to get things done. I used to pull all-nighters to complete big homework projects or long-winded term papers or the occasional party. Now at 27 years old, I find myself staying up all night at least once every six months despite knowing how awful this habit is for me.
Last night I didn't get a wink o' sleep (so, as you can imagine, I look SUPER hot right now). I just had important personal obligations and my daily work and job searching and a relatively big freelance project to do. I feel so stressed and uncertain of things that I'm trying to get everything in my power done. There was just a lot on this plate of mine yesterday...and a lot of coffee in my cup to help me get through it all.
Though I've always excelled at staying up all night (honestly, it's like one of my greatest talents) I know I need to break this bad habit. I need to learn to schedule things differently and I really need to learn to be able to go to sleep for a few hours and do my work in the morning. I've always been the "I need to get this done right this second!" type. But in learning to be better to myself and really get healthy, I need to cut this out of my life even if it is a fairly rare occurrence. It jacks up my metabolism, energy levels, skin, and sleep patterns. It makes me an emotional grouch at its worst and a deranged, half-asleep child at its best. How have I never learned my lesson that even though I'm getting a TON done during the night, I'm less productive than usual the next day? Is it really worth it?
Probably not. So...
Goodbye, all-nighters. We've had a great run but your time is done.
(Sleep deprivation-induced rhyming. Sorry.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy October!

Rabbit, rabbit (Do you believe that superstition? I super do.)

Hot dang, I love October! Friends' birthdays, family birthdays, my birthday, friends' anniversaries, our anniversary, and Halloween--we don't lack celebrations this month! This is the month I dress in head-to-almost-toe flannel (I DO live in the country), bake so many cakes, buy lots of boots, eat tons of honeycrisp apples, and watch my favorite not-too-scary Halloween movies (mainly this, this, and this). Fall is also the best time for the TV sitcom geek in me since most of my favorite shows (Mindy Project, Modern Family, Parks & Recreation) return and some new shows I've looked forward to (Michael J. Fox Show, Dads, The Crazy Ones) appear. It's also such a good season to spend TONS of time outside. Fall is just the best and I love it so much. 
What's your favorite thing about October?