Dad’s Surprise Birthday Party

Picking up from where I left off last night…

Saturday morning in Omaha, Kyle and I had my dad and mom take our engagement pictures. Kyle’s not a big picture taker and he didn’t feel comfortable having someone he didn’t know take our pictures and make him act like someone he isn’t…I told him he had to suck it up a little for our actual wedding pictures! We headed to the Old Market around 9:30am. We got a late start because 1. we didn’t get up on time and 2. we got chatty and started talking away.

Once we got downtown we didn’t hesitate to start at all. I didn’t plan my outfit based on the weather which was a big mistake on my part because I was FREEEEZING but oh well. We got some good pictures in the first outfit. Smile 

After freezing for about 30 minutes I decided to change into something a little warmer. Kyle was supposed to change as well but he decided to keep the same outfit on. And he tends to make fun of me for having to change. Whatevs. Winking smile

This is one of my favs! ^^

 

There’s a little preview! Smile After a short time taking pictures (I wish we could have taken a little bit more but we didn’t have time) we had to pack up and head to pick up Kyle’s parents so we could all go to the reception hall. This was the first time Kyle’s parents met my parents. It all went really well. Everyone loved the hall and they all got along just fine! Smile After that we headed to Rick’s Boatyard for some lunch. Brad and Kathy, Kyle’s parents, are wanting to have the rehearsal dinner there so we wanted to go try it out and look at the event room. We all fell in love.

At lunch the boys talked about football, Notre Dame and Ohio State, and the girls talked about my dress and everything else OTHER than sports! I even ran out to the car to show Brad and Kathy the new Ohio State shoes I got from my family for my birthday.

Forgot to mention, my birthday was Sunday and my parents wanted me to open my present a day early because they were all too excited about what they got me. A cute pair of Ohio State shoes that my sister’s friend made. Super creative! Picture to come soon!

Lunch went fairly fast because it we had to leave in a hurry to make it to our beverage appointment with my mom. That lasted a lot longer than it should have. Jim was a very nice man but he is one of those people that if you mention one thing he gets started on a story that leads to another story that leads to another, etc. We ended up being there for 2 hours. My mom and I still had to go decorate for my dad’s party! We dropped Kyle off at the hotel to hang out with his parents and then we headed home to get things done!

We had to sneak out of the house once we got home so we could go down and decorate for his surprise party. Let’s just say he was watching Notre Dame football so it wasn’t THAT hard to sneak out. The decorations were hilarious! I really need to get better at taking pictures!

The party started at 8:00pm and my sisters and I headed to the bar a little before. We told my dad that we were going to go tanning and he didn’t seem too pleased because he mentioned that everyone was leaving him at home and no one wanted to hang out. My parent’s friends John and Kay were going to be the decoy and were going to ask him if he wanted to go eat down at the bar for dinner. Of course, my dad doesn’t hesitate to say yes because he doesn’t like sitting at home doing nothing.

My sisters and I got done there with many people already there waiting. The whole place was packed with my dad’s friends. He’s definitely loved! I received a text from my mom around 8:10 and everyone got ready to surprise him. He walked in the door and had no idea! He was definitely surprised.

SURPRISE!!

No one took any time before the party got started. Everyone was having a great time. And I did get a chance to snap some pictures! Smile 

(Kathy, My Grandma, My cousin, Kaitlin)

(My wonderful friends and sister)

(My dad’s family)

(My pops)

(My momma. Don’t mind my pale skin)

This was towards the end of the night. Can you tell we had a little fun?!

More updates to come! Smile

I’m Back!!

I know I know! I’ve been out of commission for a couple of weeks! Phew, it’s been really crazy!! I’ll fill you in throughout the week. I seriously don’t think I have even gotten a second to breathe. Let’s see where did we leave off last…Oh that’s right, the Monday before I left for Omaha. Well nothing really exciting happened during the week leading up to our weekend home so I’ll just start on Friday morning.

Well let’s just say that I didn’t get much sleep on Thursday night due to us being in traffic for longer than we expected. Kyle had to come back from Wisconsin and he got stuck in traffic on the way home to pick me up and we didn’t end up leaving until about 7:00…with one pit stop it put us in Crescent (my hometown) at 3:00am…yuck. We definitely went straight to bed once we arrived. It felt like once I laid down I already had to get back up. My alarm went off at 6:00am so I could get up and ready for my doctor’s appointment at 8am. Coffee was definitely in order. And my parent’s fridge was definitely ready for me with some Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha creamer! I headed out the door right on time to get to my doctor’s appointment. Yes, I went to my doctor back home. I’m still having trouble finding a doctor out here…I guess you could say I’m nervous that I’m going to find one I don’t like or something…

After my doctor’s appointment, which went very well, I headed back home to pick up Kyle for our first wedding appointment. We headed to Wedding Memories of Omaha and met with Michael about our videography for the wedding. We got everything squared away and I can’t wait for our big day to come and make a highlight video that tells the story of our special day!

After that we went to check out the hotel that our guests will be staying at then headed off to meet my parents at our caterer to check out the food and services they provide. Special bonus, we got to taste test a few items from the menu. Oh was it spectacular! They are very reasonably priced and Sarah was a huge help! She’ll be very easy to work with! The more stuff we did the more and more excited I am for our big day!! Smile 

Kyle’s parents flight was getting in around 5:30pm so after we spent more than enough time at our catering appointment we headed to pick them up. They got in and we took them to the hotel (the same hotel everyone will be staying at in 8 months) and let them settle a little bit before walking down to the historic old market. That area is my favorite area of Omaha. It has so much history and culture there. We ended up picking Rock Bottom to eat at. It was pretty good. I definitely ate more than I should have but I felt that since I was home I could throw away normal eating habits and eat like a kid. Smile After dinner you could definitely tell Brad and Kathy were exhausted so we walked them back to the hotel and ventured to our next destination while we’re home.

I always try to see my friends while I’m back and it just so happened that I had another friend in town so we made our way to my friend Katelyn’s house and hung out there for a long while! I always love catching up with them and having some good laughs! I definitely miss that! After wanting to be home at midnight…we ended up getting home around 1 and headed to bed. We definitely had a long Saturday ahead of us and it came wayyyy to quickly.

I’ll talk more about that tomorrow. I’m headed to get the laundry then to bed so I can get up early and work out. Wish me luck!

Morning Workout Successful!!!

You read that right! I finally overcame the lazy voice in my head and got myself up this morning and headed to the gym for a workout. I didn’t get a very hard workout in but I worked up a sweat and felt good after I left. I got a mile on the treadmill and 15 minutes on the circuit trainer. I’m hoping to get up earlier tomorrow so I can get some weight training in! My arms aren’t feeling as strong due to my lazy bum all last week. I was doing so good about working out 3-4 times a week for at least 45 minutes for a little over a month straight. I was starting to see results. Due to me having to walk everywhere when Kyle is gone, I got lazy last week and blamed the cold weather for not putting me in the mood to workout after work. This week my goal is to get back in the swing of things and work out in the morning so if I want to be lazy when I get home I can be.

It’s amazing how much can get accomplished by waking up early in the morning. I was able to make coffee, breakfast and my lunch all in time to leave for work and be there on exact time (at work we have flex time and you’re allowed to come in between 8:30am and 9:30am as long as you make up the time difference). I normally get to work between 8:50am and 9:00am and today I got there at 8:40am!! I was pretty excited! I’ve been obsessed with my breakfasts lately. I eat the same thing but it’s always soooo good!

Bagel

This is my toasted Thomas Everything bagel with Philadelphia Garden Cream Cheese *1/3 less fat! The picture looks kinda bland but it was definitely delicious! I’ve probably had this breakfast for the past two weeks! I’ll eat one of these with a mug of coffee with Coffee-Mate Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer. This is my favorite coffee creamer! It reminds me so much of Christmas and you all know (or if you don’t, read my About section) how much I LOOVEEEE the Christmas season!! It’s a pretty filling breakfast once I drink all my coffee and eat the bagel.

It was definitely a busy day. I didn’t get off work until 6:15pm and then I needed to get my hair cut before our engagement pictures on Saturday morning. Kyle and I stopped at Hair Cuttery down the street and each time I’ve been there I have had a different person. I just haven’t found someone that I love yet. I sit down in the chair with Andrea and she was very friendly and talkative. I am trying to grow my hair out because I want it long and have always tried to grow it out but get so bored with it that I end up cutting it. This time I’m trying to stay strong and sticking to growing it long. I really want to ombre my hair and I think it only looks right with long hair. Well long story short, the lady ended up cutting my hair shorter than I wanted and she cut my bangs (which I’m trying to grow to the same length of my hair). I’m always walking out of there feelings unsure of how I feel about my hair. I’m thinking I need to find another place to get my hair done. Any suggestions?

When we got home I went straight to the kitchen and made the Three Bean Chili that I found the recipe for yesterday. Kyle offered to help me so the time could go faster and it really helped! He’s so sweet! He browned the meat and got the cup of beer (yes, I said beer) and then did the dishes in the sink so we could have more room for the stuff we were using.

A lot of ingredients went into this and if you read it you might be wondering where all the “juice” comes from. Well trust me, you won’t need any “juice” because all these ingredients provide plenty. I tweaked my recipe a little but it definitely didn’t change the flavor at all. This Pinterest recipe did us good because it had a very hearty taste and was full of flavor. I love chili that has a little kick and this definitely did.

Three Bean Chili

Again, I apologize for the poor quality picture but my phone is so convenient.

As you can tell, we made quite a bit so we’ll be eating leftovers for the rest of the week. Well, at least until Thursday night. We’re traveling to Omaha this Friday-Sunday to do some wedding planning. Kyle’s parents are flying into town to scope out a rehearsal dinner venue and to meet my parents for the first time. I’ve missed living close to my family and friends so I’m definitely looking forward to this weekend!

Now I’m off to bed. This belly is full and now I’m tired!!

Nighty night!

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Updates from the rest of the weekend and an overview of a DELICIOUS dinner that I made tonight.

Saturday night we went to a bar called Mickey’s Bar & Patio. It’s one of the Ohio State bars in Chicago. We headed down there plenty of time before the game started because we wanted to beat the crowd and make sure we got a table. Once the taxi dropped us off and we headed in the door we were greeted with an O-H (we responded I-O) and were told the specials of the night. We ended up getting the $2 OSU mugs and Kyle decided to splurge the extra $3 for some “cool” sunglasses.

OSU Sunglasses

Yup, I wore those. Smile 

Good thing I did. Ohio State won and are going undefeated for the season!! WooHoo!!

After the game we went and met my newly engaged friends, Anthony and Danielle, at Buffalo Wild Wings for some trivia. They just got back from the Dominican Republic. Anthony proposed to Danielle the second night and she had no idea!! I’m so happy for both of them!! It’s about time!! Winking smile 

Since Sunday we really didn’t do much, let’s fast forward to tonight. Work was an up and down day. The morning felt like it went by so fast and then from 1-3 it went super slow but 3-5:30 went fast…it was sooo weird! Kyle is around home this week so I get the convenience of not having to sleep alone!! Yay! So after work I came home and picked him up and we went grocery shopping for a few things to get us by this week. I’ve been really wanting to make a good dinner since I haven’t made one for him in awhile so I got the Easy Garlic Chicken recipe off Pinterest, along with a Chili recipe for tomorrow night, and went searching in the store for everything I needed.

Once I got home I went to work in the kitchen while Kyle chilled on the couch. The recipe calls for garlic cloves and they need to be minced…well I don’t have a food processor so it took a lot long than normal to prepare the dinner. After preparing, sauteeing and baking, I pulled the chicken out of the oven and MMMM MMMM MMM did it look delicious!!

GarlicBrownSugar Chicken

I paired it with green beans because Kyle and I LOVEEEEE them!!

The chicken was soooo moist and full of flavor. I would definitely make it again. Kyle was the real test. He’s not a big garlic fan and he’s super picky about food. I watched him take the first bite and he didn’t have the best look on his face. He swallowed and was quiet for a minute then told me that it wasn’t bad, it was “different.” For all of you that know Kyle and how undifferent with his food he is, you would know that him saying something like that was a good thing! Let’s just say this will be made again and he’ll enjoy it! Smile 

Easy Garlic Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish.
    2. In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
    3. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
    4. Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
    5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.

    So Delicious!

    Question of the day:

    What’s a recipe you’ve tried that tasted way better than you expected?

and a PRIME burger it was!

So yesterday I was planning on writing a post once I got home. Well that didn’t happen due to last minute plans we made for a friend’s birthday dinner. We were invited to our friend Tommy’s birthday dinner in Elgin and felt bad passing it up. We aren’t able to attend the bachelor/bachelorette parties and the wedding so we couldn’t say no to dinner. I got off work, came home and changed real quick, then we got in the car and headed to dinner.

We ate at a modern burger place in the Elgin casino called, Prime Burgers. It was absolutely amazing! They had delicious drinks and mouth watering burgers. I ended up building my own burger. I didn’t hold back either. I decided on buffalo meat with bacon, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo, lettuce and onion strings. MMMM was it tasty. I only ate half because it was so filling so I saved my other half for lunch today. It was still just as good warmed up as it was last night.

After dinner we went into the casino to and gambled for a little bit. There was a 50’s band playing that was actually pretty entertaining. I could barely understand them but the beat was easy to dance to. Kyle and I ended up going to play some black jack. Well it was actually I sit down and play and he tells me what to do. I’m not a very good black jack player and the last time we used this strategy we won quite a bit! So I sat down and won two rounds…after that it was all down hill. Let’s just say that I only ended up playing for about 20 minutes. BOO!

The night wasn’t totally ruined after that. Tommy and Ashlee ended up winning some money so it was pretty exciting! We couldn’t stay very long because we had an hour long drive back home but we had fun while we were there. Hopefully we will get to see them again soon!!

Once I got home I went straight to bed and zonked out! My body must have thought it was a long week!

I’ll fill you in about today later, we’re off to the Ohio State bar to watch the Bucks play Indiana. We’re all decked out and ready to cheer them on to a WIN!

Good luck to all your teams!!

Pinterest Addiction

The first step is to admit, I AM A PINTEREST ADDICT. I am on Pinterest at least twice a day. Work breaks, lunch breaks, while I’m sitting down watching TV. You name it. I have boards for crafts, outfits, CHRISTMAS, my wedding, EVERYTHING. I am addicted! A friend on Facebook made a good point. Looking at bridal magazines with all these fake weddings that are staged and all the skinny models with their posed looks doesn’t display the realness of the type of love atmosphere of a wedding. That is why girls have turned to Pinterest. Everything is real and all the wedding videos that are posted are of those that are truly in love. Point made. I recently watched a cute video of a couple that got married last year and it was adorable. You could definitely tell they were in love. I cried watching it. That’s how beautiful it was!  You watch it and tell me you didn’t find it absolutely amazing. http://vimeo.com/31546698 

On top of watching cute wedding videos and pinning a ton of wedding ideas (which a lot of my wedding inspiration has come from my boards), I have pinned a ton of Christmas crafts!! I am obsessed with Christmas. And no, not because of the gifts! I love the atmosphere, smell, decorations, and the love it brings. There is so much joy in everyone. I also love getting to spend quality time with the fam. Since we live so far away from my family now, I’m looking forward to spending Christmas with them!

But enough about Christmas since it’s still two months away. I was actually going somewhere with this post. Which is I have an obsession with fall clothes and all the cute styles I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. I mean look at how cute these are.

FallClothes1

FallClothes3

FallClothes2

Can you tell I love boots, scarves and skinnies this time of year? AHHH!! Now the real question is…where am I going to find clothes similar for a decent price…not over the top, I am a millionaire, price. Any suggestions?

Chicken Noodle Soup w/ a Water on the Side

After thinking it was a good idea to stay up until 2:30am catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, this afternoon wasn’t agreeing with the decision. In case you’ve missed out on last season, a lot has happened. I think I literally bawled for three episodes straight! Last night I definitely found out how emotional I am. My eyes were definitely feeling it this morning as well. It was not a good idea to put my contacts in! I was suffering ALL DAY because of it! Ouch! Confused smile

I did have a few things to look forward to today. Instead of having to take a lunch we were getting catered lunch in for Employee Appreciation Day. We got Pompei and Potbelly. It was delish! They had really good spinach ravioli from Pompei and italian sandwiches from Potbelly. I must have been too tired to even eat that much because I loaded my plate but couldn’t even eat it all. Talk about wasteful!

I’ve been really slacking on my water intake throughout the day and I can definitely tell. Thank goodness I came home and chugged two glasses of water. Felt much better afterwards. 

Walking home in the fall weather brought some yummy inspiration for dinner tonight. I was in the mood for some yummy, warm, chicken noodle soup. I ran to the store to grab a few things then came home and got to work.

DSCN1405

I started out by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and popping the chicken in there to bake. I’m a huge fan of baked chicken so I knew it would be delicious in my soup. As that was baking, I clean, chopped and peeled the vegetables to put in the pot. Since I’m making the soup so I can eat it the rest of the week while Kyle is out of town I put 32oz of Wild Harvest Organic low sodium chicken broth. 

DSCN1406

Once all the veggies were cut and in the pot I brought the pot to a boil or until the veggies were soft. Once soft, I turned it down to a low heat and put in the wheat noodles.

 DSCN1407

Once the chicken was done baking I took it out and let it cool for a few minutes. Then I peeled it and put it in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. I added a little bit of salt and pepper and some seasoning and voila! My homemade chicken soup!

Since this has been my first actual soup I’ve made in a LONG time, I forgot how quickly wheat noodles cook. So I definitely overcooked mine but it was still major tasty. I’ll just remember not to cook for that long next time!

 

What’s your favorite cold weather soup?