Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins

Is anyone else as excited for Christmas as I am!?

Of course to keep up with my holiday cheer I’m watching ELF. One of my favorite Christmas movies. Cotton headed ninny muggins is probably one of the most random words I’ve ever heard…how did they come up with that?! I just love that word and every other phrase Will Ferrell uses during the movie. It makes me smile and you know what that means…”I LOVE SMILING, SMILING’S MY FAVORITE!” Smile 

I’m a huge Christmas lover and can’t wait for the special day to come. Although, Christmas day always seems to go by wayyyy to fast! But nothing is better than spending that special day with your family. It may be two weeks away but I know it’s definitely going to go by faster than every other year. We have so much going on between now and Christmas. I’m excited we get to spend our first Christmas season in Chicago. So many things to do and stuff to see.

This Saturday we’ll be spending the afternoon/night with our friends downtown in Daley Plaza. Every year they hold the Christkindlmarket. It’s Chicago’s largest open-air Christmas festival. The German American Holiday market offers different food and beverage booths as well as booths that sell great unique gifts (ornaments, handmade Christmas decorations, scarves, gloves, etc.). There are so many different drinks and food that I can’t wait to try. Our first Christmas activity in the city and I cannot contain my excitement. The whole market screams Christmas!

 

Doesn’t it look like fun?! I can’t wait. It will be a great time with great friends!

After that we’re going to Amy’s for a game night which will be sooo much fun as well. Games with girls v. boys is always a hoot. And obviously girls kick butt so I’m sure we’ll dominate the boys at every game! Winking smile 

 

Are there any fun traditions you do during the holiday season?

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Banshee

That’s right…I’m up early enough to post before work!! Write that one down in the books!! Woo hoo!!

Last night I mentioned banshee in my post, but definitely spelled it completely wrong. I mentioned I didn’t know if it was a real thing or not, so I looked it up right after I posted. Welp, everyone, it is a word. Not exactly what I thought it would be…it’s actually kind of depressing…

Banshee – is a female spirit in Irish Mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld. (from Wikipedia, yes I use that site)

How depressing huh?! Still confuses me why people use the phrase “sweating like a banshee’”. I guess some things you just can’t explain. Unless you know? Winking smile

Anywho, so Saturday I had a craft day with my two favorite girls here in Chicago. Last month we talked about how much we all LOVEEEE Christmas and how there are so many cute craft ideas on Pinterest that would make for good gifts or decorations. After deliberating and finding a good day and ideas, we got together and put these cute crafty ideas together.

It was only supposed to be an afternoon of fun but after all the fun music (90’s throwback) and a few drinks in us, we made it an all day and night thing! Which didn’t bother me at all. The guys got together and had a guys night so they were all occupied and we didn’t have to worry about them.

We were very hard at work with our first creation…

Hardworking ladies.

Our second creation was by far our favorite. We made tons and tons and tons of cute coasters.

Aren’t these cute.

While crafting and drinking we got hungry and ordered Leona’s. A new restaurant I haven’t had yet and let me tell ya, it was AMAZINGGGG!! The hamburger I had was soooo juicy and good and the mozzarella sticks were so cheesy and delicious. I will definitely be visiting that place again soon with Kyle. Smile 

The night ended around 1am, as there were tons of yawns filling the room. It was such a great girls day and we’re definitely going to make it a tradition! Thanks girls for such a fun girls day!! Love you both!

 

Do you doing any traditions for Christmas with any family or friends?

Class Addiction

A few weeks ago I mentioned I went to my very first workout class, Nike Training Club. Well ever since then I’ve had a workout class addiction. I schedule my workouts around whether or not I am going to a class. Which pretty much every night of the week there is a class that I’m interested in that I’m able to make. I get off work at 5:30 and I take public transit so it takes me a little while until I get to the gym.

Luckily I’ve found a few classes that I like that start at 6 or later. My favorite class so far is the Nike Training Club class. Brittanie pushes you to do above your best and to make sure you’re dying (in a good way). I walk out of that class every time feeling like jello. Today she did a “random workout” class. She would ask someone randomly on the spot what part of the body they would like to work on and the next exercise would be based off that. She did it about 5 times throughout the 30 minute class but it definitely broke the class up a bit. I walked out of there sweating like a banchie (is that even real?)

Tomorrow my new class of choice is Boot Camp. I know it’s going to be a hard one but I’m ready for the pain and sweat.

On to some depressing news…

Last week Kyle called me at work shortly after dropping me off to tell me that his car randomly shut off on him and he was sitting on the side of the road. The car is only two years old and only has 80,900 miles on it. Well long story short, we had to take it to the Honda dealership today to see what they can do with it. Apparently, it’s an engine problem…yeah saying that word just makes you feel the pain! We’ll find out this week what the damage is. Let’s pray that is not going to break the bank!

I feel bad for Kyle because he’s been a “not so happy” mood since it’s happened. I feel where he’s coming from but there are worst things that could have happened. I know he doesn’t feel that way but he’s allowed to feel a little worse today since the bad news got worse from last week…

The beeper just went off so I better get the dinner out of the oven so we can at least eat tonight. It was instant dinner tonight…bad soon-to-be wifey award, I know!

Friendsgiving Recap

Moving a little slow after the long Thanksgiving break I had so bare with me. I’m slowly getting back to normal…although my sleep has yet to catch up, but that never does!

I promised you all I would give you a recap of how my first Friendsgiving went with my co-workers. Well, it was delicious! Everything was soooo good and I had a hard time saying no to anyone’s dish. Okay, who am I kidding, I tried a little of EVERYTHING on the table pretty much. I couldn’t contain myself. I mean that’s what the holidays are for right? I made a new recipe I found on SparkPeople.com. I went back and forth on what I wanted to make but finally came to a conclusion after realizing our feast was missing one of my favorite dishes, cheesy broccoli and rice casserole. To keep it a little healthier, Spark People has a recipe for a low fat version and I quickly scooped that up and went with it.

Monday night I headed out to the grocery store with Kyle to pick up my ingredients. I decided I was going to make it Tuesday morning before work so it would still be warm by noon.

I got up on Tuesday morning, went and got a quick cardio workout in. I headed to the gym around 5:45am and hopped on the elliptical to take on one of Julie’s interval workouts. Man did I get a sweat going. My thighs were definitely feeling the workout as well. It was just the right amount of time I needed to get a good sweaty workout in before heading home to make my yummy dish.

Low Fat Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole

(Picture soon to come)

Ingredient:
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
10 oz. low fat velveeta
2 10oz packages frozen broccoli, partially thawed
1 1/2 cups instance rice
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degree
Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside
Spray medium skillet with cooking spray
Saute celery and onion over medium heat until onion is clear
Transfer onion and celery to large mixing bowl
Add soups and cheese
Stir until well blended
Add remaining ingredients and pour into prepared pan
Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown

*make sure to stir halfway through so the rice cooks thoroughly*

Side note: I added a little extra soup, cheese, rice and broccoli since it was for a large group.

After throwing (not literally) the casserole into the oven to cook, I quickly got ready and headed to work. I was anxiously awaiting for lunchtime due to all the delicious smells in the room. When lunchtime came we all gathered in the conference room and went to town. I mean who wouldn’t want to devour all of this yumminess?

 

 

 

 

Thanks to all my wonderful co-workers for a great first Friendsgiving and for putting up with me for the past 8 months!

Love you all! 🙂

My First Friendsgiving!!

Let me update you about what my weekend consisted of. My parents had a good idea of flying me home for the weekend to go to cookie day on my dad’s side of the family. I haven’t seen my family in a lonnnng time so I thought it was a great idea. Kyle was going on a guy bonding trip with my dad to the Notre Dame game so what better idea than to go home and have a girls weekend.

I flew home Friday night and got in at 11. My little puppy, although not such a puppy anymore (but will forever be to me Smile ), was sooo happy to see me. I wish I recorded her reaction once she saw me. She went nuts! I was happy to see her as well. Shortly after I got home I went to bed. We were up early to head down to my grandparent’s house to for the family tradition of Santa Cookie Day!

Santa Cookie Day is a tradition we’ve had going in the family for as long as I can remember. It started with all the girls but now some of the uncles and cousins have gotten in on the action as well. What can I say, all of us girls like to have a good time! We like to involve lots of wine and lots of sugar! Winking smile 

Each family makes a block of cookie dough and brings it with them. When we all get together we form an assembly line and start creating the Santa. A group of us mold the cookie dough in the Santa mold, some of us them put the raisins on for the eyes then red food coloring for the mouth, after that we put on the sprinkles for his rosy cheeks and hat. Last but not least we frost the rest of his hat then his eyebrows and beard. Some Santa cookies get coconut to top it off while others get crystal sprinkles. The final result is so cute and oh so tasty!

Santa Cookie

Sunday I also got to see my family on my mom’s side for brunch before I left for the airport. I haven’t seen any of them for a long time as well and I loved catching up with them. We always have so much to talk about and I’ve missed the little munchkins that chime in with darnest things! I look forward to being there for Christmas this year!

Now for the beginning of my week. Last week all my friends at work decided we should do a Friendsgiving before everyone leaves for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow we’ll be having a HUGE feast for lunch. So excited! My dish this year will be Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole. I won’t be making it until tomorrow morning so it stays a little warm. I’ll keep you updated with that tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’ll take plenty of pics of the delicious food!

WORKOUT
Tonight I attended my FIRST EVER, that’s right, FIRST EVER workout class. A few months ago our gym started offering the new Nike Training Club class. I’ve been wanting to try it but have always been super intimidated by all the people that attend the class. They all looks so in shape and fit. Today I sucked it up and decided to get involved. THANK GOODNESS I DID! I loved it. It definitely kicked my butt but I felt soooo good afterwards. AND I didn’t feel like an odd ball. EVERYONE had some points where they were striving to find some extra strength and breaths. I wasn’t the only one and it made me feel just like everyone else. This 30 minute class has you constantly moving and it definitely went by super fast. If your gym offers the Nike Training Club class I definitely recommend it!

DINNER
After the gym I swung by home to pick up Kyle so we could stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things for my casserole. Plus we were needing some MAJOR necessities for our apartment. Kyle’s been working to the bone all day so it was nice that he asked to join me for a little bit to give him a break (although he was still in work mode…)

By the time we got home it was 8:00pm. When I came home for lunch I set out some chicken breasts to make for dinner. When we got home tonight they were perfectly thawed out and ready for baking. We were both super hungry so I wanted something fast and easy. I searched through the cupboards and fridge and found some Tomato Basil Garlic spaghetti sauce and some whole grain spaghetti noodles. PERFECT!! I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, sprayed a glass baking pan and put the chicken in. I topped it with the spaghetti sauce and through it in the oven for 25 minutes. When done I topped it with some shredded cheese and VOILA!!

GARLIC TOMATO BASIL CHICKEN PARMESAN

GarlicTomatoBasilChixParm

It was soooo delicious and soooo easy to make! Yum!

It was definitely a lazy dinner night, but there’s nothing wrong with that every once in awhile right? Especially since it was so good.

They Sell That Stuff?

I failed at writing my post last night due to me falling asleep on the couch so I’m going to take a little time out of my work day to write. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Apparently, I don’t get enough sleep at night…or I get too much sleep! Who knows.

Not only did I fail at posting last night, I also failed at getting up to work out. No worries though. I got home last night and geared up with some warm clothing and went out and ran 2.5 miles. 🙂 I was debating on going to the gym because I wasn’t sure if I was feeling a run and I came across Julie’s 25 minute elliptical interval workout. After a long and hard decision I decided to suck it up and run outside. And it wasn’t too bad. I gave me more time to actually lounge around after dinner.

DINNER

I went grocery shopping the other day and spotted some Panera baked potato soup. You have no idea how happy I was. I didn’t know they sold that stuff in stores! I quickly snatched a container of that and put it in my cart.
After a cold run I thought it would be perfect for dinner. I put some in a bowl and warmed it up. After one spoonful I was in heaven. It definitely hit that cold spot I was feeling. I couldn’t wait to eat the rest of it for lunch the next day! MMMM MMM MMMMMM.

The rest of the night included me sitting on the couch and watching my shows….well the ones that I could catch before I fell asleep. 🙂

What’s your favorite soup? From where? 

Two Week Recap

Okay so last time I left off with my dad’s surprise birthday party. A lot has happened in the last few weeks so I’m going to give you a short and sweet version of everything that has happened so I can get all of you caught up!

My Birthday

Sunday we didn’t do much except for go to lunch at Olive Garden for my birthday with both families. It was a lot of fun and we ate a lot of good food! I love their salad and breadsticks! YUMMMM…

We took Brad and Kathy to the airport after lunch and then we went back to my parent’s house and carved pumpkins with my sisters before we headed back home. DSCN1440(Kyle looks like a teenager in this pic…cracks me up)

The Chuburko/Querry Wedding

The next week was a big blur…we both were super tired because we didn’t get much sleep the whole weekend and it definitely caught up with us.

Friday we left to head to Ohio for a wedding for two of Kyle’s college friends. We got caught up in traffic and didn’t get to his parent’s house until after 2am. We were up and at ‘em at 8am and out the door at 10:30. Picked up JR (Kyle’s bf) and headed to Lima, OH. We arrived a earlier than expected despite a few minor detours (thanks to Kyle…). The wedding was beautiful, short and sweet. There was a short break between the ceremony and the reception so we headed to check in to our hotel room and then went over to Applebee’s to meet with a few other people to pass the time. I haven’t had Applebee’s in probably over a year! Crazy!

The reception started at 5pm at the convention center inside the hotel. How convenient! We headed down there a little after 5 and lucky enough we weren’t late at all. We were some of the firsts that arrived. After the crazy bridal party entrances, cute speeches, and some yummy food, the party really got started! A few of the girls and I busted a move on the dance floor, after a little bit of liquid courage of course, while the boys created a make-shift TV to watch the Ohio State game. DSCN1444
Boys and their football. OSU won thankfully, otherwise who knows what the mood would have been like after the game. Winking smile

I was lucky enough to get a picture with my man…can you tell we were having wayyyy too much fun? Weddings always put so much love and happiness in the air. I love it!DSCN1445
The night ended early as we were all tired from dancing…I guess you could say… Smile

The next day we got up and headed back to Chicago tired and not so ready to tackle another week of work…

Ohio State v. Illinois Game

Last week was suppppper slow…probably from lack of sleep for two whole weeks…ugh. Last weekend we were headed to Ohio once again, this time for the OSU v. Illini game. We took our friend, Kevin, with us. He used to live in Columbus and for the seven years he lived there he never attended an Ohio State game. I got off work Friday and we headed to pick him up and then were on the road.

We arrived in Ohio a little after 1am…record timing. I was exhausted so I headed to bed. I was up at 8:30 and ready to head out the door by 9:30am. We parked a ways away but a little walking never killed anyone. On our walk to the stadium Kevin spotted a Raising Cane’s. Kyle and I have never been before so we stopped there for a quick bite before heading towards the stadium. Man, am I glad we stopped. It was delicious. It’s known for having the best chicken strips…man are they right!! Delish!

After our quick bite we headed to the River Watch tailgate area and grabbed a couple of beers while we waiting for Kyle’s friend to get to his tailgating spot. They had some good music and it was great for people watching! Winking smile

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This was the first game I was able to wear my new shoes I got for my b-day!

DSCN1451
Cute aren’t they?

We headed to meet up with one with Kyle’s brother and a few others before heading into the game. The seats were awesome and they game was a blowout. Smile I think Kevin thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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Poor Kevin’s face got overtaken by the glare of sunlight. Sad smile

This one is good though! Smile
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After the game we headed to Tommy’s subs so Kevin could try one of the best subs in Columbus then headed back to Marion. On the way we stopped at our friend’s, Kyle and Kendra’s house, for a bit before ordering some House of Hunan for pickup and then making our way back to Brad and Kathy’s. House of Hunan is delish and I definitely devoured some. We watched the rest of the football games then off to bed we went.

Sunday we drove back to Chicago, stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch and football then came home and RELAXED. I can not stress that enough…it was good to be home at a decent hour with enough time to nap and still get up for dinner and not feel like I didn’t do anything but drive all day. The time change definitely helped as well. What would we do without that?

Now it’s the work week and it’s going by slowwwww…this weekend I definitely look forward to relaxing and having no travel plans, or no plans for that matter! Feels good! Smile