Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Recap: Lots of Sports...I'm Exhausted

Monday again...Whomp whomp. 

Today I'm feeling particularly exhausted. Fingers-crossed I haven't picked up one of the bugs that have been going around. Most likely it's just a lot of late nights finally catching up with me.

Seriously can we get an extra day?? This is exactly why being able to freeze time would be the greatest superpower. Don't even try to argue with me about flying...that would be exhausting and you know it.'s the highlight reel:


We had a great time at the game. It was a perfect night game. The weather was great. The food was delish. And the game itself was short and sweet. WIN!


We finally made it out to the official Badger bar...we were NOT disappointed. We honestly had no idea what to expect. When we got there the Georgia game was wrapping up, and the place was packed with Dawgs fans. Once their game was over the space cleared out a bit. There was a smaller, semi-private bar area where the alumni group met up. We got to meet some new Badgers. Despite the game outcome we had a great time.

New Badger friend!

*it was brought to my attention that the buckeye nut is actually poisonous, however the jury is still out on whether they are poisonous to badgers as well. I suspect they aren't.


Mike's actual b-day was on Sunday. I woke up bright and early to decorate and set up his surprise:

Yeah it says Buttday. I'm hilarious.

Knowing my husband's Sunday activity preferences, I opted to give him the gift of permission to sit in front of the TV all day.

Coke, chips, trail mix, candy, and.....Madden 25. He was pumped and got to playing ASAP.

Seriously...having fun :)

I told Mike he could pick whatever dessert he wanted, and that I would make it happen. Not surprisingly he asked for funfetti. Since most box mixes have milk or egg products in them, I made an attempt at homemade funfetti and did a pretty good job. Except for one thing....

I totally skipped greasing the pan. Big mistake. In order to get the cake out I had to basically crumble it into a bunch of pieces. 

Deconstructed Funfetti cake...Top Chef eat your heart out.

Moral of the story: when life hands you a pile of cake crumbles...pop them on a cake stand, add some blue frosting, and move on with your day :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Forecast: Happy Birthday to the Hubster

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday!

WOOOOO! Can I get an Amen!? Sunday is Mike's b-day, and as a result we have some serious awesomeness planned for this weekend.

First up: Braves Game! I surprised Mike with tickets to tonight's Braves vs. Philles game. He was pumped, and now I'm wearing a Braves shirt to work. Win, win.

We're here to CHOP!

Saturday we are heading out to the UW-Alumni Association's designated game watching bar to see the Badgers take on a Bunch of Nuts

 Check out this Source link. Further arguments for the awesomeness that is Buckingham U. Badger.

I'm not sure if badgers actually eat nuts, but they could...because badgers are BA. Need proof? See Exhibit A.

Sunday I have a second surprise planned for Mike, and since he reads this it will have to remain a surprise for you as well.  Details on Monday I guess :)

Have a happy weekend! And also a Happy Birthday (to those that it applies to)!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Bucket List!

Another Wednesday here, another weekend right around the corner. I'm going to switch it up a little. Instead of telling you about a project I recently did, I'm going to share some of my projects for the future. So, without further ado:

My Fall Bucket List:

1.) Fall Reading List I've mentioned this in other posts, but I've been trying to spend more of my free time to reading. My goal is to get through five works of fiction before Thanksgiving. One of those works is actually a trilogy, but I don't hear any booklist police complaining.

Slots 4 and 5 are still up in the air. I've found that it's best for me to pick new books on the fly.

2.) Harry Potter Weekend This idea has been floating around in my brain for a while, but until recently our Harry Potter dvd collection was seriously lacking. (Fun fact: the first Harry Potter movie was the first dvd my family owned growing up...and our only dvd player was in the computer). 


In addition to marathoning the movies, I have plans for some serious Lego Harry Potter board game battles and possibly some  Lego Harry Potter on wii if I can hunt down the game in time. And to accompany all this activity: lots of pumpkin based recipes and of course butterbeer! 

3.) Pumpkin Carving! I am seriously pumped for this. I've asked Mike about a million times now if we can carve pumpkins this year. He says yes every time, but you better believe that when I see my next pumpkin I'm going to ask again :) Not only do we have a great outdoor space to display them this year. We can also use that same space to carve them, meaning less mess in the house! Soo Pumped! (pun intended of course)

I've already started fall-ify-ing  our patio. Can't wait to add some pumpkins.

4.) Christmas Cards Last year we thought about sending out Christmas cards, but mass mailings have never really been my thing. Now that we are married, I'm feeling a bit more obliged to partake in this tradition. I'v got some ideas, but I'm going to keep it a secret for now since there's a pretty good chance anyone reading this will also be a recipient.

What's on your fall bucket list? Share your plans in the comments!

Want to get jazzed for fall? Check out this article. Swooon.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Recap: Our Lovely, Lazy Weekend

We were so lazy. Sooooooooo lazy. It's a good thing that we stayed pretty healthy with food, because we barely left the apartment. It felt great :)

I knew going into the WIIIIIIIIDDE open weekend that my main goal was to watch New Girl and read, and well...Mission Accomplished.

Friday after work I had one task in mind: hit up Whole Foods for a quick and easy dinner and some provisions for the weekend. I find so much comfort in our neighborhood Whole Foods. Just walking through the doors makes me feel healthier. Our past two runs have been very fruit and veggie focused. Pat of the back for us. After all that I've read and heard about the power of intention I know that health by proximity might but by a long shot, but I like the idea so I'll stand by it. (pun intended)

Post Whole Foods, we bottled the heck out of our cider. Socie Cider 2013 will be ready for consumption in two weeks. We'll probably try cracking one open this weekend to preview (pre-taste?).

It was a good thing we hadn't planned to go anywhere Saturday because multiple factors would have made it completely miserable. First being that this weekend was Music Midtown, meaning that traffic was extra headache inducing and our "it's really no so bad" street parking became more "ok maybe a reserved lot would be nice" in the convenience department. Second being that it rained all day, allllll daaaaay. No worries though. We had food, and drinks, and Badger football, and no pressing business to attend to outside the home. Winning combo.

Sunday continued in laziness. We watched football mixed with New Girl. i got into the number 2 slot of my fall book list:  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Very good so far. Although I foresee a tragically depressing ending...blerg.

Here's the photo version of the rest of our laziness:

Food! Mostly healthy. I few indulgences here and there:

Cards! My second project on using the Silhouette. 

And look what didn't get done. Oooops.

Tonight we head to Moe Monday. It's the little things...especially on Mondays, it's the little things.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Forecast: Crossing off the Checklist Like It's My Job

Happy Friday everyone! Another week bites the dust!

After a long string of busy weekends, Mike and I finally find ourselves with one that's WIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE open. Love it. Just one more sign the summer is ending...we get our weekends back!

While we don't have any big plans for the weekend, I have a few little things in mind. For a long while now Mike and I have been building up a list of post-Ding to-do's. Most of which required a copy of our marriage certificate and a trip to a government building (read: headache city). Three different gov buildings were on the list for this weekend and guess what???? All three have been conquered. Name changes, new SSN requested, and new tags for the bug. Check, check, and check.

It was a struggle getting up early knowing that my time would be spent sitting in a not so comfy chair for who know's how long, but man was it worth it to know that I won't need to waste a good part of my Saturday. WIN!

Here's a peak at my weekend plans:

1) The End of Smoothies It's been truly a great experience. If you've ever failed at juice fasting or were too afraid to try  but are still looking for a health reset I HIGHLY recommend a smoothie cleanse. You'll get to fill up on lots of delicious fruits and greens, while still sucking down some hunger satisfying protein and fiber. 

Coconut water in smoothies. Life is good.

To break the fast, although as mentioned we've been snacking here and there, we are going to focus on whole food plant-based meals. After Wednesday's cooking class we picked up some udon noodles and dark miso for miso soup. We also have some kale and spinach leftover from the smoothies. I'm sure I'll come up with something delicious.

2) Dining Room Makeover Our new place is significantly smaller than our old place, and for the most part we've adjusted. Our last spot to tackle is our "dinning room" which is really just a nook next to our breakfast bar. We bought a nice metal shelf at Ikea last weekend to supplement our old plastic one. The new one looks fine, but the plastic one could use some sprucing up. Don't worry I have a plan!

3) Cider Bottling Our poor forgotten cider has been sitting in the aforementioned dining room begging to be bottled. Little things have gotten in the way all week, but tonight is the night! I cant wait to give it a taste. Fingers crossed it's turned out ok.

4) New Girl Season 2 Marathon What's the best thing about a weekend with no plans outside the house?? Netflix marathon! And since a lot of the new seasons have started, Netflix has become a bountiful garden of stay-cation entertainment. 

Get your groove on! It's the weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Freezer Paper T-Shirt Tutorial

Hello Friends! It's Hump Day and I can taste the weekend, sweet sweet weekend.

As You may know from my prior gushings, I got a sweet new digital cutting machine. While these bad boys scream intricate scrapbook pages and beautiful handmade cards, I took one look at mine and saw:

Super Awesome DIY Tees!

Now if you don't have a digital cutter (or a friend with one you can schmooze) don't worry! With a little determination and patience you can follow this same process using an x-acto knife.

Here's what You'll Need:
Plain t-shirt (lighter colors will work best)
Digtal cutter or x-acto knife
Freezer Paper (can be found by the tin foil and cling wrap)
Fabric Paint
Small craft sponge brush or make-up sponge
Iron and ironing board
Your design (the simpler the better, see below about floating pieces)

Paint supplies not pictured :)

1. Cut your Design If you have a digital cutter you can follow one of the many tutorials to help you create a cut file based on your design. Then cut it out of the freezer paper. I set my blade settings to Speed 3, Thickness 10, Blade 1, and that worked great for me.

If you are doing this sans machine, your goal will be to create an actual size version of your image on a sheet of paper. You can print something out from your computer or just free hand it. Obviously the simpler the design the easier this process will be. Also, keep in mind the floating pieces in your design, such as the center of an O. As you can see, the design I used didn't have any floating pieces for me to worry about. If you do have a floating piece, be very careful when cutting it out and be sure to keep it for the next step.

You can see on the lower hand were the paint dried before I removed the stencil.

Next will be the part that requires patience for those of you without a digital cutter. You will need to use the x-acto knife to cut out your design from the freezer paper. Since the freezer paper is somewhat see-through you could place it on top of your design and cut it out that way. If the lighting isn't working in your favor you could always place the image on top and cut through to the freezer paper. In either case, I would recommend securing both papers to your work surface with tape. Also be careful not to cut through and scratch up your work surface :) Perhaps a cutting board would work well here.

NOTE: The shiny side of the freezer paper will be the side pressed to your shirt. Do all your cutting with the shiny side down, unless you want a shirt that is only legible in mirrors :)

2. Iron on your Design Get you iron heated up as high as it will go. Place you shirt over the ironing board in a single layer as you would to iron it. Place your design (shiny side down) centrally on your shirt. You may want to put the shirt on or compare to another shirt to ensure you have the placement correct. 

Ironed on and ready for paint.

Once your design is placed, iron in on. My freezer paper was pretty curled at first so I just started in one corner and worked my way out. I left the center of the arm pieces til last and made sure they were centered with my other pieces before ironing them on. Do the same with any floating pieces you have. Iron on your outside boarder, then place the floating pieces as best you can. Remember it's DYI. Try not to stress too much about it being perfect.

3. Paint Using whatever color fabric paint you prefer, gently dab the paint over your freezer paper stencil. Start with a thin coat and work on building an even layer. If you want to use different colors for pieces close together, you could use a piece of painters tape to block off pieces and avoid spillage from one area to the next. My arrow was far enough away from my arms that I didn't worry about it.

There's the painting supplies!

Once you have the coverage you want you can carefully peel off the freezer paper. I recommend doing this before the paint completely dries. Otherwise the dry paint will stick to the stencil and create uneven edges. This happened to me on one of the hands (see above). But again, it's DIY, remind yourself that you are going to be the most picky about your project then move on :)

Wooooo! Ready to chop!

Take some time to oooh and aaaah over your finished tee. Once the paint is dry slip it on for a victory dance!

Chop won't stop.

Smile at your awesomeness and enjoy!

Smoose Update: In other news, we are on day 4! So far so good. Dinner time has been the hardest. Luckily last night's honeydew smoothie was to die for. Full disclosure, we have been supplementing our smoothies with some additional yummies. Most nights we've had a handful of unsalted pistachios with our dinner smoothie. Last night, one of Mike's fellow students organized a b-day meet-up for her and another guy. Mike indulged with a beer and we split a side of sweet potato fries. We both agreed we didn't need them, but it was nice to kick back with our friends. 

Tonight I'm heading to another cooking class with my favorite plant-based chef MJ Conboy. That means no smoothie for dinner tonight for me. The main goal of our smoose-ing was to hit a reset button and kick-off some healthier eating. We've talked a lot about the heath and wellness goals we have, for example reducing our sugar intake and increasing our intake of greens and veggies with every meal. Friday will be our last day of smoothies 3 times a day, but I think the breakfast smoothie is here to stay :)

Happy Hump Day! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Recap...not much happened

Monday...whoomp whoomp

It was a pretty uneventful weekend around our place.  Here's the rough outline:

1. The League, Season 4: Completed. Yup, we watched the whole season start to finish. It's really the only way to watch a show on Netflix. BTW, does anyone else really not like Rafi?

2.) Crafty-ness I made Mike this awesome chop shirt. I'll go through how I did it in the next post. He likes it. I'm happy :)

Chop won't stop

3.) FOOTBALL It's here! Football Season. We had a great time at Ian's place. Grilled out in the courtyard, then went upstairs to watch the game.

Go Tech!

We also go to play the Frisbee game! It's a really great tailgate game that I've seen but never played... until Saturday. Team Socie totally dominated. I credit our UW upbringing.

One of last year's second years showed up with his gf. We ended up heading to their place for dinner and the Iowa vs. Iowa State game and left the little ones to their own shenanigans.

4.) Fall Reading List! I'm making a list of 5 books I'd like to read this fall. The first one is actually a trilogy, but after hearing rave reviews I knew I could knock out all 3 no problem. I'm currently a few chapters into book two of the Divergent series. It's safe to say I'm hooked. Book three arrives in late October. Can't wait!


Still looking to fill spots 4 and 5. I'm hoping my friend over at Bee in Milwaukee can provide some suggestions.

Smoose Update: We are 3 smoothies in, and so far so good. We ended up heading to Moe's last night as a last meal of sorts. We've got about two weeks til our next Moe's run :( Fingers-crossed we can make it. It will be interesting to see how a work day goes. I think it might be easier than when we were just sitting at home yesterday.

Hope you have a great week and remember, it will be Tuesday soon!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Forecast: Crafts, Football, and Smoothies

WOOOOOOO! Friday! Did this week go by fast for anyone else?

Random note: I just noticed that this is my 13th post and it's also Friday the 13th...spoooooky.

We had a pretty fun week. My dad was in town for work so we met up at his hotel on Wednesday and went out for dinner. We hit up Top Spice Thai, and it was amazing. Bonus: the leftovers are today's lunch.

Last night we went to a cooking class with my favorite Atlanta plant-based chef MJ Conboy. She rocks. Total idol for me. We had quinoa granola, blacken tofu Cesar salad, spicy collards on polenta cakes, and almond butter rice crispy treats. I love trying out her uber healthy dishes, and it's like a real life cooking show. So fun!

Our salty sweet treat.

Plus, she always brings a treat. Last night was Nori Nut Sesame Crunch. Usually I find sea veggies a bit overpowering (unless drenched in wasabi), but these were the perfect mix of salty and sweet. Definitively going to be giving that recipe a whirl.

I mentioned last week that I was getting an awesome new craft gizmo with my birthday money. Well it arrived and it's awesome!


It's a digital cutting machine. I've been eyeing them up ever since my old roommate got a Cricut. I love that this one doesn't require cartridges. Instead all the cut files are created on your computer and are 100% customizable by you. These machines where originally made for scrapbookers, but quickly other crafters have seem the light. I personally have my eye on the textile craft scene. Custom t-shirt anyone?

Tomorrow we are heading to a GT game watching party at one of the first years' places. Tech plays Duke away. Should be a pretty interesting game. Mike and I will be hitting the store tonight for some game-day treats: carrot dogs for me and black bean salsa dip from TJ's.

Except we'll probably keep the PDA to a minimum.

Sunday Mike and I will begin preparation for our Smoose Cleanse! What's a Smoose Cleanse? Well, it's basically a word I totally made up to make a smoothie cleanse sound a bit more fun. A few weeks ago I picked up Kathy Patalsky's book, 365 Vegan Smoothies. She groups the recipes into months with a different wellness goal for each, for example: detox, slim-down, mood-boosting.

Check out her blog too! 

Our goal is to work our way through the months in 12 days with each day focusing on a different goal. I say 12 days is our goal because neither of us have tried to do a smoothie cleanse before so we really don't know how our bodies will react. I've tried to do juice cleanses before, but the detoxing always made me too sick to function so I've never made it past day 2. I'm hoping that using smoothies instead will be the answer. The fiber left in the smoothies does wonders for your digestion, and all the awesome flavor combos in this book should satisfy any craving we might have. Wish us luck!

Wishing you a Happy Weekend! Go Tech! To hell with Georgia! Buzz buzz buzz!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Let the Pumpkin-ing Begin!


I don't care if the highs are still in 90's. September means fall. Bring on the pumpkin!

Luckily the hubster had no issues with this so Saturday night became night one of Pumpkin Fest 2013.

Pumpkin Mac n Cheeze

 sauce recipe adapted from The Veganomicon

What You'll Need:
1 c. penne noodles
5 strips of Lightlife Smart Bacon, crumbled
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. almond pulp
1 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. turmeric
3/4 c. nutritional yeast
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 c. fried onion pieces
Vegan Parmezano sprinkles (optional)
Sprinkle of nutmeg.

Ready to become delicious.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Begin boiling your noodles to al dente. While noodles are cooking, crisp up your bacon. Crumble the bacon into bite size pieces once cooked. Drain the pasta and layer with the bacon crumbles in an oven ready casserole dish.

Now it's time to make the sauce. In a small sauce pan heat the oil over medium heat then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Instead of spending the time mincing my garlic with a knife, I've found that grating it with our zester works great. Just make sure you clean it really well after :)

Grate, grate, grate...grate, grate, grate...grate your garlic! (in the tune of shake your booty)

Add the pumpkin, water, and 1/2 c. of almond pulp to your saucepan and mix to combine. I tossed the pulp in a frying pan to help dry it out a bit, but you could skip that step. The almond pulp I'm using comes from my Homemade Almond Milk recipe.  If you don't have almond pulp on hand, you can substitute 2 Tbs. of cornstarch in the sauce and 1/2 c. of bread crumbs in the topping. Or you could just omit it all together. The pumpkin alone should make your sauce pretty thick, and the fried onion will make a great topping on its own.

After 2-3 minutes add the salt, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast (nooch) is a vegan go-to for a cheese substitute. You can find it in the bulk section of your local health food store. It's kind of mustard yellow color with the texture of fish food flakes. Nooch is high in B vitamins among other things and is a great pantry additions for non-vegans too! Try it sprinkled over popcorn :)

Over the next 2-3 minutes your sauce should cook down and thicken a bit. Next you add the lemon juice and mustard and stir to combine. And you're done. Your sauce is complete!

Pour and spread

Pour the sauce over the noodles and bacon. Spread it with a spoon to distribute evenly. Top with the remaining almond pulp, fried onions, and a sprinkle of parmezano and nutmeg.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Scoop into bowls. I topped my *cough* second bowl *cough cough* with some sriracha for an extra kick. Enjoy!

And don't forget dessert! Homemade pumpkin bread. Delish!

Happy Wednesday and welcome to Fall!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Recap: Soooo Many Roller-coasters

Hello Hi! Welcome back to real life.

It was a surprisingly eventful weekend for us. Saturday started with errands as planned. Then on the way to errand number one, my precious iPhone went kaput. It's actually been dying slowly over time. About a month ago the menu button stopped working reliably. Then I started getting this "no SIM card" error. It was annoying, but I was making due. On Saturday the top lock button stopped working. That was the last straw. Since Mike needs to be added to my plan anyway we decided to add AT&T to our list of stops. Well one thing led to another, and I ended up walking out of there with a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4.


I think it's going to take a bit to get used to getting around in this phone after 6 years with an iphone, but so far so good.

Sunday was Six Flags over Georgia day. Lots of fun, lots of rides, lots of sunscreen.

Go big or go home. We went right for the biggest ride in the park to start of the day.

One of the girls in our group grew up in Atlanta and has been to the park more times than she can count. We quickly nominated her to be our tour guide. We were not disappointed.

Favorite rides for me: The Mindbender - Loops and hills with only a lap bar! Looooved it!


Monster Mansion -  It's a Small World meets Monsters Inc. with a dark twist mid-ride. Also I'm pretty sure it was originally named Monster Plantation...only in the south right?


Mike's Favorite: Batman - Same ride as the one at Great America. Even the line with the park and sewer and staircase was similar.


If you want to be reminded that you aren't a kid anymore, try spending a day at an amusement park. After riding all the rides I was beat and ready to go home. Luckily it only took a shower, a mini-nap, and a day early Moe's run for me to be back to 100%.

And yes, I rode the Sky Screamer. Mike said even from the ground he could tell I was smiling the whole time :)