February 29, 2016

Forming Female Friendships

As we get older it tends to be harder to make new friends. For me, it seems it is harder particularly to make female friends. I mean as we get older, we move, change careers, get married, start families and even re-evaluate who we are already friends with. 

It is hard though. It can be difficult when life gets busy to take time out for video chat sessions or happy hours but it really makes a world of difference. I know there is texting, but I really don't prefer that. Then, there is the hardship of jumping out of your comfort zone and finding new girlfriends through clubs and other people and etc...


I just vow to remain open when making connections with other women. Premature judgement seems to be something that kills a lot of relationships. 

Have you tried making new female friendships? 
Do you think it becomes more difficult as you get older? 
What tips would you have for other women?

February 26, 2016

Hot Cheesy Corn Dip

Yeah hot, because you can have it cold, but like my men, I like my dips nice and hot! This dip is one of my faves for a go-to football party. Yes, I know football is over, but this is one dip I just have to share with you guys now! I can't believe I haven't shared it with you all season...

It gets devoured and only takes 10 minutes. My other go-to dip is my Sausage Dip. It is probably the most requested thing that I make. Except for my Enchiladas, but that is not a dip...hmm or should it be?!?

Anyway, back to my ten minute dip. It is warm for a cool football day and you need to know how to make it! I love making it in my cast iron skillet that my dad gave me. Dads are kinda good like that, they know what their little girls need!


Ingredients:

1/2 pound of frozen corn
1 can of tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the corn. Cook, stirring, until heated through
.
Add can of tomatoes with green chilies, drained and cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir to melt the cheese and combine all the ingredients.

Once the cheese is melted and all of the ingredients are combined into creamy goodness, add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and give it a taste. Adjust the seasonings and cheeses as needed. (you can always add more!)

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

February 24, 2016

Why I Don't Run

I have ran one 5k. It will probably be my one and only. I don't run. I mean occasionally I will get out there are run a quick mile, but other than that no. I will never run on a treadmill. And I am okay with that!


It seemed like everyone has all these stories about how running is great and has changed their lives. That is great for them, but for me, running is not positive. For me, I didn't like running, it wasn't fun. It was just all pain and I didn't really see enough gain. I know there were other reasons I wasn't seeing gains, but still, running was not my cup of tea.

I truly realized it after I tore my ACL. Running is hard on your joints and muscles. Swimming and cycling were how I got back into shape and found the break without running was great! I was moving more than ever and was reaping benefits without putting in miles. I felt better about going to work out. So I broke up with running.

Running hasn't missed me and I don't miss running. Working out can be hard. You are working so hard, you need to find something that will work for you. Like many relationships, don't get stuck in a run rut. Try new things and find something you love! Just keep moving!

February 22, 2016

A Few of my Favorite Things

I hope everyone had a happy weekend! I am really enjoying this year. It may because it is sans torn ACL, but there are a lot of really great things going on.

I thought I would take the time to recap on some of my favorite little things as of late...

My gift this year for Valentine's Day to Kevin was small, but I ran out and bought a couple of his favorite things as a fun little surprise. I also attached little notes onto the items.


For example:
A bottle of wine with a note that said "sip sip hooray, it is Valentine's day."
A can of cashews with a note that said "I am nuts about you."
Mountain Dew with a note that said "I would dew you."
Some funny Star Wars printable valentines with coupons on them
Chocolate kisses (unwrapped, cause that is a lot of work) with a note that says "kisses, when I am not here."
And a marshmallow heart.

Oh and I cannot believe I haven't discussed here on the blog that I am SO HAPPY that my Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl!! That has truly been one of my favorite things that has happened recently!

I made some really yummy Carrot Cake cupcakes decorated with lots of orange and blue!

For snacking, I obviously prefer Reese's or Peppermint Patty chocolate, but I realize that can't happen all day every day. I have been mixing chocolate chips and almonds together as a snack. Yeah, I know Rome wasn't built in a day, but I am getting to a healthier point. Oh and it is so easy when skiing and need a quick snack on the lift. My next step is to try substituting the chocolate chips for some sugar free chocolate chips that I have heard about. Stay tuned.


I also had a great weekend off work skiing in Lake Tahoe. It was super relaxing. Gotta love being able to get away and living life!


Sometimes it is all about enjoying our little favorite things in life!
What are some of your favorite things as of late?

February 19, 2016

Tortellini Salad

I am ready for the weekend! I am ready to ski, relax, and spend some quality time with Kevin. I may or may not be following my diet again this weekend. Sometimes it is so easy to get pushed off track! But the best I can do is do what my mom always told me: "make good choices". Thanks mom, I'll try and remember that and eat a salad.

Here is a salad recipe you will really enjoy. Okay...salad may be a bit of a stretch, but let's go with it.

Plus, if you put salad in the title, it has got to be healthy right?

Okay, maybe not so healthy, but oh so good!

Oh and very easy to make! I made it at Kevin's graduation party and many other occasions and it is a hit!





Ingredients:

2 bags of cheese tortellini
2 heads of fresh broccoli
1 pint of grape/cherry tomatoes
1 package of bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped (optional)
1 cup of coleslaw dressing (I used Kraft)

Directions:

Cook tortellini according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.

Chop up broccoli and tomatoes. Toss into a bowl and add tortellini.

Toss coleslaw dressing into a bowl and mix together. Chill in refrigerator until cold and then serve!

Adapted from here.

February 17, 2016

Trying to Gain Control Skiing

I am back! From my first ski trip post-ACL replacement. I am happy to report everything went really well!

I wasn't scared to get back out there, but I am not an advanced skier in the first place, so there was a level of trepidation in how my knee and how I would react. Kevin was great and this trip took it slow so I could regain my confidence on the hill even though he is a black diamond level skier. He has always been so patient with me so that we can do this together.

Kevin skiing Alta

I remember the first two times I went skiing and learned. My fear from the moment I learned (to even still now) is speed. I thankfully was able to get past my confidence being shot and put myself in some sort of control.

But it is okay to be afraid of speed right? The feeling that you will hurtle down a hillside, out of control and gaining speed? That is what happened when I tore my ACL in the first place. I don't ever want to do that again. Skiing is like life, we want to have the sense of control and that things will not spin out of control. Then if we start to, that we have the power to slow it down and get back on track.

Enjoying Park City

I am getting back on track!

February 15, 2016

A Valentine's Day Pizza Party

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day weekend! Last year I had just torn my ACL, so plans weren't really happening. This year, poor Kevin caught a cold. But I still wanted to do SOMETHING. So I always thought this idea from Grace was so cute and I decided I needed to try it out! 

Plus what says love more than friends, wine, pizza, and fun?!? I say not much!

Each couple made their own pizza, as you can see below. Everyone tried a piece of everyone's pizza and voted on the best. 

Kevin and I opted to make our Pesto Pizza recipe.
My favorite!


We then played The Newlywed Game and some others and overall just had a really great night! I think this is a start of a great new tradition!

My husband had some family in town so we had a great dinner with them and then they day of, I let my sick husband sleep in (jeez...men with colds...anyone else with me?!) and I made him some cinnamon rolls and we spent they day taking it easy, hanging out with each other.

So happy to have all weekend off of work. Now back to the grind!
How did you spend your Valentine's day weekend?


February 10, 2016

A Valentine's Day Breakfast

I was unsure at first if I should share this recipe. My husband Kevin, will tell you these were way too sweet. Sure, I could probably go back and continue to change the recipe, but it was so sweet (according to Kevin) that he doesn't want to try them even altered. He loves my regular Cinnamon Rolls too much. Why deviate from something so great he says.

But he said he would eat them after dinner...so I guess he sort of liked them? Just not for breakfast...got it. Ugh MEN, so confusing! haha!

Well I really liked these. They are adapted from here. I made them last year for Valentine's Day and have decided to share them here for couples that would like something sweet this Valentine's Day!



Ingredients:

Rolls:
1 box of Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 1/4 teaspoons of instant/bread machine yeast
2 1/2 cups of warm water
2 teaspoon of course salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
5 cups of flour

Filling:
1 stick of softened butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 sticks of butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of course salt
2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese


Directions:

Place all the ingredients for the rolls in a bread machine and place on knead. Let it rise for about an hour. Punch down the dough and then let it rise for another hour.

During this time, mix brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.

Put flour on a clean surface and roll dough out in a rectangle. Spread butter over dough and sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar mixture over.

Roll longways into a skinny log shape and cut (see here for my suggestion to use dental floss!). Place rolls into a 9x13 inch pyrex dish (no need to grease) and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

Then bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Prepare the frosting by combining all cream cheese frosting ingredients in a stand mixer.

Spread cream cheese frosting over rolls and enjoy!


Do you like sweet for breakfast?

February 8, 2016

Going to Italy!

We are doing it! Kevin and I are taking our first big trip out of the United States. We have been to the Bahamas on a cruise for our honeymoon, but now we have booked our tickets and are going to Italy!



I am so excited. Part of what has scared me about heading far and wide is my general approach to traveling is pretty spontaneous.  I kind of just decide I want to go somewhere and go. Not a lot of planning or time ahead. But overseas, spontaneity even takes planning. So here I am planning.

All I know is that I will need a vacation from my vacation when I get back. I mean editing all the photos I am sure to take will be a chore!

Does anyone have any recommendations for me? 
Blogs to check out, things to do---I am all ears!
And SO excited!

February 5, 2016

Your Guide to Super Bowl Recipes

The Super Bowl is this weekend. I love football, Denver Broncos, and food so together this is my big weekend to shine. I wanted to share nine easy recipes for you to make this Sunday that are sure to please your crowd. Oh and some bonus recipes. Because who doesn't like choices?


These Jalapeno Chicken Sliders are easy to make and full of flavor
Enchilada Roll Ups are your ticket for easy to grab and eat.
Frito Pie is sure to break anyone's New Year's Resolution of eating well.
Green Chile Crescents pack the kick to get you through the day.
This Sausage Dip is one of my most requested things on any given get together.
Crabbies is one of my personal favorite foods from a recipe passed down to me from my mom.
If you want a new take on a layered bean dip, give this hot bean dip a try!
Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Wings are a perfect addition to your day.
You won't regret making these easy Sausage Bites.


Want some bonus recipes? Try these:

Buffalo Balls are very pretty and yummy to serve.
Full of flavor Caprese Bites are sure to please.
Oh and these:



What's cooking for you this weekend?

February 3, 2016

Crabbies

Today I am sharing a recipe close to my heart. My mom has been making this for Christmas Eve as long as I can remember. After Christmas Eve mass we would come home and eat appetizers in front of a Christmas movie as a meal and Crabbies was always my favorite. 

Those Christmas Eves are memories I hold closely. Now when I find myself wanting a really good, warm, and cheesy appetizer. I turn to Crabbies.

With the Super Bowl fast approaching, Crabbies will be a great go-to as well!
GO BRONCOS!


Ingredients:

1 package of English Muffins, split
1 can of crab meat
1 (5 ounce) container of Old English Cheese Spread
1/4 cup of butter, softened
1/4 cup of mayonnaise

Directions:

Before I start the directions, please use Old English, for some reason this brand works the best. And no, they are not paying me to say this. Oh and you cannot sub margarine for the butter. It does not spread as well. Now that we got that all settled...

Mix together crab meat, cheese spread, butter, and mayo until smooth.

Spread mixture onto each half of the English Muffin and go all the way out to the edges.

Freeze for 20 minutes. Then you can either bake for 20 minutes at 350. Or you can freeze them in plastic bags until you want to bake them!

February 1, 2016

Hot Layered Bean Dip

You guys all know what week it is!

Okay if you don't it is the Super Bowl this Sunday. This is my time. Because while some people rock at all things in the kitchen, my niche is DIPS. Seriously, I crown myself the queen of dips. That doesn't sound all to great but work with me...

Here is one of my favorite dips to serve. It is so easy and creamy that it just makes sense all the way around. Although, you may need to run around to burn off some of the calories...

Oh and my team is in the Super Bowl so I am all sorts of excited!!
GO BRONCOS!



Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) brick of cream cheese, softened
1 can of refried beans
1 cup of salsa
1-2 cups of shredded cheese
cooking spray
tortilla chips for serving

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.

Spread cream cheese evenly at bottom of the dish. Then spread beans evenly over cream cheese.

Over cream cheese spread the salsa and top with all the cheese you want! Bake for 15 minutes or until all melted and bubbly.

Serve to happy people with tortilla chips!


Who are you cheering for in the Super Bowl?
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