Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cake Decorating at the Davises

Every Wednesday night I get together with some of my favorite ladies in our ABF for Bible Study. During the summer we decided that we still wanted to get together, but it would be hard to do a Bible Study with so many people being gone for vacations, so we chose to do a different activity every Wednesday and it has been so much fun!! I really look forward to spending some quality girl time with good friends every week. 

Yesterday, we all did cake decorating. One of the ladies (no matter how old I get I have a hard time referring to myself or my friends as ladies/women - it just sounds old!!) has a twin sister who isn't a professional cake decorator, but she's VERY talented! So she came over and gave us a demonstration to acquire the basic skills. I'm not gonna lie...I don't think this is where my talent lies, but it was still a ton of fun! 

Do you see how intently I was working on my cake, though???

Here is my finished product....again, remember that this was the first time for me, so I'm not quite to professional-level - YET :)

And all of my wonderful friends in our ABF!

Can't wait for our next fun event!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Shake 'n Bake pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans

Monday night's leftovers

Dinner on my own

Marinated chicken breast, salad

Baked ziti, garlic bread, salad (we're doubling up on this and one pan will be going to the Links when we take food to them and meet Pearson for the first time!)

Leftover ziti and garlic bread

Possibly finishing off the leftover ziti if there's enought - if not, out to eat! I LOVE the ziti that Michel makes, so I have no problem eating it 3 days in a row :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Showers and Summer Fun!

My cousin Daniel is getting married in August! Yesterday, we went to Sulphur Springs for a wedding shower, and then went back to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner and some extended shower fun! 

My cousin, Anna, is an amazing cake baker and decorator! She used her talents to make the shower cake for her brother and sister-in-law-to-be! 

The beautiful tablescape
There are no pictures during the shower because I was asked to write down the gifts that the couple received, and who they were from, which I gladly did. After the shower, I snapped some pictures while we got ready to go to my Aunt Becca's and Uncle Jerry's house. 

started with a picture of my younger cousin, Anna.  Yes, she is a year and a half younger than me, but about 9 inches taller :(

Then, I went to my favorite models - my niece and nephew :) I love this picture (well...except for the fact that I didn't have Michel in it as much as I would have liked!), but I think it's so sweet! Karys hung out with her Uncle Michel throughout the shower. Karys found a room that was set up for kids about her age, and Janette wouldn't let her pull out toys to play with, but she was allowed to read books. So Karys found some bean bag chairs and instructed Michel "Sit Uncle Michel. Read books Uncle Michel." It was cute! And Uncle Michel was more than willing to do as she asked :)

I then turned the camera to Karys's little brother, 6-month-old Zane!

I told Janette to try and make Zane laugh, so Ryan came up behind us and told me that this is what they do to make him smile at home: 

It was pretty funny! Ryan tried doing this same thing to Karys, but she's a little older and knows better so she didn't go for it. Smart girl :) Zane will learn soon!

Cute boy!!!
When we loaded up the gifts and everybody, we all headed to Brashear (small town) to have dinner and extended shower fun at my Aunt Becca and Uncle Jerry's house. We had Bodacious BBQ (that makes 2 weekends in a row - LOVE that stuff!!) and played The Newlywed Game. Out of a possible 100 points, Michel and I tied with Dan and Erica with 65 points, while Janette and Ryan tied with Anna and David for 70 points. It's funny it worked out that way because Janette and Ryan have been married for 8 years; David and Anna for 7; Michel and I for a year and a half; and Dan and Erica are still engaged. So the couples married the longest did the best, but we all did pretty good :)

My mom wanted to get a picture of "the kids" and our significant others, and that in itself was a fun time! 

Our first attempt: not too bad, but I think the way Michel's got his head tilted makes it look like I'm strangling him :)
Top row from left to right: Erica (the bride-to-be), my cousin Anna, sister Janette, and me
Bottom row left to right: my cousin Dan, Anna's husband David, my brother-in-law Ryan, and Michel

Now we added in the "little kids"! It's hard to take a picture and try to get an almost-3-year-old and a 6-month-old looking/smiling at the same time! And this picture makes me laugh because of Michel's face. I'm not sure who he's looking at, but it's hilarious! We got a good laugh from this last night! Everyone else looks super cute, though :)

Dang it! My eyes are closed in this, or else it would be really cute!
What??! My eyes are closed again!! I think I must have been laughing! Oh well...I think everyone else was done with picture-taking too considering Anna's making funny faces with David, Karys is trying to get down, Janette's laughing at Anna, and Michel's scratching his head :) Eight so-called adults are not any better at taking pictures than the kids!

Good times with my family! Can't wait to do this again in August when we're all together for the wedding :)

Merry June??

For this past Christmas, Michel and I received a gift certificate redeemable for Stubhub, a website to buy tickets for concerts, sporting events, etc. We decided to buy Rangers tickets. We went with our ABF last summer and I had a great time! Plus, if you go to a Friday night home game they do a fireworks show at the end of the game which is always really cool. So we went to the Rangers game on Friday night! It was a great game! 

The game on Friday started at 7:05. We left our apartment at 4:00 because we wanted to make sure that we were there on time (last year when we went with ABF, we arrived about 10 min. after the game started and missed the first/only homerun/point scored in the entire game! We didn't want that to happen again!). We definitely achieved our goal of being early :)

Yes, we got there almost 2 hours before the game started!

Where is everybody??   

We found ways to entertain ourselves while waiting for the game, though.

We took random pictures, and ate some goodies that we brought to the game. 

Finally, 7:05 came, and the first pitch was thrown out by Dirk Nowitzki!!

And some random shots taken throughout the evening: 

The stadium filled up by the time the game started!

And the Rangers won 8-1!!!! It was a great game, and a fun Christmas present!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fun in the Sun!!!

This summer, I signed up to work at ESY (Extended School Year) for the first time ever. I've never worked during the summer since I started teaching in Plano. We didn't have much going on this summer so the times worked out perfectly, and we weren't going to be away on vacation, so we wanted to use the extra money and try and pay off some debt faster. ESY hours are awesome! It's Monday-Thursday, 7:30-11:30 for two weeks in June and two weeks in July! I love having my afternoons off and Fridays off, so I know that I won't go back to school feeling like I haven't had a summer break. Anyways, I was so excited to find out that a good friend of mine from church, Alicia Zellner, would also be working at ESY - same school and everything! She lives very close to Michel and I so we came up with the wonderful idea to carpool together. She comes to my apartment every day and she drove us this week, and I'll drive us next week, so we're both saving money on gas, and we have time to chat and hang out before and after ESY. 

We decided that today after we got off work we were going to go to lunch and then swim and we had so much fun! It was the perfect day to swim because it was so hot outside! We tried many times to do a self-portrait and found it to be unsuccessful so we finally asked a very nice lady who was just sitting in a pool chair to take the picture for us.

We had a great time and I can't wait to continue our carpooling to and from ESY, and extra pool time!

Btw...I got the weirdest sunburn. I put on sunscreen, but apparently was not very thorough because I have red splotchy patches on my thighs....sounds pretty, huh? :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My alternative to milkshakes


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE milkshakes! The more chocolatey - the better! What's not to love? They're thick, creamy, and cold - the perfect treat for our Texas heat! Heck, who am I kidding? I would have a milkshake even if it was snowing outside - yeah, they're that good :)

Unfortunately, they're not so good for our waistline. 

I found that I really like the chcolate banana vivanno smoothie from Starbucks, and it's been my saving grace to my milkshake cravings, but I can't afford to pay $4.60 every time I want one (yeah...that's the price! And there's only one size option!). However, it did inspire me to create my own version of it. A smoothie has a similar texture and consistency to a milkshake, so when I want something cold, creamy, and chocolate-y, a smoothie is a wonderful substitution for me. I've been making these for awhile, but I decided to amp it up even more tonight, and I found a mix of it that I absolutely loved! Unfortunately, I drank it too quickly before I thought to take a picture of the chocolate-y goodness, but I'll make it again in the near future and put a mouth-watering picture up to go along with this post. Tonight, I added peanut butter for the first time. I had boot camp tonight, and my instructor always tells us to go home and eat protein. I had already eaten dinner tonight, and wanted something that was fairly light, but healthy, so I decided to end the day on this delightful treat! Anyways, here's tonight's recipe: 

10 ice cubes
1/2 c. skim milk
1/2 - 3/4 banana
1 T. peanut butter (optional, but so yummy!)
1 tsp. sugar/sugar substitue (I always use Splenda)
3 tsp. cocoa powder (it's so low in fat and calories, but adds a ton of flavor)

Blend all ingredients in blender on a high speed until smooth and creamy. Enjoy! 

For anybody curious about the nutritional value, I have added it up (this is an approximation, but an educated guess):

Calories with peanut butter blended in: 235 cal.
Fat with peanut butter: 8 g.

Calories WITHOUT peanut butter: 150 cal.
Fat WITHOUT peanut butter: 0 g

Monday, June 13, 2011

CVS shopping trip

I LOVE shopping at CVS!!

I understand their coupon policies and Extra Care Buck deals much better than Walgreens and their Register Rewards program. During the summer I try and coupon and find the best deals for Michel and me, and I was pretty stoked at what I was able to buy:

John Frieda shampoo and conditioner, 2 packs of Orbit gum, Mitchum deodorent

Transaction #1:
Spend $10 in John Frieda hair care products = $3 ECB
- J.F. Shampoo = on sale for $5
- J.F. conditioner = on sale for $5
Used a $5/1 John Frieda coupon
Used a $2/1 John Frieda coupon
- Mitchum deodorant = on sale for $1.99!! (reg. $4.19)
Used a $1.00 Mitchum coupon
- 2 packs Orbit gum = on sale B1G1 Free = $1.50

Total BEFORE coupons: $13.50
Used $5 ECB that I already had

Total Out of Pocket AFTER coupons = $0.51!!!
Earned: $3 ECB
Saved: $12.99!

Cover Girl Loose powder, Cover girl eyeliner
Transaction #2:
**This deal wasn't AS fantastic as my first one, but I REALLY needed powder! I still think I managed to do pretty well**
Spend $15 in CoverGirl products = $5 ECB
- Loose powder = $6.29
- Eyeliner = $8.89
Used $1/1 CoverGirl item (dang....I only had one of these coupons!!)

Total BEFORE coupons: $15.18
Used $3 ECB from Transaction #1

Total After coupons/ECB = $12.10!!

Earned: $5 ECB!! 

So, altogether I spent $12.61 for $25.00+ of merchandise! A savings of about 50%...I won't complain about that!

Meal Planning Monday

Wow...where have I been?? I had such good intentions of being a diligent blogger, but I have been slacking the last few weeks! Oh that summer is here I should be much better :) Here's a preview of our meals for the upcoming week!

Monday - Easy chicken strips, oven-baked fries, salad

Tuesday - Sandwich and fruit (I'm having lunch out with a friend and Michel will be at work - no sense in cooking!)

Wednesday - Chicken Fried Rice, green beans

Thursday - Chicken Fried Rice leftovers, broccoli

Friday - Lean Cuisine frozen pizza, salad, chocolate banana smoothie

Saturday - We will probably be out of town Saturday and Sunday celebrating Father's Day!