Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Laziness

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend.

Ours was nothing exciting, but very relaxing.  Which was very much needed and much appreciated.

We started off the weekend with a movie, checking the Hangover II off of our list of summer movies.

It was one of the ones we were most excited about, and to be honest it let us down a bit.  Probably it was my fault for putting it up on the pedestal of greatness that was the first one.  Pretty much is was an exact replica of the first.  While it was funny and I enjoyed it, the surprise and intrigue of the first was definitely lacking.  If you like R rated comedies I still would encourage you to see it, but please leave before of the credits start.  That was the raciest part, and a little unnecessary.

Saturday I went to town cleaning the kitchen for a good part of the afternoon.  I cleaned out the stove and the fridge and pretty much every inch of the kitchen.  My night was a little more exciting as we planned to watch the Mizzou Women's Softball game.  Since the hubby works in the athletic department, we had free vouchers but the threat of severe thunderstorms scared us away.  Instead we headed over to our friend's place to watch the game with them and eat chocolate chip cookies.  It ended up not raining at all, but we had fun with our friends.

After church on Sunday, we went to out to eat.  Although we wanted to eat at a Middle Eastern place downtown called Casablanca's, it was closed when we got there.  In a last minute decision we ended up at Heidelberg's, which I told you here when the hubby snapped a picture of the tiger toilet.  While I do love the food there, I wanted to go to get the free cups which we didn't take when we were there last time!  It is a goal to collect as many free cups from restaurants in Columbia before we leave.

When we were full from our lunch, we headed home and lazily hung around the house until the softball game that night.  They were playing again for a chance to make it into the Softball College World Series.  Since it was evening I was hoping it wouldn't be as hot out, and it ended up being a beautiful evening!  Although we got there 55 minutes early, we barely got seats.  It was packed and was a very exciting game.  The girls won and are headed to Oklahoma City for the World Series.

The plan for Monday was to go to pool and enjoy some sun.  That ended up not happening.  We just sat around lazy all day.  I did motivate myself enough to do a small 30 minute workout at home, and ran some errands in the afternoon.  The weekend wrapped up with grilling out with friends and playing Clue.

It was hard to get up this morning, especially since since the hubby set his alarm for 3:30am.  Can't wait to tell you about the adventure he is on today and tomorrow but for now I will stay silent until I have more to tell!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Movies

I am not sure if I have mentioned this before but I love movies, but I am not a movie snob.  My enjoyment of movies comes from all genres - action, comedy, chick flicks, serious drama.  You name it I like it.  Maybe the only exception might be weird sci-fi stuff that comes out on Syfy Network.

Now I don't know if you have noticed but there is a ton of new movies come out this summer.  Summer is always a popular time for movies to come out, but I feel like this year there is too many to count.  So I am going to count them.

The hubby and I already made a start on the list with seeing two movies over the weekend/Monday.

1. Pirates of the Carribbean - On Stranger Tides

We saw this one on Friday and I have to say, I thought it was better than the 2nd and 3rd.  No weird romantic triangles, no complicated plots, no leaving cliff hangers that totally mean another sequel is on its way.  None of that.  This was back to what the original movie was about - Pirate adventure.  Loved it!

2. Bridesmaids

We laughed our butts off at this movie last night.  Two amazing women from SNL, one from the office, another from Reno 911 and Sookie from Gilmore Girls.  I died.  Funny, funny, raunchy humor.  Very strong language but it doesn't matter because it was hilarious!  You have to go just to see Melissa McCarthy's (Sookie) character.

Now into the stuff we haven't seen yet.  Be prepared because this list is going to get long...

3. The Hangover II (May 26th)

This is coming out this Thursday.  While I have heard some reviews from those who already saw the premiere that say it isn't as good as the first, this is still at the top of the list.  The first Hangover is one of my favorite comedies of all time.  I don't have a choice.

4. Kung Fu Panda II (May 26th)

Loved the first.  Must see the second!

5. X-Men First Class (June 3rd)

While I am a fan of the X-Men movies, the hubby is not.  Therefore I might be either seeing this by myself or once it comes out on DVD.

6. The Green Lantern (June 17th)

Although never a comic book reader, I do enjoy super hero movies, and I do enjoy Ryan Reynolds.

7. Mr. Popper's Penguins (June 17th)

I remember reading this book when I was really little.  While I don't really remember the book, I know that I loved it at the time and I love penguins.  I can't resist a movie with penguins in it.  However, I have a feeling that we might not make this one in theaters and instead see it when it comes out on DVD.

8. Bad Teacher (June 24th)

Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, and Jason Segel. Yes, please!  The trailer is hilarious.  But beware if you are offended by strong language.  Luckily I'm not!

9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (July 1st)

This is a no-brainer!

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II (July 15th)

Anyone who knows me, know that this is the highlight of my summer!!!! Been waiting for this one for a while. This might end of being a midnight showing.

11. The Change-Up (August 5th)

Only saw this trailer the other day but I love both of these actors, and it from the people that did Wedding Crashers and The Hangover.  It is bound to be funny.

I think that is all for the summer movies.  Although I am sure something interesting will catch my eye and I will have to add it to the list.  So that is 9 movies we have yet to see this summer.  I don't think we see that many movies in theaters over the course of an entire 2 years.  Like I mentioned, some of those will have to be Redbox rentals!

(Ohhh and I forgot to mention, all the pictures were from Google Images)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Music Friday: A little country

I might have been born in Kentucky, but I am not country.  My family lived in the suburbs of Cincinnati and then I spent my teenage years in the Northeast.  Never have I claimed to be country and relate to the music.  It kills me to see these suburban kids that live in the city put on their cowboy boots, go to rodeos, and act like this is what their lives are all about.  Get real!  However, I do have an appreciation for country music.  It comes in phases, which I am currently in one.

The other day I heard a country song that I just loved.  Now I have been mostly listening to the country station in the car and my Zak Brown Band Pandora station at work.

So what was the song that inspired this return back to country music?

Other country music I am digging lately:

Which was recently done on American Idol.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You know you want to buy me some shoes ...

Saving money is so difficult.  Sometimes I wish I didn't have to pay bills and student loans.  I wish I could buy shoes and books and whatever else my heart desires.  No body tells you that when you grow up you make more money, but that you don't get to use most of that money.

Well here is a little list of the things I have been restraining myself to buy.

Or pretty much any of the classic Tom's shoes.  I have been dying for a pair of these for a while now.  Almost got some the other day but the hubby talked some sense into me.  But I think they are just adorable and I love the whole idea behind it!

This Rocco DiSpirito CookBook
I have tried one of his recipes before and was amazing.  It was a light mac n cheese and it was just as good as the full fat version.  The reviews look great for this book and I think I would love his recipes.

Tina Fey's New Autobiography
This woman is crazy, funny.  I have loved everything she has done.  If you read the excerpts from this book, you will know why I can't wait to read it.

I love my reusable grocery bags, but still feel so wasteful with those plastic produce bags.  Plus it might make me want to try going to the Farmers Market again.

I could use a new dress from Delia's since I have weddings to go to this summer.

Although I don't really need an excuse for another dress.  I have really been digging dresses lately.

But, if I get the dress I will also need some new sunglasses.

However, if I don't get the dress, I think I still need the sunglasses anyways.  Oh and they are only $6.  You can't beat that.  I pretty much only like getting my sunglasses from Forever 21 because all the other ones break on me (and I may be a little cheap thrifty).  It's a little suspicious that the $6 sunglasses last longer than the expensive ones...  Too bad for me CoMo doesn't have a Forever 21.

And I want this little girl
Some day of course! Can't resist sassy little girls in big sunglasses.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Graduation, Dessert, and Other Happiness

Hi all!

I bet you have been wondering what has been going on with the Pickel's lately.

Lots actually.  We have been busy, busy, busy.

First of all, my dear hubby graduated from college last weekend.  He officially has his Master's Degree and is done with school, forever!

Okay I cheated.  That is a picture from his undergraduate graduation at Ohio State.  But in my defense he didn't walk at graduation this time but I still wanted to post a graduation picture.  Who wants to sit at a graduation ceremony on a Friday night?  Not these people.  Instead he celebrated by hanging out with some fellow grads, eating yummy food, and visits from parents.

On Saturday, Nate's parents stopped by for a quick trip.  And by quick I mean less than 24 hours.  They were on their way back from his sister's Junior College National Tennis Tournament in Arizona, and decided to take a detour to Columbia to congratulate the hubby on his graduation.  We had a nice evening of a home cooked meal, lots of stories from their vacations, pictures of the Grand Canyon, souvenir presents, yummy dessert, and our favorite card game, Monopoly deal.

This is the dessert I made for the occasion.

No I didn't get really great at taking pictures of a sudden (But mine looked similar except I may have drizzled a little more chocolate on than suggested).  That is the picture from The Kitchen and check out the link to see how easy this recipe was!  Seriously, it was easy and so very delicious.  We definitely had seconds.

Sunday we had church, followed by a yummy dinner out to D. Rowe's.  If you have been to Columbia, Missouri and have not eaten at this place, you are crazy!  Best baked potatoes you will ever have in your life. No joke!  The portions are big enough you can get at least 2 meals out of it, 3 if you can actually exercise some self control and eat normal portion sizes.  Then we watched some of the Cardinals game before they headed home.  It was fast, but nice to see them again.

I somehow managed to make it out of the weekend without dying.  Remember those allergies I was talking about?  Yeah they only got worse over the weekend.  I polished off over one full box of tissues, and consumed I don't remember how many pills.  However, I am glad to report that I woke up Monday morning feeling very alive and could breathe (which let me tell you - trying to consume that D. Rowe's baked potato was pretty hard when you can't breathe).

Work has calmed down after a busy few weeks.  Another confession - I tend to blog at work, which is why the frequency in my posts decreased as my work load increased.  True story.  So the end of the semester brought with it all kinds of stuff to finish up at work.  Now I am getting into the summer, which is absolutely dead around here.  While we usually have a few summer classes, even those enrollments are down.  At least this time last year I was planning a wedding, honeymoon, and second honeymoon.  Now I am not sure what I will do all day!

Therefore, I am offering up my services as a free wedding planner/ wedding consultant.  Need ideas? Need a timeline? Need help choosing music for the ceremony? I am your woman! Just kidding ... kinda ... but not really.  I always love an excuse to talk wedding.  It is my dream job after all!

On a different note, my car is finally back into my possession.  It is so nice to be driving it again! I missed it so much.  While I have never been one for naming your vehicle, I really feel like she/he? could use a name of affection.  Never have the roads been so smooth, or have I been able to reach my cruising speed on the highway!  Its been just happiness driving home from work, sun shining again finally, and blasting my favorite music while I sing like a crazy person in my own car.

Anyways wrapping up, I plan on sharing how the hubby's job search has been going and some possible plans for the future.  Happy Hump Day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blonde and Beautiful!

Dang these allergies.  At least I am hoping it is just allergies.  All day long I have been congested, scratchy throat, swollen cheeks and jaw, and my head feels inflated.  I hope it is just allergies because Lord help me if it is a cold.  For me, colds are miserable.  Usually I don't get very sick.  Never really had strep or the flu.   However I get horrible colds - like two weeks long, using boxes and boxes of tissues, loading up on NyQuil.  It isn't pretty.  The last time I got a bad cold like this was this past Christmas.  Look how miserable we look:

Actually the hubby looks worse than I did, but I wanted to take a picture since it was our first married Christmas together. Oh, the memories.  We ended up getting the rest of in-laws sick.

Now you get why I welcome allergies.

Besides the nasty pollen in the air, this week we welcome some gorgeous weather.  Living in the Midwest definitely can be a weather rollercoaster.  More and more it seems like we skip over spring, and go straight from winter to hot, summer.  I blame it on global climate change (not global warming).  You may disagree but I totally believe that our actions are having a negative impact on the environment and causing more extreme weather.

Anyways back to my point.  It has been feeling like summer around here.  Summer makes me think of barbecues, tans, and blonde hair.  Yes, blonde hair.  There is something about the bright sun that makes me want to get my hair back to its original color.  Although I try to cover it up, I am a blonde.

This is as close to my natural hair color that I could find since I don't have access to my non-digital photos.

I was born with strawberry blonde hair and at many time in my childhood had super super blonde hair (mostly in the summer).  Around my senior year of high school I started dying my hair.  It started out just going a little red and darker blonde, and then I went really dark.

Man, was my hair long.  Throughout college up to the present, as soon as my hair would start to show signs of blonde, I covered it back up.  There was a time a few summers back where I tried to go lighter, but I soon learned that you can't go from brown to blonde by using a box at home.

That may be what is keeping me back from going blonde again.

But when the sun comes out, I want to have glowing radiant hair too.  Like Kristin Cavallari

(Google Images)
Or Reese Witherspoon.  She is just adorable!

(Google Images)

I know that it will probably take some investing at a salon to get my hair blonde again.  Or I could just wait for it to grow out.  Knowing me though, I would probably change my mind before it grew out.

However I am still undecided.  Suggestions?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

These Are My Confessions

I am glad to see that I still have readers!  Thanks for keeping on coming back to visit my blog.  I will try not to leave you hanging so long next time.

Today I have some confessions I need to share.  Sometimes just saying them out loud/typing them on the keyboard helps relieve that pressure from carrying around those heavy thoughts.  Usually I keep things pretty light around here, but there has been a lot going on in my life lately.  I need to unload.  Most of them have to deal with my fitness and food goals, because that is where I am the naughtiest.

And although my confessions do not relate at all to the ones Usher is singing about here, I feel like it still helps to listen to the song.  Music Therapy - I am telling you,  its amazing!

So here we go...

1. I purposely skipped out on going to the gym for 12 days.  It wasn't because I wasn't feeling well, which might have been true at least one of those days.  I have many excuses, none of which are good enough.  This gym membership is supposed to be there to keep my accountable, but it isn't going to work if I just choose not to go because the weather is too nice out or I just want to sit at home on my computer.

2. I may have eaten at least 3 of these delicious margarita cupcakes, all at once and came back for more later.  My self control is almost zero, and I am an emotional eater.  These two factors do not work well together, and have caused me to be at a point I never wished to be at.

3. I am a bejeweled addict.  I blame the hubby.  He got me started and now I can't stop playing.  Sometimes I play so much and I just zone in that I am barely paying attention to what I am doing.

4. I have been sneaking Mt Dews. Sigh.  Not the throwbacks, but the bad-for-you regular Mt. Dews.  It is just so good.

5. I bought two dresses recently, knowing that it was probably going to make money tight at the end of the pay period.  I was right- money got tight, and I love my dresses.  Since I barely ever buy clothes for myself (despite what people may think by the way I talk) I will forgive myself entirely for this one.

6. I have been pulling away from friends and people out here in Columbia.  I know that it is 99% sure that we will be moving somewhere, we just don't know where yet.  It is hard to say goodbye so I have been pulling away from friendships to make it easier.

7. I know what I need to do to meet my fitness and food goals.  I just choose not to do it.  I am comfortable living like I do, this is how I have lived for 22 years.  Change is hard.  I even tried to tell myself this week that it isn't worth being in shape and healthy, and I almost believed myself.  I know what I need to do, but I need to keep that motivation going.

Well how is that for honesty?  That felt good.  This past week has been hard on me in many ways.  However, this week I have been more optimistic and have been trying harder to meet all my goals.  Nothing like getting started again! It's refreshing.  Glad we always have that option.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Anyone still there? Week Recap

Oh my gosh.  Please tell me you haven't deserted me yet! I swear I am still alive and healthy.  Nothing drastic has happened - just life.  Sometimes life just gets in the way of doing the things we planned.  I really do enjoy blogging, but lately things just have felt hectic and blogging is one of the first things to fall to the wayside.

So what has been going in the past week (cough cough week and a half) since I last posted.  Well lots of stuff.

First off I have been car-less.  Okay, maybe not car-less, but my-car-less.  I have been driving around the hubby's car since we don't want anymore damage to mine.  Insurance finally came out to estimate the damage and it was even more than what the collision center quoted us!  Pretty excited since the difference equals about what our deductible is, so that is money we don't have to shell out.  Currently, the car has been in the shop since Friday.  Meanwhile the hubby got to drive this monster around.

For those of you on facebook, no we didn't buy it (like the hubby implied by his post).  We aren't that crazy!  This was the free rental upgrade we got for the weekend. And we may or may not have decided to drive it to a softball game and had some major problems parking.  Oh well.

What else...

I finally finished the first book of the Alex Cross series by James Patteron.  Along Came a Spider has been checked out of the library every time I have looked.  So I just moved on and read the second and third in the series.  Luckily I figured out that one of my friends had it.  She let me borrow it!  Boy was it good!

I finally got to see The King's Speech.  Now I understand how it received all those awards.  It was that good, and surprisingly funny.

I learned how to play bocce ball in real life with some friends.  My only experience before has been playing it on the Wii, which I rock at!  It was fun but not what I expected.  Those bocce balls are heavy and hard to control.  The girls ended up winning against the boys because we are awesome like that!

Last Thursday...
There was a little Cinco de Mayo party at work, because who doesn't like Mexican.  I made these delicious Margarita Cupcakes.  And yes they did have tequila in them!

This is my second baking project in the past couple months that involved icing, and my second fail at making icing.  (Remember this ugly cake I made for the hubby's bday.  Scroll all the way down, you can't miss it.)  I think I need help making icing.  This time it turned more into a glaze.  If I followed the recipe correctly they would have looked like this:
(Homemade by Holman Margarita Cupcakes)

But they still tasted good so I guess it wasn't a complete fail.

I also made some corn salsa:
(Haute Apple Pie Corn Salsa)

There was also Bean Dip, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Quesadillas.  Oh yeah and these cute sombrero cookies:

Then at home I had every intention of making tacos and real margaritas, but I ended up only making the margaritas - strawberry margaritas to be exact.
I was just so excited to finally use my margarita glasses I got at my shower last May.  In my defense, we did have some leftovers burgers along with the drinks.  We aren't alcoholics here.

What else ...
This past Friday I took a day off of work.  The hubby got us tickets to a Cardinals game in St. Louis for the evening where we met up with his best friend from home and his girlfriend.  We decided to get there early for batting practice - which is more the hubby's idea than mine.  My idea - get to St. Louis even earlier to tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour.  Hey it was free and you get free beer at the end!
We got to see the Clydesdale Horses and their stable
Huge barrels of beer stacked on top of each other
Learned the brewing process
And saw some of it in action:
Then I happily took my beer sample at the end (I only drank one because I was hungry but you can have two full glasses) and the hubby had his Pepsi.

Other than that, my life has been a lot of headaches, a lot of sleeping, and a lot of slacking off at the gym.

But I am back!

Let's have a good week!