Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Marriage Manifesto...Of Sorts

This was shared with me...so I am going to share it with you. If you don't agree, I apologize in advance.

A Marriage Manifesto...Of Sorts
By Tom Ackerman

I no longer recognize marriage. It's a new thing I'm trying.

Turns out it's fun.

Yesterday I called a woman's spouse her boyfriend.

She says, correcting me, "He's my husband," "Oh", I say, "I no longer recognize marriage."

The impact is obvious.

I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years, "How's your long time companion, Jill?" "She's my wife!" "Yeah, well my beliefs don't recognize marriage."

Fun. And instant, eye-brow raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it's like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have much taken-for-granted rights called into question because of another's beliefs.

Just replace the words husband, wife, spouse, or fiance with boyfriend, girlfriend, special friend, or longtime companion. There is a reason we need stronger words for more serious relationships. We know it; now they can see it.

A marriage is a lot of things. Culturally, it's a declaration to the community that two people are now a unit, and that unit should be respected. Legally, it's a set of rights and responsibilities. And spiritually, it's whatever your beliefs think it is.

That's what's so great about America. As a constitutionally secular nation, or at least in reality a vaguely pluralistic nation, we can all have our own spiritual take on what marriage is. What's troublesome is when one group's spiritual beliefs deny the cultural and legal rights of another.

But, back to the point. They say their beliefs don't recognize my marriage, I say my beliefs don't recognize theirs. Simple. It may seem petty, and obviously the legal part of the cultural/legal/spiritual trilogy is a flip-floppy, but it may be the cultural part that really matters.

People get married to be recognized as a permanent couple. To be acknowledged by friends, family, and strangers as being off the market, in a relationship, totally hooked up, yikes....it's impossible to say without saying "married".

We wear rings to declare this!

So, we can take this away. We can refuse to recognize marriage in the cultural sense. It is totally within our rights, as Americans, to follow our beliefs and recognize or not recognize what we like.

I guess this is a call out to all Americans with beliefs similar to mine.

If you believe that all people should have equal rights, and if you believe that marriage is one of the greatest destinations in a relationship, then perhaps you believe that nobody should have a marriage, until everybody does.

That's what I believe.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

So far, So good!

Well, this weekend has started off pretty stinkin' good! Woke up WAY too early and went out a bike ride...WHAT?! I know...don't be jealous! Well...I haven't been in awhile so...I lasted for about 20 minutes. Oh well, try again tomorrow!

Then I baked my final "creation" in my oven. It was my mom's birthday cake...awww...carrot cake...YUM! More about that and MY NEW OVEN later!

Shawn called to tell me a package had arrived for me and he had forgotten to tell me about it. Awww...is he surprising me?! Did he buy me something sweet?! Oh...no he didn't...BUT I did receive my replacement nail polish for OPI....I'm good with that!

So I finally splurged and bought a bottle of OPI nail polish...$8.00...geesh. BUT it was gorgeous and I couldn't resist. Got it home...put it on my toes...and stuck it in the cabinet. Roughly 2 or 3 weeks later, got in said bottom bathroom cabinet and it fell out...AND BROKE...and spilled RED, sparkly nail polish all over our tile floor. SON OF A.....
I was pissed...I wrote an email...stating that I was shocked that it fell at such a short height and broke. Never heard back....
UNTIL last week when I received an email with their apologies and their assurance that they would send another bottle! HIP HIP HOORAY!
(It arrived yesterday!!) YAY OPI! http://www.opi.com/

So then...I went to get my eyebrows waxed. My girl left...she moved to Hawaii (just up and moved to do something different...bitch!)...but I knew this, so I was nervous that I was meeting with someone new. Would she understand that I just needed a clean up? That I want a NATURE shape. Would she laugh at my out of control, 2 months since my last wax, grandpa eyebrows?! She was young...REALLY young...but adorable. It was an awkward meeting...I didn't know her name, she didn't know mine...I just followed her to the lavender scented room with the amazingly comfortable bed/table thing and prayed.

As I laid my head back...she asked if I had ever had my eyebrows threaded. I said no, but have always been interested BUT I am not about to try it out in the middle of Grapevine Mills Mall. (Might as well have my teeth whitened while I'm at it. NO THANK YOU!) She said it was the same price, hurt a tiny bit more, but wouldn't remove the top layer of skin like waxing and sometimes lasts longer than waxing. I said...sign me up. WOW! I am officially a fan of threading! (and no, she did not have one of the strings in her mouth...that I could see...)

It felt like plucking, didn't sting like waxing afterwards, and I saw a few of the eyebrows floating around afterwards and WOW it took the whole dang thing out!

Try it out ladies...or gentleman...you'll love it! (just not in Grapevine Mills Mall or I will be forced to laugh at you...on the inside)

Happy Saturday Kids! Make it a good one!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Turkey Burgers

Tonight's menu consisted of Turkey Burgers with Green Chili Mayo and avocado, with baked beans and corn on the side....random...I know but it was in the pantry.

Turkey Burgers...yum! You do have to be careful with these...overcooked and they become disgustingly dry. For some reason, I have found the worcestershire sauce makes them very moist and adds good flavor.

+ = YUM

For 2 people 1/2 lb (1/2 package) Extra Lean Ground Turkey is plenty
Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup light mayo
Diced green chilies (in the can)
Lime juice

Gently combine your turkey, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper...be careful not to overwork the meat. Form gently into patties and set aside.

Heat your pan on medium, add a teaspoon or so of oil (we are on a grape seed oil kick these days) and swirl in your pan.

Season one side of your burger with your seasoning of choice...I chose Eskimo Joe's French Fry Seasoning...YUM. Place burgers, seasoned side down in your pan. Season the other side.

Cook roughly 8 minutes or so, then flip. Cook another 8 minutes and turn the heat down to low.

While your burgers are finishing...cook your Birds Eye Steam Fresh Corn. YES I know I am OBSESSED with the ease and tastiness of these veggies...so...

Then make your green chili mayo. Combine light mayo, 1/4 small can diced green chilies, a squeeze of lime juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk together and set aside.

Then heat your Baked Beans...

I LOVE these!

Once your burgers are done. Remove from the pan and add cheese if you prefer...I personally prefer. Place your buns on the grill pan to slightly toast.

To assemble:

Top Bun
Green Chili Mayo
Avocado Slices
Turkey Burger (possible with cheese)
Bottom Bun

This will make three small burgers (2 for him, 1 for me) or 2 medium to large size burgers.

Happy Grilling!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


So every Sunday morning, I sit at our kitchen table and clip coupons, write out my grocery list and plan our dinners for the week...exciting, I know. Sometimes I get creative (especially if I just received a new magazine in the mail), sometimes I search the pantry trying to come up with new ideas, and sometimes I fall on old standbys.

Tonight's dinner was one I found recently and is very YUMMMMMMY and very easy, therefore, I am going to share it! I hope you try it, love it, and pass along to someone else. (and next time I will remember to take pictures....sorry!)


Served with Rice-A-Roni "Nature's Way" Italian Herb & Cheese Rice ...again, super easy and DELICIOUS.

AND (because I was SUPER hungry) Birds Eye Steamfresh Sweet Peas...DOUBLE YUM!

(pretend these are peas instead of corn)

First and foremost...don't let the name fool you. Herb Crusted Pork Loin is really just herbs (that can be fresh or dried) rubbed on the the pork and stuck in the oven...SIMPLE...I PROMISE!

Second...I am bad at measuring...especially when I make the recipe for only my hubby and I...so just go with it and feel free to ask any questions.

Ingredients you will need:
Olive Oil
Oregano (fresh or dried)
Thyme (fresh or dried)
Rosemary (fresh or dried)
Pork Loin

So I typically just get the individually packed Hormel Pork Loins. They are usually very lean and are the perfect size for my hubby and I. If you plan on making this for more than 2 people, I would recommend 2 loins. Unless you are making this for 3 women...then one is enough. When you throw a hungry man stomach in the mix...it changes everything.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 475 degrees.

1. The easiest way to cook the loin is on a roasting pan. If you do not have a pan that comes with a grate that sits up, away from the bottom of the pan...no biggie, we will just have to flip during cooking.

2. Line your pan with foil...this makes for SUPER easy clean up which I am all about.

3. If you are using fresh herbs (either from your own garden...ha, I wish...or from the produce section), grab a handful of each kind and mince until fine. You want your herb mixture to still have texture, so don't go TOO crazy. If you are using dried, I would say roughly 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of each will be plenty.

4. Next rinse and dry your pork, placing it in your roasting pan. Trim any excess fat.

5. Rub your pork with a touch of olive oil. Massage half of your herb mixture, salt, and pepper into the pork. Flip and repeat on the other side.

6. If you have a small end, feel free to tuck this end to cook more evenly.

7. Cook for 30 mins.


*If you are not using an elevated roasting pan, this would be the perfect time to give your meat a flip. Make sure both sides get some love.

8. Cook for 30 more mins. If your pork loin is larger, you made need additional cooking time. You want the internal temperature to be 155 degrees.

9. Let stand for roughly 3 - 5 minutes before slicing.

Seriously...try this recipe on a Sunday afternoon, for a holiday, or even just a random Wednesday night. It will soon become a favorite and may even become your go to recipe!

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My apologies...

I apologize for the HTML in the previous blog. I am still learning and am not quite sure how to fix it. Please ignore and go about your day! : )

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Smallest Mutt

After moving into our first home together in 2004, my hubby and I realized that our then 3 year old, precious Australian Sheppard Mix, Bubba needed a companion. In the late summer of the same year, we began on our journey to find him a friend. We went to just about every animal shelter and adoption facility in the area...leaving me in tear EVERY time, until we finally stumbled on 'Diamond' at the Bedford Animal Shelter. 'Diamond' was a year-old, black Pomeranian mix who was nothing but fur. She had a small white patch on her chest and couldn't have weighed more than 10 pounds. She had been found wandering the streets of Fort Worth and had some how found her way to Bedford. She was new to the shelter and had roughly 48 more hours of waiting until the shelter deemed her adoptable. My hubby was in love instantly. I on the other hand...wasn't so sure.

I was raised with medium to large dogs for the most of my life (with a
cocker spaniel thrown in there for good measure). I was used to dogs that tripped you, got in your way, and ate everything in sight.

A small dog? Really? I loved dogs...
don't get me wrong but this mop was barely a dog! And a Pomeranian? Really? Aren't they prissy and stuck up? The last thing I needed was a diva in the house.

My hubby and I left with the intentions of talking about things and coming back the next day to see her. We went back the following day and I admitted that the second time around, her
pitifulness was pretty adorable. We agreed to stop by the following day, when she was ready for adoption, visit her one more time and then make our decision.

The following day, we went back, and just couldn't leave the shelter without her. I'm sure she had no idea what she was in for and pretty much wanted nothing to do with
Bubba when we first brought her home. I wasn't sure that we had done the right thing, the whole point was a companion and a friend for him, and she isn't even interested! I even thought about taking her back...I shutter at the thought now...

Well it did take some time and a bit of an adjustment, but before we knew it...'Diamond' aka Vegas and
Bubba were inseparable.

We now consider her, his shadow. She has even learned to "mark" her territory and "assert her dominance" if you know what I mean? (awkward...) Vegas brings nothing but absolute joy and amusement into my life each and every day.

She is our loner at the dog park, our vicious attack dog on walks, and she is able to entertain herself with ease. She is one of the loves of my life and if I am ever having a bad day...all I have to do is watch this...

(Yes it is taken with our camera...yes the quality isn't that great...yes you can actually hear the zooming...yes it is having trouble focusing...BUT ISN'T SHE ADORABLE?!)

(and yes, I cut the ears and tail off of a $13.00 pig toy with no stuffing and 5 squeekers in hopes that it would last just a LITTLE bit longer than most)

Happy Adoption!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friends Forever...(yep like Zach Attack!)

Random post of the day...

I have never been the type that had a million friends. I wasn't the girl in high school who was a part of the "popular" crowd. I didnt have a million friends piled into a limo the night of prom. And although I did have 5 bridesmaids, most of those girls have known me since my extremely awkward stage and they still love me...that says everything.

I am the type of person that has a handful of REALLY good, honest-to-God friends. The kind of friends that you would drop everything for and be there in a matter of minutes, the kind of friends that you know would be there for me no matter what, the kind of friends that I couldn't function without.

Friendship is like any other relationship that you encounter in your life. It is not something that can be neglected or taken advantage of. Friendships need to be nurtured, cared for, respected, and and appreciated. A good friend is something that should be cherished, for those are the people that CHOOSE to love you for you and WANT to be around you, they dont have to, because friendship is not unconditional. Your friends are not born to love you, care about you, or frankly even like you. People are brought together for whatever reason to better each other lives. Some enter our lives only for a brief moment, some stay for a lifetime. Some you feel an instant connection with, some take years to mature.

Make sure the people who truly care about and truly love know what a difference they make in your life. Just like you choose to love them, they choose to love you back.

And that is all I have to say about that!

Happy Friday! Happy Friendship!

"Friends forever" Zack Attack

Shared via AddThis

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Handy Husband

Sometimes I think I take my handy hubby for granted. I just assume that all men are born with the ability to build a table and chair set out of Popsicle sticks and glue....

I always thought my dad was handy when I was younger...as I get older, I have come to realize that I think he just liked all the "toys". Don't get me wrong, he is handy...to an extent, be he has no problem handing off the task/issue/exploding pipe to the professionals.

My husband on the other hand, likes to figure things out. When we moved into our first house, I decided I didn't like the faucets in our bathrooms and we needed new, more up-to-date ones. He said no problem and let me pick out exactly what I wanted. As he is crawling under the cabinet in our bathroom with a wrench in hand, and instructions thrown to the side, I politely asked him..."so you have done this before, right?". From the hole now gawping from our counter top, I hear "nope, but I will figure it out!". This confirmed my ever growing love.

Oh yeah...and he installed the tile too. Not bragging...just sayin'! : )

Then there was this project when we decided he wanted to replace our rat infested (seriously...there were nests...SICK) railroad ties with a stone wall...
BEFORE (during demolition)
(Obviously it didn't take him that long, but this gives you an idea of the work he had cut out for him. Each one of those stone/brick things weighs like 80 pounds...we had 2 pallets...I supervised and supplied the lemonade.)

What is the point of this post you ask, well let me just get down to it. My parents recently (as of yesterday) took over ownership of our hot tub (aka they got it out of our backyard...thank GOD). We have two sets of usable steps (that you use to get in and out of the hot tub) left that are currently being utilized by the dogs to get up and down The Great Wall of Holladay. I told my adorable husband that we would need to soon part with at least one set to give to my parents. He protested saying that the dogs needed them, and while I agreed 100%, I just couldn't bear the phone call from my dad saying that my mother pulled a groin muscle trying to hoist herself in and out of the hot tub because she didn't have these exact steps.

After some bickering back and forth, I dropped the discussion. You can imagine my surprise when I came home from work to find my husband building...YES LADIES, I SAID BUILDING...a new set of steps.

Nothing like the smell of sawdust on a warm, Texas afternoon.

I proceed to watch him build these steps and I was just in awe. He had looked at the others, figured a plan, bought the wood needed, and began to construct all in about an hour. Amazing.

And yes, he is still wearing his work clothes!

And after about 30 minutes...

I had a brand new set of steps...

or I guess I should say, Vegas has a brand new set of steps!

Signing Off to give my hubby some sugar! Happy Building!

Monday, June 15, 2009

True Blood

Well last night was filled with a dinner of:

salad and grilled chicken covered with heirloom tomatoes...

wish it could have tasted better...but oh well! The season premier of

made up for it! WOW...WOW...WOW! This show is out of this world, and not just because its unrealistic and complete and total fantasy...but it is written well, casted well, and acted well. The characters are so dynamic,
even down to poor little Jason Stackhouse .

Spoiler alert!

Last night's episode started right where last season left off. Crazy voo-doo lady was the owner of the the painted toenails found in Andy's car...didn't see that one coming, we are starting to see why Sam was so freaked out by the crazy lady who has befriended Tara (what is her deal?!), and Sookie and Bill finally confessed their love to each other...followed by a pretty hot and heavy love scene! Wow...thank God for HBO!

Kind of hoping this season does take a flying leap and "jump the shark" if you will, like Season 2 of Heros did. The crazy shaking lady, and the recently discovered dungeon under Fangtasia have the potential to take it there, but I am crossing my fingers that it will all iron out.

This show is nothing but greatness, and if you aren't watching, you should be. PS...if you don't have HBO, they have all the episodes for free online. YAY for free stuff! http://www.hbo.com/trueblood/season2/

Watch it, love it, bleed it! (just go with the cheesiness, okay!)

Signing off! Happy Watching!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cake Class

Well...I officially hosted my first cake "class" and I think it went pretty stinkin' well! Everyone seemed to learn something and we all had loads of fun! We have decided to meet again for either a sewing, make-up, or art lesson, so hopefully more Fun Days will follow!

The morning started with me setting up the kitchen, getting the icing made, baking muffins, and cutting fruit.

Bailey supervised.

Once everyone arrived, we strapped on my hodge-podge aprons and got to work!

I gave a quick lesson on baking tips, tools and tricks, and taught everyone the trick to making my Buttercream Icing (hint: it's margarine)!

Once our cakes were leveled and on our decorative boards...it was time to start icing! I have recently discovered a new icing technique (thanks to this lady http://www.youtube.com/user/SeriousCakes) so I went over that and we got to smoothing.

Everyone was meticulous and aimed for perfection! : )

Once everyone's cake was perfect...

we were ready to start the fun part! Decorating!!

Jessica, our artist, was making an adorable portrait of Kujo, the dog!

Jennifer was going 100% girlie with her creation! I'm sure her daughter was her inspiration!

And Leslie took inspiration from one of my oven mitts!


And then I laid down to rest for just a second...

(Bubba and Bailey did too)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pre-Cake Class

So tomorrow I host my first official cake decorating "class"! Woo! I am eagerly counting the hours until it strikes 4:00 and I run home and viciously attack my house with a Swiffer and vacuum. I plan on cleaning top to bottom, baking the cakes (I would love to do this tomorrow but it takes too much time and my 1984 oven makes our kitchen feel like the surface of the sun), possibly making muffins, and getting everything ready tonight...whew...my cape will be blowing in the wind!

Icing tomorrrow, fruit tomorrow, and putting the final touches on everything. Who needs sleep?! NOT ME!

I am so super duper excited for this opportunity to share my hobby and stress-reliever. I hope my friends will leave tomorrow afternoon having learned something, and hopefully not thinking I am a HUGE nerd.

I pray the dogs will be on their best behavior. I think I am more nervous about that than anything...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My first HR Conference

I spent the last 2 days at my first Human Resources conference. Not only did we survive the Storm of 2009...I learned a lot and was able to take away a lot of information from all walks of people. I did have to laugh a few times at the "fear" that some had for the "millennials" or "Gen Yers". I understand we are a different generation, we like to win, we work hard and play hard, we like to give our time, and we still like to be told that we are special and valued and great...but most of the people "fearing" this group have kids or could have had children that would have been raised in this generation. Who knew the iPod and the Tweet would be so intimidating!