9.30.2009

Fall TV Week- Tuesday Night Shows

Tuesday night was originally the night where I didn't really have much TV to watch, then my mom had to go and get me hooked on The Biggest Loser, which is 2 hours long!!!!! Oh well, what's one more night...

Here are my Tuesday night must sees:

The Biggest Loser (NBC, 8 p.m.)- This show is now one of my faves, and is so inspiring! These people work so hard, and the weight that they lose is amazing! There's still drama though too, Tracey (one of the characters) is a total whack job who's definitely keeping it interesting.

90210 (The CW, 8 p.m.)- Okay, after I was obsessed with the original 90210, I assumed that I would hate the remake, but I love it! Yes, it's embarrassing to watch (just like Gossip Girl), but I don't care, it's super entertaining and full of high-school drama. Call it another guilty pleasure.
(BTW- tried to watch the new Melrose Place a few weeks ago, and IT IS HORRIBLE!!)



The Good Wife (CBS, 10 p.m.)- Well the verdict isn't completely back on this show yet, but it's pretty enjoyable. Naturally anything with Chris Noth is going to be something I want to tune into, but his role as a cheating and scheming politician leaves you hating him (similar to how you sometimes felt towards his character Mr. Big on SATC). His wife, who has to return to work as a lawyer while he's in jail decides to stand by him, and this show tells the tales of their life after his betrayal. I'm going to watch this for a few more weeks before I decide if it's a must watch or not.

-CAwife

Recipe:: Peanut Butter-Cup Cookies

Yesterday, while browsing the Internet for a yummy dinner idea, I came across this fantastic cookie recipe from Real Simple. I made these as a tasty little snack to enjoy after our dinner, while watching The Biggest Loser. Hah, there is some major irony in eating sugar and butter filled cookies while watching people exercise and starve. Something about that just seems cruel, but oh well, these cookies are delicious!

Picture from Real Simple
Here's the recipe:
Makes 48 cookies
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 40m
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 12-ounce package small peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Directions:
-Heat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
-Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter cups.
-Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Now, there are some notes about this recipe that I learned from baking it.

1. This recipe in no way makes the 48 cookies that they say it will! I like bigger cookies, but mine still just made 19 (and no I didn't eat too much dough)! You could literally have to make some teeny tiny cookies in order to get that many.

2. You DO NOT need to chop up an entire 12 oz. bag of Reeses! That is WAYYY too many! I only did about half of the bag, and it was more than enough to give the cookies flavor! (BTW: Don't you love how you can see the crinkled edges of the Reeses in the cookies? This was my favorite part!)

3. My first batch of cookies came out a little dark and crispy at 375 degrees, after 12 minutes. For the second batch I turned the oven down to 350 and only let them back for 11 minutes, and they were perfectly soft and lightly browned!



I highly suggest making these cookies for your next tailgate, party, or chocolate fix. They're really easy and everyone LOVED them!

ENJOY!
-CAwife

9.29.2009

Fall TV Week- Monday Night Shows

Correction: Yesterday, I posted that The Rachel Zoe Project was a Sunday night fave, when it's really on Monday night!
Now onto my Monday Night faves:

House (Fox, 8 p.m.)- Now, I'm not gonna lie, we're still behind on the DVD episodes, and are still on Season 4! We are DVR-ing the new episodes until we catch up (should only be a few more weeks). I know this is odd, but I'm comforted in the fact that SIL Katie and Jake are doing the exact same thing : ).


Gossip Girl (The CW, 9 p.m.)- Okay, the fact that I watch this is mildly embarrassing. We'll call it my guilty pleasure. Now they're out of high school and are still doing things that are WAY inappropriate for their age, but who cares, it's TV not reality. I really didn't think I'd like it now that they're out of their prep school in NYC, and are now braving NYU, but I'm still hooked!


Castle (ABC, 10 p.m.)- This show premiered last spring with only about 8 episodes, and I really liked it! I was so relieved when they brought it back this fall, and it's as good as ever! Rick Castle is a mystery writer and bestseller (think James Patterson) who helps the NYPD solve crimes (although this would never happen, it's somehow believable on the show). This show is actually pretty funny, and takes itself WAY less seriously than other detective shows (Law and Order, CSI).





This year, I've decided not to watch Dancing with the Stars. It's just on way too much, and I'm not really into any of the celebrities that they have (again). Other than DWTS, is there anything else good I'm missing?

-CAwife

We're Featured on Southern Weddings Blog!

Our wonderful photographer, Megan Wynn, submitted our wedding photos to Southern Weddings, and they were recently featured on their blog! She told me they were going to use them, but I kind of forgot about it, and hadn't been checking their website! Luckily, bride-to-be Christina let me know they were up on their website swsmag.net! The title is Indiana details: Peyton + Nick, and has two separate posts! You'll need to scroll down because they were posted a few days ago. If you enjoy weddings, this is a great website for daily wedding inspiration. Southern Weddings magazine is also an awesome read. ENJOY!

-CAwife

9.28.2009

FALL TV WEEK!


Okay, I've mentioned this several times before, I have a TV problem! Well now that this week all of my favorites will finally return, I'm going to give a daily update on what shows I'm regularly watching/going to watch that aired the previous night!

Just you wait, you'll likely be disgusted about all of the TV that we really do watch... although keep in mind we DVR all of it, so we save some serious time by not watching commercials. Probably several hours saved a week... hah, now onto my Sunday night faves:

Desperate Housewives (ABC, 9 p.m.)- I've watched this show from the start, and even though it's overly dramatic, I love it! It makes me feel so normal. Of course, there's another new family that has moved the Wisteria Lane that will create lots of controversy... I'm expecting another fabulous season.

Brothers and Sisters (ABC, 10 p.m.)- This show is a great family drama, that I absolutely LOVE!!!! Yes, you wonder how many problems can one family have, but it's sooo sooo good! If you don't watch this, you definitely should!




Californication (Showtime, 10 p.m.)- Yes this show is rude, crude, and HILARIOUS! The third season started last night, and will leave you shocked every time that they actually put some of this stuff on TV, oh well, it's great!

The Rachel Zoe Project (Bravo, 10 p.m.)- I've talked about this show before, it's pretty much just good fashion and celebrities! It will likely end soon, because Bravo's seasons are short, and this will be good because I'll have one less thing to record!

I know Mad Men is on Sunday nights too! I really want to start watching it, but want to watch Season 1 and 2 first. Once we finally get caught up on House (I know it's ridiculous we're watch DVD TV too) I want to start getting Mad Men from Netflix!

Anything good on Sunday night (besides Mad Men) that I'm missing?

Trying to create your fall TV schedule, use this helpful link: http://www.tvguide.com/special/fall-preview/fall-schedule.aspx

-CAwife

Our Weekend

Once again our weekend flew by, but it was fabulous!

We relaxed, caught up on a bunch of DVR-ed TV, watched lots of football, and actually made some progress in the furniture department!!!

Aside from catching up on TV, I made some delicious turkey burgers with goat cheese sauce on Friday night. Saturday, we did some shopping for CAhusband, had lunch at CPK, and then I worked for a few hours. Saturday night we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Cliffhouse, and sat in the bar to watch the Purdue game and enjoyed one of my favorite dinners ever. They have this amazing pasta with tequila cream sauce that I'm about to start scouring the Internet for a similar recipe for (I'll keep you posted).

Yesterday we logged some more TV time, finally found a kitchen table and some bar stools we are getting ready to purchase (still no chairs though, AHH), and cheered the Colts to a victory!!! WOOHOO!

Overall, we were pretty lazy, but it was a wonderful weekend! I hope you all had a great weekend too! : )

-CAwife

9.25.2009

Book Review Friday:: Cross

I accidentally got caught up in some of the new TV last week, and managed to get called into work 6 days in a row last week, so I didn't get my book finished in time. I'm hoping I've used up one freebie, and will never have to do it again. Honestly, I know all of you could care less if I read a book a week, and care even less about what I think about it, but I really do this whole book thing for myself. Blogging about it simply helps me stay focused on it...


The last two weeks I've been reading Cross by James Patterson. As many of you know I've read almost everything by Patterson, and currently actually only have about 5 books of his left to read. I actually read Cross two summers ago, and half way through it I realized that I was reading the newest book in a series and that I really had no idea what was going on. The next day I started with the first book of the Alex Cross detective series (Along Came a Spider) and continued from there.




Over the past two years I've read all of the other Alex Cross books (1-11) up until Cross. I originally planned just to skip it since I'd already read it, and continue on with the next book Double Cross but found myself not remembering what happened, so I read it again (now you're probably really wondering why it took me 2 weeks to read).


Overall, it took me so long to read because it was kind of boring. There was definitely mystery, and not once did I find myself remembering the story from when I read it before, but Patterson books are very predictable. Having read over 30 of his books, it's pretty easy to see where the story is going to end up. I don't' regret reading it again because I like the series as a whole, and can't really read 1-11 and not see it through (I'm kind of OCD about things like that); but I think it's going to be a long while before I read another Patterson book. I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless you've already started reading the Alex Cross series and want to see it through (like me). I'm only giving it a Shelfari rating of 3 stars.




Next week: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (I started this on our drive from Indiana to California and although it's long and I'm at a slow part I can feel it beginning to pick up soon, so I have one week to finish it).

-CAwife

The Birthday Girl!


Late last night, it occurred to CAhusband and I that it was our little Reilly girl's 4th birthday! We both felt awful that it took us until there were only 3 hours left of her birthday to even realize it, but were comforted by the fact that she had no clue. It's hard to believe that we have had Reilly for over 3.5 years now... it's crazy how time flies!
Reilly has had several health crisis in her short life, and has been a handful at times, but I know that we couldn't imagine our lives without our silly, hyper-active, and always loving boxer that we fell in love with on a whim!
Happy belated birthday Reilly!!!
-CAwife

9.23.2009

Recipe:: Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

CAhusband and I are huge fans of his mom's chicken enchilada recipe. It's one of our favorites and we get a craving for it way too often given its high calories and the fact that you want to each half the pan. It's so delicious, but it's so rich you try not to let yourself eat it on a regular basis. Well, not too long ago my mom tried out a chicken enchilada recipe from Cooking Light, and it's really good too! It's very similar to the other recipe, and has fewer calories.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas from Cook Light

Yield
8 servings (serving size: 1 enchilada)

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1 2/3 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup (such as Healthy Request), undiluted
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 tablespoon canola oil
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Remove 1 cup chicken mixture; set mixture aside.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, brush oil over both sides of tortilla. Add tortilla to pan; cook 5 seconds on each side or until toasted and soft. Remove from pan; arrange 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of tortilla. Roll jelly-roll style; place filled tortilla, seam side down, in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 7 tortillas, remaining oil, and remaining chicken mixture. Spread reserved 1 cup chicken mixture evenly over enchiladas. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese and green onions; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.


This is a wonderful I highly recommend anyone trying! I've made it twice now with great reviews both times. ENJOY!

-CAwife

9.22.2009

Fall Wardrobe Wishlist

Now that it's officially the first full day of fall, I'm full into fall clothing. At work at JCrew we have to wear fall clothes and lots of layers, so even in this heat I've been rocking the cardigan and jeans for the past few weeks. Now that it's officially fall though, I feel like it's at least acceptable to start maybe purchasing some fall items. These are some of my faves...

1. Solid Loulou blouse- JCrew
2. High Speed Cardigan- Anthropologie
3. Diaphanous Tunic- Anthropologie
4. Cashmere Darling Ruffle V-neck Sweater- JCrew
5. Stained Glass Top- Anthropologie
6. Tissue Ribbed Ruffle Henley- JCrew
7. Cashmere Tie-front Cardigan- JCrew
8. Frances Striped Ruffle Tuxedo Shirt- JCrew

I'm not going to lie, buying some of the above items would not make them my first fall purchases because I have in fact already purchased some great fall items from JCrew. Maybe I'll post some of the great fall finds I've already grabbed a little later on!

Happy Fall Shopping Everyone...

-CAwife

Emmy's 2009

Yeah, I know I said I'd get to this yesterday.... I lied!

Anyways, after watching the Emmy's I realized that I don't really watch too much Emmy worthy TV! What no 90210, Grey's Anatomy, or Brothers and Sisters surprise victories?? I'm shocked!! Well, not really, I have a TV problem, and now apparently it's a "bad" TV problem because about the only winning show I've ever seen was 30 Rock! After all the hype of Mad Men this fall though, I'm thinking I might need to start tuning in to this one as well (after I catch up on the first 2 seasons via Netflix of course).

Now to the fashion... overall I thought it was pretty blah, and no one really WOWed me.
Here are my picks for worst dressed:

Patricia Arquette's dress itself wasn't all that offensive, more it was just the way that it didn't fit! Her chest was literally exploding out of this dress!
Now, Kyra Sedgwick's dress is interesting to me because after researching Best and Worst Dresses lists, she's been evenly split between the two. Some people love it, others (like me) hate it. Maybe it's the color? Maybe it's the flowers? I dunno, but it's definitely not working for me.
Patricia Arquette photo from tvguide.com
Kyra Sedgwick photo from americasuperstarmag.com


Here are my picks for best dressed:

I'd never heard of January Jones (Mad Men) before the Emmy's on Sunday night, and I think she's just stunning! Although this dress is a little armor-like, I think it's really cool and looks great on her! I also really kind of like her name... maybe? Thoughts?

Now Blake Lively (although pushing the class envelope a little) looks fabulous! I mean, yes it revealing, but if you looked like that, can you honestly say you wouldn't wear that dress?? Now I do kind of have a problem with the 3 foot long platinum ponytail braid. I just think she could have added some more class to the look with a more classic do.
January Jones photo from americasuperstarmag.com
Blake Lively's photo from examiner.com

Now one last look has me stumped... I can't decide if this is cute and Grecian, or just bad? What do you think of Leighton's Emmy dress?

-CAwife

9.20.2009

Our Weekend

Well, needless to say the weekend went WAYYYYY too fast! I was relieved to not have work this weekend, (since CAhusband was in Vegas all last weekend) and we were actually able to get some stuff done!!!

The main thing we accomplished this weekend was working on adjusting our flights for Charlie and Christina's wedding, which is so close I can't stand it. We can't wait!! I thought this flight changing stuff would be easy.... I was wrong!

Here's the story:
We were originally hoping that CAhusband could claim some vacation days before they had actually been earned and we could make a vacation of it! We originally planned to leave on a Tuesday and return Sunday, but have since learned this isn't possible and CAhusband was only granted Thursday and Friday off. All along we knew this was a possibility though, so we were smart and got flight insurance. Smart... riiiiight, flight insurance....a total crock!!! Due to the fact that I'm looking forward to an escape from the desert and some QT with Christina, I'm still leaving Tuesday, but we still had to change CAhusbands flight. After spending an hour on the phone with Expedia, I learned that flight insurance is only helpful is you die, are hospitalized, or can prove a loss of job (INSURANCE IS A WASTE unless you are dying of an illness). $525, and an hour later, CAhusband's flight is changed... finally, but what a hassle! He'll now fly all night Wednesday, and meet up Thursday morning in Virginia!

Other than that I finally got all of the wedding pictures uploaded to Shutterfly so that people can see them all, and buy some prints if they want. I'm so glad that I finally got this accomplished, and boy did it take awhile. Follow this link if you'd like to see them: nickandpeytonsweddingpictures.shutterfly.com

We also finally got a land line!!!! WOOHOO! Now in 2009 CAhusband and I were nothing but against paying for a land line, but out here next to the mountains we have NOOOO cell phone service. In order to have cell service in our place you have to stand right next to the window. Forget even switching the phone to my other ear... I've already lost you!!! We're hoping this will be a huge improvement, as dropped calls, and missed voicemails have been plaguing our lives since we moved in!

Well, I think that's it for now... I had a really great/relaxing/productive weekend, and am looking forward to the Emmy's tonight! I'll let you know my thoughts in the a.m. before a 9 hour shift at JCrew! How I'm going to stand for that long I'm not quite sure... I wonder how many sweaters I'll board fold???

-CAwife

9.18.2009

Who would wear this?

from Anthropologie

Seriously, I'm a huge dog lover, but who would really wear a sweater covered in dogs? I normally love almost all of Anthropologie's clothes, but haven't really found anything that I love from them this fall, and this sweater is no exception. Would you wear this, or can you think of anyone who would?

-CAwife


9.17.2009

Fall in the Desert???

I'm not going to lie, I'm definitely one of those people who loves the idea of being able to decorate for every season. Maybe it's the teacher in me, but I'm seriously looking forward to hitting up Hobby Lobby to find some great fall decor (cute stuff, not tacky cheap craft stuff) to spruce up the place. (Oh no, now that I think about it, we don't even have Hobby Lobby here, EEK).

I'd love to get some pumpkins to put outside, and maybe a few other cute things, but I'm left wondering if people even end up celebrating fall here. I mean it's not like a cactus turns pretty amber colors in October, and you can rake up all the sand and pebbles into a big pile to jump into. Fall here (so I'm told) is when the temperature finally drops below 100, and everyone has to replant all of their grass because it had officially died over the extreme heat of the summer.
I'm left wondering, if I try to decorate for the fall will it scream, "they must be from the Midwest," and we'll get laughed out of the neighborhood. I think I'll just wait until October just to see what everyone else does, so I don't make a fool out of myself.

These are some of the fall things I'd love to do... if only I was still teaching third grade and it were still appropriate.
from Food Network
from Pottery Barn
from Good Housekeeping

In case you're curious, I'll also be the one to deck out palm trees with Christmas Lights... I wonder if snowmen decor is a joke out here???

-CAwife

9.15.2009

Recipe:: Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

This is a super easy recipe that even I could handle! CAhusband and I both loved it, and will definitely make it again.



http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1886432


Ingredients:
Chicken:
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Salsa:
1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped

Preparation:
1. To prepare chicken, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
2. To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl. Add avocado; stir gently to combine. Serve salsa over chicken.

ENJOY!!

-CAwife

Am I just getting old, or.....???

Okay, okay, I know I'm not really getting old, but, was it just me or were the recent VMA's seriously weird? I don't think I really enjoyed (or got) any of it, and it left me feeling like "maybe I'm not in the MTV demographic anymore, because I didn't get that at all."

Some of my issues with the whole thing (when I say whole thing I mean the pre-show and the first 15 minutes, because I couldn't handle much more after Kanye's outburst):
-The pre-show was a jumbled mess of no one really knowing what was going on, and focused in large part on who was "tweeting" about what/who, and just how quickly viewers were writing in!
-Madonna's Michael Jackson tribute speech was depressing and very weird. She made it a lot about herself, and seemed to focus on Michael's struggles instead of just celebrating his strengths- music and dance! Was anyone else awkwardly watching this whole part?? The dancing part that followed with Janet was very cool though.

-Kanye's outburst over Beyonce not winning Best Female Video, while Taylor Swift accepted her award was the major downfall of the night. I honestly don't even know what to say about how ridiculous he really is, but I guess given his past behaviors we shouldn't really be surprised. I suppose most everyone hated this part though, and it's not like MTV planned it?!?!
-Lady GaGa's various random outfits (see pictures below) left me dumbfounded again and again. Seriously, I really think the girl has talent, but what does she really look like? She always looks like a costumed freak... but maybe that's the look she's going for? I liked her performance for her new song Paparazzi...that is, until the end when fake blood started coming out of her costume and she pretend "died".
Oh well, I give up trying to make sense of it all. I wonder if it was just me that felt this way, and I'm just not as pop culture savvy as I used to be; or if MTV just didn't quite pull it off this year.


-CAwife
(More coming later today on the super easy dinner I made last night).

9.11.2009

Book Review Friday

I'm a fairly big reader, and I usually can finish at least a book a week. To help encourage myself to actually read more and watch TV less, I'm going to try to review the recent book that I've just finished every Friday. Now, I will warn you, I like all kinds of books, and it is very rare that there will be a book that I'll hate. Take what I say with a grain of salt.... and let me know about any great reads I should try, or if you agree or disagree with my reviews!

This week I had a looming library deadline, so I finished two books! I'll review both!

The Second Opinion

This first book I finished was Michael Palmer's The Second Opinion. Last summer I read Palmer's book, The First Patient, and absolutely loved it. I couldn't wait to read another one of his books!

Here's a synopsis and review from Booklist:
Palmer, a medical-thriller writer who has been producing A-list-quality novels for years, turns in another excellent performance with this story of a physician who uncovers a deadly conspiracy. Dr. Thea Sperelakis’ father is the victim of a hit-and-run; now in a coma, he communicates only with his daughter and only by moving one of his eyes. Slowly, Thea pieces together the truth behind her father’s accident, and behind a series of suspicious deaths, but exposing the villains could mean exposing her to certain death. As usual, the novel is fluidly written—as a stylist, Palmer is head and shoulders above his more famous competitor, Robin Cook—and very suspenseful. Thea, in particular, is a most intriguing character: she suffers from Asperger syndrome, which gives her an obsession with details, a near-encyclopedic memory, and a rather charming awkwardness in social settings. The novel is not merely a thriller but also an exploration of its central character’s unique gifts and her determination to communicate with her comatose father despite overwhelming odds. Another winner from a consistently fine writer. --David Pitt
I couldn't agree more with Booklist's review, and absolutely loved the main character Thea! I enjoyed reading from her point of view so much that I wish he would write a series about her. This book is a great read if you like mysteries, and are at all intrigued by medical issues. Amazon reviewers have given it a total of 4.5 stars, so I think it's safe to say that this is an overall pleasing read!

Twenties Girl

The next book that I read was FABULOUS! It was due at the library yesterday, and as of Tuesday I had read less than 40 of the 435 pages... YIKES! Needless to say, once I got into it, I finished in 2 more sittings, and just flew through it! I am kind of indifferent about Sophie Kinsella's books, because the only one's I've read have been her Shopaholic books. I do enjoy the Shopaholic series, but at the same time the main character is so out of touch with reality that I get easily annoyed, although I do laugh a lot.

At Borders a few weeks ago, one of the saleswomen, who seemed more into "serious" literature than "girly" chic reads, gave it rave reviews, so I figured it must be a little more serious than the rest of Kinsella's books. When I saw it at the library last week, I snatched it up!

Here's the summary from Amazon:

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.Sadie, however, could care less.Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

I normally shy away from "ghost" books because they're so far-fetched and cheesy, but I found myself believing it in this book, and really think it's a great read that any girl/woman would enjoy! This book also has almost 4.5 stars on Amazon! Please check it out, it's such a cute, fun read.
Happy reading...
-CAwife

9.10.2009

Ellen on Idol


After a few years of despising Idol, I must now confess that I'm obsessed. I absolutely love the show, and have been following it religiously for the past 3 seasons. Last season when they brought on Kara Diogaurdi I was a little frustrated because I was convinced that she was going to disrupt the obnoxious harmony that was the judge's table. Well I have to admit, I was wrong, because I found myself usually loving Kara, and becoming more and more annoyed with Paula. Paula was great in the fact that she provided lots of (possibly drug induced) humor, and that she always found something positive to say and cheer up even the worst of the contestants, but those hideous outfits and incessant rambling drove me nuts. When Paula decided not to return because of salary disputes, I had mixed feelings, and couldn't decide if I was relieved or bummed they let her go.

teletext.co.uk



Now though, I rejoice in the fact that Paula is gone, because Ellen is joining the cast! I love Ellen, and I just know she'll bring some serious comedy to the show (unlike Paula's comedy that was more like making fun of her, and was not intentional on her part whatsoever). Ellen has always been a huge Idol fan, and I think she will only make the show more successful than it already is. I can't wait for January now... I think it will be a great season! What do you guys think? Will she make the show even better?

-CAwife

9.09.2009

Design Lust

If one thing is clear in our new apartment (that I prefer to call a condo, because I feel more grown-up) it's that we need furniture. The problem is that we need a lot, and that we seriously lack a design focus. We like lots of different styles, we DO NOT want to purchase any "matching sets" straight off of the local furniture stores showroom, and we want stuff that we're actually going to like in 5 years. We're really struggling here!

We have not come to a consensus, nor have we found anything we just can't wait to snatch up, but one thing I do know is that someday when we hopefully have room for an office, I want it to look like this. Straight off the pottery barn floor would even be fine, I'd buy the whole set, that's how much I love these beautiful offices (really my craft room). I love how this big desk/table would be perfect for scrapbooking and all of my crafting essentials. During the holidays, it'd be perfect for gift wrapping, and I could keep it all beautifully organized.




all images from potterybarn.com
Now if I just had an extra room that was dying to be turned into a stunning craft room, and a few (at least five) grand to make it happen, I'd be in luck!
Oh well, a girl can dream!
-CAwife


9.08.2009

Recipe:: Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries

Well, my adventures in cooking and baking have begun! Those of you who know me well, know that this is an area where I seriously struggle. I easily get overwhelmed with lots of ingredients and utensils, and this can lead to catastrophe in the kitchen. This recipe was a good one for me to try though because it was very easy.

Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries
(from Bon Appetit July 2009)

Ingredients:

CRUST
9 whole graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter

FILLING
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh berries

Preparation:

FOR CRUST
Preheat oven to 350°F. Fold 16-inch-long piece of foil to 8x16-inch strip; place in 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Butter foil.

Place graham crackers in heavy-duty plastic bag. Using rolling pin or mallet, crush crackers finely. Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Remove from heat; add crumbs and toss to coat. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until deep golden, about 12 minutes. Cool crust while preparing filling.

FOR FILLING
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and sour cream, then lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla. Spread batter over crust.

Bake cheesecake until slightly puffed and set in center, about 30 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack. Chill cheesecake until cold, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Using foil overhang as aid, lift cheesecake from pan. Cut into 16 squares; arrange on platter. Top each square with berries. Chill until ready to serve, up to 3 hours. Serve chilled.



Bon Appetit's picture




CA wife's version



Overall, this recipe was very simple and the final product got pretty good reviews. I definitely want to try and make this again and tweak the recipe a bit though, because the lemon cheesecake was only a very thin layer (comparable in thickness to the crust). Also, the crust was very crumbly (note the crumbs all over the top of the bars), so I might try to find another graham cracker crust recipe next time.


-CA wife

9.04.2009

My Weekend Plans

It's Labor Day weekend, one I would normally rejoice in because there's usually a Boilermaker football game, and it would be a three day weekend. (Although, I'm reminded that 2 years ago I would have been preparing for a weekend full of RUSH at Kappa- not such a great way to spend the holiday).


Oddly enough, when you're unemployed, a three day weekend just doesn't have the same appeal! I kind of have non-stop weekends right now, but at least other people will have an extra day to spend with me.

Anyway, my plans for this weekend include:

-Golfing: This could be scary because although I enjoy the thought of golf, I only truly have a good time when it's 70 degrees, I play amazingly well, and every time I hit a really bad shot I'm allowed to pick up my ball and just sit the rest of the hole out. However, not all people share my feelings on golf and take this game very seriously. In all reality, this round of golf should be fun because I'm playing with my grandma, dad, and Nick... the 100+ heat could be my only problem. (I'll let you know how this goes).


-HOUSE: No, not a house, as in home... I'm talking TV here! Nick and I have become obsessed with the show House, and are watching it from Season 1, courtesy of Netflix (who else?), in preparation for the Season 6 premiere, coming soon. Unfortunately, we just got the first 2 disks for Season 3! We have some serious House hours to log before the premiere, because although we watched the second half of Season 5, we're now caught in the story line from 2 years ago. We will just have to DVR the new episodes and save them I suppose.


-Grocery: Since moving into our new place, I have "conveniently" not really made a huge grocery trip to stock up on food essentials. You will learn that I simply HATE going to the grocery (especially here in northern Mexico, where I'm in the Walmart minority because I actually speak English) because it is such a long process, and I inevitably forget something and just have to run back again. However, I've finally gotten to the point that it is a MUST! I WILL get this done this weekend.

-Finish my Book: I have been reading Michael Palmer's The Second Opinion for over a week now. It's a great book, but I just haven't been putting the time into finish it... another goal for the weekend!


-Baking: My parents are having a dinner party this weekend while my grandma is in town. Given that I have a kitchen stocked full of new kitchen stuff, and haven't broken in my Kitchen-Aid mixer yet, I am going to contribute by making Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries. I'll let you know how it turns out... will mine look anything like the beautiful pic in the magazine?? We will see...

bonappetit.com

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!

-CAwife

9.02.2009

End of Summer Blues.... Saved by BRAVO

Most of you who know me know that I'm a TV-aholic. Yes, I admit I have a serious problem, and I watch WAYYYYY too much TV.



You can imagine that a TV addict like myself, has serious withdrawals in the summer.... VERY TRUE. The lack of quality programming leaves me Facebooking more than necessary and going to bed much earlier, but finally 2 weeks ago BRAVO came to my rescue. BRAVO has so many of my faves, and saved my end of summer blues by releasing them all just as I was getting really restless for the new fall shows to roll out. So, here's the line-up that has rescued me:





Monday: The Rachel Zoe Project



Tuesday: Flipping Out



Wednesday: Top Chef Las Vegas



Thursday: Project Runway








Okay, I know, I know... Project Runway isn't on BRAVO anymore, it has been moved to the much less desirable network, Lifetime. However, the show is exactly the same, so in my mind I still consider it to be BRAVO. (The people at Lifetime obviously know this too, or they wouldn't have released it the same week BRAVO released all of their new shows, and on the one night when BRAVO didn't already have another popular show scheduled).




All of these shows help me escape from my job-less reality, and after watching Jeff Lewis on Flipping Out, I feel like the most normal person in the whole world. If you don't watch these shows, I highly suggest you tune it... they're fabulous!


Just wait until all the new shows come out in a few weeks, you'll be shocked to see all of the TV watching that I can cram into 1 week (thank you, DVR). I'll fill you in on just what I'm watching once I weed out all of the new shows that are horrible.


-CAwife

9.01.2009

here we go...

After blog stalking for a few months now, I figure it's time I start my own. My fascination with blogs all began in the very beginning of my wedding planning, less than a year ago, when I googled Lela Rose wedding gowns, and stumbled upon Style Me Pretty. I then had an epiphany, "so this is what a blog looks like," and was hooked.




bridal gowns by lela rose (all images from brides.com)




From there I found other wedding blogs, and followed nearly every link, leading me to some amazing blogs written by all kinds of people. I have found so many blogs that I love, whether they're about weddings, fashion, crafts, cooking, books, or motherhood; and given that I'm constantly reading other people's contributions to the crazy blogging world, I figure it's only fair that I too start contributing. I also must give the recent film, Julie and Julia, some credit. Watching Julie's blogging adventure, gave me some serious courage of my own.






It's very likely that no one will read this blog (besides my sister, mom, and maybe a few close friends that would feel guilty otherwise), but I think I'll do it anyways. so, here we go....



-CAwife