Monday, June 28, 2010

Miscellany Monday

What is up with this summer?? Here I am, thinking about all the nice free time I'll have this summer to get so much done and to do so many things.... And then suddenly my life is going at warp speed and I am barely keeping up. Heck, I don't even think I'm keeping up because I always seem to be playing catch up. Hmph! I have so much I want to blog about but 1.) I just don't have the time to do the kind of post I want to do, and 2.) I can't find my camera cord to upload photos. So hopefully after this weekend I'll have found both time and my camera cord...and maybe a little sanity :) Until then, here's some Miscellany Monday (totally the theme of my life right now) with Carissa!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} I really do have about 40 things to do and what seems like only one measely hour a day in which to try and do them all in. not fair!

{two} Cheetos Natural White Cheddar Puffs are Ah-Mazing. I could seriously eat an entire bag in one sitting.... Of course that's not what I'm doing right now....

{three} I love you summer, but day after day of 100+ degree heat is making me a very unhappy camper. Although today it's just now hit 80...thanks! Maybe we can keep it at that temp...even if it's just for today :)

{four} I have a major test on Friday that could possibly determine some ery big things for me. I easily get stressed out and with no time, a long to-do list, and lots of heat....well, let's just say I've had better days....

{five} On the bright side of things, my wonderful and ever-loving fiance has been so supportive, encouraging, and patient with me through all of this - even during times like this, I keep finding out different reasons why he is "the one" and I am so blessed to have him as part of my life. Plus, he surprised me with Eclipse tickets for tomorrow's midnight showing! He's the greatest. Ever. The end. :)

{six} God is so good! I know it seems like I am complaining a lot, but He really has blessed me with so much that I can't focus on the "tough" things. I know He has a plan and a place for me, I need to keep trusting Him and learn some patience :)

{seven} We're going to Spence's parents for the weekend - woohoo, fireworks on the lake! - and I'm super excited. His family is a lot of fun and both of his brothers will be there as well, so there will definitely be some good times to be had :) Now if I could just find the perfect 4th outfit...

Well that's all I've got (time for, hah) today! Hope you crazy kids are having a great week!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

KC - Movies

This week at Windy Poplar's Kristin wants to know about movies. I am a movie junkie! I would much rather watch a movie as opposed to a TV show (unless it's Grey's...let's not get crazy here, hehe). Head on over and link up!!

Windy Poplars

1. What was your favorite movie as a child? The Little Mermaid, and it still is! Hah, I know every line and every song. When I was little I would spend the summer at the pool and pretend I was a mermaid princess and hang out in the deep end and dive down to the bottom and swim around like a mermaid and play with my imaginary friends. Let's just say I got really good at holding my breath for long periods of time and no one ever wanted to play with me... And when my mom took my to NYC for my 21st birthday we saw The Little Mermaid on Broadway - it was magical....ahhhh...:)

2. If you could live in any movie as your fictional world, which one would it be? Avatar living on Pandora. I know that sounds super geeky but I LOVED that movie and would be absolutely stoked if I could be a Na'vi (yes the tall blue creatures) and live in their world.

3. Have you ever seen a midnight showing, or hosted a movie release party? Tell us about it! I saw the midnight showing of the fourth Harry Potter movie - yes, I am that nerdy. I felt out of place because I wasn't dressed up like all the other kids :( but it was fun nonetheless!

4. What movie release are you most looking forward to this year? Eclipse (just one more week! And I'm planning on going to the midnight showing), Eat Pray Love, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (yes, this time I will be dressing up...).

5. Are you a theatre goer, renter, or wait-and-buyer? I'm mostly a theatre goer, me and Spence like to get out of the house - but now that we have netflix I watch a lot of older movies at home.

Hope y'all don't think I'm too big of a geek - but honestly, I wear the title proudly ;)
What are your favorites? What are you most looking forward to?

Wishful Wed... Lost

This week's Wishful Wednesday showers with me guilt...again...

"I wish"... I hadn't lost
my grandmother's promise ring.

I posted about this a couple of WW back when it was about regret. Here is the story. It's terrible and makes me feel all yucky inside every time I think about it.

Other things I've lost that I wish I hadn't...:
  • my mother's high school graduation ring...just don't give this girl jewelry :(
  • my favorite swimsuit from Old Navy, got it last summer, lost it at the end of the summer
  • my favorite sunglasses, they were pink with colorful floral print on the frame and only $5
  • staying in touch with a close friend - but I'm working on it

Well that's enough for now, I'm going to go for a swim in the sea of guilt I just made for myself...wearing my lost swimsuit and sunglasses. Hah.

Hope y'all have a wonderful week, thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

KC - Pets!! :)

Sorry for all the time that has passed without a post! We had a somewhat busy weekend and I had a broken laptop. Sad day. But not anymore! Allow me to explain with a mini weekend recap:

Friday was just a half day of work for me (yay) and then I met up with one of my closest friends Lindsey. We enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch at Olive Garden (love that place) and then spent the rest of the afternoon running errands. We decided to make a girl's night out of it since we were having entirely too much fun to stop anytime soon - so we cooked a delicious dinner - Lemon Chicken with asparagus and rice, with fresh fruit and sparkling wine for dessert! After dinner we were feeling exceptionally social so we got dressed up and went to a little cantina for some relaxing cervezas and musica. It was such a blast getting to hang with Linds and Ash for a night - we hadn't done so in far too long and it was definitely overdue. Saturday was a lazy day for the most part, however I did manage to get Spence to go with me to Hobby Lobby - we came home with some pretty great (and much needed!) finds :) We went out for some dinner and then Spence wanted to run to Best Buy. And don't you know he had something up his sleeve! We get there, he leads me to the computer section and tells me to pick one! He really is the best thing EVER :) Sunday was church, then my parents house for dinner, then I had to go babysit two little cuties for the evening.

So now it's my week off and I do happily have a computer to keep me occupied while my sweet Spence is at work. I didn't get it setup until yesterday morning because I have been too busy watching (and finishing) season 5 of Weeds, haha.

Anyway... moving on to other things. It's KC time over at Kristin's and this week it's about pets! Yay! I love my babies! Ok, here we go...

Windy Poplars

1. What pets currently reside at your house?
(If you don't have any now, tell us what you grew up with)

We have two dogs: Taz, an almost 3 month old Border Collie/Blue Heeler mix, who resembled a Tasmanian Devil when he was a wee pup, hence the name, and Nala, an almost 2 year old Australian Shepherd/Pitbull/Boxer/whoknowswhat mess mix, who pounced and played more like a kitten than a dog when she was a baby, so I called her Nala like from The Lion King.

2. What is one really strange thing your pet(s) does?
Haha, they are two of the strangest dogs I've ever met but I wouldn't have them any other way :) Their personalities are just so big! Nala is definitely a free spirit and is so dang quirky, Taz is more subdued (unless he wants to play) and is very curious. Specifically, when I tell Nala to sit, she sits on my feet. Not beside them or in front of them, on them. I think it's her way of making sure I don't go anywhere, haha. She's also very coy - when she has a toy and wants to play, she'll put it right in front of Taz' face until he goes for it, then ensues an epic game of keep-away. When I take Taz with me in the car he puts his face right against the vent and lays his ears back in pure enjoyment. So funny and goshdarncute! They both like to "slap" and I find it hilarious. They're both super smart, too - that's not strange, I just like to brag ;)

3. Now fess up here: give us your nicknames for your pets (we KNOW you have them- and we KNOW they're good)!
Nala: NeeNee, NuuNuu, NaNa, TaTaWeeWee, TaTaNuNu, MeeMee, MuMu, Ed, Narley, my wittle girl
Taz: little baby TazTaz, TazTaz, Tazzers

4. Are your pets spoiled or not (grin)?
Bahaha.... most definitely! I treat them like I would treat my children. No, I do not tote them around everywhere with me or dress them up - but they are showered with treats, toys, cuddles, and "tisses", and get to sleep in the bed.

5. Insert pet pics here :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

KC - Food & Recipes...yumm!

It is a sad laptop died on Tuesday and it doesn't look like I'll be getting it fixed anytime soon :( So until then I'll be using my lunch breaks or running over to my parent's house to get my bloggy fix. Just so you know, my laptop conked out on me just in time for my full week off next week. Geeze...thanks a lot. Maybe it's a sign that I should be doing productive things instead of surfin' the net... (cue eerie music...) Hah, just kidding...moving on...

Windy Poplars

Yay, it's Kindred Connection time and it's all about one of my favorite things - FOOD! So without further goes:

1. What is your favorite ethnicity of food? Italian. Mexican. Mediterranean. Canadian. Hah, just kidding again. I can't choose, my tastebuds will wander where they may, and I'll happily follow along. :)

2. If you could eat only one meal for two weeks straight, what would it be? Rosa's bean and cheese burritos. Love 'em.

3.What is the "signature" dish that you cook? (you know, that always receives rave reviews and/or you get requests for the recipe - feel free to share the recipe!) I don't think I have a "signature" recipe yet, I like to dabble in a little bit of everything and am always trying something new - the recipes for my current, new hits are below! :)

4. Is there something that you just can't handle eating - like gag reflex? Nope, I'll try anything once!

5. Do you think that the Kindred Connection should continue through the summer, or take the summer off? Of course! If you find yourself short of time, maybe make it every other week :)

Tenderloin, Cranberry, and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing


4 (4 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
1 (5 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens
1 medium red or green pear, cored, cut into wedges
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Honey Mustard Dressing:
1/2 cup prepared honey mustard
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Season beef steaks with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) to medium (160 degrees F) doneness, turning occasionally.
2. Meanwhile whisk Honey Mustard Dressing ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Set aside. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with pear wedges and dried cranberries.
3. Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt as desired. Divide steak slices evenly over salads. Top each salad evenly with dressing, pecans and goat cheese, if desired.
-- This simple (and healthy!) meal was utterly mouth watering! It took less than half an hour to make and tasted like something you'd order at a gourmet restaraunt!

Jalepeno Chicken

Boneless, skinless chicken breast (trim the fat)
Tony Cachero's Creole Seasoning
Sliced jalepenos (I use the kind in a jar)

1. Season both sides of the chicken breast - but be careful not to overdo it! A thin "coat" on each side will be perfect.
2. Place on large foil square (you wrap in in foil so be sure the piece of foil is large enough to cover the chicken). Each piece of chicken gets its own foil.
3. Add 3-4 jalepenos on both sides of the chicken (more if you like a lot of heat).
4. Wrap and throw on the grill for about 20-25 minutes (be sure to flip it!).
5. Cut into it, make sure it's not pink (if it is, just throw it back on the grill). Put on a plate, add a little side of ranch dressing, cut a piece, dip into ranch (don't drown it in ranch, just a dip), enjoy!

-- Spencer loves this. It's super easy and super tastey! I usually serve it with mixed veggies. My old roommate Kelly taught me to make this, and it was love at first bite!

I forgot I never posted my Ratatouille recipe from a few weeks ago! Ugh, bad Nicole! I will do that next week, or maybe tomorrow! Sorry :( but I promise it's super delicious!

What about you? Have any great recipes I just have to try? ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wishful Wed... Career

I may have cringed a bit when I saw Kelsey's topic for Wishful Wednesday... I really have no idea what I want to do with my life and it leads to a lot of frustration. But if you ask this girl to wish...she's gonna wish BIG... :)

"I wish"... I had the opportunity to
change careers and it would be to
become an Adventure Photojournalist.

Traveling the world + daring adventures + telling the story + capturing it in pictures =

It would seriously make my life to do this. If you've ever seen BBC's Life or watch or read National Geographic, then you know exactly what I want to do. I don't just want the picture, I want the story behind the picture - so if that means traveling to India to do a story on "man-eating" tigers, or to South Africa to document the Great Whites, or sharing the story of extraordinary circumstances and survival... I'm down like a clown! Haha, but seriously, I would be.

But if I reign in my dreams a little.... I would love to be a Book Editor. I love to read and can do it for hours, even days, and I'm always picking apart sentence structure, wording, and punctuation so I think it would also be a perfect (and more attainable) fit for me. :) I'm hoping to go back for my Master's in the next year or so and have seriously considered getting it in English/Creative Writing so I can chase this dream...only time will tell.
What do you dream of doing?

Monday, June 7, 2010

T2T and ramblings of a crazy woman

I may have missed a few weeks of Taylor's Top 2 Tuesday but not this week! And if you know me at all, you know why...

Top 2 Favorite Books

I am a certified bookworm -always have been and always will be. I love reading with a passion, something about books that give me that warm fuzzy feeling all over - it sounds like love, right? Haha, well maybe 'cause it is ;)

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I've read it a thousand times and will read it a thousand more.

  2. The Shack by William Paul Young. The story is deeply moving and actually helped me understand the nature of God better than any religious book I've read. It sounds crazy, but that's just me and my opinion.

It really is hard to pick just two, I've read so many! Other favorites are: Little Women, The Twilight Series, The Mark of the Lion Series, Redeeming Love, The Historian, Eat, Pray, Love...okay! Moving on before I get carried away...

In honor of it having been so crazy busy the past few weeks months...hah, here is a little randomness followed by some weekend highlights. :)

  • Sometimes, okay...a lot of the time, I wish I was a fictional character. This usually happens when I'm in the middle of a great book. For example, right now I'm reading Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and it is absolutely wonderful! I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy it but I can't seem to put it due to my absorption of the book, I often find myself daydreaming that I am the female version of Mr. Holmes, solving crimes in London town with my obscure intelligence and attention to detail... Other times I'm Elizabeth Bennet or Jo March...alrighty, moving on...

  • I saw Sex and the City 2 yesterday - L.O.V.E.D. it! Like I wouldn't? Haha. But, now having seen it, I would definitely change my answer to last weeks Wishful Wed. Since the WW question was based on the movie and not on the series, I would definitely go with Miranda as my new answer. I'm just like her on trips, reading any book I can find about the destination, wanting to go explore, planning days full of culture, history, and fun! And I just adored her clothes!

  • I've been feeling very restless lately, and it's no bueno...because a restless Nicole = an agitated Nicole. Must.find.outlet.for.frustration! Well I did :) I hit the gym for 2 hours yesterday and my mood has definitely taken a turn for the better - yaaay!

  • I don't have to work today or tomorrow! This is great for many reasons: I get to unwind a little, I get to catch up on fun stuff like reading, movies, working out...

  • But also since I have these wonderful two days off I get to catch up on other stuff, too, like: laundry, dishes, giving the apartment a good cleaning...bleh. It'll be good to get it done though because...

  • I have all of next week off! So if I get the nitty-gritty done this week, I can really relax and enjoy next week :)

  • Also, my future father-in-law and my fiance's best friend will be here on Monday, so it'd be nice to have a clean place so I could focus on being a hospitable host.

  • I get to do a little decoration shopping today! Yippee!! Our walls are bare. In every room. But not for loonnngg....

So what's been going on that kept me away all weekend, you ask?? Well....

My youngest brother graduated from high school on Saturday! Yay Kendall!

My grandparents, aunts, and an uncle came to town for the occasion - so lots of time was family time.

Spence got Xbox Live... and I love it! I never thought I'd say something like that but it's true. Before you through me off the woman wagon and run me over for such blasphemy, let me explain... He gets Netflix on his Xbox Live, and that is why I love it. I thoroughly enjoy watching movies and can easily spend a day (or three) watching them. Now normally I go to the store to either buy or rent a movie, but now all I have to do is browse through the selection instantly available via Xbox Live OR I can grab my computer, go to and browse (or search if I have something in mind) through their entire collection of movies, documentaries, or tv shows and it will send my selection instantly to the Xbox and I can watch it right away - as opposed to waiting a couple of days. Genius!

And that about wraps up the excitement of my weekend, haha. Hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday - it's time for this girl to get some cleaning done!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wishful Wed. ... SATC2!!

Kelsey has just stolen my heart with this week's Wishful Wednesday topic!! Yaaaaaayyyy!! :):):)

"I wish"... I could be the one and only
Carrie in SATC2!!

Let me preface this by saying two things: 1. I have yet to see SATC2, I'm hoping to go tonight - even if it means going alone! 2. While I may not have seen "2" yet, I have watched every single episode of SATC and have seen SATC"1" multiple times. So my decision is based on those 2 things...for now :)

Ok, I'm off my little pedestal now - hehe. I choose Carrie Bradshaw for many different reasons: she's witty, funny, a writer, a thinker. She is always up for having a good time. I took a SATC quiz and here's what it said, "Your answers peg you as a Carrie-type. Like confident Carrie, a sex columnist, you're curious and perceptive, always seeking answers and never satisfied with the superficial. Sometimes indecisive and an avoider of tough issues, like with Carrie and her on-again, off-again attachment to Mr. Big. Forward-thinking, incredibly intelligent and witty, you just exude quirky charm. You'd be utterly bored by someone who's just a pretty face or hot body -- though you don't mind looking and flirting! You're more turned on by an equally smart and funny mate, someone who challenges your mind and makes you laugh. You love to talk, so you need a good listener who's open to playful and eccentric ideas about love and lovemaking." Haha, well I can't argue with that! Oh yeah...and let's not forget all those shoes!!

But I also feel a lot like Samantha Jones sometimes - not with her crazy sexscapades! - but in her bold and sometimes selfish ways. I'm not afraid to go after what I want and neither is Samantha and I find it a very admirable trait, the hard part is looking outside myself to make sure I'm not running anyone over while doing it. She's also very self-sufficient and is the total "I can do it! And without your help, too." type, but sometimes you really do need to reach out for that lifevest, you know? I know I've been there one too many times.

So somewhere in the inbetween of these two lovely ladies is where I fit :) Of course I love them all for different reasons! But if you're gonna make me choose, this would be it :)

Which lovely lady are YOU? :)

Elements by Franziska Altmann

Meet Cinderella...

My photo
I'm just a small town girl with big dreams and an open heart. I truly believe that all you need is Love and to look to the Lord whatever may come your way. Engaged to my forever love and planning a September wedding, just finished my first year of teaching, and working on becoming a "real" grown-up: This is the story of my journey, however topsy-turvey and chaotic it might be... :)

The Royal Court :)