Sunday, October 30, 2011

Steppin' Out Saturday 10.29.11 Happy Halloween!

Last Halloween, Mike came up with this costume idea but it's really hard to find a dress for a man, last minute.  This year we planned ahead.

And let me just tell you, watching Mike try to put on hose (which unfortunately you don't even see in the pictures!), eyeliner (again, can't see) and lipstick made my night.  But Courtney Love doesn't need perfection.

At first I thought wearing baggy jeans, a sweater, and not doing anything with my hair was *awesome.*  But there's something to be said about dressing up.  It's fun.  However, Kurt Cobain doesn't "dress up."

We headed out to a friend's party, with The Most Interesting Man in the World (or George Clooney?)

No matter what persona you embody, be it a really ugly woman/drag queen/Courtney love or the Brawny Towel guy/lazy person or Kurt Cobain, may you have a fun night!
(what face am I making here?!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

She's the reason I take vitamins (without prompting, now), the reason I always bring a jacket or sweater with me (don't want to make her cold), and the reason I never missed a day of school unless I was sick (hehe).
[But I still refuse to iron - some things you can't change!]

Happy birthday to a woman I love and respect, very much!
She knows how to keep it real!

Much love to you mom, 
today and always!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

(Wedding Recap) Dance the Night Away

The remainder of the night passed in a blur of music, dancing, and fun.  In fact, I took a little break to cool off.  All that dancing in a dress made out of the "best" (translation heaviest) fabric in 80 bazillion layers, can really tire out a girl!
[Note to designers: make detachable wedding dresses that turn into short, cute, dancing dresses for the reception. One dress, two ways.]

The guests danced on....

and LOVED the photo booth, which we turned into our guest book!

The photo booth props turned into an opportunity to have more fun...

  and you KNOW where you can find me when the Electric Slide hits...

My last present to Mike -
my rendition of (Mike's least favorite band) Journey's Don't Stop Believing.
 Because honestly, who doesn't love Journey?!
(This took some creative scheeming and planning with the band)
((and we majorly butchered this song))
(((because all my friends sang along and embarrassed my new Hubby)))
It was awesome to the max.

...and during the after party I went to the ER due to heat exhaustion & low blood sugar.
(apparently you're supposed to actually eat at your wedding? and for the record, I stopped drinking halfway through the reception)
((I wish I was kidding to the max))

The first time Mike referred to me as his wife, in public,
was at GW Hospital.
There's a story for your grandkids!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Take My Breath Away


{edit: credit where, credit's due: From our Trash the Dress session by Studio Juno}

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Turkey, Sweet Potato & Bean Chili

I bring you one of my most favorite, easy, & healthy go-to recipes.  The only thing that would make this more perfect would be a crock-pot.  However then the sweet potatoes would go all squishy.  We don't want super-squishtastic sweet potatoes.  Or maybe you do -- and so you can crock-potify this baby (and then report back).  

Turkey, Sweet Potato & Bean Chili*
*adapted from The Food Network Canada
yields about 8 servings, unless you are Mike and I - then it makes 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin & coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can each of black beans and red kidney beans
  • salt and ground pepper

First heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cumin, coriander, oregano, onion, and garlic to allow their flavors to release.
Then add the turkey & cook, breaking it up well with a spoon, until no longer pink (about 5 minutes).
(my sister the vegetarian will hate this cooking flesh picture.
You're welcome, sis)

Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or so.
Add the chili powder & red pepper flakes, and cook for about a minute.
Bring mixture to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring when you feel like it.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain the beans.  Stir in the beans to the mixture after above said 10 minutes.
Cook for about 20 more minutes, to allow chili to thicken.

Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve in bowls with rice, chips, or whatever your little heart desires.
 Mmm, Perfect for a cool fall evening!

What are you serving up, lately?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vlogtastic - Scentsy Sunday: Fall & Winter

Howdy all!  I hosted my first-ever in home Scentsy party yesterday & had a blast sharing all about these wonderful systems! (Thank you to all my wonderful friends who came & supported me!)

I even put out a nice fall-inspired spread:

This vlog shares with you my five favorite fall & winter scents.  They are *perfect* to get you into the fall & winter spirit with their cozy and warm scents!

Be sure to watch for TWO surprises.
One you can't miss, right off the bat.  Err, sorry.
The other is really exciting and free, so watch until the end!!!!!

Also, forgot to mention this in my ramblings, but the Pumpkin Roll scent is hit or miss.  It's good, but feedback tells me there are other favorites out there (like the ones in the vlog!)

Happy Fall!!
Check out the Scentsy Fall & Winter Line here!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

(Wedding Recap) The Dollar Dance!

Immediately after the Hora we moved into another fun family tradition: the dollar dance (older post on the Polish history of the dollar dance).  It was completely exhausting going from the 25 minute hora to a 15 minute polka, and simultaneously fun. 

See, you pay a dollar to dance with the bride.
And then we use that money for the honeymoon (or to start the couple's life -- same diff).

My mom and sister collected the money for me while the dancers lined up and waited their turns.
My brother-in-law actually knows how to polka and totally whisked me around the dance floor!

My cousin is also amazing.
(so is my whooshing dress in this pic!)

My girl friends, in on the fun!

My dad, rocking the accordion again, with my aunt & uncle.
Because he's also amah-zing.

And of course my niece enjoyed the fun dancing too!

This great tradition really captured my Polish side & allowed me some individual time with friends and relatives.  (I especially loved when cousin Steve brought me a glass of water!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Glee, Really?!

[edit:  mini-spoiler alert -- if you have yet to catch up on this season of Glee, you might want to do so first... or not... because that's what I might do..]

When Glee first aired I felt as though the series was written for me.  I sang in my high school's show choir and pretty much thought I owned the place when I became chorus president my senior year. I felt like Rachel Berry, except with out the booming talent, just bossiness.

Accolades aside, Glee spoke to me.  I related to (most of) the simple high school drama and meaningful messages.  And I was thrilled to see it catching on, receiving awards, but I never, ya know, went as far to get all the catchy music from it.  No, instead I borrowed it from the library.


Where is Glee headed?!  Quinn and her recovering hate the world/goth/life is so unfair/yet ulterior motives to rejoin Glee? Rachel still wanting to take over but never being put in her place?  Blaine doing a fine job of being cute completely attractive, but honestly not singing enough for my needs. But Blaine leaving his private school for Kurt? in high school? Don't get me started on Schuester & Emma... girl has issues.  And Emma's parents? Ginger supremacists? are they really reaching that far to make an unlabeled connection to those who feel estranged from their own parents? With Ginger supremacists?! Really?!

There are other small plot elements that distract me, but one thing I always loved about Glee was their music.  The catchy tunes from top-40 hits, late night bar sing-alongs, and musicals I knew.
Now I find myself fast-forwarding (we DVR many shows) through songs, but then missing the side-eye Rachel Berry gives someone and still knowing she did it.

Glee, I hope you pick it back up tonight.  I'm a honestly considering pulling a Quinn and abandoning ship for awhile. (I would still DVR the show...)

Please, whatever you do, continue Brittany's "witty" remarks...
I can't live without those!

"Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?"
Anyone else out there feeling the same?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Red Curry Paste Stir fry Recipe!

A while ago I tweeted while making this recipe.  A few "must have this" tweets came back.  And this time while cooking, I took pictures and, well, here you go...  (btw, I call curry "chili" sometimes even though it's not and so call this recipe what you want)

Red Curry/Chili Stir-fry
  • 1lb chicken, cubed
  • stir-fry veggies (your choice)
  • rice noodles or rice
  • red curry paste (I use "Thai Kitchen" brand)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • brown sugar
  • soy sauce (or fish sauce)
Note: we use a frozen bag of stir fry veggies. It makes the process go much more quickly than having to chop/combine everything.

Begin by preparing rice or rice noodles.

Cut the chicken into inch-sized cubes.

After allowing the veggies to cook a little (but not too much) over medium-low heat, make a well in the center.  Add a heaping tablespoon of curry/chili stuff to the center.  You can add more or less depending on how spicy you like it  (you can also add more curry as you go).  Then add the can of coconut milk.

Add a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar.

Add a swirl of soy sauce (or fish sauce), about 2 teaspoons.

Stir everything together until orange-red in color.  Bring to a very low boil (medium heat).

Add your chicken (or tofu or whatever your heart desires).

Cover to cook on medium heat.

At this point, if you are using rice noodles, drain them.
Or check on your rice.

Once the chicken is cooked, you can taste the sauce and see if you want it sweeter, saltier, or spicier and adjust the sugar, soy sauce, & chili components to your liking.

And Voila!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Steppin' Out Saturday 10.15.11

Similar to Mandy & thanks to football (Mike otherwise occupied) I took my own pictures for this week's post.  I also asked the kittehs to join in on the shoot.

My yoga studio held a clothes swap. I decided this occasion called for layers (easier to try on clothes) and fall colors!
Shirt: Anthropology // Scarf: Target // Cords: Old Navy //
Boots: Clothes Swapped //
Giraffe Earrings: allegedly hand painted in Africa (bday present!)

Mr. Penny Lane

Mr. Melonball

Oh! And then I got all creative on my nails with two new shades:
One nail, the ring finger, is solid Dive Bar.
The others have Power Clutch on the bottoms with Dive Bar tips!

Happy Fall Weekend, all!

Friday, October 14, 2011

(Wedding Recap) The Hora!

During the post-wedding-feedback stage, several people told me the Hora stood out as their favorite part of our wedding. Comments varied from, "I've never seen a group of people so excited!" to "Twenty-five minutes of straight dancing without stopping was incredible."  Our band rocked it out and kept the party going, for what seemed like a great forever.

[Sidenote: around this point the bustle in my dress began failing & falling.  I stepped on the hem and got frustrated and started hated my dress.  Oh, the heat, too.  The temperature under 6 layers of fabric grew unbearable.]

But that did not stop me from dancing!

I showed off my roger-rabbit skillz.  for realz.

The guys and girls created their own circles.

 Mike flung me around in circles

And then came THE CHAIRS.
My word, the chairs.
The scary chairs, lifted up and down, all over the place.
Feeling like you're going to fall.
The chairs.
Scary and exhilarating.
(mostly scary)

Once back on the ground, my dad broke out the accordion!!!!
Look at him rocking out!
So awesome.
He's one talented Dad.

Speaking of talented, Mike & danced for each other

This goes down as one of my favorite moments in my life.
Seriously, the best Hora ever!

{Photo amahzingness: Studio Juno}
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