Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yum Yum Gimme Some...

This is SO EASY to make, and yummy too. It's even pretty kid friendly (hot dogs, pasta, cheese) so give it a try and let me know if you love this as much as we do (and by we I mean the hubby, AND all the friends...there are never any leftovers).

Seashell Hot Dog Bake


8 oz. dried medium shell macaroni

1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. butter

1 16-oz. pkg. beef frankfurters, halved lengthwise and sliced

1 1/2 cups purchased spaghetti sauce

1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)

1 4-oz. can (drained weight) mushroom stems and pieces, drained

1 8-oz. carton dairy sour cream

2 oz. provolone cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)

2 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet cook onion and garlic in hot butter over medium heat until nearly tender. Stir in frankfurters and cook until lightly browned. Stir in spaghetti sauce, tomato, and mushrooms. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and half of the cheeses. Stir mixture into the drained pasta. Spoon into a 2-quart casserole.

3. Cover and bake about 30 minutes or until hot. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.

Happy Eating!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shakin' It Up a Bit

I know, I know, but you're still in the right place. Things just look a little different.

  • Because I get bored. Easily. 
  • Because that's how I roll. 
  • Because I'm crazy like that. 
  • (Really it's because I have nothing better to do at 2:00 in the morning.)
  • And because change is good, damnit.
 So there :P

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Put Those Records On...

I've been spending a lot of time going through my music and updating my iTunes library. When we moved, I disconnected my desktop computer which housed (along with my external hard drive) a plethora of music. I never did reconnect my computer once moving into the new house because I had my laptop (and my desktop was an ancient beast that was no longer performing up to par). However, even though I had my wonderful lap top and began adding new music to my iTunes rather quickly, I still had a few oldies but goodies in my old music library that I wanted to transfer over. Thus began Operation Transfer.

I basically copied all the music files off my old PC and dumped them right into my iTunes on my laptop, and with that came two and a half days of cleaning out my iTunes as well. I had TONS of songs and albums that I just don't listen to anymore, nor have any interest in keeping. However, there were some gems that I stumbled upon in the mess of mp3's that are definitely worth keeping. Therefore, I've put together a little compliation below of albums that you might want to consider blasting the next time you have a road trip or just need some good music time.

First up, we have Gavin DeGraw and his two albums Chariot (2003) and Gavin DeGraw (2008). LOVE LOVE LOVE both of these albums. He has such a great voice and there isn't one song on either of these albums that I don't enjoy. Can't go wrong with this artist. I went to one of his concerts and loved the fact that he sounded just as good live as he does on his recordings. Now that's talent folks. IN THE RAW.

Next up is Jem who is a very talented singer born in Wales. This girl's music kicks ass. If you want to read more about her, or hear a sample of her kick ass music, you can visit her official site here. Basically, if you are looking for something a little saucy, a little different, and yet something you can't seem to stop listening to for you want to be addicted to the melody and rhythm, this is your girl. I love her album Finally Woken and am going to purchase her new album in iTunes atfer I get done with this post (not kidding).

Have you ever found yourself on the beach, perhaps soaking up the rays of the sun while luke warm water gently caresses your feet, and you think to yourself  "I really need some good music to accompany this perfect view"? Well fear not, here are two perfect artists for any coastal vacation. Relaxing, jazzy, and that perfect beach towel accessory: Amos Lee and Tyrone Wells. You can't go wrong with ANY of their albums. That's right, I said it. ANY.

 James Morrison- Nuff said. He's awesome. Feel good, pick me up songs, and even some perfect melodies for when you're down in the dumps. His two albums Undiscovered and Songs for You, Truths for Me are the perfect distraction from any stressful day and you'll find yourself singing his songs in your head over and over (in a good way).


And you can never go wrong with a little Duffy. The girls got mad skills. I've been playing this one straight through:

And I am in love with Eva Cassidy. I even selected one of her songs Song Bird as my first dance with Michael and our wedding. He introduced me to her music and I fell in love instantly. It's sad though because she passed away from cancer before she ever got famous. Do yourself a favor and give her a listen. If you love Norah Jones (as I do) you will find yourself loving every melody of Eva.

 Other favorites include anything Norah Jones, Bon Jovi, T.A.T.U., Adele, James Blunt, Jason Maraz, John Mayer, Michael Buble, Pink, Nickelback, Train and so much more. Who are some of your favorites? I'm always open to recommendations :)

Happy Listening!

Friday, February 12, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast

I was in Target yesterday shopping for a few of the things I was running low on when I took a little jaunt over to the jewelry section. I wasn't planning on buying anything, I was just in the mood to browse the merchandise. As I approached the necklaces, there were two young boys (I would say they were no older than about 12-ish) admiring the selection.

I could hear their conversation about a rather tacky brass necklace that was nothing more than a long chain with two open hearts dangling at the bottom with a large brass key in the middle. Their conversation was quite amusing and rather cute so I thought I'd share a bit of what I heard. Here's how it went:

Boy 1: This is a really nice necklace. I mean, look at it!
Boy 2: Yeah, that is nice! And girls really like that kind of stuff.
Boy 1: Yeah they do. I think she'll go CRAZY over this one.
Boy 2: That one is totally perfect. Are you going to get it for her?
Boy 1: I don't know. I mean, I probably am. She'll really REALLY like it.
Boy 2: You should totally get that one. ALL girls would love it. Who wouldn't, look at it?!
Boy 1: Yeah, you're right. They're all going to be jealous of her. I'm totally getting it.... (calling off in the distance) MOM?!

I love it. 12 year old boys out shopping for the perfect gift for their Valentine on mom's dime :) But it was so obvious this kid was head over heels crazy about the girl he had in mind to give this perfect gift to. And he had confirmation from his best friend that this one was totally perfect. What else did he need? So cute.

I can just picture these two boys, 10 years from now, shopping for engagement rings:
Boy 1: Look at this one, it's perfect!
Boy 2: You should totally get it. It'll make all the other girls jealous. And besides, girls really like that kind of stuff.
Boy 1: Yeah, I'm totally getting this one.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I just wanted to take a second and thank everyone for sending me job leads and emails about positions available out there. I've got some good things in the works and have complete faith in what the universe has in store for me.

Keep the job leads coming. And thanks for keeping me in mind when you see/hear about jobs. It's all about networking and I am so lucky to have the support I do.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Distant Dreamer

I haven't written in a week, but there are good reasons:

I've been super busy relaxing, looking for jobs, sleeping in, and just breathing for a change.

Let me explain a little further. I lost my job last Wednesday and I couldn't be happier (yes, you read that right). I HATED what I was doing. I took a job under the impression that I would be doing marketing and as it turns out, it was nothing like marketing. I was working more as a project manager and servant to a specific person who shall go unmentioned because he isn't worth the energy of even discussing. (Karma is all I can say because I believe that one day he'll get what's coming to him).

I had this job for a year and it was a year too long. I have spent the last 12 months being utterly depressed over the fact that I was giving away 40 hours of my life to this company every week. Day in, day out. I wasn't happy and I should have been because 2009 was the year my husband came home, we moved into our new house, had lots of fun home improvement projects take place, etc... And although those things have been wonderful, a dark cloud was always looming over my life because of how I was spending the greater half of my day: stuck in a basement cubicle, doing something I hated doing, for a person I had zero respect for (who wasn't even my boss).

Now? A week later? I feel like a bag of bricks has been lifted off my chest. I can relax, I can breathe, and I have time now to explore future career opportunities that are a much better fit for me. I have 100% faith in the universe and I know this happened for a reason. I just know and feel that the right job is out there waiting for me to find it, and I will. And the best part about the whole thing? I was given a severance and I qualified for unemployment, so I'll actually make money while I look for something I want to do. How perfect is that? It was too hard to focus on finding a new job when I was working. But now, I have those eight hours back each day to put to good use (and I'll get my field project finished too, FINALLY!).

So yay for closing doors and having new ones open. I'm looking forward to this journey and I can already feel the difference the events of last week have made in my life. A good change :)

I'll close this post with the lyrics from a song by Duffy that I have been singing to myself over and over all week. Isn't it just so fitting that this song seems to be my theme song right now?! :)

Although you think I cope,
my head is filled with hope...
of some place other than here.

Although you think I smile,
inside all the while...
I'm wondering about my destiny.

I'm thinking about,
all the things,
I'd like to do in my life.

I'm a dreamer,
a distant dreamer,
dreaming for hope, from today.

Even when you see me frown,
my heart won't let me down,
because I know there's better things to come.

And when life gets tough,
I feel I've had enough,
I hold on to a distant star,

I'm thinking about,
all the things,
I'd like to do in my life...

I'm a dreamer,
A distant dreamer,
dreaming for hope from today.

I'm a dreamer,
A distant dreamer,
dreaming for hope from today.

Yeah, I'm a dreamer.
I'm a dreamer,
a distant dreamer,
dreaming for hope from today,

Yeah i'm a dreamer...
I'm a dreamer.