You Make Me So Happy

Good morning friends and family...at least to the three of you that actually read this silly blog! :) I do have other things I could be posting about, and want to post about (like that pesky organizing challenge), but that seems boring.  Haha, so I just wanted to share a couple of things that have made me quite happy lately, even in the smallest of ways.

1. Receiving these to items in the mail yesterday:

2. Having a skype date...FINALLY!
Emily is sharpening pencils for her wedding :)
3. Having some delicious, home-cooked meals:
The beginnings of a healthy chicken pot pie
284 calorie breakfast, score!
Cajun Chicken Pasta
I'm bummed I didn't get a picture of the baked potato soup we made Monday night, delicious!  Also, I am putting this next picture up, even though it's not home-cooked because we finally found a delicious, affordable Thai take-out place like 2 minutes away from our house! 
Top: Drunken Noodles, Bottom: Pad Thai
4. Two Girls' Nights Out in one weekend:

5. Singing the National Anthem at the Kid's Micro Marathon that Brooke organized
Brooke, the beautiful lady in charge
Some of the kids stretching before the run, so cute
6. My kitties
Cali helping me do laundry
Peter just chillaxing
7. Crafts
No pictures of this, but I have been able to get some things done around the house that I've been putting off forever.  I've been working on a quilt that is finally ALMOST done, I got some pictures in frames and hung on the wall. I got some materials needed for a couple of fall decor projects, and I took some pictures that I want to print and frame as decor :) I love being productive and crafty...neither of which happens all that often.

There are plenty of other things that make me happy right now, I just don't have pictures of them all or time to write about them all.  I have loved being able to spend time with my husband more.  I have enjoyed watching some movies we've been meaning to watch for quite a while.  I love coaching the QCBT softball team, it's a lot of fun; we have another game tonight!  Etc. etc. etc.

Things that aren't making me happy right now: being sickish which in turn is making me lazy, so no working out for a while.  I don't like that I am at a total plateau with my weight loss.  Money...there needs to be more of it.

But whatever, enough of that.  All in all, I'm at a good point in my life and just wanted to celebrate the little things that are worth paying attention to and enjoying!  Happy Wednesday!


Outfits I Want To Buy #3

It's time for fall and I have a shopping itch that I'd really like to scratch!  Unfortunately, I really cannot go on any shopping sprees any time soon.  I love you friends, but stop getting married! It's expensive!  Lol.  But when I DO get to do a little shopping, there are some fall looks I'd really like to invest in.  I chose to this "Outfits I Want to Buy" with affordable clothes that I actually could purchase if I saved the money :)
Maurices, $24

But in black, NY&Co $49.95
Gap, $69.95
JCPenney, $59.99
And because it's fall and there are so many cute outfits out, I'm just going to do a second outfit now.  Gotta get some camel and some riding boots into my look with a "wear to work" outfit :D
Ann Taylor Loft, $49.50
NY&Co, $42.95
Target, $8
Also on a side note, I really want a new coat this year.  However, my pea coat still fits well and looks nice, so I'm looking more for a functional, warm coat.  I hope this is the year I can afford this coat:
Northface, $165.00


Weekend Recap - Ganzer Wedding

Saturday was a beautiful day for a wedding! We've been hitting a good stretch of weather lately with weddings, what a blessing!  Stephanie has been one of my friends pretty much since junior high.  And with several years at a great distance, we were still able to keep our friendship strong.  She gratefully asked me to sing in her wedding, so of course I accepted!  It was such a gorgeous day and she was such a gorgeous bride!
We had a good time catching up with some friends and eating some AMAZING food.  They had HyVee catering and I couldn't believe how good it was.  We had prime rib, fantastic mashed potatoes and green beans.  They also made the cupcakes, and the Red Velvet ones were sooo good.
The wedding was up in Dubuque, at one of our favorite locations, the Star Brewery/Stone Cliff Winery.  Ryan and I went there between our wedding and reception with our wedding party.  So of course, it brought back some great, loving memories. =D  Here are some pics from the wedding:

Here is a pic from our wedding!

I sang two songs at their wedding, the first was "In My Life":
The song I sang for the lighting of the unity candle was "You Belong to Me:"

SUCCESS! Both videos finally uploaded :D


Our Favorite Meals - Chili

You didn't think I would really give away my chili recipe did you?  Haha.  Well, it'd be hard to give it to you, because I definitely change it up a little every time I make it.  There is no need to measure out ingredients when making chili.  Here are the basics of any ones chili:
-ground beef, turkey, pork, venison, etc.  (we use ground turkey)
-tomato juice
-your beans of choice, we use black beans and Mrs. Grimm's chili beans
-chili powder
I would say, from there on out, how you make chili is totally a personal preference.  Depends on if you prefer it spicy or meaty or vegetabley (hehe).  These are a couple of my ESSENTIAL ingredients (not all because I can't give away all my secrets, =D):
-jalapenos (from the jar, with some of the juice too)
-apple cider vinegar
-lime juice
-an entire yellow onion, cooked first with the ground turkey
I am so glad it's football season, because that means it's also crock pot season.  My first crock pot meal of the year is ALWAYS chili, and it's definitely the one I make the most all year.  But I plan to post some more crock pot recipes as I make them.  And I promise to take more pics next time!  Happy Fall everyone!

Check the Ring, Yo

Two weekends ago, we went to Ames to celebrate the marriage of our best friends!!  Ryan and I were both in the wedding, so we headed up to Ames on Friday after work.  We met up with some people Friday night, including the bride and groom to be, and had a lot of fun catching up!  I got very limited sleep on Friday night and then woke up at 6:30 Saturday morning to go work-out with Ashley at the hotel gym.  It was nice to have a little alone time/de-stress time with her before all of the craziness started.  At 10:00, we had our mani/pedis.
After our nails, we grabbed some lunch at Panera and then went our separate ways again until rehearsal.  I had to run a quick errand which turned into a scavenger hunt for a yellow cardigan because Ashley forgot hers in Omaha.  Luckily, Target still had the one that I was going to wear and I had brought a backup, so I bought that one for Ashley and it turned our to be a great choice!  I don't have any pics from the rehearsal or rehearsal dinner, but it was a great time.
We ran through the rehearsal, worked out some kinks, and then as we were getting ready to leave, Ashley and Andy gave their gifts to the wedding party.  The girls got these personalized bags and this super cute monogram necklace.
Then we headed out to the rehearsal dinner tailgate/picnic.  It was so laid back and perfect, it was a wonderful atmosphere to just relax, have fun, and enjoy some great food!  Ashley's mom made some beans that were just to-die-for and all the rest of it was great too.  I wish I had some pictures, her mom made this beautiful bunting to hang around the shelter  it was stoo cute!  The only downfall was the hike to the bathroom...well the hike down wasn't bad, but coming back up was quite the workout out, lol.

Wedding day arrived and started right off the bat with some hair appointments!

Back of my hair
Ashley looked so stunning already!
After the hair appointments, some of us went to the MU to get stuff ready.  This led to redoing Ashley's bouquet completely, putting vases on all the tables and putting flowers in all of the vases, placing place cards and table numbers, etc.  But with the amount of help we had, this took no time!  We went back to the hotel to chow down on some left overs and then get ready.
The men started their pictures at 2:00, and Laura and I had to run down there to bring them their boutonnieres (made from buttons!) and I snapped this picture of the sharp looking men.

Laura A and me
Once we took all of our pictures, it was ready to start the ceremony! It was an emotional one, Ashley and Andy looked so happy and he was absolutely blown away by how beautiful she looked. =)  Because they waited to see each other until the ceremony, we took more pictures around campus with the whole wedding party together and then were announced at the reception!  The whole night was so much fun from then on out.  Mat gave a great toast and I think Ashley really liked the girls' group, video toast.  And then it was party time!  I don't think the following pictures need much explaining.

We give this wedding two thumbs up!  I had so much fun and it was so special to me to stand up there with those two.  I've been friends with Andy since 8th grade, he's been one of my best friends since junior year of high school and when Ashley came into his life, I was so blessed to become one of her best friends too!  They are two of the greatest people I know and I am so happy for them.  So congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Flater!!