Sunday, October 31, 2010

Free Christmas Cards!

If there's 2 things I love, it's bargains and Christmas. So, I'm really excited to share with you a Christmas bargain I've found!

Shutterfly is giving away 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers as long as they blog about Shutterfly's awesome Christmas cards. (So, consider this a sponsored post) Shutterfly always has a great selection of photo cards and this year they have a fabulous selection of Christmas cards.

I really want to send photo cards for Christmas this year because we have fabulous photos from our wedding to use. I have a feeling it's going to be tough to pick one! Almost as tough as deciding on which card to use. Here are some of my favorites: (Click on any of the pictures to see more details about the card)

I definitely want a card with the year on it, so people can remember when we got married. I love the diamond background because it reminds me of argyle, which we love!

I really like the plaid on this one. It makes me think of cozy blankets and a warm fire.

As the example shows, this card is great for a wedding picture. Love the lace since my dress was full of lace and the Merry Christmas font is pretty. (By the way, Shutterfly is also a great source of thank you cards if you're recently married.)

I like how simple this one is, yet still elegant. What a great way to show off a favorite photo.

I love black and white damask and the snowflake damask is so cute!

It's going to be a tough choice! Which one is your favorite?

Are you a blogger that wants free cards? Visit this link for details!

Not a blogger? Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October's New Recipe - Pepperoni Pizza Pasta

One of my 101 goals to complete in 1001 days is to try a new recipe every month. Since it's the last week of the month, I knew I better get on the ball in order to keep my goal this month. Since my local grocery store didn't have any good meat on sale this week, I decided to try this pasta recipe. My mom gave the recipe to me a few months ago since she knows how much the husband and I love pepperoni pizza. I don't know where she found the recipe or I'd give credit.

Normally, I tend to follow recipes to the letter, but for some reason with this one, I kept making changes as I went along. I'll give you the original recipe and make note of my modifications as well.

Here's what you need:

  • 2 cups uncooked ziti (I used mostaccioli since it's what we had on hand. They're the same shape. And I used the whole box, so I doubled the recipe as I went.)
  • 1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce
  • 2 oz. sliced pepperoni, halved
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (We hate peppers, so I omitted this.)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 375. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. (I never spray my glass baking dish when I bake pasta, so I didn't do this step. Had no problems.)

Cook ziti to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain.

In large bowl, combine cooked ziti, pizza sauce, pepperoni, bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic; mix well. (Because we love cheesy pasta, I also added a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.)

Spoon into sprayed baking dish; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil. (I didn't sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese at this point.)

Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. (I baked for 25 minutes and then removed foil and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. I then baked it for another 10 minutes or so until the cheese was melted.)

While waiting for the baking to be done, take pictures of your oh so adorable cats.

When it's done, you get this

We like to have bread and dipping oil with our pasta.

Overall, this recipe was fairly good. My husband really liked it and ended up eating most of it. I prefer just regular baked mostaccioli. This dish didn't have enough cheesy goodness inside for my tastes. Also, the garlic turned out to be too much for me, and I love garlic. Since I was doubling the recipe, I used 2 small cloves of garlic and I probably should have stuck with just one. Keep that in mind if you make this recipe.

Let me know if you try this recipe and how you like it!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I tend to get mildly to completely obsessed with things. Argyle, giraffes, penguins, cherries...all current obsessions. Over the past few months though, I've developed a new thing. Owls.

It all started with this...

Photo by Amanda Fales

I found this alley in our historic downtown. Ok, my brother found it, but whatever. I thought it would be a fun place to take some wedding pictures with the bricks and the faded ad. At the time, I thought, "An owl, ok, looks cool."

But then, this happened...

An owl. A real live owl. In Africa. Ok, not really Africa. It was Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom. We were on day three of our honeymoon and enjoying our second ride on the Kilimanjaro Safari when we spotted this. Obviously, it's not an animal typically found on a safari, but it decided to have a little fun, I guess. Our guide was even shocked to see it.

I fell in love with owls right then. An owl on my wedding day and then one on my honeymoon? How could I not? They are my new favorite flying animal. (Although, I also happen to think bats are pretty cool, but mostly only around Halloween.)

So now that I'm obsessed with owls, I have to have owl things, right? Of course!

I've already ordered this fun owl flag for our garden flag pole.


Next on my list, this awesome owl lamp! He's going to look so cute in our living room.


And I was excited to see this guy on our trip to the local zoo yesterday...

One owl thing I don't like? Owl City. Can't stand to listen to them and unfortunately, the music at work has several Owl City songs. Drives me nuts everyday.

I'm off to search for more awesome owl stuff.

What are you obsessed with?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I have a blog?

So, I love the idea of blogging and I love to read blogs, but when it comes time to write my own blog, I have no idea what to do! Please bare with me as I try to find my blogging feet and feel free to leave me suggestions of what to write about. For now, I fear you will be forced to read my random ramblings and rants!

I like the idea of updates in various aspects of my life


Not much new to report. My husband finally got a haircut today, which is very exciting since he hasn't had one since before our wedding 4 months ago! He has curly hair that looks nice when it has some length to it, but it gets a little wild past a certain point. He's perfectly fine with just ignoring it for months, but I get tired of looking at it and I think it looks better for work when it's shorter.


Again, nothing new. We're planning a trip to Ikea in January to pick up a few things for the house and I'm already excited about it. Our one (huge) tree has already lost all its leaves, so hopefully we'll get those moved to the curb for leaf pick up next week. Our city will only pick up our leaves one time, so it's a good thing our tree shed them all at once!

I put up Halloween decorations at the beginning of the month and think they look nice around the house. I noticed today that many of our neighbors have decorated outside their houses. I'm hoping to go to a local farmers' market this weekend to get a pumpkin or two. I haven't carved a pumpkin in several years.


I work retail and we're heading into our insanely busy time of the year. No vacation for the next 2 months and my days will be filled with plenty to do.

In other news, we're having my favorite dinner tonight, fajitas! Maybe I'll post the recipe here later.

Also, I love this sweater and I MUST have it!


Finally, I'm thinking of working my way through the 5,000 question survey one question at a time. I've already answered the first question in my first blog post (without even meaning to!) and here's the second...

What are the 3 most important things everyone should know about you?

  • I love my family and friends and would do just about anything for them.

  • I'm a procrastinator in nearly everything

  • I love argyle, sarcasm, giraffes, penguins, and fun socks.