December 30, 2010

Last Night's Dinner & some early weekend chatter

Penne pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage.

This meal has become sort of a staple in the apartment. It's a meal helloboyfriend and I both enjoy so we fall back on it alot when we don't feel like being creative.


  • Penne pasta (I had some leftover rigatoni too that I threw in)

  • Pasta Sauce

  • Italian Sausage (hot  & spicy)

  • Mushrooms

I love the spiciness of the italian sausage and the sweetness of the basil sauce. I paired the meal with garlic pull aparts that we decided to try & they were delicious. Probably bad for you, but buttery and garlic-y. Yum!

This post also showed me that I need to be a better food photographer. Look how grainy the first photo is. I had to lighten it because it was so dark.

With the new year, I'll probably not post till Monday. Anyone have great plans? Currently I am still unplanned which is very not like me! But there is a blizzard in the forecast for Friday night so staying in is starting to sound pretty good. I already dislike driving in the snow enough, add new years traffic to the mix-- not fun! But I  hope everyone gets to ring in the new year safely!

Happy New Years everyone!



December 29, 2010

Wiz Wednesday 12.29.10

Wiz meets Biscuit on Christmas Day.

This was the only time they kissed. Most of the time, Wiz explored my parent's house while Biscuit stalked from afar. I think he has a crush on her.

Year 22

So as promised, here is a quick reflection of year 22:

I rang in my birthday with a day off, a lunchdate with helloboyfriend and a party with some friends.

Year 22 came and went too quickly but I had a lot of big accomplishments *graduating!* and am pretty excited to start year 23. Last night on TV, they quoted someone's age as 23 and I thought to myself "oh wow, I'm 23!"

Best wishes to a great new year and a happy and healthy 2011!




December 27, 2010

Menu for the Week 12.27.10

Hello All!

I swear I will be better about posting! My birthday and the holidays made that last week fly by! I cannot believe that Christmas is already over!

Speaking of my birthday, it is so weird how fast time flies! I cannot believe I am 23 and that so much has changed in year 22. It all started with a "Snow Pants or No Pants" party bus, then to Colorado for a Ski Trip, South Padre for Spring Break,  St. Louis for NSAC, Graduating from college, living on my own in Rochester, moving back to Minneapolis, getting a kitten & so many great memories!  I was going to make a photo-collage of my last year so I will do that tonight when I have some downtime.

Menu for the Week:

Monday: leftover ribs from my parents

Tuesday: grilled steaks & cheesy mashed potatoes (with my new grill top skillet!)

Wednesday: spicy Italian sausage pasta & garlic pull-aparts

Thursday: tacos! or tuna casserole (i'm letting helloboyfriend decide)

Friday: i haven't planned yet-- Its NYE!

I need to get back to the gym. I've been buying tons of cute running clothes to get my mind set for training, but I need to do it!

Again, I promise promise that I will be better about posting.



December 20, 2010

Menu for the Week 12.20.10

I cannot believe that Christmas is only a week away. Even more surprising, I cannot believe my birthday is this week! A year goes quickly (almost too quickly).

My birthday gift from my parents was a dutch oven! I'd been wanting one to make warm stews in and on Black Friday, my mom called me at 4am !!! to say she found one on sale and wanted to know if I wanted it. ooooof course!

I used it to make some Wizzzzy (only kidding!)  Chicken & Wild Rice soup. Helloboyfriend's been feeling sick all last week so he wanted a nice hot bowl of soup to cure him.

It was delish! I took this recipe and added mushrooms and it was nummy! I've had it for lunch every day this past weekend, froze two single serve bags for work somedays and had the last bit today for lunch!

But a win for the soup means a fail for the breakfast bake  :( It looks delicious...


but I think for me it was just too mushy. Helloboyfriend ate his whole plate though! It was decided that next time, we'll use less liquid or more bread.

But look at the bubbles!!

Looks like MN is getting another 5-6 inches today. There's already snow warnings going out and in some places, schools are already to be scheduled 2 hours out early. Yikes!

Menu for the Week:

Monday: roasted broccoli & pizza

Tuesday: grilled pork chops& mashed potatoes

Wednesday: going out - it's my birthday dinner!

Thursday: birthday dinner with my family

Friday: Asian dinner with my family

Clearly this week I'm not cooking too much. With the holidays approaching, its easier to spend more time with my family. But I'll find something fun to make this weekend!

Stay warm! Cheers,


December 17, 2010

I cheated!

Gasp! Shh, I cheated (well... am cheating). But it's not as bad as you think!

I'm wearing dark jeans... to work... on a Friday! Usually where I work, it is pretty much business dress 5 days a week. No casual Fridays here! But today, I'm cheating. I was running out of time this morning when I woke up so I grabbed a pair of dark, skinny jeans and paired it with a long grey sweater and black knee-high boots. I don't think you can tell, but shhhh! Plus, my excuse was that I don't have any meetings today so I really just am doing work at my desk (where no one can see them!)

But casual Friday or not, being a Friday means it is almost the weekend!

Got any fun plans?

I've got a bit of an agenda:  Brunch with my family on Saturday, finding something to do with leftover giant loaf of french bread (I'm thinking either a sweet or salty breakfast bake!) and taking this little sweetie to the vet:


She'll be six months on the 1st and wow, she is so cute! I've really enjoyed caring for a kitten because it is nice to come home to a fuzz ball who wants to play (and mostly cuddle).

Well I'm off to burn a mix CD for a friend-- how old school!



December 13, 2010

A London Return

Good morning!

Can you believe Christmas is next week!? Yikes this holiday season is coming too quickly! My birthday is right before Christmas as well, so I got two holidays in one week. In all actuality, I dislike being a Christmas-time baby. You always get jipped! Combination gifts were pretty common growing up so I always tried to celebrate my birthday in July (but it never worked!)

This weekend Minnesota had a terrible snowstorm and we were SNOWED IN! After 20 inches (and the Metrodome collapsing), we emerged from our apartment with fudge, pumpkin cheesecake, beer bread and chili! I went on a cooking spree on Saturday while cooped up -- I had to do something! I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom and bakedbakedbaked! Helloboyfriend appreciated it becasue it meant delicious treats for him while he played video games *aw what a charmer*

delicious beer bread... perfect pair with...

CHILI! This was delicious and perfect for the cold winter weather! I use red pepper, a baby jalapeño and spicy Italian sausage to bring some heat to the dish.

In other news, hellosister came home from London! She's been studying abroad since August and finally made the trek across the pond.. back home! She was suppose to arrive Saturday, but with the snowstorm, she got stuck in Cincinnati, Ohio for the night. But Sunday, I finally got to see her and hear about her lovely travels! I also got a package of digestives (or biscuits) for tea and have been on a "normal" tea kick (breakfast or earl grey tea with milk and honey) and you dip the digestive in it! Yum!

To celebrate her return, we had traditional Chinese hotpot. Since it was last minute, my mom threw together just the basics but it was still delicious! Usually, we have hot pot when the first snow arrives but we've waited until hellosister came home--but she brought the snow with her! Next weekend, we're continuing our Asian feast with a Saturday brunch of dim sum!

Her two favorite pies are pumpkin and cheesecake, so I made a delicious pumpkin cheesecake for her:

Creamy and delicious--the perfect blend of pumpkin and cheesecake!

Here is the menu for the week!

Monday: grabbing something quick on my own

Tuesday: Penne pasta with spicy Italian sausage

WednesdayProsciutto Wrapped Stuffed Chicken w/ green beans & mashed potatoes

Thursday: Hash brown bake w/ broccoli

Friday: leftovers (yay!)

I love how I am integrating vegatables in meals... now only if helloboyfriend would eat them! He says he does, but I still have my doubts :) hehe

Have a good one! This week, Wiz (my kitten) and I are doing a photoshoot for our Christmas cards. And by photoshoot I mean I'm going to have my camera on self-timer and I'm going to try and capture one cute moment with her before she wants to explore.



December 8, 2010

Taco Thursday

This week has been such a doozy! It's going pretty fast but I hear about this upcoming snow storm and I am not excited!

Today I had the day off since I had some things I needed to take care of. Having two jobs has been difficult (sometimes I wonder why I have two in the first place!) but my student loans are about to kick in so I'm going to need the extra help!

Living alone has been a big learning experience. When I first moved, I was scared. Through college, I always had multiple roommates and was surrounded by people. But I've come to enjoy my personal time. I've found that I like to run errands and window shop way to much, but I also am starting to get involved in networking events. It's been hard since my workdays are so long (I don't get home till 7!) but networking as a young professional will help me meet people in the same industry as me!

Now for dinner! Today was Taco Thursday so helloboyfriend was craving chicken tacos. I threw in some red peppers and onions to make it a bit healthier. We got these pre-made 'taco stuffers' at the supermarket and it actually make it feel more like Chipotle. Ah, what I am saying... nothing compares to Chipotle (mmm cilantro lime rice).  But dinner was delicious- helloboyfriend STUFFED his burrito!

Yes, we shamefully ate in front of the TV. It's become a bad habit and I swear when I move somewhere else, I need a separate kitchen area!

Anyone else have these bad habits?



December 6, 2010

"Eat the Kitchen" Week

It's "Eat the Kitchen" week at the apartment! With the holiday season, I'm hoping to save money here and there. One of the best/fastest ways for me to do this is to not grocery shop and make lunch/dinner out of my kitchen. I have tons of stuff stockpiled and this is a great excuse to use some of it up.

Growing up, my parents kept everything and anything canned. I can find cans in my kitchen from 1996 if I looked hard enough. I'm not sure if they didn't abide by canned expiration dates, but sometimes I would open spagetti sauce in the cupboard and find out that it was a year after the date (gross). Now that I'm living on my own, I'm hoping not to do the same and that every couple months I use up what I've already got!

So the menu for the week:

Monday: can of soup (its just me tonight)

Tuesday: cheddar potato soup

Wednesday: spaghetti

Thursday: tacos

Friday: gyoza and egg rolls (frozen from my mother)

Usually, helloboyfriend works Monday and Friday nights so I get to have dinner on my own. He's a very meat-and-potatoes man so it's nice to do things on my own. He also hates leftovers and Chinese food (rrreally!) so I have to be careful about how large the meals are or else I am stuck with the leftovers (though I really enjoy them).

Have you ever had your own "Eat the Kitchen" week? Do you keep expired canned foods?



December 5, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

Since recently moving and kinda growing up on my own, I'm learning to discover new things. One thing is how much I like my crockpot. You can really do a lot with a crockpot and I'm excited to share this recipe that I tried this morning. It was super easy to prep, leave to chill for a bit and when I was ready for bed, stick it on the crockpot.

I've adapted a recipe by blending this and this.

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole


  • 1 pound ground pork sausage

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 6 eggs, beaten (5 whole eggs and 1 egg white)

  • 2 cups milk

  • 6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes

  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

  • red pepper, chopped

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • green onion, chopped

I also threw in some leftover bacon and hashbrowns I had sitting in the fridge.


  • Use a 6 quart slow cooker.

  • Cook sausage and bacon, drain and set aside.

  • Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.

  • In a bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk.

  • Add the sausage, bread cubes, cheese, red pepper, onion, green onion, bacon and hashbrowns and stir to coat evenly.

  • Pour into crockpot, let chill for a little bit (I did it ahead of time before I was ready for bed and just let it wait in the fridge)

  • When you're ready for bed, put in the crockpot. Cover and cook: Low 6-8 hours, High 3-4 hours or until eggs are done. I did mine for 6 hours on low and when I woke up, I put it on high to speed it up because I had to run!

  • When the eggs have set, take the lid off the cooker and let the steam and moisture evaporate for about 30 minutes before serving.


I thought it was pretty tasty and so nice to wake up to in the morning. The flavors really came together and the eggs were super fluffy! I would have liked to try it with maple sausage and next time have less onions. *I could tell that helloboyfriend didn't really like the onions (he usually finishes his plate and this time, he had some leftover). Later, I asked him and he said it was too many veggies (he's not a veggie person) so that's a good note (less onions).

It's a great way to use up any leftover veggies and meats in your kitchen. The versatility of a crockpot is that it allows the  flavors to blend together. I'll definitely make this again and use my notes!

I'll be eating them as nummy leftovers for the weekend! Yum!

Off to run errands -- oh the holiday retail season!



December 2, 2010


last night. laying on the couch, watching house with Wiz

me: aw, I think I fall in love with you more and more each day

joe: yeah, i guess you have a lot of catching up to do

November 30, 2010

the list

I started this list when I was a junior in high school. Clearly the header is written pretty bluntly, like my junior in high school self would write. The first 30 were written during high school and the rest have been added to the list. I leave it on my desktop and occasionally open it up to remind myself of the silly goals I had when I was younger. Surprisingly, some of them are still items I would love to accomplish.

So starting 2011, I will try to cross things off and keep adding things.


This list isn't going to be filled with things I already know I will do; such as 'go to college', 'get married', 'have a career', 'have children'… etc. It's for shit that one just needs to be told to do, because it'd be cool to have the experience. Or just fun to do…

1. Buy a real designer purse

2. Build a real snowman-with a carrot nose, coal eyes and a scarf Dec 22 2005

3.Re-visit High School after you've graduated from college

4.Live in New York City for at least 2 months

5.… how about New Years in NYE

6. Get a tattoo JAN 2007

7.Go to a drive-in movie

8. Have pistachio ice cream

9. Have a coffee place (maybe in college)

10.  Visit Europe

11.  After college and before reunion-call up old friends

12. Take a road trip, not anything big-it could be just up north

13. Smoke a cigar

14. Go to a stripclub

15. Run a red light

16.  Go to and use an Oxygen Bar

17. smoke hookah

18. Ask a boy out

19. 100mph on the highway

20. go puddle jumping May 6th, 2007 w/ Deanna after Hubbel dining

21.  have sex in Disneyland, Disney anything

22.  … on a laundry machine

23.  plant a tree

24.  walk Nicollet Mall

25.  buy an expensive black dress

26.  attend a midnight preview/showing of a movie PIRATES III, 5/25/07

27.  learn about wine

28. learn to drive a stick


30.  shower in a waterfall

31. DG Tattoo

32.  try vegemite

33.  lay in an lit stadium

34.  ride on a hot air balloon

35.  buy a Marc Jacobs tote

36.  watch a good movie at the Lagoon Cinema

37.  have a summer fling kurt k, summer 2007

38.  mini golfing w/ Stacey, Liz summer 2007

39. ask a well articulated question at a speaker in front of the crowd

40.  spin on my head (bboy style)

41.  Karaoke – alone, not in a group

42.  Feed a koala


You gotta say 'Go girl!' after seeing this video. I know there's some comments out there about how she think she's righteous or something, but really, it takes a ballsy girl to call out a guy that just flashed his junk out.

On another note, I am excited about the James Franco/Anne Hathaway Oscar's combo! i think this will bring a young, new audience.... Anne Hathaway is so cute and I am excited to see her new movie "Love and Other Drugs"

As for foodies, here is my menu for the week:

Monday: Chipotle (noms, it was delicious)

Tuesday: Baked Ziti (its already prepped and in the fridge waiting to get baked!)

Wednesday: Juicy Lucy's and tater tots

Thursday: Pork chops and mashed potatoes

Friday: its just me so I will just eat small bits

Happy Tuesday!


November 18, 2010


I've been trying to come up with items on my Christmas/Birthday wishlist. I've always been the type of girl to buy something for myself when I need it. I even have a three-day rule when it comes to impulses... if I'm still thinking about that great boot or cute dress in three days, then it's worth it for me to buy it! Sure, here and there I buy a shoe on a whim or new scarf, but I'm not much for putting things on a wishlist. But here's my first shot. (We'll see if in three days I really want them :) )

(via fred flare)


(via fred flare)


(via amazon)

*I have been searching for this cup EVERYWHERE


(via Tiffany's)


(via Williams Sonoma)

I guess this is a start. I'm always switching between pretty and practical items.




November 12, 2010

30 for 30

I've been reading about this 30 for 30 project here, here and here. It's really got me thinking that maybe this is something I should consider. I love the lesson of learning to enjoy your own wardrobe and shopping within itself. Besides limiting myself to not shop for a month, the best part is that you need to get creative and use great, stable pieces to put together an outfit.

Though I will say with my workplace environment/dress code and with the MN winter weather, I'm not sure how many cute skirt/boot combos I could throw together.

So we'll save this for spring. For now, my style investment is going to be working to change it up. To define myself.


and to save for a new camera (smile)

tgif, natalie

November 11, 2010

A Quote

I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle.

But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

Marilyn Monroe

November 3, 2010


In celebration of "Jucy Lucy" Month (who knew), helloboyfriend and I made some of these delicious burgers. A Jucy/Juicy Lucy is a burger made with 2 patties and cheese melted in the middle. Kinda infamous in Minneapolis since two places both say they are the originators of the nummy, greasy burger (Matt's Bar vs. 5-8 Club).

Yum! We paired our meal with waffle fries (dipped in cheese for him). I'm not sure whatever happened to us starting to eat healthier :P  I spent the rest of my night lounging, while occasionally the boyf would chime in with his rendition of Taylor Swift's "Mine."

As I'm figuring out this blog world, I'm looking to a lot of different blogs for inspiration. So be ready to a variety of ... entires while I figure out what I'm actually going to be writing about.



November 2, 2010

This is your Life

I thought this was inspiring...


Happy Tuesday.


September 20, 2010


I've come to the realization that soon my life is going to be shifting quickly (or rather, that it already is) and that I could most likely document it through the apartments I'll be hopping from. I'm not yet in a place where I have stability and can settle into one residency, and while renting is the last thing I want to do--it's my only choice. So as I figure myself out and what my next steps are, I feel like I'll be moving from place to place until I finally have the time/energy/money to settle.

I'm not a blogger but a smart young man told me that having a blog is a good way to keep my thoughts documents. I'm a big fan of blogs--my google reader has 508 entries that I need to catch up from the weekend. So we'll move forward with this too and see what I can come up with :)

Happy Monday!