March 28, 2011

Weekend Nibbles

clearly its not all the bits of my weekend, but its some of it. Most of my weekend was spent celebrating my sister's 21st birthday (hi sisssy!) and figuring out apartment stuff. For the next year, I will most likely be broke but that's okay because I will live in a pretty apartment and be someplace that I am happy with :) I'm not one who likes to make quick decisions, but apartments are always rushed or else they get snatched up! Fingers crossed everything pans out and we move June 1st!

Menu for the Week - March 28th

Monday: hummus, pita pocket and veggies
Tuesday: seasoned salmon, wild rice and broccoli
Wednesday: make ahead chicken & spinach artichoke casserole (via iowagirleats)
Thursday: juicy lucys and two fries (regular and sweet potato)
Friday: out to dinner with helloboyfriend's dad


March 25, 2011

mmmm Hashbrowns

Hashbrown Casserole

via Taste of Home

1 can creamy potato soup
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 package (24 ounces) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Set oven at 350 degrees.

1. In a large bowl, mix together soup, sour cream, flour and garlic salt.
2. Stir in potatoes and cheddar cheese.
3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and pour in the potato mixture.
4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika.
5. Bake, uncovered for 50-60 minutes.

mmmm hashbrowns! I've made this casserole before but realized I haven't posted the recipe so when I made it this week, I made sure to. I always seem to make it with pork chops but it is just so easy to pull together. Again, my week was pretty boring foodwise but I've found some recipes to try next week :) promise it'll be a little more interesting!


March 17, 2011


I've got some big news to share...

... but it's going to have to wait! I gotta keep you on your toes rrrright? I'll be back shortly :)

March 15, 2011

iPhone Weekend

how was your weekend? I know its Tuesday soo I guess I'm runnin a day late in life.  This is how I spent mine... plus some drinks with friends; plus some laughs at my favorite Target; plus spending my leftover grocery money on new art; plus some extra kisses for my Wiz; plus celebrating my Dad's birthday; plus trying to find a spring break to tag along with [ I am so jealous ]; plus a new nightie; plus cleaning some of my apartment; plus apartment shopping; plus lots of trying to wish hbf into texting me back. oh and plus not missin him at all. nope. not. at. all. youcancomehomenow.

Happy Tuesday. Didja know Tuesday is my favorite day. Thursday's are my least favorite. I'm really not sure why... it started in junior high and I think bad days always landed on a Thursday, and good days landed on Tuesday. Strangeness.


March 11, 2011

Not Complaining

Last night, Wiz was upset. Poor little munchkin is gonna miss boyfriend for the next five days. I think she planned to tuck herself into his duffel bag and tag along for the trip.  As you know, he's going out of town to see some of his buddies in Indiana and I am trying really(really) hard not to whine, miss him too much, complain cause, well... it's only one week.  He hasn't even left yet. whine whine complain complain. I'm putting on my big girl pants, filling up my calendar and hoping St. Patty's Day comes sooner (rather than later).

And boyfriend. if you read this before you drive off (no textin while drivin!):   I miss you already. Poo. I don't know what to make for dinner tonight and already extended an invite to Jenn to come join me. I set the blanket out by your luggage so you didn't forget it (and don't forget your phone charger). I hope my car treats you well for the 10 hour drive and I look forward to our looooong phone call to break up the time. Have a good time out there -- feel free to come home early if you get homesick! I love you.


March 9, 2011

Cilantro Stories & Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth (I showed two but only used one)
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (not pictured)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 habeneros, seeded and chopped (optional)

1. In a dutch oven, saute garlic, cilantro, onion and habenero peppers until onions are transparent.
2. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid), corn and beans and bring to boil.
3. Reduce heat, add cumin, chili powder, cayenne, bay leaves and chicken stock. Simmer 30 minutes.
4. Remove bay leaves.
5. Add chicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve it with tortilla strips (homemade, or chips!), sour cream, cheese and avocado slices.

Look at all the pretty colors! This soup was quick and easy, and tasted great! I had to make some adjustments because HBF doesn't like cilantro*, so I opted to not cook it in with the whole soup, and just threw some into my bowl before we ate. The habeneros gave the soup a really great kick, but we've been on a spicy trail lately soo no need to follow in our footsteps!

In other news, the heat of the peppers were perfect because its snowing. again. ughhhh. I know I'm from Minnesota, but if I could complain one more time... I will. I just want spring. Is that so much to ask?

*sidenote story: when I was 12 and was in China with my family, the only thing I ever ate there was cilantro. Seriously. For the entire trip. We would go out to nice resturants and I would just ask for a bowl of cilantro. and of course they would bring me some. I was a strange kid.


March 8, 2011

Spring Break... round 2?

whoooooo wants to go on spring break with me? cus I would totally do mid-terms all over again just to get some sunshine, drink a bucket at Louie's and lay on the beach. Oh, and walk on crushed beer cans, get free jesus van rides, run into the icy cold ocean and hang out with those crazies I call my friends (imisssthemsomuch)

Meet, the diversity van. Yea, we may have had to drive in a "snow storm" on the way back, crash in a hotel and it took us a bit longer... but we got to stop in San Antonio, go to Dick's and find a sweet Mexican breakfast spot.

errrrverybody. I love the creeper standing in the back. do ya see him? doya? doya? I also love the fact that I am dark. sooooodark. Seeing these photos make me want to cave and get a tanning package. But tanning is bad for you. I know this... right? right?

Anyhow. If anyone is headed to spring break and wants me to join in on the festivities, feel free to let me know. I travel light... I pretty much only need my swimsuit and maybe a towel. and some tanning oil. and maybe a cute top. and flip flops. and sunglasses. oh my, i guess i need to pack a bit 8)


March 7, 2011

This Weekend Included...

but was not limited too... • Completing everything on my Friday post • Extended Target runs • Saturday morning brunch with Shelby • RANGO (pretty funny and I love kids movies in theaters filled with kids.. so adorable) • stumbling upon my 5th grade yearbook • three loads of laundry and cleaning the kitchen/bathroom • finding a great deal on an oil change with no husslin' (yanno, when they tell me I need this this and this to be fixed just because I'm a girl :-P ) • bloody mary's and mimosas •  lots of sweet sweet kisses from these two lil buttons and not having to cook at all :D

I say it was pretty successful.

Menu for the Week
My menu's are never right on because plans seem to keep changing last minute, but I think this one's gonna stick! Since helloboyfriend's leaving town Friday, I tried to squeeze in all his favorite meals before he leaves :(
Monday: Chicken tortilla soup
Tuesday: Pork chops & hashbrown casserole
Wednesday: Penne pasta with Sockarooni sauce and italian sausage
Thursday: Honey-Sriracha wings & coleslaw
Friday: HBF is outta town so I'm on my own!


March 4, 2011

One night... Two Pizzas

In college, freshmen and sophomore year my friends and I would participate in what we decided to call "LSD" - late sunday dinner. Every Sunday night, we'd sit around Spikes, eating wraps, phat burritos (haha), potato chips and french bread pizza and cracking ourselves up.

[caption id="attachment_587" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Sophomore year: goofing off during a scavenger hunt through campus... and finding my favorite Spike's worker-- BAKITA!"][/caption]

Boy, do I miss those LSD nights :razz:

Usually, I'd always have ham, honey mustard and all the veg wrap. But somedays you just gotta go for the french bread pizza.

French Bread Pizza

1 large french bread loaf
Toppings of your choice
Cheese of your choice
*very individualized!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Slice loaf in half, bake in oven for 10 minutes to let the bread get crisp.
2. Take bread out, add toppings.
3. Put back in oven for 10 minutes.
4. Broil for the last minutes so everything crisps up.

helloboyfriend wanted all pepperoni, but I switched things up and did half olive and half pepperoni!

We even used some extra pizza sauce for some side dipping action! Reminded me of Italian Dunkers in high school. Seriously, I love high school lunches. If I had the time/money/know-how, I would totally start a "high school lunches" themed restaurant. C'mon! Chicken patties, tater tots, square pizza, french toast sticks, little milk cartons, sloppy joes... the list could go on and on! Anyone with me?! ... no takers? Oh okay :)
This weekend...

- I'm attending a brunch with a bunch of ladies I won't know... minus one. And that one... I am so excited to see and play catch up with!
- Movie date night. Don't know which one yet but I scored the livingsocial deal for 2 tickets on for $9. Wooppieee. We're in a toss up: Rango, Take Me Home Tonight, Hall Pass... or save it for B. Cooper's baby blue's in Limitless. Choices people!! Choices!
- Cleaning out my basement bedroom at my parents. Somehow, the water pipes burst, which led my parents to re-do the entire basement, all re-done with new carpet, a movie room, excersize room... they went all out! But what use to be my old bedroom got a facelift too so I'm going home to sort through all my high school/college things.
- Working out. Seriously. I have been lazy this week (Tuesday-Friday) so Saturday and Sunday mornings, I'm getting my butt up!
- two words: OIL. CHANGE. 5,000 miles? my dad says "oh its fine" but hbf says "no no no"
- helloboyfriend is going out of town next weekend for almost a whoooollleee week :( so I gotta soak him up as much as I can while he's home.

Happy Friday,

March 3, 2011

ABCs of hellonatalie

Yesterday I stumbled upon the ABC's of life here, here and here. I also added them to google reader -- it's great to find other 20-something bloggers :) so here goes....

A. Age: 23
B. Bed size: Queen. With little Wiz cuddled under the covers.
C. Chore you hate: taking out the trash. Can't it just... disappear?
D. Dogs: I want a bulldog. So bad. But I do love my little Wiz.
E. Essential start to your day: getting dressed in the dark (usually only M-F though ;) )
F. Favorite color: GREEN. (and maybe pink)
G. Gold or silver: silver (or white gold :D)
H. Height: 5’6″
I. Instruments you play: piano and I use to play the clarinet and guitar
J. Job title: Marketing Intern
K. Kids: :) not yet. there is so much to do before.
L. Live: Minneapolis, MN
M. Mom’s name: Fang (pronounced Fong)
N. Nicknames: no one really calls me Nat, but sometimes I get Minnie
O. Overnight hospital stays: none
P. Pet peeve: when people water their lawns during the middle of the day (i don't know why, but it drives me nuts! Water at night so it doesn't evaporate!)
Q. Quote from a movie: "you cant sit with us" - mean girls
R. Righty or Lefty: Right-handed
S. Siblings: One sister, Jennifer. complete opposites & we get along so well!

T. Time you wake up: 5:15 AM. (yeah, you read that right)
U. Underwear: always remember it!
V. Vegetables you dislike: does ginger root count as a vegetable?
W. What makes you run late: when I think it'll take me less time to get there because I "drive fast"
X. X-rays you’ve had: one for my leg when I tore a ligament when I was in 5th grade
Y. Yummy food you make: I hope I make lots of different yummy food, as seen here :D
Z. Zoo animal favorite: I would love to go with panda (dawww) but I do love giraffes.

Hope that was fun for you as it was for me :D I'm excited to see hellonatalie transform into a more lifestyle blog (so so so excited). I cannot wait.


March 2, 2011

The Pot Roast That Got Left Behind

I realized that I forgot to post about a pot roast I made a while back so I thought I'd share that today (esp since I still have yet to charge my camera :cool: its plugged now, i swear).

I wasn't sure how this meal would go, but helloboyfriend ended up liking it alot (previously, he had told me he didn't like pot roast, but then said he's never had it made the right way). But of course he would like it-- hello, meat and potatoes boy! Growing up, I only recall having pot roast ONCE... at a family friend's house (we never had it in my household since it is a pretty traditional American family meal). So I searched high and low for a good recipe and found one that hit the spot.

Pot Roast

4 lbs chuck roast (trim off fat)
12 baby red potatoes, larger ones cut in half
1 bag (16 oz) baby carrots
4 stalks of celery – cut into long pieces, leaves too
1 container of mushrooms
10-12 shallots, peeled (I used pearl onions instead)
1 packet onion soup mix
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic salt
1 cup of beef broth
Salt and pepper

1. Put shallots and potatoes at bottom of crock pot
2. Divide carrots and celery, place half on top of shallots and potatoes
3. Place chuck roast on top
4. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and garlic salt
5. Place remaining celery and carrots on top of roast
6. Mix together beef broth and cream of mushroom soup, pour mixture on top
7. Cook on low for 6 hours, high for 3-4
8. Last half hour, add mushrooms, mix around veggies

Pull out veggies and pot roast, set aside. Use juices to make a gravy. Serve!

mmm the veggies were the best part

I ended up actually making a mistake and put the mixture over the first layer of veggies but the pot roast still turned out tasty! Next time, I'll know what to do :)
Crockpot cooking makes life so much easier-- I love being able to prep everything the night before and asking hbf to turn on the crock pot while I'm away at work. Plus, I have discovered the best thing to happen to crock pot since... idk... beef stew! Wanna know my lil discovery? Doya? Okay here it is:

Slow Cooker Liners.
Best thing since sliced bread.
Okay, maybe not but it sure does make cleanup (& life) simpler!

I love that spring is coming, but a little sad soup season will be over. Who am I kidding-- soup in the summer!! and spring of course. Spring is my favorite.


March 1, 2011

New Things

Ok. So I've been doing alot of thinking.... :mrgreen:

Did I ever tell you how much I love Google Reader? I adore it.
I adore it so much that it has me thinking about something.
new things.
I'm thinking that I might start incorporating some new things into my blog!

See-- hellonatalie has basically just started. I use it to chronicle my day to day, and really help me keep track of what I'm doing as I grow up. But growing up means incorporating new things as well! And my blog love for fashion, the marketing industry, cooking, music, traveling... all of it.
MMMmmmmaaaybe minus the Wedding part. You can overlook that, cant you? ;)


Ps. YES, i have some serious catching up to do on my google reader. But really, 267 is easy peezy... I've seen it at 948. Neglected google reader.