Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
So once again my brain is a huge garbled mess. I'm TERRIBLE at taking "standardized tests." I actually stink at tests in general (explains why I talk myself out of them) and the fact that this test is expensive to take puts even more pressure on me. The national passing rate for this time last year was only 61% which was down from 63% the previous years. The highest pass rate was 5 years ago and was 67%. While these are slightly daunting statistics I think it also shows the importance of the certification. It's like the MBA or PhD (that might be the SPHR actually) of the HR world. It shows that you know your HR shit and have taken the time to show that you are a professional in this field.
So wish me luck tomorrow at noon. I'll find out if I pass or not immediately after I take the exam, but won't get my score until much later. I have to get a 73% to pass the exam, which I know I can do. I don't think I've ever gotten a 73% on exams since I made the mistake of taking Physics my senior year of high school. So I should be in the clear. Today I have to finish reviewing 2 more modules, take about a million practice exams and hope I do better than a 73% on all of them!
Monday, January 26, 2009
But needed to read this
and this again to refresh my memory.
Since I finished those, I'm now reading this
which was another Christmas gift.
Plus, I finally used my GC I got for graduation from my coworkers and ordered this
Lots of reading to do!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti
2 tsp olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 reduced sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz linguini pasta, uncooked
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add oregano and stir to coat. Add shrimp and sauté until bright pink, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer about 1 minute.
Dissolve cornstarch in chicken broth in a small cup and whisk until blended; add mixture to skillet and simmer 2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer cooked linguini to four individual shallow bowls and spoon shrimp and sauce over top; sprinkle with parsley and basil. Yields about 1 1/3 cups of pasta, 1/4 cup of sauce and 3 ounces of shrimp per serving.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Not my best work, but oh well. I'm sure it's going to taste good!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I also went with a different design for the header, but kept many of the colors from the first one which also got the most votes. Hope you like!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tonight I have a girls night. A GIRL'S NIGHT! You have NO IDEA how much I need this night! I mean, it's only HH, but it's drinks and female interaction. I've been sitting on my couch with my husband for 2 weeks and I need people! People that understand my own brand of crazy. Stephanie and I caught up the other day and talked about the difference between boys and girls and while the men in our lives are so understanding and listen when we're upset they're so damned logical. Why can't you just get angry and pissed off for absolutely no reason with me!? Why do you always have to consider the other side!? Why not my side for just one minute!? Can't you just let your emotions completely overwhelm you for just a second? Just one second. That's all I'm asking for! Just feel everything all at once and then start to cope and have logic kick in. It's the very very rare occasion that John actually does this. I think it's just something that guys don't get. I also need to do some total bitching and just be judgemental. It's another thing that guys don't get. Sometimes it just feels good to judge and think you're better. So yes, TOTALLY looking forward to some girl time!
I also hope to work on my desk this weekend. John built me a wonderful desk and he thinks I hate it. I stole the idea from The Container Store and it's kind of similar to this:
Except mine is a dark wood and is longer. He just doesn't understand that I also need all the cute storage boxes to go with it all. Do you know how hard it is to find cute, inexpensive storage boxes? I cleaned out 5 Ross stores to get what I wanted! 5! I attempted to work on it last weekend, but when I went to adjust the shelves I found out I couldn't move them. John had screwed the brackets into the shelves, thinking I was set on their location, and I was under the assumption I would still be able to move them. Just total miscommunication on our part, but really it's more on his. I mean, I'm the most indecisive person on the planet when it comes to things like that. The fact that I had absolutely no objection to the first and only shelf placement should have set him off. Come on! I'm the girl that he goes Christmas tree shopping with every year and looks at 20 trees before going back to the first one. I can't make a decision on shelves in 5 minutes! I have to buy my cute storage boxes and see how everything is going to fit on there first! Gosh! Again, being a guy, he'd never understand this.
So that's my excitement and my chore for this weekend. On Tuesday we may have our cable and internet turned off for I'm not sure how long. I'm so not ready. I mean, cable, I could live without, but the internet? Are you kidding me!? We're trying to get our employee discount, but in order to do this we have to disconnect and put it in John's name (he wasn't working for this co when we moved in so we didn't think about it). Yes, it's the most retarded thing on the planet, really, you can't just delete Faith and type in John? Is it THAT hard? Apparently it is. Plus I need my discount so I can justify the cost of adding HBO so I can watch Big Love. Ahhh.....Big Love, how I've missed you! Since the cable install could take 1 day to 2 weeks (we're not sure just how long it will be yet) we could be struggling for awhile. Plus it's not like I can go online and watch the shows I've missed because I will have NO INTERNET. So expect some scheduled, boring blog posts next week! :)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Unfortunately all I've got is Riley and his Mouse.
Riley LOVES Mouse.
However, if you point that out to him he gets angry with you and totally denies it.
You tell him to "get Mouse" and you get the "what you talkin' about?" look.
If you tell him to "get Mouse" when he's got mouse, he immediately ignores Mouse.
Every now and then Riley will run out of the bedroom with Mouse and bring him into the living room. He'll shake him around a bit, drop him on the floor, pick him back up and run back to the bedroom. John calls this, "date time." We think he brings Mouse to meet us and then goes out. Yes. We know we're crazy.
Usually Mouse is left discarded somewhere around the house, forgotten, used and abused.
On occassion you end up with this cuteness:
Monday, January 12, 2009
Here's the yummy pasta I made for them, stolen from Kraft.
COOK pasta as directed on package.
MEANWHILE, brown sausage in large nonstick skillet; drain. Stir in onions and tomato paste; cover. Cook 15 min. or until onions are tender and sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing.
TOSS sausage mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese.It's 11 pts, but you can cut it back with lean sausage and using FF dressing.
Now on to Baby Butts!
All my "shaped" cookies have always been made from scratch using Betty's Recipe.
I got this idea from the Nest. The pictures I saw were from a lingerie party, but I also saw another use for them.
The cookies start off looking like this (you can also cut the tips off before baking, which is what we ended up doing after these were cooked, that way you don't end up with crumbs).
Then the decorating begins!
The frosting that didn't quite work out and required a trip to the store.
Of course being who we are we still made some naughty cookies!
Friday, January 09, 2009
Tomato Basil Soup
2 cans (28oz) peeled whole tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
2 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups liquid reserved from canned whole tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp allspice
5 oz evaporated milk
1/4 shredded fresh basil leaves (about 10)
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450. Line baking sheet with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange whole tomatoes on foil in a single layer. Sprinkle with brown sugar and top with onion. Bake 25-30 minutes or until tomatoes look dry and brown. Let tomatoes cool slightly; finely chop.
2. Place tomato mixture, 3 cups reserved tomato liquid, chicken broth, tomato paste and allspice in the slow cooker. Mix well. Cover; cook on Low 8 hours or on High 4 hours.
3. Add evaporated milk and basil; season with salt and pepper. Cook on High 30 minutes or until hot.
I made up for the soup a few days later and made him some ribs, sorry no pictures.
BBQ Spare Ribs
Take however many lbs of pork spare ribs you want, I think I did about 3. Rub with some brown sugar, cut the rack into half or thirds depending on the size of your crockpot. Then slather on BBQ sauce of your choice, I used Stubbs. Cook on low (they're ribs, cook them on LOW) for 6-8 hours. To finish them I line a cookie sheet with foil, slather on some more BBQ and broil them in the oven until they look crispy and then flip and make the other side crispy. John was in Heaven! I also made PW's green beans (for me) and John got some potato salad. Finally, since we're still recovering from Christmas spending and just trying to cut back in general, I've been trying to find new things to make using what I've got in the pantry, fridge and freezer. Yes, I make a list, yes I use coupons, but I'm also one of those people that can't just buy a few things at the store. What should be $30 easily turns into $60 so I'm trying to avoid the store until we're out of dairy and produce. So I discovered Tiffany's Temptations from her comment on one of my posts and I stole her idea of making Swedish Meatballs. I think I made this once when John and I had first moved in together, but made a packet of cream gravy and served it over mashed potatoes like my mom used to do (except her gravy was homemade). John loved this!
Here's my variation using what I had:
Swedish Meatballs and Egg Noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
Dried onion flakes, I just threw in what looked good.
About a 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
1 bag egg noodles
Cook egg noodles according to package directions. While waiting for the water to boil, make the meatballs and sauce.
To cook meatballs on the stovetop: preheat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Mix ingredients for meatballs in a medium-size bowl. Form bite-size balls and add directly to the pan as you roll them. Cook meatballs 10 to 12 minutes, turning them occasionally. Remove meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate, wipe out pan, and return to heat to make the sauce.
(You can also make them in the oven this way: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix ingredients for meatballs in a medium-size bowl. Form bite-size balls and place on nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes)
To make the sauce: melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and continuously whisk until a smooth paste is formed. Add broth in a slow stream and continue to whisk until sauce thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Turn off heat and whisk in salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and sour cream.
Drain cooked noodles, add meatballs to the sauce, stir to coat, and serve over the noodles.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
For those that think I'm crazy I googled the fake stuff that they're now using in allergy and cold meds. According the Wikipedia (yes, it's a real source!):
Phenylephrine or Neo-Synephrine is an α1-adrenergic receptor agonist used primarily as a decongestant, as an agent to dilate the pupil and to increase blood pressure. Phenylephrine has recently been marketed as a substitute for pseudoephedrine, (e.g., Pfizer's Sudafed (Original Formulation)) but there are recent claims that oral phenylephrine may be no more effective as a decongestant than a placebo.
NO MORE EFFECTIVE THAN A PLACEBO!!! Take that people! So excuse me while I go buy my old school sudafed and my regular old benadryl, smash 'em up, and snort 'em through my nose. I'll be back when I've woken up from my allergy medicine induced coma.
I've read (I think, it could be more) 3 books that are not chic lit.
Brisingr (cause John and I are both dorks)
The Time Traveler's Wife (Loved)
The Thirteenth Tale (I also highly recommend)
Went to the Dr. Pepper Museum
Graduated from Grad School
Made 5 (again, could be higher) new recipes. They've all been previously mentioned in other posts as well. Don't worry, I'm not holding back on you. They include the glazed carrots and mac n cheese from Thanksgiving, the 2 kinds of Pumpkin Muffins and my Tomoato Basil soup (ok, holding back there, but I'll get to it).
I didn't pay off my car, because I bought a new one instead.
I documented a day in November in pictures and shared those. I have Sept., Oct., and Dec., that all need to be shared though.
I tried 3 new restaurants: Rio Grande, The Guenther House and Bravo. The Guenther House was the only so so place.
Hosted a family event, Christmas.
We've hosted 2 game nights.
Attended a fair - I'm including the carnival we shot our TTD pics at and Wurstfest.
Went to a sporting event: We went to a Spurs game with Sean and Laura
The updated list is over the the right at the top of this page. Check it out to see what all I've completed! Hopefully I won't got 3 months without any updates again!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Here's the birthday girl:
Today, she's going to become a mommy. Trust, me I'm going to have an eye on my phone all day waiting for the "Joshua is here!" text message. Can't wait to meet this little (or not so little) guy! Hope everything goes as planned today Kandis! Happy (belated post at least) Birthday and Happy (soon to be) Birthday to little Joshie!
UPDATE: Josh is here! He arrived at 2:59 this afternoon and is 8lbs, 6oz and 20.5 inches long. Congrats to you guys!
Monday, January 05, 2009
On the bus to Boston
Virginia and Brandis
John doing I don't know what
Our bartender for the night
Sarah blowing out the candles and me and the birthday girl.
Me and Virg (with her eyes open!) and John and Becks.
Me and the hubs
Sarah, Virg and I
At Chicago (still trying to get the "sober pictures" in)
Becky and Erin
Me and Me and John
I caught Virg double fistin'
Then I gave her props
At New York, ready for the countdown
Showin' off the shoes (mine are on the left) that I borrowed from the shoe bank of Virginia.
Look! It's almost midnight and Sarah is out!
Happy New Year!!!! This is what John and I looked like right after.
John lettin' us know what year it is
Still lookin' pretty good for midnight and lots of booze!