Nov 28, 2012

Secrets Sometimes Do Make Friends

I have nothing of interest to post about today, sorry guys! I felt awful so I didn't do much the whole day other than go to work for a few hours. So I'll let you in on a few little secrets to my life.

I swear a lot. I don't really mean to but it slips out quite a bit. I try to dial it down around people who don't swear but put me in a room of people who do and I'm awful about it.

I'm an avid over-user of exclamation points and smiley faces. I am just usually really happy all the time but I've tried to dial down the usage on the blog. When I'm texting if I don't use an exclamation point or a smiley face in each message you can generally assume I'm mad. That's how I judge other peoples' emotions too. I know this is unrealistic but that's how I see it.

I have an obsession with Jenna Marbles' videos. She is hilarious and I watch her videos all the time. If you don't know who she is you should go check her out. Right now. I'll wait. Unless you don't like profuse swearing because she does that a lot.

I fall in love with all things pink and sparkly, on the spot. I'm that stereotypical girly girl. I can't help it, that's just who I am.

Ever feel like you were born to do something? I feel like I was born to be a mom. I sometimes feel like I was born in the wrong era. I'm married at 19 and I would for real love to be poppin' out little ones right now. I have no desire to get college girl crazy and have never really wanted to travel the world. Some people don't like kids or just kids that aren't there own. I love all kids. The sweet, loveable ones. The bratty, trouble making kids. They are all so unique and I see them all as a learning experience even when I get frustrated. I literally cannot wait to be a mom and have the experience of raising my own kids. For that I feel like I should be living in a time where girls got married young and had babies young.

I'm majoring in Child, Adult, and Family services but have no idea what I want to do with it. I'm in this major with the intentions of continuing school after graduation to become a photographer. Why not just do that instead you say? I like to be prepared and have a back up plan in case my hobby doesn't become anything more than that.

I love lap dogs. Growing up we always had a dog that could easily tackle me. I finally got my own sweet baby in September and I would love to have another small dog in the future! He is seriously the best snuggler and he's small enough that I don't mind when he just plops himself on my lap.

I married my high school sweetheart. We were best friends for years before we started dating and now we're finally newlyweds. So many people told me that marrying your high school sweetheart is a thing of the past because those relationships never work but we're proof that it can still happen!

I am a Christian but I feel like I definitely go against a lot of the rules. I don't go to church every Sunday, I feel like I do just as much good by spending time every day just talking to God. I've never fully read the Bible. This is something I've recently started working on. I love people who aren't the exact definition of what the Bible says. I believe God truly loves all people and we're all sinners so who are you to judge how others sin? I have tattoos and piercings and don't always abide by the law but I improve my relationship with God every day and that's all that matters to me.

Now that I've rambled on enough to feel like this is an acceptable post I'll be done for the night. Sorry if this was a boring one but I'm too tired to try tonight.

Feel free to chime in on any of my "secrets" just try not to be too harsh ;) I know I probably opened up a can of worms on the babies and church topics so I'll be interested to see if there are any comments.

xoxo Mandy
He got a little too excited about having his picture taken and wanted to lick the camera!

The Day After

So as I promised yesterday, this post will include multiple recipes and be fully photo overloaded. You have been warned! I was going to post this earlier today but I started blog hopping and got fully obsessed with this blog and this blog. Sorry!

Here is how I made my super cool wedding photo wall that I previewed yesterday:
Wooden plaques were about $3 at Hobby Lobby
I had the craft paint I used on hand





 After they were painted I let them sit for about a week while I waited for the pictures. They were fully dry after 24 hours. I'm going to add that while painting these we experimented with the child gates we bought to help potty train our puppy. He is too smart and figured out how to jump over them within a half hour. Ridiculous.



Once I got my pictures the next step was to press them over top of the plaque so I had an outline to cut out. I used 8x10 photos for the plaques but if you want more color to show I would suggest smaller photos.





I modge podged the pictures onto the plaques. I was going to modge podge over the tops to seal them but I was afraid of ruining the picture. I will have to do some more research, maybe I will do this later.



All the plaques finished! I used Command picture hanging strips to hang these up. I used the medium sized strips and only used one per plaque. So far they haven't fallen down so I think one is sufficient.




 Just a reference photo to show about how big the display is on the wall. When I came home from class today I smiled because this was the first thing I saw. I. Am. In. Love. (Thanks to my super beautiful soon-to-be sister for unknowingly being the example in my tutorial!)

On to my next project! I made key lime pie bars because they are my husband's favorite but I cheated and used a kit. Since I used a kit this is the only photo I took of them and as you can see I had to stop him from eating one until I got a photo. "FOR THE BLOG!" I proclaimed as he rolled his eyes.



Next baking project came from my food board on Pinterest! I found the tutorial here and let me say it is delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 8 c. popped popcorn
  • 1 c. miniature marshmallows
  • 3/4 c. chocolate candies, divided
  • 1 1/2 c. fudge mint cookies, chopped & divided ( I used the cheapest kind I could find and didn't even use a whole package)
  • 1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. shortening
  • 1/4 c. green candy melts
  • 3 Tbsp. sprinkles
I skipped the candy melts and the sprinkles but you can sure add them if you want it to look pretty.

Make the popcorn (it was just about 1 full bag of popcorn) then throw in marshmallows, chocolate candies, and mint cookies. The recipe said to save some of both for toppings but I'm giving some of mine away for Christmas and I didn't care if it looked pretty or not. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook because then it gets all chunky and dry. Pour chocolate mix over popcorn mix and stir until fully coated. Spread out on wax paper to dry. Enjoy!






(sorry for the poor photos, working on getting a dslr and improving my skills!)

Final baking project from yesterday:

Another recipe from Pinterest that I was interested in trying. I've been having a mint obsession lately so I thought I would try a peppermint recipe. Freaking greatest cookie bars ever! The recipe came from here.

Ingredients:
Cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup crushed or chopped after-dinner butter mints

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
Food coloring, if desired
½ cup crushed peppermints or candy canes

I didn't have confectioners' sugar so I just used store bought frosting instead of this recipe.

Combine flour, salt, and baking soda then set aside. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly in between. Mix in vanilla then slowly add flour mix to butter mix until just mixed together. Stir in chopped peppermint pieces. Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely then frost.






 I'm awful at scraping a bowl completely clean...maybe it's because I like licking the bowl when I'm done!

MMM now that you're drooling over the screen I'll be done with this post. I'll be baking more later this week so stay tuned.

xoxo Mandy

Nov 26, 2012

Just Call Me Betty Crocker

So I got in a mood today. One of those moods that causes me to want to bake everything known to man. I bought supplies to make seven or eight different recipes, no joke.



Literally enough stuff to last me forever. I did what I always do when I get into one of these moods. I made it through three recipes and decided I was done for the night. Maybe tomorrow I'll bake some more or maybe I'll finish later this week.

I'm in the process of cleaning up so I'll add more photos, recipes, and all my projects tomorrow including the finished display of our wedding photos. Sorry for the poor quality photos, they're off of my phone.

Until tomorrow,
xoxo Mandy



Nov 24, 2012

Christmas has arrived!

I absolutely love Christmas! As much as I love Thanksgiving and I'm so thankful for everything, I am always so excited to decorate for Christmas. I'm still on Thanksgiving break until tomorrow afternoon so we decided to help decorate at my parents' house.

Mom went all out and bought new LED lights this year so I'm inheriting lots of "old" decorations to bring back to our place. I'll probably have to go out and buy some LED lights and more garland and such  because I want to deck our halls to the fullest.

I was in the festive mood while decorating so I donned the reindeer headband Mom got me this weekend. Christmas music fully blaring, we set out to fill this house with the holiday spirit. The tree is now up and fully decorated. Lights are strung up along the archways and above the cabinets. Tomorrow we'll help put up the outdoor lights before we head out.

Dad jumped out of the tractor today after doing some yard work and hurt his leg pretty badly so say an extra prayer for him please. Tomorrow is Mom's birthday and we'll  be traveling home and unpacking the rest of the day so I may not post tomorrow.

I'm hoping to plan out some fun 25 days of Christmas activities in the next few days as well as bake some holiday goodies. Any suggestions/recipes?

xoxo Mandy







Nov 23, 2012

Friday's Letters

I've been seeing a lot of these Friday's Letters posts and they seem like fun so I thought I would give it a try. Sorry it's not original but it seems like fun.

Dear Food Coma,
Thank you for taking over my body yesterday and today. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed you, I would love to get back to my daily activities now.

Dear Husband,
I love our families but I'm ready to go back to Ames and resume our normal lives. I'm getting extra paranoid that Gage may have another chocolate incident and I want some privacy back.

Dear Black Friday Shoppers,
I have no desire to stand out there with the crazies in the freezing cold on Thanksgiving so to each his own. I did spend the wee hours of the morning relaxed in the comfort of my bed and plan to shop at my own pace on Cyber Monday so I'll consider that a score on my part.

Dear Forward Helix piercing,
I'm glad that you're healing because I only got you on Monday but this itchiness has to stop. I'm struggling not to touch and I only have so much will power.

Dear Family,
I love you but I've had my fill for this week. I'll be back in a few weeks to do it all over again.

Dear Cyclones,
You're up by 1 point right now and we're already in a bowl game but an extra win is always nice. Go Clones!!

Dear Me,
That trip to Florida is a little less than four months away so it's time to kick it in gear. There are two "free" gyms within a 5 minute bus ride so there is really no excuse for not working out. Don't want to be embarrassed on your first trip to see the ocean.

I'm still pulling myself out of my food induced haze so forgive me for this short post. I'll be writing more about my trip home tomorrow or Sunday. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

xoxo Mandy
Gage hanging out before the ISU game vs. West Virginia this afternoon.

Nov 21, 2012

Wedding Wednesday #3

My blog looks atrocious right now and I'm in the process of figuring out how to make it look okay so bare with me until it is fixed. Hopefully my computer whiz of a brother will help me tomorrow, fingers crossed. I haven't posted in a while because I'm on Thanksgiving break and instead of having extra time to blog it seems like I have NO time to blog.

However it is Wednesday and I can't help myself so I'm stealing some alone time to write this post. M and I decided to break tradition and see each other before the wedding in order to get most of our pictures out of the way. We took so many pictures before the wedding that it's going to be split into multiple parts. Not sure if I can fit them all into two parts without picture overload so there will be at least two parts to pre-wedding shots.

I decided to do a "first look" look with my ladies because none of them had seen me in my dress since I ordered it. I wanted to capture their reactions because I knew it was going to be emotional and I probably wouldn't remember their exact faces. I was so right! (Thanks Fonda Photography!)




Then after we all dried our eyes I got to do it all over again because my daddy had just showed up. Yes I did just call him daddy; I'm a daddy's girl. So of course a first look with him was just as important. The one thing I do regret is not having my brother there because I wish I could have seen his first reaction also.




I had gotten through all the tears without ruining my makeup too much so I was ready to take some happy shots and start celebrating the big day. Mom and Dad were about to take off to make sure everything was set up so we took a few pictures before everyone headed separate directions.




The last few I'll add for today are a few snapshots of my bridesmaids. These girls went through a lot with me before hand and I'm so glad I had all of them there with me.







xoxo Mandy

fondaphotography.com