Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This recipe is seriously delish. It's quick, easy and so flavorful! I wish I had taken pictures of what our's looked like (something I'm going to be better about!) or even better, Jason's face while eating and enjoying. Two thumbs up from the husband!

Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce Recipe

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound spicy or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1 cup whipping cream
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 Tbsp dried sage

3/4 pound fettuccine

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up the sausages a bit, about 5 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices. Add sage. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
3 Return pasta to same pot; add sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Serves 6.

I did make a couple changes to make it a bit healthier. I used turkey sausage which is MUCH healthier and tastes just as good, substituted the heavy cream for fat free half and half and served it over whole wheat linguine. Seriously yummy!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I am absolutely loving the flowers my love sent me today! We barely saw each other yesterday so we decided that today would be our valentine's day. And I'm off work so even better!

And I'm writing this from my phone. Booyah!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So a few weekends ago my parents and two of my sisters, Annie and Melody, came down for a couple of days and we had the best time! One of my favorite things that we did was have a girls day at the mall while my dad and Jason went to a men's retreat at Elmbrook Church. I went with Annie and Mel to Sephora for the first time. Ridiculous, I know. We spent almost two hours examining every part of the store and testing everything they had to offer. Annie had cat-eye eyeliner done, which looked fabulous and Mel pinpointed exactly which perfume was the best (Taylor Swift Wonderstruck, obviously). We had so much fun!

I picked up a couple things since I had some money saved from winning my fantasy football league (booyah!). 

love this mascara. It makes my short, pale lashes look much longer and thicker. I'm not sure they quite look like like I have fake eyelashes on BUT with two coats, I would say I have about half the Kardashian look. And I'll take it! 

This lipgloss is perfection. I normally stay away from darker shades and stick with more neutral, sheer shades but my sisters had me trying on all kinds of colors I wouldn't normally pick out!I love how it brightens up my coloring and how long it lasts. Definitely a favorite! 

I didn't buy this eyeshadow set, Naked by Urban Decay with my sisters. I actually got it for Christmas from my mother-in-law! I am obsessed with it!! I love how I can wear the more neutral covers on an every day basis and use the more dramatic ones for date nights. It's amazing and I definitely recommend it. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

So for a hot second last week we thought that we might be moving. You see, is the time of year where our apartment complex lets us know that we've lived here for about a year and gives us the chance to renew our lease or we can leave. Let me be clear, we like where we live. Our apartment is very spacious and affordable. We're in a good part of Milwaukee and we're very close to our Church. However, we both have a commute, mine being a very doable twenty minutes while Jason's is at least forty five minutes long. So, moving to more of a middle ground to our jobs would be something we're interested in. 

There's also the fact that while our apartment is nice, it's very cookie cutter, run of the mill, dare I say boring? When we lived in Evanston we had an apartment that had lots of windows and creaky wooden floors, and I. Loved. It. I would absolutely jump at the chance to move into a place with just a little more character or history to it. However, uniqueness comes at a price and with Jason starting grad school, we don't have any room in our budget to increase our rent payment. So, we decided that since we have two weeks to decide whether we stay or go, we'll take advantage of the time and look to see if there are any apartments/condos/duplexes that would peak our interest and be in our price range. 

Well, it's been about a week of looking and it looks like we're staying! We inquired about several different places but it came down to either no dogs allowed, not the best part of town, just a little more than we wanted to pay, etc. In other words, God shut the door (at least for now! God, you know you have one more week to open it, right?!). 

So now that we're staying I've decided that we need to put a little bit of TLC into our apartment to make it more homey. I've moved at least once a year for the past 4 years (not forgetting the summer of 2008 in which I moved THREE times) and I have found I have a hard time putting my roots down. I stack things in closets, hesitate to hang things on the wall, skip organizing all because in the back of my mind I think "well, I probably won't be here long anyways." No more of that! I've decided that I'm going through my piles, I'm consolidating, I'm getting rid of the huge ugly bookcase in one of our bedrooms and I WILL decorate the empty wall in our dining room! Shoot, I'm going to get new throw pillows for our couches! Watch out world!! 

Now that it's been decided I'm on the search for inspiration! I'm all over blogs and pinterest looking for new ideas and things that I can do. Here are some of my favorites:

The whole trend of hanging pictures with words, saying, etc. can be easy to over do in my opinion. But this is so cute! 

Love this, minus the teal fake frame. I love the vintage feel it gives! Plus, I have a gorgeous gold mirror in our bedroom that I stole from my mom and it is one of the favorite things in our home, so it could tie in with that. 

This is great, plus I learned from this blog post how I could make these on my own! Totally doable and not too intimidating. I think I would do six frames though since I have enough space. 

Love this! It would take some time to get the frames together and frame worthy pictures, but I could do it right?? 

Can I just live here? *swoon*

What do you guys think? Any other ideas or inspiration for me?? Anyone want to come and just decorate my home? You're more than welcome to! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tomorrow is a big day for us. Jason will be having his last first day of school!! I am so very, very proud of my sweet husband.

Last week we received news that Jason had been accepted into Marquette's MBA program..and that he starts on Tuesday!! We are both really excited for this next step in our lives! Jason has worked so hard to get this far and I know that he is going to do very well. It's such a blessing to have him going to a great and well known school as well. God has truly blessed us!

To celebrate Jason's first day, I made him one of his favorite snacks: my homemade granola bars! I think I may have posted this on here before but it is so good that it bears repeating. I got the original recipe from here but the one I've posted below has my own personal "tweaks."

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. flax seed, milled
3/4 c. shelled sunflower seeds
1 c. chopped nuts (I usually use peanuts)
1 c. shredded coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. brown sugar or your favorite natural sweetener
1/2 c. honey
2 tsp. molasses
4 T. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 T. peanut butter
1 c. dried, chopped fruit (I used dried cherries today, blueberries and cranberries are also really yummy!)

1. mix first 7 ingredients together and place on a rimmed baking sheet. toast in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes, stirring several times during cooking.  let cool at least 15 minutes.
2. bring next 4 ingredients to a simmer, stirring continuously. stir in the vanilla and peanut butter and cool for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. put the toasted ingredients and dried fruit in a large bowl and pour the liquid ingredients over it. mix very well.
4. place wax paper in the rimmed baking sheet, then place the granola bar mixture in the pan. put another  sheet of wax paper on top of the mixture and press down. roll with a rolling pin to make it very tight, smooth, and even.
5. let set for at least 2-3 (I usually let them sit for around 4 and they are much easier to cut) hours and cut into desired bar size. makes about 20-24 bars. package in snack size bags or an airtight container. We usually put our's in snack size bags and store them in the freezer so that Jason can take them with him to work. He loooves these and I feel good about giving him a healthy and filling snack! 


P.S. Sorry about the lame look of my page right now. I'm in the middle of switching things around and can't seem to figure out something I like. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!!