Monday, May 25, 2009

i LOVE the lake

What A Weekend! I was completly exhausted on Friday after being in class all morning and then going to Leo Junior/Senior High for the remainder of the afternoon, so Sam and I ordered Casa takeout and watched the movie 7 Pounds. We decided not to go out because we needed to get ready for the lake.
Saturday was the best part of the weekend! We headed off to Clear Lake to join our friends, Brent and Christina, at their lake house. I cannot believe I didn't take any pictures of their house. It was absolutely adorable! Sailboats everywhere! The water was way too cold for me and Christina, but the boys had no problem freezing their butts off. Sam skiied and Brent wake boarded while Christina and I soaked up all the sun we could handle.
Sam Skiing
Brent Wake Boarding
Me and Christina
Sam and Brent

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Graduate

My brother, Ryan, graduated from North Little Rock High School this week. Ahhhh, what an accomplishment! Ryan is a very dedicated friend, brother, cousin, uncle, son, grandson, musician, WOW player, stay-up-all-nighter, socializer, skiier, wake boarder, road tripper, napper (lol), and texter. Seriously though, all jokes aside Ryan is the best brother! He is sweet, funny, adorable, talented, smart, and has somehow survived being the youngest in a family of 3 older sisters. And did I mention he's so funny?! His sense of humor is one of my very favorite things about him! Another one of my favorite personality traits is his free-spirit! I think that is a very rare and wonderful quality! I am so proud of him! I was not able to see him graduate because I live in Indiana and it broke my heart. I cannot believe he is finished with high school, and I am excited to see where life takes him next. Here are some pictures of Ryan, his huge graduating class of 603 people, and my family (captions are below pictures).
Mom, Ryan, Dad Pawpa, Ryan, Meme Brittany and Ryan
No, she isn't naked. They have warm weather in the south!Ryan with The Frensley's - Brandlyn, Elli, Hunter, Aspen, & Chris (I think those girls are sleepy!) Aunt Terri, Ryan, Uncle Scott, and Braye
NLRHS Class of 2009!

Italian Stuffed Pasta Shell Recipe

This is one of mine and Sam's favorite dishes. As promised, here is my sister's recipe for Italian Stuffed Pasta Shells. Brittany is a great cook and taught me how to make this fabulous dinner when we were in college. It is a cinch and very tasty!Initial Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rapid boil.

Ingredients for Stuffed Pasta Shells
1 box Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese

Ingredients for Sauce
1 large jar Old World Traditional Ragu Sauce
*Season to taste: minced garlic, garlic powder, garlic salt, onion salt, oregano, freshly ground black pepper. These ingredients are optional, but I never make spagetti sauce without them!

Directions for cooking Jumbo Pasta Shells
Once the water in the pot is rapidly boiling, pour in jumbo pasta shells and boil over medium-low heat. Boil jumbo pasta shells in water until they are almost cooked. Drain and set aside. Tip: If the pasta shells are too soft they will not hold the Italian sausage and cheese mixture.

Directions for preparing Italian Sausage Mixture
Brown the spicy Italian sausage. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. In the same large bowl, add the Ricotta and Parmesan Cheese and mix together the 3 ingredients. Fill jumbo pasta shells with the mixture (measure about 1 heaping spoon for each jumbo pasta shell). Place stuffed pasta shells in a large cassrole dish and set aside.

Directions for preparing Sauce
Pour 1 large jar of Ragu Old World Traditional spagetti sauce into a large saucepan. After sauce is heated through, slowly add minced garlic, garlic powder, garlic salt, onion salt, oregano, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. **If you use fresh garlic, mince 2-3 cloves and saute in evoo before adding the spagetti sauce. After sauce is heated and seasoned to taste, pour it over the stuffed pasta shells and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the dish. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until mozzarella cheese is melted.

This recipe serves 6-8 people. ENJOY!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring Flings

Sam and I had a fun-filled weekend and I am excited to announce that I bought a new plant, a Dahlia. Beautiful, yes! The problem is that I have to actually take care of this plant and I have not done the best job so far. But practice make perfect, right?!

Friday night was very relaxing. I went to Ella's t-ball game and then Sam and I had dinner and watched two movies with Aaron, Allison, and Nathan. The movie Taken was pretty good, but the quality of the second movie, whose name has escaped me, is debatable.


Our good friends, Brent and Christina, had an engagement party on Saturday at the Botannical Gardens in downtown Fort Wayne. This was their very first party/shower as an engaged couple and it was a perfect day for celebrating! Sam and I met Brent and Christina through Sam and Christina's parents who live in the same neighborhood. Christina is a ball of fun and we knew we were going to be great friends the day we met. Our fiance's hit it off from the beginning too. We love hanging out with them and it is especially fun having another engaged couple around. They are getting married this November. The picture below is of Brent, Christina, me, and Sam. Don't you just love the colorful Spring wardrobes?!Saturday night, Sam and I had the Tingley's over for dinner. I made an appetizer, a yummy salad, Italian stuffed pasta shells (recipe courtesy of Brittany Bennett), garlic bread, and Liz brought over a delicious lemon pie. Yum-O! It was all delicious! Liz and I met last September while taking the Indiana Praxis test. Like women often do, we bonded in the ladies room. I was so happy to have a friend in Fort Wayne before I moved up here. I met Liz's husband, Chad, soon after I moved to Fort Wayne. Like always, Sam and I had a great time with them.

A little fun fact: I love cooking and entertaining, especially with all my new kitchen accessories like this cute apron! You can't tell from the picture, but it has the most adorable ruffles on the bottom...LOVE it!


Sunday was very relaxing! I feel bad for skipping church, but I really needed the sleep. So I slept in, made pancakes, worked on thank you notes, cleaned house, went for a delightful car ride with my honey in the Porsche, and joined him at Franke Park to do a 3 mile walk benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. The company Sam works for, DePuy Orthopaedics, was a sponsor. It was a beautiful day for a walk outside and I met a lot of new people! I also met this cute little guy below. He reminded me of Tusk II, the Razorback's mascot, so I had to take a picture with him!


I just remembered that my friend, Bekah, tagged me to do a personal inventory so here we go.
The Instructions
1. Mention the person who tagged you.
2. Complete the list of 8 things.
3. Tag 8 of your bloggy friends.
4. Tell them you tagged them.
Eight Things I Look Forward To:
1. Our wedding day (8/15/09)
2. Seeing my family in Arkansas
3. Seeing my high school/college friends
4. Upcoming bridal showers
5. Going to the lake with friends this weekend
6. Our honeymoon in St. Lucia...WOO HOO!
7. Getting my Indiana teaching license
8. Watching the season premiere of The Bachelorette tonight
Eight Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Slept in.....blissful!
2. Made "home-made" pancakes. Just add water!
3. Wrote a ton of thank you notes
4. Participated in the Arthritis Foundation Walk with Sam. His company was a sponsor.
5. Took my picture with a pig at the Arthritis Foundation Walk. It made me think of Tusk II so I was in Hog Heaven. Pictured below: Me and Wilbur (I don't know his real name) 6. Took a Sunday drive with Sam in his Porsche and we saw 2 Ferraris
7. Ate dinner with Sam's family at his parent's house
8. Watched the Desperate Housewives season finale
Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. See my family more
2. Go to Lake Ouachita this summer
3. Get a massage and/or a facial
4. Tan
5. Keep more plants alive
6. Find time to get my scuba diving certification
7. Go on a trip with my Delta girlfriends
8. Have more time in the day
Eight Shows I Watch:
1. The Office
2. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
3. Desperate Housewives
4. The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
5. Dancing With The Stars
6. Brothers & Sisters
7. Private Practice
8. Grey's Anatomy

I am tagging Liz Tingley and Brooke Weaver. I think most of my other friends have already been tagged.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Quick Update

I haven't updated my blog in a long time because I have had so much going on lately. Learning how to juggle wedding planning, bridal showers, work, school, family, and my personal life has not been as easy as I thought it would be. I love blogging, but it has been put on the backburner because of my busy schedule. I promise to do better from now on! I was going to do a quick recap, but I have to much to blog about so I am breaking it up into two parts! Here is the first.

Christina, Me, Liz
Saturday, May 2
My first bridal shower in Fort Wayne was wonderful! It was a warm, sunny Saturday at the Fort Wayne Country Club and everything was beautiful! I met many of Sam's out-of-town relatives for the first time and also got to catch up with people I hadn't seen in a while. "Around the Clock" was the theme and I got so many wonderful gifts and thoughtful cards. My niece, Ella, was such a big helper and she kept me on task by bringing me presents to open.
Keri and Ella
The shower was given by my future Mother-in-law's best friend, Dana Kaminsky, who we call "Aunt Dana". She put so much time into carefully planning every detail of my bridal shower. The invitations were beautiful, the flower arrangements were bright and fresh, the lunch was amazingly delicious, and she must have taken a hundred pictures because she knows how important pictures are for every bride!

Aunt Dana, Me, Marlene

Tuesday, May 5 - CINCO DE MAYO

Christina Brooks, Me, Liz Tingley, Brooke Weaver, Keri Sackett

Around 7am Tuesday morning, I sent a text to all my girls saying "Happy Cinco de Mayo. I miss you so much!" You see, traditionally, my girlfriends and I get together every Cinco de Mayo for a big celebration! It is one of my favorite traditions because it is unique and it started in college with my best gals: Kendall, Bekah, Collin, Meredith, Kelsey, & Stacia. Any excuse for friends to get together to eat, drink, and have fun is good enough for me! My predicament this year: I do not live anywhere near those girls anymore. So, I decided to begin a new tradition with my friends in Indiana! So I sent the Cinco de Mayo email out to my girls here and everyone was so excited!

Brent, Christina, Matt, Keri, Brooke, Liz, Sam, Glen

We had a Mexican Fiesta at Sam's house with a few of our friends, The Sackett's, Weaver's, Tingley's (minus 1-we were sad Chad couldn't make it), and the soon to be Myers (Brent and Christina are engaged). Everyone brought something to the party and we had a Cinco-de-Mayo-Style Mexican Fiesta! It was a warm, beautiful day and the margaritas just hit the spot!
Sam's Margarita Recipe:
1/2 can frozen limeade
2 parts Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila
1 part Triple Sec
So, we were all happily drinking our margaritas and having a great time and out of no where "BOOM!". Was I shot? Was there an airstrike going on? No, it was my wonderful fiance', Sam, acting like a 4 year old again. I was soaked! A water balloon hit the corner of the table nearly missing my face. Yes, that's right, he threw a water balloon from the front of the house to the back where we were sitting. It completely soaked one side of my shirt! It was all in good fun so I just laughed and changed into a different shirt...the margaritas most likely had something to do with my positive outlook on the whole thing. Everyone had a great time and we can't wait to do it again next year! Hopefully by next year we will have a bigger house and be able to invite many more people!

Monday, May 4, 2009

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...

Sam had boys' night on Friday and I promised the kids we would make sugar cookies sometime last week with the new cookie cutters I received as a shower gift. 100 cookie cutters to be exact! So Keri rented Bedtime Stories for the kids and we baked. Great movie! Great cookies! The kids had such a great time and I always love spending time with them. As promised, I will bring the cookie cutters to Arkansas when I visit my family at the end of May. Hunter is really excited about baking and frosting the cookies for our next Pogey Bait Night!
Above: Me and Owen mixing the frosting
.Above: Noah, Me, & Ella deciding which cookie cutters to use
.Above: Noah, Ella, & Owen taste testing the frosting. They loved it!
.Above: Owen helping me clean the kitchen. He hates a messy kitchen and I made a BIG mess! But messes make the experience much more enjoyable!
.Above: Ella showing her finished product! Bon appetite!
I promise to post the sugar cookie and buttercream frosting recipes sometime this week! Also, if you are confused about the title of this particular blog then you haven't read the children's book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. It's a great one! Happy Baking!