Monday, April 30, 2012

Meat Lovers Lasagna

Yes you read that right. Meat Lovers Lasagna. We have to have meat with every single meal in this household or my husband goes crazy. He is a really laid back, quiet guy, but if I hand him a  plate of food consisting of vegetabls or pasta with no meat, he goes ape! So a few years ago we were visiting his aunt and uncle in Florida and she made Meat Lovers Lasagna. He may have died and gone to heaven. I'll admit, it was delicious! I don't make this often, because trust in the name, it is a ton of meat! But it is the perfect dinner to make if you want to feed a small army, feed some football players or like I'm doing this week bring dinner to my coworker who is a brand new momma!

Meat Lovers Lasagna - Makes two 9.5x13 pans

Start by browning 5lbs of ground beef. Yes 5. This is extremely difficult. I usually have to do this in batches. The last time I did this I started a small grease fire...so last night I recruited my husband to help! Make sure to drain the meat!
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Next mix the meat with 14 fl. oz of tomato juice, 14 oz of tomato puree, and two chopped onions.
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Next mix the spices needed. 1 tsp of salt and sugar, 1/2 tsp of Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder and 4-5 Bay Leaves. This is where I add my own twist. I love sweet pasta sauce. Not too sweet, but sweeter than this. I add 3 more tsp of Sugar to my sauce. JUST right!

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Next add a jar of sliced mushrooms and my favorite ingredient a small package of pepperoni!
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Stir all of this together and cook on low heat for 2 hours. While this is cooking you can mix up the ricotta. This also differs from the recipe. I believe the more ricotta the better. So I use a large container of ricotta. Mix this with 4 eggs, 2 T of parsley flakes and 2 tsp of salt and pepper. Then I put this in the fridge until I'm ready to craft the lasagna.
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After cooking the sauce for two hours you can start layering the lasagna. Heat the oven at 350 degrees. Layer two 9.5x13 pans with the first layer being meat sauce. I chose thick aluminium pans because I need to take one to my coworker, but the last time I made this in a normal pyrex dish it boiled over all over my oven. I'm not making that mistake again. After the meat sauce, lay a layer of oven ready noodles. I usually go through 1.5 boxes of noodles. Then the ricotta mixture nice and heavy and then a layer of mozzerella cheese. When it's all said and done, you will use 2lbs of Mozzerella!

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Repeat that layer, finishing with a layer of meat on top and sprinkle with lots of parmesean cheese! Bake for 40 minutes.
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And enjoy!
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt
I am currently crazy about gold accents! Blame it on the summer months that are right around the corner, but the second I get a little Vitamin D into my system I want all things sunny, bronzed and beautiful. These gold pieces are so unique and would add a special something to any outfit.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In Full Bloom

Today I am participating in Marion's Trend of the Month Challenge and April's Trend is Floral! Floral is one of my favorite patterns. It is feminine and classy. You can wear it professionally as well as casual. Today I chose to wear it casual and throw in that denim jacket everyone has been talking about. My answer? I love the denim jacket; however, I do believe there is a time and place for them. Today's outfit is all clothes I've had for a few years! This shows how trends tend to come back to us.

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Dress: Urban Outfitters {old} | Denim Jacket: Gap {old} | Belt: NY & Co {old} | Wedges: Guess {no longer online} | Bracelets: Michael Kors, Pandora, American Eagle, bff

I wanted to share my bracelets with you so I could point out one of my favorites, my BFF :) bracelet. Unfortunately the charity no longer exists, but a few years ago you could buy a bracelet and a matching bracelet would be sent to a military member overseas. All proceeds went to organizations that directly serve and support the military and their families.

Head on over to Marion's to link up your favorite Floral trend!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stand Out Lips

I love experimenting with new makeup colors, but I usually stick to different shades of eyeshadow or eyeliner. Lately, I can't help but be drawn to the bright pink and orange lipstick shades! I think lipstick is scary. I've never worn it, so call me a rookie. Last Thursday I posted a picture with bright pink lipstick and I had several people tell me they were terrified to try it too! My advice, just try it! It is one of those things where you will be your own toughest critic. Once you start wearing it and get used to it, it becomes a new daily staple. My two colors of choice: Rimmel's Kate Moss #12 and Smashbox Be Legendary in Pink Petal.

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You will have to try different shades depending on your skin tone, hair and even age! If you have a pink/rosy  complexion look for something with a blue undertone and if you have a warmer/golden complexion look for something with an orange undertone. Since all of those undertones overwhelm me I usually ask an expert at the counter!

Here is some inspiration:



















My number one piece of advice when applying lipstick, especially bold lipstick, is take your time! This isn't a gloss you can swipe on while walking or talking, or atleast not for me. I'd end up looking like Bozo the Clown. Lipstick needs to go on perfectly. Liner is also a great way to help get a polished look!

I hope you go and try a bright color today! Check back tomorrow for Marion's Trend of the Month Challenge!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Man

Today is K's 31st birthday! We have a 5 1/2 year different between us, so I love to give this old guy a hard time. Last year I decorated with dinosaurs, this year I'll take it easy on him!

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Happy Birthday to my best friend and perfect other half to this amazing team. When our careers have thrown us curve balls these past two years we've kept on swinging. I completely support him and he completely supports me. I've become proud to follow this man and his crazy profession around this country because he not only appreciates, but respects the sacrifices I've had to make. We try not to take each other for granted. We've learned to build our life goals together rather than independently. Oh and he reads my blog.

Sure, we have our spats from time to time. This isn't a bed of roses. However, we try to make them quick and painless, we usually learn a thing or two from them and move on!

Last night I tried celebrating the 80s baby in you by dancing around to all of our favorite 80s hits, I apologize that you were trying to sleep at the time. Just in case you missed it, which you probably didn't...this song was for you!


Tonight we'll celebrate with lots of steak and lots of strawberry shortcake. I love you babe and I hope you have a wonderful birthday today even if you wouldn't play hooky with me. I guess I love the hardworker in you too.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's OK and Giveaway Winner!

I apologize for the delay in announcing the Urban Decay Winner! 
The winner is Holly from Precisely Holly! Congrats Holly! I'll be sending you an email today!

Thanks everyone for participating!


Today I'm linking up with Neely and Amber for It's OK Thursday:

It's OK:

To have to lug your plastic container of sweaters out of storage because we are having a cold spell!

To tell your husband you "need" something because well it's for THE BLOG

To be late for work because you were too busy staring at your couch debating if you like your throw pillows

To stalk your husband in a crowd (Sorry it took me three quarters to figure out you were down there!)


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To not understand the rant and raving about Essie Nail Polish, I don't think it goes on evenly, ever

I will always be an OPI faithful

To be obsessed with pink and tangerine lipstick

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To already plan what I will be doing Sunday if it rains all day, hello housework!

To spend lunch learning Italian from YouTube videos, what can't you learn from YouTube?




Its Ok Thursdays

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Simple and Office Ready

Today's outfit post is one that does not take a lot of time or effort. I need those go-to sheath dresses for my workplace. They are easy to throw on and you instantly look classic and professional. I think every working girl should own a black one, a gray one, and one with gorgeous color! Today I'm sharing my gray one!

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Dress: Calvin Klein {similar here} | Belt: Nine West {via TJ Maxx} | Shoes: Guess {similar here} | Earrings: Kenneth Cold {Nordstrom Rack} | Watch: Michael Kors {here} | Bracelet: Tiffanys {here} | Sunglasses: Armani Exchange {similar here}


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Night Terror

As you read yesterday my poor husband has been battling the flu bug. That means he has taken various cold remedies to help him sleep. Normally K sleeps harder than a rock. Literally. There is no waking this guy up. So a few nights ago it shocked me that he woke up screaming! Yes screaming! Scared the living daylights out of me. He screamed and kicked and jumped up!

Me: K, what is wrong?
K: I don't know
Me: Did you have a nightmare?
K: I don't know
Me: Were you being attacked?
K: I don't know
Me: Alright, I'm going back to bed, It's 3am.

The next morning...

Me: Geez K, do you remember screaming last night?
K: ha, yeah
Me: Well do you remember what the nightmare was about?
K: I think you were swiping my credit card.


As always ladies and gentleman, Mr. Funny Guy.

Stop watching TV so close!! This might cause nightmares, not my very careful and thoughtout spending :-)

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Flu Bug!

My house was hit with the flu bug this past week! My poor husband was down and out. He started feeling symptoms in the middle of last week, but worked through it. He went to his Spring Game on Saturday and that was it. He was done. I think he may have moved from the couch once on Sunday. Fever, chills, sore throat, coughing, headache, bodyache, and congestion. So I spent my weekend playing nurse.

One thing you can learn about me is I catch everything. If you have it, I'll probably get it. So I have been counting down the hours until this bug gets me, let's cross our fingers I finally beat this one!

My mother in Minnesota had the exact same flu last week. Being as smart as she is, she actually went to the doctor. The doctor informed her that she was seeing a late round of this flu strain. Sure enough when I went to Target to pick up some NyQuil, they were all out! I'd sure say that is quite a round!

So stay healthy guys! Constantly wash your hands and work areas. Eat healthy. Pump up the Vitamin C and Vitamin D. The second you feel like you are feeling symptoms, take Zicam! This is my new go-to and so far, I've been bug free!

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Zicam is a homeopathic solution to reduce the duration and severity of cold symtpoms. In my experience, it is necessary to take Zicam (it comes in tablet, nasal spray or swab form) immediately for it to be most effective.

I am not a doctor, so this is not MD advice. I just wanted to share with you what has worked for me so far. Zicam is not sponsoring this post, it is just one medicine that has worked for me!

Since I was busy playing nurse yesterday I didn't get a chance to pick an Urban Decay winner. So I am going to keep the giveaway open until 10pm tonight! Winner will be announced tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bring on the Rain

Do you remember my raincoat post awhile back? I have been searching high and low for a raincoat that I could wear with various outfits and I finally found one! Thank goodness too because we have had some wet weather lately!
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Raincoat: Cynthia Rowley {found at TJ Maxx} | Dress: Dillards {old} | Shoes: Guess {No longer online, similar here} | Glasses: Armani Exchange {Last season, similar here} | Necklace: Pearls

I love the details of this raincoat! I've been able to dress it up and dress it down. The perfect Spring staple. And it was a great TJ Maxx find? It doesn't get better than that. Have you guys found anything great at TJ Maxx lately?

Have you entered my Urban Decay Giveaway yet?

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Rolled-Up Pretty, and A Little Bit of Lacquer Today!

Thursday I linked-up with Modern Modest Beauty!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bang Bang Shrimp

When K and I are on a strict "going out to eat" budget we try to recreate some of our favorite meals at home. One of our favorite recipes has become Bang Bang Shrimp from the Bonefish Grill. Not only is it extremely easy, it is delicious! It makes for a great appetizer, meal or tailgate food! I'll make it right before I leave the house, pack it away in a heated pyrex carrier and it stays nice and warm until I arrive at the tailgate and everyone can eat it. The heated pyrex carrier is a tailgating MUST-HAVE. But that is a story for a different day.

Bang Bang Shrimp is made with 4 simple ingredients. Since I do not own a deep-fat fryer OR I usually don't feel like making an oil mess on my stove I buy prebreaded shrimp that I only have to bake. For the sauce I only need Mayo, Sweet Chili Sauce, and Sriracha is optional.

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In a large bowl I mix about a cup of mayo. This can vary on your taste. Same goes for the sweet chili sauce. The Sriracha is used to add heat to the dish. I usually squeeze in a couple drops. Again, this is optional. Whisk it all together until it becomes very creamy.

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Once the shrimp is done baking I gently add them to the bowl and mix lightly. I don't want the breading to fall off so this is done very gently.

 
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Then transfer to a serving dish! Since this turned out to be our Easter Dinner it became finger foods/entree for us! What was the point of making a nice sit down dinner when I knew K would want to eat whatever in front of the Masters! I recommend eating right away, it is always better hot!

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This recipe can easily be turned into bang bang shrimp tacos by filling a few tortillas. The restaurant also does this. Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Week with Jo

Here is my week with Jo in Pictures. Joey is a blogger over at Hodges Podges. Last week I shared with you the Easter Cookies she helped me make. She is one funny girl and has become a great friend! I love her recap of our week, so check it out here. Well despite the whole killing her part....Yoga was SUPPOSE to be easy that night!

Our week began with some amazing Pizza from a local place in Raleigh, trust me when I say I'll be visiting there again! Then we stumbled upon a poker game with Joey's family. I lost, but I said I'd include the winner on my blog. Here you go Tim!!

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Joey and I continued the week with some great Mexican, Killer Yoga Class, Stadium tour, Steak grilling and some serious Cookie decorating!

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We ended a fantastic week by meeting us with Becca from The Places You'll Go. Nothing like a Saturday morning coffee date on the most gorgeous day!
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I was so excited to meet up with these fabulous girls and we can't wait for our weekend in Tampa!


Have you entered my Urban Decay giveaway yet?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Cookies

There is no point to dying Easter Eggs with K. What would we do with them? We'd probably make a gigantic mess. So we steered clear of egg dye this year and chose to make something sweeter!

Joey from Hodges Podges was in town this entire week, which has been wonderful! She came over to help me make Easter Cookies! She was the best recipe reader!

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My stand mixer made her maiden voyage on Wednesday. WARNING: Put the wet ingredients in first and then mix in the dry while the machine is running...or else you WILL have flour everywhere. Including your hair.

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Here are the eggs pre-frosting. I need a cooling rack. These cookies are incredibly soft. You need to be very very careful when transferring cookies. Please ignore the chinese food sauce from our pig out dinner!

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By the time we started frosting it was around 9:30pm. So we doubled up!

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And here are the finished cookies!

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This is my husband's family recipe that is why I'm not going to share it on the blog, but I really wanted to share with you some decorating inspiration! Not only are they delicious, but we had a blast making them! Now if you notice on my next outfit post that I look 10lbs heavier, you can blame these guys! Maybe we should have just stuck to dying eggs....