Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Political, Godly, and Smutty (My Reads from 2012)

For as long as I can remember, I've read before going to sleep. My mom and Aunt Nancy instilled a love of books and reading into me at a young age (I can remember reading "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" to myself before bed when I was about 8 or 9).

I typically try reading as many books as I can each year but this last year kind of fell through with the whole wedding planning/bridal magazines thing.

But I'm married now so.. I'm back!!

I am always looking for new book suggestions and love when ya'll blog about what you've read so I thought I'd share my twenty-twelve reads with you!

You may have heard me say this before but I couldn't stand The Busy Brides Bible by Angela Kear. The only time this book would be helpful to someone is if the bride-to-be has never heard of a wedding before--this guide had no real insight.
This is a great read--I booked Margaret Hoover (Herbert Hoover's great-granddaughter) for my political talk show last year and her publicist sent a copy of the book for our host to look over. If you're into politics, I highly recommend American Individualism. (P.S. She was an amazing guest--very smart and pleasant)
Oh, a girl close to my own heart. The whole memoir is really fun and witty but this single quote from Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? made the whole book : "What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair." Amen, sista.
Oh. My. Gah. This book made me laugh out loud (several times, in fact). Seriously, Bossypants. Check it out.
Have you ever heard of Tammy Maltby? I actually discovered her through Pinterest (she is a fabulous cook and makes the best looking desserts and side dishes) and went to her website and discovered that she is a nationally known Christian speaker and television personality. The God Who Sees You is so honest, inspiring and beautifully written and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
This is actually the 3rd or 4th time I have read Last Dance at the Frosty Queen but it's so funny and smart and it never gets old!
Same author as the previous one--seriously, if you're from a small town, read Boy Minus Girl. You'll understand why once you've finished it.
Hands down one of my top five favorite books of all time. What Alice Forgot sucks you in right from the start and keeps a tight hold on you through all 496 pages (quickest read of my life--I could NOT put it down).
I'm embarrassed to have this on the same list as "American Individualism," "The God Who Sees You," and "What Alice Forgot" but I did read it for book club so it's gotta go on the list. I have a ton to say about this book so stay tuned for a looonnnngggg post.
*ahem* well, I started the first one so I had to..
I'm not kidding--long blog post coming soon.
I just downloaded Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn), Drinking and Tweeting (Brandi Glanville), and Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand) onto my Kindle so I'm looking forward to cuddling up with these books as the cold weather/snow continues.

Do you have any book suggestions? I'm always looking!

Party, Party, I like to Party

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spicy Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Do you ever have one of those days where you can't decide what to have for dinner because everything sounds good?

That's how I was last week; I wanted chicken, sausage, seafood, chocolate, gummy bears, spice, etc.

So what did I make?

You guessed it. Jambalaya (except I didn't add in chocolate and gummies--but I may have to try that next time..)!

This recipe is so simple and is perfect on a cold, snowy day (like many of us are experiencing this week). Just throw everything in the crock pot and you've got a complete and filling meal.

**If you know me, you know I LOVE spicy--if you're not a fan, substitute the Hot Rotel with Original and nix the jalapenos**

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
  • 2 (10 oz.) cans Hot Rotel
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalapenos 
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
  1. Combine chicken, sausage, Rotel, jalapenos, chicken broth, Cajun spice mix, garlic powder and oregano in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours. 
  2. Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more.
    (Idea for recipe from My Recipes)

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Blizzard of Oz & a HUGE giveaway!

Do you live in the Midwest?

If you answered yes, I'm sorry--but know that I am in the same boat as you!

We got 17 (yes, SEVENTEEN) inches of snow last Wednesday and Thursday. And as is that wasn't enough, we're in for another 8" of snow today and tomorrow--and this time we have 35mph winds on top of it. Ugh!

It's being called 'The Blizzard of Oz' (because we're in KS--ba dum ching!) and I can easily say that I have never seen anything quite like this before. The snow was so bad that I was cooped up in our tiny, tiny townhouse for three days--so once the snow stopped and the sun came out on Friday, I dug my car out and visited my friend Abby and her adorable son Ben for a few hours.
This boy is a year and a half and knows how to use my iPhone better than I do.
Then on Saturday, B & I decided to take advantage of the sun and head out for lunch (Mexican food, yum!) and an afternoon of thrifting/antiquing. Our big find for the day was an antique 1918 Brunswick record player.. for $75!!
It's kind of rough but it still has all the parts with it. We're so excited to renovate it!
And yesterday was the Oscars! My favorite television night of the year!!

This should go without saying but I won in the Oscar ballots (reigning champ, thank you very much) and I made a delish Oscar dinner of spaghetti and homemade meatballs, garlic cheese bread and green beans.
Mmm carby goodness..
(If you want some of my 'hilarious' (-Annie) Oscar insights, check out my Twitter.)

I hope everyone has a wonderful (and warm!) week--to get you started off on the right foot, here is a HUGE giveaway that I know you'll love!!

One of my blogging besties, Kristine (from Heart Shaped Sweat) has organized a HUGE $250 Visa gift card giveaway (courtesy of some of your favorite bloggers!) for one of you lovely readers to win! Wanna enter? Check out the Rafflecopter below :)

aMileInHerBoots, TheDomesticGeek, GraceForGayle, TheDomesticatedWorkingWoman, AnnieOneCanCook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crazy (Winter Storm) Q

I'm from the eastern plains of Colorado and I don't think I've ever seen a storm quite like this!

Today I will be wearing my Snuggie, sipping hot tea and reading my HGTV Magazine to keep warm. If you're in the Midwest, stay safe!

Behind our apt. 2/20/13 @ 6pm
2/21/13 @ 10am
In front of apt. 2/20/13 @ 6pm
2/21/13 @ 10am

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rolling Stone Subscription for $3.99?!

This is probably the most random post I will ever have but I have to share the news..
(This probably goes without saying but this isn't a recent cover.. I just love Kurt Cobain)
For the next 36 hours, you can score a year long subscription of Rolling Stone Magazine for only $3.99 (regularly $103.99)!!

I definitely don't agree with the politics in the mag (it's just a matter of skimming past those articles..), but it is hands down the best pop culture mag out there.

There is a list of other magazines on sale too on Tanga's website (click here for the link).

Check. It. Out.

(P.S. I'm not being endorsed whatsoever for this post--I just thought it was an awesome deal and had to share! You're welcome.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Hottie Soldier, Strep Throat, Homemade Ornament, Breaking Bad & The Greatest V-Day Ever!

Okay, so I probably don't have strep.

I have a tendency of self diagnosing myself.. Typically, I diagnose what I have as the plague but as of now, I just have a really terrible sore throat, earache and occasional fever (just an FYI--the plague is when you have a cough that keeps you up all night, runny nose, sore throat and fever). Hopefully it doesn't get any worse.. we shall see.

Despite being sick, this Valentine's Day was the best Valentine's I have ever had (and no, I don't say that every year).

Here's how the day went:

B and I slept in (which was fabulous)--I always wake up before he does so I came downstairs, made some tea and caught up on a little blogging. Once he woke up, it was gift time!

Let me know if you get the shirt reference..
Chocolate covered bacon (I also got him a thermos--not pictured)!
Ignore the sick looking face and the mess behind me (we're getting ready to move so our place is a wreck..)--Brandon got me new earphones!
This one made me tear up..
..I have a thing where I have to buy a different ornament each Christmas that commemorates our year.. Brandon made one for 2013 with flowers from our wedding bouquet and boutineer flowers, a wine cork from our head table and parts of our ceremony program. Ooooh, I love that guy!
B also made biscuits and a really spicy gravy (that felt amazing on my throat!) for breakfast. Yum!!
My Valentine's Day attire--I was contemplating wearing sweats to work but decided I needed to dress for the holiday!
Brandon had to work until 10 and I figured I shouldn't cook (so I wouldn't spread whatever plagues me) so I went and picked up sushi for dinner and set the table for the occasion.

I got to use my cute Valentine's plates that I picked up at Goodwill for $.99 each!
We don't have a dining room table.. we don't have room for one. So I decorated our card table with a leftover wedding 'tablecloth' and some candles.. fancy schmancy!
We had such a nice time sipping on beer (B) and hot tea (me), listening to Frank Sinatra and chatting by candlelight. It.Was.Perfect.
What did you do for Valentine's this year??

Party, Party, I like to Party

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

7 Unique Date Ideas

Tomorrow is Valentines Day!

Do you and your honey have any plans?

No? Then you've come to the right place!
Yes? Well, you're here anyway so you might as well hang out awhile!

If you're not into the whole dinner/movie date (I mean, it's great from time to time.. but you gotta admit it gets old after awhile..), here are some fun and unique (and mostly inexpensive!) alternatives.

1.) Go Furniture Perusing/Shopping
Okay, just hear me out on this one.. It's actually really fun to go furniture shopping with your husband. Looking around at different furniture and bedroom sets, wall hangings, etc. will arouse conversation about personal style and might even inspire the two of you to do some redecorating (or a fun DIY project)!

2.) Read Together
When Brandon and I were dating, we would joke around about how we never wanted to be the couple that lays in bed reading every night. Fast forward about a year and, surprise! We're that couple (but in our defense, we don't read the same book)! We quickly discovered that it's the perfect way to unwind after a long day--it's quiet, it gives us a chance to just be together and it helps us to learn and grow even more. Brandon is usually reading an autobiography of some sort (it could be Steve Jobs or a military hero) and will stop reading to recap interesting tidbits to me. And then I'll return the favor by catching him up on my 'Fifty Shades of Gray' (ha, kidding.. kind of). 

3.) Visit an Amusement Park or Carnival
..because you wind up with flattering pictures like this. And because it gives you two a chance to kick back and act like kids again!

4.) Visit an Off-Road Tourist Attraction
If you're a regular here at Annie One Can Cook, you may remember Brandon's and my Genoa Tower adventure (if not, you can read the story here). It was probably the most bizarre 30 minutes of our relationship, but we can look back on this nightmare these memories and photos for years to come. The other great thing about small tourist attractions? The admission cost is typically next to nothing (it was $1 each in this case). 
Where else will you ever see a two-headed calf?
5.) Attend a Charity Event
A few months ago, my sweet boss was nice enough to give B & me tickets to a formal fundraiser charity event (that she was unable to attend). By going to the event, we were able to meet and chat with some prominent community members, eat delicious cuisine, sip on refreshing wine and give back to a local, worthwhile organization. We left feeling inspired and motivated to go out and do something good in the community.

6.) Visit a Bistro
Going out for dinner or lunch is okay (I guess..), but visiting a little bistro for an afternoon pick-me-up is wayyyy better. If you've ever been to a bistro or caffè, you know the atmosphere is typically quaint, intimate and quirky--perfect for a little afternoon getaway with your sweetie (not to mention they typically have the best coffee and tea)!
Last I checked, Starbucks coffee doesn't come with designs or in a cool, over sized mug.. Just sayin'.
7.) Go Thrifting
 Do it Macklemore style: Go to your local Goodwill/thrift store with $20 each and see who can come out with the best finds (you can switch it up by shopping for home decor, novelty items, clothes, etc.). The loser gets coffee at the cute bistro mentioned above!

I hope these ideas inspire you and your significant other to go out on a unique date tomorrow! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Giving Up Cursing and Eating Fish

It's Mardi Gras, ya'll!

Or, if you're Catholic like me, it's Fat Tuesday!


This is actually my favorite season of the year (well, that and the Advent/Christmas season)--it's such a peaceful time and I love how our church family comes together in prayer and fellowship. It is also a time to reflect on our Lord Jesus Christ and how he gave his life for you and me.

Lent is also a time of fasting and giving up certain luxuries for forty days and nights. I typically try to give up something that I rely on for lent and then do something to bring me closer to Christ.

And this year is no exception.

For this Lenten season, I will be giving up cursing (I did this last year and was fairly successful--I just have to warn everyone ahead of time not to do or say anything stupid until Easter Sunday..) and will work at being a more life giving wife to Brandon by doing something nice or special for him everyday.

I hope that everyone has a peaceful and Christ centered Lenten season.

To help everyone get started on the right foot, I'd like to share ten of my favorite Lenten Friday meals--it sure beats Kraft Mac and Cheese (actually, I lied--that stuff in the blue box is some of my favorite food ever)!
  1. Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta
  2. Brown Sugar French Toast
  3. Cheesy Shrimp Casserole
  4. Protein(y) Linguine
  5. Grilled Salmon with a Brown Sugar Glaze
  6. Momma's Fruity Shrimp
  7. Shrimp Festival
  8. Raspberry Jalapeno Quesadillas
  9. Crab Mac & Cheese
  10. Slow Cooker Green Bean Dumpling Soup
Party, Party, I like to Party

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Few of My Wedding Pics!

Guess what?!

I'm finally posting a few wedding pictures!!

I've been waiting for all of the professional ones to come in but I figured with this being the week of love, now is a good time to post them! Most of these are FB pics from my friends (special thanks to Erika, Steavon, Ashley, Jen and Auntie Sharon).


P.S. These are in a super random order--I had them all arranged perfectly with captions and then I clicked something that deleted everything--ugh! So here is my very out of order online scrapbook!

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