Friday, December 30, 2011

Tomato & Black Bean Quinoa

It has been a while since I shared a recipe with you. But trust me, the wait was well worth it. 

I wanted to make something that I could take for lunch at work for a few days. This recipe looked delicious, seemed healthy, and appeared as though it would be just as good leftover. And  and extra little perk... it's vegan! If you want a light, easy recipe, I highly recommend this one.

Here's the link to the recipe:

I added a diced cucumber and made the quinoa according to package directions, but otherwise I used the recipe just as it is. You won't be disappointed!

I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do.

To a healthy 2012... ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Packing Day

As you may or may not know, in one short week I'll be a travelling nurse! I'm going to be working at a hospital in Florida for 13 weeks. I'm very nervous about the new job part, but I'm very excited about the adventure part. I'll be living with a close college friend, Katlyn, while I'm there -- which will be a great reunion!

Mike will be accompanying me for the drive down to Florida [great bonding time, right?!] and then flying back home. He'll be in Omaha for the 13 weeks I'm gone, and I'll be returning after I complete my assignment. The time apart will be rough, but with Skype and unlimited Verizon-to-Verizon minutes, we'll keep in very close touch.

But for today... PACKING! I just don't enjoy it. At all. I've been living with my brother for the last couple months, so I don't have much in my possession anyway. But I still have some packing to do. The question is: What does a girl need for 13 weeks in Florida??

I'm making an educated guess. I'll tell you in 14 weeks if I guessed correctly or not.

Anyway, keep Mike and I in your prayers for a safe 20-hour roadtrip. I'll keep you posted on how things are going on the Gulf Coast in the middle of winter [I promise, I'm not rubbing it in....]. And keep in touch--Please! I'm going to miss my friends and family more than I can imagine.

Jason and Katlyn, my roommates for the next 13 weeks :)
...and the sunset over the beach I'll be visiting frequently!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wedding Plan Progress

Today was a very unexpected day off from work. At 6am, my phone rang. The floor I work on had too many nurses for the number of patients there today, so I was called off. This doesn't happen often, but it's a very pleasant surprise when it does.

So instead of 12 hours of work, it was 12 hours of wedding planning. Ok, so there was a much needed coffee break with a great friend, but Mike and I made a lot of progress.

A couple weeks ago, I made a list of things to do before I leave for Florida. It isn't quite completed, but it's dwindling. We've secured our church, reception site, and transportation. We're very close to securing our hotel block and rehearsal dinner location. Our guest address list is nearly finished, and we have photographers, DJs, and cake bakers narrowed to just a few.

Our wedding party has been quite the debate. I have 8 close girlfriends that I wanted to be in my bridal party, but Mike vetoed that one immediately. [he says he doesn't want the front of the church to be a circus.] We've been teetering between 5 and 6 attendants each, and it's quite a fine line. [This has been such a sticky debate because I don't want to hurt any girls' feelings, but I have a suspicion that a friend or two might take the selection personally. But I can't make my decision based on their opinion, blah, blah....] We'll get there.

Colors have been another topic of conversation. I initially thought a plum/chartreuse/slate combo would look nice. Mike said yes at first, but wasn't a fan when he learned the bridesmaid dresses would not be lime green. Then came a cranberry/gold combination. Mike said no. who knew he was so opinionated about colors?! Mike's vote was a combination of kelly green/ivory/slate. I mentioned burnt orange, and he also liked that. So the debate continues. Thoughts? Opinions?

Nine months and counting....
See you in October :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Kansas City

This year I'm spending Christmas in Kansas City with Mike's family. We've had an eventful couple of days already... We ate lasagna and various Christmas cookies, watched the Raiders narrowly beat the Chiefs in overtime, and we just finished making Christmas wreath cornflakes cookies -- a Wierzbicki family tradition. Mike's middle brother delegated to me his usual task of shaping the cornflakes into wreaths with Mike's mom, Marie. My fingers are now green, but they turned out great... The boys have already starting eating them!

Marie and I shaping the wreaths

The finished product with the Christmas flower arrangement

Christmas wreaths!

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa Baby

With the Christmas season fully underway, Kayla asked me to take a couple pictures of Kasey so that she could include them in Christmas cards she's sending to family and friends. Of course I was obliged to practice my photography skills with such a cute subject!

Here's what we captured of Kasey's First Christmas...


  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cookie Platter

You may have figured this out already, but I'm on a crafty kick. And it happens to be Christmas season, so I'm all about Christmas-y crafts. It's great.

I have one final Christmas craft that Rachael and I did during my visit to see her. Then I'll lay off the Chrstmas crafts. Promise. [for now...]

We saw some really cute platters for Christmas cookies or the like, but they were kind of expensive. And I'm on a budget. [i'm planning a wedding, if you forgot...] So why not make our own? It's always great to have a platter on hand to give an impromptu gift during the holiday season.

   -plain charger (98 cents, by the way)
   -acrylic paints
   -sealant (we used mod podge spray)

   -pretend to be artsy and paint on holiday things
   -apply glitter where applicable, i.e. on the berries (i love glitter)
   -let dry, then apply several coats of sealant to hold the glitter and paint in place

   -a festive platter [with questionable food safety... woops. wash before use and line with parchment or plastic wrap before filling with goodies]

 Fun, right??

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No-Mess Christmas Ornaments

Glittery Christmas balls. They're a beautiful thing, but they're so messy. They leave a trail [or clump] of glitter everywhere. And it's there for months.

So Rachael and I decided we'd make our own version [thank you, pinterest]. With the glitter contained on the inside. Genius. Clean. Sparkly!

   -clear glass Christmas ornaments
   -red glitter
   -Elmer's glue

   -Mix glue with water so it's half-strength and runny. Take the top off the glass ornament, put in about a tablespoon of the extra-runny glue, and turn to coat the whole inside.
   -Put glitter inside the globe and shake around, coating all sides. This takes more glitter than you'd think.
   -Dump out any extra glitter, let dry, and reapply the cap. Thread with ribbon to hang.

   -No mess glittery ornaments!

Rachael doesn't have a tree, so we put them in her doorway. So festive!

You can't see the glitter well (thank you iPhone 4 camera), but they really do sparkle!

Merry (clean) Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tree Re-Do

During my most recent trip to my homeland (aka Iowa), my mom and I attempted to make a Christmas ball Christmas tree that we had seen. We didn't really know what we were doing, but we went for it.

We went to the dollar store (the only general store in a small town) to get Christmas balls and fishing line. Christmas balls they had, but apparently November is no time to be buying fishing line in Iowa. Our substitution? Dental floss. Turns out, thread is a better substitute. But like we thought of that.

The general goal:  hang Christmas balls in a Christmas tree shape, and they'll be suspended from above.
We tried for over an hour to make this tree happen, but we failed. I had to head back for work, so my mom was left to work on the tree herself.

It took two days, but I eventually got a text message:  Success!

Here's a picture of the tree. It turned out much better than when I was helping. I'm impressed!

Good work, Mom!

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Non-Artist Artwork

I'm not an artist. That's no secret. My brother got those genes.

But I do enjoy throwing a little paint around once in a while. During last week's visit to see my high school friend Rachael, we made a new piece of art for her living room. She had seen the idea on pinterest [there i go again...] and wanted to make it. So what better time than when her bestie was in town??

We made a late-night run to Target, which was unsuccessful. So we made an early-morning run to Hobby Lobby. Jackpot. I just love that place.

  -acrylic paints of various colors

  -pretend like you know what you're doing


Ok, so it's no Picaso, but we had fun. And Rachael now has new living room art!